portfolioContemporary Living Room, Sussex
Photography ©Simon Eldon 2015
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Change what you canYou might not be able to change your kitchen units or bathroom sanitaryware, but there are other ways to revamp a room. “I think having a bathroom you wouldn’t necessarily choose yourself can be challenging,” Victoria says. “However, I’ve found giving the room a lick of fresh paint, redoing the grouting, changing the toilet seat and adding plants, new towels, under-sink storage and accessories with a more luxe finish has helped to create a space that feels more like mine.”Style your shelves with essential items from the Houzz Shop
Don’t waste spaceAbove all, make every item count. You may not have much space, but you can invest every piece you have with a purpose and a personality, especially helpful in a new-build with few details of architectural interest. “Painting a piece of furniture in a bright colour can instantly transform a room, lifting it out of the ordinary,” suggests Painter. “Place a picture shelf on the wall with an interesting collection of your favourite items – photos, small vase – to draw the eye and add interest. Mix vintage with contemporary items for a timeless feel.”
Take an inventoryMany landlords ask if they should take an inventory and the answer is: yes. “Taking a proper inventory (with photos) at the beginning of the tenancy lets your tenant know that you’re a good landlord who cares about the property’s condition and wishes to keep it in top shape,” says Barnett. “They’re then aware that this is the standard that’s expected, and are more likely to meet it.”In addition to detailing the contents of the property, the inventory should list existing cosmetic blemishes, such as peeling wallpaper or flaking paint, along with any meter readings. “A visual record (taken in the presence of the tenant and signed by them) is by far the best way to encourage them to keep things in good order, and avoid conflict at checkout time if things have been damaged and need to be put right,” Barnett advises. It’s best to be reasonable when it comes to expectations of your tenants. Some wear and tear is normal and inevitable in the course of daily life. “If your tenants wilfully or maliciously damage your property (or its contents) then you should seek redress from the deposit funds. If it’s some scuffs and marks here and there, that’s something to be expected and it’s part of the operating costs of being a good landlord,” says Barnett.
Enhance a quiet cornerThere’s a diverse range of square photographs to choose from, and they can make the perfect addition to an overlooked space in the home. Whether it’s a cloakroom or bathroom, an alcove, corner or stairwell, petite, square photographs are simple to hang and can make a big difference to a small space. This carefully considered arrangement pairs a series of four urban works that are well suited to the contemporary style of the living room. Don’t be tempted to source four artworks from the same artist, or to confine yourself to one particular subject or colour palette. Also be bold with different frames and sizes. Just remember to carefully consider your desired composition and measure the space before you start fixing the works to the wall.
Warm it up with redHere, a turquoise and grey scheme has been given more depth with elements of russet. The three shades look great together and give this room a bright, contemporary feel. The modern look is carried through by introducing square coffee tables and an angled lamp, with a right-angled furniture arrangement. The whole thing is softened with patterned cushions and a textured rug.Buy a grey sofa direct from the Houzz shop
Double them upSometimes, one coffee table can look a little lost, or be too far away to reach easily from a sofa or armchair. Two tables are a neat solution. These contemporary nested tables allow the homeowners to display their books and ornaments on one, while keeping the other relatively clear. The empty table can then be moved around the room when it’s needed elsewhere.