2011 swimwear trends for your summer holiday

Although trends in swimwear don’t move a quickly as the rest of fashion, and it’s always best to choose styles and shapes that suit your body shape, there are still a some trends to look our for this summer if you’re looking to buy something new. Gone are the cutaway and one-shoulder styles of last year, this year the top 3 styles to go for are vintage 50′s, ruffles and crochet. Here are some suggestions…

Vintage. Left to right Bloom Urban Outfitters £32, Skirtini Next £12, Spot tankini Next £24

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Ruffles. Left to right La Senza bikini £22, Ruffle bikini £22.42, Seafolly bikini £37.99

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Crochet. Left to right Miss Selfridge bikini £30, BHS tankini £18, Top Shop bikini £15

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Late summer colour – plants keep your garden flowering in August

Don’t let you garden run out of steam after the mid-summer flowering season of June and July comes to an end. You can really end the summer on a crescendo of hot colours (like this echinacea below) to hopefully go with the hot weather – fingers crossed. Don’t forget to keep dead-heading to extend the flowering period.

Echinacea

Here are some of the plants doing really well in my garden at the moment… on the left is Phlox Davidii with Penstemon Raven, on the right Sedum Purple Emperor is just coming into flower.

This Echinops Veitchs Blue (globe thistle) is also just bursting into bloom.

Here are some more ideas for late summer flowering plants…

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Island life – create an exotic colonial style room

Take inspiration from hot, steamy tropical holidays and create a colonial inspired room in your home, perfect for the summer and in winter a wonderful reminder of warmer days. It’s such an easy look to create with the contrast of bright white walls as a backdrop and dark wooden furniture, accessories with an Asian twist and some black an white photos in dark frames, don’t forget to include lots of tropical plants with big leaves.

Colonial style interiors

Here are some ideas to create the look in your home…

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My latest purchase – a Designers Guild embroidered cushion

While their summer sale is still on, I just couldn’t resist this beautiful Charlotte cushion from the Designers Guild Royal Collection. I’ve had my eye on these for a while, and now it’s reduced from £70 to £35. Here is in pride of place…

Designers Guild Charlotte

The dark wood bedroom furniture is Broughton from Laura Ashley, which works really well with the traditional, period feel which I’m aiming for with my Edwardian house. Here are some more luxurious embroidered silk cushions from the sale which you might like, this blue one is stunning…

Left to right: Henrietta was £90 now £45, Verity was £95 now £47.50, Emmeline was £55 now £27.50

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Fresh ideas for decorating small hallways

Always the narrowest areas in your house, or the most awkward shape, your hallway still needs to provide storage for many items along with the usual shoes and coats, so when the cupboard under the stairs is already full you will need some clever storage solutions. Don’t forget to measure up before you buy! Here are some styles to inspire you…

Hallway storage

Images from 25 Beautiful Homes/House to Home

Console Tables – These handy tables incorporate lots of drawers for all you bits and are designed to be shallower than a normal table to take up less room, there are so many styles to choose from so halltables.me.uk is a great site to help you find something right for your space.

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Shoe storage – these are a great idea for keeping your hallway tidy and there are all sorts of clever designs to choose from to fit any space from Shoe Rack Storage, keep it right next to the front door, or in your porch, and there’s no excuse for leaving shoes around the house anymore! Here are some of the latest styles…

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Bucket bags are the latest must have accessory

Here’s Kate Bosworth with her slouchy suede bucket bag, the Diego by Alexander Wang with shoulder strap and grab handle. This shape is making a come-back, originally around in the 80′s they have been re-invented this season with vintage style leather, studs or tassels, worn on the shoulder or across the body.

Kate Bosworth Handbag

Here are some of the best we found. Left to right: Fossil Grayson drawstring bag £128, Bouf bag £38, Next teal bag £26, Fossil Camille bag £54.40, Sara Berman bag £226.35, Next tan bag £75.

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Bench sale – up to 70% off

The summer sale is now on at Bench with up to 70% off women’s and men’s clothing until 2nd August, and if you use the special voucher code at checkout you can get an extra £5 off orders over £65. The voucher code to enter is XTRASPECIAL65

Here are some best sellers from the sale. Left to right: Sunshower women’s jacket 70% off was £50 now £15, Bitters women’s top 68% off was £25 now £8, Crank women’s top 70% off was £30 now £9, Whirlypop – women’s top 60% off was £25 now £10, Krafty men’s shirt 49% off was £45 now £23, Fergal men’s hoodie 40% off was £55 now £33

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Creating a romantic, shabby chic bedroom

This look’s been around for a little while now and shows no sign of fading, with the new seasons at House of Fraser and Next picking up the trend. It’s a lovely way of creating a really soft feminine look for your bedroom. Based originally on vintage french furniture, and the faded grandeur of a french château, with the look epitomised by the classic painted bed with elaborate headboard.

House of Fraser Shabby ChicNext Isabella

If you don’t have the funds to splash out on the furniture you can still create the look with these great value accessories in soft pastel shades…

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