Blog


20 April 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

7992823943c6fa91_IMG_8843
Image Source: Woods & Warner

Sleep is important. Like, really important. It contributes to your physical and mental health, happiness and all-round well-being. Step one of getting it right, is creating a space that relaxes and lulls you to sleep, rather than triggering or reminding you of all your to-dos and stresses.

Before you figure out what should be in your snooze palace (yep, that’s what we’re calling it now), it’s good to know what should definitely not be making an appearance behind the palace doors. So we asked interior designers, a lighting scientist and a sleep brand founder (who knows a thing of two about getting a good night’s sleep) to lend their expertise. Heed their advice and nights of perfect rest are all yours. And yes, you will totally feel like a princess. Princess Snooze.

1. Pets

Research shows that 30 percent of pet owners who share their beds report waking up at least once a night because of their furry loved ones. If you want a night of wondrous, uninterrupted sleep, the pooch has to sleep in his own room.

2. Food

“Avoid eating in your bedroom as it sends the wrong signals to your brain,” says Shea Morrison, co-founder of The Goodnight Co.

3. Any work

“Leave your work out of the bedroom, lying in bed processing your work will more likely make you nervous or agitated, or fill your mind with things you’ll need to do in the morning rather than letting you wind down,” says Shea, and interior designer Melita Mayvn of Mayvn Interiors agrees. “Don’t have your office in your bedroom,” she says, “Your bedroom is your sanctuary, not a working space.”

4. Phones and all other electronic devices

After significant research, we now know that staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the melatonin, which is exactly what you need to for your body to feel sleepy. Without it it’s hard to fall, and stay, asleep. Plus, receiving notifications can be disruptive (especially if you don’t keep your phone on silent).

5. Blue and white light

Other than the sleep-zapping blue and white light that comes from our screens, eliminate all cool white and blue light. “Shades of white light have different impacts on our circadian rhythms,” says Dr Luc Schlangen, scientist and Philips lighting research expert. “Exposure to cool, blue white light suppresses melatonin, and hence makes us feel more alert and awake. That’s why offices, gyms and operating theatres use this shade of white light, whereas exposure to warm yellowish white light increases melatonin levels, and is used in places of relaxation like our living rooms and bedrooms, and also bars, restaurants, and hotels.” Ensure the light bulbs in your bedroom are warm, soft and ideally, adjustable. Try out a Smart Bulb like Philips Hue, $29.88.

6. Bold feature walls

Interior designers Sonia Warner and Jacinta Woods of Woods & Warner say the single painted feature wall is a thing of the past (that they hope never comes back). “Be brave and paint or wallpaper the whole room . . . it will feel more connected and sophisticated.” Not to mention more relaxing, which is exactly why Melita says to steer clear of red, orange or hot pink in the bedroom, “Your bedroom should be soothing and relaxing rather than vibrant and busy.”

7. Oversized furniture

Over crowding your sleep space is a sure way to make yourself restless. Melita warns against furniture that’s too big for your space, “This will make your bedroom feel smaller and cramped.” While Sarah Cichy, director of Piccolo PR says over accessorising or mixing too many patterns will also make things feel cramped. “It’s hard to relax with too much clutter, so keep things open. Select a signature piece and then use a mix of quieter neutrals for the remaining furniture so that the space feels light and open.”

Comments (0)

15 February 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

15 Easy Ways to Make an Old Home Look Like NewImage Source: Inspired by Charm

This past weekend, my husband and I moved from the 94-year-old home we’ve been renting in the Berkeley Hills to a 58-year-old home around the corner. I have always had a soft spot for old homes — the architecture, the charm, the doorknobs! — but they definitely come with their quirks. Love ’em or hate ’em — if you’re living in an old house, you know there are some issues to contend with. Read on to find a list of 15 (relatively) quick fixes to make your old home feel new again.

Paint the Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets
Image Source: A Beautiful Mess

This is a big project, I won’t lie. I painted my cabinets once despite being spectacularly DIY averse. But that monotonous oak was killing me, so I persevered. And it is so worth it! A few cans of paint (and many hours of your life) will completely transform your kitchen — in fact, your whole home.

Paint a Tile Backsplash

Paint a Tile Backsplash
Image Source: One Kings Lane

Boring white tile backsplash? No matter — geometric patterns are hot this year, and you can make your own in a weekend!

Give Your Pantry a Makeover

Give Your Pantry a MakeoverImage Source: Polished Habitat

What with layers of paint and warping wood, old house pantries can definitely be lacking, so give yours a makeover! Make it the happiest place in the house.

Paint a Brick Fireplace

Paint a Brick FireplaceImage Source: Inspired by Charm

If your brick surround is an eyesore, not to worry — just paint it.

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood Planks

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood PlanksImage Source: Domino

Is this a major project? Yes. But then everything related to the ubiquitous popcorn ceiling seems to be. This is a doable DIY if you plan ahead. And the outcome is gorgeous!

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions
Image Source: House Tweaking

This is an easy fix, but buying reproduction doorknobs can get pricey fast. To keep the budget down, shop local salvage yards or source an eclectic collection on Etsy.

Paint Kitchen and Bath Hardware

Paint Kitchen and Bath HardwareImage Source: Brittany Makes

Old kitchen and bath hardware can look pretty tired, and it’s no wonder, what with all the heavy lifting they do for us every day. But with a little sanding, primer, and paint, you can give them a new life. Check out this tutorial on how to spray-paint hardware for some inspiration!

Paint the Floor

Paint the Floor
Image Source: Little Green Notebook

Check out this great tutorial on how to paint a tile floor. Let your creativity run free with multiple colours and a repeating pattern.

Paint a Wood Fireplace

Paint a Wood FireplaceImage Source: The Makerista

Does your old house have a room (or rooms) full of wood siding? Can there be too much of a good thing? Sometimes a focal point is all that’s needed to draw the eye.

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk Paint

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk PaintImage Source: Sarah Hearts

Are you cursed with a dated cinder block patio wall? Do this now! Cutest solution ever, although definitely opt for paint over chalk to make sure your hard work lasts and lasts.

Paint Your Trim

Paint Your TrimImage Source: The Makerista

Old homes often have intricate architectural details — show them off by painting them a dramatic contrasting colour.

Container Garden in Place of Landscaping

Container Garden in Place of LandscapingImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

If your landscaping looks as old as your house but new landscaping is not in the budget, try a container garden instead. Add a few at a time (just remember to water them from time to time), and soon your garden will be looking cheerful.

Spray-Paint ’80s Brass Light Fixtures

Spray-Paint '80s Brass Light FixturesImage Source: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Sometimes a can of spray paint and an afternoon is all it takes to update an old light fixture.

Tile Over Your Countertop

Tile Over Your CountertopImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Dated tile? Yucky grout? Tile over it! Click here for the DIY.

Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of Colour

Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of ColourImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Leave it to the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess to make even an ugly concrete patio look adorable.

 

 

Comments (0)

11 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

Melissa Cowan on Houzz

The weather is seriously heating up, it’s light until 8pm and everyone is in the mood to socialise and drink sangria (rather than stay home and watch movies). Summer usually means an abundance of parties – from Christmas catch-ups to New Year’s celebrations, to “just because” gatherings of family and friends.

If you find yourself hosting a summer party, here are some ideas to have on hand that will make it a soiree to remember.

6510319

Photo by Elizabeth Home Decor & Design, Inc

Set up a self-serve drinks trolley
Setting up a drinks trolley to allow your guests to serve themselves will save you a lot of time during the event. Whether you’re planning for your summer party a long time in advance or throwing it together at the last minute, putting together a drinks trolley is an excellent idea. And being on wheels means you can easily cart it outside.

Tip: Pack your trolley full of everything you may possibly need, from liquor to cocktail shakers, straws and citrus. Keep a back-up supply nearby for when anything runs out.

Failing being able to have a drinks trolley, making sangria or punch before the party is delicious and easy. The great thing is that the mixed drinks will only get better as they continue to infuse with the added ingredients (like orange). Just make sure to keep it in the fridge until the guests arrive, and then periodically fill it with ice.

Offer your guests citrus-, mint-, strawberry- or cucumber-infused water to keep them cool on hot days; no one wants to get dehydrated. Also, keep a few ice buckets on hand to fill with ice and hold your water bottles. Try combinations of a few ingredients for variation, like strawberry, lemon and basil, or watermelon and mint.

Tip: Use thin slices and cubes so the flavour can infuse more quickly.

48381

Photo by Dreamy Whites

Use mason jars for … everything
What can’t you do with a mason jar? They make fabulous cocktail containers and beautiful makeshift vases. Plus it’s much quicker to make a big batch of cocktails in the blender and then pour it into the jars, rather than trying to mix them in each jar.

Jars also make for lovely candle holders. Add pebbles or shells at the bottom of the jar to create a beachy vibe (and to help prevent them from tipping over).

Tip: When using jars as vases, make sure they are filled with enough water to weigh them down, and that the flowers or branches put in them aren’t so heavy that they’ll topple over.

Display your garden cuttings
Plant cuttings are a surefire way to add vibrancy to your party. Use mismatched vessels for floating them in with water, and mix up the types of plants you feature. Succulents look particularly beautiful, but flowers are also a great option.

Give the foliage a home among the food to create a rustic and relaxed tone to the party. You could even intersperse herbs in pots for your guests to pick and sprinkle on their food.

String up some fairy lights

Who doesn’t love fairy lights? Lighting is one of the quickest ways to add ambience to a space. Stick to warm light to prevent the lighting from sticking out too much from its surroundings.

Tip: Before starting, measure the area where you want to use the fairy lights – and then add on a few more metres for slack.

28365304

Photo by Terri Clark Interiors

Paper lanterns are a great way to add a colour injection into your party. You have the option of having purely decorative lanterns, or ones containing small lamps or lightbulbs. As an added bonus, a “grazing centrepiece” of fruit and vegetables is a stunning and unique way of presenting your offerings.

If you don’t want to go to the effort of stringing up lights, or your party will only be during the day, consider putting up some pretty bunting instead. If your soiree will be continuing into the evening, put out a few light blankets for your guests to drape over themselves. You might be surprised how much the temperature can drop once night falls.

Prep your music situation
In my opinion, music can make or break a party. When choosing your sound system (unless you have a pre-existing one), bluetooth speakers are great because they can be easily moved from room to room. Tailor your music playlist to your guests – are they into the classics or the latest hits? A combination of the two will likely be a crowd pleaser. Try and estimate the amount of time your guests will stay (and take into account that there’s always one or two that stay well into the night!) and then make your playlist long enough. Five or six hours will usually cover it.

Tip: Rather than having one huge, really loud speaker, have a few smaller ones and put them in different spots around your house. Place them above ear level to stop your guests from getting blasted with noise.

Get out the fancy stuff
When people think of summer parties, they usually think of disposable plates and cups and paper serviettes. If you want to break the mould, and trust your friends not to break your teacups, go all out with your special crockery. Don’t worry about them being perfectly matching – mismatched crockery will be totally “boho chic”.

Prepare easy finger food
Light finger food is much easier to handle than a giant meal, especially when the weather is sweltering. Buy your ingredients seasonally to ensure freshness and cost-effectiveness. Dips, crackers and cheese always go down a treat. So that your guests don’t have to line up for their snacks, place a couple of food stations in different locations so they’re more spread out.

Tip: Be sure to include a few vegetarian options if guests have advised they don’t eat meat – or even if you’re not sure of their eating preferences.

Make sure there are shady spots available
Getting burnt and overheated is the quickest way to turn any guest into a sweaty grump. If your guests will be by the pool, put out some outdoor umbrellas. If they’re going to be on the grass, pop up a tent.

Get the pool ready
Having a pool party? As well as the obvious chores like making sure it’s clean and leaf-free, chuck in some inflatable pool toys for your guests to lounge on. Nothing says summer party more than an inflatable flamingo.

65490579

Photo by decor8, LLC

Have fun!
Remember that your highest priority for the party is for you and your guests to have fun. If you’re worried about your guests not knowing each other, or if you get a little uncomfortable in social situations, have a few conversation starters on hand. I particularly like “What’s the most annoying thing your mum does?” or the more conservative “What’s your favourite book of all time?” Relax, most guests will be more than happy to pour their own drinks and serve their own food.

Comments (0)

04 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

If lavish roof gardens and expansive backyards are only a reality on your Pinterest boards, that doesn’t mean your chance at outdoor living is crushed. If you have a balcony, a front porch, or a little patch of grass to call your own (if only on a “renting” basis), then you’ve got potential.

We’ve rounded up outdoor decor ideas for tiny spaces. From the dual purpose, to the fold-up, to the mini, there’s even something for those balconies that have a one-person-at-a-time limit.

Wheel it out, and wheel it back in. VINDALSÖ Trolley ($149)

Wheel it out, and wheel it back in.
Wheel it out, and wheel it back in. VINDALSÖ Trolley ($149)
VINDALSÖ Trolley

$149
from IKEA.COM
Yes, it's instantly an Summer party when you're drinking from a cherry-printed cup. Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Yes, it’s instantly an Summer party when you’re drinking from a cherry-printed cup.

Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Yes, it's instantly an Summer party when you're drinking from a cherry-printed cup. Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Party Drinkware Set
$39.95
Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable. VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)

Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable.

VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)
Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable. VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)
VÄSTERÖN Stool

$14.99
from IKEA.COM
Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board. Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board.

Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board. Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Ikea PS 2014 Bench
$75
from ikea.com
Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit. KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit.

KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit. KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

KNAGGLIG Box
$9.99
from IKEA.COM
Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing. MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing.

MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing. MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair
$39.99
from IKEA.COM
For small areas that need a little more shade. Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

For small areas that need a little more shade.

Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

For small areas that need a little more shade. Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella
$39
from fave.co
The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space. ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space.

ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space. ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf
$159
from ikea.com
Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun). Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun).

Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun). Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Smokey Bulb String Lights

$10
More cordless (solar) lighting options. Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)

More cordless (solar) lighting options.

Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)

More cordless (solar) lighting options. Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)
Solar Ceramic Lantern
$12
The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart. Metal Tray Table ($15)

The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart.

Metal Tray Table ($15)

The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart. Metal Tray Table ($15)

Metal Tray Table
$15
If you've only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one. Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)

If you’ve only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one.

Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)

If you've only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one. Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)
Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair
$360
And a cheaper option. Woven Lounger Chair ($49)
And a cheaper option.Woven Lounger Chair ($49)

And a cheaper option. Woven Lounger Chair ($49)

Woven Lounger Chair
$49
from FAVE.CO
This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails. Woven Bench ($39)

This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails.

Woven Bench ($39)

This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails. Woven Bench ($39)

Woven Bench
$39
All that bulky BBQ equipment in one multi tool. BBQ Multi Tool ($49.95)

All that bulky BBQ equipment in one multi tool.

BBQ Multi Tool ($49.95)

BBQ Multi Tool

$49.95
Yard lighting that's as much about the look as the glow. Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Yard lighting that’s as much about the look as the glow.

Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Yard lighting that's as much about the look as the glow. Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights
$39.95

 

 

Comments (0)

10 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Why This Controversial Organising Method Is Exactly What You NeedImage Source: Flickr user Emma Story

Letting go of clutter is hard to do. Anyone who has encountered the teachings of Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo knows that minimalism is currently all the rage; her housekeeping manual, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has inspired legions of readers to throw away their unneeded belongings. We love all things related to organisation and have to admit to clearing out our drawers and closets in a fit of aspirational tidying ourselves.

Not everyone, though, is on board with KonMari, the nickname Kondo gave her techniques. As with any good trend, there’s a corresponding backlash. In The New York Times this month, a contributing writer extolled the virtues of living a life surrounded by things in an article called “Let’s Celebrate the Art of Clutter.”

Whether you’re pro- or anti-clutter, you must admit there’s a certain calmness to be found in a well-organised drawer. And that’s why we’re big fans of KonMari, even if her work is becoming a tad controversial. Read through to see 25 examples of Marie’s method at work, and see if you aren’t a little inspired to take a turn at organising your own home.

1. Reduce the Number of Clothes You Have

Reduce the Number of Clothes You HaveImage Source: Instagram user edenlighthipe

Kondo believes aspiring KonMari adherents should begin with their clothes, going through belongings and keeping only those things which “spark joy.”

 

One Instagram user posted a photo showing her newly tidied closet, with all the shirts facing the same direction with space between the hangers. 
Image Source: Instagram user 21sunshineave

One Instagram user posted a photo showing her newly tidied closet, with all the shirts facing the same direction with space between the hangers.

 

According to Kondo, a well-organised closet should be able to hold many belongings. 
Image Source: Instagram user AfterGravity

According to Kondo, a well-organised closet should be able to hold many belongings.

 

There should be enough room in a closet for two people's belongings, and more. 
Image Source: Instagram user justagirl_abby

There should be enough room in a closet for two people’s belongings, and more.

A well-tidied closet will soon be able to store other belongings besides clothes.
Image Source: Instagram user gammonje

A well-tidied closet will soon be able to store other belongings besides clothes.

2. Get Rid of Papers in the Office

Get Rid of Papers in the Office
Image Source: Instagram user marijneline

Kondo believes that people keep too many old papers they simply don’t need. Keeping office space tidy will make life a lot easier!

 

The method works especially well in small offices.
Image Source: Instagram user naominevitt

The method works especially well in small offices.

3. Store Belongings Vertically

Store Belongings VerticallyImage Source: Instagram user GoingZeroWaste

Not a fan of piles, Kondo urges storing belongings vertically. One reader employed the advice with tea towels.

 

The vertical stacking method is good for drawers, too. That way, you can see everything!
Image Source: Instagram user Beck_Morgan

The vertical stacking method is good for drawers, too. That way, you can see everything!

 

Kondo also likes when things are organised by colour. 
Image Source: Instagram user janerichmond

Kondo also likes when things are organised by colour.

 

The vertical stacking method should also be used in closets. 
Image Source: Instagram user susanneschipper2

The vertical stacking method should also be used in closets.

 

Vertical stacking in drawers makes organising a child's clothes simple.
Image Source: Instagram user tresarandanos

Vertical stacking in drawers makes organising a child’s clothes simple.

 

4. Rethink How to Store Small Items

Rethink How to Store Small ItemsImage Source: Instagram user StacyWalkerMyers

Kondo is a big proponent of folding small items, including socks and stockings.

 

She also believes in rolling socks, which helps preserve the elastic.
Image Source: Instagram user pinkandbling

She also believes in rolling socks, which helps preserve the elastic.

 

5. Use Small Containers

Use Small ContainersImage Source: Instagram user clarkie.chick

Kondo is a big proponent of using boxes of all sizes and shapes for organising small items, like jewellery.

 

She thinks it's best to keep small boxes on hand for future storage solutions. 
Image Source: Instagram user LuckyMaya

She thinks it’s best to keep small boxes on hand for future storage solutions.

6. Say Bye to Your Books

Say Bye to Your BooksImage Source: Instagram user stacywalkermyers

Kondo believes people keep books for far longer than necessary.

 

Kondo urges her readers to get rid of most of their books, only keeping the ones that "spark joy."
Image Source: Instagram user dani.catastrophe

Kondo urges her readers to get rid of most of their books, only keeping the ones that “spark joy.”

 

Reducing the number of books in one's home will free up a great deal of space. 
Image Source: Instagram user madebyfeixi

Reducing the number of books in one’s home will free up a great deal of space.

 

7. Attack the Bathroom Too

Attack the Bathroom TooImage Source: Instagram user mikedickson

Kondo urges paring down bathroom items and keeping what’s left in small containers.

 

She believes in wiping down products after use, and then keeping them out of sight until the next time.   
Image Source: Instagram user konmari_lifeproject

She believes in wiping down products after use, and then keeping them out of sight until the next time.

 

8. The Kitchen Should Be Orderly

The Kitchen Should Be OrderlyImage Source: Instagram user noz__ie

Kondo’s methods extend to the kitchen, where even containers can be stored in containers.

 

Kondo urges keeping counters clear and most items out of sight. 
Image Source: Instagram user wijeisenijs

Kondo urges keeping counters clear and most items out of sight.

 

9. Make Your Entryway Tidy

Make Your Entryway TidyImage Source: Instagram user sarahfought

Kondo personally uses a cabinet by her entryway to hold everyday belongings and shoes.

 

Kondo believes cabinets, even when used as storage, should be orderly behind closed doors.
Image Source: Instagram user midwestwannabe

Kondo believes cabinets, even when used as storage, should be orderly behind closed doors.

 

 

Comments (0)

10 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


It’s no secret that the Perth rental market currently favours tenants, so if you’re looking to purchase an investment property it’s important to select a rental that appeals to your target market.

Unlike purchasing your own home to live in, buying an investment property needs to be approached with your head – not your heart. Features you may value in your own home, may not necessarily appeal to prospective tenants.

You need to think like a tenant and buy a property that meets their needs. Here are five tips for purchasing a rental that appeals to tenants:

1. Location is paramount

As with any property purchase, location is paramount. This is especially the case when buying an investment property.

A common tenant requirement is proximity to amenities. Be sure to buy in areas that are close to key amenities like shops, transport and schools. It’s also a smart idea to seek locations that offer a good lifestyle, for example younger tenants generally value living close to thriving hubs, while families with young children will value being close to parks and kid friendly facilities.

2. Consider the home’s internal layout

Give consideration to the internal layout of the property you choose to invest in. Many tenants choose to share accommodation, so it’s a good idea to look at properties that have features that appeal to this style of living.

Things to consider when assessing the home include:

  • Is there good separation between living areas and bedrooms?
  • How many bedrooms does the home have? Are they spacious?
  • Is there more than one bathroom?
  • Are there plenty of storage options?

 

3. Outdoor areas are important

We’re lucky in Western Australia that our climate is warm and favours outdoor living. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to factor in some kind of outdoor area into the rental home you purchase. Whether it’s a balcony, a courtyard or an enclosed alfresco – outdoor living options are attractive.

While many tenants value outdoor living space, it’s worthwhile choosing a home that is low maintenance. Gardens may look beautiful, but they require a lot of upkeep so it’s best to invest in properties with low maintenance outdoor areas as prospective tenants may be put off by the work required to keep a garden looking good.

4. Parking options are highly regarded

Being able to offer tenants a designated parking space is very attractive. While in WA most homes come equipped with a garage or carport, units or apartments – particularly those in the city – often require tenants to park off-street. A lack of parking options is an inconvenience to tenants, so it’s beneficial to look for investment properties that provide tenants with a secure space to park their car.

5. Extra features will help your rental stand out

As an investor, you need to be competitive in the current market to secure a tenant. In order to make your home stand out, it’s worth ensuring the property has some attractive extras like:

    • Airconditioning – WA’s long hot summers can be uncomfortable without airconditioning. Tenants want to be able to escape the heat when inside, so airconditioning is often a key requirement.
    • Quality appliances – modern appliances like ovens, dishwashers and cooktops can go a long way in helping your home stand out.

 

    • Digital connections – we live in a technological age, so features like good cable connections for internet and wifi and strong mobile signals are increasingly important factors for tenants.

 

  • Pet friendly – rental properties that accommodate pets will appeal to a wider selection of applicants.

If you have any questions about renting out your property in Perth, speak to Ron Padua on 0404 428 843 or email bdm@pmmetro.com.au

Comments (0)

12 September 2017
By portermathewsblog


Do you currently own an investment property in Perth or are looking to purchase one? We have four tips for how to be a good landlord, from understanding your rights and responsibilities and those of your tenant, to finding the right assistance to help you safeguard your investment.

1. Understand the law

Renting in WA is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 and the Residential Tenancies Regulations 1989. As a landlord, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of these laws and regulations as there are specific provisions covering issues, including but not limited to:

  • Security bonds
  • Rates and taxes
  • Damages and repairs
  • Notice periods

More information about the relevant laws and regulations can be found on the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website.

Brush up on your rights and responsibilities and if you have any queries, speak to one of our friendly officers in the REIWA Information Service.

2. Take note of your safety responsibilities

Ensuring your investment property is in working order prior to renting it out is a must to keep your tenants, property manager and yourself safe.

As the landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure your property meets certain safety standards and if issues arise during the tenancy, you must address them in due course.

Three main safety issues to be aware of include:

  • Blinds and curtains
  • Pool and spa fences
  • RCDs and smoke alarms

Read our article about your safety responsibilities as a landlord for more information.

3. Know the costs involved

An investment property is just that, an investment. Landlords should expect to invest some money in their property in order to reap the rewards later in life, whether it be for a retirement fund or to purchase another property.

Be sure to consider the costs involved in renting out your property, including:

  • Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Strata fees and/or rates
  • Maintenance and repair costs

Some costs are tax deductible, so speak to your property manager or accountant for more advice on making a claim come tax time.

4. Engage with a property manager

Not only will a property manager act as a liaison between you and your tenant, they can assist you with the following:

  • Evaluate the market – a property manager can conduct an evaluation of your property in comparison to other rentals on the market. This can help you determine a competitive rent price and marketing campaign to secure a tenant.
  • Help with tricky questions – property managers undertake extensive and continual learning to stay up-to-date on rental laws and regulations. They can help you to understand both yours and your tenants’ rights, and further assist you with tricky situations such as break leases.
  • Find your perfect tenant – your property manager will hold home opens and assess applications to help you find a tenant. Further, REIWA agents have access to a National Tenancy Database, which allows them to review a tenant’s rental history.
  • Maintain your investment – through regular property inspections, a property manager can ensure your investment remains in tip top condition. Further, they can assist by organising repairs and maintenance calls.

If you have any questions about renting out your property in Perth, speak to Ron Padua on 0404 428 843 or email bdm@pmmetro.com.au

Comments (0)

18 August 2017
By portermathewsblog


How to Decorate a Designer-Worthy Nursery on a Budget
 Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Welcoming a new baby into your home is one of the most exciting, joyous, and expensive life milestones, and nursery preparation is proof. So when we stumbled upon interior designer Autumn Clemons’s chic, budget-friendly nursery, we knew we had to share. Filled with thoughtful details and brilliant design hacks, this space proves that you don’t have to overspend to create the nursery of your dreams!
To leverage the room's plush carpeting, Autumn chose to envelope the space in soothing neutrals. For the walls, she chose Benjamin Moore's Grey Mist. By laying a smaller rug with soft textures at a diagonal, Autumn was able to create a strong focal point.

Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

To leverage the room’s plush carpeting, Autumn chose to envelope the space in soothing neutrals. For the walls, she chose Benjamin Moore’s Grey Mist. By laying a smaller rug with soft textures at a diagonal, Autumn was able to create a strong focal point.

The crib (an Ikea score!) is accessorised with an adorable owl pillow. How cute is the little animal hook that works perfectly for displaying a special outfit?
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

The crib (an Ikea score!) is accessorised with an adorable owl pillow. How cute is the little animal hook that works perfectly for displaying a special outfit?

Instead of taking up space with a clunky bookshelf, Autumn chose to hang floating shelves to keep books handy while also displaying the covers.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Instead of taking up space with a clunky bookshelf, Autumn chose to hang floating shelves to keep books handy while also displaying the covers.

For the curtains, Autumn picked up an Urban Outfitters tapestry, cut it in half, and added blackout lining.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

For the curtains, Autumn picked up an Urban Outfitters tapestry, cut it in half, and added blackout lining.

For the pendant, she added a DIY touch to this inexpensive light from Home Depot. What looks like wood planks on the ceiling is actually wallpaper from eBay.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

For the pendant, she added a DIY touch to this inexpensive light from Home Depot. What looks like wood planks on the ceiling is actually wallpaper from eBay.

A low, vintage dresser becomes the ideal changing table with the addition of painted drawers and new hardware. Also, can we talk about this cute changing pad cover?
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

A low, vintage dresser becomes the ideal changing table with the addition of painted drawers and new hardware. Also, can we talk about this cute changing pad cover?

Floating acrylic shelves make switching up art and accessories a breeze.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Floating acrylic shelves make switching up art and accessories a breeze.

Cushioned rockers don't come cheap, so Autumn decided to add rocking chair legs to an Ikea chair to create her own affordable version.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Cushioned rockers don’t come cheap, so Autumn decided to add rocking chair legs to an Ikea chair to create her own affordable version.

What looks like a spendy sconce is actually another crafty DIY project.
Check out the full tour with links to all the DIYs on her blog!
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

What looks like a spendy sconce is actually another crafty DIY project.

Comments (0)

10 August 2017
By portermathewsblog


Liz Durnan via domain.com.au

We all know those super-organised people, don’t we? They’re up at the crack of dawn baking muffins for the school fundraiser, work nine-to-five in a high-powered job, have numerous well-turned out children and, on top of it all, their house is always perfectly clean and organised – without any paid help. Do they make you sick, or do you secretly envy them? Don’t waste your energy. Instead, watch how they do it and see what you can learn.

Our homes shouldn’t be driving us mad; they should be our sanctuary. As much as I wish I could pay one of those personal organisers to come into my house and turn it upside down, I don’t have the spare budget (sigh). So I’ve learned from my clean-freak friends and I’m forever reading up about what I can do to take control of my home. Here’s what I’ve found helpful:

18892679-2
Photo by Juliette Byrne – More living room ideas

Regular clean-ups

Like many people, I’m more of a regular procrastinator than a regular cleaner, often preferring the motto “Why do it it today, if I can do it tomorrow?” However, since having kids and a home to look after, I’ve learnt the hard way that this motto isn’t really doing that much for me.

I’ve often watched friends with tidy homes and wondered what their secret is. Now I know; they simply clean up as they go rather than wait for the magic fairy to come in and do it.

3373931
Photo by Juliette Byrne – More living room ideas

 

They never wake up to a kitchen full of dirty dishes.

By doing a little bit each day in bite-sized chunks – and getting other members of the household to do the same – things don’t pile up and become overwhelming. Create a roster so that everyone knows what they have to do and when.

A place for everything
I know Marie Kondo didn’t invent this idea, but if there’s one thing I’ve taken from her much talked-about book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s the idea of having a place for everything and putting everything back there.

Apply this rule to all areas of the house – from the kitchen and the laundry to the linen cupboard. Take stock of every single item you own and ensure there’s a place for each one.

Best of all? Your mornings will be transformed. No more running around the house first thing in the morning looking for your keys, your coat or the other shoe – you’ll know exactly where to find everything, and fast.

Use storage wisely
However, good storage with a place for everything only works if you’re managing it. Have you ever blamed your messiness on your lack of storage? I used to, but recently I finally got the new fitted wardrobes and mudroom of my dreams installed, only to find we were still messy – alas, the storage doesn’t magically tidy up for you. Of course it helps, but you still have to do the work of keeping it organised. The other members of the household need to be schooled in the simple ways of putting their things away too.

22871400
Photo by Schmidt Kitchens Palmers Green – Search kitchen design ideas

Declutter sprees
One of the ways our houses can drive us mad is by having too much stuff. Are you forever unable to find things – your wallet, the potato masher, your favourite pan? This is often because we can’t see the stuff we’re looking for among the chaos. If you have a family and new things regularly coming into the home, it’s important to get rid of stuff often too. Regularly – even as often as monthly – go through kitchen drawers, pantries and wardrobes and take stock of what you have, getting rid of what you’re not using.

Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
Comments (0)

21 July 2017
By portermathewsblog


How to Have the Most Unique Nursery on the BlockImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

There are many steps on the road to preparing for baby, but one of the most fun – and certainly most creative – steps is decorating the nursery. For my baby boy, I set out to transform my home office into a welcoming nursery that was at once personal, sophisticated, and wonderfully whimsical; more than just looking beautiful, however, it had to accommodate the essential nursery functions – and all without breaking the bank. I had my work cut out for me!

For some professional guidance, I turned to the experts at Laurel & Wolf, an online interior design marketplace that, for a reasonable, one-time flat fee, guided me to a top-notch designer with whom I created a custom room plan. Laurel & Wolf allowed me to try out the service at no charge for this project.

The design process was simple; after creating a detailed room profile, multiple designers submitted initial project proposals. I fell in love with the eclectic style of Pamela R McIntyre of The Curated Life. I selected her as my designer, and we got to work, exchanging design ideas and products over Laurel & Wolf’s online platform. The final design she gave me included a style board, detailed floor plan, and shopping list.

Check out pictures of the resulting nursery below, and read my 13 tips for creating a truly unique space for your little one.

Hang Personal Art

Hang Personal ArtImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Decorating with art and decor that are meaningful to you and your partner is a simple way to infuse your family’s personality into the nursery. I’ve long collected silk scarves, and I wanted to share their style and beauty with my son. I found a circus print by one of my favourite designers and had it framed to hang above his changing station.

Add Simple DIYs

Add Simple DIYsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

When I couldn’t find the lighting I wanted within my budget, I began to think of ways to create it myself. Not wanting to get into electrical nitty gritty, I layered two super affordable Ikea hanging lighting fixtures — a paper lantern to softly diffuse light covered with a natural wood pendant. To make it extra unique, I wove a vintage French ribbon through the wood slats. Sometimes the simplest style is not only easier and cheaper, but it looks better too.

 

Blend Children’s and Adults’ Decor

Blend Children's and Adults' DecorImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

I tried to balance whimsical and sophisticated touches to create a nursery where both my child and I would enjoy spending time. Decorating with a mix of children’s and adults’ decor was an easy way to achieve this look; for example, a felted wool elephant head is framed by succulents in contemporary CB2 vases above the mantel.

 

Scavenge for One-of-a-Kind Pieces

 

Scavenge for One-of-a-Kind PiecesImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

While I love to browse through the beautiful nurseries in catalogs, I wanted my nursery to have a more unique and eclectic look, so I shopped for a mix of new, store-bought items, like the crib, and distinctive decor, like the blue Moroccan Kilim rug my Laurel & Wolf designer found from a Tunisian rug dealer on Etsy. It was the first piece I purchased for the room, and it set the whimsical tone for everything that came after.

Thoughtfully Lay Out the Room

Thoughtfully Lay Out the RoomImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Every space presents its own challenge, and my home’s was its outdated Victorian floor plan; fortunately, Pamela, my Laurel & Wolf designer, evaluated my needs and came up with a creative layout that allows the room to function as both a nursery and playroom. Using the measurements of the space and essential furniture pieces, she created a layout to scale on Laurel & Wolf’s platform, allowing her to play around with configurations. You can draw your own or check out one of the many websites and apps that allow you to do it on your computer or tablet.

Shop Second-Hand Finds

Shop Second-Hand FindsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

I knew I wanted a high-quality glider, but every style I liked gave me a serious case of sticker shock. While the glider is an important piece of the nursery, it’s not one with versatility or longevity, so I didn’t want to splurge on it. Instead, I set up a Craigslist alert and pounced immediately when the high-end glider I loved popped up for sale in mint condition at nearly a third of the new price.

 

Splurge Where It Makes Sense

Splurge Where It Makes SenseImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

As the nursery design process progressed, I fell hard for the timeless yet exotic look of campaign dressers.The initial plan was to purchase an affordable vintage set or DIY my way to the style, but ultimately I decided to splurge on Pottery Barn Kids’s Gemma dressers. Their aesthetic was perfect not only for a baby boy’s nursery, but could also fit seamlessly into a girl’s room, or our own bedroom down the road. The furniture pieces could eventually even be converted into a bar cart or sideboard. The quality, versatility, and storage potential of the campaign dressers made them a worthy splurge.

 

Get Family and Friends Involved

Get Family and Friends InvolvedImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Rooms decorated with love and care really do feel warmer and more welcoming. To bring all the love the baby’s family has for him into the space, his cousins filled the bookshelf with their favourite childhood reads. They even inscribed the inside cover of each book with a special message to the baby.

Seek Help For Design Dilemmas

Seek Help For Design DilemmasImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
Not sure how to solve that diaper storage problem or where to put the crib? Get help! Working with Laurel & Wolf gave me the pro insight I needed to really polish and refine my design concept. Whether a professional interior design service or a best friend with a great eye, it’s never a bad idea to get a fresh take on your space.
Turn Cute Baby Items Into Decor
Turn Cute Baby Items Into DecorImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
If you’ve ever heard the ooing and ahhing that happens at baby showers, then you already know how adorable baby clothes and accessories are. Instead of hiding them in a drawer, I decoratively displayed a few of my favorite pieces, like these knitted booties grandma bought in Ireland, around the room.

Keep It Interesting by Mixing High and Low

Keep It Interesting by Mixing High and LowImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
Avoid a stale, straight-out-of-the-showroom look by mixing retailers, styles, and price points. From eBay to Land of Nod, I shopped a variety of sources to give the nursery rich, eclectic style and added flair through small, affordable items, like these playfully striped Ikea seagrass baskets and the fluffy faux fur accent rug.
Get Creative With Storage
Get Creative With StorageImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
The room we transformed into a nursery had no closet, but instead of dragging a heavy armoire into the space to store hanging clothes, I mounted a rod into the wall. It not only gave me a place to put all of baby’s hanging clothes, it also put some of his most adorable ensembles on display.

Take Your Time

Take Your TimeImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Don’t rush to fill in every gap in the nursery at once. It’s OK if the bookshelf isn’t full or there’s a blank spot on the wall. Great design takes time, and there will be plenty of opportunity to fill the space with meaningful mementos after the baby is born. Trust me, you’ll be glad you waited and did it right the first time.

 

Comments (0)

14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog


Winter’s chill brings cosy decor and lazy afternoons spent sipping hot chocolate in front of the heater, but it can also bring major electrical bills. If heating your home is seriously expensive, then you’re going to want to read these 12 cost-effective ways to stay warm this Winter.

    • Get the Right Window Coverings

If you’ve ever stood next to a drafty window, then you can attest that they’re major culprits of heat loss. Investing in thick, lined curtains or adding liners to your existing curtains (Ikea have them for $29.99 a pair) will keep the cold air out. Keeping them closed during Winter you can cut your energy bill down by up to 20 percent.

    • Add a Storm Door

Create an extra layer of padding between the elements and your house by adding a storm door. While it’s a little bit pricier up front, you can reduce energy loss up to 50 percent by purchasing a storm door made with low-emissivity glass or coating.

    • Install a Programmable Thermostat

Instead of keeping your heat on full blast all day, use a programmable thermostat to set the temperature to turn it down while you’re out in the middle of the day and turn it back up right before you come home in the evening. Turning the temperature back at least 10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you up to 15 percent a year on your heating bill.

    • Fill in Insulation Gaps

Invisible cracks and gaps around the house allow valuable heat to seep out. Taking a little time in Summer or Autumn to caulk or weather strip these leaks around the house will save you big money on your energy bill come Winter. Common areas in need of insulation include the space between the baseboard and the floorboard, behind electrical outlets, and around windows and attack hatches.

    • Reverse the Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans usually have a switch you can flip to change the direction the fan blades are rotating in. By simply switching it to clockwise rotation in Winter, you’ll push hot air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the room. Doesn’t get easier than that.

    • Put Layers on Yourself

It’s a lot cheaper to throw on a sweater and some fuzzy slippers than to crank up the heat every time you get chilly, so keep warm layers close at hand and the temperature at a reasonable setting.

    • Improvise Wall Insulation

If tearing down the drywall to add insulation isn’t an option, then it’s time to get clever. You can line chilly external walls with cold-absorbing materials like a tall shelf filled with books, use decorative screens as cold air blockers, and even line baseboards with cardboard.

    • Position Furniture Around Heat Sources

For a free and temporary fix, give your living spaces a Winter makeover by rearranging furniture away from cold external walls and around heat sources, like the fireplace. It will make those frigid nights more enjoyable.

    • Swap Your Globes LED

As the nights get longer, our lights stay on for — longer but it doesn’t have to cost more. LED bulbs use 85 percent less energy compared to traditional globes and have a lifespan of 25,000 hours.

    • Add a Rug

Wooden or tiled floors can be really cold under foot in Winter. Laying a thick rug that feels soft under-foot will help keep your home cosy.

    • Winter-Proof Your Bed

Swapping your quilt for a thicker one or adding an extra blanket (between the sheet and quilt) will keep you warm at night without using a heater.

    • Make the Most of the Sun

Getting your washing dry can be hazardous when the weather is bad, but making the most of any sunny moments will save you on dryer costs. Pick up a portable dryer that you can quickly bring in if the weather gets bad or keep inside by a window.

Comments (0)

14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

2_gwbz30

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

 

Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
Comments (0)

06 June 2017
By portermathewsblog


Has your place been looking a little . . . clogged up lately? Well, it may be time to do a little cleaning up! However, if you’ve been following these rules below, you wouldn’t need a decluttering session as your home is guaranteed to be clutter-free.

1. Get rid of duplicates

If you have duplicates lying around, get rid of them if they are not necessary. Keep the better duplicate and trash or donate the other.

2. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year

So you keep telling yourself that you’ll use it eventually, but if you haven’t touched it in a year, chances are that you’re not going to in the near future. Do your home a favour and get rid of the items that aren’t getting any use.

3. Digitise nostalgic items

Do you have too many nostalgic items that you can’t seem to get yourself to give away? Take photos of them and then get rid of them — you’ll be able to keep them around forever without cluttering up your space.

4. Don’t keep items out of guilt

I’m sure you have a thing or two around the house that you keep out of guilt. Perhaps it’s a sweater sweet Aunt Betty knitted for you for Christmas that you never wear or that fancy dress you splurged way too much on. Time to be brutal and get rid of them all.

5. Put things back where they belong

It’s easy to just leave things lying around, but that’s how clutter builds up. After you’re done using something, immediately put it back where it belongs so you won’t procrastinate.

6. And find a home for them

Make sure every item in your home has a place, whether it be a plastic container or an under-the-bed organiser. And remember: a pile of items is not a true place for your things.

7. Sell, give away, donate, upcycle, or throw away

When assessing things you want to get rid of, start by seeing if you can make some of your money back by selling it. Here are some avenues for selling different types of clutter.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to sell, give it away to people you know who will use it. Perhaps to your family and friends, or even your Facebook network. You can also choose to donate it to get a tax write off.

8. Don’t keep items you wouldn’t buy now

Are there some items you have that you would never buy now? Perhaps you should take a good hard look at them and figure out why you need them now and if you can do without them.

9. Opt for covered furniture

If you have a clutter problem, choose furniture that is covered, such as a closet with a sliding door instead of open shelves. This will help your place look cleaner and more organised.

10. Don’t forget storage under your bed

There’s a lot of real estate in your home that’s not being put to good use; one that people often forget about is under-the-bed storage.

11. Think tall

Use up all the space in your home to make the most of it, including the vertical space. The more space you have for your stuff, the less likely it’s going to get cluttered up.

12. Evaluate your spending

If you’re buying things you don’t need, take a hard look at your spending. Perhaps you need to take part in our 30-day spending hiatus to motivate yourself.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
Comments (0)

25 May 2017
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

The bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms to remodel. So if you’re on a budget, a bathroom renovation might be out of reach. The good news is you don’t have to live with the ugly – all you need is a little DIY elbow grease.

Try these easy projects to give your bathroom an upgrade, and the best part is, you can do any of these in one weekend.

Update the vanity

Transform the vanity with new paint and hardware.Transform the vanity with new paint and hardware. Photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg / Domino

Painting the vanity is one of the cheapest ways to upgrade your bathroom and still make a big impact. Sand your existing vanity, and patch any imperfections with wood putty. Then, start with a good oil-based bonding primer before applying the final coats of paint. Finish the look with new hardware

Upgrade the toilet lever

Open homes:

Photo: The Makerista

Something as small as the flusher handle can make a big difference. Upgrade the white plastic version for something in shiny chrome. Don’t be intimidated by the plumbing aspect of this project; it’s actually super easy.

Replace the towel bar with hooks

Open homes:

Photo: House Tweaking

Using hooks in place of a towel bar is not only more stylish but also easier to use. You don’t have to worry about perfectly folded towels hung evenly on a bar.

Add a bold accent wall

Open homes:

Photo: Jessica Antola for Domino

Another way to add a wow factor to your bathroom is to go bold with paint. Choose one wall and go wild with a colour you might be scared to use anywhere else.

Paint your own wallpaper

Open homes:

Photo: May Richer Fuller Be

Wallpaper can be pricey, so why not paint your own pattern? You don’t have to be an artist to get beautiful results. Use a stencil, or go freehand like this project from May Richer Fuller Be. She created a stunning basket-weave pattern with simple brushstrokes.

Change the light fixture

Photo: A Beautiful MessPhoto: A Beautiful Mess

Changing the light fixture in your bathroom can actually be easier and more affordable than you think. Use an inexpensive LED light, then amp up the style by using a decorative ceiling medallion.

Line the medicine cabinet with decorative paper

Open homes:

Photo: Sarah Hearts

The medicine cabinet can be a neglected space, full of dusty shelves and expired products. Sprucing it up is the perfect weekend project. Get it organised, and then add a bit of flair with decorative contact paper. It’s a nice little surprise every time you reach for the toothpaste.

Add art work with a photo collage

Open homes:

Photo: Little Green Notebook

Every room needs art work, and the bathroom is no exception. Make a collage with your favourite photos by mounting them on fabric-covered cardboard and plopping it in a frame.

– popsugar.com.au

Comments (0)

18 May 2017
By portermathewsblog


Author: Rachel Preston-Bidwell via reiwa.com.au

Renting out your property for a reasonable price and turning it into a successful investment can be challenging, especially in the current market. We share some tips on how to make improvements to your home to get a tenant in as quickly as possible and obtain a rent price that works for both parties.

1. Make some home improvements

If your investment property is a little older, it may benefit from some low-cost cosmetic renovations, including:

  • A coat of paint
  • New blinds or curtains
  • Fresh carpets
  • Updated/modern light fittings

Freshening up your rental property and repairing any damages can make a big difference to a prospective tenant.

You may also wish to consider installing features such as air conditioning, security screens or an alarm. These types of items can potentially add value to your property and also be an attractive incentive to a tenant.

Read more about the features tenants want in a rental.

2. Consider tenants with pets

Many landlords won’t allow tenants with pets, so those who are willing to be pet friendly are at a particular advantage and can potentially attract a higher rent return.

If you are concerned about a pet damaging the house, talk to your property manager about a pet bond, in addition to your main bond, to cover fumigation costs if required at the end of the tenancy.

3. Speak to a property manager

Property managers have a good understanding of the rental market, including the types of properties in demand in a particular area and the going rent prices.

Speak to a local property manager for recommendations on rent and even about what improvements you could make to your investment property. They can also help ensure you don’t overcapitalise on your rental, by recommending what improvements are sought after by tenants and what to avoid.

If you’re looking to rent out your property, speak to us on (08) 9475 9622 or email bdm@pmmetro.com.au

Comments (0)

18 May 2017
By portermathewsblog


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.

Comments (0)

17 May 2017
By portermathewsblog



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?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.

Single lock

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.

Enticing trash

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.

Dark exteriors

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.

Welcoming landscaping

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.

Overflowing mailbox

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.

Visible interiors

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.

Empty house

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.

Comments (0)

11 May 2017
By portermathewsblog


Author: Jen Dalley via domain.com.au

Photo: Kanner Architects

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 - Discover farmhouse exterior home design ideas
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 - Search contemporary exterior home pictures
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 - See more Home Design Photos
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 contemporary exterior home ideas
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.

Comments (0)

26 April 2017
By portermathewsblog


Renting out your property for a reasonable price and turning it into a successful investment can be challenging, especially in the current market. We share some tips on how to make improvements to your home to get a tenant in as quickly as possible and obtain a rent price that works for both parties.

1. Make some home improvements

If your investment property is a little older, it may benefit from some low-cost cosmetic renovations, including:

  • A coat of paint
  • New blinds or curtains
  • Fresh carpets
  • Updated/modern light fittings

Freshening up your rental property and repairing any damages can make a big difference to a prospective tenant.

You may also wish to consider installing features such as air conditioning, security screens or an alarm. These types of items can potentially add value to your property and also be an attractive incentive to a tenant.

2. Consider tenants with pets

Many landlords won’t allow tenants with pets, so those who are willing to be pet friendly are at a particular advantage and can potentially attract a higher rent return.

If you are concerned about a pet damaging the house, talk to your property manager about a pet bond, in addition to your main bond, to cover fumigation costs if required at the end of the tenancy.

3. Speak to a property manager

Property managers have a good understanding of the rental market, including the types of properties in demand in a particular area and the going rent prices.

Speak to a local property manager for recommendations on rent and even about what improvements you could make to your investment property. They can also help ensure you don’t overcapitalise on your rental, by recommending what improvements are sought after by tenants and what to avoid.

If you’re looking to rent out your property, speak to us on 9475 9622 or email us at mail@pmmetro.com.au.

Tags: Advice, Rentals, Tips
Comments (0)

20 April 2017
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

So you’ve bought your first house. And now you’ve got to furnish it. Money’s tight all over, especially for young adults and first-home buyers, but odds are the cheap-and-nasty stuff you had when you were share housing has done its dash.

When to comes to big furniture purchases, look at getting classic pieces that are built to last, says Triana Odone of King Living. “If you’re on a budget, don’t purchase based on trends that won’t be chic in a year’s time. Stick to buying a quality-made piece that’s built to last.”

“Take the time to do some research and really think about what style of decor you prefer,” says Odone. “Do you like quite simple, contemporary designs without big cushions? Do you like sofas and chairs that you can really curl up in?” Once you’ve got an understanding of your style, think about how you’re going to use your living room – where you’re better off spending a bit extra on quality construction, and where you can save money, too.

When you're setting up your new home, invest in good quality When you’re setting up your new home, invest in good quality “weight-bearing” pieces, like sofas and beds. Photo: Jane Ussher

“It’s pretty simple,” says Odone. “If it’s a weight-bearing piece of furniture, it will need to be well-made if you want it to last and to remain comfortable over time.”

When it comes to buying a sofa, make sure you get one that really suits the way you live – in other words, do you sit up straight, curl up in the corner with your feet tucked underneath you, or do you stretch right out on the sofa?

There’s no wrong answer to the question, but whatever you do in your living room, you should do in the showroom, Odone says. There’s no judgment.

When you've got a well-made piece of furniture, it can last for decades.When you’ve got a well-made piece of furniture, it can last for decades. Photo: Jane Ussher

If most evenings you’re horizontal with the remote in your hand, what’s the point of perching on the edge of the sofa, or just leaning back for 30 seconds? That’s not going to tell you what you really need to know.

Get your shoes off, stretch out – is it wide enough? Long enough? Are the armrests at the right height? Will you need a couple of toss cushions to really get yourself sorted for an evening of chilling out?

If you love to entertain, and your sofa can expect to have three good-sized blokes parked on it during most televised footy games, you’re going to want to get a sofa with steel frame construction.

In a small home or apartment, flexibility is important, too.In a small home or apartment, flexibility is important, too. Photo: King Living

Yes, it costs more than one that’s made with a lesser-quality frame, but it’s not going to collapse unexpectedly in the middle of the game, and you won’t need to buy a new one every two years.

On the other hand, you can save money on smaller decorative pieces such as coffee tables, side tables, cushions, lamps and rugs.

“Those are the non-weight bearing and decorative items that don’t need to be durable in the long-term. When you’re just starting out, a flat-pack end table will work just as well for you. Later on, when you’ve got more money, you may decide to upgrade,” says Odone.

Smaller pieces will give your room personality.Smaller pieces will give your room personality. Photo: Jane Ussher

When buying staple pieces, keep your style of living in mind. If you’ve bought a small apartment, you might want to consider furniture that doubles as storage. If you’ve bought a large family home, keep the flexibility and fabric of the furniture in mind. Many sofas, beds and ottomans do double-duty as storage solutions.

Once you’ve found a sofa that fits you in terms of structure, you’ll want to consider how hard-wearing you need the fabric to be.

Removable covers are a great idea, says Odone.

In a small home or apartment, consider furniture that does double-duty.In a small home or apartment, consider furniture that does double-duty. Photo: King Living

“With high-quality construction, there’s no reason a sofa can’t last for decades. You may need to reupholster it after several years, and the foam or batting in the seat cushions may need to be restored or replaced, but that’s still less money than buying a new sofa,” she says.

– Stuff.co.nz

Comments (0)