I have just washed my wooden floor in the kitchen and hallway – for the 3rd time in two days. That is one minor draw back to offering to help a neighbour by looking after her two dogs for 3 days. I love the walkies and the unconditional love you get from pets, but I do find the very sudden and monumental trashing of my house somewhat alarming! The floor I have has been down for 14 years and so far withstood everything a family can throw at it. A quick sweep over with the broom twice a day with a weekly light scrub with a very well wrung out mop keeps the mess at bay. The two dogs have done more damage than I thought. Time to get the flooring contractor sorted – browsing for hard wearing flooring to look & feel like ceramic tiles but in composite material is my next choice!
The room next to my dear old ma in law in her care home is constantly in use – it seems to be the major rest and respite care room and one where twilight patients come when they can’t go home from hospital on their own yet. The room requires different settings depending on the level of care and support each patient requires and the room is very large. Not only is there a super duper hi tech bed with hand held controller, but the cabinets are streamlined along one wall – it makes it look enormous in there and I always like to look through the glass observation panel to see how each relative has updated their little space. It takes a rally good design and project team to keep up the level of workmanship when room changes are booked – they have used a local company for years and each transformation is superb.
A young couple near me who are upsizing – not unusual these days for the youngsters to be doing that in ratio to the older ones downsizing . . . Anyway, they are buying a conversion – the original building started in the early 1800s, a building amongst several within the grounds of a now grade 1 listed manor house. After several ups and downs with their buyers dropping out, it looks like this wonderful building could become theirs before the next millennium.
It is a back to more or less a blank canvas inside – needing work to the once immaculate and impressive parquet flooring – specialist help needed there for sure. The fitting out of the kitchen needs a rejig too by the sound of it. When someone else has converted an older building it is critical that professional help comes on board for new owners to get a quality job befitting the age and importance of a village or estate property.
A younger relative is in mid throes of house moving. Going from their delightful but small starter home that they so proudly moved in to some 4 years ago, up to a more palatial pad out in the sticks. Living the ‘escape to the country’ dream, somewhat sooner than they had originaly planned. Their current house is really just a well designed box, 3 bedrooms just big enough for purpose. Lounge/diner also just enough room – enhanced by their wise choice of fitted furniture from the swedish megastore.
Now they will be wanting bigger and better . . . the temptation is to go mad and buy everything they like and blow the budget. But they know that to make the most of their precious new stone conversion, it needs thought and a quality designer to bring the huge space to life. This is a huge step up and they need to make wise decisions – with professional help.
There tends to be a slowing down of most things connected with decorating, restyling, remodelling etc. of houses during the summer period. Maybe it is the need for families and singles, to get out of the rut and travel on holiday to rest or just avoid working in the heat that we can sometimes experience these days.
This means the business of doing up houses and getting that all important new space sorted, has to be done in the other 8 months of the year. We do follow the tv advertisers pattern of looking around in the Christmas holidays, getting ideas, then mulling them over, ordering and sorting by Easter, just when everyone else is. The organised family will however have been thinking about this activity in their summer holidays, get it ordered by Christmas and installed by Easter – just when the rest of neighbourhood scurries around for those all important house interior specialists!
In the late afternoon and evenings you cannot escape the urgent advertising campaigns directed at house owners – from decorating outlets to carpet warehouses and bed shops, to out of town superstores dealing with the home and garden . . . Every one of them bellows adverts at us from our screen or radio at every hour of the day and evening in that campaign’s slot duration. We are urged to go to this store for gardens, happy folk seen tearing about popping plants in gardens, or that store to give bathrooms and kitchens a really well overdue refurbishment. There are points made about matching colour of paint and and some offer soft furnishings too. In fact it is impossible to look at the commercial stations for any length of time without that feeling of bamboozlement. Getting a first class home interiors and home design specialist will make it a much happier and rewarding operation
I live in a large family house designed during the 1990s and built on mass up to about the 2010, before maximising house footprints meant homes had to be slimmer, smaller garden and driveways, no garages, but inevitably, making them much taller. Most family dwellings built around lately have been 3 storeys. This is an interesting feature for visiting and looking around. The show homes never actually displays all the family furnishings and effects, clutter etc. There are no coats, boots, school bags to be catered for in the tiny cloakrooms or hallways. Reality checking is not a big feature on the list of things to entice the new buyer with!
But we can maximise the space by carefull choice of furniture, utilising cabinets in bathrooms & ensuites, making children put their stuff away. Keeping the cleaning down by having hard floors instead of carpets. Decorating and calm colourways also help bring serenity and spaciousness to a smaller home.
I was watching daytime tv, waiting for a favourite quiz . . . and my eye caught the end of a very interesting programme on how interior design and developed and changed in a relatively short period. Short taken in relation to it now being 2017 and the real importance of house interior design, comfort, looks, prestige etc. has only mattered seriously for less than 200 of these years!
The on trend colour for everything is apparently grey. In fact one of the rather younger hosts of the show was enthusing wildly and passionately about a collection of corner suite sitting options with matching cushions (and I thought they were so ‘yesterday . . .) This was amusing to me as the chosen colours looked so drab. I love colour, I wear lots of bright reds, blues, orange. I also have pops of colour ringing the changes on my neutral colour scheme. The starting point is anything but grey!
We can always pick out the right colours for a new scheme – currently it would seem that grey is the ‘go to’ shade, and of course all the furnishings and accessories have to tone. This is very difficult when the colours are muted. Nothing really matches with one shade that is quite hard on the eye. I personally don’t like anything grey – it might be force of habit to avoid now from having to wear a lot in a particular job early in my career.
With housing improvement, decor, design etc. the on trend colours are critical. Getting it decorated is an absolute must and making sure it is neutral helps the eventual tenant to feel comfortable with their furniture choices. Getting the right flooring will help too – hard working but comfortable is the name of the game. The best flooring for busy areas is wood. Easily cleaned but oozing quality. Carpet on the stairs though.
It’s always interesting to be able to go into a local house that you have seen being ‘done up’ over recent months. There are three houses immediately near me, two of which have changed hands entirely and the new families have undertaken massive refurbishment and decoration work before moving in. The other house has been owned by the same family for some years but has recently featured prominently as the star house of the week in the online promotions of our largest estate agent in town. This particular house was fascinating to me for it’s absolute awfulness.
This may sound very mean, but I was staggered at the colour scheme of the entire property which seems to be all greys, black and white. Every single room has this theme, including the now very large kitchen and the bathrooms. It all looks very cold and clinical but is contemporary. I hasn’t helped it sell mind you.