Indigo Tropical wallpaper, available from Gillian Arnold. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Clean living

Are you living the bathroom dream? The ultimate space for a wash-and-brush-up should also double up as a spoiling home-spa for relaxing - and your room is sadly lacking if it’s not offering both.

How do you find a reliable contractor? Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Five tips for choosing a contractor

1. It’s no secret that one of the best ways to find someone who’ll do a good job is to get a recommendation from a friend, family member, neighbour or colleague. However, it doesn’t necessarily work well when it’s a recommendation from another tradesperson. While your plumber may know a good electrician they’ve worked with before, for example, if it’s a case of trying to get a mate some work, be cautious. It’s also the case that some tradespeople do a good job the first few times you use them and then become unreliable, perhaps because they have too much work - they’re only as good as their last job.

Harper sofa and footstool, and Jocelyn armchair, both in Phoebe Print fabric, available from Marks and Spencer. Photo: PA Photo/Handout

Welcome home, petal!

Even the word ‘floral’ can strike decor dread into those who associate blooms, sprigs and sprays solely with chintzy country cottage settings, or fussy female boudoirs.

LINA children's moon lounger, available from Amara. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Mini masters of the house

No pressure parents, but your children secretly have big dreams when it comes to their bedrooms. If they could wave a magic wand, they’d be kitted out with tree houses, Narnia-style wardrobes, a slide, swing and a stage - and that’s just for starters.

Oslo four-seater dining set and parasol, available from Dunelm. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

The Great Outdoor

Entertaining outdoors is part of the pleasure of lazy summer days and balmy evenings, and no matter what size your space - a grand terrace or a tiny balcony - it’s vital to make the most of the area.

Painting the ceiling. Photo: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

Five tips for a successful renovation

1. Ensure you do the basics first. With any renovation project, it pays to start with the essentials, such as rewiring, replacing the central heating system, repairing the roof and addressing any damp and structural problems.

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