London Interior Design

Painter manTime to Decorate

Re-decorating your house can be stressful especially if you have a partner who has different ideas to yours. It started off with “lets redecorate one room” but “if we were doing that room then the next room would look really shabby”. If fact the whole of our downstairs flat, which hasn’t seen a lick of paint in over ten years, would look very odd.

We decided that we also needed to get rid of some old items of furniture, which never really fitted in But couldn’t agree on what pieces were to go, what to keep and what to replace them with. And the curtains would also have to be replaced, they’d seen better days and we wanted to freshen up the whole place and not just some half baked solution. It was all or nothing.

make a planWe Made a Plan

Our first plan was to do it all our selves. That would have meant taking some time off work, together, then get cracking but we realised that it was quite a big job and a lot of hard work and neither of us being very good with a brush – a little challenging.

But our main problem was that we couldn’t agree on anything. I said “I’ll design one room and you design the other”. But that produced a clash of styles and we could see that was a recipe for failure.

London BusLondon Interior Design Team

We live in London, so we decided to use the services of an interior design company and we found this one stop shop here London interior design. They took our rough ideas and turned them into a cohesive design. To my amazement they were able to take our two completely different room designs and bring them together visually. It meant that although the rooms were different they also flowed into each other by using elements in one and repeating them in the other. Very clever I thought.

They also helped us choose all the soft furnishings and narrowed the items of furniture we needed so that they would work with the rooms they were to occupy.

But the best part for us, was that they managed the whole project from start to finish. That’s when I realised the amount of work there was to do and that we’d underestimated it by quite a lot. So had we done it ourselves we’d never have finished it. We’d still be doing it now.

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temperature control kettle

Oolong Tea Leaves

Message for Tea Drinkers

Tea drinkers should take note, using boiling water won’t make you the perfect cup of tea. The water needs to be very hot but not boiling.

The same goes for instant coffee (which we all use for convenience these days). Using boiling water will scold the coffee powder or granules, every so slightly  slightly but this will have a notable affect on the taste.

Electric Kettle

Kettles with Temperature Controls

But there is a solution  use a electric kettle with temperature control, like the ones here There’s a variety of models on the market and they all heat the water to a precise temperature,  set by you. Not only that they will keep the water at that temperature for a duration of around 15 minutes (varies with model). So you don’t have to re-boil the water again if you’re called away for a few minutes.

There’s even one model that has an app for your phone. A bit over the top we think. But everything seems to come with an app these days. So why not have one in a kettle.

But is this a solution looking for a problem? Do people need yet another device in their kitchens?

We think it’s actually really useful to be able to heat water to a desired temperature  at times. It’s useful to know what the water temperature really is. The alternative is by trial and error as opposed or just a wild guess, neither of which makes sense to us.

Three tea cups with Oolong tea

Tea Drinkers’ Heaven

Also when making delicate herbal teas the right temperature plays a crucial part. To low and the tea leaves won’t give out all of their subtle flavors. To hot and some of those delicate flavors are destroyed. Get the temperature just right and you’ll get the best result.

If you’re really into herbal teas, teas which have delicate flavors and which contain lots of good health benefiting compounds. Then you need a guide for the correct temperature of water that you should be using. Here are the recommended temperatures you should use for brewing some of these teas. These are the ideal temperatures but they don’t have to be exact, a few degrees either way is acceptable.

  • White tea 180
  • Green tea 190
  • Black tea 205
  • Darjeeling 185
  • Oolong 190
  • Jasmine 175
  • Tisane 205

These are the ideal temperatures but they don’t have to be exact, a few degrees either way is acceptable. You can find more details here

best camera tripod

heavry duty tripods, in usedSLR Tripod

A good quality tripod, like the ones I found here camera tripod will make a big impact to your photography. They hold the camera steady and the better ones handle those big telephoto lenses, no problem.

But it’s being able to fix the camera’s position that’s really important. It means you can change other elements in the frame and not having to worry whether the camera is in the same position that it was for the previous shot. Which only becomes a distraction to you when you should be concentrating on the scene in front of you.

LArge Telephoto lens on a tripodThe same is true for landscape photography. Holding the camera steady allows for those low light shots or those really cool shots where the water flow appears as meandering dry ice quality mist going around rocks and trees.

Working with your tripod for camera

In a studio setting the tripod again fixes the camera’s position allowing you to change elements in the scene and adjust lighting/add more lights as you go. Snoots, barn doors and soft light boxes. All give high control of what gets lit and what doesn’t and how the light tails off into shadow. All the time the camera remains in a fixed position, chosen by you.

large tablet for photography tetheringShutter Release

As well as a tripod a shutter release device is advisable. These go together really well, the electronic ones are best. Press the button, wherever you are. No walking backwards and forwards for each shot. But most important – no camera shake.

Tethering is another facility, available on most dSLRs these days. It used to be quite expensive getting an iPad or Android tablet, not any more. As well as relating the last taken shot to you on a big 10 inch screen. Some apps will even allow control of the camera’s settings from the tablet. Ultimately you can even use it to take the shot as well.

Photographer in ActionMaster your dSLR

Although all these technologies help you deliver better studio work. It’s no substitute for having a sounds camera technique and these are skills you have to learn as you go. But anything that helps in your quest is okay by us. Simple Tips for dSLR

whole house water softener

paddling in the seaThe Vacation

We were staying by the cost for our summer vacation. We actually stayed in two locations over two different weeks. And while we’re staying by the coast we’d go swimming in the sea almost every day.

We spend the best part of the day on the beach and take food and nibbles along with us. Come the evening we wash and venture out for a hearty meal, then bed. All that activity, through the day gets both me and my wife asleep in no time. Plus or three children are out as soon as their little heads hit the pillow.

Simple vacations but so very enjoyable. And while the children are still young and amiable, we’ll keep taking them to the beach and hope that we have great weather. Although that doesn’t seem to bother the young ones much.

The Difference

The thing I noticed about the two different locations was the water. It was different. Even though the two places were only seven miles apart.

The first location the shower was better than second location, where the water felt harsher. I suppose the first place the water felt softer.

Soft TowelsWe All Noticed

My children commented on this as well. For them to notice got me wondering. I spoke to Sue, my wife and she had noticed too. Which is very unusual, she doesn’t notice these thing very often.

I was determined to find out what made the difference. So we drove back to find out. The lady that ran the first place where we stayed, said that they had had a soft water system installed.

That removes all the minerals from the water that makes out hard. And they’re easy to get and fit too. You can get domestic ones as we did from this site. water softener system

We had ours fitted by a plumber we know and it just works. It’s very simple but it makes such a big difference when washing. Highly recommended.


We are busy mums and dads, working from home. Managing the house getting the kids off to school and shopping and all the things for running a successful household. But still finding time to workout and keep trim and looking good and staying healthy.

Hi this blog is for like minded folk and we’ll be posting articles that we fell helps with our chosen lifestyle. So come back often and to see our new articles.

Thanks for popping by, more soon.