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Get weekly updates on the latest interior design trends from our experts at Plumbs

Metal Rocks in the Kitchen

Published by Emma Day in
With consumers looking for products with a low carbon foot-print around the home, loose covers can go along way towards this:

Is recycling old furniture set to become more popular?

But this goes for any product around the home from, especially ones made from materials that can be recycled such as; glass and metal etc. These will play a big part in this year’s renovations.

One such product is a work surface created using pure natural quartz and recycled metallic chips. As well as being kind to the environment it is a durable solid surface offering excellent resistance to acids, abrasion and wear. The surface comes in four polished colour tones: white, black and two shades of grey. The worktops are also able to be created to support the stylish continental trend of slimline work surfaces.

For further information please contact: Chiltern Marble Group


The end result was as you can see for yourself, amazing!

Published by Emma Day in
Just a line to thank Plumbs for the wonderful, professional job done by you on reupholstering my settees. I could hardly believe that these were my same pieces of furniture! Both settees are over 15 years old and both had suffered badly from the claws of my two cats!

One settee was down to the wood in places and the frame was rickety. My bed settee is such an unusual shape I hardly dared hope that it would look good. However, they both look amazing! They are better than new, and I've had so many compliments regarding them.

Not only does the fabric look great and feel luxurious, but the replacement seat cushion and upholstering have made them far more supportive and comfortable than before.

Mrs J.E. Jones - Liverpool


New photography of a reupholstered antique style Chesterfield sofa

Published by Emma Day in
I thought I'd share some new photography we have done that show's off our very popular Deco Antique fabric in a natural colourway.  The sofa is an antique style Chesterfield that has been reupholstered. As you can see this sofa looks as good as the day it was first made.

Is recycling old furniture set to become more popular?

Published by Emma Day in

If your sofa is starting to look worn and weary, the cushions are saggy, and the fabric is wearing thin you are faced with a choice, throw it away or buy new?

As more homeowners invest in green living and recycling old furniture becomes more popular, reupholstery is an environmentally pleasing way to give old worn out furniture a brand new look.

Buying a new suite does not necessarily mean better. Imported foreign-made suites means your money goes towards a massive amount of raw materials from across the globe including tropical hardwoods, production energy and transport costs. Chances are however that the suite you’ve already got is better made than the new one.

Economic and social trends often have an effect on interior designs and trends. We believe 2010 will see a shift back to preservation and exploration of the past.

This year bold floral and spring blossom will be reflected heavily in fabrics used in reupholstery. Soft greens will be the choice colour and teamed with pale pinks, make a winning combination for a spring palette.

Here at Plumbs we recommend going for a bold floral print or a coastal theme when choosing fabrics for reupholstery.

Spring blossom in soft jade is bang on trend this season, use to reupholster an old sofa or a tub chair and combine it with plain walls to make a daring floral statement in your living room. For something a little less daring try an ocean blue fabric paired with creams and yellows to bring a splash of summer into your living room.

The reupholstering process itself is an intricate and delicate procedure and we pride ourselves on the craftsmanship involved. Sofa and chairs with button effects look particularly pleasant. The art of deep-buttoning gives the item an indulgent, voluptuous look made fashionable in the Victorian era.

Here at Plumbs our advice is to think before you throw, furniture can easily be given a brand new look by reupholstery.


When it comes to home decor, think - lighting, lighting, lighting!

Published by Emma Day in

If location, location, location is the motto of estate agents. You could say an interior designers slogan would be lighting, lighting, lighting but is also usually the most overlooked aspect when a person comes to re-decorating. Many of the most successful hotels and restaurants you will notice have got lighting down to a fine art by creating a welcoming atmosphere.

So before you begin planning a restoration, building a new home or just up-dating your current decor. Remember when it comes to lighting you can never have too many light sources.

Decor that is well designed and thought-out will utilise all three types of lighting:

  • General Lighting - this illuminates an entire space.
  • Task Lighting - bright lights used to focus lights on a particular area for tasks such as reading, writing or cooking.
  • Accent Lighting - used to spotlight decorative objects and create mood.

Walk into many thousands of homes across the UK and you will find one light fitting in the centre of the room and not much else. Just by the addition of extra lighting a room can feel warmer and more inviting, with strategically place spotlights you can direct the light to various areas to help with certain tasks.

The ability to transform a room just by adding different types of lighting is amazing. Up-lights, which are canned lights that sit on the floor, are wonderful items to use in corners, especially with large plants. They shine the light up onto the walls and ceiling creating a warm glow to an otherwise dark corner. Small rooms will seem larger with the installation of recessed ceiling can lights or wall washers, which will shine the light down onto the peripheral walls. Hallways and entranceways are sometimes dark; brighten them by adding canned light, track lights or picture lights.

If you need to get some inspiration or just simple ideas why not Visit high-end restaurants, hotels or bars and you’ll see the incredible difference lighting can make – and duplicating those effects can be simpler and less expensive than you think. The reward is a lighting atmosphere in your rooms that will be warm, unique and very inviting.


Country Living Spring Fair 2010

If  I heard it once I heard it 1000 times at the recent Country Living Spring Fair.

"Wow, Plumbs is nothing like the adverts"

After a very busy show, over 500 brochures given out and over 100 visitors to the stand asking to have a visit from a Plumbs Home Consultant, we can say we had a busy and successful show.

Leading the display was a fabulous art deco design revived recently by Sanderson. This featured on a well matched art deco chair as a beautiful piece of reupholstery. The vast majority of show visitors who passed the stand made a comment about the chair. Many people wanted to buy it there and then.

They were  surprised to learn that Mick had actually reupholstered the chair right there on the first day of the show.

The other star of the show was Willow Stripe, the sumptuous cut velvet stripe from Swaffer. Mick spent hours reupholstering an old queen Anne chair in this fabric, being stopped every few minutes to answer questions from visitors.

So excited were people about this fabric they started taking off cuts from Mick's reupholstery work. One large piece of fabric mysteriously went missing!

All in all a great visit to the Country Living Spring Fair and a lovely atmosphere in the business design centre in Islington.

Reupholstery of a Queen Anne Fireside Chair

Published by Emma Day in
Watch some of the basic techniques our expert upholsterers use to reupholster a Queen Anne Fireside Chair:


Can a sofa really be painful? Yes!

Published by Emma Day in
Artists and designers get inspiration from a lot of things – even plants. Take cactus for instance. The freakily real green cactus-sofa above was used for an AXN-ad with the tagline “Relax if you can.”


The most carbon neutral sofa ever

Published by Emma Day in
How much oxygen did your furniture produce today? Wouldn’t you rather be sitting outside in the garden, than indoors on your couch? Now you too can have the best of both worlds, and sculpt lawn furniture from the lawn itself.


The success of a Plumbs Upholsterer

Published by Emma Day in

When Katy Hoskinson decided it was time for a change of direction, she didn’t do things by halves. Her position as an upholsterer with Plumbs, the soft furnishings specialist, is a far cry from her previous role as a chef in a busy kitchen. Yet the flourishing career that the 43 year old from Lincolnshire has stitched for herself is testament to her will to succeed in not one but two male dominated industries.


The time-honoured skills of upholstery have long since been a masculine domain, with the traditional crafts passed down over the years from master to apprentice. Routes into the industry for a woman embarking on a second career are few and it is only Katy’s sheer determination and genuine love of her craft that have enabled her to achieve what she has to date. With a glowing record behind her and a future specialising in antique restoration ahead, Katy has proven that a bit of grit makes all the difference when breaking into a new industry.

When speaking about her role, Katy’s enthusiasm is clear:

"I love working on all the furniture that comes through the workshop but I get a particular buzz from the older stuff and the antiques. It’s my chance to give it a second life and make it look as good as the day it was first produced. As an upholsterer the challenge is to unravel and convert the designer’s idea and make the piece look beautiful again, and I get a lot of satisfaction from that."

And yet things could all have turned out very differently, as it was only by accident that Katy discovered her talent for upholstery. Faced with the prospect of finding a new career, with no formal qualifications and no experience other than as a chef, she stuck a pin in a City & Guilds course book and came up with upholstery. After doing some research on the subject, she undertook an access course at York College and was well and truly bitten by the bug.

Several years later and Katy has added a BA Hons in furniture restoration and conservation to her impressive record, as well as the first pure MA degree in upholstery to be awarded in the UK. She also spent time refining her specialised training at the Ecole Boulle, a highly respected Parisian school dedicated to the arts, where her skills have been honed to perfection.

"My life has turned around since I started to learn about upholstery, it’s really become a huge part of my world," Katy says. "My partner is also a furniture maker and restorer, so our whole house revolves around a love of the craft. I just get such a sense of achievement when I see the finished piece that it makes all the effort it’s taken to get to this place in my career worthwhile."

The skill, workmanship and passion that a Plumbs craftsman puts into reupholstering your treasured piece of furniture is next to none. Plumbs offers all the benefits of a well established national company, offering furniture repair and reupholstery services, combined with a personal level of service that can only be achieved on a local level.


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