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Five top tips on how to update your living room

 

After years of enduring magnolia and off-white walls in your rented properties, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choice whilst deciding how to update your new living room.  It may seem like a daunting task, but we have compiled some simple yet effective tips that can help:

Discover new lighting
table lamp ikea

Different types of lighting can have a huge impact on the mood of the room.  Light that is too harsh and bright could make the room feel clinical and cold, whereas softer lighting will create a warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for cosy nights in.  A well lit room can be achieved easily by using lower watt bulbs, installing a dimmer, or strategically placing lamps to benefit the levels of light your room receives throughout the day.

You can find a wide range of affordable yet stylish lamps perfect for any modern living room in high street retailers such as Next, or John Lewis.

Paint in wonderful white

Choosing whitwhite walls e paint to redecorate with may not seem like a drastic change to your living room, but this classic look will never go out of style.   To  avoid a sterile feel to the room, make sure you use different textures in your room to give it a more homely feel, such as cushions or t  throws.

You could also choose a colour pallet to accent your room with, making future changes to the room more practical to deal with over the years.

 Writing on the wall

Personalising your living space has never been easier with a range of decorative wall quotes, words and letters to choose from.  Add words and  images to your wall using artistic vinyl graphics, or frame an inspirational or humorous quote to hang as a centre piece.  Online retailers such as Not  on the High Street or Etsy have some fabulous designs which can instantly transform your surroundings.

Change the dynamics

Change the dynamics of your room by moving around your furniture to create more space and making the most of the changing light conditions throughout the year.  You can also do this by changing the position of your radiator or removing a door to create more options whilst deciding where to place your furniture.

Go green plant

Add a splash of colour to your living room whilst also improving your mind and health, by introducing house plants and flowers.  This will create a fresh and natural feel to your room, instantly changing the atmosphere and bringing life to your home.

 

 

 

 

Image Credits: FlickrIkea

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The perfect location? Stunning homes around the world
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The perfect location? Stunning homes around the world

While choosing a location for a new home can be tricky, it’s usually the case that we look for similar traits in a location – plenty of local amenities, a good  community, a low crime rate; however what we might not expect is a settlement nestled in some of the most idyllic and distant areas of the world. From volcanic craters to an Italian fjord, here are some of the craziest towns and settements on the planet.

 

Aogashima, Philippine Sea

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Incredibly, this settlement in the middle of the Phililippine Sea is located in the middle of a volcanic crater. It might be enough to put you or me on edge, knowing that your home is situated on top of something that, in it’s prime was an explosive natural entity, however the volcano has been dormant since the 1700’s.

Monemvasia, Greece

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Hidden away from view on the reverse of a huge rock face in Laconia, Greece is the idyllic oceanside settlement of Monemvasia.

Following an earthquake in the Greek region almost 2000 years ago, the island was seperated from the Greek mainland, resulting in the only access point to the residence being via a small access walkway. Hidden from the sight of those on the coastline of Greece, residants of the island are able to enjoy breathtaking views of the Palaia Monemvasia bay.

Phugtal Monastery, India

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 13.20.15Hidden away in the mouth of a cave might not be a location you think is ideal for a settlement, however the small village perched on this cliff face in India has housed residents since the 1800’s.

Phugtal Monastery, which is, for the most part contructed using mud and timber can be found in t in the south-eastern Zanskar region in the Ladakh district of India.

Undredal, Norway 

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We might have the beautiful views of the Lake District, but this water side dwelling in Norway gives a totally new meaning to the phrase ‘home by the water’.

Furore, Italy 

7502630774_e3bf7548c9_bRounding off our list is the quaint village of Furore, tucked away in a fjord located in south-western Italy – a settlement which is practically hidden from travellers. With cliff side walks, small yet vibrantly coloured homes and a beach and perfectly blue water located right on the doorstep, this looks like the perfect retreat.

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New homes: The houseboat of the future

New homes: The houseboat of the future

We all know now notoriously difficult it can prove to take that first step on the property ladder. But sometimes, amongst all the house shopping, it can be nice to have a bit of a dream, and imagine the situation if we were able to ‘splash out’ – literally in this case, on something luxurious.

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It might not sound like the dream to many, but this unique, state of the art, UK manufactured home gives you the scenery of a waterside property, without having to give up any of your favourite the solar-powered Water Nest 100, which has recently featured in the news isn’t your ordinary house boat.

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The solar-powered Water Nest can be placed on any lake or river and is completely powered by solar energy.

Developed in our very own nation by EcoFloLife in London, it has been designed by Italian architect Giancarlo Zema and is nothing like the houseboats we’ve come to expect before. Big enough in size to accommodate a small family, it boasts two bedrooms and a number of extremely plush other multi-purpose rooms, the likes of which you’d expect to see in a standard house. Rather than being a boat with added room for accommodation, this truly is a house that floats on water.

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With the largest model boasting 1,076 square feet of floor space plus additional balconies, for homeowners to relax on and take in the views from the waterside balconies. We’re sold.

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Top five apps to ease your house move
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Top five apps to ease your house move

When you’re moving home, it’s often the case that you’ll take any help and assistance you can get. Whether you’re doing it all for the very first time, or are becoming a seasoned pro of the house moving game, these smartphone apps are the perfect assistance in what is undoubtedly going to be one of the busiest periods of your life.

 

Rightmove

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If you’re at the very beginning of your house search, then it’s well worth downloading the Rightmove app. As the UK’s most popular property listing website, Rightmove boasts more than 49,000 commercial properties and homes for sale and to rent across the entire UK.

With quick and easy phone access, you can now easily search for your dream place, whilst tightly filtering your results to keep the homes you search within your price range and ideal location. What’s more, you can customise your search to only show results within a certain size bracket, neighbourhood, public transport route, postcode and more.

 

Crime Map: England and Wales

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It’s one of the defining factors when it comes to searching for a property, so it’s well worth having this knowledge of the area in the palm of your hand. If you place high importance on the safety of an area, something which is especially important if you’re moving with a young family, then it’s worth checking out the crime statistics of an area prior to beginning your house search.

Using the UK Police database to show statistics for a wide range of neighbourhoods, the England anad Wales Crime Map keeps you informed on everything within an area, from small crimes of theft to more violent crime. It’s a quick and easy app to check, and definitely one that will help you get the destination of your new home right.

 

Mapumental

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Whilst not strictly speaking an app for your phone, or even for your tablet, Mapumental is a website that has mobile functionality, and adds huge value to anyone who is considering a home move. Ease of travel is one aspect that can have a huge impact on your everyday life – nobody enjoys hours sat in rush hour traffic every morning and evening, so utilising tools like this, allow you to calculate the traffic on your commuter route, as well as examine the length of time a journey would take on public transport.

The Mapumental site allows you to ou search for properties based on how long it takes to travel from your prospective new home, to a point of interest – be it work, the nearest cinema or your favourite restaurants. However, instead of searching by distance, you search based on the time it will take for you to reach your destination of choice.

 

Around Me

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Whilst a quick move to the other side of town will likely not provide too much upheaval in your everyday life, moving to an entirely new city, region or even country can leave you starting from scratch, especially when it comes to getting to know your new neighbourhood. Whether you’re looking for the nearest independent café to grab your morning coffee at before the commute to work, or searching for your new favourite restaurant, Around Me provides a handy guide to your new local area.

 

UKMortgages

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Months before you’re faced with your hectic moving schedule, you’ll have another stressful period to navigate – the financial aspect of your move. Money and mortgages can easily confuse people, and if you haven’t been through the process before, it can be a wholly stressful time. To get the ball rolling when it comes to sourcing your mortgage provider, it’s well worth taking a look at the UKMortgages app. With regularly updated financial information, and the convenience of having updates sent straight to the palm of your hand, utilising this sartphone app will let you get a feel of what is available for you in the market, when it comes to your financial future.

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Top tips to finding your perfect home
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Top tips to finding your perfect home

Buying your first home is a hectic, but exciting time in your life. On one hand, there is nothing like finally taking that prized ownership of your own personal space. On the other hand, it is stressful because in many respects, as buying a home can leave you in a financially tight situation, and provide you with a lot of work. While it isn’t uncommon for homebuyers to make  negotiation errors during the process of buying a home, these mistakes are easily avoidable. If you’re on the hunt for your dream first home, here are out top mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Get it checked

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes that homebuyers can make during the buying process is to opt out of getting a professional to provide a thorough property inspection. When purchasing a home, you’re likely to allocate funds towards remodelling rooms and new furniture. However, without a pre-purchase home inspection, you could find yourself unaware of any number of  structural issues  or deficiencies in the home. You can avoid this issue by hiring a professional to conduct a pre-purchasing home inspection.

 

Pricing

Another common mistake that homebuyers make, especially when purchasing without an estate agent, is that they will easily overpay for a home. While not doing a pre-purchasing home inspection leads to overpaying, so does not reviewing the pricing of homes in the area. Therefore, to make sure you aren’t being overcharged, do some research and review the prices of homes in the area. It will give you an idea of range you should be paying in and give you negotiating power when talking with the seller.

 

Don’t get carried away

Don’t fall into the trap of growing too fond of a property before having a full research and view of properties. Try to stay relatively neutral throughout viewings,  whilst you want to make it clear you have an interest in the home, showing over exuberant enthusiasm for a property during a viewing or the negotiation process can spell trouble. Usually, the seller will notice your feelings and gain the upper hand, which will result in you paying more.

 

Why is it for sale?

One trap that many homebuyers fall into is to not question why the seller has put their home in the market. While in some cases, the seller wants to move elsewhere, it can also be the case that there are other issues. Therefore, in order to protect your investment and add to your negotiating power it is a smart move to ask why the seller has their home on the market.

 

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes, home sellers notice when a homebuyer is desperate to buy a house. This scenario immediately increases the seller’s power, and reduces your negotiating chances. Also, you do not want to put all your hopes into one home. Thus, when searching through homes, it is best to keep your options open. Look through a number or properties and make a list of your favourites. This will help you keep calm when facing negotiations with a homebuyer and increase the chance that you’ll get the property that you want for a fair price.

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Homes of the rich and famous: Where does Bond live?
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Homes of the rich and famous: Where does Bond live?

He’s the world’s most renowned secret agent, who dresses to kill, travels the globe with beautiful women and always saves the day, so it’s surely only fitting that James Bond lives in a stunning home?

The famed fictional member of her majesties secret service is always depicted in stunning locations, however for a glimpse into the lives of those lucky enough to take on the prized role, we’ve taken a look at their real life homes. Prepare yourself to get jealous…

 

Roger Moore

Roger Moore home

Listed on the market back in 2013 for a cool £4.5 million, this 11 acre Buckinghamshire house was the home to Roger Moore for the duration as his first three stints as 007. The incredible sprawling location offers five bedrooms, a drawing room, study, library, lobby, boot room, conservatory, games room, gym, a wine cellar and swimming pool. If that wasn’t already enough, the plot even has a separate annex and guesthouse to retire to.
Image: Savills

 

Sean Connery

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Home to one of the most popular Bond actors, this Irish mansion was home to Sean Connery throughout the 1970’s. Located in Bray, County Wicklow the Victorian six-bedroomed property is set in three-and-a-half acres of grounds which offer flower gardens, mature trees and a tennis court.

 

Pierce Brosnan

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If it’s the luxuary Hollywood lifestyle that you’d imagine for a Bond star, then Pierce Brosnan’s home ticks all the boxes. His 13,000 square-foot residence in the glamorous Californian hotspot that is Malibu is ideally on the beautiful west coast beachfront. A true hub for A-list film stars, Malibu boasts incredible weather, surf and quality of life – so it’s no surprise this Bond traded in his service revolver for this incredible new home. With neighbours including Steven Spielberg, Goldie Hawn, Mel Gibson, Cher, Dustin Hoffman and Danny DeVito, and an average home price on the street of over $10 million, this impressive abode is exactly what you’d expect from one of the world’s most deadly agents.
Image: Splash

 

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig

As recently as 2014, rumours circulated that current Bond, Daniel Craig and hollywood star wife Rachel Weisz were interested in this £5 million valued Grade II listed converted mill. As a pair, the couple are amongst the biggest names in film, so we’re under no illusions that their action packed lifestyles will undoubtedly result in them owning homes around the world, however nestled away in Warwickshire this 18th century getaway boasts boasts eight bedrooms, a cinema and a lake, and sounds like the perfect retreat for a couple looking to escape the frantic Hollywood lifestyle.
Image: Heritage Property

 

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7 signs your home is ready for Christmas
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7 signs your home is ready for Christmas

The cold weather is here, and with just a week to go until the big day hits, many of our homes will be well and truly decked out ready for Christmas. Whether it’s the assortment of decorations cluttering your home, or the assortment of sweet treats already kicking around in your kitchen, there are certain things in a home that truly signal that the festive period is here…

 

You might have just vacuumed your carpet…

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However within ten minutes, your clean floor is already covered yet again by artificial tree leaves and gold foil that have begun to shed all over your carpet.

Image credit: christmasstockimages.com

 

 

 

 

Bringing out the decorations means re-planning your furniture…
and whilst it might give your room a refreshed and reinvigorated feel, it also means you’ll have to adapt your normal walking route in the living room, which is tough. Expect stubbed toes and a number of bumps with the tree as you’ll no doubt forget about the new layout of your room and walk around on autopilot.

 

Expect to enjoy your festive favourites on TV…


8252330825_d1deaf0617_bHowever whilst you might enjoy watching Home Alone a couple of times to get you in the Christmas spirit, there are only so many times you can enjoy watching Arnie search for Turbo Man..and we won’t even get into classics like 1964’s Santa Claus conquers the Martians!

 

As much as you want to stick to healthy eating habits…

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That cupboard full of mince pies and the fridge full of cheeses are just way too tempting.

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

 

All your wardrobes are off limits for storing your clothes…
due to the assortment of gifts hidden away from curious unknowing eyes – namely, your kids.

 

Your mantelpiece and windowsills have also lost all function…
as it is currently covered in Christmas cards from your friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues, the random guy you occasionally say hi to at the supermarket and Dave the butcher.

 

 

And upon returning home from work each day, the abundance of external lights on your street makes it look like a runway at Heathrow.

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Then even when you enter your home, the living room lights up like the Las Vegas strip..just think of the electricity bill.

 

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Homes from the Movies – Home Alone
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Homes from the Movies – Home Alone

Homes from Movies – The McCallister family house

As we reach December and TV schedules become packed full with festive films, we though it was only fitting to take a look at one of the most iconic homes from one the 2072143462_0519fe962bmost loved Christmas film of a generation: Home Alone.

Home to the McCallister family, this mansion of a property located in a suburb of Chicago was the iconic scene of the ‘Wet Bandits’ failed heist on Kevin’s home, after he had been abandoned over Christmas when his family left for their holidays without him.

Placed on the market around the beginning of this decade, the McCallister home that was so bravely defended by Macaulay Culkin boasts an impressive 4,250-square-feet of property, housing 14-rooms and sitting on a half-acre lot of land. Additional home features include four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large screened-in porch with a chandelier and, of course, the famed staircase sledded down by Kevin in the iconic 1990 Christmas flick.

Located in the affluent suburb of Winnetka, which is just a half hour drive from Chicago, properties in the area over the past five years have sold for an average price of almost $1.3 million.

Main image credit: Brandon Koger

Body text image credit: s_herman

 

 

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Houses of the rich and the famous: Rock Star edition
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Houses of the rich and the famous: Rock Star edition

We understand that, as a new home owner, finances are often tight in the months surrounding your move. However from time to time it’s always nice to dream, and imagine a life of luxury. If you’re scraping pennies together this Christmas after making your biggest purchase to date, take a few minutes off and admire the lavish abodes of some of the world’s most wealthy and extravagant celebrities, as we take an inside look at the homes of rock stars.

Pink Floyd

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Located in Stanhope Gardens, Highgate, London, this home which is now valued at £1.2million was once home to iconic British rock band, Pink Floyd. While the group made famous by hits including Comfortably Numb and The Wall are still together as a band, they no longer own the property, and upon leaving the house they left a homemade xylophone and bongo drums in the attic.

Image credit: Savills

 

 

 

Brian Jones – Rolling Stones

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This farm house in Cotchford, Sussex was home to former Rolling Stone Brian Jones, who lived in the property until his death in 1969. Despite housing a member of one of Britain’s most famed rock bands, the previous owner lived a slightly less rock and roll lifestyle – the homes previous owner was A.A. Milne, creator and author of “Winnie the Pooh” stories.

Image credit: Savills

 

 

 

Ozzy Osbourne – Black Sabbath

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Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne may be English; however it’s his home in California which he is renowned for, mainly due to his family’s appearance on the MTV reality show ‘The Osbournes’, which was set for the most part in the house.

Image Credit: Trulia

 

 

 

 

Gene Simmons – Kiss

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This Californian home covers 16,500 square feet of space, including four four bedrooms, six bathrooms and an archive room where Kiss frontman Gene Simmons keeps just about every piece of band memorabilia going. The band is renowned for their striking appearance, and this property certainly strikes an impressive chord due to its sheer size.

Image Credit: Zillow

 

 

 

Jon Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi

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To finish off our list, we have this Manhattan penthouse apartment, valued at a staggering $42 million. Purchased by frontman Jon Bon Jovi in 2007, the pad, which offers incredible views of the New York skyline, has undergone significant refurbishment to get it to its current state. With 360 degree views of major New York suburbs, it’s easy to see why the asking price on the striking home is so high.

 

Image Credit: Corcoran Real Estate

 

All images used in this article are sourced from the respective estate agent of the property when it was listed. Each photo credit is provided underneath the image in the piece.

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Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

Nine signs you’re in a house with kids

So you’ve just moved into your new dream home and are finally getting your possessions and interiors just how you always imagined them. However, if you’re a proud parent, it’s highly likely that your home won’t be staying clean, neat and tidy for long. Here are the top nine signs that the kids run your home.

 

Toys cover the floor

Your living room carpet is a lovely shade of red that you picket to match the walls…if only you could see it under the ocean of toys left lying around…

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Photo credit: Free to use via Pixabay

 

You’re constantly recovering from stepping on Lego

That constant throbbing ache you’re experiencing in your foot, that’s from standing on Lego for the 20th time.

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Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Peppa Pig will dominate your DVD cabinet

Film nights in your home now turn into an expedition, as you dig your way through Peppa Pig DVD’s to find your film of choice.

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Photo credit: Kenneth Lu via Flickr

Think you’re using the iPad? Think again…

You can forget about doing a bit of shopping on your iPad, that’s been reserved for Angry Birds for the foreseeable future.

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Photo credit: Abeckstrom via Flickr.

 

Good luck changing the TV channel

Your default TV station is now Nickelodeon, and good luck finding the remote control, it’s likely to be buried between sofa cushions – enjoy!

 

Be careful not to break the step stool

The kids’ step stool will constantly trip you up in the toilet and bathroom. Watch your feet, as before you know it you’ll have a stubbed toe and the stool will be skidding across to the other side of the room.

 

Neat rolls of toilet paper?

Forget about it, that’s a thing of the past. If you’re after toilet paper, it’s likely to be strewn over the floor, or re-rolled in an untidy manner.

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Photo credit: Gorillasushi via www.flickr.com

Destroy walls and skirting boards

Decorating your home should leave a room in pristine condition for the foreseeable future, not yours though. Chipped skirting boards, drawings on the walls and scratch marks will be more familiar to you.

Grubby marks…

They’re everywhere. Whether it’s your white doors are plastered in food, or the leather sofa with smears of Sudocrem, you undoubtedly feel like you’ve always got a cloth at hand to quickly wipe down surfaces.

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Image credit: St0rmz via Flickr

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