Bricks + Mortar

Preserve Your Normality When Starting A Home Renovation

Preserve Your Normality When Starting A Home Renovation

Starting a home renovation can be the most exciting and creative aspect of home ownership. But when the builders move in, normality and sanity can move out. So how can you preserve yours?

Are you planning to renovate your home? Remodeling your house can be a thrilling time. However, the upheaval can also be disruptive. You’re trying to preserve a degree of normality despite the noise, construction dust, and contractors walking through your home all day long.

Unless you’re planning to demolish and rebuild, you’re probably going to live in your house when you’re starting a home renovation. These tips will help you stay sane despite the chaos.

Pack As If You Are Moving

Having piles of clutter strewn around the house is one of the main sources of stress when starting a home renovation. If you’re going for a thorough remodel, pack up all your belongings in the rooms that are being renovated.

Use packing boxes, almost as if you were packing to move house. Carefully wrap and stow things like ornaments and other breakable items. If you leave things where they are, they will only get in the way. And you’ll have to laboriously clean them after the work is done.

Remember, construction dust is especially difficult to get rid of once it finds its way into nooks and crannies, as well as fabrics.

If you have limited space for storing boxes in your house, look into self storage while the remodel is underway. When your house is in a state of chaos, it’s best not to have big boxes tripping you up.

Designate Alternative Living Space

One of the top mistakes many people make when starting a home renovation is not setting aside a living area for the duration of the renovations.

For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, it’s going to be annoying for you—and for the contractors on site—if every time you need a cup of tea or a sandwich, you have to wade through the construction zone.

Create a small kitchen area somewhere else in the house, maybe the office or the living room. A simple toaster and kettle may be sufficient for your day-to-day needs. However, you could make your life even easier with a mini-fridge and or a coffee maker.

If your bedroom is going under the hammer, it’s worth moving your clothing into another room, giving you ease of access to your wardrobe when you need it.

You’ll also be glad when your clothes stay free of construction dust, which is notoriously tricky to remove!

Stay Out of The Work Zone

If you’ve got builders involved, it’s useful to set aside a part of your house as a designated “construction zone”. Safety considerations aside, many builders find it much easier to do their jobs if you stay clear of the area they are working in.

Even if you’re doing the work with your own two hands, it still makes sense to keep your work area separate from the rest of the home. This will help you keep ‘home life’ and ‘DIY life’ meaningfully separate, which you’ll appreciate after months of upheaval. 

Renovations can be stressful when your home is tipped upside down. These tips will help you keep your cool until the work is done.

Your Complete Guide To Plastic Pipe Systems

Your Complete Guide To Plastic Pipe Systems

Are you currently considering your options regarding plastic pipe systems? Perhaps you are unsure regarding what type of system to go for? Or, maybe you have made your mind up, yet need to find the best company from which to purchase your pipes?

Whatever your concern may be, this post is here to help you. Over the past few years there has been an evident increase in the use of plastic pipe as opposed to other options.

Read on to discover why this is the case and pick up on some excellent buying tips as well…

Plastic Pipe Revealed

The material of your pipework is a main contributor to determining the quality of your building pipe systems connecting to tanks.

Companies like assist with this and will recommend plastic. So, why is plastic pipe the best option to go for? Let’s begin by taking a look at the key advantages associated with plastic pipework systems…

•    Cost effective – One of the main benefits associated with plastic pipework is the fact that it is cost effective. There are many different reasons why this is the case.

Firstly, plastic is one of the cheapest materials to produce.

Secondly, installation costs are diminished as plastic is easier to transport. Its flexibility means that fewer fittings are required.

Thirdly, life cycle costs are reduced as plastic generally boasts a longer life span when compared with other options. 

•    High levels of quality and durability – It is all well and good finding a cheap product, but if it is not of quality, what is the point? Luckily you need not worry about this when it comes to plastic pipework systems.

Plastic pipe offers high levels of quality and durability. It does not corrode or rust. Therefore the probability of damage occurring is diminished dramatically. 

•    Suited to a multitude of applications – A final benefit worth acknowledge is the fact that plastic systems are suited to a whole host of applications. This includes everything from agricultural systems, drinking water systems, industrial systems, and more.

There are very few limitations when it comes to using plastic pipe.

Main Benefits for Your Home

You now know the main benefits associated with purchasing plastic pipe for your home. However, if you want to take full advantage of these you need to make sure you purchase your pipework system from a quality supplier.

Thus, look out for the following when trying to find the best pipework supplier and distributor for you…

•    Quality brands – Seek a company that sells pipework that has been designed and created by leading brands in the industry, such as Marley Drainage. By doing this, you are more likely to benefit from optimum levels of quality. 

•    Experience – An experienced company is highly recommended. Seek a supplier that has been in the industry for at least ten years. By doing this you will know that they have all of the experience to provide you with the best assistance when finding the ideal solution for your needs specifically. 

•    Good reputation – Last but not least, the final quality you need to look out for is a good reputation. Read reviews that have been left by previous customers in order to determine whether they have been satisfied with the service they received and the products they purchased. This can be a real eye opener and will ensure you pick up on any red flags.

Hopefully you now have all of the information you could possibly need regarding the benefits of plastic pipe and how to find the best ones for you!

Tips For A Smooth-Running Home Renovation

Tips For A Smooth-Running Home Renovation

Everyone wants a smooth-running home renovation. However we have all heard of horror stories too. Why does it have to be that way? Well… it doesn’t.

A home renovation should be an exciting time in your life. Sure, it comes with plenty of challenges and the potential for things to go wrong. Which is why you may need some expert tips for a smooth-running home renovation.

As an Adelaide interior designer, I also project manage the renovations of my clients. So I’ve learnt plenty of tips and tricks for recognising traps and ensuring my clients have a smooth-running home renovation experience.

Hire A Reputable Building Company

You will have plenty of different trades coming to your home during a renovation. However, one of the most important components is the building company you choose. Many independent builders will have trusted sub-contract trades including plumbing and electrical.

However, the building company that will be taking over your home, removing walls, working with supporting beams and ripping up floors needs to be trusted by you. Ask friends for their recommendations, look at reviews for the builder and ask your interior designer if you’ve hired one.

Interior designers don’t just fluff cushions and swoon over wallpaper, they also work closely with may trades and can recommend trusted people for your renovation.

When you’re spending a huge amount of money and putting your property into the hands of others, you need to be sure that they’re good at what they do. Check out this website for a company that’s reputable for their painting services.

Ensure The Communication Channels Are Open… And Working

When dealing with different trades who need access to your home and also access to your other trades, you need to have excellent communication. Keep on top of all the communication required.

Don’t assume that everyone is communicating effectively with each other. If you have engaged a project manager then this will be part of their job. However, consider that a typical renovation will require a builder, an engineer, a plumber, an electrician, a flooring contractor, a tiler, a painter, a carpenter/joiner and even a landscaper. On top of that, different item will be delivered at various times including tiles and pavers, doors and windows, cabinets, lighting, etc. It’s a large body of people to keep under control.

Use a Project Manager, which could be the builder or interior designer, to keep everything on track and all communication open. The Project Manager will also have the contact details for every person involved in any way and be able to minimise problems. Well worth their fee, believe me.

Have An Emergency Fund 

I always recommend that my clients have a contingency or emergency fund. Generally this is 10 – 15% of the total budget, depending on the complexity of the renovation.

When renovating, there can be unseen expenses. For example, you can’t see inside a wall until its taken down. If there are leaks, rotting wood or broken pipes then these will need to be fixed. This could be an unexpected expense.

Perhaps your new renovation is for a business, such as a home office or Air b ‘n b. If you aren’t bringing in an income until renovations are finished, you’ll need to have funds set aside. So remember to have an emergency fund with a reasonable amount there to use, should anything go wrong. 

Expect Things To Go Wrong

As much as you want a smooth-running home renovation, things may go wrong that are out of your control. You just have to deal with them. For example, on a recent renovation I completed we couldn’t have known the condition of the concrete floor prior to pulling up all the carpet.

My eagle-eyed flooring contractor noticed undulations in the floor. If we were relaying carpet then it would have been OK. However, we were laying hybrid flooring, so the substrate had to be perfect. It took an extra day to order the right machinery to ‘sand’ a concrete floor and re-concrete a small section.

On the same job, the window frames were delivered but not the glass. So that was a hold up for a few days because the painting couldn’t be finished until the windows went in.

At least with this in mind, you can prepare and add on a little wiggle room in your initial conversation about the time frame.

The weather and many other aspects can be to blame for delays. Just ensure you aren’t left out of pocket. This is where a Project Manager is very useful and clear & open lines of communication with all contractors.

Follow these tips, and you’re sure to have a smooth-running home renovation.

When An Elderly Parent Comes to Live… Adapting for Seniors

When An Elderly Parent Comes to Live… Adapting for Seniors

Do you have an elderly parent? Are they of an age when you feel it will be best if they live with you? Many of us are, at some point, faced with the decision to bring an elderly parent into our home. How do you transition effectively?

When an elderly parent comes to love with us, it’s a time of great transition, both for your family and the relative involved.

In fact, there are challenges that you will need to overcome for this living arrangement to be successful. You may have thought of what it takes to have a multi-generational home… or maybe not.

Think About Improving Accessibility for An Elderly Parent

The first thing you will need to do in your home if you have an elderly parent move-in is to improve the accessibility of your home. In fact, your house may be perfect for you and your children but may present many obstacles to someone older.

For example, steep stairs can be a real problem for those whose mobility isn’t at 100%. Adding railings, ramps, grip mats, and even stair lifts can help to make the entire home accessible to them.

Additionally, if your elderly relative uses a wheelchair, you may discover that the door, corridors, entryways currently in your home are too narrow for them to use. Happily, these can be altered and extended. This will require a qualified builder especially if such entryways are located in load-bearing walls. 

Build a Granny Flat

Many people choose to build an extension or a separate building to house an elderly parent. This is an option that can work particularly well, mainly because it allows them their own self-contained space. This helps them to retain a sense of autonomy and individuality. Their adjustment to a new situation is made easier particularly after a lifetime of being in control of their own living space.

Of course, there are a range of options available to build a residence such as this. With some families converting a basement or attic, and others extending their home to create a self-contained flat.

Some even use things like these granny flats plans to create additional residences on their land. Something that means relatives can be cared for and watched over, but also have space away from the main family as well. 

Suitable Furnishings

Lastly, don’t forget that not all the furnishings and appliances that a regular family will have in their home are suitable for the elderly.

In fact, you will often find that they will need chairs or sofas that are much more supportive, and that are higher so they can get in and out of them more easily.

The same goes for beds with adjustable models that can make getting into and out of bed a great deal easier.

In fact, many elderly people prefer this type of bed in their new home. Not only because it is more comfortable, but because they can continue to retain their independence as well. Independence is something to preserve for as long as possible despite living with their own family.

Family-Friendly House Design That Fits Like A Glove

Family-Friendly House Design That Fits Like A Glove

When you’re looking for a family-friendly house design, you begin to realise that every family is different. So when you can’t find the perfect property for your family, it can seem like a good idea to build your own house. So is it?

Many home buyers will feel they have a stronger influence on their own family-friendly house design if it’s built to order. Building the perfect home can be different from renovating a home to be perfect.

Perhaps you’re in the process of meeting architects and bankers to figure out how to make your dream home come true. If it’s now or in the future, then keep these essentials in mind.

Your family-friendly house design must be built around your needs

As silly as it might seem, building a house to fit your needs is the most challenging part of your self-designed property. Indeed, it is tempting for future homeowners to look for ideas and influence in other designs and decors. This can lead to the creation of a mix and match set of your favourite ideas with no regard to what you actually need.

Design a list of your essentials in terms of comfort and lifestyle; the list will be at the core of your design. You can also discuss your ideas with architects to identify your needs, wants and likes – beware, these are very different!

Consider issues such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces you really need. Be honest with yourself and your lifestyle so you can plan the design AND the budget.

An Architect or Building Designer will help you to design the floor plan you prefer and how the home looks from the outside. What is also vital when building your own home is to engage a professional interior design studio.

Plush Design Interiors will re-design your floor plan or design your addition and present the ideas in a 3D concept with floor plan and multiple images from every angle

An interior designer can save you a tremendous amount of money and stop you from wasting money. Look for an interior design studio that can interpret your floor plan into a 3D concept so you can fully understand how your home will look and flow.

Keep a clear mind with less clutter

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you may be counting the days before you can move out of your tenancy agreement to your new home. However, you shouldn’t rush things. Moving in is stressful and chaotic in its own right.

Therefore, you need to look for the best approach to keep your belongings out of the way until you’re fully familiar with your interior. A local storage facility can make sure you won’t get to clutter your new home before it is ready.

It can be especially helpful if you’re downsizing, as it will help you to stay organized and get rid of everything you don’t need. 

It’s the perfect time to create a family-friendly home design that’s sustainable

Modern properties need to be built with the future in mind. Consider environmentally-friendly designs and approaches to keep your carbon footprint under control. We can’t afford to ignore our impact on the environment any longer.

As a homeowner, considering sustainable solutions is a no-brainer. Tankless water heaters, for instance, heat your water on demand, reducing your energy cost and consumption considerably.

Combined with solar panels on the roof, your new home can make a significant difference. 

Don’t do it alone

Keeping to your budget can be challenging. For self-builders, your home budget is at risk of getting overspent. Indeed, more than half of all self-builders find it impossible to stick to their original plan and spend over 20% than expected.

There are common reasons to boost your investment, such as maximizing the value of your property or changing your building plans. However, if you’re worried about your finances, you should work closely with a dedicated advisor who can help you to monitor your investment. 

Your first family-friendly house design project is a life-changing challenge. For young families, however, the challenge can turn into a nightmare, causing additional stress as the building project progresses.

Ideally, you want to be clear not only about what you need but also about what you can afford.

Desirable Features When Looking For A New Home

Desirable Features When Looking For A New Home

Desirable features will likely be on your wish-list when you’re looking for a new home. Knowing what you want in a new home is very important… as is knowing what you DON’T want. How is your list looking?

When you find yourself looking for a new place to live, there are desirable features we all have in mind.

Home viewings can be a minefield. However, if you have a good idea of what your needs are, you should be set to make the right decision.

Desirable Features You Must Have

On your list of desirable features you probably have needs such as the right school zone, proximity to shops or public transport, and the safety or good character of the neighbourhood. These are fairly common and commonsense items.

However, in addition to this many people have a list of must-have items on their mind when looking at the actual house. If you have a dog, for example, then a garden space and good fencing is usually highly desirable.

desirable features

If you are an avid swimmer, then a fibreglass swimming pool may be on the top of your list. Of course, desirable features are individual but if you want to look at everyone’s lists, you may find a recurring theme. Generally an outdoor space (even just a balcony), good water pressure, low maintenance structures and a flexible floor plan are top contenders.

desirable features
Plush Design Interiors

New or renovated wet areas are also on the top of the desirable features list for most people. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most complex areas to renovate. Potential purchasers not seeking to renovate may dismiss a property if they have to spend more money.

An en-suite bathroom is also often on the ‘must-have’ list of buyers and enough bedrooms for children and guests, or a home office.

Possible Desirable Features

The list of ‘possible’ requirements are usually the most flexible, For example, maybe you didn’t want to live on a busy road but the house does have double-glazing. Perhaps the house is nice enough for you to buy on a street you’d normally avoid.

desirable features

You may have a requirement for four bedrooms on your list but the house you love only has three. So you make a decision to remodel and add a room. Or change the floor plan a little so that separate dining room becomes a fourth bedroom.

If you are looking at two properties that are fairly similar, then your list of possibles may play a role in your decision making.

Absolute Non-Negotiable Must-Not Have

This list usually formulates quite quickly into your search. We all know what we really dislike; sometimes it comes to us quicker than the things we like.

Generally, we want to have a home that is safe, secure, and where we can go and not be disturbed. Therefore, if a property is in a noisy area, has a high crime rate or isn’t near the facilities you need, then you aren’t going to put in an offer.

desirable features
Plush Design Interiors

It’s a very fine line between love and hate; however, not when it comes to a property you’ll live in. If a floorboard breaks while you’re viewing the house, you know it’s time to walk away quickly in the other direction

Even though you may have spent a lot of time compiling your list, you may still see a house that doesn’t tick all of your boxes, but you may still fall in love with it. It’s important to listen to your heart. However, make sure your head has a chance to have a say as well.

The “Shall I Buy or Build A Home” Dilemma

The “Shall I Buy or Build A Home” Dilemma

Whether you want to buy or build a new home, there are a couple of key elements to consider. For previous generations it may have been a no-brainer, but not anymore. So what should you consider?

For a lot of people, owning their own home can feel like one of their main goals in life. For previous generations, the idea of buying a home was practically an expectation, but rising house prices mean that for many young people, buying a house is closer to an impossible fantasy than anything else.

With more and more people renting or living with parents later and later in life, a lot of people are looking for alternatives to the buying a home.

Thinking Whether to Buy or Build

Luckily there are some alternatives for those who want to try something different.

buy or build

One of the most interesting, and something that is becoming more popular, is building your own home rather than buying it. But is building your home really better than buying it? Here are a few reasons both for and against building a home.

You have much more freedom

One of the biggest issues that people deal with when looking for a home to buy is that they have to choose from a selection of homes on the market.

buy or build

Not only does this means that you’re much more likely to have to make compromises in terms of things like size and style, but you’re also at the mercy of what the sellers are doing.

If they’re waiting to buy a home as well, then they can’t sell their home to you until their purchase has gone through. This means that you could end up waiting for a long time and even end up losing out on the property altogether.

Costs could spiral out of control

One of the most desirable things about building your own home is that you actually have a lot more control over how much you’re going to be spending than you would if you were buying one.

That being said, that only works if you’re incredibly careful with your budget. If you’re not, the costs can end up spiraling out of control to the point where you end up running out of money.

buy or build
Plush Design Interiors

Remember that everything from working with an architect to a subdivision land surveyor all cost money, and if you can’t create a clear budget as early as possible, then you’re going to end up in some serious trouble.

Knowing exactly what you want and calculating a detailed budget right at the start is the best way to avoid ending up out-of-pocket

When you’re buying a house, it’s easy to have an idea in your head that no property can ever really live up to.

However, if you’re building it yourself, then you and the architect can actually plan the property to your exact specifications. Assuming you have the time and money to make it happen, you have the chance to create your perfect home. You can enjoy it for the rest of your life instead of hopping from home to home trying to find the perfect one.

Renovation Tidy Tips To Keep Your Home Clean During The Chaos

Renovation Tidy Tips To Keep Your Home Clean During The Chaos

You’ll need good renovation tidy tips when you live in a home during a renovation. The excitement of having a new room or extension will fall short when you see the debris caused.

Time for renovation tidy tips because it won’t only be the air that’s filled with excitement when you’re renovating. Your home will be filled with dust too. Not only in the air but all over your walls and floor too.

Then there are other pieces of debris to consider, from wallpaper peelings to pieces of wood and plastic. Keeping your home clean and tidy won’t be an easy task. Still, it’s not impossible.

So, whether you’re renovating your bathroom into a spa-like area, or giving your living room a makeover, here are some simple tips for keeping your home (reasonably) clean and tidy during a renovation project.

#1: Remove anything you don’t need

From pieces of furniture to items of clothing, remove anything you won’t be needing during your project. Put them in the garage, or pay for storage if you have to.

renovation tidy tips

There will be less to get dirty and dusty, so you won’t have to spend an age cleaning them after your project has been completed.

#2: Have a daily cleanup

Before leaving your work area for the day, make sure it’s as clean and as tidy as possible. There will be less chance of debris getting carried to other parts of the house when you’re moving to and fro. So you will have less to clean later.

Be sure to contact a skip bins rental service for any loose debris too. Not only will less clutter build up, but the room you are renovating will also become less of a health and safety nightmare. 

#3: Cover furnishings in plastic

You might struggle to remove larger pieces of furniture from your room. So to both protect them and to keep them clean, cover these items in plastic to prevent dust and debris getting into any cracks or crevices.

renovation tidy tips

The finish on wooden items might only get dulled otherwise. You may also struggle to retain the colours on any fabric items once dust has permeated into them.

#4: Take steps to isolate the mess

You don’t want the dust and debris from the renovation area spreading through your home. So seal off the room using plastic sheeting or heavy tarping over your door frames.

Wear a different pair of shoes when you’re working, and protective clothing over your regular outfit. This way, you can take them off at the door of the renovation area, so you aren’t carrying the dirt and dust around the house with you. 

#5: Work outside as much as possible

Not only is this safer from a health and safety standpoint (you will be breathing in less dust and toxic fumes),  but you will also maintain a cleaner home.

renovation tidy tips

So, for any jobs that can be done in your outdoor space, such as cutting and sanding pieces of wood, do so if the weather permits to keep the majority of your dust and debris outside.

Do you have any other renovation tidy tips for our readers? If you have found ways to keep a clean home during a renovation project, let us know your ideas in the comments section below

New Home Design: How To Achieve It Without Anxiety

New Home Design: How To Achieve It Without Anxiety

Finalising a new home design is one of the most exciting and also stress activating times with both feelings in equal measure. However, the excitement of your new home design should far outweigh the stress. So how can you achieve a beautiful new home design without the anxiety?

Given just how important new home design is to one’s life, it is hardly surprising that it might be the kind of thing you want to get just right. After all, the last thing you want is to find yourself stuck without a home at all.

Besides, living somewhere which doesn’t suit you or which is impossible to maintain can be just as bad. There is, therefore, plenty of stress and worry surrounding the whole topic of new home design, and that is perfectly understandable and natural.

new home design

But that is not to say that there has to be such anxiety. In fact, you should probably aim to do whatever you can to remove anxiety. Then you can get on to the serious (fun) business of designing a home in which you’ll love to live.

Whether you are well-versed in interior design, or not, there are steps you can take to make the whole experience less worrying, and more enjoyable. These steps will be worthwhile even though some of them will be challenging.

Grab A Package

Much of the worry that surrounds new home design is that you need to design it from scratch. This can seem to be a monumentally enormous task. Therefore, it’s no wonder that you might find yourself wanting to shy away from it.

Anything you can do, therefore, to help make it less confronting will make you more comfortable about the process. One of the is best ways to do this is to buy a package rather than starting from scratch.

When you just grab a piece of land with the hope to build, there is certainly a lot of freedom in that – but with the dizziness of that freedom comes all that anxiety, of course. If you want the whole project to be much easier and simpler, you might benefit from seeking a package where some of the harder early work is already done for you.

new home design

In particular, it’s worth paying attention to various house and land packages, because the hardest and most basic groundwork has already done for you.

This is also beneficial if you don’t happen to have a great deal of time, which is increasingly common.

Grabbing these kinds of packages will ensure that you have a piece of land, yes, but also a built home that you can work on from day one. You won’t have to go through the rigmarole of designing the blueprints or becoming an expert architect. You will have the basic skeleton of the home with which you can start to work away on your designs.

That appears to be the ideal balance between freedom and crippling anxiety. It’s worth thinking about for anyone who wants to design their home – but not all of their home.

Take Out The Mystery With A 3D Planner

The whole process of designing something as complex as an entire house is always going to be fraught with difficulty, and the danger of getting it wrong.

However, the last thing you want is to find that you have carried out and implemented a design for your home which is then unlikely to work. At the extreme end of the scale, it turns out to be exactly the kind of design that you don’t want for your own home, and you can’t even see yourself living there.

new home design

So, remove the mystery altogether, and you’ll also remove much of the stress. If you find it difficult to picture the finished design in the real world, consider using a 3D modelling and planning software to make it easier.

There are plenty of such software options which you can use. Any of the best ones will allow you to actually see what the end result is going to look like.

At the same time, they will also point out structural flaws, engineering faults, and anything else which might stop the design from actually working in the real world. Clearly, that is going to be incredibly useful for any such project.

Alternatively, you might consider using another modern technology which is currently all the rage. By using Virtual Reality, you can actually have the experience of walking through your newly designed home, in real space and size, before a single nail is hit on the head.

Get Clear On Your Tastes

One of your main concerns may be that the finished new home design isn’t the kind of style that you like.

This may seem strange however not everyone has the clearest sense of what they really like and enjoy. This can quickly lead to some real trouble when it comes to designing something as important as your own home.

new home design

If you are to end up in a home which you truly enjoy, you will need to first get clear on what your tastes exactly are. Without that awareness, designing the home will be much more like guesswork, and you won’t be able to know for sure that you will be delighted with the end result

So spend some time getting to know your own tastes. Look at other houses and new home design, online, in person and in print. See what it is that you are drawn to and, if possible, try to work out why you are drawn to them. That might help you to get a little clearer on what you should try to do in your own design, and thereby reduce the stress and worry of doing so.

Pretty Beautiful Ideas for A Pretty Boring Home

Pretty Beautiful Ideas for A Pretty Boring Home

If you are a house and garden junkie, you’ll see some pretty beautiful ideas across magazines, Instagram and renovation shows. Seemingly miraculously, pretty boring homes are turned into pretty beautiful spaces. And you want your house to look like that too, right? Here’s how.

As an award-winning interior designer in Adelaide, I work with clients who want to make big changes to their home. They look at the homes of their friends and then become more critical of their own.

Turning a home into something more eye-catching and modern is something that everyone wants to do. Especially in Australia, we love our indoor-outdoor living and we love to have a home with great curb appeal. Our homes represent us, after all.

They’re more than just lifeless bricks with roofs on top. Our homes have a personality linked to the owners because of the way we treat them and bring them to life. We don’t want cookie-cutter houses that look the same as the entire street.

pretty beautiful

However, not everyone is an accomplished interior designer, landscape gardener, or builder. Nor do many people have the time or the confidence to make big changes. The average home owner doesn’t know how to improve all aspects of their home perfectly… no many how many episodes of ‘The Block’ they watch.

Luckily, there are professionals prepared to add to your own knowledge base and help you. Combined with your own personality (it is YOUR home after all) and a little effort you can enjoy pretty beautiful results.

Yes, your home can transition from an average and ordinary caterpillar into a bright and beautiful butterfly.

6 Ways to Turn Pretty Boring Into Pretty Beautiful

Go To Work On The Surrounding Area 

First impressions count, so why not start with the front of your home? Fixing and painting a broken fence, weeding pathways and flower beds, and painting the front door are all fairly easy ways to smarten up the front of your home.

Consider using solar lights to brighten up gates, pathways and the front porch. Plant flowers in large pots to add colour where there are no garden beds. I also string solar fairy lights through trees and shrubs as they look fabulous at night. You’ll find fairly cheap fairy lights at K-Mart or Target, and they are pretty good quality.

pretty beautiful

Use a pressure washer to clean bricks and pathways as this will really smarten up outdoor areas. I have also been looking at up-dating the fixed outdoor lighting with new sconces on either side of exterior doors. You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive these items can be, however factor-in what an electrician will charge.

You probably should have trimmed back branches and shrubbery by now. However, if you do need to trim them back then do it now. Seek advice from your local garden centre as fertilising the soil will also help plants to grow and thrive.

Don’t Take The Front Door For Granted 

The front door will give visitors a hint as to what is behind it. Be confident to paint your front door in a bold colour; this is very on trend too. Add pretty beautiful hardware such as an impressive door knocker. Planter boxes on either side of the front door add style and a welcoming feel.

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If you’re not interested in splashing out on an expensive and imposing front door, then be sure to keep the one you have clean and tidy. Imagine walking up to a home you’ve never been in before, and noticing that the front door is covered in muck, cobwebs, and stains – not a pretty sight, huh?

Renovate The Kitchen And Bathroom(s) 

There’s something about a beautiful kitchen and a beautiful bathroom that makes people so impressed. These areas are meant to be kept hygienic and healthy anyway, but that extra hint of glamour and that extra shine always sits well with most.

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Plush Design Interiors

If you currently own fairly older-looking kitchen and bathroom areas, then renovating them wouldn’t be such a bad idea. These two places hold a lot of value, so if you have the money to do so, then it’s a no-brainer if you want to beautify the home altogether. 

Get An Extension Or Conversion

If you have the space, the money, and the permission, then extending your home can add value as well as an enhanced lifestyle. In my work as an interior designer, I also re-design floorplans and create extensions especially for extra kitchen and living spaces linked to the outdoors.

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Plush Design Interiors

Redesigning a loft or basement space into something usable, functional and stylish will enhance your lifestyle. And when it comes to re-sale value, your home will be more attractive to more buyers. Have you ever seen the before and after photos of a loft conversion? The results are amazing.

Refurbish Your Garage 

If you have a garage, and you’re not using it to store your car, then spend a day on the weekend to clean it out and tidy it up. If you’re garage is damp, dreary or dusty a clean up could provide you with a great new storage space or even a games room. There are so many possibilities with a garage conversion, and you could literally get started tomorrow.

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Paloma bedding from Legend Australia

You might not be able to turn it into a luxurious garaport with lots of different gadgets surrounding it, however you can certainly give it a wonderful makeover.

What is now an old, smelly building with a bumpy stone floor could easily be turned into a productive and modern-looking room. 

Replace The Roof 

People only really notice a roof after it has been worked on. Over time, a roof gets severely damaged and covered in leaves, mold and debris.

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Getting in touch with roofers and replacing what you have with a new, shiny, and fresh one will change the entire look of your home.

Right now, your home might look rather similar to every other house on the block; in a month’s time, you could seriously stand out from the crowd with a pretty beautiful and individual home.

The Quick And Easy Ways You Can Modernise Your Home

The Quick And Easy Ways You Can Modernise Your Home

We spend a lot of money on our homes. It is, of course, the biggest purchase we can make in our lifetime. However, sometimes we can only afford to buy the property, and then have to wait until we save before we can make some home improvements. Modernise your home now with these quick and easy tips.

In some cases, many homes that are bought need a little bit of modernising here and there. With that in mind, here are some of the quick and easy ways you can add a modern touch to your home, without it breaking the bank. 

Sort out the electrics

One of the biggest issues with some homes is the electric system. If it isn’t broken people don’t tend to fix it, but yet some electric systems are completely outdated. You may need to consider rewiring the property, or it may be more simple than that by adding new electric plug socket covers or new switches.

modernise your home
Plush Design Interiors

This is when an electrician from Hornsby Electric recommends you seeking some advice and finding out the extent of the work that needs to be done. Doing this sort of work to the property can help improve your electric supply, and perhaps even save you money on your energy bills as it should be far more energy efficient. 

Add some colour to the walls

Colour is one of the simplest and most effective ways of adding a modern touch to your home. It doesn’t mean you have to completely redecorate, but adding a pop of colour or even a feature wall could make a big difference to how your home looks.

modernise your home
Plush Design Interiors

Alternatively, if you want to wait to decorate once plastering has been done, or wallpaper has been removed, then consider adding colour through your choice of soft furnishings and accessories. 

Change the flooring

The floor is such a huge focal point of a room, so maybe just changing this one element could make a room feel completely brand new. Add a new carpet or consider a wood flooring.

The difference this one change can do is remarkable. Plus it helps to keep the rooms clean and can even take away any musty smells you might have been experiencing. 

Let the light in

Natural light is a great way to make a room feel bigger and give the element of space. So if you can, remove any blockages of natural light like blinds, or at least have them open.

Choose to put curtains up instead, giving you the option of making a room appear darker in the evening. 

Modernise the heating system

If you have bought your property in the summer then heating may be far from your mind. But this can be an ideal time to replace an old heating system with a new one.

modernise your home

A new boiler can help to reduce your energy expenses, while also making sure your home heats up quicker during the colder months ahead. You may also find that there are more offers on at this time of year, helping to reduce the overall cost. 

Let’s hope the quick and easy tips help you to add some modern touches to your home.

Your Best Stress-Free Squad for Moving House

Your Best Stress-Free Squad for Moving House

Kim Kardashian may have a Glam Squad, however the new buzz is for a Stress-Free Squad. Your Stress-Free Squad are the people and professionals you trust to help you through stressful times. And moving house is one of the most stressful activities for many people. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

No matter what precautions you take, it’s important to keep in mind that there will be some level of stress when you move. When you’re navigating such a big move, it’s impossible that there won’t be at least a little!

However, there are things you can do to minimise those stress levels. One such way is to organise a stress-free squad. Many hands make light work. If you have trusted professionals, friends and family, and the best version of yourself on board, then you’ll find it easier to feel under control during your move.

Below, we take a look at a few essential humans you’ll need.

Stress-Free Squad: Trusted Estate Agent

It is technically possible to complete all the paperwork yourself, since it’s not as if you need a special license to do it. However, it’s not advisable, unless you like complex challenges and want to put your stress levels to the test.

stress-free squad

So you’ll want to work with a trusted real estate agent. It’s important to keep in mind that not all estate agents are created equal. Some will be there for you every step of the way; others will be hard to pin down just when you need them the most.

Make sure you’re doing your research before agreeing to work with an estate agent, and don’t be afraid to pull the plug if they fail to live up to their end of the bargain.

Stress-Free Squad: Professional Movers

It’s possible to feel pretty excited about your move…and then it comes to the actual move, and you realise that, oh, this is going to be much more difficult than you anticipated.

stress-free squad

Many people underestimate how much effort is required to move a house load of possessions from one property to another, and this is especially true if it’s your first time moving. Instead of putting yourself through that hardship, look at hiring movers to do the job for you.

They’ll have the expertise needed to handle the complex job, and ensure all your belongings get there safely.

Stress-Free Squad: Friends and Family

It’s always good to have friends and family to call upon when you’re going through a stressful period, even if it is something positive, such as moving home.

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If you have children, your extended family can look after them during the most intense hours of the move, your friends can help get everything ready and prepare meals, and so on. It’s not just about making your job easier: it’s about having fun.

Laughter is one thing that’s great at keeping stress at bay, and if there’s one thing that friends are for, it’s a joke or two.

Stress-Free Squad: The Best You

Finally, make sure you’re bringing your best self to the move! In the run-up to the big day, spend some time getting yourself into a good position, by treating yourself to something enjoyable, taking a couple of days off work, and eating well.

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You’ll find it easier to handle the move if you’re starting from a happy and excited position.  

How To Check If Your Home Removal Company Is The Best

How To Check If Your Home Removal Company Is The Best

Finding a reputable home removal company can be the most stressful part of moving house. Use this checklist to ensure you use a company that will take the very best care of your valuables… and you.

There is much to consider when you’re moving home. You have to think about when, where, and how you’re going to move. On top of that, you need to know who is a reputable home removal company.

Looking into using a professional removal service can definitely help to ease the stress of moving. However, there are some things to take into consideration when choosing the right home removal company for you.

4 Top Pre-Requisites for Choosing a Home Removal Company

Licenses And Insurances

You should never under any circumstances use a moving company that doesn’t have any insurance or the correct licenses to prove they are a reputable company.

home removal company
Plush Design Interiors

When researching different companies, ask about their insurance and exactly what it covers. You don’t want to use a company that won’t cover you for any damages that occur to your belongs during a move, especially if you have anything valuable. Also check if there are any limits to their insurance. You don’t want to find out, too late, that their cover isn’t for the full replacement cost of your items.

It’s very easy for anyone with a truck to claim they are a moving company. However, they should have the relevant licenses so make sure you see these before committing to anything. Only the companies who have both of these are legally bound to protect your goods, so it’s highly important you use the correct type of service. 


Often when moving it becomes essential to use some sort of storage. Some moving companies will provide a storage solution however it is often the better option to look at different solutions yourself.

home removal company
Plush Design Interiors

If you’re planning on moving a fair distance away from where you are now then look at storage options. Arrange for a moving company to collect your items and deliver them when you need them.

When looking at storage make sure you allow adequate room for your items. A good home removal company will be able to help you decide what size unit you require. 

Customer Reviews

As with most services or products that we buy, it’s a good idea to look at previous customers reviews when choosing a moving company. They are the only people who have had first-hand experiences with the company.

home removal company
Plush Design Interiors

You can learn a lot from looking at reviews online. Carefully consider the good and the bad experiences and also take note of how the company has dealt with any bad reviews they have received. Have they just ignored them? Or have they tried to rectify the problem?

It may be that the problems have been rectified in a timely manner and with a reasonable solution. So the bad review isn’t as bad as it seems. 

Is there anything else that should be thought about when looking for a home removal company to use? Or do you have any moving experiences that you’d like to share in the comments section below?

Home Moving Tips for a Stress-Free Relocation

Home Moving Tips for a Stress-Free Relocation

One of the most stressful times in life is home moving. There are many factors to consider, and it can cause sleepless nights while you prepare.

There is a great deal of work involved in managing the home moving process, from hunting down your new home to packing up all of your possessions and then finally moving.

There may be complications along the way, and you may need to make contingency plans for when things go wrong. However, with careful planning and a good use of your time, it is possible for home moving to be relatively stress-free. 

3 Key Home Moving Tips

#1 House Hunting

The first stage of the process will be looking for a new home. If you already own quite a lot of furniture in your current house, you will need to consider whether this will all fit in your new home. You may wish to take the opportunity to replace some of your more worn items or get rid of anything that you don’t have the need for anymore. 

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Plush Design Interiors

Find out as much about the area that you are moving into as possible. What is the parking situation like locally, are there are any schools in the vicinity and are there local amenities such as shops close to hand? 

If you own your current home and buying your new property, then you will be in a chain. You will need to get the help of an estate agent who will help manage the process of selling your old home, and buying a new one. 

#2 Contingency 

You may find that there is a gap between the date that you move out of your current house, and the date that you move into your new home. You will need to find somewhere you can stay in the time being. Ideally, this could be with friends or family. Failing that, you may need to hire a hotel room.

You can put all of your possessions into a self storage facility where they will be secure until you are ready to move them into your new home. 

#3 Packing

One of the biggest tasks when it comes to moving homes is packing up your current home. If you know anyone who works in a warehouse or a shop, ask them for empty boxes, as often these just get sent to recycling and can easily be reused to help you pack. 

home moving

Work room-by-room and mark the room that they are from and the contents on the outside of the box. This will help you when you unpack in your new home as you can send all of your boxes to the right room without needing to open them.

Use newspaper and bubble wrap around delicate items, and ensure your boxes are taped up firmly with parcel tape. If a box needs to stand a certain way up, be sure and mark it on the box. Similarly, if something is fragile, you will need to note it on the outside.

So, happy moving and happy house warming.

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas for a Sustainable Future

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas for a Sustainable Future

Interior design ideas that help preserve the planet are more popular than ever before. If you want to make some changes in your home, chances are, you’re looking to be eco-friendly with your new look.

As climate change becomes a reality we’re confronted with every day, the obvious decision is to become more eco-friendly in every area of our lives. As a community of home lovers, we seek interior design ideas that are sustainable, green or energy efficient.

Here are some tips on how to transform your home into a green paradise.

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas – Use Natural Materials

First of all, use natural materials from the ground up. Don’t go for vinyl flooring – try out stone or wood instead, both of which are also much more hardwearing and won’t need to be replaced as soon. They also age much more elegantly than plastic flooring.

interior design ideas

Wooden furniture is also something that you should look into, along with glass, metal and rattan. Not only will these last for a long time but once your furniture finally starts to break down, they will be a lot easier to recycle or repurpose than plastic.

When it comes to soft furnishings, why not try wool? It’s hypoallergenic and recyclable, and it’s also odour and dust mite resistant. You should also go for natural fibres like cotton and jute.

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas – Add Plants

A home is incomplete without a little greenery. Using plants as decoration looks amazing, and it’s also extremely good for the environment: as they produce oxygen, they’re contributing to cleaner air being let out into our world.

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Bringing some of the outside into your home will also keep reminding you of the importance of being green and kind to the planet – and there’s nothing better than growing your own herbs.

There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh mint and basil to turn your home into a green slice of heaven.

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas – Go For Solar Energy

When it comes to the energy in your house, it’s probably time to have a rethink. Most of us get our energy and power from the national grid. However, it could be time to invest in solar panels which will give you one hundred percent clean energy in your home.

This may be less effective if you don’t live in a place where you are blessed with much sunshine. If you do get plenty of sun then you may be able to sell energy back to the grid. This means that you’re making money from your investment quickly.

Check out the solar packages available and see what applies to you and your family to get the best possible deal. 

Planet Saving Interior Design Ideas – Let In The Light

Letting sunlight into your home through flinging your curtains wide open is a great way to be eco-friendly. This will help to warm up your house, along with helping you cut back on lighting costs.

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Why turn on the overhead light (which you should be using energy efficient bulbs on, by the way!) when you can let in the sunlight instead? 

You may think that you can’t change the world, but by making your home more eco-friendly, you’re doing your part in making the planet a more environmentally friendly place.