An Update on our Study Renovation

All the way back in December, I wrote this post about renovating our study. 

We were planning on having it finished at the end of January, but we have barely even started it. This is just a quick post to say we will renovate our study at some point, but who knows when that will be. Here are the problems we’ve come across with the renovation so far which has stopped it before it even began.

 

Problem #1

So obviously funding is an issue, and we have a wedding to pay for at the end of April . We borrowed some money out of our wedding fund to invest in a written off car. The car belonged to my cousin, and had minor damage to the bumper, front wing and front quarter panel. We got the car for free with plans to spend money on it to hopefully sell it and make a fair amount back.

We’ve borrowed money out of the wedding to buy all the parts we need (new number plates, new alloy wheels, new bumper, new headlights, new wing mirror, etc.) with the hope that we’ll sell the car before the wedding and make all our money back plus extra.

But to be able to use this money for the wedding, we need to sell the car in March/April, which means it needs to go on the market kind of soon. And it’s no where near ready. So Jay’s priority is fixing the car so we can sell it, over renovating the study.

 

Problem #2

We were going to order bits for the study renovation from Travis Perkins in December, but it said there would be two weeks delivery wait. We decided not to order the bits but get a man with a van. Unfortunately, this idea didn’t work out, so we ended up ordering our pieces two weeks later, and then having to wait two weeks for delivery again. So we’re four weeks behind.

We had quite a lot to order. We’ve redone the insulation last week, so the house is toasty. We had to buy plasterboard so we can get rid of the horrible artex on the ceiling. We also bought some other plastering bits because the walls aren’t great. We’ve got lining paper, wallpaper, and paint already, but can’t put it on yet!

 

Problem #3

Although we have everything we need to complete the study renovation, finding the time is difficult. Jay’s working a ‘shut down’ at work, which means three weeks of 12 hour days. When on earth is he going to find the time to plasterboard and skim a ceiling, put lining paper and wallpaper up, and work on the car which we need to sell ASAP?

 

This is the image I’m focusing on until we can start properly concentrating on it:

 

Home office renovation ideas. Photo collage of wallpaper, pink paint, oak desk and wooden floor

 

Our beautiful wallpaper is from Graham and Brown, and our paint is from the Valspar range.

 

Keep updated for when we do actually begin work properly!

An Interiors To-Do List for 2018

There’s something about a new year that makes us want to change everything about our lives (don’t ask me why).

You’ve already written a long list of jobs for the OH to get done this year, and you’ve decided which rooms you want to change and freshen up. It can be an exciting prospect but also a bit daunting. Your interiors to-do list is never ending, and before you know it you’re looking for somewhere else to live on Zoopla. DON’T PANIC.

What you need to do is prioritise your jobs. Instead of looking at all the jobs as a whole, break them down either by priority or by how long they’ll take. I’ve listed a few things that me and Jay have already done on the house, and what still remains to be done (boy, is that a long list)

 

A Light Touch Up

As backwards as it sounds, it might be best to get all the little jobs out of the way. These are the jobs on my interiors to-do list that I dread, and the jobs that seem to take the longest because they’re so faffy. Fill in all the holes in the walls, change the handles on the kitchen cupboards, touch up some painting. These jobs will make a big difference.

 

Warmth

I believe warmth and insulation is a priority. It’s an annoying one because you spend £100 on loft insulation, as we have just done, and kind of feel like you have nothing to show for it. It’s not like a new chair which everyone will be able to see. BUT you will feel the benefits of this one every day. 

Take the time and spend the money on keeping your home warm in winter. Because with better heating, like underfloor heating, your house will feel so much more like the cosy home you want it to be.

 

An Extension

Okay, this is quite a big job. But if you’ve been umming and ahhing over extending, it could be time for you to bite the bullet this year. You might already have the money in savings and are too scared to hand it over. Or you might have to start saving for it. If it’s something that you’ve been thinking about for a while, then work on your extension before doing any other jobs on your house.

 

Security

One thing that often gets underestimated is security. When you live in a nice area, you always think you’re going to be okay. But that’s not always a given. So you may feel better, and more secure, by looking into CCTV installation for inside and outside. Again, it’s not the nicest thing to spend money on, but it might save you money on insurance claims in the future. With security in place, you’re going to be protecting everything that you’ve built, and it will give you more peace of mind.

 

Landscaping

The last thing on my interiors to-do list is landscaping and the garden. It’s so easy to forget about the outside of our homes, but it’s what everyone else sees. Me and Jay are desperate to get our driveway done. It’ll be completely flattened, paved, and will look so much nicer. It’s also currently a nightmare to park our cars, so we’ll extend the opening to the driveway so it’s not so much of a tight fit.  

 

 

Home Improvements I’m Dying to Make

Those of you that regularly read my blog will know we renovated our entire house exactly one year ago. Home improvements aren’t easy, but this house absolutely needed it.

Luckily, we came out the other side and absolutely adore our house (you can check out my home decor Instagram for plenty of updates on how the house looks now).

There are some home improvements that I am dying to make, but it might not be cost-effective to do so. We want to make a profit on our house, but the absolute maximum we’ll be able to sell it for is around £180k because of the location. Therefore, if we spend thousands on home improvements such as a log burner, a new garage, loft conversion, etc. we won’t make a decent profit.

Just to make myself feel…better?…I’ve listed some home improvements that I would love to make, though maybe on our next house, whenever that may be.

Log burner

As mentioned above, I would LOVE  a log burner. I mean look at these:

 

Home improvements include a log burner. White living room with black log burner and white fireplace surround

Photo from http://www.sarahgordonhome.co.uk

 

 

Log burner with exposed brick behind and black fire surround.

Photo credit: https://thevintagegoodlife.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

Black log burner with exposed brick behind it against black walls.

Photo credit: http://blog.making-spaces.net/

 

…and is there anything better than the smell of burning wood?

 

Bifold Doors

I suggested to Jay that we get bifold doors here in our dining room:

 

Low hanging pendant lights over dining table

 

They would look incredible and we could open up the whole space in summer and sit outside (although maybe we couldn’t now, because we have an indoor cat who isn’t allowed out, ever). If I was to get some, it would be from a reputable company like direct bifold doors. It would just make the space feel bigger and airier, and would be an amazing selling point when we did come to move.

 

Downstairs bathroom

Unfortunately in our house, there is just no room for a downstairs toilet. Lots of people put theirs under the stairs, however our stairs are placed stupidly. They go up through the lounge and over the kitchen, meaning we’d have to knock into the kitchen to be able to fit one in.

 

Interiors blogger truths. Kitchen with wooden floor and black granite surfaces.

See where the stairs come into the kitchen in the top right corner.

 

There is no space anywhere else to fit a downstairs bathroom, and it would cut into our living space. So is it worth it? Probably not, but I still want one.

 

What home improvements would you add to your home if money wasn’t an issue?

 

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.

 

Choosing The Right Radiator For Your Home

Okay, so I know that radiators aren’t the most interesting topic, but choosing the right radiator can make a huge different to the look of your home.

You might be familiar with the classic boxy radiators that take up half of your space, aren’t the nicest to look at, and are dust traps. But now there are LOADS of other options available that look sleek and modern. Choosing the right radiator isn’t difficult when you know what your natural home style is. It also helps to know where you’re going to put it so you can take dimensions.

The key to choosing the right radiator is to know how much space you are willing to give up in your room. You also need to think is the radiator going to be on display or not. If no one is ever going to see it, then you might not need to worry so much about what it looks like.

With so many options available, it can be difficult choosing the right radiator for you. So here’s how you narrow the search down to what you want. 

 

The Room

We’re starting with the room itself. You need to think where your radiator is going. This is important because you may need to get a plumber in to move pipes around if you’re moving the radiator from its original location.

If it’s going under a window, you’ll need a long, narrow radiator. If you have an unusual space for it to go (like my Mum did) you can get a six-foot tall radiator which takes up less wall space lower down. And, to be honest, makes a bit of a statement too.

 

Me, my mum and my sister with a large six foot tall radiator behind us.

 

The Style

There are so many different types of radiator available. If you look at a site like Radiator Outlet you’ll be able to see loads of styles and sizes to fit anyone’s idea of perfect. 

The good news is modern radiators tend to be much more energy efficient than their older counterparts. So if you want to update your style and bring it into the contemporary realm, you will be able to do this and not miss out on the practicality. It might be worth talking to your plumber to ask whether you are able to install a smaller radiator than the one you currently have. Most of the time this shouldn’t be an issue.



The Best Material

With the variety of radiators available on the market, you’ll be surprised at the different materials on offer to you when you do come to look for a radiator.

There is the classic painted metal variety available everywhere. You might even want to change the colour so it blends in with your walls, or paint it a different colour altogether. Radiators don’t have to be an eyesore, but can become a part of your decor. 

The most common modern design is stainless steel. It looks sleek, has a chrome effect and is incredibly popular in modern homes and apartments.

The material you use will depend on the room you plan to use it in and whether it will be on display. Generally, radiators which are not painted get a little bit hotter to the touch, so it might not be a great idea to have these all over the house if you have children.

 

I hope this guide has helped for those choosing radiators in their homes. There really is so many to choose from it can be a bit baffling! What kinds of radiators do you have in your home (or wished you had)?