Design Tips & Ideas

Wood Furniture

For centuries, Wooden furniture has been a staple in the family home. Today it is still extremely popular and wood is the preferred material for many household items such as coffee and dining tables.

Wood is an extremely hard-wearing, robust material that won’t easily fall apart or sustain serious damage. Not only does wood furniture endure over time, but wood is very adaptable and can be pivitol in helping to achieve the desired style of a room, whether it be rustic or elegant, there’s a type of wood that will suit your needs.


Types of Wood

  • Hardwoods such as oak, mahogany, teak and walnut come from deciduous trees
  • Softwoods such as cedar and pine come from coniferous trees

Hardwood is often more expensive than softwood, but the difference in price is indicative of the difference in quality; They are generally much stronger and are therefore less likely to sustain damage, walnut and oak furniture are suited with many different finishes, creating a slick, sleek look. Teak furniture is also particularly strong and impervious to rotting.

Solid oak furniture is popular for its strength and durability. You can get oak furniture to suit any style – traditional, rustic, antique, contemporary and modern. There are also many different kinds of oak wood, from reclaimed and reproduction, to weathered and limed finishes if you want a more vintage look.

Softwood is generally more affordable and thought to be more environmentally friendly. Pine is one of the most popular softwoods, as it can be painted or varnished easily to create different styles.

Light or Dark Wood

It is usually advisable to choose a dark wood if your décor is light, and light wood if your décor is dark; this will ensure the room doesn’t look too dull or washed out and it also helps to make the item of wood furniture stand out nicely.


In summary, any kind of wood is a great choice for furniture but choose wisely; find a type and colour which suits your needs and you’ll be enjoying your wooden furniture pieces for years to come

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 10 December, 2013


The Varied Looks that can be Achieved with Different Wood Floor Finishes

Solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring are fantastic choices for your space as they are durable, hardwearing and timeless. Having a timeless value is a huge investment when purchasing something like flooring, as it eliminates the need to replace it within a few years. And the best thing about this type of floor is that it can be changed almost as easily as your taste changes.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the things you (or a trusted professional if you don’t value your DIY skills!) can do to your wood flooring to change its appearance, with minimal hassle.


A growing trend emerging is the development of coloured wooden floors, ranging from your standard oak, to black, to any colour you can imagine, really. They are fantastic for instantly transforming any room into a unique space that perfectly matches your interior and personality. As the process is fairly simple – it literally involves painting the floor – it allows for the process to be completed again in the future, should your interior or mood change again.

Coloured oiled floors are also good as you can update high traffic areas easily, by simply painting them, rather than having to worry about replacing the whole floor. The only thing to remember when selecting oiled floors is to ensure you give them enough time to dry, a process which can take quite a long time (usually 24 hours).


The ‘chipping’ process (generally done by professionals) is perfect for making floor designs look older and therefore more traditional and classic. As a result, this means that you are able to use modern, engineered flooring in listed buildings. This is a huge plus as they can provide the durability that may be required in this type of property.

Hand scraping

Although a rather daunting-sounding process, this one also has a variety of benefits. Hand scraping the surface of the flooring using the wood’s natural contours and grains creates a truly antique looking floor, ideal for that classic wooden floor look.

As this is known to be quite a rigorous process, so it’s highly recommended that you choose a hardwearing wood, such as oak flooring with, as depending on the grade you opt for, you can achieve a number of beautiful and timeless finishes.


You can also use a number of different treatments to help preserve your flooring, and to give it a refreshing makeover. Investing in a good wood protective oil will instantly improve the appearance of your floors, and will defend them against scratches and stains. This is of course particularly useful in high traffic areas, in homes with smaller children, pets or for businesses.


Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 November, 2013


Colour is the new white!

When it comes to redecorating our bathrooms, we are frequently advised to stick to plain white bathroom suites that will not date easily. While this is practical, team it with white walls and you risk having a bathroom that is bland, lifeless and sterile – hardly the atmosphere you want for one of the most important rooms in the house.


You could avoid this by using some coloured tiles into the room. While these would instantly add life to the space, making it look less like a show home, you can also find yourself faced with a hefty price tag. Plus, if one or more of the tiles becomes damaged over the years, you could be faced with additional expenses to repair it.


An equally as effective option is to go for coloured cladding instead. This can work out a lot cheaper than tiling your bathroom and can still produce a high-quality finish. Available in a range of different colours and styles, these panels are easily mounted to the wall, helping to minimise the mess created during your redecoration. Working in the same way as tiles, the panels are completely waterproof and practical, while being durable too.


Have a look at the fantastic range of bathroom wall panels available from Décor Cladding Centre – their mosaic print panels will work well in any bathroom, with the light airy colours a great option to make smaller bathrooms seem bigger.


To complete your newly cladded bathroom, you should invest in some matching items to finish off the look. Toothbrush holders, soap dispensers and decorative ornaments will all help to tie the room together perfectly. Complementary coloured towels will provide a nice finishing touch too.

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 6 November, 2013


Increase Your Home’s Value with Simple Staging Techniques


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If you are considering selling your property, or will be considering selling your property in a few years’ time; it is always a good idea to keep in mind your potential buyers when it comes to interior design and décor. A simple, well balanced living area will definitely attract more interested buyers than a home which is cluttered and over personalised. The majority of people only consider what they like when it comes to design, and forget about the general public or future potential buyers – but it’s always a good idea to play it safe. With the help of High Price Paid, one of the UK’s leading quick home buying companies, we have come up with a few design tips and ideas that will help you get the best possible price achievable when it comes to selling your home, and listed them below.

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 29 October, 2013


DIY Room Divider

….We were so delighted when we were approached by the talented team at Martha Stewart to compete for an opportunity to join the ”12 Months of Martha Stewart Crafts Team”. As part of the program, Bloggers receive a monthly box of Martha’s newest and hottest craft product, create something amazing, and post about it on their sites. These projects are promoted  on the @MarthaStewart Pinterest board and All we needed was a point of inspiration, so I looked around my home for something that would be functional as well as aesthetic and soon found something that was long overdue to be tackled.

My husband and I have both the convenience, and inconvenience, of working from home, in very different careers. We share a light-filled, lofty, space on the 3rd floor of our suburban NJ home. In general, the pros do outweigh the cons when both partners are home-based and working, but we desperately needed something to divide our office areas and provide a sense of privacy and definition of workspace – without losing all of the luminosity we enjoy from opening the space up when we remodeled. So, Michelle and I decided to create a stylish, yet affordable, room divider and build it ourselves from scratch, to serve as a distinct border between the two offices. Sounds ambitious, right? Actually, it was surprisingly easy and affordable – and not to mention a lot of fun. Here’s how we did it…..

1) Wooden Dowel rods (we selected three different sizes, by thickness)
2) Eye screws (the smallest we could find in the local arts and crafts store)
3) Aluminum jump rings (12mm size)
4) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Gloss Spray Paint Kit
5) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Sprayable Gloss Enamel Finish
6) Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Glow-in-the-Dark Acrylic Paint
7) Martha Stewart Crafts® Stains

Here’s a walk-through of the process:

We had an old patio garden table we didn’t mind to work on with paints and materials and stained the dowel rods by wiping on the stain with a cloth and leaving them to dry. If you don’t have an old table, make sure to put down dust sheets or newspaper whenever you use paints and stains.

Masking / Painter’s tape is the best method for covering any areas that you do NOT want to color or stain.

We then created a makeshift ‘dryer’ from an old plastic tub and made a grid from the painter’s tape to prevent the painted rods from sticking together. We then applied the spray paint to the sticks, using the white paint with first and allowed them to dry. Note that you may need to apply a couple of layers of spray paint for a clean,consistent, finish.

Repeat the last two steps for any other color you would like to introduce to your project. We chose colors that are very current, i.e. dark wood with white contrast and a splash of luminous pink.

Once the paint is dry, simply remove all of the masking / painter’s tape and begin fixing the eye screws in 2 at the bottom and 2 at the top (for our project we measured 1.5″ from the edge, which was also at the paint line on one end of each dowel rod). A good tip to help you with fixing the eye screws in place is to use a micro phillips-head screw driver (we improvised and did it this way), or better still a Bradawl (we couldn’t find ours), to make a small hole in which to begin fixing the eye screw. This will save your fingers feeling like you just went 15 shelves deep with Ikea’s finest.

We connected the rods, via the eye screws, with three 12mm jump rings, but you can choose whatever amount you feel is appropriate. As a rough rule of thumb, the thinner the dowel the less rings you would want to place between them so you do not lose the feeling of something physical between the rooms.

We then stained a piece of wood that we had measured to the desired length of the three columns of rods, with some space between each column. Using nylon fishing line, we connected the columns of rods to the top piece of wood and voila! – we had a beautiful room divider. From start to finish, without considering time to gather the materials or for the paint to dry, it took around two hours to prep and complete the project. If you started in the morning, on a warm sunny day, as we did, you can be installed and putting the drill down in a single day!

The bonus for us was when we realized that when we’re bored with the color scheme, or just looking to change, we think this project would make an outstanding statement as a piece of wall art. It was a lot of fun, provides a lot of function and style, but most of all – it was easy and affordable!




Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 13 October, 2013


Rouse a tired bedroom by replacing your bed

If you are having trouble sleeping, your mattress has seen better days or the bedroom is looking a bit outdated, replacing your bed could be the answer to your décor dilemma.

New beds can dramatically improve comfort, sleep patterns and the aesthetics of a room. Experts at the British Sleep Council say beds should be replaced every ten years. So what are you waiting for?

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 6 September, 2013


15 Fantastic Reasons to Clear Out the Clutter Infographic

Did you know the average person can spend an entire year of their life looking for misplaced items? If you feel you spend a lot of time searching for your belongings you might be a victim of clutter. Clutter can become an overwhelming hassle for many. As time goes by it is easy to accumulate a lot of stuff and run out of space to store it all. While it might be difficult to part ways with items of sentimental value, home organization experts encourage everyone to get rid of any items they haven’t used in the past year.

Organizing your home can help reduce the time you spend frantically searching for lost items. SpareFoot, the largest online inventory of storage units, offers up some advice on keeping an organized home. Their infographic on clutter gives fifteen great reasons to keep a tidy house.  De-cluttering your home can save you money, relieve stress, improve friendships, and even lead to a better sex life. It’s incredible all the ways you can better your life with a little home organization. Check out the infographic for all the wonderful benefits.

Clutter Infographic
Produced by SpareFoot. Copyright 2013.


Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 4 September, 2013



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