Month: July 2016

Jewelry Armoires Have Many Uses Around The Home

Jewelry armoires are a great way to store your valuable jewelry. They can keep it safe from intruders, sticky fingers and little ones who would rather play with mommy’s toys than their own. But they also add a lot of style to the home, and there are many choices for where to put them. If your master bedroom is large enough, you will probably want to keep it there, but a small or over crowded bedroom does not have to prevent you from having the armoire you want to keep your jewelry and other precious items in.

If the hallway is wide enough, the armoire can be set outside the master bedroom. This makes it convenient to access if you are dressing. If you do set the armoire outside of the bedroom, get a model that has a mirror built into the lid on the top. This will keep you from having to run back and forth to see which piece of jewelry looks best with a particular dress or suit.

Jewelry armoires can also be placed in the master bathroom if you have the room in there for it. This is a good idea when there are little children in the home that spend a lot of time in mommy and daddy’s bedroom. You can close it off and keep it a little safer. Be sure not to place it next to the bath tub or shower, however, because the humidity from the bath and shower can damage wood over time. This works best in a bathroom that has two separate areas for dressing and bathing.

Armoires can also be placed in a walk in closet for easy access and more security. They will not be in easy view if repair or maintenance people are around, and they are tucked away from little hands, too. You can also put your armoire in a spare bedroom if that will allow you to get a larger one for all of your jewelry.

Jewelry armoires are also a good place to store keepsakes, gold coins, precious photographs and even lingerie. The large drawers on the bottom are handy for bangle bracelets, jewelry that you keep in a box or other larger items that you do not want sitting out. If you keep your armoire sitting in the hallway outside of your room, you can put some photographs or a picture of flowers on top of it to make it less conspicuous.…

Investment Opportunities in Serviced Accommodation

This type of company is generally a disruptive business. The Ford Model T revolutionised the car industry; Dyson did the same for the vacuum cleaner; Amazon took advantage of the Internet to change the way we purchased books all sorts of other products; and now AirBnB have made it simple to book accommodation not in hotels but in people’s homes.

Who does not like to be nosy by looking at how other people live and how their homes reflect their lifestyle and personal taste in home decor and furnishings? It seems therefore that AirBnB really did hit the sweet spot.

While most people will have stayed in a hotel at sometime in their life, they now accept that there are alternative accommodations. The term “serviced accommodation” relates to property that delivers somewhere to eat and sleep but in a property that offers the much more than a conventional hotel by including a fully fitted kitchen, a lounge area in which to relax and additional bedrooms for the rest of the family all within one property that will offer a “home from home” experience.

They have raised the bar so this type of accommodation is now what most people when traveling for both business and pleasure want to stay in. They want somewhere that is flexible so they can stay for a night, or longer; and where they can enjoy spacious accommodation, home comforts, the opportunity to cook a meal to save the cost of eating out at a restaurant; the chance to catch up on their washing and above all, the opportunity to share their experiences with the host, as and when they are resident.

The other contributor to the success of serviced accommodation has been technology. Without this it would not have been possible for the model to gain traction and therefore attract hosts to register their properties, at the speed they have.

Guests have benefited too by having the power and speed to locate properties at the click of a button, possibly for booking on demand; having a friendly person to communicate with throughout the booking process; and having peace of mind, knowing that previous guests have written reviews to say how wonderful the host and property was.

It seems that now travelers have experienced AirBnB, and other online travel websites, as leisure guests they are now insisting that their employers allow them to use the same option for their business travel.

This market is therefore expanding at rapid rate. Research suggests that there are now about 750,000 serviced apartments worldwide – an increase of 80% in just 8 years. In the UK, serviced accommodation supply is expected to grow by 8% in the two years leading up to 2017, outstripping the growth of hotels at 6% according to research performed by Savills, the estate agent.

While supply has increase so has demand. It seems that over 36 million overseas visitors came to Britain in 2015 – an increase of 50% over the previous 12 years. The number …

The Importance of Circuit Breakers

A circuit breaker is a very important part of electrical wiring in a home because it is a very essential safety feature. Without circuit breakers, household electricity would not even be practical because of the potential danger of a fire and other hazards. It is an automatically, operated electrical switch that is especially designed to protect electrical circuits from any kind of damage, if there is a short circuit or overload. The main function of the circuit breaker is to detect any fault condition and stop continuity in order to discontinue the flow of electricity. Majority of the households, short circuits are responsible for the outbreaks of fire.

About Short Circuit and the Importance of a Breaker

A short circuit is generally an abnormal low-resistance current, in between two nodes of an electrical circuit that are usually meant to have different voltages. This ends up having an excess flow of electric current and causes circuit damage that can lead to a fire, overheating and even explosion. Short circuit mainly occurs due to overloading or mostly due to fire breakout. To avoid this, a good circuit breaker is important to protect your home. It is also necessary to get the electrical appliances checked by licensed and professional electrician.

The breakers are generally more expensive than fuses. But most homeowners prefer breakers than fuses because of the safety factor associated with them. Plus, most electricians and electrical wiring experts prefer these breakers instead of old fashioned fuses.

The Variety

Circuit breakers come in different shapes and sizes and a person should choose the one that suits the electric equipment at home. But before installing a breaker, one must be aware if there is enough space in the house to accommodate the device. Different people have various requirements with some opting for living room, some for kitchen while others for their bedrooms. This is nothing but a kind of protection for the house and the people living there more specifically.

Importance and the Repair Team

Circuit breakers are very important for the safety of a house and all residential electric specialists know that. Without them, a house can face many potential hazards, so for any kind of problem with circuit breaker you need to consult a team that specialize in circuit panel repair, replacement and upgrades. They must specialize in replacement, updating and repairing a breaker panel. Their licensed and bonded technicians must offer smart solutions for backdated circuit breakers, fuse boxes and even panels installed before 1974. These specialists must offer new installation and help to maintain them.…

The Handyman Special – How to Sell a House in Disrepair or Buy a House With No Deposit

Imagine this:

• You need to sell your house but you can’t because you have let it run down over the years and it needs lots of Tender Loving Care.

• You can’t fix it up because you don’t have the cash.

• You are behind on the Mortgage Payments.

If this sounds like the house you have right now then read on. The solution to selling these difficult houses is surprisingly simple, and incredibly effective. The easiest way to explain a House Selling Strategy (or a House Buying Strategy for that matter) is through an example.

Here goes:

The Handyman Special

• The Situation – You are a seller with a house in a bad state of repair. It is currently worth $200 000. All the other houses in your area are worth $300 000.

• The neighbours are on your back to Renovate Your House because it is bringing down the value of their homes.

• You have had professional tradespeople in to give you quotes on the repairs. You cannot afford to pay the $30 000 for the repairs and you couldn’t possibly find the time to DIY. You’re too busy working to try and pay the mortgage payments for that!

Here is what you do – “Make Your House Easy to Buy, so it Will Be Easy To Sell”. With the Handyman Special strategy here are the steps to follow:

1. Let’s assume that if your house was in good condition it would be worth $300 000.

2. Also let’s assume (conservatively) that the bank would be happy to lend on an 80% Loan to Value ratio. This means they will lend a buyer $240 000 to buy a $300 000 home.

3. Next thing to do is put your home up for sale at say $270 000. In your marketing, ask for people who are Good With Their Hands. Yes you will get a lot of interest because it is well below the area value of $300 000. However when a buyer comes to inspect you should expect them (if they have eyes in their head) to baulk at the price when they see the poor condition of your house.

4. Now explain to the buyer that you were going to fix it up at a cost of $30 000 but if the buyer would be happy to do the work themselves instead you would be happy to knock off $30 000 and sell it to them for $240 000 instead. This means you will be accepting a $30 000 deposit in the form of “Sweat Equity”. The buyer needs NO CASH DEPOSIT. The buyer does $30 000 of work instead.

So – What’s in it for the seller? The seller no longer needs to pay $30 000 for repairs and renovations. The seller will get $40 000 more than expected ($240 000 instead of current value of $200 000). The property title will remain in the seller’s name until the renovations are completed to …

Home Security Checklist – 10 Simple Steps to Securing Your House Interior – Residential Security

Homeowners can stop most Residential Break and Enters (B & E). B & E offences are perpetrated mostly by unsophisticated criminals who seize immediate opportunities. Unfortunately, opportunities provided by homeowners themselves.

Specific things (opportunities) the potential offender looks for:

1) Homes which appear unoccupied (i.e. Owner/renter on vacation) – lawns not mowed, newspapers piled at the front door, mail accumulation, no lights at times (usually night) when a family might be expected to be at home;

2) Homes and neighborhoods where the owners/renters appears to be at work – mail in mailbox, packages at door, advertising flyers left at front door. A simple act of ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door can confirm this;

3) Homes in upscale neighborhoods (more to steal);

4) Open garages (entry point to the house, place to hide or steal contents);

5) An easy method of entry offering concealment – fenced-in or hedged back yards, rear or side doors/windows completely or partially shielded from view by fences, screened patios, shrubs, sheds, basement window wells;

6) Easy entry points – unlocked doors/windows, easy-to-open doors/windows (sliding windows or patio doors that can be lifted out of their tracks), breakable glass in or near doors that could allow door to be unlocked, doors that can easily be forced open using a foot, plastic card, crowbar or chisel (poor quality locks or poor installation).

Here are 10 ways to Target Harden your Dwelling whether you are away for the day or for a lengthy trip:

1) Create Light and Sound. Use automatic timers for your lights inside and motion detector lighting outside your house. New timers have a random on/off time and battery backup in case of power outages. Make it look like your house is occupied both during the day as well as at night. Attach lights and radios to these timers.

2) Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can check, at least every 48 hours, on your home. Some home insurance policies stipulate such regular checks of your home or you void your insurance coverage. Consider a house sitter.

3) Create that lived-in look. For lengthy trips away from home, have a neighbor park a car in your driveway, keep your front door clear of newspapers/brochures and mow grass/remove snow.

4) Ensure all windows, all doors and all garage doors are locked. Disconnect power to automatic garage doors. Proper dead bolt, hinge, lock, latch and door frame installation is important to ensure doorways and windows cannot be pried open, spread apart or screws removed to allow easier forced entry into your home. Change locks on new homes or if your key has been lost. If they want in make breaking glass the only option for a criminal. Glass can be hardened, especially in and near doors, with tempered and special break-proof laminates. Use steel solid exterior doors only. Install through-door viewers to ensure you can see who in at your door before you open it. Video surveillance cameras connected …

Hollywood Hills Condos For Sale

Hollywood Hills. Right at the heart of Los Angeles is this wonderful place where you could quietly nestle in after a long and busy day at work in downtown Los Angeles or even in nearby counties. Once you’ve finally made that choice of getting that new home in the safe and posh neighborhood on the hills, chances are you will not regret it. There are several homes, townhouses and condos that are up for purchase that you can be swamped with so many choices.

When buying your new condo in Hollywood Hills, whether as a single individual, a couple or for your family find a good real estate agent that knows the area well and can give you expert advice on property values, mortgage considerations and bank terms.

Choose your unit based on your needs. How big a unit and how many rooms do you need? Are you a living room person or a kitchen person? Hollywood Hills condo units have built in facilities for you to use and enjoy. Find a condo unit that furnishes your needs best.

Are you up for some personal interior design? Then look for condo units that will give you leverage for interior design changes or look for condo units that have been pre-designed in the manner closest to what you have envisioned. For example, some units already come with hardwood floors or glass tiles or huge windows and terraces. If those structural designs are similar to what you actually prefer then that in itself is already an advantage. You will end up saving on interior design alteration costs in the end.

What is your budget? Hollywood Hills condo unit are so diverse that the price ranges from $250,000 to as much as almost $4 million. The price or property value varies depending on the neighborhood location and unit size, the rooms available, built-in facilities as well as other amenities that you may enjoy as a homeowner in that neighborhood.

You may most likely find the same types of built in facilities in million-dollar units as well as in the 300,000 to 900,000 range. Most have been pre-equipped with your basic needs such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, refrigerators, range and ovens. Of course the more expensive units come with the more high-end equipment. The more expensive units usually come with more than two bedrooms and more bathrooms. Chances are you may also be getting enough space for a library, music room and a huge living room. Likewise there are units that come with amenities such as gym and pool use and this could of course contribute to the price of your condo unit.

There are adequate listings of Hollywood Hills condo units with photos that you can browse through online. Of course, while the photos may be very enticing, these are not always as good as the real thing. There are several realtors online who can help you in choosing your new Holywood Hills condo unit. Many real estate agents will assist you and …

Plumbing: What Goes Into A Complete New House Installation?

If you are in the process of building a new home, congratulations! This can be an exciting time for you, and there is a lot that still has to be done before you can move in. You will need a lot of help to get everything in, and one of the most important moves you can make now, before things get too far, is to call in an experienced plumber to help you with the complete new house installation that you will need.

Laying the Groundwork

A complete new house installation of plumbing can be a tricky thing, and no matter how beautiful your dream home is, bad plumbing will sour the whole experience in no time. With the help of an experienced plumber, you can insure that what goes into your new home will be the best that money can buy, and be as reliable as you need it to be. The first job will be laying the groundwork for installation of all necessary products and pipes.

With the help of your plumbing consultant, work out a plan on paper, detailing every major and minor installation that will go into your new home. You can set it up, room by room, to help you keep track of everything that will be needed. For instance, the kitchen will have the dishwasher and the kitchen sink, while the bathroom will have the toilet and the bathroom sink. Be sure to include a layout of all connecting pipes, and do not forget outside faucet access, especially if you also have a septic tank in mind.

Remember the Inspector

All new construction must pass a county or state building inspection. To avoid pitfalls created by using plumbing not included in your area’s building code, be sure to double check every proposed installation against the local code authority’s guidelines. This is another aspect of plumbing installation where your plumber on retainer can be an invaluable resource.

Every area has its own local code requirements, as do state and national construction agencies. Your plumber can provide you with a list of applicable codes that your home falls under, and can walk you through them, step by step. This way, any potential problems can be spotted prior to installation, and you can alter your plumbing groundwork maps accordingly. No surprises for the inspector, and no headaches in the future for you.

Choose your Materials Wisely

Whenever someone works on building their own home, quality may be compromised in order to save on costs. Plumbing is one area where this should never happen. In order to get a fully functioning plumbing system the way you want, you have to spend a little more on quality materials, to make sure that it will not turn out to be a money pit later on.

No matter how well your home will be insulated, the area weather still needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing plumbing materials. Not all of your pipes will be under the protection of your …

Window Display – A World Full of Opportunity

Introduction-

Window display is retailer’s most controllable element in relation to image of the store and that the merchandise displayed must match the target consumers. Windows may communicate style, content, and price point. They can be seductive, exciting or based on emotional stimulus through stimulation, or evocation of all five senses. The best store windows can generate great excitement and are a talking point. They contribute to the shopping experience by entertaining pedestrians, while simultaneously communicating the products and services on offer.

For a retailer willing to exploit the full potential that a window gives, the image-building process can be exciting and have enormous potential. A fashion retailer, for instance, will often change a window weekly to show the latest items on offer. A glance into a shop’s window by a passerby establishes the time of the year and, very likely, a timely contemporary event. It might combine seasonal and festive points of the year such as Spring, Summer, New Year approaching, Diwali, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc. At other times the propping may be based on color schemes, materials or cultural themes.

Themes: Popular Trends-

A winning window display should have a theme. The theme should be the flavour of the season. Window display, covertly displays the image of the store i.e., whether a store provides cutting edge technology, or does it give great discount offer etc. Choosing the right theme for the window is often the most challenging part of the whole display design experience. Selecting a single theme for all the store windows and some interior display spaces can create a cohesive and inviting appearance. A few popular ideas for display merchandising are:

Seasonal themes – Appropriately timed spring gardening displays, summer beach displays, or winter holiday displays are all going to appeal to people strolling by the store window, since they are currently thinking about these things.

Colour themes – A variety of items in all shapes and sizes can create a wonderful display when they are all shades of the same color. This gives the business a chance to showcase many different products at the same time.

Odd holiday themes – Have fun with strange holidays, from celebrations of the pets to a day set aside for the sale shopping. With the hundreds of holidays that fill each year, there is sure to be at least one that is a perfect fit for the business.

What’s new – Show people the latest and greatest items the store is carrying right in the window. The display has to be done in a manner that generates a sense of interest in the people along with informing them about the store merchandise. A well thought-out display requires huge amount of pre- planning. One should take time to plan a display. One should consider what one wants to accomplish, chalk out a budget and determine a central theme. One can develop a display as a shadow box with all visual display tools, the merchandise and props placed in miniature …

Three Ways to Bring Old Ceramic Bathroom Tiles Back to Life

Old ceramic bathroom tiles may be scratched, out of fashion, or has simply lost its luster. It may also have become boring to the eye after years of seeing the same old thing. There are some things you can do to improve this position. The first is just giving it a good cleaning. The second is refinishing it if your budget doesn’t permit replacement, and third is replacement.

Bathroom tiles can simply become dull through build-ups of environmental debris, smoke, or even mold. The simple wall cleaning you do occasionally might remove water spots or obvious dirt, but is not sufficient to remove from ceramic bathroom tiles the oils that smoke resolves into. The tiles may be clean, but the grout gets discolored easily. By giving your bathroom walls a spring cleaning, you can restore it to the brilliance it once had.

If you’ve been using household cleaners, that may be the reason your ceramic bathroom tiles are dull. Ceramic tile cleaners are available on the market and have been specifically formulated to clean tile. Some are formulated to also remove grout that has become embedded in the tile. You can also concoct your own tile cleaner, using one part water, one half part vinegar and one half part baking soda. Use either a pail or a spray bottle. A sponge is all you need. Wash thoroughly, rinse, and polish dry. If the grout is still dark in spots, scrub with a brush, rinse and then dry. If the discoloration still remains, dab with bleach and clean. Don’t expose yourself to bleach fumes.

If the cleaning hasn’t brought your ceramic bathroom tiles back to life, and money is tight, you might consider refinishing the bathroom, painting over the tiles. Tiles do not bond well with paint. You have to prepare the tile surface first. This means turning the smooth surface into a rough one. You can do it with sandpaper, but once you start, there’s no turning back. You’ll need to clean the tile with a cleaner that doesn’t leave chemicals on the tile, such as one with trisodium phosphate. Use a large-pored sponge for better scrubbing. Then, with 180 grit sandpaper, abrade the ceramic thoroughly. It will feel sandy to the touch when you’re done. Then paint on an acrylic latex primer, preferably with a roller. Smooth with a latex brush, then allow the primer time to dry. Once dry, apply the paint. A semi-gloss latex paint is probably best. After a couple of hours, add a second coat if it looks as though it requires it.

Your third option for correcting old or unattractive ceramic bathroom tiles is to remove the tiles and replace with new ones. The big job is getting the ceramic off the wall. You use a grout saw, with a handled, thick blade, to cut out the grout. Then, with a hammer and a chisel, you softly separate the tiles from the wall. Be sure to wear protection for your eyes. You can remove …

Curtain and Drape Headings- Top Tips

There are many types of curtain and drape headings and they are created, usually, by the application of a heading tape and a draw cord. Here is a quick look at the most common ones.

Standard

The most common form of curtain heading is the standard one. It comprises of a one inch tape that is gathered up into a narrow, even heading. This is most often used for informal curtains and in hidden areas, under valences and behind pelmets for instance. When employing this method of curtain heading on net curtains or sheer, lightweight drapes a synthetic tape is available thus ensuring that a reinforced curtain rod is not required.

The standard form of curtain heading is generally used on dormer windows and cottage windows. It only uses one and a half times the width of the curtain and so is extremely economical on materials

Pencil Pleat

The pencil pleat is employed where there is no valance or pelmet and it gives a pleasant finish at the curtain header. Most interior decorating styles will be enhanced by this form of drape heading, especially modern ones. Remember to allow about two and half times the width of the window in fabric to allow the pleats to present themselves nicely.

French Pleat

This style of curtain heading is sometimes referred to as the french pleat. It is often used with extra stiffener in the fabric to produce full, regular folds in heavy fabric, velvet for instance. As with the pencil pleat it is important to allow at least two and a half times the width of the window in fabric to allow the pleats to achieve their fullness and to give a pleasing effect. The pleats are usually fanned across the window and have a button sewn to the bottom of each one.

Cartridge Pleat

This is often called a goblet pleat and takes it’s name from the goblet shape that is formed in the top of each pleat. This shape is held by stuffing polyester or tissue paper into the top of each pole to help the curtain retain it’s shape. It is most usually used in formal settings where the curtains are full length and have a very formal feel to them.

Slot Pleat

As the name suggests this is simply a pleat formed by cutting slots in a cased header tape to feed a pole through. It can be improved by allowing a quantity of curtain to stand above the header tape. Once again ensure that you leave twice to three times the length of the opening to give a pleasing finish and to allow the pleats to stand up.

Puff Ball Heading

This is a very impressive curtain heading that is more simple to achieve than you might imagine. You employ the same method as for a slot pleat, allowing at least 12 inches of fabric above the slot. The curtain is then fed onto the pole and the excess above the header tape is simply balled …