Fireplace Screen Ideas For Your Home

Having an open fireplace at home is a wonderful addition which can make a room feel cozy, warm and comfortable. If you do have an open fire then there are some accessories which you simply cannot do without. Fireplace tools for example are absolutely critical to making sure that you can tend to the fire and give it the TLC it needs to keep on roaring. Another key component here is having a fireplace screen which looks the business, and there is a wide range of screens which you can find that will really add some style to your fireplace. 

Benefits of a Screen 

Have a great fireplace screen is both functional and stylish. Ultimately without a screen you run the risk of hot ash and embers shooting from the fire, back into the room. This of course presents quite the health hazard. Beyond this however fireplace screens are also a great style option and there are many cool choices which you can take a look at.

Fireplace Screen With Glass Doors

Buying a fireplace screen with glass doors can be a welcome addition to your living room and offer a stylish and highly functional option. These fireplace screens make the fire glow through the glass and when it comes to tending to the fire you can do that with ease. The doors will not block the heat, so you will still have a nice warm fire by which you can relax. 

Artistic Screens 

Previously fireplace screens would be very simple offerings which did the job, but thanks to some very smart and creative people within the metal working world, there are some truly beautiful screens which you can now find. These cast iron screens come in all manner of designs and they often like to play with the gaps in the screens in a way which really delivers. Make sure that you don’t get too swept away by the designs of the screens, as they can often block the view of the fire from different angles. Style is nice, but function should always come first. 

Mesh Screens 

Some people simply don’t want to block up the fireplace with thick, iron screens, and so they prefer a much easier and more flexible option which is a mesh screen. These screens in particular are very low cost, they do a great job in making sure that the ash and the soot doesn’t come into the room, and they are light and easy to move around. The only downside with these screens is that they do take quite a bit of cleaning if you let the ash and soot build up. 

These are just some of the options which you have in front of you when you decide to invest in new fireplace screens. Always remember that function comes first, it doesn’t matter how fancy or fitting your fireplace screen looks if it doesn’t protect your home from the debris which comes out of your open fireplace.

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How to Prepare Your Home & Office for The New Way Of Working

Over the last decade, the meaning of a job has shifted significantly, and how we do our work has also completely changed.

Freelancing has gone mainstream, the last year has accelerated the adoption of remote work in a major way, and the office environment we used to know no longer exists. Many companies have folded their in-office operations, backed out of commercial real estate leases and shifted to a remote model in some capacity.

In many ways, the space between the office and the home has shrunk, making the two worlds almost overlap. It has become a world where a hybrid between working from home and the office has emerged.

We all need to be thinking about this new way of working, as business owners and workers alike. We have to be prepared for this new reality where work and home are almost interchangeable. Here are some of the things we need to be prepared for when it comes to the work model we now have.

Decorate for Productivity

The office as we knew it before has now changed, and the people who want to come to work expect a certain environment, when it comes to how the office is set up and decorated. It might seem frivolous, but the look and feel of an office matters.

People have spent over a year working from home, and going back to an office that feels rigid might actually compromise their productivity. Consider redecorating your office space to make it a more enjoyable space to stay in.

Think of putting in neutral but inviting floors that feel less cold and commercial. Instead of bare walls, invest in stylish, modern and interesting wall art that brings a bit of home style into the work environment. You can also buy comfy chairs and couches where people can also work. Decorating is a big part of being productive in the work environment of the future.

Help People Work in a Healthy Way

If you’re working from home it’s important to make your work environment not just productive, but actually healthy and good.

Many people don’t have proper office setups, and it can actually be bad for their health. Sitting at a desk that makes you look downward into the computer screen can cause back and neck strain. Uncomfortable chairs can make for an unpleasant sitting experience, and the wrong desk can actually compromise how well people work.

Consider putting some money towards new home office furniture so that you also feel like your home allows you to do your best work without compromising on health and wellness.

Hybrid Model

Last year proved to people that working from home was a possibility, and many people took really well to it. It’s created an argument for a work model that allows people to work according to what suits them. This doesn’t mean in-office work is going to fall away completely.

The work has now made room for a hybrid model, where teams can choose how they work and mix in-office and at-home. For example, a team can work together in the office twice a week and coordinate meetings and group activities to align with that time. Then the rest of the days, people can work from home.

We don’t all have to work in the office all the time, and work from home all the time, we can find a productive middle ground.

Clients and Employees Alone Will Want to Know Your Remote Readiness

In 2020, it became clear that there were two types of businesses, the ones who were prepared to work from home, and the ones that were left scrambling. You can imagine that the companies with the best client and employee experiences are the ones who were prepared.

You can now expect clients to ask for your remote readiness and for your answer to be part of their decision to hire you or not. Even job candidates will want to know how ready their potential employers are for their staff to work from home. Some people will want that as the first option, so it’s worth considering having a plan in place so you’re moving with the times.

A Move Away From Desktops Computers

In 2020, when all work was made virtual, many business owners found themselves in the difficult and costly position of having to supply their team members with computers they could move around with. Some offices actually allowed their employees to go home with the desktop computers.

If your office is only using desktop computers, it’s hard for your staff to adapt to working from home. If you equip them with laptops however, it makes so many other processes easier. It means they can have an easier time moving between working at home and working at the office.

Are you ready for the new way of working? Is your home and your office set up for it? As we’ve demonstrated above, there are many things to think about, but putting the right structures in place will put you in a better position to do your very best work.

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What Changes Would You Like to Make at Home?

If the notion of making some changes at home appeals to you, any train of thought to what such changes may be?

From your living space to how you live at home, you may well feel now is the time to make things different.

With that in mind, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on them?

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

In your quest to change things at home, here are a few possibilities you may want to consider moving forward:

  1. A new job – How happy are you in your current job? If the answer is not all that happy, is now the time to do something about it? You may be in a position in life where change in your career is both necessary and doable. If so, see what is out there waiting for you. Even as scary as a job change can be at times, you want to be happy in your line of work. Dreading going to work each day can be one of the worst feelings to have.
  2. Your current relationship – If in a relationship with someone, how is it going? This can be another area of your life where change in fact may be needed. Although it can be difficult to move on for a variety of reasons, think about your current situation. Would a change be best for both your physical and mental well-being? If yes, how hard would it be to find such change? 
  3. New look to your home – Has it been a while since you did any notable changes to your home? If you haven’t done anything in a while, now might be the time to push forward with some renovations. Changing things up can breathe new life into your home. If worried about potential costs involved, take the time to find affordable renovations. This may mean doing some or much of the work on your own if you are handy around the home with such things. In breathing life into a home, it can be painting, new floors, exterior sliding glass doors and more. In the event you like the doors option, take time to go online and see what is out there. Having some new doors can bring the outside world more into focus in your home. That is especially appealing if you have been missing out on some great views.
  4. Bringing a pet home – Finally, any thoughts to bringing a pet into your life? If you said yes, make sure to think things over first. Pets are often great additions to a home. That said you want to be sure you have the time and patience to be a pet owner. Your pet be it a dog, cat or other form of animal life will more times than not give you unconditional love. It is important for you to make sure they feel the love in return.

When you are thinking of changes at home for your world, adding accents of new materials to your home, like brass rods or steel angle framing, can breathe some new life into it.

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The Best Guide for a Living Room Makeover!

Decorating your home is a wonderful idea. Sometimes, changing up your space can make a huge difference in your mood and productivity levels. One of the best ways to change up your living space is by revamping your living room. It is the best room to start your  journey. A fresh coat of paint or a new Coffee Table can make a huge difference in the overall look of your living room. Think about it, your living room is that room of the house where you spend the most amount of time. It is that room where you spend quality time alone or with your loved ones. The living room is the first room your guests see when they enter your condo or bungalow.

Living room decoration hacks

The living room sets the entire vibe of your place. When you invite your friends, acquaintances or relatives to your place, the first room they see is the living room. Therefore, it is important to create a good first impression of the living room. Here are some good hacks to decorate your living room: 

  • Make a list of what you don’t like: This is a great way to start redecorating your living room. The best way to start a makeover is by making a list of the things that you don’t like. For instance, if you feel like you want to change the color of the walls and ceiling of your living room, add that to your list of things you don’t like about your living room. If you don’t like your current sofa set, then start your revamping process by looking at new Sofa Designs. This is a great way to start. 
  • Fix a budget: After you’ve made a list of things you don’t like, start fixing your budget. Finances are an important part of the home decor process. Have a clear idea of how much money you can afford to spend. This will help the shopping process easier. 
  • Make a list of things you have to buy: after you’ve decided on your budget and the things that you don’t like, make a list of things you do like. As in, make a list of new things you want to add to your living room. For instance, if you have a big living room and you want to fill up an empty space, you can consider adding a Coffee Table to your living room. Coffee tables are a great addition to a living space. This is because they are multi-purpose. You can use one for many things. You can have your meals at your coffee table, you can use it for studying, working, etc. 
  • Small decor items: After you’ve selected the color scheme and the main furniture pieces of your bedroom, focus on the smaller details. This will add the personalized touch to your living room. These items include flower vases, photo frames, mood lighting, cute coasters, etc. 

Now you know how to start decking up your house. Start sprucing up your living room and make it super cozy and welcoming!

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Upgrade Your Home without Breaking the Bank

The thought of doing upgrades to your home may scare you somewhat when it really should not.

You can do some upgrades without tearing the entire home apart or breaking the bank in the process.

With that in mind, is it time for some changes around your place?

What Changes to Make and Still Save Money?

In thinking about some different looks and a different feel to your home, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Have a plan – Of most importance, have a plan in place for your renovation wishes. This will increase the odds of things going smoother. If you are doing things on the fly, chances are you will run into issues both with the renovations and what it costs. For one, don’t plan renovations around the holidays, especially if you plan on having folks over. It is also wise to avoid major renovations when little ones are home for an extended period of time like summer. As for finances, make sure you can afford renovations without getting in over your head.

2. Making affordable renovations – There are renovations you can make and not spend a lot. For one, is it time for some new doors? Given doors play an important part in your home in coming and going, storage and more, you want them to meet the needs. If you have a patio area or something similar, now may be the time to look at exterior glass doors. These doors offer many great qualities. This would be views, security, easy to open and close, control temps in that area of the home where they are at and more. You may also think about putting some fresh paint on those walls, cabinets and more. This can be done rather inexpensively and with little time involved. No matter the renovations you consider, try and find some ways to save money on them.

3. Doing some or much of the work on your own – How good are you when it comes to being handy around the home? If the answer is pretty good, why not save some money and do much or all the renovations on your own? This can help you avoid running up a bill for contractors and their labor costs. If you have any outside family or friends good at such renovations, ask them if they will pitch in some time and help. You can do something nice for them in return.

As you consider some changes to your home, know that you get to call the shots when you own and do not rent.

As a result, take your time to decide what it is you’d like to come up with.

You can do a bunch of renovations at once or spread things out. Doing the latter allows you to avoid having much of your home torn up all at once.

If some upgrades are the order of the day for your home, are you excited about the possibilities waiting for you?

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Tips to Help You Choose the Best Colour for Your Blinds

Choosing the right type of window treatments isn’t purely about choosing between blinds and curtains.  In addition, you also want to choose the right colours so that they fit in with your current décor, and don’t turn heads for all the wrong reasons!  The style of blind – and the colour – will impact how the entire room looks and feels, so it’s not a decision that you should take lightly.  In this article, we’ll provide some tips that will help you choose the best colour for your blinds.

1. White Will Help to Increase the Light

If your room doesn’t get a lot of access to natural light, it’s advised to choose white or cream for your blinds.  These colours are much softer and will provide a lighter look to your room.  White and cream are good options for living rooms and kitchens that require a lot of light, but if you’re the type of person who gets up early in the morning, you could consider them for your bedroom as well.  Plus, white is sophisticated and can add a Grecian air to any room.

2. Play with Colour if Your Décor is Modern

If your home’s décor is contemporary and modern, don’t be afraid to play around with colour.  Some interior designers recommend matching your blinds with your furniture.  Bright red blinds go really well with red furniture if the rest of the room is plain and light, for example.  It can also be fun to choose different coloured blinds if you have more than one window in the room.  It’s best not to add more than three colours to one room, however, unless you want it to look messy and cluttered.

3. Match Your Décor Style

If you take a look at a blinds shop like Hillarys, you’ll see that there are lots of different options when it comes to blinds.  If you want a clinical office look, you can opt for aluminium.  If Parisian chic is more your thing, opt for wooden Venetian.  If you’re decorating a playroom, a bold fabric may look great.  Unless your blinds are going to be the focal point of the room, you don’t want to make them too obscure.  Find a model, and a colour, that fits in with your current décor for the ultimate in design.

4. If In Doubt, Opt for Neutrals

While you can look at a colour wheel to determine which colour blinds are best for your room, sometimes it can be hard to know what will work best.  While an interior designer could help, an easier (and cheaper!) option is to opt for neutrals.  Colours like tan, ivory, off-white, beige and taupe, are designed to fit in with pretty much any décor.  Whether it’s laid back and calm or colourful and funky, neutrals will work.  They also won’t draw attention from other, more important, areas of the room.

If you’re about to buy new blinds for your home, keep the above tips in mind.

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3 Tips for a More Enjoyable Kitchen

How happy are you these days when it comes to your kitchen?

If you could take some steps to improve the look and feel of it, would you go ahead and do so?

In having the best kitchen possible, you can feel more relaxed and productive in that area of the home.

With that in mind, is it time to improve the kitchen?

Give Your Kitchen the Look and Feel You Deserve

In coming up with a better kitchen setting, here are three tips to help you along the way:

1. Appearance – It goes without saying the appearance of your kitchen is key in feeling happy. So, when was the last time you did any notable renovations to this part of the home? If it has been a while, now may be the time to start thinking about some changes. This can include new cabinetry, flooring, paint or wallpaper, furniture and more. By taking the time to redo your kitchen in the look and feel you want, you should be happier when you spend time there. Whether you do the bulk of renovations or you have pros to come in and do it, use the Internet. Going online can give you a whirlwind of ideas as it relates to kitchen changes.

2. Items – Do you have all the items you need in your kitchen to make it what you want it to be? As an example, make sure you do not come up short when it comes to dishware and related accessories. A meal can turn out disappointing if one is missing one or more key items. So, if you like to cook steak or have it on a grill outside, be sure you have things such as the right knives. You can go online and shop for such items in no time at all if you needed better quality knives. Finding Japanese steak knives and related items is not that hard. Also look to make sure you have the right kind and amount of pots, pans and other items to make meals in the first place. With a fully-stocked kitchen, you are good to go.

3. Space – Finally, is your kitchen as big as you’d like it to be? If not, now may in fact be the time to begin thinking about expansion if you have the space. If room to expand is limited, you may think about rearranging how you have your kitchen set up in the first place. With some reorganization on your end, you might be able to come up with a better configuration. Also look at what you have when it comes to space for storing food items that are not in the refrigerator. You may need more pantry space at the end of the day. If so, think about rearranging your cabinets. You might have too many dishes in fact and could use some of the space they take up. That is for storing canned goods and other such items.

When you have a kitchen you can enjoy, life seems to be even more enjoyable.

So, what is cooking in your kitchen these days?

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Cumby Group – How to find a Great House Builder

If you are looking for a custom house builder then the selection of the contractor will be one of the most important aspects of doing so. If you don’t get the right contractor now then you will find that you have a number of problems during the build and you may even find that you have to change companies halfway through if you are not satisfied with what they are delivering for you. There are some handy tips to bear in mind when you are looking for a great housing company such as the Cumby Group for example, and here is how to make sure that you make the right selection. 

When To Hire

Many make the mistake of looking for a building contractor when it is too late but it is worth remembering that this will not be a quick process to get the right team for you. This is why you should look to hire the building contractors before you have spent time with the architect to plan the build. This will help in a number of ways, it will ensure that you have enough time to find the team that you need, it will also greatly help you in making sure that they will be able to fit your project in. 

Start The List 

The key to getting this decision right is to make a shortlist of potential candidates and then whittle it down. To get started with this you should look online and on forums to get some recommendations for which companies in your area can deliver a job like this.

Look Into the Firms

Once you have collected a small list of potential options it is time to get a deeper idea as to what each firm is able to offer you. You should be checking to see if  the company is fully licensed, as well as having a good look at what their previous work is like and what any testimonials may say. The key is to arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can. 

Interviews

Using the info that you have found online it is time to carry out some interviews with a couple of your favorite firms on the list. What you are looking for here is that they have your best interests at heart, that they are easy to communicate with and that they give you the confidence that they will be able to deliver a great job for you. These interviews will be the best way to really get an idea of how good the company is and it will hopefully instill some conviction in you that they are the perfect team for the job. 

The key is to take your time here, look over as much previous work as you possibly can and always makes sure that you have a face to face with the company before you decide to contract them to do any work.

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Is Solar Air Conditioning Available in 2020

The home industry in Malaysia continues to evolve with new ideas emerging to make the homes smarter and energy-efficient. In addition to home automation, one of the biggest trends is the installation of solar panels to power home systems.

Malaysia is a hot country most of the year and this necessitates efficient air conditioning around the year. Using conventional air conditioners means reliance on the grid system, which can rack up your power bill. Air conditioners are the biggest consumer of electricity in Malaysian homes and this is where cheaper, cleaner solar air conditioning comes in handy.

Why Solar Air Conditioning?

Using a solar air conditioner for your home offers myriad benefits, including:

  1. Clean and more efficient energy
  2. Cost savings
  3. Reliable power supply without disruptions
  4. Low maintenance systems
  5. Boosting your home’s value
  6. Lower installation costs and availability of solar tax incentive  for businesses

Most people have become accustomed to grid-powered air conditioners for the longest time. The first question they ask is whether solar air conditioning is available in the country. The answer is a resounding yes! But why?

Readily Available Sunlight

The ready availability of sunlight, solar-powered air conditioning is now a popular trend. The country enjoys an average of 2228 hours of sunlight per year with an average of 6:06 of sunlight per day. Kuala Lumpur registers 2222 hours of sunshine during the year. This makes solar-powered home systems viable across the country.

Advances in Solar Energy Technology

Advances in renewable energy and government support have boosted the growth of the solar energy industry. Solar energy companies now manufacture high quality photovoltaic solar panels, inverters, solar power storage systems and other solar system components locally.

It’s also easy to access technology from the leading brands in the world through your Malaysia-based solar installer. If you have any doubts about the availability of solar air conditioning in the country, talk to an established solar installation company to learn the solutions available for you.  

Breaking Down Solar Air Conditioning

It’s most likely that you have a typical split system in your home. This conventional air conditioner relies on electricity from the grid to keep your home cool. If there’s power disruption, you’ll have a hard time staying indoors, especially in the hotter months such as March.

Solar air conditioning is an alternative solution where, instead of using electricity from the mains, the solar air con uses the sun’s energy.

You can choose from the following main solar air conditioners:

  1. Solar thermal hybrid system: This system utilizes the energy from the solar collector panels to assist the compressor. This system still requires a source of electricity.
  2. Evaporative solar-powered conditioners: This solar-powered air con eliminates a compressor and instead uses a heat exchanger. The power required to power the fans, chillers, and hot water pumps comes from the solar panels installed on your roof.
  3. Solar PV hybrid system: This is a solar air conditioner in Malaysia which uses photovoltaic technology. Sun energy is converted into electricity to power the motor and the fans. There’s also a storage component in this system which means you can go fully off-grid.

When choosing the best solar air con for your home, your installation company will discuss the two overall options available.

The off-grid solar system can run independently without grid support. It comprises solar panels, inverters as well as batteries to store excess power.

On the other hand, you can opt for an on-grid solar system consisting of solar panels and an inverter. Your appliances will not run if there’s no electricity.  You need high kVA inverters to handle high loads and a larger number of solar panels if your home’s power usage is high.

Factors to Consider With Solar Air Conditioning

Many households who would benefit from solar air conditioners in the country don’t have enough information about these systems. This technology is readily available and you only have to consider the following:

  1. Home’s electricity usage: This helps determine the number of solar panels/size of the system.
  2. Government approvals: Your solar installer will guide you on any approvals and licenses required to install solar systems in your area.
  3. Rooftop space: You have to access available roof space and direction of the roof. This helps find the best solar air conditioner in Malaysia for your home.
  4. Warranty: Look for an extended warranty for your solar air conditioner to enjoy lower maintenance costs.
  5. Find the best solar installer: Don’t compromise on experience and certification when shopping for a solar air conditioner installer in your area. Read reviews and testimonials, get several quotes and do background checks for any company you want to use.
  6. Talk to your neighbors for referrals and recommendations

Solar air conditioning is available in 2020 across Malaysia. Now that you understand how it works and the benefits, go ahead and partner with the most qualified solar installer. It’s the best way to harness the power of solar for your home’s air conditioning.

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Manage Excavations Successfully With These 7 Essential Steps

When planning a new construction project, you will often start by excavating the site. Because excavations begin most of these projects, you must get everything right. There is a special level of care that you need to use when handling these projects, and you can work through each of these steps to get good results. Read further as you plan your next big project and need to save money, time, and energy.

1. Rent All Your Equipment

You should find equipment and attachment hire company that will help you rent all the gear you need. The company you work with will help you get the best prices on all the equipment that you need, and they will let you rent instead of buying. If you buy your equipment, you spend too much money upfront. Also, it isn’t easy to justify massive expenses for equipment that you do not use all that often.

2. Create A Schedule

You need to create a schedule for the project so that you can keep up with the deadlines for the project. If you do not have a schedule, you will not know what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how long it takes to complete each step of the project. 

3. Assign Tasks To Everyone

All the people on your team must be assigned tasks. You want everyone to know what is expected of them so that they can quickly complete each assignment. You can track these tasks throughout the day, and you can assign new tasks the next day. Your staff will work efficiently, and they do not complete tasks out of order.

4. Inspect The Site

You might need an inspector to check the site before you begin. Some excavation projects are massive, and they might include old properties that have pipes in the ground. You do not want to hit an old gas line that still has gas flowing through it. The same is true with old plumbing systems that might have been left behind or decommissioned. 

5. Check The Weather

As you plan your projects, you need to make sure that you have checked the weather before the day starts. You need to know if poor weather conditions will cause issues for the project. You can handle some excavating in the rain, but other parts of the project cannot be done. You need to adjust the assignments so that you are not putting your staff in danger. You should move the assignments around so that you know when they get done. 

If you haven’t paid attention to the weather, you might be surprised by inclement weather that slows your work.

6. Plan To Use Subcontractors

You may need to use subcontractors to complete the job, and you must schedule them as soon as possible. You need to know when these subcontractors will turn up, and you need to know how much availability they have. You are paying a subcontractor, but they often have a limited amount of time available to help you.

7. Send Progress Reports To Your Client

When you are working on behalf of a client, you need to make sure that you send them progress reports during the job. This is a good way to help the client understand how well you are performing your job, and you are also helping them understand how much longer the excavation will take. If your client has not been updated, they might be surprised when you are not finished yet. 

Use all of these tips to create the best excavation plan for your client, business, and staff.

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