Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

15 October 2019

Storing Your Life

Sponsored post

Whether you are the type of person who never throws anything away or you ruthlessly have a cull every few months, storage is something that is key to having a tidy life.  

Storage is an important part of family life, but what we often forget to do however is think outside of the box when it comes to solving the problem of where to store items that you don't want to throw away, but don't have the room for.  

Having a cull of items you don't have room for may end up with a tidier home, but if you are anything like me, inevitably you will discover soon after are things that you wanted to, or should have kept but didn't.  

Not just objects, but memories.  Treasures that you did not realise that you treasured, until they are at the tip or have been donated.

Books that you decided you would not read again and then miss.  Photographs of events from long past that you want to reminisce with, but have been thrown them.  Furniture that you didn't need in your old house, but would have worked perfectly in your new home.  Even things like those winter coats that are past their best and don't fit in your cupboard, but would have been perfect for walking the dog.

Your attic, if you have one, is one solution, but damp, moths and who knows what else always eventually take their toll.  So what to do?

One option and an option that I use on a regular basis is renting a storage unit.  Specifically for my locality, I use Shurgard Self-Storage Woolwich

The reason I chose Shurgard was firstly because of easy to use website.  You can choose the size of the unit that you want and reserve online, paying only a pound for the first month and then a fixed amount each month, depending on the size of the unit.  There is also no minimum contract.

Renting a storage unit can solve so many problems.  When renovating your home and you need to store your furniture or box up everything while you decorate, renting a secure place to keep them is ideal.

If you are the kind of person that regularly culls your home of items, a storage unit can be the place you put things until you make your final decision.  It gives you time rather than having to decide whether to throw something away in the spur of the moment.

A storage unit also gives you the option of long term storage.  If you are looking to upsize your home and want to buy pieces gradually for it, a storage unit can be the place where they can be ready and waiting for your new home.

You don't have to rent a large space, you can get a 15ft square unit for less than £14 a month to store things like necessary documents that have somehow filled a filing cabinet as well as the odds and ends that you have accumulated over the years that you don't want to throw away.  Your child's old toys for example that are no use to you when the child has outgrown them, but the memories are irreplaceable.  

Have you ever thrown anything away that you have regretted.  I bet, like me, you can think of many things.  This is a possible and workable solution at a reasonable rate.

Why not try it out?   

4 October 2018

Winter Is Coming

Tell me, are you a Summer person?  Someone who craves the sunshine, loves the fact that you can walk around without the baggage of a coat?  Someone who looks at the snow and ice with dread and has a hatred for all things cold?

Alternatively, are you a Winter person?  A lover of warm drinks and cozy clothing.  Someone who loves a good snow ball fight and generally loves the beauty that Winter brings to the landscape.

Me, I'm a definate Summer person, but am trying, slowly to learn to love Winter.  So here are a few things that I thought about that I love about Winter that might make you love it too.

A Good Cuddle

Summer is wonderful, but how many nights have you spent far too hot during the evenings, stripping off layer after layer of clothing, drowning yourself in ice filled drinks and throwing off the bed covers at night?  How many times have you given up on the idea of a cuddle with your partner because you are just too damn hot?

Winter is made for cuddles on the sofa, a hot chocolate and a good film.  My fella is like a walking hot water bottle and snuggling up in bed on a cold night is something that brings us together even more.  

Stepping Into a Warm House

When you have spent a freezing day in the office followed by a cold and miserable commute home, is there really anything better than walking into a warm, inviting house?

It is this time of year that I make sure that our central heating systems are working as they should to ensure a warm and inviting house.  There is nothing worse that getting home on a cold day only to find out that your radiators are not working and you walk into freezing cold house.

My top tip for ensuring that your house heats up faster and retains more heat is to cover a thin sheet of card with tinfoil and placing it behind your radiator.  This reflects the heat back into your room and helps to heat everything that much and more importantly, retains the heat (saving you a bit of money too!)

Winter Clothing & Accessories

As much as I love, and I do adore, a Summer dress, there is just something about wrapping yourself up in many layers like a cocoon that makes you feel wonderful, calm and serene.  

Warm toasty socks in bed, a sumptuous scarf around your neck to keep out the cold, fur trimmed gorgeous coats and a good, old fashioned hot toddy on a particularly cold night are all things that I love about Winter.

The Food

At a risk of sounding like what they call a "typical woman" (what about any woman is typical I have to ask?), I do love a gorgeous roasted hazelnut latte in the Winter months.

Also, who can resist the lovely beef stew, simmering throughout the day in the slow cooker and ready to perfection when you arrive home?  Cauliflower cheese, apple crumble, chicken and mushroom pie or the good old English breakfast.  My mouth is watering just typing about them.

So, is Winter really that bad?  The icy streets can be hard to handle but there is so much about Winter to love, if you only care to look.  

14 August 2018

The Finishing Touches

When it comes to designing your home, whether you are on a budget or have money to spend, it is the finishing touches that will make or break your room and are what makes it special and stand out.

There are a million ways that you can add the finishing touches to your home, whether it be a wall mural in an otherwise white room or a large painting, or how you use textures and accessories to pack a punch.

When I think of what I would like to do with my own home, I always think of the quirky touches that I would like to add.  In particular, pieces that you would not expect to be a feature, but really makes the room.  For example, how about a contemporary radiator in a room that doubles as a statement piece?

Is it art or a integral part of the home?  Those kind of interesting questions about how you can combine design and usefulness really interest me.

They say that the best things in life are free, and in your home, one way that you can utilise a free resource is through the way that you allow the light in.  A skyline in a previously dark room or using the windows as your focal point.  No curtains, simple design and just letting the light flood your interior, allowing the sunlight to create the light and shade in your room.

Making your home stand out and make your own personal statement and aesthetic does not have to cost the earth.  It can be about the little touches that you make or alternatively larger pieces that make a larger statement.

I love the idea of a wall mural from Paris in my bedroom, or using an element that is both functional and artistic to create a talking point.

The most important thing for me about designing your home is that you put your own stamp on it.  Expressing your personality through the pieces that you choose, the colour on the walls and the way in which you choose to have the room speak to the person that enters.

Are you going for cool and classic?  Comfortable and snug?  Anything is possible whatever your budget if you put your mind to it; above all keeping your design to what you will love.  You have to live with it after all?

What design elements do you love in your home?

31 May 2018

My Dream Writing Space

Last month I talked about my tips for blogging on the go when you have a busy lifestyle and want to fit your blog into your life without feeling like you are losing all of your free time.

Today I wanted to talk about my dream writing space.  The one that I would create at home for days off, those weekends, those times when you get the urge (and the time) to write all day and want a comfortable area to do so.

First and foremost, what I want is comfort.  The perfect writing day for me does not necessarily start with getting up, getting dressed and sitting down to my laptop.  It can also, and preferably, start with a large cup of coffee in bed, my notebook and a pencil (no pens in bed thank you) and my thoughts as they start to collect.

I carry a notebook around with me most days and like to jot down any ideas for blog posts or writing pieces that come to mind, whether it be for this blog or other spaces.  I note the main idea at the top of a page and then during the week, fill in any additional comments to by way of bullet points.  These short notes are what start my day in bed with my coffee.

When it comes to getting more serious about my day, I move on to my laptop and my tablet.  At the moment I work from our dining room table which is not particularly convenient for me.  I recently came across a gorgeous desk from Lionshome which would fit the bill perfectly and would work with my current decor.

I don't like too much clutter on my work space when I am blogging.  Just my notebook with my ideas in, my tablet for research and of course my laptop.  I don't like to have too many windows open on my laptop as I find it too distracting so that is why I also have my tablet for researching points.  Ah, the 21st century world eh?

Other things on my checklist for the perfect blogging space include lots of natural light and fresh air from an open window and some sort of music on low, either on the other side of the room or the room next door.  Background noise is important but nothing too loud, like heavy metal or drum and bass!

The beauty of running a blog is that most of your tools and equipment can be packed away at the end of the day or at a moment's notice if needed.  Your laptop and tablet etc can be put away in a drawer and your desk space or table space utilized for other purposes.  

I think one of the most important things about your home is that it should work for you, on multiple levels.  This is particularly important if you have a family and have a jam packed filed life but is equally salient if you have a small home and need to use rooms for a variety of purposes.

What is your dream blogging space?

*Post in collaboration with Lionshome

13 February 2018

My Dream House

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I am currently saving to buy my own house (slightly curtailed by the fact that I am going on two holidays this year!  Allowing myself however as I haven't had a holiday abroad in 8 years).

Although my saving had been slightly derailed, I have my plans in place including a lifetime savings ISA where the government gives you an additional 25% to whatever you have saved.  That's how you turn an £8000 deposit into £10000!

I want to make sure that I have enough money to do everything I want in the house.  I don't want to buy a house and then not do it up the way that I want.  While I am in a position to save and I am more than happy living with my mum (who is amazing!), it makes sense to save long enough to get everything I want.  

Ok, maybe not, but a girl can dream, right?

So what do I want in my new house?  Hardwood flooring is a must for me.  Easy to clean, classic looking.  I like clean lines, statement pieces and clever ideas to transport you to somewhere else.

I like white walls.  I am not afraid to admit it!  White is the perfect backdrop to create any look that you want.  A perfect look for the lounge which should be comfortable, uncluttered and not fussy with a statement piece such as a huge print on the wall rather than having a feature wall.  A comfortable settee and a large TV for watching all of those box sets is also a must.

I love something like this, although in my mind you need to have a bright colour in there somewhere.  Perhaps some colourful cushions on the settee to go with the modern style furnishings.

I love the idea of using wall murals such as I featured in my link to completely change a space.  Have a room with no window?  No problem.  Turn it into an office, paint the walls white and use a full wall mural to create a view of Paris.

The one place that I do want a sense of opulence and utra comfort and style is my bedroom.  I dream of a thick carpet, a big bed, furnishings with a nod to French boudoir style.  A dressing table (something I have never had!).  

Your bedroom should be calming, comfortable, an escape and more than anything, a place of retreat and escape.  My dream, although I will never get that with my first, or maybe even my second house, would be to have a little balcony leading off the bedroom where I could sit and have a coffee and look at the world.

So what do you think of my dream house?

All images from Pixabay with exception of mural photograph which is obtained from a previous blog post.

17 December 2017

7 Reasons The Less Glamorous Side Of Interior Design Should Be Your Top Priority

Interior design is a necessary part of owning or renting a home. You might only ever decorate it once, but it is still something that has to be done so you're at the very least, making somewhere nice to live in. Beyond that, for many people it is all about putting a personal stamp on a space, and making it the most beautiful it can be.

When you think of interior design you likely think about buying beautiful new cushions, some new artwork, repapering the feature wall, and adding beautiful accessories to a room. There is of course a lot more to it than that.

Interior design and home renovation is actually, mostly very hands on and practical. There are various practical tasks that need to be done first, so that you can then make your home beautiful with the frills like cushions, throws and accessories. Studies show that of all home renovations, redecorating adds the least amount of value onto a property. Practical adjustments really should come first if you want the most beautiful and valuable home.

Here are 7 reasons the less glamorous side of interior design should be your top priority:  

1. Safety

The safety of a home should always be the number one priority when it comes to interior design and renovation. Safety factors like: electrics, plumbing and gas should always come first. Smaller issues like damp can also be a big safety factor as mold and mildew are known to cause all kinds of health issues including asthma and other respiratory conditions.

2. Costs Later Down The Line

Leaving issues that seem small right now, in favour of more instantly satisfying interior renovations can lead to bigger costs down the line. For example: if you invest in a new sofa instead of paying somebody to deal with overgrown trees, or ivy growing over the property, those things could cause damage to your home and garden which will cost a lot more to fix than the initial problem. Small issues dealt with there and then are inexpensive to solve, and help avoid costs later down the line.

3. An Excellent Base For Decorating

If you have broken tiles, an area of damp, turned up carpets or other more practical issues in a room, painting the room and adding cushions or accessories is not going to create a beautiful overall look. The base needs to be sound before you can make it look beautiful. You may temporarily cover the issues up but they will reveal themselves again soon enough. For example: damp can easily soak wallpaper and have it peeling off in a matter of weeks. If you want something to look good, you have to give it excellent foundations first.

4. Destruction Of Your Decoration Efforts

There's nothing like a leaky roof or crumbling plaster to destroy decoration efforts. Picture this: you've spent tons of money on a beautiful new carpet and within a week the crumbling plaster from the ceiling is deeply embedded in the threads. Or: you've just had the kitchen completely painted and freshened up, and the leak from upstairs you thought could wait has dropped a hole in the ceiling, ruining all the new paintwork and decorations. The money you have spent on your decorating could be instantly wasted because a practical issue was put off.

5. A Decrease In House Value

Recent media reports show that over-improving your home can devalue it. So adding too much 'pizazz' or personalisation is a big no no if you want to sell your property for as much as possible. Instead focus on the most practical renovations so that the property is sound, sturdy and a blank canvas for new buyers.

6. An Increase In Home Value If You Pay For The Right Improvements

The most recent studies show that energy saving improvements to the home could increase the value by nearly 40%. The same studies showed that nearly 85% of buyers would pay more for eco-friendly features. So you might be better off spending money on eco-friendly home improvements like energy saving bifold doors or solar panels, rather than new wallpaper or a new bed.

7. An Increase In 'Hygge'

Hygge (pronounced hoo gah) is the latest design trend to drastically change the way people design their homes. Rather than a focus on an object or a colour scheme, Hygge is all about happy moments. Moments that can't really be described, but they are memorable and deeply satisfying. It could be a hot chocolate by the fire, reading a book by your favourite window, or sharing a cuddle on the sofa with your partner. No blanket or paint colour will achieve this design trend. Instead, the focus should be on ensuring the home is warm, secure and letting in as much light as possible. Practical definitely counts for more with Hygge.

You know your home best and how you spend your money is of course up to you. However, it is a good idea to take some time prioritising your interior renovations so you can feel secure in the knowledge your hard earned money is being spent in the best possible way.

*Collaborative post

20 November 2017

To Parquet Or Not To Parquet?

Do you remember that zig zag shaped flooring you used to find in your grandparents house? That is parquet flooring, and parquet is back on the comeback trail. Its distinctive geometric shapes are what makes it stand out from the crowd and give it its own identity.

It’s unsurprising to hear that traditional, old school flooring is back on the up, as vintage is a current trend as is incredibly popular, not just in the flooring market, but in the home and clothing market, and even the re-emergence of vinyl records. Today’s parquet has been given a contemporary twist to modernise it for the present day homes.

There is an incredibly broad range of parquet flooring on offer, so there truly is something to suit everyone. They come in fixed length, individual tiles, so can pretty much be shaped into any design that you like. It is important to ensure you have a specific design in mind before going into the fitting process as they can look a little cluttered and chaotic if proper planning is not put into place beforehand.

Parquet is incredibly durable, so is perfect for homes with high levels of footfall and heavy traffic. It won’t damage as easily as solid and engineered wood, so is a perfect option if you’re not only looking for a flooring that looks great, but that’s also incredibly reliable as well. It’s a long term solution for your home, as opposed to a short term solution that won’t last long. It’s also incredibly easy to clean, if you spill something simply wipe it up, it’s that easy.

The above are examples of just two of the different options you get with parquet. They come in lighter and darker shades, and in a range of species such as oak and walnut. These examples show you Engineered Walnut flooring (left), and the stunning Engineered Grey Oak (right), patters such as these truly add something different to a room. Darker colours add a warm aesthetic, whereas lighter colours create the illusion of space, and add a brighter glow. You can see in this photo the distinctive zig-zag shapes that make parquet as unique as it is.

This truly could be a perfect addition to any modernised home looking for a traditional twist. Not only does it looks amazing, and lasts you a long time, it’s incredibly cost effective. The warm colours can add a natural warmth to your home as the winter months roll in. We hope our guide has helped you to see how beneficial parquet can be to your home, good luck making the all important decision! 

26 September 2017

Space-Saving Tips For The Home

There are lots of ways in which anyone can save space inside their homes and make the property seem larger than it is in reality. Indeed, there are even some tricks of the light people can use to achieve that goal, and there are some excellent tips listed on this page. Anyone who lives in a small flat or apartment will benefit from putting some of these ideas into action. When all’s said and done, most people like the minimalist theme these days, but that’s almost impossible to achieve in a small space when there is lots of furniture. Well, it was virtually impossible, until now…

Invest in a retractable table

Most people like the idea of eating their meals at a dining table. Of course, the issue in small homes is that there isn’t always enough room. Thankfully, there are many extending dining table sets available on the market today that will retract when they’re not in use. It’s sensible for everyone in a small property to use products of that nature to ensure they don’t waste lots of space. Also, it’s wise to shop around because some retailers offer better prices than others, and sometimes it’s possible to get some fantastic deals using online auction websites like eBay.

Look for furniture that contains hidden storage

There are lots of furniture items available that include hidden storage space at the moment. It’s also possible to use the DIY method to build something of that nature. That is fantastic for people who reside in houses smaller than most because the products allow them to ensure the place always looks tidy. Some of the most attractive furniture that contains hidden storage includes:

  • Beds
  • Sofas
  • Coffee tables

So, ladies just need to search online and visit their local home stores to assess the market and work out which items will provide the most benefits to them.

Hang mirrors in strategic positions

While this idea doesn’t technically save space, hanging mirrors around the home will create that optical illusion. The process should also ensure the property makes the best use of natural light possible. So, that could mean readers don’t have to turn their electric lights on until much later in the day than they otherwise would have done. Just place on mirror opposite a window at a slight angle. That should be enough to ensure the light reflects and shines towards a different area of the room. Then, hang another mirror in that area and repeat the process.

With a bit of luck, people who manage to implement the tips from this article will save a lot of space at home and ensure the house appears as tidy and well-kept as possible. Those who choose to use the last suggestion will also make their property appear larger to guests, and that’s always a bonus. Anyone who wants to learn more and discover different ideas just needs to continue their research online. However, to be fair, this post covers all the techniques that tend to work well across the board. So, now all readers have to do is create a plan and put it into action as soon as possible.