It’s the first of September in a couple of days – and that means the meteorological start of autumn. As the evenings draw in, our minds turn to cosy nights indoors, warm blankets, wood-burning stoves, candles and fairy lights. And, of course, equally important – good hearty food and perhaps a glass of red wine or two. It’s the perfect time to invite family or friends over for an evening feast – an opportunity to celebrate the harvest season and all of nature’s bounty.
Nothing will suit the occasion more than a dark and dramatic autumn table setting! A black or dark grey tablecloth is the ideal backdrop – decorated and accessorised with antique brass candlesticks, feathers, fossils, pine cones, leaves, berries and fruit. Whatever you feel adds to the interest and drama for a special meal.
We’ve recently received some lovely tableware from Wayfair that is perfect for creating just the right style and atmosphere.
First, is this gorgeous burnished gold cutlery set by Viners. It’s titanium coated stainless steel and has a real feel of luxury and opulence. It’s just perfect for that celebratory meal – and we loved it combined with the other metallic tones that we incorporated into the table setting through candlesticks, ribbon and other trimmings. On a practical level, the coating creates exceptionally hard cutlery that is ten times more resistant to scratching than untreated stainless steel. It also helps prevent corrosion, rust and tarnishing.
The luxurious quality continues with the porcelain china dinner plates by Seltmann Weiden. There’s a crisp white central presentation area with an organic, flowing black border which frames the food like a picture. Again, absolutely perfect for creating the dramatic table setting. As with the cutlery, these don’t fail when it comes to practicality either – the plates have a scratch resistant surface, are dishwasher safe, oven safe and microwave safe.
Two lovely items that we’ll be able to enjoy year after year.
The kind people at Happy Beds sent us their Frankie day bed with single mattress to try out this week – and we’re loving it!
It arrived in five well-packaged boxes, each containing the essential components ready for construction. The fact that it comes in pieces will certainly suit those people who live in flats – or have some tight corners or doorways to manoeuvre objects through and around.
Putting the day bed together was really straightforward. We followed the enclosed instructions and it was up and ready to go in approximately 1½ hours. Adelle actually loves doing that kind of flat pack construction type thing! Don’t worry if you don’t have a tool box, it comes with its own double-headed (Phillips on one end and standard on the other) screwdriver for assembling.
It’s very solidly constructed and has arched, flexible wooden slats for extra comfort. The detailing and finish is very good too. We really like the fashionable, soft grey, Hessian-like textile. It sits very nicely against our slightly darker grey walls – and also works well as a backdrop for pops of brighter colour.
We’ve been experimenting with various accessories and soft furnishings to dress it. So far, bright yellow has been our favourite. The grey/yellow combo is a bit of a classic, and was the obvious starting point if you look at the huge painting which hangs on the wall above it.
The Frankie day bed has another nice design feature too. The under-bed, pull-out drawer is the exact dimensions as the mattress above. This means that, if you decide to house a mattress in it, you can have two single beds at slightly different heights – a great option if you have people staying over and need to maximise sleeping berths. Alternatively, it makes for great storage. You can get absolutely loads of bedding, clothes or shoes tucked away neatly and out of sight.
We often write about industrial lighting of the vintage variety; task lamps that have been rescued from the mills, factories and workshops of the North of England. Not everyone likes vintage – some people are happier with new versions that have the look, and are in mint condition and spotless. We were contacted by PIB to review one such item – their industrial duty hand lamp.
Sometimes you can view items online and they look great, but then when they arrive you’re disappointed by the quality. Definitely not the case with this item. It’s got weight and solidity to it, with nice detailing and an excellent finish. It’s a good large size too, measuring 45cm in length.
The bulb cage is made of silver-plated brass with a stained wooden handle.
We’re big fans of this type of lamp as they’re both functional and attractive, adding a touch of vintage industrial style to any space.
They’re also very flexible when it comes to use.
There’s the practical task lamp facility to start with – a lamp that can easily be moved around the house, garage or workshop for bright, directional light.
And when it comes to decorative use their are a host of options. They can be hung from the long flex and attached to the ceiling, they can hang from wall mounts and hooks – or they can simply lie flat on shelves and tables. There’s no risk of fire or damage as the cage protects surfaces from the direct heat of the bulb.
We’ve been trying it out in various sites this week and have become very fond of it already.
We’ve got lots of dark corners in our house, so it’s going to come in useful. It also works well with other industrial look pieces that we have.
It’s most definitely a keeper!!
We’ve recently been sent this wooden trestle staging by First Tunnels, a polytunnel and garden structure firm based in Barrowford – not that far from us, over the Lancashire border.
We’ve been in need of a potting station on our allotment, however, we thought we’d have a dry run and assemble it in the garden before taking it down there.
In fact, we needn’t have worried about a tricky construction. No tools, nails, screws or allen keys were required – job done in 30 seconds flat! The kit came in a single piece; all that was needed was for the folded, hinged legs to be stabilised with a metal pin on either end and the under-shelf slid under.
The trestle staging is made of planed, tanalised pine – First Tunnels is FSC certified which means all the wood they use is responsibly sourced. It’s not just ideal for the allotment; it can be used in the garden, conservatory, potting shed, greenhouse, garage or boot room.
It’s 6ft wide and the under-shelf is useful for storing tools, pots and watering cans whilst the top is the perfect height for sowing seeds and potting on. The structure is very sturdy – it can easily support heavy things such as tomato grow bags and bags of potting compost.
For this month’s competition, we have a fantastic prize that you’ll use all year round. We’ve teamed up with Certainly Wood to offer one of our readers a bucket of Flamers firelighters.
We’ve been trialling these Flamers recently and we can really sing their praises. They’re a wonderful product – renewable, untreated wood shavings dipped in refined wax. They have a long burn which makes lighting fires easy and reliable. Also, there’s none of the harsh, chemical aromas that you get from other types of firelighter.
And as if that wasn’t enough, they actually look great too. They’re attractive additions to the fireside in the same way a basket of logs gives a natural, cosy look to a room. In addition to wood burners and open fires, they’re also perfect for barbecues and pizza ovens. We’re complete converts and won’t be using anything else in the future.
To enter, simply tell us in the comments section below how you usually light your fire or barbecue.
Bucket of Flamers fire lighters
Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | U Me and the Kids
We’ve had our current electric shower unit for some time now – it must be nearly 15 years, come to think of it. We’re probably due an upgrade, but our list of items that need some money spending on them is pretty long at the moment – exterior walls need pointing, the roof needs repair, the boiler is playing up etc… and that’s not to mention the camper van fund which has stalled a bit this year. The actual shower unit still works, so we’re not at the urgent stage, but the water flow certainly isn’t anything to write home about.
Perhaps we could improve that for the time being, we decided. And then the lovely people at Ecocamel came to the rescue, sending us two new shower heads to try out – the Jetstorm Plus and Orbit models.
They’re both ideal for electric showers and incorporate the Ecocamel ‘Aircore Technology’ which injects air directly into the water stream, so you get a powerful shower whilst actually using less hot water as an additional benefit. The Jetstorm Plus head has three adjustable spray settings allowing you to achieve the ideal shower flow for you – the Orbit has clusters of nodules for a powerful and even spray.
They both look good and have wipe clean rubber nodules to prevent the build up of lime scale if you live in a hard water area.
We’ve been trying them out this week and we’re delighted with the results.We’ve really noticed a difference when showering.
Perhaps your shower flow is poor, or your shower head is old and tatty, or you’re interested in the eco-friendly energy and water savings they offer. Whatever the reason, they’re very easy to replace – universal fittings mean that you simply screw off your old shower head and screw the new one on – two minutes, and you’re done!