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9th August 2019

Interior Design: Mixing Patterns in the Home

Interior Design: Mixing Patterns in the Home

Product in image: Alstons Camden Grand Sofa


Interior design is one of those creative skills that can be learned or acquired over time. Once you get to grips with a few essential basics, you have a solid foundation to work and develop from. One of those basics is how to mix patterns.

If you’ve ever come across a photo in a magazine or online and wondered how they managed to achieve the finished look, then learning how to mix patterns is a good place to start. One of the most important things to know about this particular skill is that patterns don’t need to match. That’s right! You can mix and clash a huge variety of patterns and produce a very beautiful result. So, where do you begin?

Colour 

Colour is a great way to link patterns together without being matchy-matchy. If you have one or several key colours in a room, pick those out and work from there. Use your key colours to choose cushions, wallpapers, upholstery, curtains and carpets in a variety of patterns. From florals and geometric shapes to plaids and tartans, there are many different patterns that can work super well together provided that they all use the same colour scheme. It might seem alien at first, putting a delicate floral pattern next to bold stripe design, but as long as the colours work together then the patterns should look natural next to each other. 

It’s also a good idea to remember that you don’t need to go crazy with the colours. When done correctly an array of bright, clashing colours can look very good, but the same kind of effect can be achieved by sticking with an understated neutral or monochrome palette as well.

 

Size and scale 

Another key ingredient in mixing patterns is the size and scale of the designs. A great room will have the perfect balance of large and small patterns, layered in a way that makes the room look expertly finished. Larger patterns should be used on larger areas, such as floors and walls, medium patterns can be used on furniture and smaller patterns can be used on accessories such as cushions. Solid colours are perfect for tying all of the patterns together, so don’t be afraid to pick out one or two colours and use them as a block background for some of your pattern choices.

We have a great range of pattered furniture in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.

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8th July 2019

Tips for Sleeping in Hot Weather

Tips for Sleeping in Hot Weather

With summer well and truly underway, many of us are enjoying the long warm evenings and lazy sunny days. But when it comes to sleeping, the heat can become somewhat annoying. If you’ve spent the last few weeks tossing and turning and trying to get a good night’s sleep in the warmer temperatures, try out these tips to see if you can ease your way into a better night’s rest. 


Go for cotton

The summer months are not the best time to break out that cosy flannel bedding you have stashed in the airing cupboard. Stick with cotton sheets and blankets as it is much more effective for wicking heat away from the body and keep your bed cool. 


Have a lukewarm shower

It might be tempting to blast yourself with freezing cold water before bed, but this actually doesn’t have the effect you are aiming for. The body responds to the cold water by putting in lots of energy to warm it back up again, so you can end up hotter than when you got into the shower! Take a lukewarm one before bed instead to prevent your core temperature from going up. 


Sleep downstairs

Heat rises, so in most houses, the upper part is going to be the warmest. If your home is cooler downstairs, set up camp there until the worst of the heat passes. 


Avoid cooking

Using the stove and oven increases the temperature of the house, so take your cooking outside and make your evenings meals on the BBQ instead. Stick to cold meals such as salad and sandwiches which are easier for the body to digest that heavy, cooked meals so you are less likely to increase your core temperature. 


Use a fan

Fans are a great alternative to expensive air conditioning units, so place on your bedside table with a bowl of ice in front of it to blast a cooling breeze over you as you sleep. 


Unplug electronics

Even the smallest appliances can give off heat when they are plugged in, so disconnect everything before you go to bed to keep the temperature of your room down. 


Close the blinds

If you’re in the habit of throwing open the curtains and blinds first thing in the morning – stop! Leave them closed during the day to block out the heat from the sun. Your room should be much cooler when it’s time to go to bed. 



We have a great range of beds in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page. 

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24th June 2019

How to Decorate with Mirrors

How to Decorate with Mirrors

Image: Ercol Teramo Dressing Table with Mirror

Mirrors aren’t just great for checking your reflection – they are also a super valuable tool when it comes to interior design. From bouncing light around dark spaces to creating the illusion of depth in tiny rooms, mirrors are one of the best secret weapons for creating the ultimate wow factor in any space.

But instead of hanging them all over the place, there are a few strategies you can use to maximise your mirrors and make the most of their benefits.

Get a gallery on the go 

Much the same as clusters of pictures work well together, clusters of mirrors can create a stunning visual impact. Rather than painting a statement wall one colour, use mirrors to create a dramatic but interesting look. This will bring depth to the room and make it look like it belongs in a magazine!

Think about the reflection 

It’s easy enough to stick a mirror on the wall but consider what will be visible in its reflection. If there is an ugly boiler or dodgy bit of wallpapering opposite, think of somewhere different to hang it. A good idea is to hang it opposite a window to bounce lots of light around the room, or if you have a statement piece of furniture or ornamental lighting hang it near to that to maximise the drama of the piece.

It’s all in the framing 

The frame can have a big impact on the overall look of a mirror. Think about whether a chintzy gold frame with embellishments would suit your room, or if a modern geometric finish might complement your décor better. 

Go large 

If you’re worried about using big mirrors in tiny spaces, you shouldn’t be. The bigger the better! Mirrors are ideal for bringing depth so using larger mirrors will help to create that sense of space that your tiny room needs. Massive mirrors are also perfect for checking your reflection, so if you are hanging one in your bedroom or by the front door, make it a BIG one!

Hang them well 

Many people simply stick a nail in the wall and hang the mirror from that, but this can leave the mirror tilting at an angle which can be dangerous. Fit the mirror to the wall properly with wall hooks at each end, this will keep it flat to the wall and mean that the reflection won’t be distorted.

We have a great range of mirrors in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.

Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

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7th June 2019

The Best Ways to Remove Odours from a Mattress

The Best Ways to Remove Odours from a Mattress

It is estimated that we spend over a third of our lives in bed – which works out at around 200,000 hours over the average life span. That’s a whole lot of time! But often mattresses can get overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Since we spend so much time in bed, it's essential to know how to maintain a clean and odour free mattress so that you can make it last as long as possible.

The first thing you need to do when cleaning your mattress is to remove all of the bedding and hoover the entire sleep surface. This means getting the upholstery attachment out so that you can get the sides, edges and any difficult to reach places. Hoovering the surface will help to remove any dirt, bugs, allergens and skin cells that are accumulating in the fibres. Once you have hoovered one side, flip it over and get the other side as well.

Your next step should be to lightly sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress. Baking soda is amazing at lifting and absorbing odours, so once you have sprinkled a layer on, leave for 30 minutes then hoover it up. Flip the mattress and do the same for the other side.  

If you find that the baking soda approach wasn’t enough, try plain white vinegar. While baking soda is an alkaline that neutralises acidic odours, vinegar is an acid that neutralises alkaline odours. It’s important to remember not to use both vinegar and baking soda at the same time as they essentially cancel each other out. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and lightly spray a mist over the mattress. Let the mattress air dry completely, flip it over and repeat the process.

If you find that neither the baking soda nor vinegar have worked, try putting your mattress outside in direct sunlight for as long as possible. To get the maximum effect, you should ideally leave the mattress in the sun for at least a day as this will allow the sun to change the composition of the odour and remove it at the source.

We have a great range of brand new mattresses in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.

Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram.


Header image credit: Cleaning By Allen Michael 

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28th May 2019

5 of Our Best TV Units

There was a time, not too long ago, when even the smallest TVs were enormous machines that took up half of the living room. These days, however, they are super slim, sleek and elegantly slot against almost any corner or wall you choose. The only issue is what to do with all of the clutter that comes with them. From game consoles to DVD players, it can often feel as though TV equipment is taking over the room. This is why having a TV stand is so important! Not only does it display your TV and contain the clutter, it also enhances the look of a room. So, take a look at our 5 best TV stands.  

 

1. Bentley Designs Brunel

If it’s sleek and contemporary you’re after, then it doesn’t get much better than the Bentley Designs Brunel TV unit. From an award-winning dining range, the stand combines selected American oak solids and veneers with a unique chalk finish on the grain patterns to create a super modern look. There is also a gunmetal painted finish on European solid beech which really makes the design stand out. Also available in a wide version


 
2. Ercol Bosco

The timeless designs of Ercol make them one of the most popular furniture makers of all time. The Ercol Bosco TV cabinet is no exception, providing plenty of deep storage space for DVDs and games while discreetly allowing cables to be passed through the back. The curved recess drawer handles are an elegant touch and the finger joint details on the drawers display the craftsmanship that has gone into its creation. This beautiful piece of oak furniture is finished in a clear matt lacquer, providing protection while allowing the grain of the wood to shine through. Also available in a wide version.


 
3. Vida Living Tephra

The Vida Living Tephra collection is ideal for super modern, industrial interiors. Featuring a unique driftwood timber effect with a magnesium oxide table top and stainless steel legs, this is a showstopping piece that is guaranteed to start many conversations. The unit is both scratch and heat resistant and boasts anti-fade and waterproof technology. Legs can be assembled in two positions, depending on preference.


 
4. Clemence Richard Moreno

One of our most popular collections, the Moreno TV unit offers classic styling with a modern design that can easily fit into almost any interior. The quality craftsmanship is evident in its beautiful construction. You are able to fully personalise this piece as you choose your own finish to suit complement your home perfectly, from low sheen clear lacquer to a natural oil finish. Also available in a wide version with glass doors.


 
5. Bentley Designs Hampstead

The Bentley Designs Hampstead collection is a beautiful combination of traditional styling with a contemporary finish. Crafted with rich American walnut veneer tops and solid frames, the contrasting soft-grey painted structure is guaranteed to make a beautiful addition to almost any interior. Also available in an oak and ivory finish.


 
We have a great range of TV units in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.


 
Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram.
 

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14th May 2019

The Iconic History of Stressless

The Iconic History of Stressless

When it comes to finding beautifully designed, well-crafted and long-lasting furniture, the effortlessly stunning recliners of the Stressless brand has made it one of the most popular furniture makers in the world. With a long history of creating innovative furniture, Stressless has developed an exceptional reputation that has been both hard-earned and well-deserved. So where did it all start for this company?


In 1934, Jens E. Ekornes returned to Norway from his European travels armed with an understanding of remote production and furniture manufacture. He set up a company creating mattresses which he spent the next 30 years developing alongside his brothers.



By the 1960s, however, the company began to take things in a different direction. A collection of lounge furniture was released, and a new marketing campaign was set up to promote the Ekornes name households across the world.

 



Then, in 1971, Ekornes patented a revolutionary new chair. The Stressless recliner. This chair enabled people to sit back, put their feet up and relax while watching television or chatting with the family. Its unique patented sliding system meant that it was easy to swivel around to face different directions in one easy movement. The chair was the first of its kind to address the body’s natural reclining position and provided unparalleled support with the ability to move easily and smoothly.



The chair was a huge success and Ekornes became the largest furniture manufacturer in Europe. By 1983, the 500,000th Stressless recliner had been shipped, marking an enormous milestone for the company. By this time, the company had celebrated 50 years of business and had established itself as a leading player in the furniture industry.



The company has gone from strength to strength, winning many awards in the industry for its contribution to design and furniture.  Variations of the Stressless recliner have since been released, meaning that the timeless design is always on trend and ahead of the game. The Stressless brand continues to deliver high-quality furniture all over the world to this very day. 


 Enjoy this beautiful video on the Iconic History of Stressless...




We have a great range of Stressless furniture in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.


 

Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

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8th May 2019

How to Make Small Rooms Feel Bigger

How to Make Small Rooms Feel Bigger

(Sofa in the image is the G Plan Atlanta)


Whether you have a sprawling house or a cosy apartment, every home has one room that’s on the bijou side. From box bedrooms to small living spaces, tiny rooms can sometimes feel tricky to decorate because of their size. Luckily there are plenty of ways to utilise the space effectively while also making it feel much bigger than it is.

Declutter 

The first step in making your room appear larger is to remove anything that isn’t necessary. Systematically work your way around the space, assessing whether each and every object is worth keeping or needs to be donated, recycled or gifted. Less clutter means more space.

Mount the TV 

If you have a television in the room, the easiest way to create more space is to mount it on the wall. Not only does this mean it is out of the way but also means you don’t need a TV unit taking up space in the room.

Be savvy with furniture 

Space saving furniture is the key to creating more space in your room. Enlist the help of gate-leg dining tables, storage ottomans, sofa beds and stools to create extra storage while doing double duty as a seat, bed, or side table.

Use mirrors 

One of the quickest ways to make the room feel bigger is to strategically place mirrors around the room. This will bounce light around the space and create depth, giving the illusion of more room.

Keep it neutral 

Neutral colour schemes are perfect for making a space feel bigger than it is. It doesn’t have to be boring, though. Add pops of colour with bright cushions or subtle patterns and textures to bring interest to the room.

Be careful with window dressings 

Heavy curtains and dark blinds will make the room appear darker, so keep it light with white blinds and airy fabrics while adding additional lighting with lamps and light fittings. 

Bigger can be better 

Although it might seem counterintuitive, adding one or two large pieces of furniture to a space can help it to look bigger. Replacing smaller, cluttered pieces with one, large piece is a great way to create flow in the room and give it the illusion of space.  

We have a great range of space saving furniture in our store. To find out more, contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.

Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

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9th April 2019

The Benefits of Having a Dressing Table

When it comes to decorating the bedroom, many people often consider the wardrobes and bed as the most essential pieces of furniture. Perhaps a bedside table and a chest of drawers might come next on the list, and then usually, right at the bottom, you might see a dressing table.

But dressing tables are arguably one of the most important pieces of furniture that a bedroom can have. They provide a whole list of benefits that can make your life so much easier! So here is why the humble dressing table should be at the top of any bedroom’s wish list.

Reduces stress

If you’re the type of person who runs around frantically trying to find things and get out of the door in the morning, then a dressing table might be the solution to your stressful start to the day. Not only does it mean all of your getting-ready-to-leave items are all in one place, but it also provides you with a few minutes to sit down and get ready in a calm way. Product in image: Bentley Designs Hampstead White Dressing Table

Stay organised

Being busy can often mean that organisation gets overlooked. Clothes are thrown on the floor, toiletries clutter the shelves and hairdryers turn into trip hazards. Dressing tables are a great way to keep your space tidy and organised which can only mean good things for your stress levels! Product in image: Ercol Teramo Dressing Table

Encourages self-care

Many of us are too tired by the end of the day to take makeup off properly or carry out the basics of skin care, especially if all of your products are in the bathroom or strewn across the windowsill. Having a dressing table changes that! It provides you with a space where you can take a few moments to look after yourself and feel your best. Product in image: Bentley Designs Ashby Cotton Dressing Table

Your own space

Amidst the chaos of a household, it can be very tricky to find a space to call your own. But a dressing table is just that – yours, and yours only! It is purely a place for you to take care of yourself, get ready to go out and enjoy moments alone.

We have a great range of dressing tables in our store. Contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.

 

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1st April 2019

5 Reasons to Choose Harrison Spinks Beds

When it comes to finding a new bed, the options can often feel a little overwhelming. With so many choices available, where do you even begin trying to narrow them down? A good way to start is by considering the firmness, also known as tension. Do you want something soft, medium or firm? Think about the materials you want your new mattress to have; cotton, cashmere, silks and wool are the traditional favourites and are also the favourites of Harrison Spinks, one of the UK's leading manufactures of luxury mattresses, divan beds and headboards. Harrisons' skilfully handcraft their award-winning products in Yorkshire from home-produced and locally-sourced natural materials.  

Family business

The Harrison Spinks business is now in its fifth generation. Started in 1885 by bed maker Arthur Spink, the company used innovation to become one of the leading bed manufacturers in the country. With over 130 years of experience in creating luxury mattresses, Harrison Spinks has built a reputation for high quality, durable and comfortable beds.

Homegrown beds
There aren’t many people who can say that their bed started life on a farm rather than a factory. In 2009 Harrison Spinks moved to Hornington Manor, a 300-acre farm just 18 miles from Leeds. Here the company grows natural fibre crops of hemp and flax as well as the sumptuous wool they use to fill the mattresses with. The company works closely with the RSPB and Natural England to ensure that the ecosystem on the farm thrives. The hemp and flax grown on the farm significantly reduces the company’s impact on the environment and provides a naturally resilient, absorbent and durable fibre for the perfect mattress.


 

Sustainable manufacturing

The company strives to find sustainable ways of working to ensure the future of the planet. By using natural fibres, which are easier to recycle than synthetic fibres, Harrison Spinks is able to produce mattresses that make a tangible change. They grow nearly 800 tonnes of natural fibre filling materials every year, including hemp, flax and wool. This reduces the CO2 production per mattress by 83%. The company build their own machines to make the beds which use 70% less energy than other machines in the industry.


Leaders in innovation

Considered the NASA of the bed world, Harrison Spinks continually pushes the boundaries of engineering principles to develop truly ground-breaking bed technology. As the inventors of the world-famous micro pocket spring technology and the Millennium Award-winning Revolution® pocket spring, Harrison Spinks manufacture the most comfortable and supportive beds in the world. The company’s High-Density 4K micro springs are the first of their kind to be developed and work to adapt to the body as you sleep. Not content with cornering the bed market, the company are now applying their comfort technologies to other areas, such as running shoes, seating, cot mattresses and the car industry.


Award-winning technology

The quality of Harrison Spinks beds does not go unnoticed. The company has won several awards over the years including the NBF Bed Manufacturer of the Year, Green/Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Millennium Award and Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, in Innovation and International Trade and many, many more.


Limited time Harrison Spinks offer: KING SIZE for the price of a DOUBLE. SUPER KING for the price of a KING!


Why not come and see the luxury of Harrison Spinks beds in our store today? Contact our store on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page.


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19th March 2019

The History of the Ercol Brand

The History of the Ercol Brand

The name Ercol is synonymous with elegance, enduring furniture and timeless design. Highly recognisable and desirable, Ercol pieces can be found in homes all over the country, from stately mansions to terraced cottages. But where did it all start?


Believe it or not, this family owned business has been making beautifully crafted furniture since 1898. Founded by Lucian Ercolani, a young Italian who had just moved to the UK with his parents, the Ercol label began when he took up furniture design at Shoreditch Technical Institute. The image above is of Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London in 1900. This was the epicentre of furniture manufacturing in London at the time

Ercolani studied drawing and design classes at the Institute before taking City and Guilds exams in theory and construction of furniture. In 1910, Harry Parker of Frederick Parker (later to become known as Parker-Knoll) invited Ercolani to work with him at his factory in High Wycombe. It was here that Ercolani first met his life-long friend Ted Gomme (founder of G Plan) before setting up his own company in 1920.


Ercolani went on to create some of the most timeless designs in this history of furniture. His most notable design was the Ercol stacking chair (pictured above) from the 1950s. Light, durable and easy to stack, the chair was so popular that thousands had to be made to meet demand, and they are still in production today.


(Image: Mimo, William, Lucian and Victor Ercol)
Renowned for innovative techniques as well as first-class materials such as beech and elm, Ercol quickly developed a name as one of the most well-loved furniture brands of all time. With four generations of the Ercolani family working in the company, it really is a family business that has quality and longevity written into its beautiful pieces of furniture. 




After 82 years of operating from their factory in High Wycombe, Ercol moved their production lines to a 16,000sqm space in Buckinghamshire in 2002 where they continue to create stunning pieces to this day.


Ercol are a group of dedicated people with a passion for good furniture. Design and manufacturing have always been and will remain, core to what they do. Ercol will continue to design and make new furniture to reflect changing tastes and fashions and the way people live today and in the future.
 

If you are looking for the perfect Ercol furniture for your home, you can explore online, visit the store or contact us today on 01562 755766 (Carters Furniture Store), 01562 66396 (Carters Bed City) or email us via our Contact Us page. 

Don’t forget, you can stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram

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