Our Very Best Decorating Tips

progetto

When you are giving a room a total makeover, giving it a new paintjob, there are a few things you should always keep in mind if you are wanting the process to go as smoothly as possible. You don’t want paint on the sideboards or in the carpet, and you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good weekend when your decorating goes awry.

Forewarned is forearmed, and – at least when it comes to painting a room – a little bit of planning can go a very long way. With that in mind, here are our simple tips. Good luck, and happy decorating!

Be Prepared

A simple tip, but one that’s worth mentioning nonetheless. It is definitely worth your time to spend an hour or two gathering up all the materials and tools you are likely to need, as well as some that you might want to have to hand.

Having everything safely in one place that’s within easy reaching distance will make life so much easier, and save a lot of time in the long run. You don’t want to have to run to B&Q with a damp half of a room because you’ve forgotten something.

Go for Quality

This applies to all of your tools and supplies. Poor quality paint is simply not worth your money or your time – it is false economy. You will have to use more of it as it will require a greater number of coats, and you will often end up with an uneven finish. You don’t want that. No one does.

Similarly, poor quality brushes will leave you wanting when you’re all finished up. Picking out bristles from wet paint is not a particularly fun or entertaining task, nor is it a fulfilling one. Get a good synthetic brush of about 2 inches in width; this will be perfect for cutting in the edges.

Keep Rolling

When it comes to rollers, the main sections of wall could benefit from the use of a seven-incher, medium pile. Is the roller new? If so, give it a good wash in warm, soapy water before use – this will prevent any fluff sticking to the walls.

If you have any narrow sections that need painting, or any areas with radiators, it could well be worth investing in a smaller roller to complement the larger one. We’re all about making things easier.

Get Cutting

Before you do the main walls – before! – make sure you’ve done the cutting in. Do this carefully, painting the ceiling edges, the edges above skirting boards and around windows, and into the corners.

Doing this beforehand will save a great deal of hassle. Do it for each wall before moving on to the next one; this will ensure everything is nice and even, blending together properly.

Keep Things Fresh

You don’t want your brushes to dry out, as this is a major pain and takes precious time to rectify. It’s easy to keep your brushes fresh, so you might as well – keep all your rollers and brushes in a bucket when not in use, and cover them with a damp cloth. Simple!

7 Steps to Creating a Sleep Sanctuary

Create a cool and calm sanctuary in your home by following these eight simple design tips – thing like the perfect height for your headboard and how to match your bedside tables. If you’re not particularly good at painting and decorating, get a decorator in to help, or if you need an extra helping hand – such as the services of a handyman – hire one by clicking here.

bedroom-headboard

 

  • If you want to buy a new headboard (and you should, they really make a room), it should be approximately 45-54 inches in height from the floor to the top of the headboard if your room is eight to ten feet tall, whether you’ve gone for an arched design or a regular flat design. Any taller and any artwork that you get will end up too high on the wall. Get something that’s upholstered for extra comfort.
  • Bedside tables look best when they sit just an inch or two lower than the bed, which is usually 24-27 inches tall. If you’re going for mismatched tables, they should still be the same height, and they should sit around 15 inches deep so you can fit lamps and bits and pieces on them.
  • Pop a bench at the end of the bed for valuable storage space and to pull the room together. If you’ve got little ones, it provides a really good spot for them to curl up on when they can’t sleep, too. It should be about 2/3 the width of the bed, and at least three feet away from the wall opposite the end of the bed.
  • Art above the bed, whether you choose bright modernist pieces or religious museum-worthy art, should fill around 2/3 of the space horizontallty and 2/3 of the space vertically.
  • If you’re trying to unify two different bedside tables, make sure you choose two matching lamps. For a style that’ll never date, opt for drum style shades, as they’re very clean and unfussy, which means that they won’t interfere with the rest of the decor and you can keep ’em even if you change the furniture.
  • When it’s cool out, keep a throw or bedspread laid out over the bottom of the bed – that way, you can just pull it up if it’s chilly overnight. When it’s warmer outside you can simply fold it up and toss it over the back of a chair.
  • If you want something comfy and cosy to sink your feet into when you step out of bed in the morning, opt for a cotton or plush rug instead of a sisal rug ‘cos it’ll be softer on your toes. There should be at least three feet of rug on all three sides of the bed, otherwise, it’ll just look a bit small and awkward.

Source: Teal Simple

Our Favourite Decorating Tips… Ever

We’ve shared a gazillion decorating tips over the past year and as we’re so close to Christmas, we thought we’d gift wrap our favourite decorating tips into one post. Hire painting equipment here, or a handyman to do the job for you if you aren’t particularly good with a paintbrush!

ombrestairs

  • Ombre stairs: Buy a pot of paint in the colour of your choice and a pot of white paint, paint the bottom stair in the coloured paint, then gradually add a little bit of white paint, painting each stair as you go. You’ll get an ombre effect, which is a really striking way to brighten up a hallway, particularly if everything else is white or neutral.
  • Group like for like objects – mirrors, photographs, plates, vintage finds, vases etc, either on walls or on top of cabinets or tables. It’s a simple way to show off a collection, but if you mix up objects that are dissimilar, your decor can look very disjointed.
  • Grouping objects in the same colour family works, too. For example, maybe you have a collection of vases from different eras or in different styles that don’t “go” together but that are in the same colour family, you can still group them together to save them going to waste. Pop ’em on a mantel top or on top of a cabinet.
  • Instead of loosely grouping frames together, arrange them in a geometric fashion, stacking frames one on top of the other to create a pattern.
  • A bookcase? Nope, it can be an everything case. Use it to store things like books, accessories, linens, candlesticks – anything you like. If it’s a bookcase that isn’t open at the back, you could also use wallpaper and paint to give it a bit of a new lease of life.
  • Paint the back wall of a bookcase a few shades darker than the rest of the room – it’s a trick that interior designers use to add depth to the room and it’s surprisingly effective.
  • Change up a glass coffee table by wrapping a piece of foam board with the patterned (or plain) fabric of your choice and popping underneath the glass. Easy – the look of a runner but without having to worry about spilling your coffee on it.
  • Wallpaper can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to cover a whole room or a whole wall – pop it just above a dado rail if you like. They’re far more fashionable than they used to be, especially with some panelling underneath.
  • To make use of the leftovers, create a scroll hanging using some dowels. Secure with tape, then hang up using some ribbon and a tack.
  • If you’re shopping for a floor lamp, keep this in mind – 68 inches is the perfect height, as the bulb will be concealed whether you’re seated or standing.

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

Cosy Winter Decorating Tips

It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be cold inside, too. Capture the warm and snug feeling you get when you step inside after a brisk walk in the cold by taking a look at these nifty cosy winter decorating tips. Take a look at this link for handymen to help you get the job done.

wintertips

  • Swap natural fibres like sisal and rope for fluffy wool and cotton throws and rugs, as in the image above. They’re infinitely softer and are much, much more inviting, which makes the whole room feel far more cosy. Sticking to bright hues like whites and taupe will keep the overall look modern and fresh
  • Not having a chimney doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fire. You can now buy electric fires that you can hang from a wall for as little as £100, but you can also buy chimney stacks that use gel fuel burners (more efficient than gas or wood burners) that don’t require air flow, which means that you can just hang them straight onto the wall. Just pop into your local DIY store for a look at the models and fuels available
  • Have a play around with fabrics. Chuck floor cushions down onto the floor, snuggle up with soft throws on the sofa and play with pattern and texture to create a comfy and cosy nest. Remember: fabrics are just as useful, if not more useful than paintings and wallpapers – the texture of a fabric can make a huge difference to how warm a room feels
  • Metallics are a brilliant addition to a cosy room filled with faux fur and woolly fabrics, as they help to off-set the softness of the wool really well. Try using faux snakeskin, mirrors, mirrored finishes and a neutral palette to add a touch of luxe glamour and warmth
  • If you can, use dimmer switches on all lamps and overhead lighting – it’s a brilliant way to make a space feel more intimate
  • Don’t be afraid to use slightly darker colours on the walls, and don’t be afraid to use pattern – even in a smaller space. Interior design rules mean that we’re all a bit worried about using pattern on all 4 walls, and so we’re all stuck in a “feature wall” rut. The same goes for color. Just be savvy with how you use it, and offset it with colours in the same colour palette so that you don’t go overboard with one heavy hue

Source: Redbook

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.

shutthefrontdoor

  • 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.

rubberoller

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

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.

diningroom

  • 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.

blooms

  • 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.

colours

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