Fashion & Lifestyle Blog
July 19, 2017

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As a way of saving money, it appears to make a lot of sense to buy an older home for renovation purposes. After all, if you can get a house for a bargain you should go for it, but there are various factors to bear in mind when you are going for an old property. You may think that it is saving you money across the board, but it could be a more expensive option than purchasing a new house. Let’s have a look.

The Common Household Issues

For any house that was built prior to 1980, it is very likely that it will have asbestos problems. You can check with the local authorities or call professionals to try and see if asbestos is present, in which case it can be removed safely, and it’s also worth consulting asbestossafety.gov.au for more detailed information. But there are also other common issues you could find such as old electrics which are unsafe. You can also factor into this weather damage to the roof and the costs involved. It is in this respect that you may feel that in buying an old house that you may have bitten off more than you can chew.

Can You Invest The Time In Renovating The Property?

This is a question that you really need to know the answer to because the question of time and money in renovating an older property means that it can take longer than a lot of more contemporary homes. It’s on these occasions where you might consider bringing in professionals in every single aspect of the renovation. There are renovation companies, such as therenovationcompany.com.au that promise a quick turnaround which is always an enticing option if you don’t have the luxury of time.

The Many Perks To An Older Property

With all of the downsides, there are a lot of potential benefits to owning a home that is considered “old.” Apart from the original features which can be hard to duplicate, the location is usually in a very highly desired area because as cities tend to grow outwards over time, the older homes are in locations that are close to downtown areas and nearby to amenities and employers. The convenience of reduced commuting times, as well as easier trips to the shops, make an older home a big draw.

The Neighbourhood

Older homes tend to be located in more established neighbourhoods with people who are committed to their local area and community and are long-term homeowners meaning that they have a vested interest in the future of the area and so this can be a highly desired factor of purchasing an older home.

Older Homes Have A Lot Of Potential!

If you view an old home as a blank canvas even within a desirable area, the worst types of homes can be turned into a potential money spinner. If an old home with a poorly designed kitchen and a bad quality garden is your idea of a challenge, then you can transform this into a property that is not only a highly desired one but also one that can increase its appraised value as well as the resale value when the time comes.

July 19, 2017

Whether you live in a high-rise apartment, a small house in the suburbs, a tiny kitchen doesn’t have to be so. Large kitchen dining rooms have so much space that often it’s not even used. But, with smaller rooms, it sometimes feels like don’t have enough room to put a coffee mug down, let alone eat or cook comfortably. It can feel like you’re in a gulag, cramped, poor air circulation and not enough natural light. However, you can transform your kitchen dining room in a couple of days in a way that doesn’t skimp on space nor style. You just have to hit a few key points in your redesign journey.

Downsize to upsize

Cramped spaces affect our moods, after all, we’re not field mice, and we need to stretch and spread our wings in the comfort of our own homes. Therefore, less is more, especially when there’s limited room. Typical kitchen fixtures are for average size rooms and let’s face it; you don’t have room to spare. You don’t need the most heavy duty, top of the line cooker, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher or even cabinet. Downsized fittings won’t make meal prep and cooking a chore if you fit replacements that are more effective and efficient. Small, more modern appliances are often quicker to action. Taking out large items in the room, can open up space and make it feel more spacious.

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More natural light

One the simplest techniques to expanding the feel of the kitchen are to use glass as a more frequent material. Cabinets that have glass incorporated into their design reflect the natural light already present in the room, amplifying size and visually expanding the space. Equally, in the dining area of the room, try a glass table to brighten the space in which you sit down to eat. The door and windows could also be replaced with new glass to not only add value but to let more sunlight in than older glass that’s become opaque. Clay tiles with a sheen finish can reflect the light even more and give your kitchen a slight sparkle.

Straight edges

Cupboards and drawers can often have handles which stick out, and if the layout of the room isn’t neat, you can find yourself swaying and zigzagging to keep from feet, shins, and knees banging of them. With the aid of a seasoned and professional construction company, you can formulate a better layout where cupboards are better positioned to make use of natural light, and away from the cooking spots to give you more headroom. More importantly, with a redesign of the cupboards, straight lines can open up more space to where you need it, and take it up where you don’t.

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Redecorate your mood

Vibrant colors for the walls counter the wood and softens edges. Pastel bright colors are a good idea to pair with whites, so they contrast each other, as well as juggle the light even more. Bold schemes such as red and blues might be better suited to larger rooms because they signify strength which a spacious room has. Smaller rooms do better with yellows, greens, oranges and with some exceptions, light blues.

July 18, 2017

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We all want to believe we take excellent care of our homes. It may appear at first glance, but there are a lot of things most people do to their homes that causes damage which isn’t that obvious. Check out this guide and make sure you’re not making similar mistakes in these areas!

Hardwood floor

Hardwood floors are incredible when it comes to stylish interiors. They’re easy to lay out and reduce the amount of dust that in your home. They don’t attract allergens the way carpets do. They’re also tough, lasting a lifetime if you’re careful. In fact, the use of certain types of wood can mean that the looks can actually improve with age! You don’t want to waste the potential of a good hardwood floor.

MIrage Sweet Memories Aged Maple Gingerbread

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Unfortunately, the knowledge that hardwood floor are resilient and easy to clean leads some people not take adequate care of it. Sure, it’s not as soft and stainable as a carpet, meaning leave their shoes on indoors. But the bottom of your shoes may have loads of small and gritty materials, even if they look clean. This causes scratching, even if minor. This is partly why homes with hardwood floors should also feature nice rugs. This article shows just how well a rug can complement a home. Of course, there are even bigger scratch and damage risks, such as furniture and other large items. Be careful!

Plumbing

Plumbing is everywhere, working away at important tasks. Of course, you can’t see it, which can lead to an “out of sight, out of mind” problem. The health of your plumbing should never be out of your mind, no matter how easy it is to forget about it!

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A lot of people have bad plumbing habits; you need to get rid of yours ASAP. The most common is allowing things to go down the sink drain without thinking about the consequences, or even pouring them down there purposefully. Coffee grinds is a common item. Each coffee grain is tiny, so it seems fairly innocuous. But if you also have an oil buildup, then the coffee and oil can mix to create a demonic sludge that really does a number on your plumbing. You should throw coffee grinds outside with your plants, because it makes for great organic mulch. For everything else, get a clog catcher!

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The air

We’re often sending harmful stuff into the air at home without realising it. The chemicals you use to clean the bathroom and kitchen sends chlorine and a bunch of other toxins into your home’s atmosphere which don’t do your lungs a whole lot of good. And what about those antiperspirants, hairsprays, and fragrances? The average household contains loads of solvent sprays and other chemicals which cause damage to the air in the home, as well as the environment at large.

Be cautious with what you’re spraying around and cleaning with. Replace solvent sprays with roll-ons if you can. Make sure the home is well-ventilated so it gets plenty of fresh air, and consider getting rid of some of those harsh cleaning chemicals. Use organic options instead!

July 18, 2017

Who doesn’t love a modern home nowadays? Sleek, clean and utilitarian designs are in fashion right now and it’s one of the key things that new home buyers are looking for. They love the fresh look that modern house gives, and they also love the technology that goes into a modern home that helps to improve their lifestyle in a variety of different ways. It goes without saying that modern home design is going to be here to stay for a long time.

There are many ways to achieve a modern home. From the decor to the technology used, we’ll be diving into four different points that will help you decide on the best home renovations and improvements to perform in order to bring your house into the modern age with a bang.

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Internet Connectivity

Who doesn’t have an internet connection nowadays? They’re affordable, accessible and can enhance our lives in a thousand different ways. However, there’s more to internet connectivity than just having a connection. You see, the things we do on the internet nowadays demands fast connections. If you love streaming the latest shows to your main television while your kids play video games in their room, then you’re going to need a fast connection to handle the load. The more people that are in your home, the more likely your internet connection is going to be used by multiple people at the same time. What’s also important is that you focus on upload speeds in addition to just download speeds. For some reason, internet service providers tend to hide the upload speed because they think it’s not as important. However, if you want to upload YouTube videos, social media photographs or even work remotely from home, then you’ll need a good upload speed as well. Make sure your home has plenty of WiFi access spots and consider extending the range with a WiFi extender if your home is large. A good way to test your WiFi quality is to take your phone to various parts of your home and perform a mobile internet speed test. This way you can determine what parts of your home have a poor WiFi signal and where to strategically place the extender to ensure every wireless device in your home gets a good signal.

Environmental Awareness

Bringing your home into the modern age isn’t just about the appliances you use, but also the knowledge you have. Environmental awareness is all about living green. For instance, using a home solar power system to collect renewable energy from the sun instead of just relying on non-renewable sources to power your home. It also means starting up your own home garden to grow your own sustainable sources of food such as fruits, vegetables and herbs. It takes a lot of planning, but it ultimately brings your home into the modern age because you’re showing people that you are aware of not just design trends, but also environmental changes are alterations in the climate. This will ultimately give you the knowledge you need to live green and utilise modern technology in order to achieve your goals. Just remember that modern living isn’t just about having flashy devices and appliances—it’s also about understanding the environment around you.

Focus on Minimalist Decor

One of the most iconic types of interior design to make your home look modern is to utilise minimalist decor. There’s a saying that minimalist decor is all about doing more with less, but that’s only scratching the surface. Minimalist decor involves using some very neutral colours such as whites, greys and light colours. This is to emphasise the lack of clutter and the abundance of open area and space that is present in almost any minimalist’s home. Minimalist decor is all about having things that don’t stand out and aren’t flashy. For example, your chairs should be functional and clean instead of loud with bright colours and crazy patterns. Wood textures and furniture are often used in minimalist design due to its soft, neutral balance of colour and relaxing design. To truly embrace the look and feel of minimalism, you’ll need to declutter a lot of your house and organise your items based on priority. A good place to practice this would be your bathroom. Instead of having every single makeup product or shower and bath item out in the open, try to reduce the number of things you leave out. Organise based on the reason you go into the bathroom. If you brush your teeth, then you’ll want to open a small cupboard and take out your toothbrush, paste, floss and so on. Once you’re done, you can put the items back in and close the cupboard. Similarly, if you plan to have a bath, then keep a box or cupboard available to store bath creams, salts and so on.

Smart Home Technology

Lastly, we can’t forget the possibility of introducing smart home technology into your house to give it a more modern feel. There’s nothing quite like being able to turn the lights on at home while you’re still in the office, or cranking up the heating while you’re cuddled up comfortably in bed. Make sure you install these devices with the help of a trusted electrician because it’s easy to mess these up. You don’t want a badly installed app on your phone to crank up the heating accidentally during the summer and you want to ensure all of your smart home technology is working efficiently. This requires a good WiFi router and if you have a large home, then your smart home devices will need to be in range of the router in order to work properly. There are some security concerns, but as long as you don’t hand out your WiFi password to random people they have no way to actually access your devices. From voice-activated lights to a fridge that can automatically restock itself, there’s no shortage of fantastic ideas that you can utilise when your home turns smart.

July 17, 2017

When we design our homes, we do so with our own tastes in mind. We get the space looking how we want it, and why wouldn’t we? Our homes are our domain, after all. This is your chance to make your designer dent in the world, and you should use it to the best of your abilities.

But, as much as you may not like to admit it, your home doesn’t only have to please you. Yep; we said it. Sorry to break the news, but sometimes, other people are going to see that space, too. And, when they do, you’ll want to ensure they like the view. As such, it’s worth giving at least some consideration to your guests during the design stages.

Being able to host in our homes is a gift and a privilege. You get to spend time with your loved ones and share the roof for which you worked so hard. As cheesy as it may seem, letting people into your home is like letting them into your heart. It’s an act of trust, and you want to make sure it doesn’t backfire. So, we’re going to look at the different areas you need to perfect to ensure you guests have the best stay possible.

THE BEDROOM

First on the agenda is the bedroom. This is where your guests will be located, so it’s the most significant room on this list. Many of us fall into the trap of assuming that we should leave personal taste out of the spare room altogether. It’s not for us, after all. Instead, we head online and search for guest room inspiration. Then, we produce a room which is functional, but ultimately uninspiring.

The good news is, there’s nothing to stop you putting your stamp on this space. At the end of the day, your guests are visiting you. So, sleeping in a room which suits your style will add a real touch of the personal to their stay. Bear in mind, though, that going all out may be a bit over the top. It may still be worth doing a bit of research, then mixing those ideas with a few flourishes of your own.

There are some standard design features you’ll see time and again in the majority of spare rooms. Generally, there’ll be a large, freshly made bed in the center. You want this room to feel clean for your guests, so try to avoid clutter of any kind. The sparser this room, the better. This is also a home away from home, so refreshing colors work best. A light grey is a popular choice at the moment. Subtle blues also look amazing.

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So, where does your taste come into this? For the most part, what you like comes into play when you’re picking out furniture and accessorising the space. There are no clear-cut guidelines about which furniture would work best. So, you’re free to pick pieces which suit the rest of your home. And, the accessories are where you can really come into your own. Hanging art which you’ve either painted or are a fan of is sure to go down well. And don’t forget to pick out bedding that reminds your guests of you. Got a love of astronauts? Get some space themed bedding to make your guests chuckle!

If you don’t have a guest room, there’s no reason why you can’t still host. All you need do is consider the alternatives. For one, converting an attic space is a fantastic way to create a guest area with gusto. Or, you could turn your living room into a multi-purpose space. Incorporating a daybed is all it takes to turn this into a bedroom whenever you need it. Bear in mind, though, that living rooms aren’t always naturally suited to the role. To avoid this feeling like a ‘put-me-up’ room, it’s worth considering this dual use during design. Steps as simple as placing heavy curtains on the windows will help here. Think, too, about including ambient lighting to create that bed-time feel.

THE BATHROOM

Spend some time, too, thinking about a guest bathroom. If your guest room has an ensuite, reflect on how you can make it suit everyone’s needs. You may be a bath person, but your guests might not. Besides, depending on how long they’re staying for, they may not have time. Give them a choice by installing a bath and shower combination. Bear in mind, too, that storage shouldn’t be too much of an issue here. En suites are generally small as it is. Don’t crowd the room more by fitting unnecessary cabinets. Instead, keep furnishings to a minimal. A bath, sink, and toilet are all your guests are going to need. Anything else is just wasted space.

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If your guest room doesn’t have an en suite, guests will be using your main bathroom. Again, give this some consideration during the design stages. Make sure you cater for everyone’s needs once more with the bath, shower combo. Unlike the en suite, it’s worth installing plenty of storage space here. You aren’t going to want cluttered bathroom sides when guests come. Make sure to incorporate plenty of shelving units for your bathroom products beforehand.

WHERE WILL YOU ALL EAT?

It’s worth thinking, too, about where you’ll all eat. Food brings us together, hence why the kitchen is always dubbed ‘the heart of the home.’ We all know it’s the best place to congregate. There’s something comforting about being surrounded by food. Perhaps it’s a survival thing. Either way, while the kitchen is the center of the house, the dining room is fast going out of fashion. There’s something very 80s about the idea of having a place designated for eating. The majority of us install breakfast bars in our kitchens, or eat on the sofa (come on, we’ve all done it at least once), so there seems no need for this wasted space. But, your breakfast bar won’t seat many, and you don’t want your guests eating in front of the television. So, what can you do?

For one, it’s worth incorporating a table into your kitchen if you have space. Opting for a long table, rather than a round one, is an excellent way of making this work without crowding the room. Eating in the kitchen instead of the dining room is better in every way. Things will feel less formal. Plus, your kitchen is a used and loved space. It won’t have the musty air of neglect you’ll find in most dining rooms.

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Or, you could make the most of your outside space, here. Obviously, this works best if you live in sunny climes. But, something like a pitched roof verandah will ensure it’s possible to dine al fresco, even when the rain comes. This is sure to go down well, as it’ll feel like being on vacation. And, for your guests, this is a holiday of sorts. You could even install a fire pit to ensure you can stay outside until the early hours of the morning. Nothing’s quite so good for letting lose as sitting outside without a care in the world.

HOW ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT?

It’s also worth putting some thought into the areas of your home which will provide entertainment. For the most part, this involves your living room. This is where you’ll all likely return in the evenings. Many of us put effort into making this a space we can relax in. But, will your guests be able to relax, too? For one, consider the layout of the area. Are there enough chairs to host guests, and will they be able to see the television, etc. from where they’re sitting? Bear in mind, too, that you need this to be an open space. Again, you need to build on that communal vibe to ensure everyone’s happiness. Consider keeping the area as clear as possible. Make sure, too, that your chairs face each other, so no one feels excluded.

This is also a perfect opportunity to show off a little. Traditional television is all well and good, but it doesn’t exactly have the wow factor. It may be worth considering a home projector system instead. Or, you could opt for a new ‘wallpaper television.’ Make sure, too, that everyone can hear what’s going on by installing surround sound speakers.

It’s worth considering the garden here, too. Gardens have fantastic entertainment potential if you know how to use them. For one, you could install a swimming pool. This can often seem like an unnecessary step when only you would be using it. But, this is sure to go down well when guests and staying. Days sitting by the pool are fantastic when you have company. Again, it’ll all add to the vacation vibe of their stay. And, let’s be honest; a pool is fantastic, even without the guests. You could even design a garden bar to get the party started. You’ll be better than a five-star hotel in no time.

July 17, 2017

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If you need some quick fixes to transform your home over the weekend, here’s what you should know.

Lighter means larger

If your living room isn’t as big as you would have liked, then use the simple color trick. Paint your walls a soft, light color. This will dramatically make your space feel more open, resulting in it looking bigger than it actually is. You can also use mirrors that give the same effect in a different way, by reflecting light, giving the room more dimension. If you have a window in the room, you can strategically place the mirror to face opposite it, giving the impression of another window bringing in more natural light. Find more mirror tricks on freshome.com.

The same rules will apply if you wanted to make a huge room appear smaller – go for some darker colors on the walls to close the space up.

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Mix it up

If you’re looking to add more texture and depth to a room – mix it up. Don’t be scared to pair two colors together that are the complete opposite of one another. It’s all about showcasing your personality. This might mean a vintage Grandfather clock, alongside a super modern sofa. Sometimes things look so random and out of place that it just works. Even if it’s something as simple as an intricately patterned rug to go in the center of the floor. You can find items like this on Samad.com. – It’s quirky, unique, and it will make a wonderful feature.

Slip in on

Slip covers used to be very popular, but tend to get overlooked now, although they shouldn’t. Covers are brilliant if you want to change the look of a room without barely having to do anything. You can easily change the color of your sofa when you get bored and are looking for something more vibrant in the summertime, and then calmer as fall comes along. They are also really handy because if they get dirty you can just throw them in the wash and they’ll be as good as new – a lot more efficient than trying to remove stains from the sofa itself.

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Bring in the nature

Add a touch of nature. Whether it be some exotic plants or some colorful flowers.

Scatter some greenery around the room if you want to create an earthy vibe. Bamboo works very well for this, especially when paired with a white or lightly colored room. Or if you want to look more playful, add some floral centerpieces with vivid flowers such as lilies, tulips, and roses. Not only will your home smell divine, but it will look it too. Plus, bringing in plants will purify the air as well as balance the humidity.

Wallpaper the furniture

It may sound a little crazy, but it makes sense. If you have some furniture that’s in a room but adds nothing to it, instead of throwing it out – funk it up. Have a look in stores for some awesome looking wallpaper; you can even find some with a 3d effect on it. Then stick it down to the cupboard, table or bookcase, and turn the old thing into an amazing focal point in the room.