How is everybody doing now that we are into the second week of isolation? We are busy here juggling our new routine of home schooling, working from home with three children under your feet and keeping our sanity in check. But the most important thing is we are all healthy and well and we will aim to keep it like that. This is a very stressful and an uncertain for everyone but it is important for you to remember you can only control the controllable and you can not control this situation. So in order to give us some structure and comfort we look at what we can control, in this case it is our environment. You can choose what you surround yourself with and what you see everyday, for now this is your home so let’s make the most of it.
Get rid of the dead weight. There is nothing more satisfying than going through your things and organising it. Start small, start will a shelf in the sitting room or the kitchen and go from there. Clear out your wardrobe that you have been putting off months, I’m telling you will feel so much better for it.
2. Zone It Up
With the new demands on your home such as home schooling, home office as well as the usual activities it is more and more important to zone your space. Make new space for yourself, give each zone a definite function, no, the home office area is not where you play with the play dough! Zoning will give yourself the feeling of structure and in control.
3. Tidy Up
With more people at home now for longer periods things are bound to be noisier, chaotic and much more messier. At the end of each day it is a good idea to do a good tidy up. Put everything back in their right places. Get the kids involved, even the little ones, after all they are the ones that made the mess, right. Also, this will entertain them for another little while so it’s a win win! Tidying up will also give you a better environment for the evening time, it will give you a sense of completion and you will be able switch off, put your feet up and relax …with that glass of wine.
4. Let It Shine
One of the positives (and there are many) of this situation is the weather. Spring is coming, the sun is shining and with the clocks going forward this weekend the evenings are going to be much brighter. Let as much light as you can into your home, draw the curtain, pull up the blinds, open some windows and let’s breathe in some fresh air! Your home will be much more brighter and feel bigger. Let the outside in. Use the garden as much as possible, people tend to forget this is also another room to your home.
5. Rearrange Furniture
Something as simple as moving your furniture around into a different a position can have such a traumatic effect to your environment. As they say a change is just as good as a rest. Try rearranging your furniture, look at the room from different perspective, moving the couch around, move the dining room table, it will make a difference.
6. Give Yourself Space
Give yourself more floor space. In order to make the best use of your space you need to give yourself space. Try getting everything off the floor. If possible get a bracket (online) for your T.V and wall mounted it. Replace floor storage cabinets with shelving systems, removing rugs will give your flooring a better continued flow and you space will feel much bigger.
I hope this helps you with your space and most importantly keeps your mind active.
Stay safe and stay at home.
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When you decide you want to renovate your home, add an extension or simply to do it up, your first thought maybe I’ll have to employ an architect. However, employing an architect is not always necessary and here’s why:
Firstly, let me state architects are highly trained professionals and are mre than capable of designing and planning for your new extension. However, as most of us are not looking to replicate the latest Dermot Bannon masterpiece, there are other options than architects. We are just looking for a home extension, that works for our family, improves our lifestyle and most importantly is not going to break the bank.
So, what are the other alternatives?
1. Package Companies
There are many other alternatives to choose from rather than an architect. One stop shop building package companies have become popular, mainly with first time experienced home owners. The concept is they take the stress out of it all, ie they take control of the project, from design to construction. However, the snag is as they own the design, and in order for you to go ahead with it you would also be required to sign up to their particular materials package and this is where they make their money.
2. Go It On Your Own
You could have a go of it yourself? It is possible. There are many free 3D software packages available such as google sketch up and you tube tutorials. I believe with enough interest and passion you could definitely do it for yourself. However, sometimes an opinion and passion are not always enough, where self designers fall down are on experience and knowledge. The space may have been designed but the aesthetics of the room may not have been considered, certain structural support may have been overlooked or misunderstood. In this case, it is more about what you don’t know than what you know and all of which can cost you time and money.
3. A Designer
Designers can have many titles, marriage counselor’s, therapist, mind readers, even miracle workers. I was once called ‘a little ray of sunshine’. I’ll take that! Our professionally titles can be Interior Designers, Space Planners or Spatial Interior Designers. In hindsight, it actually doesn’t matter what we are called, it’s actually what we do that is far more important and that is designing a layout for your home that best suits your family’s needs. Designing the flow and function of your home that enriches your lifestyle ultimately change the way you live and you don’t need an architect for that. A designer can produce scaled plans and 3D visuals that your builder can easily work from and project manage the build. This way you have control of the decision making as you have a better understanding of your project, You can choose the materials you like and can afford. Sounds very stress free and inexpensive to me?
For the majority of extensions planning permission is not always required, Generally, you will not need planning permission to build an extension to the rear of the house which does not increase the original floor area of the house by more than 40 square metres and is not higher than the existing house. You can also check with your local authority. This is why and where having a spatial interior designer to design your layout has many advantages, particularly those doing modest kitchen extensions or interior alteration work on a budget.
Ultimately, the design person or persons you choose to design for your home is based on the level of service you require. For more complex designs where planning permission is required then hire an architect. Where the concentration of design is more about the flow and function of your home rather than the style of roofing then I would be recommending a designer. If you are looking to reconfigure your existing space, or to add a four-sided extension, a designer can do just a good job as an architect and the bonus being they would be a fraction of the cost.
The aim, to always find somebody who is on the same wavelength as you, who speaks the same language and understands what you are looking for. The good news is, that person doesn’t need a multi of letters after their name, experience, knowledge, desire, passion and understanding are the words that I would describe some of the best designers.
The choice is yours.
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If you are thinking about getting a new kitchen you may already know that it can be an overwhelming decision. There are a lot of things to think about and you can quickly become swamped with abundance of information which most may be irrelevant to your kitchen. Here are a few tips to simplify the information and decisions you need to make. Think of these as bullet points rather than trying to visualise the design yourselves.
1. Chose Your Style
Chose a style of kitchen you like, be it traditional, contemporary, handless or painted. Deciding a style of door for your kitchen gives the kitchen designer a starting point for your kitchen design. Handleless style kitchens are designed very differently from a traditional style kitchen as they both have very different vibes and features.
2. Chose Your Appliances
Make a list of the appliance you want to put into the new kitchen. Eye level oven, integrated microwave, range cooker, you may want an american fridge. Again, this all these will help your kitchen designer to create the dream kitchen you are after.
3. Your Wish List
Have a look at you existing kitchen. Ask yourself what is it that you dislike about it. Do you want more storage, more worktop space for serving. Is your space big enough for an island, if so do you want to sit at it? Do you want your hob or sink in it?
4. Your Budget
Budget is very important when designing your kitchen. Obviously, there is the cost for your kitchen but there are other costs that some people may forget to take into consideration. Plumbing and electrical are usually the main additional costs but they are others such as a skip for the removal of your existing kitchen, your flooring may be needed to be replaced, new wall tiles and light fixtures may be required.