Measuring for Curtains

How to measure for curtains.

If you are bringing your own measurements to us, we suggest the following.

You need to be sure of measuring carefully, take your time and re-measure to make sure.

It is always better to use a metal tape measure as they don’t fold or wrinkle, making measuring easier and more accurate.

Two sets of hands are always better than one.

Firstly, decide whether you want your curtains to hang from a track or pole, both of which should be positioned 15cm (6 inches) above and extend 15-20cm (6-8 inches) either side of the window.

 

Second, measure the total width of the track or pole, the pole only, not the finials. (No need to measure the window, unless it is a full-length window, wall to wall) Allow 2.5cm or (1inch) for the overlap. Don’t forget this as it is an additional measurement. This allows the curtains to overlap in the middle when closed.

To get a soft gathered look when your curtains are closed, use your pole or track measurements as a starting point and multiply it as follows (depending on your chosen curtain type)

 

  • Pencil pleat. Pole or Track width x 2. Pencil pleat curtains are tightly gathered at the header to give a close pleating and a more classic look.  Pencil pleat curtains can be fitted onto either a pole or track. Curtain gliders are required to hang them from a curtain track.
  • Eyelet. Pole or track width x 2. Eyelet curtains can only be used on a curtain pole. Eyelets headers have metal rings (eyelets) inserted at evenly spaced intervals across the top of the curtain to create a softer fold with larger pleats.
  • Tab Top. Pole or track width x 1.5. Tab top curtains can only be used with a pole. The curtain headers have tabs of fabric evenly distributed along the top of the curtain, through which you can feed a curtain pole.

*If you only use the pole or track measurements, the curtains will cover the width but be very flat across your window

 

Third. The length. Decide whether you want your curtains to the floor, just below the sill or to the sill.

  • Floor length would usually finish 1.5cm (1/2inch) from the floor. Some of the more contemporary styles are longer, so they drape on the floor.
  • Curtains below the sill usually finish 15cm (6inches) below the sill.
  • Sill length curtains usually finish 1.25cm (1/2inch) above the sill

 

 

 *If you have a radiator below your window? Your curtains should end 3cm (1 ½ ") above the radiator this allows the heat to circulate into the room rather than rising up behind your curtains.

Remember to measure at different points. Windows, walls and floors are not always level.

If header tape is used, remember this impacts on where your curtains hang to. Depending on which row you choose to hang the hooks on.

 

 

How to measure for Blinds.

Measuring your blinds correctly and doing it right first time is to say the least vitally important to keeping the stress levels down and expensive remakes at bay, so, keep reading and you’ll find out how to measure your blinds perfectly every time.

It is indeed a fact that we see many customers who make a tiny mistake which turns out to be a very costly project. Just a touch out and you could end up with an expensive remake or having to cut down the blind which spoils the look completely. Particularly when you have measured too high for a vertical or a shutter. A remake is a definite when this happens.

We will give you some guidelines on how to measure for your blinds. At the very least it gives you an idea of the cost.

  • Use a steel tape measure as this gives more stability when measuring. Make sure it is long enough to measure your window in one go. No half measures.
  • Most companies use metric measurements but we don’t mind if you still use imperial. We can convert it for you.
  • It is always best to use two pairs of hands, so get someone to help you. No stretching across that gap.
  • Measuring tightly from the inside of the wall will give us the window recess size.
  • Be aware of any obstructions like, dado rails, plug sockets, tiles or coving. Anything that might affect the blind, include these in a drawing with measurements.
  • Measure across the top, middle and bottom for the width and along the right, middle and left for the height.
  • Always measure again and double check the sizes are the same.
  • If your blind is to fitted outside the recess, we would recommend you add at least 200mm for the width and 100mm for the height.
  • You can add more depending on what sort of look you are trying to create.
  • Please check again for any obstructions which may affect your measurements.

Measuring Blinds

We also have our instore advisors who can come out and measure for you.

Installation Service

 

We offer a full installation service throughout the North of England and The Borders. Our fitters will expertly fit your curtain poles, tracks, pelmets and blinds (including conservatories) to ensure that your home is transformed in exactly the way that you dreamt. Where necessary we will also steam the curtains to ensure that they hang just perfectly!

 

 Use the enquiry form at the<here>

 

You can also see a You Tube video from Louvlite <here>

How to buy a bed or mattress.

Here at Dickinson’s we believe that a good night’s sleep is imperative to your wellbeing. Our aim is to provide you with, not a good, but a GREAT night’s sleep.  Your comfort should be a top priority in your mind, as you can spend up to 30% of your life in bed. A good restful sleep leaves you feeling energised, sharp and happy. To do this you need a comfortable bed and the correct mattress for you.

Research has shown that an uncomfortable bed can lose you up to an hour’s sleep every night. This is such a gradual process that most people don’t put 2 and 2 together. Linking their uncomfortable bed with a poor night’s sleep.  It may have been the perfect bed or mattress when you bought it. Beds don’t last forever, they do wear out.

We tend to forget our lifestyle changes also, this affects the life of your bed. Our weight goes up and down over time. We get married or have a partner. Our children sometimes sleeping in our beds or even the occasional jumping, which we would never recommend. Illness may affect the length of time spent in bed. We may lie in bed to watch TV or read. We are all different weights and sleep in different positions. Our beds do settle over time. Care and maintenance help elongate your beds lifespan. Never for ever though.

The mattress may look OK but it is probably not giving you the right comfort or support that you need.

A mattress or bed’s lifespan depends on a few things. Quality, Care and usage. Look for the following.

  • How long have you had your bed/Mattress?
  • Is it over seven years old?
  • Do you wake up stiff or aching? Pained?
  • Did you sleep better than this a year ago?
  • Have you slept better in another bed?
  • Is your mattress saggy or lumpy? Showing signs of age.

Even though there really is no such thing as a perfect bed for a particular condition. We can give you as much information as we can to help you make the right choice. The NBF can also supply you with a leaflet. After all there are literally thousands of beds out there.

It is an important decision so don’t rush into it. Ask questions, do your research. We will guide you as much as we possibly can.

Don’t be caught out by rogue traders who promise you the Moon and deliver only problems. Look for the NBF label. National Bed Federation of approved manufacturers and retailers.

Before you take the plunge, consider what it is that you want.

What is it you dislike about the bed you have at present? Is it too hard or too soft?

Look for the best value not necessarily the cheapest?  The better the bed is made, the better comfort and support it will give you.

What about size? As a rule of thumb, you would take the biggest bed that your room could comfortably take. This allows plenty of room to stretch out. Lying side by side you should be able to put your hands behind your head with elbows out, without touching. The bed should also be 10-15cms longer than the tallest person. (Many companies will also make extra length beds if required)

The height of the bed. Many modern beds are quite low. Some are higher and could have storage solutions.

It can be a false economy to only change the mattress.

The mattress you lie on in the shop could feel different on your old base.

We recommend that you do not use a new mattress with an old divan base

or an old bedstead, which incorporate a sprung-system (either metal springs

or sprung slats). An imperfect base, with a worn and tired sprung-system, will

provide a reduced level of support and could result in premature mattress wear

and invalidate the guarantee.

There is no substitute for lying on the bed. We have several stores where our specialist teams will be able to help guide you in your choice.

  • Lie on as many beds as possible.
  • Try them with your partner.
  • Take your coat off, after all you don’t sleep in it?
  • Don’t be embarrassed, you are in the right place and everyone is looking at beds.

Visit one of our stores, who have a wide range of bed makes and qualities.Don’t shop when you are tired, because everything will feel so very comfortable.

  • If the bed you like can be found in a hotel, book yourself in for a night. Extra research is a good investment.
  • Ask whether the mattress can be customised to you and your partner’s weights. Some manufacturers will offer different tensions, so you can have Firm and Medium sides.
  • Comfort means different things to different people. Some like to feel snuggled into the bed while others prefer to lie on top of the bed. Either way the bed should be supportive enough that when you lie on your side your spine is horizontal. The mattress should also mould to your body shape.
  • Most manufacturers will make Firm, Medium and soft tension mattresses. Remember there are no industry wide standards to compare firmness ratings from one manufacturer to the other.

Bases, divans and frames all affect the comfort of your mattress. The divan bases can be fully sprung, firm edged, platform top. This all affects the way your mattress feels.

    • A decorative alternative to divan bases, bed frames have a choice of static slats (for firm support) or sprung slats (more responsive, less firm) to support the mattress.

Too FirmToo Firm

The spine is curved upward and pressure is placed on the shoulders and hips, causing a sleep disturbed night

 

 

 

 Too Soft

Too Soft

The spine is curved downwards and has no support on the heaviest part of the body. Sleep disturbed by aches and pains.

 

Perfect Fit The Perfect Fit.

The spine is horizontal and there is no curve in the spine. No pressure on the knees, hips, shoulders or back. Restful night’s sleep. Happy, sharp and ready to take on the world.

 

When buying online you should only choose a reputable company like ourselves. We only supply beds from quality manufacturers. All are covered by the National Bed Federation.

Your bed, mattress and pillows all work in conjunction with one another to offer support, so it’s important to try out all elements together wherever possible Whatever type of bed you're buying, remember to try it with the same, or similar mattress, to the one it will eventually accompany. There’s different pillows you can choose also, including sprung, natural or synthetic filled, depending on your preferred comfort and feel.

Divan Bases

A divan base supports the mattress and can have a significant effect on your overall sleeping surface. If you’re buying a divan base, try it with your mattress type if possible. If replacing a mattress, we suggest also replacing your divan base to ensure you have maximum comfort and support.

A platform top divan base has an upholstered top with no springs, giving the mattress a very firm surface to rest on. The mattress springs can only compress, so as well as feeling firmer, the benefits of a pocket sprung mattress will be muted slightly. This is a perfect choice for someone who wants a bed to feel as firm as possible.

Sprung edge

A sprung edge divan base is a complete unit of shallow pocket springs on top of a foam layer, which is enclosed by a wooden box frame. This allows the springs in the mattress to open as well as compress, for a softer feel than a solid-top base, ideal for someone who wants a more reactive and durable bed.

The divan base you choose will affect how your mattress feels. If you’re buying a base, consider the type of mattress you wish to accompany it, and try them together if possible so you choose right first time.

Mattresses

Open Coil

The most common spring system for more affordable mattresses. Open spring mattresses are made up of a single length of wire coiled into connected springs – they’re ideal for guest bedrooms and growing children, giving reasonable support and providing value for money.

Pocket Sprung

A more luxurious mattress, with individual small springs in fabric pockets. Pocket spring mattresses are filled with individual springs housed in pockets, offering comfort and support that's ideal for any bedroom.

Memory foam mattresses moulds to the contours of your body and can help to minimise allergic symptoms, and mould to your contours to support your body while promoting good sleeping posture.

All beds are available in standard UK sizes, and are sized according to the mattress that they take. If you have an international-sized mattress or bed linen, check that they are compatible with your intended bed frame or divan. Check first with us if you have any questions, the sizes below are for guidance only, size may vary dependent on supplier.

Bed/Matress Size 

Mattress size (cm) 

Small singleWidth 75 × Length 190
SingleWidth 90 × Length 190
Small doubleWidth 120 × Length 190
Double Width 135 × Length 190
Kingsize Width 150 × Length 200
Super Kingsize Zipped & LinkedWidth 180 × Length 200 

Once you’ve chosen all your elements for the perfect night’s sleep, there’s only one thing left to do – accessorize. Consider what duvet you need, thinking about tog level, filling and seasonality. Think about the bed linen you will need, taking into consideration the overall colour scheme and style. Do you want to incorporate a pattern, a specific colour or a trim? Do you want a specific thread count for a more luxurious feel? For the perfect finishing touch, scatter cushions and bolsters in complementing fabrics in different textures give you that wow factor – think sparkles, sequins, velvets and wools.Lets dress to impress.

 

 

How to measure your floor

Dickinsons Furnishers have produced this guide to enable you to measure a room for your chosen floorcovering, so that if you wish you can gain an idea as to how much flooring you will need to buy. It should not be considered an installation guide, as our advice is that if you are going to invest in new flooring, the worst thing that you can do is to try and either do it yourself and ruin the flooring (unless you are an experienced fitter), or to try and cut corners by paying a "man with van" who will arrive at the same result but try an convince you that everything is fine.

At we only use reliable, top quality fitters who will ensure that your floor is laid professionally to the highest standard possible.

Estimating

Dickinsons  Furnishers will provide a free estimating service anywhere in the North East from The Borders down to Teesside. In Cumbria from South West Scotland to South Lakes. To ensure that we price your floor correctly we prefer to come to your home to discuss your requirements, that way we can give you the best advice on any floor preparation work that may need to be done. We then take responsibility for pricing and delivering all your flooring needs, including flooring, underlays and accessories.

 

To measure yourself 

You will need paper, a pen or pencil, metal tape measure, calculator and details of the width/sizes available in your chosen products. 

When measuring your rooms, you should ensure that you keep the flooring running in the same direction to maintain texture, pattern and colour consistency. 

If you change the direction then the pattern, texture and the pile of the carpet will reflect light differently. 

Then measure the length and width of the rectangular portion of the room, and multiply the two measurements together to obtain the area. To find the area of the semi-circular portions, measure the diameter of the circle. Divide this measurement in half, and then square the result.

The simplest (and most commonly used) area calculations are for squares and rectangles. To find the area of a rectangle multiply its height by its width. For a square, you only need to find the length of one of the sides (as each side is the same length) and then multiply this by itself to find the area.

Draw a simple diagram of the room you wish to measure

Don’t forget Bay windows, doors and recesses. That is the widest point and needs to be measured from there.

Take the measurements and write them down, rounding them up by approx. 10 cms (approx. 4inches) all around. This will ensure you have enough. Don’t make the mistake of not rounding it up. This could end up a costly mistake. To allow for seams and cutting in. We would advise adding 5%. Most rooms aren’t completely square, so you need to measure at least 2 separate points. Always use the longest measurement.

 

When you have the room width you need to check that it is less than the width of the carpet you are buying to avoid any joins, for instance if your room width is 4.4m wide and the carpet you are buying is available in 4m and 5m widths then you can buy the 5m wide product. If the carpet is only available 4m wide then you will need to buy twice the length of the room and use the second piece as a filler to give you your 4.4m width or if you are fitting another room, in the same carpet, you may have enough excess to use as a filler.

When measuring a hallway, stairs and a landing you will need to take additional measurements. You should start by measuring the length and width of the hallway as you can see from the plan to the right. You should stand with your back against the wall and the length of your hallway will become your length and the measurement across your hall will become your width.

You need to measure the stairs taking into account the tread and the riser. For ease and if these are all the same you can measure the bottom riser and tread and then multiply this by the quantity of steps. When you have finished this you then need to measure the landing. Once all of your measurements have been taken you can plan how much flooring you need to buy taking into account the width of carpet you wish to purchase. If the width of your hallway or landing is greater than the width of your chosen flooring, then you will need to include a join. You may be able to utilise excess carpet cut from another area. 

  • Seams should run towards the main light sources where possible.
  • Seams should always be kept to a minimum and avoided where possible.
  • Carpet should all run in the same direction.
  • Always begin measurements in the centre of doorways rather than the bottom of walls.
  • You should allow extra in your purchase for patterned goods such as Wilton, Graphics etc. to allow for pattern matching.
  • Colour is difficult to match between dye batches and different widths so we would recommend that you purchase all you require at the same time and specify all cuts come from the same dye batch.

Vinyl Guide

You will need to measure your room at the widest point taking into account any bay windows and door entrances as below. Once you have these measurements you need to add 10cm on all sides to allow for cutting in during your installation.

When you have the room width you need to check that it is less than the width of the Vinyl you are buying to avoid any joins, for instance if your room width is 4.4m wide and the Vinyl you are buying is available in 4m and 5m widths then you can buy the 5m wide product. If the Vinyl is only 4m wide then you will need to buy either the length of the room by the width twice and use the second piece as a filler to give you your 4.4m width or if you are fitting another room you may find that you have wastage from this room that can be utilized as the filler.

  • Seams should never fall perpendicular to doorways – not in main thoroughfares.
  • Seams should run toward the main light sources where possible.
  • Seams should always be kept to a minimum and avoided where possible.
  • Always begin measurements in the centre of doorways rather than the bottom of walls
  • You should allow extra in your purchase for patterned goods to allow for pattern matching. 

Wood & Laminate Guide

Measure your room at the widest point allowing for any bay windows and door entrances as below. Once you have these measurements you need to add 10% to allow for wastage.

To work out how many packs you will need, find your chosen product which will show how many square metres one pack will cover, you will then need to divide your room size (in square metres) by the quantity of square metres per pack and this will give you how many packs you need. Our helpful conversion chart below will help if you have used different units of measurement. 

Ceramics Guide

You will need to measure your room at the widest point allowing for any bay windows and door entrances as below. Once you have these measurements you need to add 10% to allow for wastage. To work out how many packs you will need, your chosen product will show how many square metres one pack will cover, you will then need to divide your room size (in square metres) by the quantity of square metres per pack and this will give you how many packs you need. Our helpful conversion chart below will help if you have used different units of measurement. 

Carpet Tiles Guide

You will need to measure your room at the widest point allowing for any bay windows and door entrances as below. Once you have these measurements you need to add 10% to allow for wastage.

To work out how many packs you need, your chosen product will show how many square metres one pack will cover, you will then need to divide your room size (in square metres) by the quantity of square metres per pack and this will give you how many packs you need. Our helpful conversion chart below will help if you have used different units of measurement.

Conversions.

1 yard = 0.9144m

1 foot = 0.3048m

1 inch = 0.0254m

1 cm  = 0.01m

1 mm = 0.001m

1 square yard = 0.83612736 square metres

1 square foot = 0.09290304 square metres

 

Remember flooring comes in different widths.

Carpet 4m and 5m

Vinyl 2m,3m and 4m

Looking after a Hard Wood Floor

Although hard flooring is very resilient, you should always wipe up spillages straight away. 

Some stains will need immediate treatment.

  •  Use white spirit to remove rubber, oil, shoe polish, soot, chocolate and grease
  •  Use 50/50 turpentine and water to remove crayon, lipstick and ink
  •  Harden chewing gum with ice in a polythene bag before scraping it off carefully
  •  Wash away blood or beetroot with cold water.
  •  Avoid stain-removing agents and rubbing at stains too hard, as both can damage the lacquer.

 

BE CAREFUL WITH FURNITURE

Never drag furniture or other objects across your wood floor – it can easily result in unsightly dents or scratches. There are a variety of felt protectors and castor cups that enable you to move furniture easily without marking your floor. Magi-glides are a good way of moving the furniture, nylon covering slides without marking your floor. Available from our stores

MOPPING

Wetness can damage a hardwood floor so always use a well-wrung mop when cleaning and remove excess liquid immediately. There are specially formulated cleaning kits that include an antistatic mop, cleaning fluid and trigger head spray bottle for easy application. They are available for both lacquered and oiled finishes, with refills available as necessary.

CLEAN UP SPILLS

Liquid is the enemy, so mop up any spilled drinks and never allow water or other liquids to sit for any length of time. The odd drop may not hurt, but excessive amounts of water will cause lasting damage.

SHOE RULES

Avoid wearing heavy shoes or work boots when stepping onto your natural wood floor. High heels, and stilettoes in particular, should be avoided. They exert a huge amount of pressure that easily dents or marks even the toughest of wood floors.

PET PATROL

Nothing’s more natural than a dog or cat curled up by the fire, asleep on your wood floor. But remember to keep your pet’s claws trimmed to prevent scratches and if there are any ‘accidents’ make sure they’re cleaned up fast.

LIGHT CLEANING

Regular sweeping with a soft bristled broom will get rid of dust and rogue bits of grit on the floor. You can also vacuum a natural wood floor – ideally with a soft brush attachment to minimise scratching. Rubber-wheeled cylinder vacuum cleaners are gentler on hard floors than upright cleaners. If you already have an upright cleaner, make sure you use it on the right setting to avoid damaging your floor, or use the attachment tools.

DOOR MATS

Get a good quality doormat to protect your floor against grit and water. Ask for advice on the best type for your floor.

Wood flooring is subject to colour change when exposed to normal sunlight, so it’s a good idea to move or rearrange carpets, rugs and furniture periodically, in order to avoid distinct lines between the exposed and unexposed areas of the floor.

Decorating hints and tips

In older houses, stripping paint carries the inherent danger of stripping the base plaster off too, so wallpaper can be a wiser option which covers a multitude of imperfections - although, if your walls are in very bad condition, it's worth getting them replastered.

Wallpapering hints and tips 

  1. To get around the expense factor of wallpaper, compromise by papering just one wall (it's very popular on the pages of interior magazines). Choose a wall with a focal point (the fireplace or a bed-head, say), then wallpaper it and paint the rest of the room.
  2. Alternatively, keep it cheap by putting up panels of wallpaper instead of kitting out a whole room. Use a board made from MDF, cover it with wallpaper and attach it to the wall.
  3. If you're the type who changes their mind often, or if you are decorating a child's room, just put up lining paper - then you can paint it and change the colour relatively easily.
  4. Prolong the life of your wallpaper, and protect it from general wear and tear, by varnishing it. You can buy a water-based Decorators Varnish in different finishes: dead flat, satin and gloss, Professional and specialist decorators use this to give an "old" look to wallpaper as well as making it more hardwearing and stain-resistant. It is very easy to apply as it is very thin, but it must be brushed out thoroughly, otherwise it could dry with a white haze. Two coats are recommended, with the first coat diluted with 10% water.
  5. If your wall is in good shape, wallpaper will stay on it better. Prepare the wall by stripping off any old wallpaper  and washing it down with sugar soap.

... and how to strip off the old stuff

If the former owners of your house had a penchant for 70s wallpaper and you'd prefer the remnants weren't all over your walls, read on. You'll need a bucket filled with water, a wallpaper steam stripper, a sponge, protective gloves, safety goggles, a stepladder and a stripping knife.

 Change into old clothes and trainers, clear the room, and put any furniture that needs to stay put in the middle of the room, covering it with a dustsheet.

 A steam stripper is advisable for stripping large areas of wall, given that it's got a bit more power than the second option, a large wet sponge and your arm muscles. But for smaller, more fiddly areas and hard-to-reach parts of the ceiling, use a stripping knife to mark off an area, get the paper soaking wet, then slide the knife under the paper at the seam or edge you've created.

Warning: When working round light switches and electrical fittings, turn the power off. And be careful when using the steam stripper: always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

WALLPAPERING

Ideally begin at the corner and hang your first length of paper on a wall with no doors or windows. That way, you can hang a full length from the ceiling to the top of the skirting-board. 

Choose a wall to the right of the window if you're right-handed or to the left if you're left-handed. Also, it's best to work away from the window, so the paper edges don't cast a shadow if they overlap slightly. And try to avoid having to hang narrow strips against a window or door. If necessary, cut the first length in half vertically along the edge that'll overlap the corner. 

To position your first length of wallpaper, use a plumb line or spirit level to draw a line from ceiling to skirting board, 480mm out from the corner. This allows a 50mm overlap onto the window wall.

Be particularly careful with the first length - it's important to get that one straight.

PAINTING

There's no better, more affordable way to freshen up rooms than with a new coat of paint. Plus, painting isn't terribly difficult and doesn't require specialized training. Any able-bodied homeowner can paint rooms—all you need is a little patience, practice, and some good helpful advice.

A successful paint job starts with properly preparing the surface you're going to paint. That means you must scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, crack, dent, and surface imperfection.

 

What do you wash walls with before you paint?

This isn't the fun part of painting a room, but it is the most important part.

Dust and clean the walls. For most surfaces, use a towel or a vacuum cleaner. When painting a bathroom or kitchen, wash the walls with a solution of approximately three teaspoons of laundry detergent to one gallon of water. Scrape any cracked or flaking paint with a paint scraper.

What do I do with cracks?

No paint, regardless of its cost, color, thickness, or manufacturer's claims, will hide a pockmarked or cracked surface.

Fill any holes and cracks with suitable filler, possibly using flexible filler for cracks, sand and prime the filled areas - priming will seal the filler and keep it in place.

How do you fix peeling paint?

Use a wire brush or paint scraper to scrape off all loose paint. Make any necessary repairs. Once the peeling paint is removed, you might be left with cracks or holes; these should be fixed before you repaint. Apply a patching compound with a putty knife; smooth and let dry according to the manufacturer's directions.

 

How to light your home

Lighting is something that should never be taken for granted when designing that perfect space.

It can enhance, warm and cool any room.

Lighting can be romantic, very atmospheric or simply a joy to work in.

There are essentially three types of lighting which, when combined correctly, will create your optimum lighting solutions 

General Lighting 

This is the type of lighting that simply makes the room visible.

Task Lighting

 The directed lighting is to facilitate close range work, the likes of food preparation, reading or hobby crafts.

Accent or Mood Lighting

This  lighting adds drama, delivering light to all the  focal points. 

It can be used to quickly change the mood and atmosphere in a room.

ENTRANCES AND HALLWAYS

Entrances need to be warm and inviting as well as being sufficiently illuminated to facilitate easy transit from one room to another.

To create a real wow factor, a statement pendant is a must. 

For a traditional look try a lantern light or, if opulence is your thing, go for fabulous crystal or select from the stunning bespoke silk range.

If you have room for a console table, table lamps are another excellent way of adding layers of light – a table lamp placed either end of the console table adds pleasing symmetry to a scheme and will create soft pools of light to display your chosen ornaments.

Enhance your display with a mirror behind your lamps to bounce warmth and light around the hall – this has the added benefit of making rooms appear larger.

If space is limited, wall lights and recessed downlights are a good choice. It is always nice to have a feature ceiling light as opportunities to provide decorative embellishment elsewhere within the hall are limited.

A flush or semi-flush pendant can add style without causing obstruction where ceiling heights are low.

STAIRCASES

There is real opportunity to create drama here, particularly if you have a double height ceiling.

Large statement pendants that cascade through the air provide the necessary wow factor in a modern setting. 

Traditional chandeliers on extended chains, or large scale pendants are also fantastic choices.

STYLE TIP - In stairwells, light fittings will be seen from above as well as below - make sure you are happy with your light choice from all angles!

In practical terms, staircases need to be well lit and light should be directed to define the edges of steps. A bright overhead pendant positioned over the stairs will create a shadow that adds definition to the stair risers aiding safe transit.

 

LIVING SPACES

A subtle blend of all the key elements of lighting will enable you to derive the perfect lighting main living space within your home. 

Firstly, consideration should be given to the aspect of the room, if a room is north facing it will probably appear quite dark, particularly so during winter months and lighting should be chosen with this in mind. In addition, lighting should be easy to control, flexible and capable of producing a warm cosy feeling to aid relaxation.

A combination of general overhead or wall lighting, as well as a balanced mix of table, floor and task lamps should give the desired effect.

For rooms of up to 5 x 4m, a three arm pendant should give sufficient overhead illumination – flush or semi flush fittings can be used where ceiling heights are limited.

For larger rooms with high ceilings, a larger scale fitting is a must; not only will it provide the required amount of light, but also visual drama and impact to your room.

Floor standing uplighters are a great addition to your room scheme as they can give soft illumination to dark corners of a room. They are particularly useful when they incorporate a flexible task light, thus allowing an individual a focused light for reading or hobbies without disturbing other people within the room.

STYLE TIP - An oversized statement lamp is the perfect punctuation to a well composed room

DINING ROOM

Dining and entertaining at home has become increasingly popular in recent years and a great deal of thought should be given to this room in terms of lighting…

Firstly, as you and your guests walk into the dining area, a carefully selected ceiling fitment emitting a soft pool of light over an exquisitely set table, will create a high sense of design and style and set the scene beautifully for an enjoyable meal. In practical terms, care should be taken to ensure that the light is positioned centrally, so that none of the guests feel that they are in the ‘spotlight’ and also that the light is bright enough to illuminate the entire table.

A further consideration should be given to the hanging height of the pendant, we recommend that the light should be positioned approximately 60cm above the height of the table to ensure that all guests have a clear vision of each other and that they are not staring directly at a lamp.

STYLE TIP - linear shaped pendants and cluster pendants are a great modern choice.

As the meal ends and conversation comes to the fore, a different type of light may be beneficial. Uplighters, table lamps and accent lighting around the room’s perimeter can be utilised to create a relaxed, cosy feel.

 Dimmer switches are a great idea in dining rooms; not only do they facilitate the lowering of light to create atmosphere for entertaining, they can also be turned up to maximum to illuminate the room for preparation and after party cleaning!

STYLE TIP - if you do not have the facility to hang a pendant over your dining table, a floor lamp with a long arching arm will create a stylish solution

Take care to ensure that all cables are safely managed

 

BEDROOM

The bedroom is another room requiring thought and a well-considered blend of all lighting options should provide the best results.

To relax and unwind, wall lights and table lamps are a great choice as their soft pools of light create a relaxing atmosphere. 

A bedside table lamp that is switched and controlled by ‘touch’ is fantastic; illumination can be raised for reading and then dimmed or turned off without having to struggle to find the switch.

A bright pendant is best when a good light source is required for example when getting dressed or cleaning the room.

STYLE TIP - for a ‘boutique style bedroom’ choose large ‘statement piece’ lighting; pare down small ornaments and go big and bold for a designer look.

For children’s bedrooms, consideration should be given to the age of the child. For young children a bright central ceiling light will provide a good solution, particularly if fitted with a dimmer switch so that light levels can be turned down low at night.

As children get older, a reading lamp is a great addition as are novelty lighting solutions – a remote controlled, colour-changing light is bound to win approval from teenagers.

No matter what your lighting choice, safety is paramount in children’s bedrooms, make sure that cables are properly managed and that the lighting you choose is age appropriate.

KITCHEN

The modern kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where families and friends gather and socialise. It is also a highly functional space and lighting solutions should reflect its dual roles.

First and foremost, good ceiling light is important. 

A central light will suffice but a better solution would be to consider multiple ceiling lights. A series of multi-head spot lights will allow light to be directed to key work stations such as the sink, oven, fridge and food preparation areas.

Supplementary lighting can be added to the underneath of wall mounted cupboards, cooker hoods or at plinth level.

Many newly designed kitchens often have either a peninsular or freestanding island. Here, lighting can be exploited to create a fantastic focal point for the

room – consider a series of pendants hung in a linear format - remember the placement of objects in odd numbers, rather than even, often gives a more pleasing result so consider three or even five lights, if space allows.

In kitchens where there is room for a seating area, table and floor lights can be used to zone the space and create a cosy and relaxing feel. An overhead light on a dimmer switch can also be used here as well as over a table in the dining area.

OUTDOOR LIGHTING

Outside lighting is IP-rated: the higher the rating, the more resistant the fitting is to the elements. All external lights should be waterproof, durable and compliant with safety regulations related to the installations.

Making sure your new furniture will fit.

Making sure your new furniture will fit.

Buying new furniture can be a daunting decision. The furniture you decide on today will be part of your life for many years to come, so you need to get it right.

You need to make sure that the furniture you buy is the correct fit for your home, this means checking the following

  • The size and style is perfect for your room
  • The furniture can fit(s) through your doors, stairs or hallways, around corners, clearing all obstacles.

Getting the proportions right

Firstly in making sure that the furniture will not look too big/small and out of place for your room.

Measure the surface area of the space where you want to put the furniture. You can then make a template out of newspaper/old wallpaper making a note of the dimensions of the available space and the ceiling height. Check the width, height, and depth of the furniture you would like to order and include this in a floor plan and against the ceiling height.

Does it fit with ease?

Mark out the area you want the furniture to fit in. Using masking tape leaving enough space around the outside to walk around.

With the exception of side tables and bedside tables, a general rule of thumb is to allow at approximately 50cm of space between pieces of furniture. Our Interior advisors also suggest leaving a distance of around 20-30cm between a tall piece of furniture and the ceiling to create a feeling of space in the room. So, remember to take this into account when you are working out if the furniture will fit through doorways, halls and up staircases. 

Will it fit into my house?

Some of Dickinson’s suppliers can offer split sofa options on some of the larger sofas. It is certainly worth thinking about.

So, remember to take this into account when you are working out if the furniture will fit through doorways, halls and up staircases. To make sure that the furniture you want to order won’t get stuck in any doorways or hall bends.

Check that all widths and diagonal depths are LESS than the entry dimensions. 

You can also check the diagonal depth on upholstery by placing a straight tape measure from the back of the frame to the front of the arm.

If it was easy getting existing furniture in, then it stands to reason that the new furniture being the same size, should not pose a problem. 

It’s always useful to compare measurements of the furniture you already have, with the new pieces you want to put in its place

When ordering any display units, measure the wall you wish to place it against. Measure this from floor to ceiling to make sure that the unit will fit with a little space to spare. The diagonal height of the unit should be LESS than the entrance. 

It is imperative to be sure that the piece of furniture you want to buy, will fit into your house. 

Measure the width and height of all doorways, hallways, passageway bends, porches, and stairways, including banisters and turns, and don’t forget about obstacles such as radiators, handles, wall and ceiling lights.

If you're buying a sofa bed or recliner, check that there's sufficient room for it when it's both closed and extended (also any drawers) as these measurements will of course differ dramatically.

WHAT IF!

If all your nightmares come true and your new furniture won’t fit! Don’t despair. We can help you to re choose from our extensive range and numerous suppliers. Our staff would love to help you and with their expertise we are sure you be able to find the right alternative for you. 

If you still want that particular piece of furniture that won’t fit into the entry points, your heart is set on it, then we won’t give up. We could advise you of a a professional upholsterer who could take the arms off or split a fixed frame sofa on a chargeable basis. 

We could always suggest you would be able to install your furniture another way, however to do this you would have to contact a local tradesman to undertake the necessary work, which could involve removing fence panels or windows.

For expert advice from people who deal with measurements every day, please visit or call our Stores. Let our Furniture Specialists put your mind at ease.

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