At CAL Decorators we know that small spaces can be the hardest to decorate. They can easily feel cluttered and messy, and it always feels like a struggle to make them feel bigger or get them to look right. But it is not just what furniture you put in a room that can affect how it feels, the colour you choose to paint your walls can help as well. We have put together a little round-up of ideas to help you choose the perfect colour for the small spaces in your home.
With many people spending the vast majority of their time this year confined to the home, 2020 has been a year of decorating. This has allowed for a range of creative, colourful and interesting trends to occur in the decorating and home-wear industry this year.
Nature in the home
With us being confined to the indoors, why not bring the outdoors in? 2020 has allowed people to embrace nature within the home. using sustainable materials, natural colours, wood, plants and more, there has been a boom in naturalistic and bohemian design.
Did you know that the number of people doing DIY has increased by 28% during the Coronavirus outbreak, according to rare consulting?
If you’re looking for a do-over after a DIY disaster, why not contact us?
The most popular DIY activity that have been taking place during the coronavirus outbreak is painting and redecorating.
From interior and exterior painting, DIY stores have seen a surge of customers during the coronavirus outbreak, with B&M sales increased by 22.7% in comparison to early in the year.
If you have done a budget job that didn’t turn out as you hoped, why not give CAL a call? We specialise in professional and high-quality decorating services at competitive rates. We offer services such as wallpaper hanging, painting and renovating and painting windows.
I hope we have seen the last of the really bad weather and a bit of sunshine is hinting that Spring is well and truly on its way. No doubt thoughts of Spring cleaning are uppermost in your minds but it is also an excellent time to think about having the exterior of your home painted.
Spring tends to be the month when temperatures are at their mildest, neither too hot nor too cold. This is good news for external painting.
Although the maximum and minimum temperatures for exterior paint vary from brand to brand, a good rule of thumb is that oil-based paint should be applied when the temperatures are between 40° to 90°F and for latex paint between 50° and 85°F.
The best drying will take place when the relative humidity is 40% to 70%.
If the temperature is too high or too low, it can mean the paint not binding together efficiently and result in it cracking or peeling. At too high a temperature latex paint can become difficult to apply as it dries out too quickly to brush out properly.
When painting externally, I always try and work my way around the building. This means I am able to avoid painting in direct sunlight.
If you are undertaking exterior painting then I wish you well. Make the most of the good weather while it lasts.
If you would like a professional to do the job for you, however, feel free to give me a call on 01452 540067.
I expect you have noticed the plethora of articles and blogs about the best/worst things of the decade that have been appearing since the turn of the year.
Not wishing to buck the trend, here are 10 of the worst decorating trends, according to Ideal Homes anyway!
1. ‘Live, Love, Laugh’. Fun for a while, perhaps, but the phrase has definitely outstayed its welcome. 2. Glass block bathroom windows. Glass blocks in bathrooms, either as windows or shower curtains, are now more eyesore than eye-catching. 3. Bean bag chairs. Oh so trendy for a time in the 2010s. Then people tried getting out of them… 4. Rustic hearts. You know what I mean, those twigs that accompanied the shabby chic phase. Guaranteed to snag your clothes. 5. Furniture stencils. Another part of the shabby chic trend, stencilled drawers or cupboard doors now simply say ‘dated’. 6. Mason jars. Not the worst offender, perhaps, but totally ubiquitous as they double up as candle holders, flower jars and even terrariums. 7. Chevrons. Shout out to the chevron – featured on everything from flooring to cushions. And you wondered why you got those headaches on the 2010s? 8. Chalkboards. Either as featured boards or even an entire wall, this seemed such a good idea to encourage free drawing and list making. Now looks, well, untidy. 9. Acrylic furniture. Everything from nests of tables to dining room chairs was acrylic and appeared contemporary and chic. Now seems cheap, even though it wasn’t! 10. Vintage frames with nothing in them. Why?
Apologies to anyone who has any of these features in their homes. After all, what do I know?
Checkatrade recently conducted nationwide research to see what UK homeowners are thinking about the current housing market, what with the election and Brexit looming.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority (68%) of homeowners are expecting to be staying put for the next year at least. Some 51% are considering carrying out renovations to their property.
This led Checkatrade to ask property experts to suggest which home renovations would be most likely to help sell a home. The message was loud and clear.
Renovate the kitchen and bathroom.
Buyers will often look to negotiate the price of a property down if the bathroom or kitchen needs replacing. Not only that, but their estimates of how much the work would cost are usually far too high.
This being the case, it makes absolute sense for the homeowner to grasp the nettle and have the work done before putting the property on the market. Having said that, the experts added that any such renovations should be to a reasonably high specification.
If you are in the Gloucestershire area and are considering kitchen or bathroom renovations, then I can provide the expert painting and decorating to provide a professional finish. Give me a call today on 01452 540067 to find out how I can help you.
Unlike many technical trades, hanging wallpaper is something that many people think they can do themselves. In most cases, they succeed but I can always tell if a professional was involved or not.
There are notoriously tricky areas of a room, such as chimney breasts and shelves, that need to be tackled properly. That’s before you consider how to approach a hall, stairs and landing. Even a light switch or power point can provide problems for the inexperienced decorator!
As with most decorating tasks, getting the preparation right is a major factor. With wallpapering you will also need to do some thorough research to ensure you have the right paste for your wallcovering.
Paste the paper or paste the wall? Well, it all depends…
But why submit yourself to the stress and strains of DIY paper hanging when you can get a professional in the do an expert job in half the time?
It may be an old cliché but to my mind, when it comes to decorating, it is spot on! Prepping a room for decorating is the major factor that separates a professional decorator from an amateur. An amateur is prepared to cut corners to rush to get a job finished. I and my fellow professionals will always take my time to get it absolutely right. Here are some of my tried and tested prepping methods. 1. Remove the furniture. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people leave furniture in a room and try and paint round it. You are virtually guaranteed a disaster. If you do have a piece of furniture that just will not fit through the door, place it in the centre of the room and ensure it is properly covered up and protected. 2. Protect floor coverings. If you are leaving your carpet or floor covering in the room whilst the work is being done then make sure it is properly protected. I don’t mean putting a few sheets of newspaper round the outside of the room either. Professionals always use specialist drop-cloths, either canvas or butyl-backed. Plastic sheeting is cheaper but watch out for tears and splits. 3. Take items down from walls. The curtains need to come down for a start, but too often amateurs are tempted to leave items such as paintings or wall clocks in place and attempt to paint round them. Chances are it won’t work and in any case the cutting in is likely to be time consuming. 4. Clean the walls and surfaces to be painted. Why bother when you are going to paint them anyway? Because clean, smooth surfaces will provide a professional finish. 5. Remove switch plates and the like. Trying to cut in round switch plates or similar outlet covers will inevitably leave visible clumsy brush strokes or paint on the covers. Professionals always remove them. 6. Use good masking tape. There will be mouldings and trim that you cannot remove. Make sure you tape off any such areas before you think about opening a tin of paint. Use professional painter’s tape rather than the household variety. It may take more time but the result will be worth it. 7. Create a staging area. You really don’t want to be lugging gallons of paint around a room. That is asking for trouble. Set up an area in the centre of the room or even just outside it to pour paint, keep open cans and store and clean brushes and rollers.
I can guarantee that good prep helps me provide an excellent service and I have the testimonials to prove it!
I recently spotted an article on The Spruce website proposing the 9 best colours for painting each room of your house. They even supply a bit of psychology to back up each of their choices.
1. Best for Kitchens – Yellow. A yellow kitchen will increase your motivation and enthusiasm. It can also boost your appetite. 2. Best for Bedrooms – Deep Blue. Blue walls are believed to give off a sense of serenity and protective feelings. 3. Best for Dining Rooms – Warm White. A warm white will evoke a welcoming and inviting feel to your dining room. 4. Best for Busy Entryways – Silver. Silver will give an unemotional feel to a hectic entrance or hallway. 5. Best for Busy Spaces – Light Pink. Pink is recognised as a soothing colour, ideal for busy areas where you need to be reminded to relax. 6. Best for Gender Neutral Nurseries – Bright Green. Ideal for a child’s room as it promotes calmness and a feeling of nature and balance. 7. Best for Home Gyms – Bold Red. The colour is believed to boost physical performance, making it ideal for this type of room. 8. Best for Craft Rooms – Lavender. This is an excellent colour choice for sparking imagination, hinting at the mysterious too. 9. Best for Home Offices – Citrus Orange. Orange is recognised as a motivational colour making it highly suitable for home offices.
I hope you find this inspirational. If you are looking for professional painter and decorator in the Gloucestershire area, do give me a call on 01452 540067.
We have recently carried out some work for the Keir Group. Now you may know that they are a leading property, residential, construction and services group. They invest in, build, maintain and renew many of the places where we work, live and play, including sectors such as defence, education, housing, power, transport and utilities.
It was a real feather in our proverbial cap to be asked to do decorating work for them.
If you are in the Gloucestershire area and need some commercial decorating done, then do get in touch. We can handle any job, from a simple redecoration of an office to completely revamping an entire building.
I have talked before about my admiration for Farrow & Ballpaints and wallcoverings. I really do think they are some of the best available.
It isn’t just the quality, but their whole ethos. They are passionate about conservation and using environmentally friendly materials. So much so that they now promote a range of child friendly paint.
Their 100% water based Modern and Estate ranges are certified child and baby safe in line with the Toy Safety Standards.
They are low in odour and low in VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) too. With their quick drying formulas they make the perfect child safe solution for painting cots, bedrooms, nurseries and playrooms.
They are even safe to use to paint toys so you can upcycle your children’s old toys with a bright new paint job and rest in peace as they carry on playing with them.
Farrow & Ball Estate Emulsion, Estate Eggshell, Modern Emulsion, Modern Eggshell, Exterior Masonry, Exterior Eggshell and Full Gloss have all been independently tested and approved to meet Toy Safety Standards (BS EN 71 – 3:1995 - Safety of Toys).
I think we can just about agree that summer seems to be with us. That being the case here are some of the latest colour combination trends.
• Black & Metallics. Now, black may not be everyone’s first thought of a colour for the warmer months, but it is definitely on trend this summer, especially when paired with metallics. Copper, silver and gold all look amazing with black.
• Pale Pink & Baby Blue. Traditionally associated with the nursery, this colour combo is making a hit with adults too. They have subtle tones which mix well with fabrics such as faux fur.
• Hot Pink & Turquoise. If you are looking for something bold and bright then this might fit the bill. This combination of hot pink and turquoise shouts out ‘energy’.
• White & Rattan. White always says summer and it combines remarkably well with rattan. Think planters and storage baskets to get the idea.
• Peach & Yellow. This combo reflects and captures the essence of sunlight. Imagine a boldly coloured door and a throw rug.
• Purple & Turquoise. Another bold combination which works exceedingly well. The effect is remarkably cool.
• Blue & White. To finish a much more traditional summer combo. It gives a nautical theme and evokes Mediterranean memories.
If you are in Gloucestershire and are seeking a professional summer make over for you home, give me a call on 01452 540067. I’m sure we can come up with the right colour combination for you.
I am as concerned as anyone about the future of this planet and always looking for ways to improve our environment. Often it is little things that we all can do to help bring about change.
Here are four simple tips to make your decorating and interior design more eco-friendly.
1. Environmentally safe paint. I am well aware of the dangers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be found in many paints and lacquers. They release low level toxic emissions into the atmosphere and can affect out health and wellbeing. Always use low-VOC or VOC free paints as I do.
2. Buy vintage. Rather than heading for the large superstores to purchase your new decorations and furniture, why not keep your carbon footprint small and look at High Street alternatives. Plenty of classic vintage furnishings can be bought at second-hand, antique and charity shops. You also get the chance to use your craft skills by upcycling some pieces.
3. Change your window treatments. Why not follow the seasons? In winter it is natural to want heavy curtains at your windows to block out the cold air and they can help keep your heating costs down as well as improve your energy use. Switch to lighter drapes when the warmer, lighter months are with us for a brighter home.
4. Fill your home with fresh plants. House plants can have a massive impact on the quality of the air in your home. They take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen soaking up harmful toxins and purifying the air around them. And they also look fantastic!
I read survey results recently that revealed 95% of us suffer procrastination problems, putting off or postponing something we should be getting on with.
When it comes to DIY I think procrastination is totally understandable. A growing to-do list combined with the sheer enormity of the task ahead and the pressure to get it right can be a huge problem.
Here are some simple tips to try and get you over the procrastination hump and to crack on with the job in hand:
1. Take inspiration. Some people are naturally creative while others need help visualising how a project will look when it is finished. If you are one of the latter then check out the results of similar projects to yours. The website Pinterest is an excellent starting point. 2. Give yourself a timescale. Trying to fit DIY plans into a busy home/work schedule can be difficult. Aim to put a certain amount of time aside to do your job and stick to it. It also helps to let others know so they don’t try and interrupt you. 3. Gather your equipment. Get all the things you are going to need together in one place. This will help you plan a step by step process for your project. 4. Regular breaks are important. Make sure you attempt your jobs using a sensible bite-sized approach and take regular breaks. 5. Reward yourself. If you can defeat your DIY procrastination and finish your project then you deserve a reward! I’ll leave it to you to decide how large or small that reward might be.
Of course, if you really can’t face the thought of more DIY you could always get a professional in. Give me a call on 01452 540067 and I’ll be happy to discuss your project and options.
You may not be aware but I have prepared a glossary of terms used in the painting and decorating business.
Here are a few of the more unusual ones that you may not have come across before:
• Alkyd – an oil based paint made from a synthetic resin rather than natural oils • Distressing – a method of giving something an aged appearance, such as staining and also known as antiquing • Flogger – a long haired paintbrush used to create the dragged paint effect and look • Grinning – occurs when paint has been applied too thinly and the darker surface of the original paintwork shows or ‘grins’ through • Knotting – use of a shellac based solution to seal knots in wood prior to priming • Low tac – this describes types of masking tape with a very low adhesion making them easy to remove without damaging the surface • Muraspec – leading designer and supplier of commercial wallpaper, available in narrow, medium and wide widths • Size – the thin adhesive applied to walls which then seal the surface before wallpaper is hung • Stippling – a technique whereby paint is applied using just the very tip of the bristles of the brush • Thixotropic – materials with a gel like consistency so that they do not drip or run • Wet and dry paper – waterproof abrasive paper made with silicon carbide particles glued to the back, used wet to provide a very smooth finish.
I am going to surprise you by saying that grey is not necessarily the dullest of colours for painting walls. In fact it can be quite inspiring.
These days grey is no longer associated with dull industrial environments, school toilet blocks or hospital corridors. It is quickly replacing beige, stone and earth wall and woodwork colours as the modern ‘go to’ colour.
Gloss (shiny) vs Satin (satinwood or semi-gloss) vs Eggshell (flat matt)
Here’s a breakdown:
• Gloss – a shiny high sheen finish that is almost reflective in effect. Always popular because of its hard-wearing nature but other products also offer this these days. A drawback is that the glossy sheen will highlight any flaws and defects in the wood being painted.
• Satinwood or Satin – this is a semi-gloss finish, a midway choice which is not as reflective as gloss nor as matt as eggshell. A satin finish really enhances work on fairly large surfaces such as internal doors, especially those that are textured or panelled, giving a crisp, clean look.
I have thought this for a while and now an official study has confirmed that fewer than half of the adult population are confident undertaking DIY projects in the home.
The study was carried out by Local Heroes, a home improvement and repair service backed by British Gas.
2,000 adults were involved in the survey and just 41% said they felt positive and confident enough to tackle DIY jobs around the home, preferring to employ a local tradesman to do the job instead.
There was a distinct divide across the country with only 37% of those in London, the South East and South West feeling up to the tasks. This compared to 47% in the North West who felt more able to get stuck in.
As you know, I am a strong supporter of Farrow & Ball’s excellent range of paints. They have recently added nine new hues to their total of 132 different colours.
Each of them has a wonderful story behind them – here are some to whet your appetite.
• Yeabridge Green (No 287) – Yeabridge House is an 18th century Georgian farmhouse in South Petherton, Somerset. This colour was discovered on the walls when the original gun cupboard was removed. It is a vibrant, verdant green reminiscent of the lush Somerset grass surrounding the property. • Cromarty (No 285) – for those of you who listen to the BBC’s Shipping Forecast, you will recognise Cromarty which takes its name from the Cromarty Firth estuary. It is the lightest shade in their Mizzle, Blue Grey and Pigeon range and is ideal for those seeking to find a colour neither too blue nor too grey. • Salon Drab (No 290) – room names are a popular choice for Farrow & Ball. Salon refers to the outer room of a dressing room but is also reminiscent of a room designed for cultural and intellectual conversation.
Drab simply describes a colour lacking brightness. This shade is ideal for creating a mid-19th century feel whilst being cosy and even cocooning.
Check out all the new Farrow & Ball colours on their website here:
We also understand that you expect us to work in a timely and efficient manner. Unlike some firms, you won’t find us nipping off halfway through your project to complete a job for somebody else. Have a look at our Services page to see the full extent of what we can do for you or take a look at some of our completed work on our Portfolio page. CAL Professional Painters & Decorators - covering the Cheltenham and Gloucester areas .. and further afield!