Design & Ideas For Your New Home

Pinterest is a fantastic interactive scrapbook – think back to when you would buy home magazines, cut out your favourite ideas and stick them on mood boards when you were decorating. In effect, this is an updated version!

You can add images in three ways

Upload from your computer (this could be a picture of your room so you can plan ideas for décor whilst looking at what you’re working with
Search the Pinterest site (more on that below)
Scour the internet and purchasing websites and add in particular products

You can make both public and private boards – which is why it is classed as a social channel. Your open boards can be found by other people by your board theme or which hashtag you used on there. If you use a private board, however, the content in it will only be seen by you.

The best functionality of this channel is the ability to link to products in images to their original websites. They will sit in your board as an image but you can click out to buy them whenever you’re ready, saving you the time and hassle of having to remember where you saw them first or having to run out into town!

There is also a great search functionality in Pinterest. You can search for other people’s ideas by keyword, their personal or company page or themed boards – so if you were looking for garden renovation ideas, for example, you can culminate the best ideas in one place. From here, you can pin other people’s pictures onto your board and add a comment or link into it as a reminder for yourself at a later date.

But how can you be using this site within the home?

Why not use Pinterest for:

If you’re doing up a room of your home, why not plan out different wallpapers, potential furniture choices and decorative items to compare products or check everything matches. Just moved into a new house? Make a board for each room so your ideas don’t all get muddled!

Planning to do up your garden? Look at what other people have done with a similar space or add in potential decorative items to one board.

Adding a new addition to the family? Plan your room décor ideas alongside potential purchases, toys and even baby grows!

Planning out your Christmas menu for when the family descend? Add recipe ideas and even food products (that wine that Aunty Meredith insists is the only one she’ll drink!) into a board so your ideas are all in one place.

Gardening Tips For All Year Round!

1 If you’re looking for colour inspiration in the garden, think about the colours you already enjoy in the house before heading to the garden centre.

2 To help the garden look good all year round, plant plenty of evergreens and supplement these with perennials that will come back year after year.

3 Maintenance doesn’t need to be a chore. Weed-suppressant membranes put down in borders, which you can cut and plant through, will keep them tidy all year round with zero maintenance.

4 Don’t be afraid of artificial lawns. If your lifestyle does not give the time to spare to mow, there are some remarkably good artificial options on the market.

5 Nourish gardens and containers with time-release fertilisers that continue feeding plants for long periods.

6 Freshening up your outdoor space by washing down old and weary-looking garden furniture and giving it a fresh coat of paint can help transform a garden.

7 Add fresh mulch to your borders every year to keep weeds down and help the soil retain water, so you can water less.

8 Don’t let the decisions you made last year restrict you now: you can always move things around and replant and repaint if you have changed your mind.

9 If you can get out in the garden after a heavy shower, the weeds will put up much less resistance. Even deep-rooted dandelions pull up easily from wet soil.

10 Wait to prune evergreens, such as boxwood, until they’ve produced most of their new growth. That way you won’t have to tackle them again until next year.

Information provided by The Telegraph

Spring Clean!

April signals the beginning of spring and is the perfect time of year for both landlords and tenants to check the general condition of their property. Here’s how to ensure everything is in tip-top shape and ready for summer.

Spring cleaning tips for landlords

If the property or any outbuilding is timber clad, have a look at the exterior woodwork and take the opportunity to get any damaged areas repaired, then treated or repainted.

As the weather gets warmer, there is a greater risk of infestations. To prevent pests coming into a property, it is advisable to check the roof for any slipped tiles, rips or tears. Also make sure there isn’t any crumbling brickwork or holes in the exterior walls, in particular check airbricks and ventilation covers along with historic gaps/holes from old plumbing systems.

The boiler and heating system may have been working overtime during the colder months, so to help mitigate future issues consider undertaking a timely service of the system.

If the property has the benefit of air-conditioning, get the units checked now so they are fully operational when the temperatures rise.

Gutters and downpipes should be cleared of leaves and debris, and check that drains and soak-aways are clear and free-running. If not, check your agreement with your tenant as it is likely that they will share some responsibility for having them cleared.

If you have opted for a management service, your agent is likely to undertake these checks on your behalf. Check with your agent.

Spring cleaning tips for tenants

Unless gardening services are included in your rent, now’s the time to start thinking about maintenance. Particularly, clear the lawns and borders of obvious weeds before they take hold. If you have patio or garden furniture, it is likely to need cleaning and, if made of wood, re-oiled to make it look smart in time for outdoor entertaining.

If you have an outdoor pool, now is the time to open it up, top it, clear any debris and make sure the chemicals are level, so it is in full working order by the summer.

As a tenant, you should always keep an eye on the property and report maintenance issues to your landlord or agent in a timely manner. If in the course of your spring clean you happen to notice anything untoward, make sure you report it in writing so that action can be taken.

Top Tips When Moving Into Your First Home

Let’s start with the important things you shouldn’t forget!

  • The DVLA need to know you’re moving so you can update your driving licence and remember to change your address on the V5C vehicle registration certificate – these are both legal requirements.
  • Redirect your post, this can easily be done online from the Post Office. It’s a good safety net, it’s hard to remember everyone who has your address.
  • Tell your bank! The last thing anyone needs is a drama of a lost card and the ‘proof of address’ being different to your current address.
  • Update your address on all online shopping accounts! Else next time you go to tea at your mums she’ll be rocking your new scarf!

Things to do now to make things easier later

  • One of the first things you will need to set up is your Gas, Electric & Water. Shop around to get the best deal, it’s a very competitive market!
  • Arrange internet connection at your new property. If you leave it too late you will risk not being connected for weeks!
  • If you’re getting a nice new sofa, fridge freezer or any other house appliance, it’s worth arranging delivery straight to the new address at a time that is suitable. Maybe not the same day your entire family and Mum’s neighbour Mary shows up to see ‘how you’re getting on’.
  • Pack the Kettle and some tea bags last, it will make it easier to find when you get to your new home so you can make a brew for you and your hard working removers.

How to pick a removal company

  • When you know the date you’re moving you should be thinking about transporting your possessions, so start looking for an accredited removal company such as a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR).
  • Choosing a BAR accredited remover can protect you against damages and are the industries mark of quality.

The most important thing to remember is: keep calm and don’t forget the bubbles to celebrate!

You only get to move into your first home once, you’ve earned this, so enjoy it!