By now, you've probably heard your fair share of moving home horror stories - tales of delayed contracts to valuables getting damaged in transit, and just about everything in between. As a result, it's hardly surprising that 57% of adults rank moving house as the "most stressful life event" they've encountered.
And, while there’s no guarantee of plain sailing, there are some steps you can do to keep your stress levels down during this time. After all, moving home should be exciting, as it gives you that fresh start you’ve been craving.
Photo by Michal Balog on Unsplash
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to stay calm and collected when moving home.
Increase your chances of selling your current property.
The speed at which you can move house often hinges on your ability to sell or rent your current property. As a result, you can lower your stress levels by finding ways to guarantee a quick sale. For example, you could work to impress potential buyers by finding inexpensive ways to add value to your home. While this may incur additional costs, it can also drive up your asking price considerably, meaning it's worth a little investment on your end.
However, sometimes, these changes don’t have to cost any money at all! For example, many studies have found that deep cleaning and de-personalizing your home helps to speed up sales, as it gives viewers the chance to envision what the property would look like if they lived there. While interior work is important, don’t forget to enhance your curb appeal by making your home's exterior presentable too!
Unfortunately, the stress of moving does not dissipate once contracts are finalized or you’ve got your keys in your hand - as you then have to go through the process of actually moving. This is a labor-intensive process, especially if you’re trying to load everything you own into the back of your car. You can cut down your stress (and protect yourself from a lot of back pain), however, by hiring a removal company to do this work on your behalf.
For example, companies such as Two Men And A Truck are moving pros, who can ensure that all of your belongings are brought from your old property to the door of your dream home! As you’re not trying to cram everything into a small space (i.e., the boot of your car), this also reduces the chances of any of your precious belongings or furniture getting damaged in transit and needing to be replaced.
Keep a to-do list.
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into moving house and a lot of deadlines too. As a result, keeping a to-do list is a great way to ensure you remain on track and focused throughout, reducing the chances of you experiencing any problems that could delay the all-important move-in date. Remember, having something written down often means we feel more accountable to stay on track, and we’re less likely to forget this information too!
Pexels. CCO Licensed.
While the opportunity to design and build your own home can be exciting, it requires a lot of careful planning and preparation. Many people undertaking self-builds end up making mistakes along the way. While some blunders can be easily fixed, others can be much more disastrous. Below are a few of the mistakes that you definitely don’t want to make when building your own home.
Neglecting a soil survey
A soil survey can help to tell you what type of soil you’re building on so that you know what kind of foundations to lay. If you lay foundations without undertaking a soil survey, you could end up building a home with inadequate foundations, which could lead to all kinds of structural problems in the future. Make sure to skip this task.
Ignoring planning restrictions
When choosing a plot of land to build on, it’s worth also looking into planning restrictions. There may be limits as to how high you can build, where you can put windows or trees that you’re not allowed to remove from the area. It’s important to always get planning permission beforehand and to not construct anything if your plans are rejected - you could be heavily fined and your home could be ordered to be demolished if it goes against local restrictions.
Not insuring your self-build
Self-build insurance can offer compensation if your home is damaged or a worker is accidentally injured during construction. While you’ll hopefully never need to apply for this compensation, it’s useful to have this cover just in case the worst happens. You can compare insurers that provide this cover online.
Choosing the wrong contractors
It’s important that you choose reliable and well-priced contractors. When choosing contractors, consider looking up reviews online and checking that they have an online presence. It could also be worth checking if they are insured and whether they provide a performance bond for construction. Make sure that they also have all the right certification. All of this can prevent you from potentially hiring poor quality contractors.
Taking on too much yourself
If you’ve got some basic handyman skills, you may be considering taking on some of the construction work yourself. This could save you money, plus you can say afterwards that you literally helped build your own home. However, you should be careful of taking on too much work. You will need some helping hands - especially when it comes to handling tasks that may require a licensed professional like electrics or operating a crane. Having some help will also help you to complete construction in good time.
Underestimating the cost
You should have a clear idea of how much your self-build project is going to cost. This should include the cost of acquiring land, seeking planning permission, designing your home, ordering supplies and hiring contractors. On top of all these costs, it’s worth setting aside some extra cash to plan for the unexpected. If there are delays and you need to pay contractors for longer than anticipated, you’ll have the money to pay for them.
Making mid-build changes
It’s important to establish a design and stick with it. If you start trying to change things mid-build, it will throw off your budget, plus contractors may start to get annoyed. This is why it’s important to take time pouring over the design so that you’re happy with every aspect. Get an architect to provide a 3D model and take the time to inspect every detail of it so that you’re 100% happy with it.
Most homes were built in a time before concerns about the environment were so widespread. It was only really in the 1970s that environmentalism got started and even by the early 1990s, it was still small.
Now, though, things have changed. It’s mainstream and something that practically every major media outlet now openly discusses.
Unfortunately, despite the changes in the conversation, the way we live hasn’t adjusted all that much. Homes follow much the same format as they always have.
The good news, though, is that there are a bunch of little things that you can do that really add up over time. Check them out below:
Change The Temperature On Your Thermostat
Unsplash - CC0 License
One of the first things you can do is change the temperature on your thermostat. For instance, if people are home, set it to 75°F instead of the usual 70°F if you use air conditioning in the summer. Similarly, change your winter temperature from the usual 68°F to 65°F. Small alterations like these can make a tremendous difference to your overall bills.
Rely More On Renewable Energy
Of course, if you have ample renewable energy installed on your property, you may be able to avoid the need to turn down your thermostat at all. Companies like Wayne's Solar are already selling things like solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels that can power electrical heating systems.
The more you rely on renewable energy, the greener your home will become, and the less carbon it will produce.
Recycle What You Can
Unfortunately, you still can’t recycle everything that you use in your home. Recyclers simply can’t process some forms of packaging.
However, you can process most of it, especially if you know where to look. Check your local area to see what electronic items recyclers are willing to take, including things like old computers, TVs, and smartphones.
Use Appliances Intelligently
The amount of energy your appliances consume depends a great deal on how you use them. In some cases, you can avoid the need for them entirely.
For instance, you could try running your washer on cold and see if the results are acceptable. You could also hang more of your clothing out in the sun or avoid the temptation to preheat your oven. If you have an opportunity to use the microwave, do so. Set the water heater to just 120°F instead of higher.
Reduce Water Usage
Water requires energy to pump to your home, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. It also depletes freshwater in many areas which can have a knock-on effect on local ecosystems.
To reduce how much water you use, take quick showers and not baths. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads. And if you are brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet.
Automate The Lights To Turn Off When You Leave The Room
Modern technology has given us something incredible: lights that turn off when you leave the room. These work using a combination of sensors and smart chips. If they detect you’re in the room, they’ll switch on. If you leave the room, they’ll turn off. This way, you never waste electricity on lighting that you don’t use.
Install LED Bulbs
Related to this, you might want to install LED bulbs. These use dramatically less electricity than standard incandescent and they last much longer, too.
There are two ways you can go about this. Either, you can wait for your incandescents to burn out before replacing them. Or you can replace them all immediately and benefit from lower electricity costs.
These days, you can install LED bulbs all over your home. They’re equally beneficial in indoor and outdoor areas.
Use The Same Bag Every Time You Go To The Store
Bags for life usually turn into “bags for the week.” And while they reduce the number of single-use plastic bags around, they still add to the overall quantity of non-biodegradable waste in the environment.
Fortunately, you can simplify your grocery trips by using a single canvas bag made of material that will break down in the ground. Take it with you wherever you go so that you always have a bag available. If you have a car, keep it in the glove box or trunk.
Use Approved Appliances
Unsplash - CC0 License
Lastly, prioritize buying ENERGY STAR appliances. These are tested by an independent energy rating body that determines their energy efficiency. Some appliances use less than half the amount of electricity as standard versions, and they may last longer, too. But only replace your existing appliance if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, it will wind up in landfill.
If you own a rental apartment, you want to present it to potential renters in a way that makes them want to move in straight away. And the best way to do this is to freshen up the décor and make it look better.
But what, exactly, should you be focusing on? You’re about to find out. In this post, we take a look at some of the easy ways to decorate a rental apartment on a budget. Check them out below.
Give Everything A Fresh Lick Of Paint
Unsplash - CC0 License
Start by giving everything a fresh lick of paint. The easiest option here is to make everything clean and white, though you can try other colors in some special cases.
A new coat of white paint immediately brightens the whole room. Plus, it goes with whatever furniture you have in the apartment (if any).
Don’t worry about buying expensive rollers or using fancy application techniques. Ultimately, a simple brush will suffice. Most management companies, like Bridlewood Real Estate, would suggest going as neutral as you can to attract the widest array of tenants.
Focus Energy On The Kitchen
Unsplash - CC0 License
Old kitchens can put tenants off and may force you to offer your property at a lower price. But some simple upgrades can change the game entirely. The more expensive that you can make them look, the more positive reactions you will accumulate.
Start by making the kitchen neutral. White, gray or charcoal are all good choices. Then install overlay panel doors on European hinges. If you already have cabinetry, you might want to consider refacing it. You should also consider hanging pendant lighting to enhance the room’s feel.
Cover Up Eyesores
If there are any eyesores in your home, cover them up. Stains on the walls that you can’t remove or ugly radiators in the bedroom can put tenants off and make them feel like “something isn’t right” when they visit your property.
For instance, try making light switches the same color as your walls to make them disappear visually. White on white is the obvious choice here.
You might also want to create radiator covers. Pre-fabbed products are often made of walnut and look very attractive compared to standard metal.
Correct Bad Lighting
Next, you want to ensure that whatever apartment you are selling has good lighting. This means adding both warmth and brightness to spaces to make them look less tired.
To upgrade your property and bring it into the 21st century, try layering lighting. Use a combination of ceiling lights, sconces, and table lamps to create the perfect ambiance. Experiment with using warmer colors to help tenants feel more welcomed.
Add Lots Of Art
Unsplash - CC0 License
While it might sound strange, adding a lot of art is a great way to encourage tenants to take up residence in your property. And, if you go generic, it’s cheap, too. These days you can get paintings and murals for just a few dollars instead of having to pay sky-high oligarch prices. Place it around all your rooms, including the bedroom.
Pixabay - CCO Licence
There is nothing wrong with as neutral time if muted tones are your thing, but many of us would love to have a little more color in our lives, and the only reason that we don't is because we don’t know how to add it to the decor in a way that works.
If you are one of those people, and you would love to bring more color into your home, but you don’t know how, below you will find some great, creative ideas that will help you to transform your decor in the most tasteful way possible:
Paint the front door
If you want to make a statement, then why not paint your front door bright pink or orange or maybe even sunflower yellow? It's a great way to increase curb appeal and ensure that you smile every time you come home from a busy day of work or play.
Add a mosaic
Mosaics and color go hand in hand, so if you’re looking for a cool, unique, and creative way to bring more color into your home, why not use this Mozaico discount code to buy some mosaic tiles and create your very own mural in the bathroom, ion the kitchen floor, or anywhere else you like really? It will look amazing.
Paint the interior of your shelves
If it is a simple pop of color that you want, then painting just the inside of your shelving units and bookcases can make a surprisingly dramatic impact with such a small amount of color. Leave the exterior portion natural and the bright blues, purples, or pinks of the shelves' interior will pop and draw the eye in a way that is both eye-catching and surprisingly subtle too.
Pixabay - CCO Licence
Add a flourish of flowers
If you’re looking for something a little less permanent, that you can change as often as you want, flower arrangements are the ideal way to bring more color into your home. Buy a bunch of flowers, learn how to arrange them, and place them in pretty vases around your home for pops of brilliant pink, yellow and orange that will draw the eye, make your home skill amazing, and add a touch of class too. Need something more permanent> dry the flowers and run them into a boquet that will last for years to come.
Paint a mural
If you’re looking for something, big, bold, and in your face, why not paint a mural on one of your walls? Use masking tape to create a simple geometric design, or if you’re really going for it, an actual scene from life, whether it be of a couple kissing, an animal frolicking, or anything you like, and carefully paint the lines to create your own unique, long-lasting piece of permanent wall art. It’s not for everyone, but sometimes you have to go big to make your home your own.
Color can transform your home and the creative decor ideas above will undoubtedly help you to bring more color into your life, so what are you waiting for?
When we talk about home design, our attention almost always automatically turns to the interiors. This is completely fair. The interiors of our homes are the parts that we, personally, see the most. It’s the space where we spend the majority of our free time, relaxing, entertaining family and friends, preparing meals, bathing, sleeping and so much more. It’s not surprising that we want them to look and feel as nice as possible, providing ourselves with a beautiful living environment that reflects our tastes and preferences. But when is the last time you paid attention to the outside of your home? This is the element of your home that others tend to see more. The facade of your living space that should look and feel great too! Here are a few starter steps to take when it comes to making your home even better, starting from the outside.
If your home has open brickwork on the outside, you probably don’t have to worry too much about this step, as brickwork tends to just get better with age. As long as you jetwash it and keep it clean, it should be good. But if your home is painted or has some sort of cladding or facade, you’re going to need to keep on top of this with routine maintenance. This could involve painting, repainting or, again, jetwashing to make sure that it stays in good shape and looks great throughout the year. Just think how exposed it is to rain, sunlight, wind and other elements!
When did you last pay attention to your driveway? This is a largely practical and functional element of your home’s exterior, allowing you and guests to park up your cars easily. Of course, over time, driveways can wear down, whether that’s a gravel driveway slowly being blown away or a paved driveway becoming uneven. Make sure to have gravel replaced or slabs relaid as and when required. You should also keep a good check on your car, keeping this presentable too. From ensuring it passes state safety inspection to having it professionally cleaned and maintained, remember that your car forms a significant part of the aesthetic of your home’s exterior too!
Fences and Gates
Do you have fences or gates around your front yard? These will require TLC over the years. Paint on your fences may fade, or if they have a standard wood look, you may have to stain them to keep them looking good as new. When painting or staining your fences, make sure to use paints that are specifically designed for use on wood that is outdoors. This will ensure that you get a good finish that can stand the test of time. You may also want to make sure that your gates look fresh with a coat of exterior metal paint and to keep them quiet with proper oiling on the hinges.
These are just a few areas of focus that you should check in on when it comes to maintaining your home’s exteriors. Hopefully, some of the tips outlined above will help you along the way!
A home is somewhere that should make you feel joyful and put you at ease. You may like where you live and thought your home was nice when you bought it but are now having mixed emotions and second thoughts about it all.
If this is your situation then it may be time to make a change so you can fall back in love with your property and love where you live. Here are four tips for creating a more beautiful and elegant home that will improve its appearance so you can feel more satisfied with your property and start to focus on all the positives.
1. Hang Curtains
Dress up your windows as one way to create a more beautiful and elegant home to enjoy. Start by washing all your windows and then be prepared to replace old window treatments. Not only add blinds but then hang curtains in certain areas. It’s a great way to add color, texture, and warmth to your home. Be sure to hang the curtains high so that it appears as if you have taller ceilings than you do and so your home looks more elegant and luxurious.
2. Rip Out Old CarpetYour floors also play a significant role in the overall look and feel of your home. Create a more beautiful and elegant interior by ripping out any old carpets. Instead, consider options such as hardwood flooring that will instantly make your home more beautiful and look more expensive. They are not only easy to clean but will enhance the look of your home and add value to your property. If you want to add more comfort or warmth to these spaces with new floors then place down some colorful and cozy area rugs.
3. Focus on the EntrywayIf you want to create a more beautiful and elegant home to enjoy then focus your efforts on improving the entryway or foyer. It’s the opportunity to make your home look spectacular from the minute you step foot in it and a chance to impress those entering your property. Some ways to spruce up your entryway are to enhance the light fixture with something more eye-catching, offer a place to sit, and create a wall display. Also, put out fresh flowers, hang a mirror, and paint the walls a neutral and welcoming color. Remember to make updates on the exterior entryway as well such as hanging flowers and painting the front door.
4. Choose Calm ColorsYou can make your home look and feel luxurious with the right colors. Choose calming and soothing colors that make you feel peaceful and less stressed. If you do want to add bold colors then do so in areas such as a small bathroom, a dining room, or paint an accent wall. However, if you want to create a more beautiful and elegant home overall then think about going with a neutral and lighter palette that is attractive and soothing. It will also be a good choice if you decide to sell your home one day in the future since many homebuyers will appreciate neutral walls and a brighter space.
A well-designed kitchen can make all the difference in the world regarding your cooking experience. Therefore, it's essential to consider all of your needs when planning your kitchen, from the layout to the appliances. The following blog post will discuss some tips for designing the perfect kitchen for your needs!
1) The Layout Of Your Kitchen Is Important
The layout of your kitchen is essential for two reasons. First, you need to make sure that your kitchen is functional. This means that everything should be within reach and that there is plenty of counter space. Second, your kitchen layout can affect the room's overall look and feel. You want to make sure that the room's flow makes sense and looks good!
Some things to consider when planning the layout of your kitchen include:
- The location of your appliances
- The amount of counter space you need
- How much storage do you need
- The traffic flow in the room
If possible, create a "work triangle" in your kitchen. This means having your refrigerator, sink, and stove in a triangular layout. This will make your kitchen more efficient to work in!
Photo by Mark McCammon
2) Consider The Appliances You Need
When it comes to appliances, you need to think about both function and style. First, consider the appliances you absolutely need in your kitchen. Make a list of must-have appliances, and then take a look at what else you might want to include. Then, start thinking about how those appliances will fit into your overall design. For example, if you're looking for a sleek and modern kitchen, you might want to consider hiding some of your appliances behind cabinet doors.
You also need to consider cleaning when selecting your appliances, as some may be harder to clean than others. For example, kitchen exhaust cleaning can be difficult if you don't have the right equipment in place. Consider how often you'll need to clean each appliance and select accordingly.
3) Get The Right Sink
Your sink is one of the essential elements in your kitchen, so you must ensure you get the right one for your needs. For example, you might opt for a double sink if you have a large family. On the other hand, if you entertain often, you might choose a sink that is big enough to accommodate all of your guests. You should also consider the height of your sink and ensure it is comfortable for you.
Another important consideration is the type of material that your sink is made out of. Stainless steel is a popular choice because it is durable and easy to clean. However, many other materials are also available, such as granite, composite, and even ceramic. Before making your final decision, talk to a professional to see which option would be best for your kitchen.
In conclusion, following these tips will help you design the perfect kitchen for your needs. Be sure to think about the appliances you need, the type of sink you want, and the overall layout of your kitchen before making any final decisions. With a little bit of planning, you can create a kitchen that is both stylish and functional.
You’ve decided that the time has come to move house and buy a new home, but you can’t quire decide on the location. There are lots of options to choose from and you’re struggling to decide which option, and which location would be the best fit for you and your personal circumstances and needs.
The truth is, that when it comes to choosing a new home to move to and finding the perfect location for that property, there’s quite a lot to think about and take into account. This can, of course, make choosing somewhere to move to a lot more difficult.
Photo source: Pixabay
To help make choosing what location to shop for your new home in, we’ve rounded up a few useful tips and pieces of advice. Have a read, take note, and utilise the advice, so that you can ensure that you’re smart about the location that you choose for your new property.
Think about the amenities on offer
One of the first things that you might want to think about when choosing an area to move to is what amenities there are available to you within that area. What you want to know is what you will have access to in that area, such as whether there are shops close by (and whether these are within walking or driving distance), where the nearest medical facilitiy is located, how close schools are, and what transport amenities are available to you within the location. These are all key factors to think about and take into account.
Consider whether the type of area is right
It’s also important to consider whether the type of area that you’re looking at is the right fit for you and your personal needs. For instance, if you’re looking at town houses in urban areas, you need to consider whether the urban lifestyle is the right option for you (and potentially, your family). It might be that a suburban lifestyle might be a better fit for your needs, or maybe even a more rural lifestyle. These are the key factors that it’s vital to consider when it comes to selecting an area to move to.
Think about safety and security
It’s also vital to think about safety and security of any property that you choose and how the location that you’ve selected plays into that. You want to choose a location that is both safe and secure, and will be somewhere that you’re able to get insurance for your home (insurance that will be approved no matter what happens), as otherwise you might end up needing a residential property damage lawyer who can help support any property damage claims further.
There you have it, a guide to a few key factors to consider when choosing a property location for your new home.
If you've been blessed with a big open backyard, then you're in luck! You can do many things with this space to make it more functional and enjoyable. This post will discuss five of the best things to do with a big open backyard.
1) Add a deck or patio.
This is a great way to create an outdoor living space where you can relax and entertain guests. If you have the budget for it, hire a professional to build a custom deck or patio that fits your specific needs and backyard layout. If you're working with a smaller budget, consider using premade deck kits or paving stones to create your own DIY patio. Either way, adding a deck or patio is a great way to make better use of your big open backyard. In addition, decks and patios are also great places to add outdoor furniture, potted plants, and other decorations to personalize your space further.
2) Install a swimming pool.
Another great way to make use of your big backyard is to install a swimming pool. This is an excellent option if you live in a warm climate or if you have the budget for it. Installing a pool will allow you and your family to enjoy countless hours of fun and relaxation in your own backyard. If you're not interested in installing a permanent pool, consider getting an inflatable pool that can be set up and taken down as needed. Swimming pools are also great places to host parties and other social gatherings. If you have the space, you could even add some patio furniture and create your own little backyard oasis.
3) Build a granny flat.
You could build a granny flat if you have a big open backyard and an extra budget. Granny flats are small homes or apartments that can be built on your property. They're perfect for housing elderly relatives, guests, or even tenants. Granny flats usually have their own kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom and are separate from the main house. If you're interested in building a granny flat, be sure to check with your local zoning laws to see if they allow for this type of construction and search for a professional Granny Flats Builder.
4) Grow a garden.
If you have a green thumb, then consider using your big backyard to grow a garden. This is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while also producing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You can start small by planting some basic crops in raised beds or containers. Or, if you're feeling ambitious, you could turn your entire backyard into one giant garden. If you decide to go this route, be sure to do your research first so that you know what plants will thrive in your climate and soil type. Gardening is an excellent hobby for all ages and can even be therapeutic.
5) Add some outdoor games.
If you're looking for a fun way to make use of your big backyard, consider adding some outdoor games. This is a great option if you have kids or if you like to entertain guests. There are many different types of outdoor games that you can choose from, such as horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball, and cornhole. You can even set up a badminton or volleyball net for some friendly competition. If you have the space, you could even add a basketball hoop or build a small putting green. Outdoor games are a great way to get everyone involved and active. They're also perfect for summertime parties and BBQs.
These are just five of the best things to do with a big open backyard. With a bit of creativity and planning, you can turn your backyard into the perfect outdoor living space.
Looking for interior design help? Offering design consultations and online design for anyone, anywhere. Happy to help with any of your design needs!
Offering sponsored blog posts + social media campaigns, details HERE.
Gift Cards E-Cards for Design Consultations, more info here.
Online Design: complete flat rate room design, for anyone, anywhere. More info here.
Book A Design Consultation On-Site or Online for anyone, anywhere! Details here
Window Treatment Consultations
Moving Day Services
Design Layouts, details here
Color Consultation for Interior/Exterior
Flat Rate Kitchen Design & Bathroom Design Package. Details here
Flat Rate Home Office Design, just $450. Details here.
Flat Rate Outdoor Design, $450. Details here.
Flat Rate Room Design for Kids! $500 per room, details here.
“Work with what you got!” - Room Makeovers. Details here.
Room Refresh! - Room accessorizing services. Details here.