The importance of nature cannot be underestimated. Apart from the quite obvious point that humans couldn’t exist without it, nature and the outdoors have the ability to make us feel calm, refreshed, and relaxed. But with most of our lives spent indoors, and the ever shrinking size of blocks of land, our exposure to the natural elements is also diminishing. Smaller blocks mean smaller gardens, so we’re no longer seeing the large backyards to which we were once accustomed.
But just because our gardens and homes are shrinking in size, that doesn’t mean we can’t still have the same exposure and feelings of being in nature and the outdoors while we’re at home. With limitation comes creativity, and the outdoors is no exception. There are a number of ways that you can bring the outdoors into your home. Let’s look at just a few of those.
Interior design can be a complicated proposition, no matter how small or large a room may be. With so many themes, styles, and colours, the sheer amount of choice can be overwhelming. On top of this, it’s all about personal preference, so while one person might love French Provincial themes the other may prefer a modern Contemporary style.
The good news is that the concept of mixing and matching furniture and design is becoming a style of its own. This is where various pieces of different styles and time periods are used together to create an overall look that’s interesting and refreshingly unique. Another benefit of the emergence of the mix-and-match style is that you don’t have to purchase an entirely new suite of furniture since you can just mix and match your favourite pieces with some additional new items.
Indoor plants have been used by homeowners and interior designers to liven up homes practically since we first started living in them. Plants bring an element of the outside world into the home, and can create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Additionally, certain plants have another benefit that’s not widely known – they can purify the air in a room, removing some harmful chemicals that pollute our atmosphere.
Here are some of our favourite indoor plants for bringing the outdoors into your home, while simultaneously adding colour and life to a space.
As energy costs grow and the environment continues to be put under pressure, there are a number of things we can do as individuals to make our homes more green and save energy and money while simultaneously contributing to environmental awareness and sustainability. This article will look at ten ways to make your home more green, bringing down energy costs and clearing that conscience!
Online statements and junk mail
By registering for online statements where possible, you’ll be reducing the amount of paper mail you receive. This can make your record-keeping more efficient while – more importantly – saving valuable paper wastage. If possible, remove yourself from the junk mail register too, and add a ‘no junk mail’ sign to do that extra bit for the trees. The less you contribute to rubbish and recycling (which still demands a lot of energy), the better you are serving the environment.
Reserve Bank interest rates are incredibly low right now. In fact, at 2.25 per cent, it’s a historic low – the official cost of borrowing remains at its lowest rate since the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) gained independence from the government in the 1990s. There are even suggestions that the interest rate may be cut again in the near future. This has some obvious impacts on home buyers, both those already in the market, and those looking to get into it.
At the most basic level, the lower interest rate means finance comes cheaper, and home buyers can purchase homes for less. It’s not an insignificant amount, either. According to Domain, if you take the average home loan of just shy of $310,000 in Victoria, for example, the typical homeowner will save around $47 per month, or $564 per year. The savings will grow the more expensive the home being financed, so NSW residents, who take an average loan of around $316,000, will save a little more. And anyone that owns a property above the average cost will, naturally, save even more.
When building a new home, it’s important to think of the extras that will save you money in the long term while improving your lifestyle in the short term. You’ll want to take into account what items are worth investing a lot of money into in order to improve your home’s resale value. There are plenty of things you can add to your new home, but the following features will give you more bang for your buck:
Fireplaces may be an expensive inclusion, but they cost even more to add later on. Not only will they add value when it comes time to sell, but in the meantime, you can cosy up in front of the fire and enjoy some time on your tablet or reading a book.
Many first home buyers in Australia are eligible for financial assistance from the government through first home owner schemes, with each state and territory having their own schemes in order to boost the construction of new homes and help first home buyers get onto the property ladder.
Certain eligibility requirements for these grants remain the same across the country, including that you must be at least 18 years of age and an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and you must be a natural person (not a company or trust). There are several other eligibility requirements which vary from state to state.
Here’s a breakdown of the first home buyers grants available by state and territory, and the eligibility criteria for each (which refers to each applicant and/or their spouse/partner).
Kit homes have come a long way. An increase in their popularity has resulted in developments on many fronts. Yet still, there seem to be many myths surrounding them. We’ve decided to separate fact from fiction by taking a look at some of the common misconceptions about kit homes.
They’re dirt cheap
While kit homes can seem to be a relatively inexpensive alternative for building a home, advancement in design and building options means that there is a spectrum of pricing like most other products on the market. From the inexpensive to the luxury end, kit homes provide the owner with significant choices and the opportunity to tailor a housing solutions that are right for them. With regard to environmental friendliness, some kit home designs are leading the way in the areas of energy efficiency, insulation, natural lighting and ventilation.
Building a home can be an overwhelming and time consuming business, especially if you’re just starting out on your first time. There are ways that you can successfully organise the construction of your own home without having professional building services on site. Whether it’s a complete home or a kit home, doing the majority of the building off site allows you to move into your new home faster, and also saves money in the process through tradesmen spending less time on site.
When it comes to constructing a home away from the building site, there a few ways this can be done. The options are: prefabricated homes, manufactured homes, and kit homes. To many people, these are all the same, but there is a world of difference between the three. Hopefully this advice will clear things up a bit.
For some people, gardening and landscaping come naturally. For others, not so much. Not everyone is born with a green thumb or the ability to easily design a perfect outdoor space. But would it make you feel better to know that even the most experienced gardeners need advice every now and then?
With a little bit of help and the right advice, anyone can nurture their landscaping and gardening skills – yes, even those who have more success with killing the garden will soon just be ‘killing it’ in the garden. For the best gardening and landscaping advice, see these top 10 blogs and find out what the professionals think.