Boswells Blog

4th October 2018

Discover Kate's Toy and Linen Recommendations

Discover Kate's Toy and Linen Recommendations

Have you ever wondered which products the staff here at Boswells would personally recommend? Kate has shared some of her favourite ranges with us, which she's discovered over the past year of working in our Toy and Linen Departments. 

Schleich Model Animals

Schleich ImagesThe range of Schleich animals at Boswells has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Here is a collage showing the beautiful detail given to both ancient and modern animals. The dinosaur collection is particularly impressive because their jaws can open and shut! Schleich models are hand-painted and attention is given to creating as realistic a representation of each animal as possible. The Schleich range includes domestic pets, farm animals, birds and dinosaurs and wild animals from around the world.

Image Credit: Kate MacFarlane

Get Knitting!

Wool ImageOn the occasions when I work in the Linens Department I spend many happy hours choosing from the wide range of wools that form part of the haberdashery on offer at Boswells. I have gradually stock-piled balls of wool in a huge variety of colours, textures and blends, and my family are beginning to enjoy wearing my knitted scarves. I’ve bought craft books stocked at Boswells and refreshed my memory for different stitch combinations, and so have been able to add extra textures and patterns to my knitting. There’s nothing nicer than sitting in front of a fire as the nights draw in, watching a bit of telly and knitting a special scarf to keep you or someone you love warm!

Image Credit: Kate MacFarlane

We stay well stocked with Schleich figures and wool and knitting accessories throughout the year. Stop by to take a peek!

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14th September 2018

Streamlined Storage Hacks for Every Room of the House

Streamlined Storage Hacks for Every Room of the House

Image: Unsplash

Modern homes are becoming smaller, thanks to a variety of factors. This means that the demand for smart storage hacks has never been greater, as people seek ever more creative ways to make the most of the available space.

In this post, we’ll run through the ways in which enterprising homeowners and renters alike can maximise the space at their disposal through a variety of strategies all across the house—delivering a zen-like feeling of decluttered calm…sounds good, doesn’t it?

The Living Room

Shelves are an obvious place to start with regards to living room storage. Make sure the books and photographs you’re most proud of are given pride of place on floor-to-ceiling shelves, which offer far more in the way of storage options than a standard bookcase. If you’ve got any ‘dead space’ in your living are, such as below a staircase or alongside a patio door, fill it with custom shelving that you can either make yourself or commission.

Depending on what type of sofa you have, you may be able to store things underneath with the addition of some small-scale boxes that can slide out when needed. This particular storage hack is especially useful if your living room is multi-purpose, as you could hide an air bed and pillows very easily.

The Bathroom

When not addressed, your bathroom can become a clutter-filled mess: various bottles of shower gel and shampoo, half-used from Christmas gift sets, a medicine cabinet filled with things you don’t use anymore—it’s not a pretty picture.

Paring down your bathroom to the essential components is all about what storage to use. Decanting your favoured shower products into soap dispensers and recycling the plastic bottles is the way forward, as it’ll promote relaxation in a decluttered space. In terms of non-shower products, consider utilising the space below your bathroom sink as storage for toilet cleaners and spare loo rolls—making a small shelf or cabinet in this space will be a fun DIY project that won’t take up too much time.

The Kitchen

While there’s no panacea for kitchen organisation, especially in a busy family home, there are some things you can do to store away awkward items and make sure the space is fully optimised.

In terms of worktop space, make sure your spices are well-organised and you don’t have several small supermarket pots spilling out of a tired old rack. Just like with the bathroom, decanting is the way forward—so invest in some small spice jars and banish the plastic pots for good.

Under the worktop, make sure your cupboards are working hard to accommodate everything you’ll need for a fully functioning home kitchen. The addition of hooks or magnetic boards to the inside of your cupboard doors could be a game-changer, offering a convenient storage space for awkward items like cleaning sponges and rubber gloves.

The Garage and the Attic

Storage in your garage needs to be streamlined, as, all too often, the space ends up becoming a cluttered nightmare realm of abandoned DIY projects and battered old bicycles. The attic is much the same; as a storage space, it’s often neglected, which means any grand plans for an attic conversion are shelved almost immediately due to the sheer weight of the disorganised items living up there.

A garage organisation overhaul can be arranged easily with sturdy garage shelving systems, which will make sure that everything you need is easily visible and comfortably stored, while the attic can be dramatically improved if you’re willing to be ruthless rather than indulge your inner hoarder. A quick audit combined with a smartly organised set of plastic boxes will make the space infinitely more manageable.

       Storage Image

Image: Unsplash

We hope this post will prove to be an important resource in your battle against home clutter. Just remember: everyone’s home is different, so use a little of your own judgment to work out what’s best for your space and you’ll be well on your way to an expertly optimised home.

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3rd August 2018

How to Create a Cosy, Ambient Bathroom on a Budget

How to Create a Cosy, Ambient Bathroom on a Budget

Image: Pexels

For some, the bathroom is a purely transactional space, where you have a quick shower before work and get on with your day—but the truth is there’s so much untapped potential in the bathroom as a relaxing space in which to truly unwind. If the rest of your home is optimised for your comfort, why can’t your bathroom be that way, too?

This post will run through some ways in which you can inject a little cosiness into your bathroom without breaking the bank.

Bath Mats: Upgrade for Luxury

There’s little worse than stepping on cold tiles after a Winter-time shower, except for stepping on a damp, thin bath mat that needs upgrading. If your toes curl at the sight and feel of your bathroom floor, it might be time to invest in a more luxuriantly coiffed bath mat that’ll give your shower or bath-fresh feet the pampering they deserve.

In terms of improving the room’s ambience, the effect is much the same as adding a rug to a living area. Opt for a sharp, citrusy colour like lime green or orange to give the space a fresh feel, or go for a more luxurious, regal colour such as purple or gold for an indulgent ambience fit for royalty.

Candles: An Ambient Essential

There’s no better way to ramp up the ambience in your bathroom than lighting a few scented candles and letting their subtle, flickering light dance across the room. Ideally paired with a long, warm bath at the end of a hard day, making your bathroom into a luxe space filled with dancing candlelight is the epitome of cosiness.

This can be done incredibly cheaply, too. A large pack of tea lights isn’t very expensive, and you can invest in tea light holders, but the effect is largely the same. Also, if you’re wary of having open flames in your home, there are a wide range of small LED tea lights available right here at Boswells that can have the same effect without the fire risk!

Colour Palette: Choose Wisely

Getting your bathroom colour palette right can make the difference between a super-chill ambient space and one that’s completely missing that indulgent cosiness you’re striving for. Pastel shades can work well in a bathroom designed to create a relaxed vibe—for example, you could combine a baby blue or periwinkle colour scheme with playful nautical touches, such as model boats.

Alternatively, you could go bold and paint a feature wall or fixture in a sharp primary colour, as a striking focal point for the room. Sink cabinets or bathroom radiators in a rich crimson or yellow can add a charming ambience to your bathroom—and you won’t need to spend big on paint.

Ornaments: To Add Character

When you strip away all the functional items in your bathroom, the space can feel a little bare and devoid of personality. This can be easily combated by adding a few characterful ornaments such as a hand-painted metal frog or a flamingo—additions that’ll impress and amuse guests while making your bathroom cosy and personalised to you. A refresh of your shower curtain also wouldn’t go amiss - replacing an old curtain with an eclectic design can transform the whole mood of a room for a very reasonable price.

Unsplash Ambient Bathroom Image

Image: Unsplash

Of course, adding your own individual touches to your bathroom is the way to go to truly make it a cosy and calm space, ripe for relaxation. So, take these tips on board and indulge your own creativity alongside them to perfect your budget-conscious bathroom upgrade.

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25th June 2018

Making The Most Of Your Kitchen Worktop: 4 Top Tips

Making The Most Of Your Kitchen Worktop: 4 Top Tips

Image: Unsplash

Buying a stylish yet practical granite or quartz worktop is a must for homeowners who are serious about achieving a luxury kitchen look. Expanses of shimmering stone can inspire a homeowner to cook up some delicious culinary delights, and are hardy enough to be a fixture of a family kitchen for generations.

However, eye-catching worktops can soon be swamped by kitchen clutter, relegating their elegant shine to a mere backdrop. Nobody wants this, least of all homeowners who have saved for their granite worktop and want to make it the centrepiece of their kitchen.

In today’s post, we’re going to run through some easy tips to help you utilise this surface while still allowing it to shine - meaning you’ll have a super-functional kitchen that’ll also wow family members and guests alike.

1. Protect the worktop

Most granite worktops are incredibly hardy and will last for years with the correct care and treatment. However, this doesn’t mean that you have carte blanche to chop produce directly on to the surface - so make sure you stick to culinary best practices by investing in a chopping board and making use of trivets to keep your surfaces shining for longer.

A well-protected worktop will look even better once you’ve cleared away your cooking equipment. Remember that with pots and pans in regular use, scratches and burns can easily occur - even on the hardiest of surfaces. So, avoid this by protecting your surfaces and clearing up after every cooking session.

2. Consider a simple style

Chances are, you’ll have a number of appliances vying for space atop your work surface—and making sure that their style fits well with a premium stone or ceramic worktop is an important consideration. Choosing neutrally coloured kitchen products or items in one colour will make it easier to complement your worktops and tie the whole kitchen aesthetic together.

Having a high-quality knife block poised and ready for action is a great first consideration. A dark stone worktop could benefit from a simple wooden knife block, epitomising the elemental nature of the space, both plain wood and plain stone work well in a room where raw ingredients are made into delicious meals.

3. Know what’s functional

Despite the kitchen’s primary purpose as a functional space in which meals are prepared, you can often get caught in a clutter trap, hoarding items that take up space and obscure the fine finish of your worktop.

Carrying out a quick audit and working out which items you actually use on a day-to-day basis is an important step that’s often overlooked—but you can start by storing away rarely-used items in your cupboards, and leaving everyday-use appliances like toasters and kettles on the surfaces. After doing this, your kitchen will become a more functional space, and you’ll have plenty of surface area to enjoy.

4. Invest in some smart appliances

A new worktop will benefit from some cutting-edge appliances alongside it to really give it that finishing touch, so once you’ve completed your audit of kitchen items, why not treat yourself to some new appliances?

The timelessly stylish Kitchenaid Artisan Food Stand Mixer will undoubtedly give your kitchen a premium edge, while the Empire Red 2 Slot Toaster by the same manufacturer will add a sharp burst of colour that can truly brighten up the room - and with a pull-out crumb tray, your bespoke stone worktop won’t be blighted by toast detritus!

Kitchen Worktop Image Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

Of course, your kitchen should be a reflection of your own culinary creativity, so make sure you use that as your principal point of inspiration before actioning any of these steps. Adding a dash of your own style is always a great idea, and it’ll mean that your kitchen will sparkle for years to come.

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10th January 2018

5 Ways To Add Value To Your Home

5 Ways To Add Value To Your Home

With Christmas well and truly over, many of us will be looking to get the year ahead off to a great start - be it healthy New Year's resolutions or a spot of home improvement. If your intentions steer towards the latter, read on, as we share our top 5 tips for adding value and style to your home over the next 12 months.

From simple kitchen makeovers and clever bathroom updates to money-earning extensions, we’ve got 5 fantastic ways to achieve impactful updates that you’ll love - and better yet, they’ll up the value of your property in the process.

1. Kickstart your kitchen

As the heart of the home, kitchens are typically a great place to add value as they’re used daily and are often a big selling point for potential buyers, too. But you don’t need to go through the hassle and expense of a full refit to give your kitchen a new look this year - as simple updates and a little elbow grease can go a long way, whatever your budget.

From a fresh coat of paint and new worktops to swapping out old kitchen accessories and appliances, these small changes could make a big impact on your interior - giving your kitchen a new and striking look.Kitchen example

2. Create more living space

If you want to significantly increase your property value in the long run, consider creating more living space. You can make best use of existing space by de-cluttering or using cunning storage solutions, built in or free standing to keep floors and surfaces clear.

In terms of building work, one of the least disruptive ways to do this would be converting an existing loft - which offers the ideal space for more bedrooms. However, if you have the room and planning permission, a single-storey extension could add even more value - especially if you have an eye on sustainability. Opting for the latest innovations in modular construction - with room modules built offsite - will ensure your extension boasts excellent energy efficiency. More than that, it provides additional appeal for potential buyers in the future and means your property will stand out from the crowd when it goes onto the market.

3. Add a bathroom

As with living space, adding a second bathroom or en-suite could be a great money-earning update for you home. Whether you reconfigure existing wall positioning, convert unused storage space or go for a completely new extension, adding a new bathroom will positively impact on your property price. Again, new construction innovations allow you to do this with relative ease, with modular bathroom pods now making additions easier than ever. If your budget is tight, even adding a small downstairs toilet or wetroom can make a huge difference. Below is an example of a bathroom pod and even we can't tell the difference between one built on site!

According to Nationwide Building Society, although converting an unused attic into an en-suite bathroom can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks to complete, it has the potential to add approximately 21% to your property’s value – making this a highly worthwhile investment. Similarly, a second bathroom can up its value by a welcome 5%, as long as it isn’t in place of a double bedroom.Elements Europe Bathroom Pod example

4. Brilliant bathrooms

If installing a second bathroom is out of your reach, don’t fret. Providing your bathroom suite is in good condition, you can still add value to your home without spending big or starting from scratch. You can create the appearance of a completely new bathroom using new tiles or decorative features on the walls. It’s the perfect opportunity to embrace the latest interior trends to achieve an enviable aesthetic - leaving your bathroom looking good as new and guests impressed with your on-trend decor.

An even simpler, more budget-friendly option is to update this space with bathroom accessories. From creating a stylish new colour scheme with bath linens and accessories to improving storage solutions to organise and declutter, even the small details can make a big difference to the overall look and feel of a bathroom.

5. Spruce up the outside

While a lot of the focus for adding value lies within your home, it’s still important not to forget the outside areas, too. As the first thing visitors see when they arrive, sprucing up the exterior is undoubtedly beneficial - increasing both kerb appeal and value. From keeping plants and lawns well-trimmed to adding decorative ornaments and stylish garden furniture, you can use this area to make an instant style statement with your home.

However, valuing the benefit of regular outdoor maintenance - such as painting external walls, repairing guttering and ensuring roofs are fully weather-proofed - will also ensure you don’t lose value by allowing them to fall into disrepair.

Whether you’re planning to sell your house soon or you’re just looking to make some value-adding updates, follow the tips in today’s post for the essential insights on adding value and style to your home - ready for whenever the time comes to sell.

Example Garden

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19th September 2017

Designing a Living Room for the Whole Family

Designing a Living Room for the Whole Family

The living room, along with the kitchen, is at the epicentre of family life - a place to sit with friends, relatives and loved ones and enjoy relaxing in comfort. However, with conflicting opinions at home and a vast range of styles out there, it can be difficult to design a living room that caters to everyone’s tastes. With that in mind, in today’s article from our friends at Tiles Direct, we’ll be providing you with our essential living room ideas - so you can get inspired and excited about designing a space for the whole family.

Use a neutral base palette with colourful accents

Choosing the ‘right’ colours is perhaps the most difficult aspect of any living room renovation, given that every individual will have their own preference. Whether you opt for subdued and minimal or bold and bright, your colour choices are key to making the room look great and will provide the backdrop for colourful features and accessories.

Rolling out a softer palette can allow you to lay a neutral foundation which you can build upon with accents. Try starting with classic neutral colours like whites, greys and wooden browns to add aesthetic appeal and complement other tones. Keep these colours in mind when choosing your furniture, and opt for lighter or wood-effect wall and floor tiles to set the scene - before introducing other colours for a splash of personality

Finesse your furniture

Undoubtedly the most important feature of any family living room, the sofa is the place to relax and unwind, so it’s important you hit the nail on the head when you pick one for your family living room. Size will matter, as you’ll need a sofa that’s practical for your family’s needs - but you should also consider the size of your living room. You’ll want to avoid overcrowding the space you have and make sure your sofa fits in with other items of furniture. Once you’ve locked down the ideal size, select a style that reflects your room’s overall aesthetic and top it off with comfortable cushions and soft throws to add appeal.

Champion functionality

Shelving

Whether you’re storing away important files or hanging up unused utensils, storage is a key part of any functioning family home - and your living room is no exception. Living room storage is a necessity when you’re dealing with an array of gaming controllers, TV remotes and DVDs - so avoid the headache of unnecessary clutter by using effective storage. Using multi-functional furniture could be one way forward, with foot stools and pouffes doubling up as storage spaces for unsightly items.

Coffee tables are also exceptionally handy for hosting a stack of shared magazines and keeping your drinks at hand. If you have the space, use a bookcase to store away books and DVDs so they’re at hand when you want to indulge. They can also be used as shelves if you want to show off a family photo or decorate with plants and other accessories.

Make it homely

Personal touches in your living room

Injecting a sense of personality is the final step in designing a lovable living room - so bring out your individuality and make the space feel like your own. Add family photo frames or prop up a much-loved piece of art to make the area feel inviting, rather than giving off a showroom aesthetic. Bring your family memories close with home accessories like trinkets that highlight your lives and personalities to round off the design, and make the room a warm, inviting and recognisable place for all of the family to relax in.

Whether your family style swings towards rustic or ultra-modern, striking the perfect balance is never an easy task in a house full of opinions. But making the space functional and appealing for all of the family doesn’t have to be a chore, so follow our straightforward tips and design a living room that will be loved by family and guests alike.

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5th August 2017

5 Top Tips for Caring for Your Floors

5 Top Tips for Caring for Your Floors

Our friends over at Posh Flooring.co.uk the online arm of Flooring Republic know everything there is to know about flooring and are sharing their top tips to keep your new floor in tiptop shape.

From rustic wooden floor to luxurious cream carpets, the style of flooring you choose will set off the overall design of an interior, so it’s worth exploring your options first. A high-quality floor will contribute to the first-class aesthetic of your home, but while many of us dream of creating a pristine show home finish in our home, ensuring that the floor remains in its original state can often prove to be a challenge.

With high levels of footfall and inevitable spills and stains wearing away the appearance of your floors, maintaining its original shine won’t be the easiest of tasks - and with so many products and methods to choose between, it can be hard to know what’s the best way to care for your flooring. That’s why today, we’ll be bringing you a handful of ways in which you can show your floors some TLC. So, whether it’s carpet, laminate or solid hardwood flooring, with our helpful guide, you’ll be able to ensure that your floor remains in first-class for as long as possible.

1. Protect the polish on your wooden floors 

Floor with rugWhether you’ve recently moved into rented accommodation or you’re looking for ways to ensure that your home’s wooden floors retain their shine, using furnishings to prevent damage to your floors is one of the simplest ways to extend the lifetime of your wooden flooring. Laying down a thick rug in busy spaces will not only add to the aesthetic of the interior, but it will also help to protect your engineered wooden floors from spills and stains - and with high levels of footfall leading the varnish to wear away over time, reducing the need for refinishing the floors with this simple step could be worthwhile in the long-term.

2. Adopt a ‘no shoes indoors’ policy

From carpet to solid hardwood, there’s nothing more annoying than treading dirt onto your floor, and with research revealing that the average pair of outdoor shoes carry approximately 421,000 bacteria, it’s easy to see why so many of us are employing a ‘no shoes’ policy for indoor spaces. The residue that remains on the bottoms of shoes will mean that, upon entering the house, you and your guests are likely to end up carrying dirt and debris into your home too, which could potentially result in everything from mud-stained carpets to scratched wooden floors. So, if you’re keen to save cleaning time and money, it’s worth considering asking guests to leave their shoes at the door.

3. Show your pets some TLC

Pets & Floors

As any animal lover will tell you, pets are just as much part of the family as anyone else, but four-legged friends come with their own challenges when it comes to cleaning your home. From molting and bringing in dirt to scratches and accidents, protecting your floors from long-term damage will unsurprisingly be more difficult in pet-friendly homes. However, by drying off wet and dirty paws by placing doormats at every entrance - as well as regularly brushing your pet’s coat - you can minimise the amount of time that you’ll need to spend cleaning up. Trimming your dog’s nails on a regular basis is likely to reduce the risk of them scratching any wooden floors too, so you can enjoy the long-lasting gleam that comes with these floors for significantly longer.

4. Choose the best cleaning products

Whether it’s a carpet or solid wood floor, it’s crucial that you choose the most suitable cleaning products for the job – and if your flooring is varnished, you’ll want to choose a product that can protect this too. Making smart choices when it comes to choosing your household cleaners is more likely to save you money in the long run – and by opting for the best solutions for your floors, you can ensure they stay clean and protected for many years to come.

5. Cover the bottom of furniture

While tracking toxins and debris into your floors is likely to damage the overall finish, the regular movement of sharp table legs and chairs in a domestic home could also mean that you end up with some unsightly dents and marks underfoot. So, whether you’ve opted for tiles or engineered wood, make sure that you minimise the likelihood of scratching the surface of your floors by applying felt pads to the underside of your furniture.

From minimising wear by incorporating rugs and mats into your interior design to opting for natural alternatives in your cleaning routine, there’s no shortage of ways in which you can extend the lifetime of your floors - and by following our top 5 tips for floor care, you could enjoy that freshly laid finish for years to come.

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23rd June 2015

How the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep

How the right pillow can help you get a good night's sleep

Tunde from our linens department is an expert on pillows and an advocate of the right fit for you. We hope her advice will be useful here, but don't forget you can come and see our Linens team if you want some face to face advice. 

Something to bear in mind is that we spend approximately one third of our lives in bed! So in life you deserve a good pair of shoes, a good mattress and an excellent pillow. A poor night’s sleep can ruin your day. So let's avoid that and find the best pillow for a comfortable nights sleep.

You have plenty of options to choose from in our store. We also have plenty of samples for you to try from our range, so don't be shy and test some out.

We are all very different and so are  pillows so which one is the best for you?

It depends on the following:

Your mattress hardness

If you are keen to spend a bit on a good mattress, it will only be worth it if you will buy the right pillow to match it. The mattress hardness has an effect on the pillow’s thickness. If you have a softer mattress your shoulder may sink into it and therefor a thinner pillow may suffice. If you have a harder mattress the opposite is true.

How broad your shoulders are

A person with broad shoulders and a wide neck will probably need a firm pillow to get the right support. 

Your sleeping position

Sleep positionsWhat is the best sleeping posture? We don't think there is a definitive answer for that but flat on your back is a winner according to most experts. It reduces pressure on your muscles and joints and even prevents your face from wrinkling since it is not being pressed into the pillow. The only disadvantage is that a person sleeping on their back is more likely to snore! 

The danger of sleeping on your side is that if your pillow is too far down, your head ’falls’ causing your upper neck muscles to constantly stretch.

Either way, an important thing to remember is to keep your spine straight. An incorrect thickness or a poorly designed pillow will lead to a bad and restless night’s sleep and over time can create problems for the spine and muscle tension. A small trick I’ve been using for many years is to place a small pillow between your knees, especially when you sleep on our side. It keeps your knees comfortable, your pelvis aligned and  your spine supported. Try it out!

  • A medium hard pillow is the best option when you sleep on your back or side. It has to be large enough to hold up the head and neck but not so large that the head is tilted too far forward.
  • If you prefer to sleep on your front (you are a tummy sleeper) the best option is a soft, thin pillow (like a goose down one).

 For more information on sleeping positions in regards to health and even what it says about you read more here.

Filling of the pillow

A pillows filling provides support and comfort for the user. It can be natural (feather and/or down – goose or duck – and wool) or synthetic (hollowfibre or microfiber made of polyester). The filling is extremely important to anyone with allergies as natural fillings are likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Non-allergenic – the material itself will not cause an allergic reaction but triggers such as dust mites can still be present over time. This is also what hypoallergenic means.

Anti-allergy – the material is not only non-allergenic, but is actively preventing or minimizing an allergic reaction.

For synthetics the base fibres don't not give off any dust unlike natural fibres and this in itself make it non-allergenic.

The one pillow to mention here comes from Dunlopillo – it has 100% breathable latex for extra comfort.

Natural fillings such as feather or down do give off dust particles and aren't recommended for those with allergies but are absolutely fine for those without.

The wool pillow  is also non-allergenic - there is a rare allergy to lanolin a natural oil in wool, but when people think they have a wool allergy it is more commonly a sensitivity to to the texture rather than the lanolin allergy. If you think you may be allergic to wool it is worth getting this checked by your doctor. With a pillow case on top and a smooth finish to the pllow this sensitivity to texture can be non-existant. The main benefit to wool is that it has thermoregulation properties which means it keeps your face warm in winter and cool in summer. Pretty useful.

Memory Foam

If you like a firm pillow you may like the memory foam pillow (normal shape or V-Shaped). The memory foam keeps its shape through the night to ensure you get a good nights sleep and helps to provide a comfortable temperature during sleep. 

V shape pillowA V-Shape is excellent for reading and listening to music. If you like reading in bed, the best support would be a memory foam pillow which you can put behind your back in bed.

Whatever the shape, when you buy the pillow in the box it will have been pressed so you should depress your pillow before you use it, by taking it out of the box and plumping it, then just leaving it. It takes 4-5 hours to reform properly. Psst - we have a half price deal on the Dreamtime Deluxe Memory Foam Sensation Pillow with Bamboo and Satin Cover right now!

Price

Dreamstime pillow

We have pillows ranging from £9 up to around £65. Pillows have a minimum life expectancy of around 5 years. But I would suggest changing your pillow every year for hygiene reasons. If that seems a bit much at the higher priced end of the pillows, think of it as 15p a night for a goods night sleep as opposed to £2 a day for that coffee gone in 5 minutes.

While I was writing this article I had a chance to serve a customer from the US. He moved to Oxford 2 months ago and was looking for a good pillow. I let him try many different ones and was able to answer a lot of questions that he had. I come from Hungary and I’m aware that my English is not perfect. Fortunately, the pillows speak for themselves! He bought a wool pillow.

See all the pillows on our website here

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6th August 2014

Six tips to keep your rooms cool in Summer

Six tips to keep your rooms cool in Summer

Summer is a season to enjoy but when you have to face unbearable temperatures at home, it rapidly becomes less pleasant.
 If you want to keep rooms cool during summer then an air conditioner is great, but what if you don’t have one? Use these six tips to be prepared for Summer and face the heat without suffering.

1. Delay heat generating activities

Dishwashers, traditional ovens and even ironing and vacuuming all generate heat and that’s not what you want. Try to reduce these activities when it’s too hot outside or choose to do them early in the morning or at night.

2. Mini blinds or white window shades

If you don’t want the heat coming through your windows, install some white curtains or mini blinds. You can also try reflective film on your windows but use Velcro instead of adhesive to stick them as you might want to remove them during winter or when it is colder. If you’re a fan of making things yourself, you may also consider making your own blinds with the products available in our haberdashery section.

3. Close your windows

Many people find this debatable: whether or not open windows during Summer? Not sure why really as hot air will enter your house or office when windows are open - even with blinds or curtains closed! That’s why we recommend closing windows during the day when it is hot and opening them at night or early in the morning when it’s cooler outside.

4. Transform your fan into an A/C

If you don’t have an air conditioner but do own a fan, you can transform it into an aircon! Just put a big bowl of ice in front of your fan and it will efficiently spread cool air in your room. It also works with frozen plastic water bottles as illustrated in this great article: “How to Make an Easy Homemade Air Conditioner from a Fan and Water Bottles”.
Although we don’t sell all our fans online yet – for a larger  choice you can always buy one in store if the heat gets too much for you!

5. Turn off lights when not used

Lights in a room can generate a lot of heat so when you don’t need them, turn them off. Not only will it help with the heat in your room but it will also help reduce your energy bill.

6. Lower the humidity

You might not think of this one, but humidity is a key contributor to increasing room temperature, so if you can, try to shower and do your laundry and dishwashing at night or early in the morning rather than the middle of the day.
What are your best tips to deal with the heat during Summer? Any tricks for those who don’t have an air conditioner? Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook.

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