Famous Trees of Australia

How to Reduce External Noise in Your Home

Posted by on 10:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Reduce External Noise in Your Home

Depending on where you live in Australia, noise from neighbours, busy roads, airports and even wildlife can be frustrating, especially if these sounds disturb you at night when you would prefer to be sleeping soundly. Of course, you can opt for a pair of earplugs, but this is not really a practical solution during the day, and many people find them uncomfortable to wear in bed anyway. Instead, it is better to look at ways of soundproofing your home, and the tips below will give you a good idea of how to go about it. Insulate Your Home With Foam Many Australians have cavity walls in their homes that are not insulated, even though having them filled with insulating material would reduce energy costs. In addition, using a foam insulation system – which is pumped into the wall cavity from the outside – will not only insulate your home from the external temperature but also dramatically lessen the amount of noise you hear from outside. External sounds come into any home in the form of a wave. Installing foam in the walls of a home makes a lot of sense because the foam absorbs the energy of any sound wave that hits it. Upgrade Your Doors and Windows Obviously, keeping your windows open will allow more exterior noise into your home. However, when you close them, they can sometimes act like resonators, seemingly making the problem of unwanted sound ingress worse. Modern double glazing products feature panes which are held securely in place with rubberised trim. This has a dampening effect so that up-to-date double glazed windows don’t vibrate as much against their frames when noise hits them from the outside. As a result, the amount of noise you hear inside is reduced. Fit Carpet and Curtains As mentioned, absorbing sound is the key to reducing the amount you notice noise from the outside. This will also help it to stop bouncing around inside your home. In order to improve the acoustic dampening inside your home, fit carpets and heavy curtains rather than Venetian-style blinds and laminate flooring, which are both hard and allow sound to reverberate. If you don’t have the budget for a fitted carpet, add drapes and a rug or two to achieve a similar effect. Handling Lower Frequencies Where bass rumbles from neighbours’ stereos or low-pitched traffic noises are causing a problem, it can be too much for conventional soundproofing measures to overcome. If so, look into professionally fitted plasterboard, which is specifically designed to reduce lower frequency noise. This can be fixed to your home’s walls and easily decorated...

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Home Décor: How to Get Bold and Creative Using Blinds

Posted by on 6:34 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Home Décor: How to Get Bold and Creative Using Blinds

One of the benefits of having a family room is that you have the freedom to pick the décor without having to worry about what guest will think or that the look will not fit with the rest of your home. The family room offers a space when you can get creative and let your personality and quirks show. If you are getting bored of the same old dull curtains or drab colours, why not install some bold new blinds to brighten up your family room? Below is a guide to how you can use blinds to add something special to your home. Choose Big Blinds If you want to make a statement, you should consider installing blinds which are wider and taller than the window they need to cover. This will help to create the impression that the window is much larger than it is, which is turn will make the whole room feel bigger. Install blinds with horizontal slats if you wish to create a sense of depth and vertical slats if you wish to create a sense of height in your family room. Choose Bold Colours By choosing blinds which feature a bold colour, you can dramatically enrich the décor of your family room and turn a window into a focal point from which to design the look for the rest of the room. For the best effect, choose a colour which sharply contrasts with other areas of the room, such as the furniture or the wallpaper. For example, bright red blinds will stand out when placed against walls which are neutral in colour. Choose Patterns or Images to Add Some Funk Because of the increased freedom you have when designing the look of your family room, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with some funky patterns with can add to the overall charm of the room. You may consider floral patterns which help to introduce a range of bright and flowery colours, or if you have kids, you may consider installing novelty blinds which display an image of their favourite superhero or cartoon character when drawn. Some blind manufacturers will also produce bespoke blinds which will feature a personalised image such as a photograph or hand-drawn pattern, allowing you to create a distinctive and individual look. If you would like more information about how blinds can help to transform your home, contact a professional blind company today. They will be happy to provide further advice and...

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Mice Inside Your Air Conditioning Unit? Here’s What You Need to Do

Posted by on 5:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mice Inside Your Air Conditioning Unit? Here’s What You Need to Do

Sometimes, mice can be cute little critters. Sometimes they can be annoying vermin who invade your home. The hidden sections of your air conditioning unit can be tempting for mice, and if they decide to make themselves at home here, this can result in a rather annoying problem. So how do you know if you have mice inside your air conditioning unit? And what’s the easiest way to fix the problem? Identification You will probably be able to hear mice inside your air conditioning vents, even if you can’t see them. The clicking of their claws on the metal surfaces of the vents can be quite noticeable. You should inspect the immediate interior of the vents directly behind the wall grilles. A torch might be sufficient, but you might need to remove the grilles with a screwdriver in order to perform a more thorough inspection. Look for mouse droppings in the vents and also droppings that might have been pushed up against the filter by the force of the air. Hearing the mice and then discovering their droppings is about the most conclusive way of knowing that mice have moved into your air conditioning unit. Prevention You need to identify and block the likely points of access. Closely inspect the outside component of any split system air conditioners. Check the access panels. Have they come loose? Tighten them as needed. You should also check the intake vents. Depending on the manufacturer of the unit, there might easily be enough space for a mouse to enter the unit via this section when the unit is turned off. It’s difficult to seal this point of entry without impeding the air intake capabilities of the unit. A more foolproof method is to construct a barrier around the exterior component of your split system air conditioner. You would essentially need a wooden box frame covered in fine wire mesh on all but two sides, looking much like a chicken coop. One of these empty sides would sit on the ground so that the unit can be enclosed, and the other empty side would be pushed up against your home. It can be attached to your home with a caulking sealant. This will prevent any creatures from accessing your unit without affecting its air intake. But what about the mice that are already inside? Removal You can call an exterminator to get rid of the mice, or you can just open your interior grilles and lay traps. There are a variety of no-kill mouse traps available (which catch the mice for a later release), but these are boxy and bulky, and even if they fit inside the vents, they will prevent the air conditioner from expelling cooled air. It’s not a pleasant end for the mice, and yet at least you are getting your air conditioner back and have prevented any other mice from meeting a similar fate. Hopefully mice inside your air conditioning unit is not something you will ever have to deal with, but with the proper preventative measures you can ensure that it won’t happen more than...

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Why External Shutters Would Be an Ideal Investment

Posted by on 11:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why External Shutters Would Be an Ideal Investment

Typically, when homeowners are considering window treatments, they will focus on the interior of the home. This is not surprising though since interior window treatments are not only functional, but also they enhance the décor of the residence. However, this is not the only option that is available for your consideration. Although external shutters were a staple for older homes with country style themes, they are steadily making a comeback with homeowners who are looking for this provincial aesthetic. Here are some of the reasons why external shutters would be an ideal investment for your home. External shutters provide your windows with protection from the elements One of the reasons why you should consider investing in external shutters is the added layer of protection they provide your windows with against the elements. When the weather changes drastically and your home is exposed to severe elements such as high gale wins and hail, your windows are at risk of breaking. If you would like to avoid unnecessary window repairs and replacement during these seasons, then you should install external shutters. Shutter styles such as board and batten are made up of sturdy, vertical boards that have been further reinforced using horizontal battens. These types of external shutters are durable enough to withstand rain, radiant heat from the sun and high winds. Thus, ensuring that your glass windows stay protected no matter the weather conditions. External shutters provide your home with enhanced privacy Another reason to consider investing in external shutters is they are a great way of enhancing the privacy of your residence. Having interior windows may protect your home from prying eyes. However, if your home is illuminated from within, it makes it easier for outsider to make out silhouettes in your residence or even see through the sheers if your curtains are not drawn. With external shutters, you would not have to worry about this. As long as the shutters are close, the solid design of the shutters will obscure any views into your home whether day or night. If you would still want unobstructed views of your property without allowing stranger to see inside your home, you could opt to open the horizontal slats of the shutters at an angle. This gives you the flexibility of seeing who it outside through your windows, without people getting the chance to see into your home. Overall, external shutters will provide you with heightened privacy as compared to interior window...

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Going Against The Drain: Choosing Permeable Surface Materials For Your Patio

Posted by on 5:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Going Against The Drain: Choosing Permeable Surface Materials For Your Patio

A well designed, well constructed patio can be a beautiful addition to your garden, but as with any building project the materials you use in the construction of patios are vital. One key aspect to bear in mind is the permeability of the materials you use — if your patio does not allow adequate drainage of rainwater it can quickly become waterlogged, presenting a serious slip hazard and potentially damaging furniture and other objects (such as heaters) kept on your patio. As such, it’s important to use at least some permeable materials in your patio to provide adequate drainage. Fortunately, patio suppliers offer a range of permeable materials, which can be used on a variety of patio styles and substrate types. Porous concrete This specialised variety of concrete becomes permeable as it cures and dried, and provides significantly better drainage qualities than traditional concrete. Porous concrete can be found as paving slabs, or can be poured at the work site to provide a striking smooth finish. While porous concrete tends be more expensive than standard concrete blends, porous concrete slabs are still considerably cheaper than flagstones and other traditional patio surface materials. Unfortunately, porous concrete tends to come in a narrow variety of drab greys and browns, so it is far from the most aesthetically pleasing choice of material for your patio. While poured porous concrete can be more attractive, it is also much more expensive, and will require expensive labour to lay. Gravel Installing a gravel patio is one of the best ways to ward off patio flooding, as the loose arrangement of stones allows rainwater to pass through to the patio substrate and drain away quickly and easily. Gravel is also one of the cheapest materials available for patio construction, and is available in a vast variety of colours and stone blends to match practically any design scheme. Gravel can also be very useful when constructing more traditional brick or flagstone patios, as it can be used to fill gaps between solid paving slabs. This allows water to drain through the gravel channels without undermining the solid footing provided by these materials. Unfortunately, gravel patios can be quite high-maintenance, and will require periodic maintenance and repairs to stay looking new. Loose gravel can quickly make a mess of the rest of your garden in high winds, and you should make sure to remove any weeds that sprout in your gravel as they appear. Gravel patios also do not provide the same sureness of footing provided by solid patios, and may not be suitable for elderly people or those who have difficulty keeping their balance. Grass pavers These unusual structures are essentially hollow paving slabs filled with soil. Once installed, grass is allowed to grow in the soil-filled hollows and after a few months you will end up with a solid, highly permeable patio that blends in remarkably well with surrounding lawns and foliage. Ideal for a natural looking patio with minimal visual impact, grass pavers are extremely durable and long-lasting, and require very little maintenance.  The downside of grass pavers is that they have to be laid flush with the ground, so using grass pavers will not give you a traditionally raised patio. They can also be particularly laborious and time-consuming to lay compared to other materials,...

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Bad Smell Coming from Your Air Conditioner? Here’s What You Need to Do

Posted by on 8:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bad Smell Coming from Your Air Conditioner? Here’s What You Need to Do

It can be wonderful to turn on your air conditioning unit and wait for the room to be filled with that beautiful cool air. But what about when that cool air comes with an unpleasant odour? It might be a musty smell, or it might be something more pungent. It’s generally not so difficult to get rid of those bad smells by yourself.  Outside Your Home Inspect your air conditioning unit. For split cycle air conditioners, you will need to look at the external component. Is it possible to see inside the unit? Some units have access panels that you can remove yourself, although sometimes you will need to have the unit professionally examined if the access panels are not designed to be removed by the user. In any event, you will probably be able to take a look inside the unit (even if it’s a restricted view) by using a torch and looking through its grilles. Please note that if these grilles are easily detachable, they might in fact be the access panels. Look for anything that might be causing a bad odour. This might be leaves or garden debris that have made their way into the unit and have begun to decompose. In an extreme case, there might be a rodent or small reptile that has made its way into the grill and died, which can cause a deeply unpleasant odour. Remove the debris (or dead creature) if possible. Please do not attempt to force open any access panels, as some air conditioner units are designed to only be opened by a professional. Inside Your Home Inspect the grilles that feed cool air into the room. These are simply the internal vents mounted on the walls of the rooms that are actually air conditioned. You might need a torch for this. Do the filters positioned directly behind the grilles seem to be dirty? This can easily cause a musty smell, something akin to mildew. Remove the filters and wash them with warm, soapy water. If you should notice actual mould or mildew growing on the filters, then it can be advisable to replace them entirely. Please allow the filters to properly dry before putting them back into position. These are the easiest ways to remove the most common causes of bad smells when it comes to your air conditioner. If you have tried these things and there is still an unpleasant odour, please have your air conditioner professionally cleaned and serviced. For more information, contact professionals like ACSIS Airconditioning...

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Effective Tips To Help You Conserve Water In Your Container Garden

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Conserving water efficiently in your container garden promotes growth of healthy plants and also minimizes the need for regular watering. Observing the right container gardening practices helps in controlling unnecessary water loss and also boosts water retention in the container. Below are effective water conservation tips to help you control water loss and boost water retention in your container garden. Use Double Pots Using double pots for your container garden is an easy and essential way of conserving water for the plants. The double pots regulate the temperatures by providing a double insulation for the soil. As a result, water loss through evaporation is reduced significantly and your plants are more likely to get enough water throughout the day. To create a good double pot for your container garden, you will first need the planter container in which the plants will be planted. After that get a bigger container that is large enough to hold the planter container and leave a few inches all round. Lastly, add a layer of gravel or sand in between the bigger container and the smaller one. The big, outer container and layer of gravel offers the soil great insulation that prevents excessive loss of water through evaporation. Use Non-porous Pots It’s important that you use non-porous pots in your container garden so as to prevent water loss. Porous pots have a high seepage capacity and they are likely to leach out a considerable amount of water from the soil leaving your plants deprived of water. Otherwise, you might be forced to regularly water your plants more than necessary, so that your plants can have enough water.   Pots made from solid stone or glazed ceramic are good non-porous containers you can use. Also, it’s advisable to use pots with a light shade because they retain minimal heat, advises The Micro Gardener. In essence, dark colours retain heat quickly leading to more evaporation of soil moisture. Also, accumulation of high levels of heat can damage the root system of your plants, so you’re safer with non-porous, light-coloured pots. Add a Top Layer Adding a cover layer in your containers prevents loss of water through evaporation. You can cover the top area with inorganic materials or organic materials depending on what you have. However, ensure that the top layer is clean and free of insects because the bugs can attack your plants or introduce disease-causing microbes. Pebbles and plastic are great inorganic top layer materials that you can use, advises The Guardian. For organic material you can use a good mulch cover made of grass, woodchips or leaves. However, remember that woodchips attract termites and you may want to avoid using the chips if your home is prone to termite attacks. You can also buy a mulch compound from an expert plant supplies provider if you don’t have an appropriate mulch compound. Maintaining a container garden becomes much easier if you are able to conserve water in your planters. The tips above can help you conserve water in your container garden effectively. For more information, contact a wholesale nursery, like Din San...

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How to Choose the Right Design and Material for Your Home’s Staircase

Posted by on 3:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Design and Material for Your Home’s Staircase

If there is a staircase in your home that isn’t built into a wall so that the balustrade and balusters under the railing are showing, you want to give some thought as to its overall design and material. That staircase may be more noticeable than you realize and it can enhance the look of your home or detract from that space, depending on the design style you choose. Note a few tips for creating a staircase area in your home that is attractive yet functional and safe. Larger staircases If you have a larger staircase because the slope of the stairs is not very steep and the staircase winds or has a landing that is showing, you might want to opt for something less busy than individual balusters under the balustrade. If you were to have individual wrought iron bars or wood slats in a larger staircase or one that twists and winds, this can make the space look very busy. Opt for glass panels instead of individual balusters and a balustrade made of a metal that will reflect light and keep the space from looking dark and overwhelmed by the staircase itself. Mixing styles If you’re not sure the style you want for your staircase or your home is decorated in a very eclectic fashion, consider mixing styles for the staircase. The baluster could be made of thick, dark wood and have glass panels for the balusters, or you might choose stainless steel tubing for the balustrade or railing and then add wood panels or a scrolling wood design for the balusters. By mixing the styles, your staircase will then work well with any style of your home and keep the staircase from seeming dull and drab. Minimalist look If you’re not sure the best look for a staircase, a minimalist look is often best. This will ensure that your design doesn’t clash with the home and doesn’t make the staircase seem too dark or overpowering. Choose a thin design for the baluster; a thin wood rod can work best, or you might opt for a very small steel pipe if you prefer something that seems more modern. You can avoid having any more balusters than what is needed to support the balustrade itself, in the same design. You can also have steel cords that run horizontally to create a long, lean look to your staircase while keeping the design very simple and very...

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Shades Of Glory | 4 Attractive Timber Blind Shades For A Cream Living Room

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If you’ve made the decision to add timber blinds to your living room, then you’ll love the aesthetic elegance they bring to your entertaining space. But choosing the right shade for your cream living room will depend on your personal preferences and current furnishings. This guide equips you with attractive timber blind shade shades for a cream living room. Rosewood Coloured Timber Blinds Rosewood shade is a muted, but richly hued brownish colour with darker tones to infuse an elegant finish in your living room. Rosewood hues typically reflect dark wooden grain patterns that offset impeccably against light cream tones. Rosewood delivers a nostalgic feel and is well suited for accentuating cream walls and floors in living rooms. Rosewood coloured timber blinds are ideal when you’re looking to create a vintage and classic look in your cream toned living room. Cherry Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Cherry wood is a dark brown colour with a reddish tint and a fine, smooth grain. Cherry wood goes perfectly in cream living rooms with furnishings that drift towards rosy tones. Cherry wood stained timber blinds offer an excellent contrast to living rooms with lighter furniture or similar coloured furniture, making it a brilliantly versatile choice if you’re looking to make decorative changes for a few changes to your furnishings. The darker tone gives your living room windows a refined and sophisticated finish. Birch Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Birch wood is traditionally light, but the exact finish can vary in different degrees based on your personal preferences. Birch wood tones are ideal when you’re looking to create a cohesive and homogeneous living room finish because they blend in beautifully with cream coloured walls and floors with their classic lightness. The creaminess of birch wood is best for small living rooms, especially when you’re looking to infuse a sense of spaciousness into the area. Birch wood finished timber blinds work well for both traditional and modern cream living rooms. Ash Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Ash wood is traditionally light with shades ranging from whitish to light brown with a tint of grey. This tone for window blinds is ideal when you have grey-finished furniture against your cream coloured living room walls and floors. An ash wood finish typically has a prominent grain, adding plenty of character to a light cream living room. This lighter timber tone blends in effortlessly with modern and conventional cream coloured living rooms. Depending on your personal taste and existing furnishings, these attractive shades for timber blinds will work beautifully with your cream coloured living...

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Top Tips for Dressing Your Bay Window Space

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Bay windows are a beautiful and unique feature to have in the home, but due to their design, it can be hard to style them. Fortunately, you can dress up any style of bay window with ease once you know how. Whether you have a single curved bow window or classic multi-faceted bay windows, the following tips can help you make the most of your beautiful bay window space.  Add a bench feature Adding a seating area beneath a bay window creates a gorgeous, homely setting and can have so many different uses (even window dressing can have its functional side!). A bay window bench can make a perfect little reading nook or study area, and can double up as a storage bench – perfect for tidying away toys or spare bed linen. Small homes could also make use of this space by adding a desk for a cosy office corner. Should you wish to hide your bench feature from view or simply have the option of altering the day to day look of your bay window space, you could consider hanging a screen curtain straight across the front of your bay window. This can serve as a fuss-free alternative to blinds or shutters and can quickly conceal an untidy bench space from guests! Let there be light The main benefit to having bay windows is that they let in such large amounts of beautiful natural light. Keep this in mind when choosing a window covering for them, since certain blind materials will allow more natural light to filter into the room. Lightweight roller blinds and sheer, pleated blinds for example, let light filter gently through – lending a lovely ambience to your space without affecting your privacy. Another way to make the most of the natural light whilst retaining your privacy is to only cover the bottom of your bay window. Hang fitted sections of linen or light fabric at the bottom half of your bay window panels to achieve a modern yet laidback vibe.   Use colours that enhance space Bay windows are such a prominent focal point of any room and the light afforded by them can make even the smallest room feel spacious. Choosing the wrong colour of window covering, however, will create the opposite effect, so be wary of space-sucking colours. Light pastels and neutral colours of stone, cream and white will help reflect light and create the illusion of a brighter open space. Avoid bold, jarring shades such as deep greens, purples and reds as this will only enclose the space. As your bay window shades or blinds will serve as the outstanding focal point in the room, take a cue from your chosen blind or curtain colours when it comes to decorating the room itself. Try to use complimentary tones throughout your choice of soft furnishings to further enhance the feeling of...

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