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.

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?

 

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

Hottest Home Decor Trends 2018

Forget New Year, New You… it’s time for New Year, New Home!

If you have grown a bit tired with your home decor, 2018 represents the perfect opportunity for you to spruce it up. This guide is the only thing you need to learn about the popular home decor trends we’ll see this year, and how you can put them in your home. 

Botanical

Floral prints have long been popular, and in 2018 they are coming to the fore in the form of the botanical trend. This is an easy trend to bring into the home. The first step is to invest in indoor plants. This is much easier than trying to re-wallpaper a room and then decide you don’t like it. 

Not only do plants freshen up a space, but they’re also there to create a healthy home environment. Just make sure your cat doesn’t eat them and result in a £300 vet bill (I’m clearly not still upset about that).

If you want to get the botanical theme without having to spend lots of money redecorating a room, just focus on the accessories. Buy some botanical print cushions for your sofa. Use earth, natural colours such as greens and browns, and even yellow. Leaf prints are widely available: with birds, without birds, bold pattern, detailed pattern, ferns and ivies, to bright flowers. There will be something in this trend that you like for sure.

Purple

When Pantone announced their Colour of the Year as Ultra-Violet, a lot of people were left a little bit unhappy. I haven’t even been a huge fan of purple and don’t think I’d ever use it in my home. As soon as the colour was revealed, hundreds of articles went out about how you can incorporate purple into your home.

Pantone's Colour of the Year Ultra Violet - home decor trends 2018

 

Pineapples

Pineapples were everywhere last summer, and I definitely haven’t seen as many in the lead up to winter. But I’m sure, come March, all the gold pineapple statues you could want will be filling Primark once again. 

You can get pineapple print dinner plates, pineapple centrepieces for your dining table, or something even more bold like pineapple print wallpaper!

 

Striking flooring

‘Feature walls’ and ‘accent walls’ have been around for a long time now (long enough for us to have got bored of them?). Now, striking flooring is making a feature. Many people are renovating their hallways with patterned, Victorian-style tiles such as these ones.

Bold Victorian floor tiles

Picture taken from https://www.porcelainsuperstore.co.uk

 

Vinyl flooring such as Karndean flooring is expected to make a comeback, with homeowners and designers making a real statement with the colour and style of flooring they choose. But, the key is to keep it sleek and sophisticated. Too much can be too tacky. If you choose a patterned floor, make sure your wallpaper design/paint is kept clean and minimal. This doesn’t mean that you can’t choose a bold colour. A dark blue would look amazing with the above patterned floor, if your room can hold it.

 

Luxe metallic touches

Last year, rose gold was everywhere: in lamps, waste bins, chairs, candles, table legs. Soon after came copper, because of the industrial look. Copper went with wood and other metals really well to create a loft look. Instead, for home decor trends 2018, we’ll be seeing lots of gold.

When I first heard this, I thought about our original 70s door handles. Or an aged dresser with gold handles. However, gold can be done tastefully and in a modern way, so don’t panic!

John Lewis is selling these lamps, which they’ve paired with a gold table.

 

 

They’ve also included two of our home decor trends 2018: plants, and bold flooring. The space looks light and modern and the gold fits in really well.

 

Artisan textures

Texture is always an important feature of home decor that people tend to forget about. They instead focus on colour, material, style, but not so much texture. In this home decor trends 2018 list, I’ve included textured furniture, such as wicker and rattan furniture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this trend a little. Bring it into your home, but not too much. Buy a wicker bin, or place a wicker basket in the bathroom to store toilet rolls. 

 

Glam dark woods

The final thing on the home decor trends 2018 guide is dark wood. Again, gold combined with dark wood makes me think of a room straight out of the 60s. BUT, it can work, and it can work well.

Oak has been the wood that everyone has turned to recently, but it’s possibly time to replace this. The dark wood will work well with the Victorian-style tiles too, or other traditional trends.

 

dark wood furniture with large bay window and cream walls and rug

 

 

 

So there you have it: some of the top home decor trends 2018. Are you going to embrace any of these trends in your home?

 

Fireplace Inspiration for your Home

One of the things I regret about our house renovation is our fireplace.

Looking back, it’s so easy to say, I should have done this, that and the other. But realistically we just didn’t have the money at the time. We’ve replaced the whole of the downstairs: all re-plastered, re-wired, repainted, new flooring, new kitchen, everything.

So sometimes, you can’t decide to spend £1000 on a new fireplace. I’d love a real log burner. There’s nothing like sitting in front of a real fire: the smell, the look, the feel, everything.

The big problem with our fireplace is that the lintel sits quite low down. I would have preferred a larger space in the wall for the fire to sit in, but trying to drill through a lintel is hard work, and also slightly dangerous as you don’t want to weaken the structure.

 

Empty living room with no carpets or skirting board. Fireplace in the centre back wall.

 

You can see how the fireplace looks now on my Instagram! I’m not unhappy, but I’d love a large log burner in that space, filled with spare logs.

Fireplace Inspiration

There are so many different types of log burners and stoves you can have, and companies that do all sorts of different styles, shapes and sizes. If you’re based in Scotland, you can head somewhere like Stove Scotland, a reputable company who install wood burning stoves in Edinburgh.

 

You can get the traditional Farmhouse look by combining a brick wall with a built in logburner like this one:

 

Brick surround with log burner in the middle on a slate hearth.

 

Or you can get tall ones that don’t have a flue out the top:

 

Modern log burner that's tall and narrow with no flue.

 

There are so many options, depending on the size of the space you have and how much heat you want/need. A log burner is definitely something we’ll look at for the future. They’re so loved in the UK that it’ll work in your favour as a selling point when you do come to move. I’d probably want to take my fireplace with me!

They’re absolutely a sound investment for any home.

Of course, Pinterest would be my first place to look for fireplace inspiration. I found this picture from Karen at Making Spaces. Just look at those daring black walls combined with the black log burner and exposed brick behind.

 

log burner with dark walls

 

Your fireplace is the focal point of your room. The eye should be drawn into the room and you do this by dressing your fireplace suitably. Karen demonstrates this perfectly by adding a large piece of artwork as well as accessories on the hearth.

 

Whatever you choose to do with your fireplace, never be afraid to go bold as it’s a space that can take it.

 

 

*Collaborative post