With its how-to guides, The Rugs allows you to easily repair everything in your home, assemble new items and add a different atmosphere to your home.

4 DIY Carpet Cleaning Solutions for the Most Stubborn Stains

Spills are unavoidable if you have children and pets in your home. Muddy paw prints, sticky fingers, and spilled juice can ruin your new carpet, but not if you take action quickly. Our DIY carpet cleaning solutions can also work if you don’t want to use store-bought carpet cleaners.

Top 3 DIY Carpet Cleaning Solutions for Stubborn Stains

Here are some of the best DIY cleaning solutions you can use using simple household supplies:

1.     Vinegar Cleaning Solutions

White vinegar is acidic enough to cut through tough stains, but don’t use it without diluting it first. Here are some standard cleaning mixtures you can try:

  • Remove light carpet stains with a mixture of half a cup of white vinegar and two tablespoons of salt. Allow the solution to dry before vacuuming.
  • To remove dark stains, mix two tablespoons of borax with half a cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of salt. Follow the same instructions.
  • To remove paint spots and stains, make a cleaning solution of half a teaspoon of vinegar, one and a half teaspoons of laundry detergent, and two cups of water. Use it as soon as possible, so the fibres don’t absorb the paint. Rinse using cold water.
  • To remove juice stains, use a cleaning solution of a tablespoon of laundry detergent, one and a half tablespoons of white vinegar, and two cups of water. Use a sponge to blot the stain and blot dry. Don’t rub!
  • A mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar can remove caffeine stains.

2.     Club Soda Mixture

Club soda is made of water, salts, and carbon dioxide, so it can remove most stubborn stains without damaging carpet fibres. It’s efficient for removing fading stains such as wine spills. Spray some club soda on the area, and the stain will disappear. Rinse the spot with water, place a few paper towels on it and add a weight on top, so the area dries completely.

Remember that this mixture may not work on all stains and can worsen some. Leave these to professional carpet cleaners.

3.     Ice Cubes

You don’t have to take a pair of scissors to your carpet if chewing gum gets stuck to it. All you need is some ice cubes. Rub some on the spot to freeze the substance. Once it solidifies, pry it loose, and it won’t damage the fibres. Use a brush to clean leftover residue.

4.     Baking Soda

Use baking soda to remove urine and vomit stains from your carpet. All you need to do is pour a generous amount over the stain till it is covered and pat with a paper towel—vacuum when the solution dries completely. Combine baking soda with salt to remove grease stains. Let it sit on the spot for four to five hours before vacuuming.

Use the aforementioned DIY carpet cleaning solutions to save your expensive rugs and money.

Clean Wool Rugs in 7 Steps without Damage

Wool rugs are easier to clean if they have loose dirt or stains. If yours look worse for wear, a simple scrubbing will make them look as good as new.

Wool Rug Cleaning In X Steps

Follow these steps to clean your wool rug without damaging it:

Step 1 – Shake off The Dirt

On a sunny day, take your rug outside and shake it vigorously to loosen the dirt. If you have a clothesline outside, hang the rug and use a broom, stick, tennis racket, or anything sturdy to beat it. Also, remove the rug pad and clean the floor that it was covering.

Step 2 – Vacuum

Flip the rug over a flat surface, vacuum it, and then turn it over and vacuum the other side. Your kitchen floor or any dry area will also work.

Step 3 – Clean the Rug

If your rug is lightly soiled, give it a dry bath and if it is heavily soiled, use a gentle detergent to clean it:

Dry Bath

Sprinkle dry shampoo over the wool rug and let it sit for the recommended time mentioned in the instructions—vacuum when the time’s up.

Detergent Bath

A heavily soiled rug needs detergent. Fill your bucket with water and add a few tablespoons of wool-safe detergent. Make sure the cleaning solution is mild, and don’t use bleach, or the colours in your rug may bleed. Fill a second bucket with clean water.

Step 4 – Scrub away

Follow this step for wool rugs that need to be cleaned with detergent. After applying the cleaning solution, use a scrubbing brush on the rug, starting at one end. Work your way down, so you don’t miss a spot.

Step 5 – Rinse

Rinse the soapy rug with the clean water in the other bucket by dabbing each section. This is an essential step as it can prevent the fibres from attracting soil.

Step 6 – Blot

Blot the wet rug with clean, old towels to absorb excess moisture. Move the damp rug to a new spot and repeat till you have blotted it from top to bottom.

Step 7 – Dry

Once the rug isn’t soaking wet, place it back and speed up the drying process by hanging it or elevating it so air can circulate over it. An electric carpet cleaner can also remove excess moisture. Change the setting to vacuum without applying more cleaning solution, and then hang the rug to dry.

Hire Professional Cleaners to Save Time

Wool rugs are relatively easy to clean if you clean them regularly. Once a month or a few months at least. But some cleaning jobs can be challenging.

Consider hiring professional carpet cleaners if you have a packed schedule or your rugs get too much foot traffic for a cleaning solution to work. They have the machinery and robust cleaning agents to do a thorough job and make your carpet look brand new. They can also pick up and drop off the rugs for you.

The Best Guide to Money Plant Care

Money plants are symbols of prosperity in many parts of the world. This gorgeous plant makes an excellent gift for family members. Depending on the type you have, these also add a welcome splash of colour to your home. If you are interested in growing or keeping a money plant, this guide is a perfect place to start.

What Is A Money Plant?

Also known as a ‘jade’ plant, the money plant is a succulent that perfect for indoors. These can live for years with the proper care and attention. With age, it can develop thick branches with glossy leaves. The jade green leaves produce a reddish tinge when exposed to light for prolonged periods.

New stems have the same colour and texture as the leaves, turning woody and brown with time. But it would be best to trim them regularly so the leaves remain healthy.

How to Care For a Money Plant

Here are some tips that can ensure your money plant flourishes for years:

1.      Give It Natural Light

Almost all plants need sunlight to grow, but that doesn’t mean you should place them under direct light for hours. Place your money plant in a spot that is partially in the shade. Otherwise, the leaves will discolour. You can also place it on a sunny ledge just out of reach of the sun’s rays.

2.      Don’t Overwater Your Plant

The money plant is tough and can quickly adapt to different environments and treatments. So you don’t need to water it every day or over-water it. The plant will start to die. Just wait for the soil to dry out before hydrating the plant again. In the winter, spray enough water to keep the soil slightly moist.

3.      Trim the Plant Regularly

If you notice dry or dead leaves on your plant, cut them out using sharp and clean shears. Also, make sure that you cut off excess growth from the base of the stems, so the plant grows well.

4.      Re-pot When the Plant Grows

If you take care of your money plant well, it will eventually outgrow its pot. When it gets too big, you have two options. You can propagate or re-pot it in a bigger pot so it can grow more. Make sure you use an appropriate indoor plant mix as soil with good drainage and sufficient moisture. The plant won’t dry out.

Caring For Water-Grown Money Plants

If you have a small apartment, you can grow the plant in a bottle or jar of water. Place it near the window and watch it climb as it develops new leaves. Here are some care instructions that can ensure this:

  • Keep the plant under partial sunlight, so the leaves remain healthy and green.
  • Make sure at least one node is below the water level.
  • Fold the branch in the water so more nodes can get soaked
  • Change the water weekly without fail.
  • No need to add fertiliser.

What’s great about this money plant is that it can be easily transferred to a pot if you want to make it grow more. Allow it to flourish, and it will add beauty and charm to your living space.

Where and When to Grow Money Plants

While money plants flourish in sunny spots, some varieties fare better in semi-shaded areas. These can grow in almost any soil, so you may see them in your garden growing wild. It’s the main reason the plant is so popular with flat owners and people who don’t have room for a garden.

If you are propagating, do so in the early spring. That is the best season for this plant to grow healthy and fast. It requires little to no water in the dormant season.

Use the tips mentioned above to make this gorgeous and hardy plant an attractive fixture in your home or garden. While it doesn’t need much care, neglect will eventually negatively impact its growth.

Bamboo Care 101 – Choosing and Caring For Bamboo Plants

Bamboo plants are quite versatile, grow quickly and can withstand high temperatures. If they aren’t taken care of properly, you will not see all of these benefits. Before planting these, learn how to choose bamboo, where to grow it and care tips you can use to maintain your crop.

How to Choose the Right Bamboo

Thousands of bamboo species can grow as tall as 100 feet to only a few inches. Use these criteria to narrow your choice.

Types of Bamboo Plants

There are two types of bamboo plants you can choose as per your needs, space, budget and convenience:

Running Bamboo

  • It doesn’t require root barriers but requires a lot of maintenance since it spreads fast.
  • You don’t need to buy plants since these take up much space.
  • Easier to find in garden stores.
  • Certain types may be restricted in your area.

Clumping Bamboo

  • No root barriers are required.
  • It only grows a few inches annually.
  • Save space for other plants. Clumping bamboo doesn’t fill up areas that fast.
  • Low maintenance.

Check Your Climate

Bamboo is a tropical plant, but some species are hardier than others. It usually thrives in warm and humid conditions, but some species can grow in cold weather, such as Phyllostachys and Fargesia. Most people in temperate climates keep their bamboo healthy in full or partial shade.

Where and When to Plant

You can grow bamboo in almost any condition, even during the winter. You need to exercise patience when the temperature drops, as the plant only sets down roots during that time. The aboveground growth is minimal but speeds up in the spring and summer. During this time, bamboo plants grew new side branches, foliage and shoots.

Plant bamboo at the back of your garden near a fence if possible. It will allow the plant to grow high and become a natural screen against nosy neighbours. You can also grow clumping bamboo shoots in a pot but use a large container for the runner variety to control their growth.

How to Plant Bamboo

Here are three ways you can plant bamboo:

In a Container

The fastest and easiest way to grow bamboo is in a large container. Bury it in the ground, ensuring the top lip is above the surface. This arrangement will allow the bamboo to grow throughout the container rather than spreading beyond it. Do this only if you are planting in a small area.

In a Trench

If you want to create a hedge or a natural screen using bamboo, dig a two to four feet deep trench which runs along the designated area. Make sure it curves at the end in a C shape and line it with root barrier fabric or paving slabs. Leave a few inches over the soil surface and fill the trench, compacting the soil where you wish to plant. Dig another trench one to two feet in front of the first one to the same depth. This bamboo line will act as your maintenance trench.

In the Ground

Dig a hole twice the size of the root mass and add compost to the base before placing the bamboo shoot inside. This way, the root mass will remain level. Fill the hole after adding soil and compost mixture, and add more on the top before watering.

Bamboo Watering and Feeding Tips

  • Don’t allow the soil to dry out, or the roots will rot. While bamboo doesn’t need much water to grow, you can also grow it directly in water. If you do that, ensure the roots are soaked and add more water every ten days to replenish the dwindling supply.
  • Bamboo requires only moderate to indirect sunlight to grow. Direct or persistent sunlight will burn the leaves, so don’t leave your plant in front of a window. The edges of the leaves will turn brown.

Bamboo plants are quite hardy, but like other plants, they can die if it is not cared for properly. Use this guide to choose the ideal type and make it flourish under your care. Most species grow quite fast, so you won’t have to wait long to see the results of your hard work.

How to Take Care Of and Utilize Begonia Plants

Begonia plants, aka wax or bedding begonias, are known for their vibrant colours, lush foliage, and extended blossoming season. You can place them almost anywhere in your garden to transform its look. To keep these hardy plants super happy and healthy, you must follow proper care and growth advice.

Popular Types of Begonia Plants

Some of the common types of begonias you will come across include the following:

Wax Begonias

Also known as annual or bedding begonias, wax begonias are usually planted under trees, hanging baskets, and window boxes. The plant can grow between six to 12 inches tall.

Tuberous Begonias

Tuberous begonias have strikingly colourful flowers and look gorgeous hanging from baskets and containers. They grow faster than wax begonias and can grow as tall as them. Some can grow up to three feet or more if they are grown in outdoor containers.

Cane Begonias

Cane begonias feature segmented stems and flowers that are in a range of different colours. Depending on their care and growing conditions, these can grow as large as five feet. Angel wing begonias belong to this group.

Rhizomatous Begonias

These begonias have the most interesting features compared to other species. Rhizomatous begonias have thick stems that grow horizontally on the soil’s surface. These can grow up to three feet in length if they are planted outside.

Rex Begonias

Rex Begonias are the most common types of begonias you can find in garden centres and florists. Their attractive foliage makes them stand out but is also difficult to maintain. If you can care for them, plant these begonias in flower beds or containers outside.

Top 10 Care Tips for Begonia Plants

Use these tips to make your begonias flourish:

  1. Plant your begonia in a pot that allows the roots at least two inches of space. A large pot will hold too much water and prevent the plant from growing properly.
  2. Place your plant in locations that get full or partial morning sunlight.
  3. Water the begonias on a schedule. Too much water can kill the plant, so ensure the soil you use has excellent drainage.
  4. Feed your begonias a mix of houseplant fertilizer at least once a month.
  5. Remove dead or dying blooms regularly. Otherwise, the plant will spend most of its energy trying to revive them than keeping itself healthy.
  6. Maintain 64 to 72°F for your begonias to grow well. These thrive in warm and humid climates.
  7. Begonias thrive in company. Group a few of your favourite houseplants around the plant to create a humid environment.
  8. When repotting, choose a container that is only an inch larger than the previous one. Otherwise, the roots can rot.
  9. Choose a potting mix with organic matter such as compost to ensure a healthy plant.
  10. You can propagate begonia plants through a leaf or stem cuttings. You can remove a section of a stem along with its roots.

Top Design Ideas for Begonias

You can play with design ideas using different begonia species. Here are some you can steal:

Create A Theme Using Red, White, and Blue Begonias

Red, white and blue begonias are often used to create patriotic colour schemes in gardens across the UK. While the combination is tricky to achieve in shaded gardens, it is possible with some research and help.

Add Golden Touches to Your Garden

If your garden is shady and cool in the summer, add a warm glow using yellow double and white double begonias. These will improve your home’s curb appeal by bringing warmth to your verandah. Depending on how lush you want the pot to look, you can fit three to five tubers in a single 12-inch planter. Add some green, white and gold options for a fresh look. You can also fill a garden nook with these tubers.

Begonia plants can make an excellent addition to your garden or verandah, even if you are short on space. They require care to flourish, but the results are worth the effort. Use the tips mentioned in this guide to experiment with your own arrangement and see for yourself.

What Are Air Plants and How You Can Maintain Them?

Air plants sound as low maintenance as any plant can get. These don’t need soil to thrive and can be displayed in several creative ways. That (and other factors) make these delicate plants favourites for people who don’t have a green thumb.

What Are Air Plants?

Air plants, or Tillandsia, are popular houseplants because of their delicate appearance and the fact that they require little care. The plant is related to Spanish moss and has over 500 species, each with its own leaf colour, flowers, and textures.

They can be found growing wild in the West Indies, South, and Central America, but make sure you only get the nurser-propagated ones. Some native air plant species are going extinct.

Why Are Air Plants Popular?

More and more people are choosing air plants because they:

  • Are non-toxic for pets and children
  • Increase productivity
  • Clean the air
  • Are easy to propagate
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Reduce irritants
  • Require no soil to grow

How to Grow an Air Plant

You can get one from your local garden centre or nursery, but if you want to grow an air plant yourself, follow these tips:

Growth Requirements

Air plants need direct and bright sunlight to flourish, so place them on east or west-facing windows. Relocate them to windows facing south during the winter and spring and protect them during harsh summer months. The plant will die if it doesn’t get direct sunlight. It also needs humid or warm temperatures to remain healthy and produce more foliage. If the temperature drops or it doesn’t get sufficient light, your air plant will start to rot.

Watering

Incorrect watering is the main reason being rotting air plants. The plant takes water and nutrients through its delicate leaves, so it should be watered frequently. If the leaves curl up, it is going dry, and if the tips turn brown, it is rotting and needs more water.

You don’t need to add much water. Just mist the leaves with a spray bottle every second day if you have an air plant from an arid region. Species that come from the rainforest require more water. If the mist doesn’t work to replenish the leaves, rinse it with tepid water a few times a week or soak it for 10 to 20 minutes. This treatment works best for air plants with dark green and silvery green leaves.

11 Interesting Facts about Air Plants You Should Know

  1. Since air plants get their nutrients from the air and humidity, they don’t need soil to grow.
  2. Air plants grow offsets after bloom, making them easy to propagate.
  3. The plant is closely related to the pineapple via the bromeliad family.
  4. Air plants can change colour depending on the type of environment they are in. This includes orange, pink, and even light yellow.
  5. When it is about to die, the plant blossoms. You can give it another life by propagating the offsets or moving the container to a shadier place in your home or office.
  6. Air plants have tiny reservoirs called trichomes that grab nutrients and water from the air.
  7. The plant doesn’t need repotting – ever!
  8. If multiple air plants flower together, they can pollinate one another
  9. Air plants make great terrarium plants. These are living works of art and a great way to display plants if you are short on space.
  10. The plants can be placed indoors and outdoors as per your convenience. You can pot them in shells, glass globes, and even pots. Just make sure you care for them as per their needs. Different species require different care.
  11. These plants are extremely low maintenance. Just mist them regularly using a spray bottle and ensure they get plenty of sunlight, and the leaves will remain healthy.

 

Air plants can become your go-to favourites the next time you want to introduce nature into your home or office space. Use the care tips to ensure they last for a long time. Buy plenty of them as attractive elements for your home.

How to Grow and Care for African Violets

With their striking purple petals and yellow centres, it is no wonder that African violets are loved by so many. The flowering plant blooms several times annually and is available in various colours. The rosette features thick, fluffy leaves and violet petals.

The exotic plant requires special care and maintenance to ensure it keeps blooming and doesn’t die out prematurely.

Top 6 Tips to Ensure Your African Violets Flourish

When planting and caring for this beautiful flowering plant, use these tips for the best results:

1.      Use Aerating Soil

Your garden-variety soil won’t do here. To make your African violets healthy, ensure the soil you use is slightly acidic and draining. Good potting soil is porous and light, allowing air to flow through the roots without getting soggy. Sphagnum peat moss is a suitable option.

2.      Water Carefully

Water African violets carefully, or the plant can die. Use tepid water and allow it to stand for at least 48 hours. Do not splash the leaves and petals, or it will cause spotting. Add the water at the base only. The best time to do this is when the soil doesn’t remain moist to the touch. You can also try watering from the bottom, but only if you are experienced in growing this delicate plant.

3.      Provide Filtered Light

Place your plants in a spot that is partially in the shade or gets filtered light from window treatments. Light will affect the flowering process. If your African violets have dark green leaves, they will thrive under higher light levels than those with pale foliage.

4.      Turn the Pots Frequently

Turn the pots frequently to keep the petals in the shade as much as possible. Your African violets can grow at least 3 feet tall if cared for properly. Keep them in a south or west-facing window of your home for the proper light, and add artificial light if that isn’t an option.

5.      Prune Cautiously

Prune these plants cautiously. Remove the dead leaves and blooms, and don’t touch the healthy ones. It will encourage more growth and ensure the plant remains healthy.

6.      Use Liquid Fertilizer

Add liquid fertilizer to the pot when you water your African violets. Dilute it to prevent the fragile roots from rotting. Search for a brand with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in equal parts. You can also get special fertilizer mixtures from your local garden centre.

Propagating African Violets

You can propagate African violets with leaf cuttings or from their offset. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose a healthy green leaf from the bottom of the plant and snip it off the base using scissors.
  2. Cut the leaf’s stem to half an inch and at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Place the cutting into another pot that has the fertilizer, as mentioned above.
  4. Cover the cutting with a plastic bag and place the pot under bright but filtered light.
  5. You should see some small plants in 12 weeks. Remove these from the pot when they get bigger and replant. This process will encourage new growth and better blooms.

 

Additional Care Tips

The pots may accumulate fertilizer salts at the bottom with time which can rot roots, leaves and stems. Prevent this from happening by following these tips:

  • Do not add more fertilizer than needed.
  • Use plastic or glazed ceramic pot.
  • Create a waterproof shield between the pot and the leaves.
  • Soak the empty pot in a mixture of vinegar (one part) and water (three parts) overnight, then rinse the salt.

Use these tips to make your African violets flourish in your home, whether indoors or outdoors.

Simple DIY Projects to Bring Autumn into Your Home

Welcome the fall season in style with DIY projects that will make your family proud and your guests amazed.

Simple Fall DIY Projects for Adults

No need to scour the internet for ideas. We have accumulated a number of them for you that take little to no time to complete. The best part? You don’t need to spend a lot of money to achieve these. You just need some items lying around your home and in nature:

1.      Make a Banner with Candy Corn

If you are obsessed with candy corn, you have plenty to use for this DIY project. Create candy corn pennants that you can hang around your home. Just get any banner from the store, and string it with yellow, orange, or wooden beads to complete the ensemble.

2.      Make a Vase from Butternut Squash

What better way to display autumn floral arrangements than in seasonal butternut squash? Hollow out this traditional fall vegetable, fill it with water and arrange the blooms for a masterful centrepiece for your dinner table.

3.      Make Potpourri from Scratch

Infuse your home with the irresistible scent of bay leaves, cinnamon, and essential oils with homemade potpourri. Get a whiff of autumn as soon as you step into your home.

4.      Make a Crock Pumpkin Perch

Make your front entrance a sight for sore eyes this autumn by decorating it with a range of pumpkins perched on crocks. Use a range of sizes and colours for a striking look.

5.      Make a Pumpkin Centrepiece

So what if you cannot get your hands on the perfect pumpkins for your home? You can make a centrepiece by creating them from fabric scraps. Start with a round piece and a batting ball the size of the desired pumpkin. Gather the cloth around the batting and glue it to the centre. Add a realistic touch by adding twigs and leaves. Place a runner in the middle of your table and pile your creations on top with other seasonal greenery. This centrepiece will also look great on top of your fireplace.

6.      Make a Plaid and Table Setting

Make a warm and cosy table setting using a wool blanket you don’t mind cutting up. Cut it up into placemats or add some nuts and thread using twine to make napkin rings. You can also go further by writing guest names on wooden spoons.

7.      Make a Flowery Centrepiece

Just because it’s autumn doesn’t mean you should pick dull-coloured blooms for your centrepiece. Go for vibrant red and orange hues and mix them with fall berries and leaves. Make a strong base with stiff branches before moving onto fragile materials. Complete the centrepiece by tying a ribbon around it.

8.      Make a Wine Cork Pumpkin

Do you have any old corks lying around? Don’t discard them. Repurpose them into cute little pumpkins or snowmen by gathering them together into these shapes. Paint them with fall colours for a vibrant result.

9.      Make an Acorn Picture Frame

If you have old frames lying around, stick real acorns to them before adding pictures. It’s easy and will bring autumn into your home. It is the most convenient and fastest DIY project you can do this season.

Make your home a fall wonderland using these DIY project ideas. Celebrate the nippy season with style and grace that your family and guests will appreciate.

4 Tips To Make Your House Elegant

Having a house that displays a touch of elegance is something that most people wish for. However, you would be astounded by the amount of money that goes into making your home décor more elegant. Fortunately, here we will talk about some tips that can help you make this dream a reality.

You can use these simple ideas that do not cost a fortune and give an exquisite vibe to your place.

1.   Have Curvy Elements

If your room is brimming with a straight and neat line, it will look flat. To add a bit of interest and depth to the room, you can work with different shapes like curves. In order to achieve this, use various objects like mirrors, furniture legs, lamps, accessories, etc.

2.    Let The Curtains Be Positioned High

A curtain is an essential part of everyone’s house; it is needed to block light, give a beautiful appearance, or maintain your privacy. Whatever the need be, curtains are a standard necessity for all houses.

Curtains can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your room even if they are not very expensive. But, focus on hanging them the right way.

Make sure the curtain rod hangs wide and high. Go as high as you can when mounting your curtains, and allow them to fall back lightly, kissing the ground. This creates a stunning design that many people love.

Also, invest in a rod that is placed six inches past the window frame to create an alluring effect.

3.   Add Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers can help lift the mood of the room; the more stunning the bouquet you have, the grander the room will look. You do not need an ostentatious bouquet on each surface of the room, but whatever you have, make sure the flowers are fresh and beautiful. Place the bouquet where it will stand out. For example, a bountiful bouquet can be added to the coffee table to give it an attractive appearance.

4.    Choose The Right Paint Colour

When decorating your room, you should be very careful when selecting your paint colour. The colour you choose will help you decide the palette for future decorations. You can opt for colours that can give a dramatic and bold touch to your house or opt for those that are inclined towards softer and more gorgeous hues.

Final Thoughts

These four tips can help add a touch of elegance to your house. Paint your home in a nice colour, install a few curvy objects, get your curtains ready, and add fresh flowers to your house. These four tips can spruce up your place and add a unique touch to it.

How to Get Rid of Ants the Safe Way

A home flooded with nuisance-causing ants can quickly become a matter of great distress. Save your home (and yourself) from becoming an infested colony with these fabulous failsafe tips on how to get rid of ants.

Ants are tiny creatures that appear harmless but, in reality, can cause significant problems for homeowners. They can contaminate your food with harmful bacteria and spread diseases, putting you and your loved ones at risk.

Ants are often looking for easy food sources, and once they find it, it is only a matter of time before they get comfortable, settle in, and make your space their ‘home sweet home. That’s why ant infestations are so common in places where leftover food is kept, such as your kitchen.

But luckily, there are several ways to prevent an ant invasion and stop these pesky crawlies from multiplying in number without the need of an exterminator.

Further in this post, we have shared 6 failsafe tips on how to get rid of ants in the house (including most targeted areas like the kitchen and garden) – the safest way.

How to Get Rid of Ants in The House

If you look up “how to get rid of ants” on Google, you’ll be swamped by myriads of different methods and suggestions listed on your screen. That said, keep in mind that not all of those suggestions are safe for you since some of them entail harmful chemicals.

But don’t worry, that’s what we are here for.

Below we’ve listed six effective materials to kill ants safely:

1.    Chalk (calcium carbonate)

Nobody really knows why this material works in getting rid of ants, but our best bet is that it interrupts the scent trail or perhaps ants don’t like the taste of it. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is for certain: chalk can annihilate ant infestations practically overnight.

Simply draw a line with chalk on the areas from where the ants enter your space to create an impassable barrier. Refresh the chalk line regularly to ensure it keeps working.

2.    Vinegar

Create a mixture of half part white vinegar and half part water. Use this mixture to wipe down areas (cupboards, countertops, shelves, etc.) where you mostly spot ants. Since ants do not like the smell of vinegar, they tend to stay away from it. Vinegar also eliminates the scent trails that the ants use to roam around. Just be sure to repeat the process multiple times throughout the day to maintain the effectiveness of this remedy.

3.    Mint Oil

The smell of another scent that ants detest. Although it won’t kill the ants, it will help you to naturally keep them at bay. Just pour some mint oil on spots most prone to ant infestations. You can even use mint leaves.

4.    Cloves

The strong smell of cloves can quickly get rid of ants from your entire home as long as you cover all probably entry points. For this hack, you can use cloves in the form of essential oil, powder, and even whole uncrushed cloves from your spice box. Scatter some cloves on spots most prone to ants as well as entrance points both from the outside and inside.

5.    Cornstarch

This easily available grocery store item is super effective in smothering ant colonies in one single sweep. To kill ants with cornstarch, you can either liberally pour the material over a cluster of ants and pour water on top. After a while, you will be left with several dead ant bodies swathed in cornstarch which you can easily clean up later.

Another easy way is to sprinkle cornstarch on the ants and then vacuum them up. Be sure to dispose of the sealed vacuum bag outside of your home immediately.

6.    Neem Oil

This ant-killing material is especially useful for preventing garden infestations. Since neem oil is a natural insecticide, many gardeners advise using it around plants, especially in areas where ants or aphids (tiny sap-sucking pests) exist. The neem oil will poison both types of pests and leave you with a garden that’s healthy and thriving.

Last Few Words…

Let these six ant-killing tips and hacks motivate you to get rid of those infested nooks and corners for a home that’s safe, healthy, and comfortable. Please note that there are several other ways to keep your home and garden free from ant infestations. Nonetheless, these X ideas are a good place to start.

So, roll up your sleeves and dig in.

We would love to know if this post on “How to Get Rid of Ants” helped you in any way at all. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you have any other foolproof hacks under your sleeve.

If you’re searching for more useful lifestyle guides or home cleaning tips, be sure to check the rest of our blog section. It is always our aim to ensure every reader is equipped with the necessary knowledge to make a decision that’s best for them.

Make Your Rug Perfume at Home

We all wind up with pet odors, dirt, and food stains on our rugs and carpets. Instead of reaching for a harmful, conventional carpet cleaner, why not consider a healthy and safe, eco-friendly alternative instead?

This easy-to-make, great smelling carpet deodorizer will transport you away to the lavender fields of Provence. It’s great for light and maintenance cleaning jobs. With just two simple Earth-friendly ingredients—lavender essential oil and baking soda—it’s a breeze to whip up in no time.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Wooden or plastic spoon
  • Glass, airtight storage container

Combine Ingredients

Add the essential oils to the baking soda in a bowl being sure to disperse the drops throughout the mixture evenly. (This makes it easier for them to be incorporated into the baking soda.)

 

Stir Well

Blend well with a non-metal spoon making sure to break up all of the clumps. (Essential oils can react with metals.)

 

Store

Store the mixture in an airtight container, preferably made of glass.

 

Spread Over Surface and Vacuum

To use, shake the mixture lightly and evenly over the entire surface of your rug or carpet. Let it sit for 15 minutes up to a day. Vacuum well

 

Options for Personalizing Your Carpet Deodorizer

If you tire of lavender and want to change things up a bit, try blending it with tea tree, lemon, orange, or peppermint. Some other great oils to try include citrus-scented oils, such as bergamot and grapefruit, woodsy-scented oils, such as cypress, and herbal oils like Roman chamomile and rosemary. In most cases, you’ll probably use at least 50% lavender for the scent, since many of the other essential oils can be very strong and may overpower the lavender. So, start by adding just a few drops and modify as needed until you’ve got something you like.

How Does This All-Natural Deodorizer Work?

The baking soda absorbs odors, moisture, and oils and also helps loosen dirt. The lavender oil, which has antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, can help take care of any germs that may be lurking in your carpet.

As a bonus, the lavender essential oil even provides some health benefits while you clean, such as calming the nervous system. That means some rest after all your cleaning is done! Also, because the oil comes directly from the lavender plant, it’s environmentally-friendly and biodegradable, which is a must for green cleaning.

4 Clutter-Clearing Ideas That’ll Make Your Life Easier

Some people just can’t keep their house tidy and clean. If you could just call Sheldon Cooper to perform a thorough cleaning of your house, you would. But sadly, he doesn’t exist in real life, and you are left with a cluttered house that requires constant clean-up.

On the flip side, there are certain strategies you can include in your cutter clean-up session that will make your life easier. Read on to find out more.

Clean Up Clutter the Easy Way with Th-ese Tips

Just the thought of doing a thorough cleaning of the house can be nerve-racking for a lot of people. Actually getting into action is a whole different story. If you’re one of those people who keep procrastinating cleaning and clutter-cleaning, the following tips may give you the push you need.

·       Start Small

The first step of clutter-clearing is to get rid of most of the stuff you don’t need or use regularly. However, if you decide that you have to get rid of all the unimportant stuff in your house in one go, you’ll probably lose motivation at a record speed. Instead, start small. For example, you can start with cleaning a small junk drawer.

Once it is clutter-free, make sure that you commit to keeping it that way. Then move to another drawer before moving onto a closet. You don’t have to do all of this on the same day. Even if you do one part of your house every weekend and make an effort to maintain it, you’ll have a significantly tidier house within a few weeks.

·       A Ruthless Purge

Sometimes, you hold on to things that aren’t useful anymore. It may have been too expensive or was a gift from a loved one. You’d be surprised at how much space these useless things can take up in your house. This can be very tough for most people, but it is necessary to keep your house clear of clutter.

As you thoroughly purge your house, ask yourself the following questions for every item you come across.

  • Is it in proper working condition?
  • Is it still in use in some way? If you’re going through your wardrobe, do the clothes still fit?
  • Does it hold any sentimental value?
  • Does it enrich my life in some way?
  • Could it be more useful to someone else?

If you answer no to the first 4 questions, it is time to get rid of it. It is also important to note that sentimental value can be a slippery slope. Some people end up saving a lot of their stuff because they feel it holds sentimental value. However, if more than half the stuff in your house persists due to sentimental, you need to make some hard calls.

·       Set a Timer

Another major reason people procrastinate clutter-clearing is that they think it’ll take a huge part of their day. And by the time they convince themselves to get some work done, they realize that most of the day is gone. This becomes a vicious cycle, as it takes even more motivation the next time they try to start clean-up.

You can overcome this issue by setting a timer for a short time, like 10 or 15 minutes. Once the timer rings, you can leave things where they are without guilt. If you want to continue after the timer rings, set another before continuing.

However, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. Make sure that you are actually working during the time you set. Since you can take a break soon afterwards, there is no need to procrastinate. You’ll be surprised how much work you can get done this way.

·       Use Habit-Tracking

It is a proven fact that people who track their habits see much more success than those who don’t. People who note down everything they eat have a higher success rate on their fitness journeys than those who are just trying to eat healthy without any records. However, it is crucial that you have a tangible record of your progress.

There are many ways you can use habit-tracking when it comes to clutter. For instance, you can start by finding 1 item to donate daily. This sounds much more doable than collecting all the stuff you can donate in one go. Make a checklist – digital or physical – and keep noting down items on it every day. You’ll be more motivated to continue as you watch your daily streak grow.

Conclusion

If you let your clutter grow, there will come a time when it will feel almost impossible to get rid of it. However, once you get into the habit of keeping things clean and clutter-free, you’d learn how much it improves your life. You will even find that you’re more energetic, less stressed, more productive, and overall happier.

A Step-By-Step Guide On Making an Indoor Terrarium

Making a personal terrarium is a terrific way to add some greenery to the house without having to do a great deal of upkeep. You might decide on an open terrarium with tough cacti and succulents requiring little water. Or perhaps you’d want to have a covered terrarium that aids in regularly watering little plants. Either choice makes a lovely centrepiece for your home.

How To Make an Indoor Terrarium

Here is a step-by-step guide on making an indoor terrarium.

You’ll need:

  • Clear glass container
  • Tiny pebbles
  • Potting soil designed for the plant species you are growing
  • Tiny plants of all different sizes and kinds.
  • White sand (for cacti and succulents only)
  • A scoop or spoon
  • Charcoal

Step 1:

Rocks should be placed at the bottom of the glass container to start. A layer of an inch should suffice.

Step 2:

A coating of charcoal approximately half an inch thick should be added.

Step 3:

Now add potting mix to the container until it is halfway full. The best potting mix is peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Make sure the mixture is sterilized since if it isn’t, you’ll be introducing germs that could upset the environment.

Step 4:

Place the plants in a tiny hole in the earth, patting them gently, so they are firmly embedded in the soil. When handling them, be careful not to injure the roots. Remember that if the terrarium’s aperture is too tiny for your hand to fit through comfortably, you may have to use a pair of long tweezers.

Step 5:

Then add the moss, pebbles, gorgeous coloured glass marbles, seashells, and other embellishments you choose. Here, you are free to use whatever creativity you desire!

Step 6:

Keep the terrarium in dappled light and mist the soil with water to keep it damp but not dripping. You may secure the lid and seal the terrarium if you want to.

You’re done! That’s all there is to it!

What Plants Are Suited for Closed and Open Terrariums?

A single plant: Building an attractive terrarium doesn’t need much work. One slow-growing or compact tropical houseplant that enjoys humidity can give off a luxuriant appearance when used in a basic closed container. A button fern or flame violet are suitable choices. Check the plant labels or contact a salesperson for assistance if you’re having trouble locating one.

Various plants: Open terrariums have an opening on top and are ideal for species like succulents that cannot withstand the increased humidity that comes with a closed terrarium. Echeverias, bromeliads, tillandsias, miniature aloes, and jade plants are further alternatives for the open terrarium. Consider using a covered vessel for several non-succulent plants. It will lessen the watering duties and aid in keeping the moisture in check.

A diverse landscape: When put within a glass-paned terrarium with a hinged vent on top, foliage and flowering plants produce a gorgeous show. We suggest a minimum of five plants to fill the terrarium.  Earth stars, Parlor palm seedlings, ‘Red Splash’ polka dots, Pearcea, lady’s slipper orchids, and tiny ivy all look great. Also, consider a baby’s tears plant, a miniature begonia, a heart fern, a creeping fig, and a mosaic plant.

Care Instructions for Terrariums

Care recommendations depend on the type of plants you’re utilizing. Daily direct sunshine is preferable to indirect light for keeping moisture in a closed terrarium, whereas succulents prefer daily natural sun.

Water the plants in an open succulents’ terrarium every two weeks rather than the four to six months most closed terrariums need. When the plants appear wilted or the water stops accumulating on the container’s edges, you’ll know it’s time. Instead of misting the leaves, spray the terrarium’s sidewalls with a few drops of distilled water. Leave the lid off for a few days to allow some moisture to escape if the closed terrarium is overly damp, as suggested by the constantly foggy glass.

Gardening Tips to Landscape a Small Yard

Do you have a little backyard but a big imagination? You are fortunate. You may find some incredible little yard landscaping ideas that spark your imagination. That little piece of land may soon resemble a true garden retreat. Even modest backyards may be customized to meet your requirements, whether you desire the room to host people or appreciate having a peaceful retreat in nature.

Landscape a small yard into a beautiful garden with these tips.

Plan It Properly

While it may seem that having a tiny yard open and unorganized would make it seem larger, the contrary is true. Organizing is the key to creating a more relaxed vibe. Your little yard’s areas should be marked with their intended uses. Create a stone patio to mark off an eating or relaxing space, or use plants to divide a play area and dining area. It will seem like there is now a lot more room.

Establish Compact Backyard Areas

Split the open spaces into tiny spaces to make them seem bigger. Such a small yard landscaping concept may sound counterintuitive, but we guarantee it works. Create various seating arrangements and pathways to separate a compact backyard landscape into inviting sitting areas.

Layered Terrain

Creating a tiered environment, similar to what is seen in nature, is a simple backyard concept for tiny yards. You can create a similar effect with a tiny yard landscaping by picturing a forest with ferns, shade-tolerant understory plants and trees, low groundcovers, and big overhead trees. Make the most of the flower bed area using elements like bulbs, groundcovers, and crevice plants to build a beautiful tiered landscape!

Make a Vertical Gardens

Vertical gardening is a trend in tiny yard designs. Several readily available items, like the wall planters seen above, enable you to grow plants vertically. You may also make something from scratch. In any case, it invents new areas for planting.

Hanging Baskets with Plants

Speaking of modest backyard ideas, here’s a creative approach to making the most of the available space: make your own hanging planters out of recycled bottles, old jars, and even a shoe!  Of course, numerous pre-planted hanging baskets are available at local nurseries if the aesthetic doesn’t appeal to you.

Select the Correct Trees

If you pick trees that grow up rather than out, you may plant them in a small yard. Dwarf shrubs and thinner, taller forms like columnar evergreens can provide beautiful landscaping without taking up the entire space.

Use Smaller Furniture

Large patio furniture not only takes up a lot of room but also takes up a small backyard. Therefore, stick to smaller pieces, ideally ones with transparent patterns that allow the eye to go further.

Construct Curves

Often, straight garden accents seem cold and unappealing. Instead, use twisting and curving lines, like landscape edging or garden paths, to provide depth and character. The room is opened up and given a feeling of movement by the whirling form.

Little Grower Plants

Growers often release brand-new cultivars with unique traits. A dwarf habit is one of them. You have the option of growing a pine that develops at 1 foot or 80 feet when thinking of landscaping ideas. The former option leaves you with ample room to place companion plants.

Using Crevice Plants

The majority of gardens include crevices, so why not make use of them? These areas are ideal for succulents like sedum and hen-and-chicks (Sempervivum), which thrive in these typically sparse and arid conditions. They beautify the area and soften the impact of the rough surfaces.

Utilize Color Wisely

Place big, vibrant flowers directly in view for a functional, beautiful, tiny yard landscaping design. The remainder of the little garden landscape will seem to retreat and feel bigger since your eye naturally gravitates toward them.

Develop Your Tiny Backyard into a Destination

A fire pit with welcome seats can be the focal point of your little garden setting. The compact backyard seems larger by placing the sitting area right next to a concrete patio and adding a second seating area adjacent to the fence.

Creating a Focal Point for the Yard

A focal point may capture attention and make outdoor areas seem more finished; a terrific small-yard landscaping concept will do you well. A simple sitting area and vertical garden can take centre stage and provide a calming corner in this space.

Now you know how to landscape a small yard with these gardening tips!

Learn How to Measure for Curtains in 3 Easy Steps

Every now and then, you begin to take notice of your curtains. Maybe they’re tattered and old, or perhaps they are just not to your taste anymore. Hanging up new curtains can completely transform the look of a room and also lets you control how much light you want to let in the room. If you love your sunlight, go for light material like chiffon, or if you like the outside world to remain outside, there’s now a range of curtains available that completely block out all light. The prospects of selecting the material and pattern might be exciting, but one fundamental step will likely stop you in your tracks. How do you know which size of curtains to order?

Unlike clothes, curtains do not have standard sizes, and you have to give particular dimensions to the business to ensure your curtains fit your window. The length can be a matter of taste. However, there are plenty of other dimensions to measure if you want to order new curtains. If you are ordering curtains for the first time, it can get overwhelming. We have simplified the process into three simple steps. Measuring for curtains is a breeze if you use our easy-to-follow guide.

1) Measure Your Window to Buy the Correct Size of Curtain Pole

A curtain pole is essential as it is where you hang your curtains. Use a measuring tape to measure the width of your window. Curtain rods usually extend 30-40 cm past a window frame. Add those extra centimeters to your measured width to get the perfectly sized curtain rod for your window frame.

2) Measure for the Length of the Curtains

The length of the curtain depends on the look you want, as there are several curtain lengths that are used. There are three commonly used lengths of curtains: the ones that end above the window sill, the ones that end below the window sill, and the floor length curtain. Therefore, you need your measuring tape to measure from the curtain rod to your required length.

3) Measure for the Width of the Curtains

Curtains are gathered at the top. Therefore, they are almost double the width of the curtain rod. Measure the width of the curtain rod, and double the measurement, keeping into account the different ways in which curtains are gathered. The final measurement depends on how fuller you want your curtains. Wider curtains have a more luxurious feel and can easily block out light.

Four Easy Ways to Preserve Flowers and Their Décor Ideas

Flowers hold an extraordinary place in our hearts. Whether it’s a long-stemmed rose received by someone special, a bridal bouquet, or a gorgeous collection of flowers handpicked by your children, we all hold sentimental values toward flowers, but their beauty, scent, and colour can rapidly degrade if we do not take measures to dry and preserve our flowers.

1.    How to Preserve Flowers After Drying

The air drying technique involves hanging your bouquet upside down, which strips excess moisture from the flower stems and preserves them. This process is lengthy and can take two to three weeks. The flowers must be kept in a well-ventilated and dry room so mold cannot attack and destroy the lovely petals.

  • Remove extra foliage from your flowers and cut the stems until they are at least 6 inches long.
  • Tie their stems together using a ribbon or rubber band.
  • Hang them upside down, and make sure they are away from direct sunlight.
  • When thoroughly dried, spray the flowers with hairspray to ensure the crispiness of the petals.

2.    How to Preserve Flowers in a Book

Pressing flowers in a book increases the time they take to dry out completely. On the bright side, it is easy to dry and preserve flowers if you do not want to keep their stems, and this process has little chance of messing up the preservation. Place your flower between waxed papers, which will absorb their moisture, and the result is a dried flower that is preserved forever.

  • Take a heavy, preferably hardcover book.
  • Trim the stems till the flower head.
  • Open the book and place a sheet of waxed paper on it.
  • Place the flower on top of it close to the middle of the book and gently press the book close, enclosing the flower between two sheets of waxed paper.
  • From time to time, take out and replace the waxed paper.
  • After four weeks, the flower is desiccated and preserved.

3.    How to Preserve Flowers in Resin

To preserve flowers in epoxy resin, dry them using the air drying method. Using your flowers, you can use resin moulds in any shape you like and create pendants, paperweights, or key chains. This process requires more work, as the setting of the resin is a tricky process.

  • Mix equal amounts of resin and catalyst using the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Take a silicone container and pour the set epoxy resin.
  • Delicately arrange your flowers any way you want, and then fill the rest of the container with epoxy resin.
  • This method will create a beautiful decorative piece that will keep your flowers in bloom forever.

4.    How to Preserve Flowers in a Microwave

Flowers can be dried and preserved using a microwave and silica gel. This technique preserves the flowers’ colour so the microwave’s heat does not leech it out. Silica gel is a desiccant and helps drive moisture out from the flowers. This process is quick and used to preserve flower heads and small plants.

  • Place your flowers in a container not used for food, and cover its bottom surface with a layer of silica gel.
  • Place your flower blooms side up, and then delicately pour more silica gel over it.
  • Heat it at various intervals, checking every few minutes to see if the flowers are completely dried.
  • Let the flowers sit for 24 hours, after which you can brush off the gel from the petals with a brush.

Simple Décor Ideas for Your Preserved Flowers

1.     Frame Your Pressed Flowers

What’s a better decoration for your walls than your wedding bouquet? Pick out a few or all flowers from your bridal bouquet and frame them in however arrangement you like.

2.     Use Them in Scrapbooks

You can stick single or multiple flowers in your scrapbook and jot down the memories attached to those flowers in a scrapbook. You will have a tangible experience with the flowers whenever you open up the scrapbook and read its contents.

3.     Gift the Dried Flowers to Someone

Make resin ornaments and gift items using your dried flowers, which look aesthetic and natural and have emotions attached, which is much better than giving a meaningless gift to someone.

How To Take Care of Orchid Plant?

Orchids represent elegance, luxury, and beauty. They are beautiful houseplants, and the most common orchid in the UK is the moth orchid. People frequently buy orchids at a supermarket or local flower shop but don’t know how to take care of them properly.

Here we are covering every aspect of taking care of orchids, from their favourable growing conditions to suitable pots and fertilizers for excellent growth of these plants.

How to Plant Orchids

Do not try to repot your orchid while it is flowering, and do not change the pots very frequently. The main indication that your orchid needs repotting is that it is growing and needs more space for its densely packed roots, and the other reason is breaking down the potting mix.

First, to plant an orchid in a pot, sterilize your pot and all the other equipment by boiling them. Measure the fresh potting mix, dampen it with boiling water, and spread it to cool down.

Cut off old and dead flowering spikes and remove the orchid from its pot. Brush away the old potting mix and cut the dead or rotting roots, then place the orchid in a new pot and water it. Be careful not to pack the potting mix too tightly.

How to Care for Orchids

Orchids require a little care and attention and then live and thrive happily without the need for extreme maintenance. Here is how you can take care of your orchids.

1.     Not Too Much, Not Too Little Sunlight

Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, but the plants require strong and indirect light to thrive, as evident from their bright green leaves.

2.     Orchids Require Humid Environment

Orchids constantly lose water as they absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen from their leaves. Humidity can help them compensate for that lost water.

3.     Right Amount of Watering

The leaves and flowers require gentle water spraying, and the roots need a little watering once a week to ensure they are not completely dried out.

4.     Introduce Bigger Pot and Fresh Potting Mix

Once a year, introduce your orchid to a bigger pot so it has room to grow and move a little. Add fresh compost and be gentle with the roots when transferring the plant to the other pot.

What Kind of Pots Are Convenient for Orchids?

Orchids require good draining pots that allow airflow around the roots. Clay pots with large holes are a suitable choice for orchid pots, and you can also use plastic net pots or clear plastic pots that allow you to examine the root system and moisture content.

Best Orchid Fertilizers

Orchids require a stable diet of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. Check out the following bestselling orchid fertilizers available on the UK market.

Final Thoughts

Orchids are trendy houseplants loved for their air-cleaning properties. They produce lots of oxygen, and taking care of them is easy and less consuming than other plants.

Aloe Vera Plant: Care, Types, Growth, and Propagation

You frequently come across a house with lots of aloe vera plants in its garden. Their thick, attractive, fleshy leaves make them a favourable choice for indoor and outdoor plants.

Aloe vera plants are famous for their many health benefits, and the gel scooped out of their leaves is used on the skin for soothing and moisturizing purposes and on hair for better growth. Aloe vera juice contains several antioxidants that favour the skin’s appearance and digestive system.

Aloe Vera Plant Care

Aloe vera is native to Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Madagascar, which is why this succulent requires plenty of light to grow and doesn’t need much watering.

Aloe vera is a low-maintenance plant and an excellent companion for beginners, but there are some key points to note when caring for this plant.

Even when placed indoors, you should set this plant in a bright sunny spot, but take care that the sunlight does not hit the plant directly, as it can burn its leaves. However, the leaves will crease and weaken if there is too little natural light.

The aloe vera requires proper draining of its soil, and too much watering may rot the leaves. Do not water the soil unless it is too dry for long periods, and the aloe vera does not generally need a fertilizer.

Types of Aloe Vera

Approximately 580 aloe vera species were discovered, most of which are beautiful and less well-known than the common aloe we usually have at home.

1.     Aloe Barbadensis Miller

The most famous and well-known member of the genus aloe. It has several medicinal properties and is commonly used as a low-maintenance houseplant.

2.     Aloe Variegate

Also known as tiger aloe, aloe variegate is a dwarf aloe known for its toothless leaves and striking white horizontal stripes. Aloe variegate is not edible and grows only 10 to 15 cm high.

3.     Aloe Ferox

Aloe ferox is known as bitter aloe, and it is a flowering specie. The Aloe ferox produces a three-meter-high pseudo trunk, and the reddish green leaves spread out, with bright red or orange flowers growing on high stalks.

4.     Aloe Polyphylla

Aloe polyphylla, or spiral aloe, is the most attractive aloe. The small leaves are arranged in five rows in a spiral pattern. The fleshy leaves form a beautiful rosette, but beware! The poisonous plant cannot be applied to the skin or eaten.

5.     Aloe Aristata

Also known as lace aloe, it is a spherical and dwarf aloe known for its attractive dark green leaves with white bumps. The fleshy leaves form a beautiful rosette, but this plant has no medical benefits.

How to Plant Aloe Vera

Terra cotta pots are most suitable for planting aloe vera, as the porous clay of the pot absorbs extra water, releasing the moisture from the soil of plants that prefer dry conditions, like cactus and aloe vera.

The plant pot should have a drainage hole, and the aloe vera should be planted in cactus compost with additional perlite or horticultural grit.

Some owners prefer to top the compost with another layer of grit, reducing excessive moisture and preventing the plant from rotting and dying.

Where to Grow Aloe Vera

Aloe vera thrives outdoors in a dry and warm environment. It requires up to 6 hours of natural light, but take care that you do not expose it to direct sunlight.

A covered patio is an excellent spot to grow aloe vera plants, and it is necessary to provide an arid and tropical environment for the plant. It grows efficiently between 55°F to 85°F, and most species cannot tolerate frost or temperatures below 40°F.

How to Propagate Aloe Vera

Aloe vera propagation is relatively easy than other plants. You only need to watch for baby aloe plants around their parent. Remove these offsets, also known as pups, and use them for propagation.

Doing this process when the plant grows on the ground is easy, but potted plants require careful removal of offshoots. Once the offshoots are four inches high, carefully remove the whole plant from its pot and use light fingers to check for the separate root systems of these pups. If their roots are firmly attached to the parent roots, use a knife to separate them carefully.

Let the parent plant and the offshoot develop calluses, then repot them in terra cotta pots with a suitable cactus compost. Place them in an area that offers sufficient sunlight, and avoid watering them for at least a week.

There are other methods to propagate aloe vera plants, which include using leaf cuttings, or seeds.

In Conclusion

The Aloe vera plant is a decorative succulent that requires less maintenance and is easy to grow. If you are a beginner learning to take care of plants and decorate your home and office with them, buying a collection of different aloe vera species and other succulents is highly recommended.

How to Keep Spiders Away

Autumn is upon us, which means the arrival of our creepy-crawly friends is here. Most species of our 8-legged friends are harmless.

However, if you are arachnophobic, it wouldn’t matter if a spider can cause any damage or not. You would only want it out of the house. Wouldn’t it be better if you could somehow keep them away from your home and garden? Let’s explore how to keep spiders away through several natural ways.

1.     Citrus Scents

Spiders do not appreciate citrus scents. In fact, it acts as one of the natural scents that repel them. You can use a citrusy commercial air freshener and spray near your windows and doors to ensure they stay away. This will also make your home smell fresh and completely free of spiders.

You also scatter some lemon peels on the window sill to make sure spiders don’t enter your house.

2.     Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is another strong scent that repels spiders. You can use essential oil to make a DIY spider repellent spray.

Create a solution by adding 18 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil to water. Fill a spray bottle with your DIY spider repellent and spray it in any corners where spiders usually reside.

You can spray it around windows, doors, behind bathroom cabinets, and toilets.

3.     Keep Fruit Flies Away

Insects are attracted to the food they eat, which is other insects. Spiders love fruit flies and can often be seen around them, ready to trap one in their web.

Hence, it is crucial to keep the areas where you store your fruits clean. However, if it is the other way round and you want to get rid of fruit flies, perhaps leave the spider be.

4.     Remove Webs Regularly

Cobwebs are home to spiders. It is also where they trap the insects as food. You must clean out the webs regularly, so there are none in your home. Spiders often create webs on the ceiling or corners of a room. They are easily cleaned with a swipe.

5.     Clear Away Clutter

Spiders are attracted to spaces with clutter. So whether it is your home or garden, make sure there is no clutter for the creatures to find solace in.

You must also keep your waste away from windows and try your best to keep your home nice and clean.

6.     Fill Up Any Cracks Near Windows and Doors

Spiders can find a way into your home through nooks and cracks that have the slightest bit of available space.

You can go through your entire house and see if there are any open holes or cracks where the spiders can find a way to crawl in. Fill up these cracks and make sure they are sealed.

7.     Use Conkers

Conkers are said to be natural spider repellent. However, there is very little research to back this up. Still, you can place several corners in different places in your house.

If it doesn’t work, there is no harm done, and you end up with appropriate home decor for the season (and a nutty, fresh-smelling house).

Remember, conkers can be poisonous for pets like cats and dogs, so avoid using them in your home or consult a vet first.

8.     Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a beautiful, pungent smell that is absolutely lovely in a home. It turns out that the strong aroma is something spiders aren’t so crazy about.

You can scatter small pieces of cinnamon sticks in different parts of your home. Remember, cinnamon powder can stain whites.

Typically, the first thought that people have is to burn scented cinnamon candles. Sadly, those do not work, and you need natural cinnamon sticks to keep spiders at bay.

9.     Get a Cat

The easiest way to keep any kind of insects away from your home is to adopt a cat. By bringing home a cat, you will never have to worry about insects in your home because your new pet will take care of every one of them.

The Final Takeaway

Now that you know how to keep spiders away, it will be highly unlikely to see a crawling friend in your home. However, if you do spot one, perhaps just let it hide away in a corner. If it is not a false black widow, cellar spider, or woodlouse spider, there is no need to fear it.

These three are the only spiders whose bite can be lethal. Otherwise, make peace with the spider and let them get rid of house flies, mosquitoes, moths, and many other insects in your house.

If you are looking for ways to keep other insects away, or need home decor ideas or interior design guides, follow The Rugs and be inspired to make your home better.

A Complete Guide on How to Get Rid of Rats and Prevent their Return

Have you been hearing the pitter-patter of tiny paws and little squeaks in your home? You might just have a rat infestation upon your hands.

Many people are interested to know how to get rid of rats. Hence, we have put together this guide to help you understand the signs of a rat infestation, how to get rid of it and how to prevent the rats from returning.

How to Recognise the Signs of a Rat Infestation?

There are plenty of evident signs of a rat infestation. It is essential to pick on these signs so you can take action immediately. Here are some things that can help you figure out if any rodents are hiding around somewhere in your home:

Droppings

Elongated and pointy droppings are a major sign of a rat infestation. These are usually found in one place in a lot of numbers. Rats produce at least 40 droppings every, so it is not hard to miss.

Urine Puddles

Rat urine has a peculiar smell. You will be able to sense it in the air and quite often will know there is rat urine somewhere without seeing it.

Footprints

Rats run around on different surfaces, and their feet are filthy. When they run around the house, rats leave marks and little footprints which help you recognise rats.

Scratching

Rats are nocturnal animals and are up at night running to find food to nibble on. You may hear a faint scratching noise at night, especially if you have floorboards instead of a carpet.

 

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Home?

Once you recognise the signs and confirm their presence through the signs, it is time to figure out how to get rid of rats. These little creatures carry numerous germs and can quickly spread diseases to humans. You must take measures to remove them from the property immediately. Here is how you do it:

Set a Trap

You can use snap traps with bait to lure the rat into your trap. Try using food as bait so the rat is attracted to it. Rats are often attracted to peanut butter which can be a cheap bait.

Use Dry Ice

When rats come across dry ice producing carbondioxide, it anaesthetises and kills them. Be cautious when using dry ice. You can place them near their nests or burrows for better results.

Get a Bird to Help

Predatory birds, such as eagles, grab and eat rats. This is an excellent idea if you have found rats in your front or back garden. Birds are attracted to gardens with bird baths. Install one in your garden so birds will naturally visit.

Do not put bird feed because it will attract more rodents.

Get Professional Help

At some point, you will have to accept defeat. If none of the above works, call a professional pest control service to deal with the creature. This is a sure-fire way to get rid of rats.

How to Keep Rats Out of Your Home?

After taking all measures to get rid of these rodents, you wouldn’t ever want to repeat this. So, here is what you need to do to prevent a rat infestation and never worry again about how to get rid of rats from your home:

Fill up All Gaps

Rats can fit into the smallest of spaces. So keep a vigilant eye out for any gaps in your house structure to ensure they don’t have any space to squeeze in. Rats are nasty creatures and can gnaw their way in. You must ensure you use the right material, such as a mesh wire to keep them out.

Keep Your Garden Clean

Rats like being in closed-up spaces. So if your garden is growing a bit out of control, you must trim it. Keeping your garden clean and clutter-free with trimmed hedges and branches will ensure the rats stay at bay.

Cover Your Waste

Whether it is bird seed or the waste in your bin, you must keep it covered or take it away when night falls. There should be no food resource that is attractive for rats out in the open.

Always cover your bins, and if you have bird seeds in your garden, clean the residue up before the sun sets and take the extra away to lay out the following day.

The Bottom Line

Whether you live on rent or own a home, it is essential to know how to get rid of rats to keep your house safe and secure. You can follow The Rugs for more how-to guides, home decor and interior design ideas.

How to Install a Toilet?

Installing your toilet can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. But, the fact is that toilets are relatively easy to install and don’t require any specialized tools. So you may actually not need to hire an expensive professional to do the job.

This guide on how to install a toilet will tell you exactly what supplies you need and show you every step of the process. So let’s get started!

Materials Needed

Before you can install a new toilet, there are a few tools you’ll need to gather.

  • You’ll need a hacksaw to cut through the old wax ring and bolts.
  • You’ll also need a putty knife to remove any old caulk or grime around the base of the toilet.
  • A screwdriver will come in handy for removing the lid of the tank, and a plunger will be necessary for clearing any clogs in the drainpipe.
  • You’ll need a wrench to tighten the bolts on the new toilet.
  • You will also need a drilling machine to drill holes and a measuring tape to measure distances and lengths.

With these tools in hand, you should be able to install your new toilet without any trouble.

Steps to Install a Toilet

Installing a toilet is a straightforward task that can be completed in a few hours with the right tools and materials.

  1. The first step is to determine where the toilet will be located and mark the floor flange’s location. The floor flange is the part of the toilet that will be bolted to the floor, and it should be installed so that it is level and plumb
  2. Measure the distance from the center of the flange to the nearest wall or other obstruction. This measurement will be used to determine the length of the supply line. Make sure the flange of the closet fits into the hole on the floor up to its collar. Just outline the flange’s base with a pencil to make the hole bigger and remove the extra flooring with a jigsaw. Do not make any joist cuts.
  3. You will need to use a tubing bender for the supply line to connect from the stop valve outlet to the tank supply fitting. Now, with the flared end up, hold the pipe between these two places and mark an inch below the outlet. The remaining length of line may rest within the opening. Once the flange is installed and the supply line is in place, you can connect the two pieces with a wax ring and bolts.
  4. You will need to install the toilet seat and lid. Sit in the bowl while inserting the plastic bolts through the seat back and into the bowl’s seat holes, and then snug the nuts by hand. Allow the tank to fill by opening the stop valve and turning on the main supply line. The toilet has to be flushed six times. The last thing you need to do when installing a toilet is to ensure there are no leaks.

With a little time and effort, you can easily install a toilet in your home.

Wrapping Up!

Installing a toilet in your home can be tricky if you’ve never done it before, especially if you don’t have any experience with plumbing or electric wiring. But by following these steps, anyone can install their toilet in their home without professional help!

What Colours Are the Best with a Grey Furniture

Rugs can add so much personality and dimension to a room, whether you display them on their own, layer a few, or even place one over existing carpet. However, when selecting a rug for a space such as a living room or family room, you’ll want to ensure that it pairs well with your sofa—most likely the biggest piece of furniture in the space—as well. Grey sofas in particular can be a bit challenging to decorate around. Should you style one with vibrant accents or keep your space more toned down in color?

 

Let’s Go Blue

Stay away from more grey in the rug. Even if you are going for a neutral look, there are other hues that still can achieve this, such as navy blue and even green, at times. Adding these ‘neutral’ colours is a way to bring in warmth and coziness to your space.

Is Your Sofa Velvet?

Many sofas on the market today are made of velvet, particularly in terms of styles that lean midcentury modern. If your grey sofa happens to be made of velvet material, one of the favorite combinations is a brown rug with a grey velvet sofa. 

Or Is This Leather?

The key here is to add cozy touches, assuming your flooring is hardwood or tiled. If you have a leather sofa, you want to warm it up, Other textural options also make for excellent choices. Using a rug with a texture works well with the sleek and smooth feel of the leather sofa. Something like a vintage rug looks great with leather. These are great options for those whose style leans more traditional and less modernist or boho.

Mix & Match

If your grey sofa is void of patterns and you’re not committed to a minimalist look, have some fun with a large scale printed rug. This will help add interest and give you opportunities to layer in pops of colour. If your sofa has a patterned element to it, you can still add another print to your space, the key is just to maintain a thoughtful approach. When mixing and matching patterns you do have to be careful about the patterns you select. They must complement each other. Truthfully, though, it all comes to down to your own personality and how you want your home to appear. Your home should reflect you and your character. If you love vibrant and bold choices your furniture should reflect that.

How to Choose the Best Area Rug For Under the Bed

Cold bedroom floors are challenging in the morning. Make it easier to get out of bed on those early mornings by putting down an area rug that’s large enough to give your feet a soft landing. Even if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, you can layer on a cozy area rug under your bed to muffle sound and add color, texture, and pattern to your space. To make sure your area rug is well-proportioned for your size bed, consider the following guidelines.

What Should Be Placed on the Area Rug?

What seems like a simple question requires some thought. A square or rectangular area rug works best under any size bed. But in addition to a bed, you might have two nightstands and a bench by the foot of your bed. You’ll need to make a few small choices about what goes on top of your area rug. There are four options when it comes to placing an area rug under your bed:

  • Only the entire bed frame sits on the area rug.
  • The entire bed frame, nightstands, and a bench at the foot of your bed all sit completely on the area rug.
  • Only the lower two-thirds of the bed, plus a bench at the foot of your bed, sits on the area rug, which leaves the head of your bed and any nightstands sitting on the bare (or carpeted) floor.
  • Only the lower third of the bed, plus a bench at the foot of your bed, sit on the area rug, leaving most of the bed on the bare floor. More of the area rug will jut out into the rest of the room. This option works best if you’re laying a smaller-size area rug down over carpeting to give the room color and texture.

The Sizes for Smaller Rooms

If your bedroom is small, think big when it comes to an area rug. In a smaller room, select a rug that’s large enough to nearly fill up the entire space. Be sure to leave some space for the bare floor between the rug and the walls.

The Sizes for Bigger Rooms

Choosing a rug that’s too small for a large bedroom will throw the space off balance. If you do choose a large rug that fills up most of the room, leave a bit of space between the edges of the rug and the walls.

Home Renovation Guide: A Step-by-Step Guide to Renovate Your Home and Mistakes to Avoid

Owning a home is a big achievement in life. That said, it is not easy to find a house that is built exactly how you imagined your humble abode would be like.

This is why people prefer to buy and renovate a house to make it the home of their dreams. That said, people often do not know where to start.

Following this step-by-step home renovation guide will help you create your perfect home and make you aware of the mistakes you might make while doing it.

Where to Start House Renovating

Before you begin, you must go over two things. Staying organized will help you execute your plans well and give you the insight to build and transform your house into the home of your dreams.

1.     Think Big but Be Realistic

The first thing to do is to define your goal. You must determine what your end product is going to be. It is essential to lay out your objectives.

Everyone likes to think big for their homes. However, you must also be realistic Setting unrealistic goals will tire you out and also demotivate you.

That said, this does not mean you can only work on small and quick renovations. You can think as big as you like as long as you are being realistic with the time frame, the work needed, and your budget.

2.     Determine Your Budget

Renovations will cost you big, depending on the kind of transformation you are working on. For instance, it can be pretty expensive if you are thinking about building a pool in your backyard or remodelling your kitchen.

It is essential to determine your budget and think about where this money is coming from before you start renovations.

In addition to drawing a budget for your renovation project, you must also plan a budget for unexpected expenses. Remember, you are bound to encounter instances where you need to change your course and add another task to your list.

This will ensure there are no surprise additions to the budget, and you can efficiently complete your plans for remodelling.

Continue reading this home renovation guide to make magic and create the home you always wished for.

Steps for Home Renovation

Now that you have a plan in mind and know your budget, you can begin renovating. Remember, remodelling your home can be fun, but it is a huge responsibility.

Whether you hire a contractor or choose to DIY, it is a big task to be going through, especially if you are also living in your home while the renovation happens.

Let’s begin the step-by-step home renovation guide to help you build your dream home.

1.     Find the Right Property

If you acted smartly, you would be reading a home renovation guide before buying the potential property. That said, you could also be renovating your current house. In that case, skip this part and move ahead.

Now, you must understand that if you are currently looking for a home, you plan to renovate, you must look at it from the perspective of remodelling. So, when exploring the property, you must also take into account the work that the house needs and add your remodelling on top of it.

Obviously, you need to look for a property that will require less work and gives you the liberty to renovate per your liking.

Here are a few questions you must ask yourself when looking at property:

  1. Is there room for expansion?
  2. Are there other houses in the neighbourhood that have been remodelled and renovated?
  3. Are water, heating, and electricity installed? (Especially if you are planning to move there while the renovation is happening.

When you like a property that can be your potential project, you must get a building survey done. It is essential to do so because the survey helps figure out remedial costs and also determines all the work you need to get done on the property.

In addition to this, you must look at the property and draw a rough layout to see if the design is doable on the property.

2.     Fill Out Your Development Application

At times, renovations and extensions require approval from the local body. In order to get approval, you must contact the local council, state planning authority, or a consultant town planner.

When a property goes on the market, it might already have an outline planning permission or full planning permission. Hence, once you have found your property, you must find out if it has approval in place. If it doesn’t, you will have to fill out a development application.

3.     Draw Out Your Plans

So, approval is here, and it is time for the fun to start. It is time to lay out a plan. Remember, renovating your entire house as a beginner is a near impossible idea. You must list down the renovations you can handle yourself and which will require you to hire a contractor.

Prioritize your plans and list all the things you need in the house. You can work on your wants later. It is essential to draw a layout of your floor plan and design it how you want it to be

Software, such as Magic Plan and FloorPlanner, are excellent resources for beginners to design the entire layout of the house.

The layout and interior design go hand in hand. This will help you understand where everything goes and the renovations every room requires.

To make things easy in your planning and keep everything organized, you can make an “in and out” list. Add your renovations in the in column and add the things you need to take out or demolish in the out column. This will give you an idea about where you need to begin and the tasks you need to do to bring renovations to life.

4.Hire an Expert Architect (Optional)

A house requires much work. There are teeny tiny things that go unnoticed when you are planning for the first time. Hence, it is essential to take the opinion of an expert. Professionals have been in the field for decades, and they can spot things you cannot.

You can choose to skip this option, of course, but remember, hiring an architect not only gives you assurance about your plans but will also help you save time and money by eliminating the many things that could have gone wrong.

An architect can review your interior and exterior plans and tell you if you are on the right track. It could be pricey to hire an architect but wouldn’t it be much better to invest in an expert opinion instead of spending money on correcting your mistakes?

5.Hire a Contractor

It can be overwhelming to renovate a whole house, especially as a beginner, which is why it is a good thing to hire an experienced contractor. Remember, do not settle on the first contractor you meet.  You must discuss your plans and your budget with several contractors to ensure they understand the job and that you choose the best one out there.

There are plenty of contractors, but not all have the expertise and skills you need to remodel a house. Moreover, not all contractors have a responsible attitude to finish the job on time and follow a strict timeline.

Hence, referrals will help determine if a contractor is worthy of working on your home. Additionally, you will get access to good quality materials through your contractor as well. So make sure you choose a professional with exceptional skills and knowledge of their job.

6.Create a Timeline

It can be very easy to lose track of time when you are working on a big project. A timeline will help you keep things on schedule and not waver from critical tasks.

Remember how we mentioned being realistic in this home renovation guide? Well, it is crucial to be realistic when creating your timeline as well.

A big project with multiple remodelling and extensions will take anywhere up to 10 months. You must keep in mind that there might be delays, especially when working on the exterior. Sometimes the weather does not allow you to work on the house and so such things may cause delay.

Be prepared and make an extensive timeline to give you some leverage for delays.

7.Let the Renovations Begin

Let the games begin.

You can begin your renovations once you have a solid timeline in place. Remember not to rush and give every space enough time to work on it. This can be a stressful time. However, communicating with your contractors, staying in the loop, and going by your schedule will help you keep control of the situation.

5 Most Common Renovation Mistakes

First-time renovations are never free from mistakes. You will go through your own errors and learn a lot from them. That said, we want this home renovation guide to be thorough and wish to help you avoid the most common mistakes people tend to make during this process:

1.     Not Keeping Track of Expenses and the Work Done

A big project can be challenging to keep track of. In fact, there will be plenty of times when you won’t be sure where the money is going. To avoid this, you must keep a notebook specifically for this purpose.

Keep track of every minor expense and the biggest to ensure every penny you spend is accounted for.

In addition to this, you must also keep track of the work that is done. This will also help you in the future, and you will know where to begin and how to end the big home renovation project. Write down every stage and also your notes to record how you built your dream home.

2.     Not Settling on the Interior Design before Beginning Renovation

You might think you don’t need to consider the interior design until the renovation and groundwork has started. However, it is more practical and wiser to plan your interior design while you are designing your layout.

Determine the style you wish to follow, which will give you a clearer idea of how you can achieve this through the layout.

You can hire a professional interior designer if you think you can afford it.

3.     Hiring without Referrals

The biggest mistake you can make is hiring contractors or architects without referrals. This mistake can have many consequences. If the hired person lacks knowledge and expertise, they can jeopardize your entire project.

Hence, be vigilant and ask for their referrals to ensure you choose the right person.

4.     Compromising on Quality

Compromising on the quality has to the worst mistake you can make. Whether you are renovating a home for yourself or simply flipping a house, the people who get to live in the house deserve a home where they can have a joyous life and not worry about their safety or repairs every few months.

Hence, get the best quality material available in your budget to ensure you create a reliable house.

5.     Not Communicating Your Thoughts Well Enough

You and your contractor are in a relationship now, and every relationship requires communication to work well.

Before hiring your contractor, ensure you have communicated your thoughts well enough for them to understand. You can share your plans and layouts with them and see if they are confident about doing these renovations.

Even after you have hired them, keeping yourself in the loop and staying updated with the work is essential.

The Final Takeaway

Researching and getting help through a home renovation guide is vital to know where you stand, how much you need to learn, and the mistakes you must avoid.

If you are looking for rugs to decorate your newly renovated house, browse through the massive collection at The Rugs to add some charm to your new home.

Home Improvement Loans

If you’re looking to make home improvements to your house, but you don’t have the money to cover the costs, you might be able to get a home improvement loan from your bank or another financial institution.

Taking out a loan to pay for significant home improvements means you’ll need to make extra payments on your monthly loan schedule. This can be risky because if you aren’t able to make your additional payments consistently, you risk defaulting on your loan and facing the consequences such as damage to your credit score and even foreclosure.

If you aren’t sure whether a home improvement loan is right for you, here are some basic facts about home improvement loans and tips on what to do if you want to apply for one.

What Is Home Improvement Loan?

A home improvement loan is used to finance the costs of repairs, renovations, or additions to your home. Home improvement loans can be used for everything from energy-efficient window replacements to roofing repairs to complete kitchen remodels.

Because home improvement loans are secured by the equity in your home, they typically come with lower interest rates than unsecured loans such as personal loans or credit cards. Moreover, since they’re repaid over a fixed period, you’ll know exactly how much your monthly payments will be and when the loan will be paid off.

Home improvement loans can make it possible to upgrade your home without tapping into your savings or taking on a higher level of debt.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Taking Home Improvement Loan

If you’re considering a home improvement loan, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • You’ll need to decide how much you need to borrow. You can get loans up to $100,000. This will help you determine which type of loan is right for you.
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit usually have higher borrowing limits than personal loans, so they may be a good option if you’re planning a major project.
  • You’ll need to consider the loan terms, including the interest rate and repayment period.
  • Make sure you can comfortably afford the monthly payments before signing on the dotted line.
  • Remember your home secures that home improvement loans, so if you default on the loan, your lender could foreclose on your property.

Choose wisely and consider all your options before taking out a home improvement loan.

Types of Home Improvement Loans

There are many different types of home improvement loans available to homeowners.

The most common type of loan is a home equity loan, which allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. Home equity loans can be used for a variety of purposes, including remodeling, repairing, or paying for major expenses such as a new roof or furnace.

Another type of loan is a home equity line of credit, which functions like a credit card and can be used for smaller purchases or as a source of emergency funds.

Finally, cash-out refinance loans allow you to take out a new mortgage loan for more than you owe on your current home and receive the difference in cash.

Eligibility & How to Apply

The eligibility requirements for home improvement loans vary depending on the lender, but there are some general standards that most lenders will require.

  • First, the borrower must have a good credit history to qualify for a loan.
  • Second, the borrower must have a steady source of income. This could be from employment, self-employment, retirement benefits, or other sources.
  • Third, the borrower must own the home outright or have sufficient equity in the home to cover the loan amount.
  • Finally, the borrower must be able to show that the home improvement project is necessary and will add value to the home.

To apply for a home improvement loan, borrowers can contact their local banks or credit unions. They can also search online for private lenders who specialize in home improvement loans. Borrowers should compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best terms and rates.

Wrapping Up!

If you’re looking to make home improvements to your house but don’t have the money to cover the costs, home improvement loans can be the best option. Whichever type of loan you choose, it’s important to compare interest rates, terms, affordability, and your needs before making a decision.

How To Add Value To Your Home: A Guide

Have you ever wondered how to add value to your home? When you are the owner of a home, you are bombarded with many financial decisions that can help increase the value of your property as time goes on.

The location of your house, its local demand and the economy also pave the way in deciding its value. Furthermore, you can play your part in raising the home’s value by increasing its appeal and keeping it upgraded at all times.

Whenever you are going to sell your house, you would want to do it at the highest price; you can do that by following the steps that are mentioned below:

1.  Raise The Appeal Of The Curb

The first impression may not be the last, but it is most definitely an important one! So, whenever someone comes to your house, you would want them to be dazzled before they even enter your home; this can be done by increasing the curb appeal – you can do that by choosing a good colour for the front door, emphasising brilliant on the front yard and getting rid of all the clutter present there.

2.  Touch Up On The Finishing Of The House

Touching up can give impactful results. You can get a fresh coat of paint and work wonders with the touching-up process. Other than that, you can also replace the light fixtures and get all the nooks and crannies sorted so that your house has a good effect.

3.  Utilise Energy-Efficient Appliances

You can add energy-efficient appliances that can help in reduction in the utility bills. Other than that, these appliances would be a source of attraction for the homebuyers; you can flaunt your reduced bills to keep them interested too!

It can be a dealbreaker for many people if your home is stacked with appliances that are guzzling up energy.

4.   Get The Garage Door Replaced

You may think that getting the garage repaired would not have any effect on the house. However, you may be surprised how replacing the garage door can help increase the home’s value.

You can get it done while you have time in the house to reap its benefits too!

5.   Spend Money On The Bathroom And Kitchen

Getting your bathrooms and kitchens fixed can be very beneficial to increasing the value of your home. In most cases, your kitchen can bring you a total return on the investment; if you get an exceptionally well-finished kitchen, you can bag up even more!

Also, the bathrooms should be upgraded and kept in the best possible condition. The money spent on the bathroom and kitchen will help increase your house’s value.

6.  Declutter Before Showing The House

When you have people that need to see your house, you need to do a deep cleaning session beforehand. Dust the highest places, declutter as much as you can, baseboards should be washed, and floors should be mopped!

Make the appearance as tidy as possible before showing anyone the house! Imagine you go to buy a house, and see the house in the messiest condition – dust bunnies lurking in the corner, things splattered on the floor and everything seeming untidy. Would you want to buy the house? If not, then declutter and tidy up – make the house as clean as possible so that it may appeal to the interested parties.

7.  Fixing a Damaged Roof

You can get the roof repaired and fixed! This is necessary to carry out insulation and other structural objectives. It may look expensive, but it would help keep your home leak-free! You do not want the potential buyers to have dripping water on them from the roofs.

8.  Do Not Forget To Paint The Exteriors

Painting your exteriors can also help in boosting the value of your house. You can add beautiful colours to your exterior that can help in making an impact on the value of your home. It would help give your house a neat look and call out to potential buyers.

End Note

Follow these excellent strategies; these can help increase your house’s value. Sell your house at the best price possible with these techniques. These eight tips can help in boosting the value of your house so using them might just be the perfect thing for you.

How to Tile A Bathroom

Planning to add a touch of renovation to your bathroom by adding tiles? If you are up for the challenge, you can work on the DIY method to install the tiles in your bathroom (warning: you should do this only if you trust your skills enough).

Whether you are aiming for the walls to get tiled or the tiling on floors, we got you covered in both cases.

The first thing you need to choose is your tiles – you can opt for porcelain or ceramic; they are both practical choices that also radiate style. The best part about ceramic and porcelain tiles is that the water can not penetrate through them; this protects the other parts of your house from getting drenched.

Tiling your bathroom can be a cost-effective way to give a total turnaround to the place.

Things That Are Required For Tiling

You will need some things for the process of tiling. These include:

  • Measuring Tape
  • A grout
  • Spacers for tiles
  • Required Tiles
  • Adhesive for tiles
  • Felt-tip or a pencil to mark
  • Spirit level
  • Length of wood for a gauging stick
  • Trowel
  • Cutter for tiles
  • Tile File
  • Grout Spreader
  • Grout Finisher
  • Sponge
  • Spare clothes
  • Clawhammer
  • Bucket
  • Notch Towel

 

How To Tile A Bathroom

Step 1:

The first step includes calculating how many tiles you need for the bathroom. When you are done with the measuring, add ten per cent to the amount to make up for any breakages that may occur later, or they can also be used as spares if needed.

Step 2:

Begin with preparing the walls first. Sand the walls and ensure that they are clean and flat.

Step 3:

If your tiles are constructed from a porous material, you need to seal them in order to begin.

Step 4:

You should opt to achieve a symmetrical design, and this can be done by using the wood as a gauging stick; the size of the wood should exceed more than half of the wall that is to be tiled. You can place them on the floor and utilise the spacers and tiles along the length of the stick, using a felt tip or a pencil to make markings on the wood.

Step 5:

Find out the width of the tile by repeating the same procedure (place it widthways this time, though). After measuring the width, use a pencil and make a vertical line extending at the midway point. You would be getting vertical and horizontal lines that are supposed to be intersecting each other right at the centre.

Step 6:

The gauging stick is supposed to be used in order to let you know the start and end of the tiles, and the marks will allow you to make a judgement. While setting the tiles, you need to ensure that the last, first, left, and right tiles are of equal sizes.

Step 7:

You must be able to place the very first tile along with the spacers and mark where the cutting needs to be done. Proceed with the cutting.

Step 8:

You can use a notched trowel that can help apply the adhesive to the backside of the tile, and then you can press it into the place.

Step 9:

Repeat this process with the entire tiles and place the tile spacers in the middle so that there is room left for grouting. When the tiles are placed, allow them to dry.

Step 10:

Use a grout for applying grout on the walls; make sure you get the spaces in between and do this without any trace of air bubbles. You are supposed to wipe off any excess grout from there. Leave the tiles as they are for fifteen minutes, and then clean up the tile with a damp cloth.

Step 11:

Spray grout protectors on the tiles so that the limescale or water does not permeate the grout.

Endnote

Use this method to tile your bathroom; this will help you in attaining a pretty amazing look for your bathroom. For more home repair tips and interior design guides, follow The Rugs.

Home Improvement Grants in the UK

Every homeowner knows the struggles of home improvement and upkeep. Year after year, your home needs a new paint job, or wiring work, or perhaps something goes wrong with the plumbing. It’s always one problem after another, isn’t it? And none of them are cheap. Home improvements are never easy, in fact they can be exorbitantly expensive. But UK citizens need not empty their bank accounts just to pay home improvement costs. As a matter of fact, there are government programs that can help you pay your bills using a home improvement grant. If you’re interested in applying for a home improvement grant yourself, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

 

How The UK Government Can Help With Home Improvement

There are a number of different ways that the government assists citizens to cover the costs of home improvement in the United Kingdom. Each method of assistance can help with different facets of home improvement. However, each one also comes with certain policies and conditions that you should be aware of, before you apply for a grant that is suitable to you and your specific needs.

 

The government can provide a home improvement grant or loan if you need to repair, improve or adapt your home. This grant could be used for raw materials, tools and even labour. Other forms of assistance that specific government bodies can provide in this regard include information and advice that can help you carry out a home improvement project efficiently and affordably.

 

The government of the UK may even decide that it would be more cost-effective to offer you a grant that you can use to buy a new home, rather than help you fix up the one you’re currently living in. In some cases, they may even add to your grant by offering to buy your current home from you.

What Kind of Properties The Government Can Help Improve?

When it comes to home improvement grants offered by the government of the UK, the definition of ‘home’ is surprisingly flexible. Local government bodies can help citizens with home improvement initiatives for private houses, buildings, apartments, caravans, and even boats. As long as you can prove you’ve been living in any one of these properties, the government will be willing to provide a home improvement grant to fix it up.

What Kind of Application Forms Do You Need?

Local government bodies may require unique application forms as well as uphold unique policies and standards to decide who they issue grants and loans to. The best way to find out what your options are is to contact local authorities and seek advice personally. Local authorities are also required to assist you with any disabilities that you may have, so be sure to disclose them as soon as possible, so you can avail specific benefits that can make the process of receiving grants easier and less stressful.

It’s Important To Know Your Rights

Every local government body will have a set of policies you must follow and requirements you must meet if you want to avail a home improvement grant or loan. For instance, certain government organisations don’t issue grants to anyone who’s savings exceed a specific amount. However, there are also clear guidelines that state that a government organisation can not deny your request for a grant or loan based on gender, age, race, sexuality or other factors of your personal identity. Before you apply for a home improvement grant, you should be aware of your rights, so you can’t be deprived of them.

What Is A Home Improvement Agency?

Housing Associations, local governments and charity organisations in the UK often run Home Improvement Agencies(HIA) on a non-profit basis. An HIA can help you with your home improvement project if you need financial assistance. HIAs primarily specialise in helping low-income households, as well as the elderly and disabled people. If you fall under any of these categories, it may be in your best interest to contact a Home Improvement Agency and see if they could help you.

What Grants Are Available In The UK?

The grants currently available in the UK include Cold Water Payment, The Winter Fuel Payment, The Warm Home Discount, and the Green Deal Scheme, amongst others. Now that you know more about availing a home improvement grant or loan in the UK, do you intend to avail one the next time you need to start a new home improvement project? Before you do, remember to understand your options and do your research

How to Plaster a Wall

What is Plastering?

Plastering is the process of covering walls, ceilings, and partitions with plaster. Plaster is a protective or decorative material made of limestone, gypsum, cement, and sand. It hardens and strengthens the surface it is applied on. Therefore, it is used extensively in construction to protect walls and ceilings from deterioration. It also helps prepare the surfaces before painting them and ensures durability and longevity.

Plastering is an essential process in home construction or repair, and it takes a lot of skill to perfectly plaster with the finishing required. Hiring a professional for your plastering needs is advisable, but you have to keep in mind that the process can set you back financially. If you want to learn a skill and save money, it is not that difficult to learn plastering by yourself. We live in an era where you can learn how to do anything on the internet, and plastering is no different. You need to gather some essential tools and supplies and embark on your plastering journey. Like most things in life, plastering also seems like an impossible task, but with practice, you will be smoothing that plaster on the wall with all the precision of a chef covering his sponge cake in buttercream.

Essential Tools for Plastering a Wall

You have decided to master the art of plastering, and just like any artist, you need the finest tools to hone your craft. Gather the following supplies to ensure you are well equipped to plaster the surface of your choosing:

  • Plastering Trowel- This is essential for smoothing and finishing the plaster. Invest in a professional trowel to get the best result possible.
  • Plaster Hawk Board- This is basically the plasterer’s palette. It is a surface used to carry the plaster and apply it to the wall, just like an artist using his palette to bring his paints to the canvas.
  • Bucket Trowel- A tool specially used to scoop the plaster from the bucket to the hawk board
  • Paint Brush- needed to add water to plaster and for finishing purposes.

Also advisable is using a power mixer for ease, but plaster can also be mixed by hand.

Step-by-Step Guide for Plastering a Wall

There is a lot of information about plastering, and it can be difficult to go through it. Plastering is a simple process that requires precision and practice. Once you have acquired the necessary tools, follow these essential steps to plaster your wall:

Step 1-Prepare Your Wall

Ensure that you have a clear, unobstructed work area. Lay out protective sheets on the floor as it can get quite messy. Remove any curtain rails from the walls and tape up any sockets present. Scrape the wall of any old plaster, wallpaper, grease, or dust. Having a completely bare wall for the plaster to stick is crucial.

Step 2-Apply PVA Glue to The Wall

PVA glue ensures that the applied plaster will adhere to the walls and dry out evenly. Dilute the PVA with water and brush it out on the entire wall. Do not wait for the glue to dry. Apply the first layer of plaster when the glue is sticky.

Step 3-Mix Your Plaster

This step is akin to preparing the batter for a cake. Plaster is available in powder form and needs to be mixed with water to form a paste like consistency. This step is crucial as mixing the plaster with the wrong consistency will not provide you with the required finish and may bend up running the whole plastering process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided on the packaging. Fill a clean bucket with water and gradually add the plaster to it to eventually get your required consistency, make sure the mixing is smooth and there are no lumps in the mixture. You can use a power mixer for this process if you are mixing large batches of plaster. Keep mixing until you achieve a consistency that can be described as a thick custard.

Step 4-Apply Plaster to The Wall

Use a trowel to apply your plaster mix to the wall. Use your trowel to pick up a small amount of plaster from the hawk board and spread it firmly on the wall. Use small strokes and cover the entire wall.

Step 5-Smooth and Skim

Let the plaster dry slightly, and then use the trowel to smooth out any edges. Focus primarily on the corners where the plaster edges tend to accumulate.

Step 6-Apply The Second Coat

After the first layer of plaster has dried, do it all over again and apply the second coat of plaster. Ensure the second coat is thinner in consistency to avoid a lumpy look.

Step 7-Finishing

Smooth out any rough edges for the final touch. You can use a wet brush or a sandpaper to smooth out the wall to your heart’s contentment.

Step 8-Painting or Wallpaper

Once you are done with plaster, go ahead and paint or wallpaper your wall according to your vision.

How to Clean a Rug

Rugs are excellent décor pieces that tie the whole look of a space together. More importantly, they are cozy and essential for making a living space into a home. It is, however, also necessary to realize that rugs, especially the thick kind, have a penchant for accumulating all types of dirt, debris, and germs due to spills and human and pet foot traffic. While you may regularly vacuum your rug, it is essential to deep clean it every once in a while, even if it may look clean on the outside. Area rugs are especially prone to hide dirt deep in their recesses which may lead to harmful health effects for people.

Roll up your sleeves and prepare to scrub out tons of grime and dirt from your beloved rugs by following these easy steps that help you clean your area rugs all by yourself:

1) Identify The Material of Your Rug

As home décor enthusiasts know, no two rugs are the same. There are several different kinds of rugs and can be classified according to design, material, size, etc. To deep clean your rug, you first need to identify the material your rug is made out of. Different types of materials have different densities and might need to be handled differently during cleaning. For example, woven and braided rugs need gentle hand washing not to destroy their weave.

2) Get Your Cleaning Supplies Ready

Once you know how to handle your rug, it is time to collect the tools needed to scrub your rug to perfection. It would help if you had the following basic cleaning products and tools to clean your rug:

  • Rug Shampoo, if you don’t have a specialized rug cleaning product, then you can also use common dish soap
  • A brush, soft bristle is recommended to protect the rug.
  • Bucket
  • Tons and tons of water, rug cleaning is a very wet process. Prepare to get drenched.

3) Set Up An Outdoor Station

Check the weather forecast before scheduling your rug cleaning, as it is an activity that is done outdoors. Pick a dry spot outside and hang up your rug to clean it thoroughly. Use a sturdy support structure to hang the rug as they tend to be quite heavy.

4) Vacuum The Rug

While you might be hand cleaning the carpet, it is always a good idea to take a machine’s help to accelerate the process. Use a vacuum to suck out most of the dirt stuck deep into the recesses of the rug. Thoroughly vacuum both sides of the rug to remove most of the dirt. You can also give the rug a few good old-fashioned whacks and beat the dirt out to be on the safe side.

5) Apply The Shampoo to The Rug

Mix the rug shampoo with water according to any instructions provided on the packaging. Rinse the rug with water to prepare it for shampoo application. Doing a patch test on the rug with your shampoo is always better, as some shampoo might cause the rug’s colours to run. Apply the shampoo to the wet rug. Use the brush sturdily to work the shampoo deep into the rug’s fibers. Work the shampoo into a lather and clean for at least a good 10 minutes.

6) Rinse The Rug

After scrubbing the rug with a brush, leave the shampoo on it for the amount of time directed on the packaging. After the desired time, wash away the shampoo with lots of water. For ease, you can use a garden hose to wash off the shampoo. Make sure all the shampoo is rinsed out as any residue will damage the rug.

7) Remove Excess Water

Try and wring the rug to remove as much excess water as possible. You can use the wet-dry option on a vacuum to expedite the process.

8) Let it Dry

The last step is to simply let the rug dry. You can hang the rug outside in the sunshine or in an indoor space to protect it from the outside elements. Rugs are quite dense. Therefore, it may take more than a day to dry thoroughly.