The TV Guide: How To Care For Your Television & Accessories

Guest post by Trent Anderson

The television has become a staple part of everyday life, often taking up the central spot in a living room.

While it is debatable whether this is a good idea it doesn’t change the fact that it is how many families spend their evenings.

There is certainly no doubt that television has become part of our culture.

It is also certain that you’ll suddenly feel lost if an electrical problem causes your television to break.

At that point you’ll need to have the number of the Electrical Detectives to hand; the sooner they sort the issue the quicker you can get back to your favorite programs!

To help prevent problems it is essential that you care for your television and other accessories:

Cleaning

Dust is one of the biggest enemies of any electrical item.

As dust builds up on the circuit boards it will stop the heat from being dispersed effectively.

This can cause chips to overheat and fail. In worst case scenarios the chips can actually catch fire.

You need to wipe your television down on a daily basis with a dedicated television wipe.

This will remove dust and other dirt without scratching the surface of the screen.

It is important to use the right wipe; many contain alcohol or ammonia which will damage your screen.

You can also gently vacuum the air vents on the back of your television to remove dust from inside the device.

Environment

Electrical items don’t generally like humidity or extreme cold or hot rooms.

You need to consider the environment in the room where your television lives.

Keep the temperature steady between 10 and 25 degrees Centigrade and if you notice excess humidity consider investing in a dehumidifier.

This will help to prolong the life of your television.

Power

It is also important to look at your power circuits.

Plugging too many items into one socket can cause an overload which could short out equipment and even cause a fire.

Equally no matter how good your power supply is there will be times when there are power surges.

These can destroy the sensitive electrical inside devices like your television.

To protect against this you need to invest in a surge protector for your sockets.

This will ensure the power supply to your television remains constant.

You can even get surge protectors to safeguard an entire circuit; allowing you to protect all your sensitive electrical gear.

Repair Early

Televisions can be repaired for a fraction of the cost of replacing them; especially if an issue is caught early enough. When you undertake your regular cleaning visually inspect the television.

You should also keep your eye open for any irregularities when you’re watching it.

If you notice anything, then get the television repair person to look at it sooner rather than later; it could save you a lot of money.

In the same way you should be vigilant about any accessories that are connected to your television; such as a DVD player or surround sound system.

A Different Approach To Buying Furniture

Guest post from Greg Harris

Do you like shopping for furniture?

I get confused if we need to get more than a couple of pieces at a time.

Buying enough to fit out an entire house would be a challenge.

Sometimes we don’t have any choice:

  • It could be an unfortunate event such as a fire, or a flood;
  • Moving out of your parents homee
  • Perhaps you want to furnish an investment property:
  • If your job requires an interstate move, you want to keep your existing house, as well as setting up a new home;
  • For some it could be a holiday house;

Avoiding the Hassle

These days there are companies that can take the hassle out of buying furniture for a house, or flat.

The same companies that furnish display homes can provide a Furniture Package that will suit your needs.

It could be or entire house, or just one room.

They can even include electrical items, carpets and curtains.

 

Perhaps you should get a quote next time you need some furniture.

 

 

Are you a hot sleeper? Here’s what you can do…

Guest post from James M. Gregory

There’s no aspect of our lives that is as crucial to our well-being and yet so poorly understood as sleep.

Every health-conscious person will know it all about every diet in the book…how the human body uses food for fuel, what’s good or not…but what do we know about sleep?

I know that I need 8 hours of it…

This is one of the most common misconceptions about a good night’s sleep – crudely reducing it to a number of hours.

In reality, sleep is much more intricate than that. If it wasn’t each of us who gets 8 hours of sleep would be buzzing with energy.

That’s not the case, is it?

The harsh truth is that this clumsy approach to planning our sleep might be one of the reasons so many of us get the hours but don’t get the rest.

How little we understand

Next time you see your MD, ask him a simple question,”Why do we need sleep?”

The response is likely to be something commonplace and generic like, “That’s when our body repairs its cells and replenishes energy…”

That’s the response to the question, “What happens during sleep?”

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with your MD – science is yet to come up with an answer to the basic question about why we sleep.

While we’re waiting for that to happen…

For a person suffering from insomnia or a more delicate sleep disorders that often result in feeling groggy and chronically tired, digging into the nitty-gritty of sleep science won’t help.

Instead, let’s talk about something actionable.

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of planning your sleep environment is the temperatures of the space, so let us dig into the issue.

Ideal sleep temperatures

The range of ideal sleep temperature is 15-21 °C.

Why is this important?

Because, as we drift off to sleep, the temperature of our bodies decreases. If the room is too warm, the hot air interferes with that mechanism. Even you do fall asleep; your body will struggle to keep its temperature down.

The result is a night of restless sleep – it’s a classic example of getting the hours but waking up more tired than when you went to sleep.

It’s not just about the thermostat

If you have a classic air-conditioning system, dialing down the temperature setting might not be enough.

The air conditioner will measure the temperature using a built-in sensor.

The issue here is that these are usually mounted high on the wall.

Cold air is heavier and and drops down.

As result, the air around you is actually colder than the air conditioner setting so being too cold can interferes with our thermal regulation.

A smarter way to do it

Instead of simply relying on the numbers of the thermostat, place a simple standalone thermostat on your bedside table.

This will be at the approximate height of your sleeping surface and accurately measure the temperature of the air around you.

You’ll be surprised by the difference between the number on your air conditioner remote and the standalone thermostat, especially if you’re sleeping in a large open space.

Are you simply a hot sleeper?

If you’ve ever been told by your partner that it feels like you’re emitting heat, that’s probably good news. It means that you have good circulation and your blood does a good job at carrying that heat to your limbs.

So, yes, it’s good news.

For you, that is. For your sleeping partner…not so much.

 

Here’s what you can do

If you can relate to the situation above and you’re not the kind of person to just dismiss the complaints of the person sleeping next to you, you do have options.

Let’s look at two of them:

Cooling mattress pads

Cooling mattress pads are designed with this scenario in mind.

They come as thin pads or topper that your dress your bed in.

 

The best cooling mattress pads out there will allow you to choose if you want to cool down only your half of the mattress.

They are inexpensive and the better ones are so thin you won’t even notice them as they do their work and help you drift off . . . .. you can read more about this nifty cooling gadget here.

Adjustable air beds

Adjustable air beds are the pinnacle of sleep technology. The best air beds will not only give you control over the temperature of the two halves of the bed but will allow you to change the firmness & positions of the mattress.

They are sleep luxury embodied but they do come with a price to match. If the temperature is the only issue, you might want to give the cooling pads a go before you dig this deep into your wallet.

Never wake up sweaty again

It’s the 21st century and technology plays a huge role in our lives. We get excited about video games and new features on our phones.

Yet, somehow, we often oversee the ways technology can make the crucial aspects of our lives easier.

And if proper sleep is crucial, we don’t know what is.

Thinking About Bedroom Size

Guest Post by Cathy Reyes

One of the things that I notice  when looking at new display homes is the size of the bedrooms.

My first house had a master bedroom with a floor areas of approximately 15 square metres. . . . and we had room for a freestanding wardrobes and drawers.

Now 20 square metres plus a walk-in-wardrobe isn’t unusual.

So what are you going to do if you have all that space?

Well I would suggest go up a size for your bed.

For me one a big advantages of a king sized bed is if I am  restless then I am less likely to wake up my wife with my tossing and turning.

Why not try out check out some of the king mattress from Fantastic Furniture.

If you are like me you probably haven’t changed your mattress since you last moved house. . . so the existing one may be showing it’s years!

You spend a lot of your life in bed. . . . . . so getting some extra luxury for only a few hundred dollars more makes sense..

Quiet Wall

Do things get noisy around your house?

An interesting idea I came across in Victoria’s Department of Sustainability was this ‘quiet wall’.

Each of those randomly shaped blocks that make up the wall are made from several sheets of corrugated cardboard glued together.

The soft shape with plenty of voids really does seem to ‘swallow’ the noise.

An interesting recycling idea which could improve the livability of your home.

The Wonderful Benefits of Growing Plants Indoors

Guest post by Laura Bennet

The environment has a huge impact on someone’s well-being.

When you think of yourself looking at a picturesque view of the mountainside or a beautiful wide garden, you consider yourself being in a calm and serene place.

Living in a big and loud city can sometimes be exhausting.

However, when you come home and look at all those green and colourful plants in your driveway, your day gets better.

Tending to plants and flowers in your backyard can be a form of relaxation after a busy week.

Having one or many of those little green living things inside your home can be a great addition to your interior. A pot of flowers on your coffee table can give the whole living room more life.

But plants inside your home are not just accessories. When you know the many health benefits of having plants indoors, you might just raid your backyard garden and use plants to redecorate your home.

To encourage you to put plants in every nook of your home, consider the following good things indoor plants can give you.

Indoor Plants as Air Purifier

Even children know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

Having plants inside your home is like having your own air purifier, no expenses paid.

Plants are considered as nature’s first air purifier and you can take advantage of that in your own home.

They remove the toxins and contaminants in the air and can prevent your home from having indoor air pollution. According to a NASA research, plants indoors reduce up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds in just 24 hours.

Putting some green plants inside your home to act as air purifier will certainly give you a healthier and fresher air indoors.

This will reduce your risk of having health problems like stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections. You can also plant tomatoes in your kitchen to have a fresh supply while reducing air pollutants whenever you cook.

Indoor Plants as Natural Humidifier

Aside from giving off oxygen, plants also release moisture vapor as part of the photosynthetic process.

This increases the air humidity around the plants.

Putting plants inside your room to act as a natural humidifier can save you money from buying a humidifier machine and can also give you a lot of health benefits.

It softens the feel of a room, minimizes dry air and reduces airborne dust levels. This will help you avoid having coughs, itchy eyes, dry throat and runny nose.

You can add Boston fern as one of your living room ornaments and take advantage of its ability as a great air humidifier.

Plants Provide Calmness

Can you remember a time when you were sick and someone brought you flowers?

Flowers do make you feel better, and even better when in a pot and alive.

There is just a way with flowers and plants that improve your mood all the time.

Having a pot of that green living thing in your workspace gives you calmness throughout a busy schedule and makes you more productive.

Looking at and growing plants can also reduce stress and help you relax. Plants are considered mood enhancers that produce optimism and positive energy, thus, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Indoor Plants as a Natural Life Hack

There are a lot of benefits in having plants indoors.

Some plants act as natural humidifiers or air purifiers and there are plants that can help you improve focus and memory.

Certain plants can even make you more efficient at work or while studying.

Having plants around while you bury yourself in homework actually improves concentration.

Studies also show that having the smell of plants and herbs like mint early in the morning can improve your memory and brain function.

Having a plant like mint on your bedside table or in the window in your room can be your natural life hack.

Conclusion

With Plants inside your home you derive a lot of health benefits.

Having plants in every corner of your home can be your way to a more healthy, natural and safe indoor environment for you and your family.

Did these health benefits encourage you to start thinking about putting little pieces of Mother Earth inside your home now?

Don’t hesitate to comment below and share if this has been helpful to you.

Laura Bennet is founder and main editor of HumidGarden.com

Tabletop Trivia – Shedding New Light on Dining Tables

Guest post by Hubert Dwight 

The dining table has long been the centre of the family home and a place for sharing food, stories and experiences.

Most of us grew up recounting the events of our days, discussing current events or debating the latest hot topic in the news.

Much has been made in recent times of the decline of family communication due to the influx of digital media in our lives.

The popular wisdom is that kids and even parents are more engaged with their devices and social media feeds than they are in meaningful communication with each other.

There may be some truth to this premise, however, some recent studies have found that there is still plenty of hope that the humble dining table may yet be holding on to its critical role in our lives.

They’re Still Selling

After couches, dining tables are the second most commonly purchased item of furniture, coming in at a little under 20%.

Not bad going for an item that is said to be becoming redundant.

While it is also true that this number has been declining in recent years, it is clear that there is still plenty of relevance left on the table. (pardon the pun)

Dinner Table Conversation is Still Valued

It’s probably no shock that 80% of adults think that their kids are more likely to talk to them during mealtimes.

What’s surprising is that this appears to be one of the few things upon which teenagers actually agree with their parents!

Around 70% say that eating together with their parents is important.

Generation gap? . . . What generation gap?

Dining Tables Keep You Healthy

No, we’re not recommending bench pressing your table.

However, families eating together at a common table has been shown to have numerous positive influences on eating habits.

Studies have shown that such good family meal habits result in children getting a more balanced diet.

Children that eat together with their families are 25% more likely to eat healthier foods, and 12% less prone to obesity.

Family Dinners Promote Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Believe it or not, teens that regularly eat dinner with their families are at significantly lower risk of indulging in tobacco, alcohol and both prescription illicit drug abuse.

Studies have shown that teens in such families are up to three and a half times less likely to engage in these kinds of damaging behaviours.

Dining Tables Make Kids Smarter

According to one poll, almost twice as many kids do their homework at the dining table than at a designated homework or office space.

When compared to the bedroom, this number increases to a factor of 2.5.

Ok, so maybe that doesn’t actually mean that the table itself makes our young ones smarter but it does go to show just how important a part of their lives our “other 4 legged friends” are.

The Shape of Dining Tables Reflects Culture

In western countries, families tend to dish up their food onto personal plates and tuck in, hence the bulkier square or rectangular shape is favoured.

In Asian countries, by contrast, the emphasis is in sharing from a communal plate. Not surprisingly, these regions favour round tables, which allow for easier access to the grub.

The Longest Dining Table on Record was over 1.5km Long!

Custom built in 2015 in Saudi Arabia for people with special needs to eat their post-Ramadan fast “Iftar” meal, this incredible, winding table measured in at a whopping 1,508m in length!

Whatever your choice of dining table, there can be no doubt that enjoying a great meal and meaningful conversation is a fabulous way to us to bond with each other and establish healthy lifestyle patterns.

So, pull up a chair, sit at the table and Bon Appetite!

E-bay Flat pack Furniture

Recently my wife ‘volunteered’ me to assemble a flat pack desk that a friend had bought on E-Bay.

The friend had given up after a couple of hours.

“Don’t worry,” my wife said, “It will only take Brian around half an hour as he has assembled lots of flat pack furniture.”

Well after around half an hour looking at the partially assembled desk and the very unhelpful instructions I had to take the whole thing apart.

Next there was about 90 minutes of concentrated effort punctuated with short bursts of profanity each time I realised I had made a mistake.

Finally the finished desk emerged.

What I now know

  • Never buy Flat pack furniture from E bay. I will be sticking with Ikea in future.
  • Next time it’s suggested I help with a friends furniture assembly I am going to suffer from a sprained wrist until the whole thing is forgotton.

What Is The Focal Point?

What is the ‘Focal Point’ of your new living room going to be?

This is something to think about when you are planning your new house as it will involve the layout and furniture of the room.

Generally there are three options.

The Fireplace

When i was young . . . in the 1950’s, (In the UK) this was the traditional focal point to a room.

Now with central heating the fireplace, in many home,s has lost its importance.

Many homes no longer have a fireplace as standard, but it can be an expensive ‘upgrade’.

The View

A window can be a great focal point with a few qualifications;

  • The view needs to be pleasant . . . not a view of a colourbnd fence 1m from the window.
  • The view need to be visible when you are sitting down.
  • What happens at night when it’s dark and/or the curtains are shut?

The Television

As television screens have increased in size over the years the TV has become a more important focal point.

In many rooms I see the television is not only a focal point, but dominates the room.

How Many Focal Points?

I think rooms can work well with two focal points.

In our current living room our focal points are a great view and the TV. These are on adjacent walls with both in direct line of site from our normal sitting position.

I have seen several rooms such as the photo rooms where the TV is mounted above the fireplace to get three points, although I’m not so sure about the idea as I think the heat can affect the TV.

I also prefer the TV to be at eye level rather than looking up at it.

Photo from godfatherstyle.com

Space Saving Solutions for Small Rooms

Guest post by Hubert Dwight

There is always a need for more storage space to hide away clothes, linen or household items.

Nowadays there are plenty of clever storage solutions that can be tailor-made to suit your needs and the size of your room, to make the most of any given space.

Even in the smallest of homes, storage solutions can offer you a more organised space, allowing you to make better use of the floor space you have.

Space is particularly important if you are working in a small room.

You need to be mindful that the storage doesn’t take over the entire room.

One Wall Solutions

If you need storage in a small room, a great way to make the most of the space without making it feel cluttered, is to keep the storage units to one wall.

Keeping the other walls furniture free, or certainly not filled with bulky furniture like wardrobes or drawers, will give a more airy feel and give the illusion of more open space too.

For a clean and sleek look, you could make the entire wall a storage area, with a clever and bespoke modular wardrobe that utilises every spare inch of available space for a full integrated look.

There is a variety of different options for you to choose from when it comes to modular wardrobes, and you’ll certainly be able to find one that fits in with your décor.

Be Transparent

Keeping with a simplistic theme, another great way to give the illusion of a bigger area, to prevent a small room from feeling claustrophobic, is to use free-standing shelving units.

You can choose from options such as ventilated shelves, which are made from a wire construction.

These are not only perfect for keeping your linen and clothing well aired and crease-free, but will also make for a transparent storage system that looks clutter free and saves on space too.

Without the need for a boxy frame that will take up precious space, this is a great way to maximise storage in small rooms.

Flexibility

To ensure you are getting the most from your storage space, you need to know that it has the flexibility to adapt to your changing needs.

You may decide to change the use of a storage unit and need a different functionality, so choosing a space-saving solution that is going to be adaptable is also a good investment.

With modular units, you can re-design the wardrobe to have more hanging space, or maybe more shelving units depending on your individual requirements, meaning you can make the most of your area continuously.

Style & Design

Make a small space feel bigger by avoiding using dark colours that can make an area feel oppressive.

With ventilated shelving and lighter coloured modules, you can give your room a modern and European style that looks great and is entirely functional.

Add your own personal touch to the style and design by opting for funky boxes or baskets for storing items.

This will not only give a contemporary feel but is a clever way of hiding away anything you don’t necessarily want on display.

For additional privacy, you could also add elements of closed drawers as a centrepiece in a light colour or wood effect to make a nice feature of your storage.

Whatever your style, there are plenty of ways to make the most of a small area with clever techniques and space saving solutions that look great and function even better.