Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Tips to Refresh Your Home Every Season!

Your home is a sanctuary, a place where you and your family can feel comfortable, safe and at ease. How you decorate and style your home can go a long way in having a home that feels like a home. You want to ensure that it feels warm, welcoming and inviting. It’s also important that you put your own stamp on where you live so that it reflects your own individual taste and style.

Over time, however, through general wear and tear, your home can look tired and may need a change. It might just need a fresh coat of paint, some furniture to be updated or some new blinds to bring your home back to life and give it a new lease of life.

Let’s take a look at a few simple ways that you can refresh your home without breaking the bank. 

Move Your Furniture Around
You may have given a lot of thought to where you were going to position your furniture when you moved into your home. However, every now and then you should consider rearranging the furniture that you have to give your space a new feel. Try moving the position of some of your key pieces and give the room a new look. This is a very effective way of breathing new life into your space without spending any money.

Change Your Blinds Or Curtains
How you dress your windows can go a long way to completing the overall look and feel of a room. If you have had the same drab blinds or curtains hanging in your windows for years, maybe now is the time to change them out for something new. If you have small windows, a longer curtain can be a great way to make your windows look bigger than they are. For those on a real budget, simply taking your curtains down and having them professionally cleaned can make them look like new. And, if you have seamstress skills you can change the style of your curtains with some simple modifications.

Declutter Your Home
Nothing will refresh your home better than a good spring clean. Remove any appliances from your kitchen counters that you don’t use every day and make your kitchen look bigger right away. Take some time to go through the cupboards and cabinets throughout your home and get rid of any unnecessary clutter. Apply the ‘one year rule’ and gather together anything that you have not worn, used or looked at in the last year, with the exception of family heirlooms, souvenirs and other treasured or sentimental items. With all of these items sold or donated to charity, your home will feel more spacious and better organised.

Update Your Lighting
The way in which you light your home can have a huge impact on the general ambiance of your home. Changing out your old ceiling light fixtures for a more contemporary design can really help with refreshing your home. With such a huge array of lighting options to choose from nowadays, your lighting fixtures can even serve as a feature piece in your living room or bedroom. You might also consider adding table lamps or standing lamps to change how your home is illuminated and make your home feel even more warm and inviting.

Make Your Home Feel Like New
Updating your home doesn’t need to be a huge task. With a few small changes to key areas of your space, you can make your home feel more refreshing and more welcoming when your family and friends come to visit. Put a plan in place and start making small modifications over time. Before you know it, you will have a home that feels like new!

Apart from the above tips you might also want to redo your garden and seek out pest control in Frankston, to ensure that you and your family are the only ones living on your property. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to take measures every few years to give your home a lift and refresh your space. 

Till next time... have a great week!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Working in a Co-working Space

Having support for any venture can affect how productive a person is, and nowhere is this more evident than the coworking space. The coworking space presents businesses with so many opportunities to get traction in Australia’s diverse business communities simply because it is a community in and of itself. One of the reasons this is true is because, while co-working started out as a place for start-ups to collaborate within a safe space, it has evolved to become a place where social interaction is firmly entrenched in the workspace.

Australia’s version of the coworking space is as equally engaging as the rest of the world in that the mix of sun, sea, and city leisure makes a great cocktail for business success when combined with the workspace. A lot of fun goes on in the coworking space, but make no mistake, a lot of work gets done as well. For those seeking a premium coworking space - Servcorp Australia has one of the best combinations of structured workspace complemented by a convivial atmosphere. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of working in a supportive coworking community.

Finding Mentors
An integral part of developing a business is connecting with others who know more about the business. In a normal workspace environment, these professionals are your colleagues. However, those who own businesses or are self-employed professionals will not get this same interaction unless they are extremely proactive in finding others to connect with outside of their workspace.

The coworking space, alternatively, sets the tone for making all kinds of relationships. In fact, those who choose the popular hot desk as workspace can find themselves interacting with a different person every day of the week if they choose to do so. Furthermore, the professional profile of the coworking space is so diverse that you can find yourself meeting and making friends with people from all fields, ages, and backgrounds.

Belonging To An Inclusive Atmosphere
While the coworking space is a very diverse space, it is also at the same time very inclusive. Many people go about their office search looking for workspace and can do pretty well in this environment, but that is all they get - a place to work. The coworking space presents professionals with the chance to engage professionals from around the world, as Australia’s populations are a mix of both indigenous, European, Asian, and other international cultures. Even the space is very diverse, a concentration on community development is the gel that encourages professionals to participate in the community.

Getting A Chance To Build Teams
The function of the coworking space is so fluid that professionals can meet and be on teams soon after joining the space. Most spaces currently make room for collaboration to occur among teams, whether this space is a designated conference room or whether there are spaces within the open floor plan that are used for collaboration. The chance to work with like-minded people on projects that can potentially raise a platform for other discussions involving your business is priceless and yet another way to benefit from a supportive environment.

Make Life-Long Friendships
The coworking space is a pretty cool space to work. It is one of the most laid-back working environments and one that allows businesses and professionals to potentially work and talk with one another. These opportunities can also help you build a cache of life-long business relationships that can be your support system long after you move onto bigger and better things.


Getting Support And Inspiration
In the end, the coworking space translates into the chance for businesses to create a broad base of support within several industries. More importantly, the coworking community that you create can be a source for both comradery and industry. In the workspace, this perfect combination can serve as inspiration for collaboration within the larger business community. 

Till next time... have a great week!

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Top Tips To Brighten Up Your Home!

The brightness of a space can impact so much on how your home looks and feels. It impacts your mood, your guests, and it can even make your home features look dull. However you can give your home the best outlook by investing in the brightness of your home. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s our top tips to harnessing light in your home.

The right curtains and blinds
First and foremost, your windows are of course the most important consideration when discussing light in your home. They are often the only source of light, so you need to be smart with how you frame them. Sheer curtains and plantation shutters are a popular solution for many homeowners. They are white and light in design, and can filter in large amounts of light while still offering privacy. Frame your windows with the right tools, so that you can harness as much brightness into those spaces that need it most. Depending on the build of your home, you can also explore the cost and process of adding ceiling to floor windows or large bay window in your home. This may be an expensive option, but worth looking into.

Skylights
Skylights are one of the first things prescribed by interior designers. Why? They give so much incremental light to homes of all sizes and styles, and they are completely unobtrusive. Artificial light can only take you so far, and it’s not always the right vibe at various points in the day. Talk to a skylight provider today, and discuss your lighting complications to find out where and how many they would recommend for your space. Also remember that luxury additions like skylights are yet another feature that will add value to your home.

Strategic colours
The brightness of your home is absolutely influenced by the colours you choose to paint your home with. Those maroon or navy walls, while bold, will not make your home seem bright - regardless of what time of day it is. Choose a lighter paint palette or neutral colours to inject some brightness into your home. Having white or light walls is an easy way to increase your brightness tenfold, and it provides a blank canvas for you to inject fun and bright cushions, table clothes, couch throws and occasional furniture. 

Balance the weight of a room
So you have lots of light, the right colours, and it still doesn’t feel quite bright enough? You may have a heavy room on your hands. As the old saying goes, less is more. And too many items, furniture and cluttered bookshelves and tables will give your room a weight that is hard to balance. Do a critical assessment of each room, and nominate what can be removed or repurposed. Balancing your space is hard to do because you grow attached to your belongings, but if they are serving no purpose other than sucking the bright life from your home - they may have to go. There is even a movement where people are living without furniture altogether. You can enlist the help of a trusted friend to give you a neutral opinion on what you can stand to lose from the room.

The quest to a brighter home is one that will bring you much joy, and give you a more relaxing space to unwind or entertain your family and friends. For many, this is a lifelong pursuit so don’t be disheartened if your home isn’t too much brighter by the end of the week. Start with your more important rooms first, and then roll your efforts out to the greater home.

Till next time... keep it simple, keep it bright!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Keeping It Clean!

Your family can bring you joy, pride, heartache, shock and fun. But any family, especially one containing children, also brings along its fair share of mess. Hands leave sticky smears on any polished surface in sight, shoes track unmentionable horrors through your carpet, food falls, pots over-boil, and priceless family heirlooms smash on kitchen tiles. Mess is one of those problems that keeps getting worse until you deal with it. With that in mind, here’s some simple advice for keeping things clean.

Have the Right Tools
This one seems self-explanatory, but it’s important to remember that not all appliances are made equal, and it can be worth forking out a little cash for quality mops, brooms, or vacuum cleaners. The idea is to look at speed and ease of use. Life doesn’t stop for a shattered plate, so you need to be able to clean with minimal disruption.

This also covers things like cleaning chemicals, mops, brooms and even rags.

Tidiness
It can be a challenge, but if your home is tidy, things become significantly easier in the cleaning department. It’s not always possible with children, but if everything has a place it belongs then smoothening out the occasional catastrophe becomes simple. This has the added bonus of teaching everyone in the home what the space is supposed to look like. It’s necessary, because it means that it gives big cleaning tasks a clear end point, which is especially helpful when cleaning with children.

Having a place for all your cleaning equipment is especially useful when organising rags, chemicals and sponges. You probably don’t want the rag that was used in the bathroom to double cleaning duty around the kitchen sink or the dinner table.

Get Everyone On Board
Make sure everyone knows what to do when there’s a mess. If a glass shatters in the kitchen, teach your kids to stay clear of the space. If they are a little bit older, maybe they can fetch the broom. Again, tidiness will help. If the broom is always in the same place, then there is no need to form a search party just to find it.

A key part of cleanliness is maintaining a consistent level throughout the home. This means that cleaning duties can be shared out equally, or according to ability in the case of young children. If you are getting your kids to help, remember that there is nothing worse than cleaning up while somebody else is taking it easy.

With this in mind, make sure you openly communicate with other members of the household or, better yet, see if more than one person can tackle each job. A cleaning schedule can be useful for keeping track of those things. Just remember that, despite your best efforts, cleaning as a family is going to require varying degrees of nagging and cajoling. Be prepared to offer desserts, walks to the park, and screen-time in exchange for cleaning.
Having a cluttered, chaotic, messy home is stressful. Everyone want to enjoy their living space, and you can’t do that if you spend all your time shifting mess from one area to another without ever actually dealing with it. 

While responsibility for mess is an important lesson to teach, that responsibility can be shared. Try and think of mess as simply being part of a running household. The home consists of everybody, and so everybody is responsible for maintaining it's cleanliness.

Till next time... keep it clean!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Dreamy Linen To Refresh Your Bedroom For A New Season!

Decorative wall finishes, cosy textiles, new furniture, warm lighting, layered accessories, sprigs of greenery, pretty flowers all play a very important role when freshening up a space. But often it's the very basics like beautiful, dreamy linen that makes a world of difference! It's amazing how refreshed a bedroom can look if you just change the sheets! And a bedroom refresh is important in every season, after all it's one of the most important rooms in your home.

Since summer is well truly here and autumn is around the corner, a bedroom refresh was long overdue. Previously for winter, my bed linen was a collection of warm textiles and moody colours but for my summer to autumn look I chose to be pared back and minimal. White on white is a classic design choice which pairs well with almost every bed type and decor.

For a look that would transition seamlessly from summer to autumn, I went with the Etoile white quilt cover setEtoile white European pillowcasesMartine sterling cushion from Just Bedding. The embossed white on white cover features a classic floral pattern, woven to create a lightly quilted and soft texture that is both minimalistic and luxurious. Matching euros add a hint of luxe and the softly shimmering Martine sterling cushion completes the overall look. All this ordered online from Just Bedding from the comfort of my sofa!

Just Bedding are a leading online Australian retailer of quality bed linen and accessories housing some amazing brands. Which certainly makes them my number one choice for affordable and beautiful bed linen. Just hop onto their website to have a look and be spoilt for choice!
I am so pleased with my bedroom refresh and if I haven't already, then let me profess my love for the stunning Etoile bedding. Love, love, LOVE!

Till next time... add dreamy linen to refresh your bedroom for a new season!


xox
Rani

Thank you to Just Bedding for the beautiful linen. As always, all design choices, words, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too. And a huge thank you to all of you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A professional studio experience in the comfort of your own home!

Every year for my daughter's birthday, we do a professional photoshoot to capture precious moments of her childhood. Three years running, it's almost become a ritual.

Last year, just before Christmas...well that sounds odd, but yes last year, i.e. 2018, just before Christmas, we did a family photo shoot with Celebrate Studio.

I know what you're thinking, so what's the big deal? Well this was our first professional studio experience in the comfort of our own home! Yes, we've had photographers in our house before, photographing the house or the backyard for magazines, blogs and websites but this was so much more special.

Nas, our photographer extraordinaire from Celebrate Studio, was amazing with Elie who is shy in front of strangers and we managed to get some special candid shots in a very short span of time!

A regular child whisperer, Nas got Elie to  relax and smile from the very first photo! Now I'm not saying every child will be the same, but trust me a studio experience in your own home means that everyone especially the kids or pets are more relaxed. For a further personal touch you could use furniture with sentimental value like we did with our antique chaise you can see in the photos or a nice garden setting, under your favourite tree.

Nas got the most amazing range of candid and posed photos of us. But I have to say I love the honest candid ones the most...especially where we were chuckling and laughing with glee, just happy moments if you get my drift!

With Mother's Day coming up soon, this would make a great surprise gift! Or what about a sweet family photoshoot with the grandparents on their or maybe your birthday! Wouldn't that be nice!

With studios in Moonee Ponds and South Melbourne, Celebrate Studio are offering a professional studio experience in your own home. They bring the studio lights and background to you for short sessions in the comfort and relaxed atmosphere of your home. Highly recommend!
Nas's details are as follows:
Celebrate Studio
Website: www.celebratestudio.com.au
Email: info@celebratestudio.com.au
Ph: 0403 530 566
Facebook: Celebrate Studio
Instagram: @celebrate_studio

Till next time... choose to experience a professional studio experience in the comfort of your own home with Celebrate Studios!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Minimalist Movement - Decorating without Decadence in 2019!

The concept of minimalist living is something that has gained popularity at lighting speed in the last decade or so. Everywhere you go, you’ll see minimalism applied, whether it is in design, living or even photography and fashion. Minimalism is a way to introduce some peace into our otherwise hectic modern lives, and it is no wonder that so many are looking towards minimalist design when it comes to furnishing and decorating their homes. In this article, we will look at how you too can introduce the concept of minimalism into your home surroundings, so read on to find out more!

Functionality Is Key
When it comes to adopting a minimalist lifestyle or design, nothing is more important than functionality. Afterall, if you’re going to get rid of clutter and only focus on what you need, you need to ensure that what you have is not just aesthetically pleasing but also serves a functional purpose. A great way to begin your journey to minimalism is to focus on the necessities. Everything in your room should be functional - from that wall clock to your couch. Choose pieces that serve a purpose - whether that be chic looking storage furniture that helps you hide some of your mess or wooden stools that can be used as both a tabletop and a seat. In a minimalist room, even decorations serve a purpose. A good train of thought is to go for pieces that start at the basics, and only build upon them when necessary.

Clear The Clutter
Look around your space - does it look cluttered? Do you have too many things that you don’t even use? Is your lamp collecting dust from years of neglect? Minimalism is about sticking to the basics and ridding yourself of unnecessary and unsightly clutter. Always ask yourself what can be eliminated, what can be stored out of sight and what items in your home you think don’t quite serve a purpose in your space. Once you have gotten rid of clutter, you are rewarded with free space which you can use to truly maximise the efficiency of your design. A great tip is to be consistent in this process, and do a mini “clearing out” once every few months, so that you don’t let any mess accumulate over time. 

Select Neutral Bases and Colour Schemes
When it comes to minimalist design, one of the golden rules is to select neutral bases and colour schemes. If you’re someone who is more into eclectic and out there styles, minimalism may not be for you! Subdued hues are the best options for a minimalist styled room, with popular options usually being whites, greys, and beige. These colours inspire a sense of calm and bring a zen like quality to any space.

With that said, just because you’re using subdued hues doesn’t mean your room has to be boring. There are a variety of textured paints you can use, and different shades of whites and greys that you can incorporate into your interior design. You can also introduce small pops of colour with some simple artwork or decorations, but do try to keep these to a minimum, or use them more as focal pieces rather that scattering your space with too many different colours. 

Quality, Not Quantity
Going back to the point of focusing on functionality, when it comes to furniture, you’re going to want to opt for quality over quantity. Impulse buys of trendy items may turn out to be a complete waste of money, as they will not fit into your design, nor will they offer you the functionality that you’re looking for in a minimalist room.

Instead invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time and won’t need replacement for a long time to come. Chances are, high quality furniture and fittings also tend to be the most simple looking ones. Minimalism isn’t just about design either - it plays into our lives as we try to reduce the amount of things we dispose of in a bid to conserve the environment and reduce our contributions to landfills. Purchasing quality over quantity will aid in this process, so always look out for pieces that are well made and will last you a lifetime. 

I hope that this article has inspired you in your journey towards minimalism. Decorating without decadence doesn’t have to be a dull process - it is a whole learning journey in itself that hopefully you’ll learn to absolutely love!

Till next time... start a minimalist movement in 2019!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Top Tips for Summer Gardening

Happy New Year! Can you believe its 2019!?! And we're starting the year off with beautiful but hot summer months. Summer gardens are an important component in Aussie downtime. Alongside the beautiful weather, it’s also a bountiful season for backyard flora. 

Numerous plants burst into bloom or bear fruit at this time of year, but the hot almost scorching weather can also be tough on plants, so it’s important to take care of the garden and with some careful planning and the right tools, promote healthy growth throughout the summer season.

Here are some top tips and tools for keeping your outdoor space under control and looking good this summer.

Mulch mulch mulch!
A fresh layer of mulch helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. In fact, mulch can reduce evaporation from the soil surface by as much as 70 per cent when applied correctly, so it’s a vital ingredient in obtaining a water-wise garden. It can also help to prevent soil erosion and even-out temperature variations.

First, it’s important to give the area a good weed and soak, then spread a 5cm layer of mulch evenly over the soil with Cyclone’s Multi-Purpose Poly Shovel ($49.50). This specialist tool is moulded from a single piece of polypropylene, making it virtually unbreakable and super lightweight to make light work of shifting bulky mulch. Organic mulches such as straw and bark break down over time, helping to nourish and improve the soil. Just avoid placing them too close to the stems of plants to avoid rotting.

Fruitful planning
Deciduous trees that bear summer fruit benefit from a good prune as soon as the crop is harvested. Plants that bear new wood this season, such as peaches and nectarines, are also good candidates for a summer prune. Summer cuts heal quicker, so there’s less chance of disease entering the plant. It also helps promote a bumper crop for the following season, as it gives the plant plenty of time to develop lots of new fruit-producing growth instead.

Start by removing any dead, damaged or diseased limbs. Then tackle any structural flaws like crossing or rubbing limbs and branches that grow inwards. Finally, cut back one third to one half of all growth made since spring. Prune smaller stems with a Cyclone Aluminium Bypass Pruner ($39.98), and easily cut through thicker branches with a Cyclone Compound Bypass Lopper ($49.98) to help avoid damaging the plant, or yourself, in the process.

Prolong perennial colour
Similarly, pruning faded and dead flowers reaps great benefits at this time of year. Summer is the height of perennial colour, with vibrant species like Rudbeckias, Salvias, Phlox and Blanket in bloom. This action of ‘dead-heading’ not only keeps plants looking tidy, it can prolong the flowering of some perennials and encourage another flush of flowers. Simply prune off spent buds with a pair of Cyclone Floral Snips ($13.98). These tools are specifically designed with delicate blades to help avoid cutting any live flowers early.

Ruffle up the roses 
Most of us think of rose pruning as a winter job, but if you want to get the best out of repeat-flowering varieties, such as Autumn Damask or Gypsy Boy roses, then summer pruning is a must. After each flush of flowers simply prune off a third of the growth in a rounded shape using a pair of Cyclone Straight Hedge Shears ($39.98). Yes hedge shears! It’s that easy. The straight blades are perfect precise pruning, while the stem cutter (known as a notched blade) on the shear is ideal for managing larger stems with ease. You’ll be rewarded with another flourish of blooms six to eight weeks later. A great idea is to time your pruning ready for them to re-flower for a special event or garden party.

Improve your soil
Warmer weather is great for giving your compost heap an extra boost. It’s also an environmentally friendly way to recycle the additional kitchen and garden waste we get around the festive season.

Adding compost to your garden beds helps nourish and enrich the soil by encouraging healthy microbial activity, as well as improve its structure, drainage and moisture holding ability. Add a good balance of ‘green’ matter, like vegetable peelings and lawn clippings, and ‘brown’ matter like dry leaves, shredded newspaper and straw to the compost mix.
For the best quality compost turn your heap every three to four days – air is important to the decomposition process and turning re-heats the pile to keep it in an aerobic state, as well as eliminate odours. 
The Cyclone Garden Fork ($59.90) is the best choice for this task, as the tines help create additional passageways for air and moisture in the pile while turning it compared to a spade. The four tines are also forged from a single piece of steel, so they’re super tough and versatile.
Whenever you’re working in the backyard in summer, its important to do hard work when it’s cool – either early in the morning or later in day. By using the right tool for specific jobs, you can also save yourself some serious time and effort.

The Cyclone garden range comes with a lifetime warranty and is available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse Stores and all good garden and hardware retailers.

Till next time... have a great week and a wonderful year ahead!


About the company
With a prestigious history that extends for more than 100 years, Cyclone has become the most respected name in gardening tools, landscaping and insect screening. They’ve got your back with products suited to a comprehensive range of domestic and commercial tasks. Designed with comfort and quality in mind, Cyclone tools are built tough to last a lifetime.

Big thanks to Tristan Eastaugh, Product Manager at Cyclone for providing the tips to keeping your garden looking beautiful in the summer months.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Smash Bento Lunch Box Kit Review

My my little lady started full time daycare and I've been on the hunt for a pretty pink lunch box for her, so when Smash HQ approached me to review their lunch box kit I was super excited!

Buying a lunchbox for your toddler is like buying that all important diaper bag. It has to be just right with the right number for pockets, zips, easy to clean and not to mention it needs to look good! Am I right? Well, the pretty and deceptively compact Smash Bento lunch kit makes packing lunches for a fussy three year who loves her raspberry jam toasts with blueberries a breeze!
The Bento lunch kit comes in a cute underwater design which my three year old is currently obsessed with and includes a BPA free lunch box, unicorn sipper bottle, shell shaped sandwich cutter and a 22 piece sticker set which is super handy.

The Bento lunchbox has two compartments that are perfect for separating and storing sandwiches and snacks like fresh fruits, or crackers and cheese or carrot sticks. The lunch box is easy for a child to open yet strong and leak proof which is super handy. The Bento has a relatively large capacity even though it's pretty slim and it's also microwave safe. Best of all, you can put the lunch box straight into the dishwasher!

The 450 ml unicorn sipper bottle with a spill resistant sipper cup is BPA free (complete peace of mind) and dishwasher safe in the top rack.The shell-shaped sandwiches are the cutest! My daughter calls them Moana sandwiches! Other than sandwiches, you can also make shell shaped open pizzas with nutritious veggie/chicken toppings or give shell-shaped watermelon pieces a go! The sticker set is pretty handy too. No more lost lunchboxes! Woohoo!The Bento lunchbox kit is great for the pre-schooler or when your toddler starts daycare or even when packing a lunch for a visit to the zoo or a picnic at the park. It has our seal of approval for sure!

The Bento lunchbox kit launches in store in Big W on 15 December and is only available while stocks last, so hurry hurry hurry!

Till next time... happy shopping!
xox
Rani
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