How Are You Improving Your Home During Lockdown?
Many people have been taking the opportunity of being stuck at home to carry out DIY or home improvement tasks. While you might not be able to take on any substantial renovations at your property during this time, there are a number of small jobs you can complete.
The Bolton News recently picked out some of the top home improvement projects to tackle during lockdown.
It seems that many people have already been getting cracking with some DIY. The newspaper cited research carried out by OnBuy.com, which found that 61 per cent of Brits had started a home DIY project during the weeks that we’ve been in lockdown.
Over half (55 per cent) were playing it safe by just painting walls, while 32 per cent were landscaping their garden and 13 per cent revealed that they were using this time to upcycle some furniture.
Painting the interior walls of your home or putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door was named by the newspaper as one of the top home improvement projects to do at the moment. This task is described as “one of the most effective, yet simple” ways that homeowners can refresh their abodes.
If you’ve got your paintbrush out, it’s also worth giving your window sills some TLC. The news provider advised using a neutral colour for both the interior and exterior window sills and frames.
You may also want to use this time to declutter your home or consider how you can better store the items that you want to keep. “Clutter can make an otherwise pleasant space look very unappealing, and is easily solved with some clever storage systems,” the publication stated.
If you have specific storage needs, or odd-shaped spaces in your home that could be better used, consider ordering bespoke furniture in Richmond, or wherever you live, to make the most of the space you have and ensure that you can easily fit all your belongings into your home and keep the clutter out of sight.
Once you’ve removed the clutter, you could look at where else you can minimise your decor to make your space look larger. For instance, you could look at replacing heavy and thick curtains with Venetian or Roman blinds, which take up less space and will likely make your room feel larger and more open.
An article for East Anglian Daily Times recently explored why storage solutions are such an important consideration when it comes to getting your home decor right.
It explained that many of us find it easier to concentrate and be productive when our space is clean and tidy. This is because there’s nothing to distract us from the task that we’re working on and that means we can stay motivated.
Decluttering has also been found to be good for our mental wellbeing, as well as making our homes tidier and easier to manage.
With that in mind, you might want to spend some time in the coming weeks working out what you could get rid of once lockdown ends, as well as what changes you could make at home to give you more storage space.
Tips On Designing The Perfect Nursery
Expectant mums and dads will have a lot on their minds lately, worrying about the uncertainty of bringing a newborn into the world in the midst of the worst pandemic for decades.
One thing they can do to take their minds off this and start getting excited about their new arrival is by decorating their baby’s nursery.
Here are some tips on creating a peaceful space for your baby boy or girl.
- Pick a theme
Before picking up artwork or choosing a colour for the walls, it is a good idea to have a theme. Many couples choose to wait to find out the sex of the baby, in which case there are many gender-neutral designs that would look great in a nursery room – from a jungle theme to a woodland owl one.
What’s more, neutral themes are ideal if you are planning to have more children, so you don’t have to change it for a different gender.
Once you know what you are basing your design around, it will be a lot easier picking curtains, paint, lampshades, bedding and stickers for your walls.
Nurseries are ideal for adding a splash of colour to your house, with blue, green, yellow and pink really helping to brighten up the space. However, don’t be afraid of sticking to more subdued colours too – greys or whites can still look effective and enable you to make more of a deal of artwork and prints instead.
- Changing table convenience
Before you have your first baby, you might not understand the importance of having everything you need to change their nappy or clothes within easy reach. Make sure your storage for wipes, nappies, muslins, outfits, cotton wool, nappy bags, bibs, a bin and a laundry bag are close to each other so you can access them all without taking your hand off the baby.
- Washable walls
Before painting the walls or slapping on wallpaper, you might want to consider getting washable varieties. Babies produce a lot of bodily fluids, whether it’s pee or vomit, and you will want to be able to wipe it off the walls easily should they land there.
- Fitted furniture
Most people assign the smallest room in the house to the baby, which often means space for a cot, changing table, drawers or wardrobe and feeding chair can be limited.
However, it is not impossible to fit in everything you need. Remember babies are only little and do not require lots of space for books or toys yet. When it comes to furniture, you can call carpentry companies in London to come up with innovative solutions to install the ideal changing table or cupboard that will fit perfectly in the space you have available.
- Feeding area
When it comes to designing the nursery, don’t forget to include an area for feeding. You are bound to spend long hours in the middle of the night feeding and soothing an unsettled baby, so you want the space to be comfortable.
Have a table or set of drawers beside a cosy feeding chair, so you can place a glass of water, bottles, book or nightlight there. A dim light will enable you to see what you’re doing while not waking up the baby too much.
It is also a good idea to have everything you need to resettle the baby to hand, from dummies to teething gel, so you don’t have to search for it when you are trying to calm baby into a deep slumber.
Why Bespoke Furniture Is Ideal For Loft Conversions
Getting a loft conversion is one of the most popular renovation jobs to do, as they are great for adding extra space to a house as well as boosting its value.
However, what can be tricky is finding furniture that fits an attic space, particularly in the eaves. That is why bespoke fitted furniture, such as wardrobes or a home office, is the perfect solution, as you can have this built to the exact dimensions, so no space is wasted.
Why are loft conversions so popular?
Installing a loft can be one of the most complex and disturbing homebuilding projects you embark on, as it requires using up space on your second floor to build a staircase and causing disruption to the entire house for weeks. Indeed, you might even have to live without a roof for part of the project, which can be a challenge during cold and rainy times.
Despite this, many people opt for a loft conversion and there are lots of reasons why.
Unsurprisingly, one of the main incentives to go ahead with a loft conversion is to gain more space in the house. For most people, this means an extra bedroom, enabling you to future-proof your house for your growing family or to have somewhere for guests to stay when they visit.
Some people install an extra room simply to have more living space, such as a den for teenagers, a playroom for younger kids, or a ‘man cave’ for your husband! This allows different members of the household to have their own space, freeing up some of the living area downstairs.
Additionally, not everyone has enough outside space to extend into the garden. Therefore, building upwards is the only option, particularly if they do not want to move.
While attics provide lots of storage anyway, having a space that is properly built and fitted with storing units could really help many people to keep their belongings in an organised fashion.
Another reason why lofts are so popular is they are great at boosting the value of your home.
Recent research from Halifax showed converting the loft can add an average of £11,020 to the asking price of a house, making it the most profitable home upgrade. Therefore, those who plan to move in a few years’ time might be tempted to install one, so they can enjoy the extra space for the time-being as well as get a greater price for their property when they come to sell.
What furniture to fit in a loft?
Despite them being so popular, it can be notoriously hard to get furniture that fits correctly in a loft.
According to the Home Owners’ Alliance, the minimum height requirement in a loft is 2.5m from the top of the ceiling joist to underneath the ridgeboard in the apex. This is to enable tall people to be able to stand up comfortably in the majority of the space, although the ceiling will slope downwards on at least one side of the house.
Where there are sloping ceilings, at least half the floor space should adhere to the minimum height requirement.
Therefore, it is important to make sure any wardrobes and bookcases do not exceed this height, taking carpet and coving restrictions into place as well. It is also wise to work out whether the furniture can easily be transported into the attic, including up the stairs and through its doors.
Some furniture might be too bulky or tall to move into the available space, which may mean you have to invest in a whole new set that fits more suitably.
The type of furniture you choose will, of course, depend on what you have converted the space for. Those who wanted a home office out of their attic might want a bespoke workstation that includes a desk, and bespoke shelves that fit in the eaves. This allows you to make the most of the awkward angle of the ceiling while not losing any of the available space.
Alternatively, those who wanted their loft to become an extra bedroom might consider getting tailor-made floor-to-ceiling wardrobes that fit the height of the attic perfectly.
Not only does this allow you to make the most of the whole wall, it also means homeowners can get all the shelving, hanging areas, tie racks, shoe drawers, and accessory compartments they need from their cupboard space.
To find out more about fitted furniture in West London, get in touch with us today.
How Do You Make A New Property Feel Like Home?
What is the first thing you’d do when you move into a new home? And what items do you buy first to help you settle into a new abode? A poll by Zoopla recently explored the answers to these questions and found that the first thing most of us do is give our new home a deep clean.
In fact, some 37 per cent of those questioned said that this is what they’d do. In second place, interestingly, was being intimate with their partner (25 per cent), and in third place is ordering a takeaway (20 per cent).
The Zoopla survey also found that 68 per cent of people said it took more than a week for their new place to feel like home.
For 26 per cent, decorating and putting their personal stamp on a property was what made it feel like home, while 23 per cent stated that simply coming home after a day at work was when they felt like they’d arrived home.
There are also a number of purchases many of us make shortly after moving day. At the top of the list is a new mattress, followed by a new bed, TV and sofa.
If you’re looking for ways to put your stamp on a property and to make it feel like home, investing in bespoke furniture in Richmond could be the way to go. This is a particularly great option if you have any awkwardly shaped rooms where shop-bought items may not fit properly.
When you do start carrying out home renovations, you may want to consider how much time you have to complete projects. Property Reporter recently shared research from Sainsbury’s Bank Loans, which revealed that one in ten home renovation projects started in the last 12 months are still not finished.
A lack of money was cited as the main reason why many DIY projects don’t get completed as quickly as people would like.
Do You Live In A Dangerous Home?
You might not think it but it’s possible that your home could pose a significant risk to your health and wellbeing, given a new report revealing that more than 4.3 million properties in England don’t currently meet basic standards of decency - typically because of a serious hazard being present.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Ageing Better, has found that more than two million people over the age of 55 live in a house that endangers their health or wellbeing. The largest number of indecent homes was found to be among owner-occupiers, with many householders facing practical or financial barriers to home maintenance.
The Centre, alongside report co-author Care & Repair England, described the situation as a “national scandal”, calling on the government to prioritise this issue and take urgent action to address the quality of housing stock.
Some 20 per cent of all houses in the private rented sector are considered non-decent and around £513 million on first-year treatment costs for over-55s living in the poorest housing is spent by the NHS.
One of the biggest causes of injury and death among older populations are falls in the home, while cold properties can aggravate numerous problems like asthma and arthritis.
Chief executive at the Centre for Ageing Better Dr Anna Dixon observed: “The average cost to bring a non-decent home up to a decent standard is estimated to be under £3,000, and a third of these homes could be repaired for less than £1,000. And yet the funding that used to be dedicated to addressing this issue has been withdrawn in recent years.”
This report could be the motivation you need to carry out a risk assessment at home to see if there are any repairs that could be undertaken in order to make the property safer.
Even if you’re not over the age of 55, it could be a good idea to consider future-proofing your property to ensure that you’re able to live there independently for as long as possible, even if and when your needs change as you age.
These adaptations could include anything from widening the door frames to allow for wheelchair use to installing outdoor ramps and step rails, and lowering kitchen worktops. You could also add a grab rail in the bathroom, or have a walk-in shower installed.
If you have any carpentry or building work that needs doing, get in touch with London carpentry and joinery contractors Central London Carpentry.
Our primary focus is bespoke fitted furniture but we also work closely with fully qualified plumbers, plasterers and electricians to offer our clients a full renovation service. Following your enquiry, you can usually expect an estimated price within 24 hours before we send someone out to take measurements and discuss the finer details of your project.
4 Top Carpentry Tips For DIY Enthusiasts
There will always be jobs that you need to call in the skills and experience of a carpentry contractor in the London area for - but, similarly, there will always be jobs that you feel you’re able to tackle yourself. We’re a nation of DIY enthusiasts, after all.
But you do need to make sure that you know what you’re doing and have done your research into each task properly before you begin, so you can avoid making potentially costly mistakes. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips of the trade to get you started.
Make a mitre saw bench
You’ll find life a lot easier with certain jobs if you take the time to make your own mitre saw bench. Being able to cut wood is a lot easier if you’re not having to kneel on the grass to get it done.
Buy a nail gun
If you’ve got a big project that requires lots of nails, you’ll end up regretting not investing in a key bit of tech - the nail gun. It can become very tedious having to bang in lots of nails and you may find you get frustrated with the number that bend and prove hard to hammer in.
Use a laser tape measure
Measuring is something you’ll be doing constantly as a DIY carpenter and it can be awkward to get stats for large rooms with a tape measure. Lasers simply do the same thing but a lot quicker!
Have a first aid kit handy
You’ll probably skin a few fingers and hit yourself with the hammer from time to time - so make sure you have everything you need to patch yourself up with close by.
Check out Homify for even more DIY tips and advice.