Whenever I think of new houses, my mind defaults to the house I have lived in for some years. It is a spacious 4 bedroom detached executive style home with good sized rooms, a couple of bathrooms, a double garage etc. etc. This however is so very different to the new house that a younger niece has managed to buy – hers is a ‘town house’ which effectively means it’s over 3 floors, very narrow new terrace. There is a back yard of sorts but no real back garden or frontage. There is one parking space – the rules seem to be that each two person house only gets one parking place. The house itself is ulra modern with space saving units in all rooms and flush workstops in the kitchen and bathroom. All gorgeous and sleek and clean. The drawback is getting heavy furniture in the front door and up to the lounge and bedrooms.
One of the things I have noticed lately when glancing over all the local houses for sale is the move away from the expensive luxurious fitted carpets that became the must have item in houses at the end of the 1960s. Before then we’d had linoleum or tiles. some might even have had the luxury of parquet flooring. I remember the excitement of moving into a brand new house with fitted carpets – we were the only house to have selected that opion so were considered to be quite the fashion leaders. There have been man diferent designs in the intervening years. Jazzy pops of colour and stripes galore giving way to muted florals and then the hard wearing woolen worsted. These seem to have now been dispensed with in favour of the wooden floor – what goes around comes around as they say! Just ensure yours is fully sealed and properly washable.
When you haven’t visited someone’s house for quite a few years, it’s very easy to completely forget anything you ever captured on your first glance round. I know that when I visit any house, I always show interest in the space upstairs – I’m sure folk think I’m rather roo interested at times but we don’t all live in one room all the time. Making the most of our property interiors is fundamental to making the house feel is ours. I have recently come back from a visit to a place I’ve not seen in ten years. It’s amazing how I instantly remembered so much about it once Id got in through that front door. The kitchen particularly is so exsquisite – pale cream painted oak cabinets and stylish tiles and down lights. It’s like a magazine. All conjured up by their local interior property consultancy – each idea carefully considered on both sides. Perfection!
There will always be a bit of difficulty about trying to renovate an redecorate a very small apartment or flat, especially an older one in a mansion block or in fact, one of those new space saving ones from the 1980s. There are limitations on how much furniture can be fitted in to each room and the logistics of it can also be a nightmare. Getting a property agency or design studio that dedicates itself to all aspects of refurbishment can be an absolute boon. Flooring, interior decoration and suggestions for furnishings can be overwhelming without this professional help. Also, to make more space, using quality fitted units in the bedrooms and bathrooms can really helpto minimise the amount of room taken up for clothes and every day livig clutter. Using lighter wood furniture or all white does have compenations too in that this enhances the light and airy nature of any room.
The new year period has passed quite uneventfully in this particular house. There was never much danger of me being taken over by hoardes of party people all messing up my quite tidy lounge and elegantly sparse dining room. I did meet up with some folk who were planning, pretty big time, a full household refurbishment of two rooms and total redecoration in all the remaining ones. It sounded a pretty big interior design project too. Once they’d got on to the subject of the kitchen I tended to lose some of my listening skills. It got pretty tedious listening especially when the expensive kitchens and bathrooms were entered into the fray. I contented myself by reminding the uninitiated amongst the guests that going to professionals for help with flooring and furniture is just as important. Nothing ruins a new scheme more than ill matched tiles or badly sited cabinets.
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!