I've won the Best of Houzz 2017 award! Thanks to all the people who voted and for everyone who has left nice feedback!
This month I've been playing the Minimalism Game care of The Minimalists (http://www.theminimalists.com/minsgame/). Basically you need to remove items from your home each day for the entire month. On the first day you get rid of one item, the second two, the third three etc until, by the end of a 30 day month you have removed 465 items from your life.
At the start of the month I thought this was going to be hard as I had got rid of a heap of stuff when I moved premises less than a year ago and I hardly fit the stereotype of a hoarder (except for shirts and designer chairs!). It certainly took time and mental effort but it wasn't hard finding 465 items that I didn't use or need in my life. In fact I think I could continue the game through July too!
I found the best thing about The Minimalism game is that it has got my brain engaged to look for things I do not need rather than overlook them. I highly recommend giving it go.
"I was just in Frankfurt for the housewares show and it really made me want to puke. All that crap, so much of it, people buy it and we burn up the world to make it. I really want my life to be filled with love, culture, good food and drink, friends and family, nature, exercise, thought, music and a few good things. I aspire to collect the best things, not many, but just a few of the best and to make the rest." Harry Allen - product and interior designer (Scott G & Scott-Jeffries S, 2005, At Home With The Makers Of Style, Thames & Hudson)
Hate your kitchen splash back? Can't afford to change it or are renting and can't change it? Try hanging a piece of art over it. Preferably use a piece, or pieces, that can be cleaned.
Maintenance tip #2: Clean your air conditioner’s filters regularly (at the very minimum at the beginning of Summer and Winter each year). Do the same for exhaust fans and range hood filters. It is an easy job. Most air conditioner filters can be hosed clean and left to dry before reinstalling, and many exhaust fan covers and range hood filters can be washed in a dishwasher (check the cleaning instructions first).
All of these appliances will work more effectively, the air you breathe will be cleaner, motors will last longer and less energy will be consumed. Don’t put it off, go and do it now ...
A friend emailed me this image during the week. I love this use of 'feature tiles'. Why not have some fun in your bathroom?
Maintenance tip #1: Keep your gutters clear of debris and ensure downpipes are not blocked. This will prolong the life of the gutters and reduce moisture retention near the building. It may not seem important but a lot of, often expensive, damage is caused to walls and eves by overflowing gutters.
Rearrange your furniture and furnishings often. Even minor changes can add freshness to how a space feels. The worst that will happen is you will not like the new look and will need to move it all back again. This provides good exercise and cleaning opportunities (!) but also helps discover other ways furniture and objects might look better in your space.