Giving Your Home a New Lease of Life

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We all want our homes to be the best they can be. Your home is likely to be the investment you’ll spend the most money on in your lifetime. It’s also the space where you’re going to spend most of your free time. You’re going to want to make sure that it’s the best that it can be. When you first move into any property, you tend to be on top of things and everything will look pristine. But as time passes by and you’ve been in the house for a few years, people’s standards can drop and things can begin to look a bit worn and below par. With the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and more of us spending increasing amounts of time in our own properties, many of us are starting to look at our homes with a more critical eye and are looking for ways to spruce our properties up a bit. If this sounds familiar to you and you’re in this situation, you may be looking for different ways to give your property a new lease of life. Here are some ideas to get you started!

 

Decorating

 

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a living space. We tend to assume that our walls don’t get touched all too often, but you’d be surprised how much dirt can build up on them and how much light can fade certain exposed areas. So, give your walls a fresh lick of paint around once a year. You can opt for a brand new colour scheme to completely convert the look of the property, or you could go for a new coat of the same tone. Generally speaking, if you want the best results, you should use professionals. Check out Local Offers for good quality and affordable services in your local area. The pros will be able to complete every job to perfection. Alternatively, you can go DIY. Just make sure to cover any floors or furniture so that paint doesn’t splash onto them.

 

Conducting a Deep Clean

 

If you want a less intense option to give your home a new look, you should conduct a deep clean. The majority of us will conduct a regular, standard clean around the house. We’ll run the vacuum around. We’ll wipe down the kitchen counter tops. We’ll polish surfaces. We’ll sweep and mop the hard floors. We’ll clean the toilet and wipe down the bath. This is enough to keep things clean and hygienic. But there are other less routine tasks you might want to tackle when conducting a deep clean to give your home that brand new feel. These tasks tend to get overlooked as they’re time consuming and you really don’t have to carry them out as often or on a daily basis. Some deep cleaning activities you might want to consider include washing shower curtains, cleaning out gutters, wiping down skirting boards, cleaning under large pieces of furniture (like sofas and beds) and more.

 

These are just a couple of areas you can focus on when it comes to giving your home a new lease of life. Both are effective, so give them a try!

Fun Desserts To Make For Your Family This Weekend

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What better way to make life more exciting in lock down than create some great recipes? 

 

We all love a good sweet treat now and again, and even when you are trying to be healthy, all things come in moderation and a treat now and again is worth the effort. 

 

Today we want to share some amazing sweet treat recipes with you that will have to begging for more this weekend. Whether you are seeing family for the first time in months or still holding out a while longer, these recipes will be a showstopper for the table!  

 

Profiterole tower (croquembouche) 

 

Croquembouche is a classic french recipe and it is one that is always a hit with everyone. It is more commonly known as a tower of profiteroles and is easier than you think to create. 

 

These are baked and then covered with a sugar caramel, but you can also use isomalt. Take a look at how isomalt is used in cake decorating

 

Ingredients:

 

75g strong white bread flour 

50g butter 

2tbsp sugar 

2 eggs

300ml double cream 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

150g Melted dark chocolate 

150g caramel or isomalt 

 

  1. To create the choux pastry for this dish you will first need to heat up the butter in a pan until it melts. Add the flour and allow it to cook out to create a roux. 
  2. Take off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add beaten eggs and sugar and beat into a smooth pastry. Add to a piping bag. 
  3. Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 190C. 
  4. Pipe small circles of pastry onto the baking sheet; using a damp finger to press down the peak on top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and risen. Allow to cool. 
  5. Whip your double cream and add vanilla to sweeten. Using a thin nozzle piping bag, pipe into the profiteroles. Drizzle on some chocolate and Chill. 
  6. To create your tower, dip each profiterole in caramel or isomalt and tower on top of each other. You can finish the dish with a drizzle of caramel around the tower. 

White chocolate and raspberry cupcakes 

 

Cupcakes are a simple dish but always a pleasure for everyone in the family. 

 

Ingredients: 

 

175 g butter 

175 g self-raising flour

175 g caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

3 large eggs 

Dash of milk 

100g white chocolate chips 

50g fresh raspberries 

3 tbsp raspberry jam 

280g icing sugar 

140g butter (additional) 

White chocolate shavings 

 

  1. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy. 
  2. Add flour and baking powder and fold gently. Add milk chocolate chips and 1 tbsp raspberry jam
  3. Preheat an oven to 190C and scoop mixture into cupcake tins. Bake for 15 minutes. 
  4. Mix together your icing sugar and butter until smooth and light. Add the remaining raspberry jam and mix lightly to create a marble effect. 
  5. Add to a piping bag with a nozzle and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Top with a fresh raspberry and a shaving of white chocolate. 

Major Decorating Mistakes, And How To Avoid Them

The fear of making a big, expensive mistake is something that causes a lot of people to put off their interior décor plans for far too long. It’d be nice if there was nothing to be afraid of, but that simply isn’t the case! To help you approach sprucing up your home with confidence, and get it right the first time, here are a few common mistakes a lot of people make when getting stuck in…

Image source: Public Domain Pictures

Picking the Paint First

It’s common knowledge that the color scheme you pick for the walls can have a massive effect on how comfortable and welcoming an interior space feels. However, choosing the palette you’re going to use before anything else can be a huge mistake, and will mar the rest of your interior design work going forward. First and foremost, you should choose some essential fabrics, such as the rugs, upholstery, window treatments, and pillows. Once you’ve got this out of the way, you’ll find it so much easier to choose an appropriate color scheme from a set of paint chips or a fan deck. Working backwards; trying to find fabrics that match with a color scheme you’ve already chosen, is so much harder.

Being Scared of Being Bold

Obviously, you don’t want to spend a whole weekend repairing last week’s mistakes. However, being afraid of making any kind of bold, adventurous decision with your décor can lead to your rooms feeling unsatisfying and bland. Take some risks, and try to think outside the box here and there! Whether it’s an extravagant focal point like a mounted animal skull or indoor waterfall, or an unconventional bit of lighting, don’t be afraid of experimenting with your space. Remember that if anything feels too bold or dramatic, you can always balance it out with more light and breezy features, such as neutral fabrics and furniture.

Sticking to a Single Store

One-stop shopping is very popular with amateur interior designers these days. However, furnishing a space with pieces all bought from the same store tends to create a much more boring visual story, compared to what you can achieve by shopping around a little more. Instead of confining your shopping trips to a single store, check out a few boutiques that stock a number of different design lines and brands. By doing this, even if you have a preferred period or style, you’ll make it easier for yourself to create a unique interior, rather than another cookie-cutter home.

Buying Furniture Without Measuring

Finally, a more practical issue, that’s unfortunately very common. Showrooms are massive, and can make it hard to judge the scale of a given piece of furniture relative to the space it’s intended for. This is why so many people bring a beautiful coffee table home, only to realize that it feels like it’s eating up the entire living room. Get some measurements, and bring some cold hard numbers with you whenever you’re heading out on a shopping trip. You don’t want to spend a small fortune on a piece that makes your home feel cramped!