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Interior design at Buy2letExpert



Interior design:
 
 - Curtains and blinds
 - Furnishings
 - Lighting
 - Floor coverings
 - Decoration
 - Kitchen design
 - Bathroom, plumbing design

Floor coverings

Floor coverings choices can be quite confusing. Buy2LetExpert suggest materials that are as practical and as easy to clean as possible while at the same time giving interest and 'warmth' to the room. This is particularly so when the target tenant is tending to be a younger person. As always it is difficult to generalise but But2LetExpert steer away from fitted carpets in all but bedrooms. Other rooms may have loose carpets which are quickly and cheaply replaced at the end of the tenancy. Some pointers might be:

Tiles

Buy2LetExpert.com would always recommend a natural tile such as honed travertine (polished or natural). Natural tiles have many advantages:

  • They are much less slippery when wet which is important in a shower area.
  • Natural materials always look good and usually can be matched quite well if there ever needs to be plumbing or other repairs in the future!
  • Natural tiles are fairly timeless. Fancy artificial colours and textures move fast with fashions so using a natural material saves money in the long run.
  • Natural tiles have a 'real edge' so no use of ugly plastic corner pieces on external corners or ledges like in sunken shower trays is necessary.
  • Natural tiles cost more but even with a natural tile the biggest cost by far is preparing for and the tiling process its self. i.e. if the main cost is labour why waste the labour cost on a cheap synthetic tile? Natural tiles are available for as low as £25 per metre from our suppliers anyway so actually not much more than a synthetic tile.
  • Natural tiles look great and will sell the property to prospective tenants. A small extra expense here is well worth it as tiling is so visible.

Wood Flooring vs Laminate

We would always recommend hard wood flooring or tiles in living areas. Such flooring gives the impression of the room being larger and is cheaper to maintain than a fitted carpet which needs to be changed far more frequently. 'Soften' the floor with the use of loose carpets made of natural materials. The carpets will also deaden sound nuisance which may be an issue in flats. In all but the most budget properties we would recommend a real wood surface of at least 3mm to allow for the floor to be sanded 2 or 3 times. Consequently the floor should last for 10 years plus (or 3 or 4 carpets worth). So actually the strategy may save money in the longer term with the added benefit of a beautiful floor.

Carpets

Carpets are 'warm' and do help to deaden sound noise in situations where the flat below may have an issue with noise. However, in many instance the careful placing of loose carpets can achieve the same effect. We do normally recommend fitted carpets in bedrooms although this is not essential. The main reason is that carpets get very little wear in a bedroom and a life in excess of 5 years is quite normal. A living room carpet can be worn in 12 months so the wood or tile option is best here.

A room by room summary might be:

Bathrooms and W.C.

Always use tiles and ideally natural materials such as honed Travertine (polished or otherwise). Such materials are easy to clean and beautiful. Use under floor heating (electric or water). Never fit carpets in a bathroom.

Living Areas

Carefully sourced, real wood laminate flooring is recommended. Scandinavian countries have good experience of the product so Buy2LetExpert often sources from Sweden or Denmark. Tiles are another possibility but under floor heating (UFH) is a must otherwise the tiles will be cold. Electrical UFH is the cheapest to install but can be expensive to run. Non electrical ('wet') systems differ in that the heating is sourced from a loop of water pipe under the tiles linked back to the boiler like the radiators. Such a system is expensive to install but cheaper to run.

Kitchens

Tiles or laminate real wood flooring is recommended. Tiles are the ideal for ease of maintenance BUT modern tastes often demand a kitchen/living room such as is shown below:

In such examples the division between kitchen and living area is deliberately not clear. The ceiling line follows through. There is no wall division to the ceiling and just half walls divide kitchen and living areas. This fools the eye into believing the rooms are each bigger! There is however no natural division point for the floor. Hence the best option is to run the same floor into the kitchen. Hence there is no floor or ceiling division giving the feeling of more space. This is possibly a slight downside in terms of maintenance but a big gain in terms of the flat as a whole and rental income. Furthermore such as design is modern and young and appeals to young families or groups of sharers. In this example the former living room has become an additional bedroom meaning greatly improved investor returns.

 

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Floor coverings in a buy-to let-property

 

Floor coverings in a buy-to let-property

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