128 articles Articles posted in Home

Sausage and BB Design Their Dream Home

It’s been pretty rainy and rubbish here for the last few days and after the madness of last week (Sausage turned 11 on Tuesday, so we’ve had playdates, sleepovers, shopping days as well as a barbecue at the weekend for our friends’ 40th) we’ve opted to spend some time chilling at home. You know what kids are like, though, and even chilling at home means finding pretty constant ways to entertain them, so I thought I’d ask them to tell me what their dream house would be like, and write about it here!

A Personal Lift

While brainstorming their ideas, both girls decided that their dream home would have bespoke passenger lifts – Sausage to transport her dozens of dogs and BB to get her pushchairs upstairs because she wants a dozen babies!  I can see my retirement years being spent doing a LOT of baby sitting and dog sitting…

Walk-In Wardrobe

Despite neither of my kids being massively girly girls, they both LOVE clothes, and another thing they agreed on (I can’t believe they’ve agreed on so much to be honest!). When Sausage mentioned that she wanted a massive walk-in wardrobe, BB decided that she definitely wanted one of those, too. They’d better both have good careers for all this stuff!

Conservatory

I’m not sure what it is about the women in our family, but we all love a conservatory. Maybe it’s the feeling that you’re sitting outside but manage to be warm and dry at the same time? Either way, both girls decided that a conservatory would be high on their list of demands when designing their dream house.

Theatre Room

In all honesty, we’re only just at a point where BB will sit still for long enough to watch a whole film. She’s okay at the cinema because she can’t get up and wander off but at home, it’s a struggle. However, she’s recently decided that she does like watching movies with us (even if we have to spend ten minutes convincing her beforehand!) and both girls agreed that a theatre room would be a great addition to their dream house.

Indoor Swimming Pool

They might not be overly keen on school swimming lessons (who likes being given two minutes to get your school uniform back on to your still-damp body?!) but both girls love being in the water. My dad kindly bought them a pool for the garden this summer and they’e had great fun using it so far, so they agreed that an indoor pool that they could use all year would be a must-have in their fantasy house.

What would your kids have in their dream house?

How to Add a Touch of Luxury to Your Home

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With house prices on the rise and wages seemingly stagnating, more people than ever are choosing to renovate and extend their current properties, rather than moving elsewhere. There’s scope to add value to your home when making big changes and a lot of this potential lies in the quality of the finish, so with that in mind, we thought we’d talk to you about 5 ways to add a luxury feel to your home:

Bathrooms

Anyone can go and buy a budget bathroom from a massive store and give their washroom a nicer feel, but the luxury possibilities of a bathroom are one of the biggest draws for a buyer. Lots of people will consider buying a house with terrible decor everywhere else, as long as the bathroom has amazing fittings. Insignia Steam Showers are one example of high-end fixtures that will really add value to your home.

Curtains

Cheap window coverings might do for a while, but thick, luxurious drapes will make your home feel a million bucks. Opt for soft colours like light grey or mink, which are neutral but elegant and this will give every room the feel of a high-class hotel room.

Ornaments NOT Clutter

While we aren’t suggesting minimalism for your home (it’s not hugely practical for families, is it?), decluttering your rooms and then dressing them with carefully chosen ornaments and other dressings will help to give your house a “put together” feel, rather than making people feel like they’ve walked into a jumble sale!

Kitchen

A kitchen is another huge expense, but you don’t have to rip it out and start again to give your kitchen an update. My gorgeous friend Jen from Love Chic Living, and person I turn to for all of my interiors inspiration, actually painted her kitchen units and replaced her tiles and you wouldn’t believe that it’s even the same kitchen. Read her post to see the completed makeover.

Plants

Plants…well cared for plants, make a room look great. However, if you’re the sort of person who could kill the hardiest cactus from 100 paces, why not opt for some fake foliage? There are some incredibly real-looking fake plants out there these days, and apart from a little flick over with a duster every now and then, you don’t need to do a thing to care for them.

How to Reduce the Stresses of Moving, by a Serial Mover

How to Reduce the Stresses of Moving, by a Serial MoverThe average person has moved house 5 times in their life, which means that Husband and I are WELL above average – I’m currently in house number 14 and I think Husband is around the same! If moving this many times has taught us anything, it’s that there are a few things that you can do to reduce the stress of moving house. Happy Beds recently conducted a survey of 2,000 people from across the country to find out how buying and selling has affected their kip and discover what moving issues are keeping them up at night.

Mick Fallon from Howells Solicitors has said that ‘the secret to minimising stress when moving home is to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.”

The top reasons given for loss of sleep and moving stresses are damaged furniture, scratched walls and not being able to fit their furniture through doorways. Here are a few things that we do to reduce stress:

Keep a Box of Essentials

There’s nothing worse than getting everything moved in and realising you’ve got to dive through 20 boxes to find the kettle or your toothbrush! Think about the things you’ll DEFINITELY need once you’re in and keep them all to one side. Being able to enjoy a cuppa after a long and stressful day is worth it’s weight in gold.

Get Help

Husband and I have done so many moves and so many combinations of how we’ve moved, from packing everything ourselves and driving the van, to hiring a company to do all the driving for us, and there’s absolutely NO doubt that delegating as much as you can makes the process less stressful. If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends nearby who can help, try to draught as many as them in as possible to help, and if you can afford to hire a moving company to do it all for you, DO IT!

Pack Snacks!

Moving house is tiring work and by the end of the day, you’ll probably be starving, but not really in a position to start cooking. Pack a bag of snacks containing things like bottles of water, Pot Noodles, packs of dried fruit and other non-perishable stuff that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or require cooking. If you were feeling particularly hungry, you could also slip a couple of takeaway menus in the bag so that you can just order something for yourselves!

Declutter in Advance

Clearing your home of any old, unwanted or unnecessary items before your move can save you time and stress, but it can also save you money! By donating, recycling or throwing away things you don’t need, you’re cutting down on the amount of stuff you need to move. The less stuff you have, the fewer hours you need your removals team for.

How to Use a Video Wall in Your Home

Take a number of smaller screens – televisions, computer monitors, etc. – arrange them in a continuous display to form one large screen, and you have a video wall. Sound simple? It is! But the flexibility gained by using several smaller screens instead of one large one allows you to put a video wall in nearly any room in your house! Below are some of the more common arrangements.

Lounge/Living room

Most people use their lounge more for television and film watching than just about anything else. But the old “tv-and-sofa” configuration is tired and a bit blasé. Shake things up by installing a video wall! Mounting the screens flat against the wall saves space, and with a large enough setup, you can easily transform your lounge into a mini-home cinema.

Kitchen

If you’re getting much of your culinary inspiration from cooking shows and instructional videos (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), then adding a video wall to the kitchen makes perfect sense. Add a few screens above your preferred countertop, and you’ve got the ideal way to watch that one video on how to properly slice an onion – for the 100th time.

Game Room

Avid about your video games? The latest high-tech screens forming a giant wall in your game room will certainly improve your experience, if not your abilities. Video games and video walls are the perfect fit, allowing you to get the most out of any game.

Home Office

Another common application of a video wall is in the home office. The multiple screens in a video wall allow you to pull up the most recent project on one screen, presentation on another, and that last-minute memo from your boss as well.

These are only a few of the many options for video walls in your home. You could add a smaller video wall to your bedroom for a lazy night in, or even install one in a sheltered patio or glasshouse. You’re sure to find a perfect place for a video wall in your home as well!

how to use a video wall in your home.

How to Use a Rug in a Child’s Bedroom

You’re finally ready to move your daughter or son into their own room – but it needs a bit of redecorating, first! Adding a rug is one of the easiest ways to personalize your child’s room, while adding some function and comfort as well.

These days, rugs are available in a wide variety of materials and colours. Remember to choose something that is comfortable on your child’s skin, particularly their knees. Consider a rug that has a particular design on it to add an element of fun and adventure to the room – a rug with a built-in roadmap, or perhaps a forest scene. Or you may opt for something classic and quality, like a beautiful wool rug.

For more information on these and other considerations for rugs in a child’s bedroom, see the infographic below from Land of Rugs:

Think It’s Time To Move House? Let’s Look At What You Should Do

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You’ve been comfortably living in a fitting home for a while now, and whilst it’s been a blast, you think the tenure here has reached its last legs. It would be lovely to stay here forever and not have to put in the effort regarding relocation, but that’s not the world we live in. As weeks, months, and years go by, your life changes and your situation changes. You’re a completely different person or a completely different family to what you were just a few years ago, and it’s time to find a place to suit your new needs.

If you’ve been through this stuff a fair few times before, then you’ll know all of the aspects it entails – and there are quite a lot, huh? Whilst it’s not a hugely troubling affair, it does need some thought. Let’s have a little look at some of the stuff you should do in the lead up to the potential move.

Plan Things In Advance

Like a lot of things in life, you should probably have a little plan of action written down for you and those around you to follow. If you are doing everything off-the-cuff, then it may get a little confusing as there are many steps.  

Get Your Home Ready To Be Sold  

When the current home eventually leaves your grasp, you’ll want more than enough money in return. If you can afford to invest heavily to hike the price up, then good for you, but you don’t always need a big overhaul – little aesthetic changes can up the value a lot. When it comes to actually letting go, you can go through the traditional process, or you can sell quickly. You can visit the Flying Homes website and others that are similar if you want to take a lot at how that system operates. It is good to make sure everything is looking fresh and smart before leaving as you don’t want potential buyers think it’s a sty!                                                                                                                                                   

Figure Out What Type

There are a bunch of different styles of house in the world, and it’s up to you to choose which would be best. Your initial thoughts are probably to find something similar to what you have now but upgraded or downsized, but there might be something unorthodox out there that suits you perfectly.

Look Up Movers

The whole thing takes a lot of effort – and physically is needed on the day as you’ll be on your feet lifting stuff. If you want some help, then you should probably research companies that handle this process for you so that you can kick back when you have the chance.

Don’t Stress!

It’s easier said than done, but this entire process doesn’t need to keep you on edge throughout. Sure, it can occupy your mind quite a lot as it’s a significant chapter in your life, but there’s no need to worry about it. The moving process is something everybody goes through, and if it were so difficult, nobody would get it over the line! It’s a piece of cake, so enjoy it as much as you can.  

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

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As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!

How To A Choose TV Stand That Best Matches Your Living Room

What is the most significant, most exciting feature in any living room, that is looked at for the longest time by the collective household, usually unblinkingly, and serves as the gateway from one’s humble abode to the world outside? Yes, I’m talking about your TV! And what is imperative to make the most of your TV? The perfect TV stand! Make sure you are not detracting from your TV experience by following these helpful tips to choose the best living room TV stand.

Placement is Paramount

What’s the point of investing in a good TV, if the viewing experience itself is ruined by suboptimal placement of the stand? Whether in a corner or along a dominant wall, depending on the size and layout of your living room, the TV stand can be positioned anywhere that is convenient. A few points to keep in mind are the size of the TV itself and the number of people that may be watching it. Keeping the stand located to complement the rest of the furniture and maximise the zone of comfortable viewing for the entire room will guarantee satisfaction for all.

Decide on the Dimensions

The height of a TV stand determines viewing comfort to a large extent. Once the position for the TV stand has been decided, ensure that the one you choose has the appropriate height, is wider than your TV width (to prevent overhang) and has enough depth to provide sufficient support to prevent the toppling over of this expensive gadget. Typically, the centre of the screen should be 35-45 inches from the floor for an ergonomic viewing height to prevent prolonged strain on the neck and eyes. This is just a guideline and should be checked with the height of your living room sofas.

Sustain the Style

Being a prominent feature in any living room, it is best to go for a TV stand that complements and seamlessly merges into the décor of the room. Straight, geometrically designed stands in pale greys or whites will add to the refined look of minimalist furniture, while the rich, dark wood tones of oak or mahogany stand to integrate well in rooms with more traditional furniture. For retro styled living rooms, high gloss or metal and glass TV stands bring both support and style to the TV and the room. If required, stands with shelves help in organisation and storage.

Material Matters

TV stands are commonly found in wood, glass, metal or high gloss finishes. Along with décor, it is essential to keep in mind which material would be most suited to the family. For homes with not many pets or kids, glass stands reinforced with metal frames are an option. Where glass or high gloss ones might be cracked or scratched, sturdy wood stands will stand the test of time and rough use and are highly recommended for larger households.

To find the TV stand ideal for your living room at the best prices, check out Furniture in Fashion, and you won’t be disappointed!

How To Add an Accent Colour and Futureproof Your Rooms

When it comes to home decor, trends change on a pretty regular basis. Every year, new colours come into fashion and lots of people jump onto the bandwagon, using the colours all over their houses. For the last couple of years, grey has been a major interiors trend, and be honest, how many people do you know who’ve got grey in at least one room of their house now?

The problem with following trends is that, in a few years time when the colour is out of fashion, your house could end up looking pretty dated if you’ve got it everywhere. So today, i thought I’d show you a few ways to add on-trend colours to your house without leaving you needing to redecorate again in a years’ time!

Flooring

Grey is a nice neutral colour, so using it for something like a floor won’t leave your room looking outdated for years to come. Our tip? Lifestyle Flooring UK have a large selection of solid wood flooring here https://lifestyleflooringuk.co.uk/solid-wood-flooring that are easy to buy and fit and allow you to change the whole look of a room without going overboard and painting every surface.

Feature Walls

Choosing one feature wall in your room to paint and keeping the rest of the walls a neutral colour is a great way to add an accent with minimal effort. It’s easy to paint over when you want something different, won’t require the whole room to be prepped and covered with dust sheets and is achievable in one afternoon, if the rest of your room is in good condition.

Soft Furnishings

If your room us a pretty neutral shade and the accent colour you like goes well with it, you could simply invest in cushion covers, lampshades and curtains or blinds in your chosen accent. These are all relatively low cost items which can totally transform the look of a room.

Faux Flowers

Keeping a constant stream of fresh flowers in your house is both expensive and unsustainable. However, investing in some good faux flowers can add a splash of colour to your room and will last as long as you need them to. Faux flowers have come on a lot in the last few years, and some of them look more real than the real thing!

Art

Adding a piece of art to the wall can help you to add a stunning splash of colour to a room, and if you hang it in a central place, you can change it as often as you like. There are companies who make large canvases with traditional art pieces on them, or you could even try making your own with a blank canvas and some paints in your chosen colour.