Designing Bathroom Suites in Small Bathrooms

beautiful-designing-bathrooms-2-photo

It’s true what they say…. when you own a house, you will always have something to do, repairs, renovations and improvements. Now it’s time for the downstairs cloakroom/toilet.

Being a small room, it needs to be well planned and smaller than normal fittings installed. Luckily one of my friends friends friends has a bathroom and wet room design and installation business, so I called him in for advice and a quote.

The thought of a bathroom suite to many people often invokes thoughts of wide, luxurious rooms with many fixtures, deep tubs and all types of accessories. But having a smaller bathroom doesn’t imply that you should forget about the comforts a bathroom suite has to offer. Today, there are tons of ways to maximize the little space you have to create a relaxing and appealing bathroom.

You might want to take a look at some of these ways which clearly show how you can fit bathroom suites into your small fitted bathroom.
Replacing your tub with a walk-in shower

Here’s an easy way you can streamline your fitted bathroom while giving it a touch of style and luxury. Walk-in showers have gained popularity as fixtures of modern bathroom suites for a number of reasons. To begin with, they only need a fraction of the space initially taken up a traditional tub and shower combination. In addition, they are safer and convenient for older people and those with conditions that seem to make it difficult to either climb in or out of a tub. Also, they are very easy to maintain.

Wall-mounted sinks

Wall-mounted sinks are yet another attractive feature of bathroom suites that seems to work fine in small spaces. If your fitted bathroom seems to be lacking space for cabinets or a vanity counter, this particular option will do just as fine. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can opt for a round, soft, sharp or square one. Pedestal sinks also work fine just like wall-mounted sinks.

Besides these two, here are also other ways you can save space in a main bathroom.

• Cloakroom suites- If you main bathroom is quite small, you might want to consider cloakroom suites. Cloakroom suites are specifically designed for small spaces.

• Vanity units with built-in sinks and toilets- If you seem to have plenty of items that need to be hidden away, then you can use vanity units with built in sinks and toilets. They are a great option when you need to save space and will also give a lovely look to your fitted bathroom.

bathroom-designing• Shower baths- It’s safe to say that every small bathroom needs shower baths. Shower baths are basically any bath with a shower fitted over it. Shower baths have plenty of space and they widen out at one end to offer you a spacious showering area. There are various shapes to choose from, from L-shaped, p-shaped or corner bath. Corner baths, besides being able to save space, also look stylish in any fitted bathroom.

Generally, there are multiple bathroom suites you can always choose from to suit your style, taste, and preferences.

Other few sections you might also have to consider include:

• Wall fixtures- note that free standing unit take up so much space as opposed to wall fixtures.
• Huge mirrors will reflect light and even make the room to look quite bigger.
With all these many bathroom suites, one needs not to worry about having a small fitted bathroom. Everything you need to transform it and make it look luxurious, stylish, and comfortable is right here before you. All you have to do is put into consideration all that we’ve highlighted.

Here’s Why You Need Professional Advice For Your New Sliding Door Wardrobes

sliding wardrobe doorsSliding door wardrobes are wardrobes that feature sliding doors that can be operated horizontally by sliding them. Today, they are slowly becoming a trend in most homes.

Mostly it’s because they match the personality style, taste, and preference of people living inside the house, and because the make the most of any available space. What mostly distinguishes them is the type of door fitted. There are various types in the market today, from arcadia doors, bypass doors to pocket doors and many others.

If you are considering installing sliding door wardrobes, one of the most important initial steps you should take is getting professional design advice. Of course, it may not appear to you that you really need such but note that being knowledgeable about the design is the only way you will have all your expectations met. Better yet, you will save your time and effort and have less to regret about in future when you look at your new sliding door wardrobes.

Style and design
In fitting sliding door wardrobes, style and design are two of the most significant factors that take much priority. Remember that each of us has their own unique ideas that we need taken care of. Some people might opt for this type of door simply because they can’t find the exact size or type of wardrobes they are looking for. It’s for this reason that some of us will opt for a custom built sliding door wardrobe.

Now, if you get the design right, your bedroom will be able to undergo a complete transformation. There are literary hundreds of designs out there to choose from. You may want a modern feel, a French style, a traditional look, name it. Each of these designs has its own fespace saving designsatures and different abilities to transform your bedroom.

The Need for professional advice
You will realize that it will take so much of your time and effort finding all the relevant information you need on the perfect design for your sliding door wardrobes. It’s the prime reason why opting for professional advice will surely make things easier for you.

There are still many other aspects of designing your sliding door wardrobe that will need a professional approach. These include measurements, space evaluation, the functionality of each option, the search for the perfect sliding door wardrobes, storage, walls and so much more.

Based on what you have, it’s so easy for a professional to inject some creative thoughts which might see you end up with something you will live to cherish.

Sadly, for many who’ve tried going about all these on their own, it always turned out as a very daunting idea. As you can clearly see, there’s so much that is involved in designing these particular wardrobes which would explain why to an ordinary person, the task is sure to be a daunting one.

To sum up, nearly all of us love the idea and feel of something that is contemporary. Better yet, we cherish a lot something that is creatively done to perfection. With proper advice, you are not far from seeing your dream turn into reality. Not forgetting to mention that you will have saved so much of your time and effort letting someone else more professional and skilled do the work for you.

So do you need new sliding door wardrobes? Well, you already know where to begin from. I love mine, and I think you will love yours too.

Watch this loveley video to see how nice these wardrobes can look in your home

Insulate Your Home To Save Money

I wanted to write this article now because I was recently contacted by an insulation company, and it seems that the summer is the best time to insulate your home, because generally people only think about adding insulation when the weather is cold and so more business means higher costs. It is therefore less expensive to insulate when the companies have less customers and you can negotiate a good price.

I found this image also that lists the approximate costs of insulation thay you can use as a guide. Remember too that good insulation keeps you warm in winter, cooler in summer, and helps to reduce problems with mould and damp.

Check out the image below and I would be interested to hear your comments.

insulation costs and savings

Reduce Draughts and Save Money – Replace Your Windows

rotten-draughty-windowsAfter enduring one of the coldest and windiest winters I can ever remember, I vowed that I would never again live in a house with single glazed windows. The windows were old leaded windows too, that looked really nice, and like a christmas card when the snow fell, but they were so cold.

I asked for advice from a family friend who owns his own double glazing business, and he came to our rescue, with new windows and composite doors for the whole house, a hefty discount, and some interest free credit. Thanks Tommy!

I can’t guarantee that you will find such a friend in need, but I absolutely recommend changing out your old draughty windows at the earliest opportunity, and if you don’t have the money, many double glazing companies can arrange finance. The money you save on heating will help you to make the payments I am sure.

For those who don’t know, here is an explanation as to what double glazing is and how it works to help keep you warm in winter, cool in summer, and reduce your heating costs.

Double Glazed Windows

Double glazed windows make use of two glass sheets between them that serves as an insulating barrier. In double glazed panes, the space between the panes is filled with either vacuum or a heavy inert gas such as Xenon, Argon, and Krypton. Vacuum is rarely used nowadays since the efficiency diminishes as the vacuum diminishes. These energy efficient double glazed windows come in a variety of frame materials and different styles.

Draught-proof your home using Double Glazed Windows

Draught proofing is one of the most efficient ways to save energy and also one of the cheapest ways to save money in any particular building. Both ventilations and draughts provide fresh air to your home. Good ventilation reduces dampness and condensation. Draughts when uncontrolled let too much cold and also waste a considerable amount of heat. To draught proof your house, it’s advisable that one blocks all unwanted gaps in the house that let out warm air and let in cold air.

When these gaps are blocked, warm air does not escape from the house and translates to less energy to be used to heat your home, and this means that you get to save money and at the same time make your home pleasant and snug.

Double glazed windows help with draughts because they are made to measure, fitting the brickwork frame perfectly, and are then sealed to stop draughts completely.

How much one can save from draught-proofing?

Annually draught proofing around doors and windows could save you approximately £25 to around £50. This is because draught free homes are comfortable even at lower temperatures and this means that you’ll be able to turn down the thermostat.

Where to look for draughts in your home

In your home draughts happen where there are unwanted gaps and in areas where openings are left uncovered. They include; windows, loft hatches, suspended floorboards, doors, pipework leading outside, electrical fittings especially on the ceilings and on walls and ceiling to wall joints. Therefore, most of these should be blocked but you should take caution in areas that require good ventilation such as

· Places where there are open flues and open fires

· Rooms that have a lot of moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, and utility rooms.

Benefits of double glazed windows

· Relatively reduced energy bills: double glazing could save up to approximately £135 per year when compared to single glazed windows.

· Small carbon footprint: this arises from reduced use of less fuel which in turn leads to less carbon dioxide generation.

· Reduced condensation and dampness: glazing reduces the condensation that builds up on the inside of the windows.

· Double glazed windows provide a more comfortable home; this is because heat loss is highly reduced and this means that cold spots and draughts are also reduced.

For each home the savings and the cost of double glazing are different and this is dependent on the material and size of the installer. The extent of saving also varies depending on the amount of bill you pay for your heating fuel and saving is also based on a gas heated home.

The cost of double glazing

The cost of double glazing highly depends on the number of windows being replaced and the type of frame one prefers to use and the size of each frame. It’s estimated that a sash uPVC window costs around £700 while for a wooden frame the cost is around £1,100, but my recommendation is to shop around, and try the smaller businesses such as my friend Tommy’s, because they don’t spend lots of cash on advertising and sales staff, so that saving is passed on to you.

The video below is from a large window company, but it helps to explain how new windows can keep out the cold and draughts.

DIY tips to baby proof your home

how-to-baby-proof-homeIt goes without saying how important it is to baby proof your home, but it gets expensive at times. I am always looking for inexpensive ways to get things done and keep a little more money in my pocket.

There are many ideas on youtube that people have posted, so I suggest you do as I did and spend 10 minutes browsing through to get ideas.

I have posted one of the videos that I found useful below this post, but there are many, and each has a good idea or two that they have posted.

Keeping your child safe is a full time occupation, there are so many opportunities for them to get hold of the wrong thing or get into a dangerous situation.

My parents tell of a time when I had just learned to walk, mum was making dinner and dad just walked in from work. There was a loud bang and all of the electric in the house fused. I had been playing with a small metal spoon, and somehow managed to push it behind the electric wall plug, luckily rubbing against the earth pin before hitting the live. We had that spoon for years, it had a big black hole in one side. How lucky was I?

Click this link to view the baby proofing gadgets available at Amazon UK

This image also has some of the danger points that we need to remember

baby proofing your house

If you have thought of something that is not covered and we should know about, please contact me using the form on this website and I will post it at a later date.

Think Before You Spend – Save Money On Your New Kitchen

kitchen door replacement
Usually the first room that everyone wants to change when moving into a house that needs a remodel is the kitchen. The problem is that it is usually the most expensive room to upgrade, takes the longest to complete, and is the most difficult to organise in terms of choosing a style, colour, layout, options, accessories etc.

Before you can start to make the magic happen during a kitchen remodel, there’s a plethora of things that can be cooked up – there are oodles of choices and options. However, there’s also a lot that can go wrong.

We discovered by chance that there are major savings to be had by speaking with a contractor that specialises in changing the most important pieces of the kitchen, and keeping the rest; namely, if the carcasses or cabinets are all in good shape, all you need to do is change the kitchen door and drawer on each cabinet, maybe the handles, then possibly the worktops and appliances.

The point here is that by keeping the cabinets you have, you are not redisigning the kitchen, you don’t necessarily need a complete overhaul, which includes tiling, flooring, electrical, gas maybe, water to be moved etc. You are changing the parts that get seen the most and saving a boatload of cash in the process. Interested? Then read on…

Don’t redesign the whole kitchen if you don’t have to

Before you start remodeling your kitchen, consider the market and decide whether a low or even a high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Generally speaking, costs can run the gamut from $1,000 for a simple re-paint and hardware upgrade to $20,000 if you are installing expensive luxury appliances.
Furthermore, don’t try to remodel a 50’s ranch-style kitchen into a contemporary cook space. All homes, no matter the age, are built in a particular architectural style and design. Work with it, not against it.

Replacing the doors

However, if you want to update your kitchen without a dramatic change or you are simply on a tight budget, kitchen redooring may work for you. In one to two days you can get an updated look without the hassle or cost of installing new furniture and appliances.
Kitchen re-dooring simply means that you replace your doors and drawer fronts with the new ones in your choice of style. These doors and drawers should be color-matched to blend with your existing cabinet boxes. If your cabinet boxes are in a good, decent condition and you are happy with the current color of your cabinets, this may be a good option for you. That said, re-dooring is the fastest way to change your style without overhauling the entire look of your kitchen.

If you are on a super tight budget, you can also paint over laminate doors, cabinets, drawer fronts and the like. However, this is not as recommended as this may not be the right long-term solution. If you do decide to paint, remember that the key is the preparation of the surfaces.

Keep in mind that vinyl wrap doors cannot be re-coated, so in this case you would be better off replacing the entire doors. Replacing doors is a simple process as long as your current doors are standard sizes. If your current doors are odd sizes, then you will need to purchase a custom sized doors.

Replacing the drawers

Often, what’s behind your dated kitchen cabinet drawers is perfectly fine and will not need replacing any time soon. If you are not looking for a complete redesign of your kitchen, you can get away with replacing the drawers only. Many companies offer this for standard and sometimes even custom sizes. This process is very affordable. To keep the costs down, you can drill and install the handles yourself.

Additionally, you can buy a new worktop. Always go for worktops made from solid materials, such as engineered stone or granite if you can afford it. Tiled and glass splashbacks are popular as well as stainless steel, and the formica worktops are still very populer, inexpensive and hard wearing.

As drawers and worktops are a huge expense, don’t select them based on name brands. You can get very good drawers for a fraction of the cost of some of the big-name manufacturers. You should look for drawers made of furniture-grade plywood.

Speaking from experience, I found that my local contractor had contacts in the trade for just about every door size, colour and style imaginable, so give them a call the next time that you are looking for a new kitchen at a budget price.

The video below shows you how to replace the doors yourself if you are a handy type of person, but if not, and if you have older unusual style doors, then call in the professionals….

Tips to prepare your new baby room on a budget

budget nurseryIf you are a new parent then you might think that it would be very difficult for you to save money while working to prepare your new baby room on a budget. You need to know that preparing your new baby room for less is not as difficult as you might think as you don’t need to spend a fortune for it to look great and cute.

These days, you would find a lot of resources for getting the best and most inexpensive items for your baby room. You can always prepare the baby room of your dreams 0n your limited budget with little bit of creativity.

Below are few tips to prepare your new baby room on a budget:

Discount retailers

There are many large discount retailers’ chains that have several types of baby items in abundance for kid’s rooms. These items are available at low prices. It is true that finding the right item for your baby is going take some effort and time. However, you should understand that it will be worth it in the end because you will get the room of your dreams, a room which you are going to love and will cherish for years. The best thing about it would be that you haven’t spent lots of money for it.

Purchase long term pieces

Opt for accessories and furniture items which will grow with your child. You need to avoid having to renovate the room as your child is growing. Choose wall decor, lamps and rugs which are not too babyish. This will help you save some money as you will not have to change it constantly as your child grows.

Inexpensive wall decor

Find inexpensive wall décor for your new baby room. There are many beautiful and cute free printables which are available on  the internet. You just have to sit at home and search for the adorable art work which you can always print and frame for your child’s room. You will probably need to limint the number of places you search as you can easily be overwhelmed at the selections found in the internet.

Purchase second hand furniture

If your budget is really low, then you can also purchase second hand furniture for your baby’s room. You can look for used side tables, dressers, shelves and many other furniture pieces from reputable furniture stores. You can refurbish and refresh the furniture by stenciling or painting them. I regularly see items for baby rooms available in good condition from people wanting to sell them at low prices as they don’t need them anymore. So, you can always look for them at several websites, local newspapers and even ebay and gumtree. Check out the video below for some inspiration

Keep the decor simple and functional

The best way to save money is to keep the decor simple and functional. Just because you see gorgeous baby rooms in websites or magazines, that doesn’t mean you need to have a look alike room for your baby too. You should be more concerned about the functionality of the room instead of wanting to have a good looking room having little use. You need to understand that just because the room is simple; it doesn’t mean that it would be dull. With little bit of creativity, you can always make the room interesting with cheaper and smaller decor.

Save energy by insulating your home

spray foam imageSaving energy by insulating your home makes common these days because transforming your home into one which is environmentally friendly would help you to conserve energy and also be more efficient with your energy usage. Not only will this help you to enjoy the relaxing and comfortable atmosphere of your home, but it will help you to save money at the same time.

One of the easiest upgrades that you can do for your home, and to start to change it into an eco friendly project is to look at upgrading your insulation. By insulating your home, you can actually conserve energy by keeping it warmer during the winter season without using a lot of electricity. Not only would it help you during the winter seasons, but during the summer season you can keep your home cooler, meaning less use of your air conditioning system or room fans. Read the official view of adding home insulation to your exising home here

If you really want to save energy by insulating your home then you can choose from a lot of different kinds of insulation designed for homes. Below are few eco-friendly and traditional insulation which are used commonly these days:

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the most common among the different kinds of insulation that are available. It is a pink material which is widely used in a lot of homes. Since, it was discovered to be a health hazard; there are people who don’t want to use the fiberglass insulation material. It can cause breathing difficulties, skin irritation and few other dangerous health conditions which affect the body of the humans. However, it is the cheapest option, and there are now irritation free options for fibreglass insulation, which is very welcome if you have ever worked in an attic laying insulation.

Recycled Denim

Recycled denims are the most eco-friendly type of insulation that can be used in homes. As you can figure out from the name itself, this insulation material is actually made from old jeans. This insulation is 100 percent recycled from any used denim clothes. Therefore, there are no health hazards if you are using this for insulation. There are no toxic chemicals attached to it which would cause any kind of serious health issues which the fiberglass insulation can sometimes do.

Aerogels

Aerogels are a new type of insulation that are designed innovatively for homes. Aerogels are frozen silica smoke which is made of 99 percent air, it is hard to believe but it is indeed true. Though, it is light but it is also very strong. Since, it is transparent; it easily allows natural light to enter the home and that is particularly useful if you are installing insulation in windows and skylights. Presently, aerogels are considered one of the best insulators in the world.

Cellulose

Cellulose is an inexpensive kind of insulation. It is made from the recycled pieces of the torn newspapers and is very easy to install. Since, it is made from papers; it has a disadvantage of catching fire easily. Moreover, it is also subject to pest and moisture damage.

Soy Foam

Soy foam is a kind of insulation foam which is spray-in and it is made from soy bean oil. Although, soy foam is a bit more expensive than many others, it does the insulation job quite efficiently. The soy foam needs to be sprayed on the walls along with water as the blowing agent. It then fills in the cracks and instantly it solidifies. The wall’s moisture would then be evaporated and would not be trapped.

See Soy Foam application in the video below. It is quite amazing to watch…

With the so many different kinds of options, you can choose the one that best suits your home and your budget, but whichever option you choose, you are sure to be saving money, making your life a little cosier, and helping save the planet into the bargain. Now that has to be a good thing.

Planning a kitchen

nice kitchen layout

 

One of the first jobs in our new house at least is to upgrade the kitchen. This is an ongoing project, and we have barely made a start, but after looking at some kitchen design ideas I thought it was a good way to kick off this blog. I hope the information here is helpful.

The layout of a kitchen is not an improvised idea, far from it. There is an area of movement with the famous triangle of activity, as well as the distances from sink to oven to fridge that need to be considered. These rules of the installation of a kitchen always need to be considered. Nicolas Sallavuard, certified architect, gives us the low down.

The flow of clean and dirty

Back from the dining room, plates and dirty dishes are placed on the worktop. Before being placed in the dishwasher, they get emptied to  the trash and eventually rinsed in the sink: these three items (garbage, sink and dishwasher) must be close to each other with a simple and easy circulation. Closets, cabinets and drawers that can store clean dishes should also be near the dishwasher, so that with little effort you can remove the clean dishes and fill up with dirty ones.

The heights of the worktops and cooking appliances depends on your size. Remember however that in case of rental or resale, your successors will not necessarily be the same size as you. The work plan must be at waist height (85 to 95 cm) so you can reach the bottom of the sink without bending. The oven is placed preferably at eye level. A bar shelf should be at the height of your elbow (between 110 and 115 cm).  The highest cupboards top shelf should be about 220 cm.

Always Measure

Large household appliances such as the oven or dishwasher, fits into a square of 60 cm, so that should be considered when working out your work plan. Also these days, kitchen designers prefer increasingly deeper apertures (65 cm) for increased comfort.

For easy movement around your kitchen, leave 70 cm minimum free to your furniture. 90 cm allow you to easily bypass a closet or an open dishwasher. 120 cm allows 2 people to work in the kitchen without bumping in to each other.

Get the light right

Even if a sink is  placed in front of a window, the natural light is not usually enough. The layout should take into account the lighting required for safe working and mood lighting.

You must have general lighting a main ceiling light can do the trick, which will provide an average brightness in the entire room. Install also strong lights trained on different areas of the work area. Directional spots, arranged in wall units, are ideal.

Do not overlook also mood lighting, especially if the kitchen is open to the dining room, in which case sideboards may have china cabinet lighting, lamps and uplighters can all add to the overall room light but with a softer gentler feel.

For more kitchen design ideas, check out the House and Garden website here, and the video below has lots of useful tips.