Plans for our Forever Home

I know, me and Jay have only had our first house for a year, but we’re already thinking about what we’re going to do for our next home, hopefully our forever home.

I always think it’s good to think into the future. We both want to build our own home, and so this will take a lot of saving, a lot of planning and a lot of hard work. It’s something we both really want to do, so we’re planning it now to actually make it happen.

The idea is to buy a plot of land, then buy a caravan to sit on site which we’ll live in while the house is being built. The good thing about building our forever home is that it will be exactly as we want it. We’ll also be able to claim back 20% of what we spend in tax. The plan is to live in it for 30/40 years until we have to downsize.

I’m not one to move around much, so once we build our home, I’ll be quite happy living in it for that amount of time. We’ll redecorate every now and then to keep it looking fresh.

So what do we want in our forever home?

 

Aluminium Windows

At the minute, our windows are uPVC and over time they’ve expanded and shrunk so that you can feel a slight draft around them. Aluminium windows are much stronger and more durable so this won’t happen. They’re also more efficient, keeping more heat in and therefore reducing your heating bill over time. They look so modern and contemporary too.

I’m not too keen on the industrial look, so Aluminium windows don’t just come in dark grey but also in white which is perfect for the look we’re going for.

Our forever home will have white aluminium windows like these.

 

Space

I know this is something a lot of people are after in the UK at the moment. With so many new houses being built, space is difficult to find. We would love a nice big back garden that is safe for children to play in. A dog isn’t something we can get right now as both of us work full time, so I feel it isn’t fair, but we’d love to get a Black Lab or an Alsatian. I’m sure the cat will love us for that decision….

I’d also love a large drive. The sort you can fit 4/5 cars on. Me and Jay currently have a very small drive. Though we have plans to make it bigger by removing the raised flowerbeds, it can still only fit two cars on. I’d love a big spacious drive where you can easily park 3 cars without having to move another one to get out.

 

A Utility Room

If I couldn’t get any of the other requirements on this list apart from a utility room, I’d be happy. Our current situation is that any laundry ends up drying in the living room. Drying bedding is a nightmare (we don’t have a tumble dryer yet) so it gets draped everywhere on clothes horses and wherever else we can find a space for it. Cleaning products are also shoved under cupboards. The ironing board is upstairs meaning I have to bring it down every time I do the ironing.

A utility room means all your appliances are tucked away out of sight of the kitchen. At the minute our washing machine is in the garage which I wanted, as opposed to it being in the kitchen. But a utility room would house it all. No more trekking outside in the freezing cold to stick the washing on.

Double garage outside Mediterranean looking home

Double Garage

Me and Jay have a double garage at the moment. I always think once you have something, you can’t not have it any more. If you’ve got a five bed house, you can’t go down to a three or four. You’d have to throw so much out. Our garage is full, and I couldn’t imagine not having one. Jay loves to play around with cars. As a mechanical engineer, he loves taking things apart and putting them back together. We currently have two written off cars sat in the garage at the moment, waiting to be fixed and sold.

He’s got so many tools, power tools and equipment that we couldn’t not have a double garage any more.

 

So there’s my list of requirements for our forever home.

What to Check When Buying an Old Home

Thinking of buying an old home? You might need to think of these potential problems first.

I love old homes: their exposed brickwork, the wooden beams in the ceiling, and the potential they have to become a stunning family home. They have something that modern homes just don’t have.

That’s why so many people choose them over the more contemporary options on the housing market. However, you need to be careful whenever you’re considering buying an old home because there could be problems lurking that will cost money to fix.

This post isn’t about putting you off, just making you aware. You should know what to look for when house hunting. So, here are the things that you should be looking for when buying an old home.

 

A Deteriorating Roof

The roof is the one thing that’s easy to ignore. It’s all the way up there, so you’re not about to get a ladder out and climb on it yourself. There are no obvious signs you can see, but you have to go out of your way to have the roof properly assessed. However, it’s important not to ignore this vital issue. Old homes tend to have roofs that are deteriorating and becoming weaker. If they have been neglected for a long time, work will probably be required.

 

Structural Issues

Structural problems can be very expensive to deal with in some circumstances. Of course, that all depends on what the precise structural problem is. You should always be aware of issues before you sign any documents or hand over any cash. A home’s value can be seriously limited if there are big underlying structural problems. The sooner you find out about them, the better it will be for you. A detailed survey will give you all the information you’re likely to need. Just make sure you pay for the most expensive survey as this will really show up any potential problems.

 

Hazardous Materials

There are a couple of hazardous materials that you should be on the lookout for when you’re scouting out old homes. First and foremost, you should find out if there is any asbestos present in the property. This will need to be removed by a professional team that can get it all done properly and safely. It’s a very dangerous substance so should be taken seriously. On top of that, you should find out if there is any lead in the property.

 

Signs of Woodworm

Woodworm is a problem that’s pretty easy to spot because you will see damage to any wood in the home. It looks like lots of little holes in the wood. This is a sure sign that there’s a problem that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Over time, it weakens the wood and can even lead to major collapses. There are plenty of companies out there that can offer woodworm treatment services. Make the most of them if you do find a problem.

Buying an old home can cause tonnes of problems. Window with crumbling plaster and rotten wood.

Problems With Outdated Plumbing

Old plumbing systems that have seen better days might cause you a lot of problems if you don’t deal with them in the right way. It’s definitely the kind of change that you might want to consider making as soon as you buy a property. A modern plumbing system won’t take away from the home’s period character in any way, but it will have a big impact on how you use and experience your home.

 

Damage Caused by Termites

Termite damage can be just as disastrous as woodworm damage, so you should be sure to look out for that too. Swollen floors and wood that seems to be buckling are two symptoms of a termite problem. Despite the cost, time and disruption associated with getting rid of a termite problem, that work needs to be done so don’t be tempted to put it off.

 

Mould and Mildew

Any walls in the home that have been exposed to too much moisture over the years will likely be affected by mould and mildew. These can cause gradually increasing damage to your home and its structure. You will probably notice the smell as soon as you walk into the property, so seek out the source of the problem with your nose and be sure to get it fixed up as soon as you can.

 

Old homes are great for anyone who enjoys renovation work. It allows you to put your own stamp on the property, and that’s got to be a good thing. However, don’t turn a blind eye to the problems you’re likely to face with a home that was built a long time ago because doing so will only cause you more problems later.

UK GIVEAWAY! Win a grey Jacaranda rug!

The wonderful people from Best at Flooring got in touch to say they’d like to run a giveaway on my site to win a Jacaranda rug worth £70.

These rugs are high quality and come in a variety of colours, styles and sizes to suit any room.

Jacaranda rugs are made using eco-friendly methods, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your Jacaranda rug is more environmentally friendly than other rug brands.

Woven with wooden looms that need a human touch or knotted by hand, their rugs are more eco-friendly than other brands. Using pure wool and un-dyed materials where possible, as well as working only with GoodWeave registered suppliers, the company can offer green and ethical products that bring more peace of mind.”

Jacaranda rug in blue

jacaranda rug in grey

Here’s a close up of the rug showing you the quality of the pile.

Get some inspiration from my site on how to style your rug!

A winner will be picked in one month on the 16th February, just use the form below to enter! UK only.

Win a Jacaranda Rug!
*Listed on Loquax

How to Care for your Home

Sometimes we can get so bogged down with how our home looks, but sometimes you forget that you have to care for your home too.

And I know, I’m an interiors blog, but a home needs to be practical and liveable in too.

We often take for granted that we can be welcomed by a warm home (because you’ve already put the heating on using your next). When things go wrong, we can feel isolated, stressed and uncomfortable in a place that’s ours. Nobody wants to be caught short, so make sure you’ve got the basics covered to keep your house ticking along smoothly.

 

Do Up Your Drainage

The buildup of debris in your drains and pipes can cause unsightly problems you certainly don’t want to come across. This build up will be worst in Autumn when all the leaves are falling. So arrange to get your drainpipes cleaned out around November in time for the winter.

If you have struggled to keep on top of your clear outs, find a company that can unblock and clean drains and pipes. Their specialists can safely dispose of the blockages that are clogging them up and you can then avoid potential disasters. Build-ups inside your drain can cause pungent and unpleasant smells and it can stop your water running smoothly. Avoid a drainage disaster and seek help from experts as soon as you can.

A warm bath or shower is something we all need in winter, so don’t risk losing out on those!

 

Care and Clean To Avoid Calamities

We are all guilty of giving our homes a quick once-over with the vacuum cleaner and a half-hearted swish of the duster. When was the last time you deep cleaned every room in your home?

You might not realise that your haphazard housework could be affecting your health. Mould, grime and dirt can build up in inconspicuous places in your homes and you wouldn’t even know about it. Mould and damp can be very damaging to you and your family’s health, so make sure you inspect walls and ceilings for any signs of this.

The next time you get a chance, turn your home upside down and finish off those cleaning jobs you’ve always pushed to the back of your mind. Move the sofa and bed to hoover underneath those, hoover behind the TV and clean all the cupboards in the kitchen (including the inside).

 

Freshen your Decor

 

Chairs with throws and a balcony

Have you ever just stopped noticing things? The things you see every day stop being seen and just become a part of the background. But have you ever actually spent time looking at the things you own? Are there loose threads all over your cushions, or holes where the lining starts? How chipped is the paint on your walls? Time passes so quickly, that suddenly you might have had your sofa for ten years.

 

There are obviously temporary measures you can take like getting your carpet professionally cleaned rather than replacing it. But sometimes everything just needs redoing. Spend time choosing new paint colours and it’ll change the look of a room as well as help to tidy up the paint. This kind of care for your home helps the look of it as well as just the hygiene problems.

 

Care for your home by following these small pieces of advice. You can avoid daily disasters by keeping the little things in check. Your house should be a place of peace and stability where you can switch off your brain and recuperate after a hard day’s work. A couple of small projects will take your home from unpredictable to unstoppable so strive to make your home clean, clear and coursing like clockwork! If you get these things covered you might even sell your home faster if you’re looking to move into a new abode in the near future.

 

*Collaborative post.

 

How to Achieve a Classy Home Look

Achieving a classy home look isn’t always easy, but these three suggestions might make it more so.

There are many things you might want to achieve in your home. We always seem to change our mind on what style we want. But one style that won’t change is that of a traditional and classy home.

This old-world charm is something that can be difficult to get right. It can be even more tricky when you’re trying to combine old-world with a modern home. It can take an expert and practised eye to get it spot on.

But good news! There are also a few choice ideas which are bound to work. Here are some great and easy ways to achieve a classy home look. 

 

Antique Fireplace

If you have a fireplace or even a plain chimney breast, then you might find it beneficial to make as much use of it as possible. Fireplaces are huge centrepieces and should be used to draw the eye into the room as soon as you walk in. 

Consider treating yourself to a brand new fireplace, perhaps even an antique one from the likes of Westland London. No matter what your home is like, or the kind of space you have to work with, installing an antique fireplace will make a huge difference.

You might choose a traditional one like this from Kerry. She lovingly restored this one herself and was absolutely worth the effort. 

 

A classy home means installing a classy fireplace like this traditional Victorian one which has been restored.

 

 

Or perhaps something a little more modern like a woodburner.

You might find that a fireplace is just what your living room has been missing all these years.

 

Mirror Details

Mirrors always add a touch of glamour and glitz for a classy home. It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly, but it works and is worth bearing in mind if you are looking for a way to make your home a little classier.

Something you should also consider is to have some mirror detailing. This can really be effective in making mirrors you have hung up seem even more special and classy. What those details are is entirely up to you, but if you want a truly traditional feel then you might want to go for a more classic look. You might be surprised at what a difference such details really can make to your home.

 

Daring Colours

If you really want to add some Victorian class to your classy home, try bold wallpaper print and dark wall colours. There’s something so lovely and traditional about dark furniture paired with daring wallpaper. 

 

So achieve a timeless, traditional home look easily with these suggestions!