Luxury in the Face of Adversity
As we entered the Millennium, economic commentators warned of an imminent property crash. However, as time went by house prices just kept on climbing, compounding the converse opinion that this was indeed a ‘seller’s market’. When the global recession hit, house prices inevitably plummeted and buyers found it increasingly difficult to get a mortgage. The outlook for those unhappy with their surroundings was decidedly gloomy.
Fortunately, out of that gloom came a beacon of optimism. TV ‘Home Experts’ lead the way with their tips on updating and improving your current home to make life more luxurious from within. Affordable, high street DIY stores began to develop ‘high spec’ designs and products so that those who wished to move forward to a more cutting edge, fashionable way of living could still do so without the effort and expense of moving house.
Glam Getaways in the Comfort of Home
In this digital age, when it comes to sitting back, relaxing and switching on your television, you have more choice than ever before as to how to wile away the hours. However, one thing that many channels seem to have in common, are programmes about your home. As you flick from backwards and forwards it won’t be long before you find successful property developer (and seemingly permanently pregnant!), Sarah Beeny, advising us on how to move up the property ladder. Next comes the perennially perky Kirstie Allsopp offering us thrifty, homemade tips to improve our surroundings and brighten up our interiors. Then, finally, you can sit back in slightly envious glee as the Godfather of contemporary design, Kevin McCloud, follows the ups and downs of affluent couples building their homes from scratch. It would seem that one thing is for certain; if popular culture is a true reflection of society’s habits, wants and needs, then home is at the heart of our living.
If you look at the current trend for contemporary interiors with flashy gadgets, clean lines and minimalist glamour, it is almost as if we want to create a boutique hotel interior within the walls of our two-up-two-down. This is perhaps best demonstrated by current popular designs for bathrooms. These are designed to give the feel of a luxurious getaway spa that provides a sanctuary to relax in a time of stress, whilst adding lasting value to your property in the long term.
Just by following a few simple principles and ideas you can achieve a fashionable, aspirational interior, without it breaking the bank.
En-Suite’s You Sir!
En-suite bathrooms attached to the master bedroom have never been more popular and add a tremendous amount of value to your property, should you have the space. By keeping the main bathroom for children and guests means that time spent in the en-suite need not be rushed. As it is separate from the rest of the house time spent in there has an indulgent ‘getaway’ feel and a chance to relax, even if it’s not for long!
Space Odyssey 2012
Modern life requires that an indulgent shower may be a more realistic aim than a long bath. However, this need not come at the expense of style. The signature elements to contemporary bathroom interiors are space and sleek, sophisticated fittings. Gone are the days of cramped stand-alone shower cubicles that were difficult to clean, cumbersome in nature and not very easy on the eye. With the ability to fit shower trays into more convenient spaces, at lower heights or even as a stand-alone drainage element in a wet room, a shower need no longer be something that looks out of place in the latest style of bathroom.
Minimalist Chic is Not So Bleak!
The current trend for sleek, minimalist, contemporary interiors is never more fitting than in the bathroom. The latest in bathroom décor has an almost Oriental look to it with its simplicity, clean lines and high shine fittings. Typical elements to this style of decoration are the use of treated wood for flooring and limestone tiling rather than wallpaper. Colours are neutral, natural and earthy with small splashes of subtle flamboyance. Bamboo blinds and matt-effect ceramics add to the Zen-like nature of your bathroom and go well to emphasise the feeling of sanctuary and relaxation.
Bathrooms and Kitchens are said to be the key to selling houses. Often it is the simple addition of fittings such as hidden cupboards, space saving shower trays or durable work surface covers that can help to add substantial value to your current property.