Where To Save and Where To Splurge on Your Home Decor


Decorating a house can be extremely expensive. If you’ve just moved into a new home or your current place needs a refresh, you might be wondering where to start. Few of us have the luxury of being able to spend whatever we want, and so it’s useful to know where to spend the extra and where to make savings while still getting the best result.

Where to Save: Wooden Furniture
The great thing about solid wooden furniture is it pretty much lasts a lifetime. Styles and trends might come and go, but wood can be refreshed and modernized without spending much at all. This means you can completely transform items. Look for solid, sturdy pieces in places like junk shops and on Craigslist. People often sell them cheaply or even just give them away because they look shabby. Get yourself some sandpaper, some paint and new handles and you can achieve some great looking pieces. This could be things like tv stands, dining tables and chairs, coffee tables, sideboards and chests of drawers. You’ll save an insane amount of money rather than buying new. Plus you get to have fun doing the DIY side of things, and end up with completely unique pieces of furniture.

Where to Splurge: Sofas and Beds
When you’re relaxing at home, chances are you’ll be sat on the sofa or lying in bed. These are two pieces of furniture that are extremely well used in the home; it’s always worth splurging here. Buy the best you can afford and invest in quality. That way they will last you for longer and be more supportive and comfortable.

Where to Save: Soft Furnishings
Your cushions and throws are likely to wear out fairly quickly regardless of how expensive you go. They’re the types of things that need to be put in the washing machine often, and so will never last you forever. Inexpensive pieces like this can be changed each season and is a good way to bring a seasonal accent colour into your home. You could save money by buying them cheaply from places like Sheridan Outlet. Then when they wear out, you can replace them and bring a whole new look into your room.

Where to Splurge: Painting and Decorating
It doesn’t matter what gorgeous furniture and accessories you have in your home, if your walls look scruffy it will always bring down the entire look. This could be paint that’s been applied to cracked and uneven surfaces and hasn’t been done properly, or wallpaper that’s wonky or developed gaps. These kinds of flaws will cheapen the look of your rooms so it’s worth paying a professional to do the job right. A company such as Prime Painting offer this service. That way you can be safe in the knowledge that the finished result will be smooth, even and perfect.

Where to Save: Home Accessories
Decorative pieces such as clocks, candles, photo frames, faux flowers and other bits and pieces can all be picked up really cheaply. These little finishing touches are necessary to make a house into a home, but you definitely don’t need to spend a lot on them. Check out Dollar stores, Ikea or other high street homeware shops for them.


The Dos And Don'ts Of Property Renovation

Making a beautiful home for ourselves is something many of us aspire to. It can always feel like we have to make a sacrifice somewhere, though. We can create the look we want, but the space isn’t right. Or maybe the space is amazing, but the fittings are dated. With a home renovation, you may be able to get exactly what you want. This one is strictly for home owners, but with a healthy budget, your dream home maybe possible after all.

We would all love the show-home look. When friends come to visit, we want to wow them with our contemporary fittings, open-plan lifestyle, and bright, airy feel. So how can you go about creating that? Don’t start knocking walls down just yet! Many internal walls can form part of the stability and structure of the whole building. And no, you can’t always tell just by knocking what is underneath the plaster board!

One thing you absolutely must do before anything else is detail what you want and how far you can go. It would be a shame to knock down a wall, plaster and paint everything and then realise you need an extra electric socket there. Any renovation gives you dozens of options. Not all may be affordable or desirable. But knowing how far you could go gives you a choice to do that while building works are happening.

Don’t hire just anybody to help you. And be wary of a very cheap quote. Ask for references, or pick trades people your neighbours and friends have used happily. It’s always worth shopping around or using online forums to get an idea for a quote price you think is about right. Do use professionals if the job is beyond your comfort zone. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t touch the parts of your property that you know contain asbestos. It is deadly stuff and really not worth the risk. Speak to companies like proas asbestos removal if you think there may be asbestos somewhere near where you might want to renovate. They’ll be able to give guidance and remove it if necessary. Old piping and cabling may also need to be checked before you touch or move it. Speak to a plumber or electrician to make sure they are safe and unused.

Do wear the appropriate safety gear. OK, so goggles and hardhats and puffy clothing protectors make us look ridiculous. But it’s called safety-wear for a reason. Your favourite fashions will thank you. And you’re less likely to become one of those DIY disaster statistics down at the hospital. Do dispose of your building rubble and waste responsibly. Your local authority can advise you where to take it. Or you can hire a local company to collect.

Do make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with any renovation project. If you have a love for it, there is a lot of profit to be made from renovating tired properties. Love your home.

Lyst - My top frock picks

Lyst - what is it???? Well its a one stop shopping mecca, a find anything you are looking for in the one spot, a be influenced and inspired and fashion lovers must see type of website and I guarantee you will be hooked.  

You can browse their categories like I did for dresses, search specific brands, search for items like bohemian dress and you will be delivered an array of items from brands all over the World and the best bit is you can buy directly from the retailers website. 

Here are my top frock picks from Lyst

(pretty please can I just have my wish list)

Scotch & Soda | Embroidered Boho Dress | Lyst

Love this gorgeous Scotch and Soda embroided frock, its bright and punchy, and would look great over swimmers or a pair of white jeans

Perfect beach cover up, any excuse to book a holiday right!

I can imagine this frock with some fun pom pom sandals and a sun hat and you have the perfect market outfit. 

Spell | Babushka Midi Dress | Lyst

Babushka Midi Dress

Spell | Multicolor Babushka Gown | Lyst

I had to add a few Spell frocks to my favorites list, I love this brand. 

So many pretty dresses and such an easy way to search for them, will you pop over to Lyst and have a shop, I mean look? 

What Type Of Cleaner Are You? Your Small Screen Inspirations

Despite being in the 21st century, no one seems to have invented a house that cleans itself. Okay, so I assume it's important that we save the planet and find a replacement way of powering cars, probably. Yet you'd think the greatest minds would have set themselves to fix something that actually matters, jeesh... anyway. Houses don't clean themselves, and that means we have to give some of our precious time over to doing it.
Everyone has different methods, which is both a blessing and a curse. From a vast amount of research (i.e. I asked my friends), I have discovered there are four different types of cleaner profiles. All can be compared to a TV character. Which one do you fit - and how can you make it more efficient?
The Monica
Named for TV's most famous cleaning-obsessive, Monica Gellar from Friends. You're ruthless. Dirt is the enemy, mess is to be obliterated and any bug that crawls across your home is to be slaughtered. You have actually morphed from finding cleaning a chore to something you actively want to do. Your home always looks like the example in a show home brochure.
How to make it more efficient? Lady, you know you don't need my advice for that. You've got this nailed. You're probably cleaning your computer while reading this, aren't you?
The Carrie
Ah, Carrie Bradshaw: so many questions asked throughout Sex and The City, yet never once seen holding a duster. Perhaps wearing something resembling one, but not actually holding one. Carrie types don't clean, because they don't create mess. Who needs to wash up when you eat out all the time? Ovens are for storage, not cooking!
How to make it more efficient? You're rubbing against the grain here. Choose everything to be low-maintenance, choosing surfaces that need minimal effort to maintain. If you’re really committed to a life of leisure, hire someone like RJ’s Cleaning to do it for you
The Claire
For Modern Family's matriarch, you're a busy woman always juggling seventy-things at once. You don't like cleaning, and nothing ever looks exactly perfect. Other people are always messing up what you have cleaned, and you spend as much time thinking "that'll do" as "that's done".
How to make it more efficient? Break everything up into small chunks. You've not got a lot of time on your hands, so don't try and tackle everything at once. Go for little bursts in specific areas, then sit down with a glass of wine to have a rest for once.
The Lynette
You're not dissimilar to the Claire, but there's one key difference - you don't always get things done. Your house is messy, and not in a Bohemian I-like-it-that-way kind of style. Whether you have kids like the eponymous Lynette Scavo of Desperate Housewives or are just a tad lazy, you're always chasing to keep up. You never quite manage it. You're close to giving up on trying.
How to make it more efficient? Clean as you go. Don't let things build up, because that means accepting you'll never truly get it done. When you cook, wash things up as you gone. Rather than dedicating time to cleaning, get into the habit of always being in the process of doing so.

Beating The Heat: Life Hacks To Keep You Cool In A Heatwave

Summer may be nearing its seasonal end, but we are still experiencing some remarkably humid weather world over. Many people believe this is down to global warming. Whether you agree or not, one thing is for sure - hot, sticky weather sure can be uncomfortable. High levels of moisture in the atmosphere are what lead to high levels of humidity. It is for that reason that during a humid spell, the sun can be shining one minute and the next we're in the middle of a downpour. Therefore, this unpredictable weather can throw us into some unexpected situations. But by being more prepared for this kind of climate, you can live more comfortably.

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Defend against insects

Unfortunately for us, bugs and insects thrive in humid weather. Even if you do not usually experience many insects around your neighbourhood, humidity can bring in creatures from other states or even from overseas. This is because insects that thrive in humid conditions are looking for other places to breed. If a spell of humidity mirrors their home climate, they will move there to take advantage of it. Mosquitos are a common example of this kind of behavior. There's nothing worse than a summer of being relentlessly bitten, or finding creepy crawlies in your shower. To prevent a whole host of flying insects making themselves at home in your property, invest in fly screen doors. These doors are generally equipped with a thin mesh that allows your house to breath in hot weather but bars the way for insects.

Don't open windows during the day

Trying to get a good night's sleep in hot, humid weather can be exceptionally difficult. Most of us want to avoid opening our windows to avoid the aforementioned insect problem. However, for many people, the heat is so unbearable it just has to be done. Do try to keep your windows shut during the day though, and draw any curtains or blinds. Sunshine coming through glass will only make your home hotter, as it acts like a greenhouse. Opening your windows at night is less of a problem, as it will be dark and the air will have cooled by then. A popular hack these days is to place a fan near your open window, so that the fan actually blows any hot air back outside rather than circulating it around your room.

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Make ice your best friend

During hot weather, you are likely to become pretty well- acquainted with your freezer. Putting a cloth in there and then holding it on your wrists will cool down your boiling blood and bring your total body temperature down. If you're really struggling to sleep at night, try putting your bedsheets in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. Or alternatively, turn your hot water bottle into a cold water bottle by filling it with freezing liquid.

Wear sensible clothes

It can be tempting to simply wear as little as possible during a heatwave. If you are in your own home, by all means go ahead! But if you're planning on leaving the house, you might want to dress a little more modestly. Heavy duty fabrics like denim and polyester are going to do you no favours here.  Instead, stick to light cotton, which will let you skin breathe whilst still protecting you from the sun's rays. Also consider switching up your makeup routine, as wearing things like foundation and mascara may simply sweat off.

Becoming The Owner Of Your Dream Home

Everybody will have a different image in their head when picturing their dream home. Some will picture a huge mansion. Some will picture a simple detached 4 bedroom home. Others may have their eye on a quirky little apartment, or even a hobbit house! No two people’s idea of their dream home will be the same. You can become the owner of your dream home, but there are a number of different ways to go about it. Whether you’re buying your first home or this is somewhere you’re going to be moving to from another place, this post will give you lots of useful information.

Speak To Your Local Estate Agent

When on the hunt for your dream home, it’s a good idea to chat with your local estate agent beforehand. Some homes are sold before being even put up on the market, so you’ll find a much better selection here than you would if you were to search solely online. If you let it be known that you’re a serious buyer and you’re friendly with them, they might even be willing to give you a heads up when something in your price range and preference becomes available. They could even give you more inside information, such as how many people you’re up against.

Search Online

Searching online for your dream home is important too. You’ll find a bunch of different types of homes because of the different platforms you’re searching on. Make sure you’re using platforms that you like, and can easily compare different homes in your area with. You should ask yourself questions as you browse. Do these homes hang around for a while, or do people snatch the sellers hand off to own them? Bear in mind that asking prices are usually the seller being optimistic, so there’s room to haggle them down and get a better deal. Just be sure you’re not about to insult anybody!


Before Making An Offer, Check Out The Neighborhood

Before you even think about putting in an offer for your supposed dream home, check out the neighborhood. This might be your dream home, but the neighborhood might be a nightmare. You just don’t know what’s going on at all hours of the day, what your neighbors are like, or what the other houses look like. It’s so important that you check this out before you have your heart set on a place. Not only should you check out the houses in the area, but the shops, restaurants, and other amenities too. Really explore so you can get an idea of what kind of area this is.

Research What’s Planned In That Area

Do your research on what’s planned in the area you’re thinking of buying. After all, you’d be devastated if the house and neighborhood were perfect for you in every way, only to realize there’s an eyesore being built right across from you. You don’t want to see that every time you look out of your window, do you?

Research The Risks

Are there any risks in the area? For example, some areas are more prone to flooding than others. You might think that this isn’t too serious, but you can find many people out there who deeply regret buying a property in an area with a flood risk. There are a number of free sites you can use to gauge how at risk your property is. Bear in mind that if you do buy, this is going to have a significant increase on your home insurance premiums.


Ask The Right Questions To Sellers

When you’re thinking of buying a property, you really need to get as much information from the sellers as you can. You need to know as much as possible so you’re better equipped for buying the right property for you. Being armed with the right questions will help you to do this. Make sure you write down the answers. If you ask any serious questions, you might like to get the answer in writing from the seller, too. Here are some of the most important questions that you should ask:
  • Has anything bad ever happened here?
  • How long has the seller lived here?
  • How old is the boiler?
  • What renovations have been made to this property?
  • How long is the lease?
  • Are there any problems with the neighbours?
  • How many viewings has the property had?
  • How many offers has it had?

There are more you may like to ask, so make sure you go in armed with them so as not to forget.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Pictures When Viewing

When viewing a property, don’t be afraid to take pictures. Looking at the pictures the seller has taken is all well and good, but they aren’t going to highlight things you may need to fix, repair, or redecorate. Taking pictures of things you like and don’t like will help you to better compare different properties later on, and make sure you don’t forget anything. If you fail to do this, it’s easy for all of the properties to blur as one in your head. It’s polite to ask the seller/estate agent first, but they should agree.

Be Aware Of Any Deal Breakers

There are some things that you should consider deal breakers, no matter how much you like the property in question. If a neighbours property isn’t up to scratch, for example, you need to remember that their problems can become your problems fast. You should also check for things like:
  • Damp ceilings
  • Chips and cracks
  • Missing tiles
  • Signal on your mobile
  • Working locks
  • Functioning plumbing

Speak To Your Potential Neighbours

There’s nothing wrong with speaking to your potential neighbors before going out and putting your money down on a property. You can see if they are friendly, or if they can give you any good advice on the neighborhood/property before you buy. They could help you to make a better decision.


Are You Willing To Make Sacrifices?

In some cases, you may have your eye on your dream home, but be unable to afford what you need to pay. In cases such as this, you may need to make sacrifices. Perhaps you could downgrade your TV package. Maybe you could trade in your car for a more cost effective model. Where can you cut back to help you become the owner of your dream home? Of course you still want to be able to live a comfortable life, but making a few small changes could mean you live in the home of your dreams.

Be Smart With Your Real Estate Choices

If you don’t have a lot of money to your name right now, it’s still possible to become the owner of your dream home. However, you must take your time and be patient. It could be a case of buying a cheaper home for below market value, then adding value to it. When you sell that home at the right time, you should have even more money than you had to start with. If you continue to save money in the meantime too, you will be able to upgrade your property. Eventually, you should find yourself in your dream home. It may take years and years to get to where you want to be, but looking to the future when it comes to real estate is key.

Get Pre Approved

Getting preapproved for a home loan is the best way to go about hunting for your dream home. This way, sellers will see you as more serious buyers. Work on getting preapproved before you start house hunting so that sellers are inclined to take you more seriously. Speaking to places like SMBIA brokers before you begin your search will help you to make more progress.

Be Flexible

OK, so you may not be accepted for the offer on your dream home. This is why being flexible is so important. You have to remember that there are many other houses out there that you could happily live in. Staying detached from the outcome and believing there will be a better property for you out there is important.

You can become the owner of your dream home if you are smart. Saving up as much as you can and getting pre approved will help you before you search. When you begin searching, looking at homes in your budget will help you to be realistic, even if you plan on selling for more and upgrading later on. Getting advice from your local estate agent will help to keep you in the loop and up to date with the newest homes in your area before anybody else. Asking the right questions and being smart as you search will stop you from buying a property that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Becoming the owner of your dream home can take time, but it’s entirely possible! If you have any information you’d like to share, leave a comment below!