DIY Tips: What You Need to Know When Moving Into Your First House

So you’ve just bought your very first house! Congratulations – assuming all goes well, this will be one of the most exciting times of your life! But how do you go about filling your new home with love? How do you go about deciding on a theme, or furniture? How do you budget? Read on for our simple guide to decorating your first house. Take a look at this link for painting materials to help you get started.

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  • If you’re moving in with someone else, and living with someone else for the first time, it’s really important that you take into account each other’s tastes. You will have to compromise and there might be some things in the house that you don’t like, but that’s all part and parcel of living with someone else. If you’re living alone, you can go all out with your own tastes – just make sure that you don’t go too over the top as you still want people to feel comfortable when they come to your house!
  • Think about your tastes – what do you like, what do you dislike, which kind of colours, patterns and textures inspire you? When you go to a hotel, what do you like about the decor? If you think it would help, make yourself a mood board and refer back to it when you’re shopping. Include colours, textures and patterns that you like.
  • If you have the space for it, put in a guestroom. If you can’t put in a full guestroom, at least have a guestbed somewhere – either in your home office, or even something like a Z-bed or sofa bed would do the job. Just in case your mum, dad or sister wants to spend the night!
  • If you’re trying to stick to a budget and don’t have anything to start with, concentrate on the essentials. You’ll need things you’ve probably never even thought about – wooden spoons, a colander, a soap dish, plenty of hangers, so make a shopping list and think about all of the things you genuinely need. If you’re unsure about the kind of things you need and you’re moving out of your parent’s house, walk around and take notes of everything in their house that you use every day or every week..
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. After all, it’s your first house, and so you need to make a real impact. Whether you want to go wild with colour or crazy with fabrics, it’s always worth doing something just a little bit different. If you want to be bold, use colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel and if you want to be subtle, go for tonal colours that blend together. Don’t underestimate the impact that a framed poster can have, too – if you’re a fan of The Godfather for example, pop a film poster into a chunky black frame for a chic accessory that says “I’m a grown up” rather than “I’m a student”.

DIY Tips: Kitchen Vinyl Flooring Ideas

Vinyl flooring has a bit of a bad reputation, but there are plenty of good things about this practical, versatile material – it’s easy to clean, easy to maintain and is super durable, too – perfect for busy households. Get the look of wooden flooring or even flagstone tiles with a high-quality vinyl, or opt for a simply vinyl floor for a low-impact, fuss-free look. Read on for our tips to choosing kitchen vinyl and take a look at this link to help you fit the flooring.

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  • An easy, fuss-free way to inject a little bit of brightness and colour into your kitchen is with a brightly-coloured vinyl floor. It’s inexpensive, too, so if you decide to change it up again in a few year’s time you can replace it quickly and easily for an instant update without having to replace your kitchen door and drawer fronts.
  • For a classic yet contemporary kitchen floor, why not opt for a Victorian-inspired black and white checked floor? Use large black and white floor tiles and if one gets damaged, you can easily replace it without forking out a lot of money.
  • If your kitchen is a bit dark, or if it doesn’t get a lot of natural light, make sure that you choose light flooring in a pale or neutral colour in a natural effect, like tile, stone or pale laminate, as it’ll make the space feel bigger and brighter.
  • If your kitchen units don’t match the rest of your furniture, for example, if you have white units and an oak dining table, a mottled stone-effect floor can really help tie the whole room together, especially if you choose a vinyl that contains a few different colours.
  • For a sleek and stylish look, choose vinyl flooring with a modern and abstract pattern  – softer and more comfortable than cold, stone tiles, it can be surprisingly chic.
  • Get the look of real wooden flooring with wood-effect vinyl – run it through the kitchen and through the dining room, too, to make the room look bigger and wider. Plus, wooden vinyl is actually more practical than real wood flooring in a kitchen, as you can drip water on it or spill food over it and mop it up really easily – if you drop water onto real wood flooring, over time, the floor could warp. For a rustic look, choose a wood-effect vinyl that is a shade or two darker than your wooden units or dining furniture.
  • Although slate tiles can work wonderfully well in both modern and period properties, they’re not only incredibly expensive but they can be fairly difficult to maintain, too. Instead, try a slate-effect vinyl.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

You can freshen up your kitchen without spending a fortune over the course of a long weekend by following these tips. Cook up a stunning kitchen interior in your culinary haven with these budget-friendly tips and take a look at this link for kitchen goods to complete the look.

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Revamping the Worktops

If you’re lusting after granite or marble worktops but your budget doesn’t quite stretch to it, take a look at quartz instead. It’s cheaper than the pricier stone worktops but is available in a vast range of colours and is just as strong and sturdy as granite. Another way to get fancy stone worktops on a budget is to use offcuts. Many stone merchants keep offcuts from larger pieces and because they’re usually an awkward size or shape, they’re often sold at hugely discounted prices. But another way to get the look is with laminate – it looks fantastic and although it won’t be as strong or sturdy as granite, it’ll give you the look you want on a budget.

Kitchen Cupboards

If you want to revamp your kitchen cupboards, there are a few things you can do. Generally, as long as the carcass of the cupboard is okay, you can just get away with buying new door and drawer fronts. Discount furniture retailers often sell these for a fraction of the cost of a full kitchen. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, you can just paint them – for example, you can revamp a wooden kitchen by painting it in a pale white, cream or pastel hue. Take the doors off the hinges and paint off site before re-installing.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

The plumbing is often one of the most expensive parts of any kitchen, but you can replace the kitchen sink fairly cheaply, especially if you choose a sink that’s the same shape and size as your current sink as you won’t have to worry about re-cutting your worktops. Keep in mind scale when choosing your sink – something too small and you’ll find it hard to wash your dishes and too big and you’ll lose valuable worktop space.

Splashbacks

One of the easiest ways to inject a little bit of life and colour into your kitchen without spending a fortune is to change the splashbacks. Glass splashbacks are the most expensive option, although they’ll add a glamorous look to the kitchen and will last for years to come. If you already have tiled splashbacks, you could either replace them with new tiles (it’s actually far cheaper to re-tile than you might think), or you could jazz them up with a little bit of tile paint.

Flooring

One of the best options for kitchen flooring on a budget is lino. It has a bit of a bad reputation, but in the last five years, lino has had a bit of a stylish makeover. You can now buy luxurious linos in a vast range of styles and textures, including styles that mimic granite or stone tiles or wooden flooring. Lino is also really easy to maintain, especially when compared to tile or wooden flooring.

Source: Style at Home

DIY Tips: How to Update Your Kitchen Cupboards

Learn how to revamp your kitchen and update your kitchen cupboards by following our tips – an easy way to totally change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Take a look at this link for painting and decorating supplies to help you get the job done.

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Fit New Handles

If your cupboards and drawers are in good nick, the easiest way to update them instantly is to add new handles. It’s cheap, cheerful and really easy, too. Wooden handles are lovely in country kitchens, cast iron handles in period properties and modern brushed steel handles in a contemporary space. For a quirky look, add ladybird or bumblebee knobs.

Painting Cupboards and Drawers

The easiest way to paint cupboards and drawer fronts is to do it in situ – when the cupboards and drawers are in place. You can take them off, if you like, but it’s much less faff to just paint them where they are. Take the handles off first, or if that isn’t possible, cover them really well with masking tape. When painting timber, you’ll need to sand the doors and drawers down first, then apply a primer, then a gloss or eggshell paint. Eggshell paint is best, as it’s quicker and easier to apply, is hard-wearing and won’t flake off – and because it isn’t high-shine, it won’t show up imperfections. Apply two thin coats, rather than one thick coat, and if you do use gloss, make sure you apply it in thin layers with a brush to let the grain of the wood show through.

Painting Melamime

If you want to revamp melamime, rather than timber, lightly scuff the door and drawer fronts with wet and dry sandpaper first, then use a specialist cupboard paint. You could also use spray paint, instead – just make sure that you use it outdoors as it does get everywhere!

Do Something Different

You don’t just have to paint cupboards and drawers one colour. Get creative with the masking tape and paint on stripes or a two-tone design. You could also use a stick-on stencil, or, paint one cupboard with blackboard paint – perfect for writing shopping lists on or for letting your children get creative. Alternatively, try wall stickers instead – choose a peel off variety and that way, you can change up the look as and whenever you like.

Replacement Doors and Drawers

If your cupboard doors and drawers are really completely beyond repair, it’s best to replace them. Most companies will sell replacement doors and drawers and they’re actually a lot cheaper than you might think, especially if the carcasses of the cupboards and drawers are of a high quality. High gloss doors require little maintenance, making them a great choice for most kitchens, while panelled doors are traditional and perfect for country homes – although they are fairly difficult to clean.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: How to Declutter Your Kitchen

A tidy home = a tidy mind – we’ve all heard it, but it’s definitely easier said than done. Learn how to keep a tidy kitchen by following our essential decluttering tips – and if you need to do any work, take a look at this link for building materials to help you get the job done.

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Clear Your Worktops

When your worktops are jammed with blenders, juicers, coffee and sugar pots alongside the kettle and the toaster, it has to be time for a sort out. Having stuff strewn about the place will just make your kitchen look smaller and more cramped, so declutter your kitchen by clearing off the worktops. Put shelving up on the walls to store plates, bowls and cups, as in the image above – instant storage that doesn’t take up any extra space in your kitchen. Keep everything neat and tidy and choose matching items, if possible – it’ll look like a design choice rather than like you’ve just put everything on shelves because you have nowhere else to put it.

Install Hooks and Hanging Rails

Another easy way to maximise space in your kitchen and make it look less cluttered is to install hooks and hanging rails on the wall. Pop your saucepans, woks and frying pans on the hooks – that way, your cupboards will be free for all of the bulky items, like your food processor or your blender.

Use a Blind

Curtains take up loads of space, and even if you choose light, bright curtains, your kitchen windows will just look bulky. Install a blind instead – wooden slats look brilliant in a kitchen as they’re clean and contemporary. A plain roller blind will work wonders, too, or if you want to inject a little bit of colour or style, add a geometic print or brightly coloured blind.

Install Cupboard Bins

A nifty way to declutter any kitchen – especially one with a few recycling bins – is to install cupboard bins instead. You’ll maximise floor space and you’ll also help to minimise nasty bin smells, too. You could take advantage of that floor space by popping in a small breakfast bar or a tiny foldaway table.

Sort Out Your Laundry Products

If you don’t have space to store your laundry products in a cupboard, decant them into plain bottles and store them in a pretty hessian or leather basket instead. Brightly coloured bottles and detergents are never going to look good displayed on a shelf, so if you can make them look good, do it!

Squeeze in Some Storage

Use every bit of available space that you possibly can to hide away your bits and bobs – put baskets on top of shelves or install floor to ceiling shelving units, use a basket or pretty container to hold all of your utensils, or install clever storage solutions into drawers and cupboards so that you can organise all of your food, drink, plates, glasses and cooking equipment.

Source: UKTV Home

DIY Tips: Choosing Kitchen Wall Tiles

Kitchen wall tiles are essential in most kitchens as they help to protect your walls from cooking splashes and spills but they also brighten up your kitchen and can pull the whole room together. Learn more about kitchen tiles and how to choose them with this guide. Take a look at this tiling link to help you get the job done.

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Budgeting for Kitchen Tiles

Luckily, there are some fantastic budget buys to be found – DIY stores stock a huge range of kitchen tiles, many of which can look expensive when fitted provided you choose them with care. Glass and ceramic always look expensive but can often be found for very reasonable prices. You can spend a lot of money on tiles, too, particularly if they are handmade. What you spend really depends on what you can afford.

Modern Kitchens

Modern kitchens are often complimented by bold, graphic colours and tiles in more unusual shapes and materials. “Brick” tiles are always stylish in a contemporary kitchen, but graphite and stainless steel tiles will also look good.

Traditional Kitchens

In traditional kitchens, earthy tones and traditional shapes tend to look best. Look for rich creams, olive greens and deep reds. Stick to more traditional materials, too, like ceramic.

Pros and Cons of Ceramic Tiles

  • Ceramic tiles are incredibly hard-wearing and water resistant, and this means that they’re a very popular choice. They’re made from clay and then set and fired at extremely high temperatures, making them extra durable.
  • They’re also available in a huge range of effects and styles, including glazes, textured finishes and various prints and colours.
  • The only downside is that ceramic tiles can be expensive, particularly if you choose a very bespoke finish or pattern.

Pros and Cons of Porcelain Tiles

  • Porcelain tiles are a great budget alternative to natural stone tiles. They’re strong, easy to maintain and very durable. They’re also available in glazed and unglazed finishes.
  • Tiles that are unglazed will be cheaper, but they do need to be sealed both before and after grouting, which means that they require more work. If you’re on a tight schedule, glazed porcelain is the easier option.

Pros and Cons of Glass Tiles

  • Strong, durable and very architectural, glass tiles are fast becoming a favourite of designers. They’re also not as expensive as you might think and can provide a seamless, smooth finish that isn’t too obtrusive.
  • Glass tiles are also available in a huge range of colours and textures, as well as shapes and sizes. “Brick” tiles are very popular, but you can also find mosaic glass sheet tiles as well as small, regular-sized glass tiles.
  • The downside with glass tiles is that they can smear very easily – which can be frustrating when it comes to cleaning them.

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: Design Tips for a Galley Kitchen

A galley kitchen might be small, but it doesn’t have to be uncool. Learn how to design a galley kitchen with style and flair by following these simple tips. Take a look at these links for building materials and kitchen goods to help you get the job done.

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Even the narrowest of kitchens can look large and spacious with the right design aesthetic.

Go Unit Free

Although it might not be the most practical choice, walls that are utterly cluttered with units can seem very crowded and so in some cases, if you can get away with it, try to avoid using wall units – and if you do, think about using glass-fronted units to make the space feel bigger. You could also put up plenty of shelving, instead, painting the shelves so that they match the walls – and this will make the space feel bigger.

Opt For Flat Fronts

Flat fronted units won’t take up too much space and because they don’t have too much detail, they help to keep the space simple and clean-looking. Make the room feel even bigger by choosing units that have a slight gloss or reflective finish as they’ll bounce the light around the room.

Choose Integrated Appliances

Build ovens, microwaves, fridges, freezers and any other appliances that you can into the kitchen. Integrated appliances will make the whole space more streamlined. If you don’t have space – or if you cannot afford integrated appliances, choose goods that are all the same colour so that they at least match in appearance. It’s also a good way to introduce colour to your kitchen – and if you want to update, you can just replace goods without having to fork out more money. Stainless steel always looks good, too.

Create a Focal Point

Every kitchen needs a focal point – even the smallest of kitchens. Spend your money on a “wow” cooker and hob or on a fabulous fridge and people will look at that piece of kitchen gadgetry rather than at your small kitchen or teeny units. Spend more money on these focal points and save on your kitchen carcasses and worktops.

Choose Lighter Worktops

Lighter worktops generally work better in a smaller, galley space, as they make the room look bigger and again, bounce light around. It’s generally best if worktops are fairly plain, too, without patterns or flecks of colour. Because worktops can be fairly plain this also allows you to spend a little more on integrated appliances and the goods at the top of your wish list.

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: Planning a Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchens have a bit of a bad reputation and although they are compact, if you plan them properly, can be very effective and just as chic as a larger kitchen. Take a look at these links for building materials and kitchen goods to help you get the job done.

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Galley kitchens are sometimes described as “corridor” kitchens, compromising of two rows of units against either wall, with a corridor between the two.

Planning the Layout

The layout of any galley kitchen is incredibly important. What’s really important is that the space between the two rows of units is at least 1.4m as this is generally enough clearance for the doors to open and for the oven doors to open. If you can, an ideal layout is to “sink” the oven, hob and cooker head into the wall, so that it sits flush against the units surrounding it. Even better, follow the layout of the image above, with double height units on either side of the cooker and some worktop space in between.

Add the “Work Triangle”

The work triangle is made up of the sink, the oven and hob and the fridge. Generally, there should be a loose triangle shape between the three goods with enough elbow space for you to move easily between the three. In a galley kitchen, it often works best to have the sink and drainer on one side and the oven and hob on the other, and a fridge at one end of the kitchen. If space is limited, you might choose to have the fridge and freezer tucked underneath the worktop.

Add Plenty of Storage Options

Although kitchens can look a little bit cluttered when there is lots and lots of wall cupboards, it’s really the most practical option. Instead of going for standard wall and base units, consider putting large drawers into awkward spots where you may be unable to fit a cupboard. Deep drawers would work well for pans, frying pans and large pots and pans. Tall units with pull out larders also work really well for storing tinned goods and baking products, while corner pull-out shelves will work well for awkward spots underneath the sink so that you can get at everything without having to crawl into the cupboards.

Choose Clean, Uncluttered Cabinets

Anything too fussy will crowd the space far too much, so go for clean, uncluttered cabinet fronts, with invisible handles or that have a press-in mechanism. Conceal worktop clutter to make the space look bigger by adding shutters to the bottoms of wall units, or by having doors that open upwards from the worktops. Go for light, neutral colour tones too – anything too dark will result in the space looking too dark.

Source: 4Homes

 

 

DIY Tips: Planning a Down One Wall Kitchen

In an ideal world, all kitchens would be housed in a large, bright, spacious area with plenty of natural light and plenty of storage space. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many. Luckily, though, you can create a deceptively spacious kitchen with just a little bit of hard work and a lot of forward planning. Learn how to plan a down one wall kitchen with these tips and take a look at this link for building materials to get you started.

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The Configuration

Setting up a kitchen that runs down one wall can be difficult, but the best configuration is for a single line of units that runs along one wall, with a long worktop and open shelving above. It offers maximum space for minimum effort. Alternatively, have two double height units at either end of the kitchen – these could house a fridge/freezer and work as larders, too, without overwhelming the space too much.

Focus On the Worktops

The worktops will have a much bigger focal point in this type of kitchen as there is simply much more of an emphasis on them than usual. If you can afford to, splash out on luxury tops like granite or stone as they’ll really finish off your kitchen beautifully – and they’ll be incredibly strong and hardwearing. Save on the carcasses of the units, as these don’t have to be particularly expensive.

Open Shelving

Open shelving, in place of upper wall units, can look both chic and rustic. They’re handy, create a focal point and because you can build them as wide or as tall as you need to – instead of the standard kitchen cabinets – they’re really very versatile. Add doors in random spots to break up the expanse of shelves and to co-ordinate with the base units.

Co-ordinate Appliances

Co-ordinated appliances are particularly useful in a small kitchen, as they won’t look as though they’re taking up too much space. Stainless steel is always a good choice, as it’s classic and won’t go out of style – plus, it’s easy to buy appliances from different ranges without worrying about colour differences.  It’s also important to have a careful think about the colour of your units. The base units should sit flush against each other and you can afford to be a little bolder in your choice of colour, too. It is advisable, though, that you don’t choose a crazy colour combination – something classic but modern is much better as it’ll remain stylish for many years to come.

Getting the Right Lighting

Put spotlights underneath shelves, or into some of the open shelving units, and install them in the ceiling so that they run the length of the kitchen, highlighting the oven and the sink. Then, install pendant lights in the dining part of the kitchen, if you have one, so that the dining light is softer and less harsh.

Source: 4Homes

DIY Tips: How to Plan a Kitchen Island

A kitchen island is a brilliant way to divide cooking and preparing food from your dining area and a well-planned island can hide and house many appliances, whilst also providing seating and a breakfast bar. Learn how to plan a kitchen island with these tips and take a look at this link for building materials.

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Placing the Island

The easiest spot to place the island is right in the centre of the kitchen, obviously, so that the people using it can move around it easily. But before you plan it, make sure that the island wouldn’t interfere with the units surrounding it and ensure that appliances like sinks and oven doors don’t get in each other’s way. For example, there’s no use placing the sink on the island if the person using it would have to move every time someone wanted to use the hob or oven. A great tip for placement is to stick a large paper template of the proposed size of the island onto the floor of the kitchen. Don’t walk on it – move around it. If the island is too large, or if you need something a little smaller, you’ll soon know.

What Shall I Put in the Island?

Which appliances you choose to put in the island entirely depends on how you want to use it. If you’re a foodie and you want to be able to speak to your guests whilst you’re cooking, install a hob and oven, but make sure that there is plenty of worktop space at the back for safety reasons. In most cases, it’s a good idea to put the sink somewhere else – islands always end up being the focal point and if you have the sink on the island, a pile of dirty washing up will end up being the focal point of the kitchen, which isn’t ideal.

Making it Into a Breakfast Bar

If your kitchen is narrow or you’re short of space, your island might well be limited to a breakfast bar. Buy worktop with an overhang of at least 30cm so that your chairs can tuck in, and choose chairs that are tall and slim so that they don’t take up much space in the kitchen.

Extra Storage Space

Islands are also really, really handy in kitchens where there isn’t much storage space. Add drawers, doors and cupboards if you need the extra storage space, but if you don’t (and be truthful with yourself), why not include some luxury items? A wine or beer fridge is always a fun choice for a kitchen, or you might even want to install something a little frivolous like an ice cream machine!

Source: 4Homes