Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Yard in 2020

The yard is one of the most important parts of your property that determines how much your home stands out in the neighborhood. When it comes to caring for the house, the yard is an integral part of the setting that is the first impression that you make on your guests and influences your property value. If you’re on a budget but want to get creative with the space, there are a few inexpensive landscaping ideas to consider to beautify your yard to ensure that you can show it off.  


Add Clusters of Planters  

If you want to make a statement that draws attention to a specific area of the yard, consider adding a cluster of planters for increased visual interest. The flowers or plants can be grouped based on their color shade, type, or height to ensure that the arrangements are both beautiful and eye-catching. You can also make the foliage look like it’s spilling out of the planter to ensure that it looks natural with how it’s on display in the yard.  


Use Perennials  

When you don’t want to spend a lot of money on beautiful flowers to plant in your yard, opt for purchasing perennials, which are colorful and will add extra drama to exterior of your property. Although the perennials may be considered an investment for some people due to their price tag, they last longer than other types of plants and can become a permanent fixture in your yard or garden throughout the year.  


Plant Plenty of Trees  

One of the best ways to beautify your yard is to plant plenty of trees, which will create a lush setting where plenty of shade is present. Consider lining the yard with trees, which will frame the space and keep it enclosed for added privacy. You can also hire a company like Tree Survey to add trees to walkways or areas of high traffic to draw more attention to specific areas that lead up to the house or the backyard.  

Create a Flower Bed Border  

Adding a stone edge to your flower bed will frame the garden and can prevent it from blending in with the rest of the yard. A flower bed border will create a finished look that separates the flower bed from the rest of the garden. Using stones for the border is an easy and affordable way to create the beautiful feature without having to hire professionals to perform the project.  


Install a DIY Water Feature  

Water features are common in yards because they add an upscale touch that incorporates added visual appeal to the space. Instead of investing in an expensive water fountain or pond, opt for making your own water feature with the use of an old whiskey barrel and an iron teapot for a fountain waterfall that is tranquil and inviting. You can place the water feature in the middle of the yard or in the flower bed to beautify the setting. 


The Benefits of Garage Door Servicing and Maintenance

As a cornerstone of security, convenience and beauty of your home, garage doors need a little TLC to keep them performing well and looking great. Regular maintenance and servicing is the key to restoring the quality of your garage door and avoiding any problems down the line. This article was written by Doormatic Garage Doors, experts in both installing new doors and providing garage door maintenance services across London, Surrey, Kent and the South East of England.

Is garage door servicing worth it?

The sure answer is, yes! Looking after a valuable element of your property will always be advantageous for its longevity, quality and performance. The benefits of garage and maintenance include:


Ensuring that simple and regular maintenance tasks are carried out on your door a few times a year is much cheaper than needing to replace an entire garage door, should faults be neglected. A bi-annual servicing by a professional is recommended, along with regular visual checks performed by you, the owner, on a regular basis.  

Enhances the Safety of Your Family and Vehicle

Garage doors are heavy machines with lots of mechanical components keeping them operational. Should a door malfunction at the wrong moment, it has the potential to injure nearby people and animals, as well as your vehicle. Regular maintenance and checks can reduce the likelihood of malfunctions occurring.

Protects the Security of Your Property

A main function of garage doors is to act as a strong, reliable barrier between the contents of your garage and potential thieves. That’s why you should try not to allow weak spots and potential entry points to go unnoticed, and make sure you catch problems early to avoid break-in risks.

Avoids DIY and Amateur Mistakes

There is no harm in performing occasional visual checks of your garage door to try and spot issues, but correction of real issues should always be undertaken by a professional – even the most technically-adept DIY enthusiast may worsen the problem, or risk injury to themselves, in an attempt to fix the door.

Warning signs you garage door may need servicing

Is your garage door making a bizarre sound? Perhaps it is a little stiffer, looser or slower than normal? While these signs could see minor, they should never be ignored as they may be signs of garage door deterioration or damage, which could eventually transform into an unsafe situation. Surefire signs that you may need the assistance of a garage door specialist include:

  • Unusual noises
  • Door closes too quickly or too slowly
  • Door will not close completely
  • Door will not stay open
  • The outside has cracks or gaps in door

Contact a reliable local company who can inform you of what’s involved in a garage door service, and how they can help diagnose, maintain and repair your garage door.


Sails vs Blinds [Infographic]

Choosing a shading solution for your conservatory is a key decision that will enhance the comfort, usability and beauty of your space. While conservatory blinds are the traditional choice, conservatory sails are a cutting-edge alternative that offers so much more. But what are the differences between the two choices?

Home improvement

Top 10 lockdown home improvements

Forget about COVID-19 and focus on these top 10 tips for staying active around the home and to improve it

  1. Paint your walls that need touching up
  2. Dig up old plants / trees in the garden that you don’t want to
  3. Clean your toilets and bathrooms
  4. Create a home gym space
  5. De-clutter the garage / loft / attic
  6. Go through all of your home items and bag anything you don’t need for charity (Clothes / Toys / etc.)
  7. Re-paint your front doors (or any door)
  8. Weed your garden beds
  9. Put up some shelves
  10. Update your kitchen storage

How to renovate your home without the hefty bill

Everybody knows the mantra ‘there’s no place like home’ which is exactly why it is important to love the surroundings you are in. After all, if you are spending hours of your life in your house, you want it to convey a homey feel so your family and friends can come over to visit and feel welcome.

After living in the same house for so long, you can soon get sick of the sight of the same four walls. However, when thinking about redecorating, you may not have enough cash in the bank to foot the hefty bill to pay for labourers and materials. Fortunately, there is a secret to renovating your home without having to pay a fortune and that is – keeping it plain and simple.

For starters, opt for neutral colours such as white, beige and black. These shades will act as a base and will allow you to change up the décor each season by swapping the colour of your accessories from red in winter to lime green in the spring.

If you choose to paint your walls, you will be able to cut out the professional labours by doing it yourself. By painting your walls in a neutral shade, you will be able to hang up pictures or canvases to portray your personality or the mood of the room. For example, the living room walls could be decorated with sport canvas prints as it is where all of the entertainment happens.

As for your floor, you could ask a friend or family member who has expertise in flooring but can help you out for a smaller fee than what qualified labourers would charge. Again, keep your flooring simple by choosing wooden laminate or a neutral coloured carpet so it does not conflict with any of your other décor choices when you decide to vary your accessories throughout the year. This should help to save you money as you will only have to replace your interior accessories to make an impact on the look of the rooms in your home.


How to soundproof your home with creative home decor ideas

When you are decorating your living space, you might tend to forget about soundproofing it. However, there are a lot of creative ways in which you can efficiently use home decor to soundproof your home. Your home is the place you are entitled to feel peaceful and the unnecessary noise does not have to get in the way.

Be it a creeping sound or the disturbing sound from the outdoors, noise certainly makes us feel tenser than we realise. A quiet home is welcoming and you can make it soundproof using some amazing and creative home decor ideas. Here are some cheap ideas for home decor that you can use to soundproof your home.

Add rugs to touch floors

Sound bounces off any hard surface that it can find and this might contribute to noise. Wooden floors, as well as open spaces, are the areas wherein sound can reverberate and echo. To reduce the sound, all that you have to do is to add some good quality rugs to the wooden floor.

You can also go for carpets, but the beauty of installing rugs is that they are less permanent and you can change them with time. Thus, they are also more cost effective and also helps you to get the job done. You can add rugs to your floor for using as sound absorbers. Any type of sound will not be reflected resulting in noise reduction.

Invest in quality curtains

Quality curtains not only help you in adding to the aesthetic appeal of your abode but also act as good sound absorbers. Curtains that are made with a thick material such as velvet, wool or a tightly woven fabric act as a good sound absorber.

They absorb the sound from outside and also reduce the extra sound that comes from outside. To make it even more effective, you can hang the curtains high and let them drop on the floor. Curtains made with thick materials are way more efficient.

Showcase your book collection

Did you know that adding more furniture does wonders when it comes to soundproofing? That’s tight! You can add a book collection in your apartment or house to soundproof your space. Not only does it absorb sound but it also gives your living space a gorgeous look.

You can very well utilise all the extra space that is there between the floor and ceiling using a book collection. You can also choose to put decorative wall art as an alternative and it will work similarly.

Opt for furnishings that are soft

If you are going to buy new furniture, then you can go for furnishings that are soft. You can switch to soft furniture wherever you can. However, you cannot get rid of your old stuff, but you can definitely modify them and augment them with furnishings that are soft.

Since noise reverberates off the hard surfaces, you should consider soft furnishings that will immensely reduce the noise. For instance, if you are going to buy furniture, then you can opt for an upholstered bench instead of going for a hard coffee table.

Buy a rug pad

While thick rugs work just fine, when you add a rug pad underneath it, it works even better. Buy a thick rug pad that you can use under the rug and see the difference for yourself. It will also help when you have to move your furniture around.

If you do not wish to go for rug pads then you can opt for multiple rugs that you can pile up on each other to achieve your desired style. For instance, you can layer a geometric weave rug on a sisal area rug to make it look stunning and act as a soundproof.

Use as many pillows as you can

This is yet another simple tip that will tremendously help you in reducing the noise while increasing the style quotient of your space. You can invest in pillows that can be used in your living room as well as the bedroom. Use as many pillows as you can to absorb the noise.

The material of the pillow is also an important factor to consider and you should opt for pillows that are fluffier and bigger than normal ones. They will be optimum for reducing the noise. Pillows also add a fresh look to your decor and you can add in some decorative covers for them in order to make them look great.

Soundproofing paint

You can effectively reduce the noise by using soundproofing paint in your apartment or house. If you are going to repaint your house soon enough then go for the paint that is specially designed to soundproof your place.

This type of paint might be a little costly but it will be worth investing in the long term. With soundproofing paint in place, you will not have to worry much about the sound reverberating as it will be absorbed by the walls.

Soundproofing wallpapers

You can also opt for soundproofing wallpapers that you can specifically put in the rooms of your apartment which require it the most. The soundproof wallpapers are designed to absorb all the noise and so it is a great way of soundproofing your space.

However, check with your budget before you invest in soundproofing wallpapers as you might want to go for other viable options if you are staying in a rented apartment. But in case you are staying in an apartment that is your own, then you go for long-term solutions like this.

Thus, with the help of the tips mentioned above, you can soundproof your apartment. These creative ideas for home decor can prove really beneficial and you can see the results for yourself. While implementing the options, you should carefully take your budget into consideration.

The decor you choose also depends on whether you own the apartment or are staying in a rented space. This is because you cannot make significant changes to the apartment if it is a rented one. So, you can evaluate your options and then choose the soundproofing decor you want to go for.


Deep cleaning the home and vinyl flooring

Now more than ever it is vital to keep our homes clean and hygienic. So, how do we clean our homes properly and avoid adverse health issues? Below are some handy hints for cleaning your home. 


Germs are prone to residing on your surfaces as much varied activity is conducted on this space. To deep clean your surfaces, ensure all debris has been gathered away and put into your waste bin, then spray the area with an anti-bacterial spray and wipe away with a warm damp cloth. 


Inside and out, windows can also harbour germs, debris, and bacteria, especially if they are located next to your kitchen or bathroom sinks. To thoroughly clean windows, wipe away the initial layer of dirt with a warm damp cloth, then apply a streak free glass cleaner and wipe away with a micro fibre cloth.  


With so much space to consider throughout the home, having a strong cleaning strategy can take hours off your cleaning time. For interior cleaning, it is best to start by sweeping and hoovering the largest areas of the home, then move onto mopping any floors which are not made of fabric. This way whilst the floors are drying you can give your furniture and ornaments a dust and polish.  


Entrances to the home are prime collecting areas for mud and other outside dirt. Be sure to sweep frequently around the perimeter of the home to prevent bringing dirt in via the soles of your shoes. Outside furniture should be covered during adverse weather, and if cleaning is required, use a warm damp cloth with a simple soap solution. 

Cleaning your cleaning tools 

If you excessively use cleaning tools such as hoovers, mops and brushes, it is a good idea to clean them regularly, as they can keep germs locked in for some time after their last use. Brushes and vacuum ends and attachments can be dunked in warm water, and the contents of the hoover should always be emptied after use.  

A great shortcut for a lengthy cleaning process is having a flooring which does most of the work for you. Look as Amtico Spacia, a resilient flooring with Scratch Guard technology and moisture resistance, whose styles work for traditional or modern properties. Luvanto also has a versatile design portfolio with all the same functional benefits, and customisation options such as borders, parquet, and herringbone design. Make your cleaning easier with luxury vinyl flooring.  


Why Does My Fridge Smell?

So, you want to know why your fridge smells? Here’s the short answer: bacteria. Microbes thrive in areas that are moisture rich, which is why your fridge is such a hub. Whether it’s spilt food or condensation, once the moisture gets in, the bacteria will start to multiply and, eventually, leave behind a foul smell. 

There are a number of different ways to combat this and avoid the need for a fridge repair – let’s take a look.

Lower the temperature

If the smell isn’t too overwhelming, the first thing that you can do is turn the temperature of your fridge down a few notches. Ideally, your fridge should be at or below 4°C, however, if the temperature outside is a lot hotter than usual, or if you live in a particularly humid place, you might want to consider lowering your fridge’s temperature to 2 or 3°C to compensate.

Check inside the fridge door

Given that items in the fridge door don’t tend to get as cold as items at the back of the fridge, these will be the ones to spoil first. With this in mind, if you’ve noticed a nasty smell coming from your fridge, make sure to check the fridge door first – particularly if you store things like milk and eggs there.

If everything seems OK with the door items, work your way to the back of the fridge until you find the source of the pong.

DIY prevention

There are a lot of different things that you can use to remove the smell from your fridge, some of them are probably just sitting in your cupboard too. For example, you could try placing a dish of baking soda in your fridge to absorb the smell. Don’t have any baking soda? Don’t worry, coffee grounds will work just fine. 

If you’d rather shop around for a solution, we recommend grabbing some silica mats. These can help keep smells at bay by preventing premature produce rot.

Finally, a deep clean

You may not want to, but a deep clean could go a long way to removing the smell entirely, and then you can start fresh. So what are you waiting for? Get all of the food into a cooler with some ice and get cleaning! All you’ll need is a wipe and your disinfectant of choice.

Start by removing each shelf and cleaning them individually, this will make it a lot easier to get to the back of the fridge.


No luck? Give us a call

If, even after the cleaning, the smell still persists, then it’s probably time to make the service call. There’s a chance that the foul smell could be coming from the drip pan underneath the fridge. It could even be a damaged water filter creating the smell. Either way, you will need a professional to come and take a look at it.

0800 Repair is an appliance repair company that you can rely on. All of our engineers are DBS vetted  and we offer a no fix, no fee service too, so you get peace of mind when you choose us. For more information about the repairs that we carry out nationwide, get in touch with our team today.



Pet-perfect luxury vinyl flooring

Despite being unable to ask dogs for their input, it is crucial that you consider our four-legged friends when choosing new vinyl flooring. There are many benefits to installing luxury vinyl flooring that you may not even be aware of.

Why luxury vinyl flooring loves dogs

Patented Scratch-Guard technology means there’s no chance that your little pup is going to wreak havoc on your flooring as they take their first adventures around your home. 

Vinyl flooring has a protective coating over many layers of synthetic materials, which work as a defence mechanism against sharp objects, for instance; dog’s claws. Though vinyl flooring can be cheap, it is recommended that you opt for a reasonably priced high-quality vinyl flooring. If the price is suspiciously low, you may not get enough bang for your buck.

Other bonuses include the heat balancing affects that the many layers provide. On a hot summer’s day, your dog can lie down on cooling vinyl flooring. Dog beds are recommended for winter however, if you have underfloor heating you won’t see any change to the condition of your vinyl flooring.  


Safety first

Dogs are prone to quick movement; therefore, you should ensure the vinyl flooring you choose is textured or embossed to ensure your dog doesn’t hurt themselves, moving through your home. This is also vital if your dog is of an older age or is in recovery from an injury. 

Helpful tips 

As a dog owner you know that mess can often be left in the wake of your best friend bounding towards you. Vinyl flooring ensures that you can spend more time with your dog and less time cleaning up the fallen dirt from their paws. All vinyl flooring options are easy to clean with a simple sweep or a mop. 

Precautions can be taken to prevent food and water bowls leaving stains in the area they are placed by keeping a towel or cloth underneath them. A regular cleaning schedule will help prevent build ups of fur which can get trapped in dirt and mud.  

What to do now

Having a dog in your family doesn’t mean you can’t have the style of a state-of-the-art home. Luxury vinyl flooring is durable and diverse in style, meaning there is no harm done to your pets or your interior design scheme. 

Amtico specialise in vinyl flooring your home that is based on natural oak and stone designs. Browse their Signature Woods, Spacia Stone and even Abstract ranges for inspiration. If you’re looking to achieve more within the design of your flooring, Luvanto Click and Herringbone, Design or Endure Pro will ensure a balanced relationship between your pets and your flooring.


Top 5 Tips for Small Gardens during Lockdown

We know your pain. You’re in lockdown due to Coronavirus and you have time to pass. You can’t wait to get out into the garden and start making changes and planting new flowers and shrubs. But you get out there and find that your green space is smaller than you remembered it, or it doesn’t quite have the room you expected for all your grand garden plans! Fear not – we are here to give you our top 5 tips for getting the most out of small gardens. From useful lawn care advice to planting tips, we’ve got it covered.

Make the Lawn Beautiful

The lawn is the absolute centrepiece of any garden. It is what you notice first and if it isn’t cared for, it will drag down the look of the whole space. No matter whether you have acres or a few feet, if you make your lawn beautiful it will make your garden more inviting and a more enjoyable place to spend time in. You can achieve a lush lawn in a number of ways, but it boils down to DIY or hiring a professional. Both have their benefits, but if you want to have the most stunning lawn and consistent treatments throughout the year, we would recommend leaving it to an expert. However, if you want to get your green fingers on your lawn, there are plenty of DIY guides out there. Make sure you regularly rake, mow and water your garden for the nicest lawn that will have your neighbours green with envy!

Keep it Simple

Try not to overpower or over-plant your garden if you are struggling on space. Sticking to a few statement plants or trees will not only make your garden look more stylish and chic, but it will give the impression of space and openness. Make a few trees or plants the central focus of your garden and then create symmetry around this. If you have a lot of plants it can quickly appear cramped and make your small space even smaller. Having fewer plants also means you can take a little less time tending to the garden and more time enjoying it.

Use Height to Your Advantage

Climbing plants, multi-layered planters, garages and walls are the friends of small gardens. Anything that you can do to extend your garden upwards is a good thing. This gives you considerably more space to be creative. Having plants growing upwards will also give you more privacy from neighbours if you are living in close quarters with other flats or homes. There are many structures available that allow you to plant fruit, vegetables or flowers in a multi-storey way. Hanging baskets are also an easy option when adding plants to your garden at different height levels. Take advantage of all these options and don’t be restricted to the single level landscape of your small garden.

Furniture with Multiple Uses

If you have room to add some seating to your garden, ensure it has multiple purposes that can be used throughout the year. If you don’t do this, you are missing out on a huge space-saving aspect of your garden. There are benches available which double-up as storage boxes, for you to pack away gardening equipment or other garden accessories. If you are getting chairs for the garden, make sure they are stack-able or fold away to become smaller. It is also better to buy garden furniture which can be left out all year round, as you may not have the storage room to put them away during winter months.

Trick the Eye

One way to make your garden appear bigger than it is, is to use elements which accentuate and enlarge your garden. Think reflective surfaces, shiny plant pots and light colours throughout. If you are having some paving or gravel, make sure it is beige or a similar shade to open up the space and make it feel lighter. Mirrors in the garden not only make it feel more stylish and add an element of interior design, they also make you think there is more space than there really is. As much light and reflection you can bring to your back garden, the better. It’s all about the illusion!