The Importance of Planning The Interior Design Of Your Home

When it comes to your property, good design is critical in the planning process since it helps to improve the appearance of your home. Good design is important for both new structures and existing buildings but it’s not as straightforward a process as you might think. Well designed places make us feel safe, comfortable, and proud of our homes. While local authorities’ regulations guide property developers, you can design the space inside your home to suit your needs. Read on to learn the importance of design planning in your home. 

Interior Design Helps Improve Home Appearance

If you want to make over a particular room or the entire house, you can consider a new design. There are even design experts that provide their services online to help you get started, and they offer guidance throughout the whole process. You just need to capture a few photographs of the room that you want to be designed and leave the rest to a design expert who will provide you with a 3D design for your room or home. The advantage of hiring an online designer is that they offer affordable rates, and you can also make necessary changes to the new design before fully implementing it. Again you can tell the designer what you specifically want so you can get the best design that suits your needs. 

You Can Get Property That Suits Your Budget

With proper interior design, you do not have to worry about exceeding your budget or buying unplanned things that may not fit in your house. If you properly plan the interior design of your home, you can shop with confidence since the designers use accurate measures of your space. The main secret behind the design planning process of your home pertains to the available space that you have. When you get the design outline of your home, you will rest assured that you can buy items that suit your budget as well as your space. When you have a good design, you will not waste money on items that do not help to improve the appearance of your home.   

Helps You Use Underutilized Space

Good design in the planning process starts inside the house with eye-catching arrangements that make your home a pleasant place to be. Effective utilization of space inside your home is crucial since it can vastly improve the well-being of the internal environment. When you realize that there is underutilized space in your house, you can convert it to something that adds value to your place. However, it is crucial to get good design ideas from professional designers. All the same, it is important to ensure that your house has sufficient space for light and other natural methods for cooling your home.

Helps Increase Value Of Property

When undertaking a construction project, it is vital to include eye-catching designs at every stage of the planning process; this helps to increase the value of the property throughout the entire development process. Quality design helps you to get more return on investment in the future should you decide to sell your property. Creating a home that suits the changing needs of people is paramount since this helps to create and maintain the value of the property. Good design also requires the developers to incorporate certain design elements that can make the property more adaptable to climate changes. Climate change is real, so a housing unit with quality design can withstand the impacts of different weather elements. 

Design Planning In Project Management

The success of each project depends on design planning, which sets out the goals to be achieved from the onset. When you have a proper design, you can complete your project on time and within the set budget. Many projects are usually thrown off track when the executors try to make changes midway. The danger of such an eventuality is that the changes can impact the whole project, which can ultimately be very costly. Therefore, design planning is essential in project management since it determines the success or failure of that particular project. 

As you are now aware, design planning is very important since it helps to improve the appearance of your home. For instance, interior design can help you buy the quality property that suits your needs. Design planning also helps you to utilize all the space that you feel is underutilized in your home. In property development, design planning helps the project executors to realize the desired goals on time. Good design also adds value to the property, which means that it can fetch a higher price when you decide to sell it at a later stage.   

Top Tips for Maintaining a Traditional Property

For homeowners taking care of their property, it’s a long-lasting commitment. Similar to having a child, homes need to be looked after and given proper attention. Take a look below at the top tips for maintaining a traditional property.

Photo by Jesse Roberts on Unsplash

If you choose a traditional home for its charming architecture and character, you have won big in a lot of ways, congratulations! Keep in mind that you have now taken on the task of managing and maintaining the properties’ beauty and ensuring it lasts for your intended uses.

While traditional homes are usually structurally sound, they can have some issues with heat/cooling, water pipes, and some other infrastructural damages suffered over time. It helps to do a thorough inspection before buying, bring an expert with you to ease your doubts.

These top tips for maintaining a traditional property can provide a guide for where and what to tend to before moving on to choosing indoor colours. Here’s what you can do to look after your new or old home:

Roof and floors

Also known as ceilings and foundations, these two areas are the basis of any good home, it’s why they are at the beginning of these top tips for maintaining a traditional property.

Starting with the roof, holes and deterioration on the ceiling can cause water leaks inside the home, humidity, cold air and heat loss, and just be a general pain to people living there.

Do an inspection of the roof with a professional and patch up any holes found, you can even wait for a rainy day to get an excellent idea of where the faults are.

Now with foundations, be prepared to find cracks in traditional homes, it’s a given after the passage of time and natural elements have had their way. Something that might help is to know what type of foundation your home is built on and if it has ever been replaced or upgraded.

No need for excessive worry though because professionals should be able to repair the cracks and get your home standing on solid ground promptly.

One of the many reasons people may choose one home over the other is because of light, and windows are responsible for that. They not only illuminate your home but allow you to have controlled access to the outside, for fresh air or fending off windy days.

Updating your windows is one of the easiest and most effective top tips for maintaining a traditional property, these details can change the whole look and feel of a home.

Renewing windows with more resistant, reliable materials like timberwindows-direct.co.uk is a sound choice for homeowners…a simple change that goes a long way.

Pipes and more

This is quite important and likely the most costly and intrusive of changes to make to your home: pipes, and heating/cooling systems.

These are essentials for homes to deal with harsh winters and survive hot summers. They are sometimes built into walls and can be a pain to change.

While it may be a tiresome endeavour, it’s one you cannot do without, so best to get to it so you can enjoy your home!

 

Tips for a Low-Maintenance Outdoor Space

A beautiful garden is the dream of many a homeowner. But the ‘perfect’ outdoor space doesn’t appear overnight – it takes time and thorough planning to get just right. This explains why more and more homeowners are creating outdoor spaces where they can spend a greater amount of time relaxing and enjoying the fruits of their labour (or lack thereof) rather than maintaining it. The last thing anyone wants is to spend months and months perfecting their garden only to spend the majority of their time keeping it clean once it’s finished. So, what can you do?

By far the best option to take is to create an outdoor space that not only looks incredible but takes very little effort to keep looking good. You may think that good looks and low maintenance are mutually exclusive, but this balance has become more achievable in recent years, with homeowners up and down the country creating all sorts of amazing outdoor aesthetics. Regardless of the size of your garden or outdoor space, there are several tips and tricks that you can utilise and put into action to ensure the days spent getting your hands dirty with upkeep are a thing of the past.

Lose the lawn

One of the first and easiest things to think about when creating a low-maintenance outdoor space is to consider reducing the size of your lawn. (If your garden doesn’t have a grassy area, you can skip this tip and head straight to the next one.)

When it comes to lawns, most people understand that it can take considerable time and care to get lush, green grass that you can be proud of. Processes of feeding, mowing, watering and weeding need to be undertaken on a routine basis. Certain green-fingered folk may enjoy getting their hands a little dirty, but for those of us who prefer to avoid it, simply reducing the area of your lawn is one way of decreasing your garden’s maintenance requirements. If you want to take things a little further and get rid of lawn maintenance altogether, artificial grass may be a good option for you.

Go perennial

An outdoor space wouldn’t be truly outdoorsy without a little bit of plant life, right? If you like having flowers and plants in your garden, unfussy perennials are just the thing. Perennials can deliver a dose of colour and vibrance without the need for constant care and attention – just what any low-maintenance outdoor space needs.

A popular choice within many low-maintenance gardens, perennial plants and flowers can live for more than two years. They often die off during the autumn and winter and return during the spring from their rootstock, meaning once planted they can simply be left to do their thing. With lavender, geraniums and all sorts of other plant species to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your needs as well as complementing the look that you’re trying to achieve.

Pots and beds

Another great option for time-poor plant lovers is to add a selection of potted plants or plant beds to your outdoor space. Adding pots to your landscape not only makes your space more low-maintenance but also more versatile, with a range of pot styles available to choose from. Pots are also very easy to move around, so if you fancy a change of scenery or you want to switch up the dynamics of your outdoor space, you can do this with very little fuss.

Raised plant beds are a fantastic option also, reducing the need to bend and kneel and occasionally doubling up as seating options (which can save you some valuable ground space). If you’d like to take things further again, you can look to add shrubs into your space to replace beds. These can still provide the much-needed greenery that outdoor spaces require without the seasonal maintenance.

Choose composite decking

Nowadays, many homes have some form of decking in the garden, whether it’s the space’s main feature or a subtle decked area with a few bits of furniture. A lot of decks are made of cheap, easy-to-install boards that look good once they’ve been fitted; however, homeowners quickly realise that the work doesn’t end with the installation.

Hardwood decking is a popular choice because of its natural appearance. But one of the biggest disadvantages of wood decking is the upkeep required to keep it looking good as well as safe. Rotting, fading and splitting are all possibilities when it comes to wood decking, resulting in more money and time being spent on replacing faulty boards. Then there’s plastic decking, which requires very little upkeep but is prone to flexing and bowing over time when exposed to the elements, again requiring further attention.

Composite decking is made of a combination of both natural hardwood and synthetic materials. The result is an extremely hard-wearing product that is capable of coping in many outdoor conditions. As a result, you’ll never have to worry about your deck boards fading, warping, splitting or rotting, with some composite deck boards lasting up to 30 years! This provides homeowners with the perfect decking option to keep their outdoor space looking gorgeous with very little effort.

Mulch, mulch, mulch

The final thing that you can do to minimise the amount of time you spend maintaining your outdoor space is to mulch! Typically, mulching is used to stop weeds from growing, to save water and to enhance the soil around plants, but this technique can also be used to give your outdoor space a neat and tidy aesthetic. Mulching helps to break down and fertilise your plants and flowers whilst preventing weeds from growing. It covers the bare soil and any sprouting weeds stopping them from germinating.

Mulching also activates soil and feeds plants, helping them to out-compete and crowd out any unwanted weeds. Once mulch has been added to your outdoor space, it will need very little attention. Simply replace every autumn to ensure your garden remains a weed-free zone.

Mulch also provides your garden with a pleasant aroma that will complement its new and stylish look. Perfect for an organic experience for you and all your guests!

3 Tips To Turn Your Garden From Wasteland To Paradise

The temperature’s rising, the pollen count is itching your eyes, and there’s a cool bottle of rose in your fridge just begging to be opened and enjoyed in the heat of the afternoon sun.

But there’s one problem – your garden is an overgrown infestation of weeds, long grass and litter.

Photo by Timothy L Brock on Unsplash

It’s the kind of garden that would make a landscaper weep with despair. The closest you have to a water feature is a puddle that’s formed by your dilapidated shed, and the nettles which have grown around your fence look more dangerous than barbed wire.

There’s nothing for it, you’re going to have to renovate – and thankfully we’re on hand to help you.

Ditch the long grass

Mowing your garden might seem like a royal pain in the posterior, but it’s a necessary part of garden maintenance. Without a high-quality lawnmower, your garden will forever have the appearance of a creepy forest.

One of the finest brands in the world is Flymo. They provide all manner of lawnmowers, from hand-activated hover lawnmowers to hi-tech robotic mowers that will mow the garden for you. They’re head and shoulders above all other lawnmower companies.

Flowers

Now that you’ve cleared away some of your long grass, it’s time to plant a few flowers to make your quaint little garden brim with charm.

You won’t be able to plant any seeds you find on the internet however you like. Instead, you’ll have to choose the right flowers for the season and care for them as they grow. Within a few months, you’ll have a garden that’ll feel like it’s in glorious Technicolour.

If you’re planning on creating an elaborate patch of flowers, you’ll need to cordon off your flower beds from the rest of the garden with a few pieces of wire and some fence posts. Ormiston Wire is your best port of call, offering a wide variety of high-quality wiring that’s ideal for anyone with green fingers.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A place to relax

Maybe you’re happy with little more than a deckchair in your garden, but there are some folks out there who look at their tiny stretch of land and want to lounge amidst it in absolute luxury.

We’re talking full garden settees, wicker dining tables, ultra-comfy bean bags and even giant umbrellas to shade your sensitive skin from the blistering sun.

This is the path towards sheikh-like decadence in your garden, and it’s amply provided for by Shackleton’s Home & Garden.

Shackleton’s is a lifestyle brand that’s been providing its customers with garden furniture for many years, and as such it’s gained an impressive reputation.

Its wide array of furniture is designed to weather any season (a blessing in Britain’s variable climate) and comes with built-in comfort. Might be time to ditch those deckchairs, eh?

That’s my list! Have you got an amazing garden, or is it in need of a spruce-up? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Bring The Outdoors In This Summer With A Retractable Roof

I wish I could have breakfast, lunch and dinner outside. I wish I could be outdoors and not wonder when will the weather quickly change and get chilly and rainy. I wish my family and I could play outdoors for the whole of the year. Oh, I wish.

There is something special about being outdoors plus, there are great reasons to be outdoors. According to an article on Harvard Health Publishing, spending time outdoors is good for you as it raises your levels of vitamin D, elevates your mood and improves concentration. What’s not to like about being outdoors?

If you live in England, like me, probably the rain, the gusts of wind and sometimes the neighbours. But not all is bad news, what if I told you there was a way of you and your family enjoying the outdoors whilst being indoors? Too good to be true, right?

Designer Shade Solutions’ retractable roofs are the way to go. These modern retractable louvred roof pergolas are a great addition to any garden. They can be used as an extension to your home or as a standalone structure in your garden, patio or terrace.

Retractable roofs are not only functional but also highly aesthetically pleasing. As Luxirare mentions in this article “it comes as no surprise that pergolas were listed as one of the top landscape trends by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.”

And to make it even more special, these innovative pergolas can be equipped with side glass screens, heating and lighting to create the most wonderful outdoors haven that you can use all-year-round!

What to do you think of these retractable roofs?

This article was written by Carolina Neves, lead copywriter at London based eCommerce Magento website design agency Ad Lab.

Review: Sensational Sunflowers From Prestige Flowers

Readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of fresh flowers.  There is nothing like a flower delivery to brighten both your day and your home.  Prestige Flowers recently gifted me with some fabulous summer flowers from their range of Next Day Flowers – an arrangement of bright and breezy sunflowers guaranteed to add a pop of colour wherever you place them.

One of the beautiful sunflowers in my arrangement from Prestige Flowers

They arrived by next day delivery, safely packaged in a stout cardboard box with a cute welcome note tucked inside.  The blooms were carefully wrapped in moistened material to keep them fresh.

Sunflowers are one of our favourite flowers but their thick, woody stems will require cutting back a little to allow them to absorb water from the vase. And, it transpires, there’s plenty that we did not know about them.  For example, each sunflower is made up of tiny individual flowers and a typical bloom can have up to 2,000 of them!

And did you know that the sunflower’s name comes from its tendency to turn itself to face the sun? Its genus, Helianthus, is the combination of two Greek words — “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower.

Sunflowers were worshipped by the Incas due to their resemblance to the life-giving sun and in Chinese culture, sunflowers are said to mean good luck and lasting happiness and are often given at graduations and at the start of a new business.

Sensational Sunflowers From Prestige Flowers

When you order a UK flower delivery from Prestige Flowers, you also receive some free chocs.  From past experience, the chocolates accompanying other flower deliveries I have had haven’t been particularly exciting but these were delicious British handcrafted chocolates from Valley Chocolates in Yorkshire.

The box contained a dozen chocolates including Strawberry and Lemon Truffles, a Lime and Cornish Sea Salt Square and a Caramel Crown.

I also received a soft and fluffy cuddly bear from Keels Toys (just add £7.99 to your order) and we are all fighting over who will get to keep him.

If you need to arrange a UK flower delivery, I’d recommend Prestige Flowers.  Whether for a gift or a thank you, you can get a lovely arrangement with free chocs from £19.99 and with next day delivery – just order by 7 pm.  Flowers can be delivered 7 days a week and delivery is contactless which is reassuring at the moment.

After spending so long in lockdown thanks to COVID-19, I think there are plenty of people who need cheering up – and thanking too!

Adding Artwork To Your Home On A Budget

Who wouldn’t want to improve their home decor with some beautiful artwork for the home? Having works of art adorning the living room wall sounds great, and adds that touch of uniqueness to your interior. It also sounds, for all the world, like something that is likely to set you back some serious money.

Artwork for the home - beautiful oil painting of poppies in a field

If you want to go out and buy a Monet, then, of course, it will. But the great thing about art is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are plenty of ways to add those finishing touches that allow your personality and that of your family to shine through, and they don’t have to cost the earth. Adding some great artwork for the home is entirely doable – even on a budget. It’s also a great way to make more of your student accommodation when you’re away from home at college or uni.

Prints open up the world of art

If your tastes lie in the conventional, and you want some traditional pictures by recognised artists, you can simply log on to a site like EXHIBITION A and get shopping. They sell signed prints from a wide variety of artists from across the globe. The quality is impressive, and all you need to do is buy online, then pop into your local department store and buy a nice frame.

Unleash your inner artist

There’s no better way of putting your personal stamp on the wall than by using your own artwork. In fact, why not have your very own art gallery? Get every member of the family to create their own piece – even if you think you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, you’ll be amazed at what you can bring to life using creative software on the PC. Then all you need is an inkjet printer and some colour cartridges and you are good to go!

Painting by Mary Elizabeth Hobbis

Or consider investing in professional paints, brushes and paper or canvases and have a go at producing a watercolour, oil painting or acrylic scene with the kids.

Mathew’s grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Hobbis was an accomplished local painter who was commissioned by the Marquis of Bute to paint Cardiff Castle and we are lucky enough to have many of her paintings at home.

Artist: Mary Elizabeth Hobbis

My parents are also accomplished painters and regularly teach Caitlin and Ieuan techniques and tips for producing their own works of art.

There is something very calming about spending time focused on painting your surroundings which is an excellent discipline for children to learn.

Artist: Mary Elizabeth Hobbis

Shop locally

Every town has a thriving art scene if you know where to look. You will often see prints from local artists on sale in libraries and cafes, so keep an eye open. If there is a gallery close by, you might see a local artist is having an exhibition. Those who are just starting out professionally will not be charging the earth for their artwork – you’ll have something that is truly unique and special. And you never know, if they hit the big time, it just might be worth a fortune in 20 years’ time!

During our annual visit to Kingsbridge in Devon, we make a point of visiting the local art gallery to enjoy paintings of local landmarks and our favourite beaches at Bantham and Bigbury.  The next time we visit we’ll be making our own sketches.

artwork for the home - abstract print in greys and pinks.

Check out the antique shops, charity shops and car boot sales

One person’s junk is another’s treasure. You hear stories all the time of priceless works of art that are sold off following house clearances. These might be more based in urban legend than fact, but the truth is you never know quite what you are going to find. Something that is a little older and sepia-toned becomes a work of art in its own right, as it has its own history and story to tell, if only it could talk. Ideal for an older home.

Embrace technology

A new TV might not sound like a work of art, but today, anything is possible. Home electronics giant Samsung has an innovative TV called The Frame that displays works of art when you are not using it for conventional viewing purposes. You can even choose the frame design to fit in with the rest of your décor. If your TV is due for an upgrade anyway, it is well worth a look.

Artwork for the home is accessible to all if you know where to look.  What type of artworks have you added to your space?

4 Home Maintenance Jobs You Can Do Yourself To Save Time And Money

If you’ve owned a home for quite a while, then you know that sooner or later, you’re going to have to deal with a few maintenance issues here and there in order to keep your home up to standard and running efficiently. Sometimes, this can cost an arm and a leg, but it is necessary nonetheless. 

However, it’s important that you know that there are some of these fix ups that you can do yourself, and you’ll also end up saving yourself quite a bit of time and money as well.

Installing a TV Aerial 

This is one of those jobs that we seldom consider doing ourselves, isn’t it? When the TV goes on the blink there’s usually a mad panic to get it fixed as soon as possible. The truth is, waiting for someone to come and make these adjustments for us could take ages and you want the TV to work immediately. You can bet the TV will break down just when you want to watch something special, whether it’s the Six Nations rugby tournament (in our house!) or the final of Strictly Come Dancing!

There are plenty of reliable tutorials that can help you to install an outdoor TV aerial yourself without having to call a professional service. There’s no need, really. Just make sure that you have the antenna and installation equipment ready, and also that you have one or two people standing by to help you out because this is not something you should attempt single-handed. 

Fixing a Running Toilet

There’s nothing more annoying than a running toilet. Not only does the sound of constantly running water drive you insane, but you’re wasting a ridiculous amount of water, not to mention the amount of money you’ll have to spend in bills. The only thing you’ll need to buy is a new valve, and have on you a pair of pliers and a hacksaw. Make sure you shut off the water source so you can work comfortably and drain all the water out by flushing it until it’s empty. Then all you need to do is follow the instructions set on the valve kit, and if you’re still not comfortable, look up video tutorials so that you are certain you’re doing it correctly. 

Fixing External Leaking Pipes

We’re often intimidated by pipes because they’re an important lifeline in our homes. Whether it’s in the bathroom or in the kitchen, you definitely don’t want to have any issues in either! When it comes to pipes that are underground or behind a wall, you definitely want to call a professional to take care of any issues concerning these kinds of pipes. But the external pipes, on the other hand, these you can manage by yourself without having to call in a plumber.

You need to make sure that you switch off the water source, dry the pipe thoroughly, and then work with gloves to shape the epoxy putty and wrap around the hole or break. Using tape to hold it down as it dries is a good idea so that you can ensure that it is properly sealed. This should usually do the trick when you have a leaking pipe. You can also use a pipe clamp to ensure that the source of the leak is taken care of. Just make sure that it’s the same size as your pipe, otherwise, it will be useless.

Certain Paint and Patch Jobs

There’s really no need to call up a professional when it comes to certain paint and patch jobs. For example, if you have a drywall that has a hole in it, this is easily taken care of. But be sure that you know where wires and pipes are placed within the foundation of your house behind the walls so that you’re not causing any damage as you fix these holes. There are a couple of ways that you can do these jobs, you just need to make sure that you have the right cement or resin, the right equipment and of course, the identical paint colour so that you can do a top job without showing any difference. 

We all take pride in our homes, and we often worry about making sure that everything stays the same and is always well maintained so that all is functioning as it should be. The good news is that after reading this, you’ll be well aware of the fact that you don’t always need to call a professional, wait on edge for them to finally come over, and then end up emptying your wallet over a job that you could do yourself, just as well! So the next time you have any issues, first check to see if this is something that you can tackle yourself instead of wasting time and money unnecessarily. 

5 Cheap Ways to Freshen Up Your Kitchen

Sooner or later every room in your home will need a bit of TLC and repair and that includes your kitchen. As the years roll by, you will probably notice that your once stylish and glamorous kitchen has changed. The cabinet doors will probably be hanging off, the paint will be peeling, and the appliances you rely on to keep your family organised and on track will need a new makeover or replacing. If this is the current situation of your kitchen right now, don’t worry. In this post, I’ll be highlighting 5 of the cheapest practical methods that you can try to freshen up the kitchen on a budget.

1.    Change the lighting

If your house is over a decade old, the chances are high that the lighting systems are old. And when the lighting is poor, your kitchen will always look dark and unappealing. You can enhance the kitchen lighting in many ways, but the best one is to let more natural light in. Remove any obstacles preventing the sun from shining in, and invest in the transparent blinds and curtains.

Here are other effective ways to upgrade your kitchen lighting. If possible, involve a lighting specialist to recommend the best option for your kitchen.

  • Add new light bars under the kitchen cabinets.
  • Invest in new decorative cabinet lights
  • Add more pendant lights.
  • Add stylish kitchen chandeliers.
  • Buy kitchen lighting candles 

2.    Upgrade storage and cabinets

Just like your lighting, adding new cabinets, and storage units can make your kitchen livelier. Choose new cabinets to organize your kitchen appliances and tools and ones which contribute to the aesthetic appearance of the kitchen space.

The cost of renovating your cabinets depends on several factors such as the size of your kitchen, your budget, and the type of kitchen storage you need. You can find out more about the average costs of remodelling your kitchen before you start the process for better estimations. Your kitchen remodelling expert can also help you make the right estimates depending on the changes that you want to make. You can either modify the existing storage units or add entirely new cabinets.

Here are great ideas for upgrading your kitchen cabinets:

  • Spruce up the cabinet doors – add better-looking features to the doors to make them newer
  • Remove outdated hardware – avoid storing old appliances in your kitchen cabinets.
  • Change the material of the cabinets – cabinets come in many forms. If they are wooden, change them to glass, or any other available material.
  • Paint the cabinets – painting is a relatively cheap method if you don’t want to change them.

Don’t forget that changing your kitchen doors can be done on a budget and really makes a difference to the overall look of the space.

3.    Freshen up the sinks and the kitchen tops

A kitchen worktop is the focal point of the kitchen and it is the area people first see when they get into your kitchen. Besides, it has many functional purposes for holding your appliances and kitchen equipment. Similarly, an old sink will most probably be inefficient and might have constant blockages. Unlike the other kitchen areas, kitchen sinks and worksurfaces are quite critical, and you might need the help of a plumber for inspection before you upgrade. The best countertop should be durable, and easy to maintain.

Here are the popular kitchen countertops which you may try in your kitchen:

  • Granite countertops
  • Laminate countertops
  • Recycled glass
  • Marble countertops
  • Tiled surfaces
  • Reclaimed wood

4.    Paint the walls

As earlier mentioned, painting is a practical is to upgrade your kitchen. Old paint makes the kitchen look dated and unattractive. Painting is not an overwhelming task, but you should find the right types of colours. The paints should not be too dull, and they should match with the other aspects of your kitchen or house. If you have an open plan design, you can paint the entire living room for uniformity. Follow these tips to make your painting successful:

  • Choose the right paints and finishes
  • Work with a professional painter
  • Decorate the walls well after painting – you can decorate the walls with new mirrors, artworks, framed album covers, and much more. 

5.    Clean up

Cleaning is a vital exercise for every modern kitchen. If you make the other upgrades and keep the kitchen dirty, your kitchen will still look old and unappealing. Here are quick tips on how you can keep your kitchen clean, for both hygienic and aesthetic purposes.

  • Clean all the kitchen countertops and sink after use
  • Keep leftover foods in your fridge or freezer or recycle any scraps in a compost heap
  • Empty your rubbish bin regularly
  • Wash the dirty dishes and kitchen napkins after every use
  • Invest in good cleaning cloths
  • Keep the kitchen floor clean and dry
  • Get a kitchen air freshener. You can either prepare your own or buy the artificial ones

As you can see, there are many useful tricks for remodelling your kitchen and enhancing cleanliness. Most of these methods are easy and can be done without spending a fortune. So, if you do not like the current appearance of your kitchen, why not try some of these ideas to make it fresh and appealing again.

6 Ways To Add Comfort To Your Family Home

What’s better at the end of a busy day than arriving home to relax, unwind and enjoy a lovely family meal. That’s often the goal, but in reality, it can be quite a different experience. You might arrive home flustered and tired, and the first thing you see is junk and old ladders in the garden. You notice that the front door badly needs a coat of paint, and as you go indoors the hall looks tired and dreary. The rooms smell stale and the lights are dim. Everything feels cluttered and no one seems relaxed. 

That’s an extreme description of what it’s like to arrive home, but I’m sure there are some things that you can identify with. Fortunately, there are a number of issues we can address that can make a world of difference. 

At the end of the day, the more content and relaxed everyone feels, the happier they will be living there.

Fresh Flowers

‘Phew!’ I hear you say, ‘I thought this was going to be expensive!’ Fresh flowers don’t cost much and are worth it for what they contribute. They vary in colour, can perfectly match your wallpaper and can make the room smell lovely. If you can’t afford to go down this road, make sure you have air fresheners in operation, to take away the stale smells of smoke or cooking. 

Seating and Pillows

It’s great when your house matches the seasons. You might not be able to afford a new sofa in spring, but how about a new sofa cover or new pillowcases? If your pillows and cushions are old, flat or uncomfortable, replace them. That will help everyone to relax more.

Why not trawl online to see what you can buy to spruce up your house? There are lots of websites to visit. As mentioned by the experts at Simply Cushions, you can buy single cushions or whole sets, together with throw blankets. Many sites also offer accessories designed to go with them. 

Declutter

‘Yay!’ you say, ‘another inexpensive option!’ Ask yourself one question: How do you feel when you enter a room and someone’s shoes or slippers have been left on the carpet? Or if there are old magazines strewn across the coffee table? Or if there are ornaments everywhere, many of which have seen better days? Your room can feel cramped, claustrophobic and untidy. 

The minimalist style has become very popular these days, where rooms have a small number of ornaments and pictures. There’s lots of space and less furniture. You have to balance this with having a homely feel, however. You’re living in a home, not a hospital room!

Having said that, it’s more restful on the eyes to have a clear room, and you’ll feel better if cupboards are not struggling to contain things that will just fall out if you open them. If you’re still unconvinced, ask yourself how you feel when you’ve tidied the house. You feel better now everything is in its rightful place and it looks clean and tidy. That’s good for your mental health. 

Pictures

Yet again, you’re not going to break the bank here. If you’ve always had the same ones in the same places, why not move them around? Better still, why not put up new ones?

You may have family photos on the front room walls, but they are probably out of date now. How about more recent photos, perhaps from a special event? If you’re reminded of happy memories every time you sit down, how will that make everyone feel? Your children will be delighted if they suddenly see a lovely picture of them on the wall – they’ll feel celebrated and valued. 

Carpets and Wall Colors

Dark wall colours can make the house feel drab and depressing. Using white or lighter colours can make everything feel bright and summery. The rooms will look bigger too. Consider having three walls in a light colour and one darker. That works for a lot of people.

Your child will be delighted to have a brand new wallpaper in their bedroom, particularly if it has an exciting design like Star Wars or Disney. The happier the child is in their room, the easier it will be at bedtime – hopefully!

Think about your carpets – do they need replacing? If you have laminate flooring, consider a rug to be kinder to your feet as you walk around. They are easy to put down or remove. Even your kitchen might benefit from one. 

 

Lighting

It’s good to have sufficient lighting to be able to read during the day and the evening, but don’t go overboard. Your home wants to feel like a home, not an office or warehouse! Make sure you are maximizing natural light, as this is best for your eyes. Install dimmer switches, and you’ll be able to select the measure of brightness that’s ideal for the moment. Candles (another inexpensive option!) can also make a home feel restful, particularly in the evening. They smell nice too. Consider outside lighting. It might be nice when it gets dark to have a gentle view of your garden to enjoy through the window. 

How you feel when you go downstairs in the morning is very important. What do you see? What impression do you get? I can guarantee that implementing some of these ideas will make a huge difference for you, without breaking the bank.

You and your family spend a lot of time in the house so it’s important to maximize the effect it has on you. During winter months, you’ll be delighted to sit by a cosy log fire, listening to the rain outside. Home sweet home!

Best Techniques to Get Rid of Smelly Washing Machines

Who loves that foul-smelling odour the washing machine gets after weeks of not getting cleaned? I don’t, and I bet that you don’t either. So, here are some ways to get that washer fresh in no time!

Photo by Marshall Williams on Unsplash

Understand the Cause

To treat your washing machine, you have to understand what causes the foul smell. It is important to know why it reeks. Without knowing the cause, you wouldn’t know where to go and what to do.

Odours that reek from your washer are mostly caused by bacteria, mildew, and moulds. Additionally, soap scum, oil, dirt, and other tiny particles get stuck inside the washer’s gasket and dispenser, thus causing an unpleasant scent. Without regular disinfection and cleaning, your washer will end up dirty, contaminated, and stinky.

Clean the Seal

Once you know what’s causing the pong, it is time to get down to getting rid of it. First, check the seal since it could be one of the main culprits of a bad-smelling washer. Bacteria can putrefy in the rubber seal, so pull up your sleeves and start scrubbing.

Soak the washer with hot water and a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for 30 minutes. Then, run a full hot cycle. While the cycle is running, make a soda and water paste. After the cycle, apply the paste to the mould patch, and leave it for 15 minutes. Then scrub it religiously until the seal doesn’t feel slimy anymore.

Scrub the Dispensers

The soap, bleach, and softener dispensers are a breeding ground for mildew. Remove the dispenser and scrub every crevice with an old toothbrush. Make use of the soda and water paste to scrub the mildew off effectively.

The pipes of the dispensers are a great breeding ground for that mouldy stench, so dig out any built-up lodge inside the pipes. Use a pipe cleaner for accuracy. Placing the soda and water paste onto the pipes will speed your cleaning up so don’t hesitate to apply it.

Sanitise the Washer

Get hold of an effective washer cleaner, as Tide Washing Machine Cleaner or Clorox, to kill the remaining mould and mildew inside the drum. Pour the washer cleaner and set the hottest and longest water setting. The hotter the water, the more effective it is in killing the germs and bacteria.

Fill in the tub, and stop once the agitator has successfully mixed in the washer cleaner. Allow the washer cleaner to soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour, and then run another cycle. If a hint of the washer cleaner is still present in the washer, run one more cycle.

If you cannot find any available washer cleaner, chlorine bleach could do the job. Make sure to follow the right procedures and take precautions when using bleach. Four cups of bleach should be added to a top-loading washer, while two cups to a front-loading washer. After adding the appropriate amount, start the cycle. The cycle for bleach is similar to that of a washer cleaner.

Deodorise the Washer

Deodorising the washer is as important as sanitizing it. White vinegar is an outstanding deodorizer. Its acidic quality is known to be an effective solution in removing any hard buildup and bacteria that haven’t been removed by the bleach.

To begin the process, set the hottest possible setting for the cycle. Add four cups of plain white vinegar to a top-loading machine, while two cups to that of a front-loading one. Make sure not to add any detergent or solvent; let the vinegar do the job. Then, fill the tub and run a cycle. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and another cycle to rinse the vinegar off. Leaving the lid open could keep it fresh-smelling too.

Photo by Anca Gabriela Zosin on Unsplash

Conclusion

Keeping the washer clean isn’t really that tough a job. It only calls for consistency and effort. Master and apply all the techniques so your washer would get the TLC it deserves. Always remember the purpose of our washing machines, and that is to clean our clothes, not to add more germs to them!

Resources:

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/washing-machines/article/how-to-clean-a-smelly-washing-machine

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2016/11/03/why-your-washing-machine-smells-and-how-clean/93252222/

https://www.omo.com/za/laundry/laundry-tips/washing-machine/clean-smelly-washing-machine.html

https://www.bobvila.com/articles/washing-machine-smells/

How To Make The Perfect Bathroom Without Breaking The Bank

When we redecorate our homes, we often overlook one of the most important rooms in our homes, our bathrooms! For lot’s of people their bathroom will look exactly the same as the day they moved into their homes, this is for a few reasons, people often think that bathrooms will be expensive to decorate or that any renovations will be hard to undertake.

So today, we’ll be looking at a few cheap and easy ways you can revamp your bathroom that you can do by yourself at home, so let’s get into it!

Co-Ordinate Small Fittings And Towels

Starting off with probably the easiest change to make, colour co-ordination, now for the sake of simplicity we’ll be sticking to things we can just order from IKEA or any other good homeware store, so for your bathroom that will include: bathroom bin, towels, soap dish, toilet brush holder, floor mats, etc.

You’ll need to decide on a colour theme for this, as most bathrooms tend to be painted with neutral tones, you can highlight your style using a nice vibrant colour like Coral or Baby Blue then get all the bathroom bits you need in that colour (usually homeware stores will have different items in the same colour or even a bundle of different bits in the same colour). Once you’ve done this, your bathroom will have a much more cohesive look to it.

Photo by LumenSoft Technologies on Unsplash

Get A Set Of Bathroom Blinds

Lot’s of people don’t have any window dressing on their bathroom windows, most of the time bathroom windows are frosted so you can’t see in or out, but the look of an undressed window isn’t really a good look for a bathroom and light coming in through the window can still get in your eye and distract you.

If you look for some Bathroom Blinds on the internet, you’ll find yourself with plenty of choices to pick from, just be sure to get a blind designed for bathroom use as some normal blinds will be damaged by the general wetness of a bathroom. Once you’ve found a set of blinds that will function well for you, find a colour you want for them, you should either pick the colour of your bathroom walls or match to the rest of your bathroom accessories.

Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

Organise Your Bathroom Products

Most of us take the same approach to our bathroom supplies, shower gels, shampoos and hair conditioners are usually just strewn about on a countertop or along the edge of the bath, while this is easy, it’s not very aesthetically pleasing.

So we recommend to get some form of organising tool for your bathroom, whether it’s a shower caddy or a simple plastic tun to keep everything together, you’ll notice that your bathroom looks better and is easier to clean just off of that, leaving you with a lovely neat bathroom.