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Steering into unchartered waters

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Well that’s it the year has ended, and we have welcomed in 2018. Who knows what it will bring, ups, downs and something in between I’m sure. Often people do all that ‘reflecting bit’ as a year ends and try to remember what their last year’s resolutions were, if the goals they set both personally and professionally had been achieved and what the new year should have in store with a brand-new set of goals.

As we get older all those goals really do change enormously, some of us just start a new day and think that alone is an achievement, whereas those younger are still into long-term fitness plans and climbing the ladder ambitions. Personally, just climbing a flight of stairs or a broken-down escalator is indeed a big achievement for me! But as every day is so varied, we each should relish learning new things, embrace new challenges, gain new skills, adapt to new environments and push just a little more each year to enrich our lives.

Goals and achievements are essential to us to gain some sort of momentum in our lives and businesses – otherwise how do we judge where we have been, what a different we have made and acknowledge the great successes we have participated in?
A new year is something to be steered into, set yourselves a shoreline of focus to reach, we all know there will be choppy waters at some stage, the odd project or new prospect may become a man over board but simply steer through the rapids with a great team spirit, believe in your knowledge, trust and respect your colleagues and stretch yourself to learn more, only then will dry land and new rewards will be our reach.

Let’s all embrace new challenges, new frontiers and keep a weathered eye on the horizon!

Julie R

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A Chance to win with Jøtul

The holiday season may be drawing to an end, but Jøtul UK would like to extend that festive feeling into the New Year with an exciting competition for its customers: the chance to win a copy of either Norwegian Wood or The Norwegian Wood Activity Book signed by author Lars Mytting.

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Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way transports readers into a dense Norwegian forest and allows even the feeblest of readers to imagine themselves as axe-wielding experts ready to take on the great Norwegian outdoors with self-sufficiency, what Mytting himself describes as the ‘very basic dream of human survival.’ Despite the slightly fantastical and romantic elements to the book, it also has practical tips on preparing your woodstore, advice on which axe/chainsaw to buy, and an in-depth consideration of the qualities of different wood types, chopping techniques and further information on stoves and fire-burning. The perfect accessory for any Jøtul stove onwer.

Although the majority of us may identify ourselves with what the author himself recognizes as ‘armchair wood choppers’, the success of this niche and practical book demonstrates our firm interest in the lumberjack lifestyle; Norwegian Wood was voted a best-seller and remained on that list for more than a year after its 2011 publication.

The Norwegian Wood Activity Book has a similarly magical appeal, suitable for adults and children alike Mytting created this interactive book following the extraordinary international success of Norwegian Wood. The piece includes a myriad of fun tasks, puzzles and games including dot-to-dot, mazes, cut out and colour woodchoppers’ clothing, spot the difference and step-by-step guides to laying the perfect fire and building round stack. It really does offer something for all of the family to enjoy.

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So, how do you enter the competition to win your perfect fireside companion you ask? Jøtul simply ask that you upload and tag them (@JøtulUK) in an image of your Jøtul stove on either Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Main Prize for three lucky winners: Signed copy of Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way.

Runner up prize for six lucky winners: Signed copy of The Norwegian Wood Activity Book.

The categories are:

Oldest Jøtul stove

‘Best’ image of pet in front of stove

‘Most Festive’ stove image

The competition will close on 5th January 2017 – Best of luck & happy posting!

Festive Fun Times

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In the last few days run up to Christmas and office shut down, I thought I would grab a moment to post a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year message to you all.

The month before the festive whirl of parties, lunches and late night burning of the oil to hit looming deadlines is always one of my favourite times of year. Wintery crisp mornings and a full month of jam packed events, awards and January sales preparations – what could be more fun! A busy mind is a healthy mind and, although every month seems to bring its own interesting challenges, it really is true that there’s never a dull moment in the world of media buying and PR.

Our clients are always up to something new, launching collections, opening new branches, producing techniques and simply being part of this creativity and insight is truly exciting and varied.

As the world of social media continues its march to rule the world everything is demanded to be varied and equally instant – wow betide you consider stopping for a minute; Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest is now more than a full-time job to keep the creative juices flowing and inspirational.  Days of deliberating over content and images are a dim and distant memory as this fast-paced world gallops on and no one wants to be left trampled underfoot!

Christmas provides us with the enforced stop point we all deserve to spend with our loved ones, a few days of relaxation, over indulgence and laughter-filled times. A time to remember what we all work so hard for – our families and precious time with those we care for.

So, don’t forget to truly enjoy every moment, take the time to see the smiles on your family and friends faces and have a wonderful break.

Jules R

The Jøtul I620 – big, bold and beautiful

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The Jøtul Group’s new flagship is the Jøtul I620 insert wood burning stove. Always the innovator offering the finest quality cast iron stoves with the highest efficiency and aesthesis, Jøtul ensure your stove is not only a practical energy saving heating appliance, but a piece of heating furniture to enhance your home.

This large insert stove is a perfect example of form and function working hand in hand. It features an even wider and greater view of the flames than its little brother which is the bestselling Jøtul  I520. Despite being larger, the stove is designed to burn optimally even at a low setting. Four variants are offered; glass on one side, two or three sides, each offering optimum versatility of placing the stove in any setting.

Easy to install and designed to suit both open fireplaces as well as newly designed masonry surrounds, the I620 has a slim removable decorative frame that provides a seamless border to the surrounding masonry.
Heat Output: 3.9kW min 9.0 kW nominal 12.0kW max. Efficiency: 77%, Finish: Black Paint, Flue Options: Top, Max Log Length: 60cm Heating capacity: 56-170m2 Dimensions:  (762W x 499D mm).  Prices from £2,350.00inc VAT.

Jøtul’s cast iron wood stoves, fireplaces and inserts are hand crafted in Norway. Founded on a proud tradition of artistic and sold craftsmanship with the art of fighting of the cold for more than 160 years.

Natasha M-J

Surprises to be unveiled at The January Furniture Show 2018, 21st – 24th January

Trade shows are often looked upon as the lesser glamorous in our industry, yet I would like to wave the flag for one that stands out from the rest and a major showcase for the furniture trade – The January Furniture Show held at the NEC Birmingham annually.

It is THE show to unveil all the coming years furniture and furnishings innovations, new designs, styles and fabrics from upholstery pieces through to solid wood.  Major UK buyers along with European and international visitors attend ready to plan their new ‘must haves’ to appear in retail outlets large and small.

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Tetrad is one of the exhibitors who choose the show with exactly this audience in mind. Renowned for its Classic Harris Tweed and Heritage collections, it will be unveiling additional stunning new design styles and an array of fashion industry inspired fabrics. Classic Harris Tweed new models will showcase a luxurious feel whilst the Heritage collection will also feature new shapes, textiles and stunning embroidery, applique and hand-woven scatters all set to take centre stage. Beautiful new leathers, washable loose covers and sectional furniture will also be revealed.

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Alongside this wealth of new additions, Tetrad will be displaying the FF and Signature collections first seen at JFS last year and proving to be hugely popular. The FF collection features sumptuous vibrant velvet sofas, snugglers and chairs; essentially a range of inviting designs to cater to the more discerning end of the younger market. Perfect for those desiring a statement edgy and colourful design in unusual styles and shapes, but who also demand exceptional workmanship Tetrad is world renown for.

Selected pieces of the shows highlight launch collection from Tetrad last year; the collaborative collection between Tetrad furniture and Ralph Lauren Signature Fabrics, will also be found on display. These breath-taking and exclusive pieces are sophisticated, sumptuous, stylish and illustrate the fusion between classic British design and the epitome of the American Dream represented by Ralph Lauren.

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This year Tetrad will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary so there will be some extra surprises up their sleeve so make sure you stop by the stand!

What a perfect place to start the celebrations – we can’t wait to go along and be amazed

Jules R

What a winning night with House Beautiful

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We were thrilled to accompany our client from Jotul UK Ltd to the House Beautiful Awards 2017 last week at the stunning Institution of Engineering and Technology in Savoy Place, London. We were even more thrilled when they were awarded the Gold Award for Best Heating category with the innovative Scan 66-5 wood burning stove.

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Hosted by David Domoney, Mark Ryan Marketing Manager at Jotul UK stepped onto the stage to accept the award from category presenter and TV Builder Tommy Walsh.
A sparkling and VIP filled evening with some of the best homes and interiors products being recognised by House Beautiful judges and awarded for innovation, creativity and eco values.

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The evening was made doubly special for us when our conservatory, orangery and bespoke glass structure client Apropos was also recognised by winning a Silver Award for the Best Home Improvement category.

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The event is always one which we look forward to in the dizzy full packed awards calendar and our huge congratulations go out to all involved with organising the event and of course our wonderful clients.

Julie R

Why Japanese Style Interiors are on Trend

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We see it on the catwalks, we see it in the shops and now we see it in interiors too! There has been a massive trend this year for Japanese style interiors and it’s easy to see why It seems like a natural progression from the surge in Scandinavian style interiors we saw a consistent move towards.  Scandinavian style is characterised by clean lines, minimalist interiors and paired back elegance. Japanese style encompasses many of these things, but with what I see as an added ‘oomph!’

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Whilst beautifully styled and minimalist in a lot of ways, we see new textures and dramatic design elements introduced. This is underpinned by funcionality in all things. Both dramatic contrasts and simple contrasts can be used within this style, often with wood finishes. It focuses on simplistic design, but with a purpose. It’s where elegance meets minimalism!

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It’s laid back and stylish interiors at it’s best. It’s no nonsense and functional. It’s super stylish and uber cool – and we love it! I think this is a trend we may see for some time yet!

Natasha M-J

Industrial Chic by Woodstock Furniture

Industrial Chic from Woodstock Furniture

Inspired by cool, urban apartments and repurposed warehouses, the trend for industrial style interiors continues with clients embracing the ‘back to basics’ theme. While classic, shaker style kitchens will always remain a firm favourite, industrial design embraces exposed architectural features, mixed materials, and upcycling of past utilitarian treasures. Woodstock Furniture, experts in designing bespoke kitchens and furniture for every room of your home, have embraced this style with many of its stunning projects.

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Andrew Hall, MD of Woodstock comments: “Streamlining cabinetry and creating uncluttered work expanses is the key to designing an Industrial style kitchen. Full height cabinets to maximise every space and combining the grain of natural woods and tactile materials like metal, concrete and stone returns our focus to what really is the essence of this style –  form and function.”

“Industrial doesn’t need to be cold and clinical, simply embrace all the property’s elements and enhance them. Taking architectural inspiration from existing features or simply visualising how to expand on the space available is our forte,” Andrew adds.

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Natural materials mixed with rich accent colours such as brushed copper and burnished gold, creates a striking and perfect inviting balance.

Embrace the pared back elegance, almost unapologetic attitude that portrays an effortless sense of space. Woodstock Furniture are always thrilled to interpret the elemental and fundamental, ensuring every kitchen they design is as unique as the owners themselves and homes they live in.

Outdoor Living at its Finest

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Apropos, designers of bespoke glass and aluminium structures, are thrilled to be extending its services with the launch of its new website, Apropos Outdoor Living.

If there is one thing that’s certain, about living in Britain today, it’s that we can never be truly certain of the weather that’s heading our way. While you won’t be able to stop us talking about it, come rain or shine, a soggy set of garden furniture does tend to put us off making the most of our outdoor areas. With our not-so-great British weather stopping us from venturing into the garden most of the year, Apropos aim to provide a practical and beautiful solution with its Apropos Outdoor Living range. A glass and thermally broken aluminium veranda will transform your garden into a versatile space, an extension of your home that can be enjoyed regardless of the weather.

Apropos Outdoor Living carries with it the outstanding reputation of Apropos Conservatories. Having worked with glass and aluminium, or rather, Architecture in Glass, for decades, this brand are experts in their field.

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Apropos’ cutting edge outdoor range has everything you need to embrace outdoor living in style. Its verandas, glazed garden rooms and canopies, all incorporate innovative features such as the invisible fixings which optimise function without sacrificing on for,. It’s these fixtures that ensure rainwater drains freely out of site, ensuring that your frameworks remain rust free and low maintenance and your design stays sleek and fresh.  Its garden rooms are created with impressively slim sight lines providing almost entirely uninterrupted views of your outdoor space. Clever features are also found in the sliding doors; double rollers and cleats deliver reliable and smooth operation, allowing you to open up your glazed garden room with jus the push or pull of a single panel.

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Whatever outdoor living space you choose from Apropos, you can be confident that it’s high quality range delivers serious style alongside peerless performance, ensuring you can be up close and personal with everyone’s favourite topic of conversation, without suffering the usual consequences.

The new Apropos Outdoor Living website is not yet live, but stay tuned for the launch date!

Beth D

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