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Top 10 Worst Decorating Trends of the Decade!

cal decorators gloucester january 2020 blog

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?

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Thinking of Selling? Renovate These Rooms…

cal decorators gloucester december 19 blog

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.

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Hanging Wallpaper? Get a Professional!

cal decs gloucester november 19 blog
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?

f you are looking for a decorating professional in Gloucestershire, give me a call today on 01452 540067. 

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Best Paint Colours for Every Room!

cal decorators gloucester sept 19 blog

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.

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We Do Commercial Decorating Too!

cal decs gloucester august 19 blog

I regularly talk about domestic decorating but don’t forget that we are also commercial decorators.

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.

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Give Your Kids the Room of Their Dreams!

cal decorators gloucester feb 19 blog

I know that Spring is traditionally the time to think about redecorating but this year don’t forget your kids. Don’t they deserve a special nursery, bedroom or playroom?

These days it is very easy to theme a room to meet the dreams of a child. There are plenty of themed wallpapers to select from as well as murals and posters.

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Grey Doesn’t Mean Dull!


cal decorators gloucester jan 19 blog

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.

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What is the Best Paint for Wood, Doors & Skirting Boards?

cal decorators gloucester december 18 blog

Now there’s a question for you. Which is best?

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.

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It’s Official – Less Than Half UK Adults are DIY Confident!

cal decorators gloucester november 18 blog

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.

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Decorating Around Stainless Steel Appliances

cal decorators gloucester august 18 blog


Stainless steel has proved to be a real boon to kitchen design. Not only does it have a smart, modern look and feel it is also long-lasting and easy to clean and maintain. Not only that, you can match it with a host of essential kitchen accessories made from the same material, such as kettles and toasters.

Assuming you are not going for the heavy industrial look, incorporating stainless steel tables, tiling and worktops, then you will need to decorate around the appliances. Here are some suggestions for the best colour schemes to go for.

• Black. Black for me always says sophistication. In the context of a kitchen around stainless steel appliances it will appear striking and very modern.

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Beware the Dangers of DIY!

 

cal decorators gloucester BLOG august 18

I know that a lot of people gain great satisfaction from carrying out home improvements and general DIY jobs.

However, there are inherent dangers for the amateur and if things go wrong you could become one of the estimated 222,000 DIYers who end up in hospital each year. That statistic is provided by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSoPA) and they should know!

So what are the most common dangers encountered by an intrepid DIY fan and how might they get injured? Here are the most likely causes of accidents:

• Knives – you should always take care when using sharp implements and this is especially the case when utilising knives or scalpels for tasks such as cutting carpet or lino. It really pays to have a professional carpet fitter ensure the flooring is properly measured and fitted. Avoid blood on the pile!

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Decorating Market Hits £925m!

feb 18 blog cal decorators gloucester

A recent report by AMA Research has revealed that the market for paint, wallcoverings and wood care products was worth a staggering £925m in 2017.

Having hit an all-time low in 2009, the upturn in the construction sector in 2014 stimulated demand for decorating products. This grew enormously during 2015 but has tapered off since 2016.

Amongst the key drivers of demand are the housing market, consumer confidence, home improvement levels, design trends, non-residential construction activity and the weather in any given year.

The paint sector has seen a shift towards more water based products, with acrylic eggshell showing good growth. There has also been a marked increase in demand for what could be described as value added products such as durable, stain resistant and easy-to-clean products, as well as more specialist paints, including light reflecting, textured finishes, anti-bacterial, low odour, fast drying, anti-slip floor paint and insulating paint.

The trend in the wallcovering sector is towards bold designs, including the use of texture and digital printing. Wood care has seen good growth in fencing, sheds and conservatories, accompanied by demand for garden paints.

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DIY Bodgers – the Facts!

sept 17 blog cal decorators gloucester

Take a look at these facts:

•    Britons spend £244 a year per head correcting DIY disasters adding up to a staggering £6 billion for the nation annually
•    There are currently 31.7 million unfinished DIY jobs in the UK
•    One in ten Britons has injured themselves carrying out DIY jobs

These are some of the conclusions from a survey of 2,000 households carried out by Armstead Trade, a professional paint brand.

The study found that 67% of home owners now avoid basic decorating with one in ten worried that they will repeat a past bodge and 16% admitting to feeling stressed about carrying out DIY projects.  Some 36% of those interviewed confessed they did not have the required skills to do decorating jobs and 12% of men reported their partner did not trust them to do it successfully.

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Into the Digital Age with Farrow & Ball!

august 17 blog cal decorators gloucester
I’ve mentioned in these blogs before about my admiration for Farrow & Ball’s fantastic range of paints and associated decorating products.  Don’t think they are old fashioned and just concentrate on the traditional, though.  They are very much part of the modern digital age.

They are whole heartedly devoted to protecting the environment and in 2010 they made the brave decision to move all their oil based paints to eco-friendly water based products instead.  In addition all their paints have low VOC (volatile organic compounds.

They followed this move by incorporating recyclable paint tins and always use responsibly sourced wallpapers.

Moving into the digital world, Farrow & Ball use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.  They also produce their own online interiors magazine, The Chromologist, and have an Inspiration site based around their inspirational hubs of colour. 

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Going the Extra Mile!


I do like to do a thorough job when I am painting a room.  It makes for a professional finish and can save money for you, the customer, in the long run.

Here are just a few of the ‘extras’ I provide:

•    Door handles and window catches.  Wherever possible I will remove door handles and window catches prior to painting.  I don’t think anything looks much worse than a paint-spattered window catch.  The same goes for light switches and sockets.

•    External door edges.  If you have a front or back external door which constantly jams or scrapes, take a look at the edges.  I would bet that they have been left unpainted and are bare timber.  This exposure allows moisture to penetrate and the door will then shrink or swell.  Unfortunately, although I can paint the edges and ease doors, the damage already done may be irreparable.  

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The Farrow & Ball Story!

december 16 blog

I have mentioned before that I am a great fan of the Farrow & Ball range of paints.  This month I thought I’d tell you a bit about the history of the company and why I think their products are so good.

John Farrow and Richard Ball first met when they working in a clay pit in Dorset.  They soon realised they had similar ideas and proceeded to form the company in 1946.

Bucking the trends of the industry from day one, they abandoned acrylic paints and went back to traditional methods of paint making using natural minerals with high levels of pigments that they still use today.

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We Don’t Paper Over the Cracks!

In my mind prepping a room for decorating is the one big thing that separates a professional decorator from an amateur.  While an amateur is prepared to cut corners to rush to get a job finished I 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.

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What to do with Unused Paint

As you know I am passionate about the environment and recycle whenever possible.  A recent survey by the British Coatings Federation (BCF) highlighted some problems with recycling unused paint.

It is estimated that a staggering 55 million litres of leftover paint is generated in the UK each year.  The majority if taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) is put in land fill or incinerated and only one in three HWRCs actually accept paint.

The problem for the local authorities that run these HWRCs is that incinerating paint safely is expensive and that seems to be the main reason why they don’t accept it.

There is another solution, however.  The BCF has found that sending the unused paint to a paint recycler or remanufacturer can lead to a saving of up to 40% for local authorities.

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Is the Customer Always Right?

I am well aware of the old adage that ‘the customer is always right’. It means in effect that you should always carry out the instructions given to you by a client, no matter what you think about them.


I am a great believer in communication, however, and would rather explore the client’s ideas than follow his instructions to the letter without question.

What I aim to achieve is a solution that the client is completely happy with, even if it involves ideas he would never have dreamed of.

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Barry Bucknell and the Birth of DIY!

I don’t know if you watch those DIY programmes on television such as BBC’s Changing Rooms and DIY SOS: The Big Build. I was interested when I stumbled across an article about the father of television DIY, Barry Bucknell.

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