• Amazing Outdoor Furniture (Because summer is finally here!)

    The British summer doesn't last long, so it's important to take advantage of every single moment. We're lucky enough to have a nice big garden at the rear of our home; one which sees sun for a large portion of the day. My wife and I love spending time out there, but our teenage kids seem happier spending their time indoors updating their Facebook pages. This year, I'm determined to change that. We're having a barbecue, and they're going to enjoy it!

    This Biergarten Dining Set is an ideal replacement for the rickety plastic garden furniture we have right now. It's big enough to accommodate a few of our friends when we're entertaining, and it provides enough working space for my wife to use when she wants to take her laptop outside to send emails on a summer evening. The design really does evoke memories of the beer garden outside Fruh in Cologne, too.

    Striped Biergarten Dining Set

    Of course, persuading the kids to come and hang out at a beer garden table is not going to be easy. I think putting a couple of these Ibiza Chaise loungers on the patio might help. I don't think the natural colour would survive for long in this household, but the Navy looks a lot like blue denim, so it should cope well with iced coffee stains, and still looks young, trendy, and comfortable.


    The Ibiza Chaise carries an impressive price tag for something that seats only one person, starting at $800 for the most basic model. If you're on a budget, and want to seat a few more people, this classically styled Le Versha Chair is a fraction of the cost, and since it's made of iron it's easier to keep clean too.

    Le Versha Chair

    Pair it up with this vintage table for some vintage, decorative seating when entertaining large groups. You could pick up the table and a few chairs for the price of one chaise, and while wrought-iron inspired chairs are nowhere near as comfortable as a chaise, they most definitely look good.

    Vintage Garden Table

    Speaking of looking good, this illuminated outdoor table is awesome for evening entertaining. I love looking at Hollywood mansions and penthouse pool areas. I know it's unlikely that I'll ever live in somewhere like it myself, but serving hors d'oeuvres around our pond, before retreating to the patio for cocktails served at one of these trendy tables is the next best thing. Now if only I could get some celebrity special guests to come and hang out with us…..

    Bass Illuminated Outdoor Table

    Some of our close friends have children, so we need to make sure that our pond is safe. It's not a large pond, but it is big enough to be dangerous for a small child. Before we can safely entertain, we need a good pond cover. Most of the commercial ones I've seen are rather boring and utilitarian. I want a pond cover that looks like a decorative feature itself. Something like this creative pond cover:

    pond cover

    Now all I need is a barbecue to go with it. Oh, and some cooking skills!

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  • How To Paint A Panelled Door

    See How to Paint a Panelled Door in PDF format Spend what you will on the quality of build and materials on any door and that investment is jeopardised by the choice and finesse of the finish. We will cover our guide to the selection process for which options are available in different types of finish in another one of our guides.

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  • DIY Calendar: June - How to Lay Tiles

    By June, the weather is getting a lot warmer, and this gives you more scope for the sorts of jobs you would want to work on, however, there is more than just weather to consider when planning DIY jobs.  If you have school-aged children, then June is the last month during which you'll have entire days to work uninterrupted for quite a while.  The summer holidays feel like they're getting longer every year, so if you have any major jobs to get done, and don't want children underfoot while you're doing them, then now is the time to start them!

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  • Sinks and taps (because they don't have to be boring)

    Next time you remodel your bathroom, spare a moment for the humble basin. There's no need to limit yourself to a standard ceramic sink and a simple chrome tap.  Check out these gorgeous bathroom basins that will add personality to your room.

    1. The Sophie Bathroom Basin - Copper

    The Sophie Bathroom Basin is a small, copper vanity basin which will add instant rustic to any bathroom. This basin is perfect for a small bathroom, or a vanity basin in a bedroom.  The sink would look beautiful sunken into any marble, granite or wooden counter.


    2. The Zen Vessel

    Another exquisite vanity sink, the Zen Vessel is a dark granite free-standing sink with chiselled sides. This has got to be my favourite of the lot; I’d love to have it in my bathroom although I’m sure it wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end hotel either….


    3. Travertine Stone Sink

    This rectangular stone sink is made of Niche Travertine. The sink is large and deep, and is designed to stand above the counter. The sink can take a large volume of water, and has steep sides to prevent spillages and water splashing over the sides. This Travertine sink has a timeless finish, and although I think it’s a great piece, I do think the one above makes more of a statement.


    4. LED Faucets

    I’m a big fan of modern and contemporary interiors, and I love this Chrome LED Waterfall spout. The "Roman Tub Spout" design is made of chrome, and features built-in colour changing LEDs which glow in different colours according to the temperature of the water; green when the water is cool, blue when it is between 30 and 39 degrees Celsius, and red when the water temperature exceeds 40 degrees.

     led faucets

    5. European Style Roman Waterfall Faucets

    I love this faucet too; it’s similar in a way to the one above but is possibly even more eye-catching. Instead of the water coming downwards out of the faucet, it flows off the faucet like a waterfall. Very tempting.

    European Style Roman Waterfall FaucetsWhich sink and/or tap do you like best?

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  • UK Oak Doors Jargon Buster: All About Doors

    We’ve all been through the pressure of buying something important that we know little to nothing about. From car technicians who bamboozle us with jargon so complicated that it sounds like they’re talking another language, to the salesmen who dazzle us with well-rehearsed pitches; you want to get involved in the decision-making process but you just can’t get your head around what is actually being said.

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  • Guest Pests – How to Prevent and Treat Woodworm Then Hide The Evidence

    Purchasing products from reputable sources (such as UK Oak Doors) using good wood and reliable treatments is the best preventative action to the introduction of wood pests into the home. But whether by flying insects or the introduction of new furniture in the home, any modern house may inadvertently bring wood pests into the house, particularly if home designers prefer a more classic look with antique furniture.

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    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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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)

    Photo frame wallsticker

    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.

    seahorse wall sticker

    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.

    flags wall sticker

    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) 

    cat wall sticker

    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)

    sunflower wall sticker

    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 :)

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  • 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.

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