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  

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

Inside Furniture Outside? Or Outside Furniture Inside?

ironfire industrial style furntiture
It’s not often that something that you can use inside of your house will also work outside. The practicality of an industrial style piece of furniture for example, that looks great enough to have in your dining room but also is strong and durable enough to be taken out onto your patio or veranda when the weather is nice enough to entertain the thought of dining al fresco.

 

This is one of the reasons that our industrial handmade furniture has been made to work in both environments. To be diverse enough to look great when you’re entertaining inside, but also with the toughness to be able to withstand the weather so that if nice enough, your dining room table can be taken outside without having to worry about the rain making the top bow and ruining something that is too expensive to be able to replace regularly.

 

The galvanised steel used in the manufacture of our chairs and table bases has been coated with a textured anthracite finish which is robust and will not corrode. The sustainably sourced Douglas Fir used for the wooden tops of the tables can be given a coating of two-part epoxy resin which increases the longevity; and a glass top (an optional extra on all of our tables) will enhance this even further.

 

While the cotton covers of the cushions on our chairs for inside will not be suitable for use in the garden if it rains, the material used for the garden cushions is UV stable so do not have to be kept out of direct sunlight, and are also stain proof and water resistant for times of surprise showers or spillages.

 

We like the idea of taking the inside outside and vice versa, and the industrial design of our furniture always bears this in mind. With the new trend of interior design in the garden simply being an extension of your style inside your home, and bringing the outside inside, (see our Pinterest board for some ideas and inspiration on this) IronFire furniture can help to make this a reality.

 

We can make sure that the size of your inside and garden dining area does not constrain you either. For bigger spaces, our event table is perfect; whereas our smaller bistro table is ideal for a more restricted patio or breakfast room. Both are available in different sizes and colours to suit.

 

Attainable, affordable and without constraints. That’s how to be more IronFire.  

IronFire Furniture on Location

IronFire Event Table

We pride ourselves on using stunning images of our industrial IronFire furniture for our website and social media – we want to inspire people with our furniture and provide ideas that are not only aspirational but also achievable.

We quite often get asked how we come up with the images, so here are a few pointers that we always tend to be driven by whether taking images for our Facebook and Instagram; our product pages on our website, or our Houzz and Pinterest accounts.

 

  1. Talk

Quite often our ideas are bandied about our office as jokes or from things that our staff have seen and noticed from their weekends or even on the drive to work! These start off as “Have you seen…?” or “This would look so cool…” and from there develop into an idea for a shoot. They are not always conventional (putting a coffee table into a tree anyone?) but sometimes from these random conversations, great shoots are produced!

 

  1. Plan

From these ideas, we plan out the shoot using a moodboard. This will include props that we need, and our aims and targets from the shoot. We make sure that the product in question is always the focus – be it our planter or  console table.

 

  1. Crib Sheet

We have a pre-planned standard photo shoot crib sheet that we take to every shoot with us. It details house angles, house shots and things we need to remember to take with us. We’ve been caught out before coming back from a shoot and saying “We forgot to take X shot” so this makes sure that we come back with everything that we want.

 

  1. Photographer

We have our own in-house photographer. This is really handy for us, as it means that we can be spontaneous with our shoots (rare sunny day? Camera out!) and that he is fully aware of the IronFire product branding and what we need to achieve from each shoot.

 

  1. Be flexible

You may have an idea in your head that sounds great in theory, but on the camera screen isn’t really working. If that’s the case, why not turn it into something else? Change the angles, change the props, use the shoot to take advantage of close ups or the product. Our Shou sugi-ban table tops are stunning, and often the focus of a shoot as well as the main piece of IronFire furniture.

 

  1. There’s no I in team

The photoshoot may be your baby, but sometimes others in your team can look at what you’re doing with fresh eyes and come up with a new angle or way to take a shot. You really have nothing to lose by taking this on-board, and our attitude is that it’s better to come back to the studio with more shots of the industrial iron table or chairs than you need instead of not enough and wishing that you’d taken more!

 

7. We believe in supporting local businesses (see our other blog posts for examples of these) so find that they are more than happy to let us use their locations to shoot our products in return for mentions on our website and social media accounts. This is a great way of networking and providing leads back for others as well as getting great shots in environments that you may not easily have access to!

 

  1. Edit

We have people well skilled in Photoshop which enables us to adjust our images to the size and finish that we want. We also make sure that fonts are the same when putting text onto images and resize them all for social media platforms. We like consistency: this is important for our IronFire branding.

 

  1. Learn from Each Shoot

We value feedback, and analyse each shoot to see what works for us and what doesn’t. The whole team is involved in this (and we have very different ideas on what we like and what we don’t like!) but it’s great to get differing perspectives on our results – and learn and grow from them.

 

  1. Results

And then all there is left to do is pat each other on the backs when you’ve achieved great images that started off as an idea in someone’s head! Make sure you’re proud of them. We know we are.

Our Console Table Gets The “About The House” Treatment

Ironfire Industrial Style Console Table

Our Console Table is the IronFire furniture equivalent of the middle child; not always a necessity for a home like the oldest child and our Dining Table, and not the centre of attention like the youngest child and the Ironfire Coffee Table. It does, however, play an important part in the Ironfire furniture family and would be missed if not there.

A Console Table is versatile and can be put into any situation and win – transforming a bleak, blank hallway into an interesting and useful space, or housing your media centre to juxtapose our industrial style with your modern day living.

Slim enough to stand proudly in a narrow hallway or behind a sofa, the extra shelving that it provides can be used not just for storage but also to display attractive and useful ‘things’ to bring the Ironfire Console Table into play as a real eye-catching piece of IronFire furniture.

We are experts in crafting tables, but to really show our Console Table off to it’s full potential, we brought an interiors expert in to showcase it to it’s best. Sarah-Jane Wright runs a full interior design consultancy in Warminster, Wiltshire and it’s from her shop, About The House, that the beautiful items she has dressed our console table with have come from.

For more information about About The House and the interior services that Sarah-Jane offers, please visit aboutthe.house on Instagram, @Aboutthehouse.warminster on Facebook, or call Sarah-Jane on 01985 218882.

ironfire console table ironfire console table build console table

IronFire Console Table
IronFire Meets About The House

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IronFire Versatility

Bistro Table & Chairs

Ironfire is so versatile

The beauty of Ironfire industrial furniture is not just in the seamless style or functional design, but also in the strength and versatility of the product itself. It’s not just a product for use in a domestic environment so if you’re looking to enhance your bistro, bar or cafe with stunning furniture that will withstand time and use, just let us know.

The galvanised steel, washable and UV stable fabrics and treated wooden table tops all mean that our products can withstand the most frequent use. Metal that doesn’t rust and can therefore be left outside, and just a simple wipe down to clean off marks and spillages, leaves our chairs and tables filling that gap in the market for furniture that works both inside and outside, and in both commercial and domestic environments. Styling wise, a modern urban bar interior matches the industrial style of our furniture like they were meant to be together, whereas a rustic rural bistro background will complement the straight lines and robust appearance that is synonymous with IronFire.

We have a wide palette of colour options available for table tops, but if you want something more bespoke – maybe a burnt finish to fit your brands colour scheme or your logo incorporated into the table top – our designers are on hand to work with you to create this.

Domestic or commercial, inside or outside, standard or bespoke. Versatile. That’s how to be more IronFire.

Many thanks to the Pythouse Kitchen Garden in Tisbury who allowed us to photograph our furniture (and eat their amazing cakes) in their orangery. For more information visit www.pythousekitchengarden.co.uk 

Sustainably IronFire

We know it’s a bit of a cliché and rolled out regularly, but at IronFire we really do believe in caring for the environment and leaving as small a carbon footprint as we possibly can. Many factors come into play when staying on the right side of the environment, and while all of our products are all designed and built in the United Kingdom thus reducing our carbon emissions, one of the most important things to us is the use of sustainable wood in our table tops.

We produce these using Douglas Fir; a strong, British grown tree that has come from a well-managed plantation. The growth of the trees is controlled to ensure minimal disruption to wildlife, and buying from a source like this means that many of the forests in the EU are growing as fast as they are being cut down.

Buying sustainable wood not only helps the environment for generations to come, but also means that you are not aiding the disruption of the forests abroad in places like Brazil. The logging in these countries can not only destroy the forest itself but also the habitats of the wildlife and the indigenous people who make it their home. Illegal wood trading can encourage human rights abuse and leave trees on the endangered list such as certain teaks and mahoganies.

Moving on from trees to something less green and woody, planned obsolescence is the manipulation of the production of an item to give it a limited lifespan. It therefore becomes broken or useless after a short period of time; the idea being that sales will be regenerated when purchasing the said item’s replacement.

The consumer trend for planned obsolescence has caused a rise in the dumping of unwanted, broken products as they break quickly so are replaced due to necessity, or upgraded to the latest model. How many people have a drawer full of old mobile phones or see fly-tipping increasing? I know in the rural area where I live it’s certainly causing a problem with old mattresses, chairs and other unwanted household items piling up on the roadside and in the woods.

While planned obsolescence has it’s place as a consumer model, it is also responsible for global warming and waste as products are mass produced and replaced. Therefore, the longevity of a product is also very relevant to it’s impact on the global environment as a whole.

So what should you look for if you want your furniture to be environmentally friendly? Sustainable wood from FSC approved sources; something that is made and distributed from the country that you live in; and a product that has been made with quality workmanship and materials to ensure that you will not be replacing it on a regular basis are all factors to be taking into consideration.

We like fresh air and we like trees. And we make our products with a craftsmanship that means that they will definitely last longer than your mobile phone! That’s how we strive to be more IronFire.