Winter Coats from James Meade

Winter Coats from James Meade
Autumn is here, the temperatures are already beginning to drop, and an especially cool winter is predicted for this year. What that means is that it will likely start to feel like winter as early as late October or early November.

After such a rainy season, you’ll want to be prepared for what lies ahead, and the best way to prepare will be to buy your winter coat early so that you’ll be ready as soon as that first cold snap or flurry arrives.

When shopping for winter coats, there’s no need to restrict yourself to any particular cut or fabric. A wider variety are available nowadays which can keep you just as warm without weighing you down, as a pure wool coat might, and which don’t require you to pay a high price for maintenance.

Winter coats made of 100 percent cotton corduroy or polyester are generally machine washable (check the label to know whether the delicate cycle is best), and the relatively lightweight material retains warmth surprisingly well. Some winter coats, such as the cape coat available this autumn from James Meade, are even waterproof, providing an additional layer of protection during snow, freezing rain and other harsh weather conditions.

For those with more traditional tastes, winter coats made of wool, camel hair and other natural fibres have by no means gone away. If one of these is your preference, then you will be able to find a variety with attractive linings, toggle fasteners and other stylish features.

No matter your taste in winter coats, be sure to choose a size which leaves plenty of room for you to dress in layers. Your winter coat will go a long way toward keeping you warm while you are outdoors, but you will want to be able to layer your clothing with both ambient and indoor temperatures in mind.

James Meade is dedicated to providing the highest-quality winter coats and clothing for the country lifestyle. Our exclusive designs are all available with free returns and a no-time-limit guarantee. Visit our shops in Salisbury and Brampton or log on to our website today; we know you will absolutely love your new winter coat!

For more information about our selection of winter coats and other clothing and accessories, call us today on ‪0844 573 4970 or visit the James Meade Clothing website.

Autumn 2014 Ladies Fashions from the Country Collection

The Autumn 2014 Ladies Fashions from Country Collection
When shopping for fashions for any season, two important things to keep in mind are quality and versatility. While it might sometimes seem as though we must pay a premium in order to look our best in every season, this need not be the case. It is indeed possible to buy smart pieces for one’s wardrobe, even without paying bargain basement prices, by carefully planning and by giving priority to items that travel well across seasons.

Basics such as navy blue and brown pants and skirts, in natural colours, pair well with clothing or prints specific to any season. Likewise, basic white and off-white blouses can be worn by themselves in summer or with cardigans, jackets and blazers at any other time of the year – not to mention that they pair equally well with white or eggshell-coloured shoes in summer and with brown and black shoes in fall and winter. Certain floral prints – provided they are basic – also work well in both summer and winter. Colour combinations such as white and navy blue or white and light brown work well with accessories from any season.

Although shopping for fall clothing might not be at the top of your list at the moment, the time for previewing the Autumn 2014 Country Collection ladies’ clothing is now. Since production of each of our designs is limited, waiting until the fall might mean missing out on one of your favourites as shown on our website today.

Country Collection has been providing clothing for the country lifestyle in the Cumbria area since 1911 and nationally since the late 1980s. Our exclusive designs, careful selection of materials and adherence to strict quality standards ensure that you are getting the best quality clothing at a considerable value.

We are so certain that you will love your new Country Collection ladies’ clothing that we offer a 100 per-cent no-time-limit guarantee. Shop our catalogue or log on to our website today to preview the Autumn 2014 ladies clothing line from Country Collection.

To learn more or to speak with one of our customer services representatives, call us today on 0844 573 5310 within the UK (00 44 16977 41444 if calling from overseas) or visit the Country Collection website.

Wedding Dress Preservation & Cleaning

Wedding Dress Preservation & Cleaning
He’s finally asked the big question, and the day you’ve dreamed of since you were a girl is now just around the corner. So many things to organize: the venue for the ceremony and the reception, how far and wide to send the wedding invitations, dresses for the bridesmaids and, of course, your wedding dress.

Today’s weddings are more expensive than ever, regularly comparing in price to a new car. Not the least of the expenses is the wedding dress. For many married women, the wedding dress is far and away the most expensive article of clothing they will ever wear. While the occasion certainly warrants it – after all, it’s a rare event in one’s life – a wedding dress is typically expensive to acquire and, potentially, just as expensive to clean and preserve.
Although one never sees it in photos taken by a professional photographer several days before the wedding, the potential for your wedding dress to acquire stains is significant.

Depending on weather conditions, inside temperature and the nervousness that is to be expected on your wedding day, you may have sweat stains form in the bodice area and elsewhere. Stains from food and wine at the wedding reception are another distinct possibility. Some of the most common ones, such as sugar stains from champagne and cake icing, are nearly invisible at the time they are created, and these stains can set and darken over time. The good news is that, although your wedding dress will not likely survive the big day entirely stain-free, taking steps ahead of time to ensure that the dress is professionally cleaned and preserved within an appropriate timeframe will greatly improve the odds of your dress being restored to its original condition. Taking the dress for cleaning within one month of the wedding is sufficient for many wedding dresses (so no need to shorten the honeymoon to save your dress), assuming there are no stains that need immediate attention. Otherwise, arrange to have it cleaned within a few days or as soon after the wedding as possible.

All brides-to-be should understand the cleaning and preservation process for wedding dresses so that appropriate arrangements can be made prior to the day of the wedding. While considerably more complicated than that of most other special-care garments, a good bit of planning and forethought will ensure that your cherished wedding dress and future family heirloom will survive the decades as well as the new life you are about to begin.

First and foremost, understand that the care for such a garment will be considerably more specific and expensive than for most other dry-clean-only or other special-care garments. If the process seems a bit overwhelming and you feel as though you have been tasked with preserving a treasure, it’s because you have. With that in mind, you will want to begin by consulting with a specialty wedding dress cleaner. One way that you will know you are dealing with a reputable company is that they will not charge a flat fee for all wedding dresses. Different dresses have different cleaning and storage requirements, and the right wedding dress cleaner will recommend a telephone consultation or that you bring in your wedding dress to be inspected before they provide a quote for the cleaning and preservation.

Where preservation is concerned, you will want to make sure that your wedding dress cleaning company makes a point of preserving your wedding dress in acid-free tissue paper when storing it in an archival box. The museum preservation method is another option, but it usually costs more. Once you have had your wedding dress cleaned and preserved, be sure to store the dress in a cool, dark area free of moisture and sunlight. Avoid storing the dress in areas of the house such as the attic or basement, as they typically do not benefit from the climate controls in the main living space. If storing in a rented storage space, make sure that it is climate-controlled.

As with many other aspects of your wedding plans, it may seem as though the devil is in the details when it comes to having your wedding dress professionally cleaned and preserved. By knowing those details beforehand and making arrangements with a specialty cleaning and preservation company, you can rest assured that the dress in which you have made a substantial investment will be just as beautiful several decades from now as the day you walked down the aisle.

For more information on cleaning and preserving your wedding dress call Dulais Wedding Dress cleaners on 01661 820700 or visit our website.

Adding Beauty and Value to Your Home with a New Staircase

Adding Beauty and Value to Your Home with a New Staircase
To add beauty to your home is to add value to your home. Homeowners looking to sell don’t always consider what this might have to do with the existing staircase, but they say that perception equals reality, and prospective home buyers can be quite fickle.

One look at an old, grimy bathtub or an outdated kitchen wallpaper job is enough for many home shoppers to cross that home off their list and move on to the next available home in the same price range.

Home shoppers who have done their homework are more likely to view cosmetic shortcomings as only that, but where areas of your home that contribute to the structural integrity are concerned – like the staircase – it’s best not to leave anything to chance.

By adding a new staircase to your home, you can make your home more attractive to buyers for even less than you would spend to remodel the kitchen or bathroom. The cost is generally not as steep as one would expect, considering the area affected: parts and labour (if you’re not undertaking to complete the job on your own) are about it, and whether the remodel is do-it-yourself or completed by professional installers, it can typically be completed in one day depending on the size of the home and the number of people working on it. The addition of a new bespoke staircase can make the difference between your home being on a prospective buyer’s short list and being at the top of the list. If you want to top the list of attractive homes for sale in your area, make it happen with a new staircase!

Stair Parts Direct has specialised in providing online staircase parts for home remodels throughout the UK for over 30 years. Our vast selection of wooden staircase parts in a variety of woods and colours is certain to meet your needs, but if not, our consultants will be happy to work with you to develop a bespoke staircase design that will meet your exact requirements.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us today on 0191 341 0077 or visit the Stair Parts Direct Website.

New Guidance issued for Planning Noise Surveys

New Guidance issued for Planning Noise Surveys to Comply with BS
The new British Standard BS 8233:2014 providing guidance for the control of noise in and around both new and refurbished buildings applying for change of use has been updated to BS 8233:2014.  Subsequent changes to the approved document resulting in changes to noise standards could impact on planning decisions. The new document provides recommended guideline values for internal noise levels within dwellings which are similar in scope to guideline values contained within the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Community Noise, 1999 (WHO). We have updated our noise survey reports to take into account the latest changes.

One of the main reasons for the change was the frustration with the 1999 version was that it contained two different degrees of acoustic quality, ‘good’ and ‘reasonable’. There was no consensus among Planning Authorities or acousticians as to which quality level was appropriate and, as a result, confusion and inconsistency reigned from one project to another.

The 2014 version of BS8223 removes the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘reasonable’ and recommends a single standard, which lies somewhere between the two previous standards. In some respects it’s a relaxation in criteria especially those in London, as the majority of London Planning Authorities adopted the ‘good’ standard within as their planning conditions.

The new standard also allows for a further relaxation in standards of up to 5dB where ‘development is considered necessary or desirable’. In view of current Government Policy towards supporting residential development, it is hard to see a situation where residential development would not be ‘necessary or desirable’. It will be interesting to see how Councils respond to this point with future decisions on projects when planning noise survey reports are handed in showing loud noise sources in close proximity.

We would expect that the many Councils will require the full standards to be achieved, with the 5dB ‘relaxation’ kept in reserve as a ‘safety margin’ in case of problems during construction, i.e. imposing the ‘good’ standard but accepting ‘reasonable’ standards at completion on the basis that the quality of workmanship may vary and manufacturer’s performance data is often optimistic as often highlighted in the different acoustic results between laboratory and onsite sound testing.

Unlike the previous version, BS 8233:2014 doesn’t provide recommendations in relation to maximum noise levels in residential bedrooms at night from individual noise events such as vehicle pass-bys and train or aircraft movements. Instead, it advises that:

“regular individual noise events…can cause sleep disturbance. A guideline value may be set in terms of SEL (Sound Exposure Level) or LAmax,F depending on the character and number of events per night. Sporadic noise events could require separate values”.

The new guidance does, however still provide limited guidance for indoor noise levels from external noise events for hotel bedrooms, with a recommended indoor noise range of 45 – 55 dB LAmax.

BS 8233:2014 also adopts guideline external noise values provided in WHO for external amenity areas such as gardens and patios. The Standard states that it is “desirable” that the external noise does not exceed 50 dB LAeq,T with an upper guideline value of 55 dB LAeq,T whilst recognising that development in higher noise areas such as urban areas or those close to the transport network may require a compromise between elevated noise levels and other factors that determine if development in such areas is warranted. In such circumstances, the development should be designed to achieve the lowest practicable noise levels in external amenity areas by providing acoustic barriers etc.

APT Sound Testing has already undertaken many planning noise surveys in-line with BS 8233:2014 so you can rest assured our acoustic reports comply with the latest regulations.

If you are planning a new residential development and require a noise survey and/or guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings, please contact us at APT Sound Testing at the following email address:  info@aptsountesting.co.uk or  by calling us on: 02036 692650

Give Your Home a Facelift This Autumn with New Plantation Shutters

Give Your Home a Facelift This Autumn with New Plantation Shutters
Autumn has arrived, and now is a great time to take on simple home improvement projects. Unlike with kitchen and bathroom renovations, it’s easy and relatively inexpensive to give your living room and bedrooms a facelift with a fresh coat of paint and new window treatments.

Among the window treatment options you might consider for your autumn home redecoration are plantation shutters, which are fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional blinds.

Plantation shutters are available in a variety of styles and colours which can be custom made to fit windows of any size as well as those with irregular shapes. Café-style shutters are popular because they only cover the bottom half of the window, leaving other treatment possibilities open for the upper half of the window and allowing natural light to enter the room without sacrificing privacy.

Full-height plantation shutters may be preferable for people who prefer the neat and tidy appearance of window-height shutters that completely cover the window when the slats are closed. Those wanting to enjoy the best of both worlds should consider tier-on-tier shutters, which cover the top and bottom halves of the window and can be opened and closed separately.

Reputable vendors offer plantation shutters in bespoke colours to suit any décor, so feel free to let your imagination run wild and consider every possible colour combination. Dark wood stains or natural colours offer a pleasant contrast against an eggshell or other light colour for the wall and a white or off-white window frame.

Likewise, brightly coloured plantation shutters can be the perfect accent for a room with a dark, matte paint colour. The ideal company to work with will be one which can not only provide the quality craftsmanship you expect, but also help guide you through the process of choosing the colours that best suit the space in which your plantation shutters will be installed.

The Beautiful Shutter Company has been in the window dressing industry for many years and places a great deal of importance on working directly with homeowners to achieve the desired result the first time, every time. Our extensive product knowledge and commitment to providing high-quality workmanship will ensure your complete satisfaction from the shutters you order from us.

To learn more about our wide selection of shutters or to book an appointment, call us today on 01642 688049 or visit www.thebeautifulshuttercompany.com

Collecting Commemorative Thimbles

Collecting Commemorative Thimbles
Collecting thimbles is a fun, fairly inexpensive and very educational hobby, as collectors – also known as digitabulists – around the world already know. While some thimble collections are quite expansive and seem to contain every type of thimble known to man, others reflect an interest in a particular type of thimble. Different collectors often focus on a certain type of material (including wood, silver, pewter, porcelain, glass and more), enamelling or textured surface. Other collections might reflect interest in a theme, such as nature or holiday destinations, and still other collectors choose to focus on thimbles commemorating special occasions and major events.  Some of the most popular commemorative thimbles depict major events in British royal history as well as historical and cultural events around the world.

Royal Events Thimbles
Quite common among seasoned thimble collectors is an interest in commemorating the great many royal events that have taken place since thimble collecting as a hobby began nearly two centuries ago. This love of all things royal lends itself nicely to a large collection of commemorative thimbles. Victorian-era thimbles, in addition to being quite valuable nowadays, are also quite pictorial considering the additional work that was once involved in cutting a mould for an image to be placed on a sterling silver thimble.

Although commemorative thimbles from recent decades are more commonly made of porcelain, some sterling silver commemorative thimbles can be found for relatively recent events, such as the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Reputable vendors and online resources dedicated to thimble collecting can be very helpful to those seeking out thimbles commemorating specific events.

Cultural and Novelty Thimbles Although major world events and royal history tend to figure prominently in collections, commemorative thimbles are by no means limited to major historical events such as the recent Scottish Independence election. More recent thimbles include the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, Prince Harry’s 30th birthday and the 2014 Glasgow Games.

Other fun and irreverent commemorative thimbles celebrate anniversaries such as the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s cube, 60 years of Sooty and the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night album release and explosive debut in America. Some commemorative thimbles even make reference to adverts from years gone by for products ranging from Avon cosmetics to Pop Tarts, condensed milk and other consumer staples past and present.

Thimbles commemorating Life Events
Thimbles commemorating weddings or a birth within a family can also be special-ordered through reputable online vendors. Virtually any image can be screen-printed onto a porcelain thimble, so when it comes to commemorating weddings, anniversaries, family births and other events, the possibilities are endless. If you have children, grandchildren or other younger relatives to whom you might someday bequeath your collection, imagine how pleased they will be to see a thimble commemorating their own birth within a timeline of major royal, cultural and world events!

Thimble Guild has specialised in thimbles commemorating British royal and historical events for over 30 years. Our thimbles are sourced with care from around the world and come in a variety of materials, and we are available to assist collectors in locating specific types of thimbles.

To learn more about our current selection of commemorative thimbles and how we can help you find exactly what you are looking for, call us today on 0844 573 1658 or visit the Thimble Guild website.

Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty

A Fake Tan with Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty of Glasgow
Each summer every one of our glossy magazines run articles about how to apply the perfect self tan. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been advised to exfoliate, moisturise and then apply – we know the drill!

What really makes the difference is the product. With so many different brands on the shelves, it can be a long and laborious process to find your ideal tan, from gels to sprays and “light” to “dark” which we all know can be anywhere on the spectrum. So let me introduce you to Nouvatan. (no uva tan!)

The NOUVATAN Self Tanning Mousse comes in a stylish black and white packaging, and a no-nonsense set of directions on the back. There’s a lot of product in there, and after doing my whole body there’s still enough for another 3 full applications. For application, you can use a mitt or plastic/latex gloves (I prefer gloves as I find mitts soak up too much product!).

I showered, exfoliated with a citrus sugar scrub, and moisturised with a light body lotion. I also applied some shea butter to my knees, elbows, wrists and ankles. Starting at my ankles all the way up to my face, it took me about 15 minutes to get it all over me and rubbed in. Then I applied a little extra on my shoulders and down my arms for definition. The great thing about mousse is that it sinks in and dries – you don’t have to stagger around the house all sticky and not touching things! I put my dressing gown on and there was almost no rub-off. There are four hours of developing time that you have to wait out, but it isn’t very inconveniencing.

The final result is an even, warm, natural-looking tan that gives you a healthy glow without masking your skin. I am a redhead with very fair skin and no freckles, so I chose the Light shade. I would describe the colour as “golden latte”. Light brown with a golden hue and no hint of the dreaded orange. The natural shade brings out your features – eyes look brighter and teeth whiter.

Overall, this tan is a real winner! Easy self-application with a professional finish. The result is definitely miles better than any gradual tanner I’ve used, which tend to be very yellowy in my experience. This wonderful product is available from www.theechshop.com for £16.50 and FREE UK Delivery which is a fantastic price for such a salon-quality finish.

So if you want to know more about the range of beauty products and treatments available from the Ellen Conlin Hair & Beauty salon in Glasgow, why not visit our website at: http://www.ellenconlinhair.com or call us on 0141 339 8223 (Hyndland Road, Glasgow) or 0141 638 0331 (Fenwick Road, Giffnock).

PT Ranson Designer Bathrooms

Modernise Your Home with a Designer Bathroom
If it has been years since you moved into your current home and you are just now considering your options for a bathroom remodel, the current trend may seem a bit overwhelming – especially if your taste is very traditional.

The good news, though, is that the décor of the newly remodelled bathroom need not match the rest of the house, so if you are planning a bathroom remodel, don’t feel compelled to also bring in an interior designer who can make the rest of your home look as modern as your new designer bathroom.

It’s a well-known fact that kitchens and bathrooms are the most worthwhile investments for increasing your home’s value and the odds that it will actually sell if you ever decide to put it on the market.

Simple colours, optional contrast
While 2014 home remodels have been all about bright colours, kitchens and bathrooms are both lighter and more austere in terms of colour scheme. Not sure you like the idea of a mostly white and grey bathroom? Then simply add a few bold black accents – perhaps even a whirlpool bath! Intermittent black floor tiles and black fixtures will also stand out boldly against a white or off-white wall, as will any bright chrome fixtures or trim. The current trend is modern chic, so play around with contrast if that’s your preference.

Modern technology
One feature of today’s designer bathroom that may take some more traditional-minded homeowners by surprise is the incorporation of modern technology, including Bluetooth for wireless sound systems, LED lighting and more. LED lighting is becoming commonplace in new buildings and homes due to the drop in price over the last several years as well as the consumer expectation that conventional builders make an effort to increase the sustainability of their products.

The wireless sound system is a sign that Generation Y has arrived and made the incorporation of technology into all aspects of daily life a given rather than an extravagance. Don’t shrug it off as a fad; with future generations taking the latest technology for granted, it’s well worth your while now to begin outfitting your bathroom and other parts of your home to meet the audio-visual standards of today’s twenty-something who, in another ten years or so, might come around with a realtor helping her to find her future home.

When planning your bathroom remodel, be sure to find a reputable UK-based retailer that can provide the parts and installation to make the designer bathroom of your dreams a reality. PT Ranson offers complete planning, delivery and installation services and will work with you from start to finish to provide you with the designer bathroom that meets your exact specifications at a reasonable price. A bathroom remodel is a major investment in your home, after all, and we want you to be certain that the sum you  invest today will result in a new look for your bathroom that you will love for years to come and that will leave you in a good position to sell if you ever decide to do so.

For more information or to request an initial consultation, call us today on 0191 4696999 or visit the PT Ranson Designer Bathrooms website.

Indestructible Dog Beds

Indestructible Dog Beds from Waggers Online Pet Store
Most dog owners have had to deal with their dogs displaying destructive behaviour at some point in the dogs’ lives. The reasons for such behaviour can range from inadequate training and supervision to inappropriate chew toys to insufficient exercise or daily activity, and it’s important to address the underlying causes as early as possible so that they can be corrected.

Inadequate Training
Sadly, this is one of the most common reasons for a dog’s destructive behaviour. It’s one thing to take your dog to obedience training classes and for your dog to learn how to respond appropriately to the trainer’s commands, but if you are not taking the time to follow through in the home environment during the crucial formative period, then you will always have difficulty with your dog’s natural instincts for digging and chewing and pay a steep price in terms of havoc and destruction wreaked on your furniture and other possessions.

Too Energetic for the Owner
It’s not uncommon for lovers of breeds such as Weimaraners and border collies to adopt one of these dogs and then realise, much to their chagrin, that they simply don’t have the time to provide these animals the daily activity that they need. If you train regularly for marathons, then this doesn’t apply to you and your border collie would be delighted to accompany you on your 35-kilometer training run on this and any other Saturday morning. If you belong to the non-running majority, however, then you have probably been faced already with your dog attacking your furniture and lawn because, quite simply, they’re bored and taking it out on your personal possessions.

The Wrong Kinds of Dog Toys
Chew toys that resemble slippers and folded newspapers look absolutely adorable hanging from your dog’s mouth. Actual newspapers and slippers covered in drool? Not as cute. If you’ve taken to throwing random household objects around in the backyard for your dog to play “catch” with after these objects have gone past their useful life, then your dog is probably failing to see the difference between these items, which still have your scent on them, and other items that are not meant for canine mouths and paws.

Whatever the reasons for your dog’s destructive behaviour, one area where you do have some control in the short term is the choice of dog bed. Your dog may be just as inclined to chew his own bed to pieces as one of your favourite pairs of shoes – after all, if he’s encouraged to sleep on it, then it may as well be a plaything.

However, the lifelong dog lovers behind Waggers dog beds know exactly what you are going through and have come up with the perfect solution: long-lasting, virtually indestructible dog beds which are lovingly crafted with your dog’s comfort and your home’s attractiveness equally in mind. Never again will you have to choose one over the other; one of our indestructible dog beds will look just as attractive in your home weeks, months, even years from now as on the day of purchase because your dog will not be able to tear or chew through it!

Let Waggers provide you with an indestructible dog bed that will help you teach your dog that some things are simply not meant to be chewed on or played with as toys. For more information, call us today on 0844 573 1650 or visit the Waggers Dog Beds & Online Pet Store now.