As the new season approaches, many Owners will look to "sprucing up" their Holiday Homes - this can be done in a number of ways from just adding a "touch of colour" to make it look different, or a whole new "decorating project".
Here are a few "top tips" from ETK's Ali Hedley (aka Als Van):
To make a Holiday Home look a little different from the previous year doesn't have to be a difficult task! Just a few new "additions" will make all the difference, without any major "overhauls" being done.
- Scatter Cushions! Always a favourite to add a splash of colour and a few new cushion covers will make the living area look different and fresh. Or you can dye what you have - just make sure all fabric dye instructions are followed carefully.
- Throws can add that much needed contrasting colour without breaking the bank! Make sure they are in good condition or they will look shabby (an old sheet won't do!) Choose a colour that will match your main decor (white or cream isn't recommended if you rent out!).
- Ornaments! Look out for "bits & bobs" in your local charity shops, fetes, craft fairs etc - you'll invariably find something that will "look just right" in your Holiday Home. Don't go overboard with ornaments everywhere if you rent, as sometimes there can be a "homely atmosphere overkill" for guests (plus it means "more items to get broken").
- Pictures / Mirrors Again, these can be picked up cheaply if you shop around. Try to choose relatively neutral artwork - a Van Gogh isn't everyone's cup of tea!
- Rugs can alter the appearance dramatically, but again - chose colours & patterns carefully! Avoid any major "textured" materials if you rent out (as little fingers like to sit & pull on sheepskin effect or fluffy rugs!) & these can be difficult to keep clean in comparison with a shorter pile.
- Curtains & Tie-backs An entire room can be made to look very different just by changing the curtains, or even just the tie-backs. Again - just be careful what colours or patterns are used. Don't rule out using fabric dye to re-vamp "old" fabric! Just make sure you follow all dye instructions to the letter.
- Blinds can be substituted for curtains, just make sure the blind chords have tie-backs or hooks & aren't left "dangling" (which is a major temptation for mini-Guests and also a hazard).
- Kitchen Accessories easily brighten up the kitchen area. Anything from a coloured chopping board to the draining tray and washing-up bowl can make a difference. And, of course, you can now buy coloured appliances (kettles, toasters, microwaves etc.) If you're brave you can even spruce up a plain old white fridge with appliance paint. If you use this on the oven - just make sure you purchase heat resistant appliance paint!
- Bathrooms can be made to look brighter with soap dishes or canisters, toothbrush holders etc - but do just remember if you rent - these are all things that will need to be added to the "check & clean" list in-between rentals! NEVER put a bathroom/shower mat down if you rent, unless you are happy to launder in-between each rental period. (HOW many feet use it?!) You can pick up disposable shower mats cheaply enough.
- Wall Art - or decals can work if the wallpaper isn't too textured. Generally these work better on painted surfaces or can start to peel after a while...!
Many Static Caravan Owners are happy to get the paintbrush out in their Holiday Homes, although the thought can be a little daunting. ETK's Sharon is going to be tackling her recently purchased caravan on Happy Days, Towyn starting next week - she said she is going to "play it safe" - let's wait and see. I'll get her to take lots of photographs of the "before, after and work-in-progress" then we can report back - can't wait!
- Painting Wallpaper should only be considered if the wallpaper is in good condition to begin with. If it's peeling off, paint won't fix it! Most recommend an eggshell based paint, as some emulsions can peel or crack during the damper winter months.
- Headboards! You'll notice from the photos above that the headboards are no longer orange! This was actually done with ordinary emulsion paint! It has also worked with car spray paint! (Neither used has cracked or "gone hard!").
- Re-papering can be rather a major task! Once the old wallpaper is stripped, it's recommended to "Unibond" the backboards of the walls first. This can be done using watered down PVA glue & needs to cover all wall surfaces to be papered. Once that is dry - use a thick wallpaper paste for the new covering to ensure it survives the damper winter months. Some Owners have even used specialised "sticky-back plastic" as a wall covering!
- Painting woodwork is an easy option for a re-vamp & can be very effective - this can be from doors:
- Upholstery is by far the most daunting project to attempt! It can be very expensive for re-covering to be done professionally, with the cost usually anywhere between £1,500 to £2,500. However - there are a few cheaper alternatives to be had (if you're brave)! The obvious one, if you can't sew a button on - is just to use throws to alter the appearance. If you are handy with a needle & thread, it isn't actually that difficult to re-cover the upholstery yourself. It's recommended that you use upholstery fabric & do bear in mind - this is a very lengthy task to take on!
- There are also now some new upholstery dye products available - just make sure you test an inconspicuous area first!
- Tiles are not recommended for Holiday Homes, the walls are just too thin for the tiles to last long! However, you can now purchase tile decals... so if the wall covering allows - you can still achieve a tiled "look!"
- Floors Fed up of laminate? You can buy lino self-sticking tiles that simply go over a (clean) laminate floor:
ETK wish you happy decorating & re-vamping for the 2015 season!
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