How To Brighten Up Your Basement

 

APT Renovation has undergone many basement conversions throughout London, and we know that the one thing that makes the world of difference, is lighting. Here are the best ways to illuminate your basement:

 

Layer The Lighting

Spotlights are the most commonly used form of lighting for basements, but it shouldn’t end there. To make your basement feel as homely as possible, you should layer the lighting. Pendants are a great way to add an atmospheric feel, while accent lighting can also boost the general ambience.

 

Use Sconces

Fixing sconces into the back wall of your basement can create the illusion of higher ceilings. This will also make for a far more inviting space.

 

Fit In Track Lights

To set your basement apart from others and get a more modern look, then you should look to fit in some track lights alongside the exposed joists. This will brighten up your basement significantly and give it a fresh feel.

 

Light Up Soffits

You can make your basement even cosier if you install recessed spotlights into the soffits within the ceiling. Not only will this add a significant degree of lighting to your basement, you won’t reduce your ceiling height, and you will achieve an intimate vibe.

How To Make The Most Of High Ceilings

 

If you are fortunate to benefit from high ceilings or a double-height room, then you should really look to make the most of it. Here are a few design ideas to help you do this:

 

Use Mirrors

While having high ceilings can be a great thing, it can sometimes make space seem like it is more on the narrow side. Placing mirrors on the walls can help to create the illusion of a wider room, and the larger the mirror you choose to hang up, the wider it will seem.

 

Use Storage

If you are an avid book reader, then why not make the most of your ceiling height with a tall library? Alternatively, you could also create high-reaching cupboards, and create a rolling ladder for easy access.

 

Skylight Windows

If you plan to include storage in your walls, then you may want to consider going for a skylight window, which will pour in large amounts of natural light during the day. The only issue with this is you must think of how you will be able to clean it when required!

 

Change Design

If you want to be really creative, then you could change the whole colour scheme, texture, or even both, starting from halfway up. Going for a darker design scheme towards the top will create a much more cosy effect, and reduce how vast the high ceilings make it feel.

 

Exposed Beams

If you want to create a really interesting and unique atmosphere in your home, then you could leave the beams exposed towards the roof. This has a lot of potential for creativity, as you could leave them in their natural timber state, or paint them in a striking colour.

How To Make Your Bathroom Look More Expensive

 

If you are feeling underwhelmed at how your bathroom looks, then sometimes all it takes is a few adjustments to give it a more refined and luxurious feel. Take a look at these different ways you can achieve this effect:

 

Get Creative With Lighting

Lighting makes the world of difference in bathrooms, and you can achieve a luxury yet minimalist effect if you install a LED strip into some recessed shelving. This will create a glowing and relaxing effect, which is perfect for when you are trying to relax in the bathtub. Placing a chandelier in your bathroom is also a surefire way to add a sense of luxury.

 

Add Some Gold

Instead of the usual chrome fixtures and fittings, why not add that touch of elegance and sparkle by making them gold or copper. Not only does this make your bathroom look more expensive and refined, but it also exudes a warmer atmosphere.

 

Incorporate Marble

Using marble in your bathroom will completely transform how it looks, giving it a very sleek and cultured look. You only need to use it a little to achieve this sense of splendour – consider fitting a marble slab over your sink for a really fine finish.

 

Hang An Elegant Mirror

Replacing your standard mirror with an elegant and ornate mirror will go a long way to making your bathroom stand out. If you can find a mirror that has a unique and attractive frame, then this will definitely enhance your bathroom, particularly if it is on the larger side, as it will give off the illusion of a larger space.

 

Consideration To Make Before Redesigning Your Living Room

 

As the living room is the primary centrepiece in your home, you want to ensure that any new designs you are planning for it are going to work. Here’s what you should consider before you go ahead with the changes:

 

Plan Around Plug Sockets

If you plan to move any furniture around, you will want to take into consideration the location of all plug sockets and switches. Ideally, you want to avoid adding new sockets as it will cost more, so try to arrange all the furniture to the most convenient parts of the room.

 

Only Make Changes If You Have To

There’s no point in making changes to your living room just for the sake of it. Make sure you’ve thought about the changes you want to do and if they will really make a difference positively. A good way to test the waters is to use some template objects to fit into the spaces where you want to make the changes.

 

Consider Your Budget

Before going ahead with any of your changes, make sure that your plans are not too ambitious for your budget. Make sure you know the value of each decision you carry out, and if it is worth it from a financial perspective.

 

Will It Work?

You may have identified a certain look that you really want to use in your living room, but you need to make sure that it will be able to work in your home. Consider if the changes you want to make will actually work from an architectural standpoint. Either way, consulting with our in-house architect will give you much more clarity going forwards.

Choosing The Right Windows For Your Home

Choosing The Right Windows

 

Choosing the right windows for your home can be a very tricky decision indeed. Windows often play a large role in determining the character of your property, so it is important to take these things into consideration:

 

Budget

Your budget should play a pivotal role when selecting what material you use for your windows, as the costs vary significantly. If you want to go down the more economical route, then uPVC windows are your best bet, while aluminium is relatively more expensive. The most expensive windows are made from aluclad, a combination of timber and aluminium.

 

Insulation

The insulation levels of your windows are calculated by a system called U-value, which takes into account the glazing type, the frame design and age and the quality of installation. The lower the U-value, the better insulation the window offers. Generally speaking, older properties are not insulated as well as newer ones.

 

Choosing The Right Colour

Most windows come with a traditional white frame, but if you want to go for something that suits the rest of your interior, then you may want to consider different colours. Aluminium and most high-end windows come in an assortment of different colours. The right window frame can make a huge difference to the finish of your property.

 

Double Or Triple Glazing

If you want your home to be eco-friendly, then you should look to go for triple glazing on your windows. Despite coming at a relevant cost, triple glazing is a highly effective way to soundproof and insulate your property. Double glazing is also a viable option, and is relatively cheaper.

 

 

Balconies and Roof Terraces – Bring The Outdoors Into Your Home

 

During the summer, we often crave the outdoors life, so why not bring the outdoors into your home? Creating a balcony or roof terrace can transform your property dramatically. Here are a few ideas that you can incorporate in your home:

 

Juliet Balconies

Juliet Balconies are considerably popular in England, as you generally don’t require any planning permission to build them, unlike projecting balconies. The only issue that can arise with these concerns over the privacy of neighbours, but on the whole, these represent a great way to enhance the beauty of your property.

 

Loft Conversion

A creative way to get some outdoor space in your home is to convert and extend your loft ,and push back the parapet wall so you can form a miniature roof garden. From being at the highest vantage point in the property, you can be sure to bask in the sunshine throughout the summer with this technique.

 

Take Advantage Of Extension

If you have already created a ground-floor extension in your property, then this presents the opportunity to make the most of this newfound space on its roof. A roof terrace is a fantastic way to make the most out of this additional storey, although it may well require planning permission.

 

Decorate

A great way to make your balcony or roof terrace stand out even more is to decorate it. Perhaps you want to go with the more natural look and decorate with beautiful plants and greenery, or you could even consider building a fireplace so that you can use your outdoor space all year round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add More Personality To Your New Home

Add More Personality To Your New Home

When you move to a new property, the challenge is infusing it with personality and making it a place you are proud to call home. APT Renovation has looked at some ways you can inject your new house with plenty of personalities:

Get New Furniture

Getting a whole set of new furniture is almost like getting a new house itself, the difference can be amazing. Think about creating a striking effect by contrasting the furniture colour with the interior colour scheme. At APT, we have our own bespoke joinery that can handcraft all types of furniture to your requirements, which will be sure to give your property its own charm and personality.

Modify Your Entrance

The hallway and entrance are the first things you see when you enter your home, so why not make this part of the house somewhere that makes you smile or feel happy. Putting up some beautiful artwork, redecorating the staircase, and incorporating natural light are just some of the ways that you can do this.

Get New Doors

Replacing the doors in your property is a brilliant way to transform its whole personality. Going for glass and steel doors will create a luxurious and refined style within your home, and also make it a more seamless and open-plan space.

Revamp Kitchen

When you move into your new property, the chances are that your kitchen will be relatively neutral looking. This is where you can make the world of difference by adding sleek new flooring, beautiful paintwork and state of the art lighting to make your kitchen a desirable place to spend your time in.

Wet Underfloor Heating For A Cosy Home

In many Nordic European countries, underfloor heating can be found in at least 8 out of 10 properties, and it seems Britain is also following in the same vein. It is no secret that underfloor heating significantly increases how homely and cosy a property is, particularly during the long winters.

 

If your property is being built from scratch or needs a total renovation, then a wet underfloor heating system makes perfect sense as all that would need to be installed is piping to pump the warm water through your subfloor. When fitted in from scratch, slab concrete is laid down as the foundation, which is then followed by insulated concrete substrate. Thin pipes are then laid down and covered in screed which is used to conduct the heat that passes through them. Unfortunately, for those with existing floors, this type of underfloor system would require ripping up the floors entirely to pour the screed material underneath, which is why an electric system would be easier.

 

A wet underfloor heating system works in a very similar way to a typical central heating system, and is actually more energy efficient than using radiators. While the cost to install wet systems may be slightly higher than electric systems, this shouldn’t really deter you because in the long run, you will be saving far more money. In fact, you could save up to 30% on your bills as they function at a far lower water temperature than radiators.

 

Another positive function of this system is that it can be fully integrated with your existing heating system, meaning that you can alternate the heating between the floors and the radiators in different rooms. Add to that, the fact that the heat emanating from the floors last far longer after activation and have a further reach than radiators. This type of heating is perfect for cold flooring materials like tiles, marble or flagstones. It’s worth noting that you can have underfloor heating underneath the wooden flooring, but since it conducts less heat than other materials, the temperature should never exceed 27 degrees, as this can cause it to crack.

 

Because of the amount of layers of concrete, insulation and screed needed to create wet underfloor heating, the height of a room can be significantly reduced, depending on what type of floor finish is used. However, there have been advancements in producing thinner insulation layers than what the usual wet systems contain, and these do not exceed 100mm, causing minimal height reduction. This progression will surely pave the way for even more homeowners to opt for the wet underfloor heating system, whether it is for a house extension, a bathroom or an entire property.

 

 

 

 

 

Popular Interior Design Ideas To Make The Most Of Your Space

 

Choosing the interior design of your home can be one of the most rewarding experiences, and gives you the opportunity to tap into your creative flair. Your home is the focal point of your life, so having an interior design that befits you is a matter of huge importance, one which you should take great pride in. Many interior design styles interchange and borrow from each other, but it’s always important to know what’s what. If you’re having trouble figuring out what’s best for you, APT have identified the five most popular interior themes right now:

 

Traditional

Traditional décor derives from classic European styles dating back to the 18th and the 19th centuries. Unique characteristics often include a significant amount of dark wooden finishes throughout, intricately carved furniture and a wide range of ornaments and accessories. Traditional designs often exude a luxurious and elegant ambience, particularly in the choice of materials which include velvet, brocade and silk. Artworks on the walls and impressive fireplaces are both common features in traditional décor, while arches and columns are popular architectural trademarks.

 

Modern/Contemporary

Many people often confuse modern as being the same as contemporary, and while there are some overlapping aspects that are shared between the two, there are also distinguishable differences. Modern design often refers to the period during the period of around 1933 to 1965 and is often coined as mid-century modern. This particular style incorporates the use of aesthetic straight lines, neutral colours and natural materials to create an airy feel. Contemporary follows very much in the same vein as modern design, but where modern is limited to a specific era only, there is more progression and dynamism on show in contemporary designs, and often borrows from other styles.

 

Scandinavian

The Scandinavian style is becoming increasingly popular these days as it not only provides beautiful aesthetics, but brilliant functionality as well. Scandinavian décor is very simple and understated, and uses white walls to bring in as much natural light as possible. The minimalistic style, which is characterised by a dearth of ornamentation, natural materials and earthy colours, is now starting to appeal to people all over the globe, after originating in countries like Sweden and Norway. Many aspects are similar to contemporary and modern designs, although reclaimed wood is prevalent in Scandinavian interiors.

 

Industrial

Industrial designs were mainly used for loft and basement renovations before, but they are now increasingly being used for entire properties. To achieve this particular look, certain materials need to be used such as worn out steel and dilapidated metal, which give off a similar atmosphere to a warehouse or factory. Industrial interiors often have a raw and rough feeling about them, which is why unfinished or exposed walls are very typical. Warm and neutral colours are thematic in industrial designs, while concrete elements are often used for walls or flooring.

 

Rustic

The rustic interior design is all about building a link to nature and incorporating natural elements by merging the outside to the inside. Handcrafted wooden furniture and ornaments are common details in rustic homes, while stone, bamboo, clay and wool are the other natural materials that feature heavily. Rustic interiors are charming and have a very warm and cosy feel to them, and appeal to people who like to shy away from this ever evolving technological age. Alternatively, many people like to incorporate rustic elements into their contemporary homes, perhaps to serve as a reminder of the beauty that nature holds.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Make Your Bathroom Look Bigger

Although a bathroom is usually meant for one person to use at a time, a lack of space can sometimes be an issue for many. If your bathroom is on the smaller side, then we have identified some of the most effective ways that you can free up space and make your bathroom look larger.

 

Glass Cubicles

If it is your wish to have a bathtub and a separate shower in your bathroom, then this will definitely impede the amount of available space. Traditional shower cubicles can appear to take up quite a significant chunk of space in bathrooms, so one excellent way around this is to install a frameless glass shower cubicle, as light will shine through it and give off the illusion of more overall space.

 

Create New Storage

Many small bathrooms may feel like they aren’t spacious enough for built-in cupboards, but a clever design can definitely pave the way for some small storage cabinets. Creating small storage units will help to free up clutter and various other items that contribute to making a cramped looking bathroom.

 

Make Floorspace

Keeping the floor space clear in your bathroom will go a long way to making it look bigger than it actually is. Going for a wall-hung basin will also contribute to you having more floor space, and will also bring a very attractive design to your bathroom that is far easier to clean than a traditional basin. You will also be able to store more items underneath the basin, which will free up even more space.

 

Wet Room Or New Shower Tray

In some instances, you will be able to turn your bathroom into a wet room, which means that there is no restriction of where you can use water and shower. This also gives the effect of more space as there will be no need for a shower tray. If a wet room isn’t feasible for your bathroom, then you can do the next best thing, which is install a slimline shower tray that will be very unnoticeable and will give the impression of more room.

 

Skylight Windows

The more natural light that comes into the bathroom, the more spacious it will feel. Installing a skylight window in your bathroom will bring in a large amount of light, and is the perfect solution for a cramped bathroom. Not only that, but the window will also let in ventilation and freshen up the whole space.