Interiors

Benefits of under cabinet lighting

Looking to update the design of your kitchen, but you have a strict budget you need to adhere to? Then under cabinet lighting could be an excellent solution for your problem.

Here are all the benefits of kitchen under cabinet lighting that might convince you to install it in your home.

large white kitchen with under cabinet lightly

Stylish task lighting

Not only do under cabinets light look extremely stylish, but they’re ideal for giving a great deal of task lighting in an area where lighting is essential when you’re chopping with sharp knives or trying to read a recipe.

Energy efficient

Install LED under cabinet lights and you could save a tonne of energy. LED lights will last for decades as well as saving money on your energy bill too. Plus you’ll be lighting the specific area of the room that you need, which eliminates the need to light the entire space.

Display your style

Your fitted kitchen is definitely a big investment when it comes to decorating your home. So why not install some beautiful lighting that draws attention to it? These types of lights are ideal for highlighting a gorgeous kitchen, particularly the worktops.

Easy to install

The thought of installing lights might make you think you’ve got a hefty bill on your hands for an electrician, but under cabinet lights are a great do it yourself job. Strip lighting or battery-operated options are a great budget choice that require very little skill to install.

Give your kitchen some vibrancy

Adding in another layer of lighting is a great way of giving your room some depth and distinction. This ambient task and accent lighting is perfect for giving a room a stylish flair.

Reduce shadows

Under cabinet lights are really great for reducing the shadows that are created by cabinets and ceiling light fixtures. Use under cabinet lights in the right place in your kitchen to stop shadows on countertops.

Garden ready for Summer fun

If it feels like winter’s never going to end, then it might be time to start thinking and dreaming about the summer that’s right around the corner.

Cold, chilly nights will soon be replaced by long, warm evenings. But how ready is your garden for hosting BBQs and keeping guests entertained? It’s time to talk summer transformation.

bbq food cooking

Hard area

If you’ve got a patio or decking you’re going to need to start by weeding and cleaning your wood or stones. A few months left exposed to the elements will have taken their toll and led to some discolouration so consider turning the jet hose on it to blast through dirt and grime and lift off those stuck on leaves.

Tackle The Lawn

If the seasons haven’t been kind to your grass, then there are several options you can consider. Start by sowing grass seed to adequately fill in any gaps. Make sure that your lawn is properly draining by going over it with an aerator and backfilling with seed. Cut back shorter in the summer to allow more water to penetrate below the surface and keep your lawn in tip top condition.

If it all looks like too much, then you could go down the artificial route. With plenty of shades and tones to choose from, you’ll be able to pick a colour that you love and all with practically no upkeep, bar the need to sweep away debris and hose away dirt. You may be able to install the grass yourself if you area is small enough, otherwise call in the professionals to do it for you.

On the other hand, you may decide that a country meadow look is going to be this spring and summer style. While the plan might be to let your grass grow a little longer, you can still control what’s growing by weeding and introducing some beautiful wild plants.

Do your bit for the ecosystem by introducing plants that attract honey and bumble bees, butterflies and insects to turn your outside space into something of a haven for nature. Complete the look with plenty of hanging food for birds to find in any surrounding trees you have.

If you have a pond in your garden, now is the time to give it a thorough clear out. If you can, drain it and give the casing a good scrub with specially formulated cleaner that won’t upset any fish you have in there. Check that any water pumps are still functioning properly and refill, ready to reintroduce your wildlife and pond plants.

Update Your Furniture

Metal garden furniture can also show the effects of a cold winter and unless you have space to store them in a shed or garage, chances are they might be showing signs of rust and general wear and tear. You might consider changing up to rattan or a manmade substitute that will prove a little hardier and has the benefit of being able to drain water easily. Upgrade your garden furniture with a whole new look, including a new dining table, chaise longues and so on.

You’ll be able to buy all manner of accessories to make your summer go with a bang, from an outside pizza oven that can also act as a source of heat to a thoroughly modern, fully functional BBQ set complete with hotplates and so on. If you’re going to do BBQ season, you might as well do it with the best piece of kit on the market.

Plants

Don’t forget your planting scheme. Fill those borders with bright, low maintenance flowers and shrubs that fill your garden with colour and scent. You don’t have to be a gardening expert to produce something impressive, but just ask for recommendations for low hassle flowers at your local gardening centre and you’ll be able to impress everyone with your style. Choose plants that attract wildlife and you’ll soon have a garden complete with a cacophony of buzzing sounds.

Light Up The Party

garden fairy lights

From fairy lights to security lights, you need something to keep the party going. If you prefer a more natural look then go for the option of candles aplenty to create an atmospheric, chilled outside experience. Or opt for low key lightings, like the hanging fairy light options that can be dimmed right down and placed to illuminate more subtly. Why not bring a little extra heat to the garden with a gas heater that combines impressive warmth with a subtle downlight.

You also have the option of solar lights that can be placed at strategic points around the garden and that will glow as the sun sets, using up the energy they’ve stored during the day. A cost effective method of bringing attention to the parts of the garden you’re proud of.

Summer is right around the corner, so whether you’re planning on giving the garden a complete makeover or just a spring clean, start now and get your green spaces in perfect shape for a summer of entertainment and fun.

Why not treat your younger guests and members of the family with some outside toys. A trampoline always goes down well, as does a swing set. If you have the space, then bring out those garden cricket and tennis sets and throw up a badminton net between a couple of trees, or better still a hammock.

Start with a general tidy up, getting your grass cut to the right length. Give your hard surfaces a once over so they’re shining clean and ready to take new furniture. Treat yourself to a new set and get rid of anything rusty and old that doesn’t go with your overall look. Then you’re ready to road test that new BBQ. Give the chef in in your life a new set of BBQ utensils and they’ll be raring to get it fired up.

Then all that’s left to do is lay back on your new recliner, cocktail in hand and listen to the sound of the birds and bees taking advantage of your newly planted borders and enjoying the garden almost as much as you.

How To Create A Modern Home That Harnesses Technology

With the advances in technology over recent years, more and more of it is being integrated into the average family home. Whether this be via the house itself with various upgrades and gadgets, or the contents used by its resident on an extremely regular basis, there are so many luxury features that can be installed both inside and outside of the home. Technology can improve your home life in many ways, and help in saving time and energy by doing tasks on your behalf. With this guide you will be able to harness the wonders of the modern world to benefit your home and bring you into the new electronic age, so read on to discover more.

apple mac, iphone, macbook sat on a desk

The Next Level Of Entertainment

The advances in modern technology have allowed home entertainment to evolve into something truly amazing. The options on the market are seemingly endless, and there really is a gaming console out there for everyone. Not only are there handheld devices, but also ones that can be connected to a screen to be played. To optimise this experience, you can either link them to a HD TV of some kind, or even invest in a wall covering projector for a more somewhat more intense way to play. The ever evolving sound industry is always coming up with a new high-tech way to listen to your favourite songs, so investing in some kind of sound system or speaks is a must for any music lover. Even if you’re a little old fashioned and still want to groove to your vinyl records, there are turntables on the market that do so much more than just play the tracks. Virtual reality is progressing at top speed, and will be surely available in almost every household soon enough.

Enhancing The Quality Of Security

Technology can be harnessed in order to keep your family, home, and its contents safe. Cameras are cheap to install but can work absolute wonders, as they will deter any potential thieves from even approaching your home. If they are silly enough to continue, you will catch them in the act and have video evidence of whatever happens. You can also invest in some kind of security system, that will alert you directly of any intruder entering the property, even if you are out at work. Many different systems are available that can send a notification to your phone and contact the police within an instant of being triggered, so it’s a great thing to consider especially if you live with your family. Doorbells can now act as recording devices and microphones, so you can see and speak to whoever is at your door without having to answer it. You can even use the services remotely, meaning you can give the illusion of being at home to anyone that visits with an ulterior motive. Theres now even the option of accessing your home and garage through a high-tech electronic system rather than using the normal option of a key, as this can provide a whole new level of safety and security and decrease the opportunity for someone to gain unlawful access to your home.

Track & Decrease Your Utility Bills

When you think of modern smart tech, you probably immediately associate these words with a hefty price tag. However, there’s so much on the market that exists in order for you to save money rather than spend it. By searching for a great deal on a broadband and phone package, you can provide the internet required to connect all of your devices without any problems. You can track your usage of all of your various utilities, including gas, electric and water by using an intelligent electronic device, that can then help you by giving you simple hints and tips regarding how to save money and decrease your use. You can now install a device that allows you to view and alter the levels of heat inside your home, which is useful especially when you have that nagging feeling that you may have left the thermostat on high whilst you’re out for the day so you can then avoid spending money to heat an empty home. You can even buy specific plugs that work on a timer, meaning that after a certain time your lamps or other light fittings can switch on and off by themselves to save energy.

Housework Just Got Easier

With the ever evolving technology reaching out into every industry, even the way that we do housework can be positively affected by electronic equipment. There are now small wireless vacuums that spend the day automatically buzzing from corner to corner of your home, sucking up dirt and allergens along the way with no help or assistance at all. The same concept has been developed into several different pieces of equipment for all around the home, from automatic pool cleaners to independent lawn mowers that can be left alone to finish your usual task themselves, in a more concise and logical way. Replacing yourself with a ‘robot’ to carry out your usual odd jobs will save you a great deal of time and effort each day, as all you have to do to replenish their energy levels is plug them into their charger at the wall and leave them for a few hours. Even can openers and corkscrews are now electronic, so even popping a bottle of wine at the end of a hard days work couldn’t be easier.

Hopefully these ideas should spark your interest and show you how beneficial and useful smart technology can be inside your home. Electronic devices have been created to help improve every aspect of day to day life, so don’t be afraid to do some research and see what’s on the market for you to take advantage of. Find the best entertainment packages to keep your family occupied and invest in some kind of smart security system to keep them, yourself, and your new tech as safe and secure as possible.