Design Tips & Ideas
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We all want to get fit, in one way or another – but how many of us actually do? Figures suggest that we, as a nation, squander £37m on gym memberships that we don’t even use, so why don’t we go? Whether it’s having to stay in with your kids or not finding the motivation to uproot yourself out of the house and drive all the way to the gym, there’s always reasons we never get round to it – some more valid than others!
We’d all love to be able to do more at home – it’s so much more convenient, there are less people hogging the machines and you don’t feel so self-conscious, particularly if you’re new to the gym. This guest post runs through four ways to really make your home fitness friendly if you’re thinking of major renovations.
1. Home Gym
Your first instinct, when thinking of fitness in the home, is going to be to jump straight for replicating the feel of a commercial gym but with the convenience and comfort of it being in the next room – and it’s not a bad jump to make. If you’re already adding new space it’s perfect; it’s vital for a home gym to be somewhere totally separate to the rest of the house. Much like a home office, you won’t be motivated for long enough and you’ll struggle to stop being distracted.
The minimum cost of a home extension, according to Trade Advisor, is around £15,900 – and they can rise towards the £50,000 depending on size. A smaller extension would be more than enough for a home gym, keeping the costs down, and all the equipment in The Independent’s top 10 home gym equipment list comes in at well under £2,000 – which means kitting it out needn’t cost the earth either.
2. Swimming Pool
Before you click off and assume that home swimming pools are completely unaffordable, just keep reading. Remember the previous section and our home extension minimum being around the £16,000 mark? Swimming pools are not too far behind – with the Society of Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) estimating between £15,000 and £25,000 for a typical home pool.
This means that, far from being a dream luxury that only the very rich can afford, for some it’s potentially just a toss-up between extending your kitchen and garage or having a swimming pool installed. There are plenty of specialist firms too, such as Edge Leisure, who will carry out design work as well as manufacture and installation to ensure it fits your garden space adequately.
3. Expanded Living Spaces
You don’t have to be rolling in cash or getting armed to the teeth with high-tech gym equipment to make some dedicated space in your home. Whether you’ve got two separate living rooms or a spare bedroom which sees next to no use, there’s usually scope in a reasonably sized home to open up your usable spaces and break down the walls – literally.
Say you really want to get into yoga, or simple muscle building exercises like push-ups but you just don’t have the room in the living room. Getting a partition wall knocked down can cost, on average, as little as £1,100 according to industry reference site Building Sheriff – giving you plenty of room for a living area as well as a workout space.
4. Home Saunas
Sounds ridiculous? Far from it. There are plenty of manufacturers offering free-standing home sauna units, which can easily be incorporated into any home extension plans – and they don’t have to cost the earth either.
Most models come in at well under £1,000, making them one of the more affordable fitness options in our top four – although YourSaunaAndSteamRoom.co put the average modular four-person and larger models at around the £2,500 mark. However much you budget to spend, and however large you need your sauna, just be sure to stick to reputable brands, such as Helo, rather than skimping on a no-name option.
Armed with these four fitness changes, it’s easy to get ideas for your home’s next health-inspired extension or renovation. It might require some investment, but it can be worth it in the long run – no more excuses, get exercising!
This guest post was written by Tom McShane – a UK-based marketing blogger working in conjunction with swimming pool specialists Edge Leisure.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 2 September, 2014
Many of us dream of moving to another country. Some go one step further and actually start focusing on how and when to do it. Australia is a popular choice and for good reason, since it offers major cities alongside far more barren landscape that is hard to resist.
If you have been thinking about making a move for a while it is a good idea to focus on the practicalities of it before diving right in. We’ve listed a few areas to think about below.
Where will you live?
Even once you’ve decided on Australia you still have to focus on finding the specific location you’d like to live in. This could be dependent on your job as well as the cost of accommodation in particular locations. It is worth doing some research prior to making a firm plan.
Will you take everything you own with you?
Sometimes it is better to jettison everything you own and simply head out to Australia to start again. However this doesn’t work for everyone. If you want to take possessions with you you’ll need to find out more about international removals to Australia well ahead of time. The cost will depend on how much you have to transport so it is wise to have a good clear-out before you start packing. If you don’t you could end up moving things you really don’t have any desire to keep once you get to your destination.
What about your job?
Some people are fortunate enough to have transferable skills that can be taken to another country and used there. You’ll be in particular demand if you have skills in certain areas, such as the medical profession for example.
In some cases it might be possible to arrange an internal transfer with your existing employer. This might work if your employer has multiple centres and locations in different countries. You don’t know unless you ask so it is worth doing just that to find out more. In this case you may find part or all of your relocation is paid for too, which offers yet another bonus.
Will you be happy to leave your family and friends behind?
There are plenty of ways to keep in touch nowadays alongside actually seeing people face to face. However you must consider whether you would be happy to make such a major change in your life. Some people simply cannot leave family and friends behind, knowing they will only see them once in a while. Others feel free in doing so – it all depends on your individual situation.
It’s obvious that moving to Australia is perhaps more than just moving to the other side of the world. This means you have a lot of thinking to do before you dive in and give it a go. Focusing on the above areas will be a good start, and they could make all the difference to how successful you can make your relocation.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 2 September, 2014
Your living room is perhaps the one area of the home where you and your family will spend the most time together, so it only makes sense that its decor is warm, inviting and is able to provide a bespoke level of comfort. Depending upon the room in question, this can be a difficult challenge and you may find yourself torn between different design options. This latest guest post takes a quick look at some of the most effective tips and tricks that will allow any living room to leave a lasting impression.
In Living Colour
One of the first variables to consider is the desired colour scheme. Warmer and darker tones such as sienna, brown and mauve are ideal for larger rooms, as they will help to counteract a feeling of overwhelming size. In the same manner, lighter tones and pale pastels are perfect choices for a smaller area; they can provide the illusion of space. In regards to either choice, it is wise to keep the colours from being overly intense, as doing so can actually detract from other aspects of the room.
Light Up the Room
The placement of natural and artificial light is another key consideration. Rooms with larger windows should take as much advantage of exterior light as possible – try to avoid placing furniture in front of or near a window that might obstruct natural light. However, you may find that your room lacks enough windows to provide bucket-loads of natural light.
In this case, your choice of lighting will depend upon the style that you wish to portray. Traditional or Victorian decor can be complimented by the use of table lamps or free-standing fixtures. A more contemporary ambiance can be achieved with the use of wall lights. These will take up little space and are perfect if your room is rather diminutive in size. Thankfully, there are a host of lighting styles to choose from.
Although this factor is frequently overlooked, the type of flooring can be considered one of the “make-or-break” areas within your room. Carpeted floors can offer a warm and cosy feel to larger areas while wooden floors will imbue a sense of “cleanliness”. In living rooms, both options can be made possible by exposing any wood flooring (if it exists) and strategically placing a few plush throw rugs nearby.
If original wood floors are not present, modern do-it-yourself options abound and are quite cost-effective alternatives. If you have pets around the home, a wood floor is one of the best ways to maintain a clean and sanitary living room.
The Timeless Quality Of Solid Wood Furniture
One of the most beneficial aspects in regards to solid wood furniture is that it is just as appropriate for contemporary designs as it is perfect for traditional living room decor. Also, there are countless wood types, finishes and tones to choose from.
Not only is this option beautiful, but it is also very functional. Pieces such as solid oak displays, dressers and end tables are built to last while they will also provide a natural appeal that composite materials can never accomplish. Thankfully, quality suppliers such as Furniture4YourHome will offer a nearly limitless number of choices and as this furniture can also be painted, colour is always an option.
These are some of the top-rated tips that will provide a sense of life and uniqueness to your living room. Of course, combining one or more of these methods will make for an even more striking impression. Above all, it is important that your room boasts a personality which matches the rest of your home. The end result will be an area that is inviting, comfortable and visually appealing.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 18 August, 2014
Statement lighting, varying textures, exposed brick and urban furnishings are just four of the key foundations for any industrial makeover. Get the basic elements right and it doesn’t matter if you live in a converted warehouse or a suburban cottage, any home can embrace factory-cool.
Traditionally chosen for loft-style apartments with high ceilings and rustic wooden beams, the trend has now been incorporated into a range of buildings. From homes and bars to hairdressers and estate agents, everyone is looking to embrace the aesthetic that celebrates Britain’s once booming manufacturing trade.
The best thing about industrial décor is how it can be easily fused into your space. There is a lot of fun to be had in browsing second hand shops, vintage markets, car boot sales and online stores for everything from scratched metal tables, old school desks, retro chairs and galvanised steel trolleys that work great as TV stands or coffee tables.
Rather order new than salvage? There is an abundance of retailers who have embraced the trend, offering factory-inspired lamps, metal stools, vintage cinema chairs and more. What you decide to furnish your home with is simply dependant on the proportions of your room.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 27 June, 2014
When it comes to home decor projects, it’s important to make sure everything is done right the first time to avoid any potential headaches. Installing new window treatments in your home may seem easy at first, but there are many aspects to take into consideration to ensure the best results. You have to account for measuring, installing, design planning and much more, which can add unnecessary stress to your project. Rather than putting yourself through all the trouble, try outsourcing the project to a professional window treatment specialist who can help turn your home decor dreams into reality. Here are some of the advantages of hiring a professional installer versus taking on a window treatment project yourself:
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 June, 2014
It’s such a pretty time of the year in the garden; the roses are blooming, the birds are nesting, the evenings are longer, you’ve probably even thought about getting out the BBQ. If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space attached to your home, this is the time of year that you’ll really start to use it. There’s always a bit of maintenance to do at the start of the season, so follow SigmaLondon’s quick and easy ideas to help get your garden in shape – before you think about planning a party. Then it’ll be party-ready in no time.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 June, 2014
When you’re looking to draw anything, it helps to have a firm grasp on what you’re drawing as well as making sure you have all the right tools. While many people are perfectly fine drawing on a flat table, it is just not the best way to draw. You do not get the best use of space, or the right way to see what you’re doing as you’re working. If you have a drafting table to draw with, you’re going to produce much better work than you possibly could any other way. This is true whether you’re looking to use a drafting table in your home, office or school.
What is the Difference between a Drafting Table and a Regular Table?
The most obvious difference between a drafting table and a regular table is that a drafting table can be locked at an angle. This is not the only difference between the two. Keep in mind that most drafting tables are a little higher than a regular flat table. This will allow you to work either standing up or sitting down on an elevated chair. Keep in mind that many drafting tables, like Vast Market drafting tables, are adjustable for height, or they come in a variety of heights to suit your needs. Make sure you pay attention to how you’re going to use the table when you’re thinking about selecting one. Another great feature you can get a lot of use out of is the variety of different places where you can store equipment. Depending on the model you purchase, there may be trays on the side of the table or slots where you can put pencils and pens vertically so they are always within reach. The lip on the bottom of the drafting table is another perfect place where you can store your pens and pencils when not in use.
Where You Can Use a Drafting Table
While the drafting table’s primary use is for drawing, this doesn’t mean it has to be confined to an art studio. In fact, many people have started realizing just how wonderful these tables are for performing a variety of tasks. Schools can use them not only in the drawing rooms, but also in the library. Prop oversized books on the table to make it easier to see the book while flipping the pages. Students will not break their backs trying to see every word on the page. If you’re looking to use the table at home, you can use it in the office as well as in a child’s room. Children love having the angle on the table when they’re working on their homework. They are also more inspired to draw something rather than being hooked up to a gaming console all day. If you are thinking about using these tables in an office, they are perfect for any setting where writing is common. It is a lot easier to write on a drafting table because of how ergonomically correct it is.
How to Get Started with Your Drafting Table
The first thing you’re going to want to do when you’re thinking about using a drafting table is to purchase artist stickers. These are used at the corners of papers to hold them in place while you use the drafting table. You won’t have to struggle to keep the paper in place and the stickers are designed so they will not rip the paper when you remove it from the table. Don’t use scotch tape as this will ruin not only the paper, but the table itself. You should also make sure you have a good lamp attached to the table. The lamp should have an adjustable arm so you can concentrate the light on the table wherever you’re working, according to Drawing Coach. The only other thing you will need to do is figure out the perfect angle for your table.
How to Decide on an Angle
When you’re positioning your table, you’re going to want to try a few different angles until you find the one that’s perfect for you. The pitch to the table will allow you to have your papers a lot closer to you as you work, but consider what you give up when you start going too vertical. Adjusting the table is quite easy to accomplish by simply moving the table until it is in the perfect position for you. If you’re someone who likes to hunker down on the work you’re doing, you might want to only have a slight pitch to the table. Something like a 30-degree pitch might be perfect for you. If you like to stand up or sit up straight while you’re working, you might consider a much sharper angle. In this case, think about putting the table at a 60- or 70-degree angle. You may not want anything beyond this or you might as well be working on the wall. Remember to lock the table top in place regardless of what angle you use so it will not fall while you’re working.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 17 June, 2014