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3 Free Ways To Create A Beautiful Home

My husband asked me what I was writing this morning and I bet you thought the same thing when you read the title of today’s blog! “Yeah Right!” But when I told him what the three things were, his eyebrows raised and then he left without saying anything! So here are my 3 free ways to create a beautiful home!

Have A Big Clean

I know this is a running theme through my work but clearing clutter (regularly) and cleaning, dusting, refreshing, soaking things that get used will really get them back to life and is the easiest way to create a beautiful home. For example. I am living with this horrible white plastic kitchen sink that is around 16 years old. For its age, it should look much better than it does, but the whole kitchen is in a sad state, which reminds me what it was like to rent and I couldn’t change things I disliked in the house. Saving for my kitchen renovation really feels like I’m renting again, but nothing makes it spiffy like a serious clean. I try to use natural cleaning products, but I have to admit on the sink I need to pour bleach and let it sit for a few hours. It does come up all sparkly eventually, which really does make a huge difference. If you aren’t loving an area of your home or if you want to make a big change at home, start with a huge clean and clear out. It’s free and you could even make some money by selling some old items you don’t need anymore.

Make A Natural Perfume

The way your home smells can change everything and for me, this creates an emotional trigger and defines a beautiful home for me. I recently made a vanilla natural home perfume spray and I absolutely love it. My mum has a lavender one she made that inspired me and I still remember that beautiful smell in her home (it was different to dried lavender, I could hardly recognise it as lavender, it was so fresh and aromatherapy like!)

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Creating a chosen smell at home could come from picking some of your garden plants and arranging them stylishly in key areas such as the front door, hallway, living room and kitchen. When I lived in a tower block in London, I used to trim the lavender from the communal garden and I would have drying lavender for a week smelling so pretty, that I knew it was coming to Autumn. In spring I love Daffodils, and now that I have my own garden I have them for free! I also found that planting fragrant plants near my window and front door (such as Jasmine) really wafts inside and just makes me feel so good when I smell it!

Create A Fun vignette

A vignette is really just a creative way of displaying a few objects and this extra effort you put into making little areas look nice definitely help create a beautiful home. You can do this on your bookshelf, coffee table, kitchen table/bar, entrance hall, bedside table, kitchen or bathroom window, dining room – you get the picture! You can just choose one place in every room where you can create something fun or special that brings you joy by jogging your memory (photographs) or by motivating you (inspirational quotes) or by creating nice smells (arranging flowers). The whole point with vignettes is that it should make you feel something when you see it. My favourite person to look to for vignette ideas is Kelly Hoppen (I know, I have an obvious lady crush), but hers always refer back to nature somehow, so I feel subconsciously drawn to them.

How To Marry A Couples Interior Design Styles (Even if they are complete opposites)

I always get the best clients and I count my lucky stars every day because I am pretty sure that I only ever get the coolest people contacting me. Recently, I have met with a lot of couples and more often than not, they say to me “our styles are completely opposite”! I have to admit, at first when I heard that I used to get a little worried. I thought to myself, “oh no, you just can’t mix futuristic retro and country cottage styles”!

These days I am much wiser and I know, not to worry at all. This is actually pretty normal, I think it is pretty rare to come across a couple whose styles and personalities are super close that they meld into one. I actually like the “opposites attract” saying as I think it works in homes too. So let’s look at an example so that you can bring some peace into your own home like a pro.

Let’s just say we had a couple and one person was a self-proclaimed hoarder and the other was a minimalist. Is this even possible you ask? (Yes) and what if just to add some spice to it our minimalist only liked neutrals and our hoarder only liked bright colours?

Investigation

I think everything starts with delving a little deeper and inquiring from where these “styles” come from. I do think it is helpful that I am genuinely interested in people, their lives and their personalities (my husband has a word for this… he calls it nosy). But I will always find out a beautiful story behind why someone doesn’t like clutter (my mum never threw anything away, or I never had my own space) and why someone likes to keep things (I like arts and crafts & have lots of ideas for how to use it one day, or I want my children to have it, or it’s so useful or beautiful and it is a waste to throw it away).

Finding out the specifics helps because then I know whether I am dealing with a plane collection or a “model plane” collection. It also means I start to see how people live. Then it just comes down to practicality:

Practical Use of Space

How and where am I going to store all this stuff and make the house look and feel like there is still lots of space and feel empty? So this is what I narrow it down to in this particular example. But what if you had someone who just loved natural timber and someone who just abhorred it! One person says they love the natural beauty and the other says it just looks like cheap junk. Then that isn’t a spatial issue really, it will require a solution that focuses more on the “finishes”:

Look And Feel

Finding the middle ground between two opposites like this takes a little more time because it will usually arise when searching for furniture and the right furniture for any project can take AGGGES to find on a good day anyway! Finding the right pieces is imperative in this instance. What I have found is that the reason some people don’t like “up-cycled” items in their home is because they haven’t been up-cycled “well”. So find better quality items or spend a little extra time doing the job whilst taking the other persons tastes into consideration. If one of you just loves glossy, sparkly, reflective items and the other has an aversion to metal and mirrors, there are ways of intertwining these things (especially because a good scheme will be balanced between reflective, dark, light, matt, gloss and textural elements – just like in nature).

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Balancing

So obviously a big fuchsia or fire-engine red wall is not going to help our minimalist feel calm at home. So in this instance, we will need to balance a little. What if we included colour in the artwork, or the decorative furnishings, some furniture items, or what if the colour was actually outside? There is a way to make everyone happy, you will just need to try a little harder and test a few more options. Beware, this will need some creativity.  I actually feel that personalities are needed to balance the style anyway.  Imagine if one person was obsessed with tigers and this included everything from bedspreads to figurines and even door handles!  The other person balances this tiger obsession, (although I have to admit I am hoping that it isn’t someone who has a Lady Beatle obsession – not sure where I would start with that).

Prioritise

In order for everyone to be happy in the home, I believe that everyone should get that one thing that is the most important to them, including children. Sometimes I feel like the mediator (in a fun way) and I will find a way to fit that glamorous mirror (that the husband says we definitely can do without but the wife just loves) and fit it into the scheme in a way that marries the two together.

Playing With Styles

It is really important to know styles well enough in order to break “the rules”. I never was one for rules, but I am also a super fussy designer who is obsessed with superior quality, and so yes, the best usually has followed some “beauty rules”. Knowing that I can still achieve an overall Scandi look and feel with some country cottage furniture is actually pretty fun. The key to success is to test your ideas. If you have one piece of furniture that absolutely cannot be changed (ie painted, thrown away or up-cycled) then it will become either a feature or guide the rest of the scheme depending on how “intense” its presence is. Oh and sometimes you can just ignore it! This rule applies because we can’t take the design all so seriously – except if you wear black turtle-necks at home on weekends…

How Your Personality Can Positively Influence Your Home

Back in Architecture school, I remember we were taught to look to our context when designing buildings. We were taught to really study the local area, the environment and then the site. After that, our educated and informed ideas would flow with physical evidence that backed up our arguments for why our designs had to be just so.

When I studied interior design (many years later) I was surprised that none of this was considered important to my teachers. It seemed more about fashions, styles and ensuring the date of my furniture was right with the age of the building. I couldn’t believe how different the approaches to design were from the outside to the inside of the building! Architecture searched to context, whilst interiors searched to fashion. Two things they both had in common though, were innovation (always on the search for new or old materials to be used in a creative or low-cost ways) and the influence of the client on the design.

There are many factors that can guide an architectural or an interior design, but the most powerful is the client’s personality.

Now having worked in the architectural industry for almost 20 years, I see how powerfully it expresses itself throughout a whole project. I see both architectural and interior design projects being influenced by:

The Client’s Values

One client might value family, another their homes simple function, whilst another will value their health. Designing with a large family in mind is very different to designing for an art collector or someone who likes to come home and simply relax after work. These values inform the spatial design and layout of a home as well as the size of spaces.

Client Ideas

I haven’t worked with a client that didn’t have fantastic ideas. More often than not client’s will say they aren’t creative or they will downplay how imaginative they really are. I will usually find that jewel in their words and run with it! I love showing my client how cool and creative they really are! Client’s ideas make a design truly original and unique. Their ideas always inform my designs in a creative and joyful way.

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Client Lifestyle

I find this one of the most rewarding things for me to design around. I truly love creating a home for a client, which improves their life somehow. This could be by enhancing the things they love to do in life such as designing around the lifestyle of an avid cyclist who needs a place to securely store his bikes in his small home to creating a future home for an inspirational little girl with a debilitating genetic disorder to ensure she can live her life to the full.

Client Style

Every client has style! Rather than looking to current fashions and trends I will look to my client and help them reveal their style. I genuinely have an interest in people. That is why I love reading autobiographies! The hardest combination of styles I have had to marry (excuse the pun) has been my husband’s and my own! I have always wanted a classic contemporary style at home (it feels luxurious to me as its something I never had growing up), but he is a guitarist and guitar teacher who works from home. I love his guitars, I always dreamed of coming home and hearing my partner playing an instrument… but I struggled with his coloured lights, huge equipment, mountains of cables and stacks of stuff everywhere! When I finally embraced his style and worked with him to organise it all, I realized how wonderful and unique our home really was.

How many interior designers are married to guitarists anyway? And how many have embraced their partner’s music into their home rather than hide it away in that man cave in the basement (as I was tempted to do so many times)?

You can check out my husband’s online guitar lessons at GuitarCouch

The Unconventional Question I Always Ask My Clients

Everyone who knows me knows how I live and breath architecture and buildings. It is not only my full-time job but my obsession and passion. In recent years, however, I have also been studying Ashtanga yoga, meditation, online business, life coaching, visualisation, our relationship to nature (biophilia) and interior and sustainable design.

Exploring these new fields has definitely changed the way I approach my work, especially with the client side of things. Now, I will always spend more time and focus more on the actual dreams and wants of my clients. I spend more time on talking to my client and figuring out what it is that they genuinely wish they could have rather than what their limiting beliefs tell me that they want. So the first time I get in writing what it is they “want”, then I ask my question and the answer is often similar, but just a little bit more exciting and adds that smile to their face!

You see I think architecture and buildings can be a little scary for the average person, especially if it is their largest investment and their current home, so people will stay practical and really do the bare minimum because they are afraid of costs, getting something wrong or a list of a million other things!

I always feel it is my duty to be creative enough to figure out a way to help give my clients what they want within the budget they have. I have the 20 years of knowledge in the building industry, I should know how to figure it out (most of the time anyway)! It was always the thing  I got upset about when I heard it in architects offices:

“oh the client wants this AS WELL AS that, cant they see they cant have it all?”

I always wished I was in a position to be able to respond to the client myself. I always wished I could find a way for my client to have everything they asked for to “have it all”. I knew I could figure it out!

So the unconventional question I always ask my clients is:

If money were no object, if you had everything you wanted in your life (such as a partner, child or that dream job) how would you want to live in this home?

I would never have asked this question to my clients a few years ago, but now I know that it always reveals to me what my client genuinely wishes for in their lifestyle, aspirations, hobbies and personal life. I can help filter out the myriad of unnecessary furnishing, fixtures, fabrics and design styles that just wouldn’t fit their current life or the life they want to lead and then also fit that in and balance it all with their budget. To be honest, much of it is common sense, but just digging a little deeper means that I can really give my client a result that will change their life for the better.

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For most people, their home is one of their largest investments and yet often a client will tell me what they want with their “limited vision” glasses on. They will tell me “because of my budget I only want to do this and this” and “because I’m on my own I don’t want to do this and this”. Often such limiting views of their current lifestyle and circumstances keep them from moving towards what they really want. They often have an understanding that only a limited thing is possible, usually because of budget.

I often have to explain that as their designer, it is my job to do the hard work and figure out how to give them what they want on their budget. So at the beginning, I help them dream a little bigger than they usually allow themselves to. This definitely makes architecture and design fun again and we always get unbelievable results.

How To Furnish A New Home – Where To Start Step By Step Guide

Buying a new house is a beautiful fresh new start and is a really great time to consider starting fresh with your furniture, especially if you have been renting for years up to the point of your purchase.

But where do you start? You probably have a few pieces of furniture, a bed, lots of small bits and pieces, books, dining set perhaps and if you are in the UK, probably even less than that!

If you have a lot of furniture from another home or if you have lots of hand-me-downs that you love (this is key, why keep it if you don’t want to?), then you will need to consider these pieces and work around them, especially if they are quite large, like a sofa, chairs etc. If you plan on getting rid of them eventually, just ignore them when designing your interior and start replacing it as and when you can afford to.

So, let’s go shopping! Not quite. There is actually quite a lot to think about before you open your wallet.

Start with your site

Locate your house in the world and know some key things about where the sun rises, sets and how this impacts your home. Knowing that the sun rises in your bedroom and sets in the living area or that the living room is dark all day, is really important and although seems irrelevant to buying furniture, is actually key to how you end up using your house.

I would also include major disturbances in my little study, such as a busy road, train line, neighbours with a different lifestyle to your own (night or early morning people) – also include the best views, which time of the day your garden is the most enjoyable to you, and anything else you can think of. Imagine a weekday and a weekend of living in the home and mark where you will be in the house and what you will be doing there.

Knowing about external factors and environment will inform how you live in your home. Furnishing your home is expensive and should not be approached with the attitude of just choosing a cushion that suits a wall colour… Think about making intelligent decisions with one of your most expensive purchases to date, and making it perfect as a tool for enhancing your life.

Know Your Dimensions

Next, you must know the boundaries in your spaces. This is pretty obvious, but you can’t imagine how many time I hear someone say to me – “once I bought the sofas I realized I could have gone bigger, or smaller”. Imagine if you had just gone out and bought a super large table for entertaining in the kitchen and found out that it was too large for the space, then had to move it to another part of the house where it wasn’t really intended (assuming you didn’t return it because you “loved it so much.”

Just measure the rooms and take the plans or dimensions of the room and:

Decide on a layout

Before you find the furniture? Yes! It seems so absurd to me that you would do it the other way around, but I realise that this is actually the way most people buy furniture. Play around with ideas. In my experience, the people who test a few ideas have more chance of getting it right, than the ones that just go out an buy furniture based on what they were sold in a store!

The world of buying furniture can be very tricky, especially when your starting point is going shopping. If you have skipped the most important things you need to do before buying furniture, you are already on a path to failure… (unless you have subconsciously thought about the above things and or are super, super lucky..)

Know your style and personality

Are you super sleek and like clean lines or do you have a deep routed bohemian hidden inside? Just by acknowledging what you like, can filter out all of the unnecessary things you might spend your money on – like being subconsciously sold on a lounge suite that looks great in the showroom, but actually isn’t your style at all once you bring it home and put it in the space.

Know your style and stay confident and true to it. You can always add eclectic or complementary parts of your personality later. A pro will be able to intertwine these in a more complex way, but if you are doing it on your own, stay simple, there are loads of styles and they can be quite complex, but for now, filter the noise by figuring out if you are

  • Traditional (including vintage)
  • Modern (including mid-century, minimalist)
  • Classic
  • Industrial (including 60’s and retro)
  • Country (including coastal)
  • Contemporary (whatever is current)
  • International or cultural (Scandinavian, Japanese, Asian styles)

If you aren’t completely sure, just pick 2-3 that you are more likely to be able to live with and narrow it down once you start shopping!

Buy your large items first

If your walls are already painted and are going to stay that colour – Buy the main pieces first. This may seem obvious, but actually, many people don’t do this. That is because they aren’t ready to commit, or because they already have loads of smaller items from renting, so they keep buying little bits and filling up the space whilst not having the major items thought out.

If you haven’t painted yet, you may have to consider the room colours first, or else you may find your furniture looks brown at home, when it should look yellow! If you want to design your décor in order to help you buy furniture read my post 2 things you must do before buying furniture or choosing paint colours or this one on how to create an interior design mood board.

Get the main pieces first, and define your spaces with your furniture. Don’t be afraid to try putting a chair in a location that is unconventional – just because you want to sit there and look at the view or create boundaries to spaces with screens, tall lamps, plants or sculptures.

Look at your walls to help you define your spaces

This is important, as you can start to compliment or highlight colours, in soft furnishings, personality with art, brighten with mirrors and start to see the room coming together. Don’t forget you can contrast, highlight, light up, blend in – get creative and don’t forget this should be fun!

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The complimentary pieces

I put rugs, coffee tables, lamps, flowers, candles, decorative items, vignettes (small displays – if you have a large display this should be thought about in in your layout), cushions etc, into this pile. These should bring the room together and make it feel just right rather than cluttered or too bare.

The finishing touches

What could be the finishing touch? Your personality! I can believe that no one that I work with (except for the boldest and most confident people who would classify themselves as such) really allow their personality to speak around them.

Your personality is so intrinsic to how you feel inside your homes. I can’t believe how many people actually dismiss this important part. We connect with objects from our past, photographs and things give us meaning. This is not an excuse for the ultra clutterers of the world to say “hooray I can add all my things back in now because I like having them around” – this is a time to edit and filter out and really decide what things you want to see every day – have a reason for it – because it makes me smile when I see it – because the memory is so strong and beautiful it brings me so much joy remembering that time…

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Rid Of The White Elephant

Lastly – New homes can be hard to furnish, especially if you have existing furniture you are working with bought for another home with a different personality. If your old items don’t make sense in your new interior (and I know it is a very difficult decision to make especially when you spend so much money on it) – but if it really isn’t right, or if you bought an item and it just doesn’t fit, don’t fight with it. Sell it on ebay or give it to charity. Don’t think twice about it, it will waste your time and cost you more money trying to make it all right. If it is a family heirloom and you won’t get rid of it (I totally understand!) – why not highlight it and make in an artwork of some kind?

Edit

Your home will evolve with you and your life.  Add and remove pieces that make your life better, easier, more beautiful and more fun!

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Why A Simple Spring Clean Can Change Your Life

Its Finally Spring here in the UK. Yep, I am going to get all cliché on you and give you my best tips and time saving strategies to get the most efficient jobs done in one day – so that you don’t spend your whole weekend cleaning (and exhausted) just to go back to work the next day! Why bother?

Here are some of my reasons to bother with a really good spring clean:

Having a dirty home can affect your health.

Just getting rid of dust, cleaning curtains, linens and carpets means that a year’s worth of dust which has settled in areas you don’t clean too regularly will be removed finally! If you don’t do it now, when will you do it?

Dirt can hide damage to your building envelope and can limit the amount of light entering your home.

Some cracks around the home can be harmless. If you have little patches of plaster on the floor, maybe behind a sofa or cupboard, you could easily miss it if you haven’t cleaned or even looked at that area in a while!

I also love having clean windows, especially in Spring, your really notice how much more light comes in. I never had this problem in Australia, but here in the UK the diesel cars really dirty the window and window sills.

Also, mould can cause real health problems not only to you but to your building!  Read more in my blog post “Lifestyle habits to help you reduce mould in your home”

Dirty and cluttered surroundings can play on your subconscious mind and make you grumpy and negative.

If you are anything like me, when you see that pile of clothes on the floor (that everyone else seems to be able to ignore), or that dust pile in the corner of the bathroom, I think to myself “I need to get around to cleaning that”. Not only does that interrupt your thought process from whatever you were thinking about (which is probably way more important than “I gotta clean that”) you also bring your self down and get negative, especially when the thoughts turn to “someone else has to clean that” or “what a pig”. Wouldn’t it just be better to walk up the stairs and think, wow, what a beautiful day, it smells so fresh and clean up here.

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It’s an opportunity to purge.

Yes I love Kon Mari and those two cleaning ladies Kim and Aggie and I have to admit that Id rather be watching “How clean is your house” rather than actually cleaning mine, but the last time I actually purged my wardrobe, I genuinely recycled and gave to charity more than half of what I had. I had just gotten so busy with moving from the flat to the new house that lots of it was still in boxes, the other derelict, ripped pieces were ”working clothes” that I kept for renovating , which came to an abrupt halt about 8 months ago…

My point is here that it is an opportunity to just finally get rid of that stuff, purging your sanity, home and life, making you that little bit more free.

The mess can waste your time.

So can living in cluttered space. Trying to find things, moving one thing to reach another, not bothering to get something at all because its just too difficult to get to… yep, I am ashamed to say that I have experienced it all (and still do). I also find things that I thought I should keep when I was moving “just in case” and now look at it a year later thinking ”really, why would I keep that – this is junk!” . A personal example is that I still haven’t renovated my kitchen but I find myself storing empty yoghurt pots for when I get a chance to paint again (once the kitchen is complete of course). Neither one of these things is on the horizon in the next 6 months, so I’m sure Il collect enough yogurt pots when the time comes – for now, they are taking up prime location in the little storage I currently have in my 16 year old, tiny kitchen.

This is usually also more critical in small spaces and smaller homes.  If you want to read some lifestyle tips on living in smaller spaces, you can read those here.

It gives you a point in your life to press “reset”

Sometimes you just get to a point and you think, things need to change. Doing a spring clean can be a good precursor to that change. It give you time to think, re-evaluate what your goals are and why you are doing what you are doing in your life. It makes you think, “why am I holding onto these items?” or “I remember that I love to play squash, I should make time for that again.”  Looking around at your surroundings can be a trigger for changing your life.  I wrote about how noticing my surroundings changed mine when I wrote my post “Can your surroundings change your life?

Right, so I have given you some good reasons to do a spring clean, but I will give you a week for this information to sink in and hopefully motivate you. Next Week, I will give you an action plan that you can follow.

Today, set a date – see it as a time for change, a day that things are going to move and shift physically and emotionally.

Lifestyle Habits To Help Reduce Mould At Home

Pretty much every home that I have lived in, here in the UK and in Australia wasn’t insulated. That freaks me out these days, but actually, only houses built in the last 30 years would have been insulated in the UK and in Australia.  I know, I know, I hear the Canadians, Americans, Scandinavians and Europeans all shaking their heads… I am not going to get into why this is, but I am going to try to help you.  So many people struggle with mould in their homes, caused by damp environments, buildings and actually, their own living habits.

If you struggle with a mouldy home and have had an expert say there is nothing really wrong with the building, then the forming mould growth could be from the condensation caused by you.

Buildings are funny like that, can’t live with us, can’t live without us…  Even if you just know it isn’t you that is causing condensation or mould  and even if your building was designed badly or doesn’t get much natural day light, is cold and a long list of items such as no central or intermittent heating  – do try a few of these tips and ensure you include them into your daily routine.  Moisture and mould is not good for buildings and believe it or not, not so great for our human lungs in mould spore form either. Once your home is damp, it can literally take months for it to “dry out”. So this is not an overnight fix and just imagine what you are doing to the building fabric, let alone your poor lungs if you don’t leave the house too often.  (If you want to read more about the effects a dirty home can have on you, check out my post “A Simple spring Clean Can Change Your Life“).

This applies generally to the UK and Australia and are just some lifestyle tips, and are good housekeeping tips anyway.

Annual Maintenance
  • When its time to replace things like carpets or upgrade walls, bathrooms, ventilation systems, cookers etc. always try to get the best you can afford and mention that you would like a long lasting, hard wearing option that may not cause extra moisture in the air.  Even furniture, walls and paint can be mould proof these days, so definitely ask the manufacturer.
  • If you have double glazing, clean out your window and door vents and make sure they are working properly.  If you have single glazing and have wall vents, make sure they are open and working properly.
    Monthly.
  • Clean excess mould from walls, doors, ceilings and carpets.  Take note of any changes.
Weekly
  • Put a dehumidifier on for a few hours each week in the worst room.
  • Whenever cooking, doing laundry or drying clothes, ensure at least 1 window is open (the whole time).
  • Dry clothes outside if possible.  If not try putting up a clothes line in your bathroom and leave the ventilation running occasionally and an open window!  Or wash and try your clothes in a laundry for a few months to help the walls dry out.
  • If using a tumble dryer – even if it is a condensing one or a vented one, I would still always open a window in the same room and close the door to the room if possible.
  • There are many short-term solutions such as moisture bombs and clothes hook water collectors to boost a particularly wet area, but don’t forget these are not long term solutions, especially if they are always full.

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Daily
  • In the morning and in the evening for at least  1 hour per day, open at least one window.  Preferably 2 on opposite sides of a room or building to get some cross ventilation. Yes, even in winter or get the dehumidifier on.
  • Turn the heating on and leave it on constantly at a lower setting.  If this option is going to cost you a fortune try putting it on for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening or until it warms up outside – this should be part of a drying out strategy if it is not winter or you live in a warm country.  In warm countries use AC instead of heating, especially if the air is super humid and everything just feels wet constantly!  Take note that this is a general note.  In some instances, turning the heating on and off can in fact cause moisture in the air, because the moist air cools down and turns back into water (usually on your walls and windows).  So I would again heat or cool as much as you can afford and try and reduce the amount of water you are creating at home in other ways.
  • When having showers or baths – ensure the ventilation fan is turned on and has a decent over-run timer on it.  This should have been sized when installed, but I find they are usually never good enough and have seen many simply not working. Always try to leave the window open for at least 15 minutes to half an hour after showering.
  • Try not to leave water sitting around, especially overnight.  If you do leave dishes in the sink soaking, try to put a lid on them.  I always make a habit to empty all my cups when I put them in the sink or if put them straight into the dishwasher and make sure the dishwasher is closed.  This may seem minor, but all these things really can stack up, especially if you have a really moist house!
  • Whenever boiling rice or cooking (pretty much anything) – if possible, use a lid to ensure the water stays in the pan rather than allowing it to evaporate into the atmosphere.

There are many other solutions you can try, but just by changing little personal habits you may be able to alleviate some of your condensation and mould issues at home.  No one wants to spend every weekend cleaning the mould off of the bathroom ceiling or from behind the furniture!  Hopefully, there are a few little things in this list, which can help improve the health of you and your home.

That Healthy Australian Lifestyle

I grew up in Sydney and I dreamed of living in the inner city and having that healthy Australian lifestyle that comes with living so close to the water and trendy inner city areas with bars, great foodie eats and gorgeous shops.

I decided that this visit to Sydney was about time that I had a chance to live that healthy Australian lifestyle and check-in to see whether this was really what I wanted in my life, or whether it was just overhyped of years of distorted memories from living in the UK for so long.

We stayed in the most gorgeous hotel, that was architecturally interesting, in the middle of a trendy area and also surrounded by lots of areas for sightseeing as well as walking and swimming.

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To be honest, the location didn’t disappoint, even though it wasn’t an area of Sydney I had really spent much time in Woolloomooloo, had some cool places to eat (Ms G’s) and also had the botanical gardens for morning runs.

The hotel was a converted wharf, which had been designed beautifully into a lovely hotel, surrounded by water, boats and was surrounded by the sea.

I hope the photos give you a sneak peak into that Sydney lifestyle I always dreamed of, which to me is healthy, fit, fun and trendy.

And the verdict…  my memories were definitely not distorted, although Sydney has definitely changed, that healthy Australian lifestyle definitely lives on in reality as well as my heart.