big home renovations spring

With spring creeping ever closer, many homeowners look to update their home, from a simple sprucing up of furnishings to more large-scale renovations. If you are considering the latter option, look no further for inspiration those extra hours of natural light into your home. Renovations can be intimidating, but with the right ideas and know-how, updating your home can be a breeze.

With spring creeping ever closer, many homeowners look to update their home, from a simple sprucing up of furnishings to more large-scale renovations. If you are considering the latter option, look no further for inspiration those extra hours of natural light into your home. Renovations can be intimidating, but with the right ideas and know-how, updating your home can be a breeze.

Change the doors

One of the best ways to renovate your home in a way that makes a big impact is to change up the doors – and there are numerous possibilities for this. If you want to save space in a small bedroom or study, for example, consider swapping traditional swinging doors for sliding ones for that extra bit of room. Alternatively, if you want to make the most out of your garden and create a bright, yet classical look, consider installing french doors. In this way, you essentially get an entire wall as a window, allowing you to let in more natural light into a room, without losing any heat. French doors are also a fantastic option for creating space by connecting multiple rooms, such as creating a kitchen/dining room or living room/dining room combination, as in this example.

Add a conservatory

If you are considering adding an extension to your home, a good starting point is a conservatory. Phil Spencer, of Location, Location, Location fame advises that conservatories are a great way to extend your home, but to “make sure it matches the style of the rest of the house” to look its best. In order to keep a modern feel to your conservatory and the room to which it is attached, consider decorating them in the same way, or treating the conservatory as an extension to the room. This will also help to make the most of the extra daylight which a conservatory brings in.

Install bay windows

If a conservatory is too big a project for you, consider instead creating more space in a living room or front room by installing a bay window. Not only do bay windows add extra light, but there are numerous ways to utilise the extra space. If you have no space for a home office, consider placing a desk in the recess of the bay window so that you can make a small well-lit study space. Another idea is to build a window seat for extra sitting options as a reading nook, or for entertaining or during family time – particularly as the body of the seat can be used as extra storage for putting away blankets and cushions when they are no longer needed.

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creating the perfect guestroom

Creating the Perfect Guestroom

Guest rooms are an integral part of the home and are the perfect place to create a great impression on the friends and family who temporarily reside there. It’s important to keep the room looking its best at all times, after all, you can never be too prepared for unexpected guests! Decorating your guest room can be a lot of fun and presents you with the perfect opportunity to showcase your talents as an interior decorator of sorts. From curtains to color schemes and from beds to finishing touches, here are just a few tips for stunning guest room décor.

Color Scheme

Rule one, don’t go too bright! It’s important to keep color schemes as neutral as possible for a guest room, as the colors you choose for the room must create a calm and relaxing ambience to allow your guests to have the best night’s sleep possible. Opt for whites, creams or pastel shades as a backdrop for the room as these are the easiest shades to match the rest of the bedroom décor to.

Multi-Use Furniture

Although the guestroom should be a comfortable place to spend the night, it is likely that the room will not always be used to house your visitors and it is important that you enjoy the room when others are not. Why not turn the room into a second living room and pick some multi-purpose furniture such as a sofa bed to accommodate them, companies such as BedZRus have a fantastic selection of luxurious guest beds for you to choose from.

Home Away From Home

Ambience aside, it’s important to give the room a really homely feel, as this will help your guests to relax and feel more at home. You may not realise it, but it is often the small touches that help us to achieve this. As such, details such as photographs, luxury bedding and even a television set can be added to help give the room a more relaxed feel. Create a feature wall using framed family photographs and memories, or frame vintage posters to give the room a little character. Websites such as Pinterest can help to give you inspiration for guest rooms, no matter how big or small.

Provide Hotel Perks

We all love a night in a hotel, and one of the major perks of staying in a hotel for a night are the added extras – mini bar, shampoo, pillow mints, et al. For a thoughtful touch, why not provide your guests with those little bits and pieces they are likely to have forgotten. Make up a small basket of toiletries, sweets, drinks and anything else you can think of that will make them feel extra special! You can pick up small versions of premium products in the travel section of your local supermarket or cosmetics retailer.

Although the list of things to factor in when creating stunning guest accommodation are endless, these small changes can make a major difference! Remember to create a room you’d be happy to stay in, and overall, somewhere relaxing that reflects your character!

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help budget how to

Well, most of us are familiar with couponing and getting deals & freebies that can help us save on most things we buy online. This doesn’t mean hours and hours detective-like work since there are services devoted entirely to helping you find the beast deals and latest coupon codes. For example, instead of searching for the best deals on the manufacture’s or store’s websites, you can find at Discountrue within minutes. Still, we usually end up spending extravagantly on our household monthly expenses. So the best way I found to help you save money is to present you with this ‘simple yet extraordinary’ way to plan your budget and I sincerely hope that you stick to it to save those extra dollars.

The idea of planning a budget may not sound fun, but let me tell you, the benefits it will let you reap will surely add to your happiness in the long run.

STEP 1: Create a budget as soon as you can and make it as simple as possible. Keep on modifying it for six months to a whole year to meet the unexpected needs.

STEP 2: Make sure you plan for these:

Mortgage, insurance, utilities, phone & Internet bills, TV, food, travel expenses, household expenses, and your daily allowances.

STEP 3: Divide your expenses into two categories – fixed expenses and variable expenses. The former would include the recurring fixed amounts that you are liable to pay every month, such as your mortgage, any loans or car payments. The latter includes the expenses that vary every month. You can set aside certain amount of money according to the special events like birthdays or festivals that may come in a specific month.

STEP 4: An emergency fund is important too. You never know when you may be required to spend extra on medical or accidental conditions. So better set aside some money for medical, vet and car repair bills as well.

STEP 5: Maintain a grocery budget! Plan your recipes for the month in advance and shop according to that. Don’t get fooled by marketing and selling techniques and end up buying what you didn’t plan to. Always try as far as possible, to buy the items in your grocery list at best deal prices.

While practicing the budget, you’ll soon be able to analyze your shopping trends and you’ll start to learn how to get the most out of your shopping trips without spending excessive money. So good luck planning your budge. For more inspiration, just check out Discountrue I mentioned above. Always remember that the time spent creating a budget guarantees more savings, and therefore it is absolutely worth it.

It is important to plan a budget, but what’s more important is to follow it religiously!

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garden night lighting

As winter starts to recede and spring starts to take hold, the nights are becoming lighter and brighter. With temperatures starting to rise alongside this, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can get your garden ready for spring, and thus make it the perfect place to spend your spring/summer 2015. In this post, we look at how lighting can improve your garden, making it the perfect place to spend your evenings and entertain your guests throughout the summer.

Floor Lighting

Floor lighting can be a great way to highlight the natural beauty of your garden without the need for obtrusive light. If you have a winding path in your garden, for example, floor lighting can help ‘light the way’ for your guests, improving both the aesthetics and the practicality of your garden.

Likewise, if you have a pond then floor lighting is a brilliant idea, as it will ensure that none of your guests (or their children) are unaware of the pond’s presence.

Wall Lighting

One of the most common forms of lighting found in gardens, wall lighting is a great and practical solution to your lighting needs. Wall lighting is perfect if you have a small garden or a patio, as you can emit light directly from the wall of your home onto your garden. Particularly great if you have a BBQ area or a dining area, wall lighting shines a spotlight on the section of the garden you’re using, so you can minimise the fuss and leave the rest to nature.

Of course, if you’re after a lighter and brighter garden in the evenings, you can always add floor lighting and wall lighting together to create the perfect atmosphere.

Outdoor Post Lighting

Finally, if you’re just looking for mood lighting or accent lighting, then outdoor post lighting is perfect for the job. Designed to look like small scale street lamps, outdoor post lighting is great for popping at the edge of ponds or between bushes in order to create low level mood lighting, giving your garden a certain ambience.

If full scale post lighting isn’t for you, then smaller, more subtle options are available too, it is all about what you think looks best in your garden, and what suits your personal tastes.

These three types of lighting are not the only options available, and companies such as Scotlight offer a vast array of choice. So, spend time thinking about what type of lighting would suit your garden, and then make an informed choice that will make your garden the perfect place for any occasion.

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small bedroom space

If you find that you struggle to fit all your living necessities in your home, you are not alone – a study published last year by the University of Cambridge found that Britons have the most cramped homes in Europe. Bedrooms are especially tricky to maximise, particularly in shared houses, where communal areas cannot be used for extra storage. If you find yourself struggling for space in your bedroom, fear not: with a little creative thinking, you can save space and create storage, without cramping your style.

Sliding Doors

It can be easy to forget how much space a swinging door can take up in a room. If you are a homeowner (or have a very reasonable landlord), consider installing sliding doors. Retailers such as Barrier Components stock kits for creating pocket doors, which slide over the wall to open – perfect when space is a premium. You can leave the doors open to create the illusion of a bigger room, and easily close them for privacy, all while saving a few feet of space.

Floating Shelves

Mounting shelves to the wall is a fantastic way to create more storage in small rooms, and in bedrooms the functional possibilities are endless! Hang them above the headboard to keep spare bedding, next to the bed as a permanent bedside table, or high up on the wall in order to maximise your floor space. Some great examples of shelving can be found in this property.

Loft Beds

While it is common knowledge that bunk beds are a go-to space saver for children’s bedrooms, that doesn’t mean adults should dismiss the idea! In recent years the ‘loft bed’ has been increasingly featured in showhomes and design media as a bunk bed for adults, in order to maximise storage space in a room. Why not have a loft bed with an office underneath, or a wardrobe and dressing table?


If you are on a budget, you can start to create more space by working with what you already have. Think, ‘what else could this be used for?’ and multipurpose your existing furniture to use it more effectively. For example, you could multipurpose a chest of drawers as a dressing table for make up, fix a mirror or a coat hook to your door, or even fix drawers to a bedside table to double as a desk.

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