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Home Staging For Sale – Selling In Hot Weather

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We all know that selling your home is an anxious process and selling in very hot weather of the sort we have been experiencing in recent weeks presents its own special challenges. So here are a few tips to help:-

  • Kerb Appeal

I am a firm believer in the importance of kerb appeal, if your property doesn’t look attractive from the outside potential buyers won’t want to view. In the hot weather the difficulty is maintaining the attractiveness of your outside space. We have been urged by the water companies to avoid using sprinklers and hoses so watering lawns is a dilemma. However, it is easy to recycle water from washing to water plants and hanging baskets. Water first thing and last thing to reduce evaporation and dead head flowers that are past their best. The latter not only means the plant will continue to look good but will also encourage news flowers. On a positive note, when there is no rain forecast it is easy to create an attractive seating/ dining area and not worry about leaving furniture and accessories out. No matter how big or small your outside space it’s rare that you can’t find room for a bistro set. Dress seating with cushions and throws and try a pot of herbs on the table.

Image of beautiful garden planter

  • Cool & Fresh

The temperature inside a property can make a difference to the success or otherwise of a viewing. If a property is too hot or too cold viewers won’t want to linger. This can mean that they don’t have time to properly consider a property and how it could work for them. In hot weather, if doors and windows have been closed the atmosphere for viewers can be quite stifling and uncomfortable. Leave windows open if only a small amount and try to ensure that there is a through draught. If your agent is conducting the viewing ask them to arrive a little early so that they can open windows ahead of the viewers arriving.     Image of an open window with vieiw on to a garden

  • Dress Appropriately

We dress according to the weather and so should our homes. One of my favourite activities is to change the accessories in my home with the change of seasons. Not only is this a change in itself but it creates a different feel in the room. In the cooler months we want to create an environment that is warm and cosy so I would use fur or woollen throws and cushions in fabrics such as velvet or chunky knits that I can snuggle up with. In hot weather I change these to lighter weight fabrics such as cotton and linen. Change colours as well – from darker to lighter. These changes will make a room feel more light and airy and quite simply, more appropriate for the weather. You can also change your curtains in the same way.

 

Dune

 

Adding a jug or vase of summer flowers is always a nice touch .

If you need help presenting your home for sale call now on 07745 876182  e mail info@homestyle4u or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

Interior Inspiration – Mexican Magic

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Image of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

You can’t fail to have noticed the media coverage of the forthcoming exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in celebration of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The exhibition entitled Frida Kahlo:Making Herself Up  is dedicated to the artist’s personal effects. Happily, the exhibition coincides with a revival of interest in handicrafts, lush tropical motifs and folk – inspired design in both fashion and interiors – think of TV shows such as The Great British Sewing Bee, Kirstie’s Handmade Home and, of course, The Great British Bake Off.  I think there is also a link with the whole movement towards recycling and upcycling.

On her death in 1954 Kahlo’s belongings were locked away in her former home in Mexico City called The Blue House which was built by the her father and decorated in the vivid colour by Kahlo and her partner when they moved in to the property.

                                                                                                            Image of a blue painted wall and garden

This is a design style that won’t suit everyone but I think it’s great fun and it’s easy to incorporate elements. The secret is perhaps to confine it to one room where you want to feel energised or introduce a few accessories to add a quirky element to a more neutral room. This way it isn’t so obvious that you are following a trend giving it more longevity plus you can you put things away for a while then bring them out again when you want a change.

Sources include online retailer Maison Numen, the Juanita Collection from Montes & Clark or the Hacienda Collection from Andrew Martin. Look for textiles, woven baskets and even Day of The Dead ritualistic symbolism of skulls. Here are just a few things that have caught my attention.

SUNBURST-WALL-MIRROR-Large-Maison Numen
SUNBURST WALL MIRROR-Maison Numen
OAXACA-FISH-PATTERNED-PALM-BASKET-1
OAXACA FISH PATTERNED PALM BASKET-Maison Numen
Juanita Blue & Pink napkins Montes & Clark
Juanita Blue & Pink napkins Montes & Clark
CHIAPAS-HUIPIL-PILLOW-COVER-M-1
CHIAPAS HUIPIL PILLOW COVER- Maison Numen
17722-truman-junior-in-parasol-natural-with-cushions-in-cruz-desert-and-footstool-in-ticky-ticky-desert-with-otomi-desert-wallpaper
Truman junior in parasol natural. Cushions in cruz desert. Footstool in ticky ticky desert with otomi desert wallpaper – Andrew Martin
17705-ric-rac-carnival-wallpaper-truman-in-white-linen-with-scatter-cushions-in-maya-cactus-maya-paraiso-cruz-cactus-cruz-paradise-palaz
ric-rac-carnival wallpaper. Sofa Truman white linen.. Scatter cushions in maya cactus maya paraiso cruz cactus cruz paradise palaz – Andrew Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blob shape lamp base with retro drum shaped shade
Blob shape lamp base with retro drum shaped shade – Montes & Clark

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog and feel inspired to introduce some of this into your décor. If you would like some advice on how to do this or advice on your interior décor generally please call 07745 876182  e mail info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. I would love to hear from you. I cover Cheshire and the North West.

Interior Design – The Tech dilemma

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Our lives are dominated by technology – phones, tablets, pc’s and, of course the television. When it comes to our homes and what we do with the TV we generally adopt one of two approaches, we either embrace it and make it a feature or we try to hide it. In the case of the former, we make the TV the focal point of the room, rather as the fire used to be the focal point, either on a stand or unit or mounted on the wall. Often we make it the hub where the family gather together. This may be in a living room, a living space within an open plan kitchen/ diner or even within a designated media room.

The alternative is to try to hide or disguise the TV. Traditionally, we might have done this by enclosing it within a piece of furniture such as a stylish cabinet or perhaps a built in cupboard. Now there is an alternative. Samsung’s The Frame functions both as a TV and a piece of art. You can either choose from a body of artwork or use your own photos. The result is that when not being used as a TV you have a lovely piece of art or photo to enjoy which could be displayed on its own or as part of a gallery.

The Frame 1                                           The Frame

I love this idea and think it works wherever in the house you have your TV but particularly those areas where you might not want it on display all the time.

If you are looking for solutions to design problems call on 07745 876182, e mail on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

Interior Design Inspiration – The Coast and Nature

Image of beautiful beach with rocks and sand in the foreground

A few years ago I made a first visit to Northumberland staying in the village of Embleton with its wide sweeping bay overlooked by the remains of Dunster Castle. I loved the location so much that I am due to pay a return visit next. I was therefore delighted to come across the Embleton Bay range of fabrics and wallpapers from heritage brand Sanderson and fell in love with it! The collection comprises three elements – patterned fabrics, woven and wallpapers and includes a mixture of coastal and countryside themes which could be used independently or in combination. The wallpaper collection contains a mixture of birdlife and wildlife, flora and fauna together with depictions of shorelines, boats, coastal cottages and large, expansive skies. The fabrics comprise a range of nine printed fabrics and two embroideries giving a variety of textures and with designs mirroring those of the wallpapers. The weaves are a collection of beautiful textures suitable for curtains and upholstery.

The appeal of the collection to me, apart from the memories, is its variety and versatility. There are a mixture of traditional and modern designs which work well together. The different fabrics give a mix of texture and the colour palette is subtle but not dull. It would be easy to incorporate some of the on trend jewel colours such as teal or purple to add drama. Here are just a few of my favourites from each section.

 

 

Alnwick logs
Alnwick logs

 

Alnwick logs makes a stunning feature wall and adds a modern touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sea Houses
Sea Houses

 

Sea Houses is a fun design illustrating cottages along a lane meandering down to the sea

 

 

Sea Houses 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estuary Birds
Estuary Birds

 

 

  I love the detail of the Estuary Birds design which is available in both fabric and wallpaper. The grasses  are echoed in the embroidery of the gorgeous Belsay fabric.
Belsay
Belsay

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the weaves section I like the textures of the Dune and Misty Haze design

Misty Haze
Misty Haze

 

Dune
Dune

I can’t wait to use the collection, if you would like advice on how to use it in your home call now on 07990 713783, e mail on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the  North West.

 

 

 

Interior Design – Sprucing Up Your Outside Space

Image of a coffee cup and saucer with note book and pen next to it

Finally there are signs that Spring has arrived – daffodils and other bulbs are adding colour to our gardens and verges, buds are appearing on the trees and occasionally the sun has put in an appearance! Most of us love our gardens and outside space is very important to us no matter how small it is. Spring is often a time when we plan garden projects, mine is ongoing. If you are selling your home you should not neglect your outside space as it can make a big difference to the saleability of your property.

So what  are the most important elements to consider? This obviously depends on the size of your outside space and the nature of your household – what suits a young single professional will not suit a family with young children. What follows is a number of elements each of which may, or may not, be appropriate for you. They are in no particular order of importance.

  • Plants/ Greenery

Image of beautiful garden planterEvery outside space needs plants and/ or greenery. In a large garden this is likely to comprise trees, shrubs and flowering plants in borders. For a courtyard garden it is likely to be some or of all of those but planted in tubs. Even a flat can benefit from window boxes or planters if you have a balcony.

 

 

 

  • Entertaining

TWicker hanging chair in framehis has to come a very close second to the first element if not top of the list. We all crave        somewhere outdoors to sit with a cup of coffee or glass of wine whether to soak up the sun    or just to have a few quiet moments to relax. Ideally the entertaining space will include a        table of some sort whether a small bistro set or a large dining table and chairs. If you can      manage a dining set plus some comfy seating as well even better. I’ve always hankered            after a hanging swing chair such as this example from gabrielashome.com

 

 

 

 

  • Grass

For families or dog owners, an area of  lawn for the children or dog to run around on is likely to be essential. Even a small area of grass helps us feel connected to nature, imagine the feeling of walking barefoot on grass. If you are someone who doesn’t have the time or inclination to mow the lawn, there are some great artificial alternatives which can also be practical for families. Artificial turf is also a good choice for courtyards and even balconies because it is low maintenance and practical for a small space but gives that sense of the outdoors if that is what you want.

Image of beautifully mown lawn

 

So spend sometime outside and make the most of your outside space. If you need some help with the interior or exterior of your home call us on 07745 876182 e mail us on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

Selling Your Home – It’s All About the Lifestyle

Image of a coffee cup and saucer with note book and pen next to it

Are you thinking of selling and want to sell quickly or already on the market and not sold? So you are motivated and want to know what you need to do to get that sale?

If you have ever sold property you are probably familiar with the word “feel” or “feeling” either in a positive way or perhaps more commonly as a reason for someone not putting in an offer. So what does this mean?

Obviously, people buy property for different reasons but here we are talking about the typical buyer who is simply looking for a property to live in themselves. For someone to want to buy a property they need to be able to picture themselves living in it with their furniture and living the life they want to lead. For example, they may be a family so they want open plan living where they can all be together, they may want to entertain so they want a big kitchen/ diner or they may want to spend time gardening.

It is commonly thought that it doesn’t really matter what your property looks like because it will be empty when they move in and everyone wants to put their own stamp on a property so it isn’t worth decorating. Whilst that may true for some people it isn’t true for a lot of buyers. Potential purchasers need help to be able to see themselves living in a property. What does this mean for you the seller? Here are a few tips.

  • Clear away clutter – not only will the space feel bigger, buyers will find it easier to picture their furniture in that space.
  • Undertake any necessary repairs – most people don’t want to do work and if they see things that need doing, even minor repairs, they will worry that there may be more serious problems because the impression they have is that the property hasn’t been looked after.
  • Avoid decor that is too individualistic – viewers are likely to struggle to see past what is there. The aim is a property that has personality but is not too personal.
  • Give each room a clearly defined purpose – buyers can be confused if a room appears to have a multitude of functions. In an open plan space, ensure that the space is clearly “zoned” to show the different areas. This includes not leaving rooms empty. The classic example is a bedroom that is used for storage. It may be clear that you can fit a bed in it but still put a bed in it so that buyers understand that it is a bedroom and it also give a sense of what space there is for other items of furniture.
  • Think about those lifestyle aspects referred to above and highlight them. So, for instance, if you are showcasing the family space have a living area, dining area, play area etc and dress the property appropriately.

What you are aiming for is for viewers to walk in to your property and immediately be able to picture themselves at home there.

If you need help creating the right “feel” in your property call 07745 876182 or e mail on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West. 

Estate Agent's Sold sign

Interior Design – Happy Easter!

Coffe-Cup-and-notebook

 

Next weekend is Easter weekend and a time when we typically think about warmer weather, getting out in the garden and maybe even a barbeque although, given the weather so far this year, snow might be more likely! The shops are full of Easter eggs and gifts featuring fluffy chicks and bunnies. The Easter weekend gives us a four day mini break and is often a time for DIY and gardening plus meeting up with friends and family.

So here are just a few ideas for introducing a touch of Easter.

Home Decor

There iImage of wall painted in yellow with duck egg blues nothing like a touch of yellow to brighten up your home. Painting a feature wall in this envigorating colour will bring a smile to your face whatever the weather. Be as bold or subtle as you feel.  Carys (148) from Little Greene is bright and works well with grey. It is shown combined with Airforce Blue (260)

 

Another emblem of Spring are the flowers. The Makros pendant light fitting from Ikea definitely makes a statement  whether in a living room, over a dining table or in a bedroom.                        Image of dandelion head light fitting

Gifts

Cloth paperweight in the shape of a hare Homewares company Sophie Allport has a number of countryside inspired collections.  The hare design features lots of hares racing over a neutral stone coloured background and includes a wide range of gift ideas and homewares. This desk buddy will control your paperwork but equally could work as a fun ornament and makes a non-calorfic alternative to an Easter Egg!

 

Entertaining

We are accustomed to dressing our table for Christmas but in recent years there has been a trend towards marking other festivals including Easter or Halloween for example. If you are having friends or family over for lunch on Easter Sunday then why not make a feature of your table. Although shown as a mantlepiece decoration, this wreath from John Lewis would make an attractive centrepiece and the chicken shaped felt table mats from Laura Ashley are a quirky alternative to more traditional table mats. The mats are part of a range of table wares including more traditional tablemats and coasters and paper napkins.

download (1)                    Chicken shaped place mats       Coaster with chicken design

Whatever your plans this Easter enjoy the break. For advice on all aspects of interior design and staging your home for sale call us on 07745 876182  e mail to info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

Ha0py Easter sign

 

Interior Design – Focus on The Bedroom

Coffe-Cup-and-notebook

 

Good news for all bed lovers – March is National Bed Month – time for a lie in before learning about the importance of a good night’s sleep! Organised by The Sleep Council, the month aims to remind us all of why a sound sleep is good for our health.

Forget the old saying that if “You snooze, you lose.”  It’s thought that a good sleep has amazing properties that make you healthier and happier, and can even add years to your life!

So what type of bedroom do you like and how do you use your bedroom? Are you someone who simply regards the bedroom as a place to sleep or is it a retreat?

Do you Sleek modern looking bedroom in shades of taupego for the modern, minimalist look that is completely free of clutter and distractions such as the television and of course from which all gadgets are banned. We are familiar now with research suggesting that using digital devices close to bedtime and the blue light that such devices emit can be harmful to a good night’s sleep. Such a space allows us to calm our minds before we sleep so that we wake refreshed. Features include sleek shapes and minimal furniture with simple lines.

 

Or do yCosy rustic bedroom in warm colours throws and cushionsou regard our bedroom as your retreat where you can escape the family and be cocooned? This is a space to snuggle up and relax. It is likely to comprise warm colours, a chair for curling up with a book, table lamps for that soft lighting and lots of throws and cushions in different textures (and dare we say the odd furry animal or two!). It may include a television for watching those boxed sets.  The bed is likely to feature a wooden, or maybe iron, bed frame.

 

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Inspired by our love of travel and staycations, the boutique hotel look has become a popular trend. The key to this look is elegance and sophistication. Work in a wow headboard, keep the background neutral but jazz up with an accent colour such as mustard, teal or fuchsia pink, make the most of a bedside table making sure it has at least one drawer to hide the clutter and add a stylish bedside lamp. An ottoman or  chaise at the foot of the bed is a key feature of this look.  If you have the space fall for a four poster, Perhaps the most important aspect of the boutique hotel look is beautiful quality bedlinen, buy the best you can.

 

Sweet Dreams logo

If you need any help creating the perfect bedroom call us on 07745 876182, e mail us on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the contact form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

 

 

 

Selling Your Home – Are Your Viewers Being Honest?

Coffe-Cup-and-notebook

 

Selling your home can be frustrating. The feedback from viewings can be positive but people aren’t offering – why? It’s funny, as a nation we are very polite and don’t like to offend other people. For example, have you ever done the following?

a) Told the hairdresser you are delighted with the new hairstyle only to go straight home and wash it

b) When the waiter asks if you’ve enjoyed your meal reply “yes it was delicious thank you” only to walk out vowing never to return because the food was awful.

c) Receiving a present that isn’t really something you would choose only to tell the giver that it’s just what you wanted.

We have all kept our true thoughts to ourselves at some point because we did not want to upset or offend the person concerned. This is equally true when we view houses especially if the seller is doing the viewing themselves rather than the agent. There are two aspects to this. If the seller shows the viewer round the viewer is likely to make positive comments (which may be perfectly genuine) because they understand that most people are proud of their home and they don’t want to appear to be critical of the home owner or their taste. If there are negative aspects the viewer won’t mention them. When the agent calls the seller to ask how it went the seller will say the viewing went really well and the viewers seemed to like it. The agent rings the viewer only for the viewer to say it wasn’t for them. The viewer may be honest with the agent or even then they may offer some neutral reason for not proceeding such as location, proximity to schools etc.

The other other aspect is that when the seller does the viewing they will be in the back ground and this may inhibit the viewer from discussing possible changes they might make which would then mean the property would work for them. When the agent conducts the viewing the viewer (if a couple or a singleton viewing with a friend/ family member) feel the freedom to talk about changes without fear of upsetting the vendor. A good agent will understand what the viewer is looking for and will be able to help them visualise how the property could work for them. The agent will hopefully get constructive feedback that will help the seller.

Yes a seller may have all the background knowledge but if a viewer has questions the answers can be obtained. What you want is for your viewer to feel comfortable and free to have a discussion and express their true opinion.

If you want to be prepared to sell your home or find out if the presentation is holding back a sale call us in for some advice. Call us on 07745 876182 e mail us at info@homestyle4u.com  or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

Spring Into Spring

Coffe-Cup-and-notebook

 

Friday was Chinese New Year when we welcomed the year of the Dog. One of the traditions associated with the festival is the cleaning of the home. The grounds, the walls, and every corner of the house need to be cleaned. In Chinese, “Dust” is a homophone for the word “old” (Chen), thus cleaning means to drive the bad luck or the old things away from the house to get ready for a new start.

Springtime is traditionally a time when we all have a thorough clean – having been shut in and hunkered down against the weather over the Winter it’s finally time to open the windows and doors and let in some fresh air. Here are our top tips.

  • Clutter

Image of Packing Boxes ready For Moving House

 

The starting point for any cleaning session is decluttering. Not only is this practical because it makes it easier to clean but it also has a psychological impact. Coming into a cluttered space is very draining. Clutter represents something else and reminds you of something you haven’t done, for example, the ironing, dealing with paperwork or even simply that you haven’t put the ironing away. It therefore installs a feeling of failure in you – a reminder of something you haven’t done. It is easy to feel overwhelmed so tackle it in short stretches, perhaps one drawer at a time, just the bills or set the timer on your phone. Make it fun by putting on some upbeat music and reward yourself with a little treat at the end.

  • Be Prepared 

Image of basin filled with cleaning productsThere is nothing more annoying than planning to do your cleaning only to find that you have run out of a product or tool. So a few days before you planned session check that you have everything you need. This might include some new storage containers to use as part of your declutter.

  • Don’t Forget….

Image of a daisy against a blue sky with caption Time For A  Spring CleanThe Spring Clean is the time to tackle those tasks that you wouldn’t necessarily tackle in your normal cleaning routine. In this we would include :-

Lighting fittings – it’s amazing what difference can be made to the effectiveness of your lighting by simply wiping lighting fittings and light bulbs and dusting or wiping shades.

Windows – again cleaning windows inside and out makes a big difference to the amount of light coming in to a room.

Cleaning cupboards – this is a great opportunity to have a clear whether it is out of date food items or unused kitchen gadgets

Carpets, Rugs and Curtains – If carpets are grubby consider hiring a carpet cleaning machine for a day or even a professional carpet cleaning company. Take rugs outside and give them a good beating (and yourself a great workout at the same time!). Take down curtains and shake outdoors or vacuum and have them dry cleaned/ wash as appropriate. It is the perfect time to swap heavy curtains for lighter ones.

Skirtings – an often neglected area. Dust and wipe clean.

It is a good idea to involve the family in the Spring Clean – young children love helping and older children can be responsible for tidying and cleaning their own rooms. So are you ready?

If you need help give us a call on 07745 876182 e mail on info@homestyle4u.com or complete the Enquiry Form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West. 

Trend Alert – Blush Pink

Coffe-Cup-and-notebook

With Valentines Day next week it seems a perfect time to explore the appeal of this colour trend. Pink has been on the radar for a while now – together with Serenity, Rose Quartz was Pantone® colour of the year in 2016. This year there is lot of this colour on the High Street and it remains very popular in interiors.

Blush is a soft warm shade that combines well with neutral, in particular grey but it also looks good with blue. If Rose Quartz and Serenity are too pale for your taste, pair blush with navy for a stronger look. Blush also softens metallics such cooper, brass and gold.

Make blush a feature wall either with paint or wall paper

Dramatic wallpaper with palm leaves against a blush pink background        Blush pink paint

From the Icons Collection the Palm Leaves print is simple yet striking, This bold print adds a wow to any wall. The Alabaster Pink and Mint colour palette provides an update on retro Miami cool and would combine beautifully with Blush 267 paint from Little Greene. This muted, rosy tone would also combine well with dark colours, to create a stronger statement.

Pick a statement item of furniture 

A striking piece of furniture such as a sofa, armchair or footstool is an easy way to introduce a style update.

shopping

We love the retro feel of this Moby two seater sofa from Made.com in Vintage Pink. Upholstered in velvet it has a luxurious feel and the collection includes a chair and footstool.

Lighting is a also a great way to make a statement.

Wire framed Copper pendant light

This Hugo pendant light from My Furniture with its unique industrial pendant lamp will add a modern touch to any space. It combines sleek, warm toned copper finish with black cable and details. It can be hung either on its own, in multiples or with the Nicolas pendant to create a graphic, eye-catching statement. It comes complete with vintage style, exposed filament bulbs. Great for hanging in a kitchen or over a dining table.

Accent Colour 

Just a touch of this shade can soften a room and there are lots of accessories to choose from. here are just a few of our favourites

Modern vibrant bedding in shades of pinkblue and yellow Based on a fabric design in the  Lohko collection from Scion Tetra is an abstract interpretation of a graphic tree printed onto fabric. The colour palette of mint and hessian gives the bedding a fresh feel as Spring approaches. Accesorise with the Papillo Cushion and throw with their ivory scroll pattern with turquoise stitches on a coral base piped with turquoise from Harlequin. Or the sumptuous mohair magnolia and blossom throw from Sanderson

Coral coloured embroidered cushion and throw

Mohair blanket in pink and grey

 

While you might not immediately consider pink in a kitchen, a splashback combining pink and grey tiles will lift a grey scheme. The Ourika tile at Fired Earth is from the Marrakesh range of traditional Arabesque and Mediterranean designs. A hand made, hand decorated, glazed terracotta tile with uneven edges and an undulating surface.

Glazed tile in mediterranean style Image of tiles in kitchen setting

We hope that you have been inspired by this blog. If you would like to update your interior call us on 07745 876182, e mail us at info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

 

Interior Hero – The Console Table

Image of coffee cup and notebook

We love a good console table and feel that it is a bit of an unsung hero when it comes to pieces of furniture. When we are thinking of furnishing our homes we immediately think of the key items such as the sofa, dining table and chairs, bed, wardrobes etc but the console table would make another important addition.

Here are just a few ways in which a console table serves a useful purpose as well as being simply decorative.

  • Hallway – in a hallway a console table can act as a focal point. The console can itself be a stunning feature but add a couple of lamps and position a mirror above and it becomes a centre point for what can be an uninspiring space. We love this Park console from Oka.

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A console can also serve as useful storage in a hallway such as as this Forbell console from jossandmain.com.

Three drawer console table with compartments for storage baskets

  • Living/ Dining Room – in an open plan room a console table can be used to separate living and dining areas and zone the space. Especially if the room is large the console serves to break up the space. This striking steel and composite marble console from Alexander & Pearl would be an imposing addition to either a traditional or modern scheme.

Console table with curved steel base and marble top

  •   Bedroom – In a bedroom a console can function as an alternative to a traditional dressing table particularly where space is more limited. We like this silver mirrored console from Pinkerton Mirrors which has two handy drawers. It would look fabulous paired with the classic Philpe Starck for Kartell Louis Ghost chair available at John Lewis. The effect is simple and light and practical at the same time.

2 Drawer silver mirrored console table                   Louis Ghost chair

 

We hope you have found this useful. For further advice on how to style your home whether for living or for sale contact us on 07745 876182 email to info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

 

Let There Be Light

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How often when you have been looking to move home have you told the estate agent that the property needs to be “light and airy”? It’s a requirement that is on most people’s wish list. Especially at this time of year light is something we all crave. So, if there is an area in your home that feels dark what can you do to to improve the light. First, there are some very simple tips.

  • Never under estimate the impact of decor and lighting. Decorating in light colours and the use of lighting through a combination of ceiling lights, wall lights and table and floor lamps can make a huge difference.
  • Window treatments. Similarly, using light coloured and lightweight fabrics for curtains and blinds can alter the feel of a room. Ensure that the windows are not obscured by having tracks or poles wide enough that they enable curtains to be drawn back fully. Avoid using pelmets or drapes that overhang the window. This maximises the amount of glass through which light can enter.

For more structural options here are a few suggestions.

  • Can windows be replaced with larger ones? Or if the relevant room leads onto a garden, doors whether patio, french or bi-fold will mean extra light. For these options advice will be required on the need for appropriate structural support.
  • Skylights are a very popular option especially with single storey extensions such as for a kitchen/ diner.

Image of open plan kitchen with skylights

 

 

 

 

  • Sun tunnels. Sun tunnels or light tunnels are a great way of introducing light into awkward spaces. They are designed to provide natural light into corridors, stairwells, bathrooms and cupboards, under pitched roofs, where installation of a more traditional roof window is not possible. They use a reflecting tube to direct light to where it is needed.

Before and after images of a light tunnel in a hall

 

  • Glass flooring. If you have a basement one option is to have a glass floor panel or panels. This allows light from the room above to enter the basement. They can be installed internally or externally and for maximum effect are best positioned adjacent to an external light source such as bi fold doors, full length windows or under a roof light.

image of lounge with glass panel in the floor

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever your circumstances there’s a solution to suit. If we can help call us on 07745 876182 e mail info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below.

TAKING THAT FIRST STEP

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Earlier this week I was listening to Chef Tom Kerridge speaking with Chris Evans about his new tv show and book Lose Weight For Good.Image of Tom Kerridge Book Lose Weight For Good

Now you’re probably wondering what on earth this might have to do with interior design or staging your home for sale. Well, in the interview Tom talked about how he had lost 12 stone – almost half his body weight. He was asked how he gone about it and he and Chris discussed how do you approach a task that seems so daunting – where do you start? Tom explained how the most difficult thing is taking that first step, in his case that first visit to the gym. This is a feeling that will be familiar to anyone who has started any diet but it applies to other areas of our lives as well such as changing a career or job – or….moving house.

It struck me as, I was listening to the interview, that when we contemplate moving or even giving our home a bit of a refresh it can seem overwhelming. In the case of moving there a lot of things to think about, choice of estate agent – when to put the house on the market, choosing a solicitor, organising removals etc. Your thoughts might include whether you might need to do some work to the house (will it be worth it?) and if so what should you do?

If you are planning a refresh your home again you are faced with a number of choices. You may be unsure as to what exactly to do, how to plan the layout, what colours to use to decorate and you may be worried about making an expensive mistake.

All of these things may mean that you hold back from taking that first step and ultimately achieving that next stage of your life whatever that may be. To help with these fears and get you started, I offer an initial consultation where we will chat about your plans, what exactly it is that you want to achieve and I will advise on the options available to you. The cost is £150 and this is redeemable against the cost of a future instruction – a detailed report in the case of staging for sale or a mood board for interior design.

Contact me on 07745 876182 via e mail to info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

HOME STAGING – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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So, it’s a New Year and during that well earned Christmas break you have decided that it’s time to move. Having made your decision, you are motivated  and want to get cracking. You are keen to ensure that your property sells quickly and for the best possible price. This is where home staging comes in and here are the three most frequently asked questions

1. What Exactly is Home Staging?

Home staging is the presentation of your property for sale so that it attracts viewings leading to offers and ultimately a sale. Selling your house is a competitive business and you want your property to stand out from the crowd. Most buyers commence their property search online which means that your photos need to be of high quality and the subject matter i.e. what is shown in those photos, needs to look good. Home staging involves considering issues such as repairs, decor, clutter and purpose plus that all important kerb appeal.

2. What Are The Benefits?

Home staging will encourage potential buyers to view and those viewers will have a good experience when they view. People who view will want to offer and are more likely to offer an acceptable figure. Ultimately, the aim is that it will reduce the length of time your property is on the market and enable you you make that all important move.

3. How Much Does It Cost?

I know this is very important. There is no hard and fast rule, it depends on what actions are required. However, as a rough rule of thumb I would recommend investing between 1% and 2% of your selling price. I will always take into account your budget when advising on what you should do. Remember, home staging is an investment and you would hope that the cost would be reflected in an improved asking price.

Collage of images around estate agent's Sold board

For further information e mail info@homestyle4u.com call 07745 876182 or complete the enquiry form below. I look forward to hearing from you

Interior Design Tips – Here Comes Spring!

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The sun finally made an appearance this week and with it a welcome rise in temperatures. With the sight of snowdrops and daffodils in verges and gardens and the clocks going forward next weekend it was possible to believe that Spring is just around the corner.

It might be a little early to turn off the heating but we can certainly think about emerging from hibernation and brightening our homes. There’s nothing like a bit a yellow to lift the spirits so here are a few suggestions as to how to use it in your home.

Yellow cushion with image of two toucan  I love this  toucan cushion from Scion. Not only is it a lovely cheerful yellow but the birds themselves make me smile. I wonder what they are saying to each other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A knitted throw is always an easy and inexpensive way of introducing colour and texture to a scheme. it will also keep you warm if the temperatures drop. This throw from Dunelm has a pom pom trim and also comes with the option of a matching cushion. Perfect for the bedroom or your sofaBed dressed with yellow knitted throw and cushion with pom pom trim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow background fabric with stylistic image of foxglove

This quirky foxglove design fabric in quince colourway is from Missprint. It would make great curtains or cushion covers. For a kitchen, it would look striking as a blind or table runner. The same design also comes as a wallpaper.

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Word art is a simple way to ring the changes, this piece from Next is perfect for a hallway to welcome visitors but would work anywhere in your home

 

 

 

Spring means wildlife and nature and these make make great themes for a freshen up of your decor.

This bee patterned doorstop is part of a range of homewares from designer Sophie Allport and the beehive shape is perfect.                           Beehive shaped doorstop in bee patterned fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My final piece of advice is to add colour with fresh flowers such as daffodils and tulips Jug of Spring flowers

 

If you would like help with refreshening your home for Spring call on 07745 876182 e mail info@homestyle4u.com or complete the contact form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

 

Staging To Sell – Would You View Your Home?

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I watch a lot of property programmes (call it research) including those aimed at selling houses such as House Doctor, Phil Spencer Secret Agent and Selling Homes. The presenter often asks “why do you think your property hasn’t sold?” to which the response comes “I’ve no idea, I just can’t understand it.”  At this point viewers are probably screaming at their television because it’s patently obvious why the property hasn’t sold e.g. the place is a tip, the decor is dreadful, there are unfinished DIY jobs etc. Sometimes the home owner is aware that there are problems and is then asked “in that case why haven’t you done X, Y or Z?”

An explanation that home owners frequently give in this situation is that whoever buys the property is going to want to do their own thing so there’s no point.  My observations on that are:-

  • There is no excuse for not tidying up and cleaning.
  • Yes the buyers may wish to put their own stamp on a property but in most cases they will intend to live in the property while they make any changes so they want to feel that they can move in and live in the property in the meantime. A clean property that has been given a fresh coat of paint and maybe a new carpet gives that feeling.
  • Unfinished jobs, even minor ones, cause lead buyers to worry that there are more serious problems to be discovered and put them off.

Often very simple, and inexpensive changes can make a big difference to the appeal of your property making it easier to sell and achieving a better selling price. Our advice service is a cost effective way of learning exactly what you need to do, read more HERE.

 

 

So if you are thinking of selling, or have been on the market for a while but not sold – ask yourself the question “If I was looking to move would I view my home?” and give an honest answer. If you need help call on 07745 876182 e mail us at info@homestyle4u.com   or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

Interior Design – The Role of the Interior Designer

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I recently enjoyed watching The Great Interior Design Challenge  on BBC Two. Some of the episodes got me thinking about the perennial question – to what extent should the designer take on board his or her client’s views? Some of the candidates in the series were totally committed to their design whereas others seemed more open to adapting their design to take account of the client’s feedback.

The process begins with the client’s Brief . The designer needs to listen to the client and understand their wishes. They then need to interpret the Brief and they will bring their design influences and style to their design. The designer then presents their design to the client. As the series demonstrates, the presentation is a very important element of the process and the candidates were judged on their presentation skills.

What was interesting was to see how the different candidates dealt with the feedback from the client and how they handled and any objections. Should the designer stick with their original design or should they make the changes that the client asks for even when they believe that it will undermine the finished result?

For me, communication skills are vital. The designer needs to establish a rapport with the client, demonstrate that they have listened to and understood the client and built up trust. The designer needs to have confidence in their design and be able to communicate that confidence – “trust me, I know what I am doing and I believe that you will love the finished result.” If the client insists that they do not want an element of the design is there a way of taking on board the client’s concerns without spoiling the vision?

At one extreme the designer can say “this is my style this is my design” and at the other the designer can accommodate all the client’s views. I certainly believe that a good designer should take the client out of his or her comfort zone, part of the role is to come up with ideas that the client would have thought of themselves but at the end of the day you want the client to have a room that they love. What would you want if you employed an Interior Designer?

The Great Interior Design Challenge

If you are looking for Interior Design inspiration call now on 07745 876172 email at info@homestyle4u.com or complete the Enquiry Form below. We cover Cheshire & the North West.

NEW YEAR – NEW HOME?

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Well Christmas and New Year are behind us and perhaps moving house is among your plans for 2017. If so you might be wondering whether now is a good time to put your house on the market or should you wait until the Spring? I say go for it and here’s why.

1. The whole process of moving has changed. Whereas previously it might have been the case that there were certain times of year when the market was quiet, these days that is less the case. In part this is because people are more mobile in terms of changing jobs and more willing to re-locate for work. House hunting has been made much easier thanks to the internet so it is easier for people to do their research. Generally society is faster paced.

2. If it is the case that there are fewer properties launching at this time of the year, then that is a great opportunity to steal a march on your neighbours because lower supply increases your chances of selling.

3. It is certainly true that the weather can be less conducive to out viewing but this can mean that those who are out viewing are serious about buying.

All this means that now is great time to sell. Make the most of the opportunity by making sure that your property is presented to its best. Our home staging service gives you the tools to do just this. Click on the link to read more.

Call now on 07745 876182 email info@homestyle4u.com or complete the contact form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West

 

 

SELLING YOUR HOME – DO YOUR NEED HELP?

SELLING YOUR HOME – DO YOUR NEED HELP?

When we sell we all want to maximise our selling price and usually sell as quickly as possible. Our home is our biggest asset so it makes sense to maximise its potential. Presenting your home to its best advantage is key to achieving these objectives. However, sometimes we get a bit lost when it comes to presentation. Here are two common scenarios.

You may be aware that presentation is important or even know that your home isn’t looking its best, but aren’t sure what you need to do. Perhaps you have painted everything magnolia as you have heard that your decor should be neutral.

Your home has been on the market for a while but not attracted many viewings or any offers and you may be scratching your head as to why this is. In this scenario, presentation could be an issue but you aren’t aware of it. This often happens because we like our homes, they are decorated to our taste and laid out to suit or lives. The problem is that your taste and your lifestyle might not be the same as that of your potential buyers.

In each of these situations our advice service is a cost effective option giving you the tools to do what you need to do.

Our verbal advice option involves a visit to your home with room by room analysis of any issues and solutions. This includes the exterior spaces of the property. We go round together and you make notes which you then implement. This costs £250.

Our written advice option is an extension of the verbal option and has the addition of a written report detailing the room by room analysis and solutions. This costs £400.

So if you are someone who is pro active and happy to get stuck in these are the perfect solution.

Ring now on 07745 876182 to book a consultation. Alternatively, e mail info@homestyle4u.com or complete the enquiry form below. We cover Cheshire and the North West.

 

 

 

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