How You Can Cut Your Chore Hours in Half

Cute mother and her daughter ready to cleaning room

It kind of feels like for every hour of free time, at least forty five minutes are spent doing the chores and other bits and bobs around the house, doesn’t it? Well, we say enough is enough – it is time for you to put down that dish cloth and get away from the vacuum cleaner for a while!

No one wants to waste their life doing all the little odd jobs. They’re not much fun, no one really enjoys doing them, and they build up and build up until there’s no time left to do anything else. So let’s try and cut that time down to a reasonable amount, shall we?

Here are some tips so that you can spend a little less of your life scrubbing dishes and cleaning floors and the like.

Stop Doing Chores at the Weekend!

Okay, so we’re going all-out crazy with our first tip. We know – if you’re not using your weekends to do the chores, where are you going to find the time to get them all done?

We’ll spell it out for you: Do Fewer Chores. Lower your chore standards! Chores will always expand to fill your time – the more free time you find you have, the more chores you’ll manage to find which all “need” to be completed right away. Things don’t have to be entirely perfect; the house isn’t going to fall down just because you didn’t spend your weekend elbow-deep in pots and pans.

Also, there is an added advantage to avoiding housework on weekends: it forces you to find the time to do the necessities during the week. That doesn’t mean to have to conjure up any “extra” time – instead, you will find that you simply spend less time procrastinating, checking your phone and so on.

Be Less Creative in the Kitchen

Obviously, if you love cooking, we’re not going to tell you to cut it out. However, not every evening calls for a dish straight out of Masterchef! By making sure that you embrace simplicity in the kitchen every once in a while, you will find that you will spend less time slaving over the stove, and you will use fewer dishes, which in turn means that there are fewer to wash, dry, and put away!

And hey, if you’re eating simple dishes more often, that means you get to enjoy and appreciate simple flavours! Let the ingredients do the talking; you don’t need to go crazy all the time to get some seriously delicious food on your plate.

Do the Laundry Less Frequently

Now that might sound like an “in an ideal world…” sort of scenario, but really, there is an easy way to do the laundry less frequently: you simply create less of it to do.

Clearly we’re not telling you to go to work smelling stale. But there are loads of ways to ease up on your laundry-dirtying! Wear sandals when it’s warm and there are fewer socks to wash. Go longer between washes for things like jeans and pyjamas. Easy!

Simple Tips to Help You Keep Your Home Organised and Free of Clutter

Chaotic clutter around home

Sometimes, keeping the home nice and organised can be a trickier task than you’d imagine. It is easier said than done! And if you happen to have kids or pets (or both!) running under your feet at all hours of the day, it can become almost impossible. Without realising it you can look up one day and find that your home is a cluttered and disorganised mess!

So with that in mind, we thought we would step up to the plate and offer our help to the masses. Here are some of our finest quick tips to help you get your home looking shipshape again.

Keep Your Cords in Control

One of the main things that can easily clutter up a living room is a tangled mass of cords, leads and plugs. And unfortunately, it seems like every other thing in the living room needs to be plugged in. It’s quite the quandary.

Luckily, there are a couple of solutions available. Our favourite is the humble cord caddy – you can stick one of these to the wall behind the television or to the TV stand and use it to neatly clamp down that mess of cords into a more manageable grouping. Next, grab a cable tie to ensure that they all stay together without getting tangled.

Coffee Table Collectors

If you have a coffee table already, but you have one without any storage capacity, then it’s time to get rid of it and go for an upgrade. Consider investing a little money into a coffee table with either magazine racks on each end or a storage shelf underneath it – this will be invaluable in helping clean up that clutter.

If you can’t rustle up the spare change for a new coffee table, why not grab a couple of cheap storage baskets and pop them underneath? Simple!

Bathroom Buddies

What is the main thing causing clutter in the bathroom? We are willing to bet that it’s endless pots, cans and tubs of beauty products and hair stuff. There are a couple of super simple ways you can control all of these bits and bobs.

The first is to make good use of your medicine cabinet, should you be lucky enough to have one. Don’t simply use it for medicines – how many of those can you possibly have? Surely not enough to fill an entire cupboard. Instead, organise all your various grooming supplies inside it.

Something else you can do is to buy a plastic tub or two for the bathroom. You can pop these under the sink and use them to store all of your hair products and so on and so forth. Also, as you do so, why not have a think about which ones you actually use on a regular basis? If there are any you feel you could easily do without, consider getting rid of them to free up some more space.

Quick Tips to Help a New House Become a Home

Home Sweet Home

When you have moved into a new place, it can be hard to make it seem less empty and sterile. Even if you are already head over heels in love with the place, you can still struggle to make it seem more comfortable and homely. It can be difficult to really settle in.

“New house” isn’t really the same as “new car” – you want to ensure that that feeling fades away as soon as possible. Instead of waiting around for weeks while you don’t truly feel at home, there are some steps you can take to speed along the process. Here they are.

Start with What You Need

When you’re unpacking all your various boxes, it can be tempting to start off with the shared areas, like the kitchen and the living room. Obviously, get the big and important pieces done first – places to sit and eat, things to do the cooking with – but after that, it is important to ensure that you get your everyday stuff.

We’d recommend sorting out your closets and drawers first of all. This will mean that you’re not struggling to find things to wear when you’re back at work on Monday morning!

Get the Kids Sorted

If the kids are comfortable, then the house is as well. Nothing makes a new home feel any more stressful than the children bugging out about everything being all new and strange, so you can improve the whole atmosphere very quickly by ensuring you make them happy first.

That’s why we recommend starting with the kids’ rooms, making sure they have the things that they need to feel comforted and at home. A happy child makes for a happy home, leaving you to get the rest of the stuff sorted in peace.

Grab the Favourites

The best way to feel at home is to bring out all of your favourite things and to make sure you feel good about life in your new home. Get your favourite music on, turn the lights down a bit and chill out with a glass of wine or a beer or something. You’ve just moved house – you deserve some you time!

Cook yourself your favourite meal as well. Sure you can treat yourself to a takeaway on the first night, but nothing screams “home” like home cooking. (And it means you have to get all the kitchen stuff unpacked as well, so it’s a win-win situation!)

Make Yourself Comfortable

Okay, so the whole point of this article has been to help you get comfortable in your new home, but this time we actually mean it in a literal sense – you need to bring out all of your softest and comfiest things!

That means your nicest bedding sheets and covers, your plumpest pillows and cushions, a warm and fuzzy rug or two, and maybe even a lovely throw. Make things comfy and you’ll feel comfy yourself.

Declutter 101: Things to Get Rid of Now

Chaotic clutter around home

Whether you’re a hoarder who loves your house to be filled with reminders of the things you’ve collected over the years or a staunch minimalist who can’t stand clutter, we’re all guilty of holding on to things that we really should be letting go of. It’s time for a cull.

Whether it’s shoes stacked up under the stairs, old receipts littering your handbag or outdated documents taking up valuable cupboard space, going through each room and giving it a much-needed declutter can make your home feel brand new. Here we’ve put together a list of the things you need to throw out right now.

Old magazines

Fair enough if you still read them, but if your pile of mags is just gathering dust in a cupboard or under the coffee table it’s time to let them go. Donate to your local GP surgery or, if you really can’t bear to let them go, cut them up and create a scrapbook of your favourite recipes, fashion inspirations and DIY tips.

Broken pens

Unless it’s dried out or broken you can never find one when you need one, but when you don’t need one they’re everywhere. It’s just typical! It’s time to bin all the pens you have lurking around your house and replace them with a better quality pen that you really won’t want to lose.

Makeup

That mascara that’s so dry it flakes everywhere when you open the lid? The stubby remains of what once was your favourite lipstick? Blue sparkly eyeshadow that you’ve had since 1996? If any of these sound familiar, bin immediately. Not only is it useless, but using make-up past its sell-by date can lead to bad skin and infections.

Unwanted gifts

It might make you feel bad, but unwanted gifts are serving any good by taking up space in your home. Donate to charity shops, give to friends or even recycle them as birthday and Christmas presents. There’s no shame, just be careful you don’t end up giving it back to the original gifter…

Clothes you don’t wear

We’re all guilty of holding on to that one pair of jeans that hasn’t fit since we were eighteen in the hopes that one day we’ll squeeze back into them, but it’s time to accept the fact that they’ll probably never be worn again. Go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in the last twelve months.

Unused kitchen appliances

Remember back when you bought that toastie maker? You were so excited to try it out but then used it three times and relegated it to the depths of the kitchen cupboards. It’s unlikely that you’ll use it again so donate it to a better home. While you’re there you can probably ditch the ice cream maker and the waffle iron too…

Plastic bags

You never know when they might come in handy so you store them in the cupboard and suddenly you have thousands. Ditch them and replace with a cotton tote bag. Much better for the environment!

Advantages of installing quartz worktop in the kitchen

Quartz worktops are amongst the most popular kind of kitchen worktop used today, with several new homes being built with them. If you are planning to use quartz worktop in the kitchen, then you will realize how installing them can make the cooking space look absolutely stunning. But it is not only about its toughness and visual appearance too that can withstand the heat of the cooking space.

Kitchen quartz worktop is made of 93% quartz crystals and the leftover 7% comprises of resin and bonding agents, with extra materials added for decoration purpose.

caesarstone.co.uk: Kitchen quartz worktop

caesarstone.co.uk: Kitchen quartz worktop

There are some cases when it may be a pigment that stains the surface a particular color. This makes an attractive finish however, one that retains the obvious look of a natural material. Today, kitchen worktops are made of quartz with extra materials like mirrored flecks or small metal flecks.

The metallic flakes produce a gleaming effect that lights up beautifully and has a spectacular impact on the overall look of the cooking area. Adding mirror flecks in the manufacturing process will make finished worktop look reflective and catch light in innumerable ways that will make the ultimate result look simply astounding.

One of the advantages of manufacturing kitchen quartz worktop is the color and effect runs all the way through worktop just like the ones that are made with a veneer and can begin to chip, crack, peel away or tear thus, revealing a hideous and unclean surface beneath.

From versatility, durability and visual appearance factors, quartz worktops are the best option for anyone who wants to make their kitchen a great combination of functionality with style. Well, do you know the different alternatives that you should consider and how do you compare them?

Regarding solid worktops, quartz worktops are reasonably priced, with granite worktops leveraging the benefits of a solid surface at a higher cost. Stainless steel is another smart choice of professional chefs and cooks though stainless steel is mainly used in the kitchen. When combined together with a bold highlight color for tiles, stainless steel will simply look unbelievable.

Another alternative to quartz worktops is Corian that are the most popular used in the cooking area. Corian worktops offer various advantages, in particular to versatility, visual appearance and durability.

Corian is the most adaptable amongst all kinds of materials used for manufacturing kitchen worktops. It can be cut, moulded, glued and even vacuum formed, meaning that almost any design can be made with the help of it. Like other worktops such as quartz worktops, Corian worktops are not flat and can be made in three dimensions than only two.

When you are considering appearance and style, Corian are found in more colors and styles than other types of solid worktop. With almost 70 different designs and styles available and with several more added to the range almost every year, if you cannot find your choice in the Corian range, you will not be able to find it elsewhere.

Thus, which one should you opt for if you want to install solid worktops – quartz worktops or Corian worktops? Well, if rugged durability is what you are looking for, then kitchen quartz worktop is the perfect choice as it has the look of natural stone appearance and is extremely hard by nature.

7 Genius DIY Hacks for Your Home

Handmade house in a wood background

DIY is one of those things that you either love or you hate, and if you’re not a fan sprucing up your home can be a nightmare. Luckily we’ve rounded up these genius DIY hacks that transform your home and make you look like a decorating pro.

Washi tape picture frames

Washi tape is having a bit of a thing at the moment and as well as looking great, it can come in very handy if you’re renowned for hanging up wonky picture frames. Plus you’ll get the benefit of a unique and colourful frame with minimum cost and effort.

Untangled cables

You can spend hours painting and arranging furniture, but it’s not going to make much of a difference if you have power cords and wires cluttering up your floor space. It’s really easy to get them organised though – simply screw a binder clip to a desk and you can keep wires away from small children and curious pets.

Dry erase boards

Keep on top of all your household tasks and create some stylish artwork with a DIY memo board. Frame a scrap of fabric or wallpaper and use a dry erase marker to jot down appointment reminders, errands you still need to run and shopping lists. Then simply hang in the kitchen and you’re good to go!

Wine crate coffee tables

Coffee tables don’t come cheap, so why not transform an old wine crate into the centrepiece for your living room. Just a lick of paint and some varnish and it’s good to go! Simple, chic and you can get it on the rustic trend at a fraction of the cost!

Magnetic strips for hair clips

Anyone with long hair will know that bobby pins and hair clips seem to disappear into thin air no matter how hard you try to keep them stored away. A great solution for this is to install magnetic strips in your medicine cupboard to keep all of your hair clips in one place. Genius!

Shoe box dividers

We’re all guilty of throwing things into the drawers and forgetting about them until it’s a cluttered mess and you can’t find anything you need. But you don’t need to fork out on expensive drawer dividers from homeware stores to solve the problem – all you need to do it yourself is a pair of scissors and some shoe boxes. Simply cut the boxes in half by length or width and trim to the size needed for your space and then pop into the drawer. It couldn’t be easier!

Pegboards

Turn your house into Pinterest chic and keep your space free of clutter with pegboards. You can pick these up super cheap in DIY shops and then use them to keep necklaces, belts, sunglasses, scarves, bags and more neatly displayed. It’s a great way to show off your sartorial selection and you could even hang up a mirror next to everything so you can make sure you look great before you step out of the door.

2016’s Hottest Home Trends

Loft apartment interior design with panoramic window interior

Now that spring is just around your corner it’s time to start thinking about giving your place a makeover and making sure it looks the part for the rest of the year and beyond. It can be hard to keep up with home trends so we’ve put together a list of the things that are hot in the world of homeware in 2016.

Clashing Prints

Why follow the crowd with plain, matching prints in your living room and bedroom when you can make a statement with bold prints? Botanical and jungle prints are big news for the year ahead and the key to achieving effortless style is to go for bold and brash colour clashes. If plant prints don’t match your home’s aesthetic you can always go for a more muted yet equally stylish psychedelic print. You can really make a statement by choosing bold printed wallpaper or keep things a little more subtle by choosing loud prints for fabrics such as cushions and throws.

Heated Hallway Floors

Nothing beats a heated floor in the bathroom to make those warm soaks especially cosy in the winter, but heated hallway floors are also a big deal and are set to become a huge trend in 2016. And what could be better than coming home to instant toasty feet on a cold winter’s night? With the UK’s track record for summer temperatures, you’ll probably get use from it all year round.

Black Stainless Steel

We’re so over pastels – this year it’s all about black stainless steel appliances to complement chic white storage units. Guaranteed to make your kitchen look like it’s stepped straight out of a glossy home magazine.

Statement Mirrors

It’s easy to overlook something as basic as mirrors, but there’s so much more you can do than put up a dull rectangular one. In spaces such as your bathroom where it’s difficult to inject something a little different without ripping out your entire suite, a bold mirror on the wall can really make an impact. Functional and attractive!

Fireplaces

Long the focal point of living rooms, the fireplace trend is going nowhere fast and is especially big news in 2016. So instead of using yours to balance your TV or as storage for those things that you can never quite find a home for, let yours take pride of place in your living room. It doesn’t even need to be a functioning fireplace to take centre stage. Try arranging a candle display in yours or even converting it into a trendy bookshelf.

70s Throwback

Trends come and go, but one that looks set to be making a big comeback this year is the 70s trend. We’ve already seen it in fashion with flares and bell-sleeves hitting the catwalk, and it’s definitely not stopping there. Of course the 70s have a bit of a reputation for being a little gaudy, but by injecting subtle hints your place will look stylish and not dated. Geometric prints are a great way to do this and can be added with anything from simple items such as cushions and bedding to light fixtures and even floor tiles.

Kitchen Appliances That Will Transform Your Life

modern gourmet kitchen interior

Your kitchen says a lot about you, but you don’t need to have the latest fancy gadgets to whip up a culinary storm at home. There are lots of appliances out there that will take the hassle out of eating well and make your life easier. We’ve rounded up some of the essentials.

Water Purifier

We could all benefit from drinking more H2O and a water purifier makes it even easier to glug down those recommended eight glasses a day. A water purifier removes impurities and other nasties from your drink which not only makes it safer to consume, but gives it a clearer, better taste too. Different water purifiers operate using different processes and come in all shapes and sizes so be sure to shop around and make sure you don’t buy one that’s too big. It’s always a good idea to look out for companies and brands that offer service and guarantees after purchase too.

Coffee Maker

Give yourself the kick you need in the morning or brew up a palate for guests at dinner party with a coffee maker. When looking for the best one to buy, easy cleaning features are a must! Also look out for added extras such as manual water control, a steam wand and water filter. If your budget stretches to it you can also buy coffee makers that will grind coffee beans for you too.

Soda Maker

You can’t beat a glass of ice cold soda on a hot summer’s day, but the ones you find in shops are often full of sugars, sodium and additives – not ideal if you’re trying to make healthy eating a priority. So you can’t really go wrong with a soda maker. These applicances don’t use electric and can churn out up to sixty litres of the fizzy stuff using refillable carbon dioxide canisters. And with nowhere near the amount of nasties that you find in the big name brands.

Hand-Held Blender

There’s nothing worse than coming home after a long day at work and having to cook something, so soup is a great option. You can batch cook it and freeze so it will be ready to eat in just a few minutes. Get yourself a hand-blender and you can mix up a healthy and delicious soup in minutes – no more of the tinned stuff! Of course, a hand-blender also comes in very useful if you’re a keen baker too.

Slow Cookers

The ultimate appliance for anyone short on time or money, a slow cooker really is indispensable. Perfect for creating budget meals you can just throw your meat, vegetables and stock inside it and leave it to bubble away while you’re at work or out at the weekend and when you come back your kitchen will be filled with the scent of a hearty stew, curry or casserole that will be ready in minutes. The key to finding the best is to look for slow cookers with removable inserts.

How to Make a Rented Flat a Home for Less than £50

The first appartment

We all know that its’ becoming more difficult than ever for young people in the UK to get on to the property ladder and the sad truth is that many of us are stuck with renting for the time being. But while you save up the cash for your first dream home you can still make the most of rented accommodation and put your own stamp on it for very little money. Here are a few little tips and tricks for sprucing up a rented flat for less than £50.

Streamline Your Storage

Now that spring is around the corner it’s a great time to declutter and sort out those drawers and corners that are a treasure trove of things you don’t remember buying and have no use for. For the things that aren’t as easy to get rid of, purchasing some new storage space instantly makes your flat look tidier and can add a pop of colour to your pad. Try IKEA for on-trend, budget storage solutions.

Throws and Blankets

Throws and blankets are great for snuggling under when the weather isn’t so great and they’re also ideal for sprucing up a sofa that might have seen better days. Drape them over sofas and armchairs to instantly refresh your living room and give it a chic feel.

Replace Outdated Lampshades

A lot of rented apartments come complete with lampshades but they’re almost always bland, shabby and in need of a serious update. You can find cheap lampshades from shops such as Wilkos or IKEA and they will give your space a serious pick me up. For a modern touch why not try a patterned paper lampshade – they come in a variety of funky colours and patterns.

Give the Place a Lick of Paint

Be sure to check your landlord about this before you jump into decorating as some may not allow you to run riot with a tin of paint, but giving the walls a fresh lick of paint could be just what you need to give life to a tired apartment. You will have to stick with neutral colours in a rented place but it doesn’t have to be dull magnolia again – a light grey is very on trend and works with a variety of colour schemes. If your landlord won’t allow you to paint try adding colour in other ways through artworks or fabrics.

Get Crafty

It’s never been more popular to create your own designs and get crafty with your space so try browsing Pinterest for ideas on DIY projects to give your space a boost. Some ideas we’ve come across range from easy canvas prints and garlands to more difficult projects such as upcycling and building furniture.

Raid Charity Shops

On a similar note, become a regular at your local charity shops and antique stores as they will often have gems in them from furniture to small trinkets for much less than the standard homeware store. You can be sure you’re getting something that nobody else will have too.

Our Top Ten Amazing Home Décor Tricks

For home interior decorating; I love my house

If you are looking for some simple but amazing tricks to make your home décor a little more stylish and a whole lot more unique, then you have come to the right place (or post).

Here are our favourite tricks, straight from the mouths of interior decorators. Why not give them a try and see what they can do to your home?

Add Custom Graphics to Your Furniture

Do you have light coloured furniture in the living room? Do you have a flair for the artistic? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you’ll love this trick.

All you need is a good permanent marker, a non-slip metal ruler, and a steady hand. Start off with some throw cushion covers first if you’re a bit worried about making mistakes.

Practise your patterns on some paper, and once you’ve found a design you’re happy with, you can go wild on the cushion covers. If you’re a little scared about going freehand, use that ruler to make some nice geometric patterns. Stripes and checks look great!

Open up Your Cabinets

If you have some free-standing cabinets in the home, you can easily glam them up. First of all, remove the doors from your cabinets, then get to painting the inside in some nice neutral shade.

Pin up a small piece of artwork at the back of the cabinet to use as a backdrop for your items. As for the items themselves, pick a theme and run with it – we like a nice, uncluttered collection of glassware, or a range of porcelain or similarly coloured earthenware.

Go for Space

Everyone knows that mirrors are a good way of making a room seem bigger. That much is common knowledge. But why not use this trick in a different way?

Hang a large, full length mirror on the wall. After you’ve done this, push a small table into the alcove until it is flush against the mirror. Lastly, go for broke with a focal piece – think a large bouquet of flowers or an impressive table lamp – this will add to the look.

Fake Some Built-In Cabinets

If you want to make it look like your room came with some fantastic built-in cabinets, there is a surprisingly easy way to do this.

All you need to do is to get the cabinets and tuck them into tight spaces like a corner or an alcove. Now all you have to do is to paint them so that they match the walls. Hey presto! – they look like they’ve always been there.

And there are a couple more things you can to if you want to make the illusion even more convincing. First off, get some trimboard from your local DIY store. You can add this to the cabinet doors so that they sync up perfectly with the architectural aesthetic of the walls.

Secondly, if you chose to go the dual cabinet route, consider doing something bold like mounting a desk to the wall between the two. This will make the whole thing cohesive, looking like a bit set-piece.