Global Warming – an idiot’s guide

Beautiful Nature - mountains behind lake at sunset

At Ironfire we aim to make our industrial sustainable furniture ecologically friendly. It’s a challenge and I often struggle to know how to calculate our carbon footprint and our climate change impact. In fact now that I come to think about it, do I fully comprehend what are the definitions of global warming and the real climate change facts? Why it is such a looming disaster? Of course, like most people, I know the headline reasons. I also believe that so many eminent scientists can’t be wrong.

Most climate change explanations though head off into complex jargon that goes right over my head. So I thought that I would try and understand a bit more. At the same time, I would try and uncover documented facts and make them more accessible. I’m hoping for better understanding to help set the priorities at Ironfire.

I’ve found finding clearly expressed science time consuming but more straightforward than expected. Thinking, “there must be others like me” I am going to try and lay out my findings in a simple format. I’m not looking to patronise anyone and if you mutter ” we all know that” – Don’t waste your time – move on quickly!

I have put as many verifiable links as possible into the statements I discovered. I’ve numbered paragraphs for ease of reading and paraphrased to make it easier to read. My commentary is not bullet proof, just conclusions that I’ve arrived at trying to simplify wordy reports!

Greenhouse gas emissions & climate change – the size of the problem.

Giorgio Trovato Unsplash 690x788 1
Giorgio Trovato @ Unsplash

If you are partial to scary statistics try these facts about global warming. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 equalled 36 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. 72% was CO2 from coal burning and industry. 19% was Methane ( from livestock in most part), 6% was nitrous oxide, and 3% was fluorine gases. A further 4 billion tonnes of carbon emissions come from natural sources. The average contribution each human on the planet makes is 4.8 tonnes per year. The “Net zero” target (it’s hoped) will limit global warming to a manageable 1.5°C increase. To achieve that we need to reduce these Carbon emissions by half in the next decade. Moreover, we then need to hit those Net Zero emissions by 2050. This link provides a clear overview of what we need to achieve. https://www.wri.org/insights/net-zero-ghg-emissions-questions-answered

The main causes of industrial greenhouse gas emissions are as follows. Electricity & heat (25%), agriculture & forestry (24%), industry (21%), and transportation (14%).

Deforestation – climate change facts.

Image showing deforestation across pine trees
Roya Anne Miller @ Unsplash

It’s also estimated that deforestation causes 10% of global warming. The main reasons for deforestation are increasing use of land for beef and palm oil (27%). Wood and lumber products (26%). Short term agricultural cultivation (24%), and wildfires (23%).

To complete the picture, here are the figures for consumer emissions in 2010. Food (30%), washing/heating/lighting (26%), personal transport & freight (20%) and buildings (15%).

What greenhouse gases are

Ella Ivanescu Unsplash 690 Wide

1) The earth absorbs energy from the sun into our atmosphere. In turn it radiates infrared radiation back to outer space. These two effects balance out in nature to maintain our climate. This natural greenhouse effect means the earth’s temperature is about 30 degrees C.

The link here is about the best graphical explanation I’ve come across.

2) Natural greenhouse gas emissions enable life on earth to exist. They keep warmth necessary to sustain life in the atmosphere. Global warming is caused by extra, excess carbon chemicals remaining in the atmosphere. These carbon molecules absorb infrared rays. Excess heat can’t then radiate to outer space and so further warms up the earth’s atmosphere.

3) So global warming results if anything disturbs earth’s natural equilibrium. Some people call the balanced greenhouse effect Gaia – the spirit of earth!

4) Trace gas pollutants from carbon emissions can last for years and even centuries in the atmosphere. They trap heat and as discussed, cause the planet, by absorption, to get hotter, causing cliate change. That’s why it’s known as the greenhouse gas effect.

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101 https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat07/0710011214_ED48749_VOC_Incineration_-_CC_Report_v3.pdf

5) The trace gases that contribute most to climate change are water vapour and carbon dioxide. https://ukair.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat07/0710011214_ED48749_VOC_Incineration_-_CC_Report_v3.pdf

6) Water vapour makes up 60% of global warming. That’s far more than the carbon emissions we are putting into the atmosphere. That’s because water vapour in the air exists in direct relation to the temperature. So, the more you increase a temperature, the more water evaporates. This becomes vapour, and vice versa. So when something causes a temperature increase, such as CO2, more water evaporates. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas so extra vapor makes the temperature rise even further. https://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

7) To decrease global warming we need to reduce man made pollutants. Some of these gases are potent greenhouse contributors to climate change. They have been adding to the greenhouse effect from the time we started burning vast amounts of coal. This, as discussed, is increasing the amount of water vapour held in the atmosphere. For a simple demo of the acceleration of global warming, read this.

8) Hundreds of different trace gases have been measured in the atmosphere. It is believed that thousands more have yet to be measured. Many of these are volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Volatile means a compound may exist in the liquid or solid phase but easily evaporates. Organic means that the compound contains carbon.

What are VOCs -Volatile Organic compounds? Should we be concerned about them?

Voc Infographic 1

9) VOCs as trace gases often exist in tiny parts per million in the atmosphere. Yet they are important as many are long-lived in the atmosphere. Other important greenhouse gases are Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Methane and Water vapour. https://www.e-education.psu.edu/meteo300/node/607

10) There are varying definitions of VOCs around the world. The GWP (global warming potential) index is pretty easy to understand. It ranks VOCs as follows. “the GWP of a VOC measures its climate change impact compared to CO2. It also includes how long the trace gas remains in the atmosphere once emitted”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_potential

11) Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that have a low boiling point. If you’re interested in the science here we go. This low boil temperature is because they have a high vapour pressure. That causes a lot of molecules to evaporate from the liquid (or solid form of the compound) into the air around them. This effect is known as volatility. Formaldehyde for example evaporates from paints and coatings because it has a boiling point of only –19 °C.

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/technical-overview-volatile-organic-compounds

12) VOCs are released from burning fuel such as gasoline, wood, coal, or natural gas. They are also released from many consumer products. Cigarettes, solvents, paints & thinners, adhesives, dry cleaning fluids and glue & wood preservatives. Cleaners & disinfectants, air fresheners, building materials & furnishings, copiers & printers and pesticides are also examples. https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/chemicals-and-contaminants/volatile-organic-compounds-vocs

Steel, the extraction of iron ore and getting it to the furnace are resource heavy. Most VOCs emitted are however burnt off by high temperature in this process. Lots of VOCs therefore get emitted in the initial process of recycling scrap steel though. This is due to the processes involved in removing coatings and impurities. I suppose it all goes to emphasise that there isn’t such a thing as a free lunch. https://www.ubs.com/microsites/nobel-perspectives/en/latest-economic-questions/2020/solution-to-climate-change.html?campID=SEM-BRAND&s_kwcid=AL!602!3!445675510732!b!!g!!%2Bways%20%2Bto%20%2Bstop%20%2Bglobal%20%2Bwarming&ef_id=Cj0KCQjw6575BRCQARIsAMp-ksNNcquXbZFqqsVUQtIzMS1c1oi5OElYYCa8AMicyPBp77kOrAb0ojcaAmNiEALw_wcB:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!602!3!445675510732!b!!g!!%2Bways%20%2Bto%20%2Bstop%20%2Bglobal%20%2Bwarming!10436011345!1038

13) The earth emits about 1150 Teragrams of carbon VOCs every year. These occur naturally. By comparison, humans release 142 Teragrams as CO2 every year by breathing! When VOC’s combine with Nitrous Oxides in the air, they form Smog. This makes sense as urban areas have higher levels of VOC than open country.

14) VOCs include both human-made and natural chemical compounds. Most scents or odours are of VOCs. These compounds help communication between plants and form messages from plants to animals. Many natural VOCs are pretty benign, and humans have evolved to coexist with them. Vegetation is a major emitter of a VOC called Isoprene. Each year, 600 million metric tons of Isoprene enter the air. More than half of this comes from broad leaf trees. Small shrubs and bushes release much of the rest.

Without many of these VOCs, the world would be very different. Limonene, produces the citrusy odour of orange and lemon peels. A large percentage of essential oils are from these plants. Styrene, used to produce polystyrene, occurs in everything from coffee beans to peanuts. https://foobot.io/guides/natural-sources-of-volatile-organic-compounds.php

15) Some VOCs are dangerous to humans and cause environmental damage. Manmade VOCs are called Anthropogenic and are regulated by law, specially for indoors, where concentrations are highest. Harmful VOCs are not high in toxins but can cause long term health problems. Because individual amounts are low symptoms can develop over a longer period. This makes research into VOCs and their effects difficult. People who suffer from respiratory complaints can be susceptible to VOCs indoors.

Short-term exposure – effects from VOCs may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Also, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders and memory problems are sometimes experienced.

Long-term exposure – VOC damage may cause nausea, fatigue, dizziness and impair co-ordination. There’s also the risk of Cancer and damage to one’s liver, kidney and central nervous system.

https://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/chemicals-and-contaminants/volatile-organic-compounds-vocs

When you paint rooms, lay new carpet or install furniture try to ensure lots of ventilation.

So that’s my quick short trip around global warming facts. What are my conclusions?

Picture of the world in our hands
Photo: Bill Oxford @ Unsplash

It’s interesting to see the amount of Carbon emissions sent into the atmosphere by us, is tiny! Particularly when compared with those occurring naturally. That gave me insight into why this is a slow, cumulative effect. It also gives me confidence that the greenhouse effect can be overcome.

We humans seem to be very slow to respond to a problem and then only in an incremental fashion. The current corona pandemic shows early action is the most successful. But most governments avoid offending powerful special interest groups. That leads to fudge and indecision. The same principle applies to global warming. Why would all of us oil guzzling, carnivorous, foreign holiday addicts line up for change? Even with all of the climate change facts at our fingertips we first worlders are just too comfortable.

We do seem to be lumbering towards turning the oil tanker around though! Usually the best solution to a problem is to make something financially attractive. We are seeing the decay of fossil fuel use in favour of electricity. This is increasingly made using “clean” technology. There are backwards steps of course on the journey. For example, I would much rather see the cost of our H2 rail project spent on renewable energy schemes. Imagine what £100 Billion could achieve to support the transition to renewable energy!

So – how much Carbon do we need to reduce by to achieve net zero?

girl holding globe in woods demonstrating net zero
Photo by thomas scott on Unsplash

We need to put 38 billion tonnes less CO2 per year into the atmosphere to wipe out all global warming. The world average is 4.8 tonnes per person worldwide, but first world residents create up to 16 tonnes each. That compares to 0.1 tonnes for residents in Mali and Niger.

So, the world is trying to limit temperature growth to 1.5C. Carbon output is still growing however, so that’s unlikely and we already are slipping towards 2C.

It’s difficult to predict how much more pollutant we can add to the atmosphere and keep to 1.5°C. A good estimate to keep a good chance of meeting that is – 400 to 500 Billion tonnes. This is known as our Carbon budget. It says that to hit Net Zero by 2050 we need to reduce our carbon footprint by a further 60%. The longer we take to do this the more we will have to give up!

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/SR15_Chapter2_Low_Res.pdf

What can we contribute to reducing global warming?

Simple things that we are starting to do are as follows and do make a difference of tons of personal CO2 production.

Changing light bulbs to a low energy bulb. Saving – 150 lbs per bulb.

Drive less. Saving – 1lb of CO2 for every mile you don’t drive!

Recycle more. saving – 2,400 lbs of CO2 per year by recycling just half of your household waste.

Check your tyres. Every gallon of fuel saved keeps 20 lbs of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Take shorter, cooler showers. Wash clothes at a lower temperature and ensure a full load. Saving – More than 500 lbs of CO2 annually.

Avoid packaging. Saving – 1,200 lbs of CO2 if you reduce your rubbish by 10%.

Adjust your thermostat. Saving – 1,000 lbs from 1 degree reduction in winter, more in summer

Plant a tree. Saving – A single tree will absorb one tonne of CO2 over its lifetime.

Turn off electronic devices when you’re not using them. Saving – thousands of lbs of CO2 a year.

Eat a more plant based diet.To get the same protein from beef as peas, emissions are nearly 90 times higher.

You can find out more about this issue here.

There are 2204 lbs to a UK Tonne. So, have a quick review to calculate what savings you might be able to make?

If you do want to calculate your own carbon footprint, here is the link to a popular and free site. If you want to see lots of statistics about global warming go to – https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions#future-emission-scenarios

Slow progress? Some reasons to be cheerful.

Poster saying - There is no Planet B
Image: Marcus Spiske@Unsplash

Don’t beat yourself up too much. UK greenhouse gas emmissions peaked in The UK’s CO2 emissions peaked in the year 1973 and have declined by around 38% since 1990, faster than any other major developed country. lot of savings are going to have to come from big reductions in shipping items around the world. Also moving away from fossil fuels and aviation will need to play a part. Redesign in industrial processes and power generation will also need to be introduced swiftly. There is also hope that carbon capture technology will advance to fill shortfalls.

More good news is the tropical deforestation fact that cutting can be halted. In many places it already is being reduced. A variety of approaches have shown promising results. These include corporate deforestation-free commitments to the REDD+ initiative and the Soy Moratorium. Progress requires a sustained commitment by governments, businesses, consumers, and non-governmental organizations. Their goal – the ending—and as possible, reversal—of tropical deforestation.

How do we apply all of this into Ironfire Industrial furniture?

collage of Ironfire industrial style furniture
See the whole range of indoors/outdoors furniture
www.iron-fire.co.uk/

Hopefully the material above makes it easier to grasp the effect our products have on global warming? The world seems to be full of people saying that they are doing a great job. Often that sounds more an advertising strategy than trying to make something in a better way. So, does Ironfire stand up to examination as sustainable furniture?

It was key, to me, to learn that reprocessing old steel creates more VOCs than new. I am pretty sure of course that fact doesn’t hold if you include ore extraction. But it does suggest that there aren’t any straightforward solutions, more, a lot of grey areas.

First off, in a globalised consumer market, no business can survive making utilitarian products. Neither can they use materials irrespective of cost. Making things that you have to be rich to afford is not, in my view, much of a contribution to a sustainable future. The same goes for hand making craft items. Great, but again is not a path to make a difference to global warming. Second, should we be balancing sustainability against ecological materials? By this I mean, is it better to make something once and well, than make it disposable. The question that quickly follows that is… Is it preferable to use a material that emits twice as many VOCs but lasts four times longer? The answer is, of course, to do neither but the point is that there is often a trade off. That means we have to be practical and choose the lesser of two evils?

Gin Table @ Lisas
Basic ironfire gin station – available with wheels, storage & branding.

So, Ironfire’s challenge is to make industrial furniture with (as close as possible) to a net zero global warming effect. At the same time, it needs to be affordable, practical and attractive. We are very keen to show that our aims are not an affectation but the normal way that business should be.

Our belief is that we should concentrate on making Ironfire last as long as possible. That means making it strong and robust but also simple to repair, to refresh and to renew. It also means protecting it against the elements too. You can see a description of the 7 different ways we do things to achieve these aims here.

Simply – if we can make a thing last twice as long then we’ve already halved our environmental impact.

White Coffee table in front of fire
Ironfire Coffee table 1400 x 1400mm

Making things is not just about what materials you use, it’s about the whole business. Here’s our specific ideas.

We design and make everything we sell. We don’t ship in cheap, trendy furniture from Asia. The CO2 impact of shipping miles is huge. We try to ensure that our steel is UK produced. It’s always galvanised, which is a VOC free process, ensuring long life. We then powder coat, another VOC free process. Some things we sub contract from reputable partners we have worked with for years. Everything, however is produced in the South West of England.

Wood is generally seen as carbon neutral. We use only quick growing UK pine. This is renewable Douglas Fir from a timber mill within 30 miles. We then air dry it and coat it with long lasting, VOC free waxes.

We use British glass and metal fixings treated with rust protection. There are only three things we can’t UK source. One of these is unique waterproof material from 500 miles away in Holland. The second, small Hydrophobic valves made to our design and posted from China. Third our wood treatment we produce from Belgian bases travelling 275 miles to us.

We try to deliver everything we make and plan effective delivery routes. We only supply direct to our customer. Cutting out the retailer saves our customers money. It also allows wider customer choice and a personal service. It also means that we can avoid disposable packaging which is a big fact of global warming.

Ironfire doesn’t want to be politically correct for the sake of it. We want to make practical ecological choices about complicated issues. Well sustainable furniture anyway! For example, we currently powder coat metal and can pass on that industry’s claim that the process is VOC free. The truth is the process involves a lot of heat during process and harsh chemicals in the cleaning. At the same time is powder coating the best finish for us? We are looking at alternatives which are longer lasting and more pleasing to the customer. A strong coating means using two pack finishes and we can’t find anything that is water based…yet. That means a level of VOCs but believe the benefit of improved product to end user justifies that. We must offset the heat involved in powder coating against a low level of VOCs emitted in a cold spray process.

About the author: Andrew Knight lives near Frome in Somerset. He has been running his business Ri Manufacturing for 25 years. Ironfire is a new challenge. Read about us here. He’s spent his career solving problems and turning them into products. There’s been enough success and failure to ensure he retains his enthusiasm and a sense of humour! Many thanks to Kiran P and to Shannon B for their patient editing of this article.

All comments welcome, please send to: andrew@iron-fire.co.uk

Other Ironfire blogs that relate to this subject:

https://www.iron-fire.co.uk/blog/sustainable-furniture-designhttps://www.iron-fire.co.uk/blog/repair-renew-re-use

https://www.iron-fire.co.uk/blog/teak-garden-furniture

Finally, further reference material (for those I haven’t quite bored to death!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#In_Earth’s_atmosphere

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limonene

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/technical-overview-volatile-organic-compounds#2

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1352231099004653

Lifestyle Concepts: 10 From Around The World You Should Know About!

Dining Tables For Your Home

10 Lifestyle Concepts From Around The World You Should Know About!

Ironfire believes that your home and style reflect who you are and what you stand for. There are loads of interesting and popular lifestyle concepts around. Our thinking about how we should design, make and deliver our furniture echoes many of these ideas. So, we thought it would be fun to contrast them with Ironfire. We didn’t set out to follow anyone’s trends and prefer to think that we’re only doing the obvious. But you never know, we might even end up on the cool side of the fence for the first time in our lives!

Different lifestyles in the world

1 – HYGGE from Denmark:

Berkley coffee table - lifestyle concepts blog
Even though Game of Thrones has finally finished, winter is always on the way.
That means it’s time to add a little more sustainable Hygge into your life.
What’s Hygge you ask?
It’s a Danish idea describing the cosy contentment and well-being you get from life’s simple things.
It’s pronounced “Hoo-Gah,” and it’s that warm feeling you get whilst drinking hot chocolate on a snowy day.
In fact, you’ve probably already experienced Hygge without even knowing it!
It’s a national obsession with all things cosy and why Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world.
This level of happiness is what Ironfire always aims to bring to all our customers. Other countries have versions of Hygge lifestyle concepts. But you don’t have to travel – Ironfire delivers Hygge right to your living room!
We design Ironfire Industrial themed furniture for strength and long life,
but it’s just as much about creating relaxing environments!
You should always feel supported when eating but able to then lean back and relax in comfort.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in your living room, office or your garden.
You should choose furniture that makes you happy to put your feet up and dream a bit.
Don’t you deserve that snug, ultra-comfortable home environment we all dream of?

 

2 – SISU from Finland:

Pronounced “See-Sue,” this is all about stamina, guts, and perseverance.
It means getting through hardship and making it to the end. Sisu focuses on the present rather than long term goals. It’s meant to inspire you to have the guts to do anything, but you need to be ethical about it at the same time.
For example, say you want to run a high stakes Poker den?
Ironfire can provide the comfy benches to keep you playing for hours and some great ambient lighting.
But don’t ever cheat during the game! Otherwise, you won’t fulfil the integrity of Sisu.
It’s all about sticking to what’s right, especially when it’s difficult.

 

3 – LAGOM from Sweden:

Dining Table Base in Bluebells - Lifestyle blog
It’s pronounced as “Lah-GOM” and translates to “Not too much and not too little.”
Lagom is about moderation and living a contented life with the right amount of possessions.
It’s better to live a sustainable life and clear-out unnecessary items to create more space at home.
Celine Dion has 10,000 pairs of shoes stored in a Las Vegas warehouse instead of clogging up her house.
So, unless you want your home to look like Celine’s shoe warehouse, it’s wise to live Lagom, simple and sustainable Embrace the Swedish culture of a healthy work/life balance and purge what you don’t need.
Ironfire furniture’s clean lines and solid design help free yourself and declutter!
That means you only use minimal and necessary furniture items, to design your perfect home.

 

4 – WABI SABI from Japan:

It’s pronounced as “Wah-Bee-Sah-Bee.”
It’s one of the most ancient Japanese lifestyle concepts seeking beauty in the imperfect, and incomplete.
It cherishes imperfections, and so a ceramic bowl with a crack won’t get tossed away.
Wabi Sabi teaches you to find contentment with what you already have and not hold out for more.
So, if you ever feel like sending a product back for a refund, think Wabi Sabi before you head off to the post office!
Ironfire shares a Wabi Sabi passion for celebrating the perfect imperfection of natural materials !

 

5 – LYKKE from Denmark:

Red Dining Table -Lykke
You pronounce Lykke – “Loo-Kah” and it means happiness.
As the Danes are so happy everyone wants to adopt their lifestyle concepts.
To feel the happiness of Lykke, you need space to be able to think clearly.
The Danes believe that a cluttered room is also a cluttered mind.
So, always remember to put those clothes back into a drawer instead of leaving them out on the floor.
Color psychology is also very important in achieving Lykke.
Pink generates warmth, blue means freedom, and green will make your home look natural.
Be careful with red though. It can either remind you of love, or that terrifying elevator scene from The Shining!

 

6 – IKIGAI from Japan:

It’s pronounced as “Eee-Key-Guy” which means “Reason for being.”
This Japanese tradition is about finding your purpose in life.
It’s quite the opposite of the sedentary cosiness which you get from Hygge.
You need to think about what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can get paid for. So, if you like our industrial style designs us please spend all your spare cash on Ironfire furniture.
As we get older most of us stop being curious and fall into a boring routine.
Stay young by designing a home that truly represents everything that inspires and challenges you!
Discovering your own Ikigai will contribute to a long, happy life and motivate you to leap out of bed every morning.

 

7 – GEZELLIG from The Netherlands:

Ironfire oak dining table -gezellig
“Hey-Sell-ick” is the unexpected way to pronounce this.
This is all about friendship and companionship.
Like Hygge, this concept aims for warmth and contentment, but more via a fulfilled and active social life.
You’re always sharing that cosiness with people you love (or at least can tolerate), to spend plenty of time with. Trying to entertain friends who complain about your music is not Gezellig.
So make sure you save the best seats for those who really share your Spotify guilty pleasures.

 

8 – FRILUFTSLIV from Norway:

Yes, this one was a real mouthful for us too. It’s pronounced as “Free-Loofts-Liv” or “Open air living.”
It’s all about the pure joy of being outdoors and embracing nature and beautiful scenery, with friends or alone.
You can experience this by walking, cycling, swimming or camping.
You could though just put a Bench in your garden and spend some relaxing time with a friend.
Or, why not sit alone on that Bench, channel your inner Jane Austen and compose a literary masterpiece.
It’s important to break away from staring at digital screens and get some natural sunlight and fresh air.
It’s even more enjoyable with the mesmerizing flames from an Ironfire outdoor firepit.

 

9 – PANTSDRUNK from Finland:

pantsdrunk graphic - lifestyle concepts blog

This hilarious title obscures a truth – find quality time just for yourself.
To Finns, it means getting drunk alone at home, stripped down to your briefs and having no intention of going out. Unless you’re McCauley Culkin and home alone every night, it’s empowering to drink and spend time alone.
Instead of using alcohol as a social tool, you’re relaxing in a different way.
That means you’re getting down to the real you because nobody else is there to judge.
Russell Howard and Greg Davies had a hilarious evening bonding trying the practice out. Watch a cliphere
It’s a unique kind of Zen. Some say there’s nothing better than chilling out and sipping hooch in peace and quiet.
It might surprise you how much you learn about yourself by letting go when you’re alone.
At home, your guard isn’t up and you can allow yourself to be a free spirit
Luckily too, Ironfire chairs have plump cushions to keep your bum warm – since you’re only wearing pants!
Drink like it’s nobody’s business, dance like no one’s watching, but… don’t forget to close the curtains.

 

10 – IRONFIRE from good old Wiltshire?

Is it so cheeky to include ourselves in such august company? Of course it is!
We’re really chuffed though to see how many positive aspects of these lifestyle concepts are reflected in Ironfire.
Adaptable, sleek furniture that’s not disposable and made from renewable materials. That’s what Ironfire’s all about. Added to that we are honest and hate hype. Read all about us here
Our independent outlook and determination to provide a better service chimes with many of the values above too.
Oh! And we are well used to drinking in our pants – of course!

All About Tables For Your Home From IronFire

Tables for Home
 

The Best Tables for Your Home: From IronFire.

No matter which room of your home you are currently in, I can pretty much guarantee that it will contain a table. A dining table in your kitchen or dining room. A coffee table or side table in your living room. A console table in your bedroom as a dressing table or in your hallway for storage or display. And in your bathroom? Well, maybe that’s pushing my “tables for your home, for every room of your house” theory a little bit too far! Red industrial style home dining table If you’re looking to update, replace, or simply need a table for any use or any room of your home then Ironfire can help. We design, build and deliver custom made tables from our Wiltshire workshop directly to your home. There’s a huge selection of colours and sizes in our range. We also keep our prices affordable and only sell directly from our online furniture store. Dining room tables, Coffee tables, Console tables, Bistro tables and Garden tables. We can happily fill any room of your home with our furniture! The flexibility of our tabletops means that we are a truly unique furniture company. All wood used to make our tabletops comes from British sustainable forests. That, along with the strong steel frames means that they will last for years without further impacting the environment. We’re on-hand to answer any design or delivery questions that you may have. We take a real pride in our furniture and we enjoy engaging with our customers. We carefully manufacture Ironfire and hope you will enjoy what we do.

Bistro Table ?

Bistro tables and pedestal tables may not be the first type of table that you think of when online furniture shopping for a garden table or dining table. They are however one of our best-kept secrets. If your kitchen, dining room or patio is just that bit too small for one of our dining tables, a bistro table could be the ideal solution. Bistro pedestal Table for inside Ironfire industrial bistro tables are custom made to order in any of the finishes that we have available in our online furniture shop. A rust finish for a real industrial effect; a rustic oak which looks great against the black steel frame or one of our 24 standard colours which can all be viewed on our product pages. If none of our standard finishes are to your liking, just visit our RAL colour chart which features over 200 additional colours which we can make your Ironfire tabletop in. We’re sure that there will be at least one that matches what you are looking for, and apologies in advance if we have made the decision difficult for you! Our square bistro tables are available in 3 sizes – 75cm x 75cm; 75cm x 100cm and 100cm x100cm. Let us know at time of purchase if you are going to be using your bistro table inside or outside, and we can ensure that we apply the correct lacquer to it. And for that extra peace of mind, our inside tables have the option of a glass top while our outside tables can have a made to measure cover. Little touches, but ones that matter.

Coffee Tables for your home ?

The centre-piece of living room furniture. The partner to your sofa. The topping for your rug. A coffee table is essential for bringing focus to your living room; bringing all of the living room furniture together. Not just for aesthetic purposes, a coffee table also gives you somewhere to rest your feet, your mug and to hide your half-made jigsaw puzzle and half-read book under. Ironfire industrial style coffee tables are custom made to order. Rectangular coffee tables and square coffee tables that are available in 21 sizes to suit small living rooms or larger living rooms – the general rule of thumb when sizing one up is to make sure that you can walk all around it. Ironfire wooden coffee tables are made using locally sourced wood from renewable forests. The Douglas fir we use with durable and UV stable coatings ensures that our coffee tables will last for years. Because we sell direct only, our coffee tables makes your money go that extra mile. So we are better for both your pocket and the environment. Large White Coffee Table living room

Console tables for your home ?

The Ironfire console table: a narrow table available in lots of lengths and with endless uses both inside and outside. And why shouldn’t practical not also be pretty? Small enough to live at the bottom of the stairs as a hallway table. Slim enough to line the wall as part of your living room furniture collection. Our modern console tables make a gorgeous dressing table and garden storage and display of plants. The smallest of our console tables can be used as a side table or bedside table. With a top and bottom shelf there is plenty of room for your bedside lamp and other essentials. If that’s too small a size for you, we have 21 sizes of our industrial style console table for you to choose from. Big room, little room – there will be one for your needs. If that isn’t choice enough for you, we offer a rust or oak finish for the tops of your console table. If you want a more rustic look, we have sustainable wooden tops in 24 standard colours. Still not enough choice? We have a RAL colour page with 200 other colours ways to suit all tastes and interiors. Which one will you choose? industrial console side hall table

Dining Tables for your home?

Made with a strong steel frame and attractive wooden table top. Ironfire contemporary industrial dining tables could be the missing piece in your dining room. Multiple sizes are available whether you’re looking for a 4 or a 12 seater table. Hot cup proof and sturdy enough to last for years, our dining room tables are a long lasting and worthy investment. Partner them with our dining chairs or benches for a complete dining room furniture solution. The beauty of Ironfire dining tables is in the adaptability of the table tops themselves. We offer a rust finish which is stunning in its originality. An oak finish for a more classic look. A variety of 24 standard finishes with a burnt wood and coloured effect to stand out. If that’s not enough, choose from many other colours. Years down the line if you want to update your table, just let us know. We’ll create another new top for you while maintaining the original steel frame. A table top choice that is absolutely second to none.

Garden Tables ?

Are you bored of standard teak garden tables, or painted garden furniture that needs painting every Spring when you pull it out of storage? Ironfire garden furniture can change all of that! Garden table for your home All of the tables on our online furniture store can be used both inside and outside. Bistro tables for a small patio table or maybe Console tables for storage or display of plants. Dining tables for larger patio areas and bigger groups of people. Even our coffee tables are ideal for an outside veranda or seating area. All tables can be finished with a lacquer ensuring longevity outside, meaning you don’t have to worry about storage of them. Our made to measure covers can be selected as an option when you order your table. They make sure that your garden tables are even more protected against any weather blown at them. Select a tabletop finish for a colour pop in your garden to give a colourful contrast to your patio plants. You can then pair with our garden chairs (which have waterproof cushions) or benches. Then maybe add planters and firepits to create a real Ironfire feel for your garden.

Final Verdict

So, however you are looking to add to your current furniture collection look no further than Ironfire furniture. Affordable, attractive and long-lasting, we make sure that our tables will not only stand the test of time but also complement your interior. It’s the Ironfire way.

Repair Renew Re-use

Repair Re-use and Recycle

Repair, Renew Re-use

Annually, in the UK, we throw away over 1.4 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment. Each household spends on average £800 a year on electrical items for their homes, and it is the older versions of these that break, are thrown out and create the waste issue. So what are you supposed to do when your fridge or washing machine breaks down? It can be costly to get it repaired, as well as not having any guarantee that the repair will solve the problem for an adequate amount of time. White goods just don’t seem to last anymore, unlike the twin-tub that lasted my Nan for about 80 years (if you believe her). The average life of a washing machine is now under 7 years (more than 10% in a London junkyard were reported as being under 5 years old). Irreparable within only a few years before having to buy a new one – no good for our pockets or our environment and certainly not sustainable design!

Here at Ironfire we’ve been championing sustainable made to last furniture products products while maintaining affordability and the easy replacement of parts when and if required. And if we can do it, there’s surely no reason why others can’t Repair Renew Re-use

Spain, in 2013, brought in a Royal Decree which stated that a certain percentage of electrical and IT products must be recycled and re-used (a term that until recently was indistinguishable from recycled but now means repurposed and repaired rather than broken down and the individual parts recycled). This year, their aim is that 3% of large household appliances and 4% of IT equipment should be re-used, and their research and work into this has found that 25% of equipment that is thrown away is in fact repairable and suitable for re-use. That’s a lot of waste saved, as well as household budgets!

We need better and more sustainable design

Why isn’t more being done about companies and their insistence about unsustainable products?

Their products are cheaper to buy but do not last for long and therefore have to be replaced frequently. A similar problem is planned obsolescence – the practice of producing products that have a limited lifespan until they are no longer in trend, repairable or useless within a certain time period. Mobile phones were a perfect example of this, are getting better but still don’t meet the Repair, renew Re-use brief.

Soon though, it looks like more will be done thanks to the European environment ministers. The BBC are reporting today that finally the EU will be forcing manufacturers into producing goods that will not only last longer but also be easier to repair. Currently the situation with repairing electrical equipment is that parts and instructions are restricted, which limits the repairs to the manufacturers which can be costly and slow – if at all. This will be changed, meaning that local tradesmen will be able to repair equipment – not only saving the consumer money but also investing money in the local economy.

The BBC reports that “because of the CO2 emitted in the manufacturing process, a long-lasting washing machine will generate over two decades, 1.1 tonnes less CO2 than a short-lived model”. So even by purchasing a new machine that claims to be more environmentally efficient, you may be doing a better service by repairing your old machine – as well as saving your money!

Backing all of this up on a ground level, we have the Restart project. A “people-powered project”, they “aim to fix our relationship with electronics”. They run regular Restart Parties where people are taught to repair their broken electronics as well as going into schools and organizations. They say: “The Restart Project was born in 2013 out of our frustration with the throwaway, consumerist model of electronics that we’ve been sold, and the growing mountain of e-waste that it’s leaving behind. By bringing people together to share skills and gain the confidence to open up their stuff, we give people a hands-on way of making a difference, as well as a way to talk about the wider issue and what products we want.”

Now they are being listened to, and their campaign is being taken seriously in the UK and the EU, this can only be a good move for both the consumer and the environment, not to mention the communities that this is bringing together.

Ironfire want to help promote Sustainable design for made to last furniture as their contribution.

So, if you want a piece of furniture that will prove a worthy investment that will last for years, from a company who will provide you with new replacement parts for if it breaks or looks tired further down the line….(It’s worth looking at some of the tweets to Restart from people who have sent in photos of their ovens and toasters that are still going strong after fifty plus years!). Let us know your thoughts on this, as well as any companies you have come across who maintain the repair, re-use ethos, or who just simply make products that last for years!

 

Interior Bloggers That We Love

Interior Bloggers

We’re always looking for interior Blogger inspiration at IronFire.

both for styling shoots of our own products but also we’re taking an active interest in the interiors of our own homes. I can waste hours away flicking through Pinterest and Instagram for ideas but sometimes you find you need something to read alongside the beautiful images. Discovering the world of interior design bloggers – was something of an eye-opener for me, possibly because of my age I have missed out on that whole blogger/vlogger thing and find that the culture of influencers has bypassed me too. To have discovered that there is such a large network of interior bloggers who take the time out to write, photograph and post all about their lives and their homes leaves me wondering how they find the time to do anything else apart from putting the interior design blog together whilst ensuring that the area in their home they’re are taking photos of is tidy!

Not only for inspiration and ideas, interior bloggers have also given me another way to waste my evenings – browsing their sites. If you are looking for a good reason to ignore the washing up, boyfriend or football,

Here are our favourite Interior Bloggers from a selection of hundreds.

Let us know if you agree or there are any you think that I have missed that I need to check out!

Swoon Worthy

Kimberly who runs Swoon Worthy describes herself as an ‘unashamed maximalist” and describes her style as “Eclectic Boho Glam”. This makes itself very clear from the content of the blog with luxe golds and animal prints featuring throughout. The flow of the homepage especially is really enchanting and completely different from that of many interior bloggers who stick to the same theme, fonts and colours so this blog really is quite refreshing in that respect. Loads of advice is given, including how to achieve certain looks on smaller budgets. The transparency on this blog is also great – while there are affiliate links provided for shops and products, it is made clear that they are sponsored links and the items shown in these still fit in with the whole theme of the site. Honest, different and interesting – for us, 3 very important things!

HomeGirl London

For this blog, again, the initial attraction lay in the bold homepage layout and blocky fonts which make it stand out with confidence, and by no means squander in the mire of other blogs. Standing out for me are the “Shop Snoop” features in which she actually visits physical stores in London rather than just linking to products online. This makes Homegirl London more of a real person rather than just a face behind a screen in some way – even though there is no proper formal introduction as appears to be standard for bloggers. The ironic thing here being that there is a distinct lack of selfies or “blogger gazing into the distance” images which again is really refreshing, making the blog more interesting and informative rather than relying on how much she loves her cats. (Disclaimer: I am not insinuating that she does not love her cats; I’m not even aware if she owns any but I’m sure if she does then they are very well looked after). “Trends” and “Finds” are all included here along with places to shop and eat in London, all giving this blog a real air of authenticity, originality and rawness which we love.

My WareHouse Home

Industrial style interiors have always been at the forefront of our designs and products, and if this is the style for you then My Warehouse Home could be your perfect partner. Packed full of images of exposed brick walls, loft apartments and styling that will make you want to start stripping the plaster on the walls of your uninspiring semi away, this blog (as well as their website and magazine which we also recommend) is slightly dark but very fabulous. Don’t come here if you are looking for pastel pink walls that are not set off against rough timber or metalwork. This is the film star of the interior blogs if you like – one you gaze at with an open mouth and envious eyes but know you possibly won’t ever get close enough to touch with the envy inducing high ceilings in the amazing homes included. The warehouse home touches that you can give to your home featured in here however, can be the equivalent of that Johnny Depp poster on your wall. With features such as “Meet the Designer”, “Real Homes” and “Five of the Best”, there’s enough information here to keep you going for days. It’s a no-frills approach which could not fit the brief any better. A clear brand and voice throughout this blog and site makes this, for us, an absolute go-to.

Smart Style Interiors

Primarily an interior designer, in this blog Phoebe shares ideas and encouragement on how to develop your home for the better. The language is refreshing and enthusiastic and from reading one blog alone you are almost out the door with your Farrow and Ball paint chart to tart up your walls with bright colours that you have previously hidden from. Well written and with great images, this blog really feels like you are getting value for your reading time and it’s so nice to read a blog that isn’t full of sponsored links from people trying to convince you of how great their new ironing board is (#ad). This makes it genuine and you end up really liking Phoebe and her advice and ideas from which you get the sense that she just wants to help you brighten your home and not just sell you things that she claims to use in her own…60/30/10 rule anyone??

If these aren’t enough to keep you going throughout the next week or so of football games, you can, of course, always go through our back catalogue…..

Mothering Sunday Release Servants and Child Labour

Shou Sugi Ban
Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent and the day from which we release our servants and child labour from their mundane tasks to let them visit their mothering church while picking wild flowers for their own mother on the way there….ahhh we remember the 1700’s well and fondly before a time of taking half an hour to pick the right card (Mum takes offence if the words inside aren’t just right), having to book a table for a Sunday lunch well before the end of January to save yourself cooking (I’m a mother too you know!) and having an inner turmoil over whether flowers are a bit too run of the mill for a gift. Mothers are special for the majority of people (to my children at the moment it’s more embarrassing than special but we’re supposed to be, right?) and without argument need some kind of day to be recognised, as a break from the endless drudgery of night feeds, school runs, taxi runs and child minding duties depending on what stage of childhood your little ones are at. For the Next Star Mums competition, the celebration is for Mums who are special for various reasons that break away from the run of the mill mum-reliability. One of the competition nominees, for example, is Lisa Wells, a local mum from Frome who is raising money relentlessly while fighting cancer to ensure her daughters can be looked after once she has died. (More info on Lisa here). The competition has however come under vicious scrutiny for the lack of diversity across its judging panel which consists of white, slim, middle class women (I wasn’t asked on a pure chubbiness factor). I think though that the arguments surrounding the judging panel, while relevant, have actually overlooked the main factor of the competition. Rather than awarding “Mum of the Year” accolades to celebrities such as one of last years winners, reality TV star Amy Childs, these awards are looking at “real” mums who don’t have a sunny holiday every 2 months, a personal chef, waxer, shopper….I could go on. These are REAL mums who don’t ask for accolades, just simply get on with it – and for these nominees, it is in the face of difficulties. For the celebrity mums, the money they have will alleviate many of the pressures of every day life that most of us worry about, yet the pressures that they feel themselves will be of a different angle in which they can be publicly criticised for the way that they live their lives. So why does anyone feel the need to pit women against each other, when everyone is trying their best to do their best for the children, whether tiny or grown up, in their care? Celebrity, unknown, rich or poor, all Mothers should be celebrated on the same level – which is why we think that all of the mothers in the Next Star Mum awards should be equal winners. And not just them. All of us. Don’t wait for your children to buy you gifts to thank you for doing what you do as a matter of course. Treat yourself – whether flowers, chocolates, a massage or an industrial style coffee table (sorry!). And make the day about the wild flowers that your children have picked as a symbol of appreciation for everything that you do.

The Home Bar for the Antisocial

Less and less people are visiting pubs and bars in the evenings now (data source: me, I moonlight as a barmaid) due to the rising costs of alcohol and possibly the current weather situation (snow. I didn’t want to mention it but it’s relevant right now). Having friends round for food and drink is one of my favourite things to do, keeping social events in-house means a cheaper evening as well as not having to worry about getting home, for me anyway! However, a sticky coffee table or worktop is never a good look, so impressing guests with a well put-together mini-bar as seen on Madmen and anyone else who has kept their house 1950’s style has to be the way forward. It doesn’t have to be an expensive minesweep of the alcohol aisle in your supermarket though – so here are our tips on how to impress your guests before they have drunk too many of your homemade cocktails!  
  • Alcohol. Don’t waste money on random spirits that taste of the 1990’s and are going to end up being swigged out of the bottle come 2am. Stick to the basics of good quality Vodka (Cosmopolitans), Gin (Martinis), Rum (dark, white or spiced, or all 3!) and Tequila (Margarita). From these you have the basis for a LOT of cocktails, plus anyone who drinks shorts or shots will likely be drinking one of these. From here, you can build up your collection in the future based on which cocktails you want to serve, and which of your friends are holding onto their teenage tastebuds! (Taboo and lemonade anyone!)
 
  • Mixers. Standard selection – fat cola, thin cola, lemonade and juices! But don’t forget to stock good quality tonic water for the ever-popular G&Ts (Fentimans won this taste test), and soda. If you want to really impress, you can get an old style soda syphon which is also handy for squirting at any overly loud guests!
 
  • Garnishes. Often missed but can add that extra special touch to a drink! Obviously fresh lemon and lime slices, but different brands of gin will work well with different garnishes, so if you have a Hendricks drinker for example, make sure you have cucumber for their drink. Salt is required for the rims of cocktail glasses and tequila slammers; olives for a martini; ice as no-one likes a warm drink, and if you’re serving Babycham then you need maraschino cherries on a stick!
 
  • Glasses. Highballs, martini, rocks…these are probably the main basis for your drinkers, and the aesthetics of a drink are always improved if they’re served in something a bit nicer than a chipped Father Christmas mug!
 
  • Equipment. Nice cocktail shakers, strainers and ice-buckets can be found in lots of online shops and save you stirring your drink with teaspoons….Also worth investing in a nice cocktail book for ideas and inspiration, although there are also lots of apps you can download to help you with how much to add to what. If you do decide to have straws, try to get eco-friendly ones, such as these from eco-strawz.
 
  • Storage. From the information above, you can see that you can add as much or as little as you want to your home bar, which obviously then will help you decide how large or small to go with your storage of it all. Which is where we come in! (I know, you were waiting for the IronFire link to this blog post!). Our industrial style console tables come in 21 sizes so are suitable for any space whether you are intending to stock only 2 gins, or a full range to rival any gin bar. And if you want to go full pelt, with wines, lagers, the lot, have a look at our racking. Newly developed, we can make multiple configurations for a commercial bar space (this isn’t a recommendation for you to start selling your cocktails to your neighbours – I’m pretty sure you need a licence for this) or a larger home bar.
 
  • Nuts. No bar is complete without bowls of nuts, crisps or similar to soak up the alcohol slightly! I know this may be a bit of a wasted effort, but at least they provide a small amount of sustenance for the barperson!
  Never again will your drinks evenings be full of flat cola and cocktails that fail to impress, enjoy, and don’t forget my invite!

Living and Lounging in a Sitting Room

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. That’s 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.
Also 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. ironfire stunning furniture table 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? Andy from ironfire 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

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!

 

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!

New Year, New Interior?

Keeping on top of interior trends as they change on a seasonal and monthly basis is almost a full-time job in itself, but also something that gives great ideas and inspiration if decorating or updating decor in your home. Personally, I use a variety of well researched sources (good reason to spend hours on Instagram: I’m working, honestly!) to keep “in the loop” with the upcoming trends; from interior bloggers to online interior magazines, all of which provide great ideas as well as new places to look for products or just to give me serious home envy! (Most of which comes from seeing homes that do not have muddy footprints across the beautifully tiled kitchen floors, chocolate handprints on the Farrow and Ball painted walls or plump, succulent cushions that are placed perfectly on sofas and not being used as pugel sticks in a rework of Gladiators!). Kicking off 2018, some of the trends that I have seen being buzzed about include bright colour palettes (crayoned walls do not count apparently) against a neutral sage (if I squint hard enough, my bright green kitchen walls almost achieve this) and funky doors, both interior and exterior. Three of the trends that I like the most though are… The crush on velvet as an indulgent texture – something that brings full on glamour to even the most neutral of rooms simply by throwing (placing!) in a few cushions or even going as far as a luscious sofa. Have a look at lounje for some great velvet sofas and materials which just ask to be stroked.
Bed end by lounje
Velvet bed end by lounje
  Dark, Scandi inspired wood as the movement for natural products heads further away from the light oaks that have been filling homes as standard towards a moodier scheme. Achieve this with IronFire furniture by opting for one of our darker tabletops that have been burnt using our shou sugi-ban technique more than usual. (The beauty being with our tables that when the wooden palette trend inevitably changes again, we can update just the table top for you without having to replace the frame. Clever, no?)
grey
Darker burnt wood options for IronFire tabletops – see more here
  Industrial style metallics – rather than the rose gold that has been everywhere recently, these have more of a brushed masculine effect and can be used in accessorising quite affectively, or did I mention that we now do a brushed chrome frame for our tables? Look at us being all 2018! new chrome bracket  

Simple Furniture Trends for Winter 2021

Winter can always seem so long drawn out and drab that redecorating, or at least revitalising, your interior at this time of year can be a great way of creating a snug and inviting home that almost hugs you when you come in. This Winter, there are many key trends that can not only help your home envelop you comfortably, but also that we feel will compliment our IronFire industrial style furniture in a juxtaposition of the materials and the colours. There are so many to mention that we have picked out just a couple of our key favourites, and all that’s left for you to do is take your IronFire table as a base and then build your winter haven around it.   Grey No, not the sky, but an choice for winter walls that veers away from the bright colours that may be expected. A grey wall does not have to be cold when the right colour is chosen – I have Farrow and Ball French Grey on my bedrooms walls which is an almost green grey that creates a calm environment. This would work well with the dark metal frames of our tables whether as a dressing table in a bedroom, or a console table in a hallway.   Grey Farrow and Ball French Gray   Plaid Straight from the Highlands of Scotland, the dark and warming colours of any plaid or check immediately create a cosiness that warms and cheers. For the more brave hearted (sorry) check an entire wall with a plaid wallpaper. For those a bit more reserved who just want a plaid splash, have a look at Totally Tartan who do a huge range of cushions as well as these great doorstops.   simple trends winter trends 2017   Dress Up Your Fire Log burners are all the rage at the moment, heating and creating a gorgeous ambience in the harshest of rooms. Dressed with a mantle or just in a hole in the wall, these are great focal points for a room and manage to be both practical as well as attractive. If you are lucky to have one, rather than using a standard log basket use a steel log and kindling holder to carry on that rustic industrial look alongside your fire.  This matching pair is from Bean Metal Works and can be brought via their Etsy shop.   winter furniture trends   Winter is a great time to really enjoy your home and make the most of it, so add these elements to your home and we’ll see you in the Spring when you emerge after your hibernation!    

The Fail Safe Way to Buy Furniture Online

Industrial style bistro table and chairs
With busy lives and local stores closing down almost daily meaning that shopping options are limited to large out of town shopping centres which can sometimes be an hour or so drive for those living rurally, more and more of us are turning to the internet to buy our furniture. Buying online though is not without risk. Furniture is rarely an impulse, cheap or small purchase – so if it doesn’t fit into your living room, doesn’t match your colour scheme or is of questionable quality, it’s not that easy just to repackage and drop into your local Post Office to return for a refund. As an online only furniture retailer, we understand that these issues, which can be easily missed when viewing a product on a small screen, can put people off of buying online. However, we are passionate about keeping prices low for our customers, and by staying online only we are able to keep our costs down and pass them on. Therefore, to overcome online furniture purchasing worries, we have put together a simple buying guide to ensure that you will be happy and secure when buying our industrial style furniture.  
  1. Do Your Research…From the retailers About page, you should be able to garner information about the retailer such as how and where they make the products, what style of products they sell and how easy it is to contact them. It’s also worth checking out their customer reviews; whether on their own website, their social media or on an online review site such as Trustpilot.
  2. Check out the Shipping Costs…While many retailers offer free delivery, this will actually be rolled into the price of the furniture. Have a look at who they use – if it’s a standard courier rather than delivering themselves, and if they actually deliver into the room of your choice or drop on the doorstep.
  3. Does the Store Match Your Style?…IronFire manufacture industrial style furniture. If your style is more painted oak, then we’re probably not the store for you! If you know that industrial style furniture is your thing, then the chances are that you will like what you see on our website, and that will then translate to you being satisfied with what you buy when it is delivered and in situ in your home.
  4. Look at Photos…Does the retailer offer multiple images of the product? Have a look at their social media sites as well to get other angles, other colour options, or maybe even to see images of the products in customers homes.
  5. Read the Description…If you want solid wood, avoid anything that is described as “veneer” or “composite”. This is an easy way to be caught out and ensure that you will not be happy with the product that you have purchased. Likewise, if being environmentally friendly is important to you, make sure that the wood being used by the company is sustainably sourced from an FSC approved supplier.
  6. Check your Measurements…Don’t assume that something will fit just because it looks like it will. Check heights, widths and lengths of products against the size of the space in which you want it to go. If you can’t find the details you want, or need to be doubly sure, then call the furniture retailer who should be more than happy to help you with any measurement queries.
  7. Double Check Colours…Sometimes images of the same colour can differ simply down to lighting or angle. If you like something but are not 100%sure, contact the company to get them to send you another image. Our colour range is so varied that we are asked to do this on many occasions and are more than happy to oblige.
  8. Make Sure you Shop From a Secure Site…Online identity theft is a growing concern that can not only clear your bank account but also waste a lot of time in trying to resolve. When buying from a website, make sure that the website address changes from http to https which indicates that a site is secure and you are safe to buy from it.
  9. Do You Have to Make it?…Finally, don’t forget to find out if your purchase is going to come fully assembled or flat packed. If you are expecting to come home to a dining table fully made and ready to eat at, it can be a bit of a shock to find yourself facing a pile of flat boxes, a screwdriver, and an evening arguing over the inevitable left over screw and where it goes!
  So in conclusion, although it may initially be a daunting prospect to make such a large purchase online, by taking into account the points that I have made and by using a company that is a ‘good’un’, you could actually end up with a good quality piece of furniture that will last for years and has saved you money on buying from a bricks and mortar shop. Happy shopping!

Bonfire Party the IronFire Way

ironfire bonfire night industrial furniture
Bonfire Night is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated social nights of the year; steeped in traditions regarding the food you eat, the games you play and bringing neighbourhoods and friends together to set fire to things!   ironfire bonfire   Never a company to shy away from an excuse for a social experiment, here is our tried and tested guide to having an IronFire Bonfire Party…  
  1. A Huge Bonfire – an essential for a bonfire night party! Ours was built well in advance, away from buildings and anything flammable, and fully checked for wildlife before lighting. And here’s our tip with regards to the bonfire: they give off a lot more heat than you actually think they will, so get your guests to wear layers otherwise you may find yourself with a bunch of naked fire dancers on your hands.
  2. Guests – obviously if you are happy partying on your own then that’s fine also, but we have found that a team of people who get on well both in the office and workshop as well as they do in a field around a fire is a bonus for a party and gives you people to “oooooh” over the fireworks with.
  3. Lighters – thirty people, one hundred sparklers and one lighter…this doesn’t bode well for efficient sparkler lighting. ironfire bonfire party
  4. Games – apple bobbing, spooky walks, eat the doughnut off of the washing line without touching it…all great ideas to keep the kids away from the wine, wash off the Halloween face paint and scare them into staying by your side all night so they don’t get caught up in the B&M spider web that is adorning the branches in the dark.
  5. Food – our amazing host provided meat chilli, veg chilli, jacket potatoes, pigs in blankets, the most amazing homemade guacamole…suitable for all coeliacs, vegans and fussy children who attended. If you don’t have the energy or will to be as good a host, then we suggest serving the food outside so no-one really knows what they are eating. (disclaimer: we don’t recommend this if you have guests with bona fide allergies). Ironfire Team Dinner
6. IronFire Furniture – this is an IronFire blog, of course I’m going to get it in here somewhere! A great big IronFire table that seated all of us in front of the fire, and an IronFire planter topped with an IronFire Firepit for the children to toast marshmallows on – the perfect end to an IronFire Bonfire party.   Ironfire Furniture and party   Ironfire Bornfire Party   If you need anymore help with planning a party and want to do it the IronFire way, or just want to bulk up your guest list, don’t hesitate to let us know! In the meantime, we’re off to plan the Christmas one…….    

An IronFire Halloween

The carving of pumpkins, decorated with scary faces or images linked to Halloween (or StarWars pictures if your street is anything like ours!) and lit up with candles are synonymous with the Halloween season. This is something that has grown massively in recent years in the United Kingdom compared to what it used to be and now sees the majority of homes with one of these carved vegetables sat on their doorstep or in their window. The practise of carving pumpkins originated in Ireland from an Irish folktale about ‘Stingy Jack’ and was originally carried out on large potatoes or turnips, only transferring to pumpkins when Irish immigrants took the tradition over to America. Now seen in huge displays in UK supermarkets, recent figures suggest that 2 in every 5 Britons buy a pumpkin in October (with 3 children who have very different ideas of what can generously be described as pumpkin art so requiring a pumpkin each, I am definitely included in these statistics). In the USA, the common practise is to use the flesh to produce dishes such as pumpkin pie once the carving has been complete thus making full use of the entire vegetable. In the UK however, we are less likely to do this and therefore waste an astonishing 18,000 tonnes of potentially edible pumpkin flesh every year! At IronFire, we believe in sustainability and making use of as much as we can – so after the carving of our pumpkins, we passed the flesh over to Kiran, the appointed IronFire chef, to do what she could with it….   Pumpkin Risotto INGREDIENTS 1 small pumpkin (may only need half of the flesh) 1 small red onion 850mls vegetable stock 1 garlic clove 350g Arborio rice Salt & pepper Olive oil   METHOD Cut and deseed the pumpkin, drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven, 180 degC until soft and starting to brown. In saucepan fry onion until soft, add garlic, salt & pepper. Add rice and coat with juices in pan before adding 1/3 of stock, simmer and stir occasionally. As liquid reduces, gradually add balance of stock. When most of the liquid has been absorbed add chucks of pumpkin and finish cooking until the rice is soft and the liquid fully absorbed.   With the spare roasted pumpkin, why not try using it in soup? In a large pan, fry an onion until soft, add a finely diced large carrot and cover with vegetable stock, simmer until carrot is soft.  Add remainder of pumpkin and cover again with stock, when warmed through blend until smooth.  
Kiran’s pumpkin soup on ironfire table
Kiran’s pumpkin soup
  See the image below for our risotto serving recommendation for Halloween parties! (Could also be used for serving the soup but we take no responsibility for any mess it may cause)  
ironfire halloween
Halloween Peppers
×

Hello! How are you?

Please feel free to leave a message on WhatsApp and we will get back to you or directly call us at ☏ (01985) 878795

× Chat