8 ways to cosy up your home for winter

8 ways to cosy up your home for winter

19th October 2016

Pretty and practical tips to make your home a winter haven

With wintry weather on its way, now’s the perfect time to think about turning your home in to a warm, snuggly haven of comfort and joy.

We bet you’ve already bought your winter coat, gloves and boots to cope with whatever Mother Nature throws at you this winter… but what about getting your home ready to face the colder, darker days ahead? Here are 8 seasonal style tips that will add the snug to your cosy winter home.  

1 Rug up

The fashionistas’ winter watchword is ‘layering’ and this goes for your home too. Stone or wood floors that looked (and felt) über cool in summer will benefit from a soft rug or two being thrown over them in winter. Try a sheepskin rug by your bed, a dhurrie-style rug over wooden boards, or spice up your lounge with a large, fluffy number like the Spirit rug from Dwell in a gorgeous jewel-tone.

Rugs add instant cosy winter home style

Rugs add instant cosy winter home style

2 Bump up the cushions

For max snuggle, you need lots of cushions in a variety of tones, textures and sizes. Go for a combo of velvet, faux fur and chunky knits – gorgeous, tactile fabrics that really come in to their own in winter.

You can never have too many cushions

You can never have too many cushions

3 Throw on a throw

Throws are the winter homemaker’s BFF. They’re warm, cosy and, from a style perspective, a speedy way to transform a room when draped over sofas, chairs and beds. The colour? Whites and greys keep it Scandi-stylish, while earth tones of olive green and rich terracotta (like the Turin throw) are bang on trend for this season. We ❤ the warmth and texture of fur throws!

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4 Add some winter fragrance

Wood fires evoke an instant sense of winter, but if you don’t have a fireplace, there are lots of smoky scented candles that work their aroma-therapy (we love Diptyque’s Feu de Bois). Other classic winter-scented candles include pine, sandalwood and clove. This Moroccan-inspired Circles candle holder from Dwell casts beautiful shadows, enhancing the feelings of winter cosy.

Candles are a quick way to add the cosy to your winter home style

Candles are a quick way to add the cosy to your winter home style

5 Rearrange the furniture

Up the cosy factor in your living room by having a seasonal switch-around and rearranging the furniture. Move sofas and chairs away from the walls – try grouping them around a central rug, maybe, or turn them to face the fireplace (if you have one). Immediately the room will feel snugger, warmer and more nest-like. The Country Living Gower is the perfect seat for snuggling on this season!

Group furniture around the fireplace for instant cosy

Group furniture around the fireplace for instant cosy

6 Come dine with me

Even dining rooms can do with a bit of a winter home style makeover. Pop coloured slipcovers over dining chairs for added wow and warmth. Slip a textured rug under the dining table for guests’ feet to sink into (as we’ve done with the Canova extending dining table), and swap electric lights for flickering candles – a feast for your eyes indeed.

Create a modern dining space with high gloss

Create a modern dining space with high gloss

7 lighting

When it’s dark outside, getting the interior lighting is mega important. Ditch the central ceiling fixture (too harsh) and plump for pools of warmer light instead – uplighters in dim corners, floor lamps placed behind sofas and chairs to cast an ambient glow (we love this Peso light, from Dwell), table lamps strategically situated for reading or working, and bundles of fairy lights in unused fireplaces or in vases to add twinkle where it’s needed – will all make your rooms feel cosy and comforting.

Peso lamp ÔÇô-áDwell

8 Mirror image

Make the most of what natural light there is in winter by reflecting it around the room with a large mirror. It’ll brighten up any space and make the room look bigger too.

Dwell mirror

For more autumn/winter style inspiration, including more on fireside living and getting cosy for winter, check out our new Style Sourcebook, online now

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Get your sofa ready for Rio

Get your sofa ready for Rio

13th July 2016

It's less than one month until the biggest festival of sports kicks off again in Brazil. We all remember enjoying those fantastic moments from London 2012, and we're all hoping for similar highs to celebrate this time around. In addition, these big sporting moments are the perfect opportunity to bring friends and family together, to experience the action in one place, sharing all the emotions. 

For most of us, that one place is going to be our living room. If you're looking at your living room right now and thinking 'How am I going to host a big group of people here?', DON'T WORRY. We've got you covered, with five top tips to get ready, get set and go when the action kicks off on August 5th. 

Sport and fun

1. Make sure you've got enough seats: pretty much the biggest factor. How many people are coming? How many can you squeeze on the sofa? What other chairs or objects can you make use of? Think bean bags, think cushions, think garden furniture, think footstools. If you need anything extra, check out our range of fast delivery products here. One of our favorites is the Zinc from our exclusive French Connection collection.

zinc express sofa

2. Make sure everyone is comfy: time to take a look at your team. Who is going to sit where? Who has special requirements? Who won't mind squeezing in and cuddling up? You want everyone in their right place. Those marginal gains helped Team GB in 2012, and they'll help you this year 

3. Test out the angles and perspectives: success in sports is all about practice. It's no good getting your seats sorted and getting everyone comfy if they can't see the TV and end up missing Adam Peaty crushing it in the pool. Get the team over for a warm up, try out different layouts, think about height differentials. Leave no stone unturned in your quest for sporting perfection

NEUTRALS_DFS_RIO_2016_DETAIL_19

4. Analyse the most efficient routes to refuel: if you're packing people in, make sure your supply lines stay clear - and make sure you've got someone up to the job of keeping your team refueled. We don't want to see anyone nodding off as Laura Trott comes round the bend and into the final straight 

5. Make sure your re-hydration stations are well distributed and can be replenished: as with any high performance athlete, keeping properly hydrated while involved in sports is paramount. Even if you're only watching on the TV. Spread the drinks around, get those coasters laid out, and make sure the team's fluids point person is well trained and on it. Practice those tea rounds in advance if possible

Why not try a bar tray for your all party needs. We love this one from Honestly Yum!

Why not try a bar tray for your all party needs. We love this one from Honestly Yum!

There you go. Our ultimate guide to getting your sofa (and living room) up to scratch to enjoy the best of Brazil this summer. And of course, we're on hand to provide design inspiration throughout August if you need to freshen up your approach before the summer's out. 

Now's your chance to win £50 dwell vouchers with #GameOn - tweet us a picture to @dfs your of best 'sofa celebration' and include #GameOn. T&Cs: dfssof.as/tcs

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The DFS Culinary Heptathlon

The DFS Culinary Heptathlon

13th July 2016

Right, so you've got your sofa and your living room all sorted (if you haven't, you obviously didn't read our last blog post - Sofa Ready). Now it's time to focus on the catering. Making sure your guests are adequately refueled to keep their energy levels up is super important. With our simple, athletic-themed guide, you'll be guaranteed a gold medal, personal best reaction. 

  • Cheese and pineapple javelins: PLEASE DON'T ACTUALLY THROW THE STICKS. Just enjoy this heptathlon themed party classic. Any hard cheese will do; we go classic cheddar, nice and strong, but hey, it's your party!

Step up your cheese game with these Caprese Scewers from Iowa Girl Eats

Step up your cheese game with these Caprese Scewers from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 10cm dip 'n' chip freestyle: choose your dipping style - are you full loader, getting as much as you can on, dicing with the danger of dropping dip on the sofa? Or are you all about the chip, and it's only a tiny bit of dip to get you through? Or are you stickler for neatness - no crumbs left behind, no dip smeared up the sides? Whatever your style, you must obey the golden rule: NO DOUBLE DIPPING. And the silver rule: NO DIP ON THE SOFA

dip

  • The last mini pizza dash: there's never enough to go around, and how brazen you are with your pizza consumption may depend on how well you know your guests. Close friends and family? Go all in. Winners take all. Second place (in this event) is nothing. Make sure your sofa position is as close as possible. Preparation is everything 
  • Cucumber and carrot baton relay: probably best to keep the baton passing restricted to passing the dip to your mouth. Much more sanitary that way
  • Mini sausage-put: again, how you tackle this event is up to you - you COULD throw mini sausages into each other's mouths. But that could end up wasting sausages. Or end up with sausages down the back of the sofa. Might be worth keeping it simple and classic and 'shot put' them in your own mouth 
  • Mini sausage forward rolls: instructions: move forward, pick up sausage roll, sit back on the sofa, relax, eat sausage roll. Repeat until all the sausage rolls are gone 

pizza

  • Hula hoop rings of win: take a trip down memory lane by adding as many Hula Hoops to your fingers as you can. Wave your crisp fingers in the air like you just don't care. You're a winner. Gold medal standard

crisps

Get that heptathlon of party food sorted, and everyone will be winner. Especially you. Bravo you!

Soundtrack Your Sporting Summer

OK, so we've got your living room sorted. We've got a smorgasboard of classic party food lined up for you to work your way through. 

What else do every good summer sports party need?

Music of course. 

For the Spotify users amongst you, check out our playlist here

Like a classic mixtape, we've split it into two parts. 

Side A gets you ready for Rio with some handpicked Brazilian classics. 

Side B takes you back four years to London 2012 and Danny Boyle's epic opening ceremony. 

It finishes off with a stone cold classic in Queen's Don't Stop Me Now. 

 

Get it cranked up and get yourself in the mood for Rio! 

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6 boredom busters your kids will love

6 boredom busters your kids will love

11th July 2016

Six fab, fun and fairly cheap ways to make sure your kids don’t utter the dreaded B-word this summer!

The school summer holidays are almost upon us - if not already here for some. And with six weeks of sunny fun, frolics, friendship ahead of us… and endless cries of ‘I’m bored! ’little words that strike fear into the heart of any parent!

But not this summer, oh no, because we’ve channelled our inner child and found six boredom-busting activities that kids of all ages will love… and the best bit is, they won’t cost you the earth!

1. Bring out the ‘boredom jar’

They’ll need A jam jar, some paper and some scissors

Cost Pennies

Bored no more

The ultimate boredom buster from muminthemadhouse.com

You know what they say, ‘Fail to prepare and you’ll be preparing to fail’, so this summer get a headstart on the little critters with a ‘boredom jar’ stuffed full of ideas that they can pick at random. Jen Walshaw, über-blogger at muminthemadhouse.com has a great template you can download with loads of activities ranging from Make a volcano and Write a poem to Tidy your room (seriously!). Even better, get the kids to cut them out and it’s a win-win!

2. Working at the carwash

They’ll need A bucket, some warm water and some detergent

Cost Pennies

The perfect kids’ activity for a sunny day

Win-win! Clean car and happy kids

Kids love playing around with suds and water, so why not let them? Your car is bound to be a bit grubby after months of school runs and play dates, so give them free rein to valet it inside and then let them loose with a sponge and some warm water on the outside. If you’re not comfy letting them near your pride and joy, they can always wash their bikes instead!

3. Sundae girl (or boy)

You’ll need Ice cream and as many toppings as you fancy

Cost From 50p upwards

The DIY ice-cream sundae bar from hellolittlehome.com

Top toppings for your ice-cream sundae

Set up a homemade ice-cream sundae bar, like this yummy one we found at hellolittlehome.com. Just pick a selection of their favourite sweets and sauces, then unleash them to create the treat to end all treats.

4. We’re going on a treasure hunt

You’ll need Paper to make the maps and clues, and a few treats to find along the way

Cost A few quid (depending on how generous you are with the ‘treasure’!

A treasure hunt is a sure-fire summer holiday boredom buster

X marks the spot in a DIY treasure hunt

The great thing about a treasure hunt is that you can tailor it to the ages of your kids. Little ones will love dressing up as pirates (who doesn’t!) and searching in the house or garden for more clues, while older kids can have their scavenger fun in the local park (under supervision, of course). Activity website handsonaswegrow.com has plenty of ideas for theming your hunt.

5. Bubble snakes (not on a plane!)

You’ll need A water bottle, an elastic band, an old sock, washing-up liquid and some food colouring

Cost About £1

Rainbow bubble snakes

 

Ok, so this is a bit messy but it’s the perfect activity for a hot summer’s day in the garden. Basically, you stick a sock over the cut end of an old water bottle, dip it in soap suds and blow (little ones will need watching in case they suck instead of blow!). For full instructions, check out housingaforest.com.

6. Got lemons? Make lemonade

You’ll need lemons, caster sugar, ice and water

Cost About £2

A tasty craft activity to beat summer holiday boredom

Lemonade – made from real lemons!

To make a pitcher of the zingy stuff, you’ll need about 400ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10-12 lemons) and 75g caster sugar. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice along with about 200ml of water, then chuck in a load of ice and top up with more cold water. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.

Looking for more fun things to do with the kids during the summer holidays? Then check out our recent blog – DFS Dens – and get them building their own hideaway… using a DFS sofa, of course!

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Pretty in pink: why we love strawberries and cream

Pretty in pink: why we love strawberries and cream

Pretty in pink: why we love strawberries and cream

15th June 2016

This summer, don’t keep strawberries and cream just for dessert… this quintessentially British combo also works well in your home. We asked stylist Charis White for her top tips on making your home pretty in pink.

Pick your perfect pink palette

This summer’s strawberries and cream dream is no ‘Barbie pink’. It’s an altogether softer hue ranging from subtle dusky pink through pale powder pink to vintage rose, and is über-hot right now, thanks in part to Pantone declaring Rose Quartz one of its colours of 2016.

Start to build your pink room décor scheme by painting one or more of your walls in your preferred pastel shade: we love the Little Greene Paint Company Milk Thistle 187 with its lush lilac tones, Farrow & Ball Nancy’s Blushes 278, which is the perfect match to an otherwise neutral room, and the sophisticated vintage rose shade of Dulux Blush Rambler 5.

dulex pink paint palette

And you don’t even have to paint the whole wall… check out the ‘picture rail’ effect created by the clever use of pink and cream in this beautiful room we found on homes blogsite apartmenttherapy.com.

How to make pink work in your living room, from apartmenttherapy.com

Think pink: clever use of paint creates a faux picture rail effect

And don’t forget to look up! Ceilings have long been the Cinderella of decorating, but no longer. Think about your ceiling in the same way you would a feature wall, or like in real tennis where every area of the court is used (well, it’s Wimbledon soon and we are talking strawberries and cream here!).

Be daring and paper your ceiling with a pretty pink wallpaper such as Timney Fowler Lace 19, with its pastel pink swirls against a cream background, or paint it pink then match it with off-white, panelled Wimbledon changing room-style walls.

Opposites attract

Be prepared to mix it up when it comes to your furniture by combining different eras and styles, such as pairing a contemporary cream sofa with a vintage-style chair upholstered in your favourite pink. Ramp up the action by piling your sofa with cushions in plain pinks, vintage rose and even black for added drama and effect.

We love: the clean, modern lines of the Flint 4-seater sofa in cream contrasted with the luxe period styling of the Bailey velvet armchair in dusky pink.

The Flint sofa and the Bailey armchair from DFS

The Flint sofa and the Bailey armchair from DFS

In the pink: 3 quick wins to super style your home

1. Create your own ‘gallery wall’ like this fab grouping we found by The Design Chaser on bloglovin.com.

From The Design Chaser at bloglovin.com

A gallery wall of photos and art is a real focal point in any room

Just make a grid of four to six large black picture frames on a wall. Fill with double card mounts in pale pink and gold, and use to frame black and white photographs or sketches.

2. Paint a really large square canvas with a very pale grey, then overlay with a pale pink, leaving a 10cm border all the way round for a dramatic piece of homemade artwork.

3. Mirror fashion comes and goes but for summer 2016 the shape to go for is round. Three in a row above a pink upholstered sofa look striking… try this Wilson Set trio from Dwell.

Wilson set mirrors from Dwell

Can't decide which shade of pastel is perfect for you?

Check out our 'ice-cream dream' Pinterest board for the latest in pastel inspiration.

Or if you're looking for more inspiration why not check out our newest Style Sourcebook, online now, full of style advice, latest looks and decorating inspiration, including loads more candy-coloured sofas.

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Get in! The summer of sport has just kicked off

Get in! The summer of sport has just kicked off

14th June 2016

From Euro 2016 in June to the Olympics in August, it’s shaping up to be another fantastic summer of sport… and you’ve got the best seat in the house!

Every once in a while, the sporting gods come together and give us not one, not two, but SIX amazing events in the space of just THREE months, meaning you’re virtually guaranteed to find something brilliant to watch, sports-wise, this summer (unless you’re into competition tiddlywinks, in which case you’ll have to wait till next April for the World Singles Championships, sorry).

On your marks, get set… go!

Euro 2016

To help you plan your viewing schedule for this action-packed period, we’ve got a quick rundown of this summer’s sporting super six…

When? 10 June – 10 July 2016

Where? All over France, from Lille in the north to Marseilles in the south

Who’s in it for us? The UK is doing pretty good (well, at the time of writing anyway!) with three of our national football teams – England, Wales and Northern Ireland – having qualified for the tournament

Chances of winning? England have the best chance of our three, coming off the blocks with odds of 9/1 to take the trophy, but if we’ve learned anything from Leicester City’s triumph in the football Premiership, it’s that every underdog has its day… so even though Wales started the tournament at 80/1 and Northern Ireland are only being punted at 300/1, miracles can – and do – happen!

Best place to watch it? Football is a sociable sport so gather your friends and family and kick back on a super-comfy, spacious corner sofa like the Mode in leather…

The Mode corner sofa from DFS

The best seat in the house for football viewing


Wimbeldon 2016

When? 27 June – 10 July 2016

Where? The All England Club, Wimbledon, London

Who’s in it for us? Apart from a certain Mr Andy Murray and his bruv Jamie, keep an eye out for Dan Evans, Aljaz Bedene and Kyle Edmund, while in the women’s tournament, we’re rooting for Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Naomi Broady

Chances of winning? On current form, and with Rafa Nadal having pulled out due to injury, it could be three in a row for Djokovic, but here at DFS towers we’ll be with the crowds on Murray Mount and singing Bonnie Scotland all the way!

Best place to watch it? If Murray does make it to the final, it will be edge-of-the-seat stuff, so we’d say go for something with comfy cushions and a sturdy frame, like the Betty Patch Grand Sofa

The Betty Grand Patch from DFS

Next best thing to Centre Court for Wimbledon fans


Tour de France 2016

When? 2 July – 24 July 2016

Where? France, starting at Mont St Michel and ending in Paris

Who’s in it for us? Team Sky’s Chris Froome will be defending his 2015 win

Chances of winning? He’s the first Brit to win two editions (that’s cycle-speak for tours!), so we’d say pretty good

Best place to watch it? Watching them cycle up all those hills can be exhausting, so a recliner chair could be just the job. How about the Carmello electric recliner chair – so you can unwind at the touch of a button!

The Carmelo Electric Recliner Chair from DFS

The perfect place to tour France!


British Grand Prix 2016

When? 8 – 10 July 2016

Where? Silverstone racing circuit, Northamptonshire

Who’s in it for us? 2015 champion Lewis Hamilton. Jenson Button should also qualify.

Chances of winning? Not Hamilton’s best year, with only one win (in Monaco) to his credit, so fingers crossed for the home-advantage effect

Best place to watch it? A cutting-edge sport like Formula 1 demands a cutting-edge place from which to watch it, so we’d recommend the Sanzio recliner sofa… it’s even got its own go-faster stripes (well, it’s piping really but we got a bit over-excited!)

The Sanzio 3-seater Electric Recliner Sofa from DFS

Recline the seat and pretend you’re in your own F1 car


Golf Open Championship 2016

When? 14 – 17 July 2016

Where? Royal Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Who’s in it for us? Too many to mention from the home nations as a whole, but Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is ranked third in the world at the moment so let’s hear it for the luck of the Irish!

Chances of winning? See above!

Best place to watch it? Let’s keep with the golf theme and go for something that reflects the course at Royal Troon… smooth and green with real presence, like the Presence Cuddler sofa!

The Presence Cuddler Sofa from DFS

A fair way to watch the golf? We think so!


The Olympic Games 2016

When? 5 – 21 August 2016

Where? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Who’s in it for us? Only the whole of Team GB! And as proud partners of Team GB, we’ll be paying special attention to our DFS family athletes, gymnast Max Whitlock, cyclist Laura Trott and swimmer Adam Peaty

Chances of winning? We’ll sweep the board in Rio, of course – it’ll be like London 2012 with bells on!

Best place to watch it? On the Britannia, the Great British sofa, of course! Made for Team GB, it’s our tribute to the athletes who help make Britain great.

The Britannia 4-seater Sofa from DFS

Rule Britannia… the iconic sofa collection inspired by the best of British

 

Happy Father’s Day!

We couldn’t finish a blog all about sports without wishing all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day for this Sunday, 19 June. It’s your special day, so grab yourself a drink, put your feet up (check out the recommendations above for some great recliner chairs and sofas!), switch on the TV and relax… you deserve it!

polaroid fd

Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our newest Style Sourcebook, online now, full of style advice, latest looks and decorating inspiration.

 

Style Sourcebook

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