LAURA ASHLEYShop Online

July 30th 2014
hero

DESIGNED FOR YOU: FURNITURE FOR ANY HOME STYLE

Create the perfect home to suit your style…

Choosing a theme for your home can be a daunting task, with so many different styles out there it can be difficult to know where to begin. Don’t fear! We are here to help. If you’re searching for a home style, try picking out key elements from your house that you already love and going from there. Every design style includes distinguishable elements and starts from the very basics; the furniture. Join us as we take you through how to theme your home from scratch…

 

English Eccentric

furniture2

Kendal fixed cover 2-seater / Lynden Footsool / Southwold Chair / Balmoral Chestnut 3 Drawer Desk / Nest of 3 Tables

 

Love bold statement pieces with  hints of quintessentially English touches? Take inspiration from our new Country Elegance collection. A classic decorating story using one of our best selling archival prints re-coloured in a cranberry for a very British country house look. We recommend going for classic furniture pieces: try this Southwold upholstered chair and the Kendal fixed 2-seater, two very classic pieces of furniture ideal for building a house theme from. Add accents of dark chestnut for a smart finishing look, this Balmoral 3 drawer desk is both stylish and handy !

 

 

Shabby Chic

furniture5

Bramley Dining Chairs | Round Table | 2 Drawer Dresser | Rocking Chair

 

An increasingly popular style, the shabby chic style uses elements of distressed furniture to give that vintage feel to a home. Our Bramley furniture is great for achieving this look. This collection has a distressed painted finish with solid wood tops, reminiscent of an old country house. Get the distressed vintage look without having to scour antique shops! With the finishing touches, keep the colour fresh with creams and off white and add elements of warm lighting,

 

Sophisticated Classic

furniture1

Gloucester 2 Seater | Venezia Side Tables | Lovell Mirror

 

For those of you who love the opulent look; grey, silver, and metallic pieces work well together and look expensive. This style is all about appearing grand; so go big with furniture. Invest in sleek and smart pieces that co-ordinate well with your room colours. Our best selling Gloucester sofas add some charm to any home and a striking mirror makes a great statement piece!

 

Casual Cosy

furniture3

Padstow 2 Seater in Edwin Natural | Dorset Truffle Tables | Dorset Coffee Table

 

For a cosy atmosphere, stick to a warm palette of neutrals throughout the home. These coffee tables are a mix between vintage and modern and are a great compliment to a cosy fireplace and wooden interior! These Padstow slouchy sofas are the ultimate in relaxation which is a must have for a comfy home style. For the finishing touches try warm lighting through the use of candles and table lamps.

 

Super Smart

garratt

Range of Garrat Furniture in Honey

 

Make your home look super smart with our range of Garrat furniture in dark chestnut and honey. This wooden furniture  makes your home look sophisticated and matches almost any colour combination. It has been beautifully crafted from solid birch, and with a whole range on offer, you’re guaranteed to find at least one piece to help smarten up your home!

 

There you have it! Furniture to suit your home, whatever the style. We’d love to know what style of home you prefer, do you like a cosy, comfy house or prefer something a little more eccentric? What type of furniture do you like best? Let us know in the comments. If none of these styles work for you, why not check out our design service!

July 23rd 2014
header

KIDS CORNER: CHALKBOARD CHALLENGE PT. 2

Part 2: Bloggers Michelle and Lucy get creative with our chalkboard paint…

School’s out for the summer! Hasn’t it come around fast? Now that it’s here our thoughts turn to how to keep the little ones entertained during the holidays, and what better way to have fun with them than by getting creative? Yesterday, we saw how bloggers and busy mums Kathryn and Kelle used our chalkboard paint with their kids by creating a doodle door and a surface scribble. Today, we hand over to Michelle from Eden Found and Lucy from Capture By Lucy to show us how they would use theirs…

 

blog3

Chalkboard Paint

 

Building Blocks

 

Crafty lifestyle mummy blogger Michelle is no stranger to getting creative, often posting about her DIY constructions and thrifty finds over on Eden Found. It was no surprise then that she came up with this inspirational way to use our chalkboard paint. Let us introduce you to chalky building blocks…

 

blog6

blog9

 

Michelle tells us…

 

“Every mother dreads those two little words, ‘I’m bored’ and when faced with that nugget of information you have two choices. You can choose to throw money at the problem or you can get creative. I chose to get creative and make some chalkboard building blocks.

We were given these wooden blocks when my children were small. Although they used to get played with quite often, recently my girls had fallen out of love with them, so I thought I would give them a little revamp using some Laura Ashley chalkboard paint.

 

blog4

blog7

blog5

 

Painting the blocks couldn’t have been simpler. For a nice even finish I gave each block a couple coats of paint and left them to dry for a couple hours between each layer of paint. I didn’t wear gloves, so my hands were covered in paint, but as the paint washes off really easily that wasn’t a problem.

My girls loved the results. They made their own little town, complete with houses, a shopping centre, a zoo and a train station! For the price of a tin of paint, my children were well and truly entertained!

 

blog8

blog1

blog2

 

At the end of the day the blocks were wiped clean and put away, ready for the next adventure. Who knows what they’ll make next?”

 

Vegetable Patch

 

Photographer, blogger and mum of two boys, Lucy is the creative force behind Capture by Lucy. Packed full of amazing photography and imaginative ideas, Capture by Lucy is your one stop for creative inspiration. For our chalkboard challenge, her two boys used our chalkboard paint to create their own unique vegetable patch…

 

blog12

chalkychallenge3

 

Lucy tells us…

 

“The boys are getting so excited about moving to our new house and giddy about growing our own vegetables in the vegetable patch through the gate from the “secret garden”. I love that they have already commandeered this affectionate name for the part of the garden that meanders behind the tool shed.

It’s a magical childhood memory in the making, that made us fall in love with the house the moment we viewed it…

 

blog11

blog10

blog13

 

The boys understand where vegetables come from, they appreciate you need to eat healthy food to keep you big and strong and I know come rain or shine, we will be donning our wellingtons and heading to our little garden allotment to see what we can eat for dinner that week. To keep their excitement alive whilst we painfully wait for the contracts to complete in September,  thought of an easy craft idea that requires imagination and fun using the new Laura Ashley Chalk Paint. A play tray!

 

chalkychallenge4

chalky3

chalkychallenge1

 

We painted a plastic tomato plant tray with a layer of chalk paint and left it to dry. The paint is easy to apply, “not too drippy” in Sammy’s words and gives an even coverage of a rich black colour and smooth texture. We then added chalk drawn trees for the knitted apples, leaves to add to the lettuce ‘ready to pick’ and labelled our pickings with some spoon garden tags made from wooden spoons painted with a layer of chalk paint! An easy and simple idea for little ones to join in with.

 

chalky2

chalky1

 

We love that we can just wipe it clean and start all over again, with brown chalk mud! That was Ollie’s favourite bit. As soon as we move in we are going to add our labels to all the lovely real fruits and vegetables just waiting for my mini gardeners to tend to and enjoy. You could also turn your play tray into an easy DIY car or train track too!”

 

Thanks to Kathryn, Kelle, Michelle and Lucy for taking part in our chalky challenge! Incase you missed it here’s the first instalment. Which do you find the most inspiring? We’d love to know how you would use our chalkboard paint, tell us your ideas…

July 22nd 2014
hero

KID’S CORNER: CHALKBOARD CHALLENGE

Part 1: We enlist four busy mums to share with us their inspiring ideas using our chalkboard paint…

It’s official – school’s out for summer! Keeping little ones entertained during the holidays however can be tricky business, so with this in mind we wanted to create a fun and exciting activity that will provide endless hours of imaginative play-time, without being too stressful for us adults. Introducing our chalky challenge, we set four busy mums the task to get creative with our new chalkboard paint, to get the little ones on board and show how they would use it!

 

Laura Ashley Chalk Paint 1

Chalkboard Paint 

 

Coming up with a number of inspiring ideas, from transforming everyday objects to making over a kids corner in their home, we were so impressed with their creative thinking we simply couldn’t wait to show you their adventurous play-time ideas…

 

Doodle Door 

 

Freelance writer Kathryn lives in her hometown of Harrogate, in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, where she pens her daily lifestyle blog Kat got the cream. Looking for a new way to update her son Charlie’s room, Kathryn reveals unique idea for the chalky challenge…

 

P1030492

P1030500

P1030498

P1030494

 

Kathryn tells us…

 

‘We’re currently in the process of making over my 8 year old son’s room and I’ve been looking for a few ways to personalise it for him (as well as make it fun). Charlie loves drawing and doodling so I thought we’d create a chalkboard area on the back of his bedroom door, which he can regularly update himself. It’s really quick and easy to do, plus it blends in quite nicely with the rest of his room, which features monochrome as well as bright orange and blue. He loved the finished result!’

 

Tabletop Scribble 

 

Mother of two Kelle is a stylist and full-time blogger on her online corner Dinky and Dandy. Dedicated to sharing all things cool for little ones, both her children Hattie and Fraser got stuck into decorating her chalky table top…

 

3 7 1 4

 

Kelle tells us… 

 

‘I’ve wanted to paint a chalkboard wall for the kids for ages now but because our house is now up for sale I decided to use our paint to turn an old table into a fun chalkboard instead. The kids love their new table and so far we’ve turned it into a train track, a farm, a zoo and a busy town so it’s perfect for imaginative play. I love how it’s so much easier to put away and clean than the mess painting creates and when the sun shines we can take it out in the garden. The chalkboard paint went on really easy, it took two coats to cover the table and I love the finished result. It didn’t use much of the tin either so when we buy a new house I’ll be using it to paint that chalkboard wall!’

 

Now how is that for a dose of daily interior inspiration? Transforming a kid’s corner with a lick of paint with endless fun involved? We’re in! Stay tuned for the next installment of our chalky challenge tomorrow on the blog…

 

Browse the Laura Ashley kid’s furniture and accessories here.

July 21st 2014
hero

THE GREAT BRITISH BEE COUNT

Do your part for nature and rehome our British bees with this fantastic new campaign…

This summer we are calling on your support to help us embark on The Great British Bee Count! An essential part of the food chain, the decline of the bee population has become an increasingly worrying factor. Whether you’re looking to spend more time in the garden or a keen nature lover, by taking a closer look at the bees buzzing around our gardens and parks, it really could help save this important species from dying out.

 

Sharing with us her top tips on how to encourage bee’s back into your garden, Melanie Kramers from environment charity Friends of the Earth explains all…

 

44

 

As you’ve probably heard our British bees are in trouble and in desperate need of rehoming. In recent years, the numbers of bees in the UK have been declining at an alarming rate, with over twenty species of bees already extinct. With a  high percentage of our countryside meadows disappearing over the last 60 years, the loss of their vital habitats have left the bees homeless and feeling hungry. An essential part of the food chain, everyday we eat fruit and vegetables that have been pollinated by these buzzing creatures. As they move from flower to flower collecting nectar, they are an important factor in the pollinating process in helping distribute pollen far and wide.

 

Do you like strawberry jam on your buttered toast or a delicious Sunday treat of apple crumble? These are all pollinated by bees, along with 75% of food crops worldwide!

 

22

 

Eventually our parks, gardens and countryside will become a barren place without bees to keep them blooming – so how can you help? The good news is that there are lots of ways you can be part of the generation that saves our bees.

 

- Got a smartphone? Download our free app The Great British Bee Count and log any bees you spot between now and the end of August. You don’t need to be any expert to take part, the easy-to-use app will help you tell the difference between bee species such as leafcutter bees and buff-tailed bumblebees. All the data then be logged to help scientists build a nationwide picture of bee health, where they are thriving and where they are in danger. Don’t worry if you don’t have the app, you can fill in all your bee-hunting business on our website here.

 

88

 

- Green fingered?  Try growing bee-friendly plants from lavender to honeysuckle in your window-box or garden to encourage new buzzing visitors – just make sure to avoid using pesticides which can harm bees’ health. To find out which plants are most loved, create your own bee cafe with this handy list of what to grow here.

 

11

Wooden Bee House / Aviary Garden Tool Set (both available in store)

 

-  Create a cosy nest with our wooden bee house, providing a valuable shelter or a nesting site for solitary wild bees that, unlike honey bees, don’t live in hives. The Mason species enjoy nesting in warm and sheltered environment, with plenty of room to rest in the thick wooden holes; make sure to position their new abode in a south facing spot with the bee house pointing downwards to avoid the rain.

 

-  If you’ve already done this – think bigger! Hundreds of people have already planted ‘Bee Worlds’ in their communities – larger wildflower areas that help provide hungry bees with food and shelter. Across the UK, we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in the past 60 years, so restoring this vital bee habitat can really help.

 

Hope you enjoy saving bees while having fun this summer – let us know how you get on!

July 17th 2014
dressingwindow

DRESSING YOUR WINDOWS IN STYLE

Your window style questions answered by resident Laura Ashley interior expert Kerry…

Whether you’re in the throws of sprucing up your living space or designing the decor of your new home, there are so many important decisions to be made. One that’s often overlooked is deciding how to style your windows, whether you opt for curtains or blinds, they can both dramatically enhance the look and feel of your room. With the practical reasons of privacy and keeping the heat inside, a well dressed window can also pull together the visual aesthetic of your interior – adding an attractive focal point. From functional blinds in the bathroom to sweeping styles in the bedroom, our resident interior designer Kerry is on hand to cover the basics of simple window dressing style…

 

windowdressing2

Rockpool Natural Roman Blinds

 

- How can I make blinds and curtains work together?

 

This is a question that is asked of me on a regular basis, where clients want the practically of a blind but the visually pleasing appeal of curtains. My top advice for having both curtains and blinds together is to have them at the same height on the outside of the recess. If your curtains are 15cm above the window then make sure to take your blind up the same height, it looks far better to have them in line with each other over the window.

 

dressingwindow6

Awning Stripe Dove Grey Curtain Fabric

 

- How can I maintain privacy in my living room windows without it preventing the light?

 

Sheer roller blinds are the perfect tool for maintaining privacy, without being too heavy. They offer a much more contemporary look rather than sheer curtains. If this idea sounds a little minimalistic, place a roman blind over the recess to bring colour and print to dress the window area. The sheer roller blind will ensure privacy during the day, but the roman blind can be pulled down come evening to lock in warmth and block out the light.

 

dressingwindow7

Swansbrook Amethyst Curtain Fabric

 

- Whats the best way to frame a window seat?

 

A window seat can be framed with either curtains or blinds, it simply depends on the style of window. If you have curtains and blinds inside the recess, this may not work if you plan to have scatter cushions at the back of the window seat. Whereas curtains, on the outside of the recess, framing the window with co-ordinating scatter cushions in different colours and textures will look and work well.

 

dressingwindow3

Summer Palace Cranberry Curtains

 

- How can I dress a bay window?

 

I find the best way to dress a bay window is to have floor length curtains on the outside of the recess, which will frame the overall window. If you were to have separate curtains for each window, it would make the bay look crowded and squashed inside, so to open up the window make sure you have the curtains on the outside. Additionally, you could add roman or wooden slat venetian blinds in the bay on each window, if you prefer a more modern look.

 

- Is there a particular blind I can use for the bathroom?

 

Bathroom blinds can be any type, you just need to think about the type of fabric that is being used. Use a fabric that will withstand damp conditions without shrinking. Bathroom windows can usually be above the sink, so silk isn’t often a practical option as it would mark with water splashes. The Laura Ashley range at Thomas Sanderson offer a beautiful selection of shutters in a variety of colour ranges suitable for bathrooms.

 

dressingwindow5

Thomas Sanderson Blinds / Bead Trim Roman Blinds

 

For more information on what type of blind will suit your home, why not check out our Blind Buying Guide?

 

Browse the Laura Ashley range of Made-To-Order Blinds and Curtains.

 

July 16th 2014
hero

INTERIOR GUIDE: DECOR TO SUIT ANY HOUSE STYLE

Associate Editor of Your Home magazine, Lisa Hibberd reveals her top tricks for furnishing your home regardless of any house style hurdles…

Transforming your house into home is an exciting but often daunting experience. Whether you are moving into a modern townhouse, country cottage or new-build apartment, furnishing your empty home into the perfect living area will differ depending on your house style. Guiding us through the different interior hurdles you may encounter, Lisa Hibberd the Associate Editor of Your Home magazine shares her top tips for decorating your space…

 

Creating  a focus 

creating a focus

Garrat Dark Chestnut Sideboard / Juniper Mirror (in-store) / Langham Two Seater in Caitlyn Sable

 

Creating a focus in a modern home can be rather difficult, with many lacking a traditional focal point such as fireplace but this shouldn’t mean that the style of your room has to suffer. Why not consider a stunning piece of furniture such as the Dorset Soft Truffle Sideboard, styled to perfection with a selection of gorgeous accessories, even with a theme in mind. It’s the ideal way to make a statement, and by hanging a large mirror like the Starburst Rectangular Mirror above will complete the look.

 

Maximising space in a narrow town house

hallway

Clifton Ivory Triple Mirror / Dressing Table / Hadley Stripe Seaspray Wallpaper / Pale Seaspray Paint  

 

Long, narrow rooms can be tricky to design, especially when trying to arrange furniture. By placing large pieces of furniture along the length of the walls it can make the space feel more elongated, try to break up the space across its width with a piece of furniture, or try a cosy corner seating arrangement instead. When considering your colour palette, choose your paint colours carefully. Painting the long walls in a lighter shade than the end walls will give the illusion of a shorter room. If you’re thinking of wood or laminate flooring, make sure that the lengths run horizontally across the room – laying it vertically along the length tends to add to the narrow feel. Finally, a statement piece of art like the Cherry Blossom Canvas or mirror at the end of the room will help to focus the eye, as will a bold feature wall.

 

Adding a light airy feel to cottage with low ceilings

light airy cottage 2

Dorset Dining Table / Hadley Stripe Natural Wallpaper / Harvey Ceiling Lantern 

 

Although low ceilings are common in cottage-style properties, they can make a room seem smaller than it is, but there are plenty of tricks you can try to lift the space. Playing with the proportions of a room can work wonders. Consider lowering the level of furnishings with the use of seating and tables that are closer to floor level and more stocky in shape. Using panelling on the lower half of walls and painted to match, can also help to create an illusion of height. Draw attention to the floor with a light painted surface to help to reflect light. Many light fittings can draw immediate attention to low ceilings, so avoid central pendant lights and try wall lights instead like the Sorrento Wall Light.

 

Such simple tips that have such a striking impact, for more of Lisa’s expert advice be sure to check out the latest issue of Your Home magazine or their blog here. Or why not flick back to Lisa’s previous top tips she penned for the Laura Ashley blog where she shares her fail-safe tips on how to make the most of a small living space here.

 

Spruce up your interior look or plan a new DIY project with the Laura Ashley end of season Summer sale here.

 

July 14th 2014
craftyheader

MONTHLY BLOGGER CRUSH: JULY

All keen DIY-ers will love our crafty July blogger of the month…

If there’s something we love at Laura Ashley, it’s definitely a little bit of make and do. From wedding and garden craft, to handmade beauty products and how to videos, we are thrilled to introduce our very crafty July blogger of the month: Jodie from A Handmade Cottage. All keen DIY-ers should be sure to bookmark this fabulous find….

 

craftyblogger6

 

How did ‘A Handmade Cottage’ come about?

 

When hubby and I moved into our little cottage we didn’t have much in the way of money, so I crafted us a cosy home by thrifty shopping and making things. I’ve always loved crafting, and last May I put it to good use because hubby and I were married, and we had a handmade wedding! We made everything ourselves, from the decorations, favours, invites, flowers, my jewellery and even my antique lace wedding dress was made from scratch ‑ all of which I’ve been sharing on the blog. I’ve been a singer songwriter all of my adult life, and on return from our honeymoon I felt my life needed a change, so I started a craft club in my town, became a craft columnist for my local Observer and started a craft and rustic lifestyle blog ‑ A Handmade Cottage. I wanted to show people that crafting cosy characterful homes (or weddings!) is a lot easier (and cheaper) than you might think.

 

craftyblogger5

 

cradftyblogger1

 

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

 

Starting this blog has made me enjoy my life a bit more. There’s so many things we’d all like to do but we often put on the back burner because there’s more pressing matters, like work / housework etc so writing a regular blog about craft and rustic living has actually encouraged me to do the things I love more often! I now make things regularly and spend more time in the garden. Sharing the things I made for our rustic handmade wedding has also been lovely, especially when I see it inspiring and helping others ‑ which is really what it’s all about. I love sharing step‑by‑step ‘how‑to’ projects, tips on up‑cycling furniture, tips on spotting thrifty finds and even natural beauty recipes.

 

craftyblogger3

 

craftyblogger4

 

What inspires you to write?

 

Nature. I spend a lot of time in the countryside with hubby and Ralphy (our Jack Russell) it fills me with good energy and has a definite impact on how I like to live, and the style in which I live. My dream house is ‘Moles’ house from Wind in the Willows … OK well I don’t want to live underground but I’d happily live in the woods in a hobbit house! Aside from nature, crafty things inspire me, anything to do with fabric, cross stitch and patchwork. Beautiful old things with a story to tell also inspire me. I love old victorian cottons and lace, and old antique furniture … not the ornate stuff you’d find ‘upstairs’ but more the simple furniture you’d find ‘downstairs.’ I recently bought an old milking stool from a market in London which is fine, except I had to carry it all the way home to Hertfordshire on packed public transport! The things we do for love ….

 

craftyblogger2

 

craftyblogger8

 

What are your top bookmarked blogs?

 

Dottie Angel ‑ Dottie leads a wonderfully crafty life, she has gorgeous doggies and I love her sense of style.

Mrs Carlie Lee ‑ Diary of a country house wife.  I love Carlie’s writing style, her tales of adventurous dog walks always make for a rich and entertaining read.

Poppy loves – Poppy is a good friend of mine and her lovely vibrant blog is the only thing that has me pining for my old city life.

 

What is your must‑have item from Laura Ashley?

 

Blankets. I love Laura Ashley blankets … and on more than one occasion hubby has bought me one for Christmas, which is always received with a * only dogs can hear * squeal of delight. I’ve also been looking longingly at the beautiful Torrington rug for quite some time now … it’s green, floral and just so pretty! and my birthday’s coming up …. : )

 

Don’t forget to bookmark A Handmade Cottage for your next DIY project! What would you like to see Jodie write about next?

July 10th 2014
katedesk

SPRUCE UP YOUR DESK WITH KATE

We invited blogger Kate to give us some tips into making a work space more inviting…

A new season always calls for a good clean, and there’s nothing like getting your desk space in order to get you back into the working mode. With this in mind and with a new move under her belt, we invited blogger Kate from Gh0stparties to show us how to spruce up our desks for summer…

 

Having a clutter-free workspace is something I’ve always dreamed of having; a crisp white desk, minimal details and pops of colour to brighten the room.

 

My desk area was quite boring at first, and it didn’t get my creativity flowing until I added in some small essentials to freshen up the area. I started by choosing a lamp that would slot in nicely, something that stood out without taking up loads of room – I went for the Laura Ashley Pineapple Lamp, a statement piece that worked with my light colour scheme and also channelled my love for the exotic fruit. The lamp looks very elegant, but also has a playful vibe – so it’s the perfect item to fill my workspace.

 

katedeskblog3

Pineapple Lamp | Linen Candle 

 

I added in a candle next to it, the Laura Ashley Fresh Linen and Jasmine candle, there’s just something so calming about having a candle lit whilst I work.

 

Sticking to the decluttered theme, I chose a chic Heart Trinket Tray to stash all my bits and bobs while I work. It holds anything from jewellery to paper clips and even SD cards so it’s a desk side must have for me.

 

katedeskblog2

Heart Embossed Trinket Tray | Linen Candle 

 

Another fresh yet minimal addition is the Globe, which serves more as an ornament than something I consult on a daily basis. It works with the subtle colour scheme but also adds character to my workspace; everyone who goes by my desk can’t help but point out their love for this cool addition.

 

katedeskblog4

Linen Candle | Small Globe | Milk Bottle Vase

 

Finally, to really finish off the area I added in bursts of colour; white, creams and taupes can make a desk area look washed out, so it’s important to bring in colours and textures where possible.

 

I chose a couple of roses held in this pretty Milk Bottle and then added in some bright stationery which is as useful as it is pretty.

 

With just a handful of perfect pieces I’ve really freshened up my workspace - it’s the ideal place to work and I have captured this bright but eye-catching theme.

 

katedeskblog

 

Thanks to Kate for her top tips! How do you de-clutter your desk and make it more inviting?

July 4th 2014
thomashero2

£5000 CONSERVATORY MAKE-OVER: THE WINNER

Take a peek at the winning £5,000 conservatory make-over…

Last February we launched a competition with Thomas Sanderson and Daro whereby a lucky entrant could win an amazing £5,000 conservatory make-over. We were overwhelmed with how many of you wanted to win; we received over 20,000 entries in total! The lucky winner was chosen at random and was Mr and Mrs Newton from West Sussex. The pair were absolutely delighted. Congratulations!

 

The happy couple very kindly let us take some photos of their newly decorated conservatory for you to swoon over. Take a peek at the finished results below…

 

thomasconsevatory

Daro Rattan furniture

 

thomasconsevatory4

 Thomas Sanderson Duette® Conservatory Blinds

 

Mr and Mrs Newton won £5,000 worth of vouchers to re-decorate their conservatory. £2,500 of them were used on Thomas Sanderson conservatory blinds from the exclusive Laura Ashley range, £2,000 on Daro Rattan furniture from the Laura Ashley range and £500 on Laura Ashley accessories for those finishing touches!

 

 

thomasconsevatory5

thomasconsevatory3

 

The makeover began with fitting the beautiful Thomas Sanderston conservatory window blinds. Mrs Newton chose the Cobblestone fabric from the Laura Ashley pleated collection, and decided to have the brand new Laura Ashley Duette® blinds in the roof in Cobblestone to match! The blinds are both beautiful and practical, with fabric technology that reduces heat intake in the summer whilst retaining the warmth in the winter to create a conservatory Mr and Mrs Newton could enjoy all year round!

 

These were then complemented with the stunning Arley furniture collection from Daro with the Millwood Camomile fabric, which gave the conservatory a beautiful palette of creams and yellows. The finishing touches to transform the conservatory were made with stylish Laura Ashley accessories….

 

thomasconsevatory7

 

thomasdetails

Laura Ashley Finishing Touches

 

thomasblinds

Pleated Conservatory Blinds

 

Mr and Mrs Newton quoted “We were delighted to win the Laura Ashley conservatory competition, the conservatory blinds have transformed the room, and the furniture and accessories are simply stunning”. They then went on to say “We have used our conservatory more in the last 2 months than we did in the previous 3 years”.

 

We were so pleased to hear Mr and Mrs Newton were so happy with their makeover and loved seeing the transformation!

 

Do you like their new conservatory? How would you redecorate yours? Fancy replicating this look for your own space? Step this way…

 

 

July 3rd 2014
printwithpast

THE PRINT WITH A PAST: SUMMER PALACE

We reveal the inspiration behind one of our most popular prints, Summer Palace…

Introducing the ever-popular Summer Palace! As one of the most loved prints at Laura Ashley, we thought it was about time to share with you a little bit about its past…

 

We first launched Summer Palace in 1988 as a home furnishing fabric, and to this day it has been recoloured approximately seven times! This outdoorsy print has been so popular that it has even inspired another range, Elveden, which has also proved increasingly popular.

 

In the home decoration catalogue where the summer palace print first appeared the inspiration behind it is made clear: “The advent of the summer sun would herald the annual retreat of the Chinese emperors to their summer palaces. There they would delight in the fresh, clean air, sweet-scented flowers and sonorous songbirds of the surrounding countryside.”

 

Perfect for the warmer months, this beautiful print is ideal for spring / summer, and has now made its way onto our wallpaper, mugs, cushions and even on to some of our fashion!

 

Archivist Holly explains…

 

“Summer Palace was inspired by a large Edwardian chintz curtain and chair cover that we’ve had in the archive since the 1990s, where it was purchased from Christie’s auction house. The pieces feature a Chinese style tree of life design and were decorated with nightingales and butterflies upon the branches. The ornate flowers are bright crimson, jade and emperor blue on a glazed fabric. Laura Ashley first launched Summer Palace in 1988 as a home furnishings fabric. In 2005, it was relaunched as a wallpaper and was a wonderful success, later inspiring our popular Elveden design too.”

 

Summer Palace Past…

 

originalsummerpalace

 

Original Edwardian chintz curtain and chair cover

 

printwithapast2

 

In house artwork alongside original piece

 

printwithapastsketch

 

In house artwork inspired by the piece

 

Summer Palace for Autumn / Winter…

 

Moving with the times, we have used our iconic archive print in our new Country Elegance collection, adding tones of cranberry to create a cosy atmosphere in any space. This collection is a classic example of British design, ideal for showing off one of our favourite prints.

 

summerpalacenew

Summer Palace Cranberry Wallpaper

 

Our picks of the print…

 

Fancy getting your hands on some Summer Palace goodies? Take a peek at our picks of the print….

 

summerpalacepicks

Cardigan / Makeup Bag / Duck Egg Cushion / Mug / Scarf / Canvas

 

What do you think of our Summer Palace print? How would you like to see it reworked? What other prints would you like to hear some history about?