Home Office Room Reveal

This home office room reveal has been a loooong time in the making.

I’ve written not one, but two posts before reaching this point. The first outlined my plans for the room (which of course changed), and the second was an update on the renovation. The second post explains why the whole thing was so delayed.

We wanted to have the study finished by the end of January. Now we’re nearly at the end of April! Why do these things take so much longer than you think?

But the point is it’s finished and I’ve been dying to share my new study with you all!

 

Home Office Room Reveal: The Before

The previous owners of the house obviously had a lot of clothes. They used the third and smallest bedroom as a sort of storage room for their many wardrobes. Obviously, it makes the room look tiny, and is such a waste of space (considering we have a double built-in wardrobe in the master bedroom, and they had a freestanding one in the second bedroom too).

 

Estate agent home photo - home office room reveal

The wardrobes even partially block the window.

This is how the room looked once we got the keys:

 

Somehow it looks worse…..two different types of carpet?! Pink stains on the floor?! Peeling wallpaper?!?!??! It’s pretty grim.

 

Home Office Room Reveal: During

We stripped all the carpet out as we were doing the downstairs renovations. We’d ordered a skip, so it made sense to get rid straight away. We then had spare kitchen flooring left, enough to do this room too. It meant we saved some money, and could get nice flooring down immediately.

 

 

We boarded out the ceiling to get rid of the artex, and then Jay skimmed the room.

 

new plastered study room

 

We got new skirting boards on, and Jay lined all the walls with lining paper. Then it meant I could crack on painting, and Jay could wallpaper.

 

 

Home Office Room Reveal: After

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full home office room with sage green walls and wallpaper

 

I chose a gorgeous sage green for the walls which I got from Valspar at B&Q. They colour match any colour as long as you have a sample of it. So you could get a colour card from Farrow and Ball, and Valspar will match it. The colour on mine is called Normandy Grey from Little Greene. I’d heard mixed things but the paint went on so well, only needed two coats, and doesn’t smell at all now it’s dried!

Our wallpaper is from Graham and Brown, which is also stocked at B&Q but is currently out of stock.

Thank you also to Cable and Cotton who gifted me the beautiful white LED lights which you can see on top of the bookcase. They’re USB so they plug into extension cables or into phone chargers. And they look so pretty with my newly organised bookcase. I’ve always wanted to organise by colour, but didn’t think I had enough different coloured books. Apparently I do!

We’ve currently got my keyboard living in there (which I’m trying to sell in case anyone is interested) so I haven’t been able to get a shot of the whole finished room without getting the keyboard in! Look out on my Instagram for one soon.

 

*The LED lights and paint for the room were gifted for the purpose of this post.

Home Essentials for First-Time Buyers

Maybe you’ve just bought your first home. Or maybe you’re moving away to university. These are some home essentials for first-time buyers that will save your life.

We definitely take things for granted when we live with parents. They have all the fancy gadgets you’d ever need. Automated tin-openers so you don’t risk breaking a nail. An entire drawer of pans so you can cook that banquet meal you’ve been meaning to do. It’s only when we don’t have these things, we realise how much we need them.

The first 6 months I lived in my house, I didn’t have a garlic press. I was finely chopping garlic by hand all that time. I still don’t have a colander, or tongs for turning sausages or whatever you do with them.

So, I’ve compiled a handy list of home essentials for first-time buyers of things you need (not want).

 

A Mattress

Mattresses can be very pricey. It’s also the sort of item that you don’t want to hand over £600 for. It doesn’t look nice, it isn’t exactly a home statement. Not like buying a nice dining table would be. However, a good mattress is an absolute home necessity. Please note the word ‘good’, too.

Mine and Jay’s mattress was in the Dreams’ sale, so we managed to get £200 off. A fairly good saving, until we bought the memory foam, extra luxurious pillows at £80 each. BUT, my point is you can get some great mattresses if you shop around.

First work out what you do and don’t like: hard or soft, feather, memory foam, gel, sprung, etc. Second, work out your budget so you don’t overspend. Once you’ve figured these things out, find the best mattress deals on Groupon or a similar site to get a great mattress at a great price.

 

Furniture Basics

Furniture can be expensive, so saving money here is ideal. Me and Jay bought most of our furniture basics on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. We only bought solid wood items so we knew they were good quality and would last.

In the picture below, the only things we bought brand new were the armchair and sofa. Everything else is second-hand, even the dining table which we got free!

 

living room with sofa and lighting

 

This is how our house looked a week after we moved in. It looks empty, there’s nothing on the walls, and we’ve since got a new TV. This is what I mean about essentials. We knew we needed a sofa, coffee table, a TV stand and a dining table, so we sorted all of those. The shelving, lighting (please ignore the bare bulb hanging out of the ceiling), and soft furnishings come last.

Since, I’ve added a rug under the dining table, a mirror on the dining room wall, a light in the living room, coffee table books and other decor, an oak beam mantelpiece, etc. None of these are home essentials for first-time buyers, but a sofa absolutely is! You’ll have to forget about home accessories for the time being. They look nice, but they’re not necessities.

Don’t forget, if you’re worried about cost, you can spread things out as a monthly cost. Our carpets and sofas are still being paid for monthly, as they can be expensive items.

 

Gadgets

Gadgets are another thing that can be pricey. I wouldn’t advise buying second-hand either, unless you plan on replacing the item within a couple of months. Gadgets includes a hoover, an iron and ironing board, a washer/dryer, a dishwasher if you need one, even a TV and a computer or monitor. These things can cost. Maybe not so much an iron, but other white goods are expensive if you want to get trustworthy brands which will last.

A hoover is definitely something you should spend your money on. A good hoover will make a whole lot of difference when you’re living by yourself. There’s nothing worse than having one that doesn’t pick anything up, or even worse throws it all back onto the carpet. Me and Jay have a Miele, a brand that I love and a great hoover. Anything to make the housework easier so you can get it done quickly!

 

I hope this list of home essentials for first-time buyers can help you when it comes to knowing what to buy. Prioritise what you really need, and can afford, and go from there!

 

*In collaboration with Groupon. 

The Benefits of a Wet Room

What are the benefits of a wet room? And can you get stylish ones?

When people think of a wet room, it’s not exactly the most glamorous image. For some reason, wet rooms make us think of boring cream tiles, in a large room that looks something like a disabled toilet. However, wet rooms shouldn’t just be for elderly or disabled people. They can be fashionable, stylish rooms. So I’m here to change your mind and look at the benefits of a wet room.

 

Easy to clean

Firstly, wet rooms are easy to clean. You can use standard bathroom cleaner on all the tiles and the floor, cleaning it all in one easy way. And there’s no glass scum to contend with which is ALWAYS a bonus. The floor can easily be mopped, and excess water pushed into the drain in the middle of the room.

 

Best use of space

The one downside to a wet room is that you can’t have a bath in it. However, if you wanted an accessible-friendly bath, you could use walk-in baths in another bathroom if you have one. These are wonderful for people like my Grandma, who loves baths but can no longer get in and out of one. They also take up less space as they’re more upright so you can sit fully in them.

However, if you go for a normal wet room, there’s no need for a bath, making the room look and feel bigger. This may decrease the value of your house. If you’re worried about this, make sure you have another bathroom else where in the house that contains a bath.

 

Benefits of a wet room includes more space. Shower and toilet in a stunning tiled wetroom

Photo credit: Victoria Plum, https://victoriaplum.com/blog/posts/5-reasons-why-a-wetroom-is-a-great-bathroom-option

 

Adding quality to your home

The benefits of a wet room can even reach as far as improving the value of your home. They’re so waterproof that there’s less chance of a leak. In a regular bathroom, water can get into areas it shouldn’t. How many times have you put the kids in the bath, and half the water has gone on the floor?

In a wet room, all the water is channeled into a central drain, meaning water runs off correctly where it belongs.

 

Top Tip: Worried about all that cold tile underfoot? Install underfloor heating for extra warmth. It also helps the room dry faster.

 

Photo credit: Damian Russell

 

Accessible

Obviously, although all of the above are excellent, the main benefit of a wet room is how accessible it is, especially for the elderly or disabled. There’s no step up into a shower or bath. You can add a seat into the room which even comes in handy when drying yourself.

The only thing to look out for is slippy tiles. A rubbery-soled pair of flip flops will stop you from slipping as much, so keep a pair in the wet room so you can get out easily.

 

Wet rooms are the best beautiful but practical bathrooms around. The benefits of a wet room are endless, and they CAN be stylish too.

 

Bathroom Style Inspiration for your Home

Fed up of your bathroom? Get some bathroom style inspiration for your home.

A bathroom is a place we want to chill out in at the end of a long day. Whether you’re a morning shower-er, or an evening bather, the bathroom is supposed to be a sanctuary. You don’t want to be looking at peeling sealant, mouldy tiles or a dripping tap.

But if you’ve made the decision to do something about it, you might now be wondering how to freshen up your bathroom and what style to take. These bathroom style inspiration ideas should help you pick a theme and create it in your own home.

 

Spa Bathroom

The idea of a spa bathroom is to make you feel like you’re on a luxury retreat in some far away manor house. We can all dream right?

Achieve this look by upgrading your taps. This isn’t an expensive or difficult job, but will transform the look of your bathroom suite. You can choose waterfall taps for a luxury feel without spending tonnes of money.

 

bathroom style inspiration: cream tiles with white bath and waterfall taps

 

You should also choose lots of warming colours such as creams and browns. Lighten the room using white towels as accessories on towel rails. You can also add built-in speakers to your shower to play relaxing music whilst you unwind in a bubble bath.

 

Oriental Bathrooms

Create a Japanese-style luxury bathroom to feel like you’ve left the UK and arrived in some other far away country. The Japanese love their bathrooms. They tend to have separate ‘rooms’ for the toilet, bath, and dressing room. Okay, so some of us don’t have all the space in the world to achieve that. But there are other ways of creating this style.

Use plenty of dark woods to warm the room up. If you’re scared of using lots of dark materials, use accessories to break the monotony up such as light towels and plenty of greenery or plants. Plants are essential when creating a Oriental bathroom. Use bamboo that goes from floor to ceiling as decor.

If you have room for it, elevate your bath. This is traditional in Japan.

Oriental-style bathroom with raised bath

Scandinavian Bathroom

Scandinavian decor is something that we’ve seen a lot of the last few years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The Scandinavians are all about minimalist design and creating the feeling of space. Achieve this by using natural, light woods such as birch, and avoiding heavy or large furniture.

Their fixtures are usually hung on the wall as this creates the illusion of more floor space than there actually is.

 

hanging bathroom units, Scandinavian style bathroom

 

Look out for the new Scandinavian bathroom range being released by iflo this May! Their ranges are modern, beautiful and sleek.

 

Rustic Style Bathroom

I love rustic, cottage style bathrooms. Achieve this look by investing in a brass, free standing bath (believe me, this really should be seen as an investment; they’ll last for years!). Pair plenty of natural metals like brass with wood and stone.

You can also upcycle old units to create stunning sink units or bathroom cupboards. This is much cheaper than buying a new sink unit, though may take you some time to finish.

If you have exposed beams, make the most of them!

 

Fancy bath taps with wooden beams and wooden ladder on the wall behind.

 

Which of these bathroom style inspiration ideas would you choose for your new bathroom? Or would you go for something else entirely?

 

*Collaborative post.

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.