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.

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.
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.

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 3 October, 2014

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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.


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.





Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 1 October, 2014

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‘Blairgowrie Residence’ has been created by modernist design practice FGR Architects, and showcases breath-taking views that cascade onto the ocean and scenic panoramic views from every room.

A minimalist design inspired by Mediterranean dwellings and single palette homes with views that cascade onto the ocean, Blairgowrie Residence by FGR Architects showcases stunning bay views, spectacular panoramas, large open spaces for entertaining and sprawling verdant landscaping.
Situated on the bay in Melbourne’s popular coastal town of Blairgowrie, the house is a minimalist juxtaposition of white and grey tones seeped in natural light. Designed to be a sanctuary, the dwelling comprises five bedrooms, three ensuites, two bathrooms, as well as two powder rooms, comfortably accommodating guests as well as its residents.

Quiet hidden spaces, expansive entertainment areas and access to bay views from every room were essential to the design brief. Director of FGR Architects, Feras Raffoul, explains the design challenge of augmenting the serenity of the natural environment whilst ensuring privacy and light throughout the home.
“Some of the special design considerations were to achieve bay-views from all living and sleeping rooms on the first floor while keeping the privacy for the home occupants. This was challenging with a corner block on a busy road. I think we achieved it.”
With a large open plan living, kitchen and dining area that opens onto the indoor/outdoor-entertaining balcony, and a ground level family room with a bar stretching to the infinity pool, BBQ and outdoor cinema, Blairgowrie Residence is the result of modernist FGR Architects’ vision to bring light and horizon into each room to create the perfect sanctuary for a family home.

Through selecting a single material palette of a cement-based render, commonly known as a concrete patch, the minimalist design of the residence with its modern, sleek lines sits timelessly on its own, without overshadowing the natural environment.
“This was a design approach of removing building form. A large square or rectangular built form provides design challenges to achieve maximum natural light to the core. By indenting the central part, it minimizes the distance light is required to travel from the glass facade into the floor area,” he said.
“We wanted to ensure that we had natural light penetrating into all sections of the home. We achieved this by indenting the central part of the building, allowing light to penetrate into the middle.”

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 1 October, 2014

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A High-Flying Office for High-Flying Customers

If you’re a high-flying, jet-setting, thousand dollar suit-wearing businessman, you’ll understand just how important a good office is.
In the thousands you’ve wandered into, few have the ability to inspire passion – in fact many are about as clean as a tramp’s hovel.
Untidy, uncoordinated or even just plain miserable looking workplaces are a blight on productivity everywhere. There’s even a name for them; unhealthy buildings.
So, if you’re looking to impress high-flying visitors, what should you do to give your office some kick?
A warm welcome
In so many cases, the welcome you’ll get at an office entrance will be less trumpet swelling grandeur and more like a fizzled out balloon at the end of a long and disappointing party.
But the ideal entrance doesn’t have to be as grand as a Viscount’s tea party. Work out the basics – entrance mats, a comfortable seating area, plenty of magazines to while away time spent at reception – and you’ll already be a step ahead of most businesses.
To really gild the lily, you could even install a greeter at your door to give a warm and friendly hello to any guests or major players in your industry. Naturally, this would only apply to those with frequent visitors, but it could add that grand trumpet swell to your company.
A dose of personality
So many offices have about as much personality as a faceless head atop a non-specific shape. And not only will this lead to a deflating feeling in visitors, but it’ll make employees slump through their day like they were working in a modern-day gulag.
The problem here largely lies with bosses who lack the creative imagination for interior design. But office workers don’t want to be living in black and white, so give the place a splash of colour with paintings that inspire you.
With any luck, that inspiration will trickle down to employees, creating a sprightlier workforce.
Give it a break
While your office itself should be in ship shape, where your workers are having their lunch should be equally classy.
Many workers spread germs by simply eating at their desk, allowing crumbs to spread everywhere in the office and causing any number of food-related bacteria to multiply. But with a high-end staff room to lure them away from their desks for half an hour, your workplace will be far cleaner.
Install the basics – kettle, toaster, microwave and the like – along with a few fun activities like a pool table or dartboard to give workers adequate downtime to freshen up.
More than this, a staff room kitted out with decent kitchen appliances will leave your employees with fuller stomachs and quenched thirsts – ideal for facing the rest of their day.

Picture via.

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 29 September, 2014

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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.




Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 23 September, 2014

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Nick Cave at Jack Shainman Gallery

Don’t miss this amazing exhibition by visual artist Nick Cave at the Jack Shainman gallery, NYC.

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Posted by Michelle Lesser at 22 September, 2014

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Contemporary Interior by i29 Architects

i29 Architects have designed this cool interior  for an apartment in Amsterdam.
This single-family apartment for four people is situated in a stately building in southern Amsterdam, NL. The original structure, with rooms for staff, a double hall and long hallways with lots of doors has been transformed into a spacious, transparent dwelling full of light and air.

A kitchen in combination with cabinets from floor to ceiling has laser-cut front panels, all spray painted white. This pattern results in a dynamic mixture of open and closed cabinets, the holes also function as integrated handgrips. The transparency of the object’s skin gives depth to the volume which is complimented by furniture like the Grcic chair one. An atrium with open staircases brings natural light from a large roof light into the living area. Along the open staircase a wall of two stories high is covered with clear pine wood, and connects the two levels. Upstairs the master bedroom is situated next to a large bathroom with a finish of structured tiles from Patricia Urquola, glass, and wooden cabinets.

Posted by Michelle Lesser at 22 September, 2014

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DHgate Wholesale lighting and other home decor products at low price from DHgate which is the leading B2B online trading marketplace for wholesale products from China.


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