If you’re looking to update an old room the biggest changes are going to be the flooring and colour theme. Pulling up your old carpet and adding tiles, lino or wooden floorboards gives the illusion of more space and can be easier to keep clean and maintain over time where carpet could get stained and threadbare after one too many pairs of feet. Kitchen tiles are made to be extremely hard wearing so that they won’t show scuff marks or chip if pits and pans are dropped. They are also easier to clean with a mop rather than having to hoover or sponge any spillages up from a carpet. There are hundreds of colours to choose from to match your décor and come in a range of patterns and effects such as marble or pebble to give your room a Grecian, Moroccan, modern or traditional feel to it.
Bathrooms are seeing a surge in wooden floorboards as opposed to tiles or carpets nowadays because of the popular modern look and the calming, natural feel they give off. They are not as cold underfoot as tiles but are just as easy to clean and if well maintained they shouldn’t feel the effects of water spillages and overflow. Carpets in the bathroom are often considered unhygienic because bacteria can stay in the fibres from our feet, dirty bath water or bodily fluids that can’t be seen as easily as they can on tiles or floorboards.
Once you’ve got the floor down it’s time to consider the walls. If it’s a bathroom or kitchen you might want to consider something that doesn’t peel off when the room gets hot and steamy, paint that won’t dry out or flake and walls where tiles can be fixed with ease. If there is mould in any of the walls it is essential you get this sorted out before you start any decorating as it will come through your new wallpaper and paint or cause havoc with tiles if it is left untreated.
Neutral colours tend to outshine the brighter themes simply because they’re unlikely to be out of fashion in the next five years so you can hold off on the DIY until then. Neutral colours also tend to be the running theme of most houses so if you have a beige, cream and wood furnished home it looks a little out of synch to have a bright orange kitchen with chrome finishes. That’s not to say you can’t have a theme but you can just as easily create one with a few accessories such as Moroccan lanterns and mirror tiles or bright red fifties style kettle, toaster and oven.
Sasha James is an interior designer writing on behalf of flooring.uk.com