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Home Renovation Tips

Period design features can extend to every corner of your home and that includes the family bathroom.  Contrary to popular belief, creating a Victorian or Edwardian-style bathroom doesn’t mean doing away with the modern design features we have come to know and love, such as relinquishing the joys of a power shower.  Instead period features can sit happily side by side with a few of the best 21st century innovations.

The bathroom is one of the most commonly used rooms in a household and whilst it’s probably the most practical necessity in terms of all the rooms, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to make it as stylish as possible.

Here are some easy steps to creating your dream period bathroom:

Grey doesn’t exactly sound like an appealing colour for the walls. It invokes images of boredom and hospital walls, and yet it is suddenly becoming the colour of choice for kitchens across the country and for one good reason. Grey is the colour that is being lifted straight off the walls of TV’s Downton Abbey.

Ok, so it might be coming from the servants’ quarters below stairs but it is still proving to be very popular. It turns out that the paint in question is still available. It’s made by Myland’s, a paint maker who has been making it since 1884 and supplying Pinewood Studios – hence the Downton connection.

These days, throwing something away is not considered good form – especially at a time when the nation is striving to be more cash and eco-conscious. If it can be reused or improved, there is no reason why we can’t breathe new life into old. The trend for upcycling is big and it’s great news for both the environment and fans of antique furniture. Why spend a fortune on a new piece when you can improve the old with just a little bit of imagination?

Teach old shelves new tricks

If you’ve got a tired shelving unit or an underused alcove, why not bring it back to life? Add some colour and depth and create a talking point with some striking wallpaper. Paper the back sections of the shelves in matching or contrasting paper and it will create an eye-catching display.

One of the best parts of interior design is choosing the furniture that will adorn your home. Picking out individual pieces and seeing if they work together and with the existing period features is the very bread and butter of interior design. Some people have a natural eye for it but it is a skill that can be learned too.

A conservatory is the perfect place between the comfort and security of the home and the light and freedom of the garden. A conservatory can add an entirely new dimension to a home and provide valuable extra living space. It’s also a great way of connecting rooms together and finishing circuits in homes to allow for more freedom of movement.

However, when choosing a conservatory, you have to be careful that you pick a suitable style and shape; otherwise it can look incongruous with the rest of the house.

The hallway is the gateway to the rest of the house. Yet all too often we neglect it and don’t give it the care and attention afforded to the other rooms in our homes. Even the smallest hallway can have a big impact if it is designed well. After all, this is the first room that any visitors will see when they enter the house. Here’s how to do it.

Get the colour right

This is the first step to creating the perfect hallway. Hallways spaces should be bright and airy to create the sensation of space. Go too dark and it can seem a little intimidating. Neutral colours on the walls can be accented with pictures and other colourful features.

It is more or less every child’s dream to have a whole room dedicated to just playing. Most of us weren’t lucky to enjoy this reality when we were young but that’s all the more reason why our little ones should get the chance.

If you’ve got a spare room or space in the house, why not think about turning it into a playroom? Creating your own playroom doesn’t need to be difficult or cost a fortune either, if you utilise the following advice.

Summer is always the designer’s favourite season, as it brings light and a fresh new set of design ideas. One of the recurring themes of summer design is bringing the outside in. There are a number of key ways that you can do this and it will usually really brighten up your living space and add a touch of natural design flair.

An argument has been raging in the world of interior design for some years. The schism happened over a debate about the merits of wooden floors over laminate, and both sides are equally passionate about their point of view. Neither side has backed down either, so there has been no cooling of tensions over the years.

Essentially, the argument is whether natural wooden floors are better than laminate. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which is why the argument is so hard to settle.

Proponents of real wooden floors say that the natural and warm feeling of natural wood floorboards cannot be matched or recreated by laminates. It’s true that there is something beautiful about restoring the floorboards that are integral to a house. Almost all houses of a certain vintage will have them - often lurking under carpets or vinyl flooring. With a bit of sanding (ok, a lot of sanding) and varnishing, you can restore them to their former glory.

Sometimes just painting block colours isn’t the most exciting option. A fresh coat of paint will go a long way to brightening up a room but flat colours can look a bit on the dull side. So why not experiment with a few paint techniques for walls and woodwork that might make things a little more interesting?

We’ve all seen property programmes where a buyer gets their hands on a period property and proceeds to rip out the existing period features and replace them with bland modern alternatives. Original floorboards and fireplaces are ripped up or plastered over. Ceiling rosettes and cornicing are torn down and woodwork glossed over. Watching it from your sofa, you can hardly bear to look.

We all understand the logic behind it. For most developers there is no room for sentiment. It’s all about the bottom line, so why spend money replacing and repairing cornicing and timber sash windows when you can rip them out and replace with modern materials for a fraction of the price? After all, if you’re renting out or selling, then it really makes no difference to you as a developer.

Most of us could do with an extra room or two in the house. No matter how big the house, it never seems to be quite big enough. The accumulated possessions of the average life always tend to grow until they are just too big to fit into all the allotted space.

When this happens there are three options. Firstly, you can move house, which seems like an extreme solution. Secondly, build an extension to your existing property. All very well if you have the necessary space. The last solution seems to make more sense. Most of us have a loft space that we’re not using to its full potential. Loft spaces are usually big enough to convert (although it’s a good idea to check with a builder or loft conversion specialist).

If you’re renovating a period property there are a few rules that you need to follow in order to achieve the best results. Period properties, when renovated appropriately can produce some stunning results. Get it wrong, however, and not only will it look odd but you could knock thousands off the value of the building.

The number of first-time buyers in London recently hit a five-year high, and if you are one of the scores of new homeowners in the capital proudly brandishing a set of keys to your first home then a world of decorating wonders awaits you.

From tidying up your jungle-like garden to restoring your home’s original wooden flooring, an array of renovation tasks both big and small will test your home ownership mettle, as well as giving you the satisfaction that your new home was definitely a labour of love.

Here are just a few decorating tips that first-time buyers may want to heed before they start knocking down partition walls:

We all know that our environment can affect the way we feel, from sunny weather helping to put a smile on our face to a cluttered office contributing to our sense of disorganisation. However, it now appears that we can actively impact the way we feel simply by getting our decorating hat on and applying the principles of neuroarchitecture.

Explaining how this works, Eve Edelstein, PhD, adjunct professor at the New School of Architecture & Design in San Diego and a research consultant to the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), says: "The premise is to consider how each feature of the architectural environment influences certain brain processes such as those involved in stress, emotion, and memory."

If you are considering investing in a second home, for either the occasional holiday getaway, or for a home you will equally divide your time in, finding the time and energy to tackle the renovation can be a challenge.

Here are just a few tips to help you through the process.

Introducing colour into your home can be a simple way to brighten up the look of your property, and this can be achieved while complementing the existing design scheme in your home. Here’s how:

Refurbishing your home can not only improve the look and feel of your property, but can also act to boost its value in some cases, as well as helping to ensure that your space is tailored to meet your needs and the needs of your family.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has recently called for the government to include tax cuts or subsidies on renovation and repair work in the forthcoming Budget announcement, to encourage homeowners to refurbish their existing properties.

There are few homeowners in the country who wouldn’t want to increase the value of their home, especially if they are considering putting their property on the market. However, many may be deterred by the prospect of investing money in their home, without getting immediate returns.

To quell those fears, here are just a few ways you can add more to your property for less:

Cottages can be well-preserved capsules of centuries gone by, with a chocolate box cottage remaining one of the ultimate rural idylls.

Restoring a ramshackle English country cottage is a labour of love for many would-be country dwellers, and can require oodles of time, research, and (invariably) money.

Here are just a few pointers for those looking to breathe life back into a traditional cottage:

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