Friday, March 18, 2016

4 Hassle-free Steps to Restyling Your Home

Whether you’ve been living in your property for a while or you just fancy sprucing up your space, restyling your home can be a big task to take on. So that your next home project goes smoothly, you could take these four hassle-free steps into consideration.

1. Improve your lighting
Improving your lighting is enough to boost your at-home style. Poorly lit rooms can make your decor look drab and worn out, so if your abode could do with brightening up, you could adjust your lighting situation. Regardless of the room you want to illuminate, you shouldn’t struggle for lighting ideas. For example, if you’re looking for a fixture that emits plenty of light both upwards and downwards, you could go for something like the Milo wall light design from Choosing to opt for a subtle design like this means that you can light up just about any room in your house with ease.
The vintage Murano glass chandelier instantaneously elevates the style in my master bedroom.

2. Rearrange your furniture
Simply rearranging your furnishings is an easy way to restyle your home. While you may love the thought of replacing every single piece of furniture, in reality you might not have the resources to do so. Instead, moving around the furniture you already own could be enough to make you feel completely differently about any room. Whether you reposition your sofas or move your bed to the opposite wall, switching and swapping your furnishings can give your home a new look and feel.

3. Replace your soft furnishings
As interior trends are changing constantly, one way you can keep on top of your home style is to replace your soft furnishings. The accessories you have in each of your rooms can quickly make your decor look outdated and stale, so why not inject a splash of colour and beauty by investing in some additional pieces? From patterned cushions to faux fur rugs, there are an abundance of accessories for you to choose from that can instantly uplift any room in your home.

4. Add some artwork
If you don’t fancy getting out your paintbrush to spruce up your bare walls, you could add some artwork instead. A blank canvas can look boring by itself, but hanging up a piece of art can give it personality and character. From a beautiful painted landscape to a framed abstract print, you should go for art that you love. To make your spaces more personal, you could put up photographs of your loved ones, or even get a canvas printed to capture your favourite memories.
I like how the painting brings the entire room together. 

Taking tips like these on board could help you restyle your home without costing a lot of your time, effort or money.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Time for New Sheets? How to Pick Comfy, Beautiful Bedding

Your bed is important. Good, comfortable sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing, and this is only possible when your bed is right for you. However, once you’ve found a bed and mattress that you love sleeping on, what a lot of people don’t realize is that the bedding you dress it with can also make a big difference to how comfortable your bed will be night after night. If you are ready to buy some new sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases, then it can be a good idea to do some research so that you can choose something that you’ll love sleeping with, as well as which will look great in your bedroom.

The key to comfortable bedding is to choose something made of the right sort of fabric. There are lots of choices out there, and they vary a lot in cost, so it pays to know what the differences are:

The most common thing used in bedding is cotton, and this is a good start because it is natural and breathable. However, cotton weaves vary a lot, and you need to choose something that will be soft and comfortable. High thread count cotton sheets and duvet covers in high end cottons like Egyptian cotton may be expensive, but they feel amazing and also have a satin-like sheen that can look beautiful. If that isn’t within your budget, look out for ranforce cotton which is much cheaper, but offers a soft feel, a good texture, and a high level of quality.

Silk and Satin
Silky sheets are often thought of as a good thing, because these materials feel nice on the skin and look luxurious on the bed. However, if you have never slept with them before, you may find you don’t get on with the slippery feeling, and actually prefer high thread count cotton. Never buy cheap imitation satin bedding made of polyester or other synthetic fabrics, because it won’t be breathable and will quickly become uncomfortable. 

Bamboo fibre is another option you have for bedding, and is a really good choice. It is natural and breathable, wicks moisture away from skin on hot nights, feels soft to the touch, and even has antibacterial properties. This makes it a great choice for people with sensitive skin, skin problems or allergies. While bamboo bedding is nowhere near as common as cotton or synthetics, it is still possible to find it in a wide range of attractive designs for both adult and children’s sized beds. For example, this cool 3D bamboo duvet cover which uses the trend for 3D effects to create a fun, appealing look. 

There is so much choice out there that choosing the right bedding can be more difficult than it sounds, but this is one area where it is worth spending a little more to get something that will last a long time, work with the décor in your room, and give you a great night’s sleep!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

5 Ways to Add Extra Living Space in a Small Home

Modern homes are often on the compact side. Estate agents use all kinds of purple prose to make the most of what is essentially a glorified rabbit hutch in some cases, but if you are stuck with a smaller than average home there are several ways you can maximise space without having to move to a larger property.

The Benefits of Extending

Moving home is expensive and stressful. Unless you need to relocate for your career, it is often more sensible to make the most of what your current home has to offer. Adding some extra living space won’t eat too much into your bank account. It is also worth remembering that if you tackle the project in a sensible way, you will increase the value of your home and make it easier to sell when you do eventually decide to upgrade or downsize.

There are lots of ways to add extra living space, but here are the best ones:

1. Attic Conversion
An attic conversion is one of the most popular ways to add an extra bedroom. As long as you have the right type of roof space, it won’t be too difficult to extend up into the attic, and if your neighbours have already done this, securing planning permission will be a breeze.
How cute is this office nook in the attic? Picture source here.

2. Garden Room
Garden rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Timber summer houses are an affordable option for most people, but if you want a garden room you can use all year round, look at building a more permanent structure with masonry walls and a proper roof. If the idea of a contemporary garden room appeals, you can find more info here.

3. Conservatory
Adding a conservatory is a quick and easy way to increase your living space. However, it won’t work unless you have sufficient outside space at the back or side of the house, so be careful not to sacrifice too much of your garden for the sake of a living room extension.
How gorgeous is this covered porch? Picture source here

Cheaper conservatories are great for spring and autumn, but not so great in winter or during the heat of the summer. If you want a conservatory you can use all year round, look at building a sun room or orangery with a higher level of insulation.

4. Basement Extension
Basement extensions are popular in areas where space is at a premium. It is possible to add lots of extra living space below ground level, but the project does need to be undertaken by professionals with plenty of experience in basement construction.

5. Garage Conversion
A garage can easily be converted into extra living space with the addition of more insulation, a door and windows. Be aware, however, that losing your garage means you also lose a useful storage space for miscellaneous junk, not to mention a place to park your car when the weather is bad.

Always draw up a list of pros and cons before you make any final decision, and if you do decide to go ahead with a renovation project, make sure you hire a reputable contractor.

3 Small Home Modifications That Could Make All the Difference this Summer

While it may still be cold outside, we are beginning to transition into spring and it won’t be long before keeping the house warm becomes a problem of the past, and staying cool becomes an issue. This is something we tend to be quite bad at planning for, with most people not even having ceiling fans let alone air conditioning at home, however when the temperatures rise our hot days can compete with those in countries where these cooling measures are considered essentials! The spring is a good time to start planning any changes you want to make to your home to make it more comfortable in the peak of summer, and here are three affordable ways you can get your home set up for a cool, pleasant July and August:

A Swamp Cooler

Air conditioning may be an expensive modification you may not deem worthwhile when our summers tend to be short and unpredictable, however a swamp cooler can be a much cheaper alternative that will make your home feel much cooler on the days when the temperature does soar. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, a swamp cooler blows air over water and cools the room as the water evaporates. There are various ways of improvising your own swamp cooler, but buying a swamp cooler unit can cost no more than buying a good fan or dehumidifier, and this could be a purchase you’ll be glad you made in a matter of weeks from now.

Electric Window Controls

If you have windows or skylights you tend to open in summer to let fresh air in to cool your home, then it can be a great idea to fit electric openers to them so you can open and close them by remote control. This is an especially good thing to use on hard to reach skylights, or if you have elderly people in your home who may struggle to open windows or close them to make themselves more comfortable. has a selection of window operators that can be used on just about any type of window, and this can be an affordable home mod that will serve you well in the summer.

Magnetic Insect Meshes

Opening windows and doors can be the easiest way to let air flow through your home and make it less hot and stuffy in summer, and many people tend to basically live with all their windows and things like French windows open during the warmer season. However, this brings with it a new problem as flies, mosquitoes, and the dreaded wasps are able to easily find their way indoors. Fitting insect meshes over windows is a good start, but you can also buy meshes that snap closed with magnets for your patio doors or French windows. These allow you and your kids and pets to come and go through the doors easily without letting bugs in.

These three simple modifications can be made now, making summer in your home much more comfortable and convenient!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

5 Metals That Will Make Your Home Shine

Traditionally, metal was used for its high strength and its durability, and leading suppliers like are still helping builders and home improvement enthusiasts with their building and DIY needs with steel. However, different metals are being used more and more in homes for their aesthetic properties, and as part of the overall look and design of a home. How you incorporate metal into your home is a personal choice, but here are a few ideas that may give you some inspiration for your design.

Picture above: Ruffoni copper canister set with brass acorn finial. Aren't they dreamy?

Copper isn’t only for your piping, it is one of the most stunning metals you can use in your home. It has a beautiful rich colour that can be applied anywhere, but it is certainly a perfect choice for the kitchen or bathroom; and can be used in these rooms in abundance. Worktops, counters, pots and pans, back splashes, and even basins and baths can add to the look of any kitchen or bathroom, so let your imagination run wild and add this lovely warm tone to your home. Though copper is often overlooked as it can discolour, cleaning your copper need not be a troublesome task as long as you have not ignored it for too long.

Whether stainless or not, steel is incredibly versatile in the home. A traditional metal in the kitchen because of stainless steel’s hygienic qualities, there is no reason not to utilize it around your home. Using reflective steel in a lounge will increase the appearance of space and light, while the choices of satin finishes can give you a great option for cupboards, ceilings and even walls. Corrugated steel is now being utilized by interior designers too, and is fantastic for an unusual rustic look.

For furniture, wrought iron has a style all of its own, but iron is also a great statement when constructing stairways or balconies. For an added touch of wrought iron appeal, that will allow light to flow around your home, internal wrought iron gates can be used to replace interior doors, while there is an incredible array of iron ornaments and shelving that will look incredible in most rooms

“As bold as brass’. Need we say more? Another beautiful colour, brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and is a metal we can use for its incredible golden look. It may not be as popular as other metals, but there is no reason it can’t be used in your home. Used as trimming for furniture it is a delight and adds a look of real quality, while solid brass tables and chairs are also available (at a price). Accessorizing your home with brass is definitely worth investigating, especially as everything from vases to chandeliers are available in this beautiful yellow metal. Brass may be less expensive than copper, but that doesn’t stop it being any the less attractive.

Last, but not least, is bronze. This is an incredibly versatile metal in your home (look here for some stunning examples), and one that you would ignore at your peril. From spiral staircases to avant garde furniture, bronze adds a touch of class to everything, and is rapidly growing as a choice for interior designers.

There is a wonderful choice of materials available for our homes; from beautiful woods to practical plastic, but make sure you consider one of these metals before making your final choice.

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