Sleep Tight: Best Bedroom Design

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Considering that most human beings do not get their suggested “eight hours” of sleep each evening, we at Chic Tip felt it was vital to provide several pointers as to how you can achieve the optimal sleeping status with the best bedroom design. We’ve partnered with Hästens , the ultimate sleep experts to help outline the “Seven Sleep Must-Dos” for your optimal sleep atmosphere: No tech is best tech. The bedroom should be sans televisions, computers and even cell phones if at all possible. While the notion of dozing off to your favorite television episode may seem relaxing, the eye-brain stimulation that is a direct result from viewing these devices actually interrupts sleep. Turn it off. And if you must have that cell phone nearby, dim the screen brightness and place it face-down away from your pillow. Darkness is your best friend.

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By day, let the sun shine in. During evening hours, though, investing in “black-out” drapery is ideal. While window blinds block out some light, these darkening drapes actually create a pitch-black environ so you can get that mandatory shut-eye–and sleep in as the sun rises. Afterall, you’ll never know it has!

Color me sleepy. Your wall paint, flooring and decorative accent colors can help determine just how well you will snooze through the night. Think soothing tones like sea blues, cool mint greens and creamy whites to whisk you away into an ethereal state. Creating a monotone color scheme also induces a cozy blanket effect allowing you to get wrapped up in its relaxing vibe and feel most restful. Declutter. Having too many knick-knacks around can actually cause a min-frenzy for your brain, taking you that much longer to decompress.

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Simplify your shelves, night stands, wall art and close those closet doors. Less is more in this case to ensure a sound snooze. Chill out. Believe it or not, the optimal temperature for a deep sleep settles in at 57℉ to 64℉. During the night the body tends to heat up on its own, which can sometimes disrupt sleep and create that dreaded tossing and turning. So about 30 minutes prior to going to bed, turn that thermostat down and dream away.

Thread count counts. While some may dismiss the importance of a higher thread count, the truth is that these luxe linens do make a difference. In fact, most are 100% pure cotton which lends breathability, not to mention superior softness. Your body will love this material, thus inducing a well-earned, restful sleep. So go ahead, invest in those Egyptian-cotton sateen sheets and you’ll feel fabulous the morning after. It’s all in the bed. While this sounds trivial, never mind obvious, many invest in the wrong type of bed for his or her body. In today’s mattress marketplace, the choices are endless: Adjustable beds, mattress tops, double-mattress tops, contouring foam, no-flip mattresses, massaging beds and the list goes on. Decide what your priority is and buy the bed that fits your body. A good mattress is an investment and one that will pay you back–and then some–with how good you look and feel come sunrise.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Renovating Your Home

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Have you outgrown your home? Are you ready to upgrade the look and feel of your house to accommodate your new needs or tastes? Home improvements and renovations can be a great way to get this done. However, to avoid wasting too much time or money, it is best to have a plan in place. From choosing the right designs to finding a reputable construction crew to get the job done, everything requires research and planning to ensure that the project goes off without a hitch.

1.  Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro
There are so many how to guides and tutorial videos out there that everyone thinks they can do everything themselves. While small home improvement projects like painting can be done on your own, when it comes to major overhauls like a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project, it is beneficial to hire a professional contracting company for the job. Sure, it might seem economical to do it yourself, but without the necessary equipment and training, homeowners can do more harm than good.
Hiring Tip: An ideal contractor or construction company will not only have the necessary licensing to complete home renovations, they will be efficient in communicating changes and keeping their team (and customers) in the loop with tools such as a managing construction punch list, which keeps everyone up to date on the project, budget, and changes.
2.  Define Project Goals
Without a clearly defined goal you can really get overwhelmed with a home renovation project. That’s why it is ideal for you to have a clear understanding of what your goals are. For example, are you looking to renovate your kitchen because you just want a change of color, or are you looking to improve your kitchen because you want it to be more efficient? This allows you to stay on target and also makes it easier for your chosen construction company or contractor to stay on the same page.
3.  Space
Another thing to keep in mind when renovating your home is the space. Sometimes less can certainly be more. When you live in homes such as townhouses or condos, space is often limited. Keep this in mind as you begin to select the ideal appliances, furniture, and accessories to complete the project. There are plenty of space saving ideas that you can look into that will add style while preventing the cramped feeling that some design choices can have.
4.  Function
When choosing features for your newly renovated home be sure to consider function. While some design choices might seem aesthetically appealing, if you don’t have any use for them, or they serve you no real purpose, then it was a waste of time. When shopping for furniture or appliances to complete your renovation project, keep function in mind. Ask yourself questions such as: What will this piece do for you? Does it serve a purpose or is it just for decoration? How will it improve your current living space?
5.  Resale Value
Lastly, as you begin looking into ideas for renovation, consider the resale value of your property. Even if you have no plans of moving in the next few years, your home is an investment. As such, you should consider renovations that will improve your home’s value as much as possible. For example, the right kitchen or bathroom renovations could increase the value of your home by as much as $10,000.
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you begin planning for your next home renovation project. Hiring a professional, defining your goals, and selecting upgrades based on the amount of space you have, their function, and resale value will surely improve your return of investment in the future. There’s nothing wrong with creating a space that you enjoy coming home to every day, it’s just a matter of being thorough from beginning to end.

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Antique Elegance: 5 Retro – Chic Ways to Heat up your Home

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With winter settling in, it’s important to keep your house warm, and there are some great retro-chic ways to do it – all it takes a little initiative, a bit of creativity and some ambition to see your project through! These ideas are not only practical but will add style to your home, making sure that you’re not sacrificing design for function – striking that perfect balance between a charming retro style and the functionality modern life demands, including energy efficiency!

Uniquely Designed Radiators

There are plenty of retro-chic radiators out there that would contribute limitless amounts of style to your home. You can find patterned cast-iron radiators from reclaimed housing companies such as Cawarden Reclaim, or if you fancy taking that massive retro step, steel multicolumn radiators in block colours – check out this collection for more ideas! Finding a radiator unique to your home is a great way to keep warm and make a statement at the same time.

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Wood Stoves and Fireplaces

Wood stoves look incredible in kitchens or shabby-chic front rooms; they create a lot of heat so you are able to save money on heating bills whilst keeping warm. A wood stove will add atmosphere to a room as there is nothing more homely than sitting in front of a wood fire on a cold winter evening. Alternatively, beautifully retro-chic fireplace suites will act as an impressive focal point and can look very impressive.

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Shelves above Radiators

Installing shelves above radiators is a great tip that keeps heat in your house and can be successfully completed using any type of design. This inspired idea is used to deflect heat from your radiator into the room and creates extra storage at the same time. The beauty of this idea is that you can use any type of shelf – dependent on your style – and by adding ornaments and trinkets, create a beautifully retro-chic display. Have a look at some more amazing ideas here!

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Candles
It’s surprising how much heat is given off by candles, particularly if you cluster them together. Retro-chic candle holders make great centrepieces but can also be dotted around your home. An idea that we are very fond of is collecting a variety of candles and placing them in the empty fireplace such as this one – this is a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere and also makes for a cosy night in!

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Outside Letterboxes and Covers

A lot of heat can be let out of your home through your letterbox and draughty windows. You can buy letterbox covers to prevent this from happening, or you can take the chance to really impress by using a letterbox attached to a wall or stand. With a front door designed without a letterbox, and a retro stand-alone post box, the cold air coming into your home will be limited and keep you warmer during winter. Of course there are endless amounts of designs to choose from which makes the process all the more enjoyable! Have a look at this list for both retro and modern letterbox designs.

National Gallery Prints Collection

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A big print of an old drawing mixing with a modern furniture can give a dramatic feeling to your home.

Above is the “Flower in a vase with shells and insects print by Balthasar Van Der Ast” from the National Gallery Collection.

Purchase that print at Surface View.

Surface View has sourced a wealth of original artwork from the archives of the world’s most important institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, and The National Galleries of Scotland, as well as having access to imagery from picture library Trunk Archive and works from artists and photographers whose work draws on nature as muse. Shipping worldwide.

10 Things You Need to Know About Installing Underfloor Heating Under Wood Floors

Underfloor heating systems are ideal with wood floors and the system truly lets you to enjoy this natural floor finish. There are a couple of things to consider with wood floors and underfloor heating and we’ve listed these for you in this post.
Thickness and density of the wood floor
The conductivity of wood is less than stone or tiles so the thinner the wood is, the higher the heat output of the system and the faster the heat up time. The maximum thickness is 18mm as any thicker than that will hinder the efficiency of the system. If desired, thicker boards can be used, but these will result in a lower heat output. The density affects the heat transfer where high density floors transmit heat better.
Suitability for use with underfloor heating
Underfloor heating systems can be used under almost all wood floors, but it’s advisable to check with your floor supplier and manufacturer to make sure your floor is compatible with the system.


Insulation
The better the underfloor insulation, the more energy and cost efficient the system is. A number of insulation types to use with the system are available, from insulation boards to special under and overlays (depending on the system).
Moisture content of the wood flooring
Engineered wood is more stable than solid wood, but it is important that the moisture content is sufficient with both types. This is typically 10-11% when the boards are laid, which will reduce to 8-9% when heated. The best thing to prevent any problems is to check the moisture content with your supplier and make sure that the flooring is transported and stored in a dry environment.
Humidity of the room
Wood is a natural material and the variations in humidity levels can lead to shrinkage and expansion of wood. Air humidity should be maintained between 40% and 60% at all times.
Maximum floor temperature
The maximum floor temperature wood floors are heated to should not exceed 27°C. This is achieved by having a thermostat with a floor probe which automatically controls the underfloor heating so that the temperature won’t raise above the 27°C. Warmup has a selection of thermostats that are ideal for controlling underfloor heating under wood floors.


Heating controls
The accurate controllability of the system is essential with the top temperature restriction of 27°C. Temperature accuracy ensures no energy is wasted and that the floor heating can be safely used under wood floors.
Underlay
For floating and nailed floors it is advisable to use a specialist wood floor underlay over the heating system. This needs to be thin and not the foil-reflective type. The maximum TOG is 2.5 as any thicker than this will reduce the heat output too much.
Type of system
Both electric underfloor heating and warm water underfloor heating are suitable for use under wood floors. The type of system usually depends on the project type and your preference. Electric is usually preferred in refurbishments as it does not raise floor levels. Warm water underfloor heating is ideal for new builds and the combination of both, hybrid, provides a perfect heating system for a whole house.
What makes a reputable UFH supplier
There are different solutions for underfloor heating for wood floors and when choosing an underfloor heating supplier for a wood floor, you should at least find out how long they have been trading for, what their guarantees are like and have they got technically skilled staff to help you out should you have any problems.

Inspirational Ideas for Your Own Moroccan Courtyard

 

Moroccan design takes its roots from Moorish architecture, distinguished by its rich colours inspired by the Middle East, its exquisite furnishings and beautiful tiled designs are proving very popular the world over.  Traditionally Moroccan homes were built with privacy in mind; houses were built around a central courtyard, beautifully adorned with fountains and pools and it’s this style that has worked its way across the globe in recent years.This post written by experts in Moroccan décor, Habibi Interiors, will guide you through some of the most alluring ways to bring Moroccan style into your courtyard.

Architectural Details

Let’s start with the cornerstone of Moroccan inspiration – the traditional architecture, built from centuries of cultural and religious influences to create beautiful mosaic archways, curved doors, patios and furniture. You can bring as much or as little mosaic decoration into your courtyard as you like, from creating entire tiled walls and floors to simply adding Moroccan style tables or seating areas or a beautifully decorated fountain or water feature.

Colour Choices 

When it comes to Moroccan style your colour schemes need to be bold. Brilliant reds and warm oranges are very commonplace, but so too are vibrant blues and greens combined with cooling neutral colours, chosen to reflect the feel of the desert and the Mediterranean ocean. You can replicate this look by keeping the walls neutral whilst adding lots of colour with a mosaicked water feature and bright furniture and ornaments.

Textiles and Upholstery

Your courtyard needs to be all weather friendly, so there won’t be a huge amount of upholstery present but you can still invest in (or make your own) cushions or draperies for your garden furniture. Big plush floor cushions finished with intricate patterns and geometric shapes are a sure fire way to get your Moroccan style noticed. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colours and patterns to get that eclectic Moroccan look.

Accessories

Moroccan themed accessories are going to be the thing that really brings the whole Middle Eastern atmosphere to life. Traditional Moroccan lanterns are a great place to start, usually moulded from brass or copper, the intricate designs cast beautiful shadows across your courtyard when hung from the walls or canopies.

Moroccan style ornaments will enhance your theme even further, much like with the lanterns, metalwork plays a heavy part in ornamental design. Look out for delicately designed vases, canisters and trays, featuring complex designs as well as ceramic vases, candle holders and bowls.

Something that will really help emanate that Moroccan atmosphere is a traditional oil burner, decorated with beautiful tiles or coloured glass, choose Moroccan spiced oils – the cinnamon, clove and spice will burn to create a truly  Middle Easter feel.

Taking inspiration from Moroccan architecture, ornamental design and traditional textiles will allow you to create your very own Moroccan escape, shaded from the world outside; your courtyard can be your own private, Mediterranean haven.

 

 

 

 

Transitioning to a Minimalist Lifestyle

We’ve written before about some of the keys to living a minimalist lifestyle. In that post we talked about the importance of keeping floors clear, having only the most essential pieces of furniture, etc. What we didn’t talk about, though, was how to go from the cluttered (we’re guessing) lifestyle you lead now to the minimalist lifestyle you desire. Let’s change that now.

For a lot of people, the idea of going from a “more stuff=more happiness” to a minimalist lifestyle seems great until they realize exactly how much downsizing is actually involved. That’s when they start to feel very possessive of all of the stuff they’ve collected. It’s only natural. It took time to find all of those decorations! And your mother in law will give you a really hard time when she visits if you don’t serve dinner on the china she insisted on giving you even though it’s the ugliest stuff you’ve ever seen.

Here’s the truth: making the transition from a “stuff” based life to a minimalist life isn’t as much about ditching a bunch of your stuff (though that certainly is part of it). It is more about figuring out what matters most to you and what you most need to have on hand every day.

Start With Basic Needs

Go through your current home. Touch every single thing you own (seriously–every last thing) and when you do, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • Do I use this every day?
  • Do I use this at least once every three months?
  • Do I use this at least once every year?
  • Does this have sentimental value?
  • Will you be written out of the will if you get rid of this thing?
  • Does this make me happy every single time I look at it?

 

The only things that you should keep actually on hand in your new, minimalist, home, are the things that you actually use every day and the things that make you happy every single time you look at them (these tend to be decorative items).

Put the things that you use at least once every few months and the things that have tremendous sentimental value/things that will get you written out of the will if you get rid of it/have to have it on hand if someone comes to visit (like the china your mother in law gave you) into a small and local storage space. That way you can easily get to them when you need them.

For things that you don’t need quick access to, but still want or feel like you need to keep (holiday decorations, for example), a portable storage unit (sometimes called a pod) is your best bet. The site www.unitedmayflower.com recommends a portable storage unit for people who are trying to declutter because the pods are delivered and picked up. That means you don’t have to find a way to transport potentially heavy things like heirloom furniture to a storage space.

Everything else can be sold or donated (which will be handy come tax time).

Space Savers to Keep You From Panicking

One of the things that causes most new minimalists to panic is the idea of getting rid of their media collections. But remember: eReaders, mp3 players and cloud storage make it possible for you to store hundreds of books, music, shows and movies in a few small devices.

To save space in the kitchen, try hanging your pans on the wall. If you arrange them carefully, you can create a great and functional art piece that frees up space in your cabinets.

Captain-style bedding (where there are drawers under the bed) is a fantastic way to extend your clothing storage without requiring bulky dressers or a large closet.

The process isn’t going to be easy but trust us: once it’s done and you look around your clean and open minimalist space, you’ll be glad you did all of that work.