Hickeys Blog

Interior Design


Why would anyone buy custom made curtains you might wonder? What’s even the difference between having a pair of curtains made and buying a pair off the shelf?

Find Out More
  • 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 Spring/Summer 2018. (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


    Spring/Summer Events

    Easy-Sew Garments & Accessories

    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 10th March 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Occasion Style
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 10th March 2018 - 14:00 - 16:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 24th March 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easter Crafts
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 21st April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Home Sew Nursery
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 28th April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Teen Style
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 12th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Jersey Dress
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 19th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Cotton Quarter Ottoman Cushion
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 26th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Soft Separates
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 2nd June 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Summer Bag
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 9th June 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Dublin Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 23rd June 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 3rd March 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 10th March 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Occasion Style
    • Galway Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 21st April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Home Sew Nursery
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 28th April 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Teen Style
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 19th May 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Cotton Quarter Ottoman Cushion
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 26th May 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Soft Separates
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 2nd June 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 16th June 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court Shopping Centre , Williamsgate Street - Saturday 7th July 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • LimerickHickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 3rd March 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Hat making/Communion Hair Pieces & Accessories
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, LimerickSaturday 21st April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 - Home Sew Nursery
    • LimerickHickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 19th May 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Cotton Quarter Ottoman Cushion
    • LimerickHickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 2nd June 2018 - 10.30 - 12:00 - Easy Sew Summer Bag

     Sewing - Curtain & Roman Blind Making

    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 14th April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • DublinHome Focus, The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 15 - Saturday 14th April 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15 - Saturday 14th April 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00 
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15 - Saturday 12th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00 
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, Limerick - Saturday 14th April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court, Williamsgate Street, GalwaySaturday 14th April 2018 10:30 - 12:00


     How to use your Sewing Machine & Sewing Tips

    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1 - Saturday 3rd March 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Hickeys Fabrics, 5 Henry Street, Dublin 1Saturday 5th May 2018 10:30-12:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Unit 406, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15Saturday 3rd March 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Unit 406, Blanchardstown Retail Park, Dublin 15Saturday 21st April 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Unit 4 The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 18Saturday 10th March 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Dublin - Home Focus, Unit 4 The Park, Carrickmines, Dublin 18Saturday 21st April 2018 - 14:30 - 16:00
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, LimerickSaturday 10th March 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Limerick - Hickeys Fabrics, 33 Cruises Street, LimerickSaturday 5th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court, Williamsgate Street, GalwaySaturday 24th March 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00
    • Galway - Hickeys Fabrics, Corbett Court, Williamsgate Street, GalwaySaturday 5th May 2018 - 10:30 - 12:00



  • The-Ultimate-Beginners-Guide-to-SewingA Starter Kit…

    If you have clicked onto this post you are likely to be a novice or a beginner here in the world of sewing and dress making. If that is the case- welcome! Congratulations, you have taken the first step towards developing a skill you can use forever. Something I have learned from my mother is- as a beginner, do not dive in head first. Start small. Otherwise you will get frustrated and give up before you’ve even begun. Here is a list of things you’ll need to get started…


    There are two pairs of scissors you will need in your kit. The first, shears or dressmaking scissors. They will make your future dress making projects a whole lot easier provided you choose the right pair. They don’t have to be an investment, but a great investment they will be! Both are designed to make the cutting of fabric a less laborious task, their handles allow for you to get a good grip and really control the cutting, and their sharp blades result in the fabric having a clean cut. You should choose them carefully, as you may find that some are very heavy whilst others too light. It’s personal preference. One thing you will hear time and time again from dress makers is do not, I repeat DO NOT use them to cut paper. Paper will blunt the blades, and therefore render them useless when it comes to the task of cutting fabric. Fabric only, people.

    A set of small embroidery scissors is the second pair you will think a handy tool to have, for the likes of cutting thread. A little less clunky and pretty reasonable value.


    Thread can vary, and depending on the project you may need to select accordingly. A great starter addition to your kit would either be cotton or polyester (or both). Cotton is versatile and comes in different finishes, it can withstand a lot of heat from the iron and runs smoothly through fabrics, particularly natural fabrics. Polyester is great because it works well with all fabrics and has great longevity- it washes well and keeps its colour. An important thing to consider when buying thread, is to know your thread. You should test it before using it in a machine, as a dodgy thread could cause damage. Tip- when pulled tightly, thread should snap before you cut your fingers. If it doesn’t then consider your machine, if it gets caught will it snap the needle or cause even more damage?


    Pins are a bit like hair grips, they will end up everywhere and you will always be grateful to have them at hand. Use them to hold your pattern to a fabric whilst you trace it, they are also handy when you are sewing as they can keep your fabric in place to help you sew evenly (especially as a beginner). There is a variety of pins available, and standard steel pins would be a good place to start. They may not look as decorative, but for sewing tasks they will be versatile and easy to use on most fabrics. An adorable pin cushion will brighten up your sewing area too!

    Hand sewing needles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all have their uses. It can be daunting to know which one to choose, so be advised to go for a general pack. It has a few different lengths and types, so that you can find what suits you best dependent on the project at hand.

    Sharps Needle: When in doubt, choose a Sharps needle. Very sharp (as the name suggests) and used for all general sewing projects. A good one for beginners as it will be able to tackle most beginner projects such as your first attempt at free hand embroidery!

    Quilting Needle: Its has a short length which allows you to stitch faster than you may with a normal sized needle.

    Embroidery Needle: Similar to a Sharps, except with a longer eye which will make threading the thicker embroidery thread a little easier for you.

    Knitters or Ballpoint: Both are great for knit fabrics, the rounded edge goes around the yarn rather than breaking through it and potentially damaging your handiwork. Knitters are for hand sewing, closing the seams on your knitting projects, whereas Ballpoint is a machine needle, great for knit fabrics such as jersey.

    We have a great selection of pins and needles available online and in store.


    Provided you are confident that dressmaking or sewing is something you really have an interest in, it’s time to invest in a machine. We here at Hickeys are big fans of the Brother machines. With a starter machine, the more basic the machine, the less chance you have of overcomplicating your projects. The Brother LS14S is affordable as far as machines go and it is a great starter machine. Easy to use, a nice size and it covers all the basics. It comes with a DVD to show you how to use your machine and they have a YouTube channel that will show you all of their top tips and tricks. With an LS14S, even if all you end up doing in your sewing career is turning up your trousers, it will be money well spent.


    Now that you have committed to a machine, you are raring to go and create magic. This is great! But you need to practice first. You need to get to know your machine, which means sitting in front of it and trying out all the settings. Try every stitch, get used to working the reverse stitch button, find the speed that suits you on the pedal. You will be grateful that you took the time to practice, it will make creating your first garment a far less daunting task.


    When cutting out a fabric, this tool could be your best friend. Trace around your pattern onto the fabric with tailor’s chalk and it will make your life a whole lot easier. You could get a little more technical by using a blunt tracing wheel and some carbon sheets but really it is not necessary when you are learning- leave it to the pro’s for now.

    Tailors chalk doesn’t have to be boring! Go for a lucky dip, you could get a red, yellow or blue Tailors Chalk – the excitement!


    Even the best of the best dressmakers will make the occasional mistake. A stitch ripper will save you and your scissors the big task of ripping the stitches whilst also saving your fabric from damage so that you can try again!

    We have a nifty little seam ripper with a rounded edge, to save your fabric from any nicks whilst ripping your stitches.


    It’s easy to run away with your imagination and picture yourself creating dramatic pieces or a complex outfit, and with practice you will be able to achieve that one day. However, for now start simple. Don’t go out and buy a really difficult pattern and a really stretchy material. You might struggle and find yourself frustrated and feeling less than confident about your skills. Practice, practice and then practice some more. You should spend a while getting to know your machine before you even commit to a pattern. When you feel ready, go with a Simplicity pattern. They are very easy to follow, have some great looks and hopefully you won’t feel overwhelmed with their guidance.

    If you are unsure of a pattern, pop into one of our stores! We have catalogues upon catalogues of patterns and styles to choose from. If you need help finding a fabric to suit your chosen pattern, our staff will be delighted to help you.


    As the saying goes “Measure twice, cut once”, A measuring tape will save you on your mistakes (hopefully!). Soft and flexible, it will measure your curves accurately and easily. Most of them will come with both imperial and metric units, so that you can follow the sizes easily. A quick tip, make sure you replace your tape occasionally. This is as over the years, it can stretch a little when used often, your measurements may become inaccurate, even if you measure thrice!


    So, you’ve collected all your bits & bobs, now you need somewhere to store it all! Sure, you could have it all stashed away in a drawer, but where’s the fun in that?! We have a great variety of little and large sewing baskets. Most sewing baskets will contain a removable compartment, acting as a little shelf for the smaller items in your kit. Sewing baskets also usually contain a small pin cushion for you to use while working away on your projects, as well as a little pocket often useful for the sharp embroidery scissors. Half the fun of a sewing basket is the choice in colours and patterns, so get choosing!

    To Conclude...

    At this point, you should be kitted out and raring to create. If so, fantastic news! Use #HickeysFabrics in your social media posts so we can check out all your creative crafty bits and bobs- we can’t wait to see them! If you need any further assistance in your crafting career, why not pop into your local Home Focus or Hickeys Fabrics store? Our lovely staff will be delighted to help you with any queries you may have. We also host a range of Free Craft Demonstrations, no sign up required, just come along and be immersed in the crafting world. Happy Crafting!


  • Pom-pom-twinkle-lightsLittle else is more exciting to an interior design lover than adding something new to their home. Constantly on the look out for something different and exciting- changing cushions, adding throws, a new rug- you name it! Sometimes the eyes can be a little larger than the wallet, so here is a fun, easy and cost-effective way of adding a little something to your humble abode.

    Something most can agree on is that twinkle lights are amazing. They are a low cost, pretty and simple way to jazz up your home- whether you wrap them around your curtain poles or drape them over your bed board to create a cosy feel by some candlelight, they are always welcome. Pom poms are all the rage at the moment, they are fuzzy delights that add texture and a pop of colour to anything you add them to. So, as you have guessed by the title- we have combined the two greats to achieve something even greater. Pom Pom Twinkle Lights. This DIY is fun, wallet friendly and interchangeable. Are you an interior chameleon? All you need is some wool, scissors and a Pom Pom maker, you can literally chop and change the colours with your mood.pom-pom-twinkle-lights-two

    What you will need:

    Twinkle Lights: Opt for LED as they are a little safer, more energy efficient and more manoeuvrable as you’re not having to plan your display around the nearest plug socket. We have a variety available in our stores for great prices! Find your nearest store.

    Pom Pom Maker: Pom Pom makers vary, and we have a great variety available to purchase in our store! However, really you can create a Pom Pom out of things in your home. Check out our Pinterest page where we have a board dedicated to the glory of the Pom Pom, with pins on DIY hacks, inspiration and ideas.

    Sharp Scissors: There is nothing worse than a blunt scissors. If it’s sharp it will cut easily and make your task a little more enjoyable. Shop our online scissors selection

    Wool: We have chosen two colours, both very on trend shades for 2018, but you can go as simple or as wacky as you like! There are no limits (aside from the length of your twinkle lights). Check out our wool selection online and in store.

    Let’s Get Pom Pom’ing.

    Step One: Assemble your maker accordingly. This one requires the two grooves and ridges to fit together. You then thread the wool through the middle and hold the short end in your other hand, then wrap! It's best to move back and forth around the half-moon shape, distributing the wool as evenly as you can. Don’t go too thick, as you will have to close the two sides which may prove difficult if your wool is packed on too thick!pom-pom-twinkle-lights-three

    Step Two: Once you are happy with the thickness of your wrap on one side of the maker, move the thread of wool to the other side and continue to wrap. Don’t worry about the thread of wool being spread across the two sides, as you will be trimming it later on, and will have a chance to even out your Pom Poms to your liking.


    Step Three: Close your maker and use the little white grips to clasp the two pieces together. This secures the maker so that you can concentrate on trimming the wool! Get your scissors and place it between the groove and start cutting. The groove will act as a guide so that your cut remains straight.

    Step Four: You can start to see the Pom Pom forming now- how exciting! Get a piece of wool, long enough to wrap comfortably around the width of your Pom Pom and tie a knot. When you wrap through the groove, tie single knot and pull tightly. Twist the thread again and tie a double knot to secure the Pom Pom.


    Step Five: Remove the grips and carefully remove the maker. Trim your Pom Pom to size, evening it out as you go. Be careful not to cut the tails of the knot you used to secure the Pom Pom, as we will be needing these later!

    Step Six: You should now be left with a variety of Pom Poms, as many or as few as you like dependent on the length of your string of lights. Lay your lights out on a surface and decide where you would like to place our Pom Poms. We chose to have one every four lights.pom-pom-twinkle-lights-six

    Step Seven: Using the tails of wool from your Pom Pom, tie your Pom Pom tightly around the Twinkle Light thread. When you are happy with the placement, trim your tails to blend in with the Pom Pom itself.pom-pom-twinkle-lights-seven


  • Guide-Custom-Made-Curtains

    Why would anyone buy custom made curtains you might wonder? What’s even the difference between having a pair of curtains made and buying a pair off the shelf? Why are they more expensive?

    Having worked in a Hickeys shop for more years than I care to let on I am fully equipped to answer these questions! Or at least I hope I am. In my opinion there’s 3 real reasons why anyone would go to the bother of getting Custom Made Curtains:

    1: The size issue – Sometimes you might just have an odd sized window and cannot buy standard readymade curtains in your size. This is probably the reason most people buy custom made in the first place as not only can you have curtains made to the exact dimensions you need but if you’re really struggling, you can book an appointment to have a fitter do the measurements for you!

    Curtains can also be made to suit odd shaped windows not just outsized ones, making custom made the only real choice for apex, dormer or sash windows.

    2: Quality _ Although readymades have improved drastically over the years there’s still nothing like the quality of Custom Made Curtains! The fabric! The finish! Readymades are mass produced in a factory. Your custom made curtains are made for YOU with care and attention by a single maker from start to finish. Basically once you go custom you’ll never go back.



    3: Choice – And I do mean choice, custom really means custom. This is really where custom made comes into it’s own, choosing your fabric is only the start, and that’s no easy choice when there’s so many gorgeous ones out there. You can even add some quirky cool trim like the one above, make your curtains as unique as you!

    So let’s talk about the choices you’ll be faced with when going custom


    • First it’s important to consider the setting – do you want a more formal sateen type fabric for your elegant living room or a breezy, fresh printed cotton for your kitchen?
    • Next the colours - be bold with pattern and colour but always pick something that you can live with long term. Custom made curtains really last and hopefully you’ll be looking at them for a very long time. We’ve had customers come back to us after 15 years with perfect curtains, so pick something you’ll love and can work accessories around to give you a new look.
    • If they’re in a high traffic area you may want to look for washable fabrics, your custom made curtains will generally have to be dry cleaned but a washable fabric can be spot cleaned if damaged

    Staff instore will be happy to give you fabric samples so you can look at them in setting and really make sure you’re making the right decision


    You will get to choose what your curtains will look like at the top, the heading you pick will also depend on what type of rail/pole you have

    • Pencil pleat – the most basic type of curtain heading, good for curtains if you need them to be washable as they are made with a washable tape on top. No other custom made curtains are washable as they are made with a stiffener on top which goes limp if wet
    • Eyelets, a more modern look, using slightly less fabric so gives a cleaner aesthetic
    • French Pleat – Probably the most popular heading in custom mades as it gives a very elegant look, yet also suits a more modern aesthetic as they sit nice and crisp in pleats down the length of the curtain
    • Open goblet/Goblet – These are basically a version of the french pleat, in which the top is stuffed to make a round shape rather than a pleat. These lend themselves to a more formal/ traditional setting. Best styled with tie backs to drape the curtains off the window when not closed.
    • Tab tops – A very informal heading, suitable for light – medium weight fabrics only. These have less fabric than the other headings and look good in the likes of a children’s room or kitchen when you want a simpler look.


    You can choose curtain linings for any number of reasons, both practical and impractical. Curtains can be very functional for blocking light or keeping the heat in, or maybe you just want them to look really plush. Here’s the options:

    • Sateen – a good basic lining, helps protect the fabric against fading and looks good on any fabric where you don’t want a specialist finish
    • Thermal – a fairly lightweight lining with thermal properties to keep you room cosy and protects from drafts
    • Blackout – does multi tasking as it blocks the light and is great for keeping a room cosy
    • Sateen fleece – entry level interlining basically, it has a light layer of fleece added to a lining to give your curtains a plush look
    • Bonded interlining/Blackout Bonded interlining – these have a layer of wadding added to a regular lining or blackout lining as you choose. They add a plush look to your curtains, but are most suitable for fabrics that are a little stiffer due to the way they drape.
    • Interlining – The ultimate in curtain lining, your curtain is made in 3 layers; fabric, interlining and lining (usually sateen). The look is really plush and drapes really well. This adds a gorgeous finish to lighter fabrics like silks.


    Your curtains will be machine sewn, custom made (a mix of machine and hand sewn) or entirely hand stitched. Which one of these options you go for will usually depend on the type of fabric and lining you choose. Though hand stitched will give the neatest finish, with there being little to no visible stitching on your curtains.

    Hopefully that answers some questions you might have about going custom. I personally feel that custom is an antidote to the “fast fashion” we’re all subjected to these days. It’s about choosing something you love and will love for years to come because you know they’ll look as good in 10 years as they did the day you hung them.

    If you’re interested in going custom or want to get an idea of cost get in touch with one of our expert staff in your nearest store.

  • 2018. A New Year, with new goals, new plans and of course- new trends. Below we have our top 5 picks for Interior Design Trends of 2018, and we are so excited to talk about them! The great thing about these trends is you can really make them your own, inject your own personality and taste. 2018 sees the return of Floral, the opposite of Minimalism and a twist on 2017’s hottest trend- Hygge.

    1. Pantone Colour of the Year

    “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” – Pantone

    Pantone has named “Ultra Violet” as the Pantone Colour of the Year 2018. This striking shade of purple can be beautifully incorporated into any home and countless colour schemes. Make a bold statement with a feature wall. Maybe you prefer a neutral palette? Add a little pop of vibrancy with a velour cushion.

    (image credit - www.pantone.com)

    2. Maximalism

    With Maximalism- more is more. The need for bold extravagance as opposed to the stripped back Minimalist style that has been popular in recent years. Aim for clashing prints and jewel toned textures. Think Floral, Chintz and Brocade prints layered with Velour, Metallic and Glossy textures, creating a sumptuously decadent ambience in the home. Maximalism is great for those who love to upcycle, pairing period pieces with modern materials.

    (Our Bellini Emerald Cushion, Glamour Teal Fabric or Verona Ochre Curtains would be a great start!)

    (image Credit - www.interiordesign.net - Palazzo Fendi VIP apartment in Rome by DIMORESTUDIO. Photography by Andrea Ferrari.)

    3. Tone on Tone

    Take a colour, and work it. Layering two or three shades of the same colour or palette creates a fantastic aesthetic in a home. Think Terracotta, layered with ochres and burnt sienna tones. Bottle green with teal and lime. Embrace textures- velour, knits, tile and metals. Inject patterns or prints to really add depth to your colour scheme.

    (Our Terracotta Bellini Cushion or Ochre Rib Velour Curtains would be perfect!)

    (image credit - www.thedesignchaser.com)

    4. Casual Comfort

    A development of the well loved Hygge trend, Casual Comfort incorporates scandi and industrial textures with the warm and calm. This is less about colour injection and more about using your senses to recognise a comfortable environment. Pom Poms, Tassels, Velour, Faux Fur and Wool throws are all great additions to this style. If you like a pop of colour, why not add some Millennial Pink? Another hugely popular design trend for 2018! Play it up with berry reds and deep purples, or create a calmer ambience with cool greys and sage tones.

    (image credit - www.lustliving.co.uk)

    5. Floral

    Floral is back, and it is fabulous. This style has been so beloved throughout the years and in 2018 it has a new zest for life. We are seeing it with big prints in jewel tones, and ditsy prints in pastels. Whether you go big with bloom covered bedding, or add a touch to your modern monochrome with a statement cushion (like our beautiful Layla Cushion), Floral is a trend you can embrace wholeheartedly.

    (image credit - www.sfgirlbybay.com)

  • 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!

  • 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!



    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


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