Friday 30 November 2018

Keep your garden looking lush in the dry season

Australia has just endured one of its driest winters, and little relief is on the horizon with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting an even dryer and warmer summer. Being mindful of water use is now top of mind for many households as these severe conditions continue to affect communities around the country. This is particularly important in the garden where there is huge temptation to drench withering plants struggling with the heat.

According to Alyce Rigby, Product Manager at Nylex, rather than a light sprinkle daily, it’s much better to give plants a thorough, deep watering less often. It encourages plant roots to grow down into the soil where it’s cooler, and promotes a firm, more dry- tolerant root system.

Nylex have specialist water saving products available that make it easy for you to keep your plants in good condition and help you control water usage. Here are some of our top four tips for saving water in your garden.

Beat the heat
Plants absorb water through their roots, so it makes sense to deliver the water as close to the root zone as possible. Watering wands with a long handle allow you to easily hold the spray down low, to deliver water efficiently to where it’s need most. And be sure to water early in the morning before the sun heats up to reduce water loss to evaporation.

An easy way to efficiently deliver water to garden beds, borders and veggie patches is with a water weeper hose. Unlike others on the market, Nylex uses a unique flat design, allowing it to be buried under mulch to reduce evaporation while keeping it out of sight. The slow drip feature allows for maximum absorption close to the roots. Water weeper hoses are the perfect option for reducing water waste as they have no overspray, also making them great around pools or near tiles where the surface can be slippery.

Making the most of valuable rain water
To help prevent unnecessary extra watering, use a rain gauge to keep track of how much water your garden has already received on those precious rainy days. The Nylex Digital rain gauge has a wireless self-emptying rain collector for measuring rainfall and advanced features such as the specialised alarm to alert you when the set high or low weather criteria are met.

Checking hose fittings
Hose fittings are often prone to breaking or leakage, leading to unnecessary water waste. Nylex has anti-leak hose connectors and tap adapters that connect to any standard garden hose. Other hose accessories like the spray-gun also prevent water leakage or excess run-off with an easy on/off control at the gun, so you don’t have to go back to the tap to stop the water flow. The spray-guns also give you the option of different watering patterns and flow strengths depending on the type of plants you have.

Reuse/reduce waste
Finally, grey water hoses allow efficient watering by reusing the wastewater from showers or washing machines on your garden. The hoses are easily connected to household appliances to drain grey water from the machine to buckets or directly into your garden. Just be sure to use plant-friendly detergents and powders.
Nylex water savings products are available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse stores.

Till next time... be water smart this summer and keep your garden looking lush in the dry season!

Thursday 29 November 2018

Maximise Living Space With Careful Door Design

With increasing numbers of Australians opting for medium to high-density apartments for convenience and lifestyle requirements, the amount of available living space is shrinking. According to Domain, the average apartment from 2004 to 2009 was 140 square metres, while in 2017 it was 130 square metres – a decrease of 10 square metres in under a decade. Shrinking living spaces pose a difficult challenge for the architecture and design industry, as Australian’s expectations of their living spaces remain high.

End users continue to demand functionality, comfort and style, without compromise. According to Peter Doyle, Business Development Manager, Cowdroy, in multi-residential projects, designers and specifiers are looking for innovative and creative solutions that meet these three requirements at an affordable price, and without taking up too much valuable living space. This includes selecting a door system ideal for small-space living.

It’s important to examine how conventional door systems impact occupants in small living spaces. The traditional hinged door that swings open and closed is common, although they take up significant floor space, can pose as a safety risk (to both occupants and interior damage) and if not maintained, can become stiff and difficult to operate. “For the ideal solution, designers should opt for a track system such as Cowdroy’s Sliding Barn Door, Triumph Sliding Door or Overlay Bi-Fold Door,” advised Mr Doyle. Since 1980, Cowdroy has been the pioneer of the most innovative track and seal products in Australia, delivering high quality, and long lasting solutions for the multi-residential sector.

Cowdroy Sliding Barn Door Track System
Ideal for internal applications on timber doors including timber framed glass doors, with a matte black finish for that industrial look. It has an outstanding feature – a two-piece jigsaw- join track – making up a two metre overall length. In addition, there’s an optional track extension kit with a length of 1.2 metres to cater for wider doors.

Cowdroy Triumph Sliding Door Track System
This system delivers a high quality door solution available in two configurations – wall mount or top mount rack. With its sleek, streamlined and contemporary design, the Triumph system features a lubricated slimline nylon door guide that results in smooth, quiet operation.

This advanced door solution also includes four nylon tyred wheels and a fully sealed ZZ ball bearing carriage that are incorporated into a wrap-around track with an anti-bounce end stop. Maximum operational comfort, easy access and sophisticated design combine to deliver the ideal space-saving residential door system.

Cowdroy Overlay Bi-Fold Door Track System
With a focus on subtlety and performance, the Overlay Bi-Fold Door Track System has been specifically designed for wardrobe/large cupboard doors, pantries, closets and concealed rooms. Featuring a compact and sturdy construction with double wheel assemblies, this folding door system can support door leaves up to 25kg in weight. Dual side rollers prevent doors from skipping off the track and have been cycle tested to 15,000 cycles – ensuring a product that delivers long-lasting, high quality performance and peace of mind.

Providing significant design versatility, the Overlay system is suitable for full timber, timber framed and aluminium framed doors, and incorporates reversible components for left and right hand openings.

Cowdroy Robemaker
When it comes to wardrobes and space saving, the Robemaker is an advanced wardrobe solution with a sleek, streamlined finish. Designed for two, three and four door wardrobe applications, the Robemaker system includes fully integrated componentry, and a patented bottom track that eliminates the need for concealed wheels and unattractive track fixing screws.

The Robemaker system is customisable with slimline aluminium extrusions that are available in gloss white and clear anodised finishes. This solution is also compatible with an optional soft-close adaptor kit.
With these great options, you can truly maximise living space. Small apartments and rooms can benefit from sliding or barn doors. Do you have bi fold or sliding doors in your home? Do you have a favourite?

Till next time... have a great week!

Friday 23 November 2018

Get into the festive spirit with my Balsam Hill's Christmas Home Tour!

Do you feel like the entire year has just flown by in a blink of an eye? I do! And Christmas is less than five weeks away! Seriously, when did this happen? Well at least I'm better prepared for the festive season this year.

This year I’m honoured to partner on Balsam Hill’s Christmas Home Tour to showcase the best that Balsam Hill has to offer!
Truth be told, I’ve been coveting their frosted Fraser fir Christmas tree for the longest time and let me tell you that it is even more  G O R G E O U S  up-close and personal! A real showstopper with flocked pre-lit branches that makes you feel as though you've been transported to a snowy corner of the world. And I have to say that the frosted Fraser fir looks stunning lit and ethereally pretty unlit!

When we lived in the UK many moons ago, white Christmases were the norm, whilst in Australia, its 35 - 40 degrees on Christmas morning! So it will be rather amazing to wake up to ‘snowy’ branches and with the air con on full blast, it will almost feel like a winter wonderland!

This year I chose an alpine village theme to decorate for Christmas. My colour palette, a sophisticated sage green and champagne with touches of grey, natural wood and snowy white that embodies the Norwegian forests during Christmas time.

This year for our tree topper, I chose a stunning angel with the most spectacular golden metal wings, adorned in luxurious organza. The artistic details on this beautiful handcrafted figurine is truly unparalleled!

As always I like using minimal baubles on the tree letting the tree shine by itself and this year is no different. I chose little wooden houses to decorate and wanted to show you how they looked on the tree before and after I painted the little wooden cabins a snowy white. I added a few of my precious glass baubles, wooden snow drops and glittery white snowflakes to create a merry and festive vibe. A couple of the ornaments on the Christmas tree this year are a bit close to my heart, especially the little gold ballerina to commemorate Elie's first year of ballet. Let me know if you spot it!

A stunning ivory lodge faux fur tree skirt that almost looks like fallen snow and an intricate Victorian cutout ribbon in the most beautiful shade of glittery champagne tucked into the tree added the final flourish to my 2019 festive décor.

Of all the beautiful Christmas memories over the years, this year's are a bit special. My daughter Elie, who turned three this year 'decorated' the tree with me. Albeit I had to 're-do' some (most) of the décor, it was so much fun dressing the tree together.

We’ve already had a couple of pre-Christmas luncheons with a few close friends and I absolutely loved setting the table for them with simple festive touches; a plush pre-lit Nordic spruce garland as my centrepiece, vintage crockery, linen serviettes, gold cutlery, pretty glassware and candles. Let me tell you a few million photos have been taken with the gorgeous lit tree in the background!!!

So without much further ado…here’s our tree and Christmas décor for this year.
Have you started decorating for Christmas or are you waiting for December to put your tree up? If you're looking for amazing festive inspiration, over the last few days, more than a dozen stylists and bloggers have shared how they’ve decorated their homes for Christmas. Make sure you check them out for some festive inspiration!

– Andrea at
– Gina at Style Curator
– Stephanie at
– Danni at
– Carlene at
– Chantelle at
– Hayley at
– Connie at
– Eve at
– Carly at
– Kyree at
– Nicol at sure you follow Balsam Hill Australia on Facebook or Instagram and check out my instagram for more festive inspiration and Christmas décor like my favourite Balsam Hill wreath that is yet to go up on our front door.

Till next time, from our home to yours... Merry Christmas and happy decorating lovelies!

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Top Tips For Better Quality Sleep!

While many of us have no trouble in getting the recommended 8 hours sleep each night, you might sometimes find that you’re still tired when you wake up the next morning. Now although you know that you’ve slept for the right amount of time, the reason why you’re still tired in the morning rather than feeling refreshed may be because you’ve had poor quality sleep.

Generally speaking, if you’re continually finding that you’re suffering from broken sleep or you’re still feeling tired after your 8 hours, then it could be possible that you have a sleeping problem. If this is the case, you should look to see a doctor or sleep professional to determine why you might not be sleeping properly. If you not experiencing any sleeping problems, but still feel tired or groggy in the morning, then it’s could be something to do with your lifestyle that’s preventing you from getting the quality sleep you need to operate throughout the day. With that in mind, here are some top tips for a better quality sleep.

Exercise Daily
One of the easiest ways to improve your quality of sleep is to exercise daily, as you’ll naturally feel tired when you’ve finished and you’ll need to rest your aching muscles. To ensure you’re getting enough exercise, you should try and devise a weekly schedule that you can organise around your commitments. 

Eat Clean
Changing your diet can bring about many health benefits including improving the quality of your sleep, so you should consider whether your diet is balanced and includes the recommended 5-a-day serves of fruit and vegetables. 

Sleep Schedule
Getting ready for bed should be a nightly routine, so you should try to establish a sleep schedule where you sleep for the same amount of time, at the same time each night. This way, your body will start to naturally unwind later in the evening as you’re approaching bedtime so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting to sleep.

Be Comfortable
Your comfortability will directly impact the quality of your sleep, since it helps us to relax and rest our body. If you’re uncomfortable when you go to sleep then you’re likely to feel achy or restless, so you should ensure that you have a comfortable bed and mattress. If you don’t then you should look to buy mattress online that will provide a better sleeping experience.

Avoid Sleep Stealers
Stimulants, such as caffeine, and alcoholic beverages can often prevent you from getting to sleep or affect the quality of your sleep when you finally do nod off. Try to avoid consuming food and drinks before bedtime in order to ensure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep.

Be Antisocial
Our minds are active all day and we use our phones more than ever these days, so taking time away from using your phone can bring a welcome relief to your overall well being. When it comes to sleeping, though, using your phone before you go to bed can affect your quality of sleep too. Turn your phone off when you go to bed so you won’t be disturbed through the night if someone contacts you.

All in all, sleep is incredibly important in our day to day functioning, so it’s vital that you’re getting enough quality sleep every night to ensure you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead. If you’re getting poor quality sleep, then simply follow our top tips and you’ll soon see improvements from simple lifestyle changes.

Till next time.. happy snoozing!

Friday 2 November 2018

Why A New Dining Table Could Bring You Closer Together

How is that family dinner has faded from the calendar, and we only congregate together for a family meal on special occasions? It’s a time to reconnect and look your family members in the eye, with no distractions, and just engage on a relaxed and genuine level. So, how does dinner pass each night without a family dinnertime on the itinerary? Well, it may be as simple as the absence of a quality dining table that is hindering these congregations. Take stock of your living space, and consider the reasons why a family dining table could bring you closer together.

Ritual reunion
Having a standing dinner time will solidify your family bonding, and create a ritual between each member. Life can get pretty complicated, and some days can be non-stop for some or all of the family, which is why finding the right dining tables in Melbourne is so integral. But staying true to that standing time, and pushing aside the chaos to be present at the dining table will be where your children will grow and appreciate positive rituals.

A child's growth is accelerated from the moment they enter school and over the next twelve years they will become many different versions of themselves. These dinnertime congregations will pose as an anchor and will give stability.

Removes technology temptations
Making a technology-free dinner will not make you popular, but it will provide so much value to your family, including yourself. When a family eats at different times or in front of the television, they are never disengaging from their devices or the media around them, so there is no reprieve. How many of us pick up our phone mindlessly and just scroll through our phone during social events, conversations and meals? Too many. Flicking through your socials is much harder around the family dining table, and will soon set a standard of no technology at dinner time.

Promotes healthy discussion
We become extensions of those we interact with, or at the very least we share a lot in common with. Having healthy discussions around the dining table is an opportunity to hear another side to a topical debate, find out what another generation thinks, or even flag some behaviour that you may want to monitor. You want your family to be individuals of the world and students at life, so take the opportunity around the family dining table to probe their insights and get each member conversing about a range of topics and pressure points in their life.

Underscores the importance of the meal
In the age of UberEats, food is a commodity that we can get anywhere and anytime and any way you like it. While very convenient, it does devalue the importance of a home cooked meal, and how cooking and consuming one together makes us closer.

Your new dining table will set the scene for kitchen discoveries wherein each member of your family can explore different cuisines and become accomplished young chefs. Your family may love the flashy options of the delivery and takeout empires. However, when they look back on their formative years, they will remember Dad’s favourite pasta or Mum’s roast beef.

A gorgeous family dining table complements any living space, but the true joy is what it brings to your family. Closeness. Only around the dining table can a family create a ritual that will be cherished for years to come, have healthy discussion in a complicated world, give much needed device-free time and highlight the importance of a home cooked meal.

Till next time... do you have a dinner time ritual?

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