Category: Home & Garden

How to Create a Mini-Bali at Home

If you’ve been to Bali for a holiday you probably didn’t want to come back home at the end of it. Many people fall in love with the friendly people, the culture, lifestyle and food and go back again and again to enjoy it. They even love the Balinese outdoor furniture  – available in Australia from Drovers Inside and Out, that is so different from what they are used to, yet allows them to truly relax during their holiday.

If you have felt like that at the end of your travels, why not create a mini-Bali at home? Here’s how: –

  • Create an outdoor space for relaxing in and purchase Balinese style outdoor furniture from a store that imports it.
  • Purchase some Bali flags and statues to decorate the garden.
  • If you live in a tropical area you’ll also be able to grow similar exotic plants and flowers.
  • If you live in an area too cool for tropical plants, buy a few fake ones; these days they look real enough.
  • Learn how to make the same kinds of drinks you enjoyed in Bali and serve them up in similar glasses.
  • When you go to Bali, take a short cooking course for your favourite meals, then you’ll be able to serve them up to family and friends in your mini- Bali.
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Why a Kitchen Renovation is a Good Investment

Whether you are looking for some way to make your home worth more, or just want to enhance your own lifestyle, a kitchen renovation is considered to be one of the best investments. If you want to sell in the near future, it is the kitchen that all women look at first. If you ask someone like Colray Cabinets, the kitchen cabinets are old-fashioned and the kitchen looks drab, it is highly likely to turn people away.

But what if you are not planning to sell? Having a great kitchen will surely enhance your lifestyle. While all the house is important, the kitchen is a room where much work is done, where people gather to access the essentials to life; food and water. It is the room where food is prepared and from whence those delicious aromas emanate each evening.

The kitchen truly is the hub of the home, so it is important for it to look nice. If you have to be in an ugly room it is very difficult to feel happy and content. If that room is not very functional, but you still have to be there and use all the inconvenient parts of it on a daily basis, you will not be living the kind of lifestyle that you want. Rather, stress, tension, frustration and annoyance are the kinds of feelings that you will be coping with.

If your kitchen is drab looking and does not function as well as you’d like, renovating it will make a great difference to your overall enjoyment of life. You will look forward to coming home from work to create a beautiful meal for the family simply because the kitchen is now a room you can enjoy being in.

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Why Designer Garden Pots are a Good Choice

Many people love gardening but for some reason cannot have a garden. This may be because of their living environment or due to their health. However, most people can have at least one pot plant to keep them happy. If you have a tiny courtyard or room for just a few planters on your patio, it is important to get it right if they are to look pleasing. Using designer garden pots has several advantages.

  • Visual appeal. Designer garden pots can be sophisticated or casual, but no matter what type they are they will add visual appeal to your surroundings.
  • A pot plant can be enhanced by the pot it lives in; it will have much less appeal if you dump in into a black plastic pot.
  • The pot that contains the plant provides at least half of the appeal of the whole. When your plants are not flowering, or when the display has gone past its best, the attractive pot below it will still provide something good to look at. Even if there is nothing in the pot at all, it can still provide an attractive focal point on the patio or in the courtyard.
  • Courtyard and balcony plants often don’t have showy flowers; rather their appeal is in the shape and colour of the leaves or the shape of the plant. A designer pot has a similar subtle beauty that will set off those plants to the best advantage.
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How to Avoid Your Home Burning Down

When renovating an older home, most people tend to look at what is visible to make their decision about where to start their renovations. However, it is often what is hidden that needs fixing first. Any qualified electrician will tell you that fires in older homes are often caused by faulty wiring. Electrical wiring is just like anything else; it wears out over time and should be replaced.

In addition, older homes are often not sealed very well and this allows mice into the ceiling cavity where they can chew on the wiring. Once the plastic cover is gone the live wires are exposed, with sparks from the resulting short-out setting the framework on fire. Before you know it, the whole house has gone up in smoke.

Even without rodents chewing the wiring it can simply degrade, especially in locations that experience a very hot climate. Eventually the protective covering wears away, leaving live wires exposed to do their damaging work. Some really old homes have been found with large rings of blackened ash around burnt out wiring. These are the lucky ones that didn’t catch on fire for some unaccountable reason.

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3 Good Reasons to Use Colorbond Roofing

If you are building a new home there will be many decisions to make regarding the materials you use. These are important decisions so are worth due consideration. After all, you want your home to be made of durable material that will give value for money, provide good insulation and offer aesthetics as well. If it can be light as well as strong and have low maintenance, so much the better.

Colorbond roofing ticks all of the above boxes. However, there are even more reasons why steel roofing is a good choice.

  • With the hot, dry Australian summers bushfires seem to be a part of the landscape, and not only in rural areas. Bushfires can spread into towns and even cities, where there are a lot of trees to provide fuel for them. Colorbond roofing is the ideal choice to help ward off fires, not only because it won’t catch on fire, but because it keeps embers from lodging in niches or under the eaves. This gives your home a better chance of survival if such a disaster should happen in your area.
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8 Ways to Enjoy Landscape Design

It doesn’t matter how wonderful your home is, if the surrounding area is left to its own devices the whole look of the place with be spoiled. Worse still, this neglect can really bring down the value of the property as well as inhibit your lifestyle. When the outside elements of the property are designed with care to reflect the kind of lifestyle you want, then the whole ties in together and you can really enjoy all that your back garden offers.

Landscape design needs a professional

Many people design their own gardens, or allow them to design themselves. Usually such a person has no idea or feel for landscape design and cannot envisage just how good it could be. They get caught up in their work or sports and hobbies and just use their home for relaxation rather than any of the outdoor parts of the property. This really reduces their lifestyle down to the essentials, instead of allowing them to expand and explore new ways of having fun and relaxation.

Rather than allowing your backyard to be bland and boring, you can really make it pop by having a professional landscape designer take a look and suggest ways to make the most of it. Here are some suggestions.

  • Add a deck with an outdoor kitchen for alfresco meals and entertaining.
  • Add a pool so that the children – and adults – can have great fun in the hot weather.
  • Fence off a pool with glass fencing so that the area is not made to look smaller than it really is. In fact, it will look larger since all the plants and features in the garden will be visible from the pool and vice versa.
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4 Tips for Moving Into Your New Home with Children

Moving is a hassle but once you have arrived at your new home and your removalists like Brilliance Removalists Melbourne have left you have to unpack. For a family with smaller children this can be a difficult time, but there are ways to make it easier. It is often mum who bears the brunt of it, if she is home caring for the kids while dad goes to work. But there are some things you can do to smooth out the process for your children and hence, for yourself.

1.Unpack the kids’ stuff first

Most parents want to get the kitchen stuff unpacked first so that cooking a meal is quick and easy, but focusing on the needs of the children will settle them down and help the work to flow without the interruptions of littlies wanting reassurance.

When you unpack their stuff first, they will feel like they belong and will often settle down to play with the toys that they were afraid would not arrive at all. Settling them into their rooms will prevent any squabbling about who is sleeping where or sharing storage space.

2.Make it easy on yourself

Leaving the mess is not what you want to do, but taking them for a walk around the neighbourhood to find the parks, library, cinema, school or local fast food outlet will help them become familiar with the new district and to feel more at home. And to make it easy on yourself, buy the evening meal as you come home. They are sure to be happy about that and settle in more quickly – and you won’t have to cook or wash up after it.

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10 Benefits of Using Limestone Products

It is a well-known saying that you get what you pay for. What it really means is when you try to save money by buying cheap, you will find yourself with a cheap and nasty product that either doesn’t do what it is supposed to, or it breaks within a year or two. So when choosing products for the home and even building materials, cheap is not the best way to go.

Not only will you end up with a home that has little value, all that money you saved will be spent replacing parts that don’t last or maintaining them so they last a bit longer. Plus, some building materials still cost a lot but don’t have some of the properties of stone and so you spend more on comfort – heating and cooling – over the lifetime of the home. That said, let’s look at the benefits of using Perth limestone products.

  • Limestone bricks or blocks as cladding will give you a home that has a high value and thus, a high resale value even in many years time.
  • Cladding your home with limestone will ensure that the temperature remains constant so there is less need for heating and cooling. You save money.
  • A feature wall in limestone not only looks decorative and adds value; it can also have practical uses such as cutting glare, offering privacy and creating shade.
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Why Professional Carpet Cleaning is Essential for Health

Carpets are one of the most popular floor coverings for both homes and commercial buildings. This is due to the comfortable warmth and noise insulation they provide. Walking on a hard surface is not only tiring, it is noisy, both to those on the same floor and to those underneath. However, according to Brilliance Carpet Cleaning Perth since carpet cannot be washed like a hard floor surface can, it poses a health hazard if you do not get carpet cleaning on a regular basis.

How your carpets get dirty

  • Carpets in the home are exposed to more dirt and germs than those in commercial buildings mainly because pets often live there. Dogs and cats roam outside in the dirt and when they come inside, a small percentage always comes with them. Then they groom themselves to remove dirt and it goes into the carpet, along with their hair and dander, even if you can’t see it. These animals may even have fleas, eczema or other skin conditions, the bacteria from which will be wiped into the carpet as they lie or play on it.
  • Birds may be kept in cages, but their feathers and dander drift out of the cage and settle onto the carpet. Those that fly around the house are likely to defecate as they go and if it lands on the carpet it is impossible to get it all out.
  • Children tend to run inside without wiping their shoes or bare feet first and so dirt and grime is tracked inside. And it wipes off onto the carpet which acts like a towel, scraping off dirt from passing foot traffic and hiding it deep within the fibres.
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10 Tips to Lower the Cost of Building a Home

Building a home is not always cheaper than buying one, but sometimes either option can seem out of your reach.  If you are thinking of building a home, here are some tips you may be able to use to lower the cost. Even if you use just one or two it will mean some kind of savings.

  • Some blocks are quite big, more than you really need for a home. If you have a good friend or relative who is also wanting to build a home, consider going halves with them in a bigger block, then dividing it in half. But remember, it has to be someone you won’t mind having for a neighbour. And you will have to be sure that council will allow the division.
  • Some blocks are challenging to build on due to the shape or size, or the fact that they are on steep ground. These blocks can often be priced more cheaply than blocks that are easy to build on. However, be careful of steep slopes because what you save on the block may need to be spent on the construction of the home.
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9 Tips for Moving into Your New Home with Teens

Moving is stressful on its own, but when you add teens to the mix it can be a nightmare. However, it doesn’t have to be. Teens are old enough to help, but even if you hire Brilliance Removalists Perth and they only unpack their own stuff, it will save you having to do it. Here are some tips to help make moving into your new home with teens easier.

  • Your teens need and deserve to know why you are moving and what you expect will improve for the whole family. They need to be listened to and so even though you know what they are giving up, listen to them and try to address their fears or concerns. If they know you are on their side, they won’t feel so abandoned.
  • Talk to them about your expectations for them and for the family as a whole. It doesn’t hurt to admit your own fears or concerns about the move and let them know how you are dealing with them.
  • Give them a moving timeline so they know what to expect. Ask for their help in packing and put them in charge of packing their own stuff. You may have to show them how to pack goods safely, especially breakables. Give them tips on labelling so they can keep track of their stuff.
  • Make sure they know what to expect for their own life. They will likely be leaving their school, friends and social scene. Make sure they know what they are heading to. Perhaps they could even choose their new school.
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The Most Effective Automatic Pool Cleaners

Installing a pool is a wonderful way to get the children out of the house and doing healthy exercise where you can watch over them. When you have a pool, you will know that the biggest headache is keeping it – and thus the water in it – clean, so it is safe to swim in and swallow, since kids usually end up doing this while they are playing in the pool. An automatic kreepykrauly will take much of the drudgery out of cleaning the pool.

There are many different kinds of pool cleaners available, so you need to do some small research to ensure you get the best one for your pool. Some cleaners suit small pools, while others are better for larger ones; still others suit a specific shape such as curved or cornered while others will even climb steps.  To get the most effective machine for the job all these things should be taken into account, but there is still another way to get the best cleaner and that is to look at robotic cleaners.

Just like robotic house vacuum cleaners, the robotic pool cleaners work pretty much on their own. You only have to put them in the pool and watch them go to work. In fact, watching is not necessary, but you are sure to want to watch your cleaner working at first, just for the joy of seeing it do all that hard work instead of you.

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The Joys of Outdoor Living

While living indoors allows us to create a controlled climate that is comfortable year round, there are many benefits to outdoor living as well. Fresh air and sunshine are actually healthy for us. If we don’t get a certain amount of sun on our skin it can adversely affect our health, as health care officials have begun to realise. Sun interacting with our skin makes Vitamin D, an important vitamin whose lack makes us very unhealthy.

Besides the health aspect of being outside, there is the social aspect. When a space for outdoor entertaining, alfresco meals, or just relaxing outside is created, people gather there and chat as well as enjoying their time outdoors. And somehow, it is different from doing the same thing inside.

Teenagers – known for disappearing into their rooms at age 13 and not reappearing until they leave school –  tend to like sitting outside by a fire pit and discussing the world with their peers. It has become a cool thing to do. Children who are couch potatoes exercising only their electronic game finger, actually run around outside with a ball, the dog or a friend, so they get more exercise than they normally would inside. Add a swing, slide or sandpit and they will begin to love the outdoors, too.

When we go outside, especially if there is a place created especially, we can appreciate the sun, the breeze, birdsong and flowers. In a way it’s a bit like being let out of prison. The home can become a prison if we are not careful. Everywhere you look there is cleaning or something else to be done, especially if you work outside the home and don’t get a chance to clean during the week.

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How to Care for Your Limestone Floor

Limestone floors are more than just aesthetically pleasing; they are stunningly beautiful.  Not only do they add value to your home; they also create a hard-wearing and durable surface that will last for decades. But just like any other flooring surface, they require care to always look their best.

The main thing to remember is that only a PH neutral cleaning product should be used to wash or mop the floor, or to spot wash a spill. Most household cleansers are acidic, but the acid will have a negative effect on the limestone, eating it away over time.

When the floor is first laid, it will have been sealed, so this will keep the floor in good shape for some time. But when water no longer beads on the top it is soaking into the floor, which means it is time to reseal. Being porous, limestone will absorb moisture – and stains – unless it is kept sealed.

Even when resealing, care must be taken not to use too much of the product in one spot in case it stains. It should be spread evenly, left for about 30 minutes to soak in, then the excess wiped off. The first sealing should occur before the grout is put in as even that can stain limestone. Two coats of sealant may be necessary. However, if the limestone has been crushed and mixed with cement to make the tiles, it will not be as porous.

The supplier will very likely give you instructions on the care of the floor and these should be followed carefully to ensure your beautiful floor is never spoiled.

Mistakes to avoid when cleaning limestone tiles

  • Using bleach
  • Flooding the floor with water
  • Never rinsing the cleanser off
  • Not changing dirty water frequently
  • Leaving residual moisture in the cracks.
  • Not wiping up spills immediately
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Budgeting Tips for Your New Home

Few people can purchase a home without getting a loan to do so. That means you have to pay back the loan plus interest – and lots more besides; stamp duty, insurance, solicitors fees and so on. Sometimes budgeting starts off well but you get off track, or extra bills come in unexpectedly and you find it more and more difficult to repay that loan. Here are some tips on how to stay on track with your budgeting.

  • If you find it increasingly difficult to pay the mortgage off, it is time to stop and take a reality check. First thing to do is write down everything you spend money on for a whole week – yes, every single thing from that morning coffee to your snack bar or magazine. It may shock you to see just where the money is going.  It will also enable you to find ways to plug up the leak so you don’t have to default on your mortgage repayments. Know what’s coming in and how much is going out. The former should be more than the latter. If not, cut back ruthlessly. People once lived quite well without Foxtel, internet connections, mobile phones, coffee from a coffee shop, going out for meals and going out to concerts or footie games. They had no more than 3 outfits. You can do the same if it means keeping your house.
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How to Spot a Lemon When Buying Property

Buying your first house is an exciting time and you can hardly wait to sign on the dotted line and move in. In fact, even when buying for a second or third time you will feel excited and ready to make that fresh start in a new home that suits you even better than the one before.  However, don’t get carried away be the excitement or the emotional attachment you may feel to a home. Some homes are lemons, having things wrong with them that will have you calling a home maintenance company like JCA Services constantly and will be very costly to fix. How do you spot a lemon?

  • Look for damp patches that can signal a problem with the plumbing, the guttering or the waterproofing. These can be in spots other than the basement, so look high and low. Check for fresh patches of paint and suspect that they are there to cover mould that won’t wash out. Mould is very unhealthy to live in so this is definitely a lemon.
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How Landscaping Professionals can Enhance Your Lifestyle

When it comes to getting landscaping done, whether it is residential or commercial, having landscaping professionals in to do the job is really the best way to go, especially in places such as Western Australia where both the weather and soil type can pose challenges.

One reason why gardens fail

A lot of our garden plants and even the methods we use to garden have filtered down from England, a country where the weather is cool and damp. When you translate these plants and methods to a country known for its heat and dry climate it is no wonder that many gardens become disaster areas.

Landscaping professionals may have learned such methods, but since they are experienced in Australian conditions they know when to leave those tried and true – for England – ways of gardening behind and get with Australian methods. One of these is finding ways to conserve moisture in the garden rather than draining it away as is necessary in wetter climates. The addition of organic mulch or non-organic covers such as pebbles are both good ways to conserve moisture and the latter adds colour and interest.

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Bringing Kitchen Design Out of the Dark Ages

What every woman dreams of is a modern kitchen that is smart, functional and looks amazing. Unfortunately, people with older homes are unlikely to have this unless they get a professional kitchen designer like Kitchen Professionals in to completely renovate this important room. With the advent of open floor plans, the kitchen is in full view of everyone, so it simply must look its best.

If you are thinking of renovating your kitchen, don’t settle for less than the best. Even new pre-made cupboards and appliances won’t do the job you expect. Once the excitement wears off you’ll realise that your kitchen is really just another kitchen and it most likely still has some design faults, albeit not the same ones –hopefully – that it had before.

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Don’t Ignore Security Fencing

Lower safety Levels

The levels of security in cities and neighbourhoods is deteriorating quickly. Relying on traditional security systems to ensure your safety and that of your investments is getting harder, almost impossible. By investing in a reliable security system to protect your premises, you will be able to achieve a peace of mind. There is a wide variety of systems available ranging from motion detectors to residential security fencing.

Fencing Traditions

Fencing has been used for hundreds of years to keep out unwanted guests and to maintain privacy. People still place importance on the protection of their property, assets and buildings. While we no longer have the castle, the moat and the drawbridge, there has been a design evolution to adapt to changed living conditions and housing structures. To meet the specific needs of customers, more sophisticated fencing designs are being made.

Fencing Made to Order

Functional modifications and design changes to fencing are made to the requirements of customers. If a customer requires high levels of security, then a more complex solution will be required compared to premises needing a lower level of security, such as your home.

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The Importance of Safe Scaffolding

Many buildings these days are high-rise, even residential buildings. Few such structures can be built without some form of scaffolding to provide access to those parts that are out

of reach. Whether it’s a high-rise of many storeys or a home with one high side, safe scaffolding is needed if the job is to be completed safely.

We have heard of scaffolding collapsing for whatever reason and it is a danger not only to the people using it, but to those who are underneath. Severe injuries or loss of life are the results of scaffolding falling down and anyone who survives must be considered very lucky. So how can you ensure the scaffolding for any building job is safe?

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Carpets vs. Other Flooring Choices

If you are renovating your home you may have decided to pull up that old carpet instead of worrying that your carpet cleaning efforts are not good enough. Timber floors always look beautiful, while tiles come a close second. Besides, they are easy to maintain and you can wash them without getting a professional in to do the job, right?

Brilliance Cleaning will tell you that there is more to consider. Carpets are a popular choice for several reasons. Here are some of the benefits of carpet that you may not get with a hard floor.

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