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home improvement

It is only when you follow a proper and step-by-step guide you will be able to choose the right outdoor furniture as well as a cover for it. You will necessarily need a cover because the outdoor furniture will lie there in the open, exposed to the natural elements and all other things that you need to protect it from.

Without a cover, this might seem a difficult task without the covers on the furniture items. However, you will need to make sure that the cover that you eventually end up buying actually ‘protects’ your furniture. It is, for this reason, you will need to compare different products and prices as well as read the reviews.

This requires a lot of time, effort and energy. In order to save some of it, this guide will help you a lot in making the right choice by sorting through an assortment of a product efficiently, the first time around.

  • Review the hierarchy of product: This will enable you to know what to expect. It will be easier for you to move across the different categories which will save you a lot of time.
  • Assess the potential threats: Make a list of all the possible elements that your outdoor furniture will be exposed to. When you sift through the outdoor furniture covers in the store, find out whether or not it can protect it from those specific elements.

These elements may include rain, shine, wind, UC rays, dust, dirt, ice, bird droppings, pollen, tree sap, falling limbs, wild animals, insects, to name a Phew!

Other vital factors to consider

The measurement of your furniture is the most critical factor to consider when you choose a cover for it. An accurate measurement will ensure a snug fit, thereby eliminating the chances of rainwater and microbes getting free entry. Remember, there is seldom a one-size-fits-all outdoor furniture cover.

Next, you should look for the waterproof feature of the cover. This is another crucial factor because your items will be there in the open subject to rainwater, snow and ice that may cause premature rotting or rusting, depending on the material used to build the furniture. A waterproof cover will keep your furniture dry and prevent fungi growth.

Check for the breathable design of the cover! This means that the cover should have air vents in it. The reasons for such vents are:

  • To allow air circulate inside the cover and
  • To prevent the growth of mold.

Even though companies advertise breathable design and materials, the problem of water seeping through it may still be there compromising the weather-proof abilities of it.

Look for a soft cloth backing in the cover so that it does not scratch the paint and finish of your furniture when you put on or remove it.

Finding Out Which Is Better Between Readymade And Custom Covers

When it comes to picking between custom covers and readymade covers for your furnishings, you might be slanted towards the hand crafted ones, much the same as the greater part of the individuals. There are a few valid justifications for it.

  • One of the most huge motivations to pick custom furniture overs as opposed to the readymade ones is that the custom covers will be specially made with the goal that it fits on any couch or rockers and of any brand on the planet.
  • Comfort and simplicity being used are other significant components that individuals go for hand crafted covers than the readymade ones.
  • Another huge explanation is the assortment that you get in uniquely crafted covers appear to be perpetual in contrast with the readymade covers.

Simply send some photographs to the producers, pick the texture and structure and get your free statement, and you are finished.

You should pick a texture that will supplement the space totally just as your way of life. When you select the texture, add the highlights to alter it with the goal that it mirrors your style and character. It is up to you whether you will pick a free fit or cozy fit spread.

Comparing the two

To discover the best choice for you between custom covers and readymade covers, you should think about the two dependent on various parameters that are straightforwardly and in a roundabout way connected with it.

You should consider and look at the trademark characteristics of the two kinds, including:

  • The texture
  • The plan
  • The highlights and obviously
  • The cost.

With respect to the circuitous components, you should consider:

  • Your kids
  • Pets, assuming any
  • The traffic
  • Usage and the sky is the limit from there.

Regardless of whether you ‘eat and rest’ on your couch, you should purchase a spread for it that will keep going for long and shield it from the stains, residue and earth with the goal that you receive the most elevated an incentive as an end-result of your cash contributed, both on the covers just as the costly furniture itself.

According to the examination, you won’t have to purchase another couch spread in the following five to ten years, similar to that 91 % of purchasers who select uniquely designed covers. In any case, when you have to pick between the two sorts, custom or pre-made, here are a couple of things that you should remember to limit on your decision most viably.

The shape: Consider the structure more than the kind of texture. In the event that the piece is one of its sort, picking an instant spread will be unnatural and massive.

Your desperation: Consider the conveyance time since custom covers will consistently take a more drawn out time. On the off chance that you can pause, put it all on the line, in any case, request for a pre-made one.

Finally, similar to all decisions, it will all rely upon your financial limit. On the off chance that you can bear the cost of it, it is acceptable to go overboard a bit.

Check the material

Lastly, check the material of the cover. It should maintain its structural integrity and not wear off quickly. It must not fade or warp due to sun and temperature, retain heat and not crack.

The flooring of your home is central to its overall aesthetic. The main issue with your flooring is that it is the foundation of your space. And if this foundation looks old and beaten down, then your space also looks the same. Everyone dreams of having a fantasy-like home where everything looks like it has been put onto the cover of a catalog. But with real houses come actual life issues, such as damage caused by pets and children. This is a simple yet effective way to cause serious wear and tear to the flooring of your home. And this can be a huge issue, especially if you are thinking of reselling. 

There are many reasons why people recommend upgrading your floor every now and then. If you are entertaining guests or have potential buyers coming in, you want to look your best. And if your home does not showcase that because of your old flooring, then your picture-perfect fantasy is gone. Having a floor in mint condition that matches the theme and design of your house is essential. It gives structure and purpose to each room in the house and makes everything look new. So, in order to have an upgrade, you need to start fresh. You will have to completely change your floors, courtesy of Flooring Removal in Sydney, and begin the process. It is an understatement that your flooring is vital to your home. Here are a few reasons why: 

flooring

  • A Lasting First Impression 

It is a false belief that first impressions don’t last. The impact of a first impression can go a long way, and the same can be said for your flooring. Your floor is a way of greeting friends and family when they visit. It is a way of showing how well kept your house is. It is also a good way to grab the attention of potential buyers. Whatever the case may be, the flooring in your house matters and should be taken care of. 

  • The Design of Your Home is Affected 

When people walk into your house, your floor lets them know of its condition. This matters a lot as a lot can be found from the flooring. People will assess your space because flooring takes up a lot of real estates. They will note tiny details underfoot, such as any sounds or cracks. They will see if the design and size of the room match your floor and if the aesthetic is good enough. So whether you want your house to look warm, snug, cool, or huge depends on the kind of flooring you have.

  • Displaying the Function of a Room

Your flooring will represent the functionality of the room it is in. Wooden flooring, for example, matches the feel of a living room. On the other hand, bathrooms need a set color of tiles to look good. The options you pick will instantly let people know what kind of room they are in and what it is meant for. The wear and tear of the flooring also say a lot about your home. So it is wise to make the right decision. 

  • Showcasing Your Artistic Taste 

Flooring is all about creating and experience. The ambiance that it portrays matches your personal taste and style. As there are hundreds of different options to choose from, everyone can find something. For people with particular tastes, there is a range to represent what appeases to them. With unique patterns and interesting designs, you can make your home look distinct and new. 

  • Your House’s Value is Increased 

One of the best aspects of having good flooring is the impact it has on value. The overall price of your home increases automatically if you have invested in a high-quality floor plan. Even if you are not selling your property, it is always good to have this on your side. New floors should be a part of all home renovations as they drive up the value instantly.   
living room

Why Upgrading Your Flooring is a Good Idea 

Upgrading your flooring is always a good idea during renovations. While it is not an easy or affordable decision, it is essential to the look and value of your home. You will have to consider the practical function of the flooring you choose, along with its maintenance. If you have children or pets, you might be worried about immediate damage or you may even fret about the budget. All of these things will not matter when you want the interior of the house to look beautiful. So here are five reasons why you should upgrade your flooring: 

  • Find Something Easy to Maintain 

The best part about going for an upgrade is that flooring is easy to maintain. Not only are new floors easier to clean, such as hardwood, but they do not wear down either. These floors can be swept and vacuumed every other day to keep up their fresh look. They also do not accumulate dirt or debris and the best part is that even if you do not clean for a while, they will not look dirty, unlike carpets. So with stain resistance and a new style, this is a good reason for an upgrade. 

  • Take Advantage of Durability

Upgraded floors last longer and are durable. This means that even as the years go by, they will continue to look beautiful and attractive. Even if you choose to refurbish them, it will only take a few extra costs. Once you have floors that are well kept and maintained, there is no issue with refinishes or renovations. They will look great for a long time and will continue to prove that the investment was worth it. 

  • Choose from Different Varieties of Color

When you choose a new flooring plan, you get to pick the color. This is a good time to dig into your artistic side and try something new. You can opt for darker shades that give a bold statement or go with light hues for a subtle look. The style and the aesthetic will depend entirely on the color you choose and it will have a big effect. So when you go for an upgrade, you can pick something vibrant and fun which will stay for many years. 

  • Boost the Value of Your Home With a New Plan 

The concept of value in today’s market is not “bigger is better”. Instead there is more focus on planning and strategy which applies to the floor and its upgrades. So it does not matter how much living space you have as long as it is utilized properly. What this means is that if you go with an open floor plan and add flexibility, buyers will appreciate it. As it tops the list of the most desired home features, people are willing to pay more. This is especially good if you are looking to sell because you can up the price significantly.

  • Opt for Your Aesthetic and its Appeal 

Flooring upgrades range from full removals to simple refinishes. No matter what you choose, you can find your own aesthetic in it. From mahogany to cherry, and even simpler options, you can find your own appeal in the plan. The transformation that follows reflects the people how you view your home and what it means to you. Not only is this an elegant change, but it is subtle in its impact. 

floor plan

Conclusion

In conclusion, upgrading your flooring plan is a good idea. Not only does it significantly improve your house’s value, but it also adds to the overall look. Upgrading the floors can range from smaller changes to larger ones, like refurbishing and coloring. An upgrade should add more and not take away from what already exists. So whatever you opt for, make sure it fits your preference and the design of your home.

Kitchen cabinetry remodel can be done any time of the year as fits your schedule. Here’s the truth: the best time for renovation in Bob’s house may not be the best time in Jenny’s tiny home. Meanwhile, Steve lives in a van and uses a hamper as a cabinet. Everybody is different. The best time to remodel your cabinets will have some variance.

This writing will focus on a few general things you want to take into account as you determine when is best to remodel. For example, if you remodel “in season”, you’ve got a better chance of getting the right contracting help and having the job go faster. If you remodel “out of season”, you might get better deals on cabinets, but worse deals on contractors.

When it comes to remodel, for a lot of good reasons, spring tends to initiate projects. There is a lot of walking in and out during renovation. Many different tools must be used, and when the weather is not too hot or cold, it’s ideal to get such work done. When it’s cold contractors track in the snow. When it’s hot, everybody sweats.

Spring And Summer Sweet Spots


For most people, the sweet spot will either be in spring, or after summer. However, because spring also initiates “real estate” season, many want to get the work done before they list.

So with remodeling specifically, your sweet spot may be late August to early October, depending on the seasons where you live and the availability of materials. Summer is usually a fine remodeling time, but it depends on your region. It can get hot. Spring and summer are most popular; hardly anybody remodels in winter.

Co-Opting The Internet

You might want to consider purchasing cabinetry options from the internet. There are always going to be options online which are available when those in brick-and-mortar stores dry up. Also, a physical store will have a selection vastly limited over what’s available through an online outlet. Just to help give you an idea, check out these kitchen cabinets for sale.

Online options also feature the latest innovations in cabinetry. Take Ready To Assemble (RTA) cabinets, for instance. These are ordered online to specification, sent to your location, and then you put them together on your time. So when is the most convenient time for you? It’s going to differ per person. With options like RTA, you just determine what is most sensible.

Property Value Considerations


Then there’s the consideration of property. Where is your property in its lifecycle? Is it a new property, are you on the cusp of selling, did you purchase an as-is home? Depending on the answers to these questions, the time to remodel kitchen cabinets will vary.

If you’re planning to sell, get the remodel finished at least six months in advance. If you just bought an as-is property, you might want to renovate as soon as you get it. If you have a new property, the right time to remodel the kitchen and add new cabinets could be a few years away.

Budgeting is also something that will help you determine the proper time for remodeling. Remember, more money doesn’t always equate to a better investment. If you pour a million dollars into a property in a neighborhood where nobody’s buying, even if it’s worth more, you might never sell; so the investment is wasted unless you want opulence for your own use.

Meanwhile, if you just clean things, repair things, add a lick of paint, and go the cheap route, you could very well create a more valuable property with only minimal investment. You want to make your renovations match your budget, and budget carefully. Consultation can help you spend not too little and not too much—each property has a sweet spot.

Be Flexible

Going the DIY route will generally yield the best results in terms of cost savings, but this isn’t always the case. With any renovation, things tend to go over time and budget; understand that and give yourself a monetary cushion. Start the job when you’ve got a few months where you could have an upended kitchen and it does not disrupt the flow of daily life.

At the end of the day, your best remodeling time will depend on you, and your specific situation. Generally, it’s going to start in spring or autumn owing to the weather and economy, but be advised: a one month job can become three pretty quick, even if you know what you’re doing. So give yourself wiggle room.

Electrical systems are complex and potentially dangerous, which is reason enough to let an experienced and knowledgeable electrician do the work instead of you. Although homeowners are never advised to try to DIY repairs, Australians know that amateur repairs are even illegal. The law here is much tougher than in other countries, and under the Electrical Safety Act of 2002, unlicensed electrical work includes”the manufacturing, constructing, installing, testing, maintaining, repairing, altering, removing, or replacing of electrical equipment.” Apart from dizzying fines, rest assured that your home insurance provider won’t have much sympathy for your heroic DIY buzz work. Let’s look into a few situations when an electrician’s expertise can save the day.

Early malfunction signs

To an amateur, diagnosing an electrical problem might appear complicated and abstract. Still, there are several early warning signs that can tell you something’s wrong. For example, the smell of burning plastic at a power outlet, appliance or a switchboard. The second level of emergency is discoloration of any outlet cable or appliance. Situations like these might be so urgent that you can’t wait for the electrician to arrive. As soon as you notice signs like these, turn off the electricity in your home by flipping down the three main circuit breakers on your switchboard. This is something every member of the household should know how to do. Ideally, you should know which breaker shuts down what, but in an emergency, there’s no time for taking chances.

Hazards of DIY repairs

electrician
According to Fire & Rescue NSW report, in 2014 there were 150 home fires and five deaths, with electrical malfunctions being the top cause, after unattended cooking. In the short period between 2002 and 2004, about 1,500 people in Australia were hospitalized for electrical injuries, with 162 electrical-related deaths between 2001 and 2004. Although these figures may seem low when compared to other household dangers, they are not to be ignored. Apart from immediate physical injury, any kind of amateur repair attempt can result in serious property damage. AT the very least, an inexpert intervention can damage the appliance or the electrical fixture you are trying to repair. However, there is always a risk of fire, with damages that definitely outweigh the expenses of a professional electrician you should have called in the first place.

Skills that keep electricians in business

Aside from understanding electric currents, voltage, power ratings, etc., a professional electrician understands the mechanical aspects of the components they need to install. Pinpointing the problem in the shortest time frame largely depends on the electrician’s understanding of how the system operates. In many situations, complex components need to be taken apart in order to access the problematic area. Finally, an electrician should understand and apply various electrical codes and laws by which they’re regulated. Some projects you had in mind will require permission from city planning offices. When a home inspector comes by, they need to make sure that everything your licenced Sydney electrician has done meets all the code requirements and regulations of the trade.

Knowledge you can’t buy

home repair
Experienced electricians can perform a wide range of electrical jobs. Apart from being familiar with all sorts of electrical components and their function, they possess a vast knowledge of electrical currents, their properties and side effects, such as electromagnetic and thermal. By knowing how electrical circuits interact with one another, and how they need to be grounded properly, an electrician can ensure that your whole system functions seamlessly. Anyone can purchase a new part or cable, and even learn how to replace a broken one, but only licenced electricians can see “the big picture” and can guarantee the safety of their work.

After all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, unless you are a commercial licensed electrician yourself, better leave everything to professionals. Apart from changing the light bulb and manipulating circuit breakers in an emergency, anything above isn’t worth risking injury, property damage and voided insurance policy. Your best course of action would be to learn how to recognize a problem early on and contact an emergency electrician who operates in your neighbourhood.

The year 2019 is perfect for renovations that will boost the aesthetic appeal of your home or rental property. You can incorporate the latest design trends and thus effectively raise the value of your property as well. In order to help you achieve this in no time, we have singled out our top tips and tricks for getting the best resale value out of your remodelling project.

Invest in a new exterior

First things first, rejuvenating your exterior is one of the best ways to instantly beautify your home at a great resale price. Begin by enhancing the facade with tough composite decking which is available in a variety of different styles and finishes allowing you to produce a creative look. Don’t forget, you should also construct a spacious porch which you can decorate with greenery and illuminate with smart ambient lighting. This will provide you with a valuable home expansion and a relaxed outdoor seating area. Keep in mind, homeowners who build luxurious exteriors will be able to create an amazing resale value out of this investment and attract potential buyers more easily.

Home exterior

A refurbished kitchen with a personality

A small to mid-range kitchen remodel is a sure-fire way of raising your return on investment rates. However, buying brand new cabinets and countertops can set you back a lot. Instead, feel free to refurbish your entire kitchen with simple DIY tricks that will add more personality to it. Start by sanding down your cupboards and getting rid of chipped paint and broken handles. Afterwards, you can apply a base layer of linseed oil to preserve the natural glow of the wood and then build in robust aluminium knobs. When it comes to choosing a perfect colour scheme, be sure to try out a mixture of mint green for the wood and brass or bronze for the handles in order to establish a timeless look. Finally, make sure to go for light marble countertops to finish the combination off with an elegant feature.

Kitchen and dining room

Replace your windows

Another important step of your 2019 remodelling project would be to replace your regular windows with energy-efficient ones that can provide you with a return on investment factor of up to 78%. The most popular ones on the market today are made from durable PVC with built-in characteristics such as low-E glass and argon gas. These are responsible for reflecting the harmful UV rays and insulating the house. What’s even better, such great insulation offers you the possibility to be less dependent on conventional heating systems and your monthly energy bills will be lower. If you like the idea, be sure to complement the look with high-end plantation shutters which can be custom-made to fit any type of window design and enhance the quality of your home’s indoor and outdoor decor.

Modern living room

Manufactured stone veneer additions

Manufactured stone veneer has an estimated ROI factor of an astonishing 97% which makes it the most lucrative renovation idea yet. The reason for this is that this material is highly durable, adds instant curb appeal and represents an exceptional cost-effective alternative to natural stone. Apart from being used for the facade, it also displays considerable versatility indoors and works well for designing stylish statement walls, archways, fire pits or even stairwells. Lastly, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, masonry veneer can fortify the exterior retaining barriers by strengthening them against erosion.

Front door replacement

Last but not least, a great and affordable way to improve the security in your home and watch it gain more value is to switch out your current front door with a steel one. This metal is highly resistant against warping, bending or cracking due to moisture or excessive heat. Such doors do not only provide homeowners with extended safety, but are great for the environment as well since steel is one of the most recycled metals on the planet. You can also design it to fit your preferences with custom features such as paint, stained glass and textured-patterns.

Front door

As you can see, enhancing the value of your home by utilizing up-to-date design trends with high ROI rates can be a real walk in the park. Simply make sure to explore all your options and remember to always go for creative decor choices. Good luck on your remodelling project!

Our home should be a place where we feel fully relaxed and at peace. Unfortunately, not many of us have managed to achieve this and the main reason for this is the way our home is designed and organized. It’s common knowledge that even the tiniest details like the predominant colour of the interior design and different textures can influence our mood and emotions. With this in mind, we’ve prepared a list of several awesome ideas on how to turn your home into a true Zen paradise. Let’s take a look!

Declutter the space

If you don’t know where to start, decluttering your entire home may be the right way to go. This is crucial since no matter how nicely you decorate your apartment, if it’s messy and overcrowded, all your efforts will be in vain. So, instead of delaying this obligation any further, start by making a list of all the things that you haven’t used in the last couple of years and get rid of them. Once you’ve singled out only the items that you really need, try to come up with as many smart storage solutions as possible. For instance, you can install additional shelving where you can display your book collection, home accessories and family photos without occupying any floor space. Furthermore, there are so many different cool options that are worth exploring and our favourite would definitely be a coffee table with hidden storage space. Not only will this piece of furniture further contribute to the look of your interior design, but it will be extremely practical as well.

Choose an earthy colour palette

It’s common knowledge that colours have a strong impact on our mood and feelings. Therefore, if you are striving to create a peaceful atmosphere that will soothe your senses and help you get in touch with your inner self, earthy tones are definitely what you need. You can choose among numerous soft shades, such as beige, pink beige, white, light grey, etc. Feel free to experiment with different combinations until you achieve perfect harmony. Finally, in case you opt for a monochromatic design, you can always go a step further and introduce an accent colour as well. This may be done either by painting an accent wall in that shade or by incorporating some vivid accessories that will serve as an amazing focal point.

Keep the air clean and fresh

greenery
Apart from ensuring that your home is visually amazing and that it looks super-chic and inviting, you must turn it into a healthy place to live in. In other words, you should do your best to increase the quality of indoor air and get rid of all the allergens that can cause various health issues. Here are several great ways to achieve this in no time. Furthermore, the same way colours influence our brain, different fragrances can also have a significant impact. So, once you’ve managed to keep the air clean, make your home smell great as well. You can either bring in fresh flowers or try out scented candles. All you need to do is discover which fragrance has a calming effect and lets you feel peaceful.

Let the light in

There is nothing worse than spending time in a poorly-lit house. Not only will this make us feel constantly drowsy, but it can provoke negative emotions and even increase the likelihood of depression. Therefore, if you really want to turn your home into a real Zen paradise, it’s high time you opened the curtains and let the sunshine in. You can even hire professionals to install huge glass panels in your living room. Even though this may seem like a large investment, considering the fact that it will reduce the amount of electricity you use and lower your energy bills, it is definitely worth it. On top of that, you’ll get a chance to enjoy a wonderful view while drinking your morning coffee.

Don’t let electronic devices disturb you

Nowadays, a life without Internet, TV and computers is hard to imagine since we have become too dependent on technology due to all the advantages it has to offer. However, we shouldn’t forget that these state-of-the-art gadgets have many downsides. While it’s great that you can reach your friends and colleagues whenever you need them, it’s not really that pleasant to have your phone constantly ringing when you want to have a few hours just for yourself. Therefore, it’s essential to remove all these electronic disturbances from your bathroom, bedroom and any other relaxation zones. This way, you’ll be able to fully focus on your feelings and preserve your inner peace. Lastly, feel free to discover fun ways to entertain yourself without using any electronic devices.

Don’t forget greenery

plants
Last but not least, nature has always had a healing effect on our mind and soul. It has been shown that even the photos of natural beauties have a similar effect, so there is no reason not to bring the outdoors in as soon as possible. You can start by decorating your living room with potted flowers or even building an indoor vertical garden that will sweep all your friends off their feet. Finally, opting for beautiful floral patterns can be a great way to further highlight the green quality of your design and strike that perfect balance of natural and artificial elements.

As you can see, there are so many ways how you can turn your average-looking home into a true oasis of peace and serenity. You just need to think outside the box, explore as many different options as possible, choose the right colour palette and bring the nature in. Finally, keep in mind that we are all different, so don’t be afraid to show off your individuality and come up with some innovative solutions.

 

Green home improvements have become one of the most popular remodelling projects on the design scene. Whether it comes to renovating the interior, installing new features or even decorating your space, it seems that green reigns supreme. There are actually more than a few excellent reasons why eco-friendly and sustainable improvements are the most sought-after on the market.

A positive impact on the environment

Let’s start from the most obvious benefit of green home improvements – preserving the environment. Making your home greener can actually contribute to the environment preservation in a variety of ways. You can help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by going green and installing a renewable energy system in your home. For instance, an Energy Star home produces 2000 kg of greenhouse gases less than a regular home. You can also relieve pressure on finite resources by reducing your water consumption and using recycled or salvaged materials for your home improvements. Consequently, implementing sustainably sourced natural materials and reused materials also contributes to reducing waste. All of these benefits can make a valuable contribution to the environment preservation, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

modular home

Numerous opportunities for increased savings

A great number of homeowners opt for green improvements because they can help them increase their savings in the long run. For instance, energy efficiency is one of the most important aspects of a green home that can help you reduce your energy bill. You can boost your home’s energy efficiency by installing a solar system, introducing Energy Star-certified appliances, installing energy efficient windows or switching to energy-saving lighting, such as LEDs. You can reduce your electricity bill substantially or even completely if you break off from the regular electrical grid.
Furthermore, you can also save money on your water bill by installing water-saving features. From low-flow toilets and faucets to water-saving outdoor irrigation systems, there are plenty of ways to conserve water in your home.
Finally, green homes are also more durable due to the use of high-quality materials, appliances and other features. This reduced the need for frequent repairs or replacements, which provides you with another opportunity to increase your savings.

LED

A higher return on investment

Many would argue that green improvements are more expensive than the regular ones. Although this is generally true, they are actually an investment worth making and they will pay for themselves. Green improvements offer a high return on investment, enabling homeowners to recoup their initial costs. In addition, there are numerous grants and incentives for homeowners who decide to go green, especially on a larger scale. For instance, when it comes to solar panel finance, you can find a program that will provide you with 100 percent financing without any down payments. Furthermore, some states and utility companies may even pay you or provide you with some discounts in terms of your bills for the excess energy you generate and return to the grid. Thus, you can easily find a financing option that will help you pay for your green home.

business meeting

A healthier and more comfortable home

Improving your home through green remodelling projects will also prove you with a healthier and more comfortable space. Sustainable materials and green solutions aren’t treated with toxic chemicals, which means that they can’t pollute your indoor air through the process of off-gassing. For instance, you can use VOC-free paint and products to give your interior a fresh, healthy look. Furthermore, eco-friendly homes feature a lot of greenery, including potted plants, green walls and roofs, vertical gardens and outdoor green surfaces. Since plants act as natural air purifiers, they can help you increase your indoor air quality.
Green homes are also thermally more comfortable because of their high-quality insulation. Homeowners pay special attention to the insulation of their homes to prevent air leakage and energy wastage. This provides them with air-tighter homes and a more stable indoor temperature, which create a cosier, more comfortable home environment.

living room

Increased home value

Owing to a range of benefits that green home improvements offer, they are typically the most profitable ones on the market. Green homes are among the most popular types of property in real estate and a great number of buyers would rather pay more for them. Thus, going green will not only provide you with the aforementioned benefits, but it will also increase the value of your home on the market. If you ever decide to sell your home, you’ll be able to recoup your initial investment.

house with solar panels

Thus, when remodelling your home, you should go with some of the most profitable eco-friendly improvements. For instance, replacing your old windows with new, energy efficient ones will provide you with up to 70 per cent ROI. Proper insulation is another profitable green improvement that you should consider. Installing a smart thermostat or an eco-friendly water heater will also attract prospective buyers. Finally, if you decide to go solar, you may increase the value of your home by even $18,000.

Green improvements will provide you with numerous benefits, including a healthier and more comfortable home, increased property value and numerous savings opportunities. On top of all that, they will also help you make a valuable contribution to the environment preservation.

Despite your personal style and standards, these living room decorations are must-haves for anyone. Having these in your living room will make it that much more appealing, trendy, and presentable.  These items are universal and can be combined with any decor and any style. Surely, this touch of style will impress your friends, family, neighbours, and even your plumber. If you’re not interested in decor that much, then the “magic simply hasn’t happened to you yet”. Read on to find out the 10 living room decorations everybody needs.  

1. Throw pillows

throw pillows, grey sofa, yellow pillow, black pillow

Pillows on couches are one of the all-time styles that never go out of trend. They present the couch as cozier and welcoming and create a sort of contrast against the couch with their colour and edge. The pillows also provide a great back/headrest when you’re on the couch. Hence relaxing and refreshing your body. Beside pillows, there are creative ways to use linen to decorate your living room. 

2. Floor lamp

living room, armchairs, floor lamp, modern style

Floor lamp creates such a great, relaxing, and vibrant environment. Since the light is a point source from the side, it creates a beautiful complexion of lights, shadows, and colour shades around the room as opposed to ceiling lights that flood light from the top of the room. Floor lamps have an edge over table lamps as the wiring can be hidden away easily.

3. Carpet

comfortable sofa, carpet, relaxing room

From red carpets at Oscar awards to carpeted floors in an apartment, carpets make the flooring more appealing. Therefore it should be an essential part of your living room. Whether you want a small carpet near a couch or fully carpeted floor is up to you. They are great for winter especially because they provide you with a warm and cozy floor to walk on. With a carpet, you also have the comfort of preserving your flooring for a much longer time.

4. Coffee table

cozy living room, yellow color, contemporary, relaxing

With a coffee table, well you can keep your coffee mug on it off course. But, it also attracts the attention of the people on and around the couch towards it by being a centrepiece for that part of the room. You can keep magazines, newspapers, small photo albums, or even a plant on it. Make sure the colour, material, and design all match with the rest of the room, especially the couch.

5. Tall stools

tall stool, flowers, table, window, street view
There are times when we just want to sit and have a nice chat or have a glass of wine, but the couch is just too comfy. Tall stools They are a great alternative to sitting on a sofa but definitely can’t replace a sofa in everyday life. So, you’re going to need both a stool and a couch.

6. Wall art/photos

wall art. photos, giraphees

First of all, take a look at the wall you’re going to fill to decide what size of art you should pick. There are many ways to determine this and here are some different ideas. You can buy a million-dollar art or paint one yourself or have a photo of a candid moment. Anyway, this is a great way to add to the living room environment as well as display your skills, taste, a fond memory, or even your status. A good rule of thumb is to choose wall art that takes up the width of the wall, minus 6-12 inches on each side, so it looks like it’s centred, like at the image above.

7. Map poster

world map, wall art, wall

This is quite similar to a photo or art on a wall. Except, this one gives you travel vibes. World map posters especially turn your living room artsy. The maps could also be historical or mythical, but they’ll surely make your living room wall more appealing.

8. Stacked curtains

stacked curtain, yellow room, bright, cozy room, white furniture

Curtains are quite old-fashioned but they easily fit any style of living room, whether modern or classic. Stacked curtains are even better as they can be used for any season and weather. Here are some ideas on how you can use curtains or even drapes to improve your living room. If you want to create a relaxed look, you should go with curtains to the bottom of the window trim or the sill. If you want to give your home a luxury, high-style look, lush drapes that touch the floor are the best choice.

9. Indoor plants

indoor plants, cactus

It doesn’t have to be some really green and long plant that yields fruits. Choose a plant, according to your room’s decor.  Plants make the room come alive just as do pets. There are so many options out there that can suit everyone’s needs. *Keep in mind any allergies you might have to plants.*

10. Wall shelf

wall shelves, flowers, awards

And the final piece of decoration you’ll need to complete your living room is a wall shelf or wall shelves. It’s a simple installation but you can get help from your neighbour or a professional. You can showcase all your possessions such as artworks, photos, maps, plants, and prizes.

And now, here are a few last words.

A Quick Sum Up

All of these items are suggestions based on my research and gatherings, of course. So, it’s understandable if you’re not convinced you need every one of these. Also, these items are not the only items you need in your living room as these are mainly for decorative purposes. Assuming you already got your bare essentials such as couch, TV, heater/fan and such, these living room decoration ideas will beautify your living room elegantly.

Go on –  you can do it!

For me, every meal tastes better al fresco. If you agree and love preparing and eating food outside, it’s time for you to expand your living space and invest in an outdoor kitchen. It will allow you and your family and friends to spend time outside while making tasty lunches or hosting fun dinner parties. In case you don’t know where to start with your design, here are some outdoor kitchen design tips for every outdoorsy chef.

Carefully plan the location

One of the first rules of building: location, location, location! Probably the most common mistake people make when designing their outdoor kitchen is not looking at the wind pattern in their yard. You don’t want all the smoke and smells to get sucked into your home every time you’re using your outdoor kitchen, so place the grill and smoker accordingly. Also, people often place their outdoor kitchen too far from the inside kitchen, which makes carrying heavy platters and drinks quite inconvenient. Additionally, if you love the view from the inside of the house, don’t block it with the outdoor kitchen. Instead, place it to the side or pick an angle that will not ruin your view.

Choose the right materials

Your outdoor kitchen needs to be a bit sturdier than your indoor kitchen in order to resist the elements, such as winds, rain, snow and extreme heat. So, during the process of designing your outdoor space, opt for materials that are weather-resistant and easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel is always a good option for countertops because it’s tough and durable, easy to clean and looks very sleek. If you want something more rustic and warmer, you can opt for tiled countertops. Tiles come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and they require minimal maintenance. Also, pay attention to your floors. Tile and marble floors can get very slippery when wet or greased, so you might want to skip them. Concrete, brick and natural stone, on the other hand, are much safer and they will give your space a stylish look.

Opt for high-quality appliances

No matter how well you’re planning to equip your outdoor kitchen (some only opt for a grill, a sink and a small fridge, while others include beer taps, smokers and even warming drawers), you have to make sure your appliances can take both rain and sun. Stainless steel works great, requires little maintenance and is quite popular nowadays. Additionally, hire a licensed electrician to install your appliances and make sure everything is up to code.

Provide storage

Like every kitchen, your outdoor kitchen also needs storage for cooking tools, gadgets, food, and drink. Also, the outdoor storage should be waterproof and well insulated to endure temperature changes. With some storage, you’ll always have things on hand and your countertops will be clutter-free.

Build shelter from the elements

If you don’t want the weather to stop you from enjoying your outdoor kitchen, you should build a shelter that will keep the elements away from your grill. A tall roof, pergola or even some simple umbrellas will allow you to show off your culinary skills ever in the rain or scorching sun. You can also equip your outdoor kitchen with a fan for the summer and a heat lamp or a fire pit for the winter. Additionally, if you live in an area with pesky mosquitoes and a lot of flies, you can equip your kitchen with repellents and bug zappers that will keep them away from your food.

Install good lighting

Good lighting will allow you to prepare food when natural light is scarce and it will provide your outdoor space with a soft ambience that’s perfect for relaxing. You will need overhead lighting for food prep (hang the light from the roof or install a pole yard light) and add some string lights or tiki torches for ambient lighting.

Add comfort

An outdoor kitchen isn’t just a place where you cook food. It also serves to enjoy those delicious meals you make and for entertainment. So, make sure you put out some chairs, tables and decoration that will make your outdoor kitchen the star of your home. Choose durable pieces and weather-resistant fabrics so you can enjoy them all year round.

Once your outdoor kitchen is finished, get ready to break out your spatula, tongs and fork and prepare the perfect BBQ for all your family and friends.

This article is contribution by Keith Gregory. Keith is an amateur design and decorating aficionado — he blogs about interior design, home improvement, and real estate matters at DeveloperCube.com

We all love Scandinavian design for its simplicity – clean, neat lines, no clutter. If you scroll through images of Scandinavian décor, you’ll come away with a sense of calm. Then reality sets in and you remember that you don’t live in a clutter-free, Nordic den with perfect lighting. Instead of firing your friends and family and hiring a design set manager for your living room, learn the art of functional decorating. Your most commonly used belongings can become your décor and you’ll find it easier to keep clutter from taking over!

Living Room

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage source: home-designing.com

You can always use Scandinavian furniture brands as a true inspiration when it comes to living room options to fit your Nordic styling. For example, by choosing a sectional instead of recliners and chairs, you can get the most out of the space in your living room. You’ll get plenty of seating without the extra visual clutter.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage source: decoholic.org

Most ottomans that pair with sectionals have additional storage hidden inside. This creates the perfect storage for the belongings, such as blankets and toys that you want nearby but without the clutter. For example, a modern stressless oval ottoman that converts from a storage unit and footrest to a coffee table can prove to be a great investment, since it can alternate between providing an extra storage, extra seating, and serving as a coffee table.

Home Office

The home office doesn’t need to be cluttered with additional decorative pieces. Keep the things you use most often in plain sight and easy-to-reach. If you spend a lot of time in your home office, an ergonomically designed office chair is essential.

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Image source: decoist.com

Don’t have an extra room for an office? Designate space in your living room to become the central processing zone in your home. Sound a little dry? It doesn’t have to be. Choose a wall where you can place a small table and put up a few wall organizers and a bulletin board. Having an organization system in place will be pleasing to the eye and keep paperwork from traveling all over your home.

The Bedroom

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Image source: home-designing.com

If you love Nordic design, you’re probably the type of person who needs cleanliness and simplicity to relax. The key to keeping your bedroom in optimal condition is having proper storage. What clutters your room? Extra blankets? Clothes? Shoes? All the things you drop when you come home at the end of the day? Select furnishings that provide extra storage for the things that clutter up your room or simply change up your organization system and habits. Keeping things minimalistic and fuss-free are some of the key points when it comes to Nordic trends.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage 6 source: michianahouseandhome.com

An ottoman at the foot of the bed is a beautiful embellishment as well as a storage zone. Store extra blankets, shoes, or seasonal clothes where you can reach them as needed. If you don’t have under bed storage drawers, you can always repurpose some of your old suitcases and even decorative boxes.

You can easily find tons of inspiration from looking to our friends in the Scandinavia — steal their simple, minimalist yet elegant styling when you’re looking for a new design or look for your home or apartment.

Feature image source: Home-designing.com