Thermal lining on curtains and blinds

Save on heating bills with FREE Thermal Lining on Curtains and Blinds

Concern about our environment is certainly a major issue. But hitting home more directly is the cost of heating bills.  There are several ways to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of your home, particularly in areas where heat escapes more easily, such as through windows.

Online ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 25, 2014 9:49 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Big Home Decor Trends This Winter 2014

The changing of the seasons is the perfect excuse to give your home a bit of a makeover. Trends in summer vary from trends in winter, so it’s a great time to give your home a brand new look. Here are some ideas based on what’s set to be big this winter:


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Rearrange Your Furniture

If you don’t want to make a massive change to your home, simply switching up your current furniture arrangement can make a world of difference. A big trend this winter is to make sure your furniture is away from the walls in a more social setting. More throws and pillows will make it a wonderful place to relax while it’s snowing/raining outside - the more the better! You’ll obviously want to keep your new arrangement tidy, so a housekeeper could be the thing you need. Find housekeepers with Supacare if this sounds good to you.


Orange ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 24, 2014 8:33 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Autumnal Mood board

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 17, 2014 9:19 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


How to Decorate Your House for Fall

Photo: Aimee Herring, Design: Ralph Lauren; Courtesy of Scot Meacham Wood (headshot)

Q: How do I update my house for fall? —Vanessa C.

A: It's just starting to happen here in San Francisco: There's always a specific, almost magical, moment when it ceases to be summer and you know that fall has arrived. One of the first signs for me is when I'm making my morning Starbucks stop on the way to work and I see crossing guards ushering elementary students to the school in our neighborhood. Often that 'sense' of fall arrives before the calendar season or the chilly weather does ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 10, 2014 8:45 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Energy saving: Grab a grant while you can

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You will have heard of those lucky homeowners now being paid generous subsidies for installing solar PV panels. However, the latest way to make cash from a home and substantially cut energy bills is with renewable technology. The government is making it easier for you to introduce eco-friendly measures into the home with grants and incentives, but what does it all mean and how do you get involved?

What’s the latest scheme?

Known as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), this long awaited government programme was launched in April this year, paying homeowners for heat produced through renewable measures. Payments are made for seven years based on the estimated energy required to keep a property warm and with hot water derived from solar thermal, air source or ground source heat pumps or a biomass boiler.

Should I act now?

From April to July 2014, more than 7,400 homeowners applied for the RHI with 35,000 in ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 08, 2014 11:37 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


AUGUST, 2014

The Ideal Escape: Create Your Perfect Beach House

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A beach house is a perfect escape from your busy day to day life. Many people in the UK are now investing in a beach house as a second-home, where they can go to when they need a break. Creating the ideal beach house experience is not all about finding a fantastic property. Once you have bought your home, you will need to do a bit of work to ensure that you feel comfortable and relaxed in the beach house.

Many of us opt to go abroad to see the sea. It is odd how people in the UK neglect their beautiful coastline. There are so many wonderful beaches and coves within the region. We should be making the most of the stunning scenery right on our own doorstep. Investing in a beach house in the UK means embracing our unique landscapes and enjoying what the island has ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  August 07, 2014 9:24 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


JULY, 2014

Keep Cool This Summer


Is that sticky summer heat starting to get to you?

Though the UK can be rather dismal in terms of weather for what seems like the entire year, the summer’s hot and humid toll still manages to sneak up on us. Before you know it, nights that were previously spent with the heat blasting from the furnace, are now passed trying to crack the window another inch wider, aching for a breeze.

With the way that old buildings and homes trap the heat in, it can often feel as though there’s no escape. You probably ask yourself how much longer this heat will endure – but experts are saying you shouldn’t have to.

Many people think of ceiling fans as being energy efficient, but ineffective. However, that’s simply not the case. Not only are ceiling fans one of the most environmentally friendly ventilation options on the ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  July 14, 2014 10:54 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


JUNE, 2014

Transform the area below deck

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                There are about 5% of yacht / boat owners who have the nicest things money can buy. This article probably does not pertain to you as much. For the other 95% of us, taking a trip out on your boat can be an incredibly relaxing event, until you go beneath the deck.

                The one thing that most people complain about is how below deck lacks that warm, welcoming feeling. That feeling you get after a long days work, and soon as you open your bedroom door, that king size bed is just calling your name.

                Boats lack this "warmth" in the most simplest sense, but it does not have to be this way. Here are a few quick tips and tricks to help transform that cold, cramped area below deck; into a cosy resting space.

Change up the colours

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  June 24, 2014 4:06 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)


APRIL, 2014

Summer's Hottest Floral Trends

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Learn how easy it is to recreate the designs yourself - with a little help from the UK's leading teacher of floristry and flower arranging, Judith Blacklock.  Judith has unveiled 16 new online summer flower arrangment tutorials, where she shows how to make a variety of eye-catching and gorgeous summer flower arrangements. 

Anyone will be able to create new looks for the home, brighten up a summer dining table or make your own floral gift for friends and family.  And the good news is that you don't have to have had any flower arranging experience before - Judith is a past master at making it super simple - so that even the complete novice can achieve a beautiful outcome.  

Below 16 tutorials are all carefully thought out and planned - and feature a range of easy to come by seasonal summer blooms. 
Just choose the design that appeals ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  April 29, 2014 1:58 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)




Fresh flowers are a speedy way to brighten any space in your home. But take the time to avoid the mistakes that diminish your bouquet's staying power.

1. Going overboard choosing blooms
We're all for creativity, but if you’re unsure of your eye for arranging, keep it simple. "Try choosing flowers in a single color," says Eric Buterbaugh, chief floral designer at The Bouqs. "I think they're more sophisticated and visually powerful. You don't have to overthink it."

2. Not putting your flowers in water ASAP
Don’t plop your bouquet on the counter and then go off to answer a dozen emails. "It's important to hydrate your flowers immediately to preserve their integrity," says Valerie Ghitelman, floral merchandising director at 1-800-Flowers.

3. Cutting the stems straight across
"Stems should be cut at an angle with a sharp clean pair of clippers," says Ghitelman. "It provides a wider surface for water to travel up the stem."

4. Trimming your stems ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  April 12, 2014 9:25 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)



How to create a perfect garden room

An extra room looking on to the garden is a traditional choice for many UK homes, and whether it is a garden room, sunroom or conservatory, the variety available is vast. It’s certainly a great way to add value to your property; the one danger is it can end up looking like something bolted onto the side of the house, rather than an integrated part of the existing structure.

Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, gives his top tips on how to avoid this, and ways to enhance the flow and overall size, whilst adding value.

What to Look For:

The debate over which material is best is seemingly never ending; we would always recommend an aluminium structure for the glass doors and windows as it is the strongest of the three acclaimed materials (timber, PVCu and aluminium). It’s strong and lightweight, so can support larger glass panels and allows ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  February 21, 2014 3:09 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Your Spring makeover

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January is the perfect time to start planning your interiors projects as there are lots of gorgeous new collections just about to be launched in store.

Check out high street favourites, such as Marks & Spencer, whose new ranges focus on timeless designs with lots of lovely surprises. You’ll find stunning, oversized recycled-glass vases from Spain sitting alongside brightly coloured, handmade Portuguese ceramics.

It’s great to see lots of British companies involved, too; Marks & Spencer has cushions and upholstery made up in luxurious wool fabrics from Abraham Moon’s factory in Leeds, a gorgeous rocking chair from Ercol, plus stunning unique wooden chopping boards from the Banbury Estate in Oxfordshire.

Colour is also making a welcome comeback in products like the Freya sofa in fuchsia pink and the Wild Coast and Summer Floral bed sets (top left), with prices starting at £39.50.

Head to John Lewis ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  February 17, 2014 10:41 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)



Indoor plants at Christmas


Kenneth Freeman, head of innovation at Ambius, the world’s largest interior landscaping company, has provided us his expert views on which Christmas plants to use and how to get the most out of them. 

Christmas is coming, and that brings a number of challenges to people looking after indoor plants – whether they are professional interior landscapers or keen home gardeners.

Poinsettia pointers

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are among the most commonly used seasonal plants. You will often find them forming part of Christmas seasonal displays and for sale at every garden centre and supermarket from mid-November onwards.  As well as the traditional bright red varieties, new types in deep red (almost maroon), cream, pink and white are also available.  Unfortunately, poinsettias have a reputation as being short-lived and difficult to maintain, even over the relatively short period that they are in our homes or offices.

Here ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  November 27, 2013 4:12 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Red and Green Christmas Mantel


A simple display in traditional red and green instantly adds Christmas spirit to this mantel. Colour-coordinated ornaments sit in large glass cloches and a mix of fresh and faux foliage, such as a store-bought floral wreath and a cedar garland, help pull the look together. To add extra glam, hang glittery ornaments with stockings on metallic stocking holders.

posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  November 25, 2013 9:16 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Jazz Up Your Home This Diwali


Diwali - the festival of lights, celebration of happiness and homecoming of the Goddess Lakshmi - begins with decorating and beautifying your surroundings, especially your home. But if you have been too busy to renovate your place, don't fret! It should not burn a hole in your pocket to decorate your home. Just dig in your closet and you'll find plenty of things to add that extra zing to festivities. We have come up with some quick and easy ideas to make your home Diwali-ready in no time.

Content at Glance

As mentioned, there are many ways to get your home ready for Diwali. One of the main essences of Diwali celebration is to commemorate the triumph of light against darkness. In fact, there are so many diwali wishes and messages that feature greetings that wish loved ones and family to have a bright light that will guide the ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  November 01, 2013 12:10 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)



Top Ten Tips: Keeping homes warm and bills down by BSW Building Services


Four of the big six energy companies have hiked up prices before the seasonal surge in demand, and a survey for Age UK found that 28 per cent of pensioners said they were worrying about heating their homes during the winter. Troy Belliere, Operations Director at central heating firm BSW Building Services, based near Haywards Heath, offers his Top Ten Tips for keeping homes warm and energy bills down:

1. Mission control:

Strict thermostat control will slash costs. Reducing room temperatures by at least 1ºC can reduce bills by up to 10%. Electronic heating programmers allow you to apply specific date/time settings. Minimise consumption by programming the heating off at night and when the home is empty.

2. Combat draughts:

Tackle gaps around windows and doors and where pipes pass through exterior walls. Conversely, reduce the use of extractor fans. They use large amounts of electricity. Newer models ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  October 29, 2013 1:44 PM  Seasonal  comments (0)



Cold comfort | Hot tips for Winter warmer window dressings


With utility bills rising steeply year on year, energy efficient window dressings are the perfect choice to help you make a saving.  According to energy regulator Ofgem, the average yearly bill in the UK is £1,420 and forecasters from have predicted that this cost could be as high as £4,185 by 2020.


"It’s very unlikely that you’d throw a bundle of crisp five pound notes out of the window on a regular basis,” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design at Hillarys, "but that is exactly what you could be doing if your window dressings aren’t energy efficient.


"A lot of heat can be lost through windows, especially in older properties with sash or period windows, but you can make a big difference by choosing the right covering.


"Here are some tricks of the trade to help keep your home ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 24, 2013 8:41 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Make your home energy efficient


The best way to increase the efficiency of your heating system is to install a modern energy-efficient boiler, but there are plenty of other easy, and cheaper, ways of cutting your energy bills. Here are a few top tips to keep you warm and energy efficient.

Make your home more energy efficient

Fit draught excluders around the edge of your external doors and add an internal flap to stop draughts coming through the letterbox. Even the keyhole can let in draughts, so add an escutcheon plate. You can also fit a brush strip across the bottom of the door, if that will help.

If you lay down a 270mm layer of fibre insulation in your loft, you could save a significant amount off annual heating costs. It will also make the bedrooms 'feel' warmer. Topping up thin layers of old insulation to at least 270mm is also a good idea.

If you have cavity ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 17, 2013 8:22 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


Top ten ways to prepare your home for winter


The days are getting shorter and colder, which means Jack Frost is at your door and he’s looking to freeze your pipes and give you the flu as an early Christmas gift. Fortunately, here are some tips that’ll keep you warm and protect your home from the jaws of winter.


1 – Sort out your home insurance

Check to make sure that your home insurance policy is up to scratch and that you’re covered for winter-related damage. If it comes to sorting out water damage to your Christmas presents or fixing a leaky roof, you’ll be glad you had the right cover in place.


2 – Keep your pipes toasty

Burst pipes are common during winter due to rapid freezing and thawing, potentially causing massive damage. The best way to stop this from happening is to keep your pipes warm with their own foam cardigan (called lagging), which will reduce the heat ...

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 17, 2013 8:09 AM  Seasonal  comments (0)


De-Draft Your Home


Three fast ways to warm rooms — and lower heat bills

Smoke out cold-air leaks using a stick of incense. With the stick smouldering, move it toward the edges of windows and doors. If there's a draft, the smoke will be blown horizontally (no draft, and the smoke will rise as normal). Fix it with caulk, applied inside and out.

Block AC ducts. If your AC ducts aren't used by your heating system, even when the air is off, drafts from the dormant ducts can make the house feel colder. Magnetic register covers are a good fix.

Seal up your attic and basement. Make sure access doors' gaskets aren't old or cracked, and install door sweeps if needed to completely block off unheated areas from the rest of your house.

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posted by MY UNIQUE HOME | DESIGN MAGAZINE & DESIGN WORKSHOPS | INSPIRATION | SEASONAL  September 17, 2013 7:59 AM  Seasonal  comments (2)


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