Thursday, 28 September 2017

It's Time To Get Cosy!

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Well, it's official, summer is most definitely over. Now, there are probably some people who will find themselves lamenting the loss of the heat, the sunshine, and the chance to get down to the beach. However, there are just as many people who are absolutely overjoyed at what the coming seasons will bring with them. It's finally time to start getting out the junky cardigans and thick blankets! There are few things more wonderful than being able to get really cozy and enjoy the cold weather. Of course, if your home isn't able to create the coziest possible atmosphere then you're never going to be able to feel really comfortable. With that in mind, here are some ways to make your home as cozy as possible as we enter the autumn and winter months.


Repaint the walls


One mistake that a lot of people make when it comes to their interior design is that they paint their walls a particular color and then leave it like that forever. One of the major issues with this is that it usually ends up being a pretty uninspiring color like white or magnolia. It also means that you're not taking advantage of the seasonal changes when it comes to how your home feels. Sure, bright colors like yellow are great for the summertime, but if you want your home to feel warm and cozy in the autumn, then more subtle shades like brown and orange are much more suitable. Not only does it fit the season better but it can make your home feel fresh and new without much effort.


Change your upholstery


Similarly to the colors of your walls, the upholstery in your home can make a huge difference to how it feels when the weather starts to turn cold. Things like your curtains can not only make the rooms feel warmer, but it can make the whole place feel much more snug and comfortable. Check out companies like Montgomery for the very best made to measure curtains. A nice set of thick, well-fitting curtains can easily make, and room feel cozy and comfortable without sacrificing light or space.


Check your insulation


Of course, you're never going to be able to make your home feel cozy if it's one big ice cube. Make sure that, before the cold weather sets in, that you make sure that your home is properly insulated against the weather. The loft is often the place where a great deal of the warmth of your house escapes so make sure that it's properly lined with insulation and that all of the windows throughout the house are all double glazed. As cozy as wrapping up in a blanket can be, it's no fun when you can see your breath every time you exhale.


Now, you might be the kind of person who previously preferred the warmer times of the year, but if you embrace the cozy feeling of the colder times of the year, you're almost certain to find something to enjoy about them. Whether it's the crunch of the leaves under your feet, or simply curling up under a blanket and enjoying a good book.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Get Snug With These Winter Cooking Tips

Winter will almost be here, and that means that it’s almost time to hibernate!


Ok, so we can’t actually hibernate, but there really is nothing better than getting wrapped up warm on the sofa on a cold winter’s eve. And there are plenty of comfort foods that can help us get even cosier.


Ready to get even more snug this coming winter? All of the following winter cooking tips can help you totally pimp your comfort food and keep the cold at bay!


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Get A Slow Cooker


Don’t already have a slow cooker? Why ever not! These little appliances can help you make lots of delicious stews, casseroles, and curries for very little expense. They use hardly any electricity even though you need to leave them on all day, so won’t cause your energy bills to rise. But the best thing about investing in a slow cooker is that you can have a nice hot meal ready for you as soon as you get home from work!


Learn How To Make Soup


Soup is a winter staple as it is such a warming food. And you can pack in as many veggies as possible so that you can get all those important vitamins that can help you fight off the common cold! The Review Loft has some articles about choosing the best soup maker, and it’s a good idea to buy one if your kitchen skills aren’t that sharp! Start off by learning a basic vegetable soup and before you know it, you’ll be making lots of fancy flavours!


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Get To Know Your Spices


It’s a good idea to learn about all the different spices and how they can be used. Some, such as cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin are used a lot in winter baking, especially Christmas cakes and biscuits. So, once you start using these spices in your baking, your whole home will soon smell like a Christmas wonderland! And you will find that it certainly makes your home a lot cosier!


Get Stocked Up


It is a good idea to stock your cupboards up now while we are still in autumn. Make sure that they are filled with staples that will last the coming months, such as rice, pasta, and flour. That way, you won’t ever have to pop out to the shops when you decide to cook everything - you should already have the basics for all your recipes, and will just need to get specific ingredients for dishes when you do your weekly shop. And not having to pop to the shop so often means that you can stay inside away from the cold and nasty winter weather!


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Treat Yourself


Things can get quite depressing during the winter, so make sure that you indulge in a little sweet treat every now and then. Why not make a pudding? It’s the perfect time of year to tuck into a yummy treacle sponge, for example!


So, winter doesn’t have to be so grim. If you follow these tips, you will find that you can make the dark evenings a lot cosier and tastier!


The Surprising Ways That Clutter Is Affecting Your Life

Clutter is something that can affect anyone. Whether it’s because you’re being lazy with cleaning up your home or if it’s because you think your home lacks storage space, clutter can quickly pile up if we aren’t careful and it can start having adverse effects on our lives. It might be tempting to just sweep all of your clutter under the rug, but before you do something that you’ll regret, here are a couple of surprising ways that clutter can actually ruin your life and what you can do to stop it.




Clutter Can Increase Your Stress


No one wants to come home after a stressful day at work, only to be presented with more stress as you walk through the door to a messy home. The sight of books thrown around the home or unorganised chaos in your decor could trigger stress, and although it might not seem like a huge deal, our busy lives are usually an excuse for cleaning up the mess and we simply ignore it. In addition, it can become stressful when it’s difficult to find something that you need. Perhaps you need an important paper document that you stored away at some point but it’s proving difficult to find because you can’t remember where it is among all the clutter that you’ve built up.


Clutter Slows You Down


Imagine trying to find an important document in a sea of papers and books. It’s pretty much impossible and you’ll just be wasting your time even trying. If you have to wade through tight corridors or rooms of boxes and clutter, then it’s going to slow down your daily routine and may even make you late for work or meetings and your bad hoarding habits could affect how you approach your work. However, you could fix this and speed up your daily activities with a bit of organisation. For instance, you could declutter your bathroom with a vanity unit and put all of your products in a single location. This will save you having to put all of your items on the sink basin or counters in your bathroom, making it easier to find what you need in the mornings or when you come home from work.


Clutter Can Cost You Money


The source of clutter is usually related to your spending habits. For example, if you’re hoarding all kinds of magazines and hobby-related items, then they’re probably worth quite a lot of money and your spending habits are feeding into your hoarding nature. By cutting down on your spending and focusing on things that you’re actually going to use, you can severely reduce clutter. Financial problems like debt can arise from clutter. If you’re constantly losing space in your home because of large boxes or by having too many belongings, then it’s probably because you are spending far too much. Try to minimise the number of things you purchase or at least have a shelf or cupboard to store your belongings in when they’re not in use. Create a budget that you can stick with and you’ll soon find that reducing clutter is easier when you can control your spending.


Clutter Can Ruin Your Relationships


It’s unlikely that any partner of yours will appreciate living together in a cluttered home. Excessive clutter can become a major problem in the relationship and it may even cause you to neglect other things that are important. For instance, your children may be forced to live in a cluttered environment and they might be embarrassed to invite friends over. Your relatives might visit and comment on how messy your living conditions are and they might make comments that could adversely affect your relationship with them. In addition, clutter tends to isolate people because if you live in a messy home, you’re unlikely to ever invite friends or relatives over. If you want to strengthen your relationships with both family, friends and loved ones, make sure you put decluttering your home as a priority.


Summary


To put it simply, clutter can affect your life in many adverse ways. Whether it’s ruining your relationship, eating up your budget or slowing down your daily life, beat back clutter and take control of your life before it takes control of you. If you feel like staying organised is difficult, then simply learn to get rid of items that you don’t really need or purchase more storage cabinets and shelves to use as storage. With a combination of smart spending habits, planning and organisation, you can easily beat back the effects of clutter and live a life free of stress.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Moving Home: Extra Costs To Consider


Moving home is an exciting thing to do, shopping around for houses and for new furniture is incredibly fun for anyone. Whether you are first time buyers or newlyweds, owning your home is a huge responsibility and there are a few hidden costs to think about.

Solicitors Fees

The first thing which hits you when you decide to buy a home is the attorney's fees. They can be very high and cover drawing up your contract, exchanging to the seller and all of the other legal bits in between. It would be worth referring to your family or friends to gain a good recommendation for a solicitor to use. You don't want to pay through the nose, but it pays to get a quality service. Find the balance.

Home Buyer's Report And Repairs

Once you have been in to see your mortgage lender, you will be required to get a home buyer's report done on the property to make sure that the property you intend to buy is worth them putting a mortgage on. It may be that when your report comes back, there are certain repairs which show up as required. If so, you or the seller will have to budget for these repairs.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is land tax, which unfortunately everyone has to pay on their property upon purchase. The cost of stamp duty depends on the value of the house, and you can find out what it will be here: https://www.calculatestampduty.co.uk/index.cfm/location/us/purchaseprice/295000/

Home Insurance

As with all other forms of insurance, home insurance is a legal requirement when you purchase a property. You can opt for different policies which will either only insure the building, or include its contents too. It depends on what you can afford, but be mindful that it is better to insure for your contents if you can handle the extra cost.

Moving Costs

Wehn we have finally made it through all of the legal checks and reports; it's time to stock up your house and store your belongings in a safe place until you move. Companies such as easystorage.co.uk will offer storage solutions to allow you to begin purchasing furniture and appliances for your new home. It will take the stress off and allow you to prepare for becoming a homeowner without cramping up your current living space.

Once you have a date, you can arrange how you will move your belongings over to your new home. You can either rent a van and do it yourself, or hire a movers company to do it for you. It depends on how much stuff you have and the budget you are on, but it can add to your total cost significantly.


Bills

If you are a first-time buyer, it may have slipped your mind that the moment you step into your new home, you need to pay for the electric, gas and water. Most of the time, you will be able to call up the previous occupant's supplier and simply ask them to continue the service while you shop around, but be mindful and do some research. If you want to be able to watch the TV, you will also have to look into a broadband and TV package for your home.

Genius DIY Hacks To Save You Money




Being a homeowner can be the most exciting thing in the world, but also the most costly. With replacing old appliances to redecorating your home, the cost of finishing touches can become an investment in themselves. Luckily, there are some great ways to add flair to your home without breaking the bank.

Paint The Kitchen Cabinets

You may believe that the only way to redesign your kitchen is to rip everything out and start again: but you'd be wrong. If you are decorating on a budget, you can purchase paint for your kitchen cabinets and your countertops to save forking out on new surfaces and spending extra time installing everything.

Prevent Mould Build Up

If your kitchen or bathroom is beginning to show patches of black mold, you don't need to re-tile the space. Simple purchase some affordable sealants and adhesives to apply to the edges of your tile work and prevent mold from building up. It will make your bathroom feel brand new.

Fairy Lights

If you are looking for a new way to add ambiance to your home, and don't want to spend the money installing new fixtures, simply buy some fairy lights. Fairy lights aren't just for Christmas, and in fact, they can add a warm and cozy atmosphere to your living space all year round.

Wallpaper In Your Bookcase

If you have a bookcase which is becoming old and tired, you can easily revamp it without buying a new one. Buy some paint and reinvent the bookcase, and then stick some snazzy wallpaper at the back to make it a feature in your room. It will reflect your personality and add a lovely element to your living space.

Hanging Baskets

It's not just the inside of your home which you can add touches to, the outside is a blank canvas too. If you have space next to your front door, make your home feel bright and colorful by installing a hanging basket with seasonal flowers. It will make your home stand out from the crowd.

Disguise Old Furniture

If you want to redecorate but you can't afford to fork out for brand new furniture, don't fret. There are plenty of clever ways that you can disguise your old furniture to make it feel brand new again!

If you've got an old table which has seen better days, instead of trying to paint over it; invest in some sticky-back plastic. You can buy rolls of plastic from Amazon in loads of different patterns such as marble and wood effect. It will instantly make an old table feel new again and give it a new lease of life.

Similarly, if you've got a sofa which is old and not fitting with your design, use soft furnishings. Placing a couple of throws over old fabric will disguise the old pattern and make it look like you have a whole new sofa. Add in some cushions for good look and you've got a perfect addition to your room!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Do You Know What Kind Of Home You Want To Live In?


Whether you’re the kind of person that has always dreamt about where they’re going to live or not, you do have a decision to make. Because when the time comes for you to move into a home of your own, or to even find your dream forever home, you need to be able to consider the options you have available. Although you may not realise it there are a wide range of home styles from you to choose from. So before you start your property search, you should take some time to think about the kind of home that might be right for you. So let’s take a look through the options.

Character Property

First on the list is something exciting to consider if you’ve always wanted to live somewhere that was a bit different. Of course, this isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you don’t want to live in a basic two up two down kind of house, a character property could be exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you find something thatched or even with a strange layout, it could be exactly what your heart is holding out for. Although these kinds of home are slightly harder to find, if it’s what you want, them the right place should come up in time.


New Build

However, if you hate the idea of living in an old, cold home that may even need a lot of work to bring it up to standard, fear not, there is an idea here that could be right up your street. Years ago, new homes had a bit of a bad rep as being unreliable and poorly built. But that is swiftly changing. In fact, with a new build, you can often find a really impressive design that is completely customisable inside. And the best bit? It will be completely new for you and entirely unlived in.

Flat

Or maybe it’s the idea of living in a house that is putting you off. Sometimes, you’re not quite ready for the family home that you might be in the future. When that’s the case, you should consider living in a flat or apartment first. With everything on one level, an open flat layout, and even communal amenities in your building, it could be the kind of living situation that’s ideal for you right now.


Cottage

When you have dreams of living out in the country, you might be more attracted to a cottage above anything else. Because living out in the sticks, enjoying long country walks, and feeling cosy is always done best when a cottage is involved. Complete with open fire and a vegetable patch, you’ll feel like you’re living the dream.

Converted Property

And if you really feel like you’re not able to find the right place for you out of everything that you’ve read about so far, you may want to think about choosing a converted property or even converting one yourself. Whether it’s an old farmhouse or a barn, you might find that turning an old place into something of your own is your real idea of heaven.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

5 Things You Need To Make Your Home Friend-Friendly

If you’re looking for ways to improve your home, have you considered making it more suitable for entertaining your friends? You may have had no problems doing this so far, but there are always ways you can create a better atmosphere for those you love. Here are 5 things you need to make your home more friend-friendly:

Cozy Furniture (With Options)
If you want your friends to stay awhile, you’re going to need cozy furniture. If you don’t want them over all that often, or you prefer fleeting visits, then feel free to invest in furniture they won’t want to stay in so long! Think about the material and feel of your furniture carefully. Having a basket of blankets downstairs is a wonderful idea for the cooler months. Let them grab one as they please!

A Social Seating Layout
Having multiple friends over at once, chitter-chattering away is a great way to get some much needed social stimulation in your life. With this in mind, you’re going to need a social seating layout. This means arranging your furniture angled towards one another, so your friends can all see and hear one another clearly.

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A Selection Of Drinks To Choose From
Having a selection of drinks available for your friends is one way to get them to love coming over. There’s tea, coffee, juice, and even wine for those night's when you need a good old chinwag! Don’t forget your wine cooler dual zone to keep your wine nice and cool for when they arrive. They’ll be super impressed if you have a cooler dedicated solely to wine!

An Open Plan Space
Having an open plan home is one of the most effective things you can do to create more space in your home, not to mention make it more social. Opening up your home like this will make it seem larger. It will also make the space more practical for preparing food and drinks and chatting away to your friends at the same time. If you do this properly, it could even add some value to your home when it comes to sell. Make sure you find a reputable professional who is experienced when it comes to open plan homes. Knocking out a wrong wall could mean your whole life collapsing around you!

A Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands are such a popular choice for those who are looking to improve their kitchens. Not only do they look great if you have enough space, they give you more preparation space for those who love to cook. They also allow you to continue chatting away with friends and family, so you don’t have to worry about being a bad host! Adding one of these to your kitchen may seem a little extreme, but it will certainly make your home a better space for entertaining.

What do you think of adding these 5 things to your home to make it more friend-friendly? Will you be entertaining more? Leave your own thoughts and comments below!

Simple Ways To Work Metallic Touches Into Your Home


When it comes to creating the perfect decor for your home renovation, you might find yourself stuck with so many different ideas on the table, that you don’t really know what to go with. At times like this, it could be in your best interest to forget about the full design for a moment and focus on the details. Because sometimes, choosing to work with a killer design is going to work in your favor so much more than getting confused over what you want to go with. And one of the best ways to create stunning detail around the home is to work with metallics. So let’s take a look at some of the key designs that could work for you.

Front Door

Firstly, you should definitely be looking to your front door and entryway for different ways to work with metallics in the home. Regardless of the style of look that you’re going for, whether it’s modern or classic, you should find that you can give off a stunning metallic finish through the choice of your handle and knocker. You can even work with gold or silver finishes in terms of color to ensure that you’re starting your metallic detailing right from the start.


Fixtures & Fittings

Next, you should also think about working with different metallic fixtures and fittings for within the design too. And there are going to be two rooms that you can do this in. Firstly, you should think about bringing metallics into your kitchen with stores such as https://kitchensync.co.uk/ stocking a wide range of taps and sinks. However, you should also look to your bathroom for lots of stunning metallic additions too, especially with your taps, shower, and suite detailing too.

Curtain Rails

Then, you could also work with the different ways to apply metallics to each room in the house, and this could be a great way to unify your design around the home. When you choose to go for metallic curtain rails, you may find that you can create a set theme for each space you have in the house, even if you're not sure what kind of theme you’re going to go with throughout the rest of your home.


Furniture

Next, you should think about your furniture choices. Because yes, you can even add to your metallic theme by focusing on the furniture choices that you make. Although traditional furniture choices are based on wood over metal, you can get some great buys. Just look at sites such as https://www.pinterest.com/ for inspiration on what looks you can create with steel furniture.

Decorative Pieces

And finally, think about some of the decorative pieces that you can use to inject some metallic detailing into your home decor. For some people, this will be the best way to be able to do it. You should be able to find an incredible amount of lamps and bottles or vases that you can do this with. But you may also find that things like candles or candle holders and even tableware can help you to bring your metallic look together too.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Health Watch: What’s Harming It At Home?

Our health is something we all take seriously and for a good reason. But, there are times when we drop the ball. Think about the home as an example. When was the last time you thought “I wonder if this place is safe?” No one asks the question anymore; they assume it to be the case. With asbestos long gone, it doesn’t seem like a necessary question to ask in the first place. Not to scare you, but asbestos isn’t the only household item that is harmful to a person’s health. There are ones which are just as deadly and still exist in homes across the country.

Here are the things which you need to remove as soon as possible.

Gas Fire

Have you ever sat in front of a gas fire on a cold day, felt the warmth, and fell asleep? The reason it makes people drowsy is the fumes it gives off in the process. From nitrogen to sulphur oxides, there are some pretty nasty chemicals entering your system. Even worse is carbon monoxide. Not as popular or well known as CO2, CO is a deadly poison which can seep into the house and your lungs. If you have one, consider replacing it or getting it checked out by a professional.


Uncovered Rubbish

The smell of old bin bags is enough to make a filthy person gag. It isn’t a problem when it goes in a bin and is covered and taken out when full.  The health hazard occurs when the rubbish stagnates and is left to fester. The bacteria begin to double and spread and get into the air. Once you breathe the bacteria from the rubbish dump, it will work its way through the body and cause illnesses. Now that you know, a resource like Same Day Rubbish Removal can get rid of it ASAP. Don’t let waste ruin your health by lying around the house.

Mould

Urgh! Mould. Is. A. Nightmare! To begin with, it is nearly impossible to get rid of once it attaches itself to the walls. Don’t be fooled – ventilation and a lack of moisture don’t work. More importantly, the mould is a form of bacterium which dirties the air and causes health issues. From skin and eye irritation to coughing and a sore throat, the outcome isn’t healthy. Plus, no fashionista wants to find it on her favourite pair of shoes. That just isn’t cricket!

Air Freshener

If there is one culprit in the house you wouldn’t think was poisonous, it would be the Glade. Sadly, nothing is sacred in this world as an air freshener gives off glycol ethers and terpenes. In a room with no ventilation, they react to form a poisonous gas that is very powerful. It might not be CO, yet it will cause headaches and a feeling of nausea. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they have to go if you want to be healthy. At the least, there needs to be better ventilation in the house.

Look out for the pollutants above as they might damage your health in the long-term.

Are You Letting Your Street Down? Top Tips To Boost Your Homes Kerb Appeal

The way your property looks on your street or road can be a hot topic of conversation amongst your neighbours. If everyone else does their part and your house is letting the side down, you are sure to hear about it. It’s important for people. Whether you plan to sell your home or even your neighbours plan to sell theirs, the street look has just as much sway as the property itself. Often just making some simple changes to the exterior of your home can make a big difference. Here are some of the ways you can improve your homes kerb appeal.

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Think about your lawn

Does your lawn look like it has seen better days? You are not alone. Especially if you haven’t been looking after it when the hot days have hit us. So now, more than ever, is a great time to give it a little TLC, just before autumn and winter really sets in. This could mean adding a treatment to help it grow. You could also feed it and treat it making it a more prominent green colour.

Does your home need some work

Take a step back onto the footpath and take a look at your house. What do you see? Does any paintwork need brightening up? Perhaps some pointing needs to be done. Do your windows need a clean? It’s not just the windows itself, but sometimes the PVC can get discoloured over time. Perhaps you need to replace them completely. This is when discussing quotes with companies like Salisbury Glass could be advisable. Taking the time to look at your home and highlighting the jobs that need to be done could save you some financial heartache in the future. Especially when it comes to the building like the brickwork.

Flowers could brighten the exterior up

Even if you don’t have the greenest of fingers, you have to admit that a bright and colourful flowerbed always makes a house look better. It doesn’t take a gardener to create a nice look either. Just pick out some flowers that are low maintenance and plant them in your flower beds. It can be a very simple thing to do but can give off a huge effect overall.

Garage doors are one of the first things people see

There is no hiding from it. If you have a garage, then the garage doors are one of the biggest things someone's eye is drawn to. If they appear tattered, broken or discoloured then it won’t do for your overall kerb appeal. I appreciate they could be a cost you hadn’t wanted to take into consideration. So use it as an opportunity to install something modern and longer lasting. That way it is more of an investment than anything else. Or if it is simple repairs like painting and fixing them up then make sure you take the time to get it done. Doing this alone could drastically increase your kerb appeal.

I hope that these tips help you to ensure that your home looks fabulous on the exterior.