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So, you are past the days of your parents telling you “it’s my house – my rules” and officially done with sleeping in college dorms. Welcome to the grown up world, big boy! Maybe you’re exploring the life in a new town, searching for a new job, a new place to call your own home? So many options, so much freedom to choose. Freedom sounds quite exhilarating, but there is also the pressure of diving into the unknown. That’s why many guys make hasty and catastrophic mistakes when furnishing their first home. To avoid being one of them, I’ve created a short guide to help you out to properly style your man cave so it doesn’t literally look like a prehistoric one.

sofa seat

We all know that the bigger the number of rooms, the more expensive the rent. So when starting off, you’ll probably go for a studio apartment or something similar. That means you’ll need a clever and cost-effective furniture solution. Or, better think of it like this: instead of over-cluttering your space, invest in only the most crucial pieces.

Start with the sofa. When looking for a sofa seat from the many choices on the Australian market, think of it as more than a place for you to jump on and play video games. A nice sofa seat should serve multiple purposes; provide enough space for your guests to sit on as well as to act as a comfortable and wide enough place for you to get the much needed Zs. This way you won’t need to get a separate bed for sleeping and you’ll actually save some space.

To further limit clutter, buy furniture with hidden storage, like a storage ottoman, that could do double duty as a coffee table. Just keep in mind that all furniture pieces should reflect your décor sense. Try your best to establish your own personal style by adding little hints of it. For example, if you like animal print, don’t buy a sofa that looks like a huge predator, instead, opt for a small leopard rug that will also help tie the whole design together.

If you’re lucky enough to have found a room with a view, turn that into the focal point of your space. Put large glass windows and let the city’s charm reflect into your home. Don’t forget to sound-proof them – you don’t need the chaos of the traffic noise in your private sanctuary. Another blessing that comes with wide windows is the huge amount of sunlight you’ll get during the day and the enviously good view of the cityscape at night.

In order to create a classy ambience that will show that you have a taste, you need to pick the right lighting. The living room should have a big overhead chandelier to provide enough brightness for the whole space at night. Furthermore, you can spice things up by placing accent lights just above the artwork or ornaments. It’s also good to install a dimmer switch for a romantic atmosphere when you’re in need of one. With a few lighting tweaks, such as picking different colours and brightness levels, you can add a more contemporary feel to the space.

Being the king of your castle means styling your place according to your own rules. The best thing about the whole thing? Nobody can complain about it! Be careful not to over-clutter it though. More maintenance and more cleaning are not what the single life is for – follow the rule less is more and you can’t go wrong.

Everybody loves taking long, mind-cleansing, hot showers that transform the bathroom in a steamy spa retreat. However, not everybody knows that the steam and humidity resulting from these hot showers can be wreaking havoc on the air quality in your bathroom, unless you’re using exhaust fans.

Bathroom fans are in-ceiling or in-wall exhaust fans that are designed to improve airflow, add ventilation and reduce excess humidity. Technically, they remove the warm moisture from the bathroom and take it outdoors through the ductwork. Using exhaust fans helps prevent mildew and mold problems, maintain a healthier air quality, and keeps you comfortable and safe. Here are a few steps to help you decide which bathroom exhaust fan is right for you.

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Pick the Right Size

Picking the right size fan for your bathroom’s square footage will ensure that you’ll be getting the right amount of ventilation. They’re rated and sized by their ability to move air in cubic feet per minute. Less powerful, smaller fans generate less cubic feet per minute and are ideal for smaller bathrooms. On the other hand, the more powerful fans that generate more cubic feet per minute are ideal for larger bathrooms.

Mind the Noise Level

Some fans sound literally like jet engines and can disturb the peace that you so desire when showering. When shopping for a fan, you should consider the noise level and go for a quieter model. Usually, bath fan sound levels are measured in sones. A sone roughly equals the humming of the refrigerator in a quiet kitchen. As a general rule, you should avoid fans rated at 5 or more sones.

Efficiency Matters

Nowadays, efficiency should be on top of your mind every time you shop for any home system or appliance. Fortunately, today bathroom fans are more efficient than ever. A lot of them were designed with efficiency in mind, which certainly contributes towards lower energy costs. They also meet qualifications for low wattage consumption, low sound emission and more powerful but efficient performance under static pressure.

Features

Most of today’s bathroom fans have a number of features that make them operate more efficiently and conveniently. A lot of them have sensors that detect moisture levels and start working only when the moisture levels are above average. Integrated lights that can add supplementary lighting or replace existing fixtures are also a very convenient feature. Some models go as far as having night lights for soft illumination during the night hours. For those living in colder climates, some fans offer built-in heaters to add extra warmth to the bathroom.

Choice

When it comes to choosing the proper window treatment, the overall room design as well as what you want to achieve with your choice of window treatment are one of the most important things that should be taken into consideration. Some people are always ready to give up the beauty of their window treatment for the functionality of it; meaning, they think the more shade it provides, the better.

I personally, don’t understand how anyone could live in a completely dark room, knowing that natural lighting is what gives the furniture and the entire design scheme its beauty. For those of you who want the best of both worlds in the form of a window treatment that provides just the right shade and the right sunlight penetration, I present you the plantation shutter: stylish and very convenient, perfectly easy to install and even easier to maintain. Plus, it can be made of many materials, but the one that is really convenient and absolutely stylish and fancy, is basswood.plantation shutter

What is basswood?

A wooden plantation shutter is a window treatment that is made of wood, in this case, basswood. Basswood is used mainly for the combination of consistent grain, smooth finish, and the extremely fine texture, which together contribute to the amazing aesthetics of a wooden plantation shutter. It’s rather hard to imagine wooden plantation shutters, since shutters as a window treatment should be smooth, thin and rather gentle-looking. However, not all wood is bulky and rough at first glance; basswood timber is just the right wood choice for making something that should be as gentle and perfect in its construction as a window treatment.

Basswood has a pale white to very light brown colour, and its texture is fine with straight grain. This allows you to paint the wood if you need it to be in another colour to fit your room’s design/decor. Pearly white, egg white or silky white nuances are the most commonly used ones as these tones contribute to the natural look of the shutters. You can even choose to have them stained, which is another advantage to this choice. Shortly, this all means that you’ll have no trouble fitting these shutters in your room design.

Some need-to-know advantages of basswood

As a material, basswood has a natural beauty which is contained in the wood’s grain, its rich colour and the sheen of real wood. In addition, wood is a rather strong and durable option, which only adds to its many benefits. As a material, basswood is definitely lighter than its most common counterpart poly, but it’s a lot stronger in its construction. This contributes to the greater durability of the material and the product itself. Bottom line, are basswood shutters a good choice? Considering all the good stuff this material possesses and the fact that shutters are a way better option than curtains are, it most certainly is.

Although the two classic window covering options – curtains and venetian blinds, have so much to offer, there are some tasteful window treatments that are becoming more and more popular these days and thus make it hard for curtains and venetians to reign in every modern residence. Unless you live under a rock, you have definitely noticed that today many people choose to beautify their windows and protect their homes from the unwanted sunlight with the help of roller blinds.roller blinds Australia

Every woman has the chance to be an artist at the dressing table, and as Aristotle said, “art completes what nature left unfinished.” Though many may not agree on the matter, I strongly believe in the power of makeup to uplift your mood. I bet there’s no woman on Earth who wouldn’t feel happier and more confident when looking at the mirror and seeing her face perfectly contoured, eyelashes perfectly enlongated and lips shiny and fiery red.

dressing table

According to a research, women spend about an hour a day on their appearance. For that reason, having a dressing table that will display and store your precious jewellery pieces, perfumes and make-up items while having them neatly arranged is the starting point for a more enjoyable and stress free ‘me time” glam up. I gathered a few simple steps to follow to ensure you choose a dressing table that will be your best ally to getting the look you want while also beautifying your space. Aiming for the big win-win combo!

Get the size right

Finding the perfect location for your dressing table is important from many aspects. Have in mind whether there is enough daylight coming in as well as whether there is a light source near the spot you want to place the dressing table on. You want the light to fall under a good angle so that you’re not annoyed by the shadows in the mirror. Moreover, its placement also plays a great role in the room’s design. The perfect dressing table should not overcrowd the room nor look tiny compared with the rest of your furniture. Therefore, before making your purchase, measure your available space and look for something in accordance to the dimensions.

Functional features

Drawers – Having at least two spacious drawers where you can store stuff like jewellery, makeup, hair accessories and whatnot, is essential for a dressing table to be functional. You certainly don’t want to be untangling the jewellery pieces you want to wear right before heading out, do you?

Mirror – There is no point in having a dressing table without a nice, large mirror. The mirror can also serve as a decorative element if it is accessorized with other elements. Most smaller dressing table models don’t come with a mirror but you can always mount one on the wall above.

A design to complement your interior

Besides keeping all your accessories and makeup well-organized, dressing tables can also beautify your room and make it look more girly and sophisticated. A metal dresser, thanks to its simple yet elegant design, can perfectly complement modern interiors. Models with a polished glass finish can bring more dimension to the space and usually work well with any design scheme. If your style is traditional or your bedroom has a unique rustic flare, then a wooden dressing table with its natural finish and classic design would be the ideal addition for your space.

I love hosting small friend-gatherings at my place. The kitchen is kind of a sanctuary for me as I love cooking and experimenting with fruit, veggies and food combos. My current favourite is a mashed olives dip with salty bread sticks to go along with the endless amount of wine we drink when we get together for a movie time, chit-chats or a game of monopoly. But when I usually organize small get-together parties, it’s mainly after 9pm, which is why I try to keep the snacks light. Meaning, less meat on the table.

Everything is great before people start coming over. And when they do settle in and grab their wine glass, things start to change after the first few sips. The mood turns to loose and relaxed, hands start getting shaky and wine starts flying around the place because well, who doesn’t like being gesticular when holding a big glass of wine?

vinyl-floor

I’ve often been in situations of this kind red wine gets all over my sofas, on the small and absolutely delightful carpets, and on the floors! And naturally I immediately start panicking because red wine is notoriously known for its staining ability. But regardless of it all, I can’t just stop hosting, so I started researching a little about all the convenient ways to keep wine stains off my furniture. The conclusion? Unless you take wine off the list, there’s only one other way to clean it – clean it thoroughly right after it has spilled on the floors or furniture.

I have vinyl floor planks, which were very carefully chosen so that their colour matches my particular interior design. And although vinyl floor planks are water resistant, hygienic and generally easy to clean, that doesn’t mean that you should be reckless when drinking wine near them. Yes, they do come with a rather long warranty, but I don’t want to create a complete mess in my home to repair them, or worse, change them!

What’s important about vinyl floors is that they’re gentle and can’t be treated with harsh abrasives. And because of that, it’s important to remove stubborn stains very promptly, as substances like wine or tomato sauce will pigment them very fast which is what you’ll certainly want to prevent. Here are some cleaning tips I’d like to share with you.

Preparing the cleaning products

In the particular case of wine stains, I’d normally use something mild, like a mild dish soap directly on the stain. Then I’d simply wipe it all with a non-abrasive sponge dipped in water. It is something like washing dishes, but more gently and less messy. If the stain is something that could cause more damage to the floors and it is very sticky, I’d use only a little baking soda in a pot with water. Baking soda acts as an abrasive but in reality is a very mild one that won’t do as much damage as actual abrasives.

When to use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching element, so it’s only to be used if the stain is too stubborn, like a forgotten wine stain. As a substance that has a bleaching effect, you want to be extra careful with hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you prepare a dish washing soap, a bowl with water and a sponge to remove the hydrogen after you’re done with it. Rinse with water very thoroughly because it’s not particularly good for your health either to have hydrogen peroxide around you.

What to never use on vinyl floors

Never use ammonia on vinyl. Ammonia is corrosive to materials such as vinyl and will completely eat it. Also, never mix cleaning products or chemicals together because this could result in a rather dangerous mixture. Throw away every cloth or sponge you used for cleaning with harsh chemicals. Remember, don’t even think about cleaning without protective gloves and eyewear, especially when using harsh chemicals. And, always ventilate after cleaning with chemical-rich cleaning products.

Spending all your working hours inside an office is not as fun as some people might think. Some offices feel like cages and you’re basically trapped inside 4 walls. But there are certain ways to break monotony, and the best way to do it is by incorporating some greenery into your working place. What’s not to love about plants? They reduce tension, anxiety and stress, and add appeal and class to your working place. But most importantly, they’re the first step towards living a greener life.

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Offices and building environments look much more calming and feel like nicer places to be in when plants are present – they are colourful, interesting and relaxing. The effects plants have on us allow us to perceive our surroundings better and make us feel more comfortable. Furthermore, they’re known as great productivity boosters. Concentration, focus and cognitive tasks are all improved, and fewer mistakes are made overall. These performance enhancements are attributed to the plants’ ability to reduce carbon dioxide in the air.

Some people are afraid of having plants in their office because they think taking care of them would take up much of their time. However, modern commercial office planters are an easy solution to that problem. They have self-watering features which help keep all the nutrients in the soil, and water the plants only when necessary. The water reservoir of the planters can take care of the plants’ watering needs for about a week, and afterwards all you will have to do is fill it up.

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Moreover, besides the psychological benefits plants can have on people, they can play a huge role in the overall look of your office as well. You can interconnect multiple commercial office planters and place them in a way so they can act like walls. Therefore, you don’t need expensive art on your walls to make the office look classier. You can simply put up a planter or two with a succulent or peace lily in it to make your office look more welcoming. Or, if you are into more classy and complex plant options and love the vibes that certain combinations of plants emit in a space, you can look up ways to group different plants in one planter to create a more vivid office sight.

By taking care of plants, you’re actively working on yourself to be more environment-conscious as well. The plants will increase the oxygen levels in your office and the self-watering planters will save you water. There are probably zero reasons why you shouldn’t invest into some planters and plants for your office. Just make sure the plants you pick can thrive with limited sunlight and that they are a good fit for the planters, so they don’t clamp their roots and die out. You don’t need to be a scientist to realize that there are no disadvantages of having plants in your working place. Take your office to a new level!

If there’s one thing today’s world needs more of it’s got to be greenery. Knowing the importance of plants, we still fail to give them as much attention as they need and even focus more on creating new and enlarged cityscapes. Considering the ratio of the amount of greenery and pollutants in a city, parks alone aren’t enough. This is a worthy reason to make you think of becoming a gardener. It doesn’t matter how small you go so long as you contribute to the preservation of the environment. With the trend of tiny gardens nowadays, gardening has never been easier because you can have plants just about anywhere, be it your balcony, patio, deck, or even inside your home by your kitchen counter or living room bookshelves (where there’s a will, there’s a way!).

 

People have made a huge deal about GMO foods on the internet and TV and most of them automatically associate it with negativity. However, that’s not always the case. Genetically modified organisms don’t necessarily need to be negative, but the greedy mass production industries make them so. They don’t modify the vegetables and fruits to be nutritious and tasty, they modify them to be big in size, appealing to the eye and to meet the huge demand, sacrificing the healthy values and taste.

Vegetables

There are not many ways you can get your hands on some healthy and tasty vegetables nowadays. You need to either grow them yourself, or get them from someone in your close family. If you do take the first approach – growing them by yourself, there are a few things you should know and consider before doing so. Before you plant the seeds, you need to ensure they originate from a quality and reputable farm. You can buy vegetable seeds online from many reputable vendors that have been growing nutrient-rich and tasty seeds for over a few decades.

A lot of people that live in urban areas are discouraged and think they don’t have the means to grow their own vegetables. Wrong. You don’t need much space to grow your favourite vegetables and there are certainly modern solutions to your space limitation. There are vegetable garden planter boxes that have self-watering features and will give you the freedom to continue with your everyday responsibilities without worrying too much about the vegetables.

Vegetable Garden Planter Boxes

Furthermore, the self-watering vegetable garden planter boxes will ensure the nutrients stay inside the soil, while preventing over or under-watering of the vegetables, ensuring they grow healthy and in good conditions, which is something of great importance. The benefits of growing your own vegetables are numerous, here are a few notable ones:

  • Save money on groceries – Your grocery bills will decrease as you’ll be growing your own tasty vegetables. You can buy vegetable seeds at very affordable prices and you can dry them to use them next year as well.

  • Stop worrying about the safety of the food – Many people are concerned about the quality of the food they consume. By growing your own food you’ll no longer have that fear, knowing that your food is grown in great conditions, thus it is healthy and safe.

  • Build a sense of pride – Watching your seeds blossom under your care can give you a feeling of gratification. This is one of the most important things in life and it can take you back (mentally) to times where everything wasn’t mechanized.

 

 

loving-home

In life, one wishes to find love, to form a family and to transform their house into a loving home. The rest may sound easy once the hardest part is out of the way – finding a soul mate, however, creating the look of the home is much like searching for many soul mates, (or should I say taste mates) in the form of furniture pieces. Plus, now you’re looking for something to match the taste of two. Although it’s difficult to do this without asking for professional help, it’s not impossible, you just have to follow a few simple rules.

No interior-designer ever said that it’s important to have a spacious and enormous house in order to feel cosy, but to have a good arrangement of the rooms and the smaller, additional premises. What matters the most is to perfectly plan the layout of your house to best meet your needs and the desires of everyone involved. However, the way you will furnish your house should be a reflection of your personal preferences.

The first thing you should pay attention to is the functionality of the movables. One should never save on big interior items that are frequently used in the household, such as sofas or corner beds. They are kind of a focal points that give structure to the room, and are used by everyone, everyday, whether you are having guests or the family is just lying around and relaxing. Don’t hesitate to get a nice, modern corner lounge that will adorn your living room, especially if you follow the latest interior-design trends.

Modern corner lounge

When it comes to functionality, think about the position and the layout of every other piece of furniture, and bear in mind that the best way to position them is at about three inches from the wall, (this also includes the modern corner lounge) as this creates an illusion that the wall is further away than it really is. This way, the room immediately looks bigger and wider. What is more, keep the furniture away from the doors, the windows and other entrances, so that they cannot block the smooth movement around the house. But remember, you should first fit the large pieces of furniture such us dining tables or corner lounges into the room, and then you can manoeuvre the smaller ones.

If you like to elongate the appearance of a particular room, the answer lies in the details. You can do this by choosing stripes as the pattern for some decorative items, such as rugs or sofas. Use designer curtains to give your home specific nuance of vogue, and throw a pillow or two in front of the fireplace. This will make your home cosy and welcoming, and you’ll be the favourite host amongst your friends and relatives.