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3 Things You Should Tackle Around The Home in 1 Day

I recently visited one of my favourite local places when out and about– a beautiful, abandoned Manor House called Aldermaston Court. It made me feel sad to see that the beautiful building is falling into disrepair, but it also made me think about how important maintenance is to our buildings. Within a few years, a building can really start to degrade.

At Aldermaston Court, just being close to any window, I could feel the odour of the internal spaces rotting away. So my visit to that wonderful old grand building that I dream of working on one day inspired me to write today’s post about house maintenance.

The reality is that some of these things will need the help of a strong person, a registered plumber gas safe person or electrician or even someone with a harness and possibly a ladder. If you have lived in a property for 10 years and you have never looked at any of the external House Maintenance issues it is time to do a visual inspection and then set aside a day or book in that handyman to help. Keeping a house maintained is important but it can also be dangerous so don’t forget to hire help when jobs are too dangerous or you don’t know what you are doing especially at height or when it comes to gas and electrics.

External House Maintenance

Don’t underestimate the importance of external maintenance. The reason why houses go into disrepair is because they aren’t looked after. It can cost you much much, more in the long run to leave a problem unattended to and the structure of your home is pretty important and also there is the argument for street appeal. If you have a home, why wouldn’t you want it to look nice? The main areas to focus are:
– your roof (clearing gutters, fixing loose tiles, flashing and making sure there are no areas where water is getting in).
– Windows, doors and penetrations (checking the seals are intact, clearing any vents and making sure they are working properly, washing the windows and doors is included here).
– Drainage. This includes opening up manhole covers, gullies and rainwater pipes and checking to see their condition. Just a hint, there shouldn’t be any debris or plants growing down there, they should be clear and empty.

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Internal House Maintenance

Is there a part of the house that needs repainting? If you can do it in a day, just do make the effort, it is worth loving that space again. It might even motivate you to get some new bed sheets and spruce up a spare room that has been collecting junk for longer than you like to admit…

Internal maintenance can include but is not limited to:

  • Unclogging sinks and drains and fixing dripping taps
  • Doing a thorough clean, removing stains on tiles or metal appliances
  • Cleaning large appliances including the trays and shelves in the ovens.
  • Repairing the newel posts on stairs
  • Sticking down the lino where it has come loose
  • Replacing light bulbs (with energy efficient LED ones – try 3000K warm white with a 65-degree angle for an average height room).
  • Checking the radiators and boiler.
  • Fixing fuses, wires and broken sockets.
Washing, Ironing and Linen

This includes pairing socks, hand washing the growing pile of delicate items, repairing broken items, hemming, cutting fixing, ironing, folding, sorting and purging. Imagine if all of the clothes in the house were in their right place, folded or hanging beautifully, clean and dry and looking dapper. It’s a big day tackling the laundry and I know that more often than not it can be a 2 day affair to get the above list totally completed, but I have managed to complete everything but it is true you will probably need the help of a sunny, dry day (so make the most of it anyone here in the UK… and probably Seattle, I heard you weather is on parr).  I added this because clothing and linen can take up so much space in a home, its heavy and can be quite toxic (if you haven’t read my post about how your home can harm you for Empowered Wellness and Living Magazine, you can read it here).

We all have better things to do on the weekends than spend a full day cleaning, especially when we work so hard during the week, but don’t underestimate how important taking just one day to tackle one of these is for the health and normal function of your home.  If you have done your maintenance and just love that feeling of getting things done, why not opt for a spring clean as well!  You can read my blog post about how A Spring Clean Can Change Your Life.

If you are ever in Berkshire, go and visit Aldermaston Court.  The grounds are really beautiful and it’s still wild and wonderful.  The building has just been abandoned almost like a scary movie, items all left in place when looking through the windows…

The Biggest Trends In The Hotel Industry & Why They Matter

As you know, I have been researching the hotel industry as I’m getting my foot back into hotel design and I can’t be more excited to see that the latest trends are moving towards my specialist route! And as you don’t care too much for facts and figures, I’ll get straight to the fun part.

Luxury is on the Rise

Luxury hotels are growing in popularity, understandably as, a generation, we are wealthier than our parents and grandparents ever were, with more disposable income (just don’t try to buy a house), and we definitely love high end (well at least we appreciate it even if we can’t afford it)! I know when I travel my mentality is more along the lines of; “well I work so hard 99% of the time, so why not totally just live it when I finally get away?”

This is totally great for me, as I specialize in bringing high end, practical luxury to the average person. You see, hotels also have budgets they need to work to, and they also need hardwearing, but beautiful materials too. Ones that people can actually appreciate and “feel” the luxury. That isn’t just about adorning everything in gold.

Luxury design, in architecture, interiors and building industries still means you have to be smart with your budget. An experienced or good designer will be able to stretch a budget to get that wow factor, because it comes down to a strong idea & process, not mullah (although having a large money pot helps). Anyone who has worked on a super lux project knows that “no expense was spared” is never really true, as the person spending the money (more often than not), still wants to see the value in what they are buying, whether it’s awell-designedd chair, home automation system, beautiful venetian wall coverings or a rare painting. Where the money is spent is still pooled into piles.

Branded Boutiques

Branded Boutique hotels are also on the rise (Yippee! They need ultra creative and super stylish, original designers like me). Bill Kimpton, the one and only who set up the first ever boutique hotel in San Fransisco said that:

“A boutique hotel is a place where you could stay that was more like someone’s beautiful, liveable and stylish home than a big, impersonal hotel where no one really cares if you come or go”.

If that kind of hotel is on the rise, then this is totally my expertise! I have not only been spending the last few years studying the psychology behind what it is that we love, want and need from our homes, but also the understanding behind why something “feels” like a home.

Long Stay Hotels

The most exciting thing for me, is the rise of long stay, “home-like” hotel accommodation. We all know and love Air B&B but if you are outside of America, have you heard of Home2 Suites by Hilton?

The biggest trend is making your stay away from home a bit more like a stay in a home, (not exactly yours though), because we just love peeping into other people’s homes and also like pretending that we own a hot pad in Paris that overlooks the Arche de Triomphe or a flash apartment in New York’s Time Square, right?

Eco & Sustainabilty

Ok this has been growing for a while, but what I love about the growing trend towards natural products, energy conservation and low waste is that it is actually educating a population. I went to university for 5 years and much of my focus in architecture was on sustainable design. So I have 2 degrees to help me understand the ins and outs of this shiznit! But most people if they don’t have young kids at school can be quite disconnected from the trends in environmental science, health and technology and how it affects humanity and the rest of the world. Staying at a hotel and reading about how not washing your towel every day helps save so much water a year and helps lower pollution can help people connect those issues together.

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(Short story alert) – I remember in Sydney, one of my best friend’s worked for one of the local councils (and still does _love you Wendalls!) She told me about a program that took people around their own neighborhoods and showed them where rubbish and pollution ended up if they littered the streets or poured pollutants down a drain. Connecting pollution with their local waterways was really critical and I love that something so simple was so powerful! Im not surprised that Australia is one of the leaders in sustainable water-sensitive urban design *proud Aussie* . So finding ways to educate everyone about reducing waste and saving the environment is (in my opinion) a great thing, and even better that such a wealthy (and potentially damaging) industry is pushing for change.

The information I based this blog post on came from the 2017 Sojern Hotel Report