5 Quick and Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Shower

Think about how many hours a week you spend in the shower. Then consider how many hours this adds up to in the course of the average year – thousands of hours spent within a shower you probably don’t particularly like or appreciate. Since you are spending so much time in this bathroom essential, consider a timely upgrade to enhance your shower experience and get your day off to the best start. Take a look at these home shower improvements – they don’t cost the earth, and they can be surprisingly effective.

  1. Switch Your Shower Cabin

Take a look at your bathroom and what do you immediately see that needs an improvement? Chances are it’s the shower cabin itself. An old, tired shower enclosure doesn’t inspire you when you get in. On the contrary, new shower cabins come with super-sized doors, frameless enclosures, high-power water jets, and well-fitting doors to minimise annoying leaks and drips. Take a look at the examples at http://www.jtspas.co.uk/shower-cabins-372-c.asp for inspiration. The trend is towards large shower enclosures and modern fixings, so you won’t go wrong if you go big.

  1. An Easy Way to Increase the Pressure

If you normally have good water pressure but lately your showerhead has been lacklustre, give it a wash with vinegar and baking soda. The best way is to leave the shower head in the baking soda and vinegar solution overnight – secure a plastic bag around the shower head with an elastic band. The next day you’ll have a much more powerful shower.

  1. Or Change Things Completely

But often if your showerhead is old, the best way to revive your shower experience is to replace it. A number of different styles of showerhead are available nowadays that are affordable and easy to fit. Take your pick – it could make a huge difference to the quality of your morning or evening wash.

  1. Go Tropical

If your fittings and fixings are all working well and you’ve upgraded your shower and bath, take a look at the details – put in more plants and flowers into the bathroom.  Potted plants and hanging plants are excellent for the bathroom, bringing freshness, vitality, and beautiful scents. Make sure you choose plants that thrive in damp conditions, and minimise the need for soil by choosing plants that grow well with shallow roots. Bunches of fresh flowers or even fresh herbs bring an inviting scent to the bathroom which is particularly pronounced when the shower gets steamy.

  1. Add Little Extras


The smallest details can make a big difference in your shower, for example new fluffy towels and a heated towel rail to keep them cosy, a better shower organiser to keep your bottles of shampoo and shower gel under control, and a better bath mat or wooden bath stand. Changing old, rusting accessories and putting in new, sparkling items gives your shower and your mood an instant boost and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.


Image courtesy of zirconicusso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net







The evolution of cranes

A familiar sight on the skylines of many cities is the image of cranes – many if not dozens, in some thriving metropolises – punctuating the horizon; whether they’re perched atop buildings or lofty ground-based cranes building up the skyscrapers. Indeed, I once heard that you could tell how successful or how well the city’s development and economy was going by counting the number of cranes that it had rising up. I know when I was recently looking for crane hire in Melbourne that it was almost impossible to find someone who wasn’t booked for at least a couple of weeks. Business is certainly booming in Melbourne.


Cranes signal growth, building and size, and it’s staggering to think that without them, it would be impossible to construct the incredible structures that we have today. It’s even more interesting to think that we as a race have been using a version of cranes since the Egyptian times, and probably even before, albeit in crude forms. I wanted to take a look at the evolution of the humble crane, as a way to pay homage to this builder of cities and thankless worker in the building and construction industry.


Cranes themselves rely on a range of pulleys, levers, weights and ropes in order to lift a heavy item and move it from one place to another, while the crane needs to be heavy enough or have enough weight in its base so as not to topple over while lifting and moving. So when was the first crane recorded or invented? The first record of a crane being used was in Greece in the sixth century BC.


Greek Cranes

The Greeks – enterprising lot that they are – built cranes by stacking blocks and then securing the beam mechanism. While they didn’t incorporate a pulley system into their setup, they did have a set of large ‘tongs’ which they used to move things around. The pulley and winch set-up didn’t come into play until some time around the age of Aristotle (and we know this because a crane was featured in a book of his). After the pulley and winch set-up grew in popularity, it spread like wildfire throughout the land. The Romans then discovered the Greek crane and made some typical Roman tweaks, and made it more efficient. At its peak, their crane was capable of lifting objects over 13,000 pounds. After the fall of Rome though, it was some years before cranes got going again in Western Europe.


Western Europe

Around the 1200s, cranes started popping up again, particularly in France. England jumped on the crane bandwagon in the 1300s and the world saw use of cranes in building, mining and harbours for loading and unloading ships. As time went on, the crane was adapted to make loading and unloading ships easier and the first early Gantry cranes were created where a fixed crane was built into a rotating platform or roof. The floating crane was also pioneered in this time.


Industrial Revolution

The Industrial revolution brought with it a whole host of new materials, including metals and steel and cast iron supports which in turn served to further strengthen the power of the cranes and their lifting power. In the early twentieth century, we began to see the use of electric motors.


Today’s Cranes

Nowadays, we see lots of different kinds of cranes across a lot of different industries, including lattice boom cranes, crawler cranes, rough terrain cranes and gantry and side cranes. We wouldn’t have the incredible buildings, industries and structures that we have today, as well as the amazingly efficient transport industry that we have, without cranes.


Cranes are the backbone of the construction industry and it will be exciting to see where we are in another decade’s time as far as developments go.

Storage solutions once the kids have flown the nest

The kids are all grown up and they’ve finally decided that they want to move out of the family home to start a life all of their own. With all the emotional upheaval, this can be a tough time for parents, especially for those who are used to seeing and being with their children every day.


But once the move has taken place, and most of their possessions are in their new house, you’re often left with a bit of a mess and a lot of clutter still in their old room.


Ill-fitting clothes they don’t want, furniture that looks worse for wear and old school books that haven’t been used for years. There can be a lot to sort through once the kids have moved out, but where do you start?


According to a survey carried out by Lloyds TSB, three out of four parents are left to look after their children’s possession’s after they leave home, but is it easier to leave the clutter in their room in case they return? Should you put everything in the bin and turn the room into the dream dining room you’ve always wanted? Or maybe you want to put your child’s possessions into self storage instead?


Do you want to make the most of this new extra space you’ve acquired in the house? Let’s look at some storage options available to you.



Leave their room how they left it


Save for the essentials like removing any mouldy food or dirty plates, why not leave the room as they left it? What if they want to come home after a month because they couldn’t fend for themselves? It’s entirely up to you when you want to change the house for your own benefit. And they might need somewhere to stay at short notice. They certainly can’t stay in that new home gym you wanted to install.



Give away all clutter to charity


There are lots of incredibly worthwhile organisations that would appreciate some of the items young adults leave behind when they leave home. A lot of these could make a huge difference to the people that these charities support. And with parents chucking out an average of £285 worth of stuff when their children fly the nest, you’ll be doing your bit for charities to help people less fortunate.




Put their clutter into self storage

If you don’t want to put things in the bin or give away your child’s possessions to charity, there is another way; self storage. Putting items into self storage means you can reclaim the space in your home quickly and easily, without the worry of putting things in the bin that your child will want later, or having to make any rash decisions.


39% of young adults that move out of the family expect their possessions to be untouched, and certainly not recycled or given away to charity. Self storage is a solution to this issue, as you may even choose to store your child’s possessions at a self storage location close to their new home.


If you want to reclaim that spare room in your home but don’t have the space to store your child’s items, Safestore could help. Safestore offers self storage at a price that makes sense. Committed to bringing you a range of different options to suit every storage need, Safestore offers individual, clean, dry and secure storage that will keep your belongings safe from damage and theft all year round.

Beautiful houses made from shipping containers

There are millions of shipping containers around the world, which have completed their life cycle for carrying cargos. They can be characterized as being cheap, are fire proof and flood resistant materials for home construction. Designers from around the world have created beautiful homes using these ‘off line’ containers. Continue reading Beautiful houses made from shipping containers

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.