Just before you put your house on the market, it’s a great idea to take a tour as if you were viewing it for the first time. Is the bathroom a bit tired, the hallway paint chipped or the garden decking rotting? A few quick fixes could get your property off the ladder more quickly so you can climb higher. Words: Georgina Blaskey.
Invest in new taps
No one is going to be wowed by a limescale-encrusted, worn out tap and the right fittings will, literally, feel solid and reassuring. Changing taps is a quick and cost-effective way to modernise a traditional scheme. We love the Vola Copper Special tap from Roundhouse, which has a rapidly expanding metallic range, including burnished bronze and copper, and patinated silver.
Fence them in
Replacing your fences is a quick way to smarten the look of your garden. “Most London-sized gardens can be completely re-fenced in a day,” says Asa Beveridge of The Gorgeous Garden Company. “Why not add some colour to your garden too by having your new fence painted prior to installation, with over 100 colours from which to choose.”
Update your handles
“Changing light fittings, taps, cabinet handles and splashbacks are relatively simple ways to refresh and update a tired kitchen; these will instantly change the look of the room without having to revamp the whole space. If the cabinet doors are in good condition, simply updating the handles can change the look of the room. Sleek minimal handles can create a modern look while wooden styles can introduce an element of country charm,” says Daniele Bruto, Hub Kitchens.
A typical Victorian front bay looks so smart with bespoke shutters and gives the house an instant makeover. The size of slats will depend on the size of window and how much light you want to come in; the larger the slat the more light will flood the room. “Don’t forget you can play with colour too,” says Nina Tileva of The Traditional Shutter Company. “There are so many shades of white. Plus you can decide whether you want a tilt rod or a fully-concealed mechanism which looks more modern.”
Replace your kitchen splashback with a clean, fresh design. “Any size, shape and colour can be produced, and whether you’re looking to freshen up your existing kitchen or fit a new one, glass splashbacks will create a modern, seamless look,” says Luke Revell of UK Splashbacks.
Smarten up the stairs
Don’t be afraid to use bold accents in your home. It works better here than going full throttle on an entire room, which could put off potential buyers. “By adding a colour detail to a staircase you can inject colour with minimal cost impact but maximum visual impact,” says Kate Strong, Run Projects.
“Steam cleaning the wall and floor tiles, and even finishes like natural stone, can make them look like new again, and might save you from having to re-grout. The hard water in London wreaks havoc on natural stone tiles, shower enclosures and bathrooms in general, so a professional cleaner with a bottle of Viakal can work wonders,” says Brad Kuhlmey, The Hamilton Group.
ADDING INTEREST WITH PAINT
Consider a dark ceiling This can add a feeling of grandeur. If you have a cornice try painting the bed of the ceiling (the flat section facing the floor) a shade darker than the walls, and the cornice in a suitable white to highlight the break between ceiling and wall.
Use a dark colour inside a bookshelf A light colour on the front edges will give it a more subtle finish and emphasize the three-dimensional aspect.
Colour isn’t just for walls Flip traditional style on its head. Paint walls in a neutral tone and bring colour in through the woodwork, doors, skirting boards and windows or any fitted joinery.
Experiment with dark colour Dark colours are popular for larger rooms but to build confidence, start small. Redecorate the downstairs loo with a rich blue like our Fisherman’s Blues.
Wipeable or moisture-resistant paint Great for kitchens and bathrooms and their ceilings, where condensation gathers. Wipeable emulsion is good under the dado rail in the hallway if you have small children.
Paint a kitchen wall
“If you don’t want to repaint your entire kitchen – because dark cabinetry isn’t for you, or it’s too expensive – consider painting just one wall in a bold colour. It’s very effective against light units and bang on trend too,” says Jolanta Harradine, Eclectic Interiors.
Clean away the mess
Alcove shelving is the perfect solution for keeping spaces tidy and ordered. Ensure playrooms, bedrooms and sitting rooms are decluttered and make a feature of the units as Paint The Town Green has done here, painting the inside in Purple Rain, in contrast to the front edges.
‘Style’ your home
“Add interest and glamour to a forgotten mantlepiece. Don’t worry about symmetry – go asymmetrical by adding items of different textures and heights. It catches and intrigues the eye much more,” says Emma Green.
Refurbish your bathroom
“If a professional clean isn’t enough to make your bathroom brochure-worthy, consider a minor facelift. Cover old tired tiles with wall panels from Fiora and add a matching tray. Even furniture can revive a plain bathroom, resulting in something stylish and practical,” advises Harriet Perrin of Potter Perrin.
Maintain your decking
“Try to give the decking air, so if possible put storage boxes and plants on feet. Ideally you should put oil or specialist preserving paint on the decking twice a year – once in spring and again before the cold sets in,” advises Dermot Steedman of Dermarta. “Make sure you give it a decent clean and brush before you start. You can apply a colour or a clear finish to keep the original timber grain. A good quality hardwood decking is far superior to regular pine.”