Feel Like your Home Needs an Upgrade?

Do you know when your home needs an upgrade? Or maybe you don’t see the peeling paint and worn down carpet.

When you live in a place, and see it all the time, it’s difficult to see when things start to look a little shabby. But take a step back and really take a look at your home. Maybe the wallpaper has started to peel, the carpet is looking tacky, and the furnishings are a little worse for wear.

It’s time to make a plan of action to get your household’s aesthetic back up to scratch. You shouldn’t have to “make do” with a shabby-looking home. Everyone should feel house-proud to some extent. As mentioned over at bbc.co.uk, you really need to do your research before you dive into a renovation project. Hopefully, the suggestions in this article will give you some inspiration if your home is due a makeover. 

 

Converting existing space will enlarge your home

If you have an attic or a garage that serves as nothing more than storage space then this should be the main focus of your renovation. Spaciousness is the key to a visually-impressive household. And you can achieve that “larger” feel in your home by extending it. You need to use the space you have available.

Declutter your garage, spare room, or any space that’s overloaded with junk. Then it can be converted into a games room, a guest room, or even a home gym. The point is that you could completely transform your home by essentially creating a brand new room to enjoy in a space that’s otherwise being wasted. As I’ve stated before, the attic and other spaces in the house are often underutilised.

 

Your home’s interior should portray your personal preferences

If your home needs an upgrade, you should look at buying some new soft furnishings and accessories. But don’t go with current trends, stick to your own taste and what you love. This way, you won’t get bored easily. Trends come and go, but buy something you love and you’ll have it forever.

When renovating your home, your goal should be to design your interior in line with your personal preferences. Whilst nobody wants their home to look old and outdated, a sleek and stylish contemporary home might not necessarily be to your taste.

The most important thing is that your household’s new aesthetic makes you feel comfortable. You should feel at home. You could start by checking out ModernUpvcWindows.co.uk if you want to get new windows or doors for your house that you can design online.

Tailor-making elements of your home’s design will ensure that you give your humble abode a customised aesthetic. You could even create some handmade artwork and frame it to hang on your wall. There’s no better way of portraying your personal preferences than creating your own unique designs for your home.

The garden shouldn’t be forgotten

One of the final elements of any good home renovation is also one of the most vital elements. You need to give your garden a makeover. As explained at housebeautiful.com, a well-kept garden adds so much value to a property. It’s more than simply mowing the grass and tending to your flowers (though it is important to look after the natural side of your garden).

Your outdoor space can be completely transformed if you create a patio area with comfortable seating, a dining area, and perhaps even an awning for shelter from the elements. Any good renovation project needs to include a garden makeover.

 

If your home needs an upgrade, these are the basic things you can do to make a big difference.

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.

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.

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!