Design Ideas for Small Spaces and Flats

If you have a flat or a small house, interior design can be a bit more challenging than usual. After all, the last thing you want to do is make your home look even more cramped. You need to concentrate on interior design that is going to make your home appear and feel more spacious. Read on for some ideas to help you get started.

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  1. Unclutter – There is only one place to begin, and this is with clearing any clutter. Clutter can easily accumulate when you are living in a small apartment, as you don’t have as much storage space. You are going to need to be strict regarding what items you keep and what items you throw away. You should also look for some clever storage solutions. For example, you could opt for a divan bed, which has storage options underneath it.
  2. Choose airy pieces – You will be much better off going for a table with an open metal base or a see-through acrylic one, rather than choosing a solid-wood coffee table. This will weigh the space down.
  3. Let there be light – Dark spaces look more cramped. It’s important to let as much natural light into a space as possible, as relying on harsh overheads can result in a lot of headaches. You could get skylights installed if you have a top floor flat. Or, why not go all out and have new, bigger windows put in? Of course, this is a large investment, and so you should only go down this route if you can afford the expense and the hassle.
  4. Embrace the floating design trend – Your small flat will appear closed off if you incorporate bulky and large pieces of furniture. One way to open things up is to incorporate floating elements into the design, as this allows the eye to travel all the way through the space while also ensuring you benefit from the same functionality. Opt for a floating sink instead of a traditional vanity, for example, or switch your bookcase for floating shelves. Also, when it comes to furniture, don’t go for anything that sits directly on the floor, and instead choose furniture pieces that have legs.
  5. Add depth with layering – Depth is something that a lot of small spaces seem to lack. One easy way to add this is with layering. Layer your bed with throw pillows and multiple blankets to keep you cozy and warm while adding depth. Why not add a fluffy rug to your living room or use shadow boxes for wall hangings?  
  6. Select furniture that is scaled-down – Petite tables are going to be much better than bulky furniture. Make sure you buy items that suit a smaller space.
  7. Use décor and furniture to add curves – A lot of small flats tend to be box-shaped, which is why it is a good idea to add some curves with your furniture and décor. This will stop the interior design from appearing monotone. Think about using a sofa and chair set with angled sides, for instance, or go for a round dining table. Once you have found furniture pieces that match your personal style and your needs, make certain to complement those curves by choosing accessories that have similar shapes. There are many different ways you can do this, for example, you could go for a table lamp with a rounded shape or an oval shaped mirror.
  8. Match your curtain colour to your walls – Your room will feel a lot bigger if you match the colour of your curtains to your walls. This is because your curtains will blend in, which results in an unbroken line.
  9. Purchase a statement mirror – One of the best ways to open up a space and make it appear a lot bigger is to invest in a statement mirror. This can become the focal point in the room. The reason why a mirror comes highly recommended is because it will ensure natural light bounces around the room. This makes the space appear a lot bigger, and it will be more comfortable and welcoming too. The bigger the mirror is, the better!
  10. Choose a light colour palette – When choosing colours for your flat, it is a good idea to keep things light. Light shades will open up the space, whereas darker and richer colours have a tendency to make spaces appear a lot smaller. It is a good idea to go for two lighter shades and then use a darker colour for accenting. This will ensure your home is visually interesting.
  11. It is all about scale – One thing you need to remember when decorating a small space is that it is all about scale. Your small space will look larger when you choose furniture that is small. Unless you want to make a bold statement, you should stay away from overstuffed and dramatic couches!
  12. Find an organisation system – As mentioned above, dealing with clutter is of paramount importance when decorating any type of small space. When it comes to small apartment living, everyone knows that storage is king. You need to choose the right systems to help you deal with clutter. To keep you on track, invest in some organizers. There are plenty of clever solutions available for purchase today. You could use small baskets to line shelves, for example, or why not buy back-of-the-door shoe hangers for extra storage without taking up more space?
  13. Fake larger windows – You can make your windows seem taller than they are by placing curtain rods just below the ceiling, rather than placing them just above the window frame. This is because it draws the eye upward, which makes a rather big difference. You can also use this to make your windows appear bigger in terms of width.
  14. Go vertical with storage – Don’t only think horizontally when it comes to making use of space in your apartment, you need to think vertically too. When trying to get the most storage out of the least amount of space, narrow and tall storage systems are the best way to go. For a built-in shelving look, one great idea is to place two identical bookshelves at either side of a doorway.
  15. Figure out your priorities – One thing you need to accept is that you can’t have it all when you have a small flat or a small space to deal with. There may be many different furniture pieces and ornaments you want to include, but you are going to need to be more choosey. Take the time to figure out your priorities, as small spaces are limited. Once you have done this, allocate these priorities accordingly. For example, some people want a living space and, therefore, would prefer a bed that folds up. There are then those that would rather have a desk space than a dining area. Think about what you need, and make your home work to this. Don’t feel forced into decorating your home traditionally – it’s your home, it must work for you!
  16. Rethink spaces that aren’t being used at the moment – It can be easy to get stuck in a rut when you have been living in the same place for a substantial amount of time. It’s time to think about whether you are using your space in the most efficient way that you can. Challenge yourself! Identify spaces that currently do not have a useful purpose. Once you have done this, think about different ways you can use these spaces to your advantage. You will be surprised with what you come up with. Plus, you are bound to find plenty of inspiration on blogs and social media.
  17. Invest in dual-purpose furniture – Every inch counts when you are dealing with a small space. Invest in furniture that has more than one purpose in order to make the most of a room. Focus on pieces that are going to work with you, rather than trying to work your space around the furniture you want. There are so many clever dual-purpose items that are available for purchase today. Sofa beds aren’t the only option!
  18. Sprinkle in some Metallics – Not only do metallic accessories look incredible, but they will make your flat appear a lot bigger too. They will have a similar impact to a mirror, meaning they will reflect light off the surface and open up the space. Plus, metallic accessories are bang on trend at the moment, so it’s a great way to ensure your flat looks super stylish.

So there you have it; plenty of suggestions that you can use to make any small space or small flat appear bigger. You will be surprised by how much of a difference these changes can make. Plus, a lot of them don’t cost a lot or require much effort either! It’s a win-win. You will feel like you are living in a brand new home.

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Ingredients Of A Succesful Renovation

Renovating is a lot bigger than redecorating. When redecorating, it’s fairly easy to scale back any changes you’re not all that fond of. But renovations are a lot more permanent, not to mention costlier. They are the best way to turn your house into a home that really gels with you, but you need to get a few things right before you jump into the work.

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Your needs

Much the same as when you’re building a home, you should think first of all about your needs as opposed to your wants. Wants should be something that you might be able to change later, like the surfaces in your kitchen or your lighting fixtures. Most of the focus should go to needs, things that are harder to change, like the arrangement of the bathroom or how much space you allow in your living room. Prioritise the changes you’re going to make to the home and get the big ones out of the way first.

Your style

After those needs, that’s when you can start thinking about the style your rooms are going to be into. There are some aspects you need consider now before you start ordering materials and making floor plans. For instance, in the bedroom, you need to think about how lighting is going to have an effect on the way you restructure it. In the kitchen, having a few colour schemes in mind can make it easier to choose surfaces for the countertops. In the bathroom, you want to think if you have enough space to fit all those luxuries you want. Nailing down an idea of the style you want now can make the choices later a lot easier.

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Your team

Naturally, you want to make sure that you have the right team on your side. One of the single best ways to find that out is to get in touch with them. Renovation teams like Million Dollar Makeovers should be able to provide an in-depth look at the different services they can provide. A good team will also have access to testimonials and proof of work they’ve done before so you know you’re getting a team that you can trust.

Your budget

Close communication with that team is going to be important because you’re going to need them involved in the budgeting of it all. In particular, you want to get them to help you with a quote so you can get a rough idea of what you can expect to pay. But that’s only the beginning. You need to consider any material or changes you might down the line as well. Add a little extra to your current budget so you’re not left making a decision you no longer want, or that most importantly you’re not left with an unfinished home when unexpected costs crop up.

Renovating isn’t something to be done on the fly, but a step that takes a lot of preparation and thought. Define your needs, your style, what you can afford and the best team you can rely on. Then you’re ready to jump in.

Funky Fixture Ideas For Your New Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of a home. It’s where all the activity for meals happens and it’s most of the time the place the gossip happens when you invite your mum over. Celebrating having a kitchen installed should be done in style and it should include you injecting a little personality into your home. You may be a dab hand at sorting out your bedroom – your haven – but what about the busiest room in the house? It’s not one that can be changed around on a whim, so you have to make some serious decisions about your upgrades. Be funky, but be thoughtful in your endeavour.

Installing a brand-new kitchen is a big job and can take an awful lot of time to be properly fitted. It’s not just the few days that the builders will be ripping one kitchen out, it’s the replacement fittings and cupboards going into the kitchen that you’ll have to live with. So, this means you will be well-deserving of a treat and that treat should come in the form of some quirky fixtures for your kitchen. Swerve convention and favour the unique and original with some of these excellent fixtures ideas:

  • If you love the bare wood look, head to your local timber yard for some pallets. Pallet furniture is becoming SO popular, as are floating shelves made from pallet wood. Not into pallets? The yard will still have some fantastic finds and you can create beautiful and original tables out of discarded wood. Call in a carpenter to help if you must, but invest some time and elbow grease into creating something truly unique for your home.
  • Trawling the antique and junk shops and car boot sales for gems is a fun hobby that most people love doing and on their travels, they find some serious treasures. Boost the look of your kitchen by adding in lampshades and old display cabinets that ooze vintage fun!
  • Love to go a little modern? How about installing in some funky chrome fittings? You could go for a new look sink with a garbage disposal and boiling water taps. Works like a kettle but instantly. Now there’s a little modernism for you!
  • Rather than go for the standard beige or grey, why not choose to install brightly coloured cabinets? You could truly inject a little style into your home by simply choosing a bright and bold colour. If you love red accessories in your kitchen space, go for red doors. It’s a simple concept but one that gives a tired kitchen a refreshed and clean look.

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You don’t have to be a genius interior designer to choose new kitchen fittings. All you have to be is yourself. Your home should reflect your personality and if you take the time to choose fixtures that make you stand out from the crowd, you can ensure that your kitchen is the one most talked about among your friends.

Why You Should Renovate Your House Rather Than Move

Everybody gets bored in their homes after a while. They look around and see the same old rooms, the same old designs, and maybe one or two minor problems all of a sudden become much bigger problems in their heads. It’s at about this stage that some people decide to cast their eye to their market and see what else is out there on the market. Looking around at the homes available in estate agents, they’ll see what they imagine to be their perfect home – only, of course, it isn’t perfect: the attraction is just because it’s new. There are ways to combat home boredom; in fact, one of the simplest way to see your home through refreshed eyes is to simply move the furniture around!

But if that doesn’t do that, then you do have another option: renovating your home. This option, on paper, as exciting as picking up all your belongings and starting afresh in a new house, but it does have a bunch of advantages – and in many cases might be the most sensible option available. Take a look at some of the reasons below why it might be better to renovate than move.

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Friends, Family, and Community

You’ve lived in your current home for how long? If it’s more than a year, then you’re probably part of the community! Don’t discount just how much you’ll miss having people you can rely on nearby. While you’ll of course make new friends when you move, if you already have roots in a community then you might be surprised at how much you miss it once it’s gone. Your children may have friends living on the same street; your dog might have a few friends of his or her own also. Your local shop, bus driver, library…all these things are an important part of daily life and shouldn’t be given up without serious consideration. So before you move, think of Bob, and Janet, and Ralph, and all the other characters you have in your local life.

It Can Be Cheaper

And now we’re talking! Yes, renovating your home can be cheaper than moving to a new house. Even if, say, you sold your house for one value and spent the exact same amount of money on your new home, it would still be costing you money – because there are so many unexpected fees that can crop in a house move. It’s not just estate agent fees either, but taxes, solicitors, movers, and all the rest. You might even have to take time off work, which while not “costing you money” will affect your cash flow. A home renovation isn’t cheap, of course, but look at the big picture and it might be cheaper than you think!

Designed In Your Own Creation

The main advantage of renovating your home is that you get to design it in your own creation. That is, you’ll be able to have the areas of the house you renovate exactly as you want them. Even if you did this when you first moved into your home (and you might not have), it’s exciting to be able to create a new and modern look from scratch. It allows you to get creative and really put your personality into your home. It also gives you an excuse to upgrade all the features of your home; if you’re doing the dining room, you might want to splash out for that vintage dining table you always wanted; in the bedroom it’ll be a plush Feather & Black bed; in the kitchen, a high quality knife set, and so on.

Adding Value

You’ll be getting the house the way you always wanted it to be, and you’ll also be adding value to your home! Renovations that cost several thousand pounds can add up to 10 percent to the value of your home. If your home is worth £250,000, then this could mean an additional £25,000 just for the cost of improving one area of your home that you really wanted to improve anyway! Some renovations are costlier than others, though these also attract the higher increases in home values. Of all the renovations you could do, converting a loft into another bedroom is the one that would cost the most, but also bring the biggest rewards. An added bathroom, especially an en-suite, is another good option; they can cost as little as £2,500, but can add 6% or more to the value of your home.

Long Term Goals

When you’re thinking about renovating, it’s important to think about the long term goals you have for your home. It might not be about selling at all. It might be that if you decide to stay put and renovate that you’ll end up staying forever, more or less. If this is your thinking, then you’ll have to ask yourself: how many bedrooms are we likely to want in the future? This is the biggest question when it comes to renovating, because while most other things can be adapted or modified, there’s only so much bigger you can make a house. Essentially you’ll have to consider how long you plan to be in your home once the renovations are complete.

You Don’t Have To Move

It’s an underrated advantage of renovating your home: you don’t have to move. If you’re already in a home then you probably already know how stressful it can to pick up your entire life and move it to another slice of the world. The day itself can be a nightmare – ranks higher on the stress levels than divorce! But even beyond that manic first day, you have months of not being fully at home, figuring things out, finding unexpected problems and other issues you just hadn’t considered before you took the plunge and bought the house. Renovating might not be a walk in the park, but it’s less stressful than a big move!

But…

With all that being said, we can’t write an article on renovating without mentioning some of the pretty big pitfalls of renovating. For starters, it’s time consuming, and it’s entirely possible that your home will resemble a building site for 3 – 6 months, or even longer if the job is complex. It also doesn’t always make financial sense. For instance, if you upgrade the number of bedrooms you have from 3 to 4 then it will add value to the cost of your property, but if it’s not in the right location then there’s a chance no one will buy it. This happens in communities of starter homes, where people generally are just looking to get on the ladder and not stay to raise a big family. It’s also worth remembering that there are limitations to what you can do; renovating your home is actually renovating just a few rooms in your home – you can’t completely overhaul your property as that would be wildly expensive.

Conclusion

Renovating a house isn’t for everybody. Some people just want to get away and some have simply outgrown their property. However, it should be considered more often than it actually is. It allows homeowners to really put their stamp on their house and mould it in their own design. With a bunch of other advantages, and with home prices in the UK getting more and more out of hand, it might be that the coming years we see a surge in home renovations rather moving. What will you do: will you stay, or will you go?

Dreaming Of The Manor’s Life? Home Renovation Projects For A Luxury Feel

Do you find yourself dreaming of a bigger and better house and wondering whether you could one day afford an old country house with rooms just big enough for all your dreams? Sometimes, the dream of a luxury look can be easily tackled with some clever décor tips. And some other times, your heart needs more than a change of decoration to see the luxurious comfort of your home. Whether you are planning to sell or to continue to live in the same house, there are thankfully some clever home renovation projects that can immediately increase the value of your house and make you feel like a king in Versaille. All you need for the day to be complete is to hire a butler! Missing that, you can still have a look at these three luxurious renovation ideas.

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Better Light For An Amazing Scenery

It might seem difficult to believe, but the feeling of living in a luxury house comes from very simple things. First of all, it is about the quality of the light in the house. This refers to two specific factors: Your light fixtures and your windows. You will find a lot of large and impressive ceiling lights that have the 1930s feel to them in most DIY shops. There is a revival of the Art Nouveau design and décor style, which is great because this is the last great period of luxury in the story of home décors. When it comes to windows, you will need to check your Home Glass And Glazing options to be able to create large area of natural sunlight inside your house. Large windows are best suited for living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms and home offices, for example. They can completely change the atmosphere in the room.

A Modern Bathroom That Plays With Space

Interestingly enough, the next room that can make a big difference if you renovate it is the bathroom. Naturally, besides checking your plumbing systems, it is about creating a new spacious feeling in the bathroom. This calls for a minimalist approach, which means a strong focus on the core function of the space: You will need a shower unit and a bathroom cabinet to make it work. Consequently, as you can simplify the arrangement in the room, you can have more budget to invest in a modern looking bathroom. Pick a high-quality shower with a glass panel to stop the water from going into the room. This will create a sensation of depth.

Amazing Living Rooms

Finally, the last piece of advice is about bringing into your living rooms the comfort of an old manor house. If you happen to have a fireplace in the room, do make the most of it by clearing up the space in front of it. This will make the fire appear bigger. But more importantly, the choice of the sofa will determine how the room feels. You will need to pick a large leather piece that completely fills one side of the room. This will immediately give a sentiment of depth and comfortable intimacy. Most homeowners, when they start looking for large leather solutions, will need to consider the tailored services of a professional sofa artisan to create the best effect.

Don’t Move House – Renovate!

More and more people are choosing to renovate their home, rather than move home. When you add in the cost of things like stamp duty and legal fees, you can see why. It might even work out cheaper for you to stay in your current home, even with the cost of renovating some of the space. You can renovate without breaking the budget, but can cost a lot more to move. Just be sure to not cut any corners when renovating, as you could end up with more expensive problems down the line.

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There are plenty of renovations that won’t need planning permission. Some renovations will, though. Things that are inside the home, as a rule, won’t need planning permission. So update your kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms as much as you like. You’ll want to look out for renovating your kitchen tips and advice for changing your bathroom. If you are adding space, or extending, then you will quite often need to get planning permission from your local council. Double check for things like loft conversions too, as it depends on what the size of it will be.

Once you have decided what you are going to renovate and have the correct permissions, where do you start? It will depend on what you are able to do yourselves. To save the most money, it is a good idea to do most of the work yourself. If a lot of the work is painting and decorating, it is likely that you can do that yourself. Other things like plumbing and electrics might need you to call in a professional. It can be quicker, and they will know all about the legislation and restrictions too. Just look into the professionals you will be using, and check their reviews and feedback from other customers. Don’t always just go with the cheapest. So factor the cost of that into your plans. If you have friends or family members that could help with the renovations, then rope them in! It will make the work go much quicker and will make it more enjoyable too.

When you have done the main renovations, the next step is decorating. The best part in my opinion. I could spend hours browsing on Pinterest looking for all of the home decor inspiration. You don’t need to spend a lot when decorating either, though. You can get good quality paints quite cheaply. You could even make your curtains or blinds to cut down the cost of it. When you are filling your home with furniture, think about upcycling your existing furniture. You could sand down and paint a chest of drawers or sideboard that you already have. You could update cushion covers or seat covers. It is also a good idea to look around in places like charity furniture shops, for bargains that you could update. This kind of look is perfect if you are going for a shabby-chic style interior.

Have you got any experiences of updating your home that you could share? I’d love to hear what went well or what you would avoid.

Adding More Comfort To Your Living Room In 5 Simple Steps

After the bedroom, the living room should be the comfiest room in the house. It is the room in which we spend most of our lives. We watch TV, read our books, and spend our time relaxing in so many other ways in our living room. Most people see their living room as a calming retreat away from the busy modern world. So it’s fair to say that your living room should be super cozy. Don’t think yours is quite as comfy as it could be? Here is how you can improve that!

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Add Bean Bags

You will already have sofas and armchairs in your living room. Still not finding it comfortable? How about adding some bean bags! And I don’t mean the small ones that kids through around in their sports lessons. You can also buy big bean bags that you can sit on. They are super flexible, so you can lounge on them anyway you like! And you can also buy different coloured covers for them, so they can be as vibrant as you like. You can buy new covers for your bean bags online: www.comfysacks.com/Bean-Bag-Covers.html?redirect=1.

Personalise The Decor

If you aren’t happy with your living room’s decor, then you will feel quite uncomfortable to be in it. That is why so many people choose to redecorate as soon as they move into a new home. One of the best ways to up the comfort is to make your interiors very personal. Cover your walls in family photos and any artwork that the kids have done. This will help your room go from sterile and impersonal to feeling super homely and family friendly!

Rugs And Carpets

Floorboards and tiles may look chic, but they can add a coldness to your living room. However, if you lay down carpets and rugs, you can add an element of warmth to your living room. And they will feel better on bare feet! Not only that, but they can be safer for small children who are playing on the floor. Choose warm colours such as earth tones to create a very cozy atmosphere. You can see a lot of colour palettes on interior design websites: www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2016&pid=11

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Blinds And Curtains

Having a naturally lit living room can create a bright and vibrant environment. But it is also a good idea to hang blinds or curtains, so you can control how much light enters your room. If it is too light and bright in the evening, you might find it hard to relax. If you hang some warm-coloured curtains, you can always close them if it ever gets too light. If you live on a busy street, think about getting some net curtains. These will prevent any passersby from snooping in your living room! Plus, they will block out some lights, so you don’t have to close your curtains too early in the day.

Follow these steps to a super comfy living room!