1 a new perspective
Go outside and take a long look at the front of your property. Try to view it with fresh eyes. What do you see? Be honest. Then you can start planning. ‘Walk around and find an area with houses that are similarly aged and styled – see what resonates and which homes feel welcoming, and borrow those ideas,’ says John McDavid, director of property agent Aucoot.
2 express yourself
Use your front door as a way to express your personality. ‘Choose bold hardware, or contrast fixings with a tone that matches the paintwork – a nickel finish looks fantastic with anything,’ says Willow & Stone’s Sarah Wilshaw. ‘Don’t be fooled by a cheaper product with an inferior metal body, plated in a thin coating of chrome; deterioration won’t take long once it’s exposed to the Great British climate.’
3 the real thing
When considering windows, bear in mind that repair work is often more expensive than a complete replacement. Opt for timber frames over uPVC if you can. ‘The advantage of wood frames is that they can be made to replicate the original design in your property and look more appealing, too,’ advises Michelle Dilean at Original Sash.
See the style secrets behind a cool outdoor living space.
4 light up
‘A well-thought-out mixture of task and ambient lighting will make a big difference,’ says Charlie Bowles, director of Original BTC. Consider path or step lights to make dim or steep walkways easier to use, while box wall lights or exterior bracket lights flanking the front door give a warm welcome.
5 master of disguise
‘One of the most unsightly aspects of outside spaces is refuse. Having big plastic bins can take the shine off your carefully designed and maintained garden,’ says Jenna McDiarmid, buyer at Garden Trading. ‘There are lots of creative ways to hide them, such as screening with trellises and trailing plants or bespoke log storage. For a quick off-the-shelf solution, there’s also our Spruce wheelie bin cover.’
6 flower power
Plants and garden design are just as important as architectural elements. For Martin Ogden of Petersham Nurseries, simplicity is the key. ‘A welcoming focal point by the front door, such as a colourful planter or topiary, will look smart all-year round. In a sunny aspect, a fragrant lavender will do well, while evergreen shrubs, including camellias or skimmia japonica, are good for shadier spots.’
7 do your homework
For extensions, porches or garden rooms, research is imperative. ‘Find out whether your project has any requirements for planning, if there are any listed elements, or if your home is in a conservation area,’ advises James Upton of Westbury Garden Rooms.
Find inspiration for the garden and outdoor space.
19 cool speakers to get the party started
Now that we're allowed to have people over again, get prepared with one of these unique and decorative Bluetooth and smart speakers
By Caroline Preece •
A 1920s house in Melbourne that unites traditional architecture with modern interiors
Decorative Spanish Mission-style architecture meets a contemporary glass-box extension in this harmonious family home
By Fiona McCarthy •
Flower trends: 10 key looks to create a little piece of floral heaven
Get ahead of the curve with the latest flower trends and your garden will be blooming with the most fashionable florals
By Sarah Wilson •
The 10 best IKEA kitchen hacks for a chic space on a budget
These IKEA kitchen hacks will transform the heart of your home into a bespoke retreat without breaking the bank
By Ruth Doherty •
Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen shares her secret to styling a beige color palette
Embrace the beige renaissance, with queen of neutrals Kelly Hoppen's beige 'rule of four'
By Megan Slack •
Pool ideas - everything you need to know about design that makes a splash
From size to shape to the best material, pool ideas explained by top landscape architects who have designed the best backyard swimming spots around
By Alyssa Bird •
Living room lighting ideas – experts explain how to create the perfect mood
The right living room lighting ideas can truly elevate change a space, so get it spot it on with our expert guide
By Amy Moorea Wong •
10 interior designers share their tips for creating the most beautiful modern bedrooms
Modern bedroom design is made easy with these 10 expert tips, covering lighting, furniture, colors and more
By Alyssa Bird •
15 luxury bedroom ideas to give your space that hotel vibe
Luxury bedroom ideas from the experts to give to make your house feel like a hotel
By Hebe Hatton •
Small bedroom office ideas - how to make every corner of your home work for you
Small bedroom office ideas can be smart and beautiful if you follow this expert advice for getting the most out of the space you have
By Rory Robertson •