Our expert Celia Rufey answers your interior design questions and decorating dilemmas
Celia Rufey answers your queries.
WHERE CAN I BUY COLOURED LININGS?
I’m making a bedcover to co-ordinate with curtains but can’t find cotton lining fabric in a matching shade. Is there a company that sells coloured linings in furnishing widths? DW, Newbury, Berkshire.
Sisters Catherine Merrick and Rebecca Day, who share a love of curtain-making, set up Merrick & Day, 01652 648814, merrick-day.com, which supplies its own range of 100 per cent cotton linings in more than 60 colours, 137cm wide, £5.04m. The duo are known in the decorating world for their soft-furnishings workroom as well as their series of acclaimed manuals – a new will be out soon. Their catalogue of curtain-making and softfurnishing essentials began as a way of satisfying their own sewing needs and then for the students joining their courses who required products in small quantities. Everything in their vast collection, from poles, portiere rods and lead weights to a full repertoire of linings, is of the quality they use in their workroom, and is delivered from their own warehouse.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFICIENT WAY TO HANG COATS?
With a household of two adults and two children, I need to reorganise how we hang all of our coats in the hall. Do you have any solutions? AM, Kilmarnock.
Considering most people own more than one coat, the majority of rails aren’t long enough for the average family, and the hooks are often too close together. Base your calculation on allocating each person a minimum of three hooks, and factor in more if you often have visitors. The shape of the hooks is important, too; those with a good upward curve and projection will hold clothing better than pegs. If you have space to hang racks in tiers, one for adults above one for the children, try two Nordal six-hook racks, L110xw9cm, £36 from Bell & Blue, 01455 558677, bellandblue.com. A better idea would be to have the required number of hooks fixed not less than 25cm apart on a homemade, or joinery made, painted or stained board. Broughtons, 0116 234 1888, broughtons.com, has a wide range of hooks, with Holloways of Ludlow, 01959 565818, hollowaysofludlow.com, and Relics of Witney, 01993 7046111, relicsofwitney.co.uk, also offering a variety of styles.
“Try fitting a wool broadloom carpet with subtle stripes to let the room’s colour theme work up from the floor.” HEATHER TAYLOR, floor-coverings buyer, John Lewis, 0345 604 9049, johnlewis.com.
WHERE CAN I FIND A MODERN WOODEN BATH MAT?
Are there any companies that supply contemporary wooden bath mats that will blend in with the wood accessories in our bath and shower room? PY, London SW18.
As teak is naturally water-resistant, a bath mat made from this wood is likely to be more robust and keep its looks for longer. Balineum, 020 7431 9364, balineum.co.uk, offers a selection including the Atlantica teak square shower mat with rubber feet, 50cm sq, £88; the Teak mosaic bath mat, 100x55cm, £85; and the Sablon white-washed teak bath mat, 100x55cm, £96. Another attractive option made from oblongs of solid teak, but in a dark stain finish, is the Mesh bath mat (below), 63x49cm, which costs £30 from Habitat, 0344 499 4686, habitat.co.uk.
WHICH COMPANY MAKES THIS GLASS?
I’m trying to track down slumped painted glass splashbacks that I once saw in a kitchen in H&G. Can you help? RT, Benenden, kent.
This textured glass comes under a variety of names, but Richard Cox at Glassology, 01235 850518, glassology.com, calls it kiln forming. He describes the process as heating a flat glass panel in a kiln to the point just before it becomes molten, when a texture or design positioned beneath will become embossed on to its surface. Glassology made the splashback in this kitchen (left) by Mowlem, 020 7610 6626,
mowlemandco.com. You can also try Miguel Hurtig of Nero Designs, 020 7737 8021,
nerodesigns.co.uk; Wow Glass, 01708 555133, wowglass.co.uk; and Deco Glaze, 020 8569 8585, decoglaze.co.uk, where the system is described as handmade moulded and comes in six designs. Not all slumped glass can be toughened after this procedure, so check with the manufacturer. If it can’t be toughened, don’t fit it behind a hob as it will be liable to fracture.
DO SOFA BEDS STAND UP TO REGULAR USE?
I stay four nights a week in my studio flat in London and need a sofa bed with a high-grade mattress. How can I assess quality? GA, Salisbury.
Many sofa beds are designed for occasional guests and wouldn’t stand up to regular use. But companies that make mattresses, such as Gainsborough, 01225 779137,
gainsborough-beds.co.uk, are likely to produce better-quality sofa beds. Most of its 12 models have sprung slatted bases and come in three mattress grades, including 10cm-deep pocket sprung, with a choice of sofa arms, feet and fabric: the 2.5-seater Metro is around £1,200. Willow & Hall, 0845 468 0577, willowandhall.co.uk, divides its range into occasional and everyday use, with the two-seater Chirton (above), which is sprung slatted with a pocket-sprung 14cm-deep mattress, at £1,189. The four options at The Sofa & Chair Company, 020 8752 8935, thesofaandchair.co.uk, are 10cm deep and pocket sprung: the 2.5-seater Spencer costs £2,780 plus 13m of fabric. John Lewis, 0345 604 9049, johnlewis.com, also stocks a good selection.