Hunkydory Home Blog

My favourite blogs February 11, 2015 21:43 1 Comment

I thought I'd write a blog post about my favourite blogs - the sites I visit and enjoy on pretty much a daily basis.

Messy Nessy Chic -
I absolutely love this website, it describes itself as blogging the 'Off-beat, the Unique and the Chic' and that's exactly what it's all about. Every day there's an interesting post about all manner of curiosities accompanied by beautiful photography. I particularly like the collection of '13 things I found on the Internet today'; a fascinating list of online oddities!
Some memorable posts I've read include, The fake townhouses hiding mystery underground portals,  The Ghostly Flintstones Amusement Park , The 1970s Cold War Era Home built 26 feet underground, The Girl With The Impossible Waist and there are many, many more.  Be warned it's an addictive blog to browse!
Vanessa 'Nessy' Grall is the lady behind the blog, she's English but not very much a Parisian (which means you get all sorts of insights into Paris too - bonus!).
Print Pattern Blog -
I've enjoyed browsing this lovely, visual blog for as long as I can remember, it's full of colour and pattern which you will have probably guessed I'm a big fan of!   The blog celebrates the world of surface pattern design and features the work of both established designers and retailers as well as newcomers. 
If you like the blog, there are a few books available too, I've got them all and they make a lovely colourful addition to the bookcase.
Bambino Goodies -
I think I first discovered Bambino Goodies when my daughter was a toddler and I've been a fan ever since.  They feature cool stuff from independent retailers for the under sevens and their families, and not only that but they link to things to make and do as well as other cool websites.  I like their '10 Best...' posts which feature the Bambino team's Top 10 items on a given topic from Hedgehogs to Penguins and much more in between.
I have to say that frequenting this blog has not been good for the bank balance
Blog & Buy Sale -
James and Josephine run the Blog & Buy Sale website, their sole aim being to showcase the best creative sellers from around the world and they do just that!  There's always something fun and inventive to look at and every season they run a Wishlist crammed full of gorgeous products you'll covet.   I always enjoy the interviews with different makers and designers. 
This is another site to browse when you're nowhere near your bank card!

Retro To Go -
If you're into retro stuff then this blog should definitely feature on your list of 'go to' sites. Every day vintage and retro style fashion, furniture, cars, memorabilia, events and basically anything hip and retro is featured (they often find amazing stuff on ebay!).  

These are just a few of my favourite sites, I'll share more with you soon, in the meantime enjoy!

How to choose the right lampshade February 5, 2015 00:00 1 Comment

Lampshades are often an afterthought when it comes to decorating a room, but they can actually contribute greatly to the design and feel of your room being a flexible way of adding colour and pattern.

Retro lamp shades

There are a number of things to bear in mind when purchasing a lampshade:

Is your shade for a ceiling pendant light fitting, a table lamp or a standing lamp - it is important to make sure the shade you buy is suitable for its purpose as fittings may vary.
Do you need a lampshade with UK standard fittings or are you looking for a shade to fit a base from Ikea or similar which use wider European (ES) fittings?
Most lampshades these days will fit both type of fittings (ours do) but it's still worth checking before purchasing.

If it's for a central ceiling pendant light consider how big your room is, you don't want a tiny shade that will be lost in the space, equally a huge shade will dominate the space.  Don't forget that if you hang it too low some of your taller friends and family may bump their heads! (I had a beautfiul shade that was massive, but I hung it so low my husband used to have to walk around it!). 
For a lamp base, the shade should skim the top of the base with no hardware or sockets visible when you look at your lamp whilst standing in the room.

The cone shaped/empire shapes are becoming less fashionable for ceiling lights being replaced by the more contemporary drum shape, but they still look great for a small beside or table lamp and you can find some super designs online.

Check the maximum wattage of bulb you can use for the lampshade you purchase.  Most lampshades will allow you to use a 100watt equivalent energy saving light bulb - this will give off the most amount of light. Don't opt for a dark coloured shade if you want a lot of light to shine through.

You may wish to purchase a diffuser to sit in the bottom of your ceiling lampshade so you don't see the bulb and get dazzled when you look up. The diffuser is a white circle of PVC in the middle, it sits underneath the shade hiding the bulb and diffusing the light.

Lampshades are not the easiest things to clean and can attract dust.  You can buy 'lampshade cleaners' which are basically a rubber sponge that brush the dust off.  Otherwise a soft bristled paint brush should do the trick and some people even use the upholstery attachment of a vacuum cleaner, but having not tried this myself I would advise that you take care if using this method.


A new start February 2, 2015 13:47 4 Comments

It will be 10 years ago this year that I first started Hunkydory Home.  With the help of The Prince's Trust and a local business centre, I borrowed a small amount of money and set up a website selling a collection of lampshades and cushions that I had made myself.   In 2005 'House Doctor' type home improvement shows were everywhere, encouraging people to neutralise their homes to make them easy to sell (they seemed to forget homes were not always an investment, they were meant to be lived in too) and I found a market for my funky, bright designs in a world of cream!

Hunkydory Home 2005

Hunkydory Home grew and grew, and a few years later I branched out selling a whole range of home accessories from clocks and mugs to rugs and footstools all with the 'hunkydory' bright, fun style.  For the last few years I've found my focus shifted from being creative, developing my own products and finding new designs to being thrown back into a office job managing stock levels, reorders and accounts.  I thought that growing the business was what I wanted to do and embarked on business plans and strategies. Then, over the past year I realised that this was not why I set up Hunkydory, I never intended to run a shop; I always wanted to have fun creating lovely products for the home and if this gave me an income then that would be a bonus.  I missed the excitement of finding new fabric designs and turning them into lovely products. Of course I still sold my own lampshades and cushions on a small scale but I felt my focus had shifted, talk was all about 'growing' a home store, increasing staff and meetings were more with people in suits than spent with beautiful fabric and other creative folk.

Fast forward a decade and people are far more confident about using colour and pattern in their homes and not afraid of stamping their personality on their interiors, there is a greater demand than ever for quirky and unique home design. 

My new start for 2015 is actually a return to my start in 2005, I want to create and sell my own lighting and cushions again.  I don't want to be selling what now many other stores are selling and I'm fed up of trying to keep one step ahead of the high street stores' buying departments. I want to spend my hours creating not administrating; Hunkydory Home in 2015 is all about made-to-order, unique and affordable products for your home, the very reason I started in the first place.

I'm excited about the year ahead and about sharing with you all the fantastic products we're going to make for you.