Meccano Machines

July 29th, 2014

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Meccano bus, lorry and aeroplane

We picked up these gorgeous Meccano models at auction recently – a lorry, a bus and a plane.

red and green lorry

They’re very charming – a little play worn and full of character.

blue aeroplane

They’re pretty big actually – the largest measures 60 centimetres in length. They look great on a shelf – adding a playful, vintage industrial touch – to either a kid’s or grown-up’s room!

red and green bus

The lorry and aeroplane will be available on our website soon; the bus has found a free parking space in our lounge!

Etsy List: Black Beauty

July 28th, 2014

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H is for Home 'Black Beauty' Etsy List


Black is stylish and sexy, adventurous and dangerous, mysterious and serious. You can jazz it up by using it alongside bright colours like fire engine red and hot pink; give it a ‘luxe twist with gold, bronze and animal print highlights or go traditional with white and cream. You can incorporate black into your interior decor scheme with pattern – think hounds-tooth, check, spots and stripes.

Don’t be afraid to use it – but beware of overusing it – unless you’re intentionally after a Gothic look!


Black Beauty
Curated by H is for Home

Making Moving Day Stylish – The smart way to pack

July 27th, 2014

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Man, woman and little girl with smiley face cardboard boxes on their heads

Moving day is fast approaching and packing needs to start in earnest… but what do you prioritise, cost-effective packing; care of valuables; easy unpacking at the other end? Happily, by packing smart it’s possible to manage all of these priorities and still have energy for the excitement of the move!

These top tips have been compiled by a family run removals firm with over 15 years’ experience packing up people’s belongings and transporting them the length and breadth of the country.

young man moving a cardboard box full of stuffImage credit: Kasey-Samuel Adams

Cost-effective packing

• Once you know a move’s imminent, save packaging from parcels and purchases to recycle for your own packing (get others to pass theirs on to you as well).
• Use household linens as additional packing. Items such as towels, tea towels, linens and tablecloths can all be used to wrap fragile goods – a considerable environmental and wallet saving on bubble wrap!
• Use the local pound shop for everything else you need: labels, tape, string, marker pens, self-seal bags – no need to spend unnecessarily in this area by buying branded goods.
• Gather plenty of boxes well in advance, either from your removal company or by collecting your own from local shops and supermarkets.

bubble wrapped mannequins sitting on the floor in an empty roomImage credit: Tambako The Jaguar

Purposeful packing – with the other end in mind

• Don’t leave it all until the last minute: plan to pack each room over a couple of days or evenings, depending on your work schedule.
• Don’t pack for the sake of it: now’s the time to purge your home of things you don’t like / want / use.
• Taking everything you need into each room with you makes packing quicker and more productive.
• Think relative size for wrapping: if your lounge holds all your tiny ornaments, make sure you take your napkins and smaller linens in there, ready for wrapping, along with smaller boxes. Similarly, keep your clean towels and linens close to hand in the kitchen and dining room for your crockery and bigger dishes.
• Consider relative size and weight for packing: pack heavy items into suitably sized boxes which can be lifted without injury.
• Think too about any extra rooms you’re gaining at the other end. So if you’re gaining a conservatory, identify the items you’ll want in there by visiting each room in your current home and gathering the items. Then it’s a case of packing them into the boxes marked ‘conservatory’ before you pack up the rest of each room.
• Ensure that every single box is labelled with the room it’s intended for at the other end.
• Dedicate an area of your current home for your vital, still-in use items – this tends to end up being the kitchen because the kettle’s always in use until the last moment! Keep a plastic folder there too of all vital documentation to do with the move, including identification documents, so that it’s all to hand on the day and not accidentally packed away.

bubble wrapped pug

Care of valuables

• If you have some extremely valuable pieces, you may want to let a trusted family member take care of these for a few days over the moving period or move these yourself.
• If you’re keeping your valuables with you, pack them in boxes marked for a person, along with a mark, such as an asterisk. Make sure everyone in your household knows what this mark means and use a trusted family member to be responsible for these particular boxes at all times. This is a useful job for a relative who’s helping with their car (so long as their insurance covers all eventualities).
• Finally, on that note, the smartest way to pack for a move is to ensure that your contents and car insurance and / or your remover’s insurance covers all of your possessions whilst they’re in transit as well as sitting around in boxes.


Community Coordinator, Alex Murray, says:

“Alliance Removals is a family-run removals firm (established in 1997) with a strong emphasis on making moving home as flexible and as easy as possible. Knowing how to pack your belongings effectively and efficiently may not seem like the world’s greatest skill but we’re all a bit jealous when we see people getting on the plane for a two week holiday with just hand luggage and moving home should be no different!”


Charity Vintage: Formica topped tables

July 26th, 2014

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two vintage Formica topped tables for sale by & in support of Wesley Community Furniture (end 29 Jul, 2014 20:10:04 & 20:14:34 BST)

Looking for a vintage Formica topped table for your kitchen, madam? We have this lovely yellow one you may be interested in – perfect for eating your breakfast at. No? Yellow not your colour scheme? How about this beautiful powder blue example, madam? Have you seen its drop leaf mechanism? A great space-saving option for a compact kitchen!

The pair are for sale as separate lots by Wesley Community Furniture*. The starting bid on each is a very fair £20 but are available by collection only from Manchester.

*Wesley Community Furniture aims to work in partnership with others to provide furniture and other household items at the lowest possible prices to those in greatest need in Manchester, to further relieve poverty by providing jobs, volunteering and training opportunities, and to recycle and re-use as much of the material we receive as possible.

Gimme Five! Electric fans

July 25th, 2014

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selection of 5 electric fans

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, but with so many weeks of bright sunshine and lovely weather our house has become really hot and stuffy – especially on the top floor where the rising air has hit a cul-de-sac.

The vast majority of buildings in the UK don’t need air con for more than a couple of days – maybe weeks – per year. So installing expensive cooling systems aren’t even an option. An electric fan to get the warm air circulating will suffice. Just because it’s only going to be used occasionally doesn’t mean that you should settle for one of those ugly, flimsy-looking, white metal & plastic models.

There are lots of well-made, beautifully designed electric fans on the market from which to choose. Their price range varies a lot though – if money’s no object, the future design classic from Dyson will set you back almost £300. At the other end of the scale, the cute pink number from Clas Ohlson is a mere snip at less than £20. Our top pick though, is the bamboo floor fan from Stadler with its mid century modern style good looks!

  1. NSA’UK DF-102CM white desk fan, 10 inch: £39.95, John Lewis
  2. Stadler Form Otto Bamboo: £145.76, Amazon
  3. BIONAIRE BASF1516-IUK 2-in-1 desk & pedestal fan – chrome: £39, Currys
  4. AM08 pedestal fan: £299.99, Dyson
  5. Table fan: £19.99, Clas Ohlson