Our finished bathroom

When we were in the planning stages of our bathroom we were certain that we wanted to knock the loo and bathroom together to make the room a decent size rather than two almost unusable spaces. We managed to come up with a really good design that works brilliantly well (you can read about it here). I was also pretty certain about the finishes that I wanted to use, a lot of which was dictated by a small budget. However, there were lots of very small details that weren’t clear in my mind and so I pored over images of bathrooms to help me answer the questions that I had and that my builder had. It’s these small details that I get lots of messages about and so I thought it would be helpful to take pictures of the bathroom from every single angle and of every detail to help those who are planning their own bathroom project. Also, I will do a list of where I sourced everything from at the bottom of this post.

We had the original door dipped and left it bare wood and I love the contrast with the white walls and tiles.
The basin was the one thing I spent a large amount of money on and I’m so pleased I did as it looks great and is lovely to use. We painted the tongue and groove that covers the plumbing in Ammonite, which gives just enough contrast with the brilliant white walls.

You’ve probably seen quite a lot of the right side of the bathroom as I love the look of the sink and mirror and the bare wooden door so that’s what I usually photograph. I have had quite a few questions about what happens behind the door when it is closed so here’s a look…

The shelf that was created after boxing in the plumbing is really useful (it is 18cm deep) although I keep it quite bare as we don’t really have many lotions and potions.

The wall angles in on the right side of the sink so the shelf that was created by boxing in the plumbing gets narrower. I plan to hang some hooks on the tongue and groove on the right of the sink and perhaps some shallow shelves on the right side of the mirror. WE have one wall light above the mirror and three spot lights in this room on a dimmer switch and that is a perfect amount of light.

Moving the boiler and washing machine up into this cupboard that our builder made was definitely the right decision as it frees up so much space downstairs and provides loads of storage for towels and linen.

Working around the room the boiler cupboard is next to the bathroom door (we still need to choose a handle for the door). We have the boiler, a washing machine and shelves for linen and towel storage in that cupboard – it’s great! I will show you inside it in another post. I chose tongue and groove for the door to tie in with the rest of the room. I’ve actually had messages from people who have bought similar 30s houses wanting to know where we’ve put the washing machine as the kitchen space is so small and this was our solution and it works really well. We don’t have a tumble dryer so we either hang clothes to dry on a clothes horse and put it in the spare room or hang it outside. The only issue, therefore, if having the washing machine upstairs is having to take the laundry up and down to the garden to hang it on the line during the summer.

The heated towel rail combined with underfloor heating keeps this room so nice and toasty.

As you can see it is a small room but we have managed to fit the boiler/washing machine cupboard in by choosing a small bath, which is perfect for Mimi and we seldom have baths so its size doesn’t bother us. Luckily the water pressure is really good so the shower over the bath is actually really lovely and I don’t miss having a shower cubicle at all.

This bath caddy from Bathroom Takeaway is perfect for relaxing baths or loads of bath toys! Bathroom Takeaway also do lots of bathroom suites very similar to ours so do have a look.

This size bath is totally fine for an adult, by the way, if you are considering one and like to have baths on a regular basis. I have definitely indulged in a Friday night bath here with this great bath caddy. Although I will be honest and say it is most regularly used for bath toys rather than wine. We chose a tap that takes up as little space as possible, which also works well when showering standing up as we don’t bash into a protruding tap.

A folding shower screen works brilliantly well in this small room.

We knew that we were going to use the bath most days with Mimi so we decided to get a folding shower screen as this is best in a small room and with a small person wandering around as it folds up really neatly. I would really recommend one if you lack space.

When the bath is in use it only comes out to here so doesn’t block off the whole room.

My builder made the tongue and groove bath panel and things I hadn’t considered like whether I wanted the skirting board to wrap around the room, including the bath panel, stumped me for ages! My builder said he thought it should because I couldn’t decide and I’m glad I listened to him as it makes it feel a lot more part of the room.

I agonised over whether or not to have skirting running along the bath panel and my builder made the decision in the end and it was the right one and it makes the bath feel more solid and more integrated.

The other detail I get asked about is why we have the shower and bath controls at the end of the bath and the very simple reason is that it means you don’t have to stick your arm under the shower head to turn it on so we’re less likely to get wet!

I chose cheap cheap white tiles for the walls to keep the room feeling as large as possible and we placed the bath and shower controls at the end of the bath so you can turn the shower on without getting our arms wet.

We chose underfloor heating because I hate cold tiled floors and it was a really great decision. The tiles I chose were mega cheap and they are SO easy to keep clean especially with the mid-grey grout. They also feel really nice underfoot. The one thing I really don’t like is the toilet flush, which has to be so big as it serves as the access to the cistern. I’m on the look out for a slightly nicer looking one.

The loo flush is the only thing I don’t like about this room!

Remember, that not only did we knock down the wall between the loo and bathroom but we replaced two doors with one so we were able to reclaim floor space that was taken up with two doors that angled into the space. You can see photos of what it looked like here.

Creating one room with one doorway was definitely the right decision as it feels so much more spacious.

So that’s about it, I think. As I said, if you do have any questions please give me a shout.

Katy x

Sources:

(I can’t for the life of me remember where we got the bath tap and shower hose but I will ask Jules as maybe he paid for them and get back to you!)

Bath – Victorian Plumbing (we got it for £87 as they always have sales)

Bath caddyBathroom Takeway (gifted)

Bath screen – Victoria Plum no longer sell this exact one, I’m afraid.

Woodwork paint Ammonite – Farrow & Ball

Walls paint Brilliant White – not sure which brand as decorator did it

Duravit Basin – Fountain Direct (cheapest I could find it was from this site)

Duravit basin console – Fountain Direct

Basin tap – Mano Mano (gifted)

Loo – Victoria Plum

Wall light above mirror – Original BTC

Heated towel rail – Plumb Nation (gifted)

Underfloor heating – Plumb Nation (gifted)

Wall tiles – Walls and Floors (they are white rather than off white, which is pretty hard to find in matt tiles so I had to go gloss)

Floor tiles – Walls and Floors (much cheaper than the Topps Tiles equivalent because they are thinner but I really don’t think that’s an issue in a residential bathroom)

My top lighting tips

Last month I went over to Paris for the design show Maison et Objet. I was invited by Hudson Valley Lighting Group, who you may not have heard of as they are a very large lighting company in America and just making their way over to Europe (and thank goodness, to be honest, as America has always had better lighting available than here in the UK in my opinion. They had a fab showroom at Maison where I could see their amazing lights in person and I came away with a long list of favourites and I still can’t get the thought of how beautiful these vintage brass wall lights would look in my alcoves! Hudson Valley Lighting Group have four collections of lights: Troy Lighting, Mitzi, Corbett Lighting and Hudson Valley Lighting. Each collection offers something different whether it be Corbett’s statement lights, Troy’s industrial vibe or the simplicity of Mitzi’s designs, which is also the most affordable collection. I featured some of the lights in my instagram stories and I ended up getting quite a few messages from people with lighting quandaries so I thought a blog post with some tips would be useful as lighting is without a doubt the most important thing to get right in a room. Hope these tips are helpful and enjoy taking a look at the beautiful lights from Hudson Valley.

1. Never ever use overhead lights in isolation

This is my number one rule and one that can never be broken!!! I really don’t think that there are ever any exceptions to this rule. A ceiling pendant or chandelier is very important (and can be very beautiful) but if used alone the overall lighting in the room will be uneven, gloomy and very unwelcoming. If all the light in a room is coming from above unpleasant shadows will be cast and pockets of the room will have no light at all. You can have the most beautifully furnished room in all the land but with only an overhead light it will be a very ugly place in which to spend time. A funny truth is that I got so sick and tired of arriving home in the evenings when Jules worked from home to all the over head lights on that I went to the extent of removing the bulbs altogether! Can you tell I feel quite strongly about this?!

The Mia lamp from the Mitzi collection.

2. Layer lighting

The solution to the above problem is to layer the lighting in each room. Try to build up a variety of light sources, which will create a lovely even light; where one light source casts shadows, another will illuminate them. Layered lighting will also make a room more flexible as you can choose which lights to use according to your mood or your activity. 

Layering a Silhouette pendant with wall sconces will help to create an even light. Photograph from Hella Design Studio.

3. Use floor and wall lamps if lacking table tops

Table lamps are a great way to add light around the edge of a room, where ceiling. pendants don’t reach. If you are lacking table tops for lamps – which aren’t in abundance in smaller rooms – use the floor and wall space with floor and wall lamps. Floor lamps take up much less space than a table with a lamp on it and they can fit into surprisingly small spaces or corners. Wall lamps, whether wired in or not, are brilliant for small spaces and can be very adaptable as they can double as task lighting if you choose one on an arm.

4. Choose a statement ceiling pendant

A well chosen ceiling pendant draws the eye up, which has the effect of opening up the space and making a room feel bigger. It can also be a lovely focal point for a room. Be aware of the height of the ceiling when choosing a ceiling light as you don’t ever want it to hang too low to the point that people have to dodge it! A mirror opposite a ceiling light is always a good idea as this will reflect the light and bounce it around the room.

A beautiful striking Roundout pendant draws the eye up and creates an amazing focal point for this bathroom that is mirrored by the centrally placed bath. Photographed by Rachel Cannon.

5. Think about what type of light you are trying achieve when selecting a shade

When you are choosing any type of light you have to have a clear idea of the type of light you want to create. This is particularly important where selecting light shades. It is most definitely not just about what looks best. Light coloured shades will allow light to travel out of them into the whole room, whereas dark coloured shades will filter the light out of the top and bottom of the light and create a moodier vibe. Glass light shades and exposed bulbs create a more even much brighter light depending on the type of bulb you choose. Rattan shades or cut paper ones will cast patterns on to your walls and ceiling. Think carefully what type of light you actually want rather than what light you like the look of most.

This gorgeous Balboa shade will cast amazing subtle patterns on the wall and ceiling so you need to think carefully about what type of light you want/need in a space when selecting shades.

6. Consider shadows

When choosing the position of lighting think about the shadows that will be cast. If you are choosing lights for the kitchen, for example, you don’t want pendants hanging over a kitchen counter that you are going to stand beneath and block all the light onto the very surface on which you are trying to illuminate. The same goes for lighting in the bathroom; if you have space put two wall lights either side of a bathroom mirror as these will light your face evenly rather than a light over the top of the mirror, which will cast shadows onto your face.

These Cora wall sconces are perfectly placed either side of the bathroom mirror to illuminate a face directly and evenly rather than from above that would cast horrible shadows. Photographed by Sarah Dorsey.

7. Dimmer switches are your best friend

We were really lucky in our current house as we had the whole place rewired so we could put dimmer switches onto every light and we could also ensure that all the plugs that our lamps are plugged into can be turned on and off from the main switches on the wall. Dimmer switches are just so good as they allow you to completely change the mood of a room and make the space so much more flexible; one minute you need bright, bright lights for a task and the next you minute you want to relax on the sofa and all you have to do is dim the lights. This is particularly useful in an open plan living space.

Dimmer switches on all lights in your home will be worth while so you can make each space as flexible as possible. Dimming the work top lights in an ‘eat-in’ kitchen when you’ve finished cooking will make the dining experience so much nicer. I love this Metal No.1 pendant. Photographed by Lindsay Salazar.

8. Think of lights as pieces of furniture

This sounds quite quite obvious but often it is something overlooked that you should select lights as you would a piece of furniture: they need to tie in with the overall scheme of a room. Think about the colour, finish, style, size just as you would a new chair or soft furnishings. A light should add something extra to the scheme of a room not takeaway from it.

This Estee pendant highlights and pulls together all of the other brass elements in this room to make it feel beautifully curated. Photographed by Brit Arnesen.

Do let me know if you have any other lighting questions as it really can be difficult to get right. Also, let me know which Hudson Valley Lighting Group light you liked best!

Katy x

*This blog post is part of a paid collaboration with Hudson Valley Lighting Group.

Buying my first house – what I wish I had known

*This is a paid collaboration with Local Heroes

When I left university I moved straight into a rental flat with friends in Brixton where I lived for three very fun years. However, as flatmates moved on, I decided that I wanted to prioritise buying a property of my own; I was 25 at this point and a secondary school teacher. I had very few savings but one day I saw a poster on the tube advertising the shared ownership scheme as it was then and as I was a key worker I had a good chance of qualifying. I did lots of research and found a beautiful new build apartment block just down the road from Borough Market, which had a portion of shared ownership flats and to cut a long story short I bought a 35% share of a studio flat worth £195k with a very small deposit of about £3500. I asked my dad to come and look at the flat with me but as it was brand new we were thinking more about the location and whether the space was big enough rather than the ins and outs of whether the taps worked or how old the boiler was. I lived in that flat for three years and I LOVED it so much.

The first home that I owned. LOVED this studio flat in Borough so much. Not sure I’d go for a hot pink sofa these days though! I don’t really have any photos of the flat as it was pre-smart phones so this was from the sale brochure. I like that I can spot lots of things in this photo that are in our current house nearly fifteen years later.

Fast forward ten more years and I’ll be honest and say that buying our current house was incredibly stressful and that is why I am really pleased to be teaming up with Local Heroes today to share with you their First Time Home Buyer Guide. I had sold the studio flat and bought another new shared ownership flat that was a lot bigger and my partner Jules moved in a year after I bought it and we lived there for eight more years. When we sold it last year we finally had a deposit big enough to buy a house outright.

The second flat I bought was quite a bit bigger than my 35sqm studio and we lived here so happily for nearly ten years. It was Mimi’s arrival that pushed us to finding a new home. Photograph by Katharine Peachey.

I knew we were going to have to buy a house that needed work doing to it as that was what we could afford in the area we wanted to be in and that made the viewing and buying process COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to buying the two previous new build flats. There were so many things to consider, so many ways in which we could make mistakes and open ourselves up to what felt like a massive risk. The fact is buying a house is a really big deal and the whole way through the process it’s impossible to know who to listen to and who to trust: the estate agent would say anything to us to sell the house, the solicitor was appalling and gave so much bad advice (we eventually had to change our solicitor) and at the end of the day we had to rely on ourselves to do our own research and guide the purchase through.

Local Heroes, who match skilled and vetted local tradespeople to people who need jobs completed in their home, have compiled the ultimate first time buyers guide listing clearly with no jargon things to look out for, ask about or to test when buying a new home. I really, really wish I had been able to see this list before we bought our house as it would have given us so much peace of mind. In fact, my sister is currently buying a house very near us and I have been going on viewings with her and we used the list for the second viewing of the house she’s most interested in and it was brilliant – so many things neither of us had thought about!

When we first viewed our current house I will be honest and tell you we didn’t have much of an idea of what we should be looking out for or questions to ask.

These are some of the tips from the guide that I wish I had known before we bought our house and that have come in handy whilst house hunting with my sister:

  • Do a room inspection. Try to spend enough time in each room to see if there are any cold spots, especially rooms with two outside walls. It’s also worth asking about the insulation in loft rooms. If you need to insulate the roof or put in another radiator, make sure to budget for these.

We bought our house in the winter and the estate agent did the age old trick of blasting the heating before we arrived for the viewing (the house was vacant). I really wish we had spent more time in each room figuring out the cold spots because we definitely didn’t put in enough radiators downstairs or in the hallway, which has an external wall.

Our hallway is super cold in the winter and I wish we had more time figuring out the cold spots to help us figure out how many radiators we would need.
  • Take a look at the water tanks. Unless they have a combi boiler, there’ll be a hot water cylinder in a cupboard somewhere, and possibly a cold-water tank in the loft.

Err, I can’t quite emphasise enough how much I WISH we had thought to do before we bought our house! As it turned out there was a very full cold water tank in our loft that froze and split the tank during the very cold winter whilst the house was vacant. When the tank thawed, you guessed it, there was a very big leak! If only we’d known to look out for it we could have made sure that tank was empty.

  • Does the house have lead pipes? If it was built before the 1970s, the house you’re buying could have lead pipes. Check under the sink, they’re larger than copper pipes and dark in colour. You’ll probably want to replace any lead pipes with plastic or copper, especially the ones that supply drinking water.

This is something that would never have occurred to me and we actually found lead pipes under the sink in the house my sister is interested in, which was really helpful as it helped her budget for work that will need to be done.

  • Flush the toilet. Listen out for knocking noises from the pipes. There should be a good powerful flush, even with a tap running. Continuous filling is a common issue with toilets, wait an extra minute to make sure the refilling finishes properly.

I would never think of flushing the loo in a house I was viewing as I wouldn’t want anyone to think I had used it (lols!) but actually this makes so much sense. I remember in the studio flat I sold the pipes started making horrendous noises when I flushed the loo just before I sold it.

  • Check the plug and sockets aren’t damaged. Any blackening or scorch marks could be signs of over-heating. Check any cables and leads too, for melting on the plastic coating and signs of fraying. Don’t forget the light fitting hanging down from the ceiling.

This is a good tip that I used when viewing a house with my sister as I only really thought about turning on lights rather than checking the plug sockets themselves.

Take a look at the full First Time Home Buyer Guide for yourself as if you are in the process of buying a property at the moment it really will help the process from checking the plumbing, electrics and heating to the plastering and odd jobs that will need doing. These checks will either help you negotiate a price reduction on any offer you want to make or they will help inform your budget for work that you will need to do. And of course if you do need jobs done Local Heroes can match you to tradespeople, such as plumbers, who have been vetted and they are backed by British Gas. Happily for us our house purchase went through and our renovations were very successful so we now have a lovely house that we love but if you had told me that a year ago I would’t have believed you!

Our house sale went through in the end and our renovations were very successful so that we now have a house that we love.
Our hallway is a little less depressing now 😉

I really do hope this helps if you are in the potentially tortuous process of buying property. Would love to hear your experience if you think it may help others going through the process at the moment.

Katy x

A neutral bedroom with lots of natural textures

As I showed you this week I’m getting very close to finishing our bedroom. There are still a few finishing touches that I want: a lamp with any one of these lampshades (a birthday gift, I hope!) to go on the chest of drawers as this lamp really lives on the landing, a full length mirror to go on the left hand wall as you walk into the room, maybe some extra storage on that wall and I’d like to frame some family photographs for this room. Ultimately we want built-in wardrobes in the alcoves but that is way down on our list of priorities as we are now focusing our time and money on the outside of the house. Also, if we extend into the loft any time soon we would make that our bedroom and therefore wouldn’t necessarily need built in wardrobes in here. We shall see.

My ottoman bed from Button & Sprung provides invaluable storage in this room. The beautiful linen colour works perfectly with this Natural Stone Washed linen from LinenMe. I also love the very subtle pink cotton bedlinen set from Bedfolk.

Anyhoo, I thought it would be nice to show you the room in its almost finished state as I know a few of you have been following along on Instagram with the change of wall colour drama so I’m pleased to say I feel really happy with how it looks and feels now. You can see how it used to look here and just a few words as to why I changed the wall colour as I get asked about it A LOT! I originally had this room painted Light Blue by Farrow & Ball, which is the colour I have used on all the woodwork in the other rooms (except the bathroom and hallway). I absolutely adore the colour in the others rooms but in our bedroom, which is small and north west facing, as winter approached it just made the room feel darker and more drab by the day and the furniture I had in here didn’t look right with the colour either. When the sun hit the room in the late afternoon the colour looked quite green, which was lovely, but didn’t make up for the rest of the day. Therefore, I made the decision to change the wall colour to School House White by Farrow & Ball, which is a great neutral; neither too cold nor too warm. It works perfectly with my linen bed (you can see more about my ottoman storage bed from Button & Sprung in this post), the old pine drawers and the new chair as well as allowing the fireplace to stand out.

I have actually changed the pendants in here to these bone china ones from Original BTC. I have these lights throughout the house because they emit such a beautiful soft and even light and I love the natural flex that works so well in here.

I hope to have a new lamp that will be a bit more of a statement on these drawers. I think something larger with a bit more colour and pattern will work well. I also want to reframe this portrait using a black frame to add a bit more contrast.

I spoke a lot on my Instagram about finding it difficult to choose bedside tables and I’m pretty happy with these oak ones from La Redoute (although quite wobbly legs and the price has gone up!). They are very practical with a drawers and the cane shelf and I like how simple they are.

As soon as I’d changed the wall colour everything just fell into place. I was able to commit to other decisions that I’d been struggling with such as curtains, bedside tables, bedlinen, a rug and art work. I have chosen to blend lots of neutrals with natural materials to create a very calm and soft vibe with lots of texture. There are a few dashes of muted pink and cinnamon in the cushions and art work and a bit of contrast with black accents like the curtain pole, fireplace and I’m going to reframe one of my pictures with a black frame as black really helps to ground the whole scheme.

I love the addition of my New Lark Tub chair that I wrote about yesterday. The framed piece of vintage wallpaper ties in perfectly with the colours in the room.

The frame above the bed is from an old painting that used to hang in my parents’ bedroom. It works perfectly in here to add a bit of ‘old’.

The different textures of the linen on the bed and the curtains combined with the jute rug, the plants, the cane on the bedside tables, the ceramic pendants and all the wood around the room add interest even though the colours are so muted. They stop the room feeling ‘flat’.

I can not tell you how much I love these cushions that I bought from By Molle. They are very expensive but worth every penny in this case as they totally brought the colour scheme in this room together. I chose the cinnamon and pink salt cushions.

I’m still debating as to whether I will paint the woodwork and door in Shadow White to replace the brilliant white.

This jute rug has been a great addition (even if it does look like a placemat!) as I love the texture and softness it brings to the room. I did find this much cheaper version but went for this one as it is so much thicker and so soft under foot so I hope it will last longer.

It sounds really silly but this room has been weighing heavy on my mind as I had this weird block of just not being able to ‘get it right’ and I’ve never really experienced that with a room before as I always have quite a clear vision of what I want. My advice if you’re experiencing the same issue is to not rush into buying anything until you are sure it’s right. I held off for a long time before committing to anything for this room and I’m so glad about it as otherwise I could have wasted so much money. I hope you like the way it looks now and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on any additions (Jules, if you’re reading this you’re going to buy me that lamp, yes?!).

Katy x

Source list:

Fireplace – eBay

Round mirror 50cm – Royal Design

Ottoman storage bed – Button & Sprung (gifted)

Cushions – By Molle

Natural stone washed bed linen – LinenMe (gifted)

Rose cotton bed linen – Bedfolk (gifted)

Jute rug – Modern Rugs

Chair – DFS (as part of a paid collaboration)

Bedside tables – Laredoute

Curtains and pole – IKEA

Chest of drawers – eBay

Hector pendant lights – Original BTC (gifted)

Paint – School House White Farrow & Ball

Creating a tranquil bedroom

*This is paid collaboration with DFS

Someone left a comment on my recent house tour for the US site Apartment Therapy saying that my house wasn’t dramatic or bold or avant-garde enough. They wanted to see darker colours, brighter colours and more statement pieces. But the thing is, that’s just not me and I definitely won’t apologise for that. And you know what makes the best design? Not following trends or what other people think looks good or what you’ve seen in a magazine but what makes you feel happy. I would dread coming home to a house filled with dark colours and pattern and loads of stuff even though I can totally appreciate how all of those things can be absolutely beautiful in someone else’s house. And that is why my bedroom is the calmest, most neutral and most clutter free room in the house – I need peaceful and tranquil decor in order to feel those things myself.

A beautiful new bedroom chair from DFS to make my room somewhere I can relax as well as sleep.

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited up to Derbyshire to visit the DFS‘ Bridge Mills design studio in Long Eaton and celebrate their 50th anniversary as well as having a go at upholstering my own chair. I have decided to move the clothes rail in my bedroom (a temporary clothes storage measure until we can afford built in cupboards) into our spare room as it looks ugly (I do not have a beautifully curated selection of clothes!) and it makes the room look cluttered and unfinished. Therefore, we have a bare alcove and the perfect place to put a new chair, which will make the whole room feel even more tranquil. And I have to say I am so pleased with the result and how well my beautiful New Lark Tub chair turned out. I mean, look at those crisp pleats! Ok, I may have got some – or a lot – of help from one of the wonderful upholsterers who has worked at DFS for thirty odd years (thank you, Russ!) but still, I’m going to claim some of the glory.

I worked with one of DFS’ upholsterers to make the chair. Many of the employees in the DFS British factories have worked there for decades.

Look at those crisp pleats! I only needed a little help with this 😉

The Cream Brushed Plain fabric works perfectly with my School House White walls and all the different neutrals combine perfectly to give this room such a relaxed feel.

And that is the thing about DFS, it truly is a British company from the roots up and employs families who have worked there for decades. They have a huge amount to celebrate in their 50th year including being the market leader by a country mile (fun fact – 1 in 4 of us have a DFS sofa in our homes!), maintaining three upholstery factories and two woodmills across the UK, providing a large amount of work to the communities in those areas as well as investing in the future generations with upholstery apprenticeships every year. Until my visit, I had no idea that every DFS sofa is hand-made to order, many here in the UK; the only part of the process that has been mechanised is the pattern cutting. It was amazing on the day to watch the seamstresses and upholsters at work and to give it a go myself. It was great to meet the DFS design team  And not only do they do all the making but DFS has a team and chat to them about the design process and the amazing variety of sofas that they create, based on trends and fabrics they source from all over the world and at international design shows. We even got a sneak peek at some future designs including my favourite, the Joules Patterdale, which is brand new and can be bought online and in store now!

The design team at DFS who we spent the day with identify new trends at international design shows. They than design new sofas based on these trends and offer a huge variety of styles and fabrics. 1 in 4 of all homes across the UK have a DFS sofa!

The New Lark Tub chair is perfect for a bedroom as it is compact and low so it doesn’t dominate the space and it’s perfect for putting on shoes and socks (or for drinking tea in the morning).

My New Lark Tub chair is absolutely perfect for my bedroom as it’s very comfortable but small enough for this room as well as being low enough to put socks and shoes on easily. I chose the Cream Brushed Plain fabric that is so incredibly soft and it works perfectly with my School House White walls. As I said, I’m not interested in anything dramatic or contrasting in this room as all these neutrals (I’ll show you more of the bedroom tomorrow in another blog post) make me feel so calm and relaxed and they work together so well. When the late afternoon sun hits this room and comes in through the linen curtains I can not tell you how lovely it is especially now I have somewhere so nice to sit. I didn’t replace a chair in here, so I don’t have one to get rid of, but if you do, another amazing thing I learnt about DFS is that they have established a sofa recycling partnership with The British Heart Foundation. They offer DFS customers the option to have their old sofa removed and if suitable, to be sold in one of BHF’s Furniture and Electrical stores up and down the UK, with the proceeds going to BHF. The scheme began in 2012 and has raised £20m so far. Can you believe that? So many more companies need to start establishing schemes like this one.

I love the overall effect of having moved the clothes rail out of here and now having a chair, which softens the whole space.

The New Lark Tub chair is a lovely shape and the back wraps round you and the seat is so bouncy and soft.

I’m thrilled with my new bedroom chair and how much more tranquil it has made the room feel. I also had a really wonderful time with the DFS team learning a bit about upholstery and a huge amount about the proud history of this British company. I really hope that they continue to support so many families across Derbyshire for fifty more years to come at least and continue to make such brilliant quality (and such comfy) sofas. I hope you like this new corner of my bedroom even though it’s not very avant-garde – ha!

Katy x

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