9 articles Tag interiors

Cost-Effective and Sustainable Tips for Your Home

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With the economic impact of COVID-19, it’s prudent for you to cut down costs on important things such as your home by reducing expenses. This helps you to save some money and reduce the strain on your finances. As a plus, you can consider going sustainable, which also allows you to contribute to the environment’s good. Are you wondering how to get started? Here are some cost-effective and eco-friendly tips for your home. 

  1. Lower your thermostat

One way to save money while keeping your house sustainable is to reduce your thermostat, especially when you clock in for the night or are away. According to calculations by the UK Department of Energy and Climate, reducing your thermostat from 19° to 18°C might bring down your overall dwelling temperature from 17° to 16°C. This helps to reduce your heating requirements from 2490-2250 degree days, giving you a 10% reduction. Although this sounds very technical, it’s quite easy to implement to achieve the optimum temperature for your home. To make it easier for you, incorporate a programmable brand to adjust the heating/air conditioning according to a planned schedule.

During the winter, you can decide to set your thermostat to 20°C when you’re up and about and reduce it when you are not at home. In summer, you should keep your house warmer when you’re not around and set it to 26°C when you want to cool it down. Another trick you should apply is to make your indoor and outdoor temperature similar, as this will reduce your overall cooling or heating bill. It’ll also be best to avoid setting your thermostat at a colder temperature when your air conditioner is on, as it can bring on avoidable bill increment. 

  1. Embrace solar power

Electricity is vital to running your home smoothly, as it’s needed for daily activities such as cooking, laundry, ironing, entertainment, etc. What better way to get electricity than going solar? Solar power helps you save more by significantly cutting down your monthly electric bill, allowing you to take care of other expenses. What’s more, it helps you to reduce greenhouse gases, toxic waste and water pollution that cause significant distress to the environment. It’s also a reliable energy source that doesn’t require cumbersome maintenance procedures. 

You can switch to solar power by going for Photovoltaics or PV, the common solar technology for home use. Remember to ensure that your house is suitable for its installation. Despite the initial high costs of installation, it’s worth it for your home and your pocket in the long run. However, if you’re not financially ready, you can opt for community solar, which involves a group of people sharing electricity generated by harvesting solar energy. You can visit www.choosesolar.com to learn more about how this solar option works. 

  1. Use fluorescent light bulbs

One way to save energy and cut down costs in your home is to replace your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs generate a lot of heat instead of producing more light, resulting in higher bills. They provide just 15 lumens per watt of input power, while fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, produce about 50 to 100 lumens per watt of input power. 

Fluorescent light bulbs produce less heat which makes them more efficient than incandescent bulbs. For instance, a 20-watt fluorescent light bulb is equivalent to 100-watt incandescent light bulb, making it more cost-effective for every area of your home that needs light. They’re also available in various colours and designs that add a touch of beauty and elegance to your home. 

  1. Regulate the use of water

Regulating the amount of water you use in your home helps reduce your expenses and wastage. This also goes a long way to protect the environment in the long run, as it conserves water bodies. Managing your water usage in the home is essential in cutting down water bills by reducing the cost and energy used to treat water and wastewater. You can limit water wastage by replacing old toilets with modern ones that use less water. Additionally, you should look out for water leakages in your home and fix them immediately. It’ll also help if you use low flow showerheads, as they help restrict the flow of water you use when taking a bath. 

It’s possible to adopt eco-friendly practices in your home while saving up extra money. By trying out these tips, you’ll be on your way to living a sustainable and budget-friendly lifestyle.

Engineered Wood Flooring – Why You Should Choose It

Engineered Wood FlooringWhen people talk about creating their dream home, wooden flooring is often at the top of the list of things they want. There’s no denying the fact that wooden flooring makes a home look great, but have you ever considered opting for engineered wood instead? Many people make the mistake of thinking that engineered wood is a fancy way of saying “laminate flooring” but it’s actually a really versatile flooring which is a great substitute for solid wood. Here are five reasons for you to consider it:

Same Look, Lower Price

It takes a pretty professional eye to notice the difference between solid wood and engineered wood flooring, which is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that it costs so much less. It also comes in pre-made designs and can look like parquet or other patterned flooring, giving it a unique, expensive appearance. If you have a large area to cover, the avings will really add up.

Easy to Fit

Fitting solid wood flooring is a real art form, especially if you want a parquet style like herringbone or swallowtail. By comparison, fitting an engineered wood floor is an absolute doddle. It’s very flexible in terms that it can be fitted many ways and even floating over the uneven subfloor and underfloor heating system.

It’s Durable

Damaging a hard wood floor can be a very expensive mistake, and many types of flooring also need regular maintenance over the years to keep it looking it’s best. Engineered wood is very daage-resistant and replacing a board or two needn’t be expensive. Many people don’t know that the surface of refinished wood can be sanded and refinished, which means that you can totally change the look if you get bored!

Lots of Choice

With engineered wood, can choose between a wide variety of species, colours, patterns and textures. In general, almost all of the wood species used for manufacturing solid wood floors are also available for engineered wood floors. In addition, engineered wood can also be purchased prefinished and unfinished, which means that you have the freedom to customise your own floor with your very own bespoke colour and texture.

Easy to Clean

Cleaning a hardwood floor isn’t always easy, because using the wrong products can leave it dehydrated and damaged beyond repair. Engineered wood can be cleaned daily by sweeping or even vacuuming the area, and most brands will also be compatible with mopping, although make sure you check your manufacturer’s recommended cleanser.

Do you have an engineered wood floor in your home? What do you love about it? Leave me a comment below!

Kitchen Cabinet Trends For 2020

Upgrading Your Kitchen With Modern Options

In some areas, modern kitchen designs aren’t what’s locally chic. Well, we’ll briefly examine a few choices that don’t really care about what year it is, and are trending. For the most part, though, top-tier trends are altering interior décor, and can be worth your consideration. Following, we’ll explore some 2020 kitchen cabinet designs you might want to think about. Furniturebox supplies contemporary furniture for the whole house, check them out if you’re thinking about redecorating.

https://pixabay.com/vectors/cupboard-storage-cabinet-furniture-576195/

The Open Shelving Approach
Open shelving has a lot to recommend it. You can see where everything is easily. Plus, the actual space of the kitchen is expanded substantially, and such organizational motifs allow clutter reduction. However, bump into a shelf with your shoulder accidentally and you might have a mess on your hands. Still, this is a sort of “naked” kitchen design that’s quite stylish.

https://pixabay.com/photos/cabinet-spices-orderly-organize-334128/

Slick, Smooth Slab Doors
There’s nothing old school about smooth slab doors. These are a sleek modern innovation that’s got much recommend it from a lot of different angles. For one thing, they’re frameless in the front, and you can get a glossy finish if that suits you. If you’re unfamiliar with slab design, think “Ikea”. There are plenty of glossily-finished cabinet options available through that group.

Minimalism is that which ultimately produced smooth slab doors. In Sweden, minimalism is, ironically, a big deal. If you’re looking for a simple, sleek way to modernize your kitchen, you might want to look into slab doors. Will they be stylish in a few years or decades? Well, that remains to be seen—but the minimalistic element is very practical, so it’s likely they will be.

Shaker Cabinets And RTA Cabinetry Options
Shaker cabinets are very familiar. Though they’re modern, shaker cabinet options have a more aesthetic design than common square or rectangular cabinets. With shaker cabinets, the door is recessed, but there’s a modern flavor to the simple lines which define their shape.

The idea of shaker cabinets isn’t to be a focal point, but to represent a useful, perfectly-conformed piece of furniture in your kitchen. They come in multiple colors, though white shaker cabinets seem to be some of the most popular. As a matter of fact, you can find some especially cost-effective options among this particular type of cabinet.

Are you familiar with RTA cabinets? RTA stands for “Ready To Assemble”, and essentially refers to a sort of cabinet that you can specify in terms of dimensions online, then have shipped to your premises for assembly.

If you’re not quite sure which sort of RTA option makes the most sense for your property, you might peruse some of these RTA cabinet reviews. On that note, check out this Ice White Shaker (Forevermark) Review: stable, clean, impressive RTA Cabinet options like these are especially recommendable for remodel in 2020.

Blue, White, Gray, And Two-Toned Coloration
Different colors tend to define a generation. Oftentimes the automobile industry sets the stage, and what’s popular cascades from there. For example, look at the avocado green and neon orange color motifs of the seventies. Many cars had similar color schemes. Today, in 2020, several very popular colors include blue, white, gray, and two-toned mixes.

White and gray are some of the safest colors to go with if you’re looking for a long-term solution. These colors go with practically any décor, so when future shifts alter the furniture coloration that’s popular, you won’t have to worry about any clash.

https://pixabay.com/photos/old-fashioned-cafe-coffee-shop-2641936/

The Natural Wood Approach
Natural wood cabinets of the type seen in mountain cabins will always be stylish, no matter the era. However, if you’ve got a home full of natural wood furniture, it’s likely you’re not paying too much attention to future trends anyway. This is what may be referred to as “evergreen” style. As in: regardless of the era, there’s always a place for it.

Choosing The Best Cabinetry For Your Kitchen in 2020
Ultimately, what best suits your property is up to you. While staying stylish can keep you contemporary, some styles stand the test of time better than others. Presently, 2020 color schemes include blue, gray, and white options. Shaker cabinets and RTA options are also very stylish today, as are smooth slab cabinets and open shelving arrangements.

If you’re into “legacy” designs, natural wood options may also be recommendable. Before making any decisions, it may be wise for you to sit down and explore what’s available. There are quite a few different styles from which to choose. 

 

Is Your Bathroom Top of the Trends?

Is Your Bathroom Top of the Trends?Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

How did you choose the colour scheme, fixtures and fittings for your bathroom? Did you plan a bathroom that is comfortable, cosy and designed to your own taste? Or were you led by trends you spotted in the shops or on social media? If you’re in the midst of planning bathroom makeover, maybe you’ve been soaking up what’s in style to help you plan what your future bathroom will look like? 

Whether you’re planning a bathroom makeover or have the bathroom of your dreams already in place, how does it measure up against the biggest trends of the past, present and future? Let’s take a look.

The New Trend Predictions

According to experts at The Times, autumn/winter interiors for 2019 are all about darker tones, bold hues and eco touches like bamboo furniture and houseplants. These all make for a perfect storm look in the bathroom. If you prefer things a little less dramatic, you might have fun with Pantone’s tipped trend for 2020 – all things nautical. According to the colour specialists, the interiors sector will immerse itself in all things sea-related next year. 

The nautical look is a perfect match for bathroom spaces and there’s never a shortage of beach hut emblazoned blinds or lighthouse, seagulls or anchor printed fabrics or accessories. If you’d like to avoid nautical decor tropes such as red, white and blue stripes, there are lots of great looks in stores to help you head down a path that’s a little less well-trodden. Choosing seashells, coral and seaweed prints will introduce some beautiful relaxing colours and give you interesting patterns and shapes to work with.

Trends Getting Love Right Now

Hands up who follows an unhealthy amount of interiors accounts on Instagram? Having inspiration at your fingertips can be a great thing when you’re planning updates in the home, but can you guess which looks and features people are hitting the like button for right now? And more importantly, have you channelled any of these trends into the design of your bathroom?

Harvey Water Softeners recently analysed the top twenty posts on Instagram across five different bathroom trend related hashtags to uncover the biggest bathroom trends. Top of the trends were classic choices like white tiles, dual sinks, hanging plants and freestanding oval baths. Also clocking up the likes were geometric tiles, circular mirrors and luxurious rainfall showers. 

Taps of all different colours are apparently catching the eye, with gold taps, black taps and silver taps all named among the top trends. Similarly, gold and black-framed mirrors also made a mark. Black bathroom fixtures are most definitely enjoying a moment, with black shower doors and towel rails also proving popular. 

If you fancy heading to the dark side, you’ll find black bathroom fixtures and fittings such as sinks, radiators, shower hoses and basin mixers at the Bathroom Discount Centre. Recessed shower shelves are another lusted after feature along with glamorous marble or floating sinks. Those looking for an instant update may want to try popular and pretty boho rugs, practical pine shelves or woven baskets.

Best Ever Bathroom Trends

We’ve looked at what’s next for bathroom design, but do you have a favourite trend from the past? There are plenty of traditional looks that have stood the test of time and if you’re decorating your home to put it up for sale, adopting styles and trends that appeal to the masses can be a smart approach.

Dunelm recently dug into the best and worst ever home decorating trends and highlighted a lot of love for many interiors trends that lend themselves to bathroom spaces. Among the most loved trends here in the UK are en suite bathrooms, wet rooms, freestanding baths, LED lighting, and underfloor heating. Stripped wood floors, shabby chic furniture and vintage revival items are among the other enduring trends that would look right at home in the bathroom.

Can you take a guess at the trends of past decades that were the least liked? Unsurprisingly, many of those surveyed said they weren’t fans of fluffy toilet seat covers (33%) or had an aversion to avocado coloured suites (33%). Putting carpet down in the bathroom was also a pet peeve for 29% of respondents.

 So, how does your bathroom fair when it comes to trends past, present and future? Is your bathroom space top of the trends or in a league of its own when it comes to popular colours, fixtures and features? Is your sense of interior styling more on-trend than you thought or are you happy to find that your own unique approach in the bathroom is what’s made it the perfect space for you?

Make Your Home a Little More Nordic

Make Your Home a Little More NordicThere’s been a huge trend for Scandi home styling for quit some time now, with hygge, lykke and fika all becoming part of our vocabulary in recent years. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, with the leaves starting to brown and jumpers coming out of the wardrobe, but it got me thinking about those Scandi trends and how we could make our home feel a little more Nordic, without making major changes. Here are some of the things I came up with:

Go White

You might not think of whte floors and walls when you think about being cosy, but actually, whiteness is a staple of Nordic home design, with many opting for clean white walls and adding in splashes of colour elsewhere. This is because they winter months are long and dark in Scandinavian countries and white walls reflect the light as much as possible. Light grey can also create a sense of cosy in a room, particularily if there is enough light in the home.

I Love Lamp

No Nordic home is complete without a lot of lamps. As above, the winter months can be really gloomy, especially as you go further North, with some places seeing no daylight for weeks on end. Creating a lighting scheme which can be bright when you want it to be, as well as being cosy and muted when you feel like it, is super important to get the Nordic feel.

All Natural

Scandinavians have a great appreciation for the outdoors and nature is reflected in much of their design choices. Décor, artwork and materials often represent the nature of the Nordic region. Wood is abundant in most Scandi homes adding a coziness that compliments and warms the usually white walls and light floors. You will often find sheepskins and reindeer pelts on chairs and floors as well as plants and flowers or even branches brought in from the outside.

A Splash of Fun

While you’ll find a lot of muted colours and sleek lines in Scandi design, there’s always a splash of colour and a hint of fun in there somewhere. Be it an accessory in a bright, wild colour or a set of cushions with a fun geometric print, it’s not all serious. Don’t be afraid to use clashing colours or oversized items like clocks and mirrors to make the room feel lively and vibrant.

Mix and Match

One thing you’ll notice about most Nordic rooms is that it’s not all matchy-matchy. You’ll find things make from wood, plastic, metals, fabric, all in a variety of colours and shapes. You’ll find ultra-modern furniture sitting alongside antiques and you’ll find hard surfaces and straight edges softened with fabrics and textiles. In Nordic homes it is not unusual to find and interesting mix of expensive classic pieces with more affordable designs – Scandinavians know the value of good design in their homes and will often save up for that one iconic piece that will give them great pleasure, rather than spending on smaller items which are ultimately disposable.

Your Style Guide to find the Best Rug

rugWhen it comes to choosing the best rug for your home, each rug style will offer something unique to help keep your decor focused. Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, wood flooring or tile, adding a stylish rug to your home will not only give your home a finished look but protect your floors too. Below we discuss some of the top rug styles and where they are best placed to help you find your ultimate rug.

Modern rugs

Modern area rugs are a brilliant neutral design element to help centre or focus a living space. Opt for cut-loop rugs or low-pile hook-and-loop in neutral hues and with subtle or solid patterns. The secret behind decorating with modern rugs is to allow the rug to complement your décor and furniture rather than overpowering it. The great thing about modern rugs is their versatility. There are so many variations and styles available from this one trend. Consider, geometric prints, ombre and striped.

Vintage rugs

Vintage and vintage-style rugs are always on trend. From hip bohemian lofts to traditionally styled homes, vintage rugs are making a statement across home interiors. If you want to splurge on a truly vintage carpet, then it’s going to be quite an investment. However, if you’re simply on the lookout for a quality rug that has the allure of an antique to add style and interest to your space, then opt for the budget-friendly option of a distressed traditional-style rug.

Likewise, traditional rugs are a very popular choice, with designs including Persian motifs designed with intricacy such as flowers, vines and scrollwork. Traditional rugs generally have inner borders filled with intricate patterns, which make them perfect for centring and defining spaces such as living and dining rooms.

Bohemian rugs

Bohemian rugs are both stylish and whimsical. They usually include bold designs, vibrant colour palettes, flat woven techniques, distressed patterns and natural fibre constructions. If you want to achieve a Bohemian look with a rug, the key is to layer traditional antiqued carpets with natural, fibre, flat-woven rugs. You should choose rugs with distressed design and fringe details to capture the boho vibe.

Moroccan rugs

Moroccan rugs are both distinct and recognisable and go perfectly with a range of different interior design styles. Search for rugs that feature the authentic zig-zag or criss-cross pattern of traditional Moroccan rugs, or tie in a bolder Moroccan pattern such as latticework or geometrical trellis.

Transitional rugs

Transitional style rugs fall directly between contemporary and traditional design. By incorporating both modern and classic design elements, transitional rugs showcase the perfect balance of both simplicity and sophistication alongside muted colour palette and traditional patterns like large-scale vines and scrollwork, or, distressed oriental motifs.

Southwest rugs

Southwestern rugs are known for their flat-woven and blanket-like texture. The patterns are typically inspired by tribal motifs and patterns which originate in the southwest regions of the United States. These patterns tend to feature rich earth-tone hues and heavy geometrics. Southwestern area rugs are typically used in boho chic design and rustic design. In many cases, they have been modernised with jewel tones and bright neon hues to complement contemporary interiors.

So there you have it, your style guide to finding the best rug for your home, whatever the interior style you’ve gone for!

Making Our Home Work for Us with Karndean

Karndean OpusAlthough Husband and I rent our home, we’re lucky in the respect that our landlady is pretty easy-going about what we do to the place (providing we don’t tear down walls or paint the whole place black!). We’ve been thinking lately about what we could do to make the place work a bit better for us, and we think that starting with the floors would be a good idea (puppies and carpets are NOT a good mix!).

One of the options we considered was Karndean, as I’ve heard lots of people saying how much they love it, and to my surprise there are a whole load of varieties of Karndean to choose from. I thought I’d ask my friends who have it what they thought of Karndean flooring and how well it fits into their life. Here’s what a few of them said:

My friend Emily said “We had it at our old house and it was our selling point. It looked like real wood and was easy to sweep, and it was warmer under foot than other hard flooring”

Cat from Cat’s Yellow Days said “We have Karndean across nearly the whole ground floor. It looks great and cleans easily but the biggest selling point for me was that they had such a big range I could get exactly the shade I wanted.”

Tara from Sticky Fingers said “I had it throughout my new kitchen/living extension. Bloody love it. Easy to manage with the dog and muddy kids, warm underfoot looks fabulous. Had tiles before and it was cold and everything that came within sniffing distance of the floor broke!”

In terms of the different ranges, there are three to choose from:

Karndean Art Select

“Karndean Art Select is a range of vinyl flooring featuring exciting hardwood, stone and marble designs that will render a touch of elegance to any space. With an overall thickness of 3mm, and a wear layer of 0.70mm, the Karndean Art Select is super soft and warm under your feet. Completely washable and waterproof, the Art Select collection is perfectly suited for any room in your home.”

Karndean Van Gogh

“The Karndean Van Gogh range is manufactured from highly durable vinyl from the world’s number one producer of luxury vinyl flooring. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, the Van Gogh flooring range is available in a wide range of solid wood effects including walnut, oak and birch.”

Karndean Opus

“The Karndean Opus range of luxury vinyl tiles is a relatively new and a quite popular range of luxury vinyl tiles. It features wood finish as well as traditional stone tile finishes. With an overall thickness of 2.5mm that includes a 0.55 mm wear layer, the Karndean Opus range is available in an array of sizes.”

Do you have Karndean flooring in your home? I’d love to hear our opinion, so please leave me a comment below!

Making Design Choices that Last

studleyOne of the things that Husband and I loved about the house we’re living in now is that our landlady is happy for us to decorate. As with most rental properties, obviously we have a “within reason” guideline, so painting the walls black is a no-no and we’re not permitted to make any major structural changes, but other than that we have fairly free reign. When you rent rather than own, it’s wise to make choices that will last, which means avoiding ‘trends‘ or things which will seem passe by the end of the year.

Obviously, as with clothes, if there’s a particular trend which is big at that time, there will be a LOT of that in the shops – remember a few years ago when metallic furniture was all the rage and it was nigh-on impossible to find a Welsh dresser which hadn’t been gilded?! For us, it’s all about finding balance – items of furniture which are high quality and classic in their design, so that they stand the test of time.

Another thing to consider is lighting – lighting can change the whole look of a room and is so easy to add to. Here’s that the interior design specialists from Baytree Interiors had to say about lighting:

“Strategically placed lighting is a simple yet effective way to change the ambience in a room with minimal effort. Pendant lights and chandeliers are a great choice when it comes to lighting, as are filament bulbs which provide a warm glow with a vintage look. With a range of different styles available from industrial to vintage and modern variants, pendant lights can suit any theme.”

As much as we’d love to re-decorate our houses every time the trends change, what’s far more practical is choosing a style which can be amended if your tastes change. Opting for furniture in neutral colours and classic shapes and then accenting them with cushions, place mats or storage inserts in different colours is a far more practical (and let’s face it, CHEAPER) way to freshen up the look of our homes.

It’s also a lot better for the environment to opt for furniture which has been well-made. Yes, going to a massive warehouse-style shop and picking up a bargain may seem great but that furniture rarely lasts longer than a year, will add to landfill once it’s thrown away and has probably used lots of carbon-heavy processes to be made. Choosing real wood furniture which has been made by craftspeople is by far the better choice.

Dining Room or Reading Nook?

Reading Nook ideasI’ll be completely honest; since we moved back in September, we’ve still not really got the house how we’d like it…by which I mean we still have a room full of boxes instead of a dining room! Our dining table was damaged before we moved and we haven’t got around to fixing it yet, but we’re finally getting around to getting it sorted, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with the room to make it lovely. The room itself isn’t huge but it’s the warmest room in the house so I think it could be amazing with a few tweaks:

Bookcases

One wall of our dining room will be lined with bookcases, holding all of our books (and believe me, there are a lot!) There’s not really space for them in the lounge so the dining room is the obvious place for them and I think it could be quite a sweet little reading nook.

Occasional Chair

If we’re going to sit in there to read then we need to think about occasional chairs. I’d love a big fabric chair like this occasional chair from Fishpools to sit in to read or listen to music and a couple of matching chairs, and perhaps a footstool, would set the room off nicely. Obviously, I’d like something which both looks beautiful and is comfortable to sit in, but also something which will last a long time, which is why leather could be a really good option.

Lamps

The overhead light in the room is fine for when we eat in there, but it’s a little bit dingy and because the ceiling is very low, it’s been tricky to find an appropriate lampshade for the room. If I’m honest, I actually MUCH prefer lamp light as it makes a room cosier and less stark, so a couple of standing lamps or perhaps a table lamp will be an absolute must.

Drinks Cabinet

I’m not a massive drinker at home but every so often, Husband and I will enjoy a tipple together and I’ve always loved the idea of having a proper drinks cabinet. I don’t necessarily mean a Del Boy style bar in the room, just somewhere to keep Husband’s 16-year Lagavulin and my gin, along with some soda and a few nice glasses!

To be honest, I’m not sure we’ll even have space for our enormous oak dining table and chairs once I get my readind area set up but the more I think about it, the more I really like the idea of a dedicated space for reading, so perhaps we’ll have to carry on eating off of our laps!