Five ways to save space in your bathroom

Looking for ways to save space in your bathroom?
Photo by CC user Zceittf on Wikimedia Commons

One of the most difficult rooms in the house to design is the bathroom. Why? Because it’s usually the smallest. Most people find it difficult to add the fixtures and fittings they want in tighter spaces, and sometimes it’s near impossible to include a bath. Of course, for families, the priority is often storage too. It’s a constant battle between style and practicality, but hopefully these next few tips will help you to win it. They should be able to give you a few tricks that mean you don’t always have to compromise on design for space.

  1. Fill every corner

If you’ve always wanted a bath, but on measuring up you think you simply can’t accommodate one, look into corner suites instead. There are some beautifully sleek, modern designs on the market now, which will mean you can have that little touch of luxury every evening, but on a slightly smaller scale. From sunken styles to Jacuzzis, this can free up more floor space to give a far more spacious feel.

  1. Why not walk in?

Walk-in wardrobes might be every girl’s dream, but every interior designer’s dream is the walk-in shower. As there’s just an opening rather than a hinged door, it’s perfect for tight spaces, but the walk-in shower enclosures can also be very discreet. Opt for a shallow base with a light-coloured tiled floor and you’ll get the practicality you need, but with the visual illusion of a much larger area.

  1. Be creative

The tighter the space, the more you need to try and think outside of the box. For example, you may have some recesses in the walls that you would otherwise see as annoying features, but can you turn it into some added storage space, by adding shelves, draws or a full unit? Think about the things you need to have in your bathroom, and be creative with how you can include them. Why not add pockets to your shower curtain for razors, soaps, facial washes and other things you use regularly? It will save on the clutter, keep things in order and give the appearance of more space.

  1. Think vertical

Speaking of storage, how do you use your walls? Are they covered with mirrors and themed artwork? If you’re short on space, try using them as a tool instead; whether it’s a series of hanging baskets in disused corners, or long and tall radiators to avoid towels being discarded everywhere, you need to make use of areas that would otherwise be empty.

  1. Don’t rule out wet-rooms

These can be ideal solutions for ensuites in particular. Many renovators and property developers use these as a way of getting an extra bathroom into a home when a much larger master bedroom is available, and they can steal a chunk of space away from it. They’re easy to keep clean and maintain, and they can look incredibly stylish with the right finish.

Do you have any more space-saving ideas for the bathroom?

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Tips for New Homeowners During the Winter

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The winter months are notorious for snow, cold and ice. While this may be bad enough for those who have to go through it, it can present additional challenges for homeowners. If you are a new homeowner, what should you know about keeping your house in good condition during what could be the worst weather conditions of the year?

Keep the Gutters Clear

The first thing that you need to do is make sure that the gutters are keep clear of snow, ice or any liquid that may accumulate in them. This is because water can easily freeze and create an ice dam. An ice dam can then force any additional melting snow or rain that falls to move back under the shingles and into the roof. From there, it could leak into the home and get all the way down to the foundation.

Keep Pipes Clear of Water

Just like water can freeze on a gutter, it can freeze in your home’s pipes. If that happens, it could lead to cracks or even a pipe bursting. That could then lead to water damage as well as a pipe that needs to be replaced. Therefore, it may be a good idea to drain your pipes and make sure that they are kept above freezing at all times. Keeping cabinet and other doors open can help circulate the air, which may prevent water from achieving a frozen state.

Hire a Snow Plow

While you may think that you are up to shoveling the driveway when it snows, it may not be in your best interest to do so. Although you may be able to keep it clear after a small snowfall, what happens if your driveway is covered in a foot or more of snow an hour before you have to go to work?

For new homeowners, buying a snowblower may not be feasible as you may not have hundreds of dollars sitting around after you spent thousands on closing costs and other expenses. A snowplow contract is usually less than $50 a month, and you can rest assured that your driveway will be clear before work in the morning.

Buy a Winter Car

It may be a good idea to buy a cheap winter car to take the wear and tear that the winter months put on a vehicle. For less than $1,000 you can have something that will take you to work or help you get to the gym or to the store down the street. Once the winter is over, you can sell the car to get back some of your original investment.

Since you only put a few hundred or few thousand miles on the vehicle, you probably don’t have to invest in an oil change or perform any other type of maintenance on the vehicle. However, you should get it inspected before you buy it to ensure that there are no major safety issues that could put yourself or other family members in danger.

You will learn a lot about your home after spending your first winter in it. However, as a general rule, you should make sure to keep the gutters and pipes clear from snow and make sure that all drive and walkways are kept free from snow or ice that can make traversing them treacherous.

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Different Ways to Get a Wooden Floor

If you like wooden floors, you are certainly not alone. In the UK, hardwood floors were so popular that at one stage that the Office of National Statistics included it in the national “basket” of goods, which is used to measure inflation. This was the case until 2014, when demand for real wood floors started to fall.

However, that does not mean that the Brits fell out of love with wooden floors, quite the opposite. What happened is that consumers realised that there were cheaper and easier ways for them to achieve the wooden floor look they desired.

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Wood effect laminate flooring

In 1977, Perstorp launched a new form of flooring, called laminate flooring, in Sweden. It sold well there, but did not become available in Europe until 1984.

This innovative new product is made by overlaying a high quality digitised photo of a real wood floor onto wooden boards. A tough transparent finish is then sprayed over the top, which protects the photographic print.

The tougher the final layer is the longer the floor will last. Provided high quality images are used, this type of flooring is very realistic, as you can see by visiting the Discount Flooring Depot website.

Laminate flooring is graded. There are five different types from AC1 to AC5. The higher the rating the better the quality is. If you want to lay a new floor in a guest room where there is very little footfall AC1 grade laminate flooring is fine. However, if you are replacing the floor in a high traffic area, you will need to pay a little extra and lay AC4 or AC5 grade flooring.

Engineered woods

Engineered wood is made in a similar way to laminate flooring.

It is also made up of three layers. This type of flooring consists of a composite board that is overlaid with a veneer, which is protected by a transparent protective layer. The veneer is made from thin slices of real wood.

Usually 2mm is the thinnest and 9mm is the thickest. From an aesthetic point of view, it does not really matter how thick the veneer is, but it does affect how durable your floor is. Generally speaking, the thicker the veneer is the more hardwearing the floor will be. However, that is not the whole story. You also need to look at how thick, and durable, the transparent finish is. It is best to use the grading system to ensure that you choose engineered wood that is designed for the level of footfall your new floor is likely to be subjected to.

Which option is right for you?

Of course, if you want to you can still buy a traditional wooden floor. However, doing so can work out expensive. Especially if you need a professional to lay it for you, which is why consumers are increasingly choosing to use laminate flooring or engineered wood instead.

Which option is right for you is dependent on your budget, how long you want the floor to be down for, and how much work you are prepared to do to maintain your floors. Typically, real wood floors are the most expensive option. In addition, as you can see from this page, they require much more maintenance.

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When To Use A Skip Bin And How To Utilise It Properly

Know When To Use A Skip Bin?
Photo by CC user Snowmanradio on English Wikipedia

A skip is a vital piece of equipment when it is time to move rubbish out of the house. Bins come in a variety of different sizes, so every job can be tackled properly. Skip bin hire in Perth gives people a range of options, so make sure to compare several different sizes before making a final choice.

Read this helpful guide so you’ll know when to use a skip bin, and how to use it as intended.

Renovating The House

Renovating the house is an exciting step for many homeowners. Ripping out the old kitchen, getting rid of the old furniture and saying goodbye to the tired old carpets throughout the house can create lots of waste which need to be dealt with efficiently. Choose a skip which is large enough to deal with the amount of waste, as well as robust enough to handle heavy material such as plaster, wood and metal.

These jobs often require the largest skips, so make sure that access to the road outside your house is kept clear. This will allow motorists to pass safely with enough room, whilst children won’t have to swerve around the skip if they are riding along on their bikes.

The skip should be partially emptied if it looks like there won’t be enough room to complete the job. The waste disposal company will be able to take any rubbish away if the original skip is overflowing. Choose skip bin hire in Perth and the surrounding suburbs by West Bin.

Clearing The Attic

People often use the attic as a dumping ground for unwanted items such as old televisions or children’s toys. Instead of leaving everything up there to gather dust, why not hire a skip and have a proper clear-out? Sort all the items into those that can be thrown away into the skip, and those that can be sold at a yard sale. It might even be a good idea to take some of the unwanted items down to a charity shop.

Moving House

Moving house is a fantastic excuse to get rid of some of the unwanted clutter that is taking up space in the old house. Too many people hang onto unwanted items simply because they hope that they will use them in the future. However, this leads to lots of clutter being needlessly moved to the new house.

Make a checklist of all the vital items which are definitely needed for the move. Then select items which are used occasionally, but are still important. Then, make a decision as to which items are definitely not needed anymore so that they can be thrown in the skip and be gotten rid of.

Getting Rid Of Large Amounts Of Recyclable Goods

Skips which are used for recyclable goods are becoming increasingly popular with people who don’t want to create lots of unnecessary waste. Periodically go around the house and collect plastic, glass and paper so that it can be stored in a recycling skip until the skip can be taken off and emptied at the recycling plant.

Use this guide to decide when to use a skip.

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How to Have Home Renovations Running Without Affecting Your Daily Life

Home Renovations can go on without severely disrupting your daily life
Photo by CC user 99781513@N04 on Flickr

First of all, let all the neighbours know well in advance of any renovation plans. Let’s be honest, neighbours are neighbours, and we all like to have great, or at least friendly neighbours, right? The same goes for moving into a home which is undergoing renovations, there’s absolutely no need to get on the wrong side of the good folk already living there. Just be so kind as to let them know about the project, the expected time frame, and even contact information, just in case they have any problems and need to make a call. And how about throwing a party after the job is finished and inviting them, to show appreciation of their understanding? Great idea! 

Other ideas on how to cope with home renovations…

  • If possible, move away during the renovation. Maybe it would be possible to stay with relatives, friends or rent a place nearby.

  • It may also be a good time to take a short holiday or send children to camp. If that’s out of the question, try camping down in a room with some free space.

  • If one is hardy enough, how about staying in a tent in the garden!

  • If having a new kitchen fitted, what can be done? Yeah, it is easy to order food and go out dining every night, but that will inevitably eat away at the renovation budget! Plus, there are some good folk who will need somewhere to make that early cup of tea or coffee, and in some cases prepare some food.

  • Try setting up a temporary kitchen with a hot plate, small portable oven and fridge, somewhere out of the way. (Got a camping stove? Use it or better still, borrow one from a friend).

  • Start cutting out restaurant and takeaway coupons before the renovation begins. Every little bit saved helps put a smile on the face.

  • Try offering a friend home-cooked meals in exchange for using their kitchen. If taking the food and the fixings, they will probably be charmed.

  • Plan on picnicking, even if the weather isn’t the best. Spread a plastic tablecloth on the floor of a room where there is some space. If somebody is looking for building renovations in Perth, select the very best. The good thing about indoor picnics is that there are no insects.

  • Try getting the renovation to take place in warmer weather during barbecue season.

  • Put breakables and valuables away somewhere in other rooms where they will be safe and not suffer damage during construction, or when work teams are moving equipment in and out.

  • Map out the path the contractors will be walking from the entrance door to where the work will be taking place, and protect those floors by laying down old mats or strong plastic sheeting. If a person happens to live in W. Australia, visit us to get the best professional and qualified renovation services.

  • If there are any pets around, keep them out of the way of the work crew. They could disrupt work, or even worse, end up getting hurt.

  • Make a check-list of all the jobs to be done and then tick them off day by day. That will help the time pass by, and help to get everybody ready to move back in when the job is completed.

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Think Outside the Box for Interior Design Ideas

There are tons of Interior Design Ideas out there
Photo by CC user 829264 on Pixabay.

Whether you want to give your whole home a new look, or just makeover one room, this post is for you. Here we give you some ideas to help you to get the inspiration you need to make your home look its best.

Traditional sources for home decor ideas

We know from your comments that most of you love home design magazines. Despite the fact they are not cheap a lot of you clearly subscribe to them. They are a real joy to flick through. However, there is a problem, many of the ideas you find in those magazines just do not translate. Most of the homes in the articles are massive, so some of the features you fall in love with would look ridiculous if you tried to replicate them in your own home.

Other sources of inspiration

Fortunately, there are other places you can turn to for inspiration. For example, the web is full of websites like ours that feature posts that are designed to help you with home decor ideas.

Foreign home design websites

If you are looking for something a bit different, browsing foreign-based DIY websites is a great idea. Most include good quality photos, and if there is any text that you need translated, all you have to do is to copy and paste it into a translation programme like this one.

Showhomes

Show home interior design is usually ahead of the trend. For this reason, visiting local housing developments is a great way to get ideas for your own home. The fact that the properties you are looking at will have similar size rooms to those you have means that most of the ideas you see will work well in your rooms.

TV

Another source of inspiration many people forget is films and TV shows. If you like modern homes, the latest episode of soaps, and sit-coms are great for giving you home decor ideas.

For those who want a period look, watching films from that era can be a fantastic way to get ideas. If you see something that you like all you need to do is to go online and do an image search for that film. Often you will be able to find a photo of the room you like, and be able to print it off and add it to your stylebook.

Of course, DIY and home makeover shows are also a good place to get decorating ideas. If you are considering making over your kitchen try watching a few of the latest cooking shows as well.

Your friend’s homes

If a friend of yours has a room in their house decorated, and offers to show you it. Take him or her up on the offer. Often you will be surprised by what they have done, and get some ideas that are likely to work well in your home too.

Next time you are ready to decorate your home, take the time to do some research, and use the resources above to get some great interior design ideas.

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Tips on Planning a House Extension

As life moves on so to does your housing requirements and when the time comes that you decide you need more space in the home you have several options in front of you. Sometimes it can be as simple as knocking down a wall in the home to create a larger room, sometimes you may need to opt to move house in order to have the space that you want and sometimes you should be considering an extension on your home in order to give your house the extra room that it needs. I recently extended my home to add 3 new rooms and with the expert help of Jon Bunge and his team, the extension looks perfect and achieved the results that I wanted. If you have been thinking about extending your home then here are some tips to help your planning process.

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Ensure That You Have a Tight Budget

In order to decide on any parts of the extension you need to already have in place the amount of money that you are going to spend on your extension. It is important that you consider how much money you have to spend on the extension rather than working on how much money you will need to find for the extension that you want. There are many different construction and planning costs involved and you need to be fully prepared to pay what you can for this as opposed for looking at a carte-blanche style approach to extending your home which can leave you in debt or financial difficulties.

Talk With Your Neighbors

It is important that during this time you have a strong relationship with your neighbors as you are going to need their support and patience. Not only will they have something new to look at when they stare out of the window (your extension could block their view,) but also there will be a lot of upheaval in your street as construction vehicles come and go and building materials adorn the street. Get your neighbors on board and create an open dialogue with them so that if any problems should arise, they can talk to you directly.

Make Sure That All Planning Has Been Passed

I’ve heard some terrible stories over the years of those who invested in their extension, got their construction team in place, made down payments on supplies and then failed to get their planning passed by local government. To avoid making such financial errors as these it is vital that you seek to get all aspects of your planning permission passed long before you part with any money. There is nothing wrong with having your construction team in place and a list of the exact materials that you will need for your extension whilst your planning application is being submitted. There is a huge difference however between being prepared for your extension in this way, and actually starting it before it has all been approved.

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How to Create a Fantastic Habitat for Birds in Your Backyard

If you know How to Create a Fantastic Habitat for Birds in Your Backyard, it will be a lively place indeed
Photo by CC user 24874528@N04 on Flickr

Lots of people put up some bird food in their garden and quickly find themselves hooked. Before you know it, they are turning their entire garden into bird habitats, so they can enjoy all that nature has to give. If this sounds like you, the following tips may be of benefit.

Feeder and Foods

If you want to learn how to create a fantastic habitat for birds in your backyard, you have to start by putting out a feeder in the backyard behind your home. But you also have to get the right food. Commercially available feeds in grocery stores is usually quite bland, and won’t attract many birds. Instead, choose black oil sunflower seeds, which birds find super tasty, as well as easy to eat. Furthermore, it has a really good nutritional value. You will soon attract a range of birds, from woodpeckers to finches.

You can also get feeders that attract specific types of birds. For instance, you can use a thistle seed or nyjer sock, which will attract purple finches, house finches, and American goldfinches. Woodpecker suets, obviously, attract woodpeckers. Nectar feeders attract hummingbirds, although you do have to be patient for these. You can also scatter seeds on the ground, or on a platform, and attract doves, robins, and juncos.

Water

Besides food, you also need water to get birds to your yard. This is perhaps the most enjoyable thing of all. Water is obviously important for the survival of all animal life, but having water available in your yard will also enable birds to play, bathe, and generally enjoy themselves. There is nothing quite so enjoyable to wash as a little finch having a bath on its feathers. Best of all, it is really easy to make a water supply for birds. For instance:

  • You can use a pie tin on a stand.

  • You can fill a plant hanger with water.

  • You can place a casserole dish or large bowl on a tree stump.

  • You can hang a bucket from a branch.

  • You can turn the lid of your garbage can upside down and put it on the garbage can again.

Make sure, however, that you put your water supply away from places where cats could hide. An open space is always best, because it stops predators from hiding nearby. If you can make the water move, birds will love it even more, as they love both the movement and the sound of flowing water.

Your Landscape

Last but not least, there is your overall landscaping. If you make sure that you have different density and heights of plants, you will also attract more birds. Have everything in your yard from tall canopy trees down to perennials to attract the greatest variety of birds. Do make sure, as well, that some of your trees have nuts, berries, and more, as the birds will love this. And make sure you have some dense foliage and height, so that birds can nest as well. An ideal garden is one that also has plenty of nesting material in it.

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Is Stainless Steel Cookware Better Than Aluminum Cookware?

Is stainless steel cookware better than aluminum?
Photo by CC user Soerfm on Wikimedia Commons

This may not seem like a difficult question to answer but it is important that some facts are understood in a proper way. The one thing that all stainless steel fabricators will tell you that normally stainless steel will not be great for cooking as it is a heat conductor. That practically means that a part of the skillet or the pan will end up being hotter. That can cause the appearance of uneven cooking. Stainless steel cookware is now available and can be considered but it is really important that you think about alternatives. There are special stainless steel options that can be considered. However, let us first discuss aluminum cookware.

Aluminum Cookware

The sets that you find on the market made out of aluminum are quite affordable and have a durability that is actually higher than that of stainless steel. You can find some that are made out of various different colors, including dark gray or bronze. The surface is non-stick and most cooks prefer the option since it is going to offer even cooking, which is vital for cooking great dishes.

Stainless Steel Cookware

In most cases we have 304 Steel (also referred to as T304 Steel) that is used in cookware. This is actually the softest grade that is offered at the moment. Differences do appear but the durability is still higher than what you may think at first glance. Also, flexibility is pretty good.

What many do not know is that 304 Steel is actually used in many products we now see in the regular kitchen. This includes knives and forks. The steel is also available in machine parts, automobiles and personal care instruments. Corrosion resistance is pretty high and the only situation in which this is a problem is when referring to the presence of a salt water environment.

The main stainless steel competitor that is gaining popularity at the moment is T409. The price is actually lower and in many cases people prefer it because of this. We are also faced with a much higher reliability and durability, all with a better possible finish. Unfortunately, surface corrosion is a problem. However, the appearance of the corrosion will only affect surface. Structure is not going to be affected.

Conclusions

Choosing between stainless steel and aluminum is something that is not at all easy to do when thinking about cookware. You want to consider both of the options and you need to always analyze the opportunities. You can easily go for either stainless steel or aluminum but you want to also think about the other available options. Choosing without knowing everything about the options is a bad idea. Everything basically depends on what is really important for you at the end of the day. Choose after reading reviews about the cookware and never forget about the fact that some of the manufacturers are much better than others. Options available will have to be given the proper research time. Only then can you be sure that your choice is the proper one for your home.

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How to save big on furnishing your home

You bought or rented a new home or apartment, have the keys in hand, smile ear to ear, and then you realize, you have way less of the essentials you need for your new place. Can opener…nope, toilet paper roll holder…nope, hand towels…..nope.

Moving into a new place is wildly expensive, so why not save a few green backs where you can? Groupon, the famous deal-a-day pioneer has entered the arena of online coupons, and they’re killing it. They have leveraged many of their partners from the deal-a-day realm and converted them to provide exclusive free coupons to the Groupon website visitors.

One such retailer who has some awesome coupons on the site is Bed Bath and Beyond. You can save on all your home related goods, and big time as well. Check them out today!

groupon coupons

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