Crown French Furniture

  • How to arrange a small bedroom

    Small bedroom decorated with a large window and area rug How to arrange a small bedroom

    Even the most bijou bedroom can be transformed into a luxurious, stylish and tranquil space with just a little interior design know-how. If your bedroom or guestroom is on the smaller side and you want to ensure it’s both beautiful and practical, we can help. The following pointers should ensure this part of your home is something you can be proud of.

     

    How to furnish a small bedroom

     

    Your bed is probably the most important purchase you’ll make when you’re kitting out this room, so be sure to choose carefully. It’s best to go for a double rather than a king or super king-sized model. Even if you can squeeze a larger bed into your room, chances are it’ll make an already small space appear even more cramped. Bear in mind that just because you might not be able to go for the biggest bed, this doesn’t mean you have to think small in terms of decadence and glamour. This piece of furniture should be the focal point of the room, so why not go all out and choose a fabulously grand French-style bed complete with ornate carved detailing and an opulent headboard?

     

    When it comes to your wardrobe, rather than going for a traditional design with doors that open outwards, you could select one with sliding doors that can be fitted closer to other items of furniture, such as your bed.

     

    You can also save space by choosing slimline units. For example, instead of opting for a regular dressing table, which might be too bulky in your bedroom, you could pick out an elegant console table. These slender units can slot neatly into small rooms and they’re ideal for storing cosmetics, jewellery and more.

     

    The right bedside tables can also make a big difference in petite bedrooms. Look out for compact models that feature drawers to give you extra storage for your essentials.

     

    How to utilise space in a small bedroom

     

    Some creative thinking can save you a lot of space in this part of your home. One example of this is including plenty of off-the-ground storage, such as floating shelves. This leaves your floorspace free while providing you with all-important extra space to keep various bedroom must-haves. Another top tip is to fit wall hooks. These simple accessories give you somewhere to hang your coats, bags, scarves and hats - meaning they don’t end up cluttering up the floor or your bed.

     

    Why not use the space under your bed to keep plastic boxes filled with spare linen and other items? This is a great way to use what would otherwise be dead space in this room. You can also free up the surfaces of your bedside tables by fitting wall-mounted lamps.

     

    How to furnish a small guest bedroom

     

    When square footage is at a premium in your guest bedroom, it’s a good idea to choose a few large but hardworking items of furniture, rather than cluttering the space up with lots of small pieces. For example, one big wardrobe can work much better than a smaller model combined with a separate chest of drawers. Simple is often the key to success in these rooms.

     

    Rather than going for a regular bed, consider using a sofa bed. This allows you to create a much more flexible room that provides extra floor space when you don’t have guests staying with you. Another option if you have high enough ceilings is to create a mezzanine sleeping area on a raised platform. If you do this, you can slot shelving, a wardrobe or a desk underneath.

     

    How to decorate a small guest bedroom

     

    Sticking to a few basic design principles when you’re decorating a small guestroom can help you to create a more spacious look and feel. The same suggestions apply if you’re choosing a colour palette and accessories for your own bijou sleeping space.

     

    Firstly, opt for light tones when decorating the walls. Predominantly white or off-white are often the best choice in small rooms as this gives a bright, airy appearance. You can then inject some warmth and personality with a few splashes of colour. This could be in the form of a feature wall, or simply your choice of bedding, artwork and rugs. If you want to use patterns in this room, it’s a good idea to stick to one single motif and run with it, whether it’s a heart, floral design or anything else. Using it in two or three different forms - for example on your cushions and artwork - will create a sense of cohesion and ensure the design scheme doesn’t look too busy.

     

    Arranging a small bedroom to perfection might pose a few challenges, but as long as you plan the layout carefully and take tips like these on board, you should achieve stunning results.

  • Bespoke Furniture

    For us at Crown French Furniture, the most important thing is making each piece of our furniture perfect for everyone of our customers. When ordering from us you can rest assured that we will be able to make a piece that is perfect for your home. Our website showcases our finest collections of French, reproduction, contemporary and shabby chic style furniture. But if you can't quite find what you are looking for, we can create a design that is unique to your own individual taste.

    How do we do it?

    Using local craftsmen, upholsterers, carpenters and painters we can alter the finish of any of our products to make them to your individual taste. But don't just take our word for it, above are some images of what we have created or altered for our customers.... Some might say, hand crafted to perfection...

    Our furniture makers have honed their craft over many years. They are proud craftsmen who constantly provide the highest quality of construction. We work to the exact specifications of our customers to create the most sensational designs. If your dining room, bedroom or living room has an awkward alcove we can provide a solution. If you are simply looking for a different colour, consider it done. We can create furniture that is unique to you because we believe in being yourself!

    We always back our star player in the role of customised beds, in rain or shine we love our Sophia Button Upholstered French bed. Its clean, its crisp and its simple yet ornate, it possesses gentle curves that stop it from becoming overpowering and also boasts classical carved features.

    Materials and finishes...

    All of our lovely products are sourced from carefully chosen highly respected manufacturers who share our commitment to quality, longevity and value for money. We use solid wood, antiqued mirrors and metal to create our collections.

    As the majority of our French and contemporary furniture is hand crafted from quality solid wood, they do need to be treated with a certain amount of after care.

    Why personalise...

    Every home is unique and every home should feel that way. If every home was the same, life would get very boring very quickly. The space you live in often defines the way that you live and when you customise the furniture that is in that space can be a direct expression of yourself and how you want to live. The main focus on our furniture is the balance between beauty, practicality and comfort, but the finish should also complement the personality of the people in it. When our customers come to us with an idea, we can make it a reality with 1-1 care throughout the process.

     

    Fern xx

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  • How to furnish a bay window

    Bay windows can be a beautiful feature in any room, but when it comes to furnishing and decorating them, you might find yourself a bit stumped. Should you leave yours empty - to accentuate the extra square footage... Or turn it into an intimate cosy reading space? Would a bold colour scheme work, or should you stick to something neutral and understated?

    To help you answer these questions and more, here’s a brief guide to help make the most of your bay.

    How to decorate a bay window in the living room

    Living room with a bay window that’s dressed with cushions Bay Window Decorating Tips

    No living room bay window is complete without some stunning curtains or blinds. Finding curtain poles that fit around the bend and match the exact dimensions of your bay can be tricky - not to mention expensive. A great way around this is to fit a separate pole or runner for each window. If you go for curtains, hang a pair in the middle window and then frame each side with another curtain. Another tip is to fit tie-back hooks high up to gather your curtains in and make sure they hang perfectly.

    While some people like to leave their bays furniture-free, a few pieces of carefully chosen furniture can really bring these features to life. For example, you might want to create a cosy sitting area with a couch that fills the entire bay, complete with sumptuous cushions and throws. Bays can also make ideal dining areas. Simply pick out a table and chairs set that fits neatly into the space. You could choose an extendable table to give you more room when you’re eating. For added drama and to create more of a sense of separation between your dining area and the rest of your lounge, you could fit a low-hanging chandelier above your table.

    If you’re in need of shelves for your reading material, why not create a small library with built-in bookshelves running underneath your bay? Complete the look by accessorising the top of the units with decorative additions such as photo frames and candle holders. Another option is to frame the sides of your bay with floor-to-ceiling shelves. This will create an impressive focal point for the room.

    When it comes to your colour scheme, consider going for light, bright hues to help maximise the sense of openness and space that your bay brings to your living room. You could then add bold accents by choosing strong colours for your window dressings, cushions, ornaments or other accessories.

    How to decorate a bay window in the kitchen

    When it comes to window dressings for a kitchen bay, you could go for the bare approach if privacy isn’t a concern. This can make your windows look as big as possible, and ensure you get maximum natural light into the space. Roman blinds or roller blinds are also perfect in these rooms.

    Alternatively, you could decorate your bay with an assortment of potted plants. This will add a touch of life and vibrancy to the room. Why not include a basket of fragrant herbs too? These plants should thrive thanks to all the sunlight, and of course you can use them in your cooking.

    Another way to style a kitchen bay is to fit a window seat with built-in storage. This can be a great place to read or generally relax, and the extra storage it provides can be used to house anything from cookbooks to pots and pans. Make sure you stack your window seat with plenty of cushions to get that luxe look. When it's time to choose the colours for these accessories, to create a seamless look, you can go for tones that mirror the rest of the décor in your kitchen. Or, if you’d prefer to make a feature out of this part of the room, select a contrasting colour scheme.

    How to dress a bay window with voile

    Whether your bay window is in your lounge, kitchen or elsewhere in your home, dressing it with voile curtains will give it a beautiful, dreamy vibe. This thin, sheer fabric lets lots of light through and will soften the look and feel of the whole room. You can use these curtains as standalone window dressings, or if you want more control over light levels and privacy, team them up with blinds.

    You could go for the simple elegance of plain white or off-white voile, or if you want something a bit different, go for a fabric with subtle embroidered detailing for a frosted effect. For a contemporary take on these window dressings, layer a flat pelmet over the top and team this up with coordinating tie-backs. This will give a neat finish and hide your curtain poles and other fixings.

    With the right furniture and accessories, and some carefully chosen colours, your bay window will be the crowning glory of your design scheme.

    Fern xx

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  • What is a Console Table?

     

    Modern console table in a hallway with a lamp on top Console Table

    Commonly associated with European aristocratic mansions and royal palaces of the late 17th century, a traditional console table is a table whose top surface, or tabletop, is supported through the use of corbels or brackets. With their origins thought to come from French and Italian schools of furniture design, unlike regular four-legged tables, console tables were originally manufactured with two legs and were attached to a wall. However, today console tables are typically designed to stand on their own, without needing to be fixed to the wall.

     

    Console tables are usually intended to be set against a flat surface such as a wall or under a window. They’re most common in hallways and foyers, but they can also sit behind sofas and sometimes even feature in bathrooms. While console tables tend to be more dramatic and decorative rather than strictly practical items of furniture, more modern examples can be both decorative and highly functional.

     

    Keep reading to discover more about the history of this example of classic aristocratic furniture, what console tables can be used for and the best methods for styling and decorating them.

     

    Why is it called a console table?

     

    It’s widely believed that the term console table comes from an abbreviation of the French word ‘consolide’, which in turn comes from the Latin word ‘consolidare’, meaning ‘to strengthen’.

     

    This name likely entered common vernacular as a result of the unique design of the console table itself. Although modern tables of this type do not always follow the same design, original console tables featured a tabletop slab supported, or strengthened, by wall brackets and two scroll-shaped legs.

     

    What is a console table used for?

     

    When first conceived, console tables were typically made in pairs, designed with matching tabletop mirrors, and were placed almost exclusively in the hallways and foyers of grand mansions and palaces. These original items usually served more of a decorative purpose than a functional one, however gradually over time, more and more practical designs have emerged. These developments in design have seen console tables - once used only in the opulent hallways of aristocratic homes - become a far more accessible and popular furnishing option for homes of all kinds.

     

    Nowadays, console tables aren’t restricted to hallways. These items are extremely versatile and have a wide range of different uses. With a little bit of extra thought and planning, console tables can be placed almost anywhere in the home. From your hallway to your bedroom, kitchen to your dining room, a well-placed console table can be an interesting feature in any space.

     

    For example, if square footage is at a premium in your home, but you’re after a place to work when you’re away from the office, a console table can be used to create a compact home office. Simply choose an area near a power source and install a console with enough space to hold your office essentials. Finish the look by adding a chair with a slim design that won’t take up too much space and will easily tuck under the console when not in use. Or why not use a console in your bedroom as a space-saving dressing table? This can be ideal for keeping your favourite items of make-up and jewellery without the need for a full-sized dressing table.

     

    Console tables of all sizes can also be a great addition to either your dining room or kitchen. If you enjoy hosting, a strategically placed console bеtwееn the kіtсhеn and dіnіng areas can be the perfect place to leave drinks, dеѕѕеrtѕ, cheese boards or even spare cutlery and table linens between serving different courses. Alternatively, channel your inner Tom Cruise and use a console to create your very own cocktail bar at home. These compact items of furniture can be superb when it comes to showcasing your favourite spirits, mixers and glassware, and they provide a fun and practical centrepiece when entertaining.

     

    How to decorate a console table

     

    Once you’ve decided where you want to place your console table, as well as what practical function (if any) you’d like it to serve, next you need to style and decorate the feature.

     

    You could start by adding a statement-making piece of art or a mirror to the space above the table. This is not only a tip of the hat to the original aristocratic use of console tables, it will visually anchor your console on the wall.

     

    When it comes to the table itself, think about introducing elements that add height. A tall, slender lamp can be perfect for this, as can an elegant vase or candlestick. It’s also a good idea to include some softer, more shapely pieces that break up all the vertical and horizontal lines. For example, you could add a decorative wooden bowl or a rounded pot plant. It’s best to display items in a mixture of sizes and shapes to create a balanced, harmonious look.

     

    Wherever you place your console table and however you choose to style it, by using this type of furniture, you’ll be carrying on a tradition dating back hundreds of years.

    Fern xx

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  • What is a Sleigh Bed?

    Choosing a new bed? Whether you’re furnishing a new house or replacing your old bed, it’s a big decision to make. It’s very important to get it right, to strike the right balance between comfort and practicality as well as style and of course, budget.

    A popular choice is the sleigh bed, a type of bed that has been around for hundreds of years in a variety of different forms. The sleigh bed is named because of its distinctive headboard, which is curved or rolled, often along with the foot of the bed. This and its usually sturdy, solid construction makes it look uncannily like a sleigh or a sled.

    Sleigh beds were around as far back as 200 years ago, but the style is believed to have roots even further back - from ancient Greek and Roman times. The look we recognise today comes from the American Empire style, a trend from the 19th century. It is a French-inspired neoclassical look, most popular in the U.S. in the 1820s but popular enough as a style to still be in fashion today.

    Why are sleigh beds so popular?

    This style of bed offers many benefits. You can find many affordable options, ranging from French reproduction sleigh beds all the way through to minimalist, modern styles. The sleigh bed often has attractive curves, and is a solid, durable presence in the bedroom. They often come in wood, but you can also find upholstered sleigh beds. Another possible reason why so many people love sleigh beds is the slightly enclosed or cocooned experience of sleeping in one. Sleigh beds have the appearance of curving at the head and foot, with height at both ends, so they can make sleepers feel safe and protected.

    dark wood sleigh bed with blue bedding in a room with wood floor and large glass windows. Luxurious master bedroom with vaulted ceiling, floor to ceiling glass windows, window seat lined with red seat cushions and contemporary wooden sleigh bed

    Choosing your dream sleigh bed

    These days, sleigh beds come in all kinds of styles, sizes, finishes, fabrics and shapes. You really will be spoilt for choice. Here are just a few of the most popular options:

     

    • Wooden slats. Sleigh beds can be heavy and solid looking, making them quite dominant in a room. To soften the look, you can choose a sleigh bed with wooden slats at the head and footboard. This lets light through and makes the bed appear lighter and more contemporary - while still hinting at the rustic and traditional roots of the style.

     

    • French-style solid wood. This is the classic sleigh bed look, in beautiful polished hardwoods such as mahogany, and with plenty of high quality detail.

     

    • Headboard only. Not all sleigh beds have both a curved headboard and footboard. You’ll find many that still have the distinctive sleigh look, but with just a rolled or curved headboard. This is a modern take on the style, ideal for neat contemporary spaces.

    Can you upholster a sleigh bed?

    Sleigh beds tend to be made from wood, but you can also find beautiful upholstered versions of this classic style. It’s not recommended to try upholstering a wood sleigh bed, as it can be very tricky - and why would you want to hide all of that beautiful detail and the elegant curves of the bed’s outline?

    If you love the upholstered look, why not opt for an upholstered sleigh bed in a crushed velvet look, smart linen or even luxury faux leather? You’ll find sleigh beds in all kinds of designs, styles and fabrics, showing just how versatile this classic look can be.

    How to dress a sleigh bed

    With a sleigh bed, you’ll want to show off its curvy contours rather than hide them under inappropriate bedding. Avoid floor length bedding, as the footboard may get in the way of making the bed properly, opting instead for a duvet cover or quilt that hangs no more than a couple of inches over the sides. Ruffles and fussy details are to be avoided as they compete with the decorative features of the bed - which should be the centrepiece of the room.

    If you have a traditional or classic-style sleigh bed (for example, one in polished wood with plenty of decorative detail), you should choose your bedding to match. This doesn’t necessarily mean complicated or old-fashioned patterns, but nothing too modern. Simple, beautiful white or pale coloured bedding would be perfect, creating an elegant and classic look.

    Do you need a boxspring with a sleigh bed?

    A box spring or divan, usually used to support the mattress and act as a brace, is not usually needed with a sleigh bed. Most types of sleigh bed have enough of a frame and base to support the mattress, and they are already the correct height to make getting in and out of bed nice and easy. You should be able to use a standard mattress with your sleigh bed, just make sure before you buy that it’s the perfect size to fit your bed snugly.

    Fern xx

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  •  Should you put a rug under a dining room table

    Rugs in dining rooms tend to divide opinion. Some people swear by a rug under their dining table, offering practical benefits as well as aesthetic, whereas other homeowners think it’s a real no-no. But which is the right option for your home?

    Rugs under dining tables - the pros and cons

    There are two main things to consider when deciding whether or not a dining room rug is the right choice for you - practicality and aesthetics.

    On the practical side, a rug under your dining table can easily become dirty or stained, particularly if you have children. You can overcome this issue by choosing a rug in a dark colour, or one with a pattern which distracts the eye. Clean and vacuum regularly and you can keep the rug in good condition.

    Some people find that a rug under the dining table makes it difficult to move their chairs in and out - when sitting down and getting up from the table. Whether this will affect you very much depends on the rug you choose, but there is another side to consider. If you’re not a fan of the scraping noise that metal or wood dining chairs can make on wood or tile floors, a rug is the ideal solution.

    It can also be very pleasant to have a thick or fluffy rug under your feet while you eat. This can make the dining table more usable for a wider range of activities, from lazy Sunday breakfasts to doing homework after school, dinner parties to board game evenings.

    On the aesthetic side of things, a rug can add a huge amount of visual appeal to a room. It can create a frame or a border for the dining table, making a focal point within the room and a real feature of the dining room. Rugs are so important in large or open plan spaces, as they help to ‘zone off’ different areas (such as the dining area). You can use a large area rug, along with smart lighting choices, to create a space within a space. If you have a large room and you’re worried about it feeling cavernous or confused, a beautiful area rug can work wonders.

    large wooden table with two statement lights above it and a black rug underneath it.

     

    How to choose a dining room rug

    If you’re ready to take the plunge and pick out a beautiful new rug for your dining table, bear the following in mind:

    • Go larger than you think you need. When it comes to area rugs, bigger is usually better. A rug that exactly fits or is only just larger than an area rug can look a little odd, as the proportions will be out of balance. However, a generous rug that extends quite a way from the table looks luxurious and creates a dedicated dining space. It’s also practical, as it gives extra space for dining chairs to be pulled out (without the legs bumping onto the hard floor).

     

    • Durability is key. The rug under your dining table will have to put up with a lot of use, so it needs to be up to the job. Chair legs will be constantly scraped back and forward, and the table legs themselves may start to leave dents in the floor - many fragile or very expensive rugs may not be able to withstand this kind of use. You might want to look at rugs that have been specially made for patios or outdoor areas, or at least ones that aren’t too delicate or at risk from fraying or damage.

     

    • Choose a camouflaging pattern. You don’t want to be terrified of spills and stains on your pristine cream rug every time friends or family come over, so it’s best to choose a dark coloured patterned rug. This will camouflage any stains and spills nicely.

     

    How to measure a rug for a dining room table

    If you have your heart set on an area rug, it’s time to start measuring. It’s always a good idea to measure up before buying a rug, just so you can double-check that it fits properly and the finished look is what you imagined. As above, be generous with the amount of space you leave around your dining table. If you haven’t yet bought either dining table or rug, you could find that it helps to measure the room first, and then factor in the size of rug and table you have in mind.

    If you’re having trouble picturing what your new rug will look like, why not mark it out on the floor? Use something temporary like chalk or tape, and mark the outlines of your rug with the dining table in the middle. You can move and adjust as you like, noting down measurements for a custom rug or double-checking that a rug you like will be perfect for the space.

    Fern xx

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  • What am I supposed to do now?

    The Love Island Villa has closed its doors and I am left with a void only the phrase ‘I’ve got a text’ will fill.

    If you’re like me you’re probably asking the question how did Tommy and Molly-Mae not win!! But also and most importantly  ‘how on earth will I survive?’ Binge watch the previous series on Netflix? Install an app on your phone to count down the days until Love Island 2020? Oh what the hell I’m doing both!

    For me Love Island was my guilty pleasure. I personally have no television in my bedroom, a conscious decision I made when I redecorated. I mean televisions are ugly right…? Certainly not in keeping with my beautiful Provencale Carved Bed. But for 8 weeks solid I have resorted to jumping into bed, surrounding myself with masses of cushions, wedging my tablet into the perfect position and Voila! A tech free zone no more!

    But as I mourn the loss of my Love Island fix, my bedroom will once again return to a sanctuary, a space to shut off from the world and relax in. On the plus side I can use all that spare time to find the perfect chandelier to hang gracefully above ones bed! Oh my husband will be pleased!

    What do you love most about your bedroom, and what do you wish you could add or change? Do you have a television or any tricks to conceal one? Or do you agree that a bedroom should be free from all things digital.  I’ll go for the latter…until next year of course!​

     

    Fern xx

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  • How to place furniture in a living room

     Arranging the layout of any room can be difficult. Bedrooms are somehow simpler because there’s usually a limited number of places the bed can go and the bedside tables are usually placed either side. But your living room has multiple uses and deciding where your furniture should go can be hard. There’s nothing more irritating than being faced with a room that just doesn’t ‘feel’ right and you can’t put your finger on why.

    If you feel like this, you’re not alone, and it could be the layout of your living room that is causing problems. We’ve outlined how you can rearrange the furniture in your living room to make the best use of the space.

    Measure the room

    First, use a tape measure to ascertain the exact size of the room, including the size of the alcoves and any doors or windows.

    Next, take a pen, pencil and a ruler. Using your measurements, create a scale drawing of the room. If your living room measures 10m x 10m, scale this down for your drawing and make your square 10cm x 10cm. Your drawing should include the doors and windows as well as any permanent fixtures such as a staircase or fireplace.

    Then, measure your furniture and draw the shape on a piece of card using your scale. Cut this out and this will provide you with moveable paper furniture pieces that you can move around your drawing to work out where things should go.

    Figure out your focal point

    Before you can decide on a layout, you need to consider what your living room will be used for. Is it a place to watch TV or the room you use for socialising? Is it a casual living room or will it be used as a more formal lounge? The layout could differ depending on your answers to these questions.

    If your living room is used predominantly to watch TV, the TV is the focal point and your furniture should be arranged around it. The viewing distance between you and the TV should be between two and a half and three and a half metres. The viewing distance could be extended for particularly large TVs.

    If your living room is used more as a socialising space, your sofa and armchairs should be arranged so that everyone can see and talk to each other, no matter where they’re sitting. Your furniture should have enough space around it so that you and your guests can easily manoeuvre around the room without walking into anything.

    Top Tip: Don’t put all of your furniture flat against the wall. It’s better to keep your furniture closer together when possible to create a more intimate space.

    Remember to leave space for any accessories that may come with your seating area such as side tables or lamps. You don’t want to relocate your sofa only to find that your lamp won’t fit in the corner you wanted it to.

    Adding accessories

    Now you’ve decided on a layout for your furniture and have moved everything into its correct place. You may have noticed that you now need to buy certain items to complete the space. For example, is there an armchair that’s placed too far away from the coffee table so people cannot put their drinks down? A small nest of tables next to the armchair would be a good solution.

    You can place lamps in the corners of a room to brighten them and create a feeling of more space.

    How to arrange furniture in a small living room

    If you have a small living room, you may want to arrange your furniture to make it feel bigger. Here are some recommendations.

    Use mirrors

    Mirrors are a wonderful way to visually increase the size of the room without having to physically extend it. Mirrors will reflect the other half of the room, making a room feel double its size. They can also be placed opposite a window to provide additional light and make a room feel brighter.

    Additional storage

    Many small homes have very little storage, which means clutter can build up and make your home feel smaller. To get around this problem, you could invest in multifunctional furniture. For example, you could buy a large coffee table that has a lid that lifts up for you to put DVDs/electronics in and, instead of purchasing an L-shaped sofa, you could buy a normal sofa with a footstool that you can store things in.

    Avoid bulky furniture

    Bulky, oversized furniture will only make your small living room feel smaller. Instead, choose small-scale furniture, like a love seat instead of a full sized sofa.

    Scandinavian design uses very sleek, simple furniture and is a good style to choose if you have a small home. Most of the furniture is on legs so you can see the floor underneath which makes the furniture item appear smaller than it is.

    Blue sofa in Scandinavian style living room with parquet floor Photo by Jarek Ceborski

    Note how the small chair can barely be seen because it fades into the background so much. You’ll also notice that you can see the flooring under the sofa and the unit on the wall. If the unit came right down to the floor, it would make the room feel instantly smaller.

    The curtains are positioned as high up on the wall as possible. This makes the ceilings feel taller and the windows bigger.

    Arranging your small living room is all about making spaces appear bigger than they are and investing in clever storage solutions. To find out more about how you can arrange your furniture in a small living room, see the helpful illustrations from  Home Edit.

    Fern xx

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  • How to dress a bed

    Your bed is the focal point of your bedroom, but how many mornings do you leave it in a crumpled mess?

    A dressed bed can transform the look of a room, and it’s actually been proven that there are benefits to making your bed each morning. If you're wondering how to dress your bed so it looks like the ones you've seen in magazines or on your Instagram feed, we can help. From how to arrange your cushions to how to choose the perfect headboard, we've got all the answers you need.

    Start with the base

    If you want to makeover your bed, start by looking at the basics, such as your sheets and bed cover. Dressing a bed is all about creating layers but the first layer is just as important as the rest.

    Has your current bedding started to bobble, or has the odd hole or tear started to appear? If the answer is yes to either of these, it may be time for a new cover. You should also buy new bedding if your current set doesn’t excite you like it used to.

    Before you buy any bedding, think about what you want the overall effect to be. Do you want a combination of bold patterns or colours or do you want a muted, neutral finish?

    You could buy plain bedding that you want to dress up with patterned throws and cushions. Or you could do it the other way around and buy patterned bedding that you can add plain, solid-colour throws and cushions to.

    You could get both patterned bedding and cushions. If you do this, make sure that the patterns are very different, for example, if your bedding has lots of fine detail on, make sure that the throw has a large pattern that isn’t as delicate - the two will balance each other out. Alternatively, you could go with no pattern at all.

    There are lots of ways you can mix and match plain bedding with patterns and colours. Decide on the look you want to achieve before purchasing your bedding.

    The pillows

    Once you’ve got your base, it’s time to think about your pillows.

    It’s up to you how many pillows you have. Some people like to sleep with one and others prefer much more. In the UK, it’s standard to have two housewife pillows on either side of the bed, totalling four. Your pillowcases could match your bedding or they could differ completely. Again, it’s down to personal preference.

    If you have a reversible duvet with a different pattern on each side, your pillows could have one pattern and your duvet the other.

    The cushions

    Cushions aren’t meant to be slept on - they’re there to make the bed look nice. Most designers stick to the number three when it comes to styling. This means, three cushions is ideal. However, it is a personal preference, and if you’d rather things look symmetrical, then use four decorative cushions, like in the photo below.

    large bed with a grey headboard dressed with muted cushions and a large throw. Photo by Adam Winger

    Cushions can, and should, be bought in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. Some people like bold cushions and others would prefer cushions that match everything else in the room.

    Throws

    The final layer of a well dressed bed is a throw. Throws are so versatile. They can be folded neatly on the end of the bed, draped across the bed haphazardly so that some of the material  pools elegantly on the floor or laid in a straight line like you might find in a hotel room. Dressing a bed is all about creating layers and a throw is the perfect finishing touch.

    Your bed should represent your own personal style, so have a think about whether you’d prefer odd or even numbered cushions, bold patterns or muted neutrals, a neat hotel finish or an effortless effect.

    How to arrange cushions on a bed

    There are so many types of cushions you can buy that it can be mind boggling. There are round ones, square ones, rectangle ones, ones with pattern, ones without pattern, ones with frills. This means there are endless ways you can arrange them.

    In the UK, most households use two housewife pillowcases. Alternatively, some people place a standard housewife pillowcase at the back and an Oxford pillowcase in front, then use decorative cushions in front.

    The pillows that you sleep on should go on the bed first. Then, use a number of decorative cushions in front. You can line them up in a row or stack them with the larger ones at the back and small ones in front.

    Honeycomb headboard in grey and yellow with grey and yellow bedding and a bright decorative yellow cushion Close-up of colorful bed with hexagon bedhead in bright bedroom interior with yellow chair at wooden desk with plants and candles

    This bed has a slightly larger cushion placed at the front but its bright colour makes this work, particularly as there are two identical cushions either side of it that blend into the background.

    Have a play around and try out a variety of cushion arrangements. Don’t forget you can always return an unused cushion that still has a label on if you don’t like it.

    What kinds of pillowcases can you buy?

    There are four types of pillowcase that you can buy:

    Boudoir pillowcase

    • 30cm x 45cm
    • Used for decoration rather than sleeping on

    Housewife pillowcase

    • A standard 50cm x 75cm pillowcase
    • The most popular cushion in UK homes

    Oxford pillowcase

    • Same size as a standard pillowcase
    • Has loose material that goes around the hem

    European square pillowcase

    • 65cm x 65cm
    • Less popular in the UK
    • Typically goes at the bottom of the pillow arrangement

    How to choose a headboard

    The headboard is as much a part of the bed’s design as the cushions, bedding and throws. A headboard can be used to create a statement and set the design style of the room. You could choose a French headboard if you want to create a classic decadent look. Or perhaps you’d prefer something modern and funky like the honeycomb effect in the photo above.

    The headboard in the below photo adds a touch of glam, which is emphasised by the studded furniture, sequin duvet and opulent cushions.

     

    Photo by neonbrand

    The matching footstool finishes the whole ensemble  off beautifully.

    There isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to dressing your bed. The only important thing to keep in mind is to create layers. However you create these layers is up to you.

     

  • How to choose the right French style bed for you

    When it comes to French style beds, choosing the right one for you and your sleep space can be tricky. There are many different designs to choose from - all of which exude French style and flair.

    To help you suss out which type of French bed would best suit you and your home, keep reading.

    Create an authentic vibe with a rattan

    If you’re keen to give your boudoir a totally authentic French vibe, perhaps a rattan style bed is the best match for you. This type of bed boasts a large, curved headboard and footboard, as well as beautifully carved sides, allowing you to make a true style statement in this room. Look out for designs with intricate detailing at the tip of the headboard and legs for a little extra ooh la la.

    Usually, rattan beds are made from strong, sturdy materials, such as solid oak or oak veneer, complete with a soft sheen lacquer finish. Aside from rustic wood shades, we offer rattan frames that have been painted in hues like pure white and soft ivory - the ideal colour choices if you’re looking to give your bedroom a fresh, clean look and feel.

    Keep it classy with an upholstered design

    For a French style bed with class, why not go for an upholstered design? This style of frame often features a soft, padded headboard which has been covered in luxurious fabric. In most cases, the fabric will look ‘buttoned’, giving the bed a stylish and sophisticated appearance. At Crown French Furniture, we also offer frames which have been designed with both an upholstered headboard and footboard section - the perfect choice if you want to transform your bedroom into a boudoir.

    Aside from the upholstered element, this style of bed usually features a wealth of other stunning features. You can take your pick from designs with sloping headboards, as well as models with beautifully curved legs and sides.

    Make a statement with a carved antique model

    To create a charming, classically French bedroom design, a carved antique model is your best bet. With elegant carved detailing on the headboard, sides and footboard, this style of bed frame is traditionally French in appearance.

    So that you can get your decor spot on, look out for designs that have been painted white and have been gently aged to give the frame a slightly distressed look and feel. To complete the room, you can pair the bed with other Provencal style pieces, such as an antique themed wardrobe or bedside cabinet.

    Combine old and new with a venetian bed frame

    If you like the rustic flair of French decor but you’re keen to keep your sleep space looking cool and contemporary, a venetian bed frame could be ideal. The shape of this bed provides a vintage look and feel, while its high mirrored headboard and low footboard exclude modernity, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to combining old and new.

    The mirrored effect of this style of bed frame can help uplift darker rooms, while adding an element of elegance and sophistication. Venetian style beds are perfect when matched with similar furnishings, such as a mirrored bedside table, chest of drawers or dresser.

    Which style of bed do you prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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