Tag Archives: Derek L.

4 Ideas to Add “Smart Lighting” to Your Home

By Guest Blogger, Derek L.

4 Ideas to Add “Smart Lighting” to Your Home

Day by day, improvement by improvement, homes are becoming smarter and smarter. With so many technological advancements, you can now choose from a variety of smart home features, from smart thermostats and robot cleaners to entire home systems and virtual assistants. However, since going smart all at once can be quite expensive, you can start by implementing smart lighting to your home. Not only will it make your life easier, but it will also reduce your energy consumption. And once again, there are plenty of ways you can do that.

1.     Automated wireless lighting

 

A completely automated lighting system is one of the most popular smart features that will provide you with a range of control options. An automated system will enable you to control your lights remotely, set up a timer, connect your lighting to other devices, etc. However, in order for you to install a fully automated home system, you need to set up a control hub first. By installing a central hub, you’ll be able to connect all of your smart devices and design a completely automated system. Afterwards, you can just connect your smart bulbs via Wi-Fi with your control hub. Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs might be more expensive, but they will provide you with a range of smart options.

2.     Smart occupancy lighting sensors

Although smart occupancy sensors, or Occ. sensors, might be a bit on the expensive side, they offer a high level of flexibility. Once you install an Occ. sensor in your home, you won’t have to worry about controlling your lights because this sensor will do it for you. Namely, this option will automatically turn your lights on or off the moment someone walks in a room. Furthermore, an occupancy sensor can also be adjusted not to turn on the lights during the day. Another great advantage of these sensors is the option to set up a “vacancy mode”. This option will enable you to set up the system to turn off the lights when someone leave a room without turning them on when a space is occupied.

3.     Smart switches, plugs and outlets

 

Smart switches, plugs and outlets are another possible solution when it comes to smart lighting. However, since this option requires some wiring, it’s essential that you check whether you have a proper electricity connection and make sure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. Having checked your electricity, you can install smart switches, plugs and outlets.


When it comes to smart switches, they resemble regular ones, but they can actually connect to a wireless network, enabling you to control your lighting remotely via an app. You can also have different options, such as scheduling your lighting, dimming, sensors and connection to other devices. There are even some products that can simply attach to your existing switches. For instance, the Switchmate is such an option that connects to a switch via magnetic forces and to your phone via Bluetooth.


Smart plugs and outlets are quite similar, but while plugs can be just plugged into a regular outlet, a smart outlet should be properly installed. Nonetheless, both smart solutions will enable you to control your lighting fixtures and even some other devices, such as a coffee maker or a toaster, through a smart device app.

4.     Smart outdoor lighting

 

If you want to smart up both the inside and the outside of your home, you should install smart outdoor lighting, as well. This can be a practical and energy-saving solution for your beautiful outdoor space. Furthermore, it’s as easy as installing a switch inside. You just need to install a smart outdoor switch and you’ll be able to control your outdoor lighting via a smart device. Once again, you’ll be able to create different lighting schedules, turn the lights on or off remotely and even monitor other plugged-in devices. You can even find a smart light for your front door that can be connected to your doorbell.

Smart lighting is a great way to start upgrading your home. Not only does it offer a great level of flexibility, but it can also reduce your energy consumption and cut your electricity bill.

 Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Tips for Designing and Decorating Your Granny Flat

By Guest Blogger, Derek L.

Tips for Designing and Decorating Your Granny Flat

Name aside, granny flats are not just for the elderly. This is an excellent way to add extra living or storage space and even create a home away from home. These relatively small enclosures (depends how you build and design it) can serve as study rooms if you need to get away from the noise in the house, private area for your children, and you can even offer them for rent on websites like Airbnb.

However, the extent of your granny flat use depends solely on how you design and furnish it. Of course, you cannot rent a space without a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. and you cannot have a study room without a table, sofa, and so on.

But don’t worry; that is why we are here. Today, we will talk about the best design ideas and tips for setting up your granny flat. So, let’s begin.

Embrace minimalism

Out of all types of living spaces, granny flats would benefit the most out of taking the minimalistic approach. As you probably already know, granny flats are not spacious by default. In fact, most of their designs are centered around making the most out of the smallest spaces.

So, don’t overburden your granny flat with unnecessary cabinetry, furniture and decorations. Instead, focus on the things you absolutely need. This way, your flat will appear bigger and more spacious, even if it has 30 square meters only.

Think outside of the box

Next, when designing your granny flat, you need to think outside of the box. Some design solutions that work in regular-sized households may not be as effective in smaller living spaces as are granny flats. So, you will have to come up with clever storage solutions and smart uses of space to maximise the efficiency. But if you are not a thinker, you can always research some granny flat trends.

For example, sky domes are the biggest hit among Australians right now. According to professional granny flat builders in Sydney, this is one of the most sought-after features. If you opt-in for this solution, your granny flat will use less energy for lights, as well as be more environmentally friendly. This type unconventional and green design solutions are extremely popular with the granny flat builders from all over the world.

Bathroom essentials only

Designing a bathroom for a granny flat is one of the trickiest things you will have to do. Bathrooms are an essential part of every living space, but unfortunately, they are large and take a lot of space. Therefore, you will have to build it as barebones as possible.

That means installing a shower, toilet, sink, and a small cabinet, nothing more. People often try to build their granny flat bathrooms as the ones in their regular homes, but that is not their purpose. Bathtubs, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, massive wardrobes, etc. are not necessary. After all, the space you save from bathroom, you can add to the living room of your granny flat.

Build a small cooking station

Finally, you need to design a compact kitchen for your granny flat. The same principles that apply to bathrooms, apply to kitchens as well. So, keep it simple and install kitchen essentials only like a sink, small workstation, and a stove. If you need more inspiration for designing your cooking station, we recommend checking out some trends from the tiny house community. These people have mastered the use of space, and their kitchens are as beautiful as they are effective.

As you can see, designing a granny flat is not an impossible task. Sure, you will have to think unconventionally and abandon some commodities that come with regular houses, but luxury is not a part of their M.O. With that said, if you follow these tips, put in some effort, and get creative, you could create a fantastic living space from your granny flat.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

How to Create a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

By Guest Blogger, Derek L.

How to Create a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

They will all tell you how beautiful it is when your little one says his first word or makes his first steps. But none of them will tell you about the horror of the darkest thoughts that will go through your head and about all that mess that waits for you to clean it up after that little one decides he no longer wants to go pee-pee with his mom, but all by himself – as the true big boy that he is. And speaking of big boys, why did you place that toilet seat so high, so he cannot climb it? And what is a little pee stain compared to the fact your child is now practically an adult? Jokes aside, there are some things that need to be done in order to save both your child and yourself from a lot of potential trouble.

Floors

Floors in a child-proof bathroom should be non-slip. In other words, opt for tiles that are small and rough (anti-slip) in order to eliminate the risk of your little loved one falling down and hurting himself. And if he still isn’t walking quite steadily, a great idea is to incorporate those non-slip mats as well. Finally, after every shower session, make sure every adult family member wipes off all the water puddles.

Fittings

Adult skin is a lot thicker than a child’s skin. And this is why you have to protect your child’s skin from getting burned with hot water. You will do this by incorporating those safe bath tub, sink and bidet thermostat fittings that can only reach a certain water temperature, and select valves with scalding protection. This way, those little hands will definitely remain protected against the heat.

Finishing

Avoid those pointy ceramics for your bathroom at all costs. In fact, you should rather opt for elegant and soft-edged bathroom supplies without any sharp corners that may hurt your child. Next, make sure that all glass areas are well secured. Also, you are more than welcome to install those invisible drawer handles and lockable cupboards that will prevent your child from grabbing the razor, a pair of scissors or a chemical product (which should, by the way, be kept as far away from them as possible – ideally, completely out of their sight and reach).

Space

If you simply aren’t blessed with a big and spacious bathroom, make sure it is always 100 percent decluttered. Use every inch of your bathroom space wisely, so it will both be aesthetically more pleasing, and safer for your child. And if, on the other hand, you do have a large bathroom, you have the luxury to install a large bathtub or shower that will allow several little ones to bathe at the same time, which is both time and money saving.

Levels

Try looking at your bathroom through your child’s eyes (and height). He will definitely need some help reaching the wash basin, so you might want to install a sturdy step-ladder in front of it. Next, keep storage levels on no more than one meter, so it is easily accessible to them as well. Install a showerhead with an adjustable height, so it fits you all. Smart showerheads are a huge trend right now. Finally, note that children quite enjoy seeing themselves in the mirror, so make sure yours is at the appropriate height.

Handling

The harsh truth is that bathroom items are made with only adults in mind – so your child’s little hands may find it quite difficult to use them. So when you go shopping for bathroom furniture, look at it through your children’s eyes. Go with easy-to-open shower doors, choose hooks instead of towel holders, invest in a solid shower caddy, etc.

Fun bathing

It is not always all about safety. What you should also do is to make this a fun experience for your little one. Let him play with his rubber and plastic toys during bath time, invest in a couple of colorful and fun accessories, as well as educational bath toys, have fun with color and maybe even consider putting a cartoon wallpaper to liven the space up a little bit.

Bathrooms can be a dangerous space for kids. And when the time comes when they can use it themselves, do your best to protect them.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.