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Upcycling an eBay Gem: Reupholstery Before & After Pics

Looking at revamping an old and worn piece of furniture can be ever so… daunting.  You may like the shape, size or style of a piece, but under the dated fabric and sagging cushions it’s hard to visualise the potential it holds.  A professional reupholstery job can work wonders, though – check out one of our favourite furniture makeovers below.

We came across this sofa as part of a pair on eBay for a grand total of £62! 


Although it may have seen better days, we could see it had been well looked after and we just knew we could turn it into something special.

A quality sofa with beautiful scroll arms and wooden bun feet such as this is perfect for reupholstery – it’s not difficult to retain all the original features that attracted you to it in the first place.

After removing the old fabric, the condition of the sofa was assessed.  All looked good, so we then picked a sophisticated new fabric (Chatsworth) from our range that would suit the traditional style of the sofa.  The soft Duck Egg Blue colour was chosen as it we knew it would look great against the dark wood of the feet.


The tricky pleating around the arms of the sofa were carefully put into place on each arm…


Finally, the bargain sofa was then brought back to life with new fabric and seat cushions:


What a transformation!

The result is a sofa that looks brand new, while retaining its original qualities.  We styled the sofa with complementing fabric cushions in stripes and a ‘mini dot’ pattern - the soft pink scatters help break up the blue tones and tie in with the décor of the room. 

Feeling inspired by our crafty eBay upcycling? If you’d like any help turning a tired piece of furniture into a gem, contact us today for a FREE no obligation quotation. 

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Trend Alert: Soft Summer Florals

As we approach the summer months, now is the perfect time to incorporate some soft and subtle florals into your home. 

These delicate designs work well in a colour palette of soft pastel shades like the duck egg blues and muted greens (as shown below). When shopping for accessories be on the lookout for pretty wildflower motifs, and try to buy objects in varying sizes to create a layered look.  Mixing different floral patterns can help create that meadow feel, yet still give you an overall co-ordinated look.

Take a look at some of my fabulous floral finds…


Caring for your furniture

Buying furniture is an investment, so it’s only right that you’d want to look after your most valuable and loved pieces. After all, many of them can last a lifetime when cared for correctly!

While most quality items sold today will come with a set of care instructions, many of us may have inherited or acquired our most treasured antiques and heirlooms sans guidebook, and we’re left unsure about how to give them the care they deserve.

By following a few simple instructions, however, you can give your items the TLC it deserves without the risk of damaging it. Here’s how to ensure a happy, prolonged life for your most treasured items. 

Upholding Your Upholstery


Over time fabrics will wear, fade and lose their charming looks, but follow these tips to keep it looking as good for as long as possible…

  • Gently vacuum your upholstery regularly using a brush attachment, as accumulated dirt will accelerate fabric wear. Vacuuming Chenille and Velvet fabrics in the same way also helps to avoid it from looking ‘flat’.
  • Hard as it may be, keeping pets off your furniture will keep it looking better for longer. (Why not get your kitty or pooch their own pet furniture, instead?!)
  • Plump up feather, soft back, and seat cushions regularly to rid them of dust and keep them plush.
  • Keep all furniture out of direct sunlight to minimise fading to the fabric.
  • Clean up any accidental spills as soon as possible – the sooner you do so, the less likely it is to stain. When spot cleaning a cleaner or stain remover, always test in a small area, which isn’t visible, to avoid damage. 

 Keeping Your Woodwork Worthy


It’s important with intricate woodwork to follow some simple pointers and to use the correct products to maintain its beauty.

  • Keep your furniture away from heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, and direct sunlight - these can all affect the colour and dry out the wood.
  • Dust once a week with a soft cloth.
  • To clean more thoroughly: use slightly damp paper towels, being careful not to wet the wood too much.  Dry using a soft cloth or paper towels.
  • Avoid using silicone based polishes as they can damage the surface over time.  Instead, try using more natural options such as beeswax, and keep in mind that it’s always best to use a small amount.  This only needs to be done maybe once or twice a year.

Looking After Loose Covers


If you have a sofa or chair with a loose cover, cleaning and drying them may seem a little daunting.  No need to fret -

  • Look for the care instruction label (it’s most likely sewn into your loose covers) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • As a rough guide: most loose cover fabrics can be machine or hand washed at 30 degrees.
  • If there are no care instruction labels, or you’re unsure of what to do, we would suggest contacting a dry cleaners who should be able to advise.
  • If you feel that the time has come to replace your loose covers, we’d suggest contacting an experienced company such as Plumbs. We can advise on the type of fabric and design that would best suit your piece of furniture.


Taking the time and care to maintain your furniture can pay off as the life of your items are prolonged.  If you’re unsure of how best to look after aspects of your furniture, especially if it’s worth sentimental or monetary value, it’s always best to contact an expert for advice.


Pet Palaces & Pampered Pooches

Published by Joanna Whitworth in beds, furniture, pets, sofa

Just like family and friends, our pets are a very important part of our lives.  We nurture them from babies into loving and loyal companions, so it’s no surprise that many of us wish to spoil our furry friends as much as we can.

Pampered or not, every pet needs a comfortable place to sit and sleep, and so the market for personalised and extravagant beds pet has grown.  Think diamanté, designer fabrics and out the box designs…


The bright fuchsia fabric gives this doggy day bed a fun and feminine feel.  The bolster cushions with contrast piping add a touch of sophistication and comfort.


Bold lime green and aubergine colours create a real statement with this four-poster cat bed.  This design can be recreated by simply turning an old side table upside down and adding a piece of upholstered foam to the centre.  Turning the draw upside down means you can store any toys out of view.


Grey velvet and chevron pattern gives this pet sofa a modern and luxurious look. This simple style and classic shape of this piece of furniture means it won’t stick out next to most suites.  By using scatter cushions on the sofa in a matching fabric, you can really co-ordinate the whole look.


This fuzzy ‘cat bun’ is great fun and any cat is sure to enjoy sleeping the hours away in this warm and cosy design.  Felines love to snuggle and burrow so the cocoon shape of this bed makes it also great for play.


This upcycling project is a great way of reusing old suitcases.  However, if your DIY skills aren’t great we’d suggest not stacking the beds on top of each other!

When we think about how much time we spend carefully choosing wallpapers, fabrics and furniture for our homes, it’s understandable that many people also want their pets’ furniture to match their individual tastes.  Your pet may not notice that the pink piping on its bed matches the scatter cushions on your sofa, but if it’s comfortable that’s all that matters.


Highlights from the Ideal Home Show London

The Ideal Home Show London has finished for another year so now is the perfect time to look over the highlights from the new venue – Olympia, London.

Indigo & Earth Living Room

This blue colour scheme is anything but cold, especially when teamed with the contemporary wood burner and plush metallic accessories.  Although there is quite a large sofa and a lot of furniture in this room, the use of glass and mirrors make this living room feel much more spacious. 


Slate & Leaf Dining Room

Botanicals are an interior trend that’s set to stay! The vivid Green and Yellows in this room look great against the dark charcoal walls.  The addition of white chairs and light pendant helps freshen and balance the overall look. Although the overall feel of this dining room is quite moody, the accessories and styling help take our minds straight to Spring/Summer.


Copper & Clay Bedroom

The Copper Blush walls in this bedroom are a huge trend for 2015.  This colour and two-tone paint effect really plays on the Mediterranean feel of this trend.  This design has also incorporated another big trend this season.  Bold geometric prints in a mix of styles and sizes help add splashes of extra colour to this bedroom.

We loved how eye-catching this stand was from The dizzying display of colours, patterns and lights looked great against the black back drop. 

And of course the telephone box sofa on the Plumbs stand!  We loved speaking to all who stopped by, and we hope everyone had as much fun as we did.  We look forward to seeing you all next year!


Why not take a look at our upcoming events to see where we are next…


Valentine's Day Inspired Interiors

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner we thought we’d take a look at some of the most romantic interiors to get you in the spirits.

Valentines interiors don’t have to be all pink and hearts; we love the soft muted colour palette of this living room.  Candles, faux fur throws and soft lighting have been incorporated to add a sense of warmth and cosiness to the overall look.


The soft pastel shades used in this colour scheme add a touch of Parisian chic to this home.  The dramatic shimmering chandelier adds a focal point to the room and co-ordinates beautifully with the iridescent sheen of the leather.


This look is more English country Garden with touches of romance.  The use of bright Pink flowers really stands out against the white walls and furnishings.  A mix of candles adds softness to the look.



Accessories are the easiest way to add a sense of romance to your home, and by searching a little harder on the high street you can find pieces that are stylish enough to work all year round. 

If you would like any help creating an interior to fall for then why not contact Plumbs today for a FREE no obligation quotation.


Colour Predictions for 2015

Towards the end of every year industry experts predict what colours they think will dominate in the upcoming year.  With this in mind we thought we’d look at 2 of them and how best to make these colours work for your home.

Pantone: Marsala

Pantone say “Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.”


The deep earthy tone of Marsala lends itself to most trends and works well in both traditional and modern decors. A great way to combine the two is add a few retro pieces to an otherwise modern room.  This Persian style is very traditional yet still works well with the clean and simple modern décor of this room. 


Marsala also works well when kept simple.  By covering this modern sofa in plain yet luxurious velvet, it really contrasts against rough painted brick walls and white floorboards.


As Pantone suggest, accessories are a great way to incorporate Marsala into the home. We’ve picked these below to show how they would work with a complimentary colour palette.   

(Pendant Lamp –, Tea Light – H&M, Bowl – M&S, Scatter Cushion – Omega – Berry, Plumbs)


Dulux: Copper Orange

Copper Orange is a warm and hue with pastel pink undertones.  This colour works well with lots of other colours, but Dulux have chosen to showcase Copper Orange with brilliant white, salmon pinks, and zesty tangerine.  


Using Copper Orange as a solid colour in a matt finish gives a fresh modern look.  The tree in the corner enhances the Mediterranean feel of this tone.


Copper Orange has a distinct 60’s feel when combined with pastel shades and copper accessories.


We’re sure to see these colours throughout the year, but the most important thing to remember when updating your home is to create a space that works for you.  Trends are great for inspiring us but we should always try and incorporate them with our style.  If you would like any help or advice on updating the furnishings in your home, call Plumbs today for a FREE no obligation quotation.


Happy New Year

January’s here, the decorations have been taken down and we’ll still be finding pine needles in the carpet for weeks, so it’s not surprising that January can seem a sombre month. 

With that in mind we’ve searched for the most beautiful interiors we could find in order to lift your spirits…


This design mixes different styles and materials to create an effortlessly cool space.  The mid-century furniture adds a retro feel to the living room and contrasts perfectly with the modern and industrial lighting.


Gallery walls have been popular for a while but we love the creativeness of this one.  The colours of the artwork blend to match the walls, which make the vintage frames really pop.  By adding a few more modern frames the look is kept much more up-to-date and in keeping with the rest of the room.


Darker shades of grey can be hard to use especially if you want to create a light and airy space, however by keeping woodwork white and adding a bold colour you can really brighten up the room.  Orange is a great contrast colour to grey and we especially like the way this tangerine hue has been used to co-ordinate the furnishings. 


Purple is a big trend for the season but it can be overpowering.  By keeping walls simple and introducing purple shades through furniture and accessories you can easily control the overall effect of the look.

If your home needs a lift after the festivities, why not call Plumbs today to speak to one of our expert home consultants. 


12 Joys of Christmas: Play a Board Game

Published by Joanna Whitworth in Christmas

Playing board games are a great way to bring the family together, especially if everyone’s had their fill of Christmas films! There are thousands to choose from, but sometimes the classics are the best.


12 Joys of Christmas: Christmas Cake Pops

Published by Joanna Whitworth in Christmas

These small balls of cake covered in chocolate and sprinkles are great fun, impressive to look at, and are easy to make as you can use shop bought cake! Keep decorations as simple as you like or show off you artistic flair.  BBC Food has this great recipe here



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