Home Office Inspiration For Maximum Productivity

Working from home brings with it a whole range of bonuses, but you can’t have the good without the bad. Often, working from home means feeling unmotivated at times, perhaps even a little lazy. It can be tough to get these done when you’re in this state emotionally. What many people don’t realize, is that it’s their environment that truly makes for great productivity. Take a look at your own environment, and figure out whether it’s helping you or hindering you.


If you believe that it could be improved, read on for some inspiration that should allow for maximum productivity:


Let In Natural Light

First thing’s first: you need natural light. It’s hard enough working in a room on your own all day, let alone doing it in artificial light that makes us feel lethargic. Don’t forget, natural light is actually essential to our health and well being. It makes us more productive and gives us healthy doses of sunlight that make us happier. Let in as much as you can. If it’s darker where you live or you still struggle to get enough sunlight, it could be worth investing in a SAD lamp to sit near for the first part of your day.

Add Plants

Plants purify the air around us and can add much-needed life to our home offices. They are beautiful to look at too, which is always a bonus. Choosing a low maintenance plant is fine, just make sure you add some greenery. We don’t spend enough time in nature as a species these days.


Find Pictures And Quotes That Motivate You

What sort of pictures and quotes really make you want to work hard? Is there a specific motivational speaker or person that makes you want to crush the day? Include their quotes and images in your office. Make a feature wall of things you can look at when you’re feeling unmotivated so you can find the strength to get to work.



Have A Door That You Can Shut

Now, this is an important one. If you have your computer in the family room with people coming in and out all day, it’s no wonder you don’t get any work done. One distraction can mean we have to spend another 20 or so minutes getting fired up to ‘get in the zone’ again. Even if your family aren’t directly disturbing or talking to you, it isn’t good for your walking day. Even if you have to set up an office in the garage and invest in an insulated coiling door to keep things warm and safe, it’s better than working in an open room in your home. A door you can shut is imperative.


Keep Things Organized

Organization is the key to getting things done faster and avoiding distractions. Invest in storage units and things that can help you in this respect.


Make Sure It Reflects You

Finally, don’t think that your office must be some boring, uninspiring space that must look a certain way. It can look anyway you like, as long as it inspires you and makes you feel like getting stuff done!

Bohemian Decor Ideas That Will Add a Splash of Colour to Your Home

If you love life, culture, and interesting designs, then bohemian decor ideas will get you excited. With plenty of exciting patterns, unique markings, and warm earthy colors, it’s possible to create a bohemian household that will breathe personality like nothing you’ve seen before. To get you started with this unique and eccentric style of decor, here are a few tips that you should follow.

Colors to Use


Bohemian design is all about earthy colors. We’re talking different shades of brown, gold, and jewel shades like a bright red-orange or a deep red. One of the colors you’ll want to avoid in your decorations is white. White isn’t much of a bohemian color and it really has no place if you want to add true splashes of color to an otherwise dull home. Bohemian design is expressive as it is loud and complex. The clashing of colors isn’t simple and requires a lot of design and coordination.


When layering different colors in bohemian decor, try to use various patterns that come in bright, earthy colors. For example, look at Mandala Bedding with its colorful sheets and designs. These colors go well with other earthy shades which makes them perfect for wooden floors and tranquil wallpapers. Whatever you do, don’t allow the colors to clash with non-earthy shades.


Furniture Choices


Bohemian furniture is all about using vintage pieces that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. A bohemian room is all about showing off your antique furniture, so don’t be afraid to mix and match pieces alongside some colorful upholstery.


However, it’s not just about buying antiques and vintage furniture then throwing them in your room. If possible, each piece of furniture should have a story to tell. You should keep pieces of antique furniture for as long as possible. Give them frequent repairs and maintain their quality so that they can serve you well for a long time. This is especially important for vintage pieces that have unique shapes and materials. The more secrets an item of furniture holds, the more interesting your decor arrangement will be.




Accessories are important in any bohemian home. Like the furniture, accessories need to tell a story to make them stick and be unique. For example, souvenirs that you’ve picked up from travelling the world can be a fantastic way to show off your adventures. Fancy-looking seashells that you’ve plucked from a beach should be on display, and pieces of artwork that you’ve collected over the years should be proudly shown.


There’s plenty of accessories that could give your home a more bohemian feel. Don’t be afraid to pick earth colors and don’t be afraid of mismatching decor. Remember that each accessory is put on display as decor not because it fits the overall theme of a bohemian room, but because it has a story to tell and so it becomes part of your home.


Bohemian designs and decor are wonderful and easy to add to your home. Follow these three tips and you’ll have a beautiful home that shines with unique colors and patterns.

How To Turn A Dumb Home Into A Smart One

Living at home should be the easiest thing in the world. After all, a person’s house is their castle. The reality is that lots of properties are hard work and add to the stress. Not only are high cortisol levels infuriating, but they are also potentially dangerous. So, to avoid any unnecessary annoying and deadly scenarios, it’s best to turn your dumb home into a smart house. How can you do that, you ask? Let’s face it – it isn’t like you can send it to school! The key is to invest in smart technology, and here are four essential pieces of tech to consider.


Wifi Thermostat


Winter is well and truly on the way and the temperature of your home is a big deal. No one wants to freeze to death in their own home, but nor do they want to splash out on high energy costs. The warm and toasty middle ground is to keep the temperature at a steady level all winter long. The best programmable thermostat on the market allows you to do this with ease. All you have to do is turn it on, connect it to the Wifi, and let it analyze its surroundings. Without touching it, a programmable ‘stat can increase and reduce the temperature as standard.



Smart Lighting


A smart light fixture won’t turn itself on and off like a Wifi thermostat, but it is controllable from a mobile device. With an app such as Hue, it is possible to log on and change the settings without being in the room. Why is this important, you ask? Well, maybe you left the house and forgot to turn on the lights. Or, you could have gone out and didn’t remember to turn on the porch light. Not only can an app save you money but it can keep the property safe, too.


Security System


Safety is a huge issue for homeowners because no one should feel scared of their property. Sadly, thieves and burglars do try and take what isn’t theirs, which is why a security system is essential. CCTV cameras are without a doubt the best option yet expensive. So, an alternative is needed. Nowadays, most alarm systems come with an app which alerts you to any activity on the property. Also, there is a feed live on the outside of the house. Nest Cam also adds extra security as it streams from inside of the building.





Are you sick and tired of cleaning? That’s fine – just let someone else do it. In fact, let something else do it because a Roomba is a small machine which vacuums as it goes. All you have to do is turn it on, adjust the settings to save power, and let it roam while you are at work. When you come home, the floors should be pretty spic and span as it picks up any debris. You’ll still need to scrub the toilet but there will be less housework.


And voila – as if by magic your home is now super intelligent. Just be careful it doesn’t get too smart!

Unlock Your Creative Power

Do you sometimes have that feeling of wanting to make something? It’s called the thirst for creation, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as it should. You can find yourself sitting down and facing a completely blank mind. Your creative enthusiasm is still here, but you have no idea to drive it in the right direction, or in any direction at all for that matter. Whether you want to sketch little scenes, paint a landscape, write or poem, bake an amazing-looking cake, or even upcycle an old piece of furniture, creativity is full of alternatives. All you need is to find the way to unlock them!

Pixabay image


Everyone is creative

For a start, you need to acknowledge the fact that, while there are some people who are making a lot of money being original artists, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative yourself. Everyone is naturally creative because believe it or not, people are simply born this way. Indeed, exploring possibilities is a natural behavior that can be observed in babies. Exploration drives the capacity for creation. Very early, children are comfortable using colored pens to represent their vision of the world. In other words, you’re as creative as everybody else. Just let it happen.


Boost your creativity

Think of your creativity as an engine that you need to start with the right behavior and care. However, unlike physical activities, creativity is the expression of your mind’s vision which means that you might want to consider ways to improve mental health if you struggle with anxiety or depression disorders. Instead, following healthy habits to reset your brain, such as getting more sleep and exercising. These simple things help to rest your mind and get the blood flow kicking to nourish your ideas. Additionally, more often than not, a change of decor can be beneficial. A full-immersion in nature, for instance, is proven to improve your creativity. You may not be able to immerse yourself in nature, but you can, at least, remove the digital interruptions by putting your smartphone away.

Nature immersion


Do you need a creative room?

You need a space that is dedicated to creation. If you’ve got a home office, you can turn it into your creative paradise. Don’t panic if you haven’t: There are other solutions. You could decide to convert your basement with the relevant lighting systems and wall and flooring solutions, for instance. Don’t have a basement? No problem. Maybe all you need is a box full of original and sensory-enhancing objects to kickstart your mind!


Build your creative decor

There can be no creativity without an inspiring decor. As nature can boost your ideas, it’s always a good start to surround yourself with your favorite houseplants and flowers. You can also use the work of inspiring artists as a platform for your creations. And finally, why not paint the walls to give you the little push you need? If you want to induce a sense of peace, use an earth-toned palette. If you need upbeat happiness, try bright yellow or turquoise instead.


Creativity is the combination of your state of mind, your sense of exploration and the environment you’re in. By influencing any of these factors, you can remove the infamous white page or white canvas block that all creators dread.

Surprising Home Additions Against A Breathing Tax

In 2014, the biggest airport in Venezuela decided to charge a fee to their passengers for the right to inhale clean air, also referred to as the breathing air tax by angry social media users who wasted no time in pulling down the airport. A user immediately complained about the £12 tax in Maiquetia International Airport with the following tweet:

“Could you explain to me the ozone thing in Maiquetia? The toilets don’t have water, the air-con is broken, there are stray dogs inside the airport, but there’s ozone?”

Ozone was part of a new system installed to purify the air and protect the health of the travelers Needless to say that travelers took to the social media to make fun of the new tax. You may think it’s infuriating, funny or plain ridiculous. But when you think about it, there’s something deadly serious about the breathing tax, and that is that the air you breathe is not clean. Surprising as it might sound, the statement also includes indoor air.

Keeping the air fresh

The air in your home needs to be renewed regularly. There’s a household habit in Germany that insists on opening all windows for one hour every day, even at the heart of winter. The advantage is that you can fill your house with fresh air and stimulate indoor air circulation. You can also add an AC system to keep the air circulating freely between rooms. This will ensure that your house keeps a high air quality at all time. Additionally, keeping the rooms ventilated means that there is a lot less possibility for mold growth to settle and spread. A functioning AC unit, indeed, reduces the moisture in your home. However, you need to organize regular servicing with professional air conditioning companies. When the unit is damaged or contaminated, it can spread unhealthy bacterial presence throughout your home. As a rule of the thumb,; new units should be checked yearly.  

Ventilate your home

Keeping the air clear

How do you keep the air pure inside your home? If you think that pollution is only reserved for the outdoors, you need to think again. Cleaning products, chemicals, fragrances, formaldehyde and other toxins are present in all households. They can gradually put your health at risk as unhealthy particles spread in the air. But thankfully, you can rely on decorative houseplants to purify your indoor effectively. Bamboo palms, for example, are great against chemical contaminants like formaldehyde and benzene. Boston fern is one of the best plants against air pollutants, and it can even add beneficial humidity to the dry air.  

Indoor plants that clean the air


Keeping the air clean

Finally, you can also play a significant role in the cleanliness of your indoor air. Weekly or bi-weekly vacuuming can get rid of dust particles in the air and also reduce the risk of mold infestation. Additionally, it allows you to control the presence of allergens in your home, such as pollen or pet hair. Keeping things clean and tidy is, by far, the best approach to purify indoor air.

You may not be ready to pay a breathing tax, but you can certainly make sure that the indoor air is breathable and healthy. Maybe purification is the way to stop a tax on the air in your home!

Choosing The Perfect Bed Is Harder Than You Think

When it’s time to get a new bed, you probably think the decision is easy. You can just walk into any bed store and pick out any bed you find, right? Not really, it’s actually harder than you think! There are plenty of elements of a bed that you need to think about if you want it to be perfect. I’ve listed these down below, give them a read, and you’ll learn how to choose the best bed ever.

Find the perfect bed for you. Image Source

Bed Frame

We start things off with the bed frame itself; the main foundations of your bed. There are plenty of options at your disposal here, from wooden frames to metal ones, and a whole lot else too. Naturally, you need to choose a bed frame that’s sturdy enough to withstand all the weight on the bed. The last thing you want is a bed falling apart after a few months. Furthermore, try and avoid ones that squeak or creak, as it can get annoying. Other than this, the design should follow the design theme of your bedroom. For example, if you’ve got a very traditional bedroom going on, with loads of oak furniture, then a wooden bed frame fits well.


Picking your mattress can make or break your bed. Choose the wrong type for your body, and you’ll never have a nice night of sleep. The good thing here is that you don’t have to worry about anything other than comfort. Looks don’t matter, just test out some mattresses in the shop until you find one that supports you well and doesn’t cause pain.


The bedding forms a very important part of any bed. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the bedding is what most people are drawn to. In my eyes, the best bedding sets will attract all the attention and totally bring together your bedroom.  So, you have to spend time choosing sets that complement the rest of your room and align with your color scheme. Then, you have more practical things to consider such as the material of the bedding. Some material can cause allergic reactions, some can be too warm – there are loads of things to consider here! In an ideal world, you will find bedding that’s comfortable to sleep in and looks fantastic too.

The Extras

Finally, you have to think about any extras you want to add to your bed. This includes throw pillows, blankets, decorations for the frame, etc. While your mattress was all about comfort and no looks, the extras are the opposite. Choose things that add something to your bed and make it look even more visually appealing.

Take everything into account, and you should be able to find the perfect bed for you. That’s a very important point actually, there’s no such thing as THE perfect bed – it depends on you. If you’re choosing a bed for a couple, you might want something large and spacious. If you have a small house with limited storage, you may want a bed frame that provides space underneath to store items. If you have kids, you might want a bunk bed! No matter what your dream bed looks like, you still need to consider all the points above.

How AC Could Help Your House And Your Health

If you are fortunate enough to own a home of your very own, chances are you want to keep it in the best condition possible. You maintain it all you can, clean everything, tidy up in the cupboard which is hard to reach and even replace your water filter cartridges. While your efforts are most certainly not in vain, some things are probably out of your control if you exclusively plan to stick with the usual cleaning up. One thing that will greatly affect both your house and you, is the air quality within the house. If you have not thought about it before, then you might not know just how important proper house air quality control is when trying to prevent or combat mold.

Image source: Pixabay

Possible negative effects


While once upon a time, air conditioning was considered a luxury reserved for only the privileged few, it is pretty commonplace nowadays. Let us not forget the sweltering heat which is transformed into bearable conditions indoors thanks to its hard work. However, bad air conditioning can have several negative effects on the house. If your AC is malfunctioning, your house may have sudden spikes in humidity which in itself has several potential health risks. Mould tends to grow in humid and damp areas which can cause respiratory issues for most and some more severe problems for asthmatics. Throat and eye irritation, coughing, wheezing or even skin irritation. People with compromised immune systems or chronic lung illness, tend to have stronger negative reactions to mold exposure, sometimes even getting serious infections in their lungs.


How air conditioning can help


Besides the obvious positives of air conditioning such as more bearable temperatures indoors, it can help you fight off mold. By being able to control the humidity within the house, you are much more capable of minimising mold growth and mold spread. Not all AC units come with humidifiers/dehumidifiers, so make sure to invest in a better quality unit from a brand such as TopAirQuality. After you have your mold situation under control, you may enjoy the many other benefits of air conditioning in your location of choice. A well ventilated and air-conditioned area, not only has improved comfort levels, it also improves job performance and productivity. While AC is sometimes responsible for spreading infectious respiratory diseases due to the nature of air being circulated around the house, it does help exclude external allergens such as pollens. In the end, if you look after your AC unit as well as the rest of your house then it should greatly improve the air quality in your home.

Image source: Pixabay

Final tips


As previously mentioned, air quality can be an enormous help when trying to prevent or fight mold, but there are more ways to go about it. If you have any noticeable drafts due to “leaky” windows or doors, then try to get them replaced or fixed. Preemptively take care of leaky roofs, windows, and pipes so that water does not get onto the inside of the walls. Make sure to keep your bathroom, shower, kitchen and laundry areas well ventilated as well.


Frequently Forgotten Elements To Home Security

Who doesn’t want to be safe in their home? If you are keen to make sure that your home is as safe as it could possibly be, then there might be certain aspects which you need to look into soon. This is because a number of elements to home security are very often forgotten or overlooked, and this can mean that you are not living in as safe a building as you may have thought. It is worth looking into this, so you can b sure that you are as safe as possible in your own home. Let’s have a look at what those elements are, and how to ensure that they are improved upon.

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Watch The Roof


It is likely that you often think about the security of your windows and doors, but how often do you stop to think about the roof? The truth is that if there is any damage to your roof, it can be a problem for a number of varying reasons. For a start, you might end up experiencing damp or worse in the home, which can in itself be something of a safety concern. But there is also the matter of the fact that someone could break in if your roof is particularly bad. Even just a small damage could be enough for someone to worm their way in, and that is exactly what you are hoping to avoid. Be sure to keep an eye on your roof, especially in the wetter months, if you want to be as secure as possible in your home.


Remember All Entrances


Some of the ways into a home can be surprising, and it is often shocking to see how easy it is not to consider them. A great example of somewhere in the home you really need to keep an eye on is the garage. If you leave this open often, or the door you have for it is not as strong and sturdy as it could be, this can mean that you end up being much less safe than you had thought. Instead, you should try to make sure that you have a good quality overhead garage door, to ensure that nobody can easily get into the home that way.

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Being A Neighbor

Finally, if you want to be safe in the home, a really important part of that is to be the best neighbor you possibly can be. As long as you do this, you will find it is much less likely that people break in, in part because burglars and the like are statistically much more likely to break into the homes of people who they know don’t have much of a support system. The more active you are within your local community, and the more you watch out on behalf of others, the better off you will be in your own home, and less likely to be the victim yourself.

Maintaining Your Own Sense Of Style In The Home


If you are like most people, you want your home to be a fairly accurate reflection of who you consider yourself to be. This means that you need to think about what your home is saying about you, and this can be surprisingly tough to figure out sometimes. That’s because everyone’s interpretation is different, but also because even the smallest details can say a lot about you. If you want it to be the most accurate portrayal of your personality possible, you need to pay attention to details, as well as to the bigger picture. In this post, we are going to look at some of the best and quickest ways to maintain your own sense of style in your home.




Color is always going to be a hugely important element here. The colors you choose around the home can say a lot about you, and if you want your own style to come through then this is one of the first things to really think about. The good news is that it is quite easy to work with color in a way which means your own style shows through quite readily. But you do need to have a strong understanding of colors themselves and how they work (or don’t work) together in a space. More than anything, this usually just means that you need to carry out some trial and error to get it right, but make sure that you do if you want your home colors to reflect you as well as possible. Get the colors right, and often you will find that the rest just follows.




Because it is literally everywhere throughout the home, the flooring is always going to be a hugely important part of the home design. When it comes to getting your own unique sense of style across, you can do much worse than take a look at what is happening on your floors. Is it possible that you could improve the personalization of your floors by getting hold of some truly bespoke rugs? Maybe you want to do away with carpeting altogether and lay down wood? Whatever you think suits you best is what you should do, and it will be one of the quickest and most radical changes that you ever see in your home when you do it. Get the flooring right for a real dramatic effect.




Funnily enough, the way that you use space is also incredibly important if you are keen to express yourself in the best possible way. Your space needs to reflect yourself in some way, and this is actually easier than you think. The key here is to follow your gut instinct, as in so doing you will automatically show off your own personality and style in subtle but felt ways. How you use the space will make it clear how you feel about the home, and that in turn will say something about you, so this could be more powerful than you think. Attend to the space, and see what happens.

Stylish Home, Stylish Life



When you’re interested in fashion, you’ll often find that your passion for good style doesn’t just stop at your shoes. It keeps on flowing, right out of your closet and into the rest of your home. Because when you’ve got a great eye for style and pulling together the perfect wardrobe staples, it’s also highly likely that you’re going to be great at creating a styling home to live in too. But not only that, you’re likely to want to live in stylish surroundings. So, it’s going to be important that your home can play a part in your stylish life. If you want that to be the case, let’s walk through a few ways that you can allow that to happen.


Setting Your Style


The very first way you can work on doing this is by finding the right style to work with around your home. Depending on your own personal taste, you may find that you want to keep everything unified from your front door right up to the very last bedroom. But you may also want to work with different sides of your personality, and your personal taste, throughout your home too. So the first thing you need to do is decide on the style you’re going to work with in your designs.


Pick Out Key Pieces


When you have decided on that style, the next step is to pick out the right key pieces. Whether you are working on a unified style, or you’re looking to create different looks around the house, you’re going to need the right interiors pieces to style out. So look for some inspiration online and in magazines. Then, be sure to shop around using something like DoingUp to find the best pieces in your price range. As you start to add each key piece to your decor, you’ll then know how to build up or down.


Entertain Away


If you love to entertain, then you’re definitely going to want to create a stylish entertaining space in your home too. This is often one of the best places to start, as however, you choose to style out this space, and even the layout you decide on can determine everything else. If this space is going to be the most used, don’t hold back – really let your style shine through.


House Your Style


When you’re a huge fashion fan, of course, the next big area that you should inject your style into is the walk-in closet. Because we all know that you’re going to make room for one. Whether you choose to keep this space simply or really show it off, make sure you focus on practicality so that everything can be stored carefully.


Keeping It Running


And finally, you’re also going to want to think of the ways you can make sure everything always runs like clockwork. Because creating a stylish home is just the start, you then have to keep it looking that way. And to do that, you may need home services like a clearer to help keep everything looking great.

Break Up With The Traditions: Plan A Christmas Road Trip

It’s almost that time again when you have to keep the house clean and tidy, decorate the Christmas tree – unless you’ve been an early bird and have already done it – and constantly bake for the entire duration of the end of year celebrations – yes, that includes New Year’s eve too. For every child, Christmas is the best time of the year. For their parents, it’s debatable. Of course, you can’t stay insensitive to the Christmas spirit, but you’ll surely appreciate it better if you didn’t have to go through the same ritualistic nightmares year after year. You know the kind: Visiting the family, trying to avoid petty comments about some of the family presents, and family pretending to care about that distant relative you see only once a year… without mentioning about the stress of the preparations! In short, the time of love and family reunion can be very unpleasant for a lot of families! So, maybe this year you could take a break from the traditions and enjoy your Christmas with the kids and your partner only.

Christmas market


Breaking out of the traditional boundaries

Now’s the perfect time to stop wondering about who is going to visit who over Christmas and who is staying over. You can give your family visits a twist this year – and stop worrying about how to survive spending an entire Christmas with your relatives. You don’t have to. You can still plan courtesy visits, but you don’t need to stay if you plan your Christmas road trip around the mandatory family visits. Remember that there are a lot of positive points to visiting your relatives, but more importantly making sure that you incorporate the visiting time in your travel projects means that you can focus on the positive and escape any negative part. Don’t just think car journey, though. You can hire a camping van for the season and spend a week or two touring!


The necessary equipment

You may be wondering what to pack for a road trip through the country. Get the essentials to keep the trip enjoyable, such as a high-quality cooler for your drinks and foods – you can find a handy cooler resource with reviews on here – and the sleeping gear. But it’s also the best time to make new memories with useful gadgets, starting with a waterproof and shockproof digital camera and even a GoPro for scenic shots. Make sure as well that you’ve packed car chargers for your electronics, or, if you fancy something easier, a voltage inverter that allows you to plug standard plugs directly into the vehicle.


Pick amazing destinations at home

The beauty of a road trip is that you can plan stops in areas you want to see. If you’re visiting your family around Chicago, make sure to spend a day in town to enjoy the Christkindlmarkt, the German Christmas market filled with craft toys, German foods, and drinks. With a bit of luck, it might even snow! If you’re family lives down the south-west coast, stop by the Walt Disney World for a very Mickey-esque Christmas parade.


There is no need for the stress over the family visits this Christmas. Instead, you can focus on your direct family by spending the holiday touring through the US and taking a bite of Christmas specialties in each town.


Rarely Considered, But Genius Ways Of Increasing Your Property’s Value

When you own a home, it can be comforting to know that you have that investment as a nest egg to keep you financially stable. However, some folks don’t stop at just being a homeowner, and they look at ways to increase the value of the property that they have. It is, in fact, possible to do this quite significantly with some of the less well-considered ways below. Read on to find out more.


Kit out the kitchen for business


One way to increase the value of a property that you already own is to make it more desirable to potential buyers. This means that you can sell it at a higher asking price, making a larger profit. A way to do this is to include the potential for the new owners to run a business from the house, as well as it just being a residential property. One such business includes cooking or catering, something that can work particularly well if you have a large kitchen space.


To do this effectively, you will, however, need to kit the kitchen out with some of the more industrial types of equipment like this Hobart Mixer, as well as stainless steel work surfaces, and large capacity ovens. Equipment like this is crucial in demonstrating the potential of this sort of business because it means buyers will not have to invest in this in addition to the house price. Something that makes it much more likely that they can see the potential of such a purchase.


Build a studio


The next thing that you need to consider if you are looking to increase your property’s value is to build a studio. This may be housed in a separate building, or you may choose to convert a particular room for this purpose.

An artist’s studio can add significantly to the value of your property. Picture here


A studio is a room that is dedicated to creative pursuits like art, music, or writing. It can seriously increase the value of your home because they are much coveted by folks that work within these fields, as well as amateurs that enjoy devoting their leisure time to such pursuits.


Start up and B&B

Image here


Last of all, a great way to increase the value of your property is to have a business that is already up and running contained within it. The most effective of these is often bed and breakfast, where you offer overnight accommodation and a morning meal to travelers and visitors.


This sort of business particularly suits homes with a glut of bedrooms that aren’t all being used, as well as properties that are located close to popular attractions or places of interest.


Selling your home as a working B&B rather than a residential property can make a huge difference to the price that you can ask for it. Especially if you have records to show that it is turning a decent profit. Something that makes it a valuable way of increasing the value of your property.

The DIY Upgrades Anyone Can Get Right

For many of us, doing DIY around the house is something that would rarely ever cross our mind. It’s one of those things that you have to have some hands-on skill to do well and do properly. However, you could be limiting yourself unnecessarily, not to mention incurring extra handyman expenses, by assuming that you’re not good at DIY. There are loads of minor DIY upgrades you can carry out yourself. And once you gain some confidence, you might be willing to take on bigger projects too. Here are the upgrades anyone can get right.

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Reupholster or Upcycle Old Furniture

If you have an old sofa or armchair that’s not in the kind of shape it once was, you could take steps to bring it back to life. Reupholstering can be done by anyone if you’re willing to learn and work hard. And there are plenty of other ways to upcycle furniture if you want to give an item a whole new purpose.

Install Lights Under Your Cabinets

This is a really simple kitchen upgrade, but it can make a huge difference when you’re cooking and preparing food. By installing these lights, you’ll find that you can see what you’re doing much more clearly. Push LED lights are very easy to fit, so you won’t have any problems doing the work alone. There isn’t even any complex wiring involved, so take on the challenge.

Create a Gallery Wall in Your Living Room

A gallery wall is a wall on which you hang lots of art and posters in order to create a dramatic effect. You could organize them in a particular shape or arrange them so that the colors match up and create an interesting aesthetic. It’s entirely up to you, but make sure you do it yourself. For posters, glue dots and dispensers will do the trick. And a hammer and a few nails are all you need to hang framed items adequately.

Replace Old Door Knobs

Replacing doorknobs is one of the easiest DIY tasks out there. However, many people still feel like they don’t have the skills required to take it on because it requires tools and screws. Don’t let that put you off, though. Get creative with it by finding some classic door knobs from antique shops. You can add a completely new dimension to the doors and drawers in your home.

Fit a Rack for Hanging Pots and Pans

If your kitchen is currently overflowing with all the cutlery, pots, pans, plates and whatever else you need, you could fit a rack from which some of those things might hang. It’s a good way to optimise your kitchen space, and it also allows for a chance to use your DIY skills. You just need a metal structure that has some kind of grid on which pots and pans can be attached and hung. Create some simple metal hooks to make this possible too.

Now that you have some ideas for DIY upgrades you can try out at home, you can get started. Before you know it, it’ll be second nature.

How House Hygiene Could Boost Your Resale Profits

If you are fortunate enough to have a house of your own, you probably know well just how much work went into that house. Even if it is not entirely yours just yet and you are still paying off your mortgage, a gigantic chunk of money has probably already been spent on it. The repainting, double glazed windows, that one cupboard you always wanted, a comfy sofa, nice table and just about anything that else comes to mind. Not to mention all the emotional investment, seeing everything slowly come together, remembering what it was like when some of the walls were missing, ah, good times. Despite all of this, you might want to consider that at some point in the future, for whatever reason that may be, you might just want to sell the house and move on. Maybe to a different country, maybe just down the street because you just so feel like it. Regardless, it is a very possible scenario, especially with the recent increase in property prices in most big cities, selling your property could prove to be extremely profitable. Alternatively, if you turn enough of a profit on selling a single house, you could even go into the real estate business, the sky’s the limit.

Be money-smart, but don’t cheap out

If you just bought your house, chances are you are not planning to sell it anytime soon, if you are considering selling it however, you have probably been there for a while now and the house might be starting to show some wear and tear here and there. Profitable resale in the housing market is most definitely possible, so don’t think fixing up some things and renovating a bit is a mere formality, it is an almost surefire investment. In order to properly renovate a home, you have to keep that mindset so that your heart does not weep for your pockets too much during the process.

Image source: Pexels

First impressions

Now, considering either you or an estate agent is eventually going to be taking people around to see the property sometime in the future, what is the first thing that the customer is going to see? That’s right, the front porch and front yard (if there is one) along with the path leading up to the door. This might seem trivial at first, but you have to understand that, first impressions are often the single most important factor when trying to sell anything, especially when you are selling a place to live. Fixing up your front yard just might sell make you the sale. Despite it sounding somewhat obvious, keeping things nice and tidy out front is very impacting on the overall appearance of the house. Nicely swept pathwalk, a freshly mowed lawn with that glorious smell of grass, few shrubs here and there and maybe a potted plant next to the door are the things which are going to have a major impact on potential buyers perception of the whole property. If you are not very garden-savvy or you just have no aesthetic sense whatsoever, consider hiring a landscaper to work his magic for you. Alternatively, see if you have some friend who has a bit of a green thumb to either teach you some things or do it for you. Make sure to reward them handsomely with tea and biscuits afterwards.

Image source: Pexels

The toasty heart of the home

The kitchen is a very important part of the house, not only is it used by everyone except extremely rich business people who only dine out or teenagers unable to cook rice, but it is often a clear way of telling the hygiene level of the previous owners. Old kitchen appliances like 9 year old toasters covered in grime and dirt with a few non-functioning buttons, stained electric kettles with limescale galore on the walls, slightly tilted faucet and sink area showing its ever-moist presence by the slight mould on the nearby walls. For a mere few hundred, it is possible to give your kitchen its well-deserved facelift after all these years. Get some new cabinet doors, alternatively, if your cabinet doors are in good shape then just give them a good scrub. If some of the handles are loose or unsightly in one way or another, also attend to them or get new ones. If your cabinets do need to probably be replaced, keep in mind that it is possible to repaint them, which is the second best thing. A fresh coat of paint is sure to bring the whole room’s fresh appearance together. Now, the kitchen appliances have been touched upon briefly, but let’s see how you can make the most of this. Instead of just getting cheap new appliances which will look fresh for the time of the sale, why not go the extra mile and invest in a set of matching ones? A kettle that matches the toaster and the blender will emphasize the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen in a way most people wouldn’t even consider.

Image source: Pexels

Unwanted tenants

There is one issue which is a dealbreaker for probably the large majority of people who are looking to buy a house, namely, pests. Be it rats or cockroaches or bed bugs, no one wants to have those crawling around the house at night when they are sleeping. Bugs are often a sign of laziness of the previous owners which doesn’t bode too well for the image of the house. Bugs and other household pests usually find their way inside the house for 2 major reasons, because it is cold and they want somewhere safe to stay, or because someone keeps leaving food out all the time and it is attracting half of the animal kingdom. Now, the first one needs some actual preventing, making sure you lock up all doors properly, if you see something walking around throw it out rather than ignoring it until it is too late, you get the picture. The second one however just portrays you as a lazy slob of an owner, which once again badly reflects on how alert and suspicious the buyer is going to be while looking around the property. Leaving around traps found at the local hardware shop is a good way of culling the population of certain pests like ants, rodents, cockroaches or termites, but it will only get you so far. If you want to fully get rid of creepy crawlies from around your humble abode, chances are you will need to call the experts, like the Go-Forth Pest Control. When investing in pest control, you should go for a reliable, established brand. The last thing you want is people walking around your house doing whatever they see fit with the possible option of you needing to leave the property for longer than needed. If they don’t succeed, you will have to call them back and you will end up paying twice anyway so you might as well just get it over and done with once but properly.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

Another place where hygiene is of utmost importance is the bathroom. If anyone comes over and sees some unsightly tiles hanging off the wall a bit, dirty towels, too much random clutter under the sink, they are not going to be too impressed. When making the bathroom presentable, there are a few key points to focus on. If like many homes, your house has a tile floor in the bathroom which at this point looks like it has seen better days, you might want to do something about that. Sadly for you, replacing tiles can be such a pain, costly too. An easier yet effective thing to do would be putting down some vinyl tiles, in a best-case scenario you won’t even need to remove the old floor, just lay the tiles over the current one. If you have a shower curtain around your bathtub or shower, chances are it might look a bit gross after a few years of use. Moist and damp areas have a tendency to be soon inhabited by mould, shower curtains are often prime suspects when it comes to housing large amounts of it, so changing them every now and then wouldn’t hurt, especially when trying to sell the house. Even without wanting to sell the house, getting rid of mould won’t hurt you. Exposure to damp mouldy environments can cause a lengthy list of health risks. These include: nasal congestion, throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, eye irritation, skin irritation and tends to be especially harsh on people suffering from asthma. Needless to say, mould is not something to keep around yourself or your children and getting rid of any which you may find elsewhere in your house is greatly advised. Home solutions for removing mould very rarely work, and getting a professional called in to carry out the deed is also highly recommended.

All in all

These are just the huge areas of concern which should be addressed when renovating a house for sale, all the bedrooms, and living rooms and storage sheds and gardens need work too don’t you worry. But hygiene and not being scared of touching the kitchen table in case you may never be able to lift your hand again, are very important for any potential buyers. After all, they are looking for their own future home.

Packing For A Surprise Weekend Away

Don’t you just love it when your partner surprises you with something as lovely as a short break away? The romance, the relaxation, the food, and the experiences – wonderful! The packing? Not so wonderful. You’re short on time, you’ve got one hundred things to do before you leave, and you haven’t a thing to wear at a destination like that! So what can you do?


Start by finding the essentials. You need all of your travel documents in place and ready. The passport is the first essential. Then you need to pick up your medical insurance and travel insurance documents. Don’t forget your medication. It’s best to take only what you need for the days you are away. However, make sure it is packed in its original container so it can be checked at the airport.

Bring the meds you need with the prescription details – image source


Now you need to get your toiletries in order. Rather than packing everything you can think of, see if there is a way you can make any shortcuts. Can you get to the beauty salon before you leave so you can avoid the dreaded razor? What about the hairdresser? A fresh cut should need less fussing and reset while you’re away. Do you have any travel size bottles for your fave shampoo and shower creme? What about your cosmetics? If not, it’s worth buying them to save space.

How do you pack your cosmetics when you travel? Image source


Dig deep into your closet to see if there is anything tucked away there that would suit the climate for where you’re going. If not, get yourself to some online boutiques for a few items that can freshen your closet. If it’s brand new, you won’t need to worry about folding it for the suitcase! Of course, if you have sensitive skin, you might prefer to launder your new items before wearing them. Make sure you leave some time to do that.

Treat yourself to some new fashion for your vacation – image source


Shoes are essential, so don’t forget to pack a couple of pairs. You will need something with a heel for your romantic dinner for two. And you’ll probably want something more comfortable for walking around and seeing the sights. If you have to take them off at the airport, pick a pair of slip-on for comfort and convenience.

Nearly there! Image source


Finally, it’s time to pack your purse or handbag. Sunglasses and cash are the obvious essentials here. Don’t forget a phone charger and some hand sanitizer too. Pocket tissues are very handy while you’re traveling. Last, but not least, pack a spare camera if your phone is running out of storage space.


Packing is great fun when you’re excited about having a vacation. It’s not great fun when you’re trying to squeeze lots of “essentials” into a tiny carry-on case. Wearing everything really isn’t practical. For a start, all of your wardrobe essentials will smell of the plane before your vacation has even begun! Keep it fresh in a case. Tuck underwear into shoes and tuck the shoes into each other. Tiny toiletries are better than the big bottles, and inflatable travel pillows can deflate into tiny bags too. Do you love surprises like this?

Throw an Un-brie-lievable French Dinner Party

Would you describe yourself as something of a Francophile? If you can’t resist all things French, one of the best ways to indulge your passion is through food. French cuisine is one of the most highly regarded in the world and found all over in fine dining restaurants. But you don’t have to go to a restaurant to enjoy French food, especially if you love the homely and hearty stuff over the tiny, refined plates. For your next dinner party, why not give it a French theme and inject a little je ne sais quoi into your evening? Try these ideas for some French fun.

Source: Pxhere

Design the Perfect French Menu

For any dinner party, it’s always good to start with what you want to cook. There are so many options for a French menu that you might not know where to start. If you’re not sure what to do, perhaps begin by choosing which courses you want to serve. You probably don’t want to do too many, so perhaps try to stick with three at the most, possibly with canapés to start or cheese to finish off the meal. Look through French cookbooks and food websites for inspiration and choose something that doesn’t need too much attention on the night, so you can still be there for your guests. Try Delish for some good ideas. And don’t forget the wine!

Get the Table Dressing Right

If you’re going to eat French food, you might as well have a French theme around the dining table too. You can dress your table for a fun French evening with just a few simple touches. Try a red and white checked tablecloth, or perhaps a table runner for a slightly simpler look. Some bistro-style napkins from Richard Haworth will make a nice addition to your place settings. You don’t have to worry too much about having a perfectly Parisian dinner set, but you could get some accessories for the table, like silver dishes or some French water jugs.

Source: Public Domain Pictures

Add in Some French Atmosphere

Another way to make sure you’ll be singing je ne regrette rien when your dinner party is over is to add some French atmosphere. Music is the perfect way to do it so, whether you prefer Edith Piaf or Daft Punk, get some French music playing. Edith Piaf might be slightly more appropriate for a dinner party, though. Some other ways to up the atmosphere include lighting some candles and maybe even hanging some French art for the evening.

Be Super Social

Your earlier selection of your menu is crucial for the rest of the evening. A French dinner party might be partly about being a good host, but it’s also about the food and spending quality time with friends and family. So it’s important that you don’t abandon your guests to spend the whole evening in the kitchen. Try to either prepare your meal in advance or have something you can just put in the oven and leave so that you can talk into the night without worrying too much.

Put on a beautiful French evening for your friends, and everyone is sure to have an incredible time.

Bank On The Basics: Key Improvements To Keep Your Home Ticking



Remodeling your home can always seem like a lot of work. So much so, that you tend to put it off for as long as possible. But when you do this, you could often be causing yourself more work. It can cost you too. So, you’re going to want to get on with updating that house as soon as you can. But there is a way to stay sane and ensure that your home benefits too, and that’s to stick to the basics. Yes, you might like a fancy add-on or a state of the art cinema room, but when you prioritize some of the more boring aspects of remodeling, you can always guarantee that your home is going to be better off.


Fix The Fence


We’re going to start off outside. Because you often need to keep your exterior together just as much as your interior. After all, it’s the first thing that most people will see when they come to your home. So if you’ve got a broken down fence, or you haven’t got one at all, this is what you’re going to want to focus on first. If you want your home to be secure and look nice too, this is always a great place to start. It can be simple to do yourself, or cost-effective enough to do by hiring a professional too.


Replace The Roof


Another key outside improvement involves your roof. So technically, it’s an interior and exterior thing at the same time. When you’ve got a broken old roof, loose tiles, or even leaks, then you may need something like Crown Remodeling roof installation and fast! If you want to keep your energy bills down, enjoy a stunning looking property, and it’s an improvement you need to invest in and fast.



Invest In Insulation


And while we’re on the topic of energy, it might be time for you to invest in a bit of insulation too. When you live in an old home, or you’ve not updated your home since you’ve lived in it, you may not be as insulated as you can be. And this can mean that your energy bills are more expensive. So look into ways that you can insulate your home to save money.


Hone In On The Heating


This leads us nicely on to the next point. Because even when certain home improvements seem boring, they can be the most important of all. Like heating. Is your home heating or HVAC solution as efficient as it can be? Now is a good a time as any to look into it, especially with winter on the way. It might be basic, but with a better heating system in place, you can often enjoy a better quality of life too.


Address Those Draughts


Finally, you’ve also got some draughts to drown out too. To do this, you should look at replacing any old windows and doors. After all, if you’re looking to improve your insulation and kick your heating up a notch, you don’t want to be suffering from draughts too.

Updating An Old House Without Losing Its Soul

If you buy an older home or a landmark property, there’s a very good chance that you’ve bought it precisely because it is a little aged and old-fashioned. Many people love the aesthetic, which is why they often sell high. However, they’re not always particularly fit to modern sensibilities, either practically or in terms of décor taste. You can do a lot to improve and fit the home to your needs, but it doesn’t mean you have to gut it and remove the heart that you loved so much in the first place.


Respect what works

Old homes are full of design choices that would very rarely get chosen nowadays and some of these are going to be little more than eyesores. However, if you see a function that appeals, do more than keep it. Draw attention to it and use it to highlight a sense of prestige about the place. Check out property24.com, for instance, if you have a pressed ceiling to find out how to restore it and return it to its former glory. For example, you can repaint it a stark white and use dark walls to offer a contrast, so it draws the eyes and pops a little more. Show a little respect to the better features of the home.

Embrace the practicalities of modernity

That doesn’t mean that you have to respect absolutely everything in an old home. If something is impractical, then it’s time to rethink it. You might very well feel like a bathroom needs to be gutted and replaced entirely and you should feel free to do so if the existing bathroom isn’t going to meet your needs. Just as you should consider replacing inefficient fireplaces in ill-repair. There’s nothing with fitting an old kitchen with new appliances, either. Don’t feel like living in an older home means that you have to hamstring yourself where modern practicality comes into place. Think about using before styling in all cases.

Don’t live with drafts

One of the areas in which this is most true is when it comes to the energy efficiency and ability to control the temperature and environment that you’re in. The truth is that many old homes are actually better insulated than you might expect. They had to be built better to retain heat in the winter because they didn’t have fueled heating. That said, there are still a lot of changes you can make if your home is poorly insulated without up walls and resorting to wholesale replacements. Services like unicosystems.com, for instance, are great for finding the existing gaps and filling them in without serving too much of a disruption. Similarly, there are upgrades you can make to existing doors and windows if you don’t want to replace them entirely.


Find the replacements that don’t refresh

That said, sometimes a replacement is necessary if a window or door is in ill-repair. We all know the risks, that you can immediately alter the façade of the home and make a mismatch between a contemporary, modern-looking window or door compared to the rest of a classic aesthetic. However, that’s not an issue that you need to grapple with, necessarily. It’s all about scanning the market for the providers that offer the solutions with all of the benefits of modern windows without changing the look. Find out more at historicalwindows.com to see some of these replacements and solve two issues with just one step. If you can’t find a provider near you, however, it’s best to replace what doesn’t work rather than live with it. Especially when it comes to the ability to actually be warm and comfortable in your home.

Tackle those tough spaces

As mentioned, there might be some elements of interior décor that do work and some that don’t. One that clearly doesn’t in the little, awkward spaces that are often found in older homes. Often, these are storage areas for things we don’t use or need anymore and don’t offer enough space for a new room. However, if you don’t want to have to resort to knocking down walls to open them up, you can find a new use for them instead. Services like carptenterandcarpenter.com can help you turn them into bespoke, fitted furniture, for instance. That way, you can make them much better suited to modern storage needs. It also helps you save some space that new furniture might take up, too.

Go au natural

If you want to renovate or find yourself needing to replace walls or surfaces that have fallen into disrepair, you might have a conundrum on your hand. You don’t want to make things too contemporary and create a mismatch throughout the home. But you want to make sure that areas like the kitchen are fit to modern standards. In that case, always think about the natural options available. Could exposed brickwork or stone interior walls make a good replacement? In the kitchen, could a marble countertop look a lot more organic than a granite one? The right natural materials help you maintain a timeless look, while many of them are still more than suitable for modern use.


Don’t fall into a time loop

Just because you’re living in an old home doesn’t mean that you have to live in an old-fashioned home. While you should take care of some of the property’s heritage, going with kitsch, outdated interior design to the extreme can make it look like more of a costume, rather than your own tastes. Stressed or refurbished French furniture can create a great rustic look, but overusing it can look too ornate and distant. Similarly, too many old-fashioned fabric patterns will make for an eyesore in any home. Marry old and new by matching here and there.

As with all things, it’s about balance. Use what works, reworks what almost does, and know when you need to start over from scratch. With good judgment and a little intuition, you can end up with an old home that’s fit for modern living.

Are You Making the Most of Your Basement?

The basement is one of those parts of your house that is either forgotten entirely or used for a great number of things. Far too many people neglect their basements and they eventually turn into pest and insect infested areas that are difficult to clean out and usually not worth your trouble. The typical scenario goes like this: the basement is difficult to reach or too cold for anything productive outside of dumping your storage there, and you’ll rarely ever use it. It’s dark, cold, occasionally damp, and needs a lot of work until it can be useful.


If you want to make the most of your basement, then you may want to consider renovating it. This will help to repurpose the basement into something desirable. This will give you more functionality in your room, more amenities to play with and also increase the value of your home should you want to sell it in the future. The basement isn’t a very pleasant room to be in until it’s fully renovated, so here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when trying to make the most of your basement.

Cold, dark and creepy basements aren’t exactly desirable, so why not change it into something that you can be proud of? (Source: Pexels)


Add carpets and walls


To start with, clear out the basement and add some carpets and walls. The idea is to turn it into a blank room much like an empty bedroom or a storage room. This will turn it into a blank canvas that can then be edited and changed depending on your needs.


Consider windows


Next, add windows in your basement to make it safer and to let natural light in. If you already have windows installed, then consider expanding them and digging up the earth around the window to let even more light in. This will naturally brighten the room and make it look far more appealing.


Ask yourself what you need


Of course, we can’t forget about the purpose of the room either. Ask yourself what you need first. Would extra bedrooms be good, or do you think you could use a home office? Perhaps you want to install something luxurious such as a basement pool, or maybe you need an open space for your new hobbies. Whatever it is, it helps to have your basement cleared so you can see how much space you have to make your ideas work.


DIY vs contractors


The last question you need to ask yourself is; “do I phone a contractor or do it myself?”. DIY has the advantage of being more cost-effective assuming you’re willing to put the time and effort into it. However, it’s incredibly time-consuming and will require several weeks, if not more, just to get it done. You’ll also need to spend time learning how to renovate your own basement, so for this reason, it’s recommended to hire a contractor unless you’re ready to spend time learning and studying.


Hopefully, these tips have given you some idea on what you could turn

Is Working From Home All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Wherever you look on the internet, people are telling you that working from home is the new desired job. Of course, to a person who has to commute to work every morning, the idea of staying at home to work instead sounds irresistible. But, just like any other job, a home-based job has its cons. So, if you’re thinking about starting a new business and working from home, here are the pros and cons you need to weigh up.




The biggest pro to working from home is, of course, the flexibility. You are your own boss, so you can work at any time of the day and take breaks whenever you like, without having to wait for colleagues to return before you’re free to go. You’ll likely save a lot of time and money on transport costs because you won’t have the early morning, rush hour commute anymore. You can even stay in your PJ’s all day if you want to and no-one can say a thing. You’ll also get the benefit of a home office. Take a look at how to create the home office of your dreams.


There’ll be certain things you can claim on your taxes, like your laptop and internet costs, so running your business from home will cost much less than trying to set up in an office somewhere. It’s especially convenient for mothers who want to work around their children. You’ll be able to do work in between school runs and often get the housework done while you’re waiting on things for the business.




You have to be extremely self-disciplined. When your alarm goes off in the morning and you don’t have to be at the office, you have the option of either staying in bed or getting up to do some work. It will take everything you have to get out of that bed when you’ve only got yourself to answer to. On the flip side, you may get so enthusiastic about your new job that you work more than you should and exhaust yourself. You won’t have the company of colleagues anymore and you may find you miss talking to others throughout the day.


When you fall ill, you no longer get the benefit of a salary. If you can’t work, you don’t get paid. It will be difficult to separate your home life and your work life because it’s now all in the same place. You’ll still be under pressure to meet deadlines for clients, except now you’ll have a thousand and one distractions around you too. You’ll have to work harder to stay ahead of industry developments because you won’t have people around you talking about them.


Working from home makes sense for a lot of people, but it certainly isn’t an easy option. Ask yourself questions like, ‘Do I enjoy the company of others?’ and ‘Will this fit in with my lifestyle?’ before making a decision. If you do decide to work from home, try and stick to certain rules, like getting dressed appropriately for work every day. When the mind is in the right mode, the body will follow.