What Does Your Paint Colour Say About You? Part 2

Here, we continue our series about what your paint colour says about you and how to choose the perfect colours for your home, as well as how to create gorgeous looks that everyone will love.

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  • If you love soft, cool blues, it probably means that you view your lovely house as a little bit of a calm, soothing oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world – and that, in turn, might mean that you’re a little bit of an introvert. But that’s no bad thing! Keep in mind though that blues can be very cold, so unless that’s the look you’re going for, try to warm the room up with wooden furniture and hints of orange, brown and yellow to brighten up the place. Some soft furnishings and squishy, strokable fabrics will also help.
  • Colours that literally pop and sparkle, like sapphire, emerald, ruby and amethyst are so popular for a reason: they’re dynamic. When you paint a small bathroom in a navy blue, for example, it’ll draw the walls in and make the space feel small and cramped. Paint a small bathroom in a sapphire blue and it’ll feel a bit smaller, sure, but it’ll also feel special. Pair them with neutrals or colours that have a similar intensity and the space’ll look fab. Oh, and if you love jewel colours? It probably means you’re a little bit outlandish, and a little bit fabulous!
  • If you’re a big fan of neutrals, like cream, the colour of rocks along a shoreline, the colour of freshly picked mushrooms or the shade of wheat in a field, it doesn’t mean that you’re boring – far from it. More likely, that you’re even-keeled and practical. Neutrals go with everything and the bonus is, you can change things up with your accessories when you get bored. Liven things up with a bright throw cushion or an unusual piece of wall art and then just change it up when you fancy a makeover. Oh, and remember – neutral doesn’t have to mean cream. Neutral can be a pale purple, or a pale pink. You can make a neutral room more interesting even by introducing some different tones and textures – nubby fabrics, chiffons, wools, woven rugs and bamboo baskets. Make sure that there’s a contrast between the walls, the floor and the main furniture in the room – the sofas and the coffee tables, if you’re decorating the lounge – to prevent the space from looking too clinical – and above all, have fun.

Source: Real Simple

How to Increase the Value of Your Home: Part 1

So we’re doing a couple of multi-part guides, but these are all pretty important pieces, especially with spring right around the corner (we hope!), as it means that the housing market is going to get a little bit of a boost – which means that if you’re trying to sell, unless your house is already super duper fabulous, you might want to stick your neck out amongst the rest of the houses in your neighbourhood and increase the value of your home, whilst you’re at it. Read on to find out what you need to do in part one of our guide.

Upgrade the Kitchen

kitchen

Most design experts will agree that the kitchen, and the bathroom/s are where you want to spend your money. If they’re not up to scratch, the people viewing your house will walk in and think, “Oh crikey, I’ve got to spend £5,000/£10,000/£15,000 on renovating the kitchen, ripping out the bathrooms”. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to drop that amount of money on your kitchen, especially if you’re moving, but a couple of hundred quid can go a hugely long way in making your kitchen look a million times better, making your home easier to sell. If it’s a shabby wooden kitchen, for example, lay down some sheets on the floor, empty the cupboards, masking tape the worktops, clean the doors and then paint them. Viola! Instant update. Add new handles (about £8 each). give your worktops a good old clean (or replace them with laminate, if you have the budget – around £400 for a really good laminate in an average kitchen) and paint the walls. Move around your paintings or spend £20 in the supermarket on new canvasses and accessories and you’ll notice a huge difference. Honestly. A huge difference.

If you’re just upgrading the kitchen for you, consider adding granite/marble countertops, switching white goods for stainless steel kitchen appliances, or knock down a wall so that you can expand your kitchen and turn it into a kitchen/diner or add an island.

Upgrade Your Bathroom

Next up, your bathroom. If you’ve already got a white suite, then you’re already doing pretty well. It’s just the little finishing touches that you might need to change – things like the taps, the sealant around the bath and the grouting around the tiles. Taps can be cheap as chips, even for really nice ones – although you might need a plumber to help you fit them, and they update a bathroom instantly. Some new tiles can also make a huge difference, and if you buy click laminate tiles – in other words, tiles that you don’t really have to “lay” – that you can just click together. Regrouting will stop the bathroom from looking a bit rough and ready and then you can again re-paint, add some new towels, and spend £20 on some canvasses and some accessories and the place’ll look spick and span. A good vinyl floor’ll finish it off beautifully.

The thing to remember with all of this is that each job – even if you’re doing it for only a few hundred or a few thousand pounds – you need to do it right. Rough, scabby edges, unfinished lines, paintmarks in the wrong places, scuffs on the walls, etc etc – it’ll all look a bit cheap. So even if you’re doing it on the cheap – it shouldn’t look cheap. Keep that in the back of your head and the end result will be perfect.

Source: Real Simple

What Does Your Paint Colour Say About You? Part 1

Some of us gravitate towards darker, moody colours, whilst others go for bright, golden hues and big, bold patterns. Learn what those colours mean and what they say about you – as well as tips for how to use them – with this post. Click here for painting materials and tools and take a look here for handymen to help you get the job done.

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Soft and Warm

Cheeky and cheerful, soft and warm colours like orange, yellow and dark red are often associated with roaring fires and sunny skies – and if you’re the type of person to use these bright and cheerful tones, you’re probably a cheerful kind of chappy yourself. It’s likely that you love having people over, and a fuzzy feeling in your tummy from looking at your lovely cosy home. There’s a reason why these rooms make you feel warm and cosy – the colours “spring” forwards, which makes the room feel more intimate. However, for some, warm colours can be a little bit cloying – so to tone it down, add a little bit of blue grey or green to your warm shade – it’ll cool the warm shade ever so slightly, neutralising it a little bit. Another alternative is to add a smidge of white to the colour to cool it down a little bit.

Natural Greens and Blues

If you look to nature – the green of a field, the lilac hue of a field of lavender, medium blues of the sky – basically, any colour that you’d find in the sky, in a field, or outdoors, you’re probably a little more laidback and relaxed. These natural colours are far easier on the eye than bright warm colours and oranges and are lower in intensity – which means that if you have migraines or suffer from headaches or anything like that, you’re better off with more natural hues.

Jewel Tones

If you’re a bit of a head-turner – or you want people to sit up and take notice of you and your lovely home – think about jewel tones. If the room is big enough to take the colour, consider deep purples, amethyst, topaz, emerald and ruby. Contrast the colours together and use a textured wallpaper for an even more luxurious feel, then use gold toned, rose gold or vintage gold tone lamps, fixtures and fittings. As for fabrics, look for materials that feel good when you touch them – that make you want to give them a stroke. It’ll be a crowd-pleasing room for sure, but then, you’re probably a bit of a crowd pleaser, aren’t ya?

Source: Real Simple

 

DIY Tips: Nifty Tricks for Small Spaces

Small spaces don’t need to feel like caves. Nor do they need to be sacrificed because they “can’t be anything else”. A small bedroom doesn’t have to become an office, or an en-suite bathroom, or a home office. That nook under the stairs doesn’t need to be turned into a storage cupboard. Follow these nifty tricks for small spaces to learn exactly how to use them most effectively, with lots of clever details and use of colour to make them much more inviting.

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  • Use interesting objects – anything from nude portraits to a big geometric print to a bold pattern on the wall – to draw attention away from the size of the room. It’s a sneaky trick, but it’s a good one.
  • One trick is to mirror the wall opposite the source of light – the door, or the window. You can do this either using a large mirror, or for a truly full on and elegant look, use three mirrored panels – one of 50% in the middle of the wall, and two panels of 25% on either side.
  • In a thin and narrow kitchen, avoid putting too much stuff up too high and – this is the biggie – get rid of stuff. Do you really need 2 different sets of plates? 4 types of glasses? A “good” set of cutlery and a regular set of cutlery? No, not really. Use what you have and get rid of the stuff that actually, you don’t need.
  • Another option for small spaces – perhaps if your hallway is particularly small, you can play on the size of it by using a patterned wallpaper, mirrors and an eclectic mix of paintings to create an intimate and welcoming place to greet guests.
  • More is more when it comes to mirrors – for a vintage, eclectic feel, group a random selection of mirrors on one wall with plenty of different frames, wooden, frameless, black, vintage frames, gilt frames, with the largest frame in the middle.
  • For a huge amount of wow factor – and to truly show off your style – cover the whole room with the same fabric. Curtains, cushions, throws. Even if your favourite pattern is zebra print. It’s a fast way to make a huge impact and it’ll make the room feel more cohesive, too.
  • Panelling a small room in pastel hues is a lovely way to make it feel bigger.
  • Don’t be afraid of adding things like fireplaces or mantelpieces, either – in Victorian houses almost every room had a fireplace and they’re a brilliant way to add a focal point, as it provides a spot that you can easily hang art or mirrors above.
  • If you’re brave, go for a full on fantasy inspired look – graphic floors, high gloss units, a high gloss ceiling – anything that shouts “look at me”. Use the 1960s as your inspiration and you won’t go far wrong.
  • In a small bedroom, a four poster bed can actually make the space look bigger provided that there’s enough space for you to get around the bed, and for an end table and bedside tables. You don’t have to scrimp on luxury just because you’re short on space.

Source: House Beautiful

DIY Tips: 20 Things No-One Ever Told You About Decorating

Decorating doesn’t sound like it’s difficult – slap a bit of paint on the walls and artfully arrange a few cushions/pillows along with a few candlesticks and paintings and viola, job done. But to get it right, and to get it right in every room of the house – every time – requires a little more skill. Read on to find out about the 20 things no-one ever told you about decorating and take a look at this link for painting and decorating materials.

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  • 2 cushions look decidedly unwelcoming and sparse. Use at least two sets, instead, in different colours and textures for a more luxurious and comfortable feel. Same goes for decorative pillows.
  • Small bed + small bedroom = even smaller bedroom. Use a bed with a taller mattress and a big headboard instead.
  • If you have a vintage or antique cabinet or armoire, arrange the contents elegantly and keep the doors open to show off your stash.
  • Dark walls tend to reduce the feeling of space, but if the room has plenty of windows and pale floors, a smaller space can still rock dark hues.
  • An easy peasy way to transform a bedroom with sliding wardrobe doors? Wallpaper ’em. If you’re converting a bedroom into an office, this is a particularly good idea as the wardrobe is quickly turned from a closet into a chic filing cabinet.
  • Large collections of plates or various accessories can be displayed easily by setting up elegant wall brackets – just pop your accessories on top. Make sure you secure them if you have little ones about the house.
  • Using a real rug instead of a bath mat in a bathroom might sound counterproductive, but really, a bathmat is just a bit cheap and it won’t withstand as much wear and tear as a real rug. Just wash it carefully.
  • Stop the press: living rooms do not need to have sofas. Nope. Arrange some lovely cosy chairs and love seats for a different look.
  • A white room will always look chic and it’s a look you can instantly update with a few brightly coloured accessories – be it living room, bathroom or bedroom. You don’t have to use colour.
  • Mix and match styles – a four poster won’t look incongruous in a stripped back modern bedroom, it’ll look fabulous.
  • Layering up your lamps is a fab idea. Have two either side of the bed, and another two just above the headboard for reading. It’ll make the room feel much more ambient.
  • Blankets and throws look messy if you don’t fold ’em up. When not in use, fold carefully and arrange at one end of the sofa. If you’re using throws to cover sofa cushions, make sure they’re well tucked in all the way round rather than just thrown on top. It might be called a “throw” but that doesn’t mean you should just chuck it on.
  • For plenty of versatility, instead of a traditional coffee table, use a fabric ottoman topped with a wooden tray. The ottoman provide perfect storage and the tray can be picked up to carry cups back to the kitchen.
  • To emphasise the feeling of space, choose furniture with legs that are raised off the ground. To make the room feel more grounded, choose skirted pieces.
  • Gold doesn’t have to be showy. A few muted accents here and there will give the room a fabulously luxe feel.
  • If you have a big room but not enough stuff to stuff it with, a potted plant perched in a corner will never go amiss.
  • The very best fabric choice for a dining room is leather – it’s very strong and really easy to clean. Even more so if you want white chairs.
  • In your dining room, use co-ordinating yet different sets of chairs. For example, one high-back bench, one bench and two chairs instead of 8 identical seats.
  • Be kind to your closet. If you’re lucky enough to have a walk in wardrobe, give it some love with lights and colour.
  • You can reinvent vintage pieces. Just because they’re from the 1950s doesn’t mean they should stay that way, plus, not every piece of furniture in the house can be dark brown.

Source: House Beautiful

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: How to Strip Paint

Stripping paint is often the very first thing you’ll need to do when you move into a slightly older house. Although it can be messy, the results are worth it, especially as you can totally transform the house afterwards. Read on for our guide and take a look at this link for painting materials when you’re ready to decorate.

strippaint

Things You’ll Need:

  • heat gun
  • paint scraper
  • dustsheets
  • goggles and gloves
  • dust mask
  • old paintbrush
  • abrasive pads
  • chemical stripper
  • water

Working with Lead Paint

Houses that date back to before the 1960s may well have lead-based paint on the woodwork. If you’re unsure, you can buy a testing kit from most DIY stores. When stripping lead paint, make sure that you use chemical stripper, rather than a heat gun, as this could release toxic fumes.

Using Chemical Strippers

Chemical strippers tend to be gel-based. The chemicals in the stripper react with the chemicals in the paint, leading to a reaction which causes the paint to soften, making it easier to remove. Open doors and windows to air the house and don’t use the stripper if the weather is too warm, as it’ll dissolve the stripper too quickly, which means that it won’t dissolve the paint properly.

Paint the stripper onto the paint. Put down dust sheets to protect the area around the woodwork and follow manufacturer’s instructions when applying. Protect your skin and eyes by wearing gloves, goggles and a dust mask. Keep testing the paint to see how soft it is and then gently scrape it away. For covings and shaped mouldings, use a shavehook and an abrasive pad to peel away the paint. Once the paint has been stripped, neutralise the stripper with plenty of warm water and leave to dry for 24 hours before repainting.

Using a Heat Gun

Heat guns use lots of current, so use them carefully and be sure to unwind the power lead so that it doesn’t overheat. Open all doors and windows, then carefully move the heat gun over the surface of the paint. Be delicate, as the heat can damage wood if not used properly. Hold the gun at least 50mm away from the surface of the paint and then you can start to scrape the paint away. If you can, fit a heat shield to the heat gun so that it doesn’t damage the surrounding materials. Brush any dust away, wash the woodwork down, and leave to dry for at least 24 hours before painting.

Source: UKTV Home