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7 Ways To Prepare Your House For Unexpected Visitors This Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and chances are you’ll be absolutely nowhere near ready. If that’s the case, then you’re definitely not going to be prepared for any unwanted guests over the festive season. Whether it’s your parents visiting on Christmas Eve or an unexpected present drop from a friend, you want your house at it’s best just in case.

With that in mind, here are 7 ways to prepare your house for unexpected guests this Christmas:

 

Clear Out Any Unwanted Items

 

If you’re anything like me you’ll have lots of junk that has accumulated throughout the year. Whether it’s things you don’t need anymore or something you’ve been trying to get rid of but don’t have the time, this is the perfect time to get rid of it. Spend a few hours having a big clear out of stuff you no longer need and your house will already start to feel incredibly different.

 

Have A Big ‘Winter’ Clean

 

Massive house cleans are not just for Spring! Making sure your house is looking and smelling incredible before Christmas is important and you never know when anyone could walk through your door. Whether you’re cleaning your entire kitchen from top to bottom, clearing out the spare bedroom or using a central vacuum service throughout the whole house – you’ll feel so much better for it.

 

Buy Lots Of Stunning Decorations

 

There’s nothing better than a well-decorated house at Christmas. Even if you’re not expecting guests it’s nice to go all out and decorate your house in stunning Christmas decorations just for you and the family, but when other people see them and compliment you on how incredible they look it’s definitely a great feeling. So, treat yourself to some new decorations and make your house look amazing!

 

Decorate Any Areas That Need Attention

 

If you have any areas in your house that need some TLC, then thinking about redecorating them quickly before Christmas could make a whole lot of difference to the look and feel of your house. Whether it’s painting the skirting boards, putting up a new wallpaper in the guest bedroom or simply fixing a squeaky cupboard door – getting them done before Christmas will make you feel so much better about your home.

 

Buy Extra Beddings For Emergency Sleep Overs

 

Just in case anyone ends up having a little too much to drink and has to stop the night, extra bedding and towels and incredibly handy. Stock up and if you don’t need them now, at least you’ll have them for the future.

 

Make Your Garden Look Clean And Presentable

 

Although no one will be going in your garden, they’ll still be able to see it through your back windows. Making it look clean and presentable, even if it’s not, gives off your a little more put together than you may be. If you do want to show off your garden, and impromptu firework session on New Year’s Eve could do the trick!

 

Stock Up On Candles And Wax Melts

 

There are so many beautiful scents that are centered around Christmas that you can have your house smelling incredible in no time. Keeping yourself stocked up means you can pop one on as soon as anyone pulls into your drive too!

How are you planning to prepare your house for unexpected visitors? Let me know if we missed anything in the comments!

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How Your Curb Appeal Handles The Winter

The exterior of your house puts up with a lot. Of course, that’s nothing new; it’s its job after all. But during the winter? Your house might go through a lot more than it’s ready to weather, and you might not even know about the damage being done. You’re just sitting nicely inside, all cozy under a blanket with a good hot chocolate on your lap; however, sinking comfortably into a moment like this is going to take some work. So you’re going to need to be extra vigilant for the next 3 months or so, and use some tips like these to make sure your curb appeal is never going sideways in the wind!

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Clean Your Gutters Out

If you want to keep your roof in good condition, you’re going to need to get up there every once in a while to make sure the gutters aren’t being clogged out by snow and ice, as well as leaves that get wet and freeze on top of all that. You’re going to want to sweep the gutters out at least twice a year, and before the winter season, as you don’t want any of your guttering pipes to expand and crack and then fall off of the roof during the colder periods.

If you have tall trees and strong winds throughout your neighborhood, you might want to get up there more often than just twice a year. After all, there’s a lot more chances for anything to get stuck up there and get clogged. And if it does, it will potentially start to leak through your roofing tiles, ruining the insulation in your attic as well as causing possible leaks through your bedroom ceilings. And that’s not something you want to deal with at Christmas time!

Insulate Your Attic

Your attic needs a good lining of insulation to make sure your house is warm enough this season, as well as making sure that any heat you do have filtering through your pipes stays in place and doesn’t leak out. You want at least 10 inches of insulation up near your roof, and hopefully you’ll be able to get a screen of 14 inches – this is the optimum amount of padding to make sure your house is secured from the inside out.

No matter how old your house is, you can get some insulation put into your attic. Even if you can’t have the walls ripped out to add in padding, before getting them replaced, you can add some more cosmetic features. You can add some blanket insulation, if you need to DIY the insulation project yourself, and these rolls are quite easy to get ahold of. On the other hand, you can try layering the floor of the attic with some more materials, such as rugs and blankets, and even the storage you have up there.

Wrap Up Your Plumbing

The plumbing in your house needs to be a big focal point for you this season, seeing as the water in your house can very easily freeze in the colder temperatures. You’re going to need to wrap up your pipes, to make sure they’re never freezing and expanding unnecessarily, and then bursting, and flooding your entire house. However, it’s very easy to prevent a problem like this – a bit of gauze here and you’ll be all good!

You can buy this kind of wrapping at any DIY shop or home depot department, and you won’t have to shill out too much money here either. Make sure you’re wrapping tightly, even if you’ve only got a bit of duct tape to help you out. And remember, when you’re not using the water in your house, it’ll be a good idea to turn off of your water valve to make sure there’s never any water hanging around in the pipes when it’s unneeded. You might even want to pour a bit of antifreeze down your sink, shower, and bathtub holes, if you have extremely cold temperatures in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Cover Up Your Car

Your car is still a part of your curb appeal, and you’re going to need to look after it during the winter weather, even when it’s just parked outside of your house. After all, when you’re trying to get to work or the kids to school in the early morning, you have to wait 10 or 15 minutes for the car to warm up and for you to scrape all of the frost off!

But if you don’t have a garage, it’s going to be hard to take care of your parked car. But thankfully, there’s much options available in terms of architecture for you to invest in. Some carport designs, for example, can be invested in to make sure you just get a simple and easy extension outside of your house to park your car within. It’ll be a little warmer under there, as well as a lot more shaded and covered, and that stops the ice from forming so quickly and absolutely.

Shovel Your Driveway

A quick point to finish off. You’re always going to need to have a clear driveway out in front of your house, seeing as you’ve still got to get out and about during the winter season. Not to mention, if you ever have an accident at home during the Christmas season, or you simply order a takeaway and have it delivered to your house, the people arriving are going to need access as well! So make sure you’ve got a shovel and that you’re clearing your driveway of snow, sludge, and ice, at least twice a month.

Ready to Tackle the Winter Weather?

Your curb appeal needs your help to handle the winter season, so be sure to use tips like these to keep your house in a good and safe condition. This is your chance to keep your house in much better shape for the New Year!

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Redecorating On A Budget

Every home needs a bit of revitalisation now and again. You see the same surroundings day after day, and so no matter how much you loved those floral curtains or that round dark wood coffee table when you first bought them, after time it is only natural that you grow tired of what you see. However, there is only one problem… we don’t all have endless pits of money. Most people don’t have the cash spare to turn their house upside down and completely change its image. But the good news is; you don’t have to. With the following tips, you can redecorate your home without breaking the bank…

Cushion crazy

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Replacing your sofa represents a large investment. However, by simply changing your cushions you can give your sofa an entirely new appearance. There are so many designs available nowadays. You can play around with different patterns, various textures and an array of colors. Don’t go for anything too matchy-matchy. Instead, buy a mixed selection to create your own unique style. A great place to start is Linens Direct. They have a wealth of diverse cushions for you to choose from.

Grab a paintbrush

You wouldn’t believe how much difference a lick of paint can make! It alters the entire mood and feel of a room. Swap your pastel shade for a bold and bright colour – it will give you an instant pick me up. Or, trade in that dark tone for a lighter shade – your space will feel refreshed and relaxed. Why not go for an accent wall? You will save even more money if you only have ¼ of the room to paint! Yet, the effect is still as big because you are creating a focal point which is really going to pop out and bring the room to life.

Recover and renew your current furniture

If you can’t afford new furniture, why not recover what you already had? Are you sick of that dull and boring brown armchair in the corner of the room? If so, why not buy a fun and funky fabric and recover it yourself? Not only will you save a lot of money, but you will end up with a unique piece which nobody else has. This is ideal for someone who likes to embark on a bit of DIY and let their creative side shine. Don’t only think about what you can see, but all of the senses, from how you feel in the room to your sense of smell. If you have been meaning to call for an AC repair for months now, do this before spending money on your sofas. You will never be comfortable in the room if the temperature is not right. Deal with all the small fixes first!

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Buy some new wall art

Last but not least, wall art can completely transform a space, but you need to think big if you want it to have a large impact on the overall vibe of the room. Thus, you can either purchase a large picture or you can opt to have loads of little ones together. The choice is of course yours. In fact, you don’t even have to go for a picture or a photograph. Wall letters i.e. the use of typography and wall stencils are really fashionable at the moment as well. All you need to do is search around on the internet and you will see that there are some really fantastic pieces available at unbelievable prices.

 

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Lock in the Heat This Winter

Now that the weather is becoming cold and harsh outside, we will start to feel chills in our homes in the evenings and it will soon be time for us to turn the heating on once more. We all know that heating is expensive, and when it comes to keeping the house warm and toasty all winter long it can cost us a lot of money if the home won’t lock in the heat. Here are some of the ways you can make sure that when the heating is switched on, that precious heat stays in the house.

Secure the roof

It is incredibly important to pay attention to your roofing this winter because the roof will be the first place heat tries to escape from out of the house. Heat rises, and if you have small gaps in your roof you will lose the heat before you even notice that you have it in the first place. Make sure that you spend some time filling in gaps, stopping moisture from entering the house and also insulting the home too.

Insulate everything

Insulation is the buzzword when it comes to keeping our homes warm all year long, and if you don’t already have enough insulation in your home, you will be losing over half of the heat which you pour into it right away. There are several ways to insulate the house, you can use boards in the walls, use cavity wall insulation and you can also think about insulating under the floors for some extra protection.

Light it up

What’s the best thing about winter in your home? Being able to snuggle up in the evenings with the fire burning and scented candles everywhere. If you want to keep your house feeling cosy and warm all through the winter there really isn’t a cheaper way than to light lots of candles in your living room. You can buy huge packs of tealights online for a small cost and they will last you for a few months as you light up the home each evening and bring in that fiery heat to the room.

Bring in the blankets

If you are on a pretty tight budget for your home this year and you are looking for a better way to keep you and your family toasty, you can go out to your local homeward store and buy some plush blankets for everyone. You could have one each or you can share them and they will keep you all feeling super warm and cosy in the evenings without having to spend a single penny on your heating bills.

Drink tea

A good cup of tea can solve all of life’s problems, and it can also help us stay warm during those unforgiving winter nights. If you find yourself freezing cold in the evenings consider drinking a cup of tea or a hot cocoa and you will immediately feel better. It will warm you up from the inside and it will make you feel super warm and toasty for the evenings.

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3 Simple Alternatives To A Minimalist Interior

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For the past decade, magazines and TV shows have been telling us about the joys of a minimalist interior. White walls, high gloss kitchen units, minimal clutter, and simple furniture have been the trends of choice. Only with the emergence of a more creative set of designers and a frustration with the lack of artistic license in a minimalist environment, have people become more enamored with more colorful, exciting and unique designs. Magazines are now showing off more vibrant ideas on their covers and showcasing younger interior designers with their more forward thinking creations. If you fancy stepping away from the sleek and monotone to a more cheerful and homely atmosphere, take a look at these three simple alternatives to a minimalist interior.

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Walls

Forget white walls or even a touch of magnolia. It’s time to be bolder with your palette. If you fancy introducing more color in a subtle way, play around with duck egg blues, pastel hued greens or even a teal wall or two. If you’re more willing to experiment with a broader range of colors, consider mixing palettes and hues. A dark damson feature wall with lighter surrounding walls can create a focal point and break up the sea of white.

Artwork can also add touches of flair within a space and allows you to express your personality. If you love graffiti art, pick up a couple of Banksy prints. For traditional art lovers, why not head to your local gallery, purchase an original watercolor and support the local artisan trade. For a more realist approach to your artwork, you might wish to think about the photography prints for sale online. A spectacular landscape, some wildlife shots or street photography could be perfect for your interior.

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Furniture

While minimalist furniture has been the order of the day, people are now looking to source vintage furniture to create a mix of modern and old for their interior design. G-Plan, Ercol, and Meredew made stunning and affordable mid-century teak tables, chairs and sideboards. With people looking back fondly on the swinging sixties, people are keen to bring a touch of retro to their designs.

Coupled with drapery and fabrics, the wooden or teak inspired furniture can come alive with more texture, colors and a tactile nature. Hygge has been a Danish concept that has suddenly gained traction within the design world as families are more interested in function over form. Interior design lovers want comfort, cosiness, and a homely feel more than something that simply looks stunning but is virtually unusable. Banish the chaise lounge that never gets used and swap it for a fashionable leather recliner that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Playing around with your interior design can be a daunting prospect, but it should also be enjoyable. With our busy lifestyles, we want a humble abode that is welcoming and comfortable; minimalism doesn’t always deliver this. Banish the white walls and clinical look to welcome a more vibrant and exciting interior design.