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11 Cost-Effective, Fun and Festive Christmas Decoration Ideas- Infographic

Set a festive holiday Cheer throughout your house with our fantastic Christmas Decoration Ideas. All ideas featured in the “11 Cost- effective, Fun and Festive Christmas Decoration Ideas Infographic” are easy and low cost. Whether you have a modern home or prefer a traditional Christmas look in your home, our Awesome ideas will inspire you. From Fireplace Mantle Decoration to Staircase Decoration with garlands and twinkling string lights, we have included all possible sections in this Infographic.

Take a look at this awesome Infographic designed by Choice Furniture Superstore on “11 Cost-Effective, Fun and Festive Christmas Decoration Ideas” and transform your Christmas home into a holiday haven.

If you’re looking to save big on Christmas Decoration, surely try these awesome and pocket-friendly Christmas Decoration ideas this festive season.

11 Fun & Festive Christmas Decoration Ideas- Infographic

6 Plumbing Upgrades And Fixes That Lead To A Greener Home

bathroom

Green building refers to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, sustainable materials, and insulated windows and walls. Today, green plumbing is also becoming popular because water consumption is a huge factor in any building’s environmental footprint (incidentally, drought-prone Australia has led the green plumbing movement).

‘Greening’ your plumbing will reduce your home energy costs. But apart from improving your utility bills, green plumbing also provides cleaner water and conserves valuable water resources. Most importantly, going green is about passing a better world to the next generations. It helps the environment by saving energy and water and using eco-friendly materials.

Here are some of the plumbing upgrades and fixes that property owners today must consider to attain a greener home. To make sure that these fixtures run efficiently, you must hire a licensed plumber install them.

1. Low-Flow Showerheads

Normal-flow showerheads make use of about six to seven gallons every minute, and the water comes out at 80 psi. If you want to use less water with normal showerheads, the stream is flat and insubstantial, which offers an unsatisfactory shower experience.

Low-flow showerheads will solve this problem by forcing the water towards a narrower opening. In turn, this will reduce the amount of water that will come out while maintaining the pressure at 80 psi for a strong stream.

There are two design types allowing you to get a reduced water flow without the need to sacrifice water pressure. The laminar design uses individual parallel water streams that will reduce the stream while showering. The other type is the aerator design, which pulls air via the air ducts.

2. Eco-Friendly Toilets

The conventional toilet makes use of about 13.25-18.93 litres (3.5 to 5 gallons) of water every time you flush. The older versions use about 26.5 litres (7 gallons) of water. Toilets made after 1992 uses 6 litres (1.6 gallons) of water per flush. Today, new designs with eco-friendly features are more in-demand. They only make use of 4.85 litres (1.28 gallons) per flush. So get a new toilet now to conserve more water.

3. Up-to-date Taps

Old taps use plenty of water and their inefficiency increases as they age. Most modern styles of taps have luxury features like longer tap heads, low-flow designs, portable extensions, and convenient handless water shut off for better functionality. Surely, you will be amazed at the different options available in the market today.

Adding an aerator to these taps can also save water and money. Aerators will increase water pressure by adding air to water flow whilst reducing the amount of water used.

4. Tankless Water Heaters

Although conventional water heaters have improved when it comes to energy efficiency, they still waste a significant amount of money. They let the water sit in the tank whilst continually heating it until the household is ready to use it. And when you are ready to use it, you have to wait for it to get hot. No wonder today’s tankless water heaters are popular.

Tankless water heaters will warm water on demand, which saves an incredible amount of energy while making sure that you don’t run out of hot water. This kind of water heater is an excellent water-saving option that is also worth evaluating.

5. Piping and Insulation

Most plumbing systems in homes aren’t insulated properly; this will cause heat loss, making your water heater work harder. Plumbing experts recommend insulating your pipes as soon as possible.

Older pipes with galvanized steel easily corrode, thus blocking the system. Grey or blue poly, on the other hand, are prone to leaks. As such, you must let the experts in plumbing services replace your old pipes today.

6. Modern Appliances

The most visible feature of a plumbing system would be the appliances. Updating your appliances to their eco-friendly versions will add significant value to your home. Most modern appliances require a smaller amount of water while providing superior functionality. Consider switching out the refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine for new models. This upfront investment will pay off well in the long run.

Do not wait for your plumbing fixtures to break down or malfunction before making an upgrade. You must start conserving water and saving money on water bills. If you don’t upgrade your plumbing system, you could literally be flushing your hard-earned money down the drain.

AUTHOR BIO

Based in South Melbourne, Blue Diamond Plumbing was founded in 1985, working on new homes, repairs and commercial contracts. Over time they have grown to become some of the best plumbers Melbourne has to offer. Since 2001 the company has specialised in Emergency Plumbing and Property Maintenance, Repairs and Renovations for homes and businesses in Melbourne and inner city suburbs. Owner Rod Diamond has over 30 years experience with emergency plumbing in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.

 

Complete Buyers Guide For Choosing The Correct Garage Door Threshold

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think of your garage the same way you do the rest of your house. After all, when was the last time you vacuumed your garage floor, or dusted anything in it? Muddy shoes, wet dogs and leaky paint cans would all be tossed out of your living room within seconds. In the garage, however, it’s almost as if anything goes. Most of the time, the garage is the place where we change our car’s oil or hose off a pair of muddy boots — but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay attention to how well protected our garages are from the elements. Although garages can be a wet and dirty place, it’s still important to make sure that they’re kept as clean and dry as possible.

That’s because even though garages can get grungier than your dining room, they’re still vulnerable to damage from water, cold and other insidious elements from the outside. Water from rain or melting snow can seep into the garage underneath your garage door and cause damage and mold growth. It can get into tiny cracks in your garage floor and expand when it freezes in the winter, creating bigger cracks and serious damage to your foundation. The average cost of cleaning and fixing water damage for homeowners can be as much as $3,000. That means, a little water getting into your garage can become a big problem. Gaps in your garage door also can allow pests and vermin such as mice and insects to sneak in and take residence among your belongings, bringing with them filth and disease. A garage door that does not close completely also allows air heated or cooled by your HVAC system to escape, causing your air conditioner or furnace to work overtime. Ultimately, costing you money in the form of wasted energy.

For these reasons and many more, it’s important that homeowners understand how much a garage door threshold can help them prevent these issues. A properly selected and fitted garage door threshold seal can prevent flooding, infestations and wasted energy. Read the following guide for some tips on choosing the garage door threshold seal that’s right for your garage. The rules may be a little different when it comes to your garage, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be as concerned about protecting it as you are for the rest of your home.

Author Bio:  Ashley W. Smith is Managing Director for Garadry. Smith formed the company in 2009 and launched the Garadry website in 2015 to meet the needs of the growing consumer base in the U.S. Garadry designs its own range of innovative weather seal products for anybody with a garage/commercial door.

Choosing The Correct Garage Door Threshold created by Garadry

How to Renovate Your Home & Give It a More Social Vibe

How to Renovate Your Home & Give It a More Social Vibe

Renovating your home can improve the overall function and usability of your home. This gives you the opportunity to put your mark on your home. Here are some ways to make your renovation more adaptable for socializing.

To Open Concept or Not

Renovation really allows you to put some personality into your home. Depending on your taste, there is a wide range of options. It is popular to create an open concept floorplan. This allows you to entertain larger groups of people. Some homes may already employ this style. Others may be less accepting of this type of flow. Determine how you want to use your home and design your renovation around that concept. You may be more interested in having smaller, more intimate parties. Take these factors into consideration before deciding on a design plan.

Utilize Lighting

Lighting sets the mood in your home. Consider using lights that can have multiple functions. Adding dimmer switches to your home can change the atmosphere. Accent lighting would also allow you the freedom to highlight segments of your home. Low lighting can create a more intimate setting. Higher lighting creates a brighter and more open finish to your home. Pick light fixtures that are unique. You can change the look of your home by bringing your personality into your lighting choices. Your fixture choices change the style of your home without generally costing too much.

Create Private Areas

Even with the open concept, you still want to have areas in which people can talk quietly. In many cases, this is just placing your furniture in a manner that will encourage dialogue. However, you may want to create nooks in your home that provide a comfortable area to rest from the main party. With homes that are not open concept, this may be easier. Having a separate living room area that is not adjacent to the main flow could be utilized for this purpose. This would be another area in which the lighting could be changed to create the same effect.

Room to Expand

If you have a deck or other outdoor area, consider using unique doors, like those from Nu-Look Glass & Aluminum Windows, that can open fully. There are options in which the entire door system folds against the wall. This would provide you with more space to entertain your guests on those nice days. It creates the ultimate outdoor living experience for your home. Consider dressing up this outdoor area with a fire pit or some other focal point. This will draw your guests to other areas of your home. It can also make your home seem larger, and provide other avenues of entertainment.

Renovation can make your home more usable for entertainment purposes. Use these solutions to create a more social vibe in your home.

10 Non-Negotiable Considerations When Building A Home For Your Family

luxury home

Building your home is the most exciting project to undertake. A luxury custom home is a dream come true for many people; everything about your home can be designed with you and your family in mind, down to every last detail. It’s also a huge financial commitment, however, and a responsibility you need to take seriously if it is to be worth every penny.

Here are 10 things you absolutely must consider:

1. How You’ll Make a Practical Space for Living

At the top of your considerations needs to be how you use the space available.

Firstly, consider the possibilities of the space. Make sure you plan adequate space for utilities and storage, and everyday life. It’s easy to get carried away with the aesthetics of the project, like your beautiful staircase or fireplace, for instance, and then to give inadequate consideration to practical spaces like laundry areas.

It’s important to be generous with this kind of space as you do not want these areas to overspill and impinge on focal areas.

Consider storage for toys, coats and shoes, bookcases, walk-in closets and pantries. Areas for pets to sleep and play in should also be of equal importance to any other feature of your home.

2. How You’ll Maximize the Feeling of Space

Equally important is how you will make your home feel spacious. This will make your home feel more luxurious and allow you to enjoy spending time there. The feeling of space is not all about having a large square footage.

Tricks of the trade to create illusions of space are to plan large, well-positioned windows, higher ceilings, wide hallways and open plan areas for cooking, dining and general living.

3. How to Avoid Under-Utilized Space

Creating spaces that will only be used occasionally are a drain on your budget and the space available for living. Guest bedrooms are a typical example of an underused space that often becomes a dumping ground when out of use.

Consider combining your guest space with a home office, or a reading, hobbies or music room.

4. The Style of Your House

How you decide your home will look is a hugely personal decision, but one that needs to be informed by other factors, such as the styles of neighboring homes and the neighborhood in general. Color schemes, landscaping, the build material, the types of windows and doors — all these are vital considerations for luxury custom built homes.

Remember, that people living across from you are going to have to look at your house more often than you are.

5. How Future-proof Your Home Is

Try to envisage how circumstances might change in the years to come and how your home will be able to respond. Will the amount of occupants’ likely change? How will their needs change?

For example, if you’re planning to extend your family at some point, you’ll not only need bedroom space, but also storage for equipment like strollers and kids bikes, and an area that can become a play space. It’s easy to make the mistake of creating the most incredible home for life as it is now, but try not to forget that life can also change quickly.

6. Resale Potential

Yes, you might not be planning to sell on at any point, but we have to be practical here. Life sometimes takes unexpected turns and while the number one person to please when building your own home is yourself, you need to be sure that it will appeal enough to others too should you ever need to resell.

7. How Certain You Are of Your Numbers

This is common sense, but it cannot be understated how easy it is for budgets to fall by the wayside and for the cost of the build to spiral out of control. Being organized and in control is the key, so maintain regular checks to monitor the budget and readjust as necessary along the way.

8. The Environmental Credentials of Your Home

Not only will ensuring your home is friendly to the planet ensure you are guilt-free, but it can also save you money. Depending on where you live, you may be able to apply for grants available for environmentally friendly projects.

You can save money over the long term by making some clever choices about where your energy comes from, too.

9. Plentiful Power Supplies

This may seem like a minor detail, but where you have access to power can make a substantial difference to how you can place your furniture and how usable the finished space is. Give lots of consideration to where you may want to access power in each room, and allow for spare sockets, too.

A wise consideration these days is also a central charging station for phones, tablets, laptops and other devices. This means you can avoid unsightly wires throughout the home, which reduces the chances of you losing track of where your devices are.

10. Lighting Choices

Lastly, if you’ve planned your windows carefully, you’ll have no issues with lighting during the day, since natural light will be adequate even on duller days. To compensate for darker hours of the day, sources of artificial light should be abundant.

Consider how you would like to light up each room according to the variety of activities that may take place there.

AUTHOR BIO

Robert Allam has had an understanding of Trendsetter Homes inside and out since he started with the business as a client over 10 years ago. Eventually becoming part of the company as a Sales Consultant, then Office Manager, and now as Finance and Sales Manager, Robert has seen the company grow from a small team of 4 to a professional team of 16 and has guided many clients through the process of developing their dream of a unique, luxury home.

 

 

Clean Your House in Less Than an Hour – Infographic

The thought of cleaning your house can be a daunting task. You may think to yourself that it will take you an entire day to get things right but you don’t always have to clean a house from top to bottom. This infographic from Half Price takes you through the areas you need to focus on if you have an hour and want to do a quick clean. It’s more about making the house clean-er rather than clean!

First, get yourself organised. Gather your supplies and put on some old comfy clothes and trainers. You might like to throw on a music playlist to keep you motivated with your favourite songs. Work through the rooms starting with the kitchen and be quick rather than thorough in each room. For example, a good trick for cleaning the microwave is putting a bit of vinegar and water in the cup and ‘cooking’ it in there for 90 seconds – this lifts any gunk in the microwave so it will just need a quick wipe after.

Another good idea is to take a laundry basket with you as you go from room to room for all items that don’t belong. Replace them in the final 15 minutes of your clean. Check out the full infographic now and remember that a clean home will make you feel so much better.

Cleaning-Your-Home-in-less-than-an-Hour

The Secrets of Home Staging Your Bedroom

When selling a home, first impressions count. The first 7-10 seconds is when a buyer forms an opinion and a great way to form these all necessary good first impressions is by home staging.

Home staging is about illusions and creating the perfect moods in your house. Staging makes your house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, warmer, and best of all, it makes home buyers want to buy it. Instantly! Although not an entirely new concept, it’s gradually picking up favour as sellers see the results. When you consider that houses are not only sold faster when you use home staging, they’re also on average sold for at 17% higher price than a home that is not staged, it’s definitely something you want to know about.

As online property portals are now providing a platform to showcase your house, you may not, as a seller, even have the chance for someone to physically view your property. The images used on these sites can make or break a sale, so they must make the property look perfect.

One of the most important rooms in the house, as we spend a third of our lives in bed, and a room that buyers need to fall in love with, is the bedroom.  Mattress Online have created a guide on how to home stage a bedroom to ensure it looks like the bedroom of a buyer’s dream.

The Secrets of Home-Staging Your Bedroom Infographic
The Secrets of Home-Staging Your Bedroom Infographic by Mattress Online.

Steel Sheds: The Principal Advantages

When it comes to sheds, you need to think about durability. These convenient exterior objects can be used to store yard equipment and other household items, so they have to be weather-proof. Above all others, wooden and metal sheds are the most popular and feasible choices, but steel sheds might be just the thing you need. If you are interested to find out why you should invest your money in a steel structure, here are the principal advantages of steel sheds.

steel sheds

Reliability of steel structures

Many people equate steel structures to gargantuan skyscrapers and large-scale building projects, but steel can also be used as a reliable basis for small and unassuming structures such as sheds. It makes an appealing building option since it is durable, sustainable and affordable. From wall support to framing and roofing, steel is just as versatile a building material as wood, and when it comes to framing, steel beams are even lighter than timber. It can be used to build quickly and it can be recycled.

Easy to maneuver

Did you know a full timber shed will cost more than a steel shed? Apart from that, bulky logs can be quite a hassle to move around or reposition. Steel sheds are built from a variety of “moving parts” which are delivered in numerous packages. These packages are almost universally flat-packed, so even your kids can help out with moving them around and placing them in positions you see fit.

Low maintenance

The advantages of steel structures are indisputable, but the most popular selling point is low maintenance. When each of us thinks about building a shed in the backyard, we all subconsciously start thinking about what version of this will require the least spring cleaning sessions. Thankfully, the galvanized layer protects against the elements and it is generally easy to clean off any dirt with a bit of fire hose action – which leads us directly to the next advantage.

Fast assembly

Owing to very practical packaging, the assembly of these steel sheds is a relatively brisk task. In fact, if you have some building experience you can probably assemble the shed on your own. However, to avoid potential injuries you should probably hire professionals to finish this project for you. If you need a larger shed that will serve as a multi-purpose structure (a garage, workshop, storage facility, chill zone – you name it), certain companies, as the experts behind  Wallandra, will not only ensure that you choose the adequate structure, but also assemble it every step of the way.

Fire and water hazards

The first advice you’ll hear when you opt to build a shed is – keep it at a safe distance from your main house. It is not an uncommon sight to see sheds set ablaze and they can be a real fire hazard. Thankfully, metal is very fire-resistant and galvanized steel would have to be exposed to extremely high temperatures to melt down. As far as water goes, if the issue of rust is taken care of with galvanization, you are pretty much set. There are over 3,500 grades of steel out there, and that is one of many interesting facts about this material. Additionally, steel can soak in water and rot will not settle in like in the case of timber. Also, mold problems are a lot less frequent and easy to manage.

If you have built your household from the ground up and plan to (ideally) spend the rest of your life on this property, you have to build exterior structures for keeps. Sometimes, this might mean you will have to reach deep into your pocket, but it is guaranteed to pay off. With a steel shed in your backyard, you will save money on unpredictable and frequent fixer-uppers which could end up costing more than the original structure.

 

Family Home Remodeling: 4 Features Your Teen Will Love

When remodeling a family home, you understandably may think about dressing up the interior décor in your space, but adding functionality is also important. You may have great ideas about how to make the space more functional and comfortable for you, but you may also think about your teenagers. Through a remodeling project, you may be able to add some thoughtful features that they will love.

Family Home Remodeling 4 Features Your Teen Will Love

A Garage Conversion

If your home currently only has one living area, you could consider adding another living area that is specifically designed as a teen hangout space. Rather than spending money adding more square footage to your home’s existing footprint, you could convert the garage. This garage space could even be used for your teen’s band equipment, hobby items and other things that may be taking up too much space in your home currently. A garage makes for a great teen-friendly hangout space as you can open the garage door when it is being used and have an indoor/outdoor space.

A Private TV or Media Room

Teens and adults rarely agree on what they want to watch on TV, and this holds true for movies as well as television shows. You may be able to convert an unused formal dining or bedroom into a private TV or media room for your teens rather easily. In fact, if the space is already enclosed, you may simply need to add some insulation to the walls and dimmer switches to the already installed lights.

A Private Bathroom

If your teens are currently sharing a bathroom with others in the home, you may regularly hear about messes that others have left behind or about someone spending too much time in the bathroom. These are common arguments, and you may be able to eliminate them entirely by giving your teen his or her own private bathroom. This is a seemingly minor convenience that can make your home a happier and less stressful place to be in.

A Gaming Nook

Many teens love gaming, and they often take up the TV when they are on their console. You may even have consoles and games cluttered up around the TV creating an eyesore. You do not need a large space to create a gaming nook. For example, you can choose a small area of the home to carve out a space for two to four gaming chairs and moderately-sized TV. A few storage features may also be beneficial for storing games, controllers and consoles.

Each teen is unique, and each family deals with unique challenges based on the current layout of the home and the interests or needs of teens. Consider how these or other thoughtful ideas can be implemented through your upcoming home renovation project.

Prepare Your Outdoor Patio for Winter

Prepare Your Outdoor Patio for Winter

There’s nothing more magical than enjoying the winter charms with your loved ones, drinking hot mulled wine in your cosy outdoor sanctuary. There’s no reason to retreat to your home during winter and look through your windows as your beautiful patio becomes whiter every day. You can easily transform it into a comfy haven for the cold days where you can spend chilly evenings in a warm and inviting ambiance. Here are several tips that can help you prepare your patio for the upcoming winter.

Make it cosy

The end of warm summer days doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your lovely backyard, especially if you have a covered patio. All you need to do is bring out several blankets and pillows to keep you warm while you enjoy quiet, intimate evenings with your friends. Not only will you create an ambience of comfort and warmth, but you’ll also elevate the overall décor of your patio. You can add patterned blankets and throw pillows with enticing winter motifs to set the mood for the upcoming holiday season. You can also introduce a beautiful outdoor rug for your lounge area to keep your feet warm and to create a layered stylish look. Furthermore, if your patio features a neutral colour scheme, throw pillows and blankets will provide you with an opportunity to bring in a pop of colour and break the monotonous look.

Add a heat source

You need to add a heat source to your patio in order to soak in the winter beauty in a warm environment. There are plenty of solutions that will keep you warm while also creating a cosy ambiance. You can go with a propane-based outdoor heater or install a lovely outdoor fireplace. You can opt for a stone fireplace for a rustic look or a gas one that will help you create a modern atmosphere. Adding a fire bowl is yet another authentic solution that will enable you to spend chilly nights outside in a warm ambiance.

Embrace the winter magic

Embrace the winter magic

Instead of running off into your house, you should embrace winter and completely enjoy its magic. Get ready for the festive season in time and gather all of your winter-inspired decorations for your outdoor patio, such as beautiful string lights and candles of different sizes, that will bring a sense of romance to your outdoor sanctuary. You should check out some of the beautiful accessories that The Furniture Shack has to offer. From magical candles and lanterns to beautifully designed outdoor rugs, every single detail will help you create a magical and enticing winter atmosphere. You can also consider adding festive decorative items, such as pinecones, evergreen springs and branches to capture the true spirit of winter.

Enclose your patio

Enclose your patio

If you have a beautiful view from your patio and you’re not a fan of winter, you should consider temporarily enclosing your outdoor haven. Depending on your budget, you can choose between glass and aluminium walls. This way, you will shield your patio from unfavourable weather conditions while still being able to soak in the view of the snow-covered scenery. If you don’t want to completely close your patio, you can install a pergola to cover it.

Keep it clean

Although maintaining your backyard and patio during winter isn’t easy, you shouldn’t let your outdoor furniture and other patio elements become damaged due to improper maintenance. You should find out whether your outdoor items are weather- and water-resistant. If not, you should properly store them away over winter. While aluminium and wooden furniture are weather-resistant, you still need to properly maintain them to ensure their durability. For example, you shouldn’t use protective covers for your wooden furniture to avoid moisture build-ups beneath them. Nonetheless, you should properly and regularly clean your outdoor furniture regardless of the materials to prevent mould growth.

In just a few easy steps, you can prepare your lovely outdoor sanctuary for the wintertime and create an ambiance of cosiness and warmth. Afterwards, you can embrace the winter magic and soak in its beauty.

About the author:

Chloe is an art historian and recreational ballet dancer. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics.

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