May 2019 | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

HOME // A Parent’s Guide To Home Renovation

Whether you’re moving house or just redecorating, building work - and other any renovation jobs - can be difficult to complete hassle-free at the best of times. When you throw in a few crazy, screaming children into the mix, it can become an even more impossible task to get done. Unfortunately your home can’t fix or improve itself, so here are a few helpful tips and tricks that will set you on the right road to creating a beautiful family home without losing the will to live!

Contact The Professionals 
You may think your DIY skills are up to carrying out some (or all!) of the work on your own, but it's probably unlikely you can do everything yourself unless you've had some kind of formal training or previous experience. Getting a professional do the more difficult tasks will keep you and your family out of harm’s way, and ensure that the job is done to a better quality or standard than if you would have watched a video online and attempted to do it yourself. If you don't believe you have the relevant experience to have the right opinion on the more important matter, it’s better to contact a project manager at a place like the The Stable Workshop, as they can take over all responsibilities and arrange every thing on your behalf. Utilising more professional services may cost you a little extra than giving it a go yourself, but it will ensure you and your family have the most beautiful home possible, and that you’re safe and secure when throughout the whole process, from the initial build to the years and years that follow.

Explain Every Detail 
Depending on the age of your little ones, the renovations taking place harbour the potential of making them frightened or distressed. Especially with the unfamiliar sounds and equipment, it can be a very difficult time for more sensitive children and the home then becomes a negative environment. To avoid this happening, explain each step of your decoration or renovation process to your children in as much detail as you can in the simplest of terms, so you can answer any of their questions and get rid of the worries they may have. Introduce to them to any builders or tradesmen that will be carrying out any work whilst they’re in the house so they feel more at ease, as they’re able to put the familiar face in front of the banging hammer sounds and it will then seem less frightening.

Make It Safe 
One of the most important things to consider during your work is the safety of your children (and yourself too). There are so many dangers that can come with renovating your home, and it’s up to you to ensure your kids are always out of harm’s way. Make them aware of the risks in the house, including warning them against touching any electrical equipment or sharp tools. Tell them which areas are completely out of bounds, like any ladders or rooms that are being treated with chemicals or having floorboards changed. Encourage them to look out for one another, and practice safe playtime by not running around the house or making an excess of noise whilst any work is being done.

Fuel Their Inspiration 
It’s quite likely that your little ones will see the work being done in your home and want to take part somehow themselves. However, this isn’t always a safe or practical thing to do, so there are some more reasonable measures you can take to feed their curiosity. If your house is being painted or undergoing some other design related work, consider letting your kids loose in the garden with a big sheet of paper and some paint of their own. This way they will release their need to throw some colour around and the paint will land either on them or on the ground, rather than all over your beautiful new walls or flooring. If they’re attention is caught on a more practical task in the house, look for a mini toy version of the piece of equipment that is being used. They will really enjoy the present and may be inspired to pick up the skill in their future, and as a result of receiving the toy they will simply be more content whilst pottering around your house and mimicking the builders movements.

Ask For Their Input 
Of course there isn’t much point in asking a toddler for design advice, but your older children may actually have some good ideas about your renovation work. Children and young adults have a much wilder and more vivid imagination and sense of creativity than their parents, so it’s great to give them a chance to get their voices heard. Encourage them to get involved and show you their ideas, and remember that after all they do spend just as much time at home as you, so they need to be comfortable with the home environment as well. Mood boards are a brilliant way to be creative and will allow your kids to show you what they would like to include. By asking for their input you will make them feel more involved with the whole process, and by giving them some responsibility they will act more respectfully towards the work being done as they will be excited to see the final product that they helped to create.

Hopefully these tips will help you survive your home renovation, even with a house full of kids. You may not expect it, but involving your little ones in the process actually has the potential of relieving some of the stress of the experience. Let them get involved and enjoy it all together!


Thursday, 23 May 2019

HOME // A Colourful Kitchen On The Cheap

If you've ever tried to renovate or redecorate your kitchen, you'll know that it can be one of the most expensive rooms in a house to do. All those built-in units, appliances, and white good to deal with, and that's before you even get to the floors, walls and other decorative bits! When I moved into the cottage, I had a really tiny budget to work with when it came to installing an entire fully functioning kitchen - and today I'm going to share some workarounds that can help you create the kitchen of your dreams, a super colourful one in this case, without spending a fortune.

Get the basics right. 
Before you can start to decorate your kitchen space, you really need to get your basics sorted. This means that you need your sink picked out and plumbed in, as well as all the all appliances and white goods you will need. These items usually cost the most when it comes to budgeting for a new kitchen space, and that's why it's crucial to look for things like fridge freezer sales that can help you get the pieces you want and save you some money too. After all.... the more you save on the basics, the more you have to spend on the fun stuff!

Try freestanding units. 
Something I did to save money when fitting my kitchen was to buy freestanding units rather than a traditional, fully fitted kitchen. Even new these often work out cheaper than a built in kitchen, but if the cost is a priority then going for vintage and retro preloved pieces can save you a fortune. Older pieces often don't come in the best condition, but this does provide you with the perfect excuse to paint such units a range of gorgeous colours and really make your mark on your kitchen (and save money at the same time).

DIY your textiles. 
I actually can't believe how much a decent tea towel in a funky design cost these days! It's crazy, and that's without getting coordinating oven gloves, curtains, or blinds and the like. Its a good job I'm a fan of mis-matched fabrics in the kitchen, and I'm not fussed about getting involved in a bit of DIY either. Making your own tea towels out of fabric scraps or vintage material is something I've done in the past and is much easier than you'd imagine, especially if you have access to a sewing machine (which I don't!!).


Thrift your decorative items.
Last but my no means least, when it comes to decorative items in the kitchen, there are two ways to save money.... firstly, buy practical items that are also decorative, so they fulfil a dual purpose while you only pay out once. Secondly, if you can get to a car boot sale, charity shop, or vintage store / junk shop to get these items, you can save a considerable amount of what they would cost new. Vintage pieces are often super colourful too, so they're a great way to inject a bit of personality into your kitchen. My favourite old stoneware jug came from a junk shop and only cost me 20p! The best thing about buying vintage is that they are likely to be one of a kind and there's very little chance of you seeing the same bits and pieces anywhere else!

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