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Archive for August, 2010

Now That’s An Entertainment Room!

Entertainment Room You work hard for a living so shouldn’t you have somewhere in the home to relax, unwind and have fun with family and friends. Of course you should, but a living room just doesn’t cut it – what you need is an “entertainment room”. Before you start thinking that a big sofa in front of the TV will do, we’re going to give you a few ideas that will create a space which will bring together comfort, style and entertainment.

Space, the final frontier

Evaluating the space available for your entertainment room is the first step. You can have a palatial home or a basement flat but if you don’t figure out what will go where you’re going to have problems from the get-go. If you’re thinking about a pool table, pinball machine, bar and home theatre you’re going to need a huge space to have everything available to your guests at once. If you don’t have the luxury of a big room, consider downsizing your technology wish list and buying games which can be set up as and when you need them. As a rule, make sure you’ve enough space to move around the room.

Time at the bar

No entertainment room would be complete without a bar. You don’t want to keep running to the kitchen to top up your guests drinks so install a corner bar and keep it stocked with your favourite tipples and a few bar and party accessories. If your budget won’t run to a pre-manufactured or custom-built bar, or perhaps you don’t have the room for one, you can buy fridges that are small enough so as not take up a lot of room and discreet enough not to look like a kitchen appliance.

Sit down next to me

If you need to create space in your entertainment room then buy seating that is portable. Basically, don’t stick a big sofa and armchairs in your room – go for beanbags, foot stools that double as seating, and gaming chairs. Check out the LoJo and Fatboy ranges for inspiration.

Keep it tidy

Nobody wants to spend their downtime hunting around for CDs, magazines or films to entertain themselves or their guests with so get organised and buy some music and movies storage and magazine racks so everything is to hand when you want it.

That’s entertainment!

This is the room to install that home theatre system you’ve always wanted and projectors are great because they are fitted to the wall or ceiling freeing up valuable floor space. If your budget won’t run to such tech, you can buy a flat screen TV and fit it to the wall.

However, try not to design your room around one gadget because you want to entertain your friends, family and guests in more ways than one. Offer alternative ways to pass the time with a choice of games such as pool, darts, table football or even a pinball machine.

When your room is ready to go, ring around your friends and family and start entertaining!

Creating the Perfect Home Office for a 5-9er

Home Office Have you heard the phrase “5-9er”? It represents people who have job with an employer during the day and then use the evenings to operate their own business – usually an online company or e-commerce website. More and more people are investing time into these ventures in the hope of going it alone full-time or to top up their income. If you’re considering working from home in the evenings you’ll need a place in which to work quietly and productively – or to put it another way, you need a home office.

It’s important to have the right tools and the right environment to work in otherwise you can easily waste precious time and become frustrated. Unnecessary delays can throw your whole evening’s schedule out and before you know it you’re working into the wee small hours. Get the basics of setting up a home workspace right and you’ll find you can be organised, productive and happy in your work.


Set up in a room that is away from the hustle and bustle of the house. Ideally you don’t want to be close to distractions such as the kitchen and living room but not everyone has a spare room to use as an office. If space is an issue, set-up a table and chair somewhere that can be a permanent workspace, that way everyone in the house will know that’s where your business operates from and if they see you there you’ll get some peace and quiet (hopefully!).

Let there be light

Ideally the room in which you work should have plenty of natural light flooding in but the fact is that working in the evenings means you need artificial light. When buying home office lighting you need to match the type of light to the task in hand.

Ambient lighting, which lights up the room, can be created using overhead lights and floorlamps, however you need to get the balance of lighting right because working in a room lit only by overhead lights can become unbearable. Go for dimmer switches so you can adjust the levels and when working at a desk make sure you’ve a decent adjustable desk lamp. Check out the specialist ranges from Alma Light and Leds-C4 Lighting for inspiration.

Organisation and functionality

Just as with a corporate office, arrange your workspace so you can be efficient. With such limited time in the evening you don’t want to be rummaging through drawers looking for a stapler or rifling through paperwork looking for an important document. De-clutter and only keep those items that are essential to your work. Keep a small number of stationery supplies close to hand and if space permits, everything else in a cabinet.

If you’re lacking floor space for cabinets and cupboards, invest in some decent desktop storage. Keep box files, reference books, trade magazines and any other assorted paper items on wall mounted storage ( such as shelves or racks. Have a look at products by Furnantics and Scanwood for ideas on how to do this.

Weekend Decorating Challenges

Weekend Decorating We’re going to set you a few decorating challenges. Don’t panic, it’s nothing too back-breaking and shouldn’t involve anything too strenuous but it will require you to be creative with your home décor.

It doesn’t matter how much you try to do, or whether you do it this weekend or the next, so long as you attempt to transform a room (or a few rooms) over a Saturday and Sunday. Ready? Let’s begin…

The Living Room

The biggest transformation your living room can have is to change the wall colour. But instead of painting the walls, try wall decoration instead. Before you baulk at the idea, wallpaper has come on leaps and bounds and you can easily put it up in a weekend. And if you want to change it in the future, today’s wallpaper can be easily removed.

Go for a bold and interesting pattern from collections such as Mode Wallpaper or Essence Wallpaper. Try decorating just one wall with a pattern to make it the focal point. The other walls can be plain but add a bit of interest by hanging a few paintings or photos. Don’t just hang your pictures in a row, group them randomly for a gallery style display and have each picture in a different frame to create added interest.

Now before you’re done, try rearranging the furniture. Pull chairs and sofas away from the walls and position them at different angles. If you’ve a narrow space, positioning the sofa across the room diagonally can give the impression of more width.

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