Decorating my home

It’s no secret that tiling is a more practical approach for your bathroom floor than paint or carpet. It is one area that experiences more water exposure than others, and unlike carpet, most tiling is able to withstand it.

But with this said, some types of tiling are able to handle it better than others, and it’s important to be aware of what you’re paying for when going with your chosen material.

Below are some of the most popular tiles used in modern bathrooms, listed to help you select the best bathroom tile for your bathroom.

Porcelain

Porcelain tiles are one of the more popular choices for bathroom floors; they are better suited to those with smaller budgets and who don’t intend on changing the appearance. They come in a wide range of colours and styles, allowing you to achieve a more expensive look at a cheaper price. Their durability also makes it ideal for both floor and wall tiling.

Glazed porcelain tiles are often preferred due them being more hygienic; they are able to withstand more water, scratches and bacteria which make them the most suitable for a bathroom. They are also easier to clean and maintain, and can withstand heat, so you have the option to install under floor heating with it if you want a warmer underfoot.

Slate

Slate tiles can provide your bathroom with a modern, timeless feel. They come in different shades of grey, which gives off an air of sophistication and can also work with many kinds of styles.

They’re also naturally waterproof, non-stick and don’t require any additional sealing, making them ideal for low maintenance bathrooms and shower cubicles. They are a better option for those with higher budgets, but for a stone tile they do have value and will retain their value for a very long time.

Quartz

Quartz tiles are becoming increasingly popular due to how pleasing they are on the eye. They come in every colour and contain a high gloss finish; some even contain small pieces of mirror within the tiles that give off a glittery look. Quartz tiles are therefore ideal for many different styles, particularly for people who want to create a more modern feel in their bathroom. They are also durable and retain their colour well.

Due to Quartz tiles being made from resin, they don’t require sealing for waterproofing and are therefore perfect for any bathroom. They are a suitable choice for those seeking a no quibble, no fuss tile; they are resistant to heat and stains which makes them easier to clean as well.

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7 Feng Shui steps to a harmonious home

Getting started with feng shui for your house and home can be easy when you start with the house basics and gradually move on to the more complex feng shui levels. To help you get started with good feng shui in your home, here are some helpful feng shui house steps for beginners.

Clear your clutter for good Feng Shui

Get rid of everything you do not love in your house. Clutter clearing is a time-and-energy-consuming process that will feel like therapy, but it will help you “lighten up the load,” so to speak. Do not skip this step, as it is an essential one in creating harmonious house feng shui energy.

 

Get good quality air and light

These two elements are essential for good feng shui energy (called Chi) in your home. Open the windows often, introduce feng shui air-purifying plants or use an air purifier. Allow as much natural light as possible into your home and consider using full-spectrum lights.

 

Define your energy map

Define the Bagua, or the feng shui energy map of your house, by using one of the two main feng shui methods: the classical school Bagua or the BTB grid. Once you define the Bagua, you will know which areas of your home are connected to specific areas of your life. For example, in traditional feng shui, the Southeast feng shui area of your home is connected to the flow of money energy in your life.

 

Get the basics of 5 Feng Shui elements

Get the basics of five feng shui elements in order to create balance and vibrant energy in all areas of your home. For example, if you are working on attracting more prosperity, you will introduce the feng shui elements of Wood and Water in the Southeast area of your house. If you need to improve your health, you will place lush plants representing the Wood feng shui element or pieces of wood furniture in the East area of your home.

 

Always be mindful of the quality of energy in your home

Always be mindful of the energy in your home and how its energy influences your well-being. Make a habit of paying close attention to the so-called feng shui “trinity” that is deeply connected to your health: your bedroom, your bathroom, and your kitchen. Nothing is static in the world of energy, so be wise and keep your home healthy and happy.

 

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There’s no point crying over spilt milk, or spilt wine, or anything you have spilt in fact. When you have spent a long time decorating your home, and choosing the perfect materials for curtains, carpets, furniture, and more, the last thing you want is for it to become stained.

If you’re battling a tough stain, then don’t panic. Here are some home remedies that will help get even the most stubborn marks out of soft furnishings and walls:

Baby Powder

If you have any oil based stains, then baby powder can work wonders in getting them out. Sprinkle some powder over the stain as soon as you see it, and wait for the powder to soak up the oil. Once the stain is less oily and has risen to the surface it should be much easier to wash out.

Lemon Juice

With its acidic nature, lemon juice can make a good bleaching agent and can help get stains out of any bright white materials. Simply squeeze lemon juice on the stained white fabric and leave it out in the sun for a couple of hours. Wash the item as usual, and the stain should be gone.

Vinegar

If you need your fabrics to brighten up or have tough stains that need soaking, then vinegar can come in really handy. Either put some white vinegar in with your wash, or soak tough stains caused by perfumes or deodorants before popping in your usual wash. Don’t use vinegar on delicate fabrics though, as it is quite strong.

Ironing

Wax can be quite hard to get out of fabrics, and often your tablecloth becomes the victim of a wax stain when one too many candles melt down the side of their holders. Simply place a couple of paper towels over the stain, then iron across the top of them. This will help the wax to melt and transfer onto the paper towels, leaving your tablecloth looking as good as new.

Body Lotion

Surprisingly, body lotion and moisturiser can be very good at getting stains off walls. If you have a child who loves to draw on every wall of the house with crayons, then try using body lotion to remove their artwork. Put some on a soft cloth and rub gently over the marks until they disappear. Don’t rub too hard though, as you don’t want to remove a layer of paint too.

Baking Soda

The great thing about baking soda is that is has so many uses. It can keep your fridge smelling nice, be used to whiten your grout, help remove crayon marks on the wall, and get rid of those tough tea and coffee stains in mugs. It can be made into a paste with a splash of water, or mixed into vinegar to create a cleaning spray.

WD-40

Most famous for fixing squeaky hinges, WD-40 is also a great grease busting stain remover, and can be good for getting out stains like permanent marker pen. Simply spray a small amount of WD-40 onto a cloth, then wipe over the stain. It’s best used on tiles, laminate and hardwood, and should be wiped straight off afterwards using warm water.

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Spring is a good moment for renewal. Your home might need an entire new look, maybe a bit of modernizing. Before you start to make a seriously out-of-your-budget renovation plan, we advise you to start with the details.

Classy and modern are concepts that start with the little things. For example, windows. You might have not known what are the trends for windows this year.

Photo source: Builder Online https://bit.ly/2BEIaLA

We searched for inspiration and we really liked these top 7 window trends for 2018 in this article on Builder Online:

  • Black hues. Because nothing says ‘minimalism’ better that a clean white-black combo.
  • Clean lines.
  • Squares over arches. Unless you’re living in a castle.
  • Expansive glass. More light and outdoor inside your living space improves the quality of the time spent inside.
  • Pass-through windows.
  • Energy efficient windows.
  • High-end woods.

We agree with high-end woods even more since we found this DIY trick to make your windows look high-end. It doesn’t seem too much of a hustle and is guaranteed to make your windows be trendy this year.

How To Fake Expensive Windows

This trick will give your windows a high-end look, without the huge price tag!

Posted by DIY with Hometalk on Monday, 23 April 2018

The basic rule for 2018’s windows is simple: the more light… the lighter! Sorry… the modern-er. 🙂

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Are you thinking of adding some extra-luxury to your home? Are you just thinking because you do not have the budget to have high-end looks in your house?

Well, we think this could help:

Best of High End Looks

13 clever ways to fake high-end looks in your home.

Posted by Hometalk on Sunday, 8 April 2018

We are sure you can apply at least two of these ideas in your home. Maybe make the letting place look nicer before a viewing…

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Photo source: Pinimg https://bit.ly/2pIgSht

Don’t let renting a house stand in the way of your design aspirations. With a pinch of imagination, you can transform your rented home, tackling even the most overlooked areas such as the hallway or landing.

Try these landlord-friendly ideas for adding personality and character to your home.

Light it up

Lighting is an easy, high impact way to brighten up your home. An eye-catching floor lamp can change the whole feel of a room, so use it to highlight your style. And the best part? You can take it with you when you leave.

Treat your feet

Whether you’ve got wooden floorboards, laminate or carpet, you’ll need to protect it to protect your deposit. Rugs and runners are typically inexpensive and will enhance and style a room or hallway whilst keeping the floor intact.

Accessorize

Inject life into your home with bold prints and jazzy patterns. Textured scatter cushions and chunky throws will add personality to any room with minimal effort or cost.

‘Mirror-mirror!’

A mirror is a classic addition to any room, but there’s no need to fix it to your wall.

Where your tenancy agreement doesn’t allow you to drill holes to hang a mirror, try propping it against the wall instead.

This will add the illusion of space and depth and using a large mirror in a cramped hallway or smaller bedroom will make it look twice as big.

Add artwork

Just as with mirrors, making holes in the walls to display photos and artwork may not be possible in a rental home. Use what you have to avoid causing any damage to the walls; a fireplace mantle, existing shelving or a freestanding cabinet.

Try framing a large piece of art or a poster and leaning it against a wall to make a stylish statement.

Make it modular

When you potentially move every 1-2 years, you want furniture which you can take anywhere. Modular furniture is perfect for rented properties as not only will it fit any size or shape room, it is easy to remove at the end of your tenancy.

Bring the outside in

Fresh flowers are beautiful, but buying them regularly can be expensive. Plants are an easy and slightly cheaper way to bring life and colour into a space. You can sit your plants in pots on a book shelf, in floor stands or hang them from the ceilings in macramé hangers.

Create an indoor herb garden

When it comes to rentals, outdoor space can often come at a premium. Potting herbs indoors is a simple way to bring greenery into your home and keeps fresh flavours within arm’s reach.

Revamp your terrace

Don’t forget to decorate your outdoor space!

It’s easy to create a personal oasis by adding hardy plants, comfortable seating and a barbecue for those summer nights.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Whilst your tenancy agreement may contain restrictions, there is no harm in asking your landlord if you can paint a room or add a few pictures to the wall. As long as you fill in holes, generally most landlords should be quite open to you personalizing the space.

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Photo source: Flickr https://bit.ly/2HZFI4e

Knowing when to downsize is never as simple as it seems. Having to settle for a smaller space after years of living in a larger home takes some time to adapt to. Below we’ve listed 5 reasons why it might be time to downsize from your 4bed detached.

Space

You’ve got so much space you don’t know what to do with it all. The husband has put a snooker table in your daughter’s bedroom and turned your son’s room into a study. It seems for the entire world you have that mansion you’ve always wanted. But when you have a property that gathers more dust than it does value, it might be time to stick a for sale sign outside that door.

The Money

Linda down the road has just sold and made a nice little sum. Perhaps it’s time you made a little profit yourself. At times it might feel tempting to stay where you are – less hassle and all that. But the hassle of moving will be worth it when you have an extra £40,000 in the bank. A nice little top up to the retirement fund which leads us on to…

Retirement

Sometimes needs are a must and that pension pot might need filling up. Putting the house up for sale so that your retirement fund can reap the rewards may not be such a bad move.

High Costs

Because heating a whole house is pointless when you and your better half only use three or four rooms. A bigger house costs more to maintain and manage.

Health

Of course, one’s health can be a deciding factor when deciding whether to downsize or not. If the regular journey up and down stairs becomes is becoming strenuous, a bungalow may be more appropriate.

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The biggest risks from cowboy builders, and what to do if things go wrong.

More than 40,000 people contacted Citizens Advice last year about a home improvement nightmare. Two thirds of them were about cowboy traders – who did a terrible job, took far longer than they said they would, or never finished at all.

The figures are an alarming wake-up call that we all need to be on our guard against the cowboys.

 

What can you do?

The best approach is to reduce the risk of falling victim in the first place – by taking a number of steps when you first contact a trader.

 

  1. Start with recommendations from people you know. This is the best way to be sure you are getting the full picture. You can also use a website where customers rate traders.

 

  1. Get references. If you can’t get a recommendation, make sure you get references from people they have worked for previously. Ideally go round and see the work yourself.

 

  1. Check they are a member of a trade body. Citizens Advice points out that trade bodies have codes of practice and can help resolve problems if things go wrong.

 

  1. Get a written quote – not an estimate, and be clear about what the quote covers. A quote is legally binding and the builder can’t change it without a good reason. An estimate is just a guess at how much the work will cost, and so it could change. You can compare quotes from a number of contractors to make sure you’re getting a fair price.

 

  1. Don’t go for the cheapest option. If something is a bargain, it’s tempting to take that option, but if they’re quoting for exactly the same work, there’s a risk they will cut corners in order to do a cheaper job – or bump up the price as they go along.

 

  1. Get a written contract. This should cover timing, payments, who will pay for materials and subcontractors, and what exactly is being done. If you can, you should pay in stages rather than upfront.

 

  1. Keep copies of receipts and your written contract as evidence, as well as photos of any problems which arise.If you run into problems, there are a number of steps that can help.

    1. Don’t pay until the job is done. If you are paying in stages, don’t bow to demands for a final payment until you are happy with the work.

    2. Make a list of the work that’s not up to scratch or is unfinished, and ask them to return to complete it. Don’t let politeness stop you, and don’t be afraid of what they may say or do. They promised something, if they didn’t deliver, then you have every right to expect them to return and finish the job.

    3. Ask for some money back. If you’ve lost faith in them, or they claim to be too busy to rectify things, ask for compensation. You tell them the refund you expect, and explain why it is reasonable – for example, you may have to pay to have the work fixed.

    4. Complain to the company in writing. If it’s a larger organisation, bypassing the individual and going to the firm itself can be useful. Include your list of outstanding problems, and your expectations for a solution – whether that’s them returning to finish the work or a refund.

    5. Check to see if they are a member of a trade association, and get in touch with them to see if they can help.

 

  1. If they still refuse to comply, you can consider taking them to county court or the small claims court. There will be a cost associated with this, and some traders are a nightmare to track down, but if you are significantly out of pocket, and they are part of a larger organisation, it may be your best option.
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If you’re about to tackle the big task of downsizing your home, start by easing yourself into the right mindset. This may be the most important tip, so if you do nothing else, at least do this first step.

The right attitude can make a big difference, which is why you shouldn’t bother starting until you understand this: it won’t be easy, but getting rid of some belongings can actually feel great.

Photo source: Eulerr http://bit.ly/2pb6Jup

Make sure what you keep is really something you can’t live without. 

Is everything you own worthy of a space in your home? Is it useful like a toaster, or a great pair of shoes? Is it something that you find beautiful or inspiring something you love? Or is it something with great sentimental value one of a selected number of things you keep because of the sentiment? If it’s not any of these things, then perhaps it’s something that you can part with, and let it go to another home.

 

Regarding the sentimental stuff

Sometimes it works to take a picture of an item, and let the original go. Keeping antique furniture that does not fit your decor, style or taste for sentimental value will always stick out like a sore thumb. If no other family member is interested, keep the picture of it and donate to a good cause.

 

For children’s art projects and schoolwork: 

Be selective in what you keep, or this stuff can overrun even a large space. Your children may have opinions on what they want to keep, too. In general, keep the essay about “My Family” but maybe not the ones about less personal topics. Keep a few wonderful original drawings, but perhaps not the ones where your child coloured in a form.

 

Pick your storage containers wisely. 

Square or rectangular pieces make better use of limited space than do round containers. Wicker baskets are attractive storage containers that can be slipped under things and stacked on shelves. Cubes can double as storage, extra seating and as a coffee table.

 

Sell, donate or dump?

Sell, recycle or donate, but try not to dump goods in your wheelie bin. You can probably sell the vast majority of items you no longer need, perhaps at boot sales or online via websites such as eBay or Gumtree.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of selling things, charities will be happy to take most stuff off your hands. They’ll welcome clothes, bedding and other items you may feel aren’t good enough to sell or give away.

Certain items will be more difficult to get rid of. Charities may be unwilling to take electronic devices, such as TVs, on health and safety grounds, so unless you can sell them, you’ll need to offload them another way. Call your local council and ask their advice, or take them to your nearest council recycling centre.

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Looking for ways to spruce up your home without putting yourself in the doghouse? Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home or want to spiff it up inexpensively for your own enjoyment, we’ve got 10 good strategies for you to consider.

Photo source: Pexels.com http://bit.ly/2Dp89Wq

The actual cost and payback for each project can vary, depending on both your home’s condition and overall real estate market values in your region of the country.

  1. Make your kitchen really cook.

The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers make a beeline for this room when they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated. For a few hundred pounds, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones. If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into hiring a refacing company, many companies can remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add brand-new doors and drawers. With a fresh coat of paint over the whole set, your cabinets will look like new.

 

  1. Buff up the bath.

Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Even simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference in the look of the bath. If your tub and shower are looking dingy, consider re-grouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require professional installation but can still be cheaper than paying to re-tile walls and refinish a worn tub.

 

  1. Step up your storage.

Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, add do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets. In the end, your closets will be more functional while you’re living in the house and will make your home look more customized to potential buyers when you’re ready to sell.

 

  1. Add a room in a week or less.

If you have a three-bedroom house with a den, the only reason the den can’t be considered a bedroom may be because it doesn’t have a closet. If you add a closet to that room, you’ve now got a four-bedroom house. That adds a lot of value.

 

  1. Mind the mechanics.

It’s often very worthwhile to hire an electrician and plumber for a couple of hours to look over your electrical services, wrap or fix loose wires, fix any faulty outlets, and check for and fix any water leaks, those details tell a buyer that someone has really taken care of the home and can really influence its price.

 

  1. Look underfoot.

Carpeting is another detail that can quickly update a home and make it look cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning is an inexpensive investment, especially if your rugs are in good shape and are neutral colours. If your carpet is showing serious wear, cover it with inexpensive, strategically placed area rugs. Unless it is truly hideous, most real estate agents don’t suggest replacing wall-to-wall carpeting right before you sell your house. The new homeowners may want to choose their own carpeting after they move in.

 

  1. Let there be light.

If you have boring recessed lights in your dining and living rooms, consider replacing one of the room’s lights with an eye-catching chandelier. Home stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but nice-looking, ceiling fixtures these days.

 

  1. Reframe your entry.

Do you have a flimsy little knob on your main entry door? If so, spring for a substantial-looking handle-and-lock set. A nice, big piece of hardware on the front door signals to newcomers that this is a solid home.

 

  1. Consider curb appeal.

Although it sounds obvious, a nicely mowed lawn, a few well-placed shrubs and a swept driveway makes a great first impression. What buyers see when they first drive by your home is tremendously important. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper to install some new sod, plant a few evergreen shrubs and give your front yard a good cleanup. These kinds of changes can instantly change people’s perception of your home and, therefore, increase its value.

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