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
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.”
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.”
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.”
Parquet floors have drifted in and out of favour over the centuries yet now traditional block flooring is once more enjoying a rather splendid revival.
Throughout the ages parquet floors have featured in buildings such as hospitals, factories, museums, libraries and hotels. These hardwearing and highly patterned wood floors were not solely used within environments with high footfall however, more refined and decorative installations also featured in prestigious private homes worldwide.
Flooring experts Ecora supply a collection of different parquet options including both original restored parquet blocks and new contemporary panels and parquet designs.
Ecora is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of natural furnishings including: wood flooring, eco paints, lighting, fabric, furnishings and accessories. Visit Ecora’s showroom at England’s Lane, Belsize Park, London. NW3 4TG.
www.ecora.co.uk, or tel: 020 7148 5265
Surface Design Show 2016 is the perfect place to explore the latest trends in surfaces for the built environment. Taking place from 9-11 February at London’s Business Design Centre, over 150 exhibitors will be showcasing the best in exterior and interior surface design giving visiting architects, designers and specifiers the chance to discover the latest trends for 2016/17.
Don’t miss out on huge discounts in Ecora's flooring and interiors sale which ends this Sunday. We have a large collection natural wood floors available with great discounts on offer. From solid oak plank flooring to herringbone parquet, engineered boards to luxurious walnut, our London showroom in Belsize Park has one of the largest displays of natural wood flooring in London. For bespoke finishes and interesting textures speak to one of Ecora's flooring experts.
Also in the January sale are furnishings, storage, lighting, ceramics and contemporary accessories for the home that effortlessly combine function and form.
Sale ends 31st January 2016