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Pest Control

Bird Proofing: What Options Are Available?

There’s no denying that birds play a vital part in the game of life, as they can dispose of other pests as well as pollinate plants.

Bit this doesn’t mean that every bird should be welcomed into the home. Just as some are important to the preservation of an environment, the habits of some birds can mean that the home or office soon becomes a place of risk.

This is especially true with pigeons, as they have the potential to carry disease, as well as cause damage to the property which is attributed to the nesting habits of pigeons.

Although there are companies available that offer bird proofing in Edinburgh, there can be times when pest control will also be needed due to the pigeons that have already started to cause problems.

This ensures that the pigeons are dealt with in a humane way while having the peace-of-mind that the pigeon problem has bee dealt with in a professional manner.

Carrying Out Bird Proofing

Depending on the type of property, there are several ways of ensuring that the onset of pigeons and any other birds that have the potential to cause an issue, be it inside or outside the property.

Bird netting is an adaptable and versatile approach that ensures birds are kept away from the property and is often used to bridges, canopies and any signage.

As well as being effective, the use of bird netting is also non-detrimental to birds, as all, it does it deter birds from setting up a nest on your roof, guttering or within the property itself.

As well as being an excellent deterrent against pigeons, the use of bird netting can also there are lower maintenance costs due to not having to deal with bird waste.

Larus bird wire is like bird netting in its roles but is designed for those that may be having problems with seagulls nesting on their roof.

Just like bird netting the use of Larus bird wire is ideal for contending with aggressive gulls.

Another option available for those wishing to maintain bird control is the use of bird point systems.

Although this option can seem a little aggressive, it’s worth noting that the spikes are only designed to deter birds, not harm them.

Just as a human wouldn’t sit on an area that has spikes nearby, neither will a bird.

This ensures that birds search elsewhere when looing for potential nesting spot and ensures that you’re not infested with birds in the long-term.

If you’re looking to minimise the likelihood of a bird infestation, then its advisable to bird proof home or business sooner rather than later.

However, if you have found that birds have already begun to nest in and around the property, then you will need to speak to a professional pest control company to ensure that you can contend with both the current issues, as well as bird proofing the area afterwards.

renovation
Renovations

Things to Do Before Starting Your Home Renovation

Your home is your haven. It is a comfort zone where you can relax after a hectic day at work or an emotional and stressful event. Most of us spend almost half the day in our homes, making it the most important environment in our lives. So it is important that this environment is refreshing, comfortable and aesthetically appealing and energizing.

Lately, if you’ve been noticing deep cracks and crumbling along your walls or if your house is looking plain gloomy and in need of a pick-me-up, then some home renovation efforts are required. But before you jump into the wide and creative world of home renovations, there are some aspects that you need to finalize and research upon to find the best possible options.

Planning and Budgeting

Home renovation is an extremely personal endeavour. So it all depends on how you want the place to look and feel like. But that also depends on how much money you can or are willing to spend on this project.

Home renovations can turn into a pretty hefty expense if allowed to expand and not carefully planned and restricted to fit the budget constraints. So before starting on any physical efforts, chalk out a plan of what area you want to modify, how it needs to be changed and how much money you can spare for it.

Once you’ve done that, you can hire your preferred vendors and service providers for your needs.

Finding Vendors

Your renovation needs and wants to dictate the type of vendors you need. If you just want to change the palette and decor of the place, you would need to find painters and interior designers or search online and in the market for ideas and materials.

But if you need to tear down and rebuild parts of your house for any reason, then you would need the help of professional builders and construction workers. For example, if you live in an area like Manchester that sees heavy rainfalls, the foundations and walls of your house are very likely to experience seepage issues.

Be sure to ask for quotes and costs before hiring any vendor to ensure that you remain within your budget.

Alternate Space

storage space

Before you get any renovation work started in your home, be sure to designate a proper space to serve as the alternate. This alternative space can be used to store all the stuff housed in the to-be-renovated area, especially when construction work is involved.

If you do not have any such space in your house, try to get a storage unit nearby so that you don’t lose or ruin any of belongings and can get to them easily in case of an emergency.

Housing Trends

Housing Architect Trends in 2019

Architecture surrounds each of us everyday; however, many of us do not pay any attention to it. We do not consider the emerging trends and styles around us and we do not usually notice these factors until someone else talks about them.

Unlike trends in interior design, the architecture trends normally present a longer shelf-life because normally, building renovations are carried out every two or five years.

 A-Frames (Mid Century-Inspired)

The term A-frame houses is used because the roof is steep and triangular in shape and looks like the letter A. It was previously a design artifact from the sixties to seventies when houses were usually smaller compared to the current ones, particularly in the United States. Nowadays, it is valued because of its simple and inexpensive aesthetic.

Bold Color Combinations

Experienced Glasgow Architects Spacesix Design believe bold color combinations will become important in 2019. Many interior designers like bold color combinations. Bold color combinations are considered to rapidly add character to any area without much investment. Deeply hued furniture and jewel-toned walls are a trend that is going to proceed to 2019.

Even though fresh and airy areas will continue being a favorite option, especially in the tropics, bold color combinations and deeply hued walls enhances the personality of any space.

Eco-friendly Designs

This trend is one, which is certain to continue being important in the coming decades. Since global warming is likely to reshape and redesign our lives, it is more important to set up structures with the aim of creating less impact on the environment and designs that are more lasting.

Disaster-Proof Structures

Earthquakes, typhoons and hurricanes affect many people. They are forced to make disaster-proof spaces that are aesthetically pleasing. These will make the coming generations feel proud and happy about the footprints left by their predecessors.

Indoor-Outdoor Spaces

This architecture trend is a prevailing one, especially for homes and is making outdoor spaces become useful indoor extensions. Obscuring the lines between outdoor and indoor spaces means you have more entertainment space.  It is not restricted to patios that are adorned as another living room. Some large partitioned gardens are extended into a kitchen area and second dining space. To easily blend the outdoors with the indoors, glass doors are among the simpler and more famous options you can use.

Multi-purpose Spaces

Ignore home and commercial areas that just serve a single purpose. Our lives become increasingly busy and fast-paced and the demands for our working and living spaces should also change and keep up.  It is among the trends hat is not likely to go away in the near future.

Pay attention to the kitchen

The kitchen presents a vital space in the home. This area is not just an area where we cook and eat most of our meals. It is also a very important space for entertaining visitors. If you consider entertainment when designing your kitchen, any social meeting you hold is going to be a great success.

Unwinding Area

All of us require a room to relax and unwind, particularly in today’s world, which is hectic. Before, we used to reserve an area in our houses to study or turned one room into an office. We also used to keep aside an area for relaxation and peace. Today the trends are starting to change. Now the preference is to design houses with these types of areas from the start.

Multi-Use Space

This trend has been growing and developing in the home design world for some time. Today, architects are considering it more and more. Versatile spaces can be used for some potential purposes and can be used according to what is required.

Outdoors Indoors

This trend describes an addition of the multi-use trend mentioned earlier. Indoor-outdoor spaces are areas inside a house that include outdoor factors, mainly plants. These areas also usually feature big windows or are mostly created using glass to let in maximum light.

Sustainability

We exist in a period where we are more conscious of the environment, unlike before. In the world today, nearly every industry is working towards sustainability. Pressure is mounting on architects to create designs that facilitate the maximum share of sustainable building materials possible.

Features to be considered in 2019 architectural trends

Glass for big windows

A nice glass view will not just offer you a sense of more amplitude; but glass is a material to use in this year as well as in 2019.

Open and Integrated areas

Another construction trend worth mentioning is that the materials are fitted in a manner so that the outcome is a house that is open and integrated, to enable the family to communicate easily at home. It is a great idea to fix lightweight materials and partitions to separate spaces. At times, they might not be total, but instead, a half wall as a separator between the spaces. It can connect the home also.

Sustainable materials

Durable sunlight panels and wood are some of the factors that will be a major source of discussion because it offers a big advantage to the homes that respect the environment. They can be sustained for many more years.

Interior Wood

Another good concept that should be kept in mind in 2019 is to continue using wood as a material for building the interior as well as the exterior of the home. Wood provides a material that has been used for numerous centuries as a home material. This includes the 21st century.

Use wood for window frames and doors for internal elements like wooden panels situated at the front of the house.

Safer structures

It is important that the new structures recognize how important the environment is and be ready to withstand earthquakes and other destructive happenings.

New buildings should be resistant to age and be sustainable for the surrounding. Their structure should also be friendlier to their surrounding and therefore, be inhabitable for a lot more years to come.

Conclusion

The above architectural trends are the most prominent ones that will emerge next year. This field is unpredictable and has an important effect on the direction that the world of architecture takes. We anticipate that these trends are going to proceed to the following year, maybe even beyond. The trends will possibly remain a noticeable presence in the architecture world for the next few years.

 

 

 

Steel Buildings

Eleven Structures That Make Use of Steel

When we think of steel buildings, it’s easy to assume that they are limited to use in the industrial sector. Although the use of steel buildings can make for ideal factories or warehouses, steel has also been used to construct some of the most iconic buildings in the world.

www.steelbuildinguk.com has stated that the use of steel is becoming more and more popular, but there are still those who think they’re limited when it comes to utilising steel in the construction of their premises.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a structure made from steel or wish to use it to build a strong carcass, the use of steel is able to create some truly eye-catching buildings.

The following buildings are just an example of what kind of landmarks can be created via the use of steel.

  1. Walt Disney Concert Hall – Los Angeles

Any building with connotations to Walt Disney will always be recognised, but that’s not all the Walt Disney Concert Hall has going for it.

The Walt Disney concert hall outlines the possibilities available with steel, offering a strong but soft building that encompasses the character of the building.

  1. Investcorp Building – Oxford, UK

The Investcorp Building in Oxford highlights how steel buildings can fit in with more historic surroundings while still offering practicality.

The building itself is a swopping design that instil a stainless-steel façade that reflects the surrounding environment while offering space that is used for offices and class space.

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art – Cleveland, USA

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland showcases a simple design that still has a striking impact without looking too noisy in its setting. The surrounding city can be seen in the reflection of the mirror-finished black stainless steel that pays tribute to the surrounding city by casting its reflection.

  1. The Thames Barrier – London, UK

It’s amazing to think that something so practical could become a landmark when it comes to steel-based construction, but the Thames Barrier is a structure that continues to impress from a design aspect, while still being able to carry out its duties.

The practicality of the Thames Barrier looks like a natural addition to the Thames because of the reflective nature and fin-like designs of the barrier.

  1. Dear Jingumae Building – Tokyo

The Dear Jingumae Building was looking for a style that helped elevate its presence a structure a new frontage the set the building apart from its neighbours. The result is a ribbon design that showcases just how diverse steel can be when creating structures.

The ribbon design was inspired by soft clothing and was created via computer software, so the three-dimensional structure could be formed before construction began.

This ensured that the misaligned radiuses would meet in the right way creating the soft expression the architect was looking for.

  1. Willis Tower – Chicago, USA

Chicago was given the nickname ‘The Windy City” due to its bitter and volatile winds, so it stands to reason that aby building looking to withstand the brutal winds will need have strong foundations in place.

The Wills Tower was previously known as the Sears Tower and showcases just how alluring the use of metal when used in remarkable structures.

The distinct structures use steel to bound the segments together, which help support the structure.

  1. Burj Khalifa – Dubai

Standing at an astonishing 828 metres, the famous Burk Khalifa is recognised as the world’s tallest structure that is manmade.

The impressive structure is home to 163 floors, as well as well as water fountain measuring in at 275 meters that shoots water 150 meters into the air.

The total amount of steel used to construct the iconic Burj Khalifia weighs in at 31,400 metric tonnes.

  1. Empire State Building – New York

When it comes to iconic building, the Empire State Building needs very little introduction. Built back in 1931, the iconic New York building was constructed using a steel frame that weighs 57,000 tonnes.

What’s probably more impressive about the Empire State Building is that it only took a mere 13 months to complete.

  1. Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts – Kansas City, USA

The Kauffman Centre for the Performing Arts in Missouri is renowned for its alluring aesthetics. Although the sides of the ribcage design are made of concrete, it’s the steel finish that really offsets the aesthetics.

  1. Gateway Arch – St Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arches towers over 192 metres, and really showcase just how diverse steel can be.

Constructed in 1965, the Gateway Arch has maintained its charm and personality over the years, offering the same alluring qualities today as it did when it was first constructed all those years ago.

  1. The Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

Another landmark that is recognised globally, the Eiffel Tower was once the tallest building in the world. Although recently surpassed in size by other buildings, the Eiffel Tower remains to be just as impressive as it was when it was first built back in 1889 for the World’s Fair.

The name of the two is attributed to the engineer and architect who created the tower, Gustave Eiffel, who was also involved in building of a canal in Panama which was so disastrous, Eiffel’s reputations was badly damaged.

Fortunately, this towering landmark remains an accolade to just how good an architect Gustave Eiffel actually was.

Although you may not be looking to create projects that require this much steel, the above structures do showcase how alluring steel can be, and how prevalent it’s been in creating some of the most iconic landmarks the world has seen.

 

Pest Control

Dealing with Pests in The Home

There is a lot that we can do to deter pests, but despite out best efforts, rodents and bugs still find a way into the property and can go on to cause damage around the home, not to mention the illnesses they can cause.

Although this is the worst-case scenario, it does highlight how important it is to deals with pests around the home, as well as deterrents that will stop the return of unwanted guests.

www.eliminatesolutions.co.uk state the worst problems are normally because many assume the problem has been dealt with, only to find that there are bigger problems hidden away elsewhere in the property.

How Guests Find Their Way into the Home

Depending on the type of infestation you have, there can be several ways of pests and vermin finding entry into the home. Sometimes it could be via an open door or window, in other instances it could be via a hole in the brickwork or floorboards.

The outside environment can also lure pests in, especially if there is a lot of waste about.

The fact of the matter is that there can be hundreds of reasons as to how pesky rodents and cockroaches find their way into the home. Although there are times where you’re able to contend with the problems yourself, other occurrences will need the professional touch.

Lowering the Potential for Pests

Although there isn’t a solution that will guarantee pests never appear, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure the likelihood is minimised.

  • Ensure All Outside Waste Is Removed
  • Repair any Defects That Could Act as an Entry Point
  • Ensure a Cleaning Routine is in Place
  • Deep Clean Areas That May Have Been Missed
  • Call an Expert for Problematic Infestations

If you come across a repair that you’re not able to carry out or find that there is a problem with waste collection, then it may be worth speaking to a professional, so you can ensure that the right process is in place. A repair may incur a cost, but it can be much less than the cost of repairing damage caused by rodents around the home.

Can I Deal with Pests Myself?

Not all pests and rodents are present because of poor hygiene of defects in the property but can just occasionally turn up. If there is no infestation, then there are various products available that can deal with sporadic pests.

However, if you find that despite your best efforts, pests keep on returning, then it could be time to consider the services of a professional.

For example, dealing with the odd wasp here and there is straightforward enough, but if you find that there is a wasp’s nest present in the garden, then tampering with it could mean the problem is worsened.

The same applies to nests and gatherings that are out of reach. Trying to deal with it alone could encourage the pests to find new locations around the home to settle. A professional pest control company will know what method to use without antagonising the pests further.

Why You Shouldn’t Deal with Infestations Yourself

As well as antagonising the pests further, there could be several other ramifications if you try and deal with an infestation yourself.

Health Risks to the Family: When dealing with infestations, there will be times when specialist chemicals need to be used. A professional will be trained in these procedures, whereas the general public aren’t. This could mean pesticides are applied in the wrong way, meaning the pests aren’t dealt with properly, and could potentially cause illness.

Danger of Injury: It may seem a bit farfetched to assume that someone could sustain an injury from dealing with infestations, but you’d be surprised at how dangerous it can be dealing with infestations at certain heights.

Regardless of whether it’s a wasp’s nest in the garden, or an infestation in the loft, it’s important that you hand over the task to a seasoned professional.

Can Be More Expensive: Many will assume that the cost of pest control is expensive and feel that dealing with the problem themselves is more cost-effective. While this is understandable, nothing could be further from the truth.

The cost of a pest control expert will depend on several different factors, but I most instance, you will find that the fee is more affordable than if you went about purchasing the products yourself, plus you’re getting the expertise of a professional.

Finding the Right Pest Control Company

Once you have established that you need the services of a professional, you will be keen to find a company that can deal with your infestation. In many instances it’s easy for us to be lured in with a cheap price, but it’s important to ensure that the service on offer is professional.

When dealing with infestations, each will require their own unique approach. A cheaper service could mean that the wrong method is used, meaning that further callouts will be required.

Using a professional pest control company in the first instance ensures that the problem is dealt with, meaning that the service is mort cost-effective overall.

It can be worthwhile reading reviews of the pest control company online. Should you want further clarification then you could even reach out the pest control company yourself.

It’s also important to ensure that the company you plan to use is insured and certified. None of us like to think of anything going wrong, but if it ever does its worthwhile having that additional peace-of-mind.

Renovations

Save Money When Renovating Your Home

When looking to make improvements around the home, it’s easy to assume that it will cost hundreds. Although there will always be an expense associated with improving the home, some outside-the-box thinking means we can improve the home while saving money.

The following is a snapshot of some of the methods available that not only add an injection of personality to a conventional home but can mean you end up with more in your pocket.

Plan Before You Start

There’s nothing more annoying than finding out that not planning a renovation has caused a bump in the road financially. Doing things in the right order ensures that you’re not having to backtrack, nor are you having to pay more for professionals to alter work.

Planning a renovation can be tedious but is essential for those looking to save money when carrying out a renovation. Having everything recorded not only gives you a checklist but could raise some red flags before it’s too late.

Start Saving Money Straight Away: Consider Wall Insulation

When we think of home makeovers, wall insulation is hardly the most glamorous aspect, but it’s something worth considering if you’re looking to make some substantial savings when making improvements to the home.

Those who are paying a lot for the energy may be doing so because heat is escaping. Wall insulation can change all this and can be seen as an investment as opposed to a cost because the money will be recouped in the savings you make in relation to gas, electric or any other fuel of your choosing. Find out more information on external wall insulation here – www.anywall.co.uk/external-wall-insulation/ 

Shop Around

When we’re keen to give a home a facelift, it’s easy to get carried away and choose the first piece of furniture or handyman we come across but taking some time out to research what’s available could mean that we’re not having to spend as much as we need on good or services.

Of course, you don’t want to set your sights too low, as you still want value, but you’d be surprised at how much you can save by asking for quotes and estimates in the first instance and then comparing them.

Old furniture and other staff at Jaffa flea market district in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel.

Old Furniture Can Be Given a New Lease of Live

If you’re looking to recreate the ambience of the home, then you may want to ensure the same ethos is applied to the furniture, but this can be costly right? Not necessarily, as those with some patience and creativity are able to transform an old piece of furniture into a new focal point of the room.

Even broken hinges and clasps can be replaced very cheaply with the aid of a DIY store. Sure, it’s not the fastest process, but it can be very therapeutic, not to mention cost-effective.

Bring the Outside Inside

Sometimes we can put all our efforts into revamping a property, only to find that it’s still missing something. Plants can work wonders in any decor and even have air-purifying properties.

The choice of plant is completely dependent on your tastes and decor, but even the most luxurious plants can be cheap to purchase and helps give your home some natural beauty.

Take the Inside Outside 

Just as bringing plants into the indoor area can help us feel better and give the home more character, there can be a lot to gain by extending our indoor space to fit in with the outdoors, so we can sit back and enjoy our garden.

Although a conservatory is normally the way to go to get the perfect balance between outside and inside, there are other alternatives that aren’t as expensive.

For example, a simple gazebo is ideal for the warmer months and can be taken down should it be taking up too much space during the colder months.

Consider Hidden Storage

Having a small property and lots of possessions is never the ideal mix, and soon the home can look a little cumbersome. However, rather than moving, you may find the solution you’re looking for in hidden storage.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a fold-away desk or cupboard space in the kitchen, there are plenty of renovations that can be made to ensure that your home looks more organised.

How Much Will Waste Collection Cost?

Some renovations are relatively small, and some can make use of a local refuse centre. However, those with large amounts of waste will need to look for something a little more robust to ensure waste is dealt with in the right way.

There are several ways of getting your waste collected, including the use of a skip. However, you will need to balance practicality with cost. For example, if you live on a busy street with only a few parking spaces, then the use of a skip could be problematic.

Knowing how you’re going to get your waste collected allows you to keep track of cost and ensures that huge piles of waste aren’t getting in the way during your renovation.

Recycle When Possible

The benefits of recycling old furniture have already been mentioned, but you’d be surprised at how many things can be recycled and used around the home. This includes transforming bottles into candlestick holders and CDs into retro clocks for the bedroom.

Recycling also allows proud homeowners to shine some limelight on their personality. Don’t worry if you’re short on ideas, as there is plenty of inspiration on sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Keeping an eye on costs and reducing spending when possible ensures that we’re able to renovate our home for very little while adopting a more organised mindset.

Rather than be restricted by money, those looking to give their home a new lease of life often can if they’re willing to free themselves from the shackles of convention and look at the bigger picture when it comes to their home.

Interior design

What Kitchen Design Trends are Making an Impact?

When looking to make a change to the home, the kitchen area can often be overlooked in favour of other parts of the home.

However, there can be times when some focus on the kitchen and the appliances in use can transform it from the conventional kitchen of yesteryear and turn it into a social hub that family and friends can enjoy.

An update of the kitchen can also help breathe life into an old property and give it some momentum in the housing market.

To be able to enjoy the benefits of a new kitchen, it’s important to consider some of the design trends currently doing the rounds.

Regardless of whether you’re looking to spruce up your current living conditions, or turn a profit on a house sale, a new kitchen layout could make all the difference.

Mix and Match Offers a Unique Approach to Kitchen Design

Although there’s nothing wrong with following the modern or traditional kitchen design, those with more unique tastes may want to bring something different to the table.

There’re no rules in place when what colours should be used, as long as they’re able to complement each other in the right way.

For example, many are enjoying the dark tones of charcoal when choosing cupboards and tiles but will opt for a lighter cream colour.

Mixing and matching allows you to draw inspiration from several different sources to create your own

Violet is Making a Surprising Impact

Those looking to add a hint of elegance or tranquillity to the kitchen may find what they’re looking for in the bold colour violet.

Although those looking for something a little calmer may need to consider something else, violet is becoming popular in kitchens nationwide.

Violet is a unique and alluring colour that isn’t experienced much in the natural world. As such, its presence is more alluring, and its roots inspire a feeling of positively and glamour.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

There was a time when clutter in the kitchen was to be expected, but given the advancements made in kitchen design, it should come as no surprise that when using the kitchen for social events, people don’t want all their cooking paraphernalia on show.

This isn’t to say that having items on show is an eyesore, as budding cooks like to have things to hand at a moment’s notice, but if you prefer a calmer and streamlined aesthetic, then it may be worth exploring the options available in relation to hidden storage.

Green and Blues are Making Their Presence Felt          

Green and blue are colours that are normally associated with the ocean, so it should come as no surprise that these calming and inspiring aqua shades are becoming popular when redesigning a kitchen.

Regardless of whether they’re being used as core colours or being mixed with others, many are enjoying the personality that the combination of these colours can offer.

Broken Plan Helps Separate a Kitchen

Kitchens come in a manner of shapes and sizes, and there will be instances when some want to section off areas of the kitchen, without having to construct something obtrusive such as a wall.

Instead, many are choosing the convenience and open-zoned appeal of a freestanding shelf unit or breakfast bar.

Not only does the broken plan approach mean there is no need to be erect walls where they’re not wanted, but it also allows for a more active social hub during social events and family gatherings.

Kitchen designers in West Lothian have claimed that the broken plan allows for a more personal approach to kitchen design, which has meant a sudden surge of customers looking for more unique ways to incorporate character and style in to the kitchen

High-Contrast Marble Is Making a Statement

The use of marble may be nothing new when it comes to kitchen design, but more and more people are enjoying what high-end contrast marble is able to offer the modern kitchen.

High-contrast marble can amplify the persona of the kitchen, while still being able to compliment the décor you will be using.

The shades available means that regardless of whether you’re aiming for something rustic, or a more modern design, high-contrast marble can make a bold statement that will be the talking point of your kitchen.

Patterns Are Making a Statement

Much like marble, patterns are nothing new it comes to kitchen trends, but the way they’re being used is fresh and innovative.

Rather than fade into the background, statements are making a bold impression by becoming bringing the beauty of the humble pattern to the forefront of the kitchen.

The use of patterns allows those looking to personalise their home and add their own stamp of identity.

As such, patterns are being found in all sections of the kitchen, be it in the intricate cabinet design, or a decorative tile design with a modern bold design that offers more elegance and personality than the cumbersome designs of yesteryear.

Gold and Copper Shine a Light on Kitchen Trends

When trying to create the perfect ambience, it’s not only the décor you have to consider but also what fixtures will be used in relation to lighting.

There’s no right or wrong approach to lighting, as the preferred level of light can be subjective. However, some find that the conventional options available for kitchen lighting don’t really fit in with the character of the kitchen.

Gold and copper are being used to make a statement with kitchen lighting, offering a more rustic and relaxed feel to the kitchen. The popularity of these tones means that the rest of the kitchen can also incorporate the alluring qualities of both copper and gold.

The trends currently doing the rounds not only offer some much-needed inspiration but also ensure that the result feels homely and inviting.

There can be several factors to consider before choosing a style that suits you, such as budget and the size of the kitchen, but knowing that there are several options available when looking to overhaul the kitchen means that it shouldn’t be too difficult to come with a design that suits your budget and your tastes.

Architecture

3 resources to help you decide on an Architecture education

Architecture is a profession for the elegant, scientific and artistic ones. It requires more attributes to be successful that most other professions. At the same time, it is one of the most rewarding professions. As an architect, you get the chance to build something that would likely outlive you and endure the test of time.

Learning architecture is a long process and hence requires absolute certainty from your side that it is what you want to do. If you want to be a professional architect designing skyscrapers, mansions or exotic buildings, you have to go through academic degrees, Masters and possible even Doctorates. Before exhausting all your resources, both financial and temporal, into formal education, you may want to assess if it is worth taking the effort.

To help you decide that, we want to let you know a few resources and tools that you can utilize to learn about basic architecture. Once you finish those resources, you would have a better idea of how much you want to take it forward.

Harvard’s architecture online course

ArchDaily

The Harvard Graduate School of Design has started an online course on basic architecture that gives you an idea of how to perceive and assess different kinds of architecture, at both a cultural and technical level. Harvard’s online course is in line with the recent trend of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) which has gathered momentum. It is free of cost.

UNSW online course

blog.leverageedu.com

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) offers an online course in Coursera that is focused on modern cities. The key focus of the course is to address the challenge of making the cities of the future livable, sustainable and environment-friendly despite growing worries of population explosion. It is free of cost.

International Career Institute (ICI)

YouTube

The ICI here in the United Kingdom provides a 6 month short-term course on interior design and decoration, for those of you who are keen on pursuing that field. While this is not free, it is reasonably priced at EUR 910. Furthermore, that amount can be paid in minute monthly installments. The course is designed in such a way as to adapt to the pace of each individual student.

These are our favorites from amongst the thousands of online resources available. We recommend you to check you EdX and Coursera, which are the primary websites for MOOCs. YouTube has also some great short clipped tutorials.

Interior design

Staircases and the ancient philosophies of Feng Shui and Vatsu Shastra

Weirdly shaped staircases fascinate a lot of us for some reason. I, for one, am a big fan of spiral stairs. I was probably the only one fascinated and enthusiastic climbing the massive spiraling staircase when a group of us visited the Fernandeschi’s dome in Florence, Italy.

Staircases come in different shapes and forms. You have you traditional straight staircase, the spiral, the u-shaped staircase, the quarter layout, and so on. When the design of a house is planned, they are normally secondary when it comes to placement. The complement the different internal areas of a house.

While architecture and careful planning is essential, there are some who follow other philosophies when it comes to this. We refer to Feng Shui, the popular Chinese philosophy that focusses distribution of positive energy as a result of placement of different items around us, and Vastu Shastra, the Indian astrological and architectural science dating back centuries.

While we at Design of homes don’t confer to any such philosophy or way of thinking, we are interested to find out the drivers behind decisions people take when it comes to their households. So we decided to look into what these two schools of thought mention about the placement of staircases.

Feng Shui

With Feng Shui, it is all about the energy you perceive from an object. Naturally, “positive” objects such as the living room or kitchen have positive feng shui, whereas “negative” objects such as the toilet transmit negative feng shui. The staircase is somewhere close to the toilet, although not as worse.

As a result, its placement is not recommended in central places or more frequented areas. These would include, say the center of the home or adjoined to the front door or main entrance. Certain directions such as east and southwest is also discouraged, as these directions symbolize health and love respectively. So we guess any other areas of the house work.

Vastu Shastra

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Interestingly enough, staircases are considered divine in Vastu Shastra. They symbolize movement from a lower level to a higher level. There are directional constraints as well, for example the stairs should always start from north to south or from east to west.

There are a lot more rules involved in this philosophy, and to the outside mind it comes across as superstitious. Nevertheless, it is fervently followed by many people in the Hindu and Buddhist cultures.

These philosophies may seem trivial to you, but take into account that many homebuyers and/or tenants have certain belief systems that they constantly adhere to. Knowing these schools of thought is always beneficial.

Cleaning

Why Office Cleaning is Important and How to Find the Right Company

When it comes to employing the services of a professional, we want to ensure that we’re making the right choice. Although it would be easy to assume that any cleaning company is able to contend with all forms of commercial cleaning, there are some factors that need to be considered beforehand.

Like any other professional service, commercial cleaning is a cost to the business, and if it’s not being carried out in the right way, then we may find that the company ends up spending more than it needs to when hiring the services of a professional cleaning company.

Fortunately, there are ways of ensuring that the right choice is being made when looking for a commercial office cleaning company in Stirling.

Why Is Hygiene in an Office Environment Important?

It would be easy to assume that commercial cleaning within an office environment isn’t important when compared to other businesses, such as a dentists or doctor’s surgery, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Regardless of how large the office is, there is always the potential of bacteria and viruses being present, even within the keyboards that people use on a daily basis. Although there is no way of stopping these bacteria from occurring, there is a way of ensuring that it doesn’t go on to impact those who are working in the office, and this is via the use of professional office cleaning.

While the concept of cleaning may seem straightforward to some, only a professional cleaning company will know how to clean an office thoroughly, thus lowering potential illnesses.

Not only does this ensure the right manpower is in place, but also helps promote more productivity, simply due to the environment being cleaner.

Woman working, professional maid cleaning and washing floor with machinery in industrial building

Choosing the Right Cleaning Company

Although the majority of cleaning companies will be reputable, there will be those that aren’t up to the task in hand. A few simple checks will ensure that the cleaning company you plan to use is not only professional, but also reliable.

Check Online Reviews

Any company that can offer a reliable and professional cleaning service will be keen to promote their achievements, but this isn’t to say that every company is able to live up to its claims. As such, a business should take a few minutes to peruse the online reviews so that they can ensure that it’s hiring the right company for office cleaning.

There are several platforms that you can check, such as Facebook and Google Business. However, if you’re not able to find any reviews that relate to the cleaning company you wish to use, you should contact the cleaning company direct. Those with positive reviews will be happy to share past customer experiences and testimonials.

Ensure the Company is Insured

When it comes to professional cleaning, it’s easy to assume that insurance isn’t necessary due to the nature of the business. However, there will be times when accidents or injuries can occur, and if there’s no insurances in place, then it will be difficult to rectify the issue.

Public liability insurance is a must for any cleaning company, regardless of whether the business employs one person or several. If the company you plan to use doesn’t have this insurance in place, then it may be worthwhile looking elsewhere for a cleaning company.

What Hours Does the Company Operate?

Some businesses may operate to set hours, whereas others may be a 24-hour operation. As such, there can be times when cleaners will have to access the business at different hours.

When looking for a commercial cleaning company, it’s important to ensure that its able to provide you with a service that doesn’t interfere with your business.

If you’re unsure of what hours the proposed cleaning company offers, it’s advisable to contact the company to check that its able to meet your requirements in relation to working hours.

Is There Quality Control in Place?

The reason why many businesses choose a cleaning company is because its experience in cleaning offices. This means that the cleaning is carried out promptly, while ensuring the work being carried out is through.

If you choose a company that isn’t as thorough as it should be, you could find that you’re handing money over for no reason.

A professional company will understand the importance of work being carried out properly and will ensure this is achieved by having a quality control protocol in place.

Even the most professional of cleaners can forget a task, but a company that instils quality control means that the likelihood of this happening is rare.

What Equipment and Products Will the Company Use?

It’s easy to assume that every cleaning company takes the same approach to commercial cleaning, but some may be limited in the service they offer.

There will be times when a preferred cleaning method is used, especially businesses that are keen to adopt a eco-friendly culture.

Of course, in some instance there can be limitations, but ensuring you’re using a company that has several years’ experience in commercial cleaning ensures the company is able to adopt the right approach in every instance.

Don’t Focus on the Price Alone

When looking for a commercial cleaning company, it stands to reason that a business wants to find a great deal, but this doesn’t mean it should use an inferior company in a bid to save money.

Although a cheap price can be alluring, in many instances you may be receiving a lacklustre service or find that inferior cleaning products are being used. This may not always be the case, but its something that should be investigated before employing the services of a commercial cleaning company.

The majority of commercial cleaning companies will strive to deliver a professional service, but this doesn’t mean you should let your guard down when making a decision. Taking some time to consider a couple of factors could make all the difference as to how professional the cleaning company you use is. i