The Power of Smell


Have you ever visited an open house and noticed the smell of fresh coffee or baked cookies, yet weren’t actually able to see any? A common, yet powerful tactic used by agents to give people positive feelings towards a home. While these are the two big ones that work for agents, there are plenty more that can help you make your home more inviting to guests.


The Bathroom

The bathroom is often thought of first when discussing aromas around and throughout the home. Often considered to be strongest, many homeowners choose the most powerful fragrance they can find – often a general clean smell that reminds people of a blank environment. To bring a distinctive smell to your bathroom, try a combination. A small and hidden plug-in fragrance dispenser behind the toilet is a great complement to a bowl of potpourri on the basin. The plug-in fragrance takes care of strong odors while the scent from the potpourri as your guests wash their hands and freshen up can change the way they feel about your bathroom.

Entertaining Areas

Gone are the days where you just bought ‘summer fresh’ or ‘cool breeze’ type fragrances that came in a can – sprayed hastily before your guests arrived. For something different, look for Groupon coupons for a store like Birchbox that stocks cologne candles. More powerful than a regular spray, the fragrance is tailored to be more similar to that of a designer cologne, often leaving your guests wondering and wanting more. I find that when I light one of these, my guests start a hunt to locate the hidden spray can – not believing me when I tell them a simple candle is doing the trick.

Outdoor Areas

When I first encountered outdoor fragrance candles I was a little skeptic of the idea as a whole. Why burn a fragrance candle when I’m outdoors? Then, when attending a BBQ, I noticed that I couldn’t smell the regular smoke smell often prevalent at social events, nor could I notice any lingering scents left over from empty wine glasses. Purpose designed candles that are made for a more pungent smell outdoors are a great way to change the atmosphere of an outdoor social gathering, and can even be incorporated to use with products to help keep insects away.

Whichever route you take when adding fragrance to your home, be sure that you choose a scent that’s personal to both you and your home. Steer away from scents similar to those of your friends, and take the opportunity to build your own atmosphere.

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5 Ways to keep family your home safe and secure

I am sure that everyone reading this article has smoke detectors throughout their home you might also have a number of other safety items; baby gates, handrails on staircases and non slip mats to make sure that your family is safe. Now, you might think that these things are all you need, but you would be wrong. Of course the products are essential but you should not think that your work ends there. You should keep up a good standard of safety practices to ensure that home safety is maintained.

Here are five suggestions from the experts at OSC for people that want to make their homes safer. The good news is that none of the following need you to buy new products, what they all do is ask you to follow some simple procedures and turn them in to a habit.

Smoke Alarms

Test your smoke alarms, you should do it each and every month. Gather your family together and talk through the fire escape route with them, you should also practice after everyone is well drilled. The large majority of fatalities from house fires are caused by smoke inhalation, so making sure you have early warning signals and a clear evacuation plan are crucial.

Walk through the home

Walk slowly through your house and keep an eye out for where the most likely places are that people may trip or fall. The main culprits for this are baby placed rugs, posse wires, bad lighting on staircases and also a lot of clutter on your floor. People falling is the number one cause of accidents at home – it is essential to remove all hazards, especially if you have a young family or live with elder relatives.

Think about your habits in the kitchen

Ask yourself the following questions; Have you ever left the kitchen whilst cooking on the stove? Do you always make sure that you turn the pot handles round so they are facing the back of the stove? Do you make sure that you don’t leave hot drinks or dishes on tablecloths, to make sure young kids can’t pull them down and hurt themselves? In the kitchen each year there are over 250,000 injuries with burns and scalds, sticking to safe practices will go some way to making sure you’re not part of this statistic.

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Construction, building and architecture

Construction, building and architecture is as old as civilisation itself. From the first mud huts built by primitive people to ancient monuments like the pyramids in Egypt and the genius of the modern sky scrapers, which are now dotted across the skylines of many major cities around the world. However all these structures have one thing in common, they all needed to be designed and built.

Whether you’re building an extra room on your house or constructing a complex building it all starts with a designer or an architect. Although they all work together as a team the roles of the architect and the builder differ in many ways. However, in the end the goal is the same to design and construct a building.

Although there are many phases to designing and constructing a building the three main categories are always the same according to OSC who specialise in large-scale construction and design.

To understand the process a little more let’s takes a look at each one a little more closely.


Typically a building is a manmade structure with roofs and walls such as a house, factory or office block, which more or less has a permanent fixture. Buildings can appear in many shapes and sizes but the principle and function remain the same, to serve the needs of society by creating shelter, living space, security and privacy whether this is at home or work.


Architecture or an architect is a person whose main concern is the planning, designing and the overall construction of a building from start to finish. Not only does the architect have to have sound technical knowledge in the construction of buildings, but also in structural engineering, public safety, business management and design concept. The architect also works closely with the client making sure that every stage of the build goes smoothly and to spec.


Once all the designs are completed construction can begin, construction is the process of creating the infrastructure of a building, although the architect is the main man and overall manager he will closely work with a project manager. The project manager’s job is to organise builders, set the schedules and make sure all the materials used for the build are on site ready for construction to begin.


Tim Aldiss writes for OSC.


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4 Wonderful Ways to Spruce up Your Home

Each year there comes a time in the life of any homeowner where you feel like you need to make some changes. Sometimes this might be big changes like building an extension or installing a pool. But sometimes the changes are more subtle changes inside the home, but ones that will have a major impact on the property. Decorating your home is always a good idea, and you can do this pretty cheaply.

But there are so many options available to you. If you follow these four ideas, you can spruce up your home without having to make major changes. You’ll also find you won’t need to spend too much money if any.

  1. Get New Furniture

Sure, you’d like your furniture to last as long as possible, several years minimum. But it might depend on the type of furniture you have. Some pieces of furniture don’t date too well, and they can come across as old-fashioned. This threatens to bring down the whole aesthetic of the home. You might also have pets or young children who might cause havoc with the existing furniture. Think about replacing your furniture. And try to replace it with pieces of furniture that never age, like a leather sofa.

  1. Replace Your Linen

Another great thing you could do is replace all the linen around the home. This includes bed linen, table linen and bath linen. You’ll be surprised at the impact this can have on your home. You can choose different designs, fabrics and colours in order to complement the rest of the home. A visit to will provide you with a large selection of linens. Make sure you pick the right type to improve your home. You can change all the bedding and table cloths and have fresh towels in the bathroom. This will add a new dimension to the home and people are going to take note.



Image Source

  1. Repaint

One of the best and easiest ways to spruce up your home is to repaint each room. A new lick of paint can resurrect a tired and boring looking room. It can transform it into a bright, vibrant and spacious place. If you choose bright colours, in particular, you make the room appear larger and more inviting. Don’t underestimate the importance and impact of a fresh coat of paint. And the great thing is this is something you can do yourself. Get yourself down to the local hardware store and stock up on paint. Make sure when you’re painting you put down sheets to protect anything in the room that you don’t want to get paint on.

  1. Have a Clear Out

A free way to make your home look more awesome is to have a clearout. This is no doubt something you’re going to want to do at some point anyway. So now is the best time to do so. Get rid of all the clutter that’s taking up space in your home. Anything that’s a duplicate or that you don’t need or never use needs to go. You can either throw it, sell it or give it away. But just get it out of the home. You’ll create more space, and your home will look more attractive, as a result.

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Top 10 Seasonal Changes You Can Make To Refresh Your Living Room

For many of us, the changing seasons are often an opportunity to spruce up the decor of our homes, or change the finishing touches to reflect the season. Most of us like to keep the look of our house refreshed and in style. Sometimes you may run out of inspiration and turn to internet for some great ideas on how to make subtle changes that could transform the look of a room. If you are looking for some of that inspiration now, we give you the top ten ways to make a little change for a big effect this year:


  1. Feature wall – Pick one wall and choose an elaborate wallpaper, or a strong and vibrant paint color to cover it. This wall will make a statement and act as your accent color. You can complement the color with soft furnishings or strong color wall art or photos.
  2. Photos – Refresh your photos. You can even renew the frames. Sometimes just placing them in a different order is enough to lift the feel of the room.
  3. Soft furnishings – To make your room very fashionable this season, think about changing your soft furnishings. You can even add a great cashmere throw to your sofa or settee from somewhere like Rooi. These can be changed in color and texture every season to refresh the look of the room.

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Thanks to Flickr for providing this photo


  1. Rugs – Rugs can be rotated depending on your color theme, accent color, or even the season. Choose different colors or textures. You can even place them at different angles for a different look.
  2. Radiators – You can buy great covers for the radiators to make them safer. The best bit is they are paintable so you can decorate them in any way you choose.
  3. Lighting – Choose from color changing bulbs to a whole new lamp shade to change the mood of your room. Shades in different colors to complement your palette can be interchanged seasonally. The quality of light can be changed from warm to white with LED bulbs as well.
  4. Door handle – A quick and easy way to change the look of your room is to change the door handle. Choose something classical or stylish and contemporary. You can do the same with your entertainment center and the knobs on your sideboard.
  5. Flowers – Faux flowers in silk are a very classy and chic way to decorate your room without needing to lift a paint brush. Choose plain vases or elaborate porcelain sets to really show off your taste and color scheme.
  6. Coffee table – A coffee table can be the centerpiece of the entire living room. They are reasonably cheap to replace, but you could try a shabby chic look by restoring or changing an old one. Add a cloth or different coasters to simply and quickly change its appearance.
  7. Ornaments – The ornaments or books you choose to display in a room are a reflection of your personality and tastes. These can be moved, or interchanged to refresh the feel of the room. It may only be you who notices but sometimes, we are the only ones who feel like a change!

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3 Things To Think About Before Renovating Your Property

Anyone who wants to perform some renovation work on their property this spring would do well to consider all the essentials before starting work. Depending on the age and location of your house, there may be serious issues that need to be dealt with first. At the end of the day, you don’t want to spends thousands on a renovation project if you’ll have to rip your home apart in the near future. With that in mind, you should perform as much research as possible before making changes to your interior. Overlooking any of the points listed below could result in you spending more and wasting a lot of time.

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Check for structural issues


Many homes have dangerous structural issues that need to be sorted quickly. A problem left untreated could turn into something more serious, and more substantial work may have to be carried out. That could cost you a lot of money, so it’s a good idea to perform some basic structural checks before starting any renovation work. If you notice there is something wrong, you’ll have to seek a professional opinion. Luckily, there are plenty of firms that deal with foundation repair in Tulsa and all over the US. You just need to search online and read reviews to find the most suitable experts.


Assess the condition of your windows


If the same windows have been on your property for the last ten years or more, it might be time to look for some replacements. Not only will they look tired and worn out, but they won’t do much for heat retention. That means you will spend more than is required for gas and electric to warm your home. It’s always a good idea to have any new windows fitted before you start your decoration job. That way, you won’t risk your paint or wallpaper getting dirty while the work is carried out. When purchasing new windows, it’s wise to spend a little more and opt for triple glazing. That will almost certainly mean your home stays warm and toasty without having the heating on all day long.


Consider the design and layout of your space


It’s important that everyone tried to make the most of the space in their home. With that in mind, you could discover that knocking some walls down will present you with lots of benefits. Of course, you need to be very careful when doing things like that inside your property. We would usually advise that you employ the services of an expert. However, some of you will no doubt want to handle the task on your own. In that case, just make sure you don’t mess with any supporting walls. Nobody wants to see your bathtub come crashing through the ceiling.


So long as you spend at least some time thinking about those three points, we’re confident you will have no trouble getting down to business and renovating your property. If you need more advice, there are some fantastic posts on this blog. Lots of them contain design tips that could help you to get started.




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How to buy a wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow is one of the most practical gardening tools out there, it can be used for so many things; carrying supplies, gravel, dirt, gravel and any other material that you need to carry around your garden or worksite. The way that the shape of a wheelbarrow has been designed allows you to tip it forward while it remains balanced, this is why it is the perfect tool to use for loading and unloading heavy loads. There are so many wheelbarrows out there, but choosing the right one can de difficult. The most important thing to do is buy a wheelbarrow that is easy for you to use. So whether it is a twin wheeled wheelbarrow or another type you think you need, just follow these simple steps to find the right one for you.


1. Understand your needs

Wheelbarrows are available for both homeowners and professionals (builders and contractors). Most of the gardening you do at home can be done with a homeowner’s wheelbarrow. The professional type are a lot bigger and will of course allow you to carry much larger loads. You need to decide if you want a sturdy metal tray or plastic one, find the wheelbarrow that holds the right capacity you need, decide if you need one or a two wheel model – a one wheel will give you an easier time turning, a two wheel is sturdier.

2. Choose a user friendly barrow that is also good for your back

It is important to look at the weight distribution of the wheelbarrow. You need to make sure that the wheelbarrow will only make you bear 15 – 30 percent of the weight of the load. Anymore and you may seriously hurt your back. Check that the wheels are sturdy and are not likely to wobble or make the wheelbarrow tip over at any point.

3. Look at the pivot distance

If you are going to be working in a small area where there isn’t a lot of room to move, you must ensure that the wheelbarrow is able to turn easily in small spaces.

4. Look online for an idea of what is on offer

If you can look online it is a great idea to do so before making any purchase. You will also be able to look at the dimensions clearly, another great thing is that you can read reviews and ratings from other shoppers.

5. Check the warranty and return policy

 This is important, you will be using the wheelbarrow to do some heavy work. So make sure you understand all about the return policy. If you talk to a customer service assistant, they will be able to tell you under what conditions you can return the wheelbarrow and also the length it takes to get the wheelbarrow repaired.


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The perfect dairy free three course meal

If you have a guest coming over for dinner – maybe it’s a date, a family member or even a colleague – you want to be able to impress them with your culinary skills.

In a lot of cases, it can be good to offer up a three-course meal, which can be tricky to put into practice if you want to make it dairy free. However, this may be preferable if one of your guests is lactose intolerant or vegan, for example.

Therefore, if you want to present your guests with a fantastic, dairy-free three-course meal then this could be the one for you.

Starter: Garden Soup

When it comes to serving a starter that most people enjoy and that won’t make people too full for the main course, you can’t go far wrong with soup.

A garden soup comprises of a tasty mix of vegetables, so if you have any in your fridge that are waiting to be used then now is a good time.

What you need is an onion, celery, leek, garlic, olive oil, potatoes, courgettes, sea salt, a vegetable stock cube, black pepper and spinach.

Chop up the onion, celery, leek and garlic and put them into a large pot on medium heat, cooking them in two tablespoons of olive oil.

Then turn the heat low and peel and chop the potatoes while this is simmering. Next, chop up the courgettes and place them in a bowl with the potatoes.

Once the veg is cooked, add the potatoes, courgettes, salt and pepper and a crumbled stock cube with boiling water.

After everything is heated through, put it in a blender and then serve it up!

Main Course: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

For this dish, you need potatoes, salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil, tinned tomatoes, stock, lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms and a few vegetables of your choice – onion, carrot, mushrooms, and celery are a good bet.

Chop up the potatoes and allow to boil for ten or fifteen minutes. While this is happening, chop up your vegetables and put them into a pan with olive oil for about ten minutes. Add the herbs in during this time.

Next, cut up the mushrooms and add them and the tinned tomatoes before putting in the stock, lentils and chickpeas.

Once the veg is cooked, put it into a casserole dish and put the potatoes, mashed up, over the top before putting it all in the oven. After it has been in the oven for some time, it is ready to serve.

Dessert: Vegan Brownies

Who doesn’t love a bit of chocolate? Even without dairy, it still makes a good meal.

You will need chocolate, flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, caster sugar, vanilla, soy milk and pecans.

Melt some of the chocolate in a pan or heatproof bowl and, in the meantime, mix the flour, sugar and cocoa powder together before adding the vanilla, soy milk and melted chocolate. Next, break up the rest of the chocolate and add it in alongside the pecans.

Add the whole mixture to a tin and spread evenly. Leave it in the oven for about 20 minutes then take it out, let it cool, cut up the brownie pieces and serve it up!

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Add Thousands To Your House Value Before Selling

Thanks to Darren for the image.

When it comes to selling your property, you’ll want to squeeze every last penny out of the price. That extra little money can help you buy your next dream house. It might just help cover the costs of the admin or fund a new sofa for your new home. Whatever, the goal, everyone can add a couple of thousand onto their asking price with a few tricks. You don’t have to spend a fortune and you’ll see a big return.

 Of course, if you’re looking for serious added value, you could consider structural changes. For example, undertaking an attic conversion or basement renovation. However, these tricks are aimed at those just looking at squeezing an extra little from the top. These tips are great because they will also help your house sell faster. The longer you hold onto your home, the more it costs in fees and the more stressed you become.

 Clean and tidy

 You would think this goes without saying. However, you’d be surprised at the number of times an estate agent walks into a dirty, messy house. First of all, remove all the clutter from your home. Move it all up to the attic for convenience. A clutter free house looks much bigger and more open. Prospective buyers want to envision their life here when they walk in. Cleanliness is imperative. Do a deep, thorough clean of the property and eliminate any odours.


 You may have put your own stamp on the place with bright colours and fancy wallpaper. However, new buyers will want a fresh perspective. They want to imagine their own lives here. They want to to imagine where their favourite pictures will hang and how they’ll decorate the space. It’s a good idea to go with neutral colours throughout the house. It will also lighten up the home and give it a spacious feel.

 The Garden

 A good garden is near the top of any new buyer’s wish list. Particularly in large homes near the city where buyers are looking for a space for their children. Mow lawns and buy a little garden furniture before you sell. Buyers are looking for a space to sit out on an evening and let children run around. Let them see the potential for this without having to work for it. Large glass doors onto the garden is proven to add significant value. It gives the illusion of an extra room and lightens the house.

 First Impressions

 When visiting a prospective house, buyers are looking for that immediate gut feeling. They know if it’s right or wrong as soon as they step in the house. Make sure the front of your house is presentable. Put up hanging baskets and replace rusty old door fittings. Line your hallway with mirrors, good lighting and flowers. As soon as they walk in, your house should feel spacious and welcoming. Buyers need to feel at home.

These are all very minor changes that can be made on a budget. All it takes is a little elbow grease and some creative thinking. Follow these tips and you’ll add value to your property and sell it fast.

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Decorate Your Home For Cheap With These Tips

Having a gorgeous and well-decorated home is truly very essential for everyone nowadays. Not only will it increase the property’s market today, but it also creates a serene haven for your family. Of course, having an organized and spruced up home helps improve your spiritual and mental health. Not to mention, a beautiful home inspires creativity and elevates everybody’s mood.   Yet, for all the perks that can be offered by having a well-decorated home, a lot of homeowners wouldn’t bother embellishing their space with decorations. For the most part, these people think that home decorations would cost them a fortune.

The truth is you don’t need to break the break to beautify your home, and fill it with decorations. There are tons of inexpensive, easy and quick things you can do to your property that will make it look fresh and bright. With a little cash and imagination, you may upgrade the aura and appearance of any space in your property.

Try some of these practical and punchy ideas, and brighten your home in no time.

Buy fabric separately, and then get someone to put it on sofas

Buy fabric directly from a fabric supplier, and hire a creative professional who would fit it to your sofas.  That way, you get to reduce your overall costs from your sofa covers. It is a far more affordable option than buying a finished sofa cover on a local store or mall. Plus, it allows you to choose your ideal combination of fabric textures, styles and patterns.

Buy unique and chic pieces at surplus sales and flea markets

There are tons of chic, unique and vintage items that are sold at discounted rates in surplus sales, tag sales and flea markets. As a matter of fact, some of these markets even sell classy furniture pieces and timeless wall decorations like clocks at very affordable prices. Whether you are looking for a cool cabinet or rustic table, these markets offer a dazzling array of cheap yet high-quality decorative stuff that will fit perfectly to your home.

Never been to a flea market? A word of advice, make sure to come early in these markets, as the best pieces are oftentimes gone even before the official start of the sale. Also, don’t forget to bring a measuring tape, so you won’t have to pass on a good deal, just because you were not sure if the furniture or decoration will fit in a specific space inside your home.

Use recycled ribbon

One of the best, simplest and most affordable ways to decorate your home is to take advantage of the used ribbons sitting on your cartons wooden crates. From glass vases to wall decorations, these salvaged items can be used as complementary adornments to a wide variety of DIY crafts and art pieces at home. To use recycled ribbons like this as decorations in your property, you just have to let your creative juices flow, and think out of the box.

Wall decorations

No matter how artfully your home’s walls are painted, they will still look dull and unattractive if there are no decorations hanging on it. A piece of art on your mall will speak volumes about your sense of style and taste. What’s more, it adds more elegance and style to your interior.

To save money from your wall decorations, cut out the breathtaking landscape pictures from your old calendars, frame them up, and hang them on your walls.



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