travel | amsterdam & the hox

earlier this month james and I took off to explore amsterdam! 

it's been well over a decade since my first visit so I only had vague memories of the city when I visited as a teen. it's sooooo much prettier than I remembered and I was able to really get a taste of what it has to offer as a grown up.

we stayed at the newly opened hoxton and it was superb... so much so I wouldn't stay anywhere else if I was to head back (and as a firm advocate of airbnb I don't say that lightly!) I've stayed at a lot of hotels but I've never been inclined to write a post about one before.

a couple of months back we stayed in the hoxton shoreditch when we were in london, I really liked the ethos of the hotel and it's cool slightly industrial vibe really suited the location so I was excited about their european venture. 

the hoxton amsterdam is just as hipster but the vibe is slightly different- it's softer around the edges. the styling is eclectic with awesome retro touches and the staff are pretty ace (they give all the best shopping rec's)

the atmosphere of the hotel is what really got us though, it's so damn chilled. we struggled to get out each day as the lure of cooked breakfasts (you must try them) and leisurely chats over coffee had us hanging around longer than normal.

at night the hox becomes the place to be. usually we're looking for places to go out to at night to eat and drink but the hox is a destination where people head to socialise. the restaurant is really nice, I had my first ever mac & cheese (I know I'm so late to that party) and the bar has the BEST cocktails. on saturday night the place was humming with conversation and cool cats. despite having only 2 hours sleep from our crazy early flight we got sucked into drinking most of the night. however all we had to do was crawl to the lift to get up to bed- that's the dream right there.

the rooms are super snazzy from copper pipe radiators and rainfall showers to the comfiest bed. one of the things I liked about our stay in the london hox was the complementary breakfast bags with fruit, granola and oj- bed picnics are the greatest. 

free calls home are nice touch and the quick wifi is essential for instagram addicts like moi. the location is the other huge positive, the hox sits overlooking a beautiful canal and you walk straight into the coolest hipster-ville area bustling with independent, quirky shops. I was in heaven, errr james not so much (but luckily there was plenty of opportunities to stop for pancakes.) 

the main shopping area with all the big high street brands is a short walk away but it I was happier muddling my way through the side streets discovering the smaller boutiques and interior shops. I did eventually indulge in the crazy tourist area and managed not to get taken down by any cars/bikes/boats- win. 

we also ventured out to the usual destinations- the galleries. amsterdam has a really good selection but my total favourite was the stedelijk museum with it's modern art collection. it has a couple of really nice cafes so was a perfect place to stop and grab a bite after walking all morning. if you're there for a few days I'd also recommend grabbing a bike so you can venture around like the locals, the hotel help you out with hiring one!

I'm so happy that we went back to rediscover this beautiful city. it's the perfect city break destination-brimming with art, culture and oodles of shopping.

if you're thinking of taking a trip I couldn't recommend the hoxton hotel more, a big thank you to the staff for looking after us, we had a wicked time!

have you been away recently- do you have any recommendations for a city break? 

caroline x

DIY colour block jewellery boxes

I'm a bit of a magpie, I just can't help myself. I love buying little trinkets (the shinier the better) and despite my best intentions my drawers have a habit of filling up with jewellery that is neglected soon after.

I decided to get organised and went through my treasure chest of clutter taking a bag full of novelty necklaces and costume jewellery to my local charity shop. I was left with only my best gold and silver jewellery so I figured I'd make some storage to keep my streamlined collection tidy...

I bought some plain wooden boxes a while back so I dug them out and decided to jazz them up.

I had lots of ideas, covering them in marble contact paper, spraying them with my new found friend- stone effect spray paint or just simply staining them a nice dark walnut...

but I really liked the unfinished wood so I thought I'd do something that would leave some of it exposed -colour block boxes were the answer!


this is the easiest DIY yet!

take your boxes and remove the screws from the hinges.-you only need to remove the screws on the bottom half to separate the lid from the base.

now the box is separated you can paint the bottom of the box. I've used gold spray paint on the above image. you can use paint too just varnish afterwards.

leave the painted box halves to dry then screw the hinges back together.

if you want to upgrade them buy some foam and cut it to fit the inside of the box- you can then cover the foam in fabric or velvet to make a ring cushion- super fancy.

easy peasy huh? 

these little boxes are perfect for holding smaller items and my rings won't be sliding around in the drawers of my bedside table anymore! if you're looking for some cute little stocking fillers I would defo recommend these as they're super quick to make.

hope you've had a great weekend, back soon amigos!

caroline x

new in | the a/w snake boots

snake boots | topshop 

so, todays post is a mini one as I just wanted to share my latest purchase. before I dive into my annual winter coat hunt (yes I'm determined to find 'the one' this year) I wanted to get myself some boots. 

my main requirements this season is block heels and texture- either snake effect or 70's suede. I'm super pleased block heels are back, as let's face it I'm pretty lazy so it takes a comfy heel to drag me away from trainers. I did a little dance when I found these topshop boots as they're a great dupe of the KG ones and a fraction of the price.. they're nearly out of stock online but definitely worth keeping an eye out for. the green version is still available and I've linked all my favourite 70's inspired high street footwear below if any of you are a-hunting for some too..

happy shopping!

caroline x

DIY hanging clothes rail

as I started to unpack my winter wardrobe two things hit me. 1- I seriously need to stop buying clothes and 2- I really need more storage. so I finally got round to making a DIY which has been on my to do list for months (the shopping problem I'm still working on...)

my inspiration for this DIY came from this ferm living clothes rack, I loved the leather strap detail and the simple scandi lines. I decided to use wood for my rail but you could easily switch this for copper pipe or any other type of metal. I wanted to make use of some of the dead wall space in my room and a hanging rail was the perfect solution. 

...I get more storage to hang my clothes and it looks pretty neat. WIN.


take your leather straps and punch a hole in each end of the strap- so 4 holes total. make sure the holes are wide enough to slip over the end of your screw hooks. (basically the same process I used in this leather strap shelf project a few weeks ago.)

my straps were 50" in length so they hang roughly 25" from the ceiling when they are hung. if you want the rail closer to your ceiling just trim the straps before you punch the holes.

take your length of wood dowelling and cut it to the size your require, I trimmed mine to 5ft with my hacksaw. 

to finish screw your hooks into the ceiling- use a drill and wall plugs if needed. hook both holes on each leather strap over the ceiling hooks to make 2 slings. feed your wooden dowelling through and you're done!

all that's left to do is grab your fave items and display them to your hearts content. (within reason obvs, I wouldn't try and cram 50 coats on it)

do you like this DIY- is it something you'd try yourself?

I'm off to bury myself in the last episode of doctor foster, I finally managed to get around to watching it and I'm totally hooked...

back soon!

caroline x

ps. my hangers are from this copper hanger DIY

DIY | marble coffee table tray

every now and then one of my DIY endeavours doesn't go to plan, this week's projects took waaay more time than I'd bargained for so they're not quite ready to share with you.

and so this marble tray is coming out from the archives today! it's a little makeover from the start of the year that I never got around to sharing. I wanted a little tray to use as a backdrop to style some of my belongings so I figured I'd make a simple version with contact paper. it's a perfect size for leaving on a coffee table or nightstand to display your candles and trinkets.

lovers of marble eat your heart out- this one is dedicated to you.


a square or rectangle of mdf or wood

roll out the contact paper and mark around your tray with a pencil on the back. add another 1.5" to this measurement and cut out with a craft knife or scissors.

peel off the backing and lay your tray directly onto the sticky side, turn over and push out any air bubbles. flip it back over and fold over the 1.5" excess (tucking the corners in tightly for nice sharp edges.)

all done! 

easy peasy right? you can do this on an even bigger scale covering entire coffee tables- ikea has some really affordable basic table tops that are perfect for this type of makeover.

back soon!

caroline x

nails | 10 of the best A/W polishes

a few years ago I hated the transition into a/w nails. now I actively look forward to it.

I found myself sporting black nails this summer when I'd usually be caught wearing baby blues and pastels. turns out I've really grown into wearing deeper, richer shades on my nails these days.

I've been dusting off my favourite winter shades so I figured I'd round them up for you. looking for a new polish? well read on and see if anything catches your fancy..

top row left to right- models own hyper gel bermuda blue, models own twilight in teal, models own hyper gel ebony green, barry m grey, models own hyper gel raven red.

bottom row left to right- barry m gelly in lychee, models own chrome gold, barry m gelly in mustard, topshop nails in pillar box, models own twilight marsala.

my winter shades are still colourful but it's a richer jewel tone selection. switch out the pastels for vivid blues and reds dark enough to pass as black until they catch the light. 

models own are my most used polishes as I like their hyper gels. the colour choice is really good and their new twilight collection has some lovely shades (the ebony green and raven red from their last a/w gel collection are still firm favourites of mine.) I also picked a few barry m polishes, their mustard is such a wicked shade and goes perfectly with all the 70's vibes doing the rounds this season. 

do you have any nail polish favourites, let me know?

back soon

caroline x

home | tom dixon accessories

I first discovered mr nixons beautiful homewares in stockholm and their coolness fooled me into thinking that it was scandi product design... but no it's all british (hurrah) and my go to when I'm looking for gifts for my interior obsessed friends. the candles are to. die. for.

the tea light holder above is made from photo etched brass and is the perfect addition to my coffee table by night. his products are horrendously addictive so be warned.. you'll find yourself coming up with all sorts of reasons why you absolutely need a copper tape dispenser.

from copper to brass and stone the materials are simple but beautiful, if you're a fan of minimal accessories chances are you'll love his ranges. at the minute he's created a 'pop up' department store in selfridges called the multiplex (except it's not your average department store- this is a multi-sensory experience that brings together design, fashion and technology.) it's running until oct 15th and definitely worth a gander if you're in the big smoke. 

back soon

caroline x

DIY easy leather strap shelf

leather strap shelf project

for me shelves are like cushions and haribo (you can never have too many) styling them with books and trinkets is one of my favourite geeky pastimes so the more I have the happier I am.

I should admit this DIY was a bit of a happy accident- I actually purchased the leather for anther project and when it arrived I realised it would be a perfect 'shelf sling' so I had to try it out.

DIY | easy leather strap shelf
leather hanging shelf

you may remember my DIY rope shelf? well it was hanging here previously so I already had two large wall hooks in place. it only took a few minutes to hang the leather and pop the shelf into place.

read on and I'll show you how to make it from scratch..


length of wood (mine was 120cm)

take the leather and punch a hole at each end of the strap, check the hole is big enough to slip over the hook size you are using.

diy easy hanging shelf

my hooks were already in place but to fit yours just drill two deep holes into your wall, pop in a wall plug and twist in your hooks. 

take the two leather straps and slide the holes over the hooks to hang them.

once the two leather straps are hung take your piece of wood and slide it through them. (did I mention this project was easy?)

the leather is very sturdy so takes a lot of weight, just add on your favourite plants, books and trinkets to finish. 

diy hanging shelf
hanging shelf diy
hanging leather strap shelf
diy shelving
shelf diy

I'm dead pleased with how it's turned out. the scandi feel of the raw leather and unfinished wood is exactly what I was aiming for.. plus it's a total breeze to make.. winner!

what do you think- would you be tempted to try this?

back soon

caroline x