Monthly Archives: August 2015

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How To Build The Perfect Fire In Six Easy Steps

How do you build the perfect fire? If, like me, you haven’t enjoying the laughable ‘summer’ we’ve just had, then follow my walkthrough to build the perfect fire. I’ll have you ready for a nice and cosy winter in no time at all!

How To Build The Perfect Fire In Six Easy Steps | UK Lifestyle Blog

First thing’s first, it’s a good idea to get a good stock of wood to last you through winter. I’d like to think that you would go to a sustainable source, so you know you’re doing your bit for the environment. Any wood suppliers will be clear if they are sustainable or not on their websites – check out Certainly Wood for a good example.

One thing you’ll need to do is find somewhere nice and dry to store it, or you will end up spending hours drying your wood before you even get to burn it. Cellars are the perfect environment – as long as they are moisture proof. And don’t forget to order some kindling!

Clean Your Fireplace

My next tip for building the perfect fire is often overlooked. Make sure you clean the remnants away from your previous fire. However, don’t clean it completely –  always leave around a 1/2 to 1 inch of the ash and burned coals at the base.

If you are using a stove or wood burner, make sure you clean those glass doors – they will be covered in soot. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth or kitchen roll will do the trick.

Check Airflow

Now it’s time to check your airflow for any problems. You will need to open the up the damper, which helps regulate the airflow up the chimney. It’s the removable metal plate at the front of your fire, in case you don’t know! Another top tip here: if you can feel a draft coming down from your chimney, open up a window where the wind is hitting – about an inch should do it. It will help your fire breathe properly when you light it

Build Your Fire

First, you need to lay your kindling. Don’t forget, airflow is vital to a successful fire, so you are going to need plenty of exposure to as much oxygen as possible. The best way to do this is to build your kindling in an interlaced pattern – and of course, make sure it’s nice and dry! Place your first ‘level’ of kindling all facing the same direction and build the next level facing the opposite direction – and so on.

Light It Up

If you have built all your kindling correctly, you should have a nice little gap in the centre of your construction. It’s here that you want to throw in some fire lighters. I like the kerosene-based fire lighters made by Zip, or you could just use some scrunched up newspaper. However, you may need to top these up, as they burn fast. Just put/aim your fire lighter at the centre, light it, and your fire should take.

For Safety’s Sake

A wood fire is a beautiful thing, but so are your carpets, rugs and floorboards. As the fire gets hotter, it could start popping, and spitting sparks or burning wood chips. Make sure you protect yourself and your home from any potential damage by using a good quality mesh fireguard if you have an open fire. And don’t forget to close the doors on your wood burner/stove!

And there you have it! Why not try this method out a few times before winter sets in. By that time, you should be able to get your fire burning vigorously within minutes!

2018-01-08T03:34:19+00:00 August 28, 2015|Home Decor|

Here Are Some Great Ways To Bring The Exterior Of Your Home To Life

Taking care of your home can often be time-consuming and hard work. Not only do you want the property to look good, but you want it to retain its market value. Sometimes, we remodel or create home improvements to make the home more functional for us. Perhaps you are looking to create space for extra facilities, or you’re just looking for some creature comforts.

The exterior of our home is the one part that is always on show. The neighbours can see it and so can anyone else who walks past the house. Kerb appeal is a big part of the market value of your home too. Keeping the exterior looking good is important. But can it be functional as well?

The garden area is a popular space for entertaining, especially in the summer months. Guests can be invited to sit out under a gazebo and enjoy a meal or drinks. A manicured lawn provides a perfect surface for the kids to enjoy playing on. The view of the garden can also be good for the soul. Flowers and shrubs make for a beautiful outlook.

The weather can be a nuisance but building a garden room makes the area more usable during the year. Canopies, Gazebos and even fixed frame roofs can ensure you have coverage. This also provides privacy if you live close to your neighbours. Outdoor rooms are often open at one end so they continue to be a part of the garden. But they provide the protection you need for outside dining.

Many people are using their covered garden areas for hot tubs. If you are looking for a more sociable model, you can find a Monaco review here to cater for up to eight people. Many hot tubs have covers to preserve the water. Some are also inflatable so you don’t have to leave them behind if you are moving home.

Entertaining in the garden is certainly a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon or an evening. You might already have a large decking area or a patio. A good garden dining set is often easy to store during the winter months. More and more sets available are comfortable and spacious to cater for longer events. Deep filled cushions are often detachable and fit well into a weather-proof storage container in the garden.

Whether the weather is good or bad, it’s nice to make the most of this extra space your property offers. A summer house is a wooden structure. It doesn’t require any planning permission, and DIY enthusiasts can often erect them with minimal help. Some are insulated to provide warmth and weather protection all year round. This means they can be used as gym spaces or even offices. This extra room can be ideal for people lacking space inside the house.

The exterior of your home can be so versatile. Perhaps you don’t wish to extend the property. The land your house sits on can be valuable and useful for everyday life. Whether the space is low maintenance or full of beautiful lawns and flowers, you can make your garden beautiful for every occasion.

2018-01-08T03:34:19+00:00 August 28, 2015|Home Decor|

How to Wear and Care for Your Cashmere

Cashmere is a highly in-demand item that has been on women’s fashion lists for years. Because your cashmere garment is extremely valuable, you need to be able to take great care of it while expressing your fashion sense with its flexible style.

Wondering how to approach style when it comes to cashmere? Below are the style ideas you can incorporate, along with tips on how to make your cashmere last longer.

How to Wear and Care for Your Cashmere | UK Lifestyle Blog

How to Wear Your Cashmere with Style

Cashmere is a versatile fashion piece that can be worn anytime, which is why you have a lot of options for style. Take cardigans and jumpers, for example, which are just the right accent to wear over buttoned shirts and tees for a casual day. This look is laid-back, cool and very stylish.

Cashmere can also work perfectly for your office attire. You can pair your cashmere cardigan with your work shirts or suits, giving you an instant office chic look. To have a modern edge in your off-duty days, try on a cashmere hoodie, sporty but casual and fresh.

There’s plenty more cashmere items you can add to your wardrobe for your go-to, everyday style pieces. You can have scarves, hats, gloves and wraps to add elegant accents to your look, especially for the winter. These pieces are also versatile in style and can be paired with many different stylish looks.

How to Take Care of Your Cashmere

Cashmere is best washed in water, even as many items come with a “Dry Clean Only” label for washing. This is because unlike wool, cashmere is actually made of hair. Hand wash your garment with cool water and use only a delicate detergent, preferably one specially produced for cashmere.

Dropping a bit of baby shampoo in the water is something that some cashmere wearers advise, as this can help it retain softness. When washing, squeeze the product gently through the material and avoid rubbing it, then rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Washing machines with a hand-wash function can also be used to safely clean most types of cashmere. Just make sure to have it in cold wash and put the item inside a mesh bag to lessen any distress to the fabric.

After washing, never wring the item; instead, gently press it with a towel to get rid of excess water. Reshape the garment while it is wet and lay it flat to dry. Don’t hang up your cashmere items, as this can lead to shape loss and stretching.

Also, if you see some yarns starting to show, never pull them, use a cashmere comb instead to remove loose hairs. Always fold your cashmere garment when storing and never hang it. In case you won’t be wearing your garment for some time, protect it with cloth bags or sealable carriers to keep moths away.

These are the style and care approaches you should take for your cashmere garment. Once you follow these tips and ideas, you’ll be able to get the most out of your cashmere item for a more luxurious fashion experience.

Sophie White is a fashion blogger based in Australia. She has a keen eye for the latest in fashion, hairstyles, shoes and more, dedicating her time to everything about the fashion world.  With her passion for quality and elegant style, she leads the online marketing campaign for White + Warren, a knitwear brand in New York.

2018-01-08T03:34:19+00:00 August 27, 2015|Fashion|
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