Disaster Proofing Your House

Image Source: Pexels

Your home is your sanctuary. It is the place that you’ve put a lot of time and attention into making a safe, comfortable environment for you and your family. This is why the prospect of a natural disaster causing damage or disruption to your house can be so upsetting. 

No-one likes to dwell on this possibility, of course. However, even if you aren’t living in an area that has frequent earthquakes or storms, that doesn’t mean to say that your home is immune to emergencies. The World Economic Forum recently reported that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, and they are likely to continue causing severe damage and destruction in the future. This rise has also been linked to the growing effects of climate change. As such, it is imperative for the continued safety of yourself and your family that you take steps to ensure that your home is protected from disasters.  

This is all very well to say, but it’s not always easy to know how to go about doing this practically. It’s certainly a wide-ranging area, but we’re going to take a moment to guide you through a few main points for your attention. How can you best act to protect your home, and sleep soundly at night, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done all you can to keep your family safe? 

Audit Current Issues

Whether you’ve purchased a home with the specific intention to renovate, or you bought a new build, an audit is essential. Why? Well, in most cases, the pre-purchasing property survey that was undertaken at the time would have been geared toward determining the general safety of the home. Indeed, when buying a home, people are usually on the lookout for common trouble areas — existing water damage, pest issues, or health hazards. As such, you are unlikely to have the data you need to understand how well-prepped your home is to withstand an unexpected natural disaster.  

It can be a good first step to review the types of natural disasters that may be most likely to occur in your area. After all, it’s not wise to disaster-proof your home for earthquakes if you are not in a risk location. Review recent years’ weather and emergency events — has there been an uptick in any activity? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) keeps statistics for all reported disasters, which can help guide you. However, it can be just as useful to talk to neighbors and local emergency services personnel about what you should be aware of.

Using this knowledge, undertake a review of your home. You can do this personally if you feel confident doing so — identifying all the areas that may leave your home vulnerable or dangerous. Use ready-made checklists to review systems like electrical and plumbing. It can also be helpful to engage a contractor here. That way you not only benefit from their assessment expertise, but can also arrange for any repairs to be made, or at least make a plan for the future that fits your budget. 

Alternative Utilities

Disasters don’t just affect the integrity of your home. In a lot of cases, they may impact the infrastructure that allows you to maintain a safe and operational house. There may be direct contact with your property that causes utility outages, or there may be a problem further down the line that affects you. If you live in a remote area, it may take a long time for your services to be restored. It can therefore be appropriate to look into alternative solutions.

A generator on your property can provide backup power when there is an outage. However, this tends to be terribly cost-ineffective, and it’s not particularly environmentally friendly. On the other hand, solar power is an increasingly popular and accessible choice for homeowners. In essence, you’ll need a solar panel array — either on your roof or somewhere near your property — which is attached to an inverter that turns the energy into usable electricity, which is then distributed through your home using a computerized controller. You can also get a battery backup system to assist in emergencies. While you can install it personally, it can be wise to engage a skilled contractor if you’re not familiar with your house’s electrics.  

While most internet and communications lines are underground, that doesn’t make them impervious to disasters. Your ability to stay in contact with friends, relatives, and emergency services can be vital when a disaster strikes. Therefore it can be sensible to set up alternatives in your home. A spare 5G router can keep you connected to the internet to check for updates and advice. 

Structural Upgrades

If you have the budget for it, it is definitely worth considering which structural upgrades you can make to your home. Over the last few decades, there have been technological advances that can put your home in a better position to withstand a disaster. Some of these are simple and others make for more involved projects.

If you live in an area that is particularly prone to heavy storms, earthquakes, or even wildfires a good example of advanced structural technology is interlocking 3D panels. These are constructed from a combination of materials — concrete, steel, polystyrene — and reinforced by welded wire trusses. As such, this means that the building can withstand high winds and effectively fireproof the home for at least two hours.

However, this requires substantial capital to undertake, and if you are unable to access these funds immediately it can be worth considering refinancing your home to some extent. This is possible even with bad credit, although it can be sensible to repair your credit score first to get a better financing rate. It can seem like a big step, but this could be an important safety feature in your home and even raise its value.

Conclusion

Your home is an important asset to you and your family, and as such you want to protect it and everyone within it from natural disasters. Not all the alterations you make need to be structural overhauls. However, you should guide your actions with a thorough understanding of the risks.

10 Budget Home Designing Instagram Accounts You Can Check for Inspiration

Since Covid-19 hit us, we’ve been all stuck in our home and there is no news when we’ll be able to walk freely. Now is the best time to decorate the interior and exterior of your home. But money is a true concern for pretty much all of us as home decoration is generally a costly affair.

A home’s not merely four square walls, it’s a place where you can get comfortable and relax. You might be thinking that there are various Instagram pages that are great for finding home decoration inspiration. Speaking of Instagram, when you open a new page, it’ll take time to gain followers. In fact, as per https://www.forbes.com, organic ways although successful, can take quite some time to boost Instagram followers. The best way to get likes on your post is to buy 50 likes on Instagram.

Here is a list of some Instagram accounts that not only offer great interior and exterior designs, but also inspiration, good suggestions, and cheaper but high-quality items. 

Room for Tuesday

Sarah Gibson, who shares great ideas for home renovation, design tips, DIY projects is the owner of this page. Whenever you observe her work, you’ll notice she focuses on both the interior and exterior of the house equally, so this account is really useful for those who own a bigger home or real estate. She has two cute puppies that she features in the majority of her images, which produces a different vibe for dog lovers.

Philip or Flop

There’s no doubt that there exists many more female DIY creators than male DIY creators. This proves that female DIY creators can offer much more fantastic home decoration ideas for budget-friendly decorations. However, Philip is amongst the rare male designers who can decorate both the interior and exterior perfectly. His ideas about interior designs are much more realistic than any female designer.

Angela Rose Home

Angela Rose, known as fearless DIY creator, uses power tools and design to transform your home. She decorates the interior of the house in such a way, that you’ll get so many decoration ideas just by scrolling through her IG feed. Her website, linked on her IG account, offers so many new ideas and detailed tips to accomplish her vision in your home. Until you check her IG account, you won’t be able to guess how cool and brilliant interior home design can be!

Budget Home Interior Design

This is a type of IG account that shouldn’t be missed. When you land on this page, you’ll notice one thing is common in every image despite the house, a splash of color offered by plants. You’ll also notice how the interior changes when a plant is around. Natalie, owner of the IG page only decorates the interior of houses, but in a budget-conscious way, even using simple items such as Washi tape, which is quite amazing.

Philip or Flop

There’s no doubt that there exists many more female DIY creators than male DIY creators. This proves that female DIY creators can offer much more fantastic home decoration ideas for budget-friendly decorations. However, Philip is amongst the rare male designers who can decorate both the interior and exterior perfectly. His ideas about interior designs are much more realistic than any female designer.

Jenny Komenda

Jenny Komenda, Founder and Creative Director of juniper print shop and juniper home, is a pure skilled artist. From designing the interior to the exterior, everywhere she proves that she focuses much more on details. You’ll see that in every post she shares, she offers some subtle tips that make a budget-friendly decoration so much simpler. There is also a touch of large and expensive items like furniture in her posts to remind you that accessories are like vitamins to fashion.

Grillo Designs

Medina shares her thoughts on interior designing on her Instagram page. Medina’s website, where she writes her own posts, has beautiful budget-friendly ideas, which is a key factor during this pandemic. Her style blends in every aspect of her culture. And it is also so fascinating to see that she prioritizes turmeric color to design interior homes, which will surely impress you the moment you scroll through her IG feed.

Making Pretty Spaces

The most lovable thing about this account is how small changes can bring so much glory and transform a space thoroughly. From changing a night lamp or a small bookshelf, Jennifer does it like a pure skilled designer. Her website is full of blogs and tutorials. Jennifer’s idea of making a small upgrade is to deliver a perfect and happy economical life. You’ll be so inspired by Jennifer that you might start purchasing small items to decorate your rooms.

Chris Loves Julia

This account has everything from budget-conscious designing to marvelous home designing ideas. They have linked their website on the IG page, where you’ll find all the details. The moment you land on their IG page, you’ll notice some video walkthroughs, which are not only extremely satisfying but also added a bonus to the fact that every image they share on their page is extremely stylish and looks fantastic.

Right Meets Left Interior Design

Courtney McLeos, the owner of the interior design company, showcases much from wealthy clients, but shares tips of interior designing in the caption of some images. Upon scrolling her IG page, you’ll notice beautiful highlights of the color scheme or how small pieces of furniture can help you achieve your desired look. Though the page showcases wealthy clients, much of what she shares can be used by budget-friendly followers, too.

Conclusion

Remember one thing, a home’s not merely roof and room. It is where you can bloom your heart and spend quality time with your family members. Home is sweet, and it is your responsibility to make it sweeter.

12 Ideas For Creating A Perfect Farmhouse Bathroom

Image source

Considering the fact that bathrooms are usually renovated every four to five years, you want to create a space that will be fully functional and pleasing to the eye for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, there are many approaches you can opt for when designing the perfect bathroom for your family, from more vintage and traditional to sleek and modern. One style you should consider if you want a space that is warm, inviting, and relaxing is most certainly the farmhouse design. The cozy, lived-in feeling can sometimes seem hard to achieve but don’t worry as anyone can have a farmhouse-inspired bathroom in their home with just a little effort. It doesn’t matter if you are remodeling an existing bathroom or building your dream home from the ground up, here are some useful tips that will help you create the perfect farmhouse bathroom.

Highlight the existing features

In case you are remodeling a bathroom that already exists in your home, you might not have to do a lot to make it more farmhouse-chic. For example, if you have wooden beams on the ceiling, you can leave them exposed and bring some nature into your bathroom. Sand them down a bit, apply a primer, and give them a protective coat if you like the color. If not, you can also repaint them in a shade that better suits the space. On the other hand, if you don’t have ceiling beams but think they would enhance the space and make it seem larger, you can easily find faux wood beams online and add them to the bathroom. Something else you can choose to highlight is brick walls if you have them. Leaving them all or at least one exposed can create a rustic atmosphere.

Install interesting wallpaper

If brick is just not your style, there are alternatives that might suit you better. For example, installing wallpaper can help you completely transform your bathroom. With such a wide range of designs, you can opt for anything from a floral theme to a reclaimed-wood shiplap pattern. If you’re having trouble coming up with a cute design, you can always turn to budget-friendly Instagram accounts for some inspiration. What is more, if your funds are limited, you will also appreciate peel-and-stick wallpapers that you will have no trouble installing on your own.

Image source

Go for natural flooring materials

In terms of flooring materials, you also have many different options at your disposal. While installing wooden floors that will match your ceiling beams is a great solution when you want a warm space, exposed stone flooring that will add a rustic feel is an amazing choice as well. Then, tiles with geometric patterns can also do the trick and create a charming bathroom that looks brand new.

Opt for a barn door

To add more personality to your farmhouse bathroom, think about installing a sliding barn door. That way, you can set the tone of the room before actually entering it. If you enjoy DIY projects, this is something that you can do on your own in no time. First, you need to find the right door for the space, sand them down a bit, and make them look a bit worn-out. Then, you should install a rail system that will help you open and close the door.

Add fresh colors to walls and elements

When it comes to the color palette you will be using, it would be best to stick to earthy tones in order to create a welcoming and soothing space. While no one is saying you can’t use colors that are bright and vivid, it’s best to save them for details and stay true to a more neutral color scheme. With that in mind, you can go for white, off-white, beige, gray, and similar hues for everything from the floors to the elements. Additionally, to make the space feel fresh, you want shades like baby pink or pastel green that will add just enough color to make the bathroom feel homey. If you’re not purchasing new elements or getting them custom-made, just a little paint can go a long way when updating your home the DIY-way.

Take a darker approach

On the other hand, most of us associate the farmhouse design with white and other bright colors. But, if you prefer a darker bathroom, that doesn’t mean that you cannot incorporate this style into your home. Consider a combination of white and navy blue for the walls, for instance, that will create a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere. Just keep in mind, however, that staying away from dark colors is recommended if you have a small bathroom as they will only make it appear smaller.

Photo source

Use brass for accents

In addition to using bolder colors for accessories like towels and flower pots, you can use brass for accents as well. For example, while you can get a thick wood frame or a wicker one for the bathroom mirror, you can also have a brass frame that will match the faucets, lighting fixtures, and all other hardware. From towel racks to the toilet paper holder, you can find anything in brass.

Get rid of your built-in vanity

When doing a major remodel, you can consider ditching your built-in elements like the vanity and tub. For the vanity, instead of having it built-in, you can find a vintage table that will add some openness to the space and place a vessel sink on top of it. To increase your storage space, you can add some open shelves underneath the table or on an empty wall. However, if you plan on making any changes to the layout, it’s best to leave it to the professionals as badly done plumbing can cost you a lot in the future. If you live in Australia, for example, you can rely on trustworthy Canberra plumbers with plenty of experience. Moreover, even if you’re not changing any plumbing, you should still have experts inspect everything as you don’t want to have to redo your bathroom in a few months due to a leak.

Make your bathtub the centerpiece

The bathtub is another standalone element you can introduce if your renovation efforts are of a larger variety. What is more, you should make it the centerpiece of the space. To achieve that, you want a tub that makes a statement as soon as you see it. You can purchase a new white clawfoot tub, give a fresh coat of paint to the bathtub you already own, or look through garage sales and vintage shops to see if you can find a copper tub. Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that most standalone tubs require some plumbing work as well. Once everything is installed properly, you will have your own spa oasis at home.

How to Recover and Bounce Back After a Job Loss

Image Source: Pexels

Unemployment can be a stressful, scary situation for anyone. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people have found themselves out of work as a result of economic uncertainty. A Pew Research study found that a quarter of adults under the age of 30 have had to seek unemployment benefits since the pandemic began. That’s a significant number of the population.

The effects of furlough or being fired entirely can be personally devastating. There is of course the strain on your finances, and your ability to keep yourself and your family comfortable. However, it also tends to be a mentally and emotionally challenging situation, too. Between the stress of the job search, the hit to your self-esteem, and the sense of isolation, is it any wonder that you might be struggling to push through this period? 

We’re going to review some of the areas you can focus on to make a difference to your personal and professional outlook after a job loss. What can you focus on? What techniques and tools can help you to adapt to a changing and uncertain climate?

Seek Support

Do not try to go through this period of hardship alone. It is certainly easy to get yourself into the frame of mind where you don’t want to be a burden on anyone else or cause any undue worry. Pride also plays a role. So you might wind up trying to go it alone. Unfortunately, all this does is put additional pressure on you, which you’ll likely internalize, and can wind up feeling isolated. One of the best ways you can help yourself, your loved ones, and your career prospects at this time is to reach out for support. 

This doesn’t just mean financial support, either. Your mental health needs to remain intact, so asking friends to regularly talk to you — particularly about subjects outside of your job search — can be a source of comfort and release. You will also need space to consider your position and undertake focused job searches. Therefore, seeking alternative childcare for just a few hours a week can help to provide you with this room. However, it’s important to bear in mind that COVID-19 still presents a risk to your children and other people, so where possible, your spouse or a close relative to take them to an open area to minimize potential exposure for everyone involved.  

Support can also come from your former colleagues and employers. It will often be the case that your boss had no choice but to let you go, and still understands the full value of your skills. It’s generally not considered relevant to include references on your resume or initial application — they take up real estate you could be using for your skills. Still, it’s important to gather these early so that you are prepared. Contact your former employer or any senior figure that you worked with, and either ask permission to provide their contact details if requested, or obtain letters of recommendation. Taking this time to reach out may also raise opportunities in the industry that former colleagues may be aware of.

Make a Plan

That feeling of powerlessness following being made unemployed can cause you to spiral into inactivity. You weren’t able to prevent yourself from being let go, and the world around you can seem to be crumbling, so it can be a struggle to find the motivation to keep moving. Making a forward plan of action is one of the most effective tools you can produce to prevent becoming stuck in this way.

Firstly, make a list of all the most immediate priorities. Get a good understanding of your financial situation — what are your outgoings, and what can you cut back on. If you’re unemployed for months, will you have to make adjustments to how you contribute to your retirement plan or your 401K? Do you need to start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to minimize the potential negative impact on your future finances? What current loans and credit lines are you able to arrange lower repayments on for the time being?

It can also be helpful to formalize your process and schedule for your job search. This can be hard on those days when you feel as though you’re drifting — it’s a framework for you to follow. Make your plan the night before, as people tend to find this leads to them being more productive the next day. Create blocks for activities; list where you’re going to be directing your search, how you intend to network online, what periods are dedicated to reviewing or rewriting your resume if needed. Remember to schedule breaks and time away from the job search, too, as this will help you to avoid burning out

Consider Your Skills

If you enjoy the area of work that you’ve previously built skills in, it can be a smart move to look at where the needs in your industry lie. Accountancy, as an example, is not just strictly populated by traditional accountants — there is a demand for accounting adjacent roles that use the same skills. Financial analysts and auditors are all appropriate for those with an accountancy background, with room to grow toward leadership roles with further education. Therefore, it’s worth exploring what demand there is not just for your prior role, but for the skills that you have gained within it.  

Becoming unemployed can also be good motivation to explore other career areas that you may be interested in. If you’re able to undertake new training while protecting your current finances through the hard times, this time in history is a particularly good time to do so. You are not limited to attending traditional universities. Distance learning and remote e-learning courses are both prevalent and increasingly recognized by employers. Not to mention that there are many free tutorials on YouTube that can launch careers in sectors that encourage those who are self-taught — such as coding, web design, and the arts.

Conclusion 

Becoming unemployed can be a major setback; financially, professionally, and emotionally. However, you should be reassured that the situation is not entirely outside of your control. By focusing on gaining the right support, planning your activities, and building your skills you can achieve a successful and enriching comeback.

5 Ways to Add Victorian Charm to Your Modern Home

Finding a genuine, historic Victorian home within your budget and without necessary repairs may be more challenging than ever in today’s world. However, this isn’t stopping dreamers from reaching their home goals with some work. People are even moving far distances to smaller cities and paying high renovation prices if they discover the right one. Recent findings have shown that many millennials are buying historic homes, fueled by the changes of the pandemic. Additionally, owners of a quickly growing Instagram page called Cheap Old Houses, featuring older houses for sale, state they want to bridge the gap between younger generations and historic homes.

With some possible adjusting and a bit of renovating, people are successfully acquiring the homes of their dreams. If historic Victorian beauty is what you imagine your home to have, there are ways to renovate your current house without having to move and face large competition.

Learn about the variety of ways you can add charming Victorian features to your modern home and see how these modifications can make all the difference to your inspiration.

1.   Construct the Interior Aesthetic with a Showstopper

From inviting crown moldings in doorways, refreshing and unique light fixtures, tasteful wallpaper designs, and eye-catching mosaic tiles, historic homes bring a comforting feeling you can easily surround yourself with. Before you know it, remodels like these will have every room reminding you of the lovely Victorian aesthetic, which can still be incorporated with modern smart tech. While adding these elements into your home, place the newer aspects closely around vintage decor to ensure it all blends together seamlessly.

Unforgettably, one of the truest showstoppers in Victorian homes has proved to be a grand, elegant staircase. This truly sets the tone for the rest of your home as it takes up a good amount of space. Unique railing posts with ornate carvings and embellishments undoubtedly sets a modern-Victorian home apart from others. While you’re at it, why not add a vintage accent rug at the bottom with a scrollwork design to pull the environment together.

2.   Change the Plain Ceiling

Your ceiling is probably one of the last places you’d look to add character to. It certainly isn’t the center of attention for a room, but it can be. Victorians often were inspired by creating a story within their interiors; this means having a beginning, middle, and ending (that being the ceiling). Get creative with your ceiling and install a medallion to attract the eye. Not only is this architectural detail unique, but it’s especially useful for practically covering a light fixture’s ceiling box. This additionally opens the door to beautiful chandelier ideas to include some sparkling effects to your space. In general, medallions are most fitting for larger rooms, but there are plenty of sizes to choose from for the perfect ratio within the room.

3.   Remodel a Timeless Kitchen

Kitchens from the Victorian era are hallmarked by their use of space, pastel palette choices, and overall romantic look. Once you step into one, you’ll notice the unique design elements and functionality almost immediately, giving you a refreshing feeling. Before you know it, the “heart of your home” will have a new meaning as you join with family and friends in the grand space. Many have also continued the tradition of simplistic built-in bookcases, which can save you more space in any house while also keeping rooms looking tidy. Some have the options to be completely covered to blend in or open to display your belongings visibly on a shelf. Others even follow the feature of incorporating a window to match most Victorian cabinets in the kitchen. Take advantage of a lovely feature like this and even use it to display pieces of floral or patterned china rather than storing them away completely.

4.   Design an Elegant Bathroom

When renovating your space, keep in mind that while looks and decor is all fun and important, you’re also enhancing your own daily lifestyle. Don’t forget to consistently incorporate Victorian stylistic designs into other spaces, such as your bathroom. Consider adding Victorian touches, like a piece of antique furniture or artwork, framing the mirror with scrollwork, replacing your current bath with a luxurious clawfoot tub, and installing vintage-inspired faucet taps.

Though these are some of the most memorable trademarks of a Victorian bathroom, many modern bathrooms make it a bit difficult to include everything. This is often because of minimal space or inconvenient constructed placements. If you want to go all out without limiting your designing abilities or hurting your budget, many people consider supporting their budget with a home equity loan. This type of loan can get you the quick updated change you want, while even providing fixed interest rates to ensure you don’t get off track financially from getting the most elegant bathroom of your dreams. Plus, a newer bathroom renovation adds value to your home and often shows to be highly sought after on the real estate market.

5.   Create a Welcoming, Classy Exterior

One of the most favorable parts about a Victorian home is that you can also enjoy its endless charm from outdoors as well. Certain elements such as vintage doorknobs, window shutters, porch trim, and wrought iron railings can encapsulate original curb appeal to your home. However, installing a transom window above your front door will have you falling most in love with all of the natural light it brings in. As it serves this beneficial purpose, you can also play around with what designs gravitate toward your overall aesthetic, whether it’s artsy stained glass or classic paneling. If you want to take your housing exterior to the next level, think about the roof. One of the first ways you can spot a Victorian home is by its historic metal shingles with embossed designs. Once you include features like these, your charming Victorian-looking home will be sure to become the most memorable house in the neighborhood.

As you begin renovating your modern home to look more historic, remember that you can successfully preserve the authentic Victorian style you’re looking for. Simply think of the design aspects mentioned above that help certain features work together in harmony. This type of architecture with beholders of the past may even become one of the most popular homes once again.