Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wait! Before You Extend Your Home, Read This

If you’re thinking of extending and improving your home, then you have a lengthy road ahead of you. After all, a home extension can take quite some time, depending on what you want. It can also be pretty expensive. A home extension definitely isn’t something you should do without a lot of thought first. If it’s something you’re considering, this post can help you to make your decision:

Planning Permission and Regulations

Make sure you know what planning permission and regulations you need before you start saving up for your extension. Once you see everything you need to do, you might decide against the whole thing! It will depend on the sort of extension you want and where you are, but planning permissions can be a bit of a pain.

Your Neighbors

Love thy neighbor. That’s what some religious figure said, and when it comes to home extensions, it remains. Think about it: you wouldn’t expect your neighbor to go out and get a snazzy new extension if it was going to impact your quality of life, would you? So why would you do it to them? You don’t want your extension to negatively impact your neighbor’s way of life, so make sure you’re sure of this before going ahead. Knocking on their door and discussing it with them is probably a nice idea. Even if you hate them.


Your Architect/Builder

You’re going to need both an architect and building services to get your extension off the ground. Depending on the level of extension you want, you may need an architect to come in and design it so it’s not only pretty, but practical. Then you need builders to come in and do the hard work. Extensive research is required before you make your decision, and meeting with them first is also a good idea. You’ll be working with them for a long time, so you should get along.


Always make sure your builders and anybody else you work with has insurance. You may need to take out some insurance too. Don’t just take anybody’s word for it; ask to see proof. You’ll regret it later on down the line if something goes wrong.

Balancing Your Property

Keeping your property balanced is key to making sure your extension adds true value, rather than takes it away. That doesn’t mean you need to get your spirit level out. It simply means, if you add a bedroom, it only makes sense to add another bathroom. As certain rooms in your home increase, you’ll need to balance your property by adding other rooms too.

How Long It Should Take

Bear in mind that your extension can take a varying amount of time. A standard extension can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks. However, it can take up to 6 months for a second story addition. Make sure you discuss this with your builders, and think about how this will impact your quality of life. Some people even choose to move out for a while, as they can't live amongst the chaos!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

5 Incredible ways to improve your backyard

There is nothing better than enjoying a sunny weekend in your backyard. However, most people are not so imaginative when it comes to decoration and utility. Although backyards represent large, free space that can be efficiently used, a lot of homeowners do not have will to do it.
Whether you wish to use it for recreation or for simple relaxation, there are numerous ways to go about it. In most cases, you don’t even have to invest a lot of money.  
Check these awesome tips that will help you figure out what to do with your backyard.
Construct a pool
The most expensive thing on our list, pool can be a real investment. Besides the construction, you should also consider all the expenses for pool pump and accessories as well as all the future maintenance costs. One good place to start looking for a pool pump is Their big collection of pumps will pleasantly surprise you.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t reduce the fact that pools are one of the best things you can do with your backyard. If you have kids, this will be a perfect solution. However, it can be great for you as well. You can either start actively training or just relaxing. Whatever you choose, it will be worth it.
Decorating your patio
Every family has a patio in their backyard. This is a perfect spot for relaxation and dining. But, there is much more you can do with it.
First and foremost, you should consider covering it. This will reduce the impact of the sunlight and can even protect your from the weather elements. Besides that, you can also add a bed and even a TV. This way, you can completely relocate your home outside.
I don’t have to tell you that this will be a really good thing for your health as it will allow you to spend more time outside.
Creating a vegetable garden
More and more families are investing their money and time in creating their own vegetable and fruit gardens. Given that we are exposed to altered, inorganic vegetables, this is a great way to protect your health and grow species that are treated by you thus avoiding ingestion of potentially hazardous chemicals.
Using solar panels
Depending on the size of your backyard, you can completely turn it into a solar powered plant.
Nowadays, solar panels are really cheap and most governments of the world are stimulating their use. As a homeowner, this means you can save money on electricity becoming independent from local government.
Building a court/play field
There is no real reason why you should leave your backyard empty. If you are into sports, this is a great opportunity to make a smaller playing field such as basketball court.
This is especially great for families with kids as it gives them the opportunity to spend more time outside.
Cool thing about backyards is that they are an empty space which can be moulded according to your desires. There are so many things to do with them and it would be a real shame if you simply left them as they are.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Interior Design Made Easy: Simple Ideas For Total Beginners

If you’re completely new to interior design it can seem pretty daunting and serious. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! There are a lot of simple tips and tricks that even a complete novice can do. Designing your interiors should be fun. Start off small and then you can start unleashing your creativity on bigger projects. Before you know it, you’ll be landscaping the garden!

Statement Walls

Statement walls are a great way to add some drama and impact to a room. What’s more, they're so easy to do. Have a look at the room you’re working on, living rooms and bedrooms work well for statement walls. Choose which wall you want to emphasize. Sometimes the decision is made easy. If you have a wall that protrudes around chimney breast chose this one. If not simply decide where you would most like the eye to be drawn.

Statement walls need to do just that, make a statement! So once you’ve chosen the wall, decide how you’re going to make that statement. It could be as simple as a flash of bold color. If you have four white walls, painting one a warm yellow will instantly brighten the room. Think about what you want your wall to do. Is it supposed to be admired like art, make a room warmer, cozier? This will help you to chose what to do with it. Pain is the easiest way to make a statement wall. If you want to go all out consider wallpapering. Wallpapering a statement wall is a great way to incorporate som flair into a room. Choose a highly decorative wallpaper and paper one of the walls. This will avoid the print going overboard but still create an impact. If you want to get really artsy, try stenciling designs onto on wall. This Japanese style technique is very calming.


If you’ve just bought a new home you need to work out how much you can spend on design features. Realistically you won’t have a huge budget. Use a loan payment calculator and mortgage payment calculator to work out your budget accurately. If you find you're short on funds, try upcycling.  

Upcycling is a great technique which cuts down on waste and increases thriftiness. Take everyday objects and transform them into design features. Take empty cans for instance. These can be cleaned and painted and made into flower pots, stationery holders, even utensil holders. Instead of throwing away your old furniture try and think about how you can turn it into something new and interesting. If you have kids, turning old magazines into collages is a great way to keep them entertained, and create some meaningful art for the walls! Get experimental and try out different things, there is no wrong answer.


Layering is a simple design trick that any novice can use. By layering up different fabrics in a room you create a sense of warmth and coziness, but also luxury. There’s something quite decadent and rich about lots of fabrics paired together. Consider your rug, a throw, your curtains, and pillows. These are all different fabrics. Layer these up by combining satin and silks with sheepskin and fur rugs.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Small Space? No Problem! Decor Tips For Small Apartments

Maybe it’s your first apartment, or perhaps you live in a big city where small spaces are the norm? Either way, decorating your tiny apartment is always going to have its challenges! When you have less room to work with, you really do have to be clever with the space. You certainly can’t be a hoarder, and you may need to rely on a few tips and tricks to keep everything looking nice and sleek. Thankfully small homes can still look beautiful, here are just a few of the ways you can make the most of your apartment.


Use a Light Wall Colour

It’s no secret that light wall colours make rooms look bigger, and darker ones draw them in. In a small apartment, this is particularly important advice to bear in mind. For a super sleek finish go with brilliant white, or if you want something a little softer try a very light grey. Ditch the magnolia, current trends are leaning far more towards cooler tones. If you do want to bring in colour, do it with a couple of accent pieces or accessories. The last thing you want in a small space is to be visually assaulted by every colour of the rainbow! There are a few golden rules to bear in mind when decorating in neutrals, but if you get them right it can look fantastic without being at all boring!

Think About Continuity

A home that has flow will feel more spacious. You can create this by using the same wall colour and floor coverings throughout. This prevents the decor from feeling ‘stop and start’. If every room you walk into has a very different colour scheme, it can be a bit much- especially in a smaller space like an apartment. Another way you can create flow is by ensuring that all of your interior doors and handles match, and that you use the same accent metal throughout. For example, if you’ve gone with silver door handles also pick silver curtain rails, light fittings, drawer pulls and everything else. You could go with gunmetal, brass or copper if you want something a little different, just be sure to choose other pieces that match to tie it all together.


Find The Right Furniture

The right furniture is crucial when you’re working with a small space. You need to carefully measure everything and plan it out before making purchases. You might have to sacrifice that enormous corner sofa, super king sized bed and giant American fridge freezer,  but there are plenty of gorgeous pieces you can find that will fit perfectly. You could even go about finding furniture on a site which specialises in furniture packages for apartments. Compact pieces which look great but don’t take up masses of floor space are your best bet.

Use Mirrors

Another way to maximise the light in the room is by using mirrors. A large mirror opposite your window will bounce the natural light back into the room. Plus statement mirrors look great too- even in a small room, you can go with large sizes without it looking cluttered. One in the living room over the mantle is the perfect spot, as well as in the bathroom over the sink. In the bedroom you could go with a large full length mirror. Great for reflecting light and practical for getting ready in the mornings too! Using mirrored or clear furniture is another way to create the illusion of space. For example, a dining table with four ghost chairs (made from acrylic) looks far less dominating in the space than say four regular wooden ones. Mirrored furniture also looks super sleek and elegant especially in the bedroom (although admittedly it is a bit of a pain to keep clean!)

Don’t Overlook Lighting

Small spaces can look beautiful, but you run the risk of them looking like dingy cupboards without the right lighting! As well as your overhead light you should have a couple of other light sources in your rooms. A floor lamp, a couple of table lamps, even wall sconces can look great and allow you to really tailor the ambiance in the room. To go a step further you could add LED strip lighting under kitchen cupboards and kick boards. In the living room and bedroom, you could add strings of fairy lights which look soft and pretty when they’re lit up in the evening.

Keep It Simple

When you don’t have huge rooms to work with, it makes sense to not fill them with loads and loads of stuff. Declutter and get rid of anything that you don’t need. Donate to friends, family and charity shops and then throw away anything that’s no good. Then find good storage solutions that work with the space for the things you don’t use every day. Storage boxes can be filled and neatly stored inside cupboards to maximise the space. Use drawer dividers for drawers, buy under bed storage. This helps to keep everything tidy and prevents the rooms themselves looked overfilled and chaotic. For decor, choose a few key pieces. A mirror, a large plant, a vase of fresh or faux flowers and a couple of decorative pieces are enough to make a place look homely without being cluttered. If you have lots of smaller items, consider grouping them together on a tray to give the room a more streamlined look. Putting a rug on the floor and some cushions on the sofa help to bring in some interest, and make the room look and feel comfortable too.


With a bit of planning and decluttering as well as carefully choosing the pieces you want in your home, your small apartment will look absolutely fantastic. There are certain challenges that you will have to overcome with both furniture and decor so be sure to think ahead and plan before jumping in and making purchases.

Do you live in a small apartment? How have you made the most of the space you have?


Big Ideas for Small Homes

The cost of moving into a new home can be daunting. We need to worry about a new mortgage or rent, we need to move locations meaning we might have to say goodbye to our friends, we might need to switch jobs or we might need to force our children to study at a new school. Moving home isn’t easy and you probably have far too many commitments at your current location, meaning you can’t just say goodbye to everyone and run off to somewhere new.

Unfortunately, that means we just have to cope with what we have—including our home. Whether you have a small apartment or a dinky house, there are plenty of big ideas that you can add to your home if you want to make it stand out, or if you just want to make the most out of your home.

Adding Extensions

Adding an extension to your home could be the best choice you’ve ever made in terms of home renovations. For instance, you could add on an extra bedroom by extending your house into the garden, or you could add a bedroom to your loft. This is a great way of utilising extra space, but you’re going to need a lot of back and forth talks with your chosen contractor. You might also want to engage a professional for your contract review before the works actually start so that you know what’s expected of you as the homeowner. There can be a lot of nasty surprises in the contracts, and the bigger the job the more things there are that could go wrong!

Get Rid of or Make Use of Unused Space

When you look at the stairs in your home, do you see a lot of unused space? If you do, then perhaps it’s time to remove that unneeded space to give your home a much more open feel. However, if taking the stairs apart seems a little too much work, then consider repurposing that unused space by turning it into storage. You could turn each individual step into a shelf by hollowing out the insides and building a drawer, or you could expand the amount of space you have in an under-stair storage room. There are many different ways to make use of your stairs, so look no further than the internet to find some great ideas.

Moveable or Hidden Furniture

One of the most interesting ways that homeowners are saving space is to make a room or a piece of furniture multi-functional. For instance, you could have chairs that fit perfectly underneath a dining table to make it compact and take up less space. You could also have wall-mounted tables that fold up and turn into wall decorations when not in use. The idea is to hide things that aren’t always in use. For instance, you don’t always need a dining table if you tend to eat at your computer desk or on the sofa while watching television, and you don’t always need to use an extra table if you don’t always work at home.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Golden Rules for Neutral Decoration

Some people might think they're boring, but there's a lot to love about neutral shades. For one thing, they're super flexible. If you use neutral shades as a background for your home's style, you can easily change around accents and highlights. Neutral colours are also ideal for staging a home, whether you're preparing it for rental or getting ready to sell. Even if you love your bright pink walls or deep blue carpets, it can be difficult to convince a potential buyer or tenant to love them too. Neutral decor is also easily maintained, making it excellent for a rental or a low-maintenance home. If you want to avoid your neutrals looking boring, here's how to do it.

Accent Your Neutrals with Colour

While neutral shades are great, you might not want your whole property to be awash with creams, browns, and beiges. A few brighter colours can help to bring everything together and ensure that your decor doesn't look too dull. You don't have to introduce too much colour to change everything. You can pick a single accent colour and dot it around a room in small amounts. Or you can choose one large feature piece, such as a sofa or a bed, to inject brighter colour into a neutral room. It doesn't have to be anything too bright, either. Anything that's not neutral could work.

Choose Easily Cleaned Materials

Neutrals are excellent for creating a home that just about anyone can enjoy. They're not too bright, and they don't need to be too boring, either. However, one issue with them is that they're not exactly pet and child-friendly. If you want things that won't show marks or stains easily, neutral colours aren't always the best choice. Although you can use darker neutral colours, you can't make everything dark. If you're using lots of useful shades, try to use materials that can be cleaned easily. Think of surfaces you can wipe clean and chair covers you can remove and put in the washing machine.

Make Things Comfy

One of the great benefits of using neutral shades is that you can make things both light and airy, and comfortable and cosy. For example, in the bedroom, you can choose comfy bedding like Bedloves bedding and accessories, which comes in a range of neutral colours. You can choose plush upholstered furniture in neutral shades. Even when you're using neutrals, you can make sure your home is warm and inviting and not cold.

Inject Style with Shape Instead of Colour

There can be a danger of a property decorated neutrally looking a little flat. But if you're not using lots of bright colours, you can still have plenty of character. One way to do it is to use shape and design to make things interesting. Choose your furniture in mid-century modern style or try an industrial look for something that stands out. Your home can be neutral while still having plenty of style.

Neutral certainly doesn't have to mean boring. You can create a beautiful home using neutral shades throughout.


Handy Hacks For Ensuring Any Property Gets Snapped Up Quickly

Whether you’re someone who flips houses - buys them, renovates them, and sells them on for a profit, or are selling your old home, you want to ensure that you get a quick sale. There’s nothing worse than having an empty property just sitting there because each day it’s left empty it’s wasting money. The problem is, of course, that you can’t choose when your property sells - it’s down to finding the right buyer.

That being said, although you can’t determine when a property will sell, there are ways that you can improve your chances of a quick sale. What you want to do is ensure that your property is a cut above the rest of your competitor properties in the area, so that it’s more appealing to buyers and sells more quickly. The question is, what does it take to make your property more appealing than competitor properties in the area?

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Go and view competitor properties

The best way to take down the competition is to know what you’re up against. So, if possible, make appointments to view competitor properties to get an idea of what they are offering. For instance, you may find that a competitor property of the same size and design quality comes with all new energy efficient appliances, whereas your property doesn’t. Or, you may find that a competitor property that’s the same size as yours and in the same area is priced a lot higher than your property - don’t let this tempt you to raise the price because an overpriced property is an unsuccessful property.

Go the extra mile

To make your property more appealing to potential buyers, be willing to go the extra mile. Redecorate so that the walls are all neutral shades - not everyone likes bright, bold tones, so it’s best to keep the decor neutral. Make the property more energy efficient by using specialist electricians, like Wire In Electrical to update your property’s lighting. Consider swapping out old appliances like a outdated air con for a modern one. Find little ways to go the extra mile, making your property seem more appealing to potential buyers.

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First impressions count

When it comes to selling a property, first impressions count. So, ensure that any photos used of the property for advertising show it in the best light. It’s also important to make sure that the kerb appeal is on point. Remember, potential buyers, form opinions about a property in the first 15-seconds of arriving, so a good first impression is always a must.

Focus on smell

When potential buyers walk into the property, you want them to be blown away by how amazing it is, not put off by a certain smell it has. So, before your start doing viewings, think about any potential smells that your property might have, such as damp, wet paint, or general grime, and find ways to combat any smells. Popping a couple of plugin air fresheners around or a bowl of potpourri can give your property a more welcoming smell.

There you have it, simple steps to take to ensure that any property that you’re selling gets snapped up quickly.