Kirstie Allsopp is the queen of homemade crafting, property and design. She’s helped countless Brits find, and renovate, their ideal homes on Location, Location, Location, Kirstie’s Homemade Home and Kirstie Allsopp’s Home Style. So when it comes to delivering domestic pearls of wisdom, Kirstie’s the person to ask.
1. A home should reflect your character
“This is what truly makes a house a home. I’ve been working on this new show called Love it or List it, going into people’s homes and seeing how they use their houses. It’s very interesting to see how you can change things for the better by looking at what people like to do – your home should reflect you; that’s what makes it home.”
2. Embrace home technology
“I have a boiling water tap which I could not live without. I absolutely think those things are worth every penny. I also have a thing called Vitamix, which is a brilliant blender that I completely love. Good broadband and wifi are important, as increasingly people work from home and they want to know about that in terms of selling.”
3. Find a location you love
“When I bought my first property, I did everything right. But I didn’t buy in an area that I love. I bought in an area that I thought was right, and I should have stuck with my gut about where I wanted to buy.
Instead, I bought in south London and I didn’t have friends or family around there so I spent the first five years wanting to be somewhere else. Buy where you can afford but also think about your friends and family because, again, it’s a home not a house.”
4. Change your space, not your house
“One of the first things to do when fixing up a property is to analyse how you use the space on a day-to-day basis. Think about moving your furniture around – if you do everything in one room, maybe move the TV into another room. Think about your activities, your hobbies; when you come in the front door where do you leave your stuff? Is there one area that gets congested?”
5. Storage is your friend
“This is key. Improve your storage and you will improve your life.”
6. Do you really need to knock down that wall?
“Quite often doing a bit of a chuck out and tidy up will have the same impact as knocking down walls. So many people are selling their homes because they’ve outgrown them, but they’re hoarding stuff – so be really be tough with yourself. What absolutely adds value to property is keeping everything super clean and finished. Never try and sell anything half-finished: if you can’t finish it, don’t start it. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year then sell it, give it away, recycle it...do something positive with it. Somebody will want it.”
7. Pump up the price
“The final thing is if you do decide to do work, then make sure that you combine what renovations you need, with what would add value.”
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