Get inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show

Get inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show

23rd May 2016

Elvis Costello might have sung “I don’t want to go to Chelsea” but we bet he’d have changed his mind if he’d managed to lay his hands on tickets for the most prestigious flower show around! The RHS Chelsea Flower Show (24-28 May 2016) has been a highlight of the British calendar for well over a century – it started life as the RHS Great Spring Show back in 1862, then moved to its present home, the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital in London, in 1913, where it’s been held every year since (with just a few gaps during the two World Wars).

A right royal show

Every year the RHS Chelsea Flower Show draws over 150,000 visitors – including members of the royal family – who come from far and wide to be wowed by the amazing show gardens and exhibits. This year, as a tribute to HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, visitors will be able to see a magnificent floral arch made with flowers donated by British growers and a photographic exhibition that chronicles Her Majesty The Queen’s many visits to the show. Other show highlights include an acoustic garden that plays musical notes, the British Eccentrics Garden featuring bizarre gadgetry that ‘performs’ every 15 minutes, and the Tunnel installation, which celebrates the scent and beauty of fresh roses. For more details, see rhs.org.uk/shows

Feeling the power of the flower?

If the thought of the floral spectacular at Chelsea has got you channeling your inner Alan Titchmarsh, hang fire as there are less strenuous ways of getting your garden fix. We’ve come up with five simple, stylist-inspired ways to help you bring the outside in without ever having to lift a trowel…

1 Beautiful botanicals

Recreate the garden indoors with floral sofas. Flower prints are big this season so don’t be afraid to go large – to avoid the kitsch and keep this look totally contemporary, opt for a zingy citrus shade.

ellie_2a_elliefloral_citruscombination_view2

The fabulous Ellie Floral 2-seater sofa from DFS

2 Opposites attract

Don’t be afraid to clash – Mother Nature isn’t always harmonious but she is always stunning. Try a leaf-print wallpaper on a feature wall offset with a textured plain sofa, and mix and match shades of green, such emerald, lime, sage, olive and pistachio, to create your own garden-inspired living space.

Concerto with floral wallpaper

Add some texture with the velvet Concerto sofa from DFS

3 Pots of plants

Create your own indoor garden with a stunning display of houseplants. Group them together for maximum impact, and add interest to your forest-scape by choosing plants with different leaves, shapes and textures, like in this luxurious design from gardening gurus balconygardenweb.com.

Plant display

Group houseplants together to create a stunning display of green

4 Reclaim and restore

Upcycled furniture is perfect for the indoors/outdoors look with its distressed-vintage vibe mirroring the weathered look of garden furniture. Go for a combination of woods in different shades with elements of metal for a true potting-shed-meets-lounge look. For more upcycling inspiration, check out our recent blog Upcycle Like a Pro.

Upcycle still from vid

Upcycle old furniture for a bang-on-trend reclaimed look

5 Bouquet? OK!

And of course the easiest way to bring the outdoors in is to literally bring the outdoors in, with gorgeous bunches of flowers dotted around your home in statement vases. Here’s one of our faves from Dwell – an intricate design of chromed roses that will look great in every room.

Dwell rose vase

Large ceramic rose vase in chrome from Dwell

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our newest Style Sourcebook ezine, online now. It’s packed with style advice and ideas on the latest looks for your home, including a piece on How to Bring the Outside In, along with a practical video on blurring the boundaries between indoors and out to create a nature-inspired look for your home.

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DFS Dens

DFS Dens

20th May 2016

During the last bank holiday, we asked you to vote and tell us which of our 'hack' ideas you'd like us to bring to life. 

You chose: *drum roll please* ..... DFS Dens

You chose wisely, in our opinion :) 

We've spent the last couple of weeks having THE BEST TIME EVER designing the best. sofa. den. ever, and now we're super excited about sharing our magic formula with you. 

Before we get started, here's the ingredients you'll need: 

  1. One sofa (ideally a DFS sofa of course!) 

  2. 4 sofa cushions (this is the ideal number, but if you've only got three that will also do) 
  3. 1 light blanket or sheet 
  4. Snacks and supplies to keep you comfortable 

Optional extras: 

  • A view of the TV 

  • A pet to keep you company 
  • A sign to give your den a name 

 

Method: 

1. Clear a space for you to work in and move any fragile objects out of harm's way 

SOFA FORT INFOGRAPHIC2. Start with your walls - we used 4 cushions for ours to get plenty of space, but the main thing is to have at least three cushions connected 

SOFA FORT INFOGRAPHIC

3. Don't forget to leave space for an entrance for allowed visitors

SOFA FORT INFOGRAPHIC

4. Drape your blanket over the top of the den to create a nice roof. You may want to fold your blanket if it is larger than your den 

SOFA FORT INFOGRAPHIC

5. Get in and try it out!

6. Adjust the layout as necessary

7. Enjoy your den! 

child_in_den copy

Additional tips you might want to try: 

  • To add extra height to your den (making it more adult friendly), build around some other furniture

  • Take a smaller cushion or pillow into your den to sit on 
  • If the weather’s nice open the windows or even take your den into the garden

 

That's it: our simple guide to help you make the best sofa den ever this bank holiday weekend. 

Don't forget to share your pics of your completed dens with us on #DFSdens. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Instagram for the latest #DFSdens. 

Have fun! 

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Nauticals

3 ways to bring the beach look to your home

18th May 2016

When the sun’s shining, there’s nowhere us Brits would rather be than at the seaside, with the sand crunching under our toes, the waves lapping gently at our feet and a 99 dripping down our arms! But unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a house right on the cliffs, making a break for the beach isn’t always the easiest of options, so we’re here to help you bring a little bit of coastal style to your home, no matter whether you’re in Dorset or Derby.

3 ways to be nautical… and nice

The cool coastal vibe for our homes is hot right now… it’s a look that’s easy to achieve and even easier to live with. Think laid-back, unfussy and relatively informal, sort of shabby chic but light on the shabby, and you’ll be sniffing the salty air in no time.

1 Choose your palette

To keep your coastal-living look fresh and modern, base your scheme around the traditional seaside shades of whites and blues, but also bring in greys, creams and neutrals such as beige and taupe. The beauty of these colours is that not only do they harmonise wonderfully (like a sea shanty sung by the Fisherman’s Friends), they’re also more reflective of the beach in all seasons, not just summer, which means you’re creating a room that will look stunning year round. Check out this beauty we found at houseofturquoise.com, puppy on sofa optional!

Create the coastal look, from houseofturquoise.com

Whites, blues, greys and neutrals – the perfect year-round beach décor look

2 Add a statement sofa (or two)

When it comes to choosing your coastal-style centerpiece sofa, bold shades such as navy or white lend themselves to a crisper, more elegant style room, while muted, washed-out shades, such as denim or grey, work best in a relaxed beach house-style living space.

  • Beachy-keen If the beach-house look is the one that floats your fishing boat, try Coast in Denim Combination from the über-cool French Connection range at DFS, or Rupert in Ash Combination, a fabulous corner chaise made for snuggling on after a hard day’s rock-pooling.

In soft denim blue, the Coast is the ultimate chillaxing sofa

rupert_zbpb_rupert_ashcombination_view1

Kick back and relax on the Rupert corner chaise

  • Relaxed elegance If full-on beachcomber isn’t for you, then a more traditionally styled sofa in a coastal-inspired fabric is the way to go. We particularly love the Gower Stripe in Charcoal – beachy-cream with a sharp grey-blue stripe – while the Chesterfield style of the Loch Leven in Blue combines luxury with sumptuous comfort.

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Nicely stripy: the Gower is a fresh take on coastal décor

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Blue is the colour with the rich tones of the Loch Leven

 

3 Accessorise, accessorise

A quick and easy way to inject a bit of the beach into your home is with accessories – but avoid the clichés of boats and anchors, you’re not Popeye! Instead go for striped or checked cushions in coastal colours, or this Splash rug from Dwell with its seaside colours of blues and greys.

splash rug dwell

Add a splash of colour with this rug from Dwell

 

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Outdoor entertaining

ideas outdoor entertaining

Simple ideas for effortless outdoor entertaining

16th May 2016

The weather’s warming up so it’s time to move the party into the garden with our easy ideas for outdoor entertaining

Spring has definitely sprung, and the warmer days and lighter nights are the perfect excuse to gather family and friends together for a fantastic garden party.
Get out of here!
Nothing beats hosting an outdoor party on a (hopefully) sunny weekend – good food, good company and a gorgeously styled space in which to kick back and relax. So here are a few of our top outdoor entertaining ideas to make sure your garden party goes with a swing.
Garden furniture for all spaces
While we’d all like to be Simon Cowell (‘Hmm, which lawn shall I host today’s party on?’), the reality is that most of us only have one area for outdoor entertaining, and that’s our garden. But with a little planning, some style hacks and some gorgeous garden furniture, you can turn any outdoor space into party central.
  • Room to manoeuvre Think of your garden as an outdoor room and plan your entertaining space that way: a table for eating, some sofa-style chairs for relaxing (we love the contemporary curved lines of this Cayon sofa set) and a firepit or chiminea for warmth (it can get a bit chilly in early May when the sun goes down).
   
Cayon contemporary outdoor furniture

Comfy outdoor sofas are the perfect place to chill

 
  • Rug-ged good looks Really define your outdoor entertaining area with a rug (as long as there’s no rain forecast!). This helps to reinforce the sense of an outdoor room whether you set it up on the deck, the patio or the lawn. A striking design, such as the Jack, would make a great focal point.
The Jack rug works well in outdoor spaces

Define your outdoor space with a large rug

 
  • Shades of summer A parasol, such as the Largo, can also be used to separate and define areas, and provide some much-needed shade from the sun.
 
Largo parasol for outdoor entertaining

Define your outdoor entertaining space with a large parasol

 
  • Weather beaters Be smart about the outdoor furniture you choose and it will last you for years. Go for weather-resistant materials such as PU rattan, toughened glass tabletops and shower-proof, wipeable cushions. If you’re short on space, a sofa-style dining set, like the stylish Estepona, will double up as somewhere to both relax and eat.
 
Estepona gives the wow factor to outdoor entertaining spaces

A sofa-style set doubles up as a place to both dine and relax

 
  • Small(er) and perfectly formed Size doesn’t matter when it comes to eating outdoors. Even a smaller bistro-style table, such as the Souri, can easily host four chairs, perfect for al fresco dining.
 
Outdoor patio set Souri bistro table, perfect for 2, 3 or even 4

Bistro-style tables fit beautifully into the smallest of outdoor spaces

 

Table decorating 101

A garden party or al fresco feast is the perfect excuse to go to town on simple, yet effective, outdoor decorations, especially where the main event – the table – is concerned.
Candles in lanterns on patio dining table with place settings

Candles in lanterns on patio dining table with place settings

 
  • While it might seem easier to use disposable plates and cutlery, paper and plastic doesn’t give the same sense of occasion. So bring your favourite glassware, china and cutlery outdoors for a real dinner party feel. Your outdoor table will look stunning and your guests will appreciate the extra effort you’ve gone to.
  • For more formal entertaining, take a silver pen and write your guests names on stones, laurel leaves or even luggage labels; tie cutlery together with bright coloured raffia or ribbon for unusual place settings.
  • Fresh flower heads and petals make beautiful outdoor table top decorations, as do vases full of whatever garden glories are available – from single stems to vases bursting with peonies or hydrangeas.
  • Instead of your usual tablecloth, try a silk sari instead. The bright colours will pop in the sunlight, and when the sun goes down, the glint of the gold thread will sparkle under the lanterns or fairy lights.
 

DIY dining

One of the beauties of outdoor entertaining is that it lends itself to either a formal or relaxed vibe. So while a four-course meal is great for more traditional occasions, for a more chilled get-together why not save on the stress with a build-your-own burger bar, as suggested by blogger Annalise at completelydelicious.com. Set up a side table piled with a selection of toppings: coleslaw, bacon, cheese, avocado… whatever takes your fancy. Then fire up the barbie, cook the burgers to order, then let everyone top their own. Easy or what!
Set up a table with toppings for burgers, from completelydelicious.com

Build your own burger bar – effortless entertaining

 

Get your party started with our great wine offer

We’ve teamed up with the lovely chaps at Virgin Wines to offer you a fabulous spring deal on 12 delicious wines for only £49.99 – that’s just £4.17 a bottle; a massive saving of over £57! Wine offer Order now and we’ll also send you a delicious bottle of premium fizz absolutely free (worth £10.99!). Click here to order now (Terms and Conditions apply)

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