Feather & Black Blog

Natalie Williams

French bedroom furniture

Posted by Natalie Williams, Friday, August 29, 2014

Introduce French Renaissance to your bedroom with the graceful Versailles bedstead, and relax in the effortlessly romantic atmosphere it brings. Our pretty new collection exudes pure luxury with carved motifs and feminine details; beautifully versatile to suit many interior styles. Here are some ideas on how to style this collection, from Bohemian chic decor to French-inspired elegance.

 

French beds

Heralding from the Baroque-Rococo era, our Versailles bedstead will sit beautifully in any bedroom. Styled with patterns or plain, the Versailles looks perfect in a rustic French bedroom, with Bohemian colours or in a simple white washed space. Add our Audrey Floral bed linen or simple White Waffle.

Versailles Bedstead

Bedroom lamps

Add the Lennon Lamp to any household room for an instant sparkle of personality. We love this lamp as it holds so Lennon Table Lamp
many opportunities to decorate your room by using a statement item. Be it nail varnishes, post cards or potpourri, this lamp can be filled (or left empty) to create intriguing and interesting interior lighting. We also think using battery-powered fairy lights inside would be a great option; ideal for welcoming guests over, or sophisticated dinner parties.

 

Bedside tables

Beautifully simple and effortlessly chic, our new Vizelle Bedside comes with two spacious drawers and a solid oak top. The Vizelle offers a vintage feel in a washed-out duck egg shade, complimenting many bedroom themes. Whether you are using this bedside as a practical storage space, or simply a beautiful statement, this Vizelle piece brings with it a calming tone and a sophisticated shabby chic feel.

Vizelle Bedside

Cushions

Get with the chevron trend this season and indulge in abundant zig zags; we LOVE chevron! 

Chevron CushionsFrom clothing to furniture, there is no doubt that this modern pattern is everywhere, and our Chevron cushions add an inviting burst of contemporary fun. Made from comfy cotton, cosy up to these colourful cushions and enjoy the autumnal evenings in style. The cushions come in a white, coral and duck egg shades, and paired with shabby chic furniture, complement the soft washed out tones of our Blenheim and Versailles collections.

 

Bedroom furniture

If you’re anything like us, a romanticised bedroom decorated with timeless vintage pieces is our idea of a dream. Our Emporium Chest boasts three large drawers, perfect for storing clothes and linens, and does it all in one big sweeping curve. The curves and swirls of the chest provide a feminine touch to your room, and perfectly reflect the French Baroque era.

Emporium Grande Chest

Our new Versailles range is wonderfully versatile and will compliment many other pieces from our different collections. Look to our Sienna and Loire ranges for additional feminine curves, to help create your French-inspired bedroom.

 

Natalie x

Rachael Haydon

Bank Holiday Bed Sale

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bank Holiday Bedroom Sale

August bank holiday signals the end of the school summer holidays, a much-anticipated break from the 9-5 and of course our amazing bank holiday sale! We’ve got an exclusive 15% off your purchase from 21-31 August, on top of our current sale prices. So there is no better time to be inspired to update your home for less.

Children’s Bedroom Furniture Sale

The August bank holiday sale is the perfect time to get your child’s bedroom ready for back to school. Invest in a beautiful new desk to inspire their creativity. They will be keen to get on with their homework if they have their very own kids desk.If you’re tired of the clutter, clever storage ideas can be a life-saver. The Noah storage units can be as big or as small as you like – both a stylish and handy way to get toys and knick-knacks off the floor!

Noah desk

Children’s Bed Sale

A new bed and mattress for a new term will help your child to feel refreshed and ready to go – and don’t forget, opting for a double bed will mean there’s another space to spread out and do homework, or have friends to stay! If your space is slightly smaller bunk beds and cabin beds can offer you a great space saving option. Have you seen our gorgeous Shoreditch sofa bed? It’s the perfect place to relax or to have as a spare bed for your child’s room, or as a handy pull out bed for an office or guest room.

Noah highsleeper

Bank Holiday Bedroom Furniture Sale

It’s not all about the kids; our bank holiday bedroom furniture sale is also the perfect time to get your guest room spruced up. A guest bed is a brilliant way to save room and create a beautiful environment for friends and family. They pull out into double beds, which are great for sleepovers and great for guests. Layer up with throws and linens to create a sumptuous feel – a home away from home. Create a space for guests to add personal belongings they may have brought with them, such as toiletries and books. Add a bookcase or bedside tables; ensuring you clear space for them.

Olivia day bed

Save on ornaments to dress your home. Adding a new lamp will create a warm atmosphere and highlight any accessories you have. Opt for glass as the light from your lamp will illuminate and reflect beautifully. Take a look at our Julia lamp review from blogger Carrie.

Bed Linen Sale

Not looking to replace any furniture? We also have some great discounts on gorgeous new bed linen. Our Luxury Plain Linen is a popular choice – coming in a range of gorgeous colours – it’s undeniably soft and luxurious. But if you’re looking for something with an exceptionally high thread count, the Hotel Collection Vienna bed linen boasts 600 thread count for an impossibly smooth, soft feel.    

What’s on top of your bank holiday sales wish list?

 

 

Rachael Haydon

Download our free sleep advice eBook

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Monday, July 28, 2014

You might remember us asking you all about your sleep routine earlier this year in our How Bad is Britain in Bed sleep survey. We then created an infographic of Britain, based on your results, showing locations that slept well or poorly, and why! Find your results on our infographic.

And that’s not all – we’ve been working hard to put together an all singing, all dancing sleep advice eBook! Our free eBook is full of advice and tips on how to sleep better, all based on your survey results. From how to drift off easier, tips on getting children to sleep, to the best bedroom environment for a good night’s sleep.

We’d love to hear what you think; whether you’d like to see something else in the next eBook or you have a question for us about sleep – let us know in the comments.

To download your free sleep eBook simply click below!

sleep ebook

Natalie Williams

How to create a summery bedroom

Posted by Natalie Williams, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It’s finally arrived; the season of late-night BBQ’s and relaxing in the garden, and we don’t know about you but we are ready for some sun! The summer season sees many home improvement opportunities arise, and when better to give your room a refreshing lick of paint than when there’s umpteen evenings to allow that all-familiar paint smell to disappear. Updating your bedroom surroundings can be a welcoming change, providing a new atmosphere for you to enjoy and relax in after a long day at work. We have put together a vintage-chic inspired theme that we hope will inspire you to dig out your overalls and get creative, accompanied with a selection of complimenting items from our sparkling summer sale.

Amelie Dressing Table

With a soft and natural shade on the walls, this Amelie Dressing Table is perfect to set the scene for your newly decorated bedroom. The elegant addition creates a relaxing and calming tone, and can be accessorised with pastel colours or pretty neutrals to suit your style. Also in our summer sale is the matching Amelie Dressing Table Mirror, complementing the feminine collection with distressed white paint and a beautiful carved detailing.

 

Mini White Hanging Heart

We love vintage or coastal inspired accessories. They add a beautifully personal touch, creating a unique space at minimal cost. Our favourite hanging accessory in the sale is this dainty Mini White Hanging Heart to dangle on the Dressing Table Mirror or from a bed post? We also spotted this clever DIY notice-board by Etsy on Pinterest that a young family member would be able to help out with, adding another natural shade to the palette.

Sienna Armchair

 

If you’re looking for a comfy addition for the corner of your room our Sienna Armchair offers an elegant solution. Beautifully British with Bohemian charm, this armchair provides a comfy alternative for reading a good book or just relaxing in the evenings. Position the Sienna by an open window or bookshelf and sit back and relax, enjoying some well-needed ‘you’ time.

DIY Tip: Why not make your own wall stencil using cardboard to create unique designs personal to you? We also sell glamorous pre-made wall decals that would add an instant personalisation to any bedroom.

Vintage Mirrored Frame

 

And last but not least, we suggest this classic Vintage Mirrored Frame (4x6) for just £12.50 to pop a photo in of your loved ones or treasured moment. This antique frame ties in elements from both the Amelie and Sienna collections, providing the opportunity to merge the two styles and create your unique bedroom setting.

These are just a few ideas for a vintage theme but we have lots more pretty accessories to help create your ideal bedroom on our website. Take a look and if you have any other DIY tips let us know in the comments below!

 

Natalie x

 

 

Natalie Williams

Sleep tips for mums

Posted by Natalie Williams, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Debbie, mum of soon-to-be six children, shares her sleep story

First and foremost can I just say that all babies are different.. and I mean all babies! I am currently pregnant with number six and know it’s going to be a whole different ball game again. That’s what makes parenting fun – you never know what’s around the corner!

Ethan

 

The first learning curve

When I had my first son (Benjamin) almost 18 years ago, I was sure I was going to be part of the ‘pop them in their cot and let them cry themselves to sleep’ brigade.  This is where life gets in the way; post natal depression meant I didn’t sleep for almost four months! Oh, little man was fine, he slept all through most nights in his bed but I sat at the bottom of it terrified he would stop breathing and sobbing knowing I had brought this little person into the world and didn’t have a clue what I was doing! Regardless of getting yourself ready, you simply aren’t prepared for the overwhelming responsibility of this little being – even when they are asleep!

Two years later and baby boy (Scott) number two arrived. Wow now this was a shocker!  He slept like a log during the day, I had to feed him while he was asleep, change his nappy while he slept and generally sneak him out of his Moses basket just to grab some cuddles! Night times were somewhat different... I swear he was a vampire! He would wake around eight and think it was play time... I was so tired and soon learned that sleeping when baby slept was the best advice around!  Yes, even grabbing five minutes while both Benjamin and Scott had their nap during the day seemed to recharge my batteries enough to cope with them during the night. Don’t get me wrong, they were never really whiney babies so the night times were never fraught with battling them asleep – and Scott never seemed to wake Benjamin either. Go figure!

 

"I was so tired and soon learned that sleeping when baby slept was the best advice around"

 

Scott, Jake & Ethan

 

Have courage

Four years later Jacob came along and yet again he was a content baby who was happy to sleep through the night apart from waking up for feeds – no problems except I was the one who was getting used to having them sleep between me and hubby! They would wake for feeds and instead of putting him back in his cot I would snuggle with him and fall asleep.  Yes, at first I was worried especially because you heard so many horror stories of parents rolling over on their children. But I was such a light sleeper that I could tell when he moved his head let alone me rolling on him!

Almost two years later Ethan came along. In hospital I asked the nurse to let him sleep with me instead of putting him in his cot, by this point I was confident enough to know what works for us and insisted she allow us!  Hold your ground if you know what’s best and what works for you.

We woke the following morning to mums pacing the floor cooing over us and saying they couldn’t believe we had both slept almost 12 hours – bliss!  It was something I certainly needed after a tough labour and the bond me and little one had was a perfect start to life.

 

"Hold your ground if you know what’s best and what works for you"

 

The latest additions

I had learned that boys like sleep, and the older they get the more they like it too! Try getting a teenager who has nothing better to do than get up before lunch and you will see what I mean!

We now also have a four year-old girl (Evangeline took us all by surprise!) and from the start she has been a true little princess! The boys have sat over her and watched her sleep since birth. I think this has made her feel more secure as she always had a friendly face when she woke, she knew she was never alone so has never had any problems sleeping.  She loves to lie in and loves to ‘snuggle bug’ as she calls it! Most nights she starts in her own bed and ends up in ours, we don’t mind at all – we know it doesn’t last forever.  

 

Benjamin & Evie

 

We are now expecting baby number six, a little girl by all accounts (Amelia Grace) and know it’s going to be different yet again... but we are ready for that. The night time feeds and lack of sleep, the snuggles and sometimes sleeping through the alarm! Take it as it comes because they are only little for a short time and it will all be a memory one day.

Have you found a way to manage your sleeping pattern alongside your little one's routine? Comments and opinions are welcome below, and don't forgot to check out Debbie's lovely blog!

Recent Update: Debbie and her family have now welcomed little Amelia Grace into the world!

 

Debbie Nicholas Profile

 

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Rachael Haydon

How to keep cool at night

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The summer is here (on and off) and with it, comes muggy nights. We wriggle around, toss and turn and just can’t get to sleep. Or if you’re anything like me, you’re waking up every hour kicking the covers off.

So just how do you keep cool at night?

1. Invest in a summer duvet, a 4.5 tog is best – these are much lighter, but still provide a snug covering that a sheet on its own can’t offer. Tackle all the seasons with an All Season Duvet. In the box you’ll get a 4.5 tog and a 9.5 tog that can be fastened together to create a 13.5 tog in the winter. Or if you need a slightly different level of warmth than your partner does, try a partner duvet – with different tog ratings!

partner duvet

2. If you don’t want to invest in a summer duvet, simply sleeping underneath a throw can be a good alternative. 

3. Get hold of a fan. The bigger the better as these move more air quieter. Often the hot air in the room is still a lot cooler than your body heat. So it just helps to circulate the hot air away from your body.

4. Open as many windows as possible to create adequate ventilation. If you’re short on windows, leave the bedroom door open. 

5. Go to bed with your hair damp, t-shirt damp, socks damp or spritz your sheet. This will allow a few hours of undisturbed sleep as the water evaporates and cools you.

6. Opt for a mattress that doesn’t retain body heat, such as a good quality pocket sprung mattress. Some memory foam mattresses are notorious for heating up with your body – not good in the summer!

7. Keep curtains or blinds closed during the day, so you’re not at risk of heating your room up.

8. Cool your pillow in the fridge before you go to bed – it’s blissful, trust me.

9. If you share a bed, make sure it’s big enough for two people! There’s nothing worse than sharing body heat in the summer. Have a look at some great bed options in our summer sale.

10. Sleep in light, natural cotton – this will keep you cool and absorb any perspiration.

 

These are our top tips, but if we’ve missed anything please add them to the comments below so everyone can see them!

Rachael Haydon

Children won't sleep at night

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Friday, June 06, 2014

Mum of two, Tami, shares her challenging experience with sleep and her children

We have always had problems with both of our children’s sleep routines.

Our first child, Little Mr A was not a good sleeper. I suppose we were partly to blame as we would cuddle him to sleep and then he wouldn’t go down in his cot by himself so would stay with us downstairs, sleeping on the sofa until it was time for us to go to bed. About 90% of the time he would end up sleeping with us in the middle of our bed. Whenever we put him in his cot, he would scream. No amount of comforting would settle him.

"About 90% of the time he would end up sleeping with us in the middle of our bed"

We tried all sorts of different routines as he got older. Once he was old enough, we removed the bars from his cot and turned it into a toddler bed.  We would take him up after his story and milk and sit by the side of his bed until he would go to sleep. Some nights this could go on until 9pm, two hours after we had taken him upstairs. We would try creeping out of his room when we thought he was asleep, but the slightest noise of the stair gate or a creaky floorboard would wake him up again. It was a real drain on both my husband and myself and was no good for our relationship at all! We would argue a lot and were both exhausted. After a long day at work it is really important to have some time to yourself as well as together as a couple, and we just weren’t getting that at all.

asleep baby

As that tactic wasn’t working we tried controlled crying. This didn’t last long either! Little Mr A would get himself so upset and neither my husband nor myself could stand to see him like that.

A slow change

As Little Mr A got older he did grow out of it to an extent. We would be able to get him down to bed at a reasonable time, however, as soon as we went up to bed he would hear us and, more often than not, end up sleeping in our bed for the night.

It wasn’t until he was nearly four that he suddenly started sleeping through the night. We didn’t do anything differently; he just seemed to grow out of it!  Once he started school, shortly after his fourth birthday, he was so tired he would happily go upstairs at 7pm, have a story and sleep through until 7am the next morning. It was heaven finally having the bed to ourselves and a proper nights sleep!

"It wasn’t until he was nearly four that he suddenly started sleeping through the night"

Just as we got one child sorted, along came our daughter, Little Miss A. Both my husband and myself were determined that we would try and sort out the sleep routine earlier with her. 

Not much changes

Things got off to a good start. Little Miss A would go down in her Moses basket or crib to sleep without any fuss at all. Once she moved to her own room she would go down at 7pm and not wake until she needed her night feed. We were feeling very happy that things would be different this time!

However, once she started teething, the problems really began. She wouldn’t settle on her own and so we began the cuddling to sleep that we said we wouldn’t do! For (what felt like a long time) we couldn’t put her down as she would just wake up screaming and wouldn’t go back to sleep unless we cuddled her.

moses basket baby

Little Miss A is coming up to 18 months now and we still don’t really have a proper sleep routine, although it is a lot better than Little Mr A. She is still cuddled to sleep after her milk; however, she will go down in her own bed at 7pm.

Most nights she will stay in there until we go to bed, however, no matter how quiet we are, she usually wakes up and ends up coming to sleep in our bed.  This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if she wasn’t such a fidgeter! She kicks, pulls hair, rolls around – all the things that don’t make for a good night’s sleep! We have had the odd occasion where she will stay in her own bed until 4-5am but these nights are few and far between.

When I am tired I often think we should really try and sort Little Miss A’s sleeping out sooner rather than later, however, it is hard to find the motivation or energy to constantly keep putting her in her own bed. I keep telling myself that it won’t last forever – just look at Little Mr A now! He loves his bed and some mornings we have to wake him up for school! I am sure Little Miss A will grow out of it in her own time and when she does, we will probably miss the cuddles.

Would I do anything differently if I had my time again? In all honesty, no. Although it has been incredibly difficult and challenging at times, I have loved every extra cuddle I have had with my two children and wouldn’t change them for the world.

share on facebookIf you've had similar problems, let us know in the comments and share with your friends. It's always nice to know you're not alone. Check out Tami's amazing blog!

Sometimes upgrading to a big boy/girl bedroom can get them really excited about bedtime. Have a look at our range of children's bedrooms before you go.

tami profile

Rachael Haydon

How good is Britain in bed?

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Thursday, May 29, 2014

sleep surveyGetting a good night’s sleep isn’t as easy as you’d think. We rush about during the day, rush about in the evening, and so by the time it comes to bed all we want to do is relax. It’s often the way in which we choose to relax before bed that plays an important factor in our ability to sleep. With our fast-paced lives whooshing around us, ensuring your bed and mattress are up to scratch and remembering to stick to Horlicks after 5pm are easy things to overlook. Don’t forget, it’s all about the quality of sleep you’re getting. So if you’re reading this post, thinking you don’t have any sleeping problems, chances are that if you’re guilty of some of our sleep sins you’re unlikely to be getting that deep and luxuriously resting sleep our bodies need. 

Click the image to enlarge

Sleep sins 

  1. I take my phone to bed with me, and I might check Facebook or Twitter before I go to bed
  2. I use a tablet in bed
  3. I catch a bit of missed TV in bed
  4. By the time I’m home, I’m craving a cup of tea, even if it’s after 5pm
  5. Whenever I stay in a different bed, I can’t help but think it’s more comfortable than my own!
  6. I can’t be denied a glass of wine after work
  7. Late to bed, early to rise!

Despite the obvious consequences of not getting enough sleep, it’s still a topic that’s not fully appreciated. It’s for this reason that we conduct our annual sleep survey. Earlier this year, we asked you 15 questions, designed to get to the bottom of your habits! From your TV addiction to your caffeine cravings, we pieced it together and created (we think you’ll agree) a rather charming little infographic that highlights, by location, what sleeping issues you have.

Did you know that only 10% of us think we’re good sleepers? Thought Facebook and Twitter was for kids? Think again! Londoners are guilty of cradling their social apps in bed, which is making it hard for them to get proper, deep sleep. Find your location on the infographic map, and see what you’re guilty of… 

Share it with your friends and family to help spread the word on just how important sleep is.

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Eloise Ritchie

Baroque/ Rococo Interior Inspiration

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lille Collection

This week at Feather & Black we launched our beautiful new Lille Collection.  With its statement double wardrobe and gorgeous lattice effect bedstead this collection is perfect for those looking to create a wonderfully unique interior style. A fusion of the baroque and rococo eras, we’ve put together a small guide on the key furniture characteristics of these periods that have been fused together to create this gorgeous collection.

Baroque

With origins in 17th Century Italy and widely popular throughout Europe under the reign of Louis XIV, the Baroque style is all about portraying power and grandeur. A palette of rich, brooding colours extenuated by flashes of red and deep violet, the baroque aesthetic is far more formal than the later rococo style. 

Palace Of Versailles    

Expressing drama and exuberance the baroque flair encompassed everything from architecture to sculptures and paintings. The Palace of Versailles and Louvre are perfect examples of this dramatic style, where impressive pillars and columns adorned with gilded curves meet intricately painted ceilings.

When it comes to furniture from this era, mirrors were adorned with elaborate symmetrical designs. High-backed winged chairs also appeared upholstered in luxurious silks as well as statement beds with dramatic carvings. While the baroque style may be too much for some there’s no doubt that elements from this gorgeous era can be incorporated into modern interiors.

 

Left: The famous Hall Of Mirrors in the The Palace of Versailles 

 

 

Rococo

Flourishing in Western Europe under the reign of King Louis XV, the rococo style is an expression of frivolity and informality. Where the baroque era had been characterised as generally sombre and formal the rococo aesthetic challenged this with its asymmetrical designs, curved lines and lighter pastel hues. Not for the modest, furniture in this era was extravagant and extreme in design; the epitome of wealth and luxury for French aristocracy. No element was left overlooked with intricate carved motifs and whimsical gilded swirls and scrolls adorning chairs, chaise longues and even mirrors.

Rococo Lille

Unlike the baroque aesthetic the rococo style was never widely seen in architecture with its true expression in interiors namely furniture and lighting. If you’ve been lucky enough to visit The Norfolk House Music Room in the Victoria and Albert Museum, you'll have seen the gorgeous expression of the rococo style. While some may say that this era is gaudy and frivolous there’s no doubt that the rococo period produced some truly breath-taking interiors and wonderfully extravagant pieces.

 

For more inspiration don't forget to check out our special Pinterest board for more baroque/rococo style ideas! 

Rachael Haydon

Italian fashion from 1945

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend the V&A’s The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition.

italian fashion exhibition


The first thing that struck me was not only the breath-taking dresses, but the beautiful rooms nestled under sweeping, white canopies. The up-lights perfectly set off the detailing in each outfit, and subtle music created a private space to lose yourself in. It’s easy to get lost in another time here, but the serious note of the exhibition brings a sombre respect to every beautiful garment.

Illustrated by a black and white photograph of a bombed Florence in 1946, the reality of an economically struggling country shines through. This exhibition is not only a beautiful space to showcase all the very best in glamorous Italian fashion, but it takes us through Italy’s journey from 1945 to the present day. Like most countries, Italy was looking for a way to revitalise their post-war country. The emergence of Hollywood discovered Italy was a beautiful setting, bringing with it the glamorous and chic. Vying for position with Paris, Italian fashion took on sharp, ready-to-wear glamour; transforming everyday garments with an infusion of chic, glamour and exquisite couture.

italian dress


The exhibition features gorgeous photos of the items being worn by iconic names, from Audrey Hepburn to Maria Callas. These photos bring each item to life, leaving them looking a little listless on the dummies. But the exhibition such as it is, allows you to absorb every detail of the outfit bringing them to life once again.

The exhibit includes fifties ball gowns, cocktail dresses, two-piece outfits, accessories and accompanying film. Some of the shoes displayed really do demand your time, whether you’re captured by the Dolce & Gabbana crystal ankle boots, or Prada’s magnificently coloured heels – you won’t be able to escape their allure.  


italian


Some of the outfits featured are, frankly, bonkers. But this was a prerogative of the seventies – fashion was able to get out-of-the-box creative. Pucci’s top and trousers in a psychedelic design were created as an everyday outfit, and Versace’s cowgirl outfit looks like something straight out of a film set. But if you look closely, the leather fringe detailing, buckles and just magnificent quality shines through. Suddenly it doesn’t seem that mad at all, it demands respect and even a little awe. Through the different years we can see the ever-changing styles, but true to its name, the exhibition’s glamour is consistent and apparent in every single stich.

Have you been to the exhibition or seen another one you'd like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Rachael Haydon

Four in a bed

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jessica shares her journey of sleep deprivation with two young children. 

As parents of a two-year old and a six month old baby, my partner and I are often asked how much sleep we get or how early the kids wake up, by people, usually other parents, expecting tales of disturbed nights or hideously early starts. We look at each other sheepishly, almost feeling guilty that most nights our children sleep until after eight.

Sophie, two years-old, can sleep for around 12 hours whilst Lexie is now sleeping through the night, with only one night feed.  

The early days

incubator jessIt wasn’t always this way though. When Lexie was born five weeks early, we were in hospital for a week, struggling to breastfeed and having to wake up every three hours to try and feed her. Then we had to top her up with a bottle feed, express more breast milk for the bottles and so on. We were on a ward with other premature babies who seemed to be on a different feeding time cycle to ours, so we woke up when they did as well. I spent the first few days in a foggy blur of exhaustion. I remember being woken up by the midwife to do the 5am feed and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open, feeling sick with tiredness. She had to take over the feed, making me feel like I was failing my new baby. Lexie was jaundiced so spent most of her early days on a UV light machine and even though she slept a lot, I couldn’t – I just wanted to watch her and make sure she was ok.

Returning home we kept to the three hourly feeding cycle, with Daddy joining in to take on one of the night-time feeds. People often tell you to nap when the baby is napping but with a two year old to look after, a teenager to nag, a business to run and household to manage, there was no hope of fitting in any snooze time. I remember putting Sophie to bed at half seven one night and desperately wishing I could join her! 


"She had to take over the feed, making me feel like I was failing my new baby."  

Coping with exhaustion

siblings jessThen we discovered nipple shields and things began to change. With Lexie able to breastfeed properly we could drop the bottle feeds and also the expressing - freeing up a large part of the night for sleep! 

Looking back those days of total exhaustion are a blur. I do remember that a lot of chocolate was eaten, especially Twirl Bites to combat the tiredness, and just how important it was to get a bit of time when Sophie was asleep, to sit on the sofa, have a cuddle with Lexie and watch some mindless TV. Those days have left me with an addiction to ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ but it’s a small price to pay for a few hours of relaxation and bonding with your baby. Daddy taking over one morning a week and letting me have a lie-in was also a total necessity. Knowing that every Saturday you can have a couple of extra hours of sleep helps you get through the sleep-deprived week!
 

"Looking back those days of total exhaustion are a blur" 


Where we are now

Six months on and Lexie’s piled on the weight, we’ve started weaning her and she’s down to one feed in the night, usually around 5am. Then she’s back to sleep until 8am or until Sophie wakes us all up. Sophie has always been a good sleeper as was her brother (now a teen so it’s impossible to get him to stop sleeping!) We follow a bedtime routine with her: bath, stories and bedtime in her own cot and in her own room. Probably four nights out of seven she’ll wake in the night and she’ll come into our bed, but then she’ll go straight back to sleep and so will we. 

sleeping baby jess

Other parents ask what our secret is and I believe it stems from a relaxed attitude to sharing our bed. My partner and I both appreciate sleep and will do what it takes to get enough rest and if this involves sharing our bed with baby and child then that’s fine. I appreciate this doesn’t work for everyone and I believe people should just trust their own judgement and gut feeling on where their children sleep, but for us four in the bed works. For me, waking up in the morning and having a snuggle in a cosy bed with my daughter and my baby is a total pleasure.

What were your experiences with sleep and babies? Did you like this article by Jessica? Let us know in the comments and share!

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Rachael Haydon

How I got my babies to sleep

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kate shares her experience of getting her little ones to sleep at night

I am the mother of five lovely children and am now a clinical support worker for people who have children with extra health problems. Trial and error brought me to the steps that I am sharing with you now… 

How to get some sleep 

The last weeks of pregnancy are a good preparation for the first weeks or months of having a child. You are uncomfortable, hot, and need to pee every half hour. Baby is big and awake as soon as you lay down to rest. The good news is, if you can relax about baby being ok after it’s born, it is possible to sleep on a barbed wire fence. Sleep whenever you can. Leave the dusting and the hovering to later. I was always tired but never desperate because I would drop everything for a sleep. I could be found asleep in my car in multi storey car parks, on the floor next to the cot, on the couch, in a chair, or round a friend’s house. When baby settles into a routine you can work around this, mid-morning was a favourite nap time. Necessary housework can be done with babe along for the ride.

 "I was always tired but never desperate because I would drop everything for a sleep"


Baby Bath Time!

How to get baby to sleep

Night time sleeping requires routine, organisation and stealth. These are my three basic steps to new baby sanity.

My routine

Establish a bedtime routine as early as possible, at a time that suits you. Personally, I don’t think that children should be in bed too early. This means they will be up too early also, so I found somewhere between six and nine in the evening worked. This means the working partner can be part of the routine too!

Start with undressing baby and giving them a bath or a strip wash. This can be anywhere, they are very small – kitchen sink, bowl, baby bath or big bath with or without you in it too.

Then get their pyjamas on and dial down the stimulation. Sitting in a dimly lit quiet room is dull but it should pay off. Feed babe, wait for sleep then put them to bed. Any feeds or cuddles are then dealt with in the bedroom until morning. This becomes bed time even before they are aware. When they are aware the rules are already set, so even when changes mean this cannot happen, we can return to it because it is their ‘normal’.

Organisation

Particularly important if baby is bottle fed. Make sure you have everything you need for the night. If babe wakes up enough to start howling it will take

 longer to settle them again. I mixed up a slightly strong night feed, and then when baby woke up I added hot water from a flask by my bed and shook it. I found that if you respond quickly at the first squeaks they're more likely to resettle.

Breast feeding at night was much easier so no gadgets were required.  I had babe in the room with me and just scooped them in and fed lying down. If they needed the other side just roll over! I would usually wake with baby in my arms and I would shift them up a bit onto a terry nappy or blanket that I kept there.

Stealth

Everything should be done quietly and with minimal lighting to prevent fully waking you and the baby. Turning on all the lights and arguing about whose turn it is just wakes everyone up. My husband would quite often sleep through the whole thing waking to a baby next to him in the morning. He would then whisk them off at the weekend just popping them back to feed.

 

Sleeping during the day

Strangely, I found that daytime sleeping can relax baby and help them to sleep better at night. Also this is a good time for you to nap with them. I could often be found asleep on the couch with a baby on my chest. If you need this time to do things, a pram ride or a car trip can usually send them off. This also helps with screaming babies, but that's a different story. White noise such as the TV on low or washing machine helps to keep them asleep so you can hoover or shower. Accept help whenever it is offered as it will not keep coming!

Coping 

Finally I found that being clean and dressed early, perhaps before your partner leaves for work; makes you feel more human and ready for anything including visitors. I learned this with subsequent children. I had to get sorted to get them to school, but then me and babe would come back and have a mid-morning nap. Mmmm lovely. 

Did you have trouble sleeping? What did you do to get through it? Share your own experiences or tips in the comments section.

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Rachael Haydon

Sleep advice for new parents

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Marissa, mum of two, shares her wonderful story of sleep, or a lack of it… 

Ahhhh, uninterrupted sleep – that blissful state that's cherished by all, but enjoyed by few new parents. Sleep deprivation is considered a violation of one's basic human rights so it's hardly surprising that a lack of sleep drives many a parent into a confused, mumbling, unwashed state of existence only rivalled by other parents of new-borns and extras from The Walking Dead.

baby lucas


Roughly six weeks after having our first son, now a rambunctious three year-old (and that deserves a whole different blog post!) we were convinced that unwavering allegiance to the Queen of controversy – Gina Ford – had rightfully earned us our snoozing bundle of joy and eight straight hours in the land of nod each night. Over the next two years, (and buffered by my newfound wisdom), I'd dutifully listen to long suffering friends recount horror stories of pacing the halls throughout the night, playing womb-like music and miming Twinkle, Twinkle whilst rocking a baby that still refused a night's sleep at 18 months old. At the same time as feeling genuine sympathy, I was also convinced that a smidgen of "tough love" coupled with a solid routine would get their mini insomniac back on track and provide them with some long overdue pillow love. I even committed the cardinal sin of offering our childcare manual to said distressed parents in their time of need *tuts and shakes head at self*

A different story

I'm sure you'll be thrilled to hear that the shattering of our alternate reality and my very rude awakening came in the form of our second son. After I returned from hospital I had psyched myself up for the six week battle with our unwitting trainee, but little did I know this minor battle would manifest into full scale war! Baby L did not take kindly to being coerced into sleeping and feeding according to a manual. He protested loudly and consistently when there was too much/too little sleep, when it was too early/too late for his liking, when he was being put to bed too full/too hungry, when it was too noisy/too quiet to sleep and objected daily for a sum total of six months before hubby and I managed to get a decent night's sleep again, and I'm fully aware that this is considered early for many.

roobs

 

“Little did I know this minor battle would manifest into full scale war” 


Unlike our first son where I could choose to sleep when he slept (although I didn't and wished I had) and ignore household chores in favour of a nice cuppa and an hour's peace (again, didn't and wished I had) I now also had a toddler constantly demanding attention, snacks and regularly notifying me that he didn't in fact need his clothes in the supermarket and it was, quite frankly, exhausting. I remember one morning when I was asked to confirm my postal address and stood in a befuddled silence for the longest 30 seconds of my life before I could actually remember where I lived!

Now that I've made it to the other side, I felt compelled to impart my own personal brand of wisdom upon you so here goes... 

Take comfort – you’re not alone

If you are unlucky enough to be sharing the wee small hours with a sleep stealer and you're wondering why your little one views your gorgeous nursery complete with its comfy new cot akin to a dirty prison cell, please don't despair as you're definitely not alone. I can wholeheartedly recommend a large stockpile of strong coffee and some really good DVD box sets for the long-haul nights, when you've given up trying to get back into bed and the Diamonique sale on QVC at 3am just isn't floating your boat. 

“Please don't despair as you're definitely not alone”


I also advocate the use of earplugs next time your smug, well-rested friend tells you all about their smug, well-rested baby as no two children are the same and what is effective for them won't necessarily work for you. Remain strong in the knowledge that if you're planning any more children your next little nipper may well choose to take up sleeping at night as a competitive sport and if not, there's always the chance that smug well-rested friend's next baby may well become entirely nocturnal ;) 

lucas2

And if you're lucky enough to be reading this after a full night of sleep then please simply offer your friend an hour or two to relax whilst you mind their exhausted, grizzly bundle so they can promptly go and pass out!  

Do you agree with anything in this post? If you have any other tips please share them on our Facebook page or in the comments! Don’t forget, sharing is caring!

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Rachael Haydon

Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt

It’s nearly Easter, so we’ve got a cracking Easter Egg Hunt running on our website. We’ve hidden seven golden eggs on seven of our pages. All you have to do is find one of our golden eggs to be in with a chance to win! 

Prizes

We have a luxury duck feather and down pillow to give away, plus either our Luxury Plain bed linen set - in a colour of your choice - or our snuggly soft Alien bed linen set or Explorer bed linen set. There are two prize bundles to be won by April 16th, so get hunting!

alien and explorer
Explorer and Alien bed linen

luxury and pillow
Luxury Plain bed linen in Rose, and duck feather and down pillow

Hint

Every day we’ll be giving you clues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus to help you find an egg!


Terms and conditions

Choose from our Luxury Plain bed linen, in a colour of your choice or a child’s duvet set. There are two prizes in total to be won. In the unlikely situation that we do not have stock of your item, we will offer you an alternative range of the same value. Prize is not exchangeable for cash or other products.

Remember, sharing is caring! Share this with your friends and family so they have the chance to win as well.

Jen Stanbrook

Sleep deprived and coping

Posted by Jen Stanbrook, Wednesday, April 02, 2014

love chic living logo

Mum of two, Jen, shares her amazing story

At the time when my first daughter was born, I actually didn’t know you needed to ‘help’ a baby get to sleep. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to say it now, but I really was unaware that babies couldn’t get to sleep themselves. After all, if you’re tired, you fall asleep – it’s simple right? Of course it didn’t take long for me to realise that this is not the case when you are a new born baby. It was a harsh realisation and one that would shape my life for many years to come.

Jen and girls

I am a mum to two lovely girls. I would say that wouldn’t I! They are 9 and 7 now so I’d like to think that we’ve come through the sleep difficulties of the early years, but like anything with children, these childhood challenges never really go away. They simply change and develop with the child. 

The early days 

When my eldest daughter, Miss E came home from hospital 9 ½ years ago we were already advocates of the Baby Whisperer. Her methods are probably outdated now but at the time we were keen to establish a sleep routine as soon as we could. Miss E slept in a Moses basket in our bedroom at night, but in the evening we put the basket in the lounge and tried to encourage her to sleep. We were so naïve back then, yet had great faith in what we were doing and a huge amount of hope! She was tiny, but fed regularly and soon established a routine. I know not everyone will like to know that by 10 weeks old she was sleeping from her 11pm Dream Feed through to her 7am Morning Feed. It wasn’t every night of course, there were blips when she had a growth spurt but we’d pretty much cracked it at that point. And at that point we moved her into her own room. It worked well for us and for her.

baby in pram

The sleep deprivation had got to me though. I remember when Miss E was around 8 weeks old, sitting in a park with a friend, becoming very tearful. I wanted to go back to work. Being at home all day, every day with a new born was tougher than I’d imagined and I wanted my old life back. I’m convinced it was the lack of sleep, combined with the shock of my new life, which made me crave some normality. At the time, anything would have felt better than the world I was in. But, and this is key to remember, it passed. 

“The sleep deprivation had got to me”
 

A different story 

Fast forward 3 years and Miss R came along. Her home birth was calm and wonderful and we slept in our own bed the day she was born. Bliss. However, I think that was the last time I slept for months! Miss R was the polar opposite of Miss E when it came to sleeping and we were in for a rough ride.

Suffering with colic and just a general reluctance to sleep, Miss R was a challenge to say the least. I would rock her, I would cuddle her, and I would drive her around and walk the buggy until my legs were aching. But little seemed to help. I found I wasn’t coping very well at all.

Three months in and I was diagnosed with anxiety and was well on my way to post-natal depression. I took Prozac, tried to accept offers of help and lowered my expectations. Life should have been perfect with two healthy children, a lovely home and a great life, but instead things felt like they were falling apart. The way I coped was to talk to others. I found people that I could relate to, the ones who spoke about the reality of having two very young children, who told it as it was and didn’t sugar coat anything. I needed people to be real.

“The way I coped was to talk to others”
 

I also found an amazing Health Visitor who enrolled me on a Mothers Group where we could talk and be honest. It was supported by health professionals and dealt with a lot of the issues we face as new mums. With support I started to alter my preconceptions of what life should be like. It didn’t matter if the washing up wasn’t done, if the girls weren’t perfectly dressed and groomed, if I hadn’t vacuumed, as long as we got through the day in one piece with smiles and love, we’d done it. And gradually the days improved. Miss R still didn’t sleep brilliantly but I had adapted my expectations and we all started to relax a little.

sisters

Further down the line 

I think we all believe once we’re through those early days and months, maybe years, the sleep issues will disappear. I have to say, they do in the majority but there will always be little niggles that appear from time to time. There are the nightmares for example. As their world starts to broaden, their imagination can run riot at times, and this tends to show itself predominantly in nightmares. Miss R gets what we think are growing pains and has horrid leg pain deep in the middle of the night. Soothing her, administering Calpol and gently calming her back to sleep all takes time and seems to hit harder when you are used to a full night’s sleep.

toddler sleeping

Miss E has had a lot of problems with sleep as a school aged child. Mostly this centres on her inability to actually fall asleep. She has a very active brain, is very bright and really finds it hard to switch off. It took a few years but we eventually found she needed some melatonin to help her. Melatonin is the natural hormone we all produce to help us fall asleep. Miss E just doesn’t produce enough so takes extra in medicine form just before bed. It was a miracle. After years of being awake until 10pm, she was suddenly asleep at 7.30pm and she was a changed child as you can imagine. And we were changed parents.

It’s so hard watching your children, at whatever age, trying to get to sleep and not succeeding. As a parent we need to be able to fix this and make it right, so the relief we felt when Miss E finally got to sleep was huge. Finally we could relax. Well for a while at least!

Do your children suffer from nightmares? What sleep tips did you find worked for you? Leave your thoughts on the comments section!

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Rachael Haydon

Should your baby really sleep through the night?

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mummy and babyFirst-time mum Felicity shares her experience and offers advice

One of the most prominent memories of Eric being a new born baby (alongside the shock of how much life changed and thinking he was the cutest, coolest baby I had ever met!) was the crushing, bewildering, fog of tiredness. 

One of the hardest parenting challenges I faced was the early sleep deprivation – I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how tired I would feel. Yet, at the same time, I had quite a lot of adrenaline – it was exciting, I was a bit worried and a bit scared.

I was warned, but I had never experienced anything like it before.  I was so tired that I felt like I was underwater the whole time.

 

“I was so tired that I felt like I was underwater the whole time”

We took it day by day and we survived. It did get easier. Below is our story.

At home we put Eric to sleep at night in a Moses basket on the floor right next to our bed. If you’re using a cot instead, make sure you buy a good quality, new mattress for baby. Having him right next to our bed made it easier when he woke up in the night.  I wanted to co-sleep but we were nervous, unsure, new parents and we weren’t sure if it was safe or whose advice to trust.

Noah Cot and mattress


“We were nervous, unsure, new parents”


When we first got home and were getting used to being parents, even if we did fall asleep at night the slightest noise, snuffle or squeak he made would wake us up. I often wouldn’t get to sleep for ages constantly checking on Eric just to make sure he was breathing! If I had another baby I’d definitely have the confidence to safely co-sleep.

Daddy and Eric

Shift work

To start with, Eric didn’t differentiate night from day at all and after the first week, when we got home, he started staying awake much more at night than in the day.  We read this was normal for babies, who in utero, typically sleep during the day when rocked and lulled by the movement of their mother. To help us get through the phase of him being so wakeful at nights, Alex and I used to do shifts. Doing shifts at night with Alex got us through, and just constantly reminding ourselves that it would pass and would get better.  

To help set Eric’s body clock we made sure it was dark(ish!) and quiet at night, and for daytime naps we made sure it was light and didn’t worry about making noise, and he gradually got used to sleeping more at night than in the day.

Coping with tiredness

Having Eric right beside the bed helped me sleep better. Not having to get up and go to another room to feed him or look after him when he cried meant I got more sleep, I could just stay in bed and go back to sleep right away. 

Sleeping Eric

Accepting help

I wish I had listened to the advice to rest more, sleep when baby sleeps and accept all offers of help.  If someone asks if there’s something they can do, let them do things to help you! Guests can make themselves (and you!) a cup of tea, or watch baby while you have a bath, or clean the bathroom for you – my best friend scrubbed my loo and I’ve never loved anyone more in my life! 

 

“I wish I had listened to the advice to rest more, sleep when baby sleeps and accept all offers of help”

  


Having had a baby, these are the things I know to offer for people (alongside offering to cook or bringing food!) as I know how much I would have appreciated it, but I was worried it was rude to accept help at the time.  It’s really not; it makes people happy to know they’ve helped you. 

Lessons learnt and advice

The only question anyone seems to ask you when you have a new baby is whether they’re sleeping at night yet or whether they are a ‘good’ sleeper. It’s understandable, as it’s an exhausting time and I’m sure it’s asked out of concern for the new parents, but it’s not especially helpful as it starts to feel like your baby should be sleeping through the night! 

moses basket

I wish I had had little naps during the day and rested more! We cooked batch meals in advance which we had in portions in the freezer to get us through. My Grandma sent me a fruit basket which was just the loveliest most thoughtful thing. I think keeping a focus on the fact that it was normal and that it would get better helped us to cope, as it meant I always had the strength of hope. 

The best piece of new mum sleep advice I was given was to lower my expectations.  

 “In time, babies do start to sleep longer stretches, and it will get easier”


When I lowered my expectations it helped me feel less stressed and worried, and to trust that Eric was fine and normal and that it would get better.  In time, babies do start to sleep longer stretches, but I found regaining sleep as Eric started to sleep longer stretches was gradual and took time. I remember the first night he slept through the night from 11pm to 7am waking up in the morning in a panic wondering if he was ok and why he hadn't woken up! 

My advice

Remember that it is normal for babies not to sleep through the night. Have faith in yourself that you can cope and survive. We are stronger than we think.  Sleep when baby sleeps, rest lots in the day, have the confidence to say no to overwhelming numbers of visitors and take up offers of help from friends and relatives.

The most important thing I can look back on and remember is that it does get easier – it’s why I stand by ‘this too shall pass’.

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Are you a new mum, or did you have a similar experience? Did you find this article helpful? Share this with your friends and followers so together we can raise awareness and support for new parents.

 

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Rachael Haydon

How to get up earlier

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Monday, March 17, 2014

Hands up who likes getting up early? Yeah me neither. I have to be physically dragged from the bed in the morning, forced into some sort of consciousness with cup of tea thrust into my hand. If this ritual doesn’t happen, my getting out of bed also does not happen. But I kind of like the idea of getting up early, rising with the birds and what not. I imagine the birds and I would have a jolly time of it sitting outside with a pot of tea, reading the paper and watching the sun rise. So I’ve done a bit of investigating about it, stumbled across some amazing blogs and ideas – so here goes.

Start gradually

Lower your expectations and make the change gradual. Start off easing the time you get up forward by 15 minutes. That should be little enough that you don’t feel much impact. If you go from a cushdy 8am start to a hair-raising 6am I guarantee you will feel it during the day, and if you continue on that track it will only make you feel worse over the next few days. So take it slow and ease yourself in by setting your alarm earlier by 10-15 minutes every few days. Gradually you’ll start to get used to it, and it won’t be painful anymore – it’s tricky business changing your sleeping patterns.

Get excited

Ok, so you’ve got used to the earlier alarm, but it’s still a mission to physically get out of bed. So why am I generally quite happy to get up reasonably early on a Saturday (by weekend standards of course)? It’s because I have something to look forward to – whether it’s dossing in front of the TV, having a naughty breakfast or going out somewhere fun. So during the week a good idea is to inject a bit of fun into each and every morning; give yourself something to look forward to when the alarm goes off. It can be as simple as setting the coffee maker to come on, getting a new cereal, trying out a yoga routine or going for a run – whatever makes you tick.

Waking up the brain

Try stretching when you’re in bed – it makes the blood rush through and wakes up your muscles. It’s quite an effective way of getting yourself out of the sleepy fog. You could also try putting your alarm at the opposite side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off – cruel to be kind! Don’t forget you’ve spent all night without drinking so you’ll be dehydrated by the morning. Have a glass of water on your bedside, or a freshly made cup of tea, it’ll wake you up. Perhaps keep a dream diary; doing something creative in the morning is a great way to wake you up and a good use of time.

Henrietta bed and Orwell mattress

Getting to sleep

We still all desperately need to get the right amount of sleep – it’s a bandied-about topic but it really is very important to your mental and physical health. So if you’re taking the plunge and getting up earlier, make sure you’re getting to bed earlier as well. We all know having a dreamy mattress and bedding helps you to fall asleep, and just as importantly helps you to feel refreshed and bright-eyed in the morning. You might find doing it gradually helps as well – so when you get up earlier by 15 minutes, get to sleep earlier by 15 minutes. Then nothing’s a big shock to the system.

Did you find this article helpful? Do you have any tips on getting up earlier? Have a look at our mattress buying guide – you might just find your perfect match.

 

Eloise Ritchie

How to get your child to sleep through the night

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Monday, March 10, 2014

create a cosy bed environment

My child won’t sleep through the night

You just want your child to sleep through the night without waking up and disturbing you? Your friends’ children sleep through, so why doesn’t yours?

I’m afraid to say it’s quite normal. We all sleep differently, adults and children alike. Some children will be excellent sleepers and get through the whole night, others just won’t. There are a few things we can do to understand what the underlying issue is, and what we can do to improve things. The first thing to understand is that sleep is a learnt behaviour. We’re not born with the understanding that we need sleep, or how to sleep – in fact children under the age of five don’t even know when they’re tired.

Self-soothing

It’s absolutely normal to wake up throughout the night as we drift in and out of different sleep phases. But the tricky bit is being able to get back to sleep again without help. Your child will be used to you helping them to sleep at bedtime, so trying to do this on their own is difficult. When we’re very young it’s easy to get spooked when we wake up to a pitch black room on our own, especially if it’s not how we remember going to sleep. So a good thing to try is to start leaving the bedroom after ‘good nights’, exactly as they’ll find it when they wake up during the night. So don’t leave the landing light on if you know it will be off late at night. If you think it would help, turn the light out before you leave the room and give them cuddles with lights out so they don’t have negative associations with the dark. If they wake up during the night let them try to self-soothe.

If they go into your bedroom for comfort, gently lead them back to their own bed. Be prepared to repeat this many times if necessary. If they’ve had a nasty dream of course they’re going to want cuddles, but the more your child associates waking up at night with you-time, the more they’re going to do it until they’re body clock is wired to do so.

Some children get into a pattern of waking up during the night and associating that time with snuggles with you. So make sure they get plenty of cuddle time during the day, and perhaps even schedule special times during the day for snuggling together.

Nightmares and night terrors

These peak around 3-6 years of age, and could be part of the reason your child is struggling to get themselves back to sleep. This is the age that children’s imaginations start to run wild, so during REM they’re more likely to get nightmares. There’s not a lot you can do about this, but do be aware of it and perhaps have a friendly night-light on in their room.

Create positive associations

It’s important that your child has positive associations towards their bedroom and bedtime. Never use their room as a punishment – send them somewhere else for a time out. Make sure you have a gentle, calm routine before bedtime and stick to it. All gadgets and forms of entertainment shouldn’t be allowed in your child’s room – not only do they stimulate the brain – the blue light they emit decreases the levels of melatonin produced which is essential for feeling sleepy.

Rachael Haydon

How to stop snoring

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, March 04, 2014

 

If you or your partner suffer from snoring, you’ll be familiar with the sleepless nights, earplugs squished into ears and the hourly hiss of ‘stop snoring deeear’; (yes, it’s usually me doing the hissing!)

We’ve done some research and have pulled together all the best advice and tips.

So why do we snore?

Snoring is the sound we make when we’re struggling to get enough air. This is usually caused when our throat muscles relax, your tongue falls back and the sides of your throat actually vibrate – causing us to snore. Whilst there are reasons for this happening that we can normally correct, you may be particularly prone to snoring if you have anatomical abnormalities of the nose and throat. These can range from an inflammation from allergies to a deviated nasal septum. Your GP will be able to tell you if there’s anything wrong. Below we list the most common reasons for snoring.

old couple asleep

Age

It can be down to a number of reasons, from your age to your mattress. Some things we just can’t help – like our age. As we get older our muscle tone in our throats decreases, and unfortunately that means we’re more prone to snoring.

Weight

Some things however, we can do something about; such as our weight. Obese people will most likely have a snoring problem; particularly men who store fat more around their necks which puts pressure on the throat and causes snoring.

Smoking

If you’re a smoker, or even a passive smoker this can play a big role in whether you snore or not. The smoke irritates the lining of the nasal cavity and throat, causing it to swell. It’s then more difficult to breathe as the airflow is decreased.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol close to your bedtime. Alcohol causes the muscles to relax more than normal, including the throat muscles. This can lead to snoring.

Sleeping on your back

If you’re prone to sleeping on your back, this can mean that your throat muscles will be especially relaxed, blocking part of your airway. This will also cause you to snore. So try sleeping on your side – if you find you keep rolling onto your back during the night try propping yourself into position with pillows, you can even buy special sleep devices that wrap around your middle meaning you can’t roll over.

Elevate your head

Something as simple as elevating your head by four inches can really help you to not snore. It will mean your tongue isn’t falling back into your throat as much. If you’re not used to having an extra pillow, instead try putting wedges of wood under the top of you mattress.

Floppy mattress and pillows

Make sure you have the right pillow and mattress. It’s essential that your neck is supported enough – if your pillow is too soft or flat your neck isn’t supported and so your airways close. The same goes for your mattress – if it’s too old or sagging you won’t be supported all over. You need to ensure your mattress is comfortable, but firm enough to support your head and neck at night.

If you think your mattress or pillows might be causing you problems, have a look at our mattress and pillows.

What do you find helps? Do you or your partner have snoring problems? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook! 

 

Rachael Haydon

Dreams

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Monday, March 03, 2014

Freud called dreams ‘those poems we tell ourselves at night in order to experience our unconscious wishes as real.’ 

Why do we dream?

Sigmund FreudFreud had quite a literal interpretation of dreams. He maintained that all of our dreams are our unconscious wishes being lived out as reality. I don’t think that meant that if you dream about burning down your neighbour’s house that this is literally what you unconsciously want to do; rather that perhaps there is an issue regarding next door. Perhaps you don’t feel able in waking life to take a firm stance with them. The inferno you’ve inflicted in your dreams if representing your feelings towards the situation – your frustration and anger. But what if you have mild and boring dreams? This surely doesn’t mean you only have mild and boring wishes? So perhaps Freud’s idea is a bit limiting.

There are a number of other theories around why we dream. One states that our fight-or-flight instinct kicks in much more when we dream, in a sense – we’re getting practice in for our survival responses. This theory believes that dreams help us to evolve.

According to the MIT’s Centre for Learning and Memory, during REM we’re in fact remembering all the important parts of our day and squirreling them away long-term, and loosing things we don’t need. Or perhaps the psychotherapy theory will resonate with you more: where our dreams are a place to subconsciously battle out our emotions but in pictures. During this process we confront our feelings about situations that we might otherwise repress.

As with anything related to sleep and dreams, it’s essential to make sure your bedroom and bed are as comfortable and sleep-inducing as possible. If you have an uncomfortable mattress, your sleep is likely to be more disturbed. If you have a beautiful bed and cosy bedroom, you’re likely to drift off to a peacefully undisturbed sleep.bedrooms

Common dreams

Whilst our dreams are personal to us, there are some common themes. Ever dreamt about your teeth falling out? Being naked in the middle of an exam? Let us know what your dream is!

Driving a car

Ever had a dream about driving an out-of-control car? Perhaps the steering has failed, brakes won’t work or you’re careening over a cliff. This is a very common dream that most people have at one point or another. The general meaning is a feeling of powerlessness over something in your life, depending on the car journey. For instance, you may be a passenger feeling as though you have no control.

Feeling lost or trapped

This is another common dream. In the dream you’re usually trying to find your way out of a situation, building or maze-like area. You may feel very scared in these dreams. Depending on your favoured theory of dream interpretation, this one generally relates to feeling trapped in real-life, whether caught trying to make a difficult decision or trying to get out of an uncomfortable position.

Failing a test

You may recognise this dream – failing a test. Do you feel like you’re being tested in some way in real-life, or are unprepared for something? Perhaps something just doesn’t feel right in life.

Teeth falling out

One of the most easily recognised dreams is your teeth falling out. So what does this mean? At a surface level it represents your fear of being found unattractive and how others perceive you. If we dig a little deeper it can depict a feeling of powerlessness, a loss of control.

Being chased

Our final, most frequent and popular dream is being chased. This is a truly terrifying experience, often waking you up to sweaty palms, and a very real fear. Most commonly this dream consists of a monster in some shape or form, or a frightening person chasing you. Often you can’t run away or find you’re moving frustratingly slow. This dream represents something or someone that is making you feel threatened. It could be some part of your life, a recent event or decision, or even an emotion.

If you’re having a recurring dream, how do you confront these dreams and make them go away? I find thinking them through and staring each component out helps; making your subconscious meet your consciousness. Trying to work out what they could relate to, and then thinking it through often does lead to quiet little eureka moments of clarity.

How do you confront your dreams? What is your most recurring dream? Is there a dream you often have that isn’t listed above? Let us know in the comments.

PS. Make sure you take a look at our new spring bed linen ranges to make sure you get a perfect night's sleep.

Eloise Ritchie

Black & White Room Inspiration

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From the catwalk to couches; the timeless trend of black and white is back for spring 2014. Straight from the runways of Erdem and Hemlut Lang this classic design can be effortlessly translated into a chic, sophisticated interior look. Monochrome interiors are striking and as Karl Lagerfeld said “black and white always looks modern, whatever that word means” meaning it will continue to outlast trends that come and go.

The Perfect Pallette 

While many view black as a harsh, cold colour - within a monochrome interior it can make rooms feel larger as it defines floors or walls. If you feel that a palette of black and white may be too strong try using a variation of hues and tones to soften the look. A mix of dusky greys, matte blacks and creamy whites will feel warmer and would be a great alternative to a strong black and white theme.

Clashing Patterns

The simplicity of black and white allows you the freedom to take advantage and get creative. Monochrome may be the only interior scheme that welcomes clashing prints. A patchwork of zigzags, stripes and spots will add depth to an interior scheme that could otherwise feel empty. So why not play around with prints and see what works for you.

Mixing Textures

There is also the opportunity to experiment with textures. Reflective surfaces will reflect light and increase the perception of space. Opulent mirrored furniture like our Gatsby collection and chrome lamps would look sleek in black and white room. If you already have light coloured upholstery contrasting charcoal accessories will create a striking bedroom look.

Choosing Accessories

Painting your room is a serious commitment to an interior trend so why not experiment with other monochromatic elements. Dark bed linens in charcoal and misty greys like our Luxury Plain and Luca range will add drama and make an eye-catching bedspread especially if you team with contrasting fresh white cushions. Or you could even opt for a plush charcoal black upholstered bed for a sophisticated masculine twist on the theme.

Monochrome Trend

                                     Luca Charcoal Bedlinen | Cecilia Lamp | Henrietta Upholstered BedVersailles White Cushion

 

Children’s Bedroom Inspiration - Monochrome style

Splashes of colour will add a modern twist to classic colour schemes and a great way to incorporate a monochrome theme into a child's bedroom is to create a space that’s unique and modern. Bright Bazaar has a great blog post on how to decorate with black and yellow. Creating a strong monochrome interior is all about experimenting with the balance of dark and light. 


Get inspired and take a look around

Take a look at this Gatsby range - it's seriously on trend and perfect for monochrome styled rooms, or dark hues. Experiment with darker shades if you're not quite ready for black - how about a sultry dark blue like this Mala bedroom?

Consider an upholstered bed instead, it's a great way to instil some dark mystery into your room without going overboard on the paint. We love this range of bespoke upholstered beds.

Gatsby & Mala Monochrome Trend



Rachael Haydon

Update your bedroom on a budget

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Wednesday, February 05, 2014

It’s getting close to spring; close to warmer days and greener trees. We’re opening the windows to a new year and a new bedroom. But after an expensive December we’re also thinking about how to create a fresh new bedroom on a budget. So we’ve come up with some ideas.

Step one – how to de-clutter your bedroom

Whether you’re a neat and tidy person or happy to relax in a slightly more cluttered bedroom; there’s always the potential to clear a little more space – and trust us – it’s an instant face-lift to any bedroom. This should be the room that you relax in and look forward to chilling out in. A spring refresh is the perfect time to bag up some unwanted clothes, trinkets or walk around your bedroom collecting everything that would be better placed in another room. Consider buying some storage for your bits and bobs, whether it’s small or large – a basket can hide a wealth of sins and create much needed space.

Step two – how to add colour to your bedroom

Ok, so perhaps a whole new suite of furniture isn’t on the cards, but you can still create a completely new feel by adding a splash of colour. Pull everything into the middle of the room and cover with dust sheets. Depending on the colour of your walls, you might want to give it a once over with a neutral colour first. Otherwise our top tip for redecorating on a budget is to go tester pot shopping. You’d be surprised at how far a little tester pot will go! They’re ideal for highlighting a small feature wall, or being bold and outlining the door, windows and along the skirting boards. If you pick a bright colour it can make a really strong statement.Spring colours

Step three – how to choose new bed linen

If your room is calm and clutter-free, chances are it’s ready for a linen make-over. Your bed is the focal point of the room and where your eye will be drawn to. So give it a bit of love! Invest in some quality bed linen – the higher the thread count the softer and more luxurious it will feel. Depending on your bedroom’s colour scheme, ensure you have linen that will compliment and not clash. If you have simple, plain walls opt for a bed linen with more of a pattern or stronger colours – remembering to keep it calm though – anything too hectic will detract from your quality of sleep. So no Toy Story bed linen or kaleidoscope patterns please. Throws and cushions are another way to update a bed, and if you’re shopping in the sales you’re sure to find top quality bargains. Add a cosy feel to your bedroom with a luxury rug – it will break up the flow of plain carpet and if you choose wisely, will compliment your linen or wall colours.

bed linen

Step four – add accessories to your bedroom

Furniture surfaces aren’t just for books, glasses of water and (if you’re anything like me) an array of beauty products spilling everywhere (refer to step one!) Furniture surfaces are for showcasing your personality. It’s where we really see who you are; through photos, personal knick-knacks, ornaments and flowers. Keep it simple, and make it yours. A good tip to remember is glass and mirrors act as a great way to reflect and channel light. They can help create a light and airy feel to a room, and the mirrors will give an illusion of extra space.

accessories

Step five – best lighting for your bedroom

Possibly the most important thing to remember when you’re giving your bedroom a make-over is the quality of lighting in your room. It’s what will reflect through your beautiful accessories, and showcase all your hard work. Make sure you have adequate and evenly distributed lighting in the bedroom, but don’t necessarily buy the brightest bulb out there – it will feel quite harsh in your bedroom. Don’t forget to have bedside lamps for dimming and calming the bedroom atmosphere ready for bedtime.

I hope you’ll be able to use some or all of our tips, and please comment if you have any other tips or ideas to share!

 

Eloise Ritchie

Cabin Beds vs Bunk Beds

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Friday, January 24, 2014

Buying children's bedroom furniture is always slightly headache-inducing. Younger children are easier to buy for but when growth spurts start to happen the whole process can become a lot more difficult. As they grow older and their knick knacks start to double, the simple single bed in their room starts to look smaller and smaller.  Bunk beds and cabin beds could be two options you explore when it comes to looking at other bed options for your kids. When it comes to choosing whether you opt for one over the other you need to think about what your children’s bedroom looks like and also what your child needs.

Cabin Beds

With an elevated bed and facilities like desks and wardrobes in the space underneath, children's cabin beds are perfect for those rooms that are smaller and space is at a premium. As children start to grow up and their possessions seem to double having storage solutions incorporated into furniture is a great way to keep organised.

Cabin beds for children are also great for those who have started school and are looking for a fun study area in their room. With the opportunity to leave the space underneath the bed completely free it also means the area your child has to play in is increased.

Cabin beds come in a variety of styles, materials and heights. Midsleepers like our popular Archie and Noah range aren’t as tall as high sleepers but still maintain the same functionality, and with the desk pulled out rather than incorporated into the frame, it creates a snug nook in the bedroom.

Archie Cabin Bed

Bunk Beds

Bunk beds are another alternative to normal standard beds. Taking up the room of one single bed, bunk beds are great if you have two kids sleeping in one room. They are also great for sleeperovers and mean that you don’t have to pull out a spare mattress if your little one’s friends come to stay. Bunk beds are great if you have a larger room where you can facilitate having extra furniture for storage.

Noah Bunk Bed

In the end the decision is up to you, we'd advise opting for a cabin bed if space is a premium and bunk beds for added space and sleepover facilities! 

 

Eloise Ritchie

Spring Interior Trends 2014

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ombre Interiors

From hair to the home, the ombre trend was everywhere in 2013 and that looks set to continue into spring 2014. Whether you want to paint a wall ombre or indulge in bedlinens and other accessories that illustrate the trend; there are a variety of ways to incorporate spring's must-have style into your bedroom. Below is a sneak peak of our Houston Chest on a beautifully bright green ombre wall. The mix of the darker leather trunks, botanical accessories and accents of white keep the whole look feeling fresh, which is perfect for spring.

 Ombre Interiors

Houston Chest

 

The ombre trend doesn’t have to be confined to one colour going from lighter to darker, hues of multiple colours can be incorporated. Spring 14 will see soft pastel shades flow into brighter hues. Team this look with white furniture and bedding to give the trend the wow factor.

 

Radiant Orchid

Colour expert Pantone will always be a key influence in what hues and tones will appear throughout the season, in fashion and interiors. 2013 saw emerald reign as colour of the year and this year that honour falls on radiant orchid. They describe the purple hue as expressive, creative and embracing, which supposedly blooms with confidence and magical warmth – we’ll leave you decide whether that’s the truth!

This bright colour is a great way to create focus in a room. Re-energise palettes of grey and beige with accents of radiant orchid or compliment with tones of green or light yellow.

 Radiant Orchid

Dark Rooms

While lighter colours are normally associated with spring, this year dark walls in hues of black and dark blue are making dramatic appearances. Invoking glamour and drama these moody backdrops are perfect for extenuating metallic accessories and glassware. We love how our Gatsby collection perfectly captures this trend. The mirrored accents on a dark wall are bound to make a statement. 

 Dark Rooms

Gatsby 3 Drawer Chest

Pretty Pastels

It wouldn’t be spring unless pastels made an appearance. Tones of baby blue, soft sunshine yellow and misty grey teamed with glassware will create a room that perfectly captures the waning winter light. Our Oliver bed in duck egg teamed with our range of pastel coloured cushions in the photo below perfectly expresses this beautiful pastel trend.

Pretty Pastels

Cotton Velvet Cushions

Eloise

x

Rachael Haydon

The double bed trend for children

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You may have heard the latest emerging trend… the children are rising up; they want double beds. Around the ages of 7-10 children have big growth spurts, so their single beds tend to look a little small.

A lot of parents are now looking to invest in larger beds; ones that will see their child through to their teen years and beyond. It’s an investment, and one that you shouldn’t have to repeat any time soon. The styles, colours and designs of double beds give you much more flexibility when decorating your child’s room as well.

Phoebe Teen Bed

Olivia children's bed

Now I don’t know about you, but when I was a child I was in a single bed. In fact, I was in a single bed until I moved in with my first long-term boyfriend. But times are changing, and whilst we had sleepovers – they certainly weren’t as frequent as they are today. Children love sleepovers, but if you only have a single bed it means shifting around furniture to make room for some bodies on the floor, or worse – blow up mattresses. The beauty of having a double bed is you can top-tail, or bunk in together. You can comfortably fit a trundle underneath as well so you can simply tidy it away or pull it out for the sleepovers.

Homework zone

Giving your child extra space with a double bed will also create an island for them to relax on. It’s the perfect place for stretching out with their homework or reading; it can actually be great encouragement and the motivation they need to spend some time on their after school studies.

olivia

Olivia day bed

If you don’t have enough room for a double bed, there are lots of varying styles that are designed just for this purpose. You can buy wonderful day beds that sit as a single, and can be pulled out into a double. Perhaps a bunk bed would be better, and you can find these with double beds at the bottom as well. Cabin beds are very popular as they afford you tonnes of space and can provide that much sought-after double bed too.

We chatted to The Sunday Times about the trend - did you spot it? Let us know what you think by commenting or using Twitter #STdoubles

Rachael Haydon

The ultimate guide to a stress-free Christmas

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, December 17, 2013

starIt’s that time of year when we’re rushing around frantically collecting last minute gifts, hanging the decorations, writing lists and of course; making sure the little ones are having a holly jolly Christmas time. There’s a big focus on making Christmas day perfect, but the time and energy you’ll save by opting out of a few things will be reflected in the calm and happy atmosphere you’ll be able to create.

Commence operation Christmas countdown: your essential seven-day checklist and tips for ditching unnecessary stress.

You have eight days until it’s all hands to the deck, aka the 19 December. A really good tip I’ve found works every year is to buy a few extra little gifts for those poor unfortunates you may have forgotten, or not budgeted properly for. It won’t do for one great aunt to receive a fancy coffee-maker and the other a pack of hankies! So hit the sales and clearance items to pick some fancy-looking items, chocolates, a bottle of wine – anything that is versatile enough to be given to friends or family in an emergency!

It’s seven days until the big one, aka the 18 December. If you’re a lover of writing Christmas cards, and are found most evenings on the floor surrounded by cards and pens, remember to get them in the post on the 18th if you’re using 2nd class stamps. Of course my advice would be to skip the Christmas cards and instead donate the money to charity, or send an e-card. You’ll be saving pennies, time and lowering the stress factor. It’s a nice idea, but in order to do this stress-free you’d need to start writing them in July.

It’s six days until the glorious morn of Christmas, aka the 19 December. If you’re anything like me, you live for the grocery delivery man turning up with all your precious things. But Christmas is likely to be booked up solid. So elbow your way online, and secure your Christmas shopping delivery date. If however, you like skidding round the aisles with your trolley, clipping heels with your wheels and screeching ‘that’s my turkey!’ whilst diving head-first into the meat counter; my advice is to back away from the trolley and embrace the online – for Christmas at least. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and time.

christmas

It’s five days until your bundles of joy swarm to the Christmas tree, aka the 20 December. It’s also the last day for Christmas card delivery if you’re using 1st class stamps. It’s the hallowed night of Christmas parties, so if you’re going Christmas shopping I’d get it done earlier than later. Now you may be a hardened super-nanny of toddlers who relishes the challenge of taking them around the town Christmas shopping, but I would warn against it. You’ll get much more done if you go alone and blitz it. The alternative is a day of gingerly peeling your toddler off a pile of toys and prising their death grip from the Furbys.

It’s four days until the grand unveiling of the turkey, aka the 21 December. By now you’ll have been bombarded with articles, news stories, and adverts so compounded with toys and sales messages you may well have succumbed to a fit of excitement on the floor. Fear not intrepid shoppers; you’re not alone. Mums around the world are currently pulling out frazzled hair, wondering how they got so carried away yet again (did you know, on average parents spend £300 on each child?) But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; calmly pull out all your purchases and place in piles for each child. Now picture Christmas morning, and your child’s dilated pupils as they try to frantically take in all the new gifts; do they really need them all? If you can honestly say ‘no, probably not’ then save them for birthdays! Believe me; you’ll be patting yourself on the back when this one comes around.

It’s three days until the magic begins, aka the 22 December. Today’s the day to get all the kids involved in a bit of a clear-out. Give them two special boxes – one for ‘keeps’ and one for ‘giving’. Ask them to go round the playroom or bedroom and fill each box up equally, perhaps time it to make it more fun! You can explain to them that Father Christmas needs room for all the new presents, and if he doesn’t have enough room he won’t be able to leave as much! This way you make room for the new gifts, and have a clear out of the toys that probably aren’t used much. It’s also a great opportunity to get them involved in some Christmas giving – take them to the local charity shop, or find out where a toy collection for Christmas is taking place.

christmas

It’s only two days until the ho-ho-ho fun commences, aka the 23 December. There are lots of carol services and Christmassy songs to be had in churches and town centres, it’s a really magical experience and is essential for getting into the Christmas spirit. But if this is up there with pulling teeth, perhaps a Christmas panto would be better where you can all shout ‘Heeee’s behind yoooou!’ Finish the day off with some hot mince pies and hot chocolate.

It’s one day until Christmas day, aka the 24 December. Probably the most important part of preparing for Christmas is getting the veg, potatoes and anything you can prep in advance; done. Get the kids to chip in – give them a peeler and a bowl of carrots and pop a Christmas film on. Job done. Alternatively, ask family members to bring over something for the meal; designate a vegetable or side dish, desert or drinks to each person. It not only saves hugely on costs, but will free up your time and eases your stress-levels. Now run yourself a bath and pat yourself on the back for a Merry Christmas and a job well done.

Rach

Eloise Ritchie

Dressing Your Christmas Table

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Friday, December 13, 2013

With most people’s attention on focussed on delivering the most delicious Christmas meal possible, creating a table that compliments your hard work in the kitchen can be overlooked. Ensuring your table is well dressed will not only accentuate the meal but create a festive atmosphere for friends and family to enjoy.  We’ve put together a couple of tips on how to dress your table beauitfully.

Picking a theme

A good place to start is to pick a theme, this will help you narrow down your choice of accessories and make the process of creating a perfect table a lot easier. Choosing a theme for your table is not as hard as it sounds as it’s likely that you’ve already picked one for your Christmas decorations. From a traditional scheme of red, green and gold to a more modern palette of metallic blues, pinks and silvers everyone has a preference on how their house is decorated for Christmas, remember there’s no right or wrong answer!

If you feel that having a distinctive Christmas theme may clash with your decorations there is always the option for a more simplistic approach. A simple theme of red and gold or monochrome will give a subtle nod to the festive season.

Choosing the accessories

DIY candle bauble placeholder

image source

Now that you have an idea for a theme, picking out accessories will hopefully be simple. Christmas is the time to be over the top with your tableware so napkins, table runners, candles and of course crackers are a definite must. A great way to incorporate Christmassy details is in the designs of your napkins and placeholders. Why not check out Pinterest or blogs for some great ideas of simple DIY placeholders that have a festive feel. These candy filled bauble placeholders in the image above look amazing and are easy to make.

Arrangements of holly are a great way to incorporate traditional festivity into a table design while filling a bon bon jar or even our glass hurricane jar with baubles will make a contemporary centre piece. Make sure your table decorations aren’t too high as they may block out some guests and make passing around food difficult.

When it comes to choosing accessories the bottom line is to not make your table too crowded, there needs to be room for glasses, plates and elbows!

Christmas lighting

Candles are a great way to create instant mood lighting. Our antique candlesticks are elegant and would sit perfectly on a Christmas table– remember to have a candle snuffer on hand! Fairy lights don’t just have to be confined to the tree, why not experiment in displaying them around where you’ll be eating; the twinkling effect will add to the Christmassy atmosphere.

12 Layers of Christmas

 

Rachael Haydon

Christmas gifts for children

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Friday, November 29, 2013

When I think about my childhood Christmases, I remember the excitement, the cold winter walks, indulgent food and wholesome activities like chestnut roasting, church services and evenings making paper chains. But that didn’t mean the much-coveted Argos catalogue didn’t make an appearance – the precious book was passed from my siblings to me, and back round again for amendments. We’d lovingly circle in thick black biro each item we wanted, from glow worms to Dictaphones (I was a strange child) with our initials scratched deeply into the paper. Then we would promote the Book’s marked pages by artfully leaving the Book in strategic places, or simply waving it in front of our parents.      

argosIf I were to say ‘back in my day’ we weren’t so present-orientated, I’d be lying. Our Father Christmas lists would be as long as the paper supply would allow! But we did save our pocket money up to buy small shower gel bottles or bars of soap from The Body Shop or clubbed together to buy a mug for a family member!

Fast-forward 15 years and the pressure on parents to buy the right gift or the coolest must-have has escalated exponentially. Any attempts to dial down the present buying are met with small cries of ‘but that’s not fair, you’re sooo mean’! So we’re here to tell you we feel your pain.

We’ve put together a quick guide on buying for children this Christmas.

 

 

 

For the cheeky, mischievous child who likes to experiment

Think camping: indoor tents or camping gear like sleeping bags and torches so they can create their own hideaway indoors or in the garden! Nerf guns: they look mean and hardcore, but they’re just full of foam bullets! Trick sets: that feature much-loved items like the whoopee cushion, fake blood and traps! Big train sets: good for all sorts of ages. Scalextric sets, remote control cars (there are some pretty cool ones out there now that do flips and all sorts), football gear, Monopoly Empire, camcorders or devices such as the new RED-I mini camera: From Argos this is actually blue… you can buy all sorts to fit onto helmets that film their bike/skateboarding stunts, Lego, science kits: great for encouraging intelligent play and experimenting. Spy gadgets: there are so many cool things on the market, from mini cameras and recording pens to walkie-talkies and night vision glasses. A new bike or sporty equipment and of course the tried and tested video games or DVDs!

toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the reflective, creative child who likes to sit and play

Bean-bag:a really cool addition to a child’s room, funky chair: for those sleepovers or the perfect reading spot; it’s a real statement piece. A cuddly toy: if you get a super soft one that they love it will be taken with them whilst they grow up. Writing set: great for encouraging children to write down their thoughts or get creative. Tamagotchi, moving/remote control pet such as the Join in and Play Tatty Puppy, art kit, Sylvannians, Play Mobil, clothes, Harry Potter memorabilia, the new Kindle Fire HD tablet, InnoTab: for the younger child, a musical instrument or techy alternative such as a drum machine; iPod, funky camera, sleepover kit, cookery kit, the ToucanBox: which is full of specially designed activities to help children develop core skills and has themed monthly adventures, delivered to your door, for ages 3-8 and more. Last but not least – the Furby is set to be huge this year.    

toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully our ideas will help to make the buying-pain a little easier, and if you have idea please add them in the comments section!

 

Merry Christmas, Rach

Eloise Ritchie

Christmas Gift Guide

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Thursday, November 21, 2013

With Christmas just five weeks away you’re probably racking your brain for inspiration on that perfect present for your loved one. With so much choice out there gift buying can be difficult and headache-inducing. Take time to plan your shopping trip, it can mean the difference between a last minute panic buy and a thoughtful present your special someone will cherish.

The best way to start the gift buying process is by taking time to think about who you are buying for; rushing around the shops without clear direction is a recipe for disaster and unneeded stress. Simple things like finding out what their hobbies are or what their favourite brands or perfume are can be great places to start generating ideas for their perfect present. Adhering to their personality can also bring up gift inspiration. We’ve put together a couple of gift guides for some personalities we all know!

For the woman who has it all

Finding the right gift for someone who seemingly has everything is a difficult task. To avoid disappointment why not go down the personalised route? Beautiful picture frames displaying memorable photos or trinket boxes filled with special keepsakes are bound to be a winner.

For the foodie

We all know someone who is constantly in the kitchen. Useful kitchen accessories like pretty cake tins, quirky storage jars or even a cute bread making kit will satisfy their appetite, and who knows maybe they’ll even share their yummy creations with you!

 

For The Foodie

Bread Making Set | Cake Tin | Storage Jar

 

For the glamorous girl

For those that love a bit of glitz and glamour pretty trinket boxes, iconic perfumes and all things luxurious will have them feeling extra special this Christmas.

Glamorous Gift Guide

Glass Trinket Jar | Chanel N5 | Grays and Feather Champagne

 

If you really get stuck there’s no need to worry these 5 gifts are always winners. We’d love to hear what else you think everything appreciates as a gift!

One.      A delicious scented candle from our Cochine range is a simple gift that will have your loved one’s homes smelling gorgeous.

Two.     A subscription to their favourite magazine will be the gift that keeps on giving.

Three.   Whether homemade or bought, a hamper filled with delicious goodies will go down a treat.

Four.      List-lovers will appreciate a beautifully designed notebook.

Five.. You definitely can’t have enough mugs and with thousands of patterns and shapes out there, finding one to suit your loved one is easy peasy

 

Don’t leave it too late

Now that you’ve found the perfect present it’s time to make sure it gets to them for the big day! The post office has put together this handy webpage on the last posting dates for Christmas delivery. Retailers will have last Christmas buying dates clearly advertised or a postcode checker that will tell you the last dates to order by! So there’s no excuse for  your gift not being under the Christmas tree.

 

Eloise

x

Rachael Haydon

Guest room ideas for Christmas

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… if that phrase strikes fear into you, worry not – we’re on hand to help. Often the biggest worry is having guests to stay over Christmas; the extra food, sweeping the clutter under a large rug (maybe that’s just me), preparing a room for your guests to sleep in – and that’s where we come in. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to use your child’s bedroom or the spare room, there’s an easy and quick way of getting it ready.

Turning your child’s room into a guest room

It’s all about space – if your guest has enough space, clear walk-throughs and somewhere to relax away from the rest of the household, you’ll have done an excellent job. So start by de-fluffing the room of your child’s toys, lava lamps, posters and so on. As long as they’re out of sight, it doesn’t matter if they’re hidden in a trunk or under the bed in storage. A good tip for making your small room feel bigger is to add mirrored furniture – this creates an illusion of space. So now you have a blank canvas it’s a good time to give it a quick clean so it’s sparkling top to bottom.
Gatsby Cube

Consider emptying all or some of your child’s clothes so that your guest has somewhere to store theirs. There’s nothing like living out of a suitcase to make you pine for your own place. Buying some new hangers is also a nice touch if yours are a bit mismatched! If there isn’t much space in the wardrobe, consider buying some temporary door hooks for your guest to use for their coat or Christmas day outfit!

Make it personal

If you’re a bit thin on the ground for storage, a trunk or a basket for the end of the bed is an excellent way to store guest towels and snuggly throws, or hide some of your child’s toys or clothes! If you have the space a small bookcase provides guest storage and somewhere to display fresh flowers, a few books and a basket of healthy snacks.

Duck Egg Egyptian Cotton Towels

Grey Faux Fur Throw

A feature often overlooked in a guest room is the tea making facilities (I’m not a hotel I hear you cry!) but it does provide a bit of flexibility for your guest. If the hubbub of Christmas gets a bit much, or they fancy a quiet lie-in in the morning without disturbing anyone for a cup of tea, the facilities will make their stay so much more comfortable. Add an armchair if you have the room, so that your guest has somewhere to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the household.

A bed to remember

This is the most important part – if your guest’s bed is luxurious, fresh and stylish you’ll have to shoo them out of the house with a broom to get them to go home. Ok so that may not be ideal, but it is the one thing they’ll remember the most. Buying new bed linen is always an excellent idea – your guest will feel special and you’ll definitely earn brownie points.
Madeline

Opt for a high thread count so the linen is exceptionally soft and luxurious, and your fame for being a top hostess will undoubtedly spread. Add some cushions and a large, soft throw for a stylish and sumptuous guest bed. Choose colours that complement the existing wall colours or patterns so the whole look comes together naturally (and effortlessly, of course!).

Finishing touches

These will make the world of difference. Fresh flowers make a room feel loved and cared for, clean and fresh – so these are a must. Add some scented candles and a bedside lamp for an inviting atmosphere, and a statement clock by the bed. For the grand finale, place some photo frames featuring family members and your guest for a wonderfully personal touch.

Rachael Haydon

How to keep your pets safe during fireworks

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Monday, November 04, 2013

So who’s this Guy Fawkes chap?

At midnight, 4th November in 1605, Guy Fawkes was discovered in a cellar under the House of Lords, guarding his gunpowder. Guy Fawkes and his accomplices had plotted for 18 long months to bring down King James I, a protestant. Catholics had long since been terrorised for their beliefs, and there were emerging groups desperate to bring a change. But a last minute tip-off to the king’s ‘spymaster’ meant he was arrested just in time and charged with treason and consequently hanged.  Every year from 5th November 1605, Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the king’s escape by lighting bonfires.

new york fireworks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things you will need to remember on the night

So here we are in 2013, enjoying a wealth of beautiful displays and perhaps planning on having a bonfire or firework display at home. I’m sure back in the 1600s they weren’t so concerned about their pets or wearing protective goggles… but thankfully we are now. So we’ve come up with some tips on hosting a fireworks display and keeping your pets safe.

  • Make sure you check for small animals like hedgehogs before you light your bonfire
  • Did you know it’s illegal to set off fireworks after 11pm? The only time you can use fireworks till midnight is on 5th November
  • A torch for instructions
  • A bucket of water
  • Goggles and gloves
  • Holes or earth for the fireworks (pre-prepared during daylight)
  • Suitable supports for Catherine wheels
  • Light fireworks at arm's length with a taper; not a match, lighter or candle
  • Only have one person responsible for lighting the fireworks, keep others away
  • Never go back to a firework after it has been lit, as it could still explode if it hasn’t gone off
  • Never throw used fireworks on a bonfire
  • Bonfires should be at least 18m (60 feet) away from everything, including hedges, sheds etc
  • Never use petrol, paraffin or other flammable liquids.

 

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Consider your pets

  • They need looking after during the fireworks, we can’t explain to them what’s happening so they don’t understand what the big bangs are about. They’re likely to be very frightened. Follow these tips to keep them safe and happy:
  • Bring hutches inside if you can, or turn them around to face a wall, give them extra bedding to burrow in
  • Cover with a blanket so they can’t see the lights (making sure they can still breathe!)
  • Always keep cats and dogs inside, making sure they can’t escape from a cat flap
  • Keep the TV on for background noise and draw the curtains
  • Try not to leave them alone
  • If they makes noises or pace around let them do so and remain calm yourself, if they sense you’re worried it will make them worse
  • Make them a den near to you so they feel safe – they might want to hide.
Rachael Haydon

The living wall revival

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Friday, November 01, 2013

I’ve become truly inspired by something: living walls. Green and silent amidst the buzzing traffic and fast-paced streets, they hark of something old and something new about to happen. Okay so they’ve been around for a few years now, but they’re making a come-back. There’s been a living wall-boom in homes, either as a fantastic feature wall, or forming the exterior walls. Living walls can be customised to create something really awe-inspiring. What a fantastic way to bring your home into this new 21st century, combining amazing design with sustainable eco-friendly ideas.

largest living wall

Living walls are inspired by designer Patrick Blanc, and huge corporations, hotels, and even shops are giving it a go now. I went to Anthropologie, Regent Street this month and was blown away by their floor to ceiling living wall. I’ve put together some ideas and tips based on my research, in the hopes you’ll be inspired to give it a go.

Garden living walls

Our beloved Britain does have its rainy days, let’s be honest. So these living walls bring many benefits with them. They’re fantastic at protecting walls from heavy rain as they’re so absorbent, they can really help in the fight against urban flooding. The way in which the walls are constructed means they protect the exterior walls from wind, harmful UV rays and corrosive rain.

In our quest to aid natural meadowland and promote the drastically declining bees and insects – these walls create the perfect habitat for wildlife. If you live in a busy area you might find you’re susceptible to air and noise pollution – yes you guessed it; the walls will help to combat this as well.

So you can see why so many urban areas are opting for this now. The primary cause of heat in cities is insolation – the roads and building absorb the heat and release back out to the city, so we’re all walking around in a thermal bubble. The plants however, never rise above 4-5c, sometimes cooler. Due to transpiration the plants will actually help to create a cooler atmosphere – genius!

Interior living walls

Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but I was very surprised to learn that our interiors can be up to nine times more polluted than outside. I know, ridiculous isn’t it – toxins are released from computers, painted walls, synthetic carpets and even furniture. NASA has put together some research around what plants are best at absorbing these toxins. They provide an excellent layer of insulation, which will lead to reduced energy costs – even if you already have a well-insulated house. This works for both the winter and the same way in the summer – these walls can insulate against heat loss in the winter and will help to keep your house cool in the summer, if you had a wall with a hundred plants installed you could see a temperature drop of 7c – nature is pretty amazing.

interior living wall

Another added health benefit is that plants are well-known for de-stressing and relaxing people – what better way to create a truly calming haven at home. Gone are the days of spending hundreds of pounds at a day spa to relax!

Spread the healthy love by installing an edible kitchen wall – you can use lots of plants such as herbs and lettuce, all of which have their own toxin-eating abilities.

There are many dedicated companies who specialise in setting these walls up outside and inside, and it doesn’t matter how big or small you chose to go. They’re self-sustainable, so the water often comes from inside the wall – you may only need to pick the dead leaves off and ensure there’s adequate lighting.

With their little hairy feet and teletubby homes, it looks like the Hobbits were one step ahead of the game.

 

 

Photo source: designboom; Photo: Rubens at the Palace Hotel London, source: Dezeen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachael Haydon

How to get children to sleep longer

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Friday, October 25, 2013

There is a divide in the country. One voice shouting ‘hurrah’ for the extra hour in bed in the morning, and the other wringing their hands in fear and muttering about the ‘damned clocks going back’ – ruining their child’s sleep pattern. But fear not parents of Britain – help is on hand. We’ve come up with some top tips on how to get your child to sleep longer in the mornings – and what better time to put these tips into practice than when the clocks go back this Sunday.

Early bird catches the worm

… Or makes a racket and wakes the rest of the house up. Every child is different – you may have an early riser or a night owl – in some ways you’ll have to resign yourself to this fact, and try your hardest to make the best of a bad situation! But in reality, that kind of advice doesn’t really cut it when you have to cope with over-tired children on very little sleep yourself.  

Bedroom stake-out

First, take 30 minutes to walk around your child’s room. You’re checking for anything that could affect your child’s melatonin levels – this is the hormone that regulates the body clock.

Keep your eyes peeled for LED gadgets; phones, tablets, even TVs – the standby lights can subconsciously affect your child’s sleep.

Of course the most important aspect of a sleep-inducing bedroom is to make it 100% gadget-free. The lights emitted from these affect melatonin levels, not to mention the distraction they provide. If your child knows there’s a TV or super-cool gadget to be played with, it’s no wonder they will be itching to wake up early in the morning to play Angry Birds.  

Take a look at the curtains – are they thick or lined? Will they prevent sunlight coming into the room at 6am, and alerting your little one that it’s time to play? You could try adding black-out lining to the existing curtains, or install blinds behind them.

Tick-tock…

If your wee one can’t tell the time, a nifty trick is to make a cardboard clock face and paint on the time you’d like them to stay in bed until, such as 7am. Prop the cardboard clock up next to the real clock so your child can see when she needs to stay in bed until.

If they simply can’t stay in bed any longer, then provide a few quiet toys, colouring-in books and a couple of story-books for your child to amuse themselves with. But stressing they cannot come out of their room until the agreed upon time.

Self-soothe

If your child is accustomed to you rocking them to sleep, or coming in to their room every time they wake up, you are strengthening the connection they have between you and being able to sleep. If you start to help them learn to self-soothe, this can often lead to your child being able to put themselves back to sleep if they wake up too early. Try sticking to a calming bedtime routine that ends in a cuddle and a kiss goodnight, and you leaving them to get to sleep on their own. The same rule applies during the night. If you let them get themselves back to sleep, you’re giving them the tools to apply this in the morning as well.

Rumbly tummies

Some children wake up very hungry, this can be a reason they’re waking up early or won’t go back to sleep. You can try giving them a small healthy snack before bed, which might tie them over till a reasonable hour. But if you’re happy with your child to take themselves downstairs on their own when they wake up, make sure they have some rules in place. Some children enjoy making their own breakfasts – this may fill you with horror – but if you leave the bowl, spoon and cereal out, along with a small jug of milk in the fridge, they should be able to manage it quite well themselves.

planesHow much sleep does your child need?

In 24-hours, most toddlers (1-3 year-olds) need a total of 12-14 hours’ sleep. Pre-schoolers need 11-13 hours’ sleep, without normally needing a daytime nap. School-aged children (5-12) need 10-11 hours’ sleep. Your child will normally fit in these brackets somewhere – are they tired or grumpy in the day? If they show signs of needing more sleep, chances are they do. If they’re not getting tired in the evenings, they may have had too much sleep. These are important factors when it comes to ensuring your child is getting up at the right time in the morning. If you’re putting them to bed at 7pm for example, it’s unlikely they will sleep till late in the morning.

Shifting the body clock

If you decide that the key to a much-needed lie-in is shifting your child’s bedtime, it's possible to do so with minimal disruption. Your child will respond much better, and adjust easier if you do this in small increments, such as moving their bedtime earlier or later by 15 minutes. Once they adjust to the first shift, you can move it again by 15 minutes and so on, until you find the right bedtime for your child. Their body clock will take about a week or two to adjust, so bear this in mind whilst you deploy operation ‘bedtime tweak’. It could be a couple of weeks to a  month before you see any changes in their sleep patterns, depending on how much you want to change it.

It’s all a bit of a learning curve and no child is the same. So when you’re pulling your hair out, or dreaming about the caravan at the bottom of the garden, the most important thing to remember is that it will pass – it’s not forever.

 

Image: NHS; www.featherandblack.com/childrens

Rachael Haydon

Children's bedroom ideas

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What’s the one space in your home where you can truly be yourself, and utterly relaxed? The bedroom of course: your sanctum, your safe space, your warm haven.

But it’s not just you that needs a place to call your own – your kids need somewhere to relax too. Children’s bedrooms are the one space in the home which is truly theirs – whether it’s diligently attending to homework, listening to music or plugging into the PS3 – it’s their little space. The tricky part of course, is encouraging them to keep their room tidy, which may not be high on their agenda, but certainly will be on yours. They will be much more concerned about how the room looks and how comfortable it is, so can you combine both functionality and style?

Noah modular storage

Storage, storage, storage

Of course you can. Make sure it’s bold, colourful and makes a statement. This doesn’t mean splash bright orange all over the walls, but perhaps through the clever use of duvet covers or bedding, accessories or rugs. If you’re pushed for space opt for a cabin bed or storage bed – the drawers are large and deep and easy to use, and the cabin bed helps to combine vital storage space and additional sleeping capacities with fun designs. Perfect if your child shares their room with a sibling or is eager to have friends over to stay. If you can tick these boxes it will encourage your kids to use the storage and tidy-up.

 

 

 

 

 

For the more discerning child, a large trunk at the end of the bed could be the answer – not only are they a stylish statement, they have lots of space for treasures and memories. The trunks are great to keep, so when the time comes to send them off to university, or to their first place – they’re bound to want their trunk.

Eton End of Bed Trunk

 

So you’ve got the storage covered. What about those creative touches to give style and personality?

Accessorise

Next up on the agenda is accessories. Thin, delicate curtains are ideal for really girly rooms, and you can find plenty of interesting ways to store jewellery and other twinkly trinkets. Hang them from walls using hooks to turn them into a design feature, or get your hands on a unique jewellery tree or box which you can sit on top of their own dressing table.

autumn muralTurn your child’s football kit into a design feature by hanging it from the wall in a mock dressing room style or introduce gaming accessories like a gaming chair for those with less outdoorsy pursuits…

If your child loves gadgets or horses, why not embrace their interest through a statement wall or accessory? Whether it’s a lampshade printed with cars, a feature wall with a horsey mural (don’t panic, you can buy all sorts of stencils for murals!), or uniquely styled wall clocks – it’s the finishing touches that will make them love their room for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flooring and walls

Tip: A child’s bedroom is about more than just the furniture and accessories, you need to consider big design features like the choice of wall covering and flooring. Try and stick with simple ideas that aren’t overpowering and ensure that everything you choose is practical so it won’t come back to bite you!

For the walls, wipe-clean wallpaper is a great idea, but you can get paint designed to replicate this idea too if you don’t fancy struggling to cover the entire room, or yourself, in paper. For the floor why not opt for something more unique?

Sanded wood, vinyl or laminate are all great options and can be varnished, painted or bought in patterned varieties to add an extra focal point to the room. What’s even better is they can be easier to clean that carpets, as spills aren’t absorbed into the fibres, which should make things better all round!

Time capsule

Our younger years are spent making lots of fond memories, and photos are an excellent way to give your kids permanent reminders of all their fun times. This is a great way to personalise a room and how you arrange the photos is up to you.

Attach photos to the wall however you like, perhaps a filmstrip that tracks some of the key moments in their life. If you’re worried about damaging the walls with fastenings then create a framed collage or use plastic photo holders which can be hung from traditional photo hooks.

So whether you pick and mix from these ideas, or just focus on the storage – you’ll be on the road to a more harmonious, tidy bedroom! Voila!

Rachael Haydon

Trend spotting at Decorex International

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Thursday, October 10, 2013

The past couple of weeks have been busy here at F&B, we have been preparing for the SS14 season and making our final decisions on the beautiful product we are going to be launching in March next year… very exciting! Although we've had lots going on in the office, I did manage to get out for a couple of hours and head over to Decorex International last week. Decorex is an exquisite interiors event held in London showcasing the very best in luxury Interior design and supply.

It was really exciting to see exhibitors showcase some extremely beautiful fabrics, furnishings and finishes used by some of the leading designers in the industry.

My favourite part of the show is the stunning displays which are truly inspiring, the layering of textures and colours and the props used to create theatre really make every exhibitor stand out from one another. Here are some snippets from what I found at the show…

pop of colourpalmtrees

I love the bright ‘pop’ of colour in this room set, a very basic background of neutral tones on furniture and walls is brought to life with bright accessories and luxurious velvets. Simply stunning.

Bringing the outdoors indoors: these two exhibitors have used real trees as a display to sit with their floral inspired textiles, a nice touch!

 

 

 

 

bird detailsbird bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird prints are still on trend and these two beautiful prints are a great example…

To the right is one we made earlier, featured in Good Homes magazine back in 2012. This beautiful bed is a great example of how you can really make a unique product for your bedroom by choosing from one of our bespoke upholstered bedframes… prices start from £499.

 

 

 

 

The travelling trend is getting more and more apparent in homewares, and this exhibitor demonstrates great use of props for dressing empty spaces in the bedroom.

Our F&B Houston trunks work well as part of this theme. Placed at the end of the bed they look great and are really useful as a storage solution.

trunks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirrored furniture with a 1920’s design is a great way of making a statement using furniture, extremely exsquisite style… try our gatsby range to create a similar look.

gatsby

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful crushed velvet instantly screams luxury especially with the gold props. The hint of white keeps it fresh and light. I also loved this idea of creating a feature wall with fabric covered embroidery hoops!

mirrorsmirrors on wall

Eloise Ritchie

Coastal Bedroom Ideas

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Friday, October 04, 2013

The Cornwall Range

With the new autumn season in full swing it means exciting things for Feather & Black – most importantly all our lovely new ranges start appearing.  Our Cornwall Collection is just one of the new ranges we have introduced this season. If you love the look and feel of cosy coastal cottages but you’re stuck for bedroom ideas on how to incorporate this look into your home, then these sturdy wooden pieces would be a great starting point.

The collection includes a beautiful, white wooden bed, a tall and wide chest of drawers, a wardrobe and bedside table – all giving a fantastic amount of storage and style to boot. The combination of the shaker design, warm white birch drawers and darker solid oak tops are perfect examples of coastal inspired furniture, but would also look great in a variety of interior themes.

Coastal inspired bedrooms exude tranquillity and calmness and are a timeless interior design style. Coastal can be interpreted in a variety of ways; from sophisticated and sleek to whimsical and bohemian;- there are endless opportunities to inject pieces of your personality into your bedroom design. Classic interpretations include weathered wood panelling, stripes, nautical accessorises and a subdued palette. Why not try experimenting with brighter, bolder colours and vivid artwork for a modern twist on the coastal look.

Bright and Bold Coastal Rooms

source

Coastal Colour Palette

While coastal bedrooms may have connotations of summer trips to the seaside, it’s easy to create a cosier look that’s perfect for the autumn season. Light blues and pastel pinks are great for summery seaside bedrooms but with the onset of colder weather opt for a palette of dusky pinks, dark blues and hues of duck egg for a warmer feel that still inspires coastal living.  

A warmer coastal paelette

A warmer coastal palette featruing our conrwall range

Accessories

Take inspiration from how our Cornwall collection has been styled, the combination of solid furniture and natural accessories with hints of nautical charm will transform your room into a cosy coastal retreat.

A great way to create a comfy bedroom is to layer up cushions and throws. Choosing accessories with a nautical theme or stripes are perfect for injecting subtle hints of the seaside into your room. 

Snug linen is a must for colder weather! Cuddle up in linen with a high thread count such as our Lunaria linen in duck egg, with its 470 thread count will definitely keep you warm but also goes great with the coastal theme or similarly our Madeline linen in French navy would also look great in a seaside inspired bedroom.

Cornwall Range

Kathryn Lamp, Mosiac Pink Throw, Duck Egg Cushion, Striped Cushion

Be inspired by our Cornwall look by teaming duck egg cushions and throws, neutral striped cushions with statement ceramic lamps to create the perfect coastal sanctuary.

Eloise

 

Rachael Haydon

AW trends 2013

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Autumn is upon us with long shadows, chilly mornings and crisp orange and browns. This theme is very strong in AW13’s inspiration, so we thought we’d look at AW13’s trending style and all it has to offer us.

Decorating your home is something that can occur at any time of the year and each month comes with its own injection of style inspiration, from colours and textures, to patterns and finishes.

Colours

A trend with any season or month in the world of design is one which centres on colour, and for this autumn you’ll want to introduce warm colours into your home to combat the colder weather outside. Traditional autumnal colours such as rustic oranges and reds are always popular, but in recent years we’ve seen striking colour combinations like teal blue and chocolate brown or dark silver and deep purple used to great effect.

But this season, we really like the look of burgundy combined with accent colours such as silver or gold for a modern twist on a traditional favourite. Pantone’s colour of the year 2013 is emerald green – lively and elegant it’s a wonderfully versatile colour with surprising energy. Pantone’s turbulent grey is popular in colour palettes and fashion, when teamed with vivacious pink, rustic orange, deep purple, emerald green or a warm blue.

A trend dominating this season is country heritage: a modern spin on autumnal colours such as moss green and soft blues with accents of grey combined with tartan print. With a nod to the gentleman’s country-club, or luxurious woodland lodge – tartan print is very contemporary, and great for settling in with a good book. To add a quirky edge to the heritage style, vintage florals are still a core theme and when teamed with bright colours and traditional woodland animal motifs – will create effortless rural luxe.


An emerging style for this season is ombre - from hair and nails to home interiors. The word ‘ombre’ literally means ‘shaded’ in French and refers to a graduation in colour from light to dark. It’s extremely current, and we’re seeing it everywhere – in room-transforming curtains, rugs, art and furnishing – it’s whimsical, creative and simply gorgeous.

Material

Colour isn’t the only thing to change with the seasons and you’ll need to match your end of year style with suitable materials and fabrics. Autumnal weather often results in a sudden drop in temperature but you can combat this with thick, comfy curtains and furnishings that incorporate tartan throws or cushions.

Choose materials which are well made and luxurious for something that feels as good as it looks and remember to pay close attention to the fit when making your decision. You’ll want curtains that hang to an appropriate length so measure carefully before buying. With cushions, throws, blankets or other furnishings consider the size of the item you intend to dress and ask yourself whether you want a snug fit or something with a little more give.

If you don’t want to invest in really heavy materials then why not use layering instead? This is a great design trick and one which seems purpose built for this season. Add thicker dressings to your existing set up for an easy-to-complete redecoration that allows you to adjust comfort levels at will.

This applies to all areas of the home so consider luxury duvet covers for the bedroom. Silk is a really luxurious material and if you opt for a quilted design then you’ll match comfort with style perfectly.

Rachael

Rachael Haydon

How to sleep better

Posted by Rachael Haydon, Thursday, September 19, 2013

As Britons, we’re notorious for working hard and playing hard. So sleeping is a key component in maintaining our reputation – but surely sleeping is pretty easy stuff right? I’m not so convinced – I struggle to get the full 8 hours and I really feel it the next day! Whilst it would be easy to blame my snoring partner (and believe me he snores), there are probably lots of things that I’m doing to impact it. So I went on a bit of a scavenger hunt for information, and came up with some tried and tested tips. At first I thought they were pretty standard observations, but it turns out I’m not really sticking to many of them at the moment!

how to sleep betterLet your body clock drop

First thing’s first – scrutinise your boudoir. It needs to be completely dark, you could even use blackout lining which can be sewn to the back of your curtains. The reason for this is because when your environment becomes dark, your circadian rhythm (a fancy way of saying body clock) drops to the lowest level which helps to maintain sleep.

Keep your room cool

Believe it or not, your room needs to be on the chilly side. About 16-18c is right. Our bodies are at their coolest early morning time, and peaks early evening. So if you like your environment to be a toasty 24c, beware that anything over this is likely to disrupt your sleep.

Dialling down the noise

Now if you’re anything like me, you need to be bunged up to the eyeballs with plugs to muffle out any noise. I will wake up to most noises – whether it’s a leaf landing on the window-pane, or a huge beast of a seagull squawking outside the bedroom. Sudden noises will generally disrupt most people’s sleep. But steady, gentle sounds can actually have the opposite effect – it will act as white noise and block out any loud or sudden noises. In fact, you can buy ‘white noise’ CDs for this very purpose!

Keep the peace

If you and your darling other half are having a bit of a squabble, it’s very important to resolve any issues before you go to sleep. You certainly won’t be in the right frame of mind for sleep otherwise!

The best bed for you

Whether you have a wriggler of a bed-partner, an achy back, need lots of room for the kiddies to romp on or just want a bit of space from the snoring – trust us, the right bed is out there. It’s easy to cover the problem with luxury bed linen, but that bulging, lumpy mattress could be the root of all your sleeping problems!

  • Test, test, test. Make sure you lie on your potential new mattress for as long as you need – shoes off, coats off, in your jim-jams (well maybe not that far). Check it’s the right firmness/softness for you weight, build and comfort. You don’t want it to be too soft as you will end up with back pain, and you don’t want it firm enough to cause you joint pressure.
  • Size is everything – especially if you have a snorer. It will also mean you don’t move around as much. When you buy your new mattress ensure you and your partner are there to make sure you both find the right type.

LED lights out before bed

According to a Mashable study, about 95% of people check their phones, Facebook, browse the internet, play games and watch TV right before bed. It’s no wonder that around 63% of these people say they struggle to get enough sleep during the week. We now know that exposure to light before bed suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone essential to promoting sleep with your body clock – and by 22%.

So put your texting, tweeting, Facebooking and browsing to bed before you enter the sacred boudoir.

We’d like to create a regular blog updating everyone on your top tips for sleep – so leave us a comment, Facebook us or tweet with your best tips and we’ll gather them together for a new blog.

Rachael

 

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Eloise Ritchie

Emerald Inspiration

Posted by Eloise Ritchie, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

 

This week our inspiration comes from global colour authority Pantone and their colour of the year – Emerald. The first green tone since the colour of the year announcement began in 2000. Emerald symbolises renewal, prosperity and growth as well as being a precious gemstone that’s rarer than diamonds.  

 

I’ve noticed how easily translatable emerald is. From fashion to beauty emerald has been everywhere this year. Sephora even released a stunning emerald makeup collection and just recently I saw this beautiful Mulberry display in Selfridges – I love the combination of emerald and gold!.

 

 

My favourite use of emerald though definitely has to be these absolutely gorgeous couture gowns from Elie Saab for A/W 13 – they perfectly capture the beauty and decadence of the hue.

 

I think the use of emerald can be easily incorporated into interiors without turning your home into Emerald City. With the human eye seeing more green than any other colour in the spectrum according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute why not branch out and be inspired by other green tones -there are thousands to choose from! From leafy bottle greens to exquisite emerald tones there’s an endless opportunity to incorporate greens into your interior style.

Antionette Bed

 

My favourite look has to be contrasting accents of green against crisp white. Ideal Home gives the tip of sticking to similar tones of green for maximum impact. By starting with a white palette you can easily add accents of green through accessories or accent walls to create a gorgeous contemporary look. I personally love how our Antoinette bed is styled beautiful with fresh white sheets and neutral accessories contrasting beautifully with a lovely leafy green wall.

 

 

If you want more emerald inspiration why not have a look at our Pinterest inspiration board. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Love

Eloise

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Natalie Williams

Hadlow Castle in Kent

Posted by Natalie Williams, Monday, June 24, 2013

Dave Berry our Operations Director enjoyed a weekend visiting Hadlow Castle in Kent:

Hadlow Castle

My uncle contacted me a while back in connection with Hadlow Castle in Kent, that used to belong to his parents. The tower has now been fully restored and refurbished as an amazing high quality holiday accommodation by the Vivat Trust. At Feather & Black we helped them with beds and mattresses…

Henley Brass Bed

Get The Look: Henley Brass Bed, Luca White Bedlinen

The Tower Renaissance was held last Saturday and was a very splendid occasion, treated to its very own air display, put on by a local pilot who played in the grounds as a child…with model aeroplanes!

This time it was for real...I can personally recommend it as a perfect place to stay! Follow the link for more details…

http://www.vivat-trust.org/properties.php?pid=121

Dave Berry

Holly Chapman

A Weekend in the Country

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, May 10, 2013

Last weekend I hope you all enjoyed a glorious bank holiday. I was lucky enough to return to my family home for some time back in the countryside. Here is my weekend summed in a few instagram pictures! My favourite part of walking Dennis (the naughtiest dog) was that it felt like summer had finally arrived and the white and pink blossom on the trees was a welcome burst of colour.

Countryside1

It seems that the countryside is also really popular in magazines too – Country Homes & Interiors borrowed our Oliver bed in bronze to create this vintage country inspired look. It’s really easy to achieve, a simple iron bed forms the basis of the look, then style with Weekender bedlinen in soft grey stripes and a simple soft colour palette of light greys.

Countryside22

Get The Look: Oliver Bed Bronze, Weekender Bedlinen, Scalloped Kntted Cushion, Organdie Grey Cushion

I love coming back to work after being in the outdoors; it always makes me feel so inspired and this weekend I am off camping!

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Books in Bed 'Dear Entrepreneur'

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, May 09, 2013

This ‘Books in Bed’ is a little bit special…

This month I have been reading a book put together by our very own Ecommerce Executive Danny (he's in charge of all things website, SEO and digital.) Outside of work he is a budding entrepreneur and alongside his brother-in-law Andrew Blackman has published ‘Dear Entrepreneur’ a book created to inspire and advise anyone who is interested in creating their own business adventure from those who have done it themselves.

Dear Entrepreneur

'Dear Entrepreneur' is a collection of inspiring letters from business founders who have started up and gone it alone to build successful businesses. It offers advice, tips and inspiration in abundance with true life stories written by those who understand what it’s like to take the plunge and what you need to succeed.

I took the opportunity and asked Danny a few questions

Danny Dear Entrepreneur

HC: Why did you decide to write the book?

DB: We didn’t, we decided to ask hundreds of business owners to write it for us. We knew we wanted to put a book together and as we are both interested in the business world we decided this would be our topic. Seeing as we hadn’t started a business ourselves we realised we probably wouldn’t be able to sell the book with our names behind it alone, also due to our lack of business experience we couldn’t provide content that would be of worth to the reader. We didn’t let this stop us so we started contacting businesses, after an amazingly positive response Dear Entrepreneur was born. Within 6 months we had a complete book, a publishing deal and hundreds of new contacts. 

HC:Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

DB:Just go for it. Initially we didn’t entertain the possibility of being published, we were going to self-publish as an eBook. There are so many writers out there that don’t get publishing deals, publishers are sent hundreds of manuscripts every week. One day whilst calling around businesses to gain content for the book I spoke to Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, unknown to me she is also part owner of Brightword publishing which is an imprint of Harriman House, she asked if I would like to meet to discuss them publishing it and the rest is history. The point of this is that we started out with the aim to create a book without relying on a publisher; anyone can be an author nowadays as long as they are willing put the work in and can use a computer. Using Amazon Kindle’s self-publishing tool you can upload and sell your book using a simple word doc format.

HC: Do you consider yourselves a young Lord Sugar?

DB:We certainly have the drive Lord Sugar had when he started out. I think being an entrepreneur is about having the right attitude towards putting the work in to succeed in whatever it is you want to do with your life.

Dear Entrepreneur Tour

The Book Tour where Danny & Andrew who put together the book delivered copies to those who had written a letter for them they are here with Richard from Eyetease Media and the Love Da Popcorn guys.

So if after a bad day at work you pick up a glass of wine and start dreaming about making it on your own have this book as your companion!

I predict that after all the brilliant reviews on amazon, and this one, and being picked as Flybe’s book of the month that Dear Entrepreneur is set to be a huge hit, so read it before the crowds…

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Bed Couture

Posted by Holly Chapman, Monday, April 15, 2013

Upholstered Beds

Creating a bespoke bed in an unequivocally beautiful fabric is equivalent to buying fabulous fashion couture, it allows you to create something entirely unique. Our Designers Guild SS13 Fabric books have landed at a few of our specially picked stores, and it has inspired me to think about my favourite florals for this season. The May issue of Homes & Gardens features our wing backed Louis bed upholstered in the latest Seraphina Designers Guild fabric. I don't think I have been so in love with a bed before (ever!). The magazine styled the blowsy floral print with deep mulberry walls and weathered oak furniture. if you feel as inspired as I did I have put together a quick get the look for you.

Louis Bed

Get The Look: Louis Bed, Seraphina Fabric, Sienna Bedside

Here are a few of our other favourite fabrics from the Designers Guild Collection.

Designers Guild SS13

Team this vintage oil colour inspired floral with any of our upholstered beds, I think it would look fabulous on our low and contemporary Farringdon for an unexpected antithesis.

Designers Guild

Designers Guild

Pop in to one of these lovely stores to see the fabric books and be inspired Beaconsfield, Chichester, Chiswick, East Sheen, Fulham, Henley, Kingston, Tottenham Court RoadGuildford, Wilmslow

Create something beautiful!

Love

Holly

x

P.S Equally you can buy prêt-à-porter in our range of standard fabrics.

Holly Chapman

NYC Industrial Inspiration

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, April 12, 2013

Our very lovely Laura, Head of Marketing, was lucky enough to jet off to New York for a few days taking a well earned break, much to the envy of the whole office!

I haven't been lucky enough to visit the Big Apple yet, although I have dreamed about it ever since I became obsessed with Carrie and the girls on Sex and The City.

Inspired by her incredible photos of an industrial NYC I put together some trend inspiration.

NYC

 

For the industrial look, keep the details simple - we paired our beautiful bronze Normandy design with soft sunshine shades of yellow for a subtle antithesis that lets the statement bed really stand out. For accessories, we paired henna detailing with tactile velvets.

 

Industrial Inspiration

One of the best parts ( for the office) was the saltwater Taffy we all got to enjoy when Laura returned.

Love

 

Holly

x

office fun

Holly Chapman

Books In Bed 'The Great Gatsby'

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, April 05, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve managed to find the time to hunker down with a good book in bed but over the last few weeks I’ve been settled with ‘The Great Gatsby’ and surrendered to the frivolous, decadent, glamour and wealth of the jazz age and the roaring twenties.

Having never read The Great Gatsby, I was enticed by the tinsel of the jazz age ( anything to avoid the grey skies and snow we’ve been having recently) I didn’t expect the love story to grab me so intently, but it did and I was pulled into a book filled with words of dreams and I loved it!

The Great Gatsby Book Review

Reading In Bed Essentials: Book The Great Gatsby, Faded Dahlia Bed Linen, Knitted Scalloped Throw, Tea for One, Velvet Blue Cushion

The love story between Gatsby and Daisy felt like I was reading something really beautiful and after finishing it I find myself thinking about the green light at the end of Daisy’s Dock.

Definitely a book to read, and especially before the film is released in May!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the novel, let me know what you think on our Facebook page.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Pastels Inspired By Easter

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet shades inspired by the outer shells of our favourite sugary Easter treats have had a revival. Choose sugary pinks, powder greens and duck egg blues and mix with soft whites, florals and beautiful furniture for the perfect look for springtime.

Easter Cakes

These are my Easter Cakes, the office all seemed to like them!

pastel bedrooms

Shop Shades of Pink

I love the shades of light blue with dusky pink on our mosaic throw and cushion, it adds a soft, feminine look for any bedroom and reminds me of soft egg shell shades. While the delicate Organidie Accessories with their thin, almost transparent edging is beautifully simple to work with any look.

 

Duck egg bedroom

Shop Pastel Accessories

With pastels, moderation can be key with strong sugary shades. This eau de nil and duck egg scheme works really well when teamed with white bedlinen and neutral upholstery.

Pastel accessories bring out the beautiful Cole & Sons Wallpaper print without it looking too kitsch.

I hope you have been inspired to create a beautiful pastel inspired look for your home.

Happy Easter!

Love

Holly

X

 

 

 

 

 

Holly Chapman

March is National Bed Month

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March is National Bed Month, we have put together our tips on refreshing your bed and mattress for Spring...

While a beautiful bedroom helps to promote sleep, the bed and mattress are critical to the quality of sleep that you get.

Bed frames are all different, you can choose from classic wooden, beautiful upholstered or opulent metal designs. The most important piece of advice we would give is to think like goldilocks. Try everything to find you perfect mattress and bed, because by the time we are 50, we will have spent on average 16 years in bed - so it’s best to get it right.

Choosing a bed NBA

The Sleep Council advises that you change your bed and mattress every seven years. Their research suggests that nearly a quarter of people questioned prefer the beds they sleep in when they go away to the ones they have at home.

If you get a better night sleep while you are away (and not just because the kids aren’t there to get into bed with you) this is a tell-tale sign that you need a new bed and mattress. Mattresses get lots of wear from bouncing kids, heavy usage and unequal pressure distribution and we advise that it is time for a new mattress if you and your partner roll into the middle; you wake up with any stiffness or pain, your mattress sags or if it is dirty.

National Bed Month

The survey also showed that co-habiting couples are the least likely to find their mattress very comfortable. With couples, often different weights, sizes and preferences mean that choosing a mattress together can often mean a compromise. We offer a tailored fitting service and are able to create a mattress with two sides of different tension levels to suit each individual. Our stores will guide you through the different tensions and support levels to find the perfect combination for you. If you sleep with a partner it’s important to try out the mattresses together as it is unusual for partners to have identical requirements. We love finding, designing and creating the perfect mattress in two halves - so you can both enjoy a perfect night sleep without compromise.

National Bed Month March

Shop our Bed and Mattress Collections

Love

Holly

x

Candice Cumming

An Icelandic Adventure

Posted by Candice Cumming, Friday, February 22, 2013

Working within the marketing team it's always useful to broaden your horizons with a bit of travelling for inspiration.
After earning some time off from the 9 to 5, I ventured off with my other half to Iceland and WOW what a place.

Icelandic Adventure Photos


I was lucky enough to experience the natural phenomena the Aurora Borealis (northern light) - magical and breathtaking are a few words that spring to mind. I couldn't believe what I was seeing as I stood in the middle of no where in -5˚C conditions. It didn't matter how cold it was they were spectacular and well worth it.
We didn't stop there the trip of a lifetime continued as we explored Iceland by day taking a snow mobile trip to see a glacier and frozen lake. We got to see an old volcano crater, our guide told us Bjork once played a concert from a boat in the middle of the water. I found the county fascinating, it is a place of extreme variety mixing the very hot and very cold together.

Not only the natural geology of the iceland stood out but the extraordinary people did too. In Reykjavik the people were friendly, kind and beamed good health. I was intrigued to learn how creative they are with just about every Icelander possessing a creative outlet like, music, art and poetry. This really shone through the city in the shops, cafes and bars. They had an eccentricity I couldn't help fall in love with.

I hope to visit there again one day and would encourage people to visit this very unique country.

Candice

Holly Chapman

Looks Inspired By Love & Valentine's Day

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines day is upon us again, and there seems to be a perfumed swish of romance in the air. Maybe it's just us, but just in case you are feeling a little romantic too we have put together our favourite looks inspired by love and romance which you can surruond yourself with all year round to keep that lovely love feeling around a little longer...

 

Valentines Day Looks

Clockwise from the top left: Organdie Duck Egg Cushion, Organdie White Cushion, Mirrored Picture Frame, Paris White Throw, Set of 4 Tealights, Canterbury Bed, Enamel Heart Trinket Box, Scented Heart, Alana Lamp, Mosaic Pink Cushion, Yellow Velvet Cushion, Anotinette Bed, Antique Silver Frame, Canterbury Lamp, Velvet Pink Cushion, Velvet Duck Egg Cushion, Pallio Bed.

Our most romantic beds include the Pallio, the beautiful swirl iron design captures a fairytale look. Heap up pastel coloured cushions agianst the warm white background for a really beautiful bed you won't want to get out of. While the luxurious Antoinette bed, with a scrolled headboard and buttoned detail is equally as romantic, the opulent design works perfectly teamed with simple white bed linen - sometimes beautiful pieces don't need very much else.

Typical shades of love are red, but our favourites this season are soft pastel pinks, duck egg and light yellows they create a feminine and delicate look. Keep details simple with soft velvet textures and delicate Organidie borders. Keep accessories simple, lots of photos of loved ones and family look beautiful on your bedside when in a pretty vintage inspired frame - we love to fall asleep and wake up surrounded by happy memories. Finally, fragrance your bedroom with the smell of soft roses to create a scent throguhout your home synonymous with saying 'I love you' our favourite romantic scent is Cochine's.

Cochine for Valentines

Love

Holly

x

 

 

Holly Chapman

On The Stage:The Comedy of Errors

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Comedy of Errors

Last week our warm white Oliver bed graced the stage at The Cambridge Art’s Theatre in their production of The Comedy of Errors. Greg the lovely store manager of Cambridge was really excited to loan the production one of our beds, and look at the beautiful shots we have of our warm, white Oliver Bed…

Bed in Comedy of Errors

"The Marlowe Society’s annual stint at Cambridge Arts Theatre is a firm fixture in the theatrical calendar and a chance to see some of the brightest talent of tomorrow before they hit the big time" – The Cambridge News

We are really excited to have helped play a tiny part of such a fantastic play.

If you saw ‘The Comedy of Errors’ why not pop into our Cambridge store to see the bed.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Vintage Inspiration for the Home

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vintage; noun the time that something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind.

To me this means; adjective, relaxed, comfortable, beautiful, simple, homely, boasts a colour palette of soft hues.

 

The vintage look allows you to truly create a bedroom which reflects who you are. Seek out pieces which inspire you and that make your house feel like a home, I have put together some of our favourite looks and how you can recreate them…

Vintage trend in the bedroom

Canterbury Bed, Sofia Bed Linen, Accessories Coming Soon for SS13

 

The key to a vintage trend is to make it personal to you, you can display objects which mean something to you, which have a story – you really can create a room which is an extension of yourself.

Iron beds perfectly capture this look, style with soft pinks and whites to create a look which literally and metaphorically reflects the rose tinted memories of yesteryear.

 

Vintage Bedroom

 

The soft pastel colours make perfect partners with warm white collections. Keep the look simple and unfussy with stripped natural floor, fresh flowers and a vintage inspired print on the wall. The pile of soft cushions keep the look comfortable and homely .

 

Upholstered Vintage look

 

The Fulham bed captures a shabby chic look, the soft pleats and relaxed linen is inspired by the beautiful craftmanship of the iconic Savile Row. Team the look with rustic oak furniture and beautiful trunks for a mismatched bohemian style.Trunks are perfect for storage for anywhere in your home. Inspired by luxury steamer luggage taken on long journeys across the globe, trunks feel artisan and crafted while creating interesting textures and focal points in a bedroom.

We will be adding more vintage inspiration from our new SS13 Collections coming soon....

Inspiration from Pinterest

 

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...January

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, January 11, 2013

Here are a few trends, ideas and books that we are loving this month - I would love to hear your thoughts about what you are loving this month on our Facebook page...

1) January isn't a month where very much is celebrated because after all the festivities we often don't have the energy but Burns night on Friday 25th January is a celebration we can get into - we will be dressing in our tartan singing auld lang syne and enjoying a delicious supper.

Burns Night 25th January 2013

 

2) Nordic Inspiration

Inspiration Nordic Bedroom

Inspiration from Pinterest

The key to this trend is to let the natural beauty of oak wood be the focus of the room. Team with a palette of soft greys, off whites and creams inspired by the soft wintery hues of nature. Textures add interest with faux fur, cashmere and knits to perfectly create an irresistably snug feel in your home.

Scandi/ Nordic Style for the home

 

Clockwise from left: Marblehead 7 Drawer Chest, Marblehead Storage Bed, Classic Rocking Chair, White Waffle Bed Linen, Marblehead Dressing Table & Mirror, Porthole Accessory, Heston Lamp, Grey Faux Fur Cushion, Marblehead Blanket Box.

3) Snow Day Fashion

It is set to snow this weekend so get your tobogon out or if you are like our marketing intern Ellen's neighbour your ski's and be inspired by our pick of practical but beautiful fashion.The first fall of snow is a magical event , it creates a blanket over the world and makes everything look beautiful. Layers are key to snow fashion, blanket up and keep cosy as you leave your tracks in freshly fallen snow…

4) Books In Bed for January

Our early night reading essential this month is ‘Ten Things Ive Learnt About Love Sarah Butler’ which is released at the end of January and we love this months Homes & Gardens too, you can spot us on several pages...

Here is why we are looking forward to the publishing of this novel, it sounds beautiful....'A uniquely heart-wrenching and life-affirming novel for fathers and daughters everywhere.

Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying, and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye.Daniel hasn’t had a roof over his head for years, but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever did. He spends every day searching for his daughter; the daughter he has never met. Until now . . .Heart-wrenching and life-affirming, this is a unique story of love lost and found, of rootlessness and homecoming and the power of the ties that bind.It is a story for fathers and daughters everywhere'

Books in Bed

 

In this image: Marina Camel Throw

5) Our favourite trend for girls is Owls

Wise and worldly Owls are a huge trend in fashion and interiors. Style Owl printed wallpaper with soft pink bed linen and warm white furniture for a look your little ones will love.

Trend Owls

Clockwise from top: Phoebe Day Bed, Owl Flask, Owl Rucksack, Owl PJ's

For more inspiration pop to our pinterest pages...

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Crispy Chocolate Christmas Cakes

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, November 30, 2012

As the festive season gets into full swing tomorrow, I have put together a simple recipe for you to try this weekend to get into the Christmas spirit and have some fun.

It is so wonderfully yummy and simple it's perfect to try with the little ones, so pop on some Christmas songs, a festive apron and start baking...

Ingredients: Lots of chocolate, cornflakes and Christmas cake decorations.

Christmas Baking

We started by getting all of our ingredients out together - we chose metallic gold cases to add a bit of sparkle to our crispy cakes. We then broke the chocolate into small pieces and popped in a bowl. You can have some fun with the flavour of chocolate - we experimented with popcorn chocolate which made our cakes a little crispier - but next time we hope to try a chocolate orange flavour.

melting chocolate

We popped our bowl of chocolate over a saucepan of boiling hot water to melt the chocolate, we were very careful not to burn ourselves or the chocolate. After this we mixed the melted chocolate in with our cornflakes - we would recomend that you add the cornflakes slowly to the chocolate this means that all of the cornflakes get covered in a thick and delicious layer of chocolate.

Lastly pop the mixture into some beautiful cake cases or if you are feeling inventive pop them on some baking paper and carrange them to look like a circle with a hole in the middle - this turns them into Christmas wreaths! As we had to carry ours into the office Ellen and I popped them in cake cases. We then had some fun decorating them with red glitter, silver cake decorations and snowmen on top.

Chocolate christmas cake

We can't stop singing "Rockin Around The Christmas Tree..."

Have a lovely weekend

Love

Holly

x

With LOTS of help from our marketing assistant Ellen

P.S Pop to our Facebook page for our very own advent calender & if you would like some more amazing recipe ideas our lovely friend Helen writes an incredible blog

Holly Chapman

Books In Bed 'The Snow Child'

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 

The Snow Child

Set in the harsh landscape of Alaska in 1920, this story grows around Jack and Mabel - a couple stuggling, haunted by the baby they lost years before.Mabel, like snow is melting and crumbling from loneliness and the ache in her heart.

One day a little blonde girl appears mysteriously from the woods, running through the trees a replacement for the snow child they built the night before. The little girl is from the woodland, she runs through the wilderness with a red fox by her side - seemingly alone. 

Inspired by a one hundred year old Russian fairytale and woven into the novel, this story is led by the characters and the landscape of their world. It is magical and enchanting like the weather the story 'trailed sparkling and delicate' 

snow child

A beautifully written story, perfect as Winter approaches - you will be effortlessly transported to 'the strange world of snow and rock and hushed trees' 

If you have read the book I would love to hear your thoughts too - pop to our Facebook page and let me know what you think.

Love

Holly

x

 

 

Holly Chapman

The Season of Softness

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, November 16, 2012

As Winter is upon us, the season of softness - why not indulge in cosy textures soft bed linen and turn you home into an escape from the cold. We have put together a few of our favourite shades for this season…

Be inspired and heap your bed with cushions and throws…our favourite for this season is layers of knitted cable knit with faux fur textures.

Grey colours in a bedroom

From Left: Elsia Lamp, Hugo Cushion, Marina Silver Throw, Grey Faux Fur Cushion

Grey is the perfect accent colour for Winter, style with soft bed linen in a natural colour for a cosy look to curl up in. Layer a base of faux fur with milky cream knits and climb under the duvet to enjoy films or a good book in bed.

White bed linen

From Left: Pimlico Cushion, Paris White Cushion, White Waffle Throw, Sheepskin Rug

Capture a snowy Winter wonderland look for the festive season for a simple look which works in any bedroom. Ethereal white linen is a super soft base, add interest with white textures and ornate silver detailing.

biscuit colours

From Left: Cable Knit Throw, Claude Throw, William Biscuit Throw, Valencia Cushion.

Biscuit is the cosiest hue of all, keep textures warm with knits and accent with milky creams and whites.

As we all look forward to snow to play in, I am most looking forward to curling up after making a snowman and keeping cosy.

Love

Holly

x

P.S Untill November 25th there is an extra 20% off bed linen with LINOFF20....see no excuse not to snuggle up.

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...November

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, November 09, 2012

Inspired Style…November

Here is a roundup of the things we love this month from colours to food and fragrances....

Metallic Trend

Shop our winter accessories collection for all the pieces here.

All that glitters ain’t just gold; we love bronze, brass and mercurial silvers too!

. The key to the metallic trend is to mix shades together for a vintage inspired look. Style tea light holders with antique silver accessories to bring a warm glow to the home, and team trinkets and treasures together for a beautiful look for your dressing table. For Christmas, give your home the Midas touch and add sparkles and rich golds throughout.

Cochine, Vanille & Taboc Candle

Blending two of the Orient's most evocative aromas, this elegant fragrance encapsulates the magical allure of Saigon at sunset: that moment of contented reflection before the sun gives way to the stars and the evening unfolds. Classic notes of Vanilla Bean and warm hints of Patchouli are balanced with soft, sensual tones of Tobacco Flower. This delicate plant, found in the central highlands of Vietnam, has creamy white flowers that open in the evening to produce a sensational scent. Extracts of Cardamon, Nutmeg and Basil, plants rich in colour and scent that swirl in the vibrant market stalls of Vietnam, lend a delicate spiciness to create an overall effect that is rich and sultry. This scent is perfect for your home over the Winter season and makes a beautiful gift for loved ones.

handpicked

As the evenings get colder, all we want to do is cosy up and eat! Coming up to Christmas we will be ordering the smoked duck for our Christmas eve buffet, smoked salmon for breakfast and indulging our sweet tooth with delicious handbaked cakes our favourite is the Chocolate Lovers Fruitcake which features dark chocolate, orange liqueur, vine fruit and nuts, topped with a white chocolate swirl all from the handpicked foodstore

Downton Abbey

From Left: Rampant Sporting Cricket Jumper, Vintage Mirrored Tray, Juliette Headboard, Sienna Chair, Oliver Bed.

Our Sunday's won't be the same without Downton and the Crawleys, be inspired by their style. Whether you love the metal beds in the servants bedrooms or the opulence and upholstered beds found upstairs - this look can still work today. After the cricket match at the end of the series, we are embracing it in our wardrobes too.

Keep up with trends and things we love on our Facebook page.

Have a lovely weekend

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Kids Trend: Dinosaurs

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, November 01, 2012

Every Christmas there is always a new fad, trend, gadget or toy that is on every Christmas list. Think back to the ones which were top of your list – I remember being desperate for a Furby only to be tired of looking after it by New Year’s Eve.

Then there are the classic characters and toys which appear on children’s letters to Father Christmas year after year. Of these timeless favourites - the playful dinosaur is one of our favourites…it is also a big trend for kids this season.

Dinsoaur Trend for Kids

Little ones will love curling up under the soft dino bedlinen to dream of dinosaur adventures.  Other bedtime dinosaur beauties include our Dino pjs, and David the dinosaur bedtime story- team them altogether for the perfect bed time.

Dino Craft

Encourage kids’ creativity and imagination with fun dinosaur crafts to make and do. From building and colouring this cardboard Dinosaur model to painting figurines – messy fun is the best kind when you’re little. Encourage them to experiment with colours and then proudly display them in their bedrooms.

Dinosaur Teddies

These dinosaur companions are perfect for both boys and girls who love dinosaurs. The book ends keep precious story books safe, the hooks are handy for keeping bedrooms tidy, well as tidy as they can be, and the soft toy Doppy dinosaur is adorable. He is super soft for bedtime yet fun enough for playtime and hours and hours of make believe.

As trends come and go why not invest in a gift kids will love every day throughout the year.

Love

Holly

X

Holly Chapman

Halloween Pumpkins

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In preparation for Halloween tomorrow, why not create a pumpkin lantern with the kids?

Carving pumpkins is a messy and fun way to spend the afternoon, and is a great decoration for any parties you might be throwing for Halloween over the half term.

I popped together a few simple instructions and pictures of how we made ours:

Pumpkin Instructions

1)      Cut the top off their pumpkins with a sharp knife (you should probably do this bit to avoid any injuries – fake blood is perfect for Halloween real blood is not!)

carve pumpkins

2)      Be prepared for the smell, we didn’t realise it would smell so much and it was definitely a shock!  We then got a large bowl and spoon and prepared to scrape out the insides. Keep going until all the seeds and threads of the pumpkin are out. ( This can take a while) During this time our helper Dennis the dog got a taste for pumpkin so we had to try and be very careful not to drop any!

Dennis the dog

3)      Once all the inside is scraped out, try and thin down the pumpkin walls to make it easier for the kids to carve. While you are doing this, why not set them on designing the pumpkin – let their imaginations run wild with spooky designs and then try and incorporate it on to one pumpkin.

4)      Let them draw the design on the pumpkin, remember simple straight shapes are easier to carve but you really can be as creative as you like!

5)      Finally carefully watch them as they carve their pumpkin… to make sure they stay fresh it is advised to wash them in cold water and go along the cuts with Vaseline. Put a tealight in for a spooky glow!

Here are our pumpkins and this is Jake dressed as a mummy proudly showing his design…

Pumpkins for halloween

It’s simple fun and perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit…it doesn’t need to take long either!

Love

Holly

X

(With help from Faye, Jake and Dennis the dog.)

P.S If you are looking for something else to entertain the little ones this half term why not enter our competition to win a pair of Kids PJ’s and a David the Dinosaur book– you can download one of our free colouring in pages for the kids too.

Holly Chapman

The Clocks Go Back

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Sunday, the 28th October the clocks go back an hour giving us a whole extra hour and most of us here plan on spending that time having a deliciously indulgent lie in….it really is the perfect way to spend the extra hour.

Before Sunday make sure your bed is perfectly comfortable and cosy...you can do our Feather & Black Sleep Test to be sure you don’t need to change your mattress.

We have popped together our essentials for a luxurious lie in:

Clocks go back, lie in

Cosy up under indulgent bed linen, super soft to touch it really is the ultimate indulgence. Layer your bed with cushions and throws as the weather gets a bit chilly to keep cosy. Heaps of pillows and cushions are wonderful to snuggle into – and it’s lovely to wake up next to beautiful soft textures. Choose from sumptuous cotton sateen, opulent jacquard weave or intoxicatingly soft indian brushed cotton – read more on our buyers guide to bed linen.

bedding

Bedding- it may not be as beautiful as bed linen but it is an essential as the season changes to winter. Make sure you have the correct tog on your bed - 13.5 tog will keep you effortlessly warm as the weather gets cold, you will be really glad of it as Jack Frost starts to make his appearance overnight.

breakfast in bed

Images from pinterest

After your extra hours snooze wake up and enjoy breakfast in bed – an essential for a relaxed morning. I love warmed croissants and a cup of tea or pancakes and bacon if we are really lucky! If you don’t fancy a lie in why not spend your extra hour trying a new breakfast recipe we found some delicious ideas in The Simple Things Magazine.sunday papers

Finally, my last recommendation is a bed full of Sunday newspapers and magazines. It is my favourite part of a lie in and relaxing morning.

We hope you have been inspired to join us for National Sleep In Day – have a lie in and relax!

If however you might not be lucky enough to enjoy a lie in ( kids bouncing on a bed might interrupt this) why not spend the time baking breakfast with the kids, colouring in or doing some craft activities together.

I would love to hear how you spend your extra hour….you will definitely find me asleep and then surrounded by croissants and papers!

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Cosy Corners

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cosy COrners

As autumn is upon us and the nights draw in so begins the annual season of softness - why not indulge in cosy textures and create little nooks around your home to curl up in?

Sometimes I wish I could hibernate to escape the colder chill – as an alternative I have put together some ideas to create small reading corners around the home to cosy up under a throw in.

simple and classic

From Left: Arundel Chair, Sheepskin rug, Marina Lilac Throw, Marci Lamp, Pimlico Cushion

The Arundel chair with its soft curves is simple and elegant. We love the chair in this light shade of grey, it works well with accents of white and lilac. Pop the chair by a window, one with a radiator to keep your toes warm, and look out at the view and changing colour of leaves...perfectly relaxing.

 

slipper chair

From Left: Slipper Chair, Chenile Throw, Set of 3 votive holders, Rimini Velvet Cushion, Faux fur slippers

This delicate slipper chair with rolled corners and soft buttoned detailing is opulent and luxurious. Indulge in a soft chenile throw to wrap around when the nights get cold and you can't put that book down. Pop it in a little nook with a bedside by the side for an essential lamps for reading and tealights for a beautiful warm glow.

 

amelie

From Left: Library Chair, Amelie Bedside, Velvet Slippers, Valencia Cushion

Ffor a classic and elegant french look team the Amelie collection with the natural Library chair, the distressed white painted furnture is the perfect backdrop for the broad back, softly curved library chair. Keep a pile of books or magazines and escape the cold.

Sienna Sofa

From Left: Sienna Sofa, Mira Cushion, Claude Throw, Victoria Cushion, Dayton Lamp

The beautiful Sienna sofa in linen and weathered oak is vintage inspired. The natural backdrop is perfect to style with milky creams and biscuit throws and accessories. Layer luxurious textures like knits and lace - they are perfect to keep you warm and cosy all winter while you engross yourself in a novel.

You will find me in a corner with my pile of vogue magazines and the latest crime novel...if only I could stay here all winter.

Be inspired and curl up...

 

Love

Holly

x

 

 

Candice Cumming

Taupe-tastic Mood Board

Posted by Candice Cumming, Friday, October 05, 2012

Taupe-tastic

 

Who says beige is boring? I can't think of any other colour that has so much variety in shade or so many different names: taupe, biscuit, buff, fawn, ecru, oatmeal, sand and café au lait, to name just a few. I love all neutrals and natural shades and layering my home with a meld of neutral tones helps it to feel warm and inviting.

At home I have a taupe upholstered sofa, a beige rug, and neutral cushions and throws, and I love the way the colours complement the natural tones of my wooden furniture pieces. As a graphic designer, my artwork collection is really important to me, and with a neutral canvas to work with, I can easily change and update the artwork on my walls and inject some accent colours in the room with trinkets and treasures, without losing a sense of style and elegance.

At the top of my wishlist is a Sienna Dressing Table and Stool for my bedroom and I'd love to add a new Houston Trunk to my furniture collection.

 

Candice

Holly Chapman

Books In Bed 'The Night Circus'

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, September 28, 2012

Books in bed

night circus

 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not…

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Rêves - The Circus of Dreams.”

The Night Circus is a fantastical story about two magicians’ apprentices pitted against each other in an elaborate tournament that plays out in Le Cirque des Rêves. Rich with atmospheric prose and beautifully written, the story weaves tantalisingly through themes of magic, love, mystery and intrigue. This book takes the reader into a dream-like world and it’s easy to become spell-bound within the enchantment of the circus.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the novel

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...October

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, September 28, 2012

Inspired Style October

Cosy Up for Autumn

From Left: Claude Knitted Throw, Ruby Velvet Slippers, Sheepskin Rug

This season it’s all about shades of grey and neutral taupes, biscuits and creams. Layer up luxurious faux fur, beautiful cable knits and heavy weight throws – perfect to keep you warm and cosy all winter.

Curl up with lovely slippers under a luxuriously warm throw and settle down with a good book.

 

This season style shades of khaki with mud brown and equestrian inspired accessories for a practical and beautiful look. Wear gold detailing on buckles and buttons to keep the look flowing.

Guardian 22.09.2012

You might have spotted our opulent Belgravia chaise lounge in The Guardian Weekend, styled with this equally decadent wallpaper. Be inspired by bold designs from bright florals to vintage printed wallpaper create a luxe look for your home.

house beautiful nov

This is a very sneaky one of us to add, but this month curl up with one of our favourite home magazines House Beautiful and flick through for inspiration for your home and for an exlusive offer from us.

Pop to our Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest for more inspiration and things we love..

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Behind the scene of LFW with Cochine

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I have adored London Fashion Week, from the Mulberry show inspired by English Gardens to the Vivienne Westwood catwalk inspired by impressionistic lily ponds and metallic silvers – I loved them all!  

As London Fashion Week ends, as a stockist of the official scent of Somerset house, Cochine shared with us some behind the scenes photos…

Cochine at London Fashion Week

The Cochine candles and reed diffusers infused the runways and backstage areas of Somerset house with soft sensual tones, the eau de parfum is elegantly designed to heighten the sense of luxury in the home so it worked perfectly among the beautiful clothes.  The laid black glamour, sensual tones and unique fragrance of the Cochine collections, as the finishing touch to your home their involvement in London Fashion Week was a natural synergy.

Cochine Candle at LFW

The Cochine fragrance range is available in 4 beautiful products for the home & body as reed diffusers, scented candles, hand wash and body lotion. Shop the collection of beautiful scents here.

For more behind the scenes photos visit our Facebook page

Be inspired by the beautiful finishing touch to your home

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

The Official Scent of London Fashion Week

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, September 14, 2012

Cochine London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week officially began today and we are delighted to be stocking Cochine the beautiful home fragrance collection who are the official scent of London Fashion Week.

Cochine will be fragrancing Somerset house with the sensual tones of its luxury home fragrance collections. Designed as an eau de parfum for the home the unique fragrances are elegantly designed to heighten the sense and feeling of luxury for those around you.

 Cochine officially scented the runway show of British designer Zoe Jordan with her SS13 collection. Zoe’s new SS13 collection is inspired by geographical travels, bohemian styling, and exotic patterns and colours.  We love the bright colours for SS13 - upbeat, fresh and modern the collections are a natural synergy with Cochine.

You can buy the Cochine reed diffusers, scented candles, hand wash and body lotion from 5 of our Feather & Black stores

FulhamEast SheenKingstonHenley or Tottenham Court Road.

or buy our Cochine collections online

Be inspired by London Fashion Week…

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...September

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inspired Style September

A little later than usual, but our monthly style guide is back, from foods we love, trends we love to hotels to stay in here are thet hings we love this month...

Handpicked Foodstore

This mouth wateringly delicious food store launched this week. Be one of the first to experience their amazing collections of fine foods to include smoked salmon, smoked trout, smoked duck, pâtés, luxury cakes, condiments and sauces, and Gift Boxes.  I love their Royal salmon recipe – try this for the perfect breakfast in bed.

Baroque Trend

For inspiration for your wardrobe visit net a porter

Choose from a selection of Rimini velvet accessories& Verona bedlinen

Beautiful baroque prints adorned the recent runways with Dolce & Gabbana leading the pack with lavish Rococo-inspired prints, showcasing louche decadence. Get the look with rich velvets, Renaissance-inspired print, and a palette of mink and gold.

For your wardrobe do like Dolce and work gilded details on a canvas of midnight black - team a renaissance inspired jacket like this one with black jeans and heels.  

And for the home: Our new Verona bedlinen is subtle and sophisticated. The faded, washed out baroque print in soft weathered taupe and mink hues capture undisputed glamour. The 470 thread count means the linen is unequivocally soft and feels luxurious and indulgent. Complete the look with velvets, the deep buttoned Rimini throw is opulent and lavish.

Night Circus

 

Join in with this month’s book in bed: ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern this novel is set to be created into a film  so even more reason to read it this month.

According to the blurb it is all about the unexpected arrival of the circus- set behind the scenes of the big top two magicians tumble in love, and true love or not a game begins where the fates of everyone involved hang as perilously as the daring acrobats overhead.  

The flowerpot inn

 

This month we love the beautiful Flowerpot Inn in Sundry – not only have they created luxury bedrooms using our Parisian weathered oak Sienna & Loire collections and opulent upholstered beds we have heard that the food is amazing too.

 

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Sing The Blues

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, September 07, 2012

Blue Inspiration

Midnight, Duck Egg, Indigo, Cobalt, Turquoise, Cornflower, Tiffany Blue, Sky Blue, Lagoon Blue, Iris.  

This season’s big trend is beautifully blue.

Our new bedlinen collections reflect this- you can choose the perfect hue to suit your bedroom.

The Lyon Bedlinen

Our vintage inspired print with climbing trellis roses and reversible soft pale blue deck chair stripes is a feminine and fresh look for this season. The distressed print is a nostalgic nod to the past and captures a beautiful twist of the traditional British seaside tradition. Style with warm white pieces for countryside chic or capture the Parisian trend with our weathered oak collections.

The Mira Bedlinen

The pale duck egg blue is reversed with a soft smudged charcoal grey creating a beautiful antithesis. The super soft 470 thread count jacquard weave makes this linen intoxicatingly soft and perfect for curling up under. Style the bedlinen with tactile grey throws to complete the look.

Inspired by botanical prints and natural patterns (another trend this season) the Mira works with our warm white collections like our Phoebe and Olivia or equally well with our upholstered beds or weathered oak collections.

The Maya Bedlinen

The cream linen with hues of indigo blue and silver is inspired by traditional blocked printing from India. The soft sateen creates a big impact when styled on our eastern inspired Java collection or the dark wood of the Oxford bed. Team biscuit and milky cream hues with textured cable knits to capture the cosy look.  

Isla Bedlinen

 

For a darker shade try our deep midnight jacquard weave, the Isla has tonal grey and silver shades to capture this season’s decadent look. Indulge in the soft 470 thread count and slip between the beautiful sheets. Team with luxurious velvet accessories for touchable opulence.

For more inspiration pop to our Pinterest pages...

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Back To School Style

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, August 23, 2012

It’s almost time for the little ones to start school or go back to school. After the sometimes tricky task of buying school shoes and pencil case shopping - be inspired by all of our other essentials perfect to brighten up their school days…

School Days Style

From Left: Bublebee Lunchie, Joules First Term Notebook,Joules Horse Print Coat,Arnie Aardvark.

For little ones, our lunch boxes will safety transport their sandwiches across the sometimes perilous playground.  Sometimes for their first few days kids’ like to be comforted by a treasured teddy, pack them in their bag just incase (although I’m sure they will be having too much fun to remember it is there.)

Back To School For Boys

From Left: Jamie Desk Lamp Red,Monkey Backpack, Stars Pinboard, Shelby Blue Striped Storage, Gingham Pinboard,Archie Chair, Archie Desk.

Essential for back to school is a desk; perfect for them to complete their masterpieces for the kitchen fridge and also to grow into as homework becomes a part of their school days. Choose a comfortable chair for them to sit at, and encourage them to keep their desk neat and tidy with bright pen pots and pin boards.

 Another essential is soft storage is a great option for kids’ who spend the year covered in mud from the playing field – it’s easily washable and big enough to stow away all of their muddy kit. It is also perfect for all the ballet kits, netball bibs, basketballs, football shirts, hockey sticks and musical instruments. It’s a versatile option to suit all – and it comes in different colours to suit their style too.

For little ones who love to read their schoolbooks tucked up in bed, our Jamie lamp is perfect on their bedside.

Back To School For Girls

From Left: Noah Desk, Noah Desk Chair, Pink Gingham Pinboard, Jamie Desk Lamp Lilac, Ladybird Backpack,Floral Pinboard, and Olivia Soft Storage.

Get them inspired and excited for their school days… have a look at our pinterest pages for more inspiration.

Love

Holly

x

 

P.S For exclusive first looks at our New Autumn/Winter Kids' Collections like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Holly Chapman

Autumn Inspiration: The Regency

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, August 16, 2012

Regency Bed

Classic luxe buttoned tailoring and a deep upholstered base captures indulgent, effortless elegance.

Inspired by the louche decadence and excesses of the Regency period, this bedstead looks beautiful styled with layers of velvet and cashmere.

Regency Mood Board

The Regency bed can be created in any of our standard fabrics from dark charcoal to soft oatmeal or it can be handcrafted in a bespoke fabric for a unique bed perfect to suit your bedroom.This look works with cream furniture, such as the cube bedsides or would look beautifully vinatge with pieces from the Sienna Collection.

 

Regency Inspiration

Be inspired...we would love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook Page about our new collection...

Love

 

Holly

x

P.S Keep your eyes peeled for more of our New Autumn Collections, Coming Soon.

Holly Chapman

Books In Bed 'Perfect People'

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Books In Bed

This week I have been curling up in bed with a novel by Peter James – ‘Perfect People’…

Perfect People, Peter James

 

A quick Summary

Learning, through the death of their young son Halley that they are carriers of a gene that will likely give their children a rare genetic disease, Naomi & John visit a secret clinic for creating a designer baby. And that is where the story spirals and their nightmare begins…

A mixture between crime and science fiction this novel teams the idea of religious sect with the idea of creating “designer babies.” A definite page turner, and once I started the book I wanted to know how it ended, there are lots of twists and turns.

It as a thought provoking novel, with the extreme viewpoints of both sides of “designing a baby” and the incredibly scary idea of creating a genetic upper-class…It really makes you think – What would I do?

It really is a clever page-turner; you won’t be able to put down.

If you have read our ‘Book In Bed – ‘Perfect People’ I would love to hear your thoughts…

Love

Holly

x

 

Holly Chapman

Bloggers Bedroom Challenge

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, August 02, 2012

You might have been following on our Facebook page, our lovely blogger friends all agreed to take part in a bedroom makeover challenge. Using one key piece of furniture from us, and a budget of £150 they had to make their bedroom beautiful. 

Our five bloggers all created completely different looks, which shows just how beautifully unique bedrooms can be. Click on the images to go through and read the bloggers post all about the makeover.

The blogger Jenny, Style PA, worked her Olivia blanket box around lots of beautiful accessories. We love her use of cushions as features on top of the blanket box – perfect as a comfortable seat by the window. Her palette of pinks & soft greys is beautiful for a bedroom and we love all her personal treasures accessorising her windowsill. Recreate her look with a few of our Feather & Black favourites…

The Style PA

From Left:Sofia Bed Linen, Una Cushion, Limited Edition Antique Photoframe, Olivia Blanket Box.

Jess , that’s yummy mummy, used her Richmond Blanket Box as a beautiful window seat to sit and relax at. Using a palette of iridescent pinks and creams she effortlessly captures glamour and luxury.

Thats Yummy Mummy

From Left: Richmond Blanket Box, Everyday Bush Cushion, Eva Cushion, Mischa Cushion

Molly, Mothers Always Right, worked really hard on her makeover, transforming her pine furniture into warm white beauties with a collage effect. Inspired by her favourite Indian & Sri Lankan pieces such as the beautiful elephant silk hanging above her bed- her makeover shows just how much impact silks, cushions and textures can make. The Richmond blanket box is neutral and looks fantastic with the cream backdrop of the bedroom walls and the rich colours of her scheme. Most of all we love how much Molly loves her bedroom, she describes in her post how it no longer makes her feel cold – which is fabulous and we are so glad we could be a part of helping with her beautiful bedroom.

Mothers Always Right

From Left: Richmond Blanket Box, Lester Cream Rug, Phoebe Bedside

Mummy In Milanos, created a bedroom perfect for little girls, the Olivia Blanket box works well as storage in a children’s room. Using a day bed creates a fairytale look perfect for princesses.  The scheme uses pastel colours and cushions with patchwork detailing.  The use of little fairy lights can be an alternative to night lights for children and created to look like a magical blossom tree it looks like it has come straight from the pages of a magical story.

Mummy In Milanos

From Left: Girls Patchwork Quilt, Daisy Cushion, Evie Day Bed, Olivia Blanket Box

The lovely Emma, blogger of Emma + 3, is our winner! She styled our Olivia blanket box with a palette of reds for her beautiful 11 year old daughter Chloe. With little details such as a beautiful mirror and white framed photographs it is girlie and fun. Chloe loved choosing the cushions for her bed, we think that these from our collection would work with her style. Congratulations to Emma, we hope she enjoys spending her £500 voucher with us!

Emma +3

Emma +3

From Left: Jamie Ivory Lamp, Red Striped Blanket, Olivia Blanket Box, Dorothy Cushion, Red Dotty Cushion

Be inspired..

Love

Holly

x

Gabi Douglas

Creating our upholstered beds

Posted by Gabi Douglas, Friday, July 27, 2012

Upholstered

 

I went to visit our upholsterers today, based in Northumberland I took the train from London and made the journey up to where all our upholstery is made.

The building is a beautiful big stone house, where everything is made lovingly by hand using all British materials.

Making our beds

The process is very creative and it's magical watching a bed put together in front your your very eyes. The skilled craftsmen make it seem so easy, from cutting the wood, scoring the fabric, sewing, pinning and buttoning, the amount of work that goes into making one of our beds is truly amazing.

We are currently developing new designs for Spring Summer 2013 which are all very excited about and can't wait to share them with you...watch this space!

Gabriella x

Upholsterers

Holly Chapman

Parisian Trend Inspiration

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, July 19, 2012

Parisian TrendFrom Left: Sienna Bed, Sienna Chest of drawers, Celeste Cashmere Throw Camel, Sienna Chair.

The parisian look for your bedroom captures effortless indulgence and luxe with simple textures. Our Sienna & Loire Collections capture the key ideas of this trend- combining beautiful weathered oak with luxury detailing. The Sienna bed is timeless with its softly curved head detailing and classic natural linen upholstery. Paris Interiors

From Left: Sienna Chair, Sienna Bedside, Loire Limited Edition Chaise Lounge, Limited Edition Hurricane Lamp, Vermont Cream Throw.

Image from: http://cocomale.com/blog/tag/paris/

Work with neutrals for this trend, a colour palette of soft stone, oyster, French greys and indulgent creams punctuate white bed linen.  Layer accents like pale greys eau de nil and caramel colours for a beautifully opulent

look.

Shabby chic and distressed decadence is key to this beautiful look, we love the Loire bed ( shown above) which features ornate carvings and a deep buttoned upholstered headboard. This can be styled with brass accessories, your treasures collected from antique shops and luxurious lamps. We have used vintage and antique picture frames to capture the Parisian eclectic look.

Use a Chaise Lounge, like one from our Limited Edition Collection, or a Sienna chair for a beautiful artisan look to your bedroom - seating is a bedroom whispers unrefined opulence.

Parisian interiors balance simplicity, such as weathered wood with luxury elements.

For more inspiration view our Sienna collection online or pop to our pinterest page.

Love

Holly

x

Paris

 

Holly Chapman

Children's Bedroom Inspiration: A Mural

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mural For Kids

Our lovely friend Suzie and her beautiful daughter Lola designed and painted a mural in little Lola’s bedroom- we love it! Have a read and be inspired to add some colour to cream bedroom walls...

The cream wall provided the perfect blank canvas for Lola’s big tree design – incorporating fresh green leaves and pretty birds tweeting in the branches. Suzie sketched the design on to the wall and then they made sure that the carpet was covered in case of any paint spills.

 

Mural Stage 1

Once the dark brown trunk of the tree was carefully painted by Lola (with a little help from Suzie) they patiently waited for the paint to dry. During this time Suzie created a leaf template ready to draw the leaves around the branches.

Mural Step 2

Finally once the paint has dried, Suzie used the mural as a backdrop and added Lola’s accessories and personal treasures.

 

Mural Step3

 

We love Suzie’s creativity, imagination and bright colours, perfect to create a beautiful and playful kid’s bedroom.

Some of our other ideas you could create as a mural is a jungle scene, a pirate ship, a field of flowers or aeroplanes in the clouds. If, like me, you don’t have the natural creativity you could create stencils or templates. Or if you are lucky enough to live in the Nottingham area you could email Suzie suzi@rockvilladesigns.co.uk to design and create you a mural.Mural Accessories Ideas

 

Complete your children's bedroom with an Oliver iron bed, its simple shape and warm white colour compliments bright colours and looks great styled with our Noah bedside and toy box (perfect storage solutions). We love clashing floral patterns like on Lola’s tree, and think the pink checks on our Alice armchair would look great with ditsy floral and spotted patterns like the Jules cushion. An armchair is also the perfect place for kids to sit and enjoy a reading book before bedtime. Of course, no children’s room is complete without their most treasured teddy bears and toys – we think our Snowy Bunny goes perfectly with Lola’s woodland theme.

I would love to your thoughts on our children’s bedroom inspiration and any fab ideas you have for a childrens bedroom.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Win an Exclusive £250 Voucher To Spend With Us

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, July 06, 2012

Win an Exclusive £250 Voucher

 

Competition

To enter our Exclusive Facebook Competition, all you have to do is click the image above - it's ever so simple!

If you are feeling extra lovely share it on your page for your friends to see & enter too....

Just think about all that beautiful bedlinen, cushions and accessories you could indulge in with your voucher - or you could even put it towards the new bed that you've had your eye on or a luxurious new mattress.

Love

Holly

x

Laura Main

Sleep Tips

Posted by Laura Main, Wednesday, July 04, 2012

As sleep lovers, we are always interested learning about how to get the perfect sleep – all night every night. After investing in your ultimate mattress here are some tips to help you sleep soundly…

Sleep Tips

Your bedroom should be beautiful, quiet and uncluttered. Move computers, work papers and exercise bikes into another room – they’ll only remind you of chores or even make you worry.

luxuries

Prepare yourself for sleep by indulging in a good book, listening to relaxing music, having a bath with lavender or lighting a scented candle. It is essential to avoid big meals, brandies and espressos before bedtime. Instead try a chamomile tea or Horlicks for something much more soothing.

Sleep Tips

Really indulge in silk or bushed cotton PJ’s (I love this pair from Hush) a hot water bottle, cashmere throws and an essential Hungarian goose down duvet. I have recently been relaxing with our new Cochine collection of candles; the beautiful smell instantly relaxes and creates a luxurious feel in your bedroom. These will soon send you off to the land of nod.

Sleep Tips

Get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle by establishing a consistent bedtime and wake up schedule. Random sleep patterns will only confuse your body, creating the equivalent of mini jetlag. If you need to make up for lost sleep take a power nap, but for no longer than 40 minutes.

Sleep Tips

According to research the colder the room you sleep in the greater the chances are that you will have a nightmare. So keep cosy with bed socks to keep those bad dreams at bay.

 

Sleep Tight

Laura

 

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...July

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, July 03, 2012

We have created some inspiration for the month of July. Fingers crossed for some sunshine!

 

Mr & Mrs Smith Bristol

 Make your escape and book a Mr & Mrs Smith break. Choose from beautiful boutique Bed & Breakfasts, vintage hotels for old school charm and fantastic hotels for families.

We love the Number Thirty Eight Hotel in Bristol (and not just because our Henrietta & Montague beds are in the bedrooms.) An elegant Georgian townhouse set in the centre of the city it is perfect for exploring all that Bristol has to offer. With stylish interiors and intriguing art and some of Bristol’s best breakfasts it really feels like a home from home. 

The Moment By Douglas Kennedy Review

The Story: Struggling with a failing marriage he knew was doomed from the start. Thomas Nesbitt tries to avoid the past but when a box arrives from Germany Thomas is transported back to an intense love affair he had set in the context of the Cold War when East & West Berlin were divided. This is a beautiful story, and more than just a romance - I promise you will not want to put down.

 

Strawberry Pudding receipe

It may not feel like summer but we are wishing it would arrive. Click here for a summertime recipe for Strawberry & Rose Rice Pudding from Country Living magazine, making us feel summery despite all the rain.

 

Wedding Summer Style

One Fine Day... the summer season is upon us, we expect that you have all had your invites for weddings, garden parties and picnics.  We love the classic cut and colour of this coast dress, the extravagent beautiful Vivienne Westwood Shoes and the floral print of this Virgos Lounge dress.

Finally, number five - with the focus on London over the Summer why not enjoy all that the city has to offer we love the enigmatic Highgate Cemetery or for kids  try the Little Angel Theatre in Islington for shows which are perfect for your little ones.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Wilmslow in Bloom

Posted by Holly Chapman, Monday, July 02, 2012

Our lovely Wilmslow stores have been working hard to create a flower bed with edible plants for the ‘Wilmslow in Bloom’ competition and a scarecrow named Stanley for the ‘Wilmslow Scarecrow festival.’ I think Stanley looks adorable in his lovely Feather & Black stripy pyjamas and dungarees.

The flower bed is filled with edible plants for the ' Incredible Edible Wilmslow' theme and Teresa, the lovely store manager, chose plants which are all related to sleep. It is both relaxing and beautiful.

 

Wilmslow In bloom

 

 

The sleep bed included:

Lots of Lavender - Lavender has a calming effect, improving sleep quality and promoting relaxation at bedtime.

Marjoram - The relaxing effect of marjoram means that it is good for those who suffer with insomnia and is also good to relieve stress.

Chamomile – as well as being a pretty daisy flower, chamomile is also used to help with sleep.

If you need any other sleep tips, pop in to our Wilmslow store or any of our other stores ; our staff can help with advice from natural remedies to help with sleep to helping you choose a new mattress.

Good Luck to the Wilmslow Store in the competition!

Love

Holly

x

Here's some behind the scenes pictures of how they created a distressed look on the Sunflower bed...

Wilmslow In bloom creating the bed

Gabi Douglas

Royal Ascot 2012

Posted by Gabi Douglas, Thursday, June 21, 2012

I had such a lovely day at Royal Ascot, the sun was out,  the Pimms was flowing and being a Jubilee year everything felt that bit more patriotic!

 

Royal Ascot 2012

Being in the grandstand we had great views of the Queen arriving by carriage, dressed in a bright turquoise (very on trend!)  She looked fabulous as always. We then had a great view into the royal box where the rest of the royals were out in force….

The Queen Arriving

Arriving in style…

The Queen

The queen looking resplendent in turquoise.

the Royal Family

Can you spot Charles with his binoculars!

For me, the highlight of the day was watching the extraordinary Frankel race past the finishing post miles before all the other horses, still unbeaten in 11 races.  I put my bet on!

We also enjoyed singing Land of Hope and Glory at the end of the day with the Union Jack flags waving to the music!

Gabi xx

Ascot 2012

Holly Chapman

Books In Bed: 'Before I Go To Sleep'by S.J.Watson

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Books In Bed

 

Is there anything more lovely than ending a busy day by curling up in bed & reading a good book? For me there really is nothing better.  This last week I have just finished ‘Before I go to sleep.’

Before I go to sleep

 

Quick Summary

Imagine waking up one morning and not knowing who you were sleeping next to, not recognising  the face looking back at you in the mirror, a face with lines and wrinkles, and a face which has lived through all the milestones of life – imagine if this face was not that of a stranger  but in fact your own...

The novel is based on the experiences of Chrissie, every morning she has to learn all about her life. She doesn’t know that the man snoring next to her is her husband; she has no recollection of her son or any details about her life. She is only able to store memories for 24hours since she suffered a brain injury in a serious car crash.

Chrissie is encouraged by a doctor to record her life in a journal - this becomes a lifeline to her past and is used to uncover things she has forgotten, the lies she has been told and the gaps in the truth which she is not told. Chrissie’s predicament of not knowing who to trust resonates and I found myself questioning all the characters, including Chrissie herself.

The ending is terrifyingly unpredictable making it an absolute must read.

Why I loved the book

  •      It is a thriller but exudes a quality of being completely believable. Set in suburbia, with beige carpets and centred around domestic life; it is this very ordinary setting and life which makes the novel even more terrifying.

  •    Written mostly in the first person perspective, through Chrissie’s diary it draws you in, and just like Chrissie you understand and feel her confusion. At the same time you don’t know who to trust throughout the entire book. As it is first person it makes you question even the Chrissie herself – as a former novelist is she just creating a story or are they real memories she is writing? Is her diary a work of fiction concocted in her head or is it as twisted as she writes?

  •   The novel forces you to consider the limits of your memory, it is a new exploration of what defines who you are, and how fragile our memories can be.

Candice Cumming

Behind The Scenes: F&B Photo shoot

Posted by Candice Cumming, Friday, June 15, 2012

Day One

It's an early start to get to the London studio for Feather & Black’s photo-shoot. The day starts with the lovely team setting the scene; stylists are ironing and steaming the bed linen, while Tim (the photographer) and his assistant work out the lighting to create a cosy atmosphere for the shoot. The models Jonna and Richard are in make-up, not that they need it, and after a few test shots they're in position for the shoot. The team work hard to create character and a (warm, homely, romantic) mood. The models have amazing chemistry and look beautiful together.

Soon the set is changed and after a new application of make-up, the models are ready to go. After a few shots we all hear a 'Ding Dong' from Tim and we have the perfect shot. For the second look Jonna and Richard are styled to look as though they have arrived home from beautiful evening together and Richards bow tie is seductively pulled off by Jonna. The tag line for this ad might be 'The best part of the night out is turning in'.

 

 

Day One F&B Photoshoot

Day Two

It's another early start. Today we are shooting the beautiful Mel in some Monday morning shots. Lucky her she gets to cosy up in our Super King size Sienna bed ( we are all very envious)  it’s not long before 'Ring-a-Ding' from Tim and we have another great shot. This one is our favourite and I think this is the advert we are going to lead our campaign with so look out for it….

After lunch all hands are on deck as the set is completely changed for the adorable Tabatha, our lovely little model. With pink accessories styled on our Noah collection creating  the perfect princess bedroom. Tabatha is a natural; she reads us a fairy tale, followed by some bouncing on the bed in her butterfly wings, she even plays a game of peek-a-boo with Andrew. Our tagline for this one might be 'A Place where fairies earn their wings'.

Day Two F&B Photoshoot

The photo shoot went amazingly and we just need to choose our winning shots for our new advertising campaign, have a look out for them over the next few weeks…

Candice

x

 

Holly Chapman

Gift Inspiration For Father's Day

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, June 14, 2012

It’s Father’s day this Sunday, and we have put together a few gift ideas just in case you haven’t found the perfect present yet. I’m sure every father has received many pairs of socks, a standard soap on a rope, and a box of chocolates so I’ve tried to think of some stylish alternatives, but of course the obligatory socks are still included!

 

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

 

fathers day

 

A Homemade card, if you give nothing else, a card is an essential. One that is thoughtful and lovely will always be a favourite with a Dad.

 

A trusty Father’s day favourite is a classic pair of socks. We love this pair from Ted Baker in the British Bulldog pattern!

 

We love this Paul Smith Wallet, the classic black leather and beautiful iconic striped lining means it is incredibly stylish and perfect for Dad’s who love their brands.

 

The polo shirt’s from Joules, smart enough for wearing to a Father’s Day Sunday Lunch but casual enough to relax and wear over the weekend.

 

For any Dads who love food, our recommendation is a cheese gift box from PongCheese, they even do a special ‘Best Dad in the world’ basket! Alternatively you could treat your Dad to taste of London tickets.

 

The colourful loafers and deck shoes from Fins For Him. We love the George pair and think that it’s perfect for holidays and the summertime. They come in such beautiful colours, I love the Cobalt Blue and Rajasthani Emerald, there really is a colour to suit every Dad!

Have a lovely Father’s Day. We would love to hear your thoughts on our gift ideas on our Facebook & Twitter Pages.

Love

Holly

x

 

 

 

 

Holly Chapman

Home Fragrances with Cochine

Posted by Holly Chapman, Thursday, June 07, 2012

Cochine with Feather & Black

We fell in love with Cochine home fragrances as soon as we smelt their delicious range of scents. Romantic and beautiful they are the perfect scented accessory to our bedroom collections. The fragrance collections capture a timeless elegance with inspiration for the scents conjured from the hidden side streets of Vietnam, and sun drenched afternoons on the banks of the Saigon River.

Cochine scents

The smooth honeyed tones of the Frangipani & Neroli scent, is beautiful and one of our favourites! We love the way that the exotic fragrance transports us to white sandy beaches and a view of the glittering ocean. The beautiful candle, in its glowing glass jar would be perfect on a bedside or a dressing table to complete the romantic look of any bedroom; or the luxury hand lotion leaves a soft and beautiful scent on your hands.

Cochine and Feather & Black

 

 

Alternatively try the Agarwood & Amber scent for a sensuous and rich fragrance – it is so warm and captivating, perfect to create a cosy feel in your bedroom.

All of the Cochine scents are available in luxurious fragranced hand washes, rich body lotions, elegant reed diffusers or scented candles – they are perfect as a gift too.

Our Cochine home fragrances – Frangipani & Neroli, Agarwood & Amber, Water Hyacinth & Lime blossom and White Jasmine & Gardenia - will be available to order online soon.

Or pop into one of our five stores with our Cochine collections to try the scents yourself.

Fulham, East Sheen, Kingston, Henley or Tottenham Court Road.

 

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...June

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, June 06, 2012

We are looking ahead to the Summer, here are a few things we have put together that we love this month!

For the beach

We are getting ready for our holidays this summer and what better way to look stylish by the pool or on the beach than with this Juicy Couture towel. I would carry my towel in a bright tropical print tote, like this Stella McCartney beach bag and style with bright canary yellow sunglasses like these Rayban Wayfarers.

 

 

Taste Of London

A highlight of my summer is always Taste of London, an amazing food festival in Hyde Park. It is the perfect day to enjoy beautiful food, delicious cocktails and champagne- most of all it is a lovely event to enjoy being in London in the summertime. Last year I was lucky enough to meet Michel Roux Jnr and Marcus Waring and their food was delicious! Get in the mood before you go and pop on to the website to try some amazing recipes from some of the best chefs in the country we love the Taste of Savoy cocktail and I am planning on trying to make the ultimate cheesecake this weekend.

 

 

Plaited Hair

The perfect hair for summer this year is plaits. Wear neat and simple, or loose as a side plait. The easiest way to create a dramatic plait is to try a halo plait across your head and styling with loose curls or up in a sophisticated bun.  Glamour magazine online have a fantastic catalogue of styles for you to copy.

 

Books In Bed

 We are about to settle down with ‘Can we still be friends’ by Alexandra Shulman for our books in bed review this month. The novel is set in the 1980’s and is a story of three friends in the first few tricky years after graduating from University. We cannot wait to curl up with it, read along with me and let me know your thoughts on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

 

 

Royal Ascot Hats

A pinnacle event on the summer calendar is Royal Ascot, this year even more so as it is a celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee.  A quintessentially British event, the races are where fashion meets tradition.  With Ascot the hats are almost as famous as the horse racing itself, I have put together a few of my favourites. Team with a simple cream outfit for a beautiful combination.

From Left: 1. Blue wide brimmed hat, Louis Mariette £475 2. Natural hat, Rokit £95 3. Pink feathered hat, Jane Taylor £250

4.Silver sparkly headband, Louis Mariette £535 5. Green & purple flowered hat, Jane Taylor from £350

More ideas for hats from Vogue online.

 

I would love to hear any of your thoughts about our inspiration for June, let me know on our Feather & Black Facebook or Twitter Pages.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Best of British: Jubilee Celebrations

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, June 01, 2012

Jubillee Celebrations

We are so excited for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend. We have officially got Union Jack fever here in the office in preparation for our street parties.

This is our marketing assistant Steph getting excited for the weekend and preparing for lots of flag waving on our Olivia bed…dressed in red, white and blue for the occasion.

Hopefully the weather is lovely but come rain or shine you will find me celebrating in true British fashion - and surrounded by lots of cake!

Have a lovely long weekend!

Love

Holly

x

Steph Celebrating

Holly Chapman

Best of British: Beautiful Upholstered Beds

Posted by Holly Chapman, Monday, May 28, 2012

Creating a bespoke bed is equivalent to buying fashion couture, while a standard fabric is lovely with a bespoke bed, made in your own fabric, it allows you to create something entirely personal and unequivocally beautiful. An upholstered bed is a piece to be treasured and crafted to become an heirloom.

Beautiful and British, Feather & Black’s upholstered beds are hand crafted in our Northumberland workshop, created using British materials, and constructed with traditional craftsmanship ensuring that the quality is the very best and it is British through and through.

William Morris famously said “If you want one golden rule that will fit everything, then this is it. Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Thankfully the golden rule is incredibly fitting for a bed, as it is both useful and our bespoke upholstered beds are entirely beautiful.  Here are some inspirational ideas for you…

Belvedere Bed

Choosing a bed with a tall headboard creates a hotel luxe look. By keeping the colour simple and dark it means that the wallpaper doesn’t overpower the room. Decorating with pattern is always a bold move but dark colours add a dramatic antithesis to romantic wallpaper. Style with hues of charcoal and grey to create subtle sophistication.

 

Henrietta

Beautiful neutrals make a fabulous canvas for an upholstered bed. The Henrietta captures luxury and genteel glamour with its deep buttoned detailing and scrolled head and foot end.

Cameron

 Masculine and moody this bed shows how dark colours can create a sophisticated bedroom. Styled with on trend Mustard yellow, this dark canvas can be reworked as colour trends come and go, or if like me you like something- stick to it. Style is eternal and all that…

Sebastian Bed

Good Homes created this Sebastian bed in a bespoke fabric for one of their photo-shoots this year. It made us see the bed in a completely new light and is proof that any fabric can work on a bed, even bright and bold canary birds. Pick out the colours in the design with cobalt blue accessories like our Rowan Blue cushion and Marina throw.

 

Sebastian

Made especially by House & Garden magazine, this Sebastian bed shows just how creative you can be with upholstery. Combining stripes on the foot end and on trend paisley on the inside of the scroll this bed is a beautiful partnership of pattern. This would work well with ditsy florals and spots for a preppy style.

 

I would love to know what fabric you would use to create your beautiful upholstered bed, I would love to see a corgi patterned one or a union jack for the jubilee spirit. Let me know on our Facebook Page...

http://www.facebook.com/featherandblack

 

Love

 

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Junior Design Awards: Best Furniture Collection

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, May 25, 2012

Junior Design Awards

Junior Magazine showcases the best and most beautiful products in a child’s life from fashion to interiors, and everything in between.  

We are so proud to have won the Junior Design Award for ‘Best Furniture Collection’ with our lovely Noah Range.

The Noah can be styled to be a little girls dream as a pretty in pink princess bed. And it can be perfect for boys too – the solid white design is perfect to be used as a basecamp and styled with boisterious blues.  

I will let Junior Magazine take over from here:

Junior Magazine

 

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Best of British Crowns

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crowning Glory

Today we have been in London to see Harrods Jubilee celebration windows and the beautiful 31 uniquely designed crowns. Designed by the most iconic designers in the world, from Paul Smith to Wedgewood - the designs are equally as diverse ranging from archaic and classic to the fun and fabulous.

Paul Smith Crown

Mulberry and Lanvin

Wedgewood

 

I love Lanvin literally flying the flag for Great Britain. If you visit Harrods windows, the Don Perignon crown is one to look out for, looking exactly like a crown version of its iconic vintage green bottle.

This is definitely one to visit, it is sure to make you feel proud to be British. We love all the flags up and down Oxford Street and we were lucky enough to get a picture with an iconic red bus in it.

Oxford Street

 

 

Have a look at our pinterest board  showcasing The Best of British and follow us on Facebook for more pictures.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Say Hi To Us On Social Media

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We are really excited to announce that you can now find us in the social sphere.  Click the links below to ‘like’ us and ‘follow’ us. We’ll try to be really interesting, and post our latest news, competitions, promotions, exclusive previews, new collections, inspirations and behind the scenes of Feather & Black. So many exciting things are happening we would love for you to join us!

Love

Holly

x

Facebooktwitter

 

Facebook Twitter

 

We are @FeatherandBlack on Twitter and can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/featherandblack see you there!

Hatty Mears

Best of British: Sandwiches

Posted by Hatty Mears, Thursday, May 17, 2012

 

British Sandwich

If you weren’t already aware, you’ll be delighted to hear that this week is...(Drumroll please)..British Sandwich Week, and us Brits certainly do know how to make a good sarnie.  Our iconic sandwich was aptly named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu. Being such a keen gambler, rather than stop for dinner, he once asked to have bread and meat at his gaming table.  He threw them together and this convenient new way of eating soon caught on becoming a British tradition.

Of course the news of this national event sent a wave of salivation around our office as we all started discussing our personal favourites.

After much deliberation, here are our top 5...

BLT

(Image courtesy of simply-delicious.co.za)

1.   The iconic BLT – Enough said.

2.   Coronation Chicken – The perfect mark of respect for the jubilee.

3.   Marmite – The ultimate British classic.

4.   Cucumber sarnies – Crusts off and cut into fingers of course.

5.   Mature Cheddar & Branston Pickle – Just yum

What’s your favourite filling?

Whilst researching this blog I did also come across this amazing idea for a sandwich that will never perish.  I don’t know about you but this has given me a whole new idea for what to do at the weekends. I’m thinking a knitted tea party for my children would go down a treat.

Knitted BLT

(Image courtesy of craftfoxes.com)

 

Top tip for creative sandwich ideas:

If you’re having a jubilee party, why not try these crown sandwich cutters from notonthehighstreet.com? Pick your favourite British filling and give your guests a tasty, visual delight.  If you don’t want to buy a cutter, make your own templates in card and lay them over your sandwich, using a knife to cut out the shape.  You can have a lot of fun with your own British inspired shapes.

Cutter

Adam Black

Adam Swiss Cycle Slam Days 3 & 4

Posted by Adam Black, Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 3

What a change after two days of clear blue skies and 30°c heat. Saturday was torrential rain and 5°c. I fell off my bike after2 miles and couldn’t have been more wet if I have been dipped in a bath. That evening, once we had finished for the day it took two hours to stop shaking. This was one of the hardest days…a combination of the wet and cold.

Day 4

On paper this was expected to be the toughest day, but the end was in sight. After a 158km big climb we finally left Switzerland and arrived in France, briefly travelling through Luxemburg and Germany. My clothes / shoes  were still wet from the day before, and all I looked forward to was a day without lycra, pasta and sudocream.

Adam Black Cycle Slam

 

The exhilaration of the end overtook the pain of saddle sores, scabs and mild bronchitis. Richard Branson joined us for dinner, and I was honoured to give the toast on behalf of all the riders.

It’s safe to say that Cycle Slam is one of the most fulfilling events I have completed in my life to date.  If anyone sees me anywhere near a bike in the next 6 months they have my personal permission to shoot me.

Adam

Richard Branson Cycle Slam

Image From Rob Cox Photography www.robcoxphotography.com

Adam Black Cycle Slam

Holly Chapman

It's All White

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For us white bed linen is calm, ethereal, and entirely romantic. It creates an effortlessly classic and sophisticated look. It doesn’t have to be boring either, choose from high thread count luxe, beautiful textures or delicate jacquard weaves to create a beautiful bed to sink into.

The stylish way to create the covetable ‘all white’ bed is to add texture through your accessories, think cashmere throws, indulgent silks and a high thread count cotton bed linen for a tactile and sumptuous style. I have put together some ideas for you to try.

.

Vienna

The Vienna Bed Linen.

Opulent and indulgent, the Vienna white bed linen will envelop you in luxury as you sink into the 600 thread count fabric. The Vienna looks beautiful teamed with creamy accessories for a classic and elegant look, and for hotel luxe we love the Vienna on the Fulham bed.

White Waffle

The White Waffle.

Choosing a textured bed linen like our waffle adds a contemporary twist to white. Soft and subtle it is perfect in any bedroom.

 

Frances Bed Linen

 

The Frances

Leave unironed for the ultimate in shabby – chic style. The Frances linen is effortlessly elegant and the epitome of vintage. The mix of linen & cotton means that it is both stylish and super soft (the perfect combination.)  For summer we love white teamed with dusky coral pink and sky blue cushions, it is a sophisticated take on the pastel trend.

Palm White

Palm White.

A high thread count and subtle jacquard weave, Palm white bed linen fits with any bedroom interior. The palm design offers a beautiful contrast when sunlight hits the linen. We love it styled with our rustic Cannes collection for a simple countryside look.

 

White is effortlessly beautiful, perfect for any bedroom. There is so much choice - white can be a blank canvas for you to create the look you like best.

Love

Holly

x

P.S Perfect to match your white look is a white lamp.Here are a few you might like....

Lamps

Adam Black

Adam Swiss Cycle Slam Day 2

Posted by Adam Black, Monday, May 14, 2012

 

Two down/ two to go.

Stiff, sore, sleep deprived and sunburnt...and ever so slightly hungover.

There was rain today and a lot cooler and only 90kms to do - which feels easier given the 135km yesterday.

Adam

Adam

Adam Black

Adam's Swiss Cycle Slam: Day 1

Posted by Adam Black, Thursday, May 10, 2012

A nightmare day. We've climbed two huge Alpine passes and I have now realised that scaling Goodwood Hill on the odd few occasions wasn't that great of a preparation for the Alps.

The climbs were both at 15 degrees - so for every 6 feet forward, it's 1 foot up - not a lot of fun. I did manage to get the bike up to 40 mph on the way down.

On the flip side the scenery was stunning. There is not a cloud in the sky and it's 30 degrees.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Adam

 

Adam Day 1 Adam Day 1

 

Adam Day 1

Adam Black

Adam's Swiss Cycle Slam: The Arrival

Posted by Adam Black, Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Dallagio

From April 23rd, Lawrence Dallagio and Freddie Flintoff have undertaken the ride of their lives hoping to cycle the 2872 km across Europe from the original birth place of the Olympic Games to this year’s venue London. Riding to raise money for the Dallagio Foundation which supports Cancer Research UK and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the AF Foundation & Virgin Unite I am one of the many riders joining them on their journey and it all starts tomorrow for me at stage 4.

So, today we arrived in St Moritz and most of the bravado has gone. There has only been one heart attack on the 'Cycle Slam' so far and given the distance, and climbs being attempted over the next four days - all of the new riders are a little nervous.

There is a rumour going round that the pass we are supposed to tackle early tomorrow is closed, and so our 80km day is now 150km…we all hope that the rumour doesn't prove correct.

The money raised so far is approaching £1.6m, there have been 583 punctures so far and 975,967 meters climbed. Have a look at http://www.dallaglioflintoff2012.com/ to keep a track of our progress. And keep an eye out for my daily blog updates.

Adam

Cycle Slam

Holly Chapman

Best Of British Food: Asparagus

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, May 04, 2012

Over the last few weeks we have been rushing to the vegetable aisle of the supermarket impatiently waiting for the appearance of this season’s British asparagus. Finally, the new spears are here, beautifully British and a vibrant green colour - we couldn’t be happier.

I have been enjoying lots of asparagus this week and thought I would share some recipe ideas with you for you to try. I don’t know why, I am no chef, but asparagus and egg is the most beautiful partnership, it’s the Wills & Kate of the food world, a perfect pairing.

Asparagus

Asparagus with Pancetta

This is really simple my favourite way to enjoy asparagus-. The trick ( so I am told) is to wrap the asparagus in pancetta before it is cooked so it stays in the right place. Then it’s as simple as baking it in the oven with some butter. Poaching your egg et voila…serve on a pretty plate (it makes every meal look more delicious!)

Asparagus

Hollandaise

 

Classic and lovely if you enjoy creamy, rich sauces.

Asparagus Dipped

The asparagus acts as the soldier to your egg. If you don’t fancy Quail egg, this works with ordinary eggs too, and is just as delicious.

Let me know how you enjoy yours.

Love

Holly

x

Holly Chapman

Inspired Style...May

Posted by Holly Chapman, Tuesday, May 01, 2012

This month we are getting very excited for the upcoming Jubilee celebrations. Here is our lovely list of beautiful British inspired things we love for May…

Berkely Afternoon tea

This is no ordinary afternoon tea, from the 29th May to the 9th June; you can celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee in majestic style. The cakes are created to resemble the most memorable hats worn by the Royal Family.  I am most excited about nibbling on Princess Beatrice’s extravagant hat that she wore to the Royal Wedding last year.  Combining my love of fashion, with cake and the royals sounds like my idea of heaven.

E.L.JamesBook To read

This is our must read for May. An award winning romance it is described as a trilogy which will ‘Obsess you, possess you and stay with you forever.’ I have heard it’s quite racy, but there is a queue in the office to borrow the book. I cannot wait to get stuck into it…

Ridgeview Wine

I was lucky enough to enjoy a glass of Ridgeview’s Limited Edition Victoria Wine at dinner over the weekend, and it was delicious.  Located in the South Downs of England this British wine is perfect for jubilee street parties and enjoying throughout the summer.

Erdem

 

I am feeling very patriotic this May and I love the beautiful British Brand Erdem. This floral print clash is modern elegance at its best and is perfectly ladylike. I need this skirt and blouse in my wardrobe!  

time capsule

Create a Diamond Jubilee Time capsule, include memories of the year, pictures of you celebrated, little treasures and then have fun burying it! It’s a lovely activity to do as a family or as a community.  

 

Hopefully May will be a sunny month, after all the rain from April!

 

Love

Holly

x

 

Holly Chapman

Inspiration: Countryside Chic

Posted by Holly Chapman, Friday, April 13, 2012

Countryside Chic

Inspiration

I was so inspired by my weekend in the countryside with the lambs that I wanted to recreate the look in my own little home.

 

Colour

The key to this trend is mixing a natural palette with floral prints- whether you choose a ditsy floral print or a bolder English rose pattern. An instant update your wallpaper- I love the Anna French Wild Flora Collection- I love the dusky pinks and English rose designs.

A rustic bedroom

For this look an iron bed creates effortless country style. Iron beds have had a huge revival, whether you want to mix ivory with brass like our Canterbury Bed or you like the old school dormitory inspired Oliver - they all evoke rustic charm. Style your bed with theSofia bed linen- Focused around a classic soft print of antique roses in dusky pinks and sage hues.  It is a style conjured from the memories of the past, combining classic beauty and modern luxury for the ultimate country look. For the end of your bed indulge in lots of luxury throws and cushions, I love the softness of the celeste cashmere throws…definitely on my wish list.

Choose cream furniture for a simple and elegant option- I love our Olivia collection for country chic. For a more rustic alternative the weathered oak of the Sienna collection works perfectly too.

Rossetti

The Rest Of The Home

In the rest of your rooms combine pattern and texture and most importantly accessorise with all your little treasures to create a room that’s soft, warm and cosy!

We at Feather & Black are already excited planning for the Diamond Jubilee weekend I am so excited for all the traditional tea parties- these gold gilded antique tea sets are perfect for this, as miss-matched as you dare to go. The best place to go for tea cups are the tucked away vintage shops, charity shops or car boot sales …as its Friday 13th today be superstitious and read your future in the tea leaves!

Tea

The key to this look is to be eclectic; nothing needs to be perfect- I think that’s why I love it because it fits in with my chaotic choice of styling.  Your bedroom should epitomise the country look-rustic charm full of style.

Have a lovely weekend all…pop in and see us if you’ve been inspired too.

Love

Holly

x

Country Chic

Holly Chapman

Lambing At The Farm

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Last weekend we spent a lovely day out in the fresh air at Gaston Farm in Slindon. I love any excuse to wear my Joules wellies, but the sunshine meant that it wasn’t muddy enough for me to get them out (I’ll admit I was a little disappointed)!

Joules Floral Wellies

The lambing was amazing, we were lucky enough to watch two wrinkly little lambs being born from a very close up view- although beautiful it made me a little bit squeamish at the same time. The sheep and lambs were all very friendly and it meant that we could get really close to them and give them a nice scratch behind the ears- they seemed to like it! I even got to cuddle an orphan lamb, named George and I fell in love with him- he was so warm, woolly and ticklish.

Lamb

 

Lambing

The fluffy chicks were lovely, and really made us feel like it was Easter time. I fell in love with the countryside and was ready to sign up to buy a farm dreaming that I could wear my joules wellies and cuddle lambs every day- and then I thought of all the mucking out I would have to do and the early starts and I realised it’s not for me!

 I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend and indulged in lots of chocolate ( I know I certainly did!) Its lambing season and there are lots of farms across the country where you can see the lambs for yourself- it’s a lovely Easter holiday treat for the kids to have a day out in the countryside so grab your wellies…

Love

Holly

X

Lambs

Holly Chapman

Inspiration: Styling A Garden Room

Posted by Holly Chapman, Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Today we have been really busy working with our lovely visual merchandiser Gemma to style a Garden room for the beautiful Lazy Susan cabins. Donna, the store manager of Feather & Black Chichester, made sure that we kept it practical and didn’t get carried away with filling the room with beautiful furniture and she chose us for an Evie Day bed- perfect for pulling out to have a nap on; and a Salisbury desk and bookcase for a stylish work space.

Salisbury Desk

Gemma says ‘The best way to style a room, whether it’s a garden room or a bedroom is to mix beautiful pattern with indulgent textures like cashmere and silks to make it feel cosy and homely. I took inspiration from the countryside and accessorised a subtle palette of creams and whites with bold floral pattern and natural woods.’

The floral wallpaper from Graham Sanderson brings the outside in, and the soft throws and cushions make it feel like a place to escape too- a little hideaway at the bottom of your garden.

I hate to mention the recession ( it’s a word we hear too often) , but as many are deciding to stay in their home instead of moving building a refuge in your garden is the perfect way to create some more space.  And they brighten up your garden; we love the painted pastel green colour (it matches my Zara mint coloured jeans that I'm wearing today!)

Love

Holly

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P.S To Have a look at Lazy Susan Garden Rooms here http://www.lazysusanfurniture.co.uk/

Feather & Black work with Lazy Susan

 

 

Lazy Susan

Evie Day Bed

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