2:40:00 PM

How to Remodel Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace and you are looking for a way to brighten it up, breathe a breath of fresh air into your fireplace, whether indoors or outdoor, or you just want a change, you really can do this quite easily. Refreshing up a fireplace can be as easy as adding paint, or more complex – such as shaving down the niche. Also, when planning on selling the house or rent it off, (landlordstation.com sort it for you) it’s still a valuable remodel. Below, we will be talking about a few ideas you can use for your own fireplace to change the look of it completely.

Remodel Fireplace

Add Some Paint

Paint is such an easy and inexpensive option. One idea is to also change the paint in the space on the walls. This will create a more fluid look. Add in a few paintings to the walls that also incorporate the colors of the walls and the fireplace to tie it all in. One thing to remember though; when painting a fireplace made from brick, this is a very porous material. If proper precautions are not taken beforehand, you are going to end up using more paint than you ought to! Try to use a paint that is specifically for a fireplace or masonry paint. One suggestion is to use something like a breathable latex paint such as Sherwin Williams Super Paint Acrylic Latex. The great thing about paint too, is that you can easily change the look whenever you want to another color or another texture. Simply paint over it! No removing adhesives or modular panels or whatever else. This is definitely one of the cheaper and easier options.

Marble For Less

Marble can be a very expensive material. Not only in terms of production, but also because you have to get a professional to install it. But, what if there was a quicker, easier and cheaper way around it that you could do yourself? One idea is to use faux marble adhesive paper for the tile surround. Even better: Keep any adhesive handy you find, that you really love the look of, such as granite, slate or another stone, you can use this as well. It takes just a few minutes to cut the tiles out and then place them on the surround. This is also a really great option for people that rent!

White Washing Brick

Brick tends to have a very outdated look to it, especially on a fireplace. Would you want a way to change the “color” of the brick? you can actually whitewash it. This can also be done by you which means it can be a budget friendly and cost efficient project. Simply take white paint with an eggshell finish and brush it onto the brick in small sections. Then, take a clean cloth and wipe it down to remove the paint. You still get the texture of the brick, but it changes the color of the dark red to something a little more bright and clean looking.

Wall Treatments

Wall treatments are panels that are specifically designed for walls – or any flat surface for that matter. These particular panels are made of hardwood that is used for flooring or any composite wood material. These panels can actually be attached to the surround of the fireplace to create a really different look, add texture, and create a whole new style for the room. If you are really concerned about the wood that you will be bringing in for your wall treatments, go through rainforestinfo.org.au which provides you with ample information on improted wood.
Above in the brick red section, these panels would work wonders in taking a room from outdated to modern or shabby chic, or even traditional. It really depends on the texture and pattern on the panels. One company to consider is called tilemarkets.com. They have interlocking panels which are super easy to install.

Statement Making Tile

Let`s say you have the ability to install tile or you’ve ever installed tile on a floor or in your bathroom, this should also be an easy project you can do. If not, that’s okay. This shouldn’t cost all that much so, have someone else install the tiles for you. You can simply visit an online store such as tilemarkets.com to have many options in hand right away. The plan is to purchase tiles which will complement the rest of the room. For instance, an area rug in the living room, with blue and white chevrons, you can take blue and white tiles and place these around. It’s a really easy way to change the look of the fireplace and you can use and find any colors or patterns of porcelain tiles for the job. You can also use any other material you want besides porcelain. You can use slate slabs or square tiles, granite, marble, glass, pretty much anything you can think of, you can use for the surround, or the entire wall for that matter.

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11:35:00 AM

Stove Top Kettle Versus Electric Kettle: Which One is Better?

Electric kettles are getting more and more popular these days. Aside from their sleek and modern look, they also come with a handful of hard-to-resist features. Although in-demand, there are still tons of people who prefer stove top kettles. If you are wondering why, here are some of the most common criteria buyers use when deciding which type of kettle to get.


Electric kettles are convenient to have at home. They can automatically turn off once the water boils which means you’ll have more time to do other important tasks. Unfortunately, since you won’t have to constantly keep an eye on your kettle, it’s easy to forget that you even turned it on. As a result, you’ll have to boil the water again which can double the energy you consume.

Stove top kettles, on the other hand, doesn’t turn itself off so you’ll need to patiently wait for your water to boil. If you fail to turn it off on time, you can end up drying up your kettle and you’ll need to fill it with water and heat it again. That means you’ll use twice the energy and water.

Heating efficiency

When you boil water using a stove, you’re diffusing heat not only to the kettle but the surrounding air as well. This means you’ll be wasting more energy during the process. In contrast, electric kettles come with enclosed heating components which means you’ll only be heating the water. Since the energy is more focused, you’re likely to spend less time boiling water with an electric kettle.


Electric kettles can technically run on any place that has electricity. This means that they are not your best option if you and your family frequently go on trips or campsites that don’t have electricity. You may have to buy a stove top kettle for that purpose. They are also a less reliable choice if you live in an area that frequently encounters power outages.

Temperature setting

There are drinks that don’t require being boiled to over a hundred degree Celsius. Some herbal teas need to be heated under lower water temperature to retain their flavors and healing properties. If you are going to use a stove top kettle, this can be a bit difficult to achieve without investing in good kitchen thermometer. Even if you do have a thermometer, turning off your stove at the exact temperature can still be tricky.

If you are into specialty teas, you’ll be better off with electric kettles since some of them come with specific temperature settings. You just basically need to know the optimum temperature for your tea, set it and just wait until your kettle is done brewing the tea for you.


When making a purchase, it’s essential to make some comparisons between electric and stove top kettles first, especially if you are on a tight budget. Most electric kettles come with special functions, such as rapid boiling and automatic shut down features, so you can’t expect them to come cheap.

If your main goal in purchasing a kettle is just to boil water, a stove top kettle should be enough. It costs less but basically gets the same job done. It may not give you the benefits modern electric kettles have to offer but it’s durable enough to last you a long time. In the end, you can even save more money from it.

Stove top kettles can also make you feel more at home. It has a retro feel that can make you feel relaxed when you’re boiling water in a lazy morning.
3:11:00 AM

5 Reasons You Should Renovate Your Bathroom Now!

The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house, and is also subject to wear and tear. However, when it comes to upgrading the home, it is often overlooked. Many people see the bathroom as a purely functional room, but it need not be this way. In fact, a beautiful bathroom is a very satisfying place, so we have put together a list of five reasons why you really should be renovating your bathroom. 

Add Value to Your Home

Perhaps the most important factor is that a well-designed, modern and fresh bathroom adds value to the home. If you are thinking of selling, it is one of the most cost-effective methods of getting the best price, as buyers will certainly be impressed with a beautiful bathroom. Use the latest fixtures, from showers to taps and more, and you will present a room that is a pleasure to enter and use. Whether you choose a modern, sleek style or a more traditional bathroom suite, you have a great choice of quality, affordable fixtures and fittings, so choose wisely, and you and you friends will be impressed with your new room.

Update a Tired Room

Over the years, tiles become cracked, floors become worn and discoloured and your bathroom fixtures and fittings may be worn or broken. It’s all too easy to simply overlook this and work with what you have got, but you may be surprised to find out how affordable it is to rectify the problem. There are many different types of flooring you can choose, for example, in many different colours and designs, and when it comes to tiles, the choice is endless. Carefully designed tiling can really make a bathroom, so check out the many options and you will find something that suits.

Install Modern Equipment

One of the most impressive aspects of updating a bathroom is the range of modern equipment that you can choose from. The latest taps are very stylish, and many do not need to be touched to work, and the choice of very attractive, sleek and beautiful bathtubs, sinks and toilets means you can change your current, ordinary bathroom into one that is stunning in every way, and practical too. If you wish, you can stay with the traditional look but use more modern furnishings, perhaps with a stylish claw-foot bath, a popular choice for larger bathrooms.

Efficient Electric Shower

Taking a shower is likely one of the most important of your daily routines, but the modern electric shower is a far more impressive item than you may realise. Electric showers come in many forms and are very powerful and efficient, and they are affordable to buy, install and run. There are many head designs offering excellent distribution of water, and with effective control of heat and pressure you can have a shower that is perfect every time. There is plenty of information on the best electric shower for your bathroom design, so make sure you check out the various options and take all the advice you can get. 

A Fresh Approach

For many people, the reason for renovating a bathroom is simply because they want a new look. It is often the last room in the house to get the fresh treatment, so once you have improved the rest of the house, the bathroom may look out of place, dated and tired. Or, you may simply be bored with your current design, and want something new and impressive instead. Taking a bath in a new, modern bathroom is a pleasure that you will enjoy every time, so have a look at the options for renovating your bathroom carefully, and you will find something that is perfect for your available space.

The above are just a few of the reasons why you should renovate your bathroom, and there are many more. Whether you design your new room yourself or have a professional take a look for you, don’t forget to include storage space and shelves, two items that are often overlooked. Once you have your new bathroom design you will feel like you have a whole new home, so start searching now for the best designs available, and enjoy a beautiful, usable bathroom that will be the envy of your friends.

5:54:00 AM

Gardening Tip to Make Your Neighbours Look Over the Fence (And Be Green with Envy!)

Maintaining your garden to a high standard so that it gathers admiring glances from all quarters is high on the list of serious gardeners. Take a look at these gardening hacks from Rattan Direct and make your neighbours green with envy at your gardening prowess.

#1 Know your garden, the soil and the climate

Cacti survive in arid desserts for a reason, which is why having them in a garden in a wet and windy corner of the UK will not see cacti thrive.

Knowing your patch of soil, whether it is acidic or alkaline and how you can change this, as well as making the most of the climate will help in deciding the best plants to buy and plant, as well as the best spaces in your garden for these plants to flourish. 

Camellias, for example, prefer a north-facing wall in a court yard and an acid soil, so there is no point planting them in water-logged, alkaline soil with continuous cold draughts irritating their tender stems.

#2 Water

Water is not a sustainable resource - cue downpours that last says, with flooding and horror stories, and yet we are told there is not enough of the wet stuff.

But, one of the key elements that turns drooping pansies into a flowery mass of colour is water. Whilst your neighbour’s lawn and borders become ever more parched during a drought, you can carry on watering your luscious blooms because you have water butts catching rain from all your down pipes. 

#3 Remove pesky weeds as soon as they dare pop their heads above the soil

They are a nuisance. They are everywhere. One minute, they are a tiny head, just popping above the soil surface and the next, it is running rampant across flower beds, anywhere where they can get enough of a foothold with their shallow roots. Weeds are not a gardener’s friend.
But this is the good news: it takes only a few minutes to whip these pesky weeds out of your soil before they get chance to not only become established, but turn to seed and spread them across your entire garden.

#4 Complimentary accessories

We are used to thinking of our gardens as place to be admired – from the house. We look out, admire the dancing blooms in the summer breeze and yet, we spend little time actually enjoying the fruits of your gardening labours.

This is because we don’t make it comfortable for us to enjoy. And when we do, we move back into the house as soon as daylight fades and the temperature drops. 

Make your neighbours green with envy with not only beautiful plants, but fantastic accessories;

·         Garden seating – from a practical garden bench to functional outside sofas, there are all kinds of options when it comes to garden furniture that suit all tastes and budgets.

·         Rugs, throws and cushions – ramp up the style and add splashes of fantastic colour with rugs, throws and cushions made from special material for the outdoors that don’t fade, shrink or spoil in the occasional rain shower or bright, bleaching sunshine.

·        Lighting – solar lighting has come on leaps and bounds since the first dim, last-no-more-than-30-minutes solar powered fairy lights from decades ago. There are all kinds of solar lights that make for a bright, romantic garden when the sun drops.

·         Fire pit – want to enjoy the night time garden with its scents and rustling wildlife but don’t like the cold? The fire pit is the perfect addition. Watch the flames dance and out of the corner of your eye, note the admiration in the eyes of your neighbours…

·         Water – gentle running water caresses the soul. After a busy day at the office, talk a walk in the garden and sit by your water feature, enjoying its soothing tones. Build a full-scale pond and welcome a whole new raft of wildlife in your garden or have a water feature, with water trickling down playing its soul-soothing tune.

#5 Plant in pots

Planting in pots is the perfect way to add colour, form and texture to a garden, softening corners and adding interest.

Keep garden pots of similar colours and shades to get a coherent colour palette running through the garden. Take time to consider the plants you will use in these pots too. Potted plants will need a little more attention, including a daily water – twice daily if the summer is hot – and bedding plants should be regularly dead headed to keep them putting their energy into flowering and not making seeds.

Rattan Direct have a range of garden accessories and furniture, perfect for dressing your garden and accentuating its glorious plants and design.


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