How to Make a Small Room Feel Larger

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Smaller bedrooms can be very cosy and inviting, but home owners often want to make their box room look as large as possible. While you physically cannot increase the square foot of a bedroom, without paying a fortune for an extension, there are several ways that you can trick the eye into thinking the bedroom is actually fairly big.

Here are 5 ways that you can trick the mind, and the human eye, into thinking that your box room is even bigger than it is:

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1. Less Clutter

If you can avoid having clutter, or multiple items of furniture in the bedroom, then this will add more floor space, therefore making the room seem bigger. The question is, how do you get rid of the clutter without having anywhere to put it?

A great option would be to check out this Happy Beds blog for advice on how you can add extra storage to a bedroom, or have a major clear out and finally throw out those clothes that you can no longer fit in.

2. Mirrors

Most rooms look smaller as they don’t have an awful lot of natural light coming in. Rather than taking up a lot of space with bulky lamps and lights, placing mirrors tactically on the wall would reflect the light from the outdoors, making the room seem bigger in both the daytime and the night time. Placing the mirror near a window will maximise the amount of light that comes in.

3. Keep it Simple

It can get tempting to add bold prints to a smaller bedroom but keeping the walls and furniture simple really would make the room look larger. Choose a colour that you love on the walls and then try and match the furniture in similar shades. By doing this, you will get a spacious feel and you don’t need to compromise on getting smaller furniture, as the big, statement pieces will blend into the background, therefore tricking the human eye.

4. Floor to Ceiling Curtains

By adding long curtains to a window frame, it can make the ceilings look dramatically higher. Of course, if the ceilings look higher, then this can make the eye think the bedroom is bigger in both length and in width too.

5. Invest in a Rug

Not only do rugs look great, and add cosiness to a bedroom, but adding a rug to a bedroom can also instantly make the room seem larger.

Rugs can help a room feel pulled together and creates the illusion of the room having more square feet. Plus, it is a great way to add a pop of colour to a bedroom!

Bluebellgray for Burford

Burford Garden Company are delighted to announce that our new and exclusive collaboration with Scottish design house Bluebellgray is now up and running, both in store and online.

Founded in 2009 by Fi Douglas, Bluebellgray is renowned for its signature, handpainted watercolour floral and abstract designs.

Burford Garden Company and Bluebellgray have worked together to create a collection that combines our passion for the extraordinary and eclectic with Bluebellgray's flair for fresh, uplifting design.

Featuring two of Bluebellgray's new season joyful prints - Vegetable Patch and Wee Pomegranate - the new Bluebellgray for Burford collection includes kitchen linens, beautiful handmade stationery and fun outdoor living pieces. All are lovingly designed and skilfully crafted in the UK.

Quirky and wonderfully colourful, the Bluebellgray for Burford collection can now be seen in situ in our Interiors, Kitchen and Outdoor Living departments for you to buy and take home on the spot. If there is not enough room in the boot, or you are further afield, we can deliver in super-quick time to your home or business.

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Come and see Bluebellgray for Burford in store or online.

Website of the Week - Bon Bon Fistral for Beachy Boho Interiors

We haven’t done a website of the week for quite some time but when we saw Bon Bon Fistral we knew we just had to share. Based on the Cornish coast, this boutique was born after the founder Harriet Briant had spent many summers travelling the UK festival scene with the stores eclectic mix of bohemian and Cornish coast inspired fashion and homewares.

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Now available to buy online we love the boho looks and good vibes of this beach inspired aesthetic. Everything is influenced by travel, the sea and her love of the great outdoors. Expect to find hand embroidered kimonos, bohemian jewellery and great gifts, as well as some lovely interiors offerings too.

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There’s a lovely mix of crochet, cork and macrame, as well as some shell encrusted goodies to bring the seaside into the home all year round.

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And That’s Not All

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All available online from Bon Bon Fistral

Beautiful Bedrooms With Crown Paints

No room is more personal than the bedroom, a special space to relax and wind-down in. Therefore it is important to create a space that is not only calming but that also looks good. A lick of paint is a great way to give the bedroom a quick and inexpensive update. A new colour palette can be easily changed with different seasons, or as children grow older without much hassle.

Crown - Hare, Powdered Clay, City Break and Wheatgrass all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l

Crown - Hare, Powdered Clay, City Break and Wheatgrass all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l

Paint effects are a great way to add character to the room. Try mixing two different hues to make the room feel larger, or paint a pattern to jazz up a teen’s space.

Crown - Pashmina and Runaway, both Matt Emulsion from £14 for 2.5l (3)

Crown - Pashmina and Runaway, both Matt Emulsion from £14 for 2.5l (3)

Judy Smith, Crown Colour Consultant gives her tips on how to choose the best paint colour for the room:

There are two things to consider when choosing paint. Firstly what style do you want?Is it modern or traditional, fun or more considered? Secondly what is the atmosphere?Clean and spacious, deep and moody, bright and breezy?Whatever your preference the choice of paint really can help fashion both style and atmosphere. For example, a range of Period colours would suit a more traditional look, whilst more earthy tones like dusty pinks and terracottas are more modern. Remember to balance the natural light in the room by using warmer or cooler tones. However, whatever the rules, it's important to go with what you like.

Crown - Promenade, Period Collection, from £23 for 2.5l (3)

Crown - Promenade, Period Collection, from £23 for 2.5l (3)

Seven Tips to Maximise the Kerb Appeal of Your Home

Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future or just want to make the neighbours green with envy, outdoor specialists from BillyOh.com have shared with us seven top tips to help Brits enhance the front of their houses and increase their kerb appeal.

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Image: Dobbies Garden Centres

Add a gate

Placing a gate at the entrance of the garden alongside being an additional security measure can also add a warm and welcoming for guests and sets the tone of the garden.

Refresh

Rather than putting in a new pathway a cheap and quick alternative is to instead use a power wash to give the existing footpath a good scrub. Add gravel to hide paths that are past saving.

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Image: Evolution Windows

Enhance with an Arch

Putting an arch over the pathway is enticing and adds dimension to the area. Train plants like beech or hornbeam to make an evergreen arch, in winter the bare branches provide a strong structure.

Variety of greenery

When deciding on greenery, include a mix of different leaves and foliage to add dimension and interest. Stick to low maintenance plants such as hostas and lady ferns which thrive in shaded areas. Perfect for all seasons so no risk of looking bare or dull in colder periods.

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Image: Garden Trading

Utilise space

For residences with a smaller front garden such as townhouses, wall climbers should be considered. Taking no floor space and growing directly onto the outer walls of the house. Greenery can be introduced no matter how small the area.

Harmonise colours

When adding colour into the garden from front doors to plants and flowers choose complementary colours to unify the garden as one whole. This is an incredibly effective and easy way to add kerb appeal.

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Upgrade the door 

The main focal point of the house is the front door; a new lick of paint refreshes the home and draws the eye alongside polishing existing hardware. Before going for a bright colour consult with residents and ensure that it is appropriate for the location.

Sirens - Layering Glass to Great Effect With Curiousa & Curiousa

Layering Glass to Great Effect with Curiousa & Curiousa,. There’s a new addition to their Siren Wall Light range by using just layered glass. They look great as a pair, or for more drama grouped as an eclectic mix. 

Also available for bathrooms and outdoors,  you can have endless fun mixing and matching your own combinations using our range of 23 hand-blown glass colours.

These look utterly gorgeous and look great as a display or simply for a statement pieces.

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5 Questions to Ask the Neighbours Before Buying a House

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Buying a home is a big deal, so it’s important to carry out as much research as you can. This could include checking out the local area, researching the price of similar properties and even having a quick conversation with your potentially new neighbours.

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Whether it’s your first home or not, buying a house is an exciting time, but don’t be afraid to ask the neighbours questions. After all, they’ll likely know a lot about the area and will be much more honest than the sellers or estate agents. With this in mind, here are five insightful questions you could ask the neighbours before buying a house.

1. How long have you lived here?

This is a simple question that could be incredibly insightful. If they’ve been there for a long time, it could be a good sign. However, even if they’ve only lived there for a year or so, they might be able to give you an insight into moving to the area. It will also help you get a feel for the neighbours and if they’re interested in answering your questions or not.

2. Do you enjoy living in the area?

If they’re reluctant to give too much information after your first question, asking about the area will help you get to the bottom of the neighbourhood and the people that live within it. From this one question, you’ll be able to find out how safe the area is, what the other residents are like, and how sociable everyone is.

3. Is the neighbourhood child-friendly?

Moving to a new area is as challenging for children as it is for parents, so it’s only fair to ask about its child-friendliness. With this insightful question, you might find there are plenty of other children for your kids to play with, or you might discover it’s an adult-dominated street. Either way, it will help you decide if the area is right for you and your family. You could also ask about schools in the area to find out about their reputation.

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4. Is there anything I should be aware of?

This is another important question to ask the sellers and estate agents, but the neighbours might be willing to dish a little more dirt than those looking to make a quick sale. You can expect a few jokes to be made from friendly neighbours, and chances are they won’t have any worrying concerns to express. However, it’s a simple question for your own peace of mind. After all, you never know what it could reveal.

5. If you could change anything about the area, what would it be?

This might sound like an intense, interview-style question, but it could reveal some very important answers. Maybe they’d like the pot holes to be filled in, improved street security, or locals-only street parking. Whatever their answer, it will help you pick out any qualms they have with the area and make a decision on whether or not to purchase the property.

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Buying your first home

The next time you head to view a home, don’t forget to set aside a couple of minutes to chat with the neighbours. If you’re currently looking for your first property, why not enlist the help of specialist first-time buyers solicitors, ET Law? They can help you get the best deal on your first home, by streamlining the house buying process for you and helping you to understand exactly what you’re getting for your money. A good residential property solicitor can also help you carry out property checks, so you can be even more certain it’s the right property for you.




Bohemian Rhapsody from Mindthegap

Rooted in the region’s gypsy spirit and diverse ethnic heritage, Transylvanian lifestyle brand Mindthegap have launched the Nomad collection which is made up of six designs of fabrics. Fabulous as a wallcovering but also available in a range of upholstered furniture and cushions too.

Lakai Wallpaper 

Lakai Wallpaper 

A melting pot of folk-inspired craft and tradition, Nomad is an authentic and eclectic exploration of the patterns, motifs and cultures of travelling peoples from around the world. In an enticing palette of brick reds, ochre, earthy pinks and deep blues, the wallpaper collection combines the impact of a mural with traditional wallpaper repeats. While the heavyweight, rustically-textured printed linen is stonewashed for a vintage effect and handmade look.

Encapsulating Mindthegap’s unique artistic identity and bohemian approach to design, intriguing combinations include intricate Roma gypsy-inspired birds and florals, Hindustani elephants and explorers and graphic woven patterns from Eastern Asia.

“Somewhere deep in our hearts we are all hippies, free-spirited nomads wandering the world, taken by our dreams to unknown and marvelous places,” Mindthegap founder Stefan Ormenisan explains.

A world of creativity and free spirit, Nomad’s richly detailed hand-drawn patterns and unexpected colourways come together to create an encyclopedic history of gypsy culture and design.

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  1. Vintage Linen Cushion - Nomad Black Bird.

  2. Vintage Linen Sofa - Nomad Gypsy Ochre.

  3. Vintage Linen Floor Cushion - Nomad Transylvania Folk.

  4. Vintage Linen Cushion - Nomad Patola.

  5. Vintage Linen Pouf - Nomad Gypsy Ochre.

  6. Vintage Linen Cushion - Nomad Transylvania Folk.

  7. Vintage Linen Armchair - Nomad Black Bird.

  8. Vintage Linen Cushion - Nomad Hindustan Aquamarine

This Paw Print Flooring is Perfect for Pet Owners

Atrafloor have designed a new set of playful paw print floors that are perfect for design-conscious pet owners looking for a robust flooring to create a space to be proud of.

The pattern provides a pitter-patter of paws made permanent as a flooring, and is a fitting design idea for homes where four-legged friends can be found.

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The flooring would be a welcome addition to any kitchen, and is a particularly charming design choice for the small areas of the house we dedicate to pets, such as around a food bowl, doggy door or cat flap. The paw pattern would even make a fun flooring option for a hallway, laundry space or child's playroom.

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Atrafloor is made from highly-durable materials that protect against daily wear and tear, making it an ideal flooring solution for the stomping ground of those real life muddy paws.

The Paw design features a subtle print and can be custom-made in any colour.

This design is available at: https://www.atrafloor.com/vinyl-flooring/kids/

All flooring is made-to-order and priced at £59.00 /m2.

Boho Style Furniture and Accessories from a Favourite Highstreet Store

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There’s no need to leave the comfort of your armchair to achieve a global inspired boho look in your home this summer. The Cinnabar range at Dunelm has a laid-back, just-off-the-plane feel about it. It features exotic animals, decorative furniture and striking mandalas to add intrigue and a well-travelled vibe to convince visitors that you are adventurous at heart.

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Lille Orange Slot Top Voile Panel, £16. Woven Throw, £30. Elephant Tealight Holder, £8. Caprice Side Table, £79. Large Wooden Clock, £35. Whitby Sofa from £649. Caprice Coffee Table, £149. Llama Sculpture, £12. Tribal Platter, £22. Beige Desert Skies Rug from £385.

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Elephant Cushion, £14. Jacobean Floral Cushion, £14. Clara Velvet Cushion, £20. Camel Cushion, £14.

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Copper Ombre Vase, £15. Amelie Bedstead from £599. Carys Duvet Cover Set from £28. Woven Throw, £30. Moroccan Pendant Shade, £32. Fitzgerald Nightstand, £119. Excel Round Rug from £75.

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Soak & Escape Plaque, £6. Bath Rack, £20. Rush Baskets from £15. White Ceramic Jug, £15. Alma Towels from £8. Tevah Hand Towel, £8.

Pooky Announce New Collaboration with Textile Designer Tori Murphy

Pooky are thrilled to announce a brand new collaboration with Tori Murphy, the textile mastermind behind the eponymous brand of woven fabrics.

With a shared ethos of creating beautiful, tactile homewares, combining both brand’s aesthetics in the form of a lampshade collection felt like a natural fit. The limited edition collection is composed of four shades in Tori’s signature style which fit perfectly with Pooky’s unique bases.

Pooky Tammy table lamp in Cobalt, £100, with Tori Murphy 36cm Drum shade in Navy stripe, £130

Pooky Tammy table lamp in Cobalt, £100, with Tori Murphy 36cm Drum shade in Navy stripe, £130

“Our four designs are Fastnet Stripe, a classic nautical design that I was surrounded by in my childhood growing up on the West coast of Ireland; Climbing Chevy, a fun vibrant design in a lovely Radish colour inspired by my days living off Portobello Rd; Cadogan Check, a graphic monochrome design; and Seedling, a gentle yellow pattern that feels fresh and gentle,” explains Tori.


Combining the magical ambience of lighting with her fabrics was an exciting moment for Tori. “Ilove how lampshades illuminate and add an extra dimension of colour and pattern to a room. They can completely transform the feel, from a little sunny shade on a hallway table to glorious glowing shades in a living room and statement hanging pendants or even gentle easy lighting that slips into the background. They can fit into any interior scheme and using our fabrics on lampshades for the first time breathes a new and vibrant life into them.”

Pooky Crescent lamp in White marble, £180, with Tori Murphy 40cm Straight Empire shade in Seedling Cotton Mustard, £150

Pooky Crescent lamp in White marble, £180, with Tori Murphy 40cm Straight Empire shade in Seedling Cotton Mustard, £150

Pooky’s founder, Rohan Blacker, is equally pleased to see the collaboration come about. “For so long we’d appreciated Tori’s ability to bring pattern and colour into the home in a way that is accessible. Her patterns make it easy to add a touch of brightness and fun into our lives, something that certainly resonates with us here at Pooky.”

Pooky Pirouette table lamp in Ruby Resin, £170, with Tori Murphy 36cm Drum shade in Climbing Chevy Rose, £130

Pooky Pirouette table lamp in Ruby Resin, £170, with Tori Murphy 36cm Drum shade in Climbing Chevy Rose, £130

The lampshades will be available exclusively on the Pooky website in July, and they can be paired with the majority of Pooky bases.

How to Holiday Proof Your Garden

There’s nothing worse than going away on a much needed holiday, only to return to a garden full of dead plants and a general neglected air. And that’s before you have to cope with a mountain of dirty laundry and an empty fridge! 

But luckily, horticulture experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled for us a guide to remind green fingered Brits to complete tasks like weeding and deadheading plants before jetting away.

“When you’ve spent hours in the garden pruning and preening, the thought all your hard work going to waste whilst you’re enjoying a well-earned break is slightly distressing – and rightly so. But there are several steps to take to minimise the damage, all of which are easy and straight forward”.

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Garden Trading Wooden Rake

1. Deadhead

In the week before you go away, remove any faded or dead flowers. This will force plants to concentrate their energy on new growth, resulting in lots of flowers when you get home.

2. Mow

Give your lawn a light cut the day before you go away – but don’t be tempted to cut too low or you could risk scalping the grass, leaving it susceptible to scorching from the harsh sun.

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 GoodHome Durum Garden Fork, B&Q

3. Weed

The day before you leave, go round the garden and pull up any weeds you can see. Spray weeds on paths, patios, and driveways with a store-bought weed killer, or a homemade solution.

4. Cover your soil with mulch

By putting a protective layer of mulch or bark on top of soil, borders and containers will be able to retain more water or rainfall, using it later when they need to.

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 Carlton Spiral Solar Lantern, Lights 4 Fun

5. Group potted plants together

Grouping potted pots and containers together will further reduce water loss by creating localised humidity, as the leaves of neighbouring plants both emit and trap the water vapour of each other. They should, if possible, be placed in a position that's shady for most of the day and where they'll still receive rain. 

6. Plant saucer

Put plant pots onto terracotta saucers with a little bit of water in the base so the plant can draw up from it if it needs to.

7. Water

Give all of your plants a good dousing of water just before you leave – every little helps!

Summer Fabric Trend from Vanessa Arbuthnott


It is that time of year when the umbrella-like clusters of white, frothy cow parsley flowers are filling up the roadside, hedgerows and woodland edges. Also called ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’, there are many stories to explain the origins of this name. 

Cow parsley is a hollow-stemmed, tall plant that grows rapidly in the summer before dying back. These flower umbels appear from May until June and grow 60-100 cm high, with spikelets of 2 to 5 flowers in oval clusters, the lowest on long stalks at right angles to the stem. 

Cow parsley simply means an inferior version of real parsley. Here, Vanessa Arbuthnott speaks about the trend and why they the print is a must for your interior design. 

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“I particularly love the way the flowering stems zoom off at right angles to the main stalk and I have drawn these in my design; along with beautiful fragile butterflies enjoying the cow parsley nectar. I take great pleasure in taking organic shapes on a journey, simplifying, stylizing them and finally colouring the fabrics with no reference to their origins.” 

With Vanessa’s range she now has twelve Cow Parsley fabric colour ways, one wallpaper, tea towels, aprons, washbags and cushions. They are her best-selling fabrics and seem to defy fashion withstanding the test of time. 

Why cow parsley? 

With summer coming up there is no better way to brighten up your home for summer than opting for a cow parsley print. There has been an increase in homeowners purchasing rolls of colourful prints inspired by nature and wildlife. Bold printed wallpapers have become increasingly popular as customers are gaining confidence in their interior choices. In past years, feature walls were a great way to make a statement but with large quantities of printed wallpaper being ordered, a whole room is now becoming lively with detailed prints. 

With cow parsley, the design is a nod to nature, popular wallpaper designs include trees, birds and flowers which have been adapted to fit in a room. Cow parsley brings elements of outdoors in which is perfect to mirror summer colours and atmosphere. 

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The Metro Tile - Still a Stylish Choice

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There’s no doubt about it, the classic metro tile is still as popular as ever. From it’s utilitarian roots lining the walls of underground tunnels it’s now been elevated to a stylish choice for kitchens and bathrooms. And one that never seems to date or go out of style.

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Part of the reason for this is because the metro tile suits all kinds of interiors. It’s the natural choice for country style kitchens, but it doesn’t look out of place either in industrial style lofts and barn conversions. Or, come to that, traditional style homes or uber contemporary and slick interiors.

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It’s also possible to ring the changes with application. Metro tiles can look quite different depending on the colour used for the grouting. White grout will always look traditional with white tiles but change the grout to dark grey and the look changes to a more industrial style.

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Or indeed, the tiles can be hung differently. Herringbone patterns are now quite popular, as is laying the tiles one on top of the other instead of in the more usual brick pattern.

The only limit is the imagination.

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All tiles shown are from the Rustic Range at Crown Tiles, which have a lovely handmade, vintage feel.

Introducing Teddy With Sofa.com

There’s nothing better than sinking into a deep seated sofa and letting your mind wander. How come vampires always look so stylish if they can’t look in mirrors If two people on opposite sides of the world each drop a piece of bread, does the earth momentarily become a sandwich When you’re truly comfy your mind is free to create without limits.

Let your imagination run wild on Teddy, sofa.com’s exquisite new addition for Autumn/Winter ‘19. Boasting a traditionally stylish silhouette, super-soft scatter cushioned back and refined scroll arms, Teddy is every bit as comfy as its name suggests. Kick back and think big!

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“When it comes to finding your perfect sofa, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort for style” explains sofa.com’s Chief Product Officer Vanessa Hurley-Perera. “We designed Teddy with deep seats and a low-lying frame to offer customers a lounging spot that’s steeped in luxury.”

To help keep their wonderful new designs worry free, sofa.com have added a range o fcottons to their smart fabric collection. The unique coating applied to these smart cottons is designed to repel any unexpected spills and give you a few moments to mop away liquids before they leave a stain.

Upholstering your Teddy in sofa.com’s exquisite Eucalyptus smart cotton will keep your space looking magnificently chic and ensure it’s ready for what ever modern family life throws at it.

Give Your Garden a Makeover

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Whether you’ve just moved into a new property or have grown bored of the style of your garden, there are plenty of ways to change your outside area so it becomes a warm and welcoming place for you, your family and/or your guests.

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What does your garden mean to you? 


Before starting work, think about how you’ll be using your garden. If you’re fond of entertaining, create an outdoor dining room with a fire feature such as a fire-pit or barbecue. Install a waterproof speaker system so that you and your guests can enjoy some music and ensure you have soft outdoor lighting like tealights or fairy lights to create the right atmosphere. 


If your garden is your haven and a place to relax after the stresses of a busy day, make a quiet contemplation area which is secluded by the construction of fences, bushes or trees. The soothing sounds of a water feature will calm you even more. 

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Preparing your ideas 


Sketch out some plans of how you envisage your new garden. Don’t forget to think in all dimensions. Too many people forget about height when they’re planning their new garden so their outdoor area looks too uniform with all greenery on the same level. Vertical planting, such as in fences or walls, will be helpful if your garden has limited space. 


Think about the colour palette of your garden too. Although flowering plants of blues, greys and mauves have long been in fashion, more and more people are now choosing more garish colours like vibrant yellows and oranges. 


Budgeting for these changes will also play a role in your decision-making. You don’t necessarily have to buy all the gardening equipment. Nowadays, tool rental is a much more cost-effective solution especially for equipment which is only needed at certain times of the year like pruning shears or chainsaws. 

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Embrace Japanese wabi-sabi 


The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi seeks beauty in the asymmetrical. Mixing perennials with bedding plants, bulbs, grasses and even vegetables will give your outdoor area a more relaxed and less artificial-looking style. It will be eye-catching and give you something to look at and admire all the year round. 
This can be achieved by creating an English country meadow in your yard. This will look much better if the garden surface is completely flat. The option of a mini digger hire will save you a lot of back-breaking labour in preparing uneven surfaces. 


A mixture of wildflowers and perennials in your garden meadow will produce a riot of colour from April to November. This stunning look is possible with the minimum of maintenance since plants will be adapted to the climate and require little or no watering. This makes it an ideal option for busy professionals who don’t have the time to spend hours working on their garden. 

Another benefit is that the use of indigenous plants will create a haven for native species of wildlife such as butterflies. 

Whatever makeover you opt for, remember that a garden is a work in progress. As it grows and matures, it will look even better in the years to come. 

Summer 2019 Trend - Colour Clash

Throw the rule book out of the window and embrace the trend for combining colours that well, clash. It’s not for the faint hearted but the layering of texture and finishes helps to make this look feel liveable and break up larger swathes of colour which can often feel overwhelming. Accents of white keep the scheme feeling fresh and the introduction of delicate accessories make for a more nuanced feel.

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Bold splashes of crimson, scarlet and coral are juxtaposed with softer shades of pink to fashion a look that breaks all the traditional rules

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Narla Bed Frame, £695; Amelie Table Lamp, £149; Velour Piped Red Cushion, £29; Troy Marble Lamp Table, £299. All from Furniture Village.

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Alternatively, choose colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel for a strong but balanced look. Here, shades of burnt orange, indigo and coral create a warm and lived-in feel.

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Vispring Pocket Sprung Divan Double, £4,576; Nicoletti Novita Armchair £895; Marlow Rug, £199; Phobos Table Lamp, £169; Rigby Lamp Table, £149. All from Furniture Village.

Summer Vegan Events UK Festivals

If you thought vegan festivals were just for vegans and veggies – think again. Everyone is enjoying vegan these days from Will.I.AM and Jennifer Lopez to Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt. Vegan week from Great British Bake Off showed us just how much fun you can have with vegan food and now the supermarkets appear to be competing with each other as to who can bring out the best new vegan goodies. Vegans now have their own cool menus in most mainstream restaurants, pubs and cafes. So if you’re currently tucking into your quarter pounder but starting to realise that there’s now something way more exciting out there and it’s vegan-shaped, hop along to a Vegan Events UK festival this summer…

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So what’s packed in to a Vegan Events UK festival? – well, the answer is what’s not! There’s everything to tickle your taste buds from the latest gourmet vegan cheezes, indulgent creamy chocolates to some naughty vegan kebabs, and everything in between. It’s like all the food you’ve ever enjoyed but with the unhealthy bits taken out. You can try before you buy and sample foods that are so new they haven’t even hit the shops yet. You can also bathe vegan too – with a range of deliciously scented soaps and handmade bath bombs from brands like Iuvo Skincare. And if you’re feeling stressed from a busy week, you can have the chance to chill out in a relaxing yoga session. 

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There’s something for everyone – with lots of cool children’s activities and entertainment on hand to amuse the little ones. And if your teenager is into the latest trends you can check out cool designer vegan labels such as the gorgeous range of ‘Viva La Vegan’ hoodies and Tees. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes or boots, Alternative Stores will be on hand to help. Plus there’s a massive range of gifts and goodies including candles, jewellery, and even treats for animals. It’s also a great place to shop if you’re looking to go plastic-free.

If you’re looking to get more in-depth, the festivals also feature useful talks on nutrition and the vegan lifestyle as well as some inspiring, fun cookery demos to get you started. 

The summer line-up of events across the UK is: Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June, Brighton Vegan Summer FEST; Saturday 29th June, Liverpool Vegan Festival; Saturday 6th July, Plymouth Vegan Festival; Saturday 20th July, Bath Vegan Festival; and Saturday 31st August, Dorset Vegan Festival.

Festival organiser, Victoria Bryceson runs her events in partnership with animal welfare charity, Miracle's Mission. Here she talks about her new events for 2019, “I’m really looking forward to our exciting new series of summer festivals. They’re set to be even bigger and better than last year’s. We received so much positive feedback last year and there’s now so much demand that our festivals are becoming regular sell-out events. I think it’s partly because people really love the friendly atmosphere. And also because it’s one of the best places to network and meet others who are vegan-curious too. The wonderful thing about our events is that they’re for everyone whatever your lifestyle. Just come along and bring your friends for a great, fun day-out. You’ll have everything you need there, whether you’re looking for some retail-therapy, some ‘me’ time, precious family time or just a lovely meal out with some friends.”

Vegan Sweet Tooth London

Vegan Sweet Tooth London

Entry is from just £3 (under 16’s free) and this includes entry to all areas and activities. Standard tickets are purchased at the door on the day. VIP tickets, £15, include fast track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts and offers can be purchased in advance but sell out quickly. For more information please visit www.veganeventsuk.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VeganEventsUK

8 Reasons We Love Summer!

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Summer has finally arrived, and we couldn’t be happier about the sunshine finally making an appearance! It feels as though we’ve been waiting for the season of BBQs, beer gardens, roof top bars and days at the seaside, forever!

So, sit back, relax, open those doors – check out Pirnar if you’re in the market for new doors this summer – and enjoy 8 reasons why we just love this time of year.

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Ice cream

Ice cream tastes great any time of the year – but there’s something extra special about strolling along with a big cone filled with creamy ice cream, covered in sprinkles, sauce and even a flake. Delicious – don’t forget the wet wipes for the kids!

Our favourite fruits are in season

That great big bowl of strawberries and cream tastes better in the summer because this is when they’re in season and they taste incredible! Not forgetting watermelon, grapes, cherries and more – the perfect excuse for a fruit salad (they’re healthy!).

Late, light nights

Even if you’re working late, or the average 9-5 when you finish work in the summer months, the light nights make you feel like you still have plenty of time to enjoy what’s left of the day. So whether you’re sitting in a beer garden with friends or your own back yard with your family – you’ve got plenty of time to relax and enjoy the summer.

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We can enjoy everything alfresco

Summer picnic anyone? In the summertime, anything goes! So, dig out that picnic hamper and fill it full of all your favourite treats. Whether you’re going out to a particular picnic spot, or you’re heading off on a family walk, the beauty of alfresco dining is that anywhere can be the perfect spot to enjoy your lunch.

The weather

This one is obvious, but not only does sunny weather mean that you can go anywhere and enjoy the day, but sunshine makes us feel good and optimistic! It’s good for you!

Festivals

Festival season in here! And you don’t have to be willing to get covered in mud to embrace the festival vibe. During the summer months there are festivals to suit everyone. Whether that’s the latest, big name acts at the country’s biggest events, or more family friendly festivals at country houses. Whether you go for the day, or for a whole weekend, you’re sure to have a blast! Don’t forget your wellies!

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BBQs

Whether you’re a veggie, vegan, pescatarian or fully blown meat eater – the smell of a BBQ is enough to make anyone excited. Whatever your dietary requirements there’s always something on the BBQ that you’ll enjoy. They’re wonderful ways to get friends and families together, with lots of food, drink and fun!

Nature

Nature is well and truly in bloom during the summer months! From bumblebees to butterflies, birds and other mammals, flowers, blooms, the seaside – nature is there to be enjoyed in the summer. So make sure you get out there and enjoy every moment of it!

Decorating Ideas for the Urban Garden

Large, leafy green gardens are often a rare commodity in urban homes, so making clever use of any available space is even more important. This might be a case of clever planting, adding some colour with paint, or simply styling the area to create a welcoming ‘outside room’ that is perfect for dining, relaxing and entertaining.

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Go Vertical

If space is at a premium it makes sense to use that wall space. Here a collection of old frames have been given a coat of paint and used to hold moss and succulents. A gallery wall with a difference!

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Use Pots

With very little soil in urban gardens it makes sense to use pots to create a green oasis. Bigger pots with bigger plants will create more drama (and need less watering), but sometimes a row of pots hanging from a railing can look equally as good. Especially when painted in a rainbow of shades.

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Use All Available Surfaces

Garden steps can be used to add height to your flower displays too. With the addition of cushions they can even be used as occasional seats.

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Add Colour With Paint

Almost anything can be painted with the right paint and preparation. Matthew Brown, the Sandtex Technical Consultant offers a couple of tips:

When decorating, ensure surfaces are clean and dry. Don’t decorate over something that isn’t sound - a good coating can’t make a poor surface into a good one!”

“Use an appropriate primer that will provide a quality foundation for the paint to sit on. Ongoing maintenance is only needed when the surfaces look dull after cleaning.”

All images and paints used are from Sandtex Exterior Paints.