Category Archives: DIY

Bathroom renovation checklist

Renovating a bathroom requires a lot of work and careful planning. However, this doesn’t mean that you should postpone this forever. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get down to work immediately. In order to help you out with this endeavour, we’ve prepared the ultimate bathroom renovation checklist. Let’s take a look.

Determine your budget

First of all, you have to determine your budget in advance so that you know exactly how much money you can spend and then create your plan accordingly. Owing to this, it will be much easier for you to decide what you should include in the remodelling project and in what order you should finish the tasks. For example, it’s crucial that you start with what’s most urgent and then consider all other minor alterations. Finally, keep in mind that you won’t remodel your bathroom again soon, so don’t hesitate to invest in high quality materials and furniture. We guarantee you it will all pay off in the end.

Take time into consideration as well

Once you’ve determined your budget and made a sound plan, don’t forget to take time into consideration as well. The majority of people think that just because their bathroom is small, everything will be finished in a couple of days. However, most often they are wrong and end up panicking because their vacation is almost over and there is still a lot more to be done. So, in order to avoid such an unfortunate scenario, make sure to consider the smallest details including the time you’ll need to purchase tiles or vanity pieces. Finally, you should know exactly when all the ordered items will be delivered since you certainly don’t want to prolong the whole project only because your online orders are late.

Hire a professional

Since bathroom remodelling can be quite overwhelming, don’t shy away from hiring a contractor that can take a look at your drawings and check your entire plan. Although this means investing a bit more money in the project, you’ll be sure that everything will be done properly. After all, it’s much wiser to spend a bit more in advance than to end up with a bathroom full of flaws and impractical solutions that will become a true nightmare.

Decide on the perfect style for your bathroom

One of the most important aspects of every bathroom is style. So, before you start remodelling, you should determine which look you want for your bathroom. For example, if you’re into vintage bathrooms and rustic accessories, we would recommend going for an amazing freestanding bath which will add that final touch. On top of that, even the smallest details like beautiful vintage brass faucets can make your bathroom look absolutely sophisticated and elegant. Finally, it’s extremely important that you choose the right colour for your walls as well, since it should match the rest of the decoration perfectly. Therefore, in order to get some inspiration, feel free to check out the latest Pantone colour report and find out which hues are considered to be a true craze this season.

Be practical – think about storage

Aside from thinking only about your bathroom’s look, don’t forget to consider the practical aspects as well. In other words, it’s high time you started thinking about various storage options and see which one will be the most suitable for you. For example, we like the idea of using vertical space as much as possible. So, instead of buying a massive cabinet that will occupy a lot of floor space, go for several open shelves that can be easily installed one above the other. In addition to that, if you have some free room under the sink, you can install sliding drawers underneath and get a lot of additional space for cleaning supplies or cosmetics.

Install adequate lighting

Finally, having adequate lighting installed in your bathroom is of the utmost importance if you want it to be practical and absolutely safe. On top of that, you should make sure to brighten your home with natural light as well, since many studies have shown that daylight has numerous benefits in comparison to artificial sources. Finally, you can install light dimmers so that you can enjoy romantic baths with your partner or relax in your bathtub after a long day at work.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of things that you need to consider before you start remodelling your bathroom. However, if you design a good plan, there is nothing to worry about. Just roll up your sleeves and get down to work!


Give Your Backyard a Complete Makeover

Some people spend most of the year outdoors, greeting their guests in their backyard rather than in their living room, while others seldom even visit the place. “Why is this so?” you wonder. Well, some people simply enjoy spending time outdoors more than others. Still, things may not be so simple. You see, sometimes, it’s up to the yard itself to persuade you. A pleasant, oasis-like backyard might lure you out with its charms, while a messy and overgrown back garden may repel you. In order to get the most out of your backyard, here are a few tips that will help you give it a complete makeover.

1. Start from your deck

In the introduction, we suggested that your backyard could double as an alternative living room during the warmer part of the year. For this to work, however, you need a proper patio. Start by building a deck or revamping your old one, and furnish it with appropriate outdoor seating solutions. In this way, you will have all the basics. Next, some people decide to outfit this deck with a shade-providing solution, yet this is completely optional. Nonetheless, it does save you quite a bit of time on the furniture sheltering and maintenance.

2. Go with companion planting

Those willing to start a vegetable garden in their backyard might want to explore the option of companion planting, in order to make it as self-sufficient as possible. For instance, beans get along quite well with cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, while they are definitely to be kept away from garlic, onions and shallots. Needless to say, this isn’t something you are supposed to learn by heart or even apply in your everyday life. All you need to do is take a brief look at the list and your gardening efforts will become a lot more efficient.

3. Children’s playground

A lot of parents are devastated that their children refuse to play outside like they used to, but would rather stay indoors with their computers and smartphones. Instead of trying to force your kids to play outside, why not try something a bit subtler and more persuasive? Why not rearrange your backyard and create a particularly stimulating children’s playground that will draw them out on its own? You can start with something as simple as a chalkboard wall in one section of your fence or even set up a backyard tent. Those a bit more courageous might even feel like going with a zip line.

4. Go with a bit of luxury

So far, we’ve discussed standard backyard remodeling options, but now, it’s time for something completely different. For those with enough money and imagination, there are so many exciting backyard makeover ideas to explore. There’s nothing preventing you from using a section of your backyard to make a small yet efficient lap pool. Needless to say, you would be surprised by just how little space such a project requires, and the difference it makes is astronomical. Those willing to go one step further might even consider installing a luxury spa on their property.

5. Utilize the terrain

In order to make a bit of a contrast, we should mention a creative and frugal option of utilizing the terrain to your benefit. Let’s imagine there’s a tree that needs pruning or even a complete removal. In the latter case, you might be even required to pay between $50 and $500 for this service. Instead, why not use the stump to your benefit and turn it into an organic flower pot? It’ll be your backyard’s own little landmark.

6. Wrap it up with a DIY hammock

Finally, in order to turn your backyard into a proper outdoor haven, you need to hang up a DIY hammock between two trees or posts, and proclaim it your official outdoor getaway. Most importantly, however, try to provide as much shade as possible, seeing as how falling asleep in the sun during the greatest heat of the day might be something you will soon come to regret. All you need for making a hammock is a sturdy fabric (one that can withstand your weight) and a couple of ropes.


With these several simple steps, you can turn your garden around and make it into the absolute hotspot of your home. Sure, some may argue that sometimes the costs of this may be substantial, yet they are nothing when compared to the overall resale value boost that these projects may bring to your property. In other words, apart from investing in your own lifestyle, by remodeling your backyard you are also making a financial investment that is bound to pay off in the future.

Five Tips for Decorating your Dream Wedding

Depending on your wedding, you are definitely going to want to customise every aspect that you possibly could. And if your venue doesn’t allow for sweeping changes, especially if it’s a museum or historic wedding venue, then every small detail can go a long way. There are plenty of ideas that can alter the ambiance of a wedding, and allow you to personalise it as much as possible, without having to pay high-maintenance changes. Here are a few easy to implement ideas that can make a big impact on the wedding.

Drape the ceilings

With just a small amount of fabric, you can have some fantastic effects. You can reinforce the formal and elegant style with white drapes, or if you’re looking for more lively moods, then you can choose bright and vivid colours. If you opt for this approach, you can go light on table décor and still get that complete look that your reception deserves.

Use patterned pillows

If you have a lounge area in your venue or have thought of using your own or rented furniture, then a great choice is to have pillows. The best way to decorate those pillows is to buy patterned fabric yourself, and then decorate them the way you see fit. And since you’d be the one buying fabric rolls, you can also use it for any other low-key decoration, whether it’s for chairs, tables, or some more eccentric dress design, it’s up to you.

Hang your flowers

Instead of arranging flowers on the tables like everybody else, consider suspending them above the tables. This way you would create a much more intimate space for the guests. This way, their view is bound to be much more focused on the flowers, rather than the ground or their dinner plates. Experiment a bit with the height, and since it’s such an easy décor to implement, get ready for the compliments from the guests.

Use coloured glassware

Instead of focusing on a very intricate centrepiece, which most of the guests won’t even interact with, you can opt for getting coloured glassware that your guests will be using nonstop. You can choose a colour scheme that goes with everything else, or if you prefer something more festive and playful, use different colours for every piece of glassware. Only make sure to not have an explosion of colours, as that can detract from a wedding rather than enhancing it.

Order calligraphed menus

Instead of printing generic and simple menus, you can make good use of calligraphy to add an extra touch of flavour. There are plenty of different scrips that you can choose from, and all sorts of styles that can go along with every type of wedding. You can use traditional copperplate for black tie formal, or even something more free-form for a more playful setting. It’s up to you.

A wedding doesn’t have to be decorated by previously set standards. Making good use of your imagination can go a long way towards hosting a wedding that will be talk about for years to come.

come.come. Simply make sure that you’ll enjoy it yourself, because that day is for you.

Keep Your Home Warm with Furnace Installation or Repair

With the onset of the winter season, keep your home warm and toasty on bitter cold days by having your furnace or other heating unit inspected. When a qualified heating technician performs the inspection, he/she can determine whether any repairs are necessary. If your particular residential heating system cannot be safely repaired, better heating companies will also provide installation for their up-to-standard furnaces or other units. If needing HVAC installation Conroe Tx, choose a heating company that promises to stand behind their workmanship. Find a reliable heating company known to be trustworthy and able to provide any heating and/or air conditioning services that your home might need.

Even newer furnaces should be checked regularly to avoid any problems. There are some issues that could occur without the homeowner even realizing that there is a problem. At best, a furnace operating despite some sort of problem will use more energy. At worst, the unnoticed issue could cause fires, smoke or even dangerous to humans and animals carbon monoxide poisoning. Residential heating units will need maintenance by a skilled and experienced heating technician. Look for companies that hire licensed techs. If wondering whether to call in an expert or not, then make that call. It is better to be safe than sorry in this situation.

Honest heating companies will not inflate their service prices or the costs of any heating and/or air conditioning units that they offer for sale. Good heating businesses are transparent about all of their business interactions and practices. These terrific technicians will explain everything to the homeowner before any repairs are even made. The homeowner always should have the final say in what services to accept. Heating emergencies can happen in off hours or on weekends. Choose a heating service that provides this emergency service just in case.

There are many ways in which hiring a reliable heating business makes more sense. Homeowners that neglect to have their heating units checked on a regular basis may end up with very costly repairs instead of the simple fix that a qualified tech could have done earlier on. If unsure about anything regarding your residential heating units, call a local heating expert for helpful advice. Having an emergency number to contact these services after hours can bring a sense of relief to homeowners during the winter months ahead.

When professional technicians work on a heating system, they are trained to assess and pinpoint any problems promptly. These specialists try to stay out of the family’s way as much as possible. If they find a problem, they will have solutions for the homeowner to make a final decision about. When homeowners attempt to fix their own heat sources, they could end up damaging the whole entire unit from faulty repairs. These skilled heating professionals are able to check the flow of heat through the home. Always inquire about preventative services that the company might offer.

Keeping things comfortable in your home this winter will not be a problem for homes that had a professional heating inspection. Find a reputable business specializing in heating and air conditioning products. Ask about the company’s newer furnace models to find out if they are worth the investment. Typically, these are a wise purchase.

How to Get Your Home Back in Order After a Bad Hurricane

Depending on where you live, there may come a time when a hurricane passes through your town. If you’re lucky, this just means a day spent inside waiting for the rain and winds to pass. Other times we are not so fortunate, and the hurricane leaves some damage in its wake. This can range from minor damages, like broken tree limbs or a fallen gutter, to something more major, like a flooded basement or a hole in your roof. No matter what happens to your home during the hurricane, once it passes you’ll need to take some steps in order to get everything back to normal. Here are the steps to follow to do this.

Assess the Damage

The first thing you need to do is figure out what happened. Inspect the inside of your home first, and see if the hurricane caused any damage inside. Are there wet spots in your ceiling? Puddles on the floor of your basement or crawlspace? Did any windows break? If you rode out the storm within your house, you likely noticed these problems as they happened, but it’s still a good idea to check each room in your house in case you missed something, and to assess the entirety of the damage.

Once you’re done with the inside, move onto the exterior of the home. Did anything fall into the yard, or break on the outside of the house? Do you notice any problems with your roof from the outside? The outside of your home received the brunt of the storm, so be sure to go over everything carefully. As your examining your home, both inside and out, take pictures of anything damaged, as you may need them for insurance purposes.

Contact Your Insurance Company

If you received significant damage to your home, it’s important that you call your insurance company. You might have hurricane coverage, and therefore won’t have to spend the money yourself on repairs. You don’t want to get things fixed before talking with your insurance company, as this may nullify your claim. Once you’ve contacted your insurance company, they will tell you how to proceed with getting your home back in order. While insurance companies are likely busy right after a major storm, hopefully it won’t be too long before they send someone to assess the damage at your home.

Start Making Repairs

Now that you have the permission of your insurance company, or if the damage to your home was slight (or not covered under insurance), you can begin to make repairs. Make a list of everything you need to do, and then start tackling them from most important to least. During this phase you’ll need to decide if you are going to make the repairs yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.

If you decide to hire outside help, keep in mind that this may take time. Other homes in your area likely received damage, and the companies you work with will have other customers to attend to, so prepare for some delays. For instance Reroof, a roofing company down in Orlando Florida, is still helping residents all over Florida repair their roofs from the hurricanes a few months ago. Depending on the area you live in, and the severity of the storm, it could be a while before your home is back to the way it was.

Prepare for the Next Storm

Finally, while you’re working to get your home back in order, you should also prepare for the next storm. Hurricanes can come quickly after one another, so you may not have much time to spare. Restock on supplies – such as food, water, batteries, or gas for your generator –  and start examining your home to see if there are any preparations you can do better this time around. During the last storm some trees may have become damaged, and will need attending to before another storm arrives. If you don’t have time for a complete repair, consider patching things up as best you can. For example, if your roof is now leaking, consider replacing just those few shingles, and saving the entire roof repair for the Spring.

Hopefully you will never need the above advice. No one likes dealing with a hurricane, and particularly the aftermath when we start putting things back together. But if the time comes when a hurricane causes damage to your property, you’ll be glad you know the steps for what to do. Then you can quickly and efficiently work to get your home back in order, or ready for the next storm.

Warm Winter Interior Design – Warm Up Those Rooms With Decor


Now that winter’s set in for the long haul and everyone seems to be moping around about the fact, it might be a great time to consider upgrading your house or taking on a decorating project for those long winter months. Even just doing a small job like painting walls a more warming colour can go a long way to creating a warm, hearty atmosphere that keeps you cosy during the cold months ahead. So what are some ways you can do up the house to make it more welcoming for winter? Read ahead and get your thinking cap on. You might be surprised what a small undertaking can change in terms of cosiness.

Colours For Days

If you want to create a seriously cosy atmosphere for the winter, consider painting your rooms more warm colours such as deep aubergine, beige, or sage colours. Warm colours will help “warm up” the room and will keep you feeling snug as a bug in a rug through the cold months ahead. This even works for feature walls, so consider a nice deep colour that feels like a hug when you look at it and then take to the walls and create the perfect atmosphere in your home. Accentuate it by bringing in a bit of nature and put things like pine cones, sprigs of pine branches and the like in baskets or floral arrangements to give your home a woodsy feel.

Twinkle Twinkle Fairy Lights

Fairy lights are the perfect accompaniment to winter drab. They cheer a room instantly, especially when used in unique, fun ways and not just strung on walls or across mantle pieces – although you can do that too. If you are a fan of woodsy or country styled homes, consider collecting branches from the outdoors – especially longer ones, and then intertwine the fairy lights with the branches and prop up in a corner. You can accentuate it even more by adding a lovely looking country style ribbon to hold it all together, and voila – an impromptu corner light. For another country touch, get various sizes of mason jars, cut a small hole in the top of each and dump fairy lights inside, any which way. Thread the lights out of the hole, and leave a bit in between each jar for a cute messy look before threading it into the next jar and so forth. This makes for a great warm light that will keep any room protected from the chill outside.

Throw Rugs For Laminate/Tile/Wood

It goes without saying, but finding a great rug for the laminate, wood or tile flooring is a great way to warm up a room during the winter. Especially if you find a faux sheepskin rug to put underfoot of commonly walked on surfaces or right next to the bed for an extra bit of plush in the mornings when you have to pull yourself from your cosy bed. If you want other suggestions, check out and their recent ebook about decorating your home against the cold!

So if you’re looking for great ways to do up a space without needing much in the way of tools or time, these are some great ways anyone can get a cosier space today with minimal effort. Which one will you try?



Interior Design Ideas For Your New Home

A friend of mine has always dreamed of designing his own home and now that he has acquired a nice piece of land, he is having lots of ideas in his head concerning the designs of his new home and also how the interior designs would be like. Every night after dinner, he will be on the drawing board putting the ideas down on paper. It is easy to just sketch out what you want your house to look like but we will need the architects and the civil engineers to make your house practical and safe for you to stay in.

While designing the layout plan of the house, this friend has more or less visualized how the interior would look like. But the final decision will be reached after consulting his wife. He will leave the children to choose the design for their own rooms.

Now that the house is in the midst of construction and everything is going smoothly and on schedule, it is time for them to look into the interior designs for their house. Looking through magazines, visiting showrooms, and furniture stores are some of their weekend activities as a family.

The man was quite impressed with the some of the ideas he found on one of the Los Angeles interior designer’s website. Since the living room is a common room for the whole family, the design must be well received. He will have the say over his study room, the kids will pick the design for their own bedroom, and the kitchen will be the wife’s choice. The remaining rooms of the house will be the joint decision of husband and wife.

Every idea will be presented to the family. The guideline is to keep it simple and practical for a comfortable home. Views and suggestions were given and taken seriously. Once the work is done, you will be stuck with the design. And also the budget has to be considered.

Consulting one of the Beverly Hills interior design firm for professional tips and quotation will be the next step. These professionals will help you with the right colours for the wall of the different rooms and placing of lightings in each rooms, etc. Some are just hopeless with interior designing, even for their own room. If that is the case, then let the interior designers come up with their ideas depending on your style and requirements.

Turning your garden into a hibernation zone ready for wildlife

We can all easily transform our garden into a hibernation hot spot. It’s important for wildlife to find designated areas to hibernate in winter. You can engage them in, provide warmth, shelter, food and drink.

How can we help to keep wildlife safe? How do we provide warmth and shelter? What kinds of foods do wildlife eat? Even if your garden is small you can follow these easy to follow tips by gardening experts Oeco Garden Rooms. Highlighted are areas you can follow and implement into your own garden.

What wildlife eat:

  • Birds – Birds migrate rather than hibernate, they search for their warmth in trees, bird houses or any nests. They normally eat cracked corn, fruit, sunflower seeds, mealworms, millet and milo. They strictly can’t eat tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, apple seeds, avocados, peanuts, and cheese. Also, no milk, caffeine or any alcohol.
  • Bats– Bats hibernate from November through to March.Bats can eat moths and mosquitoes. They’re many different types of species of bat out there, some can even eat frogs and scorpions.
  • Frogs and toads – Remarkably frogs permit their bodies to freeze over the winter months. They can dig down to the bottom of the pond underneath the bottom surface and create their own roof for themselves. Also, they can be found underneath logs, leaf litters or underground tunnels. Frogs tend to eat flies and moths, slugs, snails and worms. They can’t eat vegetables or fruits and not any pet food.
  • Hedgehogs – Hedgehogs hibernate between November through to March. They require enough fat in order to survive the hibernation period, in winter. They can be fed almost anything however not milk and bread as it’s bad for their digestive system. Surprisingly their most preferred diet is cat food with chopped peanuts or peanut butter.
  • Squirrels – Tend not to hibernate over the winter period, they remain less active when bad weather conditions arise. They often eat hazelnut and beechnut, acorns, fungus, insects and seeds like spruce and pine.

Attracting wildlife

Wildlife hibernating in winter is all about food, maintaining hydration, shelter and warmth. You can start off by letting your grass overgrow in some corners of your garden, this is an easy and natural way to help wildlife hibernate, by supplying them with an area to nest and gain shelter. This will be targeted at small insects and hedgehogs.

Hedges offer warmth and shelter for birds and other small animals to nest in. They provide a closed off space, creates a roof that will help when cold conditions occur, which is perfect for hibernating in the winter time.

Place logs in different corners of the garden to offer somewhere small insects can wrap on and get underneath for heat.

Own a bird house, this will provide shelter and food for birds entering your garden this winter. Your place will be known as a hot spot, include a bird feeder and they’ll definitely consider your garden every day.

If you’ve got the space in place a pond, this would be a great feature for all kinds of wildlife. Hedgehogs especially, they can take a drink and keep hydrated. Build a low edge on the side of the pond as hedgehogs tend to fight to get back out. You’ll also help out frogs too as they like to hibernate underneath at the bottom.

Or if you’re unable to do this, place out a bowl of fresh water everyday refreshing the bowl morning and night time, this will really help benefit the wildlife staying hydrated.

Watch out for wildlife and their safety, hunt for any potential dangers. Holes, drains, and pits are a big worry as they tend to cause trouble for wildlife, making them trapped and struggle to escape.

Unique Party Ideas

Start with the invitations. With the convenience of technology, create one invitation and simply take a picture of it and post it as a private message to all the people you are inviting via Instagram, Facebook via a creation of an event, and then wait for the responses. There are many different kinds of creative designs you can choose from to send.

You can use and old charcoal barbeque and fill it with ice and refreshments like old fashioned root beer and mason jars full of lemonade.

The table itself, (or several tables put together) can be buffet style and covered with long potato sack material table cloths that you can buy at a home goods store or make yourself. Then, place long baskets lined with country-themed handkerchiefs with bread and fresh fruits scattered among wooden boards displaying cut meats and cheeses. As the barbequing gets done, larger boards can be set out and the meat can be served either by pre-cutting it or placing it at the head of the table and having someone serve each guest as they come down the line.

Then, have a dessert table filled with homemade goodies in mason jars decorated with different gingham colored bows. Find simple recipes for bread pudding, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, apple cake and other bbq and picnic favorites and layer these inside each jar. Then, arrange them in wicker and picnic baskets lined with checkered table cloths and linens. Display everything on old charcoal grill inserts and then set each separate dessert display on a table covered with a checkered table cloth or some other bbq theme to match the lining in the baskets.

You can top the day off by thanking your friends for coming with little party favors of mini potato sack bags embossed with a design of your choice and set in a wire egg basket. The favors could be something personal to each guest or a generic gift for everyone that has to do with barbequing specifically for the season like sunblock lotion and other accessories for the summer months.

Rustic Outdoor Wedding Theme

For someone who wants elegance yet a down-to-earth feeling for their wedding, the rustic theme will get you the best of both worlds. Set outside in a wooded or country setting, or even in a large backyard, the guests are greeted at the entrance to the tent by an old fashioned wooden sign on a stand that gives their name, date of the wedding, and directs them to the hors d’oeuvres table. Or simply put the sign on the table itself and position the table as the guests come to the tent entrance.

The hors d’oeuvres table can be made up of different types of homemade cookies wrapped in individual packages tied with gingham bows, placed in lined baskets and set on upside-down wooden crates that are stacked like steps and accented with large paper flowers displayed on strings and billowing from the ceiling.

The tables for any rustic theme have to be of some weathered wood and could be round or long in design. For long tables, burlap table runners can run along the middle. Unadorned glass vases are then placed down the runner and filled with a flower of your choice that should be delicate, simple, and reflect the bride’s wedding bouquet. By each table setting there will be a small glass votive container holding a white votive candle. The place setting can vary but should be very simple and rustic to reflect the theme.

At the head table, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Signs can be made out of repurposed wood pieces and thick twine and tied to the back of the bride and groom’s chairs respectively.

A buffet style serving table, which is more keeping in line with a down-to-earth homey feeling of a rustic theme, can be set up as the caterer of our choice normally would set it, but with the added down-home touch of a sandwich board display announcing to the guests the food fare for the evening.

Depending on your location, if you have some kind of cement walls or can make makeshift stands around the tent, place all-white flower arrangements with just a hint of color like lilacs, pansies, or violets in makeshift vintage wooden tool boxes.

Thank your friends for coming and place baskets of customized beer koozies in lined wicker baskets for them to take as they exit the tent at the end of the evening. Each one embossed with the bride and groom’s name, wedding date, and any other personal message you would like to leave your friends and family with to remember the special occasion.

Travel Party

With so many millennials and even retirees embarking on new adventures to distant lands for long periods of time, a travel-themed party seems to be coming more common all the time.

First, the guests can be greeted at a table decorated with vintage world globes on either end and a string of postcards clipped onto several long pieces of thin twine between two poles as a backdrop. A sign, 9actually a simple wooden frame), with the words, “Where in the World Am I Sitting?” placed in the frame alerts the guests to look at the name cards that are designed like passport books placed in the middle of the table that tell them which table they are to sit at.

With the popularity of photo booths nowadays at weddings and other special events, it goes without saying that you would ask each guest to take their “passport” photo before they find their seat. So, have a designated person on hand as everyone arrives to maneuver them to the photo booth that should be just steps away. Then, when they finish, they can take the photo and place it in a scrapbook for the traveling guest of honor as a keepsake.

Each table, labeled as a different country, can have a different centerpiece that reflects the travel theme such as small vanity suitcases filled with flowers, or for a couple, his and her items.

The travel theme can continue with the dessert buffet with more globes centered around jars of candy or trays of cakes and other desserts. When it’s time to go, guests can leave with homemade favor boxes made out of old maps and filled with goodies of your choice.

Jessica Kane is a writer for Silver Superstore, home of the internet’s best flatware.

Vintage accents in minimalist homes

If there’s one thing that many Melburnian property owners understand, it’s the importance of a home versus a house. The latter is a place you merely reside, while the former evokes a sense of belonging, warmth and of identity that reflects its occupants. The following considers new house builds and how to make them your own. As minimalism’s clean lines and open plan living continues to dominate many of the family homes currently being constructed, it can be more challenging to put your own personal stamp on a brand new dwelling. Today’s design focus is on the vintage aesthetic and how to use its features to add character and warmth to a living space.

Wall paper is vintage in a big way. A great way to lift a room can to be to add either colour, pattern or texture, or all of the above, to your space. Options include full wall coverings, either the top or bottom half of the wall, the ceiling or a single feature wall. Full wall coverings can be subtle and muted in a variety of pastels or lighter shades, while feature walls you can afford to be more bold and make a statement. For the truly adventurous different designs on the upper and lower half could be even be incorporated. If you’re not quite ready to commit, consider removable wall stickers. These days they are not only available as decals for kid’s bedrooms, but can be a used as a lattice, edging, tessellation or any repetitive design you desire.

If you want to keep the walls neutral, consider some artwork to lift a space. Even small, functional rooms such as toilets or laundries can be invigorated with some 2D decoration. Ornaments or feature pieces can also add a touch of sparkle to a room. Think vintage perfume bottles, hat racks, retro indoor plants, rugs, mirrors or a restored sideboard. In the kitchen you might invest in some new retro style appliances (mmm Smeg) or invest (or restore) an oven with multiple chambers for the ultimate old school kitchen look. If you are in Melbourne, get home design ideas by attending to some open houses in the arty neighbourhoods to get some décor inspiration. Try Brunswick, Fitzroy and their surrounds. Online, Pinterest will keep you busy for hours!

A note of caution, wherever possible aim to source authentic items to decorate your home. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands at antique dealers to make an impact, but be wary of mass produced and inferior quality goods that typically do not have longevity. You might also consider new items that are locally made, ideally with sustainably sourced and high quality materials. Although price can be a good indicator of provenance, you can still source fantastic items from second hand shops and markets, car boot sales or even from the sales of deceased estates. If you’re handy yourself, consider restoring some items back to their former glory or converting them into a new piece for your home.