12th April 2017

Solid Oak vs Oak Veneer – What’s The Difference?


Oak and Oak Veneer Furniture

It’s commonly thought that solid oak furniture provides better quality than oak veneer, and that solid wood will provide a better look as well as extra durability.

However, the truth isn’t quite so clear.

In order to answer the question of which is better, we firstly have to define what we mean by the word “veneer”.

A veneer is a thin panel of wood about 5mm thick, although size varies from model to model. It can be applied to anything from MDF to solid wood but the base material doesn’t necessarily define the quality of the furniture.

Solid oak and oak veneer furniture - Lyon(Willis & Gambier Lyon - Oak and oak veneer furniture)

In short, some of the most expensive and high quality furniture you can buy might be made using veneers, while some of the cheapest can be made from 100% solid wood – in this case, it comes down to the quality of the wood itself.

Solid wood furniture varies in quality due to the way the wood is selected and assembled. The production process, source and quality of the wood all play a role in how durable and attractive the furniture is considered – so solid oak furniture can be higher quality than oak veneer, but oak veneer can provide better quality than solid oak furniture.

It works both ways.

(Hartley - Oak and oak veneer furniture)

The quality of veneer usually comes down to the size of veneer and the methods used to attach each panel to the base material. Thin veneer can splinter easily while poorly applied veneer can come off altogether, exposing the base material.

We offer a diverse collection of solid wood and veneered furniture, but all our ranges are selected for the high quality materials and processes used to produce them. While we sell both solid oak and oak veneer furniture, we’d recommend comparing each range to find the furniture that suits your home, budget and personality best.

17th March 2017

7 Easy Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Room


Now that spring is finally on its way, it’s time to start making the most of brighter days and sunnier afternoons.

One way to do so is to bring more light into your home. And to help, we’ve created a list of 7 easy solutions that will do just that.

1. Use perimeter lighting around the room

Overhead lighting can actually highlight how a room is naturally dark. Using perimeter lighting can help to reduce the effect, while adding a touch of style to your home. Multiple floor lamps with brightly coloured shades will help when battling away the darkness.

2. On reflection

It may sound obvious but natural light provides the best way to brighten up your abode. Placing a mirror on the opposite side of the room to where you have your windows will reflect light and make the space seem brighter.

3. Infuse your living space with diffused lighting

Areas of the room without overhead lights are best remedied with the use of diffused lighting. Lamps and lights pointed towards the ceiling will reflect off the walls and create a soft overhead glow.

4. Accentuate with accessories

Replacing dark scatters with solid-coloured, light cushions will enhance the natural light in your living room. Adding white accessories will also have the same effect – especially if what you already have has a darker tinge.

5. Consider the curtains

Similar to number 4, curtains can also be a big factor in how dark a room can appear. Dark, thick curtains will block out the light, while brighter, white curtains will allow light through and keep a room bright.

6. Make the most of your floor space

It’s not always easy to make a room seem brighter if you have dark carpet or flooring. However, implementing the right size rug – one with light colours – will really help to not only brighten up the room but also make the space seem much larger.

7. Add wooden furniture to the room

Wooden furniture works naturally well with white accessories and accents. Using natural materials is a great way to bring about a sense of change in any room within the home.

So there you have it – our 7 easy solutions for brightening up a dark room. Have any tips of your own? Let us know on Facebook and don’t forget to drop us a like below.

7th March 2017

5 Reasons it’s Important to Get a Great Night’s Sleep


Forget the old saying “you snooze, you lose,” it’s national bed month and we thought we’d give you our top 5 reasons for why it’s important to get a great night’s sleep.

From living longer to staying slim, getting some much-needed shuteye is proven to benefit both physical and mental health – so here are some of the ways in which getting more sleep can help your well-being…

1. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain

Not only are short-duration-sleepers 55% more likely to become obese (89% for children), but sleeping less can also increase the chance of diabetes and heart disease.

The effect of sleep on weight gain is thought to be mediated by many factors, such as hormone levels and the motivation to exercise, so a full forty winks should be made a priority in anyone’s day.

2. Good sleepers eat fewer calories

While not true for everyone, studies show that sleep deprivation can actually cause people to eat more food throughout the day.

This is caused by disruption in the hormones related to appetite. Levels of the appetite-supressing hormone leptin remain lower, while levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” climb much higher.

3. Sleep more – have fewer nightmares

Insufficient sleep could play a role in adults having more nightmares. While nightmares will cause you to lose sleep, not catching up on the sleep you’ve missed will only serve to exacerbate the situation – so it’s important to take a nap if you’ve had a restless night the night before.

4. “Unlearn” to be a better you

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is thought to help with “unlearning” superfluous memories. As an example, if a child falls off their bike 10 times while trying to learn but succeeds on the 11th try, the process of REM sleep will help the child to re-enact their successful attempt in the future, having “unlearned” how to fall off during the first 10 tries.

REM sleep is a stage of sleep that's characterised by rapid eye movement. This usually accounts for up to 20-25% of the total sleep time in adults, and it is during this time that the majority of our dreams occur. 

5. Wake up on the right side of the bed

We all know that overtiredness can make us cranky, but getting more sleep also helps to regulate our emotions. Sleep doesn’t promise a sunny disposition to life, however it does mean you’re less likely to snap at your boss, burst into tears and feel down in the dumps.

So there you have it: our top five reasons for getting a great night’s sleep.

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