Domestic Disasters, And What To Do About Them

Although most of us are lucky enough to live in an area that isn’t at much risk of a massive natural disaster, there are still a range of smaller emergencies that can strike your home, causing all kinds of stress, expensive repairs, and embarrassment. Sometimes this is down to plain bad luck, but there are some domestic disasters that you can take steps to tackle and prevent. Here are some of the most common, and what you can do to repair and avoid them.

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Damaged Roof or Gutter

If your roof is damaged, it can be extremely expensive to repair. However, when you’re facing this issue, it’s essential that you have it repaired by a licensed and well-reputed professional. Click here to see a list of recommended roofing contractors. On the other hand, if your gutter and downpipe is clogged, this is much easier to fix by yourself. The first thing you should do is look for leaves. They can build up in gutters surprisingly quickly during the autumn, and slow down their drainage massively. A ladder, a refuse bag, and a brush can make easy work of all the leaves up there. Remembering to do this on a fairly regular basis will keep your drainage working efficiently all year around.

Broken or Burst Hot Water System

Hot water is such a standard part of life that it can be easy to forget how much you rely on it, for baths, showers, cleaning dishes, and all the rest. The average water heating system has a functional lifespan of 10-15 years. If you’re only starting to notice that yours is beginning to act up, it may be time to buy a new one, hiring a licensed installer to set it up. However, if you know that the heating system has only been part of the home for a few years, and you’re noticing problems and inconsistencies, you may need to hire in an appliance repair service. Click here to find out more about these services. If the issue is in the heating elements themselves, you may be able to fix the issue yourself. Just remember that there’s a risk that you’ll damage the system, so take your time and source all the information you can.

Locking yourself Out

This is probably the most embarrassing home disaster to make the list, and one that a lot of people will experience at one time or another. Whether your kid has scampered ahead of you when you were just coming home, you were taking out the trash and forgot to prop the door open, or you lose your keys on a big night out, this is one of the most frustrating disasters you can experience at home. There’s a quick and easy way to prevent this; hide a spare key somewhere you can access around the outside of the home. This poses a slight security risk, but there’s bound to be some decent hidey hole on your property. This one little precaution can save you from a massive locksmith’s fee!

Added Value: Up-sell Your Home!

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Finally, you’ve heard from the real estate agent. They’ve got a buyer who’s interested, and a viewing’s been booked for tomorrow. You should be excited, but instead, you’re worried, the last time you got an offer it was far too low not to mention an insult to all the blood, sweat and tears you’ve put into making an average house into your dream home!

Present A Blank Canvas

No one wants to walk into a house and trip over kids toys, wonder who’s in all the photos on the walls or see endless books and magazines cluttering surfaces. Pack away anything that’s really personal, cut down family photos by about 50% and make sure you’ve got no paperwork lying around that looks messy. Think of it this way, when you come to sell; you’ll be boxing stuff anyway so doing it now will save you time. Remember, these people are strangers, they aren’t your friends and so need a proper welcome. Have good coffee ready, make sure you’ve popped some fresh flowers in a vase and arranged a plate of biscuits in the kitchen. Light some scented candles but make sure the fragrance isn’t too overpowering a good bet is usually fresh linen or cookie dough.

Bigger, Better, Brighter

Yes, you might love using low energy bulbs but now’s not the time to have them. Swap them out for full strength ones, switch on all the lamps and lights you can and make sure all blinds, curtains, and screens are wide open so everyone can see the garden. Consider buying a state-of-the-art table lamp, or stunning chandelier for the hall as it’ll give the impression of wealth and success making someone worry about missing out on such a desirable, well cared for property. The goal is to encourage feelings, for instance,

pregnant couples will respond favorably to happy, carefully edited, memories of family life you casually share.

Got It Flaunt It

Every home has that WOW factor, the one place that just makes people think it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen. For some properties, it’s the garden, the outdoor dining area, the stunning master bedroom with ensuite and rainforest shower. Identify the USP and show it off. For instance, a tech loving buyer will adore any cool gadgets or fun features, while buyers who appreciate sustainable living will immediately look for solar panels. Point out those beauties straight away! Inform the prospective buyer that the solar panel installation company is one of the best in the area and will happily take care of any problems as well as having a 24 /7 call out service for preferred customers. Your real estate agent should also liaise with you beforehand on what to say about which room, and try to get a feel about what they’re looking for within the first few minutes of the viewing.

Plants Not Ornaments

Floral arrangements are fantastic, but you obviously don’t want to have to keep buying new ones for each viewing. Look for plants that’ll last the distance, go fake if you really must, and choose bouquets that complement each room’s color scheme.

 

Very Simple Changes For A Dramatic Interior Design Revamp

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Every few years our homes start to look a little tired. This could be something as simple as fingerprints on the paint, or it could be that your interior design is a little dated. Whatever the reason, our homes should be something we are proud of. However, most of us can’t afford dramatic changes to keep up with our tastes and the style trends.  Not to worry, we have some simple changes that will give your home a whole new feel.

First up is your paint. A freshly painted home sends out a positive message. Clean and crisp walls make you look tidy, and your home almost seems to breathe cleaner.  If you have opted for something like Farrow & Ball, then it is going to cost you a lot of money to keep on top of your paintwork. So, when decorating always go for the best value for money paint, you can afford. Ultra flat matte looks really chic and luxurious; however, it will be much harder to keep looking fresh. A silk emulsion, however, will be easier to wash down should your dog shake his mud all over the hallway. Find a brand which suits you and fits your budget, then get painting and keep your home looking fresh.

Our hallways are another area which we often neglect. Leaving them full of clutter and overflow, some of us even dump the vacuum cleaner out in the lobby! However, your hall is the first place you see when you come in from a horrible day at work. It is also the first place your guests will see too. So making an effort to have a dazzling entrance will give you an instant lift. Your front door should be painted too, or even just washed down. Simple changes here can have a massive impact. Opt for furniture which doubles as storage and look at some of the ingenious storage solutions on the internet, like these stairs which double as storage compartments. If you have a glass panel on your door, then use screening glass or window film. This will give you better security too as people won’t be able to look into your home. It also means you aren’t blocking out natural light.

Upcycling has taken a real shine in the spotlight recently, and craft paint sales have risen by a massive 78 per cent in the last couple of years, proving that more people than ever and making good of what they have and creating something new. You could inject a little more personality into your room by painting a piece of furniture a neon shade. This would make a bold statement and wouldn’t cost you as much as buying a new bit of furniture.

If your kitchen is looking a little tired, then you can take two routes to achieve a huge change. Firstly, for darker wooden units you can simply take some paint and replace the color scheme in your kitchen. Taking old wooden oak doors and painting them white or a pale gray will really bring your whole kitchen bang up to date. Plus it won’t have cost you much at all. If you don’t have wooden doors, then you could simply change the doors themselves, instead of revamping the whole kitchen. You can also change your kitchen tops too. If you look on Ebay, you may find reduced rate kitchen cut-offs. This is an excellent way to modify the look of your kitchen!

One really simple way to alter the feel of your living room or bedroom is to change your soft furnishings completely. You could go for something new like these from montgomery.co.uk, or you could try to make your own if you are looking to save money. Adding different color cushions to your rooms will give you a whole new feel and can dramatically change the way it feels. Going with a full drop curtain instead of a blind will bring the room together and make it cozier

You can also make small changes such as swapping the handles on drawers, cupboards and your doors!

These are all very simple ideas which will give you that revamp you have been looking for. You don’t have to change everything all in one go, take your time and move room by room. Pretty soon you will have the home of your dreams, and it will be easy to change it up again should you fancy it in a few years.

Designing A Bathroom That’s Easy To Keep Squeaky Clean

If you are somewhat of a clean freak with a hatred for germs, then the idea of a bathroom that’s super easy to keep clean is probably incredibly appealing to you. The bathroom is the place in our homes where we go to not only relax and unwind at the end of a long and stressful day but also where we go to clean ourselves. However, bathrooms in themselves can be somewhat dirty places thanks to the fact that damp conditions are breeding grounds for germs.

That being said, there are ways that you can ensure that your bathroom is a hygienic space that’s easy to keep lovely and clean. To do that, keep reading below for all the best tips and ideas for creating a bathroom that’s easy to keep squeaky clean.

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Sensor-operated

One of the most common reasons that bathrooms are packed full of germs is because we touch one surface, such as the toilet seat, and then another, like the soap dispenser or taps. A great way to reduce the amount of germs that are spread around your bathroom is to invest in sensor operated items so that touching is minimal. Invest in a sensor operated toilet flush, taps, and a soap dispenser. You could also invest in lighting that turns off with a clap or click of the fingers, or even with the phrase ‘lights off’.

Flooring that’s easy to clean

If you want your bathroom to be a hygienic place, it’s important that all areas of it are easy to keep clean. Instead of opting for flooring that has grout in between it, such as tile flooring, pick a type of flooring that is smooth. Germs get trapped in the cracks between flooring and are difficult to clean out, which is why opting for smooth flooring is a much better option as this means that the flooring is easier to keep clean.

Wipeable surfaces and features

As well as the flooring being easy to keep clean, for a hygienic bathroom, it’s also important that all other surfaces are easy to keep clean. This means opting for surfaces, traditional radiators, paint, and light fixtures and fittings that are wipeable so that they can be kept easily clean. You also want these features to be made from materials that dry quickly, to help slow the rate at which bacteria grow – damp, warm spaces are ideal breeding grounds for germs.

Smart storage

Last but not least, when it comes to creating a bathroom that’s easy to keep clean and is as hygienic as possible, it’s important to be smart about your storage options. Throwing stuff into drawers isn’t hygienic as then everything is touching and germs can be easily spread. It’s much better to have shelving with boxes or buckets on for items to be distributed into, as these are much easier to keep clean than large drawers are.

Whether you’re a clean freak or not, it’s important to have a bathroom that’s easy to keep clean as it cuts cleaning time and helps to reduce the amount of dirt and germs in there.

Make Getting Ready A Breeze By Embracing Minimalist Styling

It seems like everywhere we look at the moment, the minimalist trend is lurking. This is a style that has crept into public consciousness slowly over the last couple of years and saw a huge flourish in mid 2016. Now, over half a year on, this style shows no sign of going away. Minimalism, in general, is described as a style which mainly comprises of pared-down design elements – anything considered to be ‘excess’ is simply removed. Some people class themselves as minimalists full stop, going way beyond simply enjoying the style and applying the philosophy to their whole lives.

This can mean that they live in a very simple way – perhaps with only a few items of clothing, the bare minimum in their kitchen cupboards and of course, absolutely no mess or clutter clogging up their homes. While this is a way of life that many people do choose to go down, it is something that requires a lot of dedication and in some cases a complete lifestyle overhaul. So, with that in mind, it’s not a problem if full-scale minimalism isn’t for you. However, there’s nothing to stop you experimenting with the style when it comes to your fashion sense. Minimalism is a great style to adopt partially because it’s so wearable; with muted tones and classic cuts, once you have a few items in your closet you already have a fairly established set of outfits to choose from! Here are some tips on embracing a fresh, minimalist style.

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Go through your whole closet

The first step to creating a minimalist wardrobe is to go through your whole closet ruthlessly. Yep, we mean ruthlessly! Take stock of everything you own and separate it all into piles: what you definitely want to keep, what just needs throwing out and what you can donate to charity. Of course, there will be some things you want to keep that don’t specifically fit the mold of a typical minimalist wardrobe, such as block colors and prints. But take into account what you could still work around. For example, a royal blue shirt could still be minimalist if paired with a pair of white tailored trousers and a white blazer. But slogan shirts or anything with a multi-colored pattern doesn’t really tend to fit the vibe. Write down how many grey/black/white pieces you already own and what they are, as these pieces are what you will build your new look around. Look at them as the foundations of an outfit – just as a house needs stable foundations, you also need a base to work with!

Buy less

You may wonder how it is possible to craft a whole new look for yourself without buying a ton of new clothes. But one important aspect of the minimalist trend is spending your money on quality, rather than quantity. The minimalist ethos is all about investment rather than splurging, so be mindful of what you are purchasing and where you are purchasing it. Do you find yourself heading towards cheaper stores on a day out at the mall? There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.

But if the clothes you buy from such places only last you a couple of months before they fade or break, you may want to consider parting with a little more cash on a higher-quality piece of clothing. Make sure you look for tailored pieces when crafting a chic, minimalist look, as this will automatically make it look more expensive, and gives you a timeless silhouette.

Accessorize wisely

Accessorizing a minimalist look means stepping into dangerous territory. On paper, you would think that accessories are a no-go full stop in a minimalist look, because they add interest and ‘fuss’ to an outfit. But, providing you do it with care, there is no reason why you can’t accessories a simple style without the accessories taking over. After all, some accessories are simply integral to our everyday lives, such as womens bags. When choosing a handbag or purse for everyday use, take into account your minimalist style.

Typically, the rule is to stick with black, brown or grey depending on what shade you normally wear – remember, if you are using your bag every day it will need to compliment everything else you are wearing. In terms of jewelry, the phrase ‘less is more’ comes to mind. Going jewelry-free isn’t a must, as a little bit of sparkle here and there can be the thing that ties the minimalist look together. But going overboard can certainly detract from the look as a whole, so only wear one or two pieces at any given time. A simple set of earrings is usually a good bet – something chic such as diamond studs or teardrop earrings. You can sometimes get away with a statement necklace as part of a minimalist outfit, but if you’re going for a big necklace, keep all other jewelry to a minimum.

Forget all about ‘trends.’

Even though minimalism has been a recent trend in itself, this kind of chic style of dressing has actually been around for years. It’s what Parisian women have been famous for for decades, and this look has also graced the street of other fashion capitals such as Milan. It’s other trends you need to watch out for, as they may distract you from your cool and classy style. If you do love a new trend, there’s nothing at all wrong with getting your hands on a couple of new pieces from a collection that really grabs you.

But always bear in mind that trends come and go every season, meaning that soon the piece you love so much could easily be regarded as old hat. Use minimalism as a basis for your daily outfits and then interject a few other trends into that as and when you please. But remember, minimalism is a style, and style never goes out of fashion.

 

Ingredients Of A Succesful Renovation

Renovating is a lot bigger than redecorating. When redecorating, it’s fairly easy to scale back any changes you’re not all that fond of. But renovations are a lot more permanent, not to mention costlier. They are the best way to turn your house into a home that really gels with you, but you need to get a few things right before you jump into the work.

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Your needs

Much the same as when you’re building a home, you should think first of all about your needs as opposed to your wants. Wants should be something that you might be able to change later, like the surfaces in your kitchen or your lighting fixtures. Most of the focus should go to needs, things that are harder to change, like the arrangement of the bathroom or how much space you allow in your living room. Prioritise the changes you’re going to make to the home and get the big ones out of the way first.

Your style

After those needs, that’s when you can start thinking about the style your rooms are going to be into. There are some aspects you need consider now before you start ordering materials and making floor plans. For instance, in the bedroom, you need to think about how lighting is going to have an effect on the way you restructure it. In the kitchen, having a few colour schemes in mind can make it easier to choose surfaces for the countertops. In the bathroom, you want to think if you have enough space to fit all those luxuries you want. Nailing down an idea of the style you want now can make the choices later a lot easier.

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Your team

Naturally, you want to make sure that you have the right team on your side. One of the single best ways to find that out is to get in touch with them. Renovation teams like Million Dollar Makeovers should be able to provide an in-depth look at the different services they can provide. A good team will also have access to testimonials and proof of work they’ve done before so you know you’re getting a team that you can trust.

Your budget

Close communication with that team is going to be important because you’re going to need them involved in the budgeting of it all. In particular, you want to get them to help you with a quote so you can get a rough idea of what you can expect to pay. But that’s only the beginning. You need to consider any material or changes you might down the line as well. Add a little extra to your current budget so you’re not left making a decision you no longer want, or that most importantly you’re not left with an unfinished home when unexpected costs crop up.

Renovating isn’t something to be done on the fly, but a step that takes a lot of preparation and thought. Define your needs, your style, what you can afford and the best team you can rely on. Then you’re ready to jump in.

Lounge Around In Style: Living Room Upgrade Ideas

Picture the scene: You walk through the front door after a long day at work. You hang up your coat and drop the umbrella in the stand. Shoes are kicked off and you walk into the lounge ready to collapse on the sofa. Except that your living room is cluttered. The idea of lounging in a room full of clutter without the correct storage is enough to stress you out instead of relax you! The one room in the house besides the bedroom that is there for you to unwind is the living room. Making some slight upgrades can do it a world of good and following some of these updates, you can give your living room some thoughtful details that will have a huge impact on your life.

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Change your lighting. If you have a standard central light in the middle of the ceiling, you should rethink this. It’s a common feature in the middle of a lounge, as the light reaches around the room. Mood lighting, however, gives it a room a little something more. Adding lamps around the room or a dimmer switch can make a big difference. Go for glass lampshades or metallic materials to be on trend.

Go natural. If you refinish your floors in hardwood or add a neutral stain to wooden wall panels, you’ll be giving the lounge a natural style. If you want to makeover the living room to look totally natural and you need the help, head over to therenovationcompany.com.au and see whether you could get a consultant on board to help you with all your lounge renovation needs.

Countrify. Installing panelling in your lounge with a lick of white paint can give your home a farmhouse look that adds a bright, homely vibe.

Bring a little outdoors in. Potted plants and vases of flowers are a warm addition to your living room and can really help you relax into your evening. The scent of the flowers alone saves you money on artificial air fresheners, too!

Simple storage solutions. Magazines don’t need to be left laying around with simple bookcases like these ones and basket storage that can match your furnishings. You’ll have a tidier, more stylish lounge to relax in with the right solutions.

Set the mood. We don’t just mean with candles, but your colour palette. You want to be able to feel calm and your surroundings matter so think about whether you want to repaint the walls into something more neutral and muted. Think cream and grey – chic, classy and modern. Accent the colour with thick rugs and pictures on the walls and you can have a wonderfully balanced room.

Lounging around in your living room should be done in style and if you look at your interiors with a serious eye, you could transform the space you unwind at the end of the day to look beautiful and practical all at the same time. Your style matters and whether you renovate the entire room with something brand new, or just dot some scented candles around, reduce the clutter and make the whole room somewhere you want to be.