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It is no secret that in our busy lives we have little time to actually do what we want. And if reading is what you love to do, you have come to the right place, because we are going to show you how to create your own reading nook at home with ManoMano. It will be cosy and bespoke to fit your personal taste.

In order to create this reading nook, you might want to know about the niksen trend and think about how you can adapt it to your own space.

The idea behind the Dutch trend known as niksen, or the art of doing nothing, is to help us disconnect and relax our minds, in order to regain both our physical and emotional balance. In a nutshell, to be happier. We can start putting into practice this relaxation technique right in our homes, carefully creating the ideal space and environment to find our moments of peace. Your own reading corner at home is actually the perfect way to get started.

In this blog we offer you these tips and tricks to create your corner according to the niksen philosophy.

Reading nook design ideas
Reading nook design ideas (C) Avery Klein

Choose where to have your reading nook

Your own personal spot

Find an area in your home that is quiet and with beautiful views of the outside, or simply a spot where you feel extra comfy. Light some candles and put on some of your favourite music.

Don’t use any old furniture

A chaise longue, a nice sofa, or a comfy armchair in a soft colour will be perfect for putting into practice the niksen technique. It is essential that you choose a soft and comfortable seat, so that you can truly relax and let your mind flow. Put your feet up on a footrest for extra comfort.

Reading nook decorating ideas
Reading nook decorating ideas (C) Kam Idris

1. Lounge chair with footstool – £255.99

2. Grey rocking chair – £119.99  

3. Velvet chaise lounge – £479.00

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A minimalist space

Our reading corner should not be heavily decorated, but rather, the complete opposite. It is very important to keep it tidy. There must be enough storage space to keep things stored away and out of sight, leaving the corner neat and tidy. One option is to install a bookshelf with drawers with enough space for both our favourite books, as well as other objects. The idea is to have a space as free of clutter as possible.

Ensure your reading nook has shelving
Ensure your reading nook has shelving (C) Yehleen Gaffney

Key elements of your reading nook:

The importance of colour and material

Choose either plain or lightly patterned fabrics, as well as warm, calm tones: neutrals, greys, sand, whites… or any other colour that makes you feel calm. Use nice and warm fabrics. Wood and natural fibres are good choices for conveying a sense of calmness.

Lighting is key

Warm lights with dimmer control, a pendant lamp or a double wall lamp are perfect for creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Lighting is key to a cosy corner
Lighting is key to a cosy corner (C) Alexandra Gorn

4. Hanging wooden pendant light – £104.90 

5. Boho bamboo pendant light – £199.90   

6. X2 retro wooden wall sconces – £38.94  

7. Hanging rope lamp – £65.97

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Best plants for a relaxing reading nook

It is a good idea to include a good amount of green. Plants tend to have relaxing properties, they help reduce stress levels and clear up the mind. Put a kentia in a corner or small pots with your favourite plant. The idea is to create a space that fills you with well-being and calmness. After all of these tips and tricks, all that is left to do is pick up a good book and snuggle under your favourite blanket. It won’t take long before you begin to feel all the benefits that just a few minutes of relaxation every day can provide.

Add your favourite plants to your reading nook
Add your favourite plants to your reading nook (C) Andrea Davis

Did you enjoy this article on how to create a cosy reading nook? Why not read our tutorial on making an alcove seat and shelves or even our guide on how to install a pendant light!

Are you making your own relaxing reading nook? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Feeling the festive itch? Looking for some easy DIY Christmas decorating ideas?

There’s something about the festive season where we like to get extra crafty, whether that’s adding fairy lights to dark corners, making a triumphant gingerbread house, or making paper snowflakes. We’ve put together these 30 fun DIY Christmas decoration ideas using wine corks to spark your creativity – and they’re easy to do too! To add even more to the festive cheeriness, these ideas mean you can spend a cosy afternoon by the fire being creative to your heart’s content for a cheering Christmas crafting session.

Prepare to make your home merry and bright – let’s get to work and uncork some wine bottles!

DIY Christmas decorations
DIY Christmas
Homemade decorations
DIY Christmas decorations
Festive decor
Easy Christmas decorations ideas
DIY Christmas decorations
Easy DIY Christmas decorations
Homemade Christmas decorations
DIY Christmas decorations
Simple Christmas decorations ideas
DIY Christmas decorations ideas
Homemade Christmas decorations
DIY Christmas decorations
DIY Christmas decorations ideas
DIY Christmas decorations homemade
DIY Christmas decorations
Easy Christmas decorations
Festive decorations ideas
Homemade Christmas decorations
Festive dressing
Homemade Christmas decorations
Homemade deco
Festive creativity
DIY Christmas decorations inspiration
Homemade
DIY Christmas decorations
Decor ideas
DIY Christmas decorations ideas
Festive inspiration

Et voilà! Some cheap, easy and fun ways to get creative with your DIY Christmas decorations this year. Now all you need to do is grab the hot chocolate (or wine if you’re only just beginning to collect wine corks!), dust off the Christmas tunes, and spend the afternoon decking your halls in these imaginative ways.

Did you enjoy this article on easy DIY Christmas decorations with wine corks? Why not read about DIY Christmas tree shelves or read our Christmas tree buying guide here!

Are you carrying out a panelling project? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

DIY bathroom design in 5 easy steps written by Man with a Hammer

Bathrooms, whether in a modern house or a period property, are often not blessed with original features or an abundance of character like some other areas of the house. The good news is that there are ways you can easily add some old-world charm with a little bit of imagination, some know-how and the right tools for the job!

The first thing to do of course is look at your space. As you can see here, I was starting with a very blank canvas and quite an awkward shape. I wanted this to feel like an elegant sanctuary for friends and family that come to stay and have a timeless feel.

DIY bathroom design ideas
DIY bathroom design ideas

Step 1: Define the focal point

When planning your bathroom design, take into account that as with all rooms, you will need a focal point. As this was such a long, thin room with the eye naturally being drawn to the window, it made sense to create this to be the real ‘showstopper’. I found a free-standing bath second hand online that was in good condition save for being tatty on the outside.
I sanded down the exterior lightly, then used a tack cloth to remove any dust. I then taped all the bits I didn’t want to paint using frog tape and finally painted it using a Wagner paint sprayer which made it look brand new and really gave a factory finish whilst all in costing less than 10% of the cost of a brand new bath. Part one of your DIY bathroom design complete!

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Find the focal point in your bathroom design
Find the focal point in your bathroom design

Step 2: Panel your design

So many bathrooms are just tiled floor to ceiling which, whilst practical, can feel a bit cold and clinical. The first thing to ask yourself is, do you need so much tiling? Secondly, could wooden panelling be used instead or alongside? It has the benefit of feeling a bit warmer than tiles and allows you to add some colour to the room (and works great with wallpaper too!) It’s simple to install yourself being glued straight to the wall and held in place with pins, and then you can paint it any colour you wish. I used a laser level from ManoMano which really helped get the lines nice and straight despite being a very wonky room. The rest you can do with hand tools but a few power tools such as a circular saw and plane certainly make life easier.

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Adding some panelling to the bespoke bathroom design
Adding some panelling to the bespoke bathroom design

Step 3: Lights, camera, action!

It depends on the space you have available, but do you really need a grid of spotlights? It’s rather hard to have a relaxing bath whilst staring up at a blaze of bright spotlighting across the ceiling. If spotlights are a must, then make sure you install a dimmer switch during your DIY bathroom design! If you have the space, think about the lighting as you would any room. Here I’ve cleaned up and rewired a chandelier that was already in the house which brings an elegant, vintage feel to the room. I’ve then used brass wall lights either side of the mirror. Lights either side rather than from the top are far more flattering!

Bathroom lighting makeover
Bathroom lighting makeover

Step 4: Make a bespoke basin

Here’s where you can really add some character to your bathroom design. Vintage pieces bring so much texture and character to a room and with the availability of countertop basins, it’s easy to create your own vanity unit. Repurposing old furniture can also give you some much needed storage (the drawer on this still functions) whilst hiding the pipework. ManoMano sell all the tools and plumbing you need to create this look too.

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

Add a vintage feel to your bathroom design
Add a vintage feel to your bathroom design

Step 5: Floor it

Again, so often an area where plain tiles go down… it’s always worth having a look to see what your floorboards are like. With some elbow grease you can create an exciting floor for your bathroom makeover that’s still practical. In this instance I secured all the old boards and filled any holes. I sanded it all back with a hand sander hooked up to a vacuum to keep down the dust. I then primed it with Zinsser bin, caulked the gaps and finally painted it leaving a hardwearing and water-resistant floor. I went one step further and, with the use of frog tape, created the chequerboard design. This created the optical illusion of making the narrow room feel wider!

DIY bathroom design: what you’ll need

From this…
DIY bathroom flooring design
To this!

So, there you have it – 5 simple DIY bathroom design ideas to turn a plain space into a warm, interesting bathroom – all possible at home with the help of ManoMano. 

Greg, AKA, Man with a Hammer
Greg, AKA, Man with a Hammer

Greg, AKA Man with a Hammer, is slowly renovating a 30 roomed ex-Naval Georgian home in Devon, one room at a time. He does the work in his spare time and is hoping to create a comfortable forever home and rescue a beautiful, if dilapidated building.

Did you enjoy this article from Man with a Hammer on his 5 creative DIY bathroom ideas? Why not learn how to build your own work from home desk or read our guide on how to install a bathtub!

Are you designing your own bathroom? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

DIY desk guide written by The Stayover Life

There’s nothing new about having to adapt our homes to become more friendly workspaces. We’ve spent the best part of 2020 trying to create functional spaces where we can all live and work in harmony. After browsing the internet I quickly realised desks are in high demand right now (no surprise there). Many of the desks I fell for were out of stock, international shipping rates (no thank you) or sky high prices.

After becoming a self-proclaimed amateur DIY enthusiast in the early days of lockdown I decided to put my new honed skills back to the test and make my very own DIY desk. My preferred dimensions, my preferred look. Perfect! 

DIY Desk by The Stayover Life
Image credit: The Stayover Life

This weekend project actually turned out to be way simpler than expected. I set to work by creating a moodboard of desks I liked the look of, then began sourcing my supplies for the task. All the materials were ordered from the ManoMano website where you can buy pretty much anything for a homeware project. 

Moodboard for DIY desk
Image credit: Pinterest

The requirements for my DIY desk were:

  • Sturdy feel to the desk 
  • Enough width and depth to either have two chairs to work from same space or one large space for single use 
  • Matt black with industrial looking legs 
  • Upstand around the desk edge for a finished look and to keep loose items from escaping the desk

What you’ll need for your DIY desk: 

DIY DESK METHOD:

Step 1: Sand it out

Lay out all wood on a dust sheet and begin sanding the MDF board and fixing batons to make sure it’s fully smooth and ready to prime. 

Step 2 Prime time: 

Prime the wood with the undercoat and leave to fully dry. Then paint the MDF and the batons with matt black paint. The oil based paint will need a few hours to dry. It would be wise to leave overnight after the second coat is applied.

Step 3: Leg it

Place the MDF board upside down and take the industrial square table legs and align them at each end of the desk top. Fix the legs to the table top with the screws provided. Then attach the protective feet. 

Step 4: Measuring the batons

Flip the desk the right way up and line up one 1200mm baton at back of desk. Sit one end of the baton at the edge of the left hand side and it should be 25mm short at the right side. Take the second baton and place it along the right hand edge of the desk. It will sit snugly in the gap from where the back baton didn’t meet the edge of the desk. At the forward edge on the right hand side of the desk make a marking where to cut the wood. 

Step 5: Fitting the batons

With the remaining side of the wood measure up the baton for the left side. Cut the wood to size. The batons will be different sizes but will fit the trim of the desk perfectly. Sand to smooth the cut edges and line up x3 pieces of cut wood and make sure it all fits in a perfect U shape around the desk edges.

Step 6: Glue it down

Time to try out your new best friend – No More Nails Glue. Stick the batons down and hold firmly until dry. 

Optional – to be sure it’s secure, screw x3 nails to the rear trim and x1 to each side trim.

TA-DA!

A two person desk… Or just for one!

Step 7: DIY desk final touches

A plant adds a vibrant element to a home office, so style it up with a chic plant pot. There is a huge selection of plant pots available on ManoMano with many different sizes. 

The light wood bamboo file storage system complements the matt black desk and retro looking chair. A laptop stand is a MUST for perfect posture and also with its interchangeable height this leaves the option for a stand up work space too. Finally, my DIY desk has enough space for a filing tray to keep my home office organised!

DIY Desk by The Stayover Life
Image credit: The Stayover Life

Did you enjoy this article from The Stayover Life on how to build your own DIY desk? Why not learn how to make your own shoe rack out of pallets or even our guide to buying the right desk for you! You can also Pin for later!

Are you building our own home office desk? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

With Halloween 2020 falling over a weekend and a full moon, we could be in for a real treat. To celebrate, we have put together a frighteningly tempting selection of our top Halloween decorations, from hanging lanterns to inflatable ghouls and novelty accessories for your pets. Read on for some devilish inspiration if you dare…

HALLOWEEN AT MANOMANO: SPOOKILY TEMPTING TREATS

Trick out your home with some of our top Halloween decor, including an inflatable pumpkin and ghost tree, hanging witch hat lights, and a pet Halloween costume!

ManoMano’s spookily tempting Halloween Decorations
  1. Hanging light up witches hat – £7.99
  2. Pumpkin scratching mat for cats – £13.77
  3. Pet bat costume – £7.99
  4. Skeleton arm decoration – £8.45
  5. Skull hand lamp – £6.99
  6. Halloween lamp – £5.99
  7. Scary inflatable tree – £48.99 

HALLOWEEN AT MANOMANO: DEVILISHLY DEVIOUS DEALS

Give your home a simple seasonal makeover this October with some of our festive ideas! We’ve put together some spooktacular deals at our one-stop-shop for the scariest Halloween decorations, for both inside and outside. Pumpkins & ghosts & skulls, oh my!

Devilish deals for ManoMano Halloween Decorations
  1. Trick or treat hanging decoration – £5.99
  2. 4 piece porch decorations – £9.18
  3. Pumpkin lantern string – £4.99
  4. Pumpkin lantern – £12.99
  5. Skull piggy bank – £24.90
  6. Inflatable ghost – £28.99
  7. Skull bandana – £5.99

For further seasonal inspiration and ideas, check out ManoMano’s complete Halloween section.

Did you enjoy this article on ManoMano’s selection of Halloween decorations? Perhaps you’d be interested in learning about our top tips on surviving the upcoming Black Friday or reading our wood fireplace insert buying guide!

Stay in touch with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!