5 Essential Floor Sanding Tips For Beginners

Sanding and finishing floors - particularly the hardwood variety - may seem like a challenging task for the uninitiated. However, the process is surprisingly straightforward - assuming you have the right equipment and tools. If you can borrow or rent a large electric sander, this will make the process easier. However, you can complete the process by hand sanding too - although if your floor is very large, this could be a cumbersome task. After several hours of hand sanding a large surface, you may even hot-foot it from your home for an emergency trip to your local DIY store - and invest in a sander.

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Here are five helpful tips for sanding your floor.

1. Use the right grit number as the sanding progresses

For most floors - particularly older, more uneven ones - you may need to use two or three different grit numbers. The lower the grit number, the rougher and more vigorous the sanding. For a very uneven floor, begin with a something like a 36 grit, before progressing to a 50 or 60 grit. If the floor is already fairly flat and even, you might start off with a 60 grit. In the final stage of sanding, by which time the floor should be flat, switch to a finer grit of 80 to 120.

2. Combine diagonal with straight movements

Initially, moving your sander diagonally will help even out the floor. For the latter stages of the sanding, perhaps using something like an 80 grit, move the sander in line with the direction of the flooring.

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3. Use the same sequence of grit numbers when sanding the edges

If you started off with 60 grit for the central areas, before finishing on 80, then repeat this sequence when sanding the edges. You can clean the corners either by hand, using a palm sander - or perhaps even a delta sander if you have access to one.

4. Use the dust-bag wood dust to fill any gaps

After carrying out the initial rough sanding, empty the dust bag and use the wood dust to fill in any splits or gaps. Add PVA glue to the dust, mix it, then apply the filler to the gaps using a spatula. Leave enough time for the filler to dry, before sanding it off - 100 grit should be sufficient.

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5. Using a final fine grit is important - especially if you plan to stain the wood

Once the main sanding is completed, go over the middle and edges with a fine grit of around 100. If you don’t have a rotary or finishing sander, you can do it by hand. This final stage of fine sanding is very important if you plan to stain your floor.

You can find plenty more tips for your DIY over at the DIY Advice blog.

Introducing Linen Union by Annie Sloan

Introducing Linen Union by Annie Sloan, a beautifully considered extension of the Annie Sloan fabric collection.

Each cotton linen features two yarns in colours chosen from the Annie Sloan palette, with the weft and warp woven together to create a multi-dimensional effect. Tumbled for softness, the Linen Unions are woven from a heavy cotton mix for texture and durability. Suitable for all upholstery projects, the new plains are designed to complement Chalk Paint™ and Wall Paint, facilitating the creation of tonal schemes.

This beautiful fabric is perfect for a minimal chic look.

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Annie Sloan - Living room - Wall Paint in Napoleonic Blue, Linen Union fabrics -  Lifestyle - Portrait (2).jpg

Annie Sloan Linen Union £39.95 per metre www.anniesloan.com 01865 803 168

How to Make The Best Out of Your Small Bathroom

If you’re anything like me, you might have found your dream home. It has everything you want, except the bathroom is…small. Or maybe you’re lucky and have everything including a large bathroom for yourself but your guest bathroom is not quite as big. Either way, the question remains: How can I make the best out of my small bathroom?

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It is well known that mirrors can make a space look larger and that shelves and cabinets are essential in a small space. I like to combine these two principles in my bathroom to make sure every square inch is utilized and use a bathroom mirror cabinet. A bathroom mirror cabinet helps open up your small space and also provides valuable storage room useful for cutting down the clutter and keeping things nice and tidy. Gone are the days of the boring bathroom cabinet, today’s options provide a much more updated and attractive look.

The space above the sink is often underused in traditional bathrooms, usually featuring only a mirror or at best a thin medicine cabinet. Cabinets from companies such as Villeroy & Boch and Duravit have taken a seemingly simple bathroom item and loaded them with features. Many feature built-in lights which brighten up your bathroom and give it a more open feel, as well as interior outlets and adjustable shelves so you can customize the interior to suit your needs.

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Another great way to win some space in your bathroom is with your shower. Your shower does not have to take up all the space in your bathroom, and with the many options available to us today we don’t have to sacrifice comfort when choosing to downsize our shower. Hansgrohe, one of Germany’s finest shower manufacturers provides a wide selection of ceiling mounted showers tailored to every shape and size of bathroom.

A growing shower trend is ceiling mounted shower heads. Not only does it bring a fashionable new minimalistic aesthetic to your bathroom, it also reduces the space needed for the shower. With this type of installation, you can even enjoy the luxury of a large shower head in a small shower.

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Finally, the last tip for making the best out of your small bathroom is using soft closing toilet seat. While this might not seem intuitive – hear me out. Small bathrooms are usually up against or attached to other rooms, particularly bedrooms. Walls are often thin, and noises travel. One of the additions to the bathroom that was most appreciated by the rest of my family was the addition of a soft close toilet seat. No more waking up the loved ones when getting up to use the toilet in the middle of the night.

The majority of the major toilet manufacturers now offer soft close toilet seats with designs to suit every bathroom’s style. Switching the toilet seat is also a simple way to update the look of your toilet without having to buy an entire new toilet. Just a warning, you really do get used to having a soft close toilet seat and when you visit the homes of friends and family who do not, you will probably slam their toilet seat shut and wonder how you lived without soft closing seats.

Every bathroom can be beautiful and functional, no matter the size. By following these three tips and shopping around for some extra ideas you will be able to find solutions to your small bathroom problem and have a space that you truly love and find comfortable.

Top Tips For Using Yellow Around The Home

Yellow inspires optimism, confidence and brightness and can make a room feel warmer. Good things to remember as we hurtle headlong towards Autumn. If you are thinking of redecorating soon, maybe consider this most sunny of colours. And to help us out Valspar have suggested a few tips to help us along the way.

Mood Boosters and Modern Touches

 Valspar Simply Brilliant

Valspar Simply Brilliant

Tapping into current colour trends, there’s been a real shift of people moving towards brighter colours with a clean-cut finish. Sunny shades of yellow can work on almost any wall, when paired with a crisp white ceiling and skirting boards the effect is fresh, bold and classic whilst remaining current.

 Valspar Sunwashed Meadow

Valspar Sunwashed Meadow

Yellows don’t always have to be bright to bring cheer into your room. Using saturated yellow hues such as ‘Sunwashed Meadow’ can be a fantastic way to add a burst of colour to living spaces. Pairing these shades with contrasting charcoal grey and black furnishings provides a contemporary look.

Make a Bright Statement

 Valspar Sense of Wonder

Valspar Sense of Wonder

If you have a kitchen that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, yellow is the perfect choice to brighten up this important family space. To achieve a rustic feel in the kitchen, you can team sunny yellows with natural wood panels. For your kitchen refresh, opt for the Kitchen and Bathroom range from Valspar®, which can endure the scuffs and knocks of daily living without compromising on colour or finish.

 Valspar Yellow Ombre 002

Valspar Yellow Ombre 002

If you’re feeling creative, shades of yellow work really well as an ombré effect. This is a simple and stylish technique that can be used to create a unique, personalised accent wall by blending several different yellow shades together. To achieve this, choose three different colours from the same colour family, one light, one medium and one dark to create a striking statement wall.

Colour Pops

Colours matter. They tell the world who you are, so what better place to start than with your entrance? Statement front doors are one of the hottest trends of this year and bright yellows are perfect for creating a warm, welcoming entrance and setting your house apart from the rest.

 Valspar Zany Jane

Valspar Zany Jane

Cheery yellow shades complement red brick perfectly and provide an eye-catching contrast to any adjacent greenery. Use Valspar® Exterior Wood and Metal to paint doors and window frames in the same shade for show-stopping results.

 Valspar English Primrose

Valspar English Primrose

Using yellow when upcycling is ideal for adding a playful feel to a room and vibrant shades work well to add a pop of personality and individuality. Valspar’s Premium Blend v700™ Wood & Metal will give even the thinnest piece of MDF a beautiful finish, that is long-lasting and withstands those everyday knocks.

Seven Tools You Need to Keep Your Lawn Looking Good

Collaborative Post

A nice lawn makes a home look so much more attractive. But, grass does take a little bit of looking after. You need access to the right equipment and products to keep it strong, healthy and lush. Here is a list of what you will need, along with a few tips to help you to get the most out of them.

Good-quality grass seed

Top of the list is good quality grass seed. Every year, some of your existing lawn is going to die back. It could because of disease, a lack of water or general wear or tear. Whatever the reason, the way to fix this is to re-seed your lawn. Doing it every year ensures that you keep ahead of the process and ensure that your lawn continues to look good.

Buying from online sellers like The Grass People is a particularly good way to get your hands on the right type of seed. They tend to sell a bigger selection. This is important because which seed is best for your lawn is dependent on where you live, your local weather and soil conditions.

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An effective mower

Keeping your lawn properly cut is also important. Doing so stimulates growth and helps to ensure that as much water as possible reaches the roots of your grass.

You should only cut your grass when it actually growing and ensure that your mower blades are sharp. Ideally, you should not cut more than a third of the blades of grass. If you cut off more of the length, you can send the grass into shock and upset its growth cycle. So, always look for a height adjustable mower.

A dethatcher

Over time, the dead material begins to clog up your lawn. It is usually a mixture of dust, dead weeds, rotting leaves and dying blades of grass. This makes it harder for water to penetrate the ground and reach the grass roots. So, once a year, you need to de-thatch your lawn. Just buy and use a de-thatching rake. They are not expensive and are very easy to use.

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An aerator

Lawns need to be aerated. If you do not do this, the soil compacts more, each year. Over time, this action presses in on the roots and suffocates them. This stunts the growth of your grass and eventually kills it off. So, you need to aerate your lawn, once a year. To do this you can buy or hire an aerator or simply use a sturdy garden fork.

Rainwater butts

Rainwater is much better for grass than tap water is. So, it really is worth investing in a couple of rain butts.

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Grass feed

Some people are lucky and end up with a lovely lush, green lawn without having to feed it. If you do not fall into that category visit your local garden centre and buy some of the grass feed they recommend.

A way to keep your lawn weed free

Weeding your lawn is also important. Weeds are greedy. They can easily guzzle up all of the water and nutrients. Plus, their leaves will inevitably end up overrunning your lawn and killing off your grass.

How you weed your lawn is very much a case of personal taste. You can go down the weed killer route or, if you prefer, buy a manual weeding tool. There are several available, so do a bit of research and shop around to find the best one for you.

Brompton Design District Temporary Exhibits | London Design Festival 2018

The Brompton Design District programme of temporary exhibits, curated by Jane Withers Studio, will be located within a vacant retail and office block a short distance from the V&A (197 - 205 Brompton Rd), owned by South Kensington Estates. The building includes street-level shops as well as first- and second-floor offices above (3 Yeoman's Row). Other exhibits will occupy spaces on Egerton Garden Mews, Cromwell Place Mews, Thurloe Place, and in the public realm.  

A diverse range of engaging installations, workshops and talks will take place across the district, exploring new material innovations, waste as a resource, as well as studies into our attitude to sustainability and rethinking our throw-away society.

  Dirtylab section, credit Evelyn Bencicova

Dirtylab section, credit Evelyn Bencicova

Brompton Design District 2018 Temporary Programme

Crafting Plastics!: Feel Free to Consume

201 Brompton Road, SW3 1LA

Can ecological products be more seductive? How can the consumer be involved in the innovation and product creation? In the installation 'Feel Free to Consume', crafting plastics! studio presents the results of their research in a new generation of bioplastic material. From a material's birth to its decay, from limited edition to mass produced consumer goods, crafting plastics! studio explores new aesthetics and the limits of material, demonstrated in the production process in their dirty lab setup for Brompton. Thanks to their newly developed sustainable material NUATAN(tm) in collaboration with scientists from Slovak University of Technology, crafting plastics! studio challenges negative prejudice around biodegradable materials. 

https://www.craftingplastics.com/

 Totomoxtle tile wall

Totomoxtle tile wall

Fernando Laposse: Totomoxtle

199 Brompton Road, SW3 1LA

Fernando Laposse will show developments of his Totomoxtle project, a new veneer material for interior surfaces and furniture that harnesses the brilliant spectrum of colour revealed in the husks of native Mexican corn. Besides creating a new sustainable material, the project raises awareness about the rapid loss of the original species of corn in today's globalised world. The project is creating local employment based on this new craft, but also regenerating traditional farming practices in Mexico, providing income for impoverished indigenous farmers and conserving biodiversity for future food security. 

http://www.fernandolaposse.com/projects/totomoxtle/

FranklinTill: Guilt-Free?

203 Brompton Road, SW3 1LA

Can design and material innovation enable us to live and consume 'Guilt-free' without compromising our lifestyle choices? The Guilt-Free? space curated by FranklinTill will present a series of immersive and inspirational exhibits exploring if design and material innovation can satisfy our social and environmental conscience, and indeed enable us to live and consume 'Guilt-free'. As well as showcasing new commissioned work, the studio behind Radical Matter and Viewpoint magazine will be hosting design workshops and material salons aiming to provide inspiration and tools to help navigate the complex sustainable agenda and guide towards circular design approaches.

http://www.franklintill.com/

  MLH Urban Forager Series Home  by Marianne Wie

MLH Urban Forager Series Home  by Marianne Wie

Michelle Lowe-Holder: The Urban Forager

15a Cromwell Place Mews, SW7 2LA

'The Urban Forager' explores the material story of Nitrous Oxide canisters. Manufactured mostly in Taiwan and Hungary for making whipped cream, these shiny steel capsules containing laughing gas have made their way into club culture and now litter the streets of London creating a huge amount of waste that is currently not recycled. Having collected them for almost three years, Michelle Lowe-Holder presents a mixed media exhibition questioning waste, consumption and materiality. A sculptural installation, film documentary and collaborating photographers and designers present their own visual and design statements on this growing phenomenon across London and the UK. 

http://www.lowe-holder.com/

  Ma-tt-er Why Materials Matter LDF Credit Roos Meerman Aera Fabrica

Ma-tt-er Why Materials Matter LDF Credit Roos Meerman Aera Fabrica

Ma-tt-er: Why Materials Matter

1st Floor, 3 Yeoman's Row, SW3 2AL

A reading room will play host to the launch of materials research design studio 

Ma-tt-er's newly published book 'Why Materials Matter'. Furniture, objects and a series of one-of-a-kind bookends by those who have been featured in the publication will captivate the space, which looks towards a future of responsibly-designed environments. Ma-tt-er has created a reciprocal exhibition which encourages lounging and learning, the conversations in their reading room will extend beyond those held by the surrounding material. The book features artists, designers, scientists and chefs, and shows materials through a cross-sector approach and the issues surrounding particular materials - economically, politically, society and environmentally. 

http://www.ma-tt-er.org/

#OneLess: Unlocking London's Refill Revolution through a Design Fellowship

1st Floor, 3 Yeoman's Row, SW3 2AL

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest challenges facing the ocean today. #OneLess will present the work of its Design Fellows, selected to develop and design innovative solutions to help ramp-up London's refill revolution and eliminate plastic bottled water. 

http://www.onelessbottle.org/design/

Oparanze Collective: Spolia

2nd Floor, 3 Yeoman's Row, SW3 2AL

Oparanze Collective, an interdisciplinary design co-operative based in Lagos, Nigeria, presents Spolia, a collection of furniture and objects inspired by notions of embodied energy. A practice popularized in ecclesiastical buildings, Spolia, or materials that previously were part of alternative structures, become intrinsic to the form and utility of their new states.  In the words of Erwin Panofsky: "The future is invented out of the past." The exhibit interrogates existing normative concerns and aesthetic assumptions of African design. Furthermore, themes and discourses are explored, developed or indeed challenged via a series of events and talks held at the space.

www.oparanzecollective.kelechiodu.com

  Hotel Praha, Sigmar x Okolo, photogaphy by Filip Šlapal

Hotel Praha, Sigmar x Okolo, photogaphy by Filip Šlapal

Sigmar x OKOLO: Hotel Praha

1st Floor, 3 Yeoman's Row, SW3 2AL

London-based design gallery Sigmar and Czech creative collective OKOLO showcase original pieces from the emblematic Hotel Praha in Prague, an architectural symbol of late communist rule, which was demolished in 2014. The exhibition will explore the history, architecture, design and art of this masterpiece of socialist hospitality, alongside selected furniture pieces created for the interiors of the hotel and rescued from demolition. The project explores the value of craftsmanship and materials in creating enduring objects, but also the paradox that the extravagant luxury associated with a political elite led to the hotel's demise. http://sigmarlondon.com/ & http://www.okolo.cz/

Skipping Rocks Lab: Ohoo

Skipping Rocks Lab present Ohoo throughout the Brompton Design District from Wednesday to Sunday. Their trolley will have a street presence in and around the district, serving their 'edible water' and algae packaged cocktail bites, a material development intended to reduce single-use plastic and make packaging disappear. http://www.skippingrockslab.com/

Stitch by Stitch: From Rain to Loom

197 Brompton Road, SW3 1LA 

Stitch by Stitch creates handmade textiles made in India and Nepal, and is driven by sustainable practice and preserving the livelihoods of skilled artisans. 'From Rain to Loom' highlights the Khamir Kala Cotton Initiative, which is a reinterpretation of an old craft value chain reconfigured for the modern marketplace. Kala cotton is an ancient, genetically pure, drought resistant species, indigenous to the Kutch region of India, an area famed for its hand weaving. Rain-fed, it is resilient and resurgent in difficult land conditions. This contrasts with more common genetically modified widespread and imported species, which require intensive irrigation, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.

Stitchbystitch.eu

  Stitch by Stitch From Rain to Loom Brompton Design District Josh van Gelder

Stitch by Stitch From Rain to Loom Brompton Design District Josh van Gelder

Make a Statement With Colour Blocked Walls in Pastel Tones

Colour blocking with fresh pastels like lilac, mint and blush is definitely on our radar right now. As summer fades away what better way to keep our homes upbeat and fresh looking? A chic way to get this look is by mixing cool neutral furniture with mixed pastel walls for a bold and colourful statement. It’s also a great opportunity to play with 2018’s It-shades; sage is still popular as a versatile neutral, and lilac (a gentler answer to Ultraviolet) offers a calmer look that’s still very on-trend.
 
It’s all about determining the right colour mixes and where to show them off, whether it’s on a large scale or in small, arty doses. Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice talks us through it.

 Dorado White Bed £329.99 from Furniture Choice

Dorado White Bed £329.99 from Furniture Choice

Unexpected colour combinations offer a fresh, contemporary feel, while a unique play on patterns amplifies the effect,” says Rebecca. “If you’re going with a mix of cool and warm tones, introducing a third neutral shade will balance both sides out. For instance, matching grey with fresh pastels like lilac and mint creates an interesting and energetic appeal that would look great as a feature wall.”
 
“It’s a great way to dress up your wall and also put the focus on a special piece of furniture. You can either go with eye-catching shapes and lines, or paint out a section of the wall for a clever framing effect.”

 Osaka White Gloss Dining Table, £299.99 from Furniture Choice

Osaka White Gloss Dining Table, £299.99 from Furniture Choice

Your walls are the star here, but that doesn’t mean they can’t share the limelight. Choosing furniture in light tones will immediately create a contrast, without adding more colour to a space.
 
“Colours like beige, white and even blush stand out well against bright and dark colour combinations, putting a spotlight on your favourite furniture and decor,” advises Rebecca. “It offers a different perspective on pieces that you already own, giving it an instant summer-ready update that can work in harmony with the new colour palette.”

 Finley Ivory Three Seater Sofa, £549.99 from Furniture Choice

Finley Ivory Three Seater Sofa, £549.99 from Furniture Choice

Founded in 2005, FurnitureChoice.co.uk is an independent furniture retailer. The company combines a deep knowledge of contemporary furniture manufacturing with first-class e-commerce expertise.

New Luxury Hotels to Book for 2019

Brand new five star hotels are springing up across the Mediterranean, and now is the perfect time to book ahead to be the first to visit, and secure the best opening offers. Bespoke holiday provider, Sovereign Luxury Travel, has highlighted the hottest new openings that have now joined its hand-picked portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts around the world, in anticipation of travel next year.

The new hotels include a property perfect for families, adult-only options, as well as new outposts from much-loved hotel groups like Ikos and Domes. Each new hotel has been carefully chosen by Sovereign for its character, exceptional facilities, and wonderful location. 

Sovereign’s dedicated team of Trusted Advisers are on-hand to provide a totally end-to-end and personalised service assisting each customer to find the ideal holiday for them, with the perfect luxury hotel, flexible flight options and memorable experiences all wrapped-in.

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IKOS ARIA, KOS

Opening in May 2019, Ikos Aria is the latest addition to the luxurious Ikos Group’s portfolio. With existing properties in Halkidiki and Corfu, this latest chic outpost will take up residence on the Dodecanese island of Kos. Offering the group’s unique Infinite Lifestyle All Inclusive concept, incorporating extensive activities, premium drinks and cuisine and dine-out at authentic local restaurants within the price, the hotel will be ideal for families and couples alike looking for their every need to be taken care of, while immersing themselves in local island culture.

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DOMES MIRAMARE, A LUXURY COLLECTION RESORT, CORFU

A chic adult-only hotel, the newly-opened Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, is the latest five star addition from the group behind Domes of Elounda and Domes Noruz. On a golden-sand beach near Moraitika, it’s an ideal place for romantic breaks, with lazy days spent soaking up the sun. The property was originally designed by the Onassis family in the 1960s to host royalty and globetrotters from around the world and retains this glamorous feel. Guests can enjoy a range of spa treatmentsyoga classes on the beach, on-site personal training sessions, boat trips and bike rides through the surrounding area.

Sovereign Luxury Travel (01293 832 459, www.sovereign.com) has a seven night holiday to the five star Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort onCorfu, on a B&B basis, from £989 per person – saving up to £370 (27%) per person. The price includes a 30% room discount, a 5% Sovereign discount, private resort transfers, UK airport security fast passes and access to N°1 Lounges (where available), and return flights from London Gatwick with TUI Airways. Based on departures 28 September 2018. Book via www.sovereign.com/holidays/greece/corfu/moraitika/hotels/domes-miramare-luxury-collection-resort-corfu/

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AMAVI HOTEL, CYPRUS

Opening in February 2019, Amavi Hotel will offer a brand new, five star adult-only hotel in Cyprus. It is the first Made For Two™ hotel by the award-winning Kanika Hotels & Resorts, offering couples unobtrusive and personalised holiday experiences for two in utmost privacy, designed to spark that honeymoon feeling. A short walking distance from Paphos harbour and centre, it is within easy reach of Paphos’ amenities, and also boasts four on-site restaurants, including the open-air roof garden, Immenso with spectacular views of the sea. The Half Board Premium offers a la carte dine-around at all four with an aperitif, premium bottle of wine and a digestive also included.

Sovereign Luxury Travel (01293 832 459, www.sovereign.com)

The Urban Jungle Trend in the Home

The urban jungle trend is not just a fickle fad. It is a living, breathing lifestyle choice. It is living a life among plants and in harmony with nature, even if you live in the heart of a big city. Whoever tries it once, cannot imagine life without soothing greenery in the home. It is suitable for any interior and brings positive energy and more oxygen to every room in the house. Plants can stand on the window sills, the larger ones will proudly decorate the floor, and the fancy vines will grow robustly in wall planters.

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Pixers Green Kitchen

Luckily, you don't have to be that green fingered to include greenery in your own little pad. Wallpaper, cushions, and carpets in floral patterns, as well as vases and knick-knacks in the shape of leaves and flowers, will complete the look and make your home bloom throughout the year.

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Pixers Summer Palm Tree and Banana Leaf

And if you choose to adorn your walls with urban jungle inspired wallpaper and wallmurals you will optically enlarge your space as well as experience the full 'communing with nature' benefits. 

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Pixers Leaves and Pink

This sweet and elegant yet casual combination of succulent green and pastel pink is very popular.

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Monochrome Vector Leaf Pattern

White and all the colors of the earth, like beige and browns of various shades are ideal for lovers of the classics and minimalism. And all of these combinations are good backgrounds for green compositions. 

All wall murals are from Pixers.

Meystyle LED wallpaper to be Launched at Decorex International 2018

Meystyle will unveil its latest collection of LED wallpaper Conductivity which combines dazzling natural textures with an unprecedented use of light patterns.

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MEYSTYLE’s mission is to rescue walls from the background, integrating bold patterns with LED lights and crystals to create deep visual experiences that transforms walls and wallpaper into works of art.

The Conductivity collection is a celebration of the ubiquitous yet mysterious power of electricity. The designs dig into the infinitesimal world of the atom and its scientific representation as a source of visual inspiration.

Simple geometric elements like the line and the circle are used to give sense and order to the impenetrable complexity of chemical and physical phenomena.

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The use of LEDs in this collection is inspired by the exchange of subatomic particles generating the prodigy of light itself. Different wavelengths and levels of light intensity combine into dynamic compositions suggested by the way electrons interact. From cascading lines merging into sumptuous light waterfalls, to concentric circles representing the varying configurations of the atom, each design expresses the beauty of the natural world in its most essential form.

The Conductivity collection echoes its fascination with nature also in its choice of materials, ranging from refined linens and cotton canvases to elegant silks. A variety of metal accents, notably electricity's best companions enrich the natural properties of each texture with hand-painted details and gilded applications.

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About MEYSTYLE:

It has been more than 10 years since sisters Maria and Ekaterina Yaschuk first incorporated 99 LEDs into wallpaper in 2004 - the concept has been constantly refined since. The LEDs are fully integrated into the material of the wallpaper and textiles, allowing them to be used just like any traditional wall-covering or fabric – but with the added requirement of an electrical socket or switch.

MEYSTYLE integrates traditional crafts materials to compliment Swarovski crystals and LEDs. Some designs are hand-finished with screen printed elements and metallic painting to create a tactile feel.

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Meystyle LED wallpaper to be launched at Decorex International 2018.

Make Your Memories Larger Than Life at CanvasChamp

Sponsored

Wouldn't it be nice if we could bottle that 'just back from holiday' feeling? But all too often the back to work and back to school routine, makes those sunkissed and carefree days nothing but a distant memory. All too often the photographs get shoved to the back of the cupboard, or more likely, never even get downloaded from the camera. So why not make a feature of those holiday snaps? Display them with pride and let them inspire the entire family.

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Not just holiday memories either. Why not display those wedding pictures on the wall instead of hiding them in an album? Or proudly show off the family portraits that have captured everyone at their very spruced up best?

CanvasChamp.co.uk has partnered with Heart Home to offer readers free shipping on all orders over £35.

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The canvas prints are a popular choice for family portraits and wedding photographs, as well as holiday pics. Even family rules! You can choose your perfect size and style of print and Canvas Champ have lots of inspiration on the site for how to display your photographs too. Black and white photos look great in black frames for instance, or you can create panoramic impact with the help of a photo spread. You can even create a gallery wall using mismatched frames using various photos, images and canvas prints of different sizes and shapes.

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Or maybe you would like to see your favourite pet photo printed onto a cushion? Photo cushions are new to CanvasChamp but look set to be very popular. Be it your family photo or just you with your partner, the personalised cushion photo gifts aren’t just cozy and super comfy but they are also durable and don’t lose their vibrant appearance for years ahead. All you need to do is select your best pictures portraying your favourite moments with loved ones and upload them.

The canvas prints and photo cushions also make perfect gifts. After all Christmas is not that far away!

What's more, for all products CanvasChamp have very simple to use design tools that allow you to customise your own cushions or canvases in a few easy steps.

To take advantage of the free shipping on orders over £35, please quote FREESHIP35 at the checkout.

Sofa.com - Art Deco Decadence with Harper Range

As the trend for Art Deco detailing on our furniture and upholstery looks set to dominate interior spaces into next year, sofa.com unveil new additions to their upholstery collections. Harper – with it’s classic proportions and timeless sense of style, evoke the very best of 1930’s style.

Harper is the definition of eye-catching -  either as a statement chair for an occasional space, or as an elegant, well-proportioned sofa for your living room. Harper can be upholstered in a variety of sofa.com’s acclaimed fabrics, but looks particularly well-dressed in sumptuous velvets – which will undoubtedly help to achieve that Art Deco look. Pair with jewel and metallic tones to create a stunning visual in your home.

  Harper two and a half seat sofa in Deep Turquoise pure cotton matt velvet, £1,500; Harper footstool in Dusty Rose pure cotton matt velvet, £550; House scatter 55 x 55cm cushion in Dusty Rose pure cotton matt velvet, £65; and Lowry large rug in Petrol, £700

Harper two and a half seat sofa in Deep Turquoise pure cotton matt velvet, £1,500; Harper footstool in Dusty Rose pure cotton matt velvet, £550; House scatter 55 x 55cm cushion in Dusty Rose pure cotton matt velvet, £65; and Lowry large rug in Petrol, £700

Sofa.com’s Chief Product Officer, Vanessa Hurley-Perera says of the Harper collection :

“Taking inspiration from the art deco era of British design, Harper oozes glamour and sophistication with its decadent fluting and curves. Unlike the usual style of 1930’s armchairs, Harper has been given more generous proportions, meaning you can stretch out and relax – and still look stylish.”

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Available to view in showrooms and online at www.sofa.com

The Power of Styling from Homes with Soul

This is an extract from Homes with Soul: Designing with Heart by Orly Roninzon, published by Images Publishing.

In recent years, awareness that the power of design affects our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing has notably surged. Design has become an integral part of life's basic needs, even aspirations. These days, people all over the world are mindful of the power design has via social networks, from the flow of images bursting from apps, websites, magazines, and books into the mobile phones in the palms of our hands.

 Bring nature home, and natural sunlight gently washes the interiors, softens, and in streams a pleasant breeze. The natural appearance is honest and heartfelt.

Bring nature home, and natural sunlight gently washes the interiors, softens, and in streams a pleasant breeze. The natural appearance is honest and heartfelt.

This influx is tremendous and inspiring, and calls us to action. People wish to live a more aesthetic life, whether it is relating to fashion or home design. I believe in the power of styling and appreciate its merits. I see how using a lightweight carpet, some pillows, and curtains on a very reasonable budget completely transforms a room's appearance. How, by simply organising and cleaning the house, using a fragrant floor detergent, one can enhance its look and feel. The homey smell of laundry, cooking or baking, and fresh flowers never fails to create a pleasant ambiance at home. 

Anything is possible and we are all encouraged to enter the world of affordable design. I refer to things you can do on your own on a small budget: updating and painting furniture pieces, creating personal art, showcasing collections, displaying family photographs, expressing your creativity, and believing that, just like getting fit, the beginning requires effort, but once we are fit, we feel great.

 The power of home dressing is potent. It is choosing the dark tone of the armchair, the one that household members particularly love, the compels them to curl up, feel wrapped and protected.

The power of home dressing is potent. It is choosing the dark tone of the armchair, the one that household members particularly love, the compels them to curl up, feel wrapped and protected.

So it is also the case with design. The more open your eyes, mind, and heart are, the more aware you will become of the decorative aspects of your home, the more opportunities will reveal themselves to you. 

 Is there such a thing as a bed that is too indulgent? We need a good, deep, and blessed sleep.

Is there such a thing as a bed that is too indulgent? We need a good, deep, and blessed sleep.

The power of styling: remember to use it.

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Homes with Soul: Designing with Heart

by Orly Roninzon

photographs by Gilad Radat

published by Images Publishing.

Holiday DIY Projects with Crown

Holiday weekends offer the perfect opportunity for finishing those half-attempted DIY tasks or unleashing your creativity with colour. Whether it’s a tired piece of furniture in need of attention or a plain wall that is crying out for a little charisma, there are a number of ways to make the most of the long weekend.

  Dash Of Nutmeg, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l, Top Notch & Midnight Coal, both Non Drip Gloss from £15 for 750ml

Dash Of Nutmeg, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l, Top Notch & Midnight Coal, both Non Drip Gloss from £15 for 750ml

Crown’s selection of multi-surface emulsions, non-drip glosses and satins offer extensive colour choices and high-quality finishes. With step-by-step guides available, alongside expert advice from the colour consultants, visit www.crownpaints.co.uk for answers to your DIY questions.

  Dash of Nutmeg, Hare, Soft Shadow, City Break, all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l; Steel Drum, Non-Drip Gloss, from £15.49 for 750ml.

Dash of Nutmeg, Hare, Soft Shadow, City Break, all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l; Steel Drum, Non-Drip Gloss, from £15.49 for 750ml.

'Many lack the confidence to consider a paint effect, but it can be a great way to personalise your walls. You can create a mountain scene by simply layering paints and the outcome delivers a mix of drama and serenity'. Judy Smith- Crown Colour Consultant

  City Break & Hare, both Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

City Break & Hare, both Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

Website of the Week - Bloom Magic

Collaborative Post

Bloom Magic is not just a flower delivery service. It specialises in high-quality hand-tied bouquets, that are skillfully created and beautifully presented. They have assembled an elite network of florists. Each one handpicked for their extraordinary talent and vision. And they have paired this with world-class service, from the moment you order until long after lasting memories have been made with the delivery of one of their luxurious bouquets.

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The Classic Collection includes a host of decadent bouquets for any occasion, be it a birthday, anniversary, or simply to let a loved one know how you feel. The catalogue is regularly updated, so that the exclusive collections remain as fresh as the flowers and so that customers are always provided with the very best selection. 

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A conscious effort is made to source local flowers, thus ensuring the freshness of the blooms whilst supporting communities in the UK. With protecting the earth in mind, they also seek out luxurious, yet eco-friendly packaging for their flowers, such as Hassan wraps and their own proprietary sheaths.

And best of all? Their next day delivery service starts from as little as £25.

Bloom Magic

All of the images feature the Parisian Hatbox Collection.

Home Study Styling Tips

If you work from home you will know how much time you spend in your office. Sometimes it may feel like you never leave the house, that’s why it is important to style your office a little differently from the rest of your home, making it feel like two separate places.

Firstly, when styling the office space be sure to incorporate a few personal elements, this can be done using colour, fabrics, and pictures. You could even try decorating with flowers or houseplants as we have discussed before on this blog.

When looking to style your office you can either do this by purchasing bold coloured office furniture, or an office chair that represents your style, as the infographic below from Furniture At Work showcases, or you can make subtle changes using accessories.

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Get Crafty

Let’s take a look at some accessories you could add to your office, making it a little more fashionable.

Family Photos

A popular choice or many, a nice family photo can brighten a stressful day. You may even want to place it in a handcrafted picture frame that you made with your children, bringing back lovely memories.  Picture frames can be simple to make out of cardboard, paper mache, or just go online and design one!
You may also want to create a lovely painting with your family that will make you smile every day.

Storage Areas

This could quite possibly be the most dull area of the office, but with a little paint or coloured overlay you can make the space bright and cheerful. Another option is to write inspirational quotes on the front of the boxes providing something motivational.

Brighten up the walls

Black paint to create a chalkboard wall is right on trend at the moment and this is simple to do. Once the wall is painted, find some chalk and get writing you can be as creative as you like as it can be wiped off.

Depending on your business, why not use bold colours accompanied by monochrome furniture, providing you with the best of both worlds, and if you want to add a little craft simply focus on one wall and dress it with fabrics.

 

Expert Advice - How to Keep Your Flowers Fresh in a Heatwave

How are you coping with the hot weather lovely readers? Lately Britain has experienced some of the highest temperatures for more than 100 years; with the whole nation on heatwave alert and experiencing temperatures in excess of 30 degrees. We're just not used to it are we? Whilst a whole host of advice is available to mere mortals on how to cope in the heat, your flowers will suffer too. With this in mind tech-first florists Bloom & Wild have prepared five easy tips to keep flowers fresh this week and for the rest of the Summer.

 Lana Letterbox Tropical Tlowers

Lana Letterbox Tropical Tlowers

Top Tips

  • Place stems in tepid or lukewarm water as they will enjoy this more and absorb the water more quickly than cold, keeping your flowers hydrated!
  • In this heat, trim 5cm from the base of the stem to remove any blockages and creating a new permeable drinking area. Don't forget to always cut at an angle to increase the surface area.
 Soleil Handtied Bouquet

Soleil Handtied Bouquet

  • Bacteria breeds within dirty vases, and the heat welcomes this breeding! Make sure you clean your vases really thoroughly with anti-bacterial wash to sterilise them. Don’t leave any leaves or bits in your water, only perfectly trimmed stems. Bits of greenery and leaves will rot in the water, especially in the heat and breed bacteria that will shorten the life of your flowers.
 Sofia Handtied Tropical Bouquet

Sofia Handtied Tropical Bouquet

  • Keep flowers as cool as possible. Changes in temperature can make blooms die quicker, i.e. a room with sun that moves around the room can have a negative effect. The sun also evaporates the water in your blooms and stems, so keep them out of direct sunlight.
 Violet Letterbox Bouquet of Meadow Flowers

Violet Letterbox Bouquet of Meadow Flowers

  • Choose a wider neck vase than the width of the flowers, which allows air around the stems and prevents mould building.

This Summer Bloom & Wild launches Destinations, a collection of 10 bouquets inspired by three very different Summer vacation spots. Perhaps most apt for this week is The Tropics, which sees a range of bouquets inspired by fiesta and the poolside parties of South America:

A by Amara AW18: The Vase Edit!

Vases are one of the most versatile interior design accessories to help transform any living space in an instant. Whether you use it to display some beautiful blooms or just to jazz up a mantelpiece, a striking vase can go a long way. Discover A by Amara’s AW18 selection of vases that will create a focal point in any room setting. 

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Inject timeless design into any interior with the A by Amara collection. Carefully curated in a range of unique looks to suit any home and taste, from trend driven bed linen and towels to elegant cutlery and glassware. A seamless addition to existing interior styles, A by Amara offers accessible luxury for the discerning home.

From everyday must-haves to timeless design pieces, A by Amara has everything you need to create a chic look in any room in the home. Discover brand new designs to refresh your interior and make your house a home.

Pretty PVC from Bluebellgray

Let's face it, summer is not the time to be washing an ironing the tablecloth. That's why we love a PVC version. And the latest designs from Bluebellgray are absolute stunners.

 Rothesay

Rothesay

Perfect for adding a playful and colourful twist to your kitchen or outdoor table. This PVC coated cotton is also perfect for protecting your table during craft projects, messy food preparation, or to simply add a colourful statement to your home.

 Cactus

Cactus

The Details

  • Available in four signature designs including; Cactus, Botanical, Rothesay and Seafield.
  • £33 per metre
  • Available online and in-store
  • 100% coated cotton
  • No need to sew - ready to use right away (WE LOVE THIS ONE!)
  • Water resistant
  • Made in the UK
 Botanical

Botanical

 Seafield

Seafield

Available to order online here.