Showing posts with label interiordesign. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interiordesign. Show all posts

21 February 2019

Staying Safe When You DIY

This article has been written to raise awareness about mesothelioma.


Home renovation shows and tutorials available online have made finding inspiration for all of your renovation needs easier than ever. Before jumping into these projects on your own, it’s important to be conscious of the unexpected dangers of DIY that could affect your safety and health. If you’re thinking about starting a project, here are some safety tips that can help keep you protected as well as reduce the costs of giving your space the upgrade it needs.

Have The Right Gear

Before starting your DIY project, it’s important to realize that different projects will require necessary protective gear forsafety. During the renovation process, it’s likely that you will be working with a variety of construction materials. Protective gear like safety gloves will help you avoid skin irritation, splits, and cuts, but most importantly keep your eyes out of harms way. If you’re sanding, plastering, or working with paint fumes, make sure you have masks and eyewear that will properly shield you. For projects that require louder power tools, wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to protect your hearing.

If you will be using power tools, be aware of additional precautions. Power tools make renovating projects easier due to their simplicity and efficiency but often propose higher risks of danger. Always be aware of the tools proximity to your body. When you are finished with the tool, turn the safety back on, unplug it and keep it out of reach of small children and animals.

Finally, before starting your project make sure that your attire is free of any possible loose strings or fabric that could get caught or tangled in machinery. To avoid particle pollution in a space work in a properly ventilated room. Taking these additional small precautions is an easy way of protecting yourself.


Protect Your Furniture and Valuables
Home renovations can be messy and have the potential for leaving behind a stain or two,  having the proper coverage is essential  for protecting your irreplaceable valuables. Before starting, invest in tarps and plastic coverings that can be applied to cover furniture, flooring, carpets, and other surfaces that you want to keep clean. If you’re working in the kitchen, cover your countertops, eating utensils, and kitchen appliances to avoid any contamination and ultimately protect your health. Covering your valuables might seem like a tedious task, however, in the long run, this step will protect your belongings from any possible DIY mishaps. 

Identifying and Handling Harmful Substances
Depending on when your house was built, there could be harmful and toxic substances located within the structure, paint, and finishings of your home. For houses built before 1978, there is a high chance that lead-based paint is located across the interior and exterior of a home. Toxic metals in this paint can cause serious health problems if the paint chips or dust is inhaled. Although lead is poisonous to everyone, it has a significant impact on young children and pregnant women. To avoid the dangerous health risks associated with lead paint, seek out professionals for lead paint testing or try an at home testing kit to identify any possible problems.

Testing for asbestos is crucial before beginning your home renovation projects. Prior to 1980, asbestos was used in a variety of building materials. Inhaling asbestos fibers that have been disturbed can cause inflammation and tumors to develop in the lungs. Over time, this damage may lead to a rare cancer known as mesothelioma. These airborne fibers are extremely hazardous and homeowners should not attempt to remove or disturb asbestos on their own. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), suggest having a licensed and certified asbestos abatement professional inspect the home to determine if asbestos-containing materials are present and what steps to take for a safe removal.

In addition to toxic substances like lead paint and asbestos, beware of the threats caused by mold that thrive in damp locations like drywall, basements, and bathrooms. Exposure to these types of substances could ultimately be damaging to you and your loved one’s health. Seek out professional removal services for assessments as well as the best procedure before starting your renovation project.




Always Be Prepared
Despite taking protective measures, accidents are likely to occur. At the start of your DIY project, make sure you have a first aid kit ready for any small scrapes or cuts. If a serious injury was to occur, seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible. Update the fire extinguisher at your workstation in case of a possible electrical or chemical fire. Finally, if you are unsure of the next steps for your DIY , seek out professional help. Stay cautious, never start a project well tired, and remain positive when tackling your renovation projects.

8 October 2018

Budget Tricks To Add Style To Your Home

Renovating your home can be an expensive business.  Adding touches of glamour or putting your own stamp on your home can prove costly; but there are ways to bring your personality to your home without it having to cost the earth.



 First Impressions

They say that first impressions count and in your home, that first impression is your hallway and stair case.  

Family photographs on the wall gives a warm to the home and a glimpse into who you are.  In terms of decoration, flowers at your doorway and a pop of colour with a stair runner adds interest and a touch of elegance.

Think of your entrance way and staircase as another room and decorate accordingly.  Simple touches make the world of difference.

Fake It Till You Make It



So you live in a town or a city but you dream of country living?  Large fireplaces, stone walls, exposed brick; all the features that come as standard in the country but not necessarily in a standard two up two down or city apartment.

If you want to bring some country chic to your home, why not try brick slips?  They can be used anywhere from your kitchen and bathroom to your living area and even outside.  They are inexpensive and so effective to create the look you are going for.  You can find some great examples at https://ukfeaturewalls.com/collections/brick-slips


Feature Walls

If you buy a new build these days you are often faced with white waters, laminate flooring and somewhat of a cold looking interior, with no personality.  

The changes that you make to this kind of interior don't need to be major.  A brightly coloured or patterned couch, a plethora of interesting cushions, vibrant lighting design or perhaps a wall mural.

If you a large expansive wall, a wall mural can be a perfect choice and add a really interesting element to the home.  The bonus being that as they are relatively inexpensive, you can take them down easily and change at your leisure.

How do you change up your home?

14 August 2018

The Finishing Touches


When it comes to designing your home, whether you are on a budget or have money to spend, it is the finishing touches that will make or break your room and are what makes it special and stand out.

There are a million ways that you can add the finishing touches to your home, whether it be a wall mural in an otherwise white room or a large painting, or how you use textures and accessories to pack a punch.

When I think of what I would like to do with my own home, I always think of the quirky touches that I would like to add.  In particular, pieces that you would not expect to be a feature, but really makes the room.  For example, how about a contemporary radiator in a room that doubles as a statement piece?

Is it art or a integral part of the home?  Those kind of interesting questions about how you can combine design and usefulness really interest me.



They say that the best things in life are free, and in your home, one way that you can utilise a free resource is through the way that you allow the light in.  A skyline in a previously dark room or using the windows as your focal point.  No curtains, simple design and just letting the light flood your interior, allowing the sunlight to create the light and shade in your room.


Making your home stand out and make your own personal statement and aesthetic does not have to cost the earth.  It can be about the little touches that you make or alternatively larger pieces that make a larger statement.

I love the idea of a wall mural from Paris in my bedroom, or using an element that is both functional and artistic to create a talking point.

The most important thing for me about designing your home is that you put your own stamp on it.  Expressing your personality through the pieces that you choose, the colour on the walls and the way in which you choose to have the room speak to the person that enters.

Are you going for cool and classic?  Comfortable and snug?  Anything is possible whatever your budget if you put your mind to it; above all keeping your design to what you will love.  You have to live with it after all?

What design elements do you love in your home?

26 April 2018

Tips For Blogging On The Go


Fitting in time to blog can be a hard thing.  A full time job, dates, commitments with friends and having time to actually relax and sit down to write can sometimes be challenging.

So many times I have found myself under deadline, or with an opinion piece that I really want to write and end up writing at 11pm.  Not ideal.  But writing still brings me so much joy, so how do you do it?

The challenge is to fit my blogging around my life and still being able to be creative with it and keep the joy and excitement in there, without it being a chore.

For me, that means creating a virtual office that I can take with me everywhere, whilst maintaining a home base where I collate my ideas.  Here is how I do it:

Buy a Notice Board

I have recently purchased a notice board for my room where I can pin my notes for my latest blogging ideas and projects. I use colourful post it notes along with pages from my notebook in order to create a visual aide that I can look at for reminders of what is in my to do list along with inspirations for future pieces.  For me, this works much better than a calendar or diary.


Utilize Your Travel Time

I worked out the other day that I spend 45 minutes on the bus every day.  Perfect time for a little blogging inspiration!  I have a cheap notebook that I don't mind tearing pages from where I jot down ideas and piece together blog posts using bullet points that can be typed and added to later.

If you travel to work by bus or by train, your commute is the perfect time to get started on pieces and get the inspiration flowing.

Write on the Go

A few months ago I purchased a small lightweight tablet with a removable keyboard which has proved a lifesaver.  Whilst you cannot get a tablet out on the bus (although would be great on the train), I find it perfect for transforming my notes into a few paragraphs in my lunch or when in the summer, sitting in a park and getting a little work done whilst getting some sunshine.

Maintaining Your Down Time

Remember, writing is supposed to be fun.  It is what you enjoy so don't make it a chore.  Remember to enjoy yourself, take a break, take a step back and relax.  If you schedule your time there is no reason why you should be writing late at night or getting up early to finish a piece.


18 April 2018

How to Organise Your Home

 Keeping your home organised and in order is an ongoing battle that we all face on a daily basis, but just following a few simple tips can ensure that your home is clean and clear.

Having an organised home can take a bit of effort if you don't have the right vacuum cleaner, but keeping it this way can work wonders for your wellbeing.

2 March 2018

7 of the Coolest Wall D├ęcor Ideas

When it comes to interior design, there’s no doubt that it’s a delicate art form. It takes a keen eye for trends, and how to effectively use a space to its full potential. One key element of any room is its walls. The colour acts as a background to allow your furniture and accessories stand out. However, your walls don’t need to just be a background – they can easily be transformed into the room’s main event. Here’s 7 of the coolest wall designs to give you some inspiration:


1. Wood Feature Walls
Often create by laying wood flooring across a wall, this is a style that looks amazing in both contemporary and traditional homes. Due to its durability and vast range of styles to choose from, it’s a popular choice for both longevity and appearance. When paired with wood flooring (that’s actually laid on the floor), it can make a room look much; laid vertically it makes a room appear longer, whereas horizontal wood on the walls gives the impression of a wider space.
2. Wall Gallery
If you’re a big admirer of art, or have a particularly big collection of family photos that you’d like to showcase, an eclectic gallery wall might be the way to go. By contrasting colours you can draw visitors’ eyes to its busy design. Alternatively, going for a more unified colour scheme will make the design flow easier, and almost merge all the features into one singular piece of art.


3. Patterned Textures
There’s so much scope for originality on this one, and the only restriction is how wild you’re willing to go with it. From extravagant textures to simple and unified patterns, differing texture sad depth and character to a room’s design – and it can have an explosive effect even covering a small part of a wall’s total surface area.
4. Mirrors
It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book; hand a large mirror, and the space will instantly look larger and more spacious. This can be achieved through one large mirror, or a more decorative approach of hanging a number of smaller mirrors. They also help to bounce light around the room, making the space brighter and more inviting.


5. Tapestry
A good quality tapestry can make a world of different if you’re looking to make a statement. There’s so many design out there to choose from, it should be an easy job finding one that fits with your existing style. You can go for full wall coverage, or hang it like a piece of art as a commendable wall feature.
6. Photo Splitting
If you’ve got a particularly large piece of art that you’d like to showcase, or a huge photo you adore that you’d like to take centre stage, then splitting that photo can make it have even more of an impact. Bearing in mind if you’re doing this with art, expensive original pieces are officially excluded from this one! The split in the image warrants a second glance by visitors, and prevents it being overlooked as just another colossal hanging frame.


7. Patterned Wallpaper
Although this has been around for decades, there’s always a place for good patterned wallpaper when it comes to interior design. Foliage themes are very trendy right now, and the light colours draw the eye more than just a brightly coloured paint would.

13 February 2018

My Dream House

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I am currently saving to buy my own house (slightly curtailed by the fact that I am going on two holidays this year!  Allowing myself however as I haven't had a holiday abroad in 8 years).

Although my saving had been slightly derailed, I have my plans in place including a lifetime savings ISA where the government gives you an additional 25% to whatever you have saved.  That's how you turn an £8000 deposit into £10000!

I want to make sure that I have enough money to do everything I want in the house.  I don't want to buy a house and then not do it up the way that I want.  While I am in a position to save and I am more than happy living with my mum (who is amazing!), it makes sense to save long enough to get everything I want.  


Ok, maybe not, but a girl can dream, right?

So what do I want in my new house?  Hardwood flooring is a must for me.  Easy to clean, classic looking.  I like clean lines, statement pieces and clever ideas to transport you to somewhere else.

I like white walls.  I am not afraid to admit it!  White is the perfect backdrop to create any look that you want.  A perfect look for the lounge which should be comfortable, uncluttered and not fussy with a statement piece such as a huge print on the wall rather than having a feature wall.  A comfortable settee and a large TV for watching all of those box sets is also a must.

I love something like this, although in my mind you need to have a bright colour in there somewhere.  Perhaps some colourful cushions on the settee to go with the modern style furnishings.


I love the idea of using wall murals such as I featured in my link to completely change a space.  Have a room with no window?  No problem.  Turn it into an office, paint the walls white and use a full wall mural to create a view of Paris.


The one place that I do want a sense of opulence and utra comfort and style is my bedroom.  I dream of a thick carpet, a big bed, furnishings with a nod to French boudoir style.  A dressing table (something I have never had!).  

Your bedroom should be calming, comfortable, an escape and more than anything, a place of retreat and escape.  My dream, although I will never get that with my first, or maybe even my second house, would be to have a little balcony leading off the bedroom where I could sit and have a coffee and look at the world.



So what do you think of my dream house?



All images from Pixabay with exception of mural photograph which is obtained from a previous blog post.

20 November 2017

To Parquet Or Not To Parquet?

Do you remember that zig zag shaped flooring you used to find in your grandparents house? That is parquet flooring, and parquet is back on the comeback trail. Its distinctive geometric shapes are what makes it stand out from the crowd and give it its own identity.

It’s unsurprising to hear that traditional, old school flooring is back on the up, as vintage is a current trend as is incredibly popular, not just in the flooring market, but in the home and clothing market, and even the re-emergence of vinyl records. Today’s parquet has been given a contemporary twist to modernise it for the present day homes.

There is an incredibly broad range of parquet flooring on offer, so there truly is something to suit everyone. They come in fixed length, individual tiles, so can pretty much be shaped into any design that you like. It is important to ensure you have a specific design in mind before going into the fitting process as they can look a little cluttered and chaotic if proper planning is not put into place beforehand.



Parquet is incredibly durable, so is perfect for homes with high levels of footfall and heavy traffic. It won’t damage as easily as solid and engineered wood, so is a perfect option if you’re not only looking for a flooring that looks great, but that’s also incredibly reliable as well. It’s a long term solution for your home, as opposed to a short term solution that won’t last long. It’s also incredibly easy to clean, if you spill something simply wipe it up, it’s that easy.


















The above are examples of just two of the different options you get with parquet. They come in lighter and darker shades, and in a range of species such as oak and walnut. These examples show you Engineered Walnut flooring (left), and the stunning Engineered Grey Oak (right), patters such as these truly add something different to a room. Darker colours add a warm aesthetic, whereas lighter colours create the illusion of space, and add a brighter glow. You can see in this photo the distinctive zig-zag shapes that make parquet as unique as it is.

This truly could be a perfect addition to any modernised home looking for a traditional twist. Not only does it looks amazing, and lasts you a long time, it’s incredibly cost effective. The warm colours can add a natural warmth to your home as the winter months roll in. We hope our guide has helped you to see how beneficial parquet can be to your home, good luck making the all important decision! 

13 October 2017

The Modern Kitchen

The kitchen is often the heart of the home, and if you think of yourself as the next master chef, it is likely that you are forever buying new appliances to make life easier in the kitchen, and make your culinary delights even more fabulous. A modern kitchen is the perfect space for it. A streamlined, contemporary kitchen design, combined with integrated appliances, thoughtful lighting and a mix of levels that helps to keep your room clutter free whilst leaving you more space to relax and entertain might sound like a dream – but it can be a reality.


Clean lines                                                               

Handleless cabinets are all the rage right now, and they are perfect for creating clean lines throughout your kitchen. The in-frame construction gives it an edge on some flat fronted designs and makes it extremely durable. In smaller kitchen spaces, the absence of handles helps to make a room feel bigger, while in a kitchen with lots of cabinetry, it prevents an overload of steel handles. If you don't want to commit to all handleless doors then you can give a run of classic cabinets a modern edge by dressing them with sleek bar handles, adding modern built-in appliances and topping with cool composite worktops. For added contemporary chic, mix and match styles incorporating flat-fronted wall cabinets. 

Stay neat                                          

Clean lines continue with neat surfaces in modern design. The key to that is keeping your kitchen uncluttered. While we all might want that statement – and often used – KitchenAid mixer on show, that doesn’t necessarily work, alongside all the other kitchen paraphernalia it’s so easy to get untidy. Hiding kitchen clutter, particularly in open-plan kitchens is essential, so plan in plenty of storage with deep pan drawers, tambour units to keep small appliances, crockery and china out of site. Floor to ceiling handleless cupboards can hide a multitude of sins so if you have space, they’re a good investment. Remember, though, for your kitchen to work efficiently, you’ll want easy access to all these things when you do need them, so we recommend siting pan drawers by ovens, larders close to prep areas and china close to the dishwasher.

Worktops

Worktops are your best friend when it comes to preparation – and for a modern look in your kitchen colour is important – you can include everything from pure brilliant white to zingy orange. Plain white worktops compliment modern cabinetry beautifully but if you want a slightly less clinical feel then manufacturers such as Silestone and Ceasarstone are now producing man-made composites that look like natural materials. Of course, while they can look just like marble or concrete, the real benefit of these surfaces is that they are much easier to look after than natural stones, particularly very porous ones such as marble. They’re also fabulous for creating feature splashbacks – for instance book matching a faux marble – with less of a financial outlay than, say, Carrara. 

Appliances

If you are nerdy with your appliances, and have your heart set on a range cooker, then choose one of the more modern steel models from Mercury, Smeg or Rangemaster. Integrate as many appliances as you can and if possible, place items such as washing machines and tumble dryers in utility rooms. Keep sightlines clear by installing simple below cabinet, in-ceiling or pop-up extractors rather than fancy hanging pendants, keep fridges and freezers behind closed doors and invest in good-looking, hardworking built-in cooking appliances and a sleek glass zoned induction hob. Finish off with a few modern day luxuries such as a boiling water tap offered by Quooker, pop-up power points and cool lighting. 

Modern design tips

Pick simple surfaces 

Choose glass or composite splashbacks and large-format floor tiles with a matching grout to keep your kitchen looking sleek.                   

Play with levels                                             

Think about adding a high breakfast bar to an island for relaxed eating or create several levels on a peninsula with a raised area to hide the washing-up from dinner guests.

Go fine 

Opt for ultra-thin worktop profiles that will help your units to look more like pieces of furniture. Or wrap a composite work surface in a contrasting shade or material around cabinetry on islands and at the end of runs.

Trip the light fantastic

Creative lighting is a great investment, and can set the mood or atmosphere for any occasion. Use plinth lights to make base units look like they are floating or adding LED strips to the interior of wall cabinets or shelves to highlight favourite accessories. They can create the perfect mood in the kitchen whatever the occasion.


3 April 2017

Don't be a Resenter As a Renter

Unlike the baby boomer generation who could buy a house on just one wage, nowadays, the younger generations are finding it increasingly harder to get themselves onto the property ladder. Renting is at an all time high, especially in inner-city locations such as London, where the chances are that unless you’ve won the lottery or have held down a very well-paying job for a long while, you won’t be looking at buying a property outright any time soon. I know that this is certainly true for me and I don't even live in London!

This can make putting our stamp on things tricky, as well as our care for what we are meant to be keeping safe. There are certain limitations to being in let accommodation, including decorating styles, holes in walls to hang pictures and other decorations, and even hanging wallpaper ( I have also talked about large scale wall murals a few weeks ago), but there are some things to exude your personality that you may never even have considered.


Plants For All Occasions

There is a whole lot that plants can give to a space that you may never have previously considered. Looking at your rental contract, they’re probably just about the only other living thing apart from yourself that you’re allowed to keep. Not a pet of sorts, but they still need attention and looking after. There are the obvious succulents, which have seen a massive rise in popularity over the past few years, and these are generally a good go-to plant for first-time plant owners as they require little watering and attention but still provide great results. If you’re looking for something a tad more dramatic, the Philodendron plant is one that heavily culturally referenced in prints on clothing, books and wallpaper currently, so you can’t go wrong with plonking one of these in a space that needs brightening up.


Showing Off The Fancy

You may not have the space to specifically dedicate to what you’ve got to display, but that doesn’t mean that they need to hide away. You can get portable display cabinets from http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/storage-furniture/cabinets-sideboards/display-cabinets/ which don’t have to be fitted or fixed against walls, and ones that are specific for the item that you intend to have on show, such as bespoke wine racks from wineracks.co.uk. Instead of getting annoyed that you can’t do as much as you are able to do in terms of decorating and attached furniture to walls, simply look for the more free-standing option!


Stick On, Peel Off

With the boom of the rental generation come businesses who know that what these people are looking for are temporary alternatives to what would otherwise be long-term measures. This sounds complicated, but it’s really not. Want different tiles to go in the bathroom? No worries, stick-on ones to temporarily cover the ones that have already been laid down are available. Want/need a new carpet but aren’t allowed to put in your own? That’s fine - rugs are being made bigger and more affordable to cover this. You just have to have a hunt around for something that you may think is a permanent fixture that you can get charged for. Chances are that somebody has already thought of a rent-friendly alternative!



*A collaborative piece