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All about bricks!

When you’re embarking on an extension or repairing a section of a building, you’ll spend many hours immersing yourself in the world of bricks.

Bricks are among the most important features of a build – first and foremost naturally, for the integrity and structure but also for the overall look and feel of your home. Get it right and bricks exude character and charm, seamlessly merging the old and the new. Get it wrong – well, you can end up with this!

Colour matching

When you’re choosing the right materials for your project, it goes without saying that the most important thing is to pick strong, sturdy bricks in good condition. After that, it’s vital that you colour-match to your existing bricks, as well as to other buildings in the area wherever possible.

This is a very tricky thing to get right, and you’ll need to do a lot of research, but don’t skimp on this step; even fairly subtle colour differences can be very noticeable once the building is finished.

You may find that blending two or more bricks in your design is the best way to merge the new structure with your existing building. 

If you’re renovating or extending a period property, you may find it difficult to match the manufacturer or specific make of bricks. That’s where reclaimed materials can help you out – for example. bricks rescued from a Victorian school in Sussex could be a good match for your Victorian house, particularly if it’s converted from a school or is in a similar location.

Give us a call or come and have a look around the yard – we’re here to help and we’ll advise on the most appropriate bricks for you. Did you know you can also join our pre-claim service to hear about our most exciting discoveries before the site is demolished. A gem for house flippers, self-builders and others in the trade.

We also stock large quantities of repro bricks to supplement our supply while we’re waiting for new stocks to come in. Our repro range means we can offer consistency to our customers, as well as a weathered, authentic look.

Reclaimed bricks 

Reclaimed bricks have all sorts of advantages, including lead-time (new bricks can take many months to arrive), cost (with no production or manufacturing costs, and minimal transport, our prices are often lower) and of course, sustainability (more on this later). Planning laws may also stipulate that you must use original materials, or those that look in-keeping with existing buildings.

We’re passionate about the importance of reclaimed materials, and we take great care in preserving as many as possible from our site clearances. We aim 97% of items to be recycled or repurposed.

Many of our reclaimed (and repro) bricks are available in imperial size. Bricks manufactured before 1965 are almost always imperial, so it’s very handy to know a local stockist! We also stock products such as coping bricks in traditional and half round shapes.


Adopting a sustainable approach has so many advantages, not least that you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint versus choosing new. The construction industry is huge contributor to waste and carbon emissions, especially when you consider extraction, transportation, production, and manufacturing. Heritage products cut all that out by reusing existing materials, so there’s less need to create more.

There’s even more to it than that. Reclaimed bricks have bags of character and evoke a bygone age.  They anchor a building in shared regional history and an appreciation of provenance. By preserving our heritage, we’re keeping materials and traditional methods alive for future generations. Sadly, not every period building can be saved, but by retaining as many original materials as we can, we can preserve another.

That’s our mission, and we love sharing it with you. Do come and visit us soon.

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Locker inspo

A few months ago, we featured a fabulous twist on storage in one of our blogs – renovating a set of old lockers to create a stylish set of cupboards.

We loved this idea so much we’ve been inspired to create a full blog looking at different ways to upcycle school lockers and filing cabinets.

The OG inspiration

The pin that started our obsession! This is the example we featured in our unusual finds and how to use them feature back in October 2021. We love the simplicity of this idea, creating uniformity with one colour yet adding interest by removing doors to create open shelves. You can adapt to your heart’s content, adding glass doors, patterns, or colourways to suit your design and space. 

Start simple – add colour!

This striking example shows just what you can do with a few cans of spray paint and some imagination. You could consider replacing handles to create uniformity, or simply go with what you’ve got and have fun with a bold pop or two of colour.

This set-up would be ideal in a playroom or nursery – play about with primary colours, or match to your existing colour scheme for a subtler approach. Why not add your children’s names on labels to really personalise the space?

Create a kitchen island

We love this quirky (and space-efficient!) kitchen unit. Create a similar effect with half-height lockers, or you could repurpose a filing cabinet to create deep drawers to house pots and pans. Spray to match your décor or create a statement standalone piece.

Strip it back

A fan of industrial chic? Here’s a pared-back, minimal-effort option that still looks achingly sophisticated. This style is all about pairing a weathered, industrial piece of furniture with soft fabrics, mismatched furniture, and light and airy space. Don’t worry if there’s some bumps and dents in your locker, it all adds to the character.

Bespoke storage unit

This classy example would be lovely in your dining room, as home office furniture that’s a step up from the norm, or even in your hallway. Lock away unsightly clutter, store your rarely used shoes, gloves and scarves – this is a unique way to create additional storage. 

Create a playful tv stand

This example shows off a completely different style, which would work well in a playroom or den area.

Take it to the next level…

If you feel confident upcycling furniture, you can produce some really unusual results with decoupage or wrapping paper. Take a look at this instructive blog for a handy how-to tutorial.

Inspired? Pay us a visit at the yard and see what industrial ideas we have in stock. If you’re on the hunt for something in particular, please give us a call and one of our friendly team will be able to help you.

Image References

Main image Funky Junk Interiors 

Playroom lockers Play as u go blog

Kitchen unit – sourced at Pinterest (via Katie Palmer) 

Industrial locker (close up)

Dining room locker – sourced at Pinterest (via eBay Australia)

TV stand locker – sourced at Instagram (

Floral filing cabinet Mod Podge Rocks blog


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Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

Pantone has unveiled its colour for 2022 and it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before!

‘Very Peri’ is a brand-new lavender-violet-blue based shade created to represent confidence as the world enters yet another era of unprecedented change. Expect to see ‘Very Peri’ everywhere over the next few months – and if you’re sceptical about introducing such a daring shade to your décor, don’t worry, we’re here to help inspire you with ideas for every taste.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

According to Pantone, ‘Very Peri’ is all about hope, looking ahead, and coming out of an extended period of isolation with a new vision for the future. The last few years have been vital in raising awareness of transformative issues such as the fight against climate change. So perhaps ‘Very Peri’ also represents a fight against the status quo, and a renewed focus on how to effect change. That’s certainly something that we at Dorton can understand as we continue to promote sustainability and repurposing rather than buying new.

So, how can you bring this exciting, wildly contemporary shade into your home?

Accents and features

One of the easiest ways to introduce periwinkle is to accessorise – whether with ornaments, soft furnishings, fabrics, or a feature wall. We love this example where an electrifying periwinkle has been chosen to offset traditional features such as a period fireplace, classic chair and antique lamps.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

Experiment with colour matches

The beauty of periwinkle is that it’s constructed of blues and purples, with a hint of red. So, depending on your preference you can take it in a vivid violet direction, or move towards tranquil blues and lavenders. Create a vibrant look with a contrasting pop of colour (lime, yellow or pastel pink work really well) – even a well-placed bunch of daffs will complement a wall painted in a deep periwinkle shade. For a more calming, wistful vibe, pair with whites and greys – perfect for bathrooms and bathrooms.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

Revamp your front door

Add a burst of colour with a periwinkle-inspired front door. We adore this quirky stable door style, and the way the flowers and lamp base have been chosen to echo the blue colour palette. Notice also how the mirror reflects light from the windows and front door glazing, creating a feeling of space.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

Vibrant kitchen inspo

Ready to go crazy with periwinkle? Create a statement with painted kitchen units. This example cleverly carries the periwinkle theme into the dining room, using lighter shades to create a completely different ambiance. The brass fittings and parquet flooring add to the sumptuous effect.

Storage solutions

This designer has used a bold periwinkle shade to transform a shelving unit in a mud room. They have created softness by picking out lavenders in the wallpaper, adding flowers and natural materials, and ensured the look is fresh rather than fussy with clean lines and subtle accessories. Recreate the look by building your own bespoke storage area using reclaimed timber.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

‘Very Peri’ outdoors

Not sure about bringing periwinkle into the home just yet? Why not repurpose an old wooden chair and create a planter for your garden? Add a lick of paint (we recommend Little Greene Company’s ‘Clockwise’) for a truly unusual feature.

Wishing you a ‘Peri’ Happy New Year!

If you’re experimenting with vivid colour palettes, we’d love to see the results – share with us on Instagram or Twitter.

Main image – Better Homes and Gardens – photo credit Cason Downing
‘Very Peri’ reference – Pantone
Corner area with chair – Emily Dobbs Interiors via Instagram
Front Door – Maria Killam
Kitchen – At home at Arkansas
Mud Room – Digs Digs 
Chair Planter – Balcony Garden Web

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Preparing your guest room for Christmas

Preparing your guest room for Christmas

As we head into December, it’s time for the Christmas prep to really step up a gear, and your home décor is no exception.

This month we’re looking at innovative ways to upgrade your spare room ready for an influx of guests – or maybe just creating some extra space for you to enjoy!

Deck the (headboard) with boughs of holly

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Where else could we start in a guest room but with the bed? Style your bed frame with a quirky reclaimed headboard like this spectacular fireplace surround into which perfectly sits a velvet headboard. We stock a huge range of surrounds in different styles and designs.

Christmas-ify the guest bed with layers of blankets and pillows and drape twinkly fairy lights from the headboard for a truly festive feel. Take the theme to the next level by displaying scented candles or winter berries and pinecone arrangements on top of the fireplace surround.

It’s the most wonderful ‘time’ of the year

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
We absolutely love this showcase of beautiful timepieces – what a fantastic way to create a feature wall! Browse the yard for original or repro clocks to recreate this look, and add to the theme with carriage and mantle clocks – the possibilities are endless.

Box-ing Day

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Store household items, kids toys, bed linen or anything else you don’t want on show while your guests are in town with a vintage industrial storage box, which has the added benefit of looking really cool at the end of the bed. Fancy something a little more traditional? Take a look at this striking original oak storage bench.

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Have some fun displaying unusual features to show off your wild side. These repro iron stags would look equally at home in the garden, but we love them as a guest room centrepiece – particularly at this most festive time of the year!

Fa la la la la la lighting

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Every room in the house deserves to be enhanced with some de-light-ful lighting. Revamp your guest room lights with a little retro twist. We love this set of industrial table lamps, or you could add a little kitchy style with vintage floral lights like these in our main image.

Trim up the tree

Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Preparing your guest room for Christmas
Finally this month, we couldn’t leave you without some Christmas decs inspo. Craft your own sustainable decorations to complete your guest room renovation this season – we absolutely love this how-to from Love My Dress on how to transform traditional baubles using pine needles, buttons, sequins or berries.

We’re open until 22nd December and then giving our team a well-earned rest. We’ll be back on 4th January 7.30am.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, and season’s greetings to all our customers. Stay safe and we’ll see you in 2022!


Image references
Headboard Better Homes and Gardens (image credit Michael Garland)
Wall of clocks Mon Deco Shop 
Storage boxes Ovadia Design Group via Instagram
Baubles images Love My Dress


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Dine together this Christmas

Dining table

As the Halloween decorations are packed away for another year, our thoughts are turning to Christmas – and the prospect of the first big seasonal get-together in two years!

So, in the spirit of bringing the whole family together for a first Christmas since the pandemic, we’re looking at ways to spruce up your dining room to get yuletide-ready for your guests.

Dining table

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and we think jollity starts with a great big table creaking under the weight of food and drink, with all your friends and family gathered around. Upcycle a traditional table with wax or a coat of paint, or take inspiration from this unusual example constructed from a trestle base and a pine stripped door.

Festive centrepiece

A beautiful table deserves a stunning centrepiece. You could buy one of course, but why not take the sustainable route and create one of your own. We love this example using old jam jars filled with candles and seasonal fruits, or this one created using a wooden deli crate and filled with winter fir sprigs and baubles.

Unusual seating

Change up your seating arrangements with a vintage church pew instead of chairs. Paint it as in this example, or strip it back to its original materials. Mix and match with some chairs (like these from Worth Abbey) for other guests. Accessorise with cushions and blankets to increase the cosy factor.

Ceiling lights

Upgrade the lighting in your dining room with a show stopping installation hung over your table. Recreate this industrial look with our repro ceiling lights, or go foraging through the yard to find something similar. We’ve also seen some amazing examples of upcycled lighting using glass bottles, vintage lampshades and even tin drums with stamped holes to let the light shine through. Let your imagination run wild!

Cabinets and dressers

A vintage dresser is a great space saver as well as looking incredibly stylish. Plus, it’s the perfect solution to display your crockery and trinkets. Create this look by keeping part of the original woodwork and adding a hit of colour to match your décor.

Fire grates and dogs

Complete your festive redesign with a roaring fire. We have a huge range of fire grates and dogs to complete the look. Then all you need to do is brew up some hot chocolate or mulled wine and toast some marshmallows to. It’s really beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

We’ll be back next month with some more seasonal ideas. Don’t forget, we have new stock arriving almost daily, so pop along to have a browse, and give us a call if you’re after something in particular.


Image references

Main image A Fireman’s Wife (via Instagram)
Dining table (Christmas) Archi Chef (via Instagram)
Dining table Better Homes and Gardens
Jam jar centrepiece Clean and Scentsible
Wooden centrepiece Country Living
Church pew  Bridgefield Cottage (via Instagram)
Lights Distinct Designs
Dresser Lorrie Cos (via Instagram)
Fireplace Adobe Stock images

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Unusual finds and how to use them


This month we want to highlight some of the more unusual vintage items we often have in stock at the yard, and how to incorporate eclectic, one-off pieces as keynote features in your home décor.


Let’s start with one of our favourites from the yard – we adore these antique brass and copper fire extinguishers, which would look incredible polished up and transformed into a lamp. Add a bare bulb to create a steam-punk vibe, or complement with a vintage lampshade for an elegant look as The Frogmill have done in this lovely example.

Record Player

Record Player

A browse through our yard will uncover gems like this gorgeous PYE record player. Use items like this to add authentic vintage glamour to a retro-styled room as in this gorgeous example we found at Apartment Therapy. For a more modern take, display your record player alongside your state-of-the art surround sound stereo system for a guaranteed talking point. Perfect for the nostalgic music lover in you.

Industrial sink

Your bathroom is another sure-fire way to incorporate vintage, eclectic pieces. Take a look at this industrial sink trough – and here’s inspo on how to transform it into a gorgeous bathroom showpiece.

If you’re lucky enough to have the space, it could also be upcycled into a boot-and-dog-wash spot in your utility room, or even an unusual outdoor planter.



Create bespoke artwork with a classic sign. Lean into the style by pairing with vintage furniture as in this example, or experiment with design influences and add an antique sign to an uber-modern room.



Finally, here’s an unusual twist on living room storage – upcycle a set of old lockers to create a funky set of cupboards. You could remove doors to expose shelves, add a coat of paint, mix and match the colours, affix name plates for the kids – this is a versatile space-saving trend that you can play around with to make it work for you.

You’re sure to find some unusual treasures at the yard, so why not pop along for a visit?

Stay safe.


Image references

Main image (Fire extinguisher lamp) The Frogmill

Vintage record player Apartment Therapy (Nicole Crowder)

Trough sink Michelle Lisac Interior Design

Vintage sign Simple Things Blog

Lockers Funky Junk Interiors