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Home Decoration

Surefire Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Apart from our families, our home is our most prized possession. We decorate it and make it as comfortable and appealing as possible. As the years progress, our homes eventually become outdated and will be in need of updates and upgrades. You’ll also want to keep up with current trends while adding value and style to your property.

Here are five tips for adding value to your property:

kitchen interior design

  1. Make renovating your kitchen a first port of call

The most utilised room in the home is most definitely the kitchen area. It is where we gather and reunite with the family after a long day. We also enjoy relaxing meals and good conversation in this space. More money will be spent on upgrades in this space than any other room. Upgrade kitchen appliances by replacing with stainless steel energy efficient choices such as refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, sinks and microwaves. Replace old counter tops with stylish granite and marble slabs. Replace outdated flooring with tile, slate or wood. Reface cabinet doors or completely replace cabinets and adorn with stylish door pulls. These changes will make a big difference in the look and feel of the kitchen.


  1. Paint breathes new life into a tired home

Fresh paint can liven up living rooms and set the tone for the rest of the home. Consider an accent wall to add a focal point to a room. Keep other colours neutral, warm and welcoming. With careful planning, you can make this a weekend project with the help of several friends. It is the quickest and most effective update that will completely change the feel of a space.

Bedroom interior with hardwood floor

  1. New flooring is a huge value add

Carpet is becoming a thing of the past in main living areas. Homeowners are opting for hardwood flooring options that add an extra added elegance to a room. With so many types of flooring, the possibilities are endless. Choose from bamboo, hardwood, tile, slate, marble and stained concrete options. Not only are these current choices, but they will be much easier to maintain that traditional carpets.


  1. Curb appeal because first impressions count

Beautiful and tidy curb appeal says that you care about how the yard looks and presents itself to the world. Make sure your grass is healthy and green and trees and shrubs are well manicured and complimentary to the yard. Be sure there is a clear unobstructed pathway leading to the front door, and that bright vibrant flowers greet visitors with bursts of colour. Add texture to the yard by adding decorative rocks and stones and other types of ground coverings. Make it as appealing and exciting as possible. You can find further information about Icon Homeware

House patio

  1. Build a backyard retreat to get away from it all

Outdoor living has become an extremely popular feature in homes especially in regions where the weather is warm throughout the majority of the year. Homeowners want to have a backyard space that feels like there is a relaxing resort setting right outside their backdoor. Outdoor kitchens, water features, fire pits, landscape lighting, covered patios and appealing landscaping will all add to the resort feel. The idea is to not feel like you have to travel anywhere to escape to a private relaxing location. You will have it right there in your very own backyard space.

These tips are surefire ways to add value to any home. With careful choices and considerations, you can give your home much need style and elegance. Your home is your castle. Keep it as current as possible because you never know what the future will bring. Enjoy your home and be proud of the way it looks.

This article was written by Marcus Fulker, Managing Director of Great Aussie Patios, an Australian patio installation company. You can catch Marcus on Google+ as well!

Design Tips to Make Your Home Look More Spacious

LYS32light sitting room

One of the most common reasons that people choose to move home is to get more space, it’s one of the most desirable traits in a property and something that we all want (preferably without too much extra cost!). You don’t necessarily have to move to feel like you have a little bit of extra room though, there are certain changes which you can make to your home to give the illusion of it being much more spacious than it really is. Whether you’re just fooling yourself or if you want to make the property seem more appealing to potential buyers then doing these things will make a world of difference.

A New Life in the Great Outdoors for Your Old Furniture

Over time, furniture gets old and worn or broken or simply doesn’t match your taste anymore.  No one wants to just throw things out, but what do you do about old furniture that no one else wants or isn’t in good shape to pass on or sell?  Throw it out.  Throw it right out into the back yard and give it new life as a raised bed frame.

raised bed garden

Does it make sense to go to the hardware store and buy wood to make raised beds and then haul your old bookshelves or dresser to the landfill?  It does not, unless you just like spending money at the hardware store.

You’ll need to do some work to prep your old furniture for its new life in the garden.  You’ll probably need to sand it down and reseal it with an earth-friendly sealant.  (So yes, you do get to go to the hardware store after all.)


Bamboo Flooring Outpaces Hardwood

Have you considered Bamboo flooring? Did you know bamboo flooring is 73% harder than Jarrah? You may be concerned about your carbon footprint and looking for eco-friendly flooring for your home or business. Bamboo is eco-friendly, available in many colours and compliments any décor. It is as beautiful as hardwood floors and often cheaper.

Bamboo Flooring Increasing in Popularity

Bamboo flooring is booming in popularity in the US. Bamboo is a fast growing grass that is strong and flexible. It will bend without snapping. It does not develop knots or rays as it grows, so can withstand more stress than traditional hardwood flooring. Termites cannot digest bamboo. You can install bamboo flooring on top of concrete, vinyl, plywood, other wood floors and over radiant floor heating.

Why is Bamboo Flooring the Eco-friendly Choice


Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Trees are a renewable resource but take 20 or more years to reach maturity. Harvesting a tree allows more soil to erode where the tree once stood. Harvesting a tree reduces the production of oxygen, and more carbon dioxide is left in the air.

Forests cover 31 percent of the planet and are a source of lumber and paper goods. Eighty percent of the world’s species call forests home. Worldwide demand for forest products has grown and forestland is dwindling.

Bamboo can grow over four feet high in a day and grow to maturity in half a year. The extensive root system is left intact when the plant is harvested, and the roots prevent soil erosion. Replanting is unnecessary. Bamboo is re-harvested every three to seven years. Continuous harvesting helps bamboo to be healthy and thrive. Forests are preserved and the supply is reliable.



  1. Think and tough – It is 73% harder than jarrah, which means it is ideal for families with children, high heels (not highly recommended) and in kitchens.

  2. Colour consistency – With controlled process of caramalisation, bamboo provides a consistent colour throughout your home, not like other woods. Visit your providers showroom prior to installation and the finish should be the same.

  3. Less maintenance – Bamboo requires less maintenance compared to traditional hardwood flooring.
    Tip: Place rugs at entranceways to prevent grit, sand and moisture from tracking onto your floor.

  4. Easy to clean – Bamboo floors do not promote dust, which is ideal if you have allergies. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is about all you need to do. You can use a damp mop occasionally, or use a bamboo floor cleanser on a sticky spot.
    Note: With proper maintenance, solid three-quarters-inch bamboo floors can last for over 100 years.

  5. Value for money – The cost of bamboo flooring is 25 to 50 percent less than some other hardwood flooring. The installation cost is about the same as a hardwood floor. Professional bamboo flooring installers do not require any special training.

  6. Quick Installation – It is important to get your floor installed quickly so you can be back in your home on the same day. Bamboo flooring is usually supplied polished and ready for quick installation.

  7. Any place any time – Bamboo is not affected by temperature changes to the extent of hardwood flooring. Bamboo does not shrink or expand as much.


One consideration you should keep in mind concerns the manufacturing process used in turning the bamboo into flooring. Low grade bamboo flooring is subject to splitting, delamination, cupping and nondurable finishes.  When choosing Bamboo I suggest choosing a quality Bamboo flooring provider, even if you have to pay that little bit extra.

Bamboo is more water-resistant than the average hardwood but it is not recommended for certain rooms. You should not install bamboo flooring in bathrooms, saunas, enclosed porches or other rooms with high moisture content. The moisture can cause your floor to warp or swell. Clean up spills immediately.

Smart Reinvestment Projects for Your Home

Income tax returns are a great opportunity to invest in your home.  If you’re getting a refund thanks to energy efficiency tax rebates from home improvements in 2012, a custom remodeling project is a smart way to reinvest the money, receive more tax credits in 2013, and create ongoing opportunities for home improvement projects.

On 2012 and 2013 tax returns, homeowners can receive a Federal Tax Credit on qualified Energy Star-approved upgrades. Visit to learn more.

If you’re planning a remodel with your 2012 tax refund, consider one or more of these approved smart reinvestment projects to increase your home’s energy efficiency while earning a refund on your 2013 return.

Water heater upgrade. Tankless water heaters don’t take up much room because they heat water on demand, instead of storing and heating 50 or more gallons of water continuously. For conventional water heaters, a recirculation systems keeps hot water on demand at the tap to eliminate the energy and water wasted while waiting for hot water to arrive all the way from the tank.

Furnace and appliance upgrade. Homeowners who replace older furnaces and appliances with approved energy efficient models can take a deduction on a percentage of the total cost. Take the opportunity to purchase a much-needed laundry machine, oven, cooktop, dishwasher, water heater, or furnace.

Windows, doors, roofing, and insulation. These upgrades can all dramatically increase your home’s energy-efficiency. While new windows, insulation, and roofing can all be big home investments, this year’s tax refund can help offset the initial cost, while credits on next year’s return may provide some cash back. You’ll also notice immediate savings on your monthly bills, giving you some additional incentive with immediate rewards.


HVAC and energy system upgrades. Heating, cooling, and ventilation upgrades that improve efficiency and performance can qualify for a federal rebate. The cost of converting to a more efficient heat source may qualify for certain deductions on your state tax return as well. The federal government gives a 30% deduction on the costs of converting to a renewable energy source such as solar power, geothermal heat, or residential wind turbines.

Radiant in-floor heat. You can off-set some of the costs associated with energy-efficient radiant heat, by taking deductions on materials and labor when installing a more efficient water heater and upgrading to a qualified heat source.

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