Category Archives: News & Updates

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Make Your Home Child Friendly With These Tips

As parents, it is important to make sure our children feel safe at home. One of the ways we can do this is by making their room child-friendly. These steps will help you create a safe space for your children.

  1. Designate children’s areas around the house. Yes, creating a safe space for kids extends to outside their bedrooms. As parents, we want to see our children as much as possible. Provide an area in your most used living spaces for them and their toys.
  2. Make the children’s area attractive to both kids and adults. Naturally, you will have some adults in the household too. Having a messy children’s area is understandable. However, as homemakers, we should always aspire to make it look clean as possible.
  3. Keep toys in a drawer when not in use. Toys lying around the house can be a hazard to both adults and children. Put them all in a drawer or a box after your kids are done playing with them.
  4. Add cushions. Cushions do not only make your home look elegant, it is cozy as well. You can even add bean bags for the kids.
  5. Encourage your children’s creativity. As parents, it is important that we encourage our children to develop their own creativity. Place study tables near windows, place books around the house. And make sure to stock up on papers, crayons, and art materials to your child’s study table.
  6. Add musical instruments. While not all children are born to be musically talented, it is still important that we give our children the option to try it out. Many famous musicians have started playing instruments at a young age.
  7. Teach your kids to help cleaning up. This will not only help with your kids’ morals, it will also help make the area look clean.

Do you have more advice? Let us know in the comments below!


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How to Be a Happy and Contented Tenant

There are so many people particularly students and working people who are moving into a private accommodation. Most of these people are first timers and do not really know much about the dos and dont’s when it comes to renting. So, we are going to give you some tips on what should you do and how you can be a happy tenant. Happy renting!

  • Read every little thing.

Once the landlord showed you the agreement, you must not ignore the small prints included there. You always have to make sure that you have read everything under your tenancy agreement.

There are two types of tenancy agreement. One is the joint tenancy, it is when you sign with all the people who plan to rent the place with one agreement. The second one is the separate tenancy wherein each of you signs a separate one.

  • Make sure that the inventory is accurate and exact.

Take a keen look on the things that are listed on the inventory. This includes the appliances, furniture, curtains, carpets and other stuff. The inventory also has a list of the existing damages of the space you are about to rent. Ask the landlord to give you a copy of the inventory.

  • Check out the safety, security and insurance of you and the property.

This one should always be on the top of the list on the things you need to consider. Make sure all the appliances have been checked by engineers, especially the gas. If you are a student, make sure that your parents have agreed to include your possessions on their home contents insurance.

  • Always keep a good record.

When you’re planning to move out, this could be really vital for you. Keep a record of the receipts for the items you have replaced, copies of bills, and also some photos taken after you have moved in. Always have a date posted in it.

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Small city garden

Small City Garden Ideas

Small City Garden Ideas – There is no doubting the complexity of designing a small garden.  Everything can be taken in with one glance – there is no room to hide and no leeway for getting it wrong.  But once you have travailed the minefield of hard landscaping you can look forward to filling your garden with exciting and colourful plant combinations.

Award-winning garden designer Kate Gould shares her expertise on making the most of a small city garden.

Small gardens are usually complicated spaces with surroundings that need to be taken into consideration.  Much of my time is spent designing in areas where overhanging trees, high industrial walls, road noise and the occasional view of train tracks have to be kept in mind when thinking about how the planting should look, or more importantly what the planting should block.

Before you begin thinking about what plants you would like in your garden make a firm decision to harden your heart and only plant species that you know will thrive.  I am as guilty as the rest for planting inappropriate plants in my own garden but when it comes to spending a client’s money I only select plants that I know can cope with the conditions on site!

When designing a planting scheme, always remember to consider: the direction your garden faces, the type of soil in your garden, whether wind will be an issue and how much gardening you are actually committed to doing.

Here’s my top tips on pulling a really effective plant scheme together:

1. Hide eyesores (ugly buildings, sheds, railway lines) with evergreens

Evergreens are absolutely not dull.  They play a vital role in holding a planting scheme together and are hugely beneficial when there are ugly views to hide.  Many work as well in containers as they do in the ground, given the right soil.

For sunny gardens try: Pittosporum tenuifolium or Pittosporum tobira if the garden is sheltered. Olea europaea, Nandina domestica, Laurus nobils, Dicksonia Antarctica and not forgetting climbing plants – Clematis armandii, Clematis flammula, Lonicera henryi all have interesting leaves as well as flowers and their rampant growth will mask a wall or fence in no time.

For shade: Fatsia japonica, Sarcococca confusa and Euonymus fortunei ‘Silver Queen’, which will support itself quite happily up a wall or fence.  Camellia, Rhododendron and in partial shade Drimys Winteri is also lovely but will require some shelter.

2. Think ‘seasonal’

If Helleborus are planted for winter colour will I be able to see them from the house? Will I be able to detect the scent of a Sarcococca from the far corner of the garden or should I plant it closer to a door or window? – All important questions!

Smaller plants for sunny gardens: Lavendula ‘Hidcote’ is well behaved as are the smaller Hebe and Parahebe, grasses can add texture to small garden schemes so if you’re lucky enough to have some sunny spots in the garden Stipa tenuissima and Calamagrostis are worth considering, although the Stipa can be a little generous with its seeds and if you don’t like weeding then it’s not the plant for you.

For shady gardens:  Epimedium (any, I haven’t found a duff one amongst them yet), Asplenium scolopendriium, Hosta ‘Halcyon’, Geranium phaeum, Dryopteris erythrosora, Liriope muscari, Pulmonaria ‘Cotton Cool’, Helleborus niger, Hydrangea petiolaris.

3. Can less mean more?

Often in smaller gardens less variety can have a bigger impact. Spend time planning your garden on paper, research the plants you want to use, know what conditions they require and how much care they will take and pare the scheme down until you are happy that you have just enough – any gardener will tell you it is always easy to add more!

Kate Gould is an award winning garden designer with more than a decade’s hands-on experience transforming gardens of all sizes. A regular exhibitor at the Chelsea Flower Show, Kate won a gold medal this year for her recycled Show Garden – The Wasteland.

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Christmas lighting ideas

Christmas lighting ideas

Christmas lighting ideas –  Add some sparkle into your life this Christmas by choosing the best in affordable Christmas lighting. Through the winter months every town centre and many residential streets are alive with dazzling lights. Sometimes we’d like to make the holidays special and show this through decorations, but it can prove expensive. With affordable Christmas lighting anyone can deck their house inside and out without the need to overspend.

Christmas Tree Lights Christmas lighting ideas

Gone are the days when Christmas tree lights over heated and sucked up the electricity. Nowadays we have LED lights that are just as bright as standard Christmas lights, but can be used outside without worry and use a fraction of the energy to power. When they first hit the market LED Christmas lights were expensive. However, like anything that goes mainstream the price has dropped. Today LEDs are very affordable Christmas lighting and are a must for an energy saving Christmas.

Over at Christmas Lights etc. two types of LED lights are available. Choose between bright lights that are classically associated with Yuletide and give your tree a bit of pizazz this season. Those who want the lights to accent their Christmas tree and decorations rather than focus on lighting, a dimmer version is available which give off a gentle glow.

If you’re into colour schemes, try using a blue and silver palette and use the low voltage blue LED lights. It’ll look like your room is a true winter wonderland. Blue, Red, Green and White — there are lights for any Christmas tree setup.

Decorative Christmas Lighting  Christmas lighting ideas

Lighting isn’t just limited to the tree. Oh no. Window and wall decorations, which were once primarily made of paper or foil, are becoming light fixtures. Get in on this new trend with affordable Christmas lighting in a wide range of shapes and colours. Our favourite is the snowflake. Brightening up the window, hanging from the wall or ceiling, these decorative Christmas lights will make anyone’s Christmas collection that much better. Standalone they are beautiful, but all of the snowflake lights available at Christmas Lights etc. are connectable, so you can make snowfall window displays or tree hangings.

Outdoor Christmas Lights  Christmas lighting ideas

As with many things American, outdoor Christma

s decorations are gaining popularity. With affordable Christmas lighting you can learn a lesson from our friends from across the pond and make your home look like it came straight out of Home Alone.

As with Christmas tree lights, LED is the way to go for appearance and cost. With outdoor Christmas lights, you have one main decision to make: series or icicles. If you’re after a nice neat way to frame your house, go with series lighting, but if you’re going for a more daring look and want to draw attention, opt for icicles. Affordable Christmas lighting from Christmas Lights etc. comes in a range of colours from classic green and red to an untraditional hot pink. As with most Christmas products, ice white and warm white affordable Christmas lighting make a statement in the winter season.