As I’m in a kitcheny mood (which I will be for a while) here are a couple of recent purchases I have made to make my life easier.

1. Joseph and Joseph Flip Drainer £15

I’m not entirely convinced that my sink has been installed correctly … in the showroom the sink was flush with the work top but in the brochure it was proud by about 1 cm. Mine sits above it by about 2 cm. You would have had to completely destroy the under-sink cabinet to make it sit flush so this is what I’ve ended up with.

kitchen sink

I do love it but I have a slight issue with draining crockery after hand washing (to be fair I don’t do that much hand washing so it’s not that much of a problem) placing the wet cups and bowls directly on the work top means there’s no where for the water to go. So hurrah for this nifty little drainer from Joseph and Joseph. It’s clever little  grooves means that if you have it the way shown here then the water runs down into the tray for you to dispose of later and if you flip it onto it’s other side then the water will drain off into a sink. Nice.

joseph and joseph flip

2. Matalan Trivets £2.50

The work top is made from bamboo. I haven’t managed to give it the requisite three coats of sealer/varnish/protector stuff yet and I’m constantly worried that its going to scratch/burn/get cup marks.

matalan trivets

So hurrah again for these rubber trivets from good old Matalan. I love the colours, their geometric shape and their general rubberiness; they couldn’t scratch a thing however hard they tried. There’s also a grey one but I think my mum may have ‘borrowed’ it as I can’t find it anywhere!

My pots

I do like a nice bit of storage. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a hoarder and keeping the stickers I got when I was 12, the Really-Important-Pebble-from-that-lovely-beach-that-I can’t-quite-remember-where-it-was-but-it-definitely-can’t-go-in-the-bin and all my other bits and bobs hidden away in a selection of jars and pots make me feel like I am holding some semblance of order over my home.

Mixing old and new jars and canisters is a good way to avoid ending up with a Magnet Showroom style kitchen and reusing food containers with pretty packaging is a nice recycling touch; granted my friends do look at me funny when I transport (clean) used yoghurt pots home in my suitcase from holidays in France, but the design is so good.

Anyway my latest addition to my kitchen is the blue lidded jar in the center of the picture above.  Ages ago I saw these cute little spice jars in Anthropologie selling for around £10, which are beautiful and I love the ornate detail around the chalkboard.

anthropologie chalkboard_jars3

But then I saw these in Matalan and they’re bigger and cheaper at 18cm high and only £5 each. Hurrah.


Shame you don’t get a stick of chalk with them … Where do you buy chalk these days?

Also on my shopping list are these little beauties

Nice storage jars
From left; Bloomingville Carla Storage Jars, £12
Sagaform Keep Storage Jar, £15.66
Jonathan Adler Candy Storage Jar £138
Cream Crackers by Wayne Hemmingway £12

I find it hard to buy cushions. More often than not I know half a meter of fabric or a particularly nice tea-towel (the small cushion above is made from one bought in an Anthropologie sale, the large from a fat quarter bought from FabricRehab), a feather cushion pad and a spare hour with the sewing machine will result in a cushion a fraction of the price as the ones I see in the shops. This theory doesn’t really apply when it comes to printed or embroidered cushions as the time/facilities needed versus value for money ratio is all wrong which is why when I spotted these two cushions in Matalan I had to buy them…

Embroidered Owl cushion

Printed text cushion

… especially as they were only £10 and £8 respectively.

Matalan do do some good little bits and pieces for the home. Visit their website here to see for yourself…

I do also have an aversion to synthetic cushion pads (which most cheaper cushion covers come with) as to me they always make the cushion sit too upright and don’t feel  snuggly enough. But feather pads can get expensive so I tried an experiment the other day which surprisingly worked. I bought feather bed pillows from Poundstretcher at £7.99 for two, then in the garden I opened up a cushion pad I got with the Matalan cushions and removed the stuffing (useful to keep for stuffing soft toys etc). Then I carefully opened a corner of the feather pillow and transferred half the feathers from the pillow in to the cushion case. When the cushion case was suitable plump I sewed it up, squared off the pillow sewed that up aswell and ended up with two new feather cushion pads.

It’s not the tidiest of jobs and the garden did look a little like I taken a job as a duck plucker when I’d finished but it did save a lot of pennies.