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How to fix your children’s DIY decor

Suddenly the house goes quiet, and you walk into a room to find your children beaming proudly at you over a carpet full of nail polish, or trying to hide a pet which has been mysteriously dyed bright green. What do you do, besides want to pretend you didn’t see it? Well, at BetterLife Home Loans we know how much you love your home, so we’ve compiled a list of how-to’s to help keep your carpets, wooden floors, walls (and pets) stain-free, no matter how artistic your children want to get.

Food colouring:

Food colouring

Food colouring is a persistent stain. Hydrogen peroxide (tested on a less-visible area first, to ensure you don’t bleach the surface) can be applied to the stain, left for a few minutes, and then wiped with a clean towel. For stubborn stains, brushing the peroxide into the surface works well. Rinse using a cloth and water, then dry thoroughly. If it is on skin, let it fade naturally, or apply baby cream to the area.


Drawing on wall with crayons

A thick paste made from baking soda and water dissolves most kinds of grease (including tough pan grease). For wall drawings, dab some onto the stain before gently rubbing with a clean cloth, rinsing and wiping it dry. For wooden floors or furniture, a cloth and a few drops of mineral solvent will do the trick. Always test an inconspicuous area first before applying a cleaning agent, to ensure you don’t damage your house or furniture.


Drawing on wall with crayons

For clothes, scrape off excess paint then if possible, saturate the surface with isopropyl alcohol. Once this is done, scrape the area with a butter knife or your nails, then wash as usual.


Vaseline Mohawk

Vaseline may be your best friend for a diaper rash, but certainly not for your child’s hair. Normal shampoo won’t do the trick if your toddler decides to style themselves a Mohawk. Pat baby powder or corn starch (Maizena) into their hair to absorb the jelly, then wash with warm water and shampoo. Otherwise, mix some baking soda into regular baby shampoo, then wash and rinse out.

Nail polish:

Child painting nails

Blot up the excess lacquer, then apply a small amount of acetone to stain and blot again. Repeat the process until the stain no longer responds. If it remains, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, sponge with cold water and blot dry again.


Blue Tack/Prestik

If Prestik is stuck in your carpet, saturate the area with a citrus-based cleaning agent, leave it to dry and soften, then pick off. Use a cloth and cool water to rinse residue.


Ink-stained shirt

To gently remove ink, use a little bit of baby oil, or olive oil. Nail polish remover and rubbing alcohol work quickly, but are less gentle. Dab some onto a cotton ball and wipe the area, but be sure to avoid the eye and mouth areas if possible. If you’re removing ink from dog fur, wash your pup with a mix of warm water and dish soap, then rinse with warm water.



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Pantone Colour of the Year 2015: How to Use Marsala in Your Home

Marsala has been crowned as one of the most infamous Pantone Colours of the Year by the all-ruling democracy of The Internet. Happily, however, designers and decorators all over the world have pitted their wits against the colour, and displayed how beautiful and versatile it actually is. Below we’ve collected some of our favourite ideas on how to use this gorgeous, warm shade in your home.

Bounce off the walls

Marsala wall & deco

Marsala wall

Don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with your wall colour – Marsala is just bright enough to keep things interesting, while offering enough depth to not “over-do it”. As you can see, it works stunningly well with gold accents, as well as wood and neutral colours, like shades of cream or brown.

 Take the floor

Marsala rug

A well-placed Marsala rug can add just the right pizazz to an empty-looking room. The sultry colour exudes winter warmth and naturally, a rug will keep a little bit more heat in your home by covering a tile floor.

Marsala rug

Go through the roof

Marsala Ceiling

Every new generation of designers loves going against the rules of the previous one: painting a striking ceiling is the latest in-thing and the mark of true modernity. This ceiling is coupled with loads of white, cream and sand accents, as well as patterned wallpaper, which all combine to make the room feel spacious despite the “painted ceiling” taboo.

Part of the furniture

Marsala Accents

Ideas for Marsala furniture in your home range from couch covers to painting a signature bookshelf or cabinet this wine-red hue.

Marsala Couch

Pair it with lighter hues of cream, sand and camel for a lighter feel, or deepen it with a touch of chocolate brown for a more demure atmosphere.

Marsala Two-seater

Furniture in an interesting shade can add some colour without completely embodying the room. If you don’t want to take the plunge right away, try painting a small side table or cabinet first – you’ll be itching for more soon after.

A little here and a little there

Marsala flower arrangement

A wonderful way to combine the colour into your décor without anything too permanent is to add touches of it to your existing layout.

Marsala detailed scatter cushion

Scatter cushions are king. Go crazy with different patterns and sizes to spice up a modern look, or opt for a lush Marsala throw-rug or two. You’ll be winter-comfy and stylish all in one go.

Ombre Marsala/Cream scatter

If you’re dreaming of a stylish new studio to re-do with Marsala, but the home you’re in isn’t providing any inspiration, try our home loan calculator, or speak to one of our friendly estate agents today.


Image Credits:

Oxford Design studio

Why you should polish up your bathroom before selling

shutterstock_130480508As every estate agent will tell you, spotless bathrooms are key selling points when putting your home on the market – coming a close second to an attractive kitchen – and it may not be as difficult as you think to put a sparkle in your buyer’s eye.

While luxury homes sometimes offer bathrooms on the scale of a Roman bath house, with stretches of marble and impressive columns, under-floor heating, steam showers and even fridges and fireplaces these days, even a modest update of an ordinary bathroom can increase the appeal of your home and bring about a quicker sale.

What is more, homeowners can expect to recover at least 70% of the cost of any bathroom renovation once they sell, according to the latest Cost v Value report from Remodelling Magazine.

If you can afford it, you should consider replacing the old bathroom suite, having the floor and walls tiled and installing a vanity. Home improvement guru, Bob Vila, has some great DIY options to check out for inspiration.

But if you’re on a very tight budget, or need to sell urgently, try just repainting the bathroom in a neutral shade and installing a large new medicine/makeup cabinet and some additional lighting for a quick fix

Then make sure all surfaces, especially mirrors and fittings, are polished up to a sparkle, hang some new towels and add attractive extras such as flowers, candles and bottles of bath oil for a luxurious look.

For more budget-friendly bathroom update ideas, take a look at these tips to keep your budget in check.

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