Behind the Business | Restructuring Your Office Setup For Style and Creativity
Nov15

Behind the Business | Restructuring Your Office Setup For Style and Creativity

If the face of your business is your office then you have to ask yourself “what does my face say about me?”  A beautiful office environment with clean lines and a contemporary feel speaks volumes about your success, productivity and style.  It is not uncommon however for companies even within the building or design industry to have become so concentrated on creating magnificent showpieces for others that they have allowed their own ‘faces’ to become somewhat unkempt. The office environment you present to the world not only has implications with your clients, it also impacts on things like employee creativity, productivity and mental health. Considering the high stakes involved, let’s take a look at a few initiatives that you can undertake to restructure and revitalise your office and workspaces. Livable Luxury There is nothing like working with a commercial interior designer to really create workspaces that come alive.  Not only can they design perfect spaces for your unique needs, but they can also source exceptional furnishings and finishes to give you that ‘one of a kind’ look.  As an example, check out One Stop Office Interiors executive chairs.  Leather chairs are the ultimate in sleek luxury and provide a happy employee combined with the beauty of natural leather. Interior designers can also supply a range of magnificent furnishings that are ergonomically designed and a delight to behold. It’s not all about the work If there is one thing any commercial interior designer worth their salt would recommend, it is downtime spaces. These are areas where staff can move away from their desks, and may be filled with communal lounges where they can sit and share their experience and ideas.  Don’t underestimate the value of this – it is all about the whole being greater than the parts.  Quiet zones and focus rooms are fast becoming common in the modern workplace. They allow employees a place to concentrate away from the noise and distractions of an open plan office or provide quiet areas away from the main hub to cater for confidential meetings and the like.  Private phone rooms and domed booths are also a great way to maintain open plan work spaces whilst allowing staff areas of privacy. Free Range Offices Just like free range chickens flourish over battery hens, people also flourish when they don’t feel tied to their desk.  Allow employees to go for walks in the sun which will improve their health, mental outlook and gets the creative juices flowing.  As a writer, I often hit a wall and seem to be lost for words so I take off for a long stroll.  100% of the...

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The Two Best Cities to Live in Australia
Nov08

The Two Best Cities to Live in Australia

Maybe your moving-to-Australia plan is the best thing you can do with your life, this plan need not necessarily be easy on your life. With the plan to move to Australia comes with the hardest choice to make for where to live in Australia. The choice is hard because the decision has to be made between the cities that are neck and neck in almost everything, whether it is visas, citizenship, infrastructure, culture, food, shopping, transport, safety, nightlife, accommodation, cost of living, cityscape, health care, locals, rules, weather, education, work culture, quality of life and so forth. And you cannot evade making this decision simply because it will have a huge impact on your future and will decide how comfortable you are going to feel in your surroundings. This article will try to help you out with making such a crucial decision. Read on! Option #1: Sydney No matter how aggressively other cities of Australia develop, Sydney is going to enjoy its top position forever. From the endearing sights of Sydney Harbour to the sands of Bondi Beach, Sydney is a metropolitan city of Australia that is tremendously famous all over the world for its impressiveness. It is one of the Australia’s largest and oldest cities which has caught the attention of the world mainly for its natural beauty and cultural diversity. It is also one of the busiest cities with the hectic pace like that of any other major metropolitan city, but with the overwhelming charm of iconic man-made landmarks that the entire world has ever seen. Sydney follows a set of seasons with the severity of Australian summer reported in the months from November to February. As far as transport is concerned, a poorly developed transportation system brings down the value of this city. Otherwise, economy-wise and education-wise, Sydney is abound with many great options. And remember to take into consideration that Sydney is the costliest city in Australia. Option #2: Melbourne After Sydney, Melbourne is considered as the Australia’s largest city. As it is brimming with one-of-a-kind sporting venues, there is no doubt that Melbourne is the country’s cultural and sporting hub. It is also known for bagging the title of “world’s most liveable city” for at least four consecutive years from 140 cities all over the world. Its residents are fond of both arts and sports and enjoy the finest nightlife ever. The dining options in Melbourne are also enormous and gratifying for all sorts of epicure. From weather point of view, Melbourne is less harsh as compared to Sydney. When it comes to transport, Melbourne showcases a systematically developed grid system which lets the...

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The Agony of Choice | Where to Look For Your Next Holiday
Oct10

The Agony of Choice | Where to Look For Your Next Holiday

Have you ever stood in the check-in hall of a major airport, just staring at the departures board in wonder at the seemingly limitless number of options for adventure and fun in this world of ours? I know that I have. It just serves to highlight how spoiled we are for choice when it comes to choosing our next holiday. From new to old, roughing it to being pampered, everyone can always find something that will perfectly suit their personality or mood. Bright Lights, Big City Few things can match the buzz of immersing oneself in one of the world’s great Cities. If it’s architecture, culture and a faster pace that you are after, Metropolises such as New York, Paris or London will get your adrenaline pumping. For more of the Eastern feel, hit up Tokyo, Shanghai or Seoul for an electrifying taste of the orient. Just wandering the streets of some of these great cities can inspire, educate, and amaze you with their sheer energy and diversity. Fun in the Sun Who doesn’t love to nestle into white sands with a great read in one hand and a cool, medicinal beverage in the other, as the warm waves lap at their feet? Nothing can deliver a more welcome and relaxing change of pace than your dream beach vacation. The only problem is; where do you go? The laid back atmosphere of the Caribbean might be your speed, or perhaps you want to catch some awesome surf in Costa Rica?  Bali tour packages from Travezl offer you the chance to relax and enjoy everything that the idyllic island has to offer, while for those who prefer to do things on the fly, simply rent a car or campervan and cruise up and down Australia’s almost 26,000km of coastline. Journeys Through Time Destinations rich in history can provide outstanding opportunities to combine the thrill of travel with education and learning. Walking the streets of Rome or Athens can leave you in awe at the rise of western civilisation, while the timeless pyramids and sphinx of Egypt stand today as testimony to mankind’s ingenuity and achievements. China’s great wall or Mayan ruins of Tikal and Chichen Itza offer the perfect opportunity to learn about the past and be inspired. Thrills and Spills Looking for some thrills? Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand or white water rafting down America’s majestic Colorado River could be just the answer to your need for speed. Zoom through the rainforest canopy with Peru’s Amazon Zipline, or scuba dive through the coral cities of the Great Barrier Reef to get your adrenaline fix. Delectable Delights Sampling the...

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5 Choice Locations for the Melbourne Homebuyer
Sep05

5 Choice Locations for the Melbourne Homebuyer

Melbourne is an incredible city. It has a huge array of cafes, bars, restaurants and places to go. It also happens to be the most livable city in the world, which makes it a desired spot to set up a home for many people, and means that the housing market is diverse and plentiful. Buying a house in Melbourne is as simple as searching for Brighton Real Estate by Marshall White, and you’re one step closer to owning a beachside property that’s only 10 minutes from the CBD. As with any city, there are questionable suburbs, and there are higher-class suburbs, and it’s hard to see from the outsider’s perspective what would be considered a good place to put down roots. We’ve written up 5 choice locations for the Melbourne homebuyer as a way of giving you the inside knowledge of a wonderful city full of property that is just waiting to be occupied. Mount Waverley First up on the list is Mount Waverley. Mount Waverley is a south-eastern suburb that lies about 20-30 mins from the CBD, and boasts a network of public transport, a selection of schools, and a shopping area to suit just about every need. Mount Waverley has seen an increase in house prices recently, with a median house price of $1.27 million across the board, although cheaper buys do occasionally pop up. Mount Waverley is a family-oriented area, with a high level of safety and a low level of crime. Richmond Richmond is an inner-city suburb that is a short 5-10 minute tram ride from the CBD. It is surrounded on all sides by many  shops, different cuisines, bars, cafes, and other nightlife. A house in Richmond will be around the $1.11 million mark, and although it is cheaper than Mount Waverley and closer to the city, population density is much higher, crime rates are higher, and the average house size is much smaller. Keep these things in mind when purchasing in Richmond, but also remember to consider the purpose of your house. If you’re looking to relax, work, and enjoy your Friday nights and weekends with reckless abandon, Richmond might be the place for you. If you’re looking for more of a family house, another suburb might be a better option. Canterbury Canterbury is an older suburb in the south east of Melbourne, and is a wealthier suburb, too. It sits right on Canterbury road, and the streets are lined with huge trees whose canopies connect over the top of the road, making it a beautiful sight all year round. The houses in Canterbury are dignified and tend to either sport an older,...

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Follow These Tips to Keep Your House Clutter-Free
Sep03

Follow These Tips to Keep Your House Clutter-Free

A clean house is a clutter free house. If you have children, it can be difficult to keep the home clutter free. Kids have toys, they come home with papers from school, and many always pick up after themselves. If you have a small house, it can also be difficult to keep it clutter free, as it can be hard to find places to keep things. If you want to keep your home free of clutter, there are a few things that you should do. Do a Major Clean Out The first step to keep your home clutter free is to do one major clean out. You should clean your closets, cabinets, garage, basement, and attic. To get rid of everything quickly and easily, you may hire a company who specializes in rubbish removal. A rubbish removal Rockdale company will come to your home and take away everything that you need to throw away. You should do a major clean out once a year. Create Clutter Reserves Regardless of how hard your try, things will accumulate and clutter up the home. The best way to prevent this is to create clutter reserves. In the kitchen, you can put a basket in the middle of the table so you don’t have things all over the table and the countertops. Once every couple months, you can clean out the baskets and throw away the things that you won’t need. For your child’s school papers, you can create a folder. Anything you want to save can go in the folder, and as it fills up, you can throw away the things at the bottom of the pile. For magazines and catalogs, put a bucket in the corner of the living room, and keep them in there until you are ready to look through them. Once the bucket is full, throw everything inside away. Follow the ‘One in One Out’ Rule If you follow the one in one out rule, clutter will never be an issue. If you bring in a new magazine and catalog, throw away the one that you have on your coffee table. If your child brings home a school paper, throw away the one that they brought home the day before. Before your child has a birthday or before Christmas, clean out their toy box and donate any old toys to make room for the new ones. The same is true before you take your children school shopping. Donate their old clothes to make room for the new ones. Follow the ‘Everything Has its Place’ Rule Every item in your home should have a place. It is important to...

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Expert Tips on How to Choose the Best Mattress for Your Needs
Sep03

Expert Tips on How to Choose the Best Mattress for Your Needs

You’ve just walked into a mattress store, but there are multitudes of options before your eyes! How will you ever possibly choose? Fear not, there are a few key guidelines that you can adhere to, to ensure you pick the perfect mattress for your sleep. What are your budget and needs? Are you waking up with aches and pains? Are you having trouble sleeping? If the answers to this are yes, chances are you need a new mattress. From here, you’ll then need to consider how much you want to spend. This will narrow down the options you have to research, making the process of buying a mattress easier. Do your research It is crucial that you research your mattress options before you buy, choosing the size and type that will suit your individual needs. Think back to the times when and where you have felt most comfortable in bed sleeping, and try to pinpoint why. Was it a soft or hard mattress? How much pillows did you sleep with? Start with a store or brand you trust Furniture stores, department stores, sleep specialty shops and online boutiques all sell mattresses. Look for a retailer, such as Koala Mattress, that provides you with the right information and attention. If you don’t know where to shop, ask friends and family for their suggestions. Ask for help Work with knowledgeable salespeople who can guide you through your bedding choices. Ask questions and look for detailed explanations when needed. Whether it is online or in-store, If you don’t feel your salesperson is knowledgeable or helpful, take your business elsewhere. Test-drive your new mattress Once in the store, do the sleep test! Remove your shoes and lie down on several different models in various positions. Don’t be embarrassed! Be sure to spend extra time in the position you usually sleep in. It can take up to 15 minutes to relax enough to feel the true support of a mattress, so don’t rush it. The more time you take in a store, the less likely you’ll have buyer’s remorse later on. If you are making an online purchase, ensure there is a generous guarantee that allows you to return it within a set number of nights if it is not achieving your desired level of comfort. Compare It’s important that you compare and contrast a shortlist of mattresses to end up with the best possible option. A great way to compare mattresses is to see what’s actually inside the material. Ask the salesperson if they can show you illustrated or actual cutaways of the interior of the different mattress. It’s also important that you...

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Street-View Melbourne: 5 Lesser-Known Suburbs on the Rise
Aug30

Street-View Melbourne: 5 Lesser-Known Suburbs on the Rise

Housing prices can be tricky things to navigate, as you can probably tell by the many, many articles popping up every few months proclaiming that X suburb is shooting ahead, or Y suburb is a contender for most growth. Suburbs like Yarrabend or Kew seem like easy choices for growth based on their proximity to the city, however housing is rarely that simple. Here we have compiled a list of suburbs that are on the rise in Melbourne for a variety of reasons, be it house pricing, rental pricing, or upcoming development. Mount Waverley Mount Waverley has seen a steady increase in desirability over the last few years, as it’s school districts allow for students to have a bit more of a choice with high schools and primary schools. It has several public transport options, it’s only a 20 minute journey from the CBD by car, and it lies on the doorstep of Chadstone Shopping Centre. These things combine to form strong house prices with steady growth, although with an average house price of $1.27 million, the sooner you get in the better – it shows no sign of slowing down. Sunshine Sunshine has seen a 5% growth in house prices in the last year, a distinct growth above many other suburbs. Situated in the outer western suburbs, Sunshine boasts it’s own Escape Room- a challenging physical game in which a participant has a set number of hours to solve a puzzle and escape a locked room- something many other suburbs can’t claim. As well as that, it is a short train ride from the city, and is just 2kms from Quang Minh Buddhist Temple. Chadstone Chadstone is divided into two sections. As far as housing goes, there is the upper-scale, more valuable houses located closer to Chadstone Shopping Centre, and there is the commission housing flats toward the Ashwood side of the suburb. There has been a growth in both sides of the housing divide, and this allows the smart investor the chance to purchase a house in a growing suburb for a substantial amount less than they would pay halfway across the exact same area. Chadstone’s biggest talking point is Chadstone Shopping Centre, one of the largest and busiest shopping centers in the southern hemisphere. As this shopping centre expands steadily, the housing around it is bought up to make room for more parking, and newer buildings. With a new wing set to open at the end of 2016, expect a steady increase in interest in the area. Box Hill Box Hill is located toward Doncaster and has a wide selection of things to do at any...

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5 Signs Your Bathroom Needs to be Renovated
Aug25

5 Signs Your Bathroom Needs to be Renovated

The bathroom in your home is one of the most widely used rooms in the house. You and your family are likely in there several times a day, using the toilet, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and doing your make-up. If your bathroom is dated, it may not be as functional as you would like. There are five telling signs that your bathroom needs a remodel that you should know. Dated Vanity If you live in an older home, your bathroom vanity is likely dated. If you live in a very old home, you may not have a vanity at all. This can lead to problems. A new vanity will give you the counter space that you need to hold your soap dish, toothbrush holder, and even store your heated hair appliances. Also, you can get a new vanity with enough drawers and storage space to hold everything that you need when you are getting ready to start the day. One of the most popular and stylish types of vanities available are timber vanity tops. Loose or Missing Tiles If you have any missing or loose tiles on your bathroom floor, on the walls, or in the shower, it can have a very negative effect on the appearance of your bathroom. When this happens, it is a great excuse to update your bathroom with a modern look, such as trendy subway tiles or a custom design from floor to ceiling. You can even play around with colours and patterns, to give your bathroom a beautiful, new look. Outdated Toilet If your bathroom was not built or has not been remodeled in 15 years, your toilet is likely outdated. Even if it is functioning properly, modern models are cleaner, smaller, and are more water efficient. You can also find toilets to match your individual style and the colour pattern that you are striving for in your bathroom. Since you are going to be updating your toilet, you may as well update the rest of the bathroom. Poor Lighting Years ago, the trend was dark bathrooms. Over the years, the style has changed. Some homeowners still decorate with dark colors, but they have upgraded their lighting. The more light you have in the bathroom, the easier it will be to see when you are trying to get ready for the day. Hanging lighting fixtures and recessed lighting are very big today in bathroom remodels. If you are upgrading your lighting during your bathroom remodel, you should also take the opportunity to add additional outlets in the bathroom for added functionality. Worn Out Enamel Over time and with...

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Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer -Useful Tips
Jul26

Get Your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer -Useful Tips

Before It Gets Too Hot With warm weather in the forecast, you should get prepared by checking out your air conditioner and getting it in tip top shape. By doing a few maintenance chores on your air conditioner, you can save yourself a bundle of money in cooling costs and service repairs. Change the filters. This is probably the easiest job to accomplish. Check the owner’s manual, but most service people recommend that you change the filter in a whole house unit at least once in a month. The filter is located behind the metal panel on the face of the unit. In window units, the filter is behind the metal or plastic panel. Many units now have permanent filters. To clean them, wash them with white vinegar and white. Let air dry and then replace them. Clean the condensation lines. This is the pipe or vent that carries condensation away from your home. If this becomes clogged, then the condensation will back up into your house which might cause a huge repair bill. Use a pool algaecide to clean the pipe, keeping the water flowing away. Install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t already own one, then a trip to the hardware store is in order. This thermostat can be set to turn on and off at different times of the day. You are saving energy by not having the house cooled while everyone is at work, but nice and cool when you arrive home. Some of these thermostats can be programmed from your smartphone, computer or tablet. Clean the outside coils of your air conditioner. Over the course of a year, dirt and grime have built up on the outside. For slightly dirty units, a quick spray with a garden hose should be enough. If the unit is really dirty, then purchase an air conditioner cleaner to thoroughly clean the unit. Clean indoor duct work. This is easily done by removing the register and wiping down the inside of the duct work. Make sure to rid it of any mold or fungus which has been caused by the condensation. Look for water damage to the unit and if found, call a professional. Hire a professional to do a pre-service check up of your unit before the hot season arrives. Having this done will mean that your only chore is to keep the filter clean and look for signs of damage. Clean debris from around the unit. Check the concrete slab. If the slab is not levelled, your air conditioning unit will have to work harder. Use a board to level it and then fill in with gravel....

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12 energy-boosting snacks for surviving the afternoon slump
Apr12

12 energy-boosting snacks for surviving the afternoon slump

Before resorting to a caffeine fix, try out these quick and easy, energy-boosting snacks that will help you fight that 3 p.m. fatigue. Raw Vegetables and Hummus Carrot Sticks, asparagus and capsicum – this snack is open to interpretation! Choose your favourite vegetables that will provide you with an instant hit of essential vitamins and minerals and serve with a quarter of a cup of hummus. Since vegetables are the perfect addition to a balanced diet, you don’t have to worry too much about portion size and the protein present in the hummus will tide you over until your next meal. Chickpeas are also said to help lower cholesterol and may even reduce your risk of cancer. Brazil Nuts Brazil nuts are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and most importantly selenium, with as little as two nuts providing your full recommended daily intake. Selenium aids your metabolism for improved energy levels. Green Smoothie Smoothies make for an excellent afternoon snack as there is less digestion required to extract all of the the lovely green goodness they contain. Simply add whatever green veggies you may have laying around and throw them in the blender along with a dash of coconut water. Our favourite contains spinach, avocado, kale, mint, chia seeds and yogurt to give the smoothie a creamy consistency. Not only are green smoothies full of antioxidants, the lack of sugar will keep your energy levels maintained without the dreaded sugar crash later on. Bananas Packed with healthy carbohydrates, bananas release energy slowly and are a fantastic source of potassium which is essential for maintaining blood sugar levels. Protein Bars Not only are protein bars convenient and perfect for those of us with little time to spare, they are also developed by professionals to provide everything we need for that much needed energy hit. Try and find a no added sugar option for guilt free snack that packs a punch. Mr Vitamins offer a delicious range online. Soy Crisps If you’re really craving something naughty and are finding it hard to resist temptation, why not try a healthier alternative such as soy crisps. Soy crisps are a good source of protein and fibre, which should keep you satisfied longer than a regular bag of potatoes crisps. They are also crunchy, salty and delicious which is a big bonus! Almonds As with many nuts and seeds, almonds provide high amounts of energy in a relatively small serving. Almonds also contain protein and fibre that are key in stabilising blood sugar levels and regulating energy. Popcorn Before you rush out to the shop and stock up on microwave popcorn, just remember...

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