Posted by & filed under News.

 

If you’ve had a great night’s sleep, everything just feels so much better and you have more energy to do the things that are important to you. So, to avoid a night of tossing and turning, it’s important to make your bed as comfortable as possible.

When it comes to bedding, treat yourself to cotton bed linen. You work hard during the day and need to feel at your best to live life to the full. You deserve the best bedding for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Here are some reasons why you should choose cotton bedding…

1. It’s breathable

The pure and natural nature of cotton means that when used in bed linen, it is breathable. This is essential as it will absorb your body heat as you sleep leaving you cool and dry. If you’ve ever slept in bedding from man-made materials, you’ll be familiar with that feeling of waking up hot and sticky during the summer months. Yet, with a cotton bed set, you’ll sleep soundly as it naturally ventilates.

2. Stay comfortable all year round

Pure Cotton bedding is popular for its multi-purpose ability to keep you cool in the summer, and keep you warm throughout the winter by absorbing and retaining your body heat.

3. Great for sensitive skin

You’ll never get a good night’s sleep with irritated skin. Cotton sheets are great if you have sensitive skin due to cotton’s naturally hypoallergenic credentials. So, you can bid farewell to any irritation or itchiness, and say hello to an improved quality of sleep.

4. Invest in your wellbeing

There are numerous benefits to your wellbeing as a result of getting plenty of sleep. Whilst high quality cotton bedding can be pricier than man-made alternatives, it is well worth the investment. Especially when you consider natural cotton bed linen can last twice as long as man-made bedding, meaning you won’t need to replace it as often.

5. Luxury every day

Keeping your classic cotton bed linen looking great every day doesn’t have to be hard work. The cotton’s classic style means it suits any home from contemporary apartments to traditional stately homes.

 

To discover for yourself the benefits that cotton bed linen can bring, take a look at our Colonial Collection.

Posted by & filed under Events.

14th June 2016

 

The Marketing team at The Barker Collection chose the opulent setting at Downe Hall to capture the magnificence of the new Majestic Collection. It’s the family home of Managing Director Matthew Barker, his parents have lived there for the last nine years.

 

Downe Hall - View from Garden

 

 

 

Victoria Luxury Silk Cushion by The Barker Collection. Styled with Henry

 

It was a beautifully sunny day and we fell in love with the property and were keen to learn about its history:

Downe Hall was built in the late 18th century for William Downe, a member of a long-established Bridport family. In 1770, William Downe, a Presbyterian merchant, married Mary Hounsell, the daughter of one of Bridport’s textile merchants. In 1786 he purchased the land, stretching north from Rax Lane to Coneygar Hill, on which he built Downe Hall – a substantial property consisting of ten bedrooms.

There were extensive gardens, complete with a coach house, stables and a dairy; while the hill behind was landscaped, providing a view right down to the sea at West Bay. Downe’s chosen site immediately adjoins the northern edge of the town, and its elevated position affords long southerly views towards the sea.

In 1792, William Downe and his brother, Samuel, a surgeon and partner in the Bridport Bank, sought to improve the access to the Hall by leasing two properties from the Burgesses of Bridport. Here they built Downe Street, with its terrace of Georgian houses. William Downe was a wharfinger and, following the death of his brother, a partner in the Bridport Bank. He owned two wharfs at East Smithfield, London – the Dung Wharf and Downe’s Wharf, which had warehousing and a house for the clerk. It was leased to Downe and Co. at an annual rent of £900 and a one-third share of the profits and, in 1809, it became the exclusive wharf for the Edinburgh and Leith Shipping Co. and was also the landing place of choice for Bridport ships.

When William Downe died in 1810, seemingly a successful merchant and banker, he left Downe Hall to his daughter Sarah Read, whose husband took William’s place at the Bridport Bank. Mountfield and Rax House, which Downe also owned, were left to daughter Elizabeth Atkins while his third daughter’s husband, Andrew Gillon, was left Downe’s Wharf and his share in the business.

In 1811 the executor, Joseph Gundry, on discovering that Downe’s assets would not cover both his debts and legacies, gained a ruling in the Court of Chancery that William Downe was a bankrupt. His daughters now had to take their place with the other creditors, unless the deficit could be raised. In 1814 Read resigned from the Bridport Bank and, at the same time, the Edinburgh and Leith Shipping Company withdrew from their contract, claiming that they were owed £842. The ensuing litigation lasted many years. In 1818 Read formed a new partnership, which continued until 1823 when he withdrew, shortly before his coal merchant business was declared bankrupt. His bankruptcy seems to have triggered the Ruling of the Court of Chancery for, in July of that year, Downe Hall was sold at auction, along with Mountfield and Rax House.

The new owner of Downe Hall was Henry Templer. Born in 1785 he had embarked on a career with the East India Company’s maritime service. In 1806, whilst serving as the third officer on the Lady Burges, he was shipwrecked off the Cape Verde Islands. He took his first command, the Baring, in 1811 which commission was noted for one of the passengers being so alarmed by Templer’s manner that she locked herself in her cabin until they landed in India. Further voyages followed, allowing Henry Templer to amass significant wealth, which he then invested, becoming managing owner of a number of ships. Clearly the investment paid handsomely as he was soon expanding his fleet with the Bombay in 1822, closely followed by the William Money, the Moira and the Minerva. In 1833, the East India Company’s new charter took away its trading rights and opened India and the Far East to competition. Templer made one more purchase, the Scaleby Castle in 1834, selling it at a significant profit two months later.

 

Continue reading the story about Downe Hall courtesy of Dorset Life:

http://www.dorsetlife.co.uk/2011/02/downes-and-outs/

 

Blog posted by Gill Buley (Head of Marketing & Interior Stylist)

Posted by & filed under News.

2nd June 2016

 

Our Managing Director Matthew Barker, recently hosted Conor Burns MP (Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West, Alderney and Branksome East). When he visited the Barker laundry facility.

Conor & Matthew tour

 

Conor really believes in the importance of the success of local businesses. He likes to get involved and to listen and learn about how the local government can assist. Both Matthew and Conor engaged in a debate about business and also the pending referendum, and whether the UK should remain or leave the EU, a subject that Matthew is very passionate about.

The conversation soon progressed on to how Barker had recently acquired a stiff collar business, making them the most dominant player globally. And how Barker was about to launch a new retail business targeting its customers with superior quality bed linens to rival brands that are selling inferior products (in his opinion).

Conor said, ‘I believe that Barker has a great value proposition; after all, Barker has been caring for linen for many years – therefore who could possibly understand it better!’

 

Conor Burns Barker Box Review

 

Conor was then keen to hear from the marketing department, that their research shows 84% of consumers wash their new bedding before sleeping in it. Crazy as it may sound, but Barker will be offering their new Hotel quality bed linens pre-laundered and beautifully gift boxed, conveniently bed ready. He was delighted with the quality of the signature gift box and said, ‘he loved the colour and that he thoroughly enjoyed his tour of the facilities at Dominion Road and went on to wish Matthew and his team all the luck in the world’.

 

http://www.conorburns.com/news/conor-tours-barkers-dry-cleaning-and-laundry

 

Blog Posted by Gill Buley (Head of Marketing & Interior Stylist)

Posted by & filed under Press.

Sunday June 12th 2016

A Royal Life

 

Here at Barker, we were delighted to be invited to feature in a tribute book to mark the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. Published by Publications UK and in association with Bond Street Association. You’ll find us on pages 100-101.

 

The publication is an addition to a collection of impressive royal books, among them the Official Souvenir Programme of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, which was commissioned by the Royal Household.

 

The book charts in words and pictures the nine decades of the extraordinary life of the most famous and most photographed woman in the world, who is now also our longest reigning Sovereign.

 

She has seen 12 Prime Ministers come and go, and her sum of knowledge about governance of our country and the Commonwealth is probably greater than any of them.

 

 

Queens 90th Birthday

She remains a constant, above the rough and tumble of politics, and has kept a sense of perspective and a level head when others have been losing theirs. In this, the 21st century, reference points for certainty are rare, but her Majesty is without doubt on of them. Her United Kingdom has much to be grateful for.

 

Review the Publication here:

http://goo.gl/LPD3wz

 

 

Blog by Gill Buley – Head of Marketing & Interior Stylist

Posted by & filed under Knowledge Centre, Product Reviews.

1st June 2016

Love them or loath them, the jury is still out when it comes to the flat sheet. However there’s a new trend going on across households, it’s called ‘The Tailored Bed’ and it’s growing in popularity. This is due to the success of Boutique Hotels. People are simply looking to replicate the sleep experience from their vacation at a luxury hotel.

The Tailored bed look is simple, neat and tidy, the look is obtained by using an over sized duvet plus a top flat sheet. It’s ideal for the perfectionists who are meticulous, prefer precision and enjoy the tucked in tightly look and feel.

For the ultimate luxury the ‘Tailored Bed’ should have more pillows than usual, our stylists at The Barker Collection recommend six or eight pillows and they suggest white and cream bed sets make a good blank canvas. You can then add accent colour with cushions, bed runners and throws, which you can change to match the seasons or your mood.

Top reasons why people love to include the Flat Sheet:

  1. The flat sheet is lighter and more breathable; the extra layer keeps them warmer in the winter, yet cooler in summer. As they get too warm during the night they simply push back the duvet and just sleep under the flat sheet. We learnt that they continue to use the duvet during the warm summer months but simply for bedroom aesthetics.
  1. Some people have night sweats and find the flat sheet is a really handy protective barrier, especially if they don’t intend to launder their duvet cover as frequently as the flat sheet and fitted sheet – so it saves them time and money.
  1. Most Women like to sleep in a white or cream bed but find it impractical, as they tend to have accidents during the time of their monthly cycle. They like the added protection that the flat sheet offers as they can simply just change the sheets without having to change the duvet cover and pillowcases as often.
  1. People that enjoy breakfast in bed, tend to opt for a top sheet too, they say that it again adds a protective barrier and can be changed and laundered more frequently if they spill coffee or egg on it!
  1. It may sound odd, but taller people like to opt for a top sheet, they say they are so tall that they get fed up with the duvet not being long enough and their toes get cold, the tucked in bed suits them better and is much more comfortable.
  1. The flat sheet makes a good alternative to a fitted sheet, for those that have uncommon size or shape mattresses.
  1. Some people always use a flat sheet as it’s what they are used to, how they have been brought up and they feel it’s unhygienic not to use one.
  1. The flat sheet provides the great decorative look that they wish to achieve.

 

Top reasons why people opt to exclude the Flat Sheet:

  1. They hate making the bed and find pulling back the duvet the quickest and simplest method for them.
  1. They like the idea of a flat sheet but simply don’t know how to fold and tuck it to achieve precision corners and folds.
  1. They say that they get knotted up in the flat sheet and find it annoying.

In summary, the popularity of the flat sheet is growing, but it’s still a very personal thing and there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s entirely up to YOU!

If you like the idea of a fitted sheet and would like to learn how to fold the corners for a tailored bed look, similar to what you would experieince in a luxury hotel, then you might want to check out this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_KCCNl6yUE

Posted by & filed under Events.

2nd June 2016

The marketing team for the Barker Collection gathered in the delightful town of Brockenhurst to capture stunning images to promote our stunning Gift Boxes and the new range of beautifully hand crafted silk cushions for the Majestic Collection.

With breathtaking surroundings, nestled in the heart of the New Forest, Daisybank Cottage Boutique Bed and Breakfast is a luxury hideaway in a place of outstanding beauty. Daisybank offers a warm, contemporary style with some fine old-fashioned hospitality. An Arts and Crafts house, inspired by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, dating back to 1901.

 

 

 

 

 

Daisybank’s spacious rooms have been renovated to the highest standard, while many of the quirky original features have been preserved. Each room is unique but all offer plenty of special extras, they chose luxury bed linens that will launder well and chose Barker Laundry to provide them with a door-to-door laundry service to accommodate their needs. The bed linens they use are available from The Barker Collection. Their objective is to ensure that their visitors have a truly luxurious stay in what is a very relaxed atmosphere.

 

The Girls are busy styling

 

Check it out here: http://www.bedandbreakfast-newforest.co.uk

The Marketing team at The Barker Collection would like to take this opportunity to reach out and sincerely thank Cheryl and Kieran for accommodating us and for their unlimited hospitality throughout the day.

The team at the Barker Collection highly recommends the Daisybank Boutique Hotel as an ideal sanctuary for couples wanting to unwind and explore everything that the New Forest has to offer.

 

Blog by Gill Buley

Interior Stylist and Head of Marketing at The Barker Group

Posted by & filed under Events.

Date 23rd June 2016

It’s referendum day for the UK and while the electorate are all busy voting whether they will remain in the EU or Brexit, one customer of Barker is facing a disaster at home.

Living in a block of apartments at stunning Sand Banks. Each apartment within the block has it’s own utility room in the basement. The basement is below ground level and unknown to the residents, the Sump Pump failed and the dirty water that is usually pumped away through the drainage system was not flushing away. As a result the washing machine filled with greywater, which left the content, smelling distasteful.

The washing machine contained a full set of bedding for a Super King size bed. A neighbour agreed to wash it, but after five attempts the smell simply wasn’t washing out. Like most people, the customer only had one bed set, which was washed, dried and ironed weekly. This laundering process taking a good three to four hours every time.

Barker Laundry eventually stepped in and took the bedding back to their laundry plant, treated it and managed to remove the smells and gave the customer confidence their fresh bedding assuring her that it would be hygienically safe to sleep in. The customer also chose to purchase a new set of Barker Collection bed linen. She opted for Barker Collection bedding, as it was available pre laundered and ready to go straight on to her bed.

Other bed linens available off the shelf in retail stores would have meant laundering before putting it on the bed and she didn’t have the appetite for the time and effort involved, plus her washing machine was still out of action, as the Sump Pump is still not working!

If you too ever experience a similar disaster then you should be safe in the knowledge that The Barker Collection and Barker Laundry will at your service to rescue you too.

http://www.barkerlaundry.co.uk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sump_pump

 

Blog by Gill Buley

Interior Stylist and Head of Marketing at The Barker Group