, , , , ,

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

Read more
When should I plan my move?

When should I plan my move?

No matter what day, week or month you decide to make your move, relocating is a stressful experience for all those who are involved. If you’re currently in the midst of a transition into your very first home, you might feel lost, so in order to allow yourself the best possible transition, timing is a key factor to consider in your plans. In order to help you with your move, we’ve put together a few tips, to help ensure you experience as smooth a transition as possible into your very first home.

Time of The Day

Moving house can be a very time-enduring process, particularly if you’re moving a considerable distance. Therefore, when it comes to the best time of day for you to begin your move, the earlier the better. By moving at the crack of dawn, you allow yourself more time to complete your move, unpack and settle into your new home.

Mid-Week

The majority of people moving house tend to do so on weekends. Whilst weekends are more conveniently suited for your working hours, it also means that moving companies are at their busiest time of the week. Therefore, in order to allow yourself the most available resources with the most available amount of time, it’s advised to make your move between Monday – Thursday. This allows you to relax and not feel any pressure from outside influences.

Seasons

Moving house in the cold winter months may not appear to be the most appealing time of year. However, this also means that very few people decide to make their move during the colder seasons. Therefore, this allows you to have full focus of your moving companies to suit your needs and still be settled into your home for the New Year.

Holidays

Statistics show that it’s best not to move house around busy periods of the year, such as Christmas and New Years. Moving house around the holiday period is often more expensive and rushed. Due to the harsh weather conditions there is also a higher likelihood of damages. Therefore, in order to make your move more beneficial to you, you will find that it is best to move during late spring to early summer.

Children

Timing is not the only factor to consider when moving house. Moving is a stressful experience, perhaps even more so when children are involved. However, in order to move at the most convenient time to suit your children as well as yourself, early summer appears to be the best. With six weeks of school holidays, your children are given the time they need in order to settle into their new home and neighbourhood with little distractions or interruptions.

Read more
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.

Read more
A beginners guide to a clever garden design
, ,

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.

 

Read more
Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps
,

Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps

Your home is not only a place to lay your head, but a reflection of your individuality. Regularly updating the look of your home will help maintain a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere without running the risk of boredom. In order to achieve this, we’ve compiled our six top tips on how to transform your place from being boring into beautiful home, with little cost and minimal effort.

 

Wall Murals

Plain, dull coloured walls in a room can instantly add a sense of monotony when not used creatively. To brighten up lifeless walls around your home, design, create and paint your own mural. By choosing one singular wall as your focus point, adding a mural not only adds a sense of individuality to your room, but also saves on the expense of redecorating. For those of you who are less artistic, wall stickers are available for a quick fix to any room.

 

Storage Solutions

Untitled

Storage space is key when it comes to de-cluttering your home. Not only are storage boxes efficient, but they are also cheap. Store those rarely used belongings under your bed and inside your closet. By moving these items out of sight, focus is shifted on the remaining pieces of furniture in the room, whilst also giving the appearance of larger space. Alternatively, if you prefer to proudly display your collections, invest in some conventional storage shelves and cabinets to place around your home.

 

Accessorise

A patterned duvet is no longer enough to create that homely bedroom feel. By investing in cushions, throws and blankets, you are not only increasing the comfort of your bedroom, but also creating a more relaxed environment. Similarly, invest in contrasting cushions and throws for your living space in order to refresh the look of other rooms around the house.

 

Interior Lighting

light-51068_640

Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and ambiance within any room. Soft lighting creates a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, whereas bright, florescent lighting can be harsh. In order to achieve a relaxed atmosphere and sense of style within a room, invest in candles, crystal lampshades and fairy lights. Make sure you also make the most out of the natural light provided.

 

Improve your Exterior

Things-to-Consider-Creating-a-Good-Living-Room-Interior-Design-Nice-View

If the view outside your front room is not overly pleasing on the eye, distract yourself and visitors by making the view inside a more appealing one. With a variety of blinds, curtains and nettings, you can make sure the inside look attractive and stylish, even if the outside does not.

 

Personal Touch

personal

Finally, nothing says home sweet home quite like a display of framed family photographs. By hanging them along the hall, above the mantel piece or across the walls, the faces of your loved ones will brighten up any room within your home.

 

Read more
Home touches for the ultimate spring feel
, ,

Home touches for the ultimate spring feel

We might still be in February, but to the optimistic amongst us, Spring is just around the corner. With the warmer days  hopefully soon arriving on the horizon, despite cold temperatures, the sunshine is just beginning to peek through the clearing clouds. It’s never too early to shake off the misery of winter and implement spring into your home, so with that in mind, here are our top tips for getting an early start on your spring decor.

Kitchen: Cooking with Colour

Many kitchens sport drab matching walls and a spaghetti stained backsplash. A spot of paint can change that. Choose a paint colour like bright orange, yellow or sky blue for one wall or area. A streak of highlight will renew your faith in spring veggies and freshly baked bread. Take your update to the next level by purchasing a coloured mixing bowl, bright spatula, blender or toaster matching the colour of your freshly painted wall. Guests will appreciate your thought to go the extra step in contrasting your stainless steel accessories with a few coloured ones. Your kitchen is going to pop and you can revel in your mastery after just an hour with the paintbrush.

Bathroom: Appropriate accessories

No matter what colour scheme your bathroom is, throwing away the plastic accessories and updating them with rustic things from around the house will make your room a much more inviting space. Update the toilet paper holder with a wicker basket you’ve been using for random bits and bobs. Grab unused containers and fill them with all your cotton essentials. Take an empty vase and fill with freshly cut flowers or some bright artificial ones to provide a real feel of spring. And the ultimate trick for the ladies, a cake stand is the perfect way to show off and keep your makeup organised for a fuss free morning.

Bedroom: Perfect pillows

Decorate with a few spring coloured throw pillows to get your home completely revamped for the summer days. You can recover the old pillows with your own fabric or buy an entire new set. The bed is the staple item in the bedroom, so find your favourite comforter to snuggle up. Really tired of your old room? Cover the headboard with a bright or striped fabric to give off a plush new bedroom aura.

Living Areas: Recover your drab lamps

The simple task of changing a lamp cover will shake off gloomy winter nights and help you to embrace spring. Choosing one piece to change in a room is a quick fix and you’ll see a noticeable difference. Go to your local homeware store to see what colours could brighten up your room. Don’t assume popping pink is your only choice, but a light yellow, bold colour or fun new print could do your home the favour it’s been seeking. Don’t want to buy an entire new lampshade? Choose from hundreds of fabric choices at the craft store. With scissors, adhesive, a trim piece and a bit of patience, you’ll have yourself a statement new decorative item.

Outdoors: Get in the Garden

Plants bring life to a home in every way. The freezing temperatures of January and February have now passed and it’s time to dig up the weeds and leftover foliage of the winter. Spring geraniums, begonias, and pansies are all great summer plants that will continually bloom throughout the warmer months. Don’t have the luxury of a front garden or a home in the countryside? Make room for a few potted plants inside your home on bookshelves and the mantel piece, as will add a feel of spring to your home, even on the rainy summer days.

Photo Credit: jinkazamah via Compfight cc

Read more
Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

So you’ve just moved into your new dream home and are finally getting your possessions and interiors just how you always imagined them. However, if you’re a proud parent, it’s highly likely that your home won’t be staying clean, neat and tidy for long. Here are the top nine signs that the kids run your home.

 

Toys cover the floor

Your living room carpet is a lovely shade of red that you picket to match the walls…if only you could see it under the ocean of toys left lying around…

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Free to use via Pixabay

 

You’re constantly recovering from stepping on Lego

That constant throbbing ache you’re experiencing in your foot, that’s from standing on Lego for the 20th time.

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Peppa Pig will dominate your DVD cabinet

Film nights in your home now turn into an expedition, as you dig your way through Peppa Pig DVD’s to find your film of choice.

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Kenneth Lu via Flickr

Think you’re using the iPad? Think again…

You can forget about doing a bit of shopping on your iPad, that’s been reserved for Angry Birds for the foreseeable future.

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Abeckstrom via Flickr.

 

Good luck changing the TV channel

Your default TV station is now Nickelodeon, and good luck finding the remote control, it’s likely to be buried between sofa cushions – enjoy!

 

Be careful not to break the step stool

The kids’ step stool will constantly trip you up in the toilet and bathroom. Watch your feet, as before you know it you’ll have a stubbed toe and the stool will be skidding across to the other side of the room.

 

Neat rolls of toilet paper?

Forget about it, that’s a thing of the past. If you’re after toilet paper, it’s likely to be strewn over the floor, or re-rolled in an untidy manner.

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Gorillasushi via www.flickr.com

Destroy walls and skirting boards

Decorating your home should leave a room in pristine condition for the foreseeable future, not yours though. Chipped skirting boards, drawings on the walls and scratch marks will be more familiar to you.

Grubby marks…

They’re everywhere. Whether it’s your white doors are plastered in food, or the leather sofa with smears of Sudocrem, you undoubtedly feel like you’ve always got a cloth at hand to quickly wipe down surfaces.

last

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image credit: St0rmz via Flickr

Read more
Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Whilst moving into your first home is a real life milestone, it’s a time which is extremely hectic. Once you’ve got your house bought, and are finally moved in, it’s time to get cracking and stamp your own personal style on the home. If you’re searching for the best ways of making your first home into your dream home, here are some top tips, courtesy of interior designer and TV personality, Kerr Drummond.

Don’t be scared!

For most first time buyers, once the expense of investing in your new home is committed to there won’t be a huge amount of cash left for home improvements, so don’t be scared to do some of the work yourself – modern tools and materials are so well designed that even a complete novice shouldn’t be scared to try a bit of DIY. Tasks such as wallpapering and painting are easier now than they have ever been and if you are unsure use the internet as it is full of information. Take the Solvite “Help & Advice” section for example, which has lots of useful videos and a really handy tool that helps you choose the right product for each individual job.

Don’t be tempted to do loads of work on your new home as soon as you move in.

My most successful designs are achieved when I’m working with a client who has lived in the property for a while first. Having lived in the property for some time you will gain a lot of information such as which rooms benefit from natural light and which don’t – this is especially important when it comes to decorating, choosing colour schemes etc. You will also find out what does and doesn’t work about the existing layout in the kitchen and bathrooms, which will allow you to come up with improved designs for these rooms if necessary.

Trust your taste and don’t give in to trends.

The look I always try to achieve is one that is timeless.

Wallpaper is your friend!

Consider wallpapering as oppose to painting, especially in older properties where the plaster finish on walls is not great – a decent filler, lining and wallpaper will hide these imperfections and won’t cost you nearly as much as re-plastering and then decorating.

Consider which room is most important to you.

For some the kitchen is the heart of the home, for others it’s the living room. Allocate your budget accordingly.

Don’t be scared of adding some personality to your new home.

Too many people obsess over keeping their home neutral (another word for Beige) in case they ever want to sell it…I think we should be more inclined to worry about this once we have actually decided to sell the property – redecorating before a sale is not something we should be scared of. So if flock wallpaper and rich colours are your thing go for it!

Use local specialists.

If you are investing in a new kitchen or bathroom head down to a local independent specialist as oppose to one of the national brands – they will be more inclined to give you what you want as oppose to what they have been told to sell to you by head office. They will also develop a relationship with you, which should serve you well as you climb the property ladder.

Visit design shows to get inspiration.

Magazines are great but being able to see products first hand is really important. Many manufacturers use design shows to showcase new products so you will be up to date on what is on the market – be it kitchens, bathrooms or wall coverings.

Make a scrap book of design ideas and styles that you like, from magazine cuttings. Continuity of theme when home decorating is often a good idea to make the whole house work aesthetically and feel right but many of us don’t know what style it is that we like until we put all our ideas together and see that there is a theme running through it.

Don’t be tempted to buy copy-cat-products just because they’re cheaper.

Whether it’s kitchen appliances or wallpaper paste, in the world of interior design and D.I.Y. you generally get what your pay for so stick to a brand you know and trust.

Read more
Moving home the smart way

Moving home the smart way

You’ve found the perfect new property for you and your family and have taken the plunge and made your purchase, however don’t be fooled that the hardest part is over. While it’s definitely true that you have done a lot, the truth is that you still have a job on your hands, which often turns out to be one of the most stressful events involved in a move- the day of relocation itself.

We aren’t looking to put you off, but be prepared; there are a number of things that can go wrong if you haven’t made thorough plans. There are so many hidden dangers that could flare up over the coming weeks of your move, so with that in mind, here are some ways to get your move heading in the right direction.

Put everything down on paper

You may be impressively organized, and able to juggle copious amounts of information in your head; but don’t run the risk of forgetting something. When moving, you simply must put everything down on paper.

Make sure you’re scrupulously organised, as you’ll need to figure out details such as how much time you have, how many days you will need to move and when your new furniture is being delivered. You need to measure everything in your new place, checking what you can and cannot move.

Hire movers

Many people believe that hiring movers is a simple waste of money. How difficult can it be to move a fridge, a few chairs, a table and a sofa? When it comes to actually carrying out the moving process, you’ll find it incredibly hectic, and hiring removal assistance could prove to be a god send.

When you hire professional movers, you may be paying them but they’ll be doing a great service to and for you. Before you see those guys in action, you’ll have no idea how incredibly  efficient and quick they are. Of course, you’ll want to hire a reputable moving firm who boast a reasonable amount of experience, along with the highest quality packaging supplies.

Decorate before you move

One of the best things about the empty space that you’ll be moving into (unless you rented something that was already furnished) is that you can do pretty much everything you’d like in your new space. The smart thing to do is to decorate before you move in. There is nothing clumsier and less comfortable than decorating around the boxes that you have already brought in and odd pieces of furniture lying around our new place.

Decorating your new place when it is empty will also give you a much clearer picture of what you will be able to do with the choice of colours, the details and the new furnishings that you will most probably need and want to buy.

Above everything else, it is absolutely essential that you keep your cool and that you absorb all the problems that will inevitably crop up at some point. Make sure you don’t lose your head and remember that this is, after all, a positive and exciting time in your life.

If you’ve recently moved and can impart some top tips and handy knowledge on your fellow readers, we’d love for you to get in touch. Just drop us a comment below.

 

 

Photo Credit: CC image sourced via en.wikipedia.org

Read more
Home security tips for the winter
,

Home security tips for the winter

As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, it’s sadly the case that the British public come to experience an increase in house crime. Longer evenings and darker streets make homes easier targets for burglars, especially if you don’t have a good level of security. With a 20 percent increase in home burglaries during winter months, now is the time to invest in more advanced security, to ensure the safety of your house. The average cost of a winter burglary is valued at £1,746; a significant loss, but one which can be prevented for just a small, preemptive outlay.

 

Holidaying over the festive season?

If you are looking to have a winter get away this year then ensure that you take the necessary precautions to prevent burglary. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a brilliant holiday to find that you have had your possessions stolen. Below are some great tips for when you’re away.

– At all times, avoid talking about holiday plans on social media platforms. Burglars can use any information on the net to their advantage when they’re planning homes to target.

– Ensure you temporarily suspend any ongoing deliveries you may have e.g milk and newspapers.

– Take advantage of the Royal Mail’s keep safe service. The Royal Mail can hold your post for up to two months while you’re away.

– Alternatively, use a trusted neighbour to collect your post, park their car on your driveway and sporadically open and close curtains.

– Use automatic timer switches to turn your lights and radios on when it gets dark.

 

Day to day

As many as 70 percent of home burglary incidents have occurred in terraced houses over the past 12 months, with the 5th November having a 22 percent higher theft rate than an average day of the year.  However, there are still a variety of measures you can take to deter potential opportunistic thieves.  Make sure that you hide all your keys out of sight and away vulnerable areas, such as windows and the letterbox. When you head out on an evening, try leaving a light on inside, or a radio to make background noise and give the impression that someone is occupying the house. Other valuable  measures you could take include locking side gates, trim high hedges, keep fences in good condition, remove valuable items from windows, install good outside lighting and consider joining or forming a neighbourhood watch scheme.

 

Alarms and other safety devices

Alarm systems are one of the most effective ways at deterring potential thieves and it doesn’t have to cost too much!  The first thing anyone should remember is to lock all your doors and windows every time you leave the house (even if you’re just doing a spot of gardening). A visual burglar alarm is a great way of deterring burglars from your property, and you’re also statistically 2-3 times less likely to be burgled with this sort of security device (for an in depth look at the benefits of alarm systems, check out the advice from Global Security Experts). Finally, if you’re feeling extra cautious now that you know this time of year is a theft hotspot, you can install a form of CCTV.

 

Do you get extra vigilant with your home security through the winter? Let us know how you keep your home safe in the comments section below.

 

Photo Credit: Free to use image via pixabay.com

Read more
© Copyright 2013 Keepmoat