Blog

Blog, Vows and Venues Bridal Magazine, North West Bridal Magazine, North East Bridal Magazine, Yorkshire Bridal Magazine, Midlands Bridal Magazine

OXO kitchen products review

OXO kitchen products review - reusable lids

Here, our editor Victoria Galligan tests products from the OXO kitchen range…

For some help in the kitchen and to make your life easier, try the product range from OXO who have come up with some handy gadgets to take the stress out of preparing and storing food. 

From vegetable peelers to corn on the cob holders (how difficult is that task normally?!) there are a range of goodies in the new OXO catalogue which you’ll want in your kitchen ASAP.

Punctual Egg Timer With Piercer (£20)

 

Electrocuting Themselves, Breaking Doors And Drilling Through Water Pipes: Britons’ Worst DIY Mistakes

Worst DIY mistakes

New research undertaken in the UK has found the most common worst DIY mistakes made by Britons, such as electrocuting themselves and breaking doors & door frames. What’s more, one-third of British homeowners admitted to having had to visit A&E due to attempting jobs around the house themselves that went wrong.

The team at professional service marketplace www.bidvine.com polled over 2,200 British home-owners, all of whom were over the age of 18, to find out more about attitudes towards DIY in the UK.

8 Ways on how to Keep Your House Cool During This Week’s Heatwave

how to keep your house cool

The UK is famously underprepared when it comes to hot weather, and another heatwave is with us this week. Being sweaty and sticky during a sweltering heatwave is nobody’s idea of fun, and it is particularly worse when it is in your own home. In order to make sure that you’re prepared, the team at interiors specialist www.Hillarys.co.uk have put some tips together how to keep your house cool this week:

TOGTIPS – expert advice on choosing the right duvet

Choosing the right duvet

Now that the warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to think about changing your bedding and choosing the right duvet.

An adult can lose up to a litre of sweat in one night and the thicker winter duvets that you enjoy in the colder months provide a completely different experience to lighter summer duvets. 

If you need help choosing the right filling, cover or Tog for the season, Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director at Silentnight, provides 10 ‘TogTips’ to help choosing the right duvet a bit easier.

1) Know what a Tog is.

When moving into a new home a new carpet is often high on the agenda

New carpet

When moving into a new home, we tend to make a mental checklist of things we are going to address straight away, such as changing the kitchen and painting the walls. A new carpet is often high on this list.
A recent survey by United Carpets and Beds, however, has revealed that over 86% of the public keep the previous owner’s carpet when moving into a new home. Despite the initial desire to fit new carpets, the job often gets pushed down the list as the assumption is that this will be an expensive purchase. As we can generally ‘make do’ with a less than ideal carpet, other jobs get prioritised which are bigger or need completing as soon as possible. 

How to ensure your garden stays well-presented all year round

Garden care – snapdragons

Britain’s radically changing seasons can cause chaos to your outdoor space. In the summer, gardens can fall foul to too much sunshine, while frost causes issues in the winter, meaning it’s hard to keep your garden looking in top condition throughout the year. Here, with suppliers of garden equipment, Dobies, we will take a look at the plants which are best suited to the varying seasons and how you can keep your patch looking top notch.

Philips Hue Wireless Lighting - Review - Homefocus

Philips Hue lighting - four colours

Editor Victoria Galligan tried out the Philips Hue smart lighting system – read her review to find out why she’ll never go back to boring bulbs…

Philips Hue White and Colour Ambience Wireless Lighting - £169.99 

The lighting revolution is here – and it’s rainbow-coloured

When I was asked to review the Philips Hue smart lightbulbs I was quite pleased as I had just bought two new lamps for my living room. Plus, I was often being berated by family members for leaving the lights on all day. However, I wasn’t sure how something as simple as changing the lightbulbs would enhance my home lighting experience. Well, I was about to find out…

The eco-friendly devices every home needs

The eco-friendly devices every home needs - plastic rubbish for recycling

Aldous Hicks, CEO and Co-founder of ReCircle Recycling Ltd, discusses some of the top eco-friendly devices every home will have within the next 10 years…

We have a major problem with our recycling at the moment. 5.25 TRILLION plastic items have ended up in the sea and we continue to add to this. In addition, 50% of what we put into recycling bins isn’t recycled.

Part of the problem is that so much of our plastic waste is contaminated and cannot be recycled. This is no surprise as people, even when they want to recycle and try hard to get it right, find the whole process very confusing.  What we need is to do is make the process easier and take, for example plastic, and recycle it into a pure product that can be reused.

Neos Smart Cam review: Keeping an eye on your new home with smart CCTV

Neos Smart Cam CCTV - the camera

Editor Victoria Galligan reviews the Neos SmartCam, an affordable CCTV gadget which can provide you with real peace of mind in your new home.

If you’re planning on buying your first home, or a new home, then understandably you’re going to worry about it when you’re not there. 

However, a full CCTV system can be expensive and may not be an option if budgets are tight. So I checked out one of the cheaper CCTV products on the market, which is an ideal starter product for your home security needs.

A great little gadget which sits indoors, the Neos SmartCam has a magnet and adjustable stand – it needs to be plugged in, so bear this in mind when you consider a suitable location. The higher the better, to avoid being tampered with.

What to do if you encounter one of these 4 common boiler problems

boiler problems - a radiator

Boilers are essential to heat our homes, but sometimes things can go wrong. Jacqueline Gallazzi-Ritchie, Director of All England Gas, told us what to do if we encounter some of the most common boiler problems. 

Buying your first home is exciting, but knowing how everything works can be daunting, and it’s even worse when something fails. We rely on our boilers to heat our homes and water, but do you know what to do when things go wrong? I’ll be giving you my expert advice on how you can deal with the most common boiler problems.

Homeowners waste over £100 on help for small DIY jobs

woman doing small DIY jobs

●     Two thirds (66%) of young homeowners (18-34 year olds) are planning a home improvement project this year

●     Three quarters (75%) don’t feel confident enough to put up curtain poles, blinds and light fixtures themselves

●     Younger homeowners are spending over £100 on getting a professional for a small DIY job they could do themselves

 

Younger homeowners are wasting over £100 on professionals for each small DIY jobs that they could do themselves.

Two thirds (66%) of 18-34-year-old homeowners are planning on completing a home improvement project this year, but new research has revealed the significant sums of money they are wasting by getting a professional in to do minor jobs.

Staircasing explained: moving up to 100% ownership of  your home

staircasing on shared ownership - wooden stairs

Victoria Galligan, Editor of Homefocus magazine, explains the term staircasing and how it means you can own ALL of your own home via shared ownership…

It’s understandable that the term “shared ownership” can make people wary at first – if you don’t own 100% of your property, it’s natural to wonder about the possibilities and have questions about what happens if your situation changes. 

Shared Ownership offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a percentage share of a property (between 25% and 75% of the home’s full market value) paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share. 

BBQ safety – an expert guide

BBQ safety – men at the grill in a garden

It's true: there’s nothing quite like dining under the warmth of the sun, in the great outdoors. It’s not surprising then that, when the weather is right, many of us jump at the chance to fire up the BBQ at every available opportunity – and if we have a heatwave like last summer then chances are you'll be doing this a lot this summer. BBQs can be a great excuse to bring friends and family together, but they can also be fraught with potential health hazards. Whether it’s ensuring food is cooked thoroughly and at the right temperature, or keeping people at a safe distance from the heat of the grill, it’s important to stay aware of BBQ safety so that everyone can relax and enjoy without risk of injury.

3 simple garden makeover tips

A gas BBQ is a great addition to any garden makeover

The rise of entertaining at home is apparent in the UK. Therefore, there’s a need to keep your garden space clean and tidy at all times. Admittedly, we aren’t all experts and we can often neglect our spaces during the colder months. In fact, the British public are wasting up to £672 million each year as we don’t know how to best look after our garden space. Here, with plenty of time to make sure you have your space in the best condition for the warmer climes, we look at how best to approach a garden makeover.

Creating the perfect reading corner with Oak Furnitureland

Oak Furnitureland bookshelf

There’s no better pleasure than curling up with a good book and getting lost in a fictional world – no matter how old you are! Here, Oak Furnitureland is sharing its top tips on how to create the perfect cosy reading nook within your home.

1. A statement bookcase is an obvious place to start. Somewhere to not only store and display your book collection, but somewhere that also inspires and relaxes you. Choose a shape, colour and style that you like and complements your home and the room it’s in. 

2. Tall bookshelves also work well to section a room up. If you don’t have much space or a separate room you can dedicate to reading, place a bookshelf sideways into the room to create the ideal room divider for some privacy. 

The rise of home entertaining

Home entertaining - a drinks table in a garden

We love to socialise in the UK. A good old-fashioned chinwag is something we love to partake in. However, we have been moving away from socialising in public in ​favour of bringing the party to our homes. In 2001, reports found that just over half of the UK’s adults would prefer friends come over to their house to socialise rather than head to a pub or restaurant. This figure had substantially risen to 75% by 2017. And with two pubs on average closing each day in Britain, the rise of home entertaining is clearly having an effect. 

But, what is so appealing about home entertaining? 

Winter is coming! Seven simple tips to winter-proof your home and save money

Seven simple tips to proof your home for winter

The last British winter was one of the coldest on record. With the days now getting shorter and the nights getting colder, Hitachi Personal Finance has put together a list of seven simple tips which means you can protect and prepare your home for winter, saving money while you’re at it.

Insulate your home

HOMEBUILDER OFFERS TOP TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE WHILE MOVING HOME WITH CHILDREN OVER CHRISTMAS

David Wilson Homes Toddler Tip 5 - Get used to your surroundings

Leading housebuilder David Wilson Homes is offering Northamptonshire homebuyers its five top tips for moving home safely with young children over the festive period.

With a range of properties across the county that will be ready to move in before the big day, the developer wants to ensure people have a hassle-free move and keep their children safe. 

Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said:

Barratt Homes Donation Helps Pupils Reflect On Walk To School Month

Children wearing Barratt Homes vests

Pupils at Wixams Tree Primary School have received a donation of hi-vis vests from Barratt Homes to help them remain safe and seen as part of Walk to School Month.

Barratt Homes Northampton has given the school 35 of the safety jackets for their pupils to wear whilst walking to and from school, ensuring they can be easily seen on the roads as the darker nights draw in.

Walk to School Month runs for the duration of October and encourages pupils to celebrate the journey to school on foot.

The homebuilder’s development Willow Grove is located close to Wixams Tree Primary School and the donation of hi-vis vests is a part of Barratt Homes’ commitment to the education facility.

Why property is booming outside of London

London

For better or worse, when people think of the UK property market, they think of London. It’s not hard to see why: it’s the most connected, most expensive, and most affluent part of the country.

Indeed, if you’re a homebuyer, London might seem out of reach. But there’s so much more to the UK market than London – and, per the latest figures, its house prices are falling in real terms, as Manchester, Leicester, and Liverpool grew by more than six percent annually.

Calling all budding explorers

Redrow Homes South Midlands

A housebuilder, Redrow Homes South Midlands, has come up with a novel way to keep the children entertained this summer.

Redrow Homes South Midlands is inviting budding adventurers to explore the gardens at a number of its showhomes throughout August in an exciting wildlife hunt.

Every adventurer will be provided with their very own ‘Explorer Pack’, which includes a nature tick list and a special pair of binoculars.

Tonia Tyler, sales director for Redrow Homes (South Midlands), said: The nature discovery hunt

How to be more energy efficient at home

Be energy efficient with E.On

by Mike Feely, Green Guru at E.ON

During Britain’s hottest summer in four decades, thoughts about energy efficiency may seem like a distant memory. However, as winter draws nearer and the weather gets cooler, the topic of energy usage at home inevitably starts to creep back into our minds.

Recent research by E.ON found that Brits don’t feel confident when it comes to energy related tasks at home. There are some easy things you can start doing now to get yourself prepped and ready before the fresher nights set in. Whether you’re buying a Victorian terrace or a new build, there are simple changes we can all make to be more energy efficient. 

Simple swaps to go green