Interior Design

Shaking up the Property Market

Property MarketEarthquakes in the UK are fairly rare, certainly ones that make the doors rattle. There was one that did recently though. It was centred near the Channel Islands, according to the British Geological Survey which is based in Exeter and monitors such things, and it was the largest for decades, measuring 4.6. There was no real damage done even though the tremors were felt throughout the Channel Islands and counties in the South West. A little rattling causes no permanent damage.

Building standards
Quakes of this strength do not cause the structural damage that sometimes occurs in other parts of the world. The quality of building perhaps plays a small part in that. Certainly the standards in the UK are high. The industry is happy to be back in full swing after a few difficult years. There are both residential projects and commercial developments underway once again.

Even speculative developments are going ahead once more. One such development close to the Geological Survey Station in Exeter will provide 5,600 square feet of office space on two floors at Woodbury Business Park.

There are several local companies well equipped and able to supply and build it, and demand for the offices is looking good. The success of such developments will certainly lead to more in the future and that adds up to increasing employment opportunities. That in turn will increase the demand for housing.

The growth in residential property prices is also a good reason for people to make further investment in their houses. It is often cheaper to expand their existing homes as long as they have enough land rather than pay all the costs of moving house to get more space.

An extension taking up some of the garden can actually add to your enjoyment of your property. You can get more natural light into your house by talking to companies that can supply modern doors and windows. Perhaps installing French doors in Exeter, so you can walk out of your extension into the garden while allowing more daylight to enter your home, might be an attractive idea.

There has been a temporary relaxation of planning regulations that may even mean there is less bureaucracy involved if you want to proceed. You will still need to get proper plans drawn up and comply with building regulations. Extensions will certainly add to the value of any property if they use quality materials and the work is done by a reputable builder. That applies to every region in the country. The doors may still rattle if an earthquake comes along but it will be a purely temporary phenomenon. In contrast, the increased value of your home after the work is done should be permanent.

Carpet Repair Can Do Wonders

Carpet RepairWhich actor was it that said he always avoided working with children and animals? They can be wonderful but they occasionally cause problems. If you have children or pets then it is a brave decision to have expensive carpets, even braver if they are light in colour. Accidents of course happen and anyone can spill a drink or knock something over. Children may also cause damage simply because they know no better. They don’t intend to spill paint on the carpet and it can happen even if you have put plenty of paper down as protection. Cats and dogs likewise, because they see carpeting as something to play with, to scratch or chew. Dogs dig by nature, cats keep their claws sharp. They are not to know that your carpet is not there for their purposes.

Fitted but not insured?
Most people have fitted carpets in the UK. It adds to the warmth in the house. It can pay to keep some surplus carpeting in a cupboard just in case. Some accidents can be simply wiped clean, especially if they are attended to immediately. Others may need some expertise to restore the carpet to your satisfaction, especially if you have perhaps dropped a hot iron and it has burnt the carpet.

Carpets are often a specific exclusion from a household insurance policy. It is something that has been done for a reason and that is the frequency of accidents. Even if you have insurance for your carpets you are likely to find a big excess and it will get bigger if you make a claim. Repair is a better option than looking for replacement if it is at all possible.

Commercial carpets
There are commercial premises where the potential problem is just as acute. A hotel or departmental store will have huge areas that are carpeted and need to be kept in good condition. It means that they need to buy quality in the first place, carpets that will be able to take plenty of traffic on a daily basis and do so over a long period of time. Plenty of traffic can add up to plenty of potential for damage. The public’s reaction to something that is not up to scratch can have serious commercial consequences.

Cost effective
In all these cases, repair is only cost effective if you can find someone with the skill to do it properly. Companies like have built up a reputation because they have tackled seemingly difficult problems and come up with solutions. It costs nothing to look to a quality repair company initially to see what it suggests can be done. If the damage is irreparable, then nothing is lost except a few hours of time. It is important not to look at something and think repairs are impossible. If you do have a problem, it is far better to ask the experts before you do anything else. You might be very pleasantly surprised.

Pragmatic Choices Define your Style

Interior FurnishingThe key to building a successful interior is to invest in the right pieces of furniture, and have fun with seasonal accessories. There is a useful calculation that will help you to decide when to save, and when to splurge – and it is known as the cost per use.

Essentially it works along the same principle of ‘cost per wear’ that French women famously apply to their wardrobes. Quality foundation garments that are cared for and worn regularly necessitate initial investment in the right cut and quality. This is where stylish women will direct their larger budgets – often buying designer clothes that will last the test of time. Fashion and trend led items such as accessories or seasonal wear, will only be worn a few times. Their cost per wear becomes more expensive therefore, and potentially less worth investing heavily in.

The cost per use principle
With your interiors, you can also apply the cost per use principle as per this item at Life Hacker. If, for example you are going to buy a new sofa, you could buy a cheap one that will only last for a year before looking tired and worn. By dividing the cost over the number of days in that year, tells you how much it would cost to sit and use that sofa each day. You could also look at a really high quality sofa that would last you and look beautiful for over ten years. Divide the cost by the number of days in this longer time period, and you may be surprised to find that the cost of use is actually far lower.

Sensible investment decisions
This is a powerful calculation that will help you to view your spending in a more meaningful way, by assigning cost over its useful period. This is similar to the calculations used in business and industry for investment pieces, and it can help you with decision making. Often, with a foundation piece of furniture such as a sofa, it is well worth investing in a beautiful, timeless and well made piece. Consider leather sofas for example. Good quality leather sofas actually look better with age, and will develop a beautiful patina that looks very expensive and cherished. Cheap leather sofas will lack the craftsmanship and materials that continue to look and feel good. A sofa really is a good investment piece for the future, and you can base your entire interior living space around the right piece. Look for inspiration from specialist showrooms and speak to staff at Forrest Furnishing for tips and advice.

Assessing fast fashion purchases
The calculation also works well when assessing fast fashion pieces which may initially seem to be quite well priced. If you think you will only use a cushion or vase for a short season, you may re-calculate your budget spend differently after applying the cost per use principle. Luckily there are some superb ranges of brilliantly priced and high trend interior brands on the high street, including the spin off ranges from supermarkets. This is where you can have fun picking up the latest styles, trends, motifs and colours for very little money and apply them to towels, vases, picture frames, candles and other accessories that can be used to regularly refresh and revive your living space.

A Home with a Beautiful Floor- Opt For Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is an excellent choice for flooring, though it may not be your first choice when looking at flooring options. This is simply because bamboo is not quite as popular as other flooring materials, though it’s hard to see why: bamboo is eco-friendly, it renews itself automatically and takes only three years to reach its full growth, and it’s also incredibly insulating. But while bamboo flooring may look and feel like wood, and require some of the same tools and installation procedures, bamboo is in fact actually a grass. And, it’s one of the fastest-growing grasses on the planet, with most bamboo originating in Asia and other warm-climate areas.

To become flooring, bamboo must first be harvested. Harvesting involves cutting bamboo to the root, then taking the slices and slicing them lengthwise into flat planks. If left alone, the planks will retain their natural blonde color, which will also show off the bamboo’s fibers’ growth patterns. But the planks can be boiled to deepen the bamboo’s color to a rich red amber. Or, you can take your pick of stains to create a custom look for your bamboo that is customized specifically for your needs. Once your bamboo flooring has your desired color, it can be installed, and then you can add area carpeting and throw rugs to create the perfect look for your living spaces.

Are you still on the fence about bamboo flooring? Consider these bamboo flooring facts:

Bamboo flooring can easily hold up to years worth of abuse doled out by heavy foot traffic, children, and pets. Bamboo flooring durability is always a big selling point for this particular natural material. You won’t have to worry about scuffs, abrasions, or dents; and you won’t have to handle your bamboo flooring with kid gloves as you’d have to hardwood flooring.
Bamboo flooring is an excellent insulator! If you want to reduce your heating and cooling costs, install bamboo in at least the larger rooms of your home. Combined with energy-efficient, double-seal windows and doors, and energy-efficient thermostats, you’ll notice a decrease in home heating and cooling costs.

Thermal Curtains and The Benefits

marburn1When it comes to curtains, you can opt for a simple option that just blocks out the light and looks stylish or go with an option that provides additional benefits when compared to the traditional options. Thermal curtains are a great choice as they can help provide insulation and range of other benefits for your home, making you more comfortable.

The main benefit you will notice by selecting thermal curtains is their amazing insulation properties. Most of these curtains will contain a foam backing that is thermal as well as some combination of cotton and polyester. This combination of backing and material means that your home will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer due to the added insulation.

Saves Money
In addition to helping you stay more comfortable all year round, thermal curtains can also help you save a great deal of money due to the added insulation they provide. Because they help keep your home cool during the warm months and warm during the cool months, you won’t have to rely on your heating and air conditioning as much. This in turn allows you to save money on your monthly electricity bill as well as maintenance costs for these temperature regulating systems.

A lot of people are concerned that any product such as thermal window hangings that is able to increase your comfort and money savings would be expensive. The good news is that you can actually find thermal options for around the same price as traditional curtains. Even if they are slightly more expensive, you will probably more than make up for the price difference within a year or so.

Block Noise
Insulated curtains are not only great at helping regulate the temperature in your home; they can also block out noise. This means that if you live in a noisy area, they can be a great way to block out the commotion outside. In addition, their noise blocking properties make them ideal for a child’s room if you want to make sure they don’t wake up in the middle of the night due to outside noises.

Colors And Patterns
Some people are concerned that because they are thicker thermal curtains will only be available in boring colors and no patterns at all. In reality, however, there are just as many choices when it comes to these curtains as there are with traditional, thin options. The only thing to remember, however, is that in order to control the temperature and block out noise, they are thick so you won’t have options such as curtains made entirely of lace.