White Is The New Black

There is an entire branch in the decorating world devoted to colour – how to use it, what each one means, colours to avoid, what colour shirt will guarantee you a successful interview… the list goes on. What is often overlooked is the enduring appeal of “white”. It is a perfect backdrop for any décor style and colours stand out more when white is your basis from which to work.

White is a far cry from the sterile doctor’s room label. Nothing else says clean and fresh and is the chosen base for many a sunny residence. It is almost expected that a seaside home will be painted white with blue accents.


But you can put your own individual stamp on your beach house and throw the opinion of the latest trend-setting magazine right out the window.

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Certain colours can date quite quickly and if you live with one colour too long there is a strong possibility that you will tire of it sooner rather than later. Having to repaint your entire house or the room which you’ve grown to dislike can be quite costly.

Paint finishes follow trends as well – the speckle of one year has to be replaced by the ripple the next; gloss one year has to be replaced by matt, otherwise you will be seen as being tardy in your décor trend following.

Accenting with colour becomes less expensive and you can change those pieces virtually every season or every time you change your mood. Any colour, whether it is muted or bright, will pop more when seen against a white background, be it a wall, chair or bed cover.

However, decorating is all about breaking the rules in a stylish way. Throw the rule-book out the window and bring in unexpected brights.

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Of course black paired with white never loses its style and there are numerous décor pieces that will lift any room.


Image retrieved from Emfurn.com


Image retrieved from Emfurn.com


Image retrieved from Emfurn.com

Coloured lighting provides unexpected ways of bringing colour to your white background and create the mood you cannot do with a set colour. And of course it is much cheaper to change the colour of a lightbulb than a wall colour.

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Not many people are brave enough to combine chrome and metallics with white, but done with style, has the ability to lift the room from drab to classy with just a few additions.

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Wicker Patio Furniture

We at SSE don’t think enough has been said about wicker, and the beautiful furniture that is made from it. Wicker is traditionally made of plant stalks, such as willow, that have been woven together. It is commonly used in baskets, but is also used in furniture. It is mainly used for outdoor or conservatory seating, and occasionally indoors too by various companies such as this one.

Above is a typical example of the wicker “throne” chair, famously used by Morticia Adams in the classic Adams Family television and film series. This is such an elegant and timeless piece. However; as well as being beautiful, wicker has many other qualities.

Wicker lasts a long time

High-quality wicker is very durable. There are pieces of wicker in existence that are more than two thousand years old! Handwoven wicker was very popular in ancient Egypt. Nowadays wicker furniture is mostly produced by machinery.

A great thing about wicker is it is relatively straightforward to make yourself by hand. You will have heard of basket-weaving, but you can also make wicker furniture.

Wicker is comfortable

Due to the material being woven, wicker has some “give” in it, making wicker seating very comfortable, with or without a cushion, although with cushions is best!

Wicker is good for the environment

The plants that wicker is made from only grow between trees in the forest. And those trees are protected from deforestation for the production of rattan, the blend that most wicker is made from nowadays.

Wicker furniture in your home

You can buy wicker furniture suites for any price from $100 for a simple set up $1000 for the more luxurious furniture sets online, at flea markets or antique stores. For outdoor use, synthetic or plastic rattan is used instead of the natural rattan, purely because of having to endure all weathers.

The best Wicker for you

Pick wicker furniture that suits your home the best.

A good wicker set can really transform your simple garden or yard into a beautiful living space. To do this, like indoor furniture, ensure you have enough seating for adults and children. When you’re choosing your outdoor wicker furniture, look for generous two or three-seater sofas if you are looking to create a space for adults to relax together.

Including a wicker coffee table, will allow you to create a stylish lounge style space on a patio, terrace, deck or lawn.

Wicker chairs are also great for eating together outside, just make sure your dining chairs have supportive backs and deep cushions. Armrests are a bonus.

Artificial wicker comes in all kinds of colours. White maximises small spaces and gives that shabby chic feel. Of course, you can paint wicker yourself, and that includes organic wicker, of course. Just clean the wicker, apply an undercoat, primer, spray with paint and then leave to try.

Why not make your own wicker basket to put on the coffee table, as a lovely hand-made final touch to your wicker paradise!



Furniture Maintenance

woman's hand polishing the door of mahogany kitchen closet

If properly handled, furniture maintenance should be pretty simple. With clear guidelines, furniture maintenance can be carefully handled without the need of hiring an expert to the job. Maintaining your own furniture is not only cheap but also enables you to arrange them in a manner that is appealing to you. Getting an expert to do the maintenance work is not a bad idea at times one will want to keep his or her furniture pieces in a way that will displays his or her perception of a neat home or office. Furniture maintenance basically entails cleaning, dusting and polishing their surfaces. However, it is important to note that taking good care of your furniture should not stop with cleaning them because proper furniture arrangement also helps a lot in ensuring that the pieces of furniture remain in good shape.


Cleaning the Surfaces

As simple as it may sound, ensuring that your pieces of furniture are clean at all times is the first and most important guideline of how to properly maintain your furniture. This is an easy procedure but has to be done on a regular basis in order to ensure perfection at all times. Furniture is made from different materials, therefore one ought to be very keen when handling each piece of furniture to ensure he or she cleans it in the rightful manner. Most pieces of wood only take a piece of rug and clean water to ensure that they are clean. However, certain pieces like giltwood require adhesives or professional help to ensure that they are in good shape. Prior to cleaning the coating or wood, one has also to ensure that the surface is not damaged in any way. In any case one finds out that the coating or surface is unstable, he or she should consult a conservator to polish the damaged pieces.

One can successfully remove loose dust by simply rubbing the furniture surface with a soft piece of clothing or first dampen the clothing with water in case it is too dusty. A vacuum cleaner is also an option if the pieces of furniture are too dirty. The only tricky part lies with the uneven surfaces that may leave the furniture with a lot of dirt. In such cases, a brush with soft bristles can be used to make sure that the surfaces are left spotless after one is through with the cleaning.



Upholstery cleaning and Reupholstering

A vacuum cleaner should be able to the trick when it gets to dusting upholstery. However, the surface must first be screened to prevent the tip of the vacuum cleaner from possibly damaging its surface. A less intrusive method or rather reupholstering should also be put into consideration so as to eliminate damages on the furniture. Otherwise, stubborn stains and any upholstery damage should be referred to professionals.


Metal Hardware

Most furniture comes with contemporary attachments in form of silver, gold or bronze. According to experts, this is where most people go wrong when it comes to maintaining the furniture. These shiny metal surfaces should therefore be cleaned with the help of an expert so as to keep them shiny.