Category: cleaning (3)

Preparing your home for viewers, or “staging” as it’s called, is important. It will not only ensure your property is sold faster, but can potentially add thousands of pounds to its value

Declutter – but don’t depersonalize

  • Get rid of all the excess stuff that has accumulated in every nook and cranny. Put it in storage or give it to a friend
  •  People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there. People often find this difficult, so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you’re offering them
  • Don’t make it look like a generic hotel; leave some personality. Apart from anything else it gives unimaginative buyers suggestions as to what they might do
  • People are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a property. Show them the attractive side of your lifestyle
  • Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small and replacing it with smaller furniture

A fresh lick of paint

  • Giving your walls a fresh lick of paint, neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger
  • It will enable the viewers to more easily imagine how they would adapt the rooms to their needs
  • It will be easier for the buyers to move in and use the rooms immediately than if the walls were still bright purple or lime green
  • Create a good first impression – give the front door a new coat of brightly coloured paint

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Fix and clean

  • Make any minor repairs necessary – holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets. Many buyers want to move in without making changes, so allow for this
  • Clean everything until it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of all odours, hang up fresh towels. This will make the place more appealing and allow viewers to imagine living there
  • Tidy up the garden: cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt, and cut the grass. While this doesn’t add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as people visualise themselves using the garden

Update the kitchen

  • The kitchen is the most valuable room in a house. It is worth the most per square foot and can make the difference when buyers are unsure
  • Consider refacing your kitchen cabinetry. This is much cheaper than installing new cabinetry and often as effective
  • Upgrading kitchen counter tops is expensive, but can add serious value
  • Declutter the surfaces and just leave a bowl of fruit out. Take out any bulky appliances
  • Consider upgrading the plumbing fixtures and white goods, but keep in mind that while that could make your property sell faster, you will be unlikely to recoup their full value

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Light and airy

  • Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways
  • Clean windows inside and out, and replace any broken light bulbs. Making the place feel light and airy makes rooms feel bigger and the property more attractive
  • Ensure that you have lamps on in any dark corners
  • Putting a soft lamp in the bathroom can create a warm glow

Light a fire

  • If it’s a cold evening, or even chilly day, light your fire. Consider burning some pinecones for the delicious smell. This will make your home feel warm and inviting. If you don’t have a fire then ensure the fireplace is clean

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Make it look pretty

  • Make sure the windows are properly dressed with blinds or curtains as naked windows make a place feel impersonal and run down. Buy some cheap ones (eg from Ikea) if necessary
  • Plants and flowers bring colour, life and light to a room and also smell wonderful. So does that fruit bowl on your kitchen counter

Get the right smells

  • Bad smells are the single biggest turn off for prospective buyers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell. Clear drains, wash bins, open windows, air the kitchen from old cooking smells, get rid of furniture that is embedded with cigarette smoke, and wash any grimy bed sheets
  • If you are a smoker, place bowls of vinegar around the house and leave out for three days. Though the vinegar will smell when you open the windows it will disappear quickly taking a most of the stale cigarette smell out with it
  • Conversely, good smells can make a property feel like an alluring home. While it might be impractical to bake fresh bread, cakes or brownies for every viewer that visits your home, you could perhaps brew some fresh coffee

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Showing the property

  • Have us to get on with selling the property so you can get on with your life.
  • It’s our job to know what things to say to any potential buys helping to make your property sell as quick as possible for the best price.

Obvious conversions

  • If there are any obvious conversions – adapting the garage into extra rooms, or going up into the loft – and you have some spare cash, why not take advantage of this cash cow rather than letting the new owners make easy money out of improvements. You should usually recoup your money
  • If you don’t have enough spare cash to make the conversion, consider getting planning permission anyway

Designer mirrors are both decorative and versatile, solving many interior problems and acting as striking pieces of art in their own right. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic finishing piece or an understated accessory that’s fit for purpose, when it comes to mirrors, the possibilities are endless.

Types

There is virtually no room in the house that wouldn’t benefit from a mirror; whether for practical or decorative purposes, different mirrors will work best in different rooms. Before you consider style, think about where your mirror will be kept and what it will be used for. There are three basic types:
• Floor mirrors are larger, statement pieces that are either mounted on a stand or freestanding and propped against a wall for dramatic effect. These types of mirrors work best in bedrooms and hallways where you need a full-length view.
• Wall mirrors are the most common and come in a huge range of shapes and styles, from large floor-length mirrors to small, quirky shapes like a star or hexagon. They can be practical or decorative; wall mirrors work just as well in the bathroom above the sink as they do in the living room as a focal point above the fireplace.
• Dressing Table mirrors are small, decorative mirrors made to sit on a dressing table or vanity. They can be mounted on a small stand, making them easy to adjust and rotate, or sit atop a table – fitted dressing table mirrors often come with three panels so you can view different angles simultaneously.

 

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Shapes

Next consider the shape of your mirror; you can use your mirror to complement or contrast other shape patterns in your room design or choose solutions based on the amount of space you have available to you.
Square – Square or rectangular mirrors offer an elegant, simple solution – they are also often referred to as portrait or landscape mirrors.
Oval – Oval mirrors loosely resemble the shape of a rectangle with rounded corners and have a slightly vintage feel.
Round – Round mirrors are circular but their radius can vary from compact hand mirrors to large wall mirrors.
Abstract – Abstract mirrors are modern and eclectic, typically used to add drama to a space and can resemble anything from a broken shard of glass to an intricate geometric shape, star or striking antique sunburst shape.

 

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Frames

The frame of your mirror is the next important consideration and will have the biggest impact on the overall style of the mirror you choose. Frames have the ability to transform a mirror from a simple, understated piece to a dramatic focal point, so take the time to consider what you need for your space.
Gilt – Gilded frames add a touch of drama, elegance and sophistication to any room and work well with a Luxe style. Metallic finishes range from silver and gold to bronze, champagne or grey and can range in style and shape from a delicate casing to a modern, ornate frame that will act as a focal point in the room.
Wooden – Wooden frames give a natural, earthy finish and work well with a Chic or understated style. From a rustic stain to a weathered finish, you can choose a frame that highlights the natural grain, grooves and rivets of the wood or one that’s designed to subtly fade into the background.
Mirrored – Mirrored frames are made from individual pieces of bevelled glass and typically frame the centre mirror at a different angle to create interest and reflect light in different directions, giving the mirror a three-dimensional feel. Mirrored frames work well as contemporary pieces in an Urban style as well as in Luxe styled interiors for an elegant vibe.
Frameless – Frameless mirrors are simple, understated and versatile. This style of mirror is ideal for spaces when mirrors are for very functional purposes, such as in a studio to maximise space and reflect light.

 

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Choosing different finishes
You can also alter the style of the mirror by choosing different edges and finishes to add a new dimension and decorative touch to your mirror.
Patina – An antique finish that gives a distressed look to make the mirror appear old, damaged or cloudy.
Colour – A different finish is applied behind the mirror to gently tint the glass. Options include glamourous gilded and metallic finishes, brilliantly bold colours and artisan finishes such as crackled or natural woodgrain.
Design – From wording, to logos, lettering, patterns or shapes, designs can be applied on top of the mirror to give the design a contemporary edge.
Seamed edge – The glass edge of a mirror is naturally very sharp, but can be sanded and dulled to give a seamed edge that is safe to handle. A polished flat, waterfall or ridged seam are just a few options to add a touch of designer flair to a simple, frameless mirror and will provide perfect clarity and a shiny finish.
Pencil edge – A smooth, rounded edge with a matte finish, an everyday example of this would be the everyday bathroom mirror.
Bevelled edge – The face of the mirror is slightly angled at the edges to add dimension and create the illusion of a frame.

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Using mirrors

Mirrors are one of the most versatile tools in an interior designer’s arsenal as they can be used in countless of ways and solve common problems around the home, including lack of space, depth and height.
For reflection – Hang a mirror in a bathroom, bedroom or hallway to quickly check your appearance or create a reflection of another important object in your home.
To increase size – Mirrors can be cleverly used to increase the size of a room. A mirror hung at the end of a short hallway will add length to your space, while you can create width by staggering mirrors down either side of a narrow space.
To maximise light – Mirrors are a great way to help bounce natural light around a room. Hang a mirror opposite a window or in a corner of the room that lacks light for maximum impact.
 To add depth – You can add depth to a room by using a large, dramatic mirror as a focal point or by placing a small mirror behind or below a special feature you want to highlight – for example behind a vase or on shelves where your best glassware is kept.

 

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Care and safety

Protection – Water causes damage to the back of a mirror; keep your mirrors in their best condition by keeping them free of moisture. Hardware stores can provide a variety of safe sealant solutions to protect the back of the mirror.
Cleaning – To clean your mirrors, first remove any dust with a dry cloth, then use a dry, crumpled piece of newspaper and water mixed with vinegar as a natural cleaning solution for a streak-free finish.
Damage prevention – Avoid strong chemicals and cleaning solutions that can damage your mirror and cause spots – spots are a result of the wearing away of the mirror’s back coating. To get rid of them, the mirror will need to be taken down and re-silvered.
Mounting – Plaster or drywall isn’t enough to support a heavy wall mirror; make sure you mount any screws or hooks over wooden support beams behind the plaster.
• Suspension – Use rings and sturdy metal wire to create a strong hanging for your mirror that won’t snap or break and can be easily adjusted or straightened over time.

 

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Spend less time cleaning and more time having fun. Remember how when the kids were little and you seemed to be forever cleaning up endless Lego? You probably imagined that by now the house would always be immaculate and housework would be a doddle. Except somehow it didn’t quite work out like that! The good news is there are simple strategies that can help you to make lighter work of the housework.
Clean as you go along

Housework doesn’t seem like such a big number if you keep on top of things. Don’t let dishes pile up in the sink, do your washing regularly, always put things away straight after using them – all obvious stuff really but easy to forget in the daily rush!
Get a routine going

Ever heard the expression about jobs expanding to fit the time available? If you have a set schedule for when you clean, and allot yourself a set amount of time for each task, chances are you’ll get through it quicker than if you just do things on an ad-hoc basis.

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Get organised

Set aside an hour or so to go through your cleaning cupboard, sorting everything out into categories and chucking out anything ancient, so that you don’t waste precious time looking for what you need.
Recruit your cleaning team

Get the whole family involved in the chores. Your partner could be King or Queen of The Bathroom Clean, for example, and with a little gentle persuasion even teenagers can usually be coerced into helping out.

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Treat yourself to the best kit

Choose multi=purpose cleaners that’ll make your life so much simpler. Similarly, it’s best not to put up with appliances that aren’t up to the job. A new vacuum cleaner may seem like an indulgence, but if it stops you having to waste time going over the same bit of carpet again and again and again, it’ll quickly earn its keep.
Be methodical

Start at the door to each room and then clean in a circle from top to bottom. This will help you avoid missing a spot or cleaning the same bit twice.
Have a no-shoes-indoors policy

Most of the dirt around the house is brought in from outside on the soles of your shoes. Put slippers out in the hallway for your guests. Give it a go and you’ll quickly see a big difference!

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