Category: Home Improvement

Can A Smart Home Be Stylish?

We’re hearing more than ever before about smart homes. But let’s be honest, it would be no surprise to hear that you hate the idea of dozens of technology devices cluttering up your home. However, if you are worried that too much tech will only be an eyesore, it might be time to think again. While smart homes might have been the preserve of the technology nerd in the past, things are changing quickly, and it’s more than possible to have a smart home that is stylish as well as clever in the tech department. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

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Consider the Control

 

OK, so the first step in creating a smart, stylish home is to have a good think about where to put your ‘control’ device – in most cases, your voice-control devices, like a tablet or media console. It will need to go where people spend most of their time in the home, so consider placing it on a kitchen unit or in a central area. It’s also a good idea to give your unit a few beautiful companions. Take the Amazon Echo unit, for example. Standing on its own it might look obvious and out of place. But in amongst some other decor pieces, it can blend into your everyday life.

 

Upgrade your devices

 

Tired of your ugly wireless router? Want something a little better looking than the standard DVR box you keep jammed in beneath the TV? If so, why not look for some upgrades. There are some seriously beautiful devices out there, such as the TiVo Bolt – it looks like a piece of art – and the Eero router, which is a rounded router that resembles a decorative piece.

 

Shake up your lighting

 

The great thing about smart lighting is that there are so many good value options that don’t require a massive installation project. If you read the review at BestSmartLamp.com for more info on smart lamps like the Philips’ Friends of Hue series and many more, you will see what kind of thing is available. There are some incredibly smart lighting options that can produce stunning lighting displays in any room – and many are controllable from your Alexa or Google Home devices.

 

Smart refrigerators

 

Let’s head back into the kitchen and take a look at your refrigerator. If you are planning on upgrading soon, why not go for a smart fridge? There are some spectacular options out there, but the vast majority of them are exceptionally beautiful to look at. As pointed out by CNet.com, you should take the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator as a great example. It has a super slick stainless steel design and also has a digital bulletin board where you can put family tasks and notices up. It also links up with an app so you can pull up a shopping list of everything you need when you are at the grocery store.

 

As you can see, a smart home doesn’t have to mean your living spaces look like something from a movie depicting some kind of dystopian nightmare. There are plenty of stylish options out there that give you everything on offer from modern tech, and look the part, too!

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Is Your New Home Lacking Kerb Appeal? Here’s How You Can Put That Right!

When you’re searching for a home to buy, one of the things most of us want is something that looks pretty from the outside. However when you’re on a tight budget (perhaps this is your first step onto the property ladder) there are probably other boxes that need ticking that are more important. Your new home might need a garden, a certain number of rooms and bathrooms. You might want something that has heating and/ or air conditioning and you might want a specific area. For this reason, you may have to make a compromise and take a house that’s ideal in every other way, but just doesn’t look as pretty and charming from the kerb as you’d hoped. If this is the case, no need to fret- there’s plenty that you can do. Here are some ideas!

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Windows and Doors

Sometimes, just a good clean of the windows can make all the difference. If you don’t have a ladder or a head for heights, it doesn’t cost much to get a window cleaner to come and get them looking sparkling. Your door is an important part of how your home looks from the outside, so if yours is looking worse for wear it could bring down the appearance of the rest of the property. If it’s made of wood, give it a good sand down and paint it. You could go with a neutral, a cute pastel or even a bright colour! Whatever fits your style. Have some new shiny numbers mounted onto it to finish the look.

 

Gardens

Giving the garden a good tidy up can instantly improve the look of a house from the outside. Mow the grass, and treat it with a fertiliser that’s suitable for the time of year. Use a box of grass seed to patch any sparse areas and get it looking its best. Trim back any bushes and shrubs that have grown wild, and if you have any large trees or hedges that block the light, consider cutting them down.

 

Garage Doors

Garage doors don’t need replacing very often, but if you’ve moved into an older home chances are they’ve been around since the house was built. A coat of paint and some new springs could fix any issues in some cases, otherwise companies like http://www.prestigegaragedoors.com.au/ could fit you something nice and new. A great way to instantly transform the outside of the home.

 

Fences

If any fences at the front of the property look weathered and tired, buy a tub of outdoor wood paint and give them a once over. This can quickly smarten up the front of any home and enhance the kerb appeal without spending much at all.

 

Flowers

Finally, flowers always look pretty and using flowers at the front of your home will make it look well cared for. Have a hanging basket put up either side of your door and fill it with beautiful blooms. Use pots, and fill flower beds and borders in the front garden with pretty colourful flowers.

 

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Design Your Home How You Want It

Everyone has their own interpretation of what a nice home design is. Some people prefer a look that is simple and clean, other prefer a look that is more alternative and unique. It doesn’t matter what your view is, you should always be decorating your home exactly the way you want it. If you can’t say that that’s how it is at the minute, then you need to put your DIY decor gloves on, and get deciding on what you would consider as the perfect home design. When there’s just so many different influences circulating, it can be pretty hard to decide. So, we’ve got some tips to help you decide what you might like, and how you can cut the costs of an interior redesign.

 

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Deciding What You Want

 

Sometimes, deciding what you actually want is the hardest part of redesigning your home. You might have an idea in your head, but actually figuring out how to make this idea come to life can be tricky. So, we suggest that you do a drawing, that way you’ve got a visual representation to follow of the layout, and the things that you want to put in. You’ll know where you want everything to go, you then only need to follow your guide and add in the colours that you want to add in. If you’re struggling to get your imagination going, then you need to check out some of the amazing interior design websites that there are, or use social media as a guide. Some people are putting the most amazing pieces of interior decor on show. All you need to do is pick out snippets of your favourites and you’re onto a winner.

 

Cutting Some Costs

 

If you’re going to do a decor redesign, then you’re going to need to think about how you can cut some costs here and there. If you don’t an interior redesign can get pretty costly, pretty quickly. The first is looking for places to get cheaper materials. If you’re going for a full redesign, you’re going to be thinking about new carpets, walls, sofas etc. For the carpets, we recommend going to companies such as Carpet One if you’re looking to cut some of the costs. Probably one of the most expensive things that you’re going to have to buy will be the sofas. For them, you should really consider going second hand and how that might benefit you. Most second hand sofas are being sold in the most perfect condition, so you’re not going to be having something shoddy.

 

Saving Some For The Experts

 

Sometimes, some things are just better left to the experts. If you attempt them, they could just go horribly wrong and you’re going to end up wasting so much money. One of them is the carpets. Never ever try and rip up the carpets yourself. You could damage the flooring underneath, anything around the area you’re ripping up, and yourself! Any rewiring that might need doing is also better left to the professionals. For one, you probably won’t have a clue what you’re doing!

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How to Turn Your Traditional Home into a Modern Abode!

Moving into an older house may be a great investment and you may even feel like it is a blank canvas for you to work with. This is great because you ultimately have complete control over what you want to do and what you want to create. The problem is that sometimes you might not know where to start and this can delay the whole operation. If you want to avoid all of this then it helps to have a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

 

Books

 

Books have always been put vertically in libraries so consider stacking them horizontally. This will help you to give each room a very updated look. If you want to get really modern with your book ideas then try and create multiple stacks so that you can have a lot of space between them all. If you feel as though this is a bit too organised for your liking then consider having some placed randomly. This can really bring a different feel to the room and it also makes it look a bit more personalised as well.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/apartment-architecture-bookcase-bookshelves-271816/

 

Brighten Things Up

 

The best and easiest way for you to transform your traditional home would be for you to replace the furniture you do have with something a bit more special. You can easily invest in modern furniture or you can choose furniture that is a bit lighter in colour. Little changes like this can make all the difference. After all, traditional homes tend to have very dark woods or darker colours so if you try and brighten things up then this will really transform the room. If you want to really change things around then why not consider going to Cliff Young? They can help you with any furniture you need and they are very affordable as well. If you want to get some ideas then consider going for colours such as canary yellow or even mint green. Teal is also another great colour, but try and incorporate these in the right places. If you have a mint green bath then this will make your home look very old and it also won’t be doing you any favours.

 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-clouds-estate-exterior-280222/

 

Be Clear

 

Glass is an easy way for you to make your home more modern. Glass adds transparency and if you have a lot of dark wood then this can easily make things look brighter and clearer. The best thing about glass is that you don’t have to worry about matching in the colour and it works in just about any room. Try and have a glass mirror or a glass coffee table to make things really stand out. This will work wonders and it’s a great way for you to really add extra, natural light.

 

Solid Colours Work

 

Intricate patterns can make your home look like it’s from the 60’s so try and avoid these. If you want to modernise your home then opt for more solid colours. Try and use texture and even finishes with different tones. Shapely furniture is also a great option if you want to add a bit of personality or even a bit of interest, but patterns are not the way to go.

 

Metal is Modern

 

Metal is very modern and it can really bring your home into this century. If you want to incorporate more metal then try and go for brushed stainless steel or even copper items. You can do this with ease in the kitchen and you can also really make your features stand out over the decoration that you have at the moment. If you have a tile splashback then it’s worth trying to get this replaced with a heavy-duty plastic one and you may even want to replace that old extractor hood as well. After all, this is essentially the focus of your kitchen and it can make all the difference to the room. In most instances, you don’t even need to replace the counter or even the cupboards, because little tweaks like this can transform a full room without breaking the bank.

 

So if you have an older property and you want to really turn things around then there are a couple of things that you can do to make this happen. These fixes are generally very inexpensive and they are the best way for you to really make the most out of the space you have as well. If you want more ideas, take down the patterned wallpaper and paint it with a block colour of paint, and remember that curtains make more of a difference to a room than you’d think.

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Owning A Home Is Risky Business

Are you a first time homeowner? Or are you someone who has been on the property ladder for more years than they care to count? Whoever you are, or however long you’ve spent owning your own home, you should know by now that owning a home is actually risky business. When you think about it, you’ve invested hundreds and thousands of pounds into a property that could easily be ruined if you weren’t careful enough. There’s just so many risks that can affect a property, not only the things that could damage it but wider issues that homeowner faces. That’s what we’re going to explore today. The issues all homeowners seem to face, and how you can make sure you’re keeping yourself and your home as safe and as happy as possible.

 

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Outside Dangers

 

There are so many outside dangers that your home could face that we would potentially be here for days writing about them. So for now, we’re just going to pick out some of the most common outside dangers and how they could potentially affect your household. By outside dangers, we mean the external factors that could seriously affect the way a house is ran, or the integrity of a house altogether. First on the list is the people who might want to get in your home so badly, whether you’re there or not. We’re talking about thieves, and we have good reason to. The number of homes that are being broken into all over the world, not just in the US is appalling. More and more people are being subjected to the absolute turmoil that is created when someone chooses their house to steal from. There’s not much you can do in the way of stopping it, apart from taking some preventive measures to try and warn off potential thieves. The first thing you can do is install security cameras at the front and back of your home. Usually this is enough to scare away thieves, but if not, it can at least help you in your quest to make sure they’re caught. If getting security cameras installed is too expensive for you, you can always get fake cameras that look like the real thing, and will have the same effect when scaring them off. Finally, make sure you have contents insurance for your home to make sure that you can at least get some money back if something as terrible as this does happen. Making sure you’ve got the strongest locks for your doors is also recommended.

 

The second external factor that we need to talk about is pests or dangerous animals. Living in the US, you’re going to be prone to this whether you like it or not. A lot of home in Florida for example is surrounded by lakes, swamps, or rivers that are home to many alligators and snakes. As worrying as this might be, all of those homes are protected by a mesh cover at the back meaning not much can get through. But snakes can be pests, and they often do find their ways into pools or houses without the owners realizing until it is too late. Other parts of the US are just as susceptible to things like this, if not worse. What you need to do is check out this company, and have them on standby if something like this ever does happen. There’s just not a lot you can do to prevent it, but at least you could get the problem solved asap. If you’ve got children involved, the matter becomes a lot more pressing, especially if they’re young and curious. To them, a snake might look like a friendly new toy that they want to play with. Pest companies can also help you deal with the more minor issues that you might be having such as ants or cockroaches. These find their way into homes easier as they’re attracted to the sweet scent of sticky sweets or drinks that might have accidentally been spilt. All of the sudden you could have an army of ants in your home, it can be super scary!

 

Self Inflicted Dangers

 

Us homeowners just don’t help ourselves sometimes. We can often be the cause of danger without even realising it. So, how many of you reading this will admit you leave the house without turning off all the plugs, and making sure all of the lights are switched off. We guarantee nearly all of you will say that you don’t turn them off. Whilst it might seem innocent to a lot of you, there’s still a fair bit of power running through those plugs into your electrical items, whether the items themselves are turned on or not. This current can easily spark a freak fire which then threatens to ruin your whole home. If you’re not in when this happens, then without a doubt the majority of your home will be ruined. Think smart about what you’re doing around the home, and make sure you’re making the best decisions to keep it safe. A lot of people are also terrible for not having an alarm nowadays, or even forgetting to lock the door. If you have an alarm set and it goes off whilst your out, most alarm companies now give you a courtesy call asking you if you’re home and if it was you that caused it, if the answer is no the police are contacted and any potential thieves can be caught. If you have no alarm set, they’re left to run round your home freely! Always make sure you have a working home alarm, and always make sure you’re keeping it activated when going outside. As for forgetting to lock the door, this is just a habit that some people have, and often it is just an accident. Try and get it in your head to triple check the door is locked before leaving to go out. At least then you’ll have the piece of mind that your home is protected whilst you’re not there.

 

So, now you see that owning a home isn’t actually as easy as it may seem, and it definitely does have its risks. But at least you’re now going to be protected against the major risks you might face.

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