Shoe Storage Woes

Photo by Jaclyn Moy on UnsplashShoes, boots, trainers, slippers, heels, and sandals… gone are the days when most of us made do with two pairs. One for the week and one for Sunday best.

Now,  we seem to have special shoes for every activity and they seem to have learned  to multiply while we’re not looking.

Adequate shoe storage is a problem that many of our customers face, and we’re always on the lookout to find the best shoe storage ideas for you.

What makes shoe storage so tricky? Shapes, mostly. Plus the fact that some shoes – like a pair of posh, satin heels – need more care than your slippers or a pair of football boots. And that shoes can be in a state that makes storing them right away downright undesirable. At which point many of us encounter that old chestnut…. I’ll do it tomorrow.

And a few tomorrows later, our hallways are in a sorry state, overrun with discarded footwear, since – of course – the next day, we most likely wear something else.

But it isn’t all that difficult to keep on top of the footwear flood once you’ve considered a few of these points:

Special Occasion vs. Everyday

Shoe Storage Woes | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterSome shoes get used a lot.

Others get taken out once a year. Maybe.

One way to keep shoe clutter down, is to separate your special occasion shoes from your everyday wear, and store them separately.

Special occasion shoes are often a bit more delicate than those we schlep from work to gym to the supermarket. And since they’re only on display at special occasions, there’s nothing wrong with storing them in a box on the top of the wardrobe or in the drawers under the bed. That way, they won’t get mauled and scuffed by grimy rugby boots and your everyday shoe storage just gained space for one more pair.

Hidden or in Plain Sight?

Shoe Storage Solutions | Mobel Oak from A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterThis is another question you should ask yourself before you embark on the quest for the perfect shoe storage solution. Do you like to have your shoes on display, or would you rather hide them out of sight?

Shelves, old ladders, crates and pallets, hangers, or cubbyhole units like this one from our Mobel Oak collection let you put your shoes on display and easy to reach. Shoe cabinets, storage ottomans, blanket boxes, lidded baskets or storage benches on the other hand, keep everything neatly out of the way.

Neat or Casual?

The final decision when it comes to shoe storage solutions, and this one has as much to do with your interior decor style as the space you have available for storage. Baskets and storage benches are a great choice if you don’t mind so much that your shoes aren’t all lined up in a row. If you prefer things orderly, then both cubbyhole shelving and shoe cupboards provide neatly sectioned space.

Decluttering your home | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

And if space is at a premium? Look up and make use of your wallspace. Shoe cupboards are available in tall and short, as well as slimline designs, so storing your shoes neatly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on too much hallway space. Shelving – whether traditional or something more creative like crates or ladders – also make use of free wallspace. And don’t forget your corners. Tall corner storage cabinets make excellent shoe storage!

And if you’re still not sure what’s the best shoe storage solution for you, then why not check out the shoe storage section on our website or visit our Banbury or Bicester stores for a chat. We’ll be delighted to show you around!

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Home Refresh: The best place to find new home decor is…. at home

Is the weather getting you down? Do you wish you could magically switch up your decor to cheer yourself up and make your family appreciate their home in a completely new way? Well, grey evenings and grumpy weekends are perfect for a home refresh, because for  most of us the best place to find new home decor is… at home.

Yes, you heard that right. There’s no need to rush out into the cold, or get wet traipsing from one shop to another in search of that elusive basket, blanket or picture that will magically change your home decor from staid to zing. There’s no need to spend lots of money on new things, either, because chances are you already have lots of items you bought because you loved them and that perfectly match your home decor style.

All you need to do now is look at them in a new, creative way. Give an old favourite a new lease of life, move furniture and accessories around, or repurpose pieces you no longer need.

Here are a few ideas for your next home refresh:

    • turn your children’s old toy box or a random pallet languishing in your shed into a chic new coffee table… think paint, or another of those old curtains!

  • turn the rarely used guest bed in the spare room into an inviting reading nook or TV den with the use of a rolled up quilt and a stack of colourful cushions. Old curtains, especially those lined ones without gathers, make excellent loose “sofa” covers.
  • tablelamps become so much part of the established decor, they’re often overlooked when it comes to a home refresh. Try moving one of your table lamps into another room and see how much it revives the look!
  • moving accessories can instantly change the mood of a room. Swap pictures and canvas prints around, or put your craft skills to good use creating new lampshades

Home refresh: moving accessories can instantly change the mood in a room!

  • recover your dining room chairs in a cheery new fabric
  • move a chest of drawers from your bedroom into the hallway. Your bedroom will suddenly feel much bigger and the hallway will be tidier with a new, exciting space to store winter clothes and random clutter.
  • Or repurpose an old bookcase into open-fronted shoe storage
  • And if all you’ve been dreaming of is a stylish centrepiece for your dining table? Go explore the seldom-opened cupboard in the kitchen. Soup tureens, cake stands or old bottles and jars can be turned into fabulous centrepieces.

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Keeping it Tidy

January is decluttering month. A time when many of us pack away the Christmas decorations and then begin to sort through the rest of our belongings, tidying, ditching and recyling as we go. Keeping it tidy isn’t just something that brings pleasure or a sense of achievement, just as decluttering doesn’t just free up space in our homes.

Both are proven  ways to clear our minds, too. Getting rid of old, no-longer needed things helps us classify and pack away experiences that hold us back and make room for new thoughts and a fresh start.

Decluttering always starts with a good clearout, and very little is needed in terms of equipment except for three big bin liners to sort items you want to sell, give to charity, or throw out for good.

Ideas for Keeping it Tidy from World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Keeping it tidy, on the other hand, does require storage space. The easiest way to keep your home neat, is to assign a place to shoes, books, games, remote controls, and mementos… the usual culprits for clutter.

And that’s something where we can help. Furniture is our game, and that includes those oh-so-useful (and sometimes oh-so-whimsical) pieces that help keep clutter at bay.

Keeping it Tidy: How to store Wellington boots in style | A World of Oak a Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterTake Wellington boots, for example. Due to a tendency to topple over, they’re even harder to keep neat than shoes in general. And they’re not the sort of shoes you simply toss into a box or basket.

So in the quest for a neat and tidy hallway, what is one to do?

Find a boot holder, that’s what.

They make drying wet wellies a cinch, and keep the muck neatly away from the rest of the footwear.

As for the other sources of clutter in your home? Blanket boxes and clothes bins can help clear shed garments from the floor. Baskets are a fabulous catch-all solution for household clutter. They come in different sizes and in many different styles, so you’re bound to find ones that can take care of the jumble of remote controls, or the knitting supplies, or even the collection of beach stones you’ve brought back from holiday.

Baskets are useful for storing toiletries, makeup, phone and tablet chargers, batteries, hand towels and even socks. And one of our handy desk tidies is just the thing to keep phones and tablets safely out of the way of damage.

So if you’re in the mood for decluttering and on a crusade for keeping it tidy, why not swing by one of our shops and see what we can do to help you out?


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Wardrobes: Where Size Matters

Lundy Painted Pine Quadruple Wardrobe: the largest wardrobe in our stores. | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterAlong with a bed and a table, a wardrobe is one of those pieces of furniture you find in most homes. Unlike a bed or a table, it’s not been around since prehistoric times. Back then, most people stored their clothes in chests. For one, because they probably didn’t own as many clothes as we do these days. For another, chests were easier to transport when travelling, and wrinkles came with the territory.

The age of the wardrobe did arrive eventually, and given their storage potential, wardrobes soon became a popular piece of furniture. Everybody wanted one, and since homes and tastes varied, wardrobe builders came up with a dizzying array of configurations, styles, and finishes.

Visit one of our showrooms and you can find single, double, triple and even quadruple wardrobes. We have all-hanging wardrobes. Wardrobes with hanging space and drawers, gents robes and ladies robes. Wardrobes made from solid oak, pine, or mango, with an oil, wax or painted finish.

Single Wardrobe from our Mango Furniture collection. Ideal for smaller rooms or hallways. | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterAnd that’s before you even look at straight versus curved, sleek versus traditionally styled, expansive or compact.

So, how do you choose your perfect wardrobe?

You could start by gauging the quantity of clothes you need to store. Or you could start by measuring the space where your wardrobe will be. That way, you can widen or narrow the size of wardrobe you need.

The largest wardrobe we offer is quadruple with extra drawers. It can swallow so many clothes, you may never need another chest of drawers or blanket box! Yes, it’s big, but it actually works out very well in smaller bedrooms, too… since you need to find space for fewer pieces of furniture.

Our smallest wardrobe, by comparison, is a single with extra drawer space. Ideal for childrens rooms or multi-purpose / guest bedrooms. Wardrobes don’t just have to be consigned to a bedroom, either. A wardrobe placed at the end of a hallway makes a great storage space for winter coats and boots!

Once you know where your new wardrobe is meant to go and which size wardrobe would be the best fit, you can decide whether you need more hanging or more drawer space.

And then, finally, it’s time to consider the style and finish of your new wardrobe.

We can, of course, help you with any questions you may have about our wardrobes. Why not visit our stores and find the wardrobe you’ve been looking for all along?



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Home Decor Trends: Greenery and Bits of String

Are you a fan of the Seventies? If you were around during the years of oil crisis and strikes, Disco Fever, Abba, Travolta, and bell-bottomed trousers, then maybe not. If you’re younger, you may feel a little nostalgic for all that boho hippie chic. And if that’s the case, then you’re in for a treat when it comes to this year’s home decor trends.

Vintage vibes have been a décor favourite for a while. Now a growing love for houseplants is joining in and together they’re ideal for creating simple, stylish and very cost-effective home décor.

Home Decor Trends: house plants  and macrame | © Patrick Perkins, unsplash.comThink big leafy plants on windowsills and shelves and suspended in macramé hangers and you’re going exactly where the designers are pointing you! Just check out your nearest IKEA and search for #macramé on Instagram and you get an idea of what homes in the year 2019 will have in common.

Many of us love gardening. Many more of us love plants around the home. That trend is set to rise as our population continues to grow and gardens are shrinking or disappearing altogether. It has been estimated that by 2020 2.6 million UK homes won’t have a garden, which explains the increased demands in houseplants from succulents to cacti and from bonsai to orchids.

In 2018, interior design retail chain Habitat listed spider plants, banana palms and swiss cheese plants as must-have accessories. But the houseplant trend doesn’t stop with beautiful floorstanding planters and pots on shelves. Hanging plants make even more of the available indoor “green” space, and utilising handmade products like macramé plant hangers fits with the overall trend for sustainability.

Home Decor Trends: Macrame Plant Hangers | Image: Paul Hanaoka,

Macrame is easy to learn and doesn’t require hugely expensive materials to get started, so making one of the fashionable plant hangers is within reach of everyone. But macramé seems to be feeding another craving for many of us, one that’s very 2019: the wish to learn a new skill and create something useful while socialising at the same time.

Craft cafes are no longer a novelty. Macrame workshops are available around the country, and where we once held PartyLight or makeup parties, now groups of friends gather around the dining table to learn macramé.

Whether you’re a fan of all things 70s or not, boho chic home decor trends including macrame and houseplants are set to be with us for a while. So why not enjoy them?

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2019 Furniture Trends

A very Happy New Year to you all! We hope the old year was kind to you, and that you have lots of exciting plans for the new one. If you’re looking forward to your first new home, or planning to refurbish your existing one, then please keep reading. Because – as always – the new year comes with new furniture trends as well as new ideas in colours, styles, and interior design.

We’ve been in business helping you create the home of your dreams for almost thirty years, and we still get excited looking over new furniture trends. Outrages colours and shapes one year are balanced by calmer, more traditional designs the next… but it’s always the way the components are put together that help you create a calm room, or a cosy one, or one that energises you the moment you walk through the door.

Neutrals with bold splashes

After bold jewel colours, the prime colours for the new year are spiced honey and blush tones. Both make for tranquilly and comfort, and both play well with wood and painted furniture.

Beside the calm background, designers predict a return of bold splashes of colour and equally bold patterns to add highlights and interest to neutral colour schemes. Rugs are good for making that happen, as are cushions, throws, wall art and table accessories.

A Rug for Every Room | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine

Multifunction furniture

Multifunction furniture has been a favourite of our customers for a while.  Benches with storage, shoe cabinets that double as a hallway seat, or funky seating that can store clutter and act as an impromptu coffee table…. interior designers have elevated furniture that pulls its weight to one of this year’s hot furniture trends.

Avon underbed storage, ideal for small bedrooms | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Cosy Beds

With the weather grey, gloomy and on the chilly side, the idea of cosying up in bed to read or watch TV sounds very appealing. Maybe that’s why one of this years top furniture trends revolves around cosy beds. Start with one of our lovely oak beds, add storage options that keep your bedroom Zen and clutter-free and then dress up your bed with a comfy mattress, smooth sheets and a huge pile of soft, cosy blankets and cushions. Now all you need is big mug of hot sweat cocoa and your favourite movie and you’re all set….

2019 Top Furniture Trends: Cosy Beds | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Small Details

Finally, while bold is beautiful, and furniture needs to be large enough to accommodate us and our clutter, interior designers are quite determined to focus on small details this year. Doesn’t mean your furniture suddenly has to win a fussiness contest. Contrast tops on painted pieces, rounded corners, and handles of unusal shape or tactile materials add all the detail you could wish for.

With its mix of calm and bold, cosy and practical, 2019 looks to be an exciting year for furniture design. If you’d like to find out what’s new and what’s in this year, why not visit our Banbury or Bicester store. Right now, you can bag yourself a great deal in our Big Winter Sale, and our clearance areas offer plenty of scope for furniture bargain hunters all year around.

Wishing you a exciting and peaceful 2019!

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Christmas and New Year Opening Times

Christmas is a busy time for most of us, and there’s nothing worse going out to look at some new furniture to find out that the store is closed!

So, as every year, here’s a list of our opening times over the Christmas and New Year period. Our Giant Winter Sale will start on Thursday, December 27th.

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Need Furniture before Christmas? Make the most of our Price Drop Sale!

Not everyone wants to – or can – wait for the Christmas Sales. If you need a new bed, coffee table, or wardrobe in a hurry – we can help. We have a huge selection of solid pine, oak, mango and painted furniture in both modern and traditional styles. And seeing what a strain Christmas puts on our wallets, we’ve dropped hundreds of prices right across the store, so you can save money on new furniture whatever the calendar says.

Between now and Christmas you can find some great deals in our stores. From wardrobes under £400 to a complete dining table set at £583. From TV units under £200 and sideboards for less than £400.

Coffee tables, side tables, and occasional tables are all available in our Price Drop Sale. And if you need new bedroom furniture, we have great offers for beds, wardrobes, chests and bedside tables, too.

Need furniture before Christmas? Make the most of our Price Drop Sale!Take a look around our website for the latest Price Drop deals on all our new furniture ranges. You’re bound to find something that will look fantastic in your home.

Alternatively, you could visit our Bicester or Banbury stores for extra bargains and furniture to take away. We now have furniture clearance areas in both stores – offering samples, end-of-line items, ex-display pieces, and slight seconds at deeply discounted prices. Clearance area stock is strictly limited and sold first come first served.

Stores are open from 9am – 5.30pm every day and from 10am-4pm on Sunday, with parking right outside the doors. And whatever you’re looking for, we’re always happy to help and advise.

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Colour of the Year: 2019 will be a year of Optimism and Warmth

Black or white, red or blue, green or purple, yellow or orange… colours have a big impact on our moods. They can influence buying choices, push us to greater efforts, or make us feel calm and help us relax. Colours also influence how we see and judge others, and how we want to be seen and perceived. So it’s no wonder if choosing the colour of the year is no easy task. Nor is it surprising that there’s more than one.

After this year’s vibrant neon purple from Pantone, and the calmer Heart Wood from Dulux, the colour trend for the new year seems to head towards optimism and warmth.

The Pantone Institute has chosen Living Coral for its colour of the year and describes it as “vibrant, yet mellow” and “with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens.”

It’s easy to imagine the fashion world embracing Living Coral with great enthusiasm as either an eye-catching accent colour paired with softer neutrals like grey and cream, or as an outright party shade, bold and bright and impossible to miss. It’s a shade that’s supposed to play well on social media, drawing us in and keeping us interested, so graphic and web designers are bound to take note of it.

And while Living Coral is no doubt bound to make its way into our homes – think soft furnishings, lampshades, accent pieces – the colour paint manufacturer Dulux has chosen as its colour of the year is easier to live with.

After 2017s Denim Drift, and 2018s Heart Wood, the Dulux colour of the year 2019 is Spiced Honey.

A neutral amber tone, Spiced Honey exudes just that warmth and optimism that everyone expects to rule our lives in the next months. It’s also a colour that’s very versatile around the home. It can settle in almost any colour scheme, depending what colours you pair it with.

Mixed with grey-toned browns and creams and accented with cobalt and burgundy, Spiced Honey will help you create a warm, soothing environment where it’s easy to shed the stress of the day.

Dusky blues and purples as well as grey combine with Spiced Honey in a colour palette that’s restful, dreamy and calming. Gorgeous for cool bedrooms or your own quiet space.

Deeper hues like teal, auburn or paprika add a cosy vibe to Spiced Honey than anyone with makeover plans for their dining room should take a closer look at.

And while it’s a neutral shade, Spiced Honey can also work well with vibrant hues like orange, red, or royal blue in childrens rooms or home offices.

Decorating with Spiced Honey tones doesn’t mean you have to reinvent your home. It blends with most colour schemes, and works well with wood and painted furniture alike, whether you prefer a traditional style or want to create a thoroughly modern home.

To find out how well the new Dulux Colour of the Year can work in your home, check out this article on the Dulux website.

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Welcome to our Black Friday Sale!

It’s that time of year again! It gets darker sooner, shops are brightly lit and cheerfully decorated and everyone is offering fantastic bargains in their Black Friday Sale.

We’re no exception.

Right now we’re gearing up for a fabulous weekend of great furniture and amazing deals. Our Banbury and Bicester stores will be open from 9am – 5.30pm on Saturday and from 10am-4pm on Sunday, and you can find items from our long-running favourites oak and pine ranges, and all our newest furniture collections at mouthwatering prices.

Our clearance areas aren’t being left empty either. If you’re worried that you might have more guests come Christmas Day then you have dining chairs, then come take a look at our selection of emergency chairs from £19!

We also have deeply discounted wardrobes, dining tables, dressers and sideboards, chests of drawers, bookcases and desks, plus a raft of single items and accessories from stunning baskets to vintage signs and from canvas prints to collectable models.

Items in our clearance area are samples, end-of-line or ex-display pieces, so stock is limited. If you see anything you like – in our weekend Facebook posts, for example – then please message us or call the store to check availability or reserve the item.

There’s plenty of free parking outside both of our stores and all available items are ready to be taken away. Alternatively, we also offer free local delivery. Right now, we’re still able to guarantee pre-Christmas delivery on many of our products, but this may change as we get closer to December. Place your order now to avoid disappointment.

We look forward to seeing you in store!

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