Be The Prettiest House On The Street and Improve Your Curb Appeal!

Your home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, and when you come home each day, you should feel proud of your investment. So if your property is looking a little tired and dilapidated, it’s time to make a change! A few changes can transform your home and add curb appeal- who wouldn’t want to own the prettiest house on the street?!

Clean and Tidy

Having a general clean and tidy around the front of the home can make all the difference. Sweep up litter and leaves, move shoes and bicycles. Wash the windows and clean paths and the driveway using a jet washer. Moving bins either to around the back of the property or investing in wooden ‘bin sheds’ to neatly store them away can make the front of your home look far nicer too.

Brown Concrete House Surrounded by Green Plant

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Tidy the Front Garden

Plants and shrubbery can dramatically improve the look of your front garden, but it’s easy for things to grow out of control. Now we’re into the spring season, expect a huge spurt of growth. Make sure everything is trimmed back and looks neat and tidy. If your lawn has seen better days due to the winter flooding, repair any bald patches with a box of grass seed and give it a few weeks to establish before mowing. If you have any daffodil and tulip bulbs planted in the front they’ll be in full bloom right now, but in a couple of weeks you’ll need to go around and deadhead everything.

Re-Paint

Fences, garage doors, gutterings and the house itself all might need painting. Over time it can become worn and faded in the sun, or look grubby and dirty which can bring down the overall appearance of the home. Using professional painters will give the best result, but if you’re patient and good with a paintbrush, you could do this yourself if you don’t mind heights and ladders.

Add Lighting

Lighting is necessary not only from a curb appeal perspective but for practical reasons too. Motion detection flood lighting deters burglars, but it’s also handy for whenever you come home, and it’s dark. No more fumbling around in pitch black looking for your keys! Alternatively, you could add some fancy looking lantern lights either side of the door. Smart lighting is popular and accessible these days, so it’s easy to put them on a timer or control them remotely using your mobile phone.

Add Plants and Flowers

All of the other steps will make the property look tidy and smart, but to really make it look great add some flowers! You could do this by adding hanging baskets or pots (or both) each side of the door. Any garden center will have beautiful plants to choose from, they’re likely to need replacing a couple of times a year where flowers only bloom for a number of months before dying back. Finish the look with a door mat, you can find loads of cute designs on sites like eBay.

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Throwing Shade: Go Low-Tech But Stay Cool

If you know all too well how unbearable it can be once summer hits you’ll already be looking at ways to keep your bills down and your air supply up! Depending on where you live, temperatures can quickly reach 90 Degrees Fahrenheit and it’s much harder to concentrate, sleep and eat when the sun’s at its zenith. One of the best ways to keep cool during the summer months is to stay hydrated. You should also always make sure you carry sunglasses, as even on cloudy days the sun can be powerful, and our eyes are incredibly sensitive.

It may also be worth keeping your curtains open at night, that way the cold air will alleviate the stuffiness in your house once the sun’s gone down. Try to get as much fresh air blowing through your home as possible by opening windows, doors, using fans to circulate and blasting the AC for a few hours so the filters to trap any dirt and debris that may be floating around. You may also have noticed a greater abundance of insects appearing, summer is often where you see the most wasps, bees, flies and beetles. Take precautions by putting up fly screens even if you don’t live in a rural area and check food is never allowed to sit out in the heat, not only will this spoil the flavor and texture but it could make you quite ill. While bees and wasps may look pretty buzzing around your flowerbeds, they have a nasty sting so always know where your tweezers, antiseptic insect bite cream and plasters are!

Brown Woven Umbrella

[Photo courtesy of nastya/pexels.com]

Take Cover

Parasols are great but if you want to make a real difference to the temperature in your home why not buy yourself an awning? The Department of Energy has stated awnings, or shaded covers can reduce heat by 30% simply because the sun rises and the linen cover takes the brunt of the heat while rays bounce off. While awnings aren’t as fashionable as they used to be; they do add a certain charm to your property as well as allowing you to sit outside comfortably. Before buying an awning always check to see if your property is suitable, maintain both the mechanism and fabric to stop cracks or holes appearing and never let children pull or raise awnings themselves as they could get their fingers trapped. Avoid any accidents by using an awning pole, a device similar to a loft pole which attaches to the hook on the underside and lets you pull down the striped sail from a safe distance.

Vacant Swing Near Grey and Green Tree

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Get Planting!

If you’re very lucky, you’ll live somewhere with lots of trees which isn’t just good for your health because trees take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but they also act as a natural barrier and so quite often the temperature in the shade is at least ten degrees cooler than out in the open! However, lots of us believe that as long as there are trees somewhere nearby, we’ll automatically stay much cooler! Sadly, that’s not always the case as depending on where those trees are placed, that’ll decide how much shade you get. If you have no trees close to the house, it may be worth thinking about planting some young saplings now. Choose trees that grow quite quickly like poplars, maples, birches, and willows as well as those that are famed for their leafy, green appearance, so they’ll give you plenty of shade.

To save a significant amount of energy, or at least figure that’ll be noticeable on your next bill plant trees on the south and west-facing sides of your property. Everyone knows that south facing gardens tend to get the most sun, so by creating a tree line there you’ll reduce the heat dramatically. Remember, trees are a natural way to cool down your entire home as well as encouraging wildlife into the neighborhood. When planting always check the property boundaries before you start digging and as long as you don’t cross over onto your neighbor’s land you’re fine.

However, we do suggest being courteous as not only do you not want to start a turf war but it means if you block their beautiful view now they could do the same thing to you later on.

bed, bedroom, chair

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Have A Ceiling Fan

It may seem a bit old-fashioned, almost colonial, but high ceiling fans do a fantastic job of keeping the air moving while cooling down rooms you spend the most time in. In fact, the more people you put somewhere small the hotter the overall room temperature gets. This is because we each have our own perfect temperature! Some people feel much colder than others but in a big group heat becomes the dominant force and as it rises things then get fairly uncomfortable quite quickly as people begin to sweat.

Ceiling fans aren’t as ugly as they used to be and now come in a variety of shapes and sizes they’re also quieter than you’d expect. Remember, these fans are designed to keep you from melting so if you’re going out turn the fan off! If you really need your AC on, and let’s face it in mid-summer plenty of us see it as a lifesaver try to look for one that’s as silent as possible. There are also some great quiet ac units out there that won’t make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of an airfield instead of your living room every time you turn on the remote control!

art, brush, color

[Photo courtesy of Tookapic/pexels.com]

White Out!

Do you recall your eighth-grade science lessons and how your teacher told you how snow reflects the heat instead of absorbing it due to it’s lighter color? The same principal applies to our roofs so if you want to lower the temperature below you should mix it up above! It’s often why you’ll find buildings and roofs painted white or yellow in hotter countries so that the encroaching heat doesn’t seep inside. Believe it or not, a report by Climate Change Research suggested that if all buildings and roads in the US were painted white the energy saved could run into millIons of dollars.

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Home Improvement: Bringing Comfort Into Your Life

Comfort is one of the most underrated aspects to life. We don’t take enough time out of our hectic family or work schedules to settle down and enjoy the small things. We don’t often even look for comfort, do we?

The thing is – we shouldn’t have to. Some much of our lives are spent at a desk or at work and this means that our homes should be automatically comfy. It doesn’t just take a good couch or amazing bed sheets – it’s a state of mind for our homes. It’s not just about putting down a potted plant and saying job done.

Home, Life, Sofa, Couch, Comfortable, Relaxation, Male

[Photo courtesy of Wokandapix/pixabay.com]

It’s not amazingly easy to add comfort to your life, but it is a simple path. To start off, keep a tidy home with regimented cleaning sessions. This could be daily sweeping and polishing followed by a deeper weekly clean and dusting. The state of your house will reflect on your state of mind and dust, dirt and hair will build up to frustrate you. Keep the house clean in the first instance to feel at home in your home!

Windows and natural light is a good way to feel comfortable in the home. Adding double glazed windows to protect your bubble from external sounds like traffic and road works. Your home shouldn’t be easily infiltrated by external noise. Windows also serve an obvious purpose to let big light into your rooms which makes them seem a lot less dull. If there are issues, natural light could be one of the answers.

[Photo courtesy of Victor Grigas/wikipedia.org]

Natural light is great, but it’s only around for a portion of the day. This means that we have to provide our own methods of lighting for later sections of each day. Move away from fluorescent lighting and opt for bulbs with warm glows that work to soothe instead of cause headaches.

To be comfortable, you’ve also got to think about the temperature. Central heating is great for the winter, but fans and open windows work best in the summer if you can’t get your hands on air conditioning. Think about the floors as well. Hardwood floors are cozy, but they aren’t comfy – and when it gets cold they will bite at your naked feet! Get some nice rugs to ensure that there are patches of floor based warmth in your home.

Of course, you also need the right seating to be super comfortable and what better than an armchair to take away your blues? Of course there are plenty of other options like foam bags from SackDaddy.com! Simply go with the flow and grab the items that make you feel comfortable.

A final thought on comfort – add yourself to your home. It is yours, after all. Allow your style to reflect yourself through DIY projects and personalization. Put up photos, painting and pictures and allow your talents to shine through. Your home is your space, so let it be just that with a bit of a personal touch. Or you could just add a plant!

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Stunning Rugs for Small Spaces

Just because you live in a shoe-box sized studio in East London, doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space that you do have.  There are a number of ways to make your small space seem larger, including sticking a million mirrors in there and knocking down partition walls. But no one wants to sleep in the same room as you take a shower and cook your Sunday roast, or live in your very own spooky House of Mirrors! So you might be surprised to hear that rugs – yes, as in small carpets, can be a great solution!

Fussy styles

Most of us think of rugs in homes with lots of clutter- lots of small rugs or a large rug taking up most of the floor space as opposed to clean, neutral floorboards.  But rugs actually enhance the space that you have, and they are not only beautiful but warming and welcoming too – everybody should have at least one in their home!

apartment, carpet, floor

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Bedroom beauties

Rugs in the bedroom should be all about comfort and softness.  Of course, if you have a studio flat then your living space is also your sleeping space, but it’s easy to use rugs to define separate areas.  In the area near your bed, a rug which is soft underfoot is great, such as a sheepskin or flokati rug.  These are available in a wide range of colours, from crisp white and fluffy cream to vibrant mauve and hot pink.  Choose your rug to match your existing décor, whether that’s Japanese minimalist or vibrant pretty florals.  The moment you step out of bed in the morning onto this soft, beautiful rug you’ll know you are going to have a great day!

Living room lovelies

Your living room is where you’ll spend most of your time, and in a studio apartment you can use a rug to define this space – try to pick a large rug which extends almost to the edges of the room, or the edges of your living area, for maximum effect.  This will actually help your room to look larger and more spacious.  Opt for clean neutrals or bold brights, but try to keep the pile shallow if you’re scrambling for space.  Whilst deep pile leather shag rugs look amazing in large airy lofts, in a small studio they will simply make everything feel more cramped.  Shallow pile polypropylene rugs are not only ideal for small spaces; they are also hardwearing and stain resistant, perfect for clumsy friends who spill glasses of red wine on your floor…

No matter how small your space, a stunning rug can really help to define it, give it style and make it warm and welcoming. There is obviously always the question of budget, and like anything else, the price of rugs can vary hugely. Head to Ikea for a cheap and cheerful option, or get lost in a designer rugs shop for that really special purchase.  Follow the above tips and you will soon benefit from the beauty of rugs in your home.

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