Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

It’s no secret that a lot of money can be made from buying a property that is in need of some work and doing it up yourself. However, depending on the amount of work necessary, this can soon become a costly affair.

Therefore, when you embark on a house-remodelling project, and you’re looking to set a budget, you should consider just how much of it you can do yourself. After all, if you save some money on stripping your own wallpaper, you may be able to afford that beautiful ceramic sink you’ve had your eye on for the kitchen.

The main three questions to consider when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional are: do you realistically have the time to complete this project? Do you realistically have the skills to complete this project? Could it be dangerous to yourself or damaging to the property if you attempt to complete this project on your own?

Below is a list of some of the most common tasks associated with doing up a house, as well as some recommendations on what you should DIY and for what jobs you should hire professionals.

Opening cans of paint

DIY: painting

Although it can seem daunting, learning to paint a room isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Have a look at tutorials online and perhaps find a more experienced friend or family member to assist you.

Wooden shelves against a grey wall

DIY or HIRE: cabinets and shelves

It may take some practice, but hanging cabinets or shelves isn’t too difficult once you’ve got the hang of it. Again, there’s a wealth of tutorials online on this subject for you to watch and learn.

Repairing a thatched roof

HIRE: roofing

As a rule of thumb, anything that may damage the structure or integrity of your home should be done by a professional. If you need your roof fixed, for peace of mind hire a professional roofing company that has a number of good reviews.

Laying laminate flooring

DIY or HIRE: flooring

When it comes to flooring, you can either DIY or hire, depending on what kind of work you are looking to have done. For example, laminated flooring is much easier to install than hardwood flooring.

Installing plumbing in a house

HIRE: wiring and plumbing

Although most people are capable of doing minor electricity jobs such as changing a plug themselves, all the major wiring should be done by a professional. Getting wiring wrong can cause a lot of damage – not only to yourself but your property. Similarly, plumbing mistakes can seriously damage your property, and the property value along with it, so make sure you hire a trusted professional for all your plumbing needs!

Small jar of chalk paint

DIY: furniture

This doesn’t refer to flat-pack or self-assemble furniture, but rather to a project where you buy a cheap piece of furniture and do it up to your liking. Most people have seen IKEA furniture hacks, and while they may look easy online, it can be difficult getting the desired result. Nevertheless, failed furniture DIY projects would never damage your home and seeing as IKEA furniture is very budget-friendly, you can easily try out your DIY skills without breaking the bank.

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5 interior design tips to spruce up your living room for 2018

5 interior design tips to spruce up your living room for 2018

The start of a new year is arguably the best time to set goals for your personal and professional life, so why not reflect positive change in your home as well? It turns out that your home surroundings have a significant impact on your mental state. A well-styled home that aligns with your personal tastes will be a more relaxing, happy environment for you to enjoy.

The hub of many households is the living room, making it the perfect spot to freshen up. Not only will you appreciate the fruits of your labours, but your guests and loved ones will be able to as well. Thankfully, revamping your living room interior doesn’t have to involve serious renovations or a background in interior design.

Here are 5 tips for refreshing your living room space effectively and without any intrusive remodelling.

Modern decorated sitting room

Give your living room a beautiful foundation

When you think about giving your living room a new look it is easy to forget one of the biggest statements in this space – the floor. Your choice of flooring can make an otherwise beautiful living room feel drab, aged or even visually cluttered. Rather than fight with your floor, consider the option of having it removed and replaced with a material that will serve as a beautiful foundation to the rest of the space’s style.

A wonderful choice of flooring that is growing in popularity is modified wood. Modified wood is a real wood product that is sustainably manufactured and free of questionable chemicals so common in residential wood flooring. Modified wood is incredibly smooth and available in clear or high character boards, depending on whether you like the look of natural knots or prefer a plain look. Modified wood is about as durable of a wood floor as you can get.

Diptych artwork on a sitting room wall

Finish your walls with personal photographs and art

Wall art can make or break a room. Many pro interior decorators are well-aware of how important wall art is, especially when it comes to putting personalized finishing touches in a space. Since the living room is an area often used for entertainment and gathering, placing personal photographs or unique art here is ideal.

Rather than dealing with printing photographs yourself and then trying to find frames, opt for custom canvas prints instead. Custom printed canvas is attractively chic and casual, adapting to essentially any type of home design style you can think of. They are also lightweight and fairly easy to hang.

Brown corner sofa in a sitting room

Invest in matching furniture that showcases your tastes

Certain design styles like bohemian and shabby chic may look mismatched, but even these very flowing aesthetics still need to have some sort of cohesive look when it comes to furniture. Furniture is often the biggest statement piece in a room when it comes to personal fixtures. Not only is the style of furniture important, but also the quality.

Forget about trying to get by with boring or cheap looking particle board furniture pieces and invest in a matching set. Real wood furniture is always a good option and if you select attractively simple designs, like those you’d find in a Amish living room furniture set, you’ll be surprised at how versatile it can be. A Mission couch, coffee table and a couple of chairs can fit in essentially any living room, whether you’re going for a industrial or an urban modern effect.

Sitting room with weathered, wood clad walls

Capture the warmth and texture of weathered wood

Weathered, aged wood is highly sought after for its warm appearance and texture that faux products often fail to replicate. While you can find this type of wood used for many interior design projects consider the idea of using reclaimed wood wall panels in your living room.

Rather than going the usual route of painting an accent wall, cover that wall in reclaimed wood instead. Ideally this will serve as a backdrop to your main seating area, such as behind your sofa, though you really can get as imaginative with this product as you’d like. A huge advantage of this type of panelling is that you can have it installed right over your existing walls.

Wood clad sitting room wall

Add sleek minimalist touches with bamboo

Another natural material that offers a bit of a different vibe is bamboo. If you like the idea of wood panelling but want a very sleek, modern look try bamboo panels instead. Bamboo doesn’t just offer a cleaner look than most wood, but even just as a material it is very versatile.

You can use bamboo panels as wall art or a tropical-esque backdrop to a built-in. You can even use bamboo veneer to cover tables, entertainment centres or floating shelves. If you’re striving for a green home and are concerned over organic material sustainability, you’ll also appreciate the fact that bamboo is a more responsible material than new wood.

With a little creativity and enthusiasm you can easily make your living room feel like a whole new space.

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Eco-friendly home decorating tips

Eco-friendly home decorating tips

As looking after the planet has become a more and more pressing matter, many people are hoping to change their ways in order to do their part for the cause. It’s important to become more conscious about how human actions can have severe consequences on the environment, not only in an altruistic sense but also to protect the planet so people can continue to live on it safely. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process of decorating your home. For those who wish to help the planet while staying stylish, here are a few good tips on how to decorate without harming the environment.

House plant with blue glass lamp and books

Plants

Deforestation is a terrible issue. Natural resources are being used up and consumed faster than they can be replaced. That’s why it is important to help redress the balance in as many ways as possible. Although it may not quite be a forest, if everyone chose to decorate their home with more plant life, the world would surely benefit. Plus, greenery adds effortless beauty to any room. House plants help to keep the air clean whilst also brightening up their surroundings. You won’t need to worry about them clashing with your preferred sense of style either, as plants are timelessly attractive. Just make sure to research the characteristics of your chosen plants as some varieties can attract unwanted pests. You can look here to find out what you need to know about termite swarms to keep your home staying spick-and-span.

Green roofs on urban multi-storey buildings

Green roof

If you’re serious about your decision to help the planet recover from the overuse of its resources, a great way of reducing the amount on your energy bill is to install solar panels in your home. Whilst most are simply placed on the roof of a house, you can turn them into a feature. When the sunlight hits your roof, you’ll be able to store energy that’s completely green and environmentally friendly. If you’re lucky, you might even generate more than enough energy and the excess can be sold elsewhere. There are other ways of decorating the exterior of your home in eco-friendly ways. Why not grow grass or other low-maintenance plants on your roof to blend your home into the natural environment? Whether you live in the countryside or the city, a textured green roof is eye-catching and attractive to wildlife such as small birds and insects. Creepers and climbing plants growing up the exterior walls adds interest to any building and well-maintained window boxes make your home look pretty and will be bursting with life.

Hessian shopping bags

Recycling and upcycling

It’s all about reducing waste when it comes to protecting the environment. Fortunately, recycling has become almost second nature to most households. It might not seem like much, but by separating your metals, glass, plastic and cardboard and disposing of them properly you’re doing the world a huge favour. To extend this into your decorating, you can find or create furniture and homewares created from recycled or reclaimed materials. You’ll get the best of both worlds – stylish, beautiful, original interior design and a clean, green conscience.

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Home decorating tips to make life easier

Home decorating tips to make life easier

Decorating your home can sometimes lead you down a path of extreme design and striking pieces of furniture, with elaborate and confusing elements. The emphasis on making your home look stylish can sometimes be given priority over the need to make your house comfortable. There are ways of incorporating both style and function into your home to make your life easier and less stressful, whether you need to recover from a tiring day at work or you simply enjoy having a place dedicated to relaxing. Here are some simple home decorating tips to help you update your home with the focus on comfort.

Orange upholstered reclining chairs

Reduce pain

Home is about comfort, safety and contentment. Whilst people are often made to feel guilty or lazy for needing to rest at work or in public, home is where you’re able to do whatever you want to ease your aches and pains. Unless you feel the need to adhere to a strict design aesthetic, there’s nothing to be ashamed of when adding touches that serve primarily to reduce discomfort. Take a look at stressless recliner sales to find a comfortable, stylish chair to relax in after a long, exhausting day. It will make your home look and feel more inviting as well as taking the weight off your feet.

open-plan living space

Comfort food in a comfortable kitchen

Do you enjoy baking but can never find the space to store the proper equipment or gadgets? Do you love coming home to a delicious, stress-free meal? When decorating your home, don’t forget the vital role of the kitchen in everybody’s life. Unlike the cold and utilitarian kitchens found in schools or army barracks, your kitchen should exude warmth and relaxation. Food plays an important part in home life, especially with families and children. Design your kitchen to allow for better flow of movement and efficiency by carefully calculating layout and planning the cupboard space you’ll need. This will make cooking much easier and give you more time to enjoy your mealtimes. Keep your dining area as close to the kitchen as possible. Perhaps find a table that fits perfectly in the kitchen, so the food has less distance to travel from oven to plate. You’ll be less likely to burn your hands, and your food will be hotter when you sit down to eat.

open-plan living space

Tactical furniture arrangement

Houses with too much furniture feel cramped and crowded, difficult to navigate. Homes with a large expanse of space seem cold and uninviting. Strike a balance between these two extremes to achieve a stylish cosiness that both entices and impresses. Think carefully about how you move around your house and where pieces of furniture need to be in relation to each other. There’s no point keeping your bookshelf and your favourite armchair in separate rooms. Have a look at the practice of Feng Shui for more detailed information about arranging your home to better suit your lifestyle.

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4 things to consider when redecorating your bedroom

4 things to consider when redecorating your bedroom

Redecorating your bedroom may seem like a simple, straightforward decision at first, but it can involve a lot of logistics. If you want something impressive that will stand out, or that makes your bedroom more functional and conducive to sleep, there are some things you’ll have to consider before you start. Here are some of the things you have to know when redecorating your bedroom.

Bright red bedroom wall with black iron bed head

Will the colour still be in style years from now?

Colour is probably the most important thing you’ll have to decide upon before you do anything. It will set the tone for the whole room and dictate what kind of furniture with which you’ll be decorating it. It’s essential that you don’t just choose a colour because it’s trendy since you might have difficulty not only sleeping in it, but finding bedroom furniture in your colour as well. This is why you should go with classics unless you have no issue with switching colours every few years.

Heavy bedroom curtains

Are these curtains conducive to good sleep?

One of the main purposes of curtains is to provide you with the proper light levels for a good night’s sleep. Sure, we all want our curtains to look stylish, but unless they can perform this important purpose, they’re pretty much useless. Make sure that the curtains don’t clash with the other colours and textures in the room, but also make sure that they have the proper thickness as well.

Girl's bedroom with wall art

What’s the room’s focal point?

There’s nothing that can spruce up the look of a bedroom like a good focal point. And this isn’t simply limited to bedrooms, any room will feel incomplete without a clear focal point.

Most would assume that the bed should automatically be the focal point of your bedroom. However, a focal point could be anything, such as a nice piece of art for instance. You can construct a whole room around a piece of art – from the colour of the walls through to the bedding. This will give the room a great sense of cohesiveness. You could also go for something a little bit more extravagant, like a nice chandelier for instance. Whatever you choose as a focal point, make sure that it’s special and stands out.

Bright, white bedding

What kind of bedding will I be using?

This may seem like a simple question however, the way you choose your bedding will have a profound effect on the overall look of your room. Most people would be content with picking a generic, pre-made matching bedding set. But if you want to make it extra special, it would be better to choose pieces from various sets. This will allow you to come up with something more unique and mix & match textures to give the room that extra oomph.

Redecorating your bedrooms needs proper planning if you want your efforts to be focused and the end result to be cohesive. If you take the few points above into consideration before starting your project, you should be able to come up with great ideas for your next bedroom.

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How to make your room look classier without throwing anything away

Bright, modern living room

You may have recently been looking at the glossy home decorating magazines and finding the recommended room makeovers to be hugely expensive. Without breaking the budget, you’d probably prefer to find a way to make your existing room look classier and perhaps include the odd addition to jazz things up for that finishing touch.

Here are a few suggestions for improvements and upgrades that look upmarket without being exorbitantly expensive.

Plant on a bedside table

Go natural

Adding some plants or freshly cut flowers to a bedroom brings new colour, vibrancy and air purification into the room. Look for a vase that you haven’t used in ages. Maybe it’s in storage or tucked away at the back of a cupboard. If you’re unable to find an attractive one, look at a local charity shop to see if there’s something affordable that someone decided they didn’t like any longer.

Watch a YouTube video on flower arranging to get an idea how to put fresh plants together in an attractive arrangement for your bedside table. And there you have it; a fresher looking bedside table that brings a little nature into the bedroom.

Grey buttoned sofa with collection of throw cushions

Rethink the throw cushions

Older cushions, and particularly their covers, tend to look a bit weathered over time. The colours fade a little with each washing cycle and the fabric isn’t as interesting any longer. Changing cushion covers for new ones with an interesting pattern is inexpensive to do. Anyone who is a dab hand with a sewing machine can take some fancy fabric and turn it into a usable cushion cover. If you’re not this handy, then consider buying separate covers but keeping the existing fillings.

With cushions that don’t feel plush, consider adding a second foam or fill to the inside of the cushion to double its size. There are many new, inexpensive fills for cushions delivering refreshing comfort even to an older sofa. And when your sofa’s fabric or leather has seen better days, consider a long throw to cover the length of the sofa adding that touch of luxury and increased comfort without needing a complete replacement sofa.

Grey buttoned ottoman bed

Knowing when it’s time to replace the bed

Older beds lack suitable under-bed storage options and don’t necessarily provide the simple luxury and elegance that’s much needed. Wooden Ottoman beds provide new options for home-owners who feel it’s time to replace their tired bed frame with a more complete, modern one. Made from wood and covered in attractive fabrics or leather, these Ottoman beds offer something different than the typical brass bed frame we’ve all seen before.

Minimalist whitewashed room

Reduce clutter

Reducing the amount of clutter is often the last thing that anyone thinks to do; however, it’s effective in making every room look larger while giving the existing decorations and furniture a better chance to get noticed. Many of us collect too much of everything over the years. By cutting back on what we actually need to keep hold of and finding places to discretely store items out of sight, it transforms a living space and opens it up for further refinements to entirely change how it feels.

Adding a touch of class to every room doesn’t have to cost the earth. In many cases, it takes some re-imagining of each living area to determine how to get the most out of it along with a few small additions to bring something new.

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How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

How to refresh your out-dated home and be proud of it

When we’re proud of who we are, we reflect in the space we live in. When we’re proud of the home we’ve built for ourselves, we feel at home. Homes, however, require constant maintenance. It’s hard! When wear is starting to show in your home, it’s time to consider some easy DIY projects. When your windows or your doors are rotting and in disrepair, you need to reinvest in your home for more than just its kerb appeal. Your home means so much to you. Put a little love back into it (and maybe save some money in the long run).

Painting wood

Repainting

Nothing is a better instant fix than a fresh coat of paint. If your home has beautiful features like wood or brick that you absolutely do not want to paint over, a good power wash is the way to go. For wood, however, remember that unless you treat and take care of it, it will rot. Constant upkeep is an absolute must! In most cases, however, especially if your home or fence was already painted, a fresh, clean coat of paint will instantly brighten the look and feel of your exterior.

Tip: Ce sure to fill holes, fix cracks and other sources of disrepair before you paint!

Brass dolphin knocker on a bright blue door

Installing new fixtures

Rusting fixtures, or even just out-dated ones, can really bring down the look and feel of your home. Installing a uniform set of doorknobs, door knockers, and outside lights will really make your home look like new. Having a set of fixtures (meaning they all look similar, or are sold as a set) will make your home look like a professional did the job!

Cream room with light streaming through a window

Install new windows and doors

Single glazed windows and doors that let a draught in are often not only a bit old and sad looking, they can also cost you a lot. Updating them is an absolute must! This investment can save on heating bills in the long run, too, so over time, your investment will have paid for itself! Choose energy-efficient doors and windows, and find the right scaffolding equipment and installation team for you. Sourcing a lot of the materials yourself, instead of through a builder, is a great way to save money (if you have the time to find the best deals). Just make sure that everything is to the correct specifications!

Watering plants in a garden

Landscape your garden

Nothing will make you feel more relaxed and at home than having a perfect getaway in your back garden. Fixing the cracks and getting rid of the weeds between paving is a quick and easy way to make your garden look well cared for. Replace any dead or sad-looking plants with architectural or flowering plants for a new look!

Tip: Buy flowering plants that will bloom throughout the year, so you’ll always have colour and interest!

Being proud of your home is something for which to strive. It means coming home and loving the feel of it. Keeping your home fresh and updated is how you’ll continue to be proud of your home throughout your life.

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