Which Dining Room Table is Right for You?

Dining tables are just as diverse as the people who might end up sitting around them or the rooms they’re placed in. There’s a dining room table to suit absolutely every shape and size of dining room. Round tables, oval tables,  square tables, rectangular dining tables, extending tables, petite tables; you name it, we are sure to have the dining room table of your dreams. With so much choice, how do you know which table is right for your home?

The perfect dining room should be comfortable, intimate and cosy. It’s hard to strike the balance between inviting and foreboding. You want an impressive table but not at the expense of overpowering the room. So which dining room table is right for you?

Our large selection of Oak Dining Room Table and Chairs | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Small Dining Rooms

If you are short on space and storage in your dining area then an extending or foldable table is absolutely perfect for you. Some of our foldable tables contain storage cupboards within the main unit so you can tidy away your placemats, coasters and any other bits and pieces that you need out of the way. If you prefer a fixed dining room table then our Moble Oak four seater is the perfect petite table for a cosy and relaxing dining room.

Large Dining Rooms

With larger dining rooms you obviously have more space to play around in and can make use of some of our 6 or 8 seater tables. You can easily integrate any shape of dining room table into a bigger space and so you can take your pick from oval, round, square or oblong. A dining room table can really be a feature piece in a larger room and so the choice is endless when you have ample space at your disposal.


Kitchen diners are just perfect for entertaining. It’s great being able to talk to your guests as you prepare a delicious meal for you all to enjoy. Our Cherwell Painted Extended Dining Table is ideal for kitchen-diners. The oak table top looks stunning against the stone coloured painted legs. If you have the space, this range also has some incredible dressers and display cabinets which would be the perfect finishing touch.

For Something A Bit Different

Why not stand out from the crowd with your choice of dining room table? Our extensive range of tables includes some beautiful pedestal tables with an ornate design on the leg of the table which is a really interesting, quirky design feature. For something that is really a focal point check out our teak root tables. These are hand finished and made from the roots of fallen trees, so if you really want to make a statement then this is definitely the table for you.

Whichever table takes your fancy, or if you’re still not really sure, come and have a look for yourself. You will be amazed at our incredible selection of beautifully crafted oak and pine dining room tables that will be the perfect finishing touch to your home. Our tables are an ideal mix of quality, style and durability and will last for as long as the wonderful memories that you make around it do.

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Wishing for a (Kitchen) Island?

Kitchen Islands from A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterNot the palm tree and white sand variety, of course. Today, we’ll be talking all about the long fashionable kitchen island.

A firm favourite for many, this cunning kitchen addition can work wonders by transforming the hub of the home into a social place of gathering; not to mention doubling the size of your preparation area and providing extra storage for your kitchen utensils.

If you’re considering buying a kitchen island, make this guide your go-to handbook…

What should I consider when purchasing a kitchen island?

Space – how big is your kitchen? A long rectangular island would work better in a kitchen that’s a little on the narrower side, whilst a bigger kitchen could easily accommodate an oval unit. Just remember – give yourself enough space to walk around the island and to be able to retrieve your pots and pans with ease!

Vancouver Oak Kitchen Island | A Touch of Pine A World of Oak Banbury and Bicester
Use – are you looking for a breakfast bar, cocktail bar, bake-off station, master chef quarters, a sit-and-chinwag-with-a-cup-of-tea-and-your-best-friend area or all of the above? Don’t be tempted to go as big as you can; bigger isn’t always better, especially if it becomes a mighty squeeze for more than two people to stand around your island at dinner parties. Kitchen islands should naturally draw people around them and become the ‘heart of the kitchen’, rather than becoming a logistical nightmare as people squeeze past.

Storage – if you’re looking to extend your kitchen without getting the builders in, a unit with cupboards, drawers, shelving, towel rails and a bottle rack would not only give you added storage but also provide much needed extra countertop space. Smaller islands boast storage too, usually in the form of a couple of shelves and a drawer or two.

Cleaning and maintenance – it’s a good idea to keep your kitchen island in tip-top condition. This will prolong its life whilst ensuring it stays looking beautiful and scratch-free. Depending on the finish, i.e. natural, waxed, painted, granite or solid wood top, you’ll require a specific maintenance plan; you can ask all about this when purchasing your unit.

What look should I go for?

Oak Kitchen Island with Granite Top | A Touch of Pine A World of Oak Banbury and BicesterShape – oval, rectangular, square, large, small, granite top, tiled top or solid wood; this will be determined by the size of your space and the intended use.

A long rectangular kitchen island will lend itself very well to social gatherings – picture this: your dinner party is just getting started and people are mingling, drinking their vino and chatting around the kitchen island as you work your magic at the stove – no more lonely cooking! A petite unit, on the other hand, would be perfect for a smaller kitchen, whilst still providing a little extra storage and an extra worktop – not to mention space to chat over fresh coffee with a friend.
Materials – will you opt for a granite or solid wood top? This depends on whether you’re looking for something low maintenance and easy to clean, something scratch-proof or something that will compliment your current decor and kitchen units.

Kitchen island checklist

  • Measure the allocated space for your kitchen island.
  • What is the primary use of the island?
  • How much storage do you need?
  • Square, rectangular or oval?
  • Granite or solid wood top?
  • Find out about care and maintenance to help keep your kitchen island in tip top condition.

If you’d like to take a closer look at our range of lovely kitchen islands, simply click here or visit us in store today!

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Light Oak Furniture

Oak furniture has made a real come back in recent years, but what’s the right style for you? How do you achieve a modern look whilst still experiencing the quality you crave from solid oak furniture? Here’s a tip: Try light oak furniture.  It can provide that stylish feel you’re looking for while not compromising on the sturdy design you’d expect from only the best solid oak furniture.

You may think that there’s no place these days for oak furniture, but we tend to disagree. Good quality, solidly made, oak furniture is always sought after and our light oak furniture adds a modern twist to the traditional oak furniture we all know.

Oak Dining Table and Chairs | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Ranges such as our Cherwell Oak, Siena Oak and Somerset Oak collections are becoming increasingly popular, lifting and brightening any room in the home with their light honey finish and giving the feel of less clutter you sometime find with heavier oak pieces. And with the addition of brushed steel handles to many products in the range, and glass doors to TV or display cabinets, the Hearts of Oak range is the perfect example of how light oak furniture can give a stylish touch to modern decor.

Lighter oak furniture in a sleek, modern style provides an airy feel. And even if you prefer a more traditional style, the light finish still lifts the room’s decor.

Rustic Light Oak Petite Furniture

All our oak furniture is beautifully crafted from solid oak, with dovetail joints on all the drawers and tapered legs providing durability beyond compare.

The lacquered finish protects the wood beneath and gives it extra longevity, so why choose anything else? Top quality furniture with a modern twist is perfect in any home, so take a look online or in store today at all the light oak furniture we have on offer and give your home that lift it desires!





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Are You Ready for Autumn?

Are you ready for autumn? The equinox has been and gone and we’re heading firmly towards the darker, colder parts of the year. And autumn and winter offer much to look forward to: autumn colours, brisk mornings, Halloween, hot chocolate, cold hands and cosy hats, Christmas shopping, weekend walks, and…. too much wonderful food.

For many of us, the transition from summer to winter is a pleasant one. But even if you’re not a autumn or winter person, there are plenty of ways to make the best of this time of year. Below, we’ve assembled a few tips and tricks to help get you ready for autumn:

Are you ready for autumn? | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Look Good This Autumn

Focus on colour. Autumn is all about rich, deep colours. For perfect autumn lips, pick two lipstick colours that are three shades apart, blend and apply.

Get cosy. Pull out your favourite woolly jumper or treat yourself to a new snuggly blanket, or new scarf and hat.

Feel Great This Autumn

Enjoy the outdoors. Make the most of the colours and the last sunny days. Go for hikes, collect chestnuts, kick through leaves… most of all, have fun.

Enjoy soup! When it grows too chilly for salad dinners, but you’re not yet craving the heaviest winter foods, head for the soup menu. Soothing, warming or spicy – a bowl of hot soup is just the thing when there’s a snap in the air.

Get ready for winter. If you’re not a winter person, hang out with people who love the colder months. You’ll be surprised how much their company will cheer you up.

Be Comfortable this Autumn

Put the garden to bed. Prune the last trees, rake all the leaves, and make sure your gutters are clear. If you’re greenfingered, why not put out some winter bedding?

Add warming colour to your home. Piles of apples, branches of colourful leaves, throws, blankets, nuts, and scented candles will all remind you of warmth and sunshine when it’s grey and rainy outside.

Enjoy a cosy weekend. Grab a new book or an old, favourite box set, a cosy blanket, and a huge mug of hot chocolate and settle in for some quiet time before the Christmas party whirl.

Each season of the year has something to recommend it. Autumn is the time for a bit of peace and quiet, for taking stock, giving thanks and just being mindful. Winter, and the extra busy Christmas period, will arrive before you know it. So be ready for autumn, and make a little time for yourself.


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Making the Most of Beautiful Benches

Dining room chairs, as we all know, come in a huge variety of styles, colours, and materials. Changing your chairs, from formal, leather-covered to wooden with colourful cushions, for example, will change the feel of your dining room in an instant.

Lately, though, another, much older trend is making a comeback. Benches used to be standard “dining room seating” all through the Middle Ages. They’re still popular for garden seating, picnics, and other outdoor events. They just haven’t been brought indoors for a very long while.

Until now, that is.

Making the Most of Beautiful Benches | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Open-plan living and smaller dining rooms both invite us to make the most of the space we have available, and benches – modest and incredibly useful, but oh-so overlooked and underused within the home – are perfect for that.

We boast a generous selection of stylish benches which are fit for multiple purposes including traditional seating and savvy storage. Make yourself a cuppa, grab a seat and read on to gain some bench inspiration…

What should you think about when purchasing a bench?

Location – a bench can go anywhere in the home. It can be used as a ‘waiting’ seat outside of the bathroom, a seat to use whilst putting your boots on, and extra seating at the Christmas dinner table.

Space – if you have a large area to fill, opt for a long bench, a chunky rustic pine bench or something a little deeper such a monks bench; alternatively, if you have a narrow hallway or limited space elsewhere, choose a shorter bench or one with a sleeker design.

Storage – who knew you could store so much in a bench? Drawers are great for storing bits and bobs and hats and scarfs – top tip: wicker drawers add an extra stylish touch. Cupboards are perfect for storing your shoes away and out of sight and you can even get benches with a mix of drawers and cupboards and some even have lift-up seats – you’re sure to find something to meet your needs.

Style – the style of your new bench will largely depend upon on its intended use. If you’re looking for impromptu and informal seating you may be drawn towards a bench with no storage; conversely, if extra storage is high up on your list a bench with drawers, cupboards or wicker baskets would be the perfect solution. If you’d like something a little more formal, a monks bench would be ideal.

Materials – our benches are expertly made in beautiful oak or pine. What you choose will depend on your current decor and the look you’re trying to achieve. You can even choose a bench with a comfortable leather seat as well decide which handles take your fancy!

Finishes – you have a range of finishes to chose from, including waxed, oiled and au naturel. Waxes come in a range of different hues so you can easily obtain your chosen look; for a country look, an au naturel bare wood finish is perfect.

Making the most of beautiful benches | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Bench Buying Checklist

  • Measure the size of the space you’re allocating for your bench.
  • Are you looking for extra storage, formal or impromptu seating?
  • What finish, colour and materials will match your current decor?
  • Purchase your furniture care products.

So, if you quite fancy adding a sophisticated mode of informal seating, a bench could be for you! If you’d like to browse our range of lovely benches, simply click here. Alternatively, why not pop into one of our Oxfordshire stores to see them in person?



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Style on the Side: Sideboards for all Occasions

Does your kitchen worktop play host to wine glasses, candlesticks and stacks of napkins, leaving you little space to do the cooking? Do board games and cutlery clutter up you dining table? Do your serving dishes lack a proper home?

Help is at hand though, because in this Buyer’s Guide we’ll walk you through all the essential ‘need-to-knows’ about one of our favourite pieces of furniture. One which could potentially solve all of your storage woes. The iconic, endlessly versatile sideboard.

Style on the side: sideboards for all occasions: A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

When we call sideboards versatile, we mean just that. Modern sideboards are not limited to just your kitchen or dining room. With their flexible storage options they can just as easily find a home in your hallway, living room or even your home office.

What should  you consider before purchasing a sideboard?

Space – how much room do you have available for a sideboard? This will determine which size unit will suit your room as well as give you an idea of how much you can store inside…

Use – will your sideboard double up as a serving table in the dining room? Perhaps you’ll use it to house your best china, store the grandkid’s toys or keep all your files and office supplies in order. Think about your storage and usage needs to help you decide which style and size of sideboard will fit best into your home.

Cleaning and maintenance – you’ll want your sideboard to always look as good as the day you bought it. A tailored care plan will keep the wood looking beautiful as well as protect it from everyday wear, dust and dirt; products can include wax polish, beeswax, oil and furniture spray.

What look should you go for?

Style – we stock sideboards in a variety of modern or traditional styles. For our customers, that means you can choose between oak or pine, and a chunky design or elegant lines. Take your time to consider all of the styles – you never know, something you may have written off might just tick all of your boxes!

Handles – are you looking for traditional or modern handles? Cup handles offer a contemporary look whilst ornate metal handles and wooden knobs create a traditional feel; think about what will suit the style of your current furniture, unless you’re looking for something completely different!

Finish – from the modern hand painted look, the elegant lightly waxed finish, beautiful au naturel wood or a robust coating of lacquer, there’s a variety of finishes available to suit everyone’s individual needs and tastes.

Sideboard Buying Checklist

  • Measure the allocated space for your sideboard
  • What is the intended use – storage galore, everyday or occasional use?
  • Natural wood, lacquered, waxed or painted?
  • Cup, metal or wooden handles?
  • Find about about care and maintenance to help keep your new sideboard in tip top condition.

If you’d like to take a closer look at our range of stunning sideboards, simply click here or visit our Banbury or Bicester stores!


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How to Choose the Perfect Oak Dining Table and Chairs

It’s the time of year when many of us give our dining table a very careful look. Outdoor dining is increasingly less likely as the weather gets cooler and as school restarts homework and projects are once more part of many of our lives. Add ideas for cosy dinners with friends while the rain lashes the windows, and turn your thoughts towards the occasion that’s Christmas with the family… and a new dining table and chairs might quickly end up at the top of your shopping list.

Oak dining tables are firm customer favourites in our stores – and we stock a huge selection – but do you know how to choose the perfect oak dining table and chairs for your home? Your favourite style aside, it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Rectangular Oak Dining Table and Chairs | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Which oak dining table shape is right for you?

Rectangular: Rectangular oak dining tables offer clean, straight lines and a comfortable dining experience for even a large family. Choose an extending table if you don’t need all the table space all the time or opt for a fixed-size table if you do. Pair your rectangular oak dining table with pretty fabric upholstered or leather dining chairs for an elegant look, or choose benches and wooden chairs for comfortable farmhouse look.

Round or Oval: Round or oval dining tables are the ideal solution for small dining spaces. They also create a lovely intimate atmosphere for a romantic dinner for two or cosy dinner party with friends. Round oak dining tables are ideal for parties of four or six, and choosing a table with pedestal legs will make seating easy. Avoid overly large round dining tables, as conversation and serving across the expanse of wood will become tricky. Round tables are best paired with smart, upholstered dining chairs to add to the intimate look.

Round Oak Dining Table and Chairs | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Square: Square oak dining tables and chairs aren’t the most common combination, but they’ll fit into small dining rooms and are an excellent choice for breakfast nooks and kitchens, particularly if you’re a couple or a very young family. Square tables also work well in long, narrow dining rooms. As for chairs, square tables work equally well with wooden chairs in a rustic, farmhouse setting or with upholstered or leather dining chairs in a more formal space.

Square Oak Dining Table and Chairs | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

Getting the size right: Which size table you choose depends on two consideration. a) the number of people you want to seat and b) the size of your dining room, breakfast nook or kitchen. If you believe that you’ll need the whole table surface all the time, opt for a fixed size dining table. If you are planning for occasional dinner parties or family celebration, an extending dining table may give you the best of both worlds. Make sure you have 42-48 inches of clear space all around your dining table so you can move around comfortably.

Choosing Dining Chairs: New dining chairs can be an instant style makeover for your dining room! And you don’t even need to reach for a paint brush. We stock a wide selection of solid wood dining chairs in a variety of styles, so there’s a good chance you find a chair you like. You can find out about the science of choosing dining chairs in this article.

If you visit our Banbury or Bicester stores you may find some very fine offers on many of our oak dining table and chairs sets. Especially at this time of year. Why not pay us a visit?



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Beyond Your Bed and Mattress: Choosing the Perfect Pillow

A good night’s sleep… you can certainly tell when you didn’t have one. You wake feeling as if you hadn’t slept at all, you ache all over and you’re not looking forward to the day ahead of you. We all have a bad night now and then, but if you have fewer good nights than uncomfortable ones, then maybe it’s time to see what gives.

If your bed and mattress are in good order,  and your bedroom is a space you love to hide out in for peace and quiet, then maybe your pillows are to blame for you waking as if you’ve slept like a pretzel.

The perfect pillow should support you seamlessly while you sleep and help your muscles relax. But not all pillows suit every sleeper equally… and when faced with the multitude of options, where do you start?

In search of the perfect pillow | A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and Bicester

While down, feathers, hollow-fibre, polyester, or memory foam are very much personal choices, how soft or firm a pillow you choose should be governed by your favourite sleeping position and, in part, your body shape.

Let me explain.

If you sleep mostly on your front…

… your perfect pillow is one that is very soft and flattens easily. A super-soft pillow will keep your body properly aligned by moulding around your head. Not only that, a super-soft pillow is also supremely comfortable and adds a touch of luxury.

If you sleep mostly on your back….

… you need a pillow that supports your neck, but doesn’t force your head too far up or forward. If you wake up with an aching neck each morning, then changing your pillow will make all the difference. Choose a pillow offering soft-to-medium support and feel how much of a difference it makes.

If you sleep on your side…

… you need a pillow that bridges the gap between your shoulder and your neck. Your perfect pillow will be one offering medium/firm support, such as a memory foam pillow. The wider your shoulders are, the more support you will need, but keep in mind that you can layer your pillows. If you want a bit of cosy luxury, it’s perfectly fine to use a super-soft pillow on top of a firm one.

Are you using the perfect pillow for your favourite sleeping position?

If you don’t, and you frequently wake up achy and tired, then why not change your pillow? You may be glad you did.




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On Trend: Sleigh Beds

As bedrooms got smaller, low foot end beds and divan beds grew in popularity. Not surprising, seeing those beds give an airy, open feel to your bedroom space and allow access and seating on two or even three sides. For those of us who love an individual look sleigh beds and beds with high foot ends are still the style to aim for.

Sleigh beds in particular often used to be statement pieces, beautifully crafted, intricate designs that set the tone for the whole bedroom. Oak Sleigh Beds from A World of Oak A Touch of Pine Banbury and BicesterWith an elegantly curved headboard and foot end, sleigh beds have a subtle kind of magic and add a touch of luxury.

Which isn’t to say that sleigh beds have no place in contemporary bedrooms. Far from it. Like much of our most popular furniture ranges, oak sleigh beds have moved with the times. The designs have become lighter in colour and less ornate in detailing. The streamlined look  of a present-day sleigh bed fits smoothly into a modern, fashionable home.

Recent trends are for sleigh beds in light woods, with slatted head and foot boards, and even sleigh beds where the head and foot ends are covered with fabric or leather.

A sleigh bed covered in dark leather – like this new arrival in our Bicester Bed Centre – can help you create a very masculine look and works well in apartments or even a converted loft.

Whichever sleigh bed you fall in love with – dark, light, painted or leather – you’ll find that our beds are built to last, so you can sleep in comfort.

Whether you order online or visit our Banbury store, or Bicester Bed Centre, we offer fantastic prices and speedy delivery. Most of our beds do arrive at your home disassembled, but our skilled delivery teams will happily construct your sleigh bed right in the room it’s destined for, so all you have to worry about is how soon you can try out your brand new bed.

Available in different sizes, from single to king size, our sleigh beds can play host to any member of the family. Whether it’s your child’s first bed, or a new double bed for you and your partner when moving in together, our sleigh beds will stand the test of time, and last for years of happy family life!

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Summer News

August is drawing to a close and really, where did the summer go? While the days are still long and warm, and most of us haven’t yet returned to the routine of early mornings, school runs and shopping in our lunch hour, we thought we do a quick roundup of store news. With the Bank Holiday weekend looming, here are three good reasons to add a store visit to your weekend plans!

Summer Furniture Frenzy Sale

Our Summer Furniture Frenzy Sale has only a few days left to run. It ends on Bank Holiday Monday, so there’s not much time left to take advantage of some outstanding offers. Need a new chest of drawers or TV cabinet? A kitchen island or dining table and chairs? If you’ve not been in the store for a while, do come and visit. Over the last months we’ve taken delivery of several new furniture collections, as well as dining chairs in a wide range of colours and styles, and a raft of stylish rugs to finish your rooms.

And during the Furniture Frenzy Sale you can take advantage of deep discounts right across the store!

Shane’s Discount Den

For extra deep discounts on one-off items, we have expanded our discount den at the Bicester store in Telford Road.

It’s an excellent resource for furnishing student digs and worth checking out if you only need a single wardrobe, desk, bedside cabinet or bookcase.  See if you can spot Shane while you’re there. And keep an eye on our Facebook page for extra offers and discount codes.

Our Bed Centre

Something we’ve been mulling over for a while… finally it’s here!

Our Bed Centre is now open at the Bicester Store in Telford Road.

If you need a new bed, this is the place to be. We offer a large selection of wood, divan and leather beds at unbelievable prices with super fast delivery.

Also just in, our superb 4000 Cashmere Pocket Sprung mattresses, just the thing for a perfect night’s sleep!

And we also have sofas and rugs to finish your room. A must visit for this weekend.




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