6 Great Outdoor Firepits

Firepits

6 Awesome Firepits For Your Backyard

The Aussie bush TV is alive and well.

Add a warm feeling to your patio or decking. There are multiple designs and ideas to choose from if you are contemplating purchasing a firepit. There is something about an open fire that people "warm" too. They are great for outdoor gatherings and they enhance the value of any property.

Not all firepits are designed to burn wood. You can also use gas bottles to power your outdoor fire or even pipe a line from your existing gas supply.

Curved Concrete Firepit Bowl

This elegant bowl illuminates even the most average outdoor space.

Concrete fire bowls are very durable. You can either physically create your fire or use gas to run the fireplace. Either way, you will have an elegant appliance in your yard. Sit back and enjoy the flames while you stare at the stars.

Outdoor curved firepit

Stainless Steel Bonfire Pit

This is a minimalist designed stainless steel design firepit specifically engineered to minimize smoke. This portable firepit weighs only 9 kilograms and comes with a carrying case so you can bring just about anywhere too. Stainless steel fire pits can be pricey but they are rain and rust-resistant and also easy to clean.

Outdoor bonfire

DIY Firepit

Stack curved paving stones that require no mortar. You can add this to your patio, decking or patio to create a bonfire spot in just 30 minutes. However, you want to make sure the base is protected. You don't want to burn through your deck.

Rectangular Gas Fire Pit Table

If you rather go the propane route, try this weather-resistant table made with extruded aluminium features and an adjustable burner. Create an astonishing yet soothing indoor or outdoor atmosphere with the help of an ethanol fire table. Fireplace tables are a truly remarkable portable heat source. so, if you move house you can take it with you.

LPG Gas Powered Firepit

You can directly connect your gas provider system to your outdoor firepit. Or, you can connect an LPG gas bottle to the fireplace. Either way, you will have a great centrepiece for your outdoor patio or backyard. The advantage of gas is you can regulate the amount of heat the firepit distributes. Plus they are easy to light and maintain.

Gas powered firepits

Moons and Stars

Cut-out star and moon shapes turn flickering flames into a cosmic campfire. These steel constructions can also come with a cooking grate, spark screen, and poker for hassle-free roasting. This type of firepit is a visual delight. They are also portable.

Outdoor fireplace

OBrien Real Estate creates a first in online auctions.

On Saturday May 2, OBrien Real Estate took innovation and professionalism to new heights for online auctions.  The group used a television studio and production to stream its 9 online auctions from the studio’s of Crocmedia at South Melbourne.

The real estate service and production named “OBrien Auction TV” was streamed live on facebook from 11am. Crocmedia host on the day was David Kennedy along with Corporate Director Darren Hutchins alongside him at the news desk with special comments. The auctioneer on the day of all 9 auctions was Corporate Director Stavros Ambatzidis.


The Auction List & Order on the day:

10 Hewitt St, Cranbourne East
3 Tundra Way, Keysborough
12 Arnold Dve, Chelsea
Bridges Ave, Edithvale
117 Oakwood Ave, Noble Park Nth
2/17 Church Rd, Carrum
3 Bavadia Plc, Keysborough
2/1 East Crt, Keysborough
28 Callistemon Ave, Keysborough


Bidding Summary Stats:

Total Bids: 53
Average Bids per Auction: 9
Average Run-Time per Auction: 5.5 minutes
Out of our 9 Auctions: 3 Sold, 3 Under Offer, 2 Strong Interest.

For YouTube Highlights Reel CLICK HERE

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 6

Garden home value

Part 6 – Invest Some Time In Gardening

Landscaping and gardening can add tens of thousands of dollars to your property. Unlike other kinds of home improvements, it not only adds instant value, but it is also the gift that keeps on giving. A carefully thought-out garden will literally add more value year on year as trees mature and provide those much sought after qualities like shade, privacy and screening. Spend some time on simple things like weeding, planting new flowers and shrubs, and if need be, new turf.
A neglected garden can lower your home’s value by somewhere between 5-15%. While taking your gardening efforts from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ can add up to 6-7% in value to your home.

Growing veggies in pots and containers

Do you want to grow vegetables but your property lacks space? One way of adding life to a backyard, balcony, patio or rooftop is to grow vegetables in pots or containers. Container gardening is not as difficult as you might imagine.

Containers give you the freedom to control the environment in which your plants are growing.

IDEAS FOR CONTAINER GARDENING

Vegetable container gardening

Start with pots. The bigger the pot the better

  • Larger pots will need a little space and will have room for the roots to grow. Also, the advantage of a large pot over a smaller pot is that they will hold water better. And with a bigger container, you can grow more varieties.
  • If you can use barrels, tubs, buckets, boxes and other tubs and troughs then this is the preferred method. Make sure you have holes in the bottom so the water can runoff.

Maintenance Tips for Container Gardening with Vegetables

  • While clay pots may look more attractive than plastic pots, plastic pots retain moisture better. And they won’t dry out as fast as unglazed terra-cotta ones. If you are determined to use clay pots then why not put a plastic pot inside.
  • Black pots are a good idea as they attract and absorb heat from the sun.
  • The majority of plants will need watering two times a day. During summer insert the smaller pot into a larger pot and fill in space with moss or newspaper. When you water the plant include the space between the pots.
  • Hanging baskets make an effective decoration and are great space savers. You can grow herbs, cherry tomatoes and strawberries at eye level.
  • To improve draining add about 25mm of gravel at the base of the pot.
  • Every fortnight give the plants some liquid fertilizer.
  • Apply some compost to add trace elements to container soil.
  • Putting plants where they will receive the best sunlight is ideal. Also, make sure the area has good ventilation. Keep an eye out for insects that can cause harm to your plant.
  • Prepare yourself a calendar and circle the dates for routine tasks.

WINDOW BOX CONTAINERS

Window boxes are great for growing edible flowers. If you choose a window box fill it with a soilless mix. Don’t take soil from your garden as it is likely to contain unwanted insects and the soil is very heavy. You can grow marigolds and other related edible flowers. Most vegetables and plants need 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Keep up the moisture and add organic ingredients like fish emulsion or manure. Even liquid seaweed is a good option.

SUPPORTING YOUR PLANTS

If you are growing vegetables that climb then adding supports is a must. Climbing plants can have a variety of supports such as stakes, netting, trellis or cages.

Insert your supports at the same time as you plant.

Plan your vegetable layout first. Plants that climb are ideal for plants that grow low. The climbers can climb up a trellis, whilst the low growers spread at the base. This is a good arrangement as you will reduce the space for weeds to grow.

Mix quick-maturing plants, such as lettuce or radishes, with longer-growing ones, like tomatoes or broccoli.

Group plants with similar needs for sun and water, such as pole beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and beets, tomatoes, basil, and onions, and peas and carrots.

Here is a list of 10 herbs to grow together in a container.

WHAT ARE THE BEST CONTAINERS FOR VEGETABLES

Below is a shortlist of vegetables that are container friendly and which container types are most suitable for each vegie.

Beans, snap
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Bush Blue Lake, Bush Romano, Tender Crop

Broccoli
Container: 1 plant =20-litre pot, 3 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: DeCicco, Green Comet

Carrots
Container: 20-litre window box at least 30cm deep
Varieties: Danvers Half Long, Short ‘n Sweet, Tiny Sweet

Cucumbers
Container: 1 plant = 4-litre pot
Varieties: ‘Patio Pik’, ‘Pot Luck’, ‘Spacemaster’

Eggplant
Container: 20-litre pot
Varieties: Black Beauty, Ichiban, Slim Jim

Lettuce
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Ruby, Salad Bowl

Onions
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: ‘White Sweet Spanish’, ‘Yellow Sweet Spanish’

Peppers
Container: 1 plant = 7-litre pot, 5 plants = 60-litre tub
Varieties: Cayenne, Long Red, Sweet Banana, Wonder, Yolo

Radishes
Container: 20-litre window box
Varieties: Cherry Belle, Icicle

Tomatoes
Container: Bushel basket
Varieties: Early Girl, Patio, Small Fry, Sweet 100, Tiny Tim

RELATED ARTICLES

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 5

High pressure cleaning

Part 5. High Pressure Clean Old Surfaces

Clean surfaces that look as good as new is important because nothing says neglect like a dirty looking house. No matter what kind of home you have, it will always look cared for if it is kept clean. Pressure cleaners are a great way to remove things like dirt, mildew, and oil from a variety of surfaces to make them look clean and like new again. Over a weekend it’s perfectly achievable to hire a high-pressure water cleaner and tackle surfaces like:

  • Courtyard pavers
  • Outdoor decks
  • Driveways and garage floors
  • The grout in between bricks and outdoor tiles

Make sure you do plenty of research so you know exactly what attachments, water pressure and detergents you will need for different surfaces. This is important as you don’t want to end up causing any damage to your home. Of course, if your budget allows, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. An average cost is around $150-$250 for anywhere up to 40 square metres.

A neglected garden lowers your home’s value by somewhere between 5-15%.

Browse our other blogs on cleaning –

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 4

Renew outdoor living areas

Part 4. Renew your outdoor living areas

Each space in your home should be comfortable, easy on the eye and functional. Yes, even your outdoor spaces. Whether you’re selling or not, a beautiful outdoor space that functions as an extended living area or room will add instant value to your home.

You can:

  • Stain and polish tired outdoor furniture
  • Use decorative accents like outdoor cushions, colourful pots and lanterns
  • Plant trees that provide shade, screening, privacy and calm
  • Install windsails
  • Install a budget deck – if you’re really handy on the tools, you can even do this yourself
  • Refinish an existing deck

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 3

Creating an illusion of space

Part 3 – Focus on areas that increase ‘perceived value’

A big part of adding value to a home when you’re selling is increasing the ‘perceived value’ of a space. This includes things like home styling and creating the look of a lifestyle that people want to be a part of. That’s why when you do decide to sell your property, the approach should be more like a business proposition than an emotional one. If you’re not quite ready to sell, but want to plant the seeds for building this kind of value when you do sell, there are a few things you can do.

Create the illusion of space
This means lighter walls, lighter flooring colours, mirrors, plenty of light, and arranging furniture in a way that doesn’t overpower a room.

Tackle your home’s curb appeal
There’s no denying the fact that curb appeal is important when you’re trying to get buyers through the door. It’s just as important to homeowners when you are happy to stay put. How your home looks on the outside impacts how people perceive the inside, so it’s a good idea to make a great first impression. You can:

  • Paint fencing, railings or your front door
  • Replace letter boxes or hardware
  • Utilise garden lighting around paths, against fencing or tall trees and shrubs
  • Install container or window boxes and fill with colourful perennials
  • Clean, paint or replace guttering

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

6 Easy Ways To Add Instant Value To Your Home Part 2

Updating to a modern kitchen

Part 2 – Update your kitchen

It goes without saying that the kitchen is the hub and heart of the home. There is plenty of truth to the saying that a great kitchen will sell a home, so updating it will undoubtedly add the most value to your property. But what if you don’t have the time nor budget for a complete kitchen overhaul? Luckily you breathe new life into this space without sacrificing your sanity or your bank account. Here are some ideas and options:

Vinyl flooring: For an easy update, you can consider budget flooring materials such as vinyl. It is stain and scratch-resistant, and also has a cushiony feeling underfoot. Because of this, it is widely touted as being a safer option for families with young children. Even though vinyl can be bought and installed on a budget, it doesn’t need to look cheap. Thankfully technology has gifted us with vinyl sheets and tiles that look convincingly like more expensive materials such as wood and stone – and at the fraction of the price.

Update tired benchtops: If your benchtops look a little worse for wear, an easy and budget-friendly option is laminate. It is still one of the most popular materials across the country due to its wide range of colours, patterns and finishes that mimic more ‘luxury’ materials.

Paint wooden cabinetry: If your cabinetry needs an update it might be a candidate for painting. If you’re not sure whether your cabinetry is okay to paint, you can remove one of the doors and take it down to your local hardware store or paint shop and consult someone who has more expertise.

Our 6 Part Series Index: –

Thinking of Selling? In this climate, the agent you chose is more important than ever.

If you’re looking to sell your home, our agents will be able to advise you on what areas of your home you should focus on before listing your property for sale.

What Is The Right Carpet For Your Home

Carpet for a home

How to select the right carpet for your house

Interior design is always a tough decision when selecting furniture and fittings for your home. Everyone has a different taste, therefore, everyone will have a different perspective on what is appealing. Then you have to have an imagination on how all these furnishings will look once you have finished decorating. Carpet is no different.
What type of carpet for a house
The first thing you need to do is determine which quality of carpet you want. Typically there are 2 types of carpet. Wool and SDN which is solution dyed nylon. What is the difference between these 2 types of carpet?

WOOL versus SDN
Both of these carpets feel good under your feet. Both are long-wearing and have stain retardant qualities. The one advantage SDN carpet has is its ability to hold its colour over a longer period of time when exposed to sunlight. However, wool is what they scientifically call hypoallergenic. This means it is resistant to fire and call also regulate moisture. Therefore creating a warm, dry and healthy environment.

CARPET SHOWROOMS
There are carpet showrooms that stage different rooms of a house that can give you a good idea of what styles and colours will suit your home. Or, you can visit mega stores like IKEA and see how they have staged their showrooms.
Once you choose the carpet make you want then by default you will eliminate half of the carpets when you go to a showroom.

When choosing a carpet you need to imagine the following.

    • Will the carpet texture and colour match the colour of your walls.
    • Will the carpet blend in with the furnishings.
    • What type of traffic is going to be walking on the carpet

When you are picking out your carpet see how it looks under natural and artificial lighting. Darker colours will give the appearance of the room appearing smaller. Lighter colours will make the room feel more spacious.

MARRIAGE OF TASTES
Finally, you have to be flexible when making a joint decision. Remember everyone sees things differently. Neither is right or wrong. This is why it helps to visit showrooms.

ORDER CARPET SAMPLES
If you want to see some samples of carpet then there are a number of carpet sellers that will send to you samples.
Cavalier Bremworth

Creating Your Own Terrarium Indoor Garden

What is a Terrarium?

A terrarium is a grouping of little, decorative plants that grow in a sealed container. These containers are typically made from glass and can be jars or wherever your imagination leads you. The appeal of glass is that it is transparent and you can see the whole landscape of the plants as they grow within their own eco-system. The plants and the soil in the terrarium release water vapour – essentially recycling water. Terrariums are self-nourishing, which is why they require little maintenance if sealed.

Supplies you need for your Terrarium

DIY Terrarium

  • Glass containers with or without tops. You’ll need some sort of glass vessel to create your terrarium. There are plenty of unique containers from which to choose. Just make sure that the vessel is made of a transparent material so you can enjoy your mini-garden.
  • Gravel, pebbles, sea glass or beach stones. Small stones or pebbles will be used as the base of your terrarium. The small pebbles act as water drainage for the plants’ roots to ensure that excess water doesn’t stay in the soil and cause rot.
  • Activated charcoal (found at a nursery or pet supply store). You won’t need much; a thin layer of activated charcoal keeps water fresh and helps to fight off bacterial growth in your terrarium.
  • Terrarium plants. It wouldn’t be a terrarium without the greenery. Pick out a few of your favourite pint-sized plants to use in your terrarium. Air plants, succulents and mini-cacti are all viable options. See our complete list of recommended terrarium plants below.
  • Sterile potting mix. Potting soil will act as an important layer for your DIY terrarium. Any type of soil should do the trick, although there are special mixes available if you’re planting cacti or succulents.
  • Optional: Moss, decorative elements.

Best Terrarium Plants

There are multiple plants you can choose to grow in your Terrarium. The 2 major factors to consider when choosing your plants are they need to be small and thrive in a humid environment. Although succulents and cacti aren’t humidity’s biggest fans, you can compensate by using a glass container with a slight opening

Five Terrarium Plant suggestions.

  1. Air plant Tillandsia stricta
  2. Assorted succulents and cacti from Bunnings
  3. Maidenhair fern Adiantum raddianum
  4. Starfish plant Cypthathus bivittatus
  5. Starfish Flower Cactus prefers humidity

How to build your Terrarium

Once you have found your container or containers you will need to set the foundations to help sustain and promote plant growth. Drainage is essential to having a healthy Terrarium. So, using our image as a rough guide –

  • Fill the bottom quarter of your container with the small pebbles.
  • Add about 1cm of charcoal. This absorbs any excess water.
  • You can add some larger stones if you want.
  • Pour in about 3cm of the potting soil.
  • Add your plants

There are a number of ways you can create your terrarium. They are a few techniques that work effectively. Pick what best suits you. Go to YouTube and you can many examples of creating a terrarium.

How to maintain your Terrarium

  • Be sure to lightly water the base every two weeks or once the soil looks like it has dried out.
  • You should also display your terrarium in an area that receives a lot of bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Succulents are sensitive to temperature change – many will actually bloom in a cool, dry period.
  • The plants’ growth is in spring and summer so water if the soil is dry.
  • In autumn and winter water if necessary but don’t overdo it.
  • Use a light, gentle formula once a month to fertilise.
  • Keep the inside environment of your container as clean as possible. Only wipe with natural ingredients.

Top 8 Bathroom Trends for 2020

Bathroom trends 2020

Bathroom Ideas for the Designer and Renovator

1. His and her Private Vanity Mirror Divider
A practical and very popular decor choice in many bathrooms as two sinks are better than one. With a double vanity set up, two people can easily prep and use the same bathroom without any fuss as there is ample space for both them and their items. The mirror being the important centrepiece, your focus should be on that first-make it as elegant and stylish as you desire and your vanities will only help to accentuate that feeling. This is also popular as it makes your vanity the primary focus of your bathroom, giving you some flexibility in how the rest of your items are placed as everything else is more of an accent to your double sinks and your mirror.

2. Matte FixturesBathroom matte finishes
An increasingly popular trend, matte black is a bold and powerful colour, easily striking and visibly noticeable. The demand for matte finished countertops, sinks, cabinets, bathtubs even ceilings are on the rise and it doesn’t seem to be diminishing anytime soon. With matte finishes, dirt and dust are not visible and the material is not easily permeable. So consider matte black if you want to give your bathroom a modern look that won’t easily be forgotten.

3. Water Efficient Toilets
With water usage being a concern not only for the environment but for your wallet, water-efficient toilets are on the rise. Although the water bill savings is approximately 15-20 dollars a year, it is recommended to get a water-efficient toilet if you are installing a new toilet as in the long run, you are reducing the total amount of water used, which will greatly affect both your water and sewage bill through the years.

4. Plants to Accent Bathroom Color
For many people, a bathroom is an oppressive place. Full of stone, tile and steel, it can be quite drab at times. Fortunately, you can easily throw in a touch of green to make things much more appealing. Even just a small plant on the countertop can make the area more vibrant and alive. Also, in addition to helping your mental view of your own bathroom, many plants actually grow better in your bathroom due to the low light, high humidity and general warmth that a bathroom typically has. So experiment, throw in an orchid or two, or perhaps some pothos to add some air-purifying strength to your bathroom or even something as simple as a basil plant can do wonders for your space.

5.Hidden Storage
A very popular trend with very practical applications as space and storage is always a premium in any bathroom. The concept is taking an existing item in your bathroom, ie, your cabinets, vanities, shelves and applying another storage area within it. Your vanity, for instance, you can add small specialized compartments to the existing drawers inside for more personal items that won’t mix with your other bathroom items. Your shower curtains can be fitted mesh space organizers, giving you easy access to your soaps and shampoos while saving space and being well hidden from sight. Hidden pull Out stools is another popular addition, giving those in your home with a height disadvantage an easy way to grab items from higher up if necessary.Hidden storage space bathroom

6. Sound System-Music
Music is always a welcome addition, but for some of us, it is often a necessity for relaxation and de-stress. Adding just a few small speakers in localized areas around your bathroom can create a calming and relaxing environment for a long, relaxing bath or even make your showers more invigorating. There are quite a number of waterproof speakers on the market for very affordable prices, so if you feel your showers are missing something, perhaps try adding some music into the mix.

7. Freestanding bathtubs and sinks
A bathroom classic that doesn’t go out of style and it’s quite easy to see why as they match any bathroom decor with ease whether you want a more modern look of stone resin or something more classic like clawfoot or copper. Though they may appear pricey, both freestanding bathtubs and sinks will increase the value of your home as well as retain their value through the test of time.

8. Minimalistic Luxury 
Home bathroom trends are increasingly beginning to emulate styles seen at boutique hotels and luxury spas. Inspiring a calming mood and retreat-style luxuriousness, the trend promises both personality and timelessness.
The less-is-more take on a luxe bathroom calls for pared-back palettes and statement finishes. Opt for freestanding vanities and bathtubs that promise longevity, and add a five-star finish with beautiful tapware. Keep the main colour scheme simple and allow elegant tapware to shine. Phoenix Tapware’s Vivid and Vivid Slimline range offers a wide variety of combinations, ensuring every bathroom style can achieve the look.