Bringing autumn into your Home

Bringing autumn into your Home

There’s no denying that ‘winter is coming’, and while it may be hard to let go of the last whimsical days of summer, welcoming Autumn style into your home is an experience second to none. We’ve compiled our five favourite ways to do this without breaking the bank.

  1. Lighting

The first step to bringing an autumnal vibe to your home is to fill it with candles. As the days grow shorter, reach for a match instead of the light-switch and your house will soon be filled with a gentle glowing light that is quintessentially autumn. Pleasantly scented candles also have the added bonus of filling the house with all sorts of wonderful scents.

If you’re not one for the maintenance that comes with having to replace candles, lampshades with soft fabrics such as linen can create that gentle light that will dramatically change the feel of your home. The perfect atmosphere for blankets and ‘Bake-Off’!

lighting autumn

  1. Textures

A change in textures around your home can make a huge difference to the atmosphere, and actually have a very practical use. When buying a few, seasonal pieces, focus on picking up warm fabrics, such as a shag pile rug, or velvet cushions. Having a more inviting and cosy vibe to your home will not only bring out a different look, but will also make staying warm during the colder months a lot easier, with items such as a cable knit wool blankets, faux fur cushions or sheep skin rugs adding a texture that retains the precious warmth we all crave.

 

  1. Dishware and Serving Pieces

Copper seems to be that autumn trend that returns without fail every single year, and the easiest way to incorporate these beautiful tones into your home is often by swapping your lighter, summer dishware and serving pieces for this timeless, seasonal option. Kettles, bowls, mugs and even silverware can be changed into ‘copperware’. Thankfully this has been a huge trend in 2017 so you won’t struggle to find some fabulous pieces on the high street!

pumpkin

  1. Scents

As the seasons change, the scents that we use in our homes will change too. Switching from summery florals to deeper, warmer scents can completely revamp the ambience of your home. Amber, musk and cinnamon spices are just a few different options that scream autumn, and can be incorporated into almost every space in your home. Candles, diffusers, soaps and potpourri only just scratch the surface of the vast selections available. However, we do recommend that when choosing these scented products for your home, you try to stick with a single scent per room, or even for your entire house.

 

  1. Festive Accents

While putting up your Christmas tree during September might be a little early, this doesn’t mean you need to completely shy away from any festive touches to your home décor when autumn comes to visit. A neutral colour palate with pops of warm colour and themed items such as decorative pumpkins, or even a bowl of pine cones taps into that festive feel without you being branded as the one person in the neighbourhood who welcomes Christmas three months too early.

 

 

Are you looking forward to autumn? From pumpkin-spiced lattes to cosy nights in front of the fire – let us know what you are craving most this season!

 

 

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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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#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 make moving into a new home as stress-free as possible
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How to make moving into a new home as stress-free as possible

Moving into a new home is incredibly stressful for the majority of us, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will walk you through the entire process and advise you on how to make your move as stress-free as possible. Why not print this article and use it as a checklist? Here’s to the easiest move you’ve ever had!

Prepare for the move at least a month in advance

Much of the stress that is associated with moving is feeling like you’ve left everything to the last minute. You can eliminate most of this angst by getting the process started early and by spreading out the work over several weeks.

  • An audit of your home should be done a month or so in advance. Sort through your entire house from top to bottom and decide which of your possessions you’d like to keep, donate or throw away (hint: be ruthless!)
  • If you plan on using one, begin to source your quotes for a number of different removal companies. Once you’re confident you’ve found the best deal, get yourself booked in. You’ll take great reassurance from knowing that this element of the move is all taken care of.
  • Begin to make your way through your cupboards full of food and only buy new food if you absolutely can’t make do with what you’ve already got in.
  • Keep an eye out for used cardboard boxes that you can get for free from local shops. You’ll also want to purchase a couple of rolls of industrial tape.
  • Arrange transportation for your pets, if necessary. If you’re moving abroad you will need to get a Pet Passport.
  • Create a floor plan for your new home and assign a number to each room. Later you can label boxes with the corresponding number to keep everything organized.

A couple of weeks leading up to your move…

  • Start packing items that you won’t need between now and moving day. Label the boxes with their assigned number and set them aside.
  • Request a final bill from your utility providers and give them a forwarding address to send the last bill to. You should also notify your bank, post office etc of your change of address.
  • Transfer plants to containers more suitable for moving. Clean out decorative pots and pack them.
  • Clear and pack items from shelves, wall hangings and curtain rods as well as all other decorations from around the house.
  • If you’re taking it with you, defrost the freezer several days prior to the move. Drain water from fountains and any other items that carry water and give them a few days to dry out.
  • Set aside the items you’ll need for moving day and begin packing everything else. Try to keep boxes with corresponding numbers together.
  • Disassemble furniture the night before moving. Keep all screws and tools packed together and labelled correctly.

Moving Day

  • Provide directions and a spare key for your new home to removals staff and give them a copy of the numbered floor plan you created.
  • Do one final check of your home to make sure nothing gets left behind. Turn off any necessary utilities. Give your key to the landlord or estate agent.

Enjoy your new home!

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Decorating for the warmer months
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Decorating for the warmer months

Now is the perfect time to start your home renovations in time for summer. Whilst the weather might not be perfect for evening entertainment just yet, it’s close enough to begin implementing spring and summer additions into the rooms of your home. At this point in the year, no one wants to undertake a renovation that drags on for months, so here are our quick decorating tips perfect to carry out this spring.

Bold colours

When decorating, many opt to keep things very bland and neutral. Whilst this move can be a smart one, as as it’s a relatively safe option, utilising bold and striking colours is a great way to get a summer feel in the house. Garish and outlandish colours aren’t necessary, as you don’t want your decor to be a shock when people enter your home, however utilising everyday colours like blues and reds can be a great option; especially if the colours work together in a complimentary fashion. If you’re struggling for ideas of complimentary shades for walls, carpets or your everyday home items, check out  Joined + Jointed for inspiration. The website’s collection of celebrated designers and artisans brought together by a shared love of contemporary design makes for great viewing, and their customisation of everyday rooms could provide you with some much needed colour inspiration.

Statement furniture

Upgrading a piece of furniture to something new and lavish can add a whole new dimension to your room. Make a statement with a new item as it means the eye will naturally be drawn to your statement piece and will immediately impress arriving guests. When entertaining, the dining room will see a lot of action, so opting for something striking yet usable, like a plush dining table, is a sound investment to make.

Kitchen

Lighting shouldn’t be an issue through the longer summer days, however when the inevitable mid-afternoon cloud rolls in and the home dulls over, lighting will play a vital role. In the kitchen, when food steam and cooking smells will be lingering in the air, it’s illogical to have any lighting that requires a shade. For that reason, it’s worth making the upgrade to spotlights. Perfect for providing an even distribution of light, spotlights look good due to being installed flush with the ceiling and also add a modern element to any room. Opt for energy efficient bulbs to save on electricity and keep the light at a brightness to suit you.

Accessories

If you’re planning to entertain over the summer, the chances are that you and your guests will enjoy a drink over the course of the evening. Whilst it might not seem vital to accessorise your room with a coffee or side table, they can come in handy when entertaining. Something usable but eye-catching will also aid in breaking up the feel of your room, making it feel busier. In a conservatory, a wooden or glass topped coffee table can fit in perfectly, and is a real asset to the room when enjoying an evening with guests. Similarly, a side table which can be brought into action in a living room is ideal for snacks and drinks. Opt for something classy that fits in with the tone of your room.

 

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Giving your summer garden the wow factor
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Giving your summer garden the wow factor

We all know that, with the summer on the way, we need to get out into the garden and begin to trim, prune and prepare those outdoor spaces after months of neglect over the winter. It might seem like a thankless job, however when the warm weather arrives and the barbecue season kicks off, you’ll be glad to have a spot in which you can relax and entertain. If you’re wanting to go that extra mile this year and truly make your garden a haven for entertaining guests, here are some of our favourite creative additions.

Keeping warm

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We all know that, even on the warmest of summer days, once the sun sets the inevitable chill will hit. If you want to keep your outdoor party going long into the night, why not make a statement, rather than opt for the standard garden parasol? A fire pit can become the centre piece of your garden, whilst also being functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Creative furniture

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Speaking of garden centrepieces, we’d like to think that over the coming month, the outdoor table will see plenty of use (although given the UK’s weather, who knows?) What better way to impress guests than to get inventive with your outdoor furniture?

Garden structures

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Feel like your garden is just a bit drab? Nothing to get excited about and no area in particular is perfect for relaxing? Just one small addition of a garden structure, such as a pergola can make a huge impact and add a real point of interest to your space.

Outdoor cooking

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We all love cooking up a storm on the barbecue, and nothing quite makes us feel like summer has arrived like the smell of grilled burgers and sausages wafting through the air. Rather than having to endure the embarrassment of bringing out a tiny disposable barbecue, invest in an area to cook that will really add to your garden, and stand the test of time.

Then relax…

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What’s the real purpose of your garden when the warm weather hits? It’s a place to lounge in, relax and just soak up the limited warm weather we have. Create a zone in which you can truly unwind, and finally enjoy your summer.

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Quick advice for furnishing your new home

Quick advice for furnishing your new home

If you’ve just moved into your new home and want to jump straight into giving your open spaces that splash of personality that comes with furnishing, we know how tough it can be if you’re having to stretch a relatively low budget. Whilst some areas, like a spare room, can be put on hold as they aren’t a pressing concern, others need to be furnished quickly in order for you to be able to effectively continue with your everyday life. It’s a given that your bedroom, living room and dining area are tough to do without, so if you’re looking to decorate these areas without splashing too much cash, check out our handy tips.

Buy used

New furniture can be very expensive, however if you buy used prices are generally more affordable. The one problem with used furniture however, is that some of it can be dreadfully tasteless and more suited to a skip than your house. Despite it often being tough to find tasteful options for furnishing and decorating, it is possible to pick up items for next to nothing. Check out our blog post on Flat Broke Furnishing if picking up freebies and second hand items sounds like a suitable option for you. Alternatively, browse eBay, Gumtree and other auction sites for bargains to incorporate into your home.

Buying packages

Furniture can be expensive to buy, and we know just how big a headache balancing a budget can be when you need a number of pricey and sizeable items. Fortunately, some retailers also understand that and are able to offer you a solution. Shop around and make sure that you make the most of the diversity of your local area. Don’t be suckered in by the big  brand names – chain stores might be convenient as a ‘one stop shop’ destination, however they don’t always offer the best value or craftmanship.

Revamp

It might be the case that in the process of moving, you’ve acquired some old furniture that is serviceable in your new place, but just needs a bit of a revamp to make it fit for purpose. Simple things such as painting wooden furniture or giving them a coat of oil, replacing knobs, and re-covering chairs can all breathe new life into the items. Moving the position of items of furniture within a room can also make a difference, and can give an object a completely fresh look.

Photo Credit: SANDICES via Compfight cc

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Make your kitchen your own in your first home
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Make your kitchen your own in your first home

Buying your first property can really ignite your creativity, as you have the opportunity to think about how to transform the brand new house into your very own home.

With the kitchen being the heart of any home, it is important to dedicate time to decorating the space to make it somewhere where you feel happy and comfortable. Take a look at some of the things that you should consider when improving the room to help you make it truly your own.

1) Do you have a budget in place?

Setting the right budget is the first important step to take. You need to figure out how much you can actually afford to spend, to help you determine what work can be carried out.

When putting together a budget, every cost should be considered. Units, worktops and appliances, as well as the installation, plumbing and electrics all need to be accounted for. The average cost for a new kitchen is £8,000, but it is crucial to allow for an extra 15% in case you need emergency funding.

2) Should you improve or remove?

Having worked out how much you can afford to spend, consider whether it is best to update your current kitchen or start completely afresh. Take a look at what is there, and make a note of what you do and don’t like, thinking about whether you would want to keep any existing part of your kitchen.

If there are a number of things that you do like, it may be worth looking at ways to update and improve the space around the features. This could help to save you a lot of the time, effort and money that it can take to completely renovate a kitchen.

3) Think about the layout

Look at the layout and walk around the space to gather a rounded perspective of how your kitchen impacts you. Does the layout flow, and will it work well for you personally? Only consider changing the layout of your kitchen if you feel it will be highly beneficial.

If you choose to completely change the arrangement of the room, think about how you will be using the kitchen. Will you need more worktops in certain areas? Will you regularly be hosting dinner parties? Are there certain elements you want to be positioned closely together?

4) Design and decor

Whether your budget allows you to update or replace your kitchen, refreshing the design and decor can help to dramatically improve its look while allowing you to add your own personal touch.

You can revitalise your kitchen by adding a splash of colour. Many different shades work well in the space – bright, deep colours such as red work to stimulate appetite, whereas an all-white kitchen can help to awaken and revitalise. Other colours that work well are blues, greens, yellows and greys.

Changing your lighting can also allow you to add your own style to your kitchen without breaking the bank. Consider spotlights for a modern feel, and pendant designs for a more traditional touch. Make sure you utilise lighting to accentuate areas of the room you’re most proud of – something like a Britannia Living iconic range cooker gives your room a focal point, and with intresting and different designs, can give your room a much needed boost of character.

5) Add a personal touch

Look to add accessories here and there that truly reflect your personality. Artwork, crockery, vases and tableware are all additions that can help to personalise your kitchen and shape your house into your home.

Author Bio:

This article was provided exclusively to First Home News courtesy of Rachel Campbell, a writer with a keen interest in homeware and kitchens.

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