Design and Inspiration

Design and Inspiration

Interior Design: Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some tips to take in when deciding on the interior design of your home. 

Seek inspiration  

There are endless places you can seek interior design inspiration from, online blogs to social media platforms. Many social media platforms can help such as Pinterest, Instagram or even Facebook. When inspired you can create your own mood board with all your different ideas and start from there. 

Consider different colours and materials 

There are many different colours and materials you can choose from for your home. For example, you can have a leather sofa or polyester sofa. Don’t forget about the walls and floors! Wooden floors or laminate? You also need to consider the colour you want to make the walls in each room. Here are some of the most popular materials and colours used in homes.  

Materials 

  • Wallpaper 
  • Leather 
  • Velvet  
  • Wood 
  • Laminate 
  • Carpet 

Colours 

  • Grey tones  
  • Green tones 
  • Blue tones 
  • Nude tones  
  • Red tones  

Always remember to measure correctly 

 One of the most frustrating things that can happen is when you buy something for your home and then it doesn’t fit. Like when you buy new curtains for your home and they end up being too small. Or like when you bought that new sofa, but it doesn’t fit through your door way. You should always dedicate time to measure everything correctly to avoid any problems. Here are some things you should remember that you will need to measure at some point. 

  • Window width 
  • Doorway width 
  • Hallway width 
  • Stair width  
  • Bed and sofa width  

Add signature furnishings  

Signature furnishings such as pillows or ornaments, there are many different things you can add to your home to make it more homely and fill in those missing gaps in the home. There are many different furnishings you can add to your home to make it feel more yours. For example,  

  • Pillows  
  • Centrepieces  
  • Ornaments  
  • Photo frames 
  • Mirrors 
  • Art work  
  • Vases 
  • Plants  
  • Candles 

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Design and Inspiration

What Type Of Window Is Best For You

Are you thinking about updating your Window and want a change? Here is everything you should know before changing them. For example, there are many different types of windows you should know about. 

Different Types Of Windows 

The most common types of windows are:   

Casement  

Bay  

Single-hung 

Double-hung 

Awning  

Casement Window  

Casement windows open up horizontally this usually works by rotating the handle at the bottom.  

Pros 

  • These windows bring excellent ventilation into the home but, it can become cold  
  • Casement windows are known to be very secure 
  • These are known to be better than double-hung windows.  
  • Brings cool air inside 
  • Opens up wide 

Cons  

  • Subject to wear and tear 
  • When fully open bad weather can cause damage to the window. However, that may not happen straight away.

Double-Hung  

Double-hung windows are very similar to single-hung windows however, you can open two parts of the window other than one. For example, a double-hung window is just two single-hung windows put together.

Pros  

  • There is a variety of different types. For example, colours, sizes and materials. 
  • Easy to open and close  
  • Tracks in the windows don’t usually fill up with dirt as they are vertical 

Cons  

  • Windows require occasional maintenance  
  • Seal is not very tight which leads to air coming through 
  • Windows can break if window is fully extended in bad weather  

Single-Hung  

Single-hung windows are similar to double-hung windows in that they both have two separate, upper and lower sashes. The difference between the two is that the upper window of single-hung windows are fixed in place, allowing only the lower window to move 

Pros 

  • Variety of different types. For example, sizes, colours and materials. 
  • Easy to open and close  
  • Tracks in the windows don’t usually fill up with dirt due to the tracks being vertical 

Cons  

  • Windows require occasional maintenance  
  • Seal is not very tight which leads to air coming through  

Bay Window  

A bay window which can also be known as a bow window is a combination of windows that extend out. This works from several angled window panes. 

Pros  

  • Very popular windows
  • Perfect windows to look out from. 
  • Offer shelf space  

Cons  

  • These have been known to be quite costly  
  • Due to the large shelf area the seal isn’t great. So, this can cause air to come through. 
  • Not easy to install 

Awning Windows 

Awning windows are very similar to casement windows. However, they are made to swing open vertically. The top of the window is in a fixed place but you can open it from the bottom. 

Pros 

  • As long as it is not raining hard you can leave your windows open as the windows acts as an awning and prevents the water from coming in. 
  • Fairley secure 

Cons  

  • Doesn’t take in air effectively  
  • Subject to wear and tear 

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Design and Inspiration, Interior Design

Interior Designs You Wont Want To Miss Out On.

Here are interior design looks of 2022 you should see and won’t want to miss out on!

Interior Design Ideas

1. 3D Art

Are you wanting to add something intriguing and eye catching? Any art that pops off the wall can be viewed in a variety of different ways.

2. Multifunctional Rooms

Live with less! After Covid-19 people have had to be more imaginative and make use of the rooms they already have. Instead of building an extension why not have a multifunctional room? A multifunctional room is a room with two or more uses. For example, having an home office and a mini personal gym in the same room.

A multifunctional room is a room with two or more uses. For example, having an home office and a mini personal gym in the same room.

3. Statement Lighting

Many are on the hunt for decorative and statement lighting. everyone loves a bright bold room. There are many types of lighting ideas such as sculptural or decorative lighting, vintage lighting and colourful lighting. Take all of these into consideration.

4. Copper elements interior design

Copper elements are going to be a big thing! we’ll see copper start to take over from the very popular brushed brass bringing a fresh new finish and striking aesthetic.

Curved furniture is a big thing right now! Curves are both feminine and forgiving which makes someone instantly more comforting. This interior design is going to become really popular in 2022.

5. Curved furniture

Curved furniture is a big thing right now! Curves are both feminine and forgiving which makes someone instantly more comforting. This interior design is going to become really popular in 2022.

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Curved furniture is a big thing right now! Curves are both feminine and forgiving which makes someone instantly more comforting. This interior design is going to become really popular in 2022.

Design and Inspiration

Showers: Which One Works Best For You

Different types of showers 

  • Electric  
  • Mixer  
  • Power
  • Digital  

Electric shower 

One of the main advantages of an electric shower is that a hot water supply is not needed from your boiler. These showers have been proven energy efficient as you do not need to heat your boiler tank for an electric shower. Also, electric showers are simple to install. However, this shower needs a good water pressure either from your main supply or water pump. An electric shower can instantly heat up water instead of taking the hot water supply from your boiler tank. No more waiting for your boiler to heat up! One downside to an electric shower is that your existing water pressure isn’t good, your shower may not be very powerful. 

Mixer shower 

A mixer shower is different to an electric shower as it needs an existing source of hot water. The shower does exactly what the names says it does. This shower mixes your hot and cold water together before the water comes out the shower head. An advantage to a mixer shower is that it is more powerful than an electric shower. The water comes out a lot stronger.  

Power shower 

These showers a perfect with homes that have low water pressure. A power shower uses a pump to improve the flow rate of the water it using. One of the  benefits to a power shower is that flow rate is instantly increased for a powerful shower. Also, the installation is quick and simple and many power showers come with eco-friendly options.  

Digital shower  

Digital showers are at the top of bathroom technology. This shower stands out due to the control panel that can change the temperature and the flow rate. This means you can adjust the temperature by the degree. Key features to this shower are that some are even compatible to smart devices and there are many options of different digital showers available. There are different types of digital showers to suit almost any water system, this is why they are the perfect showers. 

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Architecture & Building, Design and Inspiration, Interior Design

Swimming Pools: Things You Need To Know

There are 3 types of in ground swimming pools  

  • Concrete  
  • Vinyl-lined 
  • Fiberglass 

Concreate pools 

Concrete swimming pools take longer to install than most. Generally, it takes between 3-12 weeks. However concrete pools are the strongest and most durable. Unlike other types of pools, existing concrete pools can be remodelled, enlarged and updated. 

Vinyl pools 

Vinyl pools are made from a performed flexible liner that fits into the evacuated hole. It’s secured to a reinforced frame made of steel, aluminium or non-corrosive polymer. The majority of vinyl pools are rectangular. Its takes about 1-3 weeks to construct this pool. When wanting a vinyl pool, you must be aware that pool toys, pets and sharp objects can puncture the liner, needing it to be replaced. 

Fiberglass pools 

Fiberglass pools are factory moulded into one giant bowl, which is set into the evacuated hole by a crane. Pools made from fiberglass can be installed much faster than other pools. It can take as little as 3 days. Fiberglass pools are extremely durable and stain resistant. However, fiberglass pools come in fewer sizes and shapes meaning you may not be able to have one if you have a small or uniquely shaped back garden. 

Frequently asked questions about  

What is the most efficient way to heat pools? 

If you want an energy efficient way to heat your pool, you should consider using a pump pool heater in mild climates. Solar water heaters are cost competitive with other types of water heaters and have low annual operating costs. 

Which is better a heat pump or gas heater for pools? 

Heat pump heaters cost more than gas pool heaters. Gas pump heaters typically have lower annual operating costs because of their higher efficiencies. However, with decent maintenance heat pump heaters last longer than gas pool heaters. 

Is a heated swimming pool worth it? 

Pool heaters have potential to be an incredibly worthwhile investment if you want to use your pool all year round. 

What is a conventional boiler? 

Conventional boilers provide both heating and hot water with the use of a cold-water tank and hot water cylinder. 

Do solar rings work to heat a pool? 

Most solar-rings can absorb up the top 50% of the sun’s energy to heat water in your swimming pool. 

How efficient are pool heaters? 

Pool heaters can operate between 80-90% efficiency. 

When should I start heating my pool? 

Using the heater only when the water clips below a certain point keeps the energy consumption down. For the average person, a pool that is at 78 degrees or higher is comfortable. 

Cheaper ways to heat your swimming pool 

  • Use of solar cover 
  • Pool heat pump 
  • Solar sun rings 
  • Combine a solar cover and heat pump 
  • Liquid solar pool cover 
  • Black hose trick 
  • Windproof pool enclosure  

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Design and Inspiration, Materials

Flooring And Its Pros And Cons

Wanting to change your flooring at home? Heres a list of different types of floors and their pros and cons.

Types of flooring 

  • Timber  
  • Laminate 
  • Bamboo 
  • Vinyl 
  • Cork 
  • Tile  
  • Carpet 
  • Rubber 
  • Poured floors 
  • Wood  
  • Engineered floors

What are the main types of flooring? 

  • Wood 
  • Vinyl 
  • Tile 
  • Carpet 
  • Engineered floors

Pros and cons  

Hardwood Pros 

Hardwood flooring is adaptable in its looks and can complement all types of interiors. 

  • Many options available 
  • Expensive  
  • Can be refinished multiple times (However this can be expensive) 
  • Strong and durable  
  • Increases home value 

Hardwood cons 

  • Expensive  
  • Can incur scrapes, scratches and dents 
  • Avoid water contact – You should avoid large amounts of water that will destroy the flooring with seepage. 
  • Cupping – This happens when the edges of the wood board is higher that the centre, due to the moisture content which has slowly happened will cause the wood to expand. 

Engineered wood pros 

  • Price 
  • Better temperature resistance  
  • Adds value to your home 

Engineered wood cons 

  • Maintenance 
  • Fading 
  • Potentially weak 

Carpet pros 

  • Warmth 
  • Cost 
  • Variety 

Carpet cons 

  • Stains 
  • Cost 
  • Variety 
  • Restricted (You don’t tend to find carpet in the kitchen or bathroom) 

Tile pros 

  • Easy to maintain 
  • Water resistant  
  • Durable 
  • Cost 

Tile cons 

  • Cold 
  • Heavy 
  • Slippery and hard 

Vinyl pros 

  • 100% Moisture resistant  
  • Low maintenance  
  • Easy to clean 
  • Easy DIY installation 
  • Cost 
  • Variety of décor options  

Vinyl cons  

  • Difficult to remove if glued down  
  • Can be punctured with very sharp objects  
  • Can dent with heavy objects on top 
  • Not bio gradable 
  • Can fade and discolour 

Things to consider when choosing flooring for your home 

  • Location – Not every type of floor is suitable for every room. You should pick wisely when picking flooring as engineered floors would be perfect for a kitchen however carpet would not be.You need to take into consideration what the use of the room will be before purchasing flooring for the space. 
  • Durability – Durability is important factor in your flooring decision because the quality of your floors can influence the value of your home. 
  • Price – Floors can vary in price. Stone floors are extremely expensive whereas tile and laminate flooring is quite reasonable.  
  • Family’s lifestyle – You need to consider the activities that take place in your home. For example, if you have children or pet’s carpet would be best. However, if it is just you and your partner you can take the pick of whichever suits you best.  
  • Maintenance requirements – it advised to check maintenance requirements of any floor so you know if your able to maintain it after it’s been installed.  

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Design and Inspiration

Doors, Which One Is Best for You?

There are many different types of doors you can have in your home. For example: 

  • Wooden
  • Glass
  • Pocket
  • Aluminium
  • Roller
  • Pivot
  • Metal  
  • UPVC
  • Fiberglass
  • Flush
  • Dutch   
  • Sliding
  • Roller  
  • Hollow core
  • Hinged  
  • Veneered Timber
  • Composite  
  • Bi-fold exterior
  • French   
  • Panelled  
  • Barn
  • Saloon
  • Steel
  • Battened ledged

The best doors to use in your home  

  • Wooden  
  • Glass 
  • Fiberglass 
  • UPVC  

Pros and cons  

Wooden Pros 

  • Considered to be secure  
  • Wooden doors complement all styles of homes 
  • Decent wooden doors start around £100 and upwards  
  • Noise reduction  

Wooden cons  

  • High maintenance – you need to paint and varnish a wooden door re-applying as it weathers 

Glass pros 

  • Natural light – It does not matter if the glass is clear, tinted, low iron or satin it will not block the natural light. 
  • Strength – Toughened glass doors are known for their strength and durability. 
  • Glass is easy to maintain 

Glass cons 

  • Lack of privacy – You can see straight through glass but this can be sorted. 

Fiberglass pros 

  • Durable – Pet friendly, people friendly and weather friendly. 
  • Performance – Energy efficient Saves money on energy bills 
  • Easy maintain 
  • Versability 

Fiberglass cons  

  • Price – Fiberglass doors are more expensive. 
  • Sizing – The material is not easy to cut, so this is not great for exterior doors that are not normal size. 
  • Installation – The entry system comes with a full unit with the frame, it must be installed by an experienced professional. 

UPVC pros  

  • Durability 
  • Ventilation  
  • Low maintenance  
  • Security 
  • Soundproofing 
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Weather resistant 
  • Insulation  
  • Fire retardant   

UPVC cons 

  • Structural Integrity – UPVC is prone to sagging due to their light weight and also because they are structurally not as strong. Too much heat can result in a rupture of their frames. 

Types of doors  

Glass  

  • Textured glass 
  • Decorative glass 
  • Insulated glass 
  • Stained glass 
  • Frosted or etched glass 
  • Clear glass 
  • Clear class 
  • Single glass 
  • Double glass  

Wooden 

  • Internal 
  • External 
  • Solid oak 
  • Solid hardwood timber 
  • Hollow softwood timber 

UPVC 

  • Slide and fold
  • French  
  • Sliding
  • Casement
  • Lift and slide 

Steps to take that will make your front door safer 

Wooden doors are secure but just like any you will need a good lock. Other steps you can take to increase security are: 

  • A peep hole 
  • Door chain 
  • High-quality glass 
  • Secure hinges 

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Design and Inspiration, Interior Design, Materials

Double-Glazing and Triple-Glazing Advantages

Advantages of Double Glazing and Triple Glazing 

What is double-glazed glass? 

Double glazing is used in all kinds of glass installations and involves two panels of glass set in the same frame that are separated by a thin layer or air or sometimes gas such as argon. Double-glazed windows keep the cold out and the warmth in keeping away the draft. 

What is triple-glazed glass? 

Triple glazing is a window that has three panes of glass separate my argon gas. This extra layer makes it even more difficult for heat to escape and cold to come through. 

The benefits of Double and Triple glazing 

Double glazing 

  • Reduces heat loss and drafts – Double glazing reduces heat loss by not allowing the heat to escape. 
  • Provides acoustic insulation – This attempts to prevent sound leaving and coming into the home. 
  • Increases security – This increases security as it’s a lot more difficult to break than standard glass, making burglars want to avoid trying. 
  • Reduces build-up of condensation. 

Triple glazing 

  • Reduces condensation on your windows 
  • Reduces heating bills – This keeps the heat in your home and the cold outside. This will prevent the heat leaving your home meaning you don’t need to use the heating as often. 
  • Makes home noticeably more comfortable  
  • Reduces carbon output and greenhouse gases. 

Types of double glazing 

  • Low-E glass 
  • Float glass  
  • Laminated glass 
  • Toughened glass 

Advantages of Low-E glass 

  • Makes your home more energy efficient  
  • Potentially saves money on heating bills 
  • Reduces the glare from the light 
  • Reduction in your heating bills correlates to a reduction in total energy usage, reducing carbon footprint. 
  • Low-E glass helps keep unwanted UV rays out of your home that can damage your skin or furniture. 

Is Low-E glass worth double-glazing? 

High-efficiency double-glazed Low-E glass is really good at reducing heat loss saving on bills in the long run. 

Advantages of toughened glass 

  • Strength – This glass is known as a safety glass is five times stronger that regular glass.  
  • Sound reduction  
  • UV protection 
  • Impact resistance 
  • Heat resistance  
  • If broken the glass will shatter evenly into small pieces so there are no shards or splinters of glass causing less risk of injury. 

Toughened glass is commonly used for car windscreens, greenhouses, shower screens, glass shelves and table tops. 

Advantages of Float glass 

  • Float glass has a complete even surface. 
  • Environment friendly  
  • Displays – its crystal-clear transparency   

Advantages of laminated glass  

  • Has a plastic layer between the two panes of glass which holds the shards when broken. 
  • Easy to apply colouring  
  • Reduces the effects of harmful UV rays. 
  • Improves sound insulation 

Laminated glass is commonly used for external and internal doors, shop fronts, car windscreens, shelving and security glass. 

Questions that are commonly asked  

What’s wrong with single-glazed windows? 

There is nothing wrong with single glazed windows, it still does its purpose but single pane windows can cause heat loss, noise and condensation. 

Do I need planning permission? 

You don’t need to apply for planning permission to double glaze windows. However, if your home is in a conservation area or your home is a listed property you may find yourself to be under restricted rules only being allowed single pane windows. If you live in a conservation area or listed property, check your restrictions before starting anything. 

Is triple-glazing more expensive than double-glazing? 

Yes, it is. Triple-glazed glass costs up to 33% – 50% more expensive than doubled-glazed glass. 

What frames can I use? 

  • Timer 
  • Aluminium  
  • PVCU 

There key benefits: 

Timber:  

  • Natural appearance  
  • Renewable raw material  
  • Excellent insulator  
  • Durability  

Aluminium  

  • Durability  
  • Easy care 
  • Modern look 
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Light weight 

PVCU 

  • Easy care  
  • Long durability  
  • Very good insulation properties 
  • Versatility  
  • Many colours available  
  • Light weight  
  • Lower price  
  • 100% Recyclable  

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Design and Inspiration, House Renovation

Renovations That Increase Your House Value: Part 1

Renovations to consider when wanting to add more value to your home 

Loft and garage conversions  

These two conversions are the most popular way of extending and adding value to the property. However, converting these into living space will add value by 15%. In addition, a garage conversion will increase the value by 20%. People convert these to create more living space and storage. 

Energy efficiency improvements  

This can fall into two categories: 

  • Simple low-cost improvements 
  • High-cost improvement works 

From research, energy-saving improvements to your property can raise the value by 14%. Meanwhile, improving lost insulation, cavity wall installation, double glazing, and adding a high-performance boiler would decrease energy bills giving the home more value. 

Outdoor décor (garden landscaping and external works) 

Furthermore, maintaining the garden area can add value by 10% – 20%. The things people keep in mind about the garden is: 

  • Privacy and security  
  • Good lighting  
  • Well thought terraced area  
  • Flat lawn  

Other renovations that can increase your house value  

  • Firstly, garage conversion 20% increase 
  • Secondly, loft conversion 15% increase 
  • Energy saving 14% increase 
  • Balcony 12% increase 
  • Outdoor décor 10% – 20% increase 
  • Open living plan 6% increase 
  • Kitchen 6% increase 
  • Central heating 5.4% increase 
  • Bathroom 5% increase  
  • Paint and decorate 5% increase 
  • Fireplace 5% increase 
  • Conservatory 5% increase 
  • Flooring 3% increase 
  • Roof 3% increase 
  • Finally, decking 2% increase 

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Design and Inspiration

Everything You Need to Know About Installing a Balcony

How much does it cost to add a Balcony? 

Depending on the complexity of the job would depend on the price. The estimated price of installing a balcony would vary between £1,500 – £5,500. 

The estimated cost would cover: 

  • Size
  • Design  
  • Labourer costs 
  • Material costs 
  • How complex the job is. 

Types of balconies  

  • Stacked – The most popular and common. Easy to install. 
  • Juliet/Faux – This is a faux balcony that may contain a small standing area but usually does not. A Juliet balcony contains a balustrade connection to the building without flooring to walk on. 
  • Hung – This structure is made out of stainless-steel cables that are fixed on the sides of the structure. These balconies are less common but have great strength. 
  • Cantilevered – This structure can be made from concrete, steel or timber. This type of project needs to be planned accordingly as the job is quite complex. 
  • Mezzanine – They have a large decking area with railing. This structure gives you more space. 

Do I need planning permission to install a balcony? 

Furthermore, if your home is in a conservation area or your property is listed you must apply for planning permission. 

In other cases, if your balcony is smaller than 300mm you may not have to seek planning permission but it is always best to do so. When submitting your planning application form expect to pay a fee. 

Installing a Juliet/Faux balcony means you won’t have to apply for planning permission unless you decide to add flooring to walk on and then you must. 

Will it raise my house value? 

There are no guarantees that this will raise the price value, but they have been known the raise the value up to 12%. 

What are balconies used for? 

In addition, balconies are used for extra space, kind of like an outdoor room. Many people like to use their balconies as a garden. For example, adding a barbecue or flowers onto it. Whereas, others like to use their balcony to admire the views the structure allows them to see and relax on it. 

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