Let there be light!

When we focus on home design, we tend to focus on tangible things that we can see and that contribute significantly to our home’s functionality or aesthetic. We consider carpets and other types of flooring, furniture, appliances, and more. But one factor of every home that tends to often be overlooked (and which has a profound impact on both functionality and aesthetics) is lighting. Every home needs light. So, let’s take a moment to look at the different types of lighting you should incorporate into your home design!

light bulbs

Natural Light

If you want your family to have the best quality of life possible, it’s time to start considering how natural light affects you! To start with, it regulates people’s sleep-wake cycle. While we are told time and time again how important it is to get our eight hours’ worth of sleep a night (or even more for little ones), we aren’t informed quite so often of how natural light in our lives affects our ability to get sufficient sleep. Your body’s sleep-wake cycle is controlled by circadian rhythms. These are signals that tell your body when it’s time to get rest and when it’s time to wake. If you aren’t exposed to enough natural light during the day, your circadian rhythms can become confused and you can suffer from sleep problems as a result. This is why you need to flood your rooms with natural light! Another benefit of having a property filled with natural light is that everyone benefits from a little extra vitamin D. This is essential for healthy skin. So, maximise the amount of natural light in your property wherever possible. This may require renovation work like having larger windows installed, fitting a skylight, or having French or sliding doors put into your living spaces.

Artificial Light Fittings

Of course, natural light only lasts during daylight hours. You are going to have to incorporate artificial light into your home as well if you want to keep things bright throughout the early mornings, evenings and nights. Now, there are plenty of fittings out there and the type you settle on should fall down to personal choice and aesthetic preferences. When purchasing artificial lights, make sure to use a reliable website whose products have good reviews. This will increase your chances of obtaining a good quality product that will stand the test of time!

Artificial Light Bulbs

Remember there are plenty of different bulbs out there too. Wherever possible, try to use eco-friendly, energy-saving bulbs. These are much better for the environment and will last longer too! Then focus on how bright you’d like the bulb to be (whether you want a soft glow or a bright glare) and what kind of tone you want the light to have (a warm tone or a cool tone).

As you can see, there’s a lot to take into consideration when planning lighting in your home. Hopefully, the above information will encourage you to take your property’s lighting seriously!

4 Home Improvement Projects Worth Undertaking

When you are a homeowner, there is often a project that you want or need to undertake. They can breathe new life into your home, they can make your living space more practical and they can add value to your house. Not to mention that they can be fun to plan and complete. The question can sometimes be around where to focus your efforts, so whether you are planning to take on some DIY or call the professionals in, here are our suggestions of 4 home improvement projects that are worth undertaking. 

extended kitchen

Anything structural

The first place that you will need to start when carrying out any home improvements will be to check on your home’s overall structure and condition. Your priority spends are always going to need to be on anything structural that requires your attention.

You might find that you need new ridge tiles for your roof, a damp proof course installation or your brickwork repointing, none of which are likely to be exciting projects to undertake, but all of which are essential. 

There is no point in proceeding with other projects and makeovers until you have ensured your home is fundamentally sound and safe.

Extending or restyling your kitchen

Kitchens are often said to be the heart of our homes, so it makes absolute sense that we want to have our kitchens designed and styled to high standards.

Houses used to have small, functional kitchens, but in recent times there has been a definite shift to a preference for large family dining kitchens. People want room to cook, to entertain and to enjoy the space. Plenty of worktop space, cupboards and light flooding in all make people’s kitchen wish lists, so if yours has not had a makeover for many years, this might be one project that it is worth you investing in.

A well designed kitchen is likely to add value to your home, and more importantly, it will be a space that you are going to use every single day and enjoy spending time in. 

Improving your bathroom facilities

This one can take a few different guises, and all will be worthy projects to undertake.

Adding an extra bathroom, by way of an en-suite or a downstairs toilet, are always going to be useful additions to any household. This is assuming that they do not remove a bedroom in doing so, as in most though not all cases, this can bring down the value of your home. 

You might need to update your current bathroom, if the suite is coloured it can appear dated or the tiles and flooring might need a new look. A modern, clean and functional bathroom is the look that you want to achieve here. 

Landscaping your garden

An untidy garden is unsightly, but is also represents wasted space and opportunity.

Your garden can act as an additional room in your home, space for you to spend time in and enjoy. Look for tips to improve it and think about how it might be best utilised. Could you add a shed for storage space or even a garden room thereby creating an office or den for your home? 

These can be practical solutions, as well as improving the appearance and saleability of your home. 

Becoming more sustainable in our new home

Since moving to our forever home, we are going to try that bit harder to help the environment and become more eco-friendly. I have read so much about what we can do in our everyday to change things that over all will have a big impact on the environment. Even small things will help.

Sustainable living is finding ways to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ on our planet. By making changes to our lifestyle will help with our carbon footprints.

basket of home grown vegetables

Becoming more sustainable

I have put together a list of 11 changes we can make in everyday life’s to live more sustainably.

  1. Grown your own. Now I understand that no-everything will be able to do this or even have the space to do so. But why not start with a tomato plant or a potato pot, which makes it nice and easy to grow your own.
  2. Walk more, I know if sound silly but by walking to the local shop or your children to school where possible really will help reduced the amount of fuel you are using, saving the planet but also your pennies.
  3. Take reusable bags with you when you do your shopping. I also take one with me, there is always one or two fold up ones in my handbag and then I keep the big blue ikea bags for the weekly food shop. I know I used to get given so many plastic bags, now I hardly have any in the house.
  4. Use refilled able water bottles. I was terrible for buying bottles of water when out and about, not just for me but also for the children. I now make sure we take our water bottles everywhere, even if it is just to do the food shopping. It saves buying the plastic bottles.
  5. Re-usable hot drinks cups. It’s not often we buy a ‘take away’ hot drink. But when we plan to do so we always take with us our thermal drinks cups. They are better for the environment but also keep out drinks nice and warm.
  6. If your able to have a low flow shower head fitted, we had one at our old house and it uses a lot less water. It pulls in more air so you feel like you are in a powerful (ish) shower yet using less water.
  7. When you need to replace items, choose things that are more energy efficient. O don’t go out and buy something that doesn’t need to be replaced. But a something is not fixable then go for the most energy efficient items possible.
  8. Make do and mend, well as much as possible. Try to see if there is a way to fix an item or up-cycle something before you consider replacing. Always try to sell an item before you just take it to the local tip.
  9. We often will leave our electrical items on ‘standby’ but by switching them off will really reduce the amount of energy you are using and also help reduce your bills.
  10. Switching to renewable energy, with some suppliers it costs slightly more but the reduced impact on the environment makes it worthwhile.
  11. Use LED bulbs, not only do they last longer they are also much more efficient.

If you are not only looking at becoming more eco friendly sustainable but also finally stable then My Money Cottage has some wonderful tips to help you out.