Budget Kitchen Makeover Ideas

new cupboard doorsOne of the biggest expenses that you will need to make is when upgrading your kitchen. Nothing completes a house the way that a nice, attractive but efficient kitchen does, and kitchens these days are more than just a food preparation area, they are also a home office, a homework station, a place to eat and socialise. It is the hub of the house, and personally it is my favourite room.

The majority of important activities in a home take place in a kitchen. Often, it will remain active from morning all the way into the night. And when you take a good look around it, one of the first things you will observe wearing out aside from the drawers and kitchens will be the kitchen doors. Often, this might call for remodeling. However, remodeling can be a bit pricey as it will call for replacements of appliances, cabinets, drawers and many other items. In this case, your next best option should be replacement kitchen doors.

What many people actually don’t actually know is that removing the old kitchen doors and replacing them with new ones can transform the look of your kitchen almost instantly. Better yet, it’s a very cost-effective option, and it is one that I recently discovered thanks to my new neighbour, who specialises in this type of work in his business called Quality Kitchen Doors Nottingham. He is always happy to offer free advice so check out the website and give him a call.

Changing your Kitchen’s look for less

Changes like getting replacement kitchen doors can really spruce up your kitchen without making you shell out a large sum of cash. And as you set out to give your kitchen a facelift, you will come across so many different types of kitchen doors. They are found in materials such as solid wood, glass, laminate and faux wood. And some of the materials come in different colors as well.

One thing you should give much priority to is ensuring that your replacement kitchen doors match the cabinet structures in your kitchen. And if you happen to come across a kitchen door that you seem to like even though it doesn’t seem to match with your existing cabinet, it’s best, in this case, to consider painting your cabinets so as they can go together.

Now, a simple renovation such as this one paired with a few special items to tie the new decor will instantly change the theme of your kitchen into something you will proud of forever. Change or paint the tiles, add some accent lighting, a vibrant wall colour and a new kitchen rug and you have a new look kitchen for a fraction of the price of a full replacement.

What to expect by installing replacement kitchen doorskitchen doors

Rather than getting rid of your entire kitchen items and replacing them with an identical set of items, replacement kitchen doors will allow you to make the most of what you already have. Not unless you are totally fed up with your entire kitchen, this will probably work to your satisfaction. You can simply bring in a new and fantastic look to your kitchen while keeping the status quo.

Also, your kitchen being one of the most active rooms in your life and house, you definitely don’t wish to suffer weeks of upheaval whereas replacing your kitchen doors could easily be done by a team of experts in as little as a day.

Then as we mentioned earlier, it’s less costly going for replacement kitchen doors as opposed to opting for a totally new fitted kitchen. However, if nearly every part of your kitchen is falling apart, you may have to go for a complete makeover.

Finally, when it comes to installation, ensure that your kitchen door is replaced with a competent hired professional. As much as the task itself sounds quite easy, it’s always best to involve the help of a refurbishment expert as this could help you get it right the first time.

I thoroughly recommend you research this type of kitchen facelift if you are looking for a new or upgraded kitchen. Saving money on this project will give you a boost for the next one! And it can be installed in only 6 minutes! If you don’t believe me check out the video below….

Soft Furnishings Don’t Have To Be Expensive

Nothing finishes a room like soft furnishings, they add the final touch. They soften a window, make a couch look comfortable, make a bed look inviting. The problem is that to buy soft furnishings, in the number that I like to have in my home, is very expensive. People ask me all the time if I have an outlet that I use for curtains, cushions and bed linen, and there are plenty of online sources for these that you should check out.

There are also plenty of ways to make soft furnishings on a budged. Shabby and chic designs are really popular now, so with some basic sewing knowledge it is easy to recycle old bedspreads, tablecloths and throws to make new curtains cushions and throws.

Watch the video below for some good inexpensive ideas.

Nothing Warms A Home Like A Log Burning Stove

traditional log burning stoveAs the title says, nothing warms a home like a log fire or stove, and by that I don’t just mean the temperature, but also the feel, the ambience of the room. A cosy romantic real fire is a wonderful focus to a room, and I recommend anyone to install one and see the difference.

What you probably don’t realise is that log burning fires and stoves have changed dramatically in recent years. New technology has made these types of heaters so much easier to use, maintain and enjoy.

A multi fuel stove is essentially a type of stove able to burn not only wood but also coal and peat/wood pellets. In fact, stoves that bear a grate that enables the fire to burn on and also feature a removable ash pan usually fall under this category.

The stove is in many ways similar to a wood burning stove. However, what majorly distinguishes a multi fuel stove from a wood burning stove is that for a wood burning stove, the fire tends to burn on a bed of ash. Its use is thus limited. It can’t be used for coal.

Practicality and their use in homes

Some of the items that you can expect to be burned by a multi fuel stove include:

• Logs
• wood
• peat/turf briquettes
• Smokeless fuels
• Anthracite

To light up and run a multi fuel stove well efficiently, you need to observe certain steps. Here’s a brief look into each of them

• Step 1: Preparation- First off, let in enough supply of air by fully opening the Airwash and also the primary air controls. There’s also a secondary air control but that’s for aiding the combustion of gasses that remain unburnt.

• Step 2: Create a fire bed- Upon opening the door of the stove, place in the woods and twigs, not forgetting to include fire lighters. Also, add in little amounts of solid fuel. This will help to create a stable base for combustion.

• Step 3: Light it up- Once you’ve set the above elements in order, proceed to light up the fire lighters. From there, wait until the flames light up the wood and it begins to burn vigorously.modern log burner

• Step 4: Keep the door open enough- This to keep the fire burning. It also helps to avoid build of condensation inside the glass. Once it’s fully lit, you can shut the door.

• Step 5: Add in more pieces of solid fuel (Larger)- If you notice the fuel burning well, add in extra pieces of the solid fuel. This will help to stabilize the fire bed. Be careful not to go beyond the log guard while loading the fuel. Same also applies to secondary combustion inlets. Both are significant to the safety and efficiency of the stove.

• Step 6: One way you can optimize the heat and efficiency of your stove is by fully closing the Airwash and adjusting the primary control to desired levels. Be sure to keep an eye on how the fire burns so as to adjust everything accordingly.

Home use.

A Multi fuel stove can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use it for heating, cooking, or both. You can also use it as a boiler to heat water for household use. You can also link it to a radiator system with the help of a boiler to enhance space heating within the home. Also, they can be used for camping.

While using it for the first time, it’s recommended that you operate it at low temperatures during the first few days. This helps to settle the glues and in making the paint fully cure. Also, ensure there’s adequate ventilation in your room in order to avoid fumes building up everywhere. Note that it’s normal for the rope seals to lose the colors during your extended use of the stove.

So that is it about a multi fuel stove, folks. Multi-fuel stoves are modern and innovative stoves sure to bring you tons of benefits. For more information on how to select the right type for you, you can always talk to the manufacturers or your interior home designer for helpful advice and ideas, also the video below is very helpful if you take the time to watch.

Make Money With Home Staging

If you are an interior designer, or maybe a wannabe interior designer, which I guess you are because that’s how you stumbled upon this website, then this simple idea is one that can make you a good income every year.

I get asked at least monthly about home staging, which is something that started in the US, but is now fairly common in the UK too, although we don’t really call it home staging, in fact we don’t seem to have a common phrase for it, I just get asked by people if I could use my interior design skills to help prepare their house so it shows better to a prospective buyer….. Home staging!

It is easy, commonsense, and usually involves the same processes.

1 Get rid of all the junk

2 Tidy the garden (weeds, trim bushes, sweep and tidy)

3 Paint where necessary, including over old and dated tiling

4 Clean the carpets

5 Remove personal items such as photo frames to make it look less personal

6 Add a few colour co-ordinated throws and rugs

7 Get rid of any dog, cat, hamster or human smells!

8 Pick up the cheque

And that’s about it. Show the homeowner what needs to be done and give them a list. Leave them to it, then go back a week later to check on the progress. As I said, easy money, but a good service that people need. They can’t see why their house isn’t selling, but to anyone else it is pretty obvious.

The video below has some good tips, so get out there and interior design something!


Consider Synthetic Grass For Your Next Outdoor Design Project

synthetic grassI have know about synthetic grass for several years, as we all have, but I had in mind the bright green plastic varieties that seemed to be everywhere about 10 years ago.

Well all that has changed, and todays artificial grass is a completely different product, it even has fake dead grass woven into the turf, making it look more realistic, and the colours are more varied and natural too.

I recently was asked to design a play area for a friend of a friend. They wanted some grass included in the area, but it had to be child and pet friendly, so that it would look good and last longer. I fairly quickly came to the decision that artificial grass was the way to go. We designed and built the play area, using a local business that specialises in artificial lawns and grass, and it looks amazing. And more importantly, the customer and her kids love it too. So I thought I would put my thoughts and findings on here for others to consider. Remember too that synthetic grass needs no water or fertilizer, so is good for the environment too.

The beauty of a home or property is largely defined by the type of grass used in decorating the landscape. However, planting grass and watching it grow can take a long time and that can mean your property will not attain the beauty of green in good time. It can even be hectic when you’re working with land that’s sandy and does not support the growth of grass.

That is why taking on synthetic grass in the most viable option. Synthetic grass has been used in a variety of domestic and commercial applications in providing a perfect playing or laying ground as well as improving the visual appeal of the landscape. Here are some of the facts you need to know about synthetic grass.

 What are some of the major applications of Synthetic grass?

Artificial grass has been proven to be used in a myriad of applications in improving landscapes of home and commercial properties. Whether you want a pet turf, green golf pitch, grass for baseball cage, sports field or commercial building gardens, synthetic grass can help you achieve your dream of having a stunning lawn.

The grass can also be great for swimming pool surrounds, horse arenas, children play area, gyms and weights room, roof gardens and garage space. In the commercial sector, synthetic grass can be used in such areas as corporate lawns, exhibition corridors (both external and internal), institution approach roadside, park gardens and walk areas and carpet flooring for corporate events.

Watch the video below to see a typical installation.

 What Benefits Does Synthetic Grass Come With?

Though natural grass has natural and vegetative smell, it requires some heavy work in setting up and maintaining it, watering, cutting and lots of mowing requirements. Apart from reducing maintenance costs, synthetic grass offers a lush green and natural look regardless of the weather and perfectly seated landscape that’s appealing to the eye. Moreover, artificial grass offers unlimited possibilities that natural grass may not. For instance, it can be used in rooftops, steep slopes, indoors, non-accessible and heavily shaded areas. And even during heavy rains or precipitation, the grass can be used immediately without dirt or mud.

Is Synthetic Grass Costly?

The cost of any synthetic grass largely depends on the size you go for. Hence the larger the area to be covered, the higher the cost of purchasing it. But even if it costs higher, the benefits you’ll enjoy will be worth it in the long run. Synthetic grass not only reduces professional domestic and commercial landscaping mowing, but it also goes a long way in reducing the cost of fertilizing, re-sodding as well as general upkeep. Moreover, if you consider purchasing artificial grass, you’ll forget any irrigation costs forever.

 Where to Find Synthetic Grass

Currently, there are many synthetic grass manufacturers in the market each of which supply their grass to different dealers. However, synthetic grass can be found in local based stores or can be ordered online. For you to acquire the grass easily it’s better to go online. There, you can compare the different types or grass and identify a brand that’s appealing to the eye and whose fiber can last long enough to give your garden or landscape the beauty it deserves.artificial grass

Choosing to make orders from reputable dealers cannot only help instantly acquire grass for your project, but will help you save a great deal of your money that would have been used in maintenance.

As you can see from the above, the product is maintenance free, easy on the eye, pet friendly and environmentally friendly too. What more could you ask from a lawn?

Change Your Mood With Clever Decor

I saw this and liked it, so thought I would post it here. It is just a throwaway graphic, or an infographic as they seem to be called these days. It shows how some simple changes to any room can boost your feeling of wellbeing.

It makes for good reading, showing what changes people think they could make to a room to enable it to boost your mood. It has been proven before in many studies that the colour of a room and even the smell can make a difference to how you feel when you are in that room, so no surprises there.

Worth a try maybe? Let me know what you think.


When To Call In A Handyman

perfect handymanI really enjoy my job as a graphic designer, not only the design side, but also implementing my ideas. I get a real kick from taking an idea from paper to reality, and hanging the wallpaper or building the shelves, laying the floor or even taking down the odd wall is part of the fun.

But as I get busier, and also as I get older, the manual labour side of things gets that little bit harder. And I also know that while I am knee deep in rubble and dust, I could be helping someone design their dream bedroom or kitchen and be making a lot more money without breaking my back.

Time to call in a professional! I have learned over the years that a local handyman is a “handy” person to know. Plumbers and electricians are expensive, so are builders and roofers, but your local handyman is usually skilled in most if not all of the above, and usually charges quite a lot less for his time.

From my experience, a handyman is a very important professional because he or she carries out very important roles at home or in business. This is an expert who has skills to perform in a wide range of repairs. At one time or  other you will find that there are some problems with one of your projects and at that time you will need to handyman to offer you the repairing service that you need. There are different services that a handyman will help you perform. The services that a handyman can perform are very many. Here are some of these services.

Air conditioner repairs and maintenance

Your air conditioning system will fail to perform in the right way if case some of its parts are damaged. When this happens, you need to call a handyman to come and do the right repair so that your system can perform to the optimum level. Most of them have skills on how an air conditioning system operates, so they can fix any problem in the most effective manner. In addition to doing the repair, a handyman will also help to do the maintenance work to ensure that your system is in the right condition at all times.

Upgrading your property

At times you might feel that your property needs upgrading, so that it can have a newer look. Home renovation is an important task as it helps add to the value of your home in case you are planning to resell it in the future. They will help renovate your kitchen, bathroom, sitting room, swimming pool and many other facilities in your home.

Property repairs10537-5096-2015-02-14158858

There are different part of your home that might get damaged as a result of different factors. A handyman will help you carry many different repairs including ceiling repair, garage door repairs, gutter repairs, septic system repair, countertops repair, plumbing repairs and others. All you have to do is to look for a handyman who specializes in a specific type of repair that needs to be done.

Safety modifications

The safety of your home is very crucial. You have to ensure that your property is protected from all hazards. A handyman can help in ensuring that all systems are in good conditions to prevent any risk. They will help do electrical repairs and maintenance, installing the right lighting equipment, maintaining your gate in the right condition, installing and repairing home security systems and others.

Cleaning services 

Handymen also help in offering cleaning services in your home or even business. Most of them have great cleaning skills. So that can provide best results for your cleaning project more than you can do by working by yourself. They will help in window cleaning, office cleaning, fireplace cleaning, kitchen cleaning and others.

Lawn maintenance

You garden should always look great. A handyman will help in lawn maintenance to ensure that you home maintains its great look. They will help in landscaping, lawn care, tree cutting and removal, pruning and many other landscape services.

I have tried to give an overview here of the type of services offered, but really you need to find your local go-to guy and get him on the phone. He will turn out to be your 4th emergency service! The video below discusses some of the services that your handy guy or gal will be able to do for you.

Try Self Storage and De-Stress


One of the most stressful parts of the whole re decorating process for me is where to store everything while the process is in place. It is bad enough having the room in question out of action and in a complete mess, but I hate it when the rest of the house is in turmoil too because all of the furniture, pictures and rugs etc from that one room have been distributed about the house for safe keeping away from the paint and danger.

My answer to all of this is now self storage. There are numerous self storage facilities in every country these days, and the prices are reasonable, the units are safe, clean and dry, and more to the point, it helps me to keep my sanity. A couple of trips in a hired van or borrow one from a friend, and everything is out of the way until the room in question has had it’s facelift and is ready again to be furnished.

Self storage has been around for many years in the United States, and recently similar facilities have been popping up all over the world. Did you know…… that the self storage area available in the UK is now the equivalent of 36 times the size of Buckingham palace? No? Well neither did I, but since it’s origination in the United States, the Uk is starting to catch up. More people than ever before are using self storage facilities, which now number over 800 across the UK, with approximately 31 million sq ft of storage.

So just who is using all of this storage space?
Businesses – 36%
Home Movers – 35%
Decluttering Home Owners – 11%
Temporary Storage During Improvements – 10%
Students and Travellers – 4%
Others – 4%

One of the major reasons for the need in self storage is the fact that as house prices rise, families are beginning to live in smaller houses, and they all need to find a place for those things that they just can’t bear to get rid of. The amount of time that belongings are kept in storage is on the rise too – from 23 weeks in 2008 to more than 41 weeks in 2015.

UK cities that now have the largest amount of available storage compared to their population in order are:

What are we storing?
In the case of businesses, the items in storage are usually important documents, due to the safety in the facilities, and also office furniture, tools, office equipment, supplies and extra inventory. It is often less expensive to store inventory off site than to rent space at the point of sale.

Non business storage users are storing Christmas decorations, holiday items such as ski equipment, seasonal clothing, sporting equipment, childrens toys and furniture.

It is not just the UK that uses storage, the rest of Europe is on the rise too, however the UK is the leader, with 41% of the storage pie, followed by The Netherlands at 15%. Germany, Spain, Sweden, France Finland and Denmark are all seeing massive growth in this area too, and the same is true in developing countries all over the world.

You would possibley expect that the older demographic would be more inclined to rent storage, but the opposite seems to be true. People over 55 use storage less, presumably because the family have moved away and there is room to spare in the home. The age group using the most self storage are the 18 to 34 year old group. Probably because they are starting businesses, buying and moving homes, going to university and having children, all of which place a demand on our available space.

If you are considering using a self storage facility, and need more information, you can find a handy storage guide on most storage websites, which will give you a rough idea of the volume of space that you might need to safely store your treasured possesions until you have the available space again at home.

So the next time you are planning to redecorate your home, or just need some temporary space, check out the local self storage facility near you, and you will be hooked!

Home decorating on a budget

lampshades for interior design ideas

Do It Yourself (or DIY) home decorating is all the rage right now. Since projects are done by none other than you, YOU have full control over the cost. The idea is to find a few areas that could use some extra colour or new design and go from there. Also pick a material you want to work with, like fabric or pallets and go from there. Here are a few ideas for decorating your home on a budget.

Create what you need. I’m primarily talking about tables, but it could apply to other aspects. If you go out to buy, say, a side table for your living room it may get kind of pricey. Instead, check out a small bookshelf or stackable storage unit and use that instead! You can decorate it with things already in your house, like a few books, old photo albums, or that bird figurine your grandma got you while she was touring the country side that’s been sitting in your closet for years.

Going with the theme of using things you already have around your house, what about plates? Chances are that you’ve been given plates over the years, more than your family needs to eat on. Consider picking out bright or elaborate printed plates (all of the same family) and hang them in a pattern or a bit randomly on an open space of wall.

Maybe you have been to the beach recently and your kids brought back what seems like a hundred shells. Use them to help decorate a bathroom by either using them on their own, or gluing them to picture frames or a lamp shade to add to the theme.

Speaking of lamps, you can change the look of a lamp by simply adding to the lamp shade! With a little bit of fabric, hot glue, and ribbon, you can completely change the look of that old lamp shade you’ve had sitting in the same place for years.

I thought this video had some great ideas. See what you think.

If you are in the market for outdoor furniture, consider wicker. By nature, wicker looks as if it belongs outside. Just get some brightly coloured cushions to go along with the furniture and outdoor theme.

Have you seen those pretty prints that sometimes go for hundreds of dollars, but that seem to look so nice hanging in the store? Make your own. Even printed off, basic pieces look sophisticated when you hang them in a glass picture frame. Consider doing groups of three art pieces, different but of the same group.

And don’t forget about the good old garage sale. Using some of the ideas above, just about any piece of furniture can be given a new lease of life. If something is old and beaten up, could that be considered stressed? If so, stress it some more and give it some personality. Buy an old lamp and get a new shade, old tables and change the top with tiles or paint. The ideas are endless, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Just let your imagination flow.