white interiors

White Interiors: Making the colour white work for you

The interior design world has often embraced white as a go-to colour. White is perfect for interiors due to it’s versatility and ability to brighten even the smallest areas of your home. However, white has a lot more to it than just being at the lightest end of the colour spectrum.  Here are our 4 ways to make white work for you.

white interiors

Accentuate Period Characteristics

If you are living in a period home, then the chances are that you will have skirting boards, mouldings and cornices. Keeping these as white as possible accentuates the periodical history of your home and keeps it looking very fresh and airy.

white interiors

Make Your Kitchen Seem Bigger

If your kitchen is wanting in size, white units and appliances will give the illusion of more space. White units also give a clean, crisp look to your kitchen that will create a timeless kitchen environment.

Light Your Basement

Basements are usually the darkest parts of the house, so if you are going for a basement conversion or renovation, then you might want to go for white or light colours to create a more inviting space. Whitewashing the staircase is a great technique that will help reflect much needed natural light into your basement.

White interiors

Even Out Irregularities

In many properties, there are imperfections and uneven walls that can be irksome to look at.  These irregularities often occur with age, neglect, budget or even design. However, as a temporary measure, to combat their unpleasant sight a lick of white paint can be incredibly effective in obscuring these from view.

benefits design build

Benefits of Choosing a Design & Build Team

 

When it comes to home improvements and renovations, the traditional way to go is to use an architectural designer and then use general contractors separately. Here at APT, we pride ourselves on being an all-inclusive design & build team, covering all aspects of your home desires. We have broken down the top five reasons why you should opt for a design & build team like ours rather than the conventional way:

No Middlemen

Going with a design & build team like APT means that everyone is on board with the same project, and has the same people trying to complete them, which means no wires will get crossed. Having the architectural designers on the same team as the builders means that everyone will work in tandem to make your dream home come true, without the need to bring in anyone else. In the rare event that anything does go wrong, there will be full accountability rather than fingers being pointed at separate contractors. Every challenge is overcome easier when you have a team that are fully in sync with each other.

Experience & Expertise

A design & build team doesn’t prioritise one aspect over the other – we are experts in both fields, which is why we can offer you a complete and comprehensive experience. It’s important to remember that a design & build team like APT is a serious business with years of experience, and there are many contractors and builders out there who pose as architectural designers (or vice versa) when they have little to no experience in this field. Not only do our licensed architects possess unrivalled amounts of experience when it comes to design, but our build team have been working with them side by side, having completed a wide range of stunning home renovations and improvements throughout London.

Cost-Effective

Typically, using separate consultants, architectural designers and contractors will incur greater fees, which is why a fully integrated design & build team is more cost-effective. In fact, you could save over 10% if you opt for a design & build team. Our architectural designers have a full understanding of pricing and use this knowledge in accordance with your budget while the designing process takes place. Here at APT, we do not take any upfront fees or deposits, rather, we start taking payments once works are underway and you are entirely happy with proceedings.

Communication

One of the benefits of using one team is that communication is never an issue, as each member will be fully briefed on the objectives. All dialogues and plans will be totally transparent from start to finish with a design & build team. At APT, we try to engage with our clients as much as possible, to make them understand the nature of the works and what needs to be done and why. We are also at hand to offer professional advice when needed and are wholly committed to giving you our honest truth, regardless of the situation.

Timely

The more third-parties you invite to work on your project, the more time it will take to complete it. This is because you have to work around different availabilities, and the whole process will not go as smoothly as it will if you choose to go with a design & build team. Because the whole build process can be really complicated and drawn out, having one company perform everything is far more efficient in terms of practicality and in terms of timing. Our design & build team is highly adaptive to any circumstances that may arise, and will always strive to achieve the best results in the most timely and cost-effective manner.

 

Choosing a design & build team will be sure to give your home project far more continuity and consistency than going with the outdated separate route. With more home improvements taking place than ever before, more people are starting to reap the rewards of using a design & build company. With APT Renovation, you have one of the leading experts in the industry at your disposal, especially when it comes to London.

tips kitchen extension

Tips For A Top Kitchen Extension

house extension - extend 5

The kitchen area is increasingly becoming the most focal point of the home, as families are not only spending more time there eating together, but they are using it as a social space as well. Kitchen extensions are hugely popular in London, as they represent a great way to gain extra space and create beautiful aesthetics. Here are some top tips for an amazing house extension:

Use The Natural Light

It’s always a great idea to let in as much natural light into the kitchen area as possible, and most extensions these days incorporate the outside with the inside. Skylight windows are often used in kitchens to great effect, particularly when they allow light to pour onto the dining table and seating areas. Using glass sliding doors is another effective way to bring in extra light to the kitchen, and offers a seamless passage to the garden area.

Connect To The Outside

As well as using glass sliding doors to create a smooth transition, there are some other great ways to create the illusion of an even larger space. Using matching floor tiles and textures in the kitchen and on the patio is an excellent way to blur the lines of the interior with the exterior. Similarly, using the same colour themes on the kitchen cabinets and counters with the external walls will make your kitchen extension seem even larger.

Choose A Beautiful Theme

Having a beautiful theme in your kitchen makes the world of difference, and it is important that this theme remains consistent throughout. Furniture, cupboards, appliances and walls should all match up and compliment each other. Many modern kitchen designs have a white and airy feel about them, and the most attractive ones always have a hint of an additional colour to create a really standout look.

Define Areas Of The Kitchen

Your kitchen extension will ensure that you get more usable space, so it’s definitely recommended to divide it into different areas. Having an island or peninsula will split up the cooking area from the actual dining area and will create a lovely open-plan kitchen scheme, where family members can relax while the others can prepare meals or drinks. This type of extension creates clear separate areas fit for different purposes but maintains a sense of cohesion.

Create Storage

Storage is one of the most salient things in a kitchen extension, as the chief purpose is to cook and to cook with practicality and ease. Making sure that your storage units and cabinets are all next to each other improves the functionality for all culinary activities and can be colour coordinated as such. Wall mounts can also be fitted to add additional storage space, while magnetic strips can also be placed on the walls for cutlery.

Meet APT’s Kitchen Extension Architects in who have recently completed a Job Earlsfield

House Extensions Are A Brilliant Way To Boost The Space

Benefits of house extension

With property prices in London at now astronomical rates, many homeowners craving extra space are asking themselves if it’s really worth purchasing a new house. Instead, many are deciding to stay put in their homes and add house extensions. Such a paucity of space and land has ushered in a wave of new kitchen extensions in the capital, which has in turn, catapulted property values even more.

 

Increase The Property Value Up To 20%

A extension can propel the value of a property by up to 20% in some parts of London, which is exactly why many homeowners decide to stay in their area. “As a renovation company operating in some of the most affluent parts of London, most of our clients are more than happy with their location, and have no intention of moving out”, explains Andi Pepaj, director of APT Renovation. “House extensions are a brilliant way to boost space, improve the quality of life and add tremendous worth to a property”.

 

Large Family

The harmony of a household has a direct correlation to the amount of space a property has, particularly if the family is large. The more spacious a property, the less likely it is that petty feuds will break out over who is using what and what area is being occupied. An extra bathroom can change the whole dynamic of a household and removes the strain of having to delegate time and monitor how long one spends relaxing in the bathtub. Not only that, but an extra bathroom can add up to 6% in value.

Rooms For Relaxation

The added space that rear house extensions provide mean that family members are more likely to want to spend time in their actual home rather than treating their property as just a place to rest their head at night. They can be modified into rooms of relaxation and entertainment, fitted with integrated sound systems and technology. With more and more people working remotely, the study is turning out to be a necessity for digital entrepreneurs, allowing individuals to make the most out of their productivity.

 

Glass Designs

As swathes of new luxury modern apartments sweep the city, there’s also been a newfound penchant to modernising existing properties with similarly designed additions. These glass designs represent the new trend in contemporary architecture and can reinvent living spaces by facilitating large amounts of natural light. Not only does this brighten up the place and make it more inviting, but it also gives the illusion of even more space.

 

Knock Down An Internal Wall

Many properties deceptively come across as being small because of the layout, so knocking down an internal wall or two is an incredibly effective way to increase the interior space. Adding 10% new floorspace can fetch 5.1% more value on the market. This can also create a contemporary feel, which is why the majority of modern properties incorporate open-plan layouts, with fresh and airy elements. The two pillars for modernism are space and light, and this is progressively being reflected in the ambitious house extensions that are taking place throughout the capital.

 

Kitchen Extensions

Kitchen extensions have become the most popular types of home improvements in London properties. A new kitchen can add up to 6% in value to a property and is sometimes the first thing people look for when buying. As people become more infatuated with their culinary habits, the kitchen area is becoming one of the focal social spaces as opposed to the front of the house. This is why open-plan kitchen diners are now high in demand and are often adjoined to the rear end of the house. “Our bespoke joinery specialises in bi-folding and sliding doors, which are a fantastic way to seamlessly connect to the garden area”, says Pepaj.

 

kitchen extension

Rear Extension

A rear extension takes full advantage of the outside space and boosts the indoor capacity by integrating the flooring or materials that can be found in the garden. Shifting the extraneous space from the outside to the inside can result in a significant increase in livable room, thus encouraging household members to congregate more in this part of the property. Having this type of extra space is not only more practical for families, but is befitting of the type of lifestyle that many people crave these days.

 

James Dickson and his wife Nicky of Lysia Street were unwavering in their desire to remain in their Fulham home. They did, however, want to boost the space in their property, most notably by way of a refurbished kitchen that allowed easy access to the garden area. APT Renovation was able to give the property a full renovation and implement a stunning contemporary kitchen, complete with state of the art skylights to boost the overall natural lighting.

 

Cost-Effective House Extensions

Conservatories and orangeries are the most cost-effective of all house extensions and are both similar in the sense that they also merge the exterior with the interior. They are versatile in terms of functionality and can be made into dining rooms, studies, garden rooms, sun rooms and children’s rooms, to name a few. Both options allow residents to enjoy the views a garden has to offer under a relaxing confinement, regardless of what the weather is like.

 

Generally, single storey extensions will go ahead without hiccups, although in some instances, planning permission may be required. When it comes to multi-storey extensions, there is a whole lot more to consider, including the impact the works will have on neighbours. This type of house extension can be very protracted and can incur the wrath of complaints and opposition from those in the vicinity. The larger the project, the more scrutiny it will come under, as the works can result in less privacy for neighbours, or even deprive them of sunlight. This is why obtaining building control permission is mandatory, and a planning permission is almost a certitude.

 

Multi-storey extensions represent the most radical of transformations of a property and can make way for extra bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, perfect for a growing family. Creating a new bedroom of 13 square metres has the potential to raise the value of a terraced property by up to 10%, and two new bedrooms in a semi-detached home is likely to see a 13% increase in the overall worth. Homeowners that already have three bedrooms can add up to 10% in value if they decide to go for a fourth.

 

Elegant Modernism

Shows like Grand Designs have revealed to the masses the real extent of what modern architecture can bring to a property. In terms of house extensions, not only is the scope endless for creativity and design, but the same is true for functionality. According to Andi Pepaj, homeowners are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes; “we have seen a real movement towards elegant modernism, and this reflects the lifestyle aspirations that are prevalent across the city”.

house extension loft conversion Marylebone W1U

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is the one room in the house where comfort and relaxation matter the most. After a long day of work, the bedroom is the sanctuary for rest, which is why it should be the best that it can be. There are many factors to consider when designing your ideal bedroom, and having renovated and designed many in our time, we have looked at the best ways to achieve this.

Get A Fantastic Bed

The most important part of your bedroom, your bed must be able to give you the best night’s sleep possible. When it comes to bed comfort, it can be quite subjective, as some people prefer softer mattresses, while others prefer a firmer surface. There are different options when it comes to the material of the mattress, which can include foam, innerspring, latex or gel amongst others. The type of bedding you choose can also make the world of difference, as there are many high-end bed linens out there that can soften your senses and put you to sleep in no time. Putting in a luxurious headboard has the ability to transform your whole room, and can give you that additional comfort when reading in bed or watching TV.

Free Up Space

It’s a well-known fact that the more clutter you have lying around in your room, the more cramped it will feel, and the less likely it will be for you to relax. Getting rid of unwanted clutter will not only make your room look far more presentable, but it will free up much-needed space and give you peace of mind. If you have furniture in your room that you think can be moved to another room, then you should consider it, as having a spacious room can really do wonders for relaxation and downtime. The dressers and wardrobes you choose to fit in your room will also have a big impact on the space you have, so make sure you scale it appropriately.

Select The Right Colours

Choosing the right colours is so important for your bedroom, and it often has a direct correlation to how big it is. If your room is limited in size, then it’s best to avoid using dark colours as you will create the illusion of an even smaller space. If you use lighter colours on the walls and the ceiling, you can create the sense of a more airy room. Additionally, if you let in natural light from the windows, then you will have the feeling of even more space as well as a more upbeat ambience.

Have A Seating Area

If your lucky enough to have lots of space in your room, then a seating area is a great way to take advantage of it. If you want to unwind with your partner or your close friends in front of the TV, or even if you just want to sit down and read a book, a seating area creates a whole new dynamic for your room, and lets you use it in a completely different way, rather than just for sleeping. It also offers you an alternative to the living areas for when you want some privacy from other members of the household.

Add Accessories

Decorative items are the final touch to creating a homely bedroom. There are many different types of accessories and ornamentation that can be used, such as glass, artwork, plants and lamps. Sometimes it’s good not to overdecorate though, as your room may start to become congested, so a minimalistic approach is often a good idea. Blinds and curtains both have the ability to alter the way your room feels, while the use of different textures and patterns can really bring out your creative flair and set your room apart from others.

 

 

 

 

make the bathroom look bigger

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.

popular interior design ideas

Popular Interior Design Ideas

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

wet underfloor

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.

 

Existing Floors

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.

 

Save Up To 30% On Your Bills

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.

 

Integrated Heating System

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.

 

Height Reduction

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the right window for your home

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.