Inspiration

Ideas For An Unused Or Empty Room In Your Home

 

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Have your children left home and no longer use their rooms? Or do you have a room such as a dining room, which you rarely use or do you actually have that proverbial spare room, a room that you have just shut the door on and which, as everyday goes by gathers more and more dust? For whatever reason, you have a room or rooms that basically have no function or purpose and you don’t know what to do with them.

Do you just keep them as they are, as if they were like rooms in a stately home, or do you transform them into useful spaces that you can benefit from and enjoy? Style My Home, a leading Interior Design company based in Tunbridge Wells certainly hopes you think about the latter and see this gained space as an exciting opportunity, which you can totally transform in a practical or completely indulgent way or a bit of both. Here are some of our ideas as to what you can do with your empty or unused rooms.

  • Guest room
  • Dressing room
  • Study or office
  • Hobby room
  • A retreat
  • Gym/spa/exercise studio
  • Sitting room or snug
  • Reading room
  • Music room
  • Multi-functional room
  • Games room

A Comfortable and Relaxing Guest Room

The above options show that the possibilities are endless, and perhaps herein is the problem. You really do have to decide what will work for you. A Guest Room is an obvious choice and the room vacated by a child who has gone to university would work perfectly. It can be transformed into a welcoming and relaxing space and not one that is filled with all your children’s posters and trophies. Crisp bedlinen and simple accessories could create a space you would be happy to welcome guests to stay.

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A Craft or Hobby Room

Perhaps you have a hobby such as sewing or painting or a craft such as jewellery making, which you would like to spend more time doing but you never seem to get round to it because of the inconvenience of having to put out all the necessary equipment on the kitchen or dining room table. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it all set up ready so that you can just go in and start making curtains or continue your landscape painting? Thoughtful, organised storage can make a hobby room a huge success and a place you love to be in.

If the room isn’t very big, you might want to turn it into a dressing room or an office or even a reading room or quiet retreat.

Be Imaginative and Add Colour and Personal Touches

  • Declutter and tidy
  • Think outside the box and be creative
  • Lighten up the space with colour
  • Spruce up a child’s bedroom
  • Add personal touches e.g. artwork, cushions, furniture
  • Introduce plants
  • Lighting – add lamps and mood effects

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An Exercise or Games Room

Other ideas include a gym or a games room. Even if you are a member of a local health club, it’s nice to be able to work out in your own space without all the travel involved. You can fill a games room with a pool table, table tennis table, a dartboard or even an air hockey table. If the space is small, maybe consider a mirrored wall to create space so it makes a great work out place.

Create Practical Multi-Purpose Rooms

Multi-functional rooms could be a home office and library, or a media room, which transforms into a cosy sitting room or snug where you can watch the latest movies as well as listening to your favourite music. Children’s bedrooms can be transformed into stunning guest rooms but when the children come back to stay, they are still available. A craft or hobby room can quickly be transformed into an artist’s studio if you keep furniture to a minimum. All of these combinations allow you to consider storage options as well!

What To Do Next

These are just a few ideas from Style My Home. So if you are lucky enough to have a spare or unused room, don’t let it go to waste and do make the most of optimising your newly found space. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, call Style My Home on 01892 510070 or email enquiries@stylemyhome.com We are delighted that we have enabled many of our clients to realise the full potential of their homes by transforming unused and spare rooms into practical and useful spaces.

Declutter and Evaluate Your Home – Are You Ready To Ring The Changes?

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Do you smile as you approach your home and think of the oasis of calm that is waiting for you behind the front door? Or do you dread it as you think of the mess and clutter that is waiting for you?

It’s so true that, “A home should be a home” and it should be the place that you look forward to coming back to and hanging out in. A home must be not only practical and functional but also inviting, interesting, pleasing on the eye and relaxing. Does your home contain that tranquil space where you can forget about everything and wind down? Does it exude your character and personality and have that comfortable sofa where you can completely relax? If it’s filled with your clutter and mess, you really need to make changes.

“Start Ringing The Changes”

February is a wonderful time to start ringing the changes and thinking afresh. It’s time to visit the old saying, “Out with the old, in with the new”. Take a good look around your home and ask yourself if you really love being there.

  • Are you happy in your home?
  • Is it working for you?
  • Do you only see mess and clutter?
  • Does the whole house need a tweak or a transformation, or is it just a room or two?

Now is the time to declutter and then evaluate!

To create the atmosphere and ambiance you are looking for, you will need to streamline your possessions and give your home a good clean and keep it that way. Go through your home room by room. Deep cleaning and decluttering can be extremely therapeutic and calming.

You will need to summon your ruthless streak and start thinking of throwing out, fixing and mending, donating, going to the tip, recycling or selling at a boot fair or through social media.

Discover Space and Calm

Mess can be oppressive and you’ll soon discover that if you keep surfaces clear and clean and put things away in cupboards and other storage spaces, it will be well worth the effort as you discover calm and that oppressive feeling starts to dissipate.

Once you’ve overcome the hurdles of decluttering and cleaning, you will really be able to see your rooms in a new light. You may be surprised by the amount of extra space that has been created and you now have a blank canvas to begin creating the home you are looking for.

Use Your Imagination

  • Paint with soft and warm colours
  • Refresh your furniture
  • Introduce new lighting
  • Fill with scents and aromas such as candles
  • Bring interest with rugs and cushions
  • Lift the mood with plants and flowers

You will find that major renovations aren’t necessary such as replacing doors and windows, knocking down walls or putting in a completely new kitchen – a few tweaks here and there can really transform a property. Pick out some lamps and colourful cushions and add a new picture and of course use a little bit of imagination!

What To Do Next

If you would like some help in transforming your home or individual rooms in your house, call Style My Home on 01892 510070 or email enquiries@stylemyhome.com We are delighted that we have bought that oasis of calm to many properties in the Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge areas and delighted owners as the spring has come back into their step as they approach home.

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Trend Spotting: Peach & Terracotta

Say “hello” to Peach this 2018 – this ranges from salmon, coral and terracotta to a dusky rose. This burnt orange-inspired tone takes over from last year’s must-have Millennial Pink. It’s soft and powdery shades offer a fresh palette and a mellow new neutral, perfect if you are not able to face yet another grey. Embrace nature and go for apricot, dusky rose and terracotta shades with accents of natural wood. Warmer textures such as brass, natural wood and velvets enhance these peach tones, creating a modern and grown-up alternative to pinks, with a base colour that is really easy to team with anything!

Need some more inspiration? Here’s how we would style the must-have colour of 2018 – Peach!

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Wall Paint: Blush, Little Greene  • Sofa: Scott 3-Seater Sofa in Burnt Orange Cotton Velvet, Made.com – £999.00 • Rug: Watercolour Trellis Wool Shag Rug, West Elm – £499.00 • Mirror: Metal Framed Round Wall Mirror, West Elm – £249.00 • Pendant Light: Elmley Curved Rattan Shade, Habitat – £90.00 • Planter: Standing Brass Planter, Cox & Cox – £120.00 • Footstool: Circus Small Poufe by Normann Copenhagen, Made in Design – £328.00

Or add a more subtle hint of peach with one of our favourite accessories:

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Christmas Styling: Country Living

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Christmas Styling: Modern and Metallic

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Christmas Styling: Colourful, Bold & Fun!

 

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Get the Look:

Rockett St George – for bold and quirky decorations and

How to light your home this winter

As we say goodbye to the British summertime, we say hello to dark and gloomy mornings and evenings, which is why the right lighting at home is so crucial over the winter months, even if it just helps to improve our mood!

style_my_home_winter_lightingThink about how light is distributed

To create a warm and cozy room take focus away from a key central pendant emitting light in the centre of the room. Introduce small pockets of light across the room at lower levels – think table lamps, draped festoon lighting, candles, lanterns and fairy lights, and use a mixture of pendant, floor and table lights in each room. To prevent shadowing, place floor lights in the corners of the room. As George Clark says “scattering pockets of light more evenly helps to create that warming, seasonal atmosphere” which is perfect for winter.

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Festoon lights provide lowlight perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere – simply drape in a dark corner over beams or from the ceiling, wrap over a mirror or create a feature on a plain wall.

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Experiment with textures

We all long for a cozy and relaxing space with a warm glow in the winter. However, crystal, glass and metal shades and exposed bulbs can give off a harsh light. Experiment with materials – changing the material of a lampshade can have a huge impact on the way light is cast around a room. Opt for a ceramic or fabric lamp shade, or open weave design, to create a softer feel to the room. Think knitted macrame style, bamboo or white ceramic.

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Choose larger lampshades to be suspended from the ceiling to create a wider projection of light and open weave lampshades to create soft indirect light.

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Fabric choices are also key: if a particular lamp is too bright, changing the material of the shade, its colour or shape can also have a massive impact on the way the light is cast around a room – it also means you don’t have to start from scratch and invest in a whole new light, simply replace the shade.

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Lampshades from Janie Knitted Textiles – prices on request

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Graypants cardboard shades are available in natural, grey or white – these statement shades with their interesting weaves and structure will create eye-catching lighting patterns! From £195.00

Use the right light bulbs

The right light bulbs can truly transform the feel of a room; too much yellow light in the winter will only emphasise the stark contrast to the weather outside and will kill any cosy, relaxed atmosphere. Replace old bulbs with LEDs, or invest in bulbs that come in a range of different colour temperatures – go for a warm white light with a touch of cooler light to avoid a strong yellow tinge. If you don’t have dimmer switches, go for a smoked glass or amber glass shade for the same effect.

Don’t forget your porch!

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As we mentioned in our last blog post, lighting our garden is just as important as battling the gloomy nights inside. For a warm welcoming way of returning home, light up the porch. Hang a glass lantern in the central of your entranceway, or have wall lights on a sensor to greet you and guests before they arrive to your door.

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Moore Lantern in Glass, Pooky – £170.00 – with it’s unusual geo shape of glass panels, expect lots of light and interesting shapes.

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Exterior Box Light, Holloways of Ludlow – from £299.00 – A more traditional style for lighting your porch, style one either side of your front door for most light and a stylish look.

 

Embrace winter – create light in your garden!

No doubt about it, winter is upon us – there’s even only a few days till the clocks go back! So for those of us working all week, that means leaving home for work in the dark and coming home in the dark. While we want to cosy up our interiors and light up those dark areas, we should consider what we miss about the outdoors during the dark winter months.

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We are all adding bi fold doors or conservatories to enjoy our gardens, so let’s make sure we enjoy the full potential of our gardens throughout the winter too. Look to install both practical lighting as well as creating lighting in your garden or courtyard, particularly where you have bi folds or large windows.

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Light an attractive wall, especially if it’s whitewashed brick or stone, as this will reflect light into your house and give an interest to those dark evenings at home. Show off your attractive plants, bringing the garden into your house.

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Floodlight projectors can provide practical lighting if placed near paths or buildings but also look effective if positioned in a row of plants or sporadically positioned in trees. If you have a water feature or a sculpture floodlight projectors can be particularly effective.

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Buried up-lighters in flower beds can wash light up to show architectural plants and trees as well as textured walls or external buildings.

There’s nothing worse than arriving at someone’s house and not being able to see the house number or name in the dark, or follow the way in paths and steps. Give your house a facelift with new lighting at the entrance, functional lighting to guide you but also makes the property look more attractive and welcoming. Re-create the entry of your property with the addition of wall lights or a hanging pendant or lantern. Recessed spots in steps, decking and paths can also create good vision as well as look attractive.

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Look out for our next blog where we look to cosy the interior of your the house for winter with task lighting as well as beautiful ideas for lighting.

All photos found on Pinterest

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2017’s Hot Garden Trends

As we’re spending more time in our outdoor spaces, whether it’s a large green expanse or a simple balcony, we’re wanting more comfort and cosiness – so make sure to expect a move towards styling your garden as you would your home; treat it as an extra room, an extension of your home, not a separate space.

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The line between indoor and outdoor is becoming increasingly blurred; the trend of bi-folding doors and wide sliding doors mean we can create one large open-plan space leading straight onto the garden.

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Think stylish seating that’s a mix of daybeds and comfy swing seats (not too dissimilar to what can be found in the living room), teamed with lighting that’s no longer functional but feature, and finished off with on-trend accessories and botanicals which would also sit perfectly inside!

Furniture

As the garden becomes more and more important, we want the same level of style, comfort and indulgence outside as we do inside! Forget upright chairs, the garden is now the perfect place to laze and lounge. As 2017 is all about ‘mindfulness’, there’s no better place to put it to practice than in the garden; choose seating that offers the ultimate comfort level, switch off from technology and curl up with a good book (or a glass of wine!) in the fresh air.

style-my-home-glamorous-garden-furnitureRestricted with space? Avoid filling space with big sofas and chairs with act as blocks in the space, instead choose chairs with exposed legs and delicate tables – this allows you to see through to the space behind, making the area feel welcoming. 

low-garden-furniture-style-my-homeWith small spaces, go for low furniture which allows the height to become the focus rather than the lack of space. Style with tall, architectural plants and draping lighting for a stylish effect that draws the eye upwards. 
If your outdoor space is slightly smaller, curate your furniture and accessories as you would a small room; go for mirrors to reflect light and make the space feel twice as big, team it with individual furniture pieces that have elegant legs, are neat and stylish and can be easily stacked.

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Perfect for the summer months, we love these string chairs inspired by 1950’s Acapulco chairs, from Cox & Cox. Ideal for both outdoor lounging in the sun, they also contemporary stylish twist to any interior, as seen in our latest Staging for Selling project.

Grey String Chair (and photo) from Cox and Cox | Photo via Maddison’s Residential

Lighting

Garden lighting is becoming cheaper and much more fun. With solar powered, rechargeable or battery powered lights, the style possibilities are endless; from uplighters and lanterns to festoons and fairy lights.

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Style uplighters in amongst large shapely plants for eye-catching shadows, drape festoon lights across dining areas creating a canopy effect, and hide lanterns around the edge of your garden to make the space feel larger than it is, or add a firepit to create a central entertainment hub for you and your guests.

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Accessories

Team traditional manicured flower beds with a mixture of pot-grown plants and botanical features. Go for a mixture of softer, romantic plants (such as the blousy-pink Tulipa) inspired by Scandi style, teamed with low-maintenance dwarf shrubs, and small statement gardens.

These small gardens take shape in terrariums which provide the perfect stylish tabletop decorations, in perfectly crafted window boxes and haute house-plants which can also take pride of place on the patio.

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All photos (unless otherwise stated) sourced on Pinterest

Best of Houzz 2017 Award Winner – Best of Service!

Earlier this year Style My Home won a ‘Best of Service’ 2017 Award on Houzz, the leading home renovation and design platform which has over 40 million active monthly users!


Caroline Pickering in Tunbridge Wells, UK on Houzz

The Best of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Customer Service, Design and Photography. The Customer Service awards are determined by a number of factors, including the number and quality of client and contractor reviews received.

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Style My Home,” said Andrew Small, MD of Houzz UK and Ireland. ‘Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

We’re thrilled at Style My Home to receive this recognition, and we would like to thank the Houzz community who voted for us, and everyone for leaving supportive reviews.

Find us on Houzz here!