Tag Archives: home design

How To Save Money On Home Appliances

How To Save Money On Home Appliances

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A lot of us overspend on home appliances. This can include the initial purchase price, as well as running costs such as maintenance and energy bills. To help save you money, here are just a few tricks that could have you spending less on your home appliances.

Shop the sales

Many appliance stores have regular sales on. These can be great times to grab bargains on appliances. The January sales is a popular time for massive appliance discounts – because few people have much money after Christmas, retailers often have to offer much better deals to attract customers in.

Read reviews

Online consumer reviews can often tell if an appliance is reliable. Unfortunately, many of the cheapest appliances are less reliable, which can lead to frequent and expensive repair costs in the future. Save yourself money in the long run by reading reviews and only choosing an appliance that has good customer feedback.

Consider the energy rating

Most appliances come with an energy rating from A to G. Appliances that are graded A are the most efficient and are the ones that will save you huge amounts on your energy bills. It’s worth noting that fridge freezers can go all the way up to A+++ – if you’re buying this type of appliance you may not want to settle for an A.

Look out for online freebies

There are many sellers online giving away free appliances on sites like Gumtree. Whilst these appliances tend to be older (and therefore less reliable and less energy efficient), the fact that you’re paying nothing for them up front means that you’ll still likely save yourself money compared to buying a brand new appliance. A condition of these freebies is that you usually have to pick them up yourself from the seller – this means having a vehicle big enough to pick up the appliance.

Know when to repair, when to replace

When an appliance breaks, you need to weigh up whether it’s cheaper to repair or replace. Some repairs can be so costly that you may as well as buy a replacement. You should also consider the appliance’s lifespan.  It may be worth splashing out on central vacuum repair on a home vacuum system that’s only been installed 10 years ago (these systems can last 20 years), however it may not be worth getting a dishwasher repaired that’s 10 years old (these appliances usually only last 9 years).

Don’t extend your warranty

A lot of appliances will come with a year’s warranty. After this period, the seller may try to tempt you into paying for an extended warranty. These are rarely worth paying – whilst it does mean that your appliance will be repaired for free, the overall monthly warranty payments are likely to come to a much higher cost than were you to pay to get it repaired. Few warranties also cover the full amount of repairs.

Use your appliances less

You may also be able to save money on your appliances simply by using them less. Consider measures such as only washing full loads instead of half loads in your washing machine or letting frozen foods defrost before cooking them so that you use the oven for reduced periods.

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 Fall In Love With Your Home All Over Again

How To Fall In Love With Your Home All Over Again

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Remember the days when you loved your home? 

There was no greater feeling than walking through your front door after a long day at work, as you entered the place that was your cozy haven away from the outside world.

But as time moved on, your love for your home might have started to melt away. Stepping through your front door, your feelings might be less positive than they used to be once upon a time. Why? It could be one of any number of reasons, and if you don’t do something about them, then your frustration and dislike for your home are only going to grow stronger.

Are you relating to what we are saying? If so, here are some of the ways in which you can fall in love with your home all over again.

Give your home a facelift

Is the outside of your home looking dull and shabby? Perhaps it’s time to do landscape your garden or wash and paint your walls. Are your doors and windows in need of repair? Or perhaps they’re a little on the dated side. If so, make the necessary fixes, or contact companies such as Facelift for Homes to replace them with something new and appealing. 

Is the inside of your home a little on the ugly side? If so, you might want to consider giving it a makeover. By following some of today’s interior design trends, you might soon have a home worth spending time in again. Of course, you could always go your own way instead of following the norm, so if there are any particular colours or designs that you favour, no matter what your neighbours and friends think, then makeover your home as you see fit.

Add something new

You don’t have to spend a fortune when giving your home a makeover. Sometimes, one or two new items can make all the difference when trying to improve our mood at home. Why not treat yourself to a work of art, for example, and hang it in the room where you spend most of your time. Or how about a vase of flowers? It’s only a small addition, but being both aesthetically and fragrantly pleasing, you are bound to feel uplifted. And there are other things you could add to give your mood and home an uplift. A new rug, a throw for your chair, something to entertain you? Think about what you might enjoy and shop around accordingly.

Create more room

Are you struggling for space? A cramped environment can compromise the way we feel about our homes and can cause us to feel stressed and low. If you identify with this, there are at least two things you could do.

You might want to declutter your home. We aren’t only talking about any household mess, as you might have more furniture and knickknacks than you know what to do with. Get rid of anything that is unimportant to you, be that through donating or selling your unwanted items, as this will give you more space to play with. Where your furniture is concerned, you might want to replace particular items with something smaller, so you have more room to move around in your home. 

Alternatively, you might want to consider a home extension. With another room to spend time in, you will have the space to do something that you weren’t able to do before. You might create a social area for friends and family, for example, or you might want to create an area that is set up for your hobbies. Contact the relevant building professionals if this is something that interests you, as you might then find opportunities to enjoy your home again. 

And so…

Your home should be your haven; your sanctuary away from the strains and stresses of the outside world. But if you haven’t been ‘feeling it’ recently, then perhaps our suggestions will restore the love that you once had for your home. 

Let us know your thoughts.

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.

Crane Hire For Home Projects

Crane Hire For Home Projects

More and more companies are opting to hire a crane rather than buy one. There are many reasons why this is the case. The most obvious reason is the fact that it is a lot cheaper and businesses obviously want to keep their costs as low as possible. 

https://www.pexels.com/photo/blue-sky-construction-crane-equipment-533227/

However, it is not just businesses who require crane hire. There are a lot of homeowners and DIY enthusiasts around the country who need to hire a crane for projects that they are carrying out. After all, not all cranes are like those huge massive cranes that you see on building sites. You also have small crawler cranes and self-erecting cranes, which are designed for very small spaces and indoor use. Tools like this can make your DIY projects a lot easier and safer too, so long as you choose the right crane for the job. 

Nevertheless, in order to benefit from all of the gains associated with crane hire you need to make sure you choose the best company for the job in your area. Read on to discover what you should be looking for when seeking crane hire… 

Crane selection

The first thing you need to do is have a look at the range of cranes the company has on offer. Different cranes are suited to different tasks. If you were going to use the same piece of machinery for every task then you would be better off buying a crane. A good company will have everything from mini crawlers to tower cranes. They will be able to provide you with the best piece of machinery in order to deal with the task you are looking to complete. No demand is too big; whether you are working indoors or in an enclosed area. It is unlikely you are going to want a tower crane for a home project. However, the company is likely to serve the industrial and commercial markets as well. A website like Franna Crane Hire can give you a good idea regarding what you should expect when it comes to a crane hire company and the different options they have available. 

Experience

It is always recommended to go for a crane hire company with experience to boast. You need to be safe in the knowledge that they have provided their service successfully many times before. They have spent the years gaining their experience, they have perfected their craft and they know what makes their customers happy. If you go for a business that has only been hiring out cranes for a couple of years then you leave yourself at risk of being somewhat of a practise project. Furthermore, it is very unlikely that a new business will have a good selection of cranes. 

Health and safety 

You need to make sure the company upholds their responsibility to provide optimum levels of health and safety. They should carry out stringent tests on all of their equipment. It is the company’s responsibility – not yours – to make sure that everything is working safely and effectively at all time. A good crane hire company will highlight this on their website for all to see. 

Price quote

Last but not least, you should be given full knowledge of hire price before agreeing to hire a crane. You need to make sure you are covered and that there will be no hidden costs entailed. Nevertheless, you also need to be mindful of how much you pay too. Everyone wants a bargain, however going for the cheapest hire price you find is not recommended. This could indicate a significant lack of quality and that’s not what you want when hiring such an important piece of machinery.

If you take into account the four points mentioned in this article and you consider them carefully you will be able to find the best crane hire company for you. Remember; crane selection, price, experience and health and safety are all determining factors. Don’t be afraid to ask the company for a bit of advice too if you are feeling unsure regarding what sort of crane is going to be right for the specific home project that you are carrying out.

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.

Always Invest In These 4 Areas When Renovating Your Home

Always Invest In These 4 Areas When Renovating Your Home

When it comes to renovating your home, cost will always be an issue. After all, unless you are working with an unlimited budget, you will always have to be careful that the amount you spend doesn’t get out of hand. However, it is crucial to remember that things that are cheap now aren’t always the best option in the long run. In fact, there are also things you should always invest in, no matter how small your budget. Read on to find out more. 

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Roof 

It makes sense to invest in a good roof when renovating your home. After all, it needs to be as sturdy as possible, so it is not a safety risk for those living inside the property. 

Additionally, poorly installed roofs often leak, and this can be a real nightmare for any homeowner. The reason being that when water comes in, it can easily damage your possessions, as well as the structure and decoration of the home. Something that will cost you a fortune to repair.

To that end, ensuring your roof is secure, watertight, and installed by quality contractors is something you always need to invest in when renovating a home. 

Floors 

Next, when it comes to renovating, flooring isn’t something that you should ever try and cut corners on to save money. Yes, it can be tempting as a cheap lino option can seem a smart way to save a few bucks. However, what you need to remember is the floor is the part of the room that will get more use and wear than any other. 

What that means is it’s well worth your money and time to install a more heavy-duty solution. The good news here is that you can now get residential epoxy flooring in some pretty luxe finishes. Something that will allow you to achieve an opulent, but incredibly hard-wearing look that should last for years. 

Windows 

Windows are nearly always expensive, and it’s not just the frames you have to pay for, but the glass and fitting as well. However, scrimping on the cost of the windows for your home renovation can be disastrous. The reason being that poorly fitting or performing windows will let out too much heat. Therefore you will have to spend more money on heating and cooling your home daily to ensure that it is livable. 

Of course, this isn’t just bad for you pocket long term, but terrible for the environment as well. Something that means investing in the best quality and fitting for your windows in the first place will save you money and energy in the long run.

Worktops 

Finally, if you are renovating a kitchen or bathroom, or even a utility room, you will likely want to install worktops. You will, of course, find some super cheap MDF options, that are coated with plastic that seem like a great idea. 

Sadly, they rarely last over the long term and can be hard to maintain and keep clean as well. Something that means worktops made from stone or solid wood are often a much smarter investment choice for your renovation. 

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 The Rustic Chic Look In Your Home

How To Create The Rustic Chic Look In Your Home

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If you want a refreshing new look for your home, that offers character and charm at an affordable price, then why not consider the rustic look? 

Giving your home a rustic makeover is all about finding old and interesting items and putting them to a new purpose. Often it can involve upcycling, and it is a look that celebrates imperfection. 

Often, when looking for items for your home, you will find them when you least expect them. So having a long-term plan to create the look you want is critical. You can scout car-boot sales, yard-sales, second-hand stores, antique shops, charity stores or reclamation yards. If you are crafty, you can modify pieces that you find to help them fit the exact style, or even merge parts of one item and another.

Look for natural colours such as greens, tan or brown. When looking at the wood finish, look at darker woods such as oak and mahogany. Don’t worry if an item is slightly damaged, or is scruffy; this adds to the character of the piece. Look for things that look as though they have a story to tell. 

Buying Readymade

One shortcut to the rustic look is buying readymade pieces. Anteks Home Furnishings stock a range of beautiful rustic pieces that will create the desired look. With many items in one store, you can create an aesthetic that runs through your whole house.

This is particularly useful if you don’t have the time to find items, or do not feel confident in creating anything yourself. 

Buying Second Hand

Often when you look at a second-hand item, you don’t immediately see its potential. Maybe the item isn’t old enough or has a more modern look. 

With sandpaper and chalk paint, you can create some fascinating looks by sanding back the wood and painting over it. You’ll get some effortless bohemian looks going on very quickly. 

Pallets

Old pallets are often discarded around industrial units or warehouses. These can make unique items of furniture with minimal effort. You can use them for creating sofas, or futons. Make sure and smooth the wood down before using it, as pallets can often give you splinters, and you won’t want that from your sofa!

Wicker Baskets

Nothing says rustic home more than anything made of wicker. Wicker baskets can be great for storing all of your things away and creating a tidier home. They also really look the part too. 

Having a mixed selection of different sizes, colours and shaped baskets can make everything look a lot more interesting. 

Rustic Decor

When it comes to decorating your home, look for ways to bring out any exposed brickwork. If you have an older property, this will be great as there are probably lots of original design features that have been covered over during the years. You might find that under your carpets you have beautiful tiles, or behind plasterboard, there are interesting beams. Replacing door handles for iron can really add character to quite a plain door. 

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.

Give Your Home a Breath of Fresh Air

Give Your Home a Breath of Fresh Air

Spring is right around the corner and it’s time to give your home a brand new look. A lot of people would like to do this but it just seems way too expensive to be redecorating according to the seasons – before we know it, it will be fall, after all, and there is hardly any point of spending too much money on seasonal changes.

Image by: Pexels

Getting ready for spring doesn’t have to cost too much, though, as long as you know what makes you tick. Here is a handful of ways to make your home just a bit fresher and more alive so that you can feel how the cold season is seeping out and away.

First: Get it clean

There’s a reason for all that spring cleaning that tends to happen when the sun pops back; our homes will be brighter and the evenings much shorter, so you won’t really have the opportunity to let the darkness cover up your clutter.

Deep cleaning your home will feel so great once it’s done, by the way, and you can watch how the sunlight comes in through your sparkling clean windows once again.

Scrub down your entire house, put on some loud music, and remember to clean out the kitchen properly as well. There is nothing worse than a dirty oven, after all, and a clean house will give you the opportunity to live it in and make it dirty again eventually.

Another great tip is to get all of those yearly maintenance tasks over with before summer sets in and you hardly have time for any of this. Clean out your refrigerator coils, replace any filters, and get started on the garden as well – it will feel great when you’re done.

Get some flowers in

Keeping a neat and clean home is one thing, though, but there are many other ways to make it feel a bit more like spring.

Start by inviting in a few tulips as soon as their back in season, change out your curtains for some lightweight and flowy ones, and bring in another mirror or two so that the extra sunlight can bounce through each corner of your house. It might not sound like much immediately, but the difference it will make to your home is immense.

Keep in mind that the other decoration you have can be inspired by nature as well without having to involve actual flowers. That way, you won’t have to watch them fade away and die after a couple of weeks and can enjoy their eternal liveliness instead.

Check out these Hawaiian seat covers, for example, and your home will immediately feel a lot fresher and a bit more fun. Try to go for other colours in green and bright yellow or even pink to make it pop a bit.

Now all you need to do is prepare your wardrobe for the change of season and you should be ready to embrace spring with all of its charm. Luckily, the warm weather will stay for a while so you won’t have to worry about making it cosy again for winter any time soon.


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.

Incorporating a Little More Nature Into Your Interior Design

Incorporating a Little More Nature Into Your Interior Design

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Interior design takes a whole lot of thought and consideration to get right. You may have to trial and error a few different concepts before landing on the right one to suit you, your personality, and your lifestyle. But generally speaking, you want to get things right as early on in the process as possible – this will help you to save money and avoid wasting your hard earned cash on concepts or items that simply don’t fit and have to be reworked! An aesthetic that tends to be taking the world of interior design by storm, and which generally works first time round, is a minimalist, natural look. This is neat and tidy, has a clean finish, and leaves spaces feeling open and fresh. But how can you achieve this? Well, a simple method is to simply incorporate more nature into your home. Bring the outdoors indoors! Here are a few steps that you can take to get started in the right direction!

Natural Light

Let’s start with one of the basics – natural light. Sure, we can light our properties artificially if they are looking a little dark and gloomy during the days. But nothing quite compares to natural light. Not only does it benefit your home’s aesthetic by flooding open spaces with a cool and fresh look, but it’s good for you too! Natural light regulates your body’s circadian rhythms, which ultimately determine your sleep-wake cycle. Making sure that you are exposed to sufficient natural light during the day will help to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and wake the following morning feeling bright, well rested, and ready to go! You can boost natural light in your property by carrying out simple tasks, such as ensuring that blinds are pulled up properly, curtains are drawn properly, and that windows aren’t blocked. If you want to take extra steps, consider having skylights fitted, French or glass sliding doors fitted, or extra windows professionally built in.

Wooden Surfaces

Next, you should opt for more natural materials within your home. Sure, manmade materials are generally cheaper and more easily accessible. But it’s worth going the extra mile for your home design. Wood is a great option and, in aid of reducing deforestation and habitat destruction, you should consider using reclaimed wood like Manomin Resawn Timbers. This will also have a rustic or vintage feel, which works really well! A nice sustainable alternative could also prove to be bamboo!

Houseplants

Add a little greenery to your interiors! Houseplants are aesthetically pleasing and actively improve the air quality in your home. They take in negative substances from the air and leave you breathing easy. Just make sure that any
plants you invest in are non-toxic if you have pets or children in your property.
As you can see, incorporating a little more nature into your home is relatively simple. So, get started today to start seeing and feeling the benefits as soon as possible.

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.

Augmented Reality’s Impact On Home Design

Augmented Reality’s Impact On Home Design

Augmented reality has had a pretty interesting journey into mainstream culture over the past 18 months. Consider, for instance, that in the summer of 2016 you probably didn’t even quite know what it was!

Now, if you pay close attention to tech circles, you may have learned how to distinguish it. Basically, you can sum it up like this: virtual reality transports you completely into an animated environment, whereas augmented reality makes it appear as if animations exist in your actual environment. Oddly, I find “Wizard’s Chess” from Harry Potter to be a good way to think about it. VR Wizard’s Chess would mean entering a live game board like the characters did in the first film – walking on a chess board, taking part in the game, with pieces and players all around you. AR Wizard’s Chess would simply mean pointing your device at a table such that, looking through it, you would see a chessboard with live, animated figures.

That’s a distinction many of us didn’t quite have straight as VR was emerging in 2015 and 2016. Then everything changed just about overnight, with the release of Pokémon GO. It was the first widely released, mainstream augmented reality game that used nothing more than a phone to work, and it suddenly challenged us to wonder about how this tech could differ from VR. In the immediate aftermath of the game’s release publications as big as The Guardian asked, where does augmented reality go next?

As it turns out, the answer was: all over the place! It took some time, but a little more than a year after Pokémon GO came out, Apple and Google unveiled programs that made it easier for developers to make AR games. That led to puzzles, cartoonish shooting games, board and strategy games, and more on augmented reality. There are likely more of these games on the way, as well as games in other genres. Slots, for instance, are a category to watch; casinos have made 3D games that are in essence the same as video slots but with 3D elements practically built for AR. We should also keep an eye on successful VR titles that could be adapted for mobile devices the same way popular console games are, fitted for AR rather than VR. The possibilities are endless.

As stated though, the journey for AR has been interesting, and one of the most unexpected things about it has been how quickly it branched out beyond gaming. It may always be the games that generate the headlines and draw the most attention to this tech phenomenon. But there are plenty of experiences already available through AR that have little or nothing to do with entertainment. Interestingly enough, many of them instead deal with home design.

IKEA led the way in an increasingly deep connection between AR and home design, with the basic idea being that you can simulate your furniture and interior design through apps. Through the IKEA app and several others, you can use a phone or tablet to do everything from measuring space to visualizing a piece of furniture or a decoration in space. You simply hold up your device, look through it, and see that new couch in the corner, or a new lighting fixture on the ceiling, etc.

This may sound like a gimmick, but think about the convenience it affords you in designing your home or redecorating a room. Theoretically, there’s no more need for a tape measure, or for shuffling old furniture around to gain perspective on your dimensions. There’s no more need to bring furniture home and put it in place just to see if it works. AR can do all of this for you, such that when you’re ready to make a purchase or change up the room’s organization, you’re confident in your choice.

It’s been an unexpected result of a journey that started mostly with innovations in gaming. But AR is now an invaluable tool for home design and organization.

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.

A Very Simple Guide To Keeping Vintage Affordable

A Very Simple Guide To Keeping Vintage Affordable

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed that vintage homes are a pretty big deal at the moment. In direct contrast to minimalism, vintage interior is all about clutter. The more trinkets you have on your walls, the better. Distressed furniture and patterns are also a big part of this decor choice. And, let’s not forget the iconic vintage furniture. If you get this right, it can turn your home into a country cottage style retreat to die for.

But, clutter doesn’t come cheap. As opposed to minimalism, which is inexpensive because of its simplicity, a vintage design can set you back. Plus, the popularity of the style has caused a significant rise in the prices of many old pieces of furniture.

That said, by taking your time, it’s entirely possible to keep costs to a minimum. In fact, vintage decor could cost less than its minimalist counterpart. Here’s how.

 


Hit the attic

Before you start buying, head up to the attic and see what you have set aside. It may also be worth asking friends and family if you can have a root through their old stuff. The joy of vintage is that many of us already have some classic pieces we no longer use. It may be that you have to cover an old wooden chest with a lick of distressed white paint. But, the effort required in such work is minimal. And, you could save yourself a small fortune by doing it. So, don’t be afraid to rummage. Even if you don’t think there’s anything up there, you may be surprised by what you find.

Buy at the right time

If you have your heart set on new vintage pieces, make sure you buy at the right time. Wait for sales and clearances before you jump in. This patience game can reap real rewards if you’re willing to wait. You could even find some gems, like this Pemberleigh classic sofa. Major reductions like this one are well worth working for.

You can also apply this theory to auctions. These are, after all, the best places to stock a vintage home. But, they can set your back if you aren’t careful. To make sure it doesn’t happen, view the selection before attending. If there are a myriad of vintage pieces, you stand a better chance of getting a good deal.

Could you make a piece like that?

Vintage fairs are big business, and it’s easy to see why; some of the pieces on sale are must-haves. But, the price tags are often through the roof. Instead of paying extortionate amounts, it’s worth considering whether you could create a DIY version of the same piece. Often, the crafted pieces on sale are much easier to recreate than you might think. Instead of buying that expensive chest, think about whether you could create the same distressed look. Instead of bankrupting yourself for those vintage frames, consider cheap ways to recreate them. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

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.