08 October 2014

Seven must-haves for a new home


Building a new home can be both exciting and stressful, especially when it comes to choosing the house plans and envisaging your life in the abode once it has been built. Many people get swept away in the thrill of finalizing their plans, but perhaps don’t take as long considering the layout and inclusions as they should. In order to minimize any post-construction regrets, it’s important that you factor in as many relevant details as you can before the building work starts.

From weighing up the amount of storage space and natural lighting, to considering electrical outlets and the placement of rooms, there is much to sort out. To help bring you many years of blissful home life, read on for seven elements you’ll want your house design to factor in.

Low-Maintenance Fixtures, Fittings and Surfaces

When designing a house that you’re planning on living in for many years to come, it’s always a good idea to keep the choice of fixtures, fittings, and surfaces in mind. For example, low-maintenance materials such as granite, quartz and laminate can be ideal for kitchen and bathroom bench-tops. Similarly, polished concrete floors can be easy to look after over the years, while stainless steel fixtures and fittings are a breeze to polish up as time goes by.

Placement of Rooms or Flexible Floor Plans

It’s always a good idea to think carefully about the placement of rooms in your home’s layout. For example, do you need a small powder room near the garage or back door to allow for clean ups after working on cars or in the garden? Or perhaps you need to ensure that the kitchen is placed close to the garage so that there’s no issue of lugging groceries too far? It’s also wise to choose flexible floor plans and make sure your house plans fit your needs. Having rooms or spaces in the home that can adapt easily to the changing needs of the family over time is very helpful.

Storage Space

In this day and age pretty much every family has accumulated a lot of stuff. Whether it’s a large collection of clothes, sporting equipment, books, DVDs or gadgets, most people never quite factor in enough storage space for all their belongings when designing a house. In the planning stages, make sure you include ample storage that will suit your needs both today and in the future if your family is likely to expand.

Look for areas of wasted space where you can create a small utility closet or storage nook (such as under flights of stairs, between bedrooms, or even in vaulted ceilings). Look to add in as much accessible storage space as possible, such as cabinets and shelving at heights that can be reached without ladders.

Provisions for Pets or Elderly Family Members

If you’re customizing your home to suit your family, make sure you think about the elderly members, as well as the four-legged ones.


If you currently have, or will in the future, less mobile family members living with you, have a very good think about sticking to a single-level home that doesn’t have any stairs.

Similarly, more and more people are factoring their pets in when designing a home these days. Homeowners can look at installing a dog-bathing facility in the laundry, or specially-designed cabinets for pet food in the kitchen or garage.

Heating and Cooling

Installing the right kind of heating and cooling systems during the build of a home is always going to be much cheaper than adding them in after, so don’t forget to consider your family’s needs in this area.

For starters, make sure your new home has properly-insulated walls to help keep the abode cool in summer and warm in winter, without a lot of extra need for power-draining appliances. As well, carefully consider whether you’re likely to want or need underfloor heating in the future, as it is one of the most expensive items to retrofit later on.

Electrical Outlets

Another thing that many people forget to include enough of in their home design is electrical outlets. As early as you can, think about each room inside your house, as well as the outside spaces, and consider exactly how many power outlets you might need, as well as where best to locate them.


Consider adding plugs on the kitchen island for phone chargers, under windows for Christmas tree lights, and in the bathroom and laundry for appliances such as hairdryers, shavers and dust busters.

Number of Windows and Skylights

Again, many people forget to factor in enough windows or skylights when designing their home. Natural light is one of the most sought-after elements in a house, so carefully consider the aspect and layout of each room in your plans to make sure you don’t end up with a residence that feels dank and dark, no matter the time of year.

29 September 2014

The Bridal Registry Guide: Things to consider when building your wedding registry

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If you are finally getting ready to say goodbye to your single life and plan a fantastic wedding, chances are that you have a million things on your mind. Indulging your oddest whims in different department stores by spending a lot of money that you don’t really have is probably the last priority on your to-do list right now.

But what if the items that you are craving for at the moment could actually come from your closest friends and family members who want to help you build a new life with your better half? From this standpoint, creating a wedding registry is a smart move.

Following a well-organized, manageable Goodearth Bridal Registry will allow your wedding guests to select the most inspired must-haves and surprise you with the perfect gift. On top of that, a registry will enable you to determine who bought what (in case the card vanishes into thin air) and enjoy your first days as a married person without being forced to deal with returns or duplicate present issues. Wondering how you could prevent tiny mishaps that could compromise your wedding registry creation and management efforts? If so, here are a few things that you should consider.

Start Early. Early planning has its benefits. Just think about it: some of your closest friends and family members will want to surprise you with the coolest, most practical and sleek gifts as soon as you announce your engagement. This is precisely why it may be a good idea to create your wedding register early (preferably a couple of weeks before your engagement party) and list a few essential items that you want to get your hands on. It’s never too early to start, especially since you can add your favorite picks, like those gorgeous dinner sets for instance, which is more or less a pretty essential part of any lavish wedding and edit your register later on.

Register at Multiple Locations. Why limit your options when you can register at multiple stores? According to Real Simple, it would be best to stick to two or three department stores, taking into consideration that handling multiple bridal registries can be stressful and time-consuming.

Focus on Everyday Items That You’ll Actually Need. These days, you can register for everything your heart desires: from socks to stocks. Some financial institutions even open bank accounts enabling guests to deposit money for grooms who are saving up for a place of their own. Other couples choose to redirect their guests’ contributions to their non-profit of choice. If you are expecting less conventional presents, remember that some of your guests may want to offer you traditional gifts, like a colorful, custom made dinnerware or luxurious bedding for instance; this is why you should also register at a large chain store to expand your options and keep all your categories of guests happy. At the end of the day, you can satisfy your philanthropic needs. If you want to receive everyday items from your guests, it is advisable to focus on elements with a prominent practical value. Always put usability above looks and ephemeral trends. For instance, expensive china with an elegant design is definitely more useful than a wine fridge, especially if you only drink beer. Analyze your real necessities and expectations before editing your wedding registry.

Let Your Guests Know Where You Have Decided to Register. If you want to comply with the complex and at times hard to decipher wedding etiquette, you shouldn't use your wedding invitations to let your guests know where you have chosen to register. Even so, most stores distribute information cards that could be distribute to your guests by your shower hostess. If you don’t want to send out any cards, you could always rely on word-of-mouth. Your closest relatives and friends will gladly transmit this vital piece of information. Also, you should know that most stores ensure guest access, making it easier for your loves ones to find your registry and discover your wishes.

25 September 2014

Choosing the right recliner for you


There’s no shortage of riser recliner chairs on offer these days. In fact, there’s now a dizzying array of these products to choose from, which can make deciding which versions to buy difficult. However, as long as you know what to look for, you should end up with the ideal riser recliner for you.

To help you along the way, took a look at this brief guide.

 Comfort and ease of use

Of course, you’ll want your new seating to look the part, but the first issues you should consider when perusing your options are comfort and ease of use. After all, if you get a product that ticks both of these boxes, you stand to significantly enhance your quality of life.

To avoid disappointment, you should make sure that the chair you buy is a suitable height, width and depth. Also, bear in mind that the item must be able to fit within the space you have in mind, and you’ll need to make sure that there’s enough space around the seat for you to be able to get into and out of it comfortably.

Take care to find out how simple each chair is to use as well. You don’t want to be fiddling around with complicated systems or searching for awkward levers. The best products boast simple controls, allowing you to rise and recline with total ease.

In addition, consider how far from the wall you will need to place your chair in order to recline on it. Some products can be positioned within a few inches of walls and this can make arranging lounge furniture much easier.

Massage functions

All riser recliners make sitting down and getting up easier. However, some of these products also offer massage functions. The very best of these systems can provide effective relief from a range of medical conditions, including back pain, arthritis, sciatica, hip pain, varicose veins, night cramps, poor blood circulation, spinal disorders and water retention. They can also speed up recovery after certain sporting injuries and they can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Even if you don’t have any of these health problems, the technology enables you to enjoy on-demand massages. At the press of a button, you can relax and unwind in the comfort of your living room.

Style

There is no need to compromise on style simply because you’re after practical seating. As long as you know where to look, you can take your pick from an array of attractive chairs that perfectly complement your decor. It’s worth paying close attention to this issue. After all, you might have your riser recliner for many years, so it’s important that you like its appearance.

General quality

Last but by no means least, consider the general quality of the products available. Certain chairs look great at first glance, but quickly lose their appeal once they start malfunctioning or coming apart at the seams. Remember, these items are supposed to make your life easier and more enjoyable. They should not be a source of stress.

Luckily, it’s now easy to find excellent quality riser recliners that exude class and that function perfectly. For example, the products on offer at www.adjustablebeds.co.uk come in a range of styles and fabrics and they boast a number of impressive features. Their Cyclo-Therapy massage system offers the ultimate therapeutic massage and they benefit from Easy Reach technology, meaning you can position them close to your walls.

As long as you consider all these factors when you’re searching for a riser recliner, you can rest assured you’ll be thrilled with the results.

08 September 2014

Enhance the aesthetics of your bedroom with a contemporary, sliding wardobe


A bedroom looks best when it has less furniture and more space to walk around freely. Apart from the necessary things, there should not be anything in the bedroom. However, in a typical house, you will never find such an ideal bedroom. There will be closets, wardrobes and whatnot, making the bedroom as much like a store room as anything else. Wouldn't it be nice if you could actually find the secret of getting the ideal bedroom in your house?


Well, the secret is a sliding wardrobe. So what exactly is a sliding wardrobe? These are wardrobes that have sliding doors to create more space in the bedroom. If you have seen a traditional wardrobe, you would have noticed the swinging closet doors that often created an obstruction and needed more space to make way for the whole door to be opened. But with innovation and new style, the sliding wardrobes have become very popular among families especially, because they can keep all their clothes in one place.

Types of sliding wardrobes

With the introduction of sliding wardrobes, various experiments were done with their design and style and ultimately three different types of sliding wardrobes were introduced. The following are the three types of sliding wardrobes that are swarming the market these days:

  • Glass-type sliding wardrobes - These wardrobes blend well with any bedroom and if there is a theme for the bedroom, then there's nothing like it. If you go to an interior designer, this is probably the first thing that he or she will suggest you to buy. If you want to add a unique style to the doors, then choose from the smoked glass panels - they look gorgeous on these wardrobes. However, while choosing the glass do ensure that you choose Plexiglass and not some other glass. Plexiglass is known for its durability and would suit the wardrobe to perfection.
  • Mirrored sliding wardrobes - These wardrobes are made of glass materials and have a reflective film on the back of the glass panel. The whole concept of this wardrobe is very smart as the big mirrors are crafted to act like sliding doors. It makes the wardrobe look so much bigger due to its reflective nature and the craftsmen that designed this feature did nothing extraordinary, but simply replaced a few parts with glass and played with the reflection; as simple as that.
  • Wooden sliding wardrobes - These are the most common type of sliding wardrobes that you will find in the market. These are simple, yet elegant and are made of dense wood such as teak, mahogany and maple. Unlike other sliding wardrobes, you will find a lot of designs in this one. The doors can have an additional touch of beauty with crafted wooden panels or louvered closet panels. But, it all depends on the manufacturer whether he can put these innovations in his work or not.

Sliding wardrobes are available for online order as well since the reputed names like SKON Design have marked their presence online. Depending on the colour theme of your room you can browse the internet and order the best sliding wardrobe. Suppose you have a white theme for your bedroom, and you happen to live in Dublin. Simply, go online and search with white sliding wardrobe in Dublin and you will find the names of the companies who have the wardrobe with the specification you just gave. Searching on the internet helps you see the entire structure of the wardrobe very easily, and you also get to compare the price with other online stores providing the same thing. Sliding wardrobes have immense benefits, and it is the latest trend in the market. It would be wise to select this wardrobe if you are looking to buy a new one.  

Different types of cookers and ovens


If you’ve decided your tired, old cooker or oven needs replacing and it’s a long time since you visited an appliance store to check out the different types available on the market, you may be confused about the choices. However, at online retailers such as Appliance World, due to the extent of their product range, you’re sure to find one that will suit your needs perfectly.

Gas

Powered by mains for the majority of people but occasionally using bottled gas, cookers and ovens using gas have long been a popular choice for households. Quick to heat up and easy to control as it’s a much more visual cooking method than any of the electrical choices, gas cooker tops and electric ovens such as the Siemens built in ovens are a popular combination for many kitchens requiring a sleek design. The only real disadvantage to using a gas cooker is that there’s more parts to dismantle and clean with the rings are they will need washing regularly to remove the fat and food residue otherwise they can quickly become blocked.

Induction

Induction uses very powerful electromagnets, and these are underneath a glass surface which is manufactured from smooth ceramic. When turned on, the induction power comes from an electromagnetic field. The field causes heat to be created, and this is then transferred to the pan or pot on the stove. There’s no heating element and no burners underneath. The way the food cooks is through a rise or fall in the amount of electric power. It’s also possible to buy induction cookers which are manufactured from cast iron.

The main positive aspect from using induction to cook with is that they are really safe – with particular reference to children. There’s so little chance of burns happening accidentally, because the heat moves from the field to the cookware and there’s no stovetop to heat up. As it’s electrically powered, there’s never a worry about a gas leak.

Induction power is very energy efficient, and food doesn’t take so long to cook. It’s also a very easy to use the kind of heat as temperature control is easy, and changes in the heat take place very quickly.

Because of the glass top, they are very quick and easy to clean – a wipe with a soft, damp cloth, and the job is finished. They also suit modern, sleek and contemporary designed kitchens.

However, some people feel there is a possible issue with radiation, but research evidences this to be very low. You’ll need to buy pots and pans which have either iron or stainless steel bottoms otherwise the magnetic field won’t be created, and there’ll be no heat. The cookware bottoms also have to be flat to ensure even distribution of the field.

You’ll need to be careful with the surface. Be careful not to crack the glass with cookware or to drag anything across the top otherwise you’ll end up with scratches.

Ceramic top cookers

Ceramic cooker tops work through the installation of metal coils or halogen lamps placed under a piece of ceramic glass. They work through electricity and heat up when switched on. Heat produced then goes into the glass surface and then into the pan.

A ceramic cooker cools down very fast and so is very safe – particularly when just switched off. As with induction, there’s no worry about gas leaks. This is an energy efficient choice with very dense heat in a focused spot.

Cleaning is easier – a damp, soft cloth is all that is needed, but they do need to have spills removed immediately to prevent burn marks.

Using ceramic may mean buying new cookware as they require heavyweight pans for good conductivity covering the whole surface. They are easily scratched and broken in a similar way to induction. Whilst they cool down quickly, they are slow to heat up, and temperature changes are felt not to be quick enough for many people when cooking and needing to up the heat.

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