Category: Home Improvement

What Lies Beneath: The Hidden Dangers In Your Home

When most of us think about home improvement, we tend to consider making things look pretty, stylish and comfortable. But is our desire for making cosmetic changes overriding the need to take a closer look at more important things?

 

Unfortunately, there are many different areas of your home that could be causing you grief – yet are invisible to all but the trained eye. And when it comes to home improvement, it’s these particular areas that are important to fix, rather than the pattern or shade of your drapes.

 

Let’s take a look at the hidden dangers that could be lurking in your home.

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Pests

 

As the old saying goes, you’re never less than a few yards away from a rat. But rodents aren’t your only problem – woodworm, termites and all kinds of other pests could be damaging your home without you realizing.

 

Let’s take termites as the perfect example. They can burrow deep into your walls and timber unnoticed, and spend years eating their way out from the inside. There are a few signs to watch out for, but the reality is that by the time you notice a lot of damage will already be done.

 

With this in mind, make sure you get a pest inspection performed on your home every once in a while – once a year if you live in an old home. And always get an inspection before selling or buying any home.

 

Foundation Disrepair

 

Your foundations are buried deep beneath a few hundred tons of granite, and impossible to see with your eyes. And the first you will know of any foundational issues in your home is when your basement walls start to crack or your home starts to shift and sag.

 

Let’s be clear – the longer you leave foundational problems, the more expensive they are going to be to get fixed. Your best bet is to get a professional home inspector in to check your foundations once every few years or so. You should also do this before selling your home as if there are any problems it’s going to be hard to sell your home to anyone at anything less than a knockdown price.

 

Roof Damage

 

Few of us really know what’s going on above our heads, as roofs are inaccessible and impossible to see from street level. And even if you make occasional visual checks from your attic space, it can be incredibly difficult to spot problems.

 

Damaged shingles, broken tiles, and warped or rotting beams could be letting in small amounts of water that are hard to see and cause big trouble further down the line. Again, it’s important to get a check every once in a while, to spot trouble before it begins to develop into something more serious.

 

Everyone loves to make their homes look beautiful, of course. But the most important home improvements you can make are actually hidden from plain view. It’s vital that you are aware of what can go wrong and take steps to prevent minor issues turning into enormous – and expensive – problems.

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Glamorous Garden With Little Effort

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Sitting in your garden as the warm evening sun plays patterns over your skin, is the best way to end any day. It’s relaxing and relieves any of that built up stress that you may have been carrying around with you earlier at work. The only thing is, what if you don’t have the kind of garden that you see in the movies. A preconceived idea is that you either have a pretty backyard, or you don’t, but that isn’t the case at all. You need to work for it in order to maintain it’s good looks. If you start to get lazy and let it do what it wants, it will become an overgrown mess that looks more like a swamp than any secret sanctuary.

 

But what if you just don’t have the time? Not all of us are able to spend a good few hours every week pruning and snipping and pulling. So how do we still get our glamours garden?

Well, the key is to focus on additions that don’t need constant care and attention.

 

Here are a couple of examples.

 

Trees   

A lot of people will think that getting a tree will not only be extremely expensive, but a lot of work too, but this isn’t always the case. There are many different varieties that need very little in order to grow and flourish. As long as they have direct access to the sun and a little bit of water here and there, they will be absolutely fine. Take flowering pear trees, for example, these come with a stunning array of flowers that change colour as the season moves, and they barely need any looking after. They are even very resilient to different weather and even fire, so if you live in an area where it overheats a lot and is prone to fires, you won’t need to worry about this catching.

 

Water

Water is the perfect way to bring different elements together. Get swimming pool out of your head though, and think more about a bird bath or a water feature. The size you decide on going all depends on how much room you have to play with. You could choose a big extravagant waterfall feature to flow right in the center, or just a small place for the birds to come and wash themselves, while other wildlife appears too, like dragonflies and butterflies. In terms of making sure its clean, all you need to do it refill it with a water here and there. And if you have a feature that moves, it will already have a built-in filter that cleans the water as it goes.

So as you can see, these are only two examples, but they are highly effective and can change the total look of a garden within a matter of seconds, as well as improving the environment because it gives animals a place to come to find shelter, food, and comfort. And that alone is playing a big part in living a green and friendly life.

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Open House: How To Create A Welcoming Guest Bedroom

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One of the greatest pleasures of having your own home is inviting friends, family and loved ones to stay over as guests. Proving a comfortable, welcoming space for them while they stay with you is a sure fire way to make them feel valued and want to visit again. But creating the perfect guest bedroom doesn’t have to be complicated. A few simple touches can make all the difference. Here’s how…

 

A Welcoming Atmosphere

 

It’s easier than you think to provide a cozy, hospitable space that will make your guests feel welcome. Even the smallest of box rooms can be made to feel special. Avoid using old sheets and a lumpy mattress – invest a little in Goose feather pillows and a fresh set of bed linen to give the space a lift and make everyone comfortable.

 

The Little Touches

 

Some last minute additions can make your space feel cared for and signal to your guests that they are welcome in your home. Try a bunch of fresh flowers on the windowsill, a few scented candles to provide a fragrant, flickering glow at night and a stack of neatly folded towels. You can also pull together a guest basket with sample toiletries and a cosy pair of slippers, plus some newspapers and magazines so your guest have everything they need.

 

Good Lighting

 

Make sure that your guests can easily control the amount of light and shade in their rooms, to suit individual preference. Black out blinds can be really useful to help them sleep in if they’re jet-lagged or have had a long journey, and make sure there is a lamp or two for soft lighting and so they can read in bed at night. The right lighting gives a room a restful atmosphere and offers a practical touch as well.

 

Keep Their Belongings Safe

 

There’s nothing more unwelcoming than a guest room with nowhere for your guests to unpack, but many of us use our guest bedrooms as overflow storage for our own things. Make sure that you clear some wardrobe and drawer space for your guests to use, even temporarily. A chic ottoman can provide storage for extra blankets and pillows as well as seating or somewhere to lay out clothes.

 

Drinks and Snacks

 

One way to make your guests feel truly at home is to make a drinks station. Sometimes, it can feel awkward bothering your hosts whenever you’d like a drink, or guests may get up earlier or later than the usual household routines. Putting a coffee machine in there means there is a no mess way for them to make a hot drink, and think about also providing a jar of Homemade cookies as an extra treat. Then if guests feel peckish they can help themselves!

 

Creating a great atmosphere for guests can be as simple as adding a few creature comforts to their space. Follow these simple steps and your guests will be dying to come back and spend more time in your beautiful home.

 

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Bring The Outdoors In For A Fresh Home

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Do you ever feel like your home could do with a bit of a freshen up? You might be starting to get a bit bored with your current decor and think that it’s time to brighten the place up a bit. Not too sure what you could do to give your decor a new breath of life? You simply need to bring the outdoors in!

 

There’s nowhere quite as fresh and invigorating as the outdoors, and bringing aspects of features of the outside world into your home will be a great way to improve the house’s overall interior design.

 

Here are some great tips that can guide your outdoor-inspired decor.

 

Add Plenty Of House Plants

 

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your home’s decor feel like it has been inspired by the outdoor is to add some house plants. You don’t need to add too many, or else your home might start to feel like a jungle! Instead, just a couple in each of your rooms should do. Why not add the types of plants that are renowned for detoxifying the air around them? These include peace lilies and aloe vera.

 

Use Natural Materials

 

If you want to add new countertops, flooring, or large furniture items, you should try and find new items that have been made with natural materials. For instance, wooden floors, granite countertops and bamboo furniture will help increase the overall natural feel to your rooms. Not only that, though, but they are also more likely to be eco-friendly compared to things made from manmade materials.

 

Go With A Natural Color Scheme

 

When it comes to painting and decorating your rooms, you should also try and create a natural color scheme. Use colors that you would find when you are wandering around outside. For instance, earth browns, refreshing blues, and deep greens will all work really well. You might even want to go one step further and paint a beautiful forest scene on a feature wall.

 

Use Fruits And Vegetables As Decor Features

 

It’s also a nice idea to add some fruit and vegetables to the decor. For instance, adding a large fruit bowl to the center of a dining-room table or coffee table can be a nice ornate feature. Dried fruit and vegetables will also work well dotted along bookshelves and in small nooks and crannies. Some vegetables can also give your home a nice seasonal touch, such as carved pumpkins in the fall. If you don’t want to use actual fruit and vegetables, you could always just use wallpaper that features them in the pattern.

 

Make It Eco-Friendly

 

Adding some eco-friendly features to your home will also be a great way to bring in the great outdoors. Plus, it will be doing the environment a big favor as your interior design choices won’t have a negative effect on it!

 

As you can see then, there are plenty of ways you can bring the great outdoors into your home. And you’ll feel a lot more relaxed and rejuvenated as a result!

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Why Your Bedroom Feels Wrong

It’s not something that’s commonly acknowledged, but sometimes you can just walk into a room and there’s something not quite right about it. It’s a feeling in the back of your mind, and you’re not quite comfortable staying there for too long. Of course a lot of the time we ignore this feeling and just get on with our lives, but sometimes it gets too much. And there’s nowhere else it gets more than you can handle than in your own bedroom!

 

So if you’re constantly feeling like you’re not in the right position when you’re lying down, or you can’t get to sleep for days/weeks on end, or the room layout just isn’t right in general, this post is here to help.

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Place Your Bed Right

 

Your bed is the main point of your bedroom, and everything else in there revolves around it. And that means you need to make sure it’s in the right place, otherwise, there’ll be a significant sense of imbalance about you. As we get older and older, we care a lot more about these things!

 

There’s always the popular move of pushing the bed up against the main wall of the room, usually the one opposite to the doorway. However, if there’s something you can’t move in the way, don’t try this. A radiator can easily lead you to overheat when you’re lying so close, and any pipes leading to or away from one can be extremely loud on your sleepy ears.

 

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort!

 

Comfort is the main thing you need when you’re sleeping, and that means you need something that’s as soft as you need it to be whilst also offering your back and sides some good lumbar support. If you’re not supported by your bed, make sure you cut it out of your life, like you would any other item that didn’t do its job!

 

A memory foam mattress has always been popular for providing a body shape impression for you to crawl into, but they’re not for everyone. Try out something from ChooseMattress if you want value for your money, as you can never be quite sure how well a certain memory foam mattress will work for you. There are so many types out there on the market, you’re not just going to want to grab the cheapest you can get your hands on.

 

You Might Need Some Plants

 

And the right kind of plants! Most plants convert CO2 into oxygen during the day but then switch at night, and that’s not something you want around you when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. Find the types that’ll help you breathe easier.

 

Plants have been proven to make us happier as well. Something bright and healthy in our personal surroundings just puts a jaunt in our step. Feel calmer when you have to get up!

 

There are some tips on making sure your bedroom feels right for your use again. Your bedroom can be changed whenever you need it.

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