Category Archives: Decorating

Brexit brings on the paint brushes!

Britain is gearing up for a surge in DIY in the wake of the ‘Brexit’ referendum, a new survey suggests. The vote to leave the EU is already taking its toll on the property market, with 1.7m homeowners now more inclined to renovate than relocate.




More than one in 10 homeowners is less likely to sell up following the exit vote – a figure which jumps to almost one in five in London – whilst 10% of homeowners plan to turn to property improvement instead of selling. This number rises to a staggering quarter of property owners in the 18-34 age group and, as younger voters and London-based voters statistically wanted to remain in the EU, it’s unsurprising they are deciding to ‘wait and see’.


The survey, by home improvement marketplace, found:

  • 12% of homeowners (1.7m) are less likely to sell their property in the next three years as a result of Brexit
  • 10% are more likely to carry out home improvements
  • 25% of homeowners aged 18-34 are more likely to redecorate than move
  • 18% of London homeowners are less likely to move in the next three years


diyIn recent years, the property boom has been enjoyed particularly by London-based developers, homeowners and landlords, but the research shows that property owners in the capital are now the least likely in the UK to move, with the figure 50% higher than the national average of 12%.


Homeowners in Plymouth are the least likely to carry out a spot of DIY, with just two percent more likely to improve their home following Brexit. In Cardiff, the 12% less likely to sell matches the UK average, whilst five percent are now considering home improvement, and in Newcastle the figures are 15% and six percent respectively.


Plentific co-founder Cem Savas said: “The EU result sent shockwaves through the UK, Europe and beyond. The value of shares for companies within the property market have already plummeted and Foxton’s have also issued a profit warning, which highlights what Brexit could mean to the UK property market. The Plentific research shows a level of uncertainty for homeowners, which will impact buying and selling confidence as well as continuing to drive the huge demand for home improvements.”


Founded in 2014 by Cem Savas and Emre Kazan, Plentific is a fast-growing home improvement marketplace designed to connect homeowners with local tradesmen and professionals.

The research was carried out by Opinium via an online survey of 1,063 UK homeowners aged 18+.

Five ways to get the Scandi look

Scandi LookIf you’ve been admiring the cool, calm and collected look, that is all things Scandinavian – then there is no better time than Spring to inject some clean, Nordic inspired lines into your living space.

There are some key design tips which we can take from this simple style. From plenty of light to pale wood, organic materials to muted tones, there are a multitude of ways you can make this look work in your home.

Let the light in

Scandi Look WindowsNot featuring much in in the way of curtains or window drapes, the Scandi look aims lets in as much light as possible. While some may bolt at the idea of losing a trusty pair of curtains, there are ways to maximise the amount of light that you let in through a window. Hanging them a few inches higher and wider than usual, will allow more of the fabric to sit against the wall, as opposed to the window. Using thinner fabric for blinds will stop you blocking the light from seeping through, and still allow you to keep your nosy neighbours out!

Mirrors are great for bouncing light around a room. Position mirrors strategically opposite windows, and use reflective flooring like a wood laminate or floorboards to achieve the same effect.

Candlelight can add a calming atmosphere both inside and out. Bare bulb lighting is also a popular Scandinavian trend. Use stark bulbs on a flex, or diffuse the light through neutral light shades.

Add wood

Wood LightingA huge characteristic of Scandinavian design is wood. Be it floors, walls or furniture, the use of natural materials allows you to bring the outside in. Rustic wooden tones ooze elegance and make a cozy and inviting living space. Add a characteristic bench or stool, or go the whole hog and panel the walls.

Scandi LightUse a (predominantly) white palette

Fresh, clean, modern – white is the way forward when it comes to achieving the calm and peaceful nature synonymous with this style. Whitewashed walls are common, and adding accents of black to create a monochrome palette is stereotypical of the Scandi style. You don’t have to limit yourself though. Throw in pastels to add charm and colour.

Declutter like never before!

Minimal is the only way to create a ‘clean’ look. If you loathe hiding your clutter, then you will naturally find this harder to achieve than some. Take note, accessories must be functional and unpretentious or heirlooms with a history.

Keep it natural

Alongside wood, don’t be afraid to throw wool, sheepskin, plants and branches into the mix. Varying natural textures adds a certain ‘organic’ homeliness to the look. A wood burner can only add to the charm.

Don’t die for DIY!


DIY-ers are being urged not to put their lives at risk by following online advice from unqualified ‘experts’. With a boom in Youtube ‘how to’ videos, safety charity Electrical Safety First is warning householders not to blindly accept online advice and to always call in a registered professional for jobs they are not confident carrying out.

To highlight the dangers, Electrical Safety First has created some videos of its own, featuring electrician Mike Power. Mike promises to have the answers to a number of electrical DIY tasks – but not all is as it seems! The message of the spoof videos is that electricity can be extremely dangerous, so why risk relying on non-regulated videos and put your life in the hands of a potentially unqualified person?

home-maintenanceAccording to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), more than 200,000 people go to A&E every year following accidents whilst carrying out DIY, gardening or home maintenance. 7,000 of these visits involve people who have fallen off a ladder or step ladder, whilst 5,000 deaths occur every year following accidents around the home.

A spokesman from Electrical Safety First said: “If you need any electrical work done in your home, the best option is always to get a competent person to do the job for you. You can easily find a registered electrician at and, if you’re in Scotland, you can visit”

And RoSPA has these further tips to keep you safe around your home and garden:


  • Be realistic and don’t tackle a job unless you have the ability. A competent, qualified person should always carry out gas and electrical renewal or repair work
  • Keep tools clean and in good repair, giving each one a quick check over before you use it
  • Always plan ahead and take your time; accidents happen more easily if you are unprepared and rush
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes when mowing the lawn and keep your feet and hands well away from the mower blades
  • Stop and disconnect all electrical appliances and tools before working on them
  • Ensure that all tools, paint and chemicals are kept safely out of the reach of children
  • Take extra care with sharp cutting tools
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions very carefully when using adhesives, especially the instant type
  • Use an RCD – residual current device – if your home is not already wired as standard
  • Keep children and pets away when carrying out DIY
  • Keep barbecues well away from trees, buildings and fences and never pour petrol on a barbecue
  • Remember that some plants and berries are poisonous or can cause an allergic reaction
  • Keep all products in their original containers.