Cheers to having a bar at home

Bar at home with grey cupboard doors & drawers and 3 long wooden inset shelvescredit

Are you the social type that likes to unwind with a beer, glass of wine or a cocktail at the end of a long week? You can either hit the local watering hole or enjoy a drink in the comfort of your own home.

At-home bars have been around for decades. Architectural aficionados may remember the wet-bar movements of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Usually, it was just a small nook in the dining room or living room with a mirrored wall, small sink and storage underneath for glasses and bottles.

Today, wet bars have fallen out of favour, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t intrigued by the idea of having somewhere to relax with an adult beverage at home. Rather than a nook in the corner, home-owners are installing true bars.

Some people are even creating backyard bar sheds that are separate from the house. It’s a great idea if you don’t have the extra space inside or your significant other isn’t keen on the idea of an indoor pub.

All it takes is a small amount of space, a few key features, and the right supplies to whip up your favourite cocktail recipes. Here are just a few reasons why more home-owners are choosing to be their own bartenders.

Cupboard home bar painted grey with integral bar fridge and wine rackcredit

The investment will pay for itself

Drinking at home is always going to be much cheaper than going to a bar. Even during happy hour, bars mark up drink prices to turn a profit. Plus, many patrons tip the bartender for each drink. In some cities, it’s easy to spend £7/$10 on one cocktail before tipping.

People who frequent bars just once a week can easily spend £70/$100+ a month. Instead of putting money in the pockets of a bar owner you can put that cash towards a bar of your own.

If you do most of the work yourself and have an existing space you can build a bar for a couple hundred pounds/dollars. According to an article in Forbes, a custom bar build can set you back £2,800/$4,000+. That’s a huge price range, but ultimately the total cost comes down to the materials used and the features you include. For instance, including a wine cooler or mini fridge will add £140/$200+ to the cost.

Rustic, minimalist home barcredit

Your bar, your décor

Another benefit of building your own bar at home is getting to decorate it exactly how you want. Adding those personal touches is what truly makes a bar your own, and it’s a fun part of the process.

Before you start the build, come up with a design scheme as it will influence the layout and materials you use. You can choose a cool, personalised theme like this vintage industrial home bar. But it’s fine if you want to stick to something simple that blends with the other décor in your home.

Home bar with brass bar tools and bottle of gin and cut glass tumblerscredit

Fully stocked with your favourites

There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a bar only to realise they don’t have the ingredients for your favourite libation, or worse, the bartender doesn’t know how to make it. When you have a bar at home that’s never a problem.

Once it’s built, it’s time to stock the bar. A few things you may want to stock in addition to alcohol and mixers include:

  • Glassware (choose the right glass for the type of drinks you plan to make regularly)
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Napkins
  • Shakers
  • Muddler
  • Flow pourers
  • Jigger
  • Strainer

Next time you visit your local hostelry, pay attention to the accessories and equipment that the bartender uses. It will give you a good idea of what you need to stock up on at home.

Country home bar with beamed ceilingcredit

Safer than drinking away from home

There are a few downsides to indulging in alcoholic beverages. One of those is the risk of drinking and driving. All it takes is a couple of drinks to reach the legal blood alcohol limit. And unfortunately, the first thing to go when you’re drinking is sound judgement.

A DUI can be financially and professionally devastating, not to mention deadly. When the bar is at home there’s no cause for concern over drinking and driving. You’ll stay safe and can avoid getting stopped by the police.



How to facilitate your ageing parent’s life

How to facilitate your ageing parent's life

Our parents are amongst the most important members of our family; they gave birth to us and raised us to become strong and independent people. Therefore, it’s essential to offer parents our full support. There are lots of practical ways in which we can make sure that they have a safe, comfortable life; especially if we can’t be around as much as we’d like.

One of the main things that relatives need to think about is loneliness. Our ageing parents and grandparents sometimes consider themselves a burden and begin to isolate themselves. It’s important to take steps to facilitate and encourage their interaction with other people.

Furthermore, ageing parents and relatives face other daily difficulties at home. Some of these problems may be related to the fact that they begin to lose their mobility, vision, mental abilities or a combination of these. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which we can make their life easier and show them that they can always count on our help.

Elderly woman using a mobile phone

Independent living products

Seniors often experience a sudden change in their physical abilities – their hearing, dexterity, eyesight etc. Therefore, some tasks that they once found easy and took for granted can become truly challenging for them. Regardless of that, there are certain technical aids that can help them to remain self-reliant and retain control of their daily care tasks. Examples include safety kettle tippers and ergonomic tin can and door openers. You could also swap microwaves, telephones and clocks for examples that have bigger displays.

Man sitting on his own looking out to sea

Prevent loneliness

Most elderly people prefer to remain in their own homes, maintaining their independence, even when they find it difficult caring for themselves. Unfortunately, even when family members try to remain involved, it can be difficult to look in on ageing parents as often as they’d like – especially if they don’t live nearby. This can sometimes lead to a lack of social interaction for the aged. They may become lonely and depressed due to the passing of a spouse, neighbour or friends. Fortunately, there are a growing number of opportunities for social engagement these days. The most obvious one is definitely care homes. However, in home care for seniors is a preferred alternative for elders who would rather remain in their own home. With this option, they can receive assistance according to their individual needs.

Man walking with mobility aid

Mobility aids

Currently, there’s a wide variety of mobility aids available to the elderly and infirm. Some of the most popular include power scooters and four-wheel frames. These accessories can help seniors remain independent, allowing them get around and keep mobile. In addition, it may be necessary to improve the layout of their home. Too much clutter or furniture can impair their movement. If they use a scooter or frame, ensure there are ramps installed so they don’t slip or trip. There should be ample floor space to get through doorways, to their bed, toilet and bath. Moving around the kitchen and lounge needs to be made as simple and smooth as possible. Removing some internal doors and having a more open-plan design should be considered.

Besides this, make their home safer and more accessible by improving the lighting – especially along corridors, in hallways and above external doors. Lay down non-slip mats in the bathroom and make sure stair and handrails are well-maintained and secure.

These are just a few ways of ensuring that your ageing parents enjoy a safe and comfortable life.


Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget

Pied-à-terre kitchencredit

This pied-à-terre kitchen in Lyon has been redesigned on a tight budget. However, despite this restriction, the results are functional, attractive and interesting. This requires real skill to execute well. The most obvious feature is the use of OSB or orientated strand board. Sometimes this material is used to construct the fabric of a building and then covered with other finishes. It’s left in its ‘raw’ state much more commonly these days. In this space, it’s used for cupboard doors & drawers, drop-leaf tabletop and bench seat. It’s hard-wearing with natural wood shades and real texture.

The supporting table legs & chairs were sourced from Ikea. The minimalist slimline pedal bin fits in neatly and unobtrusively. The colour palette is light and bright with acid green highlight around the window – picked up cleverly on the map of Beaujolais – the wine making region local to the area. We also like the paint detail where the green graduates into the white along a rather unexpected line.

Behind the bench is a shallow, 3-tier cupboard that reaches all the way up to the double-height ceiling; a fantastic storage solution for a small space. Visit the designer’s website to see lots of before & after photos of the space.

  1. 10 Elgin Marble white wall gloss tiles – 248 x 398mm
  2. Carte des vins du Beaujolais
  3. Farrow & Ball Arsenic No.214 matt estate emulsion paint
  4. simplehuman slim pedal bin, 55 litre – brushed stainless steel
  5. Ikea HILVER cone-shaped legs
  6. Ikea LAVER dining chair
  7. Hairpin bench legs
  8. Oriented strand board (OSB)

Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget | H is for Home

10 tricks interior designers won’t tell you

10 tricks interior designers won't tell you | H is for Home

Whilst you may already have a few ideas for revitalising your home’s appearance, putting them into practical action could be difficult – and seemingly call for the services of an interior designer. However, we’re going to reveal some tricks such designers may prefer to keep secret.

Hang artwork at a suitable height

We may not know huge amounts about art, but we know what we like – pictures, posters & paintings hung in such a way that we can view them easily. Artwork is often hung too high; keep the bottom of each piece a mere 7½-20cm/3-8 inches higher than furniture. Leaving too much space in-between creates a distracting void.

Shelf with books stacked vertically and horizontally

Shelve your books horizontally & vertically

Have 60% of your bookshelves’ tomes stacked vertically and leave the remaining 40% stored horizontally. This is good for creating both visual balance and spontaneity, says Reader’s Digest. Intersperse the books with other objects such as vases, framed photos or potted plants.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Position mirrors around 132cm/52 inches up from floor level. Opting for this kind of placement with your mirror can avoid, for most people, the stooping or tip-toeing that can happen whilst attempting to take a look at themselves.

Table and chairs with place settings and centrepiece

Set the table

If you’re planning on buying a new dining table, choose one that exceeds 90cm/3 foot in width. This should leave sufficient space for diners’ plates and cutlery along with, in the centre, serving dishes and centrepieces. If the room it’s going into is fairly small, a circular table might be a better option.

Colour a room happy

When bringing colour into a room, it’s good to give 60% of it over to a dominant hue, assign 30% of it to a secondary tone and designate the remaining 10% to an accent colour.

White-painted pallet coffee table on wheels

Get the measure of your coffee table

These days, a sofa seat is typically around 50cm/20 inches high – a comfortable height for sitting. That leaves the ideal height for a coffee table at approximately 38-50cm/15-20 inches. A convenient position for setting down and picking up your cup of coffee, book and remote controls.

Make fresh use of old pieces

Don’t assume that making your home look fresher automatically entails buying lots of new furniture and fittings. It may be far better to re-purpose existing items. Example ways of doing so are suggested by Freshome, which suggests turning an antique vase into a utensil holder or an old dresser into a bathroom sink and cabinet.

semi-sheer white Roman blinds at a kitchen window

Be flexible with your budget

Spotted some floor-to-ceiling curtains in a luxurious fabric? They might be outside your budget – in which case, cheaper Roman blinds made from the same fabric could be a more affordable option. Similarly, you could forgo pricey custom cabinets in favour of stock cabinets, the door fronts of which can be customised with a paint job or new handles.

Put familiar rooms to different purposes

A room you’ve long has as a little-used dining room could actually make a good home cinema or games room, while a living room could be re-imagined as an office, says

Lantern roof installed over a kitchen

Create balance

This includes balance in colour, texture, furniture and lighting; the installation of lantern roofs could particularly assist you with the last of those.


How to build your dream house

How to build your dream house

The idea of being able to create a place where you can live and enjoy your life is something that everyone has thought about from a young age. However, being able to make that dream come true is very rarely a simple process. It takes time, a lot of saving up and a great deal of thought. Even though this is probably one of the most time-consuming, stressful and expensive projects of your life, the end result is definitely worth all the sleepless nights.

In order to be able to keep your sanity throughout the process, you can find a few useful tips in the following short-list. Building a house is a project that will allow you to discover who you are, what you like and how you want to live.

Calculator and accounts

Establish your budget

The budget for your home is one of the primary sources of conflict in this process. Being able to make a list of all the things you can afford can help you a lot to understand the following steps. Moreover, you can then find out whether you need to save up more money in order to be able to add certain things to the list. A builder or architect will be able to tell you what you can acquire with the money that you already own. Generally, you should consider the cost of the land, the cost of construction, other fees and taxes and furniture and décor.

Solar panels on the roof of a house

Think about your home needs

Consider your lifestyle and think about all the aspects that could facilitate living in your dream home. Moreover, make sure you only add aspects that will make your life comfortable from all points of view. Even though it might seem difficult, try to draw a clear line between your wants versus your needs. A good way of making an investment that you’ll be able to benefit from in the future would be by including innovative technology in the plan. San Diego home solar power is a good example in this case. Solar power systems can be integrated to most house types, allowing you to reduce electricity costs and help protect the environment.

House plans

Create a house design

Once you establish your real needs, it’s time to get even closer to your dream. Although the architect is the one who usually puts together a house plan, you need to be involved in this process as well. Make sure you choose a design that fits your tastes, budget and future plans or ideas. For example: a home office, a gym and a playroom or a nursery for your future kids. Make sure you discuss everything with your designer and suggest changes if needed.

Welcome to our home painted sign

Move in and enjoy

After endless months of building your dream home, the day will arrive when you’ll finally be able to move in. You’ve worked hard for it, so you should enjoy every second that you spend in your new place to the maximum. Invite your family and friends over and celebrate!


How to include technology in your design scheme

How to include technology in your design scheme

When it comes to creating an interior design scheme that works for you, it’s important that you create a space that solves problems, provides support and improves your quality of life. One of the best ways for you to do this is by embracing the benefits of technology. This will help you to modernise your design scheme and to fill it with features that are sure to impress your family and friends. With so many options available to you, it can be hard to know where to start. Below are four suggestions that will help you get inspired.

Corner of an all-in-one home printer

Your office space

If you have a home office, this is one area where technology will play a big part. Firstly, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to invest in a desktop computer or a laptop. You’ll also need to look out for a suitable printer. If you’re tight on space, you should try to find a printer that also works as a scanner and even a fax machine. Once you’ve set up all of your devices, you should also invest in cyber-security and create a backup plan for any data loss disasters. You should trust Secure Data Recovery to protect your technology. This is the best way for you to ensure your home office stays up and running and always exists as a functional space.

Using an iPad in the kitchen

Your kitchen

If you’re a real foodie who loves to spend time in the kitchen, you should explore the many opportunities that technology provides for you. One option is to have a television screen mounted on the wall of your kitchen. It’s ideal if you like to follow cooking tutorials from all of your favourite chefs. Alternatively, you could create a mounted platform for your tablet or smartphone. You could also introduce smart technology into your property and sync your oven timer to your phone. That way, you can move around your home without forgetting about your culinary efforts.

Electric noise masker

Your bedroom

In order to enjoy a good night’s sleep, it’s important that you limit your exposure to the blue light of tablets and smartphones before you go to bed. However, other kinds of technology will work incredibly well in your bedroom. For instance, you could invest in a white noise machine. This is a brilliant way for you to take control of your sleeping pattern and to enjoy a deeper sleep. You could also sync your light switches with your smartphone. That way, you don’t have to get out of bed when you’re ready to drift off.

Multi-media setup in a living room

Your home entertainment area

Another fantastic way for you to include technology in your design scheme is by creating a home entertainment area. Instead of relying on basic television speakers, you should think about investing in a high-quality sound system. They will help you to get the most out of the shows and films that you are watching. You could also use your sound system to blast your favourite tunes around the house. It will come in especially handy when you’re throwing a party or completing a deep clean of your entire property!


What every interior designer needs to be successful

What every interior designer needs to be successful

Being an interior designer sounds glamorous, and while it’s a lot of fun, it also requires hard work and dedication. You not only have to be good at what you do, but you have to know how to work with different types of people.

Home-owners are either picky or they don’t have a clue about what they want. This is when you have to be able to step in and help them find some direction with their thoughts. You’re working within budgets and schedules and have to be fully attentive and detail oriented. See what every interior designer needs to be successful.

Interior designer swatches

An eye for décor

Regardless of your background, you have to be someone who has a knack for interior design. Some of it can be taught, but a lot of it comes from natural talent. There has to be passion and ability present for you to impress your customers. Practice on your own home and see what you come up with. Go shopping and look around online for ideas and challenge yourself to mini decorating tasks. It’ll quickly become clear if it comes naturally to you or if you’re struggling.

Group working on creative project

Presentation skills

As an interior designer, you have to sell your services to the home-owners. They have to fully understand your capabilities, what you’ve done in the past and your vision for their home. One way to do this is to visit each client and go over your presentation together. There’s presentation software online that’s easy to use and will help you get your message across clearly and concisely. This free presentation maker allows you to create professional business presentations without the need for programming or design skills.

Drawing a smile illustration


Not only do you require the technical skills to decorate homes, but you also need to have a personality. Home-owners not only have to fall in love with your work but with you too. It’s helpful if you’re friendly, enthusiastic and approachable. You need to be able to adopt a wide range of styles and temperaments. You have to portray a positive and upbeat attitude about the project and help them see that you’re excited about your vision.

laptop presentation


There’s no doubt that you’re going to have to be a patient person if you get into the interior design industry. Home-owners are going to drag their feet, change their minds and have you redo on a regular basis and you have to be prepared to handle it all as it develops. The good news is that patience is a quality you can work on and improve as time goes on. The more experience you have under your belt, the easier it’ll be to adopt whatever comes your way.

Ideas, ideas, ideas


These are a few of the necessary requirements for making it in the industry. Evaluate where you fall on the spectrum and work to improve in the areas where you feel you come up short. This is what every interior designer needs to be successful.