News

7th May 2019

5 Hacks for Moving Home Without the Stress

5 Hacks for Moving Home Without the Stress

When it comes to finding a new home, the excitement of moving into it often overshadows the reality. Days or weeks of list making, organising, packing and unpacking can take a lot of the fun out of moving home, but there are a few ways that you can minimise the stress associated with it.

Declutter 

As soon as you make the decision to move to a new house, you should start decluttering each and every room of your current home. It is never too early to start this process! After all, the less you have to move, the easier it will be. Start with the top of the house and work down so that you can be sure that each room has been addressed. The loft is usually a huge source of unwanted or unneeded items, so begin there before working your way on to the bedrooms and then the downstairs. Donate, gift, repurpose and recycle anything you no longer need or want to lighten the load when you move.

Make a schedule 

The earlier you can start getting ready for the big day, the better. It’s a good idea to give yourself between 8-12 weeks to get organised so that you’re not frantically trying to cram a whole house move into a few days. Allow yourself plenty of time to do each room so that it is not too difficult to unpack and find everything you need at the other end.

Pack an essentials box 

Instead of spending ages rummaging around to find the kettle or the cutlery, pack a box with everything that you will need for the first few days in your new home. This could be anything from toiletries and teabags, to pet food and cooking utensils. After a long day of shifting heavy boxes and keeping track of your items, you will be super grateful to have an easy way of finding the things you need to unwind!

Set aside time for cleaning 

While the move itself will take up plenty of time, so will cleaning your old house and potentially sprucing up your new one. Make sure you set aside time for leaving your previous home sparkling clean and giving your new home a quick freshen up. Keep all cleaning supplies in a separate box that’s easy to locate and tackle each room one by one to make sure you get every nook and cranny.

Take care of yourself 

Often, moving to a new house can take up so much time and energy that it can be easy to forget about sleeping properly, eating well and generally taking time out to relax. This can lead to all kinds of stressful situations, so try to eat a balanced diet, get at least 8 hours sleep a night and spend a few minutes a day doing something other than thinking about moving home.

Need some new furniture for your new home? Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


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8th April 2019

The History of Parker Knoll

The History of Parker Knoll

When it comes to high quality, British made furniture, one of the first brands that always springs to mind is Parker Knoll. Since the start of the business, more than 147 years ago, the company has innovated some of the best furniture technologies and produced some of the most iconic designs in the industry. So how did the Parker Knoll legacy begin?



 

Royal Beginnings

In 1869, a 24-year-old Shoreditch-born cabinet maker named Frederick Parker set up business creating high-quality British furniture. His work was of such a high standard that it wasn’t long before the Royal family took note of his designs and summoned him to Buckingham Palace to measure King Edward VII for a chair. The King was extremely pleased with his initial prototype and ordered one to be made. Thus, began a long-standing relationship between Parker Knoll and the Victorian gentry which would be the basis on which would last well into the next century.


 

Demand Increases

The business continued to do well in the early 1900s at which time the business was moved to even bigger premises in High Wycombe. The company received an order from the RMS Aquitania to furnish the Palladian Lounge, which it gladly fulfilled. In 1929, Frederick Parker’s sons took over the running of the business and soon combined forces with an ex-fighter pilot named Willi Knoll. After spending plenty of time sitting in uncomfortable aircraft seats, Knoll had spent some time innovating comfortable furniture and so the resulting partnership between the Parker company and Knoll in the early 1930s led to the introduction of luxury spring furniture.


 

Strength to Strength
 
The new Parker Knoll brand was the first to advertise nationally and received great success. They were commissioned to furnish the new BBC headquarters in 1932 and used their factories to assist with the construction of aircraft during World War 2. By the 1950’s, however, a new era of design had descended, and Parker Knoll led the charge with their innovative design and luxury comfort. They were the first to introduce a recliner chair and have continued to impress at design fairs every year since.



Watch Full Timeline:



Want to find out more about Parker Knoll furniture? Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements. Or shop online now.


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26th February 2019

5 of Our Best Sideboards

Seriously underrated and often overlooked pieces of furniture, sideboards are not only a practical way to add storage, but they are perfect for finishing off a room. Whether you are looking for a sideboard for your bedroom, dining room, hallway or lounge, we have a beautiful range of pieces to match any kind of style.

Reclaimed

 
If you are looking for chunky, rustic furniture to fit in with an urban, industrial, or farmhouse look, the sideboards from the Baker Nickel collection could be perfect for you. Constructed using reclaimed materials with a natural finish, these eco-friendly sideboards will bring warmth and character to any room in the home.

Country

 
Add a touch of French country glamour to your living space with a sideboard from the Baker Cotleigh range. Reclaimed timbers are enhanced by a gently distressed elegant two-tone finish to create a fresh and contemporary look with bags of character and charm. There is also the option to add a dresser top to create a statement piece worthy of any country kitchen! 

 

 

 

 Mid-century modern

 
The mid-century modern look is still going strong in interior design, which is why we love this stunning sideboard from the Porto range. Its brushed stainless-steel legs and walnut veneers combine to create a chic and contemporary finish on a classic design. One of our personal favourites.

  

Contemporary

 
For a contemporary finish, the sideboards from the Kingstown Alpha collection are a great way to bring modern styling into your home. The on-trend contemporary designs combine with the flexible functionality demanded by modern living to create practical and super stylish pieces. Available in a Light Grey and a Dust grey finish. 

Traditional

 

For a solid, traditional piece of furniture that will last for generations, the Portbury 3 Door Sideboard could be perfect for you. The Portbury is part of an extremely well priced and extensive collection of living, dining & bedroom furniture. All items are available in a choice of finishes. For the dining & living ranges, there is a choice of oak all over with antique handles, or oak/stone painted finish with silver handles. Alternative handles are available as an optional extra. The majority of items are supplied fully assembled. The oak all over items are constructed using a combination of oak solids & veneers. For the painted finish, the tops are constructed using oak solids & veneers, with the painted parts being constructed using pine and manmade board.

Want to find out more? Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.   

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14th February 2019

Top Tips for Mixing Patterns in the Home

When it comes to interior design, people often think that one of the trickiest styles to master is the art of mixing patterns. However, it is actually a lot simpler than it looks. Not only does it add colour, interest and depth to a space, but it actually makes the process of finding accessories for your home a lot easier. Just remember to stick to a few rules.
 

1. Start with one design
 
Image: Alstons Stockholm

Whether it’s a statement rug or a cushion you just fell in love with, your pattern journey always starts with one design that you can’t live without. If you have previously been into neutrals and monochromes, breaking out into patterns can feel daunting at first but once you start it is very difficult to stop!


 
2. Use different scales

Image:Parker Knoll Boston 2 Seater Sofa

A good way to start building your patterns is to use different scales throughout the room. Use large scaled patterns on curtains and larger pieces of furniture, and smaller patterns on accent pieces and accessories. Switching up the scales adds interest and prevents the patterns from looking too ‘matchy’.


 
3. Build on a colour scheme
 
Image: Living Homes Beach House

If you already have a colour scheme in mind, build on it by using similar colours in other patterns. For example, making sure that all of your patterns have a shade of blue in it will help to unify them. If you would prefer the multicoloured approach, choose contrasting colours that clash next to each other.


 
4. Stick to a consistent hue

Image: Ashwood Hamilton Corner

If you are decorating your room in pastels or a specific hue, it’s a good idea to use patterns and tones in similar hues rather than adding in bold jewels tones. Conversely, bold rooms look great with other bold colours layered against them. 


 
5. Work with odd numbers of patterns
A good rule of thumb is to work with odd numbers of patterns. Start with three, work up to five and if you are feeling super brave try out seven, or even nine!


 
Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.

Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook

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25th January 2019

Design Ideas for the Bedroom

Design Ideas for the Bedroom

Image: Baker Bahama Reclaimed & Recycled Collection

It is said that we spend a third of our lives in bed, so when it comes to interiors, your bedroom is the most important room in the house. Whether you prefer an oasis of restful calm or a luxurious boutique boudoir, there are a few things to consider before making a start on creating the bedroom of your dreams.

Style

The most important thing to think about when designing your bedroom is the style you are hoping to achieve. Spend some time looking through pictures for inspiration and create a mood board of your favourite styles as this will give you an indication of the sort of colours and accessories you like. You may find that you thought you liked country styles, but your mood board might show a collection of more contemporary pictures. Look for things that the pictures have in common, such as bold prints, dark walls, colourful accessories or minimalist furniture.

Lighting

Carefully positioned lighting can transform a room. The key is in layering it. Work with floor lamps, overhead lights and bedside table lamps to create a multi-level effect so that it is easy to change the ambience in the room simply by turning a light on or off. Decide whether a chandelier style overhead light would work best, or spotlights and consider installing a dimmer switch. Add in easy to reach lamps next to the bed so that you don’t have to get out of bed to turn them on.



Colour Scheme

Colour schemes can be the most daunting part of decorating, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. For small or dark rooms, work within a neutral palette to give the illusion of light and space. If you love the bold, bright look but aren’t sure about committing to painting the walls with strong hues, choose an accent wall to display your chosen colour or use it in the accessories to make your room pop.

 

Furniture

Whether you’re working with a big room or a tiny space, the furniture you choose for it will make a big difference to how the room feels. Ottoman beds are perfect for adding in storage to smaller spaces, while mirrored wardrobes are a great way to bounce light around the room while saving on wall space at the same time. Don’t forget the quintessential bedside table for your books!

Browse our wide range of beautiful bedroom furniture, we have something to suit all styles and budgets.

Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.   

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21st January 2019

A Guide to Finding the Perfect Dining Table

A Guide to Finding the Perfect Dining Table

Image: Baker Nickel

From hosting dinner parties to the everyday family meal, there is something magical about the perfect dining room furniture. The setting of memories, a dining table is the most essential component of any family home. Whether you need a casual café style table or a formal hardwood affair, there is something for every style and budget at Living Homes. So, how do you go about choosing the perfect dining table for your needs?

The first thing to consider when buying a dining table is the use it will get. For example:

  • Casual use:

For everyday family dinners, a casual use table is the way to go. For this type of table, you will need something hardwearing and comfortable that is easy to clean and sit around. Extending tables can work well for families as they can be increased in size when there are special occasions.

  • Formal use:

Formal dining tables work super well in larger homes that tend to host a lot of dining evenings. Large, more ornate tables with an elegant finish and sumptuous chairs are perfect for this type of setting.

  • Kitchen use:

If you are looking for a table to slot into the kitchen for breakfast meals and everyday use, a smaller, more robust table is a good choice.

The next step is to think about the size. A good place to start when deciding on the size of the table is to measure the space it will fit into. Work out how much space each chair or bench will need when pushed back from the table and then figure out how many chairs can fit into that space. If you have plenty of space, start by working out how many people will be using the table.

Lastly, consider the style. There are several different options to choose from.

  • Contemporary:

Modern spaces will suit the sleek lines and angles of glass and chrome. Industrial styles are very popular at the moment and often feature a mixture of aged wood and metal.

  • Traditional:

Warm woods, chunky legs and minimal details will look perfect in a traditional or period space.

  • Country

Distressed finishes and rustic legs are ideal for country and shabby-chic style rooms.

Browse our wide range of beautiful dining tables, we have something to suit all styles and budgets.

Head on down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare or give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff who are ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.   

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18th December 2018

Getting Your Home Ready for Christmas Parties

Getting Your Home Ready for Christmas Parties

Christmas is right around the corner, which means it is officially time to get excited about the upcoming festivities! Whether you are having the whole family round for Christmas Day or you want to be prepared for unplanned visitors, getting your house ready for guests is the first step in making sure the Christmas spirit is alive and well in your home. So here are our top tips for getting your home ready for the festivities.

Living room

The best place to start is the room where you will be doing most of the entertaining! Spend some time getting rid of clutter and cleaning in the nooks and crannies that sometimes get overlooked. Lay on extra blankets and cushions to make guests feel comfortable and warm and hang plenty of fairy lights to create a magical ambience. Have a few sturdy side tables ready for drinks and snacks and use footstools to double up as extra seating.

Kitchen

Parties always end up in the kitchen at some point or another, so plan ahead for this by creating a dedicated area for drinks so that guests can serve themselves without getting in the way of the cooking. Lay out plenty of snacks and have some music playing in the background to create the festive mood.

Guest room

Create a warm and welcoming space for your guests to relax in after the party has finished. Dress the bed with freshly laundered sheets, provide fluffy towels and keep the space free from clutter. Make some space for their belongings by clearing out a drawer or two as well as some space in the wardrobe (if there is one!). Provide extra blankets and pillows so that your guests can make themselves comfortable during the night.

Bathroom

Get your bathroom looking hotel fresh by giving it a deep clean, hiding all toiletries and cleaning products and ensuring that there are plenty of clean towels and toilet rolls. Place some new soaps next to the sink along with some scented candles to give it a luxurious aroma.

Browse our great selection of beautiful furniture online, or head down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare. Alternatively, give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.   

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11th December 2018

5 Ways to Keep Your House Warm in the Winter

With temperatures expected to get as low as 3°C in Somerset this week, it’s safe to say that winter has well and truly arrived! The arrival of frost and hail tends to mean that we turn to the central heating more to keep us warm, but did you know that there are a few simple ways that you can keep your house warm without resorting to increasing your heating bill?
 

1. Block draughts
 
Keep out cold air by making sure that all of the draughts in the house are blocked up. Make up some draught excluders to put underneath doors and fill in any gaps around doors and windows with self-adhesive rubber seals. Another good tip is to make your own draught excluder for the letterbox, as this is where a lot of cold air gets into the house. 

 
 
2. Use tin foil
 
This might seem a bit odd at first, but it makes a lot of sense! Placing sheets of tin foil behind the radiators helps to reflect heat back into the room and prevents it being lost through the wall.


 
3. Pull the curtains

 A lot of heat can be lost through windows, even if they are double glazed, so pull the curtains as soon as the sun goes down to trap as much heat inside as possible. 


 
 
4. Drink up
 
There’s nothing cosier than snuggling on the sofa under piles of blankets while drinking your favourite hot drink. Stock up on plenty of herbal teas, hot chocolates and mulled wine to keep you warm from the inside out this winter.


 
5. Leave the oven door open
 
We tend to shut the oven after we’ve finished using it, but in the winter, try leaving the door open so that all of that lovely leftover heat warms the kitchen up. Make sure that any pets or children are supervised while this is open, though!



 
Browse our great selection of beautiful furniture online, or head down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare. Alternatively, give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.

Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.  

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28th November 2018

6 Reasons to Invest in an Electric Fireplace

6 Reasons to Invest in an Electric Fireplace

As the colder weather and the long, dark evenings set in, homes around the country are snuggling up and preparing for a winter of hibernation. With fireplaces being one of the most coveted ways to keep warm in the colder months, we take a look at why electric fireplaces are the perfect way to bring warmth to your home this winter.

 

1. Efficiency
Both gas and wood burning fires lose a large amount of heat through the chimney which is not great for energy bills or efficiency. Not only that, but chimneys let in lots of cold air which leaves a room feeling cold and draughty. Electric fireplaces do not need ventilation, so there is no heat loss through a chimney and no cold air comes into the room.

 
2. Zero mess
Electric fireplaces can provide all of the beauty and aesthetic warmth of a real fire, without all of the associated mess that usually comes with them. Forget about sweeping the chimney, emptying the ash pan, and removing soot build up, simply kick back and enjoy the warmth of your remote-controlled fire.

 
3. Style
When it comes to choosing the perfect electric fireplace, there are plenty of beautiful styles to choose from. Whether you have a contemporary, traditional, or quirky finish in your room, there is an electric fireplace to suit every kind of décor.

 
4. Safety
One of the biggest advantages of an electric fireplace is the ability to turn it off when you are finished with it. This means that you reduce the risk of injuries and burns for children and pets when the fireplace is unsupervised. Many electric fireplaces also come with a timer setting so that you can fall asleep in front of it safe in the knowledge that it will turn itself off after a set period of time.

 
5. Installation
Electric fireplaces can be incredibly easy to install when compared to their wood and gas burning counterparts. If you go for a simple off the shelf design, it is simply a case of plugging your fire into the mains to start enjoying the benefits of it.


6. Money Saving
With an electric fireplace, there is no chimney cleaning, no service checks and no costly installation fees - just plug it in and enjoy! 

 
Browse our great selection of beautiful electric fireplaces online, or head down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare. Alternatively, give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook

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5th November 2018

6 Top Tips for a Super Clean Mattress

6 Top Tips for a Super Clean Mattress

Image: Hypnos Concerto Bedstead Mattress

When it comes to cleaning the bedroom, the mattress can often get overlooked. But, as we sleep on them every night, mattresses can quickly become sponges for pollen, sweat, and oils, and sometimes even a bedbug or two can be found lurking in the creases. So, it is super important to keep your mattress as clean as possible to ensure that you can rest easily at night.

Please be advised that the tips below are a rough guide only. No mattress model is identical. It’s always best to check the manufacturer's care instructions that should be provided with the purchase of your mattress.

 
Before you get started on cleaning your mattress, it is a good idea to wash all of your sheets, pillows, and bedding on the hottest wash that they can take. This will kill any bacteria or bugs lurking in them which means you won’t undo all of your hard work when you make the bed later! Then it’s time to tackle the mattress. 

1. Hoover
This is the part when the upholstery attachment on the hoover comes in handy. Start at one end and work in lines, methodically hoovering your way to the other side to make sure you have covered every inch of the surface.

 
2. Deodorise
Forget about investing in expensive products, simply sprinkle a layer of baking soda from your kitchen cupboard across the surface of the mattress. Gently work the powder into the surface using a small brush then leave for 15 minutes or more, depending on how musty the mattress is. The baking soda will absorb all of the smells, oils, and moisture from the mattress, leaving it smelling like new (almost)!

 
3. Hoover
Once the baking soda has been on the surface for long enough it’s time to hoover it all out again. Using the same technique as before, methodically work your way across the mattress to make sure that you pick up all of the powder.

 
4. Stain removal
Which stain removal technique you use will depend on which type of stain you have to get rid of. Remove spot stains with a dilute dish detergent, but do not apply too much liquid. For bigger stains, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the area and blot with a clean cloth. For any difficult to remove stains, try applying more baking soda after the detergent and leave for several hours.

 
5. Flip it
Repeat all the cleaning steps above with the underside of the mattress. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines for flipping the mattress, though as a general rule of thumb most mattresses need to be turned at least 4 times a year. 
 
 
Air it
It’s a good idea to leave your mattress to get some air flowing through it to help remove any remaining moisture and banish any lingering odours. Once you have thoroughly cleaned both sides of the mattress, prop it up against the wall and leave the windows of the room open for as long as possible. Try to do this at least every couple of months. 

 
Browse our great selection of comfortable mattresses online this season, or head down to our showrooms in Street and Weston-Super-Mare. Alternatively, give us a call on 01458 445555 (Street showrooms) or 01934 626326 (Weston showroom) to speak to our highly experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to help you with all your interior décor needs and requirements.


Don't forget you can stay up to date with all our latest news and promotions by signing up to our Mailing List and following us on Facebook.   

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