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letterbox MAY



















IN THIS ISSUE Through the letterbox with @thehappybuild How to add personality to your rented home Sleek and stylish decking ideas for your garden Travel with us to Morroco & Japan

letterbox MEET THE












FEATURES How to add personality to your rented home Through the letterbox with @thehappybuild Tiny bedroom? How to utalise space without compromising on style Make your bathroom look brand new with these 5 DIY jobs Colour Palette - Yellow - How to incorporate into your home

TRENDS Eye Spy : Sliding Internal Walls Gorgeous garden fence panel colour ideas


Gallery walls - shop the trend Maximise space in your kids bedroom loft and bunk beds that offer play too. Perfect, relaxing garden furniture shop it Sleek and stylish deck ideas for your garden.




How to paint your tiles

For your lock-down fakeaway.

How to clean your washing machine Dear Letterbox


to contact the editor

letterbox MAGAZINE

show us your gaff #letterboxhome

COME WHAT MAY Happy May to all our Letterboxers. We know how tough times can be right now, but there is hope on the horizon. I won't dwell on what most of us already know this month. Instead, it's a great time to be positive in our own surroundings. I have been spending lots of time these last few weeks scrolling social media and seeing the astonishing DIY projects, upcycles and general home jobs that many of us are doing whilst staying at home. Just think how amazing our homes and gardens will be after this period! Families are spending more time at home, together. And dare I say it, social media and the electronic world has begun to be boring for many. If you have't managed to get creative just yet in your home, May might just be the month you do. There are so many things packed into this edition, and we travel too, because we know how many of us just can't wait to tdo that when we can. So, I hope you enjoy this May edition of Letterbox. Once again I can't thank the incredible team, and you our Letterboxers. Stay Safe, Stay home.

charlotte the editor






will you recieve easy, quick home tips.


Eye Spy : Sliding Internal Doors

Internal doors seem to be a thing of the past as many of us opt for expansive, open plan living as much as possible. Conventional hinged doors take up space inside or outside a room, and often make hallways and small rooms feel busy.  Sliding doors are a great alternative for those wanting to incorporate the opportunity of a closed, intimate space within open plan living. Or those wanting to scrimp back on the space conventional doors take up. Being ultrasimplistic, contemporary and a space saver, here’s some inspiration for you to look at and help you make the switch.



With renting comes some great advantages and disadvantages – one being that you may not have as much flexibility in turning the property into your home.  Many landlords, understandably, do not allow tenants to paint, change and even install anything into the property, including shelving and even pictures. These changes can sometimes cause damage and be at the cost of a landlord to put straight, compromising that pretty large deposit you have.  But that doesn’t mean you are completely restricted on incorporating style and personality. There are lots of ways you can input your interior trends and let it shine through your rented home.

So where do you start? First things first, establish what you are and aren’t allowed to do. Get in touch with your letting agent and ask the question. It’s great to understand what your landlord is okay with you altering or doing before you start any changes. Some landlords can be more flexible than others, unfortunately there isn’t a rule for all.

I’m not allowed to paint? Okay, no panic. Of course, the easiest way to incorporate colour into your home is through wall paint. Although there are plenty of other ways to create an overall colour scheme into your rented home.

Wall hangings Wall hangings of any type are a great way to add pattern or colour to bland and boring walls. Using command strips or adhesive hooks, it’s never been easier or deposit friendly to display large wall hangings and pictures in a rented property.  Popular home stores like Ikea offer lots of different fabrics in a variety of patterns and colours, made to measure. Pretty inexpensive too, wall hangings are a great alternative to inject pattern and colour when paint or wallpaper usually would.

Soft furnishings Whether you could paint or not, soft furnishings are a sure way to inject colour and pattern into a space. As it’s one of your only ways to do this, go bolder than you may usually if you could paint. Here’s a couple of things to consider when choosing those soft furnishings. Swap plain curtains / blinds for a pair with a bold print or pattern. It will certainly add interest into a bland and boring wall.   Layer your sofa and bed with a variant of coloured and patterned cushions. Choose different sizes and shapes to create a cosy space that’s bursting with colour and pattern.   Use throws as an injection of contrast and colour. Opt for a contrasting but complimentary colour.  Choose a rug that is key to your colour scheme. It will draw your eye to the open space and incorporate the colour lower in the space too.   Choose light shades that have either a pattern or colour to them. Whether the light is on or off, it will offer more colour into the bland space.

Key furniture pieces Why not inject your colour with the key furniture pieces you do buy. Opt for a pop of colour in your sofa choice or dining table, or your bed frame. Choosing a pop of colour rather than a neutral tone on these key pieces can inject that much needed interest. Plus, it’s without compromising your deposit at all.

Other important things to consider Play with light Light is so important in any home, especially one that can lack warmth from painted walls. Make sure you have plenty of light in your space, whether natural or lamps. A few lamps in a large space can instantly transform, making it cosy and warm.

Gallery Walls You may or may not be able to put up hooks and nails, but either way, a gallery wall can be achieved in your rented home. Gallery walls are fantastic at filling large voids and gaps in walls, even more perfect when the walls are rented and bland in colour.  Use adhesive hooks or nails, choosing a gallery that suits the style of your home. Mix and match frame colours and mix prints with personal phots for a versatile and personal gallery wall.

Plants – Faux or Real Every home should have plenty of plants. Faux or real plants can transform any home, especially one that lacks colour. Use a variety of flowers and foliage to have a home that embraces natural elements and brings life into the property.

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DEAR LETTERBOX, We take a look at some of your home problems and offer you the best advice.

MY SPARE BEDROOM IS A JUNK ROOM - HOW CAN I MAKE IT USABLE? Everyone has a junk room, just so happens yours is a spare bedroom - which is actually pretty common. It sounds like you may be confused on how you could make the space usable and worth while being in. Really analyse what you and your home could do with. Maybe a study space where your computer and book collection can reside, making space somewhere else within your home. Perhaps you need more wardrobe space, to which a dressing room maybe a great use of the space. It also sounds like you are struggling with storage in your home. Perhaps installing more storage across your home could help the need to ditch your junk in one particular room. Purchase vacuum bags to store clothes and de-clutter where possible to offer you more space across your home.

HELP - MY GARDEN IS A CONCRETE JUNGLE AND IT FEELS REALLY COLD, HOW CAN I MAKE IT FEEL MORE INVITING? Gardens don't have to have a green patch of grass to feel like a garden. Some small, concrete based gardens have a much more inviting feel than those that have grass. If you're low on greenery, consider some high planters for trees and bushes. Play with layering, with potted plants and using a variety of different materials. Perhaps change some of your tiles to shingle, add a decked area or stencil your current tiles for a patterned effect. Bare in mind your lighting too, and play with soft furnishings including a garden rug, cushions and blankets. Create the illusion of more space with garden mirrors and don't be afraid to incorporate colour by painting bricked walls and fence panels.

Gallery Wall get the look

The easiest way to spruce up those super bare walls is a varied gallery wall. They have grown in popularity as a stylish and creative way to incorporate current style and personality to a space. What’s better, they are easy to swap and change with seasons and trend and they can be added to any wall using command strips.


Gallery Wall Wall Gallery get the look

5 SMALL DIY JOBS TO MAKE YOUR BATHROOM LOOK BRAND NEW Bathrooms are an expensive overhaul. And often, it’s an outdated colour scheme, old style tiles, yellowing grout and the usual mouldy sealant that’s made it look messy. The great news is, there are some small DIY changes you can make to overhaul your bathroom, without the expensive price tag. Fancy giving it a go? Here’s small jobs you can do to make it look brand new!

1 : GO OVER YOUR GROUT Grout is porous, so it's one of the first things in your bathroom to show dirt, especially in the shower. Grab yourself a grout pen. They are cheap and a quick and easy tool to transform those gross and yellow grout patches to the sparkling ice white they used to be. Just re-trace your current grout and it will look as good as new.

2 : RE-SEAL AROUND THE BATH AND SHOWER Sealant can easily take on black mould patches, especially in the shower. Whilst you can get rid of them, they can easily return or take way too much scrub power. Much rather, apply re-seal over your existing sealant with the re-seal product. Quick, easy and very little work to get it looking just like new.

3 : UPDATE YOUR TAPS AND SHOWER HEAD Install new taps and shower head to rejuvenate your bathroom. These pretty small and often inexpensive updates can change the whole style of your bathroom. Especially if your change from a chrome tap to a black, or a whole new design all together.

4 : PAINT YOUR TILES Do you have tiles that are in an old colour scheme? Do you wish you could just change the colour of your tiles? Did you know, you can paint tiles to a new colour? And with a little help from a grout pen, you can easily change the whole look of your bathroom. Shop tile paint in your local DIY store and make sure you prep. But with a couple of coats of paint, you will have a whole new coloured tile.

5 : UPDATE YOUR FURNISHINGS Even in your bathroom there are plenty of soft furnishings that can be updated to create a new lease of life. Grab some new towels, possibly in a new colour, along with a fresh bath matt, sink accessories and decorative pieces including artwork.  All quick fixes that can update the look of your bathroom.

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HOW TO : PAINT YOUR TILES TO INSTANTLY REFRESH AND UPDATE WITHOUT REPLACING. Since lock-down has hit, many homes have been transformed using paint. And whilst before many would think no more of just re-painting walls, using paint can transform the look of kitchen cupboards, old, scruffy furniture pieces, flooring and even tiles!   Re-painting your bathroom or kitchen tiles is a great way to breathe new life, and trend into your current space. But how do you do it? We at Letterbox have the easiest guide for you to follow.  

Clean the tiles well -

Make sure all tiles are cleaned with hot detergent and a scourer.

Rinse and allow to dry before moving forward.  

Paint - Paint every aspect of tiles, including the grout. We advise using a small foam brush. If you want to define the grout lines, use a grout pen once the paint has dried.

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Letterbox Colour Palettes

YELLOW YELLOW Here at Letterbox, we love looking at colour palettes. New ones, classic ones, modern ones, eccentric. You name it, we like it. Every month we will be taking a look at a colour palette that you might want to embrace in your home. We believe every home should have a varied but coherent palette. But we also understand that for many, you just don’t know where to start, or if you’re brave enough to inject colour into your home. In the month of May we are looking at Yellow. Some people really steer clear of yellow, and we’re not completely sure why. It can be a very dominant colour and many believe it doesn’t go with much, but that couldn’t be further from reality.  Yellow is a fantastic colour to use with a variety of colours, and can be toned down, or up, depending on the space you’re are using and the feel you want to achieve. Here’s our guide on incorporating and using Yellow in your home palette.

LET’S TALK SHADES, WHAT SHOULD I GO FOR? Yellow is a very broad colour, with a variety of different shades and tones that can all have a different look and feel. Softer tones can be found in many homes, without realising it is from the yellow family. Bold, bright Yellow is very distinctive, whilst dark moody yellow can also be found in homes, often described as mustard.

Wanting a soft, neutral yellow? Opt for Dulux Lemon Chiffon. Want a bright, eccentric yellow? Opt for Dulux Easter Morn Want a moody, dark yellow? Opt for Dulux Golden Umber

WHERE CAN I USE YELLOW? Anywhere. Quiet literally anywhere. There isn’t a space in your home that an injection of yellow wouldn’t work well within. The question is how you want to use it. Depending on the type of yellow also depends on what materials will be best to use yellow for.

BATHROOM A bathroom is a great place to incorporate yellow. Bathrooms can be boring spaces and with an injection of bright and bold yellow, it can be the perfect place to get ready on a summer morning. Since most modern bath suite are white, bold yellow walls are the perfect contrast to a bright, white suite.

BEDROOM A traditional bright yellow might just be a little too much in your bedroom – especially if

LI VI NG ROOM, KI TCHEN OR DI NI NG ROOM. Yellow really can work in any living space

you want to create a calm and serine spot to

and really depends on the style you are trying

unwind in an evening and awake early in the

to achieve. Consider your furnishings,

morning. But that doesn’t mean yellow doesn’t

including your work surfaces and flooring, to

have a place in yours. Pick a moody, darker

establish the best shade of yellow you want to

yellow for that cosy, calming space.

adopt in these spaces.

WHAT ACCOMPANYI NG COLOURS SHOULD I USE? As mentioned before, Yellow really does work well with all colours. But it all depends on the shade of yellow you are wanting to use. We’ve broken it down for you below.

I WANT A SOFT, NEUTRAL YELLOW. A neutral yellow works so well with soft greys, light pinks and subtle greens. As well as contrasting dark hues too.

I WANT A VIBRANT, BOLD YELLOW. Bright, bold yellows are often the star of the show. Any colours you want to pair with that star, shouldn’t shine away from Yellow.

I WANT A MOODY, DARK YELLOW. Dark Moody yellow works well with dark moody hues. Deep navy, charcoal grey and even black are a beautiful palette to compliment yellow.

WHAT MATERI ALS WORK WELL WI TH YELLOW? Lots of materials work well with yellow, but some materials work better than others. Once again, it all depends on the style you are wanting to achieve. Right now, raw wooden materials are a gorgeous match for yellow. Even taking on a industrial style in your space could be a great way to incorporate Yellow into your contemporary space.



Here at Letterbox, we believe in helping you with those nitty gritty cleaning jobs, like cleaning your mattress. This month we ask you to look at something that usually does the cleaning for you. Your washing machines. And in a twist of fate, your washing machine can get pretty grubby. But how do you clean it? Make sure it doesn’t smell? And can do the best job for you and your clothes? Here's how...


CLEAN YOUR DRAW Your detergent draw can harbor lots of germs, grime and even mold. This gets way dirtier than you would expect and will need regularly cleaning if possible. To completely clean, remove the entire draw. Use a old toothbrush and domestic cleaner to get rid of grime. Cleaning the draw regularly will ensure your clothes feel fresh and clean.

CLEAN THE FILTER Your filter is there to catch those pesky tissues, stray coins and general dirt. Just like your drawer, it can harbor lots of germs, as well as dodgy smells. Its wise to empty it regularly to remove dirt and fluff that has gathered.   Your washing machine filter can usually be found along the lower edge of the machine behind a hinged cover. Trapped water will drain off, so make sure you have a bowl or pan on the floor below the drain before uplugging.   Carefully unscrew / release the filet cover. Now, any trapped debris will run out with the water. Be sure to check the cavity too. Wipe around with a cloth, clean all components and replace the cover.

CLEAN YOUR DRUM Even inside your washing machine, which often looks clean, its probably not. With lots of nooks, there are plenty of places that germs can gather. Regularly run an empty, hot wash every couple of months. Use soda crystals to kill germs, remove odors and stop soap sum and limescale building up from within.

DON’T FORGET THE SEAL The rubber seal is another dirt trap, often hiding excess dirt, mold and grime. It’s advisable to use a damp cloth after every wash to keep on top of build-up and stops your washing picking up dirt on it’s way out of the machine.

HAVE A TINY BEDROOM? HERE’S SOME GREAT IDEAS TO MAXIMISE Without compromising on style S P A C E and personality Tiny bedrooms – every home has them, and sometimes they can feel impossible to style as well as maximise storage and available space. With the lack of floor space, often smaller bedrooms can feel poky, cluttered and often claustrophobic, meaning many of us want to spend as little time in the space as possible. But there is plenty of style tips and design ideas when decorating your smaller bedrooms. Smaller spaces can mean you can be bold and creative with the space.  So, here’s some ideas and inspiration for you to overhaul your tiny bedroom.

STORAGE FRIENDLY FURNITURE Whatever the space you are decorating, storage should always be a consideration, but more so in a small space. Choose storage friendly furniture that can offer comfort as well as space for clothes, toys and everyday essentials. Purchase under bed draws or storage boxes or swap your bed for an ottoman. These lift up offering storage that’s easily accessible.   It’s worth noting, the somewhat dated idea of over bed unit's storage is a great idea for small bedrooms. Wrap them round your bed for ultimate storage and minimal floorspace.

CAREFULLY CONSIDERED COLOUR PALETTE Small bedrooms do not have to compromise on style nor colour. Many believe small spaces should be as light and bright as possible. But often dark, bold colours can also create the illusion of space. Carefully consider the colour palette you will use, taking into account the natural light of the room. If opting for a dark hue, think about using it as feature wall, pairing with a lighter colour.  If worried, leave the walls white and use colour through the soft furnishings and décor pieces.

USE WALL SPACE All rooms have at least four walls. Whether they are big or small, use them as best as you can. Fit narrow shelves for small keep sakes, pictures and decorative pieces. Mount your tv onto the wall to save any space on top of units and draws. Look at installing open shelving for a versatile unit that can swap and change.

SMART DESIGN IDEAS Small spaces require careful planning and smart choices. Opt for blinds for a more open space – curtains can take up wall space and seem more intrusive in a small space. Place a mirror opposite your window to reflect light and create the illusion of more space.

Small spaces need just as much attention and styling as any other space. Creatively consider how to decorate and style the space. Remember small details make a huge difference, including layers of cushions, blankets and throws.

through the letterbox of@thehappybuild We love exploring new homes, and our Through the Letterbox feature does just that. This month we have the huge pleasure of peeking through the Letterbox of the gorgeous self-build of Laura Emmerson and her family. Based in Nottingham, the stunning 5 bed, 6 bath, family home may just be the most exciting, beautifully designed property we have come across. ‘I would say our home styling is in keeping with the contemporary design of the house. Lots of bright white spaces and a mix of high street furniture and design classics. We like to bring colour into our home with different artwork and soft furnishings. ‘

So how did Laura and her husband

Laura has only recently started to

Jon have the amazing opportunity to

share her home on social media

build the house of their dreams?

after being encouraged by her

'Before we had children, we looked at a house with a large garden that was in an auction. The property had a legal issue and was unlikely to sell. We took

friends and family. With just over 6,000 followers on Instagram, thehappybuild account documents the design and build.

a chance, bought the property and

‘I have enjoyed following many

worked hard to get the legal issue

inspiring accounts and wanted to

resolved. We then got planning

become more involved in the

permission to build five houses in the

community by starting my own.  We

garden and renovated the existing

were lucky enough to be able to help

house. We sold those and bought a

design and build our own house, which

derelict site next door and built our

ended up being a life changing

dream home. Since then we have

experience for us. I wanted to share

bought three more sites nearby, which

our story so others can learn from it

we will be starting on shortly and then

and of course our mistakes too.’

who knows in the future!’

There is no denying that building your own home is the ultimate dream for many of us. But as we all know from Grand Designs and shows alike, self builds pose their own problems with the possibility of complications, as well as unexpected expenditure and delays. What was the hardest part for Laura and Jon during their self-build? ‘Bearing in mind the complex nature of the build, the whole process was relatively smooth for us. We had bumps along the way including almost flooding the whole site by cutting through a water main and we lost two months of the build due to the “Beast from the East” winter in 2018. Living next door during the build definitely helped us with quick onsite decisions and pushing the project forward. We had previously developed five houses in the garden of our old house and the experience of providing houses for others gave us the inspiration to design and build something for ourselves that was out of the ordinary and which was both a very contemporary design but also provided a family home for us and our three young children.’

Building your own dream home may seem out of reach, but it is achievable if planned and executed correctly. What would Laura advise to those who are thinking of designing and building their own home? ‘The key to a successful building project has to be to get the right team on board from the beginning.  From the architect, the contractor and the tradesmen, you have to be comfortable with them and they with you. Honesty, trust and communication within your team are essential for a smooth process. We were very lucky in that the team that we worked with were exceptional and we trusted their advice, after all they are the experts! Whilst your team are the experts, only you know how you and your family live or want to live. You need to decide from the onset what you want out of the space and make sure your architect understands how you want to watch tv, relax, entertain, eat etc. Then make sure you mentally walk through the floor plans, think about the flow and how you will utilise all areas. It is an expensive mistake to make if it doesn’t work for your family.’

Every design has its limitations, with compromises along the way. Did Laura and Jon have to change any of their design? ‘We wanted a more custom-made interior design, including bespoke cupboards and an interesting plywood finish to some of the walls that the architect specified. However, my impatience to move into a finished home as quickly as possible along with an everexpanding budget meant that, like most projects, we had to compromise.’

Despite some compromises, Laura and Jon seem to have created a perfectly flowing family home. The gracious balance of colour, design, styling and carefully planned living spaces have created a space that is unique to their everyday living. ‘We absolutely love our large kitchen, which opens up on to the courtyard and garden. This is the main feature of the house and everything was designed around it. We spent a long time thinking about and working out how to provide the structural opening, which resulted in the glass sliding doors having no column supports and sliding into hidden pockets in the walls. The effect was that when the doors are open, the kitchen flows seamlessly in to the courtyard becoming one space. ‘

Laura and Jon have created a home bursting with on-trend design and interior ideas. What’s their favorite trend that they have incorporated into their home? ‘I love the trend for lush green plant walls. Whilst we have seen them for a while in hotel bars and commercial spaces, they are becoming much more common in the home. We knew we wanted a green wall and the courtyard was the perfect space for one to really bring the outside in all year round. We explored lots of options and as quotes for maintained living walls were coming in at over 

£ 20,000 we

knew we

would have to find an alternative.  There are lots of companies that provide artificial green walls but if they are going outside it is important that they aren’t affected by UV light, ours was actually from QVC and we put the panels together ourselves and mounted on the cladding fixings. It was really easy but is so effective. ‘

Shopping for the perfect pieces of

‘I honestly think lighting is key in every

any home is a carefully devised task

home and I know for me bright natural

in itself. Finding furniture pieces

light makes me happy. If you’re able,

that work with your space, and the

make sure you have as much natural

overall style of your home can be

light as possible and then spend time

difficult. Where does Laura tend to

considering your lighting plan also.  I

shop for her home pieces?

think there is a tendency for

‘I’m a big fan of seeking out and supporting independent brands. However, lockdown has made me realise how much I miss Ikea! Since my first trip when I was 14 and the Nottingham store opened I have always admired the way the store shows individual room inspiration and offers accessible and affordable interior design styles. Ikea also fulfills my houseplant addiction!’

When it comes to making the perfect home, there are lots of things to consider. From colour palettes, perfectly selected furniture pieces, balanced styling and comforting soft furnishings. What does Laura believe is essential in every home?

electricians to come in and put hundreds of spotlights everywhere and I often hear people say they don’t even turn them on or regret being stuck with harsh overhead lights.  We have used the Philips Hue system throughout our home, which is excellent at providing different levels of light and zones for every mood and is also voice and mobile app controlled.  We also love our open plan space and having a large family area is crucial to us. However, a quiet space where you can escape is equally important. We have a family kitchen/diner/lounge but also a snug for grown ups, where the children are not allowed! ‘

We believe no home is truly finished, with tweaks and changes happening as life continues. So what have Laura and Jon planned for their home in the coming months?

‘We have a few more jobs around the house but we will mainly be concentrating on the garden. Good landscaping is a key factor in the design of a house and garden and will help us to get the maximum enjoyment from our home.   We are also starting three new builds in the next two months. One is a contemporary four bed detached house behind our own house and the other two are five bed, detached Victorian style villas.’

Laura and Jon have created a truly stunning family home. It reflects how great design can provide a combination of spaces that blend into one when suited. The attention to detail and consideration on how the flow of the entire space proves that with careful planning, a property can be more than just a few walls and spaces to spend an evening.  If you want to enjoy more of Laura and Jons home, follow Laura on Instagram today.

Follow @thehappybuild on Instagram today.



paint wor k


s e c a p s g n u creative yo with letterbox

Maximise aa kid’s kid’s Maximise bedroom space. space. bedroom Bunk & & Loft Loft beds beds Bunk

There just isn’t enough space in a child's bedroom is there? Doesn’t matter how many times you de-clutter, ditch the old toys, blitz the space, there just isn’t enough room for toys and space for them to use them! With properties getting smaller, and kids collection getting bigger, finding storage and furniture that will offer everything needed for you little ones can be tricky. High rise beds are a great storage solution for small bedrooms needing space to play and store. And with a little creativity, a bunk or loft bed can in itself become a great play thing in their own room too. What’s better, loft and bunk beds can easily be adaptable as children grow older. The long and short of it, bunk and loft beds make the perfect addition to your child's bedroom, and will age with them. Furniture underneath the bunk / loft bed can change to an additional bed for sleepovers, a desk for studying, or a sofa for laying video games.


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ON-TREND FENCE COLOURS TO ADD COLOUR TO YOUR GARDEN It’s just about the perfect time of year to do that horrible painting job in your garden – your fence panels. We all know how much of an effort painting them can be, but we also know how much of a difference they can make with a fresh lick of paint. But before you head to your DIY store for your usual brown colour that you have used year in year out, why not add a little more colour? Painted fences have always been a thing, but 2020 is the year for pastel hues and coloured fence panels for sure. Just like painting your interior walls, coloured fence panels can create interest, and personality to your outdoor space. But what colour should you go for? Have no fear, we have lots of inspiration for your garden fence panels this year.


White is a fantastic colour indoors and out, and especially one to consider if you have a small garden with lots of boarder plants and flowers. White is a great colour to create the illusion of more space, and add brightness to your garden. It’s also great at accentuating your natural colour from plants and flowers. White is a great colour for any type of garden fence, and will easily co-ordinate with current garden furniture. BLACK

It’s certainly a bold colour to incorporate, but once again fantastic at contrasting against border plants and flowers. Black is the perfect garden fence colour for modern contemporary homes that want to carry this through to their outdoor spaces too. Styled with natural furniture, geometric prints and simple greenery, black is the bold fence colour your garden might just need. PASTELS

Pastel colours have had a huge come back inside our homes, so it’s well worth bringing them into your garden too. Soft pinks, blues, greens and yellows can inject huge character and colour into your outdoor space. For small courtyard style spaces, an injection of soft colours perfectly match potted plants, outdoor tiling and minimalistic furniture. Gardens deserve as much styling and consideration as much as your home. If you’re worried about going all out on any of these colours, why not create a ‘ feature wall’, paining one wall of fence in a feature colour and the others a more subtle, gentle colour. If you have a walled garden, remember they can be painted too, with similar impact as painted fencing.



ed n r e t t a p iles t r o i r xte

Gorgeous Gorgeous 2020 2020 Garden Garden Furniture Furniture to shop now

Since we are all spending so much time in our outdoor spaces, we might as well shop the best 2020 furniture to make ourselves truly comfortable. Last month we took a look at garden rugs, because outdoor spaces deserve as much styling as our interior living rooms. And just like your lounge, you should really invest in comfortable, hard wearing furniture to kick back on. Large garden sofas, cosy cuddle chairs, bistro sets. There is lots to be shopped this summer 2020 to make a really comfortable outdoor space.



Decking makes a great addition for any garden, big or small. And being simple to install and tailor to your space, it’s one of the most popular ways to upgrade an outdoor space. But before you grab the planks and nails, it’s well worth looking at getting creative with your deck.   Carefully planning how you will incorporate decking into your outdoor space can ensure you create a deck that works well within your garden, and doesn’t look just laid randomly. Softening the lines and creating contrast is important styling considerations will help really embed a decked area to provide that alfresco seating space or relaxing sun spot your garden needs.

Step it up The great thing about decking is how it can easily level uneven ground, create a raised platform and make it incredibly easy to step right out from your home and into your garden.   You need not to spend extortionate money to seamlessly travel from indoors to outdoors by a level deck. Travel through the space using varied height decking which slowly drops down to your green space.  Building wide but low stairs to drop down into your other areas of your garden and install spotlights for those darker summer evenings, is a sleek and stylish way to move down from your property.    If you want your decked are to be away from your property, but at a higher level, consider built in beds to separate and seclude your decked area.  Varied height is a great way to carve different areas of your garden, and can be a sleek and stylish upgrade to your current patio.

Build it in Decking is so versatile, with a little more work, it can create built in elements to your garden. Use decking to create raised beds to shield, seclude and border your decked areas. Raised beds can also be a great alternative to adding colour and greenery to your garden, without using potted shrubs, trees and plants.   Decking can also be used to create seating too. Whether you opt for a permanent, backed seating area, or a seamless, deep ledge, decking can offer flexibility for those summer parties and versatile decked spaces.  If you want somewhere to store those seat cushions and summer accessories, raised, decked, seating can also offer great storage space too. Install hinges to the seating elements for a bank of built in storage.

Mix & Match There is nothing more modern than a sleek combination of material. Decking matched with bright white tiles, sea washed pebbles, or rustic patio, can once again create zones and spaces within your green space. Consider mix and matching the materials your use across your garden to create a more varied, interesting and modern space.

Paint it Decking, just like your garden fences, can be painted. Which is a great for when you change your style in your space. Keep it weathered, match your fencing or contrast everything by opting for a bold shade. Consider using anti-slip on your decking too, as with the great British weather, rain is frequent and can make decking slippy.


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a colourful guide to

Tokyo, Japan by Becca Collier-Cook

Things are certainly uncertain. No-one is sure as to when we can travel again. But we are sure that we will. When the lockdown ends, and we do have the chance to venture out into the big old wide world again, I fully suggest booking a trip to Japan. I became a complete Japan-o-phile after visiting a couple of years ago and was so lucky to return for three weeks last year. Japan is a beautiful country, so I thought it’d be great to put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) to tell you all about the colourful things we got up to.

colourful h idden gems Ik e b u k u ro A place I’d bare ly

about I kebuku

heard o f befor e

visiting Japan. I found g t o the e finding n d of a the pla t r avel bl ce by c og and hance. It seem place, ed like so I tho a pretty ught w cool hy not? This qu is base irky and d in ce colourf ntral To ul plac kyo. Th e e main City an part is d if tha named t name Sunshin doesn’t e convinc my pict e you, ures wi then ho ll. Fille pefully d with the bes Daiso), t shops tonnes ( T o k yo Han of goo ds, d quali ty arca with m des, an ore fish d a n aqua species rium than I’d ever se had a t en. The op floo aquariu r with a m even n open ring fo bathe i r seals n the s and pe unshine l icans t . Defin o itely no t one t o be m issed. ro, by s crollin

O d a ib a Odaiba

or Toky o Bay i s anoth er beau tiful pla ly home ce to v the Mo isit. The ri Art T y eam La which i b Borde s a true rless ex treat fo h ibition, r the se nses. Im of colo merse y urful pr ourself ojectio in a wo ns! I wa rld s told t coming he exhi to an e b i t i o n nd but would b after fu e rther re the exh search, ibition it appe is perm a r s anent. that Odaiba onsen t has ple heme p nty to o ark, sev f f e r with a eral lar n ge shop Venus ping m mall is alls (Th literally e Fort modell ed on R everyth ome, fo ing!), a untain rainbow and Ferris w h e el and of the Statue even a of Libe small v rty. ersion current

S h ib u ya & S h in ju k u

If you’ve ever loo ked at a ny type of Japa sure you n travel ’ll have guide, t seen Sh hen I’m ibuya an d Shinjuku every tim pop up e. I’m go o n the list ing to sa y somet hing con pretty c troversia ool loca l here, t tions, bu hey’re t they’re not the you find bee all yourself and end in Shinju all.If ku, you will defi Godzilla n i t e l y want to head on see the top of a cinema. It’s also definite f o odie ga ly check lore, so out all t he food the tow ramen t n h a s to offe o soba n r. From oodles!I f you vis it Shibu on strai y a , then o ght over f course h to the C ead RAZY ra mble cro effect, v ssing, b isit late u t for the at night real to see a ll the co skyscrap lourful l ers. it up

A sa k u sa A place that I di d not vis it on my first trip it! The h to Japan ome of s and reg treet foo retted d for for e i g ners in J to giant a pan, fro strawbe m rries wit melon p h fresh c an ustard m orange ochi. Th and red e b e autiful temples and pag odas are Many pe also a s ople dre i g h t to beh ss in the old. tradition al kimon intensifi os here, es the tr which ju aditiona st l Japane se atmo sphere.


A g u id e to c o lo u rf u l p la c e s in J a p a n c o m p le te w w o u ld n o t b it h o u t a m e n e ti o n o f H a ra fa m o u s ly in ju k u . P e n n e G w e n S te fa d n i’ s ‘H o ll a b a c k G ir l’ , a n d k n o w n fo r e w e ll v e ry th in g c u te , p in k a n d k a w a ii . T a k e a s h it a S tr e e t is w h The nam e re it a ll b e e does not go g in s . amiss w ith my visit (I basical


every t ime we S tart you ing of t r trip a he road t the , with o ne of t (We2G he man o). The y fashion n move shops onto th e many whole a indepe ndents rray of cat clo selling thing. T a hen, ve main a nture o ttractio nwards n, food to the ! There are caf es a pl place y enty, b ou nee ut the o d to vis ne it to ha experie ve your nce is t proper he Tott Harajuk i Cand u y Facto rainbow ry, for i ts lege candy f ndary g loss an iant d rainb ow roll ed ice so man cream. y anima There a l cafes re as well , so if a then ch nimals eck the are you m out ( r thing I saw o wl, cat sure to and do walk do g cafes wn all t ). Make hose si de stre much t ets too o see. , as the A spec ial men re’s so tion for the Kaw althoug aii Mon h I didn ster Ca ’t visit fe, this tim e, I did and alt visit thr hough the foo ee yea r d wasn s ago ’t the b est I’ve it is po ever ex ssibly o perienc ne of t ed, he weir dest pl aces I’v e ever visited beginn

ly marr ied

a child ).

special men tions M a ri C a r

Would y ou like t o roam the stre ets of To dressed kyo in a up as yo go kart, ur favou rite cart oon cha one of t racter? he most This was Japan-e st (I’m d efinitive ly coinin phrase)e g that xperienc es I’ve e ver had. internat All you n ional dr eed is a iving lic n ense, wh ich you can gra b from y our local po st office and cos ts aroun d 7


When yo u see a temple, mantra. bustling


A truly b eautifu


l experie n

T e m p le s should b e the

ce to co untera

Tokyo ci ct ty life. M y favour ites are and a sm Y o yogi Par all one t k o the le ft of Ha rajuku (a the main t the end road). T of here we re loads of giant koi carp and terrapin


D o n Q u ix o te

If you’re going to visit Jap an, then visit the Don Qui madness xote. It’s of basicall y a dolla r s t ore for e touristy from foo verythin g d (find y our limit ed-editi on Japa nese Kit Kats her e), to gi ant squi d hats.

C he ck ou t m y Ja pa n Iv id eo s an d sn ap s on In st ag gr am


exploring the magnificent

o c o r r o M f o y t i c by Kanu Bhatnagar

Salaamwalekum, let me introduce you to the kingdom of Morocco, rough, raw yet modern & contemporary; it is the land of colourful scenes, aromatic spices & rich flavourful foods; with its warm tropical temperatures providing for a variety of landscapes, from driving through the atlas mountains to gazing the stars in the sahara desert to exploring the buzzing markets of Marrakesh & Fez, you would be spoilt for choice..

18 A 3 hour direct flight from London takes you to the country’s capital Rabat; where you can see authenticity & spirituality perfectly infused with metropolitan lifestyles. A melting pot of Arab / Muslim cultures with very distinctive French influence, the place today represents the new aspects of modern life. You need 2 to 3 days to visit the prominent historic landmarks of the city which largely include :

Kasbah De Udaya – a small dreamy sea side town on the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. With dominant white walls & blue doors & encapsulated by a huge fortress which then acted as a defence mechanism against attacks & threats, this place feels like a small living & breathing town in a town.

Chellah which is a medieval necropolis i.e. burial ground for royal Moroccans. Spend your time here searching for eels, watching big storks nesting around the tall minaret and walking under the dense orange trees.

Tower of Hassan an unfinished mosque surrounded by two hundred pillars is one of the most iconic monuments of the city which offers interesting views in the afternoon and transforms into an impressive dazzling beauty in the night.

city of Morroco

Your trip to Morocco is incomplete without getting lost in the labyrinth of streets in the medina of Fez which is the second largest Moroccan city.

Casablanca This city has authentic big city vibe. Beautiful French colonial

The medina (old town) is rough & raw &

architecture, grand old hotels &

it stands as – is from centuries ago. It

crowded European cafes line the

may not fit into your contemporary

sidewalks. The place may not feel as

expectations but these action packed

atmospheric or touristy unlike the

streets will be a sure surprise for any

Moroccan symbolic Fez / Rabat but

visitor. As you peep into the alleyways

it is the Cosmopolitan & economic

of Medina you will find the old man in

heart of the country which is

his tea stall brewing fresh Moroccan

modern, liberal & colourful. Spend

tea, the kaftan clad beautiful woman

the day admiring the intricate

cooking in a small table sized kitchen,

architectures of the one of the

the man with the mysterious story & his

tallest building in Morocco, Hasan 2

Aladdin carpet, the colourful spice


tombs, the sugar laced sweets &

Enjoy a lazy afternoon around the

candies, the bunch of kids running

mosque which is set on the shore

around the streets, woman enjoying

overlooking the Atlantic . Pack a

their after chores midday break

small picnic & reward yourself with

peeping from the windows, nimble

Moroccan Mint tea & take the time

donkeys & mules working as trucks &

to soak in the beauty of this

lorries transporting all things big or

architectural masterpiece.If you

small, it is here that time loses its

have time do visit the Habous market

significance & you start to lose

, a traditional Moroccan souk which


perspective of time

is vibrant, lively & full of character & savour the Casablanca of contrasts.

Morocco is this and much more, a travellers delight, a cultural explosion, progressive & cosmopolitan, warm & welcoming and ruthlessly persuasive to wanting to come back again. There is so much to discover here that one short trip can definitely not justify the variety of experiences, the country has to offer.Enjoy this place once & the mad obsession & its old world charm will surely bring you back again.

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INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp vegetable oil

bunch spring onions, sliced small

bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves picked

400g pork tenderloin, sliced

4 tbsp Thai red curry paste

4 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

400ml can light coconut milk

175g pack baby corn

juice 1 lime

steamed jasmine rice, to serve


DIRECTIONS Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the spring onions and coriander stalks and cook for 1 min. Add the pork slices and cook for 5 mins until starting to brown. Stir in the curry paste and peanut butter. After 30 secs, add the sugar, soy and coconut milk, plus ½ can of water. Mix well, put a lid on and leave to simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, add the baby corn and increase the heat. Bubble for 3 mins until the corn is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little. Stir in the lime juice and check the seasoning. Can now be frozen for up to 2 months. To cook from frozen: thoroughly defrost, then heat in a pan on the hob until curry is hot all the way through. Serve scattered with the coriander leaves and rice.

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Letterbox May 2020