How to Design a Classic Vintage Living Room

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When you get the opportunity to renovate your living room, the possibilities of what you can create are seemingly endless. Flicking through interior design magazines or scrolling through social sites and blog posts, you’re bound to see all of the latest and greatest features and furnishings that are on trend right now. However, these styles come and go so often that within a month a whole new look will be spread across every page, so taking inspiration from elsewhere might be a better option for something that remains timeless. Sticking to a classic theme with some unique vintage touches will allow you to ensure that your room never feels outdated for the wrong reasons, and can stay in fashion through every shifting season. A classic look is perfect for any homeowner, from families with children to think about to younger residents with entertainment in mind, so read on to discover how you can design the perfect living room with ease.

The Walls & Floor

The main focal point of your living room when you enter will be the walls and floor. In a typical classic style, going for natural materials and autumnal colours seems to create he beat warm atmosphere to create a strong base for the rest of your design. Wood creates the perfect foundation, as you can choose any kind of shade or tone to suit your preference whilst still maintains a more rustic feel. A rug will tie the whole room together, and a Persian imitation should definitely be considered in order to achieve that perfect classic vintage look. If you would prefer a carpet of some kind to create a softer surface for little feet, opt for a simple shade without an overwhelming pattern to ensure you don’t try to include too much and make the room feel cluttered when you add other accessories. When it comes to the walls, choose a light but warm tone - always avoid going for white. White walls can create such a cold and uninviting atmosphere, so staying away from this will help you achieve the feel you want. Think about what you might want to add to your walls in the future, and factor this into your design now to ensure that it all fits together aesthetically when you continue decorating in the future. Always use a very good quality paint brand, and test the various colours out before committing to any of them. There’s nothing worse than beginning to despise the colour after a few months or start to see problems or poor quality features, as you will just end up spending more money in the long run whilst trying to fix everything and make it more palatable.


Choosing Furniture & Decor 

Finding the right pieces for the actual content of your living room can be an absolute minefield with the sheer volume of different things on offer. When it comes to choosing the right seating you will most definitely be faced with a wide array of choices, but opting for luxurious leather sofas is the best decision you can make to tie in with the classic vintage style. Your couch is the most used item in you living room without a doubt, so investing in one that is both aesthetically pleasing and also wonderfully comfortable is a must. If you want to upgrade your relaxation and take it to the next level, be sure to purchase a matching footstool to take the weight off after a long day. If you share your home with your family, it might be an idea to get some soft throws and cushions to add to the sofa during the winter months to keep your little ones warm and cosy as they should be. Another key feature of your decor is the light fittings, as they can really impact upon the overall vibe of your room. For the light bulb itself, avoid super bright LEDs and opt for a softer, more orange alternative. Lamps, shades and chandeliers can all be found in vintage forms, and having a few unique bursts of brightness can make a great addition to any classic space. Add to the individuality by hanging different pictures and pieces of art on the walls, surrounding them with ornate frames in regal colours like gold and deep red. Try to keep to a maximum of 4 differing colours in your living room, as any more than this can cause the space to become too hectic and disorderly. Include any other accessories you want to spruce the place up, and visit local charity shops and car boot sales to find some vintage gems, as you are unlikely to ever see the same decoration twice and get it for a great price too. Try bringing the outside in with some potted house plants, or test your horticultural skills by growing a bonsai tree that will add an amazing finishing touch to your living room.

Designing a classic vintage living room that you and your family will be able to utilise and appreciate for years to come shouldn’t be as difficult as you may seem. By following the steps above and using your own creative flare, you can work to create a feeling of luxury in your home in no time at all, and easily achieve that all important final product of a unique and beautiful lounge. Steer clear or bright and garish colours as much as possible, instead opting for a couple of key colours and experimenting with their different tones. Classic rooms tend to lack an excess of clutter, so stick with a few main pieces that tie the room together and look great while doing so. Use your own imagination and requirements to mould your space into the best it can be, and don't be afraid to go bold with art work and other wall hangings. With all of the bases covered, you will be able to create an amazing room at top speed with the passion and drive needed to pull the design off properly.

Do you prefer vintage or modern styles?

Small Bathroom Design Ideas

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You might have seen if you follow me on Instagram that I absolutely hate my bathroom and it would absolutely be the first place I would renovate because it's really small and I made some bad choices when I first bought my house as a new build. The bathroom should be a part of the house which we all enjoy using at the end of a long day to wash off and relax after the stresses of life. It is also one of the rooms in the house which is often forgotten about and taken for granted and this can sometimes cause us to end up with a boring and dull room with no life or style (which is exactly what's happened to me!)

So here are a few things that I'd love to be able to do to turn my bathroom into somewhere I love rather than loath! Having a small bathroom can be difficult to work with but here are a few tips that can help you design yours into a space you love:



Use a shower curtain

My bathroom is small and one thing I have noticed has made quite a small but significant difference is a change of shower curtain; I did have a Primark one but I recently changed to this grey one and I much prefer it - a slight change in colour has made a really difference to the whole look of the room. In my opinion, they're also much easier to keep clean than a glass screen!

Under sink storage

In a small bathroom it's all about making the most of the space you have so using under the sink to put a little cupboard it the perfect place because it would be otherwise unused space. I got mine from Argos but you can also get them from places like B&M - just make sure you know your measurements!

Integrate the toilet 

One of the ugliest elements you can have in the bathroom is the pipes which come from underneath and behind the toilet. These pipes can build up with dust very quickly and they make the space look clunky and unfinished. This is why many modern bathroom designs have a feature which integrates the toilet into a small cabinet so that the pipes are hidden and all you can see is the basin. This makes the bathroom look so much better and it will also make cleaning a hell of a lot simpler too.

Use huge tiles 

The tiles are my real bugbear in my bathroom I should have had a totally different colour and style. When tiling the bathroom the best thing you can do to make it feel expensive and luxurious is to use the biggest tiles you can find. Big tiles will not only take less time for you to fit onto the wall but because they are vast it will give your walls the illusion that it is a never-ending pattern which can make it feel much more expensive than it really is. For a bit of fun, you can add a darker toned tile to the bottom third of the wall and white above for a two-toned effect which will look stunning.

Use mirrors

Mirrors have to be the best use of your space in the bathroom if you want your room to look modern and vast. A mirror is an ideal way to bring in the illusion of space as well as to fill a blank space on the wall. It is always a great option for this room because you will be able to reflect light from outside and this will illuminate the whole room.

Add pops of colour 

The best thing you can buy for your bathroom is some wholesale bath towels from Richard Haworth in bold colours. Whether you have a white, black or neutral bathroom, a pop of colour is incredibly important and can breathe life into the room. For example, if you have a white and light brown bathroom you can add some yellow or orange tiles to the bathroom to add character and fun to the space.

Think copper

How can you make any bathroom look modern and contemporary in an instant? Add copper to the room. Whether you choose to add copper taps and towel rails, copper accessories or a copper bath (which is the absolute dream for me!!)… this will add some amazing depth and class to the space. Copper is a colour which is associated with class and luxury so adding this into your bathroom this year can be the perfect way to bring your room into the 21st century and make it feel like a spa from heaven. It will be the best decision you make for the bathroom this year!

9 Summer Wardrobe Essentials

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With summer just around the corner (well, I hope it is anyway!!), we’re all beginning to think about all the fun we’re going to have. There will hopefully be trips overseas, road trips with friends, and lazy afternoon BBQs with the extended family. Really, is there a better time of year?! And with the weather so fine and everyone looking so tanned, you better believe that pictures will be taken left, right, and centre. As such, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that you look your best! This can prove a little bit trick during the summer, when it’s oh so bright, there are a million and one social events, and we don’t have a big coat to hide behind, like we do in winter.

If you’ve got the right clothing in your wardrobe, however, you’ll always be able to look the part, no matter what the equation. Below, we take a look at some of the tried and tested essentials that every female needs to have in their locker.

The Go-To Plain T-Shirt

Now, this might not be the most exciting item in the summer wardrobe, but that’s essentially the point. A high-quality, plain white t-shirt can be worn with anything, and also again and again without people beginning to ask “why do you wear that t-shirt all the time?” Keep in mind that the emphasis should be on high-quality. There’s a subtle but obvious difference between low and high-quality t-shirts. The versatility is this option’s greatest strength. When you don’t know what to wear, you’ll have a go-to option just sitting there.

Funky Designs

Though of course, let’s not forget that summer is a time for fun and colour, and all those other things that make the season so enjoyable. As such, you’ll want to invest in a few more funky t-shirts. These can have logos, bright colours, or just in some other way be unique. It is recommended that you take the unique angle though -- you’ll get more positive reactions if you have a t-shirt that no-one has really seen before.

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Source: www.cavells.co.uk

Denim Everywhere

Denim is your friend in the summer. It can serve multiple purposes. First, let’s think about the denim jacket, which is an essential item for the summer. Whatever you’re wearing, you can throw a denim jacket on top, and take your look to the next level. Another denim option is the jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are making a comeback in a big way, and with good reason -- they offer a little bit of everything, all rolled up into one neat package. They’re especially recommended during the summer because they keep you warm, but not so warm. They’re the perfect, stylish option for those hot, but not quite baking, days. 

For Those Chilly Evenings

Even on those baking days (which we’re hopeful we’ll at least get a few days of), it’s always important to remember that things can change a lot when the sun goes down. When it does, you might find that the fun summer’s day outfit you were wearing is no longer doing the trick. When that happens, you’ll be grateful that you invested in a warm sweater. The trick is to find something that’s thick enough to take the chill out of the night, thin enough that you don’t end up too hot. Indeed, this is one item where it’s wise to have a couple of options -- plus, it’s also nice being able to offer one to a friend who’s cold when they’re around at your place. 

Light Footwear

When the weather is oh so warm, you’ll want to be able to just put on a quick outfit, and get out and enjoy the sunshine. At least, there’s usually one aspect that can undo all the good work you’ve put into your outfits: the footwear. You simply can’t keep the same shoes you’ve been wearing throughout the winter and spring. They’ll be too clunky to be worn with shorts, or too warm. As such, take a look at investing in some light footwear options. It’s well worth buying some light, high-quality sandals, or some light sneakers. They’ll go with everything and will be a God-send when the sun is shining.

White Trainers

While we talk about light shoes, it’s worth noting that one of the biggest footwear trends isn’t light at all: indeed, they’re anything but cool. White trainers have become all the rage, and can be worn with skirts, dresses, shorts -- all your summer outfits, essentially. Plus, they’re comfortable, so they’re especially great if you like exploring during the summer months.

Beach Dresses

There’s nothing better than a trip to the beach, is there? Even in the UK, the beaches can get pretty busy on those warm summer days. And then there’s the matter of those journey to the best beaches in Europe, which you’ll hopefully get to experience this summer. When you’re there, you’ll want to be weight some light and airy, something that’ll invite those cool summer breezes. This is where the beach dress or maxi dress come into their own. They allow you to get into that easy summer vibe, they’ll keep you cool, and they’ll protect large areas of your skin from the sun. It’s win-win-win. 

Accessories

Because we’re showing so much skin during the summer months, we have so many opportunities for accessories. In your wardrobe, you’ll want to have options such as bracelets, necklaces, summer watches, and a hat. Or rather, multiple versions of all of these options. For your hats, it’s all about mixing style with practicality.

Everyday Sunglasses

And finally, let’s not forget those sunglasses. These are really important when it comes to protecting your eyes, but they can also be a fashion statement. Like your other accessories, it’s recommended that you have multiple pairs -- the classy ones, the beach ones, the ones you don’t mind losing. The most important pair in your locker will be the everyday glasses, however, the pair that you put on every day. They’ll be with you all along the crazy and fun ride that is summer. 

What to Consider Before Buying Your Forever Home

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A few weeks ago, Kev moved in with me after being together for just under two years; everyone else said it was a huge step to take but to me, it was just 'natural progression' - I'd never put pressure on him to make the move or anything like that, I was quite happy to move at his pace but I know that it's not always as plain sailing as it seems to have been for us. Obviously I've got my own house that I bought as a first timer buyer 18 months ago so the house we moved into wasn't in the equation. However, I've always said from day one of buying this house that it's not a 'forever home' and we're both keen to find something else when the time is right.

We've done some property searches and sorted our 'non-negotiables' such as the kind of area we want (and don't want!) to be in, having at least 3 bedrooms, a decent garden etc. but it's so difficult to find that perfect property and waiting for the 'right' one to come up can be so frustrating if you're not careful. We've both said that we need to be as relaxed as possible about it otherwise what should be quite an exciting time could turn into an unnecessarily stressful time.

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Be Patient!

To be honest, when you've got your heart set on something the last thing you want to be is patient but unfortunately, the property market is a dynamic and unpredictable force, especially as a buyer. There's so many things to consider when buying a new property and we both know that we need to remain calm and collected during this process. There is every chance we will have our heart set on a property only for it to fall through due to miscommunication from the sellers. There’s a chance that you’ll be at the final stage of the process only to reveal in your house inspections that thousands of pounds worth of damp damage occupies the bathroom, and was somehow hidden expertly during your viewings. Obviously these would be unfortunately if they were to happen but it's important to appreciate that, especially if you and the other buy is in a chain, they can happen.

Be Realistic

There’s a careful tight-rope walk we have to balance ourselves to complete when searching for a property. On one hand, you’re looking to the future. For that, we'll naturally be searching for the best and most idealistic property and lifestyle we can hope for within our budget. This can help identify the good properties, and also fight for the things that we truly want, such as going to the highest end of your budget to secure a house you love. But at the same time, despite this idealism, we know we need to remain incredibly realistic. For us, a property at the top end of our budget would need to have the perfect kitchen and bathroom because they'd be the things that we would need to spend money on if they weren't right.

A property that needs a lot of work doing to it isn't our idea of a perfect property, although we can see potential in some of the most beautiful renovation projects the hours we work are too long to consider coming home to a building site for a length of time when we move into the house. Any new home is a project to an extent which does take work to get it where you want it so this is definitely something we will be considering when we buy our home together.

Know what you want

As I mentioned before, we already have ideas of our non-negotiables which can make house hunting much easier in terms of excluding the properties that you know you definitely don't want. But it's also worth considering what you don't mind compromising on. For example, you might be more willing to accept a driveway in deep need of repair if the kitchen is spacious and has great natural lighting and ventilation. This is where writing a list of your most important priorities, your ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-likes’ can be a great idea.

On the flip side, it might be worth considering a new build which tends to be a more custom solution with extras and additions that you can choose to suit your needs. Professional home builders such as Redrow can potentially offer you this, with new builds and design services to truly help you find the best of the best within your budget.

What Does it Take to Move Across the World?

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We all want to explore the world in our own little ways. We want to see what’s out there, bask in the sun of the warmest countries in the world, and walk through forests and up mountains we’d never ever see back home. It’s a big and beautiful place that us human beings call home, and there’s a lot more than just your own neighbourhood for you to absorb!

But when it comes to falling in love with your wanderlust, a lot of us want to relocate permanently. We want to wake up in another country, and go to bed on a timezone different from our own. We want to experience life from another angle, and get to know the climate and culture that’s often opposite to what we grew up with. We want to make friends and settle down on new soil, and most of us can’t afford to take the regular holidays that would enable us to do that!

Moving across the world is going to take a lot of preparation, but you already knew that, didn’t you? You just need to know where to start and what to prioritise during these initial planning stages; moving house within your own country is expensive enough, so you cannot afford to make mistakes when uprooting on an international scale!

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(My personal dream move would be to Florida)

First of All, Make Sure You Can Afford To!

It might break your heart a little to learn that you’re not yet in a position where you can afford to move across the globe, but it’s going to be a necessary step in your moving plans. After all, money is everything when it comes to an opportunity like this, and if you’re not moving for work and having most of your expenses covered by the company, you’ve got an almighty bill to foot all by yourself.

Not to mention what it’s going to cost you to buy or rent accommodation whilst you’re out there. No matter where in the world that you go, you’re going to need to fork out for shelter. It’s a human necessity for a comfortable and healthy life, but it does cost the bulk of your finances in the long run. Of course, it’s going to be a lot cheaper in some countries and a lot more expensive in others, so the budget you’ll have to work with ultimately depends on where you’re dreaming of settling down.

So make sure you use something like the loan calculator propertyguru before you make any concrete plans. This is mostly for those of us who want to move out to another country and have our own house to live in whilst we’re there; you’re still going to need a mortgage to be able to afford this privilege.

Knowing what you’re likely to be able to borrow, stacked up against the cost of the house you’ve got your eye on, means you’re in a better position to get pre approved for an overseas mortgage. You might be able to get it from a bank where you currently live, or you might be able to look to a bank abroad - check the rates of each option and see which one would be more practical for you.

Then You Need to Find Yourself a Home

And get it locked down, before you do anything else; it’s definitely not worth it to actually move halfway across the globe only to find out the apartment you thought you paid 6 months upfront rent for has been passed on to someone else. Because once you know for sure that you’ve got somewhere to live, and that you can move in straight away, and that all your facilities and amenities are going to be present and usable, you’re going to be just fine in your new home country.

After all, when you have a shelter, it’s likely you’ve got clean water to drink and wash with, and you’ve got a reliable source of food nearby… a.k.a., you’re in a neighbourhood not far from a supermarket, and you’ve already got an account with a water company to rely on. It’s a lot easier to use normal utilities like these, as an expatriate, than to collect river or rain water and boil it constantly.

Know Where to Find Medical Aid

Next up is settling down in an area with hospitals, pharmacies, regular drug stores, and any other kind of medical amenity nearby. If you’re going to be moving across the world, your healthcare should be of utmost importance - you’re going to need to know who to call, what times these services are open, if they ever close, and if you’ll have reliable and safe access to them.

Ask yourself these questions before you think about putting down a deposit: Is the healthcare free or publicly funded, or will you have to pay for it via the use of insurance? Is there a non-emergency phone number to call when you don’t need to go to the hospital? How far out is the home you’re looking at from the nearest medical centre?

And Keep Your Luggage Light Too

If you’ve finally made up your mind, and you know you have the funds to afford it, feel free to take the leap and move across the world to a new home! But make sure you’re packing light as you go; you don’t want to be lugging around three suitcases onto multiple long haul flights, and then have to pay for a bigger taxi or rental car to transport everything you have with you once you touch down.

So only take what cannot be easily replaced once you touch down. Special clothes and outfits that were part of a limited run, necessary medications you’ll need to register and put a prescription in for, your glasses or contacts etc. Fill up your suitcase with items like these and you’ll probably not even need to pay airline fees!

Moving across the world takes a lot of courage, and a lot of practical thinking!