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Neil White

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Birth date 24/05/1982
Style Minimal, Modern

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6 Gadgets Every Household Needs To Have

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Even the most technophobic people can’t deny the advantage of smart technology in the present-day world. Furthermore, the hyper-connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) have made such a leap forward in the overall comfort level provided by an average household, that most of these items now seem as standard as the living room TV. With this in mind and without further ado, here are six gadgets that every household should have in 2018.

 

Smart thermostat

The first thing you need to get is one of those smart thermostats. This is vital for several reasons, seeing as how it’s both frugal and practical. Setting your thermostat is far from complex, yet automating this process to keep the temperature within a certain range throughout the day definitely simplifies the process. Next, the ability to control it remotely is definitely a selling point, since it gives you not only the ability to set it without leaving the couch but also to do so while at work. During cold winter hours, you can simply use this advantage to return to a warm home, without having to heat the empty house for 8 hours straight. In other words, it more than pays itself off.

smart thermostat

Wi-Fi sprinkler system

Another useful idea would be to acquire a Wi-Fi sprinkler system. Landscaping can not only make your living situation more pleasant but also boost the resale value of your home by quite a bit. Nonetheless, traditional sprinkler systems are quite inefficient, which means that they increase your water bill without giving you the same effect as their digitalized counterpart. Moreover, seeing as how this investment isn’t that great, to begin with, there’s virtually no reason for you to miss out on the opportunity to make your home’s exterior smarter, as well.

 

Air conditioning system

The next thing you should think about is your air conditioning system. What good is having even the best designed of homes, if spending time inside is completely unbearable during summer? Still, picking the right AC system for your home is not a simple choice to make. The size of the home, its layout, the number of inhabitants and some other factors will all determine the power of the unit you need to take. The climate and regional occurrences matter, as well, which is why it’s always for the best to consult local experts. For instance, residents of NSW might want to talk to Sydney air conditioning installation experts, instead of looking for advice from someone two states away.

 

Smart lock

Let’s be 100 percent honest and say that there is a greater probability for you to walk out of your home without a keyring than to do so without your smartphone. This alone would be a reason enough to invest in a smart lock. Apart from this, you also get to remotely check if the door is locked, which means that you no longer have to leave the bed frantically at 1 AM, merely to check if the doors are locked. Finally, with the present-day encryption model, smart locks are as reliable as they get and, by integrating them with the rest of your household security, you can make a truly iron-clad system, with as little effort and investment as possible.

smart lock

Wi-Fi kettle

The greatest problem with preparing tea for your guests lies in the fact that you have to abandon them in order to access the kettle that’s currently located in the kitchen. With a smart kettle on your side, you can have your cake and eat it too. Not only can you start the kettle without having to go there in person but you’ll also see when it’s done. Furthermore, this incredible gadget allows you to set the precise temperature you want, which can be crucial for outstanding tea brewing.

 

Bluetooth speaker

This simple, amazing device is one of the cheapest innovations you could make when it comes to outfitting your home according to latest principles of interior design. Instead of installing a sound system inside of your bedroom, gym, kitchen, and garage, you get to carry it around in a pocket. In this way, you get to maximize your efficiency on any chore you’re currently doing or fully enjoy your long evening sessions in a bathtub. Overall, these devices are quite affordable, yet, due to the fact that it’ll see some heavy use in the future, you just might want to look for something a bit more high-end.

 

In conclusion

As you can see, each of these gadgets directly makes your life somewhat better, which means that purchasing them isn’t really an investment in your residential property but an investment in your lifestyle. Regardless if it improves your budget, helps you impress your guests or makes your home safer, it’s definitely something worth spending your money on. To make things even better, neither of these trends is that expensive to install, to begin with.

Let Your Inner Artist Out and DIY Your Living Room

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While money makes everything easier, no amount of money can replace true creativity, passion, and ingenuity. The best instance of this can be seen in the example of home décor. Instead of picking generic ornaments, furniture pieces, and following style guidelines to the letter, why not come up with something of your own. In this way, you will personalize your living space and turn your house into a real home. Here are five suggestions that might help you out with this.

Massive wall map

One of the things people often do in order to decorate their living room is adding various forms of ornaments or even putting their collections on display. However, what if you were to take a bit different approach and turn the wall into the timeline of your future accomplishments. You can simply start by placing a map of the world on a central side position of your focal wall. Moreover, you might even make your own map by using shapes that loosely resemble continents.

Now comes the fun part! You remember how all those TV show conspiracy theorists use nail and string system in order to connect dots. Well, you can surround images of famous landmarks from all over the world and use the nail and string system to connect them to their geographical location on your map. As your travels actually take you to these landmarks, you can easily replace the image that you’ve previously used with the ones with you on them. In order to make this unofficial travel to-do list even more transparent, you might even want to use different frame colors or shapes for places you’ve visited as opposed to the places you intend to.

Shadowplay

Another amazing idea for your living room is to try and decorate the place by playing with lights and shadows. Using LED products will help you in your creative process because LED is easy to use and it will save you money in the long run. The way this works is quite simple, you see certain lanterns are designed so that the shadows created by them completely change the ambiance of the place. For instance, there is a custom-made chandelier that produces a shadow forest of wild trees inside of your home.

Naturally, not everyone would be comfortable with this form of a main light fixture in the room but there’s no reason why you have to go with a chandelier. Instead, you can go with a high lamp or even lantern capable of producing such imagery. Truth be told, this method is just perfect for a DIY project, seeing as how it is much easier to rework the lampshade than to do the same on a chandelier.

Try out minimalism

The next thing you might want to try your hand at is the so-called minimalism, where you decorate your household in order to achieve optimal pragmatism. The best thing about this particular style lies in the fact that it works well with the above-discussed two ideas. Large naked surfaces will express your DIY-art to its fullest, while it also possesses the ability to make the shadow-play even more impressive. Be that as it may, the greatest problem that you will face is the fact that you won’t know what to do with all the excess furniture you will have on your hands.

Shabby chic is an evergreen

While this trend reemerged just a while ago, it is still quite relevant in 2018. What sets aside this particular sub-category of rustic interior design is the fact that it is incredibly frugal, as well as DIY-friendly. All you need are some old pieces of furniture, some white paint and a lot of time and dedication. The frugality comes from the fact that you can now feel free to browse flea markets and garage sales, instead of frequenting furniture salons. Apart from this, it gives you an opportunity to repurpose some of the long-forgotten family heirlooms.

Painting accent wall

Finally, for those of you who’ve always wanted to try their hand at painting their own home, yet dread the amount of work required to do so, painting the accent wall might be the solution you’re looking for. Apart from saving time, effort and materials on painting a single wall instead of all four plus the ceiling, the project of painting the accent wall is nowhere as easy as it may appear. First of all, you need to pick the right wall. While choosing the wall behind the focal point of the room (usually a TV or a fireplace) may seem like a great idea, this is not always the optimal solution. What you want is the wall that represents the largest clear surface in the room. In this way, you will manage to have it appear as the predominant color.

 

At the end of the day, letting your inner artist out is not just something that will save you money. It is also something that you will immensely enjoy, as well as the only way to make your living room appear completely unique. On top of it all, you get the satisfaction of knowing that the decoration, the wall-art and even the choice of hue are yours and yours alone to decide. This kind of pride in your own living space is something you should never-ever underestimate.

Australia’s Top 7 Sustainable Home Building Trends

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  Nowadays, homeowners are trying to focus on balancing a healthy lifestyle with an Eco-friendly building, so sustainable home building trends tend to be booming even more. Home designs are getting more and more inspired by incorporating natural elements and green trends, so it is not a surprise that many strive to have a stylish and comfortable home which costs less to run and it is easy to maintain. Here are some of the green housing trends that have completely overpowered Australia’s homeowners.    

1. Energy efficient homes

    Since we live in a world where we are surrounded by air pollution and gas emissions that are overwhelming us, many people are focusing on building more energy efficient homes. It is noted that heating and cooling accounts for 40% of household energy use, so building and installing solar panels will renew the energy. Also, heating water and lighting consumes 15% of the average household electricity budget, a solar panel will most surely reduce that, but you can also install an outdoor shower that can also be very decorative and sophisticated. Replacing indoor lights with compact LED light will likewise help make your interior more sustainable.    

2. Passive design

    Passive design is orientated on maintaining a comfortable heating and cooling and its sustainability related to lower energy bills. This type of home trend utilizes natural sources of heating and cooling and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this, the most economical way would be to install window awnings which effectively reduce heat and, since they are made from aluminum they can come in a range of colors making them elegant and stylish as well. Architects also propose the use of light-colored materials, sealing your home, soundproofing it and the use of insulation to increase sustainability.    

3. Going green

    Lavishing gardens and greeneries give us essential oxygen thus making them a necessary element in the house. By making your home more green you will make your house more ecological and healthy. If you live in an urban area and don't have much space for a garden, a booming trend is to build a green roof or an indoor green wall which improves thermal performance. Also, you can make your own unique balcony garden or go vertically. Vertical gardening is extremely lucrative as well as potted planting which has air-purifying qualities and can uplift energy in your home. Place greenery where possible to achieve that effect, for example, plant a private courtyard or make a grassed driveway.    

4. Blending ins and outs

    There has been an increasing shift these past few years in combining indoor and outdoor space. Not only can those homes and ambients be absolutely cosmopolitan, but also very resourceful and sustainable. Reconnecting with nature might sound difficult to achieve, but common method implies installing glass sliding doors leading to the outdoors or installing large glass walls instead of plain concrete ones. What is more, placing more furniture outdoors and making a chilling and elegant pergola will certainly spruce up the environment plus bring your house much needed airy feel.    

5. Eco enhancements

    Focusing on implementing Eco-efficient standards an making your home more sustainable is definitely a challenging task. However, you can start by implementing smaller additions. You can start off by mixing new and recycled materials or create an Eco-friendly facade made out of wood or other natural material. Instead of using heavy materials for your flooring, a more environmental thing would be to reuse or replace your dated floor with any type of natural timber. Next to making it greener, your home would also be filled with character.    

6. Water as the green essence

    We are all aware that the water is the essence of the life and ecosystem, for the matter, so it would be of utmost importance to sustain it in our household. Australia is one of the driest continents on the planet so it's no wonder that we should strive to preserve it. Firstly, you can reduce the water consumption in your home with reducing laundry use, using efficient shower heads and toilets, but the best thing would be to build a tank or a water pool or well to store rainwater. With rainwater reserved in specially designated tanks, you can reduce your water bills and provide alternative supply water restrictions.    

7. Green and healthy characteristics

    Having in mind the amount of time we spend in our houses, it makes perfect sense to do everything in our power to ensure that it’s a healthy place to be. You can alter small characteristics in your home to make it more green and sustainable. Consider placing portable charging stations for the telephone or computer, or install electric vehicle charging pots. Another booming Australian trend is the carbon zero housing. Carbon zero built houses have no net annual carbon emission from electricity or direct fuel combustion (burning natural gas) thus making them green and efficient. If that exceeds too much money, you can then build large wooden house beams in your living room. Exposed beam range from rustic to modern and they are a key factor in Eco-friendly design because they harness natural light and channel cool breeze.   There is an ongoing shift in home building trend and with a fairly good reason. Since global warming is a daily issue we have to get smarter with our choices and implement better and efficient ways to get comfortable in our house, reduce costs and minimize our environmental footprint.  

7 Things to Consider When Designing Your Café

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When it comes to cafés, it's easy to neglect the fact that design makes a huge difference with the customers. Of course that the quality of beverages and food will play an important part, but people need to come in the establishment first. Certain colors, scents, and even branding can do a lot for the café's popularity and create a loyal clientele.

If done right, interior design can determine how long the customers will stay and how much they will spend at a café. Therefore, besides the skilled personnel and high-quality service, you need to consider other things when designing your café. And here are some of them that will surely help your business shine.   

1. Work on the exterior

The exterior of your café is equally important as the interior since it will inspire customers to enter your establishment. The area you need to transform into an attractive element is usually limited to façade and windows, but it will be enough to pique people's interest. Before you start with any works, check if there are any legal restrictions to start remodeling.  

However, make sure that the storefront conveys the concept of the inside of the café in order to make it welcoming. Use the tall windows to show potential visitors what they can expect inside by placing tables right by it or using them to display food. Invest in the logo that will be easy to remember and visible even from a fair distance, so people could easily spot your place.

2. The layout is a critical component

The layout of your café is going to have a huge influence on the way your staff performs their tasks, as well as how comfortable your customers feel. It's important that the ordering process is clear right from the start to avoid any inconvenience to your guests. A high-quality layout will promote productivity among the staff members and improve the customer experience at the same time.

Therefore, the layout includes everything. From the table plan to the position of the restrooms, you will need to account all the factors even the ones in the exterior design.

3. The position of the serving counter

The position of the serving counter depends on the type of café you will run. If you plan to make drinks to go as well, then serving counter should be near the entrance. However, if you are more interested in the staying customers, then install the counter in the back and leave more room for the seating area in the front.

Also, it’s important to position the serving counter so that the staff can reach it easily and take orders to your customers without problems.  

4. Pay attention to the table plan

Although you want to attract more customers, squeezing tables will actually chase them away. Bear in mind that seating arrangements determine the comfortableness of your café which is important to guests. You will still have to use the space to the maximum of possibility, but only be practical about it as well.

The rule of thumb states that there has to be no less than one meter of space between seats, and half a meter distance between tables. You should give your customers enough room to move and at least some privacy to talk and not be afraid of eavesdropping. The style you use will determine if you are a café for large groups of friends or solo coffee-drinkers visiting to get some work done.  

5. Carefully installed lighting

Lighting in the café has a purpose so pay attention to that when you start with the plans. For example, to create a welcoming atmosphere use warm, bright lights. If you lower the brightness, your café will gain a more intimate note.

If you serve food in your café then a little bit cooler tones will highlight the natural colors of food and make it look more attractive. The best way to achieve the successful lightning plan is by combining natural and artificial lights even during the day.   

6. Choose your color scheme

Every proper café fitout and interior design depend on the appropriate color scheme that will attract the customers even from the outside. Scientists spent years in research to determine how color affects the psychology of people. Thus, you need to plan the color palette in your café very carefully in order to create pleasing combinations for your customers.

For example, blue is not a good color for establishments that serve food since this shade is known to curb the appetite. On the other hand, red promotes hunger and is great for cafés that serve fast food since it’s not connected to healthy meals. If you intend to run healthy food café then green is your color because it stands for nature and freshness.

7. Don’t forget the flooring

Flooring is usually a heavily underestimated element of the interior design of cafés. This is a mistake that needs to be addressed right from the start when working on the design. Look of the floors will determine the visual tone of the café and help you complete the fitout.

Since the floor is a large area, you need to choose the colors and patterns carefully. One way to do that is by dividing the floor plan into zones in order to gain multiple areas. However, take into consideration that materials will determine maintenance and durability so decide upon those that are easy to clean and slip-resistant.

Finally

There are many things to consider when designing your café but with some patience and a solid plan, you will get your business running in no time. With proper lighting, colors schemes and layout you will easily attract customers and turn into a successful hospitality service.