With the new year just a few days away, we’re finally beginning to feel that sharp winter chill in the air. There’s no better way to warm up than with a hot drink and there are plenty of enticing flavours to choose from.
Whether you’re out and about sorting the last few presents for Christmas or you’re having a relaxing evening in with the family, there’s a festive hot drink for everyone.
Christmas Sales Shopping Break
Shopping through the Christmas sales can be a little hectic, so make it more of an experience by taking a well-deserved break at your favourite coffee shop and grabbing a delicious winter inspired beverage.
Relaxed Evenings in
You don’t need to venture far to enjoy a relaxing brew. Unwind and relax with a mulled wine magic loose leaf tea from T2 Tea or a sweet caffeine boost with Whittard’s aromatic Gingerbread Flavoured Ground Coffee whilst wrapping your gifts.
Local Christmas Market
If a little tipple is what you fancy, head down to your local Christmas market. Serving our favourite classics with an alcoholic twist, you can try anything from a Bailey’s Hot Chocolate to a cherry or raspberry mulled wine.
Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham are just a few of our favourites but even the smallest of towns and villages are holding their own adorned with local craftsman and produce.
Which is your favourite winter warmer beverage?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and recipes on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Autumn is in clear sight and we’re starting to see the iconic soft transition of colours spread throughout the British countryside as the nights draw and the leaves begin to turn.
This week, we’re welcoming the new season by showing you how you can style your home, using Autumnal colour palettes as interiors inspiration.
Cosy Highland Checks
Subtle check fabrics have been a popular choice for many living room schemes this year and are a charming addition to any space. Playing on the cosy highland look, this trend places a contemporary spin on a classic pattern.
By pairing muted reds and chestnut tones with contrasting midnight blues, you can create a cosy yet stylish space, perfect for welcoming the winter months.
Create a feeling of modern elegance with your décor by choosing natural tones of beige and cream. Incorporating a bright, neutral colour palette makes the most of the natural light and makes smaller rooms feel much more spacious.
The contrasting bold lines and checks add a modern twist and create a relaxing yet refreshing space.
For a more dramatic look, take inspiration from the British woodland. Make this the focus of your scheme with parquet flooring, bold bouquets of greenery and rustic accessories.
This scheme is brought to life by offsetting chocolate bark tones with vibrant greens and the soft lime tones of our Sky Lime fabric, available within the Maison Collection.
Whether you plan to recreate a whole new look, or simply add hints of warmer tones, Autumn brings an array of inspiration. Make sure to let us know how you’ll be incorporating these looks into your home this Autumn, by sharing your photos with us: @ParkerKnollUpholsteryLtd on Facebook and @ParkerKnoll on Instagram.
Gin is a wonderful refreshment for a light summer tipple with friends. With a herbal flavour and plenty of versatility, gin is the perfect base for a BBQ cocktail.
In this week’s blog we’re sharing a few of our favourites.
Source: Jamie Oliver
A simple cocktail mixed with refreshing lemon juice and a natural sugar syrup, a Tom Collins is best enjoyed on a relaxing weekend.
Apple, Elderflower & Gin Cocktail
Source: BBC Good Food
This fruity, floral combination makes a refreshing sharer at a summer BBQ. To make your own, combine gin with British apple juice and natural elderflower cordial and serve on ice.
Earl of Orange Gin
If you’re after an enjoyable early evening cocktail then this energising Earl Grey and gin mix is just the ticket. Adding a splash of orange or slice of lime gives it a refreshing citrusy kick, perfect after a long week!
What is your favourite gin cocktail to enjoy on a summer evening? We’d love to hear your recipes. Make sure to share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
The Royal Horticultural Society’s world-famous Chelsea Flower Show is back from 22nd-26th May 2018.
This year is set to be as inspirational as ever and in this week’s blog we’re taking a look at what’s new for this year’s show.
The garden’s themes for 2018 focus on the impact that horticulture has on our health and wellbeing. With the introduction of the RHS Health and Wellbeing Gardens, designers will bring visitors together in a series of thought provoking spaces.
Whether you’re seeking a small corner of tranquility or want to learn more about the positive impact gardens have on the environment, this attraction is well worth a visit!
Maybe you’re searching for inspiration for your own garden? New for 2018, the Space to Grow Gardens are dedicated to smaller urban spaces, displaying to visitors how they can turn even the smallest of gardens into a beautiful and serene escape.
Another fantastic addition to this year’s show is The Chelsea Late Event. This night time affair allows visitors the chance to experience the beautiful flower show by twilight.
Featuring live music and artisan food, this particular attraction promises to bring with it a young, vibrant atmosphere.
If you’re as excited as we are and want to be there, why not take a look at the RHS website for more information on how you can experience the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show.
In this week’s blog post, we are very excited to introduce Devonshire, the newest addition to our Classic collection.
With gently sweeping tailored arms and delicate detailing, Devonshire is the ultimate casual classic.
Available as both a Pillow Back and Formal Back Sofa, Devonshire’s versatility makes it the perfect choice for your home.
The introduction of Devonshire also brings with it a gorgeous collection of new fabrics.
From soft silver medallions to tactile plains, these new additions are perfect for a look that’s laidback yet sophisticated. Take a look at our fabrics page to explore our complete fabric collection.
At Parker Knoll, we are very proud of our apprenticeship scheme and the incredible work of the apprentices since we began the programme over 10 years ago.
Following on from National Apprenticeship Week, we sat down with Amelia Frogson, our Level 2 Business Administration apprentice. Amelia works in the marketing team as Marketing Administrator.
In this week’s blog, we’ve explored what Amelia enjoys most about her apprenticeship at Parker Knoll and how working towards the qualification is positively impacting her career prospects.
Your career at Parker Knoll began in Quality and Dispatch, what was it about the Marketing Administrator role that made you decide to apply to the Parker Knoll Business Administration apprenticeship?
I saw the Business Administration Apprenticeship as the perfect opportunity to progress myself and my personal skills. Marketing is a really exciting and fundamental part of growing the Parker Knoll brand having worked in quality and dispatch, I have good understanding of the elements that go into crafting quality British furniture.
This apprenticeship will help to boost my prospects and broaden my knowledge and responsibilities within the business.
What are your responsibilities as Marketing Administrator, and how do these contribute to your apprenticeship?
My job role is so varied which is one of the things that I find so exciting! Each day is different, from managing the fabric swatch programme to helping to organise photoshoots and liaising with stores to manage stock levels of marketing materials.
We are currently in the process of launching new products and fabrics that we exhibited at the January Furniture Show. I am responsible for ensuring a smooth roll out which is brilliant in terms of experience.
The variety of the role also combines well with the requirements of my apprenticeship.
Considering your role within the Marketing team, what tasks do you have to complete in order to gain your qualification?
The course is based around elements of my job role as Marketing Administrator. Each unit cross references with my day to day experiences in the workplace which I provide evidence and evaluation for, making it easy to see how my apprenticeship is improving my success within my job role. There is a lot to manage at times but it teaches me how to remain organised and prioritise workloads.
What would you say that you like most about working at Parker Knoll?
It’s really clear to see that the company are keen for young people to engage and progress throughout the business, providing us with opportunities to work our way towards our own personal goals. I work within Design & Development and Marketing team and help is never too far away. Everyone is so supportive and willing to help where they can which is invaluable for my knowledge building and experience.
There may be people reading this who are considering an apprenticeship, what would you say to those people
If you’re unsure whether University is for you, or if you just want to challenge yourself and boost your experience within the workplace, I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship!
It’s not just a case of sitting in a classroom, the whole qualification is centred around application and is a good middle ground between gaining practical experience, earning money and getting a qualification.
If you’re considering an apprenticeship or would like to find out more about our apprenticeship scheme here at Parker Knoll, keep an eye on the Careers page on our website, or visit gov.uk to find your ideal apprenticeship, and take the first step in furthering your career!
Whether you’re looking to refresh your home this Spring with a few updates around the home, or you simply love creating your own personalised gifts, crafting can be easier than you may think and a great way to spend some relaxing time this weekend.
In this week’s blog we’ve pulled together some of our favourite, simple crafts that will take less than 30 minutes to create and will help to revive your home.
Adorn your home with memories of your favourite moments and places by displaying treasured photographs in a unique way.
We love these simple vases made from recycled glass bottles. You can buy decal paper online and print your photos as you would normal paper. Simply wrap around our bottles, making sure to remove all those pesky air bubbles, for a custom-made vase or candle holder.
The wonderful thing about canvas boards is that anyone can make them! Choose fabric based on your current scheme, wrap the fabric around canvases of varying sizes.
Tray of Wanderlust
Do you like to display your trinkets on trays around your home? Rather than buying new ones, why not use a map displaying your favourite destination to cover the base.
For something more contemporary, a roll of good quality wrapping paper will also do the trick and make a large difference to a small display tray.
Stylish Wine Bottle Wraps
Keep a chilled bottle of white wine cool with these minimalist wraps. Made from jumper sleeves, they are easy to make and look fantastic!
Cut along the sleeve of a jumper and make a circle just bigger than the bottle’s base, and sew the circle to the bottom of the sleeve. Turn inside out and you have a stylish case for your gifts!
Aromatic Lavender Soaps
Homemade soap is a lovely gift, and surprisingly speedy to make!
Melt soap base in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, and stir to create a smooth mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil and a sprinkle of dried lavender buds to add colour to your soap, and allow to dry.
Individually wrap and hand to friends and family for simple yet effective gifts.
What are your favourite 30 minute crafts? Make sure to share them with us over on social media using #parkerknoll!
You may have seen Do featuring in some of our most iconic heritage images – with beautiful eyes and elegant features, Do Moore was quite the starring lady of the Parker Knoll brochures back in the late 60’s to early 70’s.
Modelling some of our most iconic pieces, Do became a Parker Knoll icon in her own right over the years and we still use her images today to illustrate our rich British heritage.
This week’s blog is a tribute to Do, her life and her successful career, with special thanks to Do’s dear family friend, Ms Lowes.
A post-war childhood
Do’s father, Fred Moore, joined the Air Force at the outbreak of World War 2, where he served in a South coast base that was attacked during the Battle of Britain. After Do’s birth in 1942 and the family returned to London with many other families seeking to begin a new life at the end of the war.
Do, her mother, father and two sisters moved into a London pre-fab, a pre-cast concrete home part of a scheme organised by Winston Churchill to tackle the huge housing shortage that had emerged in Britain.
“She recalled everyone shared the same bathroom, and the three girls shared the bed in one of the two tiny bedrooms. To their delight, they found they could raise the roof by pushing a broom under the ceiling!” – Ms Lowes
Do’s early adulthood
Do’s mother found work in a Daily Mirror office and Do, intelligent and beautiful, obtained job with a prestigious West End photographer, Baron, as soon as she left school.
Baron was the Royal photographer at the time so Do had the exclusive opportunity of making regular trips to Buckingham Palace, delivering proofs of Royal pictures so that the official portraits could be chosen.
In a spare moment, Baron would take her photograph – this collection of images became the beginning of Do’s portfolio. Her mother was thrilled, and when the newspaper ran a photo competition she proudly entered. The prize was a day on set and an appearance as an extra in the 1959 movie Tiger Bay.
Winning this prize inspired Do to begin her work as a photographic model. Joining a London-based agency, Do began to win jobs almost immediately.
“She was a funny, bright, glamorous girl, and made friends with a group of models, soon becoming ‘den mother’ in their shared West End flat. She signed the lease, paid the rent and got a discount!” – Ms Lowes
Do soon met her husband, Ian Fawn-Meade, who was the writer/producer on one of her commercial shoots. Their engagement was covered by national newspapers as her face was well-known nationwide as the “Yo Ho Ho” girl, an advertising campaign for Captain Morgan’s rum in 1965.
A very successful career
Do made multiple appearances in the Parker Knoll Book of Comfort in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s and, as Do became increasingly recognised, worldwide opportunities laid themselves in front of her.
“Do’s husband, Ian Fawn-Meade recalls the Parker Knoll shoot, because she was very pleased with the pictures and the trouser suit she wore. She just had a gift of getting a natural look in her poses, and I think that particular job came from a recommendation by the photographer.” – Ms Lowes
Benny Hill spoofed her appearance in a washing up liquid commercial and she was a guest at the Number 10 Downing Street party for Ted Heaths election win, collecting an award from him at the annual TV Awards dinner.
Do continued to work in the modelling industry in both Australia and Japan throughout her life where she gained the nickname “Transistor Glam”!
“She was much loved and left an enormous body of wonderful work. Thank you for remembering her, and I hope you now know a little more about Do and her prosperous professional life.” – Ms Lowes
Whether you’re working hard to stick to that tricky new year’s resolution, or already counting down the days to summer, injecting your home with blooming bouquets and planters of impressive greenery will help to keep you motivated & boost your mood.
This week’s blog is all about inspiration & bringing the outside in. Not only can flowers & houseplants make your interior decor look fresher and more vibrant, some are known for their health benefits and can help to reduce stress levels and increase productivity!
So whether you like to get creative with bold ultra violet florals, or keep it simple with a few stems of Heartwood tones, this week’s blog post has plenty of inspiration that will help you beat those January blues and keep your decor right on trend for 2018!
Cool and Calming Colours
Icey Winter Whites
Ultra Violet Blooms
What are your suggestions for beating those winter blues? We’d love to hear your thoughts – share these with us on social media using @parkerknoll or #parkerknoll.
Coffee tables play an important part in helping to achieve that perfect living room look.
It’s easy to make a list of items that could, or should, sit here – large hardback books, flowers, a candle, coasters – but how do you bring them all together?
Acting as a pivotal point around which your sofas and chairs are styled, your eye will naturally be drawn there first, so it’s important that it makes a good impression.
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a few of our top tips.
A tray or a decorative bowl are two of the most useful items when it comes to organising a coffee table. Not only do they make a large surface feel less vast by breaking up the area, they provide a perfect place for your small essentials.
Trays are ideal for holding small ornaments and can be used for tea pots and cups when entertaining. Simply add small decorative accessories and a classic scented candle, and you have a stylish yet practical space.
Choose Your Flowers Carefully
Nothing beats the splash of life that a bunch of fresh flowers can add to a space- we’d love to have them in every room all year round!
For your coffee table or footstool, consider the composition of your entire living room styling and artfully arrange a display using a blooming bouquet to add colour or stems of greenery to add height to a low surface.
Align Your Books
Use books to add more structure to your look. Choose three or four that feature pretty covers and align the spines to create a neat stack.
Make sure to pick your sizes carefully; too big and they’ll dominate, too small and they may look a little out of place. If you need to add extra height, a few decorative objects placed on top can make for an interesting display.
Keep It Simple
If – like the beautiful circular design above – your coffee table is already decorative, don’t overdo the accessories. The addition of a natural wooden bowl and a simple candle can be all you need to prevent it from looking stark.
We’d love to see how you’ve styled your coffee tables, side tables, or even your footstools. Let us know by using #ParkerKnoll and tagging us in your posts on social media!