Who doesn’t want their home to look like one of those big reveals on HGTV? Unfortunately, we don’t all have the budget to afford a luxury interior designer to make our homes picture perfect. Just because you don’t have a professional design crew at your disposal doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality.

When it comes to your home, it’s all about quality over quantity. While you might not be able to afford a complete home renovation, that doesn’t mean you have to accept a life of bargain bin style. As long as you know where to focus the funds you do have (and you’re not afraid of a little elbow grease), you can create a luxury home without breaking the bank.

1. Choose a color palette (and stick with it).

You can add a touch of luxury just by knowing a few elements of design. Color plays a huge role in the mood of a room, but choosing the right colors can sometimes feel like playing the lottery. According to a recent Zillow analysis, homes with shades of powder blue and periwinkle have an increased value of $5,440 on average. While that doesn’t mean you need to run to the store to buy a shade of light blue right now, it does mean color packs a serious punch.

To master the art of color, start small. Work on the main living areas first to gain confidence, then move to the other parts of your home. You don’t need a degree in design to make the colors in your home work for you. You can figure it out for yourself with a simple color wheel. Using colors that appear next to each other will be calming. On the other hand, opposite colors will be bold.

Luxury

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2. Add texture to create a polished look.

From metal to thick fabric, texture makes your space look luxurious without that expensive price tag. Think of your favorite hotel rooms you’ve stayed in. What made those rooms so special? Odds are it’s the lush bedding, the fabrics, and the metal accents. You can incorporate these in small ways, like through brass fixtures and sculptures as well as lush rugs and cushions.

Playing with texture is a balancing act. Metallics are harsh when used in excess, so you need to soften these shades with plush accessories. We all need accents that shimmer and shine, but we don’t want our homes to be so dazzling they start to feel cold. Those metallics are the little black dress of your home design, while your fabrics will soften the overall look.

Luxury

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3. Upgrade your furniture.

Think of your furniture as the featured actors in a production. They’re the stars of the show, and everything else is just in a supporting role. Today, most affordable furniture is mass produced and not built to last. These pieces are designed with modern trends in mind, and they won’t fit your design over the years as it continues to evolve.

Do your wallet and your home design a favor and upgrade your furniture. Look for quality pieces that are built with the future in mind. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they can’t afford high-quality furniture when the reality is they can’t afford not to purchase high-quality furniture.

Inexpensive, low-quality furniture has a short lifespan. It’ll need to be replaced in 1-3 years, and that means buying another low-quality piece to fill its place. This cycle is endless until you realize the best option is to choose quality furniture from the start. Visit Amish Tables to see for yourself why quality, custom furniture is a smarter choice.

Luxury

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4. Add molding to your malls.

One of the staples of classic, luxury homes is the crown molding. While your first thought when you think of molding might be something overly Victorian and gaudy, you don’t have to go that route unless it makes sense for your design. Adding molding to the baseboards, ceiling, and chair rail can add depth to your space.

The trick to ensuring your molding doesn’t date your home is to keep it simple. Single-shape molding adds an element of style without being too over-the-top. The good news is that as long as you have a steady hand and some patience, you can install molding yourself in just a few hours.

5. Wallpaper your walls.

Like crown molding, wallpaper evokes a vision of stuffy, outdated homes. Cast all of those thoughts about wallpaper out of your mind. Wallpaper of today is a whole different beast, and it’s guaranteed to take your home design up a notch. Today, wallpaper comes in a wide array of modern patterns and styles. It’s no longer a pain to apply and to remove, and some of it is even reusable.

You can incorporate wallpaper in so many ways that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The most modern options are geometric styles and florals, but don’t be afraid to go bold. You can cover the entire room or just a statement wall, and you can always take it down when you’re ready to move on to a new design.

Luxury

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6. Take your windows higher with window treatments.

Unless you’re willing to start a major renovation, you probably aren’t physically able to move your ceiling higher. Grand, luxe homes always seem to have high ceilings. While there’s no secret trick to raise your ceiling magically, you can create the illusion of more space with some window treatments.

First, opt for wall-length curtains that go from the floor to the ceiling, even if your window isn’t that high. This will draw the eye upwards and enlarge the space. Custom made curtains will give you complete control and allow you to dictate the décor. Next, add depth with custom blinds or paneling. This simple upgrade will transform your home into a spacious wonderland.

7. Hang statement artwork.

Many new home designers are intimidated by choosing art since there’s so much pressure to find the “right” photos or prints, but this is misguided. The reality is that it doesn’t matter what you hang, as long as you hang it well. Let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of actually hanging art with confidence. Don’t worry, you don’t need to measure with your arm anymore.

Luxury

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Step 1: Measure the top edge of the frame to the hook or nail. This will account for any height difference between where the nail actually sits and the top of the art.

Step 2: Time for some simple math. Divide the entire frame height in half, then subtract the measurement we figured out in the first step. If you’re framing something that’s 22 inches tall, you’ll divide 20 by 2 to get 11. Then, subtract 1 inch for the nail position to get 10 inches.

Step 3: The prime hanging spot should be within an average person’s line of sight—usually 60 inches off the ground at the center. That means we’re going to add 60 to our measurement. When we add 60 to our example, that leaves us with 70 inches. Mark your spot on the wall according to this calculation, and you’re ready to go.

Creating A Luxurious Space

Who doesn’t feel at home in a luxury hotel room? There’s something about the quality design of these rooms that make us want to stay forever. You can bring the luxe of your favorite hotel rooms to your own home with these ideas above.

Luxury doesn’t have to mean expensive. It’s all about the feelings behind the pieces you choose. Your home is your story you’re sharing with yourself and guests. What favorite things and styles do you want to surround yourself with?

Don’t forget to pin these ideas for later.

Linking up with https://www.clairejustineoxox.com/2018/09/goodbye-summer-hello-autumn.html

My Random Musings

How to find a good gardener is a question for many busy households. Perhaps you are juggling work and parenting and really don’t have time to commit to keeping your garden in good order. This can be an issue as it stops you enjoying your garden to the full and neighbours may complain it is become overgrown and ugly. Many older people struggle as they age to keep up with a garden that is their pride and joy. Gardening is regular household expense if you choose to take someone on so it is important to choose your gardener carefully.

Finding the right gardener

Ask around to see if any of  your family or friends can recommend a good gardener. Be really clear what you want the gardener to do. Some areas of gardening require really good levels of experience and training. Small jobs may just require a gardener who is fit and healthy without any specific expertise. You may feel more reassured for more complex jobs if your gardener can show you paper qualifications. Ask for references or testimonials so you are absolutely certain you have picked a gardener you can rely on. Check whether your gardener has a public liability insurance certificate, which would cover any damage they caused to your property. Safe contractor or CHAS accreditation and evidence of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are other good signs of a professional business.

Clarity on what you want to be done

Some gardeners are very enthusiastic and might try to persuade you to take on services that you really do not want or need. Before contacting potential gardeners be very clear on the garden service you want them to do for you. Remember you are the customer so you should be calling the shots. Having said that ask them to use their own tools or you could inadvertently end up in an employer and employee relationship which comes with legal requirements.

Set a firm budget

As with all situations where you take on a tradesperson be very clear on what you can afford. If you over-stretch in any area like this, that leads to stress at best and debt at worst. Get firm quotes having set out specifically what you need and want doing in your garden. Make sure the quote is confirmed in writing so you can refer back to it in case of dispute. Check how your gardener wishes to be paid and how often. Although saving money is good, be realistic and question particularly low quotes which may indicate a lack of expertise or other challenging issues. Quotes may be per hour or per job particularly in the case of larger gardening projects. Check that quotes include waste disposal charges too if you want them to take the garden waste away for you.

What tips do you have for engaging a gardener?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DreamTeam Linky

As the weather turns colder, it is good to start to think of ways to keep warm. With the holiday season over, many of us are also turning our minds to home improvement projects that we can get done before our minds to turn to all things Christmas. A friend of mine is looking into double glazing windows so today I thought I would look into the benefits of double glazing.

What is double glazing?

I remember as a child with very old sash windows thinking that double glazing was a luxury for a home. My mum took a while to be persuaded of the benefits and in those days so many people were scared of being scammed by double glazing salespeople.

I digress. Basically double glazing simply means you have two panes of glass instead of one. There is a slight gap commonly 16mm between the panes and inert gas such as Krypton, Xenon or Argon fills the space between.

Double glazing reduces bills

Double glazing is more energy efficient which means your heating bills will be that much more affordable. We are all keen to save money on  our bills which seem to increase year on year so this is one very good reason to make the investment in double glazing for your home.

Reduction of noise

I do not handle noise well. Whether it is traffic, playing children or barking dogs, noise can really impact adversely on my mood sometimes. I live in the countryside now but even here I am regularly disturbed by the sound of farm machinery or a neighbour’s loud motorbike. Double glazing helps reduce the noise you hear from outside. That’s a big plus point for me.

Feels secure

So many of us worry about crime. The good thing with double glazing is that it can come with great locking mechanisms with fancy names like Espagnolette and SAC (Security and Compression) shoot  bolt systems With reinforced hinges and internal beading, even if you are never attacked, your fear of crime will be that much more reduced when you have double glazing.

Less condensation

I hate the look of condensation and its impact on health and wellbeing. You get less condensation with double glazing so that’s yet another advantage.

Of course, double glazing is a considered investment and  you can check out the double glazing cost easily enough online.

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a New Mummy

A moving house checklist can save so much hassle. Did you know relocating is one of the main stressors people face in life? If it is stressful for you as an adult, imagine the impact on your little ones and your pets too. A checklist can reduce your stress levels which also has a positive impact on those around you. Yes you may have chosen the best of removal companies but there are other matters to consider for a happy family move.

Inject some fun

If moving involves laughter rather than arguing and tantrums, it can become a pleasant memory. Have fun things for the children to do throughout the day. Do a little research about play parks or bowling alleys so you can promise a celebration when you are finally at your new place. Not only can you all let off steam but you might make some new family friends too.

Listen to your kids

It is so easy at busy times to file our children  in front of a screen. You need to be there to listen to their concerns. Take those concerns seriously because they are real to your children even if they appear minor to you. I find admitting you have your own worries too helps you bond with your child so long as you don’t over do it.  Think about books about moving home which can help children make sense of it all and make it that  bit less scary for them.

Decide where the children will be on moving day

Will your children join in with the practical tasks of the move? This will depend on their age and personalities. Would it be better for them to be with family members and for you to reunite when the  move is complete? Grandparents can come into their own on such occasions. They also will know what it is like to go through a move and so are a great support to you. If you are lucky, they might even cook for you all at the end of moving day.

Pets

Once your children are past the baby and toddler stage, you can explain things very clearly to them which helps. That is not so easy when it comes to your beloved pets. Do not try to move yourselves with pets as part of that process. It just adds to stress levels. Again if you have family or friends who can take your pet until the move is done, so much the better. There are also some great pet sitter services out there these days.

After the move

Don’t start off adding  more stress to your lives by spending too much after the move. It’s not just about getting affordable removal quotes before the move, it is about managing money from day one in your new place. Do you need to eat takeaways for the whole week after the move? Do you need brand new furniture just because you have changed houses? Yes it is nice to treat ourselves but it is all vital not to pile up debts.

What tips do you have for moving home with children and pets?

 

 

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Pink Pear Bear

When the nicer weather arrives, you need to make the most out of your decked space — but the last thing you want to find is pests around your area.

As we’ve entered the colder months, pests will begin to look for shelter and your garden is the ideal space. In London, more than 100 rodent complaints are made every day. Although this doesn’t mean that you’re at risk, it’s worth making a few quick and simple preparations to stop potential pests from making your garden their homes.

You need to prevent pest invasion across your compostite decking boards — this includes birds and mice.

Lower the appeal

You need to remove the appeal of your decking. Pests, such as rats and mice, will scout out places before deciding on where to settle down, so try and make your decking as uninhabitable as possible.

If you eat in your garden, make sure that all rubbish is cleared so pests don’t make their way to your space. If you have a get-together on your decking, make sure you thoroughly clear up and clean the decking so that no sauces or dropped food remain which could entice rodents and other critters. Remember; rats, mice and hedgehogs will also eat birdfeed, so make sure to opt for a birdfeeder that isn’t placed on the floor or a table and put it away from your decking.

You should also be regularly trimming your hedges to reduce the number of sheltered locations for pests to live. If your main pest problem is birds, movement is a great deterrent. Try hanging something that moves — like a wind chime or wind spinner — to help prevent birds from making a mess on your decking.

Barricade the space

Have you considered barricading your decking? Pests won’t be able to make a home under your decked areas if they can’t get in to begin with, so investing in extra materials to create a barrier is worth it.

Beneath your decking is the perfect location for pests to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions. To stop this happening, use wood, mesh or chicken wire and run it along the entire edge of your decking between the boards and the ground. If you’re worried that this will ruin your decking’s aesthetic appeal, you can install a wooden trellis and have the mesh running behind it. Then, arrange potted plants or flowerbeds around your decking to mask the mesh further.

Believe it or not, rats and mice can squeeze through some of the smallest spaces (as small as half an inch) so your area must be tightly secured.

Seal your space

Woodworm is a pest you’ll likely encounter. Unless you have composite decking that doesn’t rot, you might want to take steps to prevent this particularly unpopular garden pest.

You may have heard of the three types of common woodworm. The common furniture beetle is usually what people mean when they say ‘woodworm’, but the house longhorn and deathwatch beetles are far more destructive — although thankfully rarer.

The first step is keeping your wooden area dry. This might be difficult for large areas like your decking, but your tables and chairs should be relatively safe under a waterproof cover. Sealing your wood with varnish is a good shout too. This creates a barrier that prevents female wood-boring beetles from laying eggs in the pores of the wood.

Have you encountered a pest invasion already? If you can see small holes across your decking and furnishings — these are usually in a cluster and often about 1mm wide — there might be woodworm present. Although this is treatable, you first need to identify which type of woodworm is doing the damage, so it might be worth seeking professional advice. Common furniture beetle problems can be treated yourself using products that you can buy online. However, if the culprits are house longhorn or deathwatch beetles, you may need to treat by injection.

Non-lethal traps

This should be your final step if necessary. If you already have pests in the garden and need help getting rid of them, you could consider using non-lethal traps or scent repellent. Alternatively, try spices — pests hate the smell. Plant a peppermint tree around the edges of your decking or sprinkle cayenne around potential entry points to deter vermin from nesting. Of course, there are also plenty of commercial rat and mice repellents you can buy that will work to keep pests at bay.

But forget cheese; sweet treats work best to lure mice. Place these around your decking and make sure to release the rodent at least one mile from your home once caught. If you prefer, buy an ultrasonic pest repellent. Compact and discreet, these devices are ideal for placing by your decking and emit high-frequency sound waves that rodents can’t stand — and we can’t hear.

Sources:

http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/15700482.Pest_authority_wants_greater_emphasis_on_tackling_rat_issues/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/08/messy-bird-droppings-ruffling-womans-feathers/

http://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/woodworm.htm

https://dengarden.com/pest-control/5-Simple-Ways-to-get-rid-of-Mice-without-Killing-Them

https://www.rentokil.co.uk/blog/rodent-proof-decking/#.WkuPjN9l-Uk

https://www.westernpest.com/pest-control/tips/decks/

Cuddle Fairy