How to soundproof your home with creative home decor ideas

When you are decorating your living space, you might tend to forget about soundproofing it. However, there are a lot of creative ways in which you can efficiently use home decor to soundproof your home. Your home is the place you are entitled to feel peaceful and the unnecessary noise does not have to get in the way.

Be it a creeping sound or the disturbing sound from the outdoors, noise certainly makes us feel tenser than we realise. A quiet home is welcoming and you can make it soundproof using some amazing and creative home decor ideas. Here are some cheap ideas for home decor that you can use to soundproof your home.

Add rugs to touch floors

Sound bounces off any hard surface that it can find and this might contribute to noise. Wooden floors, as well as open spaces, are the areas wherein sound can reverberate and echo. To reduce the sound, all that you have to do is to add some good quality rugs to the wooden floor.

You can also go for carpets, but the beauty of installing rugs is that they are less permanent and you can change them with time. Thus, they are also more cost effective and also helps you to get the job done. You can add rugs to your floor for using as sound absorbers. Any type of sound will not be reflected resulting in noise reduction.

Invest in quality curtains

Quality curtains not only help you in adding to the aesthetic appeal of your abode but also act as good sound absorbers. Curtains that are made with a thick material such as velvet, wool or a tightly woven fabric act as a good sound absorber.

They absorb the sound from outside and also reduce the extra sound that comes from outside. To make it even more effective, you can hang the curtains high and let them drop on the floor. Curtains made with thick materials are way more efficient.

Showcase your book collection

Did you know that adding more furniture does wonders when it comes to soundproofing? That’s tight! You can add a book collection in your apartment or house to soundproof your space. Not only does it absorb sound but it also gives your living space a gorgeous look.

You can very well utilise all the extra space that is there between the floor and ceiling using a book collection. You can also choose to put decorative wall art as an alternative and it will work similarly.

Opt for furnishings that are soft

If you are going to buy new furniture, then you can go for furnishings that are soft. You can switch to soft furniture wherever you can. However, you cannot get rid of your old stuff, but you can definitely modify them and augment them with furnishings that are soft.

Since noise reverberates off the hard surfaces, you should consider soft furnishings that will immensely reduce the noise. For instance, if you are going to buy furniture, then you can opt for an upholstered bench instead of going for a hard coffee table.

Buy a rug pad

While thick rugs work just fine, when you add a rug pad underneath it, it works even better. Buy a thick rug pad that you can use under the rug and see the difference for yourself. It will also help when you have to move your furniture around.

If you do not wish to go for rug pads then you can opt for multiple rugs that you can pile up on each other to achieve your desired style. For instance, you can layer a geometric weave rug on a sisal area rug to make it look stunning and act as a soundproof.

Use as many pillows as you can

This is yet another simple tip that will tremendously help you in reducing the noise while increasing the style quotient of your space. You can invest in pillows that can be used in your living room as well as the bedroom. Use as many pillows as you can to absorb the noise.

The material of the pillow is also an important factor to consider and you should opt for pillows that are fluffier and bigger than normal ones. They will be optimum for reducing the noise. Pillows also add a fresh look to your decor and you can add in some decorative covers for them in order to make them look great.

Soundproofing paint

You can effectively reduce the noise by using soundproofing paint in your apartment or house. If you are going to repaint your house soon enough then go for the paint that is specially designed to soundproof your place.

This type of paint might be a little costly but it will be worth investing in the long term. With soundproofing paint in place, you will not have to worry much about the sound reverberating as it will be absorbed by the walls.

Soundproofing wallpapers

You can also opt for soundproofing wallpapers that you can specifically put in the rooms of your apartment which require it the most. The soundproof wallpapers are designed to absorb all the noise and so it is a great way of soundproofing your space.

However, check with your budget before you invest in soundproofing wallpapers as you might want to go for other viable options if you are staying in a rented apartment. But in case you are staying in an apartment that is your own, then you go for long-term solutions like this.

Thus, with the help of the tips mentioned above, you can soundproof your apartment. These creative ideas for home decor can prove really beneficial and you can see the results for yourself. While implementing the options, you should carefully take your budget into consideration.

The decor you choose also depends on whether you own the apartment or are staying in a rented space. This is because you cannot make significant changes to the apartment if it is a rented one. So, you can evaluate your options and then choose the soundproofing decor you want to go for.

Top 5 Tips for Small Gardens in 2020



We know your pain. You’ve moved into a new home and you’re eagerly anticipating making it feel like your own. You can’t wait to get out into the garden and start making changes and planting new flowers and shrubs. But you get out there and find that your green space is smaller than you remembered it, or it doesn’t quite have the room you expected for all your grand garden plans! Fear not – we are here to give you our top 5 tips for getting the most out of small gardens. From useful lawn care advice to planting tips, we’ve got it covered.

Make the Lawn Beautiful

The lawn is the absolute centrepiece of any garden. It is what you notice first and if it isn’t cared for, it will drag down the look of the whole space. No matter whether you have acres or a few feet, if you make your lawn beautiful it will make your garden more inviting and a more enjoyable place to spend time in. You can achieve a lush lawn in a number of ways, but it boils down to DIY or hiring a professional. Both have their benefits, but if you want to have the most stunning lawn and consistent treatments throughout the year, we would recommend leaving it to an expert. However, if you want to get your green fingers on your lawn, there are plenty of DIY guides out there. Make sure you regularly rake, mow and water your garden for the nicest lawn that will have your neighbours green with envy!

Keep it Simple

Try not to overpower or over-plant your garden if you are struggling on space. Sticking to a few statement plants or trees will not only make your garden look more stylish and chic, but it will give the impression of space and openness. Make a few trees or plants the central focus of your garden and then create symmetry around this. If you have a lot of plants it can quickly appear cramped and make your small space even smaller. Having fewer plants also means you can take a little less time tending to the garden and more time enjoying it.

Use Height to Your Advantage

Climbing plants, multi-layered planters, garages and walls are the friends of small gardens. Anything that you can do to extend your garden upwards is a good thing. This gives you considerably more space to be creative. Having plants growing upwards will also give you more privacy from neighbours if you are living in close quarters with other flats or homes. There are many structures available that allow you to plant fruit, vegetables or flowers in a multi-storey way. Hanging baskets are also an easy option when adding plants to your garden at different height levels. Take advantage of all these options and don’t be restricted to the single level landscape of your small garden.

Furniture with Multiple Uses

If you have room to add some seating to your garden, ensure it has multiple purposes that can be used throughout the year. If you don’t do this, you are missing out on a huge space-saving aspect of your garden. There are benches available which double-up as storage boxes, for you to pack away gardening equipment or other garden accessories. If you are getting chairs for the garden, make sure they are stack-able or fold away to become smaller. It is also better to buy garden furniture which can be left out all year round, as you may not have the storage room to put them away during winter months.

Trick the Eye

One way to make your garden appear bigger than it is, is to use elements which accentuate and enlarge your garden. Think reflective surfaces, shiny plant pots and light colours throughout. If you are having some paving or gravel, make sure it is beige or a similar shade to open up the space and make it feel lighter. Mirrors in the garden not only make it feel more stylish and add an element of interior design, they also make you think there is more space than there really is. As much light and reflection you can bring to your back garden, the better. It’s all about the illusion!

 

5 cheap ways to increase the value of your home in 2020

If you’re looking to sell your home while the market is still relatively buoyant, but you’ve been disappointed by recent valuations from estate agents, you needn’t despair. With these five cheap ways to increase the value of your home, you could command a figure more in-line with your expectations.

Everyone wants to get the best price for their home, but it is important to be realistic. There are very few things you can do to add tens of thousands of pounds on to the value without spending large sums, but take a look at our simple tips to spruce up your home and maximise what you get for it.

Paint your kitchen

Unless you have an unusually large kitchen, you shouldn’t need too much paint to give things a freshening up. You don’t need to paint the whole room either, simply choose to paint the cabinets or the walls a different colour, whichever needs brightening more.

Kitchens are one of the key rooms people are interested in, so keeping it fresh and inviting will help to boost how much value estate agents place on it. The less work potential buyers would have to do, the better.

 

Buff the bath

If you love a good bath, then you’ll understand the importance of buffing up your bathtub. Over the years they can become worn and grimey, but by giving it a good scrub, your tub could be made to look new. If a deep clean doesn’t work, you might consider investing in a new, cheap tub to give it the look and feel of a new suite.

Bathrooms, much like kitchens, are an area of the home people place a lot of value in, so presenting a clean and sharp bathtub will be a good investment.

 

New Caulk

Carrying on from the last point, with the knowledge that a bathroom is a prized part of any home, investing in new caulking is a wise move. Over the years you might have accumulated mould on your caulk or it may have become worn and discoloured. Applying a new layer of caulk after stripping out the old one is a simple task which quickly brightens up a bathroom once again.

Whether it’s around the shower tray, the bath or both, caulking won’t break the bank and will have an instant impact.

 

Declutter your home

Think back to when you viewed your property when buying – you were probably trying to imagine where furniture might go and what you would use certain rooms for. That logic applies when selling your home, since you want prospective buyers to see the potential it has and pay more to get it.

Declutter your home by getting rid of items you don’t need and tidying away those you don’t regularly use – rent space in a storage facility as an interim option if you have to, the cost will hopefully be surpassed by the extra amount added to the value of your property when it’s tidy and open.

 

Clean the carpets

We become so familiar with our homes that we sometimes fail to see the impact that time has on things. A carpet will be stepped, shuffled and possibly stamped on every day, so it stands to reason that they’ll become a little dirty and jaded looking.

With a professional clean, your carpets can be brought back to life and this will up the potential value of the home as they won’t look like they need replacing. You can hire a company to clean the carpet or simply hire the machinery and do it yourself.

 

Once your property is sold and you need help moving, look no further than clockwork Removals. With experienced removals teams, they can help you wherever you are in the UK and can even take care of international removals, helping your move go as smoothly as possible.

Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Yard in 2020

The yard is one of the most important parts of your property that determines how much your home stands out in the neighborhood. When it comes to caring for the house, the yard is an integral part of the setting that is the first impression that you make on your guests and influences your property value. If you’re on a budget but want to get creative with the space, there are a few inexpensive landscaping ideas to consider to beautify your yard to ensure that you can show it off.  

 

Add Clusters of Planters  

If you want to make a statement that draws attention to a specific area of the yard, consider adding a cluster of planters for increased visual interest. The flowers or plants can be grouped based on their color shade, type, or height to ensure that the arrangements are both beautiful and eye-catching. You can also make the foliage look like it’s spilling out of the planter to ensure that it looks natural with how it’s on display in the yard.  

 

Use Perennials  

When you don’t want to spend a lot of money on beautiful flowers to plant in your yard, opt for purchasing perennials, which are colorful and will add extra drama to exterior of your property. Although the perennials may be considered an investment for some people due to their price tag, they last longer than other types of plants and can become a permanent fixture in your yard or garden throughout the year.  

 

Plant Plenty of Trees  

One of the best ways to beautify your yard is to plant plenty of trees, which will create a lush setting where plenty of shade is present. Consider lining the yard with trees, which will frame the space and keep it enclosed for added privacy. You can also hire a company like Tree Survey to add trees to walkways or areas of high traffic to draw more attention to specific areas that lead up to the house or the backyard.  

Create a Flower Bed Border  

Adding a stone edge to your flower bed will frame the garden and can prevent it from blending in with the rest of the yard. A flower bed border will create a finished look that separates the flower bed from the rest of the garden. Using stones for the border is an easy and affordable way to create the beautiful feature without having to hire professionals to perform the project.  

 

Install a DIY Water Feature  

Water features are common in yards because they add an upscale touch that incorporates added visual appeal to the space. Instead of investing in an expensive water fountain or pond, opt for making your own water feature with the use of an old whiskey barrel and an iron teapot for a fountain waterfall that is tranquil and inviting. You can place the water feature in the middle of the yard or in the flower bed to beautify the setting. 

Five Tips for Conservatory Maintenance this Winter

Winter can wreak havoc on all parts of a building, and the conservatory is no exception.  From driving rain and strong winds to ice and snow, the seasonal weather can really cause some serious damage, even on newer conservatories.

But don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of handy hints and tips to keep your conservatory in top condition during the colder months, and if you carry out simple checks each day, you may even be able to prevent any major issues.

#1 – Repair Leaks

Conservatory roofs are vulnerable to leaks, and they can be caused by a number of issues – not just age!  Such causes include:

  • Inadequate flashing
  • Roof panels that have slipped
  • Loose cappings
  • Vents that don’t properly close, or that aren’t properly sealed

Once a leak sets in, it can be difficult – if not impossible – to properly repair it.  Resealing the roof can take time and isn’t always effective, though there are other repairs that can be carried out.  Ultimately though, prevention is better than cure, particularly as leaking roofs often require replacement.  Of course, if you’re willing to attempt a repair, it’s always advisable to speak to a professional first.

#2 – Keep Paint and Varnish Fresh

If you have a timber conservatory, maintenance is vital.  It should be regularly repainted or varnished to prevent flaking, rot, and to keep the exterior of your property looking fresh and clean.

As well as this, regular painting and varnishing have a number of other benefits, including the following:

  • It reduces any damage to the wood that could be caused by UV light
  • Stops the penetration of water
  • Using microporous paint can allow any excess moisture in the wood to escape

Each of these steps can be done yourself, though getting advice from experts is recommended.

#3 – Keep Gutters Clear

It’s tempting to ignore any debris that builds up in your gutters, and to make the assumption that it will break down on its own.  But this isn’t the case.  Gutter maintenance is an important task on any part of your property, including the conservatory.

Gutters should be cleared throughout the year, including twice in the winter – once in early winter and once in late winter.  This ensures that the conservatory will not succumb to water damage, and that any insects do not make their homes in your gutters and cause structural damage.

A huge amount of debris can become lodged in your gutters, including organic material from trees and bits of asphalt from your roof that can become dislodged following heavy or prolonged rain showers.

In order to prevent this, it’s advisable to regularly check your gutters and remove any debris before it has time to build up and cause a serious issue.

#4 – Ensure that all Window Seals are Sound

Over time, the seals around the windows and roof panels of your conservatory can become damaged, cracked or start to flake off, all thanks to their exposure to the elements.

This can result in all kinds of problems, including leaks and draughts, which can affect the energy efficiency of the conservatory.  In order to prevent this, the roofline and windows should be inspected on a regular basis to assess any issues and allow you to take steps to rectify them.

Should you find any problems, they should be repaired immediately to reduce the likelihood of any further damage, and to help keep your home safe, sound and energy efficient.

#5 – Roof Windows should be Regularly Checked

This is particularly the case following heavy snowfall or low temperatures, as ice and the weight of the snow can cause damage to seals and decorative elements on the roof, result in cracked roof panels and be detrimental to guttering.

Each of these can cause significant problems, and can seriously weaken the structural integrity of your conservatory.  As such, it’s essential that all parts of the conservatory are thoroughly checked throughout the winter, so that any problems can be spotted and repaired as soon as possible.

Yorkshire Window & Conservatories 

Of course, it’s possible to carry out all conservatory checks yourself, but any repairs and replacements should be undertaken by professionals.  At Yorkshire Windows, we have years of experience when it comes to supplying and installing a huge range of conservatories and orangeries, so we have what it takes to provide you with the very best advice on conservatory maintenance.

Should you find any issues, simply give us a call and our friendly team will be more than happy to assess the problem and advise on the best course of action – whether that’s a repair or replacement.

So if you need help with your conservatory this winter, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

How to use storage for a less cluttered Christmas

There’s no getting around it – Christmas equals clutter. And while it’s gratifying to treat your family during the festive season, decoration overkill coupled with a fresh haul from Santa’s sleigh could leave your house swamped with too many unnecessary bits and pieces from both the coming Yuletide, and ones that have gone by.

A simple answer is to clear away the old to make way for the new. This can be done in a few easy steps, so read on to see how you can beat the clutter and become storage smart.

Before

Have a thorough clear-out. Now is prime time to wade through your wardrobe, drawers, cupboards or toy baskets to identify anything your family no longer use. It’s important to have a realistic attitude during this task. Anything you or your child hasn’t worn or used for over a year isn’t likely to ever be picked up again. And if you have to blow the dust off, then this is a sure sign it’s lost its entertainment value.

  • Store away bulky furniture. To create space for your tree and guests, using self storage can be a godsend. Self-storage facilities offer a host of benefits, including round-the-clock surveillance, 24/7 access to goods, and a wide range of available storage room sizes. Putting aside bulky items or furniture for the holiday period can give your home the space it desperately needs for entertaining.
  • Rein in the Christmas decorations. We all know at least one person who buys up the decoration aisle each year in a bid to beat the neighbours – perhaps you’re guilty of this? But the truth is that once the merrymaking is over, light-up Snowmen and full-size reindeer will only burden your home with excess clutter. Either take the minimalist route by opting for simpler decorations, or stow away these ornaments in handy self-storage facilities to relieve your home of items that only have seasonal value.

After

Part with unused gifts. Do you have a cupboard full of unwanted Christmas gifts? If your relatives’ questionable taste has left you accumulating a host of neglected items then it’s probably time to part ways. Before launching into this year’s Noel, why not spread some festive cheer by bagging up your old gifts and sending them onto worthy causes?

  • Store away your wintry objects for next year. Now flexible, affordable storage that relieves the stress from your home, self-storage is becoming an increasingly popular answer for homeowners across the world. When it’s time to dispel the decorations from your home, or if you need to tuck away seasonal sporting equipment for next winter, self storage is a safe, convenient option for households struggling for space.

 

We wish you happy holidays, and hope that these tips will help your home breathe easier once more.

Is Your Home Prepared For Winter?

The days are getting shorter and cold weather is drawing in; winter is coming. Are you prepared?

Winter is one of the toughest times of the year for your home, with adverse conditions potentially leading to a range of costly and troublesome issues.

The good news is that with a bit of preparation and some relatively simple improvements, you can ward off the ill-effects of snow, rain and sub-zero temperatures and enjoy a warm and prosperous winter in your home.

Check your windows and doors

Windows and doors are the gateways through which most of the heat in your home will escape. Even if you heat your home 24 hours a day at full blast, a single-pane window or a draughty door will allow that heat to escape. Essentially, you’re throwing away money!

There are a couple of actions you can take to limit the escape of heat in your home. The easiest and cheapest is to install draught excluders at the bottom of every door in your home; you can pick up draught excluders for relatively cheap at most DIY stores and installing them is as simple screwing the excluder to the bottom of your door. You might need to measure and saw the excluder to size but again, this is quite easy.

Most new homes come with double-glazed windows, although older homes will feature single pane windows. If you have the budget, upgrade to double-glazing; the savings you’ll make will far outweigh the initial expense.

If you do have double-glazing but still feel a draught, invest in some foam excluder strips. Although they are cheap and won’t last as long as metal excluders, they are easy to install and easy enough to remove in the warm summer months.

It is necessary to retain some ventilation in your home, however, so don’t close up absolutely every connection to the outside world. Extractor fans and wall vents help to reduce the level of moisture in your home. Having your windows open for short periods of time (in the middle of the day at the weekend when it’s warmer outside, for example) can also help with reducing damp and mold.

Loft and wall insulation

Loft and wall insulation are essential for trapping heat that would otherwise escape from your home, although installing this kind of insulation is a lot more difficult and expensive. The best way to determine whether your home has loft and wall insulation to call an expert to conduct a survey of your home although there are a couple of other tell tale signs, such as small drill holes on the outer wall of your home.

The installation of loft and wall insulation is a job best left to a professional, although the costs of doing calling in an expert will be more than justified by the savings you make in the long run.

Check your gutters

A lot of people only think about the inside of their home when undertaking winter improvements, but the effects of winter on the outside of your home can lead to just as much adversity. One area that can be particularly troublesome is the gutters.

Gutters are susceptible to blockages from fallen leaves; these blockages lead to water becoming trapped and pooling. In sub-zero temperatures, this pooled water freezes and this can lead to the gutter cracking.

As such, it’s important to check that your gutters aren’t blocked on a regular basis. Installing a leaf guard is also a good idea, as it reduces the amount of time you have to spend cleaning!

Check your boiler and pipes

A broken boiler is one of the worst things that can happen in winter, leaving you without hot water and heating. The cost of repairing a boiler can also make a serious dent in your bank account!

The boiler checks you should carry out include:

* Making sure that your boiler servicing is up to date.

* Insulating the condensate pipe with lagging.

* Checking the pressure of your boiler.

You should also run your heating on a regular basis to ensure that the boiler’s pipework doesn’t freeze up and crack. If you’re unsure about the operation of your boiler, call in an expert to help.

Winter can be an arduous time for a homeowner, but as demonstrated in this post, preparing for winter doesn’t take too much time or cost too much money. Be prepared, and you should enjoy a trouble-free winter. 

Christopher Smith is writing on behalf of Excel Compressors, who sell a large range of used air compressors for DIY purposes