Monthly Archives: September 2017

Autumn 2020 Interior Trends

Industrial Style Bistro Table
Now Summer has departed (we know, we missed it happening too!), evenings are getting darker and colder and more time will inevitably be spent inside the home. Craving the comfort and calm that your home can bring after feeling like Summer has been non-stop and hectic, Autumn is a great time to reset your home before Winter really comes in. With log-burners starting to be ignited and throws actually being used in the evenings rather than just being sofa decoration, there are some warmth inspiring trends for interiors coming in that will make your home become a hibernation hidey-hole that may just put the end to your social life for the rest of 2017….   Statement Lighting Lighting is a great tool to create ambience and effects in your home. Whether just relying on side lamps, or going for the main central event, lighting can create moods of romance or give a real wow-factor. IronFire Industrial pendant lighting is great for this – used singly in the centre of the room or in groups of mixed or matched sizes, the hanging pendants look great and are guaranteed to be a talking point. The warmth of the yellow interior (other colours are available) also brings warmth and sunshine into a room when it can be seriously lacking due to the time of year.  
Industrial Style Pendant Lighting
IronFire industrial lighting can add a real statement to your living area.
  Keep it Natural There is a huge focus on natural materials at the moment, with pared back oaks and wooden finishes matched alongside metal creating a juxtaposition between soft organic and harsher minerals. Here I come again with another shameless plug…all IronFire industrial furniture (links here to our dining table, coffee table, bistro table and console table) uses sustainably sourced Douglas fir which can be given a shou sugi-ban effect for a bolder look, or naturally finished oak for a pared back classic interior. All have galvanised steel frames, making them perfect for this trend; but also one that will carry on timelessly. As Sophia Ridley, head of design at Debenhams says: “The modern rustic trend is set to be huge for the cooler months”.  
Industrial Coffee Table Image
Sustainably sourced Douglas fir and oak, paired with industrial style galvanised steel means that our tables match this trend perfectly.
  Bringing Nature In And by this, we don’t mean hibernating hedgehogs, but embracing the outside in the warmth of your home with nature-based accessories and soft furnishings made out of natural materials.  
Nature inside
Garden Picture Frame by London Garden Trading, £29.95
Kew Garden Cushion by Jim Lawrence, £25
Village Green Wool Throw by Tolly McRae, £69
Herringbone Natural Rug made of jute and cotton by The Rugs Warehouse, from £57
  Pantone Fusion Colours  Looking to make more of an Autumn interior change over and above accessories? According to London Fashion Week, these are the colours that will be making a statement for Autumn and Winter 2017.
London Fashion Week Colour Report for Autumn/Winter 2017
  How are you preparing your interior for Autumn? Share your ideas and images with us on our Facebook page or send them to kelly@iron-fire.co.uk    

Inside Furniture Outside? Or Outside Furniture Inside?

ironfire industrial style furntiture
It’s not often that something that you can use inside of your house will also work outside. The practicality of an industrial style piece of furniture for example, that looks great enough to have in your dining room but also is strong and durable enough to be taken out onto your patio or veranda when the weather is nice enough to entertain the thought of dining al fresco.   This is one of the reasons that our industrial handmade furniture has been made to work in both environments. To be diverse enough to look great when you’re entertaining inside, but also with the toughness to be able to withstand the weather so that if nice enough, your dining room table can be taken outside without having to worry about the rain making the top bow and ruining something that is too expensive to be able to replace regularly.   The galvanised steel used in the manufacture of our chairs and table bases has been coated with a textured anthracite finish which is robust and will not corrode. The sustainably sourced Douglas Fir used for the wooden tops of the tables can be given a coating of two-part epoxy resin which increases the longevity; and a glass top (an optional extra on all of our tables) will enhance this even further.   While the cotton covers of the cushions on our chairs for inside will not be suitable for use in the garden if it rains, the material used for the garden cushions is UV stable so do not have to be kept out of direct sunlight, and are also stain proof and water resistant for times of surprise showers or spillages.   We like the idea of taking the inside outside and vice versa, and the industrial design of our furniture always bears this in mind. With the new trend of interior design in the garden simply being an extension of your style inside your home, and bringing the outside inside, (see our Pinterest board for some ideas and inspiration on this) IronFire furniture can help to make this a reality.   We can make sure that the size of your inside and garden dining area does not constrain you either. For bigger spaces, our event table is perfect; whereas our smaller bistro table is ideal for a more restricted patio or breakfast room. Both are available in different sizes and colours to suit.   Attainable, affordable and without constraints. That’s how to be more IronFire.  

Industrial Fast Furniture

Industrial Style Dining Table
What is “fast furniture”? Recent research shows that millenials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than investing it back into anything but essentials for their homes; and other constraints can often mean that the money to invest in furniture is just not available. Due to this, people are looking to mass-produced furniture that is first and foremost cheap and functional. If you are looking for a quick fix, fundamentally there is no problem with this. However, the furniture is not built to last. Cracking when being put together, and not withstanding day to day life (especially when there are children involved!) can mean replacing the furniture within two or three years – so altogether a false economy. To produce furniture at this low cost, wood used is generally not from a sustainable source. Cheap imports from Russian and Eastern European forests are illegally logged meaning the devastation of natural fish and wildlife habitats, and the decline of many varieties of trees including oak, ash and birch. The demand for cheap, Chinese made furniture has started a cycle which is destroying the worlds forests and wildlife at an alarming rate. And surprisingly, a lot of furnitures big players are not impartial to this. Another way of producing cheap furniture is to get it made by a cheap workforce. Vietnamese and Indian children are often employed on a mass scale to produce the parts for the desks and tables, while earning an absolute pittance. Cheap furniture equals child labour: a good reason to buy British. Flatpacking the furniture also keeps the price down – it all allows for more economical logistics both from manufacturer to retailer, then from retailer to consumer. Ergo, it’s down to the consumer to put it together; loose dowells, missing screws (or the extra one at the end which causes panic over the one that you forgot) and maybe even divorce, flatpack furniture is by no means a happy experience. I’m sure you think that the point of this blog post is me telling you to buy expensive furniture. It’s really not. The advice here is to find British made, sustainable goods that can be delivered to your door fully assembled if possible. And this doesn’t always have to be an expensive option. Just well made, good value and environmentally guilt free. IronFire. Affordable, aspirational and non-divorce causing.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2018

dulux colour of the year 2018
Described by Dulux as a “warm neutral with a hint of heather”, Heartwood – Dulux’s colour of the year 2018 – has surprised many people with it’s warm dusky hues that are a huge contrast to last years Denim Blue. It is described by the Deluxe colour and design expert, Rebecca Williamson, as “sitting between a smoky taupe and a warm mauve”, and we really like the shade, seeing it’s understated versatility as something that would suit many environments and complement the IronFire range. The Dulux team say that people are currently “longing to shut out the outside world, press pause on their lives and spend time relaxing in a soothing space that is uniquely theirs.” The colour is “easy to live with, unfussy in style and depicts that welcome feeling” – this colour sits under their theme of “A welcome home” and makes a home “channel a real sense of calm and warmth”. We think that this fits in perfectly with the ongoing trends of hygge and Lagom, Danish ideals for a happy life that have really taken off over the past few years. Translator ToveMaren Stakkestad says that “Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.” and the feeling of Hygge is that of warmth, relaxation and to feel as cosy and as at home as possible, while Lagom is to have just the right amount and a good balance in life. We think that Heart Wood does all of this; creating a warm and inviting environment in any room to shut yourself away from the cold and hectic outside world. Complement Heart Wood walls with natural wood and light accessories…and, (shameless plug!), we think Heart Wood in a hallway would look great with one of our Shou Sugi-Ban console tables. Try these accessories with a Heart Wood wall on a console table in your hallway, all from Avalon Interiors.   Main image from Dulux      

Why Industrial Furniture?

Industrial ironfire
Industrial style furniture has risen in popularity over recent years, with the trend for reclaimed materials and the New York loft apartment look really taking off. Whether a rural country home, modern apartment or commercial office, the look can be adaptable and fit in to any environment which explains its appeal. Predominantly, the look will encompass hard wearing steel and wood that has been completed to a hard wearing but almost rustic finish that looks like it will withstand pressure and a lot of use! The look could be described as more masculine than feminine, however this can create a great contrast within a home by styling in a more softer way. Read our blog post on styling an IronFire  coffee table here – where we took it on a trip to an amazing local interior shop to show how versatile the industrial look really can be. While it’s original home was in factories and warehouses, the functional yet diverse look of this type of furniture can make it’s home almost anywhere. Purpose built and designed, our furniture can retain that warehouse look while being more suited to use than reclaimed and restyled furniture. IronFire uses a fusion of strong galavanised steel for the frame of our tables, topped with sustainable Douglas fir wood which we either paint, or finish with a technique that combines our own handcrafting with the ancient Japanese process of burning wood also known as Shou Sugi-Ban. Aspirational, adaptable and industrial; but also happy to be in any environment. That’s how to be more IronFire.

IronFire Furniture on Location

IronFire Event Table
We pride ourselves on using stunning images of our industrial IronFire furniture for our website and social media – we want to inspire people with our furniture and provide ideas that are not only aspirational but also achievable. We quite often get asked how we come up with the images, so here are a few pointers that we always tend to be driven by whether taking images for our Facebook and Instagram; our product pages on our website, or our Houzz and Pinterest accounts.  
  1. Talk
Quite often our ideas are bandied about our office as jokes or from things that our staff have seen and noticed from their weekends or even on the drive to work! These start off as “Have you seen…?” or “This would look so cool…” and from there develop into an idea for a shoot. They are not always conventional (putting a coffee table into a tree anyone?) but sometimes from these random conversations, great shoots are produced!  
  1. Plan
From these ideas, we plan out the shoot using a moodboard. This will include props that we need, and our aims and targets from the shoot. We make sure that the product in question is always the focus – be it our planter or  console table.  
  1. Crib Sheet
We have a pre-planned standard photo shoot crib sheet that we take to every shoot with us. It details house angles, house shots and things we need to remember to take with us. We’ve been caught out before coming back from a shoot and saying “We forgot to take X shot” so this makes sure that we come back with everything that we want.  
  1. Photographer
We have our own in-house photographer. This is really handy for us, as it means that we can be spontaneous with our shoots (rare sunny day? Camera out!) and that he is fully aware of the IronFire product branding and what we need to achieve from each shoot.  
  1. Be flexible
You may have an idea in your head that sounds great in theory, but on the camera screen isn’t really working. If that’s the case, why not turn it into something else? Change the angles, change the props, use the shoot to take advantage of close ups or the product. Our Shou sugi-ban table tops are stunning, and often the focus of a shoot as well as the main piece of IronFire furniture.  
  1. There’s no I in team
The photoshoot may be your baby, but sometimes others in your team can look at what you’re doing with fresh eyes and come up with a new angle or way to take a shot. You really have nothing to lose by taking this on-board, and our attitude is that it’s better to come back to the studio with more shots of the industrial iron table or chairs than you need instead of not enough and wishing that you’d taken more!   7. We believe in supporting local businesses (see our other blog posts for examples of these) so find that they are more than happy to let us use their locations to shoot our products in return for mentions on our website and social media accounts. This is a great way of networking and providing leads back for others as well as getting great shots in environments that you may not easily have access to!  
  1. Edit
We have people well skilled in Photoshop which enables us to adjust our images to the size and finish that we want. We also make sure that fonts are the same when putting text onto images and resize them all for social media platforms. We like consistency: this is important for our IronFire branding.  
  1. Learn from Each Shoot
We value feedback, and analyse each shoot to see what works for us and what doesn’t. The whole team is involved in this (and we have very different ideas on what we like and what we don’t like!) but it’s great to get differing perspectives on our results – and learn and grow from them.  
  1. Results
And then all there is left to do is pat each other on the backs when you’ve achieved great images that started off as an idea in someone’s head! Make sure you’re proud of them. We know we are.