Interior designers Reveal Secrets To Show Home Styling Like A Pro

Viewing a show home not only gives potential homebuyers plenty of interior design inspiration, but for those considering buying an off-plan property, it enables them to visualise what their future home could look like.

Show homes are often well coordinated and kitted out with luxe furnishings and high-end appliances. There’s always a strong theme and design direction which runs throughout. There could be light neutrals on the main walls and a stronger colour on one feature wall in a room or hallway, which is then echoed as an accent colour throughout the home in artwork, cushions or bedlinen. In a typical open plan living space, you may find floor lamps in corners and lots of luscious houseplants to soften corners and introduce greenery.

UK homebuilder, CALA Homes, works with an expert team of interior designers across the UK to create aspirational show homes with added wow factor. Here, a panel of interior design experts share some of their show home secrets to help create that professional look in our own homes.

What’s the secret to show home styling like a pro?

‘Focus on colour coordination, balance and a smooth harmonious flow from room to room. Although each space should always have its own “wow” such as an amazing light or a favourite print, try to keep a “thread” of connection between all the spaces,’ explains Eileen Kesson at Envision Showhomes. ‘Personally, I am a huge wallpaper fan – a fabulous on-trend wallpaper can add instant pizazz and lift a room in an afternoon!’

natural luxe home decoration ideas

Mark Scott

Pat Nightgale at Blocc Ltd, adds: Create a focal point in each room. Something that draws the eye. It could be a piece of artwork, a mirror, cushions or a light fitting. Something unexpected, and sensational! A brightly coloured rug in a neutral room, or wallpaper the ceiling! Something that introduces character and real style.’

Jon Piling at Abode says curtains can make the biggest impact. ‘For us, the big trick that everyone misses are curtains, they can make or break an interior scheme,’ he reveals. ‘Typically we would always try and go for wall to wall, floor to ceiling wave headed curtains to make the room look wider and taller – after all, who wouldn’t want that in their home?!’

But Felicity Stevens at Haus Interiors reminds us that not every design decision has to be so noticeable. ‘Creating a memorable experience is imperative, and impact does not always have to be obvious,’ she says. ‘We always consider the basic senses of sight, scent and touch. Sight – a well-balanced interior that is pleasing on the eye; scent – selecting a scent that creates a memorable experience; touch – using layers of texture so that the interior is interesting to touch.’

show home aspen park larfield kitchen dining room by blocc interiors
The Larfield, Aspen Park, Blocc Interiors

Blocc Interiors

Working with a blank canvas? Design advice for your new home

Be methodical about how you are going to live in your new home and plan your space, room by room, says Felicity. Pat

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Sick of your space? Jungalow’s Justina Blakeney shares her decor secrets

We are all works in progress; even the successful women you see owning it on Instagram faced stumbling blocks along the way and continue to work hard to stay at the top of their game. In this series, we’re sitting down with the people that inspire us to find out: How’d they do it? And what is success really like? This is “Getting There.”

Justina Blakeney is an artist and designer known for her bright and bold interiors style, which usually includes a houseplant or two (or three … or 10). She’s also the author of the “The New Bohemians” and the creator of Jungalow, which started as a blog in 2009 and has since morphed into an online shop for colorful home goods and decor. Through Jungalow, she has collaborated with Anthropologie, Target and more.

But before launching her own brand, Blakeney worked dozens of jobs trying to find her niche — as a consultant, a magazine editor, in retail, as a boutique owner, in graphic and interior design and more.

Here’s what she’s learned along the way.

For more like this, follow TMRW on Instagram at @tmrwxtoday.

TMRW: What was your very first job?

Justina Blakeney: I was 15 and my parents ran a school for mentally disabled teenage girls. I went to the classroom after school and taught arts and crafts. But my first job that wasn’t a familial job? I worked retail at Express, the clothing store.

Talk to me about some of the moments in your career that led you to where you are today.

I’ve always been unafraid to embrace technology and teach myself different programs and learn things like Photoshop or Illustrator or social media platforms. I know if there’s something I can’t figure out, I can find a Reddit thread or a YouTube tutorial that can teach me. So being autodidactic in that sense has been extremely helpful to me.

Justina Blakeney shopping for yarn in Italy. The designer said living abroad in her 20s was a
Justina Blakeney shopping for yarn in Italy. The designer said living abroad in her 20s was a

I went through a long period, three or four years, of just saying yes to any sort of creative oddball project. I just had the courage and the faith to say, “I’m going to figure this out, but I’m also going to be transparent with the client and say, ‘I’ve never done this before, but I can do it.'” And it worked. Learning how to bootstrap and be scrappy and see how much you can really do yourself is hugely important.

For a long time I was like, “Maybe I want to be a designer.” But there are so many different types of design — interior design, industrial design, fashion design — and until you’re actually doing it, it’s sort of hard to know. So I considered that a testing period. And through that, I was able to hone in on exactly what it is I like doing.

How did you know when it was time to branch out on your own?

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Home Improvement: The secrets to cold weather entertaining – Salisbury Post

Metro Creative

Upon the arrival of cold weather, people tend to move indoors and limit their time spent in the elements. For those who live in places where there are restrictions placed on indoor entertaining and gatherings, it may be challenging to find ways to spend time safely together as temperatures drop. The COVID-19 virus as well as other respiratory viruses are spread from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air while coughing, talking or sneezing, states the Mayo Clinic. A person is more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person while indoors, especially when they’re in close contact with that person. When outdoors, there is a lower risk of contraction.

Outdoor entertaining in winter may be challenging, especially in regard to keeping everyone warm. The following are some solutions that can help people stay warm and have fun outside.

• Invest in fire pits: Fire pits are an affordable way to heat a patio or another outdoor area. They can be great places for friends and family to gather around and enjoy special occasions. They’re readily available from garden centers and home improvement retailers at a variety of price points. Permanent fire pits can be built by a homeowner or professionally built by masonry experts.

• Install an outdoor fireplace: A step up from a fire pit, outdoor fireplaces not only add warmth, but also improve the ambiance and value of an outdoor entertaining area. Set up outdoor furniture right next to an outdoor fireplace and you have a cozy alternative living room where everyone can gather.

• Explore outdoor heating systems: Few things are more effective at warming up outdoor entertaining areas than patio heaters and infrared heaters. These devices are far more effective than average fire pits or fireplaces. One or two heaters will be enough to keep a large entertaining area warm.

• Keep cozy options available: Guests should dress warmly, but having a basket of throw blankets, scarves and parkas available for extra warmth while mingling is helpful. Use outdoor rugs to insulate from the cold from the ground up.

• Serve hearty foods and beverages: Stews, chilis, soups, and other hot foods can help guests warm themselves up from the inside out. Warmed cider, hot chocolate and mulled wines also can be served to help people stay warm.

• Get moving: Incorporate activities that encourage guests to move around and stay warm. Beanbag tosses, dancing and even sports like flag football can keep guests’ blood flowing. Entertaining outdoors doesn’t have to stop when the weather cools. Find ways to stay comfortable and safe when entertaining outside in the cold.

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Cleaner reveals the secrets to a gleaming bathroom and shower

a little girl posing for a picture: MailOnline logo

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An Australian professional cleaner and company director has shared her industry secrets to transforming a grubby shower screen and bathroom to make it look sparkling new.

Kacie, from Melbourne, shared videos on TikTok revealing she uses budget laundry products at home and while working.

The insightful cleaning videos have since gone viral, with one video receiving more than 299,000 views.

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a woman smiling and posing for a picture: An Australian professional cleaner and company director (pictured) has shared her industry secrets to transforming a grubby shower screen and bathroom to make it look sparkling new

© Provided by Daily Mail
An Australian professional cleaner and company director (pictured) has shared her industry secrets to transforming a grubby shower screen and bathroom to make it look sparkling new

a person sitting on a counter: Kacie, from Melbourne, shared videos on TikTok revealing she uses budget laundry products at home and while working

© Provided by Daily Mail
Kacie, from Melbourne, shared videos on TikTok revealing she uses budget laundry products at home and while working

What are some of Kacie’s top cleaning secrets?  

* Use a non-scratch sponge with Gumption or Bar Keepers Friend to clean soap scum from a shower screen with ease 

* Always use a squeegee to remove water and then ‘polish’ or dry the glass with a microfibre cloth for sparkling results 

* For sparkling windows use the $37 Sabco window cleaning kit from Bunnings that comes with a 12.5 litre bucket with a lid and handle. Pair it with a microfibre window washer, stainless steel squeegee and a microfibre cloth for the perfect finish 

* Dishwashing liquid and water works very well to clean windows 

* The #1 Kmart product for cleaning is the 2 piece pack of microfibre glass cleaning cloths – they are hidden in the car section

‘If your shower screens have hard water stains or built up soap scum, I would use a non-scratch sponge with either Gumption (which is a paste) or Bar Keepers Friend (which is a powder),’ she said in the video

‘Both of those scrub onto the screen and wash off – as long as the glass isn’t etched, it should come up pretty good.’

Gumption is priced at $5.40 and Bar Keepers Friend costs $8, with both available at Woolworths supermarkets. 

Kacie also uses these products to clean other areas in the bathroom, such as the sink and bathtub, as they work exceptionally well.  

After applying and washing the products off with water, Kacie recommends using a squeegee to remove water and then ‘polish’ or dry the glass with a microfibre cloth.

Depending on how dirty the shower screen is, dishwashing liquid and a microfibre cloth also works well. 

Kacie said cleaning the shower or bathroom doesn’t need to be a complicated process, as it’s quite simple if the correct products are used. 

a screenshot of a cell phone: In another video Kacie also revealed she uses the $37 Sabco window cleaning kit from Bunnings Warehouse while working (pictured)

© Provided by Daily Mail
In another video Kacie also

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Olive Garden former waitress reveals restaurant ‘secrets,’ or so she claims in TikTok video

A former Olive Garden employee has gone viral for allegedly revealing restaurant secrets.

Morgan Potter claimed to have worked at the restaurant chain for two years, as she said on TikTok. The video featuring her “secrets” has been viewed more than 750K times as of Friday.


In the video, Potter claims that the training process is “so much fun,” and that during it, staff members taste everything on the menu in order to be able to better describe the food to customers.

She also claimed employees are able to eat unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks during their shifts.


The positives seemingly stopped there, however, as the young woman went on to drop some less-than-favorable claims — including an allegation that the soup, salad and breadsticks weren’t really unlimited, and that “there was definitely a point where [she] would cut people off.”

The “fresh” bread, also wasn’t exactly “fresh,” she alleged, adding that nearly everything on the menu was microwaved. She later allegedly cleared this up, explaining that everything is kept in a heating drawer — not necessarily a microwave.


Her claims were not universally agreed upon by other Olive Garden employees, though.

“OK your [Olive Garden] is totally different from mine,” one person wrote. “All our stuff is made fresh daily and our bread is baked all day.” Another person claiming to work at the chain seconded this statement.

Someone else claimed that the soup, salad and breadsticks were only available to staff members on their break, and cost $1.


A few people did back up Potter.

“Amen girl. I worked at Olive Garden. Everything you said is correct,” one person praised.

Potter is just the latest TikTokker revealing behind-the-scenes “secrets” of popular chain restaurants – though the response is not always great. Last month, a Chick-fil-A employee was allegedly fired for sharing menu hacks on the popular video-sharing platform.

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Former Olive Garden employee shares list of alleged ‘secrets’ about working for the chain

A former Olive Garden employee is going viral after sharing the alleged “secrets” she learned at the restaurant.

Morgan Potter revealed the behind-the-scenes list on TikTok, in a video that’s drawn more than 740,000 views. In it, the 21-year old makes several claims about the job — both negative and positive.

For one, she called the training process “so much fun,” explaining that she was asked to try every item on the menu. Additionally, she claimed she got to eat the chain’s soup, salad and breadsticks “pretty much” for free during her shifts.

READ MORE: Thousands of Amazon reviews rave about these reliable cleaning products

There were some negatives, though. Potter claimed that the soup, salad and breadsticks weren’t “really” unlimited for customers.

“There definitely was a point where I would cut people off,” she joked. “Too much is too much.”

Potter also alleged that most items were “microwaved” and not made fresh — including the “fresh” breed. However, she later clarified in the comments that she meant to say items were kept in a heating drawer.

The TikToker’s comments sparked a major debate on the app, with other former employees weighing in on her claims. Some said Potter was exaggerating certain details, like her claims about the reheated food and eating free bread on the job.

“OK your [Olive Garden] is totally different from mine,” one user wrote. “All our stuff is made fresh daily and our bread is baked all day.”

“At my restaurant we had to pay $1 for soup, salad and bread and we could only have it on our break,” another claimed.

“Our bread is made fresh at the store and only a little bit of the food is made microwaved,” another employee wrote.

Others supported Potter though, saying they experienced the same things at the location where they worked.

“Amen girl. I worked at Olive Garden. Everything you said is correct,” one user commented.

Potter’s video follows a recent TikTok trend, in which former restaurant employees having been sharing the alleged “secrets” they learned on the job.

In August, a former Panera Bread employee detailed the items you should “never” order at the chain. One month earlier, a former McDonald’s employee went viral for sharing her own behind-the-scenes knowledge.

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Bathroom Remodeling Secrets You Won’t See On HGTV

Television networks such as HGTV have become very popular over the course of the last few years and with good reason. Not only do they do a very good job providing programming for those interested in doing work to their home, they also have shows showcasing the pitfalls of any project, namely that of bathroom remodeling.

While it can sometimes be a little entertaining to watch someone’s bathroom remodeling plans fall apart based on poor planning or maybe just an immature dislike of someone’s personality, it is important to glean some amount of caution when it comes to your own project. Bathroom remodeling is no joke, and it pays to really have a good reason to decide to go through with the plan.

But for all of the good information that comes from HGTV, it shouldn’t be the one place from which you & your family take pointers. You need to do some research and really dig into the planning of your perspective project.

For example, much of the information you’ll find on HGTV’s programming tends to start with the “vision”. Hosts want couples & families to think big-picture first so as to know what things would be on a homeowner’s dream wishlist. That sounds great, but it tends to cause a bit of a downer when bringing in reality soon afterward. It may be best to think in terms of what you need in your bathroom remodeling project rather than what you want. It allows for you to really think about what your new bathroom will offer rather than how it will dazzle.

One particular item that also pops up in the shows on this network is the idea that the bathroom remodel being undertaken will be a lasting part of the homeowner’s legacy. While this is a true statement in some way, it certainly becomes true when said homeowner may want to sell their home in the future. As you begin your own bathroom remodeling project, you need to think about what the future may hold in terms of stylistic treatment & marketability. In other words, if you choose to sell your home down the line, will the changes you make today still have an audience later? Many realtors often cite that families whom find dream homes will move on to other properties simply because they didn’t like the color of paint in a room or the way a remodeling project changed a room’s flow. Your remodeling choices now may leave a legacy but one of a home listing taking a while to sell.

Finally, one of the ways HGTV tends to be different from real life is that from start to finish, clients usually have one contractor with whom they work on their bathroom remodeling. Certain parts of the work get given to local companies to complete, but there is one contractor on hand to answer questions. At times, you can see genuine concern on the homeowner’s face, but in the end, things get resolved. In reality, …

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Residential Cabin – 5 Secrets To Make A Perfect Interior

When you think of your cabin, you envision a place where you head to relax and unwind after long days. As such, you want it to be as comfortable and as beautiful as it can be such that when you walk in, you feel at peace. People feel more at peace in their homes even when compared to luxury suites in the best of hotels. This feeling accrues from the fact that your home is a representative of who you are as a person and what you like. That’s why everyone’s home is different and unique in its way. Making touches to your interior gives your home a unique appearance, and you will feel even more relaxed, owing to an environment in which you have control.

Decorating a log cabin is much harder than it seems and people often have difficulties deciding how to go about it. Others resort to hiring professionals to do the work on their behalf. However, with the right tips at hand, you are more than capable of decorating your home to make it unique and comfortable. Here are some tips which you can put to use during transformation.

Think outside the box

Log cabins are not conventional homes, and as such, even the decoration practices should be outside the box. Dare to dream when it comes to making changes to the interior. There is this myth that log cabins go hand in hand with old furniture, but this is not always the case. While it is true that old furniture completes the outdoorsy look in the interior space and makes a log cabin have a relaxed atmosphere, there are many other options which you can exploit to match your tastes better.

Supposing you prefer a modern look and there are modern pieces which you wish to add to your home, do not hold back. After all, your home should match what you need and not what people consider to be the ‘in thing.’

As you think outside the box, be sure to take safety precautions such that you do not make fittings that can put you and other people at risk while in the house. That said, go nuts and unleash your creativity as you embark on this journey. All that counts is comfort and style.

Plan ahead

As with everything, it is always good to have a clear picture of what you wish to achieve in the end so that you can work towards that. Interior designers often start with a theme which guides them along the way.

There are multiple choices to choose from including but not limited to Western Ranch to wildlife themes. You can also come up with a different idea and create sketches of what you wish to have and where. If you cannot decide on one style, you can choose different themes for different rooms which also helps in giving your home an exciting finish.

As you go about choosing the furniture and accessories for your home, you will …

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Gardeners Secrets Revealed: How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars In Your Garden

You’ve got a beautiful garden in which you are growing a wide variety of plants and a few trees very well. But to your horror you discover one day caterpillars munching away on your cabbage, your lettuce, your tomatoes and everything else. All your hard work and effort is being munched away happily by these larvae. Your heart cries out, doesn’t it?

Caterpillars are larvae of butterflies and moths. In other words, caterpillars are the feeding stages of moths and butterflies. Yes, the stage itself is solely a feeding stage in the growth of these insects. They may be small but they eat too much. They eat and only keep eating. They eat the leaves, new buds and shoots and even flowers! There are many different kinds of caterpillars, each eating lots. You should know what kind of caterpillars you are dealing with before beginning your evacuation mission or it will simply be a waste.

There are a tremendous number of ways of tackling caterpillars. One of the most common and simple methods is to handpick them. Caterpillars are most active come early morning or evening – dusk time. When hand picking them, be sure you wear rubber gloves and carry an empty cup or tray with you. Your target should be the bottom side of the leaves. You’ll see egg clusters there. Remove them and also, look for caterpillars. You can pick them out too. These can be discarded in two ways. You could either release them somewhere far off from your garden or you can always kill them in soapy water.

It is always advisable to stay organic when it comes to dealing with pests in your garden. Pesticides can even damage your plants and trees and that is certainly not what you want. Hence, eco friendly remedies are the best. One of the best ways is crop rotation. Also, add lots of compost to your soil and make sure you don’t grow your plants in continuous rows. Releasing a predator into your garden is also a good and healthy idea. Frogs, wasps or lizards feed on caterpillars and protect your garden against them.

The best way to get rid of caterpillars and to control them is to spray the bacterial called Bacillus thuringiensis or BT in short. It is not only the most effective way to control caterpillars but also very eco friendly and does not damage your crops or the environment. BTK is the best type of bacterial for caterpillar control.

Other ways to get rid of caterpillars are neem oil which works wonders and acts instantaneously. Neem is extremely bitter and caterpillars will not dare touch plants that have neem oil sprayed on them. There is also another spray called Rotenone-Pyrethrin that is effective.

There are many ways in which you could get rid of caterpillars before they create havoc in your garden. Try one of the methods mentioned above and your garden will be caterpillar-free for sure.

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How to Sell a House by Owner by Employing Real Estate Investor Secrets – Part 2

In How to Sell a House by Owner, Part 1, we pointed out the all important hand painted, pink fluorescent signs. They work! I have had as many as 250 flyers taken from the flyer box in a single weekend. For me, that has been the magic bullet on how to sell a house by owner and get a swift house sale.

It requires considerable time to create the signs, and to stick them on all of the corners within your neighborhood, but trust me when I say to you, your problem will not be, “not bringing in enough lookers”.

In case you are at all like me, or wish to be like me, in the sense that you do not want to use a Realtor to sell your property, as soon as you get the buyers looking through your house, then you definitely have some different techniques to select from.

Listed here are the ways savvy Real Estate Investors intelligently and creatively attempt selling their homes repeatedly without using a Realtor. In this down real estate market it just could be time for you to utilize some of the same secrets.

* First: Once you have had the lookers walking through your house, now it is time to make the best deal that you can, and then fill out a Purchase & Sales Agreement and open up escrow.

* The second method gets a bit more creative. This is called The 9-Day Highest/Best Bidder Sale. Your home will sell in 9 days. You merely do not know exactly how much the price will be.

Have a minimum of two one-hour open houses during two weekends and 1-open house in the middle of the week. Take bids on the house and on the last day at 5 pm, you start the rebidding process and then sell to the highest bidder (if you choose to accept their offer).

* The third technique is the Transferable Seller Financing Approach. This gets considerably more in-depth and very creative, but it is just another tool you can make use of if you need to be creative to get a quick sale.

* The fourth technique is the use of a Lease with an Option to Purchase. This approach will get a person into the property quickly, alleviating you from the burden of having to make the house payments, and it gives the potential buyer a given time frame to actually purchase the house.

* And, the fifth technique, should you be behind on your house payments, is utilizing a Short Sale.

That is one way on how to sell a house (by owner), and get a quick house sale, without using a Realtor (however, with the Short Sale, a Realtor might be included in this approach). Of course, if you are looking to get the very best possible price for your home, then your home should be in “Model Home” condition. Anything less will attract a lesser sum for your house. If your home …

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