General

General home improvement and maintenance advice, along with interesting thought pieces.

Would You Hang An Animal Trophy On Your Wall? Maybe, With This Twist...

Holger Hoffmann with one of his Paper Trophies

I was browsing around Indiegogo today when I discovered one of the more interesting decorating ideas I've seen in a long time: PaperTrophy as the artist, Holger Hoffmann, calls his concept.

Holger has taken inspiration from old fashion trophy animals that people used to kill and mount on walls or stands, to produce a much more humane, and to my way of thinking, far more appealing version for the 21st century. As Holger says, "Don't shoot them - glue them!"

Home Improvement Tips from a Minimalist

Home Improvement Tips from a Minimalist

Last year, April 2014 to be exact, my wife and I decided to go minimalist. Obviously, anyone can decide to be a minimalist in a blink of an eye, but actually living a minimalist lifestyle takes time. Having said that, I can say that we are still on the early stages of being full-pledge minimalists. Nevertheless, the important thing is that we have started, and I am here to share with you some of the things we have learned and applied in our lives, particularly in terms of home improvement. Now, the first thing you need to understand about minimalism is that it’s more than just a philosophy – it’s a lifestyle. If you are to improve your home with minimalist principles in mind, you need to first have a change of mind. Another important thing to remember is that minimalism does not equal to emptiness. It does not necessarily mean that you have to empty your home. On the other hand, it means less clutter, which leads to simplicity and elegance. Without further ado, here are some minimalist home improvement tips you can put into practice this 2015.

Oak vs Pine for Furniture

Oak vs Pine for Furniture

The question of whether it's best to buy Oak furniture rather than pine comes up time and again. The standard response of many people is simply to say that Oak is better and that's the one you should chose - some people like Sally Stacey use oak everywhere around the home, but I don't think it's a simple as that so let's take a further look.

Beat the Heat: 15 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Cool Your Home

15 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Cool Your Home

When the hot sun’s beating down on you and the air’s humid and sticky, there’s nothing that appeals more than a long dip in the pool or staying indoors with your air conditioner set at the coolest possible temperature.

However, unless you’re prepared to let your energy bills blow right through the roof, you need to be clever and creative about keeping your home comfortable in the heat. There are a number of cooling solutions you can adapt both indoors and outdoors. Some may involve much-needed home improvements for which you’ll need to shell out some serious cash, while some may be simple solutions that’ll cost you nothing at all.

Storage Shed vs Self Storage Facility When Renovating

Shed vs Self Storage

A little while ago I received a question from Dave P. who lives in Ipswich, England and in the process of answering his question I realized this would make a good topic to talk about on Totally Home Improvement. The question was whether he and his wife should buy a storage shed or rent a self storage unit to store their belongings while they renovate their 50+ year old semi detached house.

I must admit that I hadn't really thought about this before, which meant that I had to do quite a bit of digging into the topic - I hope some of you find this analysis helpful if you're currently facing the same same issue yourself.

The Pros and Cons of Technology's March into our Homes

technology in homes

Active and passive technology is now being woven into the very fabric of our homes, bringing with it many advantages.

This progress is taking us well beyond robot vacuum cleaners and thermostats we can talk with, and it may be happening faster than we realize. Given that today is Halloween, I felt it would be an appropriate time to look at not only the benefits, but also some of the slightly scarier implications of all this.

Home Improvements in Remote Locations - Be Prepared

Remote Property

My brother Daniel lives in the countryside in Queensland, Australia. The picture on the left is now a bit out of date, but it gives you a good idea of the surroundings.

It's 40 acres of tree covered land. It starts at the top of the hill where the picture is taken from - goes down through a valley which turns into a river during the rainy season - and goes all the way up to the hill on the other side.

He's invited me to come and spend some time there this Christmas like I did last year - it's a long way to travel, but it's certainly a welcome change of pace, so I'll probably do it again this year.

Modern Vs Retro Ceiling Lights

Modern Retro Rustic Lighting

My brother and I were watching one of those reality TV home improvement shows when a couple competing to see who could do the best remodel had to decide on the type of lighting they were going to select. They were arguing over whether they should go with a modern contemporary style or more of a retro look in the living room.

This started a discussion between myself and my brother about what really constitutes the difference between modern and retro, after-all there are many 'modern' styles which are revamped from previous eras, and even contemporary designs which borrow from times long ago.

The Versatility of Frameless Glass Sliding Doors

Frameless Glass Sliding Doors

I recently wrote a piece about fixing glass sliding doors, and while I was surfing the web looking for pictures I came across some wonderful photographs of the Frameless variety - I bookmarked some of the ones that impressed me so I could share them with you now.

I've never lived in a home which has had them, but after looking at some of these pictures I really grew to like them - I think I'm developing 'frameless' envy :)

How To Store Timber

Storing Timber

When you are storing a natural material, such as timber, it is really important to make sure it is stored properly; otherwise you will find it quickly ruins and is no longer suitable for purpose.

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