Lesley Taylor

Western Mail

September, 2013

Now that the summer evenings are drawing to a close, I want to start making the most of my conservatory. It needs a revamp, but I just don’t know where to start. Please help!

It is easy for the conservatory to become a dumping ground in the home if it is lacking a purpose, so my first tip would be to establish how you are going to use this space- is it going to be a dining area or a living space.

If you have any wall space in the conservatory, give it a fresh lick of paint or you may wish to apply patterned wallpaper to provide it with a more homely feel, or clad it in a textural stone cladding for a contemporary look and feel.

Think carefully about the furnishings you include as items in a conservatory are going to be prone to sun and light damage. You may wish to consider rattan furniture, which won’t fade over time, or chose upholstery carefully, asking for advice on the light fast qualities of any fabrics being used. Sheers or shutters on your windows would also help to reduce the risk of fading. Accessorise this space in the same way as you would any other room of the home, so include plenty of soft furnishings. Keep costs down and purchase items that can be used outside in the summer and inside in the winter. Choose cushions and throws in treated materials that will withstand all weather conditions as they are not only water-repellent, but also soil, stain and mould resistant.

My dad lives alone and his bathroom could do with updating. He is reaching quite an elderly age, so do you have any advice on how to future-proof the bathroom in a stylish way?

Don’t fear- there are plenty of ways to future-proof a bathroom without your father having to compromising on style.

A wetroom is now at the top of the wish list for many homeowners, whether they are looking to future-proof their bathroom or not. Not only do they provide a luxurious showering experience, they are incredibly practical too. The level-access means that they can be used by anyone, of any ability and eliminates the need to step in and out of a shower enclosure. To avoid water spraying across the bathroom and to prevent the rest of the floor from becoming slippery, install glass panels around the wetroom area to create an enclosure that doesn’t require you to open or close a shower door.

If your father simply can’t live without a long, hot soak in the bath, opt for a model that provides easy access. Teuco has a selection of baths that are fitted with a full length glass door, meaning that you don’t have to lift your legs to get into it, you simply step in.

Wall-hung sanitaryware will be easier for your father to keep clean as he won’t need to bend down to the floor. A final tip- avoid glossy tiles that will become slippery if they get wet.

Every time I walk through the front door I’m welcomed by a drab and cluttered hallway. It needs a new lease of life, do you have any tips?

First impressions count so make your hallway one to remember!

Hallways tend to be fairly small, so choose light colours for a fresh and airy feel. With so much passing traffic and muddy boots and coats lying around, I would always suggest avoiding white as it is likely to show dirt marks after only a short period of time.

If you really want to make a bold entrance, it is possible to create a feature wall using a darker paint or wallpaper, just be tactful how you do it. Don’t use deeper tones on longer walls, as it can make the hallway feel narrower than it actually is. A tip for those of you catering for a small area would be to use a horizontal stripe wallpaper design at the end of the corridor, to make the space look wider.

Wood or tiled floors are always the most practical for a hallway, however if you have a carpet which you are not looking to replace, I would recommend hiring a professional cleaner. You will be amazed at what a difference it can make. 

Keep this space cluttered free by investing in a vintage coat rack and shoe organiser.

[Week 19]

Interior Designer and member of the BIID Lesley Taylor is the Design Director of Taylor’s Etc based in Cardiff, 02920 358 400, www.taylorsetc.co.uk