Monthly Archives: February 2018

Living and Lounging in a Sitting Room

Living room furniture
 

How to design the perfect place to relax

Living and Lounging in a Sitting Room

 
Mine is a living room, my Mum’s is a lounge and my Nan’s was always a sitting room. If you’re being literal all three are right as that’s what you do in them
– live, sit and lounge. Well, more of the latter in our case!
 
For us, the living room is the heart of my family home. It’s where the communal television watching (arguing), homework doing (arguing) and board gaming (arguing) takes place. It’s a regular hive of activity and you’re seldom alone which is why I love mine so much.
I even turn and give it a wistful loving glance when I go up to bed. Thats if it’s left tidy with plumped cushions and neatly drawn curtains of course!
 
Calm and neutral colours are the key for my living room.
Perhaps that’s an unconscious desire to balance out the daily mayhem. I like lots of subtle complementary browns on the walls, furniture, floor and curtains.
Of course this isn’t for everyone though. I get my colour hit from the palette of rest of my home. but if you’re undecided and trying to discover your own perfect style, here are a few tips on how to do it…
 

Colour

As mentioned, subtle isn’t for everyone and I like a neutral base. Bright coloured furniture can be great fun but you need to be brave to commit to it!
If you want more of a lively environment but don’t want to go overboard go for a colour “pop” wall. Remember that paint is easy to change and pretty cheap. So, you decide that your flamingo pink highlight wall is now a bit too out there for you? Change it, it’s not a costly decision that you need to be be stuck with!
 

Rugs

I purchased mine in the first place as damage limitation for our “tea on our knee” evenings.
It was ages before we could remove the piles of books we had to lay to train the edges not to curl up and trip us.
But once they were gone I realised how well it completed the room.
Whatever colour, textile or pattern you choose, ensure that a rug is not too small as it will unbalance a whole room.
 

Wall Decor

I maintain a gallery wall in my living room. It has an antique mirror inherited from my Nan, photos of my children and stars from Cox and Cox.
Gallery Wall
I’ve also put extracts from Bookishly. up among other bits I’ve collected.
These tell a story for me and about me that I love.
This may be too much for some, but don’t leave your walls blank as it can kill the personality of a room. Whether your taste is abstract, Picasso or an Ikea skyline print, show it on your walls!

                                                                                                                 Lighting

I have two Lamps in my room. The first is a Tiffany floor standing lamp for ambience. The other is a basic, but pretty, raffia pendant from Dunelm for everyday, lighting. Chandeliers, colour, spotlights…anything goes as long as you feel comfortable. Make sure though, that you consider task lighting next to chairs for reading.
Als,o think about accent lighting to pick up wall decor or fireplaces. Finally consider your general lighting (usually the big one in the middle!).

Furniture

Start with the basics. Places for glasses and for arses (sorry) and be adaptable, without thinking “I MUST have a sofa and two chairs”.
Sofas come in so many configurations nowadays. I have a 3 seater sofa and a love seat in our bay window, especially for school bags and coats.
So, you don’t have to follow the 3-piece suite tradition. Co-ordinate or clash with materials but insist on stain resistant fabrics.
Otherwise you’ll be following your children round with a spray can of Vanish!
You can also brighten up neutral colours with eye-catching cushions. Coffee tables are great as centre pieces and for storage.
Ironfire industrial style coffee tables are great for interiors whether modern or rustic.
Finally, complete your redec with storage and media centres solutions. They’re great to hide all your random stuff in and pretend that you are a tidy person.
Our gorgeous console tables, (in many sizes and colours) can also add a finishing touch!

Summing it all up

If you just don’t know where to start, why not look at employing an interior designer?
It might surprise you to find that many are well within budget. Some will want to complete an entire room and do the shopping for you too.
There are others though, such as Joy Home Interiors, who will just create a mood board to get you going.
 
There is an important point is to remember about all this. It’s that whatever you do in your Sitting, Living, Lounge, Den, Girl cave or whatever you want to call it. Its’s there to bring you all together and have a great time – so make it all about you. Whatever your style!
                 

February 14th? Have we Missed Something?

Bistro Table Red Top - Red Cushion
Obviously today (Valentines in case you didn’t know) is a day for love – whether you receive a huge bouquet at work (11am and I’m still waiting, thank you text is composed and ready to send), or relish the handmade cards sent to you by your off-spring, of which the thought that has gone into can mean so much. So here I am searching for angles for linking a furniture blog to Valentines day without being cheesy, predictable or trying just to sell you a table that we have painted the colour of love for you…not an easy task. Please bear in mind that we do make red tables, whether bistro for that romantic meal for two, dining for a larger love party or coffee for a more laid back evening of mutual appreciation but I’m sure that if you bought your significant other a table for Valentines, it probably wouldn’t be appreciated quite so much as a dozen red roses, chocolates or something more personal and special (note – check ring size before purchasing).   Valentines was romanticised thanks to Shakespeare and Chaucer. Which should be taken into mind when we see how so many of Shakespeare’s lovers meet their demise. We carry out all furniture design, manufacture and delivery within proper health and safety protocols so no early demises here. Likewise, daggers, cauldrons and poisons are also banned substances in the workshop. In the Middle Ages, girls and boys would pick a name from a hat to choose their Valentine, and this would be pinned to their arm for a week. This is the origin of the saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve”. In the IronFire office there are only two girls, so we would not want to have to spread ourselves so thinly in the name of fairness. We will therefore not be partaking in the wearing of our hearts on our sleeves but Kiran has brought everyone in Jammie Dodgers with hearts on if that counts? For the Romans, Valentines was a jolly old time in which they celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The dogs and the goats did not have such a jolly old time though, as they were sacrificed and then their skins were used to whip the Roman women with in the belief that it made them fertile. We don’t use any dog or goat products in the production of our furniture, in fact they are all 100% vegan. We also do not believe in whipping our workers for any reason; fertility, efficiency or otherwise. (He’s smiling underneath the mask). If you have not received any letters of love, don’t fancy being hit with a goat skin or sharing your crush with everyone on your sleeve, don’t despair. February the 13th is now known as Galentines day – a day to celebrate with your platonic girlfriends (you’ve missed that one this year unfortunately) or just hold on until tomorrow (February 15th) and treat yourself to some flowers on S.A.D (Single Awareness Day).   But here at IronFire, we’re just going to carry on eating our Jammie Dodgers before we all give up biscuits for lent a day late!        

Online furniture photography: Location, Location, Location

Living room furniture

Online furniture photography: it’s all about location

As an online furniture manufacturer, we know it’s hard to visualise how furniture can look in a home. We also believe that great photos of our furniture is a really useful tool for us. Striking images of our products are really important for our website but also for our social media. We also wanted to help our customers see what we do when we are designing and manufacturing our tables, chairs and other IronFire products.

Living room furniture - online furniture blog

yakisugi with green finish wood online furniture

A ‘hero shot’ involving as many of our products as possible has been a goal of ours for a while now.  We have however had to take several factors into consideration. Firstly, which products to include? Our range is so diverse that this has been a real learning curve for us!

Then we needed to consider in which context to photograph them. Our current favourite finish is using a Yakisugi process. This involves burning the wood to create a stunning finish, and has proved popular with customers.

At the same time another favourite is our rustic oak.  Rustic OAK It’s a safer option than our funky reds and blues but a true classic that’s popular with clients. It is a versatile option for any domestic or commercial setting of course.

With the colour sorted, we now needed a location.

As our furniture has an industrial theme, we wanted somewhere that fitted our style. In our heads we had visions of an exposed brick wall background. Sufficient space is also an issue, so sourcing the right location for photographing online furniture became our holy grail!

Lots of Googling ensued, but nothing was quite right…until we remembered Sam’s Kitchen in Frome! It’s an Edwardian building on Catherine Street. Downstairs there’s a busy bistro and cafe but upstairs..exposed brick walls, wooden floors and high ceilings.  There’s a huge window and so plenty of natural light and everything’s Hygge style and cosy with a log burner. We had hit the jackpot and the generous owner was up for letting us use it out of hours.

Usually a perfect spot to relax with one of Sam’s famous hot chocolates, Ironfire took over as they closed. We rapidly transformed the space, not only into an IronFire living room, but also into an IronFire dining room.

upstairs sams kitchen blog ground floor sams kitchen location blog sams kitchen entrance frome

 

Sam’s Kitchen in its natural state!

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On a (strictly business of course) research trip round the Pubs in Frome we had met up with Drew Gardner.

We were fascinated to discover a photographer with an extraordinary and quirky style. We just had to use his skills once we’d been up and seen his etchings (well, shared a pint or two) .

Our faith was repaid and Frome’s own Cecil B DeMille bowled us over. Thanks Drew! You can contact him here.

Our range of online furniture looked completely at home!

In fact it was exactly how we had envisioned a range shot looking  featuring as many of our products as possible. Not to mention the first outing of an IronFire bench, our newest design.

ironfire industrial online furniture

We can’t thank Sam enough for allowing us to use this space.

Sam and his team have since relocated and are now catering an event near you or from their beautiful Barn just outside Bath. Find all the contact details here  We know first-hand from being on our shoot just how welcoming they are, how relaxing they make things and how great their food is. In fact we can’t recommend them enough – from one local business to another  – Thanks for all the support!

How to Buy a Dining Table

Industrial Dining Table
A dining table can be the heart of the home; a place to gather to eat, drink and play games with family and friends whether lively and loud or reserved and polite. (No prizes for guessing which of these my get-togethers resemble!). Varying in size and shape, purchasing a dining table for these spaces can be quite an arduous decision which requires a lot of research and discussion, not to mention the fact that very rarely are dining tables an impulse buy simply due to the cost of purchasing one that is not what we call “fast furniture” (blog here). Bearing this in mind, we have put together some ideas to help you choose the right table for you, to make sure that you spend your money wisely on a piece of furniture that will serve you well for years to come….
  • For longevity, try to stay away from thick veneer and aim for real wood. Veneer will lift up over time and move away from the table, and a good ways of telling if the table is made of veneer is if visible seams can be seen. Real wood is always a better option, both for aesthetics and longevity.
  • Measure your room well – this may seem obvious but you need to take into account if the table will be living in the kitchen, dining or living room; if it is going to be in the way of general everyday traffic and therefore needs to be pushed against a wall, or if it will be permanent and therefore needs enough room to be able to negotiate around. As a general rule, if you leave around 50 inches of space between the back of the chairs and the wall, you should be ok!
  • Don’t discount outdoor materials – these can look rustic, be hardwearing as well as being fire and UV resistant. Maybe draw the line at a plastic picnic table though, unless your guests are really messy eaters!
  • It’s not likely that you’ll be in a position to be updating your dining table as often as other easily interchangeable interior pieces in your home, so see it as a key piece and try to spend as much as you are able on it with the view that it is a long term investment.
  • Do you have children? Lots of parties or events? Look at getting a glass protective top to give you even more life and usage out of it, which also saves you having to cover it with a tablecloth for protection.
  • Don’t be constrained by chairs – why stick to 8 of the same matching chairs when there are so many opportunities to change it up. Use a combination of different chairs with a variety of backs, colours, materials and arms, or even use a bench or two which can be super practical if you need to push these away to create more space, or fit more little bottoms onto!
  • Colour is a great way of injecting life into your living space, but bear in mind that trends change quickly. Use a classic colour such as red or green if you are sure you want colour, or just stick to a classic wood. Black however is a colour that never really goes out of fashion and will complement everything.
  • How many people do you need to allow for? As a rule, people will comfortably need 60cm each, or 70cm if the chairs have arms. Use this measurement to make sure you can fit everyone that you want around your table.
  • Dining Tables are large products. When you have decided on one, make sure that a home delivery option is available, as well as checking if you have to assemble the table yourself or this is also a service that the retailer offers.
There are lots of options out there, and whether you are looking for a table that works in your dining room as well as your garden, a unique industrial table that fits into a modern interior or a rustic hardwearing table for a kitchen, you certainly are spoilt for choice!