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When it comes to securing our homes, most of us know there are certain given staples that we should put in place. A secure front and back door with strong locks, for instance, should be the baseline consideration, while making sure that our windows are locked and structurally robust is also key.
Yet depending on where you live, the house you live in, work that might be conducted, and your daily conveniences and preferences, you may wish to enact a more worthwhile security plan that can help you keep your home safe without you having to think about that much. For instance, what if you live in an area where porch pirates seem to focus on stealing packages more frequently?
What if you live in a busy environment, or what if you live in a home with a lot of land surrounding you thanks to rural life, offering you less of an immediate police and neighborly response should something go wrong? These questions are worth asking and answering as appropriate. In this post, we’ll try to do that and offer more.
Consider Your Unique Build & Surroundings
Your unique build, its location, and its surroundings may detail how better to handle your home security. For instance, if you have a tree next to your household, with branches that move incrementally upwards (as trees often grow), could it be that an enterprising trespasser could climb up this tree and stand on an overhang, giving them access to window? Might it be worth chopping those branches? Or, perhaps a side alley provides unseen access to the side of your house, providing an ideal point for someone to jump the fence without being seen. Floodlights or a camera might work well there. Inspect your home, and look for weak points. You’ll no doubt find a few.
Convenience In Security
It’s important to make sure that your security isn’t overbearing or hard to maintain, because you won’t use those systems if they are. This is why searching for ‘Home security near me’ services can help you more accurately install alarms, locks, and interlinking systems to help identify and report intruders or other security issues. For instance, door cameras that record footage when they notice motion can save you storage space, time, and grant you immediate access.
Run A Checklist
Make sure to run a checklist of everything your house uses to protect itself. From making sure your roofing system is intact to gauging the strength of the windows and doors, to making sure the garage door is secure and the opening chain is still in great condition, to keeping your garden fence properly maintained as well as managing your privacy fencing, all of this makes a difference. Perhaps you’ll notice that people on the street can look in and see your living room at night, thanks to having no blinds or leaving your curtains open. As you can see, a careful balance here is essential.
With this advice, you’re sure to define the home security your house needs, and expand it where possible.
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Whether you are redecorating for winter or freshening up with a spring clean, your new or existing home projects should be appropriately planned. However, renovation is more than ripping out and installing new fittings. There are numerous aspects to track, plan and order. Fortunately, there are many ways you can use computers when renovating.
Proprietary Design Programs
You don’t need to be a CAD or CAM expert to design your renovations on a computer. While there are specific programs, such as AutoCAD, which you can use, they are challenging to learn. Fortunately, many planners use proprietary planning tools. For example, your architect may offer you the chance to sit down and visualize your outside extension with purpose-built deck design software. Additionally, most modern showrooms use software to design your perfect bathroom or kitchen, given the measurements and space available.
Project Management Apps
Suppose you are to handle a renovation yourself without the help of a professional. In that case, you can get flustered by everything that needs to be done. For instance, timing is crucial since you don’t want a roofing team on-site before your tiles arrive. Or you may not want a new oven and hob sitting in your kitchen while you try to place new fittings and paint around them. So again, project management apps are your best friend. One of the easiest planners to use is Asana for iOS and Android. But you could also manually track a project using a simple spreadsheet.
Communication and Coordination
Further to project management, communication and coordination are essential to any home renovation. At the very least, you will need to communicate with suppliers about orders and arrival times. But contractors also require adequate communication as well. Phone calls are all well and good, but most contractors are busy and won’t answer while on the job. Therefore, email or instant messaging are a great alternative when planning a bathroom for example. Additionally, when you use email, you can write exactly what you need to, reducing the chance of miscommunication while keeping a written record in case of disputes later on.
Buying and Selling Online
Online sites like Amazon and eBay are excellent sources of materials and fittings when working to a budget or time constraints. They are also excellent sources of hard-to-come-by fittings when restoring your home to a particular style. Additionally, you can set delivery dates that work into your overall project plan. Further, you can sell anything still intact after an initial rip-out, and there is a market for older fittings. Therefore, you can use the money earned to add to your budget or cover additional expenses that might arise towards the end.
Try The Sims 3
The Sims is a well-known video game series that has sold over 200 million copies across 4 series. However, a primary feature of the game is to design and build homes. And the home building feature of The Sims is more advanced than you might expect. While the Sims 4 is the latest game, the Sims 3 is better for design. The reason is that it has a “Create-a-Style” tool that allows you to apply any material to any item in the game, such as walls, floors, fittings, and furniture. And you can probably get a copy for less than the price of a coffee!
Top 200 Influencer for 2022
Happy to be included in the Fixr list of “2022 Top Influencer in Interior Design” - check out the full list here!
For most people, Christmas is a holiday they look forward to throughout the entire year. As December gets nearer, excitement hits fever pitch, and we start to put up our Christmas decorations in preparation for the big day. Putting up decorations is one of the most traditional elements of Christmas, and it really adds to the excitement of the festive period. Keeping that in mind, in this post we are going to provide further information on one of the most treasured festive decorations – the Christmas garland. Read on to discover more.
From Christmas Garlands To Holiday Lights: Traditional Holiday Decorations
There are many decorations that we put up during the Christmas period. Some are traditional and symbolic, such as Christmas garland decorations, while others are have become modern in recent times, for instance, snowmen and snowflakes. You can also decorate your outdoor area with Christmas lights, as well as using screws to put up signs, such as ‘Santa Stop Here’.
Let’s take a look at some of the most traditional holiday decorations we put up. Christmas wreaths are one of the most long-standing festive traditions. In Christian tradition, during the weeks leading up to Christmas, a four-candle Advent wreath is used to represent the build-up to the festive period. Christmas garlands, which are very much like the wreath’s strung-out cousin, look beautiful and they represent a message of hope. Of course, who could forget the Christmas tree? - The most iconic decoration of them all. A lot of religious historians and academics have suggested that Norse celebrations of the winter solstice are to be credited with the origin of candle-lit evergreen trees. Stockings may be loaded with gifts in the morning, but they also represent a traditional Christmas decoration. Finally, let’s not forget nativity scenes. Miniature scenes, which depict the birth of Christ, are popular in Christian households. After all, this is the event that is at the root of the Christmas celebration.
What Are Christmas Garlands?
Garlands are a decorative green cord, and they are used for a wide array of festive occasions. During the Christmas period, people tend to use garlands to decorate inanimate objects in their home, be it their mantelpiece or their Christmas tree. Flower and leave garlands, which is what you will find available at Christmas, represent the traditional variation of the garland. Nowadays, you have everything from tinsel to bead garlands to choose from. You can also find traditional Christmas garlands with modern upgrades, such as the incorporation of fairy lights and other decorations. They are also filled with Christmas symbolism. For example, red holly berries are often incorporated in luxury Christmas garlands, and they represent the blood that Christ spilled for Christians.
Holly is also widely incorporated in garlands, especially when weaving them together, and this is a symbol of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. There are then those that are circular in shape, like wreaths, and they are a representation of ‘infinity’, much like Jesus’s infinite love. Of course, there are many different options for you to choose from when buying a Christmas garland today, and, therefore, you may be able to incorporate different symbols.
Tenants have different tastes, and you can not predict what each of your prospective tenants would love. That is why you have to apply caution when you are designing your rental property.
When you are designing an apartment that you will reside in, it is easy. You can design it to your taste. But if you are designing a rental property, it would be best for you to avoid using your preferences. That is because your choice may not be acceptable to all your prospective tenants. And if this happens, the vacancy rate will increase.
When potential tenants are inspecting your property, they picture themselves residing in it. How they feel determines whether they will rent the property or not. Tenants often prefer one property over the other because of the design. If your design matches their furniture, then they will not want to miss the opportunity of renting your property, says North County Property Group.
In this article, we will analyze the design principles you can use for your rental property so that it will meet everyone’s taste.
1. Maintain a simple design
Some landlords often fall into the temptation of spicing up their rental property with a lot of designs. They often do it with good intentions. However, they end up cluttering the property. Such clutter make the rental property look smaller and the tenants will think that their furniture may not fit into the apartment. Some of the extra details you add maybe what your prospective tenants do not fancy, and the excessive designs can alienate them.
It would be best if you do not clutter your rental property with so many details and designs. Keep details such as vases, candles, books, collectibles, and other accessories simple. It doesn’t matter if the accessories are timeless additions or trending designs. Doing so will prevent you from cluttering the apartment.
Endeavor to keep your design simple, beautiful, and refreshing. A simple design will meet the requirements of many potential tenants and if they envision themselves in your property, they will feel compelled to choose your property.
2. Choose neutral colors
Trending paint colors are modern and unique and you may fall into the temptation of using them in your rental apartment. A few tenants may love it, but it will not be suitable for many potential tenants. That is because trendy colors are very selective, and they will not match with a lot of furniture.
Trending hot colors only last for a short while and then go out of fashion. Also, hot colors will make the rental property look and feel smaller. However, if you want colors that several people will prefer, you should opt for neutral colors.
Neutral colors will match any furniture that your potential tenants have. They will make your apartment appear clean and larger. Using neutral colors on your rental apartment will ensure that it does not look outdated. We advise that you go for natural elements and subtle accents for your interior decor.
3. Avoid using a single design
If you use only one design on your rental property and it doesn’t meet the expectations of your prospective tenants, they will walk away. But if you are using several designs on the property, there is a greater possibility that some of them may entice renters. And as a result, they will settle for the property.
Also, since all potential renters do not have the same preference, using different designs will meet the requirements of so many renters. We advise that you use the type of design that gives room for changes. That way, you can modify them when necessary.
4. Brighten up the interior
Tenants prefer rental properties that have adequate lighting. For this reason, we recommend that you brighten up the interior of your rental property. Ensure that there is adequate natural lightby opening up the blinds and pulling back the curtains.
If your rental property does not have adequate natural light, then it would be best if you maximize different options to brighten the interior. Make use of dangling lights, especially in the kitchen. Use floor lamps and table lamps in areas that do not have natural lights.
5. Provide adequate storage space in your rental property
Survey shows that tenants want their apartment to have enough storage space for their properties. So it would be best if you maximize the storage space in your rental property. You can be creative when doing this.
Make use of smart storage options such as built-in cutlery organizers, slim but tall cabinets, and pull-out baskets. You can also utilize the space under your staircase for storage and install smart cabinets. Ensure that there is adequate storage space in your kitchen to accommodate food items, dishware, and several appliances that renters may have.
If you want to attract more renters to your property, the best way is to keep the design simple, neutral, and clean.
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Going green is a goal shared by millions, and there is no better place to start than your home. After all, you spend more time here than in any other setting. Moreover, success at home will naturally influence matters outside of the home.
Knowing that you want to improve your home is one thing, but knowing how to do it is another altogether. Here are eight areas to focus on for stunning results.
1| Switch to LED lights
It’s always a wise move to start the process with an easy upgrade. LED lights are far better for the environment than incandescent ones. They burn less energy, which will also reduce your bills. They also last longer, meaning you replace them less often.
Changing the lights throughout your property will require a small outlay but you’ll get that money back quite soon. Moreover, it’s a job that can be completed in the space of one day. And it will provide the perfect platform to build upon.
2| Improve your home’s insulation
Heat loss is the biggest cause of wasted energy. You will lose the majority through your windows, walls, and roof. Renewal by Andersen Windows services will quickly improve the home’s efficiency as well as the interior and exterior looks. Perfect.
If you face issues with the roofing, you may want to look at new tiles or interior insulation. Insulation for cavity walls, thicker drapes, and draft excluders all aid the cause. Ensuring that radiators remain unobstructed is another crucial step.
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3| Address faulty or outdated appliances
Before looking at too many luxury updates, you must be sure to prioritize the essentials. Leaks can be both dangerous and costly, which is why fixing those should be considered an immediate task. Gas line repairs, for example, can save lots of energy - and money.
Outdated appliances also need quick attention. You may think that persisting with outdated tech is a good move for the environment. But each wash, for example, will waste energy. From toilets to washing machines, upgrades are key. They make your life easier too.
4| Still look for repairs
While outdated equipment should be replaced ASAP, not all faulty goods need replacements. It is often cheaper, easier, and greener to choose repairs. Expert services like Mr. Repair can work wonders. Not least because you won’t need to learn new machines.
Crucially, repairs will prevent old goods from ending up in landfill. Better still, the results can often be seen in 24 or 48 hours. This is a far better solution than waiting weeks for new products. Not least because it lets you mentally move on.
5| Consider recycling & upcycling
Repairs aren’t the only way to help resources work harder. Learning to recycle is a particularly wise move. Food recycling should be at the top of the agenda as over one-third of food ends up in the trash. But your efforts should not end there.
It is also advised to think about recycling product parts or any natural materials that you may not require. Another option is to upcycle by turning old toys into bedroom decorations or using pallets for home DIY projects. The benefits can be huge.
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6| Use the garden more
Learning to do more with the garden is easily one of the best ways to make your home greener. After all, we all consume a lot of energy when we are inside. Using the natural resources of light and heat will naturally reduce your carbon emissions.
There are many ways to breathe new life into the garden. They range from actively growing plants to simply embracing your little slice of the great outdoors. Either way, your backyard spaces hold the key to ongoing success.
7| Embrace automated tech
Many people wrongly assume that tech features are the enemy. They aren’t. Automated Smart thermostats, for example, adapt to your habits. In turn, you will see optimized performance levels that means reduced energy waste and costs.
Automated tech can extend to impact showers, security features, air conditioning, allowing light into the home, and more. The technologies have become far more accessible in recent years and will make immediate and ongoing energy savings.
8| Harvest energy
When thinking about energy efficiency for the home. Solar panels are one of the first items that enter your mind. And there is a good reason for this. Thankfully, the installations are now more affordable. Especially as some locations offer government discounts.
As well as using solar technology, you can consider the conservation of water. It will be necessary to research the regulations in your region. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that there will be opportunities to save energy in style.
While windows are both an indoor and exterior feature, they are hugely influential when it comes to interior design. Indeed, they impact the amount of light in a room, the style of a room, the privacy of those using it, and even the energy efficiency of space. In short, windows can have a massive effect on the interior design of a room. A topic you can find more detail, and advice on in the post below.
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First of all, it is crucial to get the design of windows in a space right because they greatly impact the experience of those using a room. In particular, natural light from windows is known to help humans function better, improving our adherence to circadian rhythms, our focus, our productivity, and even our emotional state.
What that means is windows that let in natural light are an essential part of every room!
Of course, some rooms need natural light but also present a privacy issue. Bathrooms partially fall into this category, but also living spaces that face onto busy streets as well.
The good news is some tactics can be used to protect privacy while also letting natural light in. One of these is to use frosted glass, also known as translucent glass. You can even find this in various designs, as well as in blocks, so there is a range of options to suit most budgets and design schemes.
Use windows for focus and interest
As well as their obvious practical applications windows are also vital to the aesthetic of a room. Often a window, especially if it has a sill or is in a bay style will be the focal point of a room, something that means it must be taken into account when designing a cohesive look for the remainder of the space.
Additionally, windows can be used in the architectural stages of the design to create additional interest and texture. Although, it is worth noting that custom windows can be expensive, and also require great expertise to execute correctly to get the desired effect.
Consider energy consumption
Another aspect of windows that impacts room design is the energy they can save or consume. We are talking about the insulative properties of windows here and whether they help to keep the air in a room, or expedite its loss.
Of course, being able to keep the air for longer in a room is the best option for windows, because it helps to keep the room temperature stable. Something that means less energy needs to be expended on heating and cooling it.
With that in mind, to save money for their clients and take better care of the planet, designers should find an installer of replacement windows like Roseville Window who offers energy-efficient windows as a full-service. Something that means they handle the entire installation process from start to finish, leaving them free to manage the other aspects of their project.
Consider the views
Windows are also the practical and symbolic bridge from the outside to the inside of a home. That is why, as well as the considerations above, it is vital to think about maximizing the views of the outdoors that windows can provide.
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Now, this may seem like a stage that is only possible when the original windows are installed. However, this is not the case. Indeed, there are other steps you can take to maximize the views through windows in your home design.
For example, a view can be transformed by cutting back bushes and trees to open up the sightline from a home. Even in urban areas views can be improved with small actions such as adding a window box full of flowers, or painting a wall that is overlooked so it is clean and attractive.
Where possible, being involved in the design decisions of the windows used in a project you are working on is the best approach for designers. Then you will be able to have some input on the types of windows used in a particular space.
Of course, in smaller spaces, windows that extend further towards the floor are a good design choice, as they allow plenty of light and will provide a feeling of space. Something that can make the experience of spending time in a room much better. In taller buildings, you may wish to play with the window design and extend them over several floors, something that will let in plenty of light and also help emphasize such a grandiose space.
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Winter is clearly here already but it’ll still be a while before it really starts to bite. You can use that time to update your home and, in particular, your bedroom. This can do a lot to help you get a good night’s sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Here are some tips to help.
Start with your window
It may seem odd to start with your window rather than your bed but your window plays a key role in keeping your bedroom at the right temperature.
Step one is to check its condition. If there is minor damage to the frame and/or the glass, you can usually work around it over the short term. For example, you can often use putty to stabilize loose glass. Over the long term, you may need to look at getting the window replaced (Renewal by Andersen Windows could be a good option here).
Step two is to check if your window treatments are suitable for winter. You generally want thick curtains and drapes as these provide the best insulation. That means they do the best job of keeping the heat in and the cold, noise, and excess light out. Never underestimate the issue of light pollution in winter. Artificial lights can sometimes be more penetrating than sunlight.
Step three is to check if you’re (still) happy with the overall look of your window treatments. This is important all year round but it’s arguably most important for winter. Winter is a time when your sleep cycle can get disrupted very easily. That means you want everything in your bedroom to contribute to putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep.
What this means in practice depends on you. As a rule of thumb, however, bright colors, especially reds, are likely to be a bit too energizing for a bedroom. If you want a festive look, green is often a better choice, or maybe purple. Neutrals can also look cozy and festive especially if you go for chunky textures.
Make your bed the right way
The bed is the star of just about every bedroom especially if you live in a small space. This means that getting the right look, feel and temperature is crucial for getting a good night’s sleep. If you haven’t already turned your mattress (both ways), then do so. It really does make a difference both to its lifespan and to your comfort.
Assuming your mattress is in good shape, look at the rest of your bedding and decide if it needs to be updated for deep winter. Natural fabrics are a good choice all year round so you can stick with cotton or linen if you want to. In winter, however, flannel and fleece can be warmer and cozier. If your budget’s up to it, natural silk is also an excellent choice.
If you’re on a more limited budget, you might want to try pairing silk pillowcases with flannel or fleece bedding. This is particularly useful if you have dry skin and/or hair. Even if you don’t normally, the winter weather can be brutal to your body, especially to your face and hair. Silk can help to protect it.
Be careful about loading up on blankets. They do add warmth and a cozy feel but they can also add a lot of weight. They’re also fairly inflexible (as in, they’re either on or off). If you want a more flexible and often more effective alternative, try investing in an electric blanket you can use all night. For even more flexibility, buy one with dual controls.
As with your window treatments, take a look at your bedding and see if its appearance is still working for you for winter. Again, it’s a case of “whatever works for you” but it’s usually best to avoid “high-energy” colors. Natural colors and neutrals are often far better options.
Look at your lighting
In winter, you have all the usual practical considerations of lighting plus a few twists. You still need all the usual ambient and task lighting. You will probably also need, or at least want, lighting to help your mood. If you’re living as part of a couple, this can also mean lighting to cope with different schedules. This is more of an issue in winter than at other times of the year because winter has the shortest days.
Two potential changes stand out. The first is to swap out your regular alarm clock for a sunrise alarm clock. This will help you to wake up gently instead of feeling like you’re being punched awake. The other is to switch to smart bulbs.
Smart bulbs can be set to varying levels and operated remotely. So, for example, if your partner comes to bed later than you, they could potentially put the bedside light on low from the door instead of switching on the main light.
How to Perfect Your Bathroom
The bathroom is widely considered one of the most important rooms in the home, so it makes sense to put as much time and effort as possible into making yours feel just right. Perfecting your bathroom and turning it into a room in your home that you can be proud of is something that you can do in many ways. We’re going to take a look today at some of the best strategies you can make use of.
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Update the Faucets
One of the first things you can work on is the faucets. As you might already realize, the details matter when it comes to home interiors, and that’s true throughout the home. But nowhere can something so small make such a big difference as in the bathroom. New faucets or vintage faucets really stand out and contribute to the aesthetic of the entire room.
Add Some Greenery
Adding some greenery to the space might be a good idea as well. When you have plants in the bathroom, it adds something a little different and something that most other bathrooms simply don’t possess. They can also improve the air quality in the room and simply make it feel a bit more vibrant than it did before, so it’s something to consider at least.
Create Some Rustic Charm
One of the best ways to make your bathroom feel more lived in and like a real part of the home while keeping it fresh and pleasant is by adding some features that bring rustic charm. There are all kinds of bathroom accessories that can do that for you. It could be a soap dish or an ornament or even a vintage mirror; it’s entirely up to you. A little rustic charm can go a long way.
Make it Light and Bright
Making your bathroom as light and bright as it can be might be something that you want to consider as well. Be sure to make the most of any natural light you have in the room. And if you don’t have access to much natural light, you’ll need to make sure that you’re using plenty of artificial lights in different parts of the room. You should also make use of mirrors to reflect the light.
Keep it Clean and Simple
Keeping the room clean and simple and not overcrowding it with too many things can be a good idea, especially when the bathroom is a relatively small one. Keeping it simple and clean will make you feel like the space is bigger and more open, and simplicity is usually the approach that works best when it comes to designing bathrooms regardless, so it makes sense.
If you feel as if your bathroom isn't quite right at the moment and it’s simply not doing it for you, be sure to consider each of the options mentioned above. They might just deliver what you’ve been looking for for a long time. Perfecting your bathroom is a personal project though, so keep that in mind too.
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