Perth experts’ top tips on getting property ready for winter sale

A red-hot winter appeal

IF you’ve decided to sell your home during winter, you’ll want it looking red-hot to entice potential buyers.

From lighting candles for extra atmosphere to giving the garden a little TLC, it’s easy to enhance presentation.

We asked the experts to share their top tips for getting a property prepped during the season of storms and squalls.

The sales specialist

The Agency selling agent Davide Palermo said there are often fewer properties on the market at this time of year and less competition could result in a great sale price but a winter listing does come with a few challenges.

“With natural daylight fading, it can be difficult to hold home opens after 6pm,” he said.

“Make sure the front entrance and driveway lights are well lit and consider installing extra lighting if these areas are naturally dark.

“Inside, all the rooms should have high wattage globes and think about adding floor lamps where necessary.”

Storms can quickly result in ceiling damage and make a property look like a bad investment.

“Take some time to clear out gutters and downpipes and add some touch-up paint to water-stained areas,” Mr Palermo said.

While the weather can’t be controlled, it is also important for the home to feel cosy, so turn on the heating well in advance of home opens.

Any inspections should be planned after checking the weather forecast.

The styling queen

The impact of COVID-19 has really highlighted the importance of digital marketing when it comes to selling a house, according to Perth Style Co director Sara James.

She said staging is key to creating a strong campaign through brilliant visuals that increase inquiry rates — and result in quicker sales in certain market segments.

Plus, it can add value to a property at a time when buyers are cautious and have high expectations.

“Leaving homes or rooms vacant can sometimes be a really costly mistake, particularly in the higher end of the market,” she said.

“It is important that the furniture and finishes match the price point of the home.

“Spending less than one per cent of its value on staging and pre-sale marketing can end up a really smart return on investment for a fast and successful sale.”

Ms James encourages winter sellers to embrace a rich deep colour palette featuring hues such as charcoal grey, forest green, rust reds and inky tones.

She also suggests introducing luxurious layers in the form of fabric blends such as knits, felts, velvets and furs, adding lamps for understated elegance as well as lighting candles to achieve the ultimate ambience.

 

Luxe layers and lamps are key in this bedroom staged by Perth Style Co.
Luxe layers and lamps are key in this bedroom staged by Perth Style Co. Credit: Finesse Photography

The gardening expert

When it comes to the outdoors, gardening expert Sabrina Hahn said it’s not hard to neaten your home’s surrounds as long as work isn’t left till the last minute.

“You will need to plan getting the garden into shape a good six weeks before putting the house on the market as it takes that long for plants to bed in and uptake the fertiliser,” she said.

Also, don’t put in annuals on freshly laid black mulch.

“It looks cheap and sparse, and the mulch becomes highly water repellent,” she said.

“Most annuals need lots of care and liquid fertilising every two weeks to look good.”

Also, be sure to rip out any plants that are half-dead or diseased, otherwise the rest of the garden will look tired and neglected.

 

Source: PerthNow

Make a coffee table terrarium

Traditional Terrariums

Traditional terrariums are mini landscapes grown in glass bowls and jars or under a dome. They are a fantastic way to add plants to your interior spaces especially if space is limited but you can also take them a step further. For a fantastic feature piece, you can turn a glass-topped coffee table into a terrarium with a few adjustments and clever selection of plants. And don’t stop there, if you have a fish tank that’s been sitting empty, take it from aquarium to terrarium in a few easy steps.

Gather your supplies

• Fired clay balls

• Sphagnum moss

• Horticultural charcoal

• Potting mix

• Moss

• Plants

Coffee table with a pond shell inside
Photography Brent Wilson

STEP 1 Build a grow box from marine plywood to fit inside the table legs. Reinforce the legs for the extra weight and line the box with a PVC pond liner to waterproof it. Or, you can use a pond shell in the base with ply cladding, then stain or paint it.

Clay balls and sphagnum moss in a terrarium
Photography Brent Wilson

STEP 2 Create a base layer of fired clay balls. Soak sphagnum moss in a bucket of water then, working with a handful at a time, squeeze out excess moisture and spread a layer about 20-30mm deep over clay balls.

Horticultural charcoal in a terrarium
Photography Brent Wilson

STEP 3 Pour a thin layer of horticultural charcoal over the sphagnum moss and spread it out evenly.

Plant up a terrarium
Photography Brent Wilson

STEP 4 Scoop potting mix over the charcoal layer to about 150mm deep. Make planting holes, remove each plant from pot and place in hole. Backfill with potting mix and firm down.

Spray-mist terrarium plants
Photography Brent Wilson

STEP 5 Spray the plants with water to moisten the mix and help create humidity in the terrarium. Replace the glass top and you’re done!

Coffee table terrarium
Photography Brent Wilson
Fish tank terrarium mounted on a wall
Photography Brent Wilson

Budget kitchen makeover: 9 ways you can improve your kitchen without breaking the bank

 

Limited budget?

If you’re on a limited budget, but still hankering after a more modern space, here are some clever ideas for quick, easy and affordable updates.

1. Stick to the existing kitchen layout

This will reduce your costs considerably – moving cupboards, plumbing, walls, electrics and so on starts to get into big money. And the more you can do yourself, the more you’ll save.

2. Re-use your appliances

If your appliances are still okay, then re-use them, and before you throw the kitchen sink away, give it a good going over with a gentle abrasive cleaner, then spend the money you save on a new tap!

Budget kitchen renovation

3. Paint

The simplest way to begin a budget reno is paint. Instantly lighten up a gloomy, tired space by giving the walls, ceiling, door and window frames a couple of coats of a bright, neutral colour or white.

If you’re painting over timber panelling, you’ll need to apply a stain and tannin blocker first – your local hardware store can advise on this, as well as on the most suitable paint for kitchen areas.

Budget kitchen renovation

4. Upcycle existing furniture

And while you’ve got your paintbrush out, you can spruce up an op-shop table and a few mismatched chairs into a dining suite – they all match if they’re the same colour!

5. Cabinet makeover

The next thing to consider is the kitchen cabinets. If they’re structurally sound but just dated or a hideous shade, you can paint or replace the doors, drawer fronts and hardware for a fraction of the money that it would cost to replace the entire cabinetry.

Whether your cabinets are timber or laminate, there is a paint product to suit. Most kitchen cabinets are a standard size, so that replacement doors can be fitted to existing units. If you feel daunted by the idea of painting all the cabinet doors yourself, check out the cost of having them painted by a kitchen spray-painting service – this might even be less than replacing the doors, and the finish is hard-wearing and professional.

Budget kitchen renovation

6. Remove cupboard doors

Another quick fix is to remove the doors completely from existing over-bench cabinets or replacing them with simple, open shelving for an airy, modern look. You can even paint or line the back of the shelves with colourful paper to add colour and interest.

7. A new benchtop

If your benchtop and splashback have seen better days, you have several options. You can replace them, of course – there are thousands of low-cost alternatives to choose from and many are perfect for DIY. You can also resurface them, using the range of clever products now available at your local Bunnings Warehouse.

8. Paint a tiled splashback

Give a tiled splashback a whole new look with tile paint and transform your benchtop with a resurfacing kit that offers a variety of ‘stone lookalike’ finishes.

9. Renew powerpoints & light fittings

Finally, spend a little on new power-point covers, light switches, window coverings and light fittings.

You can spend a fortune on a new kitchen, but maybe you don’t need to!

Source: HomeBeautiful

Interior designers share their easy tips for turning your childhood bedroom into a grown-up space

Childhood bedrooms

More people are moving back into their childhood bedrooms than ever, staying with their parents indefinitely.

But you might not have updated your room since you were a teen, with posters of One Direction on your wall, a bubblegum pink comforter on your bed, and trophies from regional championships still proudly sitting on your dresser, making it feel uncomfortable for your adult self.

Luckily, transforming your space into an adult haven doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.

You don’t need to keep everything that’s in your childhood bedroom

Your childhood bedroom is likely filled with things you haven’t used in a decade, so the first order of business when redoing the space should be to purge it of anything you don’t need or won’t use regularly.

“If their rooms look anything like mine did as a senior in high school, then I would get rid of it all,” Ashley Moore, the founder and principal designer of Moore House Interiors, jokingly told Insider.

Teenager bedroom with postersKaren Moskowitz/Getty ImagesIt’s important to get rid of immature items.

“In all seriousness, I think the first thing would be to get rid of anything that didn’t have significant meaning,” she said of purging. “Put away old photos and high-school memorabilia and box up your pictures and awards.”

But Moore also said that it’s OK to mourn the fact that you’ve outgrown your childish belongings.

“I think it’s important to take time to remember that person who lived in that room, and celebrate them,” she said. “Then, pack up the stuff and either throw it out or store it in the closet.

“Create a space that reflects the adult that you’ve grown into,” she said.

But if you want to keep some of your childhood memorabilia in the space, there are ways to display them that look mature

There might be important photos, collages, or awards you want to keep in your space even as an adult, and there are plenty of ways to do that.

“If you’re hesitant to throw those childhood keepsakes away, use shadow boxes and frame them in a tasteful way,” Moore suggested.

Posters from your youth can also look chic in your bedroom depending on how you display them.

“It’s all about the context it’s living in,” Kevin Seitz and Rob van Wyen, the designers at Studio Seitz, said of posters. “Investing in a frame can transform it from a poster into a piece of art.”

So, upgrade the poster from being displayed with tape to having a place of honour with a frame.

Your bedding can make a big difference

“If you can only spring for one big update, I recommend starting with your bedding,” Moore said, as the bed is typically the focal point of a bedroom.

Many children opt for brightly coloured bedspreads or comforters, and although colour isn’t inherently childish, a more neutral tone will elevate your bedroom.

“When creating a more grown-up space, choose bedding that is neutral in theme, and play with an array of colours to keep the space fun and vibrant,” Moore said.

Bed pillows striped comforter nightstandShutterstockIt’s important not to use too much colour in a bedroom.

Seitz and van Wyen agreed, noting that you don’t want to overwhelm the space with too much colour. “Balance is everything – sometimes you want neutral bedspreads with more colourful throw pillows or at other times the opposite,” they said.

“Choose what works with your given space. Personality doesn’t have to stop at the bed.”

All of the designers also noted that layering bedding signifies you’re in an adult space, even if your bed is twin-sized.

“Beautiful textured linens can transform any bed, regardless of the size,” Seitz and van Wyen said. “Even bringing textiles to a headboard behind the smallest of beds can bring more sophistication and depth to a seemingly small piece.”

“Layering bedding is the key to giving it a more mature feel,” Moore agreed. “We love using both solids and patterns! A patterned quilt layered with a solid duvet is always our go-to.”

Simple lighting changes can also help a space look more grown-up

Harsh lighting or lamps that haven’t been thoughtfully chosen for a space won’t do you any favours. You want your bedroom to look cohesive, and lighting can play a big role in that.

“We always like to use layered lighting,” Seitz and van Wyen told Insider.

Bedroom light chandelierAndreas von Einsiedel/Getty ImagesLighting makes a big difference in a space.

“Recessed and dimmable lighting, along with floor and pendant lights, allows you to transform your space with your mood or fit with your given task,” they said. “You can dim the recessed lighting and allow the pendant to shine or have a more intimate moment to read a book under your floor light.”

You can also make your lighting more decorative, as Moore pointed out.

“To give a space that adult feel, I recommend adding a chandelier or decorative hanging lights to add a little personality into a room,” Moore said.

The most important thing to remember is that your bedroom should be somewhere you feel comfortable and relaxed, so make design choices that reflect your adult personality.

Source: BusinessInsider

 

How to clean your patio and garden furniture

Easy ways to spruce up your deck and garden furniture…

You know the drill: the first sign of sunshine, and everybody’s outside to make the most of it.

If you’re super organised, your garden furniture was washed down, prepped for winter and tucked cosily away in the garage or shed, and your patio is free of moss or mildew. If, on the other hand, this is a bit of garden maintenance you just didn’t get round to, you could have a serious clean up on your hands before you can sit outside in the sunshine.

How to clean your decking or patio

Decking

Don’t allow leaves and debris to build up because moisture can become trapped and can promote mould growth and rot, even on wood that’s been treated. Use a stiff broom or a leaf blower to keep them clear. For a deep clean, use a decking cleaner solution. Decking made of hardwood – teak, walnut, mahogany or oak – do not need usually need preserving. Wipe over with teak oil twice a year to help preserve their colour. Softer woods – such as pine and cedar do need preserving. Apply a wood preservative, followed by a varnish.

To restore painted and varnished wood, rub down with fine sandpaper, then reapply the coating.

Paving slabs

Scrub using a stiff brush and a patio cleaner, we recommend HG Patio Cleaner. Alternatively, use a pressure washer that has a patio cleaning attachment.

Tip: if you are planning to blitz the slabs with a pressure washer, take care not to remove the pointing between paving stones.

Now spruce up your garden furniture…

Cane

If you’ve left this outdoors all winter, you could be looking at buying a new set. The advice is never to leave cane outside, as it’s just not robust enough.

Cast aluminum

Wipe clean with a solution of washing up liquid. Touch up chipped paint with an enamel metal paint such as Hammerite, rubbing off any loose paint first.

Cast and wrought iron

Rub down with wire wool and repaint if necessary, first with anti-rust primer and then with exterior metal paint.

Resin

For plastic furniture, use a detergent solution and plastic brush to clean. Use a mild bleach solution on any staining. Alternatively, use a pressure washer.

Tip: If there are stains and dirt on chair seats that just won’t budge, cover them with decorative seat cushions and an outdoor rug. Your guests will never know what lurks beneath!

Tubular Metal

Wash down plastic coating with a warm detergent solution. Protect with a light application of wax polish. Store indoors.

Wood

Hardwoods – teak, cedar, mahogany or oak – do not need usually need preserving. Wipe over with teak oil twice a year to help preserve their colour. Softer woods – such as pine, ash, elm and beech – do need preserving. Apply a proprietary wood preservative, followed by a varnish. To restore painted and varnished wood, rub down with fine sandpaper, then reapply the coating.

Tip: If you don’t have a garage or shed to store everything away, look after your outdoor furniture with protective covers to prolong their life and avoid damage from the elements.

 

Source:GoodHouseCleaning

 

Indoor plants: 10 best house plants

From cleaner air to creative decor – there are so many benefits of having indoor plants around your house. However, it can be hard to know which varieties of plants are suitable for indoor conditions plus how to properly care for them.

We’ve rounded up the 10 best indoor plants that will thrive within four walls and asked the experts how you can keep them around forever.

1. Monstera deliciosa or “Swiss cheese plant”

Monstera deliciosa

There’s no doubt you’ve seen the “swiss cheese plant” all over Pinterest as they’re one of the most popular indoor plants going around right now. Their lush green leaves with distinctive holes make a stunning statement in any room and they can grow to fit any space. Monstera plants prefer a warm climate away from direct sunlight and they benefit from regular cleaning with a soft, damp cloth.

“Let the top 4cm of soil dry out between watering as over watering may lead to root rot, signs of this are yellowing or wilting leaves,” Gisele Zanier, founder of Beyond Sunflowers, a plant emporium based in Melbourne told Better Homes and Gardens. “For best results Monsteras should enjoy conditions that are fairly moist so avoid artificial heating and cooling, they will require monthly feeding in spring and summer when planted in containers.”

In its natural habitat, Monsteras like climbing so provide it with some kind of stake or trellis for support.

2. Epipremnum aureum or Devil’s Ivy 

devil's ivy

Devil’s ivy, also known as golden pothos or pothos, is a fast-growing and forgiving vine, suited to any position in the house. Whether they’re potted in hanging baskets or cuttings places in glass vases, these plants are super low maintenance and absolutely stunning. The leaves are waxy, heart shaped and colouring depends on cultivar – Wilcoxii are a mottled white and green, Marble Queen have more of a cream and grayish-green colouring, Neon is a shade of bright, light greeny-yellow and Tricolor have green leaves with yellow, light green and cream dappling. They’re highly drought tolerant and don’t require regular fertilisation. Water Devil’s Ivy deeply once a week and cut back to every other week in winter. Spring and summer is the best time to prune and propagate your plant, placing the cuttings in glass jars of water to encourage rooting.

3. Dracaena Massangeana or Mass Cane

Dracaena Massangeana

This plant is popular amongst beginner green thumbs and it’s often an office staple thanks to its hardy nature. Mass Cane often grows between 1.2 to 1.8 metres tall with stalky stems and long, green leaves featuring light yellow and green stripes running through them. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a large plant. This plant is best placed in indirect bright light but it can tolerate low light. You’ll only need to water it once a week. However it’s important to note that Dracaena ‘Massangeana’ is toxic to dogs and cats so it’s not the best option if you have furry friends around the house.

4. Spathiphyllum or Peace lily

peace lily
Spathiphyllum, commonly known as the Peace Lily, has long been a popular house plant, especially since NASA featured it in its list of best air purifying options. It has glossy, dark green foliage and stunning white flowers, usually growing between 45 to 65 centimetres tall. These tropical plants thrive in bright, indirect light, it can handle low light but that may cause it to bloom poorly. A peace lily will usually only need to be watered and misted once a week in warmer months, less often in winter. They hate soggy or wet soil and they’re prone to root rot so let the plants dry out a bit between waterings. Be sure to wipe down the foliage to prevent dust from building up. Make sure it is kept away from pets or children who may be tempted to chew it, as the plant is poisonous and may cause severe discomfort if ingested.

5. Bromeliad

Bromeliad

Don’t be intimidated by the Bromeliad. Although once regarded as a plant for the advanced gardener, these beautifully coloured rosette-forming perennials make for easy, low maintenance houseplants. When indoors, they need medium to bright light (but not direct sunlight) and do well in shallow pots with fast drainage. You can water the plant by filling the central cup (otherwise known as the tank) of the plant once a week during the warmer months and less during winter. Make sure you flush it on a regular basis to prevent water stagnation. As they are not heavy feeders, you can drop a slow-release fertiliser into the cup of the plant or mix it into the soil, once a season.

6. Sansevieria or Mother-in-law’s Tongue

...

Originating from Southern Africa and Asia, another low maintenance houseplant is the Snake Plant, otherwise known as Mother-in-law’s tongue. The name refers to the pointed tips of the leaves, symbolising the sharp tongue of the Mother-in-law. This upright, succulent plant can grow up to two metres and is extremely hardy. It takes a lot to kill it, so this is another great option for those who tend to neglect their plants. It should be placed in bright light with some direct sun for several hours a day. It will tolerate shade, however the plant will take longer to grow. Moderate water is required, with the root ball remaining slightly damp in summer, but dryer in winter to avoid rotting. Don’t overwater, as the plant would prefer to be too dry than too damp.

7. Zanzibar Gem

...

This stunning plant not only looks great, it has been hailed as being ‘almost indestructible’ and is perfect for those who tend to neglect their plants, as it is drought resistant. Native to Africa, it has deep, green glossy leaves and is able to survive a long period without water. The reason the Zanzibar Gem is so hardy is due to its ability to store water in its potato-like tuber. To care for your Zanzibar Gem, don’t over-water it or sit it in water. In fact it thrives on neglect and prefers you don’t water it too often. Once a month is enough. It’s best placed in a bright to light shaded area, however it will tolerate a shady spot, but will just take longer to grow. Keep it out of direct sunlight as the plant can burn. You can add a slow-release fertiliser in spring and re-pot if you notice the root starting to bulge.

8. Anthurium Andraeanum

...

These popular indoor plants originally from Columbia, feature long, dark-green leathery leaves and produce beautiful, red, pink and white heart-shaped ‘flowers’ that can last for weeks. The ‘flowers’ are actually spathes, which are a leaf-like bract that surrounds a cylindrical spike. In order for the plant to bloom, it requires bright light (but not direct sun). It can grow up to 45cm high and soil needs to be kept evenly moist from spring to autumn and slightly drier in winter. The Anthurium benefits from being fertilised every two weeks in spring and summer with a high-phosphorus liquid fertiliser.

9. Maidenhair Fern

maidenhair fern

If you’re prepared to give a Maidenhair Fern the TLC it needs then it can make a beautiful addition to your home. They have feathery, light green leaves with soft shiny stems and they make a great hanging plant. Not only do they look fragile, Maidenhair Ferns truly are the goldilocks of the plant world when it comes to care instructions. They require not too much light, but not too little, growing well in a warm spot with a bit of humidity. DIY rainforest environment by placing a saucer filled with pebbles beneath the potted plant. Fill the saucer with water to just below the top of the pebbles and s the water evaporates, it creates a humid microclimate around the plant.

10. Ficus Elastica or Rubber Plant

rubber plant

With shiny leaves in shades of dark green and burgundy, the Rubber Plant or Rubber Fig is très on trend when it comes to house plants. It can either stay small in a little pot or be encouraged to grow into a large indoor tree. It’s a hardy, temperature-resilient option that likes bright, indirect light with weekly watering in warmer seasons and in colder seasons it can survive on monthly or fortnightly watering.

 

Source: BetterHomesandGardens

 

Easy DIY reno projects for self-isolating Aussies

The self-isolation measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 have allowed Australians to consider kickstarting their reno projects.

Sjanna Sandalova, media specialist at the Real Estate of Western Australia, said there are several renovation ideas that would not require turning the house into a construction site.

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to give a house a new look is a fresh coat of paint. Sandalova suggests painting rooms with a lighter and natural colours to create an “illusion of space”.

“Alternatively, if you’re feeling spontaneous, choose one wall either in your bedroom or the living room to be a feature wall, which you can paint any colour you want,” Sandalova said.

Landscaping the lawn can instantly give a property a facelift. Now that most Australians are spending their time at home, it will be easier for them to get into gardening, Sandalova said.

“Start by doing the basics if you need to, which includes mowing the lawn, pulling out all the weeds, raking leaves, etc. Then, depending on what kind of outdoor space you have to work with, you can decide how you want to lay out your new garden,” she said.

Replacing door handles and fittings is also a simple reno project anyone can start doing during the quarantine. This task, however, might be more complicated as it would require some tools. Sandalova said looking for online tutorials will help people carry out this task.

Another way to update the home’s style and look is by rearranging furniture and changing decorations.

“You may find that you will easily get bored and sick of your home after doing looking at the same thing every day, but a simple re-shuffle of furniture will have it looking like a brand-new space again,” Sandalova said.

 

Source: YourMortgage

Savvy Australians show off their incredible DIY room makeovers

Instead of spending hours on the couch while in COVID-19 lockdown, thousands of Australians are learning new skills and trying their hand at all kinds of DIY projects.

And now the proud handy men and women have posted impressive room transformations on Facebook after using their free time to improve and redecorate areas of their homes.

One mum from Launceston, Tasmania, renovated her old laundry into a bright, fresh and spacious room and shared before and after pictures to the Bunnings Mums Australia Facebook page.

One mum has transformed her daggy old laundry space (pictured before) into a bright, fresh and spacious room
She installed a white and grep bench top and used pressed tin panel as a feature wall

‘This is a laundry renovation I did using Kaboodle raw doors. I painted the cabinets with Blue Shamrock by Taubmans,’ she wrote.

She revealed she spent approximately $2,500 including the plumber fees involved in moving the sink to a new spot.

The woman installed a stylish marble bench top, used pressed tin panel as a feature wall and created timber shelves.

She revealed she spent approximately $2,500 including the plumber fees involved in moving the sink to a new spot

She revealed she spent approximately $2,500 including the plumber fees involved in moving the sink to a new spot

The woman also built a barn door using a plywood panel and treated pine DAR that connects to a powder room

The woman also built a barn door using a plywood panel and treated pine DAR that connects to a powder room

She also built a barn door using a plywood panel and treated pine DAR that connects to a powder room.

Another mother created an incredible wardrobe for her daughter using an old TV cabinet.

‘Just me again with another little upcycle project. My sister Tash and I gave this old TV cabinet a makeover into a kids cupboard for my daughter,’ she wrote on Kmart Inspired Homes Facebook page.

This comes after another mother created an incredible cupboard for my daughter using an old TV cabinet
She purchased the lamp, candle, books, rattan tray, wheatgrass stems and clothes from Kmart

This comes after another mother created an incredible cupboard for my daughter using an old TV cabinet

First, the woman said she wiped down the cabinet before sanding it with an electric sander.

She then applied a coat of primer, followed by two coasts of white paint to the new cupboard.

She also cut a backing to cover the cord holes, railings and hooks and attached new pine handles.

She purchased the lamp, candle, books, rattan tray, wheatgrass stems and clothes from Kmart.

She  cut a backing to cover the cord holes, railings and hooks and attached new pine handles

She  cut a backing to cover the cord holes, railings and hooks and attached new pine handles

One mother shared photos of a cabinet she transformed into a play kitchen for her three-year-old twins.

‘My boys 10 and 13 have helped me with this little isolation project. We still have a few accessories like lights and a stove top to do but we’re nearly there,’ she wrote.

‘The play kitchen is for my three-year-old twins [a boy and a girl] so I wanted colours that would suit them both,’ she explained.

Another mother shared photos of a cabinet she transformed into a play kitchen for her three-year-old twins
She said she found the free cabinet online and has been collecting items she needed to complete the play set

Another mother shared photos of a cabinet she transformed into a play kitchen for her three-year-old twins

She said she found the free cabinet online and has been collecting items she needed to complete the play set.

The woman said the project took her three days to complete and she added an oven complete with a light, a sink, cabinets and a feature wall.

She revealed she purchased most things from Bunnings and also used ‘a couple of Kmart accessories’.

‘A play kitchen like this will last a lifetime I think my grandkids will play with this! I had a Kmart kitchen and it fell apart in a few weeks as I have 7 children all up,’ she wrote.

The woman said the project took her three days to complete and she added an oven complete with a light, a sink, cabinets and a feature wall

The woman said the project took her three days to complete and she added an oven complete with a light, a sink, cabinets and a feature wall

One woman has transformed her outdoor area for under $1000 using items from Kmart and Bunnings

One woman has transformed her outdoor area for under $1000 using items from Kmart and Bunnings

Another woman transformed her outdoor area for under $1000 using items from Kmart and Bunnings and she shared photos to the Kmart Inspired Homes Facebook page.

She purchased a table and chairs for $687 as well as green hedge wall tiles for $15 each from Bunnings.

The woman also added some cushions from Kmart for $8 each, an $8 table runner, a lantern and candle for $15 and light bulbs for $15.

Other Facebook users praised the mum on creating a relaxing space and said it looks ‘incredible’.

‘Such a lovely space to ride out this isolation in, awesome job,’one person said. ‘Wow what a transformation, looks fantastic,’ another wrote.

She purchased a table and chairs for $687 as well as green hedge wall tiles for $15 each from Bunnings

She purchased a table and chairs for $687 as well as green hedge wall tiles for $15 each from Bunnings

She also added cushions from Kmart for $8 each, an $8 table runner, a lantern and candle for $15 and light bulbs for $15

She also added cushions from Kmart for $8 each, an $8 table runner, a lantern and candle for $15 and light bulbs for $15

An organised mother and medical student also recently revealed how she keeps her busy home pristine, despite holding down full-time study and having three children under the age of six.

Imogen Alexandra, 23, from the Gold Coast, said while medicine is her trade, she has always had a love for interior design.

‘It’s taken me around two years to design my home the way I’ve always wanted it, and now I’m sort of nearly there and everything is coming together, I’ve turned my focus towards organising,’ Imogen told FEMAIL.

Organised mother and medical student Imogen Alexandra (pictured) revealed how she keeps her busy home pristine, despite having three children under the age of six

Organised mother and medical student Imogen Alexandra (pictured) revealed how she keeps her busy home pristine, despite having three children under the age of six

She has organised both her pantry by buying containers and labelling each container with a label from Labelled with Vinyl

She has organised both her pantry by buying containers and labelling each container with a label from Labelled with Vinyl

Recently she has organised both her pantry and her linen cupboard and Imogen said she always hunts down a bargain so she doesn’t pay over the odds.

‘I went to Kmart and bought a few containers to begin with for my pantry. I got a few different sizes but avoided bulk buying as I wanted to make sure they kept my food fresh and looked good in style, before I bought a whole pile,’ she said.

She then labelled each container with a label from Labelled with Vinyl, which means she never forgets where anything is stored or how old it is.

She also uses giant fabric baskets from Zoobibi in her linen cupboard as they're 'big enough to fit king beddings, pillows and towels'

She also uses giant fabric baskets from Zoobibi in her linen cupboard as they’re ‘big enough to fit king beddings, pillows and towels’

‘I have very expensive taste, but the majority of what I buy is from Kmart, Target, Big W and IKEA,’ Imogen said.

‘It’s easy to make things look expensive if you style a room well and mix a few higher-end pieces with the majority that is slightly cheaper.’

She also uses giant fabric baskets from Zoobibi in her linen cupboard as they’re ‘big enough to fit king beddings, pillows and towels’.

Imogen also said they’re perfect ‘if the kids go to grab a blanket or a towel out and everything becomes unfolded as you can’t even tell because the baskets hide the mess!’

 

Source: DailyMail

 

5 secrets of budget kitchen renovations

Successful renovators understand how to get maximum impact for minimum spend.

Once has taught me it’s not money that’s the big ace in a renovator’s pack – it’s knowing how to stretch every dollar as far as possible.
For those looking to give their kitchen an affordable makeover, there are five easy ways to get results fast – and the good thing is, most of them can be tackled by a competent DIYer.

1. USE THE POWER OF PAINT

There’s no better way to get an instant transformation than with a perfectly applied coat of paint – and I’m not just talking about traditional paint on plaster walls and timber trims.
Paint can cover a whole raft of sins, from dowdy timber panelling, dated tiles or discoloured baths and basins. You just need to make sure you get the specialist paint required for the task.
← SLIDE →
BEFORE & AFTER: The colour of the kitchen was outdated, but the structure and layout worked well and only needed minor changes. The kitchen renovation includes a selection of materials that are contemporary, durable and well-priced.

2. LAYING DOWN THE FLOOR

Today’s flooring designs are cool, durable and cheap. Gerflor stick-on vinyl flooring is a simple and versatile solution that you can run straight over solid existing floors. It can also be used in wet areas, making it suitable for bathrooms. Another cost-effective flooring option is laminate floorboards.
← SLIDE →
BEFORE & AFTER: The old scruffy flooring and handles were one of the first things to be replaced. The timber received a few coats of paint and the tiles were updated with White Knight Tile Paint.

3. REMODEL

Kitchens can be terrifically expensive to renovate, or you can take some nifty shortcuts. If the cabinets are in good shape, just change the drawer and cupboard fronts for a fraction of the price of putting in a new kitchen.
And if the laminate benchtops are looking a bit shabby, just resurface them with a clever product called Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations. It gives a granite-like finish that looks surprisingly authentic.

4. UPDATE LIGHTS

Places like Ikea and Bunnings offer loads of creative and affordable lighting solutions, so there’s no excuse to settle for daggy or dated lighting.
Pendant lights over your kitchen island bench can add a bit of drama to an otherwise bland space. Just make sure you get an electrician to change the lights for you as it’s illegal to DIY any electrical work.
← SLIDE →
BEFORE & AFTER: The scratched benchtops needed to be replaced, while the lighting needed to be replaced with a mix of pendants and track lighting. The benchtops were resurfaced to look like real granite. Bold pendant lights are great statement pieces for a space.

5. ADDRESS THE DETAILS

You’ll be amazed how much of a difference it can make to change seemingly minor things like power-point covers, light switches, handles and tapware.
None are expensive in themselves, but together they’ll really modernise a property and lift it to the next level. A single trip to the hardware store, a few hundred dollars and a few hours on the tools will have you reaching for the bubbly when you see the results.

Home renovation: DIY vs. hiring a professional

IT’S a question that every homeowner or renovator asks themselves; should I DIY or call a tradie?

While there are many benefits to DIY, like saving some cash and the buzz of doing it yourself, there are equally good reasons – health and safety for one – why some jobs are best left to the pros. New Galaxy research from hipages has revealed Aussies are spending an average of $1,500 a year fixing damage caused by DIY fails, totalling to $3.53 billion cost to the economy annually.

Many tasks around the home are actually too dangerous to undertake without formal training, while others require specialised equipment not to mention expertise. The trick is to do some research about the job, so you know what rules apply where you live. And, if in doubt, best to call the experts.

This, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your hands dirty at all. Here are a bunch of odd jobs you can tackle all on your own.

WHAT CAN I DIY?

Some of the more popular DIY jobs include:

● Painting – every renovator knows that a fresh coat or two can make all the difference.

Just make sure you do all the prep work beforehand, like washing the walls, filling holes and laying drop sheets. You can even be your own interior decorator by hanging wallpaper yourself.

● Gardening – if you’re ambitious enough, you can take on some minor landscaping jobs, like laying a footpath, building some raised garden beds or even, building a small timber deck. Before making a mess, however, it’s best to check with your local council to be sure of height and size restrictions.

● Minor repair and maintenance – if you’re fairly handy, you can easily take on minor maintenance jobs around the house, like fixing door hinges, cleaning gutters or replacing damaged tiles. You can also easily make sure your swimming pool is always sparkling by keeping the pump and filter running smoothly.

The key with any DIY task is to factor in everything before you get started on your job, specifically your time and the materials or equipment you might need. It’s also important to ensure you take safety into account. In some instances, you might find it cheaper or easier to hire a local handyman, especially if you are time poor.

WHEN MUST I HIRE A PRO?

For some jobs, such as plumbing, electrical, gas, air con or structural building work, it is actually a legal requirement to hire a professional licensed tradie.

The Galaxy research highlighted that 64 percent of Aussies will hire a licensed tradie as they themselves, lack the knowledge and skills to complete the work.

Opting to DIY any of these jobs could land you in hot water, with a fine or much worse. And if anything does go wrong with your handiwork, don’t expect your insurance policy to pay up. When critical jobs do occur, it’s reassuring to know that there are multiple ways to find the right tradie for your job. hipages, the leading tradie marketplace, has streamlined the process to save you the hassle of ringing around by instantly connecting you with up to three trusted local tradies with quotes. Over 2.5 million Aussies have already used hipages to find tradies for their homes, making it the #1 place to find the right tradie for you. All tradies are licensed professionals verified regularly by hipages.

A few jobs we recommend you use our tradies for include:

Staying safe with electrical – doing any electrical work yourself is a big no-no, given the risks that live electrical current poses. Some people overlook this potentially fatal reality, often in the hope of saving on labour costs. Beyond changing a lightbulb, you shouldn’t be attempting to work on any aspect of your homes’ electrical system no matter how straightforward it might seem. This includes installing a new powerpoint, replacing a light switch, repairing appliances or even replacing a plug on a lead.

Plumbing is pretty complicated – unlike electrical jobs, which most DIYers stay away from, plumbing is often seen as something anyone with a pair of gloves and a wrench can take on. Wrong! Your home’s plumbing, roof plumbing and drainage system need to be worked on by a licensed professional.The same applies to any gasfitting work. Note that some, not all, plumbers are also qualified to work with gas, so ask to be sure.

Best to hire a builder – thinking of knocking out an internal wall to open up a couple of rooms? Think again! Doing any building or structural work is another job best left to a licensed builder, regardless of the cost. You need their knowledge to decide if the wall is load bearing, otherwise your ceiling, or the floor above, could collapse. Depending on where you live, builders may also be required to erect larger structures like timber decks, pergolas and patio roofing.

Aircon and refrigeration – anything related to air conditioners and fridges or freezers should also be left to the pros. Why? You need special training to handle the chemical refrigerants, which is why the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) requires all installers and technicians to be licensed.

Source: DailyTelegraph