Can Design And Efficiency Coexist In A Home?

We are now in a very different era for interior design and architecture. It may have began in commercial buildings but it’s pretty much the norm now for every home in the world. Energy efficiency is on the mind of every homeowner and this is for good reason. Over the years your home will waste thousands of dollars just on wasted energy. Without a doubt this plagues on the minds of those that are trying to save every penny but it’s also something the affluent care about too. The only issue is, style has had to be the sacrificial lamb in order for energy efficiency problems to be addressed. At least this was the case in the past because now slowly things are changing. Contemporary interior designers and companies that specialize in this industry have made it their mission to create homes that naturally look great but don’t go ‘too far green’. You don’t need doors made from hemp to be eco-friendly, just a knack for what needs to be changed, how and where.  

 

It’s right in front of you!

 

What did we learn when we were children about heat and colors? The lighter the color, the more it reflects light away but the darker it is, the light will be absorbed. This is why you see many Mediterannean homes in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are all made from white limestone. Homes in very hot climates such as Brazil are also painted white to make sure that the occupants are not cooking in their own home. So how is this relevant to your home? Well, the longer you can keep natural sun rays in the home to heat up the interior, the less likely you are to put the heating on. At the very least you’ll be putting the heating on for less time. Paint the inside of your home in what could be deemed warmer colors or even earth-tone colors.

 

For example, paint the ceiling of the dining room in an orange or perhaps are beige. If you have a room that is particularly cold such as the kitchen, you can paint the ceiling or the walls in a red or a yellow. These colors are very popular in parts of the world like Scicily as the heat is naturally kept longer in a room which has many metal appliances, fitting and fixtures. The metal will often make the room colder than normal so just by painting your rooms in a darker shade, you will keep natural heat a lot longer in your home. This energy saving technique is so simple that it’s staring you right in the face. You don’t need anything fancy, just a paint can and a brush.

 

Looking through the bay

 

The door is often seen as the main culprit for letting heat out of a home. We have at least once or twice in our lifetime, shouted at one of the other family members to ‘shut the door!’ because they were letting the heat out. Well, doors are not the main source of losing heat from a home. No, it’s not the roof either, although this is a very good point. The main reason is that your windows are simply not energy efficient in their design. Think about it, you have more windows than doors and they are literally just holes in your home that we can look out of thanks to the glass. Therefore fitting windows designed from the ground up to be more energy efficient will save you a ton of money.

 

If you have a contemporary living room and or dining area, then you most likely have bay windows. These are a very classic selection of windows, but they’re also very large so they have a tendency to lose a lot of heat quickly. Check out this option for your window replacement needs, because these bay windows are high performance and low-E4. Made from SmartSun glass and FIBREX composite, the material is designed to not absorb heat from within the home. They are tightly fit together so there are not small drafts coming in from any gaps either. They will be doing their job just fine all throughout the year too, so it doesn’t matter if it rains or snows. You can also customize the windows by selecting your interior and exterior colors. This way you also get a say in what kind of style they should be when fitted to your home.

 

 

Strategically placed lighting

 

Practicality is the main issue when it comes to lighting design in any home desiring to become more energy efficient. It seems old fashioned now to have a ceiling light that is in the center of a room. This means all four corners are usually dark and if you have a large room, then lamps are other smaller lights will be needed. But this means that you have multiple lights on in just one room. The answer to this is to start again, but this time make sure the lighting is strategically placed around the home.

 

For example, the kitchen should have lights pointed at the places that are used the most. Have small LED lights pointing down at the oven, microwave, countertop and cooker. You can also place LED lights inside cupboards and cabinets. They will only turn on when you open the door, just like a fridge. You can also place small LED lights in other rooms such as in bedroom ceilings. Rather than one light in the center of the room, you will have several smaller lights placed around the room such as at your wardrobe, the drawer, the entrance to the toilet door and over a place where you have fitted a television. All of these lights are placed in areas where you are using or doing something, no light is wasted.

 

Modern design and energy efficiency interiors don’t have to clash. You don’t need to sacrifice one for the other either. You should be much smarter with your color choices in rooms where heat loss is an issue. Pick a darker color to absorb more sunlight throughout the day and you won’t be putting the heating on so much.

 

Ten Important Things You Must Do Before Moving Abroad

Moving abroad is a completely life-changing experience, and something most keen travelers think about at least a few times throughout their life. While vacations are certainly enjoyable, they never give you enough time to explore and truly appreciate where you are. Unfortunately, planning such as huge undertaking is much more complicated and costly than your average break away. There are so many things that must be done, and, if you forget even one of them, it could spell disaster. With that in mind, here are ten important things you must do before moving.

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Research Your Chosen Destination

Adjusting to a new home is never easy, but it will be so much harder if the place is completely unknown to you. As soon as you know where you’re moving to, therefore, you should start reading about it. Completely immerse yourself in information, learning about the language, job market, culture, climate, and laws. You should also research the cost of living, as well as schools if you have children. The more knowledge you have the better prepared you will be.

 

Take A Mini Break

As much information is online, it’s impossible to truly get to know a place unless you go there. While plenty of people move abroad just fine without visiting the country, it is better to plan a short break first. This would give you some idea of what would be in store if you were to move there. If you can’t go on vacation before moving, then speak to others who have visited the country, or better yet, the area. You don’t want to find out you don’t like it too late, after all.

 

Check The Visa Requirements

Before you get too excited about moving, you must ensure that you can legally live in the country that you’ve chosen. In most cases, you’ll have to apply for a visa to live long-term and work abroad. Whatever you do, you can’t leave it until the last minute to apply for this document. It can sometimes take weeks or even months for an application to be approved, which simply might be too late. You must check your passport also and renew it beforehand if it’s about to expire.

 

Save Up The Money

The process of moving house is far from cheap, but you can guarantee that moving abroad will be a lot more costly. You’ll need to book flights, apply for visas and passports, and might also need to pay for accommodation, as well as cover the cost of shipping your belongings overseas. You’ll also need some money spare in case of unexpected expenses. With that in mind, you should start saving up as soon as you can. Cutting costs around the house will make this easier.

 

Ask For Professional Help

There are some tasks that you can easily do alone. Moving abroad, however, is not one of them. Because of this, you will have to find international removalists to handle the process for you. They can pack and unpack your belongings, store them until you need them, and then take them where they need to go. Rather than choose the first moving company you find, you should research a few and pick the best one. Ensure you book with them early for the best price.

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Let The Kids Know

Once you know for sure that you’re moving away, you will need to let your children know. After all, the move affects them just as much as it does you. Some parents put off this talk until just before moving day in an attempt to spare their kids any unnecessary stress. However, dropping a change as huge as this one on them last minute isn’t going to do them any good. You should tell them as soon as you can and be prepared to answer any questions that they might have.

 

Sort Out Your Accounts

While you will still be able to use some of your accounts abroad, a lot of them you will have to cancel. Most people have many accounts for different services, including banks, credit cards, gyms, phones, and other utilities. For this reason, you should start the process of closing them quite early. Around a month before you leave should be plenty of time. For the account that you intend to keep open, you must contact the companies and let them know of your plans to move.

 

Visit The Doctor’s Office

Getting sick is never fun, but many of the illnesses found abroad can be particularly troublesome. This is why many countries won’t allow you in unless you have certain vaccinations and medications. A few months before you leave, therefore, you should visit the doctor’s office and inform them of your moving plans. While you’re there, they can give you any medicines that you might need, as well as conduct a physical to make sure that you’re in good health.

 

Clear Out The House

You should never move house with all of your belongings, but this is especially true when moving abroad. The more things that you decide to take, the more stressful the move will be, and the more that you’ll have to spend. For this reason, you should start clearing out your home as early as you can. You can sell some of the things that you don’t need for a little extra cash and donate, recycle, or throw away the rest. The less stuff you take with you, the easier moving will be.

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Spend Time With Family

The hardest part about moving somewhere new is having to leave many of those you love behind. Since it’s difficult to know when you’ll next see your friends and family, you should try to spend as much time with them as you can before you leave. Although you will be pretty busy with the move, you’ll regret it if you don’t. You might also want to throw a going away party. This gives you an opportunity to see everyone you love in one room one the last time for a while.

 

Moving abroad is rewarding, but it requires a lot of work. Although it won’t be easy, following the advice above can make the process a little more straightforward.

 

Make Your Home Turn Heads For All The Right Reasons

We often take such great pride in the interior of our homes that we somehow forget the aesthetics of our home’s exterior. The facade of our humble abode is the first thing that greets visitors, it’s what passers by see from the street, and it is what we have to welcome us home after work every evening. While we enjoy showing off our design flair in our minimalist living rooms, Scandinavian inspired fixtures and fittings, and our light laden kitchen diners, we don’t pay the same attention to our gardens, driveways and front doors. It’s time to change this and make the exterior of your home turn heads for all the right reasons.

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Frontage

 

Everyone has a picture of the typical chocolate box house with four windows, a central front door, and a chimney. It’s symmetrical, pretty and pleasant to look at. In reality, our homes come in all shapes and sizes, and some aren’t as naturally appealing to the eye. Pebble dash and beige render can make a home look drab and dull. It’s up to you to inject a bit of life into this facade. Whip out the white masonry paint and brighten up the exterior of your home. Hire a roofing service to check your humble abode for slipped tiles or slate. Paint the front door a vibrant red or a sophisticated black and enjoy seeing your home in a new light. Changing up your facade needn’t be expensive and could just take a weekend of your time.

 

Driveway

 

You might be blessed to have a little bit of land in front of your pad on which to park a vehicle or two. The driveway we choose says a lot about our home. Tarmac is simple and neat, brick paved drives are a tad more expensive, and resin is even more postmodern. If your driveway is looking more like a pothole ridden patch of wasteland, it might be time to invest in a new layout, for the sake of your poor car if nothing else. Aesthetically, you could go for an ornate design or keep it simple.

 

If your driveway is sound, but just needs a bit of TLC, whip out the weeding spray, pull out the larger thistles and pressure wash the space. This can lift a layer of dirt you didn’t even know was there and refresh your brickwork or tarmac.

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Foliage

 

Adding colour to the frontage of your home breathes life into your facade. Even with a pebble dash render or a black tarmac drive, you can add hanging baskets and window boxes with an array of flowers like pansies, marigolds, and tulips. This brightens up a facade and can make your home look more welcoming. This also shows that you take care of your home, have pride in its appearance and want to show off some killer curb appeal.

 

Turn heads for all the right reasons by following this guide and make your humble abode welcoming, ooze design flair and become the best house on your street.

 

Excellent Extension Insights

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Do you think you could do with a bit more space in your home? There are a lot of different solutions to that problem. For instance, simply adding a few more storage cupboards could help you clear away some clutter so that you gain more space. If you can afford to, you could even think about moving into a bigger property. If neither of those options sound plausible to you and your family at the minute, there is one more solution that you might want to try – you could always extend your property to add an extra room or make a current room bigger. Think this is the best way for you to create more space? If so, read on to find out our excellent extension insights!

 

Work Out Your Budget

 

Right at the beginning, you will need to do the maths and work out whether or not you can actually afford to extend your home. Working out a budget will help you with this. If you work out how much you can afford to spend on this, you can then cost up the project to see if you will be able to afford the contractors, labour costs, and materials. If not, you might need to start saving a bit more or opt for a slightly smaller extension project.

 

Decide How You Want To Extend

 

Next, you will need to think carefully about how you want to extend your home. Should you add on a new room or simply make a current one slightly larger? This decision may rest on how much you can afford to spend on the project. Making a room slightly bigger is the cheaper option, so could be the way to go if you are on a shoestring budget.

 

Find The Best Contractors

 

It’s also worth spending time to research different contractors to come and work on your home improvement. You will need a builder, plasterer, carpenter, and other trades like an electrician. When you are deciding who to go with, it’s a good idea to get a few quotes from different firms so that you can work out who can do the extension for the best price.

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Consider Materials

 

You will also have to make a decision on the types of materials you want used in the extension. Most people choose to go with ones that have been used in the original house so that the extension blends in well. These days, though, a lot of people are opting for sustainable and environmentally friendly materials so that their extension has a minimum impact on the environment.

 

Get Permission To Extend

 

Don’t forget to get the required permission to extend. If you don’t, then you might be ordered to take down the extension if it breaches building regulations. As you can probably tell, that will be very expensive. A lot more expensive than gaining permission in the first place!

 

Hopefully, all of these insights into extensions can help you gain a lot more space in your property!

The Smoothest Of Moves

Historically it has been known that moving home just isn’t smooth at all, in fact, it’s one of the most bumpiest roads in the history of the world. Because most of the time, there’s people on the other end that are also trying to move out of the home that you’re moving into, so it’s not like you’re simply moving into an empty house that’s ready for you at a moments notice, it’s unfortunately a lot harder than that, and that’s why so many people suffer when trying to move home. But considering it’s such a big part of your life, especially if you’re moving home for the first time, you really need to think about how you can make it the smoothest of moves. If it’s your first time move, or you just don’t have a clue how to go about all of this, you’ve come to the right place. Below are many tips that should help guide you towards the smoothest of home moves.

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Let’s Start From The Beginning

 

The beginning is where we should begin, because it’s where we feel that many of you are going wrong at the minute. So, in the beginning, you have to spend an awful lot of time planning every little aspect of your move to see what the outcome would be. The financials of your move is the most important part, yet people don’t consider everything. From the solicitors to the movers, you have to price up everything to make sure that you’re going to have the most amount of money to manage the move. If not, you’ll only get further down the line and realise that you’re quickly going to run out of money, and that life is definitely going to get hard. Some people even have to pull out of the move entirely because of the money they forgot to plan for. It’s always good to ask the advice of family and friends to see how much they paid for the different parts, but you should always add a little something extra on top!

 

Backup Solutions Are Essential

 

Now this is something that definitely needs to be planned for. As we said, there’s usually someone at the end of the line who is sitting in your new home, and they could have someone at the end of their line sitting in their new home. The knock on effect could be that one person isn’t ready to move on the said date, and then no one moves. But sometimes you might have to be out of the house you’re in, with nowhere to go. So, make sure you have backup solutions storage wise and somewhere to go, which your family might be able to help you with. Some people are even force to go into a hotel for a few weeks until the new home is ready!

 

People Find Settling In Is The Hard Part

 

You might think that as soon as you step foot in your new house, it will feel like home. This is totally wrong, and you actually need to do a lot of work to the home to make it yours. Our top tip is to get it done sooner rather than later so that you can really settle in.

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