Home Improvement

Fresh Colour for Bathroom

bathroomCan you imagine how enlightening it feels to swim in crystal clear turquoise seawater, or to dive into the deep blue depths of a swimming pool? This is a sensation that can be created in the privacy of the home too, in the form of a fresh bathroom. The right choice of colour goes a long way to promote this feeling of freshness in the limited confines of the shower stall or bathroom, aquamarine, azure, pearl, and crystal all help to desired atmosphere. The fresh look bathroom should always provoke a sense of space and light, with an open and bright quality, rather than a cozy and sensual one. Colour and line accentuate this feeling, so use sea coloured tiles to cover large areas, creating a platform of uninterrupted colour, alongside a generous use of transparent materials and glass. It may be possible to replace a whole wall with glass to eliminate solid visual obstructions, and to install sleek bathroom units in gleaming white or a fresh aqua shade, with minimal visible plumbing. Paint the ceiling in a suitably pale hue and keep the floor light in colour and pattern to further promote the atmosphere of fresh spaciousness.

The inherent hard lines, angles protrusions and changes in levels confined within the small space of the bathroom distract from visual harmony. Try and minimize unnecessary angulation and changes in texture by limiting the range of colour featured in materials, fabrics and bathroom services. Choose just one or two closely related colours for walls and tiling, a choice that may be based on the colour of your existing bathroom services, then try to ensure that blinds, shower curtains, towels and other pieces of bathroom furnitured blend in with the main colour theme. Sympathetic lighting is essential to any bathroom scheme, both for practical and aesthetic purposes. In the fresh look bathroom creative lighting can be used to enhance the watery effect of the colours and materials that decorate the room. For example, strategically placed spotlight shining through rippled glass and reflecting on the shiny surfaces of the tiles will create the optical illusions of sunshine dancing on water.

Alternatively, carefully direct neat, swivel headed downlighters so that they create fields of light on aqua surfaces. Just as with the real thing, the sea colours of turquoise, azure, and crystal become incandescent in sunlight. Use this idea to create a flexible lighting systems that can be manipulated to promote these qualities, using natural daylight where possible, perhaps filtered through slats or transparent voile to soften the reflections. Where there is a strong source of natural light in the bathroom, use transparent fabrics in yellows, blues, or greens to dress the windows and enhance the effects of daylight, allowing the option of drawing a gossamer veil to filter the light when necessary.

Continue the water and light theme by using colours and textures that are associated with this combinations, ripple surfaced aquamarines tiles alongside smooth, thick glass, sandy yellow fabric against a sea green mosaic, and for a feminine touch, the subtle sheen of mother of pearl floor tiles partnered with a pretty floral voile in blues, pinks and greens.


Home Improvement

5 Tips For Modern Dinning Room Interior Styles

dinningThe dining room is perhaps the most important room in the house today. It is were we gather as a family to spend some quality time together in our fast and stressful lifestyles. It is were we invite our friends and family to join us for dinner. Naturally when you are thinking about decorating your dining room, you will want to feature your personal touch, but at the same time keep the room friendly and comfortable for guests to enjoy. Below you will find 5 tips for decorating the dining room and how you can turn your living room into your most popular place to be.

1. Know your personal style
Some of us prefer simple and functional furniture that serve its purpose but doesn’t stand out. Others prefer lavish and cluttered styles with bespoke furniture. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, so keep your dining room consistent with the rest of your house in terms of style.

2. Colour use:
After general style, colours are the second most important design factor. The colours of your dining room should match your dining furniture.. If you have a large dark wooden table it is not advisable to have light colours on the wall. Likewise if the rest of your furniture is bright, stay away from dark colours on the wall. In general you will want to avoid mixing too many colours at once in your dining room. Bright and loud colours have their place in a modern or contemporary dining area. Remember the dining room is for enjoying good food and conversation and too many loud colours may be a distraction. The colour red is associated with stimulating the appetite, as such strawberry or tomato, therefore these colours will help you, your family and friends enjoy their food!

3. Space
Space considerations are on of the more advanced concepts. From Feng Shui to traditional British style, space is something to pay attention to. Does your room feel open and free or cluttered and narrow? There is no real right or wrong when it comes to use of space, but consider having less furniture in a small room to give it a larger appearance and having more furniture in a large room to keep it from appearing open and barren are effective design concepts.

4. Arrangement
It is not enough only to be aware of the size of your room and act accordingly. First you should consider the general space available and how much furniture you need, then you need to choose what furniture should go where and at what angles. This is a difficult task and one that needs careful thought. There are many different philosophies on the subject. Some like to keep a very symmetrical style, while others prefer an organic free flowing style. Experiment with different setups and gauge your guests reaction and their interaction. If everyone is standing instead of sitting down, you may want to change things around!

5. Compliment your pieces
As a final touch, there are some things you can do to add the last finishing. This includes matching window dressing with the colour of your furniture. You can use beautiful curtains to highlight a specific theme in your room or compliment the colour of the dining room table. Small dinning rooms look great with natural wood blinds which compliment the colour of the table.


Home Improvement

Save on Kitchen Remodeling Tips

kitchenNo matter if you are looking to add convenience or value to your home – the kitchen is perhaps one of the best places to invest your money. There are lots of good kitchen remodeling tips out there on the Internet, but perhaps one of the best places to get more value would be to shop at your local home improvement stores.

They always say timing is everything. Well, that is very true when it comes to shopping for those certain items that you need for your next kitchen project. There are certain times throughout the year that many of your large retail home-improvement stores will be closing out their kitchen improvement items.

You can say this much is 60 or 70% on many items if you just shop around and wait for those times. That he may be thinking that you could just asked them however, they often will not tell you the information because they want you to buy something now.

Some other great kitchen remodeling tips are to shop for used stuff. If you don’t have time to wait for great sales then you might want to consider buying used items for your kitchen remodeling project at second hand stores or garage sales.

You would be amazed at how many things people put in garage sales and often times they are brand new and still in the package – you can save tons of money shopping around this way.


Home Improvement

Decorating Tips for the Bathroom

A clean, well-designed bathroom can become a sanctuary when you just want to relax in the tub. Decorating a bathroom and getting it organized is easy, even if you don’t have a lot of space.


Staying organized is easier with a linen closet, but many bathrooms don’t offer the luxury of storage space. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you organized.

Purchase baskets to keep your toiletries and towels organized. Baskets can come in handy when trying to find a place for a variety of different, lotions, makeup and other beauty essentials. If there is no storage space in your bathroom, place your filled baskets on a bookcase to keep the room neat and tidy.

Add shelves to your bathroom. There are a variety of shelves to fit the space you have available in your bathroom. Some of them are easy to install, while other may require some handyman skills. There are shelves that can be placed right above your toilet that are easy to setup. Simply place the shelves on the floor. These particular shelves are designed to with an opening for your toilet, so you can make the most out of your bathroom space. Other shelves, such as wall shelves, require measuring, nails, hammers and a more detailed installation process.

Purchase towels that match your shower curtain, bath mats and wall art. Roll up the towels, or fold them neatly, and place them on the shelf. The towels can add a pop of color to the bathroom or just blend in with the rest of the decor. If you want to add a touch of elegance, place bath salts, candles and other spa items on the shelves to coordinate with the towels.

Small glass jars can be used to store cotton swabs, cotton balls and other bathroom items. Use jars that same size, or jars in contrasting sizes to create beautiful accent pieces.

Color Choices

The bathroom should be a place of relaxation, so choose different hues of blues and greens for a calming effect. Hang framed art prints of waterfalls or beaches to keep with the serene ambiance you are trying to create.

Reds and oranges are high-energy colors. If you need some help to wake up and get ready in the morning, these mood-boosting colors can give you a little extra push.

If you are not set on one color, paint your walls white or beige and use accessories to add color. Shower curtains, bath mats and art prints can jazz up any bathroom. The best part is they can be easily switched out for something new when you want to change your bathroom colors. You can easily rotate the accessories and change your bathroom decor for every season.

Miscellaneous Decorating Tips and Tricks

Beach-themed bathrooms can be decorated with jars of shells or sand. You can also try using a large shell, possibly a conch shell, as a soap dish.


Home Improvement

Bathroom Renovation

The bathroom is easily one of the most visited rooms in your house; and it is also a room that is most frequently renovated. After time, bathrooms can begin to look drab and dreary or even out of date as decorating norms change. Bathroom renovations also offer a number of great benefits, not the least of which include dramatically increasing the value of your property while creating a comfortable and relaxing environment for you and your family. The following bathroom renovation tips will help you to build the bathroom of your dreams on any budget!

Focus on the Fixtures

Your bathtub, toilet, shower, and sink are the main fixtures in your bathroom and they go a long way to creating your ideal look. Pedestal sinks are elegant and create a more classic design, while cabinet vanity sinks are practical for storage but sometimes less stylish. The continuity of your fixtures is also important, and most home and bathroom supply sources offer groups of fixtures that match. If you are renovating on a budget, you should look for floor models or slightly damaged units that are usually available at a significant discount.

The Bathtub

Even though the bathtub is just one of the fixtures to consider, it is probably the most important. You’ll have to choose a bathtub that not only meets you r needs, but also fits the space you have available. Always sit in a bathtub before you purchase it, because you’ll want to make sure to get something that is comfortable. There are a wide variety of bathtub styles available from just a simple porcelain tub to models with jets and space for two bathers.


Bathroom flooring must be durable and attractive. Marble, stone, and ceramic are excellent choices for a bathroom as they are strong and available in many designs and styles. In addition, bathroom flooring must be water resistant because if not your flooring will likely get damaged. Hard wood flooring and carpets are not unheard of for bathroom flooring, but they are not always the most appropriate choice. For renovators on a budget, linoleum flooring can be attractive and affordable.


Mirrors are a central design element of any bathroom. While providing the perception of space, mirrors are also a great way to bring your personal style into your bathroom. Elegantly framed mirrors are functional as well, and they don’t need to be expensive. Many homeowners can find a beautiful mirror that enhances the look of their bathroom for under $100.


Your bathroom is the room that absolutely must have good lighting. Dimmers are an excellent option that allow for ample lighting over the sink for when you’re getting ready for work or play, and they allow you to control the amount of light more easily.

Let your Style Shine

Bathroom renovation is a major industry today, which means that there are a wide range of fixtures, flooring, mirrors, and lighting that can help you create your ideal bathroom. Even though you can get plenty of tips about how you should update your bathroom, you should always remember to let your personal preferences guide your choices.


Home Improvement

How to Clean a Bathroom

One of the most comfortable and relaxing places in the house should be the bathroom. It is after all called the comfort room. How can anyone be comfortable if it is messy, crowded, stinky, and moldy? Let’s get to work and show you how to clean that bathroom.

People usually spend more time trying to keep their living rooms or receiving rooms tidy because these are usually the first places that a guest would ever see. However, the state of the bathroom speaks of the character of the homeowner. A cluttered bathroom usually indicates that the owner is a disorganized person. A stinky and moldy bathroom screams lack of hygiene and a totally gross personality. A neat and fresh-smelling bathroom shows that the owner is serious about home cleaning and healthy living.

Bathroom cleaning might be the last thing anyone would ever want to do but considering that it is where private daily routines are done, it is critical that this room is maintained orderly and fresh all the time. Here are some quick cleaning tips to keep your bathroom clutter-free and squeaky clean.

The key to get started is a house cleaning checklist. Know what you need to do and what tools you may require before you start. This way, once you start cleaning, everything is handy. It is also important to have specific place for everything. Toiletries like soap, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc must be placed in an area where you can access them easily but would not clutter your room.

A soft brush and a wash cloth are two important tools to keep. Never use a hard bristle brush on the surfaces of your bathroom and fixtures as this will scratch the finish and may cause permanent ugly marks. The use of strong detergents, bleaching formulas and other strong chemicals must be kept to a minimum and only if necessary. The harsh ingredients of these chemicals may actually cause fading and/or ugly yellow marks which you do not realize until some years down the road. Use alternative home-made solutions instead.

One of the oldest cleaning tips for windows and mirrors is to use white vinegar mixed with rubbing alcohol. It is known to be very effective in removing stains and water marks. After spraying this on the surfaces, wipe with a crumpled old newspaper and you will have clear and clean mirrors and windows.

To clean soap build up on sinks and toilet bowls, pour one cup of baking soda then one cup of white vinegar. Leave for 30 minutes to an hour then flush with water. Do this every 3-6 months to keep that hideous debris away. This should also solve the deposits on the water drains of the sink, bath tub, and toilets.

Mildew is one of the worst nightmares in house cleaning. Keep your bathroom walls mildew-free by wiping them with dry towels after you use your bathroom. Mix a half and half mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water and spray it on your bathroom ceiling and walls at least once in 3 months. Hydrogen Peroxide is an effective bleaching solution that does not have the destructive effects of other bleaching solutions.

Do not neglect your bathroom. The home cleaning tips above will help you keep it fresh and free of dirt. After all, the bathroom is the first room you probably visit when you wake up in the morning and the last room you go to before sleeping in your bedroom at night. These tips on how to clean your bathroom will most certainly keep it fresh smelling and easy to manage.


Home Improvement

Bathroom Lighting Tips

For bathroom lighting tips, you can check out different home improvement magazines and websites. You can get many interesting and creative ideas with many lighting tips. Home design stores can also give you lighting tips, which can be very helpful especially when you are planning to make a bathroom makeover.

If you are thinking of what kinds of lighting is best, here are some of bathroom tips to make your bathroom brighter and more attractive.

You can use the four types of lighting to illuminate your bathroom. These are general lighting, accent lighting, task lighting and decorative lighting. You can combine these types of lighting for best results of illumination. In the bathroom, task lighting is the most important type particularly around vanity mirrors. Task lighting is necessary for shaving or applying makeup.

You can put your task lighting above the vanity mirror near the sink, or on both sides of your vanity. Choose halogen or incandescent lights so that you can adjust the brightness of the lights if necessary. Make sure that the lights can give you enough illumination. It is better if your bathroom is brighter than required and just use dimmers so that you can manage the brightness anytime. To achieve the best light, you must choose a neodymium light bulb for vanity fixtures. This kind of light bulb is an incandescent bulb, which stimulates sunlight. Avoid using recessed down lights for your face because these lights tend to cause shadows.

Bathroom lighting tips are important to make the space more attractive. With the right lighting scheme, your bathroom design can have more appeal.


Home Improvement

Bathroom Pods

Using Off Site Construction Methods

Fully fitted bathroom pods, constructed off site, save installation time, increase quality control and help to streamline the building process of a wide variety of projects – from hotels, housing and care homes, to the leisure sector.

Though prefabricated bathroom units are seen as a relatively new concept, they have in fact been used successfully by the off site construction industry for some time. The popularity of off site methods continues to increase due to the many benefits over traditional building, particularly in environmental and sustainability of the materials and processes, as well as increased speed, efficiency and the ability to work in tight spaces and difficult areas.

Advantages of Bathroom Pods

The main advantage of pods is the fact that they can be built off site, saving valuable installation time on site, and ensuring consistently high quality levels. This means that contractors can meet more demanding build schedules and there is less need for skilled labour. The age-old problem of co-ordinating services, such as plumbing, electrics, plastering, tiling, joinery and painting is no longer an issue. All the services are installed before the pod is delivered, and decoration is also carried out off site. All the need to be done on site is to crane the bathroom pods into position and connect them up.

Because each unit is made with fixtures and fittings from just one supplier, things are made far less complicated for client and contractor alike, not only when it comes to installation, but also for aftercare. With a traditional build programme, should there be any post-installation issues in the bathroom, there could be numerous different trades that need to be called in. However, with the bathroom pod concept, there is just one manufacturer, with the option of ongoing servicing and maintenance contracts to ensure the pod is operating to maximum efficiency.

Why Choose a Bathroom Pod?

The leisure sector, for example, which demands high quality, robust and aesthetically pleasing bathroom facilities, is increasingly making bathroom pods their preferred method of installation, since there is a greater assurance of consistent quality from a factory built product (pods should operate to ISO 9001:2000 quality assurance). Using a mopdular bathroom unit concept means being able to fulfill demands for rapid construction, whilst meeting all relevant performance requirements.

Many new builds within the leisure sector are also designed to meet BREEAM “Excellent” or “Very Good” standard, so it is therefore important that a building ensures the selection of sustainable materials from responsible supply partners. For example, the timber that is used for the outer edge and walls of bathroom pods can be produced from sources with strict reforestation programmes.

Flexibility of Design and Bespoke Options

There are also many other flexible design and configuration options possible, making bespoke bathroom pods a reality. For example, floorless pods, or floors with a lightweight concrete design, for areas where ground weighting needs to be kept to a minimum. These types of design are integral to creating lightweight structures that have a lower environmental impact, for example, by making savings on foundation materials. Bathroom pods can also be specified to meet with mobility or DDA (Disabled Discriminatory Act) requirements, with the inclusion of accessories such as grab rails and handles. Due to the wide variety of sectors that can benefit from the use of bathroom pods, a flexible approach is essential, so the architect and designer from the off site company can work together to create a bathroom pod that meets their requirements exactly.

In many build situations, especially in urban areas, space can be restricted, but more compact bathroom suites can be designed and created, making the best possible use of the available space. This ranges right through to high-end executive style pods, where the most luxurious bathroom accessories, such as corner baths or Jacuzzis could be specified. There is also a wide choice of accessories, including tiling, renders and finishes to the bathroom pod to meet particular project requirements.

Some bathroom pod manufacturers additionally offer CAD design services. This means starting with a blank page and working with the client to create either a contemporary or more classic pod design, advising the customers every step of the way. With good value for money being a top priority in the current economic and political climate, this is again a major benefit of off site construction compared to traditional bathroom installations, especially when you factor in the labour on site.

Pods can be produced to suit individual needs, in small numbers or large quantities, with the option of shower, bathroom, cloakroom or wetrooms. Many sectors are also taking the pod concept and applying it further than the bathroom, to other areas, such as bedrooms, kitchens and to create an office or study, in fact any single room that they require to be replicated.

Bathroom Pods in Practice

A major venture in the use of bathroom pods market was for the Colchester Army Barracks in 2009, where a leading off-site construction company designed and supplied almost 1,500 for the new Ministry of Defence base, providing en-suites for officers and SNCOs, and facilities for the garrison’s junior ranks – taking into account the demands of over 50 soldiers using individual showers simultaneously at reveille or after an exercise.

The bathroom pod provides a contemporary concept that provides best value, is compatible with rapid construction techniques, enables flexibility of design and specification and removes the burden of co-ordinating trades and skilled labour on site.

The end result is a pod that doesn’t look like a pod: bespoke bathrooms produced to individual requirements in the quickest and most efficient way possible, helping the to meet needs for performance, sustainability, scheduling and cost.

A leading UK provider of off site construction solutions, Terrapin Ltd has been in the business of permanent and temporary solutions for 60 years. Off site construction delivers fast, accurate and affordable solutions to permanent, temporary and relocatable building requirements for healthcare, education, developer and commercial projects. Compared to conventional building methods, Terrapin’s modular solutions reduce time on site, cut the number of deliveries and are virtually unaffected by weather considerations. Importantly, for a site where disruptions must be kept to a minimum, the off site construction approach creates much less noise and interference to the day to day operation of the site and its occupants.


Home Improvement

Services Provided for Bathroom Remodeling

There are many companies offering arrangements along with services for bathroom remodeling. These services are better in the sense that they save tons of money for the client. Some of these companies, like Bath Fitters, offer products and services related to top quality and customized bathroom renovation. The services of this company guarantee the completion of work within one day. In this way the entire installation of goods and services can be done in one day. This is the biggest reason for the success of this company.

Unlike some conventional companies, Bath Fitters provide the client with the latest and most modern fittings and equipment for bathroom remodeling. The latest equipment is far better and more advanced, compared to conventional bathtubs, liners, and bath surrounds. The molding and construction of the equipment is done in such a way that they are made to fit in place without the aid of any holder, fitter or liner. Fitting of the tub and shower is a very crucial step. These facilities are made with acrylic. Acrylic is a very suitable material in that it waterproof and can withstand corrosion and dirt.

Other than showers and bathtubs, there is also a wide range of other accessories offered by the company which are used in bathroom remodeling. In this collection, there is a comprehensive store of solutions included. These solutions are for resurfacing the bathroom floors and other surfaces. It acts like a varnish and sometimes increases the longevity of fittings and equipment. All these remodeling practices are performed after proper measurements. The measurements are taken in advance, after which it becomes easy to install all the pieces. Once a seamless finish is achieved, problems such as leakage and other construction issues can be avoided.

The most important and astonishing feature of these bathroom remodeling services offered by the company is that quality is never compromised. Thus a lifetime warranty is obtained. The main reason for the success of these companies is that the professionals always take all the measurements in advance and then the whole manufacturing process is performed specifically according to these calculations. The entire manufacturing process is completed in just one day. In addition, if one wants to remodel only some parts of a bathroom and not the whole interior, then certain packages are also available. These include shower remodeling services, tub to shower conversion services, bath remodeling services and many more.

This is considered to be the easiest way to change the entire look of a bathroom and to create a fresher look for the bathroom by changing it completely or partially. In this case remodeling ideas and the selection of Bath Fitter’s acrylic bathroom remodeling products is the best. These products are considered reliable and can be enjoyed for years by the whole family. There are several packages offered by the company regarding remodeling master bathrooms as well as half bathrooms.

An important thing about the bathroom items is that all the pieces are made seamlessly into one combined whole, and the material used for their manufacture is of the finest quality. The most important thing that should be considered during the production of these items is the safety of user. Moreover, using acrylic as the basic building material makes it possible to attain any look in different styles. All these factors are combined together to ultimately result in meeting the needs and requirements of the bathroom’s design and functions.


Home Improvement

How to Choose a Bathroom Designer

Remodeling any part of the home is stressful. One dreads the inconvenience when the process will be on. And the bigger worries are in staying within the budget, getting it done on time and getting it done as per the ideas in our heads. It seems like a tedious task that surely fills many a homeowner with dread. But really, you could make the process quite hassle-free for yourself if you hire the right bathroom professionals. With bathroom designs you have to make many decisions and a professional can help you navigate through the process smoothly. How would you distinguish the professional bathroom builders from the rest?

Factors to consider while choosing a Bathroom Designer:

Competence and reputation: This is the most important factor. Check their credentials to check if they have a skill in bathroom designs. What is their reputation? Carefully, go through their testimonials. Are they licensed in this area? How much is the experience and what are the professional services that they offer? You can read more on their website to understand the services they offer and the professionals they employ and their experience.

Portfolio: Established bathroom pros have a good portfolio of completed projects that you can browse through. Not only will this give you an idea of their repertoire, but will give you additional clues as well about fitting, fixtures, color schemes, material etc.

Cost: Apart from their competence, this is another important factor as you surely want to keep your bathroom redesigning within your chosen budget. Find out what they charge for their services. Also look for guarantees to finish the work on time and what penalties you can expect in case they don’t. Remember that lower cost at the expense of finishing work late adds up to more dollars in terms of stress and additional trauma.

Services: There are some basic bathroom experts who are just contractors who take your idea and source the material and labor to execute them. Then there are those who offer value-added inputs. Certain bathroom experts will offer you customized services like fast-track work, guaranteed finishing of work on time or penalty payments to you, warranties on fittings, materials and labor, experienced quality designers to help you hone your bathroom remodeling ideas, a huge variety of fittings, fixtures, and materials for you to pick and choose from among other services. These kinds of professional bathroom experts will delight you with their work and will take care of your bathroom for a very long time to come.

To summarize, these tips can help you get a partner in doing your bathroom designs conveniently and easily. Make sure that you choose among the best out there in bathroom designs in Melbourne for a stress free bathroom remodeling experience.


Home Improvement

Power Outage Happy Home Tips

Our Power Outage Happy Home Tips

– During a recent power outage, it occurred to us that not everyone out there is ready for such an event, or equipped with the items needed to lighten the sometimes stressful environment it can create.

We have put a few tips together that we hope everyone will find helpful when the lights go out.



(Keep candles handy; use them to decorate your home if at all possible. They look good and when the lights go out you can ease the tension room by room, lighting one decorative display at a time.)

A: If more light is needed, a piece of tinfoil carefully placed behind the candle will reflect the light into the room instantly doubling the candles lighting capacity.

B: You can also take a piece of tinfoil about 15″x 15″, and place a piece of tape (duct tape works great) on one side and tape it around the base of the candle. Make sure that it is a larger candle around 6 to 8″ tall, and as big around as the average sized soup can. This will allow it to burn longer without melting down to the base. Allowing the tape to remain cool and keep the foil attached.

This type of set up will ultimately allow you to shape the foil around the top of the candle in a bowl shape creating a cheap easy version of a lantern allowing you to focus the candles light where it is needed.

C: There are many different types of candles out there that are designed for survival situations and are meant to burn for long periods of time without issue, but for your typical power outage most display candles found in stores are sufficient. You may want to limit the amount of scented versions, because you will have many candles lit and the mixed smells could become overwhelming.

D: Finally 2 major rules to live by when candles are used:

1: Keep all lit candles stationary to prevent fires, if you need to walk around the house use a flashlight.

2: Above all before going to bed or leaving a room unattended put out all lit candles to prevent a fire. We suggest gathering everyone into a central area (Living room or dinning room) during an outage and only lighting candles in that occupied area. This might be a good time to reconnect and break out some board games.

Household rules

Bathroom courtesy:

(It may sound funny but when there is no power that usually means that the water is gone as well. In most cases you will be lucky to get 2 or 3 flushes per toilet before the reservoir tank is out of water for this we have one rule.)

1: If its yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.

Fridges & Freezers:

(When the power does go out most of us have no way of knowing exactly when it will be coming back on again. If left closed, on average you can go between 1 & 3 days without power before your current stock of chilled foods is lost to spoilage. We advise the following three rules to prevent early spoilage.)

1: If possible prepare meals that don’t involve items kept in the fridge or freezer to maintain their temperature as long as possible.

2: Avoid opening either of them unless absolutely necessary. If it happens to be winter and you have snow on the ground, setting items outside in the snow could save you from having to repurchase your freezers contents.

3: Last but not least if you do need to get something out, think ahead about what you want and get in and out quickly. Don’t make it Christmas shopping on Black Friday and let all that cold air out looking around with the door open.


(Most heaters need electricity to work or can give off dangerous fumes when used indoors. If you have a gas stove it may not light when you turn the knob, but the gas is still there. If you turn it on you can easily light it manually with a match, we recommend the extended grilling lighters to avoid burns. Use it to keep warm or cook as usual with one rule in mind.)

1: Above all make sure when you are finished you shut off the gas. We recommend trying to relight it immediately after shutting it off to make sure no gas is still coming out.


(In almost every case the power will come back on, keep this in mind when going to bed or putting your little ones to sleep. You don’t want to get the good news at 3am and have your house light up like the 4th of July!)

1: Before heading to bed check the light switches, TV’s, Radio’s and Computer or all of the above to make sure they are off. If you can’t remember if it was on when you lost power just unplug it until morning and save some energy in the process.


Drinking water:

(If you’re up on your storage needs you should have some set aside, but for convenience sake keep a gallon or two in your fridge. Just make sure you take them out as soon as you loose power to maintain the cold and put them into a cooler to have some cold drinking water on hand.)

Useful water:

(If you can get yourself a 55 gallon drum and attach a faucet onto the base, it can be filled with tap water or collected rain water. It may not be drinkable but can be handy to carry in by bucket in case someone breaks the (Don’t flush the toilet rule) to refill the reservoir tank on the back of the toilet.)



(With young children these types of situations can be scary so try to plan ahead and talk to them about what to do when it happens. Try to also plan ahead to ease the situation by finding creative ways to maintain any routines they are used to.)

1: Get a few of the dome shaped push to turn on infomercial lights to substitute as a battery powered night light.

2: Use a MP3 player or Walkman with some simple portable speakers that can run off the built in earphone jack so they can still listen to their lullaby music if that is what they are used to. Any interruptions in a structured routine will result in a difficult time getting them to bed.

Younger children:

(The older the child the less help or comforting they will need but it is still smart to give them tools to adapt to the new circumstances.)

1: Give everyone their own flashlight, it will make them feel safe and come in handy if they need to use the bathroom. Don’t be surprised if the batteries are dead the next day, even big kids can be scared of the dark.

2: Keep a few glow sticks in the freezer; you can usually find cheap little sets at the dollar store. They can help to comfort them and save on flashlight batteries as well as turn a potentially scary night into a fun and cool night playing with glow sticks. Depending on the child’s age use good judgment or buy ones with a thick shell so they don’t break or crack and leak the fluorescent liquid, you never know if its toxic or not but if it glows it cant be that good.

Final Thoughts

Power outages can be scary but, when properly prepared and planned for can make for a night of peace and quiet. Free from the loud crazy TV, Video game, Radio and rumbling background appliance filled world we are all so used to.

It can give you a chance to sit down, read a book or take the opportunity to play an old fashion board game. Grow as a family and really begin reconnecting to those strangers we all so often take for granted (Our family).


Home Improvement

How to Make a Room Look Larger

There are a number of simple solutions that can make a room look larger than it really is. Most are extremely affordable and easy to set up. Small rooms can become dark and claustrophobic if the decor scheme is poor and various interior features are underdeveloped. By including the tips I give below, you can soon make any room look larger whether you have a small budget or not. A number of improvements that make a room look larger can also be safely implemented in rented accommodation where major adjustments to the interior walls and floors are often frowned upon.

The best way I have found to make a room look larger is the addition of mirrors. In a small room, whether a living room, bedroom or bathroom, a series of mirrors will provide the visual effect of more space and light. One of the best places to fix a mirror is opposite the entry way to a room. This will give the illusion of a larger room when you or a visitor enter the interior space. The simple mirror effect makes a room look larger and can be achieved with mirrors big or small, cheap or expensive. Just a couple are needed to really bring about the desired look and create an added sense of depth to a room.

For people who own their own home and can gain planning permission, one great way to make a room look larger is by creating a new window. Large picture windows allow in extra light and provide a visual range outside to the garden, a scenic view or just onto the front road. Depending on privacy and costs, this implementation will make a room look larger and also brighter which is especially apt for the winter months.

Cut-throughs also provide an interior architecture option when it comes to making a room look bigger. If you have a dinning room next to the kitchen or living room, you can knock down part of the wall to make two rooms into one larger space. This is what I have personally done in many homes I have lived in and the effect is tremendous for making a room look larger. That said, one must insure that the wall is not vital in holding up the house. Check with a qualified designer or builder before going through with this.

Furniture and how it is arranged is an important aspect of making any type of room look larger. It is usually the case that in a living room, the table or sofa becomes the center of attention. This can be modified whereby the room is broken into smaller gathering spaces which involve accent or coffee tables being highlighted by small rugs which in a way define the new spaces. Instead of having large items of furniture creating weight in a room, the more smaller items spaced in groups will make the room look larger.

Finally, another way to make a room look larger is through the use of wall murals or photographic prints. These are a popular choice with the advancement of printing technology and can be customised so they fill an entire wall. For example, you can have a scene of cornfields on a summers day taking up an entire wall which will give an optical illusion of making the room look larger than it really is. Different colors of paint will also make an interior brighter or more energetic which again creates the feeling of more space.

There are many more ways to make a room look larger than it really is and these can be explored in more detail by browsing Interior Design magazines, television programs and perusing style websites online.

Edward Beaman-Hodgkiss is a professional Interior Designer with a passion for sharing advice on decorating rooms and spaces. He puts his knowledge and experience to good use on his website Home Interior Design Themes which is a goldmine for people seeking tips and inspiration when decorating their homes.