How to Plan a Stylish Accessible Bathroom

Disclaimer: Collaborative Feature in association with Mobility Plus.

Getting old is inevitable, but it’s not just the elderly that need accessible bathrooms, the disabled or injured need them too and they don’t have to be boring by any means.

Use these four simple steps we’ve worked together on with Mobility Plus on to ensure your accessible bathroom looks as good as any other bathroom.

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Use all of the Space

If you really want to make the most out of your bathroom then you need to measure it thoroughly to get the best results. It’s no good guessing what the size of your room is as this can be a very costly mistake when it comes to buying tiles and bathroom goods.

Before you purchase any of the items you plan to put into your bathroom, take note of all measurements and draw up a floor plan. A floor plan will help you to see if they all fit in the style you want them to. Showers often work well behind inward opening door or if you’re going for a both then they can often look best against the longest open wall.

Pick a Colour Theme

Even if your bathroom is going to be an accessible one, it doesn’t have to be a muted colour scheme by any means. We have seen a huge influx of green and blue metro style tiles in bathrooms and even the use of fun printed wallpaper above tiles and around mirrors.

There are so many fabulous tiles available now so if the rectangular metro look isn’t for you, there are hexagonal, small or large squares or even mosaic tiles that are found in all different colours to suit any taste.

For the floor, if you’re using tiles then there are an abundance of wood effect or marble effect tiles that can work really well in any bathroom.

Choose your Bathroom Goods

If you are looking for items such as a walk-in shower or even a walk-in bath then these will have to come from a specialist such as Mobility Plus. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes so you may even need a custom made shower or bath which isn’t as hard to come by as you think.

One of the perks of having a walk-shower is that it is flush with your floor tiles so there’s no step into the shower. These can look really stylish if you use your tiles within your shower as opposed to having a shower tray.

Accessorise Well!

The key to finishing your bathroom is all the little touches you add once the room has been decorated and the bathroom fitted.

You can purchase some really unique towel rails, toilet roll holders, and mirrors to give your new bathroom a splash of personality. You could even pick some fun artwork to put on walls that you aren’t using for storage.

Creating a bathroom you love that is also practical may seem like a tough job, but it’s really rewarding and you will get many years of use out of your wonderful new room.

How to Plan the Perfect Bedroom in Six Simple Steps

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Whether you just moved into a new home or want to renovate your existing bedroom, use these six simple steps to plan the perfect bedroom.

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1. Measure Your Available Space

Before shopping for furniture or replacing your bed, measure the room. Find out how much space you have available, using a tape measure for accuracy.

Write down the measurements and then draw a simple sketch of the layout. Draw the location of the windows and doors and include any unusual features of the room, such as a chimney breast or other permanent fixture that takes up part of the floorplan.

2. Decide Where to Place the Bed

Decide where to position the bed for maximum comfort and space. Consider the location of the doors and windows when choosing a spot for the bed and refer to the room measurements before purchasing.

When you know where you are going to put the bed, you can start browsing options on great sites like Bed SOS. You can find beds to suit any budget, style, and size, including a wide assortment of faux leather beds (which look fantastic). Each product includes detailed specifications so you can compare the dimensions to your measurements to find the right fit.

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3. Choose the Colour Scheme

A colour scheme should include one anchor colour and two complementary hues. The anchor is the main colour, often used for the walls, bedding, and furniture. The complementary colours are used for accents and help keep the anchor colour from overpowering the rest of the room.

4. Paint the Walls or Add Wallpaper

Use the colour scheme to select options for the walls and ceiling. If the room has short ceilings, choose white or a light colour for the ceiling and a darker colour for the walls. This creates the appearance of more height and space.

Instead of paint, you could opt for a quality wallpaper to add decorative elements to the room. Modern wallpaper comes in many designs and does not need to cover the entire wall. You can use strips of wallpaper to add decorative touches to feature walls or alternate walls of the bedroom.

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5. Select Accent Furniture and Lighting

With the room painted or wallpapered, start shopping for the missing pieces, such as accent furniture, bedroom floor lamps, and other décor. The bed is typically the largest piece of furniture so after deciding where it goes, you can measure the available space for everything else.

Choose spots for side tables, wardrobes, and other items and for those with enough space, perhaps add chairs or an ottoman at the foot of the bed.

6. Move Your Furniture into the Room

After allowing the walls to dry, move the furniture into the room. Stick to the layout that you planned earlier and make sure that everything fits and looks as you imagined.

Over the next few days and nights, test the layout. Make sure you feel comfortable and that there is nothing blocking access to any doors or areas you’ll need to access often like draws or airing cupboards.

If there is, rearrange the furniture as needed and continue to improve the room over time. Add or remove elements or accessories as you wish until you feel satisfied that your room is complete.

5 Ways to Make your Kitchen a Social Family Space

The kitchen has become the most important room in modern family homes – it’s a room for parties, meetings, dinners and dancing, and according to a recent survey by British cooking appliance brand Belling, 70% of Brits see it as the heart of the home. We reportedly spend an average of three hours a day in the kitchen, so making it a warm, welcoming space can go a long way in helping nurture happy family life. Here are five ways you can make your kitchen a perfect social space for your family.

Contains Affiliate links.

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A warm and welcoming space. Vintage Cerise Roller Blinds from English Blinds

Wiggle room

The nationwide research, commissioned by Belling, found that Brits enjoy an average of 203 family meals, 62 take-aways and 52 roast dinners a year – so space in the kitchen is essential. When having a big family dinner or laying out nibbles at a party, plenty of room to breathe will help create a relaxed atmosphere, plus reduce any unwanted accidents. This doesn’t however hinge on having a large kitchen – rather, try and ensure that all space is maximised, and table space is free and ready for your many dishes, desserts and drinks. For families with seriously compact kitchens, try using the ‘cosy’ aesthetic to your advantage, with warm colours and atmospheric lighting – adding a soft and welcoming feel.

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 Plenty of room for the family to gather. Oakridge Table and Spindle Back Chairs from Garden Trading

Maximising family memories

Kitchens are the perfect place for spending quality time with family members, whether it be at the dinner table, washing the dishes or catching up over one of the 2,828 cups of tea we reportedly enjoy each year. Therefore, including a few unique features on display, such as family photos or holiday souvenirs, is an ideal way to spark beloved memories and get families reminiscing over the good times.

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Even the smallest of kitchens can have a family eating areaGoodHome Kitchen Antibes Matt Emulsion Paint from B&Q

Kitchen party prep

There’s something wonderfully intimate about a kitchen party, and dancing along to the radio whilst doing the washing up is a must. According to Belling’s research, Brits host roughly three kitchen parties a year, and enjoy 72 spontaneous bouts of kitchen dancing – so having the relevant technology in your kitchen can help create that fun and lively atmosphere. Introducing a smart radio that can stream online playlists is a great option for creating the perfect soundtrack to any occasion, whether it be a tot’s tea-party or sophisticated dinner. For those big family parties, a large and varied playlist full of popular singalong hits is crucial for getting everyone on the kitchen-dance floor, and Belling’s Ultimate Kitchen Party Playlist is an ideal choice. 

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Warm lighting and a family fridge are essential. Siena Bar Stool £69, Fulton Flip Top Table £169, Felix Pu Leather Dining Chairs Pair £149, Braxton Stripe Runner £10, Fulton Fabric Side Table £79, Tropical Leaf Hanging Picture £8, Mechanism Clock £20. All from Dunelm.

Create a focal point

Having a focal point in the kitchen is a great way to maximise the room and bring the whole family together, whether over a board game, selection of snacks or cup of coffee. Dinner tables, islands and breakfast bars often lend themselves perfectly to kitchen focal points, as the whole family can relax around them at any time of day. 37% of Brits would reportedly add a freestanding island into their dream kitchen set up, and due to its wide, open nature – you can see why.

 

Invest in a family fridge

Finally, it’s no surprise that one of the most popular parts of the family kitchen, is the fridge. From hearty breakfasts to late night snacks, every family member is drawn to it at numerous times of the day, so make it a fun, statement item in your kitchen. Whether it’s through showcasing cherished art brought home from school or sticking on a calendar of upcoming family activities, making good use of the captive audience is a simple yet effective way to celebrate family life.

 

All statistics and research can be found at https://www.belling.co.uk/life-of-a-kitchen/

How to Give Your Home a High End Feel With Quick Electrical Fixes

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Are you looking to breathe new life into your living space? Every so often, our homes need a refresh without the need for a full renovation. A new lick of paint or an on-trend set of furniture can work wonders for dated space. But if you’re looking to make a substantial, long-lasting update to your space, turn your attention to your electrics.

If your sockets, switches or lights are looking shabby, it can lower the tone of your entire space. Inefficient lighting and heating solutions can also result in a high energy bill. Bring some luxe to your home while saving on your energy costs with these electrical design ideas.

Instantly upgrade your home on a budget with these electrical ideas

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Take advantage of the latest developments in interior design to for a state-of-the-art home that won’t break the bank.

Add ambience to space with accent lighting

Lighting may just have the single-most impact on the overall look and feel of a room. A well-lit home appears welcoming and friendly. Equally, subtle and tasteful lighting cues can add atmosphere to any space. Well placed lighting can draw attention to design features in a space and create a stunning effect. This is known as accent lighting.

Examples of effective accent lighting includes under cabinet lighting in kitchens. These usually consist of energy-efficient LED strip lights and are available in a spectrum of colours. This type of lighting can also be used to beautifully illuminate any shelving unit.

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Modernise your switches and sockets

Switches and sockets are an integral feature of any room, and yet are often overlooked. In terms of home design, gone are the days of ‘safe’ decorating choices. More and more designers and homeowners are ditching the once ubiquitous magnolia walls and beige carpets in favour of bolder choices. Plain white plastic switches and sockets belong to that same bracket. Inoffensive, functional, but – frankly – a bit boring.

Try modernising your electrical fittings with on-trend colourways and textured finishes. Add some striking contrast to a bright wall with black nickel fittings or introduce metallic accents with polished chrome.

Enjoy function as well as form with USB and smart socket options. These add a truly modern flourish to any space.

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Use garden lighting solutions to transform your outdoor space

When you’re updating your home, your exterior space is just as important as your interiors. Create an enchanting outdoor area with attractive garden light displays.

Mounted lighting, such as wall lanterns, are ideal for illuminating your patio area – perfect for outdoor entertaining. Ground lights can also bring a feeling of midsummer magic to your garden. Highlight outdoor design features, such as fountains, gazebos and rockeries, with a set of well-placed garden deck lights.

Kitting your home with advanced lighting and electrical solutions is a sure-fire way to give it an immediate upgrade, with the added benefit of saving money on energy costs. What suggestions do you have for giving your home a high end feel?


The Top 5 Best Colour Kitchen Worktops

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When it comes to interior design, the focus is without a doubt on the kitchen and for good reason; the kitchen is labelled as the heart of the home. We cook our food in the kitchen, we often eat in the kitchen and let’s not forget, we hang out in the kitchen at parties. The kitchen is where it’s at which means getting the design right is nothing short of imperative. 

When it comes to kitchen design, even the smallest of details matter and the kitchen worktop is one such detail that could make or break your kitchen space. In this article we’re going to look at the top 5 best colour kitchen worktops and which one would work best for you. 

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The Best Kitchen Worktop Colours For 2019

Flecked/Veined White

Lighter coloured kitchens are definitely becoming a more popular option. Just one quick look at Pinterest will tell you it’s way up there on the popularity scale and now more than ever, people are appreciating the natural finish in their kitchen worktops. From the veins of marble to the flecks captured by the light in granite and quartz, this natural richness is highly coveted thanks to its expensive feel. The pale tones are also highly sought after for giving that clean and contemporary look. For those wanting a modern take on traditional styles, this is usually chosen over pure white countertops. They’re also great at hiding a few crumbs and the odd speck of dust that would otherwise be highlighted on a pure white countertop. Consider it the family friendly option.

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Pure White

Pure white countertops are the epitome of minimalism and freshness. They’re usually only available in man-made materials but because of this, they tend to withstand staining that little bit more which, when you have a white countertop, is a huge bonus. Having a crisp white kitchen worktop works well in contemporary spaces, fighting the traditional décor and creating a truly modern space. It’s also incredible in small spaces as it creates the illusion of space. 

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Grey

Soft grey worktops, along with other mid-tone shades offer a modern solution for those looking for a more neutral look. Grey also happens to be an incredibly popular colour at the moment. Just take into consideration the influence the famous Mrs Hinch has over her followers with grey being a strong theme throughout her home. Whether you opt for softly flecked grey stone or a shiny, flat grey finish, the choice is yours but what we do know is that grey will look amazing in any modern home. You’ll also love the fact that grey is a great choice for those looking to match their worktop with more colourful cabinets. Let’s not forget soft, friendly and ideal for showing off metallic accents.

Dark/Black

Whether you’re looking at black, charcoal or another dark colour entirely, it’s worth noting that this colour worktop can be super versatile. From helping create the ultimate gothic feel to finishing off a super modern monochrome effect kitchen; dark colour countertops offer a weighty finish and create a real presence in a room. In fact they’d be considered quite a prominent feature all on their own. Dark worktops work well with dark cabinets, light cabinets and pretty much everything in-between.

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Wood

Wood, while not necessarily a colour, it offers a look all on its own. Whether you opt for dark wood or light wood, any wooden worktop will offer a natural appearance. Paired with crisp white cabinets, you’ll enjoy a more homely feel however, if you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, this can be achieved with the help of lighter, glossier cabinets. Similarly to darker worktops, wooden worktops are equally as versatile which is no doubt why they’re so popular.

Contact Us Today

Here at Matter Designs, we know kitchens and we know the importance of picking the right worktop. If you’d like help planning your perfect kitchen space, simply contact us today on 01268 833836. Our team know interior design and want to help you create the perfect heart to your home.


Wellbeing Starts In The Home – 5 Steps To A Happier You

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What’s the first thing you feel when you step into your home? Relaxation? Exhaustion? In today’s hectic lives, our homes should be an oasis of calm and replenishment. In fact, our home environment may actually be contributing to our stress levels. Look around you. How does your home make you feel?

It’s always been known that our physical surroundings have the power to emotionally affect us. Philosophies such as Feng Shui have been around for thousands of years. Interest in this area has exploded in the past couple of decades, however, with recent studies finding overwhelming evidence that our home surroundings have a major impact on our sense of wellbeing.

Here are some tips from our experts to get you on the way to creating your perfect living space.

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1. Consider colour

There is a whole psychology of colour to be explored, most of it backed up with solid scientific evidence. While many of us like to play it safe with magnolia or off-white walls, a little colour is a powerful thing.

Blue invites serenity and is particularly soothing on bedroom walls and furnishings.A bold red wall can be energising, while accents of bright yellow in a kitchen feel cheerful and welcoming. Experiment with fabric samples to discover the colours that work best for you.

2. Bring the outside in

We each have an innate, vibrant connection with the outdoors. There is nothing like a peaceful woodland walk for helping us feel calm, centred and revitalised. Incorporate some natural elements into your home decor for a rejuvenating effect.

Bring plenty of living greenery into your home. Not only do plants look beautiful, they help detoxify your indoor air and can even boost concentration and memory.

Natural light flooding into our homes is a wonderful tonic. So make the most of your windows by ditching the heavy curtains and replacing with lighter shutters or vertical drapes.

Accessorize your home with woven baskets and rugs. Floors made from wood feel warm and inviting underfoot. Decorate with bowls of seashells or pebbles. The only limit is your imagination.

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3. Declutter, declutter, declutter

To truly relax and be able to think clearly, we need an environment that is clutter-free as possible. Remember - everything has its home. It’s just a matter of finding it!

You can make the task easier with dual-purpose, space-saving furniture pieces such as an attractive storage ottoman.

If you live in a small or awkward space, then multi-functional, modular furniture is the way to go. Floating shelves create a more streamlined space.

Spend an afternoon getting tough with yourself. Ditch everything you no longer need or use, going room to room. Here’s a step-by-step decluttering guide to get you started.

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4. Experiment with interior arrangement

Configure your space to be balanced and harmonious Your aim should be to create a real sense of “flow” through every room.

A particular Feng Shui method might be helpful with this - close your eyes and imagine a surge of water pouring through the front door into your home. Ideally, you want the water flowing gently around each room, without stopping or stagnating. This can be achieved by arranging your furniture in curves, rather than lining it up.

5. Be creative with decor

Above all, your home should reflect you - your preferences, what makes you happy, what makes you relaxed, what inspires you. If you love water and the sea, try a marine-inspired decor. If your tastes are modern and urban, invest in some stunning metal wall art. Think of your home as your own living, breathing sanctuary that you have crafted yourself, and you’ll feel contentment from the second you walk in the door.

Choosing The Right Window Shutter Material For You

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The interior design you choose for your home is an immensely personal thing. It can be incredibly hard at times to choose certain things from colour schemes to fixtures and fittings. When it comes to window coverings, we truly believe there’s only one choice and that’s window shutters

While that would leave most to believe a simple decision is ahead, it couldn’t be further from the truth for the simple fact that choosing window shutters in general opens up a whole world of choices, beginning with of course, window shutter material. 

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Window Shutter Materials: What’s The Difference?

Whether you’re unsure of what material will look best or are looking for a specific functionality, there are numerous different materials to choose from that will suit your needs, style requirements and budget. 

In order to find the best material for you, it’s worth looking at the different materials available and what sets them apart from the others. Let’s take a look at just some of the materials available to you with the help of experts within the field, Diamond Shutters.

Wood

Wood is one of the most common choices when it comes to window shutter material, especially solid window shutters. It’s hard wearing, provides aesthetically pleasing features within the grain and texture of the wood and offers a more traditional feel in traditionally styled homes. Wood is also very versatile in that it’s insulating, sustainable and stylish. 

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Plastic

Plastic is often used in bathrooms within tracked window shutters for obvious reasons. The plastic is able to withstand a high level of moisture and humidity. Plastic can also be incredibly sturdy in ways woods may not, allowing for a much longer louver design for instance.

MDF

MDF is engineered, made out of compacted hard and softwoods. Not only does it make it incredibly strong but also much cheaper in comparison to its other wood siblings. Despite its cheaper cost, it certainly doesn’t look it and what’s more, MDF can often very easy to maintain. With the right coating and care, they can be incredibly long lasting and hard wearing against damage and moisture. These suit a more contemporary interior.

Hardwood

Hardwood usually refers to very specific woods such as beech wood and oak. They’re among the most strong and robust making them incredibly hardwearing. Hardwood is usually a preferential material when people consider durability and elegance of the utmost importance. Depending on the look you’re going for, you can choose different weights of hardwood. Lightweight hardwood is often light in colour but rich in texture, ideal for those looking to enhance the light.

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Looking For Quality Window Shutters?

If you’re looking for a quality window shutter in a specific material, perhaps one you’ve read about above, then we suggest you call the experts at Diamond Shutters. They boast a huge amount of expertise within the field of window shutters, so you can rest assured that you’re in the most knowledgeable hands who’ll not only ensure quality but will guide you in making the best decision to suit your style and practical needs. Call 020 83022447 today.



















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 BillyOh.com have shared with us seven top tips to help Brits enhance the front of their houses and increase their kerb appeal.

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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.

Refresh

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Directions:

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

CAPTION DETAILS
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! **

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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 www.calor.co.uk or call 0808 159 7864.

*https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/farming/ruralcrime/

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