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If you’re leaving your house unattended for a little while, there are lots of ways to make sure your space is secured and least of a target as possible for potential break ins. In this post, we’ve collected all the best tips and precautions for you on how to keep safe and street wise.

  1. Alarm system

Having an alarm system in your home is a great investment. Not only can you go away in peace knowing that any unknown movement will be picked up on, but it can also provide a lot of reassurance. There are many type of systems available for whatever you may need, some of them including CCTV, outdoor sensored lighting, alarms on as many doors of the house as you like and even remote controlling so that you are able to check up on it whilst you are away. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Look lived in

Simple tasks like mowing the lawn really do make a difference to making sure your home doesn’t look neglected and vulnerable to break ins. Additionally, setting timers for the radio and lights in your house whilst you are away is a great way of deterring potential suspicions. Set timers for the usual time of day that you’d use these: for example if you use a radio to wake you up in the morning keep it on during your time away, making sure it can turn itself off. The same thing goes for lights: install a timer switch to set the light in your hallway to turn itself on when it gets dark for a few hours and people will think that you are living in the house as normal!

3. Warning signs

In order to be extra safe, it’s also worth making sure that anyone who may be potentially thinking of breaking and entering knows that you have security measures in place. Even if you don’t have a real alarm set up in your house or are yet to get one done, we would suggest getting an alarm bell box on the outside of your home, real or fake. This is a clear signal that you have taken precautions to secure your home.

4. A safe

If you are worried about any high value possessions you may have, using a safe will keep your mind at rest, in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be accessible to anyone who tries to find them. To take extra precaution, be sure to hide the safe away not in an open space where it could be easily found, perhaps at the back of a wardrobe or in a loft.

5. Help from your neighbourhood

If you are aware that your neighbours are around during your time away, it may be worth asking them to keep an eye out or check up on your home for anything unusual. This could be in the form of collecting your post, parking their car in your driveway or even coming in every day to feed a pet or open and close your curtains. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option for you it’s worth having at look at your local neighbourhood watch scheme to see how you could get involved and receive community alert messages.

6. Durable doors

In the majority of break ins, criminals break into the house or flat through the door either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your doors strong and secure. Which material is your door made out of? If you feel like this is a possible risk for you, consider fitting in a bar for extra strength and precaution. For advice on how best to install it, speak to your local locksmith who should be able to guide you through it.

In addition, glass doors are vulnerable as they are easy to break and then give access to the locks. Switching to laminated glass will mean that your glass is much more durable. Adding film will also give it that extra layer and make it more difficult to break.

7. Deliveries

Whilst it’s easier to prevent making deliveries to your address for when you’re away, trivial deliveries like letters and milk can be easily forgotten about. Luckily enough, postage services like The Royal Mail have in place a ‘Keepsafe’ service. This allows the post that you’d be receiving to be kept aside by them for up to 2 months, should you need it. As for milk deliveries, be sure to let them know the period of time that you’re going away for and they will be able to put deliveries on hold for you.

8. Home exchange

If you prefer to have someone living in your house keeping an eye on it all the times there are plenty of sites available should you wish to do a home exchange. Similarly to AirBnB, they include ratings, feedback and recommendations of other users for your safety. There is trust on both sides of care for one anothers spaces and best of all, you can go away and stay in another person’s accomodation for free! Not too shabby.

We hope you found some useful tips and tricks about how to keep your home secure if you’re going away. Remember, it’s always good to double check everything is safe and secure before you leave and try not to be too vocal about it: not everyone has to know that the house could be empty! We’ve thought of everything so that you don’t have to, 😉 have a great trip!

 

10 Clever Ways of Organising your Home

 

How to Secure Your Home During Winter

 

If you’re looking for a Christmas tree this season, look no further – we have you covered. Here are our top 10 unique christmas trees to get you feeling festive. These trees will leaf you seeing stars (at the tip of your tree), you’ll be bauble-ing on about them for the rest of December!

Tinsel tree

Prevent getting your tinsel in a twist with this bright and brilliant tree. If you decide to coordinate any other decorations along with this one your whole space will appear magical! Adding some extra shiny baubles or glittery wrapping paper for the presents underneath will completely light up your space for this sparkly time of year.

 

Super slim tree

A slim line tree is a perfect alternative should you have not much room in your place for a traditional tree. It can fit perfectly in tight spaces, so even if you’re paying loads for a London box flat or are mid in the moving process and there are boxes everywhere – you’re still tree to celebrate this Christmas season, there’s no excuse!

Pre lit tree

A pre-lit tree will save you the fuss of getting your own lights and putting them on yourself. No more worrying that they’re not wrapped around evenly or that you don’t have a range of colours. Jive to all your favourite festive tunes with this tree which technically doubles up as a disco ball all in one!

Half tree

Another space saver – the half tree. Give the illusion of a full one by placing it in a corner of the room. Less mess and the same amount of festive goodness from a full tree. Or, alternatively, if you like things in halves then this is the tree for you. To each their own!

Snowy Tree

Get into the seasonal spirit by finding yourself this frosty number. If there’s no snow on christmas day, it’s ok. There’s snow need to worry, you’ll still have a white Christmas no matter the weather.

Coloured tree

This 2ft treat will add the right pop of colour to any room. If you you have a blue colour coordinated space of your home then it will add a slight festive pop without causing too much of a fur-ss.

Silver tree

This glitzy tree is for lovers of all things silver and shiny. This stunning piece is sure to stand out in your home this Christmas and catch all your guests’ eyes. Get out all your silverware and tinsel for this one, it’s going to have some competition.

Fibre optic

Fibre optic trees? They are as cool as they sound, promise. This means that the tips of the branches light up and switch colours for a more delicate luminous effect. Although, as we are wanting to include some pretty crazy trees in this post, the bottom example tree provides you with ultimate fibre optic goodness – the brightest and most colourful tree around.

Upside down tree

Did you know that you can buy upside down trees? Maybe you’ve learnt something new today, maybe not. Either way, this tree is a super quirky alternative to your traditional right way up green alpine and is sure to bag a few comments. Why not!

Tropical tree

Who said Christmas trees needed to be alpine? If you would much rather be somewhere warmer on the 25th, this tree is your answer. As a plus, there’s less branches to cover meaning less fuss! Don’t go chasing the tropical sun, chase this tropical tree instead.

If any of these trees tickled your leaves, they are all available on our website ManoMano.co.uk, should you be intrigued by this weird and wonderful range. Merry Christmas!

 

8 Tips to Make Your Tree Last Longer This Christmas

DIY Christmas Tree Shelves – Alternative Christmas Tree

 

If you have a passion for renovation and design and want to curate the space you live in, this doesn’t tend to be very straight forward if you live in a rental home. Here are some ideas on how to updo your space and still get your rental deposit back!

Change light fixtures 

http://www.cotemaison.fr/chaine-d/diaporama/appartement-paris-renove-par-l-architecte-isabelle-stanislas_21242.html#diaporama

Mixing up a simple light shade with your preferred colour or design can quickly transform the appearance of your space. Experiment with the idea by upgrading from a side lamp to a de-light-ful pendant for a more dramatic effect.

Dimmers

Switch up (literally) your usual switch lights to dimmers without affecting your landlord’s light system. Simply replacing a simple plastic light cover to a sleek metallic dimmer makes all the difference. It’s the little things that make it your own. Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of mood lighting?

Rugs

http://www.besthomedesignidea.com/living-rooms/get-the-best-modern-living-room-furniture/

Adding layering to your space not only gives a personalised touch, but also a lot of character. Choosing deep hued rugs warms up the room and matches with a wide variety of other shades. You may not be able to install carpet over wood, but who said you couldn’t get a wall to wall rug instead?

Patterned cushions or drapes

https://houseandhome.com/gallery/20-decorating-ideas-to-make-a-rental-feel-like-home/

Should you not be allowed to add pattern to your space with wallpaper, we present to you an easy alternative – replacing the curtain drapes. Mix and match whichever patterns you please, whether they go with your cushions or not – it’s your free reign!

Smart kitchen storage

http://dekoraitonn.com/eine-suse-und-harmonische-dekoration/

Mounting storage such as kitchen cupboards are often not possible in rentals. Instead, make use of your unused wall space by creating a useful peg board to attach pots and pans. Essentially, a piece of art and storage area all in one! You’ll never misplace that strainer ever again. 😉

Indoor plants

http://homecreateidea.com/category/patio-garden

No matter what kind of rental you have, as long as there’s a window you’ll be able to gift photosynthesis to some lucky plants. Treat a bit of greenery to a spot on your windowsill and you’re guaranteed to give yourself a more zen environment.

Lightweight bed headboard

https://designmag.fr/fabriquer-une-tete-de-lit-bois.html

When moving from one rental place to another, you would never forget to bring along a headboard, right? We understand that it’s that one piece of furniture everyone forgets about. So, whether you do or you don’t, adding your own headboard is a great way of adding a personal touch to what little space you do have control over. They’re not difficult to DIY at all, all you have to do is place it behind your bed, simple!

Vintage finds

https://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/house-tours/g1207/victorian-house-design-0512/slide-1

Adding your favourite vintage finds gives charm to your rented space. You can find all sorts of antique designs and collectables from flea markets or antique shops without breaking the bank!

Shower curtain

https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/fr-ca/shop/allover-fruits-shower-curtain?category=shower-curtains&color=089

If your landlord has a boring bathroom which has the usual plain and plastic feel from the majority of rentals, don’t be afraid to add a splash (ha) of colour with bold patterned shower curtain. A matching bath mat would be the cherry on top. 😉

Framed wallpaper

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/483996291176781439/

An alternative to getting out the plaster and sticking wallpaper onto the walls is by simply framing a pattern you love. This is the perfect solution for commitment-phobes who can’t make their minds on which pattern is best, whilst keeping your landlord’s peace of mind at the same time.

Hanging Artwork

http://blogue.dessinsdrummond.com/2017/01/27/tendance-decoration-scandinave-pour-condo/

Whether you already have a hole in the wall to work with or not, spruce up your walls with your own collected art that makes you, you! If you’re not able to hang framed art, use blu tack as an alternative for lighter materials. Ensure to be careful to not stick your piece onto recently painted walls as it can peel. Instead try sticking it to a concrete, wood or plastic surface for the best effect.

Mirrors

http://riseandshine.fr/2016/01/09/tendance-deco-le-tapis-persan/

It’s certain that most people’s homes have mirrors – but why stop at one? Using mirrors in your space is a great design move for multiple reasons – they can create the illusion of a larger room, reflect light onto even the darkest of surfaces and can even frame as if they were art. Take a look at that!

Room dividers

http://www.cocondedecoration.com/blog/2017/12/un-paravent-pour-la-chambre/

Divide your given space however you want to by integrating a folding screen. It is an inexpensive and quick solution which is flexible to use either as a room divider or to give privacy to a corner of the room.

 

We hope you picked up some tips and tricks on how to updo the interior design on your rental home creatively whilst not worrying about your landlord. Renting doesn’t mean that your home has to be impersonal and dull, you can elevate and personalise it your way!

 

Here is some more inspiration to improve your interior space:

 

11 Beautiful Pallet Projects For Your Home

Top 5 Useful Indoor House Plants

 

 

The day the clocks go back is somewhat monumental. It’s the day we lose an hour of daylight, but gain an extra hour in bed 😉. If you are or know of the kind to go into immediate hibernation as soon as the sun sets, spread the word – the day isn’t over! This post will ensure that the clock change means you can still make the most of your day, light or dark.

Meeting the night wildlife

Although our instincts may be to go back inside when it gets dark, many animals just outside our doorstep do the exact opposite. By using any pet food or leftovers that you might have and leaving them outside, you could attract the local neighbours of badgers, foxes, hedgehogs, bats or even deer if you’re lucky! It’s can be pretty breathtaking to watch nature in all its glory.

Star and planet gazing

Not only can you see so much already from your back garden on a clear night, but you’ll be able to also see the whole sky so much clearer with simply a pair of binoculars or a birdwatching telescope should you have them handy. It’s a wonderful activity to do with the kids as you can teach them about space and the different moon phases.You can show them the full moon on the 23rd of November, whether they think it’s made out of cheese or not. 😉

Light a bonfire

This is a really sociable way of getting your friends and family outside during the colder months. Getting some wood together and a box of matches (and even some wooden scraps from an old DIY) is the perfect recipe for an evening of toasted marshmallows and great conversation, you’ll want seconds.

Visit a viewpoint

This may only apply to those of you who live near or in a city, but it’s a beauty. A great thing to do as the sun sets or as soon as it gets dark is to go to your favourite highpoint and take in a view of the city. The street lights and tiny houses will make it seem so small, and you get perspective on how huge everything really is!

Make some DIY lights

A great way to celebrate the darker months is to decorate your space with your own DIY creations. You can even use leftover firewood or things around the house, to light up your indoor or outdoor space. If you’re in need of a little inspiration, this blog post has 20 great ideas for light ideas you can make yourself. We also have a tutorial on how to make your own upcycled glass bottle light and a plastic concrete pendant light. De-light-ful!

Plant some shade-friendly greenery

There’s no denying that as the clocks go back, not only is it a sign of the coming cold but it also means that your plants don’t get as much light per day. So, here’s a heads up on some fern-tastic plants which grow in these conditions.

A plant that will give your garden a spot of colour and are perfect for this time of year are autumn crocuses. If you’re looking for greenery which loves the extreme shade look no further with Autumn ferns. They don’t need too much care when integrated into your garden, and Japanese maples are trees which are ideal to plant in Autumn, are relatively easy and will give you flowers in early to mid spring.

Camp with your kids

A guaranteed way of bringing the kids outside when the clocks turn back is by using your back garden as a camping ground. What better way to bring them on an adventure – on your own home turf! Activities such as teaching them how to set up a tent, playing around with hand shadows from a torch  or listening out for owls will give them an experience of being that little bit closer to nature!

We hope you enjoyed this post are now looking forward to the clocks changing! Enjoy spending time doing lots of fun activities with family and friends, and quite literally, have the time of your life!

 

Essential Gardening Jobs for November

Eight Winter Jobs to Get Your Garden Ready for the New Growing Year

 

Kids often mimic what you do and want to learn how to become a mini-you! So, if you’re a frequent DIY-er like us, your child is sure to have seen you around the house with a few tools in your hands here and there. This blog post is here to help them understand what you’re doing and to let them feel involved… as well as guaranteeing yourself your own little helper for your projects! We’re not kid-ding. 😉

 

Safety first

Start off by introducing your toolkit and explaining what each tool is and what their functions are. Make sure they are aware of what’s sharp, what’s powerful, and how to properly hold each one. DIY can be dangerous, so it’s vital that they know which tools are which and that they must be used with care!

 

Painting

All kids love to paint. Whether you do a lick of paint to cover up a mark or completely repaint your living room, they’ll want to get involved! Giving them tips and tricks is really useful, like how to keep a streamlined up and down motion, and doing corners when there’s less paint on your brush or paint roller. Show them how you would paint on your surface of choice with your explanation and let them repeat after you. They’ll pay lots of attention in the hope of doing it exactly like you!

 

Sanding

The one point to be made about sanding is that it’s crucial when working with wood and is  easy to demonstrate. Sandpaper is really cheap and easy to use, let them play around and experiment with it. If you’re ever concerned about the risk of splinters, any form of protective glove could give you some peace of mind as well as keep looking like a professional. 😉

 

Hammer and nail

Using a heavy hammer to hammer sharp nails into in a block of wood could sound like a dangerous prospect, but with the right guidelines and materials you have nothing to worry about! Galvanised felt nails are ideal to use with a beginner as they’re short with wide heads. Additionally, instead of wood, rigid foam insulation is a great alternative, as it is much softer so the nails can go in more easily, so your kid is much more likely to – quite literally – nail it in one go!

 

Sawing

Explaining the danger of a sharp saw is crucial. It is important to teach the child the best way to grip the handle of the saw so that they are as far away from the sharp edges as possible. Using a foam core is much more child friendly, and by fixing it to a workbench it won’t move around, and your child can focus more on how to saw in straight lines.

 

Screw into drywall

A drill is a very powerful tool! Using something less intense such as a powered screwdriver will lessen the impact and is easier to learn to coordinate. Wood you believe that screwing into drywall is much easier to drill into and you can always give your kid a wooden surface once you feel they are confident enough, and it can act as a reward!

 

We hope that you’ve learnt that teaching the basics of DIY doesn’t need to be complicated at all! It’s a great feeling to be able to pass on a life skill to your loved ones, not only giving them a sense of accomplishment but you feel good too! Happy DIY-ing! 😄

 

 

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