Where To Find Inspiration When Innovating Your Home

When you want to change the home in look, design, or utility, there’s a certain creativity you need to have. That creativity that leads to good decision making is powered by inspiration. Some people are just brimming with ideas at all times, but that doesn’t mean everyone is always going to have such an easy time of it. If you’re feeling like your head is an empty book when it comes to interior design ideas, it’s good to know where to find a little inspiration.


Think needs

It’s simple enough. What does your home lack that you really need? Are you lacking a space where you can focus and get work done? Is it feeling too claustrophobic and could use changes to open up more space? Is it too dark, necessitating a new window or a brighter colour scheme? Figure out the features you really want to have in your home and start from there. There’s a good chance that your needs might not be enough to justify a full renovation, but thinking about them first is going to ensure that you don’t forget anything important, at least.

Think mood

Design needs and décor wants are two entirely different things, of course. If you know the kind of mood or the general look you want the home to attain but you don’t know the steps that are going to get you there, then getting interior design advice from someone with industry experience might be a good idea. Sometimes we just don’t know enough about the different designs, the different brands, and even the different terms out there to fully articulate our wants. Looking to the experts for help can make that much easier.

Think money

If you’re redesigning your primary residence and not an investment home, then thinking about home value first and foremost isn’t the most sensible approach. Your subjective experience should matter more than objective cash value. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider looking at the renovations that help you achieve both at the same time. For instance, focusing on curb appeal, or fitting in a new kitchen or bathroom can help you add value both as far as the market’s concerned and as far as you’re concerned.

Think exploration

If you really don’t have any ideas, then perhaps it might be time to start exploring and finding what styles really appeal to you. There are a lot of places on the internet to find inspiration for any kind of design, any kind of mood, and any room. But Pinterest is perhaps the best place to both browse and collate all these ideas at once and there are some great home decor accounts worth following. Create your own design boards that can help you put together your individual tastes piece by piece. You can pin any image you find on any site or social media network, too.

The more sources you look at, the more experts you consult, and the more you think about your needs and wants, the easier it becomes to find that inspiration. Before too long, you’ll have more ideas than you can realistically implement.

What Sets European Skiing Apart?

If you’ve ever thought about taking a skiing holiday, then you’ve probably wondered what the difference is between places like Europe and North America. European ski trips are an ever popular choice, and here we’re going to discuss what sets them apart from other choices out there. If a ski trip is something you’re considering, you’ve come to the right place!


Fine Dining Is Everywhere

There are so many fine dining opportunities when it comes to staying at European ski resort – delicious food is gauranteed. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad everywhere else; just that it’s exceptional here. There will often be reservations from people who aren’t even skiing at a resort – that’s how good the food is!  

High Standards Are Always Ensured

Although there are many resorts suited to skiers of different ability levels, the high standards of European slopes are maintained across the board. Let’s say you want a luxury European ski experience; you can experience real Meribel luxury without having to be a pro skier. Many resorts welcome all ability levels, and you will get world class service wherever you go. The only thing you might find annoying is the queue on the way to get in a ski lift, but that can hardly be helped.

There’s A Focus On The Overall Experience

Sure, many serious skiers will visit European slopes and want to do nothing but ski. However, a real focus is put on the overall experience of visitors here. You can come with your friends and family, whatever their ability level, and have a really good time. You definitely don’t need to ski all day to have a fantastic experience!

There Are Real Mountains For You To Ski

In Europe, you’ll be able to ski on some actual mountains, rather than hills. Europeans don’t use names to make them sound scarier either; you’ll often find a less than terrifying slope in the USA called something absolutely ridiculous to make skiers feel like they’re taking on something huge. European mountains and slopes have much more elegant names.

The Parties

Because you don’t want to spend the whole time skiing, right? The parties at European ski resorts can’t really be beaten. It isn’t frowned upon if you want a drink during the day, but please take altitude into account, and stay hydrated! At night time (or once you’ve finished in the afternoon), you can enjoy a beer out of a real beer glass and some great music with like minded people.

Now you know what sets European skiing apart, it’s time to book your ski holiday! Bear in mind, you should probably do a little more research before you go right out and book your stay at a resort. Perhaps small slopes with scary names in the USA are going to be more your thing? Unless you look at a variety of sources, you’ll never know.

Have you been skiing in Europe, or are you planning a trip? Make sure you leave your thoughts, tips, and comments below!

4 Ways To Keep Your House Fresh


Keeping your house clean and fresh can sometimes be an absolute nightmare to keep on top of. It can take hours of painstaking work to keep everything looking squeaky clean, only to get ruined the next day for you to do it over again! Cleanliness is important for not only the safety of everyone in your house, but it accentuates the look too, so here are 4 easy ways to keep your house looking, and feeling, fresh and clean!

Air Purifiers

A good emerging trend within modern households is air purifiers. Their purpose is in the name, they purify your air for you! They do so by circulating the air in a given room through itself, containing filters and additives to filter away all of the dust and odours that might be hiding around and replacing them with nice, clean air! This can uplift the whole mood of the room by having, quite literally, fresh air circulating in the room. Companies like Harvey Norman sell a huge array of different air purifiers designed for different sizes of room, all you have to do is find one that suits you! There is an added health benefit to this, and that is that air purifiers can remove any microbial beings that might be floating around in the air! Microbes are airborne organisms that often causes disease and illness, some can be fatal and others not so, regardless of this air purifiers are able to filter these nigh invisible nasties right out of your house’s air, meaning that everyone that lives with you is that little bit safer from coming down with something bad!
Waste Removal Services

One of the biggest things that can ruin the way your house looks and feels is waste. Having rubbish bags laid outside your house or even having unemptied bins makes your house look, and feel dilapidated. Everyone has them, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that they are an absolute eye sore! They smell and are not pleasant to be around, so it’s important to be able to get rid of this rubbish as soon as possible. Websites like www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au offer services to come and collect your rubbish for you, whenever you like! This takes away the problem of having bags of rubbish waiting around for too long. This also, similarly to the air purifier, has a health benefit. If a rubbish bag is sat around for too long it will start to rot and attract many different kinds of creatures and organisms, some of which can be detrimental to your health such as bacteria that is able to grow on the rotting substances, and by taking them away before they reach this point you don’t have to worry about it happening, so everyone can live in a safe, smell free house!

Contactless Soap Dispensers

This is a very modern, if not futuristic way to keep your house clean and staying that way! Most soap dispensers that we use nowadays are made out of plastic and we throw them away once we are done with them. Whilst this is fine, they often end up getting quite dirty and can harbour a lot of hidden germs on the top of the plunger! The same can be said for more permanent soap dispensers, because they are not thrown away after use, if they are not washed properly every once in awhile a lot of dirt and bacteria can build up on them which is not safe at all. This is where contactless soap dispensers make their entry, and the key is in the name. They are contactless, meaning that you don’t have to touch them for them to work! You can buy them from companies like Bradley, just find one to suit your kitchen or bathroom! This saves you touching the soap dispenser if it is dirty, removing the risk of getting ill here. They are also much less messy to use and you don’t touch them, contributing to the clean and fresh feel.

Robot Cleaners

Before you start worrying about humanoid robots stalking your house, these aren’t the kind of robots you are thinking about! These robots are small, cube like devices that can do your vacuuming and mopping for you. We are all very much aware of how much a pain vacuuming and mopping up can be, it can take hours of your time only for someone to step through the house with dirty shoes or feet and ruin your work! Robot cleaners take the work of doing cleaning the floors for you. All you have to do is set them up on a rough predetermined path by an app on your phone, and away they go! You can purchase them from companies like iRobot which offer a bountiful choice of different robots available for purchase, just decide which ones will suit you! Do keep in mind that robots are currently quite poor at traversing obstacles and will at times get stuck, so you will have to keep an eye on them, especially if you have a pet that might attack or play with it! Taking out the need for you to do this does not technically add to the feel of a cleaner home, but by having a constant automated system of robots cleaning your house you can ensure that everything is always clean!


So there you have it, any of these things is certain to make your house a much fresher, cleaner and therefore safer place for everyone to live in! Getting in an air purifier and getting a specialist company to constantly remove your rubbish will leave a much fresher smelling atmosphere, but not only that it will be safer too having less hidden surprises lurking around! Combine that with an automated soap dispensing and floor cleaning system, you simply cannot go wrong in making your house as clean and fresh feeling as it can be! These little things can improve your home at any of time of the year, but if you’re looking for something specifically for the summer, go no further than this.


Purchasing the Perfect Property


What makes the perfect property? Whether you’re buying a new home for yourself or making a property investment, it’s a big purchase. In fact, there’s not many things bigger than real estate that the average person will buy in their lifetime. Because of this, every property needs to meet the right criteria. If you’re currently shopping around for a house or an apartment, here’s a checklist of some of the things to consider to ensure that you get the best for your money. It’s unlikely you’ll find somewhere that ticks all the boxes, however these pointers should help you get as close as you can possibly get to that dream property.

Is the location right?  

Location is probably the biggest factor to consider when buying a property. You can do up the ugliest house in the world, but you can’t change the area around it. If it’s a home for yourself that you’re looking for, you should try to do some research into the area. Is the crime rate high? Are there shops and other important services in the area? Is there parking? Do the neighbours like the area?

If you’re moving a long distance, you may then have to consider other criteria such as job prospects. Commitments such as a career, family and children could limit your options. If you have no real ties, you may still have certain preferences such as social opportunities and the general friendliness of the neighbourhood to consider. Before or after your property viewing, try to have a look around the area to get a feel for it. It can also be worth visiting at different times – sneaky estate agents may avoid times of the day when planes are flying overhead or neighbours decide to play their music loud.

Even if you’re looking for a property to rent, you’ll still need to consider the preferences of your potential tenants. A property in the wrong area might not attract anyone, such as a country cottage in an area where most tenants want the convenience of urban living.

Don’t be afraid to look afar in the case of a rental opportunity. You don’t have to handle all landlord affairs yourself and could simply hire a trusted property manager to screen tenants, chase up rent and keep on top of maintenance.

Is it a good investment opportunity?

Unless you’re buying a property to live in for the rest of your life, you may want to think about the money you can make out of it when you sell it. Certain areas will have a greater appreciation value. Buying abroad can sometimes be a great option for this if you’re not looking for somewhere to live in. There may be a brand new condo for sale that in a couple years could be worth even more. In the meantime you could simply rent it out to cover its mortgage.

You then have the interior of the house to consider – could you make any changes or renovations that could massively up its value? Those clued up in investment know the cheapest home improvements that will add the biggest value. For example, opting for a loft or garage conversion over an extension could help increase value by adding another room without having to pay for the costs of brickwork and foundations.

Is it energy efficient?

There are many benefits to going green – it needn’t even be about saving the environment. Eco-friendly properties are well insulated, preventing the need to turn on the heating and hence cutting your gas bills. Some may even have solar panels fitted, eliminating the need to ever pay an electricity bill. This can dramatically reduce living costs and has made such properties very sought after.

With laws constantly coming in to get us living greener, it also seems sensible to look for an eco-friendly property when considering the future. If your house is already insulated, you won’t have to worry if new laws come in.

Is it low maintenance?              

More maintenance means more time and money spent on that property. Old properties are likely to be more high maintenance through wear and tear. For this reason, hiring a surveyor (or checking that the current owner has hired one) can be beneficial for checking the property for any damage that could be costly later on.

This should also be considered if you’re looking for a property to rent. Laws are in place that require you to keep on top of damage for the safety of your tenants.

Also, if you’re not into gardening, think twice before taking on a property with an extensive and well-groomed back yard – if you want to keep it like that you’ll have to maintain it. The same should be considered with big houses and the cleaning that comes with them (although you may be rich enough to hire a cleaner if you can afford such a house).

Is the size right?           

The size has to be right for your needs. If you’re keeping tenants there, rooms may have to meet certain dimensions to be deemed legal. If you’re living there, don’t just think about your current needs but also what may happen in the future. If you’re thinking of having children or already have a baby, you’ll need that extra space for them to have a room. Alternatively, if the kids have moved out, consider whether you really need that extra guest room or whether downsizing would be more financially sensible.

Has it got a good history?

Suspiciously well priced houses can be worth looking into. It may have a string of previous owners that have left in short succession due to problems with the house that an estate agent is likely to avoid bringing up. The property could have a recurring problem with pests, there could have been a murder in it previously or there may even be rumours of hauntings. For peace of mind, it’s always worth checking out these details from the agent or seller if you think the pricing is oddly low – they may be desperate to get rid of it due to its notorious history.

The Great All-Inclusive Debacle: What You Should Be Wary Of


As a society, we like always want the best we can get. Yes, we also want things to be made simple, but at the top of the pecking order is awesomeness, which is what makes those all-inclusive holiday resorts so damn attractive. It doesn’t matter whether you are scanning through one of their glitzy brochures or scrolling down their sleek and fleek website; these resorts always look like they have cornered off their own little slice of paradise.

Food worthy of royalty, enough fine wine to satisfy Johnny Depp, panoramic views of endless blue oceans, all the pampering facilities you can shake your sore arms at and staff so happy you’re left pondering how they haven’t landed a life on stage. Yeah, these all-inclusive resorts have an array of bait that allows them to allure all sorts of holiday-making-fishies.

Unfortunately, though, these bits of bait tend to be invalid truths. The two photographs that keep featuring on their website are of their one and only Presidential Suite and their Honeymoon Suite, which can be yours for the cool price of $10,000 a night if you know who to butter up. As for the words on their website, well, they’ve probably paid an award-winning novelist to dip into their adjectives jar and start spewing anything that will get you clicking the buy button.

Of course, not every all-inclusive resort is like this. Some are genuinely amazing and offer impeccable deals for everyone (not just the high-rollers). We’re not so cynical that we don’t realize that. However, there are some that are going to be well below the standard you were expecting when you booked your holiday in the January sales.

It is with these in mind that we have made a list of things you should be wary of, and by that, we mean read the reviews on whichever trip advisor site you trust most.

All-Inclusive Is A Lie

It is one of the most infuriating realizations to have, and yet it happens so-so often. You finally arrive at your glorious resort, only to walk into the lobby and find out that the all-inclusive deal you signed up for isn’t all inclusive. In fact, it has some serious restrictions. Those spa treatments you couldn’t wait to enjoy will actually cost more, so will that jet ski hire, oh and the whole free drinks thing, that is limited to water and summer fruits squash, not tea or coffee or booze.

Big Time Utility Issues

“We have everything you could possibly want,” they said, before mumbling something you didn’t quite catch. Unfortunately, that thing they mumbled was, “except for the internet.” This may be fine if you don’t have Instagram, Facebook, elderly parents or any form of loved ones back home, but if you do then it could be a little bit terrible to find this out. This is the best scenario too. It’s way worse when they actually have WiFi but it is going to cost you $15 an hour and your eldest son. That’s just one of the utility issues too. Not having enough hot water is another one that needs checking before you commit to buying. Or power. Yes, power. As in electricity. A lot of countries don’t have enough it. That’s just how it is.

Absolutely Zero Good Mood Food

It is so very easy to make an all-you-can-eat buffet look good. All it takes is a nice setting, plenty of silver platters, some good-time music, friendly staff and a variety of food so wide and vast Elvis would have got excited. However, just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is sanitary, as you may find out in a quick phone call to your injury attorney, your bed pan filled with you don’t want to know what. Don’t be fooled by appearances. Just because the food looks good doesn’t mean the kitchen is passing any hygiene standards. We’re alluding to food being reheated three times, kitchens getting a bi-annual clean, maintenance being non-existent and their not being much in the way of a health inspection in that country. The worst thing is, you won’t want to think about this when you are there. You’ve paid for the food so you’d prefer to remain naive and eat it. That’s why you should always read reviews before you buy.

More Expensive Than A Standard Vay-Kay

This industry thrives off blind-belief. Seriously. They have carved out this image of themselves as being the best value and, dare we say, cheap. This see’s so many holidaymakers dive straight into a purchase without once checking to see if this factoid is true or not. You really should though, because a lot of the time your holiday could be cheaper if you just bought everything separately. Sorry, but it is true. People think they are getting a holiday on the fly because it is all-inclusive when they are in fact paying a high premium of having everything already sorted for them. We did a bit of digging and, while we won’t say the name of the resort (it was in the Dominican Republic), we can confirm that a standard all-inclusive double room being used by two people cost $639 a night. A standard double-room being used by two people that weren’t part of the all-inclusive package, however, cost just $165 a night. That’s a saving of $474 a day. That’s a lot of drinks, food, massages and water sports to be doing every day in order to make the all-inclusive deal the better option.

Like we said in our rather long and detailed introduction, not all of these resorts are created equally. Some are amazing, as in they will offer you the best vacation experience you have ever-ever been on. However, some of them could feature on a TV show entitled Holidays From Hell, which is partly because of what we have mentioned above and partly because we haven’t even scratched the surface of what you need to look out for. That is why you should always do your research. Read the reviews of previous customers. Compare the prices to make sure it is actually cheaper. Look at what the big problems are in the country you are going to. Anything and everything, really. Do that and you’re onto an absolute winner.

Don’t Let Poor Sleep Kill You

In the wake of healthy and fit lifestyles, sleep comes as one of the key elements to maintain a good physical and mental health. While everyone is aware that you can’t sleep yourself to a slim and strong body, there’s no denying that without sleep people wouldn’t be able to function and perform their everyday routine – at the gym and the office. As a result, it’s not uncommon to come across suggestions designed to improve your sleep cycle. Everything starts in the bedroom, your sanctuary of peace and rest. You’ve probably experience the significant impact on your sleep quality of changing your bed direction or clearing the bedroom from clutter. Keeping a set schedule can also help your brain get ready for sleep and prepare in advance to be in right condition. There is nothing new about the advice that you read to achieve a good night sleep. But what about people who are struggling with sleep conditions that can be more serious than one thinks?  


Snoring Yourself To Death?

Let’s be honest from the start: Nobody likes a snorer. If you’ve got one in your family, you know very well that the snorer unintentionally disturbs everyone’s sleep. But if you know someone who snores – or even if you snore yourself –, you need to stop considering that loud snorts are funny. Snoring is the result of sleep apnea, which means that the person stops breathing during their sleep. The snoring sound is when the brain has realized that it is suffocating and not receiving enough oxygen. In other words, when someone snores, it’s the brain that is forcing the body to gasp for some fresh air. Suddenly, snorers don’t appear as funny as you might have thought they were. In fact, if you know a snorer who keeps you awake at night, you should suggest following a sleep apnea treatment. Snoring is not a healthy habit, If you compare poor sleep to alcohol, as you age you will need a longer period for your body to recover from bad sleep. Imagine drinking a six pack of beer in your 20s and compare it to drinking the same amount in your 50s. Your brain is less resilient to toxic situations, and deprivation of oxygen is something to take very seriously. In the long term, sleep apnea can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and brain damage diseases such as dementia.

Lack Of Sleep Makes You Sick

Insomnia is another common sleep trouble that can touch people at any period of their life. For some, insomnia is characterized by difficulties sleeping at least three times a week for several weeks. Not being to sleep well only for a few nights could be linked to a heavy dinner, a specific stressful situation, or maybe the bedroom being too warm or cold. However, in the long term, insomnia can be the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, physically or mentally. More importantly, it can affect your immune system, and consequently, make you sick. Lack of sleep makes your immune system weaker and makes it also more difficult for your body to recover if you catch an infection or even a simple cold. Sleep deprivation reduces the production of protective cytokines, a hormone that appears in vast quantities when you are sick, and the production of antibodies.

Too Scared To Sleep?

Waking up in the middle of the night, feeling scared and threatened is a horrible experience. However, when it happens too frequently, it’s called a nightmare disorder, and it can make it extremely tricky to go back to sleep afterwards. Nightmares are thought to be the result of psychiatric disorders, but in reality, they can be generated by anything from a stressful time at work to severe PTSD experiences. However, nightmares can also be side-effects to the consumption of abusive substances that damage the brain patterns. More importantly, people who suffer from a nightmare disorder may find it difficult to rest their body and might prefer to avoid sleeping at all. And we all know what sleep deprivation can do to you!

Too Much Sleep Is Not Healthy

Lack of sleep is not the only danger with sleep troubles. Too much sleep, such as resulting from a narcoleptic disorder, can prove equally harmful. Narcolepsy is associated with temporary catalepsy, hallucination or even sleep paralysis which only lasts for a few seconds to a couple of minutes. These naturally interfere with a regular social and professional life. But they can also put you at risk. Imagine falling asleep unexpectedly while you are driving, or looking out of the window. Additionally, narcolepsy is also classified as a sleep disturbance, as it doesn’t allow your body to rest fully, causing similar effects to sleep deprivation.

Sprucing Your Home Up For Summer

Summer is here and the weather is great! You can bask in the sun in the garden, entertain your friends with a BBQ and splash about in home pools. But many of us will find ourselves overwhelmed by a sense of claustrophobia when we step back into our homes in the evening. Who can blame us? We’ve spent hours experiencing the great outdoors, cool breezes and splashes of water. Then we find ourselves in a stuffy space feeling cramped and uncomfortable. This doesn’t need to be the case. It’s time to spruce up your home and make it hot weather friendly. You should come back indoors and feel content and comfortable.

Have a Clear Out

The first step? Having a clear out. Over the year we amount all sorts of bits and bobs that we don’t really need. Spaces begin to look cluttered and can feel overwhelming. Keep things minimal. Throw out anything that is broken or damaged. Then donate or sell anything that is unnecessary, has no sentimental value and serves no particular purpose. Nice clear surfaces and floors will make your rooms seem bigger and more spacious.


Have Somewhere to Eat

BBQs are great but you don’t want them for every single meal of the day. Make sure that you have a designated space that’s always clear that you can sit at for a meal. Ensure that your dining room has a large table that everyone can sit at. It’s nice to step out of the sun with your friends or family to enjoy your lunch in the cool and shade. Make sure it’s always clear. You don’t want the hassle of having to move items around while your food is going cold.

Install Air Conditioning

Keep things cool and fresh by installing an air conditioning unit in your house. This may sound excessive, but think just how much you’ll appreciate being able to get to sleep comfortably in a cool room, rather than tossing and turning while you stick to your sheets. Air conditioning will make your home a heavenly retreat from the heat.

Keep Things Green

Having plants around automatically makes a space feel natural, calm and fresh. So get a few houseplants to brighten up your interior and add a touch of nature. They will cleanse the air in your rooms, making spaces feel more breathable and add a dash of color to liven the atmosphere. If you’re worried about the upkeep, not to worry. There are plenty of plant species that require minimal care. Consider succulents and cacti. These don’t need regular watering and will generally take care of themselves as long as they have a bit of natural light.

Open The Windows

We’re all guilty of leaving clutter on our windowsills. But try to avoid this. Leave the space clear, allowing light and air to circulate freely between your room and the outside of your home. Pull up the blinds or make sure that your curtains are pulled back. Things will look brighter and feel fresher in no time.