Signs Your Home Is in Need of Some TLC

damp-wall
Image Source

Have you become a bit fed up with your home? Do you no longer enjoy spending time in it? If so, this could simply be because your home is in need of some TLC. Our properties all need maintaining, and after time, there are some areas that will need addressing more than others. However, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to prioritise. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the key signs that your house is in need of some TLC.

  • Gurgling noises are coming from your drains – If you can hear sounds coming from your fixtures and pipes, which you don’t usually hear, then this is a sign that there is something wrong with your drains. This is especially the case when gurgling noises are combined with a toilet that is taking longer than usual to flush or sinks that aren’t clearing as quickly as usual. This gurgling sound will usually indicate that you have clogged drains. It is better to deal with this issue now, rather than waiting until you have a complete blockage on your hands. Not only could the latter scenario cost you more money, but also it could result in your bathroom floor being covered with toilet water and being out of use for a few days – not a situation anyone wants to experience.
  • Worn countertops – If you hate the thought of preparing dinner in the evening, it may not be that you have fallen out with cooking, it could be that you have fallen out of love with your kitchen. One of the main reasons for this is worn countertops. Countertops, after all, are a good indication regarding the level of wear and tear in your kitchen, and in your house altogether. Over time, they can become worn to a dull appearance, burnt, and chipped. Replacing your countertops with a durable and high quality option is advised, as this will add further aesthetic appeal to your property while also boosting the value of it if you ever do decide to sell.
  • Clutter – This is a major problem in a lot of homes. If you have a lot of clutter in your house, you are never going to enjoy spending time in it. This is because clutter creates chaos, which makes it impossible to relax or even think straight. Now is the time to tackle it. You should tackle each room, one-by-one, arranging all of your belongings into three categories: must keep, nice to keep, and don’t need. Anything in the latter category should be thrown away immediately. Anything in the first category should be kept and allocated a place in the room. You then need to deal with the items that would be nice to keep. Keep anything that you can find a space for, and get rid of anything you can’t place anywhere. And, by space, we mean in a drawer or on display, not simply piling things in the corner of a room. This will help you to make sure that you have the adequate amount of things for the size of your home. In order to maintain this level of organisation, you must then follow the one in, one out rule. So, whenever you purchase something new, you need to get rid of something you have in your home already to accommodate it.
  • Mould and mildew – If you have mildew and mould in your home, you definitely need to act as quickly as possible. Not only does it look unpleasant, but also it can cause health risks to anyone living in the property. You may be wondering why your property has been attacked with mould and mildew. Both are indicators that you have too much moisture in your property. You will usually find mildew and mould in the kitchen and bathroom, but they can both appear in any room. So, the first thing you need to do is buy an appropriate cleaner to tackle the problem. Once you have done this, assess the ventilation in the room where the mould has formed. Consider opening a window or turning on a fan when these rooms are particularly humid so you can stop the mould and mildew from forming again.
  • Water damage – This is another clear sign that your property is in need of TLC. Water damage accumulates over time, which is why it is vital to deal with the issue as soon as you notice it, otherwise you could end up with an extremely expensive repair bill on your hands. There are a number of signs that indicate you could have water damage, such as stained ceilings, running water when no one is using it, and a spongy feeling underneath your floor tiles. Your water damage could be an indicator that your roof is damaged or that you have leaky pipes. Either way, you need to get the professionals in as soon as possible to rectify the issue.
  • Your carpets look dirty and dull – If you simply cannot breathe life into your carpets anymore; it’s time for an upgrade. Of course, you could give professional carpet cleaning a try before you give up altogether. Nonetheless, carpet doesn’t last a lifetime, and so it may be a good idea to consider something a bit more long lasting, such as hardwood flooring or tiled flooring. This can add a modern and stylish touch to your property while also being a lot easier to maintain.
  • If you have noticed any of the signs that have been mentioned above, it is important to take the steps to rectify the issues. By doing this, you are sure to fall in love with your property all over again. Your house will be much more enjoyable to be in, and you don’t need to worry about the issue getting worse and costing you even more money later down the line. You could save yourself a fortune!

Continue Reading

Home Safety: Are You Missing A Trick?

burglarizing
Image Credit

The festive season is the time when your home is most likely to become attractive to criminals. Burglars know that you’ll probably have lots of high-value items ready for Christmas, and so now is the best time to start taking home security seriously. Considering that, there are some essential tips below that you need to use as soon as possible. While nobody wants to think about unwanted guests in their homes, those who overlook this issue are the ones most likely to become victims. So, pay attention and put a plan in place after reading this post.

Installing a motion-sensor alarm system

Before you do anything else, it makes sense to update your home alarm system if you haven’t done for so the last few years. That only applies to people who own their properties, and not those who rent. For the best results, you’ll need to invest in something that uses motion sensors. Those devices will ensure the alarm triggers if someone manages to get inside your house. There are also sensors you can fit on windows and doors that will cause an alarm to sound if someone tries to mess around with them. That should help to protect your family and ensure your home is always safe whether you’re in the living room or out visiting friends. Also, do yourself a favor and pay for professional installation so you know the alarm works as it should.

Adding some external CCTV cameras

CCTV is a wise move if you want to get some evidence when criminals try to break into your home. The footage from your cameras could help law enforcement officers to identify the suspect and secure a conviction according to Safewise. You just need to check with your local authority to ensure you aren’t breaking any laws. In some states, homeowners aren’t allowed to use external CCTV that points away from their front door. If it’s possible to see your neighbors house in the footage; you could get into trouble.

Using the latest smart-home technology

There is a LOT of smart home technology out there at the moment that could help to keep your property safe and secure. You just need to take a look at the market and work out which devices will provide the most benefits. Companies like Suddenlink Communications offer the most advanced systems, and so you just need to consider all your options before making an inquiry. In most instances, that tech enables you to monitor every aspect of your house while you are on the move. All you need is a reliable internet connection, and you should never have to worry about criminals again.

You now have to put some of those ideas into practice and create a plan for securing your home. When all’s said and done, you can’t put a price on keeping your family safe. Also, if a burglary occurs, your kids might become frightened about staying in the house, and that’s something you never want to happen. So, don’t wait until it’s too late and someone has already broken into your property. Instead, take decisive action ahead of time and turn your situation around. Good luck!

Continue Reading

The Ingredients You Need To Cook Up A Great Kitchen Design

It’s not every day that you buy a brand new kitchen for your home. It’s quite a big commitment too. Your kitchen might be out of action for a couple of weeks while everything is being installed. Some people move out altogether as the noise from ripping out the old kitchen can be a bit much. But when it’s all finished, and you’re preparing your first meal, you’ll know it was all worth it. So what’s on your shopping list for your kitchen renovation?

The Oven

There are two main choices for your oven in the kitchen. Whichever you choose, a professional has to install it. Electric isn’t very popular because in the past food would take too long to cook. The early fan assisted ovens didn’t always help with printed cooking times being wrong by up to twenty minutes in some cases. These days, technology has moved on. The humble electric oven looks good, works well, and is a good alternative to gas.

The Hob

Again, the battle between electric and gas continues. Of course, there is nothing quite like the instant heat and result from having a gas burner. They are more dangerous though. If the gas blows out, you need to be certain there is a failsafe mechanism to stop the supply. As for electric hobs? Select one that lights up instantly so you know it’s on. You need a fair amount of power behind you to heat quickly too.

The Worktops

There are several choices for worktops in the kitchen. The most cost-effective choice is a laminated board. These can wear quicker than other choices, and it is down to the installer to make sure the finish doesn’t look poor quality. Solid wood is another choice, but the seals can sometimes make it look like laminate.

luxury-kitchen
Luxury kitchen designs. Image Credit

Granite or quartz is incredibly attractive, and when used in the sink area, it can be visually stunning. Granite is the perfect material for the kitchen, offering thermal protection and toughness. You should look out for more information on this material and see where it can be applied in your kitchen.

The Flooring

Hygiene is essential in the kitchen. A hard floor might see off any dropped plate, but it is much easier to keep germ free and clean. You might choose a laminate, vinyl, tile, or even slate surface. Some are more hardwearing than others. It’s important to consider how you use your kitchen before making a decision on the flooring. If you’re a spiller go for a tougher surface.

Many of us use our kitchens for dining too. Make sure the floor you choose can handle the movement of chairs across the surface. Scratches and scuffs can make the floor look dirty. Even if it isn’t actually dirty, it can be off-putting when you’re preparing food. The safest way to clean your floor is with steam. However, there are times when some chemical intervention might be required. Ensure the floor you choose can be cleaned the way you want it to be.

The Extractor Hood

The humble extractor has changed a lot over the years. They are now smaller and angled more acutely to become quite an attractive feature of any kitchen. Look for variable speed fans and adequate lighting to keep your kitchen area safe. They now come in black as well as steel. This means you have more choice when it comes to designing a kitchen style you can fall in love with. Finally, consider if you want to move your hob. This might require external building works to install a newly situated extractor hood that vents outside.

The Sink

There are many different styles of sink. The Belfast has been considered the Rolls Royce of sinks for a long time. But different dietary and cultural requirements usually require us to have a one-and-a-half or double sink set up in the kitchen. This is very practical for rinsing and cleaning.

kitchen-sink
Simple design or convenience? Image Credit

You might add an insinkerator type product to reduce the risk of clogged drains from food particles. These don’t add a huge amount to your kitchen bill, but there is likely to be a separate installation charge. When you’re selecting the taps for the kitchen, it might be worth getting a stretch or extending hose style. Don’t forget to add a boiling water tap for an instant hot drink whenever you need one. No waiting for kettles to boil!

The Fridge

Fridges come in all shapes and sizes. You might say the bigger, the better, but you have to remember you only have so much space. Instead of buying huge, consider your needs. Do you want a chilled water dispenser or an ice dispenser? Maybe you prefer chipped ice to cubes? Do you need more freezer space than refrigerator space? Check out several models before making your decision.

spacious-kitchen
Space for all the family and some furniture too. Image credit

The Table and Chairs

If you are dining in the kitchen, it’s important to pick a dining set that suits the space and the position in the kitchen. Cooking accidents can damage a fine wooden table or chair. Keep the eating area well away from the hot area. This is essential if you have children. Your interior design choices might also influence the style of your table. Round, rectangular or square? The choice is yours. Of course, you might prefer a breakfast bar for more casual dining in the kitchen.

The Gadgets and Gizmos

No kitchen is complete without a wealth of gadgets and gizmos. These are usually electrical appliances that make your job a lot easier, quicker, and more convenient. One of the most popular is the slow cooker or crockpot. Lifestyles today demand that we spend less time in the kitchen and more time juggling quality family time with careers. A slow cooker offers all you a hot meal when you’re ready to take it. You can prep it all at breakfast time, then eat sometime in the evening when it is convenient for you. What’s on your kitchen wish list?

Continue Reading

Paying Attention to Details in Your Bathroom Design

bathroom
Photo Credit

When it comes to bathroom design, many of us focus all of our attention on the big features: the style and size of the bathtub, whether to have a freestanding shower or not, what kind of basin to have and whether to have cabinets placed above it with large mirrors or no mirrors at all. It’s not surprising that smaller touches fall by the wayside. However, once you’ve settled on the major parts of your bathroom design or renovation, make sure that you have a good mull over the smaller details. These are the things that will bring your bathroom together. Here are a few areas to think about.

Colour Scheme

Before you start filling your bathroom with extras and toiletries, you’re going to need to choose a colour scheme. While you may want to keep the majority of your home pretty neutral with magnolia or white walls, the bathroom is a space where you can generally afford to be a little more out there with your colour choices. Why? Well, you don’t have furniture such as sofas, tables, or chairs that you’re going to have to match in. Generally, bathroom fittings are silver or white, which makes them pretty compatible with any colour that you may choose. Because the space is small, you can also redecorate regularly, which means if you’re not feeling your chosen colour after a couple of months, it’s going to be very easy to make changes. Traditional colours span the blue and green section. Softer tones such as aqua, baby blue, coastal blue, mint, and duck egg blue are often a hit. Or you could keep things simple with cream and white or black and white. If you fancy something a little brighter and bolder, why not consider cherry red and white?

bathroom-toilet
Photo Credit

Toilet Seats

Sure, toilet seats may well serve a basic and practical purpose. But what’s to say that they can’t form a notable part of your decor? Opt for a seat that matches the colour of your walls or other accessories, such as toothbrush holders and soap dishes. The more things that tie into your intended colour scheme, the better. Alternatively, you could keep things natural with a wooden seat. Now consider added extras, such as slow-close seats. Don’t forget to measure your current seat before replacing it too. This will help you to avoid disappointment should you fit a seat that then proves too small or excessively large. Opt for Check out the range available to you at Home Spa Select!

Bath Mats

Whether you have a bath, a shower, or both, you should invest in a bath mat. This is a relatively small piece of material that you step onto when you get out of the water. It will absorb any moisture, meaning that you’re less likely to experience slips or trips when exiting the room. They also come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. As mentioned above, try to fit this accessory into your existing colour scheme. This will help to bring the room together and create a sense of consistency in the design.

These are just a few extras that go into your bathroom, there are plenty more to consider. Just always keep one thing in mind: your aesthetic. Try to ensure that everything fits into the look you’re going for!

Continue Reading

Styling A Bedroom Fit For Any Season

The bedroom is the most important room in the house. The reason? Because sleep is the most important thing you can do every single day! It helps us to heal, and it helps us to remember all the best bits of each day. When you’re styling your bedroom, you definitely want to be promoting good quality sleep. That doesn’t mean the space can’t look good at the same time!

Bed

If you’re in the room to sleep, then you want an exquisite bed. Four-poster might seem a little extravagant, but there is a lot to be said for a modern twist on this classic. You can pick any color of wood that you like and choose intricately turned posts for that touch of elegance. You might even dress the posts with sashes or voiles.

bed-sleep
Supported sleeping can bring more comfort. Photo Credit

Nothing says comfort like a high-quality mattress. While it might not make up any part of the decor or styling, it is perhaps the single most important item in the room. Some mattresses, like memory foam mattresses, hold the body in a comfortable position all night long. You can find out more at Mattresslife.com about how this works. Innerspring and latex mattresses aren’t as popular, but that doesn’t mean one of these won’t serve you well. Read up on the comfort levels you might be able to achieve with each type of mattress.

Dressing the bed itself is easy. Simply choose your pallet color for the room and find a bedspread that offers this color in abundance. Alternatively, pick a pure white, and dress the bed space with cushions and throws in your accent color. The bedroom is one of the easiest rooms to dress up, down, or differently for every season.

Drapes And Curtains

Drapes or curtains are essential for the bedroom. They offer maximum privacy so you can dress, undress, and enjoy being in bed without anyone on the street seeing you. But curtains can do much more than that. Firstly, they can add a big, bold splash of color to help you style the room in your favorite tone. Secondly, they can shut out all daylight. This is especially useful if you have to work shifts.

bedroom
Simple and elegant for any season. Photo Credit

Bedside Cabinets

Part of the style of your room will be determined by the cabinets you choose. You might choose something contemporary like a mirrored chest of drawers. This helps lighten and brighten the room. Or you might choose something in an antique wood, complete with turned legs and brass drawer handles. Don’t forget you can dress the top of the cabinets too. You might add a runner in your accent color. Maybe there will be a few reading books? Why not add a vase of beautiful flowers too?

Flooring

Hardwood floors in the bedroom might be the stuff of dreams for many of us. Of course, there are plenty of affordable alternatives that can emulate the look of the real thing. It’s worth considering something wood-like in the bedroom. After all, in the summer, things can get much hotter. If you want a room for all seasons, consider a hardwood floor over a carpet. These tend to be easier to keep clean and reduce allergens too.

Of course, carpeting is soft and luxurious under a pair of bare feet. It’s warmer for the winter, and it can even be nice just to sit down or lay down on the floor when you’re having a lazy afternoon. Underlay is essential for that extra squishy sensation. Pick a thicker pile for softness. Alternatively, go with the hardwood or tile. Then you can add soft rugs as required. They’re easy to swap out when you’re ready for a color change too. Patterns or plain?

bed-spread
Find a style with a color to accent. Photo Credit

Closets

Freestanding closets or wardrobes are ideal when you need a little extra storage. They can be produced from any wood you like. Deep grains or fine grains? The choice is yours. Then, of course, the depth of stain might make a difference too. Built-in closets can be altered to suit your tastes. Simply change the door handle, or swap the doors out altogether. You can paint them, add decals, or even cover them in fabric to achieve the look you want.

Lighting

We spend most of our time in the bedroom with our eyes closed, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your lighting choices. A chandelier would bring a touch of luxury to any bedroom. There are many different styles to choose from. You might select something contemporary that provides plenty of shape and structure to the room. Maybe a backlit false wall would offer a nice effect? You could then choose any color light you liked for a soft haze around your panel.

Dressing Table

What bedroom is complete without an elegant dressing table. You might be trying to achieve an eclectic look for the bedroom. This means the bedside cabinets, closets and dressing table would be different shapes, styles and colors. Of course, if you want them all to match, you don’t necessarily have to order them from the same store. Simply pick a color theme to connect them. You can achieve this easily with runners. Perhaps you would prefer to paint them all?

The position of your dressing table is really important. You need it to be situated close to the power points. It would be a good idea to have it in a window, so you have plenty of natural light to fall on your face. Add a gorgeous tilting mirror, and you’re ready to do your hair and makeup every morning. Add a clipped holder for your hair drier, and a dainty pot for your cosmetic brushes. Perfect.

Bedrooms rarely change from season to season, although the bedding and quilt weight might be altered. Fortunately, bedroom colors are really easy to change in a hurry! Can you style your bedroom for every season?

Continue Reading

Good Investments for Timeless Interior Design

living-room
Image Credit: Pixabay

When you move into your first home, it’s likely that you will have a mishmash of previously owned items that family members have handed down to you in your moment of need. You might also have been scavenging around flea markets and discount stores to get things that will last just a few years until you can ‘do it all properly’.

Unless you are truly dedicated, this time will never come.

What you may not realise is that even though your home is not yet particularly yours, you can definitely start investing in pieces now that will last you for a long time. These pieces are unlikely to go out of fashion and will be easily manipulated to fit with seasonal trends as they come and go.

Though it is hard to make investments when you are young, holding off on buying lots of cheaper furniture and choosing more carefully will pay off later on. Buying sensible, hardwearing household items will make sure that they last and will make redecorating a simple case of a splash of paint and some new accessories. Plus, it means that you won’t have to suddenly spend a lot to do the house, just split the cost over the years.

Here are a few things worth saving for.

Well Made Furniture

If you want to incorporate real lasting style into your interior design, there is no better place to invest your money than in high end furniture. When furniture is built to a high standard you can be sure that it will last for much longer than its cheaper counterparts. Solid wood is always worth investing in as it will certainly last much longer than a ‘wood effect’ which will probably peel off after a few years.

However, price is not everything. You can certainly find good bargains on high end furniture and design. Have a look around for vintage pieces as well, especially if they are a beautiful shape. Shape is the most important part of any piece as it is usually the only thing that can’t reasonably be changed. You can reupholster or paint dark wood, but the shape is here to stay.

The most important pieces to choose are your sofa, dining table and bed. These will be the most used pieces of furniture in your whole house and will likely determine the style of the rest of the room. Get these right and you will be able to keep them going for many years to come, simply changing accessories and paint colors when you want to revamp the room.

interiors
Image Credit: Pxhere

Wooden Floors

A wooden floor is a really good way to spend your money. It will be easier to clean than carpet and less prone to holding allergens too. There are all sorts of different wooden floors available but if you pick one that is hard wearing, it should last you for many years to come.

Wooden floors have remained fashionable for a very long time for one simple reason: you can always update your look by adding in a new rug as styles change. For modern open plan living, a continuous wooden floor provides a natural flow between spaces that can be defined using layered rugs.

The Perfect Mattress

Sleep is incredibly important and it is shocking how many people make do with a mattress that isn’t suited to them at all. A bad mattress won’t just interrupt your sleep, it will cause you back problems in the future if your spine is not properly aligned over night.

There really is no excuse for not visiting a mattress showroom before you purchase and while you are there make the most of your time. You should lie on each mattress for at least 15 minutes before you decide whether it’s for you or not. Don’t let yourself be hurried along, and don’t feel self conscious either. Settle down as if you were to go to sleep and try at least 3 different mattresses. Obviously, if you are buying as a couple, you both need to be there!

LED Lights

They may be more expensive, but LED lights are perfect for lowering your energy bills and providing you with much brighter light. How you choose to light each room is really down to your own preference but you can add fantastic drama with your lights if you know what you’re doing.

Current trends for low hanging lights over the dining table or in the bedroom are really beautiful but make sure that you install basic spotlights as well. You might not use them all the time, but when you need a bright light that is otherwise unobtrusive, a spotlight is definitely the way to go.

dining-area
Image Credit: Wikimedia

A Big Mirror

Once your lighting has been sorted, the next best thing you can do is introduce large mirrors around the house. They will reflect natural light giving these sensation that your rooms are much bigger than they really are. A cluster of smaller mirrors will also work well to make a feature of an otherwise empty wall.

While you can get cheaper mirrors, the best are glass and will give you the clearest reflection. You might get away with a cheaper mirror but once you have a glass mirror, there really is no comparison and you will see the difference. This is what makes it worth the investment as a good mirror will never let you down.

As fashions and interior decorating styles go in and out, these are the few things that you can be sure are a wise investment to make. Any house is not turned into a home over night and you can be sure that as the years go by your space will reflect the times and the changes too.

There’s no rush to make your home perfect. In fact, perfection is not really what you should be striving for. Instead try to make your home feel comfortable, safe and reflect a little bit of your personality too. Good interior design is a journey, not a destination.

Continue Reading