Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guest post- Making your kitchen the heart of your home!

A great family kitchen really is the heart of the home. It is where countless good times are shared over family dinners, where important conversations often take place, and where you and your family can sit down and catch up with each other after a long day. Putting a little extra thought into making your kitchen a place where people will want to gather can help you to really make the most of this space, so here are some ideas to get you started.

Go For a Rustic Feel

A rustic feel really suits the kitchen, as it is warm and friendly and gives a welcoming country vibe. Choose earthy colors and materials to bring a natural feel. 

A wooden dining table is a great choice as it fits with this aesthetic, as well as providing a great focal point for the room. So much revolves around the kitchen table – from homework to family dinners and everything in between, so it is worth investing in a really well built solid wood table. Check out Fortune Woods for some beautiful options for your home.

Focus on the Details

It is easy to forget the kitchen when it comes to decorative accessories and other details that would be second nature to include in other rooms, but including a few well-chosen pieces will bring a personal touch to such an important space.

A few simple, well-placed lamps can enhance your kitchen, particularly if there is not much natural light. It can also be fun to frame a favorite quote and hang it on the wall – it makes a great talking point for guests, too. 

If you have room, it can also be good to put a small comfy sofa in your kitchen – that way your kids can sit and chat with you while you cook dinner, or you can lounge and read a book while they do their homework!

Get Cooking

It seems obvious, but no candle or room spray can really substitute for the smell of home cooking and baking, so get experimenting and enjoy the results! Cooking and baking with your family is a great bonding experience. It also gives everyone an opportunity to get a little messy, create new things and learn new recipes. 

You can also leave a few treats out to lure reclusive teenagers from their rooms for some family time – freshly baked cookies or cakes and persuade even the grumpiest to come down and see you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Product review- Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus!

Recently, I was contacted by Downy, the popular brand for laundry goods to review their newest product, Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Any item that promises to reduce or eliminate wrinkles on fabrics sounds wonderful to me because who wants to spend hours ironing, yes?

So accepting this product to review is a no-brainer! I was promptly sent a review kit which includes one 1000ml bottle of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus, two 500ml bottles, three 90ml travel bottles and a Downy T-shirt.

The review kit.

Products close-up.

For this review, I decided to pick a severely wrinkled white blouse to see if it worked! 



Because my blouse was really wrinkled, I needed to spritz  a fair amount of Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus to get rid of the wrinkles (I did this little by little). 

For the product to work effectively, the fabrics has to be tugged after it was spritzed with the product (as instructed at the back of the bottle). As you can see, the wrinkles are greatly reduced after I spritzed my blouse with Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. It definitely worked! 

However, upon closer inspection, I noticed some "water spots" at the bottom of my blouse. Perhaps I over sprayed?

According to the product, it is safe to use on visually all fabrics. However, to be on the safe side, always do a small test on a hidden area first. Before you spritz, please make sure you are 8 inches away from your fabric (as suggested on the Amazon website, there is no such instruction at the back of the bottle, by the way) while using the Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Also, be sure not to over spritz your fabrics.

I wanted to try the Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus on a less wrinkled T-shirt to check for water spots.



Because the T-shirt was less wrinkled, I gave it a little spray and yet, it worked pretty well! There are no water spots at all!

My verdict? Overall, I think Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus is a wonderful, wonderful product! I would use it on draperies, comforters, pillows, table cloths, table runners, fabric home décor items and the occasional shirt or pants for convenience. I would highly recommend bringing a travel size bottle (meets current TSA liquid guidelines) for travels to eliminate wrinkles on your clothing for convenience's sake. 

In conclusion, Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus is an amazing alternative for ironing. If you are looking for a perfectly crisp, neatly pressed shirt, then this is not the product you are looking for! However, if you are in a hurry or need to do quick touch-ups on wrinkled fabrics in a minute or two, then this product is perfect for you! As a bonus, this product produces a perfume-like scent too, love it!

You can get yours here

P/S: I just found out from the Amazon website that this product might create water spots on silk and rayon. My white blouse was made with 100% rayon, that explained the water spots.

*I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Style in bloom – How to use flowers in your home décor!

Colorful fresh flowers have a way of brightening up a space and lifting your spirits with their vibrant shades and sweet fragrance – so why not use them as a design element in your home? There are many ways that you can decorate your home with the beauty of flowers, so think beyond the typical bouquet in a vase on the dining room table!

To make things easier, you can get fresh flowers delivery in Perth and have the perfect bouquet shipped right to your door. If you are looking for some inspiration when decorating with flowers, here are some great ideas to get you started:

Try Putting Flowers in the Bathroom

You might not have thought of placing floral arrangements in your bathroom, but they can really add an attractive element and make your bathroom feel like a luxury spa. Use very simple white or cream colored flowers to create a serene and relaxing feeling. Or, you could choose flowers that pick up on the same shades as your towels or bathroom accent colors - so that they really “pop”.

Why Not Use Unusual Containers?

Putting flowers in a vase is the typical and expected thing to do, but why not think outside the box and try something different? Hanging baskets can work very well as eye-catching and unique décor indoors or you can use something recycled to contain your blooms such as a vintage milk can or a mason jar. There are also a lot of beautiful sculptural planters and containers out there you could use to create a statement with your flowers.

Another attractive idea for decorating with flowers is to use the large round glass style of fishbowl. You can start with a layer of gravel on the bottom and then fill the fishbowl with water, then let the flowers float on top of the water.

When they Begin to Wilt, Dry Them!

Of course, flowers will not last forever and eventually your beautiful bouquet will start to wilt. At this point, you should dry your flowers so you can use them in a different way in your home décor.

For example, you could add the dried flower petals to a decorative basket with some fresh herbs and organic oils. This will make your home not only more beautiful, but also more sweet-smelling too. You could also consider turning your dried flowers into a beautiful wreath.

Create Artwork with Them

Another fun idea is to press your dried flowers and use them to create shadow box artwork. Pressed flowers give your décor a vintage feel and an eclectic vibe. When flowers are pressed they are transformed from three dimensional objects to two dimensional artwork, capturing their flowing and graceful appearance.

These are just a few fun ways that you can get creative with floral accents in your home décor. A few blooms might just brighten up your surroundings, so why not give it a try with your favorite flower?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guest post- Creating A Sophisticated Bedroom!

When it comes to our bedrooms, there is nothing we want more than an elegant, sophisticated place to rest our heads. As much as we would all love to be the owner of a stunning period room with tall ceilings and lofty windows, a four poster bed and exquisitely decorated walls, unfortunately for the majority of us, this is but a dream. However, it is much simpler than you might think to create a sophisticated boudoir (no matter how small your bedroom might be). Here’s a little inspiration on how you can turn your bedroom into an abode that even royalty would be proud of.

Research, Research, Research

Although it may well be tempting to get stuck in straight away, it’s imperative that you do not get ahead of yourself and make mistakes that are difficult or expensive to rectify. Have a look through interior design magazines, websites and blogs and spend a little time researching and even creating mood boards of ideas and inspiration of your dream room.

There are a number of factors to consider such as:

1. Color scheme

2. Furniture

3. Fabrics/curtains

4. Bedding

There is just so much to consider, so a little research will go a long way, and there is plenty of inspiration online (for free!) to help you.

Color Scheme

Deciding upon a color scheme is the obvious place to start when considering decorating your room. When it comes to creating a sophisticated bedroom then the color scheme you choose will affect the rest of your design choices. 

Avoid bold patterns as these can often clash with the pieces you will add to your room. Settle on your favorite colors or color schemes, then spend time considering the mood each color projects. Rich colours create a sensual mood and often add warmth to a room, whilst shades of white and light colors such as duck egg blue can create that refined French bedroom you have always dreamt of. It is entirely down to your personal taste but ensure that the colors you choose are easy to match with any furniture ideas you may have.


Picking out stunning furniture is extremely important when creating a sophisticated boudoir, and it is best to think outside the box when it comes to making these decisions.

When it comes to beds, although woods like oak and pine can be fantastic if you are opting for that more shabby chic look, if it is sophistication you are after then it is often better to opt for something a little different, such as leather. Leather or faux leather beds are effortlessly classy and come in a range of colors and shades, so they are easy to work with your other choices in furniture. As they are frequently low slung, they create a more intimate feel to a room. There is plenty of choices when it comes to leather beds and companies such as Bedzrus offer a wide variety of options. It is key that before you invest in a bed you ensure you have found furniture to coordinate with the color you want.

Once you have decided upon furniture and color schemes, then you can pick out fabrics, bedding and lighting to complement. However sophisticated you desire your new room to look, it is still important to inject a bit of your personality into your choices–if you are feeling brave you could always try your hand at painting or decoupaging your bedside tables, adding photographs and pictures in ornate frames here and there to add a personal touch to your walls.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Product review- Natural Wood Decor!

Have you heard of Natural Wood Decor, an online-based company that provides beautiful, handmade wood decor that is safe for the home and the environment?

I like so many products from their website, their line of products are beautiful and seemed very well-constructed. The following pieces are particularly my favorites!

Which one is your favorite?

Can imagine how delighted I was to receive an item from their wonderful website to review? The item I picked was the Teak Storage & Shelving Unit.

Here is the storage and shelving unit I received! 

I love this storage and shelving unit! Handcrafted from sustainably harvested teak wood, this piece feels heavy and solid. Measuring 18" in width, 11.5" in depth and 30" in height, this unit is generously sized and offers ample storage for everyday items. The hinged compartment on top helps to hide clutter and provide easy access to your items. Practical and versatile, this wonderful unit can be used in the kitchen to store food prep or in the bathroom to store lotions, extra bath towels, toilet papers, etc. I am planning to use mine in the bathroom for additional toiletries storage!

Like many wood products, this unit has its imperfections. I found some cracks, holes, knots and tone variations in this piece but I guess it's part of the charm and character, yes?

This is definitely a great, quality piece! If you are looking for a solid piece of storing unit with a bit of rustic flair, then this unit is perfect for you! You can get yours here!*

*Disclosure: I have received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Don't forget to stop by Natural Wood Decor to check out other quality offerings! Happy shopping!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guest post- Exotic Pool Designs: 4 Outstanding Choices!

So you do not want just an ordinary swimming pool in the backyard? You would like something more eye-catching for those times you head out to swim or lounge? To get off the beaten path of pool designs, think outside the box. Here are four choices that can be outstanding, depending on what you want:

1) A rock pool. 

If you have a hillside on one side of your pool, put in a rock wall or rock accents along that great terrain. Then use rocks in the design of the pool, to enhance and highlight the rock effect. With a few native plants, and some exotic decking, the pool has been transformed into a native paradise, with the feel of being in the South Pacific or Caribbean any time you step outside.

2) A lighted wall. 

You have a small back yard built into the center of wings of your house. It is open on one side and a little too visible to the neighbors. Thinking creatively and try putting a 10 foot wall at the exposed end of the pool. From that wall, small fountains jet forth into one end of the pool, providing a soothing waterfall effect. Accent lighting, which you can find at this website, provides a soothing and soft colored effect. You can also using blue lights to highlight the pool. The wall provides privacy and a wonderful soothing water sound any time you are at the pool.

3) An infinity pool.

For a striking effect, an infinity pool is one of the best designs available. The basic concept is that the wall on the side of the pool next to the view only comes to water level. If your house and back yard pool happens to be on a hillside facing outward, no pool walls block part of the view, and the hillside is mirrored in the water. For pool owners fortunate enough to have a pool facing a lake or the ocean, the effect is all the more dramatic – a seamless tapestry of water extending outward.

4) Pools with curves. 

For those owners who do not want square edges, adding curves to the pool can provide a very pleasing visual effect. Curves along the sides of the pool provide a softening effect that relaxes a pool owner every time they walk into the back yard. If the owner wants a hot tub – have the curve effect accented by a circular or round hot tub that highlights the curves. Depending on the size and shape of the pool area, the curves can bend and weave, and the pool itself becomes a vital feature in the look of the yard, enhancing the look of the pool area.

The main question to ask for a pool owner who wants to have an exotic pool – what is pleasing to the eye of that person? Using that criterion, and a design professional to accommodate that look, the pool will provide a wonderful escape that never feels ordinary, and is constantly enjoyable when the owner walks into the back yard.

Carol Atkins has been a freelance writer for a long time, and currently writes for An Apple Per Day. When she is not delivering her youngest child to soccer practice or band rehearsals, she still finds time to read and work on her golf game for relaxation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Product review- Sholdit!

I was recently contacted by Sholdit for a review opportunity. After checking out their website, I immediately agree to receive a sample of their wonderful product!

But wait, what exactly is a Sholdit? In a nutshell, Sholdit is a clutch wrap purse all rolled into one. It is a traditional infinity scarf that contains a hidden zipper pocket, roomy enough to carry your going-out essentials such as keys, phone, wallet, tickets or passports. 

Here are some of my favorite products from their website!

So pretty, right? Here's the one I picked!

Here I am trying to rock this fabulous product! :)

You won't be believe how roomy the pocket is! It can easily fit my passport, wallet and phone, how fantastic is that? Honestly, the pocket can fit more but who wants that much stuff hanging around their neck, right?

If you still remember, I briefly mentioned about going on a Europe vacation with my family last month. We visited a lot of beautiful places and seen many interesting things. 

However, we were constantly worried about being pickpocketed and getting robbed since we went to a lot of touristy places. For precautionary purposes, both my husband and I carried a dummy wallet and hid our passports in his secret pockets to avoid losing our IDs and important documents. 

With a product like Sholdit, I can travel with a peace of mind knowing that my belongings will be safe with me at all times! The Clutch Wrap Purse is truly a godsend for women who love travelling and love being stylish at the same time. 

It's very well-made, the material is soft and very comfortable to wear. I like that it is long enough so you can wear it like a scarf in a few different ways. During other times when you don't want to wear it like a scarf, you can turn it into a clutch or a purse. I also like that you can easily access your belongings whenever you are!

If there is one thing I have to nitpick about the product though, it will be the solid black reverse fabric. Personally, I would like the product to be made without the reverse fabric because when it is wore like a scarf, the black reverse fabric will peek through. A quick adjustment to the scarf is all you needed so the black fabric doesn't show through. A minor inconvenience but that is just me, being the all-time perfectionist! :) 

In general, I am still a big fan of this brilliant product! I think the Sholdit Clutch Wrap Purse is a beautiful, absolutely versatile and well-designed accessory. Highly recommended!

Disclosure: I have received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

You can get your Sholdit here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guest post- Security versus Style - why home security does not have to be an interior design disaster!

We all want a beautiful home, but then we also want to feel safe and secure within it, and all too often it can feel like domestic security comes at the expense of interior design. After all, can an intruder alarm or window grille ever look attractive?

Believe it or not, domestic security measures do not have to be visually intrusive. Read on as Banham - one of London's most trusted providers of home and commercial security solutions - offers their advice on staying safe without compromising on style.

Window Grilles with a Difference

Studies have shown that it is the windows of a property where it is often at its most vulnerable, but when you think about window grilles your first thought is probably that of a prison. Barred windows that may be secure but look terrible from an aesthetic point of view.

However this does not have to be the case, and there are actually many stylish and discreet collapsible, ornamental grilles that can provide your home with a high level of security without affecting the look of your property during the day. They can be made to measure while their intricate lattice designs provide a surprisingly attractive aesthetic.

What is more, they can simply be folded back behind curtains or blinds during the day when they are not needed - you would not even know they are there.

Modern, High-tech Access Controls

We all love our gadgets don't we? If it is electronic and has a screen we are all over it, so with this in mind, a contemporary access control system could be right up your street. Far from an unattractive feature, one of these security systems will look great within a modern property. The Banham K50 range of digital access control keypads have been designed for either surface or flush mount fixing and with a polished, satin chrome or brass finish.

The security benefits are numerous, enabling you to electronically restrict who has access to your building. If keys for traditional or mechanical locks are lost or stolen it can prove extremely costly - not to mention a big inconvenience - but this is not an issue with access controls.


If you are looking for a discreet and unobtrusive way of protecting your most prized possessions you can not get much more discreet than with a safe.

Specifically designed to be hidden away and incredibly difficult to break into - you could even put a painting over one of them just like in the movies! There are all kinds to choose from too depending on what you need, such as wall safes (built into the wall), freestanding safes, cash boxes and key cabinets.

But remember - visibility matters

It is understandable to not want the aesthetic of your property spoiled, however it is important to remember that a big part of domestic and commercial security is making it visible.

An effective deterrent is half of the battle against criminals, and a burglar is far more likely to target a home that does not have clear security measures installed than one that does. Most criminals are opportunists, and a well defended home simply does not represent a good opportunity.

What techniques have you used to avoid your home security becoming a bit of an eye sore? Let us know in the comments below.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Banham - providers of the very best alarms and locks for over 80 years.