Eco- Friendly Options For Your Interiors

After recently finishing off decorating a room, it can sometimes feel like you could start over as it just isn’t looking how you imagined. But, constantly changing your home’s interior can not only be costly to your bank balance, it can also have a big environmental cost. Even when starting a new project from the ground up, there are a number of environmental considerations to make in each step.

Choosing interior design pieces that are environmentally friendly is definitely something that you should consider. Eco-chic is becoming a large part of many professional designers work and something they are beginning to actively promote. Of course, going eco-friendly doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your design.

Reusing & Recycling

Book chair #reuse #upcycle

Before you make the decision to makeover your room with a great new design, you should take into consideration what is working already. Maybe you have a set of cabinets which are serving a purpose that couldn’t be replaced, so there is no need to remove them. Perhaps consider moving them to another place within the room. If you don’t like the colour, you can simple spruce them up with a few coats of paint to match your new interior colour scheme.

Another great idea is to switch around your curtains or drapes between rooms. If you have a set of curtains/drapes which will not match up with the new design, perhaps you can change them with another room in your house, rather than going out and purchasing a new pair. If you don’t have anything suitable in your own home, then why not see if you can swap with your friends?

Recycling Glass

Recycled glass table

With a number of suppliers coming up in the past few years offering recycled glass to be used in your home. A wide variety of design options are available for using glass within your home, with specialists even developing recycled glass into a source material used in wall tiles.

The tiles produced from this recycled glass give a great reflective sparkle and really catch the light in a unique way. This means that they are the perfect addition to any bathroom. These recycled glass products can also be used on your kitchen counters, lighting panels and even on your table top. If you are looking to use either a quartz or granite in your design, then you should consider replacing these with recycled glass, which makes for a smarter and more environmentally alternative.

Timber

When it comes to timber, you are best avoiding any furniture which uses hardwood (high density) within its construction. Hardwoods are mainly brought in from tropical rain forests, which are already being heavily depleted. There are a number of environmentally friendly options available in terms of wood furniture, so make sure you take a look around before deciding.

If you are wanting to go with a hardwood then you should make sure that you look out for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) mark. Eco furniture which is often made using reclaimed wood and saw dust, can often be a lot more stylish and fitting for a room than hardwood. So don’t go abandoning the idea straight away.

Other options to achieve a more wooden look whilst being environmentally friendly is to choose a real wood venetian blind for your window dressing. These blinds are made using wood from sustainable forests and have a very low impact on the environment throughout their production.

Hardwood floors

Eco-Chic Flooring

Choosing the right flooring for you interior can be challenging, especially when considering one that is made using a sustainable material. However, there are many suppliers who are seeing the demand for this style of flooring and the popularity it currently has. If you are looking for a floor that is hard wearing then bamboo is definitely a great choice! With bamboo having a high fiber rating than most hardwood flooring and being overall very strong.

As bamboo has a very short grow time which means that it can be harvested regularly unlike with hardwood. It has a great underfoot feeling and is a great natural material which can be recycled after it has been used. Another option would be to use interlocking eco floor tiles. These are made from hard wearing recycled material and look fantastic whether you use them in your kitchen or bathroom. With another benefit being that they give great thermal insulation.

Paint

VOC free paint logo

A number of paint products contain harmful chemicals, these are known as VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). Therefore, it is important that you choose a paint which doesn’t contain these compounds (VOC Free), especially if you are painting your children’s bedrooms. Reusing your past paint trays are a better choice than going out and buying new ones. Of course, if you’re a first time buyer or have only just moved out of your parents home, you won’t have any old paint trays. Instead, you could select reusable paint trays, which are made using recycled cardboard.

*This is a collaborative post.

Brighten Up Walls With Some Wallsauce!

Do you rooms look a little dull? Are you trying to find a fun way to brighten up your walls? Or even trying to find new ways to improve your wellbeing? Whether you are designing the ideal child’s bedroom, creating a tranquil bedroom environment, decorating your cosy home office space, or perhaps even making a sensory therapy room – Wallsauce wallpaper murals might well be your perfect solution!

Brighten up walls with Wallsauce

Their beautiful murals will help you to create the perfect environment, whatever look you are trying to achieve. There are over a million designs to choose from; including fine art, fun kids murals, funky patterns and stunning scenes. You can also upload your own photography too!

I spent ages browsing their website just for fun, mentally redesigning every room in our home! There are so many amazing images to choose from. Here are some of my favourites…

Landscape Theme

The collection of landscape theme wallpapers are just so stunning, I literally couldn’t find a single one I wouldn’t love on my wall! Check out the waterfalls, they are particularly gorgeous. The Iceland photos grabbed my attention especially; they are literally the images I have in my head when I am practising visualisation and meditating. Simply beautiful. Here are just a few of the landscape choices available…

Yosemite landscape wallpaper by Wallsauce

Sunset jetty beach wall mural by Wallsauce

River sunset wallpaper by Wallsauce

Beach Scenes

I have written before how important I feel being around water is for our mental health; a concept known as Blue Mind. Therefore I adore the beach scenes and I think they would be fantastic for bringing an air of relaxation to any room in the home. I can imagine sitting in our lounge feeling like we are actually sat on the beach!

Windswept beach mural by Wallsauce

Tropical beach wall mural by Wallsauce

Forest and Tree Wallpaper Murals

Of course I definitely couldn’t go without mentioning this theme! I love the idea of bringing the sights of our natural environment into our home, and these tree images are so serene. They would be lovely in an office space, or in the bedroom – it would feel like camping every night! This birch tree scene is my absolute favourite…

Birch forest sunlight wallpaper

Kids Murals

There are loads of kids murals to choose from. No matter what your child’s interests, no doubt you can pick out the perfect decor for their room. I spotted a fab flamingo design that my flamingo-mad friend’s daughter would love for example! The fairytale scenes are fabulous for catching a young child’s imagination. Or maybe choose a map of the world for some educational value. Squiggle would have loved this arctic ocean scene when she was little…

Arctic puzzle kids wallpaper mural

Fairytale mural in a nursery

World map wallpaper mural

Sensory Room Ideas

If you are creating a sensory room in your home, some of these wallpaper murals would be brilliant for it. Obviously it would depend on the child and what you are trying to achieve – for example, whether it is a low visual chillout area to avoid overstimulation, or a highly stimulating, high sensory input for a sensory seeker – but there are some super funky designs and some nice calm ones too. I love this blue wallpaper if you are looking for something that is simple but not entirely plain…

Blue wallpaper

Whatever look you are going for, in any room, these Wallsauce wallpaper murals will jazz up the space and make designing your home much easier – and way more fun!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. However, I have expressed my honest opinions about these designs! 

Help Your Home Help You

Rather than just assuming that your home is going to be the biggest bane of your life, for the rest of your life, it’s time to assume that your home is going to be able to help you. In so many ways, our home can be viewed as a pain; we have to go through the stress of money problems, problems with the home, price increases of mortgages… the list could go on. But we don’t want to focus on the negative side of owning a property. A home is meant to be a positive and happy place, and that’s the attitude we want to try and achieve. So if you feel fed up with the home you’re living in, and you feel as though it could be doing more to help you, then we’ve got a few ways to show you that it can…

Help Your Home Help You title inside home image

Let It Make You Money

This is the first thing that we want to talk about, because it’s probably the most exciting one for you. The prospect that your home might actually be able to make you money is one that you might not have considered before. But think about how your home is at the minute, and what you use it for. If you’ve got a three bedroomed house, but all of your children have moved out, then you really are wasting two rooms there. So, if you want to make money from home, you could always think about renting out a room. So many other people are doing it at the minute, but we already know what your first doubt is going to be. Yes, having a stranger in your home might be a little bit weird. But that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have someone living under your nose all of the time. You’ll find that the people occupying the room will want to be out of your hair just as much as you want them out of the way! You can make a lot of money from it, you just need to make sure you’re being fair with the pricing, and that you’re being a good host to the people you’re bringing into your home.

Something that is going to benefit you even further, because you’re not going to have someone random in your home, is renting out your drive space. If you look outside your home now, how many cars do you see lining the road. If you live on a main road, then we guarantee it’s going to be many. All you have to do is advertise a parking space on your drive, and we guarantee that people will come flocking for it. There really is a surprising amount of money to be made from this, so we do advise that you give it a go! Again, make sure the price you’re offering is reasonable, or you’ll be paying for an advertisement that isn’t even going to bring in any money!

Turn To Tech

Filling your home with the latest tech is the best thing that you can do. You’re either going to be someone who is a tech whizz, or someone who doesn’t have the first clue about what could be put in a home. If you’re the latter, then we’re here to help you. If we’re talking about tech that’s going to benefit you, we’re going to have to talk about home automation. It’s a cool feature that you’ll find in all the houses of the rich and famous, but it’s not just limited to them. You can easily have your own home automation system installed, and you can just watch your home life improve. So, what it does is allow you to control different rooms and features of your home, from either your phone, or from little control panels in different rooms. Imagine this… You’ve gone to bed, but you can hear the faint sound of the TV downstairs. What do you do, you get up and click a button from the comfort of your own bedroom, and the TV will turn off. Imagine you’re out for a nice meal, but the weather is so bitterly cold. You can turn your phone on, and adjust the heating setting so that your home is nice and warm for when you get home. It’s such a cool little system that you could have installed, that many people seem to be missing out on.

An organised modern living room interior

Keeping It Simple

Keeping it simple around the home is the best way that you can let your home help you. In fact, this is pretty much all to do with you. So many people clog up their homes with junk that they just don’t need, meaning that being in the home can make you feel rather cluttered. So if you want to help your home help you here, you’re first of all going to have to have a big clean out of the things that you don’t need anymore. Make space, and you’ll feel so much happier with the home you have. You can then think of unique storage solutions around the home, that will mean you won’t have to deal with as much clutter again. It might still be there, but at least it’ll be out of plain sight. There’s so many storage solutions you can choose from, such as these that are listed here. Try and keep it simple with things such as decor and furnishing as well. You don’t want to make your home look out of place by going overboard with the decor.

How else do you think you can let your home help you? Tell me in comments!

Budget Décor Ideas That Can Change A Room

Sick of your tired, outdated décor, but don’t have enough spare cash for a renovation? The good news is that with a little bit of DIY, it’s possible to transform just about any home in your property – without breaking the bank. A new lick of paint, some fresh throw pillows, and a touch of personality can be all it takes to give your home a new lease on life. So if you’ve been dithering over your decoration options for some time now, and you’re not sure how to get started, the following budget décor ideas could give you the inspiration you need…

Budget décor ideas that can change a room

Start With a Splash of Colour

Let’s face it, few things have a bigger impact on the way your rooms look, than the colour of the walls. A quick lick of paint can be an inexpensive and easy way to give your property a much-needed lift. Whether you’re adding a statement wall to your living room or sprucing up your bedroom with some relaxing neutral colours, you’re guaranteed to get a great outcome with just a small investment.
Just be careful not to go too over the top with your colours. Dark shades can be hard to fix if you decide you’re not as fond of them as you thought you were.

Dark blue painted wall. Picture hanging on wall. Home decor. Interior design

Rethink and Rearrange

It doesn’t cost a thing to look at the furnishings you already have and move them into different places around your room. Switching the location of your bed, or moving your sofa to another corner of the room can be a great way to change the way the space looks. Plus, while you’re moving things around, you’ll have a great opportunity to get rid of any clutter that you don’t use anymore. Put your unwanted items on eBay, and you could make a bit of extra cash for the summer.

Choose Lighting With Care

The right lighting can transform the atmosphere of any room. A dimmer switch in your bedroom can give you a fantastic romantic effect, while a fresh shade for a lamp in your living room can brighten up the space. Try replacing mismatched lamps with stylish matching ones or replace your old bulbs with some bright LED ones. Remember, your lighting doesn’t have to just be about fixtures either. You can always consider using fairy lights to add a touch of sparkle to a room, or turn to candles for a romantic vibe.

Transform Your Windows

Speaking of lighting, don’t overlook the power of natural light. You can create an excellent focal point in your room and bring more light back into your property with the right window furnishings. A set of cheap shutters is all it takes to give your home a warm and rustic look or to add personality to your kitchen. There are plenty of colours to choose from, and you can always add a potted plant to your windowsill to complete the look.

Update Your Soft Furnishings

If you can’t afford a new bed or sofa for your home, but you think your soft furnishings look a little lacklustre, try adding a new throw or set of pillows to the mix instead. There are plenty of beautiful and affordable cushions out there that will help to add glamour to your space almost instantly. If you’re not certain which colours you should go for, you can take inspiration from your wall and floor palettes.

A sofa with colourful cushions. Soft furnishings, home decor. Interior design.

Embrace Artwork

Finally, artwork is a great way to show your own unique style in any room. Often, it’s best to stick with pieces that have been pre-framed if you want to get a professional look. However, you can always look for custom frames for your own pictures if you prefer. Additionally, it’s worth looking at large pieces of artwork that add scale and volume to the way that your property looks. If you’ve got little ones, and you really want to make your home your own, you can always consider asking them to help you make artwork for certain rooms that you can frame in unique ways to bring a touch of vibrancy to any space.

Transforming Your Home On A Budget

At first, transforming your home on a budget can seem an impossible task. However, with the right decorations, a fresh lick of paint, and a few simple changes, you can quickly create the home of your dreams – no matter what your tastes might be.

Home cushion on sofa, with other cushions.

*This is a collaborative post.

Gadgets Every Bathroom Needs

The bathroom is the ultimate place in your home where you can escape from the rest of the world and exist in your own peaceful bubble for a while. It is the place where we relax after a stressful week, sing karaoke with the shower head and make life’s biggest decisions. The bathroom is a hugely important part of our home, and there are loads of technologies to add to the space to make it perfect…

Gadgets Every Bathroom Needs with faded image of bathroom as background

Waterproof TV

Having a TV in the bathroom is the ultimate way to relax on your spa evening. Just imagine how amazing it would be to lie in the bath, a glass of wine in hand, while watching your favourite movie…sounds good, doesn’t it? A waterproof TV is no new gadget, but it is certainly one you will want to invest your money in this year. To make sure you don’t lose too much space in your bathroom you can have the TV fitted to your wall.

Whirlpools

The whirlpool bath is the ultimate way to treat yourself after a stressful day and is super relaxing to lie in. You can buy a whirlpool bath from many different places online, but the best ones also include mood lighting. Imagine dimming the lights, getting into the bath and simply enjoying the silence as coloured light fills the room… it can be a great addition to your bathroom and will be something the kids love too!

Bidet

This is a gadget which has been around in countries like Japan for a long time, but we haven’t really started using them much in this part of the world. The easiest type to install into an existing bathroom and use are the ones that fit onto your toilet as an add-on device. It can be a brilliant system for those with disabilities or limited mobility, such as the elderly.

A TV Mirror

If you only have a small bathroom to work with, sometimes it is better for you to get two items in one neat package. For example, if you only have the room to hang a mirror in your bathroom, you can get one which doubles as a TV. It means that you can enjoy your favourite TV or news in the morning as you brush your teeth and when you switch it off, you are faced with a regular mirror!

Double sink in bathroom. Large mirrors. Bathroom accessories. Large vase of flowers in centre

Shaving Socket

One of the most irritating things that can happen in the morning is losing your shaving adapter when you need a trim. To avoid this problem in the future you can have a shaving socket fitted into the bathroom which means you can plug straight into the wall and groom without the stress! It is a much more convenient way to shave and it saves you having to buy an adapter!

De-misting Pads

You may have never heard of this item before, but it will soon become your best friend in the bathroom. How annoying is it when you have had a shower or a bath and can’t see yourself in the mirror? Well, demisting pads are here to take away that steam without leaving smudges or fabric on the mirror. It will make the world of difference to you when you are in a rush to get ready and they don’t cost much at all.

Smart Taps

A tap isn’t just a tap these days, there are many different types of tap to fit everyone’s needs in the home. There are taps with LED lights, boiling taps available at www.tapwarehouse.com and even smart taps which do many different things. A smart tap can use facial recognition, motion, and touchscreen to help make your bathroom experience the best it can possibly be. For example, you might prefer a certain temperature when you have a bath, and with facial recognition, the taps will set the water to that temperature just for you. It is a gadget which can be incredibly fun and will impress all of your guests too.

Shower Head Speaker

One of the greatest joys of the bathroom is singing in the shower, and with this shower head speaker, you can do just that. It will play the radio or a playlist if your choice and you can sing to your heart’s content every time you take a scrub! You can also buy shower heads which have LED lights on them for a fun, disco experience!

Programmable Shower

While we are talking about fun technology for the bathroom, we can’t skip by the fun you can have with a programmable shower. If you fancy a more personal experience when you go for a wash, you can buy a programmable shower which will let you change the temperature, lighting, pressure and volume for music all in one place. You can even create your own preset for every time you visit the shower, and this will make things unique to you and what you enjoy every day.

In Summary…

There are many different gadgets you can bring into the bathroom, and you can make the setup as simple or as savvy as you want. Have fun with things, make it unique to you and don’t be afraid to go crazy with a few gadgets – if you know you will use them! After all, it’s your personal space. Make the most of it!

What is your favourite bathroom gadget? I would love to know! Tell me in comments.

*This is a collaborative post.

My Dream Bathroom

Have you ever been wandering around somewhere like the Ideal Home Exhibition, or visited someone else’s home even, and started thinking about what your ideal bathroom would be like? Well, that’s me right now! This is how I would describe my dream bathroom…

A photo of a spacious bright bathroom with walk in shower. Title My Dream Bathroom written above.

A Decent Size

Ok, it doesn’t need to be huge. But I would like it to have a space to sit and to actually be able to move around, as well as some bathroom storage. One of our previous homes had the tiniest bathroom you have ever seen. I honestly didn’t think that I would mind too much – until we actually moved in and I realised how annoying it really was!

Storage

I mentioned this already. But storage is a must! Our current bathroom lacks any shelves or cabinets, which means that the windowsill and bath end up looking cluttered, plus our medicines are therefore in a kitchen cupboard downstairs instead. I hate not being organised! However, I will even go as far as to specify that what I really mean is practical storage – not the kind where you bang your head getting out of the bath or trip over it everytime you walk in… been there and done that way too many times!

Walk-in Shower

I love walk-in showers. When we went to Vegas several years back, our suite had the biggest walk- in shower ever; it was amazing! Honestly, I could have spent all day in there. Squiggle loved it too; she took her bath toys in and pretty much treated it much like her own personal splash park! She prefers showers, as do I, but she also really likes to sit down under the water as well – so a seat in the shower would be ideal for her.

A photo of a walk- in shower

Privacy

My dream bathroom would have privacy. In particular, it would have a working lock. I get that the child safe locks on family bathrooms are really good for some scenarios. But do you know how easy those things are to just bust straight open without even realising the door was ever actually locked?! Ask Squiggle, she will tell you… since she has enough experience of doing that to me! And no one banging on the door either. Ok, I know…too far fetched… but I did say this was a dream bathroom!

Underfloor Heating

I would love for my bathroom to have underfloor heating. It is relatively cheap to heat and it feels so cosy! Enough said.

Eco- Friendly

Last but not least, my dream bathroom would be eco- friendly! So in addition to the underfloor heating, I would like there to be plenty of natural light and energy efficient lighting for when it is needed. But also, the biggest environmental consideration with bathrooms, is of course water usage. So anything that helps conserve water would be a must for my dream bathroom to be truly complete!

What would your dream bathroom look like? Tell me in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

The Importance of Self- Care: Why the Bathroom is One of the Most Important Rooms in Our Home

As a parent, especially as a carer too, it can be difficult to find time to relax. Yet self-care is essential. And that is why, for me, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in our home. Like for many people, it is a place of sanctuary; whether that is simply a chance to quickly grab two minutes to take a refeshing shower, to enjoy a long hot soak in the bath, or give yourself some much needed pampering time. Here are some fab reasons to retreat to the bathroom…

It has a lock!

For many family homes, this may be the only room in the house where you can literally lock yourself away and get away from it all, while still being in the comfort of your own home. The psychological impact of knowing nobody can barge in any second is actually just as significant as the lock itself. It means guaranteed space to yourself until you choose to leave!

Sense of privacy

Aside from the locked door, it is often more accepted and expected that people in the bathroom should be left alone. Granted, this isn’t always the case, but there is perhaps slightly more chance compared to other rooms… in theory at least! This means you can take some time-out in relative peace. (Hopefully!)

Water is relaxing

Taking a shower or soaking in the bath is a good way to unwind. The water soothes and helps to de-stress both your body and mind.

We all need a little pampering

Whether it is a luxurious bath filled with oils or salts, a gorgeous face mask, or simply doing a quick wax, it feels good to look after yourself. So treat yourself to some lovely pampering then leave the bathroom feeling rejuvinated, ready to take on the world!

A lady pampering herself in the bath

So how to make the most of this ‘bathroom time’ then? Well here are some top tips to make the most of your bathroom…

Set the mood

Dim the lights, add one of your favourite scents and turn on some music. Even if it is just a two minute sanity-saving trip to the bathroom, you could blast out one of your favourite tunes while you escape to let off some steam!

A lovely bathroom with typical bathroom features including a comfy stool

Make yourself comfortable

Consider having somewhere to sit (other than the obvious!) in the bathroom if you plan to be in there for some pampering time, as it isn’t exactly much fun being perched on the edge of the bath for long. A small bathroom bench, or even chair if your bathroom is big enough, would be perfect.

If you prefer showers, you could even consider getting a shower seat if you feel more comfortable sat down. Also, walk-in showers are essential to self- care for those with mobility issues.

A shower cubicle with seat

Don’t forget supplies

Grab yourself some snacks, and pour yourself a drink. Perhaps even take in a book or magazine. And of course don’t forget whatever bathroom goodies you intend to pamper yourself with too!

So there you have it! My essential guide to making the most of your bathroom for self- care, and why you should definitely consider the bathroom to be of the most important rooms in your home!

What are your best self- care tips? And why do you love your bathroom? Let me know in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Freshen Up Your Home For Spring – The Easy Way 

Could that be a hint of spring in the breeze? After a winter that’s felt like it would never end, we’re all keenly awaiting the lighter evenings, less glacial temperatures and perky blooms emerging brought on by Spring. It’s no wonder that we often think of freshening up our homes at the same time. So what’s the best way to transform your home into a light, breezy haven for the season of fresh starts?

Freshen Up Your Home For Spring- The Easy Way title with picture of a tidy well designed living room

Rearrange Your Layout

As we emerge from our cosy hibernation lairs, it’s a great time to revisit the layout of each room and check that the set up and furniture are still fit for purpose. Think about the ideal purpose of your home. Do you need to create an area to study or for a home office out of that wasted corner? Would you like to make your home more welcoming for guests by adding corner sofas and modular seating? Make sure that your home is supporting the kind of life and activities you do now.

 

Bring in some Green

Adding a fresh burst of greenery with some potted plants or a terrarium. Bringing some of the outdoors in helps to add breeziness and a feeling of freshness, while sculptural pots and planters add a splash of colour and style.

Swap To Lighter Fabrics

If you’ve been dressing your home in faux fur rugs, knitted throws and velvet curtains for winter, being the feeling of spring in by swapping to airier textures such as linen or alpaca. Adding a jolt of patterned with a new area rug or some fresh blinds will also liven up a neutral decor.

Repaint Sills, Skirtings and Doors

Freshening up the paintwork details in your home is quite simple but can really lift a space and make it feel new. A simple, hardwearing white gloss along mouldings and baseboards will make your wall colour look fresh and your house well cared for. If you fancy a new approach, painting the outer edge of interior doors in an eye catching shade like bright orange or deep blue can add a lot of dimension to a decorating scheme.

Sort Your Storage

If the light of spring has made you look around and see piles of clutter, it’s a great time to streamline and make a pile to donate or recycle. For what’s left, look into some new storage options. Could you add built in shelves to a disused alcove or maybe get some bright fabric storage boxes to tidy away DVDs and magazines? Getting more organised always makes you feel refreshed and ready for the season ahead.

Light The Way

If you don’t have tonnes of budget, a relatively small way to make a big impact is by replacing your light fittings. Tired old pendant lights can be replaced with modern options featuring accents of copper or cream enamel. Light fittings are usually quite easy to change around and have the power to transform a space, especially if you opt for statement pieces that have a real impact.

*This is collaborative post.

Staging Your Home for Agent Photoshoots: Ten Simple Tips

In case you decided to sell your home and move on, you want to get your house sold as soon as possible. The first step of getting people through the door is making sure that the photos created by your agent or their photographer show the best features of the property. Leave the technical details to the experts, but make sure you stage your home in a way that the photos help you sell it.

Get the Lighting Right

For a good photo, you will need to have enough natural light. Look at the weather forecast, and schedule your appointment for a day when the sun is likely to shine. Make sure that the photographer turns up when you get the sun shining through the front windows, as this way your home will appear to be lighter and larger on the pictures. You might also want to check with the photographer whether or not they need some lights on or off, to make the most out of your pictures. Get Gorgeous Ready Made Curtains | Montgomery designs to control the light in every room and create a matching style before the photos are taken. The more natural light you can use, the better your home will look on the brochure.

Declutter

If you have an office in the corner of the living room, it is time to hide the computer and the files. Make sure that your potential buyers or tenants can see plenty of empty space on the photo and put their imagination into work, thinking about arranging their own furniture. If you have old unsightly items in the house, it might be time to pay a visit to the local recycling centre or the charity shop. Don’t display old personal mugs in the kitchen either, and consider removing your kids’ paintings from the fridge temporarily too. Create a sterile and fresh look for the brochure, without your footsteps being visible on the images.

Get Rid of Personal Items

You don’t want your letters, certificates, diploma, or anything else displayed on the walls that gives out too much about you. People generally make judgments about the homeowner, and you don’t want people to know your true identity, unless they are signing the agreement. Keep your own and your children’s information safe. Not all people who will turn up on viewings or look at photos are potential buyers. Some of them are simply other homeowners looking for ideas or comparing your home to theirs. Stay out of the pictures as much as you can.

Absolutely No Pet Beds

Most buyers and potential tenants are discouraged by seeing a dog bed or a cat tree in the middle of the picture. Even if they are animal lovers, displaying these items can look unprofessional for them. If someone has pet hair allergies, they will simply not turn up, even if you clean your home thoroughly before viewings. Try to make all the reminders of current residents disappear before the pictures are taken, including the four-legged family members.

Tidy Up Your Kitchen

Stock image. Uncluttered spotless kitchen.

You will need to make your kitchen look organized and new. If you have to, move some of your small electricals into the garage or the garden shed to make your kitchen look bigger, do so. If you display your utensils and cups on the counter, and have a knife stand, you can move it somewhere else while the photos are being taken. Don’t move your larger appliances, such as your fridge, microwave, kettle, and toaster, but make sure that you are not giving the images the impression that the cupboards are not large enough to hold everything.

Clean and Empty Your Bathroom

Make your tiles in the kitchen and bathroom shiny, and remove any mats, blinds, and personal items. Your potential buyers or tenants would like to see the house in the state they will move in, and the fewer items you have on display the bigger your rooms will look. Get rid of the towels and the bathrobes, along with the cosmetic products, toothpaste, and toothbrush, so you can show the bathroom as an empty canvas. Pay attention to the grouts, as they can go grey or black in the bathroom, and if this shows in the pictures, your potential buyers will assume you have a mould problem and will not consider booking a viewing.

Take Furniture Away

In case you have too much furniture, your rooms will look smaller than they really are. Anything that looks out of place should be stored in the garage, or even in a self storage facility until the viewings are over, and you can get moving. Anything that is too old or looks tired can be removed. Even if you got an armchair from your grandmother and you don’t want to part from it, you can still relocate it temporarily. Look through the colour scheme of each room and search for items that don’t look right. Keep the design simple, and don’t distract your potential buyers or tenants by too many details, as this will make it harder for them to think clearly about their plans and future interior design.

Add Plants

Plants make your house look homely, and they are portable, so people looking at your property’s brochure will not think that they are going to take their space away. Adding a bit of greenery makes the pictures seem brighter and friendlier. Have a flower bouquet displayed in the window and decorate your mantelpiece with small green plants, such as cactuses. Anything that is small and has a decorative value can be a positive addition to the picture, and anything that looks out of place, too big, or old should go. As a general rule, try to have one plant in each room; either by the window, the sideboard, or the table.

Move Your Lamps

You might want to move your temporary lights and lamps when you have your picture taken for a better lighting solution. You need to consult with your agent or photographer about the optimum locations. You might be asked to move the bedside lights away, so the room looks larger. Bedroom sizes matter for potential buyers, so you have to do anything you can to make the space appear larger. You will also have to potentially change the direction of your spotlights in the kitchen and the landing, depending on where your photographer is taking the pictures from.

Make the Beds

Stock image. Tidy bedroom with made bed.

There is nothing more disappointing for potential buyers than a messy bed. You will need to make your bedroom look as if it was a hotel room designed to impress visitors. Get rid of hair, cat hair, and don’t leave any clothes out. Open the curtains and make them look symmetrical, allow natural light to enter. Leave some soft furnishing in the room, to make it look comfortable and cosy.

In Summary…

The secret to staging your home for the sales or rental brochure is to know and understand your target market. Talk to your agent or research the market to make sure you are not focusing on the wrong audience. Remove unnecessary clutter from the house, as less is more. Add some greenery and light, and do the spring cleaning. Take your personality out of the house, and allow your potential buyers to imagine their own designs in your space. Focus on soft furnishing, and make your home look bigger by removing furniture. Make sure that you don’t leave any sign of pets in the house when your photographer turns up.

* This is a collaborative post.

Win A Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair

Tub chairs are a popular option for alot of people because they fit relatively easily into a room, as far as seating options go. They are a particularly versatile investment because they would work equally as well in a nursery or guest room as they do in the living room.

They can also be moved around easily too to fit in with changing layouts, such as if you decide to rearrange your furniture to create a fresh new look. Or they can even be positioned to create a more social atmosphere in a room when needed, such as having guests over for example. Great for this time of year!

Personally I think there is nothing better than having your own little space to curl up in and read a good book or chill in front of the TV.

Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair in a cosy corner of a living room

They are stylish too; I mentioned in my recent post ‘How To Create A Cosy Winter Home’ that tartan is a great design choice for this season, so the one in this feature is perfect to create the look! Plus you can paint the legs to match your room, and the latest trends, too. There are several other lovely fabric design options too though, so do take a look at their website.

Win A Neyland Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Tub Chair

Better yet, Tub Chairs are giving away one of these awesome chairs in their twitter competition! To be in with a chance of winning a Neyland Star tartan fabric wingback tub chair (worth £245) all you have to do is RT the status below and follow them on twitter at @Tub_Chairs

For further details, as well as T&Cs, go to Sloane & Sons Tub Chair competition page. The competition is open to UK residents only. Ends 31/01/2018. Good luck!

*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.