Looking to host a dinner party for your loved ones? It’s a great way to get everyone together as well as making the most of your home. But when you’re having guests over, you’ll of course want to make sure that your place is up to scratch and ready to impress. Here are some of the ways you can upgrade your home if you plan on having regular get togethers, or getting it ready to host a dinner party.
Consider your floor covering
If you have guests over a lot, it can make sense to have easy to clean flooring downstairs. Solid wood, laminate or natural stone like marble are all good choices- they’re easy to clean so if any dirt comes in on people’s shoes you won’t be sat scrubbing stains like you would with carpet. Of course you always have the option of asking guests to remove shoes, but it’s an easier option to simply go with a suitable floor covering in the first place. Not only is this great for if you have guests or workmen in your home but it prevents your children and pets ruining the flooring as well. At a dinner party you always have the risk of food or drink spills, so carpet isn’t the best choice.
Think about your table
Having a table that comfortably sits six or eight people is useful if you throw regular dinner parties. If you don’t want a large table to take up this much space on a day to day basis, you always have the option of extendable tables. Store away a few of spare chairs in the garage, and then when you’re hosting people you can set up the table to sit more people and add the chairs. Throw over a tablecloth and no one will know the difference! Dinner parties tend to be slightly more formal affairs, and so it’s worth going all out with the table decor. Find a stunning centrepiece, and add your nicest crockery and cutlery to lay the table. You could add napkin rings and placeholders too, these are especially good for occasions like easter and Christmas.
Add wine storage to your kitchen
A good host knows that at a dinner party you need to keep the drinks flowing. If you have people over often, it’s well worth having somewhere to store your wine. This could be a wine rack integrated into your kitchen or added afterwards- any gaps between appliances are useful for slotting one in. You could purchase a wine cooler, or even keep a spare fridge or shelving in your basement or garage for storing wine. Companies like Oddbins wines have plenty on offer so it’s easy to stock up without breaking the bank, and it means you’re always ready to host a dinner party or have guests over!
Do you have guests over often for food and drinks? What changes to your home would make life easier when you’re hosting guests?
If somebody asks you what the purpose of your life is, you will have a flashback to periods of your life, your family and friends, but your mind will also to go a hobby that played a significant role in your life. That’s the power of a hobby.
Hobbies are things that bring you joy, calm and sometime you can turn them in to serious money making sidelines. There are few hobbies that have stood the test of time and there is reason for it. Here are some of the most popular:
This is maybe the most talked about hobby ever… but tell you what, it deserves all the praise it is getting (for hundreds of years, actually).
The thirst for knowledge can never be satisfied, and if you are someone who is satisfied with the limited experience he/she has, then you should know that intellect has an appeal of its own. Besides, the more you read, the more you start to understand the world and get a creative imagination. This increased general knowledge and impromptu understanding will be helpful in scoring jobs and promotions for you later in life. From hydroponics to pythagoras theorem – there are endless things to read about.
Music is quick. It is fun, and there is a lot of it for you to explore. Check out a couple of old records from the 60s when modern music was given shape, check out the inspiration of later musicians, and make it a part of your life which is not just something you listen to when you’re travelling or partying.
Call it musical academia, except that there is no teacher involved (and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing). If you don’t want to spend out on lessons, hit youtube for some free tutorial.
Writing is an art form. You can do it for fun, for therapy, for others to read, to sell or to make something memorable. Once you get started it can become very difficult to remember a time when your first instinct after experiencing something wasn’t to just write it down. It is relatively cheap too.
Have you ever heard of the retail therapy? The purpose of hobbies is to keep you occupied in all states of your mind, and this is why shopping can be excellent therapy for you. This is one that costs perhaps more than the others, but people who are avid shoppers have a natural sense of saving when they shop.
So, the next time somebody describes you as a shopping freak don’t forget to say thanks!
20 years ago, if you wanted to do photography, then you might have been blocked by the money factor. But today, with a decent phone, you can start off your career as a personal photographer. Start taking a picture in your backyard and one day you will own a professional page on Instagram, and your following will speak for why this hobby is incredible!
Are you a family that uses their dining room only for special occasions like Christmas and Birthdays, or a household that eats at the table every single mealtime? Well, whichever category you fall into I’m sure you will agree that getting the look and feel of the dining room is a high priority. How can you do this? Well, read our ultimate guide below for some tips on creating a light and bright family dining room in which everyone will want to hand out.
If a light and bright space is your goal, then it’s crucial to pay attention to the windows, and the natural light they let into your dining room space. If you’re lucky enough to have full-length picture windows, then it’s best to make the most of these and only have curtains at the windows rather than nets, as this will allow in the most light and make the room seem spacious.
It is also vital to remember that when hanging curtains they should be fixed above and to the side of the windows rather than on the top edge and into where the glass frame is, as this can make the room feel darker.
Also, remember that if you have smaller windows in your dining room, then you may struggle to let in as much natural light as you would like. Of course, following the curtain hanging tip above can help, but you may wish to use other tactics to make the room seem as light and bright as possible.
One of these strategies is to ensure that the light is not blocked from the outside, so trim down any bushes or flowers that are infringing on the window space.
Also, the colour of the wall that you paint your room will have a considerable effect on how bright it seems, no matter what the size of the window. With this in mind, using a bright, light-reflecting white colour is an excellent move. You can even lighten things up a little more by picking a bold tone like yellow, pink, or orange on the wall that receives the most light. Such a tone will then reflect more light into the rest of the room and give this illusion that it is a brighter space.
Another way to maximise the light in your dining room area is to make your space open plan. Open plan is when walls between different section of the home are removed, and this can be a partially useful tactic here because light from other areas and windows can travel unbroken into the dining room space.
Open plan spaces allows light to reach the dining room from other areas.
Knocking through a wall to make your dining space open plan can be hard work though. In particular, you must check that none of the walls you are removing are load bearing before you get started. Otherwise, you can affect the structural integrity of your house, making it unsafe and lowering its value.
However, it is worth noting that an open plan space can also work well for family living, as when the kids are doing their homework or art projects at the table, you can supervise them from the kitchen or lounge and still feel like you are spending time together as a family.
Obviously, the furniture that you pick for your light and bright dining room is essential as well. To that end, it is worth shopping around for the perfect table and chair that compliments not only your colour scheme but also fit in with your brightness goals.
In particular, finding a table that is white as well chair to match is the right call. You can even get custom made dining chairs created where you select the wood colour and the fabric to keep things as light as possible. Something that can add to the overall feeling of space and light for which you are searching.
Lastly, to create a successful light and bright room lighting is an essential consideration. The styles and types of lights that you pick for your space will depend on a variety of things, but don’t be afraid to combine different lights to get the effect that you want.
Yes, most dining rooms will have a central light in the middle of the room, but remember that you do not have to go for a single fitting here. In fact, you can get a great effect from using alternative types of lighting like a chandelier instead.
Also be sure to include uplighters and even orb style table lamps in shelving areas, and dark corner of the room, as this will ensure the entire space is as light, bright, and pleasant for your family get-together’s and mealtimes as possible.
If you are restyling your property, aim for a modern design. Bring your home into the future with a lush style that doesn’t feel like the past and fits firmly into the present or indeed the future. While some people may favour the more vintage elements of property design, modern homes are absolutely wonderful with everything that you could possibly want. They have stunning designs that look incredible, fantastic furniture options and will bring you true joy. Let’s look at some the best features of the modern home design.
One of the problems, when you buy a home, is that ultimately it starts to look cluttered and cramped. That’s why people often choose to move. It’s not that they need a bigger place per say. It’s that they’ve filled their old home with junk and furniture that they didn’t need so it now looks smaller. You can quite easily correct this issue by making sure that you adopt the modern design. Taking the living room for instance. You can design it with a modern corner sofa, a beautiful coffee table for the centre table and a few accessories. That’s all you really need.
With a modern design, you will be able to decorate your home but still, keep the level of clutter under control. Ultimately, you will be opting for a minimalist style. Choosing each furniture piece carefully, you can create room designs that look magnificent without being overcrowded.
It’s not just a practical advantage. Styling your home like this will make it look stunning. It fits into the contemporary theme.
Art = Tech
In the past technology was an ugly eyesore as part of your home. Try as they might, developers found it difficult to make tech look anything like a stylish design choice. That’s why in homes for show, you hardly ever saw any technology. Today things have changed, and modern design can have tech that looks like art.
Take the TV for instance. Modern TVs are so slim that they can fit on the wall like a beautiful work of art. They will look brilliant too and when you want to put them to use, can be pulled out for any angle of viewing.
This isn’t the only awesome benefit that tech brings to modern home design. New smart lights can change the colour scheme of your room completely, bathing your room in beautiful, coloured light.
Stunning Floors You Can Afford
Old-fashioned homes often have carpet everywhere. Modern homeowners that opt for the minimalist design should consider wooden flooring. In the past hardwood floors were both stylish and expensive. Today, you can purchase laminate flooring. These are a very stylish option and totally affordable. That means that you don’t have to worry about not being able to fit this choice in your design budget.
Who would have thought it? Industrialist designs are sweeping into modern homes and bringing a fresh new style option for owners. With industrial designs, everything is very simple, and it is part of the minimalist feel of the modern home. With this type of design furniture and accessories don’t intrude on the feel of the room. Instead, the room essentially, speaks for itself.
Whether it feels like it or not, spring has finally sprung, which can only mean one thing; Summer is right around the corner. Granted, it might not be shorts and swimsuit weather just yet, but the warm weather is on its way, and it’s vital that we all prepare our homes for when it arrives. If you’re after a calm and carefree summer, with lots of relaxation and very little hassle, then here are a few important things that you should do. Here is a list of tasks you absolutely can’t forget.
Check On Your Air Conditioning
With summer comes hot weather, so it’s vital that you’ve got some way to stay cool. If you use an air conditioning system for this purpose, then you need to make sure that you check it over properly before the weather warms up. After all, the last thing that you need is for it to break on a really hot day and not have the means to fix it. It is possible to do this yourself, but it’s often better to call out a professional, as they will be able to spot problems easily and be able to fix them.
Prevent Any Water Damage
It would be lovely if summer were filled with never-ending days of sunshine, but this is very rarely the case, especially in the UK. Because of this, it’s essential that you also do what you can to prevent water damage, in case there’s a summer storm. You need to check all of your doors and windows for leaks, and also inspect your roof, attic, and basement. You should also make sure to clean out your gutters so that they don’t become blocked if it rains.
Consider Building An Orangery
Orangeries are a perfect addition to your home, as they provide some shelter throughout summer, while also allowing you to be in the sunshine. They are a little more expensive than your average conservatory, which may make you wonder “why choose an orangery?”, but they’re also a lot more energy efficient, making them the perfect place to spend time in summer and winter. They’re also incredibly sophisticated, which makes the extra cost a little bit more worth it.
Protect Yourself From Pests
Bugs and pests are out and about no matter the time of year, but summer is definitely when they’re most active. While you may be able to ignore them when you’re outside, you don’t want them getting into your home, which is why it’s vital that you do whatever you can to protect it. The obvious first step is to clean everywhere, to get rid of any insects that may have made your home their own, and then you should check for places they could enter again and block them.
Summer is supposed to be a time when you can relax, but this will only be possible if you start preparing your home now. Hopefully, these tips will help you with this, so that your summer is as carefree as it possibly can be.
Wanting to switch up your interior space, will mean that you’ll want to add plenty of character and charm so that you feel comfortable, cosy, and surrounded by your personality. If you favour classic pieces and period interiors; it can sometimes be a challenge to create a livable and functional space, and not make your home look like Downton Abbey. Lacklustre and plain environments shouldn’t overwhelm you; think of them as a blank canvas, and enjoy the fun of deciding how your living space wil look. If you feel like putting William Morris printed wallpaper up all over your house is a step too far, don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to enrich your space with a few key pieces.
You might choose to buy items brand new, love an auction house, or spend your Saturdays exploring reclamation yards and second-hand shops for your furniture and accessories are out there for you to discover. Once you have a clear idea of the era you like the look of, you’ll be able to start utilising sites like Pinterest, or even create a physical mood-board of your own. Having something to reference when you’re on the hunt for your special pieces will make it easier to narrow things down and make decisions on your purchase. The following are some ideas and inspiration for those who are ready to purchase the larger items that can give a home plenty of vintage character, and will last them for the years ahead.
Sit Down And Relax
Once you see beautiful sofas and armchairs that will fit into your theme and interior style; snap them up straight away. It’s worth looking at a sofa direct from manufacturer so that you can get something bespoke for your home. You can always reupholster items with fabric that suits the era or give them a modern or quirky twist with something unique. However, it’s the shape, style, and silhouette of the furniture that will really push a room back into whatever year you want to channel. You can always use your local storage company to keep items dry and safe until you’ve sold or got rid of your old three-piece-suite, sometimes you won’t have the time to think about that until after your purchase, but they’ll be totally worth it.
Rest Your Head
If you fancy a vintage, boudoir-inspired bedroom; be on the lookout for classic four-poster bed frames. Headboards are a great way to add a certain style to a plain divan or base, and these can also be upholstered or painted to bring it back to life again. Have fun with your sheets, soft furnishing, and throws; prints and colours can be changed easily through the use of fabric, and you can update the look of the whole bedroom with a fresh take on your bedlinen. Putting the effort into updating and upcycling items will give you unique vintage furniture that nobody else will have, and your home will look great too. You’ll need somewhere comfy to sleep after all that decorating you’ve been dong!
If you’ve heard the saying to ‘behave one’s age’ before, you won’t be surprised to know that your home interior should also reflect the interests of your generation. Ultimately, while it might seem a little unfair to limit your interior decor to a generational cliché, there is no denying that homeowners naturally obey this unspoken rule. If you remember the living room of your grandparents, it’s fair to say that it probably was already vintage when you were a child, as a result of having not renewed their furniture and decor in decades.
Of course, you will still find homeowners who have chosen a style that doesn’t quite match their age – such as people who own an old house and want to keep a natural feel to the decor, or bed and breakfast runners who prefer to create a unique and quirky interior – but it’s fair to say that each generation naturally follows the trends of their ages. Is there anything wrong with it? The answer is no. But it’s crucial you understand that going with the flow will also be easier and smoother than working against it. What’s the best choice in interior decor based on your age? Here are some inspiring ideas for you.
Minimum effort, maximum result: Generation X
You’ll find that generation X has an eye for an interior statement as part of their decor. The reasoning for a statement element is quite simple. Generation X was the last generation to be able to afford a home at an early point in life – contrary to Millennials who are often seen to rent a place until late in their 30s. As a result, it’s easy to see that the home sweet home can begin to feel a little dull, especially if you’ve already spent 20 years in the same place. While redecorating can be expensive, generation X homeowners have opted for an elegant and time-saving solution by creating an accent. A couple of large accessories can do the trick to attract the eye and change the atmosphere in the room. Another common choice is to paint a statement wall in a bright and vibrant colour. You’ll be surprised to see how much difference a colourful wall can make in a room! You can also gradually introduce patterns into your decor, such as using motif cushions in the living room, for instance, to renew the interior with minimum effort.
Maximise the entertainment design: Millennials and Generation X
Entertainment can be a major part of your interior style, as the Generation X and Y demonstrated when they first introduced video consoles into their living room. Can a PlayStation and a large TV screen be part of your decor? The answer is yes! Entertainment is more than a hobby, it is an integral part of your interior style. As a result, you’ll find that more and more homeowners of these generations are using their fun gear as stylish accessories. From creating a small indoor bar in the man’s cave with wine on tap for the entertainment of adults only to displaying your stereo system proudly on the central shelf in the lounge, the Generation X and the Millennials take their fun seriously. The preferred themes tend to be gaming, music and parties – there are even some people who have added a disco light into the lounge!
I click therefore I’m a homeowner: Millennials
Smart homes are a favourite for the generation who grew with the Internet technology, the Millennials. If their communication can be automated online, why couldn’t their home be the same? And, of course, there’s a myriad of smart tools to fulfil their needs. Home automation is, indeed, a thing. You can now control your home through the click of a button, or simply by using your voice. Amazon’s Alexa is so popular because it’s able to perform home maintenance functions while still engaging in fun banters! ‘Alexa, turn the heater up and tell me a joke, please.’ Through the Internet of Things, Millennials can also manage their home even when they’re not at home, from accessing video surveillance cameras to setting the temperature for their return from holidays.
Bring the green indoors: Generation X, Boomers and Millennials
All generations agree, though, that houseplants are good for the soul and the home. With more and more people living in heavily urban environments, plants have multiplied at home. In fact, plants have become such an essential part of the interior decor, that they are not an afterthought you put on the windowsill anymore. Plants are the decor. From creating a wall accent with vivid houseplants to using them as room dividers, green is the new trend. Besides, indoor plants are great to purify the air inside your home, which can create a relaxing and energetic place to find your balance at the end of the day.
Minimalism and simple tastes: Millennials
Modern architects have already acknowledged this trend: Millennials need and want less decor at home. In fact, as a result of the increasing costs of houses and flats, the Generation Y has embraced a minimalist interior style that focuses on the essential elements. Everything they own serves a purpose so that the space is decluttered and clean. The colour scheme is natural, in tones of white, grey, black, and wood, and the result is stunning. It is now well known that Millennials who live in town flats have embraced simplicity to the point of rejecting the living room, which, in their eyes, is a room that doesn’t serve any valuable purpose.
My door to the past: Boomers and Generation X
There’s finally a last kind of decor that is trendy among older generations, which is the true vintage interior. For Baby Boomers, it’s fair to say that their vintage items were once dead on trend but have grown old with the homeowners. Ye olde leather chair that has seen better days has an appealing and pleasing charm. It is rich in stories from the past. As for the Generation X, the idea of vintage is the kind of things you’d find at an antique fair, from 1950s chairs to wooden wardrobes. Why buy old? Because it’s classy and elegant!
From a click to your grandfather’s chair, from monochromatic interiors to vibrant, colourful accents, each style suits a generational need. The question is: What do you expect from your interior?
Going away with the family gives you that opportunity to have the best in life when it comes to making those all important memories. You get the chance to to do different things together and get that quality of time away from the hustle and bustle of normal life and actually spend some quality time together. It can be extremely rewarding. However, some holidays can cost you a small fortune, which is why I thought I would share with you some destinations and holiday ideas that won’t cost the earth. I hope it gives you the inspiration you need.
Ireland is one of those places that people actually have on their bucket list to see and experience. With beautiful countryside and rugged coastlines there literally is something to suit everyone. Whether it is places like County Wicklow, famed for the Wicklow way walks, the fabulous countryside and the Irish sea coastline where staying at places like the Powerscourt Hotel give you the ideal rest spot. You have the city of Dublin for a little more fun and activity in the city, or you have other places like Cork or Galway to explore. You could even consider staying in an Airbnb or a camping adventure for something a little different.
Wales might be a little closer to home, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less a great holiday destination for you and your family. Traditionally, heading to Wales may see you enjoying the nostalgic caravan holiday. With so many parks in some of the best location including the isle of Anglesey, Aberystwyth and Abersoch, to name a few. With beautiful beaches and fabulous tourist attractions all over Wales, there really is a lot to see and do that the whole family can get on board with. Again, if you do like the hustle and bustle of a city, the in the South you have Cardiff which is full of museums and shopping opportunities to enjoy.
The Canary Islands
Maybe you want to head somewhere warm, and I don’t blame you as our track records of glorious hot days tends to be a three day heatwave every now and again. So the Canary Islands are a real popular destination with families. Islands like Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria are full of family friendly resorts and hotels that you can stay in. The Canary Islands are also known for being great value for money, not just in the holiday package, but also the amount you spend when you are there. Plus the weather is always looking pretty good.
Finally, there has been a lot of mention about Turkey in recent news, after the terror attack, Brits were warned not to travel there. This has since been lifted and with added measures in place the travel companies are offering some great deals to boost the tourism side of things there once more. Turkey has always been a popular holiday destination, and again is filled with family friendly resorts to occupy the whole family. It could definitely offer you the summer holiday you want without the huge price tag.
I hope this has given you some inspiration for some fun family holidays.
Entertaining your kids can be pretty tough at the best of times, but when you’re on a tight budget for family fun, it can be much more difficult to ensure that everyone has a good time, which is why I’ve put my thinking cap on to come up with some good ideas for family fun-time that do not have to break the bank…
Have a Board Game Night
There are many excellent board games available right now which are much more sophisticated than many of the child-friendly board games of old – games like Pandemic, Settlers of Catan and Flamme Rouge – which the whole family can enjoy, and although they tend to cost a little more than classics like Monopoly, they offer much more potential for regular game play. Not only that but more and more libraries in this country are offering board game rentals, so you can cut your costs even further. Make a night of it by popping some corn or ordering a pizza and you’ll have bags of fun for a lot less than you might think.
It has never been cheaper or more convenient to watch a wide range of films to suit any family’s tastes. You have the option of sky tv installation, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kodi and much more besides, and although some of these options might seem a little expensive for some budgets, when you have pretty much 24/7 access to entertainment which means you can spend less on days and evenings out, it quickly becomes apparent how much you could save with a simple entertainment subscription. To make it fun, choose a theme for the evening or do a lucky dip by having everyone write down their choice of film on a piece of paper and then draw it out of a hat. Sometimes, it’s the simple things which are the most fun and film night certainly fits the bill for that.
Cook Something Tasty
You all have to eat anyway right, so why not turn the day’s cooking into a fun family event by getting everyone involved. This is particularly good for really young kids who love playing around with food – particularly if you’re baking cakes, and older teens who are developing their own tastes for the first time. As long as you give them some say in what you cook and you allow them to get hands on enough in the cooking process, they’ll really love it.
Throw a Dance Party
Invite the kids’ friends over, fire up the speaker system and have a blast singing and dancing the day (or night) away. It will only cost you the price of drinks and snacks and everyone will have a wonderful time while burning off a few calories, which is always a bonus.
Visit a Local Farm
Younger children in particular love visiting farms where they can see and maybe even pet a range of cute animals, and farm visits are usually very cheap. Best of all, visiting farms can be very educational as well as ensuring your family gets some fresh air and a good walk into the bargain. What are your best budget-friendly ways to have a fun time with the family?
Are you bored of your living space? Do you want to wow your guests every time they enter your home? You need to make a statement. Making a statement in your living space can be done in a variety of ways. It’s a lot of fun, and really doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few helpful tips you can use when you want to make a statement in your living space:
Incorporate Larger Accessories
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners tend to make when trying to make a statement in their living space is buying lots of smaller accessories and thinking that it will improve the look of their home. Smaller accessories might be pretty on their own, but they can actually make a place look cluttered.
Instead of small accessories, hold out until you find larger accessories that you really like. You may only need one or two larger accessories in a room, and that will be enough to make an impact and finish it off. Hold out for an accessory that you really like – don’t just buy one for the sake of it. These larger accessories will often make your home look more put together and glamorous.
Figure Out How To Incorporate Pattern
Incorporating pattern into your living space is a fantastic way to make a statement. You can include as little or as much as you like. If you’re going to include more than one pattern, there are a few guidelines you should look at following to make sure that it turns out right. Using an odd number is a good idea, such as three, and make sure you use around 10% of one, 30% of another, and 60% of another for a look that suits the space perfectly. You definitely don’t want to use even amounts of each pattern, because it’ll look strange.
Use Some Of Your Favourite Bright Colours
Make sure you incorporate some of your favourite bright colours, too. Bright colours look awesome against a neutral backdrop, as it really helps them to stand out.
Create A Few Awesome Feature Walls
Every home should have at least one awesome feature wall. Include one or two in your home and you will have nailed interior design. You shouldn’t have one in every single room though, as this would definitely be classed as overkill. To create your feature walls, you can use artwork, photographs, a mural, patterned wallpaper – just about anything you can imagine.
Choose Your Focal Point
In each room there should be a focal point; something the eye is drawn to when a person enters the room. Make sure you know what your focal point is and work on enhancing it and balancing out the room to create the best possible look. Your room may have a focal point already built in, for example, such as fancy traditional windows or a chandelier. You might want to add one yourself. Make sure you consider what yours is and you will be able to better make a statement in each room.