7 Tips That Help You Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space

Here are 10 tips that will ensure you have a comfortable outdoor living area. This is how you can make the best use of your outdoor living space.

1. Determine the Purpose of Your Outdoor Space

You should start by deciding exactly how you’ll use the space. Will it be a place you’re entertaining your friends and family or will be it a quiet, relaxing retreat? Do you need a roof or pergola for protection from the weather and other elements? Do you need a decorative screen for privacy?

Imagine yourself using the outdoor space. Will you go there for some quiet time on a comfortable lounge chair with a book? Will you hang out with your friends, cooking on the barbecue or cooking in the pizza oven? How much seating will you need and what type? What outdoor furniture style best suits your garden: a colourful contemporary, teak, or aluminium design?

2. Keep it Cosy

For chilly winter evenings, a collection of cosy throws placed near your outdoor space is thoughtful. You can also add an outdoor gas heater, bio-ethanol heater, and a fire pit can add to your enjoyment and comfort. You can create a great ambient atmosphere.

3. Decorate Using Outdoor Fabrics

You can add warmth and vibrancy to your outdoor space with colourful fabrics. However, it’s important to remember that outdoor furniture will be fully exposed to the elements. Make sure the outdoor furniture and cushions are upholstered in top quality outdoor fabrics.

We recommend finding furniture with 100% solution-dyed olefin or acrylic fibre. These fabrics are extremely resistant to fading caused by water, sunlight, or general atmospheric agents. The light fastness of these fabrics is 7 on a scale of 8. These fabrics are perfect for the sun room and garden furniture. The most highly recommended manufacturer for outdoor fabrics if Sunbrella.

You can find outdoor fabrics in a huge range of designs from elegant neutral designs to bold stripes. You can use fabric to incorporate bright colours into your outdoor living space. You can use a small decorative cushion, which will allow you to switch your colour scheme each season.

4. Cover up and Protect

If you don’t have shelter in your yard then you are rendering your outdoor space useless for many of the Australian Summer months. Put up a nice awning and for a little bit extra you can add outdoor blinds – these will protect your pergola area not only form the sun, but also from the wind and rain.

5. Protect and Store Cushions to Ensure They Have a Long Life

Outdoor cushions are made to withstand rain. However, after a downpour, when the sun comes out, you don’t want to sit on a saturated cushion. You can use a water safe cushion box to put your throw cushions in at the first hint of a storm. You can bring larger cushions inside when the weather gets cooler. For peace of mind, you can get fitted protective cushion covers to keep your cushions dry and clean.

Cafe Blinds Sydney

6. Use Running Water to Mask Some Unwanted Noise

If you hear a lot of noise from neighboring homes, and it prevents you from enjoying your outdoor living area then you should consider installing a small fountain. An outdoor water feature can help to gently mask noise and sound giving you a quieter more peaceful space.

7. Install A Few Outdoor Speakers

Instead of using running water, consider installing outdoor speakers. You can use soft music to camouflage the noises which may impinge upon the peaceful enjoyment of your outdoor living space. There are compact wireless speakers available for an affordable price.

8. Provide Shade

Mid-summer sun can turn your outdoor spaces into an unpleasant and hot oven. There are many different ways to add shade. You can use a pergola, lattice, sail cloth, or umbrella. Planting attractive shade trees is also a great option if you have space.

Tips For Planning Your Nursery

They were only a bump in the beginning, but before an infant has even entered into the world, the first dilemma has to be faced by the parents – which is the nursery.

Part of you is thinking it is just temporary so there is no need to go overboard. However, the other part of you is thinking about how special your baby is, and how you want to do whatever it takes. Before you go out and spend a fortune, we want to show you three important pieces and provide you on some suggestions for three different nursery designs.

Cot

You are going to need a cot. Just choose whatever style you prefer. The important thing is to ensure that you invest in a quality mattress.

Change Table

Depending on how long your baby stays in his or her nappies – a change table should last around three years. Look for one that includes plenty of storage as part of its design.

Comfortable Chair

Make sure to not forget about mum. Having a comfortable chair is essential for feeding, specially when you have a newborn baby who needs to feed every two to four hours.

You now have your three essential pieces of furniture. So now here are three distinct nursery styles for you to consider to use:

Traditional

This is a very gentle way for easing your baby into the world. There is a very nurturing and soft feel to a traditional nursery, from its white wicker furniture to its soft coloured walls (usually pastels). This particular look is all about providing your child with a safe haven and soothe his or her soul.

Modern

For parents who would like their nursery to be a reflection of the rest of their home, a modern style may be just right. A modern nursery is a no fuss, neutral space with an industrial-like edge to it. This room style is for those parents who are quite design conscious and want their baby’s room to be a reflection of the rest of their home.

Funky

A funky nursery is a colourful room with plenty of activity going on. It is full of texture and colour. The concept behind this decorating style is for your child to be stimulated, but you do not to be careful that you don’t over-stimulate your baby. You definitely want to avoid the colour red. Blues, on the other hand, are known to have a calming effect.

Kid Safe Home Renovations

Does your home need a renovation? The renovation process is never an easy task, it can be quite dangerous and has many hazards that you may encounter along the way.

The wise choice would be to build a better home without neglecting your health as well as that of your family. This can be achieved by opting for less toxic building materials and taking extra caution during construction.

Take these tips into consideration for safer remodeling from start to finish:

1. Spot existing lead paint hazards – if your home was built before 1978, it was likely painted with lead paint. All contractors are required to make use of lead-safe work practice by law so as to protect the property owner from lead poisoning. Get to know more about renovations and lead paint here.

2. Inspect your house for asbestos before any renovations – Asbestos are found in many building materials such as popcorn ceilings, older vinyl flooring, and insulation. To test for asbestos, visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website where you will get to learn more about safe handling, regulations, removal and testing of asbestos. The best thing to do would be to hire a certified Sydney asbestos abatement contractor.

3. Check for mold as well as moisture issues – Remodeling may bring to light hidden mold or maybe your remodeling project includes getting rid off water-damaged materials. If there are mold issues, the first thing to do would be to identify and eliminate the source of water penetration or the leak. If the affected area happens to be more than 10 square feet, it is recommended by the EPA that you should hire a professional mold removal contractor. When you are choosing the building materials, always remember to consider potential moisture issues to prevent future mold growth and damage. Basements are prone to water damage, ensure you take these factors into consideration when renovating the basement. Learn more about mold and moisture issues here.
4. Locate designers, suppliers and contractors who have direct experience in sustainable, healthy home building. Green building products are constantly being introduced on the market; that is why you need a professional to guide you through the most convenient choices for safer building materials.

5. Take safety precautions seriously – Beware of building products that claim to be safe for pets and children, they may still contain ingredients and chemicals that are hazardous. Even though these products may be safer than traditional products, safety precautions should never be ignored. Always make use of personal protection gear as recommended such as respirators, containment of dust and adequate ventilation.

6. Go for durable, low-maintenance building materials – If possible, avoid material that require frequent maintenance such as retreatment, painting and waterproofing that may involve harsh chemicals. Choose quality materials that will serve you for years without any maintenance since they are healthier and better for the environment.

7. When using second-hand building material, test them for lead paint and asbestos to be safe – Contact a local professional or test lab for instructions on how to safely gather the samples for testing. For lead test labs, search for “Laboratories-Analytical or Laboratories-Testing” and for asbestos testing, look for, under “Asbestos-Consulting and Testing.”

 

Which Home Renovations Have Great ROI

Home Improvement Projects That Add Value

The ability to realize returns on investment on home improvement projects is a major concern for many people. It is for this reason many homeowners do their research on what to remodel, strategies to implement and put into consideration factors that will help improve the home’s value. There are however many home improvement and renovation projects that do, and can help lower bills.

Although several factors do affect ROI, the home’s precise location, and current real estate market do have a significant influence on its effectiveness. While some neighborhoods are recording a rise in economy, there are those that are experiencing a decline in the same, which is the norm in an economy. With proper planning and determination, you should be able to improve your home’s value regardless of the current economic status. This is especially possible for anyone looking for a way to upgrade his/her home quickly and save more money in the long run.

Some of the items that can help improve your home’s value include:

1. Programmable Thermostats

This is a must-have for every home. Some of the top in the line programmable thermostat models cost about $150 while regular ones cost as little as $72. The reason why these devices are valuable in every home is that, they can be programmed to cool or heat your house automatically. The device is also capable of turning off automatically if no one is in the house, and turn on a few minutes before you come in the house. Research also shows that, a programmable thermostat can save for itself for at least 3 months, which can be translated to massive savings in the long run.

2. Whole House Fans

Whole house fans work in an almost similar way as car windows. It is much easier (and faster) to keep your car cool in the summer by rolling the windows down that turning on the AC. Whole house fans, on the other hand, help flush out hot/humid stagnant air from the house thus allowing cooler air to come in. These fans are 25% more efficient than having one or two fans to cool your home. Although many, they help save up to 25% of your energy bills that come from heating and cooling.

3. Energy Efficient Appliances

It is estimated that, more than 50% of every home’s energy consumption goes to heating water, dishwashing, baths, shower and washing clothes. Replacing all the appliances in your home with energy efficient ones can help save more than 50% of the energy used. These devices also contribute to reducing the amount of water used, which contributes to 35% less water. By reducing electricity and water use, your home will start recording lower energy bills. The next time you go shopping for electrical appliances, consider energy-star labeled devices.