Former Homes Under the Hammer host Lucy Alexander shares her top tips and trends for post-lockdown home improvements:
“Lockdown has really made us all use our homes in different ways, even small changes in the home can make a huge difference. My home, for example, is now on Instagram and live TV shows more than ever as I’m working from home, like most of us! I think we are all now ready to finish them off by getting those last jobs done – then get our friends over and start living our ‘new normal’.
• She Shed, He Shed: Think about whether there might be an easy way to create extra living space. I was busy over lockdown transforming my garage into the coolest ‘extra room’. I did this to get away from everyone and have a moment’s peace ???? Now it’s so brilliant, everyone prefers that space to our lounge! It has new flooring, I painted all the walls, used rugs and stuff that was in my loft, table football was purchased and a huge TV we all chipped in for. Also a FRIDGE to store ‘mummy’s wine’. My teenagers have now taken over this new room as they’ve realised it gives them more privacy and I don’t mind them all making a mess. It has changed our family lives for the better
• Restyling – revamping: I’m a massive fan of reworking space and reusing materials. Consider upcycling old pine cupboards or anything that might look better painted. Also, simple things like changing knobs and handles can easily transform old furniture. For example, I painted a big, chipped, white boring cupboard recently, added new handles, etc. and it looks new now – very cheap to do.
• Paint: Adding a new colour or coat of paint makes the most impact to a room and is cheap to do. Go for a feature wall if you feel you can’t cope with the whole room.
• Table scaping: A new buzz word by stylists but it looks brilliant – arrange things artistically on your dining table or shelves, showing off your best things. Think candles, china, ornaments. Spend time arranging your table display and take photos as if you were going to put them on Instagram.
• Zone your space: We are so used to bringing the outside in – but NOW it’s about bringing the inside OUT. Create an outside bar for fun evenings – a focal point with a firepit, sofa, outdoor rugs, lights – and you have your own pub night at home. No, I didn’t mention also getting a hot tub?!!
Inside, use rooms like the utility – create a desk by buying a cheap easel table and make it your new office or school room. Under the stairs is always under-used, and dedicated work spaces give you your house back.
• Keep clutter to a minimum: Keeping your home uncluttered means that you can have your six best friends over for post-lockdown lols in the garden/house at a moment’s notice.
• New windows and doors: Windows and doors are the ‘eyes of the property’. Think about whether to add more windows and doors, or replace existing ones, as a way of ‘bringing light into your home’. This will always be the best investment – exteriors and kerb appeal count!
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