Category Archives: DIY

A Home Full of Joy: Decorating Everywhere

In certain things in life there is an accepted way, a common wisdom that most people accept and absorb and follow more or less unconsciously, instinctively if you will. You see this in the way people dress, act, and most importantly for today’s discussion, the way we design and decorate.

To an extent, this is a good thing. Society wouldn’t function if everyone was an iconoclast all the time, inventing new ways to make coffee in the morning. Language in itself would not exist at all, being working example of acceptance of community definitions in entirety. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary to choose your own path and make things totally, 100% personal. Decorating your home is one of those times.

The Traditional Way

Decorating your home usually involves a few simple principles, which are all sound:

  • Select a colour palette
  • Choose a basic style
  • Find flooring and furniture that fit your look
  • Paint the walls
  • Add wall art like canvas prints and other items to complement everything.

And that’s fine for specific rooms around your house. But this room-centric approach often leads to different visual experiences in each room, which can make them feel like islands of isolated design work, disconnected from each other and the rest of the house. This feeling can be exacerbated if the rooms are redecorated at different times.

Applying Design Everywhere

A way to conquer this problem is to forget some of the ‘rules’ of traditional home design and start thinking in terms of decorating everywhere. Don’t think of your rooms as isolated spots within the house, think of them as interconnected areas that flow into each other. In other words, consider the journey guests take through your home: From the entryway, they go to the living room for cocktails. Then to the dining room for dinner. They’ll visit the bathroom and the kitchen, and finish the evening in the lounge or family room, possibly even spending the night in the spare bedroom.

Then, look for opportunities to design and add decoration in less-than obvious places. The entryway is a good start – some canvas art or other design elements can turn a perfunctory space for shedding jackets and umbrellas into a pleasing first experience for guests.

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Image Source: TheCanvasFactory.com.au

Staircase landings are another spot often forgotten when you design room by room, and an ideal place for a vibrant print or other art.

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Image Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Another unusual place where a bit of wall art or other design can have a real moment of impact? Wardrobes, especially walk-in-robes, actually, are places where design usually goes to die, becoming congested with clothes and clutter. Think twice and open them up with something pleasant to look at – on the wall, the door, even the floor!

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Image Source: LifeStyle Australia

Finally, when painting your newly-designed home, consider your rooms as a whole and think about transitions. When stepping out of one room to go to another, the hall should pick up the colour palette of both and serve as a visual link between them – you could even use a gradient plan to slowly go from one shade outside of one area to another outside the next.

Whatever you decide to do to open up your home’s design, never stop thinking of new ways to have some fun with it. Once you start thinking beyond rooms the possibilities – just like the forgotten areas – are endless.

4 DIY Home Improvement Ideas for You This Winter

diy improvements

During the cold winter months your social calendar starts to slow down. Aside from the obvious Christmas peak period, darker nights and undesirable weather means you start to spend more time inside, freeing up a lot of your time. This give you ample opportunity to tackle some of those niggling tasks that you’ve just been too busy to tackle. As a result, the end of summer brings the time for change and not just in the physical season.

With more spare time, people want to spruce up their homes just in time for Christmas and also to match the colours of the Autumn and Winter months. When tackling those DIY jobs, it often refers to those little niggly improvements such as fixing broken lights, adding some new storage space or redecorating. The best bit about DIY improvements is that they don’t cost an arm and a leg to do as you obviously do it all yourself. So, to give you a helping hand we’ve listed 4 top tips to help you improve your home this winter.

  1. Give Your Social Spaces a Facelift

Now you have the time, take the opportunity to give your social spaces a makeover. You may be thinking, this is hardly a top tip but this is a simple step that offers the most benefit to you from a personal and cosmetic standpoint. Your interior can rejuvenate your home and create that haven a long, stressful day so you shouldn’t underestimate it as a DIY step. Refreshing the walls, adding new accent colours, introducing new furniture and even ornaments are all ways you can quickly give your space a facelift.

This winter interior trend is to invest in calmer, more relaxing shades to create a more peaceful setting to live in. After a dull day, there’s nothing worse than coming home to a dull home so treat yourself! You deserve to own a haven that you’re proud to show off so stop putting it off!

  1. Go Green

Unless you’ve been living underground for the last decade, you should know that more than ever do more and more people need to be now looking go green. Something that we’re all guilty of not fully getting on board with, now is the time to take an active step to improve our green footprint. By going eco-friendlier you will as a result see a multitude of long term benefits especially from a financial point of view. Whether you invest in recycle bins, upgrade your insulation or donate your old belongings rather than dumping them, it all helps! You will not only be helping your wallets health but you will be taking a great step towards benefiting our environment.

  1. Reinsulate Your Home

A home that is well insulated can help you out in many ways. Investing some money and time into insulating your home will not only help you enjoy a warmer winter, but it will also help you lower your utility bills to ensure your wages aren’t being eaten up by the central heating. There’s now even now electronic thermostats you can implement into your home that manage your heating around your home needs and lifestyle in a cost effective way.

  1. The Patio Party

A lot of people seem to think the garden is just for the summer, however this is no longer the case. When socialising with friends late into the night, there is no better place to enjoy it then around a fire pit in the garden. There are millions of rattan garden furniture ranges out there now that incorporate a fire pit in the centre of the seating. If you add an umbrella or canapé structure to the top of this to cover you from the rain, you can sit out, be warm and enjoy the night!

A great DIY project is to create an enclosure seating area that will house your social antics. Once you getting the seat in there, you can build walls of plants and flowers surrounding it to shelter you from the weather. Invest in some cute solar lights and a BBQ and your winter wonderland nights are solved. This is especially good for those of you who are limited in space inside of their homes -plus it’s another place to escape from the kids!

House Of Fraser Guide To Mixing Prints

sensing a pattern-high res (1)

How to Make Your Living Room More Comfortable

Aside from the kitchen it is the living room where you spend most of your time, it makes sense therefore that your living room feels comfortable. Most living rooms are the first room people see when they walk into a house as well so you want this room to feel welcoming and warm. Usually when we first decorate our living rooms they look great but after much time spent there, they can start to look messy and full, if you find yourself in this situation then here are some tips to help you bring back the comfort to your living room.

JPAD_living_room

Tidy the Cables

Usually living rooms are full of tech, TV’s, gaming consoles, cable boxes, DVD players and more, all of this tech comes with wires and there is nothing more unsettling in the living room than wires hanging about all over the place. There are several cable tidy products on the market which will put all of your cables in one tidy place, it’s amazing how spacious the TV area looks when the cables are tidied away.

Use Scents

Comfort is a sensory experience and using nice smells in the living room is a great way to help you to relax. There are hundreds of products that you can choose from but my preference is the scent sticks, you simply place the oil of your favorite smell in the jar and place the wooden sticks inside. The wood absorbs the scent and emits it into the room, when the smell fades a little you simply need o turn the sticks over and the smell will return.

Sofa?

Sofas go through a lot in the living room, they are sat on, laid upon, jumped on and moved about, the average life span for your sofa to remain comfortable is around 3-5 years, if you are able to then look at buying a new sofa to bring the comfort back into your home. There is nothing quite like coming home from a long day at work to a super comfy sofa where you can immerse yourself. A sofa doesn’t have to cost the Earth, it just has to be super comfy.

The Walls

You don’t have to feng-shui your whole room in order to feel comfortable but there is some value in looking into some parts of the method. One such way is with art on your wall, you can find beautiful wall murals at places like House of Fraser Homeware sections and add some beautiful touches to your walls. The art should be something that either looks beautiful, relaxing or something that gives you optimism, items like these can really help you to relax. Feng shui suggests that you should have pictures like lovers kissing, open spaces like lakes and fields or anything with curved lines. As I said before, comfort is a full sensory experience and whilst you may not know that it is happening, being surrounded with artwork such as this can really make you feel relaxed and more importantly, comfortable.

How To Build An Outdoor Slatted Love Seat

If you want to give your garden a bit of livening up this year then furniture is the way forward, get rid of any tired looking plastic tableware and replace it with handmade items. There is something very rewarding about building something yourself, especially something that you can enjoy using after you’ve finished making it, such as a seat or in this case, a loveseat. These cool 2-person seats look great in the garden, they are simple in their design, super comfortable and straight forward to put together. If you want to make yourself a love seat for the garden then read on and follow our guide.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sanding Block
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Safety Glasses
  • Hearing Protection
  • Pine 2×4 Wood
  • Varnish or All-Weather treatment

For the wood, I like to use pine, it’s robust, inexpensive and has excellent durability, the sizings will all depend on how large you would like your loveseat to be based on how big your garden is, the dimensions given are just for the seat that I have built but feel free to alter them as you wish.

The Build

Once you have all materials ready, it is time to start, first with the seating area, I used 2 lengths of 2×4 at 50″ and for the width of the sofa I used 3, 25″ lengths, 2 for the outer seat and one for added strength in the centre using glue and nails to put each joint together. Once the seating area was finished, move onto the arms of the chair, you will be building 2 identical structures here so make sure your measurements are exact, the last thing you need is a wonky chair. The heights of the arms should sit around 15″ higher than the seat, so bear this in mind when measuring. Simply take 3 lengths and screw the armrest length onto the two pieces of wood that will be supporting the arm of the chair, once you have done this add a smaller length of ridged wood around halfway down, this is where the slats of the seat will be once finished.

Once you have these 3 frames completed it is time to attach them, using nails and glue attach both arms to the sides of the seating frame, constantly use your spirit level to make sure that you are keeping things straight. Allow the frame to set for a while before adding the slats to your loveseat, the slats should be slightly longer than the seat itself as they need to go under the arms and onto the ridges below. Once the frame has set you can start adding your slats, these can be easily nailed or screwed down. Finally you need some back support for your loveseat which can be done by using the same lengths of wood that you have used for the slats, place 3 of them across the back of the seat and you are all done. Last but not least, add some cushions and relax on your new home-built loveseat.

Cheap And Hassle-Free Guide To Making A Built In Corner Bookshelf

When it comes to maximizing space in the home you need to think creatively and search for additional ways to create space that doesn’t appear to be there. One of the best ways of doing this is to utilize the corners of rooms and also the height of the room, very often people place small items in the corner which looses all of the space that the corner has to offer. On of my favorite ways to make use of this space is to make a bookshelf to sit in the corner of the room, when done right it doesn’t look it uses any space at all and actually becomes a part of the room as opposed to an object inside it. If you fancy installing a corner bookshelf then don’t panic about paying big bucks from a furniture store, simply follow this simple guide to help you make and install your own.

Measuring

To create your bookshelf you first need to decide how large it is going to be, make sure that this is proportional to the size of the room, the bookshelf should take up about a third of each wall for it to look the best. The bookshelf looks best if it goes right the way up to the ceiling, leave a gap of around 5 inches from the ceiling when measuring. Once you have measured for the outer frame, you can measure for the shelves that you want, the amount is entirely up to you but you should aim for the distance between each shelf to be the same for the best results.

Equipment

Once you’ve measured for your bookshelf it is time to get the equipment, for the cheapest but best wood, you should be looking to buy MDF, it is very flexible and has great value. Most DIY stores will cut the wood to size if you give them the measurements, this will save you money on buying or renting equipment like saws. Other equipment that you will need are;

  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Sanding block
  • Pencil
  • Spirit level

The Build

To start off the build you should place lengths of wood on each wall at both the top of where you frame will go, and the bottom, this is how you will attach the bookshelf to the wall. Next you should nail the outer frame to the lengths of wood that are on the wall, use your spirit level to ensure they are straight. Once you have the outer frame completed, you should start getting the shelves ready, the easiest way of placing the shelves is to put small lengths of wood, the same length as the shelves, below where each shelf will go, use a pencil to measure the distances. Once you have this in place you can start placing the shelves on the wooden slats, you don’t need to nail the shelves down, they will be fine just sitting on the slats. One of the sides should have longer shelves than the other, this will ensure that the corner has full coverage, if your shelves are too snug or don’t fit properly then simply use a sanding block to trim them down a touch.

Decorate

If you wish to paint the bookshelf then do this before starting and allow plenty of time to dry, the same goes for adding any designs on the sides. Once your bookshelf is ready then you can start adding the books or items that you wish to put on your shelves. Remember that if the shelves are empty then you will lose the effect so if you don’t have sufficient books then place ornaments or photos on the shelves to fill them up.