Adding Light To Your Home

Whether you are showcasing your home in order to sell it, looking to increase the sell on value, or just improving the look and style to improve your quality of life, adding light to your home is always a good, positive thing. Dark and dreary rooms can not only leave your home looking in a less than perfect light, they can also affect your mood and productivity.In this post I am going to be looking at some of the ways you can improve the quality of light in your home, both through adding natural light, and through cheats that just make rooms seem brighter.

Lantern Roofs

Lantern roofs are a brilliant way to help light flood into your home. They can be added to any room of structure that has a flat roof, and are commonly used on conservatories, but can also work on ground floor extensions to create a version of a summer house in your home. Lantern roofs may add all that light, but you needn’t be worried about them bringing in extra cold, nor unwanted outside noise. Most are made from advanced double glazing which keeps out both cold and noise and makes them energy efficient. They look amazing, adding a real architectural feature to your home, and certainly add the light you were looking for.

Adding a Conservatory

Any size of conservatory can add a light, airy space to your home. A conservatory could be great as a playroom that leads straight onto the garden, or a dining/entertainment space which makes the most of natural light. Conservatories can be a way of creating space that you need for a growing family, and even if space is tight, i.e. on a terraced house, you might be able to create a utility space that may make your current kitchen feel more spacious.

Change your windows

Are your windows giving you the maximum amount of light? When I moved into my home, our front reception room , which we intended to use as a dining room, had a small bay window. This was fine in terms of giving me a large space to display a vase and picture frames, but not so good in the amount of light it allowed into the room. We decided to improve this by changing the bay to a large sash picture window. The change was unbelievable, with the room now flooded with natural light that now makes it one of our favourite rooms, particularly as the room is self facing. You need to look carefully at your current windows. It may be a simple change that can improve the whole light and ambience of a whole room.

Choose Your Colours Wisely

When it comes to decorating, the colours you choose could make a lot of difference when it comes to the mood and brightness of a room. Recently dark coloured accent walls have become a trend, but these do darken the look of a room, although they can look very stylish. Neutral shades of cream, white, magnolia and beige can not only be a blank canvas, but they are light and airy, so if you do opt for the accent wall, make sure it is balanced by lighter shades.

Darker furniture, including sofas and chairs, and anything in dark wood, also needs to be balanced. Think of all those Victorian sittting rooms filled with dark furniture and heavy chintz fabrics, and you can see why soft, floaty cushions, light coloured blinds and bright coloured prints are essential if the larger pieces of furniture edge towards the darker side. Another great feature to have is a large mirror, this will not only give the illusion of light, but one of space as well.

Check out your lightbulbs

Many people have switched to energy saving bulbs in recent years, hoping to save on bills and help the environment, but there have also been complaints about the dimness of the light that these can give off. We have recently switched to LED bulbs as an alternative. These are not only energy saving (thus helping to save on those ever rising bills) and longer lasting, not needing to be changed quite as often, but they also create an instant brightness.

If you want the best of both worlds, a light that is instantly bright, but can also be dimmed, maybe in a children’s room, or the living room where you want a softer light in the evening, you can also get dimmer versions of the LED light.

What measures have you used to improve the light in your homw?

What to Wear: Casinos

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When the safe, yet repetitive tedium of work and home becomes all too much, the urge to throw on your glad rags, order a taxi and head to the bright lights of town is enormous. Although we all know what’s great to wear for a tip out on the tiles, an increasingly popular late night pastime is somewhat more mysterious when it comes to deciding what to wear: the casino. We’ve all been told scare stories of how degenerative gambling can be- and these stories are indeed true- but enjoying one night of silliness and excitement is perfectly all right every once in a while! Nowadays the popularity of playing these types of games is so huge, many websites offer live deal entertainment where players can play others across the net, and if you use a Harrah’s casino promotion code you could get a free deposit and an 100% bonus. You might not feel the need to dress up for this kind of fun, but nevertheless, what exactly do you wear at the traditionally glitzy hotspots?

Firstly, one must take into account the fact that certain casinos are more glamorous and upmarket than others; in Vegas, as long as you are clean and vaguely tidy, you’ll be let in, contrasted with Monte Carlo’s casinos, where suits and gowns are a must-wear!

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In London especially, the need to wear formal wear is an absolute must. For ladies this means long, flowing or glittering gowns that fall well below the knee. Necklines shouldn’t be ridiculously plunging, so jewel, illusion, keyhole or bateau cuts will all be fine. Colour-wise, the selection is very much up to you, however this season bright pastel colours, subdued light blues and radiant purples and violets are very much in fashion.

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Eva Green in Casino

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In a casino, as a general rule of thumb, the more glamorous and flashy one’s style is, the more attention and better service you will receive! Also, really good fashion choices might give you an edge on your opponents at the table, psyching them out and improving your chances of winning!
Now some of us simply aren’t so stated in our sartorial endeavors, but there’s no need to fret! Three quarter length slim fit trousers, coupled with a structured blouse and jacket will look just as good as a flowing gown, and should probably be one’s first choice if you’re visiting with colleagues.

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For the gentlemen, suits are a must, although this doesn’t mean a full, restrictive suit needs to be worn. A stylish jacket, worn with woolen trousers or crisply cut chinos alongside leather shoes and a fashionable shirt could be just what is needed, although in the very upmarket establishments a full suit-tie combo or tuxedo should really be worn. As with anywhere, different casinos operate different dress codes, and many will be completely fine if you choose a smart casual approach.

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A Few More Valentine Gift Ideas

And so January is finally over. Did a month ever feel so long? I’m pretty sure it had at least 70 days, and that almost all of them were dismal. But now, thank goodness, it is finally February, a short month of pancakes, half term, love, and the knowledge that Spring is really not that far away.

I’m continuing with my look towards February 14th, which is, of course, St Valentine’s Day, and bring you a few more gift ideas if you are still stuck for what to get for your most beloved. This post features jewellery, toiletries and alcohol, all of which I would be most happy to receive myself, and hopefully may help you if you are still struggling for ideas. Every gift featured is under £30, just in case you are having a frugal February, and come with pretty packaging which means you can save on paper and gift bags.

Enjoy!

Jewellery From Hersey and Son

Jewellery is a bit of a no brainer when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but rather than opt for something large and ostentatious that will only be worn on special occasions, opt for something that will be loved and cherished, but can also be worn every day.

Hersey & Son is one of the few remaining traditional silversmiths in the UK. Set up by Stewart’s Father in 1955, all of their pieces are still manufactured by hand in their London workshop and have been a trade secret for the last 60 years. Including sterling silver tableware, photo frames, wine coasters and now men and women’s jewellery. 95% of the collection can be engraved making them lovely personal gifts. Hersey and Son have a beautiful range that should suit all tastes, and my current favourite, and number one pick has to be the Sterling Silver Star pendant that is a wonderful gift idea for the star in your life.

I love that you can wear this as a simple star, or can add an initial charm or a birthstone charm to build up the look. It is also available in two chain lengths, which I think is also a great idea when it comes to matching someone’s personal style and taste. The necklace also comes beautifully gift boxed, far belying the fact that the necklace is now less than £25.

Humble Natural Beauty Hand Wash and Hand Lotion

If you have a loved one who is a fan of natural beauty, then I would recommend the lovely hand wash and hand soap duo from Humble Beauty, the new range from television presenter Kate Humble. The set, available from Hayes Garden World, is part of a range of natural and biodegradable bath and beauty products.

The fragrance, which is sweet pea and Verbena is fresh and lingering, and leaves the hands feeling really soft. This would work as a pampering product, or could be something that you keep in the kitchen for keen cooks or gardeners. At less than £20 it is another affordable gift that is also thoughtful and beautifully presented.

Blood Orange Vodka from Il Gusto – The Theatre of Taste

Il Gusto have some amazing bottled spirits which can be totally personalised and are perfect for your Valentine. The spirits include flavoured vodka, brandy, gin and rum, as well as balsamic vinegar, cooking oils and salad dressings.

For Valentine’s day, you can opt for a heart shaped bottle that can then be filled with the spirit of your choice (in my case Blood Orange Vodka – as amazing as it sounds.) The bottle can then be personalised with a message of your choice, and you can also opt for complimentary gift wrapping, and decide if you want an ornamental style stopper for your bottle.

This is such a lovely gift idea for a connoisseur of spirits, and of course it is something you can also share on Valentine’s eve, perhaps as a night cap after a lovely meal.