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Sustainable Beautiful Wall Panelling anyone can do on the smallest of budgets!

So we’ve all saved a million pins right from Pinterest or images from social media on beautiful wall panelling . Or if not seen it right? This idea is super popular and one I can’t see going anywhere anytime soon. I too am a huge fan and think works especially well for areas which are simple in their colour pallet and style. My style I guess is light bright and has a Nordic Scandinavian feel to it . My bedroom needed an update, was looking a bit tired and so decided to wanted go light with white walls and natural tones but to stop this looking too flat I wanted to add texture. Something I always recommend anyone doing in a neutral scheme. I decided on wall panelling. However, me being me did not want to A. hire a professional carpenter and B. spend a fortune on materials C. spend a long time doing it. Once I have an idea of a project it stays in my head til I find a solution. This is very much an organic process and usually ‘just happens’ by thinking outside the box and being creative with materials. So on one of my many trips to the charity shop I was looking at these old canvases which they were selling for just a £1 each! I looked at the back to see the hanging fixtures when I suddenly noticed the beauty of the wood frames behind the canvas. It clicked into place at that moment! My creative brain took over and I had this idea of purchasing a load of canvases that I could strip back and create a gallery on my bedroom wall, giving a panelling feel to it. Either way I thought this could look beautiful. So over the next few weeks I visited my fav Charity shop and picked up any canvases that I felt were good solid ones. They had to be made from real wood, not mdf for me as I wanted the character. Once I had collected what I needed I started the room. I chose Dulux One coat white , which although did cover white had to do 2 coats as it was covering a fairly dark grey. Then I set about creating the gallery wall with my frames and painted them white too! As most of them still had their original wall fixings on them I just put them up as you would a normal canvas so there was no need for glueing, filling or anything. This was a super easy project really and was so budget friendly! A fraction of the cost of traditional panelling. Now even if you don’t think it looks like panelling to me it’s still beautiful and I couldn’t be happier with it. I went on to complete the rest of the room, upcycling vases , creating another feature wall using Dulux Denim Drift and putting up some brill prints from Ikea. Still some left to do like sanding our floorboards but it is one of my fav places to be right now. Everyone deserves and needs a beautiful space to sleep in and it doesn’t have to break the bank! The wall panelling also is very eco friendly, repurposing old canvases into something new! Check out my Instagram story highlights to see the transformation. Happy Interiors folks xx

What does ‘Home’ mean and why we need to feel a positive emotion towards a space to call it home?

I wrote a blog last year about Mindfulness and our homes.  How we connect to our homes, not just physically but emotionally also.  What makes home a ‘home’?  Home is described to be a place where we feel most comfortable and happy.  It does not necessarily have to be a house made form bricks, it could simply be a log cabin in the woods, maybe ‘home’ is back with your parents, it really can be anywhere for anyone but the one thing all these things have in common is that they make is feel a certain way that no other place does…..comfort, happiness, safe, contentment. It is true what people say ‘Home is where the heart is’ and is something I truly believe in.   When we go searching for our next home, we often describe our feedback after a viewing to others as having ‘the feeling’ or ‘not having the feeling’ as the case maybe.  This in real terms to me simply means we couldn’t connect with the house, or it did or did not give us that homely feel, a place we can see ourselves living and be at home.  Of course, we are all different and what someone might consider homely maybe different to someone else but the important thing is that are homes appeal to as many people as possible when deciding to sell up and move on. If you therefore walk into a space and it doesn’t uplift you, inspire you, make you feel happiness in most cases, people will just walk away and move onto the next property that does give them ‘that feeling’.  Now of course a new place can take time to become a Home but we have to have ‘the feeling’ that inspires us to one day be home, a place we could see ourselves living. So how do we achieve this?  Most buyers can’t see through the clutter or can’t visualise the space properly especially empty rooms so when selling we have to give them those ideas of how they too could live in that space.  We therefore need to de-personalise, de-clutter and re-focus the space to help give them that inspiration. Remember they are only in the property for a short time, and it is said that most people make up their minds in the first few minutes when viewing a house.  So, taking these 3 steps is vital part of the Home Staging process.  When we talk about re-focusing a room it means looking at the space and highlighting its best asset so that becomes the focus of the room.  A Home Stager can help achieve this. Selling and buying homes is not just a financial commitment to most it is also an emotional one.  The more we feel a positive emotion towards a property the more likely we are to commit to buying it.  Once, we decided to put our house on the market but we weren’t totally ready financially, hadn’t got our mortgage in place etc but were just after valuations at this point.  An estate agent said to me “just put it on the market and if things don’t work out just take it off, no obligation, no harm done”.  My response to this was “but its not as simple as that.  You’re forgetting people’s emotions here.  Our emotions and so too the buyers.  What if someone views it and loves it then we end saying we can’t proceed, they’d be heartbroken and I’d feel awful!”  Moving house is a big decision and can be one of the most stressful things to go through. Home staging can certainly help with taking that stress out the situation.  Knowing that you have done what you can to present your home to as many buyers as possible and giving you the best chance of a quick sale for the price you want.  Obviously, there are no guarantees for anything in life and the housing market will have an effect on things also but selling your home is different than living in your home.  Its about presentation.  Sellers might say “but they’re not buying the furniture or the wall colour, they’re buying the house so why should I bother, the house should speak for itself etc”.  You’d think this would be the case but for most it just isn’t.  Put it this way, if you’re going for an interview for a new job and you had great CV lots of experience and qualifications so on paper looked great.  However, on the day of the interview you turned up unshaven, tracksuit on basically no presentation to appeal to those conducting the interview then what do you think their first impressions would be?  Now we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, absolutely not but when you’re trying to sell something, whether that be yourself in an interview for a job or when selling your home, first impressions do count and do make an impression. As a designer one of the services I can offer is to present your home for sale.  I can go through each room making recommendations to improve the presentation.  It does not necessarily have to be an expensive process, I will ‘Home Shop’ as much as possible.  Using your current belongings but presenting them better.  Maybe just editing out things and suggest storing them away or better still packing them up for your new home!  In some cases it may need more than that, a lick of paint or a patio cleaned but either way I will work with you, your budget, and time available to achieve the best results with the resources we have.   To find out more about Home Staging and whether you feel you could benefit from carrying out this process please check out my Home Staging section and/or get in touch and I’ll gladly help in anyway I can.  Even if you’re not sure if your home needs this service, I can still come and visit you, all initial consultations in my local area are free!

Working with a small bedroom

Making the most from the Smallest Bedroom

The box room, the single room how ever you want to describe it as most of us have a smaller bedroom in our homes.  Ours is actually a good size single or small double as we have managed to fit in a standard size double bed.  This is our son’s bedroom who is the eldest child but made sense that he had the smallest of the bedrooms.  This is because basically, he eats, sleeps and plays on his xbox, he no longer has toys etc so it made more sense for our daughter who is only 5, to have the largest bedroom to house all her toys etc. That being said we had a challenge to make this space feel cosy, cool and functional so here’s how I designed the space. Firstly he was adamant he wanted to keep his double bed, fair enough.  So that was the starting point.  I wanted to give him a fairly grown up space that would grow with him as he did so opted for a grey and monochrome colour scheme, but to warm it up, I wanted to add some natural materials. I therefore came up with the idea of having a full wall width OSB wood panel at the back of the bed with a shelf. This makes the room feel wider as draws the eye from left to right of the whole room. It also acts as a headboard and the shelf is somewhere  to style his belongings so a useful bit of storage too.  I contrasted this with bold black at the tops with a gallery of black and white images of skaters taken from one of his books. The other side of the room houses his TV and a little vanity mirror.  Fortunately there is a single fitted wardrobe so need to add any wardrobes to the room.  In terms of other storage he has a large pull out under bed drawer to house his sports clothes and then just recently I have added a small chest of drawers from Ikea too. I am in the process of trying to organise all his school work too so am utilising the wall space behind the bedroom door to store all his books and art folder. It’s amazing what you can achieve in such a small space and to be honest, he has everything he needs and I love this room. It is a really cosy room, hows the saying go?….Beautiful things come in small packages! Thanks for reading!

How to decorate with Small Spaces

So the average new build home is getting smaller and there are many of us who live in smaller spaces, apartments etc or even just have small rooms within our homes and this can cause us with dilemmas, as to how best to decorate the space without making it feel too small. Now I’m gonna start off by saying the way in which I approach smaller spaces is not right or wrong, you must do what feels right for you but hopefully this will help some of you, so here goes! Let go and declutter! As with the start of any design project I always recommend to commit to the process of decluttering if you haven’t already done so.  We have to be realistic about the space that you have so by decluttering your belongings will help determine how you will use the space and what storage needs you actually have.  If you don’t absolutely need it either store it or Let Go!  After all, a Tidy House is a Tidy Mind! Think about what furniture you need! So we decided that one large sofa is a better use of space than several smaller ones.  This fits snug into the side and corner of the room and is big enough for four.  Besides this we have an Ercol armchair which I revamped by painting it a light ivory colour and also removing the back cushion.  This made the chair more transparent as you could see the wall through it giving the illusion of more space and also I love to see the ‘bones’ of a piece of furniture too! With the chair being on high legs gives you the opportunity to see more floor space and by doing so leads the eye further back giving the illusion of more space. Basically the more floor space you can see the larger the room will feel so opt for furniture with higher legs. Window Treatments! There are so many different options these days for our windows and how to dress them but for me when the space is small blinds work best as you can see more of the wall space, and furniture can go right into the corners of the room and are not going to get int the way of curtains.  So that is just what I decided best in our lounge bow window. I had bespoke roman blinds made to fit the inside of the window, again this does not  interrupt any of the room space and when closed, keeps the room feeling as big as it can be as you can still see the window sill. Colour and Decor Now again there is no set rule here, if you’re a maximalist then you might want a big gallery wall lots or ornaments, plants etc. I’d say I’m more on the minimalist side.  I chose to create a basket wall feature on one side above the large sofa.  This balances out the wall space nicely with the large sofa.  In terms of colours I wanted to keep it again fairly neutral so chose ‘Putty White’ by Valspar on all the walls apart from the wall behind the large cupboard and TV which was a very pale pastel green called ‘morning Downpour ‘ again by Valspar.   However, sometimes it is also works to go the dark side in smaller spaces. Embrace a small dark room and go for it but adding lots of moody lighting! Last but certainly not least, Storage! No room is complete without storage let’s face it, we all need to house certain belongings so getting this right is vital.  Hopefully by now you will have gone through the decluttering process and know what you need to store.  Again taking the approach that one larger piece to house everything can be the way to go here in a small space, rather than lots of little pieces of furniture.  We have a large shelving unit that is pretty tall so uses up a lot of wall space.  Originally it was all clear glass but I decided to paint the back of the glass on the bottom half to hide all the things I didn’t want on show, mainly my daughters board games etc. Leaving the top half more of a display cabinet.  Choose furniture also that doubles up into two different functions. I have a basket ottoman in a good proportional size that has a wooden slatted top so this doubles up as a coffee table and also more storage for toys! Thanks for reading! Enjoy your smaller spaces, in some ways they are easier than larger rooms, I’ll explain why in another blog!

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