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The Fabulous Fleece Company Blog (2014)

How to get that 'chalet chic' look

At this time of year, seeing some serious snow fall would certainly add some alpine glamour to the UK, for those of us not lucky enough to be jetting off to the mountain slopes for a skiing holiday over the next few months.

However you don’t need snow falling outside to bring a little ski chalet chic to your interior. Here’s our round-up of essential elements that will help add chalet style to your home.

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1. Use natural materials and colours

As you will see from the pictures on our Cosy cabins and chalets Pinterest pinboard, most chalets feature plenty of natural materials like wood and stone, plus leather in the furniture then fur and wool in the accessories.

So the general colour palette for your walls and furnishings can take their cue from these natural materials, with light whites and creams reflecting the snow outside, plus browns and grey tones from light shades through to deep and dark ones

Achieving the chalet look is certainly easier if these materials are already major features - so exposed wooden floors, beams, stone hearths or wood furniture (the rawer the better). However you can also bring natural materials in with accessories.

Use wood to make a feature of stacked cut logs in an alcove or log basket beside the fire. Also forage outside bring in branches, sprigs of pine or collection of pine cones for decoration.

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2. Add texture with fur, fleece and wool

Leading in from point no. 1, natural materials also feature heavily in soft furnishings for chalet style interiors. Animal furs and skins, or chunky wool textiles, are used for chair or bed throws to add luxurious softness, texture and warmth.

Use a reindeer hide as a floor covering and if you have leather armchair, add a sheepskin throw as an arm or seat cover.

Find some chunky knitted cushions and throws to your sofa, or some plaid and tweed ones made from natural wool. Or how about adding some chunky knitted baskets to use for storage.

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3. Bring in some traditional patterned fabrics

As well as natural texture, you also introduce some traditional pattern in the soft furnishings to add more visual interest.

Classic patterns like Fairisle, Scandi-style snowflakes or tartan all add to that ski lodge feel and all happen to be very popular in interior design right now so you’ll find plenty of these patterned accessories in the shops.

4. Source some deer themed accessories

Speaking of interior trends, the fashion for deer themed accessories - featuring antlers, deer and stags - has also been popular recently. So adding these readily available items to your living room or bedroom will help create that ski lodge look.

Choose a cushion or bed linen featuring a deer picture or deer-based pattern, or hang a wintery snow scene of a deer on the wall. Use antlers by placing them loosely on sideboards or attaching them to the wall. You can also find mirror and candle-holder designs using antlers.

A stag’s head on the wall makes a real statement piece that can be a decorative focal point. If you can’t source a real one, there are plenty of contemporary options made from other materials, like metal, paper or card.

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5. Don't forget lights, lamps and candles

Adding soft lighting is our final tip as this is crucial to help create a really cosy ambience. Use a lamp or two instead of your main light (you could source a lamp with a deer base!) and add fairly lights around a mirror or fireplace, (although choose warm light bulbs rather than those bright white LED ones, for a softer glow).

We’re also big fans of big hurricane lanterns that you can place candles inside. A couple of different sized lanterns grouped together with flickering candlelight will really add to that Alpine atmosphere.

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Add Scandinavian style to your home

Image credit: http://www.purodeco.comhome-tour-stylish-and-bright-nordic-home

Now the clocks have gone back, winter is well and truly on its way. Although the extra hour’s sleep was nice, the lack of daylight in the coming months is less appealing.

To help us cope, we can rework our home interiors to make the most of the limited light at this time of year. What better place to look than to Scandinavia for ideas and inspiration on how to make our homes more bright and welcoming spaces on these darker days.

So here’s our round-up of five ways to add Scandinavian style to your home this winter:

1. Make the space light and bright

Bright, light spaces help lift the mood during the long, dark winters experienced in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Scandi interiors always make the most of natural sources of light. So whatever size windows you have, avoid having any heavy window treatments. Get rid of bulky curtains and keep window sills free of any clutter. If you need to cover the window for privacy, try using a light, sheer fabric.

Painting walls in white or pale shades makes your home look brighter and bounces the available light around more. Including glossy and polished surfaces, as well as placing mirrors opposite the window, will also help reflect light.

After dark, adding lamps and candles to a room will bring light but also warmth and a cosy ambience to your home interior at this time of year.

2. Use white and light colours

Using light, natural tones on the wall, floors and major furniture items provide a sense of unity, making rooms look bigger and brighter.

A Scandinavian colour palette often consists of whites, off whites and soft greys. Pastel colours can also work well to add softness to a room.
Using white doesn’t mean avoiding colour altogether - this neutral background is a great base to add in pops of bright colour. Have one bright coloured wall, use bright cushions or other colourful accessories that you can change.

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3. Keep things simple and uncluttered

Scandinavian interiors are as open and as uncluttered as possible. Functionality is very important to make spaces usable and organised.

Good storage is key to creating an airy and spacious Scandinavian style interior. Built-in furniture will give your home a more streamlined look.
Similarly, the chosen furniture is normally practical and comfortable, with clean lines.

Get rid of all clutter and only keep on display those items that are nice to look at.

4. Use wood to bring the outdoors in

Despite the cold winters, Scandinavians are keen to get out into the fresh air for their health and wellbeing. Nature is an important feature at the heart of the Scandinavian lifestyle and using wood indoors helps to create a connection to the outdoors.

So wood accents are a major feature in Scandi style interiors, particularly the use of beech, birch, oak or pine. The wood helps add warmth and texture in contrast with white walls.

The treatment of wood is usually minimal, which allows to show its beauty and texture. It’s often left natural or brushed with white or grey pigments for a lime-wash effect.
Introducing plants and greenery into your home is another way to bring nature and the outdoors indoors.

5. Add texture with other natural materials

Alongside wood, introducing other natural materials with the soft furnishings and decorative accessories, help prevent a largely white-washed room from looking too sterile.

Wool items - such as chunky textured blankets and cushions are great additions to Scandinavian style living room. Storage in the form of wicker baskets add a rustic touch - great to store those logs you’ll need for the fire this winter.

Animal hides are another key feature in many Scandi-style homes. Using sheepskins or reindeer hides as chair throws adds natural colour and texture to any interior. You can also place them on the floor as a rug to help insulate. Or use them as a throw over the bed to keep extra toasty on cold nights, even if the temperatures are not quite as arctic as they’ll be in Scandinavia!

Let the seasonal shopping begin!

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We’re just back from a great weekend at the Bentley Weald Wood Fair. Celebrating trees in all their wonderful forms makes for such a good autumnal event.

However, it’s the start of October today and that means we’re entering the start of the Christmas fair season!

Here’s the list of events we’ll be attending from now until the end of November. We hope you'll be able to visit our stand in the next couple of months.

We’re particularly looking forward to Compton Marbling - a two-day fair near Tisbury in Wiltshire. At the end of November, it's always such a lovely event to really get into the Christmas spirit.

Whether you're buying at the seasonal fairs or online, we've gathered together some our our most favourite Christmas present ideas…

Our sheepskin gloves and leather coin purses are always popular stocking fillers. Then there's our Flordon Fire Pipe - a stylish and highly practical fireside tool that makes an unusual gift for awkward-to-buy-for relatives and friends.

And if you’re looking for something to treat your dog or cat this Christmas, then our warm and luxurious sheepskin pet beds are just the ticket.

Happy shopping!

Our new ‘Fab Fleece Fans’ pinboard

We’re always thrilled to see how our customers are enjoying an item after their purchase. Or as is often the case with the sheepskins, how much their pets are enjoying them!

That's why we started asking people to send in snaps for us to share - so others could get inspired by seeing our products in use and be charmed by the cats and dogs featured too!

Well these pics from what we’ve dubbed our ‘Fab Fleece Fans’ have proved so popular when shared on Twitter and Facebook, that we’ve made a permanent home for them on our website.

On the new Fab Fleece Fans pinboard page, you can see all the pics are in one place. Take a look here:

For all of you who have sent in your pictures so far - many thanks. It’s great to see our sheepskins have found a much loved place in your homes.

If you’ve haven’t, please do! If you’ve bought something from us and are happy to share, then send us your snaps! (We’d recommend square or portrait format to get a better view of your item when pinned.)

Simply email them to

Sheepskin throws as chair covers

Image credit: Samira Shram on Pinterest

So using a sheepskin as a chair cover is not exactly a new trend but seems to be an enduring one, especially with the current popularity of Scandinavian style interiors.

On sites like Pinterest, great images of home interiors featuring sheepskin covered chairs keep popping up.

As well as looking great, using a sheepskin as a chair cover is practical and flexible option, in the living room, dining room and home office. Here are some great examples we’ve found and pinned...

Sheepskins on sofas

Sheepskins on armchairs and sofas - either laid on the seat pad or draped over the arm - add texture and cosiness in a room where you relax. It’s great to both look at and feel, plus adds padding and extra comfort when sitting in the chair itself.

Sheepskin throws are also handy if you want your pets to share the sofa with you but not to sit on the sofa fabric!

Image credits: and Remain Simple on Tumblr

Image credits: and Remain Simple on Tumblr


More sheepskins are also appearing as covers for dining room chairs and benches. These are often hard wood so adding a sheepskin makes the seating softer and more comfortable for a longer dinner or evening of entertaining round the dining table.

Using in an area where food and drink is consumed, you might need to clean up any spills on the sheepskin. To keep it in good condition, check out our sheepskin care guide.

Image credits: Alexandra Hoholt and

Image credits: Alexandra Hoholt and

Sheepskins as home office chair covers

A sheepskin can solve the conundrum of having a chair that looks stylish in your home office (often in a multi-purpose space) but is also comfortable enough to do work from.

Typical office chairs are the most comfortable ones for long periods of sitting but they’re also ugly beasts that look totally out of place in a home setting.

By covering a more standard dining or bedroom chair with a sheepskin, you can soften the hard back edge as well as seat area so you can sit there for longer.

Image credits: Emma Reddington and Bodie & Fou

Image credits: Emma Reddington and Bodie & Fou

You can now review our products!

We think it's always helpful to hear how other people have got on with a product you're thinking of buying. Reviews provide honest feedback from people who have already bought products from The Fabulous Fleece Co and highlight the pros and cons they've found by using them.

Which is why we're pleased to say we've just added a customer reviews feature to all products across our website.

However, they're looking rather empty at the moment! So we'd like to ask Fab Fleece customers to leave us a review. It only takes two ticks:

Just go to the page of the product you bought, click the review tab at the top right, hit write review and add your thoughts.

Good or bad, feedback is always useful to help improve our offering and service to you. So if you can spare the time to do this, we'd be very grateful!

Look forward to hearing your views...

Featured in July's RED magazine

Look in the home interiors section of RED magazine this month and you will find one of our lovely rare breed sheepskins!

The featured home is a stylish London flat owned by talented textile and product designer Lisa Levis. A small space, Lisa has made it homely and calming with great use of colour and texture, including sheepskin throws.

We were thrilled that the RED editorial team picked out our Individual Rare Breed sheepskin to feature in the 'Steal Lisa's style' section, with products and inspiration on how to get Lisa's look.

New cow hides now available

Pleased to unveil the latest addition to our great range of skins - these fantastic large brown and white speckled cow hides. Sustainably sourced from South American meat herds, they make both a practical and stylish statement piece to add to your home interior.

Cow hides are very popular as a floor covering, as their size covers a bigger space than other hides, making them great for larger rooms. They also make a very hard wearing floor covering for use underfoot in high traffic areas.

You are also getting something truly individual - with each cow skin having its own unique markings.

We think cow hides look particularly great placed on stone and wooden floors. The two tone and heavier spotted cow hides work best with more country style interiors. If your space is more eclectic, try a spotted or multi-tone cow hide instead.

For more ideas on styling, view our cowhide rugs board on Pinterest

Closure of Nursey's of Bungay

It’s sad to read the news that Suffolk-based sheepskin clothing maker, Nursey’s of Bungay, has just closed down. The traditional, family-run business had been trading since 1846, passing down through five generations to current owner Tim Nursey.

The company used Toscana and Merino lambskin as well as Italian leather, to make sheepskin coats, slippers, gilets, gloves and hats.

Nursey’s struggles and search for a buyer had been reported in both the Daily Mail and on the BBC website but no purchaser could be found in time, so the Bungay firm closed its doors for the last time on 29th March 2014.

A lot of traditional skill and knowledge will potentially be lost with Nursey’s demise. Its workshop had a team of seven expert seamstresses and cutters – many of whom had been with the company for more than 25 years.

Keeping local sheepskin skills alive

At Fabulous Fleece Company, we’re determined to ensure great quality sheepskin items are still produced in the East Anglian region and that a businesses selling them can still thrive in today’s market.

We also want to keep alive the specialist skills of those who work with sheepskin. We use skilled, local leather workers - one with over two decades experience - to make our range of bags, accessories and clothes.

We’re currently working on new designs to expand our range, and as our business continues to grow online, we plan to employ more local workers to meet that demand. Here’s to helping make a more optimistic future for sheepskin goods from East Anglia!

Why sheepskins make great dog beds

Ruby, my lovely lurcher, may be the laziest sales assistant in the world, but she is a star when it comes to product testing our sheepskin dog beds. She has several for use at home and also in the Fabulous Fleece Co van. Unlike larger pet beds, they are very portable, so we take Ruby's to keep her comfortable when we’re on the road and exhibiting at shows.

Feedback we've had from our pet owning customers is that the sheepskin dog beds look great but are also really practical to keep clean and fresh. Sheepskin is a naturally stain and odour repellant material anyway, however, our sheepskin pet bed can also go in the washing machine. We’d recommend washing with a woolwash detergent on a cool wash to keep it at its best - read our sheepskin product care tips here.

However, the important thing is that sheepskin dog beds are big hit with the dogs themselves. We think there are several good reason why...

Sheepskin is a natural material so the fleece both smells and feels natural, which makes animals feel more at home. It helps to keep them a comfortable temperature too - sheepskins insulating properties keep dogs warm in winter and cool in summer so it’s ideal for year-round use.

Comfort also becomes more important as your dog gets older and less mobile, and the thickness of a sheepskin fleece helps to prevent pressure sores. It’s good for pets with arthritis too.

Take a look at our Facebook page to see pictures of Willow the whippet - our latest happy customer enjoying her Chocolate sheepskin dog bed.

We've been lucky enough to be seen in: