14 June 2017
Nicola McDougall via domain.com.au
Whether you’re a homebuyer or a homeowner wanting to refinance, valuations can result in you uncomfortably sweating on that all-important final number.
But, while valuers are professionals who clearly know what they’re doing, are there any strategies to improving your valuation?
Should you highlight every single improvement when the valuer is on-site or is it best to leave them alone so they can get on with the job?
Herron Todd White national director Valuation Tony Higgs says it can be beneficial for owners to be on-site but you don’t want to be over-eager.
“Obviously we’re trying to get as much information as we can while we’re on-site and if the owner is constantly following us around and going, ‘This is the toilet. This is the laundry’, well, those sorts of things we can work out for ourselves,” he says.
“It’s those things that they’ve done recently that they want to point out to the valuer, which is great, and that’s the stuff we want to know.”
For properties that have been recently renovated, Higgs suggests owners mention the improvements at the start of the valuation process and then point them out once the valuer has moved inside the property. Photo: Jessica Shapiro
Highlighting improvements which might be not immediately visible, such as solar panels, is also a good idea, Higgs says.
For properties that have been recently renovated, Higgs suggests owners mention the improvements at the start of the valuation process and then point them out once the valuer has moved inside the property.
Higgs says being on-site during the valuation not only allows owners to provide relevant information to the valuer, it also helps them to understand the process.
Metropole Brisbane Director Shannon Davis meets valuers on-site to point out improvements as well as to provide information about comparable properties. Photo: Peter Riches
“For the owner, it’s always beneficial for them to be on-site because they can get an understanding of what the valuer has done while they’ll out there,” Higgs says.
“If they’re there with the valuer at the time, and if there are issues that they want to raise, that’s the best time to flag them.”
Metropole Brisbane Director Shannon Davis meets valuers on-site to point out improvements as well as to provide information about comparable properties.
And he’s not afraid to challenge a valuation that’s nowhere near his own research.
“There can be some valuations that are way off. We’ve challenged valuations before, especially near the turn of the market,” he says.
“You might have someone who’s just out of the odds who brings it in $20,000 or $30,000 under, but we’re at the market coalface day in and day out.”
One such valuation, Davis says, was a valuer who missed one bedroom entirely and therefore came in about $70,000 below the expected value.
Insisting on an on-site rather than kerbside or desk-top valuation could help to reduce mistakes and also potentially improve the end result, Davis says.
“I think wherever possible, it’s worthwhile to meet the valuer at the property and show them through the scope of works and bring a list of comparables as well,” he says.
“Also (challenging a valuation) might cost a little bit more… but spending money to get access to more money can be really worth it if you’re acquiring an appreciating asset.”
14 June 2017
Jane Eyles-Bennett via domain.com.au
You’ve made the decision to sell your home, but do you leave it as is or give it some renovation love? I work with clients every week who battle this question.
They are often worried that dollars spent could be dollars down the toilet. Where exactly is the happy balance between adding value and appeal to your home in order to attract buyers and the best price, and spending money unnecessarily?
The answer, unfortunately, is different for every property. However, after having helped hundreds of home sellers prepare their properties for sale, I have learnt a number of things. Here is a list of the most common mistakes I’ve seen:
You’ve made the decision to sell, but do you leave your home as it is or do some renovation? Photo: Simon Potter
Renovating the bathroom
This is a controversial one. I wrote an article recently called Renovating to Sell; You’re doing it wrong. In it I claim that the most important areas to get right when you’re preparing your home to sell are, in order, the exterior, kitchen, living spaces and then the bathroom.
The bathroom should get a little bit of loving, but do not splurge on this area if the exterior and kitchen aren’t in good shape. Sometimes a bathroom does need a major overhaul, but in many cases they’re no worse than the exterior and kitchen, which can be deal breakers for potential buyers.
If you need proof that a bathroom doesn’t necessarily need an overhaul, check out my client’s renovation, where he did almost nothing to it and still made $343,000 when he sold.
Totally transform the interior
Aside from costing an arm and a leg to completely gut and renovate the interior of your home (and risk not getting your money back, come time to sell), completely changing the design of an interior can be a dangerous move to make, especially if it doesn’t tie in with the style of your home.
Be it a Federation style, a Queenslander, an 80s brick house or something else, there’s nothing worse than a home with a super slick modern interior and no link to its original style. Creating a modern version of your home is the best way to go. Update old elements with new ones, in a way that complements and blends the original period with the current one.
The before shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett’s projects.
Paint feature walls
In my opinion, feature walls are an absolute no go when selling a property. If you have them, my advice is always to get rid of them.
These days, the trend is to add impact with furniture, rugs, artwork and cushions. Decorating in this way will give the perception of a larger space. This is because the focal point is in the centre of the room. The more a feature wall or ceiling is focused on, the smaller a room can appear.
Render a brick exterior
I’ve seen so many homes unnecessarily rendered prior to selling. This is such a waste of money. Many assume that they will add value to their home automatically by rendering it but this is not always the case. An earlier article I wrote for Domain explains this in more detail.
Suffice to say, if you own a brick house, you usually don’t always need to render it to make it look great. Simple tricks with trim colours, new focal points and landscaping can work absolute wonders.
The after shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett’s projects.
Don’t forget to clean and tidy your home
While you do need to clean and tidy your home, it’s essential that you also declutter. This includes getting rid of any items that make the home specific to you. Things like family photos, Nana’s crochet blanket, kids artwork and trinkets – all need to go.
Pare back your space, but leave enough visual interest so the house isn’t boring. The intention is to create a blank canvas for buyers to imagine themselves living there. Be sure to leave enough room for their imagination to fill in the gaps.
Jane Eyles-Bennett is one of Australia’s leading home renovation and interior design experts. She is an award-winning interior designer with more than 25 years’ experience designing the interiors and exteriors of homes; specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces.
For more information about what might suit for your own property gives us call on 9475 9622 or email us at email@example.com
14 June 2017
1 Palm Tree Accents
2 Pastel and Wicker
3 Moody Blue
4 Teal Touches
5 Cherry Pop
6 Cosy and Chic
7 Colourful Eclectic
8 Dark and Dramatic
9 Grey Days
10 Bold Gold
11 Cobalt and Lilac
12 White and Gold Marble
13 Midcentury Music Fans
14 Salvaged Chic
15 Pastel Pink Perfection
16 Upscale Pastels
17 Classic Linen
18 Retro Revival
19 Colourful Crafts
20 Ladder Shelves and Houseplants
21 Statement Furniture
22 Fashionista Greys
23 Pink, White, and Cosy
24 ’60s Orange
25 Blue-Grey and Bold
26 Pastel Sofa and Statement Rug
27 Shades of Beige and Brown
28 Let the Light In
29 Retro Woods and Pops of Colour
30 Greyscale Chic
31 Cosy Cream
32 Pops of Pink
33 Textured Layers
34 Bringing the Outside In
35 Bowie and Velvet
36 Grey and Copper (and Cats!)
14 June 2017
Ugly window treatments are the thorn in almost every renter’s rear. Plastic mini blinds — or worse, vertical blinds — are automatic aesthetic killers, but they can be remedied for a shockingly small amount of money. The key to making dirt-cheap window treatments look like a million dollars is as easy as knowing where to shop and mastering the designer tricks for hanging them properly. This foolproof formula will instantly elevate the look of any room — we promise!
Start With the Classics: White Linen Curtains + Black Curtain Rods
You cannot go wrong with white linen curtains and black rods with simple finials. Think of it as the tuxedo for interiors, only a tux that plays well with any style, from formal traditional to California casual. This pared-down colour palette also grants you permission to go bananas with colours and prints in other places in the room and you won’t get sick of your choice halfway through your lease.
Find Affordable Versions of the Classics
Absurdly cheap price point aside, these Ikea Lenda curtains ($29.99 for a pair) are actually beautiful in person and well-loved by design bloggers. You can add Ikea’s black-out liner to create a thicker, heavier drape, which can make them look even more formal, or leave them as is if you want them to filter (not block) light while adding privacy. They also come with heading tape along the top back of the curtains, which makes it easy to create pleats with hooks and curtain rings.
Use Curtain Rings:
Using curtain rings makes opening and closing curtains a cinch, but designers also prefer their polished aesthetic. Adding rings creates neatly pinched pleats that keep curtains looking beautiful, open or closed.
Know How to Hang Your Curtains:
Create the optical illusion of sky-high ceilings by hanging your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. You’ll be amazed by how drastically this shifts the look and feel of a room.
- Extend drapery rods out about four to six inches (not including the finial). This will make your window appear wider and allow you to enjoy the full spans of your window when the curtains are open.
- Hang curtains so that the bottoms barely touch the the floor or have one or two inches of fabric on the floor. If your curtains are longer, you can have them hemmed by measuring and pinning them to the desired length once you’ve hung them. If they aren’t long enough, you can add more fabric for a cool colourblock look, no sewing needed!
Image Source: Studio McGee
14 June 2017
The search is over – you’ve settled on your new address. The movers are booked, the boxes are packed, now what? It’s time to make that place feel like home. It’s easy to get carried away with all the big changes and costly renovations you’d like to make, but they are not always possible, at least not right away. In the meantime, here’s your six-step go-to guide to turning any space into a place you’ll love calling home.
1. Clean and scrub
Okay it might seem obvious, and an easy one to palm off to a professional, but even if you do spring for an expert to help with the heavy lifting, there’s much to be said for getting down and dirty yourself. It helps you bond with your home and get to know its structure and its unique quirks. You can’t beat a sense of intimacy with your space for making it feel like a home.
Photo: Pottery Barn
2. Respect those who came before you
Whether it’s the architect who designed your apartment or the decades of homeowners before you, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. Can’t bear those old slate floors at first sight? Hang in there. Embrace your home’s idiosyncrasies, including the questionable style choices of past owners, and try not to be arrogant. Maybe the house has a point. Wait to see what it might be before diving into an expensive new fitout.
3. Make a floor plan for the way you actually live
This includes choosing furniture that will service the way you use your home. For instance, there’s no point taking up precious space with a large formal living room if you only ever eat at the kitchen bench. Maybe a few new barstools are all that’s required for an eat-in kitchen, leaving you a whole spare room to turn into a much-needed study. Alternatively, replacing your pair of bulky, two-seater sofas with a single sectional sofa might help de-formalise and open the layout of your new living area.
Photo: west elm
4. Run for covers
The easiest, most affordable reno-free makeover you can give any space is paint and textiles – in that order. If paint is a priority to freshen up a tired or grubby place, then you can’t go wrong with basic white (and it’s easy to go over later). Textile-wise, start with rugs and curtains, choosing designs that reflect your style and complement the period of your home. Finally, finish with cushion covers – you’d be amazed at the way they will transform any tired sofa or uninspired corner.
5. Allocate a place for everything you own and everything you use
A little planning at the start will help curb the clutter and keep your home tidy and more manageable over time. For example, if a vast book collection is your pride and joy, then a wall dedicated to open shelving may be a better use of space than a pretty sideboard and mirror. Or if you’re keen cyclists in a tiny apartment, a wall-mounted bike rack might be just the wall decor for you.
6. Tell your story
Displaying photos, personal collections and travel mementos are well worn ways of reflecting and celebrating the people who live in a home, but there are other subtle solutions, too. Introduce a favourite, memory-inducing fragrance via a vase of fresh flowers or a scented candle. Or add a glass cloche or display box with a favourite childhood object or holiday souvenir to instantly bring that personal touch home.
Photo: Pottery Barn
06 June 2017
30 May 2017
Modiefied via houzz.com.au
Embrace the new season by making your home a cosy and comforting retreat you won’t want to leave.
There are plenty of things to love about winter – soft, woolly blankets, hearty vegie soup and cosy, candlelit nights in, just to name a few. Consider these simple ways to prepare your home for the cooler months ahead and you will love it even more.
1. Get your heating sorted
While lots of Australians mightn’t give home heating a second thought for most of the year, now is the time to make sure everything is in good working order. No heater, air conditioning or fireplace? Consider insulation options and ensure you have adequate bedding and blankets on hand for when the temperature drops.
2. Reorganise your wardrobe
Bringing your knits, scarves and boots out of storage can feel like you have a whole new wardrobe! After gently washing woolies, bring cold weather items to the front of the your cupboard and create more room by packing away those you won’t be needing as often, such as swimwear, tank tops and summer dresses.
3. Plan a big night in
There’s no better time of year to organise a weekly night in, and we’re not talking about an evening in front of the television. Cold weather outside is no excuse for being anti-social – stock up on board games and snacks and invite friends over for a weekly get-together, taking it in turns to host.
4. Up your soft furnishings
Early starts are not much fun when it’s freezing above the blankets, so having something soft and warm underfoot can make all the difference. Adding luxe furnishings such as wool, faux fur and velvet to your bedroom and living area brings an instant feeling of cosiness and makes cool mornings more bearable.
Rachel Lewis Photography
5. Don’t forget about colour
It’s easy to gravitate towards dark, comforting shades when the weather turns icy, but adding some bursts of colour can be a great mood-booster. Bring in some cushions in your favourite hue or hang a vibrant artwork to warm a cool palette.
6. Let in some fresh air
Just because things are chilly outside doesn’t mean you need to close the house up. Adequate ventilation is important year-round, and over winter it can be uplifting to throw open the windows and allow some cool, crisp air to freshen up a musty space, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.
Ellie Lillstrom Photography
7. Take up a hobby
With early sunsets and long, cold nights, winter is the ideal time to begin a new project or hobby. Have you always wanted to play the guitar? Take up knitting? Learn a new language? Start now and you’ll be up-skilled by the time spring rolls around.
8. Cook up seasonal produce
Celebrate winter by making a delicious meal with a fresh, seasonal bounty of vegetables. In Australia, beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato and onions are all at their best for whipping up a warming soup.
9. Declutter and refresh
While an annual spring clean is common practice, many might not consider a home refresh and declutter coming into the colder months. Take stock of what’s in your home – do you have adequate storage? Is your living area suitable for indoor entertaining? Is there anything that can be packed away or donated to charity? A winter clean-out can be just as effective as a spring clean in making your home feel fresh and ready for the arrival of a new season.
Ashley Camper Photography
10. Light a warming candle
Candles are synonymous with winter and add a comforting glow to any dinner setting or bedside table. Look for beeswax and soy candles with natural cotton wicks and pure essential oil fragrances – vanilla, sandalwood and white musk are warming winter fragrances.
24 May 2017
State Treasurer Ben Wyatt today announced the $15,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for newly built homes will be cut back to $10,000 on 1 July 2017.
Mr Wyatt said the previous Liberal Government’s decision to increase the FHOG by $5,000 in December last year was not an effective mechanism for stimulating additional construction of homes.
“Given the disastrous state of the finances which we have inherited, we need to remove any ineffective spending.
“Ceasing the boost early will allow the State Government to fund higher priority areas while ensuring Western Australian first home buyers continue to be eligible for generous Government assistance,” Mr Wyatt said.
REIWA analysis shows that the introduction of the grant in January 2017 did little to stimulate activity levels in the new-build market.
At the time of the grant increase, REIWA President Hayden Groves said the Institute was concerned the $5,000 boost would widen the gap between established and newly built properties for first home buyers.
REIWA Councillor Suzanne Brown said now that the FHOG is returning to $10,000, REIWA hopes this will help to even out the playing field, albeit marginally, between the established and newly-built market.
“However, there is still work to be done to help first home buyers purchase an established property as the gap remains significant,” Ms Brown said.
18 May 2017
Laura Barry via houzz.com.au
With its rich, velvety, jewel-toned look, the new-traditional style trend arrives just in time for the cooler weather
The new-traditional look is a bold one. Characterised by the use of velvet, jewel tones, and rounded, tufted furniture, it goes a long way towards cosying up our homes for autumn and the onset of winter. But truth be told, it can be a difficult one to incorporate into an existing interior scheme. Here, we give you some tried and tested tips for adding these little luxurious touches to your home… without going to the length of redesigning your decor.
First, a bit of background
The new-traditional look originally stemmed from English country style, and featured saturated colours and multiple patterns teamed with heavy furniture and accessories. However, it has recently undergone a contemporary transformation and now encapsulates tufted-velvet furniture and jewel-toned colour schemes.
Today’s new-traditional look is one that can be incorporated on a large scale, or by simple accessories, into any home.
Natalie Fuglestveit Interior Design
New-traditional colours tend to moody, jewel-toned hues; think emerald green, claret red, burgundy, dark sapphire blue and saturated pinks – even mustard or sage green. These emerald-green cushions are a low-key nod to the new-traditionalist look.
How to work colour in on a smaller scale: Try picking out the nearest jewel-like colour in your current interior scheme, be it in an artwork, accessory or rug, then accentuate it by adding a throw, bedding or curtains in a similar (but stronger) or complementary colour.
Decorating with tertiary colours
On a larger scale:
Consider purchasing, or reupholstering, one statement piece of furniture, such as a sofa, armchair or ottoman, in one of the aforementioned colours. This piece will immediately draw people’s attention, so be sure to place it in a room where it isn’t competing with other eye-catching accessories, arrangements, furniture or colours. This teal ottoman is a great example.
Tip: The rich colours common to new-traditional styling are a push back against the desaturated colour palettes that have been popular worldwide during recent times (think dusty pinks, minty greens etc). New-traditional style draws on bygone times where bright colours, comfort and cosiness were king.
The fabric that is key to this latest interpretation of new-traditional style is velvet. This plush material is warm, cosy and perfect for bringing out the best in jewel tones and moody colours. However, it can attract hair – so be sure to keep any canine or feline friends away from it – or have a lint roller handy!
How to work fabric in on a smaller scale: Similar to the key colours; incorporate it on a small scale via curtains, a doona cover, lampshade or cushions.
Alexander James Interiors
This look favours furniture in grand styles, such as Louis-shaped chairs, chesterfield-inspired sofas and chaise longues in clean, modern colours.
However, the new-traditional look also favours comfort, so don’t shy away from a cushy, well-padded sofa.
Tip: The new-traditional look takes inspiration from opulent, glamorous designs that haven’t been in the spotlight recently. Look to luxe hotels with tufted bedheads, Louis chairs and French provincial-inspired furniture for guidance. Bedheads are an especially opulent touch that are key to tackling this look on a large scale.
Carriage Lane Design-Build Inc.
How to work furniture in on a smaller scale:
Try choosing one large or hero item as your statement piece, or introduce a square or round upholstered ottoman in velvet.
The key to this style is balance. It shouldn’t jar the eye or overshadow the rest of your decor.
5 techniques for getting scale right
Accessories that go hand in hand with this look are based on a saturated warm colour palette, plush fabric and furniture. Try ceramics and glassware in dark, romantic colours and pair them with metallic ornaments and sculptural or romantic floral arrangements.
Charlotte Crosland Interiors
How to work accessories in on a smaller scale: Collections of shapely ceramics in dark colours grouped together in vignettes on shelves will set this look off well, especially when combined with a few jewel-toned velvet furnishings. Play with scale and add a tall coloured glass vase to smaller, portly ceramic vessels. Vintage books will complement this look too.
Ultimately, new-traditional style is a decorating technique that offers a creative outlet for those wanting to experiment with large shapes, opulent colours and luxe fabrics, and who might be feeling a little restricted by minimalist interior styles that draw upon Nordic, Japanese and Danish decorating.
While those looks are here to stay, new-traditional style invites you to be brave, bold and excited by a saturated colour palette.
17 May 2017
Maggie Winterfeldt via domain.com.au
You’ve put heart, soul and a lot of bucks into turning your house into a home. The last thing you want is for someone to break in and rob you. A home intruder is scary to even think about, but spending a few minutes of time recognising and fixing ways your home is vulnerable can pay off big down the road.
Here are nine ways you may be inadvertently making your home more attractive to thieves:
Rundown front door
Are you inadvertently making your home more attractive to thieves? Photo: Sean Locke
Your front door is the first place burglars will look, and a dilapidated front door signals that your home is an easy target. A clean, painted front door gives the impression that the entire home is well-cared for and harder to breach.
Burglars look to see what kind of locks they’ll have to navigate to enter, and when they see only the standard cylinder lock they’re more likely to have a go than if there’s also a padlock visible. In short: doubling up on locks makes your door physically more difficult to break into and your home less appealing to burglars.
The discarded boxes and bags from all your big-ticket purchases are like advertisements to burglars of the valuables inside your home. Prevent thieves from getting as excited over your new flat screen TV box as you are with your new TV by keeping this type of garbage inside until trash pickup day.
Burglars don’t like to risk being seen, so when you create a barrier of light around your home using motion sensor activated and basic exterior lights, you’re creating a barrier around your home through which they’re not likely to penetrate. Pay special attention to vulnerable areas like front and back doors and walkways.
When planted beneath windows, bushes and shrubs are not only pretty, but they’re an obstacle to climbing into windows. Burglars are especially deterred by the kind of greenery that has thorns or makes loud snapping noises. For trees reaching up to second story windows, be sure to clean up lower branches so they can’t function as a ladder.
Piles of mail are a sign that you’re out of town and primed for a robbery. If you’re going away for a while, use the Request Hold Mail service to stop delivery while you’re gone. For shorter periods, a neighbour will likely be glad to pick up your deliveries.
You don’t want burglars to get a peek at all the goodies you have inside your home, so shut the curtains, pull the shades, put a giant house plant in front of a street-facing window – do whatever you have to do to keep unwanted eyes out. Be especially mindful at night when the dark sky and lit interior combine to create a fishbowl effect in your home.
Encountering the resident is way more than most burglars are bargaining for. If they think you’re in the house, they’re staying out of it, so make it look like someone’s home by turning on a light or two and even leaving on a TV or radio to make some noise. For prolonged periods away, you can use electronic timers to turn them on and off automatically.
Non-existent alarm system
They take a bit of financial investment, but a quality alarm system is a huge burglar deterrent, and a necessary one if you live in a high-crime neighbourhood. Do your research and pick a reputable alarm company – thieves know the bad and bogus alarm system signs – and consider high-tech options, such as alarms with a camera that allow you to monitor your home from anywhere.
11 May 2017
Author: Jen Dalley via domain.com.au
The next time you hear the rhythm of rain as it drums overhead, grab your boots and venture outside to follow the rainwater’s journey. After it hits your roof, where does it go to next?
If your home is like most, the water probably travels down gutters, through downspouts and onto an asphalt driveway, picking up traces of pollutants such as petroleum and pesticides along the way. Down a street gutter it goes, eventually finding its way into a storm drain. This may be as far as you can visibly follow the journey, but it certainly doesn’t stop there. Much stormwater runoff finds its way into nearby rivers and lakes.
Photo by Kettelkamp & Kettelkamp
Redirecting stormwater into the ground is a much greener option. Microorganisms in the soil are able to digest the pollutants, purifying the water on its path back into the aquifer. Allowing the water to seep into the ground also helps prevent the erosion of nearby waterways caused by runoff.
By replacing your impervious asphalt or concrete driveway with a permeable surface, you’ll be supporting groundwater recharge while also visually softening your property.
The first step in installing a permeable driveway (sometimes referred to as a sustainable drainage system, or SuDS) is deciding which design will work best for you.
Open-cell pavers are simply concrete pavers with holes that can be filled with a pervious material. Filling the cells with vegetation can soften the entire look and add a bit of green to your site.
The open-cell pavers shown here provide the minimum surface area a car would need to navigate the path.
What’s underneath the pavers is what really counts. A solid base is key to minimizing heaving and cracking. You will need a 15cm subbase of 3.8cm clean rock topped with a 10.1cm base of 1.9cm clean rock, to make the driveway stable enough for cars to pass over it. The paver system goes on top of that. A polyurethane liner should be used near any foundation walls or concrete that needs to be protected from water flow-back.
Photo by Shouldice Media
Pervious pavers commonly have joints filled with aggregate to allow water to penetrate between the pavers. Tabs are formed into each paver, providing the correct joint width and making installation easier. As with open-cell pavers, a sturdy base is required.
Some ceramic pavers are actually porous themselves, allowing the water to pass through the surface directly, instead of through the gaps between. This means the gap can be narrower and doesn’t have to be refilled with aggregate as often — a common chore with other pervious paver systems.
Due to the small size of the pavers, cracking or heaving is not an issue in cold climates.
Gravel is another surface to consider. It will also need a base underlayment to maximise its pervious nature. Usually this is a plastic mat made up of circular or honeycomb cells structured to provide load-bearing support. These cells are filled with gravel and help keep rainwater in the soil and out of sewers.
By Jen Dalley | Salt Lake City
A combination of systems can be used, too. Pavers and concrete strips together give this driveway visual interest.
When you have decided on a system and are ready to install it, look to redirect as much of the water as possible from your patio, roofline and downspouts to the new permeable area, so you’re capturing as much runoff water as possible.
Systems like this open cell with vegetation allow water to pass through as much as 40 per cent of the surface area.
Most jurisdictions enforce land-use codes that limit the buildable area on a lot. Many also include a maximum amount of impervious surface area allowed on a parcel. The driveway is a great place to include more permeable area, especially if the lot is small.
Photo by PLACE architect ltd. – Browse for a landscape designer
Interested in adding a permeable driveway? Here’s more info:
Who to hire: You’ll need an excavator to dig a trench for the system and a landscape crew to put in the paver system — especially if you use concrete and don’t want to mix and place the concrete yourself.
Considerations: Find out what type of soil you have. It could range from sand (fast drainage time) to clay (longer drainage time).
Permit: Check with your local council.
Best time to do this project: Late spring or summer, when the weather will cooperate. Construction during winter in colder climates is not recommended due to frost-depth issues.
Project length: One to two weeks.
Cost: Many permeable pavers within Australia allow you to request a sample size of the paver before purchasing, although the final cost will be affected by the type of paver, your location, the size of the project and the amount of site work required.
By installing a permeable driveway, you’ll be directly protecting the integrity of our natural resources, supporting groundwater recharge and adding green space to help balance carbon dioxide levels.
04 May 2017
With an increasing number of lifestyle movements like hygge advocating the joys of a cosier, more laid-back way of life, we’re spending more and more time in the comfort of our homes. Staying in is made all the sweeter however, when you’ve got creature comforts to indulge in, one of which is a reading nook.
Every bibliophile knows there’s no greater joy than a calm, quiet space where they can fully escape with a book in hand. And the good news is, you don’t need to have oodles of in-house space to make it a reading nook a reality. We spoke to Chris Carroll, editor and interior stylist of The Life Creative, to get the (very easy) how-to.
1. Make the Most of Your Living Room
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
You don’t always need to have a dedicated corner in the house or home office to make a reading nook work. According to Chris, the living room is a growing increasingly popular as the space of choice. “Especially if you’ve got one of those L-shaped sofas, putting an armchair diagonally across from that L-shape will make the room feel quite resolved,” he says. “A living room like that is a really good example where it’ll not only function well because you can sit and get cosy, but visually, it makes the room make more sense because it’s quite balanced in terms of the furniture in the space.”
2. Grab a Chair (a Very Comfy Chair)
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
For reading nooks, the best kinds of chairs are literally, the kind you would never want to leave. Ones with nice upholstery work best, and avoid hard woods or leathers. “Look for chairs that have a high back — a wing back is a really good example of a particular type of armchair you’d want to cosy up in,” says Chris. “There are a lot chairs on the market that don’t have arms on them, I’d avoid those — you want something that’s going to hug and hold onto you, and that you can sink into as well.”
3. Opt For a Small Side Table
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
“I always recommend going for a round side table — something to put a drink on, or your books or glasses. If you have it on tripod legs or similar , it gives the illusion of more legs and air flows through, so it makes it feel a little bit fresher,” says Chris.
4. Pick the Right Lighting
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio
Nothing’s worse than getting to the end of a thrilling chapter and realising you’ve been squinting your through it, so having the right lighting is key. “To nicely light up the space, I’d gravitate towards floor lamps that have a directional head of them you can point toward you.,” says Chris. “Avoid things like lamp shades because they don’t actually cast enough light down onto the nook itself.”
This is all about amping up the cosiness factor. “Putting on some throws, chunky knits, faux furs — adding some different textures and softness to the armchair,” Chris says.