Making Norfolk your Home

This week's guest blog is from Nanci Gillett of Burhnham Interiors

Our home is our castle, our safe haven and for some of us our biggest asset

As I sit outside my home in what has been another lovely warm sunny Summer weekend I think about what my home means to me.  As someone who runs an interior design and project management business on the North Norfolk coast, I love everything about houses.  I love the feeling that I get when I walk in the front door and know that I am home.  I love colours, fabrics, finishes and furniture, but I also get a buzz out of the way a house is constructed, the “bones” of a place.  I am a big fan of getting this right!  A lot of times these investments in our home are not seen by the naked eye like painting a room or recovering a chair may be seen, but are vitally important in not only maintaining or increasing our investment but giving our homes the feeling of permanence and style which is intangible.  When you are making these investments in the “bones” it is essential to make sure that you get the best trades or craftsmen that you can afford.  Ask for references or even better use someone who has been recommended to you, whose work you have seen.  To have someone working in your house who you like and instils confidence is as important as the quality of their work.  A home that is well plumbed, has good electrics or has good windows can make you happy.  Not having to worry about things going wrong, not working properly or the cold wind whipping around your house makes for a calmer life and a more pleasant environment.  Call me sad, but there is something to be said for this.  When I talk about the “bones” I like to also include our first impressions.

The front entrance forms our first impression so make it count.  You can enhance your first impressions in the following ways:

  1. Guide guests from the street or drive to the front door with a clearly marked and well-maintained path that two people can walk side by side.
  2. A punch of bright, bold paint that contrasts with the siding and woodwork is an easy way to revamp a tired entry.
  3. Cut back overgrown plantings that block views of the front door or spill over onto walkways.  Flowers and plants in pots are easy to maintain and can be rearranged at any time.
  4. An entryway is the perfect location to splurge on gorgeous features, such as the wooden front door or colourful step tiles.
  5. Elevate the architecture by adding appropriate architectural details or by giving existing ones a fresh coat of paint.
  6. Connect the entry with the rest of your home’s exterior by repeating elements that create a cohesive look.
  7. If you have a front porch, give it a sense of warmth and comfort by placing an outdoor piece of furniture near the entry.
  8. If you have the space, you can open up your front entry with full-length windows on both sides of your door.  This will let light into your home and make your entry seem larger.
  9. Good lighting is so important for both convenience and safety.  Consider motion-sensing lights near the front door.
  10. Installing landscape lighting is a easy way to add pizzazz to your outdoor space, and this is a project which most people can do themselves.
  11. Having pots of flowers near the front entry is an easy and inexpensive way to add a dose of eye-catching colour.  Be bold with colour to see the containers from the street.
  12. Add a porch or awning over the front door to keep rain or (if we are lucky) sun off visitors.
  13. To create a polished and sophisticated entry chose the same colour or metal finish for the exterior hardware.

Making my house my home has been a tremendous amount of fun and it is an evolving, ongoing process, which I hope will also give you not only pleasure, but a sense of satisfaction.

 For more advice about making the best of your home you can contact Nanci at

28th August 2013

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