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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
How to do an affordable kitchen renovation in your home
Apr04

How to do an affordable kitchen renovation in your home

Something that has grown in popularity in the past few years has been the renovation for profit. It’s also known as flipping houses. This kind of renovation should be done with great caution, because it requires someone to be a skilled renovator in order to be able to make a profit. We’re not advocating getting into the flipping game – far from it. We’d only like to bring to your attention some of the key tips that expert house flippers have gained over the years so that you can benefit from them! After all, performing a quality renovation cheaply and quickly is a key part of flipping – and being able to renovate the kitchen well without overcapitalising is definitely something good to know. Let’s take a look at how to perform a kitchen renovation. image via esilifestyle.com.au Understand the big power of paint. When you go into a kitchen and notice peeling paint or discoloured walls above the stove you automatically think – old, dirty, or a combination of the two! If the structure and layout of your kitchen is already pretty decent you should look at just popping a few coats of well-chosen paint up. Colour can be updated quickly and easily in this way, and you get a great new kitchen to enjoy without having to dig out the power tools. Paint can be used to conceal a whole host of sins – from dated tiles to discoloured basins. You just need to make sure that you acquire the right kind of paint for the job and that you do a good job of painting. A key rule is to make sure that everything is nice and clean before you start, and take care not to get any drips and runs going on. image via esilifestyle.com.au Get floor fancy If your kitchen is looking a bit dated in the floor department then you should really look into getting something that can cover it up quickly and easily. Today we have a whole range of finishes available – from stick on vinyl flooring to laminate floorboards. Take a look at what you have to work with and then make sure that you do the job well. There’s nothing worse than something looking the part but underperforming grossly. image via esilifestyle.com.au Remodel things if you need to As you know, a kitchen can be a terribly expensive thing to renovate – unless you take some great shortcuts. As an example if you cabinets are in good condition, just change the drawer and cupboard fronts instead of replacing the whole shamozzle. The same goes for your benches. If they’re...

Read More
Ways to boost the equity value of your property
Mar28

Ways to boost the equity value of your property

If you are planning to sell your property in the near future, you want to list it with the intention to sell it as quickly as possible for your desired sales price. To achieve this, your property needs to appeal to buyers and attract an influx of offers from them to purchase the property. Real estate agent comparison website LocalAgentFinder believe that it’s no secret that beautifully designed properties sell for more. By using the following staging tips, you can improve the interior and exterior design appeal for your property and increase the equity value that your property will sell for. Make the exterior of your home ‘Welcoming’. Typically, potential buyers will drive by the property to assess whether or not they would like to go ahead with an open house inspection. Some ways to make the exterior of your property appear more inviting include: Cleaning and sealing walkways, driveways and paths. Make your walkways, driveways and paths more appealing by cleaning them of debris and sealing them. Presenting a neat garden. Lure your buyers into the dream of owning your property by presenting an attractive garden. The plants should appear fresh and green while the grass and shrubs should be trimmed neatly. Source Freshly painting the exterior of the property. A fresh coat of paint can breathe a new lease of life into properties. Just take a look at the before and after pictures of the property below. Before Source After Source Make the rooms inside the property feel like suites. Source The bedrooms and living rooms will strike the purchasing chord with potential buyers if the property is presented right. You want browsers to connect with the property emotionally and this will be achieved through the interior décor that is used for the property. For example: Long flowing curtain drapes Mirrors and glass objects to improve the natural light within the room. The use of subtle artificial lighting through lamps and reflective LEDs. Enticing cushions, sofas, rugs, duvets and throws. Ensure the home is sparkling clean! The cleaner the property looks, the more appealing it will be to buyers. Get rid of any items that appear to clutter the property and get the windows gleaming and the floors shining. It is the cheapest way to make your property appear more presentable. Sell the private getaway spaces that the home has to offer. Sell the idea that the property owner can get away from it all without having to leave the comfort of their property. Pitch the getaway areas of your property such as: Private cinema Pool room Man Cave Private terrace Private office Granny flat Make sure...

Read More
Awesome Railing – Works of Art for Deck, Balcony and Stairs…
Mar27

Awesome Railing – Works of Art for Deck, Balcony and Stairs…

Choosing the best  railing design for decks can be tricky. The most common  residential deck railing design is built on-site using pressure treated lumber, with the vertical balusters regularly spaced to meet building code. Cable railings typically use stainless steel cables strung horizontally.Glass balusters and glass panels open the view while still providing safety. With the increasing popularity of composite lumber for decking, manufacturers are providing composite railing components. Other options include wrought iron and sheet steel, into which custom designs can be cut To help you find the best railing, I assembled this list of more than two hundred different pictures of deck railing ideas and designs, organized by type for quick reference. Even better, some handrail designs have a 3D model available for download and use in architectural design programs like Chief Architect, AutoCAD, and SoftPlan. Take a look at these curved railing pictures. The first gallery shown here is of a beautiful log home with an awesome covered porch and open deck. The curved wood  is what really makes it special. This deck takes it all the way with two different curves. The rock work on the columns and some of the walls are a great match for the wood work. Take a look at these pictures to see what they look like. Pictures are the best way to visualize what a construction project will look like when completed. Check out these handrail pictures to see. Let’s get started with my Favorite  Ideas! image via awoodrailing.com image via awoodrailing.com image via awoodrailing.com image via awoodrailing.com image via awoodrailing.com source:...

Read More
The homeowner’s guide to choosing the right blinds
Oct19

The homeowner’s guide to choosing the right blinds

Redesigning a room (or if you’re very daring/crazy, your entire home) can be a mammoth task. Deciding on how to dress your windows is often a final consideration for many people, as they are more concerned with other factors like what kind of carpet to choose, or what kind of furniture to get. The truth is that no one factor is more or less important than another in putting a room together, because all of the different elements are going to be working together to create a look that is made of all the parts. As an interior designer, I am often called on to create a look for my clients that adheres to a particular style, and sometimes people just want to emulate something that they’ve seen in a magazine. No matter what, I always tell that they need to inject their own personal style and that we’ll go from there. I wanted to take some time to help out homeowners who are looking to choose some new blinds. Choosing New Blinds The most important thing when you’re choosing new blinds is to ensure that you’re striking the right balance between privacy, light, and an attractive aesthetic for your home. It’s no good if your blinds are beautiful but let in too much light, or if they’re the perfect black-out blinds but they’re ugly as sin. Heinous blinds are a definite no-no in my book. As I’m based in Victoria, I’m always working with clients who need a good set of blinds that are able to block the summer sun, but keep in the heat in winter. Recently, I was shopping for some Ziptrak blinds in Melbourne (and I have to say I’m a little bit obsessed with these lately) and installed some in the bedroom for a client who was looking for a light blocking blind that was child safe (she has three young children). The Ziptrak blinds are very easy to use and have done away with cables and cords that can pose a potential risk and hazard to young children. They also block the light completely if required and are attractive too – so it’s a big plus in my book. image via allweatherblinds.com.au Choosing Blinds For Each Room In Your Home Kitchen – When you’re choosing blinds for your kitchen, you need to think about the fact that you potentially spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen, either preparing and eating food or socialising with friends and family. As such, you need an easy-to-clean blind that is pleasant to look at but that can also block out light when needed. Bedroom –...

Read More