A Cosy Home For Christmas

I am a real sucker for the Channel 5 Christmas B movies, the sort that star people like Hayley Duff and Nicolette Sheridan and are set in places where they have crisp, deep snow, acres of Christmas lights and the biggest trees you ever did see.

I’ve always loved these films and I think part of the reason for this is to do with the places where the characters live. They always exude cosy ‘Christmasness’, with roaring fires, huge sofa, windows with shutters, cosy rugs and festive/alpine touches.

If this is your idea of decor heaven, read on to find how you can add your own cosy touches to your home this winter.

Adding a Made to Measure Rug

One of the home decor trends of recent years has been the rise in laminate and real wood floors. They look beautiful, age well and are easier to clean, but it has to be said that they lack that warm and cosy feel that Winter needs. One easy way to add the ‘warm and cosy’ is to add a beautiful made to measure rug.

Designer-carpet.co.uk are experts when it comes to your luxury carpets and designer carpet needs. They deal in both made to measure rugs and in heavily discounted carpet remnants that can give you the designer look at up to 90% off RRP.

A beautiful handmade, made to measure rug will add a touch of luxury to your home as well as making it look super cosy. The beauty of made to measure is that it can be designed to fit your room size, so it doesn’t overwhelm your space. You can choose colours and patterns that fit with your existing decor and can even opt for the brand that takes your eye. The fabric and texture is also your choice, from something hardwearing like jute or seagrass, to something soft like velvet or loop. The choice is yours.

Adding Tier on Tier Window Shutters

Beautiful tier on tier window blinds not only add extra warmth to a room, but they look cosy and festive too. Wooden shutter blinds give your house a Nordic touch, and if you look at the range from Thomas Sanderson you get a design that is handcrafted and traditional looking.

Cushions, Lots of Cushions

Have you ever noticed just how many plump cushions festoon the sofas and chairs in Christmas movies?  Every sofa just looks like you would sink into it and not want to ever get up again.

Whether you decide to opt for plain and simple cushions that you can use all year around, or whether you go for a few seasonal options, it has to be said that cushions totally equal cosiness.

A wreath for the mantlepiece

All good Christmas films have a festive wreath on the fireplace that is a real statement piece. Home Alone had a wreath and stockings hanging above the fire, whilst even the minimalist style of the LA home in The Holiday had a festive wreath – it’s one thing a cosy festive home just has to have. Real greenery works best and can add a beautiful festive scent to your home too, but there are some really stunning artificial mantle wreaths, and many have twinkly lights that add to the magical Christmas aura.

A cosy throw

Your can transform your usual sofa into a festive version of your sofa with the addition of a cosy Christmas throw. These look and feel soft and comfy and cost very little, you can usually pick them up for less than £10 from stores like Matalan, Asda and Tesco. The throw can be worn over the top of the sofa, or thrown over the arm of a chair, and can simply be folded away once Christmas has gone.

Are you adding any seasonal touches to your home this Christmas?

An Old World Feel in Your Living Space

Do you watch shows like “Downton Abbey” or travel to Europe and yearn for that Old World feel in your living space? When most people think of the Old World, they hark back to the 17th to 19th Centuries, when parlours and great rooms were quite different from the living rooms of today. Here are six tips for creating an Old World atmosphere in your home, using carefully selected antique furniture and a few key facts about days past.

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Look at getting a wooden floor

If you are opting for an olde world style, that carpet just has to go. Wooden and stone floors are far more in keeping with the style, and these can then be softened with the addition of rugs. The best, and most stylish form of flooring, and one that is highly desirable in even the modernist of homes, is parquet flooring, that stunning tongue and groove style that has an highly stylised, antique look. For an authentic feel go for a walnut oak design, or something that has been brushed and oiled and has those inimitable chevrons.

There Were No Sofas Just chairs

During the same time period discussed above, there were also no sofas like you know them today. The sofa was just being invented in various iterations, and any seating for more than one person was in the form of a love seat or chaise

Instead, groups of chairs were the primary form of seating. In trying to create an Old World style for your home, consider adding antique chairs around your hearth. They’ll add interest and flexibility to your furniture arrangement, as well as a touch of verisimilitude.

Your antique chairs don’t have to match each other (in fact, it’s more authentic if no more than two are the same); they just need to match the overall decor of your home. Whether you go for Spanish-style tooled leather with studs and wooden carved frames or more delicate brocade Louis XV seating, they’ll look more Old World than anything you find on the market today.

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Furniture Was Multifunctional

In all but the grandest of homes, tables in centuries past were not designated for just one purpose. The same table where dinner was served might have been used as a writing desk or place to prepare food, depending on which room it was in and the home’s layout.

Trunks were used for storage, but they also served as side tables, as the occasional table and coffee table as they are known today were, like the sofa, still being invented. Ottomans doubled as footstools and serving spaces for trays of tea or snacks.

When creating an Old World look to your home, try to capture that philosophy of furniture having multiple purposes. It makes it more fun to find alternative uses for your antique pieces, and it will actually help you with some of your storage needs.

There Was No Built-in Storage

Speaking of storage, historic homes had no built-in closets and had few, if any, built-in cabinets or bookshelves. These elements were all freestanding, which made for more interesting and changeable room arrangements.

If you’re looking for an Old World feel, think about using antique armoires, highboys and hutches to take the place of built-in storage or to complement the storage you already have. These pieces are a great way to tuck modern appliances like TVs and stereos out of the way and make for a more old-fashioned look.

Lighting Was Softer

Before the advent of electricity, homes used gas lamps or candlelight. For a truly Old World appearance to your living space, do away with harsh overhead lighting and bright bulbs. Replace them with table and floor lamps with soft incandescent bulbs or sconces and chandeliers that hold real candles. Your lighting will be softer and more flattering and will work better with the antique furniture in the room.

Giving your living space an Old World atmosphere can be fun and exciting as you comb antique shops and auctions for the perfect finds. Once you make over one room in this cozy, charming style, you’ll want to do your entire house!

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Things to consider when planning a loft conversation

A loft conversation can often be the answer when you are struggling for space in your current home. You can create extra bedrooms, another bathroom or study space by converting your loft, and this can often mean you can stay in the home you love, rather than needing to move out as your family grows. But there are some key points that you need to consider when you opt to convert your loft. These will ensure you get the best out of the space you have, and are not left disappointed.

Will the Space be big enough for your needs

My husband Pete is a loft conversion specialist and says that one of the problems he sometimes faces is that people are disappointed with how big their new loft space is. You have to bear in mind that one side of the roof will remain sloping, so you will not get the same amount of space has you have on your current first floor. You also need to consider your existing roof height. It needs to be a minimum of two metres in height – after all, you do need to be able to stand up in the new room.

One way you can make your space appear larger is through your use of flooring and colour. The key is to keep everything neutral and not busy. Creams and beige’s give a feeling of space and calm and this can allow your loft space to feel bigger than it is. Similarly, opt for solid wood flooring in a shade like light grey oak (brilliant for a bedroom) or natural oak. These will prove to be hard wearing, but the colour will help to create that illusion of space that is so important.

Light

Lofts are notoriously dark spaces, so you need to add light. The best way to do this is with a Salstro roof window. Salstro, produce the best quality roof windows and you can find a wide range of styles and sizes. The windows come with a ten year guarantee, and in a range of finishes to suit the style of your new room.

The staircase

The configuration of the new staircase into the loft space is probably the most important thing to consider. You don’t want to be in the position of losing a room downstairs if you are only going to be gaining one new room in your loft. The most popular loft conversions create one new bedroom and an ensuite bathroom that works from an existing stairs and landing. This is the best situation for creating a new space.

Finding the right company

A loft conversation is a massive job, so you need to look carefully when it comes to choosing a team/company to convert your roof space. Look for a reputable company and read up on customer testimonials. This is your home so you deserve the best team.

If you take all these points into consideration, you should be able to create a beautiful new living space in your home.