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5 Living Rooms Items You Will Need in Your New Home

Moving to your new house is an exciting time, but there are some basic essentials that you need to make your new dwelling look, feel and function like a home.

Here are a few essential décor and furniture items that increase the comfort of your living area.

  1. Curtains

Curtains are one of the most useful items in your living room. Many people pick curtains for aesthetic purposes, but curtains provide many functions outside of style.  They are used to control light. Curtains let in light when you draw them open and hide it when you want shade.  Curtains also provide insulation. During summers, lighter and airier fabrics are recommended. In winter, it is better to layer up your window coverings to keep the cold away.  When choosing colours, consider the colour of the backing/lining as well. This is to make sure they look good both inside and outside of your home.

  1. The Right Sofa

The best seating arrangement will be customised to your space. You need to give it some thought when choosing the right sofa for your living room.  A two-seater and one or two armchairs are ideal for a small living room. You can also consider slimline, less bulky designs to minimise clutter.  For a bigger living room, choose a large three-seater or modular sofa.  And don’t forget to make sure the furniture that you’re moving into your new home will fit through the door. Take measurements, including the total width, height and depth, before purchasing a lounge suite.

  1. Cushions

Cushions are mainly thought of as décor, but they offer a few practical functions. Hence, they are considered as a must-have item in living rooms.  Firstly, cushions provide added back support for extra comfort while lazing on your sofa. Secondly, the added padding is very useful during winter, especially if your sofa is made of leather or vinyl fabric, which is cool to the touch.  In terms of the colour of your cushions, first, determine your colour palette. Are you using a neutral shade or a pop of colour? Then, experiment with the size of the cushions and the textures of the fabric.  All of these add to the fact that those little cushions make your living space more comfortable and inviting.  For inspiration check out my Pinterest page!

  1. Hard surfaces

After you have picked your sofas and chairs, you’re not done. Your living room will definitely need a coffee table and/or side tables.  The size, materials and shapes of these living room essentials will be determined by the size of your space and your preferred aesthetic. Your lifestyle will also influence your choices.  For example, if you have children, you might want to choose a round coffee table. While a modern-style lounge may call for a glass, marble or a type of plastic.  While coffee tables are the common choice, depending on the space available, you may opt for side tables.  For your colour palette, again, if you’ve selected neutral colours, pick a complementary colour to bring harmony to the space.  Or, you may choose to create a statement piece by using a bold, contrasting shade.  Whatever combination of colours you choose, one thing is clear: you’d want a space where you can place your cup of tea or glass of wine after a long, busy day.

  1. Mood lighting

Two things control light in your living room: curtains and electronic systems. Mood lighting is essential to living spaces, a place of relaxation.  To pick the right living room lighting, layer the lights, which means you have to use three types of artificial lighting: ambient, task and accent.  Ambient light, which imitates natural daylight, can be created with lamps for a calming vibe.  Task lighting is normally more focused, like a reading lamp.  Accent light, such as downlights and spotlights, puts certain design features on the spotlight to deliver your illuminated requirements.  Create the perfect relaxation space by playing with the three types of lighting.

 

 

The Rising Popularity of Touchless Technology in the Home

Touchless tech is rising in popularity, even more so now as it fits perfectly with our pandemic lifestyle, where the norm is to interact with objects and people at a safe distance. Originally intended to provide efficiency in smart homes, touchless devices are now being used as hygienic measures to prevent cross-contamination.

Here are the current trends in touchless technology and the rapid changes in the way we interact with devices in the home:

Switches replaced by voice control and apps

With your smartphone, you get inside your home after turning off the alarm and unlocking the door. As you enter, a motion detector turns on the lights. In the bathroom, you wash your hands in the sink with sensor taps, which are no longer just in public restrooms. You make a request with your speaker to play some music as you go into your kitchen, where you tap on a screen to turn on the oven.

Apps on our smartphones have changed the way we interact with our home, as they replace buttons, switches and thermostats.

Our increasingly busy life has given us less time to spend on household tasks. Also, life has become easier for people thanks to innovations in the home appliance market.

Because of this, we are increasingly investing in autonomous appliances.

Appliances are becoming increasingly autonomous

We like to delegate work as much as we can. This is why robotic vacuum cleaners, for example, are rising in popularity. The only device that can totally take over a task are robots. The latest models get commands using a voice assistant. With this feature, the device can be used remotely and even at home. So, for example, you spilled a bottle of mineral water on the floor, just command the robot to clean up.

There are other features aside from remote activation. There is also the function that reduces the domestic workload. For example, there is a dishwasher in which the rinse aid and detergent are loaded into a big tank that automatically adjusts the amount for every wash.

Range hoods now don’t have buttons, even to turn it on and off. Even lights don’t need a switch to be turned on and off. While in some instances touchless technology is designed for practicality, others are aimed at simplifying design. The latest lamp models are built in with an infrared sensor to allow it to be turned on or dimmed with a simple hand movement.

Systems that are comforting and easy to use

Remote control systems are rising in popularity because of our desire for simplification and control. Having the ability to tell a voice assistant that you are going out so you can have the peace of mind knowing all the lights are off, the shutters are lowered, and some utilities are deactivated offers a benefit it terms of time efficiency and an assurance of safety.

Touchless technology also allows you to manage the temperature of your home in case your hands are busy preparing food, or maybe turning the lights on when you come home with bags full of shopping bags.

They also help in hygiene, which is important in settings such as holiday homes and short-term rental properties.

One thing about touchless technology is that it is intuitive. It just takes a little practice on how to come up with the correct command for a particular device.

What’s in store for touchless controls at home

Touchless technology will probably not capture the whole world. Different kinds of control are more likely to be inclusive instead of exclusive. This is the reason that many more touchless control systems will be invented, but they will always come with other options like conventional controls or apps.

The so-called Internet of Things, or the way devices communicate with each other, is poised for further growth with the addition of machine learning and AI features.

So, in the short term, not only will buttons to turn on appliances be eliminated, but the appliances themselves will know when and how to activate.

For example, when you leave your office at the end of the day, your smartphone uses geolocation to command your home heating system to start, so your home’s temperature will be just right when you enter. Comfort and the optimisation of energy use are in reality the genuine drivers of this technology.

Coming home after a hectic day is just a common instance that shows us how, without lifting a finger and even (almost) without thought, our relationship with home devices entails decreasing moments of interactions.

7 Ideas to Add a Touch of Luxury to Every Room in Your Home

There are so many things that remind us of the finer things in life, and those things include experiencing luxury at a five-star hotel and falling asleep between lavish sheets at a top-tier holiday rental.

But we don’t need to wait to have that lavish feeling for a special occasion. You can add luxurious touches that are easy and can change your life in a big way.

Here are simple ways to add a hint of five-star decadence to your home:

  1. A plush bed

One of the few things that can guarantee a good night’s sleep is a stylish and lush bed. Arrange it as a main point of your bedroom, starting with a supportive mattress and then layered it with touches of comfort such as plump down pillows, a woollen underlay between Egyptian cotton sheets and your mattress and
a weather-fitting doona.

  1. Elegant lighting

All high-star hotels or luxury homes have one thing in common: well-lit rooms with lavish chandeliers, wall sconces, art lights, floor lamps and mood lighting.

You can do a simple lighting makeover by replacing your overhead lights with modern fixtures, and consider installing a dimmer for mood lighting.

  1. Fresh flowers

A lot of people think that flowers are only for special occasions, but there is no reason not to have beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers in your home all the time. Flowers give your home colour, life, perfume and texture, and can transform a worn-out looking space into a much-loved home.

Bloom shouldn’t necessarily be expensive; garden-picked flowers serve the same purpose and more!

  1. Art pieces

People feel like they’ve had it made if they can buy art. If you want to hang art in your home, choose an artist that you love or a piece that you’ve purchased during one of your travels.

Art triggers memories and feelings, so it is a very personal investment. Begin with small art pieces and only choose what you love.

  1. Tasteful mirrors

Mirrors add elegance in a space, with their ability to reflect natural light and transform a room just by changing its depth of field. Interior designer experts say, “the bigger the mirror, the better!”

  1. Experiment with soothing scents and soft tunes

Luxury should be a complete sensory experience. When you walk into your home, your mind and senses should feel invigorated. You can create your own sanctuary by adding touches of sensory sparks in every space in your home with things such as relaxing music, a diffuser with the scent you love, as well as tactile furnishings and crisp towels.

  1. Coordinating cutlery

Store your old cutlery or give them away. A cutlery drawer full of old, mismatched cutlery broadcasts “student pad.” It’s time to separate yourself from your old cutlery and invest in new silverware that will elevate your daily home dining experience, not just to be used during your annual dinner parties.

Increase Your Home’s Liveability With These 5 Practical Features

When constructing your new home, you need to include features that boost liveability.  This can be achieved by simply answering this question: “What can I add to help improve my daily life?”

 

Life has changed with COVID-19, with people now spending so much of their time at home. This makes it all the more essential that your home functions in a way that fits your lifestyle.

 

Here are five simple features that can help boost your home’s liveability:

  1. A butler’s pantry

What was once a feature that is considered exclusive for the rich, a butler’s pantry is now a must-have in new homes. It has become popular because it keeps all the mess hidden and not visible and scattered in the area where all the daily activities are going on.

Many butler’s pantries include a preparation bench and storage area for food, glasses, crockery and tableware.

But the more generous setups should accommodate a dishwater, microwave, refrigerator and of course, the kitchen sink.  Otherwise it’s just a pantry!

  1. Built-on office or study corner

While 2020 pushed the work from home trend to the forefront, it has been going towards that path for several years, and many home builders have been taking this work transformation into account.

A home office, or even a study corner, has become a real need for people – with some people even going to the length of transforming their extra bedrooms back into studies.

Each person will have different needs, so for some they might install a big TV screen on the wall for Zoom meetings. Everything should be set up and ready to go, so choose built-in joinery for the workspace, shelves, access to power outlets, and abundance of natural light.

Avoid treating your home office space as an afterthought because you can make a well-designed space as a major selling point in the future.

  1. Cool storage

There are so many smart storage ideas and hacks on how to keep your things organised on the Internet. However, it is important to make sure your ideas are fit for the purpose. Don’t just install cupboards wherever there is a blank space. You don’t want future buyers to find out the linen cupboards are on the other side of the house to the laundry.

One of the items on many buyers’ checklist is additional storage in the garage. If you’ve got the space, use it.

  1. Energy efficiency

Homeowners consider sustainability as a top priority these days. According to the 2020 REA Group Property Seekers Report, 80% of buyers believe sustainable home features are essential.

One area where new home buyers can make a huge difference to their environmental footprint and their bills is energy efficiency.

Building a home involves a tick list and getting the balance right. Energy efficiency is lower with a dark roof. You can balance that out with additional windows or a ceiling fan or probably tinted windows.

There are many other energy efficient measures, including solar to lower energy consumption and bills, double-glazed windows, insulation, LED light bulbs and energy-saving appliances.

  1. Swimming pool

Australian homeowners dream of a backyard pool, but this is an extravagant feature that takes months to build – and expensive, too.

However, this is not true anymore because innovative precast concrete pools are already available in the market. This prefabricated pool can be built quickly – as it can just be craned into the backyard.  Plus with more of us working from home, the swimming pool has enjoyed popularity again!

 

 

 

5 Home Improvements to Prepare for Winter

Some features of your home don’t have to look the same throughout the year. But actually, a few minor changes can make your home more energy-efficient, cheaper to run, and more comfy during winter.

Here are 5 tips to help prepare your home for the colder months:

  1. Install block out curtains

Insulation is important when getting your home ready for winter. Your window coverings have other uses other than controlling light filtration. As much as 40% of a home’s heat can escape through the windows. So, when the temperature drops outside, investing in block out curtains for added warmth is worth it.

  1. Switch bedding

We can add blankets for warmth, but do you know what the role of your bedding is?

Firstly, you probably have to change to a thicker duvet if you have been using lightweight ones during summer. Second, think about heavier quilt covers and sheets. A popular option is flannelette because of its higher thread count. However, natural fabric like linen is perfect if you want something more breathable. Just make sure you have something heavy and insulating on top like a woollen blanket.

  1. Stop draughts

While draughts around your windows can be reduced by block out curtains, you should still look for any cracks that will likely generate draughts and let heat out and cool air in.

To block draughts, you can re-caulk around windows and doors to close any gaps. Even easy and simple solutions like door snakes installed at your door to prevent air from escaping can be effective.

Another option is moveable door seals for gaps under the door. 

  1. Add a rug

If you have hard flooring, rugs add another layer of insulation. Looser weave or polyester fabric rug may be appropriate for the summer months, but consider something heavier for the colder months. Imagine it like a coat – quality materials are vital for keeping warm.

If you have reservations over new rugs – or because children or pets are keeping you from buying something expensive and harder to clean – you can opt to add an underlay to increase insulation and give a more comfortable feeling.

  1. Added padding

While it would probably not alter the temperature of your room – throws, cushions and other fabric items – can increase insulation and generate added warmth. Arranging a throw over your sofa and layering a few plush cushions will not only provide warmth but also create a warm vibe and feel to a space. Invest in wool, velvet and chunky knits to truly capture that winter atmosphere.

 

 

4 Decorating Pieces That You Need to Invest In

If you’re redecorating or wishing to purchase new furnishings, here are some tips to help you properly allot your hard-earned cash. The trick is choosing quality pieces that will last a long time – regardless of your taste or home changes.

Here are four classic pieces that just have to be included in your redecorating budget.

  1. A Great Lounge

The hero piece in any living space and a real investment is the lounge. The perfect lounge has to be functional, not just beautiful. It should be the right size, the right comfort-level and the right look.

You can find lounge products that can be tailored according to your preference in size, shape, colour and comfort. The modular parts of these lounges can be adjusted to fit any space, changing effortlessly into several shapes that include shelving and storage. This flexibility will serve you well down the road as it can adapt to your changing lifestyle. So when you change your address, the lounge can move with you.

Pro tip: Don’t follow trends; pick a lounge in a neutral colour palette as it is timeless.

  1. Artworks

With so many cheap, mass produced wall art in the market, people can overlook the fact that quality artwork is a good investment.

Purchasing from a trustworthy art gallery means your art piece may increase in value. Even if there is no assurance, there are legitimate methods to resell a reputable artwork in the future rather than selling it on Facebook Marketplace for $10.

The sole disadvantage is that you need to shell out the initial cost, which could reach a minimum of $3000-$10,000.

If you decide to buy from a reputable small gallery, which is a good place to start, you can benefit from schemes like Art Money, which offers zero-interest loans to support Australia’s art industry.

In Australia, you can also find some of the world’s first and best abstract art forms through its indigenous communities. Check out the Indigenous Art Code or Desart to look for good and reputable recommendations.

  1. A Big Rug

The right pieces to invest in are those that are both functional and beautiful. They can jazz up a room while also providing a purpose. For example, rugs serve as insulation for a room or protection for floorings, but can also help spice up a room with refreshing colours, patterns or textures.

Rugs can be expensive, particularly those hand-woven pieces or woollen fabric. Luckily, there are good quality rugs that can last for 20 years or more if you care for them properly, so your money is worth it.

When choosing a rug, opt for a style or colour that is adaptable – and one that is really to your taste. Darker or subdued colours of red, green or blue are likely to complement several different styles and can be changed to fit various looks and spaces. Unlike most lighter colours, marks are less likely to show in darker shades.

To prolong its life, choose simple patterns. 

  1. A Statement Chair

If your living space or bedroom needs an armchair, show your creativity in terms of form or colour. An armchair can effortlessly be a decorative accent and a cozy space to sit.

If you’d like a classic piece, invest in a tub chair that is stylish and doesn’t occupy a large space in your living area, home office or bedroom.

You can also get creative with materials. If you fancy the Hamptons style, you can experiment with an armchair without your living area becoming full of rattan. Likewise, you may want to avoid a big velvet couch, but a couple of velvet armchairs will add character without being overpowering.

Most of all have a little fun and create a unique style that your buyers are going to like, feel comfortable with and will remember your home for!

 

Maintenance Tips to Help Extend the Life of your Deck

Timber decking is exposed to the elements throughout the year – heavy downpour, scorching sun, and high and low temperatures. This makes the wood expand and contract, which can cause it to deteriorate.

To help extend the life of a deck, regular maintenance is important as it helps the timber handle extreme conditions while revitalising its appearance.

It is fast and easy to make an old deck look brand new, starting with a nice finish. There are several finishes you can choose from to achieve the look you’re looking for.

Whichever finish you choose, regular maintenance is important to make your deck look great and last for a long time.

The Best Timber for Decks

There are many types of timber available. Selecting the same type of timber for both floor and decking can make the feel and look of indoor and outdoor spaces harmonious while giving a visual connection to the surrounding vistas and grabbing the attention of people who love nature.

One of the popular choices is lighter-blind timbers, like blackbutt, tallowwood or white mahogany offer a clean, neutral backdrop for outdoor design plans and landscaping. To make small spaces look big, choose lighter-coloured timber boards.

Some types, including blackbutt and spotted gum, are more ideal for locations that are susceptible to bushfires. Also, blackbutt is also resistant to termites, which is the right quality for Australian conditions.

No-Maintenance Decking Boards

Composite decking is suitable for you if you will not be able to keep up with regular maintenance. This type combines 95 per cent recycled timber and plastic, needs no upkeep except for random washing with soap and water, and is available in various colours and textures.

Because it is termite-resistant, composite decking won’t decay, warp or break. It is also resistant to fading, stain, scratch and mould, making it suitable for high foot traffic and uninterrupted summer of entertaining.

Signs That Your Deck Needs Refinishing

Dripping some water directly onto the boards is the fastest way to determine whether your deck needs work. If the timber absorbs the water, then it’s time to re-coat it. If the beads of water remain on t

he board, then no work is required yet.

Tips for Refinishing Decking Boards

Preparation is key to a great result from refinishing your deck.

If you have a new deck or your deck has been stained or oiled previously, use a stiff scrubbing brush to apply deck cleaner to get rid of tannins and oils from the timber. These products are good alternatives for algae or moss for eliminating dirt.

Because some cleaners can be detrimental to plants, protect the surrounding shrubs and trees by using plastic to protect the soil around them.

Let the deck cleaner be absorbed by the timber for 15 minutes before hosing it off and let the timber dry for a minimum of one hour before applying the finish.

If you use oil, mix it thoroughly before applying two or three coats with a lambswool applicator. To avoid a blotchy finish, apply the finish in long strokes the entire length of the board. The ends of the board should also be coated because they also need to be protected from the elements.

Read the manufacturer’s recommendations to learn the different varying times and techniques of applications of the stain, oil, paint or varnish you’re using.

Finish: Water-Based Vs Oil-Based

The choice between water or oil-based finishes often depends on the ease of use and longevity.

With water-based decking oils, you can re-coat your deck faster, and they normally last longer than the usual oil-based decking oils. The tools you’ve used can simply be washed off with water.

Oil-based decking oils usually take longer to dry than water-based coatings. You will also smell a strong odour while it dries. To clean your equipment, you need to use mineral turpentine.

Sanding a Worn or Painted Deck

For splintered, previously painted or severely damaged decks, sand the surface back to raw timber to revive its look. Make sure all nails and screws are countersunk to prevent the sandpaper from tearing while you work the deck.

Use a belt sander and coarse-grade belt to sand the surface, making sure that you move in the direction of the grain of the timber. To have a smooth finish, continue sanding with finer-grade belts.

For the hard-to-reach areas and edges, a finishing sander can do the job, but start with coarse-grade sandpaper and then a finer grade.

When you’re done with sanding the surface, then you can begin applying the finish.

How to Maintain Your Deck

To prolong the life of your deck finish, sweeping it or hosing it regularly avoids build-up of dirt and other moisture-retaining residue on the timber.

If your deck has potted plants, place a saucer underneath them to catch any excess water and prevent water from sitting under the pot as this can result in rot.

 

The Hottest Garden and Landscaping Trends for 2021

With people on lockdown for most of 2020, there is no doubt that many of us spent more time in our backyards and gardens, or looking for green spaces. 

Local hardware stores and nurseries were definitely not hurting as people tried to revamp their outdoor spaces and create a haven.


For 2021, here are a few trends that we can expect to see according to some top landscape designers.

 

Structural and Sophisticated

Combining lots of big leaf plants, such as fatsia, philodendrons, alcanterias and succulents, with architectural concrete is a trend that continues to increase in popularity.

But more than just your average slab, architectural concrete has steps with a shadow line, clean edges and profiles.

This style is a clean, severe landscape aesthetic at the ground level but made soft by plenty of plants. This is a perfect contrast between hard, solid surfaces and a gentler landscape with leafy plants.

 

More Garden, Less Lawn

The “less lawn, more garden” trend will become popular because it is low maintenance.

More people are using plants within the landscape, not just to serve as borders along the fence line or around the lawn.

This is very different from a decade ago when people would have asked for minimal plants and a really big lawn.

 

More Natives and Plant Biodiversity

Australian gardens have always been influenced by English or European styles, but landscaping professionals are seeing a move away from this trend and more into adopting the Australian native garden, by using plants that are more accustomed to our climate.

Not only will Australian native gardens become popular, but they will also become more diverse as people plant natives and combine them with European, South African, and South American plants like succulents and cacti.

The use of plants that are relatively low maintenance and don’t need plenty of water makes sense as they are a lot friendlier to the environment and less stressful to take care of.

 

The Australian Meadow

A good way to create biodiversity in your yard is through a European meadow-style garden, which involves the layering of shrubs, grasses, perennials, and trees.

An increasing number of Australians are adopting this style, so expect this to become relevant.

And landscape designers are putting their unique perspective with the use of native plants like eucalyptus, banksia, grevilla, callistemon and acacia, and more.

 

Crazy Paving

Crazy paving, or random stone paving, is becoming a top trend again but not as people remember it.

People have a memory of it as being large slabs of brown or Castlemaine slate, but a variety of materials are being imported from abroad with grey, nearly granite-looking random stone, or those grey shades that look great with concrete and timber.

If you want to create a textured, clean and contemporary look that sends a strong visual impact, go for random paving in natural stone then combine it with natural timbers and smooth-finished concrete.

 

Outdoors an Extension of the Indoors

Australians are all-about outdoor living, and this is something that will never go away.

Due to the lockdown, people are beginning to look at their outdoor spaces in a different light, with questions such as “how can we turn it into something that is more practical and more functional?”

Outdoor kitchens are becoming even more essential, the same with barbeques and even pizza ovens.

In the past, people were content with built-in barbeque, but now people want to put everything outdoors. People want to experience that relaxed lifestyle at home – without having to go too far for it.

Insiders expect an increase in flexible furniture that fit both indoors and outdoors, as people adopt a style that connects the indoors with the outdoors.

 

Pools Will Become Smaller

As Australians’ outdoor spaces shrink, so too does our pool size.

But what is important is to make sure the pool is properly designed for the space allotted to it and that it is practical and useful.

Whatever size the pool is, what’s important is to make so that people want to use it, and use it for a long time.

 

 

 

Serene Shades are the Top Colour Trends for 2021

The pandemic has changed the way we see the walls of our home and as many people are continue working from home, the line separating work lives from home lives have become notably indistinct.

While you may lack the funds to undertake a total renovation involving adding a new room or a ‘She Shed” for your new home office, there are a few understated updates you can do that will make a huge difference.

Sure, your productivity might get a boost from having a brand new coffee machine, but changing the colours of your space can impact it as well.

Dulux’s Colour Forecast 2021

Staying at home for most of last year has led to people preferring their homes to echo their personalities and for it to be a haven that functions both for working/studying and relaxing.

In past years, trends had been mostly influenced by European design and architecture shows, but most of these were cancelled in 2020. This resulted in the trends being dictated by the adjustments of our homes towards new ways of living and working in one space.

Colour evokes emotions and actually helps people relate to their space. At the moment, people would like to be cheerful and secure in our homes and colours can help bring that feeling of contentment, relaxation and happiness in your home.

Consisting of three soothing patterns, the 2021 forecast is inspired by nature together with instances of stronger colour to ease the mood and improve our outlook.

Retreat Palette

This palette comprises warm whites, brown-based neutrals and dusty blues that evoke a feeling of soft luxury, together with vintage-inspired shades of burgundy and deep ocean blue.

Nourish Palette

This palette depicts our rejuvenated enjoyment of natural beauty, with mellow, buff neutrals and bits of tan, soft olive and muted ochre.

Natural shades sooth and can bring out a sense of being more grounded and safe. These subdued shades, with an earthy undertone, are super calming and takes us back to our natural surroundings and can bring a feeling of harmony and peace.

Reset Palette

This is an inspiring and positive range of stirring and more upbeat colours; lush blues and coral, warm rust and lively mash-ups of pink and terracotta suggest a 1970s nostalgia and bring about recollections of travel and fun.

Starting your Colour Journey

If you’re having a hard time relaxing after a hectic day, colour can help you differentiate spaces, particularly if you work from home and prefer to have a distinctive vibe between your work area and relaxing spaces.

Where is the ideal area to start your colour journey?

Start in the master bedroom by creating a feature behind your bed. To create a lovely, moody vibe, use a deeper or darker tone and combine this with lighter bed linens and accessories.

You can also start in your home office or study area. Colours will help you feel motivated and give you a reminder that this is a working space. Start with a mid-tone or deeper tone.

To improve your mood, you can paint your front door in a bold or dark tone.

These are simple ways to introduce colour and personality into your home and separate your home from that of your neighbours. Colours reflect you and the people who reside in your home, so make it exciting and keep in mind that it’s just paint and it is not permanent.

For more inspiration on colour palettes visit my Colour Combinations board at Pinterest.

8 Ways to Increase the Value of your Home

The location and size of your property will affect how much it’s worth, but there are some tips to help you boost the value of your home.

Here are 8 tips to boost home value:

  1. A fresh coat of paint

The easiest and least expensive way to update the look of your home while raising its value is a new coat of paint. Choose whether you want to redo the entire house or do just two rooms, or maybe a feature wall? In terms of colour, experts say that ivory is the only colour that boost the value of your home however, I personally feel that most neutral colours will work just the same.

  1. Put in storage

If you’re not going for extreme minimalism, the lack of storage space will be a major turnoff for prospective buyers. Consider open shelves for the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. In addition, putting hooks on the back of doors is a simple convenience that is usually ignored.  Also think about any ‘dead’ areas of your home that could be transformed into new storage nooks.

  1. Upgrade the outdoor

The desirability of your home will increase with an outdoor area beautifully designed for entertaining. Shade and shelter are important, but fire pits have become a standard feature in many backyards.

  1. Add gas heating and appliances

There are a couple of reasons why gas appliances are a popular home feature. Gas heaters, especially flame-effect fires, provide warmth and comfort while being environmentally friendly. Gas cooktops can boost the value of your kitchen as they are generally favoured over electric cooktops because they can provide immediate heat and even temperature compared to electric. Gas also generates less greenhouse gas emissions compared to electricity, making it eco-friendly.

  1. Easy switches

You can build an entire new bathroom with no renovation. Minor, but current updates, like swapping handles and taps, can easily improve the appearance of your bathroom. Old and grubby tiles could be repainted. For an outdated vanity, installing a more contemporary one can make a huge difference to the vibe of the space.

  1. Curb appeal

The desirability of your home can also be influenced by how it looks from the street. Putting up a fence may be aesthetically pleasing, but it won’t automatically add value to your home. However, repairing and painting any existing fence around the property is worth it. Another easy and cost-efficient way to boost curb appeal is by replacing or repainting your letterbox and front door to a different colour.

  1. Décor and interior design

The look and feel of your home can be greatly benefited by adding items such as cushions, rugs and throws. Update old-fashioned lampshades and think of investing in some artwork. If you put your home for sale, it’s important that prospective buyers can imagine the space where they will potentially live.

  1. Add a granny flat

The concept of generations of families living together and dividing the cost of living is becoming popular. If space allows, building a granny flat in your property can boost the overall value provided it is done right. It is also a good way to earn extra income that you can use for your mortgage repayments.

 

I service the Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie regions and have been offering my clients sound recommendations and  professional advise since opening One Agency Pinkerton Properties in 2013.   If you found this article helpful or know someone who may benefit from it, feel free to share it.