Unfortunately, this has also been accompanied by a greater willingness to flash the cash in order to make our flat look as homely as possible. Here are a few of our favourite and most recent buys, before Mr Sunshine and I had a little chat and decided to put the credit card away for a bit...
I love nothing more than snuggling up with a good book or my laptop for some blogging on our balcony on a balmy evening with these two outdoor lanterns lit. They look great in the daytime too, and are small enough to be discreet, yet large enough to house some fairly sizeable church candles which seem to last forever.
My dressing table was looking a tad on the messy side, and I needed somewhere to store my growing collection of MAC lipsticks, along with my make-up pallettes and brushes. I fell in love with this mirrored box from The One, which is really big and weighty, with two drawers and a pull up lid on top. It fits so much in it, and I love the way it matches the mirrored table legs of my dressing table.
Crosley record player
This little pastel briefcase-styled beauty was a gift from my mum for my thirtieth birthday, along with a whole heap of my favourite records from my brothers. It was such a great purchase, and Mr S and I have played it every day since. The sound quality is fairly good, and it clips up into a little case which is small enough to be portable. Plus, doesn't it look pretty as a picture?!
Faux fur throw and cushions
I fell in love with the softness of this throw when we were browing The One in Landmark Mall, and I couldn't resist purchasing a couple of cushions to go with it. As the nights grow colder in Qatar, I can see myself snuggling up with Mr Sunshine with these on the sofa, watching a scary film. Until then, they are making the sofa an extra comfy post-work nap spot.
For one of Rich's wedding presents, I bought him a quote which means a lot to both of us. The traditional concept of 'home' has changed for us since we moved out to Doha two years ago, and it's now simply about being wherever the other person is in the world. Therefore when I saw this print on Not On The High Street I had to buy it, particularly because maps were such a prominent theme on a wedding day.
In return, Rich bought me a stunning print of the Amalfi Coast, by one of our favourite artists, Colin Ruffell. I love having this artwork on our wall, as it reminds me of the honeymoon of a lifetime! I just wish we could wake up to this view for real every morning...
While scouring The One, we stumbled upon these circular place mats, which match the colour scheme of our apartment so perfectly that we just had to buy them. Much like most other items from The One, they are a little pricey, but they are hard wearing, easy to clean and look great, so in our eyes are definitely worth it.
Doha Restaurant Guide
Last but not least, the most recent addition to our flat is the fabulous 'Doha Restaurant Guide'. Edited by our friend and all-round nice guy Jonathan Parsons of Dining in Doha, this book is the first of its kind in Qatar, featuring reviews of Doha's top twenty restaurants, and mini-guides of everything from the best brunches to where to eat in Souq Waqif. It's a welcome addition to our kitchen, and we have a second copy on our shelf at work too, just in case, you know, we fancy popping out for a quick working lunch somewhere. If that wasn't enough to convince you to buy one, then the book is also an absolute steal at QAR 29, and it's easy to get your mitts on as its being sold in Spinneys, Virgin Megastores and WH Smiths across Qatar.
What have you purchased recently to make your house feel more like a home?