10 Stylish Ideas For Introducing Antiques In Your Living Room

10 Stylish Ideas For Introducing Antiques In Your Living Room

Creating an immersive living room is all about being bold and unique. In this article we show you how to bring character with ideas you may have not thought possible!

Photos Via: Pinterest Source

We take a look at the world of antiques and how the smallest of ideas can create the biggest of changes; how traditional elements such as colour schemes and paint ideas can bring changes that are easy to achieve.

1. CHOOSING THE BEST SKIN FOR A TRADITIONAL ROOM

The colour scheme of a room is the foundation of any design and the play on contrast is what makes everything so effective. Darker colours are always more traditional and work well when paired with more traditional materials. If you’re feeling like you want something less intimidating, it’s always an idea to paint one wall and contrast it with lighter tones or alternatively using whites and grey tones all round provide the perfect clean backdrop for your more traditional furniture.

2. EMBRACE PATTERNS AND TEXTURES

People always make the assumption that different patterns and textures don’t coincide. The joy of using antiques is that every room can be completely individual. You can of course opt for a more put-together design, but having everything clash isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Follow what your love and embrace whatever your heart desires. However, there is one rule – keep it 50/50. One should never overpower the other.

3. MAKE ANTIQUE FINDS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE ROOM

If your home is already privileged enough to have a period feature, like in many cases an antique fireplace, let it be the centre of attention. By keeping everything around it neutral, there’s no doubt it’s bound to create a sense of awe when guests walk in. A fireplace is great as it can be restored almost effortlessly too.

4. A SPELL OF THE OUTDOORS

Plants are a great way to introduce a diverse air within a home (no pun intended). By adding different-sized plants and pots, within theme, you are not only making the room look fresher, but you are also providing a natural air filter for your home.

5. OVERSIZED ANTIQUES IN SMALL SPACES

When you’re playing around with a small room, big isn’t always best. However, not when it comes to antiques! By introducing items like saucer-shaped sofas or stripped down dining tables, you are creating a sense of grandeur into a small contemporary room. These focal items paired with the right modern accents can change the aesthetic of a room very quickly.

6. PLAY WITH LIGHTING 

Playing with light fixtures may be one of the easiest ways to combine the old with the new. Adding a small chandelier can create all different types of possibilities in what can seem like a simple contemporary space.

Floor and table lamps come in all different shapes and sizes too and when picked correctly can provide the right ambience for the right time!

7. PLAY WITH REFLECTION

Mirrors have a great way of being able to open up a room. What’s also amazing is that you can play with the placing, big or small, there is always a place for them. Items like a French gilt mirror add instant character to a room and can be a great way of tying the room together.

8. EXPLORING THE UNDERNEATH

Exposed and reclaimed floorboards boast all the characters of which new flooring can’t compete with. It instantly adds a new look to any room and can provide a refreshing contrast to what lays on top. Whilst they look beautiful, they are also environmentally friendly and after a job well done, it will look like a brand new floor. Re-purposed rugs can also add an element to a room that a carpet never will. Take a Persian rug for example, whilst they can be bought new, antique rugs really show the craft and technique and will most definitely add to the aesthetic of any room.

9. DECORATING YOUR WALLS 

Whilst some people may find the task of delving into antique furniture a daunting prospect, pictures are something that everyone can relate with. In a world that’s so heavily obsessed with photographs, why not invest in some frames that will visibly alter the look of any room. With this, many is never enough, and playing with different shapes and sizes is a work of art in itself.

10. RECYCLE & RECLAIM

If you ever feel like something you own is an obstacle in your road to reinvention, recycling your old furniture with a lick of paint or even just a fresh varnish will be the best thing you can ever try. Cheap but very cheerful, re-using worn furniture is the best way to spark a new joy in your living room. Websites like Craigslist provide endless amounts of items that are ready for a new home and with a bit of work will feel like they were there all along.

5 Reasons You Should Choose Perfect Fit blinds

5 Reasons You Should Choose Perfect Fit blinds

Looking for a practical blind that’s easy to install and looks awesome? Perfect fit blinds fit the mold. These blinds are quite underrated, and many people don’t even realize they exist. So, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why you should choose perfect fit blinds.

Photo By: De Rosee Sa

They’re Easy to Install

This is one of the main advantages of perfect fit blinds, they are one of the easiest types of blinds to install, with no drilling necessary. Each blind is made up of 4 channels (top, left, right and bottom) and these are simply screwed into place. Then you just need to take the supplied brackets and slide these between the rubber beading on your window and the glass. The frame then just simply clips onto the bracket. If you’re looking to save money but are worried about installing the blinds yourself, then Perfect Fit blinds are a great option. Make My Blinds have a beautiful range of Perfect Fit blinds as well as some handy measuring and installation guides, just to make your life a bit easier. 

They’re Versatile

Perfect Fit blinds are ideal for almost any UPVC window, but one of the main advantages of Perfect Fits is that they are also great at covering windows that other blinds may struggle to cover. They are a great way to cover French doors and patio doors as there is often not enough room in the recess to install any other type of blind in there. As well as this these blinds are ideal for conservatories, covering multiple windows can be a bit of a chore, but with Perfect Fit blinds being really easy to install it makes that process a lot easier, and quicker.

Photo By: Sunrite Blinds

They Look Great

Perfect fit blinds are sleek and beautiful, if you’re going for a more modern interior then Perfect Fit blinds are a great option. Whether you choose to go for a dark mysterious black perfect fit or a clean crisp white, there’s plenty of options available. The aluminum slats also give the blinds a premium look and feel, and a premium looking blind will always elevate your room to the next level. 

They offer precise light control

One other advantage of Perfect Fit blinds and slatted blinds in general is that you get more precise light control. The slats can be easily adjusted with the twist of a cord, giving you precise control of how much light enters your room. You can go from letting the light in completely to blocking it out and giving yourself complete privacy.

No clutter

The name is in the title, Perfect Fit blinds offer a perfect fit, the system for Perfect Fit blinds is also very minimal, this makes them ideal, especially for smaller windows as there is no clutter. If you’re after a clean, minimal, interior look, then Perfect Fit blinds are ideal for you.

Deciding On An Architectural Style For Your First Home

Deciding On An Architectural Style For Your First Home

If you are building a custom home, one of the important decisions you have to make involves selecting the right architectural style. This is an exciting stage, thanks to the many architectural styles you can go for. However, it is essential to find a style that you love and also follow the homeowner’s association and deed restrictions in your neighborhood.

Photo By: Cornerstone Architects

If you have not made up your mind about the architectural style to go with, read on.

How to Identify Your Architectural Style

When looking for your dream home, there are many resources you can use to learn about what you like and would work for your family. Here are some tips that will help you:

  • Drive through different neighborhoods and take photographs of homes that you like. You may need to visit different custom home communities to get as many ideas as possible.
  • Search online for images of custom homes that you love. You can find exciting architectural styles on Instagram, Houzz, Dream Source Home, Homebuilder Digest, and Pinterest.
  • Browse various interior design magazines to look for inspiration. Some great choices include Veranda, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Dwell, Luxe, and Architectural Digest.
  • Consider your environmental and lifestyle needs when evaluating potential architectural styles for your home.

Photo By: Coats Homes

Common Architectural Home Styles

Let’s now look at various home styles.

Modern Style

The Modern style features a geometric residence. Most of the time, the design encompasses a flat roof and clean lines. The floor plan is usually open and spacious, while the windows may extend from the floor to the ceiling. The typical materials used in Modern style architectural design include reinforced concrete, steel, and glass.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean designs feature both indoor and outdoor living. The styles are based on a combination of Spanish, Italian, and Moorish architecture. The architectural designs typically feature large, open outdoor spaces complemented with plants and other natural elements. Mediterranean architecture designs have low-pitched roofs and clay tiles. The layout is usually asymmetrical, which is common with exposed beams and archways.

Photo By: Elite Cabinet Designs

Spanish

Spanish architectural styles are easy to identify, thanks to their red-tiled roofs and stucco exteriors. The traditional designs tend to have central courtyards for outdoor living. This design features windows and doors carved from wood. The windows are typically small, allowing light but not too much heat. Spanish style homes have low-pitched roofs, and wrought iron is usually used for decoration.

French Chateau

French Chateaus typically feature dramatic chimneys and steep-pitched roofs. The homes tend to be rectangular and have relatively open main living areas. However, the rooms are a little more discrete. French Chateaus have conical shapes and can have three or more levels.

Photo By: Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes

French Country

French Country homes are more straightforward and less ornate than French Chateaus. The residences are smaller, and the rooflines are less extreme. The interior typically includes high ceilings, and the floor plan is symmetrical. Hip and gabled roofs are typical of French County houses. For the exterior, the homes feature antique bricks or stones.

Common Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

After deciding on the architectural style, it’s time to start searching for a house. Here are some tips that will help you avoid the common pitfalls many first-time homebuyers make:

1. Not researching and preparing well

Before starting your search for a new home, understand your family’s finances and needs. Analyze your existing assets and liabilities and get pre-approved for a home loan before starting house hunting. Remember, you are not just buying a house, but also the location. Therefore, find out as much as you can about the prospective neighborhoods where you’d like to live. Some of the things you should check include transport, crime level, quality of schools, and possible upcoming zoning issues.

2. Choosing the wrong mortgage

To have a bargaining chance, get pre-approved for a loan before going house hunting. Don’t just search online or use an online calculator to get an idea of how much you can borrow. There is no room for assumptions here. Get in touch with your mortgage broker and find out how much you can get pre-approved for. The lender will consider different factors to determine how much finance you are eligible for. Get quotes from different lenders and compare them before making the final decision on the party to sign a contract with.

3. Being influenced by the market

When searching for a home, your needs should dictate the type of house to go for. Don’t be influenced by “the market” more than your own needs. The real estate market always experiences a cycle. Sometimes, it’s a buyers’ market, and prices are low. Other times, it’s sellers that are having a field day. However, when you need a home, do not let the market dictate your decisions. For instance, do not postpone buying a new home because of market conditions. You cannot predict the market cycle, and failing to act in anticipation of upcoming cycle trends is gambling with your future.

4. Buying an expensive home

An expensive home is one that is beyond your budget. When you start house hunting, you will come across many properties that are beyond your budget but look just too lovely to pass. However, do not be tempted to buy a house that is outside your budget. Doing so can leave you in serious financial trouble in the future. When lenders approve you for a loan, they know that you are capable of paying it back based on your past transaction history and other factors. Spending more on a house than you had budgeted can leave you exposed to potential financial shocks, for example, rising interest rates.

5. Falling in love with a house

If you have found a home that you love, do not let the seller’s agent know. Agents can be very aggressive and persuasive when they know that you are interested in a particular property. The professionals are good at reading emotions. As a buyer, there is always a house for you at the right price. You need to know where to look and be patient. If you cannot afford a home, move on and keep looking. Avoid the mistakes above when searching for a house to buy.

The Hidden Factors of Renovating your Home

The Hidden Factors of Renovating your Home

Everyone loves renovating their homes. Whether it’s to turn our property into our dream design, or to sell for added value, we are always trying to improve our space. We even find ourselves glued to our television screens watching for tips as the likes of the DIY SOS team and George Clarke renovate properties to a high standard!

Photo By: Arizona Tile

However, it’s not always as straight forward as thinking of the work you want to do and running with it. While tasks such as replacing your roof or having solar panels fitted are safe to crack on with (although speaking to your council is still good practice), others aren’t. In certain cases, you will come up against factors which can grind your thought process to a halt and prevent it from becoming a reality. Here, we will look at the hidden factors of house renovations.

Is your home a listed building?

When you bought your property, you should have been told if it was a listed building. If it is, then chances are you will struggle to carry out any planned work without a fight. It is actually a criminal offence to simply go ahead with any work without the authorisation to do so. If you are unsure whether or not your property is a listed building, you can check at British Listed Buildings.

Photo By: Michelle Dirkse Interior Design

Electricity

Sometimes, work you plan to carry out will mean moving your electric meter and fuse box. However, you must make sure you don’t move it yourself. Why? Yep, you guessed it; this is also illegal. Usually, if it’s a move of less than 15 centimetres, this can be carried out by your energy supplier free of charge. But for larger-scale moves of over three metres, your local distribution company would have to move your mains supply before the electricity meter can be placed elsewhere. If this is something you require, make sure you book the relevant appointments to avoid long delays.

Notify your neighbours

With some work, you must notify your neighbours of your project thanks to the Party Wall Act of 1996. This occurs if you share a wall with another house and your work may undermine the structural integrity of the wall. Tasks such as fitting shelves and replastering aren’t included in this Act, however, if you were looking to undergo more extensive work it is something you must adhere to.

Although this seems like a very formal approach, it’s important to provide a ‘notice’ to your neighbour which outlines your prospective work. Present this to them alongside a copy of the Act two months before you intend to carry out the work. They will then have 14 days to raise any concerns they may have and provide written approval or rejection. Doing this will cover you if anything turns sour with said neighbour. If they do reject your proposal and it’s impossible to come to some form of agreement, you will be required to assign a surveyor who will then determine what work can be carried out.

Photo By: Red Door Homes, Inc.

Loft conversions

Often, to create more living space, people look at converting their lofts. However, make sure you get the correct building regulations approval. This is required to ensure there is sufficient structural strength to the floor, while also making sure that the existing roof and the structure’s stability isn’t jeopardized.

In many homes, the timber joists that form the floor of the loft space won’t be sturdy enough to support significant weight. This could cause issues if you plan to turn your loft space into a spare bedroom, for example, and without official planning meeting set regulations you could run into a host of problems. Perhaps surprisingly, any work that you carry out could indeed hinder your future sale if you don’t get the appropriate permission and paperwork. In some instances, you will be required to revert the property back to its former state if you haven’t gone through the correct channels when carrying out the work.

Garage conversions

Unlike loft conversions, you generally aren’t required to seek planning permission if it’s not your intention to enlarge a garage and increase the size of your home. If your sole purpose is to use the space for personal gain, then you should be able to carry out your intended work so long as you complete the work thoroughly and to the correct standard. However, it’s important to note that planning permission must be sought if you are looking to convert the space into a separate house.

Extensions

Extensions are ever popular in the world of renovations. However, not everyone understands the impact it may have on your property. For example, have you considered the impact an extension will have on your current boiler? Adding extra space will mean there’s an added demand on your hot water system and, in some cases, your boiler won’t be able to cope. Make sure you factor this in to any plan. You must also get building regulation approval – even if you don’t need planning permission due to using permitted development rights. In some cases, you may also need to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy, so it’s important to check this out prior to conducting any work.

While renovating your property can result in an amazing end product, getting to the final stage can be hard work and have many obstacles. For any work you may be thinking of carrying out, it’s important to carry out thorough research before you start so that hidden costs and issues don’t creep up on you.

Is Britain’s Infrastructure Ready for Extreme Weather?

Is Britain’s Infrastructure Ready for Extreme Weather?

The mild, if slightly cold, weather that Britain is famed for is beginning to feel like a thing of the past. After the intensity of the Beast from the East in 2018, followed by one of the hottest summers on record, it’s hard to know what to expect next!

Photo By: Rachel Laxer Interiors Ltd

According to the long-range weather forecast produced by scientists at UCL, the UK is in for yet another extreme winter. The average temperature is predicted to dip 0.5 degrees below previous, frosty years. Some claim that this will be one of the coldest winters in decades. As we attempt our commutes through blizzards and black ice, it will become ever-more difficult to ignore the extremities that climate change is bringing. It isn’t just snow that is becoming a nightmare for British infrastructure: floods and heatwaves do their fair share of damage too. Is our infrastructure prepared for the inevitable difficulties? Or have we failed to think far enough ahead?

Snow

Considering the frosty predictions for winter 2019/20, we need to ready our infrastructure. During the harsh winters of recent years, the UK transport system has faced extreme difficulties. From icy roads to exposed direct current indicators and flashover faults, the cold weather can cause severe damage.

In response to this, a cold weather plan was established in order to outline what to expect and how best to prepare over the increasingly cold winters. Local authorities are now better equipped than ever to grit roads and prevent black ice as a result of this. For the transport sector, forward planning is key. Transport planning advice plays a major part in ensuring that infrastructure schemes take into account all environmental considerations at the design stage to help to mitigate risks.

Photo By: REES Architects

Heatwaves

Hot summers have been so rare over the years, that a mere glimpse of sunshine has Brits outside in shorts and t-shirts. But in recent years, the temperature has been on the rise and these pockets of sun seem more common. Although we love the opportunity to get outside, the hot and dry weather actually has a damaging effect on our infrastructure.

Dry weather is a major contributor to cracks and potholes in roads, which can cause serious problems for drivers. In addition, heatwaves can cause railway systems to overheat, as the temperature of steel rails can reach 20 degrees higher than the air around them. Therefore, consistent temperatures of 30 or even 40 degrees could lead to extreme over-heating of rail tracks. As a result, the metal on the tracks will expand, which puts them at risk of buckling. In extreme circumstances, this could derail trains.

Another issue caused by hot weather is the expanding and sagging of electrical lines. This is yet another factor that could cause serious disruptions to train services, and the lines might even be pulled down. The only way that the rail systems can combat these dangers is to impose more severe speed restrictions. Although this may cause delays over hot periods, it is the safest way for the transport system to operate.

Photo By: Karen Rogers at KR Garden Design

Floods

As has been proven time and time again in recent years, there are many areas in the UK that are not well equipped to cope with flooding. Another direct result of global warming, floods are becoming more and more common in the UK, and the Environmental Agency has told flood planners to “prepare for the worst”. In a recent consultation on flood strategy, the agency claimed that “for every person who suffers flooding, about 16 more are affected by loss of services such as power, transport and telecommunications.” Evidently, the UK’s infrastructure needs to keep improving, as floods are only going to worsen in the future.

In relation to this, the Environmental Agency advised that all public infrastructures need to be made flood-resilient by 2050. We also need to start considering the long-term rather than the immediate future. As part of this advice, they encouraged people to start considering potential flooding while building new homes, rather than just reacting to the damage when it occurs. When constructing something new, whether in the public or private sector, a flood risk assessment should always be carried out by the building services engineering company. These assessments identify flood mitigation measures and provide advice on what actions should be taken in the event of a flood.