10/09/2020

Tips for hiring skilled tradespeople

 

hiring skilled tradespeople

If you’re looking to hire skilled tradespeople, it can be a daunting process to find workers who are appropriately qualified and experienced. However, it’s something that must be done to ensure that your construction project is completed in a timely manner and to a high standard. So to help you find the right people for the job, use the tips below.  

Create a strong job listing

Before you can advertise the available position, you need to create a strong job listing. You need to explain exactly what you’re looking for, including must-have qualifications, skills and experience. Being specific about what you want can limit the number of inappropriate and unsuitable candidates who apply, making it easier for you to find the right person.

Remember to include the following key points in your job description:
A clear and well-defined job title
Opportunities and benefits that are offered at your company 
Salary and work hours, including whether it is full-time, part-time, contract or casual 
Location of work
What a typical day looks like
Must-have and desired skills, experience and qualifications
Your contact information

Remember that your job listing is a form of marketing for your company. You want people to be excited about applying and the opportunity to work for you. Make the role desirable and attractive in order to get the best candidates out there.

Find your candidates

Once you’ve got your job ad ready, you can start looking for candidates. To ensure you get the best candidates out there, you need to make sure your advertisement is as visible as possible. It’s not enough to look for candidates in one place, you need to do the work and get your listing out there. 
Use your contacts
Many good hires have come from talking with industry contacts. These candidates often come highly recommended by people who have seen them in action. Talk with members of your company, as well as any other industry contacts you have. This may include suppliers, other contractors and government departments. 
Advertise locally
Your ideal candidate may be closer than you think, so it’s worth advertising locally. This might include local newspapers or with relevant trade supply stores or schools and colleges. You can also leverage your industry contacts to find good places to advertise the position locally.
Advertise online
You can now start searching further afield by advertising online. Use professional sites like Linked In, Seek and Career One. Make sure your advertisement has the correct contact information, so candidates know who to send their applications to and are able to ask you any questions. 
A recruitment agency may already have the information of suitable candidates on file, so make sure to engage with them. They can also help in sorting through applicants to ensure you only get the best of the bunch.

Narrow down the shortlist

Once you have a list of suitable candidates for the position, you need to find the right hire. Consider the following points as you look through the list:
Passion: Ask about what they enjoy about their job and what their goals are. You want someone who loves their work and wants a career in the field. 
Relevant experience: Qualifications and skills are important but real-life experience can be invaluable. Ask about their previous roles and how these positions have given them experience for this role. 
Confident: A confident employee is often proactive and takes initiative. Your hire should have confidence in themselves and their skills. To gauge a candidate’s confidence, ask about their achievements and what they hope to achieve in the next five years.
References: Before hiring anyone, check their references. This may be colleagues from former workplaces or previous clients. Ask about the candidate’s work ethic and if they would be suitable for the advertised role. Read our another article on "3 tips to recruit skilled labour"

Don’t forget that you can always keep an unsuccessful candidate’s information on file in case another similar role opens up in your company in the future. Ask candidates if they are happy for this to happen. This can significantly shorten the hiring process in future scenarios.

Consider apprentices

If you are struggling to find a qualified and experienced tradesperson for your position, you can always consider hiring an apprentice. While they may not have the experience and skill of a more-established tradesperson, they do provide an opportunity to mould an employee into the ideal worker. There may also be government incentives to hire trainees and apprentices.

Conclusion

When it comes to hiring the right tradesperson for the job, you need to be specific in your job listing and put in the effort when it comes to advertising. Once you have a pool of applicants, you can then find the most suitable candidate. 


09/09/2020

How Property Staging Can Help to Sell Your House?

 

Property Staging

There are two key rules to selling your home quickly: price it well and make it look remarkable. Whatever your asking price, your home should look flawless. There is a lot of competition out there, so buyers can afford to be picky. Therefore, you need to get your looking its best. And easy way to do so is to stage it. 

A professional home stager can make your home stand out and increases its sale price by up to10%. While it’s important not to overspend when trying to sell your home, certain changes or alterations can make a significant impact.  

In this blog, we’ll discuss what you can do to sell your home faster, including what a professional stylist can offer. 

What can I do?

1. Maintenance and repairs
No matter the age of the home, there are likely to be small maintenance and repair jobs to catch up on. If you aren’t comfortable completing these jobs yourself, get a professional handy person in. You want potential buyers to know that your home has been well-cared for and that there will be no immediate issues when they first move in.

2. Cleaning
Along with maintenance and repairs, it’s important that your house is clean before anyone inspects it. A dirty house will turn away potential buyers extremely quickly. So, take the time to give your home a thorough clean. It can often be good to get professional cleaners in to give your home a full going over. You can then do additional quicker cleans while your home is on the market. 

What will a property stylist do?


1. Emphasise space and light

The stylist will examine the usable space in your home and improve the flow of all rooms as much as possible without changing the structure of the building. This may include strategies to make rooms feel bigger, like rearranging furniture or bringing in additional furniture to create an atmosphere or cohesive style. 

2. Add warm atmosphere and lived-in feeling

A property stager knows how to manage the fine balance between making your home feel lived-in without making people feel like they’re intruding. Buyers should be able to easily imagine themselves living in your home. This can be achieved by creating a warm atmosphere.

Your property stylist may do this by adding small accents and touches to overall layout of furniture, as well as removing overly personal items like family photographs. 

Additionally, the property stylist may replace outdated furniture and items to make your home feel more modern. 

3. Sell a lifestyle

Through clever use of layouts and decorative items, a property stager can sell a lifestyle as part of your home. This might capitalise on natural assets of your property, like its location (inner city, close to the beach etc.). Doing so can encourage people to buy.

4. Distract from defects

No home is without its flaws. These may be obvious or simply features that not everyone would want. Therefore, a good property stylist will know how to direct buyers’ attention away from these aspects of your home, making sure they look at the bigger picture and don’t discount your home unnecessarily. 

Benefits of professional staging:


Up-to-date with latest trends: Professional stylists are aware of the latest home trends, as well as the timeless classics. As a result, they know what will work best for your home and have the resources to get your home looking stylish. 

Decorate based on buyer demographics: Different neighborhoods typically have certain styles.Your home stylist will be aware of this and will be able to style your house accordingly to ensure it suits the area and meets the preferences of your buyers. 

Unbiased and objective eye: While you may believe your home is perfect, your style and needs might not match those of others. With an objective eye, a property stylist can get your home looking appealing to a wider range of people. 

Take the pressure off you: Professional stylists can take some the stress off your shoulders when it comes to selling your home. You can focus on other things while they handle presenting your property effectively to potential buyers. This can be particularly helpful if you are having to organise other home-selling processes, like a deceased estate clearance

Best possible photos: Experts will not only make your home look great but also take the best possible pictures of it. Photos will often be a potential buyer’s first glimpse of your home, so you want them to be as good as possible. Your property stylist will get the right framing and lighting to emphasise your home’s key aspects and selling points in order to entice potential buyers to look at the place themselves. 

Common DIY staging mistakes:


Displaying personal items: You may love having personal photos around but this often puts off potential buyers. It can make them feel like they’re intruding, making them feel unwelcome in your home. They may associate this feeling with your home and not look favorably on it.

Too much colour: A touch of colour can be great, but many modern trends emphasis neutral or greyscale tones. Something as simple as too much colour can be overwhelming for some potential buyers and distract them from other aspects of your home.

Clutter: Our eyes tire very quickly: the more we see, the less we process. Therefore, a cluttered house is hard to take in. As a result, potential buyers’ may choose to leave your house before they fully see it and will not consider it further. 

Create a positive first impression:

A home stager or property stylist willemphasise your property’s strengths and draw attention away from its flaws. By presenting a well-cared for, stylish home, potential buyers will have a positive first impression of your home, which typically translates into a quick sale. 


08/09/2020

How to prepare your home for renovations

 

Mini bin hire

Home renovations can be both exciting and stressful, particularly if you’ve never done them before. Even a small renovation can be an involved process, often affecting more than you’d initially expect. However, to make sure your renovations, big or small, run more smoothly, we’ve put together this list of useful tips to get your home ready for renovations. 

Plan your renovation

It’s vital that you plan your renovation as much as possible before any work begins. You need to understand exactly what you want to get out of the renovation, along with how much it will cost. Make sure your renovation plan includes the following:

A detailed design, along with any inspiration 

A clear goal for your renovation, like improved function in kitchen or more living room space

An itemised budget, including money set aside for unforeseen costs

A list of tasks, divided into what you need to do and what professionals will be doing

A realistic time frame

Planning can take a while but it’s worth it. Don’t rush it and do as much research as you can. Many people find it’s helpful to begin planning 6–12 months before the project is set to begin. 

Hire professionals

Once you have a detailed plan prepared, it’s time to hire contractors to get the renovations underway. While it’s important to hire contractors who can complete the renovation, you also need an expert to ensure your design is feasible. As you look at contractors and consider who to hire, think about the following: 

Insurance: All contractors should have current insurance to complete their work. This protects both you and the workers. 

Experience: Choose someone who has experience and skills that are relevant to your renovation project. While an inexperienced contractor may be passionate, they may not have the knowledge or skills to get the job done properly. 

Licensed: Ensure that your contractors are licensed to complete the work you have hired them for. 

References: If you know anyone who has recently completed renovation work, ask about who they used. Would they recommend the same people? This is great way to find a quality contractor. 

Payment method and schedule: Make sure the payment method and schedule is appropriate, as well as fitting with your budget. 

Prepare the space

Once your renovations are scheduled to begin, it’s time to get your home ready. Remove any furniture and belongings from the rooms you are intending to renovate. This will make it easier for tradespeople to complete the work. 

If you can’t move these items elsewhere in your home, hire a storage unit for the length of the renovations.

This can also be a good time to declutter your home. Look into mini bin hire to clear out any unwanted items.

Prepare nearby spaces

You should also remove any fragile or treasured items from nearby rooms as the vibrations from construction equipment may damage these items from afar. 

Cover nearby furniture as well as dust from the renovations can also travel throughout your home.

Prepare your family

Home renovations can be noisy, intrusive and stressful. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself and your family. This can include finding alternative accommodation when amenities need to be turned off for construction purposes, as well as making sure you and your family spend time away from the home to relax.

It can also be helpful to explain to younger children what is happening. They may not understand why the house is changing or why there are strangers in their home. Reassure them that it is okay and spend some time together away from home.

If you have pets, make sure there is a safe space for them to relax away from the construction work. You may also need to board your pet or have them stay with a friend or relative if they become overly stressed with renovations or cannot be kept safely away from the work.

Notify your neighbors 

Be polite to your neighbors and let them know when construction work is going to begin. Let them know details, like what is being done and how long you expect it to last. Provide your contact details so they can get in touch with you if they have any concerns. 

Conclusion

Whatever you’re looking to renovate, you can make the process less stressful and run more smoothly by preparing yourself and your home for renovations.


07/09/2020

Tips for preparing your house for sale

 

property inspection

In order to get the most money possible for your home, it’s important that you prepare it before you sell it. There’s much more to this process than organising the realtor and sitting back and waiting for the buyer to purchase. Follow our guide below and you’ll get more money for your home and a quicker sell too.

 

·         Tidy and declutter

No one wants to purchase a messy home, so don’t do your home a disservice by leaving it in a state. Give your home a thorough spring clean to let buyers know that your home has been well-cared for and that they won’t be buying a tip.

 

As you clean, you can use this time to declutter your home. This not only makes it easier and cheaper for you to move as you will have fewer belongings, but clutter can discourage potential buyers. Personal items, in particular, can make a potential buyer feel like someone lives in this home when you want them to be able to easily imagine themselves living there.

 

·         Steam clean or replace carpets

As part of your deep clean, pay extra attention to your carpets. If they are relatively new and aren’t showing too many signs of wear and tear, you can get them steam cleaned. This will deeply clean them, making them feel (and smell) brand new.

 

However, if your carpet has gone through a lot, it may be more effective to replace it. There are many low-cost and durable carpets available that can suit any home. Invest in some quality carpets to replacing the existing ones and ensure they are installed correctly.

 

·         Apply fresh paint

Fresh can make a home feel inviting and like its brand new. It’s a good idea to repaint all walls of your home, even the ceilings, to remove any marks or scuffs.

 

When you choose your paint, remember that neutral colours are best, like whites or beiges. While you may love a bright colour, many buyers may not. It’s better to aim for the majority of the market and if they want to paint the home in brighter colours, they can once they’ve bought it.

 

·         Complete minor repairs and renovations

Potential buyers will prefer a home that doesn’t need any fixing up than one that has problems, no matter how minor. Similarly, they may try and negotiate for a cheaper price because they will have to spend money on fixing these problems. By completing any minor repair work around your home before putting it up for sale, you’re ensuring you get the most for your home as well as getting a quicker sale.

 

If you’re not confident completing these repairs, get a professional in.

 

And while it may be tempting to complete a large renovation in a bid to improve the value of your home, hold off on doing this. While some renovations can add value to your home, you’re better off investing your money on the tips in this guide, along with making a few minor modifications to your home. Modifications could include an updated stove or rangehood, or replacing a worn-through screen door.

 

·         Touch up landscaping

Just like with renovations, there’s no reasons to spend thousands of dollars on landscaping when you’re selling your home. What matters more is getting on top of your existing landscaping. This might include mowing the lawn, pulling up weeds and defining flower gardens. If you want to add some fresh plants to your yard, choose low-maintenance plants as many potential buyers will be turned off by a garden that requires a lot of care and maintenance. They may not have your green thumbs.

 

·         Consider curb appeal

Speaking of landscaping, it’s worth spending time on your home’s curb appeal. This includes things like your front yard, as well as the front of your house. Tidy up the garden, fix up the fence and even add a fresh coat of paint to your home’s exterior. You can also tidy up the garage, washing down the floor and decluttering the space and getting rid of any pests or insects.

 

·         Look into professional home staging

Once you’ve taken care of the previous jobs, we recommend hiring a professional home stage to ensure your house makes a great first impression. These stylists can set up your home so that it looks war and inviting, without feeling overly personal. They can create the perfect environment for potential buyers to see your house at its best while easily imagining themselves living there.

 

·         Pre-sale house inspection           

Before you have the first visitors through your home, it’s also a good idea to invest in a pre-sale property inspection. While buyers may conduct a property inspection when they are serious about purchasing your home, you can show them that you’re serious about your home’s value by getting your own inspection done.

 

Not only does this give confidence to potential buyers that your home is of good quality and correctly valued, it also allows you a chance to catch any problems and rectify them before they can derail a sale. Read our another article on "First home buyer checklist"

 

Conclusion

Use the guide above to get a better price for your home, as well as a quicker sale. Remember that it’s about creating a good first impression and showing buyers that your home has been well-cared for and appropriately valued.

 


10/08/2020

Must-Have Car Accessories and Tech Gadgets to Enjoy Driving

carphone holder

In this technology-driven era, it’s easy and inexpensive to make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. With all the latest and trending car accessories and technology available, there are plenty of ways to improve any car and commute. 

We’ve put together a list of these great accessories, dividing them into devices that will help as you drive, help in emergencies and keep your car neat and tidy. 

For driving

Car phone holder

It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless it is in a car phone holder. Attach the holder to your dash or windscreen and you can easily see your phone to use it for maps, music and even call friends and family. 

Dashboard grip pad

Like the phone holder, a dashboard grip pad is made to make driving easier. It can safely hold your phone while you drive, as well as giving a handy place to store sunglasses, keys and more. The simple design grips naturally to your dashboard and can be removed with ease. 

Bluetooth FM transmitter

If your car doesn’t have a Bluetooth connection or auxiliary port, it can be hard to play your music through your car stereo. However, with a Bluetooth FM transmitter, you can tune the transmitter to a specific empty station and broadcast your favorite songs. All you need to do is then switch the radio to that station. 

Dash cam

Mounted on the dashboard of a car, a dash cam can be a great way to record a road trip but can also come in handy if you ever have a car accident. It will record exactly what happens and may prove useful when claiming insurance. 

Reversing camera

If safety is a priority for you, you need a reversing camera. This camera gives you a clear view of exactly what’s behind you, so you can reverse in safety. You may find this especially useful if you have small children, pets or a large vehicle that is difficult to see around. With a reversing camera, you no longer have a rear blind spot. 

For emergencies

Smart car locator 

A real-time device that lets you find your car by using an app on your phone. Using a special geolocatable device, you won’t ever forget where you’ve parked your car again. 

Bluetooth key finder

Another smart technology to take advantage of is the Bluetooth key finder. Simply attach the Bluetooth tile to your keys and download the phone app. Next time you misplace your keys, the app can guide you to them.

Car battery jumper

If you’re planning on a road trip or have an unreliable car, you need a portable car battery jumper. With this kit, you won’t be stuck waiting for someone else to come along, you can jumpstart your car on your own. 

Tyre pressure monitoring kit

Low tyre pressure can make driving dangerous, so get your hands on a tyre pressure monitoring kit so you can keep on top of it. 

To keep things tidy

Car trash can

If you go on long drives or have kids, sometimes a little mess in the car is unavoidable. However, to keep that mess under control, install a car trash can. This way, it’s much easier to keep your car clean.

Car vacuum

Along with a car trash can, a car vacuum is a must for anyone who spends a lot of time in their car. It can vacuum crumbs, dust and even pet hair. They store away easily and run on a battery for quick and easy cleans. 

Console insert for extra storage

Add some more storage space to your car with a console insert. It slots between the console and the front seats and is perfect for keys, your phone, sunglasses and everyday bits and pieces. It also stops things from slipping in between the seat and the console.

Car seat organiser

If you like to keep plenty of emergency and must-have items in your car, a car seat organiser is the perfect accessory. Slip this fabric storage piece over the back of a seat and you can slot all sorts of items, like hats, sunscreen, water bottles and even kids’ toys. This can help stop the footwalls and backseats from becoming a mess. 

Car boot organiser

The next time you go shopping, you’ll be grateful for the car boot organiser. It can keep all your essentials in place, like emergency first aid kits or tools for a changing tyre, but also be a great way to make sure shopping stays upright on the drive home. 

If you love your car and won’t to get the most out of it, there are plenty of great accessories and gadgets to improve your daily drive or next road trip. Which ones will you get?

 

07/08/2020

Why air conditioning servicing is important ?

Air Conditioning Installation
Having an air conditioner means you can get cool respite on hot sunny days. In many places, including Australia it is almost a necessity for an improved quality of life. However, like any kind of machinery, it’s vital that you look after it. This includes regular servicing. If you don’t service your air conditioning, you’re missing out on lots of great benefits. 

Why air conditioner maintenance is important?

To make your home more comfortable, an air conditioner circulates airs at a chosen temperature and can also help reduce humidity or dryness. However, if your air conditioner isn’t running as well as it could, you may find that it is not as effective. You may find you can’t ever quite get your home as comfortable as you wish.

And an air conditioner that isn’t serviced can also cause a lot of other problems too. 

Benefits of servicing your air conditioning

Better for your health
Good air quality is necessary for us to stay healthy, and this includes the indoor air quality in your home. If your air conditioner is clogged with dirt, dust and bacteria, then you can expect that you and your family will be more likely to get sick and even experience additional health issues.  

Poor air quality can be particularly bad for you if you already have respiratory issues, like allergies or asthma. They may even have difficulty breathing while at home and with the air conditioner on. In these situations, it can be life threatening to not get your air conditioning serviced. 

Improved air quality
A working air conditioner can help circulate clean, fresh air that will be easier to breathe. But this is only possible if you your air conditioner is regularly serviced, including cleaning out or changing filters where dust and bacteria may collect. By staying on top of these issues, you can ensure that you are breathing fresh air free of pollutants. And, as mentioned above, you will likely see an improvement in your health and can expect to have a stronger immune system.  

The lifespan of your air conditioner is extended
Servicing your air conditioner will increase its lifespan and keep it in top condition. If you purchase an expensive air conditioner and don’t maintain it properly then you are essentially throwing money down the drain. 

When your air conditioner is well cared for, it doesn’t have to overwork to get the same results. For instance, it may have to work harder to lower your home’s temperature if a filter is blogged. As a result, other parts of the system may be put under pressure and may break sooner than expected.

An experienced and qualified technician can service your air conditioning unit for the fraction of the cost of replacing your entire system. They will make sure that all parts are clean and nothing needs to be repaired. If something is broken, they can fix or replace it. 

Reduced chances of overheating
Electronic items can quickly overheat if they’re used improperly or aren’t well cared for. Air conditioners are the same. When your air conditioner overheats, you can expect it to work inefficiently and ineffectively. 

If you continue to use your air conditioner when it is overheating, it may quickly break.

Avoid expensive replacements
If your air conditioner breaks as a result of poor maintenance, it can be extremely expensive to replace. Air conditioner installation, particularly in peak times like summer, is not a cheap job. 

To avoid this sudden expense, take care of your current air conditioner. You’ll also save money in the long-term as a properly functioning air conditioning will run efficiently, meaning it uses as little power as possible. If you notice a rise in your power bills, it may be a clear sign that you need to get your air conditioner serviced.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect your air conditioner to last approximately 10 years before needing to be replaced.  

Avoid unpleasant odours
If your air conditioner is starting to emit a foul or unpleasant odour, it’s a sign that you need to get it serviced. The smell is likely a result of a build-up of dust, dirt and even bacteria in the unit. In some cases, the smell may be so bad that you have to avoid using your air conditioning. 

Conclusion

Air conditioners are a must-have for many of us. Being able to cool our homes with the click of a button is a luxury, however, that comes with a cost. We need to look after our air conditioners with regular servicing. But, thankfully, the benefits of doing so are plentiful.

06/08/2020

How to make your home UV-safe



Window Tinting

Ultraviolet, or UV, rays can negatively you and your home. While you may use sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when you go outside to protect yourself from these rays, you may not realize you also need to take precautions indoors too. This includes for both your own health, as well as the longevity of your home’s interior.

You shouldn’t, however, think you need to block natural light and UV rays altogether from your home. This would create a distinctly unappealing and unpleasant place to live. But there are tricks you can use to keep your home UV-safe and look after yourself and your home. Here are just a few to get you started.

You can’t completely shun the natural light coming into your home. But you can use some smart techniques like window tinting, blinds, window coverings, etc. to tackle UV-rays. The following are some of the ways which will help you to make your home UV-safe. 

Why UV rays are bad?


In order to understand why you need to minimize the UV rays that enter your home, we’ve put together this information for you. Understanding why you need to do something can often lead to more effective results. 

Damages furnishings and home interiors
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays can damage your furniture and flooring. This can be particularly upsetting if you have spent a lot of money on your home’s hardwood flooring and furniture. 

You can see evidence of this UV damage by looking at your flooring and furniture. The fabric on furniture may be faded and starting to wear and tear. Your floorboards may also be showing signs of wear and tear, like fading or even starting to crack and splinter. 

Exposure to UV rays can also cause plastic to crack, which can be a problem for many household appliances. 

Can be harmful to your health
Exposure to UV rays can also lead to many health issues for you. One of the most significant effects of prolonged exposure to UV rays is skin cancer. Excessive sunlight is the cause of many skin cancers, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. 

Damage caused by sunlight is cumulative. The more you expose yourself to sunlight the more is the chance of you getting skin cancer. This is why creating a UV-safe home is pertinent to keeping yourself in good health.

Prevent UV rays entering your home


The following are some of the simple ways you can make your home UV-safe.

Use window shades
This one of the most common and cost-effective ways to protect your home from harmful UVrays. Shades, blinds and drapes fall can all be used to block out sunlight and UV rays as you need to. You can find them all in a variety of materials and styles to suit your home and theme too. 

Get tinted windows or window films
Another way to protect your home against the UV rays is by getting window tinting or applying films to your windows. These are the most effective options as they can block 99% of UV rays without compromising the flow of natural light and preventing you from seeing outside.
 
Window films are usually translucent strips of vinyl or polyester, which can be applied to any window glass. However, these films do need to be changedeveryfew years or so. 

Tinted window glass, though, is a permanent solution for your windows. These specially made glasses are coated with layers of different UV-light observant oxides. 

Grow trees and plants strategically
If you’re a green thumb or want to give back to the environment, then you can also tree and plant cover to create natural shade around your home. By strategically growing trees and plants, you can create a natural shade barrier between you and UV rays. It can also improve the look of your home. 

Avoid UV rays

By making some strategic changes in your home, you can avoid the effects of UV rays in your.

Move or cover furniture
One of the simplest ways to stop your furniture from being damaged by UV rays is to make sure it’s not being touched by UV rays. You can do this by either moving furniture out of sunlight or by placing covers of it. Covers can be a great way to regularly switch up the appearance of your furniture too.

Use rugs to protect the floor
Just as you can use covers to protect furniture from UV damage, you can use rugs to protect your floor. 

Layout furniture so you don’t sit in direct sunlight
When you move furniture out of the sunlight, you’re also ensuring you stay out of the sun too. Layout your furniture so you don’t end up sitting in direct sunlight. 

Sunlight plays a significant role in our lives. It helps things grow and gives us much-needed Vitamin D. However, too much can be a problem for us and our homes. But with the tips above, you can control how much UV light enters your home. 

05/08/2020

15 must-have kitchen features

Kitchen Renovations Melbourne

Are you planning a kitchen renovation project? Are you looking for smart and practical options to make the most of your space? There’s more a great kitchen makeover than a few extra cabinets. It takes time and careful thought to come up with the perfect design, including all the features you want.

So, we’ve put together this list to take some of the pressure off you. We’ve compiled 15 features that we think should be in every kitchen. We think you’ll fall in love with them too.

1. Induction cooktop

There’s plenty to love when it comes to induction cook tops. Unlike traditional cooktops, an induction cooktop never actually gets hot to touch. Instead, using a magnetic field, it heats your pots and pans. They’re a great addition to a household with curious kids or if you have a habit of forgetting to turn the stove off. They are also often more energy efficient than gas and electric options.

2. Double sink with filter, boiled and chilled water

A double sink is a must, so you never have to worry about moving dirty dishes to wash and prep fresh veggies. Plus, when you install a filtered and automatically boiled and chilled water faucet, you can enjoy a drink straight from the tap. You won’t have to heat the kettle again either, which can lead to some extra energy savings.

3. Pull-out pantry

Pantries can easily get cluttered and it can be difficult to get a sense of exactly everything that’s in there. If something ends up at the back, you might not see it again until you move to a new house.  However, a pull-out pantry changes this. You can see exactly what you have at a glance. Plus, a pull-out pantry is a great trick to make the most of all the space in your kitchen.

4. Pull-down shelving

Pull-down shelving is one of the best kitchen features out there, particularly if you have high cupboards. Rather than having to stand on a chair or stool, you can bring the shelves to you. And these shelves look elegant while being extremely accessible.

5. Self-closing drawers and doors

If you tend to forget about shutting kitchen drawers and cupboard doors, only to bump into them or leave the kitchen a mess, you need to get self-closing drawers and doors. With a little extra weight to them, they’ll close themselves if you ever forget.

6. Deep drawers

Speaking of drawers, deep drawers are one of the best storage options for large cooking pots and pans. Forget about pokey cupboards, these can slide under the stove, giving you easy access to these larger items.

7. Bin drawers

Bin drawers can be a neat way to keep your kitchen looking tidy and cut down on unpleasant smells You can place them just about anywhere in your kitchen.

8. Warming drawer

If you like throwing a dinner parties, a warming drawer is what you need. It keeps food ready while it waits to be served, so you don’t have to stay in the kitchen while your guests mingle before dinner time.

9. Two-tiered cutlery drawer

As the name suggests, this drawer has two tiers for storing cutlery of different shapes and sizes. When it is opened, the top tier of the drawer can slide back and allow easy access to lower-tier items. It can be a great feature for smaller kitchens.

10. Divided storage

While it’s common to use drawer dividers in cutlery and utensil drawers, but you can do so much. Divide all your kitchen storage so you can always find what you’re looking for.

11. Tray storage

This is a special built vertical storage facility which saves space and can easily accommodate pizza pans, cookie sheet, and cutting boards. This storage has a roll-out drawer system, which enables you to see everything.

12. Appliance garage

An appliance garage is a simple solution to store all your counter top appliances in a compact way. Your appliances are always plugged in; thus, you just have to open the door and slide the appliance out and use it. It helps to keep your kitchen counter top clutter-free.

13. Utensil rack

Installing a utensil rack is a storage-friendly way of organizing your kitchen. You can experiment with it and add an assortment of commonly used utensils within your reach. A well-designed utensil rack can even feature as kitchen decor.

14. Skylight

Skylights are the best option for small kitchens where natural light is an issue. Rather than give up precious wall space for a window, use your ceiling.

15. Under-cabinet lighting

Installing under-cabinet lighting is a practical way of providing adequate artificial lighting. It helps to brighten up the kitchen space and is very helpful during meal preps and clean up tasks. It can also be used as a stylish ambient light.

There are lots of other features you might like to include in your new kitchen. Research and have fun designing your dream kitchen.

01/07/2020

How to Take Care of Your Healing Crystals

healing crystals

Crystal healing is a popular and alternative medical treatment believe to help with a number of ailments. These natural stones are thought to help you attain positive physical and mental energy to live stress free. Every person has their own needs and thus different crystals are best for different requirements. To find the right crystals for you, you need to think about you need to help heal your mind, heart and soul.

Once you find the right crystals for you, you will feel enriched with more positive energy and confidence to reach your specific goals. However, you may notice that as time passes,your crystals may feel less effective. This is a clear sign that it’s time to cleanse and recharge your crystal so it can continue to help you.

Ways to cleanse your crystal

Running water
Water is believed to neutraliseany negative energy stored inside the stone. As these stones heal you with the power of positive energy, they tend to absorb all the negative energy around you. Thus, they work as a protective shield between you and negative energy.
A natural running water source is best to rinse healing crystals, especially for hard ones like quartz. Rinse for at least a minute. Avoid rinsing soft stones like selenite and kyanite.
If you don’t have access to a natural water source, you can visualise one as you rinse your stone under the tap.

Sea salt
Sea salt is very effective at ridding negative energy from stone. But do not use this method on soft, porous, and stones containing traces of metal. The salt may react with the stone.This method is best for quartz and amethyst.
To cleanse your stone, take a bowl and fill it with water and some sea salt. Place the stone in the water, making sure it is completely submerged. Leave it overnight. The next day, rinse the stone and pat it dry.

Light of the full moon
Moonlight can naturally cleanse your stone. For this, place your stone in the light of the full moon. This way, your stone will soak in the lunar energy, cleansing itself of negative energy in the process. It’s best if your stone is resting on the earth.

Sage
Burn sacred sage to smudge around the stone. Smudging removes negative vibrations from the stone, restoring its natural energy. You should waft the smoke around the stone for at least 30 seconds. This method is one that can be used with any type of crystal.

Other stones
Some crystals, like clear quartz, amethyst and hematite, have natural purification properties. That’s why these stones can be used to cleanse others. Place the purification stone directly on the top of the one that you want to cleanse. Give it some time — at least 24 hours — to cleanse the negative energy. You can use this method with all stones.

Recharging your healing crystal

Once your crystal has been cleansed, you need to recharge its energy for it to be as effective as possible. It’s best to do this as soon as you’ve cleansed it.

Crystals tend to get most of their energy from natural light. Placing them under sunlight or moonlight can charge any stone. However, there are some tips to get the most out of the charging process:

Hold your crystal in your hand (preferably the left one)
Stand in sunlight or moonlight
Gently breathe on your stone so it can take on some of your energy
Think about the stone’s purpose in your life
Dedicate the crystal to that specific purpose by visualising it or saying it out loud

Some crystals such as selenite, citrine and kyanite don’t require charging. You may still find it helpful to complete the recharging ritual though. Have a look on our another blog "4 Best Healing Crystals"

How to store your crystal

Crystals can be fragile and may suffer if you do not give them proper care and love. So, storing them safely is essential. Here are some rules to follow:

Keep your crystal clean and dry
Keep them away from salty or damp air, dirt and dust
Keep different stones separated
Use natural fibres like silk, leather, wood or glass or cotton to store your crystals
Do not expose them to excessive heat or sunlight
Avoid storing them near electronics devices, like mobile phones and computers

Bottom line

Each crystal is different so what they can do for you varies. However, all crystals should be regularly cleansed and recharged to ensure they provide you with as much healing as possible. Follow the steps above to cleanse, charge and store your crystals.

30/05/2020

5 Hazardous Mistakes to Avoid While Remodelling Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodelling

Kitchen is a place of family socializing and having a good old family dinner. The kitchen can be described as a focal point of any house. Being the most active place when it comes to family activities, it needs to be aesthetically pleasing. On top of that, it has to be functional as a place which is comfortable enough to accommodate your entire family. Your work doesn’t get over by just investing in some good furniture fixtures.

Kitchen remodelling plan needs a proper layout and a perfect design, without which good furniture is useless. The kitchen design and its layout usually go parallel to each other. A proper kitchen layout is important for designing a perfect kitchen. Only a few people might be familiar with the word, kitchen triangle. It is that space in the kitchen, where there is a high frequency of activities. Thus, space needs to be flawless and unobstructed.

The kitchen triangle is a term used by kitchen experts. Three points namely the stove, the sink and the refrigerator when connected form a triangle, this space is known as kitchen triangle. It is a focal point of any kitchen design and should be designed carefully. It makes the kitchen design perfect and eases up your kitchen work to a larger extent. Read our another blog on "Kitchen Safety at Home"

When you are up to planning the kitchen design, many things can go wrong. To save you from wasting time and money, the following is the list of 5 mistakes that one should avoid at any cost:


1. Obstructing Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle is one of the most important spaces in the kitchen. As mentioned above, one needs to plan layout such that all the three points are easily accessible to each other. You have to keep all the side equal just like the equilateral triangle. All three points should be close enough to enable easy accessibility. Kitchen triangle helps to keep the kitchen design simple and makes the space more productive. While designing the triangle, never place a fixture between them as it can obstruct the free movement.


2. Not Having Ample Counter and Storage Space

If you think of the kitchen activities that do not require a counter top, the list would be empty because let’s face it, you cannot work in a kitchen without a counter top. So, it is important to priorities having as much horizontal surface area as possible. Make sure you have ample space to work as well as house kitchen appliances on the counter top. You do not want the place to always look too cluttered. The same thing goes for storage space. You need a storage space to house your utensils, cooking tools and cutlery. Before starting to consider kitchen designs, it is advisable to determine how much storage space would be required by you. Decide a kitchen design that can offer you the needed storage space.


3. Poor Ventilation

Ventilation is extremely important in any kitchen. Even the best kitchen designs can fail if adequate ventilation is not provided within the kitchen. The strong odours of food items need to be shown a way out or else your kitchen may start to stink after a passage of time and can even pose health hazards. So, it is always recommended that you make a substantial investment in a quality ventilation system to circulate fresh air and pump out the stale air and keep the kitchen cleaner.


4. Lack of Lighting

A well-planned kitchen never faces the problem of improper lighting condition. If you fail to account for proper lighting in your kitchen remodelling plan, then it might result in a huge mistake. No one likes to work or spend time in a space lacking proper illumination. Kitchen space needs proper lighting as this is a place where all the magic happens. Activities such as chopping vegetables, preparing meals, etc. becomes a difficult task. Lack of proper lighting can make your kitchen look dark and dull. Consider all the dynamics of the space such as natural lighting and a combination of ceiling lights, hanging lights, etc.


5. Going Over Budget:

This is one of the common mistakes that we can make. Oftentimes it happens, that while kitchen remodelling something new comes in our mind. If that addition or idea is withing your allotted budget that it’s fine. But if the same idea leads you to overspend, then it can hinder your finances. As a homeowner, try to stay within your budget. Rather than being emotional about the renovation project, you should act logically. You can keep a provision for extra funds, but it should be used only for unexpected problems.


Final Thought:

To be honest, the kitchen remodelling project is not that easy as it may sound. The above-mentioned mistakes should be avoided at any cost. Hire the services of professionals who will devise a perfect plan for your kitchen renovation. You can discuss these mistakes to make your renovation project, hassle-free.