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Get weekly updates on the latest interior design trends from our experts at Plumbs

Have you turned your heating off yet?

With the sun shining through the office window today and the first signs of Spring slowly emerging from the Winter gloom, I’m itching to turn my heating off and lower those pesky energy bills.  How many of you feel the same?

The transitional period of Spring can often be a gamble with crisp, cool mornings turning into warm afternoons and nights retaining a mild chill.  It can be difficult to know how much heating you’ll need.  It could be time to look into alternative methods of keeping your home the right temperature and say goodbye to rising energy bills.

Try the curtain method! When the weather is a little milder one of the best courses of action is to turn off the radiators and reap the benefits of lined curtains.  Lined curtains are proven to reduce the amount of heat loss in your home by preventing warm air escaping and cool air getting in through your windows.


Not only are they great for heat control, you could kill two birds with one stone and refresh your home for the Spring.  Fresh, vibrant florals are popular this season, with modern and traditional designs available.  Look for soft, pastel palettes like greens and pinks for a typically feminine feel.  Or consider yellows and greys for more neutral appeal.


For added style and further protection from the cooler nights, you could even include blinds with your curtains.  The extra layer can really add depth and drama to your windows, especially when using co-ordinated fabrics.


So do your purse strings a favour and flick off the heating! Your home will be left prepared for Spring, looking fresh and your bills will be much kinder!  Click here to browse our curtain fabrics.

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A warm home and a cool head: 5 top tips to beat the energy price rise

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the first signs of Christmas are adorning the shop fronts – winter is well and truly on its way.  But for many of us, this year’s holiday cheer is being dampened by news of rising energy costs and worries of the implications for our heating bills.  With the ‘big six’ energy companies including British Gas and EDF Energy all announcing rises of up to 18%, it’s no wonder that so many of us are searching for a solution.

The struggle is often not heating your home, but keeping that heat in.  A huge proportion of heat can be lost through windows and under doors, as the image below shows.


So, to help you on your way, we’ve come up with 5 top tips to keeping your home warm, keeping your heating bills down and keeping your spirits high!

1) Don’t invite the cold in! Draught-proof your front door by adding a door brush; particularly useful in windy conditions.  Consider getting a door curtain – not only will this reduce the draughts coming in and the warm air getting out, a door curtain can add a real cosiness to your hallway.

2) Fill in the gaps! If your radiator is directly below your window, tuck the edges of your curtains onto the window sill.  This will prevent the hot air from the radiator escaping straight out behind your curtains.  Alternatively, you could invest in a radiator cover to ensure that heat is directed out, into the room.

3) Safeguard your windows! Opt for lined and interlined curtains to keep the draughts from coming in. Interlinings act as an extra insulation layer within the curtains. To be twice as prepared, add a blind behind your curtains.


4) Pick a pelmet! Not only do pelmets provide an excellent finishing touch to your window dressing, they can also reduce the amount of heat lost when hot air that has risen begins to cool and fall.


5) Bathrooms and kitchens! In rooms where you may not have curtains such as bathrooms or kitchens, consider installing blinds.  They may be less effective insulators than curtains, but they should certainly make some difference.  Avoid slatted blinds and opt for roman styles.


Plumbs offer made-to-measure curtains and blinds in a beautiful range of designs, so you can keep warm and you won’t have to compromise on style.

To view our range and find out more about about Plumbs' Curtains and Blinds, click on the link below:

http://www.plumbscurtains.co.uk/

Thermal Imaging picture taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/energy/heatrev3.shtml

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There's never been a better time...

In just the last couple of weeks two articles have been extolling the virtues of loose covers as a credit crunch busting way to imrpove the look of your home environment.

 The January 2009 Country Living runs a great article 'Recycled Chic' on page 27. The essence of the feature is about finding and restoring interesting furniture tracked down through charity shops or ebay.

You may not need to trawl through ebay looking for 'elegant upholstered pieces simply in need of new covers' as Country Living journalist Caroline Reeves suggests. Take a look at what's already in the family. Now picture that interesting old couch transformed with a new fabric outer and looking just like new. How would it look in your living room. It's worth considering.

 Good Housekeeping January 2009 edition number 1 tip on page 66 - "Expert updates on a credit crunch budget" is....yes you've guessed it...."Give your threadbare sofa a new incarnation by shielding the shabbiness with removable washable loose covers."

Who am I to argue with Good Housekeeping journalist Samantha Trapp.

Best wishes one and all for a very Happy Christmas and remember, if it's all starting to look a bit tired and worn in the new year, just follow the advice of the home magasine experts and consider loose covers or reupholstery to breathe new life into the look of your home.

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If you want to "Make do and Mend", Plumbs can help!

Most people over the age of 50, which makes up the majority of the 'Air Raid' or 'Baby Boom' generations, will remember the mantra "make do and mend". This term, meaning "manage with whatever is available", was first coined on a World War II propaganda slogan to try and encourage people to conserve materials by restoring items rather than replacing them.

We are obviously not going through such hardships now but this message is still as relevant today as it was 60 years ago. With predicated falls in inflation, interest rates being cut and the budgeted 2.5% drop in VAT, money is still tight and we need to think carefully about our spending habits.

Plumbs understand this mantra more than most as it's what our business was built on. Going back 45 years or even just 20 years, disposable cheap furniture was practically unheard of. If you wanted to give your old sofa a new look or repair any damage, the cheapest alternative to buying new was to either re-cover or re-upholster your suite.

There has been a number of campaigners trying to educate people into changing their habits and come away from the throw away generation we have found ourselves becoming. One such campaigner, Barbara Warmsley, Oxfam's Green Granny has started using the internet to try and spread the "make do and mend" message by producing a series of videos of tips and ideas for saving money and living better.

Here is the first one:



Remember "make do and mend", don't just throw away and buy new!

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