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Renovator Mate

Settling Into Your New Home: 5 Actions Steps to Take

mopping the kitchen floor

After going through that tumultuous experience called moving, it’s now time to face the last hurdles of your new life in a different city: settling into your new home.

Making your new house feel like home is an effective way of helping you and your family adjust to your new place faster. By making your abode feel more familiar and comfortable, everyone will find it easier to get used to life in a different neighbourhood. And in no time, everyone will be calling the new house truly their home.

Seasoned interstate removalists share below the five important steps you have to take to settle into your new home quickly and successfully: 

1.    Clean the house

If you didn’t clean your new house before moving in, take some time to do this now.

Begin by cleaning the kitchen then work on the bedrooms, bathrooms, living room, and other areas. Make sure you use an antibacterial or disinfectant cleaning product, or create your own to get rid of any germs still lurking around.

Additionally, pay particular attention to cleaning the ceiling, walls, floors, and fixtures that are touched or handled frequently such as the door knobs, light switches, and faucets.

You can always hire professional cleaners to clean your home if you’re too exhausted from the move to do this task.

2.    Unpack and fully set up one room at a time

Making your new house more appealing and comfortable always starts with unpacking.  To be able to organize your home faster, unpack and arrange items one room at a time

Start by setting up the kitchen since everyone will be spending a lot of time here to eat, drink, or do other activities. This will be easy to do if all the boxes marked kitchen and all the large kitchen appliances have been placed in this room by the movers.

Next, move to the bedrooms. Make sure you and everyone else has a bed ready to sleep in. If you have kids, you can let them design and decorate their own rooms. By doing so, you will help them recreate their own private sanctuaries in your new house.

Once done, set up the bathroom, living room, and other remaining rooms.

No matter which room you choose to organize first, make sure you fully set it up before moving on to the next one. This means you should organize the bedrooms only after you’re done with the kitchen. Don’t start setting up another room while you’re still in the middle of arranging the previous one.

woman carrying a box

3.    Change the lighting to improve the ambience

Light is a powerful component that can make a new house feel different instantly.

Start by letting in more natural light into your home. Replace dark window treatments with lighter ones. Installing new curtains, blinds, or your choice of window treatments will also give each room a more complete and cohesive look.

You can also change the lights in your home to make it feel cozier. Choose warm white lights that give off a gentle hue especially for living areas – they will instantly give any room a friendlier and comfier ambience. Cool white lights are good for household work areas like laundries and garage. (Find out more about the difference between warm white and cool white lights.)

4.    Arrange your favourite artworks and décor

Hanging paintings and framed photos you brought from your old home is a great way to help everyone acclimatize to the new house. Once you have set up your shelves and cabinets in the living room, kitchen, and other rooms, arrange all the family heirlooms, trinkets, lamps, and other décor you have.

Once you have arranged all these items from your old home, you will instantly feel a sense of the familiar in your new abode.

If you think your living room and other rooms still feel sparse, buy new ones. However, make sure anything you add will mesh with the current design and theme of your home. Don’t forget to avoid over-decorating as well.

5.    Add your personal touches

Once you are satisfied with your new home décor, you can work on injecting your personal style and preferences in the house.

If there is a spare, unused room, you can turn it into your office, a study or reading nook. You can paint it in your favourite colour. Next, fill it with furniture, decorations, and fixtures that showcase your preferred colour or decorating style. 

Whichever look you choose in updating this room, make sure to let your personal touches stand out.

Settling into your new home will take time. The upside is you don’t have to rush things; take one step at a time to turn your new place into something that is organized, familiar, and comfortable.

Pretty soon, you and your family will have fully adjusted to and love your new abode. 


Author Bio

Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA). With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.


Patio Roofing Options – What Should You Choose?

patio with roof, wooden floor and brick wall

Building or adding a patio to your home can be a great way to take advantage of summer weather and relax in your own alfresco area.

Patios can be simple and affordable to construct, but what are the best options for your home?

Whether you’re thinking of a sleek, modern look or a clear, protective skylight, here are some design and material choices to consider.


The design of your patio can make a big difference to the ambience of your outdoor area. Popular patio roofing designs include:


A gable design has a long, peaked roof, similar to that of a house. This design lets rain flow easily off and to the sides. A gable patio can be attached and extend out from your home, matching your home’s roofing and giving a consistent style.


Flat patios are an affordable option to create an outdoor alfresco area. This design is simpler to build and install but is still able to cover a large area. They are a great way to provide shade and shelter for your home.


Skillion roofs are similar to a flat roof design, except that they are angled upwards on one side. This makes them the perfect choice for providing shade at key times in the day. Rainwater also isn’t a problem for the skillion and can be easily directed off.


The panels of a pyramid roof come together into a triangle shaped point. This design works best for square shaped patios and gives your outdoor area a spacious, airy feeling. Pyramid patios also often use a mix of clear and opaque panels to let in light.


Dome roofs are increasing in popularity, due to their stylish design. Dome patios offer the same utility as other roofing options but add a sleek and modern style which can be the perfect complement for your home or garden.

patio with roof, wood flooring, fireplace, rattan furniture


Choosing the right material for your patio roofing can ensure adequate protection. Popular options for patio materials include:

Colorbond steel

Colorbond steel is a durable, high-quality building material. Products in the Colorbond range are part of a 22-colour set, which means patios built from this material can complement Colorbond home roofing. It provides excellent protection from the sun and typically has an extensive warranty.


Polycarbonate is a lightweight and durable roofing material which is made from high-grade, reinforced plastic. Polycarbonate roofing can be transparent, opaque or a mix of the two. This allows homeowners to choose the best design to let natural light in.

Certain brands of polycarbonate roofing are made specifically for warmer climates and are highly rated for their resistance to the sun and overall UV protection.


Insulated patio roofing is a combination of roofing materials such as steel and polycarbonate, which is then insulated, usually with high-quality polystyrene. Insulated roofing can keep your outdoor area at a lower temperature and can be added without any additional construction.


Sunglaze roofing material is similar to polycarbonate but is completely clear. While it can resemble glass, it’s lightweight, strong and offers increased UV protection. Using Sunglaze will make your outdoor area feel light and open, while still giving you protection from sun and rain.

Which is Best?

The best type of patio for your home will depend on your location and circumstances. When dealing with hotter climates, insulation and sun protection become more important. Quality of materials and construction are also factors to consider.

Choosing between an attached or detached patio roof can change the overall cost and length of time required for construction. While detached patios require a separate structure to be built, patios which are attached and extend from the home can be a more affordable option.

The overall design and style of your patio should ideally complement your house and outdoor area. With many different designs and colours available, why not take advantage of clever construction to control temperature and sunlight regardless of the season.

No matter which materials you choose, a well- designed and constructed patio can provide a useful alfresco area year-round.


Author’s Bio:

This article was written by Daniel Defendi, who recommends Great Aussie Patios. You can catch Daniel on LinkedIn to discuss this piece.

4 Reasons Why You Need A Home Security System

hooded burglar with tv
Did you know that one house gets broken into every three minutes in Australia? While in the grand scheme of things that’s not a great deal, it is still cause for serious concern. As more households invest in the latest technology and gadgets there’s never been a more appealing time for nasty robbers than there is right now.

So if you’re concerned about your valuables, tech and prized possessions you may want to invest in a home security system. Yet many people balk at the cost involved and never do. So let’s check out four reasons why you may need an airtight home defence system.

home security phone app

Getting Robbed is a Major Inconvenience

Even if your home’s contents are fully insured, getting robbed is still a giant pain in the you-know-what. If the insurance decides to cough up your payout, there’s still the hundreds of dollars of excess you need to pay to get your payout. And then you have to replace everything. While many robbers these days shy away from larger items like televisions and stereo systems and instead aim for small items like jewelry and gadgets imagine having to replace every item as new and reinstall all your apps and programs. And that’s not to mention family heirlooms or irreplaceable objects. A home security systems deters burglars from even thinking about your place to begin with. More on that below.

burglar with tv

Criminals Are Opportunists

While some crooks play the long game and case your joint prior to attempting to break in, most simply try their luck in an area, looking for unsecured homes. Some even get lucky when a lax homeowner forgets to lock their door or leaves a window wide open. Don’t give them slimebags the time of day by being lax with your home security. You can easily purchase and install keyless locks, key safes, and sufficient outdoor lighting to begin with. In addition, a home security system scream out “this house is well protected!” and any likely highwaymen will avert their attention to a less secured property and leave yours all alone.

door ajar

For Peace of Mind

We all need to feel safe, secure and protected in our own homes, it’s human nature. And we also need to have peace of mind about our place whenever we’re not in it. A home security system can give you the comfort you need while you’re going about your day out of the house - knowing that your pad is locked down and secure and waiting for you to come home to relax. Also, if you get a system that has CCTV you can monitor your property on your smartphone or tablet while you’re out and about, in real time.

man resting with peace of mind

It Increases the Value of Your Home

A home security system can add thousands of dollars of value onto your home, amongst other things, so that one day in the distant future when you decide to sell up and move you can ask for a few extra thousand. And that’s better than a poke in the eye with a stick, isn’t it?


Airtight, Right?

A home security system leaves your property airtight and safe from those with nefarious intent. It means the difference between the major hassle of getting robbed and replacing everything and not having to live through that ordeal. Crooks are opportunistic and a home defence system will deter them from trying to break into your house. It will also give you peace of mind when you’re out at work or away for a trip. Finally, think of it as an investment into your property that could add some dollars onto the price tag when you decide to sell down the track.

Fell in Love with a Place? 4 Steps to Prepare for a Long-Term Stay

It is a story that many people dream of. You hop on a plane for a quick getaway, but then you fall in love with the place, you feel more like yourself than you ever have before, and you know that you have to spend more time here.

So, one night (these decisions always seem to be made at night), you decide that you are going to follow your gut instinct and make the move.

If this is the position you are currently finding yourself in, and you have wildly fallen in love with a place, here are four steps to prepare for a long-term stay.

to do list

1. Make your plan for moving.

Once you have fallen in love with a place, it is likely that you want to move there and start your long-term stay as soon as possible. Unfortunately, in most scenarios, this is not realistic. Instead, you need to make a thorough plan for moving.

By taking the time to plan out the move, you will be giving yourself the opportunity to prepare for this life-changing event in the most efficient and stress-free way possible.

So, what exactly do you need to plan?

Just as with any move, no matter how close or far you are travelling, you need to recognize your timeline and then plot the necessary tasks on the schedule. By considering all of the phases of the move and the various functions that need to be sorted, and then dividing them down into smaller chores, you should be able to schedule in the required time to guarantee it all gets accomplished.

woman packing a table lamp

2. Sort out everything at home.

Depending on the circumstances, there is a good chance that if you are looking to have a long-term stay in a new locale, you are first going to have to sort out some things back at home. This may entail packing up and selling your house or ending the lease on your apartment.

Unless you solely live out of a suitcase and are embracing the "digital nomad" lifestyle, you are probably going to have to pack up a few things.

Regardless of whether you have been living in a 10-bedroom mansion in the countryside with extensive wardrobe storage solutions or a studio apartment in the middle of a big city with not much space, packing can seem like an overwhelming beast of a task, and certainly not something that anyone particularly enjoys doing.

The best packing strategy is organized, streamlined and disciplined, and focuses on dealing with one room or area at a time. By doing it this way, you are less likely to forget to pack something, you will be creating less mess (which will help keep your stress levels down), and it will mean that you are packing related items into the same box, making it more convenient when you open them next.

Whatever you do, don't skimp on the moving boxes. It is critical that you have high-quality boxes that are sturdy and robust enough to withstand whatever comes their way while you are enjoying your long-term stay.

To really be the queen of the organized move, opt to purchase packing labels that enable you to write down a description of the contents in each box and indicate in which room they should be opened.  

empty boxes on sofa and floor

3. Opt for long-term storage.

What are you going to do with these boxes? Unless you are shipping them all to your next destination, the best option is to secure long-term storage. Luckily, in this day and age, there are plenty of high-quality mobile storage solutions for you to choose from to suit your needs.

If you are going to use self-storage as the new home for your worldly belongings, make sure you schedule (see #1) plenty of time to gather and store your possessions suitably. For example, you want to be padding and wrapping your breakables, and you need to ensure that all of your boxes are stacked correctly.

You don't want to find yourself coming back from your long-term stay and seeing that your belongings have had devastating damage brought to them because they weren't carefully packaged.

For this reason, you may want to work with logistics firms in Melbourne or professional storage companies in Dubai (or wherever you reside) as they know exactly how to pack, wrap, and store.

woman and child on bay window

4.  Look after yourself.

It can be easy to get so wrapped up in your big move and the excitement of what is to come that looking after yourself and other aspects of your life can fall to the wayside. Try your best not to allow this to happen.

After all, you don't want to show up in your new place wholly stressed and fatigued. Take it day by day, stick to your schedule, enjoy your last few weeks (or months) at home, and arrive at your new locale raring to go.

Have you ever visited a country, fallen in love with it, and then decided you want to go for a long-term stay? If you have, what did you do to prepare? If you haven't, where in the world would you like to do a long-term stay?

Tell us your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!


Author Bio

Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.

Small Living Room Ideas to Make the Most of Your Space

Whether you live in a condo, an apartment or a small home, one of the things you dislike most is trying to fit everything you need for creature comfort into a tiny living room. If you have been tripping over end tables or are simply tired of looking at so much stuff cluttered into such a small space, it’s time to get some ideas on getting better organised. You can make the most of a small space with the following tips and the outcome will be simply amazing.

grey scale image of living room with couch table and chair and colored pillow

Begin by Totally Emptying Out the Room

Before going any further, the first thing you need to do is totally empty out the room. In this way, you can get a realistic idea on how much space you really have to work with so that you can begin creating a livable space that won’t overload the senses.

Also, at this point you will probably want to hire a professional carpet cleaning service. You will almost always notice that once everything is removed from the room, there will be darker spots on the carpet from repeated ‘traffic’ whilst areas where furniture sat will be as clean as the day that carpet was installed.

Just remember that any painting that needs doing should be completed before you clean the carpets!

grey scale living room with couch chair table art windows

Creative Use of Mirrors

This is a trick often employed by interior decorators seeking to make small spaces appear much larger. While you may wish to hang a large mirror on a wall in the centre of the room, you should also be mindful that the placement has much to do with the optical illusion mirrors create.

The most effective placement would be across from a window or sliding glass door. By reflecting what lies just outside the window, you will be creating the ultimate illusion of yet another window!

Don’t forget that natural light also helps keep the power bill to a minimum whilst adding that illusion of a much larger space.

woman sitting on living room couch

Keep the Focus as High as Possible

One of the things you will notice about small spaces is that it is easy to see just how small a room is when looking around the floor. A cramped area is readily apparent and so if you have no alternative than bringing back that oversized furniture, draw the eyes upward to wall hangings and decorations placed above eye level. This will help to keep the eyes from seeing what a small room you are really in.

living room with grey chair white table plant and pendant light

Light to Neutral Colours Are a Must

Remember that paint job mentioned above? When seeking to give the illusion of being larger, it is important to steer clear of dark colours. Always use light to neutral colours that tend to brighten things up. Nothing is quite as dark and dreary as a small room painted or papered in dark colours. You have heard it said that overweight people look slimmer in black. The same principle holds true for interior design. The lighter the colours, the larger a space appears to be.

living room chairs table shelf plant lights

Choose Smaller Furniture If Your Budget Allows for It

Perhaps the furniture you are using in your living room came with you when you relocated to this home. It may have been suitable for a larger living room but not at all well-suited for a much smaller space. If at all possible, consider buying smaller furniture designed specifically for small spaces.

The smaller the furniture, the larger your room will appear to be. Maybe a recliner or two would work just as well if you don’t have a large family or entertain large groups often. Be creative in your choice of furniture so that you don’t crowd the room once again.

Less is More in Small Spaces

In the end, you will learn that less is really more in terms of working with small spaces. Some people have done away with sofas altogether while others opt to use a loveseat sofa in lieu of a long and bulky couch.

Just remember that the key to making any space appear larger is to keep everything to a minimum. This includes decorations of any kind. You started with mirrors, colour and size of furniture, now it’s time to rid the room of everything that keeps it cluttered. The best way to make the most of smaller spaces would be to ensure that you don’t overstuff the room with nonessential items and furnishings.


Author Bio

author alex morrisonAlex Morrison has been an SEO Expert in Melbourne for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses, giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including printing, graphic and web design. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.

Top Kitchen Remodelling Trends for Millennials

As millennials are joining the ranks of homeowners, there have been plenty of fresh trends on the rise in the world of interior design. Literally every aspect of this field has been experiencing changes regarding the way in which things are being done, the materials that are being used, as well as the overall appeal that ends up being created in a particular room.

Hence, the changes and trends that have made their way in the kitchen remodelling efforts really come as a no surprise. So, let’s dive right into this matter and try to find out exactly what news the millennial generation has in store for us this time.

white kitchen island with pendant lights cabinet stools

Thinking ahead

An interesting phenomenon that can be noticed in millennials’ remodelling and redecorating efforts is their future-oriented way of thinking. Unlike the previous generations, millennials are not particularly fond of major changes. This becomes particularly obvious if we observe the way in which millennials approach the matter of choosing a home. Instead of buying so-called starter homes, millennials are more likely to wait until they can afford to buy a “forever” home. This way of thinking only brings forth another interesting thing about millennials – they hate wasteful behaviour.  

That’s why, more often than not, millennials opt for neutral hues when redecorating their living environment, as they present a perfect backdrop that can welcome many different styles. Additionally, when millennials do something, i.e. remodel their kitchen, they do it in such a manner that won’t require any additional work for many years to come. Therefore, in a millennial kitchen, you can expect to find various shades of cream, beige, off-white and – a millennial favourite – grey.

Going for the aesthetic

Among other things, millennials are well—known for their love of unique, visually appealing design solutions. While older generations prefer the use of practical but commonly not particularly appealing lighting solutions, millennials, on the other hand, choose to illuminate the hearts of their homes with lighting solutions that tell the tale of their own.

This means that instead of traditional overhead lighting solutions, in a millennial kitchen, you can expect to find a multitude of differently shaped Edison light bulbs, fairy lights instead of traditional task lights, and various other – some might even say unexpected – lighting solutions.

Nothing should be wasted

As we have previously mentioned, millennials are not the biggest fans of wasteful thinking. That’s why, when it comes to appliances, you should expect to find nothing short of the best and eco-friendliest alternatives.

Energy efficiency is the name of the game here, which means that Energy Star certified appliances, such as a reliable Bosch 800 refrigerator, are the only ones the millennials will even consider. Aside from being less harmful to our environment, such appliances waste significantly less energy which, in turn, means a lower energy bill.

white kitchen counter cabinets walls with black stools and lights

The budget plays a huge role

While a millennial will never shy away from seriously investing in something that, according to their beliefs, is worth investing in, they do tend to refuse to pay for things they can do on their own. That’s why, millennials are more likely to avoid hiring a general contractor, an architect and a designer and take on these tasks themselves. Only in case they run into problems will they consider asking for professional help.

Knowing this, it’s completely expected to assume that there are no two similar millennial kitchens as they are known for their love of uniqueness and authenticity. Furthermore, it’s quite common to find various vintage, refurbished and DIYed pieces in a millennial kitchen, which only says even more about their craftiness and sense of style.

kitchen with black counter wood panels white walls

Rules are there to be broken

Finally, millennials – or “the generation everyone loves to hate” – do find the traditional rules of decorating to be, well, boring. The typical “no more than two styles combined” and “walls should be single-coloured” rules do not really apply here.

Instead, styles like rustic-tech chic are being born. Since millennials are the generation that started reaching out to nature once more – which means they simply adore natural materials such as cork, stone and wood – and they are also the generation that grew up and evolved alongside technology, it’s no wonder that they have found a way to mix all of these, seemingly unmixable elements together and create a cohesive environment. Metallic elements are the thing that perfectly combines nature with technology, so you can expect to find various metallic surfaces and finishes in the millennial kitchen as well.

kitchen with wood floor pendant lighting grey walls

As you can see, there are plenty of neat ways millennials improved the world of interior design. The beauty is that all of the aforementioned trends are not reserved solely for the kitchen area. Instead, they can be implemented throughout your home and are bound to work as perfectly in any other room.


Author Bio

Derek Lotts is a Sydney-based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business — he thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

Home Insurance: What Home Renovators Need to Know

Despite its importance, many people still choose not to buy home insurance and think they’ll be just fine without it. They rarely pay enough attention to insurance when purchasing a property and don’t even realize the benefits they can gain from it.

Many think just about the cost and they’d rather spend money on something else, leaving their home unprotected and unsafe. Getting a policy is easier than you think, and it’s better to be safe than sorry – ending up in a problem and not having the insurance to cover your costs is the last thing you’d want. You can’t eliminate all potential risks, but you need to do whatever you can to protect yourself against unpredictable things.

house exterior showing facade front lawn driveway

Estimate your home’s worth

Before starting the process, you should get an approximate worth of your home and everything in it. One way to do that is by hiring a professional to evaluate your property and rely on their estimate.

The power of calculation

On the other hand, you can try to calculate that by yourself and also calculate how much it would cost to build an exactly the same house, keeping in mind that you need to lower the price in case your home isn’t brand new. Apart from that, you’ll need to make an inventory of the items inside and outside your house, and include that into the calculation as well.

How are premiums calculated?

You need to understand that not every house is going to have the same premium, and that there are several factors that determine it. First, it depends on the level of cover you’ve chosen, the materials used to build your house, the location, when it was build and the risk profile of the property.

Double check everything

Before deciding on a certain type, ask your insurer what option is the best one for your family and your home. It’s perfectly fine not to understand all the terms and conditions at once, which is why you need to go through every step of the way carefully.

Choose the type of insurance

Different types of policies are made so homeowners can decide which one fits their household. You can choose an insurance policy that covers your entire house, both inside and outside, and one that’s limited to one option only.

smart home icon on cellphone

Understand the differences

There are different options when it comes to house and contents insurance too, and opting for this idea has shown to be quite efficient. Different surroundings, lifestyle and habits will require a certain level of security, and you should shape your insurance in accordance with them.

Understand your policy

Just like any other document, homeowners have a tendency to sign their policy without even reading it thoroughly. Before making this commitment and choosing your insurance, read everything carefully and make sure you’ve understood every line in that document.

Know every detail

By doing this, you’ll avoid potential problems if you ever find yourself having to claim a certain amount of money. Many homeowners realize they don’t have the right to coverage just because they didn’t read everything in the first place. For example, including your flooring in your insurance package is always a smart move because you can repair it later on if you need to upgrade it.

Include the renovations

When it comes to making changes, be sure to renovate everything that might cause you problems in the long run. Some companies won’t accept the claim for the insurance if you’ve had problems with that part of the house before.

Do the inspection

Go through the house and do an inspection of all the possible problems to make sure you know what needs to be renovated. Check the roof, the plumbing and the heating as these are the most common problems. Of course, you can’t do a renovation without painting and giving your home a new and fresh look.

claiming home insurance

Claim FAQs

Managing a claim is simpler than you think, and this process usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Depending on your insurance company, you can call and speak to someone directly, or do this on their website, if that’s easier for you. Your insurer will need some information, which probably means you’ll have to submit your policy number, describe what happened, which parts of your home are damaged and add a police report if they were involved as well.

Double check everything

Be sure to check how long you have the right to file a claim because you can be rejected if you don’t respect the deadline. After that, you need to sit back and wait to get a call regarding your claim. You can use that time to think about a new kitchen upgrade you’ll be doing after you get the money from the insurance company.

When picking a policy, try not to go for the cheapest one – you may think nothing will happen to your property, but even a small storm can cause you a ton of problems. It’s always better to protect your house as much as you can than to worry about the most common problems. There’s a reason why many people use all the benefits that come with home insurance, so you need to think about getting one too.


Author Bio

Emma B. Joyce is a blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is also a mum who likes to spend her free time with her daughter. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She is an editor-in-chief at Smooth Decorator.

10 Tips for Designing Your Home Office

If you are among the growing ranks of those working from home, the one thing you are probably interested in is a way in which to set up your home office to increase productivity. While working from home does have its advantages, there are some setbacks that can be easily remedied once you have a workspace created that enables you to work efficiently. Here are 10 tips for designing your home office to help you maximise your productivity.

home office black desk beige chair lamp wood floor

1. Keep Your Home Office Removed from Distractions

One of the biggest detriments to being productive when working at home is the distractions you may be subjected to. Try to set up your home office in a location that isn’t too near where the family will be interacting and if you have a garden building, a loft or a room in the garage, those might be ideally situated to convert quickly into a home office.

white office desk mac notebook glasses cup

2. Use a Proprietary Computer for Work

Never use your home computer for work. There are a number of reasons why, but the biggest being that it is easiest to safeguard your files and client information if no one has use of your computer but you. Don’t let the kids play online games on your computer and as a matter of fact, you shouldn’t do anything but work-related tasks as well! It’s altogether too easy to get a virus that would compromise your sensitive client files, and that would be a nightmare in the making.

man with glasses using laptop on wood table black walls

3. Set up Space to Receive Clients or Peers

Most professionals working from home need to meet with clients, sales reps or even peers from time to time. Always ensure that there is a place for clients to sit comfortably when visiting you at your location. You do want to keep this as professional as possible and that would include designing your office with a professional level of appeal and functionality when receiving work-related visitors.

mac screen with time white table white wall black lamp wood bookshelf

4. Keep Wires Neat and Tidy

Always ensure that wires are tucked away and/or run in a neat and tidy manner. You don’t want to be tripping over them and nothing is as unappealing as wires running everywhere. Look back at the offices you have worked in and you will see that most have wires hidden from view or neatly bundled together and run along a baseboard.

wood themed office table chairs shelves cabinets

5. An Ergonomic Chair Is an Absolute Must

If you will be sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, it pays to invest in an ergonomic chair. This puts less strain on your back which, in turn, will enable you to focus on working rather than running out for a quick kip on the couch.

office desk computer monitor phone keyboard be creative sign

6. Invest in a Large Flat Screen Monitor

No matter what style of computer you use, always opt for a large screen monitor. This will enable you to have several windows running at the same time so that you can keep multiple files and/or tasks opened simultaneously.

wood table mac air glasses white mouse white chair

7. Two Desks Are Better than One

Some interior designers advise you to invest in a standing desk. While this is a good idea for those who tend to get drowsy after extended periods sitting at a desk, it wouldn’t be good for someone working from home for eight to ten hours a day. A second desk that allows you to stand for a period of time would be the better choice but an adjustable height desk, if available, would be the best option of all.

white themed office table chair mac windows wall speakers

8. Use Natural Light as Much as Possible

While natural lighting can help reduce your power bill, that isn’t the only reason you would want to take advantage of natural light. The truth is, your vision improves under natural lighting and there is something invigorating about sunlight if it isn’t too overpoweringly bright. Studies have shown that working in natural light increases productivity.

person on office desk mac ipad dark glasses iphone

9. Keep Regular Office Hours

While many people claim that working from home enables them to ‘make their own hours’ around their otherwise busy schedule, this could be a serious error in judgement. If you are going to work from home, you need to be no less professional than you would be at a nine to five. This means, keep your hours of operation as regular as possible and this might even include being ‘closed for business’ one or two days a week. Everyone deserves a weekend, don’t they?

man on desk holding pen with mac screen lamp headset window

10. Never Use Your Home Office for Anything BUT Work

Finally, never use your home office for anything BUT work. If you can’t step into your office with a mindset ready to work, you will be defeating the purpose of having one. After all, you don’t step into your office at a place of employment looking to play an online game of poker or two, do you? Keep work and home tasks as separate as possible to be your most productive when ‘on the job.’

There you have 10 tips for designing and using your home office. If you think of this office as your place of employment and set it up in a way that enables you to work as efficiently as possible, you will find that it really is a joy to work from home!


Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has been a digital marketer in Melbourne for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including printing, graphic and web design. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals. Social Profiles: Facebook Google+ Linkedin Twitter


Lighting Ideas: Why You Need to Upgrade Your Bathroom Lighting

The bathroom may not immediately come to mind when you’re thinking of upgrading the lighting around your home. Oftentimes, we focus on areas such as the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and even front yard, neglecting one of the rooms we actually utilise the most in the home — the bathroom!

The bathroom is also a place in which many people do things such as dry their hair, put their makeup on and so on, which actually makes it one of the rooms in your home in which lighting is the most crucial. In this article, we will look at why you need to upgrade your bathroom lighting today. Read on to find out more!

Nice warm white bathroom, red walls natural light interior

1. Look Your Best With Adequate Lighting

It is no secret that we all want to look our best — we are all human after all! A bathroom that is not well lit is a surefire way to miss out on those pesky eyebrow hairs that you’ve missed.

For both men and women, the bathroom is the prime location for where we doll ourselves up. Men shave and style their hair in the bathroom, whilst women may style their hair, do their makeup and other grooming activities in the bathroom.

In order to do the perfect job and look your best, you’re going to need the best lighting possible. Some great options when it comes to the best lighting for dolling up are skylights, a fluorescent vanity light bar, and Hollywood glow vanity mirrors which are so incredibly popular these days.

bathroom large mirrors shower screen

2. Safety First

Safety may not come to mind immediately when thinking of bathroom lights, but adequate lighting is an absolute necessity when it comes to ensuring optimal levels of safety in the bathroom.

Poor lighting in the bathroom can be a cause of people slipping and injuring themselves when they are unable to see whether or not a surface is covered in water. This is especially important if you have elderly or children using your bathroom, as a fall can be absolutely catastrophic for infants and older people who have brittle bones.

(Related topic: 7 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Kid-Friendly)


3. If You Read In The Bath, You Definitely Need Good Lighting.

Are you someone who enjoys relaxing at the end of the day with a nice scented candle, bubble bath and a good book to let your hair down? If so, you want to ensure that your bathroom lights are suited to your needs. What does this mean?

Well, when it comes to reading, you will want to ensure that your bathroom is fitted with an adjustable accent light that is aimed outside of your bathroom. This ensures you will avoid any potential glare, which is not optimal for reading. Shielded fixtures are also a fantastic option for those who are looking to prevent glare in the bathroom in general.

If you enjoy a good book in the bath, it just may be time for a bathroom lighting upgrade. Your eyes will thank you!

elegant egg shaped limestone bath tub freestanding

4. It Just Looks Better!

Last but not least, we suggest you upgrade your bathroom lighting purely because it looks better! If you’re going for a certain aesthetic, lighting is a fantastic way to bring your vision to life. Ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting, strip lighting, vanity lighting, various kinds of bulbs and dimmers are all different ways in which you can incorporate lighting into your bathroom to achieve your desired look.

If you’re looking to bring a romantic mood, feel and look to your bathroom, dimmable lights are a fantastic option as they are adjustable, generally soft and perfect for a romantic bath for two. If you’re looking for a Hollywood-esque looking bathroom, vanity lights and task lighting are the way to go. Whatever aesthetic you are going for, lighting is the best place to start!

We hope that this article has given you some insight into why you need to upgrade your bathroom lighting today!

Pros and Cons to DIY Home Renovation

Completing home renovations yourself can be backbreaking but rewarding work. Saving money is never a bad thing but there’s a time and place for frugality. Cutting corners on certain home repairs may be hazardous to one's health.

Knowing the difference between a money-saving opportunity and when splurging on professional resources is required is no easy feat. Read on to get a better idea of when saving or spending may be most prudent.

paint rollers painting green red orange and blue

Money Saver

PAINTING: A fresh coat of paint is hardly laborious, a quick and thrifty option. Breaking out the rollers and brushes can dramatically change a room. Interior painting — trim, walls, and doors — can transform a dull space into the dream room that you’ve always wished for. Additionally, painting is an activity that can involve the entire family. Enable everyone in your home to make decisions and allow them input in color selection. Painting is a low risk way to try out different personas for each room. Here you'll have the ability to experiment with different colors, shades and borders knowing it can easily be changed in the near future. Through the use of painters tape you can get more complicated and feature intricate designs, like a striped accent wall or other fun personal elements.

WINDOW TREATMENTS: Similar to painting, updating window treatments has the ability to frame a room in an entirely new light. Window treatments may not seem like the most exciting design element but there’s surprisingly many options to consider and play around with! Valances, drapes, and blinds are only the tip of the iceberg. While choosing something in line with current fads is not always wise, window treatments are a great way to be in the moment without committing to a long-term DIY project.

window with white curtains

Experiment with patterns and different fabrics to find something that fits in your space. Different window treatment lengths and textures can be used to adjust, or filter, the amount of light in a room. Allowing more light into a space can make the room appear larger than it truly is.

REFINISHING FURNITURE: Refinishing a piece of furniture can make something rather bland into a fresh and new statement piece. Taking garage sale finds and making them into a one of a kind piece of furniture is a great way to cut costs and hone your eye for design at the same time. Refinishing furniture is quite an umbrella term and can include staining/painting, reupholstering, adding new hardware or anything else you feel can elevate a piece that you’ve become bored with or is a “new to you” find.

man doing home renovation


ON INSPECTIONS: Splurging on inspections is very important. Unless you have proper training there’s no way to DIY test for some of the most common household toxins. Having your home tested for toxins before any major, or minor, home renovations is an important first step to safeguard the health of you and your family. Some of the most common household toxins to inspect for are asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead, and radon. All four toxins are invisible to the naked eye, meaning there is no way for the average person to easily identify if it’s an issue in their home. Both asbestos and lead were commonly used in older homes so before completing any renovations that involve deconstruction professionals should be sought if your home was built prior to 1980.

MAJOR DECONSTRUCTION PROJECTS: Even after completing the necessary and recommended inspections there is always risk involved with major deconstruction or demolition. Contractors and construction crews should be hired if you want to dramatically change the layout of your home in order to eliminate risks related to; exposure to poor air quality, improperly removing necessary structural elements of the home (example: wall removal) or self-injury.

pile of DIY tools

Reasons for Splurging

HEALTH BENEFITS: The splurges may seem a bit costly, but investing in your home now can save you from unnecessary medical spending in the long run. For instance, asbestos abatement is pricey costing thousands of dollars but exposure to the toxin can result in mesothelioma cancer. Prognosis is poor for cancer and it can ultimately cost you your life. Lead, carbon monoxide, and radon also have negative health consequences that can lead to increased medical bills and poor quality of life.

TOXIN AWARENESS: Being aware of the potential toxin risk that may be hidden away if your home can help to cut costs effectively without compromising on your health. Find healthy and fun outlets for creativity that allow ownership of a space but don’t be stingy when it’s necessary to outsource the higher risk repairs.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is September 26 - take this day as a reminder that every action has a consequence and empower yourself with the facts necessary to make DIY fun and harmless.


This article was shared by our friends at  Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, a group of professionals dedicated to providing resources, information, and support to individuals and families suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.