Project Upcycle – be bang on trend!


Upcycling is a word we hear so much these days but what does it really mean? I see it as an art form. It’s the process of taking something unused, unwanted or wasted and transforming it into something with purpose. You can give a new lease of life to a tired looking table, you can customise items of clothing to give yourself a whole new look!

Beginners can start with a small craft project and build into something on a larger scale. There are plenty of tutorials and guides on you tube and pinterest that will help you get some inspiration – reupholstering chairs are something we see a lot of. Using new fabrics and textures can really transform a piece of furniture.

I personally look at a wooden pallet and I think, ‘wooden pallet’ but I’ve watched some people turn it into outdoor garden furniture! It really is remarkable what you can do if you use a little imagination and creativity. I’ve chosen just a small selection of photos to show some of my favourite upcycling projects I’ve come across. I would love to see anything you’ve tried – please do let me know how you get on!
Natasha M-J


Greenery: Pantone Colour Palette of 2017

Pantone, the global authority on colour, declared Greenery, nature’s neutral, as colour of the year for 2017. Pantone select its colour palate to show a snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture. A series of shades which aim to reflect a worldwide attitude and disposition. With this in mind, the refreshing and energising tone to Greenery is emblematic of new beginnings and, according to the Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, the choice was made ‘in response to a stressful and tense world.’

At a time when our social and political climates seem so complex, it is certainly refreshing to draw our focus and surround ourselves with, what unites us all: our inherent link to the natural world. As we aim to introduce Greenery into our daily lives through architecture, lifestyle choices and global design, so where better to begin our own individual search for rejuvenation through greenery than in our homes?

Representative of the luscious outdoors and blooming foliage, shades of green can be welcomed into our home interiors all year round without looking out of place. Due to its neutral traits, green tones can be incorporated into our interiors in large or small doses and can be combined a whole array of complementary colours and textures.

From the bedroom and bathroom to your home study and lounge, each space in our home is deserving of a splash of greenery as it speaks to what Eiseman calls ‘re-words’ – regenerate, refresh, revitalise, renew’. We may have just entered autumn, but the green scheme continues to be a popular one among interior designers and home décor brands.

Heating Industry Loses One of a Kind


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It is with great sadness that we announce Nick Sloane MD at Jøtul UK, one of the heating industry’s stalwart characters has passed away. Nick aged 63 had bravely battled illness for the past two years with the typical upbeat manner and determination of spirit for which he was renown in the industry.

Nick had been with The Jøtul Group for 17 years, having introduced the Norwegian heritage brand into the UK and started the Jøtul UK daughter company in 2000. Using his established reputation as a heating and stove expert previously of Valour, he grew the brand’s awareness and business into the 150-dealer network and leading product it is today.

As well as a much-valued client for all the years I have been working with Amino, Nick was also a very dear friend and I feel his loss immensely as do others in our team.

Nick was a personality not easily forgotten; he simply bounced into any room and added his enthusiasm to any meeting with his ‘Tigger-like’ exuberance, his optimism and love of life – all of which were simply contagious. Meeting Nick was like being caught up in a whirlwind, you never knew what you had agreed to, what you had been signed up for, or even what task you had unwittingly been delegated or included in! 

His knowledge and passion for the stove and heating industry also knew no bounds; championing the eco-friendly wood burning cause, an active member of the SIA (Stove Industry Alliance) and so passionate about educating people on the benefits of wood burning stoves. It came as no surprise to me when Sue our new Business Development Manager bought three Jøtul stoves within weeks of joining us – seriously Nick was so charming, vibrant and convincing in his dedication to wood burning stoves you didn’t even realise you were placing an order!

Time spent with Nick were always unpredictable fun times, laughter-filled times, times I will always treasure, put simply he was ‘A True Gent’.

Jules R

Why I love a new brochure

Sitting down with a new book is about so much more than the text alone. It is about the experience. It is the excitement in not knowing what you will find when you turn the page. When I get a new book, I like to read without distraction. I find a quiet place, make a lovely cup of tea (you just have to really don’t you – either that or a glass of something stronger) and settle down with my virtual do not disturb sign! This is exactly what I do when we receive new client brochures. This week I’ve been lucky enough to get quite a few!


Leafing through ‘The Signature Collection’ from Tetrad featuring Ralph Lauren fabrics, a quote from Dean Martin featured next to The Tuxedo chair leapt out at me. It simply read “In a tuxedo, I’m a star. In regular clothes, I’m a nobody.” It’s clear from looking at the models featured in this brochure that many stars of the show are featured. There is something just so luxurious about the Ralph Lauren fabrics featured and you can see that the values of British craftsmanship which are integral to what Tetrad are ever present.


Next came the News 2017 brochures from Jotul and Scan. New contemporary colour options from Scan include ‘Dusty Green’, ‘Champagne’ and ‘Brown Metallic.’ These work so well alongside the established and popular grey and black finishes as there will always be a call for both classic and contemporary. These exciting new finishes are offered alongside ingenious new models including the Scan 80 and the iconic Scan 5000. Jotul’s new flagship is the Jotul I 620 which is an impressive model. This is a large cast iron insert with an even wider and greater view of the flames than its predecessor.


It was impossible not to be blown away by the imagery in the Apropos brochure. These bespoke glass structures are crafted to provide a seamless bridge into your garden or outside area. It is because they are bespoke that they can be tailored to your exact need – you can be as radical or as conventional as you like! Glass is so versatile which means that it will work so incredibly well in both modern and traditional homes.


Before I knew it, two hours had passed and I had mentally redesigned our home to include a number of wood burners, a Gatsby sofa from Tetrad and had knocked the dining room into the kitchen which was now housed in the most elegant of glass and aluminium structures – well, a girl can dream can’t she? Now please excuse me while I get back to my redesign 🙂

For full details please do visit Tetrad Jotul UK   Scan UK and Apropos

Natasha M-J




Beautiful New Headboards & Beds from The Headboard Workshop



The Headboard Workshop are delighted to introduce a selection of beautiful new headboards and beds to its portfolio. The new designs resonate with sophisticated familiarity, yet offer customers a refreshing new colour palate and elegant shapes. Among the new products is this Winged Mull Headboard (pictured above) with delicate white piping and button detail. This stunningly structured piece is the perfect way to create a statement look in a contemporary space or as a dramatic block colour backdrop.


Also included among the exciting new releases is The Coll Bed (pictured above). The Coll Bed features two headboards and two divan bases which can be comprised of either two or four drawers which subtly provide additional storage in the bedroom. The Coll would sit perfectly in any guest bedroom as its brilliant zip and link combination allows you to separate this king size bed into two singles. What is more, the covers on this headboard can be easily removed for dry cleaning or to be replaced with an entirely new cover, allowing you to change your bedroom décor without having to invest in an entirely new bed or headboard.


As with each and every product from The Headboard Workshop, these new items are sumptuously comfortable and made using only the very finest materials by excellent craftsman and women. A vast spectrum of fabric and colour choices are available, or you can supply your own fabric and see your very own bespoke creation come to fruition!

Natasha M-J

Who can resist the Headlines?


What is the first thing man of us reach for in the mornings? Our phones. We are constantly on them, day in, day out. Checking emails, looking at our many social media accounts, making notes, keeping track of meetings – our phones go everywhere with us as too does the internet. But what about print? What has happened to the time when you would get up, have a coffee and flick through the newspaper, has print simply gone out of fashion or has it just remodelled itself in our busy lives?

As a company wanting to advertise it can be exhausting being bombarded with the many multiple media channels which are available to reach consumers, online, radio, TV, outdoor etc., etc. – so where does print advertising come in? Studies have shown that print remains more responsive, more targeted and more trusted than most other advertising mediums.

Most of us are constantly absorbing information from one source or another. A study from 2008 posted in the Journal of Research in Reading, however, discovered that reading online may not be as effective as reading print. Why? When we read online, we have many distractions. I am sure many of you find yourself drifting to Facebook or Instagram, even in the midst of reading articles: scrolling, exiting out of pop-up ads, clicking links, videos, etc. Print does not come with all these distractions. Print allows readers to properly absorb more of the information they see – an excellent benefit for advertisers that want customers actually paying attention to their ads!

Why is print important? Any great media plan involves using multi-media channels including print titles (like magazine advertising, regional press and national press) that are consistent with your brand. Not only that, but readers are more likely to see and read through your ad rather than wading through the many distractions they have on the internet.

In summary, although the role of print media has changed, it is still an important part of any serious marketing plan, and is still a great way to communicate with consumers.

Amino firmly believes including print your marketing plan today is essential to an effective campaign as it was some twenty years ago.

Sue W.

‘Trust me, I’m not a doctor’

We were on tenterhooks. ‘Call-me-Andy’ was on the phone to The Big Boss. We could tell it wasn’t going well but then, miraculously, the tone changed. He clicked off his mobile phone, which then was not terribly mobile as it must have weighed a ton, and smiled broadly.

‘You won’t believe this – he has agreed!’ We were thrilled until he continued. ‘But there is one condition…’ (We knew there would be a catch.)’.…you must promise not to tell any of your neighbours because we are actually losing money on this deal.’

And he got us. Hook, line and double-glazing.

At the time, I was not an innocent abroad. I was a Sales Manager for a national magazine. But I was also (still am) a human being. Sales people know that people want to believe that the person selling to them is an honest, good person with their interests in his heart. Otherwise we would be accusing him/her of lying to our faces, which is not our natural way.

That is why Publishers prefer to deal directly and discourage their advertisers from using an agency. It guarantees more profit per page due to our humanity, no matter how long-in-the-tooth we are, we cannot help ourselves.

‘We only need £500 to hit our target so I thought I should ‘give this away’ to you.’

‘It’s because your ad looks so lovely, we must have it in our magazine.’

‘You know I will always look after you, you are my favourite client.’

These, and many more phrases besides, affect our judgements (especially if the salesperson has some charm) – just as they are intended. So many times, we have seen hard-working, battle-scarred, hard-headed business people paying over the odds for an ad or advertising in a completely unsuitable publication – which is one of the reasons we do the job we do.


Using a Media Planning and Buying Agency offers business people the opportunity to be one step removed and so take a more reasoned view of their media spend.

As well as being able to use the knowledge and experience of others, the combined spending power of diverse businesses’ ad budgets can be very useful indeed in getting more reasonable prices.

It also gives the business owner/manager a significant advantage. The next time, after a lovely lunch or sponsored night out with a publisher, they want to talk money with whatever pressing points they feel the need to make, you can simply say ‘That sounds marvellous, tell my agency about it.’

At the very least, it should ensure you get the double glazing you want at the best price.

Nigel Monks

Apropos appoints Amino PR

Amino PR are delighted to announce that they are now representatives of luxury brand Apropos, creators of breath taking bespoke glass and aluminium structures.

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For over fifty years, Apropos has been designing, manufacturing and installing its stunning bespoke glass and aluminium structures. Amino are proud to represent a brand with a rich heritage, vast experience and a portfolio of stunning projects that so clearly illustrates its finesse for outstanding design and exceptional quality.
Apropos prides itself on creating architecture in glass. The pure strength of aluminium combined with the transparency of glass is the perfect partnership of form and function; from a simple skylight to large extensions with bi-folding doors, the coupling of these materials has beautiful results regardless of the scale. As well as its structural strength, durability and design flexibility, aluminium is endlessly recyclable making Apropos structures weather resistant, low maintenance and thermally efficient.

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Apropos bespoke conservatories, contemporary orangeries and modern glass extensions allow its clients to create an entirely new space in their home which truly is a one of a kind. Each and every Apropos project is designed the customer individual desires to seamlessly reflect their home and personality. With every specific need and aesthetic inspiration taken into consideration before its expert engineer’s custom manufacture the approved design in its Manchester based factory.

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Only the highest quality materials are used during the manufacturing process and Apropos take great pride in its time-honoured engineering skills. Its aim is simple: to create and install its customer’s new orangery, conservatory or extension expertly and efficiently with a result that both looks amazing and will stand the test of time – all with minimum fuss and to the highest of standards.

Julie R


Iguana Rock: A sensational four-bedroom property with infinity pool for sale on the perfect Caribbean island from Rocky Bay Bequia

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The breath-taking views of Mustique and The Grenadines, together with spacious rooms, a sun-kissed climate and an outdoor style of living gives Rocky Bay Bequia’s property for sale, ‘Iguana Rock’ a feel good factor from the moment you arrive at the property. Designed in a ‘Modern Caribbean Style’, the solid mahogany doors slide neatly into pockets allowing the lounge, kitchen and dining area to open seamlessly onto a large veranda, creating a fully integrated living space. The louvre shutters, tall stylish windows and high gabled roof reflects the Caribbean character of this beautiful island.


The kitchen, designed and handcrafted by luxury bespoke furniture makers in England, Chamber Furniture, offers the latest in style and design. It features a stunning marble topped 14ft island unit and Miele appliances including the latest induction hob and steam oven. Four spacious bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, ceiling fans, air conditioning and built-in cupboards, makes the property ideal for family living or the perfect rental appeal. One of the bedrooms being self-contained, could alternatively be live-in accommodation for a nanny, chef or maid, or offer use as a media room, office or games room.


The dreamy infinity edge pool is sized at 31ft x 11ft and has the latest diatomaceous filter system, requiring minimum maintenance. This newly built 3,880 sq. ft. south facing house is situated in a large, secluded and quiet plot of 56,675 sq. ft. It is protected from the north-east winds in the winter months, whilst enjoying the light East/South winds in the summer months, making it cool year-round. Mount Pleasant offers the ‘best of both worlds’, only 1.7 miles from Port Elizabeth, with its numerous bars and restaurants to suit every taste, and just a short walk away from the delightful unspoiled sandy beach of Ravine Bay.

This spectacular property for sale has been designed and built by John Nicholson.  If you would prefer a blank canvas  to design your very own Caribbean retreat, Rocky Bay Bequia have several other plots of land for sale on the island. With his first-hand experience and depth of knowledge of Rocky Bay and Bequia, John Nicolson is available to act as a consultant if required. With advise on every aspect, from purchasing the land through to local planning controls and procedures, architectural design and appointing and working with a construction company, Rocky Bay Bequia can help make building your dream home into a stress free reality.

Prices are available on application. If you would like to make an enquiry, please visit Rocky Bay Bequia’s website: or find them on social media:

Beth D


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