Top Tips for Fab Floors – Rugs and carpets to make rooms lovelier and livelier

Vinyl Tile Mat from LUMA
Our new vinyl mats are printed to look like vintage tiles

Rugs and carpets aren’t just a means to keep bare feet happy.  I like to think of a rug as a gorgeous and homely piece of art.  It can make an eye-catching statement or just a cosy spot to curl up in front of the fire.  A well-chosen rug or carpet can lift a room with its warmth and vibrancy, add a deeply luxurious touch to simple floorboards, and create subtle interest with its wonderful texture.

5 Top Tips for Transforming with Rugs

1) Contrast Textures

Texture really is the magic ingredient.  No matter how carefully designed, a room that overlooks contrasting textures will feel flat and sterile.  Mix things up a little and magic happens!  Think of luxurious, thick wool rugs on a bare stone floor, or a throw a simple jute rug on richly polished boards.

Chunky Rugs on Bare Floors
Try a simple, chunky wool rug from our Crucial Trading collection.

Crucial Trading is my go-to supplier for floor coverings and rugs made from wool, mixed with sisal, jute, cotton and linen.  We have the full range on display in our Barnes store and can happily arrange a free of charge, no obligation measurement and quote with an approved fitter we’ve worked with for years.

2) Create a Statement

A striking rug adds instant personality; where better to set the tone than in your entrance hall?  You can be more daring in an area that people just pass through and create a tantalising introduction to your stunning home.

Rugs blog 2

Get the look with bold stripes from Crucial Trading, a woven cotton stripe runner from our huge range, or one of our new clever tile-effect vinyl mats.

3) Define Zones

I love airy open-plan spaces, but you need to break up large areas so they work beautifully visually, as well as practically.  Rugs solve this problem instantly.  A large rug surrounded by comfy chairs and sofas creates a hub to sit and chat, another in the dining area defines the space and makes it warm and inviting, and add more rugs as needed, perhaps to create a cosy reading nook with an armchair or set out an area for study.

area rug

Watch our website and store over the next couple of weeks for new rugs with a similar look to this.

4) Be Practical

There’s little point having a fabulous rug that can’t withstand your lifestyle – a sure recipe for disappointment.  Happily, there are some wonderful new floor coverings that will both satisfy your quest for style and withstand whatever you throw at them.

You can now opt for beautiful hand woven rugs that look and feel like wool but are actually made from recycled plastic bottles. They can safely be bleached, hosed down and boldly go where wool rugs never do, such as the bathroom or even the garden.   And the very latest in floor coverings are vinyl mats that look like stunning tiles worthy of an opulent Victorian hallway or luxurious Moroccan riad.

Vinyl in kitchen
New tile print vinyl mats are now available on our website and in our Barnes store

Our collection of ‘indoor / outdoor’ recycled bottle rugs is set to grow with a great new range arriving next week. And we already have masses of the fabulous Dash & Albert rugs in stock and ready to go.

But I have to say that I’m very taken with the rather lovely, and highly unusual, vinyl tile mats that arrived last week.  Just roll them out to find yourself transported in time and place.  We’re offering 5 designs with a choice of sizes.

5) Get Layering

Don’t worry if you can only afford a small size in a rug you love, just add it as a highlight over a larger piece and add instant definition.  Mix up patterns with plains and flat weaves with slubby textures for eclectic style.

layered rugs

Create this look using our large braided hemp rug as a base.

Discover our Rug Den

Anyone who’s visited our Barnes store in recent weeks couldn’t have missed the fact that we’ve had an ongoing renovation project.  We’ve cleared out and revamped our basement and can now boast a rug and carpet den worthy a Turkish bazaar.  Do come by to view our stunning ranges.  Feel free to kick off your shoes and try the samples – or just take them straight home instead!

 

 

 

Grab a Brush! Easy Paint Projects for Beginners

Chairs painted with vintage paint I’m a firm believer that the most stylish homes are ones that evolve.  Slowly surrounding yourself with things you love, carry memories, or you’ve crafted yourself, makes a house a home.  But what do you do when your treasured finds become tired or just don’t fit with your current style?

A little style contrast is no bad thing.  Some of the most beautiful interiors have contemporary furniture cosying up with heirloom pieces.  Mixing things up a little creates an eclectic, relaxed and individual feel that I love.  But that’s no reason not to take a fresh look at the furniture around you and see what could benefit from a revamp. Paint is an obvious way to transform a piece of furniture and, with ever-improving chalk paint selections on the market, it’s never been easier or more rewarding to take up the paint brush!

A chair makes a great starter project.  If you don’t already have some tired chairs lurking around at home, they’re super-easy to find in antique markets or second hand shops.  Just choose a chair with a nice shape and pick your paint colour.  I love the idea of creating an ombre group of chairs, each painted in a slightly different tone of the same colour. Or you could swap that idea around and paint a group of  different chairs  in the same statement hue; take a look at the fab yellow dining chairs picture on our website (http://bit.ly/1IhDpYb).

Table comboThe idea of repainting a whole table may seem daunting.  So how lucky that a partly painted table looks so much better!  If you have a traditional farmhouse style table, painting the base is easy and attractive.  I also love the casually dip-painted style of the chunky console table above.  How low-stress is that?  And it’s a great look for garden furniture.

Paint Inside CupboardsIf you’re not quite ready for your painting to be the main event, try painting the inside of a cupboard to showcase a favourite collection.  The display of white crockery in the picture above would be lost without a strong backdrop but looks amazing against the dark grey. The same colour is used to great effect in this smart shoe cupboard.

See our previous blog post for detailed instructions on furniture painting.  Or join one of new one day workshops (details: http://bit.ly/1IhDpYb).  The Vintage Paint range on our website is tried, tested and gives great results  (http://bit.ly/1QpZRNB)

The images above were all found on pinterest.  You can see our selection with original links here: http://bit.ly/1dMm6BG)

 

 

 

 

May Day Transformations – Revamping Furniture, for Indoors or Out

Indigo cushions on bench from lumadirect
Bench painted in Nordic Blue Vintage Paint. Handprinted cushions, from a selection online.

We’re old hands at furniture painting here at LUMA.  There’s something very addictive about seeing a tired old chest or bench come alive with a little paint and attention.  Our biggest addict is Nicole, our shop manager; she has a great eye for an antique market find and is forever revamping a new discovery for her home.  And quite right too, surrounding yourself with beautiful pieces that you’ve personally transformed is very satisfying.

In our shop, we’ve been painting furniture for our customers for years. We haven’t been loyal to a particular paint brand.  In our experience, all the big names have merit but demand some compromise; whether it be choice of colour, durability, or ease of use.  But recently we’ve been using a new Vintage Paint range that we can’t fault. It produces a lovely chalky, matt finish and has given us professional results every time. It’s also eco-friendly and super easy to use.  The collection is produced by Grand Illusions, who made their name in painted furniture back in the 1990s.  Their furniture was painted to order and shipped all over the country so their paint had to be reliable and durable.   Vintage Paint uses the same successful formula and offers it in twenty-six new colours.

If you’re feeling creative this holiday weekend, scroll down for instructions on how to use the paint.  You can refresh a piece of furniture, for indoors or out, or start small with a frame or plant pot.  We have stock of all colours in our Barnes shop and it’ll be online in a day or 2.  If you’re on our email list, watch out for a special offer coming soon.

Vintage Chalk Paint
Vintage Chalk Paint

 

Creating that Vintage Look on Furniture

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