When my family moved into this gorgeous 4 bedroomed detached executive house some years ago, the fashion then was still to have the plushest and most luxurious carpet throughout as much of the house as could be afforded. Being a new home we had the pick of the best available from the developer – sales incentives allowed us to choose the same as the lovely honey shaded woolen carpet throughout the show houase. The deal being that if we paid for 30oz weight, they would upgrade it to the very top 60oz at no extra cost to us. It did look and feel fabulous. But pale honey is not a good choice when the main of the house is a hobbyist car fanatic. It didn’t help that we also had an integral garage – the carpet didn’t stand a chance and so the hall and family room were ripped out and replaced by top quality wooden flooring – I now wish the whole of the downstairs had the same!
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.
We’re all pretty used to the daytime tv lifestyle programmes that bombard us early evening. I should be doing other things but can’t quite drag my eyes away. I especially like the full repit out and renovate style programme where we see a run down place bought at auction for a pittance. Then we leave the new owners with their scheme and half an hour later, there before us is a fantastic transformation – new windows, doors, smart wooden flooring; swanky fitted kitchens. Most exciting can be the moving of a bathroom upstairs – always they have the modern showers and basins. Not quite enough fitted cabinets for my liking – for the sake of another £100, why not finish the job off properly! A decent home interior designer will suggest modifications that will really earn their keep and add value to the property. It’s always worth consulting a professional to ensure your massive investment is the best you can possibly make.
This time last year I was visiting the home of some long term pals of mine. They are a bit set in their ways and the house looked much the same as it had over the many years I’d visited them. The carpet in the hall and sitting rooms were pretty disgusting – being dog owners, they had definitely formed a nose blindness problem! Within a week of this visit, she rang me to say he’d had enough of the mess and wanted a clean start – I put her in touch with an interior decorating studio who drew up schematic plans to rearrange furniture, change the colour schemes and firstly remove the carpets and replace with wooden flooring throughout the ground floor. Because they bought into the complete package, the work was carefully organised and less expensive than if done in interrupted bursts of activity. They are thrilled to bits still. I claim credit for some of that!
When I as growing up we had no fitted carpets – they were the thing you aspired to have, together with the centrally heated home to put them in. We had tough floor boards and stone tiles with colourful, hard wearing rugs for a little comfort. My grandmother was an expert rug maker – and thereby hangs a tale, or two. To get the context right we have to go back to the fact she was very good with her sewing machine and she made all our clothes. Dresses, ‘trews’, tops, coats. Anything else was knitted or crocheted. There then was the eventual scrappage pile and from that came the most exsquisitely composed rugs backed with cardboard and strong hessian sacking – oh how I knew then what I know now and had kept some of them! I still have her rug making tools but for me, all rugs are shop bought from a favourite online site – one saving grace at least!
It’s been many a year since I had to organise anything in the way of room design and decoration. We moved into the current house some time ago – a family move from a much smaller house with well worn and now tatty furniture and effects. As this place was brand new – fresh out of the box, we bought brand new furniture for most rooms. The house came decorated and there was nothing much to change. During this long period of inactivity on the interior decor front, many trends and fashions have come and gone – passing me by completely. Now comes the time for me to downsize on the amount of ‘stuff’ cluttering my house – a new phase is about to begin. I am consulting a home interior and design studio to assist me with a scheme to encompass my change from working woman to lady of unending patience who is surrounded by restfulness and style!
As we are experiencing one of the hottest periods of our recent history, it is funny to think that we pay a fortune to get a really hot holiday abroad, when it’s turning out to be hotter here. My younger relatives have just returned from a cruise round the med and were bemoaning that their weather had been disappointing. It brought to mind one of the best holidays I’ve had, stay in a budget hotel in a town, I was able to drive around and look at the lovely villages and heritage houses. I love getting inspiration for decorating and furnishings from these forays – it fires up ideas and I then source the products on my favourite interior decor sites. You have to get out there and see real houses, real furniture etc. to appreciate the beauty of our houses and village homes. The hotels aren’t too bad either, reliable, clean and functional.
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!