Five Favourite Flamboyant Sofas


Flamboyant_Sofa_InspirationIf you would like a new sofa by Christmas, you need to go shopping very soon as the lead time can be between six to ten weeks. A new sofa can transform a room, the right sofa will last for years as well as providing inspiration for the rest of the decor. All too often, mainly because they are such large pieces of furniture, sofas are creams, browns or greys, enlivened with bright and colourful cushions. If you’d prefer to make more of a statement with a bold sofa, here is some inspiration to tempt you.

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10 Things to Check When Buying a New Home

10 Things to Check When Buying a New HomeIt is said that people make up their mind about a house within seconds of walking in the front door. When viewing new properties, you might fall in love with one, so much so that the dated avocado bathroom doesn’t put you off as you think ‘we can get a new bathroom anyway’. But before you put in that offer and go to the expense of arranging a survey once the offer has been accepted, what should you look out for first? Here’s our list:

1. Visit at Different Times

Perhaps parking was plentiful and traffic was non-existent on the day you saw the property but was there a reason for that? Was it because it was a Saturday morning or a Monday at lunch-time? Drive around at peak times such as 8:30 am and 5:30 pm on a weekday to check for the volume of traffic, availability of parking and general atmosphere. Check it out at 11pm to see if it is well lit and feels safe should you decide to stroll home from the nearby pub.

2. Broadband and Phone Signal

I know the broadband speed shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you’ve found the home of your dreams but there are still plenty of areas (both rural and urban) where broadband speeds and phone signals are extremely limited. Do you really want to be hanging out of the window of the box-room as it’s the only place to get a signal? It’s particularly important if you’re considering working from home, even just one day a week.

If it is poorer than you would like, chat to the neighbours or the local shopkeeper to see if there are any plans afoot for improvements in the near future.

3. Damp

Signs of damp can usually be spotted fairly easy and usually mean a red flag. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the property but a very thorough survey will be required. Signs of damp would include the smell of paint (freshly painted rooms to cover the damp signs), water stained walls or ceilings, flaky paint or plaster, or black mould spots.

4. Orientation

Which rooms are south and east facing and will get the sun in the mornings? Rooms that are north-facing will be darker and colder. Again, not necessarily a deal-breaker but a south or east facing kitchen is lovely, as is a living room that faces west particularly if you’re lucky enough to have a good view of the horizon.

5. Size of Rooms

Check the size of the rooms, especially if you are looking around a showhouse or new build as it can happen that smaller-than-standard furniture is put in-situ which will make the rooms appear larger than they actually are. If you have specific furniture that you intend to bring with you, measure it and check the measurements within the relevant rooms.

Strategically placed mirrors and lighting can make rooms appear larger too so re-visit with fresh eyes.

6. The Roof

The roof is hugely expensive to repair or replace and any problems should be reflected in the asking price. Again, it doesn’t mean you don’t buy but when compared to a house down the road that is in excellent condition, how does the price compare? Remember there is also the inconvenience of getting work done especially if you can’t live in the property when it is being carried out.

Check out the attic space too if you think you might, someday, wish to do an attic conversion. Are the trusses positioned appropriately with enough roof height to create a sizeable room? Would you be able to install stairs to the attic without sacrificing a whole room?

7. Energy Efficiency

The BER rating will give an indication of the home’s energy efficiency and should be available from the estate agent. Check the insulation, the window glazing, if there are solar panels, the type of heating, and many new homes now have Heat Recovery Ventilation (which reuses heat generated in rooms such as the shower room and kitchen) and bring fresh air into a sealed building. The energy efficiency can have quite an impact on your annual bills.

8. Water Pressure

It can happen, especially in old houses, that the water pressure can be very low. You can test it easily by switching on the taps and /or the shower. This is particularly important if you’re buying a rural home with its own well. Sinking another well is expensive so check out if you’ll need one in the near future.

9. Compare Prices

You can check what local houses sold for recently through the Property Price Register. This helps to give you a guide price although do bear in mind that much depends on the condition of the house.

Be it global warming or the fact that some houses have been built on flood plains, flooding seems to be on the increase. Do check if the area has been flooded in recent years. Is it close to a river that might burst its banks? Contact a couple of insurance companies for quotes and they will tell you if the risk of flooding in that area means a high premium.

Above all, visit your prospective new home on a couple of occasions. Give yourself some time to consider it carefully as although it may not be a decision for life, it will affect you for many years, hopefully in a positive way. Best of luck in buying a new home and we hope you enjoy the process.

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Harry Toye Testimonial for

Hi folks,
here is a video testimonial we received a while ago from Harry Toye. Harry posted a gardening job on and was very happy with the result. You can see the video feedback below:-


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Results and Video of our September Draw 2018 monthly draw

Hi folks,

here are the results and video of our September Draw 2018. Each month we have a draw for everyone who hires a tradesman and provides feedback. So not only do you get up to 4 quotes from Rated Tradesmen but you also are in with a chance to win a cash prize as well!

The draw for everyone who hired a tradesman and provided feedback in the month of August was held on September 29th. The results are as follows:-

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8 Ways to Make a Ladder a Statement Piece in your Home

Ladder_as_Statement_Pieces_in_the_homeGeometric lines have been trendy for the last few years and the latest trends have shown the Instagram grid of nine even squares to be very popular, be it using a grid notice board, creating a square gallery wall of photographs or hanging a mirror divided into nine even squares. Personally, with the cold winter months coming, I find the grid to be a little bit cold, somewhat too stark. I think it needs warming up.

I love the shape and practicality of ladders. Many of us have cupboards in our kitchens or offices now that reach the ceiling so we need a weighted step or a ladder to reach those items stored up high and hardly ever used. They are also required for jobs such as changing light bulbs. But where do you store a ladder that you rarely use if you don’t have a garage or shed? You could incorporate a ladder into your design scheme and then it’s available for the rare occasion you need it.

Here are some ideas for including that so practical item, a ladder, into your design scheme.

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Posted in Declutter Tips, Decorating, Decorating Tips, Design Ideas, Storage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment is a Finalist in the 2018 Blog Awards Ireland!! is a Finalist in the Blog Awards Ireland

Hi folks,

We’re delighted to let you know that is a Finalist for the 2018 Blog Awards Ireland in the > Interior Design / Architecture Category.

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5 Trending Ways to Make Your Home Winter-Ready

5_Ways_to_make_your_home_winter-readyAfter a long hot summer that stretched out gloriously for months, autumn is galloping towards us. The evenings are getting chilly, it’s dark by 9p.m. and the skies are grey. If you’re wondering how to make your home seem warmer and cosier (without turning the thermostat up too much) and also ensure your interiors are modern and up-to-date, here are some accessories to invest in for the autumn-winter season of 2018/2019.

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Posted in Decorating, Decorating Tips, Design Ideas, Interior Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment shortlisted in the 2018 Blog Awards Ireland!! is Shortlisted for the Blog Awards Ireland

Hi folks,
I’m delighted to announce that has made the Shortlist for the 2018 Blog Awards Ireland in the Interior Design / Architecture Category.

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Guy Fagan Testimonial for

Hi folks,
here is a video testimonial we received a while ago from Guy Fagan. Guy posted a painting job and was very happy with the result. You can see the video feedback below:-


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Celebrating 10 Years!!

Celebrating 10 Years

Hi folks,
we are delighted to announce that 2018 marks 10 years in business for with over 275,000 jobs posted during that time.  Based on the value of the jobs posted the potential value of this work to tradesmen and to the Irish economy is over €838 million. We’d just like to say thank you so much to all of the customers and tradesmen for your support over the last 10 years.

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