Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ways To Create A Practical Kitchen With You In Mind

Kitchens are a staple of the home model world: they’re colourful, cosy, modernistic, or you still have your grandmother’s old aga in pride of place. These are all fine options, but are they for you? Is it time to change up the cooking world around you? We all want a kitchen that suits our needs, but keeping it both practical and creative can be a hard balance to achieve. Below are a few ideas on ways for keeping a kitchen designed for its original use, as well as making you feel better about using it.

First of all, you’ll need to know what it is about your kitchen that you like the most and what the common ways in which you use it are. This can be done via the ‘work triangle,’ highlighting the three main ports of any kitchen: the stove, fridge, and sink. Once these steps have been planned out, we can move on to the fun stuff!


Creating A Kitchen On The Larger Side

If you want to open up space in your kitchen, it’s an easier piece of work than you might have thought. It’s a well-quoted but often a misunderstood idea that home remodeling can be a good option for increasing your living space. It can remove unnecessary obstacles in your quest to open up a floor plan and can help you reevaluate what parts of a home can be moved and redesigned better to suit you. Having a ‘U-shaped’ layout is a fantastic way to both maximise and use up space in a larger home, with plenty of storage options due to the amount of cupboards you can fit in both the sides and the middle island. It also allows you to move faster around your kitchen with a set layout and thus you can avoid others enroute.

Reworking A Smaller Space

Many kitchen layouts come in the form of letters. An ‘L-shaped’ kitchen allows you to utilise a tricky corner turn in a room, with plenty of added cabinets in that space for more storage and thus more use out of your kitchen. With this kind of design, any miscellaneous wall space is taken up, and on the other side you can sneak in a nice seating arrangement. With these space elements, it’ll become a great place to host a dinner or be the main hubbub centre in a party.

Giving Your Kitchen An Element Of The Unusual

Depending on your definition of unusual, these ideas can either be big or small. One way to make a kitchen just a little more unusual is to include some wacky colours on the cabinets, like a ‘fire engine’ red or lime green. It’s also a good way to include elements of both the old and new in your kitchen if your cooker is outdated or if you still do have grandmother’s aga.

There are so many ways to recreate a kitchen, so hopefully some of the ideas above gave you a good place to start!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

4 Creative Ways To Get Your Dream House

One problem with dream homes is that more people are looking for those types of homes than there are houses. As soon as a hot property goes onto the market, you’ll have to fight off the interest of all the other parties who want the home or get involved in a messy bidding battle. However, it’s important to remember the traditional route of buying a new house - looking at listings and seeing what’s available - is only one of the options you have. Below, we take a look at four creative ways to get the house of your dreams, none of which involve trying to gazump another bidding couple.


A Targeted Approach

If you’ve found the neighbourhood you want to live in, common procedure dictates that you’ll drive around the area and make a note of all the homes that have a ‘for sale’ sign standing up outside. This tactic will get you a home, but your dream home? It’s unlikely. Instead, why not drive around and make a note of the homes you would like. After that, you create a letter outlining your interest in buying the home, pop it in their letter box, and then play the waiting game. It’ll likely be a ‘no’, but this approach has worked for others in the past, and as it’s low-risk and takes next to effort, it might be one of the decisions you’ve made.

Good Old Networking

You can learn a lot just by opening your mouth and having a conversation with people. If you’ve talking with a friend (or stranger, depending on how social you are), casually drop it that you’re looking to buy a home, with a few essential requirements thrown in there too (let’s say, three bedrooms, large garden, between street x and street y). They might know someone who’s selling a property just like the one you’re after, and you’ll have a headstart on the competition to get the keys.

Do it Yourself

The off- and on-real estate market can’t always work with you; sometimes, your dream house just won’t be for sale. But what if instead of waiting for the perfect property to materialise, you take your dream into your own hands and build it yourself? There are custom home builders who can bring your vision to life, giving you everything you want in a house down to the last detail. You’ll have control over the whole process, and you won’t have to deal with any of the standard house buying problems that the rest of the herd have to contend with.

“A Garage Sale?”

You can buy a lot at a garage sale. Old golf clubs, a baby’s crib,! It’s true. Often, people have a garage sale to declutter their home before they put it in on the market. If you’re driving around and happen to see a garage sale, it’s worth stopping in to get a feel for the place. If you like what you say, make some subtle enquiries - it might just pay off.

There are more ways than one to get your dream house, so start thinking outside of the box!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Stop Focusing on Targeted Renovations and Start Looking at the Bigger Picture!

When was the last time hired a contractor to perform a renovation or suited-up and got your hands dirty to fix up your home? Chances are, you probably focused on a specific room or part of your home. For example, many people like to renovate their bedrooms to give themselves a more comfortable place to sleep. They enjoy their new decor and the comfort they experience in their new sheets, but what about the rest of the home?

When you renovate a room or make drastic changes to your home, it’s important to remember the bigger picture. Your entire home needs to be changed to accommodate certain things, which is why it’s important to try and steer away from targeted renovations. To illustrate the point better, here are a couple of examples of what you should and shouldn’t do when you next renovate your home.

Mismatching decor is the enemy of all designers

When you spend a lot of effort designing a room, you probably put a lot of money into changing the decor from the ground up. For example, it’s not uncommon to change wallpaper or paint the room a different colour, and you may even swap the floors out for something more modern. However, if you have mismatching decor that contrasts too heavily with the rest of your home, then it’ll give your home a strange imbalanced feel. To combat this, make sure you do larger renovations first.

For instance, if you plan to change the floors in your home, then do it all at once instead of working on one room at a time. Some common examples include swapping carpets for laminate or wood flooring (or vice versa). If you have a few rooms that look more modern and stylish than other rooms, then it creates a strange feeling throughout your home that is strange to live in. This might be fine if you’re living alone, but if you have family or guests over then it might feel like there’s some room favouritism and no one enjoys being in a room that hasn’t seen much care at all.

Don’t neglect the exterior of your home

Renovations typically take place on the inside of your home because it’s where you spend most of your time. However, that’s not to say that you can just completely neglect the outside of your home. Make sure you take the time to maintain your roof, mow the lawn and take care of your yard if you want the best for your entire home. As the title of the article implies, you need to start looking at the bigger picture and renovate your house, not rooms. Some good examples include slate roofing to give your house a modern updated look, and fixing up any kind of fences you have by repairing or replacing them can add a nice border around your property.

In short, just remember to keep your entire home renovated. Don’t focus too much on single rooms or areas—focus on the bigger picture if you want to make your house as beautiful as it can be.


Don't Even Think About a New Home Before Reading This

Buying a home is a big step in your life. And yes, that may be a direct quote from the latest self-help book by Captain Obvious. But seriously; this is a complex procedure that so many people get wrong. This is the kind of decision that you’re going to have to live with for years, possibly decades. If you’re in the stage where you’re considering a move, then now is the right time to get the proper knowledge in your head,

These are some of the most vital considerations that will prevent your move being a total fail.


First up, you need to think about the location in which you want to buy your home. The location is extremely important in the decision-making process. In fact, it might be the most important decision you have to make. There are many factors to think about when it comes to location. You want to think about how safe the area is. What’s the crime rate like? Is there a good police service and neighborhood watch scheme? If you have a family, you need to think about what the schooling in the area is like. Research the location thoroughly before making a commitment to buy.


Something that might sway your decision when it comes to buying a home is the cost. Yes, more advice from Captain Obvious. But while many people are cognizant of costs, they still don’t prepare properly for them. You need to set yourself a budget before you start thinking about buying. You’ll probably end up having to consider a loan; in that case, you need to make sure you get the mortgage pre-approved before you look. Seriously, don’t ignore that advice. A lot of people do, and it’s basically like going shopping for one-of-a-kind rarities with no money on your person: you’ll find something you love, but it’ll be gone by the time you get back to the store with the cash.

The transfer

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the actual move itself, such as the moving company you’re going to work with or the items you’re actually going to bring with you. But a lot of people forget about a lot of really important factors. Outside of physical objects, you also need to think about your utilities such as electricity and WiFi. You can click here to find out more about the transfer of these things from one house to another. Many people overlook this aspect and end up regretting the result.

Your needs

Think hard about the type of home you want to buy. Do you want a house or a flat? Are you looking at a bungalow or a condo? The type of home you want to buy will most likely depend on your personal circumstances. If you have a large family, you’re going to want to buy a home that can accommodate the kids. Children take up a lot of space, so you need to have a large home to accommodate that. If you’re a single person or a young couple, you might feel that a house is too large. In this scenario, you might decide you’d like to get an apartment instead.


Make The Garden Your Favourite Room Of The House

There’s nothing quite like being outside and enjoying the fresh air and nature (providing the weather is on point). Therefore, it only makes sense to create an outdoor haven to utilise and enjoy by making your garden into one of your favourite “rooms” of your home. The more time you spend in your backyard, the more vitamin d you’ll be getting, and you’ll come back inside in a great mood and with a smile on your face. The following are some ideas to help you to get the best out of your garden and inspire you to spend more time there.

Image found here

Relax Out There

Grab some throws and cushions and pop them on your outdoor seating and create a comfortable area to go out and read a book or listen to the radio in the sunshine. You could use a coffee table and put some candles on it, surround a patio area with fairy lights, and enjoy a glass of red during the evenings; it’ll be your new living room before you know it. Don’t forget that you’re outdoors; you can invest in some low maintenance pot plants and window boxes so that you can infuse some flora and fauna into your new chillout zone.

Pave or deck the area outside your back door so that your home leads into the garden seamlessly; look here to find out more about what can be done to create an outdoor area you’ll want to hang out in after work. Make sure that all your senses are satisfied with the aesthetics of the space, the scent of your flowers and fruit, and the sound of birds who’ll be flocking towards your spruced-up backyard space. Fire pits and beanbags are a great addition to any patio area, and it’ll be a situation that you can’t enjoy inside the house, so you’ll be encouraged to get off the sofa and gather everyone around the fire to catch-up.

Eat Al Fresco

If there’s one thing Aussies are known for; it’s our ability to have a quality BBQ on regular occasions. Aside from throwing the barbecue on the lawn now and again every time you fancy a hotdog; invest in a decent grill for the patio area you’ve recently renovated. Look into roofed patio areas too; this will ensure that you’ll be able to griddle up a storm even when the rain falls.

Take your al fresco dining seriously and invest in a big garden table and chairs; if the family have somewhere decent to sit and eat, they’ll want to do it more often. You can get your plants in on the dinner action too; grow some fruit, salad leaves, and veg in containers on your decking, or in the lawn, so you can grab the freshest produce when it comes to cooking Sunday lunch, outside. Set the table, invite the friends and family over (tell them it’s BYOB), and get stuck into regular meals in your garden space; it’s the ideal space for an afternoon nap after a big lunch and you’ll only have to travel from the patio to the lawn.

Image credit


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Flying Solo & Living Alone: Hacks For Giving Your House That Homey Feel

If you are about to venture into the world of living solo, you are probably thinking one of two things - I am going to hate living alone, or this is going to be amazing, finally I am free. Or, believe it or not, you may be feeling a mixture of emotions, and that’s perfectly normal. The fact is that living along for the first time comes with a combination of different feelings - it’s exciting, it’s daunting, and sometimes, it can be downright scary.

One of the main concerns that a lot of people have when planning to live alone is that their home won’t feel homey. This is especially true for people who have always shared their homes with other people, such as their family, partner, or housemates. The fact is that living alone can come as a shock - after all, it is a big change to adapt to. However, you can minimize the shock that you feel by making your new home wonderfully homey, even if you only share it with your cat.

Treat yourself to some new items

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To create a home that you love as well as one that is on-trend, it’s important to treat yourself to some new items. Remember, it’s your home - on one else's - so you can decorate it however you like. Got a love of rose gold, pastel pink, and marble - then fill your home with items in these materials and colors. Mad about minimalist style - pick furniture and accessories that have a minimalist look and feel to them. Have you been eyeing up some faux fur throws for a while? Are you crazy about patterned cushions? Do you love wall art that features quotes? Whatever pieces of furniture and decor you like, find ways to incorporate them into your home. To give your new home a homey feel, it’s vital that you let your personality shine through via your decor and design.

Incorporate belongings from your old home

Having your own home may be a fresh start for you - the end of a toxic relationship, the next step in adulthood, the first time living away from home - but that doesn’t mean you don’t need belongings from your previous home. To make living alone more comfortable, you want to surround yourself with familiarity, not just new items. So bringing a few bits and bobs from your old home is a must. Don’t worry about moving your items from your old home, if they don't fit in your car, you can hire cheap movers to move them for you. Whether you choose to bring all of your main pieces of furniture with you, such as your bed, storage, and seating or opt to only bring a few meaningful pieces, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are surrounded by a few items that make you feel comfortable and remind you of home.

Coziness is key

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When it comes to creating a space that feels homey, it’s all about making it look and feel warm and cozy. The fact is that coziness is key when it comes to home design because a cozy home is an inviting home. The key to creating a cozy space lays with the small details, think lighting, soft textiles, and accessories. For instance, lighting plays a big part in how warm and welcoming a place is. Bright, white lighting creates a sterile feel, whereas warmer hued, softer lighting such as from table lamps, a dimmer switch, or fairy lights, creates a warmer and more welcoming atmosphere. As for the soft furnishings, for a home that is cozy, they also need to be comfortable, which is where the rugs, throws, and cushions come in. Dot plush rugs around your home, drape knitted and faux throws over your furniture, invest in floor cushions, soft ottomans, and benches. Scents also play a vital part in how cozy a place feels. Scents like vanilla, lavender and rose all create a sense of comfort and calm. Whether you dot scented candles around your home or opt to use reed diffusers or incense, it doesn’t matter, just as long as you find a way to incorporate these scents. For a cozier home, it’s all about the lighting, soft furnishings, and scents.

Bring nature in

A home that is homey and welcoming is always a home that has nature incorporated into it. There’s something about having leafy, luscious greenery dotted around that helps to create a home that feels more warm and welcoming. The fact is that plants - whether you have leafy green plants or orchids - bring life to any space. Even a cactus or two can help to breathe new life into a room - it’s not about the plants that you choose to incorporate in your home, it’s just a case of ensuring that there is some greenery about.

Soften harsh lines

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Did you know that straight lines create a harsh feel in a home, which can impact how welcoming a space feels? Tricks like adding round rugs, round tables - basically anything with round, softer edges - can work well. To break up straight lines, such as the straight lines of a couch, pop a blanket over it or invest in circular cushions.

Personalize your furniture

Is a lot of your furniture from a catalog? Does it all have the same look and feel? To give your home a unique feel, consider personalizing your furniture. Whether this means reupholstering your soft furnishings, painting your furniture, or finding another way to revamp the pieces that are from a catalog, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you make your home look and feel more personal, and if that means personalizing your furniture, then that’s what you need to do. The last thing that you want is for your home to look like it has come straight from the Bed, Bath & Beyond catalog.

There you have it, a guide to flying solo and living alone for the first time, complete with an array of ways to give your new property that homey look and feel.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Moving Without A Car? No Problem!


Most people try to cut down the costs of moving house by packing as much as possible into their car. Even if it takes them more than one trip, many people find that using their own car can also help to reduce all of the usual stress that comes with moving.

But what happens if you don’t have a car? Lots of people start to panic, thinking that they will have to rely on very expensive services to help them move house. But that really isn’t the case! In fact, if you use all of the following tips, you will see that moving house without a car doesn’t have to be as much of a nightmare as you would have thought!

Ask A Friend Or Relative To Help

Just because you don’t have your own car, it doesn’t mean you will be completely unable to get your hands on one. You might be able to borrow one from a friend or a relative, for instance. If they have their very own van, then even better! If you ask your friend or relative nicely, they might let you borrow their vehicle for as long as you need it to move all your stuff to your new house. Don’t drive? Then you might have to ask if they will do you a huge favor and drive during the move! Most friends and relatives will be happy to help if you ask nicely. It’s a nice touch to get them something to thank them afterwards, such as a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of their favorite wine.


Look For A Reasonably Priced Moving Company

If you have a bit of spare cash to put towards your big move, you might as well use it to hire some professional movers. If you can’t afford to hire them for the whole move, you should save them for just helping you shift all the bulky items of furniture, like your bed and sofa. As these are way too big to put in a small vehicle, you will definitely need a large van to move them.When you are looking for a moving company, you should certainly get a few different quotes to see who can do the job for the best price. This blog post should give you a few other useful tips.

Get Someone To Take Your Garbage Away

During a big move, most people take all of their junk to the local tip. That way, they don’t end up filling their brand new property with lots of old clutter! But most people also amass a lot of rubbish while they are cleaning their old house ready for the new occupants. Seeing as you won’t be able to quickly take all this rubbish to the tip, you might be better off looking for a professional garbage collection company. They will come and pick up all your rubbish and garbage from your old home and take it away for you. That way, you don’t have to worry about how you can dispose of it all!


Look For Helpers Online

Do you think you could do with an extra pair of hands during the move? This could be to help you drive a moving vehicle, or it might just be to help you carry all your heavy boxes for you. If none of your friends or relatives are free to give you a helping hand, you can always find some helpers online. There are many people who advertise their services as general helpers and handymen on websites like Craigslist and Gumtree. You can hire them by the hour, and they will be able to give you a hand with any packing and loading that you might need carrying out.

Ship By Bus

Did you know that you can ship some items by bus? There are hundreds of bus routes that link up different towns and cities, and most of these will carry large packages and parcels. Much in the same way as a postal or shipping service. One of the main advantages of using a bus shipping service is that it is often fairly cheap. You can book your shipment place in advance - just let the bus company know the dimensions and weight of the package as most of the charge by size. You then have to take your parcel or package to place it on the bus just before it sets off. As buses often stop off at lots of different stations, you will be able to easily beat it to the destination.


Post Things To Yourself

Have you also considered posting items to your new address? This is a great way to move smaller items and belongings. It’s also a very safe way to send important documents that you can’t risk getting lost in transit, such as birth certificates and employment contracts. If you send them by registered post, then there is no way they will go missing in the post. In the very unlikely event that they do, you will be insured for them. Posting some items is also a great way to ensure that your moving vehicle doesn’t end up full of small items and paperwork. This can take up a lot of space that would be better for moving larger items that would be far too expensive to post.


Take Your Time

If you have a couple of weeks when you have access to both properties, then you should take your time to move slowly. You can carry most of your items in a backpack and other large holdalls over the period of a week or so. However, it’s worth remembering that you might still need to hire a rental van to shift your large items and bulky furniture. But if you really don’t want to hire a rental van, why not just buy all new furniture for your new home? Most furniture stores will now deliver to your door.

As you can see, moving without a car isn’t a total impossibility. There are lots of ways you can get around it!


Health: It's All About Common Scents

Do you think much about the science behind smells? To a lot of people that smell isn't just an aroma, it's a link to the past. For example, if you smell cookies, it may remind you of when you were a young child. The power of scent and what it brings us is linked to the emotional center of our brain. But, in addition to this, certain scents can do a lot of fantastic things for our mind and body so let's have a look at a few.


A lot has been touted about the benefits of lavender when it comes to promoting relaxation and it is all true, but it's also used to help treat insomnia. It's easy to get a relaxing aroma of lavender in your room at night to help you sleep you can just drop a couple of essential oils into a diffuser which releases a beautiful mist into your room. For those that don't know much about aroma diffusers, you can have a look online on various sites including to get a bit more information about how you can use diffusers as well as the various styles you can pick out for it to fit in with the decor of your room.


As well as it being a great way to get fresh breath, it's also possible that peppermint is good for your mind. Peppermint has been linked to boosting concentration making it useful for all walks of life and has been used by students prior to taking exams. There's been some research to suggest that the scent of peppermint can trick the mind into thinking that it can unblock nasal passages. Which makes it handy tool if you're not feeling 100%!


Another way to help increase your brain power, there have been studies to suggest that smelling cinnamon improves the attention span, the visual-motor response, as well as the working memory of people.

Tea Tree

This medicine has wonderful antifungal and antibacterial properties, you can add it to an air diffuser to scent the air as well as add it to things like soaps, deodorants, and disinfectants. Have a look on for a detailed list of benefits.


A lot has been spoken about chamomile tea as a remedy for problems with your digestion, as well as tension headaches and sleeplessness. If you had a few drops to your bath or even on a flannel and apply it to the body, it is an excellent method to help you cope during stressful times.


Scents such as orange and lemon are a great way for a quick energy boost, but also sniffing the fruit is able to increase alertness and energy. Of course, these citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C so you may want to squeeze a couple of drops of lemon into a drink and use the rest in the bath!

The power of scent is something that we have used for generations to help us cope with life's stresses and aid our mind so the next time you feel like you could do with an extra bit of help, fill the aroma of your favorite essential oil into your place of relaxation and reap the benefits.