Unique Living Room Design Ideas

The living room is usually the most popular part of the home. It’s where you entertain guests, get together with your family, relax after a long day, or enjoy a film with your partner. The living room is a multifunctional space that can greatly affect our mood! Of course we’d all like to feel relaxed and content in the living room, so it’s important that it’s decorated to a comfortable, cosy standard. However, you don’t want your living room to blend in with the rest of them – check out these unique living room design ideas for something a little different!

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Photo Source: Flickr

White Wonderland

For a white wonderland room, pretty much everything is white. Feel free to add a small splash of colour, but too much will ruin the effect. White/cream lamp shades, tables, fluffy carpets, cabinets, sofas, and accessories will look amazing with a few fairy lights, a bunch of flowers, candles, and wood flooring. Heaven!

Cute and Colourful

For a cute and colourful design, keep things fresh but vibrant. You can do this with a wooden floor and white walls, where you can then accessorise with colour to your heart’s content. A bright coloured coffee table will look amazing with a few colourful flowers in a vase on top, then just add a couple of funky cushions and some art work to complete the effect!

Cosy Vintage

For a cosy vintage feel, it’s all about pretty pastel colours, especially creams and pinks. Mix this up with wicker and materials, cosy throws, rugs, and pillows, and don’t forget to light your candles!

Clean Cut

Some people prefer a clean cut style living room, and this is easily done with the use of neutral, fresh colours, Try white walls, white marble flooring, with splashes of black, brown, and perhaps a few other colours in the form of accessories like pillows, chairs, and books. This look works especially well in a large living room.

Luxury Lounging

We could all use a little luxury sometimes! Have a living space where your seating area is totally social, so that you and your guests can share a great conversation and glass of wine. Use only light neutral colours and luxurious feeling fabrics.

Glam Texture

Glam texture is probably my favourite of them all! A white settee, bright coloured chair, and matching accents can look amazing. Paint your walls white and bright to make them pop, then add texture and patterns in the form of changing guards, carpets, and footrests. Add metallics for extra glam, and try custom wallpapers for an original feature wall!

Monochrome with a Twist

You can’t beat monochrome, as it’s such a timeless look. However, instead of going for simply black and white, add in bits of dark/light grey and cream. This will add another dimension to your monochrome living room!

What do you think of these living room design ideas? If it’s a classic yet different look you’re after, you can’t go wrong by emulating one of these lovely designs. Try them and see what you end up with – I promise, you’ll love it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Converting Your Loft Makes Sound Financial Sense

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For many homeowners, the idea of converting a loft or attic space seems practical, but the initial outlay puts them off of ever doing so. According to Trade Advisor, the cost of converting a loft tends to be between somewhere between £20,000 and £40,000, with the average conversion coming in at £32,000.

Certainly, this is a significant investment and not one to be taken lightly. Before carrying out a conversion, many things need to be taken into consideration, including this cost, the cost of decorating and the possibility of obtaining planning permission.

However, converting an attic into an extra bedroom, multiple bedrooms or a bedroom/bathroom combo offers more than just practical benefits and makes great financial sense for several reasons.

Expansion Over Relocation

One way in which converting a loft can make great financial sense is for expanding a house that is currently too small. Expanding families often look to move into a bigger house when all of their existing bedrooms are occupied, but loft conversion offers a viable, cost-effective alternative.

For instance, in London, many houses have as much as a quarter of their total floor space in the attic and much of this floor space is often completely unused. By converting a loft area into a useful extra bedroom, these families can remove the need to move house and therefore eliminate the related costs, such as solicitor fees and estate agent fees and avoid the risk involved in moving house in the current economic climate.

When removal costs and stamp duty are added, moving house in London may cost somewhere in the region of £100,000, whereas converting a loft into an extra bedroom is possible for a third of that price and is far more economic than adding extensions to the house or creating a basement.

Increased Property Value

In addition to the obvious practicalities, such as offering you a new usable area of the house, converting your loft makes sound financial sense if you are looking to sell the house in the future, or in the short term.

The mere presence of a converted loft in a home will significantly add to its value, especially if a bathroom is included in the loft space. Statistics show that loft conversions tend to increase the value off a house by 20 per cent and as an example, a £17,500 loft or attic conversion can add 20.9 per cent to the value of a house worth £162,000, making it a sound financial investment.

Put simply, a converted loft is the cheapest and easiest way to add value to a property, ahead of other common examples, such as installing a new kitchen. If you are looking to sell a house and want to get the highest price possible, loft conversions can be an extremely astute financial decision.

Conclusion

Whether you are looking to stay in your current home and expand it in order to suit your needs, or sell the property for the highest possible price, converting a loft makes great financial sense.

Attic conversions are economic compared to other expansion options, offer a far cheaper alternative to moving into a bigger house and will significantly add to the value of a property before it is placed onto the market.

Beginner’s Country Living Guide

Beginner's Country Living Guide

Moving from the city to the countryside means always finding a place to park, listening to nature instead of car horns, and peace and tranquility.

But, moving from an area where there are 24-hour mini marts and coffee shops on every corner to a place where the nearest large grocery store is an hour long trek means learning a new way of life.

Here is a beginner’s guide to country living:

Be Secure:

Living in the country means neighbors are few and far between, or at least a few miles down the road. With such open surroundings, having a security system can offer peace of mind. Home alarm systems are worth the expense with the security they offer a homeowner. If a burglar was to break in, an alarm would cause them to hightail it out of there for fear of being caught.

Find a family pet that can patrol the grounds. With a lot of open acres, it can be difficult to keep a watchful eye on all areas. Dogs are loyal companions, love romping around open areas, and are watchful protectors.

Be A Smart Shopper:

When living in the country, forgetting an item at the grocery store means doing without it for the time being. While it can take time to get used to purchasing groceries in bulk, once it is learned and perfected, it will save gas, time, and headaches.

Plan meals a couple of weeks in advance. Knowing ahead of time what each meal consists of means knowing what ingredients need to be purchased at the store.

Stock up on meat, canned goods, and root vegetables that last a while. Most everything can be frozen and defrosted later so do not be afraid to purchase items like bread in large quantities.

For fresh fruits and vegetables, learn how to garden. While frozen fruits and vegetables are generally all natural, sometimes the taste of fresh fruit and veggies cannot be beat. Having a supply of frozen fruit and veggies on hand is smart, but try out being a green thumb.

With available sunny acreage, plant an herb garden, grow tomatoes, strawberries, and plant some fruit trees. Depending upon what area you are located in, different fruits and veggies thrive in different areas. Citrus fruit trees and avocado trees grow well in warm, sunny areas such as California while apple trees need a deep cold snap to grow well.

Landscape:

When living in such a remote area, it is important to appreciate the view and immediate surrounding areas. Part of enjoying the peace and tranquility is enjoying the environment. Landscape the space in a way that is beautiful to you, but that also does not require hours upon hours of maintenance labor.

Sitting on the front porch reading a book while staring at undeveloped, plain land can be uninspiring and boring. But, spending evenings looking over grassy fields with majestic trees softly blowing in the breeze makes country living’s beauty worth the extra effort of not living the city life.

Ditch the hectic city and enjoy the simple country living.

Image Source: www.sarahbarksdaledesign.com

Top Tips to Guarantee You look Amazing on Ladies Day at Cheltenham

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Horse racing is a popular sport that is enjoyed by millions, and even if you have never sat on a horse, there is something appealing about this competitive event. It is thought that horse racing became a professional event in the 12th century when the English Knights raced their Arabian horses. The thoroughbreds that are raced today are often descendants of Arabian Stallions.

Newmarket was the first venue for horse racing; however, today there are numerous different race courses that are used on a regular basis. Although initially horse racing was considered a gentleman’s sport, over the years more women have got involved. Today one of the largest events in the horse racing calendar is ladies day at Cheltenham.

Woman from all over the country get dressed up and excited about this popular spring event, and you will want to ensure that you choose the perfect outfit. The racing is considered an extra alongside the fashion, and if you want to place a bet you can easily use William Hill horse racing betting online.

This event provides the perfect opportunity to get dressed up, and mingle with the celebrities; however, you need to ensure that you choose the correct outfit. There is a strict dress code for ladies day, and you need to ensure that you dress to impress, and do not get noticed for the wrong reasons. Every part of your outfit needs to be considered from your shoes to your hat, and of course the dress must be spectacular.

Dresses should be classic and classy, never showing too much as this is considered tasteless. The hemline should not be too short, and the colour perfect for the occasion. You need to remember that you are at the horse races, and not a local nightclub. Attending ladies day is the perfect opportunity to choose a dress that you might not typically wear.

Shoes are an area that you need to consider carefully as heels will look sensational until you see the terrain. If the ground is waterlogged in areas, you may sink in your stilettos, and end up losing your shoes altogether. You should consider chunkier heels and a pair of shoes that you find comfortable as you will be in them all day.

Hats are vital for ladies day, and even if you have never worn one this is the chance to display your fun side. If you prefer smaller head accessories fascinators have become a popular choice, and there are some excellent styles to choose. If you want to make a statement with your hat, ensure that you keep your dress modest and simple.

Accessories are a girl’s best friend, and you can make an outfit shine by choosing the right accessories for the day. Oversized clutch bags are excellent, and will allow you to carry everything you need in one place. Stylish sunglasses are another fashion accessory that will look excellent, and ensure that you fit in the celebrities. 

Things To Think About When Buying Family Photo Prints!

photo printUndoubtedly one of the best ways to put your family’s own stamp on a new home or to make your current home feel more homely when you are redecorating or renovating, is to display family photos in all of the rooms.  Nowadays it is a lot easier to have photographs printed, particularly if like most people you have a digital camera.  There are many websites that offer affordable printing services where you simply upload the chosen pictures, they develop them to sizes you want and send them out to you in the post.

If you are new to this way of printing photographs you be concerned about getting ripped off or ordering incorrectly.  In the following article we will help you by discussing some of the important things you should be aware of when using these kinds of services.

Shop Around

There are many different photograph printing companies out there and all have flashy and functional websites.  However, it is important to shop around rather than just using the first one listed by a search engine.  At different times during the year, different companies have special deals and offers running so you should check out a few websites before choosing one to use – particularly if this is your very first time.

Choose A Reputable Company

It is also a good idea when you are going to use services from a company that is new to you, that you choose one that comes with good recommendations.  If a relative or friend has recommended one because they had a good experience, you know that you are likely to have a similar experience.  Failing that, there are many impartial review sites that you can find real customer reviews of these websites.  Choose one of the companies that has more positive reviews than negative ones, though don’t be put off if a company a couple of negative reviews, as businesses can’t please everybody all the time.

Be Aware Of Delivery And Extra Charges

It is important to review any purchase you make or to check the FAQ of a website to ensure that you are aware of all the charges involved with purchasing through a particular website.  While many sites offer free delivery, this may only be after buy a certain number of prints.  Other sites may offer reductions in price for bulk buying of prints, so this is something you should consider if you are looking to save as much money as possible.

Check The Quality Offered

As well as there being a wide selection of print sizes to choose from, many companies also offer their customers a wide selection of print qualities to choose from.  It is a general rule of thumb that the better the quality of the print, the more expensive it will be.  With that in mind, don’t simply pick the cheapest deal possible as this may not actually be the best value for money when you receive your prints in the post and they don’t look very good!

You will of course, want to make sure that you are taking a decent photograph  to begin with. Check out http://cameras.about.com/od/photoprintingtips/ for some tips!

Play Bingo Online Free for a Year

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Bingo remains one of the most popular past times, and now with the Internet you can easily play online at home. You no longer have an excuse to log in and see what all the fuss is about, and there are many different sites to choose. In 2014, the opportunities to play free bingo are exciting, and will encourage you even more to join in the fun.

You will soon discover that there are many excellent reasons to play online bingo, and if you look there are opportunities to play free bingo for a year. You may be sceptical, but at 888ladies bingo site they want you to join in the fun. Through several online promotions you can help to make 2014 an exciting year.

Not only can you have the opportunity to play bingo free for a year, but through their Facebook page you can have your wish come true. All you have to do is join them on Facebook, make a wish, and through the power of likes, you may get your ultimate wish come true. There has never been a better time to log in and explore what the online bingo sites have to offer.

Even if you are currently playing on other bingo sites, the opportunity to be able to play free for a year is attractive. Although attending bingo halls was once popular, more people are finding that online bingo is have more convenient. You can be at home with the kids, and in between housework you can log in and play.

Many people do not play bingo online for financial rewards, and more to join the exciting community that has grown from these sites. You will soon discover that when you join there are numerous people willing to help you find your way around. Logging in every day becomes something that you look forward to, and you can make genuine friends.

Choosing the online bingo site carefully is essential, and when there are offers of free bingo it can be attractive. You need to check out all of the information including their websites, and Facebook pages and choose a website that you feel comfortable playing on and exploring. Sites such as 888ladies are excellent, and will provide everything you need.

Once you have been on the site you will see how straightforward everything is, and how much you enjoy playing online bingo. Throughout the day you can log in, enjoy some quiet time, and maybe even win. If you are lucky enough to win the free bingo for a year, it will make it even more attractive to play online.

Whether you join due to the offers, or have been recommended this great site, there are several advantages to online Bingo. You never have to leave your home; it is warm, comfortable and incredibly safe. You can watch the kids, cook the dinner, and  still enjoy playing bingo, which is perfect for many busy mums. 

Recreating a Country Lounge in 3 Easy Steps

Image Source

Country kitchens are so last year; this is the year of the country style living room! Think ‘Little House on The Prairie’ style net curtains, plenty of wooden furniture, some shabby chic decorations and some statement furniture to finish it all off. Here are the three easy steps to recreating that country lounge you’ve always wanted.

Step 1: Lots of wood

Wooden furniture is a must-have if you’re planning a country style living room. It just wouldn’t look right without it. Wooden coffee tables, bookcases, sideboards, dressers; wooden everything. Try not to go for painted or varnished wood if you want to recreate that authentic country look. You will be better off using pine or lighter woods if your living room is quite small, as it will open it up and give it a fresher feel. If you have a large lounge then you can be a bit more adventurous with the pieces you pick and the type of wood they are made from. You will find a whole ton of beautiful wooden items online and in furniture stores, but be prepared to pay big bucks for some of the larger pieces. If you want a country lounge, without spending a fortune, then just opt for one key wooden piece such as a bookcase or sideboard.

Step 2: Shabby Chic

Once you have filled your living room with plenty of wood, it’s time to go shopping for some shabby chic goodies. Luckily, this is one trend that is not going to fade out for a long time, so there should be plenty of places to buy what you want. Country homes are always filled with sentimental items, such as photo frames, little bird cages holding candles and hurricane jars filled with candles. When you start on a shabby chic shopping dash you won’t be able to stop yourself. It’s best to set aside a budget for the smaller items and ensure you don’t go over it; otherwise you could end up getting carried away and have no room for it all! Don’t forget pastel coloured scatter cushions, paisley curtains and cosy rugs to complete the shabby country chic style.

Step 3: Finish it off

You now have a living room filled with wooden furniture and beautiful shabby chic ornaments, but you’re missing your statement piece. No country lounge is going to be complete without a couple of Chesterfield Sofas for the family to sit on. Luxurious, leather seating that will look stunning with your newly purchased scatter cushions. Lighter colours would again work best, in contrast with the wood and the shabby chic ornaments. Think soft caramel colours as opposed to a dominant black 4-seater in the middle of your white and pastel palace.

Now you’ve completed all three steps, sit back and enjoy your beautiful country living room. There’s something so relaxing about the pale wood in contrast with the light browns of the leather sofa and pastel scatter cushions. You won’t ever want to leave your living room again!

4 Great Reasons For Using Wood Stain To Improve Home’s Timber

wood stain

If you are planning to use timber on a home improvement or building project you might be thinking about not wood staining, seeing it as an unnecessary nuisance of a job.  However there are many good reasons why you should stain wood, products such as these decorative wood stains, as you will see from the following article.

Makes Wood Waterproof

As the majority of wood on the exterior of your property will obviously be exposed to a certain amount of water some of the time.  However, it is also possible that wood used on the interior of your home will also be exposed to water from accidental spillages.  Therefore, to avoid the problems associated with water damage to wood, wood staining is important.  When you wood stain wood, it forms a protective layer on the wood’s surface which causes the water to flow away from the wood without affecting the wood at all.

Gives Wood Rot Protection

As you may already know, wood is vulnerable to the effects of rotting.  This is a major problem because once your wood starts to rot; there really is no way round it.  Rotten wood, particularly if it is used in a supportive structure, is very dangerous.  The only thing you can do with rotten wood is replace it, so to avoid doing this it is important to prevent any rotting from effecting the wood from the beginning.  Wood staining will protect your wood from mildew, mould, termites and other pests that can rot wood.

Staining Blocks Sunlight

Wood can be damaged if it is exposed without protection, to sunlight over a long period of time.  Therefore, any wood that is positioned or placed somewhere where it will receive lots of direct sunlight, it is important to use wood stain to stop the sun from damaging or discolouring it.

Decoratively Colours The Wood

Although natural wood colours suit certain decor and styles, you may want your wood to be a particular colour in a particular room.  The best way to colour wood is to use a coloured stain.  There are many different options and when you are considering the aesthetic value of wood staining, there are two varieties – pigment and dye.  While dye stain will colour wood with small pores, pigment based wood stain will colour wood with larger pores.  By using colourful wood stains you can give your wood a colour that is not naturally found in that particular wood or any wood if you want to push the boat out, while retaining the wood’s attractive features – including the texture and the grain.

If you do not want to colour your wood, don’t worry as there are many wood stains available that are transparent and can be used to highlight and preserve the natural look of the wood.  Although you will find that the majority of wood stains are neither wholly transparent nor opaque, but some kind of happy medium between both contrasts.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Wood Stove for Your Home

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Whether you are renovating your current home and want to improve the heating system or are building a new house and want to start off with an efficient system for heating the property, you should consider buying a wood burning stove.  If you are still on the fence, then you should find the follow article featuring 5 great reasons to buy a wood burning stove from Stovax.

They Are In Fashion

In recent years wood burning stoves have become more and more popular and very much a trendy addition to your home.  Newer and contemporary designs have glass doors so that you can see the flames burning, while keeping them safely contained.  There are many different colours and styles to choose from so you will always be able to find one that suits your decor, even if you have a very modern looking home.

They Are Incredibly Eco-Friendly

Whereas electricity and gas companies don’t provide green energy, wood burning stoves do.  These are clean burning appliances that rely on wood, which is a renewable energy source that only releases a very small amount of smoke if it has been dried properly before being used in the stove.  Whereas electricity companies use expendable and costly sources such as coal and oil which are running out and as they become harder to find the cost will rise even more.

They Cut Energy Costs And Bills Dramatically

Wood burning stoves can also dramatically cut your utility bills, particularly if you rely mostly on the heat provided by them during the winter months.  The reason why is that energy bills are always much higher during winter months, so it is more expensive to use your energy company provided electricity during the winter.

They Also Provide A Cooking Surface

During a blackout is the time when wood burning stoves really become useful. If you do not have access to electricity but have a working stove you can use the stove to not only heat your home but do as much cooking as you like on.  Whether you want to bake a cake, cook a stew or soup or fry some bacon and eggs, this is all very easy to do with a wood burning stove, meaning you can stay warm and nourished during a bad storm or a power cut.

They Offer Some Great Accessories

Another useful aspect of wood burning stoves is that you can use surface-mount magnetic thermometers with them.  These helpful little gadgets let you know whether the air-intake settings on your stove need to be adjusted or if it’s time to add more fuel or close the damper.  You can also get special shelves and racks for wood burning stoves which can be used to carefully warm or dry clothes on.

There are many other reasons why you should consider buying a wood burning stove for your home, but hopefully the list above has given you something to think about.