Small Steps to Make Your Home More Functional

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We all want our homes to be the best they can be. They’re our pride and joy. We invest a whole lot of time and effort into buying them and sprucing them up. We’ll flick through interior design ideas in magazines, scroll through Pinterest boards and browse influencer Instagram feeds. We create colour palettes, settle on different types of furniture and generally sculpt our properties to fit our aesthetic tastes and preferences. But it’s important to remember that there’s a whole lot more to an ideal home than aesthetics and looks alone. Sure, we want our properties to look great. But we want them to be functional and comfortable places to live too. After all, we have to store all of our belongings in here, rest in here, cook in here, clean in here and generally revolve our lives from this spot. Now, there are many steps you can take to make your home feel more functional. Here are a few to get the ball rolling!

Storage

First, let’s focus on storage. This is something that people don’t consider until way down the line, but it’s absolutely essential for any home that people actually live in. Want to know how the most minimal properties manage to have a clean, empty look but the people who live there still seem to cope and actually own belongings? Storage. Want to know how parents with young kids have presentable homes despite the kids clearly having buckets of Lego, arts and crafts materials and endless toys? Storage. Effective storage solutions can really make a property and can keep things neat, tidy and organised rather than cluttered, stifling and overwhelming. So, browse some of the storage solutions available to you. There’s all sorts out there. From wardrobes to underbed storage, baskets, shelves, rails, chests, trunks, toy boxes and more.

Repairs

So many of us brush repair work under the carpet. Unless a necessary repair poses a specific threat to us or our homes, we tend to ignore it. But this is problematic. Very few issues simply go away or rectify themselves – and failing to attend to them early on can just see problems develop further and you have to fork out more down the line. So, no matter what your repairs – whether it’s a leaky tap, a leaky roof, Hot Tub & Spa Repair, a cracked window, AC repair or anything else, call the professionals in sooner rather than later.

Try Double Duty Furnishings

Double duty furnishings are versatile. Consider coffee tables that also have shelves where you can store books and other items. Consider side tables that can also serve as stalls. These kinds of furnishings save space and are extremely practical!

The steps are relatively simply to implement. You just need to consciously implement them! Try them out and you could be surprised by the beneficial results you experience!

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Never DIY These Plumbing Jobs

No matter how skilled you are at DIY, there are always some household jobs that are best left to the professionals. Attempting a repair job that is outside of your skills set could result in you creating an even larger problem, doing more damage, meaning you have to make a potentially expensive (and embarrassing) phone call to a professional to put right your damage. Some plumbing tasks are among these jobs much best to the professionals.

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Water Line Repair
If your water bill is much higher than usual and you can’t think of a reason why then you should check your water line for a leak. A water line pipe runs underground to provide the water to your home. Because of their position underground, a leak in these pipes is hard to spot, meaning it go on leaking undisturbed for some time. Replacing these pipes needs an expert professional, and are not the kind of plumbing services to tackle yourself. A professional will be able to replace or repair the waterline without causing as much of a disturbance to you and your home.

Gas Leaks
A gas leak can be very dangerous. As soon as you think there may be a gas leak, you must turn off the gas immediately. Call a gas safe, registered plumber and get out of the house. Do not attempt to take on any repair involving gas yourself, as this could be very dangerous. Only a professional with training in safely handling gas appliances should be called. Most plumbers will offer an emergency call-out service for dangers like gas leaks.

Sewer Rodding
Back-ups in your sewage system can cause some very unpleasant and dirty living conditions. Back-ups like this are often caused by a blockage somewhere in the pipes or in the mainline sewer. To clear a blockage, the whole system, including pipes, drains, and sewer lines will need a good clean. This kind of cleaning can only be done via rodding, which must be done by a professional.

Sewer Clogs
The sewer can become clogged if debris builds up in the pipes. You might first notice a clog if you’re getting an overflow of water from your taps, bath, and toilet. The overflow of water can cause all kinds of nasty water damage. To get the clogs cleared, call in an experienced plumber to find and remove the obstruction. They can also help you to repair any damage done by the water overflow.

Drain Cleaning
Call a plumber to clean your drains on a semi-regular basis. This helps you to reduce the risk of clogged drains and the problems they cause. Keeping your drains in good repair is smart to save you from bigger plumbing problems later on.

A good plumber is a very handy person to know. Any responsible home-owner should have the number of a professional, experienced plumber saved, in case of a plumbing emergency. Don’t attempt big repairs yourself, or you risk just making the problem worse, and more difficult to put right.

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How To Make Your Home Look Gorgeous From The Outside

Curb appeal is usually something the average homeowner only worries about when they’re trying to sell their house. Curb appeal just means making your house look good from the outside. Curb appeal can be used for your house even if you’re not planning on selling it any time soon. You can use some of the classic curb appeal tips for your home to make it look welcoming and beautiful from the outside, to impress visitors, and to make you happy every time you get home and see it waiting for you.

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      1. Trim back your garden shrubs. This is one of the simplest ways to keep the front of your house look a lot tidier and to give it some serious appeal. Cut back any shrubs, bushes or hedges that are getting a bit overgrown and aim to keep them looking neat and tidy all the time. A front garden that has been kept tidy can make the house feel fresh and new again and will always look good.

      2. Add some cheerful plants in pots. Buy some attractive plant pots in a few different sizes. Fill these plant pots with a selection of flowers and green plants. Flowers are a simple way to add a pop of cheerful colour and some visual interest to the front of the house. Choose plants that smell nice too, so you can be welcomed home with a waft of pleasing scents that you can enjoy opening the front door to. Put your new pots of plants around the front door where they will look welcoming and cheerful. Hanging baskets could be a good choice too to add some interest to a plain house front.

      3. Clean the windows. If your windows are dirty, then your house is never going to look at it’s best. You can keep the windows clean to keep your house looking smarter and better cared for. If you hate washing windows yourself, hire a company to do it for you, but keep on top of it. Fingerprints, grubby smears, and other smudges won’t look good, whereas clean windows will look good from both the inside and the outside of your home, and will be better at letting the light in.

      4. Paint the front door a colour you love. Painting the front door a pretty colour will look very eye-catching from the road and can be a great way to add some fun to the look of your house. Choose whatever shade you like best, whereas that’s a more classic shade or something a bit funkier. Don’t be afraid to choose a bright colour, as these happy shades will stand out against the greenery and can’t fail to make you smile when you pull up outside the house.

      5. Clean the front path. Paths and patios can soon get grubby if they’re not cleaned on a regular basis. A good clean with Propel Pressure Cleaning can make a big difference. At the start of the spring, get your garden looking better by giving any pathways or patios a good clean so they look fresh. This will make your house look much more put together, and will brighten up the front of the house.

      6. Add some seating on the porch. If you have a porch with enough space, why not add some seating? A porch swing, a long bench, or a set of smart chairs with a little table all look welcoming whenever someone is coming to visit the house. Some seating at the front of the house also gives you a spot to sit and relax with a cup of coffee where you can watch the neighbourhood go by. For a smaller porch, even a single chair in a material like wicker can look cosy and welcoming, and gives you somewhere to sit to take off muddy shoes before going inside the house.

      7. Make your entryway as welcoming as you can. An entryway that has been thought about and well-decorated, whether a porch or the front steps, makes your house look much smarter. This will welcome visitors in the right way and make a good impression as soon as someone arrives at the house to see you. Repaint the front door regularly so the paint doesn’t start to look faded. Keep the entrance area clean and tidy, and free from clutter like abandoned umbrellas and muddy boots. Put out some bright plants in pots, and keep the front door’s hardware clean. A bright or patterned doormat is a good addition too to add a splash of personality to the front of the house.

      8. Light up the front of the house. Lighting at the front of the house not only looks good but can help to make your home feel safe and more secure too. Automatic lights are very handy for you for when you arrive back at home in the dark. The light will come on to light your way to the door without tripping or fumbling for your keys in the dark, and will also act as an effective deterrent against any would-be burglars coming towards the house. Solar lights along the pathway at a low height can light your way to the front door, or be used to highlight the best bits of your flowerbeds. An automatic light over the door is effective for security, and for lighting your way through the garden.

Curb appeal isn’t just for estate agents. Even if you never plan to sell your home, you can still use these tricks to make your home look gorgeous from the outside, so you can feel proud of it every time you arrive home. Why not make your home as nice as possible for you, and for anyone who comes to visit you, and not just for would-be buyers? With some simple additions, like lighting and plants, you can really change the feel of the front of the house and make the house welcoming, pretty, and ready to greet you when you get home at the end of the day.

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7 Space-Saving Tips For Your Home And Office

Being lucky enough to own a lot of possessions is one thing, but having enough room to store all your possessions is another. Over 25% of Americans admit to having challenges when it comes to household clutter. But not everyone can afford to move into a more spacious house. Plus, bigger spaces are not necessarily the solution to cluster problems. If you feel your abode is currently a mess, consider some of the following space-saving tips to make life at home, or the office organized and clean.

1. Lofty Ideas

This idea is perfect for small homes or offices that have the benefit of high ceilings. You can take advantage of the high ceiling by building lofts. At home, you can build a loft for use as an extra bedroom or living space (depending on how large the space is). Most people living in studio apartments have found this idea to be very helpful, as it helps to separate your private space from the rest of the apartment. In your office, the loft can house some important documents or even an extra office space.

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2. Pull-out Tray Tables

This is especially beneficial for those who work from home and require some workspace. Installing a sliding table is an excellent way of creating a workspace at home. The great thing about slide tables or pull-out trays is that you can install it anywhere in your home – whether in your kitchen, bedroom, or living area. The only extra thing you’ll need is a chair to tuck under your table. Once you’re done with work, you can take the chair out of the way. If you already have a small table for work, you can boost the amount of space you have by attaching a roll-out desk. You can slide this desk out of your table to give you more room to work. And slide it back in when you are done.

3. Wall Shelves

If your floor looks a mess with too much stuff, you can create enough space by building wall shelves. Wall shelves, when done properly, offer more than just a storage platform. They also add to the character and style of the room. The idea can even extend into your bedroom or wardrobe. With the latter, all you need to do is to add a few more shelves if the space is available. Or, you can extend the length of your wardrobe by attaching extra shelves to it. Your home-based working space will also receive a lot of boost with the addition of a wall shelf. It will also help to avoid clusters and make it less difficult to organize your stuff. In the office, wall shelves can provide extra space for files or even picture frames.

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Home Tech That’ll Keep You Entertained During The Lockdown

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Even when times are good, we spend a lot of time thinking about our homes. But now that most of us have to spend practically every hour of every day in them, that focus has shifted up a notch. We’re far more obsessed with our interiors in 2020 than ever before.

Hometech has moved on considerably in the last few years. Ten years ago, the concept of a “smart home” wasn’t even on the radar. Now it’s practically a part of the language.

Technology is helping many of us through what is an otherwise challenging time. Think about it: we have all of the entertainment we could ever want on Netflix and Disney. And we can communicate with our friends and family via zoom. We also have all manner of gadgets lying around the home that make being stuck indoors considerably more tolerable.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the home tech keeping you entertained and comfortable during the lockdown. Enjoy!

Blenders That Vacuum Your Food At The Same Time

Okay, this one might sound a little weird, but don’t knock it until you try it!

When you use a typical blender, the action of the blades impregnates the resulting liquid with air bubbles. These then alter the taste and texture of the food you’re consuming. The effect is usually positive when you’re making, say, a strawberry smoothie. But it can be detrimental if you’re making a savory dish.

Now, though, blender companies have come up with a solution – apply a vacuum. Here, you place the lid firmly on the top of the blender, switch it on, turn on the vacuum setting, and then hit go. The mixer then whips up the mixture and draws out any excess air at the same time, leaving you with pure liquid. It’s almost magical.

Fridges That Order Food For You

No smart home system is complete without a smart fridge. These incredible objects are a massive step up from the refrigerators of old. Not only can you control them remotely, but they can actually make decisions on your behalf, such as ordering food for you.

How it works goes something like this: a camera in the fridge detects that you’re running low on milk. It then sends an order to a grocery delivery service telling them what you need. The service then ships you the missing items, completely negating the need for you to do any work yourself.

Yes, granted, the technology still needs a bit of work. But it is an exciting prospect for the future, and ideal during lockdown when you don’t want to go to the store.

Speakers That Play Music Depending On Your Mood

Imagine if you could walk into your home, and speakers would suddenly start playing music to reflect your mood. You wouldn’t have to spend ages fumbling around on for a particular Spotify playlist – it would happen automatically.

Now, you can actually get systems that will do this. Most are voice-activated and will work anywhere in your home via Bluetooth.

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The Dead Simple Ways To Make Your Old Home Feel Brand New Again

Over time, homes have a nasty habit of losing some of their luster. They start pristine, but weather, kids, and general wear and tear can cause them to depreciate. Over decades, a once smart property can begin to look dilapidated.

Fortunately, you don’t have to give up at first sight of trouble. There’s still plenty that you can do to enhance the appearance of your home and make it feel brand new again.

Strategy #1: Repaints Your Exterior Doors And Window Frames

Masonry tends to age very slowly, and will often change very little from decade to decade. The same, however, is not true of paintwork. A wooden door or window frame looks excellent on the day you paint it, but after about ten years, it starts looking very sorry for itself.

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Painting all exterior surfaces, therefore, is a quick way to freshen up the appearance of your home. It isn’t sufficient for a wholesale transformation, but it is probably the most straightforward approach available for quick results.

Strategy #2: Replace Your Existing Roof With Slate

Roofing companies typically suggest that homeowners replace their roofs every fifty years or so. Roofing materials have a nasty habit of degrading over time to the point where they no longer serve a useful function.

Instead of replacing the roof with asphalt, though, try using slate instead. Sure, it’s a little more expensive, but, like a fresh paint job, it can make an enormous difference in how the property looks. Slightly blue slate gives your home a neat, premium look.

Strategy #3: Get Your Carpets Professionally Cleaned

Carpets rarely go from pristine to matted overnight. Instead, it is a slow process that takes many years. Over time, dirt becomes incorporated into the carpet fibers, eventually leading to degradation.

But even though regular vacuuming won’t remove these trapped particles, professional cleaning will. Here, a trained operative – usually from a cleaning company – uses steam and hot water to lift dirt from the carpet. Depending on how much dirt was on the carpet, the final result can be impressive. Your carpets can sometimes look as good as new again.

Strategy #4: Repair Your Walls

Old homes have a habit of accumulating poor quality repair jobs, especially on the walls. Handymen or DIY enthusiasts will rip out a fixture or fitting, and then don’t bother plastering over the resulting hole correctly. The final result is a messy, uneven finish that looks terrible.

Fixing these aberrations, however, can have tremendous knock-on effects on how you feel. With proper plastering, you can smooth over bumpy walls and make your interiors look brand new.

Strategy #5: Get Rid Of Dated Fixtures

Old homes have a habit of accumulating ancient fixtures. While some of these features add to the aesthetic quality of the environment, many do not. Furthermore, some actively detract from it. Pay particular attention to ceiling lamps and old electrical outlets. Both of these can age a room tremendously, making it look far older than it is. Where possible, replace old kitchen appliances with modern equivalents.

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