• Budget-friendly ways to upgrade your home in 2024
    Posted on 24 February 2024

    Budget-friendly ways to upgrade your home in 2024




    Textile transformation 

    Updating your soft furnishings is a cheap and easy way to give your home a facelift. Consider swapping out old curtains, throw pillows, and rugs for something fresher and bolder, as this will inject some vitality into your living spaces.

    DIY décor 

    There’s an inner artist inside everyone, no matter your skill set. In today’s world of technology, you can find tutorials and inspo for almost any facet of interior design, so get personal with some DIY crafts and test your hand at repurposing old furniture. From hand-painted accent walls to DIY splashbacks, the possibilities for homemade magic are endless. 

    Find second-hand treasures 

    One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so try not to buy anything brand new if you don’t have to. Explore vintage or charity shops, or utilise online apps to discover some unique, budget-friendly gems. A quirky lampshade or a vintage coffee table can add a touch of character to your home, but if you prefer modern and trendy items, check online for second-hand listings so that you don’t have to splash out on the full retail price.

    Greenery galore

    Nature costs nothing, but the payoff of decorating with low-maintenance houseplants is unmatched. Add a touch of nature to your home in every empty corner for a pop of colour and clarity. Houseplants don’t just improve air quality; they also serve as living décor with mood-boosting properties that create a soothing atmosphere.

    Elegant lighting on a budget 

    The overall ambience of your home can be controlled with a few simple lighting adjustments. Check if any of your fixtures are outdated and swap for eco-friendly alternatives that align better with your style. Energy-efficient LED bulbs will save you money on utility bills while also enabling you to diversify your lighting scheme with plenty of options to choose from.  

    Tech-savvy savings 

    Smart home features have become much more accessible and affordable over the past few years, and now they are an easy way to enhance your home’s convenience and energy efficiency. Smart thermostats, plugs, and bulbs can be easily integrated, helping you save on utility bills and give your home a subtle touch of modernity.

    Create a feature wall 

    Make a statement without having to splash out on a full paint job. You can opt for removable wallpaper or decals to create interesting patterns and focal points. The best part is the lack of permanence, as you can update and experiment with different styles over time, allowing a dynamic feel in your living space.


  • Budget-friendly ways to keep your home warm this winter
    Posted on 10 February 2024

    Budget-friendly ways to keep your home warm this winter





    Tactfully arrange your furniture

    For example, if your radiator is being blocked by furniture, your room won’t heat up very evenly, so a little manoeuvring might go a long way.

    If you have enough space for a shuffle round, switching up your furniture layout could be a great way to keep things cosy. For example, if your radiator is being blocked by furniture, your room won’t heat up very evenly, so a little manoeuvring might go a long way. Additionally, if your seating area is close to the window, consider reworking your furniture plan so that you aren’t close to a draught while you’re trying to snuggle up in front of the TV. 

     

    Book a checkup on your boiler

    Your boiler works hard over the wintertime, but those stagnant months in summer could have triggered an issue with your central heating. Lack of use could cause the pump or valve to seize up, so it’s important to get it checked as we head into winter. A certified technician can make sure your heating system is in good condition, identify any potential issues, and perform any necessary maintenance. This will ensure that your system is running efficiently throughout the season while also extending its lifespan – saving you more money in the long run.

     

    Use your heating system efficiently

    the best way to heat your home efficiently and effectively is to keep your heating on a constant low setting

    When the cold seeps in, it’s tempting to switch on your heating and crank it right up. However, the best way to heat your home efficiently and effectively is to keep your heating on a constant low setting, rather than switching it on and off for short bursts of heat. It’s important to get to grips with your thermostat and its timer settings if you want to get the most for your money.

     

    Draught-proof windows and doors

    Most homes lose heat through tiny cracks around the doors and windows and gaps in the floor. Draught-proofing is an affordable remedy which could even save you money in the long run and immediately make your home more comfortable.  Use self-adhesive draught-excluder strips around the edges of your windows, hang heavy curtains that extend below the windowsills, and invest in some fluffy draught excluders for your doors. 

     

    Stop your chimney from causing draughts

    If you have an unused fireplace, you might notice an unshakable draught.

    If you have an unused fireplace, you might notice an unshakable draught. This is because a huge amount of heat can escape through your chimney. You can block your unused chimney with a chimney balloon or even an old pillow if it’s causing a chill. However, make sure to do your research first and proceed with caution, as an inadequately blocked chimney can result in your home overheating.

     

    Check your radiators

    It’s important to check your radiators regularly throughout the winter months while they’re being used more frequently. If you feel any cold spots on your radiators, it might be time to bleed them as this indicates that there is trapped air inside. Pockets of air prevent warm water from circulating in your radiators, and this means you’ll end up using more energy than necessary when trying to heat up the house.

  • What to look for in a rental property in 2024
    Posted on 3 February 2024

    What to look for in a rental property in 2024




    A good EPC rating

    Powering and heating a home isn’t cheap, but high energy efficiency can remedy this. It’s important to always check the home’s EPC rating before moving in, as this will likely dictate how much you’re going to be spending on energy bills. The one exception to this is if bills are included in the rent, in which case, you’ll be paying a fixed amount each month.

    Storage space
    A home that provides plenty of storage space is ideal for tenants who plan on sticking around for the long haul. So, whether you’re a tenant seeking your first home, or a landlord looking for a long-term agreement, keep an eye out for properties with extensive storage space.

    Pet-friendly

    Pet-friendly properties are becoming more popular for tenants and investors. As the Renters Reform Bill makes its way through Parliament to improve the quality of rental homes, landlords are starting to open up to the idea of pet-friendly rentals. Pet-friendly listings will always be in high demand, and if you’re a tenant on the lookout, make sure to ask an agent to help search for a home with your specific needs.

    Outdoor space
    Whether it’s a garden, a balcony, or a communal outdoor area, proximity to outside space is essential for your all-around health and well-being. As working from home has become the new norm, being able to take a breath of fresh air at home is key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

    Roommates

    There are endless benefits to house shares for both landlords and tenants. If you’re a single renter, having some extra company to split the bills and help with household tasks could be an attractive option. For landlords, houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) are a great opportunity to tap into the student and young professional market, which are two groups where demand is typically high.

    A good landlord
    Having a communicative and helpful landlord or letting agent on your side is fundamental to feeling happy in your home. It’s important to ask plenty of questions about property management during any viewings, whether online or in person. You’ll need to know details such as how repairs are dealt with, what the tenancy agreement entails, and how your deposit will be protected. A good agent or landlord will be responsive to any questions or concerns you have, so don’t be afraid to voice them from the get-go.
  • Top tips for moving with pets
    Posted on 23 January 2024

    Top tips for moving with pets




    Get advice from your vet

    Seeking professional advice will help to ensure that your pet is getting everything they need during an inevitably stressful time. Having strangers enter the house during viewings, watching furniture get moved around and boxed up, and the transition to a new environment can all become very overwhelming.
    Your vet can help you decide the best plan of action for your situation. This is extra important if your pet is older and may not adjust well to new surroundings.

    Staying with friends or family
    If a friend or family member is willing to house your pet temporarily, you may be able to save yourself a lot of time and stress. Having someone to take over for a short while means that the animal can receive the care and attention that they need while you’re busy moving.
    However, it’s important to carefully consider where your pet takes their holiday. You should only hand your pet over to someone confident and comfortable with taking care of them. It should also be noted that your pet will need to adjust to living somewhere temporarily, and then they will need to adjust again to their new home – this could cause a lot of stress if not handled well. Make sure they’re comfortable at their temporary home, they know the person well, and that they aren’t left there for longer than necessary.

    Handling viewings

    Viewings can be tricky with pets in the house, even if your particular pet is friendly and easy to clean up after. It’s best to keep your pets away during viewings and bring them home when buyers have left. Whether this means going for a walk, visiting a friend or family member, or even spending the day at a pet daycare centre, most buyers will prefer to visit a vacant home – and this could be the thing that snatches you a sale.
    Having a pet present during viewings can also leave your agent in a difficult situation. Even the most placid of pets can become territorial and aggressive in situations they aren’t used to. However, if removing your pet from the property is not a viable option, it’s important to let your estate agent know as soon as possible so you can decide on a good plan of action.

    Repairing pet damage

    Pet damage can be a huge turn-off for many buyers, and cats and dogs in particular can leave their mark on expensive areas of the home such as carpets, walls, and fencing. Before putting your home on the market, take some time to assess and repair any damages your pets have left behind. Focus on dispelling odours and clearing away stains, as these two issues are the most noticeable.
  • Budget-friendly ways to keep your home warm this winter
    Posted on 20 January 2024

    Budget-friendly ways to keep your home warm this winter

       


    Tactfully arrange your furniture

    If you have enough space for a shuffle round, switching up your furniture layout could be a great way to keep things cosy. For example, if your radiator is being blocked by furniture, your room won’t heat up very evenly, so a little manoeuvring might go a long way. Additionally, if your seating area is close to the window, consider reworking your furniture plan so that you aren’t close to a draught while you’re trying to snuggle up in front of the TV.

    Book a checkup on your boiler
    Your boiler works hard over the wintertime, but those stagnant months in summer could have triggered an issue with your central heating. Lack of use could cause the pump or valve to seize up, so it’s important to get it checked as we head into winter. A certified technician can make sure your heating system is in good condition, identify any potential issues, and perform any necessary maintenance. This will ensure that your system is running efficiently throughout the season while also extending its lifespan – saving you more money in the long run.

    Use your heating system efficiently

    When the cold seeps in, it’s tempting to switch on your heating and crank it right up. However, the best way to heat your home efficiently and effectively is to keep your heating on a constant low setting, rather than switching it on and off for short bursts of heat. It’s important to get to grips with your thermostat and its timer settings if you want to get the most for your money.

    Draught-proof windows and doors
    Most homes lose heat through tiny cracks around the doors and windows and gaps in the floor. Draught-proofing is an affordable remedy which could even save you money in the long run and immediately make your home more comfortable.  Use self-adhesive draught-excluder strips around the edges of your windows, hang heavy curtains that extend below the windowsills, and invest in some fluffy draught excluders for your doors.

    Stop your chimney from causing draughts

    If you have an unused fireplace, you might notice an unshakable draught. This is because a huge amount of heat can escape through your chimney. You can block your unused chimney with a chimney balloon or even an old pillow if it’s causing a chill. However, make sure to do your research first and proceed with caution, as an inadequately blocked chimney can result in your home overheating.

    Check your radiators
    It’s important to check your radiators regularly throughout the winter months while they’re being used more frequently. If you feel any cold spots on your radiators, it might be time to bleed them as this indicates that there is trapped air inside. Pockets of air prevent warm water from circulating in your radiators, and this means you’ll end up using more energy than necessary when trying to heat up the house.
  • Home décor trends for 2024
    Posted on 13 January 2024

    Home décor trends for 2024




    Decorating with intention

    As the minimalism trend continues to be commodified into a means of simplifying the home, we might see fewer solid blocks of colour and more well-placed, thoughtful accent pieces to catch the eye. The ‘everything has a place’ look has taken centre stage in recent years, but it isn’t an easy aesthetic to achieve. A good place to start is focusing on smart storage solutions and organisation to cut out the clutter and give your home that brand-new feel.

    Victorian era accents
    For a seamless blend of old and new in the home, we’re seeing a rise in interest in the aesthetics of the 19th century. With ornate oak pieces, delicate tiles and simple shapes, the Victorian era adds texture to the home as well as a timeless, opulent aesthetic.

    Upcycling

    This year, we’re transforming old into new through creative reuse, or ‘upcycling’. The home accumulates a wealth of waste products yearly, but some are better off transformed than thrown away. Breathe some new life into your home without having to replace a thing. Painting, fixing, and transforming old furniture items will leave your home with a unique and original feel.

    Statement tiles
    Bold backsplashes and statement shower walls can break up the monotony of a room with a touch of colour and texture. Tiles are easy to clean and maintain, which would explain their rise in popularity within modern family homes. From porcelain and ceramic to glass and natural stone, there is an endless array of shapes and styles to choose from.

    Window seats

    Window seats with hidden storage and big, fluffy pillows are the perfect way to kick back with a book and take in the views from the outside world. The best part is that you don’t need to chop into any floor space to implement this extra seating area, making it ideal for smaller living rooms and bedrooms.


    Understated luxury
    Understated luxury is a subtle and thoughtful application of elegance in the home to enhance everyday living. Interiors with this theme will feature plenty of discreet smart technology, sustainable materials, and classic design elements to balance the contemporary style.

    The renaissance of brown interiors

    2023 was a big year for soft, muted greys, but the next natural transition appears to be classic browns. Chocolate neutrals are likely to be seen in fabrics, textiles, and cabinetry, introducing a much needed sense of warmth into the home.
  • Buying property in 2024
    Posted on 6 January 2024

    Buying property in 2024




    Calculate your budget

    Before you start searching for your perfect property, it is important to calculate your budget so you know what price range you should be looking at. To calculate an accurate and realistic estimate, you should consider your income, savings, and monthly expenses. It's a good idea to let a mortgage adviser help you with this, as they will give you an estimate of what you can afford based on your situation.

    Get a pre-approved mortgage
    Mortgage pre-approval is a process that involves a lender conducting a thorough assessment of an individual’s financial history to establish the maximum loan amount they can receive. Several things are checked in mortgage pre-approval, such as your credit score, bank statements, and payslips. As well as creating additional mortgage options that are personalised to you, having a pre-approved mortgage will make you stand out as a serious buyer, which can give you an advantage when searching and making offers for properties.

    Use an experienced estate agent
    When buying a home, using the services provided by an experienced estate agent is paramount. The knowledge and expertise they possess contribute to a successful, stress-free process and help you make informed decisions. They are equipped with a large network of connections, which allows them to access a greater selection of homes that meet your needs and desires. Furthermore, estate agents manage the intricate web of legal and financial factors involved in buying a home, providing vital information and support throughout the process. It is important that you seek their assistance when preparing to make an offer for a property, as they can suggest a sensible amount to put on the table.

    Find your ideal home

    When looking for your perfect home, there are several things you need to consider, one of which is the location of the property and its access to important amenities such as schools, hospitals, and transportation links. Aside from the practicalities of a location, you should also ensure that you enjoy the overall feel of the neighbourhood so that you are confident that you will enjoy living there. You should also consider what type of property you need based on your situation. For example, if you have a growing family, you might want to search for a house with multiple bedrooms and a spacious garden.

    Inspect the property
    Once you have found a property that you are interested in buying, you should make sure to give it a thorough inspection. This is crucial as it could reveal issues that you did not previously spot when you viewed the property. It could be a good idea to hire a surveyor, as they will check for any issues with the property and detail their findings to you so that you are fully aware of the condition of the home you are looking to buy.

    Read the contract

    Thoroughly reviewing the entire contract is essential when buying a property to ensure a smooth and legally sound exchange. Professionally examining the contract will help you find any hidden clauses that could otherwise be overlooked, meaning there will be fewer unpleasant shocks or disagreements in the future. There is nothing in the contract that is unimportant, so you mustn't skip any parts or ignore anything you do not understand. If you find something in the contract that you are unhappy with, it is best to get in touch with your estate agent as they will suggest the best course of action.  
  • Top Tips to Attract Tenants in the New Year
    Posted on 26 December 2023

    Top Tips to Attract Tenants in the New Year




    Highlight your tenant criteria
    It’s important to know what kind of tenant would be the most suitable for your rental property, as you’ll need to be able to highlight exactly what you’re looking for. This will help your estate agent to narrow down the search and find tenants more efficiently. They can also filter out anyone who does not meet your criteria and may be better suited to a different home. This is also a great opportunity to establish your stance on pets, smoking, and students.

    Keep up with regular maintenance  
    Part of the allure of renting is knowing that all major repairs and maintenance issues will be taken care of by someone else, so having someone responsive to attend to your property is essential for drawing in tenants and keeping them happy long-term.  

    Make your property appealing
    Tenants need to know that their potential home is worth what they’re paying for, so make sure it stands out above the rest. Create a winter maintenance checklist to ensure it’s looking its best in time for viewings. This might include replacing tired furniture, freshening up the paintwork and making minor repairs where needed.

    Prioritise energy efficiency
    Speaking of getting your money’s worth, energy efficiency plays a huge role in how much it costs to live in your property. As a landlord, you can help minimise your property’s environmental impact and save your tenants money on household bills by bolstering your EPC rating. This might include new insulation, replacing bulbs with LEDs, and installing double or triple-glazed windows. Energy efficiency is high on the priority list for many renters, so having your EPC in the green is a great way to attract tenants.  

    Rethink your demographic
    If you aren’t having much luck with your target tenant, it could be worth considering a different tenant group. For example, if you have been marketing your property towards students, but it’s located too far from campus, you might have better luck marketing to young professionals instead.  

    Include desirable features
    If you want your property to stand out from the crowd, it’s good to offer something desirable that sets your listing apart from the rest. An example of this is including bills in the rent, as this will attract tenants who need to budget carefully. Small touches like installing fast broadband will also go a long way, especially since there has been a huge influx of remote and hybrid workers in the UK.
  • How to Prepare your Home to Host Christmas
    Posted on 11 December 2023

    How to Prepare your Home to Host Christmas




    Slow down the flow

    Many people will overlook the issue of traffic flowing through the front door until it’s too late, and coats and shoes are all over the place. Decide early on where guests will put their coats as they walk in and try to make as much room as possible for scarves, gloves, hats and bags. If you have a cupboard under the stairs, give it a good clean-up and leave some extra space for umbrellas and wellies.

    Have a big clear-out
    Before the kids get their new toys, your wardrobe gets updated and your bookshelves fill up with the latest bestsellers, make sure to have a clear-out. Now is the perfect time to donate items and free up some space in your rooms. If you have any newer items sitting around that you don’t have use for, consider selling them and using the money for additional Christmas presents.  

    Lighting choices

    For relaxing indoors, warm, low lighting is perfect. Harsh lighting can be headache-inducing and that’s the last thing your guests will want after their Christmas dinner. Instead, you can create a cosy ambience using candles, fairy lights and the warm glow of the fireplace.

    Clear away the clutter
    You will need floor space for opening presents, games of charades, and gathering around the TV; so it’s a good idea to move some furniture around on a temporary basis and remove any clutter taking up the room.  

    Dress for the season

    Dress your dining table to the nines with festive placemats and decorative table runner to create a central focus point. You could even add name cards for each guest and decide on a seating plan beforehand for a welcoming and personal touch.

    Prepare the guest bathroom
    Your guest bathroom will see a lot more traffic than its used to, so make sure it’s ready for all your guests. Start with a deep clean, focusing on fresh clean smells and shiny surfaces. Then you can move on to the final touches like stocking up the toilet roll, hanging a fresh guest towel and refilling the soap dispenser.

    Creating a welcoming environment

    If someone is spending Christmas with you, they most likely already feel very welcome in your home. Enhance that warm feeling by making sure the heating is on, blankets are ready and candles are filling the room with sweet smells. Be sure to keep the food and drinks coming, the festive tunes playing and you can’t go far wrong.

    Start early
    A huge factor in making sure your home is ready for Christmas, is simply preparing it for winter. Check that the door and window seals are in good working order, cracks in the walls are filled in and consider investing in some draft excluders. Litter blankets and cushions on every sofa, and make sure your fireplace is clean and working so everything is ready for your guests to gather around the TV after Christmas dinner.  
  • How to be a Good Landlord During the Festive Season
    Posted on 11 December 2023

    How to be a Good Landlord During the Festive Season




    Prepare yourself and your tenants for Christmas

    Robberies and theft tend to peak during holiday periods, so get in touch with your tenants and ask what their plans are over the season. If they are going to be away from the property for some time, advise them on how to deter thieves such as keeping their lights on a timer, asking a trusted neighbour to accept parcels and ensure all doors and windows are secure.
    You will also want to enjoy the holiday period, so if you’re going away or will be unavailable over Christmas, make sure you inform your tenants of this and explain how and when they will be able to contact you, should there be an emergency. If you’re planning to take a break for a little while, it’s a good idea to arrange for someone else to be on call instead.

    Complete your winter checks
    Get your winter checks done as early as possible, as any issues will become harder to resolve the closer you get to Christmas. Check the heating system is in good working condition, the gutters are clear of leaves and mulch from autumn, and nothing has frozen over in the cold, such as pipes and door locks. Once you’re certain your property can withstand the cold winter months, you can put your feet up and enjoy a mince pie knowing that you drastically reduced the risk of any weather-related disasters.

    Discuss decorations

    Most people will want to make their house cosy and festive in the winter months, and tenants are no exception. Let your tenants know they have the freedom to decorate the home but be clear on the conditions and any boundaries you may have. It’s important that you establish this early on to avoid any disputes.

    Be fire conscious
    During the festive season, homes will be dressed up in lights, candles and all manner of bright, sparkly things to illuminate the dark evenings. To reduce the risk of fires, give your tenants a fire safety refresh and check all doors and handles are meeting legislation standards. Tell tenants not to use old Christmas lights, to never leave any lights or candles unattended, and to try keep them off during the day to prevent overheating.

    Plan for the year ahead

    As this year comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to start planning out the year ahead, whilst also reflecting on the past 12 months. Take the time out to think about everything that went well for you this year and how you can improve going forward so that you can enter the New Year with a fresh mindset and an improved strategy.

    Send season’s greetings
    Last but not least, show your tenant’s your appreciation for taking care of your property by sending them a seasonal card, or maybe even a small gift to thank them for being a good tenant.
  • Top Tips to Decorate Your Home for Christmas
    Posted on 9 December 2023

    Top Tips to Decorate Your Home for Christmas




    Start with a colour scheme that ties in with the room
    It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the joyous seasonal colours and create an unintentional sense of chaos in your living room. Consider picking out a colour scheme which complements your regular furniture, as sticking to a palette will create a sleek and modern look which blends seamlessly into your home, while also honouring the festive traditions we know and love.

    Try rustic designs

    Rustic items evoke feelings of cosiness due to the association with nature and warmth – which is why they are perfect for Christmas decor. Try out wooden Christmas ornaments, upcycled mason jars and natural garlands. Don’t forget to make use of decorative pinecones, dried oranges and holly sprigs for endlessly comforting smells and textures.

    Update your shelves
    Add some drama to your living space by decorating your shelves with Christmas trinkets and winter foliage. Fake snow is a whimsical touch that works well on shelves for an effect that’s reminiscent of snow-covered rooftops.

    For the minimalists…

    If you love Christmas but not the drama, you can subtly set the scene with a few nods to the season around your home. Skip the tree and style a glowing tree lamp with simple hanging decorations, create a centrepiece on your table using either sparkly ornaments or a bowl of festive potpourri. Make use of winter textures and patterns to cosy up your rooms, such as tartan blankets and pillows, faux fur rugs and white bedding that mimics the blankets of snow outside.

    For the maximalists…
    If you’re feeling big, bold and bright, now is your time to start decorating to the nines. For a retro look, break out the nutcrackers, themed ornaments, singing Santas and tinsel, as these items will take you right back to Christmas past. To truly embrace the fun of the season, reject any restraints and allow colours and patterns to conquer the space, as doing so will create a room bursting with character and warmth.

    Christmas lights

    No Christmas set-up is complete without a few twinkling lights. Traditionally, Christmas lights around the tree are supposed to be as flashy and colourful as possible. However, these may not be to everyone's taste so to achieve a softer look which complements the room rather than dominating it, opt for white or yellow lights on a slow-changing setting.

    Create festive wreaths
    Store-bought wreaths rarely have the same charm as when they are handmade. If you’ve got a hot glue gun handy and a little extra time to get creative with your decorations, crafting your own wreath out of dry or faux foliage will add a personal touch to your front door that captures the homely feeling of the holidays.

    Make things cosy

    One of the key elements in getting your home ready for Christmas is to ensure everything is as cosy as possible. Especially if you plan on having guests, make sure every seating area has enough blankets and pillows, snacks are within easy reach and the fireplace is clean and ready to use
  • Unique ways to add a personal touch to your home
    Posted on 28 November 2023

    Unique ways to add a personal touch to your home



    Change the hardware

    If your kitchen is in need of a few finishing touches, updating your hardware is a cheap and easy way to transform the space. Give your cabinets some personality by updating the knobs and pulls with quirky and ornate models that bring a whole new lease on life to the space.

    Create a mood board
    Contrive a spot for creativity in your room or home office with an arrangement of pictures, postcards and magazine cutouts. Design with whatever inspires you. For example, you could use your mood board to reflect the season, your lifestyle, or any projects you're currently working on. Mood boards give the room a glowing personal touch while also creating an attractive focal point.


    Display statement art

    Oversized, eye-catching, and abstract artwork is a great way to showcase your personality and keep something that speaks to you close by. Choose areas of the home which could benefit from a pop of colour, such as a dark corner or an empty alcove. A punchy piece of art will really liven up the space and remove any sense of dullness.


    Hang a pet portrait
    Pay homage to your pet with a framed portrait capturing their furry or scaly likeness. You can commission a local artist or search online for any particular art style you like. Whether it’s a soft watercolour painting, a funny caricature, or a hyper-realistic rendering, hanging a pet portrait is a great way to make yourself at home.

    Vintage finds

    Scour charity shops, car boot sales, and online marketplaces for unique vintage items that speak to you. Whether it's an antique mirror, a retro lamp, or a quirky piece of furniture, vintage finds can infuse character and history into your home.

    Annotate your bookshelf
    A great joy for booklovers is having guests take a nosy at their collections. Make it easier for them to flick through all your favourite quotes and titbits by annotating your most beloved books with highlighters, sticky tabs, and homemade bookmarks.

    DIY projects

    Embrace your creative side by taking on some DIY projects. Hand-paint a mural on a bedroom wall, create custom shelving or craft unique decor items. The satisfaction of creating something with your own hands will make your home even more special.