If, like me, you need a little inspiration with home building, then there’s no better thing than putting together a board of ideas, or perhaps scrap-booking them if you lots and lots of concepts. I tend to use Pinterest as a great way of sharing my ideas and the approach works really well for interior designs. However, if you live in a 1960s build, as I do, it can seem that there is little you can do to update the exterior. Brickwork and weatherboarding is how most of the homes in Cheshire – as elsewhere in the country – had their exteriors constructed at this time and most of them remain as they were the day they were built. Nonetheless, there are some inspirational ideas I’ve taken from Pinterest and elsewhere.

One of the best examples I’ve seen recently of how to create a new look for a brick built exterior is with composite cladding. This material sharpens the look of a house built in the 1960s or 1970s. Indeed, you see many new-builds using this material nowadays. Grey composite cladding appears to be one of the most popular choices. Furthermore, when it comes to updating old and often mix-matched brickwork – so often the result of multiple extensions which have been added over the years – good old-fashioned render still works well. Render can be painted any colour you choose, once applied. Either way, composite cladding or render, it is a great opportunity to change the look and tone of your home’s exterior in one go.

Adding light to the interior of a home is always desirable, especially for the living quarters. Sliding patio doors on the rear façade is a typical method for achieving this, but they don’t always add to the look of an exterior – not in an inspirational way, at least. Much more preferable would be bifolding doors with cool aluminium frames. The use of aluminium creates a much more pleasing architectural finish to the glazing, so new bifold doors integrate more naturally with the exterior. In particular, I like the look of the low-threshold ones which makes the garden much more a part of the  home than ever before – perfect for summer get-togethers when you want to open the home up!