Interiors

Create a Beautiful Den in Your Roof Space

If you want a chill out area in your home, using your loft could make your dream come true. Most people only store junk up there, which is a real shame because there is so much more that you can do with that space.

play room

Below is a summary of the basic changes that you will have to make to turn your loft into a beautiful room. Once you have done these things, it is up to you what you do with that new space. You could turn it into a chill out space, a training room, an office, a media room, a playroom or somewhere to store all of your clothes. What you do is entirely up to you.

Additional insulation

In most homes, the roof space is quite draughty and cold, so you need to insulate it well to ensure that it is comfortable enough to use. Insulating the space immediately below the tiles, between the rafters, is essential.

If you do not do this properly, for most of the year, your loft will be too warm or too cold to use. Because the insulation you install between your rafters is held in place using plasterboard or similar materials you will have created the ceiling you need.

Create a floor

You can also install insulation in the space between your joists then board over that to create a floor. If you do this, the insulation will provide some sound insulation, and stop heat from the rest of your home transferring into the loft space.

When choosing the flooring you need to bear in mind your plans for your new room. If you want to turn it into a music or entertainment room you will have to make sure that there is enough soundproofing built in.

You may also need to reinforce the joists. For example, if you plan to use it as a gym some of that equipment will be heavy. In that case, your joists may need strengthening to keep everyone safe.

living room

Let some natural light in

It is important to light your loft space well. Doing so is the only way to turn it into a comfortable and usable room.

Introduce some natural light by having windows installed. Most roofing contractors in Cheadle and the rest of the UK will install dormer windows for you.

Bear in mind that building regulations require that every loft extension include a window. The window has to be set close to the floor, so that people can use it as an escape route, in case of a fire. It also has to be positioned somewhere that is accessible for the emergency services.

Making your loft space accessible

You also need to make sure that it is easy to get into and out of your roof space. These days that means installing a proper set of stairs. Building regulations require you to do this. However, in some circumstances you are allowed to install paddle stairs. These are usually cheaper and take up less space.

Converting your loft is fun. You can do the majority of the work yourself. Although planning the layout and installing the windows and stairs is best left to the professionals.

Sky Garden in London – late lunch with a sunset!

Recently opened London’s Sky Garden, the highest public garden offers unforgettable views of the city. You can either book a free visit to the garden or book a place at the bar, brassiere or restaurant. I’ve chosen Darwin Brassiere for a late lunch at 3pm. This time was perfect for catching a sunset at around 4:30 pm (winter time sunset!). The food was not as expensive as I thought it would be compared to the other skyscrapers I’ve visited in London. I will definitely go back as it is a great place in the City to have a meal or a drink and probably the best 360 view of London.

Sky Garden London

Sky Garden London view

Sky Garden View on Thames river

Sky Garden City view

Sky Garden

Sky Garden view

Sky Garden restaurant

rain in London

Eco-friendly home ideas for the ‘green’ minded

Many of us would like to make our homes more eco-friendly without making them appear spartan or plain. With buzzwords like green living, upcycling and sustainable furnishings now serious trends in interior design circles, an eco-friendly home has never been more desirable. With green awareness in mind, here are some tips on how to remodel the various living spaces in the home to make them more eco-friendly while at the same time keeping them comfortable, stylish, and appealing.

Eco-Friendly-Home-Improvement-Ideas

A green home is a healthy home

An eco-friendly or green home is not only one that reduces the homeowner’s carbon footprint, it is also about making a healthier home, with improved air quality, less harmful chemicals and a better use of natural light. The products that we purchase for our homes, from paints and rugs to upholstery and furniture, can often contain harmful chemicals and pollutants, so it’s important we pay more attention to what we buy – not only for the planet but also for ourselves.

Choose eco-friendly, water-based paints rather than oil-based ones: These emit far less pollutants and are just as effective. This is also true of other wall coverings – consider using ceramic tiling or wood or cork paneling over traditional wallpaper, for a natural, warm texture.

Plants add life, color and vitality to your home, but they do much more than that: They help filter air, removing harmful chemicals from a room and providing much-needed oxygen. So choose some hardy houseplants that suit your own personal decor, whether that means colorful flowering ones or tall, elegant palms or cacti.

Save on heating and electricity bills

Maximize natural light by removing heavy drapes and installing skylights or patio doors, or consider an open plan to your house that lets light flow from one room to the other. This will raise everyone’s mood, as sunlight is known to boost happiness, but it will also help you save on electricity bills, too, as you won’t need to switch on electrical lamps as often. Remember that light colors reflect light while dark ones absorb it; so make your interiors light, fresh, and airy.

When night falls, however, the electric lights need to come on, so opt for energy-efficient bulbs and LED lighting. Similarly, remember to insulate your home to save heating costs – use green insulation materials such as recycled denim, newspapers and lambswool and replace drafty old windows with energy-efficient glazing. When it comes to window treatments, solid shutters also help retain heat, and are produced in natural materials such as FSC-certified wood.

Use organic, natural materials

Use organic, natural materials such as cork and bamboo, and linen and unbleached cotton for upholstery and drapes. Bamboo is ideal for home design because it grows quickly and what is cut down can thus quickly be reforested. It is also extremely strong and versatile, and can be used for everything from chairs and flooring to plates and bowls.

Wood is one of the greenest materials one can use, and it has wonderful, natural warmth to it that is hard to replicate with synthetic materials. Always ensure you buy FSC-certified wood, however; this has been independently checked as having been grown in sustainable forests under responsible conditions with respect for both workers and the environment.

Reuse, replace, and recycle

A green home is one that generates less waste, so work with what you already have. To ‘upcycle’ something means to remodel and reuse something in a way that improves its value, for example sprucing up your old dining chairs with new upholstery rather than buying new ones. When buying new furniture and appliances, look for stores that sell used items – even windows and doors can be reused and reclaimed.

Loft conversion ideas

LoftConversion

Like many people in the UK I’m saving for converting the space in the loft to make the most of the space in my house. I love bright and airy spaces and I particularly like removing as many walls as possible to create a living space, where one can run around the house.

For those who are new in this extension/conversion of the property business, a great source of information is the Planning Portal website , where you’ll find plenty of pointers on where to start. A loft conversion is considered there to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, provided certain limits and conditions are met:

> Loft conversions are NOT permitted development for houses on designated land (national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites)

> Any additional roof space created must not exceed these volume allowances:

*40 cubic meters for terraced houses

*50 cubic meters for detached and semi-detached houses

> An extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts a highway is NOT permitted development

> Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house

> No part of the extension to be higher than the highest part of the existing roof

> Verandas, balconies, or raised platforms are NOT permitted development

> Any side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed and non-opening unless the parts which can be opened are more than 1.7 meters above the floor of the room in which it is installed

> Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as is practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves.

> Work on a loft or a roof many affect bats. You need to consider protected species when planning work of this type. A survey may be needed, and if bats are using the building, a licence may be required.

After we decided on the size of the conversion, we meet all the legal requirements and the neighbors agreed on the ongoing work taking place next door, we are ready for the next step…choosing the windows. As I’ve mentioned I want my loft conversion to be bright. I want the daylight to be there all day so I don’t have to use electricity to lit up the place. I’ve been recently recommended an international brand called VELUX®, which sells window innovations, including roof windows, solar panels, and blinds (you can open and close them with the remote control!). You can check out VELUX shop to explore their products and get the prices.

Here are some loft conversion ideas I’ve gathered from their website and other sources. Which is your favorite?

roof windows

west_yorkshire_loft_01l

loft-conversion

velux8

velux+1

Screen Shot 2012-08-14 at 11.42.53_1_small (1)This post is sponsored by VELUX.

 

Milan furniture Fair 2013 / Salone del Mobile highlights – Lighting

I’ve just came back from the Milan Furniture Fair in Italy and I must admit it has been a great trip and I got to see many fascinating designs both in terms of furniture/lighting and fashion. Milan is truly a capital of design full of elegant and well dressed people. I would like to start sharing some of the highlights of the trip with the lighting. Below are some of the most interesting pieces I’ve seen at the exhibition in Rho (outskirts of Milan) and in the show rooms scattered around Milan itself.

Milan furniture fair 2013 -  Rho

Milan furniture fair 2013 map

0AvmIZS

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting3

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting

XF2ySyb

PkreTwO

OzzRMrw

AvtG09M

knEkmFD

20130413_1119424dk57Sw

46aLD8e

ZABbLBq

8HRLpFO

YcnKn9W

xxnlSs2

TbaRdjR

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting6

odWVFoP

8j3T6rV

vgV3uVO

73SUmn9

TWKMRLB

T05onQn

sI6Ks6i

IhHmW20

fa1wotU

tSZgsuM

QysXkzL

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting7

Milan furniture fair 2013 lighting5

NYzAXJN

MblH0BZ

Swarovski

knn9RNi3aA3sA3

rqQmjWg

nhUZYDD

d2vHJ7p

JRMBGMn

CEZJaqh

hQSdsY0

NpOfbUe

fjnKxGI

FlxVFvM

06iuGBv

1kOXiF9

Going to Salone Internazionale del Mobile – Milan Furniture Fair 2013!

Milan furniture fair

I’m excited about going to Italy and attending the Milan Furniture Fair this year and I will make sure to share the experience with you on the blog. If you would like to attend I suggest you plan ahead due to the high prices of accommodation at that time in Milan. I suggest you book a hotel outside the city, for example at the Lake Como, which is based just a 40 min away by train from Milan.

The Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2013 (Milan Furniture Fair) is just like a Milan Fashion Fair but for the Furniture! The show is a global benchmark for the Home Furnishing Sector. The show sets trends for the interior designers across the world. Interior designers present their pieces every year, usually in April. This year Milan Furniture Fair is taking place between 9th and 14th of April. The event is open to members of the trade but the general public is welcome to come on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. The show will take place at Strada Statale del Sempione, 28, Milano, Rho, 20017, Italy, so at the north west outskirts of Milan.

Milan Furniture Fair 2013 map

 

The opening hours are 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Here are the prices for the event:

Ticket type

Online purchase

Purchase at the
fairgrounds

1-entrance card

Euro 20.00

Euro 23.00

3-entrance card

Euro 40.00

Euro 45.00

6-entrance card

Euro 52.00

Euro 58.00

1-entrance card + return ticket Milan/Rho Fiera

Euro 25.00

1-entrance card + 1-day Travelcard

Euro 27.00

3-entrance card + 1-week Travelcard

Euro 53.40

6-entrance card + 1-week Travelcard

Euro 65.40

Reduced one entrance card for students Euro 18.00 (not available for advance purchase)

The pass is strictly personal.
Every entrance into the fairgrounds will be deducted from your pass. 

Tickets valid only for the general public visiting the shows on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April:
Euro 36.00 Ticket for Two
Euro 41.00 Family ticket (valid for 2 adults + 1 child under 18)

Both tickets are valid for one admission only.

 

 

Stunning new Google offices in Tel Aviv

The incredible design of the new Google offices in Israel is a work of German architects from Camenzind Evolution. Personally, I think it is a winner if it comes to Google offices. Normally, the Google offices remind me of a kids playground whereas Israeli Google nicely captures the feel and landscapes of Israel. We need to wait and see if the planned new offices of Google headquarters in London will also offer a similar level of design. Let me know if you can think of any office space that can beat this.

amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv

3-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

4-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

6-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

7-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

9-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

10-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

13-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

14-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

15-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

19-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

22-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

24-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

25-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

26-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

29-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

30-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

31-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

34-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

35-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

36-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

37-amazing-Google-offices-Tel-Aviv1

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed