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Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

Upgrade Your Home During Lockdown With These Tips!

***Collaborative post***

There is nobody out there right now that’s happy about another lockdown. The world is supposed to be getting better, not worse, and while we can all do or bit to support the recovery from a pandemic by social distancing and wearing masks, we feel pretty useless. The shops are shut, the restaurants are closed, the arts are crumbling – it’s all very depressing as a start to what should have been the Roaring Twenties once again. The one thing that has been pulling us all through is our combined ability to come up with things to do – even when we are stuck inside the house!

Your day may be looking a little like Groundhog Day every day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it more interesting. With a little forward thinking and assessing of your own interests and skills, you can fix it up so that you are able to indulge in something to make lockdown more bearable. Lockdown has drowned everyone’s plans for holidays and nights out but it doesn’t have to change your home renovation or upgrade plans. How long has it been since you really spent time in your house? Most people spend their time out and about or at work, and that makes it hard to see where things are looking a little worn out or in need of some love. Being at home and working all the time makes you see the areas that have become a little tired. You may be tempted to whip out the glue guns and start making fancy things for the walls, but what you really need to be thinking about is how you can get upgrading the main rooms of the home. Below, we’ve got some of the best ways that you can start upgrading your home during lockdown – and upgrading your lockdown experience, too.

Look At Your Layout

You may not be able to move and erect new walls and extensions right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t play around with the layout of your home. Look at the living room and the bedrooms and make a point of switching and swapping the bed, the rugs and even the bookshelves. The shabby looking furniture can be upcycled with fabrics and new upholstering, and the older pieces can be moved out and the newer pieces moved in to make the space look more modern. Change the ornaments and vases to be more central to the rooms and give everything a thorough clean. You can get so inventive with the layout of your home and even if it doesn’t work, you can just do it all again – you’ve got time.

Make a Move Outside

If you have a patio in your backyard, it’s time to give it a boost. Pressure washing the stones and cleaning down the mud is one thing, but you can get creative with your patio decorations. You may be tied inside because of lockdowns, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your patio as beautiful as possible during this time. This is your outdoor bubble; the space in which you can sit and bask in a slice of sunshine. Adding flowers and pot plants is going to give it colour, and adding outdoor artwork is going to make it fun. Take the time to source some outdoor seating if you have the space, too. If you don’t have room for a table and chairs, think about an egg chair that you can hang from an installed bracket.

Play With Colour

You’re staring at the same walls for the foreseeable future, so you may as well brighten them up. You can order paint online for delivery and start decorating your rooms one by one. Plain white walls can be upgraded with a little masking tape and some new colours to make stripes and mosaic patterns. Give the window panes a buff and sand down, and then repaint them with new, bright colours to brighten up the windows. Paint isn’t the only way to add new colours, either. You can buy fabrics and upholster your armchair, replace your bedsheets and blankets with pretty patterns and transform the space entirely.

Declutter It All

Anything you didn’t get through during the first lockdown can be changed now. Those hidden closets stuffed with your things, the drawers with the old clothes in them? They are all in desperate need of a good sort out! You can declutter all of the spaces you have and approach everything with a minimalistic outlook. You can rearrange everything and sell anything you don’t use on Marketplace so that others can collect and reuse your older things!

Winter It Up

Christmas is coming. 2020 has been full of March – every day is more March – but it’s also somehow nearly Christmas and the festive season is bearing down upon us. So, upgrade the house with trees and decorations and tinsel and baubles. So what, it’s not December just yet? So what if it’s not actually Christmas for a month? Bring in the fluffy cushions and blankets with Christmas patterns and put a Christmas tree in every room. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there are no rules this year! You can make Christmas last for weeks if you want to and no one can stop you.

Upgrade Your Workspace

Are you working from home right now? It’s time to think about your workspace. No, we don’t mean the chair and the laptop on your lap that you’ve been doing so far – we mean an actual workspace! A desk in the corner, a comfortable chair and something to rest your feet on is going to make a huge difference to the way that you work – and don’t forget a filing cabinet for your stationery and paperwork.

Upgrading your home during lockdown can be as creative as you want it to be. Whether you break out knitting needles or glue guns, the paintbrushes or cookie cutters – make lockdown fun!

Home, Home preparation

Social Living: Make Your Home Ready for Guests

Social Living: Make Your Home Ready for Guests

***Collaborative post***

Your home isn’t just for you and your immediate family to enjoy. It’s also there for your friends and extended family, too. In an age when it’s more and more difficult to go out to pubs and restaurants, many of us are looking to host people in our homes — or at least, they will be in the future, when the coronavirus restrictions have been loosened a little. But of course, if you’re going to host people in your home, then you need to put some effort into making sure that it’s possible. Below, you’ll find some useful tips that’ll ensure that this is the case.

Clean and Spacious

If you’re going to invite friends around, then you can’t present a dirty and cluttered home. They’ll only figure that something is wrong with the atmosphere, even if everything else is perfect. The first step should be to make sure that everything is clean and spacious, and that your home is an all-around pleasant space to be in. If you know that you’re going to have guests around, then be sure to put in some elbow grease, and make the space spotless. It really will be appreciated by your friends and family!

Well-Stocked

Sometimes, you know that people are going to visit you. At other times, you don’t know — they just turn up. And there’s nothing wrong with that; it’s always nice to be surprised when you’re at home, providing that you’re not busy. However, you might feel a little uncomfortable if you have nothing to serve! Water is good, but it’s not a social drink, that’s for sure. You can make sure that you’re ready for whoever to turn up by having a well-stocked pantry with a selection of drinks, alcoholic and soft, so that there’s always something to serve. It’s recommended to have a few extra snacks lying around too, just in case.  

Room to Relax

Take a look at your home: is it set up to receive guests? As in, is there a place where everyone can unwind and have fun together? If there’s nothing, then look at making some changes. There are a few different ways to do this. If you know you’re going to host parties in the future, then opt for the open-plan kitchen — they’re great social spaces. You should also pay attention to your outdoor space, because who wants to cooped up indoors when the sun is shining? Invest in some garden furniture from Dreamo Living, and you’ll be able to spend long hours in the outdoors with your loved one. And don’t forget to buy a BBQ too! If you have friends and family who live far away, then be sure to set up a guest room. 

A Welcoming Attitude

Finally, remember that attitude is key! If you have a welcoming attitude, one that allows people to really feel at home when they’re in your house, then you’ll already be most of the way towards creating a special space for your friends and family.

Home, Home preparation, Spring, Top tips

Preparing For Spring

Preparing For Spring

Spring is finally here! the clocks have now gone forward an hour and the nights are staying lighter for longer. Are you ready to start packing away your winter blankets and start getting ready for the lovely much-needed warmer sunny day’s? we most certainly are!

I hate the winter months, the day’s are long, cold, dark and miserable. There is nothing worse than waking up and it still being dark out, cold, frosty and very uninviting. They are certainly months we definately don’t mind waving a goodbye to.

Are you ready for the warmer sunny day’s? we most certainly can’t wait. No more winter wear cluttering up the hall. No more winter blankets or hot water bottles for added warmth. But hello sunshine, picnic blankets and outdoor fun!

Preparing For Spring

Refreshing Our Home For Spring

We are going to be busy over the next few weeks welcoming in spring by getting our home into warmer-weather shape by have a seasonal spring refresh. We will be doing this by de-cluttering common areas, tidying cupboards, packing away winter and welcoming spring.

Spring Cleaning Ideas

I guess it’s not called “spring cleaning” for nothing. Now is a great time to have a good sort out at home and prepare yourselves for the summer months. Are you spring ready?

  • Washing blankets, big heavy quilts, winter jumpers and winter coats. Getting them all washed dried and put away until next winter and swapping them for lighter spring wear.
  • Having a wardrobe tidy/sort out. We all end up adding to our winter wear over the cold months don’t we? our weight has even changed since last summer. Now would be a good time to have a good sort out of our wardrobe to see what fits and doesn’t. Perhaps bag up a few items to donate to a charity. Not forgetting that shoe pile as they easily mount up too!
  • Tidy cupboards. Is your home like ours and has what we call a “clutter cupboard”? – OMG this cupboard drives me crazy. It is a cupboard where we store all our cleaning products, such as our hoover, steam cleaner etc. It is always a mess as everything just gets chucked in it. This is a cupboard in desperate need of tidying and re-organising.
  • Clutter zones. Another massive hate of mine are clutter zones. I think every house has them, whether it be a shelving unit, sofa or table. We have two areas in our house that tends to get cluttered and is currently in desperate need of sorting.
Preparing For Spring
  • Kitchen cupboards. Need I say anymore? where do all the lids to food storage containers disapear to? please don’t say it is just our cupboards that end up with odd lids and food storage containers that are no longer of any use? time to match lids to containers or dispose. As for the food cupboard it is time to check the date on food lables as things tend to get pushed back and before we know it food ends up out of date before we have used them.
  • Surfaces. Time to clear all surfaces, remove any clutter that has accumulated over the winter months. This is when I enjoy to have a little change around. Add in splashes of colour to brighten our home up a little.
  • Bathroom/Toilet. Time to dig out that steam cleaner I think and hope all the attatchments are there. A job I hate but it is deep clean time for the bathroom.

Adding splashes of colour

Once everywhere is all nice and clean, also winter and clutter free it is nice to start brightening up our home by making it more bright, cheerful and welcoming. This can be done in many way’s. Here are a few ideas to help brighten up your home.

Preparing For Spring
  • Cushion covers – A simple quick change in style or colour of cushion covers can make all the difference to a room. It helps instantly to give a room the look you are working to acheieve.
  • Plants – A perfect way to brighten shelves, corners and tables. They instantly add colour to rooms and plain, boring dark corners.
  • Rugs – An instant way to add a splash of colour to tired looking flooring. Not only add colour but you could also add a pattern too if you wish. A rug can brighten up and transform any room instantly.
Preparing For Spring
  • Bedding – Fancy freshening up your bedroom and giving it a little makeover? Had the same coloured bedding for a while now? how about a change? add a splash of colour to your bedding it will help brighten up your bedroom.
  • Pictures – Having a change about with photo’s displayed or artwork can help change a feel to a room. A little re-position or update can make all the difference.
  • Table cloths – A nice new table cloth and a new centrepiece can help add a nice feel to a room. A table in a room can be a main focus point and looks lovely when nicely displayed.
  • Mirror – Mirrors can be a perfect way to help brighten up dark shelves and walls. They are a perfect way to make small rooms feel bigger, and also a perfect way to add light to dark rooms.
  • Ornaments – Had the same ornaments out on display for a while? fancy a change around. Changing a few odd items that are on display can make all the difference to a room. Either a little re-position or change completley depends on the look you are hoping to acheieve.
  • Curtains – Do they go with the look/colour scheme you are hoping to achieve? if they do then a quick freshen up is all they will probably need. Or you could add a different look by changing the tie-backs and/or the curtain pole. If they don’t fit with your new room update then shop around for a new set of curtains completely. It will help to instanlty give your room a new look.
Preparing For Spring
  • Lamps – I do love lamps in rooms, they make perfect mood lighting. They can also help to set a style in a room too. There are so many different lamps to chose from and they can help fill a gap on a table, shelf or even a corner in a room.
  • Upcycle – Have a tired looking piece of furniture that is too good to dispose of? then don’t – upcycle it! there are so many brilliant ideas you can find online these day’s, why dispose of good furniture when you don’t have to.

A few small changes to your home can make all the difference. It doesn’t have to prove too costly either!

Home preparation, pets

Preparing our home for a new puppy

Coco

Preparing our home for a new puppy

On Friday we will be welcoming a puppy into our home and into our family. Meet Coco our 8 week old Siberian Husky girl.

Coco

preparing our home for a new puppy

The decision to get another dog certainly wasn’t taken lightly seeing as we only lost our loving Buddy back in March. A lot of thought had gone into it along with loads of research into the breed of dog we had chosen to see if the breed was right for us. Once the decision was made to get a Siberian husky we began our search. Lots of calls were made and advise seeked.

We was put in touch with a lovely breeder who we had made contact with, she sent us some photos of her puppies and Coco stood out from the off, an appointment was instantly made to go and meet with her last week.

The breeder had questions for us and we also went along with a list of questions for her. Once we all felt happy we then met with Coco and Coco’s mum. We spent time playing with them both, had lots of cuddles and all got to know each other. We learnt a lot from chatting with the breeder and she helped by answering any questions we had.

We chose to collect Coco at a later date so it gave us time to prepare our home, the breeder was happy to keep Coco and fully understands, she was only too happy to help. Not only does it give us time to make our home puppy safe but it gives us time to be 100% sure of our decision to get another dog.

We wanted time to check for…

  • Electric cables she may be able to reach.
  • Small gaps she may squeeze into.
  • Objects she may find tasty looking and chew on – best moved for now.
  • Make sure our garden is puppy proof. No holes in fences, poisonous plants etc.
  • Locks on gates, doors and cupboards to prevent visits is unwanted areas.
  • Add a stair gate to save any falls if she was to go exploring.
  • To ensure our furniture is safe and cannot fall on her if she was to explore.
  • Add fencing to any hazard areas in our garden.

And time to purchase this never-ending list of accessories….

  • A travel Crate for safe travelling.
  • Lead, collar and name tag.
  • Food and water dish.
  • Bed.
  • Crate for indoors.
  • Toys.
  • Grooming kit.
  • Food and treats.
  • Puppy pads/training kit.
  • Blankets.
  • Pet friendly cleaning products for any accidents.
  • Poop bags.

Along with all the above there is also going to be a life-long commitment in place for Coco from the moment we collect her on Friday. She is going to be so loved and looked after with every need met.

From…

  • Training.
  • Walking/exercising.
  • Health checks.
  • Love and comfort.
  • Discipline.
  • Most of all our love, time and understanding.

When we collect her on Friday she would already of had her first lot of injections, wormer and flea treatment so we will need to get her registered with a vet of our choice and have this followed up and kept up-to-date. Coco will also have been micro chipped so she will hopefully always be returned to us if she was to ever get lost….fingers crossed this never happens.

As for pet insurance we have been looking online and have a few quotes she will be covered for her first month with us so this gives us time to choose who we wish to go with.

When we collect her we will be prepared for any travel sickness/anxiety she may suffer. After all it will be our first of many new experiences together.

We are currently working our way through our checklist and are very excitedly counting down to Friday too.

We will be keeping you up-to-date on how she settles in with a follow-up post very soon. We will be sharing photos and videos of her over on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in the mean time.

Do you have any tips you would like to share with us on ways we can help her settle into her new home with us?

 

Home preparation

Preparing a home for a baby

Preparing a Home for a Baby

Preparing a home for a baby

Whilst a mother is expecting, it’s imperative that her and her partner start preparing for the imminent arrival. It’s imperative that they start preparing themselves for the task of looking after a baby by attending prenatal classes. It’s imperative that they start making changes to their personal lives so that they accommodate the new bundle of joy into it their life. And it’s imperative that they get their home as ready and as baby-proofed as can be. If this turns out to be a bit of struggle for you during your time as an expectant parent, then make sure to take heed of the advice below.

Preparing a Home for a Baby

First of all, you need to make your home as safe as possible. To do this, you will need to bring in a whole host of things. Therefore, your first action needs to be to create space. You need to free up as much space as you possibly can, in pretty much every room of your home. This is because apparatus that is used to keep children safe, such as bouncers and rockers, take up more space than you realise. So, free up some space. And to free up some space you should consider using self storage. That way, you would be able to store your belongings safely for an extended period of time. You’d be able to store them until space becomes available in your home again or until you find another, more permanent home for them.

And once space does become available, you should then bring in all the baby apparatus needed to keep your little one safe. As mentioned, bouncers and rockers are a great first port of call as they provide your baby with a safe place to lie and sleep. But it’s not just about bringing safety apparatus in. No, it’s also about ensuring the things that are already in your home are made as safe as can be. This means you should place child locks on your kitchen cupboards. You should make your stairs out bounds. You should make anything that is breakable or anything that has sharp edges out of reach for your inquisitive baby. And these are only a few of the things you should be doing, there are a whole host of other things to do.

Not only should your house be baby-proofed, however. It should be a stimulating environment in which your baby can grow healthily too. And one way to make it stimulating and healthy is to make it is as quiet as possible. And to make it as quiet as possible, you should include buying quieting-down objects in your preparations. These kinds of objects include blackout curtains and white noise machines. When you include these in your preparations, you can be sure that you are taking your baby’s growth into serious consideration.

You need to not only ensure the home is safe and stimulating environment for your child to grow in, but you also need to ensure it provides everything they need too. You need to pack your home full of everything it is that you will be needing on a day-to-day basis in order to keep your baby healthy. You need to bring in a quality breast pump — whether it be one that you buy or one that you rent from a hospital. You need to get a nursing pillow so that your little one is comfortable whilst he or she is being fed. And you also need to invest in a number of glass bottles so that those who visit your home will have the chance to feed your newborn also.

But it’s not just about ensuring the home has everything your baby needs, it’s about ensuring it has everything you need in this very delicate time of your life as well. Because your time will be few and far between when you have the baby to look after, it’s a good idea to pack your house with essentials. It’s a good idea to pack it full of frozen meals and other types of foods that are going to both last and be quick to prepare. By doing this you would give yourself the best chance possible of keeping up with your own nutrition. And this is something that is vital for not only your health, but the health of your baby too. Well, if you aren’t well enough to look after them, who is going to look after them? So, check out these surprisingly easy and delicious freezer meals for new moms and choose the ones that tickle your fancy the most.

Another way that you can prepare for your own needs as a new parent is to sort out the sleeping arrangements beforehand. In this instance, you simply must take into the account that you will more than likely be woken up in the middle of the night, every night. And you have to think to yourself ‘do I really want to have to be getting up and trudging to another room?’ If the answer is no, then you should take this into consideration whilst planning the sleeping arrangements. And one way to take this into consideration is to purchase a co-sleeper bassinet. This is a kind of bed for your baby that will attach to your own bed. Therefore, when your baby begins to cry in the middle of the night, you need only move a few inches in order to be able to feed and soothe him or her. This is the most practical way to tend to a baby during the night because it is both quick and safe. It is quick because you are right there, next to your baby. And it is safe because, despite how close in proximity you are to your baby, you are not in danger of entering their sleeping zone as it is both blocked off and too small.

If your baby was in your bed you’d be in danger of entering his or her zone whilst you are yourself asleep, which could then lead to you damaging them. A co-sleeper bassinet eradicates this problem entirely, so therefore should be included in any preparations you make in your home.

So, as you prepare for the little bundle of joy, make sure your home comes into these preparations. And don’t worry, just because your baby is going to change your and your partner’s lives forever, it doesn’t mean it will change your home forever. No, your home can return back to normal as soon as you feel you child is old enough to be able to protect themselves within it without the safety measures in place.

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