Posts Categorised: News

How to choose the right radiator for your home

Vintager Style radiator classic panel in white
Disclosure: These radiators were gifted to me by Soak.com in return for this post. 

When we were recently thinking about heating for the kitchen, I realised there’s more to it than just liking a certain style or colour of radiator. So am writing this post on how to choose the right one for your home.

It seems like a good time to do this too, what with the darker evenings and mornings being longer and a lot of us wanting to keep cosy and warm as much as we can.

Our radiators are from Soak.com and are from their Traditional Colesseum range.

Panels.

I found a BTU (British Thermal Units) calculator on Soak’s website and it was invaluable in working just how much output would be needed. You add in the dimensions, the room type and windows plus whether they are single or double glazed, then it pretty much does the work for you. Having said this, it doesn’t hurt to speak to your plumber to gage some extra advice if you’re still not sure. You’ll need more panels if the room is larger and with more windows. As for this kitchen – it naturally will be heated by the cooker and oven so I decided that two panels would be sufficient on each one. If it were the living room or something like a conservatory or bathroom you might want to go higher. It does have to be just right for you and worth giving some thought.

radiator classic vintage whiteclassic vintage style radiator in white advice on heating and roomsvintage classic old style white radiator in kitchen advice iideas

Vertical or Horizontal ?

If you’re looking to put a radiator in to a small space. Maybe there’s limited room because of doors and windows, it’s much more cost effective to buy a vertical radiator ( tall ) than start moving doors etc – and as they’re so good looking these days it works as a feature. There are varying sizes to fit many spaces and also colours. They take up very little space so you can heat your room just as efficiently.

Ours are horizontal in shape as we had areas that they would fit perfectly in. We went for low in size so they could fit under the window and allow us to put wall mounted book shelves above. Then the small radiator near the utility room which couldn’t have fitted better which is classed as horizontal.

Classic vintage style radiator in white grey floor blue kitchen

Traditional or contemporary and which colour ?

So many choices these days. So where do you start ? Homes on the whole seem a little more eclectic in style so mixing a traditional looking radiator with a more modern home works wonders. Or contemporary in an old home too. It’s very much personal taste. The contemporary radiators at Soak, to me, are like a blend of old and new with flat or rounded panels but with a play on classic. You can see them here.

For a bathroom you might instead opt for a heated towel ladder especially if short on space. I love Soak’s copper ones which would be really effective against a dark wall.

As for colours, there are options these days as opposed to just your standard white. So, this saves painting them, which is possibly the past thing you will feel like doing with a brand new radiator. Over at Soak there are greys, whites, sage green and then chrome and mirrored.

Vintage style radiator classic white style

Floor standing or wall mounted ? 

This can depend on whether you are starting from scratch as the amount of work fitting these varies and it’s best to put the radiators in before tiling and other forms are flooring are put in. Wall mounted is where (usually) the radiator is attached to the wall with brackets where as floor standing; they have feet. Both normally have pipes that go in the ground but in flats you may find they go in to the wall instead.

One more thing to not forget is the kits such as brackets, valves, legs etc. Some come with them and other need to be ordered separately. So good to check this first. You need to also decide if you want angled or straight valves which as you’d expect from the name, go straight up from the floor.

classic white radiator vintage style white walls blue kitchen ideas advice on heating

Hope you’ve found this useful. I know there are certain things here that I have learned recently so might be of some use.

Which style would you ideally go for?

Do leave me a comment under this post if you have any questions or comments – as always great to hear from you.

Five Ideas for Finding the Ideal Dining Table Rug

Kitchen Table Rug to add Style and Texture under table

Like everything else in a kitchen or dining room, when you are refurbishing or changing things up a bit, it takes time to find the ideal furnishings and that includes a rug if you are considering adding one, maybe under the table.

It took me absolutely ages to be honest to find the right style, colour and fit so thought it would definitely be a good idea to write a post in case anyone’s ever in the same boat.

I knew I wanted something with a Moroccan or Turkish kind of vibe and it needed some reds and warner tones to balance with the blue units. Also, I had a favourite company in mind who I have worked with before and both Andy and I really champion their rugs. But, would this vision in my head all come together in reality ?

kitchen rug table louis de poortere

Oh, yeah ! It certainly wasn’t the last thing to choose on my mind when it came to the kitchen, but because I hadn’t chosen a table it had to wait to make sure it fitted etc.

rug moriccan style louis de porter kitchen table

You may remember some time ago, I wrote about Finding the Ideal Rug which included our Jacob’s Creak rug from Louis De Poortere’s Mad Men range. Well, I found another beauty on their website amongst their Antiquarian Ushak Collection  could not have worked better and leads me to my first tip which is:

Continuity.

I’m always going on about creating a cohesive environment but only because I really recommend it. In our home you can see the kitchen from the living room and vice versa. So, very much I’d recommend thinking of the flow of throughout your rooms to keep it all easy on the eyes aesthetically . With these two rugs they have a similar style being flat-woven and a subtle and vintage looking pattern which I think Louis De Poortere do so brilliantly. So, from one room to the next it gives a sense of continuity.

Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere for Under Kitchen Table to add Style and Texture with Painted Grey Chair

Flatweave or Pile ?

Well, I’d say this depends on several things. But a fluffy rug is a no no really. Not only because food can be dropped and lost ( unless you have a dog that hoovers anything and everything ) but pulling chairs back and forth could potentially cause some trip ups which you won’t.. A flatweave will be nice and much more low maintenance.

Also if you can get one with an anti slip backing like this rug then that’s good otherewise you might need to add that on yourself.

Shape and Size.

The rug will need to be substantially bigger than the table because bearing in mind the chairs or stools too plus you want ideally for them to still be sitting on it comfortably when pulled out. So aim for around 60 cm longer and wider each side, than the table set.

The shape of the rug tends to work best when you emulate the room. So rectangular = rectangular and so on. This isn’t something set in stone so you can play around with it but I’ve found it suits me.

Rug Louis De Poortere Colours Inspiration Dining Room Table

Colour.

You might have bought the rug first in which case it will be your inspiration for the rest of your colour palette, but if the other way around, then pick out a strong colour in the rug, even if it’s a small amount,  that will match your chosen main hue. You can see here there are elements of teal that match the cabinet.

Equally as I was saying earlier, I also required some more autumnal tones so this rug was just right in every way.

Obviously, something that can disguise the odd mark is essential. A light shade won’t stand the test of time like a darker or patterned one.

Moroccan Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere

Material.

An easy clean rug is obviously the best option but it depends on who is using the dining area and how often. If there will be young children using the area and potentially throwing their spag bol around or you have pets frequenting then it’s definitely your best option. However, if this isn’t an issue then you have a bit more scope.

Morrican Rug for kitchen Table with Teal and Reds vintage style under table

With our Louis De Poortere rug, I hoover it regularly and they recommend ‘ James Water ‘ if it ever needs a slightly deeper clean.

Hope you like our new rug too ? The name Ushak derives from the Turkish tribe of the same name who used their designs in mosques and churches generally. Louis De Poortere have gone for a similar faded look which I love.

If you’d like to check out their huge collection of great rugs then you can find them here.

This is a collaboration with Louis De Poortere. As always all opinions are my own.

Our new Polaris Mistral Worktops from Karonia Surfaces

Mistral white kitchen worktops island blue kitchen

Firstly, I want to say thanks so much to everyone who has paid a lovely compliment about our new kitchen. Really appreciate it. Today, I want to show you our Mistral tops from Karonia Surfaces that were such an important factor in the overall design and I will talk through the process and why we chose this.

Since we moved in to our home nearly ten years ago, I’d always found the old worktops hadn’t lifted the room, if you know what I mean ? They were black which for a room that didn’t at the time allow in much natural light was a bit of a shame. But, that’s all in the past now. Because we have our new Mistral Surfaces and they have made all the difference.

We also have the mistral on the new island too. Honestly, I feel like Mary Berry swanning around because there’s so much more space and inclination to spend time making interesting meals. The pasta maker has made an appearance and I have even offered up our place for Christmas Dinner this year. I’m feeling that confident.

If you saw the original plan I made then you’ll see the dimensions which worked out well.

Karonia Surfaces White Polaris worktops in blue kitchen

I think I first became of Karonia Surfaces quite some time ago as I’d seen their worktops in magazines and of course on good ol’ insta. I was looking for something new and sharp looking for the kitchen which would brighten it and also be non porous as I wanted something low maintenance and good quality. Not asking much right ? :) But their Mistral ticked all these boxes. Any spillages can be wiped clean easily.

I was pretty set on something uncomplicated and with a teeny tiny bit of sparkle. So Polaris was perfect as it has that plus very subtle small clear chips within the resin. Also because the island needed jointing to create the size we wanted,  it would blend together brilliantly and actually now in situ, you cannot even see where the join is. It’s seamless.

What’s also pretty cool is that it can be sanded too so any scuffs over the years can be removed. It’s made of a very strong acrylic resin that is has a high level of heat and chemical resistance too so it was a bit of a no brainer all round.

mistral worktops karonia surfaces white smart non porous

So, where did I start with choosing the right surface and look when there are lots of options ? Well, firstly I spoke with the lovely guys at Karonia and they recommended me a local company called Woollards of Mildenhall – they’ve been absolutely first class in helping along the way.

Ian Woolard came over and measured up and bought with him the entire range of Mistral to look through. Karonia and Ian worked together and kept each other up to speed at all times which was amazing. Made my life so much easier with all the other things to consider.

karonia surfaces white mistral polaris drainer gold sink

The edging around the sink was created to have a slight overhang. Within the design, We also moved the drainer to the other side of the sink so it would be above the dishwasher and during the preparation process for this, the Mistral was sloped to enable efficient drainage.  The good thing about using this Mistral is that it is very easy for a fitter to custom shape and angle to your specifications, often even on site, so quick to install. I’ve found the overall finished look gives a nice bespoke feel.

Karona Surfaces Mistral white smart clean look in kitchenKitchen hob blue kitchen mistral surface

The Mistral has also been used for splash backs and covers the whole of the black of the hob. So it can be wiped easily. I find that because it’s smooth and white, it’s much easier to see and keep clean.

Andy our fitter asked us what kind of edging we would like – which was a slightly rounded finish including the splash backs, which he produced swiftly. I’m always blown away by how effortless good fitters make their work look.

Polaris White Kitchen WorktopsKaronia Surface Mistral Polaris White

I’d been so looking forward to having the surfaces put in and was not disappointed at all. It’s made the room so much lighter. It made me realise just how much the space needed it. It feels nice to proudly show you my kitchen now after hiding it away for so many years.

Mistral white polaris worktop blue kitchen Karonia Mistral white worktops kitchen clean today look

Although we chose Polaris, Mistral comes in many different styles and colours. Some more like ours right through to something suitable for a more dramatic scheme. It is also used in bathrooms so not just a kitchen option.

I highly recommend Karonia Surfaces. They know their onions when it comes to Mistral. They also have a store with everything you need for installing and maintaining your worktops.

I can’t sing the praises of Woollards of Mildenhall highly enough  – they are the Premier Expert Fabricators and Fitters of Mistral in East Anglia. I’m really grateful for the introduction from Karonia. It’s important to feel looked after when making big home improvement decisions and it was a good experience from start to finish.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Do leave me a comment with any questions or just to say hi. Always good to hear from you.

The Surfaces were gifted to me. As always all opinions are my own.

Stunning Homes for Sale this Month.

It’s been too long since I last shared a post with stunning homes for sale, what with work having gone on at home but today I’ve found a couple of corkers to share with you. Without realising it initially, both properties are by water in one form or another.

Hove, Sussex. 

Let’s not waste time and crack on with this place house in Hove. I’ve been racking my brain as I do remember this place from when we lived in Hove but can’t exactly place it. The reason I recall it is the placement of the windows, especially the protruding centre one and the grand chimneys. Seem to remember wondering what it looked like inside at the time so bit of a treat getting to see inside now.

It’s situation on First Avenue which is one of the finest and widest roads on Hove. A lovely location with an oblique view of the sea.

pink walls living room ideas unique pink bedroom cement walls cool ideas

Behind the reclaimed front door retaining lots of history, is a redesigned interior using natural materials. What do you feel about raw plaster walls? I really like them and love the options they offer you for hanging or not hanging art. Either works dependant on your own taste. Plaster is generally a more expensive option to use as it takes longer, needing more than one coat but the overall effect is lovely I think – and they stand the test of time better.

With this place it’s already done though so not something to even have to think about.

They’ve added gold switches and door handles which work as a nice accent with the pink walls.

living room pink walls grey sofa ideas inspiration

It’s quite interesting looking at the plaster walls in this home as I have seen it more in new builds and of course on Grand Designs. It works really well with the high ceilings.

Putting in wooden flooring has so many benefits. On a practical note it’s so easy to keep clean, I’ve found – plus did you know it helps with acoustics ? Soaks up sound in the room. They’ve also used seagrass which is a nice natural fibre.

pink bedroom cement walls cool ideaspink bedroom ideas inspiration homes for sale

The property has two bedrooms. The main one looks out over a balcony and the coast.

The overall look of this palette with its earthy tones, raw wood and having the sea almost at your doorstep gives a real sense of simplicity and I love that.

With the woodburning stove back in the reception room and a good book, I’d be a happy girl living here.

For sale with The Modern House at £800,000.

Gosport, Hampshire.

This is the second time I’ve shared a houseboat this year. The last one being in London. Seems I’ve developed a bit of a penchant for them. When you’ve looked inside this one you might be with me on that if you’re not already. Personally I really enjoy the thought of being able to move your home especially if you love it but want a change of scenery. Pretty cool way of living that I am totally open to at some point in the future.

Houseboat cool decor cosy contemporary

With this houseboat home, they’ve really emphasised space by making it open plan living and adding bi – folding doors out to the decking. Clever.

In fact, the current owners completely redeveloped the boat turning in to a two storey dwelling with three bedrooms. 1250 square feet in total which is pretty impressive.

The front door is handmade with reclaimed wood from Hyde Pier on the Isle of Wight which is a lovely, unique touch.

Houseboat trendy cool cosy smart ideas inspiration Houseboat quirky cool living space contemporary cosy

The living area is the top floor which makes sense to allow in plenty of light and probably offers up the best views.

Downstairs is the master bathroom, the bedrooms and underfloor heating. Apparently the wood flooring used throughout was originally used in a Victorian School in 1865.

Houseboat inspiration ideas Houseboat inspiration ideas cool smart

The entire home has so much character and has clearly really been thought about in great detail when designed. A very stylish houseboat don’t you think ? If we were thinking of moving, I’d be paying them a visit for sure.

It’s on the market with Aucoot for £399,950.

Have you seen any cool and inspiring places for sale at the moment ? Leave me a comment under the post.

Images 1 – 6 © The Modern House. Images 7 – 12 © Aucoot.

Five things to consider before choosing floor tiles

Grey tiles kitchen large cement look

Today I’m showing you around the kitchen, looking at the new flooring and discussing five things to consider before choosing floor tiles.

When I was in the primary stages of coming up with kitchen ideas, the tile aspect was a really important factor. We wanted something easy to maintain and contemporary but also classic enough to ensure we never tired of it. As our home isn’t old, although has been built to look it, I really had to weigh up what would work both aesthetically and practically. The original ones laid were quite petite and I felt did nothing to accentuate the size of the kitchen. They were swallowed up – plus I really didn’t like the colour as it dominated too much. It just wasn’t me.

After much deliberation and searching and samples I chose the one … *fanfare*… Urban Grey by Stone Tile Company. They are ceramic and created using HD inkjet printing technology creating a cement look.

floor tiles grey large kitchen style cement Grey cement tiles large

Price.

This is maybe going to be your first thing to weigh up. What is your budget ? Although it’s great looking for inspiration all over the internet, it’s worth being completely realistic about what you have to spend. The chances are you will find something if you look hard enough. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Stone Tile Company on this refurb but I definitely would’ve purchased the Urban grey tiles anyway – £13 per square metre which is a very, very reasonable price and exactly what I wanted. Couldn’t believe it to be honest when I spotted them.

Grey floor tiles kitchen large slabs grey floor tiles kitchen large stylish

Colour and Style.

Grey sits with other hues so well and because I had been looking, as I say,  for a cement style these were absolutely spot on. Because I knew I would be painting the units a teal colour and adding gold accents, I made up a mood board and felt it would be the most cohesive blend along with the oak pieces. When you’re thinking of laying a new floor, it is generally a long term thing and you need to be sure it’ll go with current and possible future cosmetic changes.

If pattern is an option you might consider then look at your potential colour scheme and bear in mind that the floor will be the lovely feature.

Going with the age and style of our home along with the palette intended; Urban Grey was ideal especially with the new french doors that throw extra light on to them and make the grain stand out even more. I wanted a nice and bright kitchen.

Grey large floor tiles kitchen style teal

Size.

This will depend on the size and shape of the room in question – and what kind of format you want the tiles to be laid. If you have a large space then you can more than get away with bigger tiles and I find that it brings everything in to proportion and this applies to a more compact room – smaller tiles tend to suit a smaller room.

grey tiles large urban blue kitchen

Durability, Suitability and Texture.

Things to think about here are who is using the room and what is it’s purpose ? For a kitchen it’ll involve all sorts of activity. Cooking, socialising, pets wandering around on it etc so you might go for a non slip textured surface that’s hardwearing, which is good for a hallway too or modern living room. Ceramic is a very popular choice. Slate or limestone are also hard wearing and have a riven top. Quartz has a shiny look that sparkles beautifully in a bathroom or equally a sleek kitchen. It has a honed more shiny finish . A natural stone mosaic is an idea if you’re wanting a seamless join between the in and outdoors. For instance from the garden through to a kitchen or conservatory. Porcelain is similar to Ceramic but slightly less porous. Both great for many rooms in the home. Slate is brushed on it’s surface and therefore nice on your feet.

If you want under floor heating always check the suitability of the tiling beforehand.

stone tile flooring grey cement style kitchen floor

Fitting.

Of course, it also depends on who is putting the floor down and on this point – does it need levelling before forging ahead with the tile laying ? If you are wanting to do it yourself you might want to choose something that you know you will be fine working with  – or if like us you are using a tiler then make sure they work out the exact amounts plus around 10 % extra for any breakage and spare. Talking of which I have to give a big thank you to our tiler Harry Constantine who is absolutely brilliant. A total perfectionist and I really recommend him if you are in the East. Lovely guy too.

So, what do you think of our new flooring ? I hope you like it too. If you’d like to know more about Stone Tile Company do pop on over. They have a vast range of Mosaic, Indoor and Outdoor floor and wall tiles in varying colours and designs. A lot to check out.

You will also see more pics of the kitchen over on my instagram if you fancy having a look.

This is a collaboration with Stone Tile Company. All opinions as ever are my own.