Home Reno Investment of the Year – Here’s Why Everyone is Changing their Windows

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Feeling the cold this winter? Can’t sleep from the busy road or from noisy neighbours? Is your furniture fading from the sun? Yup – it’s definitely time to get a new set of windows!

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Installing new windows can transform your home, inside and out – and it doesn’t mean you need to break the bank! There are tons of affordable options that you can even install yourself with the right tools and some patience! Believe me, it’s worth it in the long run and will sky-rocket your home’s market value. Here’s some info on how new windows can improve your home, and a little advice about how to choose the right type of windows.

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Save on Electricity Bills!

Installing a new set of windows is guaranteed to keep your heating bills down, new technology and specific materials help keep heat IN and the cold OUT. It’s definitely one of your best investments that will surely pay off in the long run.

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Keep City Noises Out!

What’s really trending this year are new double-glazed uPVC windows that have not only insulation properties, but a whole other list of benefits. You can expect noise from the outside to be reduced by as much as half – particularly good if you live on or near a busy road, or in the bedroom if you’re a light sleeper. They also significantly reduce the risk of condensation – potentially saving you from costly damp proofing or correcting work.

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Double Up on Security

Double glazed uPVC windows are also super secure, they are strong and come with very high quality locks fitted as standard – or the potential to fit them without too much hassle. Knowing you have good windows with high security is definitely a lifesaver – you can sleep easy at night knowing your home is secure!

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Sky-Rocket Your Home’s Value

New windows make your home look instantly REVIVED and improve the overall exterior of your home. Perfect for adding significant value to your home if you wish to sell in the future – as well as giving instant return in terms of your day-to-day comfort.

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Choose Your Window Style

Once you’ve decided to replace your windows, the biggest choice you’re going to need to make is what style of window to go for. Windows with uPVC frames are the most cost effective, the most energy efficient, and will give your home a modern look – especially if you want to update an older home. What I love about these windows is that they require next to no maintenance, so you can pretty much put them in and forget about them.

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If you live in a period home and have a bit more to spend then opt for wooden frames as they will be keep with the overall aesthetic style of your home. However, they will require significantly more maintenance than their uPVC cousins – such as regular weatherproof coating.

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Some Extra Tips from Experience!

Keep in mind when installing new windows – if you do it in stages, window models will occasionally be discontinued and replaced with different ones. To avoid style differences, it’s worth investing in all the frames you’ll need (at least for one section of your home) right off the bat. Whatever style you choose, there’s not going to be a huge cost difference between good quality, energy-efficient windows, and lower-quality, builder-grade windows. My advice is, invest in the better quality ones to save headaches and trouble in the long run!

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 Photos: Nathan Schroder

Posted in Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Dining Rooms, Gardens, Kitchens, Living Rooms | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Tour: Ellen Pompeo Snatched this Hollywood Home Right off the Market!

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Ellen Pompeo just purchased a charming 1920’s Spanish-style home right in the Hollywood Hills and today we are here to tour it! This Mediterranean beauty was recently Ronald Reagan’s home, so it must be good!

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Famous designer, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard designed the whole home from top to bottom to revamp it and bring it back to its former glory. For the interior décor Ellen really wanted to highlight her affection for the Mediterranean, so she took influences from Morocco, Spain, Tuscany and even the South of France! She not only wanted a relaxed, down-to-earth look but also a decorating style that fits her life of casual entertaining, hearty good eating, and sun-kissed relaxation.

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What I love about this stunning home is that it doesn’t have any of that star-diva craziness, it’s totally functional and live-able making it perfect for her growing family. Ellen sure had a good real estate agent to snatch up this gorgeous beauty of a home!

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The living room terrace was a new addition to the home and acts as a nice outdoor extension to the home. Perfect for enjoying the sunshine or having a glass of punch with guests.

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Pompeo’s dream kitchen is really built to last – no need to worry about scuffing wood cabinets here! The La Cornue range oven, custom cabinetry and marble backsplash are really low-maintenance and hardwearing.

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The breakfast nook boasts a rustic design, with scuffed brick flooring, a distressed dining table and vintage leather chairs. The lighting isn’t some fancy chandelier, it’s very industrial which keeps to this low-key, and low-maintenance styled home.

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Despite the restrained, un-glamorous look in the rest of the home, Ellen definitely did not skimp out on luxury when it comes to the master bedroom! This room really looks and feels like a old Hollywood home! The canopy bed, leopard bench, mirrored wall tiles, and soft carpeting welcome the Los Angeles lifestyle with open arms!

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The master bath is without doubt HUGE and has a lot of space to relax and wind-down after a long day at work. Take a look at the sofa, it’s made of a towel like fabric – ingenious for a humid, wet bathroom.

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The library is dark, mysterious, and looks a little like a man-cave. The gold spiked chandelier is by Jean de Merry and the set of chairs are from Restoration Hardware. I’m a huge fan of hide rugs, and this one is cow-hide with a little twist – the pieces were sewn together in a chevron patchwork pattern.

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You can’t beat the dining room – it has a lovely view of the Hollywood Hills. I’m seriously envious right now! Again, designer Martyn stuck with a chevron pattern for the flooring, this time with distressed hardwood.

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The backyard is super spacious and feels like a mini retreat – there is really no need to go on vacation! The chevron gazebo is a smart choice for barbequing and lounging by the pool. And I also really love the lanterns that are from Restoration Hardware, I’m guessing Ellen really likes that store! I was surprised to see such a glamorous celeb have a really normal, muted home. What did you think about it? Drop a comment below!

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Create a Luxurious Guest Bedroom Retreat On a Budget – Here’s How!

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Having guests over for the weekend? Creating the perfect retreat for them at home is easy and you don’t need to invest a whole lot of time and money. What you want to focus on is creating a clean, relaxing environment that they won’t be able to wait to come back to! Follow our easy guide to decorate your guest bedroom hassle free:

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Don’t Complicate Things! Keep Colour Palettes Simple  

Don’t overwhelm your space with too much colour or too many busy patterns, particularly if you only have a small space. By keeping colours light and consistent you’ll create the illusion of more space and light. You may be tempted to create a feature wall but these are totally out for 2015 – focus more on your furniture and accessories to add in a punch of color and interest!

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I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again – add in a hit of color with cushions or throw blankets which are super easy to switch up according to the season or holiday. Matching your flowers to your accessories is also a simple way to tie in your décor and change it up each time you have guests.

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Make Your Bed Look Comfy and Luxurious

The bed is clearly a key part of your guest room, but let’s be honest – it’s not going to be used nearly as much as your own, so don’t break the bank. While it’s important to offer your guests a good night’s sleep, one or two nights on a slightly cheaper bed really isn’t going to make much difference. To create the illusion of a more expensive bed, stack on another mattress for a higher bed or add bed risers under the feet. A higher bed looks and feels much more opulent then a lower one.

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Consider a Stowaway Bed

Too many guests not enough room? If your bedroom is too small and can only fit one single bed, consider a pull out bed! Go for a bed with a pullout trundle bed for when you need it and stash it away when your guests leave. This way you have the option to put up an extra guest for the night when you want to – but hidden away to save space. What an ingenious idea!

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Use Soft, Not Harsh Lighting

Lighting is incredibly important in the bedroom and can make or break the way your guests feel during their stay! Natural sunlight is amazing during the day, but dimmed mood lighting is essential for a good night’s sleep. If you have westward-facing windows in your guest bedroom black out blinds are an absolute must to ensure your guests aren’t woken at dawn.

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Make sure each bedside table has a small lamp to add subtle mood lighting at night, which is also great for reading or while watching TV. Choose light bulbs that produce a soft, warm glow or install tinted light bulbs. If your budget will stretch to getting in a professional, and your ceiling lights are suitable, then installing a dimmer switch is a fantastic way to give yourself options. Your guests can have the warm, soft lighting you need at bedtime – but also full lighting when they wake up in the morning.

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Rustic Luxury – How to Get this New Décor Trend at Home!

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When we think of rustic design and home décor, we usually picture a small log cabin, tucked away deep in the forest or perched on a mountain hill. However, your roof doesn’t need to be covered with moss and your windows don’t need to be looking out on a glacial lake to consider adopting the trendy rustic style in your home.

Even if you have a modern style home you can mix in rustic décor with your smooth walls or polished wood and STILL manage to recreate the romantic atmosphere of a mountain retreat or a barn. These clever combinations of rustic style décor and luxury elements will give your home a whole new vibe for 2015:

The Artisan Fireplace

Nothing screams rustic or luxury louder than a fireplace, which we traditionally associate with both. To improve on the wood-fed conventional rustic fireplace, consider a gas-fueled artisan alternative that is still designed with rustic elements, such as rocks and rough wood.

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The River-Stone Bathtub

Rather than going for traditional tile or smooth surface, think about dressing your bathtub in rough river stone or granite pieces to complement a wooden wall, ceiling or vanity top. This will give your bathroom a whole new rustic look that’s tied in with nature and the wilderness.

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The Alternative Kitchen Countertop!

There is a lot you can do to play with rustic décor in your kitchen, such as replacing the sink with a copper one as well as installing a large stone slab in place of a regular counter top. For a full luxury rustic finish, add a weathered metal faucet, complete with a stone backsplash.

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The Rustic Canopy Bed

Bring the warm and cozy feeling of a wooden cabin bedroom with a natural wood canopy bed. The canopy bed has long been a staple of luxury décor, but you can surely maintain its status by picking high-quality ornamental wood in artistic natural shapes for its crown. This designer stuck to a more sleek shape to seamlessly blend in with the dark, rustic wall panels.

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The Natural Color Textures

Rich, soft wools, authentic rugs and organic textured draperies in warm earthy tones will momentarily increase the level of comfort and coziness. A lacquered tree trunk with a glass top makes a wonderful coffee table and perfectly mixes in rustic with luxury. Also consider natural shapes, materials and colors when picking out the art for the living space as well.

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The Effective Chandelier

Just like with the canopy bed, we are accustomed to thinking about luxury décor when we picture chandeliers. As long as you stick to nature’s elements, you will have an element of extravagance that perfectly fits your rustic design concept. What’s super popular is antlers turned into chandeliers or even a big wagon wheel wrapped with twinkle lights makes the perfect lighting fixture.

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With these key rustic elements you can easily bring in a dash of rural style to your home without sacrificing luxury and comfort. If you already have conceptual interior design at home that leans towards modern luxury, but you would like to tie in a few rustic details, you can always rely on rough wood, organic shapes, a rich earthy palette and distressed metals to achieve the effect.

Are you a fan of rustic interiors yourself? Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to décor? Comment below!

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