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Furnishing for religious events

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The UK is home to a diverse population and so many of us hold different beliefs. Thankfully, this means that we’re able to experience a range of religious festivals each and every year.

A religious festival is a time of special importance to those who follow the religion. They typically run on an annual cycle and there are hundreds to note across the world. Amongst the many that take place, the religious festivals that are celebrated the most in the UK are Easter, Eid, and Diwali.

What do each of the festivals involve and what furnishings are often present for each?

church decorated window

Diwali

The festival of light marks the Hindu New Year. Hindu homes, shops and public places are decorated with small oil lamps called diyas. The lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people's homes.

The festival celebrates light over darkness. So, as well as diyas, it’s common to see beautiful illuminations and firework displays as you walk the streets on festival day.

Just like New Year celebrations on 31st December, Diwali is a chance to throw a party. With colour being the main focus, any community space hosting an event should have furnishings that match the bright meaning of the cultural event.

Whether it’s colourful drapes covering tables or bright lampshades to cover lighting, colour is a must! This also goes for furniture, too. We mentioned the ability to cover tables with drapes but for seating, there are more options available.

Banqueting chairs come in a wide range of different upholstery styles, and because of its meaning, Diwali gives hosts the chance to experiment with colour more than any other occasion. Red upholstery matched with gold metal frames on seating is a popular choice for the festival.

However, there are plenty of other colours and patterns to choose from too. Just make the adjustments that you would like to make to the chairs before ordering.

Lent (Easter Sunday)

Easter Sunday can fall anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th. It’s commonly seen as the beginnings of spring and, if the weather is right, is the first time in the year that families and friends spend time outside for dinner and drinks.

Christians will gather at churches at midnight on Easter eve and then in the day spend time with family. Businesses often hold special Easter Sunday events and parades celebrating the day.
Colour schemes for an Easter celebration are typically greens, browns, whites and blues. Scattered around, there will be bunnies, chicks, plants and, of course, we all know that there are bound to be plenty of Easter eggs.

Whether indoor or outdoor, wooden furniture sits in well with the colours and theme. White wooden chairs such as the Washington side chair work particularly well. With the weather, hopefully, brightening up around the time of Easter Sunday, ensuring you have outdoor furniture is a must. Again, woods work well but to ensure the longevity of the product look for seating and tables with wooden tops and metal stands.

Complete the outdoor Easter look by hosting an egg hunt, tying ribbons to branches, scattering egg baskets around and having decorative egg ornaments.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month where Muslims across the world fast during the hours of daylight. Eid celebrates the end of this period and thank Allah for the help he gave them through the previous month of self-control.

Community space and homes celebrating Eid will all most likely have fresh flowers, sparkle and, of course, plenty of food! For Eid, it’s all about creating a welcoming impression so open seating and space for people to mix and mingle is a must.

Sofas mixed with armchairs and contemporary seating works well for groups celebrating Eid. After so long limiting their intake of food and drink, there is likely to be a buffet-esque selection of food on offer at most Eid gatherings.

Folding tables are ideal for these temporary functions and can be stored away after. Line each table up and there is plenty of room for all of the delicious food!

Furniture for religious events

Whatever the religion, festivals are events that are looked forward to by those that follow the religion are all about coming together as groups. Families, friends, acquaintances and strangers all coming as one to enjoy the moment together.

church cathedral interior design and furnishings

If held outdoor, banqueting tables and banquet chairs are ideal. They can be tailored to match the theme of the event and can be stacked away until the following year. Folding and stacking tables and chairs are easier to manoeuvre than those more conventional.

If you need help with selecting furniture for your event celebrating a religious festival. Get in touch with our team on 0116 2988 787 or browse our selection of seating and tables.

How to shabby chic your café tables and chairs

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The shabby chic style can be used to enhance any type of interior or décor and make rooms look that bit more vintage. Whether your customers just pop in for a drink or dedicate a while in your café to satisfying their cravings, the shabby chic design will make sure they always return.

What is Shabby Chic furniture? 

The style of ‘shabby chic’ describes a form of interior design in which furniture and furnishings are favoured for their aged, traditional style of showing signs of wear and tear, or when a new item has purposely been distressed to achieve a sought after antique effect.

Where did shabby chic as a style come from?

The term ‘Shabby Chic’ was first coined in the early eighties by a British designer in American magazine ‘The World of Interiors.’ This was just at the time that a new wave of decorating styles had emerged in Britain using paints and pain effects. Designer Rachel Ashwell used the same term to describe her style when she arrived in America in the eighties and it became so popular she used it as her business name and trademarked it in 1989. 

How do you ‘shabby chic’ furniture?

The ‘Shabby Chic’ design is usually created by items being heavily painted through the years, with many layers showing through obviously time-worn areas. The style is then imitated by using glaze or by painting and then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats. This technique is known as ‘distressing’ the finish of the furniture to give it that antique look. Colours of cream or grey are often used to create this effect and result in the more traditional style most people favour.

How to ‘shabby chic’ chairs

Like most DIY projects, the key to a successful outcome is in the planning. Make sure to decide in advance how you want your finished piece to look, as winging it never ends well. Once you have decided how you want the end design to look, follow these next steps and take the plunge.

1. Prepare the wood – you will need to remove the finish on the wood so your new paint will be able to stick to the surface easier. White spirit and a wire pad will do the trick if your furniture is polished with wax and sandpaper will be more efficient if your piece of furniture is varnished.
2. Apply a primer – to give your furniture a smoother finish and make it easier for you to work on, apply a coat of water-based acrylic primer. It doesn’t have to be neat.
3. Apply the paint – Choose two different colours of acrylic water-based paint. Add the first colour onto your piece of furniture and let it dry completely. To create a clever two-colour distressed finish, you simply dab streaks of clear furniture wax using a paintbrush, cloth or sponge, where you want the wood to look distressed. The wax will then repel the next layer of colour after it is painted over the whole thing resulting in the base layer showing through. When the piece of furniture is completely dry, wipe it with a cloth to take the paint of the waxed areas giving you the favoured antique effect. 
4. If you wish for a more distressed look, then sandpaper can be used on the painted piece of furniture to scrape off the paint as deep as the wood level. If you go wrong, just paint over it and give it another go.
5. Alternatively, choose sections of a piece of furniture to focus on, such as the legs.  An example of this is our Shabby Chic Farmhouse Table, which combines a walnut wood finish with white paint.
Where to buy ‘shabby chic’ furniture

Due to the upcoming rise of shabby chic furniture, it can be bought in many stores from high street chains to small individual businesses sharing their unique styles. Whether you want to save yourself the hassle and buy pre-distressed shabby chic furniture or save money and upcycle your own pieces of favourite furniture, you will never be short of options and ideas!

For all of your furniture inspiration needs, visit the Trent Furniture website, where we have a huge range of tables, chairs, stools and sofas.
 

How to make your restaurant digital

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Going into a restaurant and asking for the WiFi password is becoming a more common theme. Some establishments are now so used to people asking that they provided the password details to internet heaven on a plaque on the bar or on a slip of paper on each table.

It’s no surprise that the way we dine is becoming ever more digital. We’re connected with the outside world throughout every experience that we have. Therefore, giving your customers the ability to easily share pictures of the amazing food and drink you’ve provided is a must.

New research has revealed the scale of younger persons using smartphones while dining. 2,000 regular eaters out were surveyed by Eagle Eye to understand their habits when dining.

Of those aged between 16 and 24, 40 per cent make call or message, 41 per cent check their social media and 37 per cent take photographs of their friends and family with food. The amount that this age group uses their smartphones increase the more regularly they dine out.

Improving the digital experience

When asked how restaurants could improve their experience, 42 per cent of 25-34 year olds and 39 per cent of 16-24 year olds said they would like to receive personalised promotions to their mobile.

Three quarters of 25-34 year olds also said that they would find a restaurant app useful for paying or redeeming vouchers and promotions. 

If developing an app is out of your price range, make the most of visitors needs to get internet access by getting them to register for access. The majority of visitors will have no problem exchanging their email address for free internet access.

By getting their email address, your CRM can be updated and you can fine tune communication strategies to increase the likelihood of a return visit.

Instagram worthy restaurant furniture

With visitors posting pictures and videos of their experience in your restaurant, your establishment needs to look the part. What’s better than your customers spreading free word of mouth with all of their followers and friends?

For more information about the range of seating and tables available to get your restaurant Instagram-ready, contact Trent Furniture today on 0116 2983 569.

Creating a family affair in your restaurant

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The two main necessities for appealing to families are creating the right environment and having an appealing menu.

However, balancing between catering for families and other guests can be a difficult task. 

But with the summer holidays just weeks away, more families will be available to eat out. Here are some easy ways to increase you family appeal:

Healthy, adventurous options

The decision of where a family eats will often sit with what the children’s menu looks like. But gone are the days of parents looking for a basic menu filled with fish fingers, burgers and chips – at least not solely. Although treats are allowed when eating out, health is still in consumers’ minds. 

Children will always side with the more indulging option yet restaurants can reimagine the old classics with a healthy twist; these options don’t have to be deep fried to be enjoyed. Find a way of making these familiar children’s meals in a healthier way.

Allowing children to customise their own meal is a great way of engaging little ones. Children like to be involved and creating an interactive menu is a simple way of doing so. 

Fun and games

We all remember getting those colouring pencils and paper when we went out for a meal with our parents in our younger days. Something so simple can create the impression that your establishment welcomes families with young children. 

The pictures, games and activities for children should involve all members of the family and be regularly updated to increase repeat custom. By engaging and entertaining the kids, the parents are more relaxed meaning that the whole dining experience is more enjoyable. 

What families are looking for:

• Healthy meal options
• Deals for children
• Details of the ingredients and sourcing of child’s food
• Entertainment for children
• Play area (if enough space)

The summer holidays are approaching which means that there are six weeks for restaurants to make the most of the family market. This market is thriving but parents want healthy options and something to make the children feel welcomed and entertained. 

Family restaurant furniture

Our child’s high chair is designed so what the child can push right up to the table so that the child can join in with the rest of the family. They are also stackable, meaning that they can be stored using less room and can be easily used when needed.

To find out more about our seating, for every age, call us today on 0116 2986 248. 
 

Get your beer garden ready for summer

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Summer has well and truly arrived! 

With more people taking staycations this year in an effort to save money, there are even more opportunities this year to impress for all operators in the UK, not just hotels. 

Of course, when the sun is out, people want to be outside and when the sunny days come thick and fast, most Brits find solitude in their nearest beer garden. Crowds of friends and families soak in the sunshine through the day and enjoy the longer nights. 

The benefits available for pubs and bars that open up a beer garden can be unmatched through summer. If you’ve got the space, it’s a huge oversight to not make full use of it through the summer months. 

Tips for the perfect summer beer garden...

Get green

People like to feel as though they’re in the great outdoors, after all it is meant to be a beer garden.

Beer gardens in the UK are often pictured as ones filled with cigarette buds and empty pint glasses but it doesn’t have to be this way! Maintain what grass you have, bed some flowers and add hanging baskets and pots if your outdoor space is slated. 

Summer drinks

We know it’s called a beer garden but to appeal to the masses you can’t be that restrictive. Whether it’s summery cocktails, fruity cider or a glass of bubbly, everybody has a different preference when it comes to warm weather drinking. Be sure to plan a summer drinks menu in advance and cover as many bases as possible.

Catering

Sunshine not only changes the drinks menu but it should also alter the food, especially for those in the beer garden. If you don’t currently offer food at your pub, nibbles and sharing plates with breads, chesses and dips can be enough to tide over an empty stomach.  
To draw a big crowd doing some outdoor catering such as a barbeque. The smell of a barbeque alone is enough to bring most Brits through the door! 

Beer garden furniture

Putting extra consideration into the furniture, fittings and décor of your outdoor space can be a surprisingly easy way of attract punters. If you can manage to make the space picturesque enough to end up on Instagram and other social networks, word will soon spread about your pub’s beer garden.  

For something a little different than the normal, generic beer garden, consider choosing something other than cut and paste four seater wooden benches.

At Trent Furniture, we have a range of outdoor furniture for a more traditional beer garden and for something more original. Take a browse today and contact us on 0116 2989 552 for advice and more information.

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