Seven Tips to Maximise the Kerb Appeal of Your Home

Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future or just want to make the neighbours green with envy, outdoor specialists from have shared with us seven top tips to help Brits enhance the front of their houses and increase their kerb appeal.


Image: Dobbies Garden Centres

Add a gate

Placing a gate at the entrance of the garden alongside being an additional security measure can also add a warm and welcoming for guests and sets the tone of the garden.


Rather than putting in a new pathway a cheap and quick alternative is to instead use a power wash to give the existing footpath a good scrub. Add gravel to hide paths that are past saving.


Image: Evolution Windows

Enhance with an Arch

Putting an arch over the pathway is enticing and adds dimension to the area. Train plants like beech or hornbeam to make an evergreen arch, in winter the bare branches provide a strong structure.

Variety of greenery

When deciding on greenery, include a mix of different leaves and foliage to add dimension and interest. Stick to low maintenance plants such as hostas and lady ferns which thrive in shaded areas. Perfect for all seasons so no risk of looking bare or dull in colder periods.


Image: Garden Trading

Utilise space

For residences with a smaller front garden such as townhouses, wall climbers should be considered. Taking no floor space and growing directly onto the outer walls of the house. Greenery can be introduced no matter how small the area.

Harmonise colours

When adding colour into the garden from front doors to plants and flowers choose complementary colours to unify the garden as one whole. This is an incredibly effective and easy way to add kerb appeal.


Upgrade the door 

The main focal point of the house is the front door; a new lick of paint refreshes the home and draws the eye alongside polishing existing hardware. Before going for a bright colour consult with residents and ensure that it is appropriate for the location.

Bank Holiday DIY - Upcycle a Mid-Century Sideboard

A long weekend is the perfect time to flex your DIY skills and create something with far more character than any flat-pack purchase. Treated properly, charity shop furniture can look stunning and can be completely transformed with just a lick of paint and some paper. And voila! You have an item and that is completely tailored to your taste.

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Here’s how the people at Rust-Oleum upcycled a vintage sideboard found in a British Heart Foundation charity shop for just £15 and turned it into a mid-century, modern display unit.

Before and After

Before and After

You Will Need:

  • Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint

  • Self-adhesive wallpaper

  • Paint brush 

  • Masking tape

  • Tape measure

  • Paint stirrer and paint tin opener 

  • Paint roller and tray

  • Scissors

  • Screwdriver

  • Cloth for cleaning

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1. Clean the furniture thoroughly, remove handles and mask any areas you do not wish to paint with masking tape.

2. Take your can of Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint (we used the colour Slate) and stir thoroughly.

Satin Finish Furniture Paint requires no sanding or priming on most surfaces, so you can get cracking straight away. Using a roller for large areas and a brush for harder to reach nooks and crannies, paint the unit and leave to fully dry. You may need up to three coats.

3. Measure the area you wish to cover with self-adhesive wallpaper and cut to size.

4. Apply your wallpaper, smoothing any bumps or bubbles with your hand as you go.

Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint, now available at Dunelm, is perfect for upcycle projects, as this clever one-step paint requires no sanding, priming or topcoat.

The superior, silk-touch satin finish comes in two of Rust-Oleum’s most popular shades, which have been carefully curated to enhance contemporary interiors.

The Difference Between a Wine Cellar and a Wine Cooler

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Wine coolers are a refrigeration unit which is designed to maintain wine at their optimum storage or serving temperatures. In order to be classified as a wine cooler, they need to prove that they can manage: temperature, humidity, light and vibrations.

A wine cooler will maintain the temperature in the cabinet to between +/- 2°C, in practice the wine coolers cooling system will kick in when the temperature reaches 2°C above the set temperature and turn off when it reaches 2°C below the set temperature. In order to maintain the temperature of the wine, the average temperature reading will always be the set temperature. It takes a lot more energy to change the temperature of the liquid because of the thermal mass.

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The humidity is managed through a system which allows the wine cooler to maintain the humidity above 55 and below 85% and some wine coolers have new equipment to allow you to set the humidity level. If the air is too moist in the wine cooler, during the cooling phase the excess water will condense on the back wall of the cabinet, which will then find its way down to the water channel and into the container during the off phase. The excess water will then evaporate off.

UV light is very important, wine will be adversely damaged by UV rays which will cause irreversible damage. Although the wines are somewhat protected by the glass bottle, there is still a chance that this will not fully protect it. For this reason, a wine cooler will either have a solid door, which will prevent any UV rays entering and also allow full darkness inside the cabinet, or the wine cooler will feature a full UV protected glass door which looks much nicer in the flesh but also protects the wines.

Vibration is key, in a wine cellar, the bottles are moved maybe once a year so they basically see very little vibration or disturbance throughout their ageing period. A wine cooler needs to mimic this, so the compressors are mounted on rubber mountings to ensure there is no unwanted vibrations. Excess vibration will cause the wine to go sour as it will encourage unwanted reactions to occur.


The difference between a wine cellar and a wine cooler is primarily that a wine cellar will maintain all of the above without having to have electronic interference. A wine cooler will effectively imitate a wine cellar, they do this well, much better than a standard refrigerator. However, a wine cellar will be much better suited for long term storage of around 10-15 years. A wine cooler will store your wines reliably, but is best suited for wines that will be drank within the next 5 years or so.

The good thing about wine coolers is that they are extremely versatile, with a wine cellar its sole purpose is for long term storage and to be honest unless you want to be showing your wines off all the time nobody is going to see it. A wine cooler is available in many different model types to suit different lifestyles, capacities and the space that is available.

If you need more information with regards to wine coolers and wine storage, contact Elite Wine Refrigeration for a wide range to suit all budgets.

Top 5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Mattress

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Do you often wake up from a restless night’s sleep? If so, it’s likely that your mattress is the culprit.

If your mattress isn’t giving you the chance to get that soothing and satisfying sleep experience you deserve every night, then it’s time for a change. To help you know what to look out for, here are 5 signs that your mattress needs replacing.


Waking up to aches and sores

When you frequently wake up to nagging pains in your neck, shoulders, and back; it could indicate that your mattress isn’t giving you the support you need. Overtime, your mattress will eventually lose its ability to support your body’s pressure points, leaving you to be held up by the springs.

Low quality springs, such as those in cage sprung beds, will only exacerbate your aches, pains and sores.

The mattress is 7 years old

Age is important when it comes to your mattress, and unfortunately they can never keep the same level of quality indefinitely. The average lifespan for a mattress is actually around 7 years, after which you’ll need to think about a replacement.

With proper care and consideration, such as turning and rotating, your mattress could last a little longer than this. However, in the majority of cases a mattress that reached this age will start to leave you struggling to sleep well at night.


That sinking sagging feeling

Restless sleep and particularly back pain can be caused by a sagging mattress. This is caused by a number of things, such as when poorly layered or thin comfort layers in the mattress compress. If your mattress contains a cheaply made sprint unit, it too can fail, leading to irreparable sagging that can force you into an uncomfortable sleeping position.

Your mattress can still leave you feeling like you’re being swallowed up even when there’s no noticeable sag. This can again be down to compression or even the breakdown of foam layers. It’s always best to choose a luxury natural fibre mattress designed to give you lasting support, and one that’s protected against sagging thanks to having high GSM upholstery layers.

Dust allergies are acting up

Sneezing, wheezing and coughing constantly at night could be a sign that your aged mattress is suffering from dust mites. Unfortunately, they are one of the most common allergens and will pretty much always have a presence in your home. However, an old mattress that hasn’t been cared for, can cause their numbers to thrive.

Although, frequently washing pillows and bedding and using a dust mite resistant mattress cover can help to mitigate the mites, it may be time to consider getting a completely new mattress to put an end to the problem.


A change in weight

Everyone’s weight can change; either because of a sudden change in lifestyle, your diet, your age, an accident or even after surgery. Even if your mattress is in a good condition, it may no longer offer you the support it once did if your weight has fluctuated significantly.

Getting yourself a suitable mattress topper, to add some firmness to the mattress and support your pressure points, could provide a temporary solution. However, it won’t do much to improve your sleep experience if your mattress is simply to soft, or lacks the support required to cater for your bodyweight.

A Guide to Painting the Kitchen with Benjamin Moore Paints

Now that the season of DIY is almost upon us, a kitchen refresh might be just the thing to bring your interior up to date.

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Ideal for those not wanting to undergo a complete kitchen overhaul, an accent wall can help you to make a distinctive statement in the heart of the home. When it comes to the colour choice, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what will work best in the scheme. Whether you’re looking to add a splash of colour to a sleek white scheme or wanting to complement wooden cabinetry and accents with more earthy tones, there are endless possibilities when it comes to accent wall colour choices.

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Opting to paint your kitchen cabinetry provides you with the flexibility to work with a varied palette. If you want to stick to white or a lighter shade on your walls and worktops, a darker paint on your cabinetry can create a truly standout scheme whilst a complementing neutral shade will also provide you with subtle colour variations without overpowering the space.

It might be hard for some to believe, but with the right preparation, any type of kitchen cabinet can be painted. Even a glossy or laminate cabinet can be painted as long as the surface is primed with an adhesion promotion primer first.

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For the ultimate wow-factor, fully embrace your chosen colour scheme and paint the same shade across your walls, cabinetry and island. Whether you opt for a daring blue or an all-out white scheme, this approach to kitchen décor is guaranteed to deliver a beautifully cohesive scheme.

1. Wall - Louisburg Green (HC-113), Ceiling - Atrium White (OC-145), Trim - Atrium White (OC-145).
2. Accent Wall - Banana Yellow (2022-40), Wall and Ceiling Colour Paper White (OC-55).
3. Accent Wall - Tomato Tango (CSP-1145), Side Wall - Harbor Gray (AC-25).
4. Wall - Ochre (2151-30), Ceiling - Atrium White (OC-145).
5. Walls - White Opulence (OC-69), Cabinets & Moulding - Stone (2112-40), Door - Wolf Gray (2127-40),
Trim - Moonshine (2140-60).
6. Cabinet - Hale Navy (HC-154).
7. Walls - White Opulence (OC-69), Cabinets - Stone (2112-40).
8. Wall - Province Blue (2135-40), Ceiling - Baby’s Breath (OC-62), Cabinetry & Raised Paneling -
Province Blue (2135-40).
9. Wall - Stonington Gray (HC-170), Wainscoting - Sparrow (AF-720), Ceiling - Stonington Gray (HC-170),
Cabinet - Iron Mountain (2134-30).
10. Cabinets - Simply White (OC-117), Wall - Mascarpone (AF-20), Floor - Mascarpone (AF-20).

All from Benjamin Moore Paints.

Ensuring You Get The Best Night’s Sleep

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As you may already be aware, sleep is one of the most important parts of our day, as it allows our bodies to recover in a number of different ways. We are approaching the month of March which has been dedicated to highlighting the importance of having a comfy bed and having a good night’s sleep, so this seems a perfect time to address it.

Having Your Own Back

During the act of sleeping, this is when you can come across the most severe causes of chronic back pains. There are number of different ways you can avoid this, and it starts with your choice of mattress.

There are mattresses out there that have been specifically built to help to distribute your weight equally when you sleep, this in turn, reduces the pressure on your back and joints. These wonderful creations are called orthopaedic mattresses, and they are revolutionising the way people sleep. Back pain is caused by you sleeping in compromising positions, causing your muscles to tighten. These mattresses help to reduce this stress.

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How can my bed help my allergy?

Sometimes the wrong mattress can badly affect your allergies due to the dust that gathers on your bed. If you suffer from allergies, then you may want to look into memory foam mattresses. They are one of the most popular mattress choices on the market, and by far are one of the comfiest!

They are what you call hypoallergenic which essentially means your bed won’t gather the dust that causes you allergy to flare up whilst you sleep. This will not only improve your sleeping pattern, but mean you are far more energized for your general day to day activities.

The great thing with memory foam mattresses is that they use the heat from your body to mold you shape into the mattress, thus, improving your posture and providing you with a great night’s sleep. They are also what you call, shock absorbent, meaning you also won’t be disturbed by a fidgety sleeper, improving the amount of sleep time you get.

How much sleep should I be getting?

The answer to this question generally depends on your age, with the older you get, the less sleep you actually need (even though you feel like you need more!). It’s very important, the average adult ensures they get at least 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to fully ensure your bodies recover from the previous day.

For children, teenagers are infants however, they need more sleep and rest time. For teenagers (ages 13-18) around 8-10 hours is about right. For infants between the ages of 4-12 months they will need (including naps) around 12-16 hours of sleep a day. As they grow older the amount of sleep needed decreases.

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Make sure you make the most of your bed in March during National Bed Month. These are just some of the ways you can ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible, we hope our tips will help you in the future.

5 Ways to Style Grey Floor and Wall Tiles

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Create your dream interior with grey tiles.

If you’re planning on undertaking a remodelling project, choosing a colour palette is an important place to start. The colour of your walls and floors is going to determine the look and feel of your entire room.

One trend in design that isn’t going away is the love of grey interiors. Grey is a perfect neutral, allowing you to complement any light or dark tones in your home. Grey tiles have seen a huge surge in popularity in the past few years, owing to their style and versatility. Effortlessly chic, grey provides an ideal back-drop to accentuate all those personal accents in your home.

Bright greys are a fantastic way to open up a room without the glare of white, and dark greys are perfect for introducing atmosphere to any space. If you’re thinking of incorporating some grey tones in to your property, we’ve put together a look-book to inspire you.


Co-ordinate floor and wall tiles for industrial interiors

The industrial revival in interior design is one of the defining trends of the decade. Coordinating concrete-style floor and wall tiles is the perfect way to capture this look. Lay matt grey porcelain tiles from floor-to-ceiling for a seamless aesthetic with an industrial edge. Add some finesse to the room with metallic accents.


Lay herringbone tiles for a classical revival

Mix traditional and contemporary trends by laying grey modern tiles in a herringbone style. This innovative way of displaying grey tiles is perfect for building a feature wall in your bathroom or kitchen. Mix and match tones for a visually stunning look – perfect for a feature wall or a creative kitchen back-splash.

Choose decorative tiles for decadent interiors

Patterned tiles are a decorating main-stay for creating eye-catching interiors. Choosing a grey colour palette updates these Victorian-influenced designs and adds a touch of luxe to any room. We recommend the artfully printed Nikea tile range from Crown Tiles. Using prints in a limited space is a great way to capture the broken-plan flooring trend, which makes any space look bigger.


Honour tradition with wood-effect floor tiles

There’s no denying the popularity of wooden flooring. The natural look and texture of wood is ideal for making any house feel homely and it is undeniably timeless. Unfortunately, traditional wooden floors can be high maintenance. Wood-effect porcelain tiles are a perfect alternative, as they capture the look and feel of wood without the maintenance and cost. A high-quality wood-effect tile is a wonderful way to bring the outdoors indoors.


Go ultra-contemporary with hexagonal tiles

Creative tile shapes are becoming more and more popular. The humble tile has moved well past being a functional surface and is now a design feature of its own. Forget the traditional rectangle and elevate the style of your bathroom or kitchen with hexagonal tiles. Create beautifully geometric feature walls with different grey hues. The stunning honeycomb effect will push your home toward the cutting edge of interior design.

Grey floor and wall tiles are incredibly versatile, and their popularity means there are endless styles to choose from. They complement all colours and styles and will suit changes you make to your interiors over time. Choosing the perfect walls and floors for your next project can feel a little overwhelming, but hopefully these ideas will inspire you to create the space of your dreams.

Affordable Bespoke Style Kitchens from Husk

Installing a new kitchen can be an expensive business. Even more so if you want something that looks bespoke, is well built, and will last. In fact, designers have been using IKEA cabinets for years (a not so secret, secret) and fitting them with more stylish doors. But if you’re not a designer and you want to save even more money but doing your own installing, this is not always a workable option. But now, there is a company who supply customisable kitchen fronts for standard kitchen units, including fixing locations for simple installation.

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Husk is a new company. It was launched in October 2018. They offer an affordable way to add custom elements to your kitchen. The fronts and countertops are designed to work with IKEA or Howdens cabinets, and materials have been chosen with durability in mind. There’s no need for maintenance and they are hardy enough to withstand busy family lifestyles.

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Designing a custom kitchen can be daunting and time consuming but at Husk the aim is to simplify the process, offering a carefully curated range of product which works well in almost any combination. Help is also at hand, with a free initial consultation either at the end of the phone or in their Bristol showroom.

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What’s more, they really do make plain kitchens look beautiful with styles that will fit comfortably in any home from period to new-build. And they are made in the UK too!

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Fronts, handles, sinks, worktops and taps all from Husk.

LED Bulbs of Distinction - Achieve a Stylish, Authentic Look AND Save Money!

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Period, industrial and vintage lighting has been popular for some time now and until recently, incandescent Edison style filament light bulbs were the only tasteful bulb of choice. Whilst these bulbs looked beautiful, they were inefficient and led to high energy bills before the EU eventually banned the manufacture and import of these environmentally unfriendly light bulbs.

First generation LED light bulbs were the answer to our energy consumption issues, being around 90% more energy efficient, however, whilst being a blessing for our pockets (significantly reducing electricity bills) they were certainly not a blessing for the look and feel of our interiors!


The futuristic appearance of the original LED bulb does not lend itself to a period style of lighting or to becoming a beautiful centrepiece in its own right. Thankfully a second generation of LED light bulbs which replicate a more traditional style with multiple finishes of opal, clear and vintage filament are becoming available. Clever flexible LED technology means that the filament no longer needs to be straight and can now be formed into an Edison type spiral. Gone are the unsightly white plastic bases of the straight filament 1st generation LED Bulb and back are the elegantly classic glass and metal finishes we have come to love.

The introduction of the Edison style filament LED light bulbs, like this stunning collection from The SOHO Lighting Company, ensures that the bulb can once again become a focal point or complement any period or vintage light.

Candle Bulbs

Candle Bulbs

Let your design flair run riot - the sizes and shapes range from small golf ball and candle bulbs, right up to giant ER180 bulbs, measuring in at 180mm wide and 300mm long. Whilst the candle and golf balls suit fixtures with multiple bulbs, (see above) the larger LEDs can be hung from a bulb holder on a cable, and if preferred, with no light shade, showing off the beauty and style. (below)

Larger LED’s

Larger LED’s

LED bulbs have long been the weak link in industrial style décor, but now you can create an ambience, complement your surroundings and add a real vintage twist with these beautiful filament bulbs.

Why not try a vintage style GLS bulb in an industrial style floor lamp as an alternative option for quiet evenings in the living room? Or create ambience through amber-coloured Edison style candle bulbs in a classic wall light with multiple fixtures. These bulbs lend exquisite design impact to traditional, vintage and industrial style decors. Whilst first generation LED bulbs detracted from their surroundings, Edison style LED bulbs truly enhance them – utopia for those passionate about design and interiors.


No longer must we compromise on looks for efficiency or efficiency for looks. Now we get the best of both worlds.

So light up.

Style and beauty is restored with optimum energy efficiency in an innocent bulb.

See the full range of LED Edison style bulbs from The SoHo Lighting Company at Elesi.

Taking Window Film to a Whole New Art Deco Level

We’re big fans of decorative window film. It’s not just pretty to look at, it also has a lot of practical uses too. It’s perfect for creating privacy without sacrificing light in a bathroom or when a window is overlooked. It can add pattern and colour to a decorative scheme. Or re-install the illusion of period detail in rooms that have been stripped of all character. Some window films even offer solar protection to furniture and art without the need of installing heavy curtains or blinds. So when we saw these new designs at Purlfrost we thought they were worth sharing.

Spinel Design

Spinel Design

These stunning Art Deco seamless stained glass window film patterns were created using photographs of real period stained glass which gives the print added vibrancy and detail. The pattern measures 60 cm wide and is repeated vertically and horizontally to match your window size. This design can be ordered printed on clear film for added colour vibrancy, or frosted film for added privacy (duller colours).

Lazuli Design

Lazuli Design

What’s more you don’t need any diy skills to apply the film to your own windows. They are very easy to apply in minutes with a bit of soapy water and the application tool provided with your order. I can actually vouch for this having added window film to my front door at home.

Ruby Design

Ruby Design

Prices start at £19.00 for a 50 cm x 50 cm film from Purlfrost where there are other designs too.

The True Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

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Installing new flooring in a home is a major investment. Not only does it have to meet with a long list of practical considerations, ie. hard-wearing, easy to keep clean, warm underfoot etc, it also has to look pretty darned good. The flooring in a room sets the scene, and nothing beats the look of wood for creating a warm and inviting interior scheme. So should you choose real wood? Or would engineered wood suit your needs better? Here’s a few benefits that might help you make that all-important decision.


What is Engineered Wood?

As opposed to solid wood, engineered wooden planks are made up of several layers of plywood that are glued together to form a stable and sturdy floor. The top and visible layer is in fact hardwood which makes it look and feel like solid wood. These floors are perfect when you want the rustic warmth of authentic wood floors without the hassles. The planks are resistant to fluctuations in temperature and humidity and don’t dent or bulge easily, so are highly durable floors and are compatible with under-floor heating too.

Is Engineered Wood Flooring Less Expensive?

The short answer is yes. It's a lot cheaper than hardwood floors without compromising on quality due to the multi-layer construction ensures that the planks are extremely solid, sturdy and durable. What’s more it will last for years without requiring a refinish.


Is Engineered Wood Flooring as Hard-Wearing as Solid Wood?

Yes again. It’s made of the highest grade raw materials, meaning that these floors can easily absorb daily wear and tear. In fact, the best brands offer a lifetime warranty on their floors for residential use, so look out for this when you purchase.

Is Engineered Wood Easy to Install?

Installing is quick and easy. Engineered wood floors are either laid using the floating method, or are glued down. You can install these floors easily even if you have minimal knowledge of carpentry.


How Does Engineered Wood Rate on the Good-Looks Scale?

With these floors, you can enjoy the traditional warmth and good looks of authentic wood flooring. The planks are available in a diverse range of wood species and shades to suit every décor. Furthermore, the surface is embellished with knots, grains and patterns that ensure stunning similarity to natural timber.

Certain ranges also feature exclusive surface finishes such as distressed, lacquered, burnt, aged, hand-brushed or oiled that makes these floors hardly distinguishable from solid hardwood flooring.

This post was written in collaboration with Lifestyle Flooring, the UK's favourite destination for high quality flooring with unbeatably low prices that will ensure you get the best value for your money.

Renovating Your House Without Breaking the Bank

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Renovations are an expensive business, especially when you factor in all the delays, last-minute changes of plan and unexpected costs. What you need is a clear, easy roadmap from start to finish, so a thorough budget is essential here. If you’re looking for help with budgeting, then head here.

Whatever your budget is, however reasonable it is, there’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to come in under it, so here are some great ideas to help you do that.


Foregoing an architect

Some projects don’t actually need an architect, especially smaller ones that don’t involve too much internal remodelling. You can draw up the plans yourself if you really need to save money; just make sure they have all the necessary information and conform to your planning department’s format.

It’s also possible to use a draughtsperson, as long as they have the right indemnity insurance; some building contractors can also draw up the plans as part of the service.

Be flexible about suppliers

There are so many glossy brochures and websites out there that you can easily be seduced into buying all your fittings from the big boys. This isn’t necessarily the cheapest or the best move, so concentrate on your designs and not about who actually brings them to fruition.

Become PM

That’s project manager, you’ll be relieved to know! Being PM means you select the contractors and suppliers. You can also decide which tasks, like painting, you can do yourself if you want to; this definitely saves money, but you’ll be surprised by how much time it’ll take up.

Use several suppliers

Getting all your supplies from one source saves time, but it often pays off if you spend a bit of time shopping around for sales, deals or by going halves on some supplies with a friend who’s also renovating.


Get at least three quotes

It’s surprising how much quotes can vary – sometimes by hundreds of pounds. The cheapest isn’t always the best, though, so take into account reviews and recommendations from family and friends.

Recycle as much as you can

If you’re pulling out old woodwork and fancy bricks or digging up flagstones, can you use them elsewhere in your home? Not only does this save money, but it’s a nice nostalgic touch, especially if your renovations are quite sweeping.


Mix up cheap, mid-range and high-end

A classic example of this is when people buy mid-range cupboard bodies and finish them off with more expensive fronts and handles.

Get ready for bargain bolts from the blue

How many times have you driven or walked past a reclamation yard or a showroom that’s selling its ex-display stock and spied something amazing? You see the bathtub, or the Victorian fireplace and you stop by, only to remember that you’ll have nowhere to put them until you need them. Make sure you have space in your shed, or maybe even hire a storage unit in advance so you can grab those items before someone else does.

Warm Winters with Calor

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Over two million rural homes in the UK are ‘off grid’ with no access to mains gas, and so rely on alternative energy sources for heating and hot water – vital for a warm and welcoming home during the festive period.

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Oil is often the default option, and some properties use solid fuel or electricity. However, there is another option that has been growing in popularity in recent years – LPG.

Here, the experts from Calor run down the top five reasons why it makes sense to use Calor LPG…

Versatile and convenient

Firstly, it’s just like having mains gas, and LPG is perfectly suited to central heating and hot water, as well as cookers, gas fires and even tumble dryers! If you love to cook, you’ll have an instant, controllable flame and the additional reassurance that you can still rustle up dinner in the event of a power cut.

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A more secure option

Shockingly, the annual cost of rural crime in the UK has increased 13.4%*, and oil is often targeted as tanks are easy to identify and siphon oil from. Crime can increase in winter with the cover of darkness, and it’s also when most people stock up their oil tanks for the winter months, so you may want to look at a more secure way of heating your home. LPG is stored in tanks and is virtually impossible to steal, so you can put your mind at ease, put your feet up and relax in your warm and cosy home.

Green and clean

An increasing number of homeowners are considering the environmental impact of their fuel choices too. Global warming and greenhouse gases are hot topics and initiatives have been introduced to tackle these problems. For example, the Government’s recently announced Clean Growth Strategy focuses on reducing carbon emissions and helping the UK become eco-friendlier.

With this in mind, Calor has created its exclusive BioLPG, created from a mix of renewable and sustainably sourced raw materials. What’s amazing is it can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 38% compared to heating oil! **


Simple switching

Calor makes switching simple with a number of tools to help you through the process, such as the helpful online quote tool that allows you to quickly see at a glance how easy it is to switch to LPG or BioLPG.

Also, Calor’s handy LPG Boiler Installer tool provides you with details of gas safe registered heating engineers in your area. All you need to do is simply enter your postcode and you have a whole list of professionals who can install, maintain and service your boiler.

Fuelling rural communities

Calor also gives back to local off-grid communities via the Rural Community Fund, which offers grants for projects that will improve local life. In 2018 a total of £50,000 went to 21 rural projects across the UK from as far as the Orkney Islands to rural Cornwall.

For more information visit their Community Fund website. Entries can be used to help community centres, village halls, sporting venues as well as initiatives to support local schoolchildren and the elderly.

With all of these reasons why LPG could be the perfect rural fuel choice for you, why not switch today?

For more information on heating your home with Calor LPG and BioLPG, visit or call 0808 159 7864.


**Atlantic Consulting, 2017 ; BioLPG’s Carbon Footprint Savings

Something for the Weekend - Get Dotty for Polka Dots

Polka dots are synonymous with fun. And with polka dots appearing on the runways by just about every notable fashion designer, it’s time to bring couture into your interior scheme by using geometric paint patterns to mimic the design.

Contemporary yet deliciously retro, the polka dot pattern works throughout the home with contrasting or complementary shades

On the walls - Pashmina, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - Copper, Metallic Emulsion. On the woodwork - Jet Black, Non Drip Gloss.

On the walls - Pashmina, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - Copper, Metallic Emulsion. On the woodwork - Jet Black, Non Drip Gloss.

Alternatively, adopt the playful nature of the design, and create imperfect alternatives to the traditional pattern by painting freehand spots. Using metallic shades to create these shapes will add an additional layer of fun.

On the walls - Hare, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - City Break, Matt Emulsion.

On the walls - Hare, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - City Break, Matt Emulsion.

“One great way to add character to a space is with a textured or metallic emulsion. Rather than paint an entire wall, why not stencil metallic or textured paint in circles on to a monochromatic base to add areas of drama and interest.” Judy Smith, Crown Colour Consultant

All paints shown are from Crown Paints.

Left to right:

  • City Break, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

  • Millionaire, Metallic Emulsion, from £19 for 1.25l.

  • Pashmina, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

  • Striking, Metallic Emulsion, from £19 for 1.25l.

Make Life Easier with a Stiltz Home Lift

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For homeowners who are starting to find stairs a challenge, but love their home and do not want to move or downsize, Stiltz Home Lifts offer access to all areas of the home with a unique range of ‘through the floor’ domestic lifts.

The Stiltz Home Lift has been designed to make life easier by providing a discreet and practical alternative to using the stairs making it much simpler to move around the house - all at the touch of a button.

Unlike old-fashioned stairlifts, a lift can transport passengers from floor to floor in under 30 seconds, does not block up the stairs, is whisper quiet, and the larger lift accommodates a full-sized wheelchair.


Who can a Stiltz Home Lift help?

A home lift is ideal for any who has mobility issues stemming from an operation, accident or illness, who is asthmatic, suffers from a heart condition, or any other issue that means taking the stairs are a challenge. A Stiltz home lift is a safe, comfortable and stylish way to independently travel between floors.

How does a Stiltz Home Lift work?

With an intelligent, modular design the award-winning Stiltz Home Lift fits into almost any location in the home and is entirely self-supporting, so no load bearing walls are needed. The only work required is creation of a small opening in the ceiling for the lift to pass through between floors, and if you install one in the turn of the stairs, not even a ceiling aperture will be needed. The Stiltz home lifts are powered by a super-efficient, self-contained motor and plugs straight into a normal mains power socket – just like any household appliance.


Which Stiltz Home Lifts do you offer?

The Stiltz range is available in two models: the two-person Stiltz Duo+ Home Lift and the new wheelchair-accessible, three-person Stiltz Trio+ Home Lift which includes a gently-angled integral ramp for easier wheelchair access.

The solid-sided, entry-level Duo and Trio Classic models feature a unique thru-car option allowing users to enter into through one side of the lift on the ground level and leave from the other side once it has reached the upper floor.

What features does a Stiltz Home Lift include?

Travelling between floors on easy-glide rails in under 30 seconds, the Stiltz Home Lift is elegantly curved with a clear car body. It is designed in a stylish pale grey finish with internal lighting making it safe to travel in day or night.

It is packed with safety features including multiple sensors so everyone remains safe, an in-car control panel with hold-to-run controls and two remote control handsets to call the lift at any time. An optional seat is available.

Where can a Stiltz Home Lift be installed?

The Stiltz Home Lift is so versatile it can be installed from hallway to landing, living room to main bedroom or, for total discretion, cupboard space to cupboard space. It can even fit in the void of a turning staircase or take pride of place in the centre of a room or entrance hallway.

How do I arrange an installation?

For more information visit

How To Stencil Wooden or Concrete Floors in 4 Steps

If your floors are looking tired, dated, dull or damaged, why not bring them back to life, and back on-trend with a stencil and some chalky finish floor paint. It’s a quick, easy and cost effective option if you're prepared to try some light DIY, and once applied it will provide a timeless, hardwearing finish that looks amazing.

Chalk paint can be applied to wooden floorboards or concrete flooring and can be applied directly over old paint and varnish. 


What You Will Need:

  • Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Floor Paint (two colours)

  • Small foam roller and tray

  • Large roller and tray 

  • Paint brush 

  • Sander 

  • Stencil 

  • Cloth 

  • Masking tape 

  • Paint stirrer

  • Can opener



STEP ONE  Chalky Finish Floor Paint can be applied to concrete floors, bare wooden floorboards and floorboards with old paint and varnish, once the surface is prepared properly.

Wooden floors should be lightly sanded, vacuumed, and wiped completely clean before painting. Concrete floors should be vacuumed, wiped clean and allowed to fully dry before painting.    

STEP TWO Take your Chalky Finish Floor Paint base colour (we used Chalk White) and paint around the edges of the room, cutting in a couple of inches.

Next take your large roller and get to work on the main area of the floor. Start at the furthest corner and move backwards towards the door, leaving yourself an escape route. 

You will need at least two coats – check on the tin for drying times between coats. The thinner the coat, the more hardwearing it will be, as it will dry harder.


STEP THREE Measure the floor to locate its centre. Using masking tape, position the stencil at the centre so that it does not move while you are painting.


STEP FOUR  Take your second Chalky Finish Floor Paint colour (we used Anthracite) and apply a small, even amount paint to small foam roller. 

Apply the paint to the stencil. To avoid bleeding, make sure that there is only a small amount of paint on the roller at all times.


Remove the stencil and reposition it. Depending on your stencil, you may need to wait for your design to touch dry to avoid smudging the previous stencil. Repeat until the whole floor is covered.


For stockist information and more inspiration  please visit

How To Create a Terrazzo Print Dressing Table

Terrazzo may be one of the hottest interior design trends this year, but you don't need to rob a bank to incorporate it into the home. This DIY version using a chalky finish furniture paint is super easy and can be done on a shoestring.  

We're featuring a terrazzo dressing table, using an upcycled piece of mdf but you can use this technique on pretty much any project, big or small.

What You Will Need:

  • Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint
  • Rust-Oleum Furniture Lacquer (spray)
  • Homebase Clever Cube
  • MDF sheet (cut to size)
  • Brackets
  • Cutting mat
  • Sticky back plastic
  • Stanley knife
  • Drill and screws
  • Artist brushes
  • Roller and tray


  • Take your chosen shade of furniture paint for the base (Chalk White is used here) and stir thoroughly before use. Paint the top, sides and front of the MDF sheet with a roller and leave this to dry. You may require a second coat.
  • To create your stencil, place the sticky back plastic on the cutting mat and begin to cut out the terrazzo design with a stanley knife. If needed, print out a picture of terrazzo and use this as a guide.
  • Stick your stencil to the MDF, ensuring it's secure. Take your remaining furniture paint shades and paint in your design. The colours used here are Ink Blue, Belgrave and Duck Egg. Once dry, protect and seal the paint with lacquer.
  • Personalise the Clever Cube to match your project. Here the top two sections of the cube and the wall brackets are painted in Belgrave. Hooks have been attached to give additional compact organisation.
  • Finally, use a drill and screws to attach the brackets to the wall and secure the terrazzo table top in place.

Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint is perfect for small or large projects as it can be applied directly onto wood, brick, stone and plaster without priming or sanding.

For stockist information and more inspiration visit

How to Home Stage Your Property for a Really Quick Sale

Sometimes property sellers need a very quick sale. You might be relocating for a new job or need a bigger house for a growing family or you’ve found your dream home already and can’t wait to move in.

Whatever your reason for wanting to sell your property fast, there are a few key actions that will get prospective buyers interested. And, the more appealing your home looks to buyers, the faster it will sell.

How can home staging help?

You have little more than 10 seconds to make an impression on a prospective buyer. If you want to sell your property quickly, you need to make a positive impact straight away. This requires more than just a deep clean and tidy-up.

To get buyers interested you need to think about how your home is dressed. This means lighting, furnishings, interior design and greenery.

Here are 11 tips to help make your property stand out from the crowd and get a quick sale.

1. Go Minimal

The first rule of getting your house ready is to declutter. Remove all unwanted objects from each room. This includes cupboards, wardrobes, and bathroom cabinets. Especially any ornaments or personal memorabilia — you want to depersonalise rooms as much as possible. Aim to get rid of least 30% of your things. You can throw these away, recycle or place in storage.

2. Curate Furniture

Remove all unnecessary furniture to free up space. This doesn’t mean empty your house out entirely. But, buyers struggle to visualize living in a place that is empty. Rather make sure the furniture you include serves a purpose e.g. a table to indicate a dining area, or a well-placed cuddle chair with a rug thrown over it for reading. Show off any period features — especially if they are in good condition. Fireplaces and wooden flooring are very desirable to buyers.

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3. Sort out Lighting

Get the lighting right. Hands down this is one of the most important house staging tasks. Dark spaces are unattractive to buyers. Make the most of any natural light you have — remove heavy curtains and any obstructing furniture or clutter. Turn on all lights even during day-time viewings. Add table lamps to darker zones to brighten them up. To create a warm ambience, change light bulbs to soft glow.

4. Decorate Wisely

Navigate carefully between neutral and boring. There’s no doubt that earth tones work better than more bright colours on walls. You want to sell your house not your taste in interior design. But, a splash of colour on an accent wall can also brighten up a drab room and create a modern feel.

5. Be Nosy

Go along to a few viewings of similar properties and get inspiration for what works and what doesn’t.

6. Manicure the garden

This is one of your most prized assets. Its worthwhile spending time making it presentable and attractive. Make sure you maintain a mowed the lawn. Dress up garden furniture with cushions and rugs. Make it more appealing by adding flowers beds and updating old paving stones.


7. Accessorize

Mirrors are a wonderful accessory as they reflect light and makes small spaces feel bigger. Place them in corridors, rooms. They also work well in small gardens.

Don’t forget to add fresh flowers in rooms.

8. Home Furnishings

Add a little luxury by adding soft furnishings and cushions. Place rugs in specific places like by the kitchen workbench. Buy new towels and bedding. Throw a blanket over the end of the bed for added comfort.

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9. First Impressions

Before your buyers even steps inside your house they will be forming an opinion of what to expect. This means the front of your house needs to look as great, as the inside. Give your entrance the ‘wow factor’ by ensuring it is clean and tidy. Add a hanging flower basket, install outside lighting and update outdated door numbers with a more contemporary style.

10. Create Flow

Leave doors open to encourage buyers to wander comfortably around your property. They should be able to see inside the room immediately so make sure your best features are clearly in sight.

11. Banish bad smells

Bad smells will keep your property languishing on the market. Smoking and pet smells are a big turn-off. Place potpourri and scented candles around the property — perfect for small shelves. If you have time, bake bread and make fresh coffee on viewing days. This will fill your property with comforting smells adding a sense of homeliness.

By investing time in home staging your property, you will attract more viewings and interested buyers helping you sell your home fast.

Create This Stylish Organiser For Your Bathroom

Since Bank Holidays were made for DIY, we thought we'd share with your today a little project that will help take the pressure off your bathroom storage. There's no getting away from it, even the most organised of bathrooms can soon get out of hand with shaving brushes, aftershave, cotton wool pads, eyelash curlers (to name but a few), vying for space. So try creating this space saving bathroom organiser made from upcycled mason jars, courtesy of Bosch. Perfect for even the smallest of bathrooms.

Bosch Bathroom Rack.jpg

What You Will Need

Metal drill bit 3mm
Wood drill bit 1-2mm
Hammer drill
Drill bit for wall plugs depending on the wall
Long board
Stainless steel hose clips
Wood screws
Wall plugs

1. Mark out the jars

Use a ruler to get the centre point

Use a ruler to get the centre point

The first step is to mark out the position of the jars on the wooden shelf. Position them so that the jars will be equidistant and centred on the shelf. The length of the shelf and number of jars are optional.

2. Drill the holes

Don't forget to pre-drill

Don't forget to pre-drill

Then pre-drill the holes that you have marked on the board using a thin wood drill bit. Next drill the holes using a rotary hammer drill.

3. Time to fit the hose clips

Screw the hose clips in place

Screw the hose clips in place

Before continuing, pre-drill the hose clips with a thin 3mm metal drill bit. Then fix the clips to the shelf with wood screws in the places you have marked out on the shelf.

4. Adding the finishing touches

Now to add the jars

Now to add the jars

Last but not least, place the jars in the hose clips and tighten. Then fix the finished bathroom organiser to the wall with wall plugs, screws and a rotary hammer drill. Your eyelash curlers, cotton buds and shaving brushes now have a new home.


5 Essential Floor Sanding Tips For Beginners

Sanding and finishing floors - particularly the hardwood variety - may seem like a challenging task for the uninitiated. However, the process is surprisingly straightforward - assuming you have the right equipment and tools. If you can borrow or rent a large electric sander, this will make the process easier. However, you can complete the process by hand sanding too - although if your floor is very large, this could be a cumbersome task. After several hours of hand sanding a large surface, you may even hot-foot it from your home for an emergency trip to your local DIY store - and invest in a sander.


Here are five helpful tips for sanding your floor.

1. Use the right grit number as the sanding progresses

For most floors - particularly older, more uneven ones - you may need to use two or three different grit numbers. The lower the grit number, the rougher and more vigorous the sanding. For a very uneven floor, begin with a something like a 36 grit, before progressing to a 50 or 60 grit. If the floor is already fairly flat and even, you might start off with a 60 grit. In the final stage of sanding, by which time the floor should be flat, switch to a finer grit of 80 to 120.

2. Combine diagonal with straight movements

Initially, moving your sander diagonally will help even out the floor. For the latter stages of the sanding, perhaps using something like an 80 grit, move the sander in line with the direction of the flooring.


3. Use the same sequence of grit numbers when sanding the edges

If you started off with 60 grit for the central areas, before finishing on 80, then repeat this sequence when sanding the edges. You can clean the corners either by hand, using a palm sander - or perhaps even a delta sander if you have access to one.

4. Use the dust-bag wood dust to fill any gaps

After carrying out the initial rough sanding, empty the dust bag and use the wood dust to fill in any splits or gaps. Add PVA glue to the dust, mix it, then apply the filler to the gaps using a spatula. Leave enough time for the filler to dry, before sanding it off - 100 grit should be sufficient.


5. Using a final fine grit is important - especially if you plan to stain the wood

Once the main sanding is completed, go over the middle and edges with a fine grit of around 100. If you don’t have a rotary or finishing sander, you can do it by hand. This final stage of fine sanding is very important if you plan to stain your floor.

You can find plenty more tips for your DIY over at the DIY Advice blog.