Fashion & Lifestyle Blog
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.

July 13, 2017

The warmer summer days and nights can often make you forget that you ever needed to put the radiators on or take a long hot bath, in order to get warm. However, now is the perfect time to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible for the cold season to hit your home so that you aren’t paying through the roof for your energy suppliers to keep you warm. The following are some areas of the house to take a look at if you want as little heat to escape you when the chilly air starts to creep your way.

Say Goodbye To Draughts

If a draught is able to come through your windows and door when they’re closed, then you can bet on the fact your home is also allowing any heat you’ve turned on to escape as well. So, whether it’s your bedroom windows or your kitchen door; you’ll need to ensure that they’re windproof and airtight for the colder and wetter months ahead. If draughts and damp can get in through the window, mildew and mould could become a problem, which in turn, will lead to health risks for your family. Therefore it’s worth looking into a company like Poplar Home Improvements who can help you decide on the best double glazing options for your home and advise you on the areas that need updating. Investing wisely in your windows and doors now will help to keep your gas and electricity usage to a minimum as you’ll feel less of a chill.

Image from pixabay.com

Say Hello To Energy Efficiency

The days during autumn and winter are much shorter, meaning that your house will lit by bulbs much more than it is during the summer. Aside from being mindful about switching off lights as you leave the room; there are other ways to contribute towards saving the energy that your house uses. It’s worth replacing all of the bulbs in your homes with energy efficient alternatives; the cost of the investment now could save you hundreds of pounds in the future. Not only will you be paying less for your home to be a place you can see in, but you’ll also be helping the environment to boot, so new bulbs are a smart choice.

Again, being mindful of how much you run the hot water tap will help to reduce your bills; reducing the temperature of your heater by just one degree can save you up to £85 a year, and it will be a bearable change (pop another jumper on). Energy efficient appliances, like kettles and fridges, are another way to reduce the cost of your energy bills greatly, so take a look at the items that you use the most, and consider replacing them. You can check out some of the best energy saving appliances here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/apr/30/eco-appliances-energy-saving-hints-fridges-freezers and ensure that your home is an efficient haven this winter.

If you want to invest a little more; you could replace your boiler and your home’s insulation, which will both impact your annual fuel usage greatly. Lastly, you can keep an eye on what you’re using by installing an energy monitor; seeing exactly how much the previous week has cost, you may change the habits of the whole family and save yourself money in the long run.

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July 10, 2017

There are few things more aggravating than having to pay money for something that can only be used occasionally.

Sometimes it’s necessary, of course. We know when we buy bathing suits that we’re only going to be able to use them through summer, along with the outdoor parasol for those garden parties we keep intending to have. We know that the warm fuzzy socks we’ve bought are only going to get an outing in the winter months. These are the sacrifices we have to make, even though it hurts us to know they can’t be bargains all year round.

Our homes, on the other hand? Well, that’s a different story. Come rain or shine, when we make an investment in our home, we want to know that it’s going to be worth it. Home investments should be good value throughout the year. You’d think that’s a relatively easy thing to achieve, but in actuality it’s anything but.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

If you make an investment in your garden, then that seems like a good deal. You want to be able to hang out outside, and having a nice swimming pool or a well-developed patio seems like a good idea. Provided you do your bargain hunting to ensure you’re getting the best price, what’s the harm in investing in the garden? Well… what about during the winter months, when the idea of stepping outside for anything more than a quick, necessary trip seems like madness.

Maybe that was an obvious one to begin with, so how about a renovation to your kitchen? Everyone needs a kitchen, and making sure that yours serves its purpose and is a nice room to be in – that seems like a given. It’s worth investing in a decent oven or a new-fangled cooking gadget isn’t it? How can that possibly be a problem? Then summer hits and the mere idea of slaving over a hot stove makes you break into a fine sweat, as you spend day after day avoiding anything that’s going to involve any extra heat in your home.

So what’s the solution? If you want to be able to enjoy the fruits of the money you spend year round, you need some rules. By abiding to these, you can be sure that you’re not going to hand over a chunk of your hard-earned cash for big projects and changes that are only going to be worth it for a section of the year. So, you should solemnly swear to…

Always Think One Season Ahead

When summer rolls around, you can find yourself struggling to cope with the stifling heat – and that can mean you make bad decisions. When you’re too hot and desperate for some relief, the idea of spending a small fortune to abandon your portable air conditioning units and opt for a house-wide system seems entirely reasonable.

However, you might find that you disagree when winter arrives and you’re suddenly more consumed with keeping your house warm rather than cold. If you’ve drained your savings to make a change that is only going to work through one season, you’re going to end up feeling incredibly annoyed with yourself for the rest of the year.

It’s therefore important, if you are contemplating this kind of change, that you think one season ahead.

As an example, you might be considering a carport to try and provide some relief from stepping into a stifling hot car during summer. No one likes that feeling of opening the door and experiencing a blast of heat, with every surface fiery and hot to the touch for the first 10 minutes of your drive.

It might seem a completely reasonable purchase in the height of summer, but try to put yourself in your own shoes for the rest of the seasons. Is the issue so uncomfortable that you’re going to consider it worth it three months down the line?

In some circumstances, the answer is going to be a definitive yes. Maybe the carport will be worth it, especially if you’re in an area that experiences long, hot summers and all other methods of keeping a sitting car cool have failed. There’s no reason that thinking ahead needs to be an endless stream of “no” – some things are worth it.

An example of something that wouldn’t be worth it might be a wood burning stove. On the one hand, these seem like a great idea; they’re going to keep your house warm, more environmentally-friendly, save you money on your heating bills. With any standard “should I / shouldn’t I?” thought process, a wood burning stove seems bang on the money.

Would you agree in the summer, though? Or would you find yourself avoiding turning it on at all costs, thus meaning it’s an expensive purchase that you can only use for a short section of the year? Again, that doesn’t mean it’s an immediate “no” – just make sure you can continue to justify it to yourself and that it genuinely resolves a need or fits a purpose.

Think Of Four Usages For Every Change You’re Considering

“Why four?” you may be wondering, with some justification. It’s pretty simple really, there are four seasons, so before you make any large investment to your home, you’re covering the bases of how it will be used through the year.

This is easier than it might initially seem. Let’s say that you fancy the likes of opening roof patios; they look good and it’s just the garden feature that you think you need. Of course, before you open your purse you’ve got to run it through the rule of four. In this instance, that would come back looking something like this:

Spring – Spring tends to be a season subject to a lot of rain, which is of course essential for the life cycle of the majority of crops. In spring, such a patio roof would be useful to protect the outside of your home from a lashing from mother nature.

Summer – Battling against the sunshine through summer can be a thankless task. If you’re forced to increase your energy spending more than you would like through running air conditioning too often, then the shade from the roof will help to deflect some of the sun’s fury. This could save you money through the summer, which we can all agree is a desirable sentence.

Autumn – Autumn tends to be when summer is losing its sting and it’s actually pleasant to be outside, but on the days when the autumnal rains are rolling through, you can use with the roof up and still enjoy being outdoors.

Winter – The lack of light indoors in winter is a major contributor to illnesses such as Seasonal Affective Disorder. A roof you can retract over the patio means you can ensure your home is flooded with as much natural light as possible, at a time of year when you’re struggling for just that.

This is just an example of how this kind of thought pattern can work, but you can apply it to literally everything. If you’re considered motorised gates, as another example, you can think of how it will make getting home easier when it’s raining and when it’s too hot to want to leave the comfort of your car’s air conditioning just to get through your gates.

This way of thinking doesn’t just apply to home redesigns, either – it can be used to make decisions about appliances. A pressure washer, as another example, can help you get rid of the mud from spring as well as leaves in autumn.

The Long Savings Scheme

Finally, the one surefire way to guarantee that your ideas for new purchases or home designs pass the “worth it” test is to make yourself save for them… even when they’re not most applicable.

If you have decided there’s a change you want to make that passes the first two tests, you’re going to need to find the money for it. Rather than saving a lot in a short time, when it comes to big changes and expenses, you’re going to want to save for longer than that.

If you can get through six months to a year of consistent saving for one specific goal, then it’s a sign of two things. Firstly, it shows that what you’re investing in is something that you truly want and can commit to making small sacrifices for. Secondly, it shows that you still want it with the same fervour you did when you first had the idea.

If there’s a change, adaptation, or purchase you want to make that can run the gauntlet of these three tests, then you can be pretty confident it’s worth going ahead with. What’s more, you’ll be able to enjoy it that little bit extra because you know you put valuable time and effort into ensuring it was something you truly needed and wanted. Enjoy it, and enjoy the sense of satisfaction at your own good thinking too!

July 10, 2017

When it comes to moving house, it’s very easy to get bogged down in packing, and the prospect of making endless trips up and down stairs weighed down by boxes. The process of moving can take the shine off the fact that you’ve got a new home, and you’re starting a fresh chapter, but there’s nothing more exciting than looking for a new pad. If you’re on the hunt for a new home, put thoughts of packing up a house full of stuff aside, and focus on what really matters. As a potential buyer, you’ll need to think about what your priorities are when you’re on the search for that perfect property. If you haven’t really given it much thought, here are some key features to look out for.

The dream kitchen

The kitchen is so often described as the heart of the home, and the majority of buyers place a spacious, bright kitchen high on their wish list. When you are looking around, try not to let a rough gem, or an unpolished diamond put you off. If the rest of the house is ticking all the boxes, and you’ve got the space and money available for improvements, there’s no reason why a kitchen renovation can’t turn this house into the home of your dreams. You may not be enamored with the idea of doing a lot of work, but if you remodel and revamp the kitchen, you can choose your own design, plan the layout, and inject your signature style.

Beautiful Chalon Kitchen

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/chalonuk/6207312254

The potential

It’s always wise to have future plans in mind when you’re looking for a new home. Even if you don’t plan to sell for a long time, it’s useful to have the option to add value if you wanted to. There’s also flexibility in buying property that isn’t quite finished or that offers scope for renovation or expansion. If you’re creative, and you want to make your home a reflection of your style and personality, look for a blank canvas.

The outdoor space

Unless you live in the heart of the city, it’s likely that you’d rather buy somewhere that has outdoor space. Even a small garden or a bijou backyard can make all the difference. If you’re looking for a family home or you want that sense of freedom and country living, a large garden may be high on your list. But even if you want a small town vibe, having somewhere you can sit out and soak up the sun after a long day at work can make a property much more appealing. In some cases, outdoor space can also provide a solution if the house doesn’t live up to expectations, and you’re keen to take on a project. If you’ve got a small house on a large plot, and the kitchen is cramped and small, you could consider extending out to the back or the side.

Spanish Courtyard at Froh Heim

Image credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennifer-juniper/2572110091

Are you on the lookout for a new place to call home? Before you start searching, have a think about what really matters to you. Is a large, open-plan kitchen a deal-breaker or are you desperate to take on a project that offers potential? Take your time when you’re looking around, and don’t be put off if a house doesn’t look perfect on paper. Use your creativity and your imagination, and think about what you could create from a blank canvas.

July 7, 2017

When you have been lucky enough to score one of those apartments from back in the days, you’re probably lingering between two worlds. One the one hand, you’d want to cherish its worn looks and maintain that old-fashioned attitude that only time can give it – but on the other side, you’d also want to fix whatever needs fixing.

Image credit: Pexels

Let’s face it; with time and wear, a home can become unpractical and even a bit expensive if something should go wrong later on.

Plumbing and electricity

Get an inspection for this over with before you start any decorating or painting. If your place is particularly old, there’s a good chance the plumbing has a crack in it which could lead to bigger problems later on. The electricity might need to be rewired and you never know if any rats have chewed their way through it – it’s best to call in a professional for this one unless you’re a certified electrician yourself.

Although we all love a good DIY, there are certain tasks it could be dangerous to attempt yourself.

Windows

The chances are that some windows might need to be changed if they are especially old and frail. Although it’s a bit expensive, don’t despair – in the long run, you’ll get your money back in terms of lower electricity bills. Plus, it will make your home feel a lot cozier when you don’t have cold winds blowing in and ruining your evenings. Make sure you keep any colored window glass, though, if you’re lucky enough to have those installed. Click here for fun ideas on different glass you can use, or here to read more about energy efficient glazing.

Paint

When this is over with, you can get started with the fun part; give your old place a fresh breath of color and see it come to life all over again. How you choose to paint it depends on the state of the walls and trims. If they’re not in the best state, you should paint them the same color as the ceiling to hide any imperfections. A warm and neutral shade is usually the way to go.

If the trims are in a good state, you can be a bit bolder and choose a contrasting neutral color – it will give your home a stately feeling and was probably a detail that made you fall in love with your home, to begin with. Homes from different eras tend to speak in their own language through beautiful door details, trims, and molding and you should highlight this look wherever you can.

Paint your front door in a warm color to make it pop. It’s kind of old-school America and perfect for your new, old home.

Make the most out of your old place with these tips and tricks. Some of them cost more than others, but they all promise the same thing; to cover what needs to be covered and highlight its charming features with a few simple changes. It’s all about playing to its strengths.

July 6, 2017

As you probably know, buying a home is no easy task. There’s a mountain of paperwork to get through before you can settle in, and all kinds of factors you need to check off your list past the interior décor. If you’re planning to sell your house soon, it pays to know about the various issues that get picked up on during home inspections. Here are some common ones to look out for.

Grade Sloping Towards the Home

Cracked Concrete

Credit: Flickr

When your landscaping slopes down towards the home, it can lead to damp crawl spaces, as well as movement, cracking or settlement in the foundations. If there’s too much water wicking up the foundations, it can lead to rot or mold in the walls and framing members. Some of the common signs of foundation problems include windows that are slanted out of the square, doors on your interior that have a visible, slanting gap at the top when they’re closed, and floors that are noticeably uneven in places. If it turns out that you have problems with your foundations, then it’s probably going to cost a lot to repair. However, it won’t cost as much as the value it will take off the market price of your house.

Plumbing Problems

A lot of us take our plumbing for granted. We barely ever see it, and even if there’s a faucet that takes a while to heat up or get to a decent pressure, it’s nothing we can’t live with. However, if you have plumbing issues in your house, and don’t get them checked by a plumbing company before the home inspection, it has the potential to stop your sale in its tracks. Some common signs of plumbing problems include taps that drip forever when you’ve turned them off, sinks and baths that take a long time to drain fully, unusual sounds from the toilet when it’s flushing, and unpleasant smells. The worst sign of all is leaks, no matter how small they appear. Even the smallest of leaks can lead to costly structural damage over time, leading to perfect conditions for mold to grow, and lowering the value of your property.

Aging Roofing Materials

Credit: Wikimedia

As a home ages, its roofing materials age with it. This is an element of the construction that keeps us, and all the parts of the house nice and dry. As roofing material ages, it tends to let water intrusion through. Over time, this can call for some very expensive repairs, or even complete replacement. Furthermore, if your roofing material wasn’t installed properly in the first place, it will show premature signs of aging. You might not pay a lot of attention to your roof, but a professional home inspector certainly will! Get the ladder out, and take a look at the state of your roof. If the shingles are curling around the corners and edges, the sealant’s getting cracked and rusty, or you’re noticing random dark spots, it’s definitely a good idea to have a professional roofer look at it.

July 6, 2017

I know: you are very curious! Just who might have the best mattress this year? what should I watch out for? Are there specific brands that are idea for my needs? Or better still: are there certain kinds that are harmful? Apparently nobody wants to buy a mattress that may be hazardous and/or result to a negative health impact. As always, the consumer is always searching for the best deal.

Understanding the Mattress Market

Is it really important? Yes! Getting to know the dynamics behind the mattress market is a vital tool with respect to the aspect in question.  More specifically, consumers having basic knowledge of the industry are able to make smart decisions as opposed to the ones that don’t. Simply put, having some industry data will protect you from industry lies and aggressive marketing tactics.

So What Should I Know?

It’s simple, time dictates the mattress industry. Simply put, every year brings out new trends, beds and technology. While this is clearly commendable, it becomes a nightmare for the consumers. They are not able to determine what’s good as every entrant, claims supremacy over the other.  This is where reviews come in: they are and will still remain the best source of help when it comes to gauging mattress worthiness. In a nutshell, a consumer that has used a product day after day is more authoritative and his/her review would help another. As such Best Mattress Reviews are therefore indispensable.

Industry Stats for Most Popular Mattress by Reviews

While they’re lots of categories, Innersprings and memory foam have remained popular by reviews and/or consumer satisfaction rate. With an overwhelmingly high satisfaction rate, the two have commanded their top place in year (s) 2016 & 2017.

Memory foam Mattresses

The best mattress reviews often come within this particular category.  Owner reviews have consistently crowned this category: with a whopping 80% satisfaction rate. This is definitely a category to reckon with.

Innerspring Mattress

This kind contends with the first category. Consumer reports with reference to owner reviews have argued that this is the most popular. This has often been in the context of sales and accounting numbers. A majority have often purchased this kind! As of late, Industry has it that this trend is rapidly increasing.

What you should know!

The two brands out-perform a variety of other categories at least with regards to owner reviews. Know that’s commendable: while this is the case, the two categories are presented in a variety of foams and technology. Simply put, not every mattress within the said category will offer you great sleep.   Looking at the two, they are many brands with significant differences: therefore, category does not guarantee performance. The truth is, only a handful stand out at least with regards to what owner reviews are suggesting.

Lastly, prior to purchasing a mattress: consider its online presence and/or publication reports. This article narrows down your search by suggesting the two categories. Read carefully and make that purchase the right way!

July 5, 2017

We all know how important it is to get our bedrooms the way we want them. They are our sanctuaries. They’re the place we come to after a long, hard day. They’re also the first thing we see in the morning. So, a bad bedroom could have really negative implications. It could affect mood, mentality, and your ability to relax. It’s no wonder, then, that we spend so much time to get this space the way we want it. You could argue that it’s the most important room in the house.

But, there are less obvious implications to an imperfect bedroom. Those are what we’re focusing on. Have you ever considered how much of an effect your room has on your appearance? As this is the place you sleep, dress, and get ready, it makes sense that it would have some bearing on how you look. But, we’re going to look at the three leading roles your bedroom plays in appearance, and how to get the most from each.

The Beauty Sleep

Okay, so we’ve all heard about beauty sleep. But, did you realize there’s scientific evidence that sleep helps you look good? Obviously, sleeping well keeps you wide-eyed and bushy tailed. But, the hormones your body releases overnight also keep your skin healthy. So, it’s important you get as much sleep as possible.

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If there are noise or light distractions in your room, consider whether you could move elsewhere. Think, too, about how comfortable your bed is. Comfort is essential for good sleep. If necessary, you might want to consider a new mattress, duvet, and sheets. It’s worth looking at these sheet reviews and similar reviews for your other replacements to ensure you invest in the right option. This is the best way to ensure sleeping success!

The Makeup Application

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Sitting on your bed to do makeup may not be the best option. You might think you look fine, but dodgy lighting could hide all manner of sins. If you don’t have a vanity table in your bedroom, you should consider getting one. Investing in a vanity table means you can position yourself to get the best light in the room. It also gives you a place to store your beauty products. Having these on display is sure to make you feel good. Plus, you’re more likely to use them this way!

The Dressing Room

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Of course, let’s not forget that your bedroom is also the place you get dressed. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a separate dressing room, this is where you’ll put together outfits. To ensure you don’t go out looking like you got changed with your eyes closed, invest in a full-length mirror. This is an essential part of any bedroom. Hang it on the back of the door if you don’t have room anywhere else. Then, give yourself a once over before you leave for the day. You’ll be able to fix any last minute issues, and rest easy that you look your best!

July 4, 2017

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When we think of France, we think of the French as being luxurious, chic and the very pinnacle of what it is to be stylish. After all, Paris fashion week is one of the most famous on the planet, and for good reason too; the French just know how to dress beautifully and elegantly. What’s more, this sense of style crosses over into their interior design.

There is just something extremely distinct about a French home; the way they always seem to be so flawlessly arranged but in a way that suggests they haven’t even tried to accomplish that kind of look. It is all about undone aesthetics and stylistic nonchalance, and it works. It totally works.

It is no wonder so many want to replicate this kind of decor and design in their own homes and get a name for themselves as being effortlessly chic. That is why we have come up with a few tips and tricks to ensure you are able to bring that perfect French vibe into your home.

Maintenant, allez et rendez-vous chez vous belle

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Not Messy But Not Made

When you walk into a French home, whether it be a lovely chateau in the Champagne region or a boutique hotel in a side street of Paris, you will never see decor that is clinical. That is because French decor is all about having this rough around the edges and slightly undone look about it. Not messy but not made. It is a far cry from the style tips of a Beverly Hills designer who will urge you to overdo everything; the furniture, the wallpaper, the bed, everything. No. In French style, you need to be a little more care-free. Don’t worry about the wrinkled linen or the slightly unmade bed or the unvarnished wood beams, embrace them instead.

 

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Touch Of Lavish

The thing that seems to compliment this unmade vibe is contrast because the most French homes offer a sort of chic opulence. They aren’t afraid to have lavish touches of decor that sprinkled across their almost messy rooms. It could be a huge classic portrait, or a powerful armchair with carved legs, or silk curtains that are so long that they make a pile on the floor, or a huge mirror that has a gilded frame. All of these things work against the messiness to give off a vibe of effortless class and style. You have a lavish touch but you aren’t trying to show it off.

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Sense Of Shade

The French know the importance of being comfortable in their homes. In the winter months, they want to be toasty, almost too toasty, while in the summer they want their homes to be that fresh of breath air that the sun is preventing the outside world from being. In order to mimic this, you need to have air con. Of course, the French don’t have time for bad service in this respect, so get into full blown method acting mode and go with someone like Ken Starr of Home Comfort USA that prides themselves on great customer service. The other thing you will notice about French homes is their shutters. They adore shutters, and quite rightly so. They are gorgeous to look at from the outside, while they add to the rustic vibe on the inside; cracks of sun creeping through the slats.

Disarming Wardrobe

The French don’t do wardrobes, not like we do anyway. Part of being French chic is the ability to be effortlessly stylish without the need for a huge wardrobe with an expansive array of clothes to choose from. That is why the French prefer to have open rails with everything on display; shelves, drawers and a bar to hang their best items on. They may also have a single piece of furniture for them to perch on; a big armchair or just an ottoman or something. So why not add this to your bedroom by having an armoire in your bedroom. Of course, you could just as easily add one of these to your bathroom and use it to store your linens and towels instead of your clothes.

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Beautiful Bathrooms

We mentioned bathrooms and so we need to talk about them. The one thing you’ll notice about the French is that they love baths. They love enjoying a long soak in a deep tub. It is a way of life and part of their relaxed lifestyle that shouts luxury. That is where your bathroom can learn a thing or too from the French because instead of being clinical and modern and filled with the latest whatever, a French bathroom is just an extension of every other room. The same stylistic tips work here, from the gorgeous pictures on the wall to herringbone floors, a celebration of the architecture and a splash of lavishness, such as the use of a gold bar for the shower curtain. The only difference between the bathroom and every other room is that there is a free standing bathtub in the middle.

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Colors Are Subdued

The one thing you won’t see in a French home is a bright wall or one splashed with color. That’s just not how they do things; it isn’t how they create that shabby chic look. Bare walls are canvases for them. That is why they love pale walls, with chalky colors being used if they really want to push the boat out. This is because French architecture is so old and so gorgeous that they want the intricate skeleton of a home to be used as feature pieces and not have garish colors detract from that. Don’t get us wrong, you can use bold colors to make a room pop, just through decorative art, lampshades and the linen on a bed. Otherwise, leave the walls to be white, very pale green, sand or gray. That is how you create that effortless look of a French home, by using its natural beauty and not abusing it. A French home is subtly wow, and that is something that needs to be remembered throughout your decorating.

July 3, 2017

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For some reason, people find it very easy to overlook their floor, resulting in it looking sad, old and neglected. Maintaining a good floor isn’t as hard (or as expensive) as you may think. As long as you take out a little time to give it the care and attention it needs, it will last a lot longer, and look beautiful for many years to come.

Brand new

If you’ve just had the new flooring installed in your kitchen, living room, or wherever it may be, it will just need to have a quick wipe down before you can move the furniture back and go on about your day. If you’ve just had laminate or wood installed, then all you need to do is brush off any dust or dirt that has been left behind, and then rub it down with a dry cloth to get rid of any last bits. If it’s vinyl, you should wipe it down with a damp cloth that has been dunked in some warm water and a natural detergent to make sure it smells fresh.

Regular cleaning

Not a lot of people like to clean every day. It’s so much time and effort that feels wasted when it could be used sitting in the sun with a cold beverage instead, right? But the more regular you clean your floor, essentially the less you will have to do.

The type of material you have put down, will determine the kind of care that it will need to look and feel lovely again. Here are some examples.

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Laminate

Remove any bits off the floor as mentioned previously, and then wipe it down with a damp mop that has been spritzed with laminate cleaning solution. The mop should never be wet though, as too much liquid can damage the floor entirely, as it will start to leak through leaving you with damp spots, which can eventually turn moldy.

Once that’s done go over the area again with a dry mop or cloth to soak everything up while buffing.

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Vinyl

Sweep with a soft brush or vacuum up any bits that are on the floor. Once it’s all cleared, you can mop or wipe the area with warm water (never hot) and a detergent suited to vinyl flooring. Whatever you do, don’t use soap, as this coats the vinyl with a sticky film that actually makes it ten times easier for dirt to stick to it, as well as your feet.

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Carpet

When carpet cleaning, you can either get someone in to do the job for you, or have a go yourself. If you have any stains, you will need the right stain removal products that won’t end up doing more harm than good. So make sure you do the right research for the type of carpet you have. – You can’t go wrong with white wine vinegar. It’s one of the best natural products out there, targeting tough stains and smells all year round.

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Wood

If you mop, then you should always go with the grain of the wood to prevent it from aging. And when buffing, believe it or not a cloth diaper is the best thing to use, as they’re extremely soft and absorbent, perfect for giving you the shine you need.