Trendy kitchens and bathrooms – What can they do for you?

The quality of a bathroom/kitchen can increase or decrease the value of a property so it’s essential to keep them up-to-date. They should be a space for relaxation and, for many, unwind after a long day. A potential buyer could easily be put off by a dated bathroom or kitchen as they may see this as an area where they would need to invest extra money in when purchasing a property.

Installing a new bathroom or kitchen is a big commitment. Any design choices will need to be lived with for several years, so it’s important not to be too easily influenced by current trends that can come and go (i.e. 1970s style avocado green bathroom suite). This month’s blog post covers our top tips on how you can improve kitchens and bathrooms with simple, cost-effective changes.

Let’s begin with kitchens…

A pop of colour

Adding a statement pop of colour to your kitchen can help modernise tired paintwork. This adds a sense of personality and character to your kitchen and reflects who you are within your home. Adding a fresh coat of paint to walls is a relatively inexpensive way to transform your kitchen. If you enjoy more intense colours, focus on painting one statement wall and keep the rest of the walls neutral so that the colour does not overpower the room.

Matte black appliances

No matter what colour your kitchen, matte black is a perfect contrast colour for your appliances –  including ovens, kettles, dishwashers and fridges. This helps to add a technological and futuristic feeling for your kitchen and can blend in with most interior design schemes.

Headless ventilation

Headless ventilation is something that many kitchen designers are now implementing into modern homes. It saves drawing unnecessary attention to less attractive features, such as your cooker hoods. It also means you have a much airier and open spaced kitchen.

Clutter-free surfaces

This idea of minimalism is huge in all areas of the house and there is no exception for the kitchen! Take a leaf out of famous tidier, Marie Kondo, who preaches about storage and keeping only what you need. If you have an excessive amount of tabletop appliances then narrow it down – if things such as electrical appliances are old and not working as well as they used to, get rid of them too.

Tons of texture

This is a simple yet highly effective way to keep your kitchen visually pleasing. Having a variety of textures works to add dimension to the room and can include wooden counters, glass splash backs and tile flooring. 

Open-plan living

If you are someone who has watched the show ‘World’s Most Extraordinary Homes’, many modern homes have open-plan kitchens combined with living rooms so that families can enjoy spending more time together in one space. ‘Broken-plan’ layouts are becoming increasingly popular – by adding bookcases, screens or half-walls creates distinct areas within a kitchen for eating/socialising.

Darker floors

Adding darker floor tiles or wooden flooring can create a sleeker and chicer kitchen. Having chestnut or ebony wood floors, or grey/black tiles is the way forward. Marble flooring can add make an impactful statement, however, if marble tiles are out of budget, why not take a look at marble- effect tiles?

 

Next up is bathrooms…

Don’t be tempted to buy a coloured bathroom suite!

Bold coloured bathroom suites might be making a comeback but white bathrooms are truly timeless. If you want to add colour to white bathrooms, they are easily accessorised with towels and blinds that can provide a funky accent colour or can be complimented with patterned tiles and flooring. In contrast to kitchens, choose more angular styled white suites to add a contemporary twist.

Make a big statement in a small space

Bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in a house but that doesn’t mean you can’t be adventurous in your design choices. Using large print wallpaper can create a vibrant wall or utilising a statement mirror can be both practical and add some drama to the space.

 

Go natural

Cold, stone textures and materials have been popular in bathrooms for quite some time but now wood is on its way in. Darker-stained, rustic timber can be used to add a warmer touch to often cold, clinical bathroom designs. There are even wood effect tiles on the market to add a more natural feel without compromising on functionality.

A metallic touch

Forget shiny chrome – think industrial copper or glamorous gold. You may not want to commit to changing your taps to these bold new metallic trends, but you can accessorise your bathroom with gold or copper accents by installing an on-trend light fitting with coordinating metallic framed mirror or shelving unit.

Wet rooms

If you’re planning a complete bathroom renovation, a wet room may be a great option. They are becoming increasingly popular as they offer an easy to maintain bathroom and are a practical alternative to a walk-in shower, offering greater accessibility.

Industrial chic

Industrial chic is an emerging trend. With a more masculine feel, the industrial look consists of bold, straight lines, exposed pipework and black, chunky fixtures and fittings. Simplicity is key with this design and larger, more stylised shower screens hint at influences from Japanese minimalism.

Space saving bathrooms – always on trend

If your bathroom is particularly tiny, there are lots of space saving options available from vanity units with built in storage to slim basins, compact WCs and even tapered bathtubs, perfect for awkward spaces. The use of mirrored tiles can make a small space feel bigger, as can lighter colour palettes and choosing bright lighting. Neutral tiles, around 30-60cm, are ideal for bijou bathrooms, smaller tiles can make a small room look too busy.

 

 

 

 

 

Smart investments to keep your home a safe one.

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale gives his top tips for looking after your home and keeping it safe.

Owning a house and making it a home is one of the greatest achievements in life. It is important that you know how to keep your home safe and there are smart investments you can make to help achieve this. Some of these investments may also make your home more appealing to potential buyers in the future.

Digital home monitoring

A remote home monitoring system is usually controlled by an app, in which you can place small cameras around your home to view both the inside and outside of your property via your phone and can be used for everyday use, such as watching your pets or checking the kids while you’re out. If motion is detected whilst you are away from home, you’ll be sent a notification to your phone so you can watch the activity in your home, sound an alarm or call the police. You can also place detectors on doors and windows which can detect when they are being broken into.

Smart doorbells

Smart doorbells help you to see who is at your front door before allowing visitors access to you home. These doorbells are particularly useful for pre-screening unwanted cold-callers or monitoring the whereabouts of parcels. Many of these smart doorbells you can connect to an app on your smart phone to view camera footage and will get a notification if you have a visitor at your door and for other things, such as when the post arrives.

Remote Garage door opener

This gives you the power to open your garage from wherever you are. Therefore, if you have a trusty friend popping over to check the house then you can grant them access to your home via the garage with a click of a button. On the other hand, if you were to have an intruder (most commonly homes are burgled through the garage) then you would receive a notification immediately.

Security gate

There are a variety of gates that you can use to protect your home, including Aluminum double swing gates, manual gates and wireless gates. These can be fitted near the front of your home or around it. You will also be able to use it every day to let visitors in and out of your property. With this system becoming more and more affordable, protecting your property through secure gates is becoming much more accessible. 

Access code home lock

Do you often lose your house keys? An access code home lock allows you to enter your property using a PIN code. This device rather than using keys. This means that the door is much more advanced and is a good preventative measure for house intruders as it removes the risk of traditional locks being snapped or forced open. This can also be used as a great safeguarding device for the elderly as relatives can access the home using a key code instead of having multiple sets of keys.

LED home lighting

When in doubt, trick ‘em out. By using remote LED lighting, you can schedule times for your lights to go on and off within your home while you’re away, to give the impression that someone is home. This is also a great tool to use day-to-day (e.g. If you want to monitor the lights on behalf of an elderly family member).

From smart doorbells to LED lights, all of these things will help you have a safe and secure home. However, not all security has to be smart. For official guidance, Thames Valley Police have their very own top tips regarding how to maintain your garden, windows, doors etc. to help prevent crime. You can find out more here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

Tenant Fees Ban: Clean up your costs this Spring with Limestone

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks about the upcoming changes that Limestone are putting place for Landlords over Spring.

As Spring approaches it is synonymous with change and new beginnings. Many people embark on a ‘Spring clean’, which often means an increase in dusting, cleaning around the house, but what about tidying your finances?

In our 25 years’ experience within the local property market, we have learned what best to offer to our Landlords. At Limestone, we currently offer a wide range of landlord services to help landlords manage every aspect of the tenancy lifecycle, however, we have recently revised our services to offer landlords greater flexibility and choice.

As of 1st June 2019, the Tenants Fee Act comes into force, which bans tenants letting fees in the private rented sector and sets a cap on tenancy deposits in England. Our understanding is that many agents will pass the fees that they have been traditionally charging to tenants onto Landlords. Here at Limestone, we are committed to NOT passing this cost on and you can be assured that all of our fees are upfront and transparent.

For any new managed tenancy, our charges to the Landlord will be as follows:

  • £350 + VAT – One off admin fee charged at the start of a new tenancy to a new tenant. No renewal fees to the Landlord.
  • 10% monthly commission from the rent collected.

In accordance with this restructured approach, our historic ‘Tenant Find Service’ will no longer exist as a ‘fixed service’. Any Landlord will be able to choose exactly what they want us to do based on our Tenant Find Price List that includes factors such as:

  • Internet advertising and viewings
  • Right to rent and identity verification checks
  • Moving tenant into the property
  • Informing utility companies of new tenant and meter readings and much more

Prices will start from £360 Inc. VAT

Full details of our Tenant Find Price List can be downloaded here.

With all of these exciting changes going on, why not get in touch with us and see how we can help you to manage your tenancy.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

10 ways to make your property more appealing and increase value at the same time

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale shares his top tips for selling your property.

1. Boost kerb appeal

My granny always said, “you can tell a lot about a woman’s housekeeping skills by her doorstep”. First impressions really do count, so give your front door a spruce up and clear away any garden items which draw the eye away from the home’s central features. Also, dispose any litter and rubbish in front of your house. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t put it there, if It’s in front of your home it’s making it look dirty – so get rid of it quickly!

2. Spice up the kitchen

A new kitchen can cost thousands of pounds but replacing worktops and taps may be worthwhile. The kitchen is a home’s focal point and is often a deal-breaker. Replacing even small items can turn an old kitchen into a contemporary space. Keep it clean too, limescale and grease are always off putting.

3. Period features

If you live in a Victorian home, for example, try to make sure that skirting boards, architraves and doors fit in with the era. If you have a little cash to spend, consider restoring or installing coving, picture rails or period fireplaces. It won’t cost the earth and buyers will often pay more for a home with period features, so if you have them and you like them DO NOT rip them out!

4. Get gardening

Yank out those weeds, hack back your hedges and get the lawn cut. Sorting out outdoors is a vital part of giving your house overall appeal. Little pots of evergreen heather, under a fiver, placed by the front door look welcoming. Caring for your garden shows that you care about the home and have maintained it well.

5. A fresh lick of paint

Transforming a home from drab to fab needn’t cost too much time or money, just the price of sandpaper, paint, brushes and rollers. Redecorating can make a property look brand new and present more of a blank canvas to buyers. But do keep an eye on the quality of finish. A dodgy paint job can be almost as off-putting as scuffed, discoloured walls. Also think carefully about colour schemes and remember that a neutral palette is often the safest option.

6. Keep it clean

Dust, cobwebs and grime all suggest a home isn’t cared for – so make sure the place is spotless. After all, what’s the point in having new paint­work, flooring and carefully placed furniture if it all looks a bit grubby? Remember to clean windows and sills too.

7. Sort out that bathroom

Nobody was ever won over by a mouldy bathroom and in our experience, we have found that a dirty bathroom is one of the biggest turn offs for buyers. So get your rubber gloves on, grab some thick bleach and start scrubbing those tiles, grouting and silicon. Also consider replacing out of date items like the soap dish, toothbrush holder and taps.

8. Declutter

Trash those chintzy trinkets and think minimal. Getting rid of excess clutter adds to the sense of space and never detracts from the look of a home. It also lets a potential buyer imagine their own belongings in place. Get some bin bags and start clearing out. Focus on the hall first because it’s the first thing potential buyers will see. Stinky trainers and muddy boots are a no go!

9. Dress to impress

Remind buyers they are in a home and not a showroom by keeping a few objects, pictures and neutral ornaments (vase, fruit bowl or a couple of cushions) visible.  New towels in the bathroom and a few candles will also help. Key pieces of furniture give pointers to what a room can be and help define the space. Dress the place sparingly but cleverly and this might just make the difference between getting the asking price or a much reduced offer.

10. Flooring

Mouldy carpets and badly fitted laminate are eyesores which can knock hundreds or thousands of pounds off an offer. If you keep an awful floor the buyer will tot up how much money it will cost to replace it, so do it yourself at a fraction of the price. A deep-clean may be all it needs – or if your floorboards are in a decent state strip them back and varnish them.

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk