Wednesday, 29 August 2012

September 2012 – Home Style from Marina Wooldridge Honeysuckle Interiors

With summer soon drawing to a close the arrival of September brings on a fresh new academic year.  Our children are back to school and this means an entire shift in gear in family routines.  The focus goes from the out side to the inside and as the nights draw in we spend more of our time inside our homes.
I know we’re only just into September but the truth is, Christmas comes around as fast as a lightening bolt every year. Now is the perfect time to get to grips with what need doing in your home to make sure you’re prepared for the months ahead.

Plan ahead - Use September to plan ahead if you are thinking about home improvements.  If you are planning to call in the professionals remember the good ones are usually booked well in advance.  Nothing is more disappointing than when you return from your holidays fired up with enthusiasm to start a project, only to find out your decorator’s diary is fully booked until January.

Revamp and decorate - Give furniture a new lease of life, perhaps an armchair could be transformed with a throw and cushions made from leftover fabric, or a table revived with some left over paint.  For bigger DIY jobs, hire rather than buy expensive equipment that you’ll only use occasionally. 

Give scruffy dated pine furniture an up to date vintage look by painting it creams and greys set off with soft shades of duck egg blue and greys on the walls and the effect will be stunning.

Eliminating draught is the first step to a warm comfortable home and windows and doors are the chief culprits when it comes to letting in cold air.  If your budget won’t run to new double glazing make sure you have linings and interlinings in your curtains.  If you have radiators under the window, then team your existing curtains with a thick Roman blind to cut out draughts.

Remember you don’t have to spend a fortune to transform your home be creative and make the most of what you already have.

Enrol on a part time course - With the start of a fresh new academic year and thanks to the range of part-time and adult evening courses, there’s something for every age and taste to sign up for. If you’ve ever fancied having a go at making your own soft furnishings why not sign up for one of Honeysuckle Interiors Saturday workshops. If you’ve made furnishings before they will be able to show you the tricks of the trade to make it easier. Honeysuckle welcomes novices and gives you the confidence to have a go yourself. For more details go to their website
Or call for details 01256 780831

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fly The Flag & Buy British

Fly the flag and buy British

I love the patriotic feeling the jubilee and now the Olympics has evoked over recent months.  The whole country has embraced the British theme and are proud to fly the British flag and drape bunting to celebrate. It’s time now for the nation to get behind the country and buy British.  We can see the effect that the recession is having on our high street shops, it’s so sad to see so many of our favourite shops closing down and either remaining empty or pound shops taking their place.  It’s no wonder consumers are being forced to shop on line.  It is very clear to me that now more than ever the British public must get behind their local retailers and support them in order they survive and continue to provide employment.

(Fabrics above and below all available from Honeysuckle Interiors from £15 per metre)

Shoppers are being urged to "Buy British" in an attempt to boost the UK's flagging manufacturing industry.  Out of choice we should support suppliers of British-made goods in preference to "poor quality, often unsafe" imports. The feasibility of this is becoming more difficult as in a bid to cut costs businesses are being forced to out source abroad.

Quality and style are important factors when choosing new furniture and buying trends are about to change.  Five years ago consumers wouldn’t think twice about buying into the latest look with the intention of renewing again in 2-3 years price and value was therefore key. It’s easy to see why the demand for cheaper furniture was fuelled and made even easier to purchase on interest free credit to have it now and pay later basis.

Having been in the soft furnishing business for nearly 25 years I know that if you asked the same question 15 years or more ago people would expect their furniture to last much longer at lease 10 years or more.  Sofas were reupholstered, dining table tops were sanded down, re-varnished and chairs re-covered.   Customers bought into a brand like Ducal, G-Plan, Ercol, Stag to name a few and collected pieces of furniture over time and made it last.

The current “nostalgic look”   for interiors means that  so many pieces of once loved furniture are having a new lease of life. Loose covers on old chairs are recovered in faded old chintz and sit alongside their contemporary counterparts. Rather than being discarded for modern flat pack Ducal pine is being painted in French greys and shades of neutral to get the look.  G plan has become collectable along with some of the better quality furniture of the 1960’s and 70’s for the more modern interior.   

Expectations have changed, however, with an emphasis on the environment and the strain on land fill consumers are buying more conscientiously again.  The recession has meant that sadly not everyone can afford to just throw away their furniture and start afresh.  People are looking at investment pieces of furniture again in a view to them standing the test of time – this is great news for British manufacturers of fine furniture.

So before you rush out to buy new have a look at what you’ve already got and think about how you could use it differently. Make do or mend may just be the order of the day, but if you have to buy new BUY BRITISH!

Proud to be non high street Honeysuckle Interiors are a customer focussed curtain and furnishing business established in 1988.  Beautifully hand tailored curtains and furnishings made with care and pride is what they do exceptionally well.  From a metre of fabric to a complete make-over no job is too small.  Why not pop along to their lovely showroom in Oakley and meet the Design Team  where you’ll always receive a warm welcome. They boast one of the largest fabric and wallpaper libraries out side of London so you can browse at your leisure or let them guide you through all the choices available.  With years of experience professionally made and fitted,  you can be reassured that once you’ve been Honeysuckled you won't settle for anything less.

Showroom Open Tues-Sat 10.00am until 4.00pm
Tel: 01256 780831

(Fabrics above and below all available from Honeysuckle Interiors from £15 per metre)