Hickeys Blog

Interior Design

What is Hygge?

Hygge is taking the world of interior design by storm - but what is it? And how can you get involved in this year's most relaxing trend?

Find Out More
  • free Craft and sewing demonstrations at Home Focus and hickeys

    We are delighted to offer a range of FREE In-store Events & Craft Demonstrations in a selection of Hickeys Fabrics and Home Focus at Hickeys stores for Autumn/Winter 2017. (Please note, you do not need to register, and all are welcome!) If you have any questions or require further information, please contact us at hf-sales@homefocus.ie

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    Autumn Events

     

    How To Use Your Sewing Machine & Sewing Tips

    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 14th October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 18 - Saturday 26th August 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 18 - Saturday 14th October 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15 - Saturday 21st October 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24 - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Square, Tallaght, Dublin 24 - Saturday 7th October 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Northside Retail Park, Dublin 5 - Saturday 30th September 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 14th October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 14th October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00

    Easy-Sew Garments & Accessories

    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 30th September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Wrap Skirt
    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 7th October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Christmas Craft Advent Calendar & Stocking
    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 21st October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Halloween
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 30th September 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Wrap Skirt
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 7th October 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Christmas Craft Advent Calendar & Stocking
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 21st October 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Halloween
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 30th September 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Wrap Skirt
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 7th October 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Christmas Craft Advent Calendar & Stocking
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 21st October 2017 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Halloween

     

    Sewing - Curtain & Roman Blind Making

    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 9th September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 28th October 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 15 - Saturday 9th September 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 15 - Saturday 28th October 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15 - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00 
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15 - Saturday 14th October 2017 -14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Northside Retail Park, Dublin 5 - Saturday 2nd September 2017 - 14:30 - 16:00 
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 9th September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 9th September 2017 - 10:30 - 12:00 

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  • The Halloween Spooktacular Costume Competition at Home Focus at hickeys

    Halloween is nearly here, and we're promoting creativity and fun this year with our Halloween Spooktacular Kids' Costume Competition!

    If you love getting creative, test your skills against other crafters and sewers by creating and entering your best children's Halloween costume. Creating unique Halloween costumes for yourself or your child is fun, and a perfect group activity for all the family. Both adults and kids can enter, so there's no excuse not to get all the family involved!

    How to enter:

    Entering is easy! Just follow these steps to enter your home made Halloween costume.

    1. Visit the Hickeys Fabrics Facebook Page.
    2. Like the Hickeys Fabrics Facebook page, and comment underneath the competition post with a picture of your entry.
    3. Five finalists will be selected for further judging, and the winner will be selected from this group.

    What will you win?

    The lucky winner of the Home Focus at Hickeys Halloween Spooktacular Competition will get to choose between two fantastic prizes. Option One: A Brother LS14 Sewing Machine. Option Two: A full term of after school workshop at Project Fashion in one of their 15 destinations!

     

    Looking for inspiration:

    Our Halloween costumes are the perfect inspiration to get you started on your own unique design, and are full of great ideas for using different fabrics such as netting, felt, faux fur, and more! Experiment with different fabrics, or take a look at our Halloween Fabrics to get inspired!

    Why not try:

    Remember, you can use any fabric or craft item from Hickeys or Home Focus stores, so feel free to get creative and think outside the box. We love to see unusual and inspiring use of fabrics and other materials!

    Terms & Conditions:

    1. All costumes must be made by the entrant and feature exclusively fabrics purchased from any Hickeys or Home Focus store. Costumes that do not meet this condition will be disqualified.
    2. This competition is open to residents of Ireland & the UK.
    3. The closing date for entries is 1st November 2017, and the winner will be announced soon after!
    4. No staff of Hickey & Company, or family of staff members, will be permitted to enter the competition.
    5. There is no competition entry fee, but entrants will be required to cover the cost of their entry.
    6. All costumes must be suitable for a child to wear.
    7. Winner will be chosen by an independent expert judge. This decision is final.
    8. Entrants will be disqualified for entering any costume that is not their own work, or that contain unapproved fabrics.
    9. Hickey & Company reserve the right to disqualify any entry deemed to breach the conditions of the competition.
    10. The winner will be notified by email and/or letter within 7 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 7 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
    11. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current Irish data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  • Embroidery and statement motifs have taken the fashion world by storm, seen on the runway, celebrities and in the high street stores alike. With notable designers such as Gucci and Saint Laurent embracing the trend, it looks like it's here for the long run. Whether you want to look elegantly chic in floral, effortless trendy in grunge or to simply dress up your old denim - all you need is an iron, your favourite garment and some of our stunning motif designs. For an effortless (and affordable) up-style to your item, add a large statement motif  and surround it with smaller, dainty pieces to really pack a punch. (Image credit: Instagram)

     

     Step - By - Step Guide to GET THE LOOK

    1 - Place your motifs over your garment, with the plastic still attached and move them around until you are happy with the layout.

    2 - Once you are happy, place a dot on the area using tailors chalk-  a marker or pen will do fine, just make sure the ink doesn't seep through the garment to the other side! Placing a dot will ensure you remember where to put the motif when it comes to ironing them on.

    3 - Turn on your iron to the maximum temperature, make sure you are careful and use an ironing board.

    4 - Have a tea cloth ready and run it under water to dampen it. Wring it out- it just needs to be damp, not soaking wet.

    5 - One by one, peel off the plastic on the back of the motif to reveal the sticky layer. Place the motif over your chosen area        and push down firmly so it is in place.

    6 - Place your damp tea cloth over the garment, covering the motif.

    7 - Place the hot iron over the cloth and hold down firmly for 30 seconds. Leave to cool down.

    8 - Once cool, turn the garment to the other side (this may mean you have to turn it inside out.) Place the iron over the area       of the motif again without the damp cloth and hold down for 30 seconds.

    9 - Wait until completely cool and start the process over again with the next motif!

    VOILA! You have created your new look, now go and rock it!

     

  • Fitting your curtain pole doesn't need to be stressful!

    Buying and fitting a curtain pole can be confusing at the best of times. Thankfully, with the help of this handy guide, you'll be able to fit your new curtain pole and hang your curtains with ease.

    What you'll need:

    • Your curtain pole, brackets, screws & accessories.
    • A measuring tape.
    • A pencil.
    • A drill & screwdriver.

    how to fit your curtain pole

    Ready to get started? Shop our range of curtain poles and find something that suits you!

  • Custom made curtains and blinds at Home Focus

    Every house is different, and that goes for every window and door too. Not every window will suit the size of ready made curtains, and in these cases, having custom curtains made can be the best option.

    All Home Focus stores can facilitate customers in having custom curtains made, from expert advice in choosing your fabric, to organising an expert maker to measure, make, and fit your beautiful custom made curtains.

    1. Why Choose Custom Made Curtains & Blinds?

    Not all windows are made equal. While many windows will be suitably sized for ready made curtains, this may not always be the case. Any window that falls outside the set range of available sizes for ready made curtains may require a custom job for a polished, beautiful finish.

    Have you fallen in love with a fabric that isn't available as a ready made curtain? If so, it's easy to get custom made curtains crafted in whatever curtain fabric you like. This is perfect for those searching for a really unique interior for their home, as you can be guaranteed that your custom curtains will be totally unique.

    Custom made blinds can be made to fit even the most awkward of windows and doors. Our expert makers will be sure to provide you with the perfect blinds for your room, with a polished finish.

    Let your individuality shine with beautiful custom curtains, direct from Home Focus at Hickeys. Just find your nearest store, get in touch, and get your order underway!

    2. How To Place Your Order.

    Placing your order for custom made curtains is easy. With the help of our expert staff, you'll have chosen your fabric and have had your window or door measured before you know it. Here are all the steps involved:

    Buy custom made curtains at Home Focus in Ireland

     

    3. How Long Will It Take?

    Having your curtains custom made will of course take longer than getting your hands on some ready made curtains. Depending on the time of year, customers should expect a wait of approximately 4-6 weeks for custom curtains and 1-4 weeks for custom blinds between placing their order and having their order delivered and fitted. Customers would be advised to place their order well in advance of the Christmas season to ensure timely delivery and fitting or orders in time for the festive season.

    4. What Are The Other Options?

    If your window size is right, you can opt for ready made curtains, which can be immediately fitted to a suitable curtain pole. This doesn't require any special fitting, just our handy guide on hanging your ready made curtains!

    Find your nearesy Home Focus at hickeys store in Ireland

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    Your guide on how to hang your curtains

    Whether your new ready made curtains are pencil pleat or eyelet, you don't need to hire someone to come out and hang them for you. Once you have a correctly sized and assembled curtain pole or rail, you're ready to get your new curtains hung!

    How To Hang Pencil Pleat Curtains:

    Pencil Pleat curtains don't need to be complicated to hang. By following these 4 simple steps, your pencil pleat curtains will be up and looking wonderful in no time!

    How to hang pencil pleat curtains

    How To Hang Eyelet Curtains:

    Eyelet curtains are very simple and easy to hang. They offer a natural pleated look, fit easy onto a pole, and require no pulling of heading tapes.

    Simply iron your curtains and hang them by threading the curtains on to your curtain pole, with the correct side of the curtains facing the room. They can easily be removed for cleaning.

    Ready for a change? Shop our wide range of ready made curtains and update your home!

  • How to hang custom made curtains

    Having invested time and money into having your custom curtains made, it's important to make sure that they look their absolute best in your home.

    If you're hanging your custom curtains yourself, there are a few easy steps to take which will ensure that your curtains hang beautifully and look amazing.

    Here's everything you need to know:

    How to hang your custom made curtains infographic and guide

  • Learn how to care for your fabrics with this guide

    How you care for your fabrics can be the difference between curtain and upholstery that last for years, and ones that are faded and frayed in no time at all. Understanding the washing symbols that come with a fabric is essential.

    By properly washing your curtain, upholstery, and dress fabrics, you're not only elongating their lives, but you're maintaining their texture and colour too! Many fabrics, such as silks and velvets, are dry clean only, so check carefully before beginning to clean your fabric.

    How to care for your fabric - washing instructions and symbols

  • How to choose the right duvet tog and filling for you

     

    Have you ever looked at the huge range of duvets available to purchase and wondered 'What's the difference?'. For many people, it can be difficult to know what type of duvet to look for, and to make a smart purchase.

    To make life a little bit easier, we've put together this handy guide on researching and purchasing the perfect duvet, to keep you warm and cosy on even the coldest of nights.

    Here's what you need to consider when buying your next duvet:

    1. Tog.

    A duvet's tog rating is one of its most important attributes. This tells you how well a duvet will trap warm air. Basically, the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet.

    Duvets start at a tog rating of around 3, which would be your lightweight summer duvet. A tog rating of between 7 - 10 is perfect for Spring and Autumn nights. A tog rating of over 10 is perfect for cold Winters, and means you'll be kept warm all night. Duvets with a lower tog rating are generally best for children also, as heavier duvets may well be uncomfortable and too warm for small children.

    Select a tog rating that's perfect for you, based on your own preferences. Anything from your home heating to whether you share a bed or not can affect the tog rating you need, so  make sure you think about your situation before you purchase!

    2. Filling.

    It's not just important that your duvet is filled, it's also important to think about what's filling it!

    There are countless options nowadays when it comes to choosing a duvet filling. From the hypo-allergenic health benefits of synthetic fillings, to the cloud-like comfort of goose down, the options are endless. It's important to consider your own needs when choosing the filling you would prefer. Let's take a look of the pro's and con's of a few varieties of fillings:

    Natural Fillings are best known for being breathable, perfect for keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Duck & Goose Down is a popular natural filling that is used world wide. Down is the soft, insulation feathers found very close to the bird's skin. These feathers are used to stuff both duvets and pillows, with goose being the higher quality, though more expensive, option. This type of filling provides a very warm and comfortable night's sleep. However, it may irritate those who suffer with allergies, and it's important to ensure that your goose or duck down is humanely sourced. Duvets stuffed with down are generally extremely durable, with a lifespan of around 10-20 years.

    Synthetic Fillings have the benefit of being lightweight, hypoallergenic, and faster drying after washing. Most also offer the same level of warmth as naturally filled duvets. Their lifespan is much shorter than that of a naturally filled duvet however, with regular washing diminishing that lifespan even further. Some modern synthetic duvets go so far as to successfully imitatation down duvets, perfect for those looking for the comfort of down, without the price tag!

    Washing your duvet is important in removing dust mites from your bedding. Washing at 60C is ideal for killing dust mites, and keeping your bedding fresh and dust-free.

    3. The Right Pillow.

    Your duvet is only as good as the pillow you rest your head on. A poorly chosen pillow can lead to a variety of back & neck problems, so picking the right one for you is important for maintaining your health.

    You may wish to choose a pillow type based on how you sleep. For example, those who sleep on their backs are recommended to use a pillow of medium firmness, for support and comfort and to maintain the correct alignment of the spine throughout the night. Someone who sleeps on their side might choose a firm pillow, to help support their head, neck and spine as they sleep, while someone who sleeps on their front should probably opt for a soft pillow, to support the head without disrupting spine alignment.

    Like duvets, pillows are also available with synthetic and natural fillings. You might choose a down filled pillow, which will be soft and comfortable. These pillows range in firmness (the more stuffing, the firmer they are). However, they are limited in just how much support they can provide. Synthetically filled pillows are becoming more and more popular, as memory foam options become more available due to their higher levels of support and associated health benefits.

    Again, washing your pillows regularly is of utmost importance. Pillows can usually be washed in a large capacity machine. Washing at 60C is ideal for killing any dust mites that may be residing inside your pillow. Synthetic pillows are useful in this regard due to their quick drying time.

    4. What Size?

    All our duvets come in set sizes of single, double, king, and superking, which are sized as follows:

    • Single: 135 X 200cm
    • Double: 200 X 200cm
    • King: 230 X 220cm
    • Superking: 260 X 220cm

    Knowing your bed size is essential for making the right decision on your new duvet.

    However you sleep, making the right decision on your duvet & pillows can be the difference between a good night's sleep and waking up unrested, with a sore neck and back. Do yourself a favour and invest in some top quality bedding, for a great nights' sleep.

    Shop a huge range of duvets and pillows at Home Focus

  • Your guide to botanical interior design

    Adding botanical elements to your home is quickly becoming one of this year's biggest interior design trends. It's also one of the easiest trends to get involved with! Whether you're planning on going green entirely, or just want to add a few natural touches to your home, everyone can go botanical with their home decor this season.

    If you're dying to go green too, but you're not sure how to get started, here are a few tips to start you on your way:

    1. Green is best.

    While flowers can be a beautiful addition to any home, a truly botanical look focuses on leafy greens, rather than vibrant flowers. This creates a calm, peaceful atmosphere in the home, as green is well renowned as being one of the most calming colours you can choose in home decor. So, when you're picking out the perfect botanical pieces for your home, be sure to opt for leafy and green over colourful and floral.

    2. Size doesn't matter.

    From large statement pieces, to small accents, any botanical element placed in the right space can help you seamlessly achieve the look you desire. Analyse the space you have to devote to this look, and work out what kind of pieces would best help you achieve a botanical theme.

    If you have a lot of space, one large statement piece can be enough to give the room a botanical look. If the space you're in is small, try placing smaller plants off the ground to give them more prominence in the room, and choose plants that are small in size, but leafy and dense to maximize on their effect.

    Any home can benefit from botanical accents

    3. Think beyond plants.

    Once you have added the elements of natural foliage, you can enhance their effect by adding well placed, botanically themed soft furnishing around your home. From curtains, to cushions, throws and rugs, there are countless ways for you to enhance the botanical theme of your home.

    You can match the shades of green you're using for a uniform look, or mix and match a few shades to create a more natural and diverse botanical effect. You can also opt for nature based designs - leaf designs are perfect.

    Why not take a look at our botanical collection for some ideas?

    Shop the botanical collection with Home focus at Hickeys

    4. Use your wall space.

    Empty wall space is the perfect canvas for adding a botanical feature to your room. Whether it's wallpaper that makes a big statement, or some beautiful pieces of art that add a natural element to the room, adding wall art is a great way to complete your botanical masterpiece.

    Identify the kind of space you have and how you want to use it - whether it's a wall segment you want to wallpaper, or an empty wall that would suit a botanically themed painting. Be careful in choosing your colours and patterns when it comes to wallpaper, so as not to make the room appear to be too dreary or dark.

    Here are a few ideas, from wall paper to decals, from around the web that we just loved:

    botanical wall decals are an easy way to get this lookBotanical Wallpaper is perfect for this interior design look.
    Botanical wall art is an easy way to get this trend

    Wall paper, wall decals, and even just some well chosen botanical prints or paintings can go a long way in transforming your room into a botanical wonderland. Small touches are all that's required, so don't go over board - particularly with big statement pieces such as wallpaper!

    Have you introduced a botanical theme to your home? If so, we would love to see how you did it! Get it touch with us and share your interior design creations via email or through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

    Shop the interior decor collections at Home Focus

     

  • Interior design trends for 2017

    The new year is nearly upon us, and as with every New Year's celebration , it comes with a whole new range of trends, predictions, and new looks to introduce into your home in 2017.

    The year ahead is tipped to be filled with DIY projects, natural colours and textures, and a move away from technology. Get ready for a few months of auction trawling for unusual pieces, upcycling, and creating your own unique haven at home. A return to rustic features, combined with warm colours, is on the cards, as well as maintaining some principles of the 2016 craze Hygge, with escapism and meditation featuring heavily in design features for the year.

    So what can we expect to see in the design world in 2017? Here are the features we're tipping to be big this year:

    1. Greenery - Pantone's Colour of the Year.

    Pantone have named 'Greenery' as the colour of the year, suggesting a big focus on this vibrant shade to come in 2017. This fresh shade of green is sure to highlight the arrival of spring, and keep your home vibrant and lively throughout the year.

    Accents of this shade are perfect for creating splashes of colour in a room, so keep an eye out for cushions, curtains and throws in that perfect shade of green!

    Greenery Pantone Colour is a big interior trend for 2017

    2. Escapism

    Technology has made its way into every aspect of our lives, and now as we reach 2017, people are trying to move away and create spaces for meditation and relaxation. This means comfy nooks and crannies, designed for getting cosy with a cup of tea and a book.

    This follows on from one of 2016's big trends, Hygge, celebrating everything warm, comfy, and cosy.

    Escapism and hygge go hand in hand as a trend for 2017

    3. Terracotta

    Rustic, warm, and inviting - Terracotta is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2017. Whether it's updating your flooring, or adding terracotta accents with flower pots, this warm reddish tone is set to feature heavily in home design throughout 2017.

    Even soft furnishings can play into this trend. By adopting the warm tones of terracotta for your cushions, curtains or throws, you can make the most of this warm, subtle shade.

    Terracotta is tipped to be on trend for 2017

    4. Rustic Charm

    From farmhouses to distressed furniture, the rustic look is making a comeback. Whether it's cheap and cheerful pieces you picked up from a local auction or sale, or that old cabinet hidden away in the attic, if it's old and a little battered, it's the perfect piece for your home in 2017.

    Exposed beams and brickwork are certain to become even more popular, as the 'old farmhouse' look re-emerges as one of the favoured interior design trends of the year. So for 2017, whatever you're decorating, make sure to add that rustic element!

    Rustic interiors are a great look for your home

    5. Recycled Pieces

    As everyone looks towards creating a sustainable future, recycling is starting to make an impression on the world of interior design. By reclaiming old, unloved pieces, you could do more than just save yourself a fortune - you could also end up with some beautiful, unique pieces to place around your home.

    Whether it's upcycling pieces you already own, or salvaging furniture, tiles, or wooden beams to make your own pieces, this is the year to get creative, cut costs, and think sustainability.

    Why not recycle something as part of your home decor?

    Have you made any interior design predictions for the coming year? Or will you be renovating your home in line with one of these fantastic trends? Let us know in the comments!

  • Adorn your home with a rustic mini pine cone tree this Christmas! Simple yet so effective... It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!ub5ornso-xlarge

    1. Decorate the tips of your pine cone with gems and embellishment to look like baubles.

    2. Make the base from a polystyrene ball. Trim the top and bottom so the edges are flat. Decorate the ball by painting red and adding ribbons and bows.

    3. Stick the pine cone to the top of the polystyrene base with glue and top the tree with a festive bead or bow!

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