March 24th 2014
kat got cream hero


Blog Kat Got The Cream gives her Mother’s Day pointers…

We invited Kathryn Sharman from lifestyle blog ‘Kat got the Cream’ to pick out her favourite Mother’s Day gift ideas.

Mums are brilliant; new ones, older ones and especially grand ones! I’ve only really appreciated what my mum did for me now I’m one myself and it can often feel like a thankless job. So, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to do just that – say thank you to one of those special ladies in your life and treat her to something nice. But it’s not just about buying a token gift (though I’m sure she’d be touched). It’s about the thought behind it too. Show your mama some love with these Mother’s Day gift ideas. And (if all else fails) a card, a kiss and a cup of tea will also do the trick!

Laura Ashley Mothers day gifts2

1)     Soft Touch Pointelle Neck Cardigan

This pretty cardigan (also available in pink) would suit any age and taps into the current pastels trend nicely. Take her out for lunch somewhere nice so she can show it off.

2)     Southsea Stripe 3-tier Cake Stand 

A square cake-stand makes a nice change and the stripes are really fresh. Why not bake or buy some cakes to go with it and invite friends/siblings over for a surprise tea party?

3)     Silk Butterfly Print Large Square Scarf 

This will brighten up any outfit and look even better as a head scarf worn on an open-top bus ride around one of her favourite cities.

4)     Pink Enamel Photo Frame

Mums can never have too many photos. Dig out a funny family snap or even better get everyone together for a secret group portrait and present it to her in a nice new frame.

5)   Aviary Garden Small Make-up Bag 

This cute make-up bag is one for bird-lovers of all ages. Pop in a bottle of her favourite perfume or a new lipstick as an extra treat.

6)   Platinum Effect Rim Vase

Yes, she’s probably got a few vases already but this one is for the bunch of flowers you’re going to pledge to buy her every month. And if you don’t live near enough, you could set up a floral subscription service like this one from Bloom & Wild.

Kat got the Cream is a UK lifestyle blog written by Kathryn Sharman featuring fashion, design, vintage and home.

March 21st 2014

Set your Easter table with Homemaker magazine

Homemaker Magazine shares it’s ideas for a stylish Easter celebration

Set the scene this Easter with a touch of handmade. Tap into your crafty side and hop on the celebrations with our buffet of DIY decs. Create mini bird nests, print onto duck eggs and whip up a ten minute display to place on a windowsill or sideboard, all in one afternoon.


Duck eggs


You’ll need:

- White duck eggs

- Black ink-pad

- Mini alphabet stamps


Using black ink, carefully stamp individual letters onto the egg shell to create inspirational words. Set aside to dry and then display as a table centrepiece.



Bird Nests


You’ll need:

- Coconut hanging basket liner

- Small feathers in yellow, natural and white, Hobbycraft

- Natural twine and darning needle

- Shredded paper

- Small twigs from the garden

- Decorative eggs

- Small polystyrene eggs


1. Pull a length of coconut fibre from the liner and wind it into a nest shape. Thread the darning needle with a length of twine, then weave it in a circle fairly near to the base. Pull up the twine to secure the nest shape, then tie the two ends together.

2. Push small twigs into the coconut fibres; line the nest with an assortment of feathers in your colour scheme, shredded tissue paper and then a couple of eggs to finish. Use as a table centrepiece, or pop one on each plate to create a pretty place setting for each person.

Frame on a windowsill


Art display

You’ll need:

- Cream wooden frame

- Music tissue paper

- Turquoise paper

- Twig from the garden

- Small polystyrene eggs

- Coconut hanging basket liner

- Small feathers in yellow, natural and white

- Cream spray paint

- Spray adhesive

- Hot glue gun


1. Find a small twig from your garden, let it dry out, then spray the twig with cream paint – it may need a couple of coats. Whilst the twig is drying, using the spray adhesive, stick music tissue paper to turquoise paper. Cut to fit the back of the frame.

2. Dismantle the frame, removing the glass, and re-assemble with the music paper. Stick the sprayed twig into the inside edge of the frame using a hot glue gun; you may find you have to position and stick extra pieces of twig to create a pleasing shape. Finally, make a tiny nest from coconut fibre, place a few feathers into it along with an egg covered in music tissue paper.


Create beautiful lunch settings for your guests to really set the scene. First, we started with Laura Ashley’s Seaspray Fabric Placemats, then we personalised each napkin with pretty ribbons and a hand-stamped tag, and finally displayed delicate daffs in sweet milk bottles.



Want more? You can find the rest of this series (plus so much more!) in issue 17 of Homemaker, out today. If you like the sound of Homemaker magazine, don’t forget to subscribe! Why not treat yourself to three issues for only £6 by clicking here.

Browse the Laura Ashley range of Easter goodies here.

March 20th 2014
curtains hero


Go inside the factory and meet the conscientious people who make our curtains & blinds…

The attention to detail and craft that goes into each and every one of our bespoke made to order curtains and blinds is second to none. In this short film, meet the highly talented people that invest their time and talent into making items, which are entirely unique to our customer, in our factory in Wales…

Shop Made To Measure Curtains here
Shop Made To Measure Blinds here

March 18th 2014


Natasha from blog Candy Pop gives her bedroom a spring make-over…

Natasha Denness is a photographer, blogger and collector of old things based in Oxford. Her blog Candy Pop is the place where she shares photographs of her home, her adventures and some of the things she finds along the way. Her home, interior styling and photographs can be found in many publications ranging from Mollie Makes magazine to the Rough Guide to Digital Photography…

Spring is my favourite season – everything seems fresher and brighter, particularly after the winter months. I enjoy the longer days, the open windows, the sprouting of tiny snowdrops and the smell of cut grass.

This time of year always motivates me to have a little clear out. I am a bit of a hoarder, so I find it is invigorating to have a spring clean and give all my unused and unloved items to the local charity shops. Life would be pretty dull without a few new things to cheer up my home, and a little redesign need not be expensive or time consuming. So when the kind folk at Laura Ashley asked me if I would like to makeover a room using products from their current collection I couldn’t wait to get started!

Candy Pop 1

I decided my bedroom would be the perfect place to receive a Laura Ashley makeover. For me Laura Ashley embodies elegance and luxury, just what every girl needs in her bedroom!

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Josette bedlinen in duck egg / Josette Embroidered duck egg cushions

For my bed I chose the stunning Josette print bed linen in duck-egg blue, with its elaborate flowers and swags it reminds me of a French chateau or English stately home. It looks gorgeous teamed up with the matching embroidered cushions, perfect for those cosy nights in and lazy weekend mornings.

Candy Pop 4

The Josette design is also available in wallpaper and lots of pretty accessories, and so I selected the lavender scented hearts to hang from my vintage light fitting. I have to say they smell absolutely divine!

Candy Pop 5

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And finally I styled my dressing table with the ornately designed Beth photo frame and the fresh linen and jasmine scented candle. Both look lovely sat among my vintage treasures, and it was great to find a frame to display my Grandma and Grandad’s wedding photo.

Candy Pop 7

You can find Natasha blogging over on Candy Pop, pinning on Pinterest and uploading pretty snapshots of her adventures on Instagram.

March 17th 2014
design service hero


Mr & Mrs Davies Design Service experience…

As you may well know, Laura Ashley offers an Interior Design Service, helping you interpret your ideas and vision to create an inspirational and distinctive interior, finished to the highest quality standards. One of our regional designers Kay Cullen recently worked on a large project with clients Mr & Mrs Davies, based in the Brecon Beacons in Wales. We caught up with Mrs Davies about her delightful Design Service experience and how working collaboratively with Kay helped turn their once derelict cottages into a stunning string of holiday homes…

Interested in having a consultation of your own? For more information on our Design Service take a look HERE or call 0871 2231 555 to book an appointment / make an enquiry.

To enquire about staying at the Ty Mawr Collection (Mr & Mrs Davies’ luxury cottages) in the Brecon Beacons (Wales) call 01874 665 414 or visit their website here.

March 13th 2014

DIY GUIDE: Wallpapering

DIY gurus Alison and Jo reveal their guide to wallpapering with ease…

Changing the interiors in your house is one of the most satisfying ways of putting a personal stamp on your home. If you are planning an interiors refresh, wallpaper can certainly create a striking impact, especially if print and pattern are to play a part in your décor. DIY gurus Alison Winfield-Chislett and Jo Nehari talk us through their fuss free approach to wallpapering…



Laura Ashley range of wallpapers


For all DIY projects, the end results often depend on the amount of effort that goes into the preparation. What type of prep you carry out depends on the surface of your walls, let’s talk through some of the most common bases:


  • Painted plaster – Wash down the walls and use a scraper to get rid of any flaky paint, filling any cracks and holes with filler, before sealing the surface of the wall with paste.


  • Fresh plaster – Paint over with water-based paint and leave to dry. Allowing two weeks for lightweight plaster to dry, and up to six weeks for sand and cement to dry before papering.


  • Plaster board – If unpainted then paint with a sealer and apply lining paper.


  • Old wallpaper – Strip off any old wallpaper with a steam stripper, make sure to do it in sections of about a metre at a time so it doesn’t dry out. Be careful not to use too much steam or it will seep into the plaster permanently.


  • Skirting boards – Use decorators caulk to fill the gaps in between the wall and the skirting boards so you can achieve a neat finish.



Hydrangea Duck Egg Floral Wallpaper


How much wallpaper do you need?

Wallpaper roughly comes in rolls of 10 metres long, by 53cm wide. To start, measure the height of walls making sure to add on an additional 150mm to allow for trimming. With the total length calculated (taking note to subtract areas of window and doors) this should indicate the total area of wallpaper required. A standard roll covers approximately 5 square metres, so dividing your total wallpaper figure by five will specify how many rolls of wallpaper will be required. If you’re using printed wallpaper, add an additional 10% to the wallpaper total to allow for wastage in matching up patterns. Take a look at Laura Ashley’s handy wallpaper chart to help point you in the right direction.


Where to begin?

Choosing a window as your starting point, make sure to measure a 25mm trim to overhang the window; this excess will then be trimmed to reveal a neat finish. Then using an off-cut from the roll, use this as a measuring guide and mark the wallpaper widths all around the room using a spirit level to see where your wallpaper will line-up.


Aviary Garden Apple Green Wallpaper 


Cutting and Pasting

Firstly mix your paste in a bucket, ensuring that it’s not too sloppy. Then cut two lengths of wallpaper to get a feel for it, resist the temptation to cut all lengths until you are confident of your measurements. Next brush the paste on the wallpaper, working from the centre outwards. Let it sit for a few minutes so that it slightly absorbs the paste, this will allow the paper to settle tightly on the wall as it dries. Taking the pasted wallpaper to the wall, slide it into place using a clean brush. Make sure to leave an extra 3 inches spare at the top, this excess wallpaper will then be trimmed later to reveal a clean line.



- Be careful to wipe away any excess paste before it dries

- Don’t be tempted to take a full roll around a corner, it will only crease or create a void. Trim the paper to about 25mm wide after the corner and overlap.

- If you find air bubbles, make a small cut into the wallpaper to release the air and then smooth over with the brush.

- Did you know that you can order Laura Ashley wallpaper swatches to help you visualise your interiors? Find out how here.


If you’re looking to improve your DIY skills or in need of a place to start, Alison and Jo’s book ‘The Girl’s Guide to DIY‘ will fast become your new go-to guide for all things home improvement. Covering all the basics, from painting and decorating to using power-tools with ease, it’s jam-packed with top tips, techniques and trade secrets – our copy takes pride of place on our bookshelf!


Browse the Laura Ashley wallpaper range here.


If you have any wallpapering tips, then please be sure to leave them below in the comments box…

March 12th 2014
upholstery film


Go behind the scenes at our Upholstery Factory…

Our beautiful bespoke range of Laura Ashley upholstery is a true labour of love. Our upholstered furniture is made in a dedicated factory in Long Eaton (Britain) by a team of highly skilled craftsman and machinists, synonymous with the local area. Let us take you behind the scenes at our factory and see the time and craft which goes into each and every one of our Laura Ashley upholstered pieces…


Did you know that our made to order upholstered furniture comes in a choice of over 100 different fabrics in over 50 different shapes? Take a look HERE for more details.

March 10th 2014


We’ve teamed up with our friends at Abel & Co to offer one lucky follower a twitter treat…

Serving up an organic home grown treat, our friends at Abel & Cole have teamed up with us to offer one lucky twitter follower one of their famed veg boxes. Jam-packed full of seasonal vegetables, Abel & Cole work very closely with family farms to bring you the best of the crop. Delivering a weekly stash of hand-picked veg and fruit, it’s never been easier to get your five-a-day!


If you fancy getting your hands on this healthy bundle of seasonal veg, a copy of their must-have cookbook and our country-inspired Farmers Market panel, read on…

ABEL + COE hero

Filled to the brim with hearty veg, say hello to the Abel & Cole Medium Veg Box.


Simply pop over to our Twitter page and tweet:

Enter our @AbelandCole #GIVEAWAY! RT+Follow @LauraAshleyUK to #WIN a box of #organic VEGGIES+our farmers market panel

Get tweeting, fingers crossed and good luck!


Winners will be announced on the 17th March 2014, follow @LauraAshleyUK to find out if you’re a winner!

Terms and conditions apply: Prizes are not transferable and non negotiable. There is no cash alternative. Winners of prizes will be notified as soon as possible after the end date. The prize draw is open to all legal residents of the UK (mainland only). All entrants must be over the age of 18 at the date of entry. The eligibility of any entrant is at the sole discretion of Laura Ashley Limited. Employees, families or agents of Laura Ashley Limited and/or any of its associated companies are not eligible to enter the prize draw. An eligible entrant must be an individual and must enter via the Laura Ashley Twitter page @LauraAshleyUK

March 7th 2014


Rona from blog Flowerona instroduces new collection Flower Marquee…

Spring is starting to announce itself with drifts of snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils in our gardens, hedges and roadside verges…and what a pretty sight these blooms are! At Laura Ashley, to herald the start of this new season, they’ve launched a wonderful floral-inspired collection called Flower Marquee. And today I’m delighted to share with you my favourite picks from the range.

Made in the shape of an unfurling rose is this tealight candle holder below, which would make a great gift for friends and family, as would the hurricane style candle holder with its cut-out butterfly design. And to add a subtle splash of colour to your sofa is this beautiful cushion, embroidered with an intricate honeysuckle design.


Ceramic Flower Tealight Holder / Cream Butterfly Hurricane Candle Holder / Honeysuckle Cushion

I love this striking, fan shaped glass vase… ideal for setting off tall-stemmed flowers, like these dainty alstroemeria. And aren’t the wooden trays lovely too?


Clear Glass Fan VaseWooden Trays

If you’re having a spring clean, this set of storage boxes would be perfect for all your bits and bobs.  One is adorned with a sweet bird design called Aviary Garden and the other features modern stripes…


Set of 2 Flower Marquee Storage Boxes

I couldn’t resist sharing this breath-taking floral image with you.  It appears in the new Laura Ashley Spring/Summer 2014 catalogue. You could create a similar look in your own home. Simply bring some spring flowers inside from your garden, like narcissi, daffodils and muscari, or visit your local florist for a few stems. Perhaps arrange the vases and jam jars down the centre of your dining table though, rather than on your stairs!


Now that the weather is starting to get milder and the days longer, you may like to visit some gardens this weekend? For example, Kew Gardens and Batsford Arboretum for their spring bulb displays or Chiswick House & Gardens for their Camellia Festival. Don’t forget too that the RHS Flower Show Cardiff is celebrating its 10th Anniversary next month.


March 6th 2014
county show hero


Our new country farm inspired collection revealed…

The age old saying “home is where the heart is” springs to mind when we admire new home story County Show. This warm and relaxing collection is not only nostalgic but an ode to the everyday beauty around us, modernising seemingly simple items by mixing them up or recolouring them.

county show 1

Arts and crafts fanatics will appreciate County Show’s strong craft aesthetic. The imagery and products in the collection takes inspiration from handicrafts with patchwork bedlinen, stripes and painterly printed cushions and art work.

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We adore the country and farmyard inspired accessories; ‘Best In Show’ animal mugs, worktop saver and tea towels, as well as village fete inspired ceramics, vintage style glass trifle dish and stripe placemats.

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County show is a story that will work in the bedroom, living room and particularly the kitchen, injecting a relaxed and homely feel to your entire abode. A welcome friendly backdrop to spending time with your nearest and dearest. A humble, heart warming home story if ever we created one.

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How do you feel about our new County Show collection? How would you work it into your home? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below…