Interior Designer, Sallie Chater, of Interiors at 58, explains how you can make the most of where you live and shares her tips and tricks for getting a 'new house feel' without having to move!
The old adage – Location, Location, Location – is true! When you are choosing a home, you need to make sure the location works for you; are there good travel connections, good schools nearby, all the amenities that you need on your doorstep? But you still need to enjoy living in your house too; it needs to be your home.
All homes need to be spruced up and redecorated periodically; tastes changes and living needs evolve. If you feel your home really doesn’t work for you, you could choose the extreme option and move house – but do you really need to? If the location works for you, there are definitely options to make the housework for you.
If you feel that your house no longer works for you, try to identify the cause of the problem, you can start working on a solution.
Lack of space
This is a common issue, particularly in growing families. The house that you bought was perfect, but extra people needing more space adds stress to the household. Adding an extension to the house, giving you an extra room or rooms, will give you space, but there are other ways that you can create a feeling of space without starting a major rebuild project.
The floor is key when you are optimising space. Seamless flooring, flowing through rooms and, ideally, into the garden will lead the eye. Use the same flooring to maximise the effect; even if the floor is not the same height the same colour or tone of the flow.
Allowing a gap between furniture and the floor is a good trick. In kitchens opt for legs under units rather than skirting as this will allow the eye through under the units and create a feeling of space. Similarly, choose a sofa or chairs with legs for the same effect.
In the bathroom, choosing wall mounted units and fitments ensures that more floor is visible and makes the room feel larger. A freestanding bath also reveals more floor than fully panelled alternatives. Reflective surfaces work in any room to reflect light and create space; in bathrooms, there is more scope to use not only mirrors but baths and cabinets with a metallic finish. Make sure that any tiling in the bathroom extends or blends seamlessly so the eye extends through the room effortlessly.
Throughout the house, doors often obstruct the view and entry into a room. If that’s a problem in your home re-hang the door so that it opens against a wall rather than into the room. This is an easy and cheap way to make the room feel more open immediately and could open up useable space for a piece of furniture.
Declutter your rooms and home, this is a fail safe way of making your room's look bigger.
Replace heavy wood coffee or dining tables with glass ones or consider replacing upholstered chairs with transparent Perspex ones – either/or is fine though – avoid transparent chairs with a glass table!
Stick with light airy tones for the décor and maximise the light.
Interior designers come into their element with all aspects of redesigning a house; it isn’t simply decoration choices that we can assist with. With our experience and knowledge, we are well placed to see the hidden potential of your house; the secret storage spaces to be made. If you are struggling with loving your home, we can work with you so that you fall back in love with it.
All the above works with respect to moving house too. When you are looking to buy a house, be led by the location; you can’t alter the locality and local facilities. Keep an open mind when you are house-hunting and consider, if the location works, whether a house could be changed to work for you and your needs. Renovations, refurbishments and extensions; these could be the keys to your home happiness.
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About Interiors at 58
Sallie Chater spent many years working within the UK’s leading style magazines such as Vogue, Tatler, Harpers Bazaar and House and Garden and had access to the most exciting and prestigious brands in the world.
Working in this inspirational environment every day she developed a strong sense of taste and style and soon found a gift for bringing this to life in the home.
At House and Garden magazine Sallie developed her interest in creating luxurious, elegant and original interiors but without the often astronomical budgets involved. This is an ethos she brings to every project. She can advise you where to invest and where to save for maximum impact. Using her knowledge of products and network of suppliers, Interiors at 58 will bring you items you will love at the best possible prices.