Tag Archives: house

How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

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How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

America is in the midst of a gardening boom: one in three households grows food at home or in a co-op garden. Even millennials are joining in with gardening and the economic downturn doesn’t discourage people, either. Those with green thumbs are sure to dread the winter months. While your hard work is shining bright in the spring and summer, during the winter your pride and joy can sometimes be buried under a layer of frost and dead leaves. However, if you’re willing to change your perception a little, winter can actually be a great time for your garden. Here’s why, and a few tips on how to make your winter garden look fantastic:

Benefits of winter for your garden:

It turns out that gardens that experience winter may have some advantages over their warmer cousins. According to research from the University of Minnesota, many pests which are harmful to gardens hibernate when the weather gets cold. In addition, weeds grow more slowly and thanks to low light and less evaporation, plants often require less water in the winter. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Choose winter friendly veggies and crops:

Although you might have to give up on your tomatoes and most other fruiting crops during the winter months, there are many tasty and cold-hardy vegetables you can try to grow, instead. Top choices are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, and some types of spinach. Look for vegetables with leaves, stems, and roots, that mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. As an added bonus, some of these vegetables sweeten as the weather gets colder!

Making your garden look great:

There are many ways to brighten up a barren winter garden. Focal points such as an outdoor wall mounted fountain, a sculpture, or boulder can draw interest all year round. Water features such as ponds can look stunning in winter, becoming the center of attention in contrast to their plainer surroundings.

Thanks to the lack of weeds, winter-hardy plants, and the potential for dramatic winter views, winter gardening is a lot nicer than you might think. So grab your gloves and your shovel and join America’s gardening boom. 

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Plan Your Dream Bathroom Interior For 2018

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Plan Your Dream Bathroom Interior For 2018

The festive season is here, and before long you’ll be opening Christmas gifts and enjoying quality time with those you love. The holidays are often a time where you receive presents from loved ones and friends, and bath products, fancy shower scrubs, and special toiletries are often a go-to gift for many. New toiletries that you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself can be a real treat, and many enjoy a relaxing soak in their tub or a refreshing cleanse in their shower space. However, if you flinch every time you walk into your bathroom environment; it could be time to focus on its renovation and ensure that 2018 is the year that you enjoy spending time in there.

Tired bathrooms with old broken tiles and dated sinks can leave you in a bad mood every morning, especially as you’ll have no other choice but to brush your teeth and wash your hair in there. Therefore, it’s time to open up your laptop, get your notebook and pen ready, and start planning what you’ll need to organize regarding how you want your fresh bathroom to look and function. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those who want to embark on creating their ideal space in the new year so that a long soak in their bath becomes a regular thing for 2018:

The Functional Side:

This might be the bit where you lose a little interest; however, it’s crucial that you invest in the functionality of your bathroom above all else. The building and plumbing work cannot be a last minute decision just because you’ve put so much emphasis into the style and design (that’s coming later). Therefore, you’ll need to start by hiring a reputable building company and a plumbing specialist who won’t overcharge you for the work that they carry out and who can ensure that your bath water is running smoothly for the foreseeable future. The plumbing and pipes in your bathroom space need to be secure and well maintained so that you don’t get any surprise leaks in the new year. Leaks or plumbing issues can lead to permanent damage; which will have wasted both your money and time. It’s essential that you find companies you trust to do the job, and are reassured that you’ll receive quality service and results.

The Decorative Side:

This is the part that you’re probably thinking about the most. If you’ve invested wisely in the building and plumbing side of things, you can focus on the style, layout, and design of the environment (Yay!). You can be thrifty and creative with your choices, so don’t just run towards the nearest bathroom showroom and buy the whole suite from one place; this can be a costly mistake. Take your time to source items, even if that means waiting a little longer for your dream bathroom to happen. Check out online auction sites, reclamation yards, and vintage warehouses for vintage bathtubs, secondhand sinks, and spare boxes of tiles. You’d be surprised at how well you can clean up a tub so that they look brand new, but retain all the charm and character of their era, without the ridiculous price tag. The same goes for showerheads and taps; these are so much more affordable second hand and will polish up nicely so that you end up with a bespoke and unique space to soak up the bubbles.

Mixing and matching your tiles will create a style statement in any space, so consider an array of prints, sizes, and shapes for your bathroom. You’ll be able to save money by purchasing boxes, or even individual tiles from those who have bought too many for their own interior. It won’t matter if they are all different if you go with the flow and decide to enjoy an eclectic space in which to shower.

Bathroom accessories will be next on your shopping list, so make sure that you take the same approach as with your tiles; source them from an array of places and mix it up for ultimate bathroom charm and character. Mirrors, vases, toothbrush holders, and soap dishes can all make an interior statement, so don’t stick to the usual store-bought items that everyone has; go vintage instead.

The more creative you are with your choices, the more money you can save on your bathroom renovation project; you can utilize this and put it towards the right team of people to fit your appliances and ensure that it’s functional for a long time ahead.

Featured Image Found At: lifewithlilred

When Eclectic = Frugal

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When Eclectic = Frugal

Having an eclectic taste has been a fashionable choice for a while. It means that you don’t just go into one store, buy everything there, and have a perfectly matching house and wardrobe. Instead, you have found things that really speak to your personality and created an interior with a most interesting dynamic.

But sometimes, what eclectic means is frugal.

You didn’t shop at just one store because you know where the better deals lie. You are willing to trawl through flea markets to find a vintage sofa half price and you know that inheriting things from your parents and grandparents is the best way to fill any home.

Need a bit of help to get started? Here’s what you do:

Set A Budget & Save:

When you’re trying to get along on very little money, setting budgets for yourself is the best way to manage your finances. Not only will you see just how hard you have to work for each thing, you will also be able to set a realistic time frame to get what you want. If you can take on odd jobs here and there or find ways to make extra income, you will certainly benefit and get your want list faster.

Make a list of all of the things that you need and want in your house. This should include everything from the necessaries like a sofa to the more decorative, like mirrors or cool TV stands. Put a rough estimate on how much you would like to spend on each thing, then put them in order of priority. So, if you have nothing to sit on, the sofa will come at the top, if you already have a sofa that will do, it goes at the bottom. Now you can see how much you need to earn and save and can gradually tick things off of the list.

Make Do & Mend:

To bring the price of your list down, you should look for opportunities to make do with the things you have. Mending a sofa could be cheaper than buying a new one, so have a look at what you’ve got and see what you can do with it. This attitude is also really helpful in charity shops and flea markets that sell second hand furniture. If you think that something is salvageable, you could get a really good bargain on it. When you are in the habit of making the most of what you’ve got, buying new just won’t have the same charm.

Upcycling AKA Recycling:

Staying on the sofa theme, upcycling is often a really good way to make something old and worn new and beautiful. At the very heart of the eclectic style is the idea that you can reupholster any classic sofa in a vibrant modern fabric and achieve a completely new and beautiful look.

You should also be on the lookout for things that you can use in other ways, too. You would be surprised at the things you can make use of to great effect. Have you ever thought of using colanders as a set of bath shelves? No? Here’s how you can make that happen!

Eclectic is cool and is a great way to ball on a budget. Let your personal style shine through with quirky choices and turn your home into a charming space in no time.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

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Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

Many of us love the idea of heading to the spa for a day of total relaxation. Slipping on that white fluffy robe and slippers, indulging in a massage, a facial, a manicure, or pedicure. Lounging around on those beds reading a magazine and maybe enjoying a glass of champagne. It can be a girls’ dream day, but it can also be an expensive one. However, there is no reason why you can’t get the same level of relaxation at home from your very own bathroom.

There are simple things that you can change in your bathroom to make it feel more spa-like, and there are certainly bigger investments that you can make to improve how your bathroom looks. But every girl deserves a place to chill, and the throne room can be that little piece of heaven that you crave at the end of the day. Creating an at home spa experience isn’t all that difficult, so let’s discuss how to do just that:

Major Changes (If You Want!):

One of the biggest transformations that you can make to your bathroom, and also the most expensive way to achieve a new look, is to replace the bathroom entirely and fit a new suite. You could use this opportunity to change the layout and even consider something a little different like a free-standing bathtub – companies like Kardiel have a great selection! Whichever way you want to go, replacing your bathroom can be the ideal way to create an at home spa experience. While it can cost you a fair bit to remodel, it can also increase the value of your home, meaning the investment is never truly lost. Talk about a win/win!

Making Simple Updates:

If you don’t want to replace the whole bathroom, you could choose to update it in other ways. Changing the tiling you have on the floor, swapping the basin for a vanity unit, or painting the walls in a more neutral tone could really brighten up the bathroom area and change the way that it looks and feels. You don’t even have to be as extreme as getting the paint brush out, sometimes just investing in some new towels and colorful accessories or prints for the wall can give your bathroom the update that it needs.

Light All The Candles:

One of the great ways a spa can help you relax is because they have a clever use of low lighting, and one way to achieve that is through candle light. You could consider oil burners, which takes advantage of the light as well as an essential oil scent to help you relax even further. Lavender or eucalyptus are always good ones to consider. Candles also help to relax the mind, so having a nice warm bath by candle light could be the perfect remedy for a stressful day.

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 What’s your favorite candle scent?

Smartphone Savvy:

While you may be thinking that the last thing you want to be doing while relaxing in your bathroom is to be messing around on your phone, please reconsider! There are some great apps that you can download to recreate the sounds of a spa. Mood music or even listening to some guided meditation can be a great way for you to channel your thoughts and enjoy your R&R time.

DIY Treats:

Part of the spa experience is to enjoy a treatment or two, and while a massage might not be in the cards unless you have a willing partner, there are other treatments that you can easily do at home. You could consider putting on a face mask, which is a great way to deep clean your skin and pores, and adding a few slices of cucumber over your eyes might help you feel like you are actually at the spa. You could also give yourself a pedicure or manicure by filing and shaping your nails and adding a splash of color with some vanish. There are some great DIY beauty methods you could also try like coconut oil added to your hair for a conditioning treatment or creating a body scrub from coffee. You can find a ton of articles online full of ideas and recipes!

Pop Some Bottles:

Finally, whether you enjoy a glass of bubbles, your favorite wine or beer, or even just a hot chocolate or a good cup of tea, arm yourself with your favorite drink, put on your best robe, and get ready for a soothing evening in. Enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Looking For A House? Savvy Tips For Your Search

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Looking For A House? Savvy Tips For Your Search

House hunting is probably one of the most exciting and important things that you will ever do. You are looking for a place that you will be investing lots of time and money in, as well as living in, so you are definitely going to want it to be one hundred percent right. That means you have to be savvy and up to speed when looking for your new property. With that in mind, read on to find out all you need to know about being a smart home hunter and finding the place of your dreams:

Be ready to move financially:

One thing that savvy house hunters do to speed the process up and make it less stressful is to make sure that they are ready to move financially before they start looking. That means that they have their deposit saved, they have their mortgage approved provisionally, or they have their previous house sold. This also means no going to open houses unless you are truly in a position to make a move if you like it. Otherwise, you risk finding your perfect home and not being able to do anything about it. Then, you will experience the heart break of having to watch as someone else waltzes in and takes it out from under your nose.

Having your finances in order is essential, because as soon as you see a home that you like, you can swoop in and make an offer. This makes the process a lot quicker for you, and it also stops other people from getting there first.

Know your budget and what you can get for it:

Next, savvy home hunters are well aware of their budget before they start looking and they are able to adhere to it. Sure, it can be fun to look at places that stretch the budget, especially if they have everything on your wish list, but the fun will stop once you realize that there is no way that you can move forward with the purchase.

Having said this, some folks do anyways and then get stuck with a property that they cannot comfortably afford. This means that they risk a reduction in the quality of their life and possibly foreclosure if they get too far behind. Obviously, neither of these situations are ideal.

The key question that you need to ask yourself is whether what you want and what you can afford actually tally up. It’s easy to get into a situation where we think that we should have a huge home with all sorts of amazing additions, especially since we see them on TV all of the time. However, back in the real world, your budget may just not stretch to that, so as a smart home hunter, you need to have a serious reality check before you even start to actively look for homes.

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#ballinonabudget

Consider all of the options:

Savvy home hunters are particularly clever when it comes to exploring all of the options available to them. That means that they look at houses, apartments, and bungalows before making their final decision. It also means that they consider better value options such as resale hdb instead of new builds, micro houses, or even houseboats. Remember for a smart house hunter, the main goal is for the property to meet their needs and be within budget, and if a more alternative option does this, then it shouldn’t be ruled out as a contender.

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A big house may seem appealing, but remember the cost!

Decide on a location:

The importance of location when buying a property is well known, and another strategy that savvy home hunters use is to know exactly which locations they want and then stick to it.

To be able to do this yourself you will need to do your research first. A good way to go about this is to write down a list of attributes that you want the area to have. These may include being picturesque, modern, city central, near to good schools, and the like. Then, use this list as a guide when looking at possible locations. However, while using the list, you must always remember to cross-reference this with whether the types of properties available there fit in with what you need and your budget.

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Keys, please!

With the tips above in mind, you will be a savvy home hunter in no time! Make your list, check your budget, and hit the market for your dream home!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Making The Ultimate She Shed

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Making The Ultimate She Shed

Man caves have been around for decades. This space in one’s humble abode tends to be an attic room or a shed at the bottom of the garden. It’s always somewhere out of the way where the guy in your life can squirrel himself away and play with his train set, perfect his 1:16 replica of a spitfire, or enjoy some video games. But it’s not just guys who need some extra space to veg out for a bit. Check out some of these ideas for the ultimate woman cave AKA the she shed:

The Music Lover:

A she shed isn’t always sparkly, filled with love hearts, glitter, and pink. A woman cave is a space designated solely for you, a place that allows you to feel at your most comfortable and enjoy your hobbies. For the music lover, you may want to set up a high-quality sound system to play your old vinyl LPs or CDs. Build bespoke shelving to house your 1990s music collection. And for the organization lovers, of course you can alphabetize your collection!

If you love playing a musical instrument, soundproof the room and set up your drum kit, house your selection of bass guitars, or sing away to your heart’s content. Set up some recording equipment, too, if you want to gift everyone with your holiday music covers for Christmas!

Games Room:

It’s not just men that enjoy gadgets, gizmos, and games. While you may not be the most avid console player in the world, you still might like to partake in pool, poker, and board games. If you’re keen to get the girls over to enjoy your woman cave with you, why not investigate the best foosball tables on the market. This quick game of soccer conducted within a games table is fun, fast, and competitive. With your music playing, the drinks flowing, and great company, the addition of a foosball table, darts board, or pool table is a no-brainer.

Book Worm:

If you’re more into finding a little bit of seclusion away from even your closest pals, you may want a space that gives you some alone time. A cellar, attic, or she shed is your best bet to fully remove yourself from the stresses and strains of daily life. If you are an avid reader but find that life simply gets in the way of you getting lost in a good book, it’s time to find a retreat for your novel collection and get reading. Immersing yourself in a fine classic can be the best way to let go and remove yourself from reality, even if it’s just for a little while. Be sure to add a mini fridge for a glass of wine while you read!

It’s time to banish the stereotypical man cave and embrace the she shed, the woman cave, and the lady attic. It’s not just men that need their space, womankind does too. Locate that place within your home and get to building your cave to embrace your little slice of heaven.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Bright Ideas To Spruce Up A Gloomy Home

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Bright Ideas To Spruce Up A Gloomy Home

When summer is put behind us, it’s tempting to revert to dark, deep colors. Mustard yellows and soft browns are autumnal and reflect the changing leaves outside. However, if one goes too far with a deep color palette, a gloomy home can be created, which is somewhat depressing. Remember that the sun sets far earlier and that there is less sunlight during the autumn and winter months. Exploiting light to combat this is never as important as it is now and in the months to come.

Don’t fret, though, because sprucing up a gloomy house is by no means impossible. In fact, with the following tips, it’s pretty easy!

Paint It White:

The Rolling Stones are a fan of painting things black, but they’re rock stars and allowed to be miserable. The average person can’t pull off their attitude without a guitar in hand. So, as a rule, it’s better to use white when brightening up a home. The reason for this is the sheen. All paint is glossy, yet white has an extra shine, which gives it an added edge. Even lighter colors can’t compete because they are softer and not as bright. It’s okay to use non-autumnal colors. Use white as the foundation, and then you can accessorize the rest of the house with darker tones.

Glass Paneled Doors:

Removing blockages from the windows and using power light bulbs are simple fixes. Still, the light may not travel well from one room to another. The reason, quite simply, is the blockages within the rooms. Doors are a prime example because they are big and bulky. As soon as the light hits the wood or PVC, it will bounce elsewhere. With panels, the rays will travel straight through unimpeded and into the next area of the house. The doors don’t have to be paneled from head to toe because it’s overkill. Just install them halfway up the wood for excellent results.

Make It Fun:

You didn’t think to brighten up a home was all about light, did you? No, the right light settings are crucial but not the end of the line. To make a house less gloomy, it needs to be a place that you enjoy. Whether it’s relaxing or bright and poppy, there should be a stylish and practical nature throughout the property. Relaxing is easy, so let’s focus on having fun. If there is space, turn an empty bedroom into a games room. The best billiard tables can provide you with hours of entertainment. Make sure you get a mini fridge and an awesome speaker system, too! Finally, make sure that the house is accessible. Nothing is more annoying than struggling to move in your own home. Clear away the clutter and the boxes and watch the space and light flow better than ever.

Keep It The Same:

The above are useful tips if a gloomy house is a problem. But what if you love your house the way it is?! Keep everything the same if your home looks perfect. For one thing, it should be a reflection of your family’s likes and dislikes. Secondly, some people are winter people, as in they love this time of year. In that case, embrace the dark afternoons and freezing cold temperatures! Pull a Mick Jagger and Paint It Black and light some candles for a spooky chic atmosphere. Go all out, because nothing is cooler than a house that is completely and utterly you.

A murky home is not always doom and gloom. But if you do want to brighten things up, follow the above steps and let the sunshine in!

Featured Image By: PxHere