Get your home ready for summer

Summer still life

Springtime is usually seen as the season to give your home an overhaul, but for us, this part of the year is merely the precursor to the most inspirational season of all – summer. Whereas spring is the time to get things tidy and to give your home a thorough cleaning, summer presents the opportunity to create an entirely new design on the clear canvas of a newly spring-cleaned home.

Paint cards, piantbrush and paint roller

Sometimes, all it takes is a new coat of paint on walls, doors and ceilings to completely refresh the look of your home, and we love any opportunity that allows us to go wild with different colours and shades. The summer palette is all about light, breezy hues which relate to the colours we’re currently seeing during the sunnier days of the year. Create a continuous stream of light which carries through the windows and into your living room, bedroom; and, in fact, any other room in your home by painting walls in a sunshine yellow. If you prefer the textures and patterns wallpapers can provide, opt for lighter shades with intricate patterns rather than papers with huge block designs. The more delicate the design, the more summery the feel.

Light-filled bedroom

It’s long been known that natural sunlight is a fantastic mood enhancer, and so you should ensure you make the most of summer’s lighter, brighter days by ensuring your bedroom captures as much natural light as possible. Swap heavy curtains that served their purpose during the winter for lighter, translucent drapes to maximise the amount of sunlight that enters the room. Treat yourself to brand spanking new furniture and take a look at the Bedstar range of wooden beds in white which will bring a fresh summery look to your bedroom. White furniture will really brighten up the room, so look out for wardrobes and drawers in a glossy white finish to complete your bedroom in a contemporary, seasonal style.

Bottles of herbs with tomatoes

Adorning your home with blooming house plants is a fantastic way of having a constant reminder that summer’s here, even on the not-so sunny days. Select colours and species that make your heart sing, and of course, ones that match your carefully considered colour scheme. Decorate your kitchen windowsill with herb pots to add fragrance to the room and extra flavour to your cooking. Plants are extremely versatile in that they can perk up any room in the home, and you should feel free to mix and match the types of plants you place around your home. Pet owners should be aware that some plants are toxic to animals, so do research which ones are safe to be around your little critters.



Simple ways to add value to your home

Australian cottage exterior 'Simple ways to add value to your home'credit

Do you want to add value to your home and make it a more comfortable place in which to live? This is the wish of many home owners around the country, but many of these people are not willing to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal. It’s not as difficult as it may seem to add value to your home and the following tips are some of the easiest ways in which to do this.

New doors and windows on a renovated propertycredit

Replace old windows and doors

A large number of older homes still have the same windows and doors that were fitted when the house was originally built. The technologies used to manufacture modern windows and doors have come a long way in recent years. Energy efficient windows and doors ensure that homes are warmer and look more stylish. Attractive and secure garage doors also add value to a home and are provided by suppliers like the Garage Door Company Ltd. You can check out their site to find a solution to suit your type of property.

Woman laying insulation in a loft spacecredit

Install insulation and a new heating system

Every home owner wants to live in a warm, cosy home. However, older heating systems were often not as efficient as modern heating systems. If you feel the cold in your home during the winter, you have a heating problem that needs to be fixed.

In most cases, installing a new boiler, radiators or other types of heating systems will make a huge difference to the temperature inside your home. To ensure that this heat does not escape, it’s important to check how well insulated your property is as well. If it’s not up to the necessary standard, it’s wise to install additional insulation in the wall cavities and in the attic space.

Patio with horizontal cladding wood panelscredit


When you’re attempting to add value to your home, not all changes take place inside the property. Most people enjoy spending time outside in a well-kept garden. However, many gardens leave a lot to be desired and are not inviting places to in which to spend time.

Hiring a professional landscaper to inject some life into your garden has the potential to add thousands of pounds to the value of your home and make it an attractive area for family and friends to relax, especially during the summer.

Dining room with wooden floorboardscredit


The floors in a home suffer the most from wear and tear. This is particularly true in high traffic areas of the home such as corridors and entrance ways. Replacing existing flooring products with high quality carpets or wooden flooring will instantly transform each of the rooms in your home.

Painter/decorator carrying tins of paint and paintbrushcredit

Clean and paint

It’s amazing how fresh a home can look by simply cleaning it and giving it a coat or two of paint. Once a home owner sees the difference this can make, it often inspires them to make other changes that will greatly increase the value of their home.

Some people make changes to their home so that it becomes more comfortable to live in, while other home owners want to increase the value of their property so that they can sell it profitably in the future. Either way, making the changes above will ensure that both of these objectives are achieved.


Home Tones: Yeabridge Green

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Farrow & Ball Yeabridge Green painted door with Salon Drab painted wallscredit

Last month, Farrow & Ball launched 9 new colours to their paint collection. Shadow White, Drop Cloth, Worsted, Cromarty, Peignoir, Vardo, Inchyra Blue, Salon Drab and Yeabridge Green. There are some fabulous colours in the list, but we’ve plumped for the last named as our choice for this week’s Home Tones. We’re big fans of green and this is a very distinctive shade. It has a chalky, matte quality. We’ve seen lots of examples of it paired with pinks and blues which work well – particularly those vibrant peacock and kingfisher-like shades. We love it alongside browns, from chocolate to chestnut, as in the main image above.

Sitting room painted with Farrow & Ball's Yeabridge Green

Wall painted in Farrow & Ball's Yeabridge Green

Bedroom with Yeabridge Green walls decorated as part of the BBC's Great British Interior Design Challengecredit

Little girl's bedroom painted with Yeabridge Green wallscredit


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Fast ways to give a room a fresh look

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Light filled artist studiocredit

We can all get a bit fed up with the look of our home. Most of us like to change things up a bit sometimes – it’s human nature. This is when we feel the urge to redecorate.

If you’re at that stage but are short of time, these quick fix ideas could be perfect for you. Read on to get some great ways to freshen up any room – and even better, you can do it in just a few hours.

Pumpkin books wallpapercredit

Transform a wall

Of course, one of the best ways to give a room a new look is to redecorate. You’re probably scratching your head right now after the promise of fast ways to transform a room – we’re talking about redecorating!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to decorate the entire room. You can easily paint or paper a single wall in a couple of hours. Doing this has an amazing transformative effect on any space.

If you want to achieve it even faster, pick out a wall sticker and use that instead. To apply it all you do is wipe over the surface, peel back the corner and smooth it on.

You can find some great ones for under £50. Decorative door stickers are also available. If you buy one of the easy to remove versions, you can easily change it if you get bored.

Living room with vintage Ercol day bed and artwork abovecredit

Add some paintings

While we’re on the subject of walls, changing what you hang on them has a surprising impact on the look and feel of a room. Hanging new, bold paintings can help to provide new focal points and interest.

off white living room with large mirror over the fireplacecredit

Hang a big mirror

Mirrors are also a fantastic option – they reflect the light back into the room making it feel more spacious which can have instant dramatic impact. A new statement mirror and a few fresh decorative pieces will give an individual look to practically any space. Go online and order everything you need from the comfort of your home. Unpacking it and setting everything up will only take a matter of minutes.

cream corner sofa with lots of large colourful cushionscredit

New soft furnishings

New cushion covers, throws and rugs are available everywhere but don’t forget the option of making your own. If you can sew in a straight line, you can easily make new covers, tablecloths, throws and other soft furnishings.

Making your own can save you money and even improve the chances of achieving the distinctive look you really want. These days it’s easy to find good quality upholstery and soft furnishing fabrics online.

Using premium materials gives you great results. They look fantastic, are easier to work with and are more durable. Recovering a dining room chair or footstool is another great project. You can do it no time and you don’t even need a sewing machine, just a pair of good scissors and an upholstery stapler or tacks.

With a bit of thought you’ll come up with lots of other creative ways to quickly freshen up any room.


Tips for transforming your bedroom into a relaxing space

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colourful bedroom with tree patterned wallpaper

Your bedroom should be a safe haven, a place where you can relax, unwind and forget about the troubles and stresses of the world outside. However, many of us don’t maximise on the space that we have to make into the sanctuary that we both need and deserve. To make your bedroom more relaxing, there are several changes you can make to improve on the quality of your rest, which can improve your overall health as well as your emotional and mental well-being. Here are some ways that you can make your bedroom more relaxing.

desk space in a bedroom

Make space to sit

If your bedroom is big enough and you have the room to play around a bit, then you should consider making a little seating area in your bedroom. Many of us just end up sprawling across the bed to read or mess around on our laptops, but this can affect our sleep patterns because we end up associating the bed with mental activity when it should be associated with rest.

Either bring in a chair or small sofa, or do something even simpler like put some cushions on your windowsill to make a nifty window seat. This is a great way to make your bedroom a more relaxing space, giving you a place to curl up and unwind.

cream bedding with yellow ochre throw and coloured cushions

Invest in a new bed and mattress

Your bed is extremely important, so it’s crucial that it’s of a high quality and provides you with the right level of comfort and support so you get the most out of your rest. If you’ve been sleeping less well lately, or have noticed that you’re tossing and turning more in the night and waking up feeling less rested, then it may be time for a new bed and mattress.

A high quality bed and mattress can transform your sleep and rejuvenate you. Visit Bedstar for more information, and see if you can find a new bed and mattress that suits your needs. They provide a wide range of bed frames and help you find the best mattress with their online questionnaire. Ordering a bed from Bedstar online will also guarantee you next day delivery, so you don’t have to worry about when your new bed will arrive.

Bedroom with cream colour scheme

Create an atmosphere

At the moment, does your bedroom really feel like a place where you can relax or is it just somewhere to put your head down at the end of the day?

Redecorating your bedroom can be a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere. For example, painting the walls in a calming colour can help you to unwind at night, and lighting can also be used to help you wind down in time for bed. By investing in some dimmer lights or soft bedside lamps, you can transform your bedroom into a serene and relaxing space.

Remember that your bedroom should be your sanctuary, rather than just another room in your house. By making a few simple changes, you can make your bedroom a more relaxing space, giving you somewhere to rest and refresh yourself.

Create a bedroom worthy of your little superhero

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kids' superhero-inspired twin bedroomcredit: Classy Clutter

There are many things you can do for a superhero fan, from buying them the latest Marvel comics to purchasing cool superhero merchandise, such as these pyjamas. These gifts are sure to put a smile on their face, but if you really want to make them grin from ear to ear, how about transforming their bedroom into a superhero paradise by following these twelve creative tips?

Marvel comic strip wallpapercredit: Graham and Brown

  1. Put up comic strip wallpaper

Believe it or not, you can pick up comic strip wallpaper, as well as large wall murals and borders, featuring all of the best characters from sites like eBay and Amazon. Pick their favourite and get busy with the wallpaper paste.

Washi mural of urban skyline in kid's roomcredit: Rebecca Dodge

  1. Use washi-tape to create an urban skyline

Every superhero needs a city to protect, use washi-tape (which can peel off easily later) to create a skyline across the wall. It will make imagining those epic throw downs with super villains much more fun for your little one.

superhero bunting by Noahs Ark & Crafts on Etsycredit: Noahs Ark & Crafts

  1. Comic strip bunting

Follow this super easy tutorial to create your very own comic book bunting to hang around the room; across the ceiling or along shelving.

kids' DIY superhero capescredit: Piece of Cake

  1. Capes and costume hangers

Screw hooks into the wall and decorate them with superhero capes and costumes, so your little one can easily choose who they want to be that day. If you want to get creative make your own capes that can be worn over normal clothing; use gold & red material for Iron Man, red, white & blue for Captain America in the famous shield design and bright green for the Incredible Hulk. Not sure how to make a cape? This tutorial is great for those of us who aren’t confident using a sewing machine.

George Home Superboy duvet setcredit: George Home

  1. Opt for superhero bedding

What would a superhero bedroom be without the appropriate bedding? From Spiderman-themed sheets to Batman duvet covers, there are many designs to choose from online and in stores such as Asda.

'Pow' comic strip cushion covercredit: Catherine Lansfield

  1. Don’t forget pillows & cushions

Got some spare pillows or cushions lying around? Slip these into superhero-themed covers and you’ll be good to go!

Spiderman curtainscredit: Price Right Home

  1. Hang some superhero curtains

While blinds will keep out the light, curtains (especially the superhero kind) are a must-have for any budding crime-fighting, wall-climbing hero in the making.

Hulk wall lightcredit: TruffleShuffle

  1. Light it up

Pick up a fun 3D wall light, which looks like your favourite superhero is bursting through the wall. With Spiderman’s face, Thor’s hammer, the Hulk’s fist and Captain America’s shield available your superhero can choose their favourite to have in the room. Check them out here.

Decoupage comic canvascredit: Mod Podge Rocks!

  1. Comic canvases

Put your artistic skills to the test and create some fun wall art. Paint graphic canvasses with designs like Captain America’s shield or Superman’s ‘S’. Paint brightly coloured comic-strip words such as ‘biff!’, ‘bang!’, ‘pow!’ and ‘zap!’. You can then hang them on the wall in a row or on along a mantelpiece. If you’re not confident about your painting prowess, découpage a canvas with strips cut out from superhero comic books.

Captain America cardboard cut-outcredit: Starstills

  1. Life size superheroes

Your little superhero will love having a true-to-life version of one of his personal heroes in the room; whether it’s a life size cardboard cut-out of Batman watching over him from the corner or Spider-Man guarding the door.

superhero shelvescredit: b00gal00 b0utique

  1. Super shelving

Every tiny Spiderman or Thor needs somewhere to store their superhero manuals, aka comic books, so why not create some fun shelving using decoupage? Simply cut out pictures from comic books and magazines and use them to cover the shelves, apply varnish to each layer, wait to dry and then hang them up.

Batman searchlight

  1. Batman searchlight

Does your little one wish that they were the caped detective, pretending that their bedroom is Gotham City as they run around trying to capture the Joker and Bane? Then create their very own Batman spotlight, which doubles up as a great night-light. Here’s a really easy to follow guide on how to make one using a Pringles tube, card and an LED light.