Home Luxury On A Budget!

home luxury

We all want to be able to turn our homes into a comfortable and luxurious space. After all, who wants to get home from a hard day at work to a sterile and boring space that doesn’t let them relax at all? However, the big issue that a lot of people end up running into is that they simply don’t have the budget to fill their home with the kinds of luxury items that they really want. So does that mean that if you don’t have the cash to spend, then you can’t get the most out of your home? Of course not! It’s just that you need to be willing to get smart about it. Here are a few simple ways that you can get some home luxury on a budget.

Go second hand

One of the most common reasons that a lot of people feel as though they can’t afford a sense of luxury or comfort in their home is that they’re constantly looking at brand new items which are often incredibly expensive. Instead, you should be looking at places that sell furniture second hand. Everything from desks to rugs to decorations can be found at incredibly low prices if you know where to look. Places like charity shops, reclamation yards, and sites like Gumtree are fantastic for helping you find things that you might otherwise never be able to afford.

Keep an eye out for the sales

This is particularly useful when it comes to large pieces of furniture like sofas and beds. After all, you don’t really want a sofa or bed that has been used for years and is no longer comfortable. If you keep an eye out for sales, then you can often find amazing deals on furniture that you might not ever consider being able to afford. Check out this designer chesterfield sofa sale for an example of the kind of luxury that you can get at a massively reduced price. Sure, these kinds of items might still be on the pricier end of the scale, but large pieces of furniture last for such a long time that they often end up being well worth the investment.   

DIY!

Of course, if you’re feeling really creative then why not get into the DIY spirit. Thanks to the internet, the information you need on how to make just about anything is right at your fingertips. Why not find some simple DIY projects and give them a try. Making things yourself is not only far cheaper than buying them, but it also helps to bring something unique to your home since there’s no way that anyone else is going to have the same thing in theirs. Whether it’s something big like a coffee table or simple little decorations, filling your home with things that you’ve made is often incredibly satisfying.

No matter what kind of style you want in your home, there are always going to be ways in which you can make that happen, no matter how much you have to spend. It’s just a matter of getting a little bit creative with how you do it.

 

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Give Your Children a Birthday to Remember

Every parent knows the struggle of making your child’s birthday party a day to remember, whether it’s affording expensive presents or thinking of memorable activities for your child and their friends. If you can’t afford expensive days out or are finding it difficult to plan something your child will enjoy, check out the tips below to give you inspiration of .

birthday

Exciting Day in the Sun

If you’re looking for something that not only your young ones but the whole family can enjoy and the weather is looking good, a barbeque, partnered with a water slide, is the perfect option for you. If you’ve ever been bored at a children’s party, a waterslide is the way to go. As you and the other parents relax and catch up with a delicious barbeque, the children can burn off all their excitement and energy – perfect for bedtime! If you don’t own a waterslide and don’t want to commit to buying one, don’t worry. There are plenty of water slide rentals that come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits you. This is the perfect way to enjoy the sun, eat delicious food, and give your child a memorable birthday all in one, just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Let Them Meet Their Heroes

If an outdoor party isn’t what you imagined, then you can’t go wrong with a princess or superhero party. Easy to organize indoors, this party is perfect as the children will love dressing up as their favorite heroes and heroines and playing together as their role models, getting lost in their own imaginations. Decorating your home with a superhero or princess décor is easy, with plenty of paper plates and cups available at local supermarkets at cheap prices, as well as simple DIY ideas. Take the party one step further by hiring a children’s entertainer to play the role of their favorite character. Your children will love this as they not only get to be their role models but they’ll get to meet them too; an experience they will remember for years to come.

See Exotic Animals

If staying at home isn’t an option for you, then a day out to the zoo is an exciting and family fun idea for a memorable birthday surprise. Not only fun but also educational, as a trip to the zoo will allow your developing children to learn about new animals they have never seen in person, as well as letting them interact with smaller animals at the petting zoo. If you have some money to spare, check with your local zoo to see if there are any birthday party options or packages. These often include feeding animals, face painting, entertainment, and catering. This idea is good for a range of ages, as parties are often customizable, allowing you to make the day interesting for all ages, be careful though, some large animals can be scary to younger children.

Deciding on how to make your little one’s day special can be a difficult choice. These ideas all vary in price, location, and theme, so choose carefully. However, are all guaranteed to give your child the birthday party they deserve.

 

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How to Create the Perfect Baseball Themed Room for Your Young Athlete

Has the time come to update your child’s room into something a bit more grown up? Perhaps you’ve still got the toddler and baby décor happening when in reality it should have come down years ago. A great place to start is by picking a theme that appeals them and will work for many years to come. If you happen to have a young athlete with a love of baseball, a baseball-themed room could be the perfect route to take.

baseball themed room
Image source: http://pin.it/JIrWlGy

Here are some decorating tips and tricks you can use to create that perfect baseball-themed room.

Do They Have a Favorite Player?

Before you get started in picking paint colors and grabbing décor items, you may want to begin with a little brainstorming. Does your young athlete have a favorite professional baseball player? If so you may want to do a little research on that player so you can incorporate some of the stats in the design décor.

For example, maybe your child loves famed superstar Nolan Ryan. The Nolan Ryan career trajectory is one that spans many decades with all kinds of incredible moments. Some of these moments could be used in the design of the room, such as framing baseball cards, printing out stats, and even looking for posters of Ryan.

Pick a Color Palette

The next step is to pick a color palette you want to work with. Typically, the most popular wall colors tend to be soft greys with a blue undertone, various shades of blue, or even bright Kelly green meant to signify the Astroturf of the field. Once you’ve chosen the wall color you can then use other colors from the palette for décor pieces such as the bedding, cushions, wall hangings, lamps, etc.

Check Out the Baseball Themed Decals

While you can certainly go all out and paint a mural on the wall, this can prove to be very time-consuming, expensive, and it’s permanent. Decals can be placed anywhere in the room within seconds, can be moved around anytime, and they can be changed out when you child grows bored of them. It allows for more versatility with the overall design.

If your child is still young they may like a certain type of decal right now and then as they get older you can either get rid of the decals altogether or look for something a bit more grown up.

Create a Display or Focal Point

Another fun project is to create a display or focal point that revolves around baseball. Your child may have a collection of their favorite baseball caps, jerseys, bats, trophies they have won, and even baseballs. You can look for creative ways to use shelving, netting, baskets, and cubbies to display their prized items.

A baseball-themed room gives you a lot of leeway in terms of creative opportunities. There is a lot you can do with a baseball theme and you’ll find that the internet is a fabulous source of ideas and inspiration.

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5 Ways To Afford The Home Improvement You Need

Your home never stays still. Whether it’s time start heavy maintenance works, such as changing the roof, or whether you need to babyproof your property, every home needs home improvement. The problem with home improvement is that while it’s a great way to increase the value of your property, it can be quite tricky to find the necessary funding. In fact, unless you’re an avid DIY-er with a keen eye for home projects, it’s best to always pay for professional work. There are 5 easy ways to pay for home improvement.

Home Improvement
Image credit: Jamie – https://flic.kr/p/9PHzgt

1. Use your savings

If you have the cash to hand, the best thing you could do is to invest it in your home. With the right improvements, you can increase the value of your property exponentially. According to momentum.co.za, investing regularly means that you can afford the lifestyle you want, from home extension to care-free retirement. Using a tailored saving portfolio also means that you can plan your budget, increase your interest return and have access to cash when and where you need it. So if the improvement you’re planning is not urgent, why not save for it first?

2. Use your home

If you’re planning on heavy home improvements, it might be worth checking with homeequitylineof.credit if you can borrow against the owned value of your property. However, there is no guarantee that the funds will come at the same rate than your mortgage, so you need to check the conditions and the time period too carefully.

 home improvement

3. Get a personal loan

If you’re planning major improvements – we’re talking a loft conversion or home extension –, then it’s likely that you will be spending at least 1/10th of your home value. Consequently, a personal loan might just be the way to do it. However, you need to research the different loan options carefully, and especially to calculate your repayment period if you’ve got other loans to repay too. For instance, some low APR loans need to be repaid quickly, which can be difficult for some families.

4. Put it on a 0% purchase credit card

Some credit cards, such as the American Express Platinum card, offer a 0% interest period for up to 18 months before introducing a representative APR. For small to medium improvement works, you can use the credit card and gradually clear the cost during the 0% period. Besides, paying with a credit card means that you can claim the money back from your card provider in case of problems, such as faulty work for instance.  

5. Pick interest-free purchases with cashback value

If you’re keen to clear your credit card debt as soon as possible, you might want to be looking for a card that offers an introductory 0% interest period and an advantageous cashback on all purchases. In other words, you can spread the cost of your home improvement, and you can also get money back on it. It’s a win-win for small projects!

From using your savings to borrowing, via letting the house raise money for its own improvements, there are many ways to make your home a better place. But all home improvements start in the same way: Planning and budgeting first, only then can you decide on how to raise funds.

 

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Essential Travel Tips for St Martin

St Martin is split between St Martin (French) and St Maarten (Dutch) offering an eclectic combination of European and Caribbean cultures. Dream vacations don’t always go to plan so follow these tips to make sure your vacation to the Friendly Island is perfect.

St Martin

Get an Awesome Place to Stay:

What could be better than waking up and seeing the ocean from your bedroom window? Tourists have the choice between luxury St Martin vacation home rentals and resorts. Do your homework and choose a nice place to stay with an even better view. If this is a dream vacation, make sure you stay somewhere perfect.

Rent a Car:

When arriving at the airport, get yourself a car. Driving is the fastest and most convenient way of seeing the island on your own terms. Several companies will try to give you extra things, but you don’t need anything apart from the vehicle itself. The roads are relatively clear and driving is a pleasure on both parts of St Martin. Clear road signs and efficient maps help tourists get around without any problems.

Avoiding Theft:

Compared to other destinations in the Caribbean, St Martins is a safe island. But this doesn’t stop opportunistic thieves from operating on unsuspecting tourists. Car theft isn’t unheard of along the beach, which can lead to a miserable experience. And then there are the extra fees you may need to pay at the rental company to repair the damage. The solution is easy. Don’t leave anything inside the car and keep the windows down on a clear day. Potential thieves won’t even look twice at the car as you’re showing that nothing valuable is inside.

Avoid the Tourists:

St Martin has always been a typical stop on cruise ships around the Caribbean. Vast numbers of liners and ships pull up in Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St Maarten, and hordes of passengers disembark. Front Street and the Boardwalk are their first calling point, which makes it very crowded during the daytime. This area is worth visiting to enjoy the sites and duty-free shopping. But, don’t spend too much time here as there are other much better places. And it’s advisable to avoid the area after nightfall when a few dodgy characters come out.

Explore Both Sides of the Island:

The Dutch Side attracts visitors looking for a touristy experience. St Martin on the French Side has a more natural, laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can freely pass between the two administrative regions without needing to show their passport or face other bureaucratic complications. And both have something different and unique to offer tourists. The island itself is small (87km2) making it easy to get around. Take advantage and explore the island. However, the signs are in different languages and calling someone from one side to the other is actually an international call!

Spending Money:

Tourists tend to rely on their credit cards more often when they take a vacation. St Martin is no different. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter problems with the card machine in shops and restaurants for one reason or another. If you’re carrying a limited amount of cash, it’s advisable to check with the restaurant before you order to make sure your credit card will work. Another point worth mentioning is that some of the receipts may have the entire card’s number rather than blanking sections out. Make sure you check before throwing it away.

Tipping Etiquette:

Check your receipts carefully after ordering a meal as some will include an additional 15% tax or service charge. Some places add this whereas others don’t. Unsuspecting tourists who don’t check their bills end up paying the service fee and an additional tip. St Martin is an expensive island to visit and leaving an extra can equal 30% of the total cost of the bill. It’s entirely up to you and more research is needed on your behalf. But, wouldn’t you rather spend the extra money taking a day trip to Prickly Peak or renting snorkelling equipment?

Drinking Water:

The tap water is safe to drink in St Martin. Locals drink from the tap and many tourists do too. Bottled water is expensive on the island, especially when you’re eating at a restaurant. If you ask for water, specify that you want tap water (free of charge) rather than a small bottle that costs several dollars. The feeling of paying for something, albeit at a low cost, when you can get it for free isn’t ideal for a perfect vacation.

Take a Day Trip to One of the Islands:

St Martin is surrounded by a number of smaller islands, which make for a good day trip. Some have an active infrastructure for tourists whereas others are completely unpopulated and have quiet, secluded beaches. Popular trips are to Saba, St Barths, and Prickly Pear. The first two have a number of restaurants, bars, and lodging whereas Prickly Pear is completely uninhabited. Activities on the islands include snorkelling in the reefs, sunbathing, and water sports.

If you want to travel a little further afield, take the ferry and visit Anguilla. This British Overseas Territory offers a different vibe and experience to St Martin. Regular ferries depart every day between Marigot and Anguilla every 20 minutes or so from 7.30 am until 7 pm. Remember to bring your passport.

Trip of a Lifetime:

St Martin makes for a great and diverse travel destination, but unsuspecting tourists can get caught out. Follow our tips and avoid the mishaps to make sure your perfect vacation stays perfect.

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