The sun is attempting to shine and the weather is getting a little warmer in the UK, despite the unheard of event of snow in Cornwall last week. One thing that the sun does for us, is make us feel brighter and happier and guns many of us into action, especially when it comes to making the most of the sun at home.
The premium part of a property at this time of the year to think about will be the conservatory, the one room in the house that allows you to really make the most of the sun.
Spring may have brought on the need to scrub the house, but summer is the time when we want to see the house looking bright and clean. With this in mind, what better room to start brightening up the house than the conservatory.
With a conservatory, there’s no hard and fast rule to say you have to fill it with rattan furniture and cushions. Like any room, it should reflect what you use it for, along with the family’s personality.
Furnishings – sofas, tables and blinds
The shape and design of the conservatory will have to be considered before you begin planning out the furniture, as well as what use the extra room will have. Does it have to be child and pet friendly? Or will it be used for quiet periods reading a book or watching catch-up TV? Will it be used as an informal dining room, perhaps?
Considering these things first and putting in a little planning before you begin will be helpful in the long run.
When it comes to choosing furniture, you can opt for the traditional rattan, of which there are a huge amount of styles and colours to choose from. Alternatively, you could of course use a sofa that’s in the living room section of the store, taking care to choose one that doesn’t sit directly on the flooring, so that air can circulate even when the room’s not in use.
There are some beautiful sofas on the market and with a little shopping around, you can find bargains. Try eBay as well as the main stores as the bargains that can be found are well worth it.
Flooring will have been installed with the conservatory, but you can brighten it up with colourful and durable rag rugs, to match other accessories.
Colours, accessories and plants
Conservatory colour schemes are down to individual taste, but some people buy neutral colours so that it’s a simple matter of changing accessories to alter the look of the room. This means going for furniture that complements the design of the conservatory too.
Of course, there’s nothing to say you shouldn’t go bright and bold, choosing furniture to suit, but this will limit you in the future should you want to change it. Go for neutral bases and then liven up with colourful cushions and throws.
Tables and accessories that don’t cost the earth will mean that you can change them easily and cheaply when the time comes.
As it’s a conservatory, add some foliage. Why not try planting herbs and placing the pots in various locations around the room. These will look pretty, are useful for those who like to cook and will smell wonderful when the sun hits them, especially fragrant herbs such as rosemary and mint.
Other plants that are extremely well-suited to a conservatory include:
- Bougainvilleas – these flower for 10 months of the year and come in a range of vibrant colours to complement accessories
- Clivia come in different varieties and include bright and rich orange, yellow and cream
- Jasmine are great for conservatories due to their fragrance and ability to climb. These attractive flowers are usually white and bloom all throughout the summer. The ‘lady of the night’ variety will scent the room at night with a sweet, floral smell.
The beauty of a conservatory is that most indoor and outdoor plants will thrive, so you can mix the floral and leafy and even grow subtropical plants, such as Aloe Vera, which has great medicinal properties for burns and abrasions to the skin.
Grow plants on a variety of levels, with the leafy plants on the floor, climbers supported by a trellis and flowers in hanging baskets or high shelves to gain a trailing effect.
If you’re considering having a new conservatory fitted, why not visit the Anglian UK website and see what they can do for you, from design, to planning and everything in between!
Image courtesy of www.anglianhome.co.uk
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 23 May, 2013
With the spring and summer entertaining season on us it is time to consider the furniture on the deck and in the garden. Well-furnished outdoor areas not only add elegance and functionality, they add lots of room for larger gatherings with your family and friends. Maybe your dining room only fits a half dozen, but the deck or lawn can fit many more usually.
When choosing garden furniture, consider what you will be using it for and the amount of space you have available. If you have a large deck or patio then you can choose between a dining or grouped pieces for conversation and beverages or with a casual design of well-spaced loungers and chaise recliners.
For the lawn or garden a mix is best with a 6 to 8 piece central sitting area and several small groupings with 2 or 3 chairs and a small table. This is ideal for larger parties. Think like a casual bar or restaurant with an area in center for the large group but places where guests can sit slightly apart to comfortably chat when they grow tired of sports talk.
If there is not a canopy or ample shade trees the liberal use of appropriate sized umbrellas is a good idea. A large umbrella over the central area is a must if there is not a canopy but smaller ones at each pairing of chairs or loungers around the outskirts add both usefulness and distinct elegance.
For aesthetic purposes, get complimentary colors and styles for each setting area instead of exact matching. Varying the size of umbrellas, and perhaps the shades of color on them and a tasteful mix of solids and prints for cushions on the furniture is much more attractive than identical sets. Think of the difference between a fast food restaurant and your home. Do you want to look like McDonalds or a relaxing home?
Having the BBQ grill and a bar or buffet set up slightly away from the sitting area is convenient. It prevents people from having to interrupt conversations to pass through or have things passed to them and will allow you as the hosts to mingle and enjoy your guests instead of simply serving them. It also allows guests to feel more comfortable simply helping themselves to a beverage if they do not need to ask for it each time.
For Furnishings choose things with adequate padding that invite people to relax and stay for a while. Hard while plastic and folding chairs with nylon webbing are okay for taking to watch the kids’ softball game but are not great for home entertaining. The rattan garden furniture is available in virtually every style and color and is durable enough for outdoor use and elegant enough to be brought inside for use in the sunroom or spare rooms during winter months.
There are different materials available in garden furniture. For shaker style or wood slat real wood looks better than resins but will require paint or stain every couple seasons. For rattan if you do not have covers for every piece then the resin is a better choice as painting rattan is a big chore. Cushions are replaceable but it is cheaper to get covers and keep them covered when not being used than to replace them due to sun fading and weather wear every other year. Umbrellas should always be down when not in use and taken down completely in severe weather like thunderstorms.
A well-arranged lawn or deck with suitable furnishings will provide hours of enjoyment and endless opportunities for entertainment. Often, during half the year it will become the most popular “room” in your home.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 22 May, 2013
I am a gardener at heart. I love growing flowers and vegetables in the summer and attempting to keep my indoor plants alive in the winter. These new planters from Luca Nichetto Design Studio will be the perfect compliment to a contemporary exterior. Plantrellis is a collection of three concrete outdoor planters with coordinating metal trellises designed for Berga. They have a great modern design and the trellis can provide a splash of color as a backdrop for your greenery. The planters can be used as singular units or in combination with or without the trellises attached. The trellises can also be used independently or in various formations to create an interconnected system among the planters. The Plantrellis Collection is being shown at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, which runs from February 5th through the 9th.
Posted by KarenShearer at 6 February, 2013
We attended the NYIGF this weekend and have some great new products to introduce to you. Personally, I have been looking for some outdoor furniture for this summer and I was pleased to see the minimalist contemporary designs from Fermob. Fermob has a lot going for them. Their products are extremely durable and have an Anti-UV powder coating to make certain the color will last as long as the structure and there are actually 24 different colors to choose from. Everything from basic black or white to bright shades of orange, green and yellow. Just their Luxembourg collection alone has such versatile components that it will work well in any sized space, from that tiny apartment balcony to a large patio or pool area. The item in the collection that interested me most was the new Rocking Chair. In my opinion, the chair really rounds out the collection by adding that, ‘just lean back and relax element’. The rocker takes the extremely functional and versatile series to another level of comfort. The rocking chair is made from an aluminum tube frame with the backrest, seat and armrests made of extruded-aluminium slats, which are curved to perfectly fit your form. I could certainly enjoy spending my summer reclining in this rocking chair while catching a bit of sunshine.
Posted by KarenShearer at 28 January, 2013
DESIGNYOUEDIT is being offered by Venezia Homedesign. It will be shown at Imm Cologne starting today! The DESIGNYOUEDIT series is an exciting new concept in furnishing and design. It meshes well with either a home environment or public area, where seating for the purposes of lounging or gathering is needed. This is design that can move with you and change with your needs and creativity. I have always been one to enjoy shuffling things around my home to create a fresh look and these products allow me to easily take that that inclination a step further and actually modify not only the placement, but the structure and use. So, Venezia has produced this inheritantly versatile line of products, but then also provided them with the durability to withstand use either indoors or out. This may be every mother’s dream come true. It’ll look great in the living or family room, the kids can rearrange it as needed for play and it may even withstand the grape juice challenge. Now this is a design that speaks to me with both its contemporary aesthetic value and versatility beyond the norm. This is just a little sneak peak, the full range of products is viewable on YouTube if you want to check it out.
Posted by KarenShearer at 14 January, 2013
I admit I am a little behind the holiday season with this great product I just stumbled upon, but I am so enchanted with this concept for children’s play and storage structures I could not help myself. Tsuchinoco‘s products certainly go beyond the holiday season and are so lovely, they are sure to spark the imagination and creativity in every child. This line of children’s products has been created by Masahiro Minami Design in Japan. Although the concept of reinforced corrugated fibreboard is not new in and of itself, this is a very functional design. They have taken the concept to the extent of developing outdoor playground equipment. The cardboard used for the products is not your normal corragated cardboard and it does not contain petroleum products or result in deforestation. It can also be easily recycled at the end of its life unlike many other plastic toys. Currently items can be purchased via the internet from here, but hopefully these and other similar environmentally sensitive items will become increasingly available at a store near you. We determine demand in the market by where we choose to put our dollars and this kind of inspirational design stands to benefit our children and future generations in many different ways.
Posted by KarenShearer at 27 December, 2012
The long-established lantern style outdoor light is an old favourite loved by millions worldwide. First mentioned by Theopompus (a Greek comic poet), lanterns have been part of everyday culture for many years and give most contemporary lighting designs a run for their money.
Lanterns have come a long way since their popularity took off when used to shield burning candles over 300 years ago. Originally made of tinplate or sheet iron, the traditional design has remained a trusted and favourite design throughout the centuries.
Prior to the lantern revolution, families went to bed as the sun went down or relied on the glow from the fire for illumination. But since Boston homeowners started the trend of placing a doorway lantern outside their homes, lanterns were used as streetlamps on busy intersections. Powered by fuel-soaked pine knots, the lanterns were kept alight by Lamplighters who worker through the night adding fuel and flame to the streetlamps.
Fast-forward to the 21st Century and the lanterns style of outdoor lighting is still extremely popular in Western culture. Developments in technology since the Revolution meant that electricity now powers the best, and most traditional style of outdoor lighting.
Modern equivalents (with all the useful features for 21st Century living) are available from Mail Order Lighting.
Illuminating your garden using contemporary lighting, is a sure-fire way to make it beautiful whether the season is blooming spring or crisp winter.
Outdoor or ‘landscape’ lighting makes dramatic improvements to your outdoor space; and for low costs. The most popular ways to power your contemporary outdoor lighting are by LED or solar technology.
LED’s are both efficient and long-lasting; the average white LED lasts 35000 to 50000 hours compared to 705 to 2000 hours for a standard filament bulb. They are also child-friendly as they do not lose their energy through heat – they stay bright and are cool to touch.
Solar powered outdoor lighting is the cheapest contemporary lighting option on the market. Lights come in a wide variety of attractive styles and designs and will keep your outdoor lights bright for between 8 and 10 hours per charge. Plus, advances in technology mean some solar powered lights function as well in winter as they do in summer.
There are many benefits to both traditional and contemporary outdoor lighting. Visit homeclick to choose the design which fits with the look of your property and your tastes.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 27 December, 2012