Category: Post By Beach Lady

Interior Design: Let’s Talk About Light

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Light is arguably the single most important factor in your interior design.

 

If you find yourself surprised by such a statement, then consider the following facts:

 

  • Light decides how large the room looks.
  • Light decides how the colors of your interior design and decor look.
  • Light can be harmful too; for example, directly sunlight can age your furniture and furnishings long before its time.

 

As the above demonstrate, no matter how on-point your interior design is, without good lighting, your interior is always going to struggle to look as good as you want it to.

 

So, without further ado, let’s delve into some of the most important light-related considerations that you need to keep in mind when designing your home…

 

The more light, the better

 

This is a simple statement that sounds too simple, but it’s also a basic truth: the brighter and lighter your room is, the better. The question is: how do you achieve this?

 

The first step is to try and make the most of the natural light that you have available to you. Here’s a few suggestions that will help you achieve this:

 

  • Always try to use roller blinds (which can be rolled almost entirely out of sight) than slotted blinds or curtains. Even when pulled back, curtains and drapes can cause shadows and reduce the amount of natural light the room receives. Roller blinds, on the other hand, are just as functional, but can be rolled away to be almost invisible— which helps to ensure a maximum spread of light through the room.
  • Open-plan floor layouts are famous for their ability to help make the most of natural light, but such a layout just isn’t practical for every home. If you don’t have the option of going full-on open plan, then why not opt for the middle ground and work with the likes of Capitol Glass to install glass partition doors? This allows you to separate the space you have on a floor, but allows you to enjoy the natural spread of light through the entire area. It’s open-plan without having to actually be open plan!
  • Use mirrors in your decor. A house full of mirrors may seem like a tribute to the owner’s vanity, but it’s actually a sign that they understand the way that light can move around a room. By using mirrors in the right areas of a room, you can cause the natural light to travel and help to brighten up the entire area.

 

Choose your electric lighting carefully

 

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Of course, even with the best will in the world, any home lit by natural light is always going to need some help from the electrical grid. For those grey days when the sun never seems to shine and, of course, for the nighttime, the next step when considering light is to think about the electrical variety. Here’s a few things you might want to keep in mind:

 

  • Smart lighting systems give you the option of choosing the color of the light in a room. While most people enjoy the novelty of this function to change the color to bright, unusual colors, this isn’t the only application. If you use smart lighting, you are able to use “warm” lighting tones, which are easily the most flattering for the rest of your decor. Non-smart bulbs are available, but nothing beats the full control that smart lighting offers you.
  • It’s important to think about the shadows that your electrical light may cause. Shadows will negatively impact how large your room looks, so choose your light coverings and fixtures with care. Ceiling spotlights throw no shadows at all, while bare bulb floor lamps and table lamps are far friendlier to your overall desire to create as much light as possible than shaded versions. Thankfully, industrial and geometric designs have been popular for several years now, so bare bulbs are more accepted now than they have been in the past!
  • Your ceiling lights are your best friends when dealing with your lighting requirements… but they’re also your worst enemy. Ceiling lights have the potential to substitute for sunlight and help to create a bright, energetic vibe in your home. However, they can also bleach the room and do more harm than good. If you struggle with bleaching problems, then switching to a pendant light can often be the best solution, and allows you to enjoy the benefits of a ceiling light without the drawbacks.

 

Additional thoughts

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So now we’ve covered the basics of mastering natural and electrical light in your home decor, we just need to cover a few more related areas that don’t require a full category to themselves, but still bear mentioning…

 

  • As touched upon earlier, as beautiful as natural light is, it can also be damaging to your furnishings and decor. Wherever possible, move furniture every few weeks so that no one piece is receiving the full force of direct sunlight throughout the year.
  • Natural light may be wonderful in terms of the way it makes your decor look, but it does have a(nother) practical issue: the glare it can cause on TV and device screens. If you find this is a particular problem for you, then there’s some useful tips here that can help reduce the glare you are experiencing.
  • Although we have focused on decor when discussing light, it is worth noting that natural light does have another downside that we’ve not mentioned— it’s potentially dangerous. As beautiful as your room may look when lit brightly on a sunny day, it’s worth remembering that harmful UV rays can penetrate glass with ease, which could lead to sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer for any occupant of the room. The best way to deal with this is to use UV-blocking film on your window; this may also help to reduce the damage your furnishings experience from direct sunlight, too. However, there are some pros and cons to consider before committing to a purchase.

 

In conclusion

If you keep the above in mind, you should be able to master your use of light in your home once and for all.

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What To Do After You’ve Flipped A Property

 

Property flipping is an enjoyable and lucrative way of investing, and potentially making, money. Buying a house and then improving it to the point of profit is an increasingly common choice for many people, but what happens when your flip is complete?

 

This is a stage that many people contemplating flipping a property don’t necessarily think about. It’s easy to become consumed with managing the flip itself and performing the renovation work; there’s not a huge amount of leftover time in which to schedule your next move. However, by the time the “sold” sign goes up on your property and you’ve received the profits from the sale, you’ll ideally have an idea in mind as to what you’re going to do next.

 

In an effort to guide you in the right direction, here are a few next steps that you’re going to want to consider…

 

Flip another property!

 

Sometimes, the simple answers are the best. When you’ve successfully flipped a property, you know that you can do it again. You have a wealth of experience under your belt that is going to make your second flip far more efficient than your first, which should help to increase your return on investment.

 

You can either flip a similar property to your first choice, or opt for something a little more adventurous. It’s worth considering multi-family homes as a larger flipping project; there’s plenty of property options to peruse at T.J. Lamb Real Estate and similar sites, which offer the next step up after your first successful flip of a single-family dwelling.

 

Become a landlord

 

It’s a big step, but if you have enjoyed dabbling with the world of property thus far, why not consider becoming a landlord?

 

In many ways, life as a landlord is not that different to standard property flipping. You still buy properties and improve them. However, at the end of the renovations, you simply look for tenants rather than a buyer. Renting out property can provide a second steady income and, if you use managed property firms, can be relatively stress-free for you.

 

Move onto something else

 

The truth is that property flipping is hard work. When perform your first flip, you’re stuck with it: you’ve made an investment and you’re going to have to see it through to the point of sale. If, however, you genuinely dislike the process, then no profit margin is going to make it worth flipping a property again.

 

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is acknowledge you tried something, it went well… but now you don’t want to do it again. Take the profits you’ve made and look for other forms of investment; there’s no harm in acknowledging that property flipping isn’t something you want to repeat.

 

In conclusion

 

During the flipping process, keeping part of your mind on the next steps when the flip is complete will always be beneficial. Hopefully one of the ideas above will inspire you, and allow you to continue your journey in making the most from property investments!

 

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Is Your Home Really Spring Ready?

After what seems like an endless winter, spring is finally upon us. But while the turning of the season is a great time to get out in the garden, and re-invigorate our social lives a little, it’s also the perfect time to think about sprucing up the home. Since time immemorial, most of us have viewed the spring as a time of transition; a time where the old goes out and the new comes in. For most of us this takes the form of the familiar spring clean, and while this is great for reinvigorating the home in some cases it might not be enough to meet the needs of your home. If you own your own home, it’s especially to use these fairer months as an opportunity to ensure that your property is ready to face the ravages of the season. While most of us are pretty much on top of it when it comes to preparing our homes for the icy cold and wind that comes with winter or the onslaught of heat and insects that comes with summer, few of us consider that even the gentler spring can take its toll on our homes.

 

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Here are some ways to get your home ready for the demands of the season that you may not have considered…

 

Weatherstrip your windows

 

In the coming months, you’ll hopefully become a lot less reliance on your indoor heating and AC, not to mention your lighting solutions. This will hopefully lead to an energy saving season. But there are still steps you can take to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as it can be. While this may be a time to consider whether taking the plunge on double glazed windows, a far more cost effective solution is weatherstripping. If you’ve never weatherstripped your windows before it’s an easy and effective way of keeping your energy bills down and your home pleasantly warm. There are a range of materials that you can use, and each has their own pros and cons but all of them will help you to save good money on your heating and AC costs.

 

Check your roof

 

Few of us are aware of what’s going on with our roof but the spring is the perfect time to have a look at this roofing quiz to determine whether your roof needs some repair or even a full replacement. While replacing your roof may represent a sizable investment, it may well be a more cost effective solution than a repair in the long term. This is because upgrading your roofing materials can keep the heat sealed into your home in cold weather while reflecting sunlight in those coming summer months so the house stays cool.

 

Gutter talk

 

Okay, so few of us relish the thought of climbing up to the roof to check out our gutters, but they may well be clogged with dead leaves from the fall and winter season which, if left unattended, may not bode well for your home with the inevitable spring showers. This is quite a high risk job, so unless you or your partner is extremely confident on a ladder, it’s well worth calling a professional.

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The Real Reasons Why Your Home Is Never The Right Temperature

Do you ever feel just like Goldilocks? Some parts of the home feel far too warm, while some other parts are way too cold. While we may find the odd area that’s just right, it’s usually somewhere like a broom closet where (let’s be honest) we’re not likely to spend much of our free time. It can be utterly infuriating when the home simply refuses to be the right temperature, it can keep us tossing and turning all night and make our well earned free time far less pleasant.

 

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Typically the solution has been to throw AC at the problem, changing the air temperature artificially. But while this may be a quick fix, it’s one that comes with a heavy price tag both for your home and the environment. Air conditioning units aren’t cheap to run and the cost of keeping them going accounts for around 20% of the electricity usage in the United States. Since generating energy almost always comes at the expense of the environment this is clearly not a sustainable solution for the eco-conscious. The best bet is to address the causes of these imbalances in your home’s temperature.

 

Start from the top and work your way down

 

Very often your roof and roof insulation are the main offenders if your home is too cold, no matter how much you turn up the thermostat. Firstly, the materials from which the roof itself is made play a huge part. If you want your home to stay warm in winter yet cool in summer, a new metal roof from Erie Construction may be a great starting point. Metal roofs are durable and long lasting, but they’re also natural conductors, helping to seal heat inside the home. They’re also designed to reflect solar radiation rather than absorbing it, so that your home stays cool in the summer. It’s also worth taking a good look at your attic insulation. It’s important to choose the right insulation type and materials to suit your home while also looking out for signs that your insulation may be compromised. Damp patches, puddles and signs of animal infestation such as droppings and signs of gnawing are obvious red flags.

 

Ducts to ducts

 

Few among us pay that much attention to our ductwork or HVAC but they’re a leading cause of temperature imbalances in the home. If your ductwork is the wrong size for your home you’ll lack the airflow you need which will not only lead to heating imbalances, but potentially cause lasting damage to the system. Moreover, you should check for leaks and poor insulation in your ductwork as this can reduce airflow by up to 30%.

 

Upstairs Downstairs

 

We all know that hot air rises, but few of us are aware of just how much our heating systems create a disparity in temperature between levels of the home. Remember that thermostats are most effective in the room in which they’re installed, so it may be worth investing in a system of multi-room thermostats.

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Everything Cats Know About Napping That You Should Know Too

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Cats are professionals when it comes to napping. There’s a reason it’s called a cat nap after all. They know instinctively that sleep is the best thing they can be doing and between hunting and looking regularly out of the window, a nap is the best restorative they can find.

 

Since cats spend up to 18 hours a day fast asleep, they have had plenty of practice in napping and we can certainly learn a few simple tips from them to improve our own napping ability. In fact, here are a few things that could help you get into a napping routine that even cats could be jealous of.

It’s All in the Timing

Napping is perfect for improving your alertness and avoiding falling asleep at inopportune moments. In fact, it is recommended that drivers going long distances should pull over in a safe place to nap if they feel too tired to continue. This is to avoid falling into micro-sleep, a condition where you fall asleep for a second or two before waking up again – just long enough to cause a crash.

 

For cats, sleep is something of a hobby and they are quite happy to find any spot in the sunshine for a quick nap. However, we people need to be a little more thoughtful about when and where we sleep, as well as how long we should nap for. A 20 – 30 minute nap is a good length of time that fits nicely into most people’s lunch break and for drowsy drivers provides enough sleep to alleviate drowsiness for a while.

 

Around lunchtime is a good opportunity for a nap as it won’t impact too much on your sleeping pattern later on. If you are feeling tired at night, instead of a nap, you should just have an early night instead. Napping just a few hours before bed may disrupt your pattern and cause further problems when you can’t sleep later on.  

Finding the Best Spot

Warmth and comfort are always at the top of any cat’s list of priorities and when it comes to finding a good place for you to nap, this is important to you too. Though many people choose a chair or a sofa for a quick nap, maybe pulling a blanket over to snuggle into, your bedroom is the best place for a nap.

 

This makes perfect sense since your bed is literally designed for the best sleep and as long as you get over the stigma of napping, you should really be doing everything you can to optimize your sleep. Keep the room quite cool, between 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and close the curtains before you get into bed. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive, keeping your back and neck aligned (have a look at this site for more insights on mattresses).

 

If you are at work and want a bit of shut-eye, you should try to find a quiet spot that is out of everyone’s way. If your office has a sofa, that would be ideal for curling up and taking 30 minutes to yourself. In some offices, where the employers are more supportive of napping during the day, sleep pods like the ones at Google’s HQ have become a popular option. While your boss might not be catching up anytime soon, you can at least point to a trend if you want to ask for a solution.

Making the Most of Nap Time

Napping is often thought of as an emergency solution rather than a habit, but as cats show, napping can be a way of life. In fact, in this case, the Spanish are already way ahead in their own sleep patterns, having a 3 hour lunch to accommodate a siesta at the hottest part of the day. While it is perfectly logical to assume that the siesta is only for avoiding the sun, scientists have also found that people who have siestas tend to be less likely to die of heart disease.

 

The health benefits of having a nap are finally being noticed in the US and as nap rooms are becoming more popular in US offices, it looks like many employers are realizing that they can have healthier, happier and more alert staff if they just accommodate a 30 minute nap each day. This is great news because it suggests that a cultural shift is in progress. However, it’s still important that you get a high quality of sleep in that time and don’t feel awkward about being asleep on the job.

 

While it is tempting to quickly check your phone before you close your eyes or to think ahead to what you are going to do when you wake up, you don’t want to waste all your time not sleeping. Instead, a good nap – as all cats know – starts by closing your eyes and settling into a comfortable position. Clear your mind of everything and relax your muscles. Counting down from 100 slowly might help if you are struggling to switch off.

 

Though napping at work may still be an uncommon occurrence, the Japanese have long understood the benefit and studies have shown that a 60 minute nap can vastly improve performance in the workplace, giving you a much better chance of learning new information and memorizing facts. Part of the reason for this is that sleep is a great way to reduce stress and calm right down, so allowing yourself to clear your mind in order to drift off is ideal for improving your performance.

 

Cats know a lot about napping and there are few animals who are so chilled out. They understand that napping makes them more alert before they go hunting plus it can help them live longer and healthier lifestyles. Napping more like a cat will help you in all these ways too, though you probably won’t achieve their ability to disguise themselves as fluffy cushions or recognize someone with an allergy to cat hair within 2 seconds. Some things are secrets only other cats can understand…   

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