Basement Conversions: Turning an Empty Space into a Playroom

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

playroomChildren at home mean one thing: the need for more space. Apart from their own bedrooms, your kids need an adequate amount of space where they can play and run around safely. Moreover, you want them to play someplace where they won’t disturb when you’re working or trying to find solace after a busy work week. For small homes, this is a true challenge. Or not, if you have a basement.

Yes, the empty, damp space that is the basement can make for a great playroom. Designing it is pretty easy, actually. Plus, with the right furniture and arrangement, it’s possible to turn this dreary underground space into an area you and your kids can enjoy. Here’s how to do that:

Start with the Floor

A good playroom is a safe one, and safety begins with the area’s flooring. Instead of letting the tiles stay, go for carpeted tiles. Now, you might say the moisture would pave the way for mould growth, but this is an easy challenge. Rather than cover the floor with one large carpet, choose removable square tiles. You can also add a dehumidifier in the area to keep it dry and mildew-free.

Buy Kid-Safe Furniture

According to Lilly & Lolly, all furniture you put in the playroom must be kid-safe – from the toy chest to the cabinets. So, be sure to check what you’re buying once you’re designing the basement playroom. The furniture pieces you need are tables, chairs, and a lot of storage for toys and other things.

Establish Partitions

You don’t want your basement playroom to be for kids only, as chances are you want to watch them as they play. The best way to address this is to create partitions between the kids’ area and the adults’ area. For example, you can set up a mini-media room near the basement stairs where you can enjoy a movie while you watch your kids play with their toys on the other side of the room.

Basements can be more than just extra storage. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most versatile areas of your home. Give your own basement a new twist and make it more functional as your kids’ dream playroom.

Travel Must-haves for Australian Explorers

Posted on by Araceli ONeill in Digi-travel | Comments Off

Tinted CarAustralia is one of the best places to explore. It has great beaches, picturesque mountains, and beautiful wide open fields. Of course, this is also where one finds the majestic and mysterious Australian Outback, one of the most exciting places to visit in the world. Indeed, whether you are visiting or living in Australia, it is best to go out and explore to fully enjoy the continent’s many beautiful surprises.

There is a catch, however. Australia is also one of the sunniest places on Earth and sometimes the sun can be harsh especially on the skin. But this shouldn’t deter anyone from exploring. One just has to take a few necessary precautions and off you can go to your desired destination.

One of the absolute must-haves when embarking on an Australian adventure is sunscreen. After all, studies have shown that being exposed to too much UV Rays can lead to skin diseases and even premature aging. Look for products that are labelled SPF 50 or SPF 100 as these can effectively block 98 percent of sunburn rays.

For further protection, Tintworks.com.au recommends having the vehicles tinted. A car tint is an effective way of not only protecting yourself as you drive across Australia; it also protects the interiors of the car itself.

Of course, along with the two must-haves mentioned above, one should also bring an umbrella, a jug of water, shades for eye protection, and scarves for those windy rides.

Australia is definitely a great place to explore and one can’t simply enjoy the richness and the experience it has to offer without getting exposed under the sun. But, of course, with a few things in tow and by following the necessary precautions, you can bravely go exploring what this lovely and exciting continent has in store for you.

The Splash: 4 Trending Modern Swimming Pool Designs

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

swimming poolSwimming pools have changed quite a lot compared to the past decade. They are not just plain, rectangular, with a white concrete bottom anymore. They come in varying shapes and sizes, with beautiful features that reflect and complement the architectural elements of the house. They even use the property’s natural terrain and surrounding landscape.

Today, pools are part of a plant that turns your yard into an outdoor “showroom”. Below are some of the trends in swimming pool design.

Negative Edge Pool

Negative edge pools, commonly referred to as infinity swimming pools or infinity edge pools, are getting more common. These types look like it extends all the way out to the horizon. Brisbane Pools & Landscapes say, however, that these require an expert to build.

Spool

The term “spool” is a combination of a spa and a pool. Spools are usually only oversized spas about 12ft x 14ft. Spools are generally more expensive, but they are easier to maintain because they are smaller than the average swimming pool. This type is a good option for those with a very small yard.

Geometric Design

Geometric pools are those that have very straight lines or are purely circular. These look more traditional. While in recent years you have seen many shapes of pools, this decade, geometric pool shapes are making a comeback—because this type allows better use of the space compared to freeform swimming pools.

Focus on Fitness and Wellness

Fitness pools have been receiving a lot of attention lately, rising health consciousness in recent years. Some pools have a resistant jet at the end of a pool, and allows you to swim without actually moving in the water. It’s good for swimming, water workouts, and aquatic therapy, wherein you only get little to no impact on your joints.

Exercise pools are a piece of aquatic fitness equipment that you can use all year round.

It has been a great decade for the industry. From the simplicity of geometric pool to the modern vibe of negative edge pools, swimming pool designs will surely continue to push the envelope in the future.

Dental Implants: Filling the Gap Permanently

Posted on by Ronald Gallegos in Healthy Times | Comments Off

Dental ImplantsDental implants let people with missing or broken teeth smile with confidence. Depending on the strength and mass of a patient’s jawbone, your dentist may offer dental implants after diagnosis. Apart from replacing your pearly whites, they can also restore the form of your dental structure and facial musculature.

The implant procedure

The dentist will place a tiny post made of titanium into the bone socket of the missing tooth. The jawbone is expected to heal and grow around the implanted metal post to anchor it securely. The healing period may take six to 12 weeks.

When the implant has bonded to your jawbone, a tiny connector post called abutment is attached to the post to secure the new tooth. To create a new tooth, the dentist will make impressions of the patient’s teeth. The replacement tooth is then attached to the abutment.

To make your implant look natural, your dentist will match the colour of the new tooth to your natural teeth. As the implant is placed securely within the jawbone, the replacement will look, feel, and work just like your real teeth.

Caring for dental implants

For the first few days after the procedure, apply an ice pack to the implant area to ease the swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help minimise the discomfort. For the succeeding weeks, avoid hard foods. Do not eat spicy or acidic foods, either. You should not drink alcohol or smoke during this period.

Dentists in Bromley recommend scheduling three to four checkups in the first year for your jawbone and the condition of the implant. After the first year, the dentist will recommend follow-up treatments and cleanings. Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.

Why get dental implants

Dental implants offer a permanent solution to your dental problem. These appliances are durable and eliminate the need to apply adhesives to fix dentures. With new advances in dental technology, there are now devices available for accurate positioning of implants. Modern implants are also made of light materials, which help avoid stress on the muscle. If you feel that dental implants are for you, contact your dentist to schedule a treatment.

Investing in a House: Is Homeownership Right for You?

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

homeownershipThere is more to homeownership than getting a mortgage or paying the down payment on a loan. Getting ready to own your first home means that you need to prepare for a new lifestyle. It requires you to make both life and financial plans.

It is important to consider your finances and current standards of living before purchasing your dream home. Here are the signs that you’re ready to invest in a house:

Ready for a Commitment

Home ownership is a long-term commitment. It is unwise to purchase a house you’ll own for less than three years, as the high transaction costs of buying or selling properties may cause you to lose money. If you plan to stay put in a single location for a decade or more, then home buying is the right move.

Reliable Income

Taking out a mortgage means entering a long-term financial commitment. Experts from VisionOneHomes.com.au and MoneySmart.gov.au say that you need to be confident that you can afford your monthly payments 10 or 20 years from now. You need to have a stable income and at least one year of employment history in your current job.

Savings for Down Payment

Having significant savings is important for soon-to-be homeowners. This is because you’ll need money for your down payment and other moving expenses. While it is much better to pay a larger down payment, this does not mean that you have to sacrifice your savings. A 10 per cent down payment is the minimum, but 20 per cent is much better.

Good Credit Score

Most home loan companies implement credit score requirements for you to qualify for mortgage. Having a poor credit score may mean higher interest rates over the life of the loan. It is always better to have a stronger credit score so that you pay less.

While home ownership will make your life so much easier, it takes a lot of time and energy. There are many responsibilities involved in maintenance and making sure it remains an ideal place for you and your family. Even if you can afford to buy one, you shouldn’t just do it because you can. Make sure you are financially and emotionally ready for this big step.

Building the Impossible Bridge

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

bridgeThe Rio-Antirrio Bridge, also known as the Charilaos Troupikos Bridge, is a two thousand eight hundred meter bridge connecting the towns of Rio and Antirrio over the Gulf of Corinth. The bridge joins two of the country’s busiest and most successful towns, making it an essential piece of infrastructure to the economy and industry of Greece.

What makes the Rio-Antirrio bridge so special, though, is that it shouldn’t even exist. According to Service Steel, almost every stage of the bridge’s construction was beset with challenges that would make any master engineer pull all their hair out.

Despite being the ideal location for a bridge, the region lies in one of the world’s most active fault lines. Due to the constant movement, the sea floor is nothing more than sand and silt, with the only solid rock suitable to build a foundation on lying sixty meters under that surface. There have been bridges built over such surfaces before, but nothing near the size of the Rio-Antirrio.

In such situations, engineers got to the solid bedrock by creating a dam around the build site, drain the water, remove the sand and silt, and then start building the foundation. This is impossible for a bridge that’s supposed to span less than three kilometres. Engineers needed to build the foundations on the sea floor as is, but that’s not the biggest problem with the sea floor though.

Seaquakes are a regular occurrence in the region, and the constant shaking makes anything sink into the ground. A sinking bridge isn’t a useful one. Engineers needed to think of a way to isolate the colossal bridge from the violent shaking, and keep it from sinking into the sand.

The solution they came up with was ingenious and frustratingly simple. To keep river banks from eroding, early farmers planted herbs along the side of the river. The roots grew long and held the muddy earth in place, ensuring the river doesn’t grow any wider, keeping crops safe. The engineers tried the same principle with their bridge foundation; if they can keep the sand from vibrating, the structure above it won’t sink.

Engineers inserted long metal rods into the sand where the foundation would stand, and that was it. Just like the herb roots, the steel rods kept the sand from shifting during earthquakes, making it as firm as any rock. The strangest part of it is, the rods aren’t even touching the solid floor or the base of the bridge.

Interior Design Strategies That Make Your Small Granny Flat Look Bigger

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

living roomGranny flats are smaller than the regular home, but they do not need to feel cramped and claustrophobic. Even if it’s not as big as the full-sized home you’ve always dreamed of, you can always do something to make your tiny pad feel like a palace.

With these easy space-expanding tricks, you can modify your granny flat intelligently, maximise your square footage, and open up a vast range of possibilities for the space:

Pull the Furniture off the Wall

Pushing the furniture up against the wall makes everything look and feel cramped. Try angling your bed, or “float” the sofa with a thin console behind it. The breathing room around your furniture can make the space look more open.

Use Mirrors

Grandesignswa.com.au and other interior design experts agree that using mirrors is the quickest and easiest way to make your granny flat space look larger. Place them across a window, as this can reflect light and makes it look like a whole other space is behind it.

Use Multi-Functional Items

Don’t waste precious inches of space to accommodate something that does not contribute to the function of your granny flat. Invest in furniture that serves many functions instead, as this is a simple way to restructure and streamline your space. Try getting an ottoman with built-in storage or a vintage steamer trunk to tuck away all your books and other items.

Let There Be Light

The golden rule is to use the three point lighting technique. For example, get an overhead fixture and two table lamps. This will illuminate the entire space in your bedroom, for example. This is important because any space that’s in a shadow is space you do not have. You may also ditch the dark-inducing window treatments and leave your windows open to let in more light.

Hang Large Works of Art

Hang large and bold art pieces, instead of opting for a gallery wall. One interesting advice is to start on the floor and measure 69 inches up. The centre of the art should hang on that mark. Why does this work? 69 inches is the average height of most Australians. This opens up more space above the work, making the space appear taller.

Living in a modern granny flat means you need to be really organised, make compromises in your decorating plans, and adjust your lifestyle so you won’t feel cramped. Remember that it’s not the size that matters; it is how you make the most of it.

More than Just a Car: What Else You Can Get from Renting

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

car rentalAs a customer, you want to get the best service possible. When you rent a car, you expect it to work properly and take you to your destination safe. This is the reason you compare rental companies and check their background. You make sure everything is all right before you get behind the wheel.

It takes more than just a car to make your journey more enjoyable. Renting allows you to get a vehicle that suits your needs perfectly, but it offers more than just that. You’ll learn how many benefits you can get when you work with a company that offers car hire in Perth.

Access to Immediate Help

Rental companies know what you need to ensure a comfortable journey. They provide well-maintained vehicles to give you a smooth ride. In case the vehicle breaks down in the middle of your trip, immediate help will come. Most rental companies in Australia provide roadside assistance services to their clients. You can be sure there will be someone to help you get out of trouble.

Peace of Mind

Working with a company that provides insured rental services is advisable. It would be good to know that you are covered in case something bad happens during your trip. Insurance policies usually cover the damages to rental cars, so you can stay clear of repair costs. Talk to the company owner to learn everything about the coverage.

The Experience

Experience is one of the most important benefits you can get from renting. You can enjoy your trip if you’re driving one of the newest models on the market. Whether you need a car or a more spacious 8-seater commuter for the whole family, your service provider will help you find the best deal.

You deserve to get the best travelling experience in Australia. Look for a trusted rental company and check if they offer the additional benefits mentioned above. Safety, quality of service and value for money should be the criteria for choosing the right provider.

Living the Expat Life: Your Guide to Living in Hong Kong

Posted on by Judy Holcombe in Reviews | Comments Off

living in hongkongMoving to a new country is a decision worth thinking over and over. There’s a need to weigh your options and plan for your future in a foreign land. You might face sudden changes in different aspects of your life, such as your lifestyle. Be prepared to deal with new people with a different culture. Of all the things to think about before that big move, finding your new home could probably be the one that matters most.

Hong Kong is one of the best options for people who are looking to start a new life in a foreign land. The country is famous not only for its high-rise buildings, but also for its booming economy thanks to its tourism industry and industrial facilities.

Spacious, a popular property-listing site in Hong Kong, shares a simple yet informative guide to living in one of the most thriving places in the world:

The Hunt for a New Home

Your journey will start with finding the right residential property in the best location. The demand for properties in Hong Kong is so high that you are more likely to see new buildings and developments in different areas. This means you have many options and a greater chance of finding that perfect place. Whether you’re moving alone or with your family, or you’re staying temporarily or permanently, your choices are immense. If you’re not familiar with the country’s property market, an experienced agent can help.

The Cost of Living

The cost of living in Hong Kong may be higher compared to your country of origin. This is probably due to the country’s inflated property market. Majority of commodities is imported, making them costlier. High expat salaries, however, will help you manage the expenses and enjoy a better quality of life.

The Transition

Transition might be the hardest part, so you should plan carefully and get as much information as possible. You should be better at managing your finances and making decisions. When it comes to accommodation, renting is your first option. This will give you a chance to see if the property or the location best fits your needs. Once you’re sure about everything, you can start thinking about buying a property in that area.

Moving to a new country is an exciting and memorable experience. Make the best of it by taking all the necessary precautions and making the right decisions. Browse listing sites or consult an agent to learn what kind of life awaits you in Hong Kong.

When You Go Beyond Being a ‘Keeper’: Telltale Signs of Hoarding Disorder

Posted on by Linda Knight in Digi-Serve | Comments Off

shipping containerYou’re not a collector per se (the likes of coins or postcards collectors), but you like collecting. Your assortment is equal parts astounding and peculiar; it includes old junk that others may perceive to hold no value, such as empty boxes, unsharpened pencils, tattered clothes and even candy wrappers. What’s more distressing is that you start to run out of space because you can’t simply throw them all away.

It may appear thoughtful that a person keeps some things because they have sentimental value, but there are instances where this habit goes overboard. Such is a behavioural pattern called compulsive hoarding. Uncontrolled or obsessive hoarding is a form of anxiety disorder which usually begins during childhood. It’s driven by a person’s attachment to objects and his tendency to personify them.

Below are some indications that will help you identify if your way of keeping things has become pathological in nature.

Your Living Space Has Become a Clutter Box

Instead of renting a space for storage, you keep things at home until it turns into a giant box of mishmash. Cleaning to you may mean clearing the space to form a path or a sleeping area. Everything else is covered with things, from couches to dining tables. Your home’s loaded to the point where moving around becomes uncomfortable.

To avoid cluttering your home, you can rent a separate space for storage. Perth collectors suggest choosing shipping container storage over traditional self-storage for more security.

You’re Ashamed of Your Collection

Unlike someone engaged in philately or collecting action figures, you’re not particularly proud of the things you keep. To you, what you keep has intrinsic value, but others may deem them worthless. You know this for sure, but you can’t stop yourself from keeping things. And when you’re confronted regarding this, you become defensive.

Your Home Starts to Smell Gross

Due to the number of things you keep, you find it hard work to clean and keep everything in order. Things in your fridge get past their expiration date and moisture-sensitive objects get damaged. Your home starts to smell funny. Things get worse if you hoard animals.

You Keep on Buying Things

Compulsive hoarders can be compulsive spenders, too. You won’t debate to buy something if you find it interesting or valuable. In turn, your home is filled with things you’re less likely to use.

Compulsive hoarding may sound like a joke to others, but it’s a recognised mental disorder. Don’t hesitate to contact a specialist if you think you have some of these signs. You may also look for a support group if you believe you have some mild symptoms.

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