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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

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Preserve a piece of military history in your home


When you bring a reclaimed item into your home, there’s often more to the history of the piece than first meets the eye. Take these teak tongue and groove floor boards for example.

teak floor boards
Lightly sanded


They may look like your everyday rough and ready second-hand floorboards, but these were sourced from Brunswick Training Camp accommodation block in Surrey and date all the way back to the early 20th century.

Brunswick Training Camp is part of the Pirbright military base in Surrey Heath and has been used for military training practices since the late 19th century. There’s a rich military history at the site, beginning in 1875 when the British army acquired the land for training and exercises. Then followed the construction of Pirbright Ranges, a military firing range that was then developed into a semi-permanent barracks. During the first world war, a railway line was constructed, connecting it to the main London to Southampton line. This railway line was used for military passengers and freight traffic throughout the war. During WW2, the site was used as accommodation barracks and continued to be used as a training centre. An Historical Environment Record (HER) noted the presence of anti-invasion defensive features and practice trenches, which are designated an Area of High Archaeological Potential (AHAP).


The accommodation block was made up of several h-shaped single-storey blocks, with separate bunk rooms connected by corridors and a central bathroom accessible from both wings. The barrack blocks were identified as heritage assets due to their architectural value as examples of 20th century military structures including during both world wars. This means that a Historic Building Recording was made of the accommodation block in order to preserve the significance of the buildings as examples of early 20th century barrack blocks, and provide understanding of the formation of the camp.


Now at the end of its useful life, it was time for the accommodation block to be removed to make way for a modern facility for current servicemen and women. As always, when Dorton worked on-site we took great care to preserve as many features as possible, in order that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.

These floorboards are steeped in history and just waiting to be restored to their former glory. This is a wonderful opportunity to incorporate an important part of Britain’s history into your home, and literally tread the same floors as our fathers and grandfathers during the world wars.

Mahogany floor boards
Teak T&G floor boards – untreated
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Cottagecore inspo

Cottagecore inspo

One of the top trends for Summer 2021 is cottagecore, with its nostalgic yearning for simpler times as a reaction to the pressures of modern life. This trend was already on the rise pre-pandemic but in 2021 it’s really come into its own.

Cottagecore also has nods to sustainability and eco awareness so it’s the perfect fit for us at Dorton. This trend is about looking back to a time when life was a little less throwaway and a little more analogue.

What is cottagecore?

Cottagecore inspo

The key to this aesthetic is contentment at home, returning to nature, a sense of wellness and security. During the pandemic, many of us have probably partaken in the trend without even realising it – making our own bread, taking up a craft, reading more books, or simply finding joy being at home with the family.

Cottagecore is all about a longing for simplicity – in fashion, gardening, interior design, baking…the list goes on and on. And while we’re all happy to have more freedom as we move out of lockdown, this is a trend that looks set to stay, particularly as the outside world remains so fraught and chaotic.

To bring a touch of cottagecore into your home, there are some key elements to consider. Layer up this style – more is most definitely more! Cosy is key – you’re aiming to create a natural and soft ambiance that calms your spirit and makes you feel safe and secure. 

Keep it vintage

Cottagecore inspo

Cottagecore décor goes hand in hand with reclamation as it’s all about sustainable, rustic, old-fashioned pieces. We’re talking about reclaimed wooden worktops, stripped-back kitchen tables and chairs, vintage tableware, an Aga or range oven, wooden dressers displaying all your pots and pans.. Take a look at this stunning bread oven from our yard for inspiration!

You can introduce a little cottagecore with something simple, open shelving filled with books, vintage planters, a set of mismatched side tables, an antique vase of wild flowers – or base your entire design around the trend.

Mix and match

Cottagecore inspo

Forget minimalism, cottagecore is all about a curated clutter, cosiness, and displaying all your knick-knacks rather than hiding them away in cupboards. Take inspiration from bygone days and display vintage cake stands, old mismatched glasses, and reclaimed treasures. And that chintzy Charles and Di commemorative plate you’ve been stashing away for years – it’s time for it to shine!

Bring the outside in…and continue the trend outdoors

One of the easiest ways to nail the cottagecore look is to add florals. Choose botanical tiles, wallpaper, prints, cushions, rugs, bedspreads and the floweriest, kitschiest vintage cups and saucers you can find! Decorate the walls in homely colours derived from nature – greens, blues, pinks or neutrals are perfect – and accessorise with real plants and flowers.

We love the way this space is styled with a mix of quirky planters, vivid pops of colour and vintage shutters.

Cottagecore inspo

Continue the trend in your garden with mismatched pots, window boxes and planters spilling over with colourful cottage garden flowers like geraniums, lavender and hollyhocks. Remember, sustainability is a cornerstone of cottagecore so you could even create your own veg patch to really embrace this good-life aesthetic.

Stay safe.

Image references

Main image –

Bedroom –

Kitchen with open shelves –

Kitchen with table –

Bedroom wallpaper – The interior editor (via Instagram)

Interior plants –


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Spotlight on… lighting your home


One of the most effective ways of adding ambiance and elegance to your home is through clever use of lighting, whether it be to create a statement or add warmth to an underused corner. We’re taking a look at some of the leading lighting trends, how to incorporate them into your renovation project, and top tips to consider when lighting your home.


Making the most of natural light

It’s worth exploring how to make the most of natural light in your home. When you’re designing a space, think about the room’s aspect and how you can maximise light before adding artificial illumination. In a north-facing kitchen for example, you could add bifold doors or skylights, then incorporate spotlights to further highlight any darker areas.

In a bright south-facing room, take advantage of the light with large windows – but bear in mind that sunny rooms can also become very hot! Use wooden shutters to filter the light and create coolness.


Form and function

Key considerations when choosing how to light a space are form and function. Your lighting should have a purpose yet also bring you joy. Make the space work for you – an elegant reading light next to your favourite chair, a statement installation over a kitchen island, concealed spotlights above your bathroom mirror..all neat touches to add practicality, beauty – or both!


Mix it up

The current décor trend of mixing styles, textures and shapes extends to lighting, and with it comes the chance to design a playful lighting display. Mix and match ceiling pendants, experimenting with height and shape to show off your staircase or hallway. Or create lighting that looks great even when it’s switched off with mismatched coloured glass shades – fabulous over a dining room table.

Upcycled and repurposed shades are perfect for this style. Be creative with mason jars, ceramic bowls, even old cake tins! Check out this blog for more ideas – and be sure to visit us to see what’s in stock at the yard.


Keeping it natural

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen so far this year is the use of natural colours and materials. Think rattan, wicker (yes, it’s back!), bamboo and earthy natural tones. Rattan is so light that you can exaggerate with style and size – we love this shell spiral lampshade for example.

Vintage industrial Vintage Industrial Style

Industrial vs vintage

A style that never loses popularity is the industrial look, conjuring thoughts of Manhattan lofts. Soften hard edges by matching with vintage or natural materials. We’re thinking wire ceiling pendants with stripped back wooden shelves, or clusters of bare bulbs alongside a kitsch flowery table lamp. Add warmth with your choice of wall colour, furnishings, flowers, art – then play with expectations with stark, bold industrial lighting.


A trip down memory lane

Perhaps it’s because of the last year where we’ve all been forced to simplify and spend more time at home, but we’re definitely seeing a move towards nostalgia-inspired lighting. Some styles never go out of fashion – art deco, 60s inspired floor lamps – but we’re also seeing lots of retro table lamps (for home office working with a little added style!), cosy reading lights and even that most questionable trend – lava lamps!

At Dorton, we have a range of floor lights, pendants and lanterns – come down to the yard to have a browse.

Stay safe.

Image references

Main image – glass ceiling lights My Warehouse Home

Kitchen with natural light Architectural Digest (Copyright ©2011 The Condé Nast Publications. All rights reserved)

Bedroom with chandelier Trendir

Mix of boho pendants Renoguide

Shell spiral rattan shades Rockett St. George

Vintage vs industrial Vintage Industrial Style

Table lamp Home and Gardens