Home Decorating with Interesting Tips

Home improvement as well as home decoration requires considerable knowledge of some tips and tricks in handling it. The selection of colors, furniture to the right interior design will make the house look alive and luxurious

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How To Improve the Energy Efficiency of Baxi Boilers

With energy prices seeming to be constantly on the rise, homeowners are always on the lookout for ways of saving money through lower energy bills. Fortunately, one of the best ways of cutting energy is by taking steps to make a Baxi boiler more energy efficient. While Baxi already produces some of the most energy efficient boilers on the market, homeowners can always take further steps to help improve the environment and save them money on their next energy bill. Energy saving tips can range from the simple, like fitting pipes with insulation, to the extreme, like getting a brand new boiler installed. This article will look at just a few of the measures homeowners can take to make their boiler systems more energy efficient and thus cut their energy bills at the end of the month.

Use Room Thermostats

Installing a room thermostat is a great way of being able to control the temperature in individual rooms. Having better control over a homes temperature will go a long way in cutting down on wasted energy. Room thermostats can save consumers about 70 a year and they will go a long way towards protecting the environment. Once the room thermostats are installed, homeowners should turn down the temperature until it is warm enough to still be comfortable. Turning down the temperature just one degree can make a world of difference, and could save families 65 a year.

Hot Water Cylinder

Similarly, most UK families keep the temperature of their hot water cylinders up too high, which is not only wasting energy, but costing consumers more in higher energy bills. The ideal temperature for a hot water cylinder is 60 degrees Celsius, which is more than hot enough to still be comfortable for most homeowners. Water that is kept any hotter than this is not only wasteful, but it runs the risk of scalding human skin it comes into contact with. To make the hot water cylinder even more efficient, the main tank should have a tank jacket wrapped around it. Additionally, any pipes around the tank that are exposed should be insulated. Insulation will not only improve energy efficiency, it will also help the system last longer and perform better. The total cost for the tank jacket and insulation should cost no more than 30, while it could save families 60 a year in lower energy bills.

New Boiler

While all of the above recommendations are good and cheap to follow, by far the best thing people can do in order to cut their energy bills and improve their homes efficiency is to invest in a new energy efficient boiler. It is usually fairly easy to determine if a boiler is in need of replacing. Older boilers usually have a pilot light which burns continuously. The pilot light itself is not only wasteful, but these older boilers also have much lower efficiency ratings overall. Newer boilers have pilot lights which light automatically whenever the boiler is put into use, meaning that less gas is wasted when it is not actually being used by the homes occupants. In fact, the newer energy efficient models have an efficiency rating of up to 90 per cent. From a consumer standpoint, this increased efficiency could translate into an annual savings of over 300, not to mention a household that is much gentler on the environment. Of course, the main disadvantage of getting a new boiler installed is that they are very expensive, often running into the thousands of pounds. However, compared to the savings possible, a new boiler may be worth the investment. Furthermore, grants and trusts have been set up that can help the most disadvantaged improve their homes energy efficiency thus saving them money.

Many consumers are seeking to improve their households energy efficiency for a variety of reasons, ranging from wanting to save money on energy bills to trying to do some good for the planet. One of the best ways of cutting down on carbon emissions is by improving a houses current Baxi boiler system. By taking the measures listed above, whether that means buying a new energy efficient boiler or simply reducing a homes temperature by just one degree, homeowners will be doing their part to make the planet a little greener and their utility bills a little lighter.

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Insights Into Interior Design Designing In Style. Part Ii Traditional – Jacobean And Victorian

Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.
Interior design has always been impacted by fashion trends – both historically and in the modern day. In this article series, “Designing in Style,” I explore the meaning of style for interior designers.
I draw on my experience working alongside many of London’s best-known interior design teams. This second article in my series introduces traditional/period design, with a focus on the Jacobean and Victorian styles.

Traditional design uses materials that reflect the wealth and opulence of historic times. London Interior Designers will often take the best of the features that were available back then and skilfully combine them with elements that are available today. Traditional/period interior design projects tend to focus on elegance, with a look and feel that is comfortable, rich and sumptuous, although sometimes also a little fragile.

The Jacobean theme is popular in London mansions and other residences that have a real sense of history. The Jacobean style focuses on heavy wooden features, with dark-stained oak often used to create panels for walls and floorboards. Oak is also often used for the furniture, and the overall interior design feel is that of robustness, with pleasantly-proportioned pieces to fill the available space. Tapestries are also an important part of the Jacobean look. However, many interior designers recognise that tapestries can be impractical nowadays, and one approach often used by London’s best-known consultancies is to recreate the tapestry appearance on modern upholstered furniture or curtains.

One caveat with Jacobean interior designs is that the style does need plenty of natural light, because otherwise the darker wood stains can seem uninspired. This can be problematic in smaller London residences, but is generally not an issue with more luxurious mansions that often feature huge south-facing windows and substantial grounds.

The Victorian interior design style, by contrast, is considered a more staid approach. Interior designers often focus on small rounded tables, often covered entirely in cloth, and fat, heavily-buttoned chesterfield settees. So much of London became urbanised in Victorian times that the style also came to include nature as a theme for textiles, serving as a counterpoint to accelerating industrialisation. Consequently, Victorian interior design schemes often feature floral elements and birds on both walls and furnishings.

In the next article in my “Designing in Style” interior design series, I will focus on a third and final period style that is particularly important for London residences – the Georgian style.
Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.

Insights Into Interior Design Designing In Style. Part Iii Traditional – Georgian

Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.
Interior design has always been impacted by fashion trends – both historically and in the modern day. In this article series, “Designing in Style,” I explore the meaning of style for interior designers. I draw on my experience working alongside many of London’s best-known interior design teams.

This third article in my series continues my discussion of traditional/period design, with a focus on the Georgian style.

In terms of dates, the Georgian period is generally considered to have extended from 1714 until 1830. It has since inspired one of the most popular traditional interior design schemes.

London design was considered world-class in Georgian times – UK craftspeople were highly skilled and uniquely specialised. The wealthiest classes insisted on the highest quality, with exacting standards in terms of dimensions and proportions.

A few designers were particularly famous during the Georgian era. Their names, ideas and concepts live on today in the many homes and residences that feature Georgian-inspired interior designs.

William Kent lived from 1684 until 1748 and was an architect/interior designer who is best known for his tables and chairs which featured extravagant gilt decorations and strong connections to Greek and Roman insignia. Today these traditional designs continue to be used by many London Interior Design Consultancies that specialise in the Georgian style.

Thomas Chippendale is a name famous to many discerning Londoners. This cabinet-maker lived from 1718 until 1779 and designed furniture that was less ostentatious than that of William Kent, consistent with British (and London) tastes at the time, and yet exceedingly graceful and refined. Interior designers today will adopt either Chippendale’s original designs or re-envisionments/replicas of his originals.

Finally, Robert Adam was an architect and interior designer who dominated the 1770s with his vivacious use of Roman and Greek motifs, including urns, tripods, and mythological iconography.

Today, London interior design consultancies tend to be cautious with Georgian designs, recognising that this style can look pretentious if too pronounced. Larger, more spacious London mansions with tall ceilings are best suited to the Georgian style of interior design.

The next article in my series “Designing in Style” moves away from historic traditions and focuses in on a timeless interior design classic – the rural countryside.
Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.

Wood Flooring Is Eternal Says Designers

Homeowners should consider wood flooring ahead of any other options, a group of Canadian designers has said. Speaking to the Canadian Press, Genevieve Gorder, Candice Olsen and Vern Yip, who judge the work of new designers each week on HGTV’s “Design Star”, all said wooden floors are their preferred material, with Gorder describing it as “the one medium that is eternal.”

“It’s been in interiors since the beginning of time and it’s sitting in our front yards,” she said. “There’s nothing else like it.”

Despite this timelessness, all three added that wooden flooring was at the very forefront of good interior design.

-Wood is both natural and trend-proof,- Olson said, and can bring a much-needed warmth and timelessness to modern rooms. -Even people who love modern style, she said, -don’t want a home where everything looks like George Jetson lives there.”

When given the choice between real wood and a laminate flooring, each designer said they preferred the genuine article, with the overall consensus that -nothing quite replaces a true wood floor.-

Interestingly though, it’s not just wood flooring that’s been getting fresh attention recently, but wood finish as a whole. According to Yip, it makes a great material to cover walls and ceilings, while old wooden platforms can also be hung up as art.

“Any time you have an entire wall of one material, wood or something else, it’s so striking,” he said.

This new attitude to wood is far from unique. Earlier this year The Guardian’s Huma Quereshi said that while the overriding style of the last decade was a timeless mix of -whitewashed brick walls teamed with wooden floors-, interiors styles are growing -more individual and less prescriptive-.

And as hardwood flooring is so perfect for those who like to redesign, refresh or just experiment – it can be retreated with a new finish up to five times – it should be no real surprise that it’s such a popular material.

According to The Times’ Gwenda Brophy, it’s our attitude to how wood can be used here the UK that’s changed. Gone, she says, is the -spirit-sapping pine panelling- of yesterday, and in its place a more imaginative – and very grown-up – approach in a number of contemporary homes. And that can only be good news.

To read more about the different types of wood flooring available in the UK, visit Timberland Flooring, where there are a wide range of stunning wooden flooring options available for you to choose from.

Quality Oak Furniture at Affordable Prices

How we decorate our home is a reflection of our personal taste, there are those of us who prefer to keep it simple with white walls and minimal furniture in a similar style, whilst the more flamboyant will choose bright colours and a mix of furniture and dcor of different designs and eras.

Making your home look good doesn’t have to cost the earth and there are plenty of trendy and fashionable stores these days that offer affordable prices, so if you are just moving into your first home, or updating your current one, look online and you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you choose to buy your furniture new, second hand, or from an antique shop, it makes sense to go for the best quality you can afford within your budget.

Shopping online is so easy when compared to shopping in the high street. You can browse in each store for as long as you like, take time studying each piece, and open more than one website and compare prices – and you don’t even have to leave home, get dressed, drive the car, or be polite to store assistants.

It makes sense to invest in furniture that will last, buy cheap quality and it is likely to break or become worn very quickly, also it won’t be as stylish or comfortable as you would wish. Quality doesn’t have to equal expensive, you just need to know where to look.

The internet has thousands of websites so use it effectively for searching for items and particular pieces of furniture that you are considering buying. Oak furniture is very popular with homeowners as it fits in with most types of dcor and is an economical option. Oak is a solid wood that is suitable for every room, and it means that even if you do decide to change the dcor of your home in a few years time you won’t have to also change the furniture to match.

High quality and reasonable prices, that’s what most people are looking for, but stylish furniture is often well above the price we can afford. Oak furniture offers quality, durability, and doesn’t have to be replaced after a period of time as it looks better with age.

Making an investment in good solid furniture will save you money in the long-term as you won’t have to replace it every few years. The great thing about oak is that it makes beautiful pieces and can be passed onto future members of the family when they eventually get their first home. Well-known as being one of the most attractive woods for the manufacture of high quality furniture with a beautiful grain structure, it is extremely resilient and strong.

Solid oak furniture is ideal for the bedroom, dining room, living room or kitchen, basically anywhere in the house! UK manufacturers offer a range of contemporary or traditional styles in oak with wax or lacquer finishes check out the various designs of sideboards, beds, tables and chairs, coffee tables and much, much more. A favourite in the UK for centuries due to being particularly strong and tough, it has a striking colour and grain that looks good either varnished in a dark colour, waxed or with a natural lacquer applied.

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Choosing A Kitchen Worktop

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home, being a functional space where culinary masterpieces are created and having another use as a social space for entertaining or interaction.

Choosing the right kitchen to reflect your cooking requirements and the style of your property is vital, as the kitchen is a room where you are likely to spend a lot of time in and can add considerable value to your property.

As well as choosing paint colours, units, sinks and accessories, perhaps the most pressing ingredient to consider when designing your new kitchen is worktops. Depending on your cooking and entertaining balance, it is better to choose a worktop that can fulfil your requirements, whilst looking stylish in your kitchen.

Stone kitchen worktops are perhaps the hardest wearing of all work surfaces and as such are favoured by avid cooking fans. Popular stone includes granite, marble, slate and quartz. Such materials can give a high shine, expensive look to any well-designed kitchen. In addition to an opulent feel, stone worktops are durable, hard wearing and water resistant – the most well known of these being granite worktops. Hampshire residents to Leicestershire inhabitants can easily obtain stone worktops as they are widely available across the UK from bespoke suppliers to DIY stores.

For an industrial look, in a modern apartment or architect designed property, stainless steel work surfaces can provide a professional and bright theme – think stark white combined with a metallic and glass finish. Water resistant and incredibly durable, stainless steel worktops are favoured by professional chefs – do be sure to use a chopping board however, as they can be easily scratched.

Those who enjoy a more rustic country kitsch theme, will perhaps appreciate the natural beauty of wood worktops. With its anti bacterial properties and large range of colours and types of wood, such worktops are popular in large family kitchens. To prevent drying out, it is prudent to proof work surfaces annually – protecting against damage from spills.

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Domestic Energy Assessors Help Homeowners Show the Energy Efficiency of Their Homes When Selling

There is a new breed of professionals who you will get to know about now when you start out to sell your home. They are called Domestic Energy Assessors and are out now in England and Wales performing a brand new service.

The role of the Domestic Energy Assessor is to produce Energy Performance Certificates for inclusion in Home Information Packs. If this is complete news to you then just think of these as being certificates, like those you see on new fridges, which will provide A-G ratings on the energy efficiency of a home, plus advice on how to make further energy savings.

Energy Assessors will use their in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the thermal performance of your home to judge on the thermal energy efficiency of properties.

This requirement has been introduced by the UK government working on the theory that these assessments of the the capability of all buildings about to be sold will encourage us all to be energy efficient. This will be good for the nation as it will be thoroughly green. It will the idea is, help avoid the need for the energy whether renewable or not.

This type of certificate is required whenever the building is constructed, sold or rented.

In the short term home owners directly, and home buyers indirectly, will need to pay for these Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and in order to possibly carry out work to improve poorly insulated properties, they will need to pay for general advice to clients on energy efficiency measures.

This is all very good in principle, but the UK government has chosen exactly the wrong time to do this. The credit crunch is hitting the house sales market hard, it is already very difficult to sell properties, and the value of most of them is falling.

The staff that produce Energy Performance Certificates are very experienced in construction technology, building condition surveying and domestic energy assessment and are Degree qualified professionals. They do not come cheap!

Now we do accept that most assessors will not simply stop at inspecting your property, they should also take the time to explain exactly what they are inspecting, how they are going to go about it and gladly answer any questions that you may have. But, most sellers are going to deeply object to being forced by the state to take on this additional burden of cost.

The energy assessor takes measurements to analyse the cost of heating, water and lighting for a house and makes recommendations to improve the energy performance of the house. To me it looks like you the government may think that an assessment is a quick hour in the property and thats it. I doubt they have fully considered the travel time to and from the houses to be assessed, time taken to assess, time to prepare and check the report, input the data, produce the certificate and then charge a fee which includes the professionals insurance, accountant fees, advertising and many other costs – the list goes on and on, after all they will have to make a living like everyone else.

Southern Office Furniture Office Furniture at Their Best

Now, office furniture does not need to be boring and tasteless with pieces from Southern Furniture Online. Southern Furniture Online is an online store that features great office furniture pieces from desks, chairs, storage materials and so much more!

With their wide array of office furniture and other products, you are guaranteed to find a piece that will fit in your workplace best. Whether you are looking for that perfect table to fit into your modern contemporary office or that boardroom table for your conference room, you can find it all here at Southern Office Furniture. Every piece that they sell in their store is guaranteed to withstand the wears and tears of office life. Aside from that, they go out of their way to make every piece uncomfortable who wouldnt want to work in an office chair that gives you sores at the end of the day, right?

And when it comes to style and colour, their products will not settle for anything less as well. They have stylish and sleek pieces that you will surely fall in love with! Their wide range of designs assure you that you can always find the perfect piece no matter what look you are trying to create in your workspace whether you fancy the modern contemporary look or the simple minimalist style you can always find something here at Southern Office Furniture. Their products are also not limited to pure office furniture alone but they also have pieces for you office caf and even large pieces like reception counters.

Southern Office Furniture not only sells ready made office furniture. They see to it that every piece they sell fits perfectly to your needs. And so they have customer service representatives that you can talk to guide through their wide variety of products so that you can pick the best pieces that will suit your needs for both function and style. And budget wise, you need not worry because they are also there to help. Although all products sold are already at very low prices, their representatives are still there to help you maximize your funds to guarantee that you will always get want you want despite your budget.

So go online and browse through their products today. If you do, you can avail of their 2009 office furniture catalogue for free! This catalogue features the latest products and designs of Southern Office Furniture. Shipment is free within mainland UK. Aside from that, you can also get great offers and deals today! So log on now and start shopping, a great office is just a click away!

Are You Cut Out For Interior Design

Interior design is needed in all areas of life. Interior designers help to create interior spaces in all kinds of buildings, from museums to private homes and colleges to shops. It is no surprise then that this career is much sought after by many different people.

If you want to forge a career in interior design you should first of all find out what it takes to study interior design. You can study this area in many different ways. Many people go to college and study a recognised course in the topic. Others find home study courses that will allow them to reach the same destination in a different way, instead of going to one of the many interior design colleges that are situated all over the UK. If you go down this route you should always make sure you look for an accredited course. This will ensure that you will get a recognised qualification at the end of the study periods.

When you study interior design you will learn all the skills you will need to know in order to become a successful interior designer. Contrary to what some people believe, there is far more to this kind of designing than you might think. For example it is not enough to find the most attractive solution for a particular interior space. Your solution also has to be safe and able to cope with the various demands that will be placed on it. No two interior design projects are ever the same. Clearly the needs of a restaurant will be very different to the needs of someone who wants their home to be completely redesigned inside.

Studying the appropriate courses at interior design colleges will give you a good head start in the industry. Once you have completed your college course you can strike out into the industry to begin your career in earnest. The good thing about interior design is that you do not have to find a position working for anyone else if you do not wish to go down this route. Instead you can set up your own business working for clients directly. Many people like to do this because they can control every aspect of the business and decide which area they would most enjoy working in. For instance some people prefer to work for big clients in business, whereas others like to help individuals get the best from their homes.

As you can see the world of interior design offers many benefits to those who are willing to take advantage of them. The more you know and learn about what this career involves, the easier it will be for you to work out whether you would enjoy it or not. Who knows, you could flourish!

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How Cooling Systems Can Improve Your Energy Efficiency

The business case for energy efficiency is a powerful one. At the end of 2010, the Carbon Trust reported that the average return on investment of energy-efficiency projects carried out in commercial premises is 48%. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that to invest in sustainability is to save money.

But while the UK government is supporting carbon reduction by introducing grants and green initiatives, these have done little more than skew people’s perception of what represents an energy saving. With heavy focus applied to insulation and heating, cooling strategies have been left rather more out in the cold.

The hot topic

The government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was announced in March 2011 to drastically alter the way heat is generated and used in buildings and homes. Britain’s largest energy users are required by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to start lowering carbon emissions so will naturally be enticed by such offers. But incentives like the RHI fail to acknowledge that when a commercial building is designed, the crowds of people and electrical appliances that then occupy it are not taken into account.

Human bodies and devices such as computers, printers, coffee makers, toasters and refrigerators generate an exceptional amount of heat and cause room temperatures to dramatically increase. So, instead of heating, most commercial buildings need to bring temperatures down in order to maintain a comfortable environment and maintain staff productivity.

Office cooling, namely air conditioning, represents a huge energy burden, and can increase a building’s emissions by 100%, according to Carbon Trust research. So, to use it on a daily basis yet take a grant to invest in heating and insulation is a notion most people would surely see as perverse.

The reality of air conditioning is that, despite its widespread use, the energy it consumes often goes to waste. Realistically, without tackling this problem it is unlikely than any commercial building will be able to create a truly energy-efficient environment, no matter how much government grant money it is awarded.

Here comes the sun

As we all know, when the sun comes out in the UK, it is met with something resembling blind panic. Whether in the heights of summer or the depths of winter, sunshine causes heat to build up through unprotected glass windows. These windows then get thrown open to create a through draft, or in colder months, blinds will be snapped shut to block out the sun’s glare, meaning that lights have to be switched on. Either way, this behaviour ends up negating the effect of air conditioning, causing wildly fluctuating internal temperatures and eating up a large, unnecessary supply of heat and energy.

Such widespread and basic energy wastage should not be allowed to continue. Maintaining stable internal temperatures requires more than efficient heating and insulation; businesses need a cooling solution that minimises air conditioning, allows natural light to enter the building and helps to block out heat, rather than trap it within the building. One of the most simple and most cost-effective solutions that can deliver all of these benefits is one you may not have heard of: solar-control window film.

By rejecting up to 82% of solar energy, window film can reduce internal temperatures by up to ten degrees. This stops air conditioning units from being maxed out during sunny spells, meaning that internal temperatures are kept stable and extreme peaks in energy usage are reduced.

Cooling systems can therefore be run more efficiently and inexpensively, reducing a building’s cooling load by 30%, or roughly 5% of the energy bill. If window film were taken into consideration during the design stages of a new building, savings would be greater still as businesses would reduce cooling requirements from the outset; using smaller, cheaper air conditioning units that are easier to install and maintain. In plain English, this could mean thousands of pounds in savings to many UK firms.

Love in a cold climate

With budgets being squeezed and such significant carbon reductions to be made, the heat is on for UK businesses to find meaningful ways to lower emissions. It is the responsibility of our government to steer them in the right direction. Improved insulation and heating is, without doubt, an effective means of preventing energy waste, but without considering the likely effects of over-heating, businesses are in danger of missing the bigger picture.

While most UK businesses will currently look to insulation as their first port of call for energy savings, more vocal support for solutions such as window film by government schemes and incentives, would show these companies that such measures are just the tip of the iceberg.