Monday 31 July 2017

4 Ways to Make Your Bed Magazine Worthy!

Your bedroom is the most intimate room of your home and it is important to style it in a way that engages and also relaxes your senses.

The bed is undoubtedly one of the most important and biggest pieces of furniture in your bedroom. A beautifully made bed with soft dreamy linen, perfectly stacked pillows and a warm and comfortable duvet is not only inviting but also important for a good night's rest. However, creating the perfect bed depends on your personal style unique to your lifestyle choices. You may love a bed that’s bohemian chic with lots of paisley prints and textured animal throws or you may prefer a softer, country look with lots of white, trimmings and pastels. Or the currently popular Scandinavian style with a minimalist approach of cool whites and soft greys with pops of colour and layers of natural texture. Or what about an eclectic contemporary bedroom with a bold colour palette with lots of cushions and colourful throws that creates interest and looks cosy and inviting?

Whatever your preference, there are certain trade secrets to making your bed look like it fell off the pages of a magazine. In this article, Manchester Madness, a premium bed & bath retailer, spills their top four industry secrets to making a bed camera ready. And if you've ever wondered how you can make your own bed worthy of the bespoke plush style you love in design magazines, then read on!

Pick a Colour
A beautiful bed depends generally on the style and colour palette of the room. Colour creates a sense of unity in a room and ties your furniture selection, linen and accessories together to create a dreamy space. Think about whether you want your bedroom to be dark and moody, or dressed in pretty pastels, minimalist and monochromatic or full of bold, primary colours. This will help you pick a colour and style that fits perfectly with your room. Bed linen is a great way to dial up the style factor in your bedroom. You can choose to introduce colour with patterned bed linen or pare back the colour palette with pristine white or pastel shades.

For example, if your bedroom is spatially tight, you might prefer an achromatic theme with a white quilt cover set such as the Collette Dinnigan Sorento Blue Quilt Cover Set to create the illusion of space. Or you might prefer a natural earthy colour palette in the bedroom and choose to make the bed the focal point by using a bedspread that has an edgy striking pattern punctuated with accent colours. On the other hand, if your bedroom has a bold feature wall, choosing a quilt colour that’s softer and sophisticated will help you create a harmonious space. Or if your bedroom looks dull and lifeless and needs a splash of colour, the Linen House Hotel Collection Quilt Cover in Navy is a timeless choice to dial up the style quotient. In the end, the bedroom needs to be a relaxed and refreshing space and therefore choosing a colour scheme that works for you is important.

Add Texture
After deciding on a colour scheme and choosing the quilt cover for the bed, the next step is to create depth and interest. Throws are a great way to introduce texture and continue and complement the colour scheme of the bed. This is one of the primary tricks décor magazines use to create an appealing, luxurious and 'soft' looking bed. If you’re decorating your daughter’s bedroom for example, you’d likely choose a fluffy pink faux fur casually draped at the end of the bed to add warmth and texture. However, if you were decorating a Scandinavian inspired interior, you might choose a woollen throw in a neutral shade with a large weave to add visual appeal and interest. To create more texture think about adding a natural rug underfoot in a complementary colour. Apart from throws and rugs, texture can also be added by choosing a ruffled quilt and the Sandy Golden Quilt Cover from Linen House is a great example of this. A design tip would be to add layers through a combination of a bedspread and a duvet, or a duvet and a throw or all three to create the 'soft sink-in' and plush look we all love in the design magazines!

Pillow Talk
At Manchester Madness, we subscribe to the idea that you can never have enough when talking pillows. In fact, if you want a magazine inspired look, we insist you use at least four pillows and three scatter cushions. If you want a luxe look with added height, start with two Euro shams, layer on four standard pillows and three decorative scatter or throw cushions in accent colours or patterns. The trick to multiple pillows is to keep those you actually sleep on, a different shape or colour from your decorative ones. Pillow covers and decorative scatter cushions are a fantastic way to add style, introduce colour, texture and interest to create an overall cohesive theme in your bedroom!

While the choice of pillow shape, colour and texture similarly goes back to the style of your bedroom, we always recommend choosing a pillow with smoothing memory foam or soft bamboo - so your bed is as soft and inviting as it looks.

Complementary Sheets
Speaking of making a bed comfortable, the best beds use well chosen linen and fabrics to add style and comfort! For example, if you have a spacious, light room you might prefer the natural, breathable fabric of cotton percale. If you like a luxe, slinky, dare we say, romantic feel to your sheets, cotton sateen is a great option. If you prefer a more lived-in look, a crinkled 'freshly laundered' natural linen looks great. Just remember the higher the thread count, the more luxurious-feeling the sheets. However when dressing your bed, take into consideration the weather. In summer, thread counts of 800+ can feel a bit heavy, so it’s a good idea to go for something lighter and in winter the more luxe your sheets, the better you'll sleep! The best sheets will definitely add to the overall style and look of your bedroom. 

Incorporating these four simple yet clever tips from Manchester Madness in your own bedroom will make it a dreamy, inviting space! Remember to add layers and variation through the different elements on your bed to create a sense of comfort, warmth and luxury to create an envious and stylish bed!

Till next time... why not make your bed look like it belongs in the next issue of your favourite design magazine!


This post was created in collaboration with Manchester Madness. I only ever endorse or write about products that I absolutely believe in and would have happily promoted regardless.

About Manchester Madness
Manchester Madness is a premium bed and bath retailer that has over 20 years of industry experience. Based in Alexandria, Sydney, contact Manchester Madness for any bedding industry questions or needs.

Friday 28 July 2017

PowerPark: Paving The Way For The Next Solar Revolution!

We all know that solar energy is the most important source of energy for all life forms and unlike fossil fuels it is abundant, clean and renewable. According to the Clean Energy Australia Report released in 2016, renewable energy is now the cheapest of its kind when it comes to power generation, costing less than new coal plants and definitely much less than gas fired power plants. According to the comprehensive report, large-scale solar installations are almost half the cost of what it was previously and a lot more productive, efficient and effective, accelerating the growth of solar farms, rooftop solar systems and contributing to meeting Australia's national RET (Renewable Energy Target).

What does this mean for the general public? Well, for homeowners and commercial businesses, harnessing this green energy will mean significant cuts in electricity bills, more savings in the pocket and lower carbon footprint to benefit our one and only environment.

With innovative technological advancements constantly being made in this field, solar panel designs, structures, form and functionalities are changing to find new methods of harnessing this energy. Since solar power is the cornerstone of Australia's renewable future, consumers like you and me are looking for creative ways to incorporate solar power into our lives. Enter PowerPark.

I recently came across PowerPark, a company that has just delivered Australia’s first solar car shade. We all know what car shades look like, but apart from just providing shelter for stationary or parked vehicles they are an opportunity to harness solar power and generate clean energy. Now the question is why am I talking about renewable energy on an interior design blog? Well, because firstly the need for a cleaner and greener environment affects us all and secondly, PowerPark is now designing PowerPark+ and PowerPark Lite to cover public areas and home carports.

I had the opportunity to interview Paul Nealgrove, Project and Design Consultant at PowerPark on taking the next step in the solar revolution with their innovative initiative of solar power car shade systems for commercial and residential properties!How has usage of solar power or renewable energy evolved over the years in the Australian market?

Working in the solar industry in Australia for the last 8 years, one can only describe the experience as a roller coaster of ups and downs. Adoption of solar technology has increased from 153MW in Jan 2010, to 5834MW in 2017. But that incline has not always been steady. With residential consumer confidence marred by the abolishment of Government aided ‘Feed in Tariffs’ in 2010/11, and politically driven negativity regarding renewables being a constant burden on the sector. Thankfully, and unsurprisingly the Australian people’s thirst for clean, and affordable energy has continued to grow stronger regardless. There wasn’t much of a ‘commercial solar market’ in 2010, with system sizes ranging from 1.5 – 5kW being the most popular for residential homes. However, as coal fuelled energy costs have continued to spiral, the past 5 years has seen an enormous growth for large scale energy users adopting solar technology to help keep their businesses from running at a loss, whilst also helping to keep their emissions ratings in check.
What has been the inspiration behind PowerPark?

The concept of PowerPark was driven by several things. The frustration of potential customers of whom did not have adequate roof space to install solar, and the opportunity to create a renewable technology that Australia that had not seen previously. Opening up an entirely different platform of users, and opening the door to system sizes that can reach MW instead of KW.

And whilst also serving two purposes at one - shading from the fierce Australian elements, whilst at the same time harnessing its power for the good!
What differentiates PowerPark from other competitors in the Australian market?

PowerPark is about ‘solar architecture’. Not just putting solar panels on an existing surface, but taking solar technology and finding new ways to enable people to harness it. Incorporating solar into structures that provide duel benefits means the business case for PowerPark systems is a double edged sword. Often our clients may already be looking for some form of shading or shelter for an area of their premises, and also have solar energy on their agenda too. We enable the business to bring those two requirements together; stylishly, cost effectively and efficiently! The financial benefits provided by the solar energy, means they are effectively offsetting the cost of the shade structure AND their carbon footprint. PowerPark systems are also certified ‘Australian Made’ of which I think we are the only manufacturer in the country to have this certification.

How will installing solar powered car shade systems help in saving money and reduce carbon footprint?

The clean power generated from the system is fed directly to the premises during daylight hours. This offers a direct offset from the amount of ‘dirty’ power they need to purchase from their supplier. Meaning significantly lower cost energy bills, and as no fossil fuels play a part in its production, your carbon footprint is therefore minimised accordingly.

A great natural benefit of solar for a lot of businesses is that solar power generation is often at its peak mid-afternoon, due to the solar radiation from the sun being at its strongest then. This also happens to be the time of day that electricity is most expensive for many. So solar energy can have a major impact on peak demand charges as peak demand charges are a huge burden for businesses.
Can you describe the design and installation process the bespoke car shade solar panels?

There’s a multitude of requirements that we incorporate into our design process to make PowerPark the ‘go to’ brand for solar car shades. There’s some really cool designs out there, but a lot of them are very inefficient from a cost perspective, which renders them cost prohibitive for most. So we are constantly trying to reach the perfect balance of modern aesthetics, form, real world function, longevity and as always, affordability plays a key role too. We want people to be able to utilise this technology!

Once we’ve ticked these boxes on a design brief, we can then start to move on to the next level, which is the engineering specifics.

PowerPark incorporates a unique ‘slide in’ panel design. This makes inserting the panels to the system a lot more secure, whilst also A LOT faster than any other method we’ve seen. That’s a great feature of PowerPark systems. When you're talking about systems that in some cases can house several thousands of solar modules, that’s a great feature to have, particularly if you’re the guy tasked with installing the panels. But also the guy who pays his hourly wages.

We have a standard set of systems that can be transposed to a wealth of different car park layouts. Once we have assessed the layout of a particular car park we can suggest the most effective design. We can then advise on the solar power output for that given design. Once the client has approved the design, we get to work with completing the engineering specifics for the site, and move forth with the installation.

We’re embracing automation having invested in our very own ‘in house’ Robotic welding station. This is enabling us to stay future proofed in terms of production capabilities, whilst also ensuring a level of quality control required for the 25 year warranty on our systems.
What are you (PowerPark) working on at the moment?

We are very excited about our latest development, which is Australia’s first solar powered bowling green canopy which we have named ‘PowerBowl’. We believe PowerBowl will be a game changer not just for the lawn bowl community, but for all kinds of outdoor sporting facilities. Many of which have already reached capacity of their rooftop solar, so this brings together the benefits of shading from the elements, but also huge solar power capabilities of up to 500MW of clean power per annum.

We’ve spent a long time refining the overall look of the PowerBowl system. Working with such a wide spaning canopy of 40m+ is pretty challenging in itself, but we thought we wanted to go further than that, and ensure the visual impact of the structure could stand the test of time. There’s certain technical constraints that working with solar pv. We have to ensure the maximum exposure of the panels. Solar panels can be temperamental beasts, and they have a ‘sweet spot’ for peak performance in terms of the angle they are placed.

Then you have to consider the build up of debris (which effects the performance also), so we’ve designed the system to be the most effective at self cleaning. And then there’s the customer experience underneath the canopy. All of this and many more considerations have been factored into the final design, and we are now soon to be unveiling the first landmark PowerBowl system, at the Casino RSM bowling club in northern NSW, and we are extremely excited. It really will mark a new milestone for solar integrated architecture in Australia!

How would one go about creating a ROI/revenue stream from their commercial carpark or their home carports?

The most straightforward way would be to feed the solar power directly to your existing metering set-up. This provides a supply of clean energy to reduce the amount of power purchased from the grid. Then there’s the advancement in battery storage technologies, with the likes of the Tesla Powerwall soon to be a huge game changer. This will effectively allow people to control their own clean energy power station’s from their home or business. It really is a pretty exciting and empowering time for renewable technology.

Embedded networks are another game changer allowing businesses to be their own energy company. Generating their own solar power and on-selling at a fairer rate to their tenants.

What advice can you give those seeking a career in innovative product design? (Designing innovative car shade systems, solar panels etc)

I’d recommend getting a solid grounding in the principles of Photovoltaics and some of the constraints that it brings. Otherwise you could be running with an idea that may look great, but could be severely limited in efficiency. But saying that, aesthetics is vital. So aim for the best visuals, and work backwards from there. There’s loads of CAD design software available nowadays to help you play around with design concepts.

What 3 words best describe the brand - PowerPark?
Innovative solar architecture

How does integrated EV charging work and what does this mean for our future?

EV charge points can easily be incorporated. With the uptake of electric vehicles ever on the increase this is another key technology that PowerPark systems can assist with, by exporting clean power to fuel EV power needs. We’ve incorporated a ‘Chargepoint’ EV charge station to several PowerPark installations, and I think EV charging stations will soon become part of everyday life for all of us in the very near future.
What is the future of solar energy and more specifically solar powered car shade systems in Australia? 

The shift to battery storage will be the biggest game changer. So I think we’ll see businesses looking for ways to gain more access to solar power to feed into their batteries. Utilising driveways at home, or commercial parking spaces to extending on to existing rooftop systems will be the obvious next step. People will be expanding their existing systems and be looking for new ways to add solar. Different technologies such as solar roof tiles and solar windows will also play a role too.

What is your key message to the Australian market?

The technology’s there. It’s tried and tested. And its cheaper than coal power too. So let’s utilise it.The world is slowly yet surely shifting gears towards greater sustainability and becoming more environmentally conscious. Apart from reducing ecological footprint, solar energy is a long-term investment that will help produce clean energy and reap definite dividends. The fact that solar panels are no longer big, bulky, unflattering installs but sleek and aesthetically pleasing designs that are more affordable is a huge bonus!

When designing homes and commercial properties, architects and interior designers need to start incorporating discrete solar panels on rooftops, carports and garages creating greater functionality of under-utilised spaces and adding to the value of the home/property, saving money for their clients while benefitting the environment. This is the next step in interior, residential and commercial property design.

Till next time... have a think if you would like to incorporate a PowerPark carport in your home, save money and become an eco-warrior!


A huge thank you to Paul Nealgrove for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer all our burning questions about solar energy and providing us with an insight into PowerPark and solar car shade systems. Also a thank you to Nick Cavarretta for organising the interview. 

This post was created in collaboration with PowerPark. I only ever work or endorse brands that I love and I think you will too. Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with us.

Thursday 27 July 2017

BoConcept - Top Scandinavian Design Furniture in Sydney

Have you hopped onto the Danish design train yet? If you haven't, I suggest you jump aboard and have a look the sophisticated style urban Danish design has to offer. It's a mega popular design style characterised by relaxed European interior design, natural textures and light wooden accents. When furnishing your home, it can be quite difficult to find the perfect style. If you already love the light bright Scandinavian style of decorating but don't quite know how and where to start, then BoConcept can help you transition your house into a home. A home that makes you smile when you walk in the door. One that welcomes you with soft, inviting textures and tactile materials under your feet and beneath your hands. One that inspires you with sophisticated urban design deeply rooted in timeless Danish tradition. A home that is beautiful.... unmistakably sophisticated and one that complements and blends in seamlessly with your lifestyle.
BoConcept is the brand name of Denmark's most global retail furniture chain with 250 sales units in 60 countries around the world. They have an exclusive furniture range offering the latest Scandinavian designs that can be customised and coordinated completely to your need and style through many distinct designs and customisation options including size, colour and material. And it doesn't end there! BoConcept even offer an interior design service, where their professionals create a whole style based on your personal choices, likes and dislikes. I first came across BoConcept while I was in the UK. I was walking down Finchley Road when I was stopped in my tracks by this gorgeous store filled with the most beautiful furniture. The pairing of sharp-edged bookcases with tactile soft rounded armchairs, white on white design, dark grey contrasting pieces paired with blonde wooden accents and just the most stunning pared back minimalist style! In this article, BoConcept have rounded up a few favourite and popular customisable Danish pieces that can transform your home into an unforgettable, unique and beautiful space.

Copenhagen Wall Unit
Flexibility is the key with the Copenhagen wall unit by BoConcept. Show what you want, and hide everything else through a combination of open and closed shelving units that can be customised to your specific needs. As functional and flexible as it is beautiful, the Copenhagen wall unit can be transformed into a bookcase, a TV unit, or even a sideboard.  You can choose from either a black or white soft finish for a beautiful Danish feel throughout your home.
Milano Dining Table
The Milano dining table features an unique appearance with clean lines that will surely lift the style of any dining room. It also has a built-in extendable function that caters for extra seating for up to 12 guests. This modern dining table can be customised according to your wishes. You can choose from varied sizes, tabletops and leg designs, to coordinate a striking setting for your dining room.
Osaka Sofa
The Osaka sofa by BoConcept features a light look and slim proportions. It is ideal for small living spaces, but works equally well in larger rooms. The pure lines on the Osaka are softened with beautifully crafted details such as the elegant seams on the edges and optional tufting on the seat cushions. Again it is fully customisable to suit your taste and style, with a choice of over 120 different seating units, premium leather and fabrics, exciting colours, and elegant leg designs. You also have the choice between a classic straight armrest or one that curves slightly. You can’t go wrong with this stunning Scandinavian sofa.

BoConcept have a range of striking Nordic designs and styles, along with exciting colours and beautiful materials available. You can mix and match pieces from their modern Scandinavian furniture range to coordinate a unique European style for your home interior. So if you are looking to give your home a sophisticated urban facelift, have a look at what BoConcept has to offer.

Till next time... I'm off to flip through the BoConcept 2017 catalogue! I have my eye on that gorgeous Copenhagen wall unit!


To find out more about BoConcept, visit their website at All images provided by BoConcept. This post was created in collaboration with BoConcept. I only ever work or endorse brands that I love and I think you will too.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

House Envy: Darren & Deanne Jolly's Suburban Paradise!

Do you watch The Block? In our home, we are huge fans of the Aussie home renovation show. Couple of seasons ago Darren & Dee Jolly were my hot favourites on the show. Their design acumen, tenacity and eye for detail is truly commendable. Dee's impeccable styling and design skills are so on en pointe with what is trending in the world of design at the moment- a soft modern Scandinavian style with a lived-in yet luxe and stylish feel!After the Block, the renovating couple, undertook a mammoth task of renovating an old worker's cottage into a contemporary Australiana style family home in Melbourne's suburb of Kew East. The renovation was completed in just under a year and cost almost a million dollars! But the result is a stunning visual feast! The home features multiple living spaces and a beautiful outdoor area and pool. Each room is a stylist's dream and you can literally see Dee's signature eye for detail in every vignette. The use of a soft and subtle paint palette, calacatta marble, seagrass wallpaper, floating vanities and crinkled linen are all Deanne Jolly's trademark! So take a leisurely walk through this charming family home and see if the green eyed monster bites you too! Carefully thought out furniture placement, gorgeous play of light and natural textures, high spec finishings and fabulous use of every space makes this tastefully renovated Californian bungalow just perfection! I'm definitely smitten and bitten by the green eyed monster. You?

Share with us in the comments below which is your favourite room in this beautiful home.

P.S. Darren and Dee's four bedroom Californian bungalow sold for more than a cool $2.9 million and set a new benchmark for Kew East!

Till next time... don't forget to watch The Block starting Sunday July 30th on Channel 9!


Friday 21 July 2017

What's Your Sofa Psychology?

Everybody I know, owns a sofa. Everybody you know owns a sofa. But have you ever wondered what your choice of sofa says about your personality? Why are you attracted towards a certain style of seating and not towards others?

In fact, no single item says more about you than the sofa in your living room. For example, owning a sofa bed reveals that are an spontaneous, multi-tasker. You may hardly use the bed functionality, but you have it available in the event an extra bed is ever needed.

Tufty Time Sofa have detailed a sofa psychology infographic that summarises what type and colour of sofa you choose reveals about you.
The Sofa Psychology
So what did you learn about your personality? What does your sofa say about you? Share with us in the comments below.

Just remember this is a bit of fun and not to be taken extremely seriously!

Till next time... check out your sofa psychology!


The Sofa Psychology, courtesy of Tufty Time Sofa
Eric Nguyen is a content creator at North Teak – A live edge furniture e-commerce in Richmond BC who loves to create inspirational content regarding interior design.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

The Potentials of Plastic Lumber

You may have seen plastic lumber furniture before. However, if you've ever wondered whether it is worth your time and money, hopefully this article can help you make the choice.

If you feel like you have to see these products for yourself, companies such as Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego offer a variety of plastic lumber furniture pieces which you can see and test before you decide to purchase.
What’s It Made of?
This material can be made from recycled or new plastics. Naturally, it is more environmentally friendly if recycled plastic is used. There are many types of plastics which can be recycled into plastic lumber. Ranging from standard polyethylene and PVC, all the way to polystyrene and PP. There are recycling companies solely devoted to recycling plastics in order to prepare them for use in plastic lumber manufacturing.
How It’s Made
The material used for production is typically in the form of small pellets. This material is then heated to 400°F, which is about 200°C. Various additives are added to the base material to ensure the consistent color, strength, durability and other factors are consistent. With modern equipment, companies can now determine the right proportion of chemicals and additives to achieve the wanted properties even before they cast a single block of plastic lumber. Once the mixing is complete, the mass is extruded into pieces which can be used for furniture production or any other intended use. Molds can simulate wood patterns on the pieces if necessary.

What Are Its Applications?
There are a variety of uses for these lumber substitutes. However, due to their properties, they are most commonly used for outdoor decks, railings, and fences. Some communities have substituted their wooden park benches with these durable materials. When it comes to residential use, a variety of door and window frames can be made to simulate wooden ones, with the extra durability of plastics.

Another major application for plastic lumber is patio furniture, replacing the wicker and wood as the preferred material for these applications. When you consider the properties of the material, it is not difficult to understand why.
Advantages over Wood
The primary advantage of plastic lumber over natural wood is its durability. Some companies are offering as many as 20 years of guarantee on their products. Furthermore, this material is resistant to splintering and chipping, unlike natural wood. It also doesn’t require much maintenance. With wooden furniture, you need to prime and paint it every so often. Plastic lumber does not require any kind of painting since it already comes in a variety of fade-protected colors. What’s more, it is resistant to any kind of insect or mold and rot infestations, unlike its natural counterpart.

Despite the numerous advantages plastic lumber has over natural wood, this material is not perfect. It does have some downsides. For one, it is susceptible to permanent deformation under sustained heavy loads, the so-called creep.

Furthermore, the flexural strength of the material is lower than wood, meaning it is more likely to break under significant pressure. Various composite materials, such as fiberglass-reinforced plastic lumber tend to fix this problem, though.The Future of Plastic Lumber
When it originally appeared, it was lauded by environmentalists as a potentially game-changing material, but it was largely ignored by the construction companies as a serious contender. However, things are changing rapidly, and plastic lumber is slowly but surely gaining a foothold in the construction industry. The fact that it can be worked with regular woodworking tools is a big plus with construction companies since no further investment into equipment is necessary to start incorporating it into their portfolios.

Plastic lumber has a twofold positive effect on the environment. Fewer trees need to be felled for the production of lumber and all that waste plastic doesn’t end up in the landfill but is recycled and repurposed. If you are looking for ways to help nature, consider plastic lumber as a potential win-win. Till next time...go green and check out the potentials of plastic lumber!


About Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego 
Skylar’s Home and Patio is the leading home furniture store in San Diego founded in 2010. The company aims to create a comfortable living space both inside and outside of your home. Skylar’s is a family-owned, local business with strong ties to the San Diego community.

Get in touch with Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego at:
9160 Kearny Villa Ct, San Diego, CA 92123, USA

Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego
s Home and Patio is the leading home furniture store in San Diego found
ed in 2010. The company
aims to create a comfortable living space both inside and outside of yo
ur home. Skylar
s is a family-
owned, local business with strong ties to the San Diego community.
Get in touch with Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego
9160 Kearny Villa Ct, San Diego, CA 92123, USA

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Cosy Up with a Gas Log Fire!

During the chilly winter months, there is nothing cosier than snuggling in front of a flickering flame of an open fire! A fireplace can make a dramatic difference to the interiors of any home. It creates warmth and comfort in a space while adding elegance, beauty and ambience. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of fireplaces these days and various designs and styles offered to you by different suppliers, it can be tough choosing just one particular style.

Today, we're taking a look at gas log fireplaces that look beautiful and realistic without the usual hassles of an open fire.

Considerations for Choosing a Fireplace

You need to decide why you need this fireplace - is it only for the ambience or are you looking for a source of heat and warmth in the cold winter months?
For heating purposes, you need to opt for a fireplace which provides equal distribution of heat. With a gas log fireplace, you can keep your room warm during the winter while regulating the temperature of the fireplace according to your convenience.

Costs of Energy
Considering this cost before you opt for a specific fireplace is very important as this can determine how much you will be spending on the running and the maintenance of a fireplace. For gas log fireplaces, you can save on power consumption costs while being environmentally friendly. What are the benefits of installing gas log fireplaces?
Gas logs fireplaces tend to be a perfect choice for all those homeowners love a bit of drama sans the hassles! So if you are looking for a wood-burning fire place which enhances the design of your home without the cost and efforts of daily maintenance, gas log fireplaces could be the best option. Also as there are multiple design options available, you could be spoilt for choice!

#1. Beauty and Practicality
Gas log fireplaces are high on the scale for beauty and practicality. You have a choice between rocks, quartz, coal or ceramic logs all of which look as realistic as possible. The media of the flame can be simulated or even real. You can also choose between the different finishes of glass fronts.

#2. Lesser Emissions
With multiple gas log fireplace options available you can pick and choose the one which produces fewer emissions. They tend to produce emissions which are almost 40% lower as compared to firewood. There are no harmful particles emitted with gas log fires. These are ideal for all those who are suffering from allergic conditions and also those who would like to be kinder to the environment.
#3. Easy Operations 
Unlike traditional wood fire fireplaces where you are required to arrange for logs which are cut and dried, gas log fireplaces can be turned on and off in an instant. You can easily regulate the flame or the temperature of the fireplace according to your needs making them very easy to operate.

#4. Hassle Free
Gas logs do not leave a mess so there is virtually no clean-up required. There is no soot and ash to be cleaned up. There is no involvement of shovels, buckets or brushes. You can use this fireplace for a long time and you do not need to pay any additional cost for maintaining these fireplaces. However like with everything, maintenance is important for effective operation, so ensure that the fireplace is cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to ensure safe and efficient operation.

#5. Safety
With gas log fireplaces, there is no buildup of harmful materials which are flammable. These also get rid of the possibility of any stray flying sparks, which is quite common with wood fireplaces. Though this works out to be a safe choice it is advisable to get detailed advice from experts prior to any installation. This can ensure that you make the right choice among the many available. However, do your homework before you decide on a supplier. Look for reputation and experience in the installation of gas log fireplaces by your supplier of choice.
Do you have a fireplace at home? Which one do you have or which do you prefer?

Till next time... cosy up in front of a lovely gas log fire this winter!

About Frankston Heating
Frankston Heating are gas heater specialist in Melbourne with 40 years of industry experience and highly knowledgeable about all installation techniques which also includes gas plumbing. If you need premium gas log fire to fit out your home or gas heating services you can visit their website and contact them for a free consultation for your requirements.

Friday 14 July 2017

A Magical Yulefest With Balsam Hill & A Giveaway!

Ever heard of a celebration called Yulefest or Christmas in July? Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is a special time. It's cold, frosty and the perfect Christmassy weather to get together with friends and family and indulge in traditional roasts and puddings! But just for the record, Christmas in July does not replace the real Christmas in December. Think of it as a bonus celebration without the usual stress and pressure of the festive season!

For me, any excuse to celebrate with friends and family is a good one! And this year, Christmas in July in our household was made extra special with the help of an exquisite Silverado Slim Christmas Tree, an equally beautiful Heritage Spice wreath and a set of stunning nativity Christmas ornaments from Balsam Hill Australia.We decided to set up the gorgeous 7 feet Christmas tree in our dining room. The pre-lit LED tree came well packaged in three sections and was so easy to assemble. Each section was clearly labelled so it took less than ten minutes to put together and plug in the light ports at the back. There were two pairs of gloves in the box that were very helpful for fluffing the tree. (I especially loved how there were two sets of gloves to make it a family affair!) The box also included a handy protective storage bag for when you have to pack the tree away. It was so much fun to fluff the tree as a family, plug it in and sit back and enjoy the twinkling lights! We've never had a pre-lit tree before, so this was a real novelty and it was fun to hear Elie exclaim 'wow' every time the tree was switched on!

Our pre-lit Silverado Slim Christmas tree really didn't need too much embellishment or ornaments since it's so elegant just by itself! The vintage inspired red and gold set of 9 Christmas Cheer Nativity Ornaments from Balsam Hill with hand painted details were perfect for the tree. I hung them along with a few of my glass ornaments and a pair of gold wings for the top to give our Yulefest tree a slightly personalised and quirky touch! I definitely recommend the Balsam Hill™ 7 feet Silverdo Slim if you are shopping for a Christmas tree! It's slim enough to fit in narrow spaces like entryways and hallways or even small living rooms and dining spaces. But on the other hand it's a much fuller tree compared to the other 'slim' Balsam Hill trees with a lush profile and luxurious True Needle™ foliage that have an ultra realistic feel! Moreover, it's a tall tree which looks statuesque and festive and fits in rooms with normal to high ceilings. Also, other than the pre-lit clear LEDs, the Silverado Slim tree has two other versions - an unlit option and a multi-coloured version. The pre-lit Heritage Spice Wreath is an exquisite work of art! The wreath is full-bodied with ultra-realistic foliage laden with pinecones, apples, berries, pomegranates, and cinnamon sticks. It looks so realistic, I could almost smell the spices! The wreath with pops of red and green perfectly complemented the red and gold Christmas nativity ornaments on the tree.However, instead of hanging the wreath on our front door like we usually do for our formal Christmas in December, I decided to dress the table with it. I'd invited a couple of my girlfriends over with their little loves for a Christmas in July lunch and I wanted to create a pretty table setting. The 24" wreath was perfect to set in the middle of the table with dinner candles, gold accessories and tableware for this special occasion!At night, when the house is quiet, the beautiful Silverado tree with pretty nativity ornaments glistening in the twinkling lights casts a magical glow. It's a truly special tree and it made our Yulefest doubly special this year!

To help you celebrate Yulefest in style, Balsam Hill Australia have a special giveaway! Happy Yulefest Everyone!

Celebrate Christmas in July with Balsam Hill Australia! 
From July 12 to 20, visit their Facebook page and join the Yulefest 2017 Giveaway for a chance to win $75 worth of Balsam Hill Australia Gift Certificates!Do you celebrate Christmas in July? If you would like to decorate your home with exquisite décor from Balsam Hill make sure to enter their giveaway!

Till next time... have a wonderful Christmas in July!


This post was created in collaboration with Balsam Hill Australia. Thanks again to Balsam Hill for providing me with the exquisite Silverado Slim Christmas Tree, the perfect festive wreath and the set of nativity ornaments. As always, all design choices, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too. 

Also a big thank you to talented photographer Paula Andrews for the beautiful photographs. You can check out more of her amazing work here
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