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Mix and Match – How to Coordinate Your Furniture Coverings

Published by Emma Day in Design Tips

When it’s time to give your home a new lease of life, the fabric of your furnishings can make a massive difference to the overall look and feel of each room. Using the same fabric on each piece of furniture is fine if you want to play it safe, but coordinating different colours and patterns can have a lot more impact. If you’re ready to experiment but not sure where to begin, here are a few tips …

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Keeping The Summer Alive


For most of us we've enjoyed our summer holidays on the beach and are looking to beat those post-holiday blues.  Keeping the holiday spirit alive is not always an easy task when the temperature is dropping and the suns isn't shining, but if you would like to inject some zest into your home then why not take inspiration from the looks below.



This look has taken inspiration from the beach by using shells, twigs and washed wood.  The natural colour palette of orange, greens and browns helps create a sense of calm and tranquil.


Curtains



This look uses yellow and gold tones to create an air of opulence when used with grey and black accessories.  The Francesca Gold Fabric hangs from floor to ceiling and frames the window beautifully and it is sure to brighten any room.


Accessories


These looks are about simple key pieces like a cream sofa and flooring or walls brought to life with bold citrus accents and accessories such as cushions, curtains, wall art and throws.  If you struggle for natural light these accessories below can help brighten a dark space, but just remember not to clutter the space, as this could make it feel even smaller.   You can also remind yourself of those long walks in the countryside by bringing some outdoor influences in, using plants and wild flowers without great expense.





  1. Green Flowers - aliexpress.com

  2. Wall Art - etsy.com

  3. Lighting - Ikea

  4. Plumbs Scatter cushion - ‘Perdita - Ochre’

  5. Yankee Candle - Yankeecandle.co.uk

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Open Plan Decorating Ideas

Open plan living isn't just for twenty-something Manhattanites with more money than sense. After all, it was pioneered by architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright; his 'Prairie Houses' are known as the first example of open plan interiors. He favoured minimalist styles, long windows and low roofs; many modern interpretations follow his style, excepting that they favour high ceilings.

Dividing the Room

There are so many options for dividing up a room. Chic folding screens will give a room an Oriental or vintage theme depending on the style; and they can be bought everywhere nowadays - even budget shops like Wilkinsons stock surprisingly beautiful floral styles.

The other main option is using furniture to partition off mini 'living spaces'; for example a three piece suite to create a small living room area, or creating a PlayStation area for teenage grandchildren with a circle of beanbags.

Using colourful curtains to screen a window seat is excellent use of space, and makes for an elegant reading nook. This works particularly well with bay windows. These Sophia curtains, in rouge, are a bold and attractive trim for a neutral, open plan room.

The best idea is to keep the centre neutral, and accentuate with touches of vibrant colour at the edges of your open plan area. Textured neutrals, and brightly coloured accents, give a room life without making it look small or dark.

If your sofa is a deep or bold colour, remember you needn't buy new; instead, why not purchase some loose covers, and transform your furniture into an exquisite, yet subtle masterpiece? The woven, linen look of this Hampstead Ivory upholstery fabric is tasteful and hardwearing, as well as being machine washable.

Materials

Consider the materials you use in your open plan home very carefully. Luxurious, yet raw and unpolished is the look to aim for. The walls could be unfinished brick; the struts exposed and wooden. Floors should be tiled in Welsh slate, or else with floorboards that have had the barest polish. Re-upholster your furniture in natural yet tactile fabrics; think sheepskins, linen, woven cotton.

Remember, if you want to create a Frank Lloyd Wright style Prairie House, Plumbs can offer you a free, no obligation home consultation, where we can measure your curtains and sofa, so we can help you create the perfect open plan paradise.

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Discover Pantone's Poppy Red

Do you want a brighter, more up to date home? Then Poppy Red, a surprise addition to Pantone's Spring 2013 colour report, could be the colour for you.

Why Pantone Poppy Red?

In the Japanese language of flowers, Hanakotoba, the red poppy means 'fun-loving', and it makes sense! Poppy Red is a vibrant, lively colour with a playful slant; and meshes particularly well with crisp white walls. One designer, Carmen Marc Valvo, commented that he loved the colour because of its passion and sense of optimism, and Pantone picked Poppy Red because it had oriental influences, currently a major trend in fashion and interiors.

Inspiration

Red has been the accent colour of choice for a few seasons now. The re-invented Valentino fashion  house has announced the Valentino's

'Rockstud Red' collection for its 2013 Fall / Winter collection, the poppy motif has become exceptionally popular with interior designers, and Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton wore the colour at Ascot this year. Red lips and nails dominated the catwalk, and poppies themselves are just bursting into bloom this June and July.

Mix It Up

Another great thing about Poppy Red is how easily it can be paired with other hues. White and cream are popular shades, but by no means the only choices. Other neutrals that align well include a soft mocha (especially if executed in suede) and linen, its companion on this summer's Pantone colour chart. More bold options include black and white in graphic hues, or grey home accessories in an industrial chic. Soft gold hues can work well, just be careful that they are not too overpowering, unless you want to reference the Oriental trend more overtly.

Remember, if you want to brighten your home, with a pair of poppy print curtains or new, poppy red upholstery for your sofa, Plumbs can offer you a free, no obligation home consultation, where we can offer you advice about shades, fabrics and styles for your dream home.

Request a Home Visit.

If you fancied 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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Your Home Improvement Resolution

Millions of people every year will make a new year resolution and millions of people will not keep to them, I know, I am one of them.  This is mainly because they are not realistic, too many are made or they're not thought through enough.  However if home improvement has been one of them we have some good tips to help keep you on the road to resolution.

To manage any sort of project there are three main requirements:

    • Decide what needs to be done
    • Prioritise what need to be done
    • Set yourself goals to achieve what needs to be done

In deciding what needs to be done you should try and take a subjective look at your home, a good way to do this is to take a walk around in the mindset of a prospective buyer, you will probably be shocked to see what is in need of improvement.  Get a piece of paper and a pencil and walk through your home room by room.

Starting from the entrance to your home, be it a porch or hallway.  Is it bright and welcoming, or dark and uninviting?  Using softer and lighter shades of colour on the walls can make a dramatic improvement to how people first perceive your home.  This can also be achieved of letting in more natural light, which is not always possible but can be remedied by adding more or brighter lighting fixtures.

The next logical step would be your Living Room, this is where you most need to feel relaxed and restful.  So it is important that all the walls, furnishings, curtains and flooring be coordinated and harmonise with each other.  Neutral tones on the walls are often used as a safe colour to achieve this effect and are easier to contrast with your other features.  If you find your suite is looking tired and worn, fitting made to measure furniture covers are a cheaper alternative to buying a new sofa.

Dinging Rooms are going to a big design essential for 2008 and visual indigestion will definitely not improve your family's appetite. Ever wondered why red is such a popular colour for restaurants and dining rooms? It's because it stimulates the appetite. It's also an energising colour and therefore a good backdrop for social situations. However, choose the shade carefully - you want to create warmth rather than an oppressive, angry atmosphere.

Now to your Kitchen, the most important factor of this room is hygiene.  If there are any dirty marks damage to work surfaces or cupboards then the impression may not be very tasteful.  The main idea of improvement to this room is make it as functional and pleasant to be in.

You may not think it but it can be quite simple and relatively cheap to spruce up you Bathroom.  Just by replacing your taps, toilet seats, shower curtain/door etc. with new or modern fittings can make a real difference.  Look at the flooring, we are becoming more European in our tastes and they regard carpet as unhygienic. Changing to cork, bamboo or ceramic tiles will give your bathroom a fresh, clean and modern look. Coloured suites are also out of fashion. Look out for offers at the DIY stores or on the Internet and consider replacement with plain white.

And finally your Boudoir.  In the bedroom the obvious focal point should be your bed and dressed to command attention, this can be done in a number of fashions such as using bedspreads and scatter cushions.  Colours again are important in creating the right atmosphere and reflect the personality of whoever this room is intended.  You should take you time here to decide how you can create that ultimate feeling for yourself.

Good luck!

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Money Saving Tips - give a fresh feel to your home in the New Year!

It seems the whole world is on a cost cutting exercise right now. It’s official - the consumer bubble has finally burst and everyone is tightening their belts. That’s easier for some than others after the Christmas binge.

2008 feels like its going to be a year for economising which is no bad thing. In our world of home furnishing that means glamming up your home without going for a total re-furbishment.

You can liven up your dining room just by changing the curtains or transform your living room with new tailored loose covers on your suite. Even wallpapering a feature wall in one of this season’s new large print styles can make an amazing difference.

It all helps with making your home feel fresh and interesting again without spending thousands on big items such as new sofas.

You can also achive the same effect in this roomset with our fabrics without the usual high costs.

Here are a few more money saving tips that can help give a fresh feel to your home in the New Year:

    • New table linens can change the look of a room instantly. Check out your local thrift store for tablecloths at a fraction of the price of department store linens.
    • Purchase old wooden furniture such as chairs, toy boxes, and shelves at rummage sales and thrift shops. Paint it in fun colors that match your kids' rooms.
    • Paint is cheaper than wallpaper. Use paint effects such as sponge painting, rag rolling, and stenciling to add pattern and interest to your walls. The stencils only cost a few pound. You can use acrylic craft paint instead of the oil based stencil paint because it is brighter and easier to clean. Stencil your designs on tables, bread boxes, shelves and other accessories to match your border.
    • Use a medium to dark color palette to paint your room. As a general rule, the darker the color the more distinctive the room will be perceived by others. Marketing experts use this trick all the time - you can too!
    • Use a wall to display family photos using frames purchased at thrift stores and garage sales. Paint the frames to match furniture, curtains, etc.
    • Plants can make a room come alive... literally! Put them in interesting containers such as baskets and crocks. Don't buy plants; take clippings and regenerate roots. Ask your friends and family if you can take clippings from their plants in exchange for clippings from yours.
    • Spray paint willow branches white and secure them with floral foam in a weighted pot. Place Spanish moss over the foam, and drape the branches with small white lights.
    • Instead of buying decorative soaps, either melt soap you already have or buy a block of soap (5.99) from a craft store. After the soap is melted, add to plastic cookie moldings for fun shapes and add things such as dried flowers, small toys, food coloring or fragrant soaps.

 

If you fancied 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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Ideas to brighten up a dreary January

We found a great article giving some enlightening ideas how to brighten up a dreary January, even more so with the weather we've had so far.

Karen McLauchlan from the Evening Gazette, says that "Just because the Christmas festivities and the New Year celebrations have been and gone, there’s no reason not to continue with this glamorous look which has made your home so shiny and bright into the new season."

Read the article here:

DON’T let dark and dreary January get the better of you this year - and most importantly, don’t blitz that glitz.

Here are some more ideas to help brighten-up your home:

    • Cover Up - Do you have a dark, tired looking chair or sofa? Now is the time to change them for lighter, brighter alternatives.
    • Lighten Up - Change your lamp shade and match your lighting to the season – lamp shades are the shoes and handbags of the design world, so don’t be scared to experiment.
    • A Room With a View - If your furniture is centered in front of a fireplace, think about ways to rearrange the look for spring. Try and change the focal point to a view of a garden scene.
    • Store Silks - Remove dusty silk flower arrangements from your rooms and store them away for a few months. Instead, bring in fresh green plants and flowering pots. These lively touches can breathe life into winter-weary spaces.
    • Re-Accessorize - It’s time to rework your accessories and makeover your shelves. Clean off winter dust and replace heavy objects with a selection of lighter, brighter alternatives. Set up a collection of pitchers or glass, and include plants and picture frames as well.

 

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