Attic Conversions: How to Decorate?

Attic Conversions: How to Decorate?

A loft conversion or attic extension is the best way to make the most out of your home. Keep reading to learn how you can do this!

Photo By: Marsh & Parsons

Lofts don’t tend to get as much love and attention as other rooms in our home, with them instead often used as that well needed storage space for things that haven’t see light in ten years, or items which only ever come out at certain times of the year – yes, we mean the abundance of Christmas decorations you’ve got stashed away. But the loft has so much potential, it’s such a shame to just use it as a place to shove your unused possessions! Clear it out of clutter and make use of that space…

A loft conversion or attic extension is the best way to make the most out of the potential of your home. The best thing is, it doesn’t have a typical set use like other rooms might, so whether you need another bedroom, want somewhere for your kids to play, or if you work from home and need a snazzy, light new office, then the attic could be the perfect option. However, before you get too carried away with uses and interior themes, you need to be sure it’ll be worth the money and disruption.

Is my Home Suitable?

You have to make sure your loft is actually high enough to make the conversion. If you’re not sure or can’t find any information, then consult an architect and a builder before thinking about going fully in. Be sure to check there aren’t any obstacles, such as a chimney stack. It also might be worth checking your roof doesn’t need doing first too. A loft renovation is a great way to increase the value to your home, but you need to take extra steps before throwing yourself into a major project.

Walls & Floors

Since everything is going to be disrupted and messy for a while, there’s a good chance you’re going to need new floors and newly decorated walls, and not just in the new space! Therefore, to minimise as much disruption as you can and get things done as quickly as possible, chose your flooring before you begin, line things up so you can enjoy your new conversion as quickly as possible.

There are so many choices with flooring that it’s hard to know where to start with the options! Solid oak flooring presents natural elegance along with incredible durability and relatively easy maintenance. It comes in so many different finishes, shades and species of wood, so you won’t be short on choice. But remember, if you’re planning on installing underfloor heating, you can’t use solid wood flooring, so you’ll have to choose an engineered wood board or alternative product such as laminate or luxury vinyl tiles.

These alternative products are often perfect for clean-cut, contemporary interiors, with a variety of styles available, ranging from realistic imitations of wood through to tile and stone effect.

Photo By: William Guidero Planning and Design

A peaceful retreat

Most of us lust after some extra, peaceful living space in our homes, particularly if you want an escape from kids! Many loft renovations  are used as that much needed quiet place, with it being out of the way and it not being used as often as the living room. This is also gives you the opportunity to really go to town on soft furnishings and fabrics, without having to worry so much about spillages and stains. If fancy breakable ornaments is something you’ve been too nervous to place in your busy living room too, then go for it!

Dedicate it to your children

Now we know that parents already make many sacrifices for their children, but we can guarantee that your kids are going to love your new conversion and will want to make their mark on it somehow. Perhaps a playroom, or a shared kid’s bedroom. A teen’s den is a great idea to give your teenager their own space well away from the rest of the house. The low ceilings lend themselves to great storage space, as well as any rouge beams making for a funky walk in wardrobe. Throw in beanbags, throws, cushions, or maybe even a hanging chair and they’ll have a space perfect for them!

Photo By: Henrik Nero

Guest room

It’s not always practical to have the master bedroom in the loft, especially if you have young children demanding your attention constantly. Keep the loft conversion a bedroom for your guests, where they can enjoy a good night’s sleep away from your little ones rising early! You can always move upstairs when your children get older too. Once more, your guests are unlikely to come with cupboards full of possessions, so you can use the abundance of storage space that most loft conversions have for yourself.

What do I do with awkwardly shaped ceilings and walls? 

Although attic conversions can provide that much needed extra space, they can sometimes come with irritating grooves and beams, getting in the way of your interior dream. But don’t let them put you off, there are ways you can turn to your advantage. Find a piece of furniture that fits into the grooves, whether that be a bed or a sofa. To bring extra character to the room, people paint the walls in the grooves different colours. We’d especially recommend a deep colour, or more muted colours for a restful feel.

What Skip Size are You?

What Skip Size are You?

Much like people, skips come in all shapes and sizes, so there is always one out there for you. However, choosing the right size skip is an important factor to consider and one that will have a big impact on the project you are working on!

Order your skip too small and you could find your waste overflowing. Order too large and you could be paying to move and dispose of fresh air! To make sure you are on the right path, here are some top tips to consider when choosing the right skip for your project:

Consider the Amount of Waste You May Generate

Considering the amount of waste your project is going to be generating is a big factor to ensuring you order the right sized skip. Whilst its not always easy to estimate the amount of waste you may generate in advance, at least giving it some consideration before you start will help to visualise things to make a better decision. Our Skip Size calculator is always a great place to start if you’re looking for a skip hire cost estimate, or our tips and guides will always help.

What waste will you be getting rid of?

The type of waste you get rid of can have a direct impact on your waste disposal costs. If you are mainly getting rid of garden or green waste this can often be much cheaper than traditional general waste disposal.   The same can be said for timber and wood waste. So, specifying this up front to your waste company can help reduce your costs. However this will restrict what you can put in your skip, so if a greater mix of different waste types is required its best to plan this in advance and ensure you have scope to cover all outcomes.

Our what can go in each skip guide can help make this choice for you ensuring you are free from incorrect material charges and additional costs

Considering the scope of your project will determine how long you need your skip for, so always keep that in mind in your planning stage. If you are carrying out a house refurbishment over a long period of time, it could be that you order a larger skip that can accumulate the generated waste over that period. Similarly, if you have a shorter-term garden refurbishment in place, you may just need a smaller skip for a couple of days to fill with smaller amounts of waste. The scope of your project can directly impact the cost of your skip, as most skip companies will enforce rental charges for the skip if it hasn’t been exchanged for a while. Rental charges tend to be charged after a 14-day period; however, you should always check the fixed rental days with your skip company.

Consider your location & skip placement

When it comes to location, it is best to consider any potential issues you may have with access. In some cases, access issues can prevent your skip from being delivered. If you cannot get your skip onto your private property, fear not, there are still options available! You may find placing your skip on a public highway is required for your project. This is always possible; however, you need a skip hire permit in order to make this happen. If you discuss your access issue with a waste management expert, they will be able to identify if you just need a smaller skip or would need to place your skip on a public highway. So before booking your skip, consider just how much of an impact its size may have on your project. Take the above into consideration and you’ll have the right sized skip for your project.

Here’s How to Make Your Appliances More Eco-Friendly

Here’s How to Make Your Appliances More Eco-Friendly

The effects of our impact on the environment have never been as clear as now — plastics churning in the ocean, extreme weather changes, and toxic air quality meaning more yearly air pollution. Now more than ever, the public and businesses are acutely aware of their responsibility to protect the planet for now and future generations.

Photo By: Christine Kimberlee Designs

For homeowners and businesses, it can seem like a lot of extra work to be energy efficient and eco-aware. But as well as keeping you compliant, maintaining a level of environmental awareness can help you save money on utility bills in the long run. You don’t need to spend a lot of money straight away to start being eco-friendlier either. This article will take you through some of the ways you can make your existing appliances and practices greener!

1. No overnight standby 

If, like many homes in this day and age, you have a fair number of computers, monitors, television screens or the like, make sure you shut down these devices before leaving your home. Equipment left on standby can use around 50% of the electricity they would use when in operation. If it’s not going to be used for a while, the equipment should be switched off entirely. Neon signs that are popular now as decorative wall art, should be switched off before you go home for the day. This simple tip will save you money on bills, as well as taking a step towards being more environmentally friendly.

2. A matter of degrees

Generally speaking, boilers have a lifespan of around 15 years. If your boiler isn’t quite that old yet, however, there are still steps you can take to making it more energy efficient. If you’re not already in the habit of having the heating turned off when leaving your home, do so. You can always set a timer for the heating to come on an hour or so before you return, so you aren’t walking into a freezing home. Also, try knocking the thermostat down just a degree or two. It’s unlikely to make a huge difference to the comfort of your home, but even just one degree lower can save you money and energy.

3. The office canteen

It’s easy to forget the appliances we have at home need care and maintenance. Just as your car need’s yearly check-ups and oil changes, so does your fridge! A fridge should last for around 10 to 20 years before it needs replacing, but if you reckon your fridge is past its best, be sure to opt for an eco-friendly model; there’s loads of energy-efficient models on the market right now. For now, we’ll focus on your current fridge. When was the last time the coils were cleaned? It’s likely been a while, but according to Architectural Digest, cleaning a fridge’s coils can make for a more energy-efficient machine.

The cleaning process is fairly simple:

  • Turn off the fridge
  • Put on gloves to protect your hands
  • Locate the appliance’s coils (usually, they are at the back, top, or bottom of the fridge)
  • Remove the base grill if the coils are on the top or bottom or pull the fridge out carefully to access the coils if they are located at the back
  • Take a refrigerator coil brush and clean out the dirt and debris that has accumulated on the coils
  • Clean the floor around the appliance before putting it back in place

Also, you have a dishwasher at home? It’s good practice to wait for a full load before setting the dishwasher off, so encourage your family members to stack it to a full load rather than washing in bursts. For the last load of the day, you could leave the door of the dishwasher open to let the dishes air dry overnight instead of using the energy-hungry drying cycling.

4. Office air-con

The air conditioning unit is no doubt a much-loved addition to your home, as it keeps your family living and working at a comfortable temperature. After all, living in a too-warm or too-cold environment can have an effect on your overall mood and progress if you work from home. So, don’t neglect the hard-working appliance — give it a check over every so often to make sure it is running to the best of its ability. Your best bet is to get a professional to inspect your home’s air conditioning units to be sure that everything is running efficiently, as well as confirming that it is still effective. One of the most obvious key signs that it’s time for a check over is if the unit is making strange noises.

Of course, newer models tend to be more energy efficient, but as you can see, your home’s current appliances can still work greener with the proper care and attention. When replacement becomes unavoidable though, take some time to look at the energy-efficiency of models and view it as an investment to saving money and energy in the long run!

How to Pick the Perfect Sink for Your 2020 Kitchen Remodel?

How to Pick the Perfect Sink for Your 2020 Kitchen Remodel?

It’s almost that time of the year when we say goodbye to everything old, and fire up our excitement for new resolutions and newer trends!


Photo by: DG Kitchen & Bath

When we say “new trends,” not a lot of people immediately think about kitchen décor and sink trends. However, research shows that more than 80% of homeowners consider home remodeling to be a necessary investment for increasing their property value before a resale.

Now, if you are among the thousands of house owners, who want to renovate their kitchen in 2020, you need to know the leading design trends.


Photo by: KitchenLab Interiors

What are the kitchen sink trends for the upcoming year?

Are you aware that the latest trends show that homeowners no longer prefer tiled countertops or granite? 2019 was the year of composite or engineered quartz all the way. Quartz offers a natural sheen along with unfaltering resistance towards heat, cold, and heavy weight. Besides, quartz complements almost all sink material and colors. Homeowners like having more than one option while choosing the right sink for their kitchen.

Picking a sink for a kitchen that looks and feels a part of 2020 is not going to be as easy if you do not take account of the leading kitchen and sink trends. Here are the most sought-after sink styles you should know about before you go shopping –

Prep sinks

Apartments and smaller homes do not have enough counter space for entertaining separate defrosting areas and prepping units. It is a big mess and confusion whenever guests are coming over, mainly, if they include vegetarians or vegans.

Prepping stations are becoming very necessary, and most homeowners are opting for double bowl sinks or an additional small prep sink during their kitchen renovation. Prep stations can be smaller stainless steel sinks, porcelain, or fireclay sinks on the kitchen island, which can co-exist with your current, bigger sink. Or, they can be the second bowl or second layer of your new double bowl or workstation sink, respectively.


Photo By: KitchenLab Interiors

Apron front or farmhouse sinks

Farmhouse sinks are becoming incredibly popular among residents of larger apartments and homes. It is no longer mandatory for a home to have a rustic or farmhouse charm to sport an apron sink in the kitchen.

These are the hottest-selling sinks of 2019 since they offer ample prepping and cleaning space. They have the space for putting in a separate basin to divide up the area, and they can have interior grooves that turn them into kitchen workstation sinks.

The protruding front, along with seamless under-mounting, makes farmhouse sinks popular among homeowners looking for an old-world appeal. There was a time when these sinks were synonymous with enamel and porcelain. However, sustainability is a selling point for homeowners right now. Therefore, stainless steel, cast iron, copper, and fireclay are the most popular options right now.

Chef’s sinks aka ledge sinks

Workstation sinks or chef sinks are steadily gaining popularity as homeowners show their love for multi-functional workspaces in the kitchen. They are marvelous additions to kitchens with limited countertop space.

Workstation kitchen sinks are the epitome of adding new dimensions to your workspace. They have multi-level slots that can support a colander, chopping board, draining or drying rack, and bottom racks. Check out https://www.kraususa.com/kitchen/kitchen-sinks/workstation-sinks.html to learn more about workstation sinks you can consider for your kitchen counter.

Right now, there are hundreds of workstation sink options for the homeowner and remodeler. You can browse stainless steel, and fireclay sinks in a matte finish. Or, you can consider traditional fireclay and granite sinks for your counter. Nonetheless, you must remember that workstations withstand some heavy-duty cleaning and prepping. So, choose a material that is both durable and sustainable.


Photo By: EuroChef USA

Under-mount everything

Whichever sink style you choose, under-mounting is the only way to please the gods of kitchen styling! In 2019, there has been an evident decrease in the practice of top-mounting sinks. Under mounting stainless sinks, fireclay and granite sinks, and even porcelain ones have become the norm for every homeowner across the US.

Under-mounting offers a seamless and virtually invisible interface between the sink and the countertop. Although it demands significant plumbing skills if one is replacing a top mount sink with an undermount variant, the final product is entirely worth the additional work.

Choosing a countertop material that goes with the sink material is one of the better choices. It offers the entire kitchen a smooth and sophisticated finish akin to professional kitchens. You can choose between granite, composite quartz, and white tile countertops that complement granite composite, stainless steel or fireclay, and porcelain sinks, respectively.

Trough sinks

Another trend that is about to make the kitchen remodeling headlines includes the trough sinks. These beauties can multi-task, add functionality to a benign kitchen island, and look fantastic in any setting. Want to turn your boring kitchen into the feature picture of a design and décor magazine? All you need is a trough sink on your countertop that perfectly contrasts the counter material. That is right! You heard us. You do not need the sink material to match the backsplash or countertop. You need one that perfectly contrasts it.

Trough sinks are impressive upgrades of kitchen islands and counters, which have been sitting barren or flaunting older sink models for decades. It can effortlessly moonlight as your wine chilling basin or defrosting station, depending on popular demand. Choose one in copper, stainless steel, or even reclaimed material to stand out!

Sinks are more than washing stations in the kitchen. Modern kitchen sinks should be able to support the demands and needs of the contemporary homeowner. At times, it needs to function as the prepping station, defrosting station, drying zone, soak basin, or even chilling trough for your champagne.

If you are a dynamic person, why should your kitchen be predictable and boring? Spice up your cooking and prepping experience by adding a smart kitchen sink in sync with the upcoming kitchen design trends!

How to Bring a Modern Touch to Your Home Design

How to Bring a Modern Touch to Your Home Design

Interior design trends change all the time. Every few years, some new style is in vogue. To accommodate buyers’ tastes, developers start incorporating new trends into the houses they build. Flippers renovate houses to become more modern and on-trend. Whether it’s installing kitchen islands, matte black appliances, or integrating smart technology into a home, there’s always something new to be added.

Photo: Best Builders ltd

You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to follow every trend that pops up. It’ll also be a huge hit to your wallet if you’re always taking on new projects to upgrade your house. The best thing for homeowners to do is to identify which trends seem to last longer and which upgrades give the best return on investment. There are upgrades you can make to your home that make it more modern and stylish that you can enjoy now and increase the value of your place for a future sale. Here are a few ways you can bring a modern touch to your home design.

Simplicity as a Style

If you’ve ever walked into a modern home or seen one in a magazine, there’s a key reason why it looks so smooth and clean. There aren’t clothes lying around everywhere. The floor isn’t scattered with toys and they don’t have four different sets of plates in the kitchen.

Modern design is all about minimalism and simplicity. It doesn’t mean you go without; it just means you have less but better things. When you stop buying everything you come across, you have more money to buy designer furniture, quality sheets, and nicer clothes. Modern living is a state of mind that projects into your home. Think about what you can get rid of. Clear things out you don’t use. It will be cathartic, and you’ll have more space to play with.

Contrasting Colors

One of the latest modern interior design trends is starkly contrasting colors in the same room. People love black on white, dark blue on white and other high contrast colors. The significant difference in colors draws the eyes to the shape of furniture and other finishes around the house. It also makes splashes of color pop more, so the bowl of lemons on the kitchen counter, or the colorful art on the wall gives the house more. You can have fewer pieces around your house with the same impact.

Fashionable Finishes

Upgrading your home finishes is always a good bet when you’re making your house more modern. Stainless steel has been in style for decades and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While you’re in the kitchen, think about giving your counters and cabinets an upgrade. Sleek lines with discreet handles are the trend and will bring more attention to the colors and style of the kitchen when things are more uniform.

One thing you can consider is replacing your kitchen countertops. New countertops have a great return on your investment and look fantastic. Two of the most popular countertop stones, according to Marble.com are quartz and granite. Quartz has become much more popular in recent years because it’s produced in factories. That means you can do more with it like make rich dark colors that contrast well against white or cream walls. Quartz is durable, easy to clean and maintain, and can be custom made for most shapes and sizes in a kitchen.

Granite, on the other hand, has been the go-to kitchen countertop material for years. It’s a lovely natural stone that comes in many shapes, tones, and patterns. It’s stain and heat-resistant but is a natural stone, so it will need regular sealant applied to keep water and grime from getting inside the surface. Whichever material you choose, new countertops are one of the best ways to make a house more modern and you can find more information at Slab Market.

Integrate Nature

After you’ve whittled down your home interior to the bare essentials for simplistic, modern design, it’s time to integrate some natural touches. Wood is a major part of modern interior design. Homes in Europe and Japan where modern design is so heavily emphasized, love wooden floors, railings, and other natural finishes. Natural materials are soothing. They bring a calming mood to the home. If you have some room in your budget, think about enlarging bedroom and sitting area windows to give better views of a yard or some trees to bring the outside in.

Another great idea that’s affordable as well is to buy some plants and place them strategically around the house. Don’t overcrowd a room with plants, but a plant in a corner that adds a bit of greenery to your living room or bedroom tie the modern design together nicely. The best thing about plants is that you can move them around every once in a while to give a room a change and a new look.