Tuesday, 9 August 2022

How To: Enhance Your Home Security With New Wiser™ IP Cameras

You can now make your smart homes safer with the launch of Clipsal by Schneider Electric’s new Wiser indoor and outdoor security cameras. Now available in Australia, the new Clipsal WiserTM Smart Home SecurityTM (Wiser) allows electricians and builders to be at the forefront of smart home security and integration. 
According to Chris Kerr -Vice President of Home and Distribution at Schneider Electric, Australians’ desire for smarter, more initiative homes is growing. Expanding our range to include smart home security was a natural, and important, progression. The IP cameras give Australians the flexibility to create smart, secure and connected spaces.

Clipsal combines over 25 years of local know-how with global expertise in residential technology. Clipsal developed its Wiser system consisting of a scalable range of sensors, connected sockets and switches, blind controllers and IR remotes, allowing customers to control their entire home or certain rooms. All devices are unified by the Wiser hub and Wiser by SE app. 
The cameras can be used as an add-on to existing Wiser systems or as a standalone, the indoor camera offers up to a 340° view of surroundings, full HD recording capabilities, motion tracking and pan and tilt control, all powered by a USB plug pack. Home owners can view their indoor settings at any point of the day with the camera’s IR night vision for low light recordings and motion detection alerts.

Outdoor settings are also more secure with the launch of an exterior camera, designed with a sleek, rounded look that allows it to blend into all exteriors. The outdoor camera offers a wide angle lens, local storage and is powered from a detachable lead and plug pack, plus an IP56 protection rating for protection from rain in any direction.
Launching the security cameras adds to the extensive list of industry leading technology that is opening up the smart home market to more electricians. Traditionally, security and home automation systems required specialists to install these into homes. Wiser’s straightforward interface and wireless installation allows electricians, that do not specialise in security and home automation, to further extend their offering and keep up with increasing energy efficiency and sustainability demands.
The interior and exterior wireless systems deliver further efficiency for time-poor sparkies, builders and clients. Wiser systems can be accessed via a hotspot, meaning electricians can completely install and set up the system ahead of completion, removing the need for return to site visits. It’s also backed by Wiser's customer support services, so trades can install Wiser knowing that once the build is complete, their job is done.

Wiser aims to completely change the home automation market in Australia. According to Chris, smart homes are no longer exclusive to millionaire’s mansions. With over 54% of Australian homes already owning a smart device, electricians across the country now have the chance to be part of the Wiser future of Australians homes.
Wiser home automation solutions are available through Wiser approved installers. To find out more and get certified, visit https://www.clipsal.com/wiser/electrician.

Till next time... are you thinking of installing a home security system?

Thursday, 4 August 2022

House Envy: The Wabi Sabi House

It was a shared passion for traditional Japanese and mid-century modern architecture that drove the inspiration behind the design of Wabi Sabi House. The family home, located 3.6 kilometres east of Melbourne’s central business district in Hawthorn, is adjacent to a leafy park and overlooks the Yarra River. Five years in planning gave Stuart Holmes Architect and his wife an intimate understanding of the plot, its relationship to the environment and the opportunities it could yield. Connecting to the stunning natural surrounds was an early consideration of the design narrative, which is now articulated through the lived experience of the finished home.
According to Holmes, there is a limited palette of materials which has been used according to a reasonably strict set of design rules. The cohesiveness this has created can be immediately experienced without having to be understood. Externally the material palette incorporates natural grey concrete block, which has been used extensively as breeze block, and ‘shou sugi ban’ charred timber cladding, against the prevalence of Big River Group’s warm Spotted Gum floor and wall panel and custom-made cement features internally.
The visually cool and patinaed exterior contrasts with the warmth of the spotted gum inside. According to Holmes, this is a deliberate wabi-sabi reference to the shedding bark of nearby river red gum trees, which is rough and weathered outside and rich and warm inside.
Working to inject warmth, the timber walls and joinery are a feature of the residence, not only do they complement the grey exterior elements and cement features of the interior, but the natural colourations and depth of colour of the timber, connect visually with the fluctuating colours of the external environment.
The warmth, beauty and unique grain of ‘peeled’ spotted gum veneer made the specification of Big River Amourfloor and ArmourPanel an early decision with respect to internal finishes. Big River’s veneers are available in various thicknesses for use in floors, walls, furniture and cabinetry enabling a well curated and crafted palette of natural materials to be employed.
Its premium quality formply product Armourform was also specified following advice from Big River’s sales and technical teams in the early stages of the project. This early advice helped to dictate some of the key features of the interior design. The specification of the selected Big River products enabled a distinct design language to evolve, whereby the black formply plays off against the ‘tan’ spotted gum according to Holmes.
Additionally, the products enabled the construction of routed joinery pulls and door pulls in the cabinetry, which are also key features of the design, linking form to function and truly indicative of the wabi-sabi vibe. Holmes worked with Finnes Building Group to complete the project which is set across three levels and replaces the remaining half of a 1930s duplex. It consists of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living areas, a study, a laundry and, in homage to Holmes’ love of Finland and its traditions, the residence also includes a plunge pool and sauna.
Based on a sloping plot overlooking the Yarra River, the complex site created some challenges through the build, but with a clear comprehension of the project’s vision and the courage and craftsmanship to proceed, Finnes Building Group realised the overarching success of the project. According to Stuart Innes, Director of Finnes Building Group, this was probably one of their most complex projects to date, it proved challenging at times but also one where the team got an opportunity to really demonstrate their skills. And the end result is spectacular!
Wabi Sabi House is a home that delivers a rich and immersive experience. Conceived as a whole, the dwelling is deeply connected to its site whereby interior elements are experienced via some condition of the exterior and vice versa. Dominated by sustainably sourced timber, the internal materials have been strategically developed to add depth and character throughout the space in a rich yet minimal application, culminating in an inner-city suburban home that responds to its surrounding environment and nurtures the principles of the wabi-sabi aesthetic throughout.
For more information visit www.bigrivergroup.com.au.

Till next time... hope you enjoyed the Wabi Sabi house tour!

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

How To: Bring Coastal Grandmother Style Into Your Home

The Coastal Grandmother trend has taken the world by storm and is now permeating the interior design space. Coastal Grandmother refers to a relaxed, elevated way of living, a type of aspirational lifestyle. Think Nancy Myers and her protagonists, from Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give to Meryl Steep in It’s Complicated and the way they dress, their daily habits and their stunning homes.

Coastal Grandmother is having such a moment, it has become a cultural trend and lifestyle movement of its own. As of July 2022, #coastalgrandmother has 174.8M views on Tik Tok, and continues to grow in popularity.

For a while now, we’ve seen the Coastal Grandmother movement embodied through fashion, lifestyle videos and Instagram content. Now, it’s making its way into our homes.

To create the perfect Coastal grandmother vibe within your own space, online furniture store Luxo Living has shared 6 must-have items to achieve the ultimate coastal grandmother home.

Natural and Neutral Items
Coastal Grandmothers love natural materials paired with neutral tones. From dark wood to light rattan items, a little bit of nature really brings your home to life. Of course, Coastal Grandmother opt for whites and hues of cream in their décor and fashion. Think timeless white furniture that was trendy when Something’s Gotta Give was filmed in 2003 and remains stylish two decades later. The Debby Rattan Accent Armchair with Bouclé Cushion (RRP $229) from Luxo Living is the perfect blend of natural rattan with neutral boucle fabric, and you just know a coastal grandmother would add this item to their stunning reading nook. 
Linen Fabrics
Nothing embodies comfort, style and luxury more than linen, both in fashion and décor. From linen cushions to tablecloths and couches, you know that adding this stunning fabric to your home will elevate the look and feel or your space, and bring in the ultimate coastal grandmother vibes. To get you started, the Mala Solid Wood Accent Armchair with Linen Cushion RRP $329, is the perfect statement piece. 
Comfort for guests
A coastal grandmother loves to host guests and makes sure every corner of her home is full of comfort and timeless style. A great way to offer comfort without compromising on style or space is with a sofa or day bed, such as the Ovidia Velvet Single Sofa Daybed with Trundle (RRP $399). Place this gorgeous bed in a sun-filled corner of your home, between a bookshelf and some soft artworks and you’ll have the perfect coastal grandmother leisure room. 
A place to put your feet up
After spending a day tending to her veggie patch, baking sweet treats and living the ideal lifestyle, a coastal grandmother needs a place to rest her feet, without compromising on style, of course. The DIY Decorator Toni 55cm Bouclé Ottoman (RRP $99) is a great footrest, décor staple and ultimate addition to make your living space even more stylish and relaxing.
A place for books
As a part of the aspirational lifestyle, coastal Grandmother spend their time catching up on some light reading, flicking through recipe books and the pages of house and garden magazines. So obviously, they need places to store their many reading materials. The Avery Natural Rattan Display Shelf (RRP $229) is the perfect display shelf for all of the books you’ll need to perfect the coastal grandmother lifestyle. 
Soft, timeless bedding
The last addition needed to achieve your coastal grandmother inspired home is a soft white quilt cover and bed set. Create ultimate comfy core aesthetic with the white hues of the Davina 6pc Cotton Chenille Quilt Cover Set (RRP $89), and elevate your style with the trendy patterns.
Till next time... give your home some extra comfort and shop the range via https://www.luxoliving.com.au/.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Trend Forecast: Five Trending Backyard Design Themes

Outdoor spaces have never been more in the spotlight. As we head into the warmer months, improving your outdoor space can be an affordable and achievable way to improve your lifestyle, and show your creative flair. Small outdoor projects and DIY-friendly tasks are an investment in your homes’ ‘kerb appeal’ and can increase the value of your home. When we think of signature style, we usually think about fashion and home décor as expressions of personality, however, your outdoor space is another opportunity to showcase your personal style. Here Jason Hodges, award-winning landscape design expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, shares his design tips for recreating the top five trending outdoor themes that can be personalised to suit your own style.
Hamptons Garden
Renowned for its coastal-chic styling, bought to life with a colour palette of whites with ocean blues, neutrals and stripes, the Hamptons style has inspired renovation projects across the globe. Australians have had a love affair with the Hamptons style for over a decade and this trend has only increased through the recent renovation boom. According to Jason, the incredibly popular Hamptons styling trend is not limited to indoor decorating. Key design themes for a Hamptons garden include; lush green lawns, privacy hedging, and paved patio areas with styled outdoor settings.
Starting with paving as the foundation for your backyard renovation is a simple yet effective way to transform the space. “Paving may only take up 20% of your yard, but it draws most of your attention,” says Jason. When choosing the best product, the most important thing you will need to consider is the type of traffic your pavers will be exposed to, the heavier the traffic the thicker the paver selected should be.

To achieve the Hamptons look, consider colour and texture. Light-coloured pavers will complement greenery. Jason recommends a neat, square, large format paver like Adbri Masonry’s Euro Classic or Euro Stone in the 400x400mm profile. Opt for the vibrancy of the light Cyprus colour or the mid-grey tone or the Zurich colour as a striking base for your paved area.

Balinese Sanctuary
The essence of Bali starts with a villa experience, a personal sanctuary away from your typically busy life. Homeowners can create a dream Bali-inspired oasis by following some simple design inspirations, colour schemes and clever planting that will make your outdoor space look lush and enjoyable all year round.

To achieve this look, think textured charcoal stepping stone pavers, a collection of greens through the planting scheme, bamboo screens and smooth pebbles. Choose agaves, and frangipanis or bird of paradise plants to keep the tropical theme to complete the look.

To perfect this theme, Adbri Masonry Natural Impressions Duostone offers a contrast of a natural stone-like texture and a contemporary, smooth surface are ideal for retaining walls to create varying levels of interest, and Adbri Masonry Euro Stone is the best choice for courtyards and garden paths. These pavers have been lightly shotblast, to exfoliate the surface and expose the natural aggregates found within. Additionally, they’re slip resistant, making them a perfect option for use around pools and water features.
Palm Springs Modern
Palm Springs boasts one of the world’s most recognisable residential ‘looks’ and right now, it’s one of the biggest style inspirations for Australian homeowners. Made famous by mid-century modern designs featuring overhanging flat roofs, the iconic dry climate landscaping and accentuated furnishings. According to Jason, Palm Springs is a design theme that perfectly suits the style of our homes with a focus on the outdoor areas and making the most of the climate.
The Palm Springs look starts with a contemporary coastal chic design infused with a touch of glamour that presents in a soft pastel colour palette and features décor pieces for a resort-style feel. Create the look with three to five iconic Californian fan palms, space agaves through the garden bed and plant out a feature cactus garden.

Choose hard-wearing pavers over harder-to- maintain turf, use gravel in your garden beds and stay true to the pastel colour scheme. Embrace empty space, this is not a garden design to clutter, advises Jason. Adbri Masonry’s Verastone block features an architecturally inspired shot blast surface texture that exposes the natural aggregate stones in each block. They can be used for garden steps, straight garden walls or retaining walls. The essence of Palm Springs style is a seamless indoor-outdoor transition that leads to generous outdoor spaces where clean lines are prominent. Create privacy in the space with Adbri Masonry’s Breeze Blocks. This contemporary block marks the return of a unique series of screening, privacy and ventilation masonry units. With a stylish diamond profile, use in designs to achieve airflow and natural light infiltration while retaining a sense of permanency and security.
Japanese Zen Style
Australians’ love affair with Japan has been on the rise for years. Fortunately, Aussie homeowners can now bring the best of Japan into their backyards with a low-cost Zen-style garden. Now more than ever, people want their backyards to be safe and private according to Jason. Zen gardens are low maintenance, relaxing and enjoyable to be in.
Create the Zen look with varied textural elements and contrast between hard and soft landscapes; gravels and grass, feature stones of varying sizes and practical step stone pavers in greys or charcoals will set the mood. A Zen garden is designed to be a place to relax so by design, it should be low maintenance. Pot some feature plants, select a water feature for ambience and plant out some mini mondo grass.
Australian Rural
Australia is blessed with a year-round climate and an incredible natural environment. For homeowners with a larger outdoor area, an Aussie-inspired backyard is a great design choice because they’re as practical as they are visually pleasing. The key to designing a good rural-inspired garden is to treasure your space and have discipline around how you fill it.  Jason recommends taking full advantage of the space by creating an alfresco dining area. In adding a fire pit, you can make this area the central entertaining spot. Install some casual seating in the way of log stools and make maintenance easy by bordering the garden with a simple concrete Lawn Edge paver. Create some shade with a eucalyptus tree which will give you a special spot to enjoy throughout the day, advises Jason.
Building the fire pit is an easy DIY project using Adbri’s Miniwall blocks. For the patio areas and footpaths try using Adbri’s Havenbrick, a versatile concrete brick paver that’s easy to lay and offers a modern look with bevel on all four edges.
For more information on backyard DIY projects, visit www.adbrimasonry.com.au.

Till next time... which is your favourite trending theme?

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Haven’s New Scented Candles To Light Up Your Home

The new Winter Collection of candles from Haven offers a range of gorgeous scents from classically elegant to sweet and sultry. With five fragrances to choose from including Pillow Talk, Bridal Fitting, Vogue Vanilla, Pink Lemonade and Caramel Cheesecake, they are perfect to light up at home to fill a room with fragrance. 
The range of on-trend vessel colours and shapes also work wonderfully with home interiors, with two versatile designs being a chic and geometric jar with a textured finish, or a mason style jar that’s stylishly simple to go with all decor.
Spoil yourself with the Haven Pink Lemonade Soy Scented Candle (RRP $15.00). This signature scent combines vibrant notes of sweet melon and bubbly lemonade to create a candle that is a nod to simple, youthful times.

The Haven Bridal Fitting Soy Scented Candle (RRP $15.00) is an ode to love, Spring, and the wedding season. Featuring uplifting notes of carnation and apple, this candle will take you to the perfect wedding day and destination with its crisp and clean fusion of classic romantic scents.

Fill your home with a blend of delicate, sweet and sultry elements with the Haven Pillow Talk Soy Scented Candle (RRP $15.00). It features scent notes of berry and patchouli, whisking you away to a dreamy wonderland. The Haven Vogue Vanilla Soy Scented Candle (RRP $15.00) is a gorgeous addition to your living space, offering a chic blend of both modern and classic elements.
Combining notes of amber, sage and vanilla, this candle is ideal to evoke a sense of calmness to you space.

Craving something sweet? Treat yourself to the Haven Caramel Cheesecake Soy Scented Candle (RRP $15.00) for delightfully muted sweet scents of brown sugar and vanilla filling the air. This buttery smooth fragrance will add a sense of warmth and comfort to your home.

When finished, Haven candles are perfect for upcycling as a vase, storage piece or a mini pot plant to add even more style to your tablescape. The Haven range is available in Spotlight stores nationally. For more information visit www.haveninspired.com.au.

Till next time... which is your favourite scent?

Friday, 22 July 2022

Trend Forecast: Transformation of a 90s Suburban House into a Spacious, Multi-Generational Masterpiece!

Situated on the southern edge of metropolitan Sydney and backing on to the Royal National Park this Bundeena home is the embodiment of a modern renovation adding value, style, and a place fo family to come together. Homeowner Jen and her three children live in the home but recently welcomed Jen’s parents which was a defining moment in making the choice to extend and renovate the home. Originally a single-storey dwelling, the house has been transformed into a modern two-storey oasis where multi- generations can live comfortably. The new second level is practically self-contained, providing a space for Jen’s parents with bedrooms, living areas, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry included to optimise privacy and provide the family with options for years to come.

Data from the Housing Industry Association indicates such renovations are surging. Australians desiring more functional, purposeful spaces which can accommodate dynamic families has driven the annual growth rate of alterations and additions valued over $10,000 to 111 per cent. 1 In the 2020/21 financial year alone there was $43.0 billion worth of renovation activity. “The façade is your first impression of a home, your welcome, and it’s incredibly important to get the scale and materiality right here to make sure you are building a home with an inviting space that homeowners want to be in,” says Graham Irving from Arctec Circle Building Design, who worked with Jen to ensure the design of the addition provided the look that appealed to her and updated the design of the original house.

For inspiration, Jen accessed designs online, visited display homes, and also viewed the surrounding neighbourhoods’ new builds so her new home would fit into the streetscape and softly blend into the bushland just metres from the back of the property. “Living on the edge of the Royal National Park, we didn’t want our home to stand out too much. Harmony with the natural setting we wake up to every day was important to us,” said Jen.

Giving the house a modern and warm vibe, a variety of exterior cladding profiles were chosen featuring a predominantly neutral palette that reflects the natural bushland surrounds. Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding fibre cement panels provided the consistent embedded texture look and was ideal as the dominant exterior building material making an impact with its clean lines and form to deliver a modern design aesthetic. With its vertical grooves, Axon™ Cladding has been used as a contrasting feature on the front of the house at the entrance and around the living room window and at the rear of the house where the home opens to decks on each level from which to enjoy the view of the National Park which stretches until the horizon.

Both cladding types appealed to Jen, but particularly, the Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding after it was suggested by her builder James Powditch from J.P. Build. According to Jen, she really liked the simple but styled textured panelling look provided by Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding. The home’s original exterior was rendered brick veneer and the decision was made to cover the original brickwork with the cladding to ensure a continuous look, offering a contemporary transformation of the house.

Using the cladding instead of building with brick and then rendering was a wise decision as not only would rendering have increased both the cost and build time of the renovation, but we have all the benefits of the cladding material.

The fire-rating of both cladding types was ideal for the home’s location. With their home located on the edge of the Royal National Park, we are in the worst bushfire category so knowing that Hardie™Fine Texture Cladding and Axon™ Cladding had a strong fire rating put my mind at ease,, according to Jen.

Windows also had to include shutters for the same fire safety reasons.

For a timeless look, Jen has chosen a minimalist colour palette, keeping it to two colours and choosing a low-sheen paint that works with the modern profile to give a contemporary matte look.

For this project, the Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, which is shipped pre-primed and ready to paint, has been painted in a dark Taubmans’ Wallaby to match the Colorbond roof. Axon™ Cladding, with its striking vertical lines, colour contrasts with the rest of the build by being painted in Dulux’s Winter Fog.

While increasing square feet is an obvious benefit of any home addition, it should also be an opportunity to consider your block and how you live, to define the new space and redefine the entire home. This renovation has exceeded Jen’s expectations and she could never have imagined her vision for her home looking this good. The result is a stunning modern family home perfectly suited to the family’s lifestyle for many years to come.

To really appreciate the after, here's a reminder of the before.

Find out how to achieve a modern renovation for your home with James Hardie’s Renovation Guide https://www.jameshardie.com.au/renovationguidez.

Till next time... have you undertaken a renovation recently?


Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Trend Forecast: Making Your Backyard Staycation Ready!

The past few years has created unprecedented change in the way we live, but nowhere more so than in our homes - how we interact with them and what we require from them. We need our homes to seriously multitask – multiple living zones, cooking and entertaining spaces, spaces to come together but also to have privacy, zones for work, and play.
For many people travel is still both a distant memory, and a far-off dream, so bringing that holiday feeling to your own backyard is more important than ever. According to design expert Melissa Bonney from The Designory, your outdoor space is the most versatile room in your house. The connection between the indoor and outdoor areas has always been important in our Australian climate but in a post pandemic world it has also become critical for people’s wellbeing and ability to stay connected and grounded. It’s the little additions to our outdoor areas that can make all the difference.

Central to a great backyard design is the fire pit. The ambience a fire pit brings is worth the investment alone. Adding a fire pit will provide an immediate feature for the garden and become a natural gathering spot for socialising and entertaining and provides warmth as well as a great cooking source. People are naturally drawn to the campfire-like atmosphere.

New from Glow Heating is a collection of fire pit styles designed to work into a number of different style gardens, backyards and courtyards. Here, Melissa Bonney, shares her design ideas to help turn your outdoor room into the ultimate destination offering a space you can relax in and enjoy on a daily basis.

Keep It Simple
One of the best things about having so many wonderful freestanding fire pit options is that it’s an easy addition to any space. For an extremely low maintenance and stress free outdoor area, keep the backyard simple and landscape the garden incorporating a premium grass, a generous paved or pebble area for entertaining, and compliment with heat loving plants such as succulents, which add texture and colour to the space. Choose one striking centrepiece.

For homes fortunate to have a larger backyard, the Glow Kadi Fire Bowl (RRP $599) is a hero piece. Featuring an exotic, traditional Indian style bowl, it’s low to the ground and sums up the relaxed feel of a coastal sanctuary. With a generous bowl size and striking weathering steel designed to naturally oxidise in Australian conditions, the Kadi is also the perfect sculpture in your garden when not in use. The Glow Kadi Fire Pit is available from independent garden centres and hardware stores.
An Architectural Statement
Creating structure or zones in the backyard is a great way to work the space effectively, with areas for playing, eating, cooking and relaxing. Think about all the areas you have available from the front fence to the back. Defining these zones using fencing, plants or materials such as pavers, pebbles or decking, can give each space its own impact and character as well as defining the purpose.

For a polished landscape look, choose a fire pit design like Glow Pittsburgh Fire Pit (RRP $359). With its sleek, modern defined shape, Pittsburgh is an architectural statement. Constructed from heavy gauged steel with an oiled finish that oxidises over time, it’s the perfect outdoor lifestyle ‘feature piece’ that becomes the heart and soul of the garden year-round. Pittsburgh is available from Mitre 10 and Home Timber & Hardware stores nationally.
Small Spaces Big on Style
Even the smallest of spaces can be big on style and used to create conversation areas and spaces to gather to share stories, share a drink or toast marshmallows. For backyards and terraces looking to maximise their outside space, think smart with solutions such as multi-purpose pieces and in-built seats. A timeless Glow fire pit design that strikes a brilliant balance between size, design, and finish, the Tambo Fire Pit (RRP $79) is perfect for more intimate areas such as terraces and patios where space is at a premium.

The Tambo Fire Pit features a 56cm wok, with the deeper bowl delivering maximum fire for smaller spaces. It is complete with log storage for when not in use and finished in weathering steel that will deepen in colour over time when exposed to open outdoor Australian conditions. 

According to Mel, a top tip for a smaller backyard with fences that make the space feel hemmed in, is to plant an evergreen hedge in front to create the illusion of complete privacy, as well as providing a year-round structured look, adding a splash of much needed green during the colder months. Tambo is available from Bunnings stores nationally.
Year-Round Entertainment
As a nation of entertainers, Australians are constantly looking for new ways to take their outdoor space to the next level. With a little planning and creativity, any exterior space can become a therapeutic sanctuary that offers an escape from the day to day. Identify how you would like to use your outdoor space, then design around those needs. Add a beautiful backdrop with plants of various heights in layered tiers, outdoor seating with cushions, beautiful pots and décor to add pockets of interest.

The Cellar Fire Pit from Glow (RRP $199), offers a refined, industrial design perfect for a contemporary setting. With its stylish black minimalist look and deep drum style bowl, Cellar is not only a heat source but includes a cooking grill for those who love to entertain.

The laser-cut weave pattern encourages greater airflow and is reminiscent of a traditional winery basket. Perfect for creating a cosy space in winter, Cellar can easily convert to some fun summer entertaining ideas as well with its barbecue options. Cellar is available from Bunnings stores nationally.
Starting the Spark
Starting a fire in a firepit can be tricky, especially if the fire pit bowl is quite large. Glow’s new Fire Mate (RRP $29.98) provides the teepee structure to start as the base for placing your timber, and promotes air flow throughout the duration of your fire.
Logs are the foundation of your fire and will keep it burning long into the night. The best type of firewood includes varieties like river red gum, jarrah, ironbark, grey box and sugar gum. Make sure that they are properly seasoned and stacked before using. Fire Mate is available from Bunnings stores nationally.

When deciding on the best fire pit for your home, remember safety comes first. Ensure appropriate clearances as per recommended guidelines, and never place the fire pit on a combustible surface. Glow Fire Pits are available from Bunnings Warehouse and selected independent hardware stores nationally. For more information, visit www.glowheating.com.au.
Till next time... which is your favourite fit pit design?

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Top Tips: Increase Your Laundry Efficiency This Winter!

Winter is setting in and as we move inside from the cold and rain, so too does our laundry. Unfortunately, this leads to cranking up the heat and endless tumble drying to get wet clothes dry and ready to wear, increasing energy usage.

According to Christian Rechichi, Hills Product Manager, the laundry is one of the essential areas within the home, requiring a combination of practicality and functionality. Now, more than ever, Australians are looking for compact drying solutions that are easy to use, built to last and will most importantly, dry their laundry quickly and efficiently. Hills’ latest range of indoor drying products perfectly combine drying efficiency and stylish design, seamlessly blending into your home décor when in use, while also being compact enough to be stored out of sight.
Getting back to basics and air drying your clothing is an easy change and environmentally friendly option that can help dramatically reduce the cost of your household energy bill. Investing in a well-designed airer will guarantee you can dry as many clothes as possible, efficiently, within the space available at home. Laundry specialist, Hills offer these top tips to optimising your laundry organisation.

Keep your clothes mobile
Mobile airers allow you to move your drying around the home. If there’s no one space for your airer, look for one with wheels such as the Hills 3-Tier Mobile Tower Airer (RRP $70.00). They can be moved from room to room with ease. Offering 60 clothes hanger hooks and 19 meters of drying space, this lightweight option is perfect for those who need to make the most out of a smaller space. Adjustable drying racks provide complete drying flexibility, especially when drying larger garments, while the easy glide wheels can be moved around the home and locked in place. Two pivoting frames also allow the airer the placed flat against a wall halving the space required, and when the washing is dry it folds away flat for easy storage.
Use the elements
One important element to improve drying efficiency is airflow. For smaller loads, spreading clothes out across a few extra racks will help air pass between items and carry away moisture, reducing drying times. Hills airers also utilise extra wide drying rails to maximise drying efficiency, even when all rails are in use. Look for a suitable ‘hotspot’ in your home where you can easily set up a portable clothes line or airer. This could be in front of a window where the light and heat from the sun can reach the laundry or between open windows to enable fresh air to flow freely into rooms and create ventilation, to speed up the drying time.

Make the most of your drying space
When deciding on a clothes airer, it is important to first understand the space available in your home, and then the types of items that you dry most frequently. An airer that is too large for a space will make doing the laundry a lot more difficult, and conversely an airer that is too small will not give you the amount of drying space you actually need.

Hills offer a number of different clothes airers that are suitable for different size spaces and drying requirements. The 27m Extendable Winged Airer (RRP $75.00) is a great choice offering features to maximise your drying ability, but also flexible enough to fit lighter loads into a smaller space. With an innovative drop-down arm that makes it easy to hang bath towels and large items, as well as two foldable wings for smaller garments, the 27m Airer is the ultimate clothes drying solution for households big and small.
Keep Clothes Neat and Organised
For best laundry organisation and efficiencies, avoid clothes clutter by allocating a hamper or basket storage area. For a lightweight option, use the stylish Hills Foldable Bamboo Laundry Basket (RRP $31.95) which has a 35L capacity and can hold 8kg load of washing. Available in navy and charcoal, the baskets can be placed in shelf spaces in the laundry area, folded down for easy storage, or can be left out as a contemporary accessory.
With a focus on combining quality and functionality with stylish design, another option for being organised is the Hills Bamboo Hamper (RRP $44.95) which is made from a waterproof polyurethane fabric with a bamboo frame, making it easy to hold multiple wash loads and available in matching navy and charcoal. Streamline the washing process and minimise mess throughout the week by pre-sorting your dirty laundry. Label each section of the hamper with categories for clothing types, such as whites, darks or delicates. This system will make the process faster and easier.
Hills 3 Tier Mobile Tower Airer is available at Mitre 10 and Big W. The Hills Winged Airer, Baskets and Hampers are available through Bunnings Warehouse stores nationwide. To find out more about Hills and stockists, visit www.hillshome.com.au.

Till next time... optimise your laundry organisation!

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