News

With all the exciting posts we share on Fern's Blog it's nice to have a special place reserved for our top picks! Check out our news section for some one-stop inspiration. We've also included any important updates we want to share with our customers.
  • How to decorate a bookshelf

    While the traditional purpose of bookshelves is to store your favourite books and present them to guests, they can also be utilised to add extra colour and vibrancy to your home.

    Whether it’s down to not being a heavy reader or simply wanting to prioritise decoration over storage, you may not even want to include books on your bookshelf. In this guide, we look at how you can decorate your bookshelves and alternative items you can display on them to accentuate your home.

    Parisian bookcase Our new Parisian bookcase

    How to decorate a bookcase in a living room

    A bookcase is one of several primary pieces of furniture in any living room. However, it’s unlikely to have the desired visual effect if it’s bland and uninteresting, or conversely if it’s overpowering. To avoid these outcomes, there are a few considerations you can bear in mind when decorating your bookcase, such as:

    Harmony between ornaments

    The intention of putting ornaments on your bookcase is to complement this piece of furniture and the rest of the room. It can be a challenge to find objects that share a similar colour or style while all being unique, but as long as you select items that stay within the same theme, you should be able to make it work.

    Contrast in moderation

    Although consistency through similar colours and styles can help you to create a chic look when decorating a bookcase, you may want to consider putting different objects in for contrast. This could be something as simple as introducing a circular shape on a shelf full of square ornaments, or even wallpapering a section of the shelf a different colour to your ornaments to make them stand out.

    Ornament placement

    Finding appropriate objects to fill the gaps on your bookshelf is one thing, but it’s also important to put some thought into how you display them. One thing to bear in mind is to never make your ornament placement one dimensional, as it will end up looking more like a means to an end for storage than an impressive visual display.

    When arranging your ornaments, put larger objects at the back and smaller items at the front. If you intend to include a lot of ornaments on your bookcase, you could place some of them at different angles so they face different parts of the room.

    Alter the style of your bookcase

    If you’ve done all you can in terms of decorating your bookcase and still feel like it somehow doesn’t suit your living room, it could be that your bookcase requires a facelift. Changing the shape of your bookcase might not be possible, but you could consider painting it a different colour so it flows better with the other items of furniture in your living room. Alternatively, see our guide on how to position your bookcase in your living room for some more harmonic interior inspiration.

    close up of wooden rack with books in living room

    What to put on a bookshelf

     

    When picking out ornaments, you might look out for specific items that work well together based on colour, style, shape or type, or it might simply be a case of getting what you like the look of at the time and improvising when it comes to finding the right place for it.

    Below, we look at some of the objects in your living room that you could use to decorate your bookcase:

    Books

    Obviously, bookcases are built to house several shelves of books, but you can enhance the look of these furnishings by changing how the books are displayed. For example, you could mix up the sizes to make a varied pattern across the shelves, contrasting colours and textures to make it interesting to look at.

    Picture frames

    When spaced out correctly and used sparingly, picture frames can add colour and personalisation to a bookcase. Larger picture frames are suitable for filling big spaces and if there’s a gap between books and the edge of the shelf, you could use smaller picture frames to make the shelf look more populated.

    Boxes and baskets

    Both boxes and baskets are frequently used for decorating a home, as they can look good while also storing small bits and pieces that could otherwise be easily misplaced. They’re also useful for filling up large gaps on shelves and stacking on top of each other.

    Art

    Pieces of art - whether it’s a picture small enough to fit on a shelf or a visually pleasing ornament - are the perfect way of adding an element of culture to your living room. Depending on the shape of the piece, you could place it in front of a book, lean it against the end of the shelf or use a few pieces across separate shelves to show balance and bring the composition together.

    Can you put a lamp on a bookshelf?

    A lamp can make a great addition to a bookshelf. By adding one of these lighting accessories, you’re able to include an aesthetically pleasing ornament while also illuminating your bookshelf to make it stand out. The only issue that may become a problem is wiring, as it could ruin the sleek appearance to see a single wire dangling off the side of one of the shelves.

    However, you could consider drilling a small hole in the side of the bookcase, running the wire through it and plugging it in to a nearby socket, or you could use battery-powered LED lights instead.

    Fern xx

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  • How to arrange bookcases in the living room

    Not only does your bookcase provide a practical and convenient place to store your books, the content of your bookcase also illustrates your interests, style and personality. What you choose to display on your bookcase can say a lot about you, but while they’re widely recognised as suitable storage for your favourite reads, a bookcase can also offer another element to your home’s design.

    Along with sofas, coffee tables, lamps, plants, sets of drawers and ornaments, a bookcase is an important component of any living room. However, it’s only possible to strike a balance for the desired design of your living room by utilising these items in the correct way. Read on to find out how you can incorporate a bookcase in your living room.

    Where to put bookcases in a living room

     

    Before you choose the best location for your bookcase, you should consider a number of factors:

    Practicality

    An aesthetically pleasing bookcase is all well and good, but it’s not much use if it’s poorly situated. Consider putting your bookcase close to sofas or a dining set to make it easier to retrieve and read any of the books on it. That said, where you put your bookcase depends on how much you wish to read books from your collection or what you need the bookcase for. For example, if you frequently work from home, you may need specific books close to hand, but if you read casually but not often, overly easy access to your bookcase is not as important.

    Spacing

    Introducing another piece of furniture - however big or small - can alter the shape of your living room. You don’t want everything to be grouped together in the centre of the room just as you wouldn’t want everything to be at opposing sides of the area available to you, so it’s important to strike a balance by spacing everything out evenly.

    Purpose

    Aside from book storage and visual appearance, you have the option of making more uses out of your bookcase. It’s unlikely that you’ll want your bookcase to become a glorified drinks coaster, but if it’s situated near to sofas and chairs, it could be a good place to temporarily hold drinks, especially if you’re entertaining guests. Alternatively, if you have an entertainment system or games console in your living room, you could put your bookcase near to your television and use it to store DVDs, blu-ray and videogames.

    Coordination

    Even if you’ve gone out of your way to keep your furniture evenly spaced out around your living room, you may want to consider grouping your bookcase with another piece of furniture. This is likely to require some trial and error until you’re suitably happy, but if the design suits your sofa, fireplace, sideboard or television stand, it could be best suited near it.

    Shape

    Organising your living room in an effective manner is partly down to finding a harmony between every piece of furniture, alongside other components such as the flooring, colour and structural design of the room. It’s likely that you will have been wary of ruining this harmony when you first picked out your bookcase, but as much as you will want to make it work with how your living room is already set out, it’s also important to make use of the bookcase’s design.

    Introducing another piece of furniture such as a bookcase should accentuate the other elements that are already in your living room rather than making everything conflict with each other. For instance, if it was designed to be put into a corner, that’s likely to be the best place for it, and if it’s especially tall, it shouldn’t be put somewhere that it’ll stand out.

    A bookcase placed in the middle of a luxury sitting room.

    Can you put a bookshelf in front of a window?

    When you’re planning where to put your bookcase, you may consider putting it in front of a window. Whether it’s out of preference or simply due to a lack of space elsewhere, it’s worth considering, but you may be concerned if it would look clunky or block out natural light.

    Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid both of these potential issues by only partially covering the window with the bookcase. Tall bookcases are capable of covering just one side of a window, while short bookcases that block only the bottom of the window could also be utilized. Although not traditionally recommended, if a loss of natural light can be tolerated and you are struggling to find a better location for your book storage solutions, individual bookshelves that overlap across a section of the window could provide a good compromise.

  • How to clean wood furniture

    A woman cleaning a wooden table with a cleaning solution and cloth.

    Wooden furniture is a household favourite. Not only is a wooden finish simple, elegant and versatile, but it also requires very little maintenance. However, regular cleaning is necessary to keep the wood looking fresh and healthy. Knowing how to clean a wooden surface is important if you want to maintain the longevity of your favourite pieces and keep them looking timeless.

    Our Charlotte oak bed We have plenty of ranges which thrive under a little timely maintenance! If you need some inspiration, check out our Charlotte oak pieces for some real showstopping wooden detail.

    There are several ways to restore a wood appearance back to its fresh, original condition without causing any damage. A little dirt can accumulate on wood over time that which is easier cleaned as soon as possible so you don't risk any markings. This is especially prevalent with tables and cabinets, which could be prone to smudging and stains.

    Remember, the best cleaning methods will depend on the finish, stain and type of your wooden furniture. If you’re unsure on the details of your pieces, it’s always best to begin with a simple cleaning approach using mild solutions and determine how to continue from there.

    How do you remove smudges from wood furniture? 

     

    Before using any cleaning solution on the whole item, test a small amount of product in an inconspicuous location (maybe an area on the underneath). To remove dirt and smudges, start with a mild cleanser before moving to a stronger one if the gentler one fails and implement the following steps:

    • Add a drop of washing up liquid to a cotton ball or pad which is damp with water.
    • Wipe the ball on an unnoticeable part of the furniture, such as the inner part of a table leg. If you notice the detergent spoiling the appearance of the test area, continue without the soap. If there is no evidence of impairment, then you are safe to continue.
    • Mix the liquid and water into a bucket and use the solution to sponge down the entirety of the piece.
    • The furniture should not be soaking wet. Instead, wipe the sponge lightly over the surface. Dry it thoroughly just a few minutes after letting the solution linger.

    How do you get fingerprints off wood furniture? 

     

    The above process should work to remove most small blemishes from your wooden surfaces. Fingerprints, however, can be stubborn and you may need to use a different cleaning technique to achieve an impeccable finish. You can rid your wooden furniture of any unwanted prints in the following manner:

    Step 1: Polish the piece of furniture as normal using a commercial polish or you can make one from scratch by mixing one cup of mineral oil with a couple of drops of lemon extract.

    Step 2: Use a soft cloth to clean the wood with your polish. Always follow the grain of the wood and wipe down the surface area gently. Do not use any rapid or circular motions as this can result in swirling imprints.

    Step 3: Sprinkle cornflour over the polished wooden surface.

    Step 4: Buff the surface with a soft, thoroughly dry cloth. The cornflour is used to remove any excess polish and prints.

    How to remove water rings from furniture

     

    One of the most common marks to appear on wood furniture arises from people forgetting to put their drink on a coaster. Luckily, various household products are perfect for buffing out any water rings with ease. Try one of the below techniques to remove the stain and move onto the next if one does not work.

    Method 1: Baking Soda

    Make a paste using one teaspoon of water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Dip a soft cloth into this solution and rub the water ring gently until you see it disappear.

    Method 2: Petroleum Jelly

    Apply a blob of petroleum jelly lightly over the watermark and leave it to sit overnight. Wipe the jelly and watermark away in the morning using a cloth.

    Method 3: Toothpaste

    Place a ball of non-gel toothpaste onto a soft cloth and massage it onto the wooden surface to remove the stain. Wipe it off with a moist cloth and leave it until it dries thoroughly. If the watermark runs deep, make a stronger solution from baking soda and toothpaste. Use a dab of toothpaste and an equally-sized measurement of baking soda and mix together. Slide the paste along the grain of the wood, clean it off using a damp cloth and then when it dries, polish the wood using lemon oil.

    How to clean wood furniture with vinegar

     

    Despite it's strong smell, vinegar is a perfect natural cleaning product as it does not damage wooden finishes. Before you start cleaning, remove any cushions and items from the likes of wooden stools and dressing tables and dust the wooden surface with a cloth. You can either use white vinegar mixed with water for cleaning purposes or olive oil mixed with white vinegar for polishing.

    Step 1: Measure your solution by using three tablespoons of vinegar for every cup of filtered water. If there is no damaging effect when wiping an inconspicuous area, dampen a cloth with your solution and proceed to clean the entire surface.

    Step 2: Ensure that when you come to wipe down the whole piece of furniture that your cloth is damp and not overly saturated as too much liquid can be extremely damaging to the wood. Rub the furniture with the cloth and move with the grain to remove any marks. When the cloth becomes dirty, rinse it with clean water or replace it.

    Step 3: Buff the wood in circular motions to remove any excess moisture. If you realise you have missed any spots, simply use the cleaning solution again. Buffing away moisture should be the last step.

    Hope this helps! Fern xx

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  • 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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