Fun and Functional Kids’ Bedrooms

PBTeen
PBTeen

If there’s one space in the home where a bit of magic can be created, it’s a kid’s bedroom.

Keeping practicality and safety in mind, inspire the imagination of a child or teen with clever creative furniture design, storage and room décor that will bring the room to life!

Furniture

Choosing furniture pieces wisely will save space and money. Durable furniture that is safe, sturdy and comfortable will last many years. Whether you’re looking to create a large play area or to conserve space, there is a furniture piece to suit the purpose. Twin and triple bunk beds (with safety rails) and beds with built-in storage are great space savers and provide much-needed storage for items like bed linen and clothes. Twin bunk beds offer the advantage of separating so that they can be used individually, which is great for when children are older and in separate bedrooms. When family or friends come to visit, space becomes a bit more of a challenge. That’s where twin daybeds and trundle sets with a built-in pull-out mattress solve the space problem, providing additional space to snuggle in at night.  Some bunk bed options have a futon on the lower level that converts to a comfy sofa for relaxing on during the day. Loft beds open up floor space below for a play area or storage boxes to be placed. Some loft beds have built-in bookshelves and desk space below and are a smart option for small bedrooms. The built-in stairs of some loft beds offer handy storage space which is cleverly hidden. L-shaped bunk beds with a lower bed placed at a right angle to the one above may take up a bit more floor space but they add style to an interior layout. The compact nature of these bed styles saves you from buying extra furniture pieces.

Storage

Keeping books, toys and other items neat and tidy minimizes clutter in kids’ bedrooms. Wall-mounted shelves are ideal for displaying trinkets and treasures. Hanging hooks are great to keep hats, towels and jackets neatly stored. Cupboards offer compact space for clothes, shoes and linen and there are various space friendly modular designs that allow extra pieces to be added on as the need for more storage arises. Utility baskets offer easy child-friendly storage for soft toys and blankets, encouraging little ones to pack and unpack their toys themselves. A floor-to-ceiling storage unit with a sliding ladder is a great space saver that adds a fun element to the tidying up process. Ottomans and toy boxes provide both additional storage space and extra seating.  Another useful furniture piece is the pigeon hole unit which adds plenty of extra organised space that is easily accessible for children. For the nursery, a chest of drawers that doubles up as a changing station keeps stored items within easy reach. Better still, an all-in-one compactum unit consisting of a chest of drawers with a changing station on top and attached to the cot keeps all those baby necessities within easy reach of the cot.

Décor, Style and Other Essentials

With the design shape of beds and other practical aspects of a kid’s bedroom considered it’s time to pull it all together and create some magic! Choosing décor, a style and theme is made easy with options such as vibrant or pastel bedding and pillows, trendy vinyl wall stickers, colourful child-friendly paint, and different themed furniture styles. Choices range from a relaxed, traditional, rustic or handcrafted country style, to contemporary, modern, minimalist or the industrial look. The popular four-poster princess style and racing car style beds, or those with built-in slides and stairs that lead to the top of a bunk or loft bed add a sense of mystical adventure and imagination for a younger child. As a guide, keeping a child’s preferences and interests in mind helps when choosing an ideal theme and will usually appeal more to the child. Décor pieces such as large bean bags, floor cushions and even teepee tents filled with comfy themed cushions are perfect to laze on while reading a book and add fun and comfort to the interior design of a room. A small table and chairs offer a designated space for drawing, building puzzles and constructing those awe-inspiring Lego masterpieces. Firm play favourites like a dolls house, mini kitchen play station, and a playmat designed as a race car track are fun easy play options to fit within a room. Paint some chalk paint on a wall surface area within easy reach for children and watch them draw and create their own works of art! In a nursery, an area located close to the cot and baby where mom can sit and feed or sleep is essential. A rocking chair is helpful for some mothers and block-out curtains are another essential to make sleep time easier. Choose a colour palette for the room that doesn’t easily show marks and add a rug that is easily washable to protect carpets from spills and scuffs.

With a little creativity and clever design options, a bedroom space can become a magical playful paradise where relaxing, reading and learning are fun!

Is It Time to Revamp Those Tired Worn Floors?

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Are you keen to start revamping the floors in your home? Don’t rush the process.

Floors play a pivotal role in your home and require careful consideration before installation. With so many options available, it can seem somewhat overwhelming on where to begin finding the perfect fit. What will work best in a specific space? What are the pros and cons? Which choice will suit your budget?

When choosing a flooring product consider your needs first, before deciding on a style. Let’s explore some of the more popular floor covering options:

Carpeting

It’s a common myth to avoid carpets if you suffer from allergies. Carpets help remove airborne allergens and dust by trapping these in their fibres. There are carpeting options with an anti-microbial finish for this purpose. The trick is to ensure regular vacuuming to remove trapped allergens and dust, which allows restoration of the carpet pile at the same time.  If you’re looking for a safe, soft and slip-proof surfacing that provides warmth and comfort – or you have an uneven surface to cover – then carpets are a perfect choice. If you have children or pets, consider stainproof yarn. Best for bedrooms, living rooms and ideal for stairs, carpets save you money and energy due to their insulating effect. Remember to rinse carpet shampoos off thoroughly otherwise, they will attract dirt.

Tiles

Tiles are a practical choice for any area of the home, both indoors and out. Should a section chip or crack, tiles are easily replaceable, are strong and super easy to clean. They come in a wide variety of sizes, patterns, textures and finishes. Digital ink printing technology creates different looks, such as the natural wood-look, or those resembling planks, stone and cement. Depending on quality, tiles are cost-effective and available in a wide price range. Household cleaning products should be avoided in favour of the supplier’s recommended cleaning products to prevent build-up over time. Using the correct adhesive, tiles should be laid on a level surface. Be wary of using smooth tiles in areas where they can become slippery when wet – rather opt for tiles with a non-slip texture or grip.

Cement and Screed

Cement and screed flooring are smooth and seamless finishes, which are not only decorative but also hardwearing. Resistant to dirt, abrasives, water and stains, use this practical floor covering in any area of the home, including outdoors. They are chemical resistant, low maintenance and easy to clean. Some products can be applied over existing flooring or tiles, with the correct preparation. You have the added advantage of being able to update your cement floor look by applying a stain, or by stripping and resealing it. Although the application process can take time, it’s wise to be patient and allow that time for the curing process to reach proper completion. Have an experienced contractor do the installation using the correct sealer to maintain the floor’s longevity. Although not all cement finishes are consistent in colour, and some hairline cracks can occur, this is all part of the look! Pricing varies depending on the product used.

Wood

Wooden floors have natural character and add overall value to your home. Cost varies depending on the product and finishes chosen, so installation may be limiting for those on a tight budget. That said, there’s a wide variety to choose from. Choosing the right type of wood goes a long way to ensuring longevity. Wood is versatile flooring that can be changed simply by sanding and refinishing it. Hardwood flooring is tough, hypoallergenic, and can be installed in most rooms. Oak, maple and cherry are popular choices for hardness, while mahogany is chosen for its beautiful appearance. Softer woods like pine are prone to scratching, so they’re not ideal if you have pets or children. Wooden floors are easy to maintain and clean but are susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature. Certain wood types need regular waxing to maintain shine, and liquid spills should be wiped away instantly. It’s best to ask for professional advice before committing to a choice of wooden flooring and to have a specialist install the flooring for a quality finish.

Vinyl

Vinyl is a durable choice that’s both stylish and easy on the budget. Luxury vinyl, cushioned vinyl, and the wood-look are just some of the popular choices. Available on a roll in sheets, tiles or alternatively as planks, installation is hassle-free and quick. It’s easy to clean, doesn’t fade or stain, is waterproof and scratch-resistant. This quiet, warm and comfortable underfoot surface doesn’t swell or lift, and is slip-proof, making it ideal for kitchens or bathrooms. Vinyl is suited for high traffic areas like entrance hallways, laundry rooms, playrooms, and living rooms. Although easy to maintain, vinyl is susceptible to gouging from sharp objects, and to excessive sun and heat exposure which can cause expanding. Include damp protection measures when installing.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is a great choice if the budget is tight and you’re keen on the hardwood look. Tough, easy to clean and resistant to allergens, fading, and stains, laminate is a favourite choice for homeowners with pets and kids. Although it can sound hollow when walked on, an underlayment helps to minimize sound and provide a barrier for moisture. It is available in a variety of textures, shapes and finishes and often used in almost any room or space. Surfaces become scratched over time if not kept free of dirt and sand, and spills should be cleaned immediately. Laminate is sturdy and eco-friendly, as well as easy to install.

Other innovative floor surfaces worth considering are cork, bamboo, and linoleum.

Flooring is a big investment. Whatever your preference may be, consider all the pros and cons, then contact a professional for sound advice and quality installation.

Sources: South African Garden and Home Magazine 2014 / 2015

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Improve Security to Safeguard Your Home

house-2368389_1920_copyYour home is your safe haven – or is it? In today’s world, where safety and security are paramount, just how secure is your home? When last did you really evaluate the security aspect of your property?

Consider the following security tips when looking at safeguarding your home:

  • Begin with changing your mindset! You may think you’re quite security savvy, but often we tend to be too trusting about our surroundings. Get into good habits and routines such as locking the doors and arming the alarm every night before going to bed. The aim is to have your security actions become second nature.
  • Undertake a security survey of your home. What are the potential weak points? Where could would-be intruders possibly hide or gain easy access to your property? Ask someone such as your Neighbourhood Watch to assist you in this process. Together with the network of people they know, they can offer good advice and provide objectivity.
  • Have an emergency plan in place. This could save lives, should the unthinkable happen. A panic room or safe room, for instance, could keep you safe and give you time to call your armed response company or the police authorities. Ensuring you have an emergency number on the speed-dial function of your phone is handy.
  • Add layers of security. By adding layers of security beginning from the outside perimeters of your property, and working inwards, the opportunity for crime is minimized and made more difficult for intruders to easily enter and exit with speed.
  • There are many security options available. Security measures such as electric fencing, sensor beams, alarm systems and motion monitoring cameras, burglar security bars, shutters and security screens, even shatterproof windows, are all great options for adding layers of security. And the appearance of physical barriers needn’t look unattractive either. Many service providers offer attractive designs to compliment the style and look of your home.

South Africans should not only see a home security system as a vital necessity, but also as a valuable payoff designed around their lives. Besides helping you to sleep better at night, it boosts the overall value of your property, making it a worthwhile investment.

Check out the service providers on www.servicemonkey.co.za to help you get started.

Do you need additional exposure for your Business and Brand?

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Delighted to communicate with you in such a manner and I guess the picture says it all….you know where your are going , but how am I going to get there?

The ServiceMonkey Group comprises of two websites namely, ServiceMonkey for the Trades businesses and ServiceProfessional for Professionals of course.

Our goal is simple… “give smaller businesses a web footprint and help grow their brand”


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We would be delighted to list your business on either one of our websites and this is what we can offer:

Basic Listing: Cost – FREE         

Standard Listing: Cost – R189 per month 

  • Not only do we make the basic information available to you but you enjoy the following as well:
  • List Discount Offers on your page,
  • Get customers to write Reviews and Testimonials which is posted on your page
  • Want to share Photo’s of your workmanship? No problem!
  • Click here to get offer!

Premium Listing: Cost – R289 per month

Not only do we make the standard information available to you but you enjoy the following as well:

  • We will post at least two articles via Social Media on your behalf
  • We will place your logo at the bottom of our website for at least one week of every month you are listed
  • We will at our discretion display your brand on one of our Promotional or Service Provider banners for one month every three months of the year.
  • Click here to get offer!

Looking for something a bit more “in your face”?

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We would be thrilled if you were to consider taking up poll position by having your brand displayed in a Large Banner as displayed below for ONLY R199 per week!

Click here to get offer for the Large Banner!

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 Little more than you can handle?

Why not consider our Offers Banner at only R49 per week or the Top Page Banner at only R79 per week.

Click here to get offer for one of these options!

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Did I hear you say you are a member of BNI?

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If so, in this special offer take another 25% off our prices just because you are affiliated to a great network of business professionals who know what business is all about.

Thanks for your time and looking forward to doing business together!


 

 

Website Listing, Offers and more…

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Website Listing Update
Servicemonkey Group continues to bring Service Providers the best value by being listed on it’s two websites namely ServiceMonkey and ServiceProfessional.

As a reminder to all listed businesses the package’s on offer are as follows:

Basic Subscription – Businesses listed under this option do so at NO COST to them. Under this option only the Business Name, Logo and Contact Details are visible to the public

Standard Subscription – Businesses list their businesses at a monthly cost of R189 per month or an annual cost of R1999. Businesses enjoy the full suite of benefits under this package.

Premium Subscription – Businesses enjoy the benefits of the Standard Subscription but included in this package is an advertisement that is placed on either of our websites together with Social Media advertising on behalf of your business. The Premium subscription fee is R289 per month for a minimum period of 6 months.


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Do you offer Specials or Discount’s?
For our premium and standard package holders, we will gladly add your offers  to our monthly newsletter. What’s more, we will direct this page to all our subscribed members as well as communicate these offers to prospective customers on your behalf.

Send us a note to info@servicemonkey.co.za to get your offers listed today!


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Reviews & Testimonials
It’s not how good your service is, it’s what customers have to say about it. Get feedback from your customers by asking for feedback and directing that feedback to reviews@servicemonkey.co.za or reviews@serviceprofessional.co.za We will list that feedback and share it as many people possible to give you the best opportunity to win more business.


Subscription’s
Our target market are Homeowners who constantly look for Service Providers they can trust. Are you a business that provides service to Homeowners or are you a Homeowner who needs help from time to time.

Contact us and get up to date information that could make a difference to you by clicking here


Happy to help.
Do you have any more questions that we can answer for you. We are an email away. Simply click here and we will be in contact.

Have a great day!

Painting options for Homeowners

 

Happy woman paint wall at home.

 

So its time to repaint your house or at least a portion thereof and you are not sure who is going to do it and what price you are going to pay. Fortunately you are not alone and there are many homeowners out there who are in the same predicament as you.

Here is our take on your 3 options:

Do it yourself

If it is a simple job that will take no more than a day or so then I say go for it. Just be aware though that you need to do your homework to ensure you follow the correct steps to complete it successfully.

Get a Company

As can be expected, the cost automatically escalates when the job becomes sizable but then you don’t have to worry about the following:

  • Expertise required to complete the job
  • Purchase of paint and related materials
  • Obtaining the equipment required such as ladders, scaffolding etc
  • A guarantee on workmanship should be obtained

Do ensure though that you get the quote in writing and that you do retain a portion of the payment until you are completely satisfied with the workmanship.

Get a Handyman

This is more of a challenge to get a Handyman to do the job for you. Unless you are completely comfortable with this person, we recommend you get references so that you do not waste your money and sit with a bigger headache than before.

  • Get references
  • Ensure you understand what the best paint is for the job at hand
  • Shop around for paint. Prices can differ dramatically.
  • Hire the equipment yourself if necessary. It could save you money
  • Get input from other homeowners as to going daily rates
  • Agree to a period that the job is going to be completed in.

Feel free to speak to your local hardware store and paint dealers who will gladly provide you with information that can help you make better decisions around your project.

Educate youself so that no-one can pull the wool over your eyes when the time comes.

Happy painting!

 

 

 

What Contemporary Dance is All About?

5-things-you-didnt-know-contemporary-dance-1-930x453The word contemporary basically means anything modern. So by definition contemporary dance is a modern type of dance style of expressive dance that has been able to combine features of several genres such as modern, hip-hop, jazz, lyrical and classic ballet.

The dance in itself is all about flexibility and connection of both body and mind through fluid movements. It is able as well to put emphasis on improvisation and versatility, unlike the strict structure of ballet. The dancers mostly focus on floor work and depend on gravity to pull them down to the floor and it is often danced with bare feet. Click the link to find a local contemporary dance class in order to start dancing today 😉

The methodical resemblances of contemporary dance are normally perceived to be closely related to modern dance, classical concert dance styles and ballet as well. Some have been able to incorporate African dance styles in the dances or techniques such as bent knees or movements from the Japanese contemporary dance i.e. Butoh.

The dance tends to work hand in hand with one’s natural body alignment and is hence safe and very accessible for beginners. At the same time, due to its ease of movement in terms of technique, contemporary dancing has been able to help dancers push themselves to new boundaries of body movements.

Visit http://www.dancelifemap.com/ to learn more about dance and what this wonderful activity has to offer.

This article is sponsored byturning-point-dance-suppliers_410x

How to Wash Your Car With a Single Cup of Water

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  1. It’s Not About the Water

Getting your car clean doesn’t mean spraying it down with water. “If you have a dirty car and you hose it down with water and let it dry, it’s still going to be dirty,” Van Happen explains. “Traditionally, when you clean a car with a water and sponge, and you’re scrubbing the car to get the dirt loose, first of all you’re scratching the paint of the car.”

  1. Break the Dirt Down, Don’t Push it Around

You want to break down the dirt and grime before lifting it off. Not only does this take less water, but it makes your car cleaner and keeps the paint looking fresh longer. Van Happen’s own Eco Green products use a special blend of biodegradable, water-based ingredients.

There are a few of these sprays on the market, but Van Happen’s takes the prize for most sustainable. “When you spray our product onto the car, it actually breaks the dirt particles away from the paint of the car,” Van Happen says. “At the same time, there are polymers in the product that are putting a protective layering on the car that makes the car look like it’s waxed every time we clean it.”

  1. Now Lift it Off

An old rag just won’t cut it if you’re looking for an efficient home wash. Instead, pick up a quality microfiber towel for the job. This is where the cup (that’s right, just a cup) of water comes in. “When you take a wet microfiber towel, instead of scrubbing now you’re just lifting off loose dirt.” According to Van Happen, the quality of towel is key to getting the job done right. “It’s important to use a microfiber towel that has a good pile height or a good thickness,” he says. “A lot of the cheap microfiber towels are very thin and there’s nowhere for the dirt to fit in. That’s one of the tricks: with a thicker microfiber towel, the dirt fits in the towel as opposed to above it and that’s how you’re not scratching the car.”

  1. Forget the Hose

Your run of the mill garden hose pumps out 10 gallons a minute. Wash your car for 10 minutes? You just used 100 gallons of water, and there’s a chance it isn’t even much cleaner. The water-saving method we’ve just described isn’t only more environmentally friendly, it’s the way high-end collector cars have always been cleaned. “When you wash with a hose or at a car wash, you end up with streaks and water dripping out of your mirror or door jams,” Van Happen says. “We also do a lot of collector cars that are in the four, five, six million dollar range and these cars are never actually washed with water, even for the past 20 years.”

  1. Regular Cleaning Goes a Long Way

“The shirt you’re wearing today, you don’t wear for two weeks then put it in the washing machine and expect it to be perfectly clean,” Van Happen jokes. Waiting a month or two between cleanings makes it difficult to get all the dirt off the surface, Van Happen says, and usually means the car needs to be detailed to get fully clean. “If you clean a car regularly, once a week or twice a week, you’re going to prevent dirt from really sticking to the car,” Van Happen adds. These regular cleanings only take a few minutes and you’ll always be driving a spotless car.

For additional information see the original article at https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/g2029/wash-car-with-one-cup-water/

 

 

8 Steps to hiring a contractor that won’t rip you off!

 

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ServiceMonkey is understands the impact that dishonest contractors have on homeowners and the people who live their in.

Enjoy this article by James Cummings published on the Todayshomeowner.com website.

 

Recommendations

The tried and tested method people used before the internet came along was to ask around from friends, neighbours and colleagues who had successful home renovations. Send an email or group message describing details with a price range and your expectations from the contractors and those who’ve had great experiences will link you up. Questions to ask include

  • How did you meet?
  • Why this contractor?
  • What type of work did they do?
  • Did the contractor stay within budget and finish on time?
  • Was there any issues encountered during the job?

Ask for licence

Every licensed contractor is registered to work in your locality. Go online and check your local licensing board online, to ensure the business is current and registered. Ask for proof of insurance so in the event of any liability that happens during the job you are protected from damages.

Check insurance status

Generally, there are two types of insurance required for contractors – industrial insurance for workers injured on site and liability coverage to cover homeowners when a job fails. Your licensing agency should be able to furnish you with information about disciplinary actions and complaints against the contractor. This step is very important because if your contractor’s premium isn’t updated you might be held liable for unpaid premiums when accidents happen to the workers.

Ignore the temptation to hire uninsured contractors

It’s a hard economy out there and people are always trying to save money on home improvements by purchasing premium equipment and hiring cheap contractors to help with installations. Most get away with it but for the unlucky few, here’s a rundown of what you risk:

No government help in a case of disorderly conduct

In some states, you will be held as de facto contractor and pay for any defective work when you sell your home.

You might have to cover medical bills for accidents that happen on your job site

Ask for references and view tasks they’ve completed

The contractor should be able to provide three job references that confirm previous jobs and the time it took to complete it. They will most likely have a professional portfolio that includes images of their best jobs.

Read reviews

Yelp and Angie’s list are incredible resources where you can find reviews for local contractors. You can call old clients of a contractor you like and hear first-hand stories that are helpful when making a final decision.

Who will be handling the job?

Find out from your contractor if he plans to do the job himself or outsource to subcontractors so you familiarize yourself with the person before letting them into your home. It is a common practice among general contractors to subcontract specific jobs like vinyl siding or roofing to contractors with a specialty in that field.

Industry top experts often say subcontractors are an efficient way to ensure that a thorough job is done on your home remodeling. The contractor you hire only recruits the best hands for the job so you don’t have to worry about a substandard subcontractor.

Encourage multiple bids

Now that you have a list of qualified contractors narrowed down, ask them to submit bids to narrow down the most competitive offers. Compare what each is offering alongside the price and ensure they are all in the same line of work. An offer that is too good to be true shouldn’t be considered because there will be a catch somewhere or some will use add-on prices to increase the cost after you’ve signed a contract.

Contract must be in writing

The contractor you choose should not start working without a signed contract that features the cost, approximate state, and end dates, and types of items they will be installing. The more details you have in the contract, the clearer the job function will be.

In conclusion, do not pay the total sum upfront, not even when they offer a mouth-watering discount. Skip cash payments for credit cards and online payment options so you have a money trail to verify payments but if you decide to make cash payments get receipts to back it up.