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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

What’s your Christmas style?

Cool and co-ordinated? Bright and brash? Warm and welcoming or icy white?

There’s plenty of inspiration from the High Street giants this year; here are a few suggestions to help you deck your halls this festive season.

 

Have some fun with iconic images from childhood Christmases with Dunelm. 4ft pop up tree silver £20, 4ft pop up tree white £30, reindeer metal room decoration £13, Santa & present room decoration £10, snowman metal room decoration £13, tree scene metal room decoration £15, novelty Santa cushion £13, bell snowman room decoration £10, drummer boy room decoration £13, penguin metal room decoration £51

 

Dunelm call this their Christmas Cabin look and it suits a country cottage. Merry Christmas bunting £3; furniture is Knightsbridge large sofa in alegra cream £999.99, Avala cushion teal £10, Cole mini sideboard £299.99, Cole coffee table £349.992

 

Ice ice baby with George at Home; pictured is a selection from the Winter Wilderness range. Prices start from £2

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Go gold with House of Fraser. 6ft Salzburg tree £150, tree decorations from £6, deco glitter wrap (2m) £5, gold sequin wrap (3m) £5, glitter reindeers, small £15 large £25, deco tealight holders £40 each, White Christmas candle £12, Champagne pepper berry garland £55, star lights £8, Living by Christiane Lemieux sun mirror £1264

 

Nothing says Christmas like reds and greens. Selection from Marks & Spencer, including natural wreath, £35

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Clashing colours are also tipped to be big this year.

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3ft pink tree, £5 from B&Q

 

 

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Blue spikey star and pink starburst, £2.99 each from Wyevale garden centres

Join the club

This autumn, check in to a gentleman’s club for an interiors look that doesn’t date.

This is quite a masculine style but perfect for an intimate living room or study where you can sit in front of a fire on a cold winter’s evening.

Think dark, polished wood; a Chesterfield sofa and leather wing-back chair; a well-stocked bookcase; maps on the wall and a globe on a stand; animal heads, sporting and travel accessories; and an old wooden or leather trunk.

Stick to one colour or pattern with everything else muted – you don’t want fabrics or paints fighting for attention. But you can add plenty of ornaments.

So pour yourself a sherry from the cut-glass decanter, put your feet up and plan next year’s expeditions.

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A charming sculpture from award-winning Frith sculpture, Harry Hare was designed by Paul Jenkins and is made by craftsmen in Somerset. This bronze resin sculpture has exquisite detail and is sold by the National Trust for £60

 

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Check or houndstooth fabrics work well; for a more contemporary take on the theme, House of Fraser has these red and grey painted check cushions, £35 each

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If you want to make the look more ‘feminine’, try using a fabric in a softer shade, such as Glencoe by Prestigious Textiles, from £29.99 to £33.99 per metre at Just Jayne in Bridgnorth

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Check or houndstooth fabrics work well; for a more contemporary take on the theme, House of Fraser has these red and grey painted check cushions, £35 each

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Opt for a timeless Chesterfield sofa; this Halo two-seater is available new from The Old Mill Antiques Centre in Bridgnorth, £1,695, armchair £1,195

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Footstool in Equestrian fabric, £39 from This That & The Other, Bridgnorth

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This ‘Attingham Hall’ Tiffany light harks back to the Art Deco style of hte 1930s and would work well in a gentleman’s club scheme. £284.99 from the British Ironwork Centre, near Oswestry

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Add a quirky touch with his deer head in military dress ornament, £108 from Alan Ward

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Brass finish large Savoy wall clock, £90 from Laura Ashley

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All items from George at Asda, including Alistair buttoned love seat £575, damask floral shade £12 and cushion £8, geometric side table £79, basket weave throw £10, velvet cushion £7. www.george.com

The Write Stuff

Six of the best things for your desk

 

1 Emily Sutton folding 2017 desk calendar, Black Bough, Ludlow, £6

Featuring everything from a toy penguin on skis to a punnet of pick your own strawberries and a toadstool Christmas decoration – all in the chronological order you would expect1

 

2 Desk tidy, Alan Ward, £65

Eight-section wall desk tidy in the hugely popular French Country style 2

 

3 California Dreaming monthly personal planner, Paperchase, £18

Comes with pages for to-dos and notes, weekly and monthly pages and dividers, and slots and pockets for cards, loose papers and a pen3

 

4 Kinki Glass egg paperweight, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust shop, £15

Hand made contemporary paperweight by designer Nikki Williams4

 

5 Decimo capless fountain pen, Write Here, Shrewsbury, £160

Luxury retractable fountain pen with attractive pearlised barrel, made by Pilot5

 

6 Notebooks by JOLT, Oswestry, ??

From the first collection by new homeware brand JOLT. Designed and made by a group of makers referred through mental health services to Designs in Mind, a rural social enterprise6

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Think pink

The Little Greene Paint Company has once again joined forces with national breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Haven, to promote and support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For the whole of October, Little Greene has pledged that 15p from every tin of paint sold via the company’s 270 UK-wide stockists, including Alan Ward in Shrewsbury, or through its website www.littlegreene.com, will be donated directly to Breast Cancer Haven.

The pledge applies to all the colours in Little Greene’s range, but of course Breast Cancer Awareness month is associated with pink.

Most commonly used to decorate a little girl’s bedroom, it might not be a colour that springs to mind for other rooms in the house. But with so many shades to choose from, you can create a grown-up scheme, too.

A shocking pink feature wall in a hall will tell visitors that you have an individual home. Use a lighter, fresher hue to lighten up an otherwise lackluster space. Faded pinks work well with reds and florals in a bright sitting room filled with antique furniture. Even one pink accessory, such as a cushion, lampshade, artwork or rug, breaks up a monotone room. Certain shades can even be used as a neutral, teamed with purples, greys, taupes and blacks.

So banish images of Barbie and think pink.

 

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Wall: Dorchester Pink – mid 286; door and woodwork: Dorchester Pink 213, from Little Greene

 

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Wall: Helebore; headboard: Olive Colour 72, Carmine 189, Citrine 71, Lemon Tree 69, Pink Slip 220 & Loft White 222, from Little Greene

 

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Wall: Cordoba 227; Inset shelf: Blush 267, from Little Greene

 

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Wallpaper: Paradise – pink; Left wall and picture rail: Hortense 266; Upper skirting: Carmine 189, from Little Greene

 

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Brickwork: Confetti 274; Cupboard: Lamp Black 228; Far wall: Salix 99

 

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Be bold with Scion wallpaper. Diva is a flamboyant stylised floral that’s oversized. Available from Just Jayne in Bridgnorth

 

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Paisley jacquard duvet set from £35-£65 at M&Co. There’s nothing too feminine about this bedding set

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Snuggle up on the sofa under an Oriental Journey beehaive weave throw in dusky pink, £40 from the National Trust. Woven in North Wales from pure new wool

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A hint of pink is this embroidered Baroque cushion from Laura Ashley, £50

 

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Grey is still a strong trend in interiors, and pink complements it perfectly. Asiatic Cascade rung from Alan Ward, Shrewsbury, or online at www.alanwardfurniture.co.uk

Bathing beauties

 You’ve been along to your local bathroom showroom and picked out your perfect suite – but have you thought about how you are going to decorate the room?

There are more options than simply tiling the walls and floor, and the design experts at Brewers Home have some top tips for sprucing up any bathroom, old or new, with colour, pattern, themes, wallpaper, furniture and accessories.

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Greens create a tranquil scheme and sit nicely against white. Curtains: Sanderson Muguet ivory, £44.10 a metre

The bathroom is often a room that’s left slightly neglected in terms of interior design with homeowners often afraid to apply the same rules in the bathroom as they would elsewhere. However, there’s no need for this to be the case and more and more ambitious self-decorators are now taking the plunge and creating a truly beautiful bathroom space.

Whether you want to create a modern feel, a rustic theme, a floral scheme or just want to apply your favourite colour wherever you can, anything is possible with the right materials and a bit of time and effort.

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Florals and pinks create a country garden look. Wallpaper: Albany Floral Wood Panelling pink, £17.99 a roll

Colour Schemes

Nautical colours are some of the most popular for bathrooms. Blue and white create a relaxing atmosphere whilst the red accents bring in some interest. Choose colours such as green, aqua or blue to create a tranquil and calm atmosphere, plus these colours also sit nicely against white tones if you wish to keep the scheme a bit more simple.

Curtains can be a great way of really easily sprucing up the room with some colour. It might be a good idea to start with a pair of your favourite curtains and work the colour scheme around that.

Themes & Patterns

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Florals and pinks create a country garden look. Wallpaper: Albany Floral Wood Panelling pink, £17.99 a roll

Floral patterns and pretty pinks are not the most obvious choice for a bathroom, remember the powder pink bathrooms of the 1970s? But styled in the right way, a pretty bathroom theme can look stunning. It’s a way of achieving a beautiful country garden look; complete it through the use of statement floral wallpaper teamed with accessories in different tones of pink.

Wallpaper Phobias

People often worry that they can’t use wallpaper in a bathroom due to steam or splash marks. Although not advised in direct contact with water (in line with consistently rising steam, in the shower or right next to a tap), good quality wallpaper will last well in these environments, so there’s no need to worry.

Plus, having a feature wall showcasing a beautiful design, motif or pattern – or even covering all four walls with your favourite wallpaper – will add vibrancy, individuality and luxury to the bathroom.

Scented Candles

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Candles and diffusers work in a bathroom whether you light them or not. Harlequin Rosella scented candle, £25; Harlequin Zeal reed diffuser, £35

Candles have a calming nature to them, and scented candles serve a double purpose in the bathroom space. Light some scented candles whilst soaking in a warm bath to give the room a touch of Zen, or add a touch or fragrance with a set of diffusers. Even if you don’t light them, scented candles add some colour and provide a subtle eye catcher for guests.

Using Reflections

Mirrors can make a space feel much bigger than it actually is, which is sometimes much desired in poky downstairs bathrooms or cramped en suites.

In larger bathrooms, mirrors with bold frames can add a touch of elegance to the wall, acting as a piece of functional furniture and simple decoration.

Using a beautifully crafted mirror frame as a focal point means you don’t need to worry so much about any more added extras.

Furniture

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Cushion: Scion Mr Fox cerise knitted cushion, £35; towel: Scion Berry Tree cerise towel, from £13.50

You don’t have to have just the same-old, necessary in a bathroom. Why not include extra items, such as side tables or a chair, if you have the space for it? This can make the bathroom feel like part of the home instead of a functional extra.

 

www.brewershome.co.uk

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Put it in neutral

For a timeless look that comes up season after season, you can’t beat neutrals.

Think white, grey, beige, cream – this is a trend that suits any and every style of house.

“Naturals always stay on trend so no worries about ageing! You could add of splash of colour using cushions which is an inexpensive way to change the look regularly,” say the experts at Just Jayne in Bridgnorth.

Light, neutral colours accentuate a feeling of space and brightness so are perfect for small rooms; but it’s a look that’s also stunning in a large, open plan environment.

Unless you do want to add a stand-out pop of zinging colour though, we say that to really be effective, keep it as simple and tonal as you can.

 

Neutral needn’t be dull – go for glamour with this Purity range by Harlequin, from £24 per metre at Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

Neutral needn’t be dull – go for glamour with this Purity range by Harlequin, from £24 per metre at Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

 

Subtle yet beautiful Harlequin fabrics from Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

Subtle yet beautiful Harlequin fabrics from Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

 

Subtle yet beautiful Harlequin fabrics from Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

Subtle yet beautiful Harlequin fabrics from Just Jayne, Bridgnorth

 

Collection from Marks and Spencers including Malmo corner sofa, £799

Collection from Marks and Spencers including Malmo corner sofa, £799

 

Add a splash of colour with cushions; John Rocha chevron cushion, £38; John Rocha velvet cushion £28, Jasper Conran Farringdon coffee table £340 and nest of two tables £260, all from Debenhams

Add a splash of colour with cushions; John Rocha chevron cushion, £38; John Rocha velvet cushion £28, Jasper Conran Farringdon coffee table £340 and nest of two tables £260, all from Debenhams

 

Urban Fusion picture, £85 from Alan Ward

Urban Fusion picture, £85 from Alan Ward

 

Medium twigs stand, £99 from Alan Ward

Medium twigs stand, £99 from Alan Ward

 

Anya sofa in soft grey with button feature, £349.99 from Oak Furniture Shop, Oswestry

Anya sofa in soft grey with button feature, £349.99 from Oak Furniture Shop, Oswestry

 

Anoushka chair from Alan Ward, £1,199

Anoushka chair from Alan Ward, £1,199

 

10 From pure white to grey, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to paints for a Neutrals scheme. French Grey Tails in Bridgnorth stocks Autentico chalk paints, from £5.95 for 100ml

10 From pure white to grey, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to paints for a Neutrals scheme. French Grey Tails in Bridgnorth stocks Autentico chalk paints, from £5.95 for 100ml

 

Lace applique lamp from George Home, £17

Lace applique lamp from George Home, £17

 

Ribbed vase, Debenhams, £16

Ribbed vase, Debenhams, £16

 

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Carry on Camping

Six of the Best for festival life

Fern ankle wellie, White Stuff, £29.95

Fern ankle wellie, White Stuff, £29.95 For when you don’t need to go the whole way to being a farm girl

 

Small striped cool bag, M&Co, £10

Small striped cool bag, M&Co, £10 Keep your sarnies fresh

 

Red foldaway sling chair, TK Maxx, £14.99

Red foldaway sling chair, TK Maxx, £14.99 Travel light, stay comfortable

 

Jolene Wow embellished backpack, Accessorize, £37

Jolene Wow embellished backpack, Accessorize, £37 decorated with mirrowork embellishments

 

Starter kit bbq, Homebase, £19.94

Starter kit bbq, Homebase, £19.94 Comes with tools and cover

 

Trespass 6 man teepee, Argos, £99.99

Trespass 6 man teepee, Argos, £99.99 Room for all the family, with mosquito nets and sewn-in groundsheet

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It’s Blooming Buzzing at Shropshire Petals

Each summer, the Shropshire countryside is a wash with brightly coloured fields of delphinium and wild flowers grown by Shropshire Petals. These flowers are grown predominantly to dry and become confetti forunspecified4
weddings and events. During the growing process, the Shropshire Petals fields also become home to a number of bees as they collect pollen from them.

Bees are important to farmers and growers of many types of crops, including food sources and flowers. According to Friends of the Earth*, the UK has lost a shocking 20 species of bees with a further quarter on the red list of threatened species. Bees depend on flowers for food, and in the past 60 years 97% of wildflower meadows have disappeared.  unspecified3

Shropshire Petals are proud to be doing their bit to help with the bee population. Shropshire Petals’ flowers bloom through July and August providing plenty food for bees for several weeks each year.

Shropshire Petals grow a wide range of flowers, including delphiniums, calendula and cornflowers in an array of colours, including blues, purples and yellows in a variety of different shades, which are particularly attractive to a range of bee species.

Bees prefer flat or shallow blossom, making the calendula perfect as they open fully to show off their centre, which attracts bees, as it is easy to get to, and the petals make a great landing spot. Delphiniums are also renowned as a favourite for bees due to their nectar spurs, which the flower is named after.

Jim Bubb, Managing Director at Shropshire Petals said “good pollination is important to our flower field development and likewise, our flowers are important to increasing the bee population – they go hand in hand
and we are proud to be able to help such an important cause.”

“We don’t use any machinery for picking our flowers as they are all picked by hand. Our pickers are very careful to ensure that bees are kept safe by checking each flower they pick is free from bees. If there are bees collecting pollen on flowers when they are picking, they carefully encourage them to move on.”unspecified

To see the pretty Shropshire Petals fields, you can view them from the A41 near Newport.

To find out more about Shropshire Petals visit their website https://www.shropshirepetals.com/

* https://www.foe.co.uk/page/great-british-bee-count-about

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Fun in the sun

Six of the best buys for summer out of doors

 

Moon Rocket, Alley Katz, Bridgnorth, £109

Moon Rocket, Alley Katz, Bridgnorth, £109 Scoot-along toy for budding astronauts aged from two

Water bottle, KittClothing, Bridgnorth, £9.99

Water bottle, KittClothing, Bridgnorth, £9.99 or free with qualifying purchase Stay hydrated with this designer bottle from Desigual

Boules set from Laura Ashley, £20

Boules set from Laura Ashley, £20 Classic English garden game

Den kit, Little Monkeys, Bridgnorth, from £14.99

Den kit, Little Monkeys, Bridgnorth, from £14.99 A range of kits for ages 3+ and 5+ to give youngsters hours or even days of fun

Crane from This, That and the Other, Bridgnorth, £34

Crane from This, That and the Other, Bridgnorth, £34 Add a touch of wildlife to your garden

Woven picnic bag, Next, £16

Woven picnic bag, Next, £16 With room for a family feast

The great outdoors

Whether your look is rustic, vintage or boho, the garden can reflect your personal style just as much as inside the home. There’s furniture to suit every taste, from a smart outdoor sofa to English chintz and French bistro.

So this summer scatter some cushions, lay the table and hang up the lights; and enjoy some memorable days and evenings entertaining in the sun.

Wall fountain £34 from This, That and the Other, Bridgnorth

Wall fountain £34 from This, That and the Other, Bridgnorth

Henley outdoor mattress, £150, scatter cushions also available £35, from The White Company

Henley outdoor mattress, £150, scatter cushions also available £35, from The White Company

 

Mesh and wood bulbous lantern £49.99, outdoor candlesticks £16.99 and £18.99, from That’s Nice! in Bridgnorth

Mesh and wood bulbous lantern £49.99, outdoor candlesticks £16.99 and £18.99, from That’s Nice! in Bridgnorth

Hawthorn Tree garden table and chairs from British Ironworks Centre, near Oswestry, prices from £150 ( for table)

Hawthorn Tree garden table and chairs from British Ironworks Centre, near Oswestry, prices from £150 (for table)

 

A simple and stylish look for summer – accessories from The White Company

A simple and stylish look for summer – accessories from The White Company

 

Peach daybed from Maze Living, £1,499

Peach daybed from Maze Living, £1,499

 

Square dining table and four chairs from M&S, £599

Square dining table and four chairs from M&S, £599

 

 

Glass bottle lantern from the Cottage Garden range by the National Trust, £6

Glass bottle lantern from the Cottage Garden range by the National Trust, £6

 

 

 

Rochelle five-piece outdoor dining set from Next, £299

Rochelle five-piece outdoor dining set from Next, £299

 

The Henri garden chair, £260 for a set of two from www.miafleur.co.uk

The Henri garden chair, £260 for a set of two from www.miafleur.co.uk

 

Mali corner sofa from Homebase, £599.99

Mali corner sofa from Homebase, £599.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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