Home refurbishment Leicestershire

Real Wood Floors: Great for your Home and the Environment

If you’re replacing flooring, it’s important to think about not only the colour and finish but also how much time you’ll have for future maintenance. If you want a break from vacuuming, why not choose a real wood floor, which will not only be easy to keep clean but will give you a luxury look and add value to your home.

There’s such a wide choice of wooden flooring now that you’ll have no trouble finding something to suit your home and, increasingly important, some environmentally friendly options too. For example, rather than solid wood, look for a source of recycled or reclaimed timber, or choose engineered wood instead, which gives a similar appearance but is made from several thin layers of wood over a composite, so reducing the amount of timber used by up to 50%. Or if you’d prefer an all natural product, look at bamboo, which is both sustainable and exceptionally hard wearing.

To make sure that you’re happy with the appearance of real wood in your room or rooms, look at samples at home so you can see how the timber appears in different lighting conditions and at different times of day.

Installing a real wood floor will take longer than laying a carpet as it will need to be screwed to a subfloor which has been expertly prepared. If you’re working on a home refurbishment Leicestershire or renovation project this will be easy and, if your budget allows, you could install underfloor heating at the same time.

Whether your home has a contemporary or period style, real wood flooring will look good. The linear effect, if continued from one room to another, will lead to a good visual flow between rooms and make a space appear larger. Be aware, though, that it’s not a good choice for a bathroom or ensuite due to the moisture levels there.

If you like the look of solid wood but would like a softer feel, some well chosen and placed rugs will help and add a splash of colour to your room. (If your home has a strong retro feel, why not make some rag rugs using recycled fabric strips?)

You can choose between pre-finished and unfinished flooring. If it’s prefinished you’ll be able to walk on it immediately, while an unfinished floor will first need to be sanded, then stained – if you’ve decided on that option – and sealed, so you’ll have to be patient for two days. But you’ll be rewarded. While dirt gets hidden in carpet fibres, any stains or spills can be removed quickly and easily from a solid wood floor without having to get your vacuum out. Having the floor re-sanded from time to time will keep it looking good for years to come. Choosing real wood for your floor may take a little more time than carpet but you’ll Certainly reap the benefits of your good looking investment.

Bringing Hotel Chic Home

It’s always a pleasure to take a break from routine and stay in a luxury hotel. How many times have you returned refreshed, but wondering how to incorporate some of the hotels design ideas into your home? Even if you’ve not been away recently, looking at luxury hotel websites will give you plenty of ideas to copy.

While your living room, bedroom or ensuite might not have hotel dimensions, with some planning and the advice of an East Midlands interior design company, you can adapt what you’ve seen to create your own luxury hotel experience.

For the refurbishment of a bathroom or ensuite, look for polished wall and (non slip) floor tiles in cool colours, stone or marble vanity units – ‘his’ and ‘hers’ basins if you have the space – the largest mirror you can find and recessed down lighting. Opt for a walk-in shower with a contemporary round, flat head and rain shower flow. Add glass shelves for storage, piled with fluffy towels and you’ve got a luxurious start every day.

In the bedroom, think grey, silver or light gold wallpaper, a high bed head in a toning colour and a luxury bed with mattress topper, heaped with cushions. This look is sleek and sophisticated, so use an ottoman for storage to reduce clutter. Furnish with metallic or Perspex side and dressing tables, adding a pretty French style chair. If the room’s large enough, why not have a day bed?

If you’re redesigning your living area, you could remove a wall to create a larger space, and continuing your chosen flooring from the hallway into other rooms also helps. Position your seating away from the walls and with a sofa and armchair, or armchairs at ninety degrees round a coffee table with an occasional table between them, you’ve got a cosy ‘conversation’ group. If you have space, create more than one: perhaps opposite windows or doors looking into the garden?

Go for the deepest chairs and best quality upholstery your budget allows. Pile cushions and throws in toning colours to create a cosy feel, especially for winter months. If you have an open fire or burner, add log baskets to the hearth.

In keeping with the luxury hotel theme, add your own bar area to your living space. A cabinet, with double doors for hanging glasses, fitted with shelves and a small fridge would really surprise and impress guests, or fit a bar top in an alcove or corner and add a couple of stools for a budget friendly option.

Think about lighting and accessories carefully. Table lamps create soft pools of light but make sure they’re powerful enough to read by. Look for one large, eye catching artwork or group several smaller pieces in matching frames together and collect new or good quality secondhand large format books to display on a coffee table.

Whatever you decide, choose carefully and your problem won’t be finding enough guests, but asking them politely to leave once they’ve admired your style.

Why Use a Professional for a Home Renovation Project?

Renovating your home can be time consuming and disruptive but if the project is planned and costed carefully and overseen and carried out by professionals, the finished result will not only give you an attractive living space but potentially increase your home’s value. With the cost of moving increasing all the time, property renovation is a cost effective way of turning your property into the home you’ve always wanted.

A design company experienced in home renovation Leicestershire is the perfect starting point and, working with experienced subcontractors as required, they will make sure you get a professional final result.

Renovation can take many forms including the installation of new bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens or the upgrading and modernisation of existing facilities to suit the changing needs of a growing family. For example, if you have teenagers, you can never have enough bathroom space! Alternatively you may be thinking about age proofing your home for later years with a walk-in shower or wet room.

If you’re involved in property development as an investment, you may need to carry out major renovation work on an older house or apartment in order to meet modern standards for heating, wiring and plumbing, for example. You’ll need to budget for the services of an architect if you’re going to make structural changes.

When looking for ideas for lower key renovations, collect pictures of interiors which appeal to you and an experienced home renovation company will be able to interpret your ideas and, where necessary, suggest alternatives to match your budget.

While at one time a period property would automatically be decorated in a period style, nowadays anything goes. Adding a modern, glazed extension – either single or double storey – at the rear can flood a dark Victorian or Edwardian villa with natural light while keeping the style intact at the front: especially important if your home is in a terrace.

You may decide that while you love your home, the layout of rooms isn’t ideal for your family’s lifestyle. An interior designer will be able to make practical suggestions, such as swapping the functions of some rooms, streamlining your life and your home.

Incorporating items like a butlers sink or dresser into a redesigned kitchen, along with contemporary units in neutral colours and a natural stone, or wooden floor gives a fresh update, incorporating the convenience of modern living with the unique character of an older property. Neutrals, paired with metallics would also particularly suit a 30’s style home adding light, colour and a feeling of luxury.

But whatever style of home you have, you’ll find that shopping for furniture and the all important ‘finishing touch’ accessories for the project will be both easy and enjoyable, with a huge range of sources, whether you go for antique pieces or modern reproductions.

A renovation project isn’t to be undertaken lightly: you may even have to move out temporarily but working with professionals is a cost effective way to the home of your dreams.

Finding the Right Finishing Touches

Whatever style, colours or furnishings you choose for your home, the things that make it really individual and truly ‘yours’ are the home accessories. Picking the accessories that will both complement your décor and reflect your personality is an exciting final stage in any refurbishment project.

In order to get the best result, ideally you need to allocate part of the project budget for accessories but you may find that you already have favourite items which you can incorporate into your new interior. For example, perhaps you have a favourite picture which isn’t currently displayed whose colours blend perfectly with the colour scheme of your newly designed room? An interior design company experienced in helping clients chooses home accessories Leicestershire will be able to make suggestions to help you get the most from your budget.

In living areas, accessories will include artwork, lights, lamps, vases and cushions and the colours and styles you use can blend with, or act as a contrast to, your colour scheme. If your style is contemporary with plain walls and floor, look for lamps and vases both in toning shades and bright zingy colours. Pile a mix of plain coloured cushions topped with a few in eye catching patterns onto your sofas. Metallics are another key trend. So look for metallic hanging lights, floor lamps, and lamp bases, occasional tables with metal legs, plant holders, clocks and dramatic wall sculptures.

For a retro scheme, source vintage lights, lamps and posters and look out for old school desks, small tables or individual chairs at antique fairs which can be renovated or recovered. If you enjoy upcycling, you’ll find plenty of ideas in magazines and on the internet for quirky uses of old furniture, containers, even pianos made into tables!

It’s not just living areas that benefit from well chosen accessories. For bathrooms, buy the largest mirror you can afford or use one or more mirrored cabinets to increase storage. Natural materials can be introduced through wooden bath racks, towel rails and folding stools, while wicker baskets in a range of sizes keep clutter under control. In a period bathroom, antique glass dishes and shaving equipment make great accessories.

In a kitchen, open baskets and plain or decorated tins work well for storage. If your kitchen has a plain, uncluttered colour palette, arrange matching white or glass vases or planters along the windowsill for single blooms or herbs. Use a Perspex or white trolley for additional storage alongside an island unit. Vintage and retro kitchen utensils and accessories are widely available and your designer should be able to suggest sources.

Whatever the look you want for your home, you’ll find plenty of choice in accessories. Take your time, enjoy choosing and continue to look for items to add to the scheme in the future; subtle changes will keep your interior fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Creating a Study Bedroom for your Child

As we pass the midpoint of the school holidays and the shops fill with uniforms and stationery, maybe it’s time to give your child’s bedroom a new look for the new school year? It could really inspire them, making studying easier and more pleasant. Home refurbishment is a popular way of improving your home without the expense of moving, so a home refurbishment Leicestershire project could have dual benefits: for you and your child.

Even primary school children want room for sleepovers and a young teen will want to use their room for entertaining friends as well as study. Could they move to a larger room or could you extend into the loft or convert the garage to create a private den?

While young children like a bedroom themed round a favorite character, older children and teens need a smart look that will remain age appropriate.If you have room, create three separate areas: for sleeping, relaxing and studying, but if space is tight, a ‘day’ bed piled with coloured cushions will serve both as sleeping and relaxing space.

The study area should be near the best light and close to electrical sockets for powering up those all important gadgets. You’ll need to plan in a desk and shelves. Cabin style beds offer interesting options for smaller spaces, with the bed being raised above the desk area. Some even have desk units which roll away under the bed when not needed: useful for creating sleepover floor space. Another option would be to build or put a desk between two cupboards, with shelves above it.

Choose a good, supportive chair for the desk and add a comfy armchair for downtime. An old favorite from another room, recovered in a vintage fabric, would be ideal.

Provide as big a pin board area as possible. Whether it’s for the latest pinups, or study timetables, it will always be full! Use chalkboard paint on one wall, or a wardrobe door, and watch your child’s creativity develop.

For younger children, bunk beds are an exciting option. Some now come with a mini staircase, a safer option than the traditional ladder. Look for one with a shelf unit at one end; add a chair and you’ve got a study area.

While carpet is a soft, warm, flooring option, a hard floor may prove more practical, as it won’t show spillages. Carpet does, however, provide better noise insulation: something to think about if you’ve got a sleepover taking place above your sitting room!

When you’re redesigning the room, get your child involved choosing wall coverings, furniture or bedding. Not only will they enjoy making choices,but they’ll be developing their eye for interior design and, hopefully, their budgeting skills too.

Whatever your child’s age, help them start the new academic year with a fresh new look for their room and see how keen they are to start studying again!

Blue Leads the Way in Autumn Colour Trends

Blue is one of the key colours trending for autumn/winter 2014 and designers are creating stunning interiors using its many different shades. From bright cobalt and electric blue, through sky blue to the more subtle aqua, blue is an ideal base colour for any interior scheme.

Blue is very versatile and whether used as a main or an accent colour, it can be paired with reds, purples, greens, yellows, greys or white. As a ‘cool’ colour, blue, particularly its darker shades, works best in a room which gets plenty of natural light, as it can dominate a north facing space, for example.

Use blue together with grey for a cool, contemporary look in a modern loft or apartment, or a stylish wet room. Blue has long been a popular choice for bathrooms and an azure or aquamarine, teamed with yellow or white will create a fresh, welcoming environment – especially ideal to step into first thing in the morning.

In a living room, particularly one opening onto a garden terrace or deck, opting for sky blue walls, white paintwork and either a light wood or wood effect laminate floor, or a geometric patterned carpet in shades of blue and white, will give you a light, summery feel.

If you have an older style property, designers, such as those working on home renovation Leicestershire, may suggest pairing peacock blue with deep crimsons or purples for a rich, traditional feel which will suit your period home perfectly.Cobalt is a key fashion shade for autumn/winter 2014 and this strong blue can be partnered with anything from the palest ice blue to vibrant fuschia or lime green to create a stand out look for a living area, or even a kitchen. You could use either the blue or the toning colour for upholstery, curtains, flooring or cabinet doors.

At one time, children’s rooms were decorated in ‘blue for a boy’, ‘pink for a girl’, but now such traditions no longer apply and both boys and girls can enjoy blue and green, blue and yellow or blue and red or pink colour schemes.

If you’re thinking of basing a redecoration or renovation scheme around blue, take time to consider which blue would work best in your room. Ask for paint, wall covering, upholstery and flooring samples to try in your home at different times of day and in different lighting levels. Don’t be afraid to mix different blues together, but in a small room, be aware that too many shades and patterns will make the space seem much smaller.

Blue is such a versatile colour, that whatever shade or shades of blue you choose, and whatever complementary colours you use, you can be use that your choice is right on trend.

Modern Wallpapers Giving a Glimpse of the Past

Just as fashions in the colours and fabrics used for clothes change, so do trends in the world of wallpaper design.

In the 1960s, Modern Wallpapers Giving a Glimpse of the Past, like fashion, embraced both monochrome Op art and the joyful colours of Flower Power. In comparison, in the 1970s, the milkmaid look popularized by Laura Ashley sent sprigs of tiny blooms spreading across our walls. The 1980s saw densely patterned floral papers with accompanying borders start to make way, in the 1990s, for a minimalist look with wallpaper often being ditched in favour of plain painted walls. As the decade went on, a partial revolt against minimalism saw the introduction of techniques such as sponging to add texture to the walls.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, and in today’s tighter financial conditions, many firms, including an interior design company in Leicester, are reporting a rise in nostalgia and growing interest in all things vintage and handmade, as people look for ways to stamp their individuality on their homes.

So, retro prints copied from original 1960s or 70s pattern books are big news. The bold geometric designs, often in greens, oranges or browns, are best kept to one wall in a small room, with a complementary or contrast colour paper on the other walls. Carry the theme through with cushions or ceramics in key colours from the wallpaper.

Botanic is another current trend, but, unlike the tiny floral prints of the 1980s, the 2014 wallpapers often feature much larger blooms, combining well with bold modern furniture or adding a striking backdrop to a deliberately mismatched, retro-chic scheme. You’ll find flowers featuring heavily on ‘oriental’ inspired papers, too, and if you choose one with a dark background, these can work well in a contemporary, minimalist home.

If you prefer plain to patterned walls, introducing texture is a great way to individualize your room. And it has the further advantage of helping to disguise any imperfections on a less-than-perfect wall surface! Go for a 30s throwback anaglypta paper which can be painted or left plain, or look for a paper with a metallic finish that will reflect light and make the room seem bigger.

Children’s rooms have been transformed too. The latest trends see an end to the TV tie-ins and, instead, a wealth of beautiful vintage-inspired designs, featuring stylized animals, cars, brightly coloured Paisley patterns and bold geometric stripes that suit both boys and girls and which won’t date as the child grows.

Wallpaper has been part of our homes and our lives for generations, and, as with so many things, wallpaper design trends seem to be coming full circle. But experiments with the latest 3D printer technology have already seen wallpaper being produced. We may be on the threshold of a completely new era that could one day see us all able to produce our designs for our homes within our homes.


Create a Custom Designed Welcoming Hallway to Attract the Visitors


Creating a Study Bedroom for your Child