Category: Home Improvement

Doors Can Lighten a Room

It seems fairly obvious that introducing more light into the home is something people feel is important and this is quite understandable as who doesn’t feel better on a bright summer’s day than on a rather dingy day in winter? Light is a precious resource and it is natural that we should want to maximise it to enhance our lives, however, building our own home with a wall entirely made of glass is not an option open to everyone, so what can the less fortunate among us do? In years gone by, any aperture even if it was glazed was a sure way to lose heat from the house and before central heating keeping warm was a significant preoccupation for the residents. So the question was how to get more light into a house without compromising the need to keep warm.

One of the darker parts of any home is the upstairs landing as it normally has no natural light being merely a means of access to the rooms leading off it. You might have noticed in older houses that there are often windows above the doors on a landing (known as fanlights) to allow light from the rooms off the landing to be introduced into what would otherwise be a rather dark and unwelcoming space. This was a rather limited way of creating more light but interior designers were constrained by the fact that glass was a potentially hazardous material as when it shattered it was dangerous to the occupants. The development of safety glass which is now used in glazed doors has meant this is no longer a constraint and more light can now be brought in through the glazed panel in the door, which is much more effective than a fanlight!

The creative use of glazed internal doors in many homes has meant that not only is more light introduced but it can be done with style and as part of an overall design theme. Improved production processes mean that glazed doors are within the pocket of most as is the opportunity of using them to enhance a home. The choice of glazing used to be clear or frosted, (usually for the bathroom) but now, there are a variety of glazing options to suit all tastes. Clear glass is still available but there is also bevelled, diamond cut and even etched patterned glass to make a glazed door really be a design feature as well as carrying out its main function of light enhancement.

The modern trend towards having a light and airy living space lends itself to having more glazing as part of the interior design. There are a lot of glazed internal doors in the market and suit both traditional and contemporary settings and can really open up a room and flood it with natural light, so there’s no excuse for sitting in the dark!

Identify Different Grades of Granite Worktop Surfaces

First Choice

This is the highest quality of granites. First choice granite slabs have high gloss surfaces and hardly any visual imperfections. These granites usually come in rarer colours or have patterns individual to that slab. These properties increase the value of the stone solely for its appearance. There is usually no advantage in terms of strength or durability compared to the other grades. The veins and other imperfections can make first choice granites difficult to work with during the cutting process.

Commercial Quality

Commercial quality stones have easy to notice defects such as cracks, veins or blotches. Although, there are many professionals with the tools and knowledge in the trade that can process the commercial quality granites really well. The polishing on the surface is not as glossy as first choice granites but there are processes which can help improve the gloss. Commercial quality granites cost less than the higher quality first choice, however they can actually be more durable due to containing fewer veins.

Second Choice

Second choice granites are the lowest and cheapest of all the grades. These are least popular because they consist of many natural imperfections and blotches. There are professionals who can repair these imperfections which will help to save the manufacturer money on materials. This will require more time during the processing of the material. Second choice granites usually come in smaller cuts as the material contains higher concentrations of veins. If you do find a piece that works, you can save yourself a lot of money.

Oriental Rug Cleaning

  • Your rug will pick up dirt and debris from the bottom of shoes that come in contact with it. Even though it may look clean it may be full of contaminants that have attached themselves to the fibers of the rug. Cleaning your rug at least once a month is the absolute minimum. If you notice a stain on the rug it must be addressed immediately so it does not set in and cost you a tremendous amount of money to have that area repaired.
  • If you have heavy traffic on your rug you should vacuum it at least once a week to keep it fresh and clean. Begin vacuuming one side first until you have covered the entire rug. If you can lift a corner up and hit it with your fist and still see a cloud of dirt that means you need to vacuum again. Be certain to vacuum both sides of the oriental rug.
  • To clean your rug you will need to create a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water. This will ensure that the vegetable dyes used to create the rug is not damaged or discolored. Never use a soapy cleaner on an oriental rug because there is no way to 100% remove the soap without soaking the rug with a garden hose. This oriental rug cleaning mixture will help your rug to smell fresh, look fresh, and last much longer.
  • Place the vinegar mixture in a plastic spray bottle and gentle spray the entire area of the rug without soaking. Let the rug dry thoroughly.
  • Spray the mixture on to the fringe area of the rug and work in the solution with a very soft brush. Mimic the motions of brushing your hair as you gently stroke the fibers of the oriental rug. Do not use the vinegar mix on white or cotton fiber fringes or you run the risk of turning them yellow or brown.
  • Take a small fan and place it on the floor near the rug to dry the solution faster. Leaving a wet oriental rug on a hardwood floor can attract mold and mildew. Never hand a wet rug on a clothing line to dry or you run the risk of the colors running. If your rug is dry to the touch but still damp you can let it dry on the clothing line.

About Pool Closings

Winter weather means ice and snow and a lot of freezing of standing water, so the most important step in winterizing the pool is that you get all standing water out of all pipes and fixtures. If you keep any water in any pipe it may freeze which causes the pipe to expand and quite possibly break meaning you will need a replacement come next summer or you’ll be dealing with a leak all season long. Underground pipes can freeze too, so be sure to get all the water out with a high powered air compressor or shop vac. No water in the pipes means no ice in the pipes once the temperature drops.

If you have a tiled pool around the water level and you don’t lower that water level to below the tile, again the water can freeze and expand out which can break your tiles. Lowing the water level to below this line saves your tiles and keeps them intact for seasons to come. If however you just have a liner in the pool you don’t need to lower the water level too much. The more water left in the pool actually helps the cover stay put and not dip too much come the harsh winter weather.

For optimal results, a winterizing mix of chemicals is also needed. Most experts say that a concentrated shock treatment with winter algaecide and stain treatment product will get the job done. You should also adjust the pH and the alkalinity in the remaining water. If you are using granular chemicals mix them up in a bucket before putting them in the pool so you don’t have issues with them staining the bottom of the pool.

Don’t forget to store all the pieces that you remove from a pool in the same spot so you can find them easily come spring. Happy pool closing!

Optimise a Small Space

Source Clever Furniture

Furniture for small spaces needs to be stylish and practical. The trick is to find a versatile piece that can be used for different purposes. Look for furniture that can be used as a standalone piece, or be used in combination with other pieces for a different purpose. For example, timber of upholstered cubes can be used as tables, footstools or additional seating. When arranged as a set of four in a larger square they also make a great coffee table by adding a tray on top. In no time, you can arrange your living area to your needs. Additionally, these cubes are stylish decorative pieces to play around with colours, textures and materials to coordinate with any interior.

Focus on the Floor

A very simple method to make a space look larger is using the same flooring throughout the whole apartment. Especially in open-plan living areas, a single finish from the entrance through the living and dining area will widen the space. This will additionally be enhanced by continuing the chosen finish to the outside entertainment area. There is a huge choice of floor tiles with indoor and outdoor versions available. Timber tiles are also very popular as they add the warmth of the timber look to a space and can be used in the kitchen as well.

Decorate like a Pro

In decorating your home you can unleash your creativity! Even if you think you are not creative at all, give it a go and start being inspired by interior designers from all over the world. Research design blogs and follow the ones that speak to you. Browse design departments in large bookstores to dive in the realm of interiors. You will discover that most interior designers love to share their work and inspirations. Borrow the things you like and implement them in your own home, with your modifications. Check out Kit Kemp’s famous design hotels for inspiration to layer colour and pattern.

Hire A Pool Installation Company

A concrete or gunite pool can be custom built to suit any style or depth of modern structures for all sized properties. Fiberglass pools are manufactured in standard shapes and sizes and cannot produce considerable depths in comparison to the concrete designs. The popularity of a gunite pool is attributed to its flexible construction providing endless opportunities to create attractive and functional features that will last for many years.

Concrete has remained the most durable construction, developed to withstand general wear and tear and external conditions. These pools require the most extensive time period to complete and require sufficient planning for project completion by the summer. Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured and installed within the prepared ground subject to the formation of fine cracks and expensive repairs to the shell and lining over time.

The development of solid construction provided by a reputable installation company can last up to 50 years with regular maintenance. It is less expensive to upgrade and remodel inground pools in comparison to the extensive procedure involved in developing fiberglass shells. The fiberglass pools will have to be excavated and a new factory produced mold purchased for installation that is costly and time-consuming when compared to its versatile gunite counterparts.

The installation of inground pools includes price comparisons of materials and the labor involved. A professional pool company must inspect the property to determine costs and provide customers with a detailed quotation. The estimate must provide valuable options and includes a comparison of expenses to make an informed decision concerning the selection of builders and the most suitable styles of pools.

Installation companies must be licensed and experienced to complete projects on time and according to a high standard of service. An installer will assess the area for the construction of swimming pools and advise on designs and materials that are most applicable to the property. Online reviews and reading the websites of companies can provide detailed information on the options available that prove valuable and affordable.

A quality installation business will adhere to zoning regulations and ensure that all construction requirements are addressed for safe and effective results. A professional inspection offers reliable services and efficient project completion in accordance with specified codes. Builders can advise on modern design solutions including ease of maintenance and overall aesthetic value.

Ways to Change the Look of a Room

Change the lighting fixtures. Old lighting fixtures can make a room less attractive and less modern. Update the look of the room with something that fits the style you are going for. If you want simplistic and sleek, then pick a lighting fixture that matches that description. Chandeliers can add a touch of elegance that other fixtures do not, and wall sconces often add an air of sophistication. Think about how you want your room to look and then shop for lighting fixtures accordingly.

Consider painting the room or applying wallpaper. A simple coat of new paint, even over just one wall, can make a room look drastically different. Applying wallpaper can be a tough job, but you do not have to apply it over each wall. Just on certain spots can make a room look pretty different. For creative ideas, consult home improvement magazines or look online. You will find a lot of fantastic ideas to get you motivated.

Buy furniture covers or reupholster your furniture. New furniture is not always in everyone’s budget. However, you can make your old furniture look like new again by applying furniture covers or reupholstering them. If you reupholster your furniture on your own, you will save a lot of money. Furniture covers work just as well, and they are easy to remove, wash, and put back on again. Whichever method you choose, the new look of your furniture will definitely change the look of your room.

Consider buying a new area rug. A decorative area rug can pull a whole room together. If you have a bare floor or even a carpeted one, the addition of a new rug can pull all of the colors in the room together if you pick the right one. Try to find one that complements the style and colors that you already have in the room. You may be surprised at how much of a difference the new addition to your floor makes to the entire room.

Put up new curtains or window coverings in your room. The right curtains or window coverings can add a touch of elegance, class, or pizzazz to your room. Pick some that will fit your window. Measure your windows before you go shopping so you don’t have to guess which will fit perfectly. If you are very handy, you can make your own curtains out of any fabric that you want. No one else will have the same curtains that you do.

Replace old decorations with new ones. You do not have to replace all of your old knickknacks and artwork with new things, but a few pieces will do. Bolder pieces will automatically draw the eye to certain areas of the room.

Decorations set the tone for the room, so choose pieces that you will love and feel comfortable with for a long time.
However you choose to update your room, make sure that your sense of style and creativity comes through. Have fun with redecorating your room, and enjoy the many compliments that you will get from your visitors when they see how different everything looks just by changing a few things in the room.

Style a Conservatory

Think about how you’re going to use the space

The way you choose to style your conservatory will really depend on how you plan to use it when it’s complete.

In most cases, this will be a choice between having an extra living space or a dining area. However, as your conservatory is a blank canvas, you can get as creative as you like, transforming your new room into anything that you want it to be.

Keep it light and bright

One of the main advantages of a conservatory is that it is light and bright no matter what the weather is doing outside, and for many homeowners it’s important to keep this airy feel as they style the space.

The easiest way to achieve this is to use lighter paint shades on your walls and light tones in your accessories and soft furnishings. Natural colours work especially well as they create a neutral background while helping to make the space feel warm and welcoming.

Floral fabrics and details can also look great in conservatories as they help to bring the outside in and make your garden feel like part of your home.

Adding a personal touch

In order to make your new conservatory really feel like part of your home, you need at add a few personal touches to the space.

However, remember to place any photos, ornaments or other objects carefully in the space to avoid making the room look cluttered or messy.

Create the perfect ambience

If you’re going to be using your conservatory for entertaining, you need to put some thought into how you’re going to create a great atmosphere in the space.

The easiest way to do this is with lighting and music, so try to incorporate both when styling your space.

About Home Extension Rules and Considerations

The government changed planning regulations to allow more household projects to continue without the need to apply for planning permission. The Housing and Planning Minister said these new rules will cut out planning permission for 80,000 households a year, saving people over 1,000 pounds in costs.

The rules do not mean people can extend without care. It is important to follow guidelines on size, position, and design. This helps people avoid future hassle and expense of applying for planning permission after an extension project becomes unruly.

Extensions without planning permission are only allowed in houses. Living in a flat or maisonette means people need to check the government’s advice on the planning portal. Those who are allowed to extend can do so without an application for planning permission can do so as long as it does not cover more than half the area of land around the original house.

An original house means as the home was first built or as it stood on the first of July in 1948 if the home is older than that. Any existing extension by the home’s previous owner counts toward the total allowance. The extension should not be forward of the principal elevation of the house, such as the front. However, it should also not be forward of the side of the house if it is what fronts the road.

An extension cannot be higher than the highest part of the roof. Two story extensions must be a minimum of seven meters away from the rear boundary. Side extensions have to be single story. They are also only allowed to be a maximum of four metes high and no more than half of the width of the original house. People also need to follow the rules on roof pitches, eaves heights, and materials used.

People need to remember that, for loft extensions, they cannot extend beyond the plane of the roof slope on the side of the house that faces the road, or go higher than the existing roof. There are materials requirements, side facing window glazing requirements, and setting back the extension of the roof requirements.

A single story or more than one stores rear extension in a terraced house can only go a maximum of three metes beyond the rear wall of the original house. The maximum height of a single story extension is four meters. Loft conversions have a maximum volume of 40 cubic meters, including additions by the previous owners.

For semi-detached houses, a single story or more than one story rear extension can go a maximum of three meters beyond the rear wall of the original house. The maximum height of a single story extension is four meters. Loft conversions can have a maximum of 50 cubic meters, including additions by previous owners.

Detached houses are allowed a single story rear extension to go a maximum of four meters beyond the rear wall of the original house. If it is more than one story, the maximum is three meters. The maximum height of a single story extension is four meters. Loft conversions are allowed a maximum volume of 50 cubic meters, including additions from previous owners.

Indoor Water Features

Achieving Wellness

Whoever said that interior design is all about aesthetics? Indoor water features, when incorporated correctly, can have a lot of health benefits. Air purification is at the very top of the long list. It is said that running water attracts negative ions which can also attract dirt particles that are floating in the air. This means that placing water fountain indoors means literally pulling dirt out of the filthy air. Wall fountains can also have the same benefit, soon, you will begin to feel the difference with the air that you breathe.

Water features can also relax your mind. Tension in your muscles and joints can also be significantly reduced as you tend to relax to the sound and sight of running water. That tabletop fountain has been observed to induce sound sleep. You will love the way water features make you feel as you begin to embrace a more relaxed lifestyle.

Water features can also relieve stress and relief from strains and pressures is extremely important in today’s world where everyone seems to be living a rushed lifestyle. Seeing running water can provide you with that jolt of relaxation that you need as you cram for your final exam or that huge school project.

Another benefit that comes in bringing in water features to your home is family unity. Now you may wonder how this can happen – water features are often a great spot for gatherings. Here, adult, teenage and young members of the family can enjoy dinner as they enjoy the relaxing sight and sounds of water. Parents can also teach their kids about the beauty of Mother Nature as they are surrounded by such water features.

Water Feature Ideas

It is no secret that water is one of the planet’s biggest assets. Water features improve visual appeal as they make the area look more natural. Combine flowers or any green plant with water and you instantly increase the visual appeal of any room.


There are many different materials for indoor fountains just as there are also different designs to choose from. The center of your living room would look lovelier as you place a circular or quadrangular indoor fountain. Tabletop fountains are also quite popular as are indoor waterfalls.

Wall-mounted fountains are often rectangular and they can be installed horizontally or vertically. You can do this project yourself since most can be installed easily without the help of a contractor. If in case you need help lifting some stones, then you can employ an installer. Go colorful or subdued – the choice is yours.

Floor fountains are much like wall-mounted fountains when it comes to their shape and design. The sole difference is that floor fountains are installed on the floor. These can be customized so they can better suit your hallway or living room. Even a boring dining room can be instantly brightened with the right floor fountain.