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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Winter additions for your bedroom

Winter additions for your bedroom

The cold has arrived, and it’s time to start looking at the best bedroom additions to make for a warm and cosy bedroom environment this winter. Winter can be a magical and enchanting time of year, but with the cold weather and the night drawing in early, it can also be a little depressing. With the bare and icy landscape outdoors, make your home a place of cosiness and comfort. Creating a warm feel in the bedroom will inspire feelings of happiness and relaxation, so here are some simple additions that you can make to transform your bedroom into the perfect escape from the cold winter weather.

Colour

Not only does this make for a cosier and warmer setting, but by focussing on the colour of your bedroom, you can brighten your room and your mood. There is no denying that colour affects our mood, so with the all-white winter landscape combined with grey skies outdoors, bring in some sunny uplifting colours such as yellows, oranges.  If you don’t want a bold colour, consider autumnal and winter shades such as reds, blues and greens. Once you have the right colour scheme, it will be easier to choose and coordinate your winter additions accordingly.

Candles

With the lack of warmth and darkness of winter, now is the perfect time to add a romantic touch to your bedroom. Candles are a favoured choice by many wanting to inject some low light and fragrance into the air, so experiment with different colours and scents to create your perfect ambience. You can also play around with ways to house your candles, lanterns are a popular choice, but you can also try rustic candle holders, jars, bottles or even a glass pillar to add a personal touch to your bedroom.

Rugs

If your bedroom lacks character, a trendy rug can instantly make your room appear fuller and cosier. Make this a personal choice, whether it be sheepskin, a slumber rug, traditional pattern, wool rug, or tuft; consider what will go with the rest of your interiors and think carefully about the colour; mink, cream, red or grey you can make this your centrepiece. Whether it be bold or natural remember that less is more, you don’t want your room to appear cramped, so chose the size accordingly to suit the size and shape of your room.

Extra pillows and blankets

When keeping a stash of extra blankets and pillows, pay attention to  the colour and texture. Thick and cosy blankets are irresistible in the colder months, what is better than curling up in front of a warm fire with a book? Especially in the bedroom, clutter your bed with textured cushions of differing colours and sizes. Also, add a seasonal knitted, fluffy, teddy or fleece throw to the end of the bed to make your bedroom seem even more inviting, and the overall ambience one of relaxation and comfort.

Lights

Brighten your room with an injection of light and transform a glum mood and a darkened room with fairy lights, lanterns or twinkle lights on the ceiling and furniture. Explore ways to creatively incorporate a star- like shine and a magical, enchanting ambience in your bedroom this winter. Avoid stark, harsh lighting and stick to warm yellow tones to emit a soothing low light and add radiance to your bedroom.

 

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Flat Broke Furnishing
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Flat Broke Furnishing

Guest Post

First Home News would like to thank Penny Golightly for writing this blog post exclusively for us.

Penny Golightly  is the writer of her self-titled blog.  Penny is a journalist and author who set up this site to share bargain-hunting tips and information. She loves finding all the nicer things in life for less.

 

After saving up for a deposit, and paying home-buying fees other expenses, there’s often nothing left in the pot for any creature comforts. But fear not – here’s how to furnish your living room on a budget of zero.

First of all, don’t be afraid to improvise. A large upturned packing crate covered in a sheet becomes a temporary table, for example. You can also turn strong medium sized boxes on their sides and stack them against a wall to create a low bookshelf.

Finding freebie furniture

Start by asking around family and friends – you’ll often be pleasantly surprised with offers of sofas, chairs, curtains and sideboards. While it may not be to your personal taste, it’s likely to still be useable.

Make the most of your local resources. Look for local charities and other schemes giving away free used furniture, check your local paper for any giveaways, and check neighbourhood message boards and online forums. Your local council tip or recycling depot might not sound promising, but it’s often perfect for finding useable tables, chairs, storage, mirrors and picture frames for nothing.

Some of the best online resources include:

For larger items you’ll probably need a van, although a mate or relative may be able to help you out. Remember personal safety when going to pick things up.

Sometimes good quality furniture turns up in skips, or on the boundaries of properties. At this point, legally speaking, it’s still the property of the person who’s thrown it away. Just knock on their front door and ask politely, and you’ll almost certainly be allowed to help yourself.

Cleaning it up

  • Sealed wood, melamine and MDF furniture can be wiped down with a lightly dampened cloth.
  • Most cushion and beanbag covers, and some chair and sofa covers, can be removed and put through a short, cool wash.
  • Non-removable fabric can be lightly sponged clean with upholstery cleaner from a hardware store, but do a test patch first in a hidden area to make sure the colour doesn’t run.

Pulling a look together

Mismatched furniture doesn’t always look great, but the appearance can be improved by adding some well-chosen accessories. Most armchairs and sofas can be disguised with a blanket, throw, or thin cotton rug. You can also find cheap fabric slip covers at eBay, La Redoute and DIY shops that fit most shapes of furniture.

Try painting wooden and MDF furniture and picture frames to colour-coordinate them. It’s fairly cheap and easy to do with fine sandpaper, undercoat and paint. Remember to use a mask when sanding MDF, as it can release harmful dust.

Get creative and you could end up with special customised pieces that you want to keep for years.

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