How To Turn Your Property Into A Smart Home

With so much technology now available to us, it’s no wonder homeowners are looking at ways of making their home more smarter to make daily life a little easier and less of a hassle. Here are a few ways that you can turn your property into a smart home.

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CCTV Security System

CCTV is something to get in your home as an extra layer of security. It gives you that ease of mind that your property is being watched if you’re ever away from the home. There are now CCTV systems that you can link up to your mobile device and gives you a live stream of your home right there and then. This is great if you don’t have anyone who can check your property while you’re away. Should anything suspicious be occurring, you’ll see it and simply phone the authorities.

 

Install USB Plug Sockets

You may have seen them pop up in cafes or restaurants, but these USB friendly plug sockets are great for charging multiple devices, particularly ones that don’t come with a plug. They’ll prove most useful if you’ve got lots of guests coming over and it’ll avoid any of them having to fight over a plug socket.

 

Get A Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are great for those with a passion for music. You can have it in the main living area, or if you love music that much, you can install a whole sound system that can all be linked up. So whenever you want a little music in the background over dinner or a sing-a-long in the shower, you pair your phone with the speaker, and away you go.

 

Some will even be Alexa compatible, which is great for some mid-shower inspiration. Next Level Audio Video is also becoming popular for it’s vast technological expertise for both residential and commercial properties.

 

Lighting Is Very Popular

When it comes to a smart home, smart lights are the most popular feature. These light bulbs may cost a little more than normal ones, but you’re able to tailor the light to suit your mood. Fancy a little red hue for a date night in? Or maybe go with a spooky green as the perfect accompaniment for watching a horror movie. These bulbs can all be programmed from your phone too, so no longer do you have to get up to dim or turn off the lights!

 

Be Smart With Your Heating

Your utilities can be a costly expense each month, so investing in a smart thermostat can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. This would replace your current thermostat, and then you can program it to your phone so you can make the necessary settings for your liking. As you use it more, the system learns your behaviour and then adapts it to make it more eco-friendly while cutting down on the cost.

 

With so many ways to transform your home to make it more efficient, technology is certainly paving the way for an easier way of living. Now, all we need is a smart robot to cook for us!

Winter Home Upgrades You Need for the Perfect Holiday Season

If you are looking forward to the holidays and cannot wait to have your outside Christmas lights installed, it is important that you pay attention to the condition of your home to stay safe and protected during the days off and when you are entertaining your friends and family members in your house. Below you will find a few upgrades you might want to consider before you fully embrace the holiday spirit and get ready for your guests.

Roofing

When it is cold, wet, and windy outside, you will need to make sure that you are able to stay warm and dry inside. If you haven’t yet called the local roofing company to check your tiles and look for leaks, it is not too late. You don’t want to deal with water dripping from the ceiling when you are trying to enjoy time with your family. Not to mention the cost of repair during the holiday season and the emergency callout charges.

Guttering

Another thing that can go wrong when the weather turns cold and wet is your guttering. You need to inspect it for leaks and drips, or your car, your driveway, or even your walls might get soaked and it will be hard to repair the damage once the problem has escalated. Even if you are just using an extra insulation to keep the water inside the gutter, or clear it from dry leaves and debris, you can make a huge difference.

Driveway

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Your driveway is likely to be used more when you have guests visiting, so you will have to improve the curb appeal of your home. If you have grass growing between the slabs, it might be the right time to get rid of them while they are not growing fast. In case you have puddles or uneven surface, you can still get in touch with a paving company that can fix this issue, so you don’t have to be embarrassed when your family members turn up. Get rid of the clutter and rubbish, and decorate your front yard.

Insulation

We all consume more energy in our homes during the Christmas period. It makes sense, as we spend more time at home, and we have guests using our home and our electricity. This is the reason why you might want to improve your insulation and keep as much of the heat inside as possible. Even if you are only opting for temporary solutions, such as secondary glazing or thermal curtains, it will make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort level.

Heating

If you would like to improve your home for the winter, it is crucial that you pay attention to the condition of your heating and air conditioning system. If your furnace is older than a couple of years, it might be time to arrange a checkup, so you can save money on heating and make sure that no home disasters are going to ruin your family Christmas. Get your fans cleaned, as dirty ones can reduce the energy efficiency of your home and increase your bills.

Security

In case you are planning on spending a couple of days away from home, visiting friends, family members, or taking a short city break, you will need to upgrade your security, Christmas is the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to home security. Install timers and get flood lights, as well as other home monitoring systems. You can find more info on some of the security websites.  

Energy Monitoring

You will also have to monitor your home’s energy use, so you can make improvements and change your habits to save money. Having a smart meter and thermostat will help you keep the temperature at the right level, without overheating your home. If you can control your thermostat from your phone, last minute changes in your schedule will not make you heat an empty home. You can get smart home features that will tell you exactly how much it costs you to run each appliance in your house.

Mood Lighting

To create a welcoming atmosphere for the holidays in your home, you might consider installing some mood lighting. There are a few ways you can use this; applied in your kitchen, you can make your parties the one to remember. In case you are the person who loves to soak in the bath after a hard day, you can add mood lighting to your bathroom. Finally, you could get appliances that can be controlled and dimmed using your voice, so you don’t have to leave the comfortable sofa.

Shading

Image via Army

 

During the winter days, we all feel like it is too dark inside, just as it is outside, due to the lack of sunshine. You can, however, make your home look brighter in the winter if you use smart shading solutions. Using Day and Night blinds, for example, will help you control how much light you want to let in every time, and prevent people seeing inside your house. The same applies to net curtains that are made of very thin materials; you can see outside, but people walking past will not be able to spy on you, even if you have your lights on.

Soft Furnishing

If you want to make your home more comfortable and create that cozy atmosphere that reminds you of Christmases when you were small, you might want to improve your soft furnishing. Add drapes and heavy curtains to match your interior design. Change your cushion covers, and create stunning Christmas themed sofa throws. Add a rug or two to create that warm feeling in your living room.

 

There are several things that remind us of Christmas at its best. Improve your living space, your atmosphere, pay attention to the hidden dangers and prevent disasters by maintaining your home. Add mood lighting and take care of the security features, and you will have a holiday season to remember for many years to come.

 

Transform Your Loft With A Roof Lantern

Many people would agree with the fact that the loft, otherwise known as the attic, is one of the most difficult places in the home when it comes to design and decoration. This is because the loft tends to be an area that is very awkward. Firstly, the shape can often be obscure and then you have to deal with the fact that most attic spaces are rather dark and dingy as well. You can have quite a task on your hand when it comes to turning your attic into a stunning space, nonetheless, when the decoration process is over, your loft can easily become the standout point in your home.

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One of the best ways to ensure that your loft becomes showroom worthy is to have a roof lantern installed. What is a roof lantern? This is a structure which is added to a wealth of buildings and homes in order to bring in natural daylight. Your ceiling, or at least a proportion of it, will be replaced with an architectural element which is constructed from glass and either wood or aluminium. This solves the problem of turning the dark space into one that is filled with natural light. Nonetheless, that is not the only benefit associated with opting for this service from experienced roofers. You also have the sheer fact that they are absolutely stunning. This elegant yet extravagant feature is the sort of thing that can completely transform your home. Not to mention you also have the opportunity to spend the evening gazing at the stars as well. What more could you possibly want?

 

It is worth elaborating further on the point regarding the wealth of natural sunlight you will benefit from if you decide to go down this route. Traditionally you will find that attics are very difficult to light, even through conventional methods, such as bringing more lamps into the room and choosing high powered bulbs. You will be mesmerised by the difference a roof lantern can make. Not only will you be able to see better but it will make the loft space look a lot bigger as well. Moreover, the light from outside will bring the décor to life and the room will look much more beautiful. And don’t forget, by opting to use natural sunlight you are not only going to be saving money on your energy bills but you are also going to be doing your bit when it comes to protecting the planet as well.

 

It is definitely not hard to see why a roof lantern is the recommended solution when it comes to attic spaces. This is the best way to bring natural sunlight into the room and to enhance the overall appearance from it. Moreover, who is really going to pass up an opportunity to gaze at the stars every evening? Nevertheless, on a final note, it is worth pointing out just how important it is to make sure you find the best professionals for the job. This is a big task and, therefore, there is definitely no room to cut corners. So, choose the company with a great amount of care – assess their level of experience, reputation and look at the work they have done thus far.

 

10 Ways To Create A Happier Living Space

So, you want to create a happier living space. This is actually much easier than you think! By making a few simple changes you should easily be able to create a beautiful home decor that you feel happier and healthier in in no time. Take a look at the 10 suggestions below and you’ll be able to create a happier living space the stress-free way:

 

  1. Include More Patterns And Color

Start by finding ways that you can include more patterns and color. Patterns and color can have a big psychological affect, and they can make us feel happier in an instant! Have a look at the moods of colors online and see if you can incorporate a sunny yellow or a sky blue. Of course, the colors you choose are up to you – as long as they make you happy!

 

How can you include patterns without your home looking two mismatched? Most people like to use an odd number, around three, and then include them in different amounts and sizes. For example, small polka dots, big flowers, and stripes. You can use one around 60%, another 30%, and another 10%.

 

  1. Add Flowers And Plants In Abundance

Flowers and plants can make us feel happier in an instant, and studies have proven it time and time again. By bringing more flowers and plants into your home, you’ll add color, texture, and many health benefits. Leafy green plants are great for making a room more textured! Have fun with your placements and sizing, but don’t be stingy with them. If you want to make sure you’re not constantly buying new flowers and plants, it could be a good idea to invest in realistic looking fake plants – however, you won’t get the air clearing benefits that real plants offer.

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  1. Let In More Natural Light

Make sure you aim to let in more natural light as you create your happier space. Natural light is key for happiness, wellness, and productivity. It’s especially important in any room you might want to get work done, such as a home office. If your windows aren’t allowing this, it could be time to look at renewal by Andersen window replacement. It can be expensive, but it’ll be worth it when you have a home filled with natural light that’s lifting your mood. If you don’t have the cash to update your windows right now, you could always just take a look at some new window dressings and see if they help.

 

  1. Show Off Your Souvenirs

If you like to pick up souvenirs from places you visit, show them off. This can help you to give your home a quirky little twist, and you’ll be reminded of the awesome trips you’ve taken and the places you’ve been whenever you look at them. See if you can create some kind of display – you might be able to incorporate some items by creating a gallery wall, or by putting up shelves.

 

  1. Display Sentimental Items

Don’t forget to display sentimental items, either. Clutter can be bad for your home, but sentimental clutter is a whole different ball game altogether. If it’s a picture your child made for you or something else that means something, displaying it will help you to feel happier in your home.

 

  1. Get Rid Of Clutter

It’s important to take time to declutter regularly so that it doesn’t get on top of you. Clutter can make you feel on edge. Make sure you deal with things like letters as soon as you get them so that they aren’t just lying around messing up your space, and get rid of things that you don’t use. Don’t forget about things that can create visual clutter, either. For example, it’s usually better to purchase one large statement piece than lots of little decorative pieces, as they add to visual clutter.

 

  1. Spend Money On Things That Make You Happy

When thinking about whether something is worth the money, think about whether it’s going to contribute to your happiness at home. For example, it’s always worth buying things that enable you to have a better time with friends and family. If you love watching films together and regularly have movie nights, it’s fair to say that a high quality TV is a great purchase.

 

  1. Become More Eco Friendly

An eco friendly home will help you to reduce your impact on the environment, and you’ll save money – both of these things can give you peace of mind and make you happier. Why not invest in eco friendly light bulbs, solar panels, and other things that will make a big difference in the long run?

 

  1. Use The Right Lighting

Using the right lighting in your space is a must. For example, using plenty of lamps can help you to create a cosier atmosphere. Himalayan salt lamps have even been proven to make you happier and improve sleep. It’s also worth mentioning that the blue light that emanates from technology can disrupt sleep, so you should introduce warmer artificial light with colour changing LED light bulbs.

 

When you choose warmer light with an almost orange glow, you’ll be able to wind down easier in the evening and fall asleep with no problems.

 

  1. Only Bring Things Into Your Home That Are Useful Or Beautiful

When you’re wondering whether to purchase something or not, ask yourself: is this useful or beautiful? If it’s both, great! If it’s one or the other, you can also potentially justify the purchase. However, if you’re not sure about either, you should probably leave it. Filling your home with anything other than items that are beautiful or useful will only clutter up the place and leave you with regret.

 

Which of the above 10 ideas are you going to use to make your home a happier place? You’d be surprised at what a huge difference they can make to your surroundings and how amazing they can make you feel! Leave any ideas of your own below.

 

Is Your Bedroom Cozy Enough?

Your bedroom is the place where you should be able to bunk down and fall asleep easy as breathing, covered in warm and soft blankets, with your curtains closed and just letting the sun peak in when it’s rising at dawn. Even the sound of the image alone is great to think about!

 

But does your bedroom fit this kind of bill? Are you sleeping peacefully in there, surrounded by soft light and a bit of peace and quiet? Are you comfy enough in your bed, or are you tossing and turning like the princess and the pea? Either way, now’s your chance to sprinkle in some more comfort with the few tips we’ve listed out below. This could be a fast and simple project just in time for the winter weather!

Maybe you don’t have the money for a setup like this, but you can easily throw some more soft furnishings around! (Image)

 

Use Some Natural Textures

 

Natural textures can make us think of softness and comfort, without evening needing to reach out and touch, so you can be sure anything that comes directly from the world around us will be a welcome addition here. Maybe some wood for your headboard, or just a bit of paneling to go around the bottom of the walls? It’ll better trap the heat in!

 

Sure, you can mix and match your duvet and sheet fabrics all you like, but there’s nothing like being able to climb under a fluffy blanket made out of wool, on to soft cotton sheets fit for an Egyptian Pharaoh! These are all fibers that can be found in abundance out in the real world, so be sure to shop consciously for them.

 

Get a Bed Canopy

 

Bed canopies are wonderful for adding a sense of privacy and isolation to your bedroom, really allowing you to focus on your sleep pattern and how comfortable you feel away from everyone else living in your home. Even when you don’t have the rails already in place to drape one around the bed you sleep, you can easily set up some hooks to dangle it down from.

 

Just imagine, after a stressful day, being able to crawl into bed and literally shut the curtains around you. If you have issues with light or sound sneaking into your room and waking you from your slumber, this could be halfway to a perfect solution.

 

Get Rid of the Desk!

 

If you’ve got a desk in your room, and you like to sit at it and get your work done, stop that habit in its tracks right now! You’re going to want to move your desk elsewhere, like down into the living room or into the garage if you’ve got the time and space to convert it into some kind of office, as working in the room you sleep in can really change your perception of it.

 

And hey, once you’ve moved a lumbering piece like this out of the way, you can look into buying some more furniture for your bedroom! Pieces that have much more purpose being in your room, like a small loveseat you can cozy up with your partner in, or a giant bean bag you can flop down on and read a book in. You might even start dozing off here!

 

Hang Up a Hanging Chair

 

Speaking of furniture that has a better place in your room, why not get to creating different levels to the space you’re meant to relax in? Even if you just get a sheet and create your own little hammock, if you’ve got something to climb into and seperate yourself from the house around you, you’re going to feel a lot happier in your bedroom. Not to mention, you can be really creative with the set up you design here…

 

A hanging chair can be easily suspended from the ceiling, and you can add all kinds of cushions and accent pieces to it. Maybe tie some fake flowers around the wicker it’s woven out of, or add a reading light that can be easily clipped onto a surface. Whatever takes your fancy here, if you have a hanging chair, you can swing back and forth in your own room, gently rocking yourself into relaxation as you go.

 

Your bedroom is about to get a lot cozier, even if you think you’ve already managed that! Be sure to use some ideas like these if you’re stuck for inspiration – sharing creativity is always free after all.

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