Interior Design

How to get your home looking super stylish

How to get your home looking super stylish

How to get your home looking super stylish

Perhaps you are thinking about how you can give your home some added oomph.  Maybe you are a bored with living in a bland space. You want to create a home that has the “wow” factor. A home that you are proud to show to your family and friends. You want to do some home improvements and create your dream home, but where do you start?

How to get your home looking super stylish

Get Pinning!

Pinterest is a really great place to start. If you aren’t sure what colours you want to use on your walls or what sort of furniture you like, then Pinterest can be a great space for gathering ideas. Decorating your home doesn’t need to feel daunting when you can order all of your ideas all in one place. Focus on different elements of the room and set up a board for each element. You might have one board for flooring, one board for colour schemes and one board for furniture. Have fun and get pinning. Start working out what you like and what you don’t like.

Hire An Interior Designer

You now have your Pinterest boards bulging with ideas. You have discovered a look that you love for your room. You know the furniture that you want but you don’t know where to source it from. Hiring an interior designer like Sasha deBretton will help with that. A good interior designer will be able to find the right furniture for your look. They will also be able to tell you if that massive sofa you have fallen in love with from Ikea, really is a good look for your home. How many times have we seen something in Ikea that we think is amazing only to get it home and find that is far too big for our little space!

Working with an interior designer means that you will save money. They will help you make the right decisions for your home and they will make sure that you stick to your budget. An interior designer is used to working to a budget so they will ensure that you know where every pound is going.

What To Do If You Can’t Afford Everything

Don’t worry If you can’t stretch to a complete overhaul, there are still some great changes that you can make on a budget. Focus on some key investment pieces. This could be a sofa, a bed or a big mirror. These can all make a massive difference to how a room feels. You don’t need to buy your furniture brand new. Look online and you can find some lovely pieces of furniture at very good prices.

It’s The Small Details

How to get your home looking super stylish

Focussing on the small details in a room can also make a huge difference. How a coffee table is dressed can really lift a room. Instead of using it as a dumping ground think about how you can dress it. Stacked books can be used to inject personality into a room and add interest into a space. Think about textures. Could you add cushions and a rug to your room? These small elements will help create a cosy space.

Move Your Furniture

If all else fails then moving your furniture could be the way forward. Trying a new arrangement can really make a room feel like new.

This is your home and so there are no rules. You create the rules. Be bold and experiment with furniture and colour in your home. You want this home to reflect your personality. You want it to be fab not drab!  

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Building Design, DIY tips, Exterior design

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

Building A Home: The Best Bits Of Advice

If you’re deciding on how to build your home for the first time, there are plenty of things that you should know before getting stuck it. Building is a great alternative to buying because you don’t have to settle for something if you can’t find what you’re looking for. You can just create your own dream house, something completely different to what anyone else has, because it has came from your mind and not an ad online.

Let’s get started.

Arrange the finances

It is absolutely essential that you come up with a budget, along with how you plan on paying for this project, as this will determine how big (or small) the house can be. It’s important you be realistic with your budget to avoid disappointment. You don’t want to envision something incredible, and then realize you have no means of getting the finances to cover it.

Find a building plot

You will need to decide on a location for your home to go. This can be a long process because not only will you need to find somewhere that you have the right to build on, but you also have to like it. You will need to consider things like distance from the nearest shop, doctor, school, and work.

Find a team   

You have the choice of what kind of designer you choose. You could hire in an architect as well as a builder to work alongside one another. Or you could go with a package supplier, which is the person that does everything. Just make sure you find the right person for the job. They should understand and be able to visually see your idea while also giving you their honest opinion on things if they don’t think that it’s a good move. For example, when deciding on the framing, there are plenty of steel frame homes pros & cons. Now you may not have any idea what these are – but your team should.

Contact the planners

Starting communication with the planners is a wise move so that you know early on whether your project is viable or not. By doing this, you will have a better idea of what will and won’t be accepted in terms of the scale that you want your home to be, as well as the different materials that can be used. This will give you the best chance of getting your planning permission because you did everything by the rule book without trying to cut any corners.

Start the build

Hopefully, by this time everything has been accepted, and you have the freedom to build exactly what was planned. If this is the case, then it’s time to start. Now although you may not be doing the work, it’s important that your presence is always around so you can oversee exactly what is happening, and if it’s how you had all discussed. Of course, you should have every trust in your team that they create your vision exactly how you said, but sometimes it has been known for builders to stray away from that. So you must be there to keep an eye on how things are running. – If there is something that you’re not sure about or weren’t aware of – speak up.

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Exterior design, Garden, Garden tips

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

Turning outdoor space Into a fun area for the children

All parents should think long and hard about the way in which they use their gardens. Some people let the outdoor space overgrow because they just can’t deal with the maintenance. That is a terrible idea that could encourage complaints from the neighbors. Others slab the entire lawn, but some folks like to think outside of the box. Considering that, mothers and fathers reading this post should consider turning their garden into a fun space for the little ones. The ideas on this page should point families in the right direction. However, in most instances, you just need to use some imagination.

Turning Your Outdoor Space Into A Fun Area For The Children

Get some climbing frames and other equipment

Every healthy child likes to spend time playing outside while they’re still young. Some teenagers even feel the same way, and plenty of adults do too. So, the goal is to make the garden as fun as possible. There are lots of different types of equipment anyone could purchase and keep outside to create a multifunctional garden. However, climbing frames, slides, and swings are always a top choice. In most instances, it will only take a few minutes to put the items together and start using them. For the best prices, it’s sensible to check auction websites and online retailers. That is especially the case now we’re approaching the winter because those items tend to get a reduction.

Dig a pond and add some wildlife to the garden

Most children like to spend time learning about animals, plants, and wildlife. So, it’s sensible for parents to encourage that interest. Adding a pond to the garden is an excellent move because it means you can keep lots of exotic fish. Of course, it’s wise to take safety precautions and ensure the kids can’t fall into the water. Also, in built-up areas, there are going to be a lot of cats. For that reason, homeowners will have to place a net over the water to stop the animal from eating any fish. There are step-by-step guides online that explain everything you need to know. So, just conduct some research!

Turning Your Outdoor Space Into A Fun Area For The Children

Build a Wendy house (or a whatever your child’s name is house)

Building a Wendy house is a great way of encouraging the little ones to spend more time in the garden. Of course, placing something like that on the lawn is going to damage the grass. So, lots of people will decide to get some fake turf first. That’s a fantastic move because it also means those homeowners will never have to get their mower out of the shed again. The real cost of artificial grass is nowhere near as high as most folks imagine. Indeed, it’s more than possible to get the perfect solution without breaking the bank. The benefits of artificial grass include:

  • No maintenance
  • Comes in a range of shades
  • Lasts for many years

Those suggestions should help all parents to make a start when it comes to improving their gardens. However, readers know their children better than anyone else, and so everyone should make sure they create something that suits their little one’s tastes and interests. Don’t make the mistake of letting the area overgrow because it will take a lot of effort to put things right.

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Interior Design, Kitchen

New kitchen plans

New kitchen plans

New kitchen plans

One room I have always dreamed of having and that is a larger kitchen. It is the one room we always find ourselves congregating into at mealtimes and even parties that we have once or twice a year….OK then, I will be honest! any excuse for a party and we have one, well why not.

A small kitchen can feel very claustrophobic at the best of times let alone when we are all trying to squeeze into a very small room. With us moving house back in November we now have a much smaller kitchen sadly. We did gain an extra bedroom (this is now our office) and a huge living room so we can’t grumble too much. When moving house there are always pros and cons to weigh up isn’t there?

We are now looking at ways we can make our kitchen bigger in size, if not in size then at least make it feel bigger, less claustrophobic and feel more welcoming. Here are a few ideas that we have in mind at the moment.

Our kitchen ideas so far

Colour 

We are thinking nice bright and neutral colours for walls and flooring. Colour if chosen right can change the feel of a room and make a room feel much bigger. We can always add warmer colours within the soft furnishings such as towels, blinds etc. When browsing for kitchen tiles this tile caught my eye straight away, they are a stunning sparkly diamond white quartz tile. Perfect for providing any wall or floor with that “WOW” factor. This tile has a stunning mirror fleck, allowing the light to bounce giving a lovely sparkly effect and helping to make a room more welcoming.

New kitchen plans

 

Comfort and design

The design and comfort of the kitchen is the most important, we must have a kitchen that works well and everything needed is close to hand. We think we will try and minimize on the number of wall cupboards that we will have, this will help to minimize the claustrophobic feel slightly. Any wall cupboards we do have will be glass fronted to help enhance the spaciousness.

Be realistic

We will be minimizing our kitchen gadgets and be more realistic about what we use and no longer use anymore. I don’t know about you but our cupboards are full of gadgets that we haven’t used in a long time, basically taking up space for no reason. We will also be looking to change some kitchen items, we are going to be looking for more space-saving items, it’s amazing what you can get space-saving wise these days for the smaller kitchen.

Appliances 

At our previous property we had integrated appliances when we had a fitted kitchen put in, to us these looked more tidy looking. Of course when we moved these all stayed behind and we currently have freestanding appliances at the moment as we don’t currently have a fitted kitchen at this property. Our personal preference would be to change back to integrated appliances again. We found with having a fitted kitchen we could utilize our space more and use every spare inch possible. At our current property although our kitchen is small we can see lots of wasted space that we could make so much use of when we come to doing our fitted kitchen. Boy do I miss my eye level oven!

Extending the kitchen

We are in discussions at the moment as to whether we could extend our kitchen. We plan on doing this by knocking a wall down that goes between the kitchen and living room, taking a few feet from the lounge and replacing the wall again. By doing this it will not only make the kitchen bigger this will allow for more worktop space, appliances and or base units for storage.

Lighting 

With Ian being a fully qualified electrician it does come in very handy when it comes to electrical work around the home. When it comes to the lighting in our home we can never tend to agree on a design. We have always had low ceilings in our properties and we often panic with head height and our boys being rather tall. We have agreed down lights would be our best option and would work rather well. In our kitchen we will also have plinth lighting and under-cupboard lighting too for mood lighting.

We are a little way off yet before our kitchen plans are put into action. We are currently working on floor plans and measurements and then double checking them as we’d hate to make a costly mistake by rushing and getting it wrong. Kitchen plans take time and a lot of careful planning as we found out last time. We are learning from past mistakes.

New kitchen plans

 

Have you had a kitchen makeover? did it go to plan?

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Energy-Efficient, Top tips

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

Is your home energy-efficient? This is one of the many questions being asked of homeowners in the twenty-first century. With the emergence of the Internet of Things, smart homes and Eco-builds, it has become more important than ever to try and keep your humble abode as energy-efficient as possible. This means that you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside having done your bit to save the environment and you will have saved money on your utility bills at the same time. Sounds like a perfect win-win situation doesn’t it? And it is if you get it right. Take a look at these three easy ways that can help you maintain an energy-efficient home.

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

Lighting

Energy saving light bulbs have been available to the masses for a couple of decades now. Whereas they were once a luxury of the more well-off folk amongst us, energy-efficient and long-lasting bulbs are now hugely accessible as they have reduced in price. By heading to your local DIY store and swapping all of your energy-wasting light bulbs with those that will emit the same amount of light but cost you less money doing so, you’ll be saving on your electricity bill.

If you ensure that everyone in your household sticks to a homemade energy contract of switching off lights when leaving a room, you’ll be saving even more of your pennies. If every household in the UK used energy-saving bulbs, the annual electricity consumption across the nation would reduce by 2%, the equivalent of a nuclear power station.

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

Heating

Although they sound like something out of Star Trek, smart thermostats are the latest piece of technology to help homeowners reduce their energy usage and save money on their utility bills. You could now set off from work on a cold winter’s evening and have your home intelligently switch on the heating to ensure a warm and toasty temperature for when you arrive. Even if you require domestic heating oil to fire up your heating system in the winter, you could lower your thermostat by just one degree to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that go onto create the dreaded greenhouse gases that harm the environment.

3 easy ways to maintain an energy-efficient home

Water

It’s vital that you maintain the pipework within your home. Drip leaks can occur beneath your property, under your sink or in your bathroom and if you don’t carry out an annual check on your pipes, you may be in for a nasty surprise when the inconspicuous drip turns into a raging waterfall.

By running your bath a little less full, boiling your kettle with only the water you need and showering for shorter lengths of time, you’ll inevitably use less water. This means that you will be diverting less water away from rivers resulting in you doing your bit to preserve wildlife habitats. It really does pay to turn the tap off while you’re brushing your pearly whites.

Start making your home more energy-efficient today. Not only will you be protecting the environment and showing off your Eco-credentials but you’ll also be saving your household money in the process.

 

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Finance

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

Money under the mattress: finding funds from your home

In the modern world, most people have less than perfect finances. With the expense of living, jobs paying less than they used to, and housing being so pricey, it can be hard for people to get enough out of their salary. In this case, life is a challenge and will be very hard for you to manage. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, using your home, you can find ways to give yourself a good windfall, taking away some of the financial strain you feel. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the best ways to make money out of your home.

  • Giving Away A Slice

As the kids start to move out and space starts to open up in your home, the possibility of hosting a lodger becomes a reality. Of course, you won’t want this with young kids, so, for some, it might not work. Without a young child, though, having a young professional live in your home won’t impact your life that much at all. In most cases, lodgers will pay good rent for the place you give them, especially if you’re willing to provide food to them.

For people with young kids, the issues with hosting a lodger will probably be clear. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that you can’t downsize. By moving to a smaller property, you can rent your current home to someone else. While they live there, the rent you pay will be covered by the rent you receive, leaving a little bit for you. This sort of action has to be taken very carefully, as it can be easy to lose if you’re not careful.

A lot of people will need a little bit of help to carry out action like this. Thankfully, in most cases, an estate agent is all you should need to be able to get started with something like this. They will be able to handle all of the paperwork while making the transaction nice and simple.

  • Using It As Collateral

In some cases, it can be better to keep the space you have and give away some of the equity from your home, instead. One of the best ways to do this is through home owner loans. This sort of option uses your house as a guarantee for the loan, making it easier for the banks to trust you. Along with this, this sort of loan is very easy to apply for, as you don’t have to go through the same vetting as a regular applicant.

Of course, though, in some cases, you will need a lot of money to be able to get on your feet. In this position, it can be worth sacrificing a large part of your home. A remortgage can achieve this for you, as long as you’re not too old to pay back what you owe before you leave work. A lot of people find this method extremely helpful, as it can be done very soon after taking the initial mortgage.

Making a decision like the ones above is never something which can be taken lightly. So, in most cases, it’s a good idea to get some help before you start. Your bank will be a good place to begin, as they will be able to provide you advice for free. For some, though, looking for professional help could be a better way to get the support you need.

  • A Clean Out

When bills are stretching the bank and you’re struggling to make ends meet, even a small boost could be enough to help you out. Though you may be attached to them, the unused items around your home could be plenty to fill your gap. You can start by looking for things of high-value which don’t get used very often. For example, an old music player or other electronic gadget. Then, you can start to look for some ways to sell it.

eBay and other auction websites can be the best to help you if you want to sell quite a few items, as they make it very easy to manage. Alongside this, though, you could also use a social media marketplace, like Facebook’s local sales tools. Using options like this will expand your reach and be much more effective than selling to customers in the flesh.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what can be done when you’re trying to find new ways to make money from your home. When you have a resource like this, you have a lot of potential behind you. To learn how to use it, you just have to do some research.

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Exterior design, Garden, Garden tips

3 essential areas every garden needs

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

3 essential areas every garden needs

Not every home has a lot of outdoor or garden space. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space you do have. If you have a family and the kids are still at home, your garden might be essential space you can’t do without! Are you not making the most of your backyard right now? Then why not have a look at creating these three essential areas so you can enjoy being outdoors all year round:

Kids Play Area

Kids (and pets) need space to play. Your garden is perfect for that. If you haven’t tackled this area for a while, then there are some makeover projects you might want to tackle first. This part of the garden should be secure and safe. Make sure the fencing is strong and robust. It might need staining again just to ensure the wood is weathering well.

3 essential areas every garden needs

Choose a surface for play. You might install some artificial grass for mud-free rolling around. Play mats can be quite handy too as they also just hose down when you want to use them. Your regular lawn might be OK if you don’t have a lot of rainfall where you are. Add some outdoor toys and games. You might even have a playhouse for the little ones. Perfect.

Outdoor Dining

This area is best placed on flat ground. You can build it up with decking or simple patio paving if you like. A minimum of 2.5 meters squared is needed to make a good sized dining or seating area. So grab your bramblecrest furniture, erect a gazebo and get ready for some outdoor dining!

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

You can also build up an outdoor kitchen. You might only have a barbecue grill right now, but with the right features, you could include a bar and extra seating space. This area is usually best served by being attached to the outer kitchen door. That way you can use both facilities and entertain even more hungry guests!

Green, Pink, Yellow, Red and Blue

Lawns are lovely if you have the time and energy to maintain them. Of course, you can always get a robot mower! Add some flower beds or pots for a splash of color almost all year round. Flowers smell good as well as looking bright and cheery. If you’re a keen gardener, you might take cuttings for indoor floral displays too.

3 Essential Areas Every Garden Needs

When you’re setting up your flower garden, consider grouping the different colors together. Don’t forget that stems and blooms come in all different shapes and sizes. That means they will grow to different heights as well. This can be ideal if you’re trying to shape your garden. Shrubs and bushes can help here too.

Every garden has potential to be something special that all the family can enjoy all year round. If you’ve neglected yours a little recently, then why not get back out there and see what you can make of it? How do you like to enjoy your garden?

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Interior, Interior Design

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The secrets of a successful home office transformation

The priorities of a modern family have evolved massively over the last 20 years or so, and technology is at the heart of it all. Computers are now an omnipresent feature, and most households could benefit from having an office space. Whether it’s to help mum and dad work from home or allow children to complete studies in peace doesn’t matter. Creating a suitable environment for those activities is essential.

Deciding that you need a home office space is one thing, but actively turning that vision into a reality is another altogether. Pay attention to these realities, and you won’t go far wrong.

1. Comfort Is King

When building an office space, you’ll naturally think about designing a space that allows you to work on a computer with ease. Before worrying about this, though, you must ensure that the room is livable.

The most obvious candidates for office transformations are guest rooms, lofts, and garages. These areas have probably gone unloved, so think about energy efficiency and the general atmosphere. Skip those factors, and the following gestures will seem almost redundant.

When it comes to furniture, ensure that your office chair is comfortable too. Ultimately, the home office space should be designed to encourage extended periods of work. If you don’t feel comfortable, however, that simply cannot happen.

2. Personal Touches Make The Difference

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other offices that you’ve seen. However, a commercial business office space serves a slightly alternative function from a home one. Moreover, the design needs are far different too.

This is still a part of the home, and decorating the walls with sports memorabilia and family photos can aid the happy vibes. Meanwhile, if you are using this area for business matters, interactions with other people are likely to take place via the internet. Putting a screen on the wall can provide a video conferencing space. From a practical standpoint, this can be telling.

Above all else, the organisation should be considered to be a major priority. Even when a lot of your paperwork can be kept online, creating ample storage space is key. This is likely to be one of the smaller rooms in the property, and letting it become overcrowded and untidy will harm your relationship with it badly. Use shelves and vertical storage to avoid eating up the floor space, and you should be just fine.

3. It Will Take Time (& Money)

As with any worthwhile home upgrade projects, patience and planning are vital. Rushing straight in will lead you to overlook key elements. And it will inevitably reduce the impact of the transformation.

The decision between using an expert or taking the DIY option will largely be dependent on your skills and the severity of the project. Either way, capital will be required. This type of project is a very suitable reason for getting unsecured home improvement loans. After all, the money you invest will be rewarded with increased property value.

More importantly, though, getting the job right saves the hassle of future tasks. Aside from upgrading your tech facilities every few years, the home office could serve you for decades. This can only be great news for all the family.

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Interior Design, Kitchen

Don’t get burned by your kitchen!

Don’t Get Burned By Your Kitchen!

Don’t get burned by your kitchen!

If there is one room in the house that needs to be perfect, it is the kitchen. When you think about it, the kitchen is the place you spend the most time. Apart from cooking, it is also a place to socialise and relax, which makes it a multipurpose area. The sad thing is that most people’s kitchens are the bane of their life for a variety of reasons. If you are one of these people, it is time to crack out the home improvement manual and start the process. But, before you jump the gun, there are a few pitfalls to avoid.

The Triangle

Unlike the Bermuda triangle, you won’t get lost in your kitchen. But, you might find that the room doesn’t have the same functionality without it. Simply put, the triangle refers to the position of the oven, sink and refrigerator. As the names suggest, all three need to be in close quarters so that the room is as functional as it is beautiful. So, if the plans have anything in the way of the three, you might want to reconsider. An island, for instance, is a big obstacle. Always keep the path clear and the three main features in close contact.

Ignoring Practicality

There is no doubt that the kitchen should have a wow factor, and every interior designer would agree. But, it shouldn’t come at the expense of functionality within the room. Otherwise, the kitchen will be all style and no substance, and substance is probably the most important feature of any kitchen. So, the trick is to think before you buy. Will the designer dining table fit all the family? Are the chairs comfy? Is there enough room to cook and walk around? All of these are questions that you need to answer.

Lack Of Storage

It doesn’t matter how big your kitchen is because you will always need storage. Why? It’s because they house lots of different utensils and cutlery, and they are bulky. Even if they are sleek, like knives and forks, they are plentiful. Bearing this in mind, it’s a good time to get creative. The oven, for example, is a perfect place to put a frying pan as it is deep. Of course, the cabinets are always on hand for glasses and pots and pans. Plus, shelves and hooks are low-tech solutions with storage capacity that take up little room.

Designing For Others

Quite possibly the biggest error you can make is designing a kitchen for other people. That can sound stupid, yet it happens all the time as homeowners sacrifice what they want for what they think they should have. At the end of the day, it is your kitchen and you should design it how you please. So, forget about the neighbours and leave them to their own kitchens. Instead, write down what you find appealing and try and implement that throughout the renovation.

There is no point designing a kitchen for other people when they are not going to use it. Anyway, they aren’t paying, so they don’t get a say!

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Lifestyle, Slimming World, weight loss

Life changes

Life changes

Life changes

A while back I ended up in an awful car accident. This saw me ending up being cut free from the car, hospitalised for just under two weeks and paralysed down my left side due to nerve damage. I was in a wheelchair for a while and had to learn to walk again.

With not being very mobile this saw the lbs pile on which at the time I was just glad to have survived the accident and it couldn’t have been further from my mind.

Life changes

Once I was more mobile thanks to the intense physio sessions and reflexology treatment I had on a weekly basis I started to gradually build myself back up again. Once more mobile I signed up to attend our local Slimming World group. Back then I managed to lose 3 stone and I was so proud of myself as I had gone through so much and had come such a long way. I had the determination which was amazing and I felt so much better and confident in myself.

My aim back then was to lose about 5 stone, I was over half way there but then life had gotten in the way. Things happened and I ended up suffering from depression due to certain issues. This is where comfort eating kicked in then yes you guessed it, the weight piled back on.
No I am not proud but hey what can I do but pick myself back up and start again. Now I am starting to feel better in myself again I feel that I am in the right mind-set again to try again. I have amazing support around me from Ian, my 3 beautiful boys, work colleagues and even neighbours.
Ian is my rock and said he will help support me in any way he can as he knows it means so much to me to get this weight off and my confidence back.

I have now joined Slimming World again, this time round it is a different group as we’ve moved house since my last journey. I am now 2 weeks into my new journey and I’m currently 6.5 lbs lighter already. I am so happy to be on my Slimming World journey again, I was so happy last time until I sadly suffered with depression.

This time round I am not going to be so hard on myself, I am going to set small goals along the way and little Interim goals. My first little goal is to try and lose 1 stone by my birthday (7th August). This is purely set as a birthday gift to myself. I still have a few weeks to do it in, I feel like I can do it so I’m going to give it my best shot. If I don’t do it then no harm is done I am just happy at the moment with any loss.

To help myself get up and moving I have signed up to do a 5k run. Well they say run but you walk, crawl, skip even hop just as long as you complete the 5k. I done a 5k run a few years back and completed it within 36 minutes. By the time I completed the run yes I did crawl over the finish line and no I couldn’t even talk for 10 minutes but I did complete it and it felt amazing.

All I need to do now is stay as focused as I can and keep telling myself to keep thinking positive.

Interior Design, Top tips

Cutting down costs with energy-efficient Interior design

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Cutting down costs with energy-efficient Interior design

Gas and electricity prices are notoriously on the rise. With living costs skyrocketing and the living wage failing to keep up with the demand, it’s high time that we all start to cut the amount of wastage in our homes. You’d be so surprised at the amount of money that is frittered away through sheer waste. What’s most shocking? It’s entirely preventable! So, here are a few ways to cut down the costs with energy-efficient interior design.

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Windows

The two main areas of a home that lose energy are the windows and the roof. So let’s start with the first. Windows need to be made of glass. There isn’t any alternative, suitable material. But sadly, glass doesn’t tend to have the best insulating properties. But not to worry, there’s a fix to everything. Make sure that your home has double glazing. This helps to create a vacuum of sorts between the two individual panes, containing heat within your home more effectively. It’s a relatively quick process and fitting won’t take all too long. For extra measure, you could make use of a specialist window coating.

Roofing

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Onto the second largest site of energy loss: the roof: about 25% of a home’s energy will be wasted if its roof is uninsulated.  We all know that heat rises, so it is logical that you need a well-insulated roof to keep everything contained. There are a couple of ways to go about this. If you have a pitched or sloped roof, good news! This is the easiest type to work with. You can opt for a warm loft or cold loft. A warm loft has insulation lining the inside of the roof, allowing heat from your home to rise and fill the loft space. A cold loft has insulation lining the top ceiling of the building, meaning heat is contained to the home, but not the loft space. A second area to focus on is the roofing on any extensions or conservatories that you may have added to your home. Check out http://www.guardianwarmroof.co.uk/ for a quote from the most reliable and high-quality manufacturers and installers of the Guardian Conservatory Roof.

Color Scheme

Who would have thought that the colour of your walls could have an effect on energy conservation in your home? Well, it can! Lighter shades, like cream, beige and mushroom reflect energy, slightly preventing loss. It’s a small feature but it’s worth a try, right?

Cutting down costs with energy efficient Interior design

Lighting

This seems a simple one, but so many of us still fail to make use of energy-efficient light bulbs. These last up to ten times as long as standard incandescent bulbs and are more durable (they are less prone to break from knocks and bumps). Though they are initially more expensive to purchase, they save enough on the electricity bill to cover the cost and more. LED light bulbs only use 2-17 watts of electricity, which is between one-third and one-thirtieth of the energy used by most common incandescent bulbs!

***Collaborative post***
Garden, Upcycling project

Upcycled project – wooden crate

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Upcycled project – wooden crate

We was recently given a wooden crate and asked if we would like it for a vegetable garden. We are still in the process of having a garden makeover at the moment so on went the creative cap to come up with another use. I knew I would be able to make some use of it but the question was what.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Our garden isn’t a big garden so we are planning on using all the space to its fullest potential. Yes I do grow my own fruit and vegetables and yes this will continue once the garden has had its makeover but the fruit and vegetable area has been put into our plans and the crate wouldn’t work sadly for this area.

But not to say it wouldn’t work elsewhere..

So how did we make the crate fit into our garden space

Our creative cap went on and we enjoyed a sunny day in the garden. We spent the day turning the old unwanted wooden crate into a more useable item such as a wall hung herb garden. We did hope to get two out of the crate but the crate wasn’t big enough sadly. We turned the crate into a two shelved wall hung garden. It is now proudly being hung in the garden as a herb garden. What is the point of us growing our veg to have with our meals without some nice herbs to compliment them.

How we made it

Once we knew what we was wanting to make we then had to decide on which way round we was wanting to make it, such as landscape or portrait. Landscape was chosen.

The wooden slats was removed from the back of the crate

Upcycled project - wooden crate

The crate was then cut in half from its widest point.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

We then cut the sides and the top to size. It was then nailed in position.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

The shelves were then cut to size and added. We also added some extra support to the middle.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

Once it was built and all extra support was added we then sanded it and applied an undercoat. It was then painted white.

Upcycled project - wooden crate

 

Goodbye wooden crate – Hello herb garden.

Upcycled project – wooden crate

The finishing touches was then added and we now have a wall hung herb garden. Just because you have a small garden it doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own. We are now making use of our wall space as well as the ground space. The herb garden is giving off a lovely fresh smell and it also looks stunning.

We have had some lovely comments from family, friends and neighbours.

Upcycled project – wooden crate

We love to upcycle, we also upcycled our old camping saucepans too. Click on the image if you would like to see what we made from them.

Upcycled saucepan

Do you think we made good use?

Lifestyle, Weight loss

Finding myself again

Finding myself again

New group new start

So today saw my first weeks weigh in at my new Slimming world group. Was I nervous? yes. Was I excited? yes. Was I pleased with my result? hell yes. Any weight off in my opinion is good and all I hope for.

I am taking a new approach to my weight loss this time round, I am setting myself small goals rather than one big one. My aim at the moment is to lose one stone by my birthday (7th August) but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t matter it is just something to aim for at the moment. Today was my first weigh in and I am very excited to say that I am now 5 lb lighter. Next week I am aiming for my half stone award…..I can do this!

Small steps…small steps!

Ian has been a huge support to me, I sat down and explained to him that I am not happy with my weight and sadly haven’t been now for a while. I am kicking myself big time for putting my weight back on that I lost before our move but I only have myself to blame.

I sat and chatted with Ian and we have both agreed to get back into meal planning and batch cooking again. I found this a huge help last time. He is now on board and has agreed to learn new and healthier recipes with me. We both work long days so it isn’t just one of us cooking it is both of us which is why it is best we both learn this together so it helps to keep me on plan.

Diet coke chicken is something different I had heard mentioned a few times in my old group. I recently made it for us all to try and we all enjoyed it. Meal prep plays a huge part for us, with working such long days and not getting home until late, gone 9 pm most nights the last thing we want to be doing then is chopping and dicing vegetables but yet we want a nice homemade meal.

Finding myself again

Batch cooking meals in the only way so far I have found helps us to stick to healthy home cooked meals. Now Ian is on board and is willing to learn this makes it all the more easier to stay on plan. Ian is normally a lover of using his takeaway app to order in when I am out working late. Yes I enjoy the odd takeaway but I’d much prefer a nice healthy home cooked meal. Ian is a good cook and just needs reminding of that.

What we are currently doing is looking at healthy slow cooker recipes and also have a change about with our current eating habits. What I would like to do is find nice recipes that we can all enjoy. I may be out some nights until gone 9 pm but I certainly don’t expect Ian and the boys to wait for me before having their meal, certainly not at that time. Fingers are crossed for a minimum of a 2 lb loss for next week so it will then take me to half stone.

What is your favorite family meal?

 

Lifestyle

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform your family property

The most underrated home Improvements that will transform for your family property

Home Improvements to consider 

Home improvements play heavily on the minds of all homeowners. There’s no doubt that you will make some upgrades over the coming months, just like everyone else will. But how can you be sure that you’ve made the right decisions?

We all think we know where our priorities should lie. However, many of the commonly overlooked jobs are the ones that will actively bring the greatest improvement. Learn to appreciate these seven of the best below, and your property will soon look and feel better than ever.

 #1. Upgrading Security

There’s no greater feeling than the feeling of safety, especially at home. Until your property is properly protected, it will be almost impossible to enjoy it to its full potential. Frankly, this should be one of the first items on your home upgrade agenda.

Improving the security starts with ensuring that all doors and windows are protected by the right locks. Meanwhile, if you are a new homeowner, you may want to get the locks changed just for peace of mind. After all, you never know who the previous owner gave a set of keys to.

Take security one step further by installing surveillance cameras, automated gates, and alarms. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and this is the perfect solution.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #2. Going Green

Living a more eco-friendly life has become a growing concern for millions as society becomes more aware of the damage being caused to the earth. Protecting nature should provide some motivation but, in truth, personal rewards will give you a far greater incentive. And that’s why the home should be the first place where you incorporate green ideas.

 You don’t have to make the big gesture by installing solar roof panels. The benefits of using LED lights throughout the home are arguably even greater, and it’s one of the easiest tasks to complete. Likewise, saving water with improved dishwashers and energy-efficient toilets is pretty easily achieved.

Many homeowners underestimate how much of an impact those upgrades and home Improvements can have on monthly bills. Those upgrades will pay for themselves, and add comfort for the family. If that doesn’t encourage you to make those switches, what will?

 #3. Painting The Walls

When you enter a room, the colour is the first thing you’ll notice. It might not always be a conscious reaction, but it does happen. As such, the walls essentially set the tone for the entire home, and changing them is the best way to alter the atmosphere.

Painting the walls is a quick and cheap upgrade, particularly if they have been prepped well. You can learn how to do this at DIYNetwork.com. A few new coats of paint will instantly provide a room with fresh energy. However, changing to a lighter tone can actively change perceptions to make the space look larger. That’s something that most families will appreciate.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the desire to add cool artwork and other stylish features, which is all well and good. Nonetheless, the wall colour will have the biggest influence of any single job. Do not forget it.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

 #4. Utilizing The Garden

The home doesn’t simply include what’s inside the four walls. Adding external appeal is equally important for the relationship shared with the property. So, if you are blessed with a garden space, it’s imperative that you use it to its full capabilities.

Essentially, this job boils down to giving the space a sense of purpose and function. Decks and patio areas may be deemed a little pointless by some. But once you’ve built one, your afternoon and evening time in the garden will never be the same game. Those benefits will be felt all summer long while the maintenance is easy too. Perfect.

If the thought of maintenance has been the main obstacle for avoiding the transformation thus far, try adding an artificial lawn too. Time is the greatest thing in our lives, and those saved hours will make a world of difference to your happiness.   

#5. Fixing The Temperature

Most homeowners dream of a property that boasts the perfect aesthetic. In reality, the practical features should always take priority. After all, there’s little point in having the flash TV if you don’t have the basic comforts in place.

The heating and air circulation features should be top of the to-do list. Visit OnlyRadiators.co.uk to learn about the best heating appliances along with tips to get the most out of them. Let’s face it; nobody wants to spend the winter months sat on the sofa in three coats and a pair of gloves.

On a similar note, fixing the temperature and pressure of the shower and kitchen taps will have a far greater impact than luxury home additions. Prioritising tasks is crucial. Take a mature approach, and it will pay dividends in the long run.

The Most Underrated Home Improvements That Will Transform For Your Family Property

#6. Finding Floor space

Nobody wants to feel cramped in their home. Unfortunately, you’ll need planning permission and capital to increase the physical dimensions. However, creating added floor space will work wonders for the interactions with each room.

Simple jobs like mounting TVs to walls or adding shelves will make an instant impression. Meanwhile, finding hidden storage space in ottomans can work wonders. Combine those tricks with extendable tables and other furniture that can be made smaller when not in use, and you’ll soon see a massive difference.

You don’t even necessarily need to buy new products or complete jobs to see a change. Even the positioning of furniture can transform the appearance of the room. Try out a few different ideas until you find the most spacious appeal. You will not regret it.

#7. Building A Dream Bedroom

What do you consider to be the most important room in your home? Most people will answer the living room or kitchen. While those areas are crucial areas, they don’t come close to the bedroom. Because if you cannot get a good night’s sleep, it will bring negativity to your mental and physical health.

A great bedroom should be more than a place to sleep, but this should still be the number one priority. Investing in a great mattress is imperative, while blackout curtains or blinds will make a huge difference too. Some people will find that a fan may aid their sleep patterns due to the noise and air circulation too.

 

As for the kids’ bedrooms, Improvements you could consider could be high sleeper cabins as a way to aid sleep and create more room for their playing activities. Either way, when you perfect their bedroom spaces, improved sleep is inevitable. For the sake of their development and your sanity, getting this right is a must. Underestimate its importance at your peril.

Do you have any home Improvements planned?

***Collaborative post***
Interior Design

Family Bathroom

family bathroom

Family Bathroom

As some of you may be aware, we moved house back in November. Since then we have been busy, one of our first jobs was to create the perfect family bathroom. We have been extremely busy giving our new house some much-needed TLC that it desperately needed.

All rooms in our new house needed work doing in one way or another (we are slowly working our way through). When you move to a new house this is to be expected. The one room we desperately wanted was our bathroom. We had a family vote on what room to start first and the bathroom won.

The previous people who lived here was disabled and was unable to look after the house and the upkeep/DIY jobs. Being disabled also meant a disabled bathroom – this would have been perfect for them but was not suitable or needed for us. The style of the bathroom was just not us.

Take a look

 

Prior to this video being taken there was also a pull down seat in the shower. We had already removed this to give us more room in the shower as we did not need it.

The bathroom as you can see is only small but we planned to make full use of any space we could. In our old house that too was only a small bathroom and we created a perfect family stylish bathroom. We took the bath out at our old house and put a walk-in shower in place – we soon regretted that as we missed being able to have a bath.

As you can see from above there was hardly any storage space, infact storage space was minimal. A family bathroom to us means storage space is a MUST. I hate having our wash products out on display, I like them stored away when not in use.

family bathroom

The boxed out area was removed and made smaller, allowing room for a bath to go in place and pipe work for the new position of the new radiator.

family bathroom

family bathroom

Measurements was then done to re position the pipework.

How we created our family bathroom

We set out by measuring our bathroom and then took a look online to see what sort of bathroom we would like. We firstly chose our colour, then our design. We then looked at the measurements of our chosen design to see what we could make fit and work best with the bathroom space we have.

We wanted maximum storage and a nice light fresh look. We found this set…..What do you think?

new bathroom

This is the Ardenno bathroom set from B&Q in white gloss. We found the measurements with this set fitted perfectly in the small space and gave us the storage space wanted along with the light coloured fresh look we was looking for.

The wall tile we chose was Haver sand. We liked the detail within the tile and the tile isn’t too dark, we thought it would pair together nicely with the bathroom suite.

family bathroom

family bathroom
The bath is a Cooke & Lewis Conway steel bath.

family bathroom

The floor tile we chose was Nordico vintage beige we wanted to pair the tile colours together as closely as we could. This tile gives a nice wooden flooring effect but infact its porcelain with a vintage design and is a stunning tile.

family bathroom

We wanted a bathroom that had plenty of storage space so that it didn’t become a dumping ground of clutter. We put the time and effort in to the measuring, planning and design of our family bathroom, checking those measurements and colour schemes twice as you can’t be too careful.

Just because we have a small bathroom it didn’t mean we had to compromise on style too just because of its size. Any size bathroom can be beautiful no matter how small.

With the bathroom being a small room we didn’t want to over clutter the room, we wanted to keep it simple with soft natural shades. We are going to add splashes of colour within the furnishing of the room, we are yet to get a blind and new towels etc.

So here is our new and improved family bathroom

Our new and finished bathroom 😍 looking much better 😊 much more our style 😊

A post shared by The House That Never Rests (@thehousethatneverrests) on

What do you think?

As we said above the soft furnishings are yet to be added but we now have a more usable and welcoming family bathroom that we done by ourselves and love.

We moved where the position of where the radiator was, it was taking up space next to the sink so this was removed and it freed up valuable space. The whole bathroom was emptied, re-styled and re-positioned.

Ian is a fully qualified electrician and one of his hates is mini trunking. As you can see from the video of the old bathroom it has mini trunking. All cables are now safely behind the wall. We have also tried to hide as many pipes as possible we think it looks much tidier.

From this

family bathroom

To this

Family Bathroom

Family Bathroom

We now have storage space

Family Bathroom

A much more family friendly bathroom that is more us and our style. We all got stuck in and helped and that makes our bathroom even more special. We try our best to do as much of our own jobs around the house as we can. Making our home full of very special memories that are made with love.

Our next project is to now tackle the garden