Our Guide to This Season’s Hottest Home Trend: Houseplants

Whether you fancy yourself as a green-fingered whizz or not, houseplants are sweeping the nation as one of this year’s hottest interior trends. Not only do they look great, they are also said to improve indoor air quality which helps our health – win-win!

So, where to start? If you’re a complete beginner and find yourself baffled by the garden centre – don’t stress. We’ve put together the following guide to help you suss out which plants are best for your home and how to care for them. Enjoy!

 

The Swiss Cheese Plant

Image Credit: Inside_no.6 (Instagram)

If you’re a fan of Instagram interiors, you’ll have no doubt seen the Swiss Cheese Plant featured regularly in your feed. Native to South American rainforests, its luscious green leaves are likely to become the focal point of any room.

Luckily this plant is relatively easy to care for. It will thrive in a room with sunlight and plenty of shade just don’t place the plant in direct sunlight as this can cause damage to the leaves.

 

Aloe Vera

Image Credit: adventuresinthejunglehouse (Instagram)

One of the most popular succulents, Aloe Vera plants look great and have some pretty impressive health benefits too. The gel inside its leaves is found in many skincare products and has been known to help soothe burns which is why they can be a handy addition in the kitchen.

Aloe Vera plants definitely stand the test of time and have the tolerance to survive if you’re a little forgetful with the old watering. It’s also important to remember that as a desert plant, so if you over-water an Aloe, its roots will begin to rot. For best results, allow the soil to dry before watering again (1-2 times a fortnight).

 

Crocodile Fern

Image Credit: Insane.plant.posse (Instagram)

With reptile-like leaves, these easy-care ferns add a splash of green to any room. They thrive in bathrooms and kitchens, thanks to the relatively humid air. Keep them out of direct sunlight and opt for a more shaded space with a cool to average temperature.

 

Coffee Plant

Image Credit: bahargol021 (Instagram)

Whilst you may not be able to harvest your morning espresso from one of these beauties, after 3 to 4 years, they plants do bloom. Inside the flowers, you’ll find two seeds or beans which can be roasted and brewed! It might only be a single cup a year but just think how good that home grown coffee will taste!

These plants are relatively easy to care for too and thrive in limited, not direct, sunlight. Coffee plants don’t require too much water either so stick to around a third of a cup and pour around the base of the plant. Droopy leaves are a good indication that your plant is in need of a little extra water.

 

Snake Plant

Image Credit: borneogardens (Instagram)

These are funky looking shrubs look great on desks or worktops and have a hardiness that makes them easy to care for. Known for their striking green vertical leaves, Snake Plants also act as air purifiers, helping to keep your home fresh.

When on the hunt for one, choose a Snake Plant with dark leaves as pale, yellowing leaves are often a sign that it’s beginning to falter. When potting your plant, opt for a high drainage soil to prevent the roots from rotting. For optimum conditions, place your Snake Plant in indirect light and allow the soil to completely dry before watering.

 

Spider Plant

Image Credit: plant.your.life (Instagram)

Like a flashback from the 1970s, the good old spider plant is back with a bang and adorning the walls of many insta-bathrooms. Privy to cooler temperatures, these plants prefer to be kept out of direct sunlight so often thrive in more shaded spaces.

Opt for a quick-draining soil and, depending on how bright the room is, water your plant every 10-14 days. Spider Plants like an average amount of water, so not too moist or too dry.

 

Common care mistakes to steer clear of

When you come to buying your own houseplant, always be sure to read the care guidelines. The above tips may vary across species so it’s always advisable to stick to the instructions provided with each specific plant.

 

Here’s a few common mistakes people make when caring for houseplants:

Too much water

Some people can be a little heavy handed with the old watering can, in the belief that plants just need water. Not always true and too much water can be fatal.

Too much light

Again, we think back to high school biology and naturally place plants where they’ll get as much direct sunlight as possible for photosynthesis etc etc. Nope. Not all plants thrive from direct sunlight which can also be fatal.

Not knowing the origin

Knowing the plants origin will naturally help you to care for your plant appropriately. For example, a desert native will not require a daily water.

Neglecting roots

The whole point of houseplants is lack of maintenance, right? However, completely neglecting plants won’t do them any good either. It’s always wise to check up on their roots every now and then as they feed the plant and are responsible for providing its nutrients.

 

To sum up

Houseplants can be a beautiful addition to any home, even for the most horticulturally challenged! The impressive selection now widely available online means there’s a species for everyone.

Whether you opt for a large statement Swiss Cheese Plant or a more modest Spider Plant, always be sure to read the care instructions before positioning it in its new home.

Tag us in your houseplant posts on Instagram – we’d love to see them!

Get Your Home Ready for Spring With These 6 Tips

The weather may still have a cool winter feel to it but there are definite signs that Spring is on its way; Daffodils are blooming, days are getting longer and the temperature is warming.

Spring is a great time to make those all important improvements and changes to our homes. It’s often surprising how much of an impact a good old clean can have on our homes as well as our minds. Whether you just plan on a simple clean or a complete overhaul, once finished, your house will feel like a breath of fresh air, ready for the year ahead.

To help inspire you and get your home ready for Spring, we’ve rounded up the following 6 tips.

 

1. Clear the gutters

Ok, we’ll begin with the least appealing task and get it out of the way. Following autumn and winter, gutters tend to need a little TLC before those infamous April Showers. The longer you leave this job, the more problematic your gutters will become so it’s important to stay on top of it.

If this is something you’d rather not do yourself, there are plenty of professionals who you can hire to take the hassle away. For those of you that plan on getting your hands dirty with this task, most debris, such as leaves and twigs can be scooped out by hand or with a leaf blower. If there are any tell-tale signs of damage, however, it’s probably worth seeking professional advice.

 

2. Wash your windows

Ok, now onto the slightly easier jobs like cleaning the windows. With more sunlight, you’ll no doubt want to throw back the curtains and make the most of it in Spring. So, start by cleaning the marks and grime that build up over the winter months.

Get to it with a sponge or squeegee, window cleaner spray and dry cloths. If you’d prefer not to use a window cleaner then vinegar can be just as effective. Take an empty spray bottle and pour in a mixture of warm water and vinegar. With a bit of added elbow grease, your windows will look good as new in no time.

3. Refresh your bedding

We’re not talking about changing the sheets here. Use Spring as an opportunity to invest in new pillows, duvets, cushions and sheets. It’s amazing how much of a positive impact this can have on your sleep. Never neglect the importance of your bed, after all, you spend a lot of your life in it.

While you’re changing your duvets and pillows, consider swapping out any chunky blankets for lighter throws in preparation for the warmer months.

 

4. Change up your scents

The days of Christmassy gingerbread candles and cinnamon air fresheners are behind us as we approach Spring. So, how do you ring in the warmer months with scents? Consider the aromas you associate most with Spring. Cherry Blossom, Lavender and Fresh Linen are popular for this time of year.

If you’re not a fan of air fresheners, why not make your own using more natural ingredients like essential oils? Here’s a handy article with some top tips on ingredients.

5. Bring the outdoors in

As we approach spring, an array of beautiful blooms start to come into season. Make the most of this and freshen up your interiors with vases of flowers. They brighten any room and, depending on the variety you choose, can bring beautiful aromas into the home.

If you’re not a fan of flowers or suffer from allergies, why not opt for house plants instead? The variety available nowadays is impressive, whether you’re a fan of big, bold leaves or delicate spider plants. Many are easy to care for too, just be sure to position your plant well so it gets the sunlight it needs.

6. Have a move around

If you’re a little bored of a certain room, why not play around with your furniture arrangement? It can make a surprising impact and completely change the vibe of a space. Take your bedroom, for example. If you’ve had the same layout for years, a move around will freshen up the room and could even have a positive effect on your sleep.

A move around also gives you a great excuse to hoover and dust those places that are usually hard to reach. If you have the space, play around with a few different arrangements until it feels and looks great. To help, here’s a link to our recent article on how to arrange furniture like a pro.

 

To sum up

Spring cleaning doesn’t just impact the way your home looks, it can also have surprising health benefits. A fresh home can help improve your breathing, especially if you are prone to allergies or asthma. It can also help your overall mood and stress levels. As the saying goes, ‘a tidy home, a tidy mind.’

How to Arrange Furniture Like a Pro: Our top 10 tips

Whether you have a large, vast space or a small, cosy room, the way you arrange your furniture can really make all the difference. It’s about choosing pieces wisely and arranging them well. So, to help, we’ve rounded up our top 10 tips on how to arrange furniture like a pro.

 

1. Start with a focal point

First thing’s first, you need to identify a focal point. It tends to be the first thing your eyes are drawn to when entering a room. Sometimes it’s obvious, like a fireplace, a large window or a dramatic feature wall. Other times, it’s up to you to create the focal point which can be achieved with objects like large mirrors, statement furniture or art.

Once you have identified your focal point, you can then arrange your furniture accordingly to accentuate it.

 

2. Think about footfall

The last thing you want in any space is for people to have to step over or navigate past furniture. There needs to be clear walkways, so depending on the size of your foom, you generally need at least a few feet between items. This will also help make the space look less cluttered and more spacious.

 

3. The conversation pit

Back in the 1950’s, before TV began to dominate as a focal point, it was all about the conversation pit. Put simply, it was built-in seating or sofas in a depressed section of a large room. The area tended to have a table in the centre, to allow for socialising and conversation.

Now in 2019, this trend has come full circle and interior designers are championing its return. Instead of having all the focus on large, wall adorned TVs, the trend is leaning back to socialising and face-to-face interaction. The conversation pit is also proving a hit with millenials as design historian, Alessandra Wood explains “Millennials love experiences, and the conversation pit is the ultimate mid-century modern experience.”

Image courtesy of House Beautiful

To create your own, you don’t necessarily need a depressed section in a room or built in furniture. This can be achieved simply by arranging two sofas facing in to encourage conversation.

 

4. Think about balance

This is crucial when choosing and arranging furniture. Think about the varying heights of pieces and don’t group all the tall items, for example, together as this would cause an imbalance in the space. Take stock of your furniture and make sure the varying sizes are spread evenly around the room.

The same goes with shapes. If, for example, your sofa is rounded, consider choosing a square coffee table. This will ensure there is variety and a good balance across the board.

 

5. Don’t forget about lighting

Accent lights can completely change a room. It’s often something that gets neglected as people opt for the same old lamp. However, tall floor lamps, side table lamps and overhead lighting all bring a different dimension. Try experimenting with a few different lights, using them in a variety of areas. You’ll probably be surprised by the impact they can make.

 

6. Use an area rug

Area rugs can be a great way to bring all the furniture together. They work particularly well in seating areas and make the furniture appear more ‘together’, particularly in larger spaces. It’s important, however, that all of the furniture fits onto the rug, otherwise the effect won’t work. The coffee table and sofas (at least the front legs) should all be positioned on the rug to create the desired effect.

7. Define spaces

Recently, in the UK, open-plan living has become a popular trend. Kitchen-diners, for many, are the hub of the home where families cook, play and eat together. It is important, however, that the various areas in these open spaces are well defined.

Furniture is a great way to create divides in larger spaces and define multiple areas. For example, in a kitchen-dinner, you could move your sofa so it faces away from the kitchen and back it with a bookshelf to create a clear divide. A rug and a statement coffee table would also help to create a form of mini-lounge within the larger room.

 

8. Use mirrors

Mirrors work particularly well in smaller spaces, adding light and creating the illusion that rooms are larger. Try to angle your mirrors towards the room’s focal point to help provide more depth. Mirrors also work particularly well when placed near windows to reflect natural light around the room.

 

9. Opt for multi-functional

Multi-functional furniture is especially useful in smaller rooms, helping to maximise the available space. Opt for coffee tables, tv stands and side cabinets with storage to provide the added space you need for household items.

Remember to place larger items of furniture around the edges of the room to really maximise the open space. The longest eye-line in any room is the diagonal, so placing furniture on an angle along that straight will help to draw the eye further.

 

10. Nearby surfaces

This is mainly one for the living room but can also be just as useful in the bedroom. Generally wherever there is seating, you should have a surface within arms reach for drinks. Use coffee and side tables, placing them in convenient places around the room.

Keep in mind the above points with this one, however, and if the surfaces block walkways or make the room look cluttered, choose nest tables which can easily be brought out and placed appropriately when you’re hosting guests.

10 Interior Trends you Need to Know About in 2019

New years always bring new trends when it comes to interiors. While some trends are designed to stand the test of time, others come and go.

So, whether you’re planning to overhaul your home with a fresh new look, or just want to mix things up a little, we’ve put together the following round-up of interior trends to help inspire you.

 

1. Mindful colours

Every year seems to bring with it a new statement shade. Last year was all about vibrant reds, petrol blues and modern metallics. This year, there’s going to be more of a ‘mindful, lifestyle-based’ approach to colour, according to Elle Decor. Hunter green will feature heavily, along with earthy, woodland shades.

 

Image courtesy of ayonel.me

 

2. Eco friendly

As consumers, we have become much more environmentally conscious over the past few years, which has affected our buying decisions. This is therefore having a knock on effect when it comes to interiors as people are increasingly opting for repurposed materials and furniture.

From recycled plastics to upcycled metals, it’s a trend that is sweeping the interiors market. We too have taken an eco friendly approach when creating our Harbour Range which is handcrafted using wood from old ships in India.

 

3. Bold plants

It’s no secret that house plants are well and truly in. For the past few years now, they have featured heavily when it comes to interior trends. However, in 2019, it’s all about being bold. We’re talking about large feature plants such as dragon trees, palm trees and banana leaf plants. 

They make a statement and can really transform a space. Just be sure to take into account the plant’s care tips as the amount of sunlight it needs will likely dictate its spot in your home.   

Image Courtesy of Leon and George

 

 

4. Statement ceilings

Maybe an area of the house you never really consider, however, 2019 is set to be the year we give them some attention! Now dubbed as the ‘fifth wall’, it’s predicted that we’ll see some pretty impressive statement ceilings.

From 3D designs and flamboyant wallpaper to bold colours, think about the look that would suit your room best. If your space is small, steer clear of darker shades and vibrant wallpaper to avoid making the room appear smaller.

 

5. Nordic Vibes

Scandi style is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a popular interior design choice for many over the past few years. However, 2019, is set to see this trend gain even more popularity.

This year, the minimalist trend will be paired up with textiles and accessories to add a personal flair. Think chunky knit blankets, textured throws and homely rugs.

 

6. Velvet

Once synonymous with infamous 1970s fashion, this luscious textile is now proving to be a real hit in the home. According to Livingetc, searches for ‘velvet’ have increased by over 400% in the last six months, making it the most searched for fabric online.

Whether you opt for curtains, a sofa or a velvet bed, this fabric can make a real statement in your home.

Image courtesy of the Evening Standard

 

7. Brass taps

Adding a statement finishing touch, brass taps are set to be a popular bathroom feature this year. Whether you opt for a modern, concrete themed look or a more traditional, elegant theme, brass taps work with pretty much every interior style. 

 

8. Floral

This 2019 is set to be the year of floral fabrics and wallpaper. From intricate feminine designs to bold, statement patterns. You can incorporate this trend by adding a feature wall in your bedroom or by opting for floral throws and blankets to add vibrancy to neutral decor.

 

9. Bold backsplashes

This is a great way to add character to your kitchen. Instead of plain colours, like white or cream, people are increasingly opting for detailed tiles to add more of a wow factor. Think about the key colours in your kitchen and try to find tiles which include those colours in their design.

Image courtesy of JRoots.me

 

10. Light coloured floors

In 2019, it’s predicted that people will shift away from darker woods and go for lighter coloured flooring options. This is a great way to make rooms seem larger and more open. From light natural wood tones to greys and whites – it’s all about brightening your floors.

 

Made With Oak Team

Made With Oak Talk to the Lancashire Evening Post

We were thrilled to be featured in the Lancashire Evening Post this week, talking about our business journey so far.

Made With Oak Team

After starting in April 2018, we were surprised by the rate at which Made With Oak grew.

From just one of us managing the website to a team of four looking after everything from product sourcing and web development to customer service. It’s an exciting time for us as we look to grow the team again this year.

We believe that our passion for quality, competitively priced furniture and excellent customer service has helped us to exceed our original targets.

Despite the uncertain times, Made With Oak has shown that there is still opportunity for businesses to grow and develop.

Read the full article here.

Ecommerce Red Rose Business Award 2019

We are proud to have been named as a Finalist in the Red Rose Business Awards.

“The Red Rose Awards is an event where Lancashire business, commerce and industry are celebrated. Lancashire Business View created the event to acknowledge business excellence, provide the best possible platforms to share successes, and encourage trade in the county.” – Excerpt from the Red Rose Awards website.

The awards ceremony takes place in March, we are proud to have been chosen as a finalist following significant growth in our company over the past 9 months. Thank you to all our lovely customers who have helped us get to where we are now.

Redecorate Your Office with Made with Oak

redecorate your officeAre you looking to redecorate your office? Made With Oak makes it easy for you to refurbish your office by providing a range of products including:

  • Bookcases;
  • Desks;
  • Filing cabinets;
  • Printer cupboards.

We have several offers if you get a whole set, you can get all matching furniture for your workspace. Shop our range of office furniture on our website here.

Get Extra Storage and Worktop Space with Our Kitchen Units

kitchen island and worktopHow much time do you spend in your kitchen? Like most mothers, fathers, and home owners, guaranteed that you spend a considerable amount of time in your kitchen.

From breakfasts to late night snacks, your kitchen is often described as the “heart” of the home. That is why your kitchen should look and feel like YOUR home.

Add a touch of personality to your kitchen with our whole range of solid, durable and stylish kitchen units including kitchen islands and storage with slate or wooden worktops.

Get extra storage and worktop space easily and to match your existing units. Our kitchen units are available in natural wood or painted. Shop our range here.

Spice Up Your Decor With Urban Chic Reclaimed Wood Furniture

Say goodbye to dull and lifeless furniture and say hello to Urban Chic. Urban Chic is made with reclaimed wood indigenous to India. It is vibrant, original, and stylish.

Urban Chic provides a unique twist on traditional wood furniture, in order to generate a more prestigious and lavish finish. From tables and chairs, to mirror frames and stands, Urban Chic is a great way to revitalise your home and bring a touch of youth and style into your life.

It’s colourfully splashed wood and metal frame will add interest to any room while also being sturdy and practical furniture.

Shop Urban Chic here.

Add Extra Storage with Nesting Tables

extra storage with nesting tablesIs your home missing a nesting table? Nesting tables are perfect for adding extra storage and a point of interest to your home.

Not only do they offer style, but it also saves on space. Slide out the tables as much or as little as you want for a constantly varied look.

Bring tables out of their nest for extra table space when hosting, store plants at varying heights, use them as an extra spot for ornaments, nesting tables have many uses!

Shop our range here.