Devonshire Woman

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Helping The Kids Cope With A House Move

One of the most exciting lifetime milestones is moving from rented accommodation to the house you have just purchased yourself. Years of scrimping and saving for fees and deposits finally pays off and you can move to a home you can call your own. It’s exciting, overwhelming and slightly frightening to have that much responsibility, and if you are bringing kids along for the ride, stressful!

Children are remarkably resilient and they adapt to new situations and surroundings far easier than adults do. In some cases, though, the chopping and changing of a move can cause unsettlement and disruption, especially for those children who thrive on the routines that the family already has set in place. New areas and new experiences can lead to nightmares, clingy behaviour and a general feeling of worry. Don’t panic though, there are many ways you can help your kids through the trauma of a house move and have the whole family come out of the other side smiling.

  • Get them involved in the process. Whether it’s getting them to pack up their own rooms, or pack a special box for the courier to take into the van full of their prized possessions, you need to get the kids involved in the process from start to finish. If you know that there is going to be a move in six months’ time, start talking about it right now and get them comfortable with the idea. Ask for their opinions on areas, on how they’d like their room laid out and even the garden. Getting them used to the idea will make a difference in the whole process.
  • Educate the children in what a house move entails. Break it all down step by step so they know that when one job is complete, there’s another one coming along. Ask them to help search for a new home and help you look for houses on websites like this. Informed children do better with the task ahead.
  • Visit the new area you plan to move to. Whether it’s a few streets away or a couple of towns over, go on a day trip and show them the new area. The local entertainment facilities, a diner or two and the actual street you plan to live on if you know where it is. All of this can help form a visual in their eyes. You can even show them the size of the back yard and talk about a garden or a treehouse you can build for them. All in the name of excitement!
  • Make folders full of information for them to refer to. This is especially handy if you plan to emigrate and cannot simply show them around the new area. Make an exciting file about the new area, schools, entertainment and things the kids will enjoy. Talk about the weather and the fun things to do that they can look forward to.

Kids can cope with a house move as long as you give them the tools to do so. Watch them shine and be as excited as you are!

 

Home Insulation Is For Life, Not Just For Winter

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It’s common among homeowners to assume that insulation is only relevant in winter. It’s created to keep the heat in when you’re spending money on warming your home, right? Well, yes, but it’s also essential for keeping the heat out in summer. People who live in warmer climates might be inclined to ignore the need for insulation, but it’s every bit as important in the heat as it is in the cold. Here’s everything you need to know.

How does insulation work?

Okay, first things first, let’s try to understand how insulation and heat transfer work. The fabric of insulation tends to be full of tiny air bubbles within its structure. These air bubbles make the perfect insulator, and stop heat transferring. This heat transfer is stopped in either direction, meaning that either heat coming in or out of the home is stopped in is tracks. That means, when the sun is beaming down on the roof of your home, the insulation in your loft is actually stopping most of it from making its way into your home. When a home gets warm during the summer, it tends to be from air moving in through windows and doors, and sunlight directly on windows. The insulation in the roof actually helps to cut most of it out. Foil insulation also has the same effect, but works in a different fashion. The foil is obviously very reflective, and this means it sends heat back the way it came, whether it’s back downwards into the home in winter, or back upwards towards the roof in summer.

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Why does it help?

Well, the most obvious answer here is that it keeps the home more comfortable and the costs low. Whatever means you choose to heat your home, whether it’s log fire, gas central heating, or domestic gas oil such as from New Era Fuels, you’re keeping the cost of fuel down. When you require less fuel from your home, you don’t have to spend as much on oil, gas, or coal. In the summer, whether you’re running fans or air conditioning, these systems have to work harder to cool a home with less insulation. The more heat that comes in from outside, the harder these systems have to work, and the more money you have to spend on electricity to power them.

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How can we maximise the use of insulation?

When your walls and roof are properly insulated, how can you maximise its effect in warmer weather? Well, the only other way for the heat from the sun to get into your home is through the windows, so using blinds, drapes, or even net curtains can seriously minimise this effect. The most important thing to remember is to optimise air circulation. At night, open all windows to move the warmer air outside, and close them and the blinds once the sun comes up. If the insulation in your home is of high enough quality, it should keep your ambient temperature at a comfortable level.

Remember, insulation is for life, not just for winter!

An Essential New Home Buying Checklist

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions that most people make during their lifetime, and yet it is one that many people don’t give a huge amount of thought to. Considering this is a place you will probably at least be spending a few years of your life, it makes sense to ensure that you are fully satisfied before taking the plunge. If you are in the process of buying a new home, here are just a few things that you should be looking out for.

Don’t Get Fooled by Estate Agents

Remember, estate agents are cunning and have many homes for sale. They will be doing everything possible to try to entice you to buy a new house. Turn off any music that they have got playing so you can hear the noise of the neighbourhood. If you find out you are on a flight path, this may end up being a problem! Don’t get distracted by the smell of freshly ground coffee or baking bread. It is not going to be like that every time you walk through the door (unless you live with a professional barista or baker). Try not to be swayed by estate agents. Remember that a house isn’t something that is easy to take back to the store!

Analyse Each Room

Don’t get distracted by the furniture that is in each room, but rather size up what sort of space that you have for when you move in. Make sure the layout matches your interests. If you are interested in having people over on a regular basis, a decently sized living room will probably be an attractive prospect. If you are a cooking enthusiast, the size of the kitchen may well be of more importance to you.

Look Out For Bad Signs

Take a close look at the ceilings, windows and walls. Are there any signs of damp staining or discolouration that could be caused by leaks? Can you spot any indication of mould? Do the frames of the windows seem like they are rotting or do they feel wet from condensation? These are all questions that are worth asking so you don’t end up buying a property that needs a huge amount of work to bring up to code.

Work Out If There Room For Improvement

When many people buy a home, they see it as a work in progress. As well as looking at what you have in front of you, you will also want to consider the home improvements that you can make. For example, is there room for an extension in the future? Is there a loft that can be converted? What sort of potential does the garden have?

Ask Questions!

As we have already mentioned, this is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life! If the seller is around, make sure to grill them with as many questions as you can think of. If you can only find the estate agent, it is still worth getting all your queries answered before making your final decision.

Home Decoration, Or Your Next Creative Project?

If you’re a creative person, the chances are you want to include that creativity in your home. Having a house that inspires you is the best way to stay on the craft path. It will keep your creative juices flowing, and surround you with what you love most. But, implementing your creativity into your decor isn’t as easy as it might sound. The main reason being that no one else knows what your creative taste is. As such, no one can help guide you in the right direction. That’s why it’s important you treat your home as you would any other creative project. Here are the steps you should take to get things right.

GATHER MATERIALS

You wouldn’t make a dress without first buying your fabric. And, you can’t create a home without doing the same. Find out which materials you need. From paints to accessories, and everything between. This is the hardest part of the project, because you may not have a style in mind yet. Allow your gathering to help build ideas. Start by choosing a paint colour, and build around it. Buy things you can see working in your home. As with any crafting pursuit, you’ll know when you find the right pieces.


LEARN THE BASICS

You wouldn’t start knitting without knowing the basics. Home decorating is no different. If you’ve never done it before, start from scratch. Research painting tips and tricks to see which would work for you. Try a few practice runs before you let loose on your walls. Watching tutorials is the best way to build an idea of what to do. And, it’s not only the decoration itself that requires basic knowledge. Do a little research, too, into how people make home decor work for them.


ADAPT TO YOUR TASTES

Chances are, you adapt your creative processes according to your liking. Once you know the basics, you can play with the form to make it suit you. It may be that you hold your fabric in a different way from what’s recommended. Or, perhaps you like to go off course altogether. Adapting your home style is important, too. Often, focusing on the small features is the best way to do this. Door handles, like those found at Handle Hardware, can be a fantastic addition. As can light pulls and funky curtains. These are the flourishes that will make your home stand apart from the crowd. Don’t forget to make the most of them.

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FINISHING TOUCHES

When you’ve put your heart and soul into a project, you want to make sure you finish it in the right way. There’s even more reason to do this in your home. It’s the place that you’ll live, after all. And, it’s the part of yourself that every guest is going to see. Finishing touches, like the right cushions on the sofa, and the right throw over the end of your bed, are all you need. They’re simple additions, but they’ll tie all your other efforts together.

Itchy DIY Fingers? What To Do In April

There’s something in the air when the first warm days of spring are there: It’s the call of renewal. It’s difficult not to want to see your house bloom in the same way than the flowers in the garden do – that is, if you’ve got a garden and it has flowers in it. So if you feel that your entire body is twitching with impatience at the idea of crafting something beautiful to celebrate the season of love and nature, then this article is for you. Today, we’ll look at the DIY projects, and other home renovation works that you can do during the month of April. Why not? Because the weather is nice, but it’s not so hot that it is unbearable to work.

Protect Yourself From The Next Cold Winter

If you’ve suffered from the cold, this winter, it’s a sign that your house doesn’t protect you against the fluctuations of the weather anymore. Often, this means that your windows let the cold air in. Unfortunately, this isn’t a DIY project that you can by yourself. Instead have a look at local contractors, such as Buckingham Double Glazing if you live in the Bucks, Beds and Herts areas, to replace your old windows. If this is too much trouble, you can focus on upgrading the insulation under the roof. This is the work of a weekend, and it’s completely DIY-friendly.  

Give Your Kitchen A New Life

Your kitchen is the room that suffers the most from the passage of time. It gets dirty, greasy and dull despite your best efforts to keep it clean. But if your appliances are still in working order, there is no need to change the kitchen. Instead, you can revive it with a little DIY love. You can paint your cabinets with melamine paint to give them a new finish. Complete the look with a full regrout of your tiles so that they can look clean and fresh again. Additionally, the kitchen walls can rapidly get dull as a result of cooking. So, you can pick a kitchen-suitable paint – this means that stains are washable without damaging the colours – to revamp your kitchen.

Revamp Your Forgotten Garden Into A Wildlife Paradise

Spring is the perfect time to change your garden structure and create something new with the old lawn. If you have a soft spot for wildlife, you could consider building a garden pond. This is the DIY project of a weekend. You will need to mark the perimeter of the pond and remove the turf. Then the digging can start: Remember to check that your pond shelves are level. You can use sand or a layer of soft material to protect the lining from rubbing against the ground. Then fill it up and watch the wildlife make it its home.

Update That Summer House

If you have a summer house in your garden, now is the best time to revamp it. First of all, think about what you want it to be: A playroom, a home office, etc. Its purpose will give it a décor. If you’ve used it for storage so far, it may be time to transform it into that craft office you’ve been dreaming of.

Lost Your Get Up And Go?

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We all go through periods where you just don’t seem to have the energy to do anything. Getting up in the morning is an effort, work feels like a slog, you dread the idea of working out, and all you really want to do is crash out on the sofa. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s totally and completely normal. But if you start feeling like this a lot of the time then you might have a problem. Surprisingly a lot of the time these kinds of feelings can be traced to surprisingly small, simple causes. Here are just a few things that might be draining away your get up and go.

Your home

Believe it or not, your home could well be the reason that you don’t have any energy left. While it should be the kind of place where you can rest and recharge, there are plenty of ways that your home can have the opposite effect. If you’re home is incredibly cluttered, then it can feel cramped and difficult to move around. That kind of feeling is an incredibly effective way to sap your energy levels away. Lighting also makes a huge difference. If your home is poorly lit, then it’s not only going to feel small and dingy, but it’s going to make it incredibly difficult to focus on anything or feel especially energised. Bright LED lights from somewhere like www.ledison-led-lights.co.uk will bring a much more suitable amount of light to your home. Of course, you don’t want to go too far in the other direction, making the lights so bright that you end up giving yourself a headache!

Your sleep schedule

This is probably the most common reason that people complain that they have no energy. It’s amazing how many people say that they don’t know why their energy levels are so low, and yet they go to sleep at some ridiculous hour every night. And don’t assume that you can fix it just by waking up later. Humans are not naturally nocturnal animals. Going to sleep late and waking up late is going to make you feel tired and grouchy, not matter how many hours of sleep you had.

Everyday stress

Stress is another incredibly common factor that causes people to lose their get up and go. The pressure of daily life can just pile up and pile up until you’re incapable of doing anything other than falling into a heap on the sofa. The best thing to do is to work hard to separate your work life from your home life. Shed your baggage at the door and leave it there until the next day. One of the best things to do is simply go for a walk after work. Not only will it help you shake the cobwebs off but staying active is one of the best ways to help maintain your energy levels and mood.

Remember, if you feel consistently low a lot of the time and you’re feeling worried about it then it’s a really good idea to speak to someone about it. If you’ve tried other things and nothing’s worked then talk to your doctor about possible signs of depression.

Fall In Love With Your Home Again

When you’ve lived in your house for a long time, it’s strangely difficult to notice the signs of wear and tear. You might feel, deep down, that your home isn’t as fresh and fancy as it used to be. But, hey, we’ve got to live there – it can’t be a showhome all the time! Of course, as time goes by, it’s also quite easy to become bored by our homes. We’re staring at the same decor and layout for so long we don’t seem to notice it anymore. It’s time to get busy and give your home a little TLC.

Start with the ceiling. It’s always best to work from the top down, after all. Over time, regardless of cleanliness, white paint starts to yellow. A fresh coat of good quality paint isn’t all you’ll need to brighten the place up, though. Think about cornicing, and don’t forget the light fitting. These things can be added, replaced, or enhanced to create a whole new look for your room. Modern styles use ceiling embedded spot lights. Traditional properties may have wall uplighters, or an ornate ceiling rose.

 

The walls of your room may have had the odd knock or dodgy paint job over the years. Preparing your walls thoroughly before you paint or paper them will give you a much better finish. Don’t forget the fireplace. These often get quite dirty, even if they are only an ornamental feature. Visit specialist companies like Westland antiques to find an appropriate style for your property. There’s nothing wrong with adopting a period theme in a modern house either.

Skirting boards are a major part of the look and feel of the home. If you have a period home, it’s best to replace like for like. Painting the top surface of these is always tricky so use painter’s tape to get a clear edge finish. If you’re fitting a carpet or changing your wooden floor, be sure to finish any work on the skirting boards in good time for it to dry.

Flooring can be practical, and it can be beautiful. Of course, it can also be quite expensive to replace! If you’re worried about feeling cold in winter, stone, slate or wooden floors can still be warm. Underfloor heating needn’t be a luxury. Rugs are ideal for softening up a room too. Carpets are tough to keep hygienic and looking fresh year after year, so you might want to choose a different option.

 

Once you’ve freshened the room, it’s time to consider furniture. Your hallway may not be big, but don’t be afraid to add a chair, a small table, or a cabinet. It can still be a practical space! As for your living room, consider colourful soft furnishings to brighten up any sitting space. Geometric patterns are still very popular this season, but they don’t have to be bold or brash.

Period properties scream out for ornate furniture and detailed fabrics. If this isn’t to your taste, don’t feel bullied into having them. Instead, pick colour schemes that work for you, and add just one or two details to reflect the character of the house. Fall in love with your home again.