Saturday, 20 May 2017

Bedroom Improvements That Add Style and Function

If you’re due for a home improvement soon, then how about making your bedroom a priority? After all, you spend a third of your life in your bedroom (albeit sleeping) so why not invest a little time, money and effort into it? Whether you’re doing your own DIY renovations or hiring a contractor, here are a couple of bedroom improvements you can perform to add style and function.


Replacing the bed

So this isn’t so much of a renovation as it is an upgrade. However, it’s something that you should keep in mind because replacing the bed not only paves the way to a completely new bedroom feel, but it also adds a lot of style if you replace the mattress, the bed itself and the bed linen. Vi-Spring beds make an excellent luxury addition to your home if you’re trying to add comfort, and they’ll guarantee that you get a fantastic night’s sleep no matter how tired or poorly you feel. Wake up feeling fresh and new again with a new bed—it’s totally worth the price!

A new wardrobe

Clean out the wardrobe and make way for something new! If you’re serious about giving your bedroom a makeover, then don’t forget to clean up those dusty drawers and give your storage a shake-up. This is also a fantastic time to throw out or donate any of your old clothes that you no longer wear. Remember that ugly sweater someone bought you for Christmas that’s hiding somewhere? Yeah, you can get rid of that and replace it with something more elegant that you’ll actually wear! You’ll be surprised at how practical a couple of extra shelves or racks to hang things can be, so don’t neglect the importance of renovating your storage!

Removing electronics

If your bedroom doubles as your home office or workstation, then consider moving it out. Not only does this give you more space for bedroom things such as another wardrobe, more storage or a display shelf, it’s also a practical way to help you get more out of your working time and sleep. How does this work? If you work in your bedroom then you’ve probably had countless nights where you simply fall into bed as soon as you’re done with work. By moving your electronics away from your sleeping nest, you don’t associate work with tiredness or sleep and you’ll be more productive knowing that you have to get up and go to bed instead of turning around and planting your face into the mattress.

Windows and curtains

Your windows and curtains might not seem like a practical or particularly stylish thing to upgrade, but there are plenty of ways to make it work for you. For starters, curtains add a lot to a room if done correctly. They should mix well with the rest of your bedroom’s colour palette, and if you’re concerned about privacy or heat at night then they should be thick enough to block solar rays that warm up your bedroom. In addition, you’ll be keeping your windows open for most of the upcoming hot summers, so make sure you aren’t skimping on replacing the windows so that they look nice and let in plenty of sunlight to brighten up your room.

How To Introduce Vintage Style Into Your Home

No matter what the period of the property you live in is, if you love everything vintage and retro; you shouldn’t have to deny yourself a beautiful, classical interior space. There are ways to bring a period feel and classic items into homes from any era.

Soft Furnishings

Your bed linen is a great place to start introducing a vintage look into your home, and you don’t have to source any creepy, second-hand sheets from your local charity shop either. Research into colour palettes and prints that were popular at the time you’re interested in, and you’re bound to discover something you love. If you feel like taking baby-steps, then keep your sheets white, and try to add prints and textures with cushions and pillows onto the bed, and you can expand your vintage collection from there.

When it comes to other areas of the house; try sourcing a vintage rug from eBay, or find throws and curtains that will infuse vintage-style patterns and prints into a room. Your vintage touches can be even more subtle, and you could add lace doilies or classic linen tablecloths onto the tables and surfaces of your living space.   

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Image from PEXELS

Furniture

Larger items might be intimidating, however; don’t let them put you off bringing them into the rooms of your home. Whether you can find a genuine antique (sourcing is half the fun), like a Victorian dining table, or perhaps you get your DIY hat on and distress some pieces you already own, bringing a large piece of furniture into a room will help set the theme and feel while creating a focal point.

Each room in your house can be styled to different eras; there are no rules to what you have to add to them! Maybe you want a 17th Century French style bedroom and add a Baroque wardrobe to the space, or perhaps a classical English living room is more your cup of tea, and you add a vintage chesterfield sofa to sit on; the possibilities of adding vintage style and charm to an interior are endless.

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Art And Accessories

Much like soft furnishings, art and interior accessories are a non-committal way of bringing in vintage items and style to see if you appreciate the look of them in a room. Art can be as cheap or expensive as you like (you’re not expected to bid on vintage artwork at Sotheby's just yet), secondhand shops and online auctions are wonderful ways to get some quirky pieces to add to your vintage ambience. Old frames can easily be re-sprayed and can house family pictures from years gone by, and there are a plethora of eras and styles to choose from. Check out some vintage artwork on Pinterest here: https://uk.pinterest.com/explore/vintage-art/?lp=true.

Trinkets like storage boxes, plates, books, and vases are more items that bring personality into a home, and you can be as creative as you want when painting, polishing or distressing them. Whatever you choose to bring into your interior space, be proud and display it with confidence; after all your home style is an extension of you and your personality. You’ll have a lot of fun finding each and every piece, and there’ll be a story behind them that you can tell to all the admirers of your vintage style home.

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Image can be found here

Thursday, 18 May 2017

What Every First-Timer Should Know About America

There’s nowhere else on earth quite like America. The sheer size and diversity, and the constant state of change spurred on by the country’s pioneer spirit, puts this country on the hit-lists of almost every avid traveller. Though you certainly won’t forget throwing yourself headlong into the country, like anywhere, it pays to do a little research. Here are a few things every first-time traveller should know about visiting the United States.
It Has Incredible National Parks
Credit: Pixabay

America’s national parks, which cover a grand total of 84 million acres, boast all kinds of amazing superlatives. Death Valley, California, has the lowest point in the western hemisphere. Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest point in North America, and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is, as the name suggests, the longest cave system in the world. Wherever you’re headed, there’s sure to be a national park within reasonable distance, so make sure you plan at least one day out.
The Customs Are Heavy-Duty
The customs system in America is probably going to be much more rigorous than what you’re used to, even if you’ve seen your fair share of the world. The immigration form you’ll get on the plane has all kinds of questions that can throw you off, and the TSA are infamous for their no-nonsense approach to airport security. Fortunately, there are various resources like the official ESTA website where you can clear up any uncertainties. Just make sure to do this in advance to avoid any upsetting mishaps during your trip.
Tips Are Pretty Much Non-Negotiable
Credit: Flickr

The official line is that tipping in the states is totally voluntary. However, one of the unofficial but very potent nuances of American culture is that 15 to 20 percent in most restaurants is more or less a given. Even if there was nothing special about the service you received, bear in mind that the minimum wage in the states is relatively low, and many restaurant workers will depend on tips to make ends meet.
There’s a Festival for Almost Everything
America is the land of weird and wonderful hobbies and societies, at least one of which you’ll be able to get up-close to wherever you are. From the chainsaw carving festival in Pennsylvania to the testicle festival (no, that’s not a typo) in Montana, you won’t believe the kind of events that could be going on a stone’s throw away from your hotel!
Americans Are Relentlessly Friendly
Credit: Pixabay

If you’re visiting North America for the first time as a European, you might come back and get the odd feeling that you’ve annoyed literally everyone in your home country. In the states, you may get a surprise when you walk down the street, and a complete stranger smiles at you, giving you a loud, chirpy “Hi!” as they walk past. Don’t worry, you’re not going to come off as rude if you don’t engage them in conversation. However, if you do, they’re going to be too polite to blow you off when they really have to be going! The point here is that you should try to come out of your shell a bit if you don’t want to stick out too much.