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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/

7 ingenious ways to upcycle your old gutters


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.






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.





6 New Year’s resolutions for your humble abode


You can make a new year’s resolution that will make a difference to your home and quality of life. You can still commit to creating a humble abode that is comfortable, but will also allow you to ‘play your part’ with reducing the carbon footprint. They say that your home is where your heart is. You can choose to put your heart into eco-friendly initiatives in your home.


miracle of engineering

You can choose to make your home more eco-friendly when it comes to power consumption by using solar panels. You can install them to charge batteries that will power up different energy dependant appliances in your home.


outdoor heater

You can opt for more eco friendly indoor and  outdoor heaters for your home. You want to invest in a heater that keeps the people and your area warm, while being safe and energy efficient. Alternatively, you could combine cosiness with heating initiatives by investing in a fireplace for your home.

Another clever option is to let more sunlight into your home. Investing in blinds or window installations such as double or triple glazed windows will keep the warmth inside your home for longer.

Grow food

Growing vegetables

Farming your own food produce is a great way to reduce your household costs. While the success of your produce growing depends on the area size and location, you may be able to grow certain fruits, vegetables and herbs at your home. Some simple items that you can grow include:


  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Bok choi
  • Green onions
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Fresh mint
  • Wheat grass
  • Chilli peppers
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Oregano


When your produce consistently grows, you will find that you won’t need to shop for your fruits and vegetables which are often more expensive at supermarkets. Any extra produce can also be sold or given away to others in your community.

You can choose to develop your garden plots on your property or rent one annually from a local provider for a few hundred dollars per year.

Capture rainwater

rainwater to be reused

Australians tend to use a lot of water on their properties. This leads to higher rates from their local water authority. Systems such as toilet cisterns and washing machines do have developments that limit the amount of rainwater being used. However, issues still present itself with the total amount of water being used. One of the ways to overcome this is by capturing rainwater from your home’s rooftop into a bucket or container. The water can be used for your home gardens irrigation system, flushing your toilet and washing your car. The use of rainwater can also reduce your main water dependency by 70%.

Take initiative to recycle.

Woman with fertilizer granules in bag

There are several items that you can recycle in your home. From clothes that can be passed along to family and friends to fruit and vegetable waste that can be used as compost. Even when you are cooking, bits and pieces from fruits and vegetables that are unused can be used to make other food and drinking items.



You may want to consider enhancing areas of your accommodation to make it more comfortable. For example, you may want to extend an undercover patio to create more shade and an appealing social area. Alternatively, you may change the interior design of your home to make it more ergonomically friendly. You could even seek building permission to add an extra room, granny flat or cabin at the back of your house to give you some extra space.

There are several ideas that you can take advantage of in 2016 when it comes to enhancing your home. Home is where the heart is. Have your heart set on developing a more eco-friendly home.

Thinking about Installing a Quartz Worktop? Here’s What You Need to Know

Everyone has heard of quartz as a material at one point or another. Quartz has long been used as a valuable addition to jewellery and timepieces, but worktops made from quartz are fast becoming a useful addition to the kitchen or bathroom as well.


If you are thinking of installing a quartz worktop in your home, what should you know about this exceptional material? First and foremost, quartz is also referred to as engineered stone, as it is different from natural stone, although its material (mainly quartz) is still considered natural. What makes quartz worktops different from natural stone worktops is that instead of being cut in a quarry, a quartz worktop is fabricated and made from a combination of quartz crystals (around 93 percent) and 7 percent resins and binders, as well as colouring.


The characteristics of quartz worktops: their advantages and disadvantages


Durability, toughness, and attractiveness all in one package


One of the reasons why quartz worktops are more popular nowadays is the fact that they are durable, tough and attractive. And since they are not natural stone per se and are actually engineered stone, they do not have some weaknesses associated with natural stone. For instance, natural stone is porous, so it can easily absorb dirt and bacteria and needs to be sealed. Quartz worktops, however, are non-porous, and therefore do not need to be sealed. In addition, quartz worktops come in a wider range of colours and patterns than natural stone worktops, and they are more affordable as well. If you purchase a quartz worktop, you can be quite sure that its warranty will last for ten to fifteen years, even more.


Better handling of wear and tear and easier maintenance


The toughness of quartz is a real advantage, especially if you are worried about cracks and chips (this is especially worrisome if you have small children or elderly loved ones in your home). A quartz worktop is less likely to suffer from chips or cracks compared to a natural stone worktop, and it does not require as much maintenance, either. A quartz worktop is much easier to keep clean, and because of its non-porous surface, it is less likely to accumulate bacteria, mould, and dirt.


Furthermore, quartz worktops are less likely to stain as well. Natural stone worktops, if not sealed properly, can be susceptible to stains from wine, oil, and citrus or fruit juices. Quartz worktops, on the other hand, do not easily absorb stains and can stand up to spills and other normal wear and tear quite well.


When it comes to disadvantages, quartz worktops have few. One of these is that since they are made from engineered stone and are fabricated, you cannot expect them to have the same level of natural beauty as natural stone worktops. You may also have seams which are visible with a quartz worktop, but the same is true for a natural stone worktop like granite as well. What’s important is to get a good and professional installer to install your quartz worktop for you so they know exactly what they are doing and can maximise the value of your quartz worktop.


For those who live in London and are looking for reliable, competent, and highly-professional suppliers of quartz worktops in London, look no further than J.R. Stone, which has been a leader in natural and engineered stone worktops for many years.


Image attributed to Gualberto107/


The long overdue bedroom overhaul: Creating a luxurious retreat



With the majority of us having a busy lifestyle, it is ever more important to be able to come home and relax, and your bedroom is the place where that is the most significant. It is the place when you retire from active life and indulge in your own thoughts, and set yourself up for the day ahead. Therefore creating a bedroom that can be your sanctuary is a must for any busy critter.


To allow yourself to run the day, and not let the day run you, it is vital to buy a mattress that will give you the comfort and luxury your mind and body deserves. With sleep allowing your body to rejuvenate and your mind to process the thoughts of the day, it is the one thing you can do to maintain a balanced lifestyle, and allow you to be healthy and happy.


Another key component to creating a bedroom retreat is choosing the right colour to decorate your room. I personally find that neutral tones are a great basis for creating a relaxing space. By using calm warm tones, you have the flexibility to pull out integral colours to develop the overall look and feel of your room. These colours can be in artwork or bedcovers as these will create a personalised style to your special space.


Mood lighting also helps me to relax at home after a long day. Scented candles really help with unwinding after a busy day of hustling. Therefore, purchasing a lamp with subtle lighting and burning a fragrant candle whilst you soothe your weary body, really helps you to breathe and soften your hard exterior. Plus, having too bright a light in the evening stops your body from realising that it is time to sleep. A good book paired with these lighting tips can be a great way to chill out.


Soft furnishings are also a nice addition to any room, although I’m a huge fan of the industrial and minimalist look, I think it only truly works when you have some homely textured furnishings to allow you to snuggle up in your pjs, and prepare for tomorrow. Crocheted pillow cases or throws add colour and also warmth to any bedroom, plus a nice heart warming rug placed where your tiny cold toes would normally hit the floor is a great addition to allow you to get out of bed on those frosty mornings come winter.


One thing I couldn’t be without is a good doona and bed furnishings. A winter and summer doona are necessities which I would not (and could not) be without. Therefore, during your bedroom overhaul these are crucial buys, especially if your eye is on some beautifully crafted egyptian sheets and bedding sets. In my eyes, there is nothing better than changing your bedding and knowing when you do finally hit the hay, you’ll be immersed in the fresh crisp bedding. As an added extra, spraying lavender on your pillowcases before you go to sleep is a great way to relax you. Studies have shown it can help with insomnia and stress, plus it is a damn good smell to fall asleep to.


With these key tips on your bedroom makeover, hopefully it will be a fun and smooth process to create a bedroom sanctuary that you rightly deserve. By taking the time to design your bedroom properly, it will make a massive difference in your life, as this retreat is where you wake up every morning, and will allow you to rise with a positive outlook on the day ahead. Everyone needs a slice of comfort in their lives.

Great ideas for kitchen upgradation by installing countertops


Renovating your kitchen is a big challenge on the part of the homeowner who wants to undertake this job. For this, it is advisable to hire the services of a professional who knows what will be best for your kitchen by keeping in mind estimated budget within which you want to complete the project. Professionals understand which features need to included at the time of renovation so that it will not only provide comfort to the ones living in the house but also increase property’s value with time. Besides this, he/she will also select some of the latest design countertops for the kitchen.


(Picture taken from Caesarstone Canada Official site)


Ideas to renovate your kitchen


Installing countertops will give your kitchen wow feel when you will use this space for cooking and eating with your family. Below are discussed some ideas you should keep in mind for kitchen remodeling.


  • Add countertop garage – Countertop garage will provide various benefits for kitchen appliances like food processor, blender and stand mixer. These equipments are needed many times in the kitchen for preparing food of the family. It is best to keep them in countertop garage since you are going to use them regularly. After you finish using them, keep them back in the same place from where you had taken them. This will give more space in the kitchen since you will no more keep them in the space where you cook food. You may include Caesarstone quartz kitchen countertops at the time of renovation as they are the best one both in terms of price and quality.
  • Corner storage – Storage space is almost negligible in most of the houses these days, Probably, this is due to the fact that every inch of your kitchen is preoccupied with different equipments needed for cooking. Try to include corner storage in kitchen renovation design since these are the areas which are mainly unused in most homes. With corner storage, the left out areas will also be used in the best way possible.
  • Island cooktop – you should make it a point to keep separate area for ovens and cooktops when you are planning for kitchen renovation. When you keep the oven in a separate place, you will be able to enjoy the convenience of placing countertops on the island. Besides this, you will also be able to use the extra cooking area near cooktop with ease. This ensures safe cooking in the kitchen without any worry of catching fire.
  • Electronics enhancement – If you love to watch television, then you can add a screen in the kitchen. This way, you can cook food and at the same time, watch daily soaps. Nowadays, there are many screens that have the facility of cooktop, lighting, exhaust fan, ventilation and much more. Also, wireless charging station is also a good option that can be added with kitchen countertops.

There are various kinds of countertops available for kitchen. Homeowners now prefer to buy and install Caesarstone quartz kitchen countertops because they have proved to last for a long time. You will not have to change and update them every year which makes them an ideal choice for your budget. This will make your kitchen remodeling work easier without much hard-work on your part and give an awesome look to the cooking area of your house.