Pink Linen For Upholstery & Curtains

LinenPinksPink linen is a rather rare and unusual flower. Not often specified in your average interior designer’s scheme. I found this scan that we had emailed someone recently for the client to choose for some curtains. We were even able to introduce different pinks into the warp and weft of the linen for an unusual effect. (We can do that with most of our linen colours).

Anyway, I just thought the pink linen image looked nice and I wanted to share it with you!

Silk Velvet – What makes a great upholstery velvet

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Silk Velvet Upholstery with Fine Italian Silk

Silk Velvet really is one of the great upholstery velvets. It looks great, it feels great and it can be up to the job if your upholstery velvet is chosen wisely.

If your last and only experience of a velvet was sitting on one in the cinema then you really haven’t lived!

Firstly let’s look at silk velvet’s suitability for upholstery. It can have a Martindale Rub Test result of over 20,000 – so it CAN be readily suitable for many upholstery uses.

Composition. Just because it is sold as 100% silk can be misleading and not necessarily relevant. Is this 90% silk velvet better than that 100% silk velvet? You just can’t answer that by simply looking at the composition.

A silk velvet that is sold as being 100% silk may in fact be a 100% silk velvet pile and 100% cotton backcloth. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. If it is the look and feel of the silk that you are looking for then maybe it’s best to just consider the pile (assuming the backcloth is up to the job of course). One of our fine silk velvets has a 100% pile and then a backcloth of silk and cotton – with the cotton being added for strength and the overall silk content being 90%. Compare this to our Italian Silk & Cashmere Velvet which has a 70% silk + 30% cashmere pile.

Next look at the silkiness or the shininess. If you are looking for a silk velvet you will usually want a shine.

Consider too the length of the pile. Again, there is nothing inherently good or bad about a long or short pile. A shorter pile may be more rigid and upright and that could be a characteristic that you are looking for. Alternatively, a longer pile will probably lay better in one direction – and you may well want that characteristic.

The weight of the fabric in grams per metre is often used as a measure of quality. That is not always true and could, for example, easily be distorted by a heavy and poor quality backcloth.

My personal preference would be to get my hand on a sample; feel it and look at it. What I look for and prefer is a slightly more rigid and consistent pile with a very dense weave. I would look carefully at the country of manufacture. I prefer an Italian velvet (mainly because it sounds better!) but if not Italian then I would certainly only consider a velvet produced in mainland western Europe. But don’t copy me, have the confidence to choose what you like – you are going to have to live with it. I would now choose my upholsterer carefully; many years ago a velvet-covered chair came back for me from a local upholsterer and the pile was not running in a consistent direction…it didn’t look great (read ‘awful’). So don’t, like me, assume that all upholsters know what they are doing with velvets, they patently don’t all know. I would then read our guide to upholstering with velvet – a designer’s worksheet and armed with a bit of knowledge quiz your upholsterer carefully.

Who is the best interior designer in London?

London
London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I was wondering just “Who is the best interior designer in London?”. I recently wrote about who was the best interior designer in the world and got some rather unexpected results.

You could, and of course, probably did, do that same Google search to find London’s “best interior designer”, just like you’ve probably also googled your own name at some point.

And yet here you are.

Maybe you are one of those top interior designers wondering why your name didn’t appear on Google’s first page like Blanchard, Helen Green, Tollgard and Robin Moore Ede did?

Is it really important? For example, I’m writing this in 2013 and Victoria and David Beckham have just, apparently, commissioned Kelly Hoppen to do their London pad. Do you think they did that Google search? Probably not, in fact certainly not, as I am sure they were influenced by many other factors. So even if you target ‘rich people’ then you might argue that your target market will never make that search.

Maybe.

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

I bet some of them do though. I bet some of those responsible for recent influxes of property investment in recent years do as they are based out of London. Perhaps they did have one or two recommendations but perhaps they also wanted a few new faces to present fresh ideas. & you weren’t on that list!

So how do you get on that list? Well, this blog page probably did get on or near the top of that list. So you might wonder why? Well if you look at the first paragraph you will see that I use ‘who is the best interior designer in London’ near the start of my article (google likes that) Oooh and look I’ve just included it again in the previous sentence. Google likes that too. But I will stop putting it in as if you do it too many times Google does NOT like that. & now take a look at the title, the name of the page and the excerpt…do you see a pattern emerging? 🙂

So the lesson is that you actually have to put the words into your website that people might type (keywords). That’s an art in itself. Covered elsewhere on this blog. Of course, now you know the trick you will all do it and I will get bumped further and further down the listing…giving me a reason/excuse for not being on the first page when you finally get around to reading this!

Then, of course, you actually have to have a good website and I ‘m sure you’ll agree that those companies that come up do have amazing looking websites. We deal with some of them and they certainly ARE at least amongst the very best designers in Europe, let alone London. And yet if you have the time to check their technical google ranking or ‘pagerank’ (I’ve done it for you!) you will find that most are 3 or 4; which is not so great. Certainly no higher than this blog. So you DON’T have to have a really high pageranking to get on that first page. You have to have the right content (as well as an OK pagerank).

Now here’s how you can cheat. Search instead for a generic “interior designer in London“. Different results. And you will see that maybe your adwords advert for those keywords appears on the right-hand side (you don’t use adwords? why not?). You will maybe also see that you need to have a google business/places listing to get put there as well a perhaps a listing in Yell.

So you can cheat by paying for a position on the ads on the right-hand side. It might cost you a bit though. And if you get a lot of ad clicks then google will promote you to the ads at the top of the search (because your ad generates more revenue for them). And you will see that those ads at the top don’t always look like ads and then kind of blend into the normal search results. And people kind of think that they are the first results of the search…and click them. Good clicks if you can get them maybe?

Maybe a listing in Yell is a good idea and getting a Google Places/Business listing IS DEFINITELY a good idea.

So who is the Best Interior Designer in London? Well Google’s first page for that search shows designfinder.co.uk and their listing says that www.forsterinc.co.uk are the best designers…so it must be true.

Faux Leather Martindale Test – What does it look like

Ever wondered what a Martindale rub test looks like?

 

We’ve already shown a video of this <here> however of some additional interest might be the following faux leather samples that recently came back to us from the Martindale testing laboratory.

Faux Leather After Martindale Rub Test
Faux Leather After Martindale Rub Test

 

So the link (above) shows you the machine in action and the image above shows you the circular cuttings taken of the fabric that have been rubbed, in this case, 200,000 times. As you can see this excellent performance faux leather of ours lasted WELL above the industry ‘norm’ of 100,000.

Design Revolution 2013: Interior Designers Work Smart

Source: Marketo

2013: Finally it’s here. Will it be a lucky year or an unlucky 13-based year?

I suspect that the number of the year will make zero difference to how well you do. You might get a stroke or two of good luck but I would strongly suspect that your actions might put you in better positions where ‘luck’ is more likely to go your way.

Being MORE creative might make you luckier. I also suspect that the creativity you already have is a ‘given’ amount. So what we need to do is work a bit smarter to get that darned creativity out of you.

On the right is a neat infographic from a company called Marketo (click the image to enlarge it). It’s tongue-in-cheek and gives 7 ways for you to waste time. Just in case you are having a sense of humour crisis today…YOU NEED TO DO THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE DIAGRAM SAYS 🙂

Going through some of their points

  1. Set your email to only check for new emails every hour not every 5 minutes. Better still just only manually send and receive emails.
  2. Tidy desk = tidy mind (note to self: work required here!)
  3. Get a comfy chair and work in front of you not at an angle. Sit properly.
  4. Multi-tasking is the art of doing more than one thing BADLY. Men and women both think they are brilliant if they are multi-taskers. Hint: you’re not. Do one thing, do it well and move on.
  5. Turn off electronic alerts that distract you (similar to #1)
  6. Be unsociable and get back to work!
  7. Put ‘rationalise to-do list’ as first thing on ‘to-do’ list

good luck

Fine Faux Leather Upholstery – New Contract Fabrics With High Abrasion Martindale

Fine Faux Leather Blue Upholstery Contract UsageUpholstery Faux Leathers are one of our many collections being revamped in 2013. We have introduced a new faux leather with a Martindale Rub test score exceeding 200,000. This is one of the highest available in the UK.

It still looks great and also has the added comfort factor of the interior designer knowing that it can be a worry-free product to spec for even demanding contract environments. Providing that it is correctly upholstered and specified it will withstand very significant amounts of abrasion.

Interior Designers: Must Blog Better – But How?

Content Mix: Content Marketing Institute
Content Mix: Content Marketing Institute

The content Marketing Institute created that nice little image up there that  shows what a content mix might be.

This image has been bandied about on various websites as THE correct mix. It isn’t THE correct mix but it’s a good starter to make you think. It might make you think you are entertaining your potential clients too much or it might make you think you are being a bit boring talking about kitchen worksurfaces a little too much.

Click To Read More Interior Design Articles
Click To Read More Interior Design Articles

For a start it’s saying that you should blog 6 times a week or at least create content 6 times a week. For small businesses that just ain’t gonna happen in the real world.

However it certainly DOES give you ideas about what to write next.

Provide relevant information: Perhaps contribute to a thread somewhere telling people about some of the great things you learnt with a particular product on your last project.

Teach: Show you really know what you are talking about. Share some knowledge in an authoritative way on how you do your job.

Start a conversation: Perhaps on a LinkedIn group or your Facebook business page.

Inspire: others to do better. This could be on a forum or your could write something.

Entertain: Never hurts to make someone laugh.

How do you explain INTERIOR DESIGN to a 6 year old boy?

RandomBoyWondering
Image Credit: http://blog.marketo.com/

“How do you explain Interior Design to a 6 year old boy?”

That is the question.

I’ve posted the same question and a link to this (evolving) article on LinkedIn. You can take the question literally if you wish. As a reward I will link back to you from this page for any noteworthy (good or bad!) answers that I might paraphrase for the sake of brevity. The more ‘sensibly’ creative your answer the more likely I will include you and your answer. Go create.

Designcouncil.org.uk describes interior design as “Interior design isn’t just about home decoration. It is concerned with creating functional and beautiful to look at interior spaces in all sorts of places including houses, public buildings and commercial properties such as shops, restaurants, leisure venues and offices. Interior design can also be applied to temporary environments, whether that’s pop-up shops that are in existence for just a few months at a time, or show homes and exhibition stands that may simply last days. Anything that has an interior can be designed, redesigned or refurbished.”

Whereas Wikipedia suggests: “… a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an ‘effective setting for the range of human activities’ that are to take place there”

Rebecca at RHA Interiors: “[if all else]…fails I always go for the football analogy,  ‘why choose red over blue?’”

Terry Maurer makes interesting comments noting that kids are increasingly influencers in the interior design purchasing and commissioning process in families.

Mark Randall at 1901 Design would ask the boy to learn what interior design means by “doing”  And the boy would be asked to create his perfect den. Sharon Kaper suggests a similar “show-and-tell” approach.

Mike Major suggests it should be no different to explaining it to a potential client.

More Black Faux Leather Upholstery

Faux Leather is great for upholstery. Here is a time lapse video of the full process if you want to know how it is done. We would be happy to point you to a local upholsterer but please remember that we only sell the faux leather upholstery fabric. If you would like samples please drop us an email request <here> (trade only). We have several collections of faux leather in most colourways including base colours (black, brown, green, blue, red, yellow, gold) muted neutrals and metallic finishes.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/E333E2nRke4]

Interior Design Buzz Words – Trends and Which Bug You?

English: Selection of Danish Modern chairs at ...
English: Selection of Danish Modern chairs at the Danish Design Center, Copenhagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern vs Contemporary: Contemporary is usually something that is modern or recent looking yet which takes something ‘good’ from the past such as, for example, GOOD traditional materials. Modern may sometimes (and probably incorrectly) infer a degree of futuristic design.

Vintage vs Retro vs Reproduction: Something vintage is from its original period. Retro is something that has been recently made in the style of an older piece or period. Reproduction is a copy of an item some time after its original period has finished. A fake is a reproduction that is specifically designed to be passed off as an original.

Selective indulgence: You probably haven’t got the budget to have a fully indulgent design. So instead you choose to be indulgent on certain concept or focus pieces that make a statement.

Organic – This can mean ‘eco’ in modern parlance. But you should also be aware that others use it to mean natural in a very broad sense – for example to how your entire scheme works together and fits to the space.

Energy: This is more about emotions and feelings than the vividness of colours or eye-catchingness of objects.

Re-purpose – this means more than just to re-use something. Yes you re-use it but you re-use it for a different purpose.

Diversified Portfolio: You have more than just taupe in the photos of your past work 😉 Your portfolio will show different types of projects, say, a classic villa and a contemporary restaurant

Collaborative spaces – allow spaces for group work but also allow such spaces to be able to be used and re-used for different functions or groups.

What do you think?or what is your bug bear?