Feather & Black Blog

Natalie Williams

How to create a summery bedroom

Posted by Natalie Williams, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It’s finally arrived; the season of late-night BBQ’s and relaxing in the garden, and we don’t know about you but we are ready for some sun! The summer season sees many home improvement opportunities arise, and when better to give your room a refreshing lick of paint than when there’s umpteen evenings to allow that all-familiar paint smell to disappear. Updating your bedroom surroundings can be a welcoming change, providing a new atmosphere for you to enjoy and relax in after a long day at work. We have put together a vintage-chic inspired theme that we hope will inspire you to dig out your overalls and get creative, accompanied with a selection of complimenting items from our sparkling summer sale.

Amelie Dressing Table

With a soft and natural shade on the walls, this Amelie Dressing Table is perfect to set the scene for your newly decorated bedroom. The elegant addition creates a relaxing and calming tone, and can be accessorised with pastel colours or pretty neutrals to suit your style. Also in our summer sale is the matching Amelie Dressing Table Mirror, complementing the feminine collection with distressed white paint and a beautiful carved detailing.


Mini White Hanging Heart

We love vintage or coastal inspired accessories. They add a beautifully personal touch, creating a unique space at minimal cost. Our favourite hanging accessory in the sale is this dainty Mini White Hanging Heart to dangle on the Dressing Table Mirror or from a bed post? We also spotted this clever DIY notice-board by Etsy on Pinterest that a young family member would be able to help out with, adding another natural shade to the palette.

Sienna Armchair


If you’re looking for a comfy addition for the corner of your room our Sienna Armchair offers an elegant solution. Beautifully British with Bohemian charm, this armchair provides a comfy alternative for reading a good book or just relaxing in the evenings. Position the Sienna by an open window or bookshelf and sit back and relax, enjoying some well-needed ‘you’ time.

DIY Tip: Why not make your own wall stencil using cardboard to create unique designs personal to you? We also sell glamorous pre-made wall decals that would add an instant personalisation to any bedroom.

Vintage Mirrored Frame


And last but not least, we suggest this classic Vintage Mirrored Frame (4x6) for just £12.50 to pop a photo in of your loved ones or treasured moment. This antique frame ties in elements from both the Amelie and Sienna collections, providing the opportunity to merge the two styles and create your unique bedroom setting.

These are just a few ideas for a vintage theme but we have lots more pretty accessories to help create your ideal bedroom on our website. Take a look and if you have any other DIY tips let us know in the comments below!


Natalie x



Natalie Williams

Sleep tips for mums

Posted by Natalie Williams, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Debbie, mum of soon-to-be six children, shares her sleep story

First and foremost can I just say that all babies are different.. and I mean all babies! I am currently pregnant with number six and know it’s going to be a whole different ball game again. That’s what makes parenting fun – you never know what’s around the corner!



The first learning curve

When I had my first son (Benjamin) almost 18 years ago, I was sure I was going to be part of the ‘pop them in their cot and let them cry themselves to sleep’ brigade.  This is where life gets in the way; post natal depression meant I didn’t sleep for almost four months! Oh, little man was fine, he slept all through most nights in his bed but I sat at the bottom of it terrified he would stop breathing and sobbing knowing I had brought this little person into the world and didn’t have a clue what I was doing! Regardless of getting yourself ready, you simply aren’t prepared for the overwhelming responsibility of this little being – even when they are asleep!

Two years later and baby boy (Scott) number two arrived. Wow now this was a shocker!  He slept like a log during the day, I had to feed him while he was asleep, change his nappy while he slept and generally sneak him out of his Moses basket just to grab some cuddles! Night times were somewhat different... I swear he was a vampire! He would wake around eight and think it was play time... I was so tired and soon learned that sleeping when baby slept was the best advice around!  Yes, even grabbing five minutes while both Benjamin and Scott had their nap during the day seemed to recharge my batteries enough to cope with them during the night. Don’t get me wrong, they were never really whiney babies so the night times were never fraught with battling them asleep – and Scott never seemed to wake Benjamin either. Go figure!


"I was so tired and soon learned that sleeping when baby slept was the best advice around"


Scott, Jake & Ethan


Have courage

Four years later Jacob came along and yet again he was a content baby who was happy to sleep through the night apart from waking up for feeds – no problems except I was the one who was getting used to having them sleep between me and hubby! They would wake for feeds and instead of putting him back in his cot I would snuggle with him and fall asleep.  Yes, at first I was worried especially because you heard so many horror stories of parents rolling over on their children. But I was such a light sleeper that I could tell when he moved his head let alone me rolling on him!

Almost two years later Ethan came along. In hospital I asked the nurse to let him sleep with me instead of putting him in his cot, by this point I was confident enough to know what works for us and insisted she allow us!  Hold your ground if you know what’s best and what works for you.

We woke the following morning to mums pacing the floor cooing over us and saying they couldn’t believe we had both slept almost 12 hours – bliss!  It was something I certainly needed after a tough labour and the bond me and little one had was a perfect start to life.


"Hold your ground if you know what’s best and what works for you"


The latest additions

I had learned that boys like sleep, and the older they get the more they like it too! Try getting a teenager who has nothing better to do than get up before lunch and you will see what I mean!

We now also have a four year-old girl (Evangeline took us all by surprise!) and from the start she has been a true little princess! The boys have sat over her and watched her sleep since birth. I think this has made her feel more secure as she always had a friendly face when she woke, she knew she was never alone so has never had any problems sleeping.  She loves to lie in and loves to ‘snuggle bug’ as she calls it! Most nights she starts in her own bed and ends up in ours, we don’t mind at all – we know it doesn’t last forever.  


Benjamin & Evie


We are now expecting baby number six, a little girl by all accounts (Amelia Grace) and know it’s going to be different yet again... but we are ready for that. The night time feeds and lack of sleep, the snuggles and sometimes sleeping through the alarm! Take it as it comes because they are only little for a short time and it will all be a memory one day.

Have you found a way to manage your sleeping pattern alongside your little one's routine? Comments and opinions are welcome below, and don't forgot to check out Debbie's lovely blog!

Recent Update: Debbie and her family have now welcomed little Amelia Grace into the world!


Debbie Nicholas Profile


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Rachael Haydon

How to keep cool at night

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The summer is here (on and off) and with it, comes muggy nights. We wriggle around, toss and turn and just can’t get to sleep. Or if you’re anything like me, you’re waking up every hour kicking the covers off.

So just how do you keep cool at night?

1. Invest in a summer duvet, a 4.5 tog is best – these are much lighter, but still provide a snug covering that a sheet on its own can’t offer. Tackle all the seasons with an All Season Duvet. In the box you’ll get a 4.5 tog and a 9.5 tog that can be fastened together to create a 13.5 tog in the winter. Or if you need a slightly different level of warmth than your partner does, try a partner duvet – with different tog ratings!

partner duvet

2. If you don’t want to invest in a summer duvet, simply sleeping underneath a throw can be a good alternative. 

3. Get hold of a fan. The bigger the better as these move more air quieter. Often the hot air in the room is still a lot cooler than your body heat. So it just helps to circulate the hot air away from your body.

4. Open as many windows as possible to create adequate ventilation. If you’re short on windows, leave the bedroom door open. 

5. Go to bed with your hair damp, t-shirt damp, socks damp or spritz your sheet. This will allow a few hours of undisturbed sleep as the water evaporates and cools you.

6. Opt for a mattress that doesn’t retain body heat, such as a good quality pocket sprung mattress. Some memory foam mattresses are notorious for heating up with your body – not good in the summer!

7. Keep curtains or blinds closed during the day, so you’re not at risk of heating your room up.

8. Cool your pillow in the fridge before you go to bed – it’s blissful, trust me.

9. If you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people! There’s nothing worse than sharing body heat in the summer. Have a look at some great bed options in our summer sale.

10. Sleep in light, natural cotton – this will keep you cool and absorb any perspiration.


These are our top tips, but if we’ve missed anything please add them to the comments below so everyone can see them!

x i