Simplify Life With Smart Tech
Thursday, 5 December 2019
With today’s lifestyle seemingly more and more demanding on our spare time, perhaps now is the age when technology truly will be called upon to make lives easier.
From increasingly familiar voice-controlled home hubs to simple lighting solutions, anything that can save us a few seconds here and there means we can devote our time and our focus to other things.
With a smart thermostat one can save money and reduce one’s impact on the environment, for instance the Nest Thermostat E will over time learn about your household’s routine and preferred heating schedule, adjusting its timings to keep you warm while reducing your energy bills.
Pictured above: The Spokes Suspension Light by Foscarini available at Lime Modern Living; and the Family Hub Refrigerator by Samsung.
The elegant Foscarini Spokes Suspension Light with MyLight technology is a stylish and easy way to introduce controllable mood-lighting to any room. Simply control the integrated LED light with a touch of the app on your smartphone and see its elegant lines light up.
The Family Hub refrigerator from Samsung feels like the future is here, with a door-sized LED screen that lets you check inside, update family calendars and watch YouTube videos and more. Its internal camera can even display fridge contents on your phone while you’re at the supermarket.
And for a back to (almost) basics solution, smart plugs such as this Mini WiFi Smart Plug from D-Link offer a way to convert any existing appliance into smart tech. With your appliance plugged in to a socket via the smart plug you can turn it off and on from wherever you are - or set up automated schedules for maximum convenience.
Could you make your life simpler with smart tech?
Winter Warmers - Festive Days Out
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
There’s a chill in the air and Christmas is just around the corner. The moment you can start counting the number of sleeps until Christmas Day, you know it’s time to plan some days out that will keep you entertained during the dark evenings.
For seasonal artisan gifts, festive decorations and specialist food and drink, have a look for your local Christmas Market. Open from 23 November - 15 December, Leeds Castle is a popular choice where visitors can enjoy nostalgic fairground rides and live music performances while casually perusing the stands and enjoying a glass of mulled wine. Or from 29 November - 15 December, head to Bath for its award-winning market with over 150 twinkling chalets spread out across the idyllic Georgian streets offering an array of gifts and food.
Pictured above: Bath Christmas Market, and a National Trust walk at Bottalack-Mine, Cornwall
If you’re based in the capital, sing along to carols in the spectacular setting of the Royal Albert Hall. This year, traditional carols with modern arrangements will be brought to life by world class musicians from 21-24 December. Or head to Hyde Park for Winter Wonderland where you can step into a world of ice and snow at the Magical Ice Kingdom, sing your heart out with an après ski experience at Bar Hütte Karaoke and explore the Bavarian village. Then switch your shoes for ice skates and take a trip to the Natural History Museum where you can enjoy an evening channeling your inner Torvill and Dean surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees.
If the weather’s on your side, visit a National Trust location for a refreshing walk in the crisp winter air. This year they’ve launched the 12 Walks of Christmas, with each one featuring picturesque trails that all can enjoy. From a bracing trek along the Cornish clifftops that were used as a filming location in the BBC drama Poldark to a muddy welly wander through Erddig’s Big Wood in Wrexham, it’s an activity that brings families together for quality time.
From ice skating and carolling to sharing a hot chocolate or mulled wine with friends, there’s plenty on offer to guarantee festive cheer for everyone this December. And it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy a mince pie or two.
Layer Your Bed for Winter
Thursday, 21 November 2019
When it is cold and dark outside, the thought of climbing into a warm, cosy bed is one of the first things on your mind. And now the cooler weather is starting to set in, it’s the ideal time to think about layering up your bed to create the perfect place to escape.
The key to creating a warm bed is to trap air layers above the mattress and around the body. A mattress topper will add this extra layer as well as providing insulation. Opt for one with a cotton casing so it is soft and comfortable too.
An upholstered bed such as the Kirk Bed by Porada will also help you feel cocooned amongst warm fabrics and textures. The design features a dramatic headboard too, which helps act as a barrier against draughts, keeping you warmer at night.
As pictured above: The Kirk Bed by Porada available at Lime Modern Living; and the Woolacombe Throw by Lauren Aston Designs
When it comes to sheets and bedlinen, invest in good quality sheets with a high-thread count. 1000 thread count sheet sets are a desirable choice all year round. Alternatively, soft flannel sheets are designed for cold winter nights, and don’t panic, the modern designs are much more stylish and sophisticated from the sets you may recall having throughout your childhood.
Next, think about your duvet. All duvets are rated by a universal unit known as a tog, which measures the duvet’s ability to trap warm air. As a general rule, a tog of 13.5 or higher is considered suitable for the winter months. The Arkthis Winter Duvet by Urbanara features excellent heat-regulating properties that warm your body while wicking moisture away.
Finally, create a serene sanctuary with alpaca wool blankets, chunky hand-knit throws such as the designs by Lauren Aston Designs and luxe velvet cushions for an alpine lodge look where you’ll want to hibernate all winter.
Broken Plan Living
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
Broken-plan living is all about the clever use of a space. Distinct areas are created by using different floor finishes, split-levels and semi-permanent partitions, such as screens, bookcases and TV units. This gives you the spacious feel that open-plan living provides, but also accommodates a feeling of separation, so that you can have your own space away from each other. Broken-plan living gives you the freedom to create as much or as little division between different areas as you like.
The benefits for Broken-plan living are that it offers increased privacy throughout the house. By using shelving, storage, and partitioning options you can still keep the open layout of the room. Different storage options are available to hide the clutter and it makes identifying each room easy with the help of dividers and half walls.
As pictured above: Bontempi's Lexington Bookcase and the Demetra Bookcase by Porada.
Mezzanines are a great way of creating extra room in homes, they can also act as a visual division between areas that serve different purposes. Glass balustrades can keep the spaces linked and allow light to reach the upper floor. Low partition walls, and other structural elements, such as columns or steps, divide a space without cutting areas off from one another. Even making a doorway wider between a kitchen and dining room, will unify the spaces.
Using a selection of materials is another way to create partitions within your home. It can be a simple change, such as painting walls in different colours, or laying different types of flooring to create boundaries in open areas.
In our forever changing world, flexibility is key and Broken-plan living gives you just that.