Thursday, 26 February 2009

What is Shabby Chic? What is Country Style?

Shabby Chic. Country Style........ What Do These Styles Mean
When we are describing our style we tend to use the terms shabby chic & country style. At Touches we have identified these styles as the look and feel that we want to emphasis within our ranges. The feminine design and style of the shabby chic look mixed with the homely, warm feel of the country style and the clean, classic ambiance of the french style are all reflected in the Touches style. The question is what do these interior terms actually mean?

I am going to try and explain what the terms mean in general and what they mean to us. I am also going to look at how we use then creatively within our collection of interiors and the style we are encompassing within the Touches look that we are constantly working on to provide you with a collective, strong sense of style and identity that you can recreate, copy and take inspiration from to use within your own home.
To begin with the ambiguous term Shabby Chic. For a bit of history, Shabby Chic is a style that started here in Great Britain. It is a style that evokes the type of decoration found in large country houses where there are worn and faded old chintz sofas and curtains, old paintwork and unassuming 'good' taste. The end result and concept of shabby chic is to achieve an elegant overall effect, as opposed to the sentimentally cute Pop-Victorian.

Thus Shabby Chic as we understand and use it at Touches is in essence a feminine design style that is reflecting of a casual and relaxed lifestyle. It is a form of interior design where items are chosen for signs of wear and tear and the distressed, rustic look. The look emphasis's on neutral colours and an often washed, unfinished look. Within Touches this is best reflected within our distressed, antiqued white and cream painted furniture within the bedroom and bathroom such as our dressing table which looks fantastic with the glamorous diamond round mirror or lovely shelving bedside. In the bathroom this style works brilliantly, a simple wall mounted cream toilet roll holder, cream towel rail with a scrolled shelf or fantastic cream heart hooks. The nicks, fissures and distressed nature of the pieces create a sense of aged, rustic, worn away quality that makes each piece individual.

To look at the term Country style, this type of interiors style design shuns the formal, drawing room style of classic design in favour of a comfortable, lived-in look of a farmhouse or country cottage. With the idea of family and friends popping in with muddy boots, the style inspires the concept that guests feel comfortable to sit in a country style living room or drop in for a cup of tea and homemade cake in a country style kitchen. This design style is casually elegant with a compliment of sturdy, practical furniture and warm rustic accessories. The emphasis is on useful rather than fanciful for furniture & accessories.

At Touches we have interpreted this style to include warm oak furniture, cream practical tea coffee sugar canisters rustic egg rack , brown metal napkin holder and strong sturdy wellie boot stands for the garden to name a few. We have used the style predominantly within our kitchen furniture, which is predominantly a strong practical oak range that includes tables and chairs, consoles, lamp tables and a storage drawer units. For accessories we mixed it with the clean lines of the floral look of English Country and linen textures and vintage lace of the French Style within ranges of linen cushions, cozy throws, tea cosies and for the eco touch plastic bag holders. Mixing the styles and materials creates a real post modern mix of exciting yet practical lighting and accessories.

The eclectic mix of these interior styles gives Touches it's strong sense of practical, clean, rustic warmth with a touch of femininity and sense of comfort and inviting living. Used practically around your home and garden we want to help you create an environment that you look forward to coming back to after a hard day. A space that invites fun and friendship. Popping on a lovely warm cream square lamp, lighting scattered tea lights around the house and snuggling up in a lovely heavy throw in front of a cosy fire with some lovely back ground music or your favourite soap. Perfect.

After all your home is your castle and what a better way to express your individual flair and style.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

A Lovely Easter Present
With Easter approaching fast the prospect of giving children a gift of an egg can seem mundane and repetitive. So why not get a bit creative and practical this year and buy them a gift that they can keep and use. Why not a lovely set of cupcake pyjamas for a little girl or maybe a set of soldier or tractor pyjamas for the boys? Or perhaps something warmer for a lovely Easter walk, a crochet cupcake bonnet or cozy pram coat hand knitted with soldiers standing to attention at the bottom? Another idea is to buy a shabby chic child's cushion for the bedroom or nursery? A lovely lady duck pink cushion with checked edging and lots of different fabrics and sewed into the design or for a boy what about a fun teddy bear cushion design? The idea of a small gift instead of an egg will be appreciated by the parents and enjoyed by the child long after Easter has ended. A lovely set of pyjamas or a cosy cupcake pink hot water bottle or sailor boys hot water bottle will be the perfect end to a happy Easter (it might even encourage the little mites to bed!) xxxxxxxxx

Friday, 20 February 2009

country knobs & handles

the easiest way to update a piece of furniture or change the look of a cabinet, door or cupboard to a country, shabby chic style, vintage, unique piece of furniture that looks lovely and unique within the home is to add some french inspired finishing touches starting with the handles and knobs. As we understand the beauty of detail and the effect it can have in transforming the look for the home we are making it a priority of ours to provide these hard to find, French inspired handles. We have cream painted handles with an embossed heart in the centre that look stunning on cupboards and drawers. There are also the cream heart and flower knobs that are country style, round flat knobs that have a classic embossed design and a cream clean finish. For real shabby chic glamour take a look at the diamond inspired knobs. These really do glisten and catch the attention of sparkly girls everywhere. So to really lift a piece of furniture, add a touch of shabby chic to your bathroom or simply change your kitchen units to create a real farmhouse, country look these handles and knobs are a real inspiration. keep coming back and having a look as we are constantly adding new lines......


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

be a perfect valentine

this one is for the men......

tired of the same old valentines gifts? a bunch of pretty flowers and a selection of the finest chocolates are no doubt always a winner, but if you really want to show that special someone in your life that you really do care how about creating a magical, relaxing evening for them... why not run them a bath? and I don't mean one surrounded by children's ducks and soggy towels. a really special bath involved dim scented candle light, such as Yankee Candles Relax or True Bliss candle, maybe a few hanging heart tea light holders from the window? a couple of crystal tea light holders glistening around the room? Or for a really special effect some floating candles in amongst the bubbles (don't forget the bubbles no good bath can miss those out). maybe pop some special signs of love at the front of the bath such as the words bathe or LOVE and some hanging tin hearts so that as they sink into the warm bubbles they really get a little hint of how much you care reminding them this really is a heart felt special bath. Add a glass of their favourite champagne and pop on some easy music and let them soak away all the troubles of the day. Then, and here's the clever part, whilst they are relaxing you can prepare a special room in the house for them to come out to. Its never nice to come out of a warm bath to the reality of everyday life. So a special room, be it the bedroom if your in the mood for some fun or the dining room if your planning a special meal can be transformed with some mood lighting, aromatherapy scented candles such as the Yankee Candle Sensual and some twinkling flower lights. Trust me, valentines day is about letting your loved one know that you appreciate and care for them so why not indulge them in a simple but special way............. xxx xxx

memo boards,note boards,pin boards,blackboards - make a note!

What about a lovely Country Pin Board?

Do you find that you collect pieces of paper, bits of info, business cards & tickets? When you come to use/need them you can't remember where you put them? Loose but important pieces of paper & appointment cards need there own stylish home that wont clutter up your home but enhance it with a shabby chic and country twist. A lovely country fabric memo board would look lovely in the hallway, above the phone for convenience. maybe a heart shaped cream note holder or a dark brown metal heart in the bedroom for not only notes but it also makes a great jewellery & scarf holder. A sturdy shabby chic bird damasks duck egg blue pin board in the office for heavy duty notes. A rustic heart shaped chalk board in the kitchen for those scribbled notes to let the kids know you will be late home or to remind your partner to hand the washing out is always a winner. Alternatively combine both a chalk and memo board with the fantastic country peg, chalk board that lets you write at the to and pop appointments, memos & notes underneath. We are constantly updating this area of products as we believe that they really are a fantastic thing for every home and now with so many styles to choose from they can be tailored for each room. So why not take a look, we think you will love them and they make a really good gift for a wedding, birthday.....

ps. this vintage inspired metal postcard magnet note holder is perfect just to tell a good friend you appreciate them......

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Doorstops - Lovely Country Doorstops

Country Style Doorstops - Look No Further

Hurray, at last one of the greatest inventions of all times is making a come back onto the retail market as the latest in fantastic products that we never knew we could live without. Yes,
doorstops are back! Weather you live in a country cottage, rustic farm, studio apartment, terrace, B&B, hotel, pub or even on a barge, everyone props doors open. To keep the cold out, or invite a cool breeze in, as a products doorstops are so versitile and easy to insert into your home that you can have two or three different doorstop designs dotted around the house without feeling guilty or excessive.

With so many designs to choose from, the rope doorstop, dog doorstop, cow doorstop, country heart doorstop & country linen doorstop to name a few. If you fancy having the same design doorstop for the home but want different fabric's so they fit in with the decor of the room then our country fabric doorstops come in a range of different country style fabric's including blue stripes, red stripes, beige linen, floral doorstop and all with a rustic country heart stitched onto the front and tied with rustic string - lovely.

And don't forget the kids room. Doorstops are great when they are playing in another room and you want to prop the door open safely. We have new and exciting russian dolls doorstops & wendy house doorstops just waiting to come into stock in the next few weeks. These really are beautiful and fun.

IDEA....... get a couple of the same or different design doortops and they can double up as unusual book ends when your not using them as doorstops - Inspirational!