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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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Slip Into Something More Comfortable This Summer

Most of us have switched to our summer wardrobes by now – crisp linen, white cotton, light silks and even bamboo. Yet we keep our windows cloaked with thick velvet and our sofas covered in sumptuous wools – very comforting in Winter, and far, far too hot in Summer. We need to treat our furnishings the way we treat ourselves. We wouldn't venture out into the August sun wearing a synthetic quilted coat; nor should we dress our furniture for cold weather when things heat up outside.

Pure Cotton

These 100% pure cotton loose covers are ideal for accenting with interestingly textured and coloured cushions. The light colour of the 'Peru' fabric shown helps to reflect light and heat, while the fibre itself provides a comfortable, indulgent surface for relaxing on a hot summer evening.

Linen

 

The perfect complement to a calm, neutral room, this Lindow fabric, a luxurious, light linen, is ideal for re-upholstery. Linen is a soft, durable natural fibre, which is cool to the touch and has a silky lustre. It's the perfect summer fabric – and unlike clothing, properly fitted re-upholstery and loose covers won't wrinkle!

Bamboo

Bamboo is another natural fibre which is resilient, anti-bacterial and incredibly tactile. It is luxurious, especially when blended with silk or cotton, and can be dyed a variety of colours. It also co-ordinates with other natural fibres well; a textured rug, combined with the smooth yet attractive sheen of linen and the purity of colour and form that cotton has.

Want to re-create your home in natural, neutral furnishings? Get in touch with Plumbs today for a free, no-obligation re-upholstery quote and slip into something more comfortable for summer!

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Threats to your Sofa

What is the greatest enemy to your furniture covers? Whether you have fixed covers or loose covers, it could be muddy children, grandchildren or husbands. However if you have a sofa with washable loose covers the risk of damage is greatly reduced, the real evil enemy is in fact pets, more specifically our feline friends.

Why is it that cats just love to rake their claws down the side of the sofa, or snuggle up in the chair while purring away and happily dragging their claws across the cushions. My own sofa looks like it is growing hair as it has been the victim of many clawing sessions. Frustrating as it is, the cat won't listen and refuses to stop.

Happily there is an answer, without resorting to banishing the cat. Various cat deterents are available such as sprays, sticky paws or simply choose to cover your furniture with hardwearing chenille fabrics rather than the old-fashioned stretch fabrics. These are washable too so any muddy paws are easily dealt with.

Dog and cat hair is another problem and a guaranteed way to cause irritation. Much has been written about asthma and likely causes but this entry is more concerned with how your furniture actually looks and solutions for keeping it clean. Again a good solution to the molting pet problems is washable loose covers.

Or of course, you could always buy a goldfish!

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