Panasonic, the electronics giant from Japan, is one of the world’s leading producers and sellers of fridge freezers. Whether in the field of side by side freezers that rule the world nowadays, or the conventional double door refrigerators, the all – time favorites, Panasonic has a wide range to select in both the categories. These high – performance, high – longevity refrigerators has the capacity to revolutionize your kitchen and home, and provide a new definition to the ideal homemaker. Read more…
Mince pies and Christmas puddings are fast-appearing in supermarkets up and down the nation, and your thoughts may be turning to the impending festive season and how you can make it extra-memorable this year, especially if you have children.
A Santa’s grotto at home is a fantastic way of creating excitement and magical memories for your little ones, and if you have a garden shed this could be the ideal location for converting into a winter wonderland in the run-up to the big day. Keep reading to find out how to prepare your outhouse for Father Christmas’s arrival.
Whether you have a shed, log cabin or summerhouses in your outdoor area, the building will need to be prepared to reflect the festive season, so spend some time de-cluttering the space and tidying up. Alternatively, click here if you’re thinking about expanding in to a new space. You may need to make a couple of trips to the tip to dispose of broken electrical items, disused garden equipment and refuse you’ve been storing in the shed, after which you might need to give the building a thorough dusting and sweep the floor to remove debris and cobwebs.
Give some thought to how best to lay out the space, such as where you’ll put Santa’s chair and box of gifts for the resident children, as well as whether you want anything else in the grotto like festive statues or a Christmas tree, for example.
Once you’ve cleaned up the area, you should have a relatively blank canvas on to which you can festoon your ideas. Spray-on snow can be effective on any windows in the shed, while a thick layer of hay or straw could be strewn across the floor of the shed if there isn’t already a covering. If there is a floor cover, a shaggy fleece rug or blanket can be soft and snugly if little ones want to spend a while inside.
You might not have mains power to your shed but want to light up the room, so take a look at battery or solar-powered fairy lights for the space. You could attach a net of lights to the ceiling or drape strings of lights around the edges of the room.
You can liven up the space with a decorated Christmas tree, dangling decorations overhead and winter animal scenes; wicker deer, rabbits and squirrels can be found at garden centres and DIY stores. Elf statues will also fit in well with the decor, although nothing beats a real-life elf…
Christmas is traditionally a time for the whole family to get together and celebrate, so you could involve your children in getting Santa’s grotto ready. They’re sure to love laying straw on the ground and decorating the Christmas tree in the shed, as well as making sure Father Christmas will be comfortable by putting a throw and some cushions on his chair.
You could encourage their creative sides by asking getting them to make decorations from salt dough and paint them, and they’ll also learn the value of teamwork as they see the collaborative effort netting visible results each day.
Before the kids are due to visit Santa, make sure there’s a path through the snow to the shed – think about lining it with tall candy canes to mark the way. Ensure Santa has his box of presents ready and, the night before Christmas Day, you could encourage the children to leave a drink and a snack in the grotto for Father Christmas.
The way our homes look is often at the front of our minds at this time of year – partly because we want to take part in the enjoyment of Christmas, and partly because – as a result of that - we’re often expecting guests!
Chances are, you might well want to bring the festive season into your space in a wide variety of ways. Here are just a few fun ideas that you might be able to use for when the season is underway.
Start by considering the colours that are always tightly associated with Christmas: The holly shades of berry red and deep leafy green, for example, as well as gold, silver and snowy whites. There are various methods you can use to get these shades working for you.
For example, a small picture frame can easily be painted in a Christmassy red or green, then used to display a photograph you’ve taken of a snowy scene.
Talking of frames, Christmas art can be a great way to capture a sense of the season. Snowy scenes, frosted berries or anything else with a festive theme, framed and put on the wall, will bring Christmas into a room in a way that truly reflects the way you like to season to look.
In the bedroom, you could turn to bedding that incorporates festive shades as a way of helping add to a Christmas colour scheme.
And remember that not everything in a Christmas-ready room needs to reflect traditional Christmas imagery for the space to work well.
Even the summery-feel of floral bedding such as these examples from Curtains & Curtains needn’t look out of place. You can pick and choose which elements of a space reflect the Christmas theme!
However, if you wish, why not look into curtains which use Christmassy colours? You could invest in a special a pair that you use just for the festive season, for example.
Then there are ways of bringing that little bit of magic to your rooms, such as by using fairly lights that will alter things in a way that’s certainly Christmasy, but can also very much be subtle.
And there are other little touches that you can use in rooms that evoke Christmas, too. For example, you could use red, green, white, silver and gold candles to bring some extra, beautiful shimmering light to some of your spaces – even when they’re not lit, these can look festive.
The right colours of cushions or throws for a sofa will mean it looks Christmasy. And then you can simply put these away for next year when January comes or, if you think the look would work throughout the year, keep them in place.
When Christmas is on the way, people can sometimes have mixed feelings about the season, but if you embrace it in a way that is right for you, you’ll likely find you enjoy it all the more – and the same goes for decorating a home at this time of year.
We all have different tastes – and we very much hope you enjoy the season, however you choose to spruce your house up for it!
In this hustle and bustle world in which we live, it is difficult at best to keep everything organized, spick and span and sanitary. Oh sure, you can pick up a little bit around the house every day, if you can find time, but sometimes even something as simple as a little organizing just seems like too much work, as you plop down on the couch at the end of a tough day. You look around knowing full well that you should clean something, but don’t seem to have the energy. So, why should you, when it is more convenient to hire home cleaning services with the ease presented by Internet sites. There you can get free quotes and can set up an appointment right from your laptop, iPhone or iPad. If that’s not enough for you, here are seven more reasons why you need home cleaning service, in your life.
#5 Satisfaction Guaranteed
Most professional cleaning services guarantee your satisfaction. If you aren’t happy, they will do it again. Make sure you check the guarantee, before you hire, to make sure you understand what services they are going to supply and for what price. And, what recourse you have, if it is not up to your standards.
#4 Deep Cleaning
When was the last time you cleaned the fan in your bathroom/shower? Or, cleaned the baseboards or the tops of your pictures? The holidays are here and you’re going to be having company over, so you might as well get everything cleaned up and cleaned out.
There is no way on the face of this earth that it gets any more convenient than this. You can easily book online, from your office and come home to a clean and organized home and not feel guilty, when you do plop down on that sofa. Who knows, it could save your marriage. Without exaggeration, something like this could go a long way toward saving a marriage. When both spouses are out of the home, every single day working, who can decide who should do what, when you are both exhausted. You spouse and you can come home and relax rather than having to clean up.
#2 Fit It Into Your Schedule
This kind of service can fit in with anyone’s schedule. You can find out the hours of operation online, as well. Book when it is convenient for you, like right before that big party you have been wanting to throw. Not worrying about cleaning the house leaves you more time for food prep for those gourmet munchies that will wow your guests.
#1 Great Gift!
Even if you don’t feel the need or desire to hire a home cleaning service for yourself, this type of opportunity makes an exquisite gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, you name it. So with any luck at all, someone is reading this and thinking of you and you won’t even have to do the hiring! They can do it for you as a thank you, a Merry Christmas, an I love you, or just because!
Of course before hiring any service you want to do as much research on them as possible. Fortunately this is a piece of cake, with the assistance of today’s Internet testimonials, reviews and so on. Don’t be shy about asking whether or not the company does background checks on their employees and if they are certified in some way, shape or form. If pricing is an issue, include that in your comparison shopping. So trustworthy are some cleaning services that people actually leave keys for them and arrange to come home from work or wherever they are too a beautifully clean home. For the right price, that’s something most of us could get into on a regular basis.
A well-constructed concrete garage, whether converted into an additional room or for storage can add financial value to your home. This is because, according to leading estate agents, families still consider a garage a vital component when buying a new property.
If you are looking to develop your garage, there are a few things to consider in order to maximise the financial return. These points include the potential, the location, and the price of your house and how this could impact on people’s perceptions and opinions of your home. This is crucially important for when you are considering moving home.
Looking at these initial three areas in depth we can spot some of the advantages and disadvantages within each section. With the potential, if your house currently does not have a garage and there is space to expand, a new concrete garage will certainly improve the qualities of the home. A well-built garage will provide a fresh covered car parking space, whilst also lending itself to additional protected storage. This will add value to your home with the profit margin fluctuating depending on area. With new garage builds also competitive in price, there could be a large value in adding a garage before you sell.
If it does have a garage already, potentially improving the roof or adding a new door that creates more useable internal space can be a cheap option and may offer a prospective buyer a better mindset of how the space could be used.
The final point initially raised about your existing home is price tag. If you are looking for a return on investment quick then getting a basic garage is what you are looking for. However, if long-term value and functionality are important, then paying out a bit more could see your house price move into another housing bracket and buyers may want a home with these qualities.
After considering these three points, the other option is a good and well thought out garage conversion. If there is enough parking on your driveway for multiple cars already, and another area such as a shed for garden storage or tools, then a conversion can create additional space. A conversion to any type of space will add some value to your home.
Converting into a utility room, bedroom or home office will be a profitable option, as would a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom could add a lot to your houses’ value. Going from a three bed to a four bed house immediately attracts a different type of buyer and puts your home in an improved price bracket. With this option, the more you are willing to spend the greater the return on investment.
As with all home changes there are risks. Building a concrete garage from Dencroft Garages will add value, and from then converting into a bedroom even more. However you have to also think about practical elements and how you want it to work whilst you live there. With the current house market in the UK also at a low, it may also be an investment you have to live with for another five years.
Image credit : http://www.dencroftgarages.co.uk/bespokebuildings.asp
As winter draws near, so does the thrill and excitement of your first ski trip of the season. The best ski trips are always the ones when you not only spend the entire day out skiing, but you get to relax after the long day with your family and friends inside a cozy, luxurious ski house. Here you’ll find how the world’s finest ski lodges are examples of strategic interior design and decorating that draw in many visitors from around the world every year. Use these tips to turn your cottage or other dwelling into the perfect ski house.
1. Use of Warm Colours
Pic: *Chalet Edelweiss* (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/12205/the-worlds-best-ski-chalets.html)
While there are exceptions, most ski houses consist of warm colours interspersed in the colour scheme. This may even include slightly warmer shades of white and grey. It is not hard to imagine that the warmer colours make us feel cosy. What can be better than stepping into a room where every detail is sending out warmth to defrost your body from a freezing snowy day? Let’s find out which colours will do the magic!
RED: Red creates feelings of intensity and excitement, but is also associated with love, warmth, and comfort. Use less intense shades of red for a more relaxing look. Darker and less intense reds such as colours found in Fall foliage are pleasing to the eye. For even less intensity, add red to only accent items, such as pillows and small rugs.
ORANGE: Orange can invoke feelings of fun and playfulness, while maintaining a warmth about it. Use natural tones of orange, such as the colours of leaves and flowers to create a pleasant natural look. Brighter oranges may be irritating. Dim orange lights, imitating light from a fire, can create a warming and intimate mood.
Yellow is a cheery and warm colour. However, it is also a very reflective colour. You should try to limit the use of yellow in your ski house to more subtle and darker shades.
BROWN: Most, if not all, shades of brown can work wonderfully in ski houses. This includes the different colours of different types of wood used for the walls, floors, and furniture. Brown is the colour most abundant in nature, therefore, creates a most natural look.
BEIGE: Beige, off-white, or whatever you want to call it, is a group of colours that can add a warm tone without being too intense. Use it when you need a brighter room but would still like the feeling of warmth. Pure white is hardly found in nature (with the exception of snow) and can look too clinical.
Pic: *Chalet Le Rocher* (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/12205/the-worlds-best-ski-chalets.html)
Wood: Wooden planks as walls will make the lodge look more like an old wood cabin. Wooden furnishings can also create a more natural atmosphere and can brings a sense of nostalgia and a feel for the great outdoors inside your ski home. It is durable and can be finished in many ways, according to your style and taste.
Fur: The use of animal fur is dated back to a time when no part of an animal is wasted and humans depended on it for warmth. This look feels warm and cozy and will make the ski house more inviting. Use small fur-like materials for carpeting, small area rugs, and throws for this effect.
Leather: Durable and waterproof, leather or faux-leather is a good choice for ski house couches and other furniture.
Ski house furniture is usually on the larger side to accommodate larger gatherings of people, and heavily clothed people. As clothing will be wet at times, furniture should be waterproof and durable. Tables and chairs using large pieces of restored wood look beautiful. And large, wide couches are most welcoming to rest your tired legs on after a day out on the slopes.
Pic: *Chalet One Oak* (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/12205/the-worlds-best-ski-chalets.html)
Window placement is important to maximize the amount of light coming in during the day. However, you may not be able to change the placement of your windows. Get the most light from your windows by not covering them with drapes. Drapery should hang to the side(s) of the windows to let the maximum amount of light in. To create a cozy atmosphere, dimmers are often used and lights are placed strategically to create the desired ambience. Windows and doors should be of the highest quality to prevent the leakage of heat.
Pic: *Chalet Les Fermes* (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/travel/12205/the-worlds-best-ski-chalets.html)
One of my favourite features in a house is the fireplace – no ski lodge is complete without one. When shopping for a fireplace, consider the size of the dwelling and how much heat is needed to heat up that amount of space, and the type of fireplace (gas, electric, wood.), If you have the space, the grander the fireplace the better!
6. Decoration Style
Now get creative! Add pieces to your ski lodge to give it some style and personality. Antique and modern pieces often look great together. Here are some ideas:
Alpine: Create an Alpine theme with bare branches (optional: decorate the bare branches with Christmas lights or fake snow), rustic and natural-looking hardwood furniture, and a painted mountain backdrop. Decorate with wooden sleds on the walls.
Wild Animal: Some people find being in the presence of animals peaceful. You don’t have to be a master taxidermist or spend money on a real mounted animal head. Create this look with wooden animals placed around the chalet.
Small pieces of art can really liven up the room. Try pieces of aboriginal art or other wooden and natural-looking art.
The important thing to remember is, whether you choose to decorate with Alpine theme or an animal theme, the decoration style should be unique and should reflect your personal tastes.
I hope you use these tips to create your perfect ski house look because there is nothing better than having a sip of hot cocoa by the fire in your perfect, warm and cozy ski chalet after a long day out on the slopes.
Trang Lam is a Canadian freelance writer and marketing specialist, she is passionate about interior design and home improvement. Trang wrote this article on behalf of the Ottawa General Contractors, a full service Ottawa-based home design/improvement company.