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Building, Design, & Architecture

Summer Colours

Nature Inspired Colours for Home Interiors

The natural world is full of complex colour palettes and textures: the bright, soft green of leaves against a rough dark brown bark; a sprig of pink flowers growing amid grey and white rocks. Use nature as a starting point to plan out the perfect colour palette for any room in the house and you could see the value and comfort of your home increase significantly.

Winter Colours

Winter colours

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In colder climates, the winter season means the arrival of white snow, barren dark brown tree trunks, and crisp bluish ice. Channel these winter colors into a chic, high-contrast look for a living room, bathroom, or bedroom.
Grey: use this versatile neutral for wall colour, window treatments, or textiles. Combine with white to create a brighter space, or use several shades of grey to add depth.
White: add some pop to a grey or blue room with crisp white woodwork. White bedding, area rug, or window treatments provide contrast for a grey or blue wall colour.
Light blue: a classic neutral, light blue offers a versatile backdrop that is more interesting and relaxing than plain white. Brighten a space with cool blue walls and silvery blue textiles.
Dark brown: a rich chocolate brown will offset the cool blues, whites, and the grey of a wintry room. Try adding dark brown with throw pillows, a sofa slipcover, footstool, or bedding.
Autumn Colors
The vibrant, colourful palette of the autumn season offers bright reds, oranges, and a myriad of brown shades from which to choose. A combination of these colours is perfect to create a cozy den, home office, or family room.
Dark brown: this rich colour is ideal for a neutral to help balance a space with a large amount of colour. Use for woodwork, floors, or furniture to ground the room and add an earthy element.
Khaki/natural: like dark brown, a light khaki or “natural” off-white can act as a canvas for more colourful textiles and accessories.
Dark red: a deep red provides eye-popping colour against a brown wall or furniture colour. Use red for accents like throw pillows, plant holders, and other decorative accessories, or go bold with a dark red accent wall.
Burnt orange: a dulled, brownish orange will provide an effect similar to dark red in a foliage-inspired room.
Mustard yellow: try this flattering tone on an accent wall, in textiles, or plant holders.

Spring Colours

Spring Colours

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Channel a lively, colourful flower garden with this springtime palette for a living room or sunroom.
Grass green: use this bright colour, or tone it down to a soft kelly or lime, and use for throw pillows, couch cushions, or to brighten mismatched or plain coffee and end tables.
Yellow: add eye-popping colour with a cheerful yellow. A yellow area rug creates a lively focal point in a room, while a few yellow accessories keep a space fun and funky.
Khaki/natural: a creamy off-white provides the perfect neutral to offset an array of springtime colours.
Pink/magenta: to break up a citrus-y green and yellow room, add a few magenta accessories. The jewel tones will depth and visual interest to a sunshiny space.

Summer Colours

Summer Colours

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A summertime by the seaside evokes a lovely, calming palette of greens, blues, and other cool tones. Use these relaxing shades to liven up a bedroom, bathroom, or living room.

Khaki/natural: just as a sandy beach provides the ideal backdrop for watery blues and greens, so does a light neutral brown for a living space. Put this colour on the walls, on the floor, or bring in this light neutral with pine or birch furniture.
Light blue: try this cool blue on the walls or with textiles like bedding or accent pillows.
Teal: a deep blue-green provides intriguing contrast to the other light neutrals in this seaside color palette. Work in through accent pillows, a collection of decorative bottles or vases, or for a bold look, try spray-painting accessories like candlesticks or bookends.
Bottle green: capture the look of ocean glass by incorporating rich bottle greens. Pair green bottles and glass vases with teal accessories; display on a windowsill or use to break up a packed bookcase.
These color palettes offer relaxing and lively combinations inspired by nature. Use these palette ideas to add depth and visual interest with color.

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London building contractor

How do you find a reliable London building contractor?

Finding a London building contractor is never easy. There are so many variables to consider I could probably write a whole wikipedia article on the matter but instead I shall discuss the five most important ways to find a reliable London building contractor.

Get a recommend from a friend.

There is no better way of getting a London building contractor of high quality than a friend who has already had work done. If at all possible or you’ve a large network of friends or acquaintances then try to find someone not only that’s had work done, but also very closely matched to the work that your intending on doing, for example if you want sash window repairs, ensure that you find a sash window specialist, not a carpentry company, they might well be related but sash windows are extremely specialist and therefore a general carpenter might not be as suitable for example I previously touched on subsidence and the effect on your sash windows. There is no way that a general carpenter could provide the same level of expertise and knowledge. If you can inspect the work they’ve already done then you know what to expect, the builder knows what you’re expecting, and it’s going to be a very straight forward process of quality assurance. If there’s something you are not quite happy with then you simply reference the work that you’ve already seen. It’s also a great way to gauge the reasonability of your expectations, because in the same way you can be fair about the work done and see if it matches or is better than the quality you’ve already seen.

Ask for references.

If you haven’t already got a friend for a referral the next best thing is to ask for references. Genuine references on large value purchases such as this are impossible to fake, you know what you’re getting yourself into if you visit a previous customers property. This method has the added benefit that you don’t need to drag your friends into any potential dispute later down the line with the builder if there is a disagreement over spec or the standard. Whilst you can trust the option of your friend or family more, it does leave an awkward position if they left the builder on great terms but you didn’t.

Get three quotes.

It doesn’t matter how silky smooth your first building contractor tongue is, you absolutely must get three quotes. This ensure that you have an understanding of pricing and you’ll identify weaknesses in terms of overpricing and equally importantly under pricing. It’s important to understand that you’ll normally get what you pay for and if the price is cheap it doesn’t mean the work will be any better. This is where a recommend really pays off. If you know the standard and the price is good, you can go for a lower price safe in the knowledge of your expectancy. You should still get three quotes however just to gain more understanding.

Ask questions.

When you get the builder round do not be concerned to ask difficult questions. You might well be about to spend £100,000 on an extension and selecting the best man for the job is critical. You can’t do that if your not entirely sure about what you’re getting for your money. If you believe there is loose ends in the quote, or the overall finish, make sure you thrash out the details prior to engaging the contractor.

Make a contract.

The safest way to work with a builder is to have a contract signed and payment schedule in place. Any quality builder will want this to protect himself from you as much as the other way round. This should leave you feeling comfortable in the knowledge that the maximum loss you may experience is one payment, although by the second payment the amount of upfront work should already be caught up. If you’re in any doubt then why not contact this London building contractors who specialises in free no obligation quotes for all building work.

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My house has subsidence issues.

So I thought I would throw a post up to help some of you guys. We all know London’s properties are only built on four feet of sand in some cases as footings and so movement in our homes is pretty common. The problem is how to deal with that movement, both structurally, and aesthetically.

Structurally the only genuine option is underpinning. The question is do you need underpinning? Of course you think yes, and your insurance company believes no, in every case! So they come around and put some pins in the wall and then take a reading. They will come back and then measure the pins placed some months before for further signs of movement. Ok well if the gap has not increased the movement is finished and therefore there is no value or need to pin. To an extent I believe and agree with this. Mainly because once the movement has occurred you will never straighten the house up after all. That does not mean that the problem is over not by any means. Just take a look at the featured image on this page and you’ll see the sash windows are wonky. In this example the London sash window repair specialist has had to plan the top of the sash in order to make the head meet. This kind of movement is normal I am told and planning to sashes to fit box a normal procedure. If the movement is beyond planning a sash, and it would affect the structural integrity of the sash then the next option is replacement sash purpose built with a larger top rail so that it can be planed in. Aesthetically this doesn’t look all that great and it’s at this point you might start fighting the insurance company for a replacement box sash window entirely.

The other scenario is that the movement has continued and as a result you require underpinning. It’s not uncommon for the insurance company to try to delay and wait for another reading. Please do not panic because this makes arguing for replacement sash windows and doors, that have moved all the more easy in the near future. Although always stress the importance of the issue and that it must be rectified immediately. Really it should be, subsidence is not laughing matter.

Once you get a date for underpinning this is when you’ll be able to asses the situation of your joinery for the first time thoroughly, because you’ll really know the full extent of the damage. I would recommend contacting a London sash window repairs specialist that offers a free no obligation quotation – at this point to ask them if they would quote for the structural repairs created by the movement. This way you’ll be able to present the insurance company with an unbiased review of the structural conditions. It is also worth contacting a door specialist because doors can move also. It’s far less likely because doors have a much thicker, stronger frame, however if you notice movement, or the door becomes stiff, checking costs nothing if you can find a company that will offer a free no obligation quotation as we mentioned regarding the windows. French Doors seem to be more susceptible to movement as they do not have the same thickness of frame and refurbishment commonly required.

Make sure to keep an eye for any bricks that crack or become loose. The pointing should also be covered by insurance if it is subsidence related. Normally bay window pillars are the most common point of serious movement, as they are not technically structural to the main property and the lintel may have been made from a timber cut at 45 degrees which moves slowly with the pillars over time.

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French Door Refurbishment

French door refurbishment is the perfect way of saving money as well as bringing features back to life in your Victorian property. Many London homes of any age will have a beautiful set of back doors at the rear of the property leading out to a small garden. The cost of replacing French Doors can be from £1200 all the way through to a hefty £5000 depending on how much joinery is required, how ornate, and the glazing options selected. That means refurbishing and making good can represent an incredible saving, as well as providing a more authentic finish than any new ones could ever do.

To get started with French door refurbishment we will need to remove the doors first. Once removed, this is an ideal opportunity to sand, plane, and prepare your doors for decoration at a later stage. Most will not strip the timber as it is far too much work for the extra aesthetics improvement, as well as the old paint, if bonded well it doing a job of keeping your joinery in excellent condition. Once preparation complete we must install a groove around the sash for the draught proofing system to be installed. Once grooved out we will install pile carrier and pile. This is exactly the same system as sash window draught proofing, however installed on a door instead. By sealing all the perimeters we can stop draughts and reduce noise, as well as make savings on our gas bill.

Refitting the French doors will be easy because the hinges are already cut out and the screws simply need replacing just as before. On the rare occasion the doors may need a little easing in because the house has moved and taken the frame with it, whilst the French doors stay square and this creates gaps that we must contend with. Normally professional French door refurbishment specialists will shoot doors tight to the head of the frame leaving a neat finish to the eye. Then on the lower of the door install a surface mounted weather bar to take up any gap under to stop the draughts and cold coming through.

There is also the option to upgrade the glazing. Some prefer a simple solution of 6.4mm laminate. this improves U-Value and makes the doors more safe. A recommended upgrade if you have children. It will stop any major accidents as well as improve security. Double glazing is also an option, the timber frame needs cutting deeper to allow for this unit. Then an external timber glazing bead can be applied to leave an excellent, modern finish.

Once rehung, to complete the French door refurbishment, we will undercoat, and then gloss. It is highly recommended that you use a high quality paint such as Dulux Weathershield. It might be the difference between painting again in three years, or as much as seven! The paint really is that much better than cheaper alternatives.

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Sash Windows

The one question I will always be asked, whatever I design. What will we do with these brilliant old period sash windows? “Keep them of course!” I reply. Ok so what do we do with these beautifully designed windows to match exacting interior design standards? There’s a number of things we can do actually and each one an upgrade, without detraction from the beauty and elegance of the period property.

The most basic service is a simple draught proofing system. This is ideal if budget is a constraint and we are in a rush to meet a deadline. This work can be booked in at short notice with most London sash window draught proofing companies and typically costs less than £500 per window. It provides relief from draughts, cold, rattling, and dust. We can’t have our beautiful new curtains, and blinds soiled after all. A service I’ve used recently is solar glass to reduce the sunlight bleaching our new interiors. Be warned it is costly, and has a tint, not all will find this appropriate. An example would be the same as the pictured tint here:

I’ve used other services such as double glazing the original sash in combination with a draught proofing system. Considering solar glazing can be included and we are already glazing it works out quite good on price. Typical windows will cost under £1000 but be warned we will need to decorate the frame as the method of rebating the sash to allow for a larger glazing required heavy routing machinery and this leaves decoration in poor condition. An expected problem from such a large upgrade. We must also factor £200 to decorate the inside of the window again. Once finished however, the draught proofing, double glazing, and solar glazing looks brilliant.

Sometimes we don’t need or want a particular window to open. This is the simplest of all. We seal the window in allowing no dust or dirt, draughts, and nasty nasties through. It is surprisingly effective for noise as well because all the little gaps are closed in and that leaves for an air tight fit. It’s also a good solution if your house has movement or subsidence and you don’t want to pay to have the whole window refurbished

I personally don’t recommend sealing your windows in it’s nice to have breeze and enhances the style if all windows are slightly open at the top and bottom. The ventilation works best that way allowing hot air in at the top and colder air can circulate from the bottom. If all windows can do this it’s very handy in the summer months when some nice cool fresh air is a bonus.  London Sash Window Repairs Ltd offer all the services mentioned above – sash window draught proofing, sash window double glazing of existing sashes, and even sash window repairs if you need them to. I’ve had sill replaces, rails patched up and even whole new sashes when it was too expensive to make good on the original.

This beautiful curved window needs new glazing and a draught proofing system. The obscure glass is dated and would benefit from satin or sand blast effect. The window structurally will benefit from draught proofing.

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Hi Guys

Hi guys,

My new site is all about blogging in London, my hobbies and passions are interior design and architecture. I really hope you enjoy what I am doing and please leave your comments for me because I dream of the day I have many followers , interested in my work and play. I also sometimes review companies and this might be paid. If it is I’ll let you know!

Big hugs XX


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