Saturday, 22 February 2014

Battle of the Brands

As I've said time and time again, I do love my interior design. It's a 'hobby' I can't exercise often because of my restrictive purse, but nonetheless is a huge love of mine. Re-arranging colours, hanging art, painting walls. All of it can be terrible tedious, but a real joy when it's done. You can buy the basics are re-do the accent when your bored of it; that's what I do. There's so much you can do with an empty room, just as there is so much you can do with an blank canvas. All you need is a paint brush, imagination, unbreakable patience, and a B&Q nearby.

What I've done is gathered together some of my favourite pieces from some of the biggest decor brands in Britain. The stores I have chosen are John Lewis, Debenhams, Homebase, and Ikea. For each category, I've ranked them all in either 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place. So, shall we see the pieces? Although I haven't taken practicality and affordability into consideration, who says nice always has to be expensive?

1. I chose this gorgeous John Lewis light shade as first because of its modern contemporary design. Any room could pull off this light whether it be a kitchen or bathroom. I think this is a great piece and One I think I might buy. 2. This Debenhams dome can second because of its sleek shape. I love how the inside turns yellow when on, and I think it is a fun shade for everybody. 3. This Ikea light shade came third because the design was lovely, but nothing special. I have seen a shade like this in many other shops, and although its nice, its not all that original. 4. This Homebase shade came last because it's so boring, but the best they had available. Not a good selection.

1. Yet again, John Lewis has taken the lead with this chair. John Lewis has a great service where you go to their website, choose out of hundreds of chairs, then out of thousands of patterns are colours, including the shade of wood on the legs. I chose this lovely stripe with light wood for a modern touch to any room. 2. This gorgeous Homebase chair came close second because of the similar design, but in this pale blue with a contrasting cushion. Really lovely design too. 3. This Debenhams chair came third because although great in shape, wasn't up to my normal contemporary taste. Nevertheless, I think this chair could look great within more modern stuff. Love the velvet material. 4. This Ikea chair came last because of it's boxy shape and boring colour, but it was the best they had.

1. This was a really tough one. At the end I had to chose this Debenhams rug first because of the lovely geometric design in the classic black and white shades. I think this rug is simply perfect, and I would really love to own it. 2. This John Lewis rug almost won because of, yet again, the geometric design, but with the popping colours. It lost out because it didn't have a 3D effect. Still a gorgeous rug though. 3. Yet again, a lovely rug, but the pattern just didn't stand out to me just as much as the other two. 4. This Homebase rug failed to impress me, but it was the best they had. Still a nice rug, but nothing outstanding.

1. One of my many obsessions of the moment, I love this Debenhams Rhino head. Designed by the decor queen Abigail Ahern (visit blog!) this head would look gorgeous on any wall, in any colour, in any room. 2. This John Lewis Picasso print came second because of the floppy competition, and I simply like flamingos. 3. I liked this colourful Ikea print, but would have preferred the background white for a cleaner look. 4. I do love a city scape, but not over art. Homebase yet again didn't have too much to offer.
Can't say I'm surprised by the winner, but I definitely didn't see Ikea coming last when I started this post! Perhaps Ikea isn't all it's cracked up to be, or perhaps I didn't involved a flat-packed category? Not sure. But I am sure that John Lewis was a fair winner, and a good one at that! Over all very impressed that the two in the top half of the results are primarily decor stores unlike Mr.Ikea over there. And to answer my 'nice is always expensive question', well, maybe there is some truth in that. Ah well, what do you think?

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