Building your own dream home

Whether you are trying to get onto the property ladder for the first time, or are looking to move to a bigger home as your family expands, or even thinking of downsizing as the children grow up and move out, we all have a dream house in our heads. The difference is that, these days, many people make their dream home a reality. This can be in building a home from scratch, or renovating a property, often one that was not always a habitable dwelling.

There are things to consider if you go down the creating or renovating route. You need to find that perfect plot or building, you need to make sure you have a budget that is both manageable and will be enough – you will need to have contingency plans too. You will also need strong construction and building insurance that can also deal with things like structural defects, a company like CRL can address these sorts of needs and also other issues that might arise. You may also need to address issues related to listed buildings. If you take on a building with some sort of heritage preservation order there will be additional costs, rules and building regulations to follow.

Site Management is also a consideration. Your new home will potentially become a building site for a long period of time, so you need to make sure you have a site manager with an NVQ: Level 6 – Diploma In Construction Site Management. This will ensure that your manager has the necessary skills, knowledge and competence at nationally recognised standards to work in construction site management. This will also cover any Health and safety concerns you have. A site manager who has completed NVQ Level 6 should have the Black CSCS Manager Card. This is a big job, so you need to ensure the person leading your team is the best possible choice.

Renovating or building your dream home is a massive undertaking, but it is so worth the effort. Programmes like ‘Grand Designs’ and ‘The Restoration Man’ show just how incredible a renovation can be, a real dream home that can be unique, beautiful and majestic.

Here are a few dream homes that I have fell in love with.

Martello Tower

Martello Towers were created as lookout points during the Napoleonic Wars and are now highly sort after properties that are ripe for renovation. They look huge and imposing, but are often based close to the coast, and make the most unusual home.

A lighthouse

Decommisioned lighthouses are becoming another much sought after property when it comes to renovations. Again the proximity to the coast, plus the design that is already iconic, make lighthouses an interesting take on a family home. Done well, and the renovation can produce a home that is a glorious space, like the one shown below.

Art Deco House Design

My personal favourite design of house is the iconic, distinctive Art Deco designs. These are often white, with curved walls and a flat roof. The roof can often be a problem, many are prone to leaks due to the inadequate drainage, but if you can invest time and a little money in restoring the period features, you can create an incredible space.

Men’s Style Focus – The Three Buttoned Suit

It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m sitting with a slush puppy on a beautiful balcony in Cyprus, and I thought I would bring you a bit of men’s fashion. Men often get left with the more boring end of the style spectrum, but, in recent years, stylish male celebrities like Gerard Butler, David Beckham, Olivier Giroud and Leonardo Di Caprio have all shown that a little stylish nuance, mixed in with suave looks and a nonchalant attitude can make a serious style status. The latest area of interest for men’s fashion is all about the suit buttons – do you go for a two or three buttoned suit?

Three button suits are becoming a very popular choice amongst stylish men. The buttons refer, of course, to the blazer, with three button versions being less common, but just as classy as their two buttoned brothers. Three buttoned versions need to be worn with care, however, to avoid being, well, too buttoned up I suppose. Esquire magazine pointed out Leonardo Di Caprio as the key example of how to wear a three buttoned suit perfectly, with just the centre button fastened, and the other’s left often in a relaxed fashion. This creates a look that is a very cool style for a man about town.  Suitsmen , who create Clothes for gentlemen, also echo the etiquette of the three buttoned suit, and how it should be worn. They say:-

The button etiquette with a three button jacket is to always button the middle button and to button the top button if desired, while always leaving the bottom button undone.

54d9450b567b2_-_esq-leonardo-dicaprio-three-button-suit-110813-1lpy9e-xlg.jpg (614×681)

Suitsmen also point out another advantage of the three buttoned suit, in that it is a popular choice with taller men who have longer torsos, giving a much more balanced look. They supply suits from Brook Taverner, who create trousers that can be made in the longer length than then 33inches that are usually standard.

brook-taverner-3-button-imola-suit-jacket-KVkU.jpg (666×1024)

A man in a suit is always a perfect option for work and formal occasions, but maybe next time you come to choose one, you think a little more outside the box, at least when it comes to buttons.

The Perfect Coat to Wear With Your 3 Button Suit

Tan smart overcoat
£80.00 Click to visit River Island

Black smart overcoat
£80.00 Click to visit River Island

Why Glass Components are Ideal for Any Interior Design

Designing an interior can take many forms, styles and functions. There are many materials that are popular for use in an interior design scheme. Glass is a traditional material and yet it keeps reinventing itself.

Creating glass structures in a design is all well and good until, that is, you come to fixings. You want a minimalist, sleek glass design and yet, as soon as you fix it in position, it looks clunky, the ugly fittings detracting from the minimalist design.

There are now popular solutions, minimalist glass clamps and components that make glass the ideal solution in any interior design scheme.

And here’s why;

Neutral Colour

Glass clamps and components etc. should be as minimal and non-interfering with the final appeal of the scheme a possible but without compromising on strength or sturdiness.

That is why components for use with glass tend to be neutral in colour – they complement the glass, rather than detract from it.

There are various styles and finishes, including matt ‘silver’ finish or a high gloss finish to choose from, and there are also new-to-the-market fixings that are constantly pushing the boundaries of minimal fixings suitable for glass.

Coloured or Stained Glass

Glass used in interior design schemes takes many forms and many colours in some cases too.  Stained glass windows are a delight, beautifully placed in any interior design scheme.

Or there is opaque glass, frosted glass, clear glass, glass with a tint of green… the list goes on. They all have their place in an interior design scheme.

But again, fixing them in position can be a nightmare, especially with chunky fixings. However, there are advances in glass clamps for example, that hold glass in place by applying gentle, but firm pressure over an area.

This applies a firm fixing that doesn’t damage the glass, perfect for dealing with a material that can be both robust and fragile.

Used in Many Applications

Increasingly, glass is being used in applications across the home and workplace that have traditionally been fulfilled by other materials.

The dividing wall, for example, is normally ‘solid’, constructed using either brick or breeze blocks or, in more modern times, partition walls are normally made from lighter weight materials, such as a wooden frame and plaster board.

Sometimes, there is a need for a barrier but not one that blocks light and vision. Hence, glass partition walls are being used. But their beauty is not just in their visual appeal but also in the fact that they can be moved, if needed.

Glass partitions are a common sight in many offices and workspaces but they are becoming more common in domestic spaces too. Known as hyper-minimalism, glass partition walls are used to zone off bedroom and other living spaces, with decadent voile panels used to add privacy as and when needed.

Again, this latest innovation would only be made possible because of the minimal, but strong glass clamps and fixings, as well as minimal hinges for glass doors and so on.

Make a Statement

Essentially, glass is used to make a statement in many interior design schemes, whether that is a modern stained glass window or a glass infill for staircases and balustrades for balconies.

But it should be the glass that makes the statement, and not the glass clamps or fixings. For example, frameless glass balustrades are only frameless because of a combination of laws of physics – cantilevered panels – and the correct fixings to hidden components and structures.

Or Don’t Make a Statement

Glass doesn’t have to be the star of the show. It is this versatility in design and application that make glass such a popular choice of material, irrespective of the interior design style.

Glass can be functional without the swagger, so to speak. Glass infills in balustrades can float in the space they occupy, drawing attention to themselves or they can be fixed into position, using a series of clamps and fixings that look just as stylish as the glass.

And this is what the modern choice of glass components give the designer – choice. Fixings and fixtures can be used as part of the design, incorporated to give a seamless position or it can be ‘hidden’, almost unnoticeable as it supports the glass in its position.

Glass is a material that is popular and affordable. It adds a sense of decadence to any interior design scheme, whether in the home or in the office. There is nothing stopping you from using glass in any space, bar your imagination.

Balustrade Components provide all kinds of glass clamps, fittings and components that allow glass to be used in just about any application, in any interior design scheme.