How to Hang Art and Mirrors

Hanging art, photos, pictures and mirrors is easy, right? Well, yep. You pop a nail or picture hook into a wall and sit the picture or mirror on top – it is that simple. But getting the configuration right – and the positioning exactly tight – can be a little more difficult. Here, we explain everything you need to know.

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  • Arrange everything from one bottom line. It gives the eye something to focus on, and helps to bring order to something that could be chaotic: for example, if you’re hanging a lot of small or medium sized pictures or shelves or objects on one wall. Keep in mind too that that bottom line can start lower down than you might think, as we all have a tendency to hang pictures quite high up on the wall – so play around with how high or how low you place the bottom line
  • Soften up the hard lines of a doorway or fireplace by framing them with pictures, art and mirrors – remember, you don’t just have to place artwork in the middle of a wall, it can quite literally go anywhere
  • One large image (by large, we mean really, really large), is probably the easiest way to make a statement. It is also a really effective way to make the room feel larger, even if it’s a small space. You don’t need to shy away from big design and big impact, just because the room is a little bit smaller than you’d like!
  • Choose unusual-shaped frames and hang them in unusual spaces – for example, that slim snippet of space between kitchen cupboards, or behind the loo in the downstairs cloakroom. It jazzes up a space, creates interest and helps to fill gaps – plus, the use of unusual frames will always create a talking point. It’s the same kind of thinking behind decorating your downstairs loo with cat wallpaper – it’ll always get people talking!
  • Hang a picture ledge, and you can then mix and match your art, accessories and photos as and when it takes your fancy. It’s a bit like a temporary art gallery, and you can then add new bits and pieces or swap them out if your style changes, or if you’re the type of person who likes to change things up quite frequently
  • Group some images within a framework to turn them into a larger piece of artwork – arrange them on the floor first so you can get a sense of composition, then hang them on the wall.

Source: Ikea

10 Simple Ways to Jazz Up an Old House

Trying to work out how to jazz up an old house can be really tricky – should you go for a traditional or classic theme?  Which colours should you go for? Wooden furniture or coloured furniture? Should you paint the walls? Wallpaper? So many choices! You could get a handyman to help you, or hire building materials to get the job done yourself.

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  • Shut the front door! Jazz up your house from the inside out by painting the front door a bold and bright colour, such as red, orange or yellow – all traditionally welcoming hues. For a traditional look, choose sage green or duck egg blue.
  • Minimise jarring transitions between rooms by keeping the wall colour neutral throughout. That doesn’t mean that you have to paint the whole house beige, but you can use pale grey or a taupe instead. The bonus is that in the future, you can update the room using new cushions and paintings without having to re-paint the walls.
  • Keep the original floors, if you can. Sand them down, replace any broken tiles or boards, then varnish to seal the floors.
  • Group your sofa together with tub chairs or armchairs in a way that invites conversation. “Modern” styles often feature chairs at jaunty angles and although it can look interesting, it isn’t all that comfortable or familiar. Don’t choose a boring old L-shape, either – choose a two seater or three seater and team it with a few single chairs and footstools instead.
  • Keep window coverings paired back and elegant. Old houses typically have large windows and high ceilings and the last thing you want to do is reduce the light, so choose linens and soft cottons in pale or neutral hues to keep the windows uncluttered. Alternatively, you could always use shutters or blinds.
  • There’s a reason why mirrors are so commonly used in old properties – they bounce light around and are an easy peasy way to add a decorative touch to any room. Choose mirrors with stone or metalwork frames.
  • Hang the right artwork. Surround prints or black and white photographs with vintage frames, then hang them in a mosaic style pattern in the middle of the wall. Nothing looks sillier than a teeny tiny photograph hanging at the top of a wall, so make sure that the artwork fits the space.
  • Layer lighting by using lamps, overhead lamps and floor lamps. Older houses look best when they’re cosy and inviting, and layering lighting is an easy way to achieve this.
  • Define any seating areas using rugs. The general rule is that all of the seating – all of the chair legs and table legs – should fit on the rug, with at least a few inches of extra fabric around the edges of the furniture.
  • Above all, if you’re stuck – and you don’t really know how to make the most of your space – get someone to do the job for you. Professional decorators are well worth their fee – just make sure you find someone with experience in setting up older houses.

Source: This Old House

5 DIY Decorating Shortcuts

Upgrading your home? Or just want to give one of your rooms a bit of a revamp? These 5 DIY decorating shortcuts will help you to transform your home in an instant – and not only are they speedier than more traditional options, they’re often cheaper, too – even more of a bonus. To help you get started, check this link for painting and decorating materials.

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1. Use a Patterned Roller

Patterned wallpapers can be pricey, especially if you want to wallpaper the whole room rather than just one feature wall. With designer papers costing upwards of £150 a roll, it’s not the most budget-friendly option. Plus, wallpaper can take ages to hang and it’s very easy to end up in a sticky mess. Enter the patterned roller. These ingenious devices create the look of patterned wallpaper with none of the expense – plus, it’s far easier to simply paint over paint once you get tired of the look than to strip wallpaper.

2. Spray Paint Your Furniture

If you think spray painting your furniture sounds mad, you could be right. But it’s a really cheap way to transform the look of your furniture in about 5 minutes flat. It only works on fabric upholstery, and to ensure that everything stays clean and tidy you will have to mask off any details like wooden chair legs, but it’s super speedy and really quite clever. Take cushions off of chairs and sofas before painting and finish with a sealant, so that new colour doesn’t get all over your clothes.

3. Use a Glue Gun

Glue guns are actually a really useful thing to have in the home if you love crafting and DIY projects – for example, making your own curtains or adding a trim to a lamp – so instead of digging out the sewing machine every time you want to get crafty, buy a fine-tip glue gun. They take just a few minutes to heat up and are easy peasy to use.

4. Mess Free Tiles

A sleek backsplash can really make a kitchen look extra-special – as can a fully tiled bathroom. Save the mess and the fuss with a tiling kit – choose one with a roll of adhesive that you can cut to size, plus a roll of “tile” mat. Simply measure up, cut to size, then stick on the wall. Far easier to install than real tiles and you don’t have to worry about cleaning the grouting.

5. Countertop Paint

Fed up of your old countertop? Want to change the look of your kitchen without having to fork out for a builder? You’re in luck – countertop paint is now available from a number of DIY stores, allowing you to change the colour and texture of the worktop with a coat of paint.

Source: The Nest

How to Project Manage Your Home Repairs

Planning and project managing home repairs and conversions is, arguably, more important than the conversion itself. If you don’t plan or have a strict timetable in place, you’ll find it difficult to keep everything on the right track. Plus, the longer your house is filled with dust and building debris, the more miserable you’ll be. Follow these 6 steps to keep your home repairs on track. For help getting the job done, take a look at these links for builders and building materials.

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  • Plan your budget. Write down everything that you’d like to get done, in the order of importance. For example, getting your kitchen redone is more important than remodelling a bedroom. Creating a beautiful new bathroom is (for most) more important than painting the dining room. Write down a list of everything you need to do, then ask a professional (or get a builder’s quote) how long everything will take and how much money you’ll have to spend. Take it step by step, and don’t do one job here and one job there – it’ll really frustrate you.
  • Keep changes – changes of the project – to a minimum. It is unbelievably expensive to change things like your kitchen cabinets halfway through or the placement of plumbing pipes or electrical outlets. Make your plan, double and triple check that what you’re doing is what you want and stand by your decisions!
  • Choose materials wisely. If you’re on a tight schedule, keep in mind that fancy or more expensive materials will usually take longer to ship, longer to fit and longer to incorporate into the build. But on the other hand, these materials could be well worth it.
  • Consider starting your repairs during the “quiet” period. For example, in the winter, storm damage is more common, but if you try to get someone to repair it they may well be booked up for the next month. Instead, call your builder and ask them when they’re most busy, and book your home repairs to occur during their quiet period. Also – and this is really important – pay for the job, rather than the hour, otherwise you could find yourself out of pocket.
  • Plan repairs according to the seasons. Sort out storm maintenance in the summer and clear out drainpipes in the summer before they get blocked with leaves during the autumn.
  • If you know that you want your home to be transformed in time for Christmas or a special event, plan, plan and plan some more. It’s unfair to give them a tight schedule, especially if they’re likely to be incredibly busy.

Source: The Nest

10 Things to Buy Now and Keep Forever

Interior design is a fickle friend. Trends change with each season and what was perfect for summer becomes too bright and bold for the more subdued winter months. Stripes are in, and then they’re not. Metallic furniture is in, and then it’s not. Patchwork sofas are in, and then, you’ve guessed it, they’re not. So how do you decorate your home without buying into fads and trends? Well, we’ve got 10 things that you can buy now and keep forever. They’ll be with you whatever the colour on the walls and wherever you go, quietly making your home feel homely. Click here to hire cars and vans to pick up your new furniture, or take a look at this link for painting and decorating materials if you want a fresh start.

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  • An amazing dining table. Don’t choose something too modern – all glass and chrome – instead, look for a wooden set with sleek lines and chairs with tall backs. If you can get away with it, go for a circular table as you can always squeeze one more person in.
  • Instead of staid armchairs, invest in the modern version, with clean lines, thin legs and a soft-to-the-touch fabric. They’ll last for years.
  • Original artwork. Either paint it yourself, get someone to do it for you, or buy from a local gallery. You might just discover the next big name in the art world – and if not, you’re still supporting the local community.
  • A decent set of kitchen knives. Those brightly coloured sets are all well and good, but they tend not to be particularly sharp. Buy chef’s knives, or even just one or two, and they will quite literally last a lifetime.
  • Plain yet elegant dishware. When you move into your first home, you’ll likely have pots and plates from at least four different sets. Match everything up by buying a set of plain yet elegant dishware – perhaps a rounded square shape with either no pattern or very minimal pattern. Better yet, invest in chip-free and scratch-resistant crocks so that you don’t end up ruining them in the washing-up bowl.
  • A super-strength blender. Handy for grinding spices, coffee and nuts, making smoothies, perfecting custards, making delicious meringues, blending soup and making smoothies, a super-strength blender is a must for all kitchen work-tops.
  • A decent rug. If you have wooden floors and want something that will warm the place up a little bit, invest in a well-made rug. If you like the style, choose a tapestry-style rug – the bonus is, they actually look better the more they’re used.
  • A really good, heavy cooking pot made from ceramic, rather than metal. Again, invest now and you’ll never have to buy another one. Perfect for the most melt-in-your-mouth stews and roasts.
  • A modern headboard. Look for something fairly tall, with clean lines but soft padding so that it’s comfy, too.
  • Anglepoise lamps are the classic, and they’re so popular for a reason: they’re really elegant and incredibly functional for task lighting. As a modern update, look for anglepoise-style floor lamps.

Source: The Nest

10 Simple Steps to Spruce Up Your Home

The weather is starting to turn and with the cooler temperatures come grey skies and cloudy days – which can make everything else seem a little bit gloomier, too! So spruce up your home and make everything seem a little bit brighter and more colourful by following these simple steps. Take a look at our painting & wall covering supplies to get the job done.

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  • Spoil yourself by displaying plenty of pretty blooms around the house year-round. Whether you like brightly coloured flowers or chic and elegant roses, they’ll not only pep up a room but will also add a fabulous scent.
  • Switch faux fur blankets and throws for light knitted and woolen throws instead. Faux fur may be cosy, but it’s also quite bulky and heavy and can take up a lot of space, so go for something lighter instead.
  • Use trunks and storage cases to store things like winter coats, winter boots and walking gear. They take up too much space in wardrobes and chests of drawers so that means you get more room to store everything else!
  • Shop at antique fairs, flea markets and charity shops for unique finds. You can get cheap furniture, fabulous fabrics and cool cushions for next to nothing, which means that you can easily experiment with your style until you find a look you love, and update your home with the latest trends without having to spend a fortune.
  • An easy way to change the look of a room is to swap out the rug or to add a new rug. Natural textures and fabrics like sisal are beautiful on wooden floors as they help to bring the outside in, but they’re also a modern twist on regular patterned rugs.
  • If you have a bar within your home or want to show off your antique glassware, keep a cool champagne carafe on hand for decoration as well as to make pouring the perfect cocktail a breeze.
  • If you live in a small apartment or flat, help to increase the feeling of space by using wall planters. They’re a great way to introduce greenery, and they also help to make a room feel bigger and brighter.
  • Start using prints in new and unexpected ways. Printed fabrics are quite unusual but they can be incredibly chic – look for printed cushion covers, duvets and blankets.
  • Paint behind your shelves or the back of your bookcase for an instant style update, or re-paint one or more of your walls.
  • For a high-end, designer look, paint everything white. Jazz it up with hints of colour here and there or include plenty of pretty prints.

Source: The Nest

DIY Tips: 10 Colour Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

Do you know which colours work well together? Which colours you should use as the neutral backdrop to your bold accents? Whether it’s okay to mix and match colours, patterns and textures? Read on to find out the 10 colour mistakes you shouldn’t make – ever – and take a look at this link for painting supplies to help you on your way.

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1. What Colour is Your Ceiling?

We’re willing to bet that it’s white. And if it’s white, it means that it has flecks of grey in it – all white paint contains a subtle hint of grey. If you put this colour onto the ceiling, it’ll make the height of the walls seem shorter, shrinking them and making the room feel smaller. Use a warm cream instead.

2. Matchy-matchy

Although you need a coherent colour scheme, it’s best to avoid exactly matching a colour on the wall to a colour in the fabric of a cushion – it’s too obvious. Instead, choose something that has a few tones of grey in it, as it’ll stop everything looking matchy-matchy but still keep the entire scheme cohesive.

3. Neutrals

Every room needs balance, so it’s really important that you team those bold bright colours with a number of soft neutrals – they won’t tone them down, exactly, but they’ll really make them pop and will help to prevent the space from just looking like a paint chart.

4. Colour Continuity

Although you might not want to use the exact same colours in every room of the house, to create a sense of continuity, it’s a good idea to use similar hues, or at least colours in the same palette, so that all of the rooms feel somewhat connected to one another. This is particularly important when spaces actually run into each other – like a dining room and a kitchen.

5. Cool Contrast

A room without contrast is boooorrrriiiinnng. Plenty of neutrals are nice but what makes a room even nicer is to add some lovely contrasting colours or textures. For example, a black leather chair or some sleek and glossy white furniture provide lovely contrast to a soft carpet or a fluffy cushion.

6. Don’t Go Too Far

If you make things too obvious – or go too far with your colour scheme by not using contrast or neutrals, you’ll make the room look a bit stiff. A bit unloved and a bit show-homey. What you want is something that’s both stylish and substantial enough for the whole family to enjoy.

7. How Will You Look?

People never think about how the room will complement them – a lady with blue eyes, for example, might benefit from a room with shades of grey and lavender, as it’ll help bring out the colour of her eyes.

8.  Not All At Once

You should never be afraid to use colour, but if you’re not brave enough to do everything at once, let the room evolve by adding more and more colour as you feel comfortable. It’ll also make you feel like the room is constantly changing, preventing boredom from settling in.

9. Get the Right Finish

You’ll need to prepare the walls well and use a decent paint if you want the end result to look good, whatever finish you’re going for – matte, eggshell, patent.

10. Choose Deep Colours

Deep colours should pull you in, rather than leap out at you, so it’s important that you add some depth to a room by choosing some deep colours.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: Decorating Ideas for an Older Child’s Bedroom

It’s pretty easy to decorate a nursery – soft textures, pretty pastels and plenty of storage. But how do you decorate a bedroom for a child that’s at that slightly awkward in-between age? Not a “baby” anymore but not yet old enough to fall out with you at the drop of a hat. Here, we share our top tips and decorating ideas for an older child’s bedroom. Take a look at this link for painting materials to help you get the job done.

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  • Ask them what their favourite colours are, but use a version of them that is appropriate for your home and for the rest of your decor. For example, if your daughter loves bright neon pink and bubblegum blue, you can compromise with baby pink and pale dove grey – that way, it’ll work with the rest of the house but it’ll also look stylish as they move into their teenage years
  • Add accents and style using soft furnishings, bedding and artwork – these can all be easily updated as their tastes change, which means that all you need to do is rehang a few pictures instead of repainting the whole room
  • Kids at this age love sleepovers, so make sure that you have a pull-out bed, a Z-bed or even just a squishy beanbag or two so that your little one can have their friends over
  • Adjustable shelves are a fantastic idea – fit them when they’re younger and they’ll accomodate large picture books, but then when they get older, you’ll be able to adjust them so that they can fit CDs, DVDs and paperbacks. Use two tiers of hanging rails in the wardrobe to maximise space, and hang a shoe storage rack – it can be used for shoes, but also for folded t-shirts, skirts and tops – perfect if you only have space for a wardrobe and can’t fit in a set of drawers
  • Lighting is really important – overhead lights can be a bit too bright and aren’t the best idea if you’re trying to create a cool and restful space. Putting lamps on either side of the bed will make the room feel wonderfully grown up, but you can keep it young by using lamps activated by clapping or by touching the base. Another option is to add a string of fairy lights wound around the end of a bed or around a mirror – making a super pretty space for a younger girl, or string a net of lights above the bed to create a cosmos of stars for a budding space explorer
  • Wall stickers are a great way to personalise the space in a hurry – they’re more stylish than posters, but they can easily be removed when you or your children’s tastes change

Source: House to Home

DIY Tips: How to Decorate a Nursery

Decorating a nursery isn’t as easy as you’d think – it isn’t just about choosing pale pink or pale blue and stuffing as many teddies onto shelves as you can. It’s important to create a soothing, calming and restful space that’s conductive not only to sleep, but to learning, playing and allowing your baby to explore the world around them. Follow our tips to create the perfect space, and take a look at this link for painting materials.

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  • Think about what you need from the nursery, too. It’s not just about your baby – it’s also about you. After all, you’ll be spending plenty of time in there and so you need to make sure that you have a comfy chair, plenty of storage for everything you’ll need in the middle of the night – bottles, nappies, blankets, spare clothes for baby and maybe even a few spare clothes or pairs of PJs for you
  • Comfort and calm are two things you must keep in mind when choosing paint colours, wallpapers, fabrics and furniture. Cosiness is incredibly important, but you also need to choose colours that are known to calm and soothe: pale blues and lilacs are lovely, while pale lemon is a wonderfully sunny, happy hue. Look for tactile, soft fabrics – they’ll be comfortable but they’ll also act as tools for baby to learn how to explore the world around them. Pop a mobile above the cot, but make sure that it’s hung high up out of the way and that baby won’t be able to reach it once they’re able to stand. Choose a sweet, happy mobile with characters or items that will help your baby learn
  • Look for multi-purpose pieces of furniture that can also be used when your baby moves out of the nursery and into their first grown-up room. Chests of drawers, for example, can double as a changing table – just pop a mat on top (Never leave baby unattended!). Or, a 2 in 1 cot bed that you can take the sides off of when they’re old enough, that can double as their first bed – saving you money 1 or 2 years down the line
  • Blackout blinds are always a good choice for a nursery as they’ll help your little one to sleep and will hopefully stop them from being woken up at the first signs of dawn – and it’ll also help when the sun comes up especially early in the summer months. Buy them on a roller, so that through the day, you can easily wind the blind up and let plenty of natural light into the room – and then pull it back down if you put baby down for a nap in the middle of the day
  • Ideally, keep the nursery at around 18C – not too hot and not too cold. Don’t position the cot next to a radiator or too close to a window, and if you can, pop in a thermometer just so you can keep an eye on the temperature

Have any ideas or contributions? place your free classified ads on HireJungle.co.uk.

Source: House to Home

DIY Tips: Children’s Bedroom Ideas for All Ages

Whatever the age of your little one (or big one), it can be tricky trying to work out just how to decorate your child’s bedroom. In the first of our mini-series, we show you the basics you need to keep in mind when choosing paint and shopping for wallpaper and accessories. Follow our tips to get it right every time, and take a look at this link for painting materials to help you get the job done.

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The Basics

Whatever their age, there are a few basic rules that you can follow:

  • Make it personal. Ask them what they want – colours, styles, patterns, bedding. Although you might not be able to give them everything they want, if they have a say in the colour scheme or the theme, they’re more likely to want to keep their room clean and tidy
  • Make sure there’s plenty of storage. Whether your little one is nursery age or a teenager, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of storage – for toys, or for clothes and shoes
  • Lay down a few ground rules and make sure that the room is as safe as can be. In nurseries, make sure little hands can’t pull down heavy furniture and keep wires, cords and cables well out of the way. For teenagers, make sure that they understand that the room should be kept clean and tidy and don’t forget – everyone is a little bit messy sometimes so don’t give them too much of a hard time if they forget the odd coffee mug
  • Use the space as sensibly as you can. We talk about zoning quite a lot; and the basic idea is that you divide the room up into different zones. Even if the room is a single, you can still use the zoning technique, with different spots for working, sleeping and playing/relaxing – even if that’s just a bed, a desk and a squishy beanbag
  • Think about how old they’ll be three years from now. What kind of theme will they like? Princesses or pirates might be all well and good when they’re 6 or 7, but by the time they turn 10 and start growing up, princesses might fall quickly out of favour to be replaced by boybands or photography or reading. Unless you have a very large budget, you’re probably going to want to decorate their room in a fairly neutral way that can easily be updated as their tastes change without having to do a complete overhaul of their furniture – new paint on the walls and a few new cushions or pieces of artwork should be able to transform the space without too much trouble
  • Keep things as flexible as you can. You never know when you might have unexpected guests, or what might happen next – you might have another child or need to swap your daughter’s room with your son’s, so keep that in mind before you opt for a flowery pink carpet.

Source: House to Home