Accessible Housing for All

Our homes are our palaces, we cherish them and decorate them to create our own perfect havens away from the rest of the world. These are the places where we feel safe, secure and comfortable. But what about if something happens to us, either for a moment in time, or more permanently, that makes our homes become a place of frustration, and even a danger to use? This is something that wheelchair users have to address all the time.

I have had times in my life when mobility was a problem. Straight after having Joe I was very ill, and needed a wheelchair to get around. I struggled with the most mudane things like getting around corners and through doors. I was lucky, this was a temporary setback for me, I was soon up and on my feet again. But for some people, this is what they face everyday. My family has a history of MS on both my maternal and paternal side, so I have seen aunties who have spent a great portion of their adult lives needing wheelchairs for mobility, homes that needed to install a stairlift to make life easier, so that they weren’t just confined to the lower levels, and bathrooms that needed to be converted into wet rooms in order to make them safe and usable. In short their houses had to be adapted to make them safe and accessible.

The idea that safer mobility in our homes is now only something we need to think of in terms of elderly relatives is now sadly outdated, the number of young adults who suffer with chronic pain is on the rise, and the stigma about talking about this is lessening, meaning more people are seeking the help they need to help them live independently. A Daily Mail report suggested that more than half of the adult population suffer with chronic pain, i.e. pain that lasts more than 3 months, with an NHS report echoing this, 1 in 6 of these people are in the 18-25 age group, which is quite a staggering figure, and this would, in the past, have made independent living very difficult for young people suffering, but wanting to branch out on their own.

But we can now at least adapt our homes to suit our needs and to give us a level of mobility that can also give a real quality of life. That can only be a good thing.

How to Create a Beautiful Home with Timeless Appeal

photo-1451934403379-ffeff84932da

A classic or timeless home does not follow trends. It resists the urge to accommodate the latest fads. Instead, it relies on an understated design that is both functional and stylish. It is present and enduring. It also remains relevant to the family through updates and affordable home improvements that help retain the character but ensure the house is somewhere comfortable to live.

Follow these simple tips to create a beautiful home with timeless appeal.

Remain Faithful to the Architecture

Classic homes remain faithful to their architecture and surroundings. The interior design should complement the structure and architecture of the building. Look for natural materials and textures such as wood, stone and linen. This should be replicated in the decor and furniture. For example, leather sofas will stand the test of time and will improve with age.

Follow the design ‘theme’ throughout your home, in all rooms.

photo-1445510861639-5651173bc5d5

But Expand if You need to

A beautiful extension in the form of a conservatory can help to add space to your home that you can then use as a study, a summer room or a playroom. A tradition of glasshouses in the past means that a conservatory can actually add a vintage character to your home, and give you a lovely space for your expanding family.

Muted or Neutral Walls

Decorating walls in a muted or neutral colour scheme allows them to blend into the background. Opt for plain, painted walls rather than wallpaper. They do not draw attention. Instead, the focus is on the furniture and accessories of the room. These colours tend to have a lasting appeal and will be as relevant tomorrow as they are today. Complement them with luxury flooring that is long-lasting and elegant.

Of course, there are timeless apartments and homes that incorporate bolder colours. However, these hues are a little harder to work with in this context. There are no hard and fast rules.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors can add to the timeless appeal of your home, but they also help to ensure that your home is secure and energy efficient. So much of the homes heat is lost through poor windows and draughts around doors, so these are home improvements that are well worth making.

Form and Function

If your design is to last for years to come, then the items within it need to be functional. It’s not all about aesthetics. A home is somewhere to live. It is a place to cook, relax, sleep, etc. Therefore, it should be suitable for that purpose. When choosing furniture select items that are comfortable and hard-wearing.
Understated

When thinking about a timeless or classic look, employ the term ‘understated’. Your design shouldn’t be big and brash. And it shouldn’t shout or be boastful. This doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring. Pick items that blend effortlessly into the room.

Mix Styles

Experiment with different styles. Don’t feel restricted to one style, mix and match. For example, an antique clock can work well alongside modern artwork. Introducing items from different eras ensures you’re not favouring one particular period. The trick is to make sure it all works well together.

Pay Attention to Light

Make the light work for you. In small spaces throw open the window areas and remove blinds. Allow as much natural light in as possible. Use light according to function. In the bathroom where you put on your makeup focus light around the mirror. Make sure it is lit from either side and from above. This will eliminate shadows. In the dining area, focus the light on the dining room table.

Change the position and height of light sources. Mix overhead lights, floor lamps and table lamps. Use dimmers to change the ambience of the room.

Adhering to fads and trends can lead to your interiors looking dated over time. Creating a classic and enduring look will ensure your home remains current and appealing. It needn’t be stripped back or boring. It can remain faithful to your style and taste. Opt for designs that you know have stood the test of time. Build it up slowly and ensure it is functional. Think style, rather than fashion.

 

 

 

Kitchen Style To Make Your Mouth Water

* this is a sponsored post *

For many families, the kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, and there is certainly no shortage of inspirational kitchen furniture and accessories to choose from these days. Whether your style is to create a cool, contemporary cooking space or if you love the idea of a traditional shaker style kitchen, you’ll be able to create your dream cooking and dining space with very little difficulty. Clever design means that even the smallest space can be utilised in order to give you plenty of storage, and your colour scheme is totally up to you – with classic wood, high gloss colours and sleek monochrome all popular in our anything goes culture.

For the perfect balance of style and practicality, you need to look carefully at the kind of countertops and worktops you choose. Premier Surfaces Zodiaq Countertops are beautiful quartz worktops which add a touch of luxury to your kitchen and are a great alternative to Corian designs. These are both attractive and durable surfaces that will complement a range of design schemes due to the expanding range of colours. Quartz worktops are a great investment for your kitchen, and it could be that you are able to update the look of your kitchen and make it more modern without completely changing the cupboards and units, but simply adding new countertops. This is great if you are want to upgrade, but have a tight budget.

When you choose a new design for your surfaces, try to find something that will compliment your flooring to make a real kitchen style statement. The London Sky design featured below is white, but tinged with the softest grey which means it looks great when paired with a crisp white floor, but as this can be hard to maintain, especially if you have a family, it would also contrast beautifully with a mid grey or even a charcoal tile.

If you are still struggling for a little kitchen makeover inspiration, why not turn to the celebrity world and the kitchens of the most in demand chefs?  You may not be able to copy the complete look, but are sure to find ideas that you can steal and adapt to your own home.

The following three cooks have created kitchens that are guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing.

Wolfgang Puck

FNM-030110_Wolfgang-Puck-in-kitchen_s4x3_lg

Image source

When it comes to interior design panache, it’s hard to top Wolfgang Puck. The charismatic Austrian-born chef has created the ideal cooking space in his Spanish-style villa in Beverly Hills. Featuring a simple, white color scheme and plenty of storage, it offers the perfect

balance of elegance and practicality. Dominating the room is a center island featuring built-in wine racks and shelves. Meanwhile, glass-fronted cabinets house a host of items, including raw coffee beans from his mother-in-law’s home country of Ethiopia. The design is completed by a striking black floor.

Ina Garten

page-2

Image source

Ina Garten is another well-known cook with a kitchen to die for. In her barn-inspired house in East Hampton, New York, the author and Barefoot Contessa host has created a large cooking and entertaining space that exudes style and sophistication. It features a sizable central island complete with a bar and high stools. In an unusual touch, she has positioned table lamps on top of her work surfaces to provide soft lighting. To give the room a chic, contemporary look, the appliances are hidden away behind cabinet doors. Meanwhile, for extra storage, she has created a separate pantry area with simple wire shelving.

The kitchen also benefits from beautiful exposed ceiling beams and a large dining space complete with a circular table. Perfect for cold winter evenings, the room has a cosy log fire too.

James Martin

p01t1rxm

Image source

The cooking space of British chef and TV presenter James Martin is well worth checking out too. Boasting a large glass-fronted fridge, heavy duty chopping boards, open shelving, glass storage jars and a scattering of potted herbs, the kitchen contains elements of both the rustic and the contemporary. Giving the room added character, James has added a large feature clock to the back wall.

By taking a look at the design ideas of renowned chefs like these, you should find all the inspiration you need to create the perfect kitchen in your property.