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Ideas for Gifting Experiences

If you’re still wondering what to give that special person, there’s still time to give someone the gift of an experiences!

Perhaps they’d prefer the gift of a memory instead of a thing. What are they passionate about? What have they mentioned they’d like to try? Below is a list of ideas for gifting a great memory to someone you care about this holiday season.

Tasting Experiences

Consider a culinary or market tour your person may enjoy. Airbnb Experiences and Trip Advisor are great sources for ideas in their area. Look for specialty food gatherings, wine tours, pub crawls, local market tours, and chef led tastings available in their area.

Online Courses

No doubt you’ve seen the ads for Masterclass with all the experts and celebs they’ve rounded up to teach classes. Skillshare and Creative Live are also great sources for anyone who wants to gain more knowledge in their hobby or profession.

Fender teaches guitar to beginners and Flowkey will help them learn piano. If there is a podcaster or mentor they are inspired by, consider one of their courses as a gift too. Airbnb now offers online culinary experiences and tours for anyone who wants to travel to or taste or learn from someone in a different part of the world.

Local Excursions or Tours

I’ve had great success over the years with Get Your Guide. I’ve booked multiple tours and excursions in foreign countries and also right here at home in the Wine Country and San Francisco Bay Area. Day trips by boat, bike, or van allow one to explore different areas even in their own backyard. Each experience has multiple written reviews and a gift card will allow them to book whatever experience they like near or far.

Memberships to Museums, Parks, & Gardens

Are there local museums, galleries, parks, academies, or botanical gardens they love to visit? A membership will allow them access anytime they want. Are they off on a road trip next year? Consider the America the Beautiful pass with access to all National Parks.

Local Classes

Who are the makers in their neighborhood? Creatives can learn from local artisans, and foodies can learn from local chefs or take cooking classes at Sur La Table. Do they want to learn to dive or paint or become a beekeeper? Getting them started on a new hobby is very thoughtful and they’ll think of you each time they show up for their new class. 🙂

Daycations

Perhaps there is somewhere close by where they could relax for a day? Most busy moms would appreciate that, but also anyone with a busy schedule who could use a day off . Check out Resort Pass for local hotels and resorts offering use of their amenities for a day!

all images courtesy of Canva pro membership

 

4 Great Tips for Decorating the Wall with Canvas

Gone are the days of standard prints on the wall, nowadays you can completely personalize what you hang on your wall at home.

Whether you’re having precious photos printed on canvas, or ordering your favorite fine art reproduction, there’s plenty to choose from.

To be honest, that doesn’t always make decorating your home easy. How do you ensure that your wall decoration still fits well with the rest of the interior, and that the whole looks tasteful and also original? Here we give you 4 great tips for decorating the wall with canvas.

Don’t be afraid to mix

When it comes to wall decoration, there are few rules. So don’t stop yourself from experimenting and mixing different media. For example, combine a photo printed on canvas with that large clock, smaller photo frames, a cool wall lamp and a shelf with a plant. Other ideas for wall decoration include musical instruments, found objects, beautiful pieces of cloth or fabric, dream catchers, crockery and mirrors.

To make it a whole, make sure that the colors and style of all decoration objects match. For example, a modern, sleek clock should have a more minimalistic image, while a classic wall lamp fits beautifully with a lush ivy hanging plant and a beautiful photo of a special family moment. Also consider the color of the wall itself when choosing the pieces, and the rest of the interior in the room.

Go for the right print in the right space

The living room is probably the first room where you think of hanging canvas prints. But don’t forget the rest of the house either! Where a stylish photo collage or a large statement piece works well above the sofa, the hall, for example, is a nice space to hang a medium-sized family portrait. This way, everyone who enters immediately knows which household they are in, and this is also the last image that visitors see when they leave the house.

The kitchen? Of course, images of food items do well there. Keep in mind that shooting food is a specialty, so make sure that if you take your own photos, they are also of print-worthy quality. It can be fun to combine the images with a chalkboard for the groceries and pans on the wall.

In the toilet you can play with prints again. Will it be some inspiring sayings, or just that one slightly embarrassing, but super funny photo from an amusement park? The study, on the other hand, does better with a calm image, a favorite piece of art for example, or a more artistic portrait in black and white. In the bedroom you can take advantage of the more intimate atmosphere with photos from the wedding, or a special photo shoot you did with your partner.

With or without frame

The great thing about most canvas prints is that they can be hung without a frame. If you want to protect the print a little more, or simply give it a different style, consider putting a frame around it. The print gets a more chic look with a frame, and you immediately have the chance to play with color and style. A classic frame for a classic photo, a clean frame for a clean image. Or you mix it right!

Involve the whole household

Do not make the selection of canvas prints for the wall a lonely task but give everyone in the house a voice. Children will especially enjoy being able to pick out their own picture for the wall.

Beautiful canvas ideas for the baby and children’s room are of course photos of the whole family, images of moments that the child is proud of (such as that one successful birthday party or the presentation of the swimming diploma) and of course prints of the favorite heroes the little one. Or how about officially framed versions of the most beautiful works of art the child has created?

But your partner will also have their own ideas about what she or he would like to see on canvas on the wall. And who knows, very nice ideas, which you would not have come up with so quickly! So discuss the options together and make sure everyone agrees with the final choice. This way everyone in the house enjoys looking at the pieces on the wall.

 

Eco-friendly flooring: Top 8 trends to watch out in 2022

The time has come! 2022 is almost here and it’s time to remodel your home with the hottest flooring solutions. However, if you are environment-savvy, just like me, then you may find it difficult to create the space you have always dreamed of.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry anymore. This blog post is all about sustainable flooring solutions that are going to rule the flooring industry in 2022 and beyond. Let’s begin:

Eco-friendly is the new flooring trend

Flooring is often a challenging thing to decide since it comes in different types, forms, shapes, materials and prices. When it comes to sustainable flooring, gone are the days when the options were limited. Thanks to the latest technological advancements, buyers have an array of choices, ranging from engineered wood to natural stone tiles

Sustainable flooring makes use of eco-friendly materials that look ultra-chic. This is an added bonus for environment-conscious people who believe in opting for sustainable solutions. However, it’s not easy to choose the right one from a plethora of eco-friendly options. To assist you in your journey, we have compiled a list of the hottest sustainable flooring solutions for 2022. Some are new, some are old and a few will blow your mind. Have a look:

Sustainably harvested hardwood

Hardwood is timeless, classic. It’s all-natural, durable, cosy and eye-pleasing, making it the most sought-after flooring material in the world. But if you want to make sure the flooring product you choose has a positive impact on the environment, then invest in certified hardwood products that are sourced from responsibly managed forests. Be sure to verify your hardwood floor is ethically and sustainably obtained.

Bamboo flooring

Bamboo is the perfect example of sustainable flooring. Although it often resembles traditional plank wood flooring, bamboo is much harder than oak and maple. On top of that, it expands and contracts less than hardwood, making it extremely durable and tough.

The best thing about bamboo is that it is a type of grass, not a tree. It is obtained from six to seven years old plants, generally available in a variety of colours, ranging from darker tones to natural light tones. Remember, carbonised bamboo isn’t as long-lasting as stained bamboo. So, try to invest in stained bamboo flooring.

Cork flooring

Cork comes from the bark of the Mediterranean oak tree, which regenerates itself in eight to twelve years, making cork flooring a sustainable solution. Some flooring experts even use recycled industrial materials, such as scraps from wine stoppers.

Cork flooring is available in both tiles and planks and provides nice cushioning and insulation. Also, it’s a great option to reduce noise and maximise comfort in the busy areas of your house, such as bedrooms, dining halls and living rooms. Be sure to keep it away from moisture-prone areas.

Natural linoleum

People often think of vinyl when they hear the word linoleum. Yet, the two aren’t relevant to each other. Vinyl is a synthetic material, whereas linoleum is organic. Though natural linoleum isn’t new to the flooring industry, it was left behind after the introduction of vinyl. As manufacturers, engineers, architects and designers are asking for it again, it is going to re-emerge with a great force in 2022.

Reclaimed hardwood

If you love rustic and vintage flooring, reclaimed hardwood is your thing. It is a popular choice in all sorts of buildings and decor motifs. Why? Because hardwood isn’t the best choice for people like us, who are environmentally conscious.

However, reclaimed wood is different. It is obtained from old wood, instead of a new one. It has the same aesthetic appeal as hardwood and can last for years when you take good care of it. In addition to being eco-friendly, reclaimed wood is pocket-friendly too.

Engineered hardwood

It’s cost-effective, eco-friendly and beautiful; there’s nothing like engineered hardwood. In fact, it’s more sustainable than its hardwood counterpart because of the way it’s manufactured. Engineered wood is produced by attaching a hardwood veneer to a plywood core, leaving more area to use the tree.

Natural stone tiles

This one is quite an obvious one – natural stone tiles. As the name implies, these floor tiles are totally natural. They are highly durable, extremely comfortable and easy to maintain. Plus, natural stone tiles won’t emit toxic gases, unlike white subway tiles.

However, their place of origin might become a concern for you. This is because some natural stone materials are mined on a large scale, which can leave a negative impact on the environment. Thus, it’s better to ask your local flooring expert about how they obtained natural stone tiles in Melbourne.

Glass tiles

Have you ever wondered what happens to the beer and wine bottles that are recycled?  They get converted into glass tiles. Yes, tiles! These bottles are a good renewable source for manufacturing floor tiles that are great for bathroom and kitchen walls. Glass tiles have eco-friendly characteristics and are non-absorptive, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Unlike terrazzo tiles, glass tiles reflect light, adding additional light to the room. Plus, they come in a wide range of colours, patterns and finishes.

There you have it – a list of eco-friendly flooring solutions for 2020. Which one is your pick and why? Do let us know in the comments below.
https://www.passivehouseca.org/?p=740

2022 Printable Calendar Collection

My friends, a new year is just around the corner! While you settle into these last few weeks of December, you can still plan for next year!

Introducing my new Calendar Collection for 2022! Over at my print shop, find six different designs to frame. These are all year-at-a-glance style. If you’re like me and like to look ahead or glance at a year then you’ll love these large scale calendars!

These are perfect for an office or kitchen or anywhere you need to quickly remind yourself of dates. I’ve created six different designs using my sketches and photography. I’ve blended artistic touches with the practicality of a calendar in an instant download!

These printable calendars are fantastic framed in poster size at 24×36” but you can also print them at 18×24” or 50x70cm (see below how they’re a perfect fit for the IKEA RIBBA frame).

Here are the six designs up close:

Boho Flourish

Watercolor botanical flourishes in earth tones surround this year-at-a-glance calendar.

Olive Leaves

Illustrated palm leaves surround this calendar with months identified in a script font.

*also available in a teal background, see the listing!

Blue Leaves

Cascading blue leaves beautify this calendar with months backed by blush pink squares.

Black Scallop

Sketched abstract scallop shapes surround this calendar in minimalist type.

Retro Surf

A retro style calendar featuring surfboards in a line with months displayed in minimalist type.

Beach Walk

Find instant serenity in this wall calendar in soothing blue tones and an ocean view.

I’m very excited to share these new designs with you!

Earlier this year, I wrote about the easiest way to frame large scale art under $50.

Each one of these prints can be framed and hung on the wall as a reference all year.

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Each digital download includes a 2to3 ratio which prints as large as 24×36” as well as a 3to4 ratio which print as large as the 18×24” size.

Also included is the 50x70cm size which sits perfectly inside this $15 IKEA RIBBA 19¾x27½” frame (also available in black). The 24×36″ IKEA RIBBA frames are only $20!

Find the 2022 Calendar Collection here.

How Do Tenancy Deposit Claims work?

Imagine this situation: you have just moved into your new rented home after giving your landlord your tenancy deposit. You’re confident that your money is safe with them because they promised to register it with a government-authorised protection scheme.

Fast forward to more than a month later and you have asked your landlord for an update on your deposit, but you have  not received any reply. Take heart though; according to UK laws, landlords are required to protect tenant deposits within 30 days of them receiving the money. Once they have done so, they are to send tenants details about the protection scheme where they registered the deposit. This is called prescribed information, and if this is not provided to you 30 days after you paid the deposit, you may be eligible to file for a dispute or tenancy deposit claim.

Tenancy deposit protection schemes are intended to keep your money safe throughout the course of your tenancy. If you break any of the tenancy terms or damage part of the property, your landlord can use the money to offset repair costs. But if you have diligently followed all tenancy terms and paid your rent on time, your landlord is obligated to return the deposit to you after your tenancy ends.

Tenancy disputes

Millions of tenants in the UK claim that their profit is not protected. The estimated worth of unprotected deposits is around £515 million, or nearly 50% of tenants. Many renters often think that if their landlord is well-known or has been in business for years, or their letting agency is popular and big, they are automatically guaranteed deposit protection. Most of the time, the reality is the opposite: their deposits were not or have not been protected.

So, even if it is specified in the agreement that your deposit will be protected, don’t rely too much on it. There are rogue landlords who often resort to illegal behaviour, such as denying their tenants deposit protection.

When you can make tenancy deposit claims

There are three instances when you are eligible to file for tenancy deposit claims

When your landlord does not register your deposit in any of the government-authorised protection schemes: mydeposits, Deposit Protection Service, and Tenancy Deposit Scheme. When your landlord protects your deposit and then removes it without re-registering it even while you are still renting and living in the property. When your landlord puts your deposit into the tenancy deposit protection scheme late – after more than the 30 days that was given to them.

If your landlord is found to have breached the tenancy deposit laws, they will be ordered to return the original deposit to you and will be asked to pay between one to three times the deposit value for every breach.

How a tenancy claim works

Before filing a tenancy claim, you first need to verify if your deposit has been protected or not. Here’s what you need to do:

To check if you have a basis for making a claim, you can ask your landlord or letting agent for confirmation. If they did not provide you with the prescribed information, you should ask them for it  because they are required to do so by law. If your landlord or letting agent does not respond or provide you with accurate information, check the websites of the deposit scheme providers. You will have to enter the following details:Your surnameStart date of your tenancyYour postcode

These details are typically contained in your tenancy agreement.

If you are in a joint tenancy, you may have to enter the details of your joint tenants if the information is not available under your name.

If you just renewed your tenancy, you should enter a different start date.

If you cannot find the details you need, talk to a representative of the deposit protection scheme provider. Their contact number is usually displayed on their website.

Once you have verified that your landlord has not protected your deposit, you need to get in touch with a team of solicitors experienced in tenancy deposits. After verifying your proof of a right to claim, the team might have to go over your tenancy agreement to determine if your landlord provided you with the right clauses and documentation.

This step will provide further confirmation if you have a valid claim.

Your deposit protection compensation claim team might also verify with you if you are still willing to push through with legal action.

Provide your solicitors with all the information needed for your claim to move forward. This includes evidence such as photos, videos, and documentation of landlord-tenant communication (via email, text, written letters, or personal meetings).

The team will then prepare a letter of claim for you, which is sent to your landlord. Your landlord is given 14 days to respond to your letter. If they do not, your team of solicitors will prepare to take them to court.

No win, no fee

Choose the team of solicitors from Tenancy Deposit Claims if you want a no-win-no-fee guarantee from solicitors who are authorised and registered with The Solicitors Regulation Authority. Tenancy Deposit Claims’ solicitors are well-versed and experienced in tenancy deposits, so your chances of getting a successful claim are higher.

How to Make Your New House Feel Like a Home

Moving is one of the most exciting yet nerve-wrecking things you can go through during your life. Whether you are moving out of your parent’s house for the first time or moving into your eighth new location, the feelings are still the same. Moving provides the chance for a fresh start as well as new opportunities. There are new neighbors to meet, a fresh town to get to learn, and a place to start the next chapter in your life.

If you have ever moved house before, you likely know that weird feeling just after a move. Sometimes, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that a new house is actually yours. It can often lead to you feeling like you are a guest in someone else’s home. However, this is only due to the fact that your home doesn’t have that homely feeling. But how do you attain that? You don’t have to wait years until you feel like you really belong in a living space. There are things that you can do immediately that can really make you feel settled in your new home. Here are some suggestions on how you can do that.

Make the Most out of Your Sentimental Items

Everyone is going to have that one box when they move that is full of items they are emotionally connected to. This could include the likes of stuffed animals, first clothing items, and medals and trophies. These are really important things to have in your home. They are all significant in terms of different stages of your life. Thanks to these items, you can be reminded of the good times in the past and where you came from. With this considered, you should try to make the most out of them when you are setting up your new home. Display them loud and proud to really make it clear that this is your home.

Work on the Garden

Part of having a home you feel like you belong is making it personal to you. This can often require a little bit of creativity. One of the best places in the home to get creative is the garden. There is so much room for unique designs that can make your garden special to you. For example, you can plant a variety of flowers that can really brighten up your garden. By finding gardening seeds sold in Australia from Happy Valley Seeds, you will be able to give your flower patch a unique combination of color and life.

Don’t Follow Layouts or Pre-set Designs

Many people will be afraid to get creative when moving into a new house. They follow the set designs and layouts, making their house look just like everyone else’s. However, there is no reason why you can’t get creative and do your own thing. Don’t follow any set of rules when setting up your home. Just do what feels right for you and your family to make it uniquely yours.

 

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your House


Are you ready to update your house? There are plenty of home improvements you can make, big or small, that are sure to leave an impact. If you’re looking to refresh your house with paint, the first thing you have to do is choose some potential colors. Easier said than done, right? Selecting a color palette for your home can seem like a daunting task because of the endless options out there.

Here’s the best process for choosing paint colors for your home.

Pick out a few color options. The first step in deciding which color(s) are suitable for your home is to choose a few different colors. It sounds silly, but this first step is crucial on the path to deciding which color is right for you. You’ll narrow down the options without completely settling on one particular color from the start. Then, consider the space you’re looking to paint — is it indoors or outdoors? What does the furniture look like? Is there a lot of natural light in the room? Are there any colors or color families you can’t stand? What colors make you happiest? The answers to these questions will point you in the right direction for the next steps.

Know a little color theory. Consider your reason for having your home painted. Is it to make your home look bigger? Perhaps it’s so your home can feel cozier. Whatever your reason for painting is, there’s a paint color to match your goal. Generally speaking, crisp whites can help open up a space, but these hues can also make a room feel cold and lifeless. On the other hand, warm colors can make any space in a home feel welcoming, while soothing cool pastels can make a space more relaxing. Think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create and let that inspire your color choices.

Test multiple paint swatches. Whether you’re painting indoors or outdoors, professional house painters in Ashland, MA, say it’s always a good idea to do a color swatch test before making the final decision. You can easily get a sample size of the color you’re considering from a local paint or hardware store. When you swatch, make sure to test the color in multiple areas, so you get a good idea of how the color looks in shadow versus how it looks in the light. Additionally, make sure to swatch a large enough space (about a one-foot by one-foot area will do), so you have a better idea of how the color will look when you commit.

Use an online color visualizer. Perhaps the most challenging part of choosing a color for the interior or exterior of your home is knowing what it will look like when the job is done. Color swatching can get you pretty far, but you still won’t know what the finished product will truly look like. Fortunately, there are a variety of free tools online that can help you picture any color in your space. All you have to do is upload photos of your room, choose the color you’re considering, and the visualizer will provide you with a picture of your revitalized space.

Decide on a paint finish. One of the last steps in choosing a paint color for your home is settling on the type of finish you want. Most paints are available in flat, matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, or high-gloss. The space you’re having painted can help determine the finish you choose, as can your personal preferences. Homeowners often opt for a long-lasting finish like eggshell or satin in high-traffic areas because it is scrubbable and can withstand the test of time. If you’re unsure which finish is right for you, a painting professional can provide you with more information.

And if you’re still stuck on what color paint to choose for your home makeover, it might be time for a consultation. Professional painters and interior decorators can usually make color recommendations for any space in your home. Remember that you don’t always have to go with what’s on trend. Follow your gut and choose the colors that make you feel the most content.