There is something still so exciting about colour cards!

Appreciation really hits home

Shopping online is great for certain things but when it comes to home renovations, finding the perfect colours and fabrics simply must be done in person.

Tiles must be touched, paint must be perused and tested and carpets must be caressed before any purchase can be made. That’s why walking into one of Cork’s numerous home improvement stores brings with it an undeniable thrill that cannot be replicated on any website.

We are now finally free again to reengage with the wonderful lost art of in-shop browsing, taking our time and making sure we find the right materials for our homes.

For many of us, the last year and a half has cultivated a renewed appreciation for our private spaces and the role they play in our daily lives. Now, with restrictions going in the right direction, more and more people are setting about improving their homes and giving them the attention they deserve.

According to new research by Bord Gáis Energy, 39 per cent of householders in Munster say their relationship with their home has changed over the last year and almost two thirds say they value their home now more than ever.

The same research found that 38 per cent plan to make changes to their property this year with over a third wanting to make their home more sustainable and energy efficient. This ties in with the fact that many people intend to continue to work from home post-pandemic, while 40 per cent say they see themselves continuing to spend more family time home. The value of outdoor spaces has been made especially apparent throughout the pandemic with 54 per cent of Munster householders saying they want to make changes to their gardens.

A whopping 72 per cent said they use their garden as a place to relax while 31 per cent say they have now started to enjoy al fresco dining. The research involved 283 adults and was carried out to mark the launch of Bord Gáis Energy’s new brand positioning ‘Imagine a better way’ through which the energy provider aims to highlight better ways for customers to live, work and enjoy their free time at home.

According to Bord Gáis Energy’s Retail Director Colin Bebbington, energy needs are constantly evolving as people’s lives become “more complex than ever”. “The energy sector is changing and evolving, as are our customers’ lives. Customers want more from their energy provider – more sustainable solutions, smarter products and services.

“As we transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, customers can expect to see new thinking, new innovations and upgraded solutions around energy management,” he said.

To inspire householders, Bord Gáis Energy has teamed up with a panel of well-known home experts to host ‘Imagine a better way at home’, a virtual event taking place online on 21 July from 12-1pm.

Experts include TV gardener Peter Dowdall, award winning and internationally renowned interior designer Suzie McAdam and former resident quantity surveyor on RTÉ’s ‘Room to Improve’, Lisa O’Brien.

During this free event, the panel will share their top tips and expert advice on how people can get the most out of their redesigns and renovation projects this year.