Tuesday 24 May 2022

Trend Forecast: Making Your Backyard Staycation Ready!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Top Tips: Increase Your Laundry Efficiency This Winter!

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time... optimise your laundry organisation!

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