Whether it’s a kitchen overhaul or a loft conversion, new windows or revamped storage; our inspiration guide could help kickstart one of these four big projects for your home.
OPEN UP YOUR SPACE WITH GLAZING
‘Few things transform a room like light, so overhauling your glazing can make a remarkable impact on your space and wellbeing,’ says Bryony Sandy of IQ Glass. Replacing internal solid doors with glass doors also helps your space to flow by creating a more open-plan feel, while maintaining the practical ability to close off rooms and shut out noise. Replacing your entire back wall with glazing is a major trend, but think carefully before you take the plunge. Industrial style Crittall framing, or giant sliding glass doors can look stunning, but only if you have a picturesque vista to look out on. Curtains can really spoil the look of this style of glazing, so also consider if you’re overlooked by the neighbours and if you prefer your privacy. Ultra-modern skylights are an alternative option, especially if you have a flat roof or have extended into your side return; long panels of glazing that stretch across the ceiling and down to the floor can look especially stylish.
REVAMP YOUR KITCHEN
Whether you’re planning a whole new kitchen, or simply want a revamp, kitchens have become the hub of the home, so improving this space can be a wise investment. Property guru Phil Spencer says: ‘Make sure the price bracket of your kitchen matches the price bracket of your house. There is no point putting a £25,000 kitchen in a £250,000 house; you won’t see your money back. Equally, put a £10,000 kitchen in a £1 million house, and you will drag down the value.’ Open-plan kitchen/diner layouts continue to be most popular, so consider knocking down a wall to open up the space, or installing an island with seating that can act as both a work surface and an informal dining/homework/socialising space. Updating your kitchen flooring with patterned tiles to create more interest, or lighter colours to brighten the space, can also have a big impact. Likewise, new lighting schemes, tiling, work surfaces and cupboard doors can also radically change the appearance of your kitchen, without costing the earth.
CONVERT YOUR LOFT
With the mantra ‘don’t move, improve’ becoming more popular, loft conversions are one of the simplest ways to add extra space to your existing home – and boost its value. The addition of a loft room can increase the value of your home by up to 25% and the build should last just four to five weeks. It’s also one of the least disruptive building projects you can take on, as scaffolding can be erected for access from the outside. Bedrooms are one of the most popular uses for the loft area, but bathrooms, dressing rooms, home offices and even studios sit well in this space. You do need to consider building and fire regulations though, which stipulate the type of staircase and insulation needed, as well as fire door and emergency exit requirements. You will also need to check if your existing boiler can cope with the extra demands
and consider upgrading, or installing a Saniflo pump system. Rachel Hall, Design Director at Concept Interiors in Surrey adds: ‘Lighting is also important and can be created by allowing natural light in from above through dual aspect Velux windows, or lower level spotlights to flood up over the angled ceilings. This creates a quiet retreat away from the rest of the household.’
TRANSFORM YOUR STORAGE
Fully-fitted wardrobes, shelving, media units and cupboards may sound like a relatively dry subject, but never underestimate the satisfaction you get from cleverly designed storage! Awkward-shaped spaces can be challenging design-wise, so these are precisely the places that clever storage can really come into its own. Under the stairs is a treasure trove of storage space and experienced carpenters can now build individual pull-out cupboards under stairs, or slide-out drawers more akin to kitchen units than storage rooms. Beautiful built-in bookcases can look very elegant, and why not consider building them around and over the top of doors, or around windows incorporating a window seat, for extra impact and storage capacity? ‘Sturdy made-to-measure storage, such as shelving, wardrobes, cabinets and banquet seating can also help to define your space by acting as screens and room dividers’, says Rachel Clark of Alexander James Interior Design.