a way of life...

Month: June 2020

Bench Press

In February last year I carried out some extensive research with regards to dining room seating. https://langdonhyde.com/benchmark/

I really favoured the idea of bench seating as, I felt, that a bench provided a more relaxed feel than a formal dining chair. They also create a more spacious feeling.

Despite my findings I decided to invest in six formal charcoal coloured velvet chairs from OKA. I also chose to buy six natural coloured linen covers so that I could change the look and feel of the room at will. On the whole this proved to be a wise decision.

This acquisition, however, did not quell my desire for a bench. I revisited the Angel and Boho website to review the many options that they had on offer. I finally bit the bullet and decided to buy a 120mm bench upholstered in an ebony coloured woven linen-look fabric.

My decision was made on the basis that a bench might still provide a more elegant dining solution in some circumstances. In the meantime I told myself that I could put it to good use either in the master bedroom or in my studio.

Since I took delivery of this lovely piece of furniture it has proved very useful. On the whole it provides a comfortable seat for me to pore over new scheme designs or alternatively as a comfy seat for when I am working at my sewing machine.

Today I decided for the first time to see how it would work in alternative locations.

The master bedroom was the first excursion. Placed at the end of the queen sized bed it provided a versatile seat to either aid dressing or for enjoying an early morning cuppa.

Satisfied that this was an option I took the bench downstairs to the dining room.

Fitting neatly beneath the table it gave a clearer route to the garden both visibly and physically. It also added an extra place setting.

All in all I would consider this a wise buy due to its versatility.

For the time being it is back in the studio providing a sociable and practical solution for myself and any visitors.

Stay Ahead Of The Curve

With their voluptuous form curved sofas are an up and coming trend. I have encountered several different styles at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour but have yet to see any on the High Street.

Photographed in the Julian Chichester showroom at DCCH the Parrot Sofa with its brass wrapped feet is a stunning example of this style.

Flicking through the pages of glossy magazines, such as House & Garden, curved sofas such as these are definitely catching on.

Generally upholstered in a luxurious velvet they are certainly statement pieces. Perfect for curling up on to watch a movie or cuddle up with a close companion.

I love the fact that they do not follow the lines of a conventional room and therefore have to take centre stage. Ideal for a home cinema, music room or a substantial anteroom.

One of my favourites is the Eternal Dreamer by Ochre. The height and depth of the seats can be ordered to bespoke dimensions to ensure a perfect fit.

A more conservative style might take the form of a curved wooden frame with a neatly upholstered seat like the D.R.D.P. for the Ceccotti Collezioni.

This elegant two seater in solid American walnut comes with an upholstered plywood seat and a silver finished sandblasted glass top tray. Simply stunning.

So if you want to stay ahead of the curve maybe explore the idea of a curvaceous silhouette.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Like so many of you, I have used the government enforced “lockdown” period to catch up with some long overdue chores. One of those on my list that didn’t manage until last weekend was cleaning the family’s silver.

Several years ago my step-grandmother passed away. The task of clearing her house fell on my parents. It was immense. They spun on the spot.

Fortunately, they had the good sense to enlist help and it wasn’t long before I helped bring order to the chaos. Black bin bags were filled and taken to the local amenity tip. A whole collection of shopping trolleys taken to the nearby charity shop.

Anything that appeared to have value, be it monetary or sentimental, was put on one side.

My grandparents, if nothing else, certainly enjoyed the finer things in life. Once retired they sold their home to an insurance company to finance a series of luxury cruises.

When they weren’t cruising they appeared to replicate the high-sea lifestyle in their 2 bed-semi. A drinks cabinet housed an assortment of alcoholic beverages and a whole host of highball Martini glasses.

Then there was the silver. Cake forks; salad servers; teaspoons; egg spoons; a teapot; tea-leaf strainer; milk jug; sugar bowl and tongs; and a sandwich platter. I’m not sure if they ever entertained royalty but they certainly had the where with all to do so!

So last Sunday I set about bathing the silverware in a Quickshine solution. The manufacturer claimed that “dirt and tarnish float away right before your eyes – and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty”.

That sounded like my sort of work.

The tea-set seemed an obvious place to start. I put the Quickshine sachet into a plastic bowl and added the individual pieces. I took care to ensure that they were connected to the sachet, either directly, or via each other.

I added sufficient boiling water to cover the pieces as instructed.

I left for it for 5 minutes as instructed and then rinsed with warm soapy water. A quick wipe dry and, like magic, the tea-set shone like new.

Without further ado we set-up a table in the sunshine and enjoyed a high tea to celebrate the fact that every cloud has a silver lining.


There is also a Quickshine product for jewellery that works in a similar fashion. I used it with really good results. I did find however, that for more tarnished items, it was necessary to use a silver polish to add the final shine. This was also true of the decorated silver cutlery after it had been bathed.

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