Tag: modern

House Renovation, Interior Design

10 ways to modernise your old house and make it feel brand new

As the saying goes don’t move, improve. Especially if you love your house but want to modernise it to become more of your style. Adding affordable improvements can also add value to your home and can maximise how you use it.

Remove walls – 

removing the walls between the dining and living room or even the kitchen can transform an older home. Creating an open plan living space and making the room feel airy and modern, without damaging the character too much. 

How to Divide an Open-plan Space With a Half-wall | Houzz UK

Replace or clean the flooring –  

If the older house has a dirty carpet, it would be best to either clean it or buy a new one and make the space feel fresh. And if the flooring is wood or dark in colour to modernise the place you should opt for a lighter colour choice. 

▷ How to replace carpet with vinyl flooring? And why? | L'Antic Colonial

Paint the walls – 

The walls in outdated houses often have crazy wallpaper or dark paint on them. To make your home modern you need to choose colours that will tie your home together. This is an affordable easy way to transform your house quickly.  

Bright Pieces gallery wall - White and gold - desenio.co.uk

Install larger windows –  

By replacing the old windows with larger ones or by adding bi-fold doors it can open up a space. By doing this you will be creating indoor/ outdoor living which has become a very popular style of home design.   

50 Living Rooms with Big Windows (Photos) - Home Stratosphere

Replace old fixtures  

From light switches to cabinet handles, fixtures can really date a home. Update these common fixtures in your home and they will bring your design.  

  • Light switches 
  • Outlets and plugs 
  • Cabinet hardware 
  • Door handles  
  • Indoor and outdoor light fixtures 
Modern Nordic Lighting | Wayfair

Hide the clutter –  

Having numerous ornaments, pictures and magazines can instantly make a home feel outdated and uninviting. Having multi-functional furniture and hidden storage is a simple way to declutter and give your space a modern feel.  

Amazon.com: HOMCOM 39" Modern Lift Top Coffee Table Desk with Hidden  Storage Compartment for Living Room, Coffee Brown Woodgrain : Home & Kitchen

Add new lighting to your home – 

Having proper lighting can bring a room to life. A poorly lit room looks small, dark, and cramped, while a bright room appears open and welcoming. The easiest way of doing this is by adding lamps to dark areas and replacing the ceiling lights.  

Lenny Smoked Glass Table Lamp | Dunelm

Landscape the garden – 

 Landscaping is often overlooked. Planting more trees and flowers or having freshly cut grass can transform the garden and the look of the house. Many outdated houses have overgrown plants or plants that need a lot of love. To modernise the house, you should show just as much care to the outside as you do on the inside.  

9 Peter Fudge Gardens ideas | modern garden, landscape design, outdoor  gardens

Revamp the fireplace –  

A fireplace is a great focal point to a room. However, because fireplaces first became popular in the 70s and 80s you may need to make some changes for them to become modern. 

Traditional or Modern Fireplace? | Heat & Glo

Refresh or replace internal doors –  

You can give any room an update with a new door. By repainting or adding glass windows to the doors it can transform the entire layout of a home. Glass doors create an open-plan area without removing any internal walls, which is perfect for families.

An inspiring guide to French door perfection.

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Design and insperation, Interior Design

Important Information About Adding A Wet Room Into Your Home

A wet room can definitely add a wow factor to your home by giving it a stylish, modern look. While also being accessible to everyone especially if you struggle with mobility.  

What is a wet room?  

Wet rooms are a space that is entirely open plan. The floor is altered to allow water to flow away through a drain on the floor. They can also feature a shower screen to reduce spray in the bathroom.  

How to install a wet room floor –  

  • Firstly, prepare sub-floor, install extra noggins. 
  • Install waste support within joist space, fit flat floor area. 
  • Fit supplied wet floor waste into waste support and connect pipework.  
  • Fit the shower tray in accordance with application instructions and make good around the edge if necessary.  
  • Install aqua proof tape, corners, and sleeves in line with full application guidelines.  
  • Fully waterproof room with aqua proof system, clamp shower outlet sleeve into position with membrane clamping ring.  
  • Tile from waste outwards treating the tile set frame as your first tile.  
  • Place the tile set into the frame.  

Advantages –   

Easier to clean – the Maintenace and cleaning is made easy due to the minimal appliances and fewer things to clean around.  

Accessible for children and people with mobility problems – being accessible is one of the biggest benefits. For anyone who may have trouble getting in and out of the bath or shower, wet rooms can be liberating. You can simply just walk in and out, as the floors are level and water and slip-resistant.  

Increases the value of your home – having a wet room as a second bathroom is a feature that many homeowners look for. “Adding a new bathroom to your home will add an extra 2.88% to the value of it, a wet room is likely to add even more”. Quoted by Phil Spencer

Works in small bathrooms – if you’re struggling with space then adding a wet room can create a great illusion. And because everything is waterproof wet rooms can give you more space.  

Disadvantages –  

Wet rooms can get damp and steamy – dampness can be a problem especially if your bathroom is small. However, this can be easily fixed with good ventilation and an extractor fan.  

Not practical for everyone – not everyone wants a wet room in their house, they may prefer a traditional bathroom. So, it could become more expensive for the homeowner if they were to get it removed  

Costs of a wet room –  

The average-sized wet room will cost around £16,100, including the materials and the labor. They cost about 20-30% more than a typical bathroom installation. The job will usually take around 4-7 days.  

Top 20 | Wet Rooms – CECILIA MOYER : Lifestyle Blogger

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Architecture & Building, Flat Conversions

Looking To Live In A Maisonette? Everything You Should Know

What is a maisonette?  

It is a set of rooms for living in, typically on two storeys of a larger building and having a separate entrance.  

The difference between a maisonette and a flat –  

A maisonette is a two-storey flat, where the front door is your own. This means you can exit your home directly to the outside. However, with a regular flat, you have a shared corridor. And your usual flat consists of several rooms that span a single floor.  

Maisonettes are often more bespoke than flats and aren’t typically sold as part of a development block. They also vary largely in square footage, layout, and spec. Living in a maisonette also gives you more outside space as opposed to a flat.  

Is a maisonette a house? 

They are not necessarily a house although they can come with similar square footage and many of the same perks. For instance, they offer similar privacy to that of a house, and they are argued to be safer. Because with all the windows on the higher level, and the only access is the front for it is less likely you would get burgled. 

Maisonettes are ideal for families because just like a house they often house gardens and sometimes even garages. However, the garden might have to be shared with others in the flats. And you’ll have to access the garden separately outside, typically through a side gate.  

Where can I find them?  

In the UK maisonettes are not uncommon, you can find them usually above shops, in town centres and close to cities. Due to them being slightly smaller and more affordable than a house many are located in cities.  

They are also popular in areas with lots of students because landlords convert one house into two separate dwellings to take on more tenants.  

Is it good to live in one?  

There are plenty of advantages to living in a maisonette the first one is that they are warm and cosy. Being upstairs is a major positive especially in the winter because the heat from the downstairs flat rises and it heats up the house.  

Maisonettes often also have a lot of storage compared to a flat or an apartment. This is because most of them have exterior storage such as a garage.  

Maisonettes itself would be about 20-25% cheaper than the equivalent space in that block.  

Some negatives to living in one –  

Although there are many positives, there are some hurdles to living in a maisonette. With either no off-road parking or a shared driveway parking you can be difficult. And a lot of people find parking on a residential street a nightmare.  

When living above someone you have to be extra neighbourly, you need to be respectful and keep an eye on the amount of noise you make.  

8 Maisonette Designs That Are a Step Up from Your Usual HDBs | Qanvast
A modern maisonette

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Design and insperation

The Richest Architect In The World: Norman Foster

Norman Foster drops Madrid foundation project after planning snub
Norman Foster

A short summary –  

The richest architect in the world Norman Foster was born on the 1st of June 1935 and then took on the profession of a British architect and designer. He is now a key figure in British modernist architecture. His architectural practice Foster + Partners was founded in 1967. It then soon became the largest in the UK, and it maintains offices internationally. 

Childhood – 

Norman was the only child of Robert and Lilian Foster. The family moved to an area in Manchester England, where they lived in poverty. His parents were diligent and hard workers. His father was a machine painter at an electrical engineering company. This influenced Norman to take up engineering, design, and architecture. And his mother worked in a local bakery. His parents were always working and Norman often had friends and family look after him which led to a restricted relationship with his parents. 

Education to be an architect-  

Foster attended Burnage grammar school for boys. He was bullied and considered himself quiet and awkward. When he turned 16 and passed a trainee scheme exam which led to his first job. He became an office junior and clerk.  After that, he then had to complete his national service. In which he chose the air force because aircraft had been a long-time hobby.    

Upon returning to Manchester, he became an assistant to a contract manager in a local architect. (John E Beardshaw and partners). The staff advised that if he wished to become an architect, he should prepare a portfolio of drawings using the equipment from Beardshaw’s practice. Norman’s work was so impressive he joined the drawings department.  

In 1956, Norman began to study at the school of architecture and city planning part of the University of Manchester. He was eligible for a Maintenace grant so he took part-time jobs to fund his study. His talent and hard work were noticed in 1959 when he won a RIBA silver medal. He won this for what he described as a measured drawing of a windmill. After graduating in 1961, Foster won the henry fellowship to yale school of architecture in Connecticut. Where he met his future business partner Richard Rogers and earned his master’s degree.  

Career as an architect –  

Norman returned to England in 1963 to establish his own architectural practice, with rogers and 3 other people. One of their first projects was the cockpit, a minimalist glass bubble installed in Cornwall. The feature of this project then became a returning theme in Foster’s future projects. After the four separated Norman and one other from the group Wendy founded a new practice. Foster Associates. Norman collaborated with American architect Richard Buckminster Fuller on several projects. Such as the Samuel Beckett Theatre at St Peters College, Oxford. 

Foster associates concentrated on industrial buildings. Until a family-run insurance company wanted to restore a sense of community to the workplace. In response, foster designed space with modular, open-plan office floors, long before open-plan became popular. He also included a roof garden, a 25-meter swimming pool, and a gymnasium to enhance the quality of life for the employees.

Some of his biggest work –  

Foster received a commission for the construction of a new terminal building at London’s Stansted airport. The building is a landmark of high-tech architecture. It was awarded the European Union Prize for contemporary architecture.  

He also gained a reputation for designing offices. Norman designed the HSBC Main Building in Hong Kong, at the time it was the most expensive building ever constructed.  

Foster + Partners submitted a plan for a 385-meter-tall skyscraper, the London Millennium tower. However, the height was excessive for London’s skyline. So instead, Norman proposed 30 St Mary Axe, popularly known as “the Gherkin”.  

Norman Foster Cancels Plan to Move Foundation to Madrid | Artnet News

His style evolved into more sharp-edged modernity. And he then designed the tallest bridge in the world, the Millau Viaduct in Southern France.  

Norman Foster: 'I have no power as an architect, none whatsoever' | Norman  Foster | The Guardian

Retirement –  

In January 2007, it was reported that Foster has called in to find buyers for Foster + Partners. Foster doesn’t intend to retire but sell his 80-90% holding in the company valued at £300 million to £500 million.  

Norman currently sits on the board of trustees at architectural charity article 25. Foster believes attracting young talent is essential. And is proud that the average age of people working for Foster + Partners is 32 just like he was in 1967.  

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Advice Center, House Renovation

Are New Build Houses Better Quality Than Old Houses?

Many people say older homes are of better quality than new homes. This is because in an older home they are probably with plaster and lathe. Whereas, the modern newer homes are often made out of drywall which is a weaker material.   

What is the difference between a new builds and an old builds?  

New build houses are homes that have recently been build and have never had anyone live in them. Whereas, an older house has had at least one person living inside and has been built for a couple of years.  

There are many pros and cons for both types of houses for example:   

Pros for a new build:  

  • Energy efficient – newer and modern buildings have become super insulated, they have double glazing and have heating and cooling systems.  
  • Builder’s warranty – usually new builds have a warranty for around 10 years, and if anything goes wrong the builders will fix it.  
  • More personalisation – you get to have more of a say in the design element. For example, you can choose the carpets, flooring, kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Everything is brand new – because everything is new it will all be less maintenance than an older home.   

Cons for a new build:  

  • Space – new homes are often a lot more crammed and they seem to suffer with parking.   
  • Smaller rooms – new builds are often smaller and you would need to think more about internal space.  
  • Premium prices – the houses are brand new which means everything is new so it will become more expensive.  
  • Build delays – if you buy the house before its actually built you can experience delays. It can also have a knock-on effect on your mortgage offer.  

Pros for an old build:  

  • Character – if character and history is important to you an old build is perfect. They often have decorative windows, fireplaces and flooring.  
  • Size – older houses tend to have more internal and external space. And houses that were built around 1920 – 1930 often have large gardens and high ceilings.  
  • See issues – with these houses’ problems are usually visible and if you are purchasing you can pull out of the deal if you like.  
  • Adds value – you are able to renovate the house to how you like and add on to it. However, it’s hard to add value to a new build because everything is new.  

Cons for and old build: 

  • High maintenance – the houses have been standing longer and could have had a lot of owners. You also need to keep it looking good and structurally sound.    
  • Poor energy efficiency – the energy bills may be higher because the houses are bigger and less insulated.  
  • Renovations costs – the houses are less likely to be suited to you and they could be run down from previous owners. It could cost you money to repair it.  

Deciding on which houses are better is completely down to people’s opinions and there is no right or wrong answer.  

Old house vs New house

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Design and Inspiration, Uncategorised

Why Modern Architecture Became So Popular

What Defines Modern Architecture? 

 Modern architecture has something for everyone, Even if you prefer other styles. There are some elements of modern design that will appeal to you. Modern architecture is clean and simple. It is defined by clean lines and minimalist interiors that allow the structure to speak for itself and take center-stage. To keep it simple, modern architecture focuses more on industrial metals such as steel, concrete, and glass. These metals give the architecture the simplistic look that a lot of people find aesthetically pleasing to look at. The thing about modern architecture is that it remains unique in fact, modern architects have created some of the most unique designs to date. And even though the interior is minimal the designs are so unique the houses never look boring. 

A large misconception that a lot of people have is that modern houses are not very homely and are cool and cold. This is because of the open spaces and the minimal furniture that people usually choose. However, a large number of modern design features are naturally warm and inviting. For example wood and stone accents and floors and also warm lighting. Another inviting feature most modern homes have is floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, large windows that let in natural light, and high vaulted ceilings. A lot of modern plans contain fewer walls to create an open living space and make the place more welcoming.  

Services – Concept
Modern Architecture.

Architecture Post WW2

  After World War 2 modern architecture was at its highest. The wartime industrial demands resulted in shortages of steel and other building materials. This meant that people were using inexpensive building materials to rebuild their houses and offices because they were cheap enough to mass-produce. They mainly used reinforced concrete and some steel to rebuild the majority of homes. They made the houses open plan with vaulted ceilings to create living space, and also used large windows to let in more daylight. 

CHAZ HUTTON. — This is probably the most interesting shot of the...
Modern Architecture Post War.

Nowadays modern homes are more expensive to build and to buy because they have gained a lot of popularity. The majority of people would like a modern home because of celebrities and posts online. However, modern homes are also a lot more expensive than traditional homes. This is because they need more materials to make the house more durable. Also, because traditional houses are made from brick, and modern ones are made from concrete, which is more expensive than brick.  Although, modern houses are becoming popular the most desired and common house style in the UK is the Tudor houses.