Adding Luxury Touches to Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can start looking old and tired pretty quickly. Therefore, you should look for ways to keep it fresh and new all year round. We all want touches of luxury in our bathrooms, but real luxury is expensive, I know I can’t afford that kind of thing!

So, I’ve devised some quickly and easy ways in which you can add luxury touches to your bathroom. Don’t settle for a drab, lifeless bathroom. Follow these tips and your bathroom will have a new lease of life in no time.

Add a New Mirror

Your eye is immediately drawn to the mirror in a room. It is usually the thing that stands out on the wall, so make sure yours isn’t cheap and ugly. Get something elaborate or in fitting with the rest of your room.

Mirrors provide extra light and make a room look bigger, they’re not just for looking at yourself in! So, if you don’t have one in your bathroom, it’s time you changed that. You can find some beautiful second-hand mirrors that can be restored to create something unique.

Get New Towels and Robes

Are your towels, robes and mats looking old and tatty these days? It’s really worth investing in some new ones if this is the case. Not only will they look better but they’ll also feel a lot better when you use them! Luxury doesn’t just have to be about appearances.

Make sure they are in keeping with the design of the rest of the room. You get lots of differently designed towels and contemporary bath mats online. And you could even get your robes personalised if you wanted.

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Mix and Match Fixtures

A great way to update your bathroom and be creative at the same time is to use unusual and unexpected fixtures in the room. Why not use kitchen storage units and turn them into a great vanity cabinet?

Or get an old chandelier and use it in your bathroom. These touches often look great and give a sense of real luxury that shop bought bathroom fixture can’t compete with.

New Accessories

A bathroom can be made to feel more luxurious by simply adding small accessories. Try adding scents and candles around the room. It’s cheap and simple, yet gives the feeling of real luxury and relaxation. Light them when you get home from work, and you’re having a long soak, you won’t regret it.

Other accessories you could add include plants for the windowsill, picture for the walls or luxury soaps for the bath. Do whatever puts you most at ease.

Clean it Thoroughly

A deep clean can be as good as a redecoration job sometimes. Bathrooms get very dirty, very quickly. Get right into the corners and clean the taps! It’ll feel like an entirely new room by the end of it. And it won’t cost much money either.

You could even get a professional cleaner to do the job for you if you want the room to be cleaned comprehensively. And then, once it’s clean, try to keep it clean!

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Give Your Bedroom a Beautiful Makeover!

Your bedroom is the space to relax, chill and sleep. It should be a haven from the world. It’s important that you have a bedroom that meets your needs. After all, you need to ensure that you have a tranquil and beautiful space within your home.

So, how can this bedroom makeover be done?

There are some simple, yet beautiful ways that you can give your room a makeover. What’s more; you don’t even have to pick up the paint brush!

Cute Curtains

Think about your curtains. Are they a little lacklustre? Do they leave a lot to be desired? If you want to make sure that your room is transformed, with ease, it’s time to invest in some curtains that are the actual focal point of the room. If you have a neutral base on your wall, a pair of curtains that have a lot of detail can make them the feature of your room. You don’t have to put up feature paper to create an atmosphere. Think along the lines of checks, birds, floral and spots. This can give your room an instant lift and look positively fantastic.

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Emily May

Lights, Camera, Action

Lighting is a huge part of any home. But, you don’t have to stick to a bedroom ceiling fan and light combination. On the contrary, unique lighting is one of the best ways to add drama to your room. Think about what kind of look you want. Do you want a bright, open room? Or, would you prefer to something a little more cosy? Thinking about this need is a must before you add light. Simple laser cut shades are perfect for any cosy space. But, dramatic pendants and oversized sconces can change the whole look of your room. Lighting should be both practical and beautiful. So, incorporate it in the right way in your home.

Throws, Pillows and Fabrics

Adding texture to a room can change the space from drab to fab. One of the best and cheapest ways to do this is to add more fabrics and textiles. Think about your bedroom space. It’s a playground for inspiration. So many people forget about putting in simple rugs, voiles and cushions. Throwing scatter cushions across the bed is a must. A simple, luxe faux fur throw is a must. Opt for a large throw that contrasts with the theme of your room. Adding all of these textiles gives your home a stunning feel. But, it also creates a comfortable and cosy space that can be enjoyed all year round.

Stickers and Art

When it comes to your home, you may want something a little classier on your walls. Murals, stickers and oversized canvases can be purchased for a snip of the price. What’s more, they are a funky alternative to paper and paint. As they are a less permanent solution, you can have all kinds of things on your wall. Choose a feature wall and add simple murals and canvases. Your bedroom will be transformed into a chic spot that is bang on trend.

Creative Lighting Ideas for Your Home

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by Stacie

We can do much more with the light in our homes than simply screw in a white or yellow light bulb. But many of us don’t make the effort to do anything more interesting, perhaps instead concentrating on using beautiful lampshades. And while having new light fixtures fitted might seem a hassle, it’s not all that complicated, and it’s not the only way to use light in a fun way. We use the light in our home for practical purposes, like cooking in the kitchen, but we also use it to set the mood and enhance interior design. If you want to do more with your home lighting, try some of these creative ideas.

Take Control

Sometimes the fairly simple ideas are some of the most effective. Dimmer switches might have been around for a long time, but people often still see them as something a bit fancy. It’s easy to install a switch, as well as dimmable bulbs like these Philips LED bulbs. Once you’ve changed your lights to fit dimmer switches, you won’t regret it. You can lower the light in the bathroom for a relaxing bath, bring the lights down in the dining room for an intimate dinner or create some mood lighting in the bedroom. You don’t always want a strong, bright light in the evening, and a lower one can bring a lot more atmosphere to a room.

Learn to Love Pendant Lights

Most of us have light fittings that hang straight down from our ceilings, but they can often look a bit tired or dull. Pendant lights hang a little lower than most and usually come with a beautiful shade, made from anything from glass to brass. They’re particularly popular at the moment because they’re an excellent way to use lighting to create a feature in the room. They look fantastic hanging over a table, kitchen island or bed. There’s a huge range of stunning and creative fittings you can use, from vintage lanterns to contemporary bars and other designs.

Use Color

We often get stuck using white and yellow lights, with perhaps a bit of daring orange now and then. But there’s no need for us to stick to the same colors all the time. There are lots of fun hues that we try out, and they don’t have to be garish or tacky. However, it’s best to use different colors sparingly, perhaps as accent lighting. You can also use colored bulbs with a dimmer switch so that you can adjust their level. Instead of using paint, furniture or other accessories for you accent colors, use your lights instead. As well as choosing a colored bulb, you can use a white one shining through a colorful fixture. You’ll get a more subtle effect, and you can change the fixture when you want.

Why should we settle for boring lighting when we can do what we want with it, just like everything else in our homes? Make your home more fun by playing with your lights instead of settling for mundanity.

Bringing Victorian charm into the 21st Century

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For many people Victorian homes hold a distinct charm that new builds simply can’t match. However, the problems may arise when you discover you still have the original plumbing, the plaster is crumbling and you can’t remodel without jumping through the hoops of your local historical and preservation societies.

However, there are some truly amazing buildings available and the character, charm and sense of history afforded by a Victorian space can be worth any amount of hassle you might have to go through in getting it the way you want.

Victorian statements travel into 2015

For inspiration, take a look at these stunning character homes for sale. Stanmore is home to Bentley Priory, a stately home that has medieval roots but which really came into its own in the 18th and 19th Centuries. In 1848, in fact, the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV, leased the Priory and regularly received Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

You really don’t get more Victorian than that – but the luxury apartments, duplexes and villas that have been created within the Priory stand as living proof that period buildings can be brought into the 21st Century. The elegant contemporary interiors co-exist with the character of the building’s original features which, considering the Priory is a Grade II listed building, was an absolute design prerequisite.

Try something different

Even if you’re fitting out your period home on a budget, you can create your own blend of classic and contemporary. You don’t want your home to look like somebody threw their grandparents’ old furniture together along with a trolley dash through your local gadget store but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in some modern elements.

For an eclectic look, try reupholstering a Victorian-style sofa or dining chairs with modern fabrics and bold graphic prints. This diverse mix isn’t for everyone but it can work to stunning effect.

It’s also worth noting that the Victorians themselves were not afraid of colour and bold design statements. The period might be associated with somewhat repressed emotions but in design terms it was opulent, with lots of rich greens, gold-browns, reds and blues. Toning the heavier colours with cool whites can add a modern touch and make the place feel lighter and airier.

So, there really are plenty of options and many ways to bring classic Victoriana into the modern day so, go for it!

Top Tips To Spruce Up Your Bedroom

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Your bedroom is one of the most important parts of your home. This is the area where the magic happens and where you can relax and unwind after a long, hard day at work. Naturally, how you decorate your bedroom, all boils down to your taste in style. With a few additions and a touch of panache, you can turn your bedroom into a relaxation haven that caters for all your needs. Here are a few tips that can help you spruce up your bedroom:

Get some art

One way to make any room more interesting is by including pieces of art. You can hang art on your walls or have it framed and displayed on storage shelves. Make sure that the style of art matches your personality. Try to look for pieces that speaks directly to you. Although art is more expensive in galleries, you may choose to find a number of budding artists on websites like Tumblr and BigCartel that you can buy from instead. Art pieces including sketches and custom drawings are available at affordable prices and will make your room look really good.

Bring in the light

If your room is too dark, it would be better to bring in some light to it. Having a well-lit room enables you to think more positively. Be on the lookout for cheap deals when you visit flea markets and thrift stores; you can always spot a functional lamp at an affordable price there. Another way to bring in the light without adding fixtures is to add a window or install a glass roof to let the sunshine in.

Less is more

You don’t need to have a lot of stuff to make a room more interesting. Often, minimalistic rooms can speak volumes about your personality. Instead of buying more furniture, why not reduce the amount you have and just stick with the basics such as a bed, a comfortable chair, and a good reading lamp – this is all it takes to create a zen-like room.

Functional furniture

Instead of having lots of different pieces of furniture, we recommend using functional furniture that can be used in a variety of ways. Because the bed can take up precious space, you may opt for a sofa bed that you can transform into a couch when you’re not sleeping. You can also install a foldable table that you can use as a desk.

Upcycle furniture

Repurposing furniture and turning it into something more usable is also one way to create an interesting look for your room. You can scour the number of furniture stores in NYC and look for vintage and cheap pieces. Repainting those pieces or changing the upholstery can create a unique piece that would be a great addition to your bedroom. It also helps the environment because you’re basically recycling an old thing and turning it into something new.

How To Renovate Your Living Room On A Budget

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If you are tired of the way your living room looks, but don’t want to spend a ton of money renovating there are some things that you can do in order to vamp up your space, without putting holes in your pockets. These budget-friendly ideas are sure to make your room look like it came out of a magazine:

Consult a professional

When you renovate your living room, you will be making drastic changes that can be quite expensive if you don’t know what you are doing. Consult an architect or an interior designer and share your vision for your new living room. Talk about how much the materials and the labor will cost and how much your budget is. Work out a plan that will fit within your budget and remember to stick to it.

Change the small details

When renovating, you don’t always need to change your furniture. You can change the small details in your living room, so that you don’t spend so much but still change the way the space looks. Swap the door, doorknobs, drawer handles, rugs, and hinges for new ones. Not only are these cheap, they are also quick and easy renovations that can change the feel of a room.

Learn to sew upholstery

If you are tired of the color or pattern of your sofa, you can easily change the way it looks by purchasing new upholstery and doing the sewing by yourself. You can save a lot on renovations if you learn a few basic skills, such as sewing, and by changing upholstery yourself can save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.

Purchase cheap furniture

Furniture doesn’t have to break the bank for it to look expensive. If you know where to look, you can purchase discount furniture that can make your living room appear more elegant. If you have the patience to look for furniture pieces that are cheap, you will be saving tons of money. Check garage sales, vintage stores, and look out for sales, where you’ll find cheap, high quality furniture that will be perfect for your living room.

Don’t forget the decorations

Small decorations in your living room can make a big difference when renovating. Set aside budget for candles, mirrors, a vase, or a nice painting. These small details can make a huge impact in your living room. Again, you don’t always have to rely on purchasing expensive items, you can even upcycle some of your own furniture to minimize your spending.

These are some of the tips that you can use if you want to renovate your living room on a budget. If you know what you want and you know where to get it, you can easily change the way your living room looks without having to spend so much. Look out for the latest trends and start renovating your space!

Decorating a guest bedroom

One of the great things about owning your own home has to be sharing your living space with friends and family. Welcoming people into your house helps your home become a living, breathing space and it’s important to ensure that they feel comfortable and relaxed when staying over.

With this in mind, the guest bedroom is the focus of where they’ll get to enjoy the labours of your hospitality. And here’s a few tips to make sure that your guests get the very best experience when staying in your spare bedroom.

A sense of space

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It’s important to ensure that your guest’s room feels part of your home, but also allows them the sense of having their own space. So with this in mind, it’s a good idea to de-clutter the room and make sure it doesn’t become just another one of your storage areas!

In order to do this, have a good clear out of any unwanted clothes or possessions that may be lurking in any cupboards. Investing in new inventive storage units will help you bring order to an unruly living space, and will also provide an area where your guests can tidy away any travel luggage.

The essentials

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Once you’ve minimised the room to the bare essentials, you’ll have to learn to look at the room through the eyes of your guest. And what’s most important to their stay will undoubtedly be the bed. Guest beds all too often suffer from a lack of attention by homeowners who rarely have to attempt to get a full night’s sleep in a guest bed.

So be ruthless and imagine if you could get some decent rest on your guest bed. If not, then it might be time to check out some of the specially built stylish wooden guest beds currently out there. Many of these have the additional bonus of an extendable double bed feature that can slide out and then neatly be put away again.

A personal touch

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It’s also important to make sure that your guests don’t feel like they’re staying in a hotel. So your aesthetic choices in this area are very important. Invest the guest bedroom with a splash of warming colour to make sure it feels cosy, or even have a well-placed photograph frame to add a sense of belonging.

Including a few useful implements that your guests might have forgotten are also useful to have dotted around the room. These can include things such as additional power sockets, chic alarm clocks and even a few books about the local area so they can feel at ease in their new surroundings!

4 Tips To Keep Your Sliding Shower Doors Tip Top

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There’s nothing worse than showering in a grimy bathroom. It’s not easy to feel clean when you’re surrounded by mildew, mould and soap scum. It’s true that not many people relish cleaning their bathroom, and when they do they’ll often overlook cleaning their sliding shower doors because they think it will be a fiddly, time consuming process. At best the glass will get a quick spritz of surface cleaner and a wipe over.
Big mistake.
Cleaning your shower doors isn’t difficult and if you commit to short, regular cleaning sessions then you’ll have shower doors that look as good as the day you bought them. Here are some tips.

Opt For Easy Clean Sliding Shower Doors

If you really want to keep your shower doors spotlessly clean opt for some that come with Easy Clean treated glass. This treatment is a fine film that is applied to the surface of your sliding shower doors. Glass actually has an uneven surface when looked at under a microscope, and bacteria and mould can adhere to it. The film makes the surface smooth which makes it harder for nasty mildew and grime to take hold.

Use A Wipe Blade Daily

Little and often is best when it comes to keeping sliding shower doors clean. Instead of a once a month blitz with harsh chemical cleaners and mould removers just grab a wipe blade cleaner every day and wipe the glass down. Then every few months you can use a warm soapy water and good old fashioned elbow grease to give your shower doors a deeper clean. This avoids the long term damage that chemical cleaning products can cause to seals, rollers and other consumable parts, and it’s better for you and the environment too.

Lubricate Your Rollers

When cleaning your sliding shower doors don’t neglect the track and rollers. These are just as vital to the overall functioning and appearance of your doors as anything else. By lubricating them regularly you keep the action of the doors smooth and also help extend their working life. Nothing fancy is needed, just a good glob of Vaseline applied to the rollers and tracks. That way your sliding shower doors will open effortlessly and allow you to easily hop in and out of the shower.

Add Some Polish

Sliding shower doors are chrome plated and so the frame will need a clean every now and then to stop it from tarnishing. Don’t use traditional metal polishes for this, as the abrasive nature of them will damage the finish and eventually result in a damaged finish. Instead just some warm, soapy water applied with a smooth cloth or non-abrasive sponge should do the trick.
This easy cleaning routine will keep your sliding shower doors clean and in perfect working order, meaning you don’t have to shell out for new doors in a few years.
Shower Enclosures Direct stock a range of sliding shower doors  to suit all tastes and budgets. Get the perfect doors for your shower today.

Why do people buy Antique Rugs?

cImage via Flickr

One of the best items in the world that can give a great representation of life through the ages are Antique Rugs. Rugs can vary in size, colour and style. Although most of us use them as a decorative ornament, they are also displayed in museums as part of exhibits. These are a great insight into the way higher-class people lived back then. Truly antique rugs date back to before the 1800’s. The sheer variety of rugs and their craftsmanship is a testament to the skill of rug makers in centuries bygone.

The demand for antique rugs has risen considerably in the last couple of years. Artisans such as those throughout Central Asia have created specific kinds of rugs. These all have  rare, highly sought after designs. The very material of these rugs is also very expensive – some of them are made from silk or cotton, meaning they can even hold up to today’s standards. Their decorative charm is irresistible to rug collectors with their colourful, vivid designs.

There is a huge range of classifications for rugs. Oriental rugs in particular originated in and around Eastern Asia. Their unique designs and colours are easily distinguishable and are a trademark of their Chinese/Himalayan origin. Other types include European and Persian rugs or even antique Aubusson carpets. Much like Oriental rugs, Persian rugs are revered for their unique patterning and colour combinations. However, the maintenance of antique rugs can be quite difficult. Those who devote their time to the collection of rugs are very particular in their treatment. Some may hang them in a similar fashion to a museum! Although it sounds peculiar, it makes a lot of sense – the upkeep of antiques can be costly.

True antique rug collectors are very knowledgeable on rugs from particular time periods. They can easily recognise what designs originate from where and even verify their authenticity. With the modern technologies available today, it is fairly easy to reproduce fake antique pieces. Novice buyers can be easily fooled by the product in question and spend large amounts of money on something that is actually a fraction of the price. It can also be hard to track down these dealers due to their patterns of movement. Connoisseurs of antique rugs should be able to tell apart an authentic piece from a fake. A thorough inspection can reveal telltale signs of synthetic design.

Antique rugs remain a staple amongst collectors of high-end décor. Their designs and patterns are timeless. The one caveat with antique rugs is that there are only so many of them. As time passes, it’s likely that they will be found in a museum rather than a home. Their price and maintenance could well make it difficult to keep them as a household item. However this is unlikely to be a stopping point for true antique aficionados. They posses amazing craftsmanship and unique aging qualities that modern carpets lack. If they are there to be sought out, buyers won’t hesitate to travel wherever they may be!

DIY Tips to Create More Space in Your Small Home

Having a small home can be lovely and cosy, but sometimes you probably wish you had more space. If you ever feel cramped and claustrophobic in your house, these DIY tips are just perfect for you!

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Paint Everything Light and Bright

Dark colours help to make a room appear more cosy, but they absorb light, making a room feel much smaller. If you paint everything light and bright, the room will reflect light and look larger. Your accessories don’t all have to be light though, so feel free to accessorise with those. Double check with the landlord if it’s ok to do this if you’re renting though. You don’t want to find the perfect 2 bedroom flat to rent in Sevenoaks only to realise the decor must stay the same!

 Add Lots of Mirrors

Mirrors are great reflectors and help to add the appearance of more space. Adding lots of mirrors to a space will instantly brighten it up. You can also add mirrored furniture, as well as clear furniture to add to this effect. Why not create a feature wall full of mirrors? This is my favourite part of home improvement; getting creative!

 Keep Things Minimal

Keep things as minimal as you can when decorating. Try not to pick too many items of furniture, as your space could appear too cluttered. Try to go for clean, crisp lines.

 Paint the Ceiling the Same Colour as The Walls

Painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls will elongate a room. You could also use a patterned wallpaper on the ceiling to draw the eye upwards.

 Pull Furniture Away from the Wall

Pulling the furniture away from the wall stops the place from feeling cramped. Those few extra inches behind your sofa can really make all the difference to the look of your home.

 Make Use of Hidden Storage

Hidden storage is a godsend, so use it in any way you can. If you can find sofas with storage, coffee tables with storage, and beds with storage, use them!

 Hang Shelves Closer to the Ceiling

Hanging shelves closer to the ceiling will not only give you a place to put certain ornaments, it’ll draw the eye upwards. This is an optical illusion creating the impression of a larger room.

 Use Statement Furniture

You might think that large pieces of statement furniture would have the opposite effect of what you want. However, choosing one large statement settee for a room rather than a few different pieces helps the minimalistic approach we should be taking. It doesn’t feel as cluttered either, which makes the room look bigger. Sofas with their legs showing instantly make a room look bigger too, rather than sofas that reach all the way to the floor.

 Paint a Work of Art

You can paint a work of art, commission a work of art, or buy a work of art from your local home improvement store. Whatever you do, add a large piece of art to the wall to make it look larger.

Your home will look bigger in a flash with these tips!

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