Urban living does come with a number of amenities and advantages, but unfortunately, outdoor space comes at a premium. For those of us that are blessed with any type of an outdoor living space, it’s important to make the most of it and create an area that allows for optimal relaxation.

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  1. Before you go out and purchase accessories for your outdoor space, consider what you want to use the space for. You can turn it into an outdoor relaxation room, an entertainment space or even a fun room for your kids. Knowing how you wish to use your space allows you to find accessories that are both stylish and functional. Take into consideration whether you’ll need privacy or shade from the sun, and select plants accordingly.
  1. When re-imagining your outdoor space, make sure to de-clutter the area. Get rid of furniture you don’t use or plants that aren’t thriving in the environment. Since space is at a premium, only leave accessories that reflect your personal needs and contribute to the outdoor room’s functionality.
  1. Paving is a great way to transform a small backyard into a secret retreat. Of course, it’s advisable to be careful when designing your paving. Make sure to stay away from overwhelming geometric patterns as that can make the space feel cramped and small.
  1. Make the most of your apartment balcony by displaying colorful potted plants. Use hanging baskets or wall pots as they require minimal space and can easily brighten up the area. For additional fun, add shelving to your outdoor wall and place potted plants on that too.
  1. Want to get a bit more personal and add a touch of rustic? Old bamboo placed inside of a large glazed pot or vase is the perfect way to add personality to the outdoor room without sacrificing space. Rustic furniture also gives a nice touch – check this out for ideas.
  1. You know that an indoor fireplace is a blessing on those cold winter nights and it provides the perfect ambiance for group gatherings. Fireplaces aren’t just for the indoors, and if you have enough room, an outdoor fireplace is a wonderful addition to your space. Of course, if you don’t have the budget or space for a permanent fireplace, try installing a fire pit– just keep in mind fire safety codes when using!

Buying the right worktop for your kitchen can really set it off and there are a number of things you need to know before purchasing one. We’ve compiled this list to give you a better idea.

Templates

All work surfaces need to be templated, no matter what material you decide to use. That is where the material gets cut-out for sinks and hobs, cut to size for fitting under the cabinets, and any extra lengths used for an overhang or breakfast bar. Some of the material can be cut at the site. That way your worktops can be fitted right away. However, others will have to templated and then cut in the factory. This can take as long as three weeks once the furniture is installed. It is very important that this be kept in mind when you are planning how your new kitchen will be used. So don’t throw your camping stove away yet.

Granite

Granite worktops are very popular, given that they are both durable and strong. It is an excellent choice for avid cooks, since its cold surface is ideal for making pastry. Each granite slab is unique, since it is natural stone. Therefore you can expect different color and veining from the samples that you view. You also need to take very good care of them, since they can easily stain and scratch. You need to ensure that you utilize chopping boards for preparation and trivets for hot pans. Also be sure to check that it’s pre-sealed prior to installation.

Marble

There are four material choices for marble worktops and are perfect to add a natural and beautiful appearance for your kitchen. You need to take careful care of your special marble worktop, so speak with your Second Natural specialist to get more information on the way you need to take care of it.

Quartz

There also a number of edge profiles available for quartz worktops. There are some important benefits offered by this man-made granite option, like greater color consistency. For example, silestone quartz is available in more than 60 colors, and also has the additional benefit of having built-in antibacterial protection. Quartz is highly scratch resistant and stain resistant also. However, like all worktops, you need to take plenty of care and use trivets and chopping boards at all times.   Take a look at these cheap kitchen worktops from HC Supplies.

Hi-Macs and Corian

Hi-Macs and Corian are solid surface materials that are ideal for creating flowing lines, curves and fluid shapes. Since they are man-made, the patterns and colors are consistent and have invisible joins, which provides a seamless finish that can paired with matching integrated sinks that create an impression that is a single piece. That also makes it very hygienic as well, since there aren’t any joins or gaps for bacteria or dirt to hide in. The most recent flush-fit hobs are ideal as well for hassle-free surfaces.

Wood

For character and natural warm, a solid wood worktop is ideal for both contemporary and classic kitchen. For a modern look and feel, look to Iroko and wenge, while for a more traditional style go for beech, maple or oak.

Since wood is a natural material, every piece will vary in terms of tone and grain and a wood worktop develops its own character and patina with use. More high maintenance is required by wood compared to other material, since it requires oiling on a regular basis (every three months at least), however the results are definitely well worth it.

Current Trends

One of the most increasingly popular material is quartz. With its neutral tone focus, it provides an understated look that will sit along ideally with a range of contemporary furniture, from natural timbers to high gloss finishes. White quartz is popular at all times, and offers a crisp, clean look that is ideal for high gloss, contemporary handleless kitchens.

Getting your garden space ready for the summer needs to start now if you want a lush outdoor space. There are a number of things you can do now – so let’s take a look.

  1. Order Your Summer Flowering Seeds and Bulbs

On a wet and windy day, you can order all of your summer flowering bulbs to include Ranunculus, Gladiolus and Lilies. All of these can be planted early on in spring to come up for a colorful display in summer. Simply look through the catalog or website and you will be able to find wonderful new varieties of bulbs and seeds that can be planted to grow this year. For further information on planting your bulbs, read through this How To Plant Bulbs article.

  1. Clearing Your Flower Beds And Borders

A general tidying up will help to remove debris and leaves from the flower borders, ponds and lawn. You can cut back the dead and old growth of deciduous grass and your herbaceous perennials. However, if you want to be wildlife friendly, you can wait until early spring. When the soil is workable, you can dig about a 5cm layer of quality organic matter like compost, well-rotted manure, or recycled green waste into your empty garden borders.

  1. Clean Up The Greenhouse

Before spring arrives, it is going to be best that you wash your greenhouse. Before too long, the greenhouse will be full of cuttings and seedlings in trays, so sweep out any of the plant debris on the benches and floor and make sure that you disinfect the area with a good garden disinfectant like Jeyes Fluid. Take the time to disinfect the inside portion of the glass as well, as overwintering pests and even disease can live on in the smallest of nooks and crannies. While you are in there, you can wash the seed trays and pots to help cut back on diseases by damping off your young plants. Make sure that your greenhouse is also well ventilated over the next few days so it can dry thoroughly.

  1. Sow Any Seeds That Need A Longer Season

During January and February, you can sow the seeds of any plants that have to have a longer growing season, such as Begonias, Peppers, Antirrhinums, Geraniums and Aubergines. They will have to be grown inside a heated propagator or something similar to make sure that there is good growth. To find more seeds that you can sow in January and February, you can look at our Garden This Month page. There is helpful advice on how you can sow seeds within our handy seed-sowing guide as well.

  1. Hunt Those Garden Pests Soon

Looking for and getting rid of hibernating pests early can save you a whole lot of time and trouble when spring and summer roll around. Take a peek at the crows of all of your perennial plants and you may find snails, slugs and aphids brewing. If you have not cleared out the pots from last summer, you may want to do this now and look for white vine weevil larvae that tend to roost by the roots and compost. Make sure that you destroy what you find and then prepare to treat your plants with either chemical drenches or parasitic nematodes.

  1. Consider Wall Water Fountains

Water fountains can be a great addition to the home, both indoors and outdoors. They have a number of great benefits, aside from just being aesthetically pleasing and can really add to a space. Wall water fountains improve the air in a room, make a relaxing sound and can alter the home, making it a lot more relaxed.

It is a usual experience to be overwhelmed when hiring a removalists. Whether you are moving due to personal or business decision, an ounce of preparation will surely make a difference. To keep everything in order, here are the do’s and don’ts of hiring cheap removalists in Sydney.

Do’s

Make a research. When you hire a moving service provider, it means knowing them inside and out prior to hiring them. Do a little legwork when it comes to understanding the basic facts about them. Say for instance, you have to know where their office is based, the services they offer and the skills of their movers.woman-thinking

Know the distance they travel. Are you moving from any point in Sydney to Melbourne? If so, it is best to look for a Melbourne specialty mover who would be glad to meet your particular demands and requirements. Do keep in mind that movers are traveling long drives so moving trucks should never put your safety at risk.

Make sure that your truck items are insured. Once your items are loaded into the moving truck, the professional movers will should assume the responsibility whatever will happen. Hence, always make sure that your items are thoroughly insured in accordance to the distance they travel. Ultimately, this tip is for your safety and peace of mind.

Ask for referrals. You can ask your one of your friends or family members about a reputed mover in your area. You might solicit a good feedback from them. This is also a great way to look for trusted high-end services such as artificial lawns in Sydney. Asking for referrals is a reliable step when hiring a moving company.

Don’ts

Do not hire a mover that require full payment beforehand. Does your prospective company require the full payment on the onset? If so, you need to walk away. Bear in mind that payments should only be made when the boxes are already unloaded and delivered to your new residence. Simply put, you only have to settle your payments when the service is already completed as agreed.

moving-couchDo not sign the dotted lines when some items are missing. In case of missing items, it’s a mistake to sign any document stating that the company has accomplished their job in accordance with the agreement. It’s best to settle full payments only when the service is completed. This is the reason why it is important to keep your communication lines with your prospective moving company open. By doing so, you can streamline the stress and expenses.

Don’t go by what is in the website. Just because the website tells a lot of good things about the company does not necessarily mean that you get hooked instantly. Before you say yes, you need to verify the claims through client references. You can talk with customers who have actually hired their services. This way, you would be able to come up with a realistic idea about the company.

There you have it- the do’s and don’ts of hiring a moving company. Do take note that not all companies are worth of your time and money. It is essential to do your part so you won’t be sorry in the end. Follow the tips stated above and you will surely end up to the right choice of removalists.

 

 

Today, our lives are busier than ever before. Spending more time in the office and on the road, we’re rarely home to enjoy our lives. Life has become so fast paced that we rarely know whether we’re coming or going. For most of us, this has become so commonplace that we don’t really think about stopping to smell the roses. Our homes are chaotic and disorganized and so full of discord that we don’t know how to relax. Here are a few easy to follow steps that can help us to make home more relaxing and harmonious at the end of a frenzied workday.

Let’s start by setting the tone for a relaxed and calm home that we’ll want to come home to.

Flowers are an ideal beginning. They are soothing and pretty and smell wonderful.

White candles will lend an air of beauty and relaxation to our homes as well. Avoid those that are overly fragrant and instead focus on natural scents such as clean or linen and try to alternate sizes for a visual appeal.

Lighting is a great thing to focus on as well. All natural sunlight is a wonderful addition to any home. Focus on a room’s natural lighting and try to use shades and curtains to enhance the room, not darken it. Even without the sun being out, windows that have the blinds open allow for more natural lighting.

Paint is another way to brighten up your home and allow for a brighter and more relaxed look. Seek quiet tranquil colors such as greens, blues, and greys. Whites and beiges will also help to balance out colors and brighten the home. Keep it neutral looking and use furnishings and fabrics to bring more colors into the room. Bright colors are energizing and when you’re trying to relax they can be overwhelming. Choose shades that are soothing and relaxing to the eye.

Clutter is another reason that many homes aren’t restful. It’s distracting and should be avoided. If you must have “collections” keep it to a minimum and try to make an arrangement that is soothing and appealing to the eye. Think family photos, fresh cut flowers, and plants to brighten up a dark corner.

Your outdoors can be a very relaxing place if you have one. Whether large or small, the outdoor area can be ideal for people looking to add to their relaxing space. Good additions are greenery, minimalist furniture or these outdoor wall fountains at Soothingwalls.com

Books are great as long as they’re not work related. Relaxing coffee table type books are fun to browse through while relaxing.

Grab a few throws and toss them about as well. They invite relaxation and comfort as well as a few throw pillows.

Hardwood flooring with soft area rugs can tie the room together. Allow it to impact the look and enhance it. Layer soft textures to create the ambiance that you’re seeking.

Why Choose Diamond Tools For All Your Stone Cutting Applications

It goes without saying that stone is a very hard material and can wreak havoc on any tools that are used to cut it.  Knowing the hardness grades ahead of time can pay dividends in the longevity of your tools.  The most popular type of tool for stone fabrication is a diamond tool.

A diamond cutting tool is one where grains of diamond are fixed on the contact surfaces of a tool through methods such as material bonding.  Diamonds are a super hard compound and this is why diamond cutting tools have advantages over other types of abrasives.

The Advantages Of Diamond Tools

The hardest material found on this earth is a diamond.  This hardness coupled with high strength, low friction and above average wear resistance is why diamonds make excellent abrasives.  Diamonds are known for their high grinding efficiency while requiring less force.  This means the grinding process will generate much less heat meaning cracks or burns avoided and wear on your tools is decreased.  As you begin grinding, a diamond tool will keep it’s shape and dimensions much better than other abrasives.  This allows for detailed, quality grinding work.  Efficiency is increased through the use of diamond because of the increased lifespan of tools.  There is no time or extra cost to change out bits or discs and relates to a lower per piece cost.

Types Of Diamond Tools

High-temp Brazed Diamond Tools: created by brazing a layer of diamond onto the tools surface by soldering.  This is a new type of diamond tool and has advantages because the solder attaches the diamonds very securely and allows for regularly arranged diamonds.

PCD or Polycrystalline Diamond:  micro size diamond crystals are sintered at high pressure and temperature creating a tool with good thermal stability and fracture toughness,  A use for these types of tools is in geological drills.

Ceramic Bonded Tools: glass or ceramic powder are the most common bonding materials used and makes for a tool that has little elastic deformation and good chemical stability.  One drawback however is that brittleness levels are elevated.

Resin Bonding Diamond Tools: Resin powder is used to bond the diamonds to the tool surface and is the most common form of polishing pad in the industry.

Plated Diamond Tools: electroplating adheres the diamonds to the tools.  Precision is the number one advantage to this type of tool.

Metal Bonded Diamond Tools:  Metal mix powder bonds the diamonds in this case.  The metal mix is not functional, only the diamonds are.  Commonly used in saw blades, diamond cored drill bits, grinding cups and so forth.  There are varying levels of bonding mixture and this is specified by the hardness of the material that is to be cut or ground.  The mixture and the amount of heat and pressure applied while bonding dictate the hardness of the tool.

Diamond tools can be used to process:

  • Aluminum, all copper alloys, rubber or resin and other non-ferrous metals
  • Carbide alloys
  • Stone, glass, concrete, ceramics, asphalt, semi conductor type materials and gem stone.
  • Many steels are not suitable for some metals as diamonds may react with the high temperatures that the grinding process can generate.

Diamond tools are the number one grinding method used in most stone fabrication and can offer great bang for your buck and increase productivity on your job site.

An office is a very important and integral part of your life given that you spent nearly most of your time in it during a week. It is thus important to make the office as cosy and well kept to ensure that it keeps you motivated to work even harder as well as relaxes you when you are tired. Sadly, most offices are plain boring from the colours painted on the walls, office furniture and decorations in the office. This is bad for business as it dampens the moods of your employees as well as yours in the long run. If you wish to rejuvenate your office, you should consider undertaking some cool office renovations. Below are some of the great and cool renovation ideas you can use.

Furniture

It is very important for an office to have the right and stylish furniture as they are capable of making a great difference to the amount of productivity the company receives from its staff. As you conduct the office renovations, ensure that you get cool furniture that matches the new decor you choose for the office. This will make the office look hipper, younger and cool and make the employees feel comfortable which will spur their overall productivity. The furniture ought to be durable, elegantly shaped, vibrantly hued and styles to create a great ambience and a touch of style in the office. There are so many cool furniture collections and designs that you can choose the most suitable for your office from when the renovation works commence.

Artwork

During the renovation of your office to transform it into a cool looking office, you should consider getting some form of unique artwork for the office. A great piece of art always transforms any office to become a stylish looking office. You could go for an art piece in the form of a beautiful scenery or landscape that is captivating. You could also have the picture of your family painted on canvas and then hanged into your office to act as your source of inspiration that you are working for them. Ensure that the cool artwork you go for will be something that you won’t mind seeing everyday while at work.

Potted Plants

You could be able to add a natural touch to complement your renovated office to make it uniquely beautiful. In order to achieve this feat, you should go for potted plants especially those that come in various containers that should match to the colour theme of the office. The pots come in various sizes, types, designs and colours to match each and every office style selected. The containers take into consideration the types of planted flowers or plants and their individual growing needs. These potted plants add an extra touch of nature to your office and make it look beautiful through complementing the choice of interior decor.

Follow These Tips and Secure your Property

Homeowners insurance is very expensive. It has been rising at rates of more than 10% every couple of years for the past 10 years. Any ways to make homeowners insurance less expensive is beneficial to homeowners. Preventing burglaries is one main way to prevent huge losses that would require you to make big homeowners insurance claims.

Preventing homeowners insurance claims is always effective in keeping rates low. In addition always shop around for homeowners insurance anytime your policy comes due. What happens is that people who have long stayed with the same ensure end up paying higher rates. When you shop around you are forcing the insurers to offer good new rates to you because they need fresh customers to meet sales numbers.

The best way to prevent intrusion is by installing the most secure locks to your doors and windows. Also, always make sure that you use the locks even on a second-floor window. Burglars will try any way to get into your home. Anything that is an easy access point for them they will use. They are opportunists, and if they see that your home thwarts them, they will seek out easier homes to burglarize.

Starting with the doors, always make sure that you have a cylinder lock installed. A deadbolt is inaccessible without a key. That is the safest type of lock. In addition, install a safety chain. A safety chain goes on the interior of the door. If it is engaged, the safety chain will not allow anyone to open the door fully from the outside. The key to having a successful security chain is that the chain must be short enough so that the door cannot be opened sufficiently. In addition, it must also prevent anyone from slipping their hand in and disengaging the chain from the outside of the door.

Ensure that you also have a peephole installed. This will prevent from allowing potential intruders into your home. Also, make sure that other parts of the door are also intact. The door frame needs to be bolted securely in place to the outside wall. Here are some good tips on installation.

If you have both a screen door and a main entry door, consider having locks on both to prevent entry into your home. Otherwise, you are giving up a great two-layer security system. Why allow potential burglars into your home when they can be prevented from getting into your home?

Sliding patio doors require three locking points to be secured. Also, ensure that you have a security bar in place to prevent the door from being lifted off its track and removed.

Other excellent ways to prevent burglary include such items as having motion-sensor lights on the front, back and the sides of the house suggest Property to Insure. Burglars hate for people to see what they are up to when they are “working”. Lights illuminate exactly what they are trying to do, which is to get into your home. They will run at the first sign of light on them.

Another excellent way to prevent burglary is by purchasing a high-quality door with a glazing that is more secure when it has a grill installed on the interior. Another way to ensure security is by having security film on the back of the glass. What that means is if someone tries to smash in the glass on your door, d security film will prevent it from fully breaking.

Along the same idea of illuminating burglars as the attempt to break into your home and also want to cut back shrubbery. Trimming shrubs and trees from around the perimeter of the home eliminate hiding places for a burglar. This may make other homes that have higher shrubs more enticing for them.