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Five ways to recreate vintage style in the home

Are you bored of minimal modernity and craving the class and sophistication of the ‘Mad Men’ era? Perhaps you dream about the rustic charms of turn of the century French country chic? Whatever style you choose, we have some helpful advice on how to achieve your perfect vintage home.

Embrace you erastairs

Select an era you want to emulate, from 1920’s art deco glamour to the homely yet kitsch vibe of a mid-century abode, choose your pieces wisely to achieve true authenticity. However, if done correctly, taking differe    nt inspiration from various eras can also work well for an unconventional yet effortlessly cool home. Pinterest  has some fabulous ideas to transform your home into a wonder of the past.

History in colour

Choosing the right colour scheme for your vintage home is just as important as the furniture, from the dark and striking colours of early 20th century America, to the bold statement prints of the 1960s, each provide a snapshot into that time period. Vintage paint companies such as Grand Illusions, and chalk paint powerhouse Annie Sloan provide a vast selection of high quality paints in a range of colours.

 Blooming Beautifulwallpaper

Don’t restrict the power of the flower to the garden; brighten up your lounge and bedroom with some floral patterned pieces for a groovy 70’s vibe. If you’re a dab hand at sewing, seek out fabric offcuts and vintage themed samples from your local haberdashery to rework old furnishings or make new pieces.

Recycle old treasures

Give antique finds a second lease of life by bringing them into your home. On a budget? By scouring thrift shops and car boot sales you could find a variety of incredible items from the past, without paying “vintage store” prices. Also, spending a little time on EBay can uncover a treasure trove of retro furniture and home accessories, perfect for any vintage home. DIY savvy? Distress an old piece of furniture or reupholster a plain chair to turn it into a wonderful one off piece – the possibilities are endless.

Be inspired by sideboardothers

The internet is a wonderful place to discover inspiration with fantastic interior design blogs, inspirational websites such as Houzz  and Pinterest. However, as well as this why don’t you look a little closer to home? Speak to your relatives who have lived through these fantastic decades and ask to see photos of their homes back in the day. You never know, you may get your very own interior designer to help out in the form of your Grandparent!

Image Credits: Deviant ArtWikimedia, Wikimedia

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Five top tips on how to update your living room

 

After years of enduring magnolia and off-white walls in your rented properties, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choice whilst deciding how to update your new living room.  It may seem like a daunting task, but we have compiled some simple yet effective tips that can help:

Discover new lighting
table lamp ikea

Different types of lighting can have a huge impact on the mood of the room.  Light that is too harsh and bright could make the room feel clinical and cold, whereas softer lighting will create a warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for cosy nights in.  A well lit room can be achieved easily by using lower watt bulbs, installing a dimmer, or strategically placing lamps to benefit the levels of light your room receives throughout the day.

You can find a wide range of affordable yet stylish lamps perfect for any modern living room in high street retailers such as Next, or John Lewis.

Paint in wonderful white

Choosing whitwhite walls e paint to redecorate with may not seem like a drastic change to your living room, but this classic look will never go out of style.   To  avoid a sterile feel to the room, make sure you use different textures in your room to give it a more homely feel, such as cushions or t  throws.

You could also choose a colour pallet to accent your room with, making future changes to the room more practical to deal with over the years.

 Writing on the wall

Personalising your living space has never been easier with a range of decorative wall quotes, words and letters to choose from.  Add words and  images to your wall using artistic vinyl graphics, or frame an inspirational or humorous quote to hang as a centre piece.  Online retailers such as Not  on the High Street or Etsy have some fabulous designs which can instantly transform your surroundings.

Change the dynamics

Change the dynamics of your room by moving around your furniture to create more space and making the most of the changing light conditions throughout the year.  You can also do this by changing the position of your radiator or removing a door to create more options whilst deciding where to place your furniture.

Go green plant

Add a splash of colour to your living room whilst also improving your mind and health, by introducing house plants and flowers.  This will create a fresh and natural feel to your room, instantly changing the atmosphere and bringing life to your home.

 

 

 

 

Image Credits: FlickrIkea

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11 Tips for an Easy and Affordable New Home Makeover

You’ve got a new house, but it doesn’t quite feel like home yet. Give your new place the makeover it needs to make it feel like it’s truly yours.

We’ve put together a list of 11 things you can do to drastically change the appearance of your home, easily and affordable. By the time you’re done, the old owners won’t even recognize the place anymore.

 1. A FreshFarbroller Coat of Paint

Perhaps the most cost-effective way to dramatically change the appearance of any room, a fresh layer of paint is the first order of business for any new  home makeover.

 2. Install Interior Shutters

Swinging wood shutters add charm and privacy to your home. They’re also easy to install.

 3. Refinish Kitchen Cabinets

You don’t have to replace the cabinets to make your kitchen look brand new and you don’t need very many supplies for this project either. Some cleaner, sandpaper, paint brush, the finish of your choice, and a weekend of time is all you need.

4. Refinish Your Wood Door

Damp weather and bright sunshine damage the appearance of your front door over time. Rather than replacing it, you can refinish it with a few affordable supplies.

5. Power Wash Your Deck

If the previous owner failed to maintain their deck, chances are it has more blemishes than you can count. However, a power wash and thorough scrubbing can revive that old deck in no time.

6. Install Stair Bracketsdeck_washing

Decorative stair brackets added to the exposed side of your staircase adds architectural flair and elegance. They’re easy to install using adhesive and nails.

7. Add a Back Splash to Your Kitchen

Backs splashes are affordable, easy to install, and easy to clean. With so many options available you can find exactly what you want to complement your kitchen.

8. Update Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets

You can find stylish and functional faucets that are reasonably priced and easy to install. Small changes like this have a big impact on the appearance of a room.

9. Install Dimmers on Your Lights

Dimmed lights dramatically change the atmosphere of a room. Installing dimmers is easier than you think and doesn’t cost much either.

10. Replace Your Shower Head

You can install a new shower head for the purpose of saving money on your utility bill, increasing water pressure, or simply for aesthetic appeal. Most shower heads can be replaced in less than five minutes.

11. Replace Cabinet Knobs

Adding or replacing knobs on cabinets gives your new home a custom look that you can easily change whenever you want. Installation is a breeze and affordable knobs are easy to find.

 

Image Credits to: CaptainsavehomeWikipedia

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How to Make the Most of Limited Outdoor Space

Having a small patio or balcony restricts your options for lounging, gardening, or any other activity that you might enjoy. What about those who only have a window ledge to work with? We’ve got solutions for everyone.

The first thsmall-balcony-decor-ideaing you want to do is decide on what you want to use the space for. Do you want a place to relax and read? Are you planning on growing  vegetables? Figure out what your primary goal for the space is and work around that.

When working with small spaces we have to start thinking vertically. We tend to look at floor space to determine what we can fit in a room. A tight  balcony or patio  won’t allow much. Instead, think creatively about how you can use the vertical space by stacking items or hanging them.

Next you want to consider versatility. If you’re using the space for your garden, you likely won’t be moving the plants around very often. However, if you  want to  add a couple of chairs, or even a small table — you can make your space more versatile by using furniture that folds or collapses easily.

It’s all about creativity. There are no rules to designing your outdoor space. Figure out what works for you. With that in mind, here are some ideas to get  you  headed in the right direction.

 The Cramped Patio

The best-case scenario here is that you at least have some patio space to take full advantage of. Even if it’s limited, you still have a ton of options to play with.

Patios allow you to create an outdoor dining area, lounge, garden, pet area, and much more. A table like this is great for dining on a small patio, because it seats four but doesn’t take up too much space. Coffee tables work well on patios because they are convenient for lounging with a cocktail and functional for casual dining.

The Petite Balcony

Balconies are restrictive to how you can use the space, but we can work around that. Most people use their balcony as a sitting area and/or a garden. This is where you really have to start thinking vertically.

A small table like this is perfect for balconies. The wall panel has shelf space for plants and allows you to hang lights or decorations. The table itself is big enough for two people to eat and the chairs fold up to be placed aside if the space is extremely narrow.

The Window Ledge

The best solution for a window ledge is a window box. You may not be able to step outside, but you can still have a little garden to tend to. In addition to their functionality, window boxes add a charming touch to your view and a pleasant aroma, depending on what you’re growing. Herbs such as chives,tarragon, parsley, rosemary, mint, sage, basil, thyme and oregano all grow well in window boxes.5848583730_dfe53757cb_o

 

Image credits to: Flickr.comElement of Style

 

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#SpringCleanSOS – The shortlist
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#SpringCleanSOS – The shortlist

Despite the weather being far too cold for this time of year, our sponsors, Keepmoat, marked the arrival of spring with our #SpringCleanSOS competition. Hosted on its social media channels, they invited their online community to share the spring cleaning challenges they dare not tackle – from messy rooms, cluttered cupboards and grubby gardens – all to be in with the chance of winning a top of the range Dyson.

After much deliberation, the Keepmoat judging panel has picked its shortlist of finalists and now it’s over to you to choose your overall winner. Check out the entries below and visit the Keepmoat Facebook page to cast your vote.

‘My oven needs some serious TLC’

We agree that this oven is definitely a spring clean challenge and a half! Nobody enjoys the dreaded task of scrubbing the oven for hours on end.

springcleanSOS My oven certainly needs some TLC 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I keep having to pick up floor omelettes, it’s exhausting!’

We love this artistic photo of an adorable little boy looking innocent after dropping eggs on the kitchen floor. I’m sure most parents out there will be able to sympathise with cleaning up after the children all day!

I keep having to clean up floor Omelettes -its egghausting 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Our new flat…’

We feel their pain! Facing the task of redecorating, repairing and cleaning a new home can be daunting (something Keepmoat knows all about) – it just takes some hard work and elbow grease, we promise!

Our new flat.....#SpringCleanSOS 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Daughter’s bedroom – I have not been brave enough to tackle this!’

We definitely don’t envy this peeved parent! Having to live with this mess cannot be fun. And we’re sure that trying to encourage their daughter to clean it herself is even more of a challenge! Good luck mum!

Daughter's Bedroom- I have not been brave enough to tackle this 1

 

 

 

 

 

‘Try keeping on top of this kitty’s fur, it’s everywhere’

At Keepmoat we’ve fallen in love with this furry feline, although we certainly don’t love the thought of having to constantly clean up all of its moulting, matted fur!

try keeping on top of this kittys fur its everywhere 1

 

 

 

 

 

Voting closes this Friday at 5pm so don’t forget to vote for your favourite on our Facebook page!

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How to grow-your-own indoor herb garden
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How to grow-your-own indoor herb garden

Growing your own herbs is great fun. It can save you money, improve your cooking, and add an attractive farmhouse aesthetic  to your kitchen. And best of all you don’t even need a garden to do it in.

Although you can grow your herbs straight from the seed, it’s a lot easier to skip this stage and use a starter plant. Make sure you use a potting mix too, which will contain all the essential nutrients the herbs need. Both these things can be purchased from a local garden centre relatively inexpensively.

The best place to keep you herb garden is on a south-facing window sill, as herbs need a lot of sunlight to grow, as well as a bit of shelter. Think about the type of pots you use too, as this can make your herb garden stand out and add a little character to your house.

There’s a huge variety of different herbs you can grow at home. As a starting point, think about what food you regularly cook, and which herbs could compliment this. Here’s a few pointers;

  • Chives are typically used for garnish, salads, vegetable stocks, soups, creamy sauces and potato dishes
  • Mint goes well with lamb and light soups.
  • Oregano is very versatile, and one of the low maintenance herbs that requires little watering. It goes nicely with lamb, vegetables and pizza.
  • Rosemary pairs well with roasted chicken, fish, lamb, pork and potatoes
  • Thyme requires little watering, and compliments most meats, like chicken and game, and is great in stews
  • Parsley is a popular garnish and goes nicely with meats, salads, soups, and can also be used in most savoury dishes

Once you’ve decided which herbs to grow, the next challenge is keeping them all alive! Make sure you provide them with at least 8 hours of sunlight each day to help them develop, and also make sure you use a container with drainage holes, otherwise it will become waterlogged.

Fertilizer is also a good idea; if your plant looks unhealthy or out of colour then use a little bit of diluted fish fertilizer, the smell goes away quickly!  This can be brought from a local garden centre.

Finally, be patient. It takes a few weeks for the herbs to develop properly. Now you just need to learn how to cook!

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Show us your “Spring Clean SOS” and win a top-of-the-range Dyson
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Show us your “Spring Clean SOS” and win a top-of-the-range Dyson

Spring, people associate it with tree’s blooming, birds singing and… cleaning.

The Christmas decorations are gathering dust in the attic, the party celebrations ended months ago. There really are no more excuses to put off getting those Marigolds out.

Don’t worry though Keepmoat won’t let you do it alone.

We have a few great ways that can help you in your mammoth cleaning mission.

Firstly, show us your spring clean project. Snap a picture of your cluttered cupboards, unorganised office or messy toy room, upload it to our Facebook page and the best five will go to a public vote.

The nation’s favourite will then win a top-of-the-range Dyson.

Making your mountain of cleaning look more like a mole hill.

If you aren’t messy enough for our Facebook competition, don’t be too disheartened. We have another comp just for you.

We want to hear all about your top spring cleaning tips.

Just Tweet @KeepmoatHomes your best cleaning tricks, using the hashtag #springcleanSOS. Each week the best tips will receive a cool cleaning gadget.

So have fun and good luck!

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Clearing out your new home
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Clearing out your new home

Whether you’re on the verge of moving, or you’ve arrived at your new home to find your posessions won’t all fit in your new cupboards, the upheaval of relocating can be the perfect catylist for a good old clearout. Clutter accumulates over the years, and in the process of moving, you’re likely to stumble across a world of hidden treasures and ‘tat’, making it the perfect time to have a declutter.

1. Clothing

No matter how many new items of clothing we buy, it always seems to be the case that old clothes are stored away. Whilst they might come in handy once in a blue moon when you to paint, for the most part, they’re just taking up unnecessary space. Whilst it might seem rash to throw away old items immediately, it saves them from handing in the back of wardrobes unnoticed. If they aren’t going to be worn, now is the time to get rid, and use your home move as a chance to really build up your wardrobe using items you actually will wear.

2. Odd-jobs drawer

We’re all guilty of this, and all houses have them; whether it is brimming with a collection of jumbled keys for old lost padlocks, that old phone charger for a Nokia 3310, or an assortment of local takeaway menus. The majority of the items in the ‘junk’ draw can be thrown away, and although it is handy to have a place to store keys and pens and other small items, make sure that everything you keep in there is usable.

3. Documents

Old bank statements, receipts and bills often carry an air of importance, meaning we feel they require storing on the off chance they’re needed for admin purposes. However, with online banking now commonplace, many of us don’t even need the hard copy statement delivering to us anymore. Whilst some documents are required for the purposes of tax for a number of years, it’s likely that most documentation can be shredded prior to your move. Don’t simply throw them in the bin, as documents containing bank details, or even your name and address need to be destroyed.

4. Spare bedding or towels

Living in a home, you’ll often replace items such as bedding and towels, however even though we buy in new items, it is often the case that we hoard to old ones rather than binning them. It’s likely that you have your best bedding in use most of the time, with a spare sat in a cupboard that is used from time to time. This is all you really need, and if you’ve got a third and fourth string set packed away on the off chance they’re needed then you need to have a clear out. Before the big move, ask yourself, when are you intending on using it? If you can’t envisage them being used in the next 6 months they ought to be left behind.

5. Outdated Technology

Whilst retro might be cool, and there are cases (like vinyl records) where an outdated technology enjoys somewhat of a renaissance, the chances of VHS videos, Gameboys and old PlayStation games becoming popular again are relatively slim. In many households, old electronics are thrown up into the loft and once out of sight, will probably remain up there until you move. With wires and chargers everywhere, your best bet it to throw them away, as the chances of their value increasing are relatively slim.

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Top preparations for a spring clean
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Top preparations for a spring clean

A spring clean might be on your to do list over the coming weeks, however you might be struggling to find the time to get a thorough job done. Without the time for a deep clean, your house can easily get messed up and it will leave you feeling unorganised and unhappy. Using these simple tips will help your home to look and feel clean with very little effort.

Keep sinks clean and shiny

Every day, we spend a lot of time at the sink – whether it’s washing the pots or brushing your teeth, you’re always looking down into the often murky basin. Keeping your sinks clean is vital; they can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially after doing the washing up. A simple spray and wipe around after every use with an antibacterial product will keep your sink clean and sanitised, plus a sparkling shine will help your entire room feel so much cleaner.

Spray your shower

Using a daily shower spray on tiles and glass after every shower will help to keep away water marks. The spray won’t clean but it will help keep it shiny and smelling good for a lot longer than if let untamed. The daily shower spray can also be used on metal taps and kitchen tiles to add that extra shine.

Make the bed

Early mornings can be hard sometimes and if you’re in a hurry you might forget to make the bed. But take the time to make the bed every morning and you will feel like your home is so much better cared for. A made bed is much more inviting than a messy one, and it will make you feel like your bedroom is a luxurious place to sleep. To make your bed even more inviting, change your sheets at least twice a month in warmer weather.

Keep mess off the floor

Whether its piles of dirty clothes, the shoes you wore to work that day or the dog’s chew toy; items on the floor will make a room feel messier than it really is. Try not to leave anything out if possible especially a gym bag or clean clothes ready to be hung up. If you have floor space your rooms will feel bigger, tidy and cared for.

Scent says plenty

A room that smells good equates to a room that feels clean. You should try using different scented candles or sprays for each room, this way you won’t become accustomed to the one scent and it will be noticeable throughout your home. It is important to not use too strong a scent however, as this can be unwelcoming and overpowering. Simple and light scents like lavender or vanilla are most appealing.

Rubber gloves

If you’re looking to throw yourself into it and really crack on with a spring clean, then you’ll need to stock up on the essentials.  First of all, make sure that your vacuum cleaner is in top working order. Another great tip for any spring cleaning effort is to use rubber gloves; having your hands protected means you won’t be shy of scrubbing the toilet or pulling grime from the drains. Wearing rubber gloves will also give you the required protection when getting in deep with the things you haven’t cleaned in a long time, leaving your home the cleanest it’s ever been. If you’re having a good top-to-bottom dust, then it’s important that your duster can not only reach high into those hard to reach places, but can equally handle those small gaps in your home.

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A beginners guide to a clever garden design
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A beginners guide to a clever garden design

Summer is around the corner, however after a winter of abandonment, you might find that your garden looks more like a farmyard than a relaxing spot for you to enjoy the company of guests.  If you need to get your garden into shape this spring, here are some of our landscaping cheats.

How To Make A Garden Seem Bigger

If your garden is on the small side, then you may feel limited in what you can do; however with a few little tricks you can make your garden seem bigger than it actually is. Trimming and hedging those bushy borders or intrusive trees can really help to free up some much needed space, whilst retaining height and texture with foliage and trees can help you to keep your privacy from neighbours. Contrasting warm-coloured flowers in the middle of your garden with cool colours on the border can help to give your garden a real feeling of depth, while clever garden lighting and reflective ornaments can also play their part.

How To Create a Mediterranean Style Garden

Mediterranean gardens are often designed to evoke a real holiday-feel, where a warmer climate and sun-kissed colours are utilised. If you’re looking to incorporate a feel of Europe in your garden, features such as large seating areas and terracotta potted plants take precedent over grassy lawns, which are often hard to maintain in the heat of the Mediterranean sun. Paving stones and pebbles should be sprinkled around large plants pots, while ceramic tiles should be used to add a Moorish colour style. Walls should be whitewashed or painted in an earthy, sandy tone before vine-covered terraces are erected for a shaded dining spot. If space permits there should be different dining areas for a variety of outdoor living, with al fresco dining terraces complimented with simple benches and shaded spots.

How To Create a Cottage-Style Garden

Traditional cottage gardens are full of flowering plants and lush foliage which are planted in a purposefully informal style. Aiming to create a romantic and natural woodland feel, you can have free reign to plant all of your favourite flowers. There are no strict planting patterns or colours or scents to use, as texture, depth and variety are the king of the cottage style. Beautiful flowering archways and stepping stone pathways can lead to hidden garden areas, where a vintage hammock or tree swing are perfect for watching the birds fly overhead. Rustic water buckets and troughs are also great for an added character-feel and can often be found for a good price in an old junk yard or online.

How To Create a Chic and Sleek Garden Retreat

In contrast to a wild cottage garden, a sleek and chic retreat needs clean lines, formal plant designs and minimalist trees. Here, fussy borders are a thing of the past, as are fruit trees, unruly lawns and overgrown hedges. Lawns should be kept to a minimum and must be neat and weed-free at all times, while large flowerbeds should be replaced with sleek rockeries and simple water features. Patios and decking are often used to create a contemporary design, along with cool colours and sculpted trees.

How To Attract Wildlife

You don’t need to have masses of flowers and plants to attract birds and other wildlife into your garden. Even just a few carefully potted plants and hanging baskets can attract birds, insects and beetles into your garden with ease. Plants which offer nectar, pollen, seeds or sap should be prioritised first as these are important food sources for our feathered, furry and flying friends. Digging a pond or installing a bird bath or water feature can also help to create a welcoming habitat for the friends of the natural world.

 

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