A Recipe to Cooking Up The Perfect Kitchen: Achieving Ergonomics & Style in 5 Simple Steps kitchen renovation melbourne

1.Function is key

There is no perfect kitchen shape. However, a kitchen must always be practical and ergonomic. Design a layout based on practicality – make sure your fridge is accessible and that your dishwasher doesn’t block any paths. Ample bench space is also a must. If you’re dealing with an old kitchen, consult the kitchen renovation experts in Melbourne who can help you re-design a stylish and convenient space.

Beautiful Fitted Kitchen In Modern House

2.Utilise natural light

Natural light is your friend! Unlike other areas of the house, overhead lighting alone is insufficient in kitchens. You need more than backlight, as you don’t want to cast a shadow over your workspace. Plan to have big windows and an open floor plan to make the most of natural light. If natural light is scarce, under-cabinet kitchen lights are a handy way to position light to fall in front of you.

3.Safety first

If you have a family or young children, safety is especially important to consider when designing your dream kitchen. Consider safe design elements such as rounded bench tops, ovens located at adult-height and slip-resistant flooring. It may also be worth considering positioning the kitchen with a good visibility of back yards and play areas.

4.Ensure there’s enough storage space

Having enough storage space is pivotal to a functional kitchen design. Design your kitchen so white goods such as microwaves, toasters and hot water jugs have a home, and make sure there is plenty of bench space for prepping meals. Put drawers wherever possible – they can store up to 30% more items than shelves. Pull-out pantries, hidden drawers and pull-out corner solutions are a crafty way to make the absolute most of the space available to you.

5.Push the style boundaries of your kitchen needs

Get creative and have fun with your kitchen design! Think about what you like preparing most – is it stovetop, oven or fresh meals? Cater your kitchen design to your needs, but allow for experimentation. Don’t forget there is a plethora of designs when making your kitchen your own; try some new designs with flooring, ceiling, splashback and lighting.

The kitchen is a meeting point for the whole household. It’s where you go to refuel, relax and converse. It’s your destination first thing in the morning and the last place before bed at night. Take heed of these 5 helpful tips to ensure you design the best kitchen for your family.

How to Decrease Water Usage in Your Home


When you want to cut the amount of water that you are using in your home each day, there are some simple steps that you can take to make sure your home is water efficient. From buying new showerheads to stopping annoying drips, you can use practical ways to decrease your water consumption. Review some of the ideas below to see which ones you can use in your home to make your water bill more affordable.

Showers and Baths

One of the most economical ways to decrease water usage in your home is to invest in a shower/bath combination. This provides you with the ability to take either a shower or bath depending on your preference. The Carron Axis Bath collection offers a bathtub made from quality materials that holds the heat in your water longer so that you can enjoy your hot bath without having to add more water. After you have finished bathing you can use the water from your tub to water the house plants or flowers in your garden. Think about investing in a showerhead that will conserve water and look for a shower that has a timer feature that you can use to control the amount of time that you spend in the shower.

Fix Dripping Taps

A tap that is always dripping can waste up to 5,500 litres of water in your home. If you fix these taps immediately, imagine the amount of money that you can save. Washers are generally inexpensive to fix when they cause dripping taps, but the water waste in this part of your home can add up to £18 yearly. You can always invest in water efficient taps or tap aerators which tend to be simple and cheap fixes that you can handle.



Brush Your Teeth without Running Water

Did you know that as you brush your teeth with the tap running you are wasting about 6 litres of water each minute? Remember to turn off your tap whilst you’re brushing your teeth. This could amount to quite a savings if everyone in the UK did this simple thing each day.

Washers and Dishwashers

Doing a full load of dishes or clothes can save you a great deal of water each time you use them. Instead of doing half a load of clothes, wait until you have enough laundry to fill up the machine. You should also look at your owner’s manual for cycles that help to save water usage. Get familiar with the cycles on your dishwasher and remember to wash only a full load of dishes when you run it. To save even more water, avoid using the Pre-Rinse cycle since your model is probably very efficient at cleaning dirty dishes.

Pipes and Leaks

Frequently check the pipes under your sinks and around your home for leaks that can cause water waste. Repair them immediately or, if you aren’t proficient at doing this type of work, hire a trusted plumber to do the work for you. Know where the main valve for your home is so that in an emergency you can cut it off immediately.


Image courtesy of John Kasawa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7 ingenious ways to upcycle your old gutters

source: http://thewhoot.com.au/

If you have just renovated your home and have a surplus of guttering, you might be reluctant to throw away all of that perfectly workable metal – given that it’s just going to be scrapped. It would be far better if you would be able to up-cycle the metal and get something new for your garden or home out of the leftovers, right? After all, your gutters have been made to hold water and be durable, so you’re definitely going to be able to do a whole host of things with these metal pieces. Take a look at these beautiful gutter crafts to give your old gutters a new lease on life.


Grow a gutter garden

A great thing to do if you’re short on space is to make a garden out of your old guttering. Not only are these long, thin metal beds going to be easy to install, but they’re deep enough to house herbs as well as things like lettuce and even strawberries. Begin by drilling some holes into the base of your gutters, and then either affix them to the side of your desk with some screws, or pop them on the outside of your window ledge if you’re in an apartment by adding some brackets. You can also use your gutters for a great place to start your seedlings off, because you can slide the seedlings – earth and all – out of one end of the gutter and straight into the ground.


Make old guttering into a storage container for the workshed

Guttering is a great way to store screws, drill bits, nuts and bolts, and because you can cut the pieces of gutter to size, or section them off, it means that you can customise the guttering to suit your needs. Look into a way to section off the gutter with a piece of cardboard or flexible plastic, and then simply affix the gutters to a wall in the work shed or bench and enjoy having everything at your fingertips.


Make a fantastic toy for kids

Make sure you have no sharp edges on the guttering before you give to kids to play with, but you can turn an old length of gutter into a great toy for kids – either a water luge or a marble run – and watch them enjoy sliding objects down the gutter. If you’re more handy with the tools, perhaps you could construct a luge with twists and turns!


Make a rustic jewellery holder

A nice piece of old guttering could double as a great holder for jewellery if you polish it up a little bit. Metal gutters are great for this as they lend a slightly aged look to your dressing table aesthetic. You simply need to cut the length of the guttering that you like, and either add in some mesh at the end to keep everything contained, or use fabric or wood cut to size.


Wall shelves

Many types of guttering are beautiful and ornate, and with a coat of paint in your chosen colour, guttering can be updated to make some sturdy and unique wall shelves.


An interesting light installation

Gutters can be used to house fluorescent bulbs or other kinds of lights, and the effect of the light spilling out the top of the gutter would be lovely when up against a wall or hanging from the ceiling. You could also use guttering as a way to hold tea light candles or citronella candles in the garden and enjoy the safety of knowing that the flame would be safe in the metal housing.


A shoe rack

Gutters are great for storing shoes once they have lived their life catching water on your roof – so upcycle them for a great space saving shoe rack. Simply bolt three or four lengths to a frame or directly to the wall, and then you can slot shoes in, toe or heel side down, to keep your entryway clear of clutter.


Remember to keep your gutters clean and in great condition, and when it’s time to update them be sure to consider some of these upcycled methods to give your gutters a new lease on life.






Top 5 ways to optimise your warehouse management system

Improving the operational efficiency of your warehouse can lead to big savings and even bigger profits. As your warehouse grows, it can be challenging to continually optimise your supply chain process so that you maintain and grow your warehouse’s profit margins. As a warehouse manager, you need to be proactive with managing processes that will enhance your warehouse management processes. Below are a few ways to successfully implement processes that will improve your warehouse’s operational efficiency.

Control the labour costs.

One of the most expensive areas in your warehouse management is the cost of labour. Depending on the market you are in, you may be facing increases in the minimum wage for your warehouse, which will impact the productivity cost. You want to implement systems that will maintain or reduce the productivity cost for your warehouse. One of the ways to achieve this is through incentive pay schemes for your employees. For example, among your picking and packing staff, you can engineer more productivity by measuring their performance level and paying a bonus for an exceptional target. Woolworths would offer this type of incentive in some of their warehouses where employees that performed at 140% of the warehouse’s productivity average would earn an extra $200 per week. Additionally, managing the work roster among your staff to ensure that you didn’t’ have too many people that were rostered on to work so that your labour costs sends your balance sheet into arrears.


Invest in equipment that will make working processes more efficient.

The more efficient your labour staff becomes with delivering the warehouse’s needs, the more profit the warehouse should earn over the long term. Investing in machinery such as new forklifts, pallet trucks and pallet wrapping machines are great ways to optimise the working efficiency in your warehouse.

Seek to improve tracking and measurement within your warehouse.

The better your warehouse tracks, measures and manages your warehouse’s supply chain, labour management and overall warehouse management, the better the warehouse will become with improving its operational efficiency. There are critical metrics that must be monitored and managed if the warehouse is to have a chance at achieving KPIs and becoming more efficient. Seek ways to get feedback from employees and suppliers and keep a lookout for any systems that can improve how your warehouse monitors intrinsic processes that affects profitability.

Empower frontline managers that will execute your strategy.

It is vital that the strategy that you put into play is filtered into your warehouse team that will execute it successfully. This means empowering your warehouse’s frontline managers to oversee and manage processes on the floor, order fulfilment, worker morale and costs. These managers can successfully execute your tactics and provide you with valuable feedback to further improve your warehouse strategy to allow you to hit your goals.


Investing in SAAS vs Licensed warehouse management systems.

Warehouse software is expensive. Ideally, each warehouse would like to develop a software that is customised to their warehouse’s needs. The cost of doing so may reach hundreds of thousands. It is likely that the ongoing management cost with developers to fix bugs and to make further amends to the software will add tens of thousands in unforeseen costs. The other downside is the software will need to be updated every few years, so there will be a recurring cost. Investing in a SAAS provider can greatly reduce the costs, however it will be an off-the-shelf solution meaning that there may be minimal customisations depending on what the provider can offer. The benefit is ongoing update costs will be managed by the service provider and it can save your business thousands of dollars over the long-term.


Effective warehouse management is critical to maintaining profits. Seek to stay on the front foot with managing staff, labour and processes to maintain good operational efficiency and warehouse profits.


Attention home buyers: Four key factors to consider when buying a home


The great Australian dream for many people is to one day have their names on the ownership papers of a home. Many people will save for years and work hard to ensure that they will one day be the proud owners of a slice of real estate pie in the suburbs. It’s an admirable dream and one that many people work towards, but what do you do to ensure that the home you end up buying is a great one, and that your money is going to the right place? It helps to have a checklist of things in place that you should do with every potential property that you inspect. That way you know that you’ll understand what could potentially go wrong with the property (perhaps giving you some valuable negotiating space) or you’ll understand what potential value the property has for growth. Let’s take a look at the top four factors to consider when you’re buying a new home.


What is your budget?

This is a handy one to know straight off the bat, and in addition to understanding how much you’re able to spend, it also makes sense to know how much wiggle room you have with rising to meet a certain price point. Knowing your budget is a great place to start with buying a house, and having the banks already engaged with negotiations will help you to get the ball rolling faster. Make sure you have a good relationship with your mortgage broker or your lender, as this will make everything that little bit easier, as well.


What location are you interested in?

When you’re buying a home there are a number of factors to consider that will impact on your choice. You need to figure out what area you’re going to be buying in, and to make this decision based on a few factors like access to public transport, airport access, highway access, proximity to schools and amenities, and other things like that. If you’re buying a home as an investment it need to be highly attractive to renters in order to get you a good return.


What condition is the home in?

A key part of any home purchase is getting a building and pest report done on your home in order to know the potential hidden dangers of your property. A friend of mine recently went to buy a unit and was ready to sign, but when the building and pest report came back there were a few issues, and it ended up costing the vendors the sale. She was just glad she’d dodged a bullet with the property! Check the roof, the ceiling and the property grounds for tree roots etc, because if your property will soon need a roof restoration it might end up costing more straight off the bat. Roof restoration in Melbourne is pretty common because of all the rain, and storm damage is common in Brisbane and Sydney, so make sure you know the potential pitfalls in every area.


What’s the area like?

Are there people roaming around aimlessly, or are there nice looking couples pushing babies in strollers with their dogs? The calibre of the area will depend a lot on the price that you pay for your property, so understand that if you’re not paying a lot for your property it may be a great deal, but you might be in an area that could be unsavoury or not what you expected! Once again if you’re buying for an investment property it pays to buy something that renters will be comfortable with.


I hope this information about buying a new home proves helpful for your purchasing process. Good luck!



The Benefits of Trade Show Exhibitions


Promoting your business and boosting your brand awareness is something that all businesses need to be doing as often as possible. An effective way to market a company is to visit trade shows and you can set up your own removable stand to promote your products and services. You can invest in exhibition stands that vary in size and shape, allowing you to do anything from create a display booth to build a pop up stand.


Trade shows are often targeted at one specific industry, so this means that everyone who attends is interested in that sector. This means that everyone who is at the show is a potential customer without you having to do any background research to source these possible clients, which is why trade shows are the perfect setting for improving your brand awareness.


Here are some of the reasons you should set up a stand at an event like this:


  • To promote a new product or service
  • To increase your customer base
  • To conduct market testing about what you are offering
  • To make connections with similar businesses


Creating a brand new database of customers at a trade show is easy, as you have a group of interested people all ready to listen to what your business is about at your fingertips.


Setting up a stand at an event like this is fairly simple and you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount of money to create an attractive stall. Your audience will likely be diverse as attendees will include potential customers from all walks of life, with some being experts in your specialist industry and others wanting to learn more about it.


Choosing the right stand to suit your purpose is important and here are some of the different types of stands that you can invest in:


  • Pop-up
  • Modular
  • Display
  • Linear
  • Specialist graphics
  • Fabric


These stands are portable, so once you invest in them you are able to take it with you to a number of different trade shows to promote your business all over the country. Whether you want to use images or graphics on your stand is up to you and often the simplest designs work the best, as they have an unfussy look that helps you to make your message clearly and in a professional manner.


Check out the following for some ideas about what you need to take into consideration when choosing a stand:


  • How sturdy it is
  • The quality
  • How heavy it will be to transport
  • How easy it is to erect
  • The size


You will need to ensure that you invest in a stand that is large enough for all of your staff to do their presentations without being so big that it feels unwelcoming. It is also worth noting that you can modify your stand depending on how much space you have to work with at different events, as you might find you have a large space to fill at one show but a far smaller area to use the next week at a different show.





Top Home Design Trends for 2016

Many home buyers today are looking for the perfect overall home for them. A home with a design, lay out, and finish out that is exactly the way they want, and many of these buyers are turning to custom home builders to help make all their wants and wishes come true.

Of course, new home construction also has its own complications. The sheer number of choices available can be daunting, so it’s wise to plan out some of your ideas ahead of time. If you’re brainstorming elements of your new home – whether to actually build a new home or just to dream – this list of top 2016 new home design trends will give you plenty of ideas to get the wheels turning.


Open Floor Plan

The open concept design is still going full steam as the most preferred layout of new home buyers. Home builders predict this trend will continue through 2016, with more and more people opting for an open floor plan that works well for both families and singles who like to entertain. With the most current open floor plan designs, home builders have noticed a decline in the number of home buyers wanting a grand entrance or foyer. Instead of separate entryway spaces, front doors are opening directly into the home, where the open concept can immediately welcome visitors.


Large White Kitchens


A key area of the open concept layout is the kitchen, and home builders are also seeing a trend toward larger kitchens. This makes sense, as home owners are eager to entertain in the ‘heart of the home’ where prepping, cooking, mingling and dining all merge together. In these larger kitchens, there is a trend towards having double islands that provide ample space for all kitchen activities. In terms of colors, the most popular trend right now is white-on-white which reflects to the extensive use of white in today’s kitchens, from walls and backsplashes to countertops and cabinets.


Large Walk-In Showers

In terms of bathroom trends, some traditional home builders are asking themselves where all the bathtubs have gone? The top choice for bathroom amenities is the large walk-in shower, often elegantly prepared with floor to ceiling tiles. The large walk-in shower becomes a stunning focal point in today’s bathrooms. It is also functional and convenient for today’s busy lifestyle where many people are choosing a quick shower over a long soak in the tub.


Wine Rooms

Another option on the top of many new home buyers’ lists is a wine room. With your own wine room, you can bring the experience of your favorite bar or restaurant into your own home. Wine rooms come equipped with special technology to store and chill your favorite vintages, as well as a relaxing lounge space where friends and family members can gather over a glass of wine.


Inside-Outside Living

People want space to entertain their guests these days which is driving the trend for open floor plans and larger kitchens. Home builders are also now seeing this spill to the outside world, where new home buyers are maximizing their outdoor space by including unique outdoor entertaining features. Often the outdoor design choices are viewable from the inside with large windows and sliding glass doors that open to patios. Some of the most popular outdoor entertaining choices are fire pits and fireplaces as well as outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens.



Technology is also a focus in today’s new home construction with home builders seeing an increase in requests to make the home ready for smart technology. A home builder can prep the home by pre-installing cables and wiring for full-home WiFi. After the new home is set up, home owners are choosing technology they can control from their mobile devices, such as smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart surveillance systems, and more.


This list covers just some of the many modern decisions home builders are implementing in today’s new home construction. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or an experienced buyer with many past purchases under your belt already, we hope this list has inspired you with new ideas for designing your dream home in 2016!