The current economic climate has put pressure on the housing market, meaning many homeowners who had previously been looking to move up the chain into a larger property are instead carrying out improvements to their current home.
For those who need extra space this may involve fitting a conservatory or carrying out a loft conversion, but if people are happy with the amount of room they have, all their home may need is improvement work to some of the most-used rooms to make it seem like an entirely new property.
In the kitchen, new cabinet units or white goods can give the space a fresh look, while a similar effect can be achieved in the bathroom with new fixtures and fittings and a fresh coat of paint. These changes can be relatively easy for local tradesmen to carry out and Gideon Wegh, director of Docauk.com, noted white “is still the most popular choice” for those with a modern kitchen.
“It’s important to get the combination of colour and veneer just right and also consider the worktops and all other finishes in the area at the same time,” he remarked, adding even premium finishes “won’t give a good result” if they aren’t chosen with the rest of the space in mind.
Mr Wegh observed that while he expects white to remain the on-trend colour for the foreseeable future, shades of light brown and taupe and wood veneer are also growing in popularity, at the expense of light grey finishes.
If giving one room a makeover is not enough, there are also projects for homeowners who are willing to spend a little bit more to give their entire property a new look.
Fitting wooden floors throughout a home can give it a new lease of life – they can make rooms appear bigger and are easier to clean than carpets – a distinct advantage in a busy house full of children and pets.
However, production of wooden floors can damage the environment and external communications and PR manager at flooring manufacturer Quick-Step Philiep Caryn explained buyers need to choose carefully.
“Just because it’s made from wood, doesn’t mean that it is good for the environment and you should always establish exactly where your wood floor comes from,” he said, adding those looking to lay solid wood flooring throughout their home as an alternative to carpet should “keep an eye out for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) labels”.
The FSC is a global body that works to promote responsible forest management and wood flooring marked with an FSC label will have come from managed forest, where tree felling is regulated to minimise environmental impact.
Solid wood flooring has a feel that can be hard to recreate, but Mr Caryn noted high-quality laminate offers something very close to the look and feel of the real thing. It is ideal for “those who want the aesthetic of tropical woods, without resorting to felling these slow growing trees that are a precious resource”, he concluded.
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