Tips for a Small Business Owner to Finance Home Improvement


If you are a small business owner, you do enjoy a number of amazing benefits. For example, very few things in live compare to starting a small business enterprise and seeing it succeed.

image source: here

Despite the positive elements associated with being an entrepreneur and owing a small business, there are some drawbacks as well. One area in which you potentially can face some challenges is in the realm of obtaining certain types of personal financing. For example, you may be concerned about obtaining a loan to finance a home improvement project.

The Dilemma of No Regular Paycheck

One issue faced by some small business owners is that they lack a regular paycheck. Some small business owners put money in their own pockets when they feel their businesses can afford to pay out in this manner. In addition, there are small business owners that adopt a strategy of compensation taken in ways that legally avoid payroll related taxes.

While these strategies can make sense when it comes to the finances of a small business, and oftentimes even for the owner of a venture, they are not without drawbacks. Nearly always when a personal loan of some type is sough, verifying income is crucial. More often than not, when it comes to verifying income, a lender will have laser focus on a loan applicant’s wage or salary. If you are in this type of situation, and seek a home improvement loan, you can get caught in a dilemma.

You can workaround this type of issue by being proactive and engaging in advance planning. You can pull together verifiable financial information that can support your application for a home improvement loan of some type when you do not necessarily have firm record of regular paychecks.

The More Equity in Your Home, the Better

Another strategy that will enhance your prospects of getting a home improvement loan as a small business owner is approaching a lender with a decent amount of equity in your home. Although the housing market is strong across the country today, there is speculation that housing prices in some locales are inflated.

With this in mind, if you have a decent amount of equity in your home, you definitely will improve your prospects with a lender. The level of equity in your residence needs to not only cover the proposed loan but leave breathing room to cover housing market gyrations that could bring the appraised value of your home downward.

Do Not Pledge Business Assets

A kneejerk reaction to solving the self-employed, small business owner obtaining personal financial dilemma for some people is to try and pledge business assets to support a loan application. A lender certainly may be willing to accept this type of security. However, you should not take this step.

There are a number of important reasons to keep the affairs of your business separate from those of your business. This is the case even if you are the sole owner of your enterprise.

An area that you may not immediately recognize is the fact that pledging business assets for a personal project can cause issues down the road should your business be sued. If you are like most small business owners, you likely have utilized a legal structure for your business, something like a limited liability company.

One of the key reasons you have set up a separate business entity is to protect your personal assets from the reach of creditors, including people who might obtain a judgement against your business. The moment you do something like pledging business assets for a personal loan, you may defeat the wall of separation that previously existed between your business and your personal assets. A creditor, including a judgment creditor, may be put in a position of being able to go after your personal assets, not just those associated with your business.

Local Lenders May be More Amenable to Lending to You

A smaller, local lender may be more apt to provide you a home improvement loan if you are a small business owner. In other words, you should not just focus your sights on obtaining home improvement financing from a major bank.

As an aside, even though you should not pledge business assets to secure a home improvement loan, if you have obtained financing for your business from a particular lender, consider reaching out to that lender if you need personal financing for a home improvement project. A positive track record with a lender on the part of your business efforts may make the lender more interested in extending a personal loan to you.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for, where you can get personal checks and business checks.

Summery vibes: 5 great seasonal ideas for your patio and balcony



Summer is finally here so why not make of the most of the sun’s rays while it lasts! Even if you don’t have the chance to have a garden, it’s easy enough to bring a fresh air of vacation into your home, thanks to a few accessories for your patio, veranda or balcony. From Edinburgh to London, open those windows and let the shine comes in with our selection of trendy looks for your home decor. Create a space where you will be able to relax and enjoy the sun, on your own or with a few guests for an alfresco dinner party.

  1. Cane all over everything

Cane chairs and other accessories are super on trend right now. They’re especially perfect for summer use as cane is a material that is well suited to indoor as well as outdoor use. This material brings a touch of nature and warmth to your home decor, perfect to welcome the summer months, in the form of a carpet, sofa and ottoman chair. They’re great paired with patterned fabric and other natural materials.

  1. Light garlands for a little bit of magic

Garlands are sure to transform your patio in the long summer evenings: left to hang along a wall, in trees and plants, it will bring a cosy atmosphere to your patio with minimal effort and budget.

  1. Into the forest

Plants can really help to liven up an outdoor area – they look especially great when paired up with dark woods and stone materials. Busy homeowners and gardeners should opt for low-maintenance outdoor plants like yarrow, agave and portulaca. Cactuses too will look great outside and do not require any water: they’re also very much on trend and you will be able to take them in in the colder months.

  1. Graphic patterns all over everything

Graphic patterns are great to add a touch of colour to your patio or to dynamise a small outdoor space without having to splash the cash. Look out for printed cotton carpets, cushion covers and blankets in your favorite home decor stores to recreate a bohemian terrace look, perfect for summer.

  1. Aromatic herbs and stylish planters

Get over your lack of gardening space with an aromatic planter in your very own terrace and recreate your urban garden. You can get some stylish planters in various materials such as wood for a vintage sunday market vibe, ceramics and even in creative upcycled metal tins.

Not only will it bring a touch of green to your space, but it will also enable you to liven up those summer salads in style with your very own production of coriander, basilic, thyme and parsley. Yummy!


Rio 2016 and beyond: 4 architecturally beautiful Olympic stadiums


From the extravaganza of the opening ceremonies to the patriotic designs of team uniforms, art is an integral part of the Olympic spectacle. And the most obvious artistic element is the architecture of the stadiums.

But hosting the Games and creating the necessary infrastructure is no mean feat. Olympic villages, multiple event stadiums, walkways, parking – the construction work involved is massive, and can sometimes detract from the creative design at the heart of the project.

With so much media exposure on building failures, the artistic integrity and architectural worth of completed Olympic parks is far too often overlooked. The Rio 2016 Games were no exception to this – proposed as a model of sustainability, debates on the success of its green endeavours are ongoing.

The reality is that from a design perspective the Rio park had a lot to offer. Starting with this most recent offering, we’ve highlighted four of the most architecturally beautiful Olympic stadiums.

Barra Olympic Park, Rio, 2016

In terms of artistic merit, the most striking feature of the Barra Olympic Park in Rio is the snaking pathway inspired by the natural lines of Copacabana beach.

Barra Olympic Park, Rio, 2016
Barra Olympic Park, Rio, 2016

When it comes to the stadiums and buildings, most were designed with sustainability in mind and are due to be dismantled following the end of the Games. The handball arena is the standout green architectural element – sections will go on to form key structural components of four state schools, making this an example of recycling at a massive level.

Olympiastadion, Munich, 1972

Outdoor mezzanines are a common feature of many sporting stadiums, blending inside with outside and providing extra seating. But Munich’s sprawling Olympiastadion takes this idea one step further.

Olympiastadion, Munich, 1972
Olympiastadion, Munich, 1972

Designed to embrace its surroundings, the tent-like canopy of acrylic glass drapes over the arena and fades into the landscape. The overall look is organic and simple, but the technique behind this unique roofing method was ground-breaking at the time.

National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, 2008

Like a set from a science fiction film, the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing is a perfect mix of the modern and magical when it’s illuminated. The exterior is intricately constructed from thousands of ETFE pieces of varying sizes, creating a scale-like pattern reminiscent of bubbly water.

National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, 2008
National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, 2008

A unique blend of aesthetics and function, the geometrical effect might be visually stunning but the environmentally friendly material used also increased the energy efficiency of the building.

Montreal Olympic Park, Canada, 1976

The stadium in the Montreal Olympic Park may be best known for running behind on completion – incurring massive costs in the process – but it’s also a stunningly designed monument.

Montreal Olympic Park, Canada, 1976
Montreal Olympic Park, Canada, 1976

Embracing organic lines and a natural shape, its most dominant feature is the inclined Montreal tower which offers panoramic views from the top. It’s a true feat of engineering, and still attracts plenty of visitors 40 years later.

Do you agree with our list of the most architecturally beautiful Olympic stadiums? Leave a comment and let us know.

Great Exterior Renovations That Can Improve the Value of Your Home


With house prices rising all over Australia, there’s never been a better time to capitalize on your own investment. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home for a number of years, an exterior renovation is a low-risk solution to keep pace with the property boom and add a stylish touch to your house.

From verandahs and patios to carports and courtyards, exterior renovations come in all shapes and sizes, with a huge range of customisable styles to choose from. If you need help selecting a suitable outdoor renovation, the following options are sure to increase your property’s value and style!

Custom Carports

For homeowners in search of an exterior renovation that won’t break the bank, building a carport is an affordable option. Not only will a carport increase the value of your home, but sheltering your vehicle from the elements can significantly prolong its lifespan. The only tricky part with building a carport is finding a style that won’t look out of place with your home’s exterior. Rather than trying to find a solution yourself, look to outdoor building companies such as Altec for custom designs that can be matched to your existing look and Colorbond roofing.

Exterior Renovations

Add Value with a Verandah  

This classic outdoor addition will have real estate agents seeing dollar signs. Ideal for 2-story homes, it’s not hard to see why verandahs are such a popular option when it comes to exterior renovations. Whether you want a wraparound design for 360⁰ views or a less expansive style, verandahs offer a sheltered and comfortable space for entertaining, relaxing and dining outdoors. In addition to being highly practical, adding a verandah can completely overhaul your home’s exterior and take it from unremarkable to eye-catching.

Deck Addition

Many potential homebuyers list a deck as an essential feature of their dream house, making it an obvious renovation choice for anyone trying to boost the price of their property. As one of the simplest ways to add extra floor space to your house, building a deck can enhance your lifestyle and the value of your investment. One of the best things about a deck is the way it offers a smooth transition from the inside of the house to the outdoors, providing the perfect space for alfresco entertaining.

Regardless of which of these exterior renovations you think would work best with your property, always seek out the advice of a professional builder before making any alterations. Outdoor additions are tightly regulated by building codes and council laws, and it’s crucial to confirm before starting that you actually have permission to undergo renovations.

5 Must Haves for Compact Living


Tiny houses are popular today. They are popping up around the country as more people decide to downsize their home and their lives. Some may think it means sacrificing convenience, those who already did actually discovered that compact living leads to simpler yet fuller life with lots of opportunities for connecting with family and friends. Then of course, we cannot deny the fact that trying to fit in everything in a very small space can be a pain in the backside. Keeping a tiny home organized takes effort, but it is very possible. Here are five clever ideas to do it.

  1. Minimum technology

TV, desktop computer, loud speaker, radios, alarm clock, and so on – too much tech can make any home look crowded, let alone a small one. So, try to get rid of those you can. If you must a personal computer and TV, go for all-in-one PCs.


  1. Adaptable and space-saving furniture

For small home dwellers, clever storage and functional furniture are essential. They can help you make the most of every square footage in your home. A sofa can provide storage for stuff, a desk can become dining table, folding chairs can provide more space after each use.

  1. Clever Storage

When it comes to storage, you can be as creative as you want. You can use all vertical and horizontal spaces you can — doorways, toilets, radiators, underneath beds, coffee tables, even stairs!

  1. Shelf dividers inserts

Shelf inserts make cabinet and closet organization a breeze. They can give you more storage places for glasses, bowls, jars, shoes, and so on.


  1. A lot of white color

White paint is great for small home spaces. They light up nooks and crannies, they create an illusion of space. Of course, you can pick any color you like, but stick to monochromatic scheme to keep your space looking neat.


4 Easy ways to instantly transform the look of a room


A few years ago, you were in love with hippie-inspired interior décor, or perhaps your home could best be described as post-college. But now you’re in the mood for something a little more elegant without having to overhaul your entire interior. Luckily, dramatically transforming the entire look and atmosphere of a room can be done in one easy step, whether through the use of dramatic rugs, elegant lighting or designer prints. Here are some suggestions.

Use rugs to give your room a pop of colour and texture

A well-chosen rug can really alter the look of a room without forcing you to rearrange furniture. Play around with textures and colours to produce your desired effect. For instance, a sheepskin rug can soften harsh corners, while a bold patterned rug can transform a drab interior into one that’s more eye-catching. If you’ve got a large space that looks a little too bare, covering the floors with a big rug can turn it from blah to wow.

Neverending Glory
Neverending Glory

Illuminate your surroundings with elegant lighting

You might not want to change any of your furniture or have no space for new pieces, but that doesn’t matter when you’re installing lighting, which usually does not take up much space. Elegant lighting can turn an otherwise plain room into one that’s got that je ne sais quoi.

If you’re going for a more regal look, a classic chandelier will make it seem like Marie Antoinette just popped by. Giant pendulum floor lamps are also very popular in the living rooms of the stylish and fabulous, and it’s not hard to see why—the dramatic curves make you feel like you’re in an upscale resort. Check out some gorgeous examples of elegant lighting at 

Dress up the walls with sophisticated photos and prints

The pictures you hang on your walls speak volumes about the kind of person you are, your passions and your style sensibilities. You might have plastered your walls with posters when you were in college, but just because you’re all grown up now doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to bare walls. Designer prints and pictures taken by a great photographer can dress up your walls and change the tone of your space completely. Thanks to the Internet, it is now possible to order prints from artists located all over the globe. Don’t limit yourself to photography. Many artists create works of art with typography, while vintage maps, designer gift wrap and even sheet music all have their place in certain kinds of homes.


If you’ve lived in your present home for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve fallen victim to clutter, which can destroy even the most carefully designed interior. Decluttering makes your home a cleaner, more comfortable place to be in, and also reminds you why you fell in love with your home in the first place. When throwing things out, be ruthless—if it’s something you haven’t used or even laid eyes on in more than a year, it’s probably safe to throw out. Donate unwanted items to charity or get rid of them at a yard sale or on eBay, so someone who needs them more can enjoy them. You might feel reluctant to throw things out at first, but once you’ve done the deed you’ll see just how liberating it can be to be free of the deadweight and, most importantly, to be able to enjoy your home the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

How to Arrange a Small Bedroom?


Whether you want it to be darkly cozy or alive with bright colors, decors can greatly help in designing a small bedroom. Plus, you don’t need to spend that much as there are practical ways to get the bedroom you’ve always wanted. How?

Use Smart Storage


With limited space, every inch can be turned into storage. Yes, you can maximize the area under the bed with the usual beddings stashed, but there are other nooks in your bedroom which can be transformed into storage too. Some ideas include:

  • Replace your bedside table with a chest to double as a drawer too.
  • Hang your books in the wall or some boxes with your favorite stuff.
  • An ottoman or a lounge chair can also serve as extra bedding when placed at the foot of the bed.
  • The bed will take up most of your room’s area so redefining it with added blocks on the bed frame can host a set of luggage under.

Make the Right Choice of Bed

Even if your dream nest is to have the biggest bed possible, doing so will only cramp space. Keep it open instead such as getting an iron bed with a footboard and headboard that’s see-through. You can also opt for a storage bed for an open feel while saving on space.

maxresdefault (1)

Decorate Properly

Of course, a small bedroom would do way better if decorated properly. If you want your personality to shine through, put up your favorite artwork. Simple framed photos will do as well with a color palette that complements the whole room. You can also go for unique lighting and table lamps. Make a bold statement by using an interesting headboard such as those with curvy or tall designs. As a personal space, keep in mind to decorate it with what makes you relaxed and happy the most.

Spruce Up Your Home With Simple Staging Tips


When the vast majority of realtors tell you that home staging is essential for buyers to visualize their future in your home, you really have to listen. They know from experience exactly what works best. But what does it entail? Staging is the simple but effective process of cleaning, rearranging, and updating your home in small ways that can make a huge difference in perception.

Staging is all about the details, subtle things you might not consider. Furniture placement, cabinetry surfacing, and wall paint changes are some of the most obvious ways to spruce up your home, but there are many more ideas both large and small that will transform the way your home appears to potential buyers.

Whether you’re currently looking to sell your home or not, keeping this mindset is a great way to ensure that it always looks its best. When potential buyers enter your home, they see a welcoming space they can project themselves into, a clean slate where the future will be written.

Here’s a interesting infographic by on Home Staging:

Home Staging
Home Staging

Practical and Aesthetic Decorating with a Touch of Nature for Your Home


In this modern age when urbanization is taking over spaces supposedly meant for nature, it’s just wise to bring natural elements into our home. Besides, there are so many benefits when you consider nature as part of your home decorating theme. On the aesthetic side, a sight of oasis in the comfort of home is definitely a great beauty to behold. On the practical aspect, the nature theme encourages an air of relaxation and calm, ideal for urban dwellers frequently exposed to the many stresses of modern life.

Here are some excellent ideas to give your home a touch of nature whether you’re aiming for practicality, beauty or both.

A Mini Farm on Your Window.


Who says bringing nature into homes can only be done by those living in huge houses? Even small-spaced apartment dwellers can have their own farm by the windows! For those who are into sustainable lifestyle, window farming is a common trend. They utilize the concept of hydroponics gardening to turn ordinary plastic bottles into great gardens hanging by the windows. The most exciting about this system is that you can grow food such as cherry tomatoes, lettuces and a wide range of herbs. You don’t just get a wonderful window adornment; you also get to eat the fruits of your labor.

A Panoramic View of Nature.

If bringing nature into your house is not an option but you have a beautifully landscaped garden, consider having glass panes around your home or at least the areas where you can view the picturesque sight. Floor-to-ceiling glass panes are also great to have when you’re living by the beach or the mountain. Aside from the wonderful view, you can also benefit from the huge amount of sunlight that comes into your home, reducing the need for you to turn on any artificial light for most of the day.

beach view

A Magnificent Waterfall.

If you’re blessed with vast space and a multi-storey home, consider assembling waterfalls inside your house that span across various levels. Make sure to add the necessary fences or railings to avoid accidents. Aside from the aesthetic appeal this massive water feature provides, it can also serve as an air cooling mechanism for your entire home; and thus, reducing your energy bills in the process.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a small hut or a large mansion. As long as you love nature, you will definitely find many ways to add the natural elements of Mother Earth into your dwelling.