Devonshire Woman

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Could Your Home Make You Healthier?

Health is happiness, so the saying goes, and anyone who has experience prolonged bouts of ill health will know that without your wellbeing, you don’t have much else. We know this, and so we place importance on having a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and aiming for quality sleep. But do you ever think about the role your home has to play in your health and wellbeing? Our home environments constantly surround us, woven into the fabric of our daily existence, and so they become fundamentally linked with how we feel and how well we are mentally and physically. Some simple changes to your home can result in a much better balance, and they can be as big or small as you like…

Improve Lighting and Layout

It’s fundamental things that can make a huge difference to how you feel. For example, have you ever really thought about the lighting in your living space? It’s a subtle thing, but how we choose to light our homes can have far reaching impacts, from the timing and release of hormones, the regulation of our blood pressure and glucose levels, even down to affecting our ability to sleep well and to think clearly.So think about upgrading the lighting solutions in your home with elegant new lamps or uplighters from Scotlight Direct. Similarly, it could be time to rethink the layout of your most used rooms. Studies have proven that messy and cluttered rooms inhibit sleep quality and cause stress – so invest in some chic storage units to keep the mess tidied away.

Go For The Green

A planting scheme may be something you think of in connection with your garden, but actually, devising a scheme for your interior greenery can boost your health. Improving your indoor air quality, research by NASA determined that having at least one potted plant per 100 square foot can dramatically improve the air in your home. Choose low maintenance potted varieties such as ficus, rubber plants or spider plants to provide a splash of greenery that won’t die off if you don’t keep to a religious watering schedule.

Choose Better Paints

As well as the effects of colour on mood, it could be time for a spring repaint so that you can switch to no VOC paints. VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, are stabilisers and preservatives added to commercial paint brands. Unfortunately, they release a host of nasty chemicals into the environment, and this process continues for up to five years after painting. The good news is that no VOC paints are becoming more widely available, and the colour range and quality won’t leave you feeling disappointed.

Keep Your Flooring Clean

Your floor is a significant source of dirt and pollutants entering your home environment. Choose a carpet with a low pile density or hardwood floors with a flatweave rug which makes it tougher for dust and allergens to settle in and are very easy to keep clean. Natural fibres will also make sure no chemicals are being released. Also, make a practice of removing your shoes as you come into the home – a stylish slimline shoe cabinet may help with this – and then you aren’t tracking dirt and mess into your home, keeping it a little healthier every time you come in the door.

What’s In The Way Of You & Your Perfect Home?

If you are not already living in your perfect home, why might that be? At first glance, you might think that you know what it is that’s stopping you, but if you look a little deeper you might quickly be surprised to discover that you are kidding yourself about the real causes. There are so many things that can get in the way of you and your dream house, and it is worth knowing exactly what those are so that you can approach the issue with as much previous knowledge and understanding as possible. With that, you will be able to get much closer to having your perfect home much sooner than you might expect. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a number of the common hurdles stopping people from having their ideal, perfect home.

Lack Of Vision

One of the most common reasons that people end up living in anything less than perfect conditions is that they are not actually fully aware of what that perfection looks like to them. You need to have a strong sense of what it is that you actually want from your home, otherwise you will find it hard – perhaps even impossible – to manifest the kind of dream home that would really make you happy. So, the first thing to get out of the way is this: are you suffering from a lack of vision about what you really want? It might be that something is blocking your creativity, or that you have taken on too many other people’s ideas of what makes a good home that you have forgotten your own. Whatever it is, remove the blockage, and improve your own understanding of what you really want. It can even be helpful to sit down with pen and paper and give yourself the opportunity to brainstorm freely. In this way, you can open yourself up to what you really want, and that will mean that you are more likely to get it – for obvious reasons.

Financial Constraints

It goes without saying that bringing your dream home into existence is going to cost money in one way or another. This is equally true whether you are building a home from scratch or simply renovating an existing one. But no matter the extent of your financial concerns, there is always a solution to be found. It’s worth remembering that, because money worries very often have a way of making things seem impossible, even if that is not actually the case. If you are struggling financially, you might want to think about what you can do to make it a little easier on yourself.

The first thing to consider here is how you might be able to bring about more money in your life. This can be easier than you might think; mostly, it just requires that you change your mindset to wealth and gaining money. With the right kind of mindset, you can find yourself receiving much more, and it can almost seem to happen as if by magic. In a way, it is magic. An immutable law of this magic is that you must share and share alike with any wealth you receive, and that process of sharing can be much looser than you might think. It can mean, for instance, creating a better and more peaceful home to share with your family. Follow this rule, and money will come.

Alternatively, you can simply work on finding ways to keep the costs of renovation and building down. If you are curious about how to update your home on a tight budget, the good news is that there are many places to begin – and no matter whether you start with something small or something larger, you should be able to make it happen. Reduce the costs, and much of the stress of the process will be removed, along with one of the major hurdles.

Time

Time is an even more important resource than money, and in many ways it is even more difficult to master and control. For obvious reasons, it is finite, whereas your ability to gain wealth is pretty much infinite. However, with a better understanding of how to use your time, you can easily make more use of it, and this can help with what is often one of the major hurdles stopping you from having your perfect home. Work on planning out your renovations in detail regarding the timescale, and you will find this really does help to achieve what you are hoping to achieve in a much better speed.

Get A Better Night’s Sleep With A Better Bedroom Setup

Sleep is important, without it – we’re only operating at half the speed we should be. If you find it difficult to get to sleep at night, perhaps your bedroom is to blame. With spring on the way, now’s the perfect time to give your bedroom a makeover.

Learn more about how to get a better night’s sleep by improving your bedroom setup.

Block out the light

If your bedroom has too much light coming in, you could find it difficult to drift off or be woken earlier than you should in the morning. Consider getting some blackout blinds to make it easier to get to sleep, or invest in some darker, thicker curtains that can help reduce the effects of streetlights.

Invest in a new mattress

A new mattress can make the world of difference to your sleep. If yours is looking a little tired, it might be time to invest in a new one. You can buy mattress styles that come with comfort guarantees, so if you don’t see an improvement in your sleep habits, then it’s possible to get your money back to try another option. Look for a mattress that is durable and made from quality materials such as memory foam as well as a mattress that addresses specific needs if you suffer from back or joint pain.

Get rid of the clutter

It’s difficult to relax in a messy room, so if you find your mind preoccupied with your untidy floor, then it’s time to start decluttering. Give your bedroom a 60-minute spring clean that will help tackle some of the obvious clutter, while taking the time to fully declutter bedroom will help make it easier to keep tidy. Start by getting rid of any unwanted clothes and consider investing in extra storage solutions to keep everything off the floor.

Keep your bedroom at the right temperature

Temperature can have a significant effect on your quality of sleep, and if it’s too hot or too cold – you might not be getting the rest you should. 16-18 degrees is typically considered the ideal temperature for sleep, so if your room is colder than this, you might want to think about using the heating. If your bedroom gets too warm (especially during the summer months), this could also impact your sleep quality, so getting a fan is a great investment for those balmy nights.

Keep electronics out of sight

Using electronics before bed could be another factor affecting your sleep. If you like to browse in bed, consider giving your phone or laptop a break for an hour or so before you go to sleep. Keep your tech locked away in a drawer, or another room and rely on traditional alarm clocks to wake yourself up in the morning. It may not seem like much of an issue, but switching off could significantly improve your sleep quality.

Sleep is important for your health, so if you’re not getting enough of it, then you need to find out why. If your bedroom setup is to blame, making some simple changes could soon make poor sleep a thing of the past, providing many benefits for your health and wellbeing.

Add Value To Your Property Before Selling

One of the main advantages of stepping on to the property ladder is being able to upgrade from your starter-buy house to one that fits your description of “dream house” more accurately. Selling up and putting the money towards a new property could put you on the market in a position that you never thought you would be able to obtain. When selling your house, you want to be sure you are getting the best possible price, and in order to do that, a few simple additions or changes may be necessary. Below are a few options you may want to consider investing in before you put your house on the market.

Conservatory

Even though you are not adding to the number of bedrooms in your home, you will be adding to the living space – an invaluable asset to many large families. It allows room for another social area for either parents or children, so the occupants of the house aren’t always living under each other’s feet. Taking the time to research and choose a conservatory build that compliments the architecture and structure of your property will help to avoid that “stuck on the back look” a lot of conservatories are associated with. Due to the high traffic nature of a conservatory, it will be worthwhile investing in a durable and sustainable floor such as karndean flooring or similar. Going for a light colour of flooring will also minimise bleaching from the hot sunny days that will bless your conservatory.

Renovate The Kitchen

It seems nowadays that when someone looks at a house, one of the most important rooms in it is the kitchen. For some, it is a make or break factor in buying the house. The bedrooms can be redecorated, the lounge can have a new carpet put down, but replacing the kitchen takes money and time – money and time that a lot of people are not prepared to part with, especially if they have young children or are elderly. According to Phil Spencer, a new kitchen will add 4.6 percent to the value of your house if the price of it is in accordance with the rest of the property, so you make your money back.  

Modernise Your Bathroom

You don’t necessarily have to rip out the entire suite and change the tiling unless you are still sporting the avocado or maroon bathroom from the seventies, then you may want to consider a refit. It is more about the simple changes that can help a bathroom look like new. Redoing the grout around your tiles, fitting a new shower head and taps, and replacing the shower screen or curtain to a brand new design will work wonders. If you do decide on investing in a refit, make sure that the master bathroom has an actual bath rather than a standing shower unit, as this will be a lot more attractive and useful for families with young children. In any ensuites, a standing shower is suitable and will be useful for any potential elderly persons looking at buying your house.

With the demand for housing at the moment, it can be quite a competitive market to enter into, so it is a smart idea to make a few additions to your home to make it the most attractive in your local area.

Sprucing Up The Bathroom

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It’s a new year and we are heading closer and closer to spring. This time of year is the most popular time for redecorating the house because the days are becoming longer and it is getting warmer too. If you fancy spending your weekend on a design project in your home, why not tackle the bathroom?

The bathroom is a part of the home which many people think they cannot touch unless they rip everything apart and start again, but this isn’t the case. Like any other place in the house you can make small changes to your bathroom at any time, and here are some ways to do it…

  1. Update the fixtures

The easiest way to update your bathroom and make it feel more luxurious is to update the fixtures you have in the room. This can be as simple as replacing a chunky radiator with one from Radiator Outlet, or changing your electric shower and buying a new shower head. Even changing your taps to sleek chrome ones will make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of your home.

  1. Be arty

Another example of ways to make your bathroom look newer with relaying all of your tiles is to add some artwork into the space. It might seem a little odd to think of hanging up artwork in the bathroom, but it is something which can really make a huge difference to a plain white wall and also offset any coloured towels you have in the room. The design doesn’t need to be complicated- an image of a cactus or a flamingo could be a fun pairing to make the bathroom feel like summer all year, but it depends on your personal style.

  1. Paint the tiles

If you don’t have the money or time to be retiring your whole bathroom, a short term fix can be to paint the tiles. So if you have moved into a house which has terrible coloured tiles, you can cover them until you have the money to replace them! You will need an oil based primer on the tiles before you paint them, and then a high adhesion paint on top.

  1. Have fun

The bathroom doesn’t need to be boring, you can have some fun with the design just as you would in any other part of the home. Add some coloured wallpaper, pieces of art, bright towels and paint your vanity a bold colour too if you like.

  1. Work it

Sometimes you may be faced with colour combination of tiles which you really aren’t too sure of, but instead of changing it, make it work. If you are stuck with pink and yellow tiles ( or another weird combination), try it add fun elements to the room and some chunky curtains to accent the colour, it might seem a bit weird  at first, but you could be making a great design in the end. Just think of how unique your bathroom will look!

Heating Your Home With Style

A new year may well have crept over the horizon and brought about a renewed sense of hope, ambitions and dreams, but the same old winter is still threatening to put all this want to achieve more in jeopardy. It’s just hard to get motivated when all you can think about is climbing under the duvet with a mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows and whipped cream, of course!) with one intention: to keep warm.

Of course, the obvious option is to crank up the heating and then accept you’ll burst into tears when that energy bill finally falls through your letterbox at the end of the quarter, but that isn’t going to keep you warm at night.

Don’t despair, though; we’ve pulled together a list of stylish, gorgeous and gorgeously inexpensive ways you can keep the frost away until the sun comes back out to play:

  1. Delightful Drapes

There is no insulation more beautiful than a lovely pair of curtains. They don’t just do the job of trapping the warmth in your home, they do so with style and elegance, lifting the ambience of your home from the moment they are hung on a rail. It could be that you put a pair of voile curtains at the bottom of your stairs to keep the heat in your main living spaces, while adding another layer of grandeur to your interior, or you could opt for some long drapes that form a puddle on the floor, which is how we imagine every window in Buckingham Palace is styled. Of course, thicker is always better.

  1. Ravishing Rugs

Nothing looks more stylish and inviting as sleek wooden floors, the kind that greets you at the front door and draws your eye to the rest of the home. The problem is, they’re cold. Sure, they look warmer than a pumpkin-spiced latte, but they let the heat slip out (as your cold toes will have no doubt let you know). That is why you need to pop down to Ikea and invest in one/two/three/five (delete accordingly) thick-pile rugs to dot around your home. Put a sheepskin rug by your bed so that getting out in the morning feels amazing, pop a Persian number in your bathroom to make it more bearable in the middle of the night and plonk something luxurious down in your living room. You want something to nestle your nearly-frozen toes into.

  1. Fire It Up

Feeling warm goes way beyond just turning the heat up. It is embracing everything that makes you feel fifty shades of cosy. It is that hygge way of life. That is why a natural log fire has to be considered because nothing feels cosier than snuggling up on the sofa, blanket pulled up to your waist, last summer’s book in your hands and a fire crackling away in the background. Just thinking about it is warming us up ten degrees. Yes, they can be costly, but that dazzling statement is well worth the pennies, as your toasty tootsies will tell you.

5 Simple Ways To Sweeten Up Your Mealtimes

When you’re a bit of a sweet tooth, you probably find mealtimes bittersweet. Even if you’re a foodie in general, you know that you need to get through the main event in order to access the sweet stuff. And that can often be torture in itself. At the same time, you’re also going to find that you’re forever wishing you could get your sugar fix without the nasties that come with it. Because we all know that sugar isn’t all that good for you. In fact, too much of it can actually be bad for your teeth, and your health in general. So, you may be looking for alternative ways to sweeten up your mealtimes without having to turn to sugar. If you are, these ideas should suit you perfectly.

Add Some Fruit

First of all, you should definitely think about incorporating more fruit into your diet. Whether it’s to have after your main meal, or with it, fruit will always sweeten up what you’re about to eat. Full of natural sugars – and lots of vitamins and minerals too, it’s a healthy balance. You can even add fruit to things like salads to make them much more exciting and sweeter to eat too. If that’s a bit much for your more traditional mind, you should definitely save some fruit for afters instead.

Try An Alternative To Sugar

If your brain still wants to have something sugary after you’ve had your main meal, you could try to work with some alternatives. Although you may not think a maple syrup diet swap is what you want, it could really work for you. Drizzle it on some fruit and you’re ready to go. You could also try the same by using it in recipes, or even something like Stevia or coconut sugar in your recipes so things can be kept a little healthier.

Follow With A Topped Yogurt

Opting for yoghurt is often a really good idea. Although some yogurts are going to be full of sugar, greek yogurt is great for you. It’s packed full of protein, low in sugar and fat, and tastes good too. By topping it with some exciting stuff, you’re also going to find that it makes for an incredibly sweet dessert at mealtimes.

Choose Your Drink Pairing Carefully

Next up, you could also turn to your drink of choice too. Because sometimes, a really fruity and flavoursome beverage is all you need to sweeten up your mealtime. From homemade lemonade to fruit tea, you’ll be able to pair up the perfect drink to make your main feel that much more exciting.

Try Some Sweeter Veg Choices

Finally, maybe you would benefit from working with some sweeter side dishes too. Although this won’t always work for everyone, you should definitely think about doing things like beetroot or pickled cabbage with your meals. Sometimes, you just need to mix up your palette a little to be able to create a great dish that is going to satisfy your sweet tooth as well as your hunger pains.