Styling Your Home with Vintage


If you’ve been following the blog for awhile you just might have picked up on my slight vintage/antique obsession. Just a slight one, of course. Not like I run around the country (or continent) hunting down fairs and shops or anything like that…

You can imagine my delight when I discovered Bring It On Home while I was looking for an antique Singer sewing stool. I love the selection of items they have in stock and the way the products have been styled for the website. If I could have done so, I probably would’ve bought the entire store; we don’t want me turning into the hoarder next door yet, do we?

In 2011, founder and owner of Bring it on Home, Amy Page, decided to give up life in the city and turn her passion for vintage furniture into a business. Amy only buys pieces she would love to have too – always a good sign!


Part of the reason I love old things is that they are so quirky – every object has a story and tells us something about how people lived. My favourite items are old advertising and glassware, shop fittings and random decorative items (e.g. dead stock labels or a travelling candle set). It just makes home that bit more interesting, a bit like a gallery, with things that can spark one’s imagination.


Here are Amy’s top 5 tips on styling your home with vintage/antique pieces:

1. Mix & Match: To make vintage furniture work in a modern home, you should try to mix old with new. Scandinavian homes have this look nailed – think fresh white walls and black floors paired with pale vintage wooden furniture and pops of colour in the accessories. If you prefer the dark side, then mid-century teak furniture looks amazing against a dark wall.

2. Random knick-knacks: I love to collect curious vintage knick-knacks on my travels. It’s a really great way to add some vintage flair to your home without spending a fortune and a great way to display them is on a bookshelf. If I think of my bookshelf in my home, I have a vintage string puppet, some taxidermy, an antique bible, vintage toys, a vintage camera… I could go on!

3. Re-purpose/Upcycle: I love to up cycle vintage finds and again this can be a cheaper way of adding vintage furniture to your home. Keep an eye out in charity shops or on gumtree for a piece of furniture that has seen better days and give it a new lease of life. Take Grandma’s old chair with it’s brown upholstery covered in cat hair and have it re-upholstered in a modern fabric! My favourite upcycling project was a mid-century sideboard, I spray painted the drawer-fronts in different bright mid-century colours and it looked amazing.

4. Make a statement: You don’t need heaps of vintage furniture to make a statement, just one statement piece will do the trick. For example a grand antique dining table (Courage & Dash: We wish we had space!!), or some amazing pendant lights, anything that draws the eye.

5. Let your walls do the talking: If you already have a happily furnished home but want to add an element of vintage then look to your walls. Try hanging a large vintage map or posters. I personally love the old hanging medical and anatomical charts.

Thank you Amy! By the way, did you manage to spot Batman, Amy’s Boston Terrier? Too cute! Do check out Bring It On Home (don’t tell anyone, but I’m often browsing during the day when I leave the desk to grab some coffee!) – they also have a prop hire service, so if you wanted, theoretically you could basically have everything you want from the shop…

For more, visit


Images: Amy Page


DIY Ombre Pot: Hibiscus in the House!

Some of you might know that I have family living in Malaysia, which is suddenly relevant because May’s Plant of the Month at The Joy of Plants was the Hibiscus, Malaysia’s national flower!


The Hibiscus flower always reminds me of hotter, sunnier climes; aren’t Hawaiian shirts typically covered in the flower, for example? And I’m pretty sure hibiscus drinks/cocktails were invented in the tropics (by the way, there is a recipe for hibiscus tea on the website, and it looks YUM. Did you know that the flower is full of vitamin C and can lower blood pressure? Well, now you do!).


It’s only fitting then, now summer is upon us, that we spend some time admiring the hibiscus plant and showing it off in our homes. Here’s a DIY for a dip-dye flower pot! Enjoy.

What you need:

  • Hibiscus (in a pot)
  • Glass tank, vase or a bucket
  • Coat hanger with clamps (the kind for clipping trousers with)
  • Tin that will fit the plant
  • Piece of cotton fabric, preferably washed so that it doesn’t shrink
  • Pot to mix the glue with water
  • Textile dye
  • Salt to add to the dye (so it will set)
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Rubber gloves


Fill the tank vase with dye according to the instructions. Cut the fabric to the width of the tin. Hang the longer side of the fabric on the coat hanger.


Put the rubber gloves on and lower the bottom half of the fabric into the dye. Take the fabric out after 1 minute and then lower the fabric a bit further into the dye. After 5 minutes take the fabric out of the dye again and then lower it even further into the dye. You do this until the whole fabric is coloured in stages. Tip: attach the hanger to a string hanging from something, so that you don’t have to hold the fabric the whole time.


Let the coloured fabric dry. Then mix the glue with the water in the pot. Cover the whole tin with the glue mixture and stick the fabric to the tin. Make sure that the end of the fabric is glued securely so that it can’t come loose.


Your dip dye pot is now ready! Now all you have to do is put your Hibiscus in it. It will look best if the edge of the plastic plant pot is at the same height as the edge of the tin. You could put stones, or something else in the bottom of the tin to fill it up to right height.

05.D.I.Y. 1

Images and DIY courtesy of The Joy of Plants

Feast: Easy Salmon Fishcakes


We found AndréeAnne of Singly Scrumptious on Instagram and after a few weeks of liking her tasty-looking food shots and wandering around her blog, we thought we would ask her to share a healthy recipe that was also easy to make. Yum!


I was thrilled when Courage & Dash asked me to do a guest post for them. It’s always so exciting to collaborate with such a beautiful and inspiring blog.

Although we don’t blog about the same topics, we do share similar interests: making the most out of temporary situation. Whether it be trying to make a rental property a home or trying to feed yourself fabulous meals, it’s all about finding inspiration and being creative.

My blog is about cooking for one. We all, at some point or another, have to spend time with ourselves and meal-times shouldn’t be the most difficult part of the day. To help you with that, I share recipes created with the solo cook in mind, where portions and wash-up time have been reduced, ways to use leftovers are discussed and tips on how to stock your kitchen are shared. I’m passionate about food and I know the difficulties of cooking for yourself, so I thought I would share my discoveries.

The recipe I’ve decided to share with you on this guest post is an easy fish cake recipe, made with cupboard ingredients you can always have at home. It makes for an ideal meal when you don’t feel like doing much and think you have nothing around.



-1 can Salmon

-1 1/2 tbsp chopped Spring Onions

-1 1/2 tbsp chopped Parsley (optional)

-1 tbsp Mayonnaise

-1 tsp Dijon Mustard

-Zest of 1/2 Lemon

-1 small egg

-1/2 cup Bread crumbs

-Olive oil


-1 Tbsp Mayonnaise

-1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

-1 Tbsp Lemon juice

I decided to use tinned salmon as I’d never tried it before, I was also curious to see if there really was a big difference between brands. So, I decided to compare a supermarket brand versus a superior one throughout the recipe. The difference is pretty obvious and you’ll be able to judge for yourself based on the photos – the supermarket tin always being on the left side and the posher one on the right.


One thing I learned along the way is that canned salmon is no pretty stuff! But if you get passed the grey floppy skin, tiny bones and cold gelatin, you will be left with some lovely flesh, perfect for making crunchy fish cakes. Making sure you buy the skinless and boneless salmon would also be a smart move, something I didn’t pay attention to, and would save you the hassle of cleaning it up.


Based on the grim visual appearance of the fish in their tins, I was expecting disappointment. However, the outcome was a great surprise. These cakes were absolutely lovely, not far off the ones made from fresh fish. They are perfectly crunchy on the outside and nicely moist in the inside. All of that done in minutes with no mashed potatoes to cool down, no resting in the fridge and no disintegration in the pan. Apart from the difference in colour, I struggled finding a difference between the two brands, they both held up and tasted very similar. Nevertheless, I would recommend using the superior brand for the sourcing of the fish. Using sustainable and well-sourced fish is important if we want to enjoy our water friends for a long time to come, and I think that is worth an extra pound or two. I hope you’ll enjoy the recipe.


1.Open the can of fish, pour out the liquid and pick the bones and skin out. Transfer the flesh to a bowl and flake it with a fork.


2.Add the chopped spring onions, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard and lemon zest and work lightly. Season with salt and pepper.


3.Mix in the egg followed by the breadcrumbs and form 1 large or 2 small patties.


4.Heat a pan over medium high heat, add some olive oil and fry for 5 minutes on each side

5.While the cakes cook make the sauce by whisking all ingredients together and keep aside.

6.Enjoy with a fresh salad of pea-shoots lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.



*Can’t be bothered with picking the bones out of the salmon? Tuna would make a great substitute to this recipe.

*No parsley? Don’t worry, this adds colour more than anything else in this recipe. Maybe you could add dried parsley if you have some.

Images: AndréeAnne

This Week’s Top 3 DIYs For the Home

Hello and happy new year! It’s already about the middle of January, yikes! We hope your year has been spectacular so far? More likely than not, we imagine, it’s been marked by coping-with-going-back-to-work syndrome (we hear you!).

This year, we are committing to spending more time being inspired, and creating inspiring things/spaces. Life does get in the way too quickly, but there is always time to be made for creative and crafty things! The plan is to style at least one vignette post-work every day, and to attempt one DIY every other week. We’ll let you know how that goes!

Here are our top 3 easy to do DIYs for this week:

1. A Pair & A Spare -We love them. Seriously. WE DIE.

DIY Ladder Shelves


2. Oh So Beautiful Paper – you know we help our stationery gurus, Berinmade, so naturally we would be fans of OSBP! A welcome distraction, always.

Mini Cowhide Coaster


3. The Lovely Drawer – We found them during a rented apartment tour on Apartment Therapy and loved her style straight away! Something for the Spring…

DIY Rope Planter



Images: Respective websites as linked

DIY: Custom iron-on pillowcase

Hello there!

We just got back from an amazing weekend in Lille for the Braderie – it totally lived up to all the comments we read about it on the internet. Salvage galore! If, like us, you love flea market hunting, you should stick the date in your calendar for next year – only 1.5 hours away from London and a beautiful city too. We’ll be back soon with a guide to the Braderie!

By the way, we’ve been nominated for a Best Newcomer blog award, and would love if you could please vote for us! We are only young and would love the encouragement… Vote here!

A quick DIY today, as we revisit our love for gold vinyl… enjoy(:



Things you will need:

Iron on vinyl
Cushion with cushion cover
Printed lettering for chosen word


1) Remove the cushion cover from the cushion


2) Choose word and type into word in chosen font using word art


3) Print lettering on plain paper and check it is the right size for the cushion

4) Make sure you reverse the image of the word!


5) Cut and trace around lettering or copy onto the backside of the vinyl


6) Peel off the protective lining (on the back side of the vinyl)


7) Check the lettering fits nicely onto the cushion


8) Turn lettering the right way around, with the preferred side facing up


9) Place a towel of piece of fabric over the top of the lettering for protection

10) Iron over until the lettering is sealed onto the cushion cover

11) Finished! Now put it somewhere it will look fabulous!


Et voila! The sky is the limit for all the fun texts and pictures you can customise your pillowcases (and other fabrics with)…

Have fun!!xx

Images and instructions: Sarah Stopforth

DIY: Glitter gem placecard by Berinmade

Some of you might know that we occasionally help out wedding stationer, Berinmade, with blog posts, moodboards, styling, and random bits and pieces along the way. We thought we’d share this gorgeous Berinmade DIY* with you that we helped supply props for – the pinks and glassware are so elegant, and really simple to style for a classy dinner party. Full details here!



*DIY: Berinmade for Love My Dress

Images: Lucy Davenport Photography

DIY: Love

Hello all!

Courage & Dash has been a little quiet this month, but we haven’t forgotten you! We are about to head up to the Lakes in an hour, so the next time we write will be from there. Can’t wait, fingers crossed for sunshine. We are back with another DIY from Hello Pretty Much Design. This DIY perfect for this August bank holiday weekend – simple yet effective, and can be displayed boldly. We love it!


One of my college professors always had us going around searching for inspiration. We were required to find something inspiring or take a picture of something each day and then use it to inspire us on our latest projects. This became such a habit, that I still do it despite not needing to turn in my findings to my professor. One day I was walking through a craft store and saw a really neat piece of artwork for sale. It instantly gave me an idea, and I knew I had to create some artwork for our bedroom.


Today’s DIY tutorial makes use of a really fun product that I love to use: foam board! Foam board is so versatile. It can literally be used for about a million different types of projects. It works really well in for projects when you want to create dimensional artwork or when a lightweight product is necessary.  Today’s project can be created for any room or any occasion. It will work for artwork in your home or for a party decoration.



What you will need:

2 colors of foam board (unless you wish to paint it.)

A template (unless you wish to use your own handwriting)

Sharp Craft knife



Adhesive of your choice

Spray glitter if you wish

Note: Step one and two can be skipped if you would rather use your own handwriting. Simply draw out your word or words of choice onto one of your foam board pieces.FoamBoard_Art03FoamBoard_Art04

Step One:

First, using a document program or perhaps Illustrator, create and print a template. Or if you prefer, you can use your own handwriting. Personally, I do not care for my own handwriting, so I always use templates. They can be so easy to create. I created mine to scale, and then printed it to scale as well in reverse. Then I pieced it together like a puzzle and taped it into place. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect because you can always adjust it as needed.


Step Two:

Cut out your template using your scissors. Don’t worry if it is not perfect. When I printed mine, I used the quick print function so the letters were not quite solid, but it saved a lot of ink. It also didn’t print all the way to the edges.  Once your template is cut out you can trace it on the back of one of your foam board pieces. I find it best to trace a mirror image onto the back of the foam board so that there are not any extra marks or coloring on the front side.

FoamBoard_Art06 FoamBoard_Art07FoamBoard_Art08 FoamBoard_Art09 FoamBoard_Art10

Step Three:

Using your sharp craft knife, cut out the letters from your foam board. Make sure that you push through both layers. Once you have cut out your letters, you may need to clean up the edges. I turned my letters over to view them from the front. It makes it a bit easier to determine whether it looks nice.


Step Four (Another Optional Step):

If you are anything like me, I can’t have enough glitter! I choose to use a spray glitter to coat the letters. You could also use spray paint to change the color of the foam board if you only have one color of foam board. Make sure that if you are painting the foam board, you wait until one coat is completely dry before adding a second coat.


Step Five:

Using the adhesive of your choice, mount the letters to the second piece of foam board. I prefer to use double-sided tape. Foam board is so light that tape is perfect for this project. I like it for this project because it’s easy and clean to use, and it doesn’t require time to dry!

Step Six:

Hang your masterpiece and Enjoy!



For more of Pretty Much Design, visit

Images: Renay Howey