Author Archives: Maria Fe - layersofmeaning

How to Revamp the Spare Room in Style

Spare rooms are a great idea. They add value to your home. They give you the option of having guests stay over. They’re somewhere to throw the coats at a party. They’re also a bottomless pit of dust and temporary storage that you never did quite get around to sorting out. OK, that last part wasn’t so great. But that’s the reality of spare rooms. Just like that self-stirring saucepan you bought for yourself in last year’s sales, and just like that 5kg kettlebell and exercise DVD you borrowed from your mum, they’re in your house and ready to go but you never actually seem to want to use them. But build it, and they will come, as the famous expression goes. Let’s look at how you can revamp your spare room to finally start making the most of your square footage.

Lights, Decor, Fancy Bedding

Spare rooms don’t belong to anyone. You don’t need to consider where the homework desk is going to go. You don’t need to spend time choosing shelving units with enough space for books or personal trinkets. You don’t even need to think about colour schemes too much. So, what should your revamp planning involve? First off, lighting. Designer LED bulbs are in vogue right now. Bare bulbs with a visible filament are very chic. Why are they so popular? Because the aesthetic lends itself to worn in cosy rooms just as well as it contrasts perfectly with modern looking bright rooms. Check out these designer LED bulbs from LED Hut to get your creative juices flowing.

Now that you’ve got a handle on designer lighting, you need decor to match. For a rustic theme, go for earthy colors such as blues, greens, or stony grays. This will create the soft and welcoming tones of a secret den (if your budget can stretch, add a natural looking wooden headboard, see here for inspiration). Alternatively, a brighter more modern theme could involve … fancy bedding! You’ll have to decide for yourself on how fancy is too fancy. Purple silk with embroidered pillows and cream carpets? Too much? Each to their own.

image via Joyfully Growing

Avoid Two Single Beds

If there’s one thing more annoying than having to stay over at the in-law’s, it’s discovering that the spare room comes equipped with two single beds. Although this could be a space filler in a wider room, you’re really letting your guests down if you present them with an uncomfortable night’s rest atop a slim mattress that seems eager to eject all unsuspecting occupants for as much as daring to roll over. Make it a double at least. A queen or a king size works even better if you have the money.

And there we have it. A snazzy new spare room. All for the cost of a thought-out colour scheme, potentially a new wooden headboard (attached to one bed not two!), and a designer LED bulb – oh, did I mention they last a money saving 20-plus years? Just another top tip from me to you. Happy ravamping.

*this is a collaborative post

What to Wear to an Outdoor Barbeque

Summer is fast approaching, and that means only one thing – summer barbeques.  As soon as the lighter nights start coming in, you will see that there is a distinct smell of charcoal in the air along with the freshly mown grass.  It’s likely that one of your friends might invite you over to their house for a nice barbeque full of great food, cocktails and friendly chit-chat.  Although that seems massively appealing to some of us, to others it’s a bit of a worry when we look in our wardrobe and don’t know what to wear. 

They are usually classified as a “casual” affair, but what does that really mean?  We have put together some tips below, so you can turn up to your next barbeque looking and feeling great.

Plan for the Day Ahead

It sounds silly, but make sure you know the details.  Is it a daytime or nighttime affair?  This could influence your outfit. It’s also important to check out if they had a specific dress code in mind (although the aforementioned “casual” is likely to be the answer) – but just on the off chance, you don’t want to dress down and look out of place.  If it’s fairly soon – it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast.  This will give you an idea of how warm it is expected to be, and an indicator of whether or not you should look out for warmer clothes despite the season.  Also plan ahead for silly things, such as a gift to bring them.  The less you are stressing about small stuff like this, the more relaxed you will feel about the occasion in general and not as panicked about your outfit.  When shopping think about the location of the barbeque.  Is it just in someone’s back garden? Are you lucky enough to have friends that have a pool or who have rented out an event space for a summer party?  

Follow a Fashion Formula

A standard piece of advice when people are wondering what to wear to a barbeque is to dress using a fashion formula.  A very basic formula that will have you looking perfect for a barbeque in pretty much all scenarios would be a dress that’s light on top and falls slightly above the knee.  This gives you the option to add some great accessories.  Womens sandals are a great place to start.  If you think you may be on your feet mingling for a while – you may want to opt for some comfortable sliders to go with your dress.  These will also fit into the “casual” approach if that’s the dress code.  You also need to worry less about “breaking them in” as you would with other styles of shoes. If you need to add a new pair to your wardrobe, then IKRUSH have these sandals for women in many different varieties to add to your outfit.  

If your dress is a solid colour, you can team it up with some more interesting jewellery pieces or a floppy hat which are on trend this summer.   If it has a print, maybe go with a more understated piece of jewellery or pair of sandals. With a nice light dress on top – it gives you the flexibility to choose to dress up or down depending on what is planned in the day/evening.

Be Practical as Well as Fashionable

This is where the sliders come in.  There is no point in wearing high heels and being uncomfortable the whole evening.  The aim is to enjoy yourself, so opt for the comfortable choice.  If you have checked the weather forecast and it is a little on the cold side – you can also bring a stylish blazer or cardigan to go with your dress.  You also may be there a while if you are having fun – so it will get cooler as the day/night progresses.  Also, always remember to take a handbag!  Ideally this would match your shoes, but you also may want to put your bits and bobs including make-up in there, and it could end up a statement piece on its own if it is stylish.  It’s important to look good, but you won’t have a good time if you are uncomfortable and don’t have your essentials with you.  

Hopefully you now have some sound advice as to how to dress for any upcoming barbeques you have been invited to. Remember they are meant to be fun occasions whether they are formal or informal, so our main takeaway is for you to plan ahead as much as you can and focus simply on enjoying yourself.  You can’t go wrong with our fashion formula. 

Disclosure: This post was written by the client. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be a good fit for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Slightly Surprising Fashion Trends for 2018 

Now that the weather has finally turned and warmer, longer days are with us I know a lot of you will be out shopping. You will be throwing out or stowing away your winter clothes and buying new items to wear this spring and summer.  As a result, I thought now was a good time for a simple fashion roundup post. So, I decided to pick out some emerging trends and share them with you all. As you will see, for 2018, there are some quite surprising items available that have come back into fashion and been reworked in interesting ways.

The jumpsuit is back

One of the biggest surprises is the return of the jumpsuit. Designers have been trying to bring them back for a couple of years now, but it looks like they have finally succeeded, in 2018. 

Quite a few mainstream clothing shops have included a few in their collections. Fashion World is one of those retailers. They are stocking a wide range of jumpsuits and playsuits, this year. Their layered jumpsuits and playsuits are especially interesting because the way they are styled ensures that they are quite flattering. 

The original jumpsuits fitted quite snugly. As a result, virtually every bulge showed. Layered jumpsuits do not do that because the top half looks more like a blouse. It is still joined to the culottes or trousers but has a fringe or pelmet so it hangs slightly away from the body.

A lot of women avoid wearing playsuits and jumpsuits because they are not sure how to get the fit right. If that is stopping you from trying them, I suggest you take a look at this article. It explains how to choose the right one for your body shape and make sure that it fits comfortably.

Light and floaty layers

Layering is one of the biggest trends for spring/summer 2018. It is quite unusual to see people wearing layers during the hot weather. In the past, layering has always been an autumn or winter trend. This year, it appears that we will all be topping off strappy tops with lightweight see-through blouses overlaid with a light jacket or something similar. Floaty layered, ultra-feminine dresses are also set to make a bit of a comeback.

Pastels stay

the color palette for the warmer months is set to stay more or less the same as last year. Pastels are set to be very much in vogue.

Although for offices and other workplaces where formal attire is the norm, the colors will be darker. Right now, there are lots of blue women´s business suits appearing in stores.

Non-stretch denim

After over a decade of wearing stretch denim, we are all set to go old school and start wearing 100% cotton blue jeans again. It appears that there has been a bit of a backlash now that skinny jeans are no longer fashionable. It will be interesting if this particular trend actually takes hold. Stretch denim is very forgiving. It really helps to hold everything in and smooth out some of the bulges, so most people look better in it than they do in traditional denim.

*this is a collaborative post

Spring 2018 Shoe Trends

Now that the warm weather is on its way it is time to go out and treat yourself to some new footwear. Pretty soon, you will be able to put your boots away and get into sandals, pumps and other more lightweight styles of shoes.

As you can see, and other retailers are already stocking a good selection. For 2018, there are some really interesting trends.

The return of the wedge

If you are looking for a pair of classic shoes that look just as good with jeans as they do with a dress or skirt, wedges could be the answer. There are plenty of configurations to choose from. For the spring, the open-toed ones are a particularly good option.


Once the weather starts to warm up a bit the new style slingbacks are likely to prove quite popular. They are elegant enough to be worn to a party, yet look just as good worn with trousers for shopping at the weekends.


If you are looking for a smart pair of almost totally flat shoes, you really cannot go wrong with a pair of loafers. This is a trend that started last year and seems to have carried over into this season. The styling is super simple and the color palette far lighter, so they actually look a lot more elegant than the ones that were on sale during the winter.

Minimalist retro sneakers

If you are a gym bunny, you are going to love the new style sneakers that are just starting to hit the shops. There is definitely a retro vibe going on, with classic Adidas versions leading the way. It is also worth taking a look at the Lacoste Straightest sneakers. They are very stylish, but should still be robust enough to be worn for the gym and other forms of exercise.
This year, the sneakers that are available in the shops are nowhere near as chunky as the ones we were wearing in 2017. They look and feel a lot lighter.

Plus, if you want something a bit more stylish there are quite a few options available. Take a look at Sketcher´s lace sneakers and you will see what I mean.

Chunkier pumps

Oddly, this year´s pumps are chunkier. The soles and rubber across the toe area are both thicker, which makes them look a lot more like sneakers. But, they should look great with the slightly wider leg jeans we are all likely to be wearing, in 2018.
White is the dominant color
At the moment, white is the color that is dominating. Virtually every shoe retailer is stocking them. White shoes are quite versatile because they can be worn with most other colors. However, you do need to take care of them. Leather or manmade uppers are not too bad, but keeping a pair of white sneakers looking good enough to wear is not easy. However, it can be done, all you need to do is to follow the advice that you find here.

*this is a collaborative post.


Shopbop’s end of the season sale is here and you have early access! Get 20% off all orders under $500 and 25% off all orders over $500. Simply enter code EVENT18 during check out. Make sure you get to their site soon, items usually sell out fast.

Chevron Tote //  Mini Clutch
Quay Sunglasses  // Evil Eye Earrings // Sculpture Ring Set //  Wishbone Necklace 
Eyelet Blouse // Embroidered Dress
Palma Braided Slides //  Braided Pool Slides // Halle Slides // Leopard Mules


  • When: April 10th, 2018 – April 14th, 2018 (East Dane ends April 15th)

  • What: 20% Off Orders Under $500, 25% Off Orders of $500 or More

  • Use Code: EVENT18 during checkout