Good Landscaping Ideas for a Family Home

Every home should be planned with a view to making it maintenance free as much as possible. Not many have time or interest in gardening but pleasant surroundings make any house into a comfortable home. Landscaping is, therefore, essential to get right but not necessarily to cost a fortune. Simple ideas and working with the shape of the land is the key. If one has an imaginative mind there are easy tips to follow.

One of the first is what you want the garden to do for you. Are you interested in growing vegetables, fruit, berries, and so on, or do you simply want a large grassed area for games, if one has children?

Where my house is located there is a beautiful park less than five minutes walk away. That took away the need for any grass areas so instead I covered the front with a four-inch layer of large pine park chips laid over several layers of newspapers. The paper breaks down in time and does not prevent moisture from getting through to the soil.

Prior to moving into this house my job was as a landscape designer and many of my plans are in operation in Sydney and now Canberra. The primary goal with them is to have a nice outlook and lots of trees so that the birds and other wildlife are attracted to it. That also make water an essential element as they all come to drink if there is suitable supply.

Tree selection should be a combination of fruit and native species. In my design the fruit trees are confined to the back and the native eucalypts, callistemon, and wattles are in the front. They attract birds and possums as well as some great insects, including butterflies.

With fruit trees there is some maintenance required to keep them at their best and roses always need pruning. If one does not have the patience to grow these plants than try the less demanding ones like camellias, azaleas, and rhododendrons.

One has only to use their imagination to get a lovely garden growing and in time the rewards will be astounding. The local nursery is always a great place to get advice and help with plant selection. Grow plants suited to your area and especially those that are native to it and you won’t go wrong.

The best landscaping advice one can give is to plan for the least maintenance and make sure to work to the shape of the land. Don’t remove hills if they can be utilised as a bank for visual effects. Don’t remove large rocks that might be a good focal point. Put pathways in the right spot and curve them to add more interest. Your work should give you pleasure and not pain and if you do it right that will be your reward.

7 Tips For Renovating On A Tight Budget

You may have big dreams for your home remodel project. And they may need a big budget. However, if you are on a budget, you can shop around. This way you can save a lot of money. Below are our top 7 tips that can help you achieve the purpose.

1. Know Your Limits

If you don’t know your limits, you may end up wasting a lot of money on your DIY project. So, it’s important that you know your limits. For instance, you may want to leave the plumbing, electrical and structural work to professionals. Make sure you get recommendations before hiring professionals.

2. Get a Working Pee

The good news is that you can do a lot of jobs with your family and friends. A package of a BBQ and a few drinks can get a lot of things done. Given below is a list of tasks that you can do with a few helping hands.

· Tiling jobs

· Assembling of a flat-pack kitchen

· Polishing floorboards

· Landscaping

· Fencing

· Painting

3 DIY Lessons

For basic DIY tasks, you have to have a few tools and some practical knowledge. You can get both from a reputable hardware store. You may sign up for a DIY workshop as well.

Moreover, if some of your friends know the trades, you can talk to them and get their help. You may also “bribe” them to get some fundamental tips and lessons to use the tools. If you don’t have the tools, you can borrow or hire some.

4. Buy Online or at auctions

If you shop around, you can save a lot on supplies, labor and other materials. You can use your negotiation skills for discontinued sales. Although shopping around will cost you some time, you will get whatever you want.

5. Long-term Savings

If you are on a tight budget, you may not give much importance to long-term savings through buying materials or technology that uses less energy. Given below are some energy saving ideas for you.

· Solar panels

· Quality insulation

· Rainwater tanks

· LED lights

6. Be Creative

With “mood” lighting and new paint, you can make a great impact. These things are also affordable. For instance, repainting or resurfacing bathroom basins, baths and tiles, you can beautify your home without spending a great deal of money.

It’s also a good idea to visit good color consultants and showroom staff. The experts will give you a few ideas as to how you can do your remodel the best way.

7. Compromise

While compromising is not easy, you can set your expectations based on your budget. For this, we suggest that you write down your list of things that you absolutely need as well as other nice-to-haves. This will save you a lot of bucks.

So, if you are looking to renovate your house on a tight budget. We suggest that you follow these 7 tips. Hopefully, you will have a great time remodeling your house.

Top 6 Bathroom Flooring Options

There is a huge difference between the type of flooring you use for the living areas of your home and the bathroom. Once you get past looks, durability, cost and other commonalities, you need to consider one factor that no other area of your house has (except the basement) – water. As the bathroom will always have water, choosing the wrong flooring can quickly ruin it. If you are considering undertaking bathroom remodeling, make sure that you choose the right contractor to advise you about the best flooring options for your bathroom.

Let’s look at some of the best Options for Bathroom Flooring.


When it comes to tiles for your bathroom, you should put porcelain at the top of your list. Made from clay that is fired and shaped at extremely high temperatures, porcelain is perfect for bathrooms. The material possesses hard exterior that resists water, bacteria, odors, and staining. Porcelain is also a great choice for your bathroom flooring as it is considered impervious to moisture. You will find porcelain tiles in a variety of shapes, including square, hexagonal and octagonal forms – this is a huge advantage if you want your remodeling contractors to personalize your bathroom and give it a unique look.

Natural Stone

If you want a stylish bathroom, consider natural stone tiles for the flooring. They offer a timeless look and feel, and if you maintain them properly, they can last a lifetime. Choose from various options like marble, limestone, and travertine. Each of these naturally occurring stones has its own unique tones, patterns, and textures, giving you a range of options to choose from. An experienced bathroom remodeling contractor will offer varied suggestions regarding which choice is best for the new construction in your home.


This is another popular choice for bathroom tiles and slabs as vinyl is both inexpensive and water resistant, making it highly practical. Vinyl is available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can mix and match to create a unique look based on your personality and taste. Additionally, vinyl has a softer feel than other flooring materials imparting a comfortable feel to user’s feet.


One of the options that remodeling contractors recommend for bathroom flooring is cork. As it is made from the bark of a tree, cork is preferred choice among eco-conscious people. It is resistant to water as well as mold and mildew – characteristics that make it perfect for any bathroom. To keep water from seeping between gaps, you should choose unfinished cork and get the floor finished on-site.


This is another option made from a highly sustainable resource, making it eco-friendly. Bamboo is also an affordable option for bathroom flooring as it costs as little as half the price of hardwood floors. Engineered bamboo is the smartest choice for your bathroom because the planks are ideal for wet environments, easy to install, and extremely durable. When you choose bamboo, you can replace damaged pieces easily, which is another major advantage of using this material for bathroom flooring.


This is a fantastic option that has been used since time immemorial by homeowners across the globe. Hardwood floors are fabulous as they create a classic and warm look in your bathroom. Engineered wood is made of a combination of real wood veneer and plywood and is more humidity resistant than solid wood. If you want wooden flooring for your bathroom, you will find many prefinished options that are water resistant and able to withstand heavy foot traffic.

Money-Saving Kitchen Renovation Tips

If you want to renovate your own kitchen, we can offer a few tips that can help you plan, install and make purchases wisely. As a matter of fact, you can save plenty of money by installing the cabinets on your own. Although this can cost you lots of time, you can get help from your friends.

Tips to Hang Cabinets

· First of all, you should remove the cabinet drawers and doors for easier installation. Moreover, this will help you save them from any damage during the installation process.

· In order to mark the location of the cabinets, you need a tape measure, a pencil and a level.

· Beginning in the corners, you can start installing the top cabinets first.

· At first, you should determine the location of the base cabinets. You should add the base cabinet height to the countertop thickness and then around 18 inches of space between the lower and upper cabinets.

· The floor should be level. If it’s not, you should look for the highest point on the same wall. This is the place where you will install the cabinets. Across the wall, you should mark a line and then attach a quality 2×4 ledger on the studs for support.

· On the backside of the cabinet, you should cut holes. They will be used for water lines.

· If you need cutouts for electrical boxes, you can use lipstick to trace the box and then put the cabinet in the right place. Now, join the lines, make a pilot hole and then cutout using a powerful jigsaw.

· Don’t forget to fasten the cabinet to the studs of the wall. Now, if a cabinet doesn’t hit both the studs, you can use a sturdy toggle bolt for securing it.

Finding Bargains

· When you are buying appliances, make sure you opt for floor models. Also, don’t forget to read up on the warranty. The dealer may extend the warranty for unloading them.

· For appliances, we suggest that you buy them early. A model that is one year old should be replaced with the latest model.

· You may want to get volume discounts. At some places, you can get discounts by buying in bulk.

· When buying doors and windows, you may want to do more than checking the big-box retailers. You may also want to check out your local suppliers. This way you can save up to 20%.

Gutting a Kitchen

· If you want to remove cabinets, you should unscrew them and then pull them off one by one. Using a sledgehammer is not a good idea.

· To disconnect the supply lines, make sure you use a bucket to remove leftover water.

· Also, before you use a sledgehammer, you can use a little hammer for making holes. This is to check the wall for plumbing or electrical stuff behind the wall.

So, if you have been looking for some money saving tips on your kitchen renovation, you can use these tips. These tips worked for many homeowners. Therefore, they may work for you too.

Design Ideas for Kitchen Islands

Most timber frame homes are custom built to suit the homeowner’s preference as to how many bedrooms they need, how the kitchen should be designed, and more. If you are in the planning stage of building your own timber frame house here are some kitchen island designs to help you plan your perfect kitchen. Kitchen islands can expand your workspace, give your kitchen its own personality, and come in a variety of design options.

Big island

Today more people are entertaining and eating at home so a large kitchen island would be very helpful to have around. It can be built so that it can be a workspace and a place for the children to do their homework and eat breakfast. Some can even be built long and lean so there can be as many as eight seats or more and more space around the perimeter. How long would depend on the space available.

Peaks and valleys

Today, many people have multi-level kitchen islands. This design is great at hiding the meal prep mess. The art of disguise is not the only reason to choose this design for your timber frame homes. You can also incorporate a variety of surface materials like a butcher-block area for chopping the vegetables, granite top for putting hot pans on, or marble that is good for rolling out pie dough. The various surfaces and heights add dimension and function to the design of your kitchen,

Island hopping

If you are a homeowner that finds one kitchen island not enough you can always have two islands built if you have the room to do so. With island hopping, or dual islands, can have specialized storage areas and designated work zones.

Away from it all

This is another increasingly popular style of kitchen islands for your new timber frame home. Designers are calling it “the unfitted look.” Basically, it looks like a piece of furniture, not a component that belongs in the kitchen. You can give this kitchen-cabinet component different counter surface, turned leg, along with other detailing for furniture-style components. It is often accentuated by putting it on a colorful area rug.

Jagged coastline

This kitchen counter design offers you a variety of designs such as indefinable, crescent shaped, or wavy. If it suits your kitchen, budget, and taste, builds the kitchen counter that want. With a unique design, it will be the toast of internet.

Above and beyond

In a timber frame home, you do not have to stop the height of your creation level at your waist. With the right home design and proper planning, you could even build a set of cabinets above with glass doors so everyone can see your variable collections.

Small Kitchen Renovations for Maximum Impact

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home and when it comes to remodeling a kitchen it can cost an awful lot of money. Some people will go through with a pricey renovation that puts them without a kitchen for weeks on end for the big payoff at the end, but what if you just can’t afford a major re-do?

Luckily there are minor things that you can do that will spruce up that kitchen and pull it into the current decade. Usually, people can tell the age of your home by what’s on the walls. If your kitchen is full of wallpaper and/or wallpaper border it may be time to freshen it up. Paint those walls and get creative, with that old and dated paper gone the difference will be amazing!

Change those kitchen cabinets. Refinishing just the cabinets can freshen up a whole space. Yes, it’s a bit time consuming but it is way cheaper than a full renovation and best of all you can do the work yourself.

If you can’t change the cabinets, a smaller fix is to change the cabinet hardware. There are literally thousands of pulls and knobs to choose from that will bring that outdated kitchen up to where it belongs. Be sure to measure the holes in the old hardware though, so you can match them up with new or make sure the new covers them up.

A new tap is a great idea to spruce up a kitchen. Get one with a veggie sprayer and you’re good to go! They too come in all sorts of colours and designs that will leave you wondering why on earth you didn’t change it up sooner.

If you hate your counter tops and can’t afford brand new, there is always the option of having someone come in to fit new tops over the old, but if that’s not an option, there is special paint you can buy just for counters. Add a splash of colour and watch that kitchen pop!

How about a new fan or lighting fixture? Those outdated ones have got to go, and there are so many new and fabulous styles out there that finding a new one will be a fun and easy experience. You don’t even need to be an expert electrician to install that new fan or light, they’re easy to do.

Don’t keep looking at that old kitchen, spruce it up today!

5 Types of Kitchen Tools You Cannot Do Without

A kitchen is an area where you strengthen the bond of relationship with the aroma of food. Every kitchen looks different depending on its owner. But it has few essentials that can be seen in every household kitchen. If you are a creative home keeper, you would like to keep your kitchen in the best way.

When it comes to tools, kitchen has an amalgam of various types of equipment that support everyday functionality. No matter, how big or how small kitchen you have, you cannot do without these tools:

Cutting Tools

The cooking job is not easy but cutting tools ease it off. Various types of cutting tools make chopping easy and fun for you. No matter how much food you have to prepare, cutting items make it easy and reduce your time and efforts.

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Peelers
  • Potato Masher
  • Graters
  • Shears

Food Preparing ToolsWhen it comes to preparing food, it involves various steps like washing, chopping, freezing, and cooking. To prepare the food, you need to take care of different steps carefully. Food preparing is an everyday job. So the more tools you have, the easier it will be. Why not having a set of ideal food preparing tools to get the work done smoothly and efficiently? The list may vary depending on your kitchen but few items are a must like:

  • Measuring Cups
  • Sauté Pan
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Spatula
  • Ladle
  • Food Storage Containers

Garnishing ToolsWell, when it comes to garnishing, it adds to the taste of cuisine. Nowadays, food presentation really matters. Whenever you host a party or you have guests around, you want to present everything that looks perfect. Garnishing tools include these items:

  • Slicer
  • Skewers and Picks
  • Covers
  • Wedges
  • Mandolins
  • Chop Frills

Pie & Cake ToolsYou may or may not love desserts but if you have kids, they love pie and cake. Preparing cakes requires skills and accurate knowledge of using ingredients as well as tools. These tools not only help you make delicious desserts but help you present them in an attractive way. Following are the pie and cake tools to add to your kitchen:

  • Over Mitts
  • Saucepan
  • Blender
  • Tongs
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Splatter Guard
  • Whisk
  • Grill Pan
  • Baking Sheet Pan

Cleaning ToolsWhen it comes to hygiene, cleaning tools are a must. No kitchen can look perfect without them. Who does not like to see spick and span kitchen? It boosts up your mood and makes you feel energetic to cook in a neat and clean kitchen. Whosoever wants to cook with love, must use cleaning tools to serve the perfectly cooked food for a healthy family.

  • Scrub Brush
  • Dish Cloth
  • Scrubbing Pads
  • Steel Wool
  • Cloth Towels
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Rubber Gloves

The Kitchen Renovation Tips You’ve Been Looking For

Once you have located and determined all the needed repairs and desired alterations in your kitchen, it is time to consider the aesthetic upgrades that will customize and complete the entire look. This includes cabinet replacements, flooring replacements, plumbing fixture upgrades, and more.

Are you starting to get a little bored with your kitchen’s look? If so, it may be the right time to consider a kitchen remodel. There are thousands of kitchen remodeling options and ideas for every budget, but before getting the sledgehammer out and stripping that old wallpaper, it is best to review some helpful planning tips and tricks. This way, you are better-prepared for your upcoming kitchen remodeling project!

The First Step to Kitchen Remodeling

There could be hundreds of things wrong with your kitchen, all of which can be fixed with some effective planning. Take a look at your countertops, your electrical connections, your fuel supplies, appliances, floors, cabinets, and more. Make a detailed assessment regarding the condition of your kitchen, and from this, make a list of what you do and do not like about it. Be sure to write all of this down so that you can refer to it later. These are the first steps to considering a kitchen remodel!

Countertops, Appliances, Floors, and More

Stained or cracked countertops? Might be the perfect time for new ones. Old and outdated appliances? It’s a good investment to upgrade these with new ones. What about the floors? Are they in need of polishing or replacement? Another good investment. These are the ideas that should be running through your thoughts as you make this list of likes and dislikes.

Electrical Connections

Now, have another look at your kitchen’s electrical connections. If you cannot run one appliance while using another, this may be something that you want to change. You will need to change your kitchen’s fuel lines if the gas is not working, and repair the electrical connections for all other appliances.


You want to also consider your kitchen’s plumbing and pipe-works. Inspect for any leaks, loud noises, or clogged drains. Any presence of all three will require master plumber services before a kitchen remodel can take place. At this point, you might want to also assess all your kitchen plumbing remodel wants and desires. Perhaps you want to install a dishwasher? This is another option to consider in the beginning stages of kitchen renovation planning.

Cabinets and Other Aesthetic Upgrades

Once you have located and determined all the needed repairs and desired alterations in your kitchen, it is time to consider the aesthetic upgrades that will customize and complete the entire look. This includes cabinet replacements, flooring replacements, plumbing fixture upgrades, and more.