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- THE BOWERS BLOG
Many people see being an interior designer as a busman's holiday. To some it's not even a real job, up there with 'party planner' and 'personal shopper' because to most people the process of choosing the tone, feel and flavour of their home environment is a pleasure not an ordeal (excluding any 'ding dongs' at Ikea that is). Buying doors should be one of the lasting delights from interior renovation as the surrounding soft furnishings and wallpaper etc will change far more often than the hard furnishings. Overlooked but an integral part to the look of a room is the skirting board.
- DIY Calendar: May - Preparing the Interior Of Your Home
If you're planning on redecorating, you will want to make sure that you have a good base to start from. You spent the first few months tidying your home and cleaning the exterior, now you need to prepare the interior. Most homes have some cracks on the walls or the ceiling and around chimney flues. Homes with a significant amount of plasterboard can have cracks or chips in the walls caused by previous DIY projects gone wrong. Most of these problems are minor, however, and can be easily fixed.
- My Five Favourite Wall Decals
I love wall decals; they're a quick and easy way to redecorate any room. I use them in the living room to add a splash of seasonal colour to the room, without having to go through the time consuming process of re-painting every few months. When my kids were younger, I used wall decals in their rooms as well. Children change their interests so rapidly, and decals are far easier to change than wallpaper!
These are some of my favourites….
1. Vintage photo frames (Wall Sticker Outlet, $39)
These creative stickers are designed to look like vintage photo frames, and are a great way to display your photos in your living room. You just stick the vinyl photo frames to the wall, and then use blu-tack or double-sided tape to stick your photos onto the frames.
These ones accept standard sized 5x7 photos.
2. Deco Sea Horse Under The Sea (Icon Wall Stickers, £8.99)
This stylish sea horse wall sticker is great because it comes in loads of colours and sizes, and is perfect for bathrooms.
The material of this decal is non-toxic, so will be a perfect addition to a nautical themed child's bedroom too.
3. Flags of The World (Abode Wall Art, £26)
Travel is a passion of mine, but I was never particularly good at Geography when I was at school. Learning about different cultures is interesting, but I’m terrible at remembering facts and trivia – like where a country is, or what their flag looks like, in my head.
But hey, you're never too old to learn, so I’m thinking about investing in this one for my study. It features a map of the world, with the bigger countries decorated with their national flags.
4. Kitty Cat (Dali Decals, $10)
My wife loves this Kitty Cat decal. It is cute, but abstract, and understated enough that it doesn't look too cartoony. This wall decoration would look great in a large, open hallway - perhaps next to your coat rack, so that the cat is always there, ready to welcome you home after a hard day at work.
5. Summer Sunflower (Wall Art, £9.27)
We don’t seem to be able to grow anything in our garden except weeds, so the extent of our gardening involves potted plants and window boxes. I’d love to be able to grow six-foot tall sunflowers. This summer, I’m considering having a (synthetic) sunflower of my own to look at – I love this one; it’s so bright and inviting – bringing the outdoors indoors, with none of the work :)
- Fire Doors – What You Need to Know About FD30 Fire Doors
Fire Doors are not part of the “Health and safety gone mad” bureaucracy the Daily Mail and Sun newspapers love to lampoon. Sadly there are around five hundred lives lost every year in the UK as a result of house fires with thousands more injured. Doors and doorways are a critical part of the defence against injury or death resulting from fire in a building.
- Adding Value To Your Home
Whether you're looking to sell your house quickly or just want to make sure that your home improvements will benefit you in the long run, this infographic will help you out! On each level of the house you'll find a different home improvement task, from building a loft conversion to landscaping the
- Four Fabulous Designer Sofas
A good sofa is far, far more than just a place to sit while you watch your favourite movies. If you make the right choice, your sofa can be a centrepiece of your living room. Here’s a few of my favourite sofas – ranging from simple, modern designs, to luxurious contemporary pieces.
Polka – Contemporary Chesterfield Sofa
The Polka Chesterfield Sofa is something of a chameleon. It’s clean, simple design means that it fits well in both formal and relaxed settings. Created by the Designers Guild, you can choose from a range of upholstery fabrics, or soft Italian leather. There are 40 different colours to choose from. Personally, I like the simplicity of cool blue and white. The wooden legs are available in a range of finishes, including natural, walnut, silver and anthracite.
The small, simple design makes this a good choice for any modern apartment or loft.
Lino – Ultra Modern Sofa
The Lino is another Designers Guild upholstered sofa. Once again, this sofa is available in the full range of colours and can be upholstered in soft Italian leather, or your choice of upholstery fabric. There are three arm styles to choose from. My favourite is the narrow arm.
The beauty of this sofa is the bespoke seam detail on the cushions. It’s a small touch, but it makes all the difference to the quality of the design. This sofa is quite low and deceptively simple in its styling. It would add a nice touch of luxury to an otherwise minimalistic Scandinavian style living room.
Shoreditch Sofa by Paul Smith
This luxurious contemporary sofa is worlds apart from the first two on the list. It is available in a range of fabrics and leather. The bold, bright stripes and contrasting seat cushions make sure that this sofa will stand out in any living room. You can alter the directions of the stripes if you wish, but personally I think that horizontal stripes look far better than vertical ones would.
This sofa is designed for ultramodern living rooms, but if you’re feeling bold it would fit more classically styled rooms as well. You can choose from two or three seater sofa designs, as well as add optional chairs or footstools.
Mayfair Fabric Sofa
The Mayfair Fabric Sofa is upholstered in Ombrion Peyony Designers Guild fabric. It has a smooth fixed back, and elegant buttoned arms. The sofa is styled in a more traditional manner, down to the optional castors on the front legs.
This piece would look beautiful in a period-styled living room, especially if you choose a darker colour or rich velvet for the upholstery. This is quite an imposing design, so it wouldn’t suit a smaller living room – but if you’re lucky enough to have a larger home with a sizeable living room which can carry this off, it’s well worth the investment. The sofa comes with three square scatters as well as two rectangular cushions.
- Door Panelling and Its Effect on Door Proportions
Contemporary or classic? Probably the most commonly asked question regarding the choice of door for a home, closely followed by 'painted or natural finish?' But the choice of door style may not be confined to the fashion considerations but the possibility of using the door panelling and construction patterns to change the perceived size of the door, the doorway it sits in and therefore the proportions of the room surrounding it. Whilst specifically chosen panelling won't transform a broom cupboard into a banquet hall it's a small trick of the eye worth knowing that may stop you buying the wrong door for your room or ceiling heights. Continue reading
- Using Door Panelling to Alter Room Proportions
Contemporary or classic? Probably the most commonly asked question regarding the choice of door for a home, closely followed by 'painted or natural finish?' But the choice of door style may not be confined to the looks. Door panels and patterns can change the perceived size of the door, as well as the doorway it sits in, and the proportions of the room surrounding it. Whilst specifically chosen panelling won't transform a broom cupboard into a banquet hall, it's a small trick of the eye worth knowing that may stop you buying the wrong door for your room or ceiling heights. Continue reading
- UK Oak Doors DIY Calendar: April
April is a good time to make a start on outdoor DIY jobs. The weather can still be unpredictable, so it's not a good idea to start any big painting or construction jobs, but you should have enough nice weekends that you'll be able to get your home ready for the summer. The more you get done now, the more time you'll have to enjoy yourself during the (most likely brief) June heat wave.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
This month is a good time to do some of the more heavy-duty tasks such as cleaning your patio and hosing down your summer furniture, weeding the garden, cleaning your gutters, and fixing your garden fence if it suffered any damage during the winter.
If you're working on gutters or tall fences, put safety first. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment for the tools you're handling, and don't over-reach or take chances when you're working at the top of a ladder.
Easy Summer Gardens
If you want your garden to look great this summer, then you should start planting appropriate plants now. The best plants, for most gardens, are ones that are fairly low maintenance, and that bloom for a long time.
Good plants to invest in for your garden include:
- Hydrangea Macrophylla
- Hibiscus Syryacus
- Echinacea Purpurea
- Salvia X Sylvestris
Weed your garden carefully before you start planting, water the garden regularly, and take care to deadhead spent flowers on a regular basis, and you should have a garden that blooms nicely until late August.
Building a Summer Deck
Building a decking area is a good way to transform your garden into a relaxing, enjoyable place to spend summer evenings.
The key to putting together a nice deck is to plan carefully. Measure your garden and sketch out a design before you start work. You may want to mark out the area that the deck will cover in your garden to make sure that you'll like it once it's in place. Make sure that your deck won't cover any manholes, air bricks, or any other important areas.
Once you're sure you have the perfect layout, it's time to prepare the ground. Firstly, measure out the perimeter of the deck and mark it with pegs and rope or clothesline. Clear all of the ground of vegetation, and pat the soil down so that it's flat and firm. Lay the deck fabric over the cleared ground to prevent weeds growing under the deck.
Next, put down concrete paving slabs. Use a spirit level to ensure that the deck slants appropriately. For every metre of deck, there should be a 10mm drop, and the deck should slant away from the house.
Once the concrete slabs are in place, put a layer of bitumen BPC membrane over those slabs. Now you're ready to start laying the timbers. The outer framework should rest on top of the concrete slabs, and the joists should be fixed with rustproof screws and outdoor wood glue. If you've made any fresh cuts to the wood you're using to build the deck, treat those cuts with a timber preservative to make sure that the wood does not rot.
Once the framework is in place, you can start putting the outer boards in place. Be sure to pre-drill the screw holes before you place the boards; this will reduce the likelihood of the boards splitting when you drill them.
You can treat your deck boards with an oil that penetrates the wood and gives it a nice aged-look, or you can let the wood age naturally.
You should check your board for damage every year, repair any loose boards, and wash the deck to remove any moss or algae that is growing on it. After you wash the deck, apply another oil treatment to preserve the timbers.
- An Introduction to UK Oak Doors Designer Door Levers
Naples, Gibraltar, Corsica... Dream holiday for Shirley Valentine?
Yes they do sound like a nice place to spend the summer but these are just some of the names for designer door levers at UK Oak Doors. Whilst we’re big fans of the traditional style handles like Suffolk Latches some of us at UK Oak Doors have more contemporary homes with accompanying door levers so we can speak from experience about our designer range. Continue reading