16 April 2014

Brighten up your home for summer with textiles

Spring is all around us, and Easter is coming up this weekend, which means summer is just around the corner!
Happy days! But how do you reflect the weather outside inside your home in a simple way?

You can easily inject life and a splash of colour into your home with the help of fabrics. Believe it or not, but a new table cloth can change the whole look of your dining room.

The examples I’m referring to in today’s post are from the online fabric shop Linenme.com, and are designed exclusively by Inga Lukauskiene, who is a very talented graduate from the KLC School of Design. This luxury collection of table linen come in an array of bold and bright colours that are just perfect for this season! 

The collection, which is crafted in Lithuania, is made of 100% linen and is handmade using the highest standards of weaving crafts. Linen is a timeless fabric when it comes to homeware, and depending on how you style it, it can look either classic or contemporary.

I must say that the zesty citrine tones are my favourite, but they’re all absolutely lovely. What colour would you go for in order to spice up your home this season?

15 April 2014

Raise the value of your home with these 7 simple home improvements

Home improvement is rarely cheap, but there are ways to keep your costs down. In fact, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your home or flat that cost relatively little but can improve the value of your property a lot. If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to increase the selling value of your home, try these areas.

Improving the appearance of your garden is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. In fact, a homeowner can expect to earn about 107% of what he or she invests into landscaping when it's time to sell a property. Best of all, this can be improved slowly as funds become available. Some ideas for inspiration here.

Kitchen appliances 
Replacing an old fridge or range can cost some money, but it's not nearly as expensive as an entire kitchen remodel. New appliances can refresh the look of a kitchen for a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, new appliances tend to be more energy efficient, increasing the chance that you'll make back your investment by saving on your utility bills before it's time to sell.

Window treatments 
Curtains and blinds can be purchased relatively cheaply, and they do a lot to make an otherwise cheaply furnished room look like it was put together by a professional. On the outside of a home, shutters not only enhance the curb appeal, but they also act as a barrier in the event of major storm.

Electrical outlets 
If you live in an older home, you might want to consider hiring an electrician to install extra outlets. Many homes that were built before the 1990s do not have the capacity for computers and large entertainment centres. By adding outlets, you make your home a lot more modern.

Home theatre
For similar reasons, a home theatre system can be a great selling feature. If you don't have the money to construct an addition to your home, consider adding built-in speakers and improving the television. Don’t get too carried away, though!

This is one of the cheapest ways to improve the look of any room in your house. While it can be time-consuming, a fresh coat of paint is a good way to brighten up just about any room. If you're looking to sell, however, pick a neutral colour that can go with just about any potential buyer's furniture.

Cabinet hardware. 
Replacing all of the cabinetry in a kitchen or bathroom is expensive, but swapping out the cabinet pulls is relatively cheap. Updating the hardware can modernise a whole room.

Some of these improvements are so cheap and easy that anyone could do them themselves. Others, like renovating your kitchen, require a substantial spend. If you are going down the route of refinancing to pay for it, check out this mortgage interest calculator in order to forecast what the real cost will be over the long term.

These are tried and tested ways to add value. Which ones you choose (and there are more than these) is up to you!

1 April 2014

Mediterranean salmon recipe

I aim to write more about cooking on Home Decorista, and the first recipe I want to share with you is a Mediterranean inspired salmon dish.
This dish is easy peasy and is no effort at all. You’ll need 10 minutes to prepare it, and then you just put it in the oven.

This is what you’ll need for 2 portions:

Salmon and toppings
2 salmon fillets
1 tub (300 ml) of crème fraiche
Fresh basil
Half a pack of feta cheese (or other Greek salad cheese)
Sundried tomatoes (as many as you want)
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper

As for the sides, I usually go for some potato wedges and asparagus.

Start by preparing your salmon fillets – I get really disgusted by the skin so I always cut this off and give the fillets a quick rinse to make sure there is no fish scale left. Put the fillets in an oven dish.

Chop and crumble all your ingredients for the salmon topping, add a little bit of salt and pepper and mix it all in a bowl. After that, simply put the topping onto the raw salmon fillets. 
simple salmon recipe

As for the potato wedges, I really like to keep the peel on the potatoes as it gives them some extra flavour. Chop in even-ish sized wedges, and put them in an oven dish. I tend to add both some liquid butter and oil to the potatoes, as this makes them nice golden brown without burning or sticking to the dish. I like to add some chunky bits of salt as well, and am using the salt and pepper duo grinder by Ozeri.
The potatoes need to bake in the oven for about 50 minutes on 225 degrees Celsius, and the salmon on the same temperature but for about 30 minutes.
I tend to serve it with boiled/baked asparagus, which you can simply throw in the oven for 10 minutes when you know your potatoes are almost done.

Result: A yummy a flavoursome Mediterranean dish that is super simple. And for all you people who aren’t fans of fish – don’t worry! I don’t usually like fish, but the topping ingredients completely takes away any fishy taste.

On a weekend, I like to have a nice glass of wine with my meals, and this dish goes perfectly with white wine. The wine I’ve chosen for today is a Grüner Veltliner by Ebner-Ebenauer. An Austrian wine that’s very fruity and fresh. Or what I’d like to call an “easy to drink”-wine. 

I couldn't get a goof photo of the result of the finished dish as it got dark before it was ready. So you're just going to have to trust me when I say this dish is delicious! ;)
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