Classic Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

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Summer is all about getting out in the sunshine and enjoying the environment, so why not release a breath of fresh air into your home interiors as well? Every now and again, our dwelling needs a little love and care, whether that be lick of paint or a new pair of curtains. Sprucing up your house is not just a fun and engaging prospect; a good session of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ can be very calming and refreshing for the mind too. Without further ado, read on for three classic ways to spruce up your abode this Summer!

Minimalist & Modern

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Follow the advice of iconic designer William Morris and ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’ All that Summer air clears the mind and what better time to have a look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes. Clearing the clutter that you no longer use will create more space and allow for features and accent furnishings to shine.

Remember that 2017 has seen minimalistic interiors boom, with many sticking to natural colours and textured finishes. This look often employs one colour in different shades to create depth and contrast within the space. I love browns and greys to give a nautical feel without the obvious bright blues and stripes, making this a very transitional look throughout the year.

Fabulous Focal Features

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You can create the perfect focal point whilst at the same time re-energising a room and creating conversation. You may even have a potential feature without realising! Windows and fireplaces are commonly overlooked, but accentuating these features with colours and embellishments is an affordable and easy way to develop a room’s unique style.

If you are not keen on feature walls and accent pieces, hanging art is a lovely means of bringing beauty and interest to any space. With the never-ending combinations of mediums and movements, you can find a piece that ties together your colour scheme whilst creating a wonderful centrepiece. Even better, if you don’t have time to browse local galleries, there are lots of places to buy art online whether you are looking to invest in an original painting or simply something bright to compliment what you have already.

Snug Staples

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If there’s anything that comes above style, it’s comfort and your house should not only be visually pleasing, but also a cosy place to socialise and relax after a long day. Essential furniture like beds, sofas and tables should be of long-lasting high quality. With summer here, there are plenty of summer sales to help you get your hands on some affordable yet chic furniture. Choosing new curtains for example, can give a whole room a face-lift and shelves no longer need to be boring. Box shelves and wall units are a very popular way of creating storage solutions that also act as an interesting focal point.

To sum up, your home should be a calming environment which reflects your favourite style and tastes. A healthy change to your habitat can make it an inspiring and motivating one to dwell within. Some view this as an added expense, however the quality of life, experience and added value you will gain from an interior refresh will have a positive effect on all aspects of your life.

 

A Home Improvement Project (It’s About Time)

Have you outgrown your space too? These sorts of things happen all the time and are often the fault of tiny little (new) family members. But, in our case we simply have too many things! Unfortunately, creating the illusion of space through use of natural light and brighter accessories might not cut the mustard this time. My other half and I have been heatedly discussing a potential renovation and getting builders in to help create new space. This would be a huge project but I am super excited already, especially because this project would give me a chance to enjoy a space that is actually mine without the unwanted intrusion of golf clubs or paperwork.

We’ve talked through plenty of ideas at great length so far, but here are the ones that seem most realistic:

A Garden Room

We began by looking for something that didn’t need planning permission and we’re thinking that the extra space we’ll get from a garden room might make this one a winner. As long we don’t breach the planning permission guidelines, we are good to go! I always think of them as glammed up sheds with electricity, creating perfect little areas for an outside office or relaxing room. As we’re in the middle of summer now, it could be an ideal DIY project as it isn’t necessarily something we need to get the builders in for! But with that said, I’m pretty hopeless at all things woodwork-y!

A Basement

What about digging downwards? We initially didn’t think of this as a viable option as we think there are far too many pipes and important things beneath our house that enjoy breaking when it’s cold outside without our help. However, if we’re looking at creating a more meaningful sized space, we’re thinking this might be the only option. We found a basement company in London that converts basements into amazing spaces like media rooms and cinemas so we’re definitely feeling inspired! We also found that basements are becoming increasingly popular because of the unlimited options that a basement gives! My husband loves screaming at the “bloody referee” on the telly and I can’t think of anything better than if this was to take place well below the ground (and out of earshot). In all serious, I would absolutely love to create a media space downstairs that we could invite family and friends to enjoy. It might be a costlier option, but I’ve read that the value a basement adds to the value of the property will pay off the cost of the conversion outright.

Source: http://ahorangeries.co.uk/our-favourite-conservatory-designs/#post/0

A Conservatory

Back above ground now. A conservatory would be a brilliant way to let light in all year round and brighten up the home. I have seen some gorgeous conservatory additions to kitchens that have really transformed spaces. It doesn’t just have to be a kitchen, it could be a light and airy addition to our living room too. During the winter, I might be even more thankful as an east or west facing conservatory will catch the rising and setting sun –  trapping any heat. This would also be an ideal way to bring the outside in, minus the bugs and English weather.

An Open Plan Layout

In recent years, open plan layouts have become really popular. They involve merging kitchens dining rooms and even living rooms to create a more social space. I would love to be able to organise food in the kitchen and talk to my guests as they relax on the sofa during a dinner party. As we have a modestly sized property right now this would be an effective way to maximise small areas and make them look spacious.

I used to think upgrading to a bigger home or having a garden/loft extension was the only way to expand a home, but I’ve since discovered that there are many, many more ways to create a happy home for us to enjoy for years to come.

I’ll keep you all posted.

Three Ways To Reduce Stress When Selling Your House

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Whatever the reason for selling your home, there is no denying that it will be a stressful. Whether it’s troubles finding somewhere new, disputes over building control or sorting through your life contents – there will be lots of challenges to overcome! Although there’s no avoiding some stress, these three tips will help you avoid simple mistakes and make selling your property a little less tense.

Clean Thoroughly

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People like to think they have limitless imagination, yet when it comes to buying property we are all guilty of being a tad small minded. When a potential buyer walks into a home that is cluttered or worse dirty, they will be distracted from the permanent features that form the actual property. Your house should resemble a five-star hotel in cleanliness and neatness. Where necessary; bleach grout, change and make beds, clear away personal items and replace worn towels. An uncluttered house which looks and smells clean and fresh, will sell for more than the exact same house with less care.

Stage Beautifully

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As with cleaning, when it comes to furnishings relying on the ability of potential buyers to see past what is directly before them and visualise the possibilities, is a dangerous trap to fall into. Furniture that has seen better days or bare rooms with little to attract the eye cannot compare to a house that has been specifically dressed to sell. Using a home staging company, who can work with you to create a beautiful interior design package and then rent you the furniture, will do wonders when selling your home. It will be the difference between someone walking into the property and thinking maybe they could live there, to them feeling at instantly at home and longing to return.

Photograph Clearly

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In the age of the internet, selling a house just like any other product hinges greatly on beautiful imagery. The first impression most buyers are going to have of your property, is the images on your estate agent’s website.  If there are only thumbnail pictures with bad lighting, you will lose potential interest before anyone has even stepped through the door, no matter how beautiful your home. Instead, once your house is clean and staged, take steps to create high quality photography that showcases its best aspects. If you can afford a home photographer, they are certainly worth the investment. Otherwise follow this step-by-step guide to achieve near professional quality photos yourself.

Although selling a home will never be completely stress free, taking the time to photograph your house and make it beautiful and clean will allow visitors to envisage themselves living there. This imaginative jump is what will help potential buyers decide that your property is the one for them. What could reduce anxiety more when selling than a ton of offers and a quick sale?!

Five Emotions That Are Totally Normal When Moving

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I remember when we exchanged on what was soon going to be our new home, we were so excited! The house was (and still is) perfect with the right amount of space for the two of us. We could not wait to get into it! As the time came closer to moving in however, it started to feel like I was on a roller coaster. An emotional one. I experiencing so many different feelings – both good and bad. Mum did reassure me that it is natural to feel this way when jumping into the unknown, after all moving to a new house is a major event.

Excitement

Although, towards the end I was sad to be leaving – I was also excited that I was going to be taking on new adventures. I had new neighbours to get to know and new spaces to play with! My other half was definitely not impressed with my constant rambling about how I was going to design each room. It is like a fresh slate or a clean canvas – one you can decorate with whatever you want! Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration on storage solutions and DIY ideas! You will have ample opportunity to rip kitchens out and paint the walls to your heart’s desire.

Sadness

I remember handing our keys over to the Estate agents and being surprised by a wave of sadness that our old home officially no longer belonged to us anymore. Over time, it is a given that you will gain some sort of attachment, whether it be to the house, neighbours and even the smaller things like your garden! I know that we have some many great memories, from furniture shopping to our first dinner in our own space! Try not to think of the experience as moving on, think of it as moving forward to better things.

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Regret

Did we make the right decision? Have we moved to a better place? We did tons of research on our new local area, however I did keep questioning if this was the right thing to do. Moving is a lot of money and there are so many formalities to go through, you have to be completely sure when making a decision. Me and my other half fell in love straight away with our new home, the neighbourhood was lovely and it wasn’t all that far from central Brighton. We knew at the time it was right for us, and we still do! There will be strange feelings, but they will make you appreciate the experience more. All that you need to do is remember, you are going from somewhere you are comfortable to somewhere you don’t know anything about – it is normal to feel a little unsettled!

Stress

Like I said before, you are jumping into the unknown! It is natural to feel a little anxious. Not only that, with conveyancing solicitors, estate agents and banks to deal with there will undoubtedly be tension. Not to mention when the removal guys don’t turn up on time (I speak from experience), this can contribute to feelings of agitation. From speaking to lots of different people, it is evident that moving is stressful, no matter how many precautions you take! Saying that, try and reduce your cortisol levels by just taking a moment to breath and realise the bigger picture – which is that you will soon have a new place to make your very own!

If you are moving and feeling this whirlwind of  emotions – be reassured that this is normal! I was once in the exact same place but as soon as I stepped inside our new house, I was once again, absolutely in love!