Wednesday, 10 July 2019

HOME | 5 CLEANING HACKS YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED

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Whether you love or loathe housework. It's a universal truth that there are hundreds of cleaning Instagram accounts that will likely tell you that you need a cupboard full of products in order to keep you house clean with various different methods and for using them. I've been trying to cut down on the actual work that it takes to clean a house from top to bottom as well as cutting down the amount of products I have. I

There are always ways to maximise resting and relaxing over actual housework; it's just a case of knowing where you can make cuts to your routine and taking them on. It's when the house is a mess, or the dog has shed a ton of hair that you remember why choose vinyl plank flooring - it's so much simpler to clean. So, while that was a cleaning hack you didn't know you were already using, here are five more to make life in the house much more comfortable, allowing you to be lazier for longer.


Lint Roll The Dust
You might use a lint roller on your clothes but did you know that it's SO easy to clean dust and crumbs in the house when you have one at home? Run the roller over the lampshades for a finished look without even trying.

Line Your Refrigerator
You want to keep costs down while spending less time cleaning, and the best way to do that is to line your refrigerator shelves with plastic food wrap. Any leaking bottles or spills from the sauce jars can be caught quickly, and all you need to do then is peel the layer of plastic off and start again! You'll never have to clean the refrigerator deep because your cling wrap trick will keep it fresher for longer.

Squeegee Your carpets
Rugs and carpets in the house can get ingrained with hair. From pets to people, hair is the most annoying thing to have in the fibres of the carpets in your home. If the vacuum cleaner isn't picking it up, grab a squeegee. The rubber will pull up every bit of hair and stops you from needing to vacuum so much!

Dryer Sheet The Blinds
Feather dusters are always advertised for cleaning wooden blinds, but dryer sheets get into every corner without destroying the blinds. Plus, they smell good, so they could easily be used to clean the blinds down and dd some scent to the living area.

Go Traditional
More traditional methods and products are definitely making a come back, The Secret Cleaner's home made degreaser is so easy and cuts down the need for buying so many products which ultimately add up!

Take ten minutes with these hacks and your house will be clean in no time at all.

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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

HOME | MAKING THE MOST OF THE SPACE IN A SMALL HOUSE

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As you'll probably know, I have quite a small house. It kind of makes sense to me at the moment because there's just me and Kev (with a dog on the way!) but it does still create some problems with having enough places to put things. New builds are notorious for their small rooms and lack of storage space. So here are some tips if you're in a similar position to me: 



Do away with the clunk
The first thing to do is to rethink the ostentatious, overly large furniture that can take up a lot more space than it needs to. If the room is compact, you need to think compact with your d├ęcor as well. Space saving furniture with slim profiles, exposed legs, and a more minimalist appearance can create the illusion of a lot more space than there actually is and make things look less cluttered.

Let there be light
Nothing can make a room feel smaller, more cluttered, and more uncomfortable than dark shadows going every which way. Upgrading the home to make the space brighter can help give it a much more relaxing vibe and stretch out the space that’s there. I'm lucky enough to have patio doors in my living room but if you don't have that luxury, using lighter blinds and curtains to let in more natural light, layering accent lighting on top of the main fixture, and using mirrors and brighter colours to better reflect that light can all help. 

Find your focal point
If you use the common tactic of dotting around a lot of smaller decorative pieces, it can quickly make the room look a lot more cluttered. Instead, considering making one or two big statement pieces to serve as a focal point and thematic knot to tie the room together. Creating a table-top vignette is a highly effective way of doing just that if you don’t already have a natural focal point, like a fireplace. I've used my TV as my focal point and bought a nice white TV unit to go across the whole of the wall backing onto a geometric feature wall and I find that even just doing that has made the space feel more open and brighter.

Define your spaces
A little contrast can go a long way in creating the illusion of more space than there actually is. You don’t want to go overboard with soft furnishings but adding small rugs can help the room feel more complete. It also zones off one area of the room from the other that doesn’t have a rug, so there’s a distinct feeling of different parts of the room, rather than it all just being one little box. This is particularly important for me as my house is completely open plan downstairs so that contrast between kitchen and living room is really key.

Get sneaky with your storage
Good storage is essential if you want to avoid making a small room look cluttered up. However, having an entirely separate standing piece of storage furniture might take up more space than you need to. There are plenty of hidden storage ideas you can incorporate in your home, such as multitasking furniture that comes with extra drawers and cubby holes that you can use to keep those essential items out of sight.

A smaller room does have a few more limitations to fight against, but that doesn’t mean that it’s completely without a chance. Hopefully, the tips above show you how to make better use of any space, no matter what size it is. 

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

HOME | DESIGNING A CLASSIC VINTAGE LIVING ROOM

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When you get the opportunity to renovate your living room, the possibilities of what you can create are seemingly endless. Flicking through interior design magazines or scrolling through social sites and blog posts, you’re bound to see all of the latest and greatest features and furnishings that are on trend right now. However, these styles come and go so often that within a month a whole new look will be spread across every page, so taking inspiration from elsewhere might be a better option for something that remains timeless. Sticking to a classic theme with some unique vintage touches will allow you to ensure that your room never feels outdated for the wrong reasons, and can stay in fashion through every shifting season. A classic look is perfect for any homeowner, from families with children to think about to younger residents with entertainment in mind, so read on to discover how you can design the perfect living room with ease.

The Walls & Floor

The main focal point of your living room when you enter will be the walls and floor. In a typical classic style, going for natural materials and autumnal colours seems to create he beat warm atmosphere to create a strong base for the rest of your design. Wood creates the perfect foundation, as you can choose any kind of shade or tone to suit your preference whilst still maintains a more rustic feel. A rug will tie the whole room together, and a Persian imitation should definitely be considered in order to achieve that perfect classic vintage look. If you would prefer a carpet of some kind to create a softer surface for little feet, opt for a simple shade without an overwhelming pattern to ensure you don’t try to include too much and make the room feel cluttered when you add other accessories. When it comes to the walls, choose a light but warm tone - always avoid going for white. White walls can create such a cold and uninviting atmosphere, so staying away from this will help you achieve the feel you want. Think about what you might want to add to your walls in the future, and factor this into your design now to ensure that it all fits together aesthetically when you continue decorating in the future. Always use a very good quality paint brand, and test the various colours out before committing to any of them. There’s nothing worse than beginning to despise the colour after a few months or start to see problems or poor quality features, as you will just end up spending more money in the long run whilst trying to fix everything and make it more palatable.


Choosing Furniture & Decor 

Finding the right pieces for the actual content of your living room can be an absolute minefield with the sheer volume of different things on offer. When it comes to choosing the right seating you will most definitely be faced with a wide array of choices, but opting for luxurious leather sofas is the best decision you can make to tie in with the classic vintage style. Your couch is the most used item in you living room without a doubt, so investing in one that is both aesthetically pleasing and also wonderfully comfortable is a must. If you want to upgrade your relaxation and take it to the next level, be sure to purchase a matching footstool to take the weight off after a long day. If you share your home with your family, it might be an idea to get some soft throws and cushions to add to the sofa during the winter months to keep your little ones warm and cosy as they should be. Another key feature of your decor is the light fittings, as they can really impact upon the overall vibe of your room. For the light bulb itself, avoid super bright LEDs and opt for a softer, more orange alternative. Lamps, shades and chandeliers can all be found in vintage forms, and having a few unique bursts of brightness can make a great addition to any classic space. Add to the individuality by hanging different pictures and pieces of art on the walls, surrounding them with ornate frames in regal colours like gold and deep red. Try to keep to a maximum of 4 differing colours in your living room, as any more than this can cause the space to become too hectic and disorderly. Include any other accessories you want to spruce the place up, and visit local charity shops and car boot sales to find some vintage gems, as you are unlikely to ever see the same decoration twice and get it for a great price too. Try bringing the outside in with some potted house plants, or test your horticultural skills by growing a bonsai tree that will add an amazing finishing touch to your living room.

Designing a classic vintage living room that you and your family will be able to utilise and appreciate for years to come shouldn’t be as difficult as you may seem. By following the steps above and using your own creative flare, you can work to create a feeling of luxury in your home in no time at all, and easily achieve that all important final product of a unique and beautiful lounge. Steer clear or bright and garish colours as much as possible, instead opting for a couple of key colours and experimenting with their different tones. Classic rooms tend to lack an excess of clutter, so stick with a few main pieces that tie the room together and look great while doing so. Use your own imagination and requirements to mould your space into the best it can be, and don't be afraid to go bold with art work and other wall hangings. With all of the bases covered, you will be able to create an amazing room at top speed with the passion and drive needed to pull the design off properly.

Do you prefer vintage or modern styles?

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Monday, 24 June 2019

HOME | BATHROOM DESIGN IDEAS

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You might have seen if you follow me on Instagram that I absolutely hate my bathroom and it would absolutely be the first place I would renovate because it's really small and I made some bad choices when I first bought my house as a new build. The bathroom should be a part of the house which we all enjoy using at the end of a long day to wash off and relax after the stresses of life. It is also one of the rooms in the house which is often forgotten about and taken for granted and this can sometimes cause us to end up with a boring and dull room with no life or style (which is exactly what's happened to me!)

So here are a few things that I'd love to be able to do to turn my bathroom into somewhere I love rather than loath!

Use a shower curtain



My bathroom is small and one thing I have noticed has made quite a small but significant difference is a change of shower curtain; I did have a Primark one but I recently changed to this grey one and I much prefer it - a slight change in colour has made a really difference to the whole look of the room. In my opinion, they're also much easier to keep clean than a glass screen!

Under sink storage

In a small bathroom it's all about making the most of the space you have so using under the sink to put a little cupboard it the perfect place because it would be otherwise unused space. I got mine from Argos but you can also get them from places like B&M - just make sure you know your measurements!

Integrate the toilet 

One of the ugliest elements you can have in the bathroom is the pipes which come from underneath and behind the toilet. These pipes can build up with dust very quickly and they make the space look clunky and unfinished. This is why many modern bathroom designs have a feature which integrates the toilet into a small cabinet so that the pipes are hidden and all you can see is the basin. This makes the bathroom look so much better and it will also make cleaning a hell of a lot simpler too.

Use huge tiles 

The tiles are my real bugbear in my bathroom I should have had a totally different colour and style. When tiling the bathroom the best thing you can do to make it feel expensive and luxurious is to use the biggest tiles you can find. Big tiles will not only take less time for you to fit onto the wall but because they are vast it will give your walls the illusion that it is a never-ending pattern which can make it feel much more expensive than it really is. For a bit of fun, you can add a darker toned tile to the bottom third of the wall and white above for a two-toned effect which will look stunning.

Use mirrors

Mirrors have to be the best use of your space in the bathroom if you want your room to look modern and vast. A mirror is an ideal way to bring in the illusion of space as well as to fill a blank space on the wall. It is always a great option for this room because you will be able to reflect light from outside and this will illuminate the whole room.

Add pops of colour 

The best thing you can buy for your bathroom is some wholesale bath towels from Richard Haworth in bold colours. Whether you have a white, black or neutral bathroom, a pop of colour is incredibly important and can breathe life into the room. For example, if you have a white and light brown bathroom you can add some yellow or orange tiles to the bathroom to add character and fun to the space.

Think copper

How can you make any bathroom look modern and contemporary in an instant? Add copper to the room. Whether you choose to add copper taps and towel rails, copper accessories or a copper bath (which is the absolute dream for me!!)… this will add some amazing depth and class to the space. Copper is a colour which is associated with class and luxury so adding this into your bathroom this year can be the perfect way to bring your room into the 21st century and make it feel like a spa from heaven. It will be the best decision you make for the bathroom this year!


What are your top tips for making the most of a small bathroom?

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