Lifestyle

  • Tips to upgrade your pantry!

  • Our top 10 Tips for your next move!

  • House flipping and how to avoid the flops

  • Tips for styling your outdoor spaces

The heart of the home is the kitchen, and arguably the most important part of the kitchen is the pantry – it's the source of much of our food, after all! And whether it's well organised or not can significantly impact the amount of food we waste, our desire to whip up culinary delights and even our stress levels as we set foot in the kitchen. In this guide, we take you through everything from the different types of pantries available to how to whip yours into shape and where to source inspiration. Let's dive in!

 

What's your type?

Whether you're working with what you've got, visualising your dream pantry, or searching for ideas, the most common types of pantries you'll find in the kitchen are:

  • Butler's pantry

Also known as a scullery, these function as a secondary space adjacent to the main kitchen. Historically, these were the domain of service staff, allowing them to prepare food and wash dishes without disrupting guests. These days, they don't often come with tuxedo-wearing staff but are used to house larger appliances and provide extra storage and bench space for food prep while keeping the main kitchen clutter-free.

  • Walk-in pantry

A walk-in pantry is all about storage. Often, with floor-to-ceiling shelving, this differs from a butler's pantry in that it's more like a wardrobe that is closed off once you've got what you need.

  • Corner pantry

These are great space maximisers, utilising corner storage that might otherwise be difficult to access. These can either be built into your kitchen or purchased as a freestanding unit nestled outside of the kitchen's footprint – should you need extra storage.

  • Slide or pull-out pantry

A relatively new addition to the world of pantries, these systems mean you'll no longer end up with expired products hiding away at the back of your shelves. The entire pantry unit is pulled out (like a draw), providing easy access and visibility.

  • Wall pantry

Fully integrated into the kitchen units, these can take up an entire wall or part of a wall within the kitchen. Seamlessly blending into the cabinetry, they maximise vertical space and can even include full-length storage space for things like brooms and mops.

  • Freestanding Pantry

These cabinets are not built into the kitchen structure and can be moved within the kitchen or adjoining spaces. This makes them popular additions to kitchens that are light on storage.

 

Tips to pantry perfection

From functionality to aesthetics, a meticulously planned pantry is life changing. But where do you start? Regardless of the size or type of pantry you've got, here's how to kick off your journey to pantry perfection.

1. Clean and declutter

It's always best to start with a clean slate, so the first step is to pull everything out of your pantry and get ruthless! Check expiration dates, let go of unwanted, obscure ingredients and focus on ensuring everything you'll put back in is edible. But don't put anything back in just yet – give it all a good wipe down and proceed to step 2.

2. Evaluate your needs

Is your current pantry working for you? Is food getting lost and neglected at the back? Is everything easy to access and easy to find? Do you have enough space? Look at how well the area works for you and think about what changes you could make to increase functionality. This leads us to storage…

3. Upgrade your storage

From baskets to door-mounted racks, stacking shelves and modular systems, storage options are as vast as the contents of your pantry! Getting your storage right helps keep things easily to hand and grouped together – making cordon bleu sessions much more achievable.

4. Assess your lighting

Late-night pantry visits aside, adequate lighting adds to the functionality and aesthetics of your pantry. LED light strips and motion sensor lighting are great options if you're starting from scratch or add battery-powered magnetic sensor lights if you need to amp up your current lighting situation.

5. Categorise to organise

From snack stations to bulk foods, baking supplies, grains, and canned goods, designating specific areas in your pantry to different categories can make finding what you need a breeze. If you've got kids, an easily accessible snack station can take the pressure off constant snack prep. Other designated spaces for things like canned goods and bulk foods make kitchen time more efficient – meaning less wastage and fewer double-ups.

6. Containers and labelling

Clear, airtight storage containers in uniform shapes and sizes are perfect for dry goods. Not only can you see what you've got at a glance, but you'll be keeping foods fresher, and you'll find keeping them neat and organised is easier. And if you've got a labelling machine, put it to work by labelling containers (and shelves) – and if not, grab some chalkboard paint or chalk-friendly labels. Your family will have no excuse not to return things where they belong!

7. Add some styling to the functionality

Open the pantry door to a thing of beauty by adding strategic styling touches like a considered vignette, grain-filled glass canisters (rather than plastic packets), and some beautiful storage baskets to house smaller items. If you're lucky enough to have a butler's pantry, you can even incorporate an indoor plant or a decorative runner rug.

 

Where to find the pantry of your dreams

There are plenty of places to look for a new pantry or kitchen accessories, if you need to start with some visual inspiration you can pin your perfect pantry on Pinterest it's loaded with ideas and inspiration, simply search pantry, pantry organisation, or pantry inspiration and pin your favourites. Here are our top destinations to start creating your perfect pantry:

  • Repurpose and restore

A must-do for any pantry makeover to increase the functionality and aesthetics of your pantry is a visit to Ikea or Kmart they offer plenty of affordable storage products like baskets, tubs and turntables, for more comprehensive modular shelving try your local Bunnings.

  • Re-build

If your current pantry is beyond help, it might be time to rip it out and start fresh. If a new kitchen is out of the question, you could try your hand at DIY pantry building with some of these products.

 

Pantry perfection – it's personal

Creating the ultimate pantry is personal. It comes down to achieving something that caters to your needs and preferences and, of course, works within the space available. If you've realised your dream pantry isn't within reach in your current home, talk to our team today so we can help you find a home that's right for you, perfect pantry, and all!

 

DISCLAIMER

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

Moving houses can be both an exciting and stressful experience. Whether you're relocating to a new city for a fresh start or simply transitioning to a new place in the same neighbourhood, the process of packing up your life and settling into a new home can present its fair share of challenges. From sorting through a lifetime's worth of possessions to coordinating logistics and managing the emotional toll of saying goodbye to a place filled with memories, moving is a difficult task. In this 'Hot Tips' blog, we have put together a list of 10 tips to make your next move a smoother, more organized, and ultimately less stressful transition. These tips will help you navigate the complexities of moving, ensuring that the excitement of a new chapter in your life is the primary focus, while the stress takes a back seat. Whether you're a seasoned mover or this is your first time, read on for valuable insights that can make your next move a breeze.

 

1. Start planning as soon as possible.

Having a clear plan of what needs to be done and when it is going to be done is important when it comes to moving. Ensure that you have both a written plan with dates leading up to the day of your move, and a to do list with these tasks compiled into it. Don't worry if you don't have much time before your move, as long as you have a plan and distribute tasks for each day so you font get overwhelmed, it will be much easier. Another tip for planning is to use the floorplan of your house to decide what furniture stays and goes. That way you have more time to organise what to do with any large furniture that you aren't taking to your new home.

 

2. Do your research and ask for recommendations.

Organising moving services can be tough but if you research and ask for recommendations, it will make the process a lot smoother. Research removalists, storage companies, cleaning and repair companies for furniture, curtains or rugs, house cleaners, and carpet cleaners if you require any of these services for your move. Once you have gathered the information you need, get quotes and book as soon as possible.

 

3. Have a record of everything.

Know what you're packing. You can make lists as you are packing or alternatively, write lists before of everything you are going to take so you can decide what you would like to sell or donate. If you have lots of things you want to sell but don't know how, you could put these things to the side and have a garage sale or post them online. Additionally, make sure you have copies of all important personal documents from your doctor, dentist, account, lawyer, etc. On the day of your move, you should ensure that these documents, along with any other valuable items, are kept in a safe place for transportation. If you are using a removalist, it may be a good idea to take these items with you instead.

 

4. Don't forget to organise the essentials!

To ensure that you are organised when you start packing, there is a few things that you should ensure you have before you start. Here is a list of a few essentials for packing:

  • Packing notebook/planner
  • Boxes
  • Furniture pads
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam 'peanuts'
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Large self-stick labels
  • Felt tip markers

 

5. Don't leave it to the last minute.

You can start packing as early as you like. As a matter of fact, the earlier you start packing the better. Start with things that you don't use often or may not need in the time leading up to the move. This will make it easier to declutter and organise your belongings into things you are keeping and things you are not as you go and will give you more time to decide what to do with the things that you are not going to keep.

 

6. Packing is not just doing things in the house!

There are lots of little things people may forget to do because they are not surrounded by them every day. For example, you will need to cancel any utilities and services at your old home and organise for them to be installed in your new home such as phone services, Wi-Fi, gas, electricity, or Foxtel. Don't forget other little things such as transferring any medical prescriptions to your new local pharmacy or returning any items you have borrowed in your previous area such as library books. For anyone with furry friends, arrange for pet transportation if needed, as well as transferring any veterinary information or documents to a new vet. You may also like to consult your vet about how you can make the move easier for your pets.

 

7. Have a 'First Day Box'

A 'First Day Box' should be packed with anything and everything you may need on day one in your new home. Imagine getting to your home and you have to dig through a box just to find a glass for some water… not fun. The 'First Day Box' should be the last box you pack before leaving your old home. Anything you use in the days prior to your move, you will probably need as soon as you get to the new home. You can also take a small bag such as an overnight bag or small suitcase with clothing, toiletries, and chargers that you will need to have easy access too.

 

8. Don't waste time!

Don't get caught up reminiscing in memories. You will find lots of old items including photos and videos that can become a very easy distraction. Try not to get caught up in these when packing. You can enjoy these things when you settle into your new home.

 

9. Pack like a pro.

Make use of things you already have at home when packing. You can use suitcases to pack your clothes and packing cells (if you have them) or plastic bags to separate which clothing belongs in separate drawers. You can also get 'Port-a-Robe' moving boxes which are made with a rack to hang your clothes on when moving. This makes it easier when you arrive, so you don't have to worry about putting everything back on coat hangers. Remember to leave some essential clothing items in your 'First Day Box' so you don't have to worry about finding clean clothes when you arrive in your new home.

 

10. Change your address!

Yes… when you move that does mean you will have a new address. You can update your address from Australian Government portal or change of address it from post office. Also ensure that you change address for any companies who sent physical bills, magazine subscriptions, automated delivery services, etc. You may also like to write an email, letter, or text message to anyone you would like to notify of your move such as friend, neighbours, employers, and anyone else. Below is a template of what you could say:

"WE ARE MOVING!!

John & Mary Brown are leaving 1 Smith Street, Smithtown

and will be at 10 Brown Street, BROWNSVILLE STATE 0000

From 1st November New Telephone: (00) 0000 0000"

 

Bonus Tip: Make it FUN!

Although moving can be stressful, if you plan ahead and ensure you are organised, you will feel at ease. Put on a playlist with your favourite tunes, a podcast, an audiobook or even your favourite movie or youtuber to pass the time and make it more enjoyable. Before you know it, you will be enjoying these things in the luxury of a new home.

 

As you put these tips into action, you'll find that the stress of moving can indeed take a back seat, allowing the thrill of your new journey to take centre stage. So, whether you're a seasoned mover or embarking on this adventure for the first time, these insights will make your next move a breeze. For more information and tips, check out the document attached below which include a detailed list and timeline of things you should do during your move. 

 

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Happy moving!​​​​​

 

DISCLAIMER

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions.

With shows like The Block, Renovation Rescue and House Rules dominating our screens since the early 2000s, the concept of house flipping and our love for getting hands-on with a bit of DIY has been popularised and propelled to new heights. But throwing a bit of paint on the wall or knocking together a few raised garden beds are vastly different to flipping properties for profit. Here, we look at exactly what house flipping involves and outline the steps you need to take to achieve flipping success.

 

What is house flipping?

In essence, house flipping is a real estate investment strategy that involves purchasing a property with the specific purpose of renovating and selling for a profit.

Flipped Home Sale Price – (Purchase Price + Renovation Cost) = Flip Profit. And while that may sound simple, there are many factors you need to get right for a successful flip. Here are 4 crucial boxes to tick before you get started:

 

  • ​​​​​​Decide on your approach – do you intend to flip houses as a side hustle or make it a full-time job? Taking on a project on the side is often a good starting approach as it allows you to learn on the job, build your experience and eventually move to full-time flipping if everything goes to plan.
  • Learn before you earn – like any investment, house flipping requires a fair bit of upfront learning and research. Educate yourself on renovation costs, the purchase process, the market you're entering and the industry as a whole. Plenty of books and courses are available, and mountains of videos exist online packed with house-flipping advice. It's also invaluable to speak with a local real estate expert for insight into the local market.
  • Build your reno dream team – even if you're a jack of all trades, house flipping isn't a one-person job. Your success stems from the team around you, and this team needs to include experts in their field – from various tradespeople to lawyers, property accountants and a trusted real estate agent. Each member of your team can provide you with guidance and support to help you make the best possible decisions towards the best possible outcome.
  • Secure funding – to flip a house, you'll need a reasonably significant amount of financial backing. In addition to the purchase price, it's crucial to ensure you can secure funds to complete the required renovations and make loan repayments if the house doesn't sell as quickly as planned. Look for lenders that specialise in house flipping or real estate investment loans.

 

Ready, set flip!

Once you've taken care of the background work, the exciting part begins – searching for a property and getting stuck in. Here are your next steps:

1. Finding the perfect flip – have you heard of the worst house on the best street? This is a common strategy used by flippers which provides some security around the ease of resale and increases the likelihood of a property appreciating over time. It's often not an easy process to find the perfect flip; in fact, some experts advise that a '100:10:3:1 rule' applies – which says that investors should be prepared to look at 100 houses to find 10 potential properties, put in 3 offers to get 1 offer accepted. Aside from scrolling through online listings, it pays to get the word out to local real estate experts and let them know what you're looking for – this can help you find the right property faster.

2. Get to work – head into your renovation with a solid plan which includes a budget and timeline. There will often be unforeseen factors that pop up along the way but deviating from your renovation plan on a whim (outside of any essentials) can cost you time and, ultimately, affect your overall flip profit. Remember: your renovation must adhere to the Building Code of Australia, and structural changes often require approvals. Be sure to take this into account when creating your budget and timeline.

3. Prepare for sale – once the renovations are complete, it's time for the nail-biting part – getting ready for sale. Work with our team to market the property and attract potential buyers, and check out our tips for preparing a house for sale.

4. Evaluate, tweak and repeat – evaluating your results post-sale is a critical step for your future success. Take a deep dive into what went well, look closely at any budget blow-outs that could be avoided in the future, and make any tweaks to your team if needed.

 

Flipping without the flop

When you combine knowledge and experience, house flipping can be a very profitable real estate investment strategy, but like any investment, it isn't without its risks. It's essential to go into it with your eyes wide open and with professionals in your corner. Start by contacting our team – we can help guide you through the process and work with you to find the perfect flip.

 

DISCLAIMER

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.

Here comes the sun! So, with it comes plenty of opportunities to spend more time outdoors – and you don't always need to hit the park or beach to do that. There's no better time than now to take a look at your own outdoor space at home, plan a bit of a refresh, and transform it into an inviting oasis for the warmer days ahead.

 

So, whether you've got a sprawling backyard on your hands, a cosy balcony, or a charming terrace, we've got 8 must-knows to help you take your outdoor space from blah to blissful.​​

 

1. What's your vision?

To make the most of your outdoor space, the best first step is to assess your needs and get clear on your vision. Think about functionality and what you want out of your outdoor living (within the realm of feasibility, of course!) Is it a space destined for backyard soirees? Does it need to be a tranquil oasis to retreat to at the end of the day? Is its primary purpose a safe, secure spot to entertain kids or pets? Be clear on a key vision for your outdoor space and stick with it. This will provide you with a strong sense of direction and help create a cohesive and comfortable space that achieves everything you want from your outdoor space.

2. Show off your best assets

Focal points are a crucial principle across every type of design – from interior to fashion to landscape design. Outdoor styling that works well incorporates this principle, and it's as simple as establishing the best assets or strong points of your outdoor space and anchoring things like seating around these. For example, it could be the stellar view from your living room or a beautifully planted garden to look out on in your backyard, and if there isn't currently a focal point – you can create one. For entertainers, this could be an outdoor fireplace; if your focus is on tranquillity, it could be a water feature or sculpture.

 

3. Beware of Mother Nature

Outdoor spaces are no stranger to the elements, so it's essential to invest in furniture, fixtures and fittings that are up to the task. While sumptuous sofas and ottomans bring a cosy indoor/outdoor vibe to your space, plan for the long term and choose furniture with removable cushions and weather-resistant framing. And if you plan on using your space year-round, consider options for incorporating shade, heating and protection from rain and wind. For shading, this can range from less permanent outdoor umbrellas or shade sails and awnings to custom-built structures that take outdoor living to the next level – complete with louvre rooves and wired-in heating.

 

4. Know your vibe

Whether you call it a vibe, an aesthetic, style, or theme, picking an overall stylistic direction for your outdoor space is vital. This will help establish the overall mood of your space and provides a roadmap for everything from colour palettes to furniture choices and planting styles. One of this season's biggest trends is maximalism; in an outdoor space, this looks like bright, heavily patterned rugs, mismatched bold cushions, brass and textured tables, and lush, colourfully planted gardens. If maximalism isn't for you, neutrals are always a popular outdoor choice to embrace the lightness and brightness of warmer days and outdoor living.

 

5. Be materialistic

Outdoor furniture is generally the predominant feature of an outdoor area, so while considering the function and theme counts, it also pays to be clued up about material choices. Synthetic resin wicker is often the most highly regarded choice ticking the lightweight, modern, highly durable and low maintenance boxes, whereas teak tops the charts for wooden furniture. If a sleek metal look is your preferred aesthetic, go for hardy aluminium or steel, and for something more ornate, choose weather-enduring wrought iron.

 

6. Grow and sow

Outdoors and greenery are already synonymous, but take this relationship up a notch with some carefully considered planting that builds on the aesthetic you're trying to achieve. This can be as simple as some cute colourful planters laden with seasonal florals through to lush tropical plantings to bring a Balinese resort vibe to your outdoor space. Check back in with your overall vision and vibe, and don't forget to consider how Mother Nature could impact your planting choices too!

​​​​​7. For the love of light

A major styling aspect to consider in all outdoor spaces is lighting! And that includes maximising natural light through your focal point and furniture placements as well as the artificial lighting you choose to add. Once again, stick with your function and theme to inform your artificial lighting choices, as this will dictate the style of lighting you choose. The right lighting will also extend the usage of your outdoor space, making it inviting day and night and all summer and winter!

 

8. Dabble in DIY

Of course, one of our top tips for any styling or design is to be resourceful, be sustainable and, if you can, do it for yourself! An outdoor space is the perfect canvas to practice your DIY prowess; there's less pressure for perfection, and given that they can lean into a bohemian style, straight lines and flawless finishes aren't required. If DIY's not in your DNA, an eclectic collection of preloved or upcycled furnishings could be just the ticket.

 

Your outdoor oasis awaits!

 

There's nothing quite like a refreshed space ready for the warmer days or, even better, creating one that can be enjoyed all year round. But like art, styling is entirely subjective, so it's important to stay close to your vision and allow this to inform your choices along the way to creating your dream outdoor oasis.

 

If restyling your outdoor area isn't a big enough change, contact our team today, and we will help you to find an outdoor space to fall in love with.

 

DISCLAIMER

The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial, or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial, or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.