Fashion & Lifestyle Blog
June 7, 2017

Home is an incredibly important place for many people. It’s often the place where you safe and secure. It’s a place where you can escape all of the problems and difficulties that often come along with everyday life in the outside world. For many people, it’s the one place where they genuinely feel comfortable and happy. It’s a protective bubble where everything is okay, and none of the pressures of daily life can get to you. Because of that, it’s that much more awful when something happens in your home to disrupt that feeling of safety and comfort. That kind of disruption can come from a lot of different places but, whatever the source, it effects can be long lasting and incredibly traumatic, for both you and your family. The very best way to deal with this is to do what you can to avoid it in the first place. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to protect your home from any disasters or problems that can end up disrupting the feeling of peace and calm that so many people so desperately need in their lives.

Everyday safety

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When it comes to staying safe at home, a lot of people tend to ignore a lot of simple, basic advice that could go a long way towards protecting them and their family. For one thing, far too many people assume that their appliances are just always going to work properly. This is a mistake of a couple of reasons. For one thing, if you’re not careful, an appliance could break right at the moment that you really need it. Not only that but replacing an appliance is often far more expensive than having it maintained. The other major issue is that, if you’re not careful, faulty appliances can pose a serious danger to you and your family. Faulty electrics and wiring can put you and your family at risk of electrocution which could result in a trip to the hospital, or worse. The same goes for all of the fuse boxes and plug sockets around your home. With the sheer amount of electrical power running through the majority of houses, you simply can’t afford to ignore the dangers present in your home if you don’t check things over regularly to make sure that it’s all in working order.

Security

One of the scariest things in the mind of many homeowners is the idea that an intruder can potentially invade their home. There are no words to describe to horror at realizing that someone else was in your home and has taken your belongings. Often the sense of intrusion is even worse than the loss of possessions. To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you it’s incredibly important to think about what security measures you want to take. The simplest measures are things like spotlights at the front and back of your home. Many of these spotlights have motion sensors so the movement of a potential intruder with set them off. Even if this doesn’t alert you to their presence, being exposed in the light is often enough to deter wannabe burglars. The option above that is some form of alarm system. From simple wireless alarm systems, to advanced systems that are installed directly into your home, there are options to suit just about every budget. In an ideal world, you’ll never actually need the alarm at all, but just having it there is often enough to help a lot of people sleep a little easier at night.

Structural problems

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Depending on the age of your house, there’s a chance that there are issues with it that actually come from within, rather than from outside. Older houses often have structural issues that, while not necessarily noticeable to most people, can potentially cause some serious disasters. It’s a great idea, if you’re living in an older property, to have the whole thing checked over by a professional. That way they can identify any structural issues that need to be remedied before something terrible happens. Often these kinds of issues can just be down to age, or outdated architecture, and sometimes they can be as a result of something like damp slowly rotting away parts of the property. Whatever the cause is, you should never wait to deal with it. While having it dealt with might be expensive, it’s going to be far worse trying to have any structural problems fixed after something has happened.

Pests

No one likes uninvited guests showing up in the home without warning, especially if those guests take the shape of a swarm of creepy crawlies. Most homes will end up with some kind of infestation at some point, and it can be enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that there are as few places as possible for pests to make their home. Seal up any holes in the brickwork around your home so things like wasps and bees can’t set up a hive there. Not only that but you should make sure to keep your home as clean as possible so that you’re not creating an environment that is likely to attract things like ants and cockroaches.

It’s important to remember that, no matter what you do there’s always a chance that there will be things out of your control and that problems will occur in your home. Hopefully, by taking these steps you can reduce the chances of that happen considerably, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared for the eventuality of something happening. Make sure that you have things set up to protect yourself and your home in the event of some kind of disaster, from having the right insurance to knowing what to do in the event of something going wrong. Things like this are never going to be easy to deal with, but by prepared, you can at least reduce the damage they do to both your home and your life as a whole.

June 5, 2017

Now that summer’s here, you’ll want to make sure that your home is as comfortable and as economical as possible. If you’ve had summers where you had to choose between massive energy bills and spending your time off as a sweaty, sticky mess, you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of easy ways you can make your home comfortable over summer, without spending a small fortune.

Make Your Window Coverings Work for You

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One of the easiest and cheapest ways to mitigate the intense summer heat is making a point to keep your blinds and curtains closed in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest and hottest. The sun shining through the windows, particularly if your home doesn’t get a lot of shade or your windows are relatively old, can contribute massively to the temperature indoors. Keep the curtains and blinds closed, and you’ll do a lot to keep the temperature and your energy bills low. It’s not rocket science!

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

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If you’ve picked up on the buzz around programmable thermostats and thought that they were a gimmick, think again! The modern conveniences supplied to us by business owners like Ken Starr have given us the means to keep our homes as comfortable as possible, but these clever little devices can make those conveniences much more economical. Getting a programmable thermostat installed, and using it properly, will ensure that the home stays nice and cool when you’re there, but also that your air con isn’t leaking money when you know you’re going to be out of the house. Programmable thermostats can be a bit of a nuisance if everyone in your family has a schedule that changes all the time. However, if you have a regular, dependable schedule to stick to, it can be remarkably easy to let your home get warmer when you’re not around, but have it nice and breezy when you come through the door. If you feel slightly lost reading about programmable thermostats, the Energy Star website has a handy guide.

Get a Ceiling Fan

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Contrary to what many people believe, staying comfortable when the weather’s hot is much more about the way the air hits your skin than the actual temperature of it. Ceiling fans can make a space feel ten degrees cooler, and only use a small fraction of the energy required to run a central air con system. Obviously, when you’re in the peak of a heatwave, a ceiling fan isn’t going to do much, and you may need to lean on your air con a little more. However, getting a ceiling fan can still be a huge help in making your home more comfortable in the summer, all the while keeping a cap on your energy bills. Design Necessities has an excellent guide for choosing a ceiling fan that’s right for you.

If you were dreading the price of staying comfortable this summer, we hope this post has helped you keep cool at home, without spending a small fortune!

 

May 12, 2017

Adding floor space to your home is never easy. It involves a fair bit of planning and money. But making your home look and feel bigger is actually a lot easier than you might think. Yes, it involves a bit of effort, but it doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. Here are some pro tips to make your home feel more spacious.

Declutter The Entryway

Wall of Shelves

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Removing clutter from small rooms is just about the best thing you can do to help open up your home. Taking furniture out of the hallway and bringing it into the living room maximizes the space. If you need to store things like hats, coats, and bags in your entryway, consider adding in-built shelving. This will help to add vertical interest to the space and show off any architectural detailing.

Renovate Doorways

Pixabay

Jeffrey Blum from a design studio in New York says that many people think about removing entire walls before enlarging a door. But in his opinion, enlarging a doorway can be just as effective in many situations.

The idea is to make the doorway feel as wide and as tall as possible, given height and width constraints. This creates an open plan feel when the door is open, even if the house has dividing walls. Blum says that homeowners can amplify the look by adding things like recessed lighting, a window above the doorway and wooden paneling around the door frame.

Build A Second Building

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Another way to make your home look and feel bigger is to add additional buildings. Ranches and farm houses are rarely a single building. Rather, they’re a complex of multiple buildings and feel bigger as a result. There’s been some talk about Armstrong in the press recently, a company that makes steel outbuildings for the residential market. Forbes has them on their radar as one of their growth businesses, and it’s partly down to the fact that people want more utility space in their homes. Getting stuff out of the house and to another location really makes a big difference and so it might be worth investing in a second building or annex.

Make Small Rooms More Pleasing

Sometimes, there isn’t much you can do about the square footage in your home. But even if a room can’t be made any bigger, there are things you can do, besides covering the walls with mirrors, to make it feel larger.

If you’ve got French double doors, throw them open. Also, buy in reflective furniture or tiles and give a sense of space by creating depth to all the objects. Polished marble on the floor works really well in this regard.

Use Oversized Flooring

If you’ve ever been into a bathroom with mosaic tiles, you’ll have noticed that the room itself is often very large (usually because it’s part of a luxury home). But it turns out, at least according to the World Floor Covering Association, that smaller tiles actually make small rooms look smaller. Their advice is to splash out on the largest tiles that you can afford, no matter what the pattern to provide an optical illusion of size and space.

May 12, 2017

We live in a world fascinated by technology, and we constantly feel a need to own the latest and greatest gadgets. That’s because clever marketing strategies tell us that those devices will change our lives for the better. Unfortunately, those impacts will be very limited if you don’t know how to get the most out of them.

First and foremost, smartphones and computer devices are designed to be communicational devices. Therefore, using those gadgets to actively boost your social life is a great starting point for anyone. After all, feeling a closer connection to people provides the perfect foundation for a generally happy life.

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Those social connections can also extend themselves into the world of dating. The stigma previously attached to finding love online no longer exists, and millions of people use those Apps and websites on a daily basis. As long as you are honest with yourself as well as potential dates, it could be a life-changing element.

Having said that, tech devices are also designed to keep you entertained at times where human interaction is lacking. These FoxyBingo reviews show how playing games for money can provide a buzz even when you’re alone, especially when you stick to your limits. Meanwhile, video games, music streams, and other services can work wonders too.

While personal enjoyment is one of the main attractions when buying new tech, it’s important to appreciate their key functions. Those communicational aspects can often add to your safety, especially when you use tracking devices. Quite frankly, we all have a responsibility to take note of those factors.

Computers and handheld devices can also be used to enhance other aspects of our life through greater organization. Learning to use spreadsheets and scheduling in an effective manner can work wonders. Meanwhile, there are many Apps on the market to assist you with managing bills and making automatic payments.

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Online systems can also help you save serious sums of money. In addition to price comparison sites, you can use promotion codes from the Coupons website to gain discounts on various goods. Moreover, research into various household jobs could enable you to remove the need for professional support. This can only see your overheads move in the right direction.

Technology can also increase your opportunities for income too. For starters, you can find job vacancies on a variety of job boards, including industry-specific ones. Moreover, creating a portfolio site or stronger CV through those facilities may enable you to climb the career ladder far soon.

Nowadays, it’s even possible to operate a small business from home. Whether it’s a side project or your full-time position, technology is the key to success. Get this right, and it could unlock the door to a financially stable future.

Essentially, technology can do almost anything you want it to. If you’re willing to embrace your devices and software to their full potential, then you will see huge rewards. Given the amount of money spent on those products, that’s the least you deserve.

May 10, 2017

Pic from Pexels.com

Decorating your home should be a time of great excitement and anticipation. But it is also a time that leaves our homes and possessions at significant risk. There are always going to be hits and misses when it comes to design issues and decor clashes, of course, but there are also some disastrous problems that can arise when you are renovating and decorating your house. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems you need to avoid.

Going over budget

First up, it’s an issue that almost everyone has encountered before – spending far too much money. It’s a huge problem that can cost you a small fortune, wipe out your savings, and even put you into debt. There are some genuine horror stories out there that involve people upgrading a kitchen or bathroom, only to find that they can’t afford to finish it due to poor estimations and problems arising while the work is carried out. To avoid this major issue, always choose a trades business that has a great reputation for accurate quotes, and also ensure that you run through some checks beforehand to find out whether or not your home needs repair work done first.

Security problems

Whether you have scaffolding erected outside your home or are having an extension, bear in mind that access will be a lot easier for burglars. In fact, some criminals will actively look for homes that are having major renovations, as they are incredibly easy targets. Ultimately, your home security systems will be down for long periods, so it’s important to speak to your building team about temporary security solutions.

Plumbing and electrics

Once you start stripping back your home, banging in nails and removing walls, there are plenty of issues that can arise as a result. As Sydney Metro Plumbing points out, emergencies happen all the time when it comes to water, heating, and pipe problems in your home. And the chances of a burst pipe or damaged electrical point increases significantly when you are nailing into walls and moving bathroom or kitchen fixtures and fittings. Be very careful that you don’t end up damaging the delicate wiring and piping that is usually safe behind your walls – always use a plumbing and wiring detector.

Health and safety

Building firms and construction workers have to work within strict regulations when it comes to health and safety. Yet few of the general public will bother when they are decorating their homes. The temptation is that you can cut corners to save time and money, but ultimately, the vast majority of accidents that end up in a hospital visit occur in the home. If you want to stay safe and avoid a disastrous and incapacitating injury, make sure you are wearing safety goggles and clothing, using step ladders properly, and being careful when doing any kind of DIY.

Decorating your home yourself can save you a lot of money – but you need to get it right. If your work ends up breaking something – or breaking you! – you might regret not hiring a professional.

April 20, 2017

The technology that we literally have at our fingertips these days is pretty astonishing. All that we can access is right there in front of us. We can talk to friends that are miles away, even in different countries or time zones at the touch of a button. We can order food and have it delivered in a couple of hours. So with all of that in front of us, our social lives should be the best they’ve ever been, right? Wrong! For many people, they aren’t, and they need a bit of a shake up. So here is how you can use technology to help improve your social life, and not just let you become a recluse.

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Go Live!

If you’re at an event or somewhere that you want to tell people about, then how about going live on your Facebook page or your Instagram profile? First of all, people will get notified that you are going live on your page, so they can join in and see what you are doing. So it is a great way to reconnect with other people, especially those that you haven’t seen in awhile. You get to see who is logging on to see you, so it gives you the chance to ‘talk’ over it or to even reconnect after you’ve finished the live broadcast. If your friends are going somewhere that you want to be at, then you could always ask them to go live so you can see or hear whatever it is.

Video Calls

The only problem with going live on social media is that there are certain restrictions. If you’re at a concert or a gig, for example, the feed would be cut off because of copyright infringement purposes on the songs. So you can always use video calls too if you just want to be more specific with who you are sharing with. You can do this on social media platforms too, as well as on your phone with apps like Skype and FaceTime. With all of this, though, it means that your phone has to be in good working order. So if it isn’t working at it’s best, and you could look into how circuit board repairs can save your cell phone, as well as other storage or data problems that could be slowing it down. It also pays to have your charger with you or a backup power source. Then you can keep in touch to your heart’s content.

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Use Locations

If you are meeting friends for a drink, then you can easily send them your location in an app like WhatsApp. You don’t need to know the address of where you are either. You can simply press send location and choose who you want to send it to. It works well if you’re on a night out or a festival or gig too. Then you can meet up quickly and easily.

Connect Your Calendar

One of the great things with smartphones is that they can connect with our apps. So we can get notified when it is people’s birthdays, or certain dates to remember. So make sure you connect your calendar to them, so you’re always up to date with what is going on. You can also sync calendars with other people, such as your partner or best friend. Making plans was never so easy!