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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.

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.

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. 

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.


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.

People in the UK seem to love American diners!  Whether it’s because they’re reminiscent of a trip to America or in place of one, an authentic taste of America is extremely popular.

The benefits of an American Diner

There’s something about a diner that is inescapably approachable – whether it’s a burger and milkshake occasion, or a celebratory birthday meal, an American diner caters for all occasions, whilst providing British people with something a little different.

Achieving the authentic American diner feel

To achieve authenticity in an American diner, it’s not just about the food.  How the diner looks, both on the outside and the inside, has a huge impact on people’s dining experience and can even be the reason for people trying out the diner in the first place.

Whether it’s diner style benches or classic diner stools, the furniture used in an American diner definitely count towards their atmosphere. For example, chrome topped tables and two-tone bar stools, benches and chairs epitomise the diner feel perfectly.

For diners that have the room, you can’t get much more American than using a diner booth and for a less traditional, yet still obviously American feel, try a black and cream two seater bench:

American dining seating

American diner two seater chair

American diner furniture package

To achieve the American diner look in a way that saves money and is cost effective, consider an American diner furniture package like this one from Trent Furniture.  

With our diner furniture packages, you can kit out your American diner with 6 chrome tables, 12 chairs and 6 benches, to perfectly cater for 24 people, for just £1,437.90 +VAT.

American diner furniture packages and special offers

Also available in our range of American diner furniture are:

• American diner benches
• Tall American diner chairs
• Regular American diner chairs
• Frame and board American diner chairs
• Tall American diner stools
• Small American diner stools
• Two seater American diner chairs

Where can I buy American diner furniture?

If you are looking to buy furniture for an American Diner, Trent Furniture have you covered with some of the best quality furniture around for highly competitive prices. View our complete range of American Diner furniture and order yours online today!

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