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Mini at the Ideal Home Show

The Classic Mini is considered the British icon of the sixties, and is still one of the most popular cars today.  Born in the late fifties the Minis small size has influenced a generation of car makers, as well as appearing in films such as The Italian Job and Mr Bean.

Here at Plumbs we’ve been busy turning the front part of this classic piece of design into a unique seat. Here’s how we did it...

The Mini is stripped back to be cleaned and prepped for its transformation.

The bonnet has been removed to make way for the seat. 

We choose a classic red colour to complement the gold wheels. 

We have used beautiful red leather and a coordinating fabric by Swaffer to upholster the seat that now sits in the Mini.

The finished article! What a stunning transformation.  If you’re at The Ideal Home Show why come to stand 1G30 and see it for yourself!

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Inspired By… The Lake District

The beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District have inspired artists like J.M.W Turner, poets like Coleridge and writers like Beatrix Potter. It boasts beautiful lakes, lush valleys of ancient woodland, meadows carpeted with wildflowers and mountains that are popular with climbers, fell walkers and campers.

There's nothing more beautiful than waking in the hot sunshine; a short stroll to the larkspurs and forget-me-nots dotted around the shores of Ullswater. Once there, you can walk around the expanse of water, or hire a boat and explore the lake on a more personal level. If you fall in love with the place you can end up wanting to take a little piece home with you.

To that end, we've hand-picked 3 beautiful fabrics that will remind you of the beauty and charm of England's Lake District.

Magnolia Gardens

Magnolia Gardens is a stunning, duck egg blue upholstery fabric reminiscent of water plants drifting lazily across a lake, or of flowers outlined and highlighted in a fresh new summer sky. Its large scale floral pattern references both the fifties and this season's couture fashions, where designers plucked fresh colourful blooms from history and arranged them across maxi skirts. You can use this fabric to cover your furniture and channel the beauty of the lakes into your living room.

Mandalay's Fern Green

Our Mandalay Fern Green fabric evokes the soft lacy stems of ferns that wind over the open fields and brisk mountains of the Lake District. The golden-green sheen of the upholstery cloth gives the muted fabric the glow of a summer's afternoon, stirring memories of waterside sunbathing and the sweet scent of crushed grass in the sun.

Delphina Blue

The exquisite blue purple of this upholstery fabric is an exquisite tribute to the wild delphiniums of July, although considerably more comfortable. The soft creamy yellow backdrop sets off the more definite colour beautifully, a gentle contrast that has undertones of early lake mornings. A pot of Delphinium Sungleams are the perfect finishing touch for a Lake District inspired room.

Remember, if you want to bring the Lake District into your home, with a bouquet of floral patterning or new, limpid blue 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. Contact us today!

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Summer Chateau Chic

Want a room that is sweet, soft and delicate as whipped lavender cream? The rich details of French, 18 th century style, composed of light, delicate colours, accentuated by gold or silver patterns, make for a delightfully opulent summer look. The subtle pastel hues so typical of the period are prevented from being insipid by the contrasting textures or metallic designs, which often reflect nature. This look is very chic; playful, bright yet rather polished. It's perfect if your front room is high ceilinged and benefits from plenty of light.


To start, re-upholster your chaise longue in a luxurious vanilla cream, with the archetypal foliage pattern of the era executed in a soft, textured velvet – try our beautiful Eleganza fabric. Next, heavy, rough silk drapes in the same hue as the sofa's pattern, and sweet metallic cream swirls.  Tie them with a braided silk golden tie, embellished with semi-precious tiger's eye beads. An elegant pouffe in matching or similar fabric can finish your selection of furniture.


Why not pair your new curtains and upholstery with a vintage bird cage? Or else buy a cheap reproduction and use a plastic based spray paint to match it with the rest of your décor – a matte, duck egg blue would work perfectly. It's better to be a little matchy matchy with this look; keep décor and accessories in the same colour, or style – or keep accessories very neutral, or better yet, metallic.


Picture via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A-_Bugia_candlestick_-.jpg


Candlesticks are another hot accessory, and surprisingly lovely ones are available everywhere – even mass emporiums like Ikea – bargain central for home wares. You have to wade through the brittle off white dinner plates and cheap waffle tea towels, but once there you'll find exquisite lamps, beautifully cosy throws, armfuls o0f scented tea lights for a pound and affordable accessories which are absolutely ideal if you like to customise your home (if need ideas, check out Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart or A Beautiful Mess, for easy yet 'grown-up' DIY projects).

So if you want to explore your inner Marie Antoinette, get in touch and we can give you a free no obligation quote for new upholstery.

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What to do with your old Sofa? Recover, Reupholster or Replace!

How do you decide?

On the one hand there are some tempting credit deals out there to replace your furniture.

On the other hand you might not want to throw a perfectly good suite away, and anyway how would you do it. Who is going to physically remove your sofa from your house?

If you just hate your sofa or it doesn't fit in your home then the best option is probably to try and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way and buy new.

If you already have a well made piece of furniture that is comfy and fits in your home then the best option is probably to cover or reupholster, as your sofa will look like new for half the cost of a new one. With landfill sites filling up fast this is also a good choice for the environment.

Recover:

Pros

    • If the sofa is looking tired, and it's time for an update, then loose covers are the least expensive option. Probably about a quarter of the cost of a new suite.
    • From an environmental point of view, loose covers are also a great choice as you are effectively recycling your sofa or suite.
    • Washability is also a big plus point. Being able to remove wash and refit loose covers is perfect for any household where stains pose a threat.
    • Massive choice of fabrics. You can probably choose from hundreds of options.

Cons

    • Fit is bit of a pro and a con. Loose covers do move and are not fixed to the furniture.
    • For many people they simply wouldn't know it as traditionally made cotton loose covers fit so colsely to the furniture that is almost like reupholstery. There are however some of us who simply prefer the sofa covering to be fixed
    • An extension of the fit argument is detail. Covers do not always respect every single detail of a piece of furniture no matter how well made. A good example is furniture with exposed show wood.

Reupholster:

Pros

    • Price wise a reupholstered suite will be around half the cost of buying new but this is a more expensive choice than loose covers.
    • Another good choice for the environment - you are keeping your furniture out of landfill
    • Comfort and sentimental attachment are not affected. You are making the furniture you already have quite literally look like new.
    • Fit and attention to details are better than for covers.
    • Again a vast choice of fabric.
    • Finally reupholstery is a traditional craft. By choosing this option you are helping to support traditional British workmanship by genuine local craftsmen and women.
    • Usually come with replacement seat cushions
    • Service is a big plus as with this type of craftsman product the service is typically excellent.

Cons

    • The big downside is having to do with out your furniture for 2-3 weeks while the work is done.
    • Not exactly a con but reputation is important. Whoever you choose to do the work has to be trustworthy. You need to be sure that you are getting a hight standard of workmanship.
    • Not cheap although certainly less than buying a new suite
    • You can't see the finished article before you buy - i.e. your own suite reupholstered.

Replace:

Pros

    • New furniture is untouched, unstained has never been sat on and it's exciting to have brand new
    • You can see and sit on lots of different styles before you buy
    • There are some fabulous credit deals to be had

Cons

    • The hassle of moving and disposing of your existing furniture.
    • There is an environmental price to pay in throwing away your old furniture. Typically it will end up in landfill unless a charity shop or similar will take it. Occasionally for very good furniture you may be able to sell it.
    • Interest free credit is not free, but is built into the price. Furniture is already the most expensive of the three and credit just makes it more expensive.
    • Quality is a big issue as there is such a wide range. By buying quality recognised brands such as parker knoll multiyork, wesley barrell or bridgecraft you can be sure that you are investing in quality furniture. However there has to be concern over cheaper furniture which is imported. If you remove the VAT delivery cost, shipping cost from overseas and the sellers margin or cut then there often is little left. This raises a question mark over durability and quality

If you are tired of looking at the furniture in your front room or you just fancy a change then you can recover, reupholster, replace or do nothing. Think about price, comfort and the environment and the way forward should become clear.

Good luck

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Launch of the Plog

Welcome to the first post of our Blog, we hope you enjoy! To kick off we thought we'd tell you a bit about ourselves:

Plumbs specialise in traditional Upholstery, Loose Covers and Curtains and offer a free in home measuring, fitting and advice service by a fully trained Plumbs home consultant who lives locally to the customer. They will bring along samples and swatches so that people can match them to their carpets, upholstery and wall colours.

Plumbs have around 150 Home Consultants who will visit the home free of charge throughout the U.K. The Home Consultants can recommend an appropriate window dressing and reupholstery solution and advise on room colour co-ordination and any other home furnishings such as cushion covers and footstools. With over 350 different upholstery fabric designs and colours to choose from, and a range of materials to suit any piece of furniture, the choice is up to you. Please visit our sites here:

Plumbs Covers
Plumbs Upholstery
Plumbs Curtains

For our cusotmers who do not wish a consultant to visit their home, we also run two ecommerce sites that enable customers to buy both Furniture Covers & Curtains online, these are:

Plumbs Curtain Shop
CoverMyFurniture.com

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