There are plenty of reasons why remodelling your home might be a smart move, but if you don’t have enough money to pay for home improvements you will need to look at other options. But is borrowing money to remodel a property a sensible idea – or are there better ways to finance the project?

Reasons to Remodel
If your home is starting to feel a bit cramped or your kitchen is falling apart, one cupboard at a time, you might be tempted to move to a bigger and better property. But stop and think for a few minutes. Moving house is stressful and there are no guarantees you will be able to find a new home that is affordable and right for you. You will also need to sell your existing home, which is not always easy. And if you have kids, do you really want to uproot them from the neighbourhood?

Remodelling can make perfect sense and if you do the job right, it can also be more cost effective. Improving a property will usually add value to it, so when you do eventually come to sell, you will have made money on the cost of remodelling it.

Different Types of Finance
There are lots of ways to finance a home improvement project:

  • Personal loans are useful if you don’t plan on spending too much money.
  • Secured loans are more suitable for luxury home improvement projects such as home extensions or new kitchens.
  • Re-mortgaging can work if you have equity in the property.
  • Credit cards can be used to pay for smaller projects, but the interest rate will be higher.
  • Cash is always a good way to finance home remodelling projects, particularly in the current economic climate where interest rates are low so savings earn very little.
When is a Loan a Good Idea?
Unsecured and secured loans are a popular way to finance home remodelling. Most lenders are happy to lend to customers with good credit ratings and with interest rates so low right now, it is an excellent time to borrow money. Secured loans are a better option if you need to borrow larger amounts of money because the repayments will be lower.

Reasons Why a Loan Could be a Bad Idea
Taking out loans to pay for home improvements is always a bad idea if you are up to your eyeballs in debt or your financial situation is currently very volatile.

Always make sure you can afford the repayments if you do decide to apply for a loan of any kind. Defaulting on a loan will seriously damage your credit rating and should be avoided at all costs.  If you don’t have a good credit rating but are confident you can afford the repayments on a loan, look at products offered by a bad credit loan provider. It won’t be a cheap way of borrowing money, but remodelling your home should add value to it, so in the long run the investment could be a smart move.




Break from neutral sofa. Go with fun colours and eclectic accessories. Why not to try pink?






Increasing storage space in the house is usually the most popular request from our Clients. Joinery is both practical and beautiful bit of the interior. There so many different options for the wardrobes and shelving units, so may different finishes and materials, which together create a masterpiece.







Beautiful art installations always put me in good mood. It shows a great example of creativity and gives a lot of light and colours around. It shows desire to make the world happier place. Moreover, some design ideas may be brought and become a good inspiration for interiors, too.

The Monsoon Club at The Kennedy Center by Serie Architects, Washington - thread patterned ceiling

Rebecca Louise Law is a London-based installation artist known for her transformation of spaces using hundreds or thousands of suspended flowers.

'Light is time' installation - Citizen & Yutaka Endo

Hundreds of pool noodles invaded an abandoned alley in Quebec City, Canada as part of Delirious Frites, an architectural art installation created by Les Astronautes.

Urban art installations can be pure magic - like this streetscape called The Sequence by Arne Quinze in Brussels, Belgium.

Thread installation

Jacob Hashimoto's art

Art installation by Anne Patterson in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco


Painting walls only half way could be an easy way to add a little colour to a room, play around with contrast and do it all in a way that will save time and money. Half painted walls look especially pretty in nurseries and bedrooms.






Have a nice weekend!


Lighting pendants and kitchen furniture, such as bar stools ans dining chairs are the great way to bring some colour into the kitchen. Green is a very fresh colour, it could be bright or quite subtle, but any tone of green will definitely bring a bit of freshness into the interior.







Sometimes we get tired of simple and minimalistic walls and need some powerful inspiration. Why not try to play with watercolour and create something really unique. Only one advice - if you have been missing your art classes since you remember, you should definitely ask a better qualified friend for help or use ready-made wallpaper.










First time real estate investment is an exciting and exhilarating step, but if not carefully entered into, it can quickly become an overwhelming move that’s fraught with anxiety and confusion.
There are numerous variables for the first timer to consider, and it is advisable that they familiarise themselves with these facets because with a little planning and smart research, success is certainly achievable. Here are five tips to help get you started on the long road to success with your real estate endeavours:

1.       Set appropriate goals
Be realistic about your budget, your time frames, your desires and what you want to achieve. It is vital to sit down and draw up a plan for all of these variables, so that you can search accordingly, have real expectations and know specifically what type of investment you are looking for. Without establishing key factors like your budget, your location, your access to credit and your required schedule, the project will lack definition and may overwhelm you.

2.       Learn about the wider market
The Internet is a great source of information, as are the numerous books and case studies written about real estate investment that are full of actionable wisdom. Choose books and articles that offer practical step-by-step procedures backed up with evidence, instead of dubious ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Read up on relevant strategies, tactics and standard procedures so you know what to expect and how to prepare.

3.       Learn about the local market
Begin to research the properties on offer in your area and talk to the relevant local estate agents and sellers about opportunities with the ones that interest you most. It’s important to choose a reputable and reliable agent and you’ll quickly notice that long-standing companies such as Linley and Simpson (Leeds) stand out from others that do not have such a great selection of investment prospects and knowledge of the market. You can track local sales and begin to establish the going rates for properties in your desired budget and location.

4.       Do not limit yourself geographically
It can be very easy to look only in your immediate locale, but you may be surprised by the difference in opportunities only one town, county, or borough away. At this stage, it pays to be very open-minded geographically; to cast your net far and wide in search of the best opportunities and to ensure you have a wide understanding of the local market fluctuations.

5.       Establish your financial position before proceeding
Closely tied to establishing your goals, it is vitally important that a plan is drawn up regarding any credit plans. Do you know your credit rating and is it possible for you to get a mortgage? Do you need to switch banks or find a new provider? Which establishment offers the best deal? Does this limit the type of property you can invest in? All these questions, and many more, will need exploration and clarification before you can proceed beyond the research outlined above.

If entered into correctly, real estate investment is a highly rewarding and secure source of long-term earning; but it will require goal setting, smart planning and lots of research.


When considering your kitchen countertop you want to be sure you’re making the right choice, especially as it’s not something you will be looking to change again anytime soon.


Corian 


A subtle blend of natural minerals and clear acrylic, Corian can be moulded and bent to give a seamless finish.

Corian is a non-porous solid surface material that is stain-resistant. Corian is constructed using approx. 70% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. Due to the higher levels of acrylic resin Corian has a warmer feel to it than Granite or Quartz and can be moulded and formed into curved shapes including fully integrated sinks.

Easy to maintain and repair if necessary as stains and scratches can be sanded out. Seamless joins make a smooth, hygienic and tactile surface. Corian can be moulded to create contemporary designs and can incorporate fully integrated sinks and drainers. Worktops are lighter in weight than stone as the solid surface is 13mm thick and moulded over an MDF subframe. Scratches can be polished out with the supplied care kit and bigger chips can equally be readily and invisibly repaired.

Unfortunately it is a higher cost bracket - Corian is the Rolls Royce of kitchen worktops and it therefore one of the more expensive solid surface materials available. Template and installation is carried out by DuPont certified installers.

Laminate 


A durable, all round and affordable worktop that's easy to clean. Available in a large range of attractive colours and finishes.

The biggest advantage of Laminate Kitchen Worktops is low cost. Using modern techniques in photography, laminate kitchen worktops can now mimic almost any and other surface type, including slate, granite, quartz and wood. Whilst reasonably robust and waterproof, laminates cannot really to be compared in terms of durability against Corian, Granite, Quartz and other composite surfaces.

Concrete


While concrete isn't the only option for kitchen countertops, it offers a number of advantages that other materials can't match, particularly when it comes to versatility. 

Large concrete countertops will have seams, but the appearance can be minimised with the use of a colour-matched filler. In its natural state, concrete is porous and may stain. Applying a surface sealer will make the concrete water and stain resistant. Colour options with concrete are nearly endless with integral colour, staining, or both. This gives you the ability to coordinate or match the countertop with other colours in a room.

 Concrete can be cast in any shape and practically any size. Concrete countertops can be even personalised with unique embedded items such as pebbles, recycled glass and seashells.

Quartz


A hardwearing and easy maintenance quartz composite. Quartz worktops are made from minimum 90% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. In some cases crushed mirror particles are added to give a sparkle effect.

With a little specialist care needed, quartz is easy to maintain. Durable and hard-wearing (rated 7 on the 'Moh's Hardness Scale'). Heat, scratch and stain resistant. Ideal for kitchen worktops combines natural, durable quality with luxury and style. Moreover, quartz can be used in any area of the kitchen. Non-porous, hygienic and long lasting are perfect qualities around sink units and food preparation areas. Material is stain and scratch resistant. Although heat resistant to 2500C, we strongly recommend the use of pan rests/hob bars. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

Quartz worktops are heavy (30mm worktop weighs approx. 72kg per square metre) and can have similar transport/install access issues as Granite. Unobtrusive, but visible joints. Uniform colour/design cannot be guaranteed due to the natural stone element of the material - However, this can also be the attraction of the material as each worktop will be slightly individual!

Available in an extensive range of colours and designs, there is a Quartz worktop to match every colour scheme. Choose from a standard high gloss finish or if you prefer a matt look check out our Zodiaq Quartz Concrete Range. This is the product to choose if you are looking for that 'sparkle effect' as some designs incorporate crushed mirror particles which catch the light and 'sparkle' as seen in many showrooms and high street retailers.

Quartz worktops can be cut into a number of different shapes and sizes, including curves and radius corners, using the latest in modern technology and is available in a finished thickness of 20-100mm. Like granite, however, it cannot be moulded to form integrated sinks or coved upstands due to the high percentage of natural stone content.

Quite probably the best value for money solid surface stone tops available.

Granite 


Granite is a 100% solid stone worktop. Natural granite is available in a choice of many colours.
Each work surface is unique with its own individual colours and markings.

Granite is a completely natural product with colour and grain variation found mostly in the medium and lighter colours. Darker granites are more consistent in colour but are not guaranteed to be entirely free from this possibility. Granite worktops are among the heaviest (30mm worktop 2.6m x 600mm weighs up to 145kg/23 stone) of solid surfaces and a fact to be considered if the destination has access issues (e.g. top floor flat or townhouse with kitchen above ground floor level).
It can be used in any area of the kitchen, including around the sink and next to the hob or oven. A large high gloss Granite worktop creates a stunning finish to an island unit or breakfast bar.

Granite is a luxury material that is timeless and complements traditional and contemporary styles alike. Choose from the classic polished high gloss finish or honed matt for a more contemporary look. Honed matt will incur additional cost.

One of the hardest substances on earth, Granite is extremely hard wearing and won't scratch under normal use. Although Granite is naturally porous it is one of the least absorbent stones and cleaning up spillages immediately will reduce permanent damage. Particularly take care with wine and citric acids. Hot pans should not be placed directly on a Granite worktop, use pan rests/hob bars. Using a stone seal product can protect against stains caused by food and drinks such as coffee and tea. If choosing to seal your worktop, do so approx. every 6 months.
Granite needs very low maintenance. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

Marble



Marble is available in many colours. Gorgeous natural tones may be found to fit any home. No two pieces of marble are the same. The natural whirls, swirls and markings unique to the marble worktop will contrast with and enhance the look of any kitchen. The organic and subtle timelessness of a marble worktop defines the character of a room and speaks volumes about the owner’s attention to quality, longevity and beauty.

The material is softer and more porous than the nearly indestructible granite, so it can scratch easily, especially when touched for a long period of time by something acidic. A slice of lemon laid down on a polished countertop overnight can leave a mark in the shape of the lemon slice, duller than the surface around it. Marble can also stain; red wine and some fruits are infamous for leaving indelible stains on the marble.

Marble is a durable, stain resistant surface. With proper care, any marble worktop owner can avoid stains or chips and keep their marble surface looking brilliant and beautiful for a lifetime. Customers considering marble, but hesitant because of concerns about durability due to heavy use, children, household pets, may wish to consider granite worktops as an alternative. Marble is wonderful for working with pastry, since it is naturally cool; it doesn't conduct heat very well.


Glass 



Glass work surfaces are very much at the higher spectrum of the market and quite rightly so. Perfect for those seeking a sleek, contemporary feel in a modern kitchen, glass offers limitless design possibilities and can be formed to suit any configuration for counter tops, splash-backs and breakfast bars up to 25mm thick. Available in many colours. As hard-wearing as it is stylish, glass is easy to keep clean as well as being acid, oil and water resistant. 


Hardwood 


Few things compare with the look and feel of natural wood. Hardwood worktops blend into almost any kitchen design. Be it contemporary or old farmhouse, wood can create the wow factor you're looking for. Hardwood worktops are extremely durable and versatile. Consider the very good condition of the Oak built ship the Mary Rose after lying at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years. If solid hardwood worktops become scratched or water stained, its simple to re-sand, re-oil and restore as good as new.

Bamboo 




Providing a warm-to-the-touch surface, bamboo is ideally suited to most neutral colour schemes and lends itself perfectly to almost every kitchen situation; each worktop bearing its own unique grain pattern.
Low heat resistance - always use trivets

Stainless Steel



Stainless steel combines a hard-wearing surface with stunning visual appeal. Whether used alone or combined with other materials such as timber or composite stone, it is an increasingly popular choice for striking kitchen designs in highly contemporary settings.


Always use a professional fitter. No matter how expensive and luxurious your worktop is, if it’s badly designed, cut and installed, it will end up looking cheap and scruffy. Don’t be in a rush to get it finished, make sure you ask for drainer grooves next to the sink if you want them and always clean with the recommended products.



Happy Friday, Everyone! Love your Life! :)