Clerkenwell Design Week 2016

Don't forget Clerkenwell Design Week starts on the 24th May 2016

Clerkenwell Design Week provides a world-class showcase of leading UK and international designers, brands and companies across showroom events, exhibitions, live talks, workshops and installations.

 

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Our expert guide to natural wood flooring finishes

It’s all in the detail when it comes to wood flooring finishes. With such a variety of materials, textures and tones to choose from its now possible to create a unique hand-finished floor that works in perfect harmony with your property.

When choosing engineered or solid wood floors always consider the long-term benefits such as durability and the return on your investment (wood floors can add value to a property). Oak flooring in particular is always a good choice for use within both contemporary and classic interiors and with so many different finishes to choose from it also offers exceptional flexibility in terms of style.

UK’s leading flooring experts Ecora make choosing wood flooring simple and at their London showroom you will find one of the UK’s most inspiring collection of natural wood floors. Sales Director Jeandrè du Toit explains “Manufacturing techniques within the wood flooring industry have improved dramatically and to reflect this we have increased the variety of wood floors, textures, styles and shades offered to meet the diverse requirements of both trade and private buyers. We often mix and match finishing techniques to achieve a bespoke look such as fuming and brushing which add depth and texture to a wood floor accentuating the natural beauty of the grain”
Ecora’s essential guide to wood flooring finishes…

Brushed - Brushing usually takes place as part of the manufacturing process. The surface of the planks are roller brushed to remove some of the softer growth rings from the grain, this gives a textured surface that gently highlights the natural grain structure.
Distressed - Distressing is typically achieved by hand finishing or by tumbling the planks in large tanks, which gives the timber a randomly marked appearance. Another distressing method includes the use of machines that scrape and punch the planks as they go through a conveyor belt system. This method will usually show a repeating pattern of distresses that may look less natural.
Hand-Scraped - Previously this effect was achieved entirely by hand but could leave an uneven surface texture, now, machines are used in conjunction with hand scraping techniques for a rustic finish.
Smoked (Fuming) - Ammonia fuming is a traditional process used for darkening and enriching the colour of oak by oxidation. The physical change in appearance is subject to the tannin and other natural content held within the structure of the timber and its interaction with the treatment.
Thermo-Treated (Carbonising) - In thermo-treating, the boards are heated to a high temperature causing the colour to darken. This method of darkening wood is environmentally friendly as there are no chemicals used during this process; it simply uses heat and steam. The process brings out and accentuates the grain characteristics of the flooring, and unlike a stain, thermo-treatment changes the colour, creating a deep rich hue running through the entire core of the wood.
Lacquered - Lacquer is a clear or coloured varnish that dries by solvent evaporation to produce a hard, durable, protective finish or film in any sheen level from matt to gloss.
Natural Oil & Hard Waxoils - In the domestic market, hard wax-oils and UV oils have become more widespread. They are transparent penetrating substances, usually based on vegetable oils and natural waxes. These oils penetrate into the core of the wood for long-lasting protection, while preserving the wood's natural beauty and elasticity.
Examples of wood finishes available at Ecora…

1.Oak White - Oiled, 2. Oak Brendon White – brushed, 3. Oak Hampstead White – surface planed.
  
All from www.ecora.co.uk
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Come see our Spring Sale, with 15% discount on selected items

Come see our Spring Sale, with 15% discount on selected items

Ecora Sale

Our sale features more natural flooring and eye-catching interiors products than ever before. With numerous discounts on many of our wood flooring products you can save up to 15% on solid and engineered oak floors. Pop into our showroom to see examples of our flooring products and discover the impressive savings available on our oak flooring, chevrons, block flooring and parquet. At Ecora we offer a personal bespoke service and our range of finishes include oiled, distressed, fumed and brushed wood floors, giving our customers a wide choice of styles and finishes to suit all budgets.

 

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Grand Designs Show starts this week.

From design advice to striking pieces, all you need to create a dream home
Grand Designs 2016
It's not just about bricks and mortar - the way you furnish your home is fundamental to its atmosphere and comfort. With this in mind, the Grand Interiors hall sponsored by Gumtree, can help transform your home. Plus it's a great opportunity to discover some unique products from individual designers and see hundreds of items that are not readily available on the high street.

From kitting out a new home to simply bringing life to an existing scheme you will find tons of inspiring ideas. Whether you are looking for key items of furniture such as sofas, tables, chairs and lighting or simple stylish accessories you will find them all in Grand Interiors. Plus, be inspired by the Grand Interiors Room Sets featuring their 2016 collections.
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Simple tips to keep your natural wood flooring looking great.

Simple tips to keep your natural wood flooring looking great.

Simple maintenance and care procedures will help protect your wooden floor from unnecessary wear and damage and help keep it at its best:

• Sweep and vacuum the floor regularly to keep it clean and free of dust, sand and other abrasive materials.


• Do not use any harsh household cleaners, oils, soaps, waxes or any abrasive materials or scouring agents on the floor. Instead, for a more thorough clean, use a wood floor cleaning solution approved for use with our flooring.


• Put felt protector pads on all furniture feet and/or accessories placed directly on the floor surface.


• Place area rugs or doormats at entryways to help prevent sand, grit, oils, dirt and other abrasive or staining materials from being tracked from outdoors. Choose mats that enable airflow and avoid using rubber-backed or similarly dense matting materials that may trap moisture.


• Place protective mats at high-use work areas such as sinks, ranges and workstations.


• Protect the floor from any exposure to liquids, water and other forms of moisture. Clean up any spilled drink, food or other liquids immediately. Clean floors using a well wrung mop. Avoid walking on the floor with wet feet or footwear. Damage caused by flooding, broken pipes, wet mopping or any other exposure to liquid or moisture is not covered by the product warranty.


• Avoid sharp or pointed objects coming into contact with the floor surface. Do not walk on the floor with high heeled shoes, trainers, or other type of footwear which may cause damage to the finish or cause indentations to the surface.


• Use heavy duty moving mats, dollies, or other moving aids when moving furniture, appliances or other heavy objects across the floor to avoid scratches or scuffs the surface.


• Hardwood flooring reacts to changes in the environment so it is important to ensure that environmental conditions are maintained with a temperature of 18°-24°C (65°-75°F) and humidity at 35 - 55% at all times. Excessive humidity, moisture, heat, or dry conditions can result in cupping or splitting of boards, gapping between boards and/or other problems resulting from exposure to improper environmental conditions, and are not covered by the product warranty.


• Wood flooring installed over a radiant heating system should never exceed 27°C (81°F) at floor surface. In addition, dramatic temperature changes should be avoided and temperature adjustments should be gradual, in maximum 5°C increments a day it is important that a dedicated thermostat is installed at floor surface level to allow the temperature to be accurately controlled.


• Hardwood flooring will undergo a natural change in colour over time. The degree of colour change varies by species, it is recommended that you do not place area rugs and large furniture items on a new wood floor for at least two months following installation to ensure a uniform change. Following which, periodic re-arrangement of furniture and area rugs will help ensure natural even change.

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Interiors Event - this week

 
We love the Decorative Antiques and Textiles fair and will be popping along seeking inspiration for future collections of Ecora Interiors. At Ecora we stock many fabric items including throws, blankets, cushions, linens and accessories and are always on the look out for interesting patterns, weaves and prints.
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Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

 
We are delighted that Spring is finally here and our new interiors collection captures the beauty and colours of the season.  Why not pop into our Belsize Park Interiors store and pick up some design-led accesories that shout out loud and clear 'Spring is Here'.
This season our interiors accessories feature pops of colour that lighten and brighten your home. Rainbow colours can be seen on our ceramics whilst our sleek copper and resin candle holders have a more subtle 50's inspired colour palette.

 

 

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Take the Rough with the Smooth

Take the Rough with the Smooth

Texture is key this season, with floors, walls, furnishings and accessories all featuring interesting looks that add diverse textures, patterns and finishes for a modern rustic feel.
Flooring in particular takes the lead in terms of finishes and natural wood floors are enjoying a more elegant, refined appearance.  Subtle graining and oiled finishes provide a neutral background, whilst distressed, brushed and fumed oak planks give a bolder more opulent look.  For detailed pattern consider parquet or block flooring which is available in classic formats such as Chevrons and Herringbone designs or take a look at more contemporary patterns that add a wow factor.
For expert advice on hand finished bespoke flooring and parquet flooring options pop into our Belsize Park showroom.
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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

With the longer days upon us, now is the time to make the most of the great outdoors. With so many of us spending our working lives in stuffy offices or on the road batlling traffic, there comes a time when our soul yearns for wide open spaces.  Getting together with friends and sharing a rustic picnic or more elegant al-fresco dinner has never seemed more appealing.  So, pack up your bags, drop by the deli and head for the hills, coast or country this weekend.  Of course, eating outdoors has its own nostalgic atmosphere, but there is no need to skimp on style.  Why not make your picnic a gourmet affair with linen napkins, tablecloths and blankets.  Take some vintage style glassware for wine, flasks for tea and baskets for serving fruit or sandwiches. Why not pack some handmade ceramic bowls for olives or baby tomatoes.  Dont forget to pack plenty of cushions for lounging on the beach and rugs and throws for keeping off the chill as the evening draws in. For all your picnic essentials pop into Ecora, London's leading natural interiors store.  www.ecora.co.uk

     
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Ideal Home Show @ Olympia

Ideal Home Show @ Olympia

Don't forget that the Ideal Home Show is running at Olympia, London until the 3rd April.

http://www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/

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See our Naturally Grey products..
Natural Bathroom & Bedroom Focus:  Top Tips for the Perfect Wood Floor

Natural Bathroom & Bedroom Focus: Top Tips for the Perfect Wood Floor

Bathrooms and bedrooms are often the only spaces in the home where you can totally relax, a personal sanctuary - a quiet and calm space where you can lock the door and unwind. And, whilst wood floors were not always considered a natural choice for bathrooms, they have become increasingly popular due to their warmth and natural appeal. Jeandre du Toit, of natural wood specialists Ecora, gives the following tips to ensure your bathroom floor is beautiful and designed to last.

  

1. Choosing the right wood
Jeandre recommends choosing engineered wood over solid wood, as the plywood base of engineered wood holds up well against moisture, but also looks great as the top layer is real wood. “Don’t forget to choose hardwoods such as oak, maple, walnut or ipe over softwoods such as pine.” she says.

2. Treating your wood
The right products are essential to ensure your floor is easy to clean, and lasts the distance.
“I recommend using an anti-slip lacquer such as Bona Traffic Anti Slip,” Jeandre says. “This product has accreditations as the best solution for commercial areas such as hotel foyers, where heavy traffic occurs. And my recommendation is to make sure you have the floor installed unfinished, and seal it on-site – this way you seal the bevel between the boards, and protect against water dripping into the sides of the boards.”

3. Keeping warm in winter
Nobody wants to step out of your bath or shower onto a cold surface, especially in winter. “I can empathise with our clients who want underfloor heating in their bathrooms,” Jeandre says. “And it is possible to have underfloor heating installed in wet areas, however, you do need to follow our under floor heating guidelines as over heating the wood will cause it shrink and hairline cracks may appear.
A flooring expert will be able to recommend tailored tips to look after your particular choice of wood, and these will include proper spacing between heating elements to prevent ‘hotspots’, and installing a floor level thermometer to ensure your floor never gets too hot.”

4. Maintenance
Maintaining your bathroom floor should not be any more and choosing the right products will ensure your task is made easier.
“I would recommend using a spray mop such as Bona Spray Mop,” Jeandre says, “As you don’t need to use water and it still cleans the floor really well. Also, put a good quality bath mat down as this will help protect the bathroom floor.”

5. Style
The options are endless when it comes to choosing the style of your bathroom floor. Jeandre discusses some of the more popular requests from her clients. “Your could opt for a soft, feminine, shabby chic style by putting down a floor such as Ecora’s Oak Brendon White, Primrose or Camden and pairing it with light floral pattern tiles,” she recommends. “This style would look great with a free standing bathtub and soft pink or blue accent tones. If you are looking for something more modern, products such as our Grey French Oak and Double Smoked Oak are great products to achieve a sleek look. Pair these up with Marble or Slate tiles, contemporary taps and big mirrors to create a masculine modern look.”

 

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