26 February 2024

The Irish Setter Fifty, a review


A few weeks ago I received a pair of Irish Setter Fifty boots from Irish Setter in exchange for an honest and candid review.

To quote the Irish Setter website: 

The 6-inch leather Setter Fifty boot is inspired by the original Irish Setter that became a top-seller in the 1950s. Fully updated for a new era, it features sustainably sourced full-grain leather, an outsole made from 51% post-industrial materials and Goodyear Welt construction that is both durable and resoleable. Its classic design features inspired details like the white wedge sole, pinched moc stitching detail and a familiar silhouette. For added comfort, it has a CuShin™ tongue that reduces pressure on the shin and a highly breathable stretch nylon collar. The pull loop also makes the boot very easy to put on and take off.

The boots arrived just as I was preparing to build a new three-bin composting system out of 2x6s. Although the Irish Setter Fifty boots are billed as a casual boot and not a work boot I thought I'd wear them to the lumber yard to pull and load around 25 2x6x12s. I went on to wear them to unload my lumber onto the driveway and since I was already in the zone, I kept them on as I set up my chop saw and then cut all that lumber into the sizes I needed for this project.

Compost bin

I have another pair of Irish Setter boots, the Ashby model, and I've worn them exclusively for all of my house and yard projects for the last two years. They are an excellent boot and after two years they feel as good now as they did when I first bought them. I keep those boots in my mud room and at any point I could have changed into them if the Fifties weren't up to the task at hand.

But the Fifty boots were so comfortable I just kept them on. They held up without a problem and as soon as I dustem them off they looked like they were brand new again.

The soles are what make these boots so remarkable. There's just enough spring to them that they remind me of how the sole of a running shoe feels. My other Irish Setter boots are a bit more stiff but the Fifty felt already broken in as soon as I put them on.

The Fifty has a fabric collar and this makes them fit really well. I can tighten the laces and not feel like I'm restricting the flexibility of my ankles. The boot's cushioned tongue keeps my ankles flexing as well. That fabric collar also makes the boots weight less, so wearing them all day doesn't leave me with tired legs. The Irish Setter Fifty is a great boot and I'll keep these for years. That they're resoleable makes that a guarentee.

Now that they sailed through a field trial as a light duty work boot, they're going to be used as they were intended -- as a casual boot. I can see myself wearing these as I would any other casual leather shoe. In fact, I wore them to lunch last weekend and the compliments just rolled in.

Good boots are never cheap and cheap boots are a waste of money. Irish Setter makes a very good boot at a very fair price. You can even buy them directly from their website.

09 February 2024

5 Clever Storage and Display Solutions Your Homeware Store Should Sell

Photo by Pau Casals on Unsplash

In the ever-evolving landscape of home design and decor, consumers constantly seek innovative solutions to maximize space and enhance functionality without compromising style. As a homeware store owner or manager, staying ahead of these trends is essential to meet the demands of your discerning clientele. One area where homeowners often struggle is finding efficient storage and display solutions that organize their space and add aesthetic appeal. Here are five clever storage and display solutions that your homeware store should consider offering to cater to the needs of modern homeowners:

1. Multi-Functional Wall Shelves

In today's compact living spaces, versatility is key. Multi-functional wall shelves offer a stylish and practical solution for displaying cherished items while also serving as storage for everyday essentials. Look for shelves with built-in hooks, cubbies, or compartments to accommodate various items such as keys, mail, or small decorative pieces. Opt for sleek designs and neutral colors to appeal to a wide range of tastes and interior styles.

2. Stackable Storage Bins and Baskets

Stackable storage bins and baskets are indispensable for those seeking to declutter and organize their space. These modular storage solutions allow homeowners to customize their storage layout according to their needs while maximizing vertical space. Choose bins and baskets made from durable materials like woven rattan or sturdy plastic for long-lasting functionality. Offering a variety of sizes and shapes will cater to different storage needs, from toys and linens to pantry items and accessories. Consider incorporating wholesale trays from waldimports.com as versatile storage and display solutions to enhance your homeware store's product offerings.

3. Floating Display Ledges

Create a focal point in any room with floating display ledges that showcase decorative accents, artwork, or family photos. These minimalist yet impactful shelves offer a modern alternative to traditional picture frames or bulky display cabinets. Consider offering ledges in various lengths to accommodate different wall spaces and encourage customers to experiment with creating curated displays that reflect their personality and style. Encourage upselling by offering complementary items such as decorative hooks or LED lighting to enhance the display.

4. Under-Bed Storage Solutions

Make the most of underutilized space by offering under-bed storage solutions that help homeowners maximize storage in bedrooms and small living areas. From rolling storage bins to slide-out drawers, there are numerous options available to suit different bed frames and storage needs. These discreet storage solutions are perfect for stashing seasonal clothing, extra bedding, or shoes, keeping them neatly tucked away and out of sight. Emphasize the importance of utilizing vertical space to free up valuable floor space and create a more organized living environment.

5. Modular Closet Systems

Transform chaotic closets into well-organized spaces with modular closet systems that offer customizable storage solutions for clothing, shoes, and accessories. These versatile systems typically feature adjustable shelves, hanging rods, and drawers, allowing homeowners to tailor the layout to their specific storage requirements. Offering a range of configurations and accessories such as shoe racks, belt organizers, and jewelry trays will appeal to customers looking to streamline their daily routine and maintain a clutter-free wardrobe.


Incorporating these clever storage and display solutions into your homeware store's product offerings will attract customers and position your store as a go-to destination for innovative home organization solutions. By staying attuned to your target market's evolving needs and preferences, you can ensure that your store remains relevant and competitive in the ever-changing homeware retail landscape.

27 December 2023

12 Tips for Renovating Your New Home

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

Renovating a new home in San Diego, California, with its picturesque beaches and vibrant culture, is an exciting opportunity to create your dream living space. Whether you're looking to modernize an older property or add personal touches to a recent purchase, renovations can transform a house into a home that reflects your style and meets your needs. This bustling Californian city offers a unique backdrop for your home, from beachfront properties to urban dwellings. In this guide, we will navigate through essential tips and strategies for successfully renovating your new San Diego home.

1. Setting a Realistic Renovation Budget

The foundation of any successful renovation is a realistic budget. It's crucial to assess your financial limits and set a budget that reflects your renovation goals. Take into account all possible expenses such as materials, labor, permits, and any incidental costs. It's a smart idea to have a reserve fund for any unexpected expenses that may arise. A well-planned budget ensures that your renovation dreams don’t turn into a financial nightmare.

2. Coordinating Your Move and Renovation

For those relocating to San Diego, coordinating a move on top of all the other responsibilities that come with leaving your old home and taking on home renovation in the new house can be challenging. Looking for long distance moving companies in San Diego that can ease this transition can make a world of difference. These companies can offer flexible solutions for storing your belongings while your new home is being renovated. Their local knowledge and expertise can be invaluable in ensuring a seamless move.

3. Prioritizing Renovation Projects

With numerous potential projects in a renovation, prioritizing is key. Start with projects that are essential for safety and functionality, such as electrical upgrades or plumbing repairs. Next, focus on renovations that will add the most value to your home, like kitchen or bathroom remodels. Lastly, consider cosmetic changes that can be done over time. Prioritizing helps in managing both your budget and timeline effectively.

4. Choosing the Right Contractor

Selecting the right contractor is essential to the success of your renovation project. Look for licensed, insured, and experienced professionals with a track record of quality work in San Diego. Ask for references and review their portfolio of previous projects. A good contractor will bring professional expertise to your project, giving you peace of mind.

5. Obtaining Necessary Permits

Renovating may require various permits, especially for structural changes, electrical work, or plumbing. Research the local building codes and permit requirements. Your contractor can often assist in this process, ensuring that all renovations comply with local regulations. Proper permits are essential to avoid legal issues and ensure the safety and legality of your renovations.

6. Incorporating Energy Efficiency

In this day and age, energy efficiency is an important consideration in home renovations. Incorporating energy-efficient features can reduce utility bills and increase comfort. Consider installing energy-efficient windows, insulation, or solar panels. Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and HVAC systems can also contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective home.

7. Modernizing Kitchens and Bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms are often the focal points of any home renovation. Your kitchen can be an extension of your entertainment space. Consider open layouts, modern appliances, and durable countertops that can handle wear and tear. In bathrooms, think about installing water-efficient fixtures and creating a spa-like atmosphere with natural light and luxurious tiles. These renovations enhance your daily living experience while also significantly increasing your home’s market value.

8. Exploring Interior Design Trends

Staying updated on interior design trends can inspire your renovation choices while ensuring your home retains a timeless feel. In San Diego, coastal and contemporary design elements can be blended to create a relaxed yet sophisticated environment. Use of natural materials, such as wood and stone, along with a palette of cool blues, greens, and neutral tones can bring a sense of the ocean indoors. However, it’s important to balance trends with your personal style to create a space that truly feels like home.

9. Maximizing Outdoor Living Space

San Diego’s climate is perfect for expanding and upgrading outdoor living spaces. Transform your backyard or patio into an additional living area with comfortable seating, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits. Consider drought-tolerant landscaping to maintain a beautiful yet sustainable garden. Decks, pergolas, and outdoor lighting can enhance the ambiance, making it a perfect spot for relaxation or entertaining guests.

10. Smart Home Technology Integration

Integrating smart home technology is a great way to add convenience and efficiency to your lifestyle. Automated systems for lighting, heating, and security can be controlled remotely, offering both comfort and peace of mind. Smart home features are particularly appealing in San Diego’s tech-savvy market, potentially increasing the appeal and value of your home.

11. Preserving and Restoring Original Features

If your home has historical or unique architectural features, consider preserving or restoring these elements. Original hardwood floors, crown moldings, or stained-glass windows can be refreshed to add character and charm to your home. Balancing modern amenities with these timeless features can create a home that is both functional and rich in history.

12. Planning for Future Needs

Consider the future needs of your household during your renovation. If you plan to grow your family, think about adding additional bedrooms or a play area. Flexible spaces that can evolve with your family’s needs will ensure your home remains functional for years to come.

Realizing Your Dream Home

Completing a home renovation in is an opportunity to create a living space that aligns with your lifestyle and aspirations. From updating the kitchen and bathrooms to embracing the latest in interior design and smart technology, each renovation project contributes to making your house a home. Each choice you make is a step towards realizing your dream home – incorporating elements that cater to your style and needs will ensure your home is not only beautiful but also practical.

24 November 2023

Revitalizing Urban Spaces: NYC Kitchen Remodeling Trends


New York City is always at the cutting edge of design and lifestyle. Therefore, when it comes to NYC kitchen remodeling, keeping up with the trends is key. This guide explores ten current trends, offering some great ideas for kitchen renovations to help you transform it into a stylish, highly functional space.

No. 1 Open Plan Living: Creating Spacious Kitchens

Before you choose the best kitchen layout for your home, you should know that open-plan living is one of the top trends in NYC. This trend involves merging the kitchen with adjacent living areas to create a spacious, multi-functional environment. For instance, removing a non-load-bearing wall can easily integrate your kitchen with the living room. This design encourages family interaction and is perfect for those who love entertaining guests. In addition, an open plan enhances natural light flow, making your kitchen appear brighter and more welcoming.

No. 2 Smart Storage Solutions: Maximizing Efficiency

In the city’s compact living spaces, efficient storage solutions are a must. Thus, creative, space-saving ideas like vertical shelving or magnetic knife strips can be life savers. You should also consider installing cabinets that reach the ceiling to make the most of vertical space. At the same time, pull-out pantries and corner drawers maximize storage in tight corners. Plus, under-sink drawer organizers and toe-kick drawers use often-overlooked spaces, offering additional storage solutions without cluttering your kitchen.

While on the topic of storage, you should also think about what to do with all your stuff during the remodel. After all, working around furniture and large appliances will make the entire process much harder. Thus, you should use short-term storage until you finish your project.

No. 3 Eco-Friendly Materials: A Sustainable Choice

Sustainability is increasingly important in kitchen remodeling. Many New Yorkers are opting for eco-friendly materials like bamboo flooring, which is both renewable and durable. Recycled glass countertops offer a stylish and environmentally responsible alternative to traditional materials. In addition, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints are becoming popular for their minimal environmental impact and improved indoor air quality.

No. 4 Bold Colors and Patterns: Making a Statement

Daring to be different with bold colors and patterns is a growing trend. A kitchen in deep navy or emerald green can make a striking statement. Similarly, patterned wallpapers, especially those with botanical or geometric designs, add a touch of personality. For example, a vibrant backsplash with Moroccan tiles can be a focal point, infusing life and color into the space.

No. 5 High-Tech Appliances: The Future is Here

The integration of technology in NYC kitchens is on the rise. For instance, smart refrigerators that can help manage grocery lists or WiFi-enabled ovens for remote control are highly sought after. At the same time, a smart fridge from Samsung or LG can offer personalized recipe suggestions based on the ingredients available inside. You should also consider investing in energy-efficient dishwashers and induction cooktops that save time and reduce utility bills

No. 6 Industrial Aesthetics: Chic and Functional

Industrial design elements are becoming increasingly popular. This trend includes stainless steel surfaces, exposed brick walls, and concrete countertops. While these elements are very stylish, they are also incredibly durable and easy to maintain. For example, a stainless steel countertop paired with exposed brick can create a chic, loft-like feel in your kitchen.

No. 7 Integrated Living Spaces: Blurring Boundaries

The trend of integrating the kitchen with other living spaces goes beyond just physical space. It’s about creating a cohesive design that flows from the kitchen to the living room and beyond. You can achieve this through consistent flooring materials, complementary color schemes, or similar lighting fixtures. For instance, using the same hardwood flooring throughout your apartment can create a seamless transition between the kitchen and the living area.

No. 8 Multi-functional Islands: Beyond Food Prep

Kitchen islands have evolved into multi-functional centers. Specifically, a well-designed island can serve as a food preparation area, a dining spot, a workstation, or a casual socializing area. A mobile island can be a practical addition to a compact NYC kitchen, offering extra counter space when needed and tucking away when not in use. Some islands even come with built-in appliances or additional storage options, making them a practical and stylish choice. However, make sure you choose the right bar stools to complement the look of your multi-functional island.

No. 9 Natural Light: Bringing the Outdoors In

Maximizing natural light is vital in kitchen designs. For example, you can achieve this through larger windows or skylights. Note that natural light makes a kitchen feel more spacious and helps reduce energy consumption. For instance, installing a large bay window floods your space with sunlight and provides a cozy nook for a breakfast spot. Unfortunately, this is not possible in all the homes in the Big Apple, particularly in small apartments. Thus, in such cases, you should play with artificial lights.

No. 10 Personalized Backsplashes: Expressing Individuality

Customized backsplashes allow you to express your unique style. Materials like hand-painted ceramic tiles, reflective glass, or brushed metal can add a personal touch. For instance, a backsplash with a colorful mosaic pattern can serve as an artistic centerpiece in your kitchen, reflecting your taste and style.

Don’t Do It All on Your Own

Engaging professionals for your NYC kitchen remodeling project ensures expertise and efficiency. Expert designers can offer tailored solutions, optimizing aesthetics and functionality. With innovative designs, they adeptly tackle space constraints, a common issue in New York City kitchens. Plus, their technical know-how in plumbing, electrical work, and appliance installation guarantees safety, code adherence, and high-quality results. This professional insight helps avoid costly mistakes and brings peace of mind.

In addition, professional services extend beyond mere construction. For instance, heartmoving.us recommends employing packing services to simplify the process. These experts carefully pack and store your kitchen items, protecting them from potential renovation damage. That will safeguard your belongings and keep the workspace clear, allowing the remodel to proceed smoothly and efficiently. Overall, hiring professionals transforms a complex renovation into a more manageable project.

Conclusion: Crafting Your Dream Kitchen with NYC Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Incorporating these NYC kitchen remodeling trends can transform your space into a blend of style, functionality, and personal expression. Whether through innovative storage solutions, eco-friendly materials, or cutting-edge technology, each trend offers a unique strategy to elevate your kitchen. However, keep in mind that a successful remodel is about tailoring these trends to suit your individual needs and style. 

13 October 2023

What is the best kitchen splashback colour?

Photo by Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash

When designing any interior space, the colour scheme is undoubtedly one of the most important choices – and with the kitchen being the heart of most homes, it’s important to get the palette right.

One essential element that can have a significant impact on the visual effect of your kitchen is a splashback. It may be a practical piece that shields the walls behind the cooker or sink from unsightly splatters and stains, but a kitchen splashback also offers an opportunity to make a style statement.

There are plenty of different splashback styles available, of course, so the key is choosing a colour and design that suits your kitchen and the statement you want to make – whether that’s complementing the rest of your d├ęcor or contrasting against it to create a cool focal feature.

So, the question is: what is the best colour for a kitchen splashback? Here are some of the things you should consider when deciding on the right colour scheme for your new splashback.

What kind of ambience do you prefer?

Colours are one of the most important visual aspects, so it’s no wonder that they can have such a strong impact on our mood. Many interior designers rely on ‘colour psychology’ to set a specific aesthetic and emotional tone in a room, depending on its purpose and the people who will use it.

This isn’t necessarily a fixed science, but there are universal associations that lead to certain shades being implemented in particular places – such as soothing blues in spas and stimulating reds in fast food restaurants. 

That said, colour associations can have different effects on different people, as everyone has individual personality traits that affect how we perceive our surroundings. 

This is why it’s necessary to consider the personal tastes of everyone who will use the kitchen, which is typically the central hub of the household, before committing to a colour scheme that doesn’t align with the preferred atmosphere.

Some prefer sleek and simple, others rustic and restful, or eye-catching and energising. If you aren’t sure which you like best, here’s a quick guide to several popular options to help you choose the most suitable kitchen splashback colour.

Serene and relaxing

While kitchens are often considered social spaces, lots of people like to use cooking as a chance to unwind after a long day or ease into the morning after waking up. 

In these cases, bold colours screaming at you as soon as you step in the room aren’t ideal. If you would prefer a calmer environment for solo gastronomy or quiet get-togethers to catch up with family members or housemates, you should look into cool colours.

Pale shades of blue, green, and even lilac that can be found in nature can evoke a peaceful feeling while still bringing some colour into the room. Desaturated pastels can also add more of a pop without overwhelming the senses.

The best way to achieve this with a kitchen splashback is to go for a plain, solid, back-painted colour or a print featuring these tranquil hues that isn’t too visually cluttered. 

Bright and cheerful

Bold and bright colours like yellow, orange, and red are considered to boost energy. These vibrant colours are ideal for brightening up smaller rooms and creating a dynamic visual contrast with otherwise neutral kitchen cabinets and counters.

Yellow, especially, is supposed to be a very cheerful, positive, and creative colour, which is why it’s commonly found in social spaces for entertaining.

For those who want to balance the boldness with something a little moodier, jewel tones are deeper colours that are still dramatic. Shades such as emerald green, amethyst purple, and sapphire blue can look exciting while feeling elegant.

Of course, too many of these colours in a room can oversaturate the senses, which is why using the splashback as a pop of colour is a great solution.

Cosy and welcoming

If you want your kitchen to feel homey and comforting, you should avoid zesty bright yellows and reds and look for more neutral warm tones, like autumnal oranges and browns. 

The depth of these earthier hues can make a room feel much cosier, which is why many farmhouse-style kitchens go for colour schemes featuring shades often seen in nature, such as khaki or moss green, taupe, terracotta, or umber brown. 

While these deeper tones are more nurturing and can make the space feel snug and protected when applied to kitchen units and furniture, stronger pigments like rust orange or yellow ochre in a printed splashback can also help to set the scene.

These rich colours are sure to generate an inviting glow under your kitchen lights, creating a lovely setting for spending time with friends or family around the table.

Neutral and classy

If your idea of a culinary haven is a contemporary kitchen with a minimalist style, then classic neutral tones should be your go-to choice for your colour scheme.

Monochrome palettes of pristine white and timeless black are key in modern kitchens aiming for a simple yet sophisticated vibe. Understated hues like these can effortlessly contrast or complement not just each other, but a variety of others you might choose for accents.

Even if these crisp colours are a little too harsh to the eye, lightening the look is easy with softer shades like charcoal, dark grey, off-white, or cream. 

Your neutral kitchen could be mellow or futuristic, depending on whether you go for colder grey and blue undertones or warmer yellow or green undertones. Whichever you go for, the gleaming and streamlined surface of a monochromatic glass splashback panel is sure to elevate it.

How to incorporate colour with a kitchen splashback

When it comes to the way colours make a room feel, it’s not just the specific shades themselves, but also how they work with the other hues and textures in the space. 

You have the option of coordinating existing elements so they blend in with each other, using varying shades of the same type of colour, or going for a bold contrast rather than cohesion with an accent that draws everything together. 

Splashbacks are the perfect piece to do this, serving as a kind of ‘feature wall’ that expresses the core personality of your kitchen and the people who use it – whether that’s cool and collected, bright and creative, or warm and nurturing. 

One of the best things about going to a supplier of made-to-order kitchen splashbacks is that even if you can’t find a print with the colours you’re looking for, you can request a specific standardised colour for a back-painted panel, or even provide your own custom photo to be digitally printed onto the back of the glass.

Don’t forget that splashbacks can also offer an opportunity to introduce some texture, such as sparkly glitter glass or crackle-effect glass. Or, for smaller kitchens, a mirror splashback can reflect light and make the room feel larger and more opulent.

In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference – but a made-to-measure kitchen splashback is sure to help you express yourself, inspiring your culinary adventures while keeping your walls well-protected for years to come.