The Blogger Edit – RVK Loves

The Blogger Edit – RVK Loves

If striking colour choices, vintage finds combined with contemporary pieces, and sociable open plan living is your favourite style of interior decor then ideas from our latest Inspiration Gallery blogger will be right up your street.

Award-winning interiors and lifestyle blogger, Rebecca Sterling (aka RVK Loves), has kindly invited us into her beautiful home, and we have to admit – we are pretty amazed by it!

Mixing her love of flowers, travel, styling and photography, you can find Rebecca over on her Instagram channel (@rvk_loves) as well as on her blog, Roses & Rosstops’.

Check out Rebecca’s interior vision over on our latest Inspiration Gallery here  – but be careful, it’ll make you want to decorate your entire house again!

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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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Save hundreds on your fuel bills
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Save hundreds on your fuel bills

Do you live in the Greater Manchester area? Do you receive state pension credit, child tax credit or working tax credit? Then you could be entitled to a free high efficiency boiler which will not only make your home more efficient but save you hundreds of pounds on your fuel bills.

Housing specialist, Keepmoat is working in partnership with The Greater Manchester Local Authorities and its energy partners to bring you this exclusive offer under the Government Grants Initiative known as Energy Company Obligation 2 (ECO 2).

The ECO 2 scheme is part of the ECO Affordable Warmth Obligation launched in January 2013, and aims to reduce energy consumption within the UK by providing free boilers and insulation grants to those who receive certain benefits.

Freephone 0800 0197377 to find out if you’re eligible.

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Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

It’s your home, and everyone loves the personal touch that decorating brings to your room. This summer, it’s all about the style statement, so don’t whimper out and opt for bland colours, take one of these striking colour palates and incorporate it into your home.

Black and White

It might seem like a simple and classic combination, however done right, the black and white palette adds real depth to a room, especially when utilised with a modern and contemporary twist. From incorporating the style into the wall decoration with a striped design, to adding furniture and decorations that complement the style perfectly, you have a whole heap of options when it comes to this colour palette. Here are some of our favourite room additions with this colour scheme.

Black and White Chevron Rug – Urban Outfitters, £69.

Chevron Lampshade In Black – Not On The High Street, £30

Bossenden Wall Clock – House Of Fraser, £40

Coastal Cool

With the sun baking down, and the mild breeze providing a refreshing cool as it calmly blows over the garden and into your home, you can be forgiven for allowing your mind to wander with daydreams of a beached coastline, with radiant heat beaming down and the cool ocean waves whipping at your toes as you stroll over the perfect white sands. It sounds idyllic, but for most of us, the majority of our summer will be spent at home, so now is the perfect time to implement those elements of coastal cool into your house. It gives your rooms a light, breezy feel and with cool vibrant colours, it provides plenty of energy. Colours to incorporate are vast, but mainly focus on aquatic blues and greens, sandy yellows and natural browns.

MissPrint Home Dashes Cushion – John Lewis, £28

Wooden Frame Tealight Holder – Laura Ashley, £22

The Ascot Rug – The Rug Seller, £75-£359

European Clean

In the summer, there’s not colour that emphasises the warmth quite like a clean crisp white. We see it time and time again in the world of sashion, expecially in the summer. Be it in a light and airy linen shirt for a man, or a striking dress or jeans on a woman, white is a colour that really comes into its own in the warmer months. Although it might not be the most practical of solutions, the colour will provide a refreshing and fresh feel. Use white as a neutral backdrop, and then accessorize with statement complimentary pieces in your favourite colors, or create a monochromatic design by enveloping the room in an all-white palette. Mix and match with tones from the coastal cool selection, to add a real touch of summer to your rooms.

Knitted Pouffe – Etsy, £65

Baby Betty Vases – Brissi, £24

 

This article was provided exclusively to First Home News by Kate Hobbs, who has a passion for home interiors and trends.

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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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Spring updates for your living room
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Spring updates for your living room

With winter now behind us, April is the perfect time to give your living room a revamp. We’d all like to hope that, over the summer months, an abundance of sun will mean we spend every free minute basking out in the warm garden. In reality however, it’s fairly safe to say that we won’t be spending all our summer outdoors. Prepare for the coming months by revamping your living room, for when the weather turns grim and you have to move guests and visitors indoors. Here are our top tips for updating your living room to be a bright and breezy summer area.

Feature wall

In many cases, people decorate a room and leave it for numerous years just to avoid the hassle of redecorating. Whilst we aren’t advocating that you do a complete renovation after every passing season, it can make a pleasant change to the feel of your room if you implement, or simply repaint your feature wall. Having a feature wall within your room adds a greater depth to your space, and providing you chose the right colour, it means that you can change the tone of your room from season to season.

Change window coverings

Over the winter months, in an effort to keep out the cold, rain and howling winds, a thick heavy curtain is a great option for dressing your windows. However as the winter comes to an end and the weather picks up, it’s a great decorative idea to switch out your heavy duty curtain for something a little lighter.  In many households, blinds are a popular choice as they’re easy to use, provide the option of allowing in light even when closed, and can also be easy to work around when you have numerous open windows. If you have a curtain rail in place and want to alter the look of your windows over the summer, simply switch for something in a lighter material. It’s amazing how much of a role something as simple as a window decoration can play in the overall feel of your room, so making the most a light delicate window dressing can give your room an uplifting feel of summer.

Plants and flowers

Bring a feel of the summer indoors with some home-grown greenery. Nothing makes a room feel brighter than well chosen plants and flowers, and the injection of life to your room can really improve the overall feel and help you escape the feeling of winter. Don’t overdo it, as you don’t want your room to feel like an indoor greenhouse, however a selection of summer greenery can instantly help your living room.

Summer rug

If you want to add a splash of colour to your room, but don’t want to take any drastic permanent action, then adding something as simple as a spring summer style rug can help to drag your living room out of the winter and into the warmer months. Something like a floral rug can bring a real feel of spring into your room, and paired with another couple of light and bright accessories, it can have a real impact on the feel of your room.

 

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5 ways to bring Morocco to your home
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5 ways to bring Morocco to your home

If luxury and opulence are two words that are appealing to you then why not update your home with a few easy ideas inspired by the streets of Morocco.  Moroccan souks are energetic, lively places that are bursting with vibrant handmade fabrics and intricate lighting and decorations.

Lighting

Playing around with lighting throughout your home is a sure fire way of being able to create a relaxing atmosphere. By incorporating colourful Moroccan lamps to your home, you can decorate your home while brightening up the place. Another way of adding soft lighting is by placing intricate candle holders around the house to help you wind down in the evenings. Using scented candles is a definite plus for turning your house into your home.

Fabrics

If comfort and luxury is what you want in your home then soft furnishing is a good way to start. Why not try stacking mismatch cushions in the living and bedroom or using colourful scarves to decorate the walls?  Experimenting with different textures such as silks throws and velvets can help to add to a luxurious feel. Pouffes are also an easy way of incorporating a Moroccan theme at home and are also a favourite with the kids. If you prefer a more minimalistic approach then having simple décor with a Persian rug could be the way for you.

Mirrors

Adding metallic framed mirrors work well to give an illusion of a bigger and brighter space. Silver and copper frames with engraved patterns help to add to an ethnic vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try mirrored furniture that while further enhance any soft lighting that you’ve incorporated.

Metals

Metals such as copper and silverwork are commonly seen in Moroccan décor and kitchenware. Tea glasses, candles holders and silver plates are an easy way to incorporate this. Charity shops are a good place to hunt for silverware for cheap while bringing something unique to your home.

Colour Schemes

Bright colours are at the forefront of Moroccan themed décor where rich purples, oranges and metallic are used in fabrics for a luxurious effect. For a fresh modern twist for summer, you could use bright and neutral colours while integrating Moroccan references in artwork or furnishing.

Try the trend for yourself and see which Moroccan trends you can bring into your home this springtime.

Image credit: Jon Olav Eikenes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonolave/

 

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