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Archive for January 2008

Benefits of Reupholstery over Loose Covers

One of the main benefits of reupholstery over loose covers is the ability to retain special features.

Show wood is a good example. A couple of recent examples from the Plumbs reupholstery workrooms are shown here.

In both cases the customers had chosen reupholstery to retain the wood features of the furniture:

before.jpg


The example below shows half way through and then the finished article.

This shows work in progress as the reupholstery fabric is attached beneath the position of the arm:

arm.jpg


The finished article looks superb. Every details of the furniture is exactly as in the original state when the furniture was brand new.

In summary for chairs with special features such as show wood, furniture reupholstery is the best option.

finished-arm.jpg

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Your Home Improvement Resolution

Millions of people every year will make a new year resolution and millions of people will not keep to them, I know, I am one of them.  This is mainly because they are not realistic, too many are made or they're not thought through enough.  However if home improvement has been one of them we have some good tips to help keep you on the road to resolution.

To manage any sort of project there are three main requirements:

    • Decide what needs to be done
    • Prioritise what need to be done
    • Set yourself goals to achieve what needs to be done


In deciding what needs to be done you should try and take a subjective look at your home, a good way to do this is to take a walk around in the mindset of a prospective buyer, you will probably be shocked to see what is in need of improvement.  Get a piece of paper and a pencil and walk through your home room by room.

Starting from the entrance to your home, be it a porch or hallway.  Is it bright and welcoming, or dark and uninviting?  Using softer and lighter shades of colour on the walls can make a dramatic improvement to how people first perceive your home.  This can also be achieved of letting in more natural light, which is not always possible but can be remedied by adding more or brighter lighting fixtures.

The next logical step would be your Living Room, this is where you most need to feel relaxed and restful.  So it is important that all the walls, furnishings, curtains and flooring be coordinated and harmonise with each other.  Neutral tones on the walls are often used as a safe colour to achieve this effect and are easier to contrast with your other features.  If you find your suite is looking tired and worn, fitting made to measure furniture covers are a cheaper alternative to buying a new sofa.

Dinging Rooms are going to a big design essential for 2008 and visual indigestion will definitely not improve your family's appetite. Ever wondered why red is such a popular colour for restaurants and dining rooms? It's because it stimulates the appetite. It's also an energising colour and therefore a good backdrop for social situations. However, choose the shade carefully - you want to create warmth rather than an oppressive, angry atmosphere.

Now to your Kitchen, the most important factor of this room is hygiene.  If there are any dirty marks damage to work surfaces or cupboards then the impression may not be very tasteful.  The main idea of improvement to this room is make it as functional and pleasant to be in.

You may not think it but it can be quite simple and relatively cheap to spruce up you Bathroom.  Just by replacing your taps, toilet seats, shower curtain/door etc. with new or modern fittings can make a real difference.  Look at the flooring, we are becoming more European in our tastes and they regard carpet as unhygienic. Changing to cork, bamboo or ceramic tiles will give your bathroom a fresh, clean and modern look. Coloured suites are also out of fashion. Look out for offers at the DIY stores or on the Internet and consider replacement with plain white.

And finally your Boudoir.  In the bedroom the obvious focal point should be your bed and dressed to command attention, this can be done in a number of fashions such as using bedspreads and scatter cushions.  Colours again are important in creating the right atmosphere and reflect the personality of whoever this room is intended.  You should take you time here to decide how you can create that ultimate feeling for yourself.

Good luck!

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Money Saving Tips - give a fresh feel to your home in the New Year!

It seems the whole world is on a cost cutting exercise right now. It’s official - the consumer bubble has finally burst and everyone is tightening their belts. That’s easier for some than others after the Christmas binge.

2008 feels like its going to be a year for economising which is no bad thing. In our world of home furnishing that means glamming up your home without going for a total re-furbishment.

You can liven up your dining room just by changing the curtains or transform your living room with new tailored loose covers on your suite. Even wallpapering a feature wall in one of this season’s new large print styles can make an amazing difference.

It all helps with making your home feel fresh and interesting again without spending thousands on big items such as new sofas.

Plumbs Covers and Curtains


You can also achive the same effect in this roomset with our fabrics without the usual high costs.

Here are a few more money saving tips that can help give a fresh feel to your home in the New Year:

    • New table linens can change the look of a room instantly. Check out your local thrift store for tablecloths at a fraction of the price of department store linens.
    • Purchase old wooden furniture such as chairs, toy boxes, and shelves at rummage sales and thrift shops. Paint it in fun colors that match your kids' rooms.
    • Paint is cheaper than wallpaper. Use paint effects such as sponge painting, rag rolling, and stenciling to add pattern and interest to your walls. The stencils only cost a few pound. You can use acrylic craft paint instead of the oil based stencil paint because it is brighter and easier to clean. Stencil your designs on tables, bread boxes, shelves and other accessories to match your border.
    • Use a medium to dark color palette to paint your room. As a general rule, the darker the color the more distinctive the room will be perceived by others. Marketing experts use this trick all the time - you can too!
    • Use a wall to display family photos using frames purchased at thrift stores and garage sales. Paint the frames to match furniture, curtains, etc.
    • Plants can make a room come alive... literally! Put them in interesting containers such as baskets and crocks. Don't buy plants; take clippings and regenerate roots. Ask your friends and family if you can take clippings from their plants in exchange for clippings from yours.
    • Spray paint willow branches white and secure them with floral foam in a weighted pot. Place Spanish moss over the foam, and drape the branches with small white lights.
    • Instead of buying decorative soaps, either melt soap you already have or buy a block of soap (5.99) from a craft store. After the soap is melted, add to plastic cookie moldings for fun shapes and add things such as dried flowers, small toys, food coloring or fragrant soaps.

 

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What to do with your old Sofa? Recover, Reupholster or Replace!

How do you decide?

On the one hand there are some tempting credit deals out there to replace your furniture.

On the other hand you might not want to throw a perfectly good suite away, and anyway how would you do it. Who is going to physically remove your sofa from your house?

If you just hate your sofa or it doesn't fit in your home then the best option is probably to try and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way and buy new.

If you already have a well made piece of furniture that is comfy and fits in your home then the best option is probably to cover or reupholster, as your sofa will look like new for half the cost of a new one. With landfill sites filling up fast this is also a good choice for the environment.

Recover:

Pros

    • If the sofa is looking tired, and it's time for an update, then loose covers are the least expensive option. Probably about a quarter of the cost of a new suite.
    • From an environmental point of view, loose covers are also a great choice as you are effectively recycling your sofa or suite.
    • Washability is also a big plus point. Being able to remove wash and refit loose covers is perfect for any household where stains pose a threat.
    • Massive choice of fabrics. You can probably choose from hundreds of options.


Cons

    • Fit is bit of a pro and a con. Loose covers do move and are not fixed to the furniture.
    • For many people they simply wouldn't know it as traditionally made cotton loose covers fit so colsely to the furniture that is almost like reupholstery. There are however some of us who simply prefer the sofa covering to be fixed
    • An extension of the fit argument is detail. Covers do not always respect every single detail of a piece of furniture no matter how well made. A good example is furniture with exposed show wood.


Reupholster:

Pros

    • Price wise a reupholstered suite will be around half the cost of buying new but this is a more expensive choice than loose covers.
    • Another good choice for the environment - you are keeping your furniture out of landfill
    • Comfort and sentimental attachment are not affected. You are making the furniture you already have quite literally look like new.
    • Fit and attention to details are better than for covers.
    • Again a vast choice of fabric.
    • Finally reupholstery is a traditional craft. By choosing this option you are helping to support traditional British workmanship by genuine local craftsmen and women.
    • Usually come with replacement seat cushions
    • Service is a big plus as with this type of craftsman product the service is typically excellent.



Cons

    • The big downside is having to do with out your furniture for 2-3 weeks while the work is done.
    • Not exactly a con but reputation is important. Whoever you choose to do the work has to be trustworthy. You need to be sure that you are getting a hight standard of workmanship.
    • Not cheap although certainly less than buying a new suite
    • You can't see the finished article before you buy - i.e. your own suite reupholstered.



Replace:

Pros

    • New furniture is untouched, unstained has never been sat on and it's exciting to have brand new
    • You can see and sit on lots of different styles before you buy
    • There are some fabulous credit deals to be had



Cons

    • The hassle of moving and disposing of your existing furniture.
    • There is an environmental price to pay in throwing away your old furniture. Typically it will end up in landfill unless a charity shop or similar will take it. Occasionally for very good furniture you may be able to sell it.
    • Interest free credit is not free, but is built into the price. Furniture is already the most expensive of the three and credit just makes it more expensive.
    • Quality is a big issue as there is such a wide range. By buying quality recognised brands such as parker knoll multiyork, wesley barrell or bridgecraft you can be sure that you are investing in quality furniture. However there has to be concern over cheaper furniture which is imported. If you remove the VAT delivery cost, shipping cost from overseas and the sellers margin or cut then there often is little left. This raises a question mark over durability and quality



If you are tired of looking at the furniture in your front room or you just fancy a change then you can recover, reupholster, replace or do nothing. Think about price, comfort and the environment and the way forward should become clear.

Good luck

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