In our interview series, we talk to our favourite bloggers and experts about their trend predictions and styles. Here, we meet Sophie Amini, designer at Pooky
1.When should we start thinking about lighting?
From a conceptual point of view it is never too early to start!
You may already have strong ideas but, if not, gather together cuttings, designs and colours to create a moodboard of what inspires you and what you would like to incorporate.
From a practical point of view the space will dictate some of your final decisions. Careful consideration needs to be given to utility areas, key pieces of furniture, artworks and focal points. Having a clear vision of what you want both practically and creatively before work begins will ultimately save time and money so don’t rush it!
2. How can I create a lighting scheme that is beautiful yet practical?
It’s all about layering.
Most rooms require a generic backdrop of lighting in order to facilitate everyday tasks. Spotlights are popular but I prefer to use wall lights or pendants which are equally effective but not so clinical. Our prismatic glass shades such as the Qilin, the Henry or Henrietta work well as not only do they give out good light, they also make a more personal statement. I then make sure to use carefully chosen table and floor lamps, often wired up to 5amp sockets, so with a flick of a switch you add another layer, creating an ambience which is flattering and soft, perfect for relaxing or socialising.
3.What sort of lighting should you include in your home?
I think of lighting as oxygen which will bring your home alive. Practicalities may dictate many elements but in terms of creating a ‘home’ it is very personal and there is no ‘should’! A glowing Luxor lantern in the hallway. Tall Crescent lamps on a console table. Wall lights flanking a fireplace or mirror. A pair of colourful table lamps either side of a sofa with a floor lamp overlooking an armchair. A cosy spindle with a neat empire shade on a bedside table. A large chandelier over the dining room table. Our Stella pendants along the landing. A row of chic Thea’s over the kitchen island. Anything goes, we hope to encourage self-expression and provide an inspiring array of options.
4. How do I decide where to place the light fittings?
This is personal so these are rough guidelines which may be helpful. For wall lights either side of a painting or mirror, I centre the fixture at about 170cm from the floor. For pendants I like to hang them in threes; over a dining table at about 80cm above the surface, over a kitchen island at about 90cm. Most of our more substantial pendants have hooks and chains so can easily adapt. Electricians are very clever at providing flexible options so if in doubt install an extra socket or wiring option just in case.
5. What about kitchens and bathrooms?
Kitchens and bathrooms require specialist lighting for certain limited areas but beyond these areas lighting is a safe and great way to brighten up what is often a utilitarian space.
6. What are the latest trends for lighting?
There is still a trend for simple forms which can adapt to either a formal or intimate setting, lamps that pack a punch with pattern and form, but are easy on the eye and not invasive. Chandeliers which look great in a conventional setting but also work well as an outsized feature in a smaller space are also popular.
Clusters have been on trend for a while now and I think this will continue into autumn winter. We are very excited about our new designs which I think will have current appeal. Classic designs with a twist, fun but chic and made from quality materials. In one or two you’ll see inspiration from the 70’s…
7. What are your bestselling lights?
This constantly changes so it is hard to be specific. We have a diverse range of lights and diverse customers each of whom are looking for a different product. We also get large orders from hotels or developments which can give a distorted view of what most of what people actually like or are looking for. We are very excited about our new range of lights so watch this space!
8. Do you see every product through from conception to execution?
Yes. We work very closely both with each other and with the manufacturers. We talk through sketches and ideas at length before deciding which samples to get made up. Sketches are translated into technical drawings from which the manufacturers can work. Collaboration with the manufacturers is essential as every millimetre makes a difference as does the tone of a colour or the right finish. There is often a lot of toing and froing to get the product exactly right.
9. How do you decide which products to sell at Pooky?
It is good to know what is out there and to keep an eye on current trends but we do try to be objective and constantly move forward. There is a thread of familiarity through most of our products, whether traditional, practical or quirky but nothing is off the table for us and keeping an open mind is key. Lighting is an incredibly personal and expressive form of decoration so we try to provide a diverse collection to hopefully inspire a diverse clientele.
10. What is your favourite light fixture?
For pendants I love the simple sleek design of our classic chain ceiling rose especially the antique brass which works perfectly with our heavier hand blown glass pendants and lanterns. Another favourite is our scroll wall light fitting. It is a sleek design, elegant yet subtle and with our new range of shades looks stunning.
The post Light your home the right way with…Sophie Amini of Pooky appeared first on Ideal Home.
The demand for sustainable homeware is growing, and PETA are celebrating the best designs and innovations in the vegan homeware sphere
Sustainable fashion has never been so in demand, and more people are choosing a vegan lifestyle than ever before. In line with this growing focus on ethics, the demand for compassionate and sustainable homeware is also on the increase, and where there is demand, there is supply…
To celebrate the work of designers and retailers who are considering animal cruelty and the environment, PETA have created the first ever PETA Vegan Homeware Awards – and Ideal Home can exclusively reveal the winners.
The awards, with 14 categories, recognise the best designs and innovations for a ‘cruelty-free’ home.
‘Home is where the heart is – and compassionate consumers are driving the demand for beautiful vegan homeware,’ says PETA Director Elisa Allen. ‘Forward-thinking designers are experimenting with sustainable and cutting-edge vegan materials and offering a great variety of cruelty-free choices to suit every home and budget.’
Here are the winner’s of this year’s inaugural awards:
Best vegan sofa
Rockett St George Faux Cowhide Style Sofa
Best faux-sheepskin rug
Ikea Tejn Rug
Buy Now: Tejn rug, £10, Ikea
Best vegan leather home office chair
Made.com Keira office chair in black PU and brass
Best cruelty-free home fragrance
Le Labo home fragrance
Best vegan candle
Pacifica soy candles
Best faux-fur throw
Heal’s Lynx faux fur throw
Buy Now: Lynx faux fur throw, £249, Heal’s
Best wool-free blanket
Oliver Bonas woven stripe pom pom throw
Best down-free beddings
Debenhams ‘Feels Like Down’ microfibre duvet
Best feather-free cushion
Monsoon square tassel cushion
Buy Now: Square tassel cushion, £35, Monsoon
Best vegan mattress
John Lewis memory collection mattresses
Best silk-free sheets
Habitat washed sateen range
Best wool-free curtains
Zara Home grey velvet curtain
Simon Kern – Beleaf Chair
Slovakian designer Šimon Kern has crafted a unique chair made from a mixture of recycled leaves and bio-resin.
Emily Turnbull – Studio Can Can: Vegan interior design and build
Award-winning designer Emily Turnbull has created compassionate modern interiors for Fred Perry stores, hotels, private homes, and eateries including vegan café The Den and ‘vish’ and chips van Battered
The post PETA Vegan Homeware Awards 2017 – and the winners are… appeared first on Ideal Home.
After a repeat viewing, the owners took on a run-down Victorian house and turned it into a light-filled oasis of calm
The owners first looked around their southwest London home on a wet winter’s day, and were really not impressed by what they saw. ‘We didn’t like it,’ they admit. ‘Our hearts were set on a Victorian house around the corner, and this one felt gloomy and cold by comparison.’ But when they were outbid on the other property, the couple returned for a second visit. ‘This time, the sun was streaming in and we could see its true potential,’ they say.
The interior designer and chartered surveyor couple are no strangers to property renovation, but this time they wanted to use their professional skills on their own house. ‘We had been living in a small flat and wanted more space, so we decided to buy what we could afford in an area we liked and restore the house to make it suit us,’ they explain. ‘It’s our first “proper” family home with our daughter, who’s two.’
Undeterred by the poor state of the three-storey property, the pair set to work on a major five-month renovation while living in their old flat. As well as new ceilings, sash windows, flooring and bathrooms, rewiring and repairs to the roof, the couple replanned the lighting to ensure it was bright all year round.
The owners tripled the size of the kitchen by adding an extension at the rear, which took in the side return. ‘It has totally transformed the house, changing it from feeling poky and closed into a spacious and airy home,’ they say. Steel-framed doors across the width of the room add character, while also helping to maximise natural light.
‘We wanted the kitchen to feel calm and welcoming, especially when friends come over,’ the pair say, ‘so getting the practicalities right was important.’ Cupboard space was key so there is plenty of built-in storage, including a breakfast unit that conceals the toaster, coffee machine and cereals.
Get the look
Buy now: cabinets painted in Railings Estate Eggshell, £60 for 2.5ltr, Farrow & Ball
Compartments hidden in the dining area benches are great for stashing the couple’s daughter’s toys and keeping everything clutter-free. Bench seating set against tongue-and-groove panelling makes an inviting nook for family meals.
Glass doors open directly out from the kitchen-diner onto the patio, which has space for al-fresco meals. The dining set has been chosen to echo the colour of the windows.
Get the look
Buy now: Como outdoor dining set, £600, Cox & Cox
The owners’ love of printed textiles is evident throughout, from pretty cushions to chair covers, which complement their mix of antique and modern furniture. ‘We like to put together patterns and plains, old and new, but nothing too garish,’ they say. ‘We also don’t buy anything unless we love it – after all, we want to live with it and enjoy it for a long time.’
‘Usually we will start a room with a piece that we love, like the antique mirrors in the bedroom, and build from there.’ The owners favour a neutral palette, often picking up on a favourite painting or print. ‘Each room looks as if it has evolved over time,’ they say. ‘That’s how you give a home character.’
The couple wanted a timeless scheme that their daughter wouldn’t grow out of. Toys and prints give it subtle interest that a child will love.
A cast-iron tub and traditional mixer create a classic look in the bathroom. The artwork adds colour to the all-white space without being overly dominant.
Now, with a second child on the way, the owners are glad they were outbid on the first house. ‘This was a much better choice,’ they say. ‘It had the potential to become a more spacious family-sized home. We feel so fortunate that we came back here for that second look.’
This house tour originally appeared in 25 Beautiful Homes, July 2017.
Image credits: Malcolm Menzies
The post This beautiful Victorian house in London was given a second chance appeared first on Ideal Home.
If you want to impress your guests, have one of these hanging on your wall…
When you think about your favourite British artworks, do you imagine classic paintings or do you prefer graffiti and creative album artwork?
Either way, you are not alone. The nation’s favourite British artworks have been revealed, and the findings show that street art by Banksy and his contemporaries is just as popular as the old classics.
Two thousand British adults voted for their favourite visual artwork as part of a study carried out by the Frame National Art Audit. Banksy has been ranked ahead of the likes of Turner and Constable, with his ‘Balloon Girl’ ranked the nation’s favourite. John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’, which hangs in the National Gallery, was voted the second most popular work of art. Two vinyl record covers also make the top ten.
These results highlight an eclectic and open-minded national taste, with British people appreciating street art just as much as traditional paintings.
Here are the nation’s top ten favourite British artworks:
1. Banksy, Balloon Girl
2. John Constable, The Hay Wain
3. Jack Vettriano, The Singing Butler
4. JMW Turner, The Fighting Temeraire
5. Antony Gormley, The Angel of the North
6. L S Lowry, Going to the Match
7. John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott
8. Peter Blake, Sgt Pepper album cover
9. Hipgnosis and George Hardie, Dark Side of the Moon album cover
10. George Stubbs, Mares and Foals
The study also revealed that 70 per cent of us exhibit artwork in our homes. But beware, 73 per cent of Brits admit they judge people based on their choice of art that they display.
Read more: How to display wall art at home
If you’re looking for artwork inspiration or want to ensure guests are impressed by your taste, look no further than this eclectic top ten list, there’s sure to be something that takes your fancy.
We wonder what the list will look like in 20 years time…
The interior giant’s latest collaboration is a simple, contemporary take on essential furniture and homeware
Ikea has done it again. Its latest must-have collection is a collaboration with a master of contemporary homeware, Danish design company Hay. We can just imagine the introductions – Hej Hay! Talk about a Scandi marriage made in heaven.
Between them, they have reinvented more than 30 key pieces of furniture and homeware. The resulting Ypperlig range is – not surprisingly – stunning.
Launching this October, the Ypperlig collection encompasses larger pieces, such as sofas and bookshelves, and smaller accessories like candlesticks and vases.
To give you an idea of how accessible these pieces will be, the Ypperlig three-seat sofa-bed shown above comes in at £550, and the Ypperlig coffee table is a steal at £35. You’ll be able to pick up the Ypperlig throw and cushion cover for £8 and £5, respectively.
The price of this chic nest of tables is set to be just as reasonable. We love the way the smaller tables hang in the centre of things. The Ypperlig candle holder on top is just £3.
They’ve even given the iconic blue Ikea tote bag a fresh look – in a white and forest green woven fabric with green straps.
Love Ikea furniture? Take a look at this Ikea sofa styled three ways.
The idea behind the collection was to challenge people’s perception of Ikea quality and design. Natural unstained wood, simple shapes and a largely earthy palette, give the pieces an authentic and ageless feel. These are investment pieces, without the need for a big investment!
Perfect for freshly cut foliage from the garden, this rustic Ypperlig vase will cost £12.
Love IKEA? Do you own all of their most popular products?
‘We learned a lot of things from this collaboration that we can apply to our own company,’ says Rolf Hay, who founded the brand alongside wife Mette in 2002. ‘For example, there’s the simplicity in the Ikea supply chain. Or taking something that’s complex and making it more simple and therefore better and less expensive.
‘We also learned a lot about creating the best tools and strong solutions, and dealing with flat-pack challenges,’ Rolf adds.
We can’t wait to get our mitts on this pretty and practical Ypperlig shelving, price to be confirmed…
…or …or this Ypperlig wall shelf, which costs £12. Yes, that’s just TWELVE POUNDS for an iconic piece of Scandi design.
Hay is the latest in a series of designer collaborations for Ikea. Last year Kanye West tried to jump on the Ikea bandwagon after he declared his ambitions to design for the company.
We won’t hold our breath…
The post Ikea and Hay are making beautiful homeware together appeared first on Ideal Home.
Evoke the look and feel of summer in your living room with these bright and beautiful schemes...
Living rooms are made for relaxation, so update yours with a fresh new look that’s ideal for laid-back living during the summer months. Fresh white walls are the epitome of summer style and will allow you to experiment with different colours and themes against a works-with-everything backdrop.
A simple way to transform a cosy winter den into a summery sanctuary is to replace heavy fabrics, such as curtains. Voiles will let sunlight stream through your windows into your room, or, if you’d prefer more privacy at night, choose a roller blind that won’t block out any natural light when it’s rolled up during the day.
Using a muted palette of stone and pebble grey alongside natural textures that are reminiscent of the coast will instantly make a living room feel summer-ready. Distressed wooden furniture, wicker armchairs, jute baskets and seaglass accessories will all add that chilled-out seaside vibe.
Find out how to introduce colour into your space. READ: Living room colour schemes brimming with character
The beautiful blue skies and uplifting sunlight of summer can serve as inspiration to add bright colour to your home. Just one piece of furniture repainted or reupholstered in a vibrant shade could completely change the mood of your living room, giving it a more positive feel. Keep flooring neutral; bare floorboards, engineered wood or a pale carpet will work with any scheme and leave you plenty of breathing room to add a colourful rug or upholstery.
Get cute with cacti
Cacti and succulents are fast becoming the favourite indoor plant of the interiors world right now. From mini Aeonium succulents to large sculptural Saguaro cactus there are many ways to make the most of the versatile and hardy plants, they will instantly turn a wintery scheme into a summer sanctuary. Let architectural features shine with stripped wood floors and undressed windows. A modern approach to decorating can bring out the essence of a period property. In this stunning Georgian home, modern design classics share space with antiques and retro pieces while beautiful chandeliers twinkle overhead for added glow. A gentle grey on the walls brings out the beauty of architraves, coving and dado rails.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar sofa, Moulin Rouge Red Leather Chesterfield Sofa, Alexander & Pearl
Brighten up with orange
Add rich bright accent colours to lift a neutral space. Take your living room from spring to summer by simply changing your accessories. Go for a vivid, rusty orange to bring about a cheery scheme that is sure to keep your smiling all summer long. Choosing a different accent for the finishing touches is an easy way to change the look and feel of the room.
Get the look
Buy now: Chair, Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair, Muloco
Into the sea
Invigorate your living room with uplifting tones of turquoise and ultramarine. Together, they generate a vibrant yet mellow mix that really pops when you add in touches of white and lime green. A bold palette like this lends itself to a scheme with more than a little bit of a Miami Beach vibe, so go for simple, modern furniture and glamorous, white, high-gloss finishes.
Get the look
Buy now: Shelving, Balance Alcove Shelving, Clipping
Layer jazzy colour on a low-key sofa. The subtle colours of key furniture pieces make this country living room airy and ambient. The mid century-style coffee table and console keep the room totally up-to-date while a well loved loft ladder painted teal blue adds a fun touch. An array of coloured cushions in various upbeat patterns combined with a blue contemporary rug offsets the understated background beautifully. Pattern is a great way to revive a living room for the summer months. Try swapping your cushion covers or rugs for floral, striped or geometric designs to bring more life into your scheme.
Bring an uplifting country vibe to a classic mid-century-style living room with this upbeat colour pairing. The coolness of the yellow-toned green offsets the heat of the bright, orangey-pink accents. Together, they’ll bring life to a neutral base and brighten a light-starved space. The lemongrass works well on walls and upholstery without overwhelming a small room, while the warmer nectarine hue is best kept in the details and in prints. A zesty citron will liven up a room, while soft peach will add a welcoming warmth.
Channel a coastal vibe
Create a classic scheme with laid-back accommodating sofas in warm biscuit tones and layer up soft whites and watery blues in simple country patterns. Small-scale stripes, checks and hand-blocked florals work well together on cushions, blinds and chair covers to lift the look. Two-tone natural linen curtains keep the windows soft and a trio of roller blinds can be lowered or raised to keep the summer sunshine filtered as it moves around the room. A couple of starfish, a boat picture and a textured rug evocative of a pebble beach all add a touch of seaside fun.
Get the look
Buy now: Sofa, Wentworth Sofa, Oka
Factor in florals
Transport yourself to tropical climes with vibrant botanic prints. This beautiful floral wallpaper oozes colonial elegance, especially when combined with the bright rag rug and white plantation-style shutters. The cane chair continues the colonial theme and nods to the 1970s revival as well. A wood and metal drinks trolley adds a glamorous finishing touch – G&T anyone?
Get the look
Buy now: Wallpaper, Tulipan wallpaper, Osborne & Little Pasha Wallpaper Collection at Wallpaper Direct
Re-create a modern country scheme by balancing rich wood tones with funky prints for a retro vibe. Fabrics in cool white and pebble grey provide the base for layered accents of blue and yellow. Here, a pastel-coloured sofa livens up the scheme and echoes the tones in the wallpaper. A group of contemporary prints in matching frames creates a simple display.
Get the look
Buy now: Coffee table, Skandi Oak Coffee Table, Dunelm
Love duck egg colour schemes? READ: Duck egg living room ideas to help you create a beautiful scheme
Introduce a sunny palette all over
Don’t be afraid to pick one colour and use it all over you room, especially if it is as fun and vibrant as this hot yellow. If you’re short on space, turning rooms into multi-functional areas is a great solution. In this bright country living room a desk has been added against one wall to create a mini home office. Using a different paint colour – such as the yellow used on the wall here – is a great way to emphasise a change of function within a multi-use room.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar chair, Lawrence Solid Wood Dining Chair, Wayfair
Think about materials and texture
Team delicate neutrals and natural weaves. Woven furniture and accessories have a timeless appeal and are great for creating a relaxed, lived-in feel. Casual in its construction, this look will work equally well in a modern or country setting. Adding colourful accents will prevent the overall look from appearing washed out. Instil a playful, fun feel in your scheme by including pattern and texture underfoot.
Get the look
Buy now: Chair, PP512 Folding chair, TwentyTwentyOne
How will you be decorating your living room this summer?
What began as the owners' simple desire for an updated kitchen turned into a full-scale refurbishment, complete with a spacious new layout, for this characterful Georgian home
You would never know that this house was originally part of a brewery. ‘From the outside, it looks like a sweet, flat-fronted Georgian doll’s house,’ say the owners of their Winchester home.
The couple originally used the house as a pied-à-terre, but in 2015, they decided to sell their home in the country and move here. This soon revealed the building’s shortcomings and, although the house was perfectly livable, it needed improving. It could be quite drafty and the sitting room, which faces north, was always particularly cold and unappealing. ‘Although it has great bones, it is not a large house, just two rooms deep, and it felt quite poky,’ say the couple.
The refurbishment began with a broken dishwasher. ‘We knew we needed to fix it and while we were at it, we decided to change the kitchen a bit,’ say the owners. ‘The layout of the room was poor, which made it really difficult to cook – and we love to cook. We asked an interior designer to help and when we showed her round the house, she immediately had ideas that we liked so much, we ended up redoing everything, from top to bottom.’
The changes the interior designer suggested were intended to open up the entire layout of the house and make it feel bigger. The couple also gave her free reign with colour. ‘Some of the shades our interior designer used in our house are quite dark, which we thought rather bold, but they create lovely, intimate spaces,’ say the couple.
Sitting room arch
The arched area was originally a narrow corridor that led to the front door. Most of the wall was taken down to open up the sitting room and improve the flow of the space.
The previous, poorly laid-out scheme has been replaced with this well-considered arrangement of bespoke cabinets and central island unit. The decision to use a glamorous combination of pink, copper and gold warms and offsets the dark-grey stone worktops.
The south-facing kitchen-diner is one of the owners’ favourite rooms. ‘We are both poets and we like to sit at the table and write,’ they say. ‘It is particularly lovely in the summer, as the sun warms the room all day long.’
Get the look
Buy now: Buffalo side chairs, £299 each, Heal’s
‘The blue-grey colour of our bedroom walls is beautiful,’ say the couple. ‘We set up a shared Pinterest board with our interior designer and kept pinning the same images – simultaneously in the case of the beautiful curtain fabric from Lewis & Wood.’
Elegant built-in cupboards have been made specifically to fit the space and provide neat, easy-to-access storage.
Victorian-style geometric floor tiles bring depth and interest to the scheme without compromising the modest space’s restful atmosphere.
Main bathroom from other side
The bathroom enjoys a convenient position between the main bedroom and the dressing room.
Get the look
Buy now: Odyssey wallpaper, £50 per sq m, Watts of Westminster
‘Originally, we only had folding beds in the attic because we couldn’t get proper beds up the narrow, winding staircase,’ say the owners. ‘The solution was to make the beds in parts then assemble them in the rooftop. Now the attic rooms feel like grown-up spaces.’
Attic bedroom window
Storage trunks offer an attractive way to keep belongings tidied away, but also easily to hand.
Basement shower room
This renovated basement space is a valuable addition to the house, especially when the couple’s grown-up sons are staying. The brickwork, a legacy of the property’s brewery history, has been cleaned and sealed.
Get the look
Buy now: doors in Acqua Viva Oil Gloss, £31 for 750ml, Paint & Paper Library
‘Now that the house is finished, it’s as comfortable as our old country house,’ say the owners. ‘It feels calm and luxurious, but also really joyful.’
This house originally appeared in Homes & Gardens, July 2017.
Image credits: Mel Yates
The post Explore this newly renovated Georgian home in Winchester appeared first on Ideal Home.
It’s the time of year to roll out the barbecue, but cleaning off old grime can be a nightmare. Put in a few hours’ elbow grease and you’ll be good to go for summer
The sun’s finally out and no doubt you’re craving burgers and bangers, steaks and salmon, cooked to order on the BBQ. Yum. Or maybe not, because the last time you saw your grill it was gathering dust in the shed, still caked in last summer’s last grill out. Sound about right? Then it’s time to bite the bullet, put on a pair of rubber gloves and get scrubbing. This isn’t just a step-by-step guide to how to clean a BBQ – we’ve also added a few hacks to help you keep your grill clean all summer long.
No way that grease and grime is coming off? Then take a look at Barbecues – our pick of the best.
1. Start with heat
If there’s still caked-on food left over from last year, light fresh coals in your barbecue and leave them to reach a very high heat. This will burn off a lot of the most stubborn remnants.
2. Clean the BBQ with steam
Allow your barbecue to cool slightly, but while it’s still warm, cover the grill in water-soaked old newspaper. Close the lid for half an hour to steam clean it.
3. Get scrubbing
Use a grill brush with wire bristles to get rid of remaining food particles. If you have a porcelain-coated rack, it’s best to use a brass-bristled grill brush to avoid damaging it. No grill brush? Screw up aluminium foil into a ball and scrub the grill with it instead. Next, clean the grill with a dishcloth and hot soapy water.
If that doesn’t shift the dirt, you might want to try a household cleaner. However, some can be abrasive and toxic for a barbecue, so make sure you get a cleaner that’s specifically designed for the job, such as Jeyes barbecue cleaner, £3.50 for 750ml, B&Q.
4. Tackle the base
As soon as your barbecue is cool, tip away leftover ash into a bucket – it will collect moisture and be harder to clean later if you leave it. Use damp kitchen roll to pick up the final bits, then give the base a good wash using warm water and washing-up liquid.
5. Wipe the outside
Using fresh warm water and washing-up liquid, wipe the exterior, then buff the metal shell with a dry cloth. If your barbecue is stainless steel, use a specialist polishing spray. It’s also worth giving your BBQ a light coating of mineral or baby oil to protect it from the elements. This is doubly important if you’re planning to keep your barbecue outside all summer long, and will give it a lovely shine.
6. Prevent more grime from building up
Next time you fire up your grill, give it a good coating of sunflower oil before you start cooking to stop food from baking on to the surface. Also, have a brush with a long handle to hand, so you can loosen any stuck-on food while the barbecue is still hot.
7. How to clean a BBQ if time is against you
Try some speedy antibacterial wipes. We like double-sided Barbecue Cleaning Wipes, £4.99, Landmann.
8. Always cover up
It may seem like a faff, but covering your grill to protect it from the elements will save you loads of hassle in the long run. Covers are available for most brands of barbecue. You’ll usually have to pay extra for them, but they will ward off rust and keep out extra dirt between cook-outs.
9. Keep on top of things
Now that you’ve got your barbecue looking pristine, ensure it remains in tip-top condition by using a barbecue cleaning product after every use. Weber BBQ Grate Cleaner, £8.99 for 500ml, John Lewis, will do the job perfectly.
If reading this has got you in the mood for sprucing things up, check out our Best ever cleaning tips
Got any BBQ cleaning tips that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments box.
Now that school's out, you might be rethinking your family spaces. Our decorating tips will help you to create a relaxed and practical home that's easy to live with, and which both parents and kids will love
Think family spaces and your mind may conjure up a sea of toys, clutter-covered surfaces and childish colour palettes. But while lots of things change when you have kids – including the way you decorate – that doesn’t mean you can’t create tasteful schemes. Read on, and discover how to use a versatile mix of colour and pattern for a relaxed yet sophisticated look that everyone will love.
Need somewhere for the kids to hang out? Read: Playroom ideas everyone will love
In a living room, go for surfaces that can stand up to hectic family life. A raw-wood table is ideal, as knocks and marks will add character to its appearance, rather than ruining it. Go for a super-comfy sofa that everyone in the family can squash onto.
Simple footstools can act as overflow seating when the kids have got friends round. Add plenty of storage for games and books – baskets beside seating are great for tossing abandoned toys, newspapers and shoes into when you’re having a high-speed tidy-up. Give your scheme a modern, global look with a patterned blind in a bold, tribal print.
Ditch dust-gathering open shelves in a dining room and display plates inside a more practical glazed unit instead. Contemporary dining chairs in bright shades are suitable for informal family meals, but will also look stylish enough for when you’re entertaining.
Whether your decorating personality is classic or urban, a laid-back global look works anywhere. Take your scheme in a more rural direction by replacing the African prints with large-scale, bright, floral prints, or make in industrial by mixing in an area of exposed brick (or a brick-effect wallpaper to fake the look).
Opt for pared-back furniture that doesn’t feel ‘officey’ for a work area within a multipurpose kitchen, dining and living space. Using a large dining table as a desk will provide enough room for two people to work alongside each other. Keep a shared desk area organised by lining up a row of pots for each family member to keep their own pens and pencils in. Fix up wall-mounted task lighting in addition to a desk lamp to prevent strained eyes when working late.
Grown up’s bedroom
As kids see every floor in the house as a play area, lay soft rugs on bedroom floors and keep a trunk at the foot of the bed to throw discarded toys into for sorting out later. An upholstered headboard and a row of sumptuous cushions will make settling in for a bedtime story comfy.
This is one room where we’d ditch any strong colours for a more relaxing palette. Mum and Dad will enjoy the calming atmosphere when indulging in some precious me time, and cooler tones will soothe little ones as they start their bedtime routine.
More inspiration: Family bathroom design ideas
It’s useful to have a rack within arm’s reach of the bath, so it’s easy to grab a fresh towel to dry off soggy children before they drip all over the floor. Also place a laundry basket nearby so you can ditch dirty clothes in a hurry. A step stool doubles as somewhere to perch while you’re washing behind their ears, and the hand shower isn’t just good for rinsing hair – it’s a big help when you’re cleaning your tub.
This period villa in Cornwall has stunning views out to sea while, inside, a neutral colour palette creates a lovely welcoming feel
The owners of this two-bedroom semi-detached Victorian villa in Cornwall are an engaged couple who work in television production. They spent six months renovating the property before decorating work could even begin and they undertook a lot of the work themselves. ‘Whatever we didn’t know, we learned along the way, researching online or seeking advice,’ say the owners. With these views, it was well worth it.
The granite-coloured stone gives the property an imposing look, while the original sash windows and blue painted front door soften the feel of the exterior. A collection of potted plants, a gravel-covered front garden and painted iron railings create a welcoming entrance.
The perfect blend of country and coastal, this charming kitchen-diner came together from the owners’ choice of traditional pieces that are both practical and stylish. Copper and turquoise cookware grouped together creates an eye-catching feature. Use open shelving to make the most of the space and turn the wall of the kitchen into an attractive aspect.
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Buy now: Similar cookware, Copper Cookware, John Lewis
Don’t play to type with a typical coastal look. Here the owners have steered clear of the obvious by balancing the white panelled walls in the dining area with a dark contrasting floor. The vintage chairs and farmhouse table add character and another dimension to the room and complement the original fireplace and stove.
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Buy now: Ceiling light, Cobb Ceiling Light, Original BTC at John Lewis
Again in the living room, the scheme is a surprise. Dark stained floorboards and more formal furniture go against the casual Cornish aesthetic. The owners’ handy skills came into play again as they reupholstered the inherited armchair themselves. Comfort abounds in this classic living room that steers clear of a traditional all-white Cornish look in favour of a more striking scheme. The richly stained and glossy floorboards and more formal shapes of furniture are traditional staples, but the choice of upholstery fabrics in muted tones of contrasting colours create an eclectic but coherent feel.
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Buy now: Similar lamp, Signal Zigzag Floor Lamp, Jieldé at Made In Design
Sitting room corner
The traditional living room was given a period feel with vintage furniture and accessories gathered by the owners. The couple share a love of antiques and were keen to incorporate a vintage style. ‘Finding furniture and accessories became our favourite game during the renovations’.
‘Our bed has lovely views from every window, so we kept the décor simple to allow the sea to be the star of the show,’ say the owners. Smart idea. With the timeless look of simple white walls and classic furniture, the room is fresh and unfussy. The zing of the bedspread is a nice contrast. This cohesive arrangement of white furniture and accessories creates the perfect backdrop for a distressed vintage console table and original floorboards.
Vintage furniture painted white gives the bedroom an elegant boutique-hotel feel. Carefully chosen and revived, the stunning armoire is an auction site find from France that was then brought back to life with chalk paint and some TLC. Chalk paints are a great choice for furniture as they don’t require a primer, making it a time- and cost-effective option.
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Buy now: Similar chest of drawers, Burford Painted Drawer Chest, The Cotswold Company
More vintage furniture painted white creates the setting for this dressing table tableau enhanced by glass trinket jars that provide an attractive but practical storage solution. The vintage theme is continued thanks to carefully chosen accessories. The large floor lamp adds a metallic tone to the neutral colour scheme as well as bringing a contemporary element to the space.
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Buy now: Glass trinket jar, Glass Cotton Jar, John Lewis
In the generously sized bathroom the owners paid careful attention to the details. The period feel of the grey panelled walls and fixtures was a deliberate move. ‘It was important to us to respect the history of the house in every room,’ they say.
Vintage fixtures and fittings give this bathroom an elegant feel. Décor has been kept simple, using tones of whites and grey, allowing the striking claw foot tub to take centre stage. Hang shutters – they are a coastal staple and provide privacy while still allowing the right amount of light into the room.
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Buy now: Similar shutters, California Shutters
The twin guest bedroom is another place where a vintage industrial feel is balanced with fresh calm. The brass bed frames – also an auction-site find – and the wall-mounted lights give it a contemporary edge. Bring in pattern and texture in scatter cushion form and match with pale green throws to continue the feeling of symmetry in the room.
A unique or interesting item of furniture is a great way to support the look of a neutral bedroom. Here, the twin brass beds are the stand-out focal point. Keep every other element pale so as not to fight with the statement bed frames.
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Buy now: Bed, Oliver bed, Feather & Black
This house tour originally appeared in Ideal Home
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