Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Best Farrow and Ball Paint Colours For Kitchen Units

Probably one of the cheapest and most effective ways of transforming your kitchen is with judicious use of paint. But please let us emphasise the word judicious. Simply daubing your units with any old colour can be disastrous, giving you a poor finish and a room that ends up feeling dark and gloomy, rather than appearing spacious and stylish.

Yes, it's essential to take time over the colour. With years of experience, and many, many happy customers, the team at Relics of Witney can easily help to take the angst out of picking the right colours for your kitchen. Contact us or visit the shop in person, for a completely personal service.

For now, however, let us lead you through some stages of initial inspiration to get you well on the way to a transformed kitchen.

Firstly, find out the orientation of your kitchen. Farrow and Ball have produced a great booklet called 'All About Colour', available in Relics of Witney, which explains how the light that different rooms receives can greatly affect the appearance of paint.

For example, South-facing rooms are full of warm light for most of the day and, on sunny days, everything will look more yellow. Farrow and Ball suggest that it's worth emphasising that feeling of light and space with pale blue tones, such as Pavilion Blue or Borrowed Light, or use red-based neutrals, such as Joa's White, for a warmer feel.


Conversely, North-facing rooms can seem cooler and harsher with the lack of light. Farrow and Ball suggest that you focus on yellow-based colours, such as New White and Ringwold Ground to help bounce light around the room. 

Or, instead, try working with that natural lack of light and create an intimate, cosy room with dramatic choice of colour, such as Brinjal, a deep aubergine, or Down Pipe. a dark grey with a hint of teal.

The light in West- and East-facing rooms changes throughout the day as the sun swings over the sky. It's worth taking the time to think of when you'll use the room most to tailor your colour choice to the light you'll most often experience. If you want to use the room at a time when the light is very strong, you might like to pick a shade a little darker than you'd naturally be drawn to, as sunlight has a tendency to bleach out colour.

Secondly, work out the kind of artificial lighting you'll be using. Very warm lighting, such as incandescent bulbs, will cast a yellow glow, whilst LED lighting gives a bluish cast, meaning that your chosen paint may not appear as you'd first imagined it. 

Lastly, decide where you want your colour choices. The effect can be very different when painted on walls, compared to painted kitchen units. To demonstrate what we mean, here are two kitchens which both feature Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath. The first has Elephant's Breath on the walls, and the second on the units.

Kitchenpainted units in Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath

Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath kitchen

We hope that's given you lots to think over. For help picking out paint colours that will work perfectly in your room, we'd love to hear from you.

Images via HousetoHome, Langham Painted Kitchens, housetohome, roomenvy, Farrow and Ball, Hamhigh, Farrow and Ball, Derbyshire life, Kate's Creative Space,  unknown, unknown

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Monday, 2 March 2015

How To Paint Your Kitchen Floor...

There are few better ways to boost the character of your kitchen than a treated wooden floor. Can you imagine this Moroccan style kitchen with standard lino?

From looking at images like these, you may be initially tempted to lean towards painting your kitchen floor....

 ...but may we steer you towards using our Osmo Wood Waxes? You see, paint will inevitably crack, flake, peel or blister with the extensive wear and tear that comes as part and parcel of life in the kitchen...

... but you will never have those difficulties using Osmo Wood Waxes. They work in a completely different way: feeding, protecting and enhancing your wood.

Not only that but Osmo Wood Waxes are an excellent choice for using in the kitchen as they are extremely durable. There is simply no point to using products in the kitchen that can't be scrubbed. Repeatedly.

That newly decorated painted floor may be beautiful but it can quickly begin chip. Osmo Wood Waxes can be wiped and are both stain-resistant and water-repellent.

They dry to a satin-matt finish, combining all the advantages of oils and waxes in one easy-to-use product. And, importantly for Relics of Witney customers with young families, are incredibly safe for humans, plants and animals.

There are so many variables for you to give your kitchen a large injection of personality. Let's take a look at just a few ideas....

This effect can be achieved by taping off your floor into carefully measured squares, and alternating Osmo Wood Wax in Ebony and Oak. We love the way the beauty of the wood grain is still allowed to shine through.

 These are oak boards whitewashed with Osmo Wood Wax in White Transparent to give an aged limed effect.

This large stencilled effect would be best applied by careful freehand. It's so easy to forget what a beautiful feature a wood floor can be. By treating it with the love and care it deserves, we hope we've reminded you of the amazing array of possibilities a timber floor can give.

Images via My Paradissi, Design Sponge, My Free Textures, Unknown, True Woman, Osmo, Osmo, Unknown, surry Flooring Services, Sarah Gillbane Interiors

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

How To Update Your Kitchen The Easy Way

Let's begin our new kitchen series by easing in gently. When you have neither the time nor the budget to make significant changes, how do you add character to your kitchen? Supposing you're renting, for example, and not allowed to change the wall colour, or the units; where do you go from there?

Lots of frugal ideas for gorgeous open shelving options. Such an easy way to add character in the home!

There is one vital component that can make all the difference: our range of kitchen accessories. At Relics of Witney, we hand-pick only the very best accessories so that you, by selecting those that match your style, can transform your kitchen quickly and easily...which is possibly one of the reasons why we're recommended by Country Living UK on their Pinterest page.

Relics of Witney – 35 Bridge Street, Witney

If you've not yet experienced the joy of using our version of the Sheila's Maid then may we urge you to do so without delay?

At only £45, these vintage-style clothes airers with jute cord and cast iron brackets, will create a warm, farmhouse feel at minimal cost.

Very often, rental contracts state that you are in fact allowed to make adjustments so long as they are easily reversible. 

Many tenants don't realise that this can include switching over the handles on your kitchen units.

It's surprising what an impact this small step can have. And, don't forget, when you move on, you can take your handles with you, meaning that your money is not wasted. 

With that in mind, we have a whole spectrum of handles for every taste and every budget.

Don't forget the smaller details too. Again, these purchases are pieces that you can take with you. Here are some of our favourites... Our oak string holder is a perfect example of how to make a statement of quality in the little ways.

Our large selection of greyed rattan baskets are ever-popular with our customers, and it's easy to see why. 

Sturdy, durable and stylish, these beauties will make selecting your ingredients a joy! Contact us for more details.

Whilst we love the idea of an old-fashioned roller towel hanging over the AGA rail....

...we're also aware that not many of us have AGAs. We've found a fantastic way to get the look using our oak towel roller. We can also supply especially made towels in blue, red and cream.

We want this series about adding character to your kitchen, to show how even the tiniest details can make a huge difference, even down to this cast iron egg holder...

...but with so many of us wanting to invest more significantly in the heart of the home, next month, we'll be revealing our tried and tested methods for painting your kitchen cabinets.

Images via Country Livng, Relics of Witney, Kitchen Sourcebook, Relics of Witney, andrew carstairs, houzz, ark builders, Relics of Witney,  Relics of Witney,, unknown, East2Eden, The Linen Works, Creamore Mill

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Friday, 2 January 2015

How To Update Your Kitchen

Did you have a wonderful Christmas? We imagine that you, like us, notched up plenty of hours in the kitchen, and so we have a timely new series ahead for you here on the Relics of Witney blog. 

Kitchen range cooker | Lincolnshire bungalow | House tour | Country Homes & Interiors |

Over the coming months, we'll be looking closely at how you can add considerable character and charm to your kitchen, which can often stay one of the blandest rooms in the home: functional and frumpy is never good.

From the most humble of spaces with barely room to swing a cat to the positively palatial, our kitchen series will show how to:

display your treasures...

`Wood with white. Always a winner in a kitchen. Love the open shelves and breadboards.

create an aged finish to your kitchen table...

add character to your units...

White-washed coastal kitchen | Modern kitchen designs | Livingetc | Housetohome

choose the best accessories...

bring life and pattern to your kitchen....

Messy Cool: 15 Bohemian Kitchens

keep your surfaces in tip-top condition...

vintage Kitchen - I really, really like this! I'd just add my own touches to it :)

pick out the perfect colour scheme...

Debbie from 'Rooms With a View's gorgeous kitchen

Before we begin, though, may we take this opportunity to wish all Relics of Witney customers and followers a very Happy New Year!

Images via: chi, bs2h, ourvintagehomelove, houzz, ideal home, homelife, apartment therapy, indulgy, shabbychic guru

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Monday, 1 December 2014

How To Make Your Own Gilded Wreath!

Welcome to The Relics Festive December Post! 
This year, we're giving you a seasonal tutorial to create a stunning wreath,using variegated leaf to gild, making a beautiful statement on your front door, or as a Christmas table centrepiece.

We stock variegated metal leaf in two forms: loose metal leaf and transfer leaf. Transfer leaf, which we're using today, is easier to work with as the wax-backed paper allows a firmer hold, as well as strengthening the leaf.

Here's how to make yours!

You will need:

One of our vine wreaths
Garden foliage

Select evergreen foliage from your garden or the hedgerow. We've chosen viburnum, but ivy would work just as well. Holly is an option but be warned: it bites! 

Our vine wreaths are like round, plump doughnuts, with plenty of room to build up a layers. Begin by inserting your first stem. 

The stems work best if they are cut to a medium length (about 20 cm) with the leaves stripped from the lower end of each. This means that the bare twig can be inserted into the vine wreath without getting clogged up.

It's a good idea to keep all your stems flowing in the same direction to give the most professional finish. You'll notice that much of the foliage will have a natural bent one way or the other. Make sure that you manipulate the stem so that it bends the same way as the wreath base before insertion.

Keep building layer upon layer until you can't see any more of the vine base, and your wreath has a pleasing fullness.

Working your whole way around the wreath, squeeze your hands gently but firmly over the foliage to make a tighter shape. This helps to calm any wayward tendencies!

Pick out 7 or so new stems to gild. These should have nice big leaves so the gilding shows up really well. Coat each leaf surface with acrylic size. When size is ready, it becomes transparent and has a glossy sheen, whilst still remaining tacky.

Press a sheet of the transfer leaf onto each leaf at a time, using your finger, or a brush to give firm pressure all over. Then peel the wax paper away. This will leave the variegated leaf clinging onto the size.

Check for any areas that need a second (or third...) attempt. The wonderful thing about gilding with this method, is that you can have multiple attempts to get the look you want. Keep going until you are satisfied with the coverage.

Softly rub the gilded surfaces with a brush to remove any loose flakes and apply a thin coat of Liberon's Black Bison Antique Pine wax with a soft cotton cloth to protect the gilded finish. 

This is essential if you're planning to hang your wreath outside. Once the wax has been left for its allotted time, you can buff the waxed surface with a clean cloth. This will bring out a superb lustre to the variegated leaf.

Insert these gilded stems into the wreath, and remove any leaves that are not in tip-top condition.

If you're only just getting the gilding bug then you'll love our Gilding Kit, full of the essentials to get you going, and, at only £14.99 is a huge saving on the sum total.

We hope you love it as much as we do.

Happy Gilding

Merry Christmas!

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