Edwardian House, South West LondonContemporary Living Room, London
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Know the legal mattersYour obligations as a landlord go beyond fitting safe gas and electricity equipment – you also need to make sure that the equipment is checked annually by a registered engineer. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must be fitted, and failing to meet these standards can have serious consequences, including fines or even imprisonment. You’ll also need an EPC – an Energy Performance Certificate. These are issued whenever a property is rented, sold or built. “An EPC, which is valid for 10 years, contains information about the property’s energy use, and standard costs and recommendations for the landlord on how to reduce energy consumption and save money,” explains Yeganeh.The EPC must be carried out by an accredited assessor, and you’ll need to make it available to potential tenants. You can be fined for not having an EPC, so, as with safety matters, it’s best to get professional advice to make sure you’ve got everything right.
Pop in a couchIf your space isn’t huge, opt for a sofa style that doesn’t clutter the space. An Ercol studio couch, with its streamlined shape, is a perfect option for this open-plan living area. This type of sofa is extremely versatile, as you can easily change the simple upholstery and add cushions. Here, the homeowners have picked out blue and violet from the artwork above.
Pick a palette from a paintingIf you plan to start from scratch, with new furniture and accessories, you’ll need a jumping-off point for your colour scheme and room design. A large piece of art can be a great starting point to pull a scheme together. This evocative seascape is reflected by the sofa cushions and ikat rug to stunning effect. Find something you absolutely love, whether it’s a print or an investment piece, and create a mood board based on the key colours. Make sure you keep the scale of the artwork appropriate either to the size of the room or the piece of furniture above which it will be displayed.
Enjoy springtime at the seasideCombine a mix of blues and complementary tones – lavender, soft green, white – for a fresh, sunny coastal feel. Imagine the spring sunlight on the sea and the cliffs blooming with wildflowers. Consolidate the look with a seascape painting for good measure.Browse 10 splashbacks with punch and personality
Try out the look with textiles If you’re not ready to commit to paint, tiles or other more permanent features, soft furnishings are always a great place for the colour-shy to start experimenting, particularly if your room is a neutral canvas. Lavender is a flattering partner for soft greys and blues and, here, the shades of the cushions are cohesively collected in the rug and artwork on the wall to tie the scheme together. It’s easy to enhance the colour further using simple accents – in this case, a small ceramic bowl.
Try before you buyMany galleries and online sites will let you try the artwork in your home first. Some, such as Rise Art, will also let you rent it, crediting the majority of the rental income against the purchase if you decide to buy the piece. ‘It’s a great way to see art in your own home, to make sure it fits the space and that you love it, without having to pay a large sum up front,’ says Scott.‘Don’t be put off by size,’ adds Soo. ‘Art seems to shrink once it’s on a wall in a house rather than a gallery. Just make sure you try it in your home first, before you buy.’Explore how to understand scale and proportion
Layer up lavender tonesIt’s always possible to have too much of a good thing, and this certainly rings true when it comes to pale blue and lavender. The solution? Layer up tones of both, on cushions, rugs, even artwork, to create lots of blue accents without colour overkill.
Design is an investmentGetting a look right can add value to your home – and getting it wrong can make it unappealing – so hiring a designer can be a sound investment. ‘People can have so many different style ideas and when they try to pull them all together, it doesn’t always work. It can be because they’re looking at each thing as an individual design element rather than seeing the space as a whole,’says Lindsey Randall. ‘A designer has a trained eye for aesthetics, and we take into account both the form and function of each piece. Things need to flow smoothly within a room, not only look good.’TELL US…Have you recently sought professional help for your home? Please share your experience in the Comments below.