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

A New Clock to Watch at Midnight!

Published by Emma Day in

With all eyes on Big Ben tonight, I got to thinking about the poor clock in my own home: an uninspiring, generic face ticking and tocking with little enthusiasm.  New Year's Resolution number one: upgrade the kitchen clock!  Gone are the days of a clock being a mere time telling tool - today the clock is an essential decorative item that can really show off your personality and taste.   But with a whole host of exciting and quirky designs out there, where do you start?  I've had a look at jazzinteriors.co.uk to find out!

Table Clock

The easiest decision to make is whether you need a wall clock or one to sit on a desk, table or mantel.  Table clocks may seem less convenient but don't discard the idea.  There are a beautiful selection of table clocks around, particularly these handmade glass designs.

Italian Design

If sophisticated style is more what you're looking for, take a look at this selection of beautiful Italian designs.  These wonderful creations come in all shapes and sizes and look great as a real focal point on your wall!

Novelty Clocks

For a bit of fun why not go for one of these fun designs.  Full of comic charm, these clocks are bound to make you smile every minute of the day!  I particularly like the mixture of old and new with this shadowed effect cuckoo clock.

Glass Wall Clocks

This stunning range of glass wall clocks are great for adding a touch of artistic glamour to your walls.  Often smaller in size, these more discreet clocks are ideal for hallways, bedrooms and kitchens.

With so much choice I may even choose one for each room!  So, as my poor old kitchen clock ticks away the final hours of 2011, I hope to have left you with inspiration to make a real statement in your homes!  Check back in the New Year for more inspiring design products.

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Did they get it right? A look back at 2011's design trend predictions

Published by Emma Day in
At the Beginning of the year, Linda Barker, interior designer and the team at channel 4 homes both voiced their predictions for what would be hot in home décor for 2011.  A year on, Plumbs looks back to see how accurate their predictions were:

C4 Homes predicted that 2011 would be the year of colour, and that meant bright colour! Strong greens, pops of cerise and flashes of orange.  Throughout 2011 shops were adorned with multi coloured bathroom accessories, bright orange clocks, and a whole rainbow of paints and wallpapers.  Plumbs Verdict: accurate trend prediction.



On the opposite side, Linda Barker’s hot favourite for 2011 was grey:  to be termed ‘the new neutral’.  Out with the beige and in with the charcoal!    This year seems to have be governed by the new look monochrome, adopting grey and cream as a warmer alternative to the traditional black and white.  Plumbs Verdict: accurate trend prediction.



For C4 Homes, 2011 was going to be all about the big, bold florals.  And with top designers such as Sanderson continuing to produce beautiful modern takes on the floral design, it’s no wonder that the lavish look has found its way into our homes in the past year.  Plumbs Verdict: accurate trend prediction.



Linda Barker swore by a more feminine approach to the floral in her prediction that 2011 would see the revival of vintage.  Restoration of beautiful furniture was to be a top priority for home décor enthusiasts.  At Plumbs, we can more than vouch for the latter and agree that an emphasis on vintage chic has been apparent throughout 2011.  Plumbs verdict: accurate trend prediction.



It was off to the beach for C4 Homes in 2011 as they predicted a rise in all things seaside!  This year has seen shells, driftwood and seaside stripes making their way from our bathrooms to our living rooms. Plumbs Verdict: accurate trend prediction.



Finally, Linda Barker favoured a more industrial design with metallics being her colours of choice for 2011, primarily bronze and gold as opposed to the more classic chrome and silver.  Plumbs Verdict: accurate trend prediction.



So it would seem that 2011 trend predictions were a success.  As we eagerly await the experts’ opinions on 2012 design trends, tell us what you think.  What would you like to see in 2012?
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A Very Merry Christmas from all of us at Plumbs!

Published by Emma Day in
After long anticipation, frantic gift wrapping and the last supermarket dash for sprouts, the big day is finally upon us!  We at Plumbs would like to wish all of our customers and friends a very Merry Christmas.  May you all have a relaxing and enjoyable festive period and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

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DIY tips for a Glowing Christmas Centrepiece

Published by Emma Day in
With the tree up and the presents wrapped there's only one more thing to worry about: Christmas Dinner!  Or more to the point, how the table will look!  In my home there's barely room left on the table for fancy decoration so I always try to find something small and easy for my Christmas table centrepiece.  A great solution is often right under your nose.  Candles!  Your home is bound to be alight with candles at this time of the year so why not utilize them to the maximum and use them to bring a warm, festive glow to your table!

Candles are so versatile when used for decoration.  Have a look at these quick and easy DIY tips for creating stunning, inexpensive pieces for your table.

Cinnamon Candles

Bring the sweet scent of Christmas spice to your table with these Cinnamon Candles.  These create a warm, country style feel to your table.  And they're so easy to make too!  Simply place the cinnamon stick around a pillar candle and hold in place with an elastic band.  Warm up in the microwave until wax is melted and sticks are securely in place.  Decorate as desired, with foliage, ribbons and bells.



Tapers and Bauble Vase
For a more modern, chic look check out this simple yet elegant display.  The beauty of this is that you can choose any colour candle and bauble combination to match your Christmas decor.  Half fill a number of interesting vases with glass nuggets and arrange tapers as desired.  Fill with baubles and wrap vase with coordinating ribbon.  Arrange as desired.



One for the Kids

Santa has visited your Christmas table this year with this fun display that's equally fun to make.  Arrange a few small, decorated boxes on a cake stand around 3 various sized pillar candles.  Wrap colourful paper and tags around the candles.  For further fun, add small treats to the boxes that can be opened between courses.



No matter how much space you have to play with on your Christmas table, there are many DIY ideas to create decorations of all shapes, sizes and styles.  Have fun in finding one that works for you and let us know how you get on!

Ideas sourced from hobbycraft.co.uk inspirational ideas.
 
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Here Comes Santa Claus... Protecting High Traffic Areas in Your Home

Published by Emma Day in
6 days to go – who’s excited?  With Christmas looming and the sound of sleigh bells circling our neighbourhoods it’s time to get prepared!  And I don’t mean putting the finishing touches on the Christmas cake or wrapping those last few presents.  We need to prepare our homes for the inevitable high traffic of family and friends coming and going, (not to mention Father Christmas and his reindeer!).

The hallway is likely to see the most increase in footfall over the festive weekend, so protect flooring with long runners or assorted rugs.  If weather is particularly poor, you could also ask your guests to remove their shoes.  If you do however, ensure that you have a shoe rack to hand and that your home is lovely and warm to invite cold feet!

Ensure that there is plenty of space to hang coats to prevent them being strewn across your furniture.  Similarly, make a designated space where umbrellas can be left to dry.  If you have a porch, this is ideal.



Prevent any spills by having side or coffee tables within easy reach.  If though, during the jollity of Christmas, there happens to be a spillage, clean this immediately.  It is more likely to stain if left to settle into your carpet.  To be on the safe side, ensure you have plenty of kitchen roll, stain remover and sponges on stand-by.

Use blankets or throws to protect soft furnishings whilst adding a cosy feel to your home.  For more permanent protection, consider loose furniture covers that you can remove, wash and re-fit with ease, as often as you like.  At Plumbs, we also offer a range of anti-macassars and arm covers for added protection for your furniture.  You could also use loose covers to protect your dining chairs.



To find out more about loose furniture covers, click here. Now that your home is protected, you can sit back and relax with a mince pie.  Why not browse the blog for more great tips!
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Bah Humbug - how to get your Christmas Spirit back!

Published by Emma Day in
I have a confession to make.  I’ve lost my Christmas Spirit!  With the shops alight with twinkling fairy lights since early November, I was merrily humming jingle bells at my desk weeks ago.

Since then, however, my Christmas Spirit seems to have dwindled!  So, since the snow is falling outside my window this morning, I’ve been wracking my brain for ways to get that festive feeling back!  And…I’ve found it!

There’s nothing better than getting inspired by others, so, I’ve been browsing the net for the cosiest Christmas homes.  Come – peer through the keyhole with me…











By now I hope that you're feeling the festive spirit and are off to buy chestnuts and stoke that fire! But remember - getting inspired by others' decor doesn't have to be saved for Christmas.  Have a good browse around the next time you decide to decorate, and check back for more inspirational homes.
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Grandma's quilt doesn't have a patch on this!

Published by Emma Day in
If you've ever thought that patchwork is a past-time best reserved for blankets, quilts and cushions, think again!  This whacky chair as featured on roomenvy blog, brings the fun of patchwork to the 21st century.  I think the key is to choose the most eclectic and vibrant fabrics to represent your personality so your furniture can make a real statement about you and your home!  And, as this chair shows, a colourful piece like this need not have to be confined only to the ultra modern home, but can look just as comfortable in front of a traditional roaring fire!




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Pantone Announce their 2012 Colour of the Year

Published by Emma Day in

The colour experts at Pantone have broken away from last years feminine pink ‘Honeysuckle’ colour of the year and announced a beautifully vibrant replacement for 2012:  Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango!

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

With top names in interior design, fashion and cosmetics all eager to be the first to fall in line with next year’s colour of choice, it won’t be long until this fun, vibrant hue will be adorning the shops.

Ideal for both masculine and feminine tastes, Tangerine Tango can be used to add a real kick to your home.  Use accessories such as cushion covers, bedding, clocks and photo frames to interweave subtle spice into a room.  Or go bigger with appliances and electronics for a bold pop of colour.  Alternatively, paint an accent wall in Tangerine Tango for a true wow factor.  Combined with earthy browns, this could bring great warmth to your décor.

So, if you’re looking for a new change in the new year, be inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year 2012.

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Having fun with Fairy Lights without going overboard

Published by Emma Day in

Having seen Apartment Therapy’s blog post Christmas Décor: how much is too much? I got to thinking. Nobody wants to be the neighbour who’s brought 24-hour daylight to the street with their overly elaborate Christmas displays.

Yet, the magic of Christmas for me, is always heightened by the twinkling lights that adorn our homes. So how can we use our Christmas lights in the most tasteful ways, while still maintaining the fun factor?  Below are several great ideas for using your fairy lights creatively this Christmas, without upsetting the neighbours!

Welcome your guests with beautiful fairy lights interwoven with your traditional Christmas wreath. For a more modern take on this, why not bend a wire coat hanger into a heart shape and wrap with fairy lights for a beautifully whimsical Christmas treat.


Make a statement with your Christmas lights and create a unique artwork.  Punch holes into card, as below, and poke your fairy lights through for a modern and creative focal point.  Alternatively, add baubles and round lights to an empty fireplace for a twist on the glowing Christmas fireside (remove the baubles for a great look all year round!)

An increasingly popular look for interior decor at the moment are pre-lit twigs.  Bring these out for the festive season!  Or why not try making a twig cage as shown and fill with fairy lights for a stunning table decoration?  Simple bind together with strong wire.

Finally, use Fairy Lights to bring added sparkle to your dining table.  Try wrapping battery powered LEDs around your Christmas crackers, or why not give this beautiful doily garland a go.  Simply poke your fairy lights through the centre of the doily for a soft, dreamy Christmas feel.

Hopefully you're now bursting with inspiration and have your fairy lights at the ready.  Merry Decorating and remember to check back for more festive tips as the big day approaches!

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Be our guest: preparing your guest bedroom this Christmas (1)

Published by Emma Day in

With the festive season fast approaching, your home is bound to be inundated with extra bodies.  Christmas is all about enjoying time with your family and friends so why not make them feel right at home during their stay.

When preparing your guest bedroom, bear in mind what environment you would feel comfortable in.  Particularly if your guests are staying for more than one night, they need to feel as comfortable and at home as possible.

Follow our great tips and you might find you guests returning long into the new year!

General Décor

Try to make the room gender neutral.  Avoid anything that may create too much of a feminine or masculine feel.  Similarly, try to stick to neutral tastes and colours.  Gold, creams and browns tend to work well.

Space

One of the worst things for any guest is to be dumped in a room along with your other clutter.  Ensure that your guest room doesn’t look like a dumping ground and that your guests feel welcome.  There should be space for your guests to put their suitcases and ideally a dressing area and mirror for female guests.  A chair or seating area is also desirable.

Bed

Think of how a bed in a hotel would look and try to replicate that – with a few home touches.  Ensure that linen is clean and ironed and the bed is made as inviting as possible.  Particularly for winter, add extra throws and blankets.  Use plenty of cushions to create the hotel luxury feel and add reading lamps to each bedside table.

Privacy

It can often by the case that spare rooms get left to the end of the decorating list which sometimes means that there may not be effective curtains, if any at all.  It is essential for your guests to have their privacy from neighbors and intruding morning sunshine!  Choose fully lined curtains or a blackout blind to ensure your guests have a long, comfortable night's sleep.

Finishing touches

It may be a good idea to keep family photographs at a minimum in your guest room, as you don’t want your guests to feel they are intruding in your home.

For the holiday season, why not adorn the bed with a few festive cushions or add a small Christmas tree to the bedside table, or fairy lights to the headboard.

If the room is not often used, why not include a scented candle to mask any stale air. Also, it can be a nice touch to add small chocolates and miniature toiletries to create a true luxury feel.

However you decide to prepare your guest room this Christmas, remember to make your guests feel at home and relaxed.

To view Plumbs accessories including our bedroom range, click here or to view Plumbs Curtains and Blinds, click here.

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Cushion the blow of the of the winter blues with new Cushion Covers

Published by Emma Day in
As the nights draw in and the first signs of frost creep into our gardens, it’s not unusual for us to pine for the distant memories of summer.  Many of us can get a little down at the thought of winter and would rather hibernate until Spring.  Do not fear! There is a very easy and refreshing way to lift your spirits.

Decorating our homes can often bring joy with the transformation to a fresh new look.  But with Christmas fast approaching and wallets fast emptying, a full-blown changing rooms is not always convenient.  What you could do is simply change your cushion covers!  You’d be surprised the difference a new colour and design can make to a room, and to your winter blues!

If your main décor is neutral, you have a blank canvas to work with and can choose any colour or design that takes your mood.  You can even choose a few to swap and change to your heart’s desire.  See how these different scatter cushions from Plumbs make a huge difference to the look and feel of this suite for example.



If you have a more defined look to your room you are still able to make a difference with a change of cushion covers.  See if you can bring in an extra accent colour or use neutral plains to break up solid blocks of colour.

Don’t just limit your cushion cover make-over to your sofas and suites.  A nice mixture of cushions can look great on a window seat and add a softness to your windows.  Or you could use lots of cushions with various textures and shades to create a luxury, hotel feel to your bedroom.

Whichever way you refresh your cushion covers, have fun with it! Mix and match styles and colours.  See how different you can make your room look and feel with minimal effort.  Before you know it, Spring will be round the corner and your winter blues will have been replaced with beautiful accessories you can use all year round.

Click here to view our range of accessories including cushion covers.
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