Category Archives: Home Decor

Tidy Bed, Tidy Head: Get Your Life Together with a Neater Bedroom

Do you refer to your bedroom floor as a “floordrobe”? Is there more of stuff under your bed than in the rest of the house? If your bedroom looks like a mess, no matter how much you protest that you know where everything is, it could be time to get it sorted. Being able to keep your bedroom neat and tidy is one of the marks of a true adult. It’s usually something of an ongoing effort, but you can still find ways to make it easier to maintain a state of calm in your bedroom. If you’ve decided you want to whip your room into shape, here’s how to get started.

Make a Plan

It’s always best to know what you’re doing before you throw yourself into anything. Sorting out a room is particularly hard to so if you don’t have much space but you have a lot of stuff, so planning what you’re going to do will help you keep things straight. Think about the approach you want to take to your new, tidier room. Do you want to go completely minimal, with only the bare essentials? Is it time to get some more storage in so you can neatly put everything away? You can even make a mood board or a diagram of the new layout you want.

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Take a Tough Stance

If you want a neater room, you have to be prepared to be hard on yourself. One of the reasons your bedroom can get so disorganized is that you can’t let go of your stuff. Even if you haven’t worn something for a year or more, you tell yourself that you will one day. But even if you have an event next year that makes you regret getting rid of that dress, it won’t be the end of the world. You need to be stricter with yourself and make a plan to clear out some of the things you don’t need.

Store Your Stuff

Some of the things you don’t need anymore could go to charity, or you could sell them to make a little extra cash. However, there are some things you might not be ready to let go of just yet. Perhaps you’re waiting until you can move into a bigger place. If you want to hang onto some things, I recommend doing what I would, which is finding storage units near me to take a look at. Not only can you use them to store your stuff, but they can help you organize things too. You can use a storage space to give you a wider area to spread your things out so you can take a closer look at everything.

Get Organized

Now that you know what you’re doing, and what’s staying and going, you can make sure that what you have left stays neatly organized. That doesn’t just mean buying storage items but actually making sure you use them too. Getting into good habits will help you do this, so decide how you want to change your behavior for a neater bedroom.

Don’t leave your bedroom in a state. Get on top of it now and start living a new, tidier life.

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First-Time Home Buyer? These Are The Pitfalls You Need To Avoid

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Buying a home can be complicated, and this is especially true for first-time buyers. After renting a home for years (or living with mum and dad), making that first step on the property ladder is a daunting prospect. The path to finding the perfect home is long and hard, and the pitfalls along the way are many. But hey, that is where we come in. By giving you a few pointers to help you avoid said pitfalls, the home-buying process may be easier for you, if and when you decide to take the plunge into the housing market.

The following are the pitfalls you need to avoid.

Buying on a whim

So you’ve decided buy your first house. Exciting isn’t it! But reign yourself in and curb the temptation to buy the first property you think you can reasonably afford. This is the first pitfall a first-time buyer will make, but it’s one that can cause further trouble down the line. You could buy a potential money pit for starters – the price was probably low for a good reason – and there are a lot of other things to take into account before signing on any dotted line. This includes researching the neighbourhood – making sure it has all the amenities your family needs – and checking for better properties (with better value) that may be welcoming home buyers in just a few blocks away.

Waiting too long to buy

After buying on a whim, the opposite is also common. It’s understandable to be a little cautious, but if you dither for too long on a particular property, or are unduly worried about the rise and fall of the housing market, you will still be stuck in your rented flat for years to come. Yes, the estate agent will tell you the right time to buy, and yes, you don’t want to throw away your money on something unsuitable, but after spending time doing some research, take an educated risk and buy something. Oh, and don’t wait for a dream house either. Every property will have its imperfections, but it’s what you do with it after the purchase that makes it a home ideal for you.

Not shopping around for a mortgage

Before you even go house hunting, it’s worth getting a loan pre-approved. After all, it would be terrible to find a house and get turned down by every bank on your high street when you go and ask for a mortgage. If you’re unsure you will qualify for a mortgage, use a mortgage calculator to help you work out the deposit and repayments you will be expected to make. When your finances are in order, it’s still worth shopping around. Interest rates fluctuate, and you may be able to get a better deal than the first offer a bank gives you. It’s a good idea to speak to an independent finance broker who will have knowledge of the best deals, or you could also use an online comparison service to cut out the middleman.

Forgetting extra expenses

So you have the money to pay back the mortgage. Great! However, there is a lot more you need to budget for. When looking for a home in your ‘price range,’ this has to include solicitor fees, taxes, surveyor costs, and more. Then there are the hidden costs, which include maintenance issues at the property you are buying. Therefore, don’t spend more than you can afford on a property until you have added up all the extra costs that go alongside it. You will feel the pinch if you end up over budget and you will have difficulty with the mortgage payments.

Trusting the wrong people

There are people you can trust in the process, and people you can’t. So who can you trust? Well, your solicitor should give you unbiased advice for starters, and you may have friends and family who can recommend other trusted companies, such as building surveyors and removal services. Who can’t you trust? The seller’s agent for one, as they are working for the sellers best interest and they will try and get every last bit of loose change you have in your pocket. Don’t trust the seller’s word on the property either. They may tell you there’s nothing wrong with the house, but without a proper inspection, you may discover flaws and damages that you weren’t originally made aware of. So, our advice is this. When looking at a potential home, take somebody with you, especially someone who knows how to ask the right questions. If you are in any way unsure, walk away, as you don’t want to waste your money (or spend too much money) on something that isn’t worth it.

Going for the asking price

Linked to the above. The seller will put up an asking price, but there is always wriggle room to consider. Compare similar properties to see how much other sellers are asking for, and haggle with the seller or agent to get to a price you are happy to pay. The house may be perfectly priced for its quality and location, but it is still worth going lower if you can. The seller will expect this, as quite often, agents overprice the property to begin with, as this gives the impression they are being generous when the costs are lowered after a bit of bartering.

Signing documents before reading the small print

Do not sign anything before you are entirely sure you are doing the right thing. From the loan agreement to the sales and purchase agreement, make sure you read the contracts in full. This includes the small print, as despite your certainty in buying, there may still be hidden clauses that are not in your best interest. When the contract is signed, you are not necessarily too late to back down, but it will be much harder for you if the seller isn’t compliant. You can negotiate a new contract, but it’s sensible to get your solicitor to read through the paperwork with you before you make a potentially costly mistake.

Foregoing a building inspection

As mentioned, another pair of eyes is always useful when looking around a property. A building inspector knows what to look out for, as your untrained eyes may not see every fault inherent in a property. So, even if your best mate’s dad has experience in buying houses, still seek the help of a professional, despite the expense. Some faults are repairable, and it may not cost you much in maintenance costs, while others could seriously cost you financially (and personally) down the line. Cracks in walls, odd smells, cold drafts… if anything concerns you, get it checked out. Even if the home you are buying is a fixer-upper, you don’t want the walls falling down around you on the day you move in!

Going it alone

Finally, don’t go through the process alone. We have already told you the benefits of having people on your side when buying a house, and they will add to your peace of mind. Most importantly, you should hire a buyer’s agent to be on your side. The seller has one, so why shouldn’t you. They will offer you expert and impartial advice that will make house hunting a whole lot simpler for you. Buying a house is stressful, but with the right people, a lot of the pitfalls mentioned above can be overcome. Hopefully, you will find a wonderful place to live and have many happy years ahead of you. Of course, one day you may think about selling up, but that’s a tale for another day.

Add An Element Of Class To Your Boring Bathroom

Have you had the same bathroom suite for more than five years? Do you feel bored every time you hop into the bath and spend half an hour in the space? Then you’ll probably want to perform some renovations and add an element of class to the design. The suggestions and advice below should come in handy, and you can also check out the infographic at the bottom of this article.

Invest in some gold-plated taps

Lots of companies sell upmarket bathroom accessories these days, and so you won’t have to look far to find a reputable supplier of gold or silver-plated taps. Those products can improve any bathroom design and ensure the room looks as classy as possible.

Use mirrors to create the illusion of space

If you only have a small bathroom, you might want to use mirrors to create the illusion of space. Just place two of them on opposite walls for the best results. The items will also reflect light, and so the room should appear more spacious than it did before.

Opt for large, luxurious tiles

There are lots of different types of bathroom tiles available on the market today. However, people who want to create a luxurious aesthetic should always choose large designs. Firstly, you will manage to fit them much faster than the alternatives. Secondly, they tend to look much better than smaller tiles.

You should now have enough ideas to start making your plans. With a bit of luck, you could renovate the bathroom and improve its appearance within only a couple of weeks if you focus on the job. Good luck!


Made by soakology.co.uk

Get Your House For Winter Now

We know, we know: winter is but a distant spot out on the horizon. It’s all just left. For the next few months, it’s all about those summer vibes. However, just because the sun is shining doesn’t mean we can’t keep one eye on the DIY jobs that’ll make life all the easier when the cold weather returns. When that happens, we all want to be happy and snuggled up inside on the couch, not dealing with DIY tasks! Instead, take care of them when the weather is fine, and life is easy: summer.

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Prepping the Essentials

You don’t want to get into winter, only to realize that something big is faulty and you’re left out in the cold (sometimes literally). Use the long summer hours to check all the essentials for a smooth winter are in order. This is your time to check any drafts that might make it chilly – learn how at https://energy.gov/energysaver/detecting-air-leaks -, fix any holes – or potential holes – in the roof, check your water boiler, and so on. All of these tasks will be a breeze in summer, but a nightmare in winter.

Staying Toasty

If you want to comfortably warm in winter, you need to get everything in place before the chill sets in. During summer, take a look at installing heated towel rails like those found at https://www.bathroomtakeaway.co.uk/heating/towel-rails. When that first chilly morning arrives, you’ll be ready to stay nice and warm when you step out of the shower. You can also look at adding an instant hot water tap. You won’t drink too many hot drinks during the summer, but it’ll be good to go during winter!

Take Care of the Energy

Your energy bills are barely given a second thought during summer because you’re not really using that much energy. You are using energy during winter, though. Take this opportunity to review your energy supplier deals, or to look at better ways you reduce your energy use. When it comes to the stage that you’re using plenty of energy, you’ll be grateful that made the changes, especially when the bills come in.

Any Big DIY Projects

You don’t want to be walking around a building site when the weather is cold outside. This will let in more drafts, will be colder on your feet, and will generally be a less pleasant place to be. In summer, you’re mostly outside anyway, or can be, so this is a good time to make the big changes in your home. It doesn’t matter if your home isn’t perfect when you’re not even spending time there! Also, the later sunset will mean you’re able to work on your projects later and still have the time to do other fun things, too.

The Trees

And finally, to the garden, which is where you’ll be spending a lot of your time anyway. Take a look at any threatening trees that might cause some damage to your property if there was a storm, and get them taken care of/removed.

Why Right Now Is The Best Time To Move House!

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Is your current house no longer suitable, or do you just want an upgrade? Upping sticks and moving to a new property gives you a chance to start fresh, and allows you to find somewhere that suits your current living situation and family best. For example, if you’ve started working from home you might need somewhere with an office space, or if you like to cook and entertain a lot, then a large kitchen is a must. If your current home doesn’t cut the mustard, then it’s worth hopping online and seeing what’s available within your budget. And best of all there’s no need to delay, spring and summer is the best time for moving house. And there are lots of good reasons why- here are just a few of them!

Christmas is Out of The Way

Christmas is a big deal in most households, and while it might only be ‘one day’ there’s a lot of planning and preparation that goes into it. Many people save for months and spend heavily on food, gifts, decorations and much more. For this reason, it can take them a while to recover financially afterward, meaning the early portion of the year isn’t the idea time to think about moving. By the spring and summer, Christmas is out of the way, making it a much more sensible time to look into moving house. After all, it’s incredibly expensive. You can look for cheap conveyancing quotes, packers, movers and everything else but the process is still going to be relatively pricey.

Good Lighting and Mild Conditions

House hunting in the pouring rain is never going to be much fun, when the weather is warm, you can get a better view of how everything on the outside looks without getting drenched in rain or pelted with hail. The same applies to physically moving your belongings, moving day is already difficult enough let alone trying to do it in rain, sleet, snow or gale force winds. Milder temperatures make everything much more convenient.

Perfect Time For Garage Sales

We all know that moving house means decluttering and getting rid of things we no longer need. After all, no one wants to unnecessarily move items and make the job harder, and plus a new home is a clean slate. You don’t want to clutter it up with things you simply don’t want or need. You can list items on eBay, but that often means fees and can also take time. Setting up a garage sale means items are got rid of quickly, and you can haggle for the best price. Over the summer months when it’s warm outside your garage sale will attract far more attention meaning better prices, and everything shifted quicker. It saves you from visiting the dump to get rid of things or make countless trips to the thrift store and can earn you some much-needed cash in the process.

The End Of The School Year

Most schools around the world are now breaking up for summer vacation. This means that if they’re moving school, by the time the new school year starts again in September you will be settled in the new place and they can start along with everyone else. This can help them integrate far better than joining half way through the year regardless of where they are in their schooling ‘career.’ It’s a chance at a fresh start for all of the family!

Your House Looks Its Best

Spring and summer is a great time to sell your house, simply because it will be looking it’s very best. With a little TLC after the colder months, your lawn should be looking thick and lush, and your flowers will be in full bloom giving your home tons of curb appeal. After the traditional spring clean, most of us usually fix up and finish any repairs on our home too. Whether it’s a bit of painting or finishing a project, your home is sure to look fantastic over the warmer months. So if you’re looking to sell up quickly and move onto your new life in a new home, now is the ideal time to go about it!

It’s certainly not impossible to move house during other times of the year, but right now is the optimal time and will probably mean everything goes through that bit more smoothly. And when moving is already so stressful, anything that can make it easier isn’t to be sniffed at!

Are you moving house this summer?

 

Easy Steps To Help Complete A Garden Makeover

It’s that time of year again. Where we dust off the summer clothes from our wardrobes, put those sunglasses on our heads and enjoy the outdoors. Fresh air and al fresco dining. Some people are lucky enough to have an outdoor area at their home, but it can often feel like a huge task to make it a lovely and enjoyable space to be. Which is why I thought that the time was right to share with you some of the easy steps you can take to completing a garden makeover.

Decide how you want to use your outdoor space

The first step to take is to consider how you want to use your outdoor space. What do you want from your garden or back yard? Do you want somewhere to enjoy a nice drink quietly? Or perhaps somewhere to entertain and dine in the evening sunshine? Maybe it’s just a case of having a space to exercise or even just hang your washing out to dry. Whatever your goals might be for your garden or outdoor space, make sure you have them clear in your mind. This is so you can ensure that the next steps you take with a makeover will be solely what you want.

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Get things ready

Now you know what you want to do it’s time to start putting the plan into action. It’s best to tidy up the garden completely to know exactly what you have to work with and what needs to be done. The chances are your garden, or outdoor area will have had no maintenance for several months. So it’s important to ensure that you know what requires your focus. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to tackle those yearly chores, so clearing out the gutters or even getting your power washer out to clean up patios or decking areas. Tidying up helps create a blank canvas.

Consider storage options to keep your garden tidy

Clearing everything away doesn’t necessarily mean this task is complete. After all, some of those items like garden tools or furniture may need a place to be stored away when you are not using them. So it might be the time to consider adding some storage to your garden. Perhaps a shed if you have the space for it. It can help keep the garden a useable space at all times.

Invest in some new items and furniture

Clearing the garden and tidying away opens up the door to add some new things to your garden. Perhaps some new grey rattan garden furniture or investing in a new BBQ, for example. It helps outline how you want to sue the garden and provides you with the means to do so.

Focus some time on the flowers and any lawned areas you have

Finally, winter can be harsh on any lawned areas or flowers you may have so it might be worth focusing your attention on improving these areas. Giving the grass a good cut and ensuring you treat any weeds that have popped up in the lawn or flower beds.

I hope these easy steps help you transform your garden.

Top Decor Tips For A More Relaxing Bedroom

It’s pretty easy to forget about the bedroom when you’re sprucing up your interior décor. Most of us are so caught up in what people will think about the more public spaces of a home, and leave the bedroom completely out of the picture. As you’ve probably already discovered, the way you decorate your bedroom can affect how comfortable and relaxed the space makes you feel, and in turn how easy it is to drift off to sleep. If you feel your little private sanctuary could be a bit more comfortable, here are some great décor tips for any bedroom…

Play with the Lighting

Never underestimate the power of proper lighting when it comes to getting yourself nice and drowsy. Humans are naturally conditioned to get sleepy once it starts to get dark, and our brains and bodies can become confused when there’s too much light in the evenings. If you let even a little too much light into your bedroom in the evenings, it can mean a lot of tossing and turning, rather than quickly drifting off into sleep. Dimmer switches are one of the easiest ways to gradually lower the lights as you get ready for bed. Failing that, a little bedside lamp, kept on instead of your main light fixture, can be another effective way to manage the amount of light your eyes are getting before bed. Sometimes, getting the light in your bedroom right is a simple matter of changing the bulb in the main fixture. Take a moment to look at the wattage of the bulbs in your bedroom fixtures. If it’s high compared to most bulbs you see in home stores, try switching to bulbs with lower wattage, somewhere around the 40-60 mark. If it’s the natural light coming through your window that’s the issue, then some dense blackout curtains are a quick and easy fix for this.

Get the Colour Scheme Right

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Obviously, you’re not going to be seeing the colours of your bedroom when you’re fast asleep. However, this the first and last colour scheme you see every day, and choosing a combination that’s soothing to your mind can have a surprisingly profound effect on your quality of sleep. You can read any number of articles about which colours have which psychological effects, but no one knows your psyche better than you do. Choose a paint scheme, artwork, blankets, ornaments and so on that you find soothing, rather than anything that’s going to stimulate your brain and keep you up at night. If you’re not sure where to start, soft hues of yellow, green and blue tend to make people feel more relaxed, especially in combination with regular, versatile neutrals. You can check out some gorgeous bedroom paint schemes at Homedit.

Get Comfortable Bedding

As you can imagine, the bed you sleep on is one of the biggest factors in how relaxed you’ll feel in your bedroom. It’s fairly surprising how many people manage to pick out the wrong mattress, pillows, duvets and so on, and wind up experiencing many sleepless nights as a result. Changing just one part of your bedding, for example getting a couple of these Plumeria Bay down pillows, can make all the difference if getting to sleep takes much longer than it should. If you think that your mattress is more the issue, try flipping it, and reversing it end to end. You should be doing this every month or so anyway, just to make sure no part of the mattress is getting too much strain. If you try this a few times and it doesn’t seem to work, your mattress may have had its day. Check the thing for worn-looking or sagging areas in the middle or around the edges, and if you share a bed, see if one person changing position on half the bed disturbs the rest of it. If you’re constantly waking up feeling stiff and weary, or you’re starting to find your favourite armchair is better for dropping off in, it’s probably time to go shopping for a better mattress. There’s a common belief that it’s better to sleep on firmer mattresses, but this isn’t necessarily true. Different levels of firmness are better for different people’s spines. Listen to what your body’s telling you to determine what’s best for you.

Get it Smelling Great

You’re obviously not going to feel comfortable in a room that smells bad, but if you’re having trouble getting relaxed in a room where everything seems to be as it should, it may be time to take a more proactive approach to the smells in your bedroom. The way your nose works is linked directly to the emotional centre of your brain. This is why you catch scents every now and then that instantly remind you of some pleasant memory, and even some that make you feel sad without you being able to put your finger on why. To make your bedroom more comfortable and soothing, try adding some natural, calming scents such as vanilla, lavender, jasmine and so on. It’s also important to clean your bedroom thoroughly and regularly enough. Aside from making the space smell nice, a good hoover will keep you from breathing in dust, which can irritate your airways and reduce your quality of sleep. As an extra little touch, you can try misting your pillows with the scents you’re using in the rest of the room, or making your own potpourri bags which you can keep in a pillowcase or on your bedside table. Scented candles, as always, are also a good way to make a room smell lovely. Just make sure you extinguish them before you go to sleep!

Set a Limit on the Screens

A lot of people watch TV before bed, and you might have gotten used to this bedtime ritual yourself. Sure, that series you’re catching up on may be absolutely thrilling, but if you’re finishing off every day with a long session of lights and noises, it can really impede on how comfortable and tranquil your bedroom feels. As we covered earlier, if you’re exposed to too much light it can keep you awake for longer, and things like TVs, phones, tablets, and so on, can all contribute a lot. They can also be a temptation when you know you need to sleep but you’re simply not dropping off. Try to set yourself some limits on the screens you have in your bedroom, or take them out altogether. A large, tasteful art piece is much more conducive to a relaxing mood than Game of Thrones! Instead of being surrounded by different devices, make a point of keeping more books and magazines in your bedroom. A little reading before bed is always much better for your sleep cycle than staring at a screen. Sticking to this routine is also a great way to finally crunch through that book you’ve been meaning to get around to!

It may not be the most central or public area of your home, but our bedrooms deserve as much care and attention, if not more so, as anywhere else. After all, this is the one sure place where you can get away from all the stresses of the world, unwind and forget! If you’re finding it hard to drop off at night, or simply just to relax whenever you’re in your bedroom, try putting these tips into practice in your next round of home décor. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference some of the smaller tweaks can make!

The Great Outdoors: Make The Most Of Your Garden

The spring sunshine is starting to peek out from behind what’s left of the winter clouds, and soon the best place to be will be outside in your garden. Unfortunately, your garden has been pretty neglected all winter, and as a result some things are overgrown, rusty, or just plain old eyesores. While you’re spring cleaning you garden, it may be time to look into a few garden enhancements to make sure you won’t be uncomfortable, or embarrassed, to spend time out on your patio.

Spring Clean Your Garden

Your home has recently had the benefit of being cleared of clutter and cleaned from top to bottom. Your garden also deserves the spring cleaning treatment. Dig out your gardening tools and spend a warmer day mowing the lawn, trimming your shrubs and trees, and digging out the weeds. You’d be surprised how a short trim of the overgrown leaves can make your garden look tidier, and possibly bigger. Cutting back the dead branches on the trees could even let more sunshine into your garden, making your afternoons far more enjoyable.

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Open Up Your Patio

You’ve probably spent all winter looking out into your back garden, wishing the weather were nicer so you could be outside reading, or sipping drinks with your friends on the patio. As the days get longer and warmer, you can begin organizing a group brunch on your patio to celebrate the return of spring. You can make the patio more welcoming by investing in comfortable outdoor furniture like you’ve seen on www.Bridgman.co.uk/rattan-garden-furniture, and put up a few parasols to protect your guests from the harshness of peak sunlight hours. You could even go one step further and give the patio a makeover. Warm, honey-colored tiles will be much brighter and more reflective than dark grey concrete, not to mention less depressing. If the day goes well, you can begin to make plans for the summer BBQ that you’re sure to have on your patio this year.

Welcome Nature

The best part about being outdoors is being surrounded by nature. Nurture the plants in your yard by taking up gardening. You don’t need to aim for something as ambitious as trying to grow your own food if you’re a fairly inexperienced gardener. You can start with something simple like a flower bed, a tree, or a herb garden if you have your heart set on contributing something to the kitchen. These ideas can be done on a budget, and it can significantly reduce stress and improve overall fitness.

If you’d really like to invite nature back into your garden, try digging your own pond. Not only is it a great project for everyone to get involved, but ponds are very helpful for preserving wildlife. Once you’ve built a pond step-by-step, be prepared for animals to move in at an astonishing speed. If a pond sounds like too much, or your garden isn’t big enough, a bird bath will also attract nature and add an element of peace.

“Change Every Room Right Now!” Controlling The Desire For Different

Do you ever have moments where you wake up, look at a room in your house – a perfectly nice room that yesterday you had no problem with whatsoever – and suddenly despise it? All you can see are its flaws, its tired decor, the desperate need for a refresh. The urge to do something about it becomes overpowering.

Perhaps it’s literally the first thing you see of that changeable morning; the bedroom. It’s crying out for a new rug, a change of paint, perhaps even a feature wall you have been daydreaming about. Or perhaps the need for change hits you as the enter the kitchen for your morning coffee; the kitchen is the one that needs the fix. You lust for new taps like those you saw showcased on http://www.tapwarehouse.com/category/kitchen-taps or a hanging pan set that will give you that perfect rustic charm. Or is it the bathroom where your frenzied desire for something different will take shape?

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Or… worst of all: is it everywhere?

It happens. No longer is your desire for something different and a serious decor update grabbing a hold of you, it’s not even bothering to focus. You want every room in the entire house to have at least some small scale change done to it – so what’s your next step?

Option 1: Pick A Room and Change Everything

Focusing on which room is bothering you the most is a good way to begin. You’ve got a strong chance of narrowing down the thirst for difference if you think which area is bothering you the most. If the answer doesn’t naturally come to mind, then think along the lines of which rooms you use the most – and thus will stand the greatest chance to bear the fruits of your renovating labour.

Positives: This focuses you on what you actually want done and gives you a starting point. While the other areas may continue to annoy you, you can at least quiet the protesting voice with the fact you are doing something.

This approach also means you can get into the minute details that, if you try to do everything at once, you might neglect. That’s the little things like:

  • Bedroom: having the time to focus on the practical side of getting up in the morning and how you can make it easier with design choices.
  • Kitchen: this gives you the chance to look through the possibilities of repainting your kitchen cupboards or replacing them. If you’re trying to do everything in one go, you might not slow down to think through your options and will instead just plough through with whatever is quickest.

 

Negatives: It can feel like you’re not getting enough done and are focusing too much on one area. This idea also relies on the fact you can settle on one room to prioritise – which is sometimes easier said than done.

Option 2: Choose One Thing You Hate About Every Room – And Fix That

Start by writing out a list of the rooms you want to change. As an example:

  • Bedroom
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom

Then sit and think about what you dislike the most about each room. Keep this as simple as possible. For example, this is how not to do it:

  • Bedroom – need a new bed, bedding, and to switch the rug under the new bed.
  • Kitchen – want to refresh wall colour, hang new wall art, and hang a knife rack
  • Bathroom – replace the toilet and retile the floor

You can easily convince yourself that these are all the same problem, because they relate to one another in an indirect way. But this is just going to cause more confusion, so these plans need trimming even further. So, the above becomes:

  • Bedroom – buy a new bed
  • Kitchen – repaint the walls
  • Bathroom – replace the toilet

The rest can be added on later. This option takes the one thing that is bothering you the most and gives you a way to rectify it. The benefit of doing this is that, once complete, you can move onto the next room – so you’re going to be making more progress through the whole house. This approach also works well if you rent your home and need to check each development with your landlord.

And if you’re worrying about the loose ends on the first list, then you can easily assemble a second run through that catches all of them.

Positives: You’ll feel like you’re making real progress. It also gives you a chance to get rid of the things that are bothering you the most, so that’s one less thing to irritate you!

Negatives: It might take a few run throughs of the same system for you to feel like you’re really making a big change to your decor.

Option 3: The Extreme Option

Burst into tears, sell the house, and go and live in a log cabin that doesn’t need renovating. Ever.

Positives: Log cabins are so picturesque.

Negatives: Literally everything else about this idea.

Option 4: Everything At Once

Some of us don’t like to streamline the way we do things, choosing a hotchpotch of plans and doing what we want when we feel like it. Doing things this way might not be the most efficient, but sometimes home design and decor shouldn’t be efficient. Instead, you can let your creative juices flow and go where each space of free time you have takes you.

Positives: The more freespirited approach can be quite liberating. You can switch around and play with ideas, always happy to be doing the chosen task on a chosen day. No one likes to be dictated to about what we should be doing and when – even if you’re the dictator in question!

Negatives: Inevitably, this approach takes longer and can create a lot more mess in your home. However, if you think you can live with that while controlling the urge to procrastinate, then there’s nothing wrong with taking things at your leisure.

Your Guide To An Amazing Home Office

We all know that working from home can have various perks and pitfalls. Often, creative people work from home – writers, bloggers, graphic designers and video editors, to name just a few. There are many benefits to doing so, such as being able to manage your own schedule and also being able to choose your clients as you please. However, as anyone who works for themselves will know, there are also a fair few negatives, such as a lack of motivation and a tendency to get distracted. Both of these things often have their roots in working from home, which is something that many freelancers world over do. When you work for yourself, it doesn’t make that much sense to rent an office – after all, it’s just another overhead to eat into your monthly budget.

But, not having a focused and comfortable workspace at your disposal can easily end up causing you a few problems. Let’s be honest: we’ve all tried working from our couch at some point, and it rarely works out! So, just how do you go about designing and creating a home office to maximise your workflow and help you succeed? Here are some tried and tested tips to help you on your way.

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Never underestimate comfort

If you type the words ‘home office’ into Google (as you probably have done many times before!), you will find yourself met with various images of dreamy, perfectly organised spaces, with stylish furniture. Most of them look like something out of a Brooklyn studio apartment, with hardback chairs and a reclaimed vintage desk. But hold fire for a second before you go out and buy all this stuff: will you ACTUALLY be able to work in this kind of environment? Sure, that kind of chair does look good. But will they still look as good after you’ve been sat in them for 30+ hours a week, suffering from a crippling backache? We are now seeing a generation of people emerge who are experiencing longstanding health problems as a result of spending too much time sat in uncomfortable office chairs. Sometimes, this can’t be helped, as it depends on where it is that you work. When you work from home, however, it is you and you alone who has ultimate jurisdiction over what is and what isn’t in your office. Try not to be swayed by the dreamy Pinterest boards. The entire vibe of your home office is not going to depend on whether you get the pristine hardback chair or not – so if in doubt, always go for the comfiest option. A good office chair should support you right up to the neck (or at least the upper back), be cushioned and should have adjustable height and recline. They may not look quite as chic, but you always have to put your health over style. Similar rules apply for things like laptop height and keyboard positioning. The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes, and your forearms should be parallel to the floor when typing on your keyboard.

Create a pleasant ambience

When we think of ambience in the home, our minds probably turn to a bathroom full of lit candles, or a cosy living room with a log fire burning in it. However, there is no reason why your home office can’t have ambience in it too. There are two main things that make up this pleasant vibe, and they are heating and lighting. The last thing you want in your home office is to be cold or to overheat, so take some steps towards regaining control of the temperature. If you don’t already have a radiator in your home office (or if you just need a replacement), try visiting a site such as OnlyRadiators.co.uk. There are plenty of different types of the radiator to suit all tastes and needs, so don’t think that you simply have to stick with the one your property came with. It can also be worth having one custom-made if the room you are dealing with is particularly small.

On a opposite note, you may also want to consider having an air conditioning system installed in for the hotter days during the summer. No one likes sticking to their office chair in the middle of the July heat, after all! If this is out of the question for you, however, don’t worry – a fan will usually suffice, and make sure you can open your windows fully to let some refreshing air in. As far as lighting goes,  natural light is the best way to go for your home office. It makes the whole place seem much airier, and your natural body clock will respond well to it, making you feel much more ready to work. That said, we all know how dark winter can be, or how often you end up working late when you have a deadline to finish. Having a selection of lighting options in your office for both of these occasions can, therefore, be vital. Usually, a bright ceiling lamp and a couple of smaller table lamps suffice, as that way you can control the lighting and therefore the mood of the room.

Personalize

When you work in a company office, one of the first things you do is probably to bring in a picture of your family to sit on your desk. When you work from home, you may not feel the same burning need to do this – but ask yourself why? Your office might be in your home, but it is still your workspace, and having some personal touches like family photos is a great way to keep motivated and make you feel a little more at ease. Invest in a couple of funky photo frames and set up your photos on your desk for you to gaze at absent-mindedly between jobs. It isn’t just photos that you can personalise your workspace with, though. Part of the beauty of working from home is that you can tailor your office to exactly what makes you happy. Therefore, spend some time making it into a positive and inspirational space that feeds your creativity. If that means hanging some positive quotes up on the wall in front of your desk, go for it! People who work in offices full time don’t always have the option to do things like that, so relish the chance that you have to do so. You may also want to do a complete remodel of the room that involved painting the walls or adding wallpaper.

Choose colours that uplift you and make you feel positive, and that you know you will be able to style easily. Then, you can go about adding in cute ways to organise yourself – such as with some pretty pen-holders, folders and files. Who said that office equipment had to be boring and corporate, anyway?! Some finishing touches for your desk area could be a beautiful scented candle (great for adding to that ambience we mentioned earlier) or ornate incense burner. If you are feeling creative, why not try your hand at making your very own desk garden? Flowers and plants can have a great impact on our mental stimulation in a working environment, so try to include at least a bit of life into your office. Creating a home workspace may not seem like much of a priority to you, but once you’ve done it, you will wonder how you ever worked before!

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