Navigating the world of interior design can be a balancing act between the latest design trends and the practical needs of everyday life. However, a well-designed home isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about creating a space that works for you and the rhythms of your life. 

So, how do you get the right balance between visual appeal and practicality? From smart furniture solutions to making the most of your space, here are a few practical tips that will help transform your space.

Identify what’s important for your space

There are unique challenges that come with any space, with everyone using their spaces in different ways. The different needs of you and your family will dictate the type of elements you add to your space. Whether it’s durable flooring that will stand up against pets and children, or versatile furniture that transforms your space, there are plenty of things you’ll need to consider. 

For example, if you have young children, anything fragile will need to be out of reach or put away. You’ll also need to incorporate their essential things like high chairs and toys into your space. Then, there’s the baby-proofing to consider! If you’re a student, or work from home, then your needs will be different. If your space allows for it, then you might want a dedicated office space. If you don’t, then you’ll need to find room for a desk somewhere like your living room or bedroom. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • How big is your space? Let’s say you’ve been dreaming of an oversized, rectangular dining table. If you only have a small nook, a round table may be more functional. 
  • What are your storage needs? Does your house come with built in storage, or do you need to consider smart storage solutions?
  • Are there features to your home that you need to consider? Older homes come with character such as high ceilings, fireplaces and rustic fittings. Even if you love modern or industrial design, it may not suit the existing bones of your house.

Are you renting? A lease may restrict the type of renovations you can do like painting your walls or installing permanent fixtures.

Embrace the space and your style 

Unless a full renovation is on the cards, then it’s likely you’ll need to work with what you have. Understand how you need your space to work for you by making a list of the must-haves. Do you need more storage? Or perhaps a dedicated guest bedroom? It’s important to keep those practical needs in mind as you begin to consider the design elements you want to incorporate.

Then, create a mood board to decide which colours, textures and styles you want to include. Remember that design trends can change quickly, so focus on colours and styles that you love. There’s no hard and fast rules when it comes to mixing colours and different styles, so feel free to showcase your unique style. You can also add personal touches with key decor items like artwork, a collection of books or albums or photos from a treasured vacation. 

Furniture that works double time

With your practical needs in mind and the style chosen, it’s time to focus on functional pieces that fit both criteria. Your home decor should go beyond aesthetics, it should also add an element of practical design to your space. 

Modular furniture is ideal for a range of spaces and needs because the components can be mixed and matched. This means you can move it around to suit the space you have. Another great couch option is fold-out sofas. Both stylish and comfortable, these couches can be a great solution for guests – especially if you don’t have a spare room. 

Another great idea is furnishings that are multi-purpose. Think coffee tables that have drawers for extra storage or ottomans that can be used as storage for blankets or toys. For the kitchen, there’s plenty of smart solutions like multi-functional kitchen islands, modular cabinets or tables that fold up and pull out into a larger size. 

Think about how it will age

Trends come and go and what is “in” today may be out of style tomorrow. Then there’s also your own needs. Over time, your lifestyle will change, with new demands being placed on your space. 

When it comes to your design elements, opt for furniture that has a classic appeal, steering away from trendy pieces that can lose their charm quickly. Neutral walls and warm flooring is always a great canvas. Then you can change out your decor items as your interests and style changes. 

As for your lifestyle, recognise that as it changes, so will the needs of your living space. By embracing flexible layouts and multifunctional furniture, you can effortlessly change and adapt your space to suit. 

Remember that your home should be as unique as you are. After all, everyone’s needs and tastes are different! By getting the balance right between practicality and design elements, you can create a space that will continue to age with you. 

Holiday gifting got you stumped? Keter Group is here to help with suggestions sure to please the most discerning names on your list.

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the merry challenge of finding the perfect gifts. But fear not, because Keter Group, a pioneer in crafting durable resin-based lifestyle solutions for over 75 years, has recently unveiled a treasure trove of wonders to enchant every yard lover, host extraordinaire, green thumb guru, and that one person who seems to have it all. With an extensive range of products designed to elevate spaces and experiences, let’s unwrap the magic and discover what Keter’s holiday gift guide has in store for each unique personality on your list.

For the Host With the Most: Cozy Comfort and Entertainment Galore

If your giftee loves to host vibrant gatherings, Keter’s offerings bring the party to life. Picture this: the Modern Cool Bar, a sophisticated cooler that effortlessly transforms into a cocktail table. It’s the ultimate yard party centerpiece for the socialite who relishes alfresco entertaining. Pair it with a portable speaker to elevate the ambiance and the Unity XL Outdoor Kitchen Cart, expanding their hosting domain while doubling as a grilling companion. Thirsty guests? The Patio Cooler and Beverage Cart ensures style and functionality, boasting sturdy shelves, a built-in bottle opener, and an efficient drainage system.

For the Homebody: Transforming Spaces Into Havens

For the ones who relish their home comforts, Keter’s gift guide has a repertoire to snugly fit their lifestyle. Start with a DoorDash gift card for convenient, cozy dinners. Add a touch of luxury with a Barefoot Dreams Blanket, and complement it with the Keter Montauk Adirondack Chair for porch lounging par excellence. Hydration in style? The Stanley Quencher water bottle is a perfect fit. And for those inclined toward exploration without leaving their comfort zone, a Kindle or telescope might just be the ticket to a universe of delight.

The Green Thumb Guru: Nurturing Nature’s Bounty

Gardeners, often tough to impress, will adore practical yet thoughtful gifts like gardening gloves and a wide-brimmed sun hat, combining protection and style. Does one of your loved ones have a green thumb? Get them Keter’s Urban Bloomer or the Easy Grow Raised Garden Bed to help them get the most out of their gardening experience. These ergonomic, easy-to-assemble raised beds help reduce the back, hip, or knee strain that’s typically associated with leaning over to tend to plants in the ground, providing ultimate comfort for your favorite green-thumbed guru. These gardening solutions are customizable, have full watering systems, and are made of all-weather-resistant material. These are gifts that will spark enthusiasm for more greenery come spring.

The One Who Has Everything: Space-Saving Elegance

For that person who seemingly has it all, Keter’s gift guide comes to the rescue with storage solutions that add value, save space, and stand out. Enter the Keter storage shed with its easy assembly and durability, which promises a clutter-free haven. Alternatively, one of the brand’s sleek deck boxes, such as the Capri Box 80G Brown or the Novel 90G Deck Box, present space-efficient practicality without compromising style. Even in limited spaces like a deck or balcony, these storage options bring organization and elegance.

No matter the recipient, Keter’s range of outdoor seating, entertainment pieces, and storage and gardening solutions are not just gifts, but gateways to transforming spaces into extraordinary realms. Better yet, these resin-based marvels are high quality, low maintenance, durable, sustainable, and bear the sleek, modern look synonymous with Keter’s craftsmanship. These products are designed to be 100% recyclable. With every Keter purchase, you contribute to a world where innovation meets responsibility. It’s not just a gift — it’s a pledge toward better living.

Better With Keter: Innovating for a Better Tomorrow, Today

Keter’s vision resonates with evolving consumer preferences. Consumers, more than ever, prioritize sustainability. They demand eco-friendly packaging and support brands advocating for environmental responsibility. Keter’s approach aligns seamlessly with these values, echoing the sentiment that products should enhance lives without compromising the planet’s well-being.

Operating from five production facilities across North America, with a workforce dedicated to crafting lifestyle solutions from durable resin-based materials, Keter takes pride in its role as an industry leader.

From gracing the screens of popular shows like The Today Show, HGTV’s Property Brothers and Celebrity IOU, and Melissa McCarthy’s The Great Giveback, to intertwining eco-friendly practices into the core of its operations, Keter Group seamlessly integrates a vision where innovation converges with sustainability. The brand’s dedication to environmental stewardship isn’t merely a trendy initiative; it’s a foundational philosophy propelling Keter’s path toward a greener, more sustainable future.

Sustainability Pillars: Better Products, Better Planet, Better Business

These aren’t just slogans; they’re guiding principles that propel every aspect of Keter’s operations. Each pillar encapsulates the brand’s commitment to the environmental responsibility ingrained in its DNA and a mission to minimize raw material consumption and waste, Keter stands as a beacon for creating products that enhance lives while honoring the planet. The company has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, embraced a circular economy, and achieved zero waste in several manufacturing plants. Keter’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and eliminate waste to landfills by 2025 are bold — yet achievable — steps toward a more sustainable future.

In an age where planet-friendly practices are paramount, Keter Group leads by example. In its pursuit of a circular economy, Keter creates products boasting recycled content of up to 100%, a testament to the brand’s commitment to minimizing waste. With a mission to increase recycled content in all of its products from 40% in 2020 to an ambitious 55% by 2025, Keter is actively shaping a more eco-conscious landscape. In 2022 alone, it increased recycled content in production to 41.8%. Keter’s commitment to the planet is evident in its operational ethos, striving for a better planet through innovation and responsible business practices.

With Keter’s holiday gift guide, the art of gifting becomes an act of enhancing spaces, cherishing moments, and nurturing a sustainable tomorrow. So as you navigate the labyrinth of gifting options, consider the lasting value of a Keter product. Whether transforming a garden, elevating a hosting space, or fostering comfort at home, Keter delivers excellence that transcends seasonal trends. It’s beyond a gift; it’s an investment in quality, innovation, and sustainability. This holiday season, make it better with Keter.

Are you willing to spend whatever price it takes to live in a wealthy city? It’s worth looking at a penthouse. With a well-defined penthouse design, you can escape the crowds and bustle while enjoying the best views in the city. A penthouse not only increases the owner’s prestige but also offers comfort. The demand for penthouses has increased in tandem with growing wages. When you need jewelry for a luxurious look you can choose, Moissanite jewels to provide you with an elegant look. You might prepare for a giant or modest penthouse design, depending on your budget. The finest of both worlds is yours when you own a penthouse.

What is the Penthouse?

A penthouse is an apartment on the highest, usually highest, floor of a hotel or apartment complex. It can be distinguished from other flats by its extravagance and amenities. Serving as a service room on rooftops, penthouses have been repurposed as creative living spaces.

The layout and security of an apartment are combined with the room sizes and architectural elements of a private home to get the best of both worlds.

A penthouse’s location is one of its vital characteristics. If you need to attract potential purchasers to your penthouse, it must be close to all commercial, institutional, medical, social, and transportation resources. A penthouse is an ultra-luxurious residence.

Consequently, meticulous attention to detail and well-designed interiors are necessary for a luxurious lifestyle.

The Top Designs for Penthouses:

Penthouse design is a complex topic with a lot of moving parts. These factors are crucial when discussing penthouse design concepts. The massive obstacle for any homeowner looking to expand their awareness of penthouse design ideas is knowing where to start.

The penthouse is a luxurious residence made with the best materials and constructed to the highest standards. Usually perched atop a structure, it offers breathtaking views. It has all the necessities and even more. These are a few inspirations to help you construct a stylish penthouse for your ideal property.


Images of elegance and sophistication come to mind when you mention the penthouse. A penthouse’s location is even rather unique. These living areas are often more roomy, opulent, magnificent, and attractive than typical flats, and the massive penthouses feature an upper and a lower floor. The complex’s amenities and services are also easily accessible to residents. To show your appearance in a more enhanced way, you can go for Moissanite jewelry.

Private Outdoor Terrace Area:

You could use the same idea, but in a different way, to your modern penthouse design! Rather than projecting cantilevered balconies, the penthouses could include setbacks that serve as private patio spaces.

It could be designed with a permanent or retractable cantilevered roof to be used as a balcony, decorated with a swing, a few planter beds, and lovely lighting, or it could be an open-air terrace area for a garden, complete with wrought iron furniture, potted plants, and turf for the floor. One of these spaces may be divided into many flats, while one apartment could take up a whole level.

Vintage Furniture:

Using old furniture in your penthouse design is a terrific way to create an artistic mood! The design will complement any interior decor and set your place distinct from other residences in the neighborhood.

Finding complementary parts is all needed, after which they may get decorated appropriately. It will give the impression that your entire home was snatched from a different period!

Ever-Longing Closets:

Before they move into a home with a small closet, many individuals may not know how vital closets are for managing their clothes and accessories. Make sure you have enough closet space with an efficient bedroom wardrobe design accessible to fit everything if you utilize your penthouse to store your clothing and accessories!

Features Offered in a Penthouse

Penthouses are designed with upscale features that contribute to the comfort of its occupants. Penthouse apartments are expensive because of their prestige symbol and standard amenities.

A penthouse often has a few standard features, such as

Superb architecture:
The architectural design of an apartment reflects the individual’s individuality. The striking architecture of a penthouse will contribute to the apartment’s high-end aesthetics. The bathrooms, floors, and other features are designed to add the perfect touch of luxury to a penthouse design. 

Elegant venue:
The penthouse’s premium facilities are created in part by its location, which makes it especially essential. Appropriate transportation to the airport, train station, your residence, etc., would be part of a sophisticated setting. There will be upscale neighborhoods mixed with retail centers and educational institutions.

Additional resources:
The features that distinguish penthouses apart from other high-end residences are the services and amenities offered. Thus, the clubhouses, swimming pools, gyms, high-tech security, valet parking, etc.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to building your own home – but that’s a blessing and a curse, as professional McCarthy home builders explain in this article.

Having unlimited options means it’s often hard to sort out exactly what you’d like to do. It gets even trickier when you start calculating the cost of your custom home.

There are hundreds of little details that need your attention when designing a new build. And the work you do selecting appliances, fittings, flooring, lighting and colours will make a huge difference to the final product.

But, before you dive into the fine details, it’s important to get the broad strokes right. Your home’s size, shape and layout have a major impact on how you use the space every day. A good design can support your family’s lifestyle, while a poor design can limit privacy and waste precious space on your block of land.

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is choosing between a single-storey and two-storey design. You can make a good case for either type of home. It all comes down to your family and lifestyle needs. In this article we’ll explore the major factors you need to consider when choosing between a one and two-storey design, and how they affect your overall build.

Making the Most of Your Budget

Let’s start with the major issue: budget.

Building a new home is an expensive undertaking. It’s easy to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) on designing a home that does everything you need.

In most cases, two-storey homes cost more than a single storey. One building company reports that it’s about 30% more expensive to add a second storey. That sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t the whole story.

While double storey houses tend to cost more, they can help you save money in other areas. For instance, two-storey homes have a significantly smaller footprint than single storey houses for the same amount of internal space.

Reducing the footprint of the home means you can build a larger house on a smaller block, saving money on the purchase of your property. This could even help you break into desirable inner suburbs where block sizes are smaller and prices are higher.

The flipside is that the money you save on a single-storey build could be put towards your project. If you want to buy a larger block of land, upgrade internal features or simply keep your budget under control, a single-storey design may be the better option.

Consider Your Lifestyle Needs

One and two-storey homes both have plenty of room for the whole family. But having an extra storey can change the way you use your space or provide much-needed separation and privacy.

There’s no right answer here! Modern architectural designs are intended to be as functional as the available space allows. Architects are very aware of how the average family uses their home, and floor plans are designed accordingly. All you need to do is decide which layout makes more sense for your family.

For instance, single-storey homes create a sense of connectedness that young families enjoy. Being able to keep an eye on your kids from anywhere in the house is a great feature, but you might be trading yard space for the privilege.

On the other hand, most two-storey homes are designed with the living spaces on the ground floor and bedrooms on the upper. This provides excellent separation for growing families where teenagers and parents need their private spaces.

Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling makes up about 40% of household energy use. There are lots of ways you can control that expense, but the overall layout of your home plays a big role in energy efficiency.

In general, two-storey homes are less energy efficient than single-storey homes. This is because hot air rises – meaning upper storeys tend to be hotter and require more cooling in summer. Additionally, two-storey homes have larger exterior wall areas that collect and store heat from the sun during the day.

Single-storey homes consistently perform better for energy efficiency. This isn’t always the case though. In coastal areas, building upwards often allows homeowners to catch sea breezes, which are excellent for keeping your home cool without the need for powered climate control.

Making the Most of Your Block

Building a new home gives you almost unlimited freedom to decide where you want to live. That can make it difficult to choose a suburb that’s close to work, friends, family and all the amenities your family needs.

To add a layer of complexity, the block you select will impact the design and layout of your new home. When choosing your property, spare a thought for:

  • The footprint of the house

This is often the deciding factor between one and two-storey homes. If you’re looking for inner-suburb locations, chances are you’ll have to make do with a smaller block. That means you’ll need to build upwards if you want a larger home that doesn’t break the bank.

  • House location and facing

Larger blocks offer the freedom to choose where and how your house sits on the property. This can have an impact on noise from major roads, natural light inside the house, passive cooling capabilities, and things such as landscaping requirements.

  • Neighbouring buildings

If you’re surrounded by two-storey homes, building upwards may give you more privacy than a single-storey option. On the other hand, if your area is filled with single-storey homes, building a two-storey house may cause your home to loom over the others, which can be uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Choosing Your Favourite Design Elements

Finally, we need to think about how we want the house to look. Up until now we’ve been worried about how our new home functions, but the design is also a huge factor.

In many cases, two-storey designs allow more freedom for standout design features. Do you want a grand balcony? Full-height voids over your foyer? A colonnaded porch? All of these things are possible with a two-storey design!

That’s not to say that single-storey homes are lacking on the design front. It’s still possible to build a home that looks incredible, but you won’t be able to take advantage of features like ultra-high ceilings or grand entryways.

Maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment is essential for our well-being, and a properly functioning air conditioner plays a crucial role in achieving this.

However, one common issue that can arise with air conditioners – whether you’ve got a split system, ducted system or something else – is the presence of musty odours, which can be unpleasant and even affect the air quality in our homes. If you’ve noticed a musty smell emanating from your aircon, don’t fret.

In this article, we will provide you with practical tips and solutions to effectively deal with these odours and restore freshness to your living space.

By understanding the underlying causes of musty odours, implementing regular maintenance practices, and incorporating do-it-yourself remedies, you can overcome this issue and enjoy clean, refreshing air from your air conditioner once again.

Additionally, we will discuss the importance of seeking professional assistance when needed and provide prevention tips to maintain a fresh-smelling environment. Say goodbye to musty odours and embrace a more pleasant and healthier living space with these valuable tips.

Understanding the Causes of Musty Odours

Unpleasant, musty aromas coming from your air conditioner can be indicative of underlying issues that need attention. By understanding the causes of these odours, you can effectively address the problem.

One common cause is moisture buildup in the air conditioner. When moisture remains stagnant within the system, it creates a breeding ground for mould and mildew growth, resulting in musty smells.

Additionally, accumulated dust and debris can also contribute to the odours, as they can harbour moisture and promote bacterial growth, particularly in ducted heating and cooling systems.

Understanding these causes helps emphasise the importance of regular maintenance and cleaning to prevent the buildup of moisture, mould and debris. By addressing these underlying causes, you can effectively eliminate musty smells and ensure that your air conditioner operates efficiently, providing you with fresh, clean air.

Regular Maintenance to Prevent Musty Odours

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with stale odours from your aircon system. By incorporating regular maintenance practices, you can effectively prevent the occurrence of these unpleasant aromas.

One crucial maintenance task is cleaning or replacing air filters regularly. Dirty filters can trap moisture and promote mould and mildew growth, leading to these musty smells.

Additionally, it is essential to clean the condensate drain lines to ensure proper drainage and prevent moisture buildup. Checking and cleaning the evaporator coils is another important step, as dirty coils can accumulate dust and mould, contributing to the smell.

Lastly, don’t forget to remove any debris from the outdoor unit to maintain optimal airflow.

By implementing these regular maintenance tasks, you can keep your aircon clean to ensure fresh and pleasant air in your living space.

DIY Remedies for Musty Smells

There are several simple do-it-yourself remedies you can try before seeking professional help from a HVAC (heating, cooling and air conditioning) technician.

One effective solution is to use a vinegar and water solution for cleaning. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, then spray or wipe down the affected areas, such as the evaporator coils and drip pan, to eliminate mould and mildew and neutralise odours.

Another option is to use baking soda, which acts as a natural odour absorber. Sprinkle baking soda on the air conditioner’s filters and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming or rinsing it off.

Additionally, you can introduce pleasant scents by adding a few drops of essential oils to your air filters or creating a homemade air freshener using essential oils and water. These DIY remedies can help combat unwanted odours and leave your air conditioner smelling fresh and clean.

Professional Help for Persistent Odours

If you’ve tried DIY remedies and are still struggling with persistent musty odours from your air conditioner, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Professional HVAC maintenance can provide comprehensive solutions to tackle the underlying causes of the odours.

Hiring a professional air conditioning technician brings expertise and specialised tools to thoroughly inspect and clean your system. They can perform tasks such as deep cleaning the evaporator coils, sanitising the air ducts and checking for any hidden mould or mildew growth.

Additionally, they can identify and fix any potential issues that may be contributing to the odours, ensuring optimal performance of your air conditioner. Professional assistance is particularly crucial if you or anyone in your family have sensitive allergies or respiratory conditions that can be aggravated by poor air quality.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals to address persistent stale odours and restore fresh and clean air to your home.

Prevention Tips to Maintain Fresh Air

Here are a few handy tips to help you keep the inside of your home smelling fresh and clean:

  • Control humidity levels in your home by using a dehumidifier (possibly in combination with your air conditioner).
  • Ensure proper ventilation and air circulation by opening windows and using fans.
  • Regularly clean and replace air filters to prevent the buildup of dust, mould and odours.
  • Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of debris to maintain optimal airflow.
  • Schedule regular professional HVAC maintenance to ensure the system is clean and functioning properly.
  • Consider installing an air purifier or an air cleaning system to remove pollutants and odours from the air.
  • Avoid smoking or allowing smoking indoors, as it can introduce persistent odours.
  • Clean and vacuum your home regularly to minimise the presence of dust and allergens.
  • Use natural odour absorbers like baking soda or activated charcoal in areas prone to odours, such as closets or near the air conditioner.
  • When cooking or using chemicals, ensure proper ventilation to prevent odours from lingering in the air.

In Conclusion

Dealing with musty odours coming from your air conditioner can be a frustrating experience, but with the right tips and strategies, you can overcome this issue and enjoy fresh, clean air in your home.

By understanding the causes of musty odours, implementing regular maintenance practices and using DIY remedies, you can effectively eliminate the unpleasant aromas and improve the air quality in your living space.

Remember to seek professional help if the stench persists or if you have specific health concerns. Additionally, incorporating prevention tips such as controlling humidity levels, maintaining proper ventilation, and keeping your home clean can help prevent the recurrence of musty smells.

By taking proactive steps and addressing the issue promptly, you can ensure that your air conditioner operates efficiently, providing you with a comfortable and odour-free environment. Embrace these tips and enjoy the refreshing and clean air that your air conditioner can provide.