Archive for the ‘interior decoration’ Category

Bright ideas for illuminating your home on a budget

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

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collection of vintage lampshades as ceiling lightImage credit: Godrich Interiors

A gloomy, dimly-lit home can dampen the mood and if you constantly have to rely on your overhead lights to brighten and cheer up a room you’ll undoubtedly be spending a lot on your electricity bill. If you’ve been wanting to make some drastic changes to solve the problem but haven’t the budget for it then don’t despair. We’ve got some bright ideas that can help you illuminate your home without having to spend a fortune…

White-washed loft bedroomImage credit: studio mark ruthven

Paint it up

One of the most inexpensive ways to brighten up any room is to paint the walls with light colours. Whites and pastels trick the eye into thinking that the room is brighter and larger than it is. Light-coloured walls also reflect the sunlight coming from outside during daytime, so you won’t have to turn on your interior lights. Aside from the walls, you can also paint the trim, doors, and stairs with pastel accents to make your home look brighter.

Wrap-around mirrors in a bathroomImage credit: Celia James

Reflect light with mirrors

Mirrors are budget-friendly and instant fix for dreary rooms that lack natural light. Aside from reflecting the existing light from a lighting fixture or a window, mirrors also create the illusion of space, making a room look larger than it really is. For best results, install a mirror opposite a window. The bigger the mirror, the better. Visit a local market for cheap but fab gilt-frame mirrors for a dramatic effect. Aside from mirrors, you can also use reflective surfaces such as mirrored trays and glass bowls and figurines to add sparkle to a room.

Fairy lights in a child's bedroomImage credit: Corynne Pless

Decorate with inexpensive decorative lights

Those string lights you decorated you home with for the holidays can be used to illuminate you home all year round, especially in the bedroom where they work to give off a relaxing feel. You can place the lights across your headboard or over the bed for that dreamy and romantic effect.

Tall multi-armed floor lamp in a mid century modern decorated sitting roomImage credit: Trunk Creative

Brighten dark corners with lamps

Do you really need all your lights on in the evenings when you’re getting ready for bed? Save on electricity without stumbling in the dark with lamps! You don’t have to get those expensive fixtures; a trip to the bargain store (or probably your attic) will do. Keep an eye out for lamps with character, or something you can spruce up yourself to make it suit your home’s interior design. Place the lamps in dark corners or next to a chair for a cosy reading nook.

Angular bedroom painted in pastel coloursImage credit: Gemma Zimmerhansl Interior Design

Use light or pastel colours

Decorate your home with pastel-coloured items, such as furniture, sheets, and drapes. A light-coloured palette can add a lively and airy feel to a small space, such as the bedroom. Divan Beds Centre bed bases in white, cream or beige can make your room look brighter and feel less cramped. While you’re at it, change your bedding to match your new look.

With these tips, you’ll be able to have a more illuminated home while keeping your savings intact. As you can see, when it comes to illuminating your home on a budget, changing one small thing can make a big – and brighter – difference.

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7 steps to make the most of a small bathroom

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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arial view of a compact bathroom image credit: Lushome

Small, cramped bathrooms make your morning routine completely unenjoyable. An ideal solution is to make the space bigger, but this isn’t always possible. If you’re stuck with a teeny tiny bathroom, there are ways to make the room appear more spacious without knocking walls down.

Here are seven things that will help you make the most of your small bathroom.

bathroom with suspended sink unit and overhead mirrored cabinetimage credit: Kia Designs

Suspended vanity

Many bathrooms suffer from significant amounts of wasted room due to irregular-shaped fittings and fixtures. Suspended vanity units above fittings such as the sink or toilet will help make the most of the space. A deep vanity unit can help store everything from spare cleaning products to hair care items and toilet rolls – incorporating all your storage needs in one convenient place.

mirrored bathroom wallimage credit: Heather Cooper Designs

Increase mirror size

Particularly useful in bathrooms which are dark (especially in mornings when it’s hard enough to wake up anyway), large mirrors can help spread any natural light the room enjoys via the reflective surface. A large mirror on the wall which receives the most natural light throughout the day will make the bathroom appear significantly larger.

Reflective bathroom fittings and wall tilesimage credit: Sarah Richardson Design

Use reflective fittings

On a related note – reflective taps, towel racks and other fittings will bounce light around the room, acting in the same way as the mirror.

The team at bathroom specialists, John Louis Bathrooms, enthuses about reflective fittings:

“Fixtures such as chrome taps are ideal for small bathrooms, helping to brighten the room and creating a simple contemporary appearance.”

Recessed bathroom lighting image credit: Topps Tiles

Recessed lighting

Removing obtrusive light fittings without compromising the quality of light spread around the room can help create an impressive modern appearance and open up additional space in the bathroom. Recessed lighting can be positioned almost everywhere in the bathroom – wherever it fits most subtly and attractively.

John Cullen Lighting offers a selection of lighting options including LED lights behind a bath or above a mirror. Eschewing traditional lighting positions can help you utilise the full available space of the bathroom.

walk-in shower image credit: Nils Koenning

Walk-in shower

Removing the bath and implementing a walk-in shower can immediately save significant space in the bathroom. Consider how the door will open up into the space of the small bathroom to avoid obtrusive space-consumption. A high power shower head can make up for the romantic opportunities lost when the bathtub is ripped out.

Modern monochrome bathroomimage credit: Boscolo Ltd

Simplify feature colours

A myriad of colours used throughout the bathroom can create a clustered appearance in the bathroom – so it may be prudent to use a simple, single tone feature colour throughout features and additions. A fixed colour scheme throughout towels, tiles and more can create an attractive yet minimalistic consistency, helping you make the most of your small bathroom.

Chrome hanging towel racksimage credit: Shell Vacations Hospitality

Hanging towel racks

Large, cumbersome towel racks are a completely unnecessary use of space. Small, subtle towel racks can be hung on almost any surface – ideal for small bathrooms. Hanging towel racks on the back of the bathroom door can help you fully utilise otherwise wasted space – freeing up floor space for other fixtures or just to remove any cramped feelings.

Turn your bathroom into a spa

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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rose petals floating on bath water and feet with red-painted toe nails poking above the waterImage credit: Dennis Wong

As everyday life gets more and more stressful, and pockets get pinched ever tighter thanks the recent economic downturn, we’re all looking for ways to de-stress and bring some tranquillity back into our lives. Spa treatments are a great way of easing the knots out of tense muscles, but visits to a spa can be a bit on the expensive side. The next best thing is to create your own spa at home in your bathroom, and it’s easier to do than you might think.

bath with lotions and rolled up towels beside itImage credit: Anna

Setting the scene

If you’re ready for a little redecoration in the quest for tranquillity, doing a makeover in the bathroom will help create that all-important spa atmosphere. Choose soft blues and greens to recreate a beach atmosphere, or if you don’t like those colours, go for gentle, natural colours that are calming rather than bright colours designed to wake up the mind.

Bathroom furniture can help you set the scene in own home spa. Vanity units are great places to keep lotions and potions. To give a really authentic look, why not keep rolled up towels in there too? We tend to fold towels at home, but most of the towels in spas are rolled. They take up less space that way and look quite exotic too. Stick to white for a real spa look, or mix up the colours for something a little brighter, especially if seeing colour cheers you up and lifts your spirits. That’s part of what spas are about, as well as helping you to relax physically.

Vanity units come in all sizes and shapes, with both open shelving and closed cupboards, and they don’t cost a fortune to fit. Having all the bathroom bits & bobs neatly tucked away helps to keep the surfaces clean and clear, and this too is important when creating a spa atmosphere because clutter befuddles the mind and prevents relaxation. Online stores such as www.bellabathrooms.co.uk have a great selection that can give you some idea of what’s out there and give you inspiration.

lit tea lightsImage credit: Thomas Wanhoff

Adding accessories

Soaking in the bath is relaxing by itself, but adding a few extras can really make the spa experience come alive and relax the senses as well as the body.

Soft music, preferably instrumental without lyrics or nature soundtracks such as lapping waves, can all help you let your mind wander and stop thinking over the day’s troubles. Light a few candles, placing them out of harm’s way so they don’t fall in the water (another great use for vanity units), and remember to incorporate scent as well. Our sense of smell is a powerful mood enhancer, so choose something such as lavender, which has a well-known relaxing scent. You could burn incense or use a reed diffuser for a more subtle smell. Scented bath oils are a good idea too, since they also soften the skin.

While you’re relaxing in the warm scented water, it’s a good time to use a face mask or an eye treatment. Lie back, let your mind wander and feel the stress of the day melt away.

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Redecorate without redecorating: 5 Quick tips

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

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Bedroom of Marc and Edwina Boase in Brighton taken from their feature on Design*SpongeImage credit: Daniela Exley via Design*Sponge

So, this is the holy grail of all interior design; how to redecorate without actually redecorating. But just in the same way that a new pair of shoes makes Carrie Bradshaw feel like she has a whole new outfit, and the same way that a new supercharger makes Lewis Hamilton feel like he has a brand new car, there are some quick and cost effective ways to help you spruce up your home.

Our sitting room

Cushions and Throws

It’s truly amazing what a few cushions and throws can do for your home. If you want to build up depth and textures in your interior design, make sure you layer, layer… and layer some more. Not enough pennies in the piggy bank for some new fabric? Not to worry. Old curtains, bed sheets and upholstery offcuts can all be recycled to create your new cushion covers. For sewing newbies, here are 3 ways to make a cushion cover.

Orange feature wall in our kitchen

Paint a Feature Wall

An easy way of refreshing the look and feel of a room is to create a new focal point. A feature wall is quick and simple to do: a new lick of paint and you’ll have a whole new space. If you want to save money or you want to be more eco-friendly, you can even make your own home-made paint. Vintage industrial storage drawers in our sitting room

De-Clutter Your Home

Sometimes the quickest way of improving your home décor is to de-clutter and keep it looking clear & tidy. Throw away anything you don’t need, use old materials for recycling / up-cycling projects, and make sure you have ample storage around the house. For a range of storage units, chest of drawers, blanket boxes or display cabinets, visit the Fortune Woods website.

branch being used as a curtain poleImage credit: The Burlap Bag

Update Your Window Furnishings

Windows are key features in every room. You’d be surprised at how a new curtain fabric, a fresh tieback or an imaginative curtain pole makes a world of difference. Visit UKTV to find out how you can make your own curtain tiebacks to save money.

Before & after painted chest of drawersImage credit: I create… with love

Paint Inexpensive Furniture

French colonial, English country cottage, shabby chic, mid century modern; there are so many different interior design looks you can create simply by painting an old piece of furniture. Buy second-hand furniture from a flea market or car boot sale and give it a new lease of life by painting it your desired colour. You can refresh the furniture regularly with a new coat of paint and edit your accessories / cushions to match.

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Top tips to update your teen’s bedroom

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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Teenager's bedroom with an orange colour schemeImage credit: Sergi Mengot

Kids, they grow up so fast! Before you know it, building blocks and soft toys are just a distant memory. Colouring-in pens turn into make-up sets; Lego cars turn into skateboards. And the adorable, pint-sized children’s furniture they once loved no longer has a place in your home. As your little ones develop into their teen years and early adulthood, it’s important that you give them the independence they crave.

Every child’s bedroom is their safe haven, a place where their creativity and inner confidence can be nurtured. So it’s important that as parents, you can create a safe and inspiring place for young teenagers. Here are some quick tips on updating a teen’s bedroom.

Grey teenager's bedroom with bright coloured highlightsImage credit: Mazzali

Upgrade their bedroom furniture

From 12 years old and onwards, it’s not uncommon for children to want a more grown up space. Small updates to the furniture can make a big difference. If you’re not ready to invest in a double bed for your teenage son or daughter, or you don’t have enough room for a full size bed, you can find small double beds which are ideal for this transition period. (Visit Bedz R Us to find out more).

If you can’t afford to update furniture such as a wardrobe, bookshelf or a chest of drawers, a great tip is to update them with new finishes. Replace old wardrobe door handles, give the furniture a new lick of paint, or customise it using découpage from old magazines.

Teenage boy's bedroom with a black & white colour schemeImage credit: Stepinit.com

Choose a new colour scheme

It can be a confusing time being a teenager; part of you still finds solace in childhood comforts and the other half is desperate to grow up. So the decorating theme in your teenager’s bedroom needs to be a good halfway house. Try experimenting with different colour schemes. Monochrome is sophisticated and slick, but add a splash of hot pink or midnight blue to inject some youthfulness into the theme. Replace the bed linen and introduce some slightly more mature and refined decorative items into the room. Find out how to choose the perfect colour theme for your teenager in this UKTV article.

Teenager's bedroom wall covered in Polaroid photosImage credit: Lou Noble

Create a stimulating environment

It’s no secret that teenagers spend most of their time in their rooms – this is just the way of the world! So it’s important that a teen’s bedroom is a stimulating and interesting environment. Encourage their interests and hobbies and help them to learn new things. For music lovers, encourage instruments or music players. For art lovers, encourage them to help decorate their own walls. Or for photography enthusiasts, give them the confidence boost by incorporating their work on the walls. Here are some super cool ways to decorate using photographs from Houzz.com.

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