Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog. I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker. I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging. I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier! Thank you so much for joining me.
Revamp Your Kitchen with Just a Few New Accessories
The kitchen is often considered the hub of the home. It’s one of the most used rooms in the house, so it makes sense it’s one of the first rooms homeowners consider renovating.
However, kitchen renovations aren’t cheap. So, if you don’t have a few thousand pounds to spare, you may think you don’t have the option to decorate. The good news is, it’s possible to completely revamp your kitchen with just a few new accessories. This means, even those on a tight budget can do something right now to improve the look of the room.
Below, you’ll discover some of the best accessories to invest in if you want to revamp the kitchen on a budget.
Paint or renovate cupboard doors
The cupboards often make up the bulk of the kitchen. Over time, they can become discoloured, worn down and scratched through regular use. Just a fresh coat of paint could be all that is needed to give the room an entirely new, modern look.
If the doors are too damaged or worn, you could potentially get away with just sanding them down, changing the handles and adding a coat of paint. If that isn’t an option, replacing the doors is a more affordable way to achieve a drastic new look.
Add stylish blinds
Blinds are a modern choice for UK homes and there are literally hundreds of designs to choose from. The range on offer is also pretty impressive, with different styles and materials to suit every home.
As the kitchen is one of the messiest rooms in the house, it’s worth considering investing in waterproof blinds. These are very easy to keep clean and ensure they won’t become damaged if they’re constantly splashed with water from the kitchen sink. You can pick up high-quality, stylish blinds at an affordable cost from companies like Direct Blinds.
Alter the lighting
Another accessory that’s going to make a massive difference to the look of the room is the lighting. Consider adding a dimmer switch for example. This allows you to control the ambience of the room and can also save you money in the long-term if you have the lights on dim to use less electricity.
As you can see, there are ways you can revamp your kitchen on a budget. Investing in the right accessories won’t just add style to the home; it will also potentially help you to save money.
Let me know your tips for easily updating the look of your kitchen in the comments!
7 Ways to Achieve a Modern, Minimalist Look For Your Living Room
There’s something be said for those classic traditional living room decors, but it’s hard not to fall in love with the recent spate of minimalist designs that are cropping up in homes across the UK and beyond. If I had to describe my décor style it would be natural, boho and minimal. I’m a natural minimalist. I can’t stand clutter or mess, it makes my head fuzzy. I only want what I need and use. I regularly have sort outs to see what we no longer need. It’s a bit of an obsession of mine. I’m happiest when everything is organised and in its place and there is no extra. I do like a cosy room though which is where the natural comes in. Wood, wicker and house plants keep our home from being too bare and boring.
If you’ve not heard of minimalism before, it’s essentially a movement that emphasises a ‘less is more’ approach. Rooms styled in this way are simple, mind-positive places that allow its inhabitants to escape the noise of the hectic 21st century. A calm clutter free environment creates a calm clutter free mind in my opinion.
Here are seven ways you can give your living room a minimalist makeover:
Many people have a habit of filling up living areas with anything and everything, and as such, they can very quickly have a cluttered look. This is the opposite of minimalism, so the first thing you’ll need to do is get rid of everything that doesn’t have to be there. If it doesn’t add anything to the room, then remove it: it can go in storage elsewhere in the home or if you’re fully embracing the minimalist lifestyle, carted off to a charity shop. Keeping items in the room to a minimum will be a good start to the process, but you won’t be finished yet.
Minimalism is all about keeping things simple, and you’ll want to reflect this in your colour scheme. There are two trains of thought when it comes to how you should decorate a minimalist room: you can go uber-simple and only have clean and plain colours; think cream, white, and black. However, for some people this look is too modern, and in some cases, impractical; children or a dog with muddy hands/paws can very quickly ruin the aesthetic! In that case, go for two complementary colours, like clean blue and yellow.
You won’t be packing your living room with furniture and cushions: when it comes to minimalism, you should be selecting what you need only. If one sofa and a single standalone chair are all you need to seat the members of the household, then that’s all you should have. You’re trying to achieve a sparse look. The tone of the room should be light, airy, and spacious. Because of this, this decor style lends itself to living rooms of all sizes; even the smallest rooms can be made to look bigger if there’s little inside.
Adding the Fun
Minimalism doesn’t mean boring. You use your living to unwind and have fun, and you’ll be able to do both. It’s just about unobtrusively adding the fun, ensuring that everything you add to the room has its purpose. Glass TV stands are inconspicuous, and an effective way to ensure your television doesn’t compromise the clean, uncluttered look of your living room. A bookshelf also works especially well in a minimalist living room, as long as the wall isn’t overflowing with them. Indeed, books strike to the heart of the minimalist ethos, because they serve a purpose.
Your living room will look a bit dull if you don’t have any features at all, so don’t be afraid to add a few homely touches to the room. A vase of flowers on a coffee table will brighten up any room, while a rug on the floor can help bring the room together. When it comes to decorations, it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s much better to have one work of art on the wall that really suits the room and stands out, than a dozen cluttered pictures that get lost amongst each other.
If you have a big window, then let in as much natural light as possible. Also, a few touches of wood blended in with any glass and metal, as well as a few stone accents, will help you to achieve a natural look. You’re trying to achieve a clean look in the room, and nothing is as clean nature, so try to bring the outdoors into your home.
Everything In Its Right Place
There’s a lot of stunning minimalist designs you can get ideas from, but the whole purpose is to keep things simple, so it’s more than possible to go solo and find your own way. The key is to live by the minimalist code: less is more, and everything should have a purpose. If it doesn’t, it’ll be subtracting from the simple, calming look you’re trying to achieve.
Our bedroom has been one part of our home that, until recently, has had the least attention. I’m not the sort for a romantic boudoir or anything particularly girly, so it’s been hard to reflect my style in our bedroom. It’s taken a long time to come up with ideas, or find things I like. I finally feel like I’m getting there, three years after buying our home. The most recent addition to our bedroom is a blogging desk in the corner of the room. A brand new space for me to sit and blog to my heart’s content late into the evenings!
I’d not thought about putting a desk in our bedroom before. We had an office desk in the bedroom of our old home, but it really didn't look right. It was a big typical looking wooden desk with a black swivel office chair. It just felt way too office like for a bedroom and not visually pleasing at all, so when we moved we got rid of the lot and I said ‘no desks in the bedroom!’
Luckily desks don’t all have to look so formal and work like. They can actually look quite fitting in the corner of a bedroom if you pick the right frame and colour. To suit my white minimalistic theme throughout my home I chose a small A-frame desk with one single drawer; nothing too fussy or large, just a perfect little desk to fit neatly in the corner of our bedroom and to blend in with the rest of the decor.
I had no idea if it would make our room look any less like a bedroom and perhaps even strange, but it actually brings the whole room together. We had rather a blank space of wall and floor opposite our bed which looked quite plain and I had no idea what to fill it with, until the blogging desk idea.
We do have a home office space downstairs. It’s a converted garage which is two thirds a playroom and one third an office and storage area. It feels like quite a formal area with calendars, household bills, paperwork, printers, scanners and the general clutter of family life regularly piling up on top of it. I mostly choose to blog in the calmer living room sat at the dining room table, or with the laptop perched on a cushion on my lap. Now I have my very own separate blogging space away from the hustle and bustle of organising our family schedules and separate from the living area. A place I can sit away from the craziness of family life, if I need to, to work in peace and quiet. A little blogging corner of my own.
Working from home is definitely more of a pleasure than a chore, but cabin fever can set in and I often feel I am here 24/7. The walls can start to feel though they are closing in sometimes. A new blogging space will give me the freedom to change my surroundings and pick and choose where I work in the house.
Do you have a dedicated blogging area in your home?
While I doubt anyone is thinking that your home is dirty, you may know that things could be better. On first appearances my home looks clean and tidy, but I know where the cobwebs are hiding! Whether it’s the garden that doesn’t look as green and welcoming as it should or the bathroom that seems a little dull, us homeowners rapidly find flaws in our ‘perfect’ homes. If this is the case for you too, it’s time to act and improve your surroundings. If you’re ready for a challenge that will keep your house more organised and clean, read on.
Sort Out Outdoors
You may not be paying a lot of attention to your garden, but your drive is the first thing that people will notice about your home. Unconsciously, you are aware of it too. There’s no way you can appreciate the comfort of a perfect living room when the garden is in a state of vegetal deprivation. The main issues that you will meet tend to be uneven or broken drive paving and a messy and dull garden.
Unfortunately, there is no way around it. Old houses may need to renovate their drive, which is something that is made easy with professional paving centres. With some paved drives being over 40 years old, it becomes essential to give it a fresh start again with durable, accessible and stable materials.
When it comes to the garden, you’ll need to decide what you want to achieve. Sometime all it needs is a good trim. If it’s a total mess you may need to invest in a landscaping project to create an ambiance with the addition of plants and features.
Decluttering Your House
A cluttered house feels too small for the family. Every room is full of items that you don’t need, but that use precious space. If this is ringing bells for you, then you may want to begin a decluttering mission. For many this can be an emotionally difficult operation as most people don’t like to get rid of things and attach emotion to objects. But once you get cracking and give things a new home you’ll find it is immediately rewarding. Rooms become more spacious, and your home is homely again. It’s also way easier to stay clean and organised with less clutter around.
Fix What Is Broken
Often what’s bugging you about your home is that broken tile in the bathroom, that crack in the ceiling, or the dirty paint in the kitchen. Little problems can erase the comfort and the cosiness of the place. Most issues can be easily fixed with some DIY love from repainting walls to changing tiles. Often all you need to do is to start. Everyone has once been a beginner. It’s not about not knowing what to do as nowadays you can find plenty of helpful tutorials online. Stop putting the small jobs off and start tackling them today.
Keep It Clean
Last, but not least, cleaning is essential to keep the house organised. Contrary to common belief, it doesn’t need to be days of work. Just clean as you go and don’t let it build up. Wipe clean the hobs after cooking. Give the toilet a wipe after using it. Wipe the kitchen sides as you wait for the kettle to boil. If you’re always cleaning as you go it will never build up to a mammoth task. Oh, and vacuum at least once a week, especially if you have pets. It won’t take much time, but the difference will be significant!
How to declutter your home and live a more minimal organised life
So you’ve made the decision: it’s decluttering time. You’re going to dive deep into every room of your home and figure out what stays and what needs to go.
There’s no doubt that decluttering has taken on a mind of its own in recent years. Thanks to the success of Marie Kondo’s book, many of us have taken the advice to heart. Our homes have a habit of accumulating many items, either through unnecessary purchases or discarded items we just can’t bear to part with.
So making the decision to declutter is not only timely, but it could be good for your mental health. You’ve got nothing to lose, right? Well, except for all of those items you didn’t feel like you wanted anyway.
As with any home improvement project, decluttering puts you through a process. If you’re doing it for the first time, it might be best to forewarn yourself of the five stages of decluttering - knowing what to expect is half the battle!
Stage One: Idealistic Excitement
You’ve made the decision! You’re going to do it! It’s going to feel amazing; going through your home and ridding it (and thus, your life) of all the things that have been bogging it down. You’ve got your ideas, your tips from aussie.com.au, and you’re ready to crack on.
Before you have even opened a drawer, you’re already thinking of how much better your life is going to be when you have done this. You imagine a perfectly organised house. You will know where everything is; the days of searching in vain for what you need to complete a particular task are gone.
Try and harness this excitement; there’s nothing wrong with feeling like you’re embarking on a life-changing decision. Channel the enthusiasm into good, solid preparation that is going to make your task easier.
Things you need to think about:
You’re going to be turning up many items that you wish to recycle or just outright dispose of. So make sure you’ve got an idea of how you’re going to get rid of them all. It’s probably going to be too much to manage yourself, so you need to have some idea of companies like samedayrubbishremoval.com.au that are going to be able to help you out. Sourcing this kind of help before you begin is imperative, as you’ll be too surrounded by chaos when you get going to want to think about these things!
Protective clothing, especially if you’re going to be tackling an attic or basement where dust might have accumulated.
Management systems. Unless you want to have to do the exact same thing in a few years time, you need to spend some time thinking about how you’re going to manage everything from now on. This could be anything from drawer organisers to reconsidering whether you really need every future purchase.
Stage Two: Regret
You can’t do it.
You dive into trying the project, still bristling with the excitement, and then the magnitude of what you have undertaken begins to take over. It seems that you’re never going to be able to do it, that’s there’s just… too much.
Don’t panic when this feeling sets in. You’re undertaking a big project; that’s why you needed to prepare for it. You’re likely to be overturning months if not years of debris, so yes, it’s going to take some time - but think of how much better things that going to be when you’re done.
You’ve got this.
Stage Three: Getting On With It
The third stage is easily the most productive. While your initial enthusiasm has dimmed, you have still got the will to get the job done. The blessing here is that you now know the magnitude of the task ahead of you. You know it’s going to take time, you know it’s not going to be simple… but you’re going to do it anyway.
Pressing on with the organisation and declutter at this point may begin to feel like a chore, but it’s one you have resigned yourself to. There’s a certain power in that. Even if enthusiasm has dimmed, you’re now able to move forward and get through the bulk of the work.
Stage Four: After The Declutter
Once you have battled through to stage four, you will likely have made all the important decisions. You’ll have an idea of what you want to keep and what you want to throw away. You’ll have accumulated a huge pile of items to donate, recycle or dispose of. It feels like the job should be done, but in fact, it’s the beginning of the second phase: organisation.
Getting rid of all the unwanted items should be your first step - but luckily, back in stage one, you planned how you were going to do that. You can now action those plans and, eventually, everything that you no longer want will be making its way out of your home.
That leaves the organisation behind. For some people, this can be soothing; there’s a whole genre of interest dedicated to organisation, as popsugar.com.au shows. So you can either linger over this part, or rush through it - just try and remember to take your time either way. It can be tempting to want to return to normality as quickly as possible, but you’ve come this far, so don’t ruin it now.
Stage Five: Completion
When everything is done, you’ll suddenly have the return of the excitement you haven’t felt since stage one. Your home looks better, you feel better, and the memories of how difficult and testing the process was are already beginning to fade.
Of course, this is just the beginning in some senses. You have made the steps and done the work, but now you have to maintain it. That means sticking to rules, ensuring everything has its place, and never being tempted to just jam things into the nearest available space. If you don’t stick by this rule, all you are doing is ensuring there’s another decluttering job on the horizon - and any lingering memories of stage two will convince you that’s a bad idea!
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