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Unique Ideas for an Empty Fireplace

In thought, curling up next to a roaring open fire is the idyllic setting for cool autumnal evenings.  But, as I have learned from experience, sometimes it can all seem a bit much like hard work.  The last thing I want when I'm feeling a chill is to be on my hands and knees sweeping up last night's ashes and having the inevitable debate as to whose turn it is to refill the coal shuttle!

So, with central heating merely a switch away, I'm warming to the idea of making better (hassle free) use of my fireplace.  Here are a few of my favourite finds...


The same romantic effect with none of the fuss!  Filling your hearth with candles is a quick and easy way to maintain that cosy glow.  Choose a variety of shapes and sizes to give different levels and create a stunning focal point.


Why not make use of the extra space and tranform your fireplace into pretty storage shelves.  You could have great fun making this a real feature in the room.  Try backing the shelves with interesting paper.


Bring your empty hearth to life with a beautiful arrangement of flowers.  You could place a vase inside with a beautiful bouquet of seasonal blooms, or why not use the firebasket itself packed with artificial flowers.  Either way, the greenery will bring a fresh look to any neglected fireplace.


For a quirky centrepiece to your room why not transform your fireplace into a unique bookshelf! Whether adding shelves as before, or simply stacking the books as we see here, this is bound to create a real talking point in your living room!  Depending on the look of your books you could create a very colourful display or a rustic feel with more traditional looking, leather spines.


Ok so you may not be burning them in the open fire, but what's to stop you creating that country feel with a display of logs!  Stack logs of different cuts and widths to create an interesting feature.  You could even line the mantle piece and hearth with tealights and small candles (but not too close!) for a wamring glow.

Do you have an unusual fireplace?  We'd love to hear about it!


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5 Essential Features to the Perfect Country Kitchen!

What makes the perfect kitchen?  For some it's an ultra modern blend of stainless steel, gloss surfaces and brilliant lighting.  For others it's a quaint, quiet place where you can while away an afternoon baking or reading at the table.  For me it's a beautiful, character rich country kitchen!  And today I've let my imagination roam to the five essential features that would make up this perfect country kitchen.  Spare a moment to indulge with me...?

1) A Belfast Sink

Although washing dishes is one of the last things I enjoy doing, I love the simple chunky design of a Belfast Sink.  This is a lovely way of making a feature of your window area and breaking up the lines of your cupboards.


2) Traditional Appliances

An increasingly popular feature, the traditional style range cooker is a great way to give an instant nostalgic feel to the kitchen.  A bright, rich red like this one makes a real statement, or cream designs can give a more vintage feel!

3) Quaint Accessories

Sometime less is more and for my perfect country kitchen I love the idea of simple white crockery.  Mixing in a few pretty fabrics and rustic designs can give a beautiful quaint feel which can be created no matter what style of kitchen you have.

4) Exposed Beams

Nothing says country to me like beautiful exposed beams and the kitchen is one of the best places to feature them.  Packed with character they're not only a stunning feature but practical too for hanging pots, pans and pretty accessories.

5) Kitchen Dining Bench

Benches in the kitchen are an instant way to evoke a nostalgic tone and are great for getting the family together.  Combine with beautiful cushions and you can even make a matching table runner for a co-ordinated look!

What would make up your perfect kitchen?  We'd love to hear from you!


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Co-ordinating with Cushions

The importance of cushions is so often overlooked, when in fact they can be an intergral part to the whole outlook of your room. They are an easy way to add colour, texture and interest to your furniture, and are particularly effective in more neutral rooms.  It's amazing how a carefully selected set of cushions can bring life and a whole different mood to your living room.  This sofa is a prime example!

See how much life has been injected into this room with a few co-ordinating cushions and accessories!

Even just a couple of cushions at the edge of your sofa can make a huge difference and help to bring your whole colour scheme together.  Cushions can be key to breaking up solid blocks of colour, and bringing energy to more neutral tones.

And it's not just plainer fabrics that can benefit.  Choosing cushions that can coordinate with patterned furniture can also add a touch of interest and in some cases increase the grandeur of your sofa!

Finally, remember that cushions don't always have to be confined to the sofa.  Decorate bare window sills with an array of cushions.  Choosing various sizes and shapes can be effective but ensure that you keep to one colour scheme, and match your curtains to bring the look together.

How do you like to decorate with cushions?


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Design Explained: Jacquard style Fabrics

The world of fabrics can be a tricky place to navigate!  With damasks, scrolls, jacquards and trails, it's sometimes hard to keep track of what means what.  So today I wanted to shed some light one of our most popular fabric styles: the Jacquard.

Originally named after French inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard in1801, a Jacquard fabric consists of an intricately woven pattern that is raised from the background as opposed to simply printed on. A true jacquard fabric is made using a special Jacquard loom, but the jacquard style or effect can be created in other ways too, giving the same raised look as the jacquard.

This style is great for adding texture and interest to your home textiles.  Let's explore a few of our top Jacquard style fabrics that could add that something special to your home...

A TRUE Jacquard fabric, Belgravia Garden has a subtle floral design which brings texture to the neutral fabric.  Indulge in the luxury of this fabric by teaming with sumptuous golds.

The jacquard style used on this fabric helps to strengthen the contrast between the elaborate design and the background - making for a striking focal point.

A traditional floral incorporating the jacquard style, this tapestry like fabric looks sophisticated and grand.  Perfect for the more traditional home.

Other Jacquard-style fabrics from Plumbs

We have 33 Jacquard style fabric designs in a number of colourways, and 5 true jacquard fabrics for that extra added luxury feel.

Which is your favourite?


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