Tuesday, 5 February 2013

How to Show Off Your Home with Lighting

An essential part of choosing your home decor is planning the lighting arrangements you will use in your home.

Showing off your home with lighting can be achieved in many ways, from installing a complex system of electrical lights to simply opening your curtains! Many people choose to combine natural and electrical lighting to make their home look beautiful and show it off to the fullest extent.

Using Natural Lighting in Your Home

Natural lighting can be of enormous benefit to your home. It can make a room look bigger, elevate your mood and make your interior decoration and furnishings really stand out.

There are many tricks you can use to maximise the natural light in your home. Hanging a mirror opposite a window will reflect light and increase its potential within your home. You could also use glass within you home – for example, in table tops – to allow natural light to penetrate more fully.

Your choice of window covering will determine how much natural light is able to come in. If you’re concerned about privacy, net or lace curtains will allow light into your home whilst at the same time preventing people from seeing in. Textured or reflective glass windows will also achieve the same effect, but can be pricey to install.

Using Electrical Light in Your Home

Showing off your home with electrical lighting can be as simple as a well placed lamp or as complex as installing a light feature using spotlights and LED lighting.

Spotlights can be of particular use if you want to highlight a particular feature in your home. They can also be placed in unusual locations for innovative practical use, such as on your staircase. LED Spotlights by Energenie are a perfect example of spotlights which can be easily incorporated into your home for a variety of purposes.

Lighting in your home should be used both to highlight and create a mood. Consider using dimmer switches to create different atmospheres in your home, or mixing pendant lights with lamps and spotlights to create several different lighting areas within each room, to show off your home for maximum effect.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Anything Worth Having is Worth Protecting

Think of everything in your life that has value to you- family, home, autos, other personal property such as jewellery and valuables. Years go into getting these things, and it is a very common phrase to say “I take care of the people and things that are important to me”, but is that really true?

Most people have some type of insurance on some of their things. A home, a car, even life insurance. That is of course an excellent idea. It also is presuming it is okay if they are gone so long as somebody pays to replace them or compensates for the loss of them. Honestly though, that is not taking care of the things of value, it is simply saying so long as I can get another one to replace it then that is just as good.

It is very difficult to be compensated for your great-grandmother’s locket that was given to you. The insurance company, if it is insured at all, still calls it 6 grams of 10 karat gold and will tell you it is worth $125. They may step in after your home is burglarized and give some compensation for physical damages but they are not there in the night when the 30 year old lock is being pried open.

Even basic securities such as a deadbolt lock on your doors do not protect your most important things – you and your family from fire, carbon monoxide, and such things. Also, they do not allow you to check on your property or family while you are away, be it a day trip or 10 days holiday.

If you actually want to take care of the things that have value to you then consider upgrading your security systems to the level of protection that they deserve.

Some companies have one stop shopping for all of these needs, including DIY installation and pet friendly systems. Click here to visit www.quicksafe.co.uk. The next time you say “I take care of the people and things important to me” you will know you mean it.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Shopping For Furniture in Manchester

The City Centre of Manchester is well known throughout the UK for its wide selection of shops. It has everything from major High Street chain stores to smaller boutique and specialist shops. Further afield, Manchester is also home to the Trafford Centre, one of Britain's largest and most visited mega malls. But did you know there are many smaller local shopping centres which have just as wide a selection of quality shops?

Stretford Mall

Formally known as Stretford Arndale Centre, Stretford Mall is situated in the Borough of Trafford just a short bus or tram ride from the city centre of Manchester. As well as two large supermarkets and the typical 'anchor' stores that can be found in any shopping precint, Stretford Mall is also home to a traditional market. Here one can find many family owned stalls, many of which have served generations of Manchester shoppers. Furniture shops are situated next to greengrocers and butchers, many of which sell the traditional Lancastrian staple of tripe which is often hard to find in other Manchester shops.

Larger Retail Outlets

Manchester is also home to many retail parks and other large outlet stores. These can be very convenient for shoppers, especially when purchasing larger, bulky items such as electrical goods and furniture. If the shopper has a car then retail parks offer convenient access and parking. If not then many stores will include free or next day delivery on larger items. Often these stores have an online presence, meaning purchases can be made online and the item collected or delivered. For an example visit the David Phillips Manchester showroom which has a wide selection of private and rental furniture and will deliver and install furniture the next day.

Friday, 20 April 2012

How to Gain Storage Space in Your House

With so many treasured possessions, it is only common to run out of storage space in your house. Different people have different needs as far as storage is concerned. Still it is not difficult to come across individuals who feel at a loss on to manage all the stuff in their limited premises.

Have you ever thought that you can actually gain storage space in your home? No? Read on to find out surprisingly effective ways to getting more storage in your home. No matter how challenging it may seem, with a little planning here and a little rearranging there, you can easily make living more comfortable.

Do Not Miss High Storage Spaces

Look up and you will be surprised to find out how much you can store in higher places. There must be things that you have to take out only a few times a year and you can always have such stuff stored in higher places. Areas above your cupboards or closets can be used. All you need is a stepladder and you are all set to go. You can also consider installing shelves for items you do not adore much, but cannot get rid of as they add an aesthetic sense to your interior.

Do Not Forget About Those Low Spaces
The next step is to duck low and identify all the spaces that can be great for storage. You can have things placed under your bed as no one minds reaching under the bed to get anything if one has to do it only once in a while. If you are a clean freak, you can have storage containers that will seal all your things and can easily be placed under the bed.

Use All That Space behind the Walls

Have you ever considered using up the space behind your walls? If not, now is the best time to do it. Most homes have wallboards placed with a sizable distance in between, which means that you can have space from one wallboard to the next, all to yourself. Determine if you would like to leave them uncovered or if you want doors to cover them. You can have shelves placed to store all the little things you just cannot dispose of. This definitely adds beauty to your interior and you get a chance to store items in a creative fashion.

Transform Storage Containers into Decoration Pieces
Just imagine having your blanket placed into a wooden pillowcase with an attractive piece of cloth on top. How does it sound? Amazing, right? You can think of even more ideas for your makeshift storage that achieve the perfect balance between convenience and fun.

Use Your Closets Smartly
You may have unknowingly wasted a lot of storage space in your closet. All you have to do is add a few shelves and increase the hanging capacity and you will be able to find a lot of storage space for all the things that never seem to be in place.
Take a look at what you have got and you will have no difficulty finding enough storage space for all your belongings.

Tom has been writing about home improvement, decluttering and home organisation. Aside from blogging, he organises international removals at Walkers

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Vacation Home Style

Cottage style interiors are lovely because they remind you of long days spent at the beach, sailing under blue skies, and the warmth of the summer sun. This décor is not only beautiful, but it is very comfortable and familiar which makes it all the more appealing. It’s the ideal style for a beachside vacation home. Influence for this décor can come from the crisp nautical style to eclectic beach style. There are so many different nuances to choose from, that you can be sure you’ll find one to suit your home and personality. While each home is different, there are elements of this style that unify it and set this charming décor apart from others.

The color palette in a cottage style interior often reflects the beauty of the natural surroundings. Beachy neutrals and aquatic colors set the tone for the whole room. A neutral palette allows the outdoor landscape to really shine. Crisp white reflects starchy canvas sails, while nudes and tans mirror the warm sand on the beach. You can even introduce a toned down shade of green reminiscent of mossy stones. To highlight a neutrals like these, blue is a tried and true solution. A variety of shades work in this decorating scheme. Try a pure cobalt blue to echo the clear skies or a stunning turquoise to mimic the sea. If you want a warmer color, a pink-orange reminiscent of underwater coral will make a bold statement against a neutral backdrop. You could also use a true red or sunny yellow.

If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood floors or even exposed rafters that bring that earthy, organic feeling into your home, you’ll find that cottage style will fit well. If not, don’t worry! To bring a more natural feeling to your home bring in natural fabrics and textiles like crisp linen and soft cotton. These fabrics are homey and familiar but are still lightweight and perfect for summers by the seaside. Throw a slipcover over the sofa for a relaxed look. Rattan or wicker furniture is also very common in cottages both inside and out. If you like the look of rattan but don’t want to commit to an entire set of furniture, try using a few rattan baskets for storage or decoration.

Seaside Flair
Of course the easiest way to deck your home in cottage style is to bring in some seaside flair. Decorating with natural elements from and inspired by the sea will bring the beauty of the outdoors in. Fill glass apothecary jars with the seashells you and your family collect on the beach and set them up on the mantle or coffee table. Driftwood can be picked up and used in a variety of ways in your home. Bundle small pieces together around a votive and secure with twine to add a little costal feeling to your candles. It can also be arranged into a wreath you can hang on your front door as a welcome to friends and family. Other seaside touches like sand, beach glass, wooden oars, or anchor décor would add cottage style to your rental.


Lighting is important in any home, but especially at the beach! Cottage style is light and airy. Light window treatments, like sheers, will help let in the most amount of light possible while still giving you privacy. Heavy fabrics will block the sun and surroundings and shouldn’t be used in this kind of home. When the sun fades and the stars start to shine, shed some soft light inside your home. Using a few smaller lamps instead of a bright overhead light gives your home a cozy cottage feeling.

This article was written by Erie Construction. Follow Erie Construction on Twitter for daily updates on home remodeling, home improvement, and more.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Five Common Kitchen Remodel Mistakes to Avoid

It is easy to get carried away when planning a new kitchen. You want brand-new matching appliances and a $10,000 range. Here are some things to keep in mind to keep the price of your project from soaring.
  • Do not spend more than ten to twenty-five percent of your home’s current worth on your kitchen remodel.
  • Spending more money on a stove or other appliance will not make you use it more often.
  • Updating your kitchen too much can make the rest of your house look outdated by comparison.
Updating your kitchen can be a good way to add value to your home and usually provides a good return on your investment. However, be sure not to guild the lily here. Keep in between ten to twenty-five percent of the current worth of your home, and under ten if your home is on the low end for the area. This will help to ensure you get the most return on your investment.

Just because you buy a $10,000 range does not mean you will begin cooking gourmet meals every night if you do not already. If cooking is important to you and you will be in the home a while, by all means, go all out. However, if a more standard model stove will suit your needs, go with that. Your new kitchen is not likely to change your cooking habits much.

If you go all out on your kitchen remodel, the rest of your house can look out of place and outdated by comparison. Make sure your remodel keeps your kitchen in line with the design of the rest of your house to avoid a mismatch of the appearance of worth.

Getting caught up in the moment when remodeling your kitchen is another common mistake. It is important to make a design that will work over the long term, rather than filling your short-term needs. You will likely eventually sell your house, so plan a kitchen that a majority of people will want, not just one that suits your needs. An overly-customized or quirky kitchen can be a turn-off for home buyers, and can drive down the resale value of your home. This is not to say that you cannot have fun and be unique, just understand that you will need either to change your kitchen for resale or reduce your price because of your quirky designs. So, to recapture the most value from your kitchen remodel, keep the design reasonable for overall layout and other hard to change design elements.

Design mismatching
If you update your kitchen too far, it can become mismatched with the design and architecture of the rest of your home. This is a bigger issue with modern open layout kitchens. With these open layouts, the kitchen is open to at least one public area of your home. Keep this in mind when planning your kitchen remodel. Either plan on updating adjoining rooms along with your kitchen or keep the design and décor in these spaces in mind during planning. You should also consider using a custom wallpaper to add a special touch and design to your kitchen.

Changing mid-project
Getting your remodel plan right the first time and sticking with it will keep your costs and headaches down later. Do research, look at samples, tour homes, talk to your contractor and designer, and be sure to get your design set in your mind before going forward. Because while changing your mind later is possible, it will likely lead to delays, problems, and soaring costs.

Ignoring problems or settling

While you should avoid overspending and changing your mind mid-project, you should also make sure not to gloss over issues to save time or money. If a layout issue or extra expense comes up during your remodel and it is the difference of just getting it done and getting it done right, do not cut corners. Fixing these types of issues later is usually exponentially more expensive later. Also, visible issues will make buyers question the quality of the entire project if you were willing to put up with shoddy work in that area. So make sure the job is done right the first time and spend the extra time and money to iron out issues as they come up.

Author Bio: Jay Buckley is a large format printing expert and online publisher for megaprint.com who writes on the topics of design and printing.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Turn your log cabin into a playroom And get some space for yourself!

How many times have you returned to a room the kids have been playing in to discover they’ve trashed it? Or heard a smash signalling the untimely demise of your favourite vase? It’s times like that we all wish there was a playroom in the house to contain all the mess and chaos in, and leave the rest of the house intact. Unfortunately not all of us have the space or funding to change a room into a play area!

An ideal way to find this extra space is to use a shed or log cabin as a playhouse for the kids, instead of trying to find space in the house. This is perfect as they can play outside with somewhere to go if it’s raining or chilly, and they can play house or turn it into a den and make as much mess as they want. Just like adults, kids like to have their own space to hideaway and play silly games, or even read a book and chill out.

If you’ve already got a log cabin in your garden, turning it into a playhouse is easy – all you need to do it clean it out, check for spiders (!) and make sure it’s safe, with no nails or other nasty things jutting out from the walls. Once you’ve done all that, you can go about collecting little things to put inside, like chairs, pillows and sheets (for making dens of course!) and a generous helping of toys from the house too. If you’ve got them lying around, toy kitchens and toy DIY kits are ideal for this, the kids can play at being grown up in their own little house!

Once you’ve got everything set up, they can have friends round to play, build dens to their hearts’ content and even have sleepovers if you’re prepared to keep an eye on them. A playhouse can keep children occupied for hours without you having to worry about where they are or who’s hanging around.

Log cabins can even increase the value of your home, providing extra space to be used as a summer house, a home office or even a gym. This will be especially handy when the kids get older and lose interested – you can reclaim the cabin as your own and create your own den, or transform it into anything you need, even if that’s just extra storage. Just like the kids, you can use your imagination to change it into anything you like!