4 sleek flooring trends for your bathroom

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Tiny bathroom? No problem. This translates to a big budget for a small space. You can choose from the most expensive materials, an option you can’t make use of in your other living spaces. Lavastone, for instance. Bought from the volcanic slopes from Italy and France, hardened lava adds so much depth to the bathroom and being both water and stand-proof—is functional too.

Inventive Tile Lay Patterns

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There are three steps to this: Firstly, opting for rectangular tiles rather than square ones. Secondly, integrating 2-3 different colours of tiles (not more, not less). Finally, tiling them in a slanted manner in place of usual horizontals.

The colour combinations of these rectangular tiles and choice of tile is completely at your discretion. Make use of unique lay patterns, for they instantly uplift an average bathroom to its slightly more eclectic version.

Eco-friendly Floors

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Sustainable architecture is so much in demand. From the use of sustainable raw materials in miniature home accessories to the bricks in mammoth architectural projects, eco-friendly home trends have become common.

It then seems only apt to use eco-friendly materials for our bathroom floors. Functionality need not be of question, however, because there are durable flooring materials that happen to be eco-friendly too!

Linoleum or cork are two such materials (both water-proof and durable) and are very different from each other. Incorporate one of them into your bathroom’s wet (shower) area. The difference in texture from when you step onto the bathroom’s dry and wet areas will pack in a neat punch.

Solid Prints

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Offering a long-term solution for people who love exuberant prints (like large florals or zebra stripes) but eventually tire of them, the solid print consists of your favourite print alongside a complementary shade of colour.

Bring this simple design technique onto your bathroom’s floors by combining delightful printed tiles with neutral ones. This will liven your bathroom and keep it grounded, at the same time.

[Source”cnbc”]

15 Modern Bathroom Essentials to Upgrade Your Space

Modern means a lot of things: simple, geometric, high tech—the list goes on.

What it doesn’t mean is eclectic and cluttered. If you ask us, the streamlined, muted color palette is the exact look you want for a serene bathroom space. And you don’t need much to get the vibes you’re after: Just a few key details that speak for themselves. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a cookie cutter apartment bathroom, or a custom designed one straight of the set of your favorite HGTV show.

We promise: These 15 neutral-but-provocative essentials will give your space that mod flair you’re after.

Branded: Modern Bathroom Accessories

InterDesign Rectangular Bathroom Vanity Canister With Dividers, $100

Branded: Modern Bathroom Accessories

AllModern Marble Accent Tray, $48

Branded: Modern Bathroom Accessories

Fine Fixtures Glenwood Surface Mount Medicine Cabinet, $147

Branded: Modern Bathroom Accessories
[Source”timesofindia”]

Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug Review: Automate your dumb appliances

Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug review

The WeMo Mini Smart Plug lets you control and automate nearly any device in your home. Plug the WeMo Mini into an outlet, then plug a lamp, fan, or coffee maker into it and you’ll have control no matter where you are. The smart plug works with Alexa, Nest, Google Assistant, and IFTTT, which means you can also set up specific automation recipes and issue voice commands to your plugged-in devices.

Testing

Few smart home products are easier to setup or more straightforward to use than the WeMo Mini. You plug into an outlet, download and install the WeMo app, and then connect the smart plug to your Wi-Fi network. After labeling each WeMo plug with the name and a photo of the device it controls you can use your phone to either set specific schedules for that device or simply turn it on and off remotely when you want.

Over the course of a week, we tested our WeMo Smart Plug with a variety of floor and desktop lamps, a window fan, a coffee grinder, a hot water kettle, and a sleep machine.

Observations

After dealing with an ever-changing landscape of smart home hubs, cloud storage subscriptions, and interoperability issues, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug was a refreshing change of pace. If you have a Wi-Fi network and are capable of plugging something in, you’ll be able to figure out how to use it.

What’s particularly attractive about the WeMo, in addition to the $35 price tag, is its flexibility. The plug can be used in a variety of situations and functions both as remote power switch and as a smart device scheduler. It’s small enough so that you can fit two on top of each other in a standard double socket, and it enjoys broad compatibility with other smart home platforms and voice assistants.

Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug review double

The horizontal form factor makes it possible to use a pair of Smart Plugs in the same outlet.

Belkin

During our week of testing, we used ours to control various lamps in our home using both the WeMo app and Alexa. We also plugged a hot water kettle into the Wi-Fi switch and set up a schedule that yielded perfect 203F degree water for pour over coffee brewing right as we got up in the morning.

All of the scheduling is done via the WeMo app’s rules page. Here you can set up any number of time- or day-based schedules. For instance, with two plugs you can turn a bedside table light on and a sleep machine off at a specific time or when the sun rises. There’s also a handy “away mode” that turns a lamp’s lights on and off at random intervals to make it appear as if you’re home. Because the WeMo works with platforms like Nest, you can also configure the plug to turn on a specific light when your Nest Learning Thermostat recognizes that you’re home.

In all of these scenarios, the smart plug worked almost flawlessly. Occasionally, the app was sluggish or would get hung up, but that seems to be the norm for pretty much every dedicated smart device app these days. Apple households may miss HomeKit compatibility and the ability to use Siri, but given all the other smart platforms that do work with the WeMo, that pining will probably be brief.

[Source”pcworld”]

Nine Ways A Traditional Office Space Lease Can Help Your Business

As your business continues growing, you will soon find yourself in need of new office space to accommodate your team and make room for further development. However, finding a home for your organization can be quite challenging, as any business is different and has very different needs and goals. Using a virtual office or working out of a home office might be the cheapest option, but it can damage your credibility and legitimacy, as research showscustomers are more likely to consider a brand trustworthy if it has an actual physical address and office space.

Co-working spaces are becoming an increasingly popular alternative, as they are generally deemed a more flexible and cost-effective option, yet many companies still prefer to lease their own commercial space and personalize it so that it fully reflects their brand values. With so many factors to consider, including location, size and price, and with other alternatives available, is signing a traditional office lease still a viable option nowadays? Below, nine leading members of Forbes Real Estate Council explain why a traditional leasing agreement is important and how it can help your business.

All photos courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

Members of the Forbes Real Estate Council add their input.

1. Create Brand Recognition

“Lights, Camera, Action!” Signing a traditional office lease will put your company brand in the spotlight. Your business will have instant “free” advertising by hanging your sign/logo on the building, decaling windows with a website/phone number and your business name can be listed on Google Maps. If cost concerns you, simply rent out extra space and profit by offering co-working space to others. – Angela Yaun, Day Realty Group

2. Increase Productivity And Creativity

The value of providing a shared space to your team is undeniable. What’s important to remember is that signing a traditional lease doesn’t mean you’re confined to traditional thought. Having a common space brings diverse minds together to get creative ideas on the table. With a whole team under the same roof, brainstorms become far more productive and idea sharing can happen on-the-fly. – Frederick Townes, Placester

3. Improve Your Google Local Online Presence

If you want to have have a Google local, which is extremely important to your online presence take a traditional office lease into consideration. Google does not approve locals for businesses using any type of short term or co-mingled office space like Regus or Instant Offices. That being said, if you are a local service, this is definitely something you want to consider. – Hillary Hobson, Highest Cash Offer

4. Lower Expenses Over Time

Traditional offices are usually cheaper for a longer term leases. With most co-working spaces, you’ll have to pay for a la carte services (like renting a conference room, administrative costs, etc.) in addition to the rent. These costs can quickly add up over time. – Susie Algard, OfficeSpace.com

 

[Source”timesofindia”]

‘GO INTO YOUR POLICE STATION AND TELL US YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY – BUT DON’T PUT IT ON FACEBOOK’

Police today urged householders to tell them when they’re on holiday — so officers can help keep an eye on their house

Story image for Door & Windows from NDTV

Ahead of the start of the trades fortnight, community officers are leading a crackdown on break-ins during the summer months — when those types of crimes peak.

PC Andy Caulfield, based at Longhaugh Police Station, is one of those heading up the campaign to halt the crooks.

And he says one option open to people who are heading off on holiday is to alert police to their absence.

He told the Tele: “Come into your local police station and let us know you’re away.

“We can include it in our patrol matrix and give it passing attention.

“And if you have a burglar alarm, please use it.

“Set it, and notify us of who you have left a key with in case it goes off in error and we need to gain access.

“We’re just trying to remind people to take those extra 30 seconds to make sure everything is secure before you leave and that way you are less at risk of being a victim of crime.

“The impact on people that have been a victim of a theft or a break-in is long-lasting.

“It stays with you forever.”

PC Caulfield says officers have dealt with “numerous” break-ins in recent weeks, with thieves looking for tell-tale signs that homes have been left unsecured.

He said: “There is more of an opportunity for thieves to take advantage of the good weather.

“People will unconsciously leave their possessions lying out in the open or leave doors or windows open – that increases the risk.

“Recently, some people had a bit of work done to the rear of their property.

“They left ground-floor windows open to the rear to air out fumes.

“They went out shopping, came back, and someone had been in through the window and gained access to the whole property.

“I believe it was an opportunist who made off with a laptop and iPod.”

Thieves tend to aim for items which are easy to conceal or carry in a bag that can be moved on quickly.

“They can be away without the neighbours seeing anything,” PC Caulfield said.

“It’s the idea that someone outwith your friends and family has been in your place of residence, your place of comfort, and that place can suddenly feel quite vulnerable.

“By simply locking windows and doors if you’re popping out, or nipping next door, you can make sure your property is properly secured.

“You can always open doors and windows later on for fresh air.”

Even windows on upper floors aren’t always safe from the crooks, with a recent reported case involving a criminal using a ladder from the side of a house to climb in through a first-floor window.

And even someone’s Facebook profile can leave an opportunity for someone to target a house.

PC Caulfield said: “If you state on social media that you’re going out, you’ve advertised that you won’t be in,” he said, “so make sure your home is secured.”

[Source”pcworld”]

3 home tech ideas for your tiny space

So, you got that tiny house. Or that compact one-bedroom apartment for which you endured a frightening co-op board interview. Or you and your partner moved into a studio that is really not meant to accommodate two people. Congrats! You are now Living Small.

There are innumerable ways you could make the most of this: Modular, multi-use furniture is one big way (especially when it doubles as storage); another is to trick out your new tiny abode with home tech.

“‘Home tech? how’s that going to help?’” you say. Well, we’ll tell you. While there’s no shortage of smart home gadgetry out there to help with problems you don’t have (we’re looking at you, smart fridges), there are also a few ways to use smart home products to get the most out of your space. Here are a few products we think will help ease you into the tiny living lifestyle.

Smart plugs are your friend

For even the most home tech averse among us, the allure of the smart plug is hard to deny. Sticking any of these Wi-Fi-enabled plugs into your existing outlets turns the outlet into a smart one that can be controlled with your mobile device via an app associated with the smart plug.

Our historic home-loving columnist is a recent convert—and who wouldn’t be, when on a hot day you can turn your air conditioner on from your phone on the way home from work? You can also, of course, use smart plugs for just about anything—from lamps to fans to just about anything else you plug into an outlet. For those of us who live in compact places, this means you can work with what you’ve got: no need to buy new, smarter things for your tiny space.

There are lots of options on the market and, unlike other things in the home tech world, they come at a reasonable price. Belkin and TP-Link each sell popular options you can find on Amazon.

Sony’s Life Space UX short throw projector and LED bulb speaker

Sony’s ultra-short-throw projector can turn a surface a mere 22 inches away into a screen for watching your favorite shows and movies.

Entertaining can be a challenge in a home of any size, but Sony has recently released a couple of products that could make that easier for the space starved.

The company’s Life Space UX series includes an ultra-short-throw projector (at a spendy $789), which turns any flat surface into a screen. Life Space UX also includes a lightbulb (at just shy of $240) that is both a color-changing illumination source and a Bluetooth speaker. The latter sounds gimmicky, but this editor has seen it in action (at both its unveiling at MoMA Design Store in New York and in a friend’s apartment). It’s actually quite nice, with solid sound quality. If you’re truly starved for space, combining an essential function with a non-essential—but delightful and quality-of-life improving—one is pretty smart.

Consider buying a smart home hub

Google Home.
 Courtesy of Google

The Amazon Echo has done a lot to popularize the idea of the home tech hub, a gadget that acts as command central for your Smart Things devices and responds to voice prompts.

Not long after the Echo debuted, gobbling up marketshare, Google entered the fray with the Google Home—and it was soon followed by the Apple HomePod, which purports to have better audio quality when compared to its competitors.

A smart home hub of any kind is going to help you. With voice commands you can toggle smart lights on and off, and listen to music and the latest news. It will serve up weather information, and more, in a rather compact unit that won’t take up a ton of counter space. For a guide to the what’s what of home tech hubs, you can read more here.

BOG OFFER How you can get two FREE Vue cinema tickets for cleaning your toilet

THE INCREASING cost of a cinema ticket has been putting off movie goers from seeing films on the big screen in recent years.

According to data released by the British Film Institute (BFI), the average price of cinema admission in the UK has risen from £4.87 in 2006 to £7.17 in 2015 – an increase of 48.25 per cent over a ten-year period.

Customers who want to bag the deal just need to spend £3 on any Finish, Vanish, Dettol or Airwick cleaning products

GETTY IMAGES
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Customers who want to bag the deal just need to spend £3 on any Finish, Vanish, Dettol or Airwick cleaning products

And prices vary hugely between locations. For example, in London, to watch the summer movie Driver, a standard adult tickets at a Vue cinema in Westfield will cost you £13.99, while cinema goers watching the same movie in North Finchley will pay up to £12.79.

In Manchester, the same tickets will cost £9.99 per person.

As a consolation to hard done by cinema movie fans, MoneySavingExpert has now found a trick to get two free cinema tickets by simply “cleaning your loo”.

Customers who want to bag the deal just need to spend £3 on any Finish, Vanish, Dettol or Airwick cleaning products in one transaction at Tesco.

To benefit from the offer, customers will have to spend the money either in store before Wednesday August 2 or online on Tesco.com before Wednesday August 23.

According to MSE, the cheapest product currently includes a Dettol Neutraair Fresh Morn Dew.

The air freshener usually costs £1.50 but it is now  on offer at £1 until Tue August [Source”GSmerena”]

A Museum Show Asks: How Modern Are Your Spanx?

Most famous of the quips attributed to the Austrian-born American designer Rudi Gernreich — now best remembered for his unisex creations and the topless bathing suit — was the dictum that “Fashion will go out of fashion.” As early as the 1960s, Gernreich foresaw a gradual winding down of the engine that had long propelled it: a pursuit of novelty and “modernity.”

“Items: Is Fashion Modern?,” the first show the Museum of Modern Art has devoted to the subject since Bernard Rudofsky’s seminal exhibition “Are Clothes Modern?” in 1944, takes up the multiplicity of questions provoked by a design field that, despite playing an integral part in all of our lives, continues to defy easy comprehension.

Never mind whether fashion is “modern.” What precisely is fashion in the first place? Is it just garments? Or is it a complex system, or an art form, or a cluster of random typologies? Those, among other hefty issues, will be taken up by the ambitious (and welcome) MoMA show, curated by Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the museum — and a seasoned design world gadfly. The show will open in October.

To trace the history of fashion through objects and their ancient archetypes, the show’s organizers dipped into the material slipstream and fished out 350 objects representing 111 “typologies.” Just how deliriously diverse those typologies are was made clear by the museum on Wednesday with the release of a list itemizing the things to be displayed. And what a list it is, from kaffiyehs to kilts, flip-flops to guayaberas, pencil skirts to moon boots, Speedos to Spanx.

There is, of course, the classic little black dress, though rendered variously by designers and labels as disparate as Arnold Scaasi, Versace, Rick Owens, Dior and Chanel. There are platform shoes from Delman, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, as well as some anonymous designers whose imaginations outstripped considerations as pedestrian as locomotion. There is, among the welter of things to be shown, a Rolex Datejust watch, some Lululemon Boogie pants and a pair of Olaf Daughters clogs no stereotypical Woody Allen character would once have been without. From someplace else on the spectrum of stereotyped wealth and consumption, there is a Birkin bag.

Hoodies and door-knocker earrings represent hip-hop style, or a variant of it. More conservative and demure forms of fashion expression take the shape of Thea Porter caftans, a pearl necklace, a button-down shirt and a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Another cause for eager anticipation is “Items: Is Fashion Modern?,” a publication bolstering the curators’ efforts to examine the profound effects that accessories and clothes have had on the culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Perhaps as tantalizing as the learned essays and the weighty fashion discourse, there will also be a pop-up shop.

Your A-to-Z Guide to 4th of July Weekend’s Best Home Sales: Furniture, Decor, Backyard Essentials and Beyond

It’s finally Fourth of July weekend! Time for fireworks, pool parties, too many s’mores and of course crazy discounts on everything from pool floats to mattresses. Check out our complete listing of every home-related sale worth a browse, then get shopping!

RELATED: This Target Collection Will Be the Best Thing to Happen to your House This Summer

ABC Home: Up to 60% off select sofas and seating, rugs and tables; up to 30% off lighting. 

All Modern: Up to 60% off sofas, beds, rugs and art (through July 5). Extra 20% off with code USA (June 29 – July 5).

Article: Select items up to 25% off (through July 9).

Artfully Walls: 25% off site wide with the promo code 4JULY2017 (July 2nd – 5th).

Ban.do: Spend $50 and get a pair of sunnies for free (July 1 – 4).

Bloomingdale’s: Up to 50% off select bath, bedding, mattresses, dining and entertaining, furniture, home décor, rugs and lighting.  Up to 40% off select clearance and sale items.

Birch Lane: 20% off plus free shipping on furniture, lighting, bedding, upholstery, pillows and rugs with code AMERICA (through July 5)

Crate & Barrel: Up to 50% off outdoor furniture and summer clearance; 40% off select outdoor entertaining.

Deny Designs: 30% off site wide (exclusions apply)

Dormify: 20% off sitewide with code FIRECRACKER

 

Hayneedle: Up to 65% off select outdoor furniture and décor plus an extra 10% off with code OUTDOOR10; Up to 60% off accent furniture and décor (through July 4). Up to 45% off sale and clearance (through July 20).

Helix Sleep: $100 off any custom mattress with code JULY4TH.

High Fashion Home: Up to 20% off select art (July 4 – 9)

Home Depot: Up to 40% off with appliance special buys (through July 12). Up to 50% off patio furniture and accessories; Up to 20% off grills and smokers.

Horchow: Up to 30% off select furniture and decor (through July 6).

[Source”indianexpress”]

Samsung really wants your kitchen appliances to be smart

samsung-refrigerator-profileEnlarge Image

This Samsung refrigerator will include cameras so you can see the inside of the fridge from your phone.

Samsung

Samsung has placed a big bet that its customers want their large kitchen appliances to be connected to the internet. The company announced this week that all of the appliances in the brand’s next Chef Collection line will have Wi-Fi connectivity. That means you’ll be able to check in on and control your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, cooktop or oven through an app on your iOS or Android device.

The Chef Collection appliances will be available in the fall. The company said it would release the prices of the products closer to the line’s release.

“Samsung has been listening to a new generation of state-of-the-art homeowners to understand their priorities to insure Chef Collection meets their needs and wants,” the company said in a statement. “This new home buyer is leading a busy life and looks to connected technology to make life more efficient and simple.”

Samsung has been one of the major manufacturers that has pushed for large kitchen appliances to be a significant part of a smart-home setup. The company recently released new models of its Family Hub refrigerator, the appliance with a tablet built into the door and cameras that give you a live shot of the inside of your refrigerator. And Samsung added Wi-Fi to its Flex-Duo range last year, which let you control your oven and check if you forgot to turn off a burner.

Other manufacturers have also gotten serious when it comes to bringing their large kitchen appliances into the Internet of Things. Companies like Whirlpool, GE and LG have added Wi-Fi connectivity to some of their products and partnered with platforms like Amazon Dash Replenishment Services, Amazon Alexa and Google Home to create automatic ordering of supplies and hands-free controls.

Features of the Chef Collection line

  • Bluetooth-enabled range hoods that automatically turn on with when a cooktop is in use and change fan speeds with a heat sensing feature.
  • A 42-inch 4-Door Flex refrigerator with a FlexZone compartment that can transition from fridge to freezer depending on your needs.
  • Wi-Fi-enabled built-in refrigerators will have a camera built in so you can see the contents of your fridge from your device.
  • Ovens with a Flex Duo insert that lets you divide your oven cavity into separate cooking zones.
  • [Source”timesofindia”]