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Home Improvement

You’ve probably already noticed that numerous fashion and design styles we thought were long gone are making a huge comeback. One of these styles is undoubtedly the retro style. While in the previous years, everyone was looking to reduce their interiors to a bare minimum, embracing styles like minimalism, nowadays we can see more personality and fun being brought indoors with designs such as this one.

The retro style is probably one of the favorite styles from the past as it allows us to create stimulating living environments that both look stylish and cozy. That’s probably why it’s safe to say that this design style is certainly the one that’s here to stay. That being said, let’s see how you can retro up your abode and turn it into a stylish oasis everyone will be jealous of.

Brightly coloured chairs

Go for the colours and make them bright

Colours, especially bright ones, play a huge role in retro design. Some of the staples include the avocado green, mustard yellow, burnt orange and a lovely deep teal shade. Of course, browns and reds also play a significant role in the retro colour scheme. Blacks and whites are usually used minimally, only to enhance or accentuate the other shades. Pinks and purples are somewhat rare in retro design but when used, they are usually in dusty pink and royal purple tones. Therefore, the easiest way to create a retro vibe in your interior is by opening your door – and heart – to these beautiful retro shades

Go abstract with furniture and art

The furniture and art pieces that are the most typical in retro design style are usually anything but conventional. Abstract wall art and unique furniture pieces are usually where it’s at. That’s why you should go for pieces, such as a round, hanging, plastic chair or lush, roomy velvet sofa. Furthermore, think clean lines and simple design when talking about wooden furniture to avoid making your space come off as too busy. Finally, make sure that the art pieces you’ve chosen for your space don’t clash with the rest of your design.

Retro furniture

Make your personality shine with unusual décor

Unusual décor pieces are the things that will easily help you create a cozy atmosphere in your abode without necessarily trying too hard. The best part is that you can easily use these décor pieces to express your personal taste. Furthermore, if you’re lucky you will be able to find pieces that are not solely intended as décor but that also have a clear purpose. For instance, retro lamps represent the perfect combination of décor and purpose.

Fabrics and textures

Textures, textures everywhere

Textures also play a huge role in the retro design style. Some may even say that certain retro designs even go over the top with this design element. However, the fact is that you can never have too many textures in a retro-inspired space. Various fabrics, such as velvet – especially crushed velvet, satin and corduroy are just some of this design’s favorites. Aside from these, metal, plastic and wood also make for favorite choices, especially when furniture is concerned. Finally, you simply can’t have a retro-looking space without a shag rug, so don’t forget to include this design favorite as well.

Tie everything in

Finally, the easiest way to tie the entire design together is – as we already mentioned – with the use of some amazing shag rugs. You can either go with a single, oversized shag rug to serve as the base of the entire room or you can opt for a more layered vibe. Here, you can choose to layer a couple of smaller shag rugs on top of a durable rug with some interesting geometric shapes. When looking for geometric rugs, think in terms of the iconic hexagon design rug from “The Shining” – both the colours and the style of this rug simply scream retro!

 

So, if you want to welcome just a bit more interest and playfulness into your interior design, make sure you check out some of the retro design staples. Undoubtedly, you will fall in love with the design as many of us certainly did.

You’ve probably noticed the rising popularity of topics dealing with sustainable homes, ways to achieve that sustainability, and reasons why you should make your home green. The truth is, the consequences of global warming are already visible, and they are getting worse every year. Our effect on the environment is still too negative, and even though there are efforts to reduce that effect, it’s still not enough. With that in mind, here are some of the main reasons why having an eco-friendly home is more important than ever before.

Eco-Friendly Home: Why You Should Consider Having One

Energy savings

One of the most important qualities of eco-friendly homes is the fact that they consume less energy. This is beneficial because it both protects the environment and saves you some money. There are many different ways in which you can make your home consume less energy. For example, by insulating your home well, you’d use less energy on cooling and heating your home. Or, you could opt for energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen, which do cost a bit more initially, but they can save you a lot of money in the long run. Finally, some eco-friendly homes have their own source of renewable energy, like wind turbines or solar panels, so you’d be paying for less energy in general.

Many companies, for example, produce quality solar systems that can help you generate your own energy and thus, not be as affected by the utility rate increases that might happen in the future. Moreover, solar systems are not hard to maintain, so the only thing that requires a bit more work is installing them properly – but there are professionals who can help you with that. It’s really one of the best ways to bring your home to the future. So, if you’re serious about doing your part in the preservation of the environment, using solar power is the way to go.

Eco-Friendly Home: Why You Should Consider Having One

Environmental impact

Due to the fact that eco-friendly houses use less energy, they also release less harmful gasses that affect the environment. Next, by using sustainable materials when building your home, you’re not using anything that would take nature a long time to replace, as most of such materials are actually recycled. Additionally, by installing water-saving fixtures, for example, you are using less water, which is becoming a scarce resource as well. Also, most newer models of appliances and fixtures have energy-saving features, which can again help preserve the environment. Finally, if you adjust your habits to the home you have and recycle your waste – paper, plastic, metal, etc. – you would add to the preservation of the environment as well. You can also opt for using public transport or riding a bike on a sunny day – there would be fewer cars on the streets, and riding a bike is better for your health too.

Eco-Friendly Home: Why You Should Consider Having One

Health benefits

Building an eco-friendly home is not great just for the environment and your wallet but for your health as well. For example, eco-friendly materials don’t have any harmful chemicals in them, which naturally means that they are safer. Moreover, building companies that use eco-friendly building techniques also avoid using harmful plastics, paints, and other environmental pollutants that could harm your health too. Many of them usually contain carcinogens, so they are definitely something you want to avoid. Additionally, your indoor environment, in general, can affect your health, so everything from lighting to the quality of air matters. For example, comfortable temperatures – due to good insulation and quality heating appliances – can affect your mood and make you less prone to infections and illnesses. Next, clean air due to the good ventilation system and no harmful emissions can help you de-stress and reduce depression. Moreover, a good ventilation system can also reduce symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Also, good insulation, clean air, and proper heating/cooling of your home can all reduce the humidity inside your home, which can prevent respiratory problems. Finally, saving energy on lighting during the day – by letting in more natural light – can again affect your mood and boost your energy levels.

Making your home eco-friendly has more than a few benefits. It can help you save money on utility bills, and it can reduce your carbon footprint. Moreover, eco-friendly materials, building techniques, and home environment can all affect your health. All in all, preserving the environment is more important today than ever before, and doing so can only improve your lifestyle. So, if you’re considering building a new home, buying one, or remodeling the one you have, you should definitely think about going green.

 

Moving into a new house is neither rare nor difficult anymore. People are preparing to make a move on any decent and reasonable real estate option as soon as it’s available on the market all around the year. Jobs, career, family, many variables are in play with their decision, but what remains constant is the need to plan this process.

Shifting from one place to another place may be simple, but it isn’t effortless in California. You have to take care of a lot of things on both ends to make sure that you get over with it efficiently. Paperwork, movers, packing, and several other significant tasks lumped together with the many small ones can become a cause of concern. And those who are spending their time not thinking on the subject and hoping things to chalk out ideally are living in a fool’s paradise.

Jumping into this situation, unprepared, might leave you with some regrets, which is why you need to consider some ideas that can help. These might sound unnecessary, and some might even comment that you are overly meticulous, but in the hour of need, you can find nothing else to be more useful. So, here are the tips to keep in mind when shifting to a new house.

Finding a suitable storage house

Moving to a new city might be great, but not without a storage house. A storage unit in AG is the perfect example of what you should be looking for to make this work. They are spacious, secure, readily available, and you can get yourself a booking online. All these features amount to a lot of importance if you want to have some breathing space during the transit stages of this process. So it favors you to find one well beforehand if you are leaving the city.

Packing smartly

One of your dominant worries is going to be packing. A lot of individuals often find themselves stuck between a tremendous amount of belongings and no idea how to deal with them.

Fortunately, for cases like these, there are a lot of packing tips that can help strategize it for you. Placing color tags or using labels will help you know if the boxes have something fragile, bulky, or expensive inside them. Alternatively, you can also use these to know which box goes to which room while unpacking.

Also, carrying the extra weight on wheels, like in a hand carry, and keeping a pouch of items of immediate use will make it extra convenient for you after the move. You can choose to avoid unpacking the day that you moved in if you have one of these. That and several other techniques should make the process of shifting to a new house breezy for you.

Hiring professional movers

professional movers

A blunder that many make is to assume that they can take care of moving things in a van on their own, or that they would save some money with this option. That often tends to have the opposite effect while shifting.

Professional movers are trained for their jobs and offer a multitude of value-added services that ease your burdens. They can assist you in loading and unloading, and even in your packing too, without risking breaking or damaging any of your precious stuff.

Plus, they are flexible, and might even give you insurance against their services. That is why it’s ideal to consider getting them for this job.

Documenting everything

With your plate full of worries, it’s easy to miss out on documenting the terms of agreements that you decide with the people involved in it. These might be related to the properties, movers, storage houses, or any additional services that you might hire.

Best avoid that from happening and make sure that you have everything in writing on your fingertips to keep things concrete and maintain some accountability. Without it, you can find yourself in any unwanted situation with no options or alternatives that can help you.

Put things on paper

moving list

While you may be keeping track of things and have an action plan in your head, try to get all of it on paper. With so many responsibilities, you can feel that you are losing control of the situation as you overload your brain.

Instead of doing that, put your complete plan on paper with dates and timelines so that you can review your progress. Mention all the necessary contacts and details of procedures for any emergency. It’s also wise to mention the place of relevant documents, like ID and real estate papers, to avoid misplacing them.

Leave the old things where they belong

Shifting to a new house could mean endless opportunities and another chance at living life the way you want it. Carrying all your bad habits, dark ideas, and haunting memories could spoil that experience for you. Look upon the bright and charming tomorrow with a fresh outlook to seize the day.

Also, the concept applies to the things that you might better label as trash. Carrying them along with you might not only ruin the looks of your new place but keep you stranded in the thoughts of your last residence. So you should dispose of them and get some new items to suit your new house.

Summary

These were some valuable tips to keep in mind when shifting to a new house so that you make the process free of tension and stress. You can find the specific breakdowns of all these ideas and more online if you wish to plan your move. Just make a conscious attempt and start preparing early so that you have all the possibilities open to you.

A house fire is probably many people’s worst fear, and not just because it can destroy a lifetime of valuable possessions but also because it can actually be life-threatening. Moreover, as dangerous as the flames are, it’s actually the smoke that is more likely to make you pass out and suffocate. All in all, it’s safe to say that fire and smoke is not something that should be taken lightly. With that in mind, here are a few ways to protect your home from these hazards.

What to do if your house catches on fire?

Knowing what to do in case of fire can save both your life and your house. So, needless to say, if you can extinguish the fire, do it. If you cannot, you need to get to safety before smoke fills your house, and you need to call for help. Now, if there already is some smoke and you can’t exactly run out in seconds, you should crawl your way out, as smoke tends to go upwards.

Fireman

How to prevent fires?

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential that you do everything you can in order to prevent fire. For starters, you should test your fire alarms at least once a month, and you should make sure to replace the battery as well. You should replace the battery once a year, even if the alarms only activated when you were testing them. After all, you don’t want them to malfunction when you need them the most.

Next, don’t let a small fire grown into a bigger one if you can stop it right away. Getting a fire extinguisher before you need it gives you a chance to learn how to use it. Even if you never actually need to use it, it can still give you peace of mind knowing that you have it. So, get at least two for your home, and one smaller extinguisher for your vehicle.

Also, you should come up with a safety plan, especially if you have kids. Most of us have gone through fire drills in school, but not many people organize such drills at home. So, come up with the best plan in case of fire, and make sure your kids are well familiar with it. The plan should include the safest route out of the home, what to do when the alarm goes off, and where to meet in case you get separated. Practice this together until everybody gets it right, and repeat the drill at least twice a year so nobody forgets it.

What are the health risks?

Besides damaging your property, fire and smoke can also cause some serious health problems. Believe it or not, the smoke can actually linger in your home for weeks after the fire. Not to mention how difficult soot can be to remove. Some of the possible health issues include bronchitis and other respiratory issues, skin problems, eye irritation, and in some cases, smoke can even lead to cancer, stroke, heart attack, and long-term problems for infants.

The reason why fire and smoke can be so dangerous is because of the things they melt. Many items, like carpets, fabrics, wool products, and plastics, release harmful chemicals when burned – these chemicals are what causes all the serious damage. This is also why home restorations after a home fire should always be done by professionals.

To sum up, fire in a home can be extremely dangerous, and besides destroying your property, it can cause some serious health problems as well. This is why you should do everything you can to prevent fires when possible and extinguish them quickly if possible. By being well-prepared, you would have one less thing to worry about, and your family would feel much more comfortable in your home.

 

This is a guest post by Jack Kewell.

If you want to ask anyone for advice on how to decorate your home, pick someone from Scandinavia. Scandinavians really know a thing or two about relaxing, minimalist yet hyper-functional spaces. And what better place to try out your Scandi design than in your kitchen where functionality is the focus? Trendy, sleek and relaxing, this style is both elegant and casual, both industrial and natural. So, if you want to achieve an attractive kitchen design, here’s how to give the Scandinavian style a shot.

Go light

Scandinavian spaces are usually characterized by excessive use of white. All these light neutrals are very calming, especially when put in the busiest room in the house and serve as a perfect backdrop for all your accessories. Your safest bet when it comes to a good color palette is to go white with a few touches of gray and beige. A few splashes of green from your foliage will nicely break the monotony yet still look perfectly natural and relaxing.

Introduce textures

The Scandinavian style might look a little bare at first glance, but it’s actually very comfortable thanks to all the textures that inhabit the space. So, make sure to fill your space with different textures, even those that are usually not found in a traditional kitchen. Think rugs, faux fur, tasseled cushions and woven baskets. This will give your space a very laid back vibe and a welcoming feel not many kitchens have.

Dress Your Kitchen in Scandinavian Style

Fill it with wood and copper

Many people think that wood in the kitchen looks outdated and boring, but it doesn’t have to! Scandinavian style is anything but outdated and boring, as a matter of fact. If you choose light wood and surround it with a variety of different finishes, you’ll achieve a very interesting look. For instance, think light beech cabinets, black granite countertops and copper fixtures like faucets and sinks. Finish the look with some attractive kitchenware and you’re done. You can find a gorgeous-looking charcuterie board for sale that has a very rustic and unique look. It will serve as a centerpiece of your kitchen without standing out too much, plus it will be the eye-candy of every party you host!

Choose wood flooring

Any kitchen looks more welcoming and warm with wooden floors, especially the one dressed in Scandinavian style. Wooden floors are very practical and durable which are two key components to every Scandi space. If you can’t choose wood, ceramic tiles or stone flags are also a viable choice and both are very easy to maintain.

Dress Your Kitchen in Scandinavian Style

Bright appliances and furniture

Many true Scandinavian spaces are shrouded in white floor-to-ceiling, so you might want to do something that will break the monotony. The best way to add a pop of color to your space is with some interesting appliances. A super cute retro Smeg fridge in pastels color or a vibrant coffee maker will introduce color to your kitchen without going overboard. You can also liven up your furniture by adding some Scandinavian-inspired cushions and fabrics to it. Think Baltic stripes in blue or Lapland cornflower stripes in pink or yellow. This will be a little more out there but still fit into your overall design.

Choose open shelving

Scandinavians love pottery and crockery and any other pieces that look eclectic and vintage, especially those with quirky motifs and symmetrical patterns. These are a great way to add some personality to your kitchen, so choose open shelving to display your collection.

Dress Your Kitchen in Scandinavian Style

Interesting lighting

There’s nothing trendier than having hanging lighting in your kitchen right now, even in Scandinavian-inspired kitchens. Luckily, you can find these hanging pendants in all imaginable sizes, shapes and colors, so you’ll certainly get something that fits your Scandi aesthetics. If you want to stray from the standard, an interesting floor lamp in the corner will do the trick.

Add some art

Wall art is highly encouraged in any Scandinavian space, but it looks especially interesting in the kitchen. No matter if you opt for a gallery wall or choose just one larger piece, make sure to go with simple frames and monochrome color palette that will add character to the space without disturbing the minimalist image.

Once you’re finished with your kitchen remodel, you’ll enjoy your space like never before. Scandi design is welcoming and simple yet whimsical and warm. Try it out yourself and you’ll fall in love instantly.

Unsurprisingly, the field of construction is physically and mentally challenging. Workers are tirelessly rendering their services on the construction site while exposing themselves to countless dangers. In the 21st century, don’t you think the construction industry should also evolve? To boost efficiency and generate better returns, it needs cutting-edge tools and resources.

It could be in the form of pre-construction planning, site management, employee safety, and risk mitigation. These things foster construction site efficiency while allowing supervisors to work on the pressing concerns of this sector. If you are thinking about how to speed up the construction process, look below. Here are six convenient ways to make the construction process easier and faster.

Invest in Construction Management Software

After changing the dynamics of business, educational institutes, and the manufacturing sector, technology continues to transform the construction industry. You can find multiple construction management software to organize yourself by getting rid of the paperwork from desks. Similarly, it handles all the management tasks, billings, invoices, timesheets, job scheduling, and much more. With everything organized in one place, you can readily speed up the construction process.

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes, things don’t go the way you imagine. There could be potential delays due to natural calamities, thunderstorms, or power outages, making it essential to have a backup plan. You can invest in generators to combat electricity issues as they are pretty affordable. Look for websites like https://www.ablesales.com.au/diesel-generators-perth-melbourne-brisbane/diesel-generator/ to grab the best prices. Similarly, in the case of thunderstorms, keep yourself updated by looking at weather forecasts.

Train Workers & Supervisors

Training is one of the crucial aspects when it comes to improving efficiency. Supervisors need sound management techniques to keep the projects running smoothly, while workers have to master critical skills. For instance, you can teach workers a more efficient way to install steel beams, complete work quickly, and move to the next phase. Moreover, to reduce waste and redundant practices, consider opting for LEAN training. It promotes collaborative teamwork to improve performance by replacing wasteful steps with ones that add value.

Service & Maintain Equipment

In construction sites, equipment is nothing less than workhorses. Without specialized machinery, getting work done is impossible. Therefore, one way to make the construction process faster is by focusing on equipment management. Alongside lasting longer, you can enjoy lower overhead costs. You can either sign service agreements, providing maximum care across the machine’s lifetime. Otherwise, you can find ways to maximize the fleet’s fuel economy. These systems monitor your equipment, review data for better costs, and detect performance anomalies.

Improve Communication

Do you communicate with workers? Your role might be limited to supervision, but it is imperative to make yourself available to the crew. Eliminate all the communication barriers, letting workers come to you with any problems that arise. Likewise, tell them your expectations and completion goals to make sure everyone is on the same page. Make it a daily habit of meeting workers, getting feedback to detect any pitfalls, and seeing how much they have accomplished. You can also select one day in a week to review processes, answer questions, and brainstorm solutions.

Offer Performance Incentives

Motivated workers are nothing less than a treasure when it comes to construction work. Why not offer performance incentives to keep their morale up? Bring in some production management models that rewards site manager and crew members. It monitors performance and determines the workers who meet the project benchmarks. As far as rewards are concerned, it can be monetary and non-monetary. Thus, you can offer cash bonuses, gifts, praise, or a day off from work.

Final Word

Even though we are witnessing countless technological changes, construction sites work differently. They are solely dependent on human resources, meaning to pump up the processes; you have to ensure relevant measures. Alongside bringing technology, make sure to implement strategies that can motivate employees, keeping their productivity levels up.

Do you consider yourself an eco-friendly person? We should all be at least to some extent, meaning we should all take care of the environment any way we can. There are many processes that enable us to do so, and one of the things that are good for the environment are definitely LED lights. Are you familiar with all their benefits? They sure have a lot, yet here you can read about some of them. Hopefully, you will like it enough to consider using LED lights yourself.

 

This energy efficient lighting is actually cheaper in the long run

Compared to the standard lighting, LED lights are more expensive. Yet, when you think about how energy efficient they are – it is worth all the extra money. Yes, you do pay for it more at first, but it pays off eventually, so in a way, you pay less because the investment is smart.

Did you know that traditional lights use up only 20% of the electricity? Everything else is transformed into heat. LED light use up to 90%. You will be able to save up your money in the long run. And what do you get? This lighting works with the electroluminescence process. This means that the bulbs need less energy. You get a lot of light with a small amount of energy exploited. It is a good bargain, don’t you think?

 

Looking good and lasting longer are sure their advantages!

They are not just practical, but they also look good when we are talking about both bigger and smaller spaces. This is because they are small in size, and this is what also makes them look more elegant than something else. They are quite flexible because they can fit anywhere. And what is even better, with these lights you can direct your light the way you want it. If we are talking about standard lights, this is not possible because their light is emitted in every direction.

Moreover, the fact they last longer should really win you over. Actually, they are the most long-lasting, having an ability to last to 50,000 hours. Fluorescent bulbs only last for 15 000 hours. There is a huge difference between these two, and you see which one is better. Maybe you will be shocked to find out that before they stop working completely, they can actually get to the impressive 100 000 hours.

There is nothing toxic about them

Every last compound of these lights is ecologically friendly and you do not have to worry about them containing something that is toxic. Unlike in them, mercury and other materials that are hazardous are found in fluorescent lights. When it comes to LED lights, they have a lovely virtue of being 100% recyclable and you can actually minimize them up to a third of your carbon footprint.

They are quite resistant

These lights are resistant to that extent it is impressive. They can easily deal with any kind of outward threats, unlike other types of lighting. They are made that way, meaning their fixtures are shock resistant, to begin with. They are more firmly built, so any vibrations that occur are nothing to them. It is also worth mentioning that they do not break down so quickly.

LED lights are made in such a way that we should all wish to have them at our homes and workplaces. They have so many great characteristics and benefits, like being eco-friendly and more lasting than other types of lights. If you decide to use them yourself, you will have no regrets and you will be happy to know you are doing something nice for the environment.

Do you love decorating? Do you spend hours and hours reading your favorite Interior Designing Blog? If you enjoyed rearranging the furniture in your living room or choosing the color for your bedroom, this is enough for you to know that there is something about decorating that makes you happy. Being an interior designer doesn’t have to be a dream, you can channel your inner artist and start decorating your own home, and who knows, after a while you may be asked to help other people, too. What’s important is to start.

Finding inspiration

It’s amazing where people can find inspiration. For example, you may see somebody wearing bright colors in the street and wish to paint your walls exactly the same shade. Also, you may see a nice photo of somebody’s living room in a magazine and set off to buy exactly the same coffee table. Or, you can catch a glimpse of the most beautiful bathroom in a movie and spend days daydreaming about having a tub like the one you saw. If you’re thinking about decorating your home, you can buy magazines like Elle Decoration, House Beautiful, or Ideal Home, or you can browse some useful sites like Pinterest and find some ideas you can use.

Being serious about it

For those who are serious and ambitious, there are ways to take their love for decorating to a whole new level. Different courses of interior design will allow you to gain insight into elements and principles of interior design. Color palettes, mood-boards, window coverings, and types of furnishings hold more meaning than an enthusiast might realize in the beginning, and the right course will allow you to learn about these things and deepen your knowledge of decorating. The best thing about these courses is that you can choose whether you’d like to attend classes or simply finish an online course.

Know your limitations

Sometimes it’s important to know where and when to draw the line. It can happen that the most popular color of the season looks great in magazines, but not in your home. Pantone color of the year is usually the color everyone wants on their walls, but it can be a mistake. Sometimes you have to decide not to follow the trend: if you have a small living room, painting it Marsala will be a mistake, but this year’s Greenery may be a perfect choice. The best decorators know what works – sometimes you can choose to use a color or a material that is not ‘hot’ or ‘trending’ but that will make your home look great. You don’t have to blindly follow trends to get a beautiful home; sometimes improvising and working with ‘unusual’ items will give the best results.

Dare to risk

Knowing what you like and staying within your limits is good; it will always give nice results and you will not make a mistake. Have you ever stopped yourself from buying an item after your initial enthusiasm? Decorators trust their gut – if you see something you like, you can work with it. A carpet with strange patterns, a vase made of colored glass, lace curtains, a mosaic coffee table, or a cloud-shaped lamp – if it catches your eye and makes you happy, take a risk and buy it. Statement pieces like these will make your home unique and memorable.

Following your dreams and doing what makes you happy is important, and if decorating does that for you, then you should pursue that dream. If you have a talent for decorating space, you shouldn’t ignore it, but instead you should develop it. Your creative and innovative ideas can help you style your dream home.

Unless you’re a true decorating junkie, it’s quite likely that your guest bedroom won’t be a top priority when you decorate your home. It’s a room you visit the least so it might seem silly to put extra thought and effort in sprucing it up. However, this is a room where your guests will spend a part of their time and it should be a warm and cosy place where they can feel comfortable and welcome. It definitely shouldn’t be devoid of character and it only needs a few essentials to become a perfect retreat for any visitor.

Guest bedroom style

Pick a style or theme

To start, just follow the theme of your entire home and carry its style through into the guest bedroom as well. If you don’t, the room might seem neglected or even forgotten and your guests could feel as if they were simply ditched there. A room with style will show that you care both about the space and how your guests feel in it. There are many directions you can take, from a coastal theme with a neutral palette and beach artwork to a room that doesn’t have a literal theme but seems well put together. What really counts is the thought you invest that will be visible in the end result.

A comfortable bed

Set up a comfortable bed

The choice of a bed for your guest bedroom will depend on the size of your home. Bigger homes usually have ample rooms and guest bedrooms with large beds. But in smaller homes, guest bedrooms often double as a home office, ironing room or some other purpose. In that case, opting for a sofa bed might be better as the room can then be a second living space when it’s not occupied. If you do go for a bed, cosy it up with multiple layers starting from a top sheet, to the duvet and extra throws. Some of your guests might be hot sleepers and others might be freezing in the peak of summer, so let them decide what they can take and what can be removed.

A bedside table

Everyone needs a bedside table

Even if you have a smaller bedroom for guests, you can squeeze in a tiny bedside table. Everyone needs a space to put down a bottle of water, their mobile phone, a book or glasses. The last thing you’d want is to force your guests to shove their things under the bed or on the floor. If there’s enough room for a larger bedside table, use it to put some fresh and welcoming details such as fresh flowers and scented candles. It will show extra effort on your part and make your visitors feel at home.

Special extras

By adding a few extra details in the guest bedroom can help your visitors get more comfortable and relaxed. Think in terms of little things that can occupy their attention when they need to rest from their daily activities with you, such as a collection of magazines, books, healthy snacks, crackers, power bars, bottled water and some freshly baked muffins. Another nice touch is adding a TV so your guests could enjoy their favourite show before bedtime. You can easily incorporate it into the existing décor or tuck it away in a cabinet. Most people nowadays love their gadgets and mobiles, so offer your Wi-Fi password in a visible place. Have some fun and instead of writing it on a piece of paper, frame it in a vintage photo frame or put it up on the wall along with other famous inspirational quotes.

Bathroom supplies

Bathroom essentials

A lot of guests tend to forget at least one of their toiletries so setting up a basket or a tray with bathroom essentials will be most welcome. Include a toothbrush and toothpaste, body and face wash, a neutral lotion, hand crème, shampoo and conditioner. And, don’t forget an extra hair dryer. Most travellers need as much space as they can get in their suitcases so a hairdryer is usually left out.

With the help of these several guest bedroom essentials, you’ll be able to create a cosy, welcoming and comfortable space for anyone who visits your home.

You’ve probably noticed this topic popping up a lot recently, and for a good reason. With all the consequences of global warming that we’re already experiencing, reducing our negative influence on nature is more important than ever before. Of course, there are many ways to do it – some simple, some a bit more demanding, but the best place to start is at your own home. With that in mind, here are a few ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Insulate your home

For starters, you want to make sure your home is well insulated. Otherwise, you’d be letting out a lot of heat through the walls and windows during winter, and it would take a lot more energy to keep it cool during summer. In other words, your utility bills would be much higher than necessary due to using more energy to keep your home’s temperature at a comfortable level. There are many different insulating techniques, some of which you can even do on your own, like putting up thicker curtains during winter. Also, if you have an attic and/or basement, don’t forget to insulate them as well, as a lot of warm and cool air can escape through the roof and floor.

Install quality windows and doors

window

A lot of heat and cool air can escape through windows and doors, especially if they are older types, as some of them are not very energy efficient. This is why you should invest in better quality ones. For example, you can find good double glazed windows, and be sure that no air, hot or cool, would escape through them. The same goes for doors. Even though wood is the most typical material for doors due to its price, convenience, and cozy appearance, it’s a very poor insulator. There are many better options on the market, so do your research before you choose. Finally, you can always do some weatherstripping and tinting of your windows as well.  

Choose better lighting

home lighting

Most of the typical light bulbs that you see are incandescent, which means that they emit light because they are hot. This also means that while using them, you are inevitably heating up your room, which is probably the last thing you want to do in summer. It’s one of the reasons why, even though they are fairly cheap, they actually cost you a lot more in the long run. With that in mind, you should consider switching to either LED lights of fluorescent lights. They cost a bit more initially, but they last a lot longer, and they don’t emit any heat, so it’s a small investment that would pay off in time.

Replace old appliances

If you want to make your home more energy efficient, you should also consider replacing your old kitchen appliances. Look for those with the Energy Star logo on them, as they are made to use a lot less energy than the standard appliances. Also, just like the above-mentioned lighting, these appliances do cost a bit more, but again, they would pay off in the long run through your utility bills. You can find lists of essential energy efficient products for your home online. 

Think about solar panels

solar panels

If you want to go the extra mile, you can harness the sun and create your own electricity by installing solar panels. It can greatly reduce your bills, and it can come in handy in case of a power outage. You can install them on your rooftop, or you can install the whole system in a sunny area of your backyard. They aren’t that difficult to maintain, but they do require regular maintenance if you want them to last longer. All in all, they aren’t for everybody, but if you’re determined in your preservation of nature, solar panels are something to consider.

Install a smart meter

Installing smart meters is a great way to track your energy usage. They are easy to install and use, and they can give you a good idea of how much energy you’re using and how you can cut on that use. Also, since a smart meter would send the readings directly to your energy supplier, there would be no need for any manual meter readings. Also, your supplier would know exactly how much you need to pay instead of sending you estimated bills. Finally, it would also be easier for you to change your energy supplier for whatever reason. All in all, it would allow you much more control over your energy usage.

If you care about the environment, you should do whatever you can to preserve it. One thing you definitely can do is make your home more sustainable. There are many ways to do so, both affordable and costly (but worth every penny). Therefore, think about the listed suggestions, opt for those that suit you the most, and you’re bound to feel much better about the difference that you’re making.

Guest post by Will Sandford.