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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Thursday, 1 October 2015

How To Have The Perfect Weekend!

The season of mellow fruitfulness is firmly upon us, and we're in for more fine weather over the next week too. Come this month on a journey around how to enjoy the perfect relaxed, autumn weekend.

Start by having a leisurely breakfast. You can't go wrong with a hen that lays heart-shaped yolks {how do they do that?!}.

Breakfast should definitely be followed by a lovely, long bath, soft, fluffy towels within easy reach. {Rattan baskets in store at Relics of Witney}

A quick stop for lunch, outside if all is as fine as is predicted this weekend. This beautiful conservatory is painted in Farrow and Ball French Gray.

Then it's time to get ready for a country walk with the dog. Boots? Check. Barbour? Check. (The solid oak peg rails can be found here)

Umbrella (it is Britain after all!)...

Enjoy every moment of the sun's golden rays...

And then it's time for the home-coming ritual. Muddy boots on the rack (available in Relics of Witney)... 

Hang up coats over our sheila maid to air....

Or, if you're lucky enough to have a dedicated boot room then the disrobing can take place there. Don't forget to give those muddy boots a clean on our boot scraper...

Take in the last of the sunshine with a glass of wine in the garden, lighting one of our lanterns if you've left it a little later than intended (always the sign of a good day!).

And then it's time to head indoors for hot toast by the fire. Bliss!

There's just time for a quick sweep up to catch any fallen fire-debris - our fire sets make this job a real pleasure.

And bed! 

Relaxed, refreshed and ready for another day...

Images via Getly, Modern Country Style, Farrow and Ball, Country Homes and Interiors, hratshop, unknown, unknown, Ideal Home, Lewis Alderson, Relics of Witney, unknown, Relics of Witney

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Adding The Wow Factor To Your Curtains!

Curtain poles have an air of magic about them. The right curtain choice and curtain accessories can absolutely make or break a room. To see what we mean, imagine a gloriously decorated room, perfectly dressed from every angle, And now picture a plastic curtain rail hung crookedly over the window. Uurrrgh! The room would be utterly spoilt.

Don't let that happen to you! Take a look at our favourite ways of adding the wow factor with our curtain poles.

Firstly, and certainly most importantly, don't forget that the right curtain treatment can completely alter the feel and dimensions of your windows. This tip is for you if you're plagued by less-than-pleasing windows. By hanging your curtains higher and wider than a poky window, it can be made to give the impression of a much larger space and, indeed, hide those windows altogether if necessary.

Point two is to think outside the box. Don't be constrained by convention in colour, style or material. Bring your own touch to your house, whether that's ornate swags, eyelets, pleats or simply using an oar to hang a Union Jack! 

Thirdly, there is no point in breaking the bank over fabric for your curtains and then scrimping on the finish. If budget constraints mean that you need to prioritise, go for the better finish every single time. You can see in the picture below that it's possible to make simple fabric choices look a million dollars with a bit of flair and knowhow. If that knowledge doesn't come easily to you, get in contact with the Relics of Witney team and let us steer you in the right direction.

You may be faced with the quandary of how to dress to very different windows within one room. Using a consistent height and finish can help to create cohesion; see below for an excellent example. By using dark poles at the same height, coupled with floor length curtains in a near match to the window and wall colour, the disparate windows are barely noticed.

If you've really gone to town with your fabric choice, let it sing by down-playing the details. Try our simple steel range of curtain accessories.

There are as many finishes for curtain poles as there are fabrics, when different finishes are taken into account. This is not meant to confuse but instead to encourage you to explore your creativity. Consider painting, waxing, gilding or leaving raw for a whole range of possibilities.

Paint is a great way to go when you want to tie your curtain pole into either the fabric or the paint used in the room....

Consider the placement of your pole. If you want to visually hide your curtain pole, perhaps because your fabric is very busy, then place it against a background of a similar colour. Here, by painting the pole in same colour as the ceiling, the pole seems to disappear.

Using wooden curtain poles can help lead the eye outside to a leafy garden scene. Liberon and Osmo (both stocked by Relics of Witney, and available in store or by mail order) have manufactured a variety of oils, varnishes and waxes to give our solid timber curtain poles the full spectrum of finishes.

Gilding is the way to go when you want to highlight particular features. Gilt creams are particularly easy to use for beginners.

Lastly, don't forget about finials. Relics of Witney stock a large range, including contemporary, classic and country. There is no need to insist on the same finish throughout. You can see in the image below how effective changing things up can be, for example by using a wooden rail and silver ball finials.

The world is your oyster!

Images via Cabbages and Roses, ddiydesign, HeartHome mag, Casafina, Homestyle, Kate Forman, Relics of Witney, Kate Forman, hgtv, IvyClad, Peony and Sage, fabricut

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Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Best Holiday And Coastal Display Ideas

The holiday season is upon us!, this month, we've rounded up the very best holiday display ideas with tips on how to make them your own. We're migrating in droves, either to warmer, balmier climes or staying put here in good old Blighty for a cheap but cheerful staycation. Either way, we're building up precious memories. Memories that can sit gathering dust on the shelves of our minds, distorting and fading as they go, OR those same memories can be stimulated and tantalised each and every time you see one of these lovely holiday display ideas in your own home.

Keep your senses alive.

Remember the feel of the sand under your feet with this stunning display of bottled sand....

Use one of our stunning oak peg rails to hang treasured souvenirs...

This holiday display idea is just the ticket if you can't bear the thought of dusting any extras; show off a carefully curated collection in one of our lanterns...(you can find some here but to see them all, pop in to Relics)

...with a whole host of sizes to choose from, we can cater for every suitcase-full!

An empty fireplace, bereft of its winter logs, is an ideal space for gather shells....

Try giving an old wooden palette a lick of Earthborn paint in Fresh Air for a quick-fix of holiday fever...

A small shelf perched on top of a carved wooden corbel (Relics of Witney stock a variety of corbel designs) makes a charming made-you-smile vignette....

...Or simply create an ever-changing space for treasured holiday memories, perhaps using a lick of paint to create a feature wall.

We've posted these holiday display ideas for August so that there's lashings of time for you to get intentionally gathering while enjoying the last of the sun's summer rays upon your face.

Have fun!

Images via: egg2cake, Pottery Barn knock off, unknown, unknown, completely coastal, hometalk

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Best In Craft....Stunning Painted Terracotta Pots

As we write this, the sun is shining its little heart out, the birds are singing and we feel summer has well and truly arrived. And where better to be than pottering around outside in this beautiful balmy heat.

We've rounded up some of the best painted plant pot ideas for you to look at, drool over and then, we hope, get out there and paint for yourselves!

Earthborn paints are ideal for this as you won't need to use a primer, meaning that you can get on with the fun bit of applying the stunning colours whenever the mood takes you. 

Although if you intend to use your pots outside, it's worth sealing the paint with a weatherproof finish, or try using Earthborn's Silicate Masonry Paint.

Taping off sections, or painting by hand gives a gorgeously graphic finish....

Try Earthborn Lido and Marbles for this two-tone treat...

...or Fresh Air and Gregory's Den if a muted finish is more your cup of tea...

We love this ombre effect. Within the seventy-two shades available, Earthborn have plenty of tonal variations to play with to make this look your own.

We're smitten by this next idea. Earthborn paints are absolutely 100% safe for children (certified as suitable for use on children's toys), meaning that there'll be no hidden nasties to worry about when applying the paint to your children's feet.

To create this upside down drip effect, first give your pot a coat or two of White, and then let Earthborn eggshell in Daisychain drip slowly down the sides.

Pick two of your Earthborn favourites, leaving the terracotta rims bare, for an instant summer display that will brighten up dull fences...

For summer holiday fun, get creative with your kids. How about these two adorable ideas for starters...

...or for something a little more adventurous, have another look at our pot-gilding ideas. Reading Room and Trilby would give a similar effect.

Earthborn Claypaint has an unbelievably matte finish and so is super-easy to write on, and acts as a good key for applying transfers....

Wouldn't this be a pretty outdoor display...

And now it's time for us to stop for this month and head outside into this glorious sunshine. Will you be joining us, paintbrush in one hand, plant pot in the other? Just don't forget the sunscreen!

Images ia Carolyn Roehm, webstagram, Earthborn, Relics of Witney, 2Modern, Cottage Living, Design Sponge, Kim's Kraziness, My Clever Nest, Surprise DIY, The Whoot, Relics of Witney, Nest Of Posies, Welke

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