Price Points: Invisible furniture

Invisible furniture | H is for Home

Invisible furniture can be practical, attractive and humorous. Invisible could mean hidden in clear sight, transparent or even camouflaged. The three examples we’ve chosen cover all these bases.

The concealed bookshelves are really affordable and can free up precious wall and floor space. In addition, they’re a great way of showing off your most attractive book spines and covers. The transparent trunk is a useful piece of furniture; great for storage or an imaginative way of displaying something extra special. Have you spotted the HD television in photo #3? It’s masquerading as a framed artwork. It’s such a fantastic way of transforming what is usually a big, blank, black rectangular space. You can choose from a number of different frames and artworks to suit your décor… or even display your own photographs or family snaps!

  1. Umbra Conceal bookshelf: from £10.50, Red Candy
  2. Clear acrylic trunk / coffee table: £1,774.03, Etsy
  3. Samsung The Frame Art Mode ultra HD TV: from £1,999.00, John Lewis

4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

4 Things to look for when purchasing high-quality furniture

Not all furniture available on the market will match up to the expectations you have for your home’s interior. Therefore, it’s essential to ascertain if the pieces you intend to acquire have the desired quality and features required.  After all, in addition to providing function, furniture does an exceptional job of reflecting your personality. Here are 4 things to look for when purchasing new furniture.

Walnut extending dining table

  1. Quality of materials

The quality of materials used is an essential consideration – whether it be wood, metal, plastic – or a combination. Wood options can be made of solid timber, composites or veneers. Solid timber is generally the most expensive. Veneers are often a cheaper alternative as the core or carcass is made from less expensive woods. Composite refers to wood mixed with several other materials including plastics, resin and wood pulp. Composite furniture is often the material used for cheaper, mass-produced products and often don’t fare well in the durability or longevity departments. Good-quality wooden furniture looks great and ages well, it offers a range of colours, grains and texture – and can add real warmth to a space.

Metal furniture and fittings have been very much in vogue over recent years providing shimmer and sheen to interior décor – copper, brass and steel being the most widely used. As with wood there are noticeable variations in quality of metal products. This goes for main structural elements of a piece, but also the incorporated fixtures such as screws and brackets. Look for good weight and a nice surface patina.

Plastics are often much maligned but offer great flexibility in colour and form. Modern plastics can provide real quality of finish that should overcome any doubts – and good design will utilise the material to its greatest potential.

Sideboard drawers

  1. Quality of workmanship and finish

Before purchasing furniture, you should assess the workmanship and quality of finish. Pay attention to the drawers, cabinets and so on – a good indicator of quality. The drawer should pull out completely and smoothly, latch properly and shut evenly. Joints should be fitted, stable and secure – and preferably not just simply glued into place. Joints should be neat and flush – as should borders between different materials when used in combination. Also, check furniture edges and corners for a smooth, well finished appearance. When doors are opened, check they remain fixed in that position until you shut them again. In addition to checking the drawers and cabinets, you should also ensure that the handles and knobs feel secure and built to last – they shouldn’t feel loose or jiggle around – and you should feel confident that they’ll stay that way despite heavy use. If you’re purchasing a chair, sofa or bed in particular, you must ensure that the legs are secure and joined properly to the frame; legs roughly nailed on might not be the best sign! You should also make sure that the legs or feet are made of materials that won’t damage your floor surface.

Occasional table in front of a fire

  1.  Size and proportion

The furniture you buy will need to depend on the size of the room in which it is to be located. If you’re buying a sofa for a small box room, an oversized 4-seater example would look out of place and swamp the space. Conversely, an expansive, open-plan living space calls for large sofas, tables and chairs. Otherwise pieces get lost in the space and rooms feel sparse and ‘echoey’. Consider marking out the outline of various furniture options using chalk or masking tape – this really can help you visualise the finished room.

It’s not just the size of the rooms that you need to take into consideration. Always measure furniture before you buy to make sure that it can fit through the front door, around corners, up stairways and through internal doors. It can become a very expensive and time-consuming task having to remove doors and windows to get furniture indoors. Some have to resort to hoisting over-large pieces of furniture up through upstairs windows to get them where they were intended to go.

Corner of a cream leather sofa

  1. What’s already in your home?

Consider the furniture that you already own – will your new piece compliment or clash with it? Some very successful decorating schemes are quite eclectic when it comes to age and style, but this requires care and skill. You can’t just throw objects into a space and hope for the best! And then there’s the age and fabric of the building to consider. Will it suit a traditional, vintage industrial, country or contemporary style?

Read interior magazines or browse websites such as Pinterest for inspiration. Check out the results other people have achieved who live in buildings similar to yours – or have incorporated furniture pieces that you love too.

Hopefully these pointers will help with your choices. For a wide range of attractive, high-quality furniture, danetti.com is the perfect site to visit.

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Winter Wisdom – 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter Wisdom - 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter

Winter is a wonderful time of year for those of us not so keen on extreme heat and having bugs everywhere. In fact, many good things happen in winter. It’s the perfect season for hot food, woolly socks and crackling fires. The key to a good winter is to make sure your home is ready for it. For suggestions on how to get your house in good order for the cold months, read this list of 8 warming ways to prepare your household for winter.

Bathroom shower

Household maintenance

Your house maintenance should be taken care of before winter gets its icy grip on your house, because when things suddenly or catastrophically go wrong it can take much longer to fix. It’s essential that your house is completely watertight – and pipes, drains and gutters are clear and free flowing. The endless torrential rain that often falls in winter and early spring can set back work on neglected pipes or other work that needs excavation…and bad weather can also prevent work being done on roofs or outdoor electrical appliances like water heaters. Imagine not having hot showers for a week in winter. No thank you!

Many companies clear blocked drains in Melbourne, for instance, and getting that done prior to winter’s arrival is a good idea, as some nights can get downright frosty. The last thing you need in the middle of a freezing night is a burst drainpipe.

Slippered feet up with a hot drink in front of an open fire

Light a fire

First and foremost, if your house has a real fire, then it’s time to break out the firewood! Make sure coal stores or log piles are well stocked during late summer and autumn. Organise deliveries early or get some wood chopped in readiness! Fires are a great, economical way to warm a house, and they can provide hours of entertainment. They give a room a real sense of drama and atmosphere. The additional burst of heat will also cut out any need for appliances such fan heaters.

Woollen blanket and patterned pottery mug

Scatter some blankets

Winter is a great time for snuggling up with some blankets. The best thing about blankets is that they not only keep you warm, but they can be dotted around your house and over the backs of sofas as decoration, then easily grabbed if you feel the chill. Distributing blankets around rooms in your home will mean you’re never far from a warm, cosy blanket in the dead of winter.

Bowl of meat stew

Roast away!

Arguably one of the best things about winter is the food that you begin to crave. When it’s 4ºC and raining outside, nothing satisfies hunger like a good roast dinner. Warming food like roasts, stews and hearty soups are perfect for not only warming you and dinner guests, but also make the whole house smell amazing.

Pair of thick, pale-coloured curtains

Heavy curtains

One thing that many people forget when winter-proofing their houses is how much heat is lost through the windows, even when the curtains or blinds are closed. If your house is freezing cold at night and you have large windows, consider buying thicker or lined curtains or blinds for them. This will keep more of the heat in and save you money through lowering electricity and gas bills.

Over the knee winter socks

Dress for the occasion

What will keep you warm in winter, no matter where you go? Woollens and waterproofs are the obvious choice for the cold season, but even within the protected environment of your own home there are things you can wear to keep the chill at bay. Thick socks on your feet will keep cold, tiled floors from freezing your toes off – and a quilted robe can mean the perfect combination of comfort and warmth.

Blue fleece electric blanketcredit

Warm the bed

Your bed will likely be too cold at night before you hop in, and even with pyjamas on this can cool you down before your body heat manages to warm up the bed and duvet. An electric blanket is the perfect addition to a winter bedding ensemble, and all you need to do is switch it on an hour or so before you hop into bed to ensure a nice, toasty night’s sleep.

Radiator thermostat

Radiate heat

Finally, there are ways of keeping heat in the less used rooms, like your bedroom.

While most of the evening might be spent in the common areas of your house, your bedroom will be where you retire to and unless you have put something in place to heat that room, it will likely be freezing cold. A radiator heater can be a great option for this, as it uses very little electricity and stays warm for long periods of time. Turn in on when you get home from work and your room will be toasty by the time you get to bed that night. Or perhaps fit timer switches that can activate heating systems precisely in specific areas.

With these tips in mind, the cold of winter doesn’t stand a chance at infiltrating your abode – so get out there and start winter-proofing your house today.

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Your guide to creating your teen-aged son’s dream bedroom

Mondrian-style teenage boy's bedroomcredit

Every teenage boy goes through the same phase: occasionally surly, sulky and sarcastic. So, if you need to redecorate his room, what can you do? You might not get much of a response from him – or anything useful anyway. You could try to second-guess what he wants, or take his comments at face value. You could try to push him into helping you, but that isn’t likely to end well. Likewise, if you haven’t told him you’re redecorating, and you want to do it as a surprise, then you need to know what to do without his help. Either way, you can learn how to create the right look for a teenage boy’s bedroom by following these tips.

Teenage boy's blue camouflage decorated bedroomcredit

The colour scheme

For a maturing young adult, you need to think about moving away from any childish colours or shades. No more bright palettes or TV show-themed wallpaper. Instead, opt for sophisticated tones, like navy, greys and light browns. These muted colours won’t ever offend your son and will give an air of coolness and calm. You can try adding some brighter shades, picking them out in subtle decorations or in soft furnishings – but don’t overdo it.

Storage in a teenage boy's bedroomcredit

The furniture

Now is the time to say goodbye to cramped single beds or bunk beds. As a growing boy, he’ll both need and want a queen or king-sized bed. Choosing furniture in rich wood will ramp up the sophistication levels – as will opting for sets that match, or are at least made from the same material. Depending on your son’s style, you could add in statement pieces, like an antique chair or solid desk. Think about your son’s lifestyle: would he want something like a desk in his room? Or would he prefer a cabinet for his TV and video games console? Is he more likely to hang clothes up in a wardrobe, or fold them up into a chest? Think about how you can enhance his lifestyle, then put it into practice.

Teenager playing video games in his bedroom

The lighting

Keep up with the theme of smart, sleek and sophisticated by installing contemporary, modern lighting. If you can buy LED recessed lighting, you’ll be able to cover his ceiling in spotlights, instead of using feminine lampshades. Incorporating a feature like a dimmer switch is a good idea, especially if your son enjoys watching movies or playing video games – sometimes the glare from bright lights can be off-putting.

Teen-aged boy's bedroom with basketball memorabilia on the wallcredit

The accessories

Now for the finishing touches. Depending on the area you live in, and what the climate is like, you might want to add to any bedding with a decorated quilt or throw. If you choose to have bare floors or wood laminate, a rug might be a nice touch. Likewise, try adding a few framed photographs or pieces of artwork; are there any special posters you can get hold of? Sports memorabilia? Find a few things that will appeal to your son’s interests and get them framed. Little things like wire tidies for his computer and any consoles will neaten the look up. Plus, adding a slow-release air freshener or scent will keep the room smelling fresh for a while to come.

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Get their look: Funky tropical lounge

Funky tropical loungecredit

In this week’s Get their look, we’re featuring this funky tropical lounge belonging to US-based designer, Rory Rockmore. This isn’t the kind of look that would look too authentic here in Todmorden, but we love it all the same!

This idea is easy to achieve – lots of bright colour, a flash of neon, a tangle of tropical house plants, a vase of blousy blooms, a pile of bold animal print cushions and the odd pink flamingo or two!

  1. Personalised handwriting neon light sign
  2. Pink flamingo statuette
  3. Sansevieria trifasciata var laurentii (mother-in-law’s tongue)
  4. Banana leaf cushion
  5. Ophelia coffee table
  6. KLIPPAN sofa with Flackery green cover
  7. Braided jute natural contemporary area rug

Get their look: Funky tropical lounge | H is for Home

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Get their look: Classic design lounge diner

Classic design lounge dinercredit

This lounge diner belonging to Toronto-based architect, Stephane Chamard is tastefully filled with classic design furniture pieces. Examples from international leviathan designers, manufacturers and retailers in the interior design world such as Holmegaard, Otto Brauer, Vitra, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Norman Cherner and Serge Mouille. There are also contemporary, classics-in-the-making such as the green Ploum sofa designed by brothers, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Ligne Roset.

The rest of the house is equally awe-inspiring – go take a look!

  1. LZF Link SG in cherry designed by Ray Power
  2. Mouille three arm floor lamp
  3. Large olive green Holmegaard Kastrup Gulvase designed by Otto Brauer
  4. Vitra Eames House bird
  5. Vintage Laurids Lønbørg kinetic ball sculpture
  6. Ploum 4-seater sofa designed by R. & E. Bouroullec
  7. Saarinen round dining table
  8. Cherner chairs for Plycraft

Get their look: Classic design lounge diner | H is for Home

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