Category Archives: Living Inspiration

8 Creative Ways To Use Bookcases In Your Home

Aster Tall Wide Bookcase 2

8 Ways to Use Bookcases

More than 500 years have passed since the invention of the printing press, but our love of keeping and displaying books continues to show no sign of waning. Almost every home has at least one bookcase and according to interior design writer Leslie Geddes-Brown, people nowadays will buy them as a decor essential in their own right, even covering up the bindings to get an overall harmonious effect.

Bookcases are, in fact, an incredibly versatile piece of furniture with a whole range of uses that go beyond storing and displaying our favourite reading material. Here, we look at ten ways that you can use bookcases in your home that range from providing useful storage through to creating browsing and boasting opportunities.

1. As a room divider

Bookcases make fantastic room dividers, especially if you pick a wide, open design that doesn’t have a back. The Canyon is a great example – with its sturdy construction, simple styling and sleek white gloss finish, it blends well into most colour schemes and room designs, neatly sectioning off your space whilst offering plenty of room for storage. The Canyon is the perfect way to break up a large area without blocking any of your natural light or making the room feel enclosed.

2. As a wardrobe organiser

Many old style wardrobes have a simple hanging rail without any shelving or space for organising your things. Replacing them can be pricey, and sometimes it is cheaper and quicker to add in your own shelving by putting a bookcase inside the wardrobe. Place a tall narrow bookcase to one side of the wardrobe, or use a wide, low bookcase to the base of the wardrobe to give yourself much needed storage for jumpers, jeans and shoes. Add baskets to the shelves for storing undies and socks, and put hooks on the side of tall shelving to store ties, belts and extra hangers.

3. As a media console

If you’ve got a tall narrow bookcase and you don’t need it for keeping books, turn it on its side and use it to store your games consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players and other entertainment devices. If the bookcase is a little flimsy, add a thin piece of wood to the back to provide additional support. Finding a new use for old furniture is called upcycling or repurposing, and this is a fantastic way to reduce our ecological footprint and help the environment.

4. As a headboard

A bookcase makes a fabulous headboard and gives you plenty of space to store your favourite books for night time reading. You’ll need to buy a bookcase that roughly matches the width of your bed for it to look good, or buy a bed that incorporates a bookcase like the stylish Satty which also features useful headboard storage and handy underbed drawers.

5. Back to back

Good quality sturdy bookcases placed back to back will usually be able to support themselves and can therefore be used to create a cosy ‘reading nook’ in any room. Just push the edges of the bookcases up to the wall to provide support. For kids’ rooms, try joining two low bookcases together back-to-back and adding castors for an instant roving library that can be moved around to make space when needed.

6. As a desk

Two small bookcases can make excellent supports for a table top to create a practical desk with plenty of space underneath for storing your favourite reads. You’ll also have room for printers and computer equipment which can be kept neatly tucked away out of sight on the shelves. If you already have a desk, low bookcases underneath are the perfect way to add additional storage to a room without taking up more floor space.

7. As a bedside table

A bedside table is an absolute must for keeping your books, magazines, keys and bits and pieces off the floor and out of the way. A small bookcase provides plenty of room for your favourite reads, bedtime drinks, and a lamp; and you’ll have lots more space for other bedroom essentials too.

8. As a talking point

Even if you’re not much of a reader, a bookcase is always an attractive addition for the home and your choice of books can provide an interesting topic of conversation for your guests. Choose a stylish bookcase for the dining room and fill it with your favourite titles for an instant talking point over dinner; or position your shelving near the seating area for guests to browse whilst relaxing in the evening.

Visit our bookcases section to view more beautiful bookcases that are perfect for every room in your home.

TV Stand Ideas

Ovio Black Gloss TV Unit 4

TV Stand Ideas

A TV stand is a durable piece of furniture that will support your entertainment system in your home. Finding the right stand to suit your needs and expectations will complete the look in your living room.

TV Stand Designs

There are 2 types of ways to display you TV, on the wall or placed on a stand. Which ever way you choose to display your TV you need to think about how you would store your DVD player, set top or games consoles.

Displaying your TV on the wall is great for saving floor space especially in smaller rooms. Placing your TV on a wall bracket allows you to place it anywhere in the room and can be placed on different style brackets that allow you to tilt the screen, pull it away from the wall or move it up and down the wall. To store you games console, set top box and Blu Ray Player you could place shelves around or underneath the TV. A more modern way to display your TV on the wall is placing your TV above a sideboard or console table and place your entertainment unit in the sideboard.

TV stands come in many different shapes, sizes and materials so there is a stand to suit every need and every style of room. A TV stand can provide enough storage to support your games console, blu ray player and set top box as well as providing space for additional essentials. Choosing a TV stand with doors and drawers allows you to hide all cables and entertainment devices for a neat style in your room. Glass TV stands have a durable, strong finish that will blend into any décor, the uniquely shaped stands can be placed into a corner or alcove providing a neat space saving design in your living room.

Blend Or Contrasting?

When choosing your TV stand do you choose a stand that will blend into your existing décor or do you choose a TV stand that will create a contrasting look? The answer is down to preference and if you want your TV stand to be a main focus in your room.

Creating a contrasting look in your living room can be created in many ways. A more modern way of displaying your TV stand is to purchase a TV stand in a beautiful vibrant colour that will compliment your room. Your can also create a stunning contrasting look by having a glass stand against all wooden furniture.

Blending your TV stand into your décor will take the emphasis away from your TV and stand. You can blend your TV stand by matching the wood with your existing furniture or placing your TV against a feature wall.

Accessorising Your Stand

Many people do not accessorise there TV stands or surrounding areas as the do not want to clutter the area and take away the main feature of the stand. However accessorising your TV stand and surrounding area can modernise your TV stand and create a beautiful centre piece in the room.

TV’s that are hung above sideboards or wall units can be accessorised by placing candles, lamps and small photo frames on top of the sideboard to create a visually exciting look.

TV stands have shelves and storage compartments that are great for placing tea lights, photo frames and small ornaments that match your colour scheme.

Small Living Room Ideas

Living - Living Room Wallpaper at FADS.co.uk

Choosing your Colour Palette

Decorating your living room doesn’t have to be restricting, there are many different methods that can be applied, from choosing the right feature wallpaper to painting the right colour tones.

Cool, light tones are key to decorating smaller living areas as they provide an airier feel to the room therefore creating a sense of space around you. When choosing your colour palette it is a good idea to select one main colour then explore the different tones within that colour. Using multiple tones of pastel greens in your room for example will create a visually exciting look whilst keeping the sense of space as a priority.

Painting or Using Wallpaper?

If wallpaper is a more favourable choice of decoration then a feature wall can be applied by choosing naturally toned striped, plain or lightly printed wallpaper. Striped wallpaper hung horizontal will draw the human eye along the stripe making the wall seem longer and therefore giving a different perception to the room.

If your room has a chimney breast then painting or wallpapering the alcoves only can give the illusion that the walls have been pushed back and can make the room again seem larger as well as giving you a more interesting feature to the room. Some rooms have a dado rail that runs along the centre of the wall causing a divide, wallpapering the top half of the wall and painting the bottom will reduce the room from looking small and cramped.

Accessorising Your Walls

The most ideal piece of furniture to hang on your walls is a mirror. Many people hang mirrors above the mantelpiece as this gives an illusion of depth in the room. Placing mirrors in your room will reflect natural and artificial light that will make the room seem brighter during the day and the night.

Wall Art
Wall art is a great way of injecting small amounts of colour into your room. Choosing bright colours with a minimalistic design will inject personality and excitement into your home. You should choose a maximum of 2 pieces of wall art and space them out on different walls, overcrowding your walls or placing art in groups can cause fuss and over crowding.

Choosing the Right Furniture

Small rooms have limited space which may be inconvenient for storage space. Choosing the right furniture for your room is important for maximising your storage to the best of the room’s ability.

Rooms that have alcoves are the ideal shape for providing excellent opportunities for placing storage facilities. Alcoves come in different sizes, if your alcoves have a decent width you may be able to fit a two door sideboard with a beautiful lamp on top. Bookcases are another option for placing in your alcove, choosing an open back bookcase will provide space behind the structure which allows the eye to travel, giving the room a spacious feel.

If you wish to create a snug, cosy atmosphere in your room then choosing a small glass or gloss coffee table in the centre of the room will create the desired look. If you prefer minimal fuss and a more open plan space, your may prefer a lamp table or nest of tables that can be situated against a wall or placed at the side of your sofa. Nest of tables are a popular choice for smaller living rooms as it can be placed anywhere in the room and features a second smaller table that tucks neatly underneath the main table when not in use.

Your TV is an important part of your room as it provides your main form of entertainment for the evening. Small rooms can benefit from placing your TV on the wall or on a stand. Wall mounted TV’s will provide more floor room space so you do not have to worry about purchasing stands and measuring your space. If you do not want to place your TV on the wall then purchasing a glass or gloss TV stand will help to reflect the natural or artificial light around the room.

Plan your Seating & Style

Your seating in your living room is one of the most important pieces of furniture for you and your family as it needs to offer a high level of comfort and support. To maximise your space you should try to purchase seating with low arm rests and slim line structures as this will blend in with your room as apposed to over powering your space.

There are many different styles of sofa’s that you can choose from, corner sofa’s are a great choice as they offer a neat structure that can be placed in the corner of your room and will free precious floor space. Corner sofas are a stylish modern choice that can be purchased in different shapes to fit all room types.

Clutter Free Rooms

Keeping your room tidy and clutter free will help your small room feel large and spacious. When placing your soft furnishings your need to remember that less is more, keeping your window area light and airy is important as this is your main source of light and the key to making your room seem bright and spacious. Avoid placing large rugs in your living room as it will clutter the floor space and cause the room to look crowded.

Essential Storage Designs

Essential Storage Designs

Having the right storage in your home will contribute to a tidy environment that is clutter free and will improve your overall mood. Storage facilities provide a home for your essentials that can either be closed off for privacy or neatly displayed in a bookcase or display cabinet.

Ideal Storage Solutions

Your living room requires storage for placing magazines, books, TV remote controls and your telephone. The right level or storage for your needs and size of your room is essential. There are many different styles to choose from including nest of tables, coffee tables, lamp tables and magazine racks.

When choosing which storage would be best for your room think about the size of your room, what you need your storage for and how will it best suit your décor. Nest of tables are great for smaller rooms as it features two tables that neatly stack under one another, if you have visitors you can place the smaller table next to them so they have a convenient place to put there drinks or belongings. Magazine racks are also great for smaller rooms as they can be placed discreetly at the side of your sofa.

Storage coffee tables
Coffee tables are versatile pieces of furniture that are available in a wide range a styles and sizes. Purchasing a coffee table with storage can solve all your storage problems within your room.

The Jual Cube coffee table is a beautiful example as to how you can store you magazines, remote controls and personal belongings out of view, leaving your room clutter free and tidy. The Jual Cube coffee table has a discreet pull out draw that blends into the structure of the coffee table when closed creating a modern, relaxing living space.

The Vertigo Black Coffee Table has a stunning high gloss finish with a smooth eye catching table top. The Vertigo coffee table has an open storage design underneath the table top that is ideal for storing all your belongings. The open space storage is great for placing your belongings, however you do not get the same level of privacy as you would a draw so keeping your magazines in neat piles with a nice ornament or vase on top will eliminate a messy or cluttered look.

The Right Storage For You

Magazine rack
A magazine rack is ideal for storing newspapers and magazines and can be easily stored in small spaces. Magazine holders come in a wide range of modern styles that can suit most décor styles. The Bridgett Black Gloss Magazine Holder has a unique design that slots together to form a modern stylish look.

Nest of tables
Nest of tables are great for placing your items on, the unique design can feature up to 3 tables that neatly tuck underneath one another. Nest of tables can be placed anywhere in your room making it ideal for social gatherings.

How To Decorate Your Coffee Table

Melia Clear Glass Oval Coffee Table 1

How To Decorate Your Coffee Tables

Your coffee table is the main centre piece in your room as it displays traits of your personality as well as your design abilities. Decorating your coffee table can set the style and tone of a room, there are many different tones you can set, from a warm feel to a cool modern atmosphere.

Consider Your Colour Palette

Your colour palette is important when accessorising your coffee table, choosing the right tones will set the mood within the room. Accessorising your coffee table can give your neutral toned room a pop of colour that creates a contrasting style within the room. If you prefer your coffee table to blend in with the room choosing soft colour tones to match your décor will create a beautiful flowing style that is easy on the eye.

Coffee tables come in different finishes from white gloss to natural wood grain, choosing accessories that will emphasise the beautiful detail of the coffee table will really show off your creative ability as well as transforming your room into a modern, luxurious space. Black gloss or painted coffee tables can be styled with white or cream accessories, where as natural wood grain coffee table can be accessorised with bright bold colours for an interesting contrasting effect.

How To Accessorise

Your coffee table should be accessorised with an arrangement of interesting objects, but still able to function as a coffee table.  Keeping your coffee table clutter free from magazines and remote controls for your TV can be difficult unless your coffee table has hidden storage space underneath. If your coffee table does not have the additional storage maybe think about accessorising with a stylish box or wicker basket depending on the style you are trying to create.

The dynamics on your coffee table are important for creating an eye catching look. When placing your items in a suitable position think about height and scale, use books to change the dynamics of your smaller items and tall vases to add height to your flowers. Creating different levels of height on your coffee table will create a visually exciting composition to your room.

Trays can have a huge impact on the design of a coffee table as it adds another layer of interest and can reduce the appearance of a large coffee table in your room. Placing all your accessories in the tray can create a powerful visual effect as well as keeping things organised.

Creating A Style Within A Room

You can manipulate the style of a room just by accessorising your coffee table. Below we have added some helpful hints and tips for creating some popular styles.

To create a warm, cosy effect, we suggest a rustic coffee table with beautiful large glass storm lanterns and plenty of candles. Chrome or wicker works really well with glass to create the perfect desired look.

A romantic style can be created with a luxurious white gloss or painted coffee table that is accessorised with pastel pinks or blue tones. Flowers, tea lights and fine china can add to the romantic effect. Remember placing books, different sized vases can add to the dynamic of the coffee table to create a beautiful unique look.

Cool modern styles are created by placing neatly stacked books and storage boxes  with green foliage and uniquely shaped items. Glass objects can also add to the style as they are an object of interest with unique features.

Corner Sofas: Not Just For Large Living Rooms

Foundry 2 Seater Sofa at FADS.co.uk

Corner Sofas: Small Spaces Too

For those who love to get comfy, things don’t come much squashier, softer and more spacious than a corner sofa. With room for the whole family to plant their bottoms in blissful comfort, a corner group could be the perfect addition to your living space – no matter what its size.

Create Space Elsewhere

In small living rooms, it’s important to use every ounce of available square footage. If your lounge has pockets of redundant space brought on by a dysfunctional furniture layout, a corner group could help you use surplus space more efficiently. Given their shape, corner sofas can slide seamlessly into the corner of a room – thus eliminating any annoying, unusable space.

What’s more, due to their scale, a corner sofa may allow you to oust other seating in your living room in favour of a single, all-in-one unit. As discussed below, corner sofas have ample space for a group of folk to lounge in comfort, so no need for that chunky armchair or out-dated three-piece suite.

Thanks to their design, corner sofas mean more floor space, too. Unlike normal sofas, corner groups can be pushed right up to the wall, freeing up floor space that might otherwise have been unusable. Whether you’re lusting after a new coffee table or swanky shelving unit, a corner group could create the space you need.

Room for All the Family

Three and two seater sofas are a prominent feature in many British living rooms, but they offer limited bums on seats capacity – particularly for those entertaining guests. Cue the corner group, whose spacious seating arrangement can seat as many as six sitters in complete comfort. If you regularly host evenings with family or friends, a corner sofa provides ample space for everyone to enjoy the night in comfort – regardless of how small the room may be. Just think: no more dragging uncomfortable dining chairs from the other room for your guests to perch on.

Comfort and Style

Just because your living space is on the small side doesn’t mean you should scrimp on style. Whether you opt for a modern or traditional look, a corner sofa will make a stylish and elegant addition to your home. Available in a variety of different materials – including leather and fabric – as well as a number of colours, textures and patterns, corner sofas are stylish and comfortable in equal measure – what more could you ask from a sofa?

Comfort and Style

Just because your living space is on the small side doesn’t mean you should scrimp on style. Whether you opt for a modern or traditional look, a corner sofa will make a stylish and elegant addition to your home. Available in a variety of different materials – including leather and fabric – as well as a number of colours, textures and patterns, corner sofas are stylish and comfortable in equal measure – what more could you ask from a sofa?

Comfort and Style

Just because your living space is on the small side doesn’t mean you should scrimp on style. Whether you opt for a modern or traditional look, a corner sofa will make a stylish and elegant addition to your home. Available in a variety of different materials – including leather and fabric – as well as a number of colours, textures and patterns, corner sofas are stylish and comfortable in equal measure – what more could you ask from a sofa?

Modular Makes it Simple

When lugging furniture into your home, things can get tricky. Transporting wardrobes, bookshelves, beds and armchairs from the outside in can cause a real headache – but none are as cumbersome as the sofa. If your house or flat has poor access, getting a new sofa safely indoors can be difficult and occasionally, impossible. Choose a modular corner group however, and it’ll be breeze to get the thing through your front door. Modular corner groups can be dissembled, allowing for easy transportation without the need to downsize your sofa.

 

5 Gorgeous Armchairs That Will Give Your Living Room An Instant Lift

Kensington armchair (5)

Five Gorgeous Armchairs

After a tough day at work, a fierce session at the gym or an exhausting day at the shops, the humble armchair is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a brew. If your living space is lacking in stylish seating, check out these five gorgeous armchairs that will provide a comfortable and stylish place to plant your bottom.

Cheque Oatmeal Fabric Armchair

Blending classic English fabric with Scandinavian-inspired design, the Cheque Oatmeal Fabric Armchair is the epitome of contemporary, minimal style. The chair’s subtle yet elegant design and warm, oatmeal fabric allow it to slip unnoticed into any space, while its stilt-like wooden legs and scatter buttoned back give it a distinct and timeless look. Thanks to its medium to firm cushions and tall back, the armchair provides lasting comfort that will retain its firmness over time.

Lily Dark Grey Fabric Armchair

Make a statement in your living space with the Lily Dark Grey Fabric Armchair. This big, bold armchair is upholstered in a sumptuously soft fabric to offer unrivalled levels of comfort, whilst its gentle curves and tall wooden legs mean it’s pretty to look at too. Thanks to its subtle curved form and buttoned rear, the Lily Fabric Armchair has a retro look that will add a touch of fun to any living room.

Carnival Champagne Armchair

Add a touch of charm and class to your living space with the Carnival Champagne Fabric Retro Armchair. With its soft curves, chunky body and dark oak feet, this contemporary armchair will make a beautiful addition to your home. Each armchair is built to order by skilled craftsmen, and features a sprung seat, raised armrests and a cushioned back to offer durable comfort that lasts. To maximise comfort, consider purchasing the chair’s accompanying ottoman.

Lexy Fabric Curved Armchair

Combining timeless style with plush, indulgent upholstery, the Lexy Curved Armchair will add a touch of class and elegance to your living space. The chair features curved arms, a mid-level back and dark, ornate feet; all of which help to give the Lexy its classic armchair look. The fabric used in the creation of the chair is of the highest quality, making it a truly joyful place to sit and relax. The chair comes with two complimentary scatter cushions, created to enhance the armchair’s elegance and style.

Emma Natural Fabric Armchair

The Emma Natural Fabric Armchair will help you attain an elegant and classy look in your living room thanks to its neutral colour and eye-catching French design. From the ground up, this armchair is stunning: Featuring four subtly ornate feet, a rigid yet comfortable body and sweeping winged armrests, the Emma Armchair will give your room an unrivalled sense of sophistication. Though firm, the armchair is surprisingly comfortable, with a straight back and deep, sprung seat.

A Guide to Buying and Looking After Faux Leather Furniture

Lincoln Luxury Office Chair Faux Leather 4

Faux Leather Furniture Guide

Faux leather is an excellent choice if you love the look of real leather but need something that is easy to care for. It is durable, long lasting and wipe clean, making it perfect for your home if you have children or pets. Faux leather has many other benefits: it is cheaper than the real deal, it comes in a great range of colours and patterns, and it is far more resistant to cracking and fading in sunlight than real leather.

Types of Faux Leather

Faux leather is usually made from polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), with a fabric base. Both substances are hard wearing and relatively inexpensive, although polyurethane is more popular thanks to its breathable qualities, easy care and low environmental impact.

Faux Leather Vs. Real Leather

Faux leather is so good at imitating real leather that it can be quite difficult to tell the difference. Sometimes the only way to differentiate between the two is to look at the underside of the fabric, which for faux leather is usually man made material. The strength and feel of faux leather is slightly different too – it is a little more stretchy than the real thing. In most cases with furniture, these differences won’t be apparent to the naked eye, allowing you to achieve the same stylish look at a fraction of the cost.

Although faux leather looks and feels a lot like real leather, there are still some significant differences, mostly in care and wear. Faux leather may not last as long as real leather and its appearance will not improve with age. It also lacks the warmth and smell that is associated with real leather.

On the plus side, faux leather is far more resistant to spills compared with real leather, which is highly porous, absorbent and prone to staining. Real leather is also uneven in colour, having visibly irregular pores and other imperfections as you might expect; faux leather, by contrast, is far more even and consistent in colour and texture.

Aside from its practical qualities, it is worth mentioning that some people choose faux leather because they feel it is a more ethical option, with the real leather industry negatively impacting both animals and the environment. This is, of course, down to personal choice.

Where to Use Faux Leather

The easy-clean nature of faux leather makes it a great choice in a number of areas around the home. In the bedroom, a faux leather headboard or bed will stay much cleaner and fresher than a fabric or real leather alternative.

In the dining room, faux leather chairs are both expensive-looking and practical, as sticky finger marks and spilt food can be easily wiped away after each meal. While plastic chairs have the same wipe-clean benefits, faux leather chairs offer a better level of comfort with their padded seats and backrests.

In the longue, a faux leather sofa provides wipe-clean long-lasting seating where spills and sticky marks can easily be removed with a damp cloth or mild detergent. Elsewhere in the home, faux leather furniture works well where the look of leather is desirable but low maintenance and easy care is essential.

Caring for Faux Leather

Although faux leather is resistant to stains, it is not entirely immune to them. It is therefore a good idea to treat your furniture with a protective spray or gel that has been specifically designed for this type of material.

Faux leather is very easy to care for from day to day. In most cases, all you’ll need to do is wipe it down with a soft, damp cloth when it gets dirty. It’s best to use cold or lukewarm water, as heat can damage the fabric. If you need to clean off something that is a little stickier, use a little mild detergent – never use bleach. It’s a good idea to wipe up spills quickly as if they are allowed to dry, they can cause the fabric to crack or split.

When faux leather is seen to wear badly, it’s usually for a number of reasons. Harsh cleaning products, over cleaning and spills that have been left untreated can cause the material to crack and split. It’s also unwise to leave your faux leather furniture in direct sunlight. Although the material is less prone to fading than real leather, the sunlight can cause it to dry out.

Faux leather is highly resistant to ripping or tearing but in the event that there is a tear, you have a number of choices for repair. No-heat repair kits are an easy option – these are available in a wide range of colours and grains to match your furniture and require a simple application of a coloured compound.  For larger holes, you may need to add a piece of canvas in first.