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Top 3 Splurge-Worthy Home Features on your Next Home Remodel

Imagine coming home to a place that is clean, peaceful, and the kids are happy. After a demanding day at work, perhaps no one wants to see a messy and chaotic house. It’s great to have a home that will help you unwind and relax.

To achieve this, most homeowners constantly renovates their home. If you want to turn your home into an amazing oasis, chances are, you will think about the budget. You are not alone, though, as many find it difficult to decide where to spend on.

Fortunately, you can get the home features you want and enjoy your environment. Here are some things worth the splurge:


installing window blindsSpend on window features that can improve privacy, such as outdoor shutters, blinds, or awnings. Apart from controlling your privacy, you can also manage the airflow and level of light in your home. Keep in mind that outdoor shutters can add so much to any room. It’s best to seek professional help when you plan to have shutters.

Built-in cabinets

That small corner in your living rooms looks like it needs your attention. It’s now full of dust and cobwebs. Why not transform that area into a cosy sanctuary. A great way to make the space useful is to have a built-in cabinet. Make any room organised by splurging on custom cabinetry with shelving. You can use it for storing books or displaying memorable items. It makes sense to do it sooner, especially if you want to maximise a small space.


Comfort is one of the most important things to consider when remodelling. Your floor reflects how you live, so spend on flooring that you will love. From colourful tiles to hardwood and marble, they will surely add beauty and value to your home remodelling project.

A well-designed space is beneficial to your physical and emotional health. It’s okay to splurge on things that will last a long time and make your home more functional.

August 21, 2014 at 5:21 amDirect Service

Have The Wedding Invitation Card Everyone Can Fall In Love With

You are head over heels in love. You have found the perfect match. And now after years or months of being together you are officially shouting to the world that he or she is, indeed, The One. The first way that will make it all official is to finally send the wedding invitation card to your friends and loved ones.

Needless to say, one of the most important aspects of any wedding is the invitation and, apart from the dress and the ceremony, it is one of the things that you would want to be perfect. Fortunately it is easy to have a wedding invitation that is not only beautiful, but also something you and your loved ones can fall in love with.

Perfectly Invited shares that there are three basic things to keep in mind when crafting your invitation: keep it simple, make it personal and mind the typos.

wedding invitationKeep it simple: No matter what the motif is, it is best to keep these three things: simple wording, simple design and simple lay-out. After all, a wedding is first and foremost a serious event. The wording should be brief and should, of course, include everything that the guests need to know, such as the time and location.

It shouldn’t tell your whole love story no matter how exciting and romantic it is. The design, on the hand, may depend on the couple’s character, but loud colors and ostentatious lines and graphic design are a no-no. It’s okay to have fun, but everything should be “tasteful” and kept to a minimum. Otherwise, it might appear tacky, a word that no one wants to be associated with their wedding.

Add a personal touch: Wedding invitation cards are most perfect when they sound and look like they actually came from the couple. These invitations will be received by people who know both the groom and the bride very well, and it would be a treat for them to recognize the couple’s personalities on the card itself. Perhaps the couple can slyly inject their favorite expressions or even a sentimental quote from their favorite poem or novel.

Lastly, be aware of typographical and grammatical errors: It’s a simple reminder, but it is something that happens frequently. Before sending the final copy for printing, check for grammatical errors and any typos of the names listed on the invitation. Double check the location and the time of event. Proofread very carefully and if possible let a relative or a friend go over it just to be sure nothing will be missed.

After all, that misplaced “R” or, worse, a wrong date or time may cost you not just a huge amount of time, but a lot of money as well.

August 20, 2014 at 5:11 amDirect Service

Child Support: Taking Care of the Children after Divorce

Ending a marriage doesn’t mean that your responsibilities as a parent are over. Your children deserve a comfortable life. What you can do now is support them financially and emotionally.

Who Should Pay Child Support?

Every state in the U.S. allows their court to order non-custodial parents to pay child support after a divorce. If the parents are unmarried, a child still deserves support. All it takes is for the father or mother to admit or file a paternity case. Child support isn’t for a lifetime, though. It ends once a child reaches 21 years old, don’t have specific needs, and can live on their own.

How Much Should You Pay?

child supportBarton R. Resnicoff noted in a blog post that child support depends on the gross income of both parents and a formula ruled by the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). Here’s the percentage of income you need to give according to the number of children:

  • One child – 17%
  • Two children– 25%
  • Three children – 29%
  • Four children – 31%
  • Five (or more)children – at least 35%

Apart from these, the court will also deduct taxes like Medicare and social security. If you’re unemployed or underemployed, however, the court can make an exception according to your earning capacity.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay?

1. Garnishment – Also known as wage execution, this method of debt collection deducts child support payment from your paycheck. What’s worse is your employer will know about it, as they’ll be withholding part of your earnings and give it to a judgment creditor.

2. License Revocation – The court has the power to revoke your licenses, like a driver’s license, and you can’t apply for a new one even if you move to another state.

3. Credit Bureau Reporting – Filing a report about missed and late payments to consumer reporting agencies is possible. They’ll take action depending on how much you owe.

Filing a divorce doesn’t only involve you and your ex-spouse. The future of your child is also at stake. You may not have custody, but at least you know what to do to show your love and support.

August 19, 2014 at 1:50 amDirect Service

3 Design Flubs that Could Lower Your Home’s Value

There are some home design flubs that you probably can let go or live with, and then there are mistakes that are offensive to home design itself.

Say you’re looking for a house in Australia. You want the home to be your safe haven, and you can do whatever you want with it, but if you want a property that is an investment as well, it’s important to make sure that all aspects of the design adds value both aesthetically and economically.

To avoid such dilemmas, here are a few design flubs that could be running your home’s value to the ground:

Going Overboard with a Specific Area

home designsWhile you’ll want to develop your property, focusing on the design and construction phases could turn it into an expensive outlier. Overdeveloping the backyard with an expansive pool, for example, won’t add much value to the property.

Pay close attention to your neighbourhood’s style. Ask potential neighbours, local real estate agents, trusted home builders, Brisbane professionals, and other experts about the home features you want to add. If they say it’s a good idea, then go for it, but otherwise, it’s best to skip it.

Lacking Consistency

Homeowners often have a specific design in mind for each room and area in their house, but the problem is, these designs often clash. You have a kitchen fit for a five-star restaurant, for example, but your living room and bathroom aren’t as grand. In this case, you’re letting one room make up for the deficiencies of others.

The best way to get a great return on your home features it to improve the deficiencies. Make sure there’s a good flow between all the rooms and the design follows a general theme. The whole house is still more valuable than a grand bathroom.

Going Too Trendy

Everybody wants to have a house that’s “in.” Too trendy, however, can be a trap. Remember that fads come and go, and popular home trends now may not be the same in a few years.

Be very careful when choosing home features that are trendy, and try to avoid it at all costs. In a few years, buyers will want to rip these out should they decide to buy your house. It’s always safe to go with the classics.

When you’re building a house from the ground up, it’s your job to be informed not just with what you should include in your house, but also about what you shouldn’t include.

August 17, 2014 at 2:45 amDirect Service

Weathering the Storm: How to Minimize Water Damage after Heavy Rain

The water damage from storms ranges from relatively minor to catastrophic, depending on your home and the steps you take. After periods of torrential rain, it’s important that you inspect your property as soon as possible to detect any problems.

Why you should be concerned

When neglected, water damage brings a wide variety of headaches. The biggest of these is mold; this destructive fungus causes serious structural damage, while posing significant health risks. Because of this, AAA Restoration and other water damage experts say that it is one of the biggest factors that reduce home value.

water damageWhile mold is dangerous to everyone, it is especially harmful to children, the elderly, and people with asthma. It’s also quite hard to detect; in most cases, you will only notice mold when the problem has become very severe. Therefore, prevention is always better than cure.

Places to check

The following places are the ones most at risk for water damage after a storm. Look for obvious signs, such as puddles and drips, or a musty odor that indicates mold growth.

• Basement or Crawlspace – The most common place for flooding and water damage to occur, especially after downpours, is the basement. Water naturally seeks the lowest level, and the basement is usually where the worst leaks happen.

• Around your home – If water pools for extended periods around your walls, then it poses various threats to your structure. This usually indicates a drainage problem as well.

• Your roof – Considering that it’s your primary defense against the rain, detecting any leaks in your roof immediately is of paramount importance. It is one of the most expensive parts of your house to fix, after all.

What to do if water damage is detected

Notice that we emphasize simply detecting water damage instead of telling you how to fix it. This problem is not something you should DIY – in many cases, you’ll need much more than a simple cleanup. The puddles and flooding you see are just one part of the problem, since water is probably seeping into your walls, floor, or ceiling.

If you don’t find and properly fix the various leaks themselves, the problem will persist and mold will grow in places you can’t see. To preserve your home, you should leave severe cases of water damage to the professionals.

August 11, 2014 at 2:32 amDirect Service

Inexpensive Ways to Attract More Local Customers

You’ve got a good product, your prices are competitive, and the store is in the perfect location. Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to focus on attracting more customers; word of mouth will only get you so far.

For many businesses, success depends on attracting local clients and getting them into your store. Traditional advertising mediums, such as radio, newspapers, and TV work well, but might be too expensive for a small marketing budget. Here are some cost-effective methods you can try instead.

local SEO1. Make use of cross-promotion – The best businesses are built on cooperation. Reach out to related, but non-competing businesses in your area and try to work out a cross-promotion strategy with them. Most will gladly participate, since it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Best of all, this usually costs nothing more than the printing of flyers and coupons.

Through cross-promotion, you can stretch your marketing budget and compete with larger companies. These partnerships expand your customer base, enhance your credibility, and build valuable business connections.

2. Start building your online presence – Too many business owners spend great deals of money on their storefront, but don’t even have their own website. If you’re one of them, then you’re missing out on a massive source of potential sales. The majority of people today search for what they need online; admit it, when was the last time you used the yellow pages instead of Google?

A good website isn’t much use if people can’t find it. Many digital marketing companies like specialize in local search engine optimization, and they can help get your business’ website to the top of search engine results. This results in a steady stream of potential customers interested in what you’re offering.

You shouldn’t neglect your social media presence either, especially in today’s Facebook driven society. Social media is a great way to connect with your customer base, and makes it easy for them to share your business with friends and acquaintances.

3. Work with local organizations – Helping out with the local government or charities is a great way to get your name out while giving back to the community. It does wonders for your public image, your employees feel proud to work for the company, and you sleep well at night knowing that you’re supporting a good cause.

August 8, 2014 at 8:51 amStraight Market

How to Choose the Best Colours for Your Restaurant Interior

restaurantAnyone in the hospitality industry will tell you that a restaurant can’t just rely on its food quality. The customer’s dining experience depends on many factors, and one of these is ambience. Everything from what music is playing all the way to the table arrangements contribute to this, but arguably the most important to consider is what colours you should use.

Most painters and interior decorators will tell you that colours play a big role in influencing the mood of your customers. Colour psychology is well documented, and the way you use it can make the difference between a decent restaurant and a great one.

Here are several tips that can help you decide.

1. Light or Dark? – Choosing between light or dark colour schemes depends a lot on the kind of restaurant you have, how large it is, and the impression you want to make.

• Light colours can make a small restaurant look bigger than it is. These create a leisurely and relaxed atmosphere, ideal for family restaurants and informal dining.
• Dark colours are exactly the opposite. They can make a large restaurant look more intimate and romantic, and they work well for classier, upscale establishments. An added plus is that they can also mask structural quirks.

2. Be careful with primary colours – Primary colours aren’t taboo, but you have to be very careful with how you use them. Bright yellows and reds are good in cafeterias and fast food places, as they encourage fast customer turnover, freeing up tables quicker. Blue, on the other hand, is rarely a good option for restaurants, unless you’re going for a seafood look. Even then, you have to balance and support it well.

3. When in doubt… – Rather than trying to come up with great combinations on your own, most paint shops and designers have recommended colour schemes that you can draw inspiration from. It’s also helpful to look at restaurants similar to yours, and see what’s working for them. Be sure that you don’t end up looking like everyone else, however.

Remember though, there’s no magic bullet or one-size-fits-all solution for restaurant colour choices. Your restaurant is unique, and finding a great look for it will take time and a great deal of creativity.

August 7, 2014 at 2:02 amDirect Service

No Nosy Neighbours, Just Your Garden

There might have been a point in your life when you found it awkwardly difficult to hold a barbecue in your open patio: passers-by gawked, nosy neighbours were wondering why they weren’t invited, and who knows if there had been gate crashers? If this has happened on many occasions, it’s time to improve your backyard’s privacy.

Heightened backyard privacy will help you do away with many of your neighbours’ shenanigans. It will also provide you with glorious respite, especially if the view outside isn’t much to look at, or if the noise from the street is too annoying. Below are some ideas that will help you create privacy in your garden.

Invest in Fencing

garden-fenceBuilding walls may be the first thing that comes to mind, but think about practicality. They are permanent and hard to maintain. If you want a more feasible yet effective solution, enclose your yard with screen and timber fencing. Such fences are durable and easy to build and maintain. You can also remove them easily if you intend to change the theme of your landscape.

Make the Fencing Appear Taller

In case a fence is already running along the perimeter of your home and the problem is its lack of height, you can make it taller by using some simple gardening techniques. Your first choice would be to build a lattice, put it atop the existing fence, and add some vines or crawling plants. You may also hook some pots of plants with huge leaves onto each fence board.

Layer Your Plants

If you have a big yard, it would be wise to layer the plants that run along your fencing. Put a mix of tall and thick plants to obscure the gaps between your screen or timber fence boards. A combination of plants will render your garden textured and colourful, making it more appealing.

Build an arbour if your deck or patio rests on a higher elevation in your yard. Enclosing this area will also make it feel a bit more intimate. For an ethereal feel, dress the enclosure in light drapes or curtains. You can choose to build a pergola on your own or buy a prefabricated one.

August 6, 2014 at 5:12 amDirect Service

How Traffic Monitoring Can Help Improve Your Website

Data collected from site traffic can serve as a basis to improve the function of any website. As you’ll have an idea about the behavioral patterns of every visitor, it will be easier for you to generate leads. Whether you’re a start-up or an established SEO company, you need a helping hand to do this. Here are some questions you and your reseller should take note of when monitoring site traffic:

How Many Users Visit Your Website?

Real-time ranking and monitoring helps keep an eye on the performance of your client’s website, according to SEOReseller Program. As the visibility of their site depends on the number of daily, weekly, or monthly visits it receives, monitoring can help you know its capabilities. Then, you can use the data you gathered to create a realistic goal.

What Time Does Your Site Receive the Most Views?

traffic monitoringWebsites have peak hours, too. Knowing the time can tell you when visitors are most active and when they are willing to interact. This helps you find the right timing to post new blogs or any content that they might find beneficial. This could also help in having better leads.

How Long Do Users Spend on Your Website?

The longer a visitor spends on your client’s site, the higher they’re likely to buy. Review the contents of the page they’re viewing and find out why users find it interesting. This can give you an idea how you should approach an audience, making your client more relevant and visible.

What Pages Get the Highest Bounce Rates?

Finding out why visitors are leaving your client’s site gives you an idea what pages need improvement. These include fixing broken links and wrong formatting, font type, color, or size. Pages with a higher bounce rate mean that something is wrong and you have to fix that immediately so your client doesn’t lose more business.

Traffic monitoring can make or break your client’s website. If you want to take them to the top, taking note of their performance is important. Regardless of the progress, you can use these questions to serve as your guide.

August 5, 2014 at 5:28 amStraight Market

What It Means to Live in the Great City of Perth

There are many good reasons to move and live in Perth. The Western Australia capital features an excellent working environment, exciting tourist spots, and above-class standards of living. It comes as no surprise that many investors are considering expanding and starting their business in Perth.

Perth City SkylineApart from these perks, there is one exemplary feature that makes the place a cut above the rest. With a balanced property market, Perth now looks to cement its status as a world-city. Home buyers and those who are considering becoming landlords have many great options when it comes to properties. If you want to make the most of these opportunities, here are a few things you should know to get you started:

Profitable Living

It pays to know which type of home is best for your situation beforehand. In Perth, there are many options available. Be it a single-unit residence or multiple-unit property, it is up to you how you would use the opportunity. According to and other Perth new developments companies, one of the most profitable home type is a duplex. It is a type of residential property that houses two liveable units. This way, your family can live in one unit and put up the other unit for rent.


Home repairs are inevitable. Even if you conduct regular maintenance, the best that you can do is to minimise the eventual damage. Fortunately, it is easy to find reliable service providers in Perth. Whether you need help fixing the plumbing system or you want to jazz up your home’s curb appeal, Perth has just the solutions you need. Of course, it helps if you hire professional project developers to ensure long-lasting residential properties.

Living Standards

The standards of living in Perth are among the best. Residents enjoy all the premium benefits the world city has to offer. Young families can easily settle down and blend in with the community. Plus, they do not have go far just to get to important establishments like hospitals and schools.

Perth is emerging as one of the promising world cities. With its robust property market and a host of other benefits, things are looking brighter for anyone considering to build their lives in Perth.

July 31, 2014 at 5:15 amDirections