5 Lighting Options to Create a Whole New Home

If you have lived in your home for a number of years you may have become a little tired with the way it looks. That house that you were in love with five years ago might not have the same wow factor now, after living in it and getting to know every wall and every nook and cranny.

Often people refresh their homes with a new coat of paint or some new furniture, but there are other ways to bring about a renaissance in your property. And the answer is lighting! The way a room is lit makes a huge difference to how it’s perceived, and there are numerous lighting options available to you, including the following 5:

1) Chandeliers

Chandeliers add to a room immediately as they can be spectacular features in their own right. They are a great way to bathe a room in light, or a corridor or landing that might not have been adequately lit before. A chandelier is an excellent choice for a dining room, and glass or crystal chandeliers reflect even more light out, creating a magical effect that will dazzle your guests.

2) Outdoor lighting

It is not just your interior that can benefit from the addition of some new lighting; your garden and the exterior of your home can be transformed into a spectacular sight with the right illumination. Bulkhead ship lights are a much more attractive option to regular security lights, and positioned correctly they can introduce a kind of lighting punctuation, spaced around the outside of your home. Uplighting is another effective way of making a property more impressive at night, so a great choice if you regularly entertain with evening parties.


3) Fairy lights

Fairy lights are cheap but the scene they create can be utterly enchanting. If you wrap a few lengths around bushes in your garden, banisters in your house or even picture frames, you will add some wonder to your home without having to fork out large amounts of cash.

4) Coloured lighting

If you would like to add a splash of colour to your home, forget the paintbrush and consider coloured lighting. There are LED systems that glow gently in one colour or constantly change, thereby constantly altering the way your room looks. This is a very popular way to enhance a home at the moment, so there are numerous coloured lighting products to choose from.

5) Dimmer switches

This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but the installation of a dimmer switch really can have a huge impact on how a room looks. Often you need spaces in your home to be fairly brightly lit at some times, but when you want to relax and take it easy, that lighting could be too much. A dimmer allows you to easily reduce the brightness of your lighting to your desired level, without having to buy wall lights, lamps or other products to provide a lesser amount of light.

What You Need to Successfully Sand your Wooden Floors

Wooden floors can look fantastic and be a real feature in a home, adding aesthetic appeal and even value to a property, if laid and finished properly.

If you have wooden floor boards in your home but you haven’t made the most of them, then you really should. Either you can secure the services of a wood flooring professional such as Flooring By Design, to provide you with everything you need, or you can finish your floors yourself. But in order to do that you will need a few pieces of vital equipment, such as the following:

A Drum Sander

If you aim to finish your own wooden flooring the most substantial piece of equipment you need is a drum sander. This machine does the most significant amount of sanding, taking your floor from a rough surface to a relatively smooth one.

A drum sander is easy enough to use once you know what you are doing, but before you tackle your precious floor it’s wise to practise on some scrap wood, or a part of the floor that will be less visible.


A Vibrating Sander

Once you have thoroughly drum sanded your floor, it is time to pick up the vibrating sander. This is the next stage in achieving a gorgeous wooden surface and this sander is needed to smooth any rough marks left by the larger drum sander.

It is wise to use gradually finer gritted sandpaper in this machine, in order to get the smoothest finish possible. A vibrating sander usually comes with a dust bag to collect debris made while sanding, though you should still expect a considerable amount of dust in your room, so it is important to open windows and remove furniture and other furnishings from the area you’re working in.

An Edge Sander

The edge sander is a smaller sander still, but a vital one if you want to get a fantastic finish on your wooden floor. As the name suggests, the edge sander will allow you to reach edges that are inaccessible with the larger drum and vibrating sanders. Most edge sanders are shaped similar to irons, with a pointed end that allows you to reach corners of rooms, and small areas around pipes and fittings.

With these three sanding machines you should be able to really make the most of your wooden floors, so why not see what you have under your carpet!

How to Keep your Home Fire Safe

Fire has been both friend and foe to humanity since its discovery. Without it we wouldn’t have been able to evolve as we have, to become the developed people we are. But still it is a real danger in various environments, not least the home. Sadly house fires still kill, and it is because of this that we should make every effort to make our homes fire safe. But how exactly can we do that?

Choose effective alarms

Having an effective smoke alarm is an absolute must for every home. If you don’t have one currently then the first thing you should do after reading this is to invest in one. And this really is an investment, in your safety and the safety off your family.

There are smoke alarms available at various prices and with differing features. Make sure you choose an approved alarm and fit one in your kitchen others spread through your home – depending on its size.

Check smoke alarms

If you have smoke alarms then check them to make sure they are still working. Some alarms have batteries that will last for a few months; others that will last up to 10 years. But to be safe, you should check your alarms weekly, for peace of mind and fire safety.

Buy fire extinguishers

If a fire does start in your home it is safest to have some means of fighting it. This is why it is a good idea to buy fire extinguishers. Of course you shouldn’t try to tackle a large blaze, but if a small fire starts, for instance in the kitchen, a handy fire extinguisher could be the quickest and best way to deal with it. Remember that for different kinds of fire there are different fire extinguishers that are suitable for the job. Take a look at the extinguishers at UK Safety Store to find out more.

Have an escape plan

If you are faced with a fire in your home it is important to have an escape plan. Everyone should know at least two safe routes out of your home, so plan out how you would evacuate your property in case of fires in different parts of it. This is particularly important if you live in an apartment located above the ground floor. So make an escape plan and make sure everyone in your home knows it.

Dishwashers: How To Choose?

These days none of us have much spare time! With increasing bank balance strains, rising childcare costs, daily chores and the need to work more hours just to get by, it’s no wonder we’re all left feeling lucky to have a five minute break before bed at night.

Did you know that the average person spends 200 hours a year washing up? When you think about how precious time is, it’s really irritating to know you could save 200 whole hours (over 8 days!) by using a simple machine.

The humble dishwasher can also offer you great energy savings as well as the satisfaction of a clean and tidy kitchen. Did you know over 40% of all UK homes contain a dishwasher? If you’ve ever spoken to someone who has one they will usually describe is as a godsend because it saves them so much effort and time!

The demand for dishwashers grows all the time. With this growth in the industry comes a whole new list of exciting features which have been added to make the dishwashing process quicker, more efficient and more energy efficient. Here are some tips to help you find a dishwasher right for you:

Full Size 45cm, 60cm, Slimline or Compact – Which dishwasher size is best for you?

A full sized dishwasher has a 60CM wide gap and is the most common sized dishwasher sold in the UK. Expect capacity for 12-14 place settings and an easy fit into the British standard gap for appliances. If space is an issue or you simply want to save space then you should consider a 45CM slimline option which still has the capacity for up to 10 place settings and suits families without children or properties with small kitchens. If you really don’t want a slimline or full sized dishwasher or simply don’t have the cabinet space for one there is still an option for you; the compact dishwasher. Designed to be used anywhere with an electric source these tabletop machines can hold around 4 – 6 place settings.

Integrated Semi-Integrated or Freestanding?

Did you know that there are three different types of dishwasher integration? As well as the flexible size differences there are also different ways to integrate your dishwasher into your kitchen space:

Fully integrated dishwashers are fantastic because you cannot see them! The fact they are tidily hidden away behind a cabinet door also means they make a lot less noise than a free standing dishwasher. You are unable to see the control panel at all which means you can only turn the device on or off by opening the drawer (great protection from little hands!).

Semi integrated machines have a visible control panel which is the same height as the other kitchen goods such as the oven or the washing machine. They are still integrated in that they tend to have a wooden panel on the front (with the colour of your choice), they just have an exposed control panel at the top in addition to this.

Free standing dishwashers quite literally stand alone and will only fit under suitable cabinet space. You cannot place a cabinet door onto the front of them, although they do come in a range of colours and designs to suit the modern kitchen.


Energy Labels

These labels are substantially more important than they used to be. Today’s shopper is more ECO friendly and energy savvy and demands a more detailed look at how energy efficient any new purchases are. All dishwashers are now graded according to their energy efficiency, washing efficiency and drying efficiency. These grades range from very good (A) to very poor (G). Dishwashers that have achieved the highest grades come with an efficiency sticker which is worth looking out for if you’re having trouble establishing the best brands.

Most dishwashers come with different wash systems depending on what you are washing (IE dirty pans, dishes etc). You can select the wash that most suits your load and let the machine do the work for you. The water amounts, temperature and soap integration will have all been pre designed.

Now all you have to do is load up, switch on and relax!!

thanks to the staff at www.appliance-world.co.uk for providing advice and information.

Laminate Flooring VS Solid Wood Flooring: The Differences

If you are thinking about installing some new flooring in your home you have a number of choices available to you. Two very popular options – which are available widely today – are laminate and solid wood flooring. But what are the benefits and the main differences?

This is what we are going to look at in this post, as wood floors (and wood look floors) can really enhance a home and add a touch of style and luxury to a property. So let us examine the characteristics of both hardwood flooring and laminate flooring, to help you choose the right material for your space.

Solid Wood Flooring: The Benefits

Hardwood flooring is a hugely popular choice because solid wood offers numerous benefits. It is strong, it is durable and it looks great too. Solid wood boards can be sanded and varnished or painted to achieve a desired look that will suit your taste and your property. And because this is solid wood this process can be repeated any time you fancy a change in your aesthetic.

The longevity of solid wood flooring makes it a great investment too. There are buildings throughout the world with ancient wooden floors that have been there for decades and even centuries, and if you choose hard wood and look after it yours could last just as long.


Laminate Flooring: The Benefits

Laminate flooring is popular because it gives a very similar finish to wood floors, yet is not made of wood at all. The advantage of that is that laminate flooring is very inexpensive, and usually a lot cheaper than hardwood flooring. The fact that laminate is an economical option makes it very appealing to a large number of homeowners and landlords who want to maintain their homes without spending a fortune.

Another benefit of this type of flooring is that it can be quickly and easily cleaned. Because it is made of plastic any stains can be mopped or wiped up in a second.


Solid Wood: The Drawbacks

One drawback of hardwood flooring is that it can be damaged by excessive heat, sunlight and moisture. Such factors can lead to wood warping and losing shape over time, necessitating repairs which could be costly. This is a reason that solid wood flooring should not be used over under-floor heating.

Laminate Flooring: The Drawbacks

An obvious style drawback is that laminate flooring is not wood. It can be printed with a wood grain effect on top but on closer inspection it is quite clear that this is no quality timber. Some people don’t mind that but others prefer to know that their floors are genuine wood.

It is evident that laminate flooring and hardwood flooring both have their advantages and potential drawbacks, depending on your perspective. Hopefully this article has made these points clear to you so that you can now make your choice and enhance your property.

Save Money and The Environment With Solar Energy

Everyone wants to save money on their utility bills.  But what about helping the environment in the meantime?  Installing solar energy solutions in and around your home is a great way to not only save money, but the environment too.

Solar energy solutions today are light years ahead of where they were just a few years ago.  And no, you don’t have to live in the Arizona desert to reap the benefits of solar energy.  Even in northern states (and Canada too), solar energy makes sense because even limited sun throughout the year can reap significant savings for you.

When I used to live in Toronto, I invested in several solar energy products, including a solar water heater for the home as well as several solar products for my swimming pool.  Jon Portland, a friend of mine over at Discount Pool Supply Canada, outfitted my inground pool with a solar pool cover (made in Canada) as well as a solar panel roof kit that provided heat for my pool.

Take a look at this infograghic from the Solar Lights and More blog to get some more ideas on how you can incorporate some solar energy solutions for your home.  Save money and save the environment at the same time!