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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Home touches for the ultimate spring feel
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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

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Finishing odd-jobs in time for Christmas
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Finishing odd-jobs in time for Christmas

To say it’s simply a few days of celebrations, the festive period can be an incredibly hectic period. Aside from wrapping presents and preparing food in time for the big day, you may have spotted areas of your home which require touching up or working on in preparation for the 25th With guests arriving for the celebrations, you need your home to be looking its best. As the calendar ticks over to December, there isn’t time for grand renovations, however you should have opportunity to add the finishing touches that will get your home ready for the festivities. To help you along your way, we’ve put a list together a list of the areas you may want consider touching up before Christmas

Getting rid of any clutter

If you are going to be hosting a house full of guests over Christmas, the last thing you want is to have them to  clambering over clutter. Before you contemplate decking the halls and throwing tinsel over the tree, take a look at ways in which you can declutter and create a tidy, welcoming environment for those coming to stay.

For best results, take it one room at a time and look at what is and isn’t necessary. Be practical; you may find there are plenty of items that can be discarded or removed temporarily from the room.

Make sure you have enough room to accommodate extra beds

Beyond getting rid of any clutter, if you are going to be having quite a few guests and you will be using inflatable beds, it makes sense to move things around to accommodate them while you have the time. Of course, also make sure you have a pump and that it works.

Finish off any odd-jobs

They’re the nagging jobs on your to-do list that you just never get around to doing. Whether it’s fixing the lock on the bathroom door, replacing light bulbs or hanging those mirrors that have been leaning up against the wall for the last few months, take a look at the odd-jobs you haven’t got around to doing and make the time to do them.

Change your door knobs

If you want to make some stylish changes in your home before Christmas, door knobs are an excellent place to start. Often overlooked, door knobs featuring ornate detail can transform existing doors without having to replace them. Consider Victorian door knobs which feature plenty of grandiose detail but are perfect for both contemporary and traditional interiors.

Giving your skirting boards and door frames a lick of paint

Freshen up a room by concentrating on the smaller details. Through every day wear and tear, skirting boards and door frames can become grubby, discoloured and in generally in need of some TLC. Give them the love they need and make your home look a little fresher with a lick of paint.

Clean the carpets

Hire a carpet cleaner for the weekend and really get deep into your floors. It’s amazing just how dirty carpets can get and we guarantee you’ll be amazed at the results once you have given them a deep clean with a specifically formulated carpet shampoo.

Make use of fold-up chairs

If you’re going to be having a lot of guests over for dinner, it’s wise to make use of folding chairs as these can be easily stored away when not in use and will save you from reanacting a scene from a comedy sketch where everyone is sitting on chairs of varying heights.

This guest article was exclusively written for First Home News by Dean Ronnie.

Photo credit: Jonas Nordlund via Flickr

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Quick tips for furnishing your new home

Quick tips for furnishing your new home

Moving in to a new home is an exciting time, especially when all the leg work is completed and all that’s left to do is move in and enjoy the new place. Once you arrive and begin to settle in, you’ll no doubt want to ensure that you are in a position where you can be comfortable as soon as possible. However, there is plenty of preparatory work still to be done if that’s to be the case.


When moving in, the first thing you’d hope for in a new home is that the interiors are as you like them, be that through elements such as existing colour schemes, or through the implementation of your own furniture. If you’re buying your home from new, it will have a crisp and clean element to it; it’s effectively a blank canvas, and although it might take a while for you to put your stamp on it, you’ll eventually turn it into a home that’s perfectly personal to you.


The first move for many when moving into a new place is to thoroughly clean the place. In a lot of cases, you’ll be moving into a professionally cleaned, or brand new home, however in an unknown environment giving your own thorough clean provides peace of mind, and will help you feel comfortable soon after moving in. If there has been a period of emptiness in the home, the chances are that dust has settled and it’ll need a quick clean anyway. The same goes for any DIY aspects that you need to get sorted. From ensuring that the walls are the right color, to getting any new flooring or fitted fixtures added, it is essential that you can do all of this before you move your things in. Having a load of furniture and boxes in the house whilst you are trying to do larger bits of decorating work will quickly grow tiresome and be detrimental to your productivity. On top of all that, the fact is that these sorts of jobs kick up a lot of dust and dirt, and will no doubt leave you with a house full of belongings that are covered in dirt.


You want to avoid an uncomfortable first night at the house, so be sure you take all precautions possible to make your move and your new home comfortable. From transferring the energy bills over to the new place before the day of the move, to ensuring that all the light fittings are replaced and working before you arrive. They might seem like small jobs, but they all mount up if you leave them lingering.


Your new house is a great reason to make changes to improve your way of living. Whether that is in a less cluttered way, or if you strive to be more energy efficient;  a new home is a perfect fresh start. You’ll be able to ensure that the changes you want to make are implemented and can use the move to get rid of a load of your hoarded junk, or to install energy saving light bulbs and dig a vegetable patch in the garden. It might seem like a cliche, but moving home is the perfect time to utilize the upheaval, and make it work for you in a way that you would otherwise not have bothered with in your old home.


Thomas Boswell is a 41-years-old blogger from Leichester. He has experience in homemaintenance and garden design projects. 

Photo Credit: erewhon via Compfight cc

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Choosing the best bathroom lighting

Choosing the best bathroom lighting

Bathrooms can be one of the most difficult rooms in the home to decorate. Unlike the living and dining room, you aren’t going to be using the room for ‘down time’, which means that you need to keep the room functional whilst also adding some form of personal style and charm to the room. With issues such as shower and bath steam, splashing water and slippery surfaces to bear in mind, getting the right mix in your room can be tricky. The same goes for lighting the room. With everyday tasks such as shaving, applying makeup and styling hair being carried out in front of the mirror in the room, getting your lighting choices right can be tough. Here are our favourite options when it comes to nailing your bathroom lighting.

Things to bear in mind

Before you jump into selecting your preferred style of lighting, you need to consider how light your bathroom generally is. Does the room have access to a lot of natural light through the daytime? Also, consider the reason you’re debating a change in lighting style, if you’re not happy with the brightness of your room, you’ll need to opt for a brighter light and bulb. If you’re unsure how bright your lighting needs to be, consider a dimmer switch option.


Arguably the most ideal solution for the bathroom is the downlight option. Built into the ceiling panels, the flush fitting of each individual light will provide a full room lighting that illuminates all areas from the ceiling down to the floor. Easy to utilise in the bathroom and shower areas, this option will give an even lighting for the whole room; perfect for the morning ritual of shaving for men and applying makeup for women. Pay close attention to lighting the shower area. A nice feature is to position downlights close to the back wall near your shower to create a dramatic shaft of light.


Spotlights might not be a good option for if you have a wet room, but if your shower is enclosed and stand alone, then spotlights can work. Be cautious with the positioning of your lights, as if you’re not wanting to use downlights, any other solution will cast a shadow in the room, depending on which way you position your lighting.

Be inventive

Bathrooms are rooms of convenience, however that doesn’t mean that your decoration and lighting should be boring and tasteless. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your room in modern and contemporary ways, and being creative with bathroom lighting shouldn’t only be left to hotel rooms. Glass panelling with lighting solutions built in mean that you don’t simply have one light source in your room. Switch things up and utilise this to provide an upward light source, as opposed to the downward shining lights every room needs. They might be a bit more costly, but taps and other standard features of your bathroom can utilise lighting and LEDs to add an ambiance and depth to your room. Be inventive, and don’t simply play it safe.

Photo Credit: -mrsraggle- via Compfight cc

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Hang your curtains like a pro

Hang your curtains like a pro

Once you’ve chosen the perfect curtain design for your home, don’t let them down by making a mess of the hanging! A properly hung curtain will maximise the amount of light that shines through your window, making your room look larger, brighter, and more open. But while hanging curtains may seem like a straightforward process, many people go about it the wrong way.

For starters, most people overcrowd the window with the treatment, leaving very little room for the space to breathe and for natural light to shine through. It’s all too common to see drapery rods hung directly above the windows and only extending the width of the window itself. This chokes the window and can make the whole room appear smaller. Here’s how to properly hang curtains that effectively block sunlight, but still make the room look airy and bright:

1. Considering the Space
When planning to hang a curtain, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration.
First, the room size and the window itself. A large room with large window needs a curtain that matches the feeling of the room. In a large room, there is more opportunity to use heavy, rich and dark fabrics that take up lots of visual space. But in small spaces, or spaces that don’t get a lot of natural light, consider using a light-coloured, sheerer fabric to make the space look larger.

Another important consideration is the drapery rod used. The style of the rod must be in accordance with the style of the room. For example, if you use a massive, heavy-looking rod in a very small room, it’s going to detract from the rest of the décor. Similarly, a large, stately room requires a larger drapery rod so that everything is stylistically balanced.

2. Measuring and Installation
A general rule for hanging standard curtains is that the drapery rod should be installed halfway between the top of the window and the ceiling. This will make the room appear larger, and prevent the window from swimming in excess curtains. Measure from the top of the window to the ceiling, and mark the half-way point between these figures. This is the minimum height at which the rod should be hung. When in doubt, err towards placing the rod higher to the ceiling.

The width of the drapery rod is where most people make mistakes. The drapery rods should actually extend beyond the window, at least 4 inches on each side. This allows you to fully draw back the curtain, so that no part of the fabric obstructs natural light. What you want to avoid is blocking any sunlight that could otherwise shine through, while still making sure that the curtain is fitted to cover unwanted sunlight. That is to say, the curtain — when extended — needs to fully block unwanted rays, but also be able to allow sunlight when necessary. This also allows the drapery rod to be attached to the wall, rather than the window itself. If the rod is attached to the moulding of the window, the fabric will not have proper room to pull back when you try to open the curtains.

As for the length of the drapes, they should just touch the floor. This is the most traditional and streamlined method of treating a window, suitable for most situations. However, it should be noted the length of the drapes are somewhat a matter of personal preference. For example, some people elect to have long drapes the pool on the floor, giving the room a more stately appearance. This can be a great option in large rooms, but shouldn’t be done in rooms where maximizing space is a top priority.

The fullness and type of fabric must also be considered. Are you working with a sheer fabric? You’ll most likely want the finished panel to be 4 or 5 times the width of the rod. Working with a heavy velvet? Try a width 1.5 times the length of the rod, so that the drape is not swimming in fabric. For most traditional fabrics, a fabric width of 2 to 3 times the rod width will allow the fabric to lay perfectly.

3. Helpful Tips
In a small room, hang rods as high as possible. It gives the illusion of extra space.

Consider purchasing curtain hooks that will let the fabric hang down, instead of hanging it directly on the rod itself. This will make it easier to draw the curtains, and will also allow the fabric to hang closer to the window than to the rod.

If your window has a round top, the drapery rod should be hung below the rounded part, leaving the upper window section exposed.

Always try to draw the eye upwards. If everything in the room is hung at eye level, the room starts to feel oppressively small. This is another reason why hanging the drapery rod close to the ceiling works so well.

Author Bio

Amanda Symes is Sales Manager at Curtain World, a leading provider of Curtains, Blinds and Shutters in Perth, Western Australia. Connect with Amanda on Google+.

dearsomeone via Compfight cc

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Five living room additions that won’t break the bank
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Five living room additions that won’t break the bank

As a first time buyer, it’s no secret that money will be running low after your big purchase. Heading into an empty house with limited funds can be scary, but there are ways to fill that room without emptying (what’s left of) your bank balance. With your living room being the main place to congregate in your new home, we look into some budget items perfect for your living room.

  1. Coffee table
    If your living room is large and you feel daunted by the task of filling it, don’t worry. A coffee table placed in the right spot can drastically reduce the amount of space you need to fill. Naturally fitting well near a settee or suite, the coffee table is convenient and catches the eye. Retailers such as Ikea are great for finding homeware at a reasonable price, and if wood is to your liking, this oak veneer table from the Vejmon range would fit nicely into any new home, and is available in three different styles.
  2. Lighting
    Nothing is as depressing as an empty, dark room. Be it through natural or artificial sources, you need to make sure your new living room is well lit. To kill two birds with one stone, why not accessorise with a number of lamps for the room. Allowing you to fill empty space on top of tables and units whilst also brightening up sections of your room, well positioned lighting gives any room a whole new feel. For everyday run of the mill accessories that won’t stand out to guests, check out Amazon; it offers a wide range of basic products, such as this chrome lamp. It might not be top of the range, but would blend in well to most living rooms.
  3. Pictures
    If bare walls aren’t your idea of a homely room, then you’re probably searching everywhere for something to fill them. Whilst real paintings by top artists  ay be out of your price range, there are options available to fill your wall space. Most chain furniture stores offer mass produced pictures and other items, such as the choices of London city scenes and Sherwood Forest available online at the Furniture Village. Alternatively, if you want to add a real family feel to the home, the internet is packed with sites willing to print your precious photo memories onto a large canvas, with prices ranging from £30 to £80 depending on size.To further explore your options, click over to our article on filling empty wall space (linked to another of our articles).
  4. Rug
    Large empty rooms can often be made to look even more sparse if the floor seems to span for miles. Break up the floor space with a well placed and stylish rug. In addition to adding a homely feel to the room, your new rug will add a feel of warmth and comfort. Even though some high end styles can run you into the hundreds, there are plenty of options around for the budget shopper. This Maestro range comes in a selection of colours and shades, and can be used to add a touch of beauty to your living room.
  5. Cushions
    So you’ve moved in, got your TV and sofa in place and the room still looks empty.
    How about throwing some cushions on that sofa to add another element to the room? Now we aren’t saying go out and get enough cushions that you’ll be swimming in them whilst watching Coronation Street, just settle on two or three. Department stores such as Debenhams have huge stocks of cushions like this Taupe burnout leaf cushion, that add colour and comfort without breaking your budget.

That’s five I can think of but do you think I have forgotten anything?

Images used under creative commons courtesy of Yvonne Eijkenduijn.

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Lorem Ipsum
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Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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