Monday, 1 February 2016

Full Reveal: Farrow and Ball New Paint Colours For 2016

If you've had your ear to the ground when it comes to paints, you'll have been waiting for this post with bated breath! If you've not heard the news that Farrow and Ball are releasing nine exquisite new colours for 2016 then where have you been? 

Farrow and Ball have, at last, released their long-awaited new paints for 2016. Yes, nine new paint colours are now lining our beautifully bespoke shelves (nothing but the best for the paints we stock!). Just click on the links to order...

May we introduce you to Vardo, a saturated, bright teal..

...and this is Salon Drab (the perfect modern chocolate colour)  paired with Yeabridge Green, originally found in an 18th century Georgian farmhouse....

...but we know that you, our discerning customers, aren't only interested in the publicity shots, stunning though they are, so we had the idea, as you may have guessed from the first picture in this post, of painting a dolls house using the new 2016 Farrow and Ball colours so you can get a better feel for how they'll work for you.

Peignoir is named after the chiffon gowns worn in the privacy of boudoirs. It is a very greyed pink, giving a romantic vintage feel, though it's cool undertones ensure it could be just as striking in a contemporary home.

You can see in the image below how it contrasts with the more sugary pink of the dolls house frontage, Peignoir definitely has a softer, ethereal feel.

Worsted sits between Purbeck Stone and Mole's Breath in the Easy Neutrals family of Farrow and Ball paints. It's a warm mid-grey with a hint of stone. 

Farrow and Ball describe Worsted as the perfect background to make clean accent colours, such as this electric blue carpet, pop. It works a treat!

We love Inchyra Blue's inky moodiness; it is reminiscent of Farrow and Ball's Down Pipe with the sun streaming onto it, as Inchyra Blue enhances the fullness of those darkest teal undertones.

Aaah, how we love Cromarty. Just like its darker sister, Mizzle, Cromarty is also inspired by the mist but this time from the sea, giving it a softer, more muted air.

We've painted the floor of this room in Shadow White, which most definitely falls into the category of a traditional off white, unlike some of Farrow and Ball's 'whites' we could name! Shadow White is intended to capture the softeness of white in the shade. It's also the paler relation of Shaded White...

...and Drop Cloth is the darker version. This is another sure winner, though not with the most glamorous of names, hailing, as it does, from the dust sheets used by decorators everywhere.  Drop Cloth is wonderfully typical of Farrow and Ball's expertise in producing the most fantastically subtle colours. Is this a stone, a grey, a gently muted green? The answer is, as always with these magical cusp colours, that it depends on the room you want to paint, so please know that we're always here at Relics of Witney to ask for advice before you commit to any purchase.  

If you'd like more information, or simply want to chat through trying them out for yourself (and how can you not be tempted with these beauties!), come and see us at Relics of Witney or contact us here....  

...if only to pick up an up-to-date Farrow and Ball colour card!

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

How To Create The Perfect Fireplace...

It's amazing what a mess Christmas can make of your fireplace!
Did your Christmas see a roaring fire blazing in your hearth? It's not just people that look a little worse for wear after the excesses of a wonderful Christmas have passed, your fireplace will have taken a battering too...and don't get us started on the mess Santa leaves sliding down the chimney!

But fear not! We are here with tidings of good news! Over the next couple of months, we'll be here sharing the best ways to get your fireplace and hearth looking its New Year best once again...

Let us start this month by making sure that your fire-making supplies are in place. These tools will be put through their paces over the year so please make sure you choose good quality tools fit for purpose.

We suggest you start off with a companion set; a cost-effective way of buying the bare essentials. Our Village Companion set comprises a brush, shovel, poker and tongs, complete with a matching stand, all robustly made from wrought iron in a satin black finish. 

We also have separates available, if you need replacements or additional tools, such as these log and coal tongs, made by fireside specialist Manor....

...or, if you are lacking in space for your accoutrements, may we suggest this baby fireside tidy set...

A fire-guard is an absolute must for containing any exuberant crackling or popping of fuel, as well as keeping out any curious little fingers. However, there's no need to sacrifice style for safety. Take a look at these two beauties to see what we mean.

One of the common complaints about fire-guards has been that they can be ugly so, we've tracked down a fire-guard specifically designed to enhance arched fireplaces. It nestles snugly against the opening, becoming a feature in its own right.

Our other recommendation is this fire-guard. With its stunning curves, and shapely handle, you may be tempted to think it is just a pretty face.... 

However, its fantastic quality means that its top and base is made from one smooth piece of metal which minimises scratching on softer hearth materials such as slate.

Finally, we come to the issue of fuel storage. For wood burners, we love the neutral tones of our rattan baskets for holding logs, alongside our Kindling Bucket for those smaller pieces.

And, for coal, we stock a range of coal hods.

Lastly, if you have not yet discovered the joys of your own fire, may we encourage you to try it out! A good way for a trial run, if you have a chimney breast, is our sturdy Manor cast iron fire basket.

Next month, we'll have a full tutorial on cleaning your fireplace, so that it can be the focal point it deserves.

Happy New Year!

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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Top Ten Best Christmas Crafts!

This month, it's December..and Christmas! We're highlighting just ten of our favourite Christmas crafts, just in time for you to rustle up a few for the big day....

If you're not the crafty type, then worry not! These Christmas crafts range from the simple, to the very simple! Just right for a spot of creative satisfaction in these busy days ahead....

1. Our first craft is this gorgeous gilded centre piece (find the full tutorial here), made using gathered garden foliage and transfer leaf gilding.

2. Use this time to think up new ways of wrapping presents! Create your very own bespoke Christmas hampers for friends and family, using our range of beautiful baskets. Keep a stash of our smallest size of rattan baskets for emergencies. Wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon, this is an easy-peasy way to make the most last-minute of gifts look fantastic!

3. ...or how about this string-wrapped gift? Our string (complete with scissors and oak stand) will allow you to get this look!

4. Look at these adorable vintage-style crates, made from brand new boxes. They've been sanded and stained and have been completely transformed. Come and see our full range of different wood stain options.

5. Create your own Christmas scented pine cones....find out how from the full tutorial here...!

6. ...and for a little extra festive sparkle...

...use our Liberon Gilt Cream on those cones...

7. Use string and glue to make these lovely word hangings...simply brush the string with the appropriate glue (make the whole process even more scrumptious by using one of our brushes...

...and then shape the glue-soaked string into any word of your choice and leave to dry...

8. Less of a traditional craft, but still involving plenty of creativity, get your fireplace arranged beautifully for guests. May we suggest a few seasonal extras? 

Our Manor Suffolk Hod is capable of carrying large quanitites of coal, which is exactly what we'll be needing if the weather forecast is right about the cooooold winter coming.

Keep your hearth spick and span with One of our companion sets, which are traditionally made using wrought iron, making them as robust as they are peasing to the eye.

9. And if you have an open chimney breast but don't won't to go to the huge expense of having new fireplaces fitted, consider popping in one of these beauties.Our fire baskets start from only £52.67 and come in two sizes.

10. Festive walnuts scattered throughout your living areas make a stunning way to tie in your decor with seasonal festivities. Paint walnuts with your wall paint and then gild!...

...For an easier version, use our gilt cream.... and then distress to bring out touches of your chosen colour...

Our gilding kits contain sample versions of all you need to get started with this and a whole host of other crafts. You'll be hooked!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Relics of Witney!

 Images via Relics of Witney, Vintage Gal, Pinterest, It All Started With Paint, Meatloaf and Melodrama, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Decorators Notebook, Flickr, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney,

Relics of Witney, Relics of Witney

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Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Best Furniture Waxes In The World!

With the delightful upcycled furniture trend showing no signs of abating, one of the questions we're often asked is which waxes for wood we recommend. We're here this month to devote a whole post to which are the best waxes for different purposes to give you full peace of mind.

Waxes suitable for wood are broadly divided into two categories. Those used for finishing a piece, painted or otherwise, and those used for the ongoing nourishment and cleaning of furniture.

Let's start with one of our - and your - favourites. Liberon's supremely popular Black Bison Fine Paste wax. We believe this is one of the best furniture waxes available. As implied by its name, it comes in paste form which makes it incredibly simple to apply, its solvents preventing the formula from drying out in the tin. Its pliability also ensures that you can easily take the amount of product you need, making it very economical. 

The paste can be applied using a brush for a rustic look or rag for a smoother finish. It takes about twenty minutes to dry and buffs superbly if you desire a more lustrous end product

Although its original purpose is for nourishing and protecting all types of wood, Liberon Black Bison Fine Paste Wax is fantastic on painted furniture, as testified on blogs worldwide. Cassie from 'Primitive and Proper' says this: "I use several different waxes, but this is one of my absolute favourites to use. It gives a beautiful finish and buffed sheen and smells like heaven."

The wax comes in a full range of colours...

 ...including clear and neutral. 'Neutral' adds colour at all, whereas 'Clear' will bring more depth to your paint colours.  Although soft on application, the whole range cures to a fine, tough finish. It is also worth noting that it is certified as safe to use on toys.

For general cleaning and ongoing protection of wood, we highly recommend Liberon 's Beeswax Liquid and Paste, endorsed by the Guild of Master Craftsmen. Depending on your application preference, both are easily applied and buff up like a dream, bringing out all the wood's natural beauty. The Beeswax Paste, in particular, is perfect for treasured pieces of furniture

We suggest Liberon Liquid Wax for large areas such as beams and panelling, as it will not penetrate sealed wood as well as the paste. For more details on the large range of high quality finishes we stock, talk to one of the Relics of Witney team.

Giving your furniture a deep down clean every few months will help to feed the wood, preventing it from drying out, as well as enhancing the richness of colour and, of course, making your house smell wonderful in the process!

Happy November!

Images via Modern Country Style, Relics of Witney, Primitive and Proper, Popular Woodworking, Primitive and Proper, Liberon, Curate and Display , Liberon, Relics of Witney

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