How to paint a two-tone wall – 6 easy steps to create an on-trend feature wall

Sourced content from: https://www.idealhome.co.uk/diy-and-decorating/how-to-paint-a-two-tone-wall-299396

Why choose one colour when you can learn how to paint a two-tone wall using this DIY and decorating idea? If you’ve fallen in love with a paint shade but don’t want to cover an entire wall, or simply want to mix things up, then a two-tone wall effect is the perfect solution.

Combinations are endless, but a darker shade on the bottom with a neutral or lighter colour on the upper section will help make your rooms look taller! Here’s how…

How to paint a two-tone wall

Yellow bedroom with two tone wall, floral blind, black task lamp, cane bed frame and yellow geometric rug

Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore

If you’re unsure which colours will work best for your two-tone wall then play around with tester pot combinations on a piece of board or directly on the wall.

Why not opt for two shades of the same colour palette i.e. red and pink? Paint a shelf in one of the shades and position at the divide for a clever floating shelf effect.

You could even mix and match paint finishes to add texture i.e. a matt finish of the upper half with an eggshell sheen on the lower section.

Follow these easy steps to paint your walls two colours…

1. Mark your meeting point

Decide where you’d like your two colours to meet – whether that be halfway, three-quarters or further up the wall. Take a tape measure and mark this point on the wall using a pencil. Repeat at regular intervals across the wall.

2. Apply the lighter colour

Woman cutting in painting a neutral wall with navy paneling

Image credit: COAT Paints

Start by cutting in using a paint brush using the lighter of your two colours only on the half of the wall you want it to cover. Fill in the rest of the half using a roller. Paint slightly over the point where you want the dividing line to be.

If the original colour is quite strong, you may need to take some additional steps on how to paint over dark walls.

3. Create a dividing line

Take a length of string longer than the width of your wall. Cover it with chalk by running a piece along its length. Stretch the string across the wall, lining it up with your pencil marks. Secure the ends with masking tape.

4. Mask with tape

Once the string is straight, tap the string against the wall so it leaves a chalk line. Make sure the first paint colour is completely dry. Apply masking tape along this line to create your divide.

5. Apply the darker colour

Man painting blue grey wall with a roller

Image credit: COAT Paints

As before, use a paint brush to cut in around the edges of the second half of the wall using the darker paint shade. Use a roller to fill in the rest of the wall, then use the paint brush to carefully paint over the edge of the masking tape divide.

6. Reveal your two-tone wall

Red and pink kitchen with navy cabinets and concrete worktop with painted shelf

Image credit: Dulux

Peel off the masking tape while your paint is still wet to unveil your two-tone wall design. You should have a crisp line between your two colours.

TIP: Paint around windows in a third colour to create a border and frame the view as seen in this clever living room paint idea.

Paint skirting boards in the same colour as the lower section to make the wall look taller or choose a traditional white or cream to create a border.

Light blue and neutral beige two tone wall with armchair, side table, blue cushion and potted palm tree on a blue rug

Image credit: Dulux

Why not try leaving a white border between your two colours?  Mark the dividing line in the same way, then apply a white base coat. Once dry, add two rows of masking tape, one above and one below the line. Add more rows for a thicker border.

Paint the upper section in the lighter shade and the lower one in a darker colour as before. Remove the masking tape to reveal your border.

Do two-tone walls make a room look bigger?

Painting walls in different colours is a great way to make a room appear bigger. Painting a darker colour on the bottom half and a lighter one on top that blends into the ceiling shade can make the room seem taller as there is no abrupt finishing line.

Similarly, painting the skirting boards in the same colour as the lower shade prevents there appearing to be a border between the walls and floors, therefore making them seem longer.

To make a room feel larger, paint the longest walls in a dark shade and the two shortest walls in lighter colours. This will emphasise the room’s length.

When painting a room two colours, which wall should be darker?

As a rule, darker warmer shades visually pull a wall in towards you and lighter colours make the wall seem further away. You can make an off-square room feel more centred by painting two connecting walls in a dark colour and two in a lighter one.

Can you paint two feature walls?

It’s best to stick to one statement feature per room to avoid it becoming too overpowering. A two-tone painted wall will work all around the room if one of the colours is more pared-back than the other. Avoid throwing a bold wallpaper into the mix alongside multiple paint effects, for example.

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How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier? And how can you save?

Sourced content from: https://www.idealhome.co.uk/property-advice/how-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-dehumidifier-298272

Condensation on windows, stuffy rooms, mould and musty odours are all signs that your home might benefit from reducing the humidity. But how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier to get rid of these problem symptoms?

There’s a misconception that dehumidifiers are heavy, noisy, energy-guzzling appliances that are only used in homes with serious damp. Whereas in fact, most newer models are quiet, fairly light to move around and energy efficient. Type and size affect running costs, though, so knowing how much electricity a dehumidifier uses allows you to balance this with its benefits.

We’ve worked out how much you can expect to spend per hour to run a dehumidifier – as well as how to save energy at home with some cost-cutting tricks.

How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?

According to the Energy Saving Trust the national average price (as of November 2021) per pence/kWh of electricity is 20.33p. We have rounded it to 20p for illustration purposes.

The best way to work out how much energy a dehumidifier uses on its maximum setting is to look at its wattage. Mini models can use as little as 22 watts, while high volume dehumidifiers go up to around 500 watts.

  • An example dehumidifier that can extract up to 20 litres a day, with a wattage of 480w would use 0.48 kWh, meaning that an hour’s usage would cost just under 10p (9.6p).
  • In comparison, an example dehumidifier that can extract up to 12 litres a day, with a wattage of 157w (0.157 kWh) would cost 3p an hour.

Dehumidifiers rarely run constantly, though, as they’re controlled via their humidistat that turn them on and off when needed.

‘Remember that you’re more likely to use your dehumidifier during the winter,’ says Chris Michael, Director at Meaco (UK). ‘The wattage that a dehumidifier uses is turned into heat, so you get a dual benefit – less condensation on the windows, less chill in the air and the space feels warmer.’

MeacoDry Arete One 20 Litre Dehumidifier

Credit: Meaco

Are some dehumidifiers cheaper to run than others?

There are two types of dehumidifier, and running costs will be similar provided they are used in the right conditions. But each different type of dehumidifier needs different conditions to run efficiently. Use the wrong model in the wrong conditions, and costs will increase.

  • Desiccant dehumidifiers draw in the air and pass it over material that soaks up moisture like a sponge. They’re ideal for colder areas that might drop below 15C, such as a conservatory or utility room. The desiccant is regenerated by an internal heater so the process can be repeated.
  • Compressor, or refrigerant, dehumidifiers work by creating a cold surface so that when warm, damp air comes into contact with it, condensation forms and the water can be collected in a tank. They’re more suitable for warm rooms such as living rooms or bedrooms as they’ll have to work harder in cold spaces to create condensation inside.

Both will be able to help get rid of damp, condensation and mould in your home. ‘The air coming out of the compressor dehumidifier will be about 2C warmer while the air coming out of a desiccant dehumidifier will be about 10-12C warmer,’ says Chris Michael. ‘Compressor dehumidifiers are in general cheaper to run but you’ll mostly be using your dehumidifier in the winter months and the extra energy that a desiccant uses is released into the room as heat.’

Image Credit: Oliver Gordon

What energy saving features should I look for when buying a dehumidifier?

Buy a dehumidifier with these clever functions to help make them as efficient as possible. Many of our best dehumidifiers will come with:

1. Advanced humidistats

A humidistat works much like a thermostat, detecting when humidity rises and falls. Advanced humidistats work more efficiently. For example, while some dehumidifiers keep running to check humidity, Meaco’s Control Logic feature on its low energy models checks for humidity every 30 minutes, going to sleep in-between to save energy.

2. Multiple speeds

Choosing a model with more than one speed means you can have it on low on days when you need it less. Alternatively, the latest dehumidifiers can select the right speed for you, taking the guesswork out of having it on too high or too low.

3. Laundry drying function

Instead of running flat out, an energy-saving Laundry mode will test the air and adjust the power usage based on the humidity – perfect for when you’re airing washing on an indoor drying rack. By reducing power consumption as required, you don’t have to worry about the dehumidifier continuing to run when the job is done.

laundry rack

Image credit: Sussie Bell

How can I cut the cost of running a dehumidifier?

1. Turn your thermostat down

Moisture in the air can make a house feel cold. Once a dehumidifier has removed the moisture from the air, you should be able to spend less on your heating utility bills.

2. Close the windows

There’s no need to dehumidify the air outside. When your dehumidifier is on, remember to shut the room’s windows and any outside doors.

3. Clean the filter

Keep your dehumidifier running efficiently by vacuuming the filter to clear dust and particles. If you’re using it regularly, you may need to do this every fortnight or so.

4. Limit the excess humidity

Don’t make your dehumidifier work harder than it has to. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom extractor fans are working well, open windows after a shower and while cooking, and remember to pop lids on saucepans.

The post How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier? And how can you save? appeared first on Ideal Home.

8 Thoughtful Engagement Gifts That Aren’t Champagne

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/engagement-gift-ideas/

engagement gifts

Chances are you know someone who got engaged over the holidays. And chances are they’re going to be showered with congratulatory gifts, mostly in the form of champagne—and lots of it. While a bottle of bubbly is an appropriately festive gesture for the occasion (it’s a classic for a reason), there are many other, equally fitting options that will stand out in a sea of cork-topped bottles. 

We prefer the practical route, which involves giving items that will come in super-handy as your friends embark on the planning-filled road to their nuptials. Below, our shoppable roundup of thoughtful yet practical engagement gifts, including a few things that will complement all of that sparkling wine the couple will surely amass. 

High Notes

If you’re looking for a fail-proof gift for the newly engaged, a stylish box of cards is the answer—they’ll be sending a lot of thank-yous throughout the wedding process. This set of six is hand-painted (so no two cards are identical) and finished with gold-foil lettering.

Inked Up

And speaking of thank-you cards, this well-crafted, solid wood rubber stamp can be customized—using one of the brand’s templates or your/their own original design—with the pair’s return address to make all that snail-mail sending they’ll be doing a breeze. Pair it with an ink pad or two, if you want to be extra thoughtful.

Best in Glass

Because the happy couple is undoubtedly going to be showered with champagne, make sure they have something extra-special from which to sip it. Estelle’s artisan-made glass coupes come in a range of pretty colors, including this saturated green hue. 

Sip Saver

Shocking as it may be, the about-to-be-married might not want to finish an entire bottle of bubbly in one sitting. This gold-tone, stainless steel, and silicone stopper seals standard champagne, Prosecco, and Cava bottles, so their sparkling will keep its fizz longer.

Bling Buddy

If the proposal included some new hardware, this set, which includes a cleaning pen and polishing cloth, will help them keep it as sparkling and beautiful as the day the big question was asked.

Safekeeping

Each of these colorful, hand-blown glass dishes are completely one of a kind and specifically designed to hold jewelry—a special spot for the newly engaged’s rings, should they ever need to take them off. 

Show Off

Between the engagement and the wedding, one thing’s for sure: There will be pictures. The gift of one of these cool marble frames will double as a reminder to get photos printed so they can be put on display.

Take Note

A wedding planner but so much more. This beautifully simple, linen-covered notebook includes prompts for journaling, relationship building, and memory documentation, as well as more traditional planner elements like to-do lists. 

Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.

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One DIYer Put Leanne Ford’s Signature Bathroom Update to the Test

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/leanne-ford-surecrete-bathroom-textured-shower-diy/

zen bathroom

At the end of 2020, while pregnant with her second child, Farah Prochaska was sitting at home binge-watching Home Again With the Fords (the HGTV series following Leanne Ford and her brother, Steve, as they help people move back to where they grew up) when she had an aha moment. “Leanne used Surecrete on so many of the projects, and every time I was like, I have to do this,” recalls Prochaska, a Utah-based design blogger and freelance stylist. 

The textured wall treatment has become a signature of Ford’s. The designer first introduced us to the idea when she swathed her dated Los Angeles bathroom in the concrete coating (she applied it right on top of the old wall tile!). She has also been known to use it in husband Erik Allen Ford’s Buck Mason stores, one of which Prochaska visited while on a trip to L.A. “When I saw it in real life, I knew I could do it,” she says. As soon as she got back home, she followed through and transformed her kids’ builder-grade bathroom into a zen retreat (check out her full how-to here). Ahead, she shares what she learned from putting the pro’s famous method to the test.

The Supplies, FYI

Do: Start With a Streamlined Slate 

When Prochaska and her family moved into their home six years ago, she could tell it was newly renovated—and not in a good way but in the everything was from Home Depot way. She wanted to pare the whole space back, so she replaced the old all-in-one tub-shower with a new alcove bath. The rest of the walls were framed with waterproofing membrane, installed by a professional. She even removed the trim work around the window to keep the wall surfaces looking as sleek as possible. 

Don’t: Leave the Premises Messy

Cover everything, notes Prochaska: the entire floor, switch plates, faucets, toilets. Of course, you can’t forget yourself. “I don’t even know how it happens, but your clothes get ruined,” she says. Create a drop station outside the door where you can take off your socks or coveralls on a plastic tarp so you don’t end up dragging debris through the rest of your house, creating another project for yourself.

Do: Prime!

When Prochaska watched Ford and her team use Surecrete on the show, she saw them apply it directly onto the desired service. But that, she quickly learned, was because they were usually covering something that was a similar gray or whitish hue. “From what I saw from TV, they would just smear it on and do one even coat,” she remembers. Prochaska tried to do the same, but partway through covering the shower, she realized that the bright red, waxy waterproof board was still peeking through. In an effort to hide it, she found herself applying way too much Surecrete and it all ended up looking like a thick mess. “I had done about 60 percent of the room and had to start over,” she says. 

Accepting the loss, she sanded the walls down and chipped away at her first coating with a chisel. Once all of that was clear, she went over the walls with an all-purpose primer (two coats), which gave her a neutral, smooth canvas. “It was night and day,” she says. 

Don’t: Start in the Center

towel on hook

Begin by applying the Surecrete around the top 8 inches of the room, closest to the ceiling, in a fanlike motion. Because you have to do some “crazy sideways maneuvers” in an effort to not get any Surecrete on your ceiling, you’ll end up with some drips and blobs further down on the wall, so it’s better to work your way down for the first bit. After that area is done, smooth out the drippings that have fallen and do a few random 1-by-1-foot swatches around the room. “This is the whitest your cement is going to be, so spread it around quickly before it dries,” notes Prochaska. 

Do: Add Water as You Go

asymetrical vanity mirror

The mix is essentially half Surecrete, half colored powder, and one quart of water. Once that’s all in the bucket, use your mixing paddle to stir everything until you get a pancake batter–like consistency, but keep the drill and mixer with you. When you notice that the material is getting too clumpy or sticking to itself, you’ll want to add a little bit of water and stir for a few minutes. Note: Every time you add water, it will slightly darken the mixture, which is why it’s key to do some random swipes throughout the room so the variation in tones looks natural.

Don’t: Stress About Cleaning It

It’s not Play-Doh, Prochaska assures: Surecrete is waterproof. The DIYer simply cleans her kids’ shower with a kitchen dish brush and clear dish soap and scrubs away. Just steer clear of tacky clothes that will catch on the dried, textured surface. 

Do: Commit to the Aesthetic

The whole idea of Ford’s Surecrete trick is to give a space a spa-worthy, handmade touch, so don’t stop at the shower if there’s still a little more room in your budget. To complete her bathroom, Prochaska replaced the old vanity cabinet with a floating one from IKEA, which her contractor mounted in the wall to support the new concrete sink (it weighs about 25 pounds) and the marble countertop. The asymmetrical mirror was a steal at $130. 

In a full circle moment, Ford reached out to Prochaska via Instagram and asked where she got her matte black faucet (a genius Amazon find). “I wish I could have given her the link, but it sold out,” says Prochaska. The student has become the master.

black sink faucet

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Sage the Super Q blender review: a mighty but pricey blender

Sourced content from: https://www.idealhome.co.uk/buying-guide-reviews/sage-the-super-q-blender-review-298596

Sage describes the Super Q as a commercial grade blender designed for the home kitchen. And its big heavy stainless-steel base certainly looks like it could have come straight from a chef’s kitchen. Add to that the large capacity jug and general robust feel, and this blender looks like it means business. But with that said, it doesn’t look out of place in a home kitchen, though I’d say it’s more suited to modern than kitschy or farmhouse style kitchens.

The big drawback to this blender is the hefty price tag, at just under £600 this isn’t the blender you buy for an occasional milkshake. I’ve used it for several tasks, and it certainly has power to rival many of the best blenders, but it’s not without its faults.

Ideal Home rated: 4 out of 5 stars

Reasons to buy:

  •   Large capacity jug
  •   Suitable for right- and left-handed people
  •   Dishwasher safe accessories
  •   BPA free jug
  •   Jug is lightweight
  •   Lots of blending speeds
  •   Powerful blender
  •   Can heat soup

Reasons to avoid:

  •   Expensive
  •   Bulky base
  •   Foods can get hot when blended at high speed
  •   Blade assembly is a bit tough to screw on to cup

Sage Super Q

sage super q

Specs

  • Power: 2400W
  • Material: BPA free plastic
  • Capacity: 2 L jug, 700ml personal cup
  • Pre-sets: 5 one touch blending programs
  • Weight: 7.4kg
  • Size: 40 x 26.8 x 20.8cm (h x w x d)
  • Included:  tamper, spatula, personal blender cup with lid and blades

Unboxing

sage super q box

Considering it’s just a blender with a personal blending cup attachment, this Sage blender comes in a very large box. In fact, it was so unwieldy that I had to lay it on its side on the floor to ease the contents out. The blender comes encased in two huge chunks of polystyrene, which is not very environmentally friendly, and I’d prefer to see it packaged in something more easily recyclable.

When removing it from the box, I was first struck by the size of both the base and the jug. The solid stainless-steel base appears to be very good quality but is certainly larger than others I’ve reviewed. The jug has a big capacity, it’s not glass but it is BPA free plastic and the advantage of plastic is that it’s light, which is especially important when it’s full.

sage super q plastic packaging

In addition to the main blender jug, there’s a 700ml personal blending cup with a lid and a blade attachment. There’s also a tamper and spatula. You don’t get a recipe book in the box, but there is one available to download on the Sage website and it’s got quite a comprehensive range of recipes from drinks and dressings to dips, flours and frozen desserts. It’s definitely worth downloading to get an idea of the blender’s capabilities as well as recipe inspiration.

sage super q everything in the box

Using the Sage the Super Q

When you first set up the blender, the jug can be placed onto the base with the handle positioned to either the left or the right, so it’s user-friendly no matter which hand is your dominant one. The lid clicks on to the jug and has a handy ring to help pull it back off, sadly there are no safety features in place to stop you switching it on when the lid isn’t in place though.

sage super q hero

The base knows whether you’ve attached the jug or the personal cup blender and it adjusts programme lengths accordingly as well as only making some auto programmes available for the cup. There are buttons for each of the five auto programmes and then for manual blending there’s a dial that allows you to increase the speed. As you adjust between the twelve speed levels the screen counts up the blending time as well as showing the current blending speed. The blending speeds are also named, there’s stir, mix, chop, blend, puree and mill. The names give a useful guide as to what speed you should use for different tasks and the recipe book also refers to the speeds by these names.

Blending smoothies in the Sage the Super Q

sage super q ready to blend

With so many smoothies in the recipe book I downloaded, it seemed silly not to try one out. All the smoothie ingredients are listed in quantities for several portions in the large jug or a single portion in the personal blending cup. I opted for the berry mint smoothie in a single portion, I added ingredients in the order listed in the recipe and ran the 30 second smoothie programme. Unfortunately, the frozen berries remained at the top of the cup, only dropping down towards the blades at the end of the programme.

sage super q pink smoothie

So, to give it a fair chance, I ran the programme again. At the end there were still visible specks of berry skin and the smoothie had a gritty texture from all the berry seeds that remained whole, and I must admit, I expected a smoother result. Having said that there were no lumps of frozen berry remaining and the mint leaves had been completely liquidized.

sage super q red juice ready to blend

For my second smoothie I tried out the beetroot and ginger green smoothie in the personal cup. This recipe called for the green smoothie programme which took 30 seconds. Once blended, the drink was completely lump free, and the blood red beetroot colour had no hints of green from spinach or mint leaves. The raw beetroot meant it had a slightly powdery texture and it was also quite frothy, a bit like a frothy freshly squeezed juice, but otherwise I had no complaints.

sage super q red juice

Milling nuts and seeds in the Sage the Super Q

The recipe book includes several recipes for milling nuts, seeds and grains, so I was intrigued to try it out and see if the blender truly has the power to grind down these tough ingredients. I chose the linseed, sunflower and almond meal recipe, which essentially grinds these seeds and nuts into a fine flour.

sage super q nuts

The recipe suggested this would take just 15- 20 seconds, but I was sceptical. However, after just 15 seconds on the mill setting, which is the highest speed, I switched it off and sure enough, most of the seeds and almonds had been ground to a fine flour. I noticed a few whole linseeds so gave it a stir and switched it back on for an additional five seconds. It really was impressive how fast the blender ground down almost 500g of nuts and seeds.

sage super q blending nuts

There was the odd whole linseed still present, but I could forgive that since they are so tiny. My real disappointment came from the heat produced. Given that it had been blended for a total of just 20 seconds, I was surprised at how warm the flour was at the end, the blades obviously create a lot of heat which isn’t ideal for some foods and recipes.

sage super q nut dust

Making frozen yoghurt in the Sage the Super Q

I tried out the frozen dessert programme by making the banana, pecan and honey frozen yogurt from the recipe book. All of the ingredients including four bananas that had been previously sliced and frozen, go straight into the jug. I used the tamper to keep pushing the ingredients back towards the blades during the 50 second programme and at the end it produced a silky smooth and tasty frozen yogurt, I was delighted.

sage super q banana

I’ve tried to make frozen banana-based desserts before in other appliances and they usually take much longer. The dessert remained cold and thick enough that you could eat it immediately, but I emptied it into a tub with the aid of the spatula and popped it in the freezer for later.

sage super q nice cream

Making soup in the Sage the Super Q

Here’s the thing about the soup programme, it’s a five- and half-minute programme that heats and blends ingredients to give a smooth hot soup. But it uses heat generated by the blades to heat the soup as opposed to having a heating element.

sage super q before blending

So while it can make some soups from scratch, other soups with hard ingredients like butternut squash would have to be cooked first. I chose a simple pea and mint soup from the recipe book. I added defrosted peas, cold vegetable stock and spring onions, then started the programme.

It’s quite loud because it blends for the entire length of the programme, but the result was a steamy hot, smooth creamy pea soup, not bad for such a short time. The recipe was to serve four, but I got three bowls out of it.

sage super q pea soup

Crushing ice in the Sage the Super Q

This blender is so powerful, the crushed ice programme turned my ice to snow. The programme pulses the ice for up to 60 seconds, but I stopped it after 30 when I couldn’t hear any more large chunks of ice moving around. The result was a crushed ice so fine and powdery it felt like snow. Although I guess you could stop it sooner if you want a chunkier crushed ice for cocktails.

sage super q ice dust

Cleaning

Both the personal blender and the jug can be cleaned using the auto clean programme, which just requires you to add warm water and washing up liquid. The programme takes one minute when cleaning the jug and 30 seconds when cleaning the personal cup and is the easiest way to remove residues from under the blades.

The jug, personal blending cup and all other accessories are dishwasher safe. The manual advises that while the jug can go on the bottom shelf, all other accessories should go on the top shelf, but the personal cup is way too tall to go on the top shelf of most people’s dishwashers.

It’s also worth noting that the stainless-steel base of the blender marks easily with fingerprints, so needs wiping regularly to keep it looking shiny.

Should you buy the Sage the Super Q?

pea and mint soup sage super q

Sage appliances have a reputation for being high end and expensive, but you’ve got to be a serious blending enthusiast to fork out just under £600 for a blender. Don’t get me wrong, this blender has some serious power, and I was impressed with its ability to mill seeds as well as blend frozen banana and ice.

I’d say it’s best suited to keen cooks who like to experiment and want a powerful blender that will allow them to create flours from different grains or make nut butters and milks. But if you’re just going to use it for general everyday blending tasks like batters or milkshakes, you could probably save some money and opt for a less expensive blender. Alternatively, take a look at the Sage Bluicer for something that rivals the best juicers as well as a blender. 

About the reviewer

Helen McCue is a freelance contributor who trained as a Home Economist. After starting her career in the food industry, she moved into home appliance reviews, utilising her cooking skills and experience to put all kinds of products to the test, and over the years has reviewed hundreds of home and kitchen appliances for a variety of publications.

Having completely renovated her current house, Helen reviews kitchen appliances from her open plan kitchen at home in a beautiful Berkshire village. When she’s not working, Helen can be found enjoying the local countryside or dreaming about her next house renovation project.

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Gigi Hadid’s Makeup Artist Works in an Electric Blue Studio

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/nice-work-erin-parsons/

electric blue desk with white stool

Visiting a person’s workspace is like taking a peek inside their brain. Whether it’s at home or in an art studio, Nice Work explores where creative people do all of their, well, creating—so that you can steal their on-the-clock style. 

Name: Erin Parsons

Occupation: Makeup artist

Where I work: My beautiful studio designed by Martina Guandialini, an Yves Klein Blue masterpiece. 

lip shaped love seat

What time I start: If I have to work on set, 4 a.m. But if I’m working for myself, 9 a.m.

Three words that describe my space: Organized, colorful, and historic. 

The most important thing in my office: All the vintage makeup I won at auction—don’t make me choose a favorite.

electric blue desk with white stool

What’s on the walls: Editorial work, Art Deco wallpaper, and a naked mannequin. 

Current creative fuel: Creating vintage beauty content for my socials. 

What I turn to when I’m stuck: My book collection. Fashions in Makeup: From Ancient to Modern Times by Richard Corson has been my bible.

How I stay organized: My assistant and a label maker.

blue wall with brass shelves

Favorite pen: Any one that’s iPad compatible. 

Best notebook: The Notes app, all day—it’s impossible to lose track of.

How I fight the 3 p.m. slump: A green juice always gives me a boost (bonus points for the way it makes my skin glow).

Preferred soundtrack: Duke Ellington radio on full volume. 

How I get to work: I walk! I live five minutes from my studio. 

gold wallpaper with white cabinets

Things I Can’t Work Without:

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Hall Decoration Ideas To Spruce Up Your Entryway

Sourced content from: https://www.homedit.com/hall-decoration-ideas/

Searching for hall decoration ideas to spruce up your entryway is challenging, but it’s also fun. Whether your hallway is an entryway or bedroom connector, it deserves the same treatment as any room in your home.

The hallway is a vital space as it’s the first area that people see upon entering your home.  

hall decoration
Caldwell & Johnson Custom Builders & Remodelers

There are many ways you can use hall decorations to spruce up your hallway. These are popular and effective and they don’t require remodeling. Each suggestion on this list is a DIY home project waiting to happen. 

Add Some Color

Hall Decoration Idea
Michelle Bitter Designs

Adding color to your hallway is the first thing to consider. Color can make someone feel welcome and add  personality to a room. You can use home decor to make your hall pop.

You can paint one or both walls. To make your hall feel longer, leave the top half white and paint the bottom a solid color. This can add faux length to your hallway and make it feel less cramped. In larger hallways, add multiple full-sized rugs. 

Fancify Your Mirrors

entryway decor with mirrors
Pegasus Builders Inc.

All hallways should have mirrors. Whether they are entryways or other hallways, a mirror is important. They can make one feel more comfortable and you can freshen up when you walk by it.

Mirrors also make areas look bigger. They reflect light and open up a space. Glass can do it, but mirrors are better because they reflect the opposite wall, giving the illusion of extra space.  

Patterned Walls

Busy blue hallway with wallpaper 698x1024

Patterned walls may not help with extra space, but they add personality to a room. The walls don’t have to be loud either, they can be mild and sweet. Wallpaper or decals can add charm to any hallway.

You can choose a DIY path or wallpaper. If you decide on wallpaper, you should know that it isn’t expensive in small amounts. You can get any pattern that you want and even choose a solid color. 

Sitting Area

Sitting room at end of hallway with tile
Image from here

A sitting area can give a hallway purpose. All you need are two chairs or a small bench. Make sure the chairs are fairly comfortable and that there is entertainment available. This is especially important if you leave guests waiting.

Even if the sitting area is just for the homeowners, it can be useful. Who doesn’t want an extra sitting area? It always comes in handy when you have a large family, with people always looking for privacy. 

Shoe Seat

Chairs and shoe area in beach hallway
Jenny Keenan Design.

A shoe seat can be very important. If you have an entryway, it’s important to have  a place where guests and family members can leave their shoes.  

Along with a seat, a shoe shelf is key. It will encourage guests to take their shoes off. Leave a quirky sign to invite them to remove their shoes. 

Paint The Doors

hall decoration
Caldwell & Johnson Custom Builders & Remodelers

If you want to leave the walls a neutral color, you can always paint the doors a different color. Either paint the front door interior a nice, bright color or paint the bedroom doors a bright color. Depending on the type of hall you have. 

You can also just paint the doorframes a different color for a smaller pop. Doors are a great way to spruce up any room. You can even replace original doors with ones that are fancier or more intricate. 

Coffee Cart

Under stairs coffee area 683x1024
Image found on Jill Dinkel.

If you have children running around, this isn’t ideal. But if you don’t, a coffee cart can add a lot to any room. A coffee cart always stocked can be very welcoming. It’s a good idea to have a coffee area way from the main kitchen area anyway.

There’s no better place to have one than in the hallway. Guests can serve themselves. Add a mini-fridge for milk and creamers for an even better experience. Keurigs are also the way to go for single-serve instant coffee. 

Play With Lighting

Square lights in hallway
MacMillan Pace

Lighting is important. I mean that in two ways. It’s important to have good lighting to make a room bright and balanced. But it’s also important to have lighting that speaks to you. Boring lights are fine, but why not make it even better?

Get standing lights, ceiling lights, or even table lights for a great upgrade. Or, get wall sconces in a style that suits you for a truly remarkable light show as you walk through the hall. Play around and find what works.

Coat Rack

Built in coat racks
Menendez Architects PC

Every entryway needs a coat rack. Guests feel awkward when they walk into a house and there’s nowhere to hang their coat or hat. So have a corner one or one that’s attached to the wall for the best usage of space.

You can even get fancy with it by building your own or buying one with a little personality. Remember, DIY doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be easy and fun. A DIY coat rack is a great idea, and it’s easy to make.

Bookshelves

Bookshelves for entryway
Image from Jenny Keenan Design.

Bookshelves can go in any room. There’s something special about having one in the hallway. You can add a chair for reading and add a throw blanket to create a reading nook.

You can also use the bookshelf for appearance and sophistication. Make sure if it is for practical use, that there is a sign letting guests know that they should feel free to grab a book when they wait. 

Family Photos

Adding family photos can keep a hallway from looking drab and boring. They can make a home look like it’s actually lived in. A warm home that’s inviting and makes people want to visit more often. 

Make sure the frames are high-end or at least look high-end. This way, the warmth of the family photos are met with the sophistication of nice frames. This balance can tie together your hallway perfectly. 

Harry Potter Cubby

Harry potter cubby
Stebnitz Builders

If your hallway has a stairwell, you can’t resist adding a cubby underneath the stairs. You can add a reading nook, a playroom, or just a storage space. An extra “room” can add a lot to a hallway, and under a stairway is wasted space if not utilized. 

Make sure to dress it up with attractive colors and even wallpaper. It should be a cozy spot no matter what you do with it. Add throw blankets. Even if it’s used as an adorable doggy house. Which is a fantastic idea! 

Durable, Attractive Flooring

Durable, Attractive Flooring
 Divine Custom Homes

Having pretty flooring is a must no matter which room you are decorating. But when adding flooring to your hallway, you should make sure that it’s also durable. Any type of flooring can be durable if finished out correctly. 

The reason that hallway flooring is extra important is that halls get a lot of traffic. You walk through them multiple times a day and the entire hallway is walked on, not just the center. So make sure the floor will last. 

Plants To Add Life

hallway staircase with Plants To Add Life
Image from Tom Roberston Architects

Plants should be added to every room in your house. A hallway is no exception. Plants add so much life to a room that it’s tempting to add them wherever you can. There are a lot of plants to choose from, so this guide might help you.

Choosing green plants will give a natural look while colorful plants will add vibrancy. Green is a safe choice, so if you’re unsure, pick a nice green plant that’s easy to care for. If you have a green thumb, add as many as you please. 

Add A Runner

hallway decor with a carpet
Image from here.

Although carpet isn’t ideal for a hallway, a runner is a good idea. Add one down the middle in a neutral color. You can pick a soft pattern or a solid color that matches the other decor. 

Neutral colors don’t have to be black, white, or grey. Navy, soft burgundy and other colors are neutral. The point is that the color itself doesn’t draw attention. People will notice the runner without if it isn’t bright.

Hall Decoration Ideas To Spruce Up Your Entryway Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Hallway Console Table Useful In An Entryway?

As a practical add-on, a hallway console table provides you with storage options for small objects. A console table with a mirror would be the best choice. 

A console table reduces clutter. You can use it to store keys and other essential household items.

What Are Some Good Apartment Hallway Decor Ideas?

Although your apartment entryway is the smallest space, it doesn’t mean it’s without design potential. You can add a mirror to make your entryway feel bigger. Hanging a few pendants on the walls would accentuate the entryway. 

If you like art, turn your entryway into a small gallery or photo exhibition hall.

What Are Some Fun Hallway Decor Ideas For Kids?

If you have teenage children then you can decorate your entryway with their school colors. There are plenty of school spirit hallway decorating ideas you could use. If your children are active in sports, your entryway could be dedicated to the sports they play.  

Hall Decoration Ideas To Spruce Up Your Entryway Conclusion

Do not underestimate the value of your entryway. It’s the smallest in your home, but because of its location, it might be the most valuable. 

The goal is to make the best impression when visitors arrive. With the right entryway style, you’ll impress family, neighbors, and potential homebuyers. 

Most entryway projects are DIY, which means you won’t spend money sprucing up the smallest space in your home. 

The post Hall Decoration Ideas To Spruce Up Your Entryway appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

I Tried a Washable Dining Chair—Here’s How It Held Up to My Toddler

Sourced content from: https://www.domino.com/content/levity-furniture-review/

rustic and modern chairs in kitchen

Within five minutes—I kid you not—of putting together Levity’s Scandinavian dining chair (it arrived flat-packed and took about 20 frustration-free minutes to assemble), my potty-training toddler sat on it and had an accident. Life is comical, isn’t it?

Under normal circumstances, panic would have ensued. A mad dash to blot and clean with attempted calm (“It’s okay, it’s okay—accidents happen,” all while steaming inside) would have played out. But instead, I was calm—truly. Because Levity’s upholstered furniture is specifically made to endure situations just like that one.

Were they not designed to be stain resistant as well as machine washable/dryable, would I have ever dared bring fabric dining chairs (albeit ivory ones!) into my home? Absolutely not. And I definitely wouldn’t have let that same nascent spoon user eat chili on that chair a few days later. As her tiny, sauce-covered hands grasped the upper cushion of the chair, I remained unruffled. 

washable dining chair

Rather than react in distress, I simply spot-cleaned the area with water—just because I didn’t have time at that moment to take the covers off and throw them in the machine. Then later that evening, I popped off the cushions with a forceful tug, removed the covers (they’re held on snuggly with superstrong elastic), and threw them in with the wash. They came out of the dryer in perfect condition and back onto the chair they went. 

The start-to-finish process of removing, washing, and recovering is generally easy-breezy. And even though getting the covers on requires a little bit of finagling (it seems to be easier each time I’ve done it), it’s well worth the effort for the level of peace it brings me. Given all of life’s stresses, this chair has made it clear to me that nondurable upholstered furniture (or rugs for that matter) should not be one of them. But it’s not just the exterior covers that makes these chairs great, it’s that the interior cushions are covered in a waterproof material—which prevents spills from seeping in (remember that potty-training accident I mentioned?). 

Another bonus: You can purchase an extra set of covers (choose from 16 solid colors and 18 patterns)—a nice option if you don’t want your chairs to be bare during washes or if you just like the idea of switching it up, the way one might with throw pillows on a sofa seasonally or as your tastes change. You could even get creative—taking inspiration from Jordan Ferney’s folding chairs—and dream up a two-tone look. And while you do that, don’t for one second contemplate which colors best hide stains, because that worry is obsolete. 

Domino’s editors independently curate every product on our site, because we’re just as obsessed with a great deal and an under-the-radar discovery as you are. Items you purchase may earn us an affiliate commission.

The post I Tried a Washable Dining Chair—Here’s How It Held Up to My Toddler appeared first on domino.

Breathtaking Villa That Opens Its Windows To New Zealand’s Serene Landscape [Video]

Sourced content from: http://www.home-designing.com/breathtaking-villa-that-opens-its-windows-to-new-zealands-serene-landscape-video

Large and luxurious, Waiora is a sustainable development located on a plot that boasts breathtaking views over Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand. The luxurious villa design features massive windows that welcome in the stunning mountain panorama, and fill the interior with natural light. Reaching its completion in 2023, the home layout includes four large bedroom suites, an expansive open plan living space with dining, kitchen and lounge areas, and a huge deck that soaks up the serenity of the surrounding landscape. There is a focus on wellness here, with an infrared sauna, infinity pool, and a home gym for daily exercise. A media room and an enviable wine cellar promote relaxation and play.

The residence takes one of only eleven private plots within the exclusive Forestlines gated community. The green landscape rushes up to meet the front entrance of the home, creating a soft and natural border.

Waiora is the Maori word for health, soundness and healing waters. This beautiful name is lovingly displayed in fine gold letters at the front door, illuminated by an understated modern wall sconce.

Upon entering the exquisite home, an impossibly perfect view makes a breathtaking first impact. The clear blue waters of Lake Wakatipu evoke calm, whilst Cecil Peak and the Remarkable mountain ranges arouse awe and wonder.

This exceptional home boasts a fabulous living room with a spectacular view. The mountain panorama negates the need for any interior colour of distracting decor. The view is more than enough to please and hold the eye.

Soft grey modern sofas and a large area rug define the lounge within the airy open plan living space. A sleek modern coffee table forms a central anchor. A contemporary bench seat draws low across the window wall so as not to interrupt the view.

A modern fireplace flickers atmospherically at one side of the lounge, providing a warm and cosy glow as one looks out at the cold, snowy mountain peaks.

The outdoor dining spot beats the ambience of any top restaurant. Modern outdoor chairs seat eight people at a large yet visually light dining table design.

Comfortable outdoor sofas are arranged out on the terrace, which is undoubtedly the prime spot in which to while away the hours.

The kitchen cabinets contrast darkly with the rest of the light living space, which creates a dramatic impact. Four kitchen bar stools line up along the edge of a massive kitchen island, interrupting its dark finish with moments of light wood tone. A modern linear suspension light draws brightly along the full length of the dining island, fully illuminating its spacious countertop.

The kitchen island is situated so that the cook can appreciate their location as they go about preparing food for the family.

The mountain-facing exterior of the home is almost fully glass to drink in the natural beauty.

The luxurious bedroom design is the stuff of dreams. A ceiling-mounted fireplace descends in front of vast dual aspect windows, where it heats the foot of the bed. A bedroom lounge area is situated on the opposite side of the room for gazing out upon the environment.

Even the walk in wardrobe benefits from a view of the landscape.

… And the bathtub puts you right at the mountain peak.

The master bedroom suite features its own terrace area to connect it with the blissful environment.

An outdoor chaise lounge chair and coffee table make up an inviting lounge area on the bedroom terrace.

A larger patio runs alongside the infinity pool. Four outdoor lounge chairs and a modern firepit fashion a welcoming social area, where conversations and laughter can stretch long into the night.

The patio and pool are tucked away privately into the dip of the sloping terrain, which surrounds them with lush shrubs, groundcover and established trees.

The waters of the infinity pool ripple out toward Lake Wakatipu and the nearby mountain ranges.

Beautiful Queenstown is a destination for adventure and activity. Amongst the thrilling landscapes, there are world-renowned vineyards, golf courses, walking and hiking trails, horse trekking, and scenic cycling tracks. Spas, boutique shopping, and excellent food and wine are a local treat. River rafting, jet boating, canyon swinging, bungy jumping, skydiving, and skiing from winter to spring will excite the wild at heart.

The modern home exterior looks out from a 13,000 square metre plot of land at the front of the development, where it receives entirely unobstructed views. An integrated solar power system and a Tesla Power wall wire the home for an ecologically responsible lifestyle. Smart home technology and underfloor heating offer optimum comfort and convenience to enhance daily life.

The property location is just an eight-minute drive from central Queenstown, or a twenty-minute drive from Queenstown international airport. There is generous parking for up to six cars. A large home office offers a luxurious setting for remote working.

Density of plantlife makes the home feel safely secluded and far away from the troubles of the world. The holistic environment promotes mental and physical wellness.

Even the roof of the home is overtaken by the green beauty of nature. The green roof blends harmoniously into the hill, softening the presence of the linear architecture.

The plant-covered roof creates the impression that the house has stood here for a long time, slowly becoming one with the land.

Check out the villa tour video:

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Recommended Reading:  Spectacularly Scenic Villas In New Zealand [Video]

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Red Laterite Stone Shines In This Beautiful South Indian Home [Video]

Sourced content from: http://www.home-designing.com/red-laterite-stone-shines-in-this-beautiful-south-indian-home-video

Replacing one existing house and a warehouse, this large family home was made to complement the tropical lifestyle of Kerala, India. Created by The Design Room, the architecture sympathetically retains the native trees of the 600 square metre site, and encloses several of them within a central courtyard design. The built spaces branch out from this open-air heart of the home, which achieves a cosy connection. The open plan layout was guided by the humid climatic conditions of the region. The benefits of cross ventilation, passive cooling, and natural lighting satisfied the vision for an energy-efficient home. Outside, the vegetation contrasts vibrantly with the visual heat of iron-rich red laterite stone.

The attractive three-story house structure has a crisp modern facade of contrasting red stone and clean white render. Established plants bristle around the edges of the plot, growing lush borders. Built-in planters draw a splash of natural greenery up by the front entrance door, and onto the first-floor terrace of the home.

Paving stones interrupt the green groundcover, laying a welcoming chequered driveway. Low metal gates smartly front the property, whilst white rendered walls separate the residence from its close neighbours.

Overhangs above the windows and terraces keep the interior and exterior living spaces cool and shady. Parasol roofs were implemented into the home design to support passive cooling of the interiors. These appealing roof structures also successfully conceal solar panels installed upon them.

The materials for the build were carefully selected for their local availability and their thermal effects. Laterite, an iron-rich soil and a rock type formed in tropical areas, was used extensively in the build. Historically used in monument-building, this time laterite bricks from Kannur are precisely used as a substitute for exterior cladding.

A minimalistic interior design complements the airy openness of the floor plan. Wood furniture and window frames complement the natural greenery both inside and outside of the home. The soft upholstery is light and creamy to adhere to a peaceful palette of polished white floors and white painted walls. The design shows detailed attention to the effective circulation of air throughout the house, employing slatted partitions and open bookcases to create lightweight zoning.

A double-height void makes for an impressive dining room. The modern dining set is a rich wood tone that coordinates warmly with the architectural details of the home. Double doors connect the interior dining space with the main courtyard.

A small courtyard design thrives beneath a slatted skylight, where it blurs the boundaries between inside and out. A huge glass window presents the pretty view to the living space and stairwell, whilst glass doors lead to the dining room.

There is a modern vanity unit with a bathroom sink inside the courtyard, where the family can wash their hands before dinner. A round wall mirror makes an elegant decorative feature.

The staircase design features open risers, allowing the view of the courtyard and natural light to flood in without obstruction. A comfortable sitting area makes the most of the pleasant vista.

The cream, white, and wood minimalist decor scheme continues inside the tranquil bedrooms. In the master bedroom suite, three wooden shutters create a tropical-style headboard feature behind the wood platform bed. Made-to-measure wood wardrobes span the entire length of the large room toward a matching bookcase.

False walls with decorative perforations are included on the west and south sides of the home to achieve cooler interior spaces. The decorative screens create beautiful light play across the open interior.

Comfortable sitting spaces dot the home, fashioned by modern lounge chairs and an ottoman or two. The sitting areas offer a quiet moment of solitude from the family for a spot of reading or peaceful contemplation.

As well as the already established plant life on the plot, an additional plant array was selected to harmonise with local growing conditions and the clients preferred aesthetic.

A carport shades vehicles from the hot sun during the day. Exterior lights brightly illuminate the driveway, balconies and terraces by night.

The first-floor terrace overlooks the central courtyard down at ground level, creating a family-friendly flowing connection across the vertical plane.

The sun-dappled courtyard features round decked areas that interconnect with circular plant beds. The plant beds are dotted around to house enormous trees that were already established on the site when it was purchased. In fact, the idea for the large courtyard sprung specifically from the notion of wanting to protect the numerous adult trees at the core of the plot.

The site is located just one kilometre from Kollam beach.

Side elevation, showing cladding organisation and fenestration.

Ground floor plan with courtyard, formal living room, family lounge, dining room, kitchen and butler kitchen, master bedroom suite, and a double bedroom that is used as a grandparents room.

First-floor plan with large terrace, spacious upper living room, home gym, and two additional bedrooms for the children.

The open flow of the home layout encourages many interactions between family members, as well as time spent outside in nature and fresh air. These interactions with family and nature help greatly with mental wellbeing, whilst the home gym will assist in the pursuit to keep the body healthy.

In this illustrated diagram, we observe the solar and airflow aspects of the home and its successful energy-efficient design solutions.

Check out the home tour video:

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Recommended Reading:  Modern Indian House With A Beautiful Indoor Pond [Video]

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