Archive of ‘Home’ category
These days, most families can’t afford to buy a property. Yes, there are some government schemes in place to help them on the property ladder. But people need to pay large deposits before getting considered for a mortgage. And that’s what helps them decide to stick with moving to rented homes instead.
If you’ve got a young family in tow, and you want to live near the city, you might be considering living in an apartment. They are cheaper to rent, and are plentiful inside inner-city areas. Today I will share with you some tips on how you can choose the right apartment for your family! Here is how to find the perfect place for your family:
Which area do you want to live in?
The first thing to consider is where you and your family want to move. There is an almost endless list of places to consider. I say “almost” because your budget will restrict you to living in some areas only.
I recommend making a shortlist of places that you might want to consider moving to. That way, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to searching for an apartment.
Do some research on the neighbourhood
Now that you have a list of possible areas to move to, the next stage is to spend some time researching them. For example, is crime a problem? Where are the nearest schools and what are they like? What types of people live in those areas? Are they affluent or home to blue-collar workers?
Apart from doing online research, I also suggest that you do a “drive-by” of each area at various times of the day. While the Internet is a good research source, you shouldn’t 100% rely on the information you read. It’s best to see the neighbourhood for yourself before making any final decisions.
For example, when I moved to a rental apartment, I made sure I checked the area out first. That’s because I wanted my family to live in a safe neighbourhood close to various amenities.
What facilities are on offer?
You might think that when you rent an apartment, all you’re paying for is the apartment. And that you’re also contributing to the upkeep of communal areas.
Some apartment blocks like Ultris Wynnfield Lakes also come with a whole host of features. A few places offer things like fitness centres, kids play areas and so forth. Granted, you might have to pay extra for the privilege of such facilities. But it’s OK if you plan to make good use of them.
Is the apartment well-maintained?
Before you decide to pay a deposit and move in, you need to check the level of maintenance in the apartment. Just because an apartment block might look modern and well-kept on the outside doesn’t mean it is on the inside!
Check with the management company or the landlord what major work got done recently. For example, they might have installed a new central heating system. That way, you can be sure that you won’t need to call them out to fix things all the time.
If your property has become too small to house your family, there are only a few options available. Presuming you don’t have the funds or desire to purchase somewhere new, it makes sense to pay for an extension. Doing so could bring many different benefits for those who live with you. Just in case anyone reading this post isn’t convinced about how much difference an extension could make to their property, we’ve listed a number of plus points below. At the end of the day, work of that nature doesn’t come cheap. So, you will still have to make a significant investment. However, it will be much cheaper than buying somewhere new, and a lot less hassle.
Photo credit here
It might sound obvious, but we thought it was sensible to point out that a home extension will give you more space. Depending on which area of your property you plan to extend, that could mean you get a bigger kitchen or perhaps more bedrooms. You could give those to any aging family members who need extra care. It all comes down to how much money you’re willing to spend, and which parts of your home are suitable for the work. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to weigh up all the pros and cons of building an extension off different rooms. Remember, you can always add space upstairs at a later date. You’re just going to need something on the ground floor first.
There is no getting away from the fact that any home extensions you perform are going to add a significant amount of value to your property. That means spending so much cash now isn’t the worst idea in the world. So long as the work is carried out to a professional standard, the value of your home should increase far beyond the initial investment you made. Considering that, extending your property could make good financial sense. You will reap the monetary rewards whenever you decide to sell up in the future.
No need to pack your life away
If you choose not to extend your home, the only other way of getting the extra space you require will be to move somewhere new. As we said only a moment ago, that will be far more costly. However, that isn’t the main reason you should stay put. Moving house is incredibly stressful for everyone involved. You have no choice but to pack your lives away and kiss goodbye to all those special memories. Do your kids a favour and extend instead. There is nothing worse than having to move from place to place when you are young. Children need to feel like that have roots, and they’ll never get that if you keep sending them to different schools. Stability is key!
Presuming you read all those points, the benefits of a home extension should be obvious. All you have to do now is work out which local specialist is most capable of handling the job. Of course, there are lots of review websites you can use to find suitable tradespeople.
Do you want to create a beautiful bedroom that both your children will love, but don’t know where to start? For parents who have children sharing a bedroom, it can be hard to know where to start when designing a bedroom both children will love.
Designing a beautiful shared bedroom that both of your little ones will be happy with, is actually much easier than you think. Believe it or not, a shared bedroom can be just as fun and unique as separate bedrooms, and twice as fun.
To help you make your children’s shared bedroom special, we have put together five fantastic tips below.
1. Be consistent with the design
Layout is vital when designing a shared bedroom. Everyone needs their own space, even babies and small children.
The key to giving your littles ones their own space in a shared room is the layout. Use different corners and areas of the room to create individual zones for each child. Just make sure to keep the design elements consistent so that each area of the room works well with the rest of the space.
Don’t forget to plan the design so that it grows as your children do. Invest in good quality furniture, bed linen and mattress toppers that will last.
2. Design a flexible space
Although your little ones share the room, it doesn’t mean that everything in there has to be shared. That is why it is essential that you create flexible play areas that they can share and play in together, as well as areas for alone time.
To give your child the opportunity for alone time, perhaps you could have an indoor tent or small den for each child to play in.
3. Split the room
Most children who share a space, like the idea of having a formal division in place. Dividing your children’s bedroom can be as simple as drawing a line down the centre of the floor or adding a curtain divider.
If however, you rent your home and adding a curtain or drawing a line is not a possibility, think about your other options. Perhaps you could invest in bunk beds that go in different directions and use them to mark each child’s territory? Or perhaps you could split the room using furniture?
Just because your children share the room, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t reflect their personalities. There are plenty of ways you can make a shared bedroom as personal as separate ones. Use toys, artwork, photographs and accessories to reflect each child’s personality, likes and hobbies.
You could also use two different colour schemes in the room, and then use one unified wall to keep the room consistent.
5. Don’t forget storage space
Make sure to take storage space into account when designing your children’s new bedroom. With two children sharing one space, you will have double the stuff, so will need ample storage options.
Consider investing in beds with storage space, such as cabin beds, stacking crates or ceiling storage. Think about what would work best in the space and go from there.
Everything that a child experiences as they grow up helps to shape them as an adult. I for one, remember many things that happened to me as a child and believe they contributed to my personality. I’m sure you do too. With this being the case, what could be better than designing your child a magical bedroom? It’s the place they’ll spend most of their time; playing, sleeping, doing homework, etc. Here are some tips that they’ll thank you for when they grow up:
Apply Wall Decals
Wall decals are great little tools for making a room more personalised and artistic. There are lots of different styles, so there’s something to suit every kind of child. You could get their name, the outline of a fairy, butterflies, animals, and more. They’re really easy to apply too, so you don’t even need that much patience to do it! In fact, I bet your little one would be happy to oblige (although you should supervise). Don’t worry, you can’t even tell that they are stickers. They look painted on!
Incorporate Plenty of Colour
Children’s rooms should be full of colour and excitement, although there are a few ways you can do this. You could go all out by using playful shades of yellow, green, red, purple, orange, etc. Or you could use pastels, which are a bit more calming for kids who can’t sleep very well at night.
Make Their Bed Double Up as Something Else
Instead of giving them a boring bed, let them have a bed that doubles up as something else. Be honest; we all wanted one when we were kids! You could get a pirate ship bed, a bed with a slide attached to it, a bed that looks like a dolls house…there really is no limit. You can even find designer boys beds in the shape of a big red bus. It might seem like a silly expense, but they’ll absolutely love it!
Mix and Match
Kids don’t want things to be perfect and matchy matchy. They’re not boring like adults. Instead, mix and match colours and pattern. You can do this by buying mixed sets of furniture, cushions, and accessories. It looks so much more fun!
Release Your Inner Artist
If you want to personalise your child’s room a bit, you can release your inner artist. Paint their favourite cartoon characters on the wall. Decorate old furniture to make it look like it came out of a scene from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Cut out Peter Pan’s shadow on a piece of paper, place it over a lamp, and his shadow will play in the room.
Make a Tipi
Another wonderful way to get crafty; make your kids a tipi. Kids love to have a ‘den’ to play in, and it’s also a great place to read or do homework. You won’t have to force them to go up to their room ever again!
Imagine how thrilled your child will be when they see their magical new room!
If you’re lucky enough to have just welcomed a new life into the world, you will have your work cut out. Looking after small children can be an incredibly stressful job. Not only that, but you may have to make lots of alterations to your property in order to accommodate them. We all know how prone kids are to accidents, and so it’s important you limit the chances of them being seriously injured. Most of the changes you need to make are pretty simple. You just have to think like a child in order to work out which areas of your home are most dangerous. While common sense is the best solution, you might like to consider some of our suggestions…
Invest in slipcovered furniture
The chances of your child dropping or spilling something on your furniture stand at somewhere close to 100%. For that reason, you need to invest in some new products that can be cleaned without too much hassle. Slipcovered furniture companies provide excellent items that have removable covers. That means you can take them off and wash them without having to pay for a specialist. While you might have to spend a lot of money for the best quality furniture, it’s most certainly worth the expense. Just ask any other mother on your street.
Cover those sharp edges
Small children slip and fall all the time, and that is why it’s vital that you cover all the sharp edges in your home. That is especially the case if you have marble countertops in your kitchen. Thankfully, there is no need to get the sander out and round them off. In fact, you can get some cheap products that solve the problem. Most of them are made of rubber, and they are fitted over your sharp edges to ensure anyone bumping into them leaves uninjured.
Look for alternative lighting solutions
We all know how difficult it can be for a small child to fall asleep in the evenings. So, it might be sensible for you to look for some alternative lighting solutions. Adding some lamps or dimmer switches could help you to create a more relaxed atmosphere. In turn, that could mean your child get to sleep much faster. The last thing you want is to deal with a kid that refuses to close his eyes because you are in a brightly lit room.
Install a stair gate
Children are not capable of walking down stairs safely until they are at least a couple of years old. However, most of them will attempt to do so regardless. That could lead to them getting hurt, and it could result in a lot of worrying medical visits. To eliminate the possibility of that happening, you must install a good quality stair gate as soon as possible. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind.
So long as you make all those basic changes to your home, you shouldn’t encounter too many safety issues. We hope your child grows up to become a healthy and well-balanced individual.
As a family grows the temptation for most is to move home to accommodate the new family members, but this is not always the best approach. It seems that all of your friends and family’s advice centres around the need for extra space to cope with a new child, but is this the best advice to take? It is wise to weigh up the pros and cons of moving home before making any final decision, especially as moving home is the biggest expense most people will ever face. Before reaching that final decision, here are a few reasons that I do not believe a move is always necessary.
With the arrival of a new family member, your finances will already need to stretch a little further, and adding the cost of a larger mortgage to your finances could put you in a precarious position. A larger house will usually mean larger bills too, as you need to regulate the temperature of a larger house as well as maintain it and pay tax on it. Is this really the best time to be increasing your outgoings?
The reason to change your home is usually related to increasing floor space, but how much extra do you really need? Will an extra child really mean that you need a bigger lounge area or kitchen? The reality is that all that is usually required is an extra bedroom, and you can easily achieve that without moving home. Lofts and basements have long been used to create extra bedrooms, but creating a new room in your garden (click here for some great examples) is a possibility that many people ignore but is often the perfect choice.
The stress of moving should be enough to change anybody’s mind about moving, so think carefully before deciding on your move. The logistics of moving all your belongings is hard enough, but the added worries of breakages and insurance claims can magnify the problem exponentially. If you are moving any distance, keeping the kids entertained on the journey, though possible, can be a nightmare; as can settling bills and closing down utility services be while setting them up at your new property. Moving is not for the faint hearted, and should, in my opinion, be the last choice.
Schools and Work
If you already have children, and they are in school, you have to consider the effect of moving on them too. You could be moving them to an area that means they need to start at a new school, and will have to leave their old friends and make new ones. For teenagers, this can be particularly troublesome; but will affect any child that has to relocate. Your new home could also cause problems relating to work, and whether it causes longer hours traveling, or difficulties while commuting, it is a problem that could be averted by simply not moving.
Perhaps your family really has outgrown your home; and if that is true, a move may be the most sensible option. However, moving home is seldom vital when a family expands, so consider these points before you commit to a new property.
Your living might be the hub of your home. These spaces can be used for relaxing in front of the TV, curling up with a book, spending time with your family and entertaining guests. Given its importance, it’s crucial that this space looks and feels the part.
Even after you’ve painted, decorated and furnished this space, you might feel as though there’s something lacking from your lounge. The following design tips will help you to add those all-important finishing touches to the space.
Soft furnishings can be inexpensive yet they have the power to transform the appearance of your living room. When you’re choosing these items, make sure they complement the colour of your walls. One great style tip for these spaces is to have a feature wall and mirror this colour with your rugs, curtains and cushions. This can add instant style and finesse to the room and it will create a coordinated look.
Add plenty of photos
To put your own stamp on your lounge, plenty of photos are a must. Placing images of your family, friends and pets around your walls will give the room a personalised appearance and will help you to feel at home.
For added artistic effect, include a few of your favourite landscape shots too. Perhaps you have some stunning holiday snaps that would look great displayed in your lounge. It’s now easy to buy beautiful frames from firms such as Go Frame It. You can take your pick from a range of colours, sizes and styles of frame, meaning you won’t struggle to achieve the look you’re after.
If your current images don’t fit the bill, it might be time to get your camera out and make some new ones. If you’d like to improve your technique behind the lens, you can get plenty of photo tips online.
On a similar theme, it’s a great idea to add some interesting artwork to your lounge. All too often, homeowners go for generic prints that they don’t have any real connection with.
By keeping your eyes open for artwork that really strikes a chord with you, you can personalise your room and give it added individuality. For example, look out for original artworks or paintings of your favourite places.
Thanks to Olga Reznik for the picture
Re-visiting your lighting could help you to enhance the look of your living room too. Don’t see your lights as solely practical products. They can also be used to impressive artistic effect. Installing a combination of ceiling and wall lights, lamps, recessed lights and spotlights can help you to achieve a layered look. Using a variety of products will also help ensure you can change the ambiance of your room to suit your mood. Whether you want to create a relaxed atmosphere, a romantic vibe or a bright space to help you concentrate on a task, you’ll be able to do it at the flick of a switch.
By making a little extra effort to complete your lounge, you can guarantee you’ll end up with a space you adore.
Your family home should be a warm and welcoming place. If you have children, they are going to remember this property for the rest of their lives. For that reason, you need to work hard to ensure they experience the best-possible time before you sell and move somewhere different. With that in mind, we’re going to present you with a list of ideas this morning that should help you to create the relaxed atmosphere you desire. As we’re getting close to Christmas, temperatures outside are starting to drop. Considering that, you need to start work as soon as possible.
None of the suggestions we’re about to make are particularly expensive, and so you don’t have to worry about putting a huge strain on your bank account. So long as you remain creative and flexible in your approach, you could easily make improvements with as little as a few hundred dollars. Just take a read through and see if you come away with some good ideas.
Install a real fireplace
While coal might be a little more expensive than electricity, your family could benefit significantly from a real fireplace. Not only will your home become much warmer during the cold months, but it will also help to create the placid atmosphere you’ve been looking for. Just make sure you purchase a decent guard if you have small children running around. The last thing you want is to take a trip to the hospital this side of Christmas. Remember, you can also burn wood and whatever else you might have lying around.
Purchase alternative seating
Even if you have the most-comfortable sofas in the world, you still might like to invest in some alternative seating. Custom bean bags are available online for cheap prices, and so maybe you should take a look at them? Unlike the ones you might have seen in catalogs, custom bean bags can be made to your specifications using the materials you choose. That means you can get some seriously luxurious products that are guaranteed to keep your family comfortable. Your kids are going to love sitting on them, and that means you could end up spending more time with them.
Fit dimmer switches
Dimmer switches began to lose popularity during the 1990s, but they are back on the shelves once more. They make little difference to your electricity bills, which is why we think you should consider getting some for your home. Most stores provide them for less than $20, and you can get a wide range of different designs. You’ll pay a little more for dimmers made from chrome and other metals, but they effects they cause are fantastic. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert electrician to fit these switches. There are a maximum of three wires on the other side, and everything is self-explanatory.
We sincerely hope the ideas in this post have given you the inspiration to start making changes and create a relaxed atmosphere in your home. Thank you for stopping by today. We look forward to seeing you again tomorrow!
Anybody who has ever slept alone in a creaky old house and woke up in the middle of the night only to hear a suspicious noise knows the terror it can cause. If there is another adult in the house, you don’t feel so worried because there is safety in numbers. When I became a single parent with a young child to take care of, I became anxious throughout the night and found it difficult to sleep. I am the only defense if somebody gets into the house. I know the chances are extremely slim that it would happen, but the fear was there nonetheless. I needed to secure the house for my peace of mind. It turns out that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
I have been there and done that, so I feel able to advise you on ways to keep yourself and your family safe. Here is how a single parent can feel more secure at home.
Windows And Doors
I asked Eyden Locksmiths for advice concerning my windows and doors. It turns out that the Yale lock on my front door isn’t as secure as a mortice deadlock. I had to ask my dad to fit one for me, but it isn’t as difficult as you might think. Armed with a drill, hammer and sharp chisel, it took about an hour to install. The back door now features one too. In addition to the mortice locks, I fitted sturdy bolts to the top and bottom of both doors. The only way through them now is with a battering ram or a grenade.
There was no facility to lock the handles on any of the opening windows in the house. I swapped them for new ones in only two hours. They are fixed to the windows with two screws each, and because they are a standard size, the new fittings used the same fixing holes. I can now secure all of the windows, and nobody can get in without making a racket.
I had heard about wireless alarm systems before but didn’t think I would be able to install one myself. How wrong I was. Everything runs on batteries, so there is no cable to install. If you know how to screw things to the wall, you will have no problem fitting a system in your home. I now have a detector in every downstairs room and a panic button by the front door and in my bedroom. It has been in operation for three months so far, and I haven’t had to change a single battery.
I paid an electrician to install a powerful security light that operates from a detector, on the back of the house. The model I chose came with a chime that I can plug into any socket. When the light comes on, the chime sounds and alerts me. As you can imagine, it was waking me up every time a cat walked by, so I have consigned that to the rubbish bin. The light is fantastic, and I can’t see an intruder wanting to hang around when it is on.
I am satisfied that the house is secure, and it helps me to sleep soundly. Nobody could gain access silently. They would then set the alarm off, and my neighbours would be round like a shot. If you are feeling vulnerable, adopt some or all of these measures in your home. You will not regret it.
Your bed is the centre of your bedroom. It’s the first thing you or anyone else looks at as they walk into the room, and it’s where you lay your head at night. Since it’s such a big feature of your bedroom, it’s important that you pay special attention to it when you decorate. You probably don’t use it much during the day, so it should look good instead of looking like it’s taking up much-needed space. You might choose to go simple, with a sheet, duvet cover and pillowcase combination and no other frills. Or you might go all out and decorate with throws, quilts, throw cushions and blankets that you need to remove before you can go to bed. There is a range of things to consider, from bed frames right down to the smallest details.
Bed Frames and Mattresses
The first thing that you want to choose when setting up your bed is a bed frame. This is your starting point for the perfect bed. Think about who your bed is for and what you want it to do. If you need it to have storage space, do you want a divan bed with drawers or will you just keep things under the frame? Your bed frame could be metal, wood, leather or a combination of materials. Choose a frame that will fit with the vision of your room. A wrought-iron frame might not suit an ultra-modern style. Don’t forget to consider your mattress too. You won’t see its colour under your sheet, but you should still think about the height and size of it. For example, do you want it to rise over the bed frame or site inside it?
If your bed doesn’t come with a built-in headboard, you might want to consider adding one. They’re available in all shapes and sizes, as well as a number of different materials. It can stand out against the colour of your walls and bed, or it could subtly blend in. A large leather headboard can have a dramatic effect. Padded fabric headboards are great for a vintage theme, while wooden headboards can look either rustic or glossy and modern. If you want to get really creative, make a headboard out of books, a large mirror, a painting or anything else you can think of.
Runners and Throws
As well as your usual bedding, you can get decorative with runners and throws at the end of the bed. Throws can also double up as an extra layer if it gets chilly. They should go well with the rest of your bedding, either matching or contrasting nicely. Runners and throws make great accents, to add a splash of colour or a different pattern. Match them to your headboard or maybe even to the walls, with a lighter or darker colour on the rest of the bedsheets. If you like sewing and doing crafts, making your own bed runner is a fairly simple project to help you decorate your bedroom, all you need is a few tutorials and the best overlocker for your needs.
Like bed runners and bedspreads, throw pillows and cushions are usually purely for decorative purposes. Some people love to pile their bed with throw cushions, but it can be a pain to remove them every night and put them back on every morning. Throw cushions are great for building up the dimensions and texture of a bed, so it doesn’t look so flat. Plus, if you sit on your bed during the day or before going to sleep it gives you something to lean on. If you decide to use throw cushions, it’s a good idea to have somewhere to store them at night. A trunk at the end of the bed always looks great, but you can also use the storage under the bed. Just don’t throw them on the floor!
Link to image credit
Sheets, Duvet Covers and Pillowcases
If you’re choosing to keep things simple, then your sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases are important. With no extra frills to embellish them, they’re the only thing making your bed look good. Go for some designer homewares to make sure your bedding is of top-notch quality. You should have several sets, either all the same or each of them matching the theme of your bedroom. Being able to match your bed to your room in a few different ways is fun, and this is easier if you stick to a simple set of bedding. Remember to think about how they feel, and not just how they look. You don’t want to buy a set of gorgeous satin sheets, only to find that they’re much too cold and slippery.
Quilts and Blankets
Perhaps when you dress your bed you prefer not to go the duvet route. Many people find having a single thick layer isn’t for them, and they prefer a number of thinner layers. This method makes it easier to add and remove layers as the seasons change. It’s also great for adding a layered effect to your bed.
You don’t have to have a four-poster bed to hang some dramatic curtains, although it does help. Curtains are great for a period look, or for making your bedroom seem like an exotic getaway. If you don’t have a four-poster bed, there are plenty of ways you can hang a canopy or curtains without one. One way is to use your headboard to give the appearance of curtains. After all, they’re really for decoration rather than for actually drawing shut. If you want a full set of drapes, you can hang L-shaped curtain rods from the ceiling, so your curtains hang around the bed. Simply draping some fabric over some curtain rods from the ceiling gives a great canopy effect too. Or you can buy a ready-made “princess” style canopy, like the ones that are very popular for little girls’ beds.
However you dress your bed, make sure your spare sheets fit in with the design scheme too. You don’t want to mess up your hard work just because it’s laundry day!