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Before/After Transformation that won't Break the Bank!

Published by Emma Day in
When cash flow is at a lull it can sometimes feel like you’re stuck with the same old décor in your home.  But you don’t need to spend a fortune to make a quick and easy difference to a room.

As I was nosing around the Plumbs archives this morning (my first port of call for home décor inspiration), I stumbled across this great kitchen transformation.

Sometimes all it takes for a fresh new look, is a nice new fabric and a couple of colourful trinkets – hardly a break the bank exercise!

This roller blind, made in Deck Chair Stripe - Rouge fabric, gives this kitchen a whole new feel.  The red and white stripes promote the perfect colour scheme for this quaint country kitchen.  Accented with red features and colourful flowers, these simple changes have really helped to bring the room to life.

Remember, you don’t have to go to great lengths in giving your home a complete makeover.  Often you can give your room a great new look and feel simply by adding an accent colour, or introducing various textures and textiles.  Give it a go – you’ll be surprised with the results!

4 Essential Habits for a Tidy Home!

Published by Emma Day in

Wouldn’t it be great if your living room looked like this?  No clutter, no mess.  Well, at the beginning of January, it sort of did.  The tree had come down and everything was put back in its place.  Three weeks into the New Year, and my home is back to its usual weekday mess.

But, with the start of the year being the perfect time to adopt new habits, here are a few that I will be trying out to keep my home looking ship-shape throughout 2012!

1) A Place to call home

If there is a place for everything, and everything has its place, then surely you can’t go wrong.  Give all of your items their own special place and ensure they get put back there! Simple!

2) Decorative Storage

For toys, blankets and other nic-nacs that get left lying around, choose decorative storage boxes.  These need not be an eye soar.  Opt for boxes that will match your décor, or better still, disguise your storage areas as coffee tables.  This is easy when using chests or ottomans.

3) Rack ‘em up

My guilty pleasure is home magazines and consequently these will often find themselves abandoned in a pile next to the sofa or strewn along the sideboard.  A simple option is to invest in a magazine rack (or even recycle those you’ve definitely finished with.)  For a more creative approach, stack in an unused fireplace for a quirky storage solution.

4) Regular upkeep

If you get into the habit of vacuuming and cleaning one or twice a week, you will inevitably tidy up and put things away.

Failing these simple steps, it may be an idea to consider minimalist décor.  The less stuff you have, the less mess they will create!


Join the celebration of Chinese New Year with Oriental Home Design

Published by Emma Day in
Happy New Year…again!  As China sets to welcome the Year of the Dragon today, be inspired by the Orient in your own home.  Carrying on our theme of the feature wall from last week, there are an abundance of great designs which can really give that relaxed, Eastern feel to your home.  We’ve opted for a simple trailing floral design with subtle leaves, paired with a modern red and black palette.  Turin - Claret is a great, plain fabric choice to compliment the look.

For that wow factor you could be a little more daring and opt for a vibrant pink and soft yellow colour scheme.  We’ve used our very own Elana - Lipstick fabric to create these striking curtains.  Accessorise with exotic orchids and simple straight-lined furniture.  Adding a few Oriental design ornaments, such as the lantern featured will bring the whole mood together.


Make a Statement with Feature Wallpaper!

Published by Emma Day in

We all like our homes to say a little something about us.  Whether it’s modern and classic, feminine chic or loud and bold.  Well what better way than plastering it all over the walls for all to see!  That’s right, with stunning statement wallpapers.

Now I know that painting’s much easier; I know it’s less messy and I know there is nothing more frustrating than 2 ends of paper sticking together with paste.  But, with a boom in beautiful wallpaper designs, it’s difficult to resist.

If the feminine touch is what you’re looking for, try one of these stunning florals.  For a classic, soft approach look at Nina Campbell’s Barrington design (£54 per roll), or choose Duchessa design by Graham & Brown (£25 per roll) for a bolder splash of colour.

For a more gender neutral floral, you could try a large design such as Graham and Brown’s Traviata (£25 per roll), or opt for more unisex colours such as red and white with their Elinor design (£25 per roll).

If florals simply aren’t your style, why not use stripes to enhance your living space.  A pretty candy stripe effect such as Nina Campbell’s Bicton wallpaper (£47 per roll) is full of fun.  Graham & Brown offer their Figaro design (£25 per roll) as a subtler alternative.

Be bold and display you love for retro with these cool geometric patterns.  Go for monochrome chic with Graham & Brown's Mika (£18 per roll), or create a cool, cosy backdrop to your study with Chameleon by Osborne & Little (£84 per roll).

However you plan to wow your house guests, remember there is a whole wealth of designs and styles you can choose from, to suit your personality and style.  Go on, be daring and make a real statement with your décor!


A Year Round Winter Wonderland - Grey and White Interior Design

Published by Emma Day in

Since the beginning of December I’ve had my fingers crossed for snow!  I just love how peaceful the world looks after a good snowfall.  And here I find myself, in the middle of January with glorious sunshine bursting through my window… it would seem my dreams of a white winter may have to wait until next year.  Or do they…?

I’ve found some beautiful ways to bring the snowy, icy hues of traditional winter, into our homes.  There are design tips and inspiration for every room in the house!


Using a wintry palette in your bedroom creates a stunning, hotel chic look like this set-up from The White Company.  Wrap up warm in white and mink faux-fur throws or add snowy sparkle with a shimmering chandelier.


Opt for a statement wallpaper like this atmospheric winter forest design.  Paired with steely greys and charcoal, this is great for a nature-inspired bathroom.


With the Christmas tree down and the house looking bare, why not make a beautiful centrepiece for your kitchen table.  Twigs are a popular choice, so try to find quirky and original shapes to make it really stand out.

Living Room

And finally, the hub of your home can also take inspiration from wintry scenes.  For a cosier, warmer feel choose grey hues to create your perfect winter wonderland.  Fabrics designs such as our very our Titian Damask is perfect for this theme, with its intricate, shimmering damask designs.  Or try curtains in our Oracle fabric for a subtler approach to the winter theme.

So if you’re like me and you love that winter look, get creative with greys and whites, but remember to add some cosy touches like generous throws and thick rugs to keep you feeling warm and toasty!

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Blaze of Glory: A Guide to the Post-Modern Fireplace

Published by Emma Day in

In times of gloomy weather and January blues, there’s nothing better than popping your feet up in front of the fire!  I love the idea of our open coal fire – but in reality it’s dirty, it back-fires and there’s the endless argument of whose turn it is to go outside and fill up the coal bucket.

So I say it’s about time we look for a cleaner alternative!  I’ve been scouring the web for the ideal fireplace which is up-to-minute designer chic, with a nod to the rustic!  And, I think I’ve some…

Wall Designs

Wall mounted fireplaces can become a piece of art with these stunning designs!  Stylish and out of the way, these are perfect for homes with limited floor space.

There are unique and artistic surround designs…

or something a little more nostalgic, with a modern twist.

Stand Alone

A stylish take on the traditional log burner – the stand alone design is great for making a cosy focal point in your home.

Choose from safe elegant designs ….

…or a more daring colourful option

Hanging Design

A quirky concept – these original designs look stunning in both larger and smaller spaces.

Create a social hub around the base…

or position alone for maximum design impact.

Despite these inspiring designs, I’m afraid I’m still swayed by the traditional.  Guess it’s time to get shovelling that coal! Check back next week for more winter warming designs.


2012 Colour Trends by Dulux

Published by Emma Day in
Paint manufacturer Dulux have unveiled their colour trends for 2012/13.  Their six distinct palettes are set to take interior design by storm, so here at Plumbs we’ve been busily preparing ideas for how you can stay on trend this year!

The great thing about colour trends is that you can pick and just choose exactly which hues you want. You could utilise the entire palette or choose the shades that will be right for you and your home.

Appropriately named Carnivale, this pretty selection of pink and lilac will give an ultra feminine feel to your room. For a more subtle approach, you could leave out the darker pink shades. Plumbs’ fabric choice: Sorrento Stripe and Summer, Soft Aubergine.

A more masculine palette can be found with Re-set, a contemporary monochrome set of blacks, whites and greys. Try patterned fabrics to break up blocks of solid colour when adopting this trend. Plumbs' fabric choice: Chelsea Velvet – Steel with Jacobean Opulence – Black/White.

A warmer look can be created with Time-Honoured. Twinned with dark wood, these orange and red hues are sure to brighten any room. We’ve added a dash of green here to bring out an earthier feel. Plumbs’ fabric choice: Vista - Terracotta.

If the natural look is more for you, take inspiration for Dulux’s zesty Nurture trend. Mix vibrant greens with soft creams for a fresh, Spring look all year round. Plumbs’ fabric choice: Lily – Pistachio.

Raw is the slightly subtler version of this outdoor trend. Combining slate and grey/green tones gives a softer,  more neutral approach. Plumbs’ fabric choice: Fiore Check - Linen.

Finally, Immerse yourself in relaxing blues. No longer a colour scheme set aside for bathrooms, the calming tones of blue can bring tranquillity to your living space. Plumbs' fabric choice: Floral Brocade – Turquoise.

With so much inspiration it's time to  get the sample paint pots and the wallpaper clippings and browse Plumbs fabrics online by clicking here, or click here to arrange your Free Home Visit to see our whole range of fabrics in your own home!  We'll be back soon with more decorating inspiration.
If you fa ncied seeing how strong your own furniture pricing skills are, then why not have a go at our higher or lower quiz? Let's see if you can spot the furniture bargains!
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Are you sitting comfortably...? Top 5 Reading Nook Ideas

Published by Emma Day in
There’s nothing better than curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book.  But reading needn’t be confined to the end of the sofa.
Many of us will have our own special place where we like to escape and unwind, whether it’s in front of the window with the sun streaming through, or curled up next to the fire on a blustery afternoon.

Be inspired by these cosy reading nooks and see if you can create a hideaway just for you!

The Window Reading Nook

The perfect source for natural light and a good view out between chapters, a window reading nook can be created in any room of the house.

Under the Stairs Reading Nook

For a cosy, confined space, add cushions and a spotlight under the stairs.

Corner of the Room Reading Nooks

Be creative with spare corners in your living room or study.  Build a raised platform and decorate with cushions and throws, or opt for an elaborate piece of furniture for a luxurious feel!

The Attic Reading Nook

If your loft space isn’t quite big enough to convert into a room, consider creating a secluded hideaway.

The Kids Reading Nook

Even the kids can enjoy a special place to relax, and looking at this design you may be tempted to join them!


Re-Decorating and Braving the Jeans!

Published by Emma Day in
If, like me, you’ve enjoyed a month of jolly indulgence, you’ll be avoiding your jeans like the plague this January!  But with the weather still cold outside and the January Blues beginning to creep in, the last thing we want to do is hit the gym!

Fear not!  There is a perfect solution to burning off the Christmas calories and wiping out the winter blues in one!  Decorating!

A newly decorated room brings a whole new lease of life to your home, plus it has the added bonus of giving you a proper work out!  A study by dietician Juliette Kellow* shows that painting and other inside projects can burn 66 calories per hour.  Or, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, wallpapering is proven to burn 133.2 calories per hour!

No doubt you will be up and down the stairs (burning 516.3 calories per hour), and cleaning up after your work is done (burning 367.3 calories per hour.)  So, before you know it, you’re home will look fresh and you will feel great!

*Survey based on 37 year old female weighing 12 stone - full study taken from


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