Designing a Home Bar

A home bar is the perfect way for you to enjoy your favourite tipple in comfort. Not only is it great for entertaining, you can design it to show off your personal style. Read on for a primer on building your own bar at home. Become the ultimate host or hostess, or just have an excellent place to kick back with a drink for yourself.

Location

Decide where your bar will go. The dining room, living room, or kitchen are popular locations, providing access to working surfaces for drink mixing. A basement or pool room also work, or up the ante of your backyard entertaining with an outdoor bar.

Think about how you will use your bar. Fond of making cocktails? Then a wet bar could be convenient, and you may need to get a plumber to set up running water and drainage. For drinks that require refrigeration, ensure you can connect to a power source. Consider protecting your walls from happy hour mess with a tiled backsplash.

If you’re having guests, will they be sitting at the bar, or will you relocate to another room in your home? This will determine the furnishing needs for your bar area.

Space

How big will your bar be? Is there an unused nook in your home where a small bar could fit?

Traditional L-shaped bars take up a lot of room. You can save space by setting your bar against the wall. A full back bar looks professional but may not be necessary for your needs.

Island bars allow for your freedom of movement and can be easily set up if an island has already been built into your kitchen.

Do a run through of how you’ll use your bar. Test where you think you’ll stand to plan convenient supply placement and a comfortable counter and shelf height.

If you’re renting and can’t install new cabinetry, you can purchase a freestanding bar as a movable option. If you’re short on space, a bar cart is compact and portable.

Storage

Built-in storage looks impressive but it is the most expensive option. If you go down this avenue, you can contract a carpenter to create something customised for your space.

For alternatives, try using tables, free-standing cabinets, or book shelves. Cabinets with windows are a great way to display your glassware without it accumulating dust. Even objects like old suitcases can be converted into quirky liquor storage solutions.

Style

When designing the look of your home bar, you don’t have to follow a theme, and doing so could even be inadvisable as the theme might age badly. This is your chance to inject some personality, whether you’re into the classic pub aesthetic of dark timber floors and walls or something more contemporary.

Look to your favourite watering holes for inspiration, or gather ideas from interior design blogs or TV shows and movies. Give your bar some pizzazz with some accessories. Hunt through antique stores and op-shops to find pieces with character. Your bar is meant to be enjoyed, so start with some essentials you’ll love (that goes for liquor, too) and cultivate your bar with additions over time.

Looking for flooring to make your bar complete? Step into your nearest Andersens showroom for professional advice and design tips from our friendly consultants.

Sources:
https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/21107489/list/how-to-create-a-built-in-home-bar
http://freshome.com/home-bar-ideas/
http://www.insideout.com.au/expert-advice/how-to-create-the-perfect-bar-at-home
http://homedesignlover.com/interior-design/how-to-design-a-home-bar/
http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2013/11/how-to-organize-your-home-bar-design-ergonomics-supplies-mise-en-place.html

Preparing for Allergy Season

Spring is the season for renewal, but for the 15% of Australians affected by hay fever, it can be a time of dread. Medically known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, hay fever is caused by “the body’s immune response to inhaled pollen”. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, to name a few. Typically associated with the transitional period between Winter to Spring, seasonal allergies can actually strike at any time of the year depending on the flowering times of grass and flowers in your part of the country.

If you’re one of many people affected by seasonal allergies, you’ll know that it’s near impossible to avoid pollen outside of maybe living in a plastic bubble. However, just because you can’t control Mother Nature, doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to minimise the effects of allergens in your own home.

With Spring on the horizon, get a head start on hay fever by checking through our list of recommendations on how to prepare your home for allergy season. Follow our pointers to help reduce pollen and other allergens in your home to improve your quality of life.

  • Vacuum at least twice a week: Use a water filtration vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate) filter for efficient filtering and cleaning that disturbs fewer dust particles.
  • Steam clean: Steam clean carpets on a regular basis, especially in the bedroom where you spend a majority of your time.
  • Air-con on: Avoid heavy fan use as this can stir up dust.
  • Clean air filters and ducts: Clean air filters and ducts at least once a year.
  • Wash bedding weekly: Gather your sheets, pillowcases and other bedding and wash every week in hot water to kill and reduce dust mites.
  • Tumble dry: Decrease your level of exposure to pollen by using a tumble dryer instead of air-drying bedding or clothing.
  • Remove your shoes: Leave your footwear at the door or use doormats to prevent tracking in dust from outside.
  • Pet-free bedrooms: Pet dander and saliva can be a trigger for some allergy sufferers. If making your animal friend sleep outside is unthinkable to you, make sure to bathe your pet at least once a month.
  • Dehumidify: Keep your house well ventilated and the humidity low. Use a dehumidifier where necessary and if you’re sensitive to mould, remove indoor pot plants as they can promote mould growth.
  • De-clutter: Clear away rubbish and mess frequently as clutter provides a perfect home for dust mites, mould, and other nasties.
  • Inspect your garden: Check your yard for plants, weeds, or trees that cause allergies and have the offenders removed if possible. Research low allergen plants before commencing any landscaping.
  • Let grass grow: Avoid mowing the lawn to limit your pollen exposure.
  • Consider blinds or shutters: Heavy curtains are harder to keep clean. Have a look at installing shutters or blinds, or curtains in a washable material.

As always, for medical advice about your allergies, please consult your doctor. If you need help deciding on allergy-friendly flooring or window-coverings for your home, talk to the Andersens team at your nearest store – they’ll be happy to help.

Choosing Kid-friendly Flooring

Having children is a life-changing event that means you’ll be prioritising them in your decision-making for many years to come. Whether you’re preparing a nursery or a playroom, you need to consider the demands of life with little ones when designing spaces where they’ll rest and play.

We look at floor covering options for your home and break down their suitability for your growing family.

Carpet

Comfort is one of the biggest draw cards when it comes to carpet. As your baby grows, carpet becomes a soft surface suitable for tummy time and will cushion a toddler’s falls. Installed in a playroom, it provides a comfortable play surface, reducing the need for additional mats. In nurseries, the sound-insulating quality of carpet will help to create a peaceful environment where your baby can (hopefully) snooze the nights away.

There’s no denying that kids can be messy, so you should think about the durability and stain-resistance of carpet when purchasing. Carpet tiles can be a more practical alternative as they can be replaced individually if they sustain any damage.

If you or your children suffer from allergies, vacuum your carpet weekly and deep-clean it annually to make sure it doesn’t accumulate dust and trigger allergies.

Timber

Timber is a classic flooring option that you can depend on to stay stylish even once your kids have left home. If you ever need to move to accommodate the changing needs of your family, timber floors are guaranteed to make an impression on potential buyers.

Timber flooring is louder to walk on than softer floor coverings, but you can dampen the noise by introducing some stylish rugs or foam tiles. Although hardwood has a long life, it can be vulnerable to scratches, so the addition of rugs or mats will also help to protect the planks.

Timber also requires re-coating in high traffic areas over time to keep the finish looking new, so keep this in mind if you’re thinking about installing it in a busy playroom.

Baby lying on rug in nursery

Bamboo

If you love the look of timber floors but want a more cost-effective option, bamboo is a modern-looking alternative. This beautiful, natural material takes only a fraction of the time that wood does to reach maturity and continues to grow after harvesting, so is much more eco-friendly.

Naturally harder than timber, bamboo provides better scratch-resistance to any mischief little hands might cause. Bamboo is susceptible to humidity and temperature changes, so assess whether the climate you live in is optimal for this type of flooring before installing.

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring these days is a decorator’s dream, available in so many styles that there’s bound to be one that suits whatever theme you have in mind for your child’s room. If hardwood flooring is outside your price range, vinyl now comes in realistic wood textures. As vinyl is quieter to walk on in comparison to hardwood, it is better at muffling the sound of active kids.

You can count on your floor encountering a fair share of wear-and-tear as your children grow. Newer styles of luxury vinyl planks mean you don’t have to worry about ruined floors. Just replace the damaged plank and your floor is as good as new.

Cork

Of all the interior trends this year, cork may be the most unexpected. But with all of cork’s great qualities, it’s not hard to see why it’s experiencing renewed popularity.

Cork is a natural material which is easily renewed making it environmentally-friendly. Raising a family doesn’t come cheap, but you can keep your power bill down by harnessing cork’s natural heat and cold insulating properties.

Cork flooring has a springy feel, so it will provide a soft landing for any little stumbles. It also feels great to walk on, being warm and supple underfoot. Boasting excellent noise absorption and durability, cork flooring is a great eco-friendly flooring solution for a home with children.

We hope this guide has helped you to select the best floor coverings for your family. If you’re bringing home a newborn home, remember to install floor coverings well ahead of time so the floor has time to air out. If you need more advice on choosing a kid-friendly floor covering, step into your nearest Andersens showroom and ask one of our friendly, experienced team members.

Flooring Installation: DIY or Go Pro?

If you’re on a tight budget, installing your own flooring can seem like an alluring option for saving money. But before you crack open that toolbox, there are a few factors you should consider first.

What type of flooring are you installing?

The ability to accurately measure and cut flooring is essential to achieving a seamless, polished look. Each type of flooring presents its own installation challenges. If you’re installing ceramic tiles, how intricate is the design you’re laying down? Do you know how you’ll transition your design from one room to another or work around those meddlesome, tricky corners? When putting in timber floors, have you planned how the planks will line up with doorways and baseboards? Do you have the access to the right tools for the job?

Do you have the time?

Is there a deadline you need to meet? The level of experience you’ve got under your handyman belt will affect the time it’ll take for you to get your floors down.

What starts as a straightforward task can spiral out of control quickly and drastically if anything goes wrong, with the added blow of knocking back your savings.

Consider the magnitude of your task. Are you ready to handle the complexity of your project? If you’re a total novice at home repair, it might be best for you to leave it in the hands of the professionals for the most worry-free experience.

Below, we have drawn up a comparison chart for you highlighting the ups and downs of DIY versus hiring one of Andersens’ professional installers. Have a look before you make your decision.

DIY vs Professional Installation Comparison Chart

If you’re set on striking out on your own, talk to your Andersens consultant at the time of purchase for some helpful pointers on how to lay your floors correctly. Our team members have a wealth of knowledge to share and will never mind lending a hand. Make sure you check out our Expert Installation videos before you start for an overview of the techniques the professionals use to get that perfect result.

If you’d rather leave it to the pros, enlist one of our experienced installers for a quality, stress-free flooring installation. All Andersens’ carpet installation provides workmanship that’s backed by our Lifetime Installation Guarantee*.

Still not convinced? Andersens is currently offering FREE installation* on all new carpet! How could you say no? Contact us today, this opportunity is too good to be missed.

*Offer ends 31st August, 2017. Terms and conditions apply. See in-store for details.