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Giving Your Home A New Lease Of Life

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Dining room suite

Shopping is addictive, especially when you are shopping for bits and bobs and tidbits for your home. It is the thrill of the chase, the attention to detail, the interior’s eye you need to have, and knowing what will keep your home looking fresh and neat and on top of the latest trends. But you can’t just do this every time you walk into a room and think it looks a bit drab or when your latest purchases start to lose their shimmer and shine three months down the line.

We know this isn’t going to please the shopaholics out there, but it should make the hands-on-DIY-ers do a few somersaults because we have pulled together a few tips and tricks to help you show your home off in the best light possible. Knowing how to maintain your things, how far a little bit of TLC can go and what will keep your home looking fifty shades of fresh are all great ways to keep your urge for new stuff at bay and your purse strings rather happy.

So, without further ado, here is how you can fall for your home – and what’s in it – all over again, time and again:

1. Upholstery That Looks New
Nothing is going to make your home feel more looked after than well-maintained upholstery. It is one of those things that can have such a big influence on the way a space looks. So, to keep your sofas and chairs and whatever else looking as new as possible, get into the habit of vacuuming the fabrics, rotating the cushions, cleaning up any spills effective immediately and fixing any rips or tears right away. Your bigger pieces of furniture are what make the biggest statement in a room, what gives you that vibrant luxury, so if yours look almost brand new then the rest of the room will benefit from the same vibe.

2. Polish For Perfection
Take a quick stroll through your house and look at the wooden furniture you have. If you haven’t polished it lately – or ever – then it probably looks as dull as dishwater. What you will find after one polish, however, is a difference so astounding that you will make it part of your monthly chores. Why? Because gleaming furniture is a great way to make a space look fresh. Of course, what you polish with can have a big difference. As a rule, use oil for older pieces and wax for those that still have their original finish intact. Trust us, you’re about to mutter/say/scream the words ‘wow’ (delete according to the time of day it is).

3. Nothing Says Fresh Like Flowers
Fresh flowers popped into each room is one of the most gorgeous and simple ways to really lift a space. It is what breathes some fresh air into a room, quite literally. Of course, keeping fresh flowers in your home is a) expensive and b) quite the nuisance, unless you get them delivered on a fortnightly basis, in which case revert to point a) again. But don’t despair just yet because the best thing you can do is learn how to grow roses yourself. You can close your eyes and imagine it now; a home full of red Mr Lincoln’s, Blue Moon’s, Charles de Gaulle’s and Just Joey’s; all of them just a simple snip away. Of course, by learning how to grow roses, you won’t just be making your home look gorgeous, you’ll also be adding a huge dash of magic to your garden too.

4. Make Your Kitchen Magic Again
Whether you have lovely wood counters or marble tops, you need to look after them. It really is as simple as that. When it comes to your wood surfaces, that tends to mean getting scratches out, which is best done by gently sanding down any marked areas and then rubbing in food-grade mineral oil. As for marble tops, your biggest problem is probably going to be stains. It is just one of those surfaces that is rather prone to discoloration. The best way you can avoid this is to clear up any spills as and when they happen, otherwise, you may want to check out what the people at the Natural Stone Institute have to say on the matter. Nothing is going to re-ignite your love for your home like fresh looking kitchen surfaces.

5. From The Floor Up
When you walk through your front door, you tend to be looking down, which is why your floor is so important. It is what grabs your eye and guides your sight, encouraging you to follow its path into your home. It is what creates a subtle first impression we tend to overlook. So, if you have wooden floorboards but don’t want to have them refinished, then the best way to freshen them up and make them look their absolute best is to rub oil into them, or wax if they are really old. The shine this gives them will make you feel like you have just stepped into a period property that is being presented to go on the market. That is how fresh your home will look.

6. Give Your Rugs A Fluffing
Can you remember how delightful and comfy your sheepskin rugs looked when you picked them up from the store? They were divine, right? But now look at them. It’s only been a couple of months and already the wear and tear have trodden the life out of them. To prevent this from happening, and given them that beautiful bounce again, simply wash them in mild soap and then air dry them. While they are drying, simply shake your rug out and then brush the rug out with your old hairbrush and, voila, they’ll look just as amazing as the day you brought them home.

Don’t worry, we get it; home maintenance and cleaning is hardly as fun as shopping for new things. But there are two things that make your hard graft better: that feeling of satisfaction and the longevity you give your stuff – that new lease of life.

Bring Your Kitchen Back To The Future

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We all want a home that is up to date and still in style years after we bought it. To do this, you need to make sure that you are upgrading and renovating rooms like the kitchen. If you don’t look after spaces like this, they will quickly fall out of style and you won’t even want to spend time in them. You’ll find yourself ordering takeout more often rather than taking the time to cook in a kitchen when the out of date interior design work makes you depressed. But that’s all about to change because we’re going to look at a few examples of modern kitchens and the changes you can make to take yours back to the future of style.

Light It Up

Styled to Stun

There are so many fantastic modern style ideas on display in the picture above we’re not sure where to begin. Though for now, let’s focus on how the lighting has been used to make the room stand out. Look at the lights above the countertop in the centre of the room. These are being used to create an industrial aesthetic that fits into the minimalist theme of this space. You can see that it is complemented beautifully by the bare brick wall at the back.

In another area, you’ll spot that the extractor fan, a necessary part of any kitchen, has been dressed up with curved lights around it that make it less of a practicality and more of a design feature. Even the lights on the shelf below seem to give the room a little more character and colour, drawing attention to a unique design feature.

Minimise The Storage

Using your windows

Every great kitchen needs storage space. Otherwise, your room is going to look like a cluttered mess. You can see here how the storage style has been used to clash with the bright shade of the wall in a dazzling way. As well as this, look at how these custom kitchen cabinets are created to be minimalistic. Your eye is instead drawn away to the bright colour and indeed the windows.

You might also notice that this particular room doesn’t have that much lighting and that’s certainly by design. With such a large window space, why would you need to fill the room with bulbs? This is an example of how you can use the design and layout of the room to your advantage decorating.

Looking Ultra Expensive

Wont cost as much as you think

Yes modern kitchen designs can look a tad expensive, can’t they? But they’re not really. You might have spotted that marble style wall in the picture. But we would bet good money that’s not marble but rather a marble wall covering that has more in common with wallpaper than the actual material itself. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that it looks stylish, modern and could be a perfect way to bring your own kitchen up to standards.

We hope you have fun using these possibilities to style your kitchen to stun in the modern age.

Expanding Your Business : A Few Things to Think About

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Career ladder block analogy

If you’ve successfully set up your own little business and it’s doing well that you’ve started to think that now might be a good time to expand it, you shouldn’t be so hasty. Growing your business might be a great idea, but there are some things that you should absolutely take into consideration before you do so…

Can You Afford It?

Expanding your business isn’t free. You’ll likely have to invest in more infrastructure, more stock, extra employees and maybe even a new office. You’ll need to hire office movers to help you safely transfer your stuff to some place with more square footage, and you might even have to step up your marketing efforts too. Can you really afford all of that?

Are You Generating Revenue or Profit?

While we’re on the subject of money, it makes very little sense to start expanding your business when you’re making a decent revenue, but very little profit because that means that your business might have some way to go. If you’re actually generating a decent profit, after all, is said and done, then expansion probably does make sense because you will be able to start making more money, which is what business is all about. Revenue is nice, but attempting an expansion when your profit yield is low is madness.

Are You Meeting Your Targets

dart board bullseye

If you’re not meeting your targets now, with your business at the size it is, then it may not be the optimum time for you to think about expansion. Even if your business is in good standing and it is naturally growing, trying to push an expansion when you’re falling short in some areas doesn’t really make sense.

It might be better in such circumstances to invest more time and energy into meeting your goals. If you do this, natural growth is likely to occur, and then you’ll be in a good place to expand should you still wish to do so.

Is Your Company Scalable?

It seems obvious, but so many small business owners don’t stop to think about whether their company is actually scalable before they try to do so! This is essential because not all businesses are built for growth. For example, if the costs of expanding, some of which were outline above, are greater than the cost of organic growth, or are likely to take a very long time to break even, then sticking with your current mode of operation is most likely to work out for you.

Are You Easily Findable Online?

If you have websites, social media accounts and blogs that are all perfectly search engine optimized both locally, nationally and even internationally, if you wish to sell there, then you are undoubtedly in a better position to expand than if your websites and various other online efforts barely get any traffic at all. The fact is, the future of business, or the getting customers part of it, anyway, is online and if your online presence is poor, it’s probably worth spending more time and money on that right now.

Is Your Team Onboard

women business meeting

You employees are one of the most important parts of your business, so it really is important that, if you want to expand, you have their full support. After all, trying to expand will not only mean that they might have to work harder and do more for a while, but it is also taking a risk with their jobs, and if your staff are unhappy with the change, productivity might drop, and you might fail.

Do You Really Want to Do It?

If you’re thinking about expanding simply because you think it’s what you should do, and because you’d like to make more money, that’s fair enough, but it probably isn’t enough to make it worth your while. If you want that, and you want to expand because you love your work and everything it entails, from long nights trying to solve problems to quotas, data handling and dealing with employees, then go ahead, you really do want it and as long as you know what you’re doing, it probably won’t be seen as a mistake in your eyes, come what may.

Before you go ahead and start planning for expansion, do take the time to think about these issues seriously. Your mind might be set on building something bigger and better, but that might not happen if the time isn’t right for whatever reason. If it is, then great, if not, you can start making improvements and then re-evaluate in the future. Good luck!

Never Make These Mistakes After You Move House

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That feeling of exhaustion and burnout when you go through a big house move can often be overwhelming for many people. You can’t crash and burn once the purchase has been finally pushed through though. Instead you need to stay alert and make sure you don’t make the mistakes that so often get made when people purchase a new place and move in. Here are the key mistakes that you’ll need to be aware of so that you can avoid them properly.

Don’t Wait to Introduce Yourself to Your New Neighbours

You’re going to hopefully be living in this location for quite some time, and that means you’re going to be surrounded by the same neighbours for a long time to. You shouldn’t waste any time in getting out there, knocking on their doors and introducing yourself to the people nearby. Those neighbourly relationships could really serve you well in the future so don’t hesitate to initiate them.

Don’t Ignore the State of Your Finances

The state that your finances are in could end up having a big impact on how you use your new home and how you fill it up with new furniture. Before you start worrying about those kinds of things you need to make sure that you are aware of how healthy your financial situation is. After an expensive move like this it’s so easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore your finances but that will only lead to further problems going forward.

Don’t Delay Getting Your Utilities Up and Running

You’re going to want to sort out your basics first of all, and that should include getting your utilities up and running. Call the right people and get the gas, water and and electric flowing before you worry about anything else. Ideally, you should have these things organised and in place before you even go ahead with the move. If you notice any problems with the water, contact a plumber and have the issues addressed rapidly. Any minor hiccups are best dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity.

Don’t Assume Safety and Security Matters Are Covered

Just because you’re moving into a modern home that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s as secure as you would like it to be. It’s definitely a good idea to assess the state of the home security measures that are currently in place and you can then replace or upgrade them if you feel that it’s necessary to do so. It’s a huge mistake to ignore these kinds of matters because your family’s safety could be under threat.

Don’t Fill a Spare Room With Boxes and Close the Door

There is always that temptation to put the boxes that are filled with the stuff you don’t need right away in a spare room. You can then forget about them and not only will you have lots of boxes filled with stuff that are doing nothing but you’ll also be sacrificing your spare room, rendering it pretty much useless to your family. Yes it can be tiring and boring to unpack every one of those boxes but it needs to be done and putting it off shouldn’t be an option for you.

Don’t Put Off the Cleaning Once You’ve Unpacked

Unpacking your bags is not where the process of making your home neat and tidy ends. There is so much dirt and dust that enters your home when you’re moving those boxes and who knows where it all comes from. Maybe it’s from the floor of the truck of the shoes of the people carrying boxes and furniture in and out. Either way, you need to get on top of things and have a massive clean up once you have unpacked all of the most important things from their boxes.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address

This is one of those boring administrative things that definitely needs to be taken care of sooner rather than later. If you leave it for too long before you change your address on things like bills and insurance policies, you will put yourself and your family at more risk than is really necessary. For example, there is nothing stopping an insurance company denying and rejecting your claim if they find that there are errors in your policy and account details so be careful.

lego house

Moving house can be stressful and we all know that’s the case. That doesn’t mean that you can simply relax once you’ve moved into your new home though because there is still so much more to do

Your House Could Be Great If You’d Only Renovate

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Homes get old over time. That’s how you know it’s a home. It looks “lived in”. You might start out by buying a place with your partner and then your family grows over the years as you start to have children. Of course, even if you plan for a house with enough bedrooms to house all the kids, you might not have planned for the fact that those kids would be constantly and rapidly growing. Time goes by, and the house almost seems to shrink as your family grows. The point is that there’s a difference between a house looking “lived in” and a house looking like a “dilapidated rundown wreck.”

Your house could be great if you’d only renovate. No home is ever truly lost. Think back to when you first moved into your property. Okay, your family might be bigger now, as mentioned in the paragraph above, but the space and potential of your property that first attracted you to the place hasn’t gone away. You’ve just filled up your home with possessions and your interior design has slowly worn away with time. If you really want your house to look as good as those showhomes you see for sale in local neighborhoods then here are some renovation tips that should help you.

Relaxing on the couch

Clean and declutter.
To kick off your renovation, you need to clean and declutter your property. Don’t jump into big renovation projects before you’ve got to the root of the problem. The easiest way to do this is to tidy your home. You might find that a lot of the problems with your house’s aesthetic stem from a lack of cleanliness and excessive clutter. It’s time to get past your hoarder mentality and to cut the ties with things you no longer need. Go through the rooms in your house and pack up anything that you’ve been holding up to but is completely unnecessary in your current life. Giving your home a deep clean is important too. Get rid of all the dust collecting on surfaces or behind furnishings. The goal is to strip back every room to its bare essentials so that you can see where the actual problems lie with your home. Maybe certain rooms will look far better once clean but maybe others will have issues that we’ll address elsewhere in this article.

Cleaning and decluttering is also a chance to make some money. You don’t have to throw away all your unwanted possessions. You could set aside anything that still holds some value. Not all the clutter in your house will be broken or worn-out; some of it might simply have no use in your life anymore (or perhaps it was a waste of money in the first place and you never actually used it). You could hold a yard sale to make some money from the things you no longer need and avoid wasting items by simply disposing of them in a tip. The profit made from this yard sale could go towards renovating the rest of your household. It’s a win-win situation when you really think about it. And when it comes to items that you simply have to throw away because they’re beyond their better days, you might want to look into a rubbish collection service that can remove a huge amount of waste at a very low price. The goal is both make and save as much money as possible throughout this process. Cleaning and decluttering is only the first step of renovating your home so you don’t want it to be too time-consuming or costly.

Opt for minimalism and spaciousness.
Continuing from the previous point, a clean house is a happy house. This isn’t just helpful in terms of hygiene but in terms of improving your house’s aesthetic. Most importantly, decluttering will help you achieve a spacious household and that certainly has to be your end goal. When it comes to the way you layout your home and refresh its design, you always have to aim to strip back the design to the essentials. You don’t want to lose the things that make your house feel like a home, of course, but you should still be aiming to give it that “brand new” vibe.

If you want a bit of inspiration then you could repaint the walls to help make your home feel a little more minimalistic and spacious. A fresh coat of white paint will not only make your house feel newer but will also help to brighten up your house. Of course, you need neutral colors such as white because this will naturally reflect sunlight and help to make your home feel more spacious. Again, you’re aiming for that minimalistic feel. Putting up more mirrors around the house can help to give the illusion of larger rooms too.

Get creative with storage solutions.
The theme of spaciousness never dies. Obviously, no matter how much you declutter or strive to make your home feel more minimalistic, you can’t get rid of all your possessions. You’d be living in a sparse, cold, and uncomfortable household. This place still needs to feel like home and you’ll always need to hold onto essential household items. The goal is to strive for more creative storage solutions so that you don’t let rooms in the house become too cluttered. There might be far more potential for storage in your house than you currently realize. You just might not be utilizing that potential because you haven’t yet thought about it.

Think outside the box. You don’t have to let your children’s bedrooms become a mess. You could put up some more shelving units on their walls so that they have more space to store their precious toys and other possessions that usually find their home on the floor (we’ve all experienced the torture of stepping on a piece of Lego). You should also get beds for every room that are elevated enough to allow for storage underneath; you should be utilizing that space so that you have more room to walk about freely. Another smart storage solution for the house could be a storage space beneath the stairs for any items that are cluttering up the interior design of your humble abode.

tree lined country lane

Create an eco-friendly environment.
You might not have expected to see this suggestion in a renovation guide but creating an eco-friendly household could improve it on all levels. Even if you’ve never really thought about saving the planet before, you should consider the amount of money you could save through an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. That money could go towards necessary renovations for the rest of your house; there’s no point in wasting money or other resources. Plus, as we’ve mentioned throughout the article, minimalism is always the goal. Reduce waste and your home will flourish. You should start by creating a more energy-efficient household in order to reduce utility bills. Insulated walls, double-glazed windows, and energy-efficient appliances are all a good place to start. The eco-friendly approach will make your home look and feel more modern too.

Your environmental mindset shouldn’t stop beyond the four walls of your house either. Remember that your outdoor space is still a part of your property. You should focus on your garden in order to improve your household. Sprucing up this outdoor space can add an extra dimension to your household, so you should transform this otherwise-neglected space into an “outdoor room” that you’ll want to enjoy more often. You could also grow your own fruit and vegetables so that you don’t have to consume as many mass-produced food products from your local shop. It’ll save you money, save the environment, and also make your back garden feel a little more vibrant. Don’t underestimate the power of renovating your home’s exterior as well as its interior.

Tend to wear and tear.
Of course, you can only do so much to spruce up a house if things are broken or worn-out. It’s time to tend to those shabby aspects of your home if they’re starting to affect the overall aesthetic. Repainting things always works a treat. Those faded kitchen cabinets could look brand new if you just gave them a new coat of paint. And, as mentioned earlier, repainting the walls can both brighten up a room and make it look brand new.

You should be aiming for a timeless look so that things don’t look so outdated and worn out in the future. Replace wallpaper with paint; colors never go out of fashion, unless they’re too wild and unmatched, but patterned wallpaper can become outdated, tattered, torn, and generally tacky. You should also update the flooring in your home if it’s looking a little shabby. You might want to and replace it with wooden or laminate flooring because carpets can become old and unattractive very quickly. Other types of flooring are easier to clean and keep looking good, however. Remember that your goal is timelessness; don’t let your home’s interior design go out of fashion. That’s the key to renovation.

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