How To Use Metal In Your Home’s Interior Design

How to use metal in your home interior design

Metal is highly versatile and can be adapted to suit any interior. There’s a wealth of forms available, including steel, brass, copper and aluminium, all of which bring a different look and style to a space. It’s wrong to assume that featuring metal means opting for shiny taps or stainless steel kitchen equipment. Nowadays, it’s easy to discover a range of home furniture and accessories in different shades and textures, whether that’s rose gold, brass, wrought iron, burnished or high-shine finishes.

Metal is easily the most hard-wearing of materials, with a lifespan stretching far into the future. Holding up against daily wear and tear better than wood or plastic, it is the ultimate choice for homeowners requiring a strong, durable material. It’s also superior in terms of hygiene and safety, being very easy to maintain and clean.

Many people don’t realise the positive impact that metal has on the environment, too. It is a fully recyclable material, and doesn’t lose its strength or performance throughout the process. It is a sustainable construction material, helping to save energy by promoting air flow and offering great insulation. Many of your existing metal items are likely to be made out of recycled content, and it’s thought that around 75% of the 1 billion tonnes of aluminium that’s ever been produced is still being used today. Who’d have thought metal would be so green?

Gone are the days of metal being limited to bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances. It has since progressed through the home, its sleek, modern characteristics smartening up living rooms, while its trendy opulence immediately revamps otherwise dated bedrooms. We sum up four different ways to incorporate this brilliant material into various spaces, and transform your home into a place that deserves a platinum award…

  1. Alloyed Accessories

Various home accessories offer the opportunity to inject sterling style without breaking the bank. Lamps and other lighting fixtures, mirrors and clocks can all be selected in metallic styles, bringing with them a polished power along with their practicality. Metal accessories have the ability to appear high-end even when their price tags are small, so be sure to check out discount home furnishing shops as well as tracking pieces down online.

Metal clock accessories

  1. Galvanized Garden

Metal also works well in outside areas, making for a mighty contrast between manmade modernity and the natural environment. Style up your garden with metallic pieces including lanterns, arches, obelisks and sculptures, all of which are available in traditional cast iron, as well as more unusual metals such as copper, aluminium and brass.

Metal garden accessories lantern

  1. White-Hot Window Dressings

Curtain poles are one of the most common metal accessories within the home. However, it’s not only the rails that have alloy potential. Choose between sleek silvers, coppery tones and glistening golds for your curtains or blinds, introducing metal to your space in a totally different way. Hunt out ore-inspired material for other soft furnishings, too, such as cushions and rugs. This method ensures your home’s metallic update remains soft, subtle and stylish! You can also utilise metal with your tieback techniques, such as shimmery tassels or slick steel holdbacks.

Metallic fabric soft furnishings

  1. Metallic Mantelpiece

One of the simplest ways to use metal in the home is to gather new ornaments for your shelving units, tables and mantelpieces. Photo frames, mini sculptures, plant pots and vases can all be discovered in various metal finishes, from brushed silvers, to high-shine golds, to the design world’s current favourite, copper! We’re big fans of mixing up metal accessories with other materials, such as ceramics, glass and marble, not forgetting the wonderful juxtaposition of wooden pieces with metal accents, and vice versa.

Mantelpiece cactus plant pots metal and glass

It’s extremely easy to revitalise your home with metallic twist, and we think everyone should give this powerful trend a go. Start by exploring our huge range of metal curtain poles and accessories, and discover the perfect metal curtain track for your home!

Coming Soon… Styling Your Windows

coming-soon

Poles Direct hasn’t brought you a new blog post for a while – forgive us! It’s just that we have been busy conceptualising our spectacular new innovation in the world of interior design blogging, which we are now so proud to introduce to you.

This innovation is our brand new series of articles, the Styling Your Windows series, which will be hosted across the blogs of the various websites that make up the IGD group, with the very first style edit taking place on our sister site, Roman Blinds Direct’s blog. This series will give you expert advice on choosing exactly the right window furnishing for every room in the home, from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Roman Blinds Direct’s Inspiration page will take this advice a step further. With tips from interior designers and stylists from some fantastic brands, these articles will run alongside the blog posts, and provide an insight into how to fashion a completely contemporary home, incorporating all the latest colours and trends.

Be sure to check the blog on Roman Blinds Direct on the 14th May for our first style edit; not that we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops on Twitter, PinterestInstagram and Facebook!

Get Crafty This Easter

easter

Poles Direct is showing you how to get creative this Easter by giving you, not one, but three different activities to do – one for each day of Easter! These fun and easy pastimes are ideal for both kids and adults alike, so just follow the simple steps on our infographics, which will guide you through every step of the way.

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How To Dress Your Bay Windows

Bay windows

Bay windows are traditionally found in Victorian properties, but their charm is also noted by architects of contemporary homes, who opt to include these beautiful installations in new builds. Prospective buyers are often drawn in by the style and size of big bay windows, taken by both their look and functionality. Projecting outwards from the main walls of the home, these windows enhance the space and welcome in plenty of natural light. They offer a sense of English heritage, providing homes with a tasteful, traditional style that can’t be matched by other forms of glazing.

But with their appeal comes a problem; how should they be dressed? There are many different types of bay window, including oriels, box bays, circle bays and multifaceted. These unique shapes can be tricky to style, requiring a bespoke covering that fits seamlessly and contributes to the whole look of the room.

Bay windows have more glass than regular windows, and though this provides many benefits, such as more sunlight and better views, it can also pose a problem. More glazing means more chance of heat escaping, as well as an open invite to nosy neighbours! So what’s the solution?

Roman Blinds

A sleek and simple choice is a set of Roman blinds, highlighting the window’s distinctive shape with style and elegance. Roman blinds provide texture and depth when raised and closed, so your bay window will look pleasant all day long. Roman blinds are available in a huge choice of colours and patterns, so you can select the perfect style for your space.

Curtains

Curtains offer more of a wow factor. A luxurious choice that sets off your bay windows, full length and extra wide curtains provide a dramatic dressing that further enhances the focal point. Plain, printed, neutral and colourful curtains are all readily available, and can be made to measure to fit your windows flawlessly. Add stylish tiebacks for extra glamour, framing your bay windows in style.

Layering

Layering blinds and curtains has many benefits. Not only is this method more energy efficient, controlling sunlight effectively and preventing heat from escaping, but it’s super stylish with a fresh-off-the-catwalk look. Combine a plain and simple roller

blind with a complementary patterned curtain, adding extra depth and tying in with the rest of the room’s styling.

Wooden Blinds

Wooden blinds are a high quality option with unbeatable light and air control. These stylish linear window dressings have the ability to tie in with just about any colour scheme, complementing your space with an understated, natural style. These blinds scream sophistication, and with the range of finishes and stains available, you can easily discover your ideal wooden blind. screams high quality and taste, different colours and finishes available

Shutters

For a touch of beachside chic and effortless style, choose shutters for your bay windows. These window dressings can be tailor made to the fit the space perfectly, with the added option of louvre size and tiers. White washed or pale cream shutters always work well, while a bold black or wooden design will add more interest and character.

If you decide that curtains are the best choice for your bay windows, you can find the perfect pole at Poles Direct. We have a huge selection of curtain poles for bay windows, available in styles including the 28mm Allure Classic Stainless Steel Effect and 28mm Allure Classic Antique Brass pole. If you’d like more information, you can get In touch with a member of our team.

Merry Christmas!

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We at Poles Direct would like to wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our lovely customers and readers.

Thank you for reading our blog posts and for placing countless orders with us throughout the year. We look forward to bringing you even more engaging and interesting blog posts in 2016 – not to mention supplying you with just as stylish and sturdy curtain poles!

Cut down on the energy bills

Poles Direct infographic

Poles Direct is here to help in more ways than just supplying the best quality bespoke curtain poles in the business.

Today, we are furnishing you with some simple and easy ways to keep your home warm, without having to resort to turn up the heating. Energy prices are ever on the rise, so whatever you can do to save some money in this area of the home, it’s worth a shot.

Incidentally, we mention purchasing some thermal curtains in the infographic above. Our sister site, Custom Curtains, is currently hosting a fabulous Winter Collection, including a gorgeous selection of stylish fabrics, any one of which can be made with a thermal lining. You are going to need some curtains for your curtain poles, after all!

Get the Christmas look

xmas infographic - Poles Direct

At Poles Direct, we are not just about supplying you with top quality, made to measure curtain poles and accessories, we also happen to have a great eye for style. It’s this eye, in fact, which helps us to make an informed decision when we are choosing, and helping you to choose, the most stylish curtain poles, finials, and everything else we sell on our website.

Christmas is just around the corner, and we are certainly getting in the spirit of things here in Grange Moor; the tree is up, the garish Christmas jumpers are being shamelessly flaunted and the festive tunes are being blasted from the radio.

We have compiled this fun little infographic above in the hope that it will inspire you to be as festive as we are within your home. Incidentally, if you would like some curtains like the ones we mention in point 2, why not head over to our sister site, Custom Curtains, who are currently boasting a fabulous Winter Collection?

Using curtain poles as a storage solution

In times of austerity people who rent or own their own home try to cut back on the non-essentials; repainting rooms, buying new furniture for the living room or splashing out on new carpets for a bedroom is not an option for many families up and down the country.

Money is tight, families are struggling to pay the bills, and paying for food and rent is becoming increasing difficult for parents both in and out of employment. With recent research suggesting that for the first time since 1918 more people are renting than buying it seems that stagnant wages, increasing rent rates and rising house prices are leaving people stuck in unsuitable housing.

Growing families can often struggle for space in rented accommodation and if they don’t have the money or permission to improve storage space, life can become tough.  For those of you looking for extra storage space without the price tag consider reducing the clutter in your bedrooms with our step by step guide on how to transform your curtains into a safe storage space for clothes, belts or hats. You don’t have to be an expert, or even know how to sew and drill – here are the steps to transform your room in minutes:

Step 1.

Find as many scarves as you can that you would like to convert into curtains. You don’t need to do anything to apart from hang them up so don’t worry about cutting anything. Alternatively, you can use loose material you no longer need if you don’t have scarves.

Scarf's hanging on a curtain pole photo IMG_2442_zpsce5ae9dd.jpg

Things hanging on a curtain pole photo IMG_2445_zps14e176dd.jpg

Step 2.

Once the scarves are hung up, make sure each one at the end is slightly longer. Then take the longer piece of each scarf and wrap it around the rest of them.

Tied scarf's hanging on a curtain pole photo Curtains_zpsaad6daf3.jpg

Step 3.

You have the freedom to experiment here, and you could try hanging fairy lights on the curtain pole to make it more of a feature and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Scarf's hanging on a curtain pole photo IMG_2457_zpsa3c78be6.jpg

Fairy lights hanging on a curtain pole photo IMG_2463_zpsb13bd456.jpg

Storage

Small rooms mean it can be difficult to find any storage space. Take clothes for example, long dresses which you need to hang for a night out can be tricky. Not everyone has the space for a walk-in wardrobe, although most would love one. So why not make your own using your curtain pole? All you have to do is hang your clothes with hangers. Not only does this save you money but you have more freedom over rearranging your room.

Clothes hanging on a curtain pole photo IMG_2427_zps9321bc92.jpg

 photo IMG_2521_zpsb6c1d70a.jpg

The issue most of us have is lack of space, as our lifestyles leave us with not enough room.

Another way a curtain pole can be used creatively is as a room divider – allowing you to partition areas of a room off. This allows you to allocate specific tasks or functions to each subdivision of the room which serves to increase a smaller room’s functionality.

Max Wong, who is a frugal writer and always has useful tips on recycling, expands upon this idea:

“If you live in a small space, you can hang a curtain rod from the ceiling and use drapery to create a room divider. For example, if you live in a one room apartment, you can create a private sleeping space around your bed with a curtain. Depending on the thickness of the curtain, this will also keep your sleeping area warmer during cold weather. ”

This works particularly well if you want to keep your personal items to yourself. Even if you don’t share a room, it is just as effective if you want a relaxing and creative space. Partitioning a room also allows you to keep your possesions contained within a certain area of the room. For example, if you have a dressing area curtained off from the room’s main area, the curtain encourages you to keep your clothes within this area and keep clutter to a minimum.

So why not have a go and tell us how you get on – and feel free to let us know any more tips!

Go minimalist!

Poles Direct - Go minimalist

If you believe it is time to de-clutter and go back to basics with your decor, chances are you probably need to. Minimalism is a timeless style, which has never gone out of fashion in the world of interior design. If you are serious about going minimalist, it means getting rid of all the junk you don’t need – or at the very least putting it out of sight – and replacing your essentials with simplistic styles and designs.  In the world of minimalism, less really is more, which is why we have compiled this little infographic above, to show you exactly what we mean.

At Poles Direct, we stock a vast range of chrome curtain poles, any of which would be ideal for a modernistic/minimalist look.

We have included a white curtain from our sister website, Custom Curtains, as there are no better colour for minimalism than whites and creams. However, don’t feel limited to just this colour; feel free to experiment – just keep things to a minimum!

What is a Ming Vase?

 

Along with rugs from Persia and watches from Switzerland, porcelain has a long established connection with China. So much so, porcelain is often simply referred to as China. And when we think of Chinese porcelain, we think of Ming vases. But what exactly is a Ming vase? Poles Direct take a look into this cultural icon.

Ming Vase

China has a long history with porcelain, well, to put it more accurately, they have the longest history with porcelain. Pieces of porcelain have been found that have been carbon dated to be around 20,000 years old. Though these were coarse, rough ware used for practical purposes, they started the ball rolling.

Things started to get interesting around the time of the Han dynasty*.

*Side note – dynasties in China are odd things. They signify a certain climate of politics and culture, as opposed to a specific set of rulers. Typically they rise to a peak, before crumbling due to corruption and other such things. Dynasties can range anywhere from a couple of decades to hundreds of years, and can be set over different areas of China. We won’t go too deep into it in his post, but it’s worth a read.

Though the distinction between proto-porcelain ware and true porcelain is a tough one to make, some experts put the emergence of true porcelain in the Han dynasty (202-220 AD). This is when the temperatures of the kilns started to get hotter than previously, thus producing finer porcelain.

Han Dynasty Vase

Han Vase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, we are here to learn about Ming Vases! So we’ll jump forward a thousand years or so, to 1368, the start of the Ming dynasty.

In the Ming dynasty new techniques, designs and shapes were experimented with. These new designs used more colour than before, and due to a period of exploration, were subject to a lot of foreign influence. There was also great technical advancements. During the Xuande period (142-1435) it was discovered that adding manganese to the cobalt colouring used, while slightly dulling its brilliance, dramatically decreased how much the colour ran. Thus giving much finer detail. Xuande period porcelain is now considered amongst some of the finest Ming porcelain available.

Ming Vase 1

Not only this, but enamelled decoration was perfected under the Chenghua Emporar, and led to highly ornamental pieces. These pieces, probably due to fashion, ended up being considered as valuable as pieces from the Song dynasty, which preceded these Ming pieces by around 300 to 600 years.

But why do we have this connotation with Ming China and particularly, Ming Vases.

Well, the answer is slightly less romantic than we first hoped, and comes from a few sources. Simply put, the Ming dynasty was the first to mass produce, and export its wares. Which meant that it was largely during the Ming dynasty that the western world learned of Chinese porcelain. It quickly became hugely fashionable and desirable and swept through most of Europe, and so the association began.

Ming BowlMing Bowl 2

Another reason is: there was essentially two types of porcelain made during the Ming Dynasty – Min Yao and Guan Yao. Min Yao roughly translates as, people’s ware, and was normal porcelain made by, and for the use of, the general population. As such, it was typically small, plain objects such as bowls and cups, and was not crafted to a very high standard. Guan Yao, on the other hand, translates as imperial ware. These are items that were specifically made for, or commissioned by, the Chinese Emperor and imperial family. As such it was crafted to an extremely high standard, and the pieces were often larger and more ornamental, such as vases. These are the pieces we typically picture in our heads, with the pure white bodies and crisp blue paint. And it’s these pieces that are so rare, and valuable.

Ming Vase Colourful