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Property - DIY tips

Millions of us live in period properties and one of the joys of doing so is being able to admire their original features.

Features such as fireplaces, stained glass, floorboards and sash windows not only make your home more aesthetically pleasing and architecturally interesting, they also add value when you come to sell.

But original features haven’t always been so valued - it wasn’t that long ago that people routinely ripped them out and chucked them in skips.

A quick and easy way to give a room more character is to fit a decorative ceiling rose, particularly if it already has coving or cornicing.

There are lots of different ceiling-rose designs, so it’s important to get one that matches the period of your home and the style of the light fitting. You probably don’t want an intricate Victorian-style rose with a contemporary ceiling light, for example.

You also need to consider the proportions of the room and the style of the coving or cornicing already there, or that you plan to fit.

Plain coving obviously goes best with a plain ceiling rose, such as one with concentric circles, and more elaborate designs suit each other.

Ceiling roses are available in different materials, so that’s another important consideration when buying one.

By far the easiest type of rose to fit is an expanded polystyrene one because it will be extremely lightweight - all you need is suitable adhesive.

Polystyrene roses come in a fairly limited range of designs, though, so for more choice, you need to go for a heavier material. Roses were traditionally made of plaster, and modern replicas of original designs are available, but like anything made of plaster, they’re very heavy.

Plaster roses are so heavy, it pays to get a professional to put them up.

If you want to fit the rose yourself, and have a wide range of designs to choose from, the best option is a material that’s in between very lightweight and very heavy, such as hard cellular resin or polyurethane. These roses come in all shapes and sizes (although the largest roses tend to only be available in plaster) and are straightforward to fit. They can be glued with suitable adhesive, or glued and screwed, which is the most secure method.

Screwing the rose into the ceiling joists above (the screws can be countersunk and filled over for a neat finish) gives the most secure fixing and allows the adhesive to set properly, but it is more complicated than just sticking the rose in place.

Some decorative ceiling roses can be fitted over the white plastic rose that conceals the electrical connections on the ceiling, which makes the job easier to do.

However, fitting many decorative roses involves removing the white plastic rose and doing some basic electrical work. If you’re not confident, get a qualified electrician in.

 

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