Saturday, 29 July 2017

Is Summer The Perfect Time To Winter Proof Your Home?

sock-999052_960_720.jpg

The seventh season of Game of Thrones was released this week with a marketing campaign centred around the slogan “Winter Is Here”. While that may be true in the fictional land of Westeros, most of us are preparing our homes for summer. We’re taking down drapes, opening windows and maybe even re-painting walls to make everything feel bright and breezy while we enjoy the sun. It’s a time for leaving the windows open long into the night and sipping a cool glass of white wine on the porch. But it’s also, whether we like it or not, the best time to admit it to ourselves… Winter will be here before we know it.

As we slap on our sunscreen and enjoy playing with the kids in the garden, it might be casting an eye over your beloved abode and ask yourself some searching questions.

Will your boiler survive the winter?

When it comes to keeping your home warm when the weather turns, your boiler’s health will either make or break you. It can be costly and disruptive to replace central heating, but if your boiler might be on its last legs it may be worth considering replacing or upgrading it. Gas fitters tend to charge less or even have promotional offers in the summer months when demand is reduced.

. You should consider replacing your boiler if:

  • You’ve had it 15 years or more.
  • It takes forever to heat up.
  • Your pilot light burns yellow instead of blue.
  • It makes strange noises and / or smells.

It might also be worth checking if you’re eligible for a free government grant.

Do your radiators actually radiate?

As well as your boiler, your radiators themselves may need an upgrade. If the old thing is a bit of an eyesore then you may want to replace it. There are more options than ever for radiators both functionally and aesthetically. They can be centrally heated, electric or dual fuel. They can bel flat, column or convector panel, horizontal or vertical.

If your radiators aren’t functioning optimally but you can’t face replacing them, it’s worth using a radiator additive which makes your radiator hotter and keep it warmer for longer.

Have you ever even seen your loft insulation?

As the heat from your radiators or fire  rises, your insulation is the only thing that can prevent it from leaking through the roof, along with the money you spend on heating. If you notice fluctuating indoor temperatures, a rise in your heating bills, or signs of animal infestation in your attic space then your insulation desperately needs to be replaced.

Do you feel colder when walking past a closed window?

If you don’t know how energy efficient your windows are then your heating costs could quite literally be going… Out the window. You might think that energy efficiency is hard to quantify but  The British Fenestration Rating Council are a nationally recognised body who have devised a system for measuring energy efficiency in windows on a scale from A++ to E. Energy efficiency for a window is determined by its ability to;

  • Prevent heat from escaping.
  • Prevent drafts from getting in.
  • Absorb the free energy provided naturally by the sun.

If you’re feeling colder when you walk past a closed window then it, too might be worth an upgrade.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Injecting Style Into Your Beauty & Fashion Storage Spaces


Everyone wants their home to look and feel perfect. After all, you spend a lot of time in it, so naturally, you want to feel like it reflects your taste. When it comes to most of the areas in your home, from your living space to your kitchen, you’re probably great at knowing how to style it and how to organise your storage. But, when it comes to some of the more complicated areas like your bedroom, it can all feel too much. In this space, not only do you have your bed and sleeping area, but you also have your fashion and beauty spaces too. But, instead of letting them be super boring and functional, why not inject a little style into them too?

Start With A Sort Out

To get yourself starting, you’re going to need to make sure that you have a huge clear out. When you’re stuck with lots of things to store, and not enough room to store it, you need to be smart and get rid of the things that you no longer use or need. This should cover off everything from clothes and accessories to makeup and hair care.

Go Storage Shopping

Now that you know what you’re working with in terms of what you need to store, you’re then going to want to think about the storage that you need for it. At this point, you may want to think about turning an extra room into storage space, or working out how you can make your bedroom storage more efficient. Then, it’s likely that you’re going to need to go storage shopping. Pick up furniture and storage solutions that can help you to achieve your goals.


Focus On Basics

Then it’s time to work on the system you’re going to use. To do this, you’re going to want to work with the things you need the most. Whether it’s your H&M basics that you wear on a regular basis or even your ghds, you need to make sure that they are accessibly stored. The clothes that you don’t wear regularly or makeup that you use for special occasions should be stored away in harder to get to places.

Make Additions

At this point, you may find that you’ve cleared out a lot of the clutter, but you’ve now got room to update some of your essentials. So, make a list of what you need to add to your fashion and beauty here. Whether it’s the new Sarah Jessica Parker fragrance you’ve wanted for ages, or the latest Kardashian makeup kits, be sure to figure out what will fill your fashion and beauty gaps. It may even be that you need a new coat or summer sandals to make sure your capsule collection is complete.

Keep On Editing

Finally, you then need to make sure that you stay on top of everything. Because we spend a lot of time accessing and using our fashion and beauty bits, it’s easy to find that it all gets chaotic again. But don’t let it. Make sure that you’re throwing out what you don’t need on a regular basis. Then make sure that you run out to get the right replacement winter boots or favourite foundation too.

Turn Your Living Room Into A Vintage Library Hideaway


Have you ever watched the movies where they are in a vintage looking library, that also turns out to be a secret lair when a specific book is moved? - There's something so stunning about the room; it seems to give off a sense of knowledge, history, passion, and warmth.
Well if you'd like to give your home a unique edge that will surprise guests when they come to visit, then why not convert your ordinary looking living room into a regal hideout?
It's actually not as complicated as you would imagine it to be, as long as you focus on certain areas.
Here's what you'll need.

Bookcases
Now, of course, it wouldn't be a library without a bookcase. Depending on the space that you're dealing with, will determine how big you can go with this, but one trick to get the full effect, is by choosing a bookcase big in size whether this be tall, wide, or both. This will create the illusion of power and purpose, as you will feel a lot smaller in comparison.

Sofas
You can't pull off this style if you don't have a chesterfield sofa in the room. These bring so much life to a room, almost as if they come with secret stories built inside the leather. Plus, they're extremely comfortable - perfect for putting your feet up and getting lost in the book of your choice.

Coffee table
What good is a having a sofa if you have nowhere to put down your mug of hot stuff? Not only that, but you can stack up your favourite books so you know what's next to come. It's wise to get a table that comes with a draw, or even a cupboard fitted underneath. This is so you have some storage space for any little bits and bobs you may want, like paper and pens if you feel inspired. Remember that clutter kills a room - so hide it.

Lighting
You will need efficient lighting in the room so you can see the pages properly when you plan on reading, having said that, what makes the room feel like a hideaway is having a glow as a pose to a bright white light. So get a lamp next to your seating area so you have no trouble reading. Consider buying a chandelier, or a cluster of lights as a centrepiece in the room. And don't forget candles! They add to the mystery.

Rug
Invest in a fancy looking rug that has intricate patterns and design on it, and put that either in the centre of the room or in front of where your sofa is. Avoid bright colours, but make sure it's busy, so the eye is drawn to it. Little features added to a room like this create more experiences for you visually.

Artwork

If you consider yourself to be a creative one of sorts, why not having a go at making something yourself? Whether that be a painting or a wooden sculpture - bringing in a part of yourself is a beautiful way to claim the room.

How To Turn Your Bedroom Into A Piece Of Art


When it comes to designing a bedroom, you want it to reflect your personality and have a unique edge to it. This is because it's your special place. It's where you can escape to, it's where you dream, and it's where you love. So taking the time out to ensure your room has everything that you need and want, is important if you want a beautiful boudoir.

The perfect bed
The most important thing is a good mattress and soft sheets. If you haven't got a comfortable mattress, you won't be having a nice enough sleep - and you should.
Now as for the appearance, a sophisticated headboard can introduce something new. You could go for a bright colour, or a pretty pattern to focus the attention to the bed.

Fresh flowers
Who doesn't want to enter a room that smells of fresh lilies and roses? Flowers are wonderful for adding pops of colour that can be scattered around the room, and not only do they look visually appealing, but they will have calming effects on you, plus, they purify the air and make sure that the humidity in the room balanced.

A luxury carpet
An immediate thing you will notice, is the sensation of your bare feet touching the floor, so if it's hard and cold, it won't feel comforting, and you should feel that way when in a bedroom. So it's wise to invest in a luxury carpet, something soft and fluffy that you can get your toes right in between.
If carpet isn't for you though, you could get a large rug instead that can fit under either side of your bed. Not only will it look professional, but it will be perfect when climbing in and out of bed.

Fancy lighting
Lights are very important when trying to create an atmosphere. Arts and crafts lighting can come with intricate patterns on warm coloured glass shades, that are able to enhance the beauty of a room with their pretty designs and cleverly crafted metalwork. You could put a tall lamp on either side of the bed, or a chandelier in the centre to draw in the eye.

Seating area
The main feature is your bed, so you don't want to take away from that, but if you have a large space that needs filling, add a comfortable chair, somewhere that you can sit and read in the evening. If you have a big enough window in your bedroom, you could even build in a seating area underneath the window so you can look out and daydream when you need a timeout from the normal world.

Colour coordinate
Coming up with a color scheme is key, because you will need to refer back to it when looking for items to add to the room, so you will want to coordinate the colours to showcase your personality and mood. If you want your bedroom to be quite passionate and romantic, then deep reds are great for that. Or if you want to stay classic and elegant, very light colours work for this, paired with splashes of silver or gold.

Advice For Getting A Better Night's Sleep Through Simple Bedroom Changes

Been struggling to sleep at night? You’re not alone. It’s quite scary to read that around half of us get less than 6 hours’ sleep at night. Sometimes our lifestyles are to blame, but other times it can be as a result of factors about our sleep environment that can easily be changed in order to get a better night’s sleep. Read some great advice on bedroom changes that will help you sleep better below.

Invest in a new bed

If you’re uncomfortable for most of the night, take ages to find a good sleeping position and often suffer from aches and pains - your bed could be to blame. Think about replacing your bed, especially if it’s been a while. Bed models like vi-spring beds offer the best night’s sleep you could ask for, using natural ingredients to make them extremely comfortable. A new bed is also a way to improve the look of your bedroom if you want to make it more modern and stylish.

Get darker curtains

In the summer especially, the light peering in early morning can easily disturb sleep - leaving you feeling tired and irritable throughout the day. The invention of blackout curtains changes that. Blackout curtains or even dark curtains from thick material are an excellent choice to keep the sun out and will help you rest until either your body wakes you naturally, or your alarm wakes you. Investing in new curtains will also give you an easy way to change up the look of your bedroom, for a quick and simple update that will make it stylish as well as more suitable for sleeping.

Remove distractions

Image credit: Pexels
If you’re easily distracted by noise or visuals such as the TV, your mobile phone or even ticking clocks, get rid of them. It’s not good to have backlit screens around as these can affect your ability to enjoy quality sleep. You could take to reading in bed instead (and not on a screen) as a way to relax and wind down, or simply listen to music or talk to your other half. Make your bedroom a place that is for sleeping, and that’s what it will become.

Try aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a good way to relax your body and mind and can help you if you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Lavender and jasmine are two heavenly smells that will help to relax you, and whether you opt for oils, air fresheners or pillow sprays, this simple change will really help you to get the sleep you need.

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, a place where you can go and relax at night without worrying about not being able to sleep. Getting more sleep (8 hours is recommended) will be better for you and you’ll notice a positive change in your mood, outlook, and factors such as your skin and appearance. If you’re looking for other ideas to transform your bedroom, you’ll find some simple suggestions here. Evaluate your bedroom space and see whether these changes can help you sleep better, and enjoy the restful sleep you deserve. Sweet dreams!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Special Touches to Improve the Appearance of Your Home's Exterior

When it comes to home improvement, so many people focus all of their efforts on interior design. But we should show equal amounts of love to our exteriors! After all, the exterior is the face of our house. It’s the first thing that people will see when pulling up outside or when they pass by. So let’s keep it up to scratch. Here are a few special touches that will improve the general appearance of your outdoors.

house-facade-882533_960_720.jpg

Front Door

Give your front door a lick of fresh paint every now and then. This can be a top-up coating of the same colour, or you could opt for something brand new! Choose something that matches well with the rest of your property, neighbours’ properties, or something that effectively exemplifies your personality and character. Regardless of your shade of choice, make sure that is high shine for a quality and weather resistant finish.

Window Frames

While you have the paint out, why not match your window frames to your front door. This will create a sense of consistency and continuity to your property, as well as ensuring that everything is well maintained and chip-free.

640px-Thatched_roofs_z04.JPG

Roofing

Regardless of the type of roof that you have, it is important to make sure that it is well maintained and presentable. If you have a thatched roof, birds are likely to start taking pieces here and there for their nests. This will eventually lead to holes and gaps. Prevent this by ensuring there is thin netting over the entire roof. This will keep everything neat and tidy. If you have tiles, make sure any broken tiles to prevent leaks or the danger of loose, falling slabs. Try to ensure any damaged tiles are replaced with similar tiles. This will give a more consistent and balanced appearance to your home. If you have a conservatory check out efficient conservatory roofs. Not only will these give a more aesthetically pleasing finish to your conservatory, but they will also help to insulate your property, reducing your energy bills and helping the environment at the same time.

7167846306_cb10f61014_b.jpg

Window Boxes

Even if you don’t have much garden space, every home can benefit from the addition of window boxes. These are placed just below your window and can host all sorts of beautiful flora. From dainty daisies to blooming roses. Alternatively, you can use the space to plant some herbs of your own. You can incorporate them into your cooking as a fresh, homegrown ingredient and they will give off a delectable scent around the general proximity of your home!

wall-1453158_960_720.jpg

Climber Plants

Another beautiful option for homes regardless of the size of their allotted garden or land is climber plants. They take up next to no room but add a touch of nature to the face of any building. Ivy is a stunning and traditional choice, however, if you have pets or children around, make sure that the species you choose isn’t poisonous, as consumption could result in medical issues. For flowering plants, opt for something that establishes itself quickly, like Wisteria.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Bigger On The Inside: More Space In A Tiny Room


A house with a separate bedroom feels more like a luxury these days, especially if you live in the city. Not only does this make it impossible to have people visit (although in some cases this might be a blessing) but it makes it difficult for you to truly relax in a quiet space that is separate from your kitchen and bathroom. Whether you live in a studio apartment, or you have a bedroom that barely has space for all your stuff, here are a few tips to make it feel a little bigger.
Storage bed
Gone are the days when you felt guilty about hiding your mess under the bed. Now you can buy the perfect storage beds to purposefully store some of your belongings. They can come in any kind of design; you can get a classic bed with drawers underneath, or you can get a little more creative with headboard storage. Lately, people have been getting more creative with their bedroom setup and are combining storage with sleeping space to open up the bedroom a little more. As long as you keep all your belongings in their designated space, you won’t be short of space in your bedroom for a long time. If the storage in your bed is going to be mostly out of sight, then it might be better suited for items you don’t immediately need, such as extra blankets for winter, or blank notepads to be used in the future.
Use your wall space
If the floor has no space for storage, then it’s time to make good use of your more extensive wall space. Many of us don’t stop to consider just how much space is available on the walls, particularly if there aren’t any mirrors or pieces of art hanging on them, so you could get a 2 column radiator here to install on your wall, then keep your books and various trinkets on shelves instead. Start installing shelves 12 inches below your ceiling (arguably the least used space in any bedroom) along the whole perimeter of your bedroom, and then add more going down as necessary. You could design a more creative wall-to-wall storage solution so that your studio apartment can function as a bedroom, study, or living room as needed. The wall space above your bed is also worth claiming, because it’s great for keeping pyjamas, bedsheets, and other essential items close by.
Floating Furniture
Building on from the idea of using your wall space, mounted, or “floating” furniture, is a creative way to keep all your essential furniture, but still have plenty of floor space. As an added bonus, it will make cleaning so much easier, as you won’t have to manoeuvre your vacuum around the legs of your bedside table. You can choose to leave the space below the floating furniture clear, or use it to store more items, as long as they’re not in your way. Anything can be transformed into floating furniture; your bedside table, your desk, or even a chest of drawers if you’re really handy at DIY.
Wardrobe
Standalone wardrobes can be bulky, but they don’t often fit in all you clothes. There are two possible solutions to this problem, once you’ve donated any unnecessary clothes to charity. If you’re lucky enough to have fitted wardrobes in your bedroom, then switch out the doors for sliding doors to remove the concerns about where the doors will open out to. If you don’t have a fitted wardrobe, then you can hang a clothes rack in the corner of your bedroom. Of course, this means that your entire clothes collection will be openly displayed, but if this really bothers you, then you can use an old bedsheet as a stylish cover.
Fold-down furniture
Say you need a desk in your room, but you don’t have enough floor space to accommodate a desk; just install a fold-down desk that practically disappears when you fold it back up against the wall. These desks come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Some even have built-in storage for your office supplies. They’re a great storage solution for your bedroom, if and when you work from home. All you need is a chair to complete the set up, and the chair can still be used even when the desk is stored away.
Multi-purpose furniture
You shouldn’t bother buying a bedside table when your desk is kept next to your bed anyway. Maximise your space buy cutting down on the furniture in your room.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

How To Open Up The Space In A Tiny Kitchen


Unless you’re lucky enough to have a large kitchen space; you can often feel like you’re cooking in the galley of a ship, and are stuck in a claustrophobic environment. However, it’s a challenge to know what steps to take to make the space feel bigger, without spending a large chunk of your hard earned money on an extension, or moving property. The following are some tips and tricks to making your kitchen space feel a little bigger so that the time that you spend in there is as enjoyable as possible.

pexels-photo-273822.jpeg

Colour

The deeper and darker the colours in your culinary space, the more closed in it will feel. Therefore try to ensure that the walls and ceiling areas of the room are in a light shade, or even white. You’d be amazed a what a fresh coat of paint in a radiant, neutral hue can do; calm and bright shades reflect any light that hits them, instead of absorbing it. The more light that’s bouncing around a room, the more spacious it will feel.

Consider replacing old, patterned tiles, with fresh new ones; tiles can be as much of a feature in your kitchen as you want them to be, so it’s worth putting thought into the size, shape, and colour of them, along with your choice of grout. Check out how to choose the right size tile for your space, here: https://www.tilemountain.co.uk/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-size-tiles/. The colour of your kitchen cabinets will also impact the feeling of space in the room, especially those on the wall; think about replacing doors or painting them for a quick and easy update, which will ensure that you’ve opened up the space.

Light

As mentioned beforehand; the more light that can fill up your kitchen space, the roomier it will feel. Therefore, looking into companies like Buckingham Double Glazing will show you how much a larger window, or replacing the back door with floor to ceiling patio doors and windows, will allow light to flood the room. If you feel like the kitchen flows into your outside space with ease, the room will have had an immediate extension without any of the expensive building work.

During the evenings and nighttime, you’ll need t ensure that you’ve installed adequate lighting so that you can see what you’re preparing, and space is opened up successfully. Consider putting in lights under the kitchen cupboards on the wall, and even the floor, for a more spacious effect. See how the lighting in your kitchen will impact the space and gain some ideas and inspiration and what could be achieved in your home.

Storage

Ensuring that you have neat and adequate storage, in a minimalist design, in your kitchen, will make the decluttering process a lot easier. Clean, tidy, and uncluttered worksurfaces and countertops will immediately open up the room and give you a fresh environment to cook your meals. Therefore, you might just need to spend a little time to organise your shelves and cupboards, wiping surfaces, and getting rid of clutter, so that your kitchen gets a boost in size without the help of any builders.

pexels-photo-404898.jpeg
Image from PEXELS