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

60 seconds with the designer: Louise Keane’s Top Tips + Exclusive Sketches!

Louise Keane is our latest interior design crush – not only does she design and style at Amalfi White Living, she also does the most beautiful interiors/home sketches… Louise kindly sketched some exclusively for Courage & Dash, which you will find scattered through this post.

Thankfully, Louise managed to find some time from a busy schedule to chat with us. Ready for some super design tips? Here we go!

1. Open plan or cosy nooks?

What a tough question to start with – can I have both please?! The popularity of open plan is obvious – we all love homes that feel spacious and airy and it’s definitely more suited to the way we tend to live these days. But I think the human instinct to nest definitely comes into the mix when you have a cosy window seat or a smaller, more inviting space to snuggle into. It really all comes down to the space that you have to work with and what works best for it and how you want to live in that space.

Sketch based on design by Restoration Hardware

2. Vintage or modern? Or both?

Definitely both in this case. (Courage & Dash: You have to choose at some point, Louise!! Haha.) I think the best designs usually happen when there’s an artful mix of styles – it definitely adds character and depth to a space.

Examples of Louise’s work in Edinburgh (Image: Amalfi White Living)

3. What are some ways to style a rented bedroom if you can’t paint walls, etc.?

I think there are lots of ways to add character and style even if you’re just renting. You can prop mirrors or art up against the wall – this can look great especially if you use larger pieces. And there are now sticky pads available so you can hang art or photos (maybe not heavy mirrors!) on your wall without damaging the surface.

Adding rugs, throws and cushions for colour and texture will always inject your personality and style into a space. If you’re desperate to brighten up plain walls, there are great= ranges of wall decals available now – basically repositionable stickers which can add a touch of fun or whimsy, especially to a child’s room. Finally if you have a boring, white bathroom, there are great shower curtains available that can become a real feature and inject personality and colour.


4. Are ‘posh’ paints worth it?

As an interior designer, colour is obviously important to me, and I do find that a lot of the ‘posh’ brands offer an amazing range of colours with a subtlety and depth of colour that you might not find in cheaper paints. As to the quality – I’d always ask a good painter / decorator as they work with paint every day and can advise you on the technical side of things with different brands depending on where and how you want to use them.


5. Most inspirational city?

Easy! Has to be New York for me. I hope that’s not too clichéd an answer but I just find myself filling notebook after notebook with ideas and taking hundreds of inspirational photos when I’m there. I’m always buzzing for weeks after I visit.

6. Power shower or rainforest shower?

Ooh it has to be rainforest. Much more soothing and romantic!


7. Which is your favourite part of the UK?

Another really tough question… I live in Scotland which is so beautiful but I also have a really special place in my heart for Cornwall. There’s just something about it – emerald coves, wild flowers, ancient stone houses, winding lanes. Another place where I feel truly inspired.

8. How do you turn inspiration into a cohesive design idea?

This is something I learned when I started retraining as an interior designer a few years ago and there is quite a distinct process which really helps to translate inspiration into a workable design idea. The methodology is based around writing a ‘Design Statement’ about what you want to create and designing a ‘Concept Board’ which pulls together visual references that evoke the look and feeling you want in that space. You put these together with a really detailed written analysis of what your client wants – practically and aesthetically – and working through those elements you turn your inspiration into a workable design.

If you’re in the UK I’d really recommend KLC where I trained where you can learn more about this methodology on one of their short courses or their diploma if you’re really serious! I learned a lot when I started retraining as a designer but this was one of the most powerful things that I discovered.


9. What is an upcoming trend to incorporate into a room?

I’m not a fan of trends per se as I am more interested in producing an interior that’s timeless. I love when I open an old magazine or even see a mid-century design and realise that it still looks as fresh and modern today. That for me is more important than a trend which may look great now but which could look really dated in a few years.

10. Your favourite best kept secret shop?

One of my favourite interior brands is well known in the US but it’s pretty much a best kept secret here in the UK as it doesn’t have any branches here. It’s called Restoration Hardware and I’ve just discovered that one of the people who designs for them – Timothy Oulton – has his own UK website so it’s well worth checking out. His lighting range in particular is stunning.

Thank you so much Louise for spending time with us and for sharing your beautiful sketches!

For more of Louise Keane’s design work and thoughts, visit:

Amalfi White Living


Images: Louise Keane


Exciting news + a pretty DIY!

Hello there! We’ve got all kinds of bits and bobs of exciting things going on at Courage & Dash HQ… The most exciting of which we are announcing today!

We think that DIY and styling are quick+simple ways of making your home special, so we were delighted when Renay Howey who runs Pretty Much Design, a wedding and events styling company, agreed to be a regular DIY contributer! Renay’s incredibly talented and lovely and a real go-getter, and she’s got a pretty awesome story, but we’ll leave that for another time (btw, Sarah our crafts editor is still here but busy with various things)…

Without further ado, here’s Renay’s first tutorial with this gorgeous glitter tote!


If you are anything like myself, you cannot possibly have enough totes in your life. I originally got the idea for this little project while designing some totes for a bridal client that wanted an inexpensive but cute way of giving her out-of-town wedding guests a welcome gift. I thought to myself how easy it would be to create some totes with iron-on transfer film. I love that you can get the film in so many colors including gold glitter, and personally, I don’t think you can ever have too much glitter in your life! These totes are perfect for just about anything. They make a great bag to carry your library books, produce from the market, beauty supplies for your wedding day, or even use as a purse.


You will need:

*A canvas tote bag

*Iron-on transfer paper (I have used Cricut brand in gold glitter)

*A template preferably on cardstock

*Sharp craft knife

*Cutting Pad



*Templates for text: Oh So Pretty, Book Worm, Market FreshMrs, The Best Day Ever

Step One:

First you will need to print your template. If you would rather, you can certainly create your own template, just be sure that your letters and shapes are thick enough that they won’t be flimsy when you cut them out.




Step Two:

Using a sharp craft knife, cut out your template to create a stencil. Do this carefully and slowly so that your lines are smooth. If any areas are enclosed like the inside of an “e” or a “p”, you will want to cut them out separately. Don’t loose the enclosed area because you will need it during the next step.


Step Three:

Flip your template over so that you have a mirror image and trace it onto the iron-on transfer film. You will want to trace it onto the bottom side of the film that will be against the canvas. Trace it on the bottom side so that any marks you make will not show on the final piece. Don’t forget to trace the inside sections of letters that you saved from the last step.


Step Four:

This step could vary slightly according to the brand of transfer film you are using. You will now cut your transfer film along the lines. With the Cricut brand that I am using, there is a plastic sheet attached to the top of the transfer film on the side that will be visible in the final piece. You barely need any pressure to cut through the actual transfer film, but you will want to be careful that you do not cut through the plastic sheet. The plastic sheet makes it much easier to line up all or your letters in the next steps. When you are done making your cuts, you can remove the negative space surrounding your design. Don’t forget to remove the enclosed areas as well. You should be left with only the iron-on film that will make up your final design.


Step Five:

Iron your design onto your bag according to the directions of your iron-on transfer film. The Cricut brand that I have, tells me to first warm the canvas with the iron, then place the design where you would like it. At this point the design should look exactly how you want it to look (face up so that you can read it). Iron over the design for 15-20 seconds, then, iron over the backside of the design for 15-20 seconds. I found this step to have a bit of a bad smell so don’t be alarmed if you notice that as well. When you feel the design has adhered to your canvas, you can slowly remove the plastic sheet. If any part of the design does not stick to the canvas and pulls up with the plastic sheet instead, simply lay it back down and iron over it again on the front and back sides.


Hooray! You are finished. Now you have an adorable little tote that you can use to carry just about anything. This project seriously has an endless amount of different designs that you could do. Try using different colored totes or transfer film, or even experiment with different designs. I’d love to see what you come up with. If you aren’t quite ready to make this easy project yourself, hop on over to my little Etsy shop where you can grab one that is already made, or get one customised. Thank you so much for letting me share such a fun project with you!



Thanks so much Renay! Do share your projects with us on Instagram, @courageanddash or @HelloPrettyMuch.

For more Pretty Much Design goodness, visit:

Images: Renay Howey

Styling with Flowers

Hello there! What a lovely weekend – have you been out enjoying yourselves, watching the football, tennis, cycling?


Last time we got to take a look at Katy Barraclough’s fun kitchen and clever styling ideas. This week, it was our turn to pop over to her blog, Folly & Bloom, to share some of our ideas for styling with flowers. Hop on over here to have a look!


Thanks for having us, Katy!

Images: Courage & Dash

DIY Appliqué Cushion Tutorial

Making home in a place that isn’t yours (or a place that is yours but brand new) is incredibly fun, although it can be frustrating at times if you don’t have the luxury of an endless Kimye wedding-style budget (we discovered the cost of their wedding here, it’s unbelievable!). You can definitely still have the home of your dreams while being budget-savvy; often, crafting and DIY can go a long way.

Risen HomeHome of Teri Muncey (The Lovely Drawer) via Apartment Therapy

KissKiss-Final3DIY tutorial by Tiffany Grant-Riley of Curate and Display for Love My Dress

Today, Clare and Daria of Less Grafting More Crafting are sharing a fantastic DIY tutorial on sprucing up a cushion with appliqué. We’ve been holding to this one for a while, until their new website was up – and it’s now ready! The duo spend their time running craft workshops and making things; we love the idea of learning new skills, so we asked Clare & Daria to get busy and come up with a doable and fun DIY with a great end product. Enjoy!


Less Grafting More Crafting – Appliqué cushion tutorial


We’re so excited to be sharing our applique cushion tutorial with you today! This project incorporates several of our favourite trends – geometric prints, neon colours and teal – and is something that you could complete on a weekend or over a few nights during the week. With just a few simple materials you can create a gorgeous cushion for your home or for a gift.

You will need:

You will need

• A cushion cover (we’ve used this Brakig 2014 cover from IKEA in a neon lime, which is 50x50cm/20×20”)

• Some contrasting fabric (we’ve used Wobbly Check in Teal from the John Lewis 150 Years collection – a fat

quarter will be more than enough)

• The ‘Oh Happy Day’ template, enlarged to fit A3 size paper

• Sharp scissors

• Pins and a needle

• Some fabric glue

• Embroidery thread (we’ve used Anchor thread No. 169 to match our teal fabric)

• An iron

Step 1


Carefully cut out the letters (don’t use your fabric scissors to do this!) and then pin them onto your fabric. Then cut out around each letter – you might need to fold some of them to do this, especially when cutting out the middles of the letters.

Step 2


Once all of the letters are cut out, iron them on a cool iron to remove any creases. You might need to iron the cushion cover too!

Step 3


Now you need to position the letters on the cushion cover. It’s easiest if you start with the middle ‘p’ of ‘happy’ because this letter should be in the middle of the cushion. You could measure it if you want to be really precise, but we just did it by eye! Make sure that the cushion label on the inside is at the back of the cushion.

Step 4


Once positioned, glue the letters into place. You don’t need to use loads of glue here – the idea is just to keep them where they need to be without having to use loads of pins.

Step 5


Now it’s time to get sewing! Thread your needle with three strands of the embroidery thread and tie the end securely. From the inside of the cushion, thread your needle up through the letter ‘d’ a little way in from the edge, and then thread through the cushion to make the stitch as close as you can to the letter.

Instead of bringing the needle all the way through the fabric, poke it a little way along the letter fabric where you want your next stitch to be and then pull through (see photo – top right corner). This means that you don’t have to keep moving inside and out of the cover, which will make the process much quicker!

Repeat with the other letters, moving up from the word ‘day’ to ‘oh’.


Ta-dah! That’s it – you’re ready to display your cushion. There are so many possibilities with this project; you could mix and match so many colours and patterns!

If you make this project, we’d love to see your creations! Share your photos on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@lessgraftingmorecrafting). Pop over to our website for more craft tutorials and inspiration!


Thanks ladies, visit them below…

Less Crafting More Grafting


Saturday Morning DIY: Easy Lampshade Revamp

We are back with a DIY from Sarah, our DIY superstar. Sarah has come up with a very simple and clever way to rework a lampshade for that summer look. We have been slightly flower-obsessed here, but it’s just that they are really such an easy win for making your home look magazine glossy. We promise that we have plenty more in store, though, flowers aside.

Today, however, Sarah’s quick and fun craft uses bright flowers to add some zing to an old lampshade. Once you have all the bits you need, she promises it only takes about an hour and a half. Have fun!



What you need:

  • Fake flowers – 6-8 bunches
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Craft super Glue – you need one that is quite thick and fast setting
  • 1 lampshade and lamp stand


Step 1: Cut the flower heads from the stems leaving about 1cm of plastic. If they are fabric backed flower heads you can cut this step, as you don’t need the plastic backs. You might want to count how many you have at this stage.

Step 2: Mark with a pencil where you are going to place each flower to make sure they are spaced evenly.



Step 3: Then make a little hole with scissors so that you can poke the flower stems through. Secure them with superglue by placing a small amount on around the flower stem. If your flowers are fabric you will not need to make a hole, but just stick each one firmly where you have made a mark.



Step 4: Finished! Now you have a lovely ‘new’ lampshade that would be great for outdoors dining, or by your bedside. Go put it somewhere pretty, and enjoy your weekend! – Sarah

Light bulbs can get pretty hot, so we recommend that you use your lampshade with energy saving bulbs, or use materials that are glowing wire fire safe. Or don’t have your lamp on all hours of the day; that will save energy too!