Personalise Your Walls With Colour Graphics (£150 Custom Wallpaper Printing Giveaway)

Are you looking to brighten up your home? As I have written about before, I do love unique interior designs and I think that photo wallpaper can be so eye- catching! A well chosen design can really create the atmosphere that you are looking for in a room; whether that be a nice chilled out vibe, a fun place to play, or even to provide some extra visual stimulation to a sensory room. Whatever your aim, customised wallpaper can help you to create the look you want to achieve. 

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Credit: Colour Graphics

This custom wallpaper by Colour Graphics looks brilliant and would undoubtedly transform your walls and brighten up your room. It comes in traditional wallpaper, which requires standard wallpaper paste, or a handy self-adhesive version that doesn’t require anything else; it is almost like putting up a giant sticker! The design can be printed in whatever size you need too.

One lucky reader can win up to £150 custom wallpaper printing from Colour Graphics; to be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, simply enter via rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition closes on 5th April 2017. Entrants must be over 18. UK residents only. One winner will be chosen at random via rafflecopter. Other T&Cs apply. 

Appealing To The Buyer’s Senses: Sell Your Home Fast This Spring

Spring is the most popular season for selling a home which makes sense as all the flowers start blooming, people want to be moved into their new home before winter, they have just got over the stress of Christmas and there’s a little time to go before summer holidays. It certainly makes sense to put your home up for sale this season and figures from the Office Of National Statistics shows a 0.3% rise in the amount of property transactions made at the same time last year, and we’re only just in March!

The problem is, selling it isn’t guaranteed. Even with the best estate agent, right price and sale timed exactly right; there could be around 160,000 other homes for sale or more at this time of year to compete against. Therefore you really need to have your house presented in its best possible light, and then some. One of the easiest ways to approach getting your home ready for sale is by ensuring you are appealing to all the different senses of the homebuyer, including that extra sixth sense too! So here are some tips to help get that sale…

home and garden, home decor, interior design, lifestyle, sensory

Sight
The visuals are always the first thing anybody thinks about when they prepare their home for resale, and quite right to, because the majority of buyers will look online at homes before booking any viewings, so what they see of your home in those few photos counts for a lot. So really, before you get into any depth with your home aesthetics, you must make sure your sale photos are as good as they can be. Don’t be afraid to ask your estate agent to retake them.

The second visual a buyer will see is when they see the outside of your home either when driving by, or when they come for a viewing. Curb appeal does still exist and it really does matter, so invest in a lick of paint, clean those windows, get any clutter removed, and trim that garden up – buyers are very quick to make judgements.

Other key changes to make relating to sight are:

● Light, Light, Light – get as much natural light in your home as is possible as nobody likes a dark home. Clean those windows, get those pot plants off windowsills, open the curtains and invest in ambient lighting for the evening as one downlight is not flattering to any space. If you have lots of block doors between rooms, consider switching them for an internal bifold door with glass in, which keeps the rooms separate, but still lets in lots of beautiful light.

● Clutter – you have to depersonalise and declutter your home so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. They will struggle to imagine their own chapter starting in your home if your story is splashed all over the walls and mantelpieces.

● Details – Little details like a dirty tea towel or a grubby kitchen corner will catch a buyer’s eye. Try and have someone come over to point out all the potential visual issues you might have stopped noticing, so you can adjust accordingly.

home and garden, home decor, interior design, lifestyle, sensory

Taste
Clearly, food and drink has nothing to do with selling your home, so we’re going to instead talk about personal taste in decor, which does have a lot to do with selling your home. Your taste may well appeal to a lot of buyers if it is fairly neutral and modern. If your taste is quite strong and you have say, leopard print bedding, 80’s pattern wallpaper, a large collection of gnomes in the garden, or a Barbie pink bathroom, then you need to do a bit ofredecorating before you put your house up for sale. You will absolutely be surprised at what a lick of paint can do for one room. You might love your statement wallpaper, or treasured Victorian wall tiles, but somebody else may be completely put off by them and struggle to see past them. For a more saleable home, you have to neutralise your taste in interior design.

Sound

If you play music when a buyer comes round, they will think that you are trying to cover something up, like a noisy neighbour or road sounds. Instead, try to avoid noises that may disturb the feeling of tranquility, like the sound of a washing machine, or perhaps your barking dog. Where possible, have animals and children with someone you trust during viewings, and keep noisy appliances off.

Smell

Any smells that are too strong will again, just like with sound, seem like you are trying to cover up the smell of damp or rot. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for a fresh, clean smell, or have a natural smell running through the house. Avoid heavily bleaching when you clean, or using chemical air fresheners and instead use standard cleaning products, have fresh scented flowers about the house, and if you do bake regularly, it will do no harm having the smell of freshly baked bread or brownies running through the house as somebody comes over.

Touch

Even though a surface can look clean, it might not be clean, so try and make sure all surfaces have at least been wiped down. A buyer might run their hand along a surface only to find it is sticky, which will then make them wonder about other things that aren’t as they seem. You might also want to add ‘touchable textures’ to the home, like faux fur throws, thick knit poufs, silky curtains or fluffy towels, which will provide a subconscious air of luxury, which is sure to impress buyers.

The Sixth Sense

When you sell your home, it is important that you try your best to work with the sixth sense of the buyer. The sixth sense is; ‘gut feeling’, the ‘funny feeling’ the ‘it just felt right’ sense. Although you cannot control the feeling a person gets for a home, you can control the feeling a person gets for you and the way you present your home. Nobody is entirely honest when selling a home, as in they don’t point out the flaws. However, there is a line between covering up issues, and simply making the house look its best and focusing on its highlights. A truthful, but positive representation of your home will appeal to a buyer. There’s this underlying fear of being ripped off when buying a home because estate agents don’t have the best reputation for telling the truth, and there is a lot of money involved. Buyers will always be seeking the truth and the practicalities of a home, and they will also be open to possibilities and suggestions. Be truthful, and talk about all the parts of your house that you love, or the different ways you have used different spaces. If you aren’t running viewings yourself, pick an estate agent with personality, who will ask the buyer questions about themselves and make suggestions. If you can appeal to their sixth sense, you’re already a long way towards getting an offer.

Happy selling! 

Do you have any top selling tips? I would love to hear them – share in comments! 


*This is a sponsored post

Why Our Rooms Are #NotCompleteWithout Texture: The Importance of Tactile Input

As a parent of a child with SEND, including sensory processing issues, I have spent alot of time thinking about how our home environment meets Squiggle’s needs. We have created a specific sensory area in one of our rooms as a space for her to relax whenever she wants and it also offers her sensory stimulation that supports her specific individual needs. 

Julian Charles, #notcompletewithout, home decor, home environment, interior design, SEND, sensory, sensory processing disorder, tactile, textures

One important part of this is through different textures. Squiggle is very tactile. She really likes soft things, so we have a big selection of fabrics available with various different textures to provide her with the tactile input she needs.

Julian Charles, #notcompletewithout, home decor, home environment, interior design, SEND, sensory, sensory processing disorder, tactile, textures

We have a mismatched assortment of colours and styles to also reflect Squiggle’s other sensory needs too; for example, in terms of visual stimulation, she prefers a variety of colours and to have lots of interesting styles and patterns to look at, especially in her sensory chillout area. So we offer her a bright and colourful, albeit somewhat uncoordinated, environment in that particular space at least!

Of course, like most people, we prefer to stick to more of a specific colour theme and therefore have coordinated the rest of our rooms in a more ‘typical’ organised way! But providing Squiggle with a variety of textures to touch and feel is essential for her sensory integration nonetheless, so we have tried to incorporate her tactile sensory needs throughout the rest of our home too; in particular through our choices of home decor. Cushions, throws, drapes and blankets in a variety of different textured fabrics really adds another dimension to our home. The truth is though, even without SEND, it is great for everyone to have a variety of textures in the home environment. It feels good! 

On this note, Julian Charles are also taking ‘the finishing touches’ very literally and asking what interior design a room is #notcompletewithout, especially in terms of texture. They have just released the most beautiful style guide to give you some brilliant ideas on how to incorporate textures in your home.

Julian Charles, #notcompletewithout, home decor, home environment, interior design, SEND, sensory, sensory processing disorder, tactile, textures

I also love this neutral and beautifully coordinated room decor I found on their instagram too, with all the wonderful textures that have been included. It demonstrates perfectly what a difference that textures can make to a room; check out that gorgeous rug and the lovely textured bedding…

Do you have tactile home decor ideas to share and inspire others with? Join in the conversation on facebook and twitter using the hashtag #notcompletewithout… and of course you might also find more inspiration for your own home too!
*This is a collaborative post. 

Bring The Outdoors Into Your Home With Pixers Wall Murals

It is certainly no secret how much we value the importance of the outdoors and our natural environment. Even when we are at home, we still like to be reminded of the world outside! One obvious way to do this is through wall art. 

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For example, PIXERS have a lovely selection of natural wall murals that would brighten up your home and give it a nice relaxing vibe. There are lots to choose from, such as these beautiful ocean scenes that I really love.

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The website describes the self-adhesive wall murals as ‘tear- and crease-resistant.’ Apparently they are easy to stick on and can be removed then relocated several times too; the website states “you can easily install them unassisted, and then move them from place to place as often as you please, whenever you want – you’ll see how simple this is.”

We are in a rented home so generally we are very limited in making our own interior design choices. However, I wonder if these wall murals could be a solution to this? They can be used to style your interior in the way that you personally want and transform ‘your’ home, even if it is not really yours. As long as they are easy to remove and don’t leave a mark, I think maybe they could be a good answer for renters? But whether renting or not though, they sound like a really simple and effective way to create your own unique look. 

The photos can also be edited and customised to really make them feel like they are more your own too. Or you can even use your own photos, so the possibilities are endless! I like the idea that you can properly make them into your own individual creation.

The wall murals can also be ordered in a range of sizes to suit your room. Entire walls can also be covered with photo wallpaper, like this example.

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There is even a washable version that can be wiped down easily; handy for family homes. They also state they are eco-friendly and ‘print in the latest ecological HP Latex Printing technology. The inks we use are odorless and 100% safe.’

If nature art is not your thing, there are many other types of designs too. For example, I spotted some really funky abstract art designs and patterns whilst I was browsing the site. It seems like there is something for everyone! I have never tried these but it sounds like they might be worth checking out.
*This is a sponsored post.

A Quick Cuppa With… Stephanie (Avec Amour) 

Today, the wonderfully creative and very lovely Stephanie from Avec Amour is chatting to me about her recent wedding and honeymoon, and how she found herself running a lovely little business selling gorgeous handcrafted home decor items and gifts shortly after…

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Thanks for taking part Stephanie! Tell me about yourself and your business…

My name is Stephanie and I’m almost 23 years old. I live in a town called Workington which is in Cumbria, North West of England. My hobbies include: animals, shopping, photography, horror movies, travelling (especially to USA) and anything that involves creativity! This year has been a very busy one for me because in the summer something wonderful happened; I married my best friend, Joe.

Joe was my high school sweetheart and we have now been together for over 8 years! Like all relationships it has been a roller coaster but I’m lucky and grateful to have such a loving, caring and family-oriented man for a Husband. We are planning to travel a bit more before we start our family.

After leaving school, I took (a few more than average!) wrong turns in my life. Joe started an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering which he absolutely loved, so I thought an apprenticeship would suit me too after hearing so many great things about them. I was an apprentice teaching assistant in a primary school for one year and then they didn’t have enough funding to keep me after that.

For a while I took some time to think about something else I could maybe try. I thought that because I am a very organised person, maybe office work would be suitable for me. I worked in three different office environments in 2014 and 2015 and because I was young with a sensitive personality, I was picked on and bullied in all three of these places with the last one being being the worst. It got so bad that Joe and my parents told me that they wanted me to leave, so I did for my sake of my health.

I have since got my health back on track and I’m much happier! My creativity started to shine through at the beginning of 2016 and at least once a week I got the urge to be creative. The results were handmade wedding invitations and a lot of handmade wedding decor; and subsequently many compliments from our wedding guests!

We spent our honeymoon in Florida. We did the lot, including Disney World and Universal Studios, which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! My Husband and I are both huge fans of Disney and Harry Potter. We thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon; Joe even more so, because it was his first time in the USA.

So after getting home I got the urge to create some Disney and Harry Potter themed home decor items, and then I thought… I love doing things like this, maybe I could start a little hobby business, because why not? Take a risk and do it, because life is too short. Joe was 100% for it too because all he wants is for me to be happy. Then I gathered up all of my ideas and started my business.

Wow. That’s such a lovely answer, thank you for sharing!

Do you have any specific goals or hopes for your business this coming year?

My only goals are: to create items that brighten up the days of others and to continue to gain joy out of it. If I’m inspired enough to come up with any ideas for a brand new product then that would be a bonus!

Love it, what a great goal!

Tell me one random fact about yourself…

A random fact.. I’m addicted to drinking tea!

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

I will admit that I don’t do lots of outdoor activities at the moment but I enjoy the occasional long forest walk with my Husband.

A lovely long walk in the woods is very relaxing I find! And you live in such a beautiful part of England too; fabulous for outdoor walks I’m sure! So if you could tell someone visiting your part of the country for the first time just one outdoor place they simply must go, where would you suggest?

For someone visiting Cumbria for the beautiful outdoors and scenery, I would recommend Whinlatter because the forests are absolutely beautiful and Go Ape! is also there, which is great fun for families/couples.

Sounds amazing!

Thank you so much for chatting to me Stephanie, and all the best with your fab business. 

Check out Stephanie’s beautiful range of items at www.facebook.com/avecamourx  

She has generously offered a wonderful prize to one lucky winner, consisting of a pretty Lace & Ribbon Candle Jar (with a choice of 10 different ribbon colours) and a gorgeous Themed Picture Frame (either Disney, Harry Potter or Wedding themed). Enter via rafflecopter below. (T&Cs apply)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m sure she would appreciate some love over on her page, so do pop over to take a peek!