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Home Improvement in the UK: The Latest News

A survey in March this year by Houzz asked homeowners on the impact of their home improvement plans as a result of the coronavirus in the UK. The results of 3,700 Houzz homeowners participating found that three in five or 68% had decided to pursue a new home renovation project in a report featured in Professional Builder.

The report found:


"When it comes to financing a project, cash is the preferred method for the majority (68%). Of those that opt for cash, more than a third of homeowners – who had undergone a renovation or are planning a project during the pandemic – report that some or all of those savings are a result of decreased spend in other areas during the pandemic (36%). Reduced holiday costs, entertainment costs and commuting costs were the biggest areas for savings (31%, 27% and 17%, respectively)."

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Also in the survey the hiring of project professionals remained high at 76% for completed or current projects with over half or 59% planning a new project would be seeking the help of a professional.


Homeowners working with the assistance and guidance of professionals the survey found:


"Digital tools such as invoicing and payments, visualisation tools and video calls (33%, 16% and 13%, respectively) are helping homeowners to work remotely with professionals. Among those utilising these technology tools, three in five say they feel more comfortable moving their project forward during the pandemic as a result (60%)."

Homeowners did experience some challenges whilst their homes were undergoing changes due to the pandemic.


"Insufficient storage for groceries and supplies, lack of a dedicated home office or space to exercise are the most common home frustrations (19%, 17% and 12%, respectively)."

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So, what considerations should be made when a homeowner decides to renovate a room?


One of the UK's top interior design firms Dowsing & Reynolds and designers  Xander Shreenan and Connor Prestwood provide tips on getting started:

1. Deciding what to do with a spare room

Connor Prestwood says,


“It can be really easy to fall into the trap of just throwing any old junk that way, just because you can. Not only is this counterproductive and can cause added stress at the thought of clutter piling up, it’s a wasted opportunity to be a bit more creative with your room designs.


“Think about your hobbies, you have the space so why not dedicate it to giving yourself the perfect getaway spot for you to do what you love.”


2. Deciding what colour or theme your guest room should be

Xander Shreenan says,


“Think about your guest bedroom like a downstairs bathroom… This is a room you can experiment with and make the design decisions you are too afraid to make elsewhere… yet!


“Why not try out that vibrant wallpaper you’ve had your eye on, or get creative with paint colours and shapes.”





















3. Making a small room look bigger 

Xander Shreenan says,


“Hanging mirrors opposite windows is a great way to flood light in a small space and make it feel bigger, reflecting nature back into the room. 

“Even in small spaces, don’t be afraid to use multiple light sources. Installing up and down lights on the walls can help make them feel taller. Similarly, painting the ceiling the same colour as the walls creates flow and means lower ceilings don’t appear as ‘stumped’ like they can do when painted a contrasting white. 


“When considering window treatments, use floor length curtains or even slightly longer than floor length to create a gathered effect, to lengthen the window.”


4. Making the most of a box room by utilising it for storage space (wardrobe, library, playroom)

Connor Prestwood says,


“Small spaces offer exciting opportunities to diversify a space with multi-functional pieces of furniture. Think day beds that can turn the room from a playroom to a guest room, and shelving units that fold down into desks for those working-from-home days.”


5. Planning a layout for a small spare room

Xander Shreenan says,


“Sometimes if rooms are really small with awkward layouts, it can be tricky to find a purpose for them. Think about your top priority for the space, are you wanting to create a simple space to relax in, or does it need a flexible purpose? Prioritising how you will use the space will help you place the right furniture and create the best flow in the room.”


Positivity is very important in the home, especially relaxing spaces...the best additions to a snug or relaxation room is a wooden blind.

Ana Zuravliova

One of the biggest decisions when renovating a room are the windows and what works best for your new decor from the UK's window experts Blinds Direct.


Ana Zuravliova, Trend Specialist at Blinds Direct, comments:


“Since the start of 2020 there has been a marked rise in DIY home improvements and what could be a better space to refresh than a snug! We recently held a UK-wide survey where almost a third of participants said they felt a real sense of achievement when completing a small DIY installation, such as fitting blinds or putting up shelves, and agreed that being happy with their home decor is key to maintaining a positive mood. Positivity is very important in the home, especially relaxing spaces and as a result, one of the best additions to a snug or relaxation room is a wooden blind. Real wooden blinds remind us of nature while the colours and shapes help a room feel homely and welcoming. Moreover, with 38% of respondents also considering themselves more receptive to purchasing sustainable home décor products, wood sourced from responsibly managed forests allows consumers to enjoy wooden blinds from Blinds Direct without affecting the planet.”

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