Tag Archive | Home Improvements

Designing a Nursery

Nursery Planning

Planning to decorate your baby’s nursery but not sure where to start? Here’s our top 10 tips to guide and inspire you.

1. Consider the room’s location and other practicalities If you have a choice, choose a quiet room close to your bedroom so you don’t have to walk far at night. Make sure that a cold room has adequate heating and a warm room has good ventilation. If the windows let a lot of light in, it may help your baby to sleep at night if you put black-out blinds or curtain linings up to keep the room dark.

2. Incorporate the style of your house into the nursery décor Is your interiors style traditional, contemporary or perhaps an eclectic mix? It’s important that your nursery design reflects your own personal style and how you’ve decorated the rest of your home. Otherwise, it will look out of place and you’ll tire of it very quickly.

3. Create your own mood board Search the internet and magazines for pictures you love and piece them together to create a mood board. This will help you to pick your colours, keep your ideas focused and pull your theme together.

4. Keep it simple With all the gorgeous nursery furniture and accessories available, it’s easy to over-decorate. Keep it simple and decide on a single focus for the room early on, such as a piece of furniture or artwork. Think child-friendly, not childish. Choose a neutral background and mix in age-appropriate accessories and you’ll reduce the need to redecorate every few years.

5. Choose soft, tranquil colours Consider using colours that are calming and nurturing. When your baby gets older she will tell you what she wants, so take this special time to consider what makes you feel relaxed. With the demands of a newborn, most mums need calm more than anything.

6. Choose adaptable décor Consider how long the nursery décor will last your baby. Wall paper with characters might have to be changed in a few years if your child finds it babyish or out-of-date. Wall stickers are a cheap, easy alternative for decorating that can be removed when your child gets older.

7. Think about safety If you are buying a new cot it should conform to AS/NZS 2172, as all new cots on sale in Australia and New Zealand have to meet this standard. This standard ensures that the cot is deep enough to be safe for your baby, that the bars are the correct distance apart, and that the cot does not have cut-outs or steps. Create a safe zone around the cot by positioning it away from windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations and cords. Keep furniture that your baby could clamber on to away from the cot too.

8. Select key pieces first Select your furniture pieces before you start decorating. Parents often choose their colours first, but it’s actually easier and cheaper to match paints, fabrics and wallpaper to your key furniture pieces.

9. Strike a balance between form and function The hard part of designing your nursery is making sure it’s practical and easy to use. Consider what the room needs to be used for, the size of the room and how long it will be a nursery. This will help you design the space to fit your needs.

10. Think outside the box Just because furniture and accessories are not nursery-specific doesn’t mean that you can’t use them. The same can be said for wallpaper, fabric, and wall stickers. Choose items and colours that you love.

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Sprucing Up the Weekender

The main thing you have to consider is what the primary use of this home is:

  1. Do you mainly use it as a second home for your family and friends and only rent it out when you are not using it or
  2. Is the primary use as a rental property?

If the property is used primarily for you and your family, then decorate it for your needs and wants. Here are 5 tips for redecorating your vacation home if you use it primarily used as a vacation home rental.

5 Cost Effective Tips for Decorating Your Vacation Rental

1. Replace Carpet With More Durable Materials

In the main traffic areas of your vacation rental, replace all the carpet with tile or hardwood floors. With the technology advancements in tile, ceramic and vinyl flooring, the cost to replace the carpet with more durable materials is minimal.

We recently had a homeowner replace his carpet with tile, and the cost was only 22% more. The owner figures he will recoup his money with the upgrade in less than 18 months, as he will not have to have the tile cleaned twice a year like he did with the carpet, and the tile should last much, much longer. We still suggest homeowners keep carpet in the bedrooms, as most guests do not like to get out of bed in the morning and put their feet on cold flooring.

2. Upgrade Your Bedding Cheaply

We suggest homeowners buy a nice quality mattress and box spring, but do not go over the top. We recently found that you can save yourself quite a bit of money and buy a lesser quality mattress and then add a 6 inch or 4 inch foam pillow mattress pad on top.

In some of our homes where the owners did not want to replace their current mattresses, we bought these mattress pads and guests raved about how comfortable the beds were over the Christmas holiday rush. We found these mattress pads online for around $70 for a king sized bed.

3. Paint Your House

If you want an instant upgrade in your vacation home, all you have to do is paint it. One suggestion is to use an eggshell or satin finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on the trim. The semi-gloss finish on the trim is key; this finish gives it more of a pop.

4. Don’t Go With Top of the Line Furniture

This might shock you, but you need to ask yourself this question: “Would I like to have a new sofa for $3,000 and it be top of the line, or would I like to buy a $1,200 sofa from IKEA, knowing in 36 months I might have to replace it with a new one anyway?”

The logic here is simple; your goals in life change all the time, and things come up. In addition, unfortunately guests do not treat your furniture like they would their own. It is better to buy lesser quality furniture for less money — unless the rental income warrants splurging for more quality furniture.

5. Add Color

There are plenty of places where you can buy vases, pitchers, coffee table books, dining room center pieces, lamps, etc. that will add color to your vacation home and make it a more fun and inviting vacation home for your guest. Most of the time you can add color to a vacation home for only a couple hundred dollars. Admittedly this is the artists home but it gives you some ideas.

Inexpensive Home Upgrades

Budget Upgrades

Doing some remodeling to boost your home’s value is important when you’re planning on selling it. If your budget won’t accommodate larger home improvement projects, don’t worry! There are plenty of inexpensive home upgrades you can do if you have the right skills and tools.

Here are five ways to fix up your home on a tight budget:

 

 

  • Paint your interior walls. Putting a fresh coat of paint on your walls can make your home shine. If you’re feeling more adventurous, opt for a bolder color than you would normally pick in order to give each room a more memorable appearance. All you need are basic paint supplies and, of course, paint.
  • Make stairs safer. Install a stair runner for just a few hundred dollars, using woven runners and some basic hardware supplies. This is a much more affordable option than having carpeting installed on your stairs.
  • Add interior shutters. These types of shutters add more charm to a home than plain old blinds or shades. Install swinging wood shutters or another type of interior shutter on doors or windows where sunlight comes in the most.
  • Paint your kitchen cabinets. If your cabinets are dark or scuffed up, you don’t have to replace them. Instead, grab some paint and painting supplies to give your cabinets a makeover. Before painting, you’ll need to use sandpaper to even out the surfaces.
  • Install a water filter. Invest in an under-sink water filter to get clean water for drinking. At the least, you can install one that fits onto your faucet. This saves you money on bottled water and ensures that you’re drinking water that’s safe.