Home Design

Top Kitchen Trends of 2021

Renovating kitchens is an exciting undertaking, but it can also be incredibly stressful. You want your kitchen to suit today’s trends, but you also want it to suit the trends of years ahead. After all, no one wants to be carrying out kitchen renovations more often than they need to.

Fortunately, the following top kitchen trends of 2021 are those that will likely continue leading the way in the years to come.

Introducing Curves

In decades past, curves were a common theme throughout most homes. If you didn’t see them in a kitchen, you would more than likely see them in a living room or even a bathroom. However, they have come back – and in a big way.

Rather than opt for rectangular island bars for extra bench and dining space, homeowners are choosing to add a curved end. The slight curvature allows for even more bench space as well as an exciting aesthetic appeal.

Natural Colours and Materials

Homeowners went through a phase of opting for contrasting blacks and whites. While those colours remain popular today, there is now room in the market for a new theme: natural.

Raw and matte finishes are becoming increasingly sought-after, with homeowners introducing greens, greys, and other earthy hues. They then pair them with wooden floors, nature-themed pendant lighting, and cabinetry with subtle colouring.


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5 Key Landscape Design Principles For Beginners
Landscape Design

5 Key Landscape Design Principles For Beginners

Like any other talent, being able to create an amazing landscape design requires a significant amount of skill and imagination. That being said, proper landscape design is not just a case of someone looking at a blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen and randomly inserting plants, walkways, a lawn, and some garden furniture.

If a landscape design is going to work it needs to follow some simple, but essential principles. That does not mean to say that a landscape designers, even those who are beginners,  cannot apply their own inspirational ideas to the design but it at least needs to have some level of order and logic to it.

As such, outlined below are the 5 principles which we believe you should apply to any landscape design, especially if you are a beginner, and are starting out on your very first one.

#1 Determine What Your Overall Goal Is

The first stage in any plan, including landscape design, is to initially establish what it is you want to achieve from it – whether it be a pool restoration or a new outdoor kitchen. By knowing that you can then implement and add elements within your design that will help to achieve your goals for the area you are designing for. You do not necessarily have to start the design but rather makes notes about how you would want it to look and possibly what ambience you would like to create.


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Weeding Your Garden Like A Professional

Weeding Your Garden Like A Professional

From the day that you first realised you enjoyed gardening until today, whether that has meant you have been tending a small garden, or have gone on to larger landscaping projects, there will be one task that you share with every other gardener on the planet. That task is weeding, and no matter how large or how small a garden is, and whether it is landscaped or not, weeds can appear at any time.

Although it is part and parcel of every garden, it does seem to be one of the things that many gardeners hate to do, and it is also the source of more complaints by gardeners than any other. Look on any gardening forum or Facebook group and you will see countless posts about those ‘XXXX weeds’. You can add your own favourite expletive where the ‘Xs’ are

Why weeds would cause so many negative thoughts and words from gardeners only each of them will know themselves. Our guess would be is that it may seem to some like something that never gets completed. as no matter how many weeds are removed, there always seems to be some more that come along to take their place.

So, whether you hate weeding, or if it seems more difficult than it should be, here some quick tips to make the weeding that you do in your garden more effective, and the results more prolonged.

#1 Know The Weeds You Have

Not every weed is benign to humans and some of them can be positively nasty if you touch them. Others serve as the habitat for certain species of insect that have a positive impact on your garden.  So, before you go ripping up every weed you see, make sure you are able to identify those weeds which you definitely want rid of and those which, unless they are actually causing any harm to your plants, can be left alone.


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Professional Landscapers

Why Should I Use Professional Landscapers?

Have you ever wondered if there’s actually any real value associated with using professional landscapers? As professional landscaper designers, we have to admit that, at times in the past, we have. After all, can’t anyone with a few tools and a little bit of handyman experience redevelop a garden?

Fortunately, we’ve come to see the error of our ways, and now we recommend finding a professional landscaper for all but the smallest, simplest jobs. Really, it’s that much easier, and it will save you time, money and an awful lot of frustration. Trust us!

Below we’ve outlined a few of our top reasons why you should always use professional landscapers. Still not convinced? Speak with your local landscaping contractor and we think you will be!

  1. They Know What They’re Doing

For starters, professional landscapers know exactly what they’re doing and how to do it. It doesn’t matter exactly what you need them to do, they will be able to complete the job fast and efficiently without causing you any unnecessary worry.

On the other hand, if you decide to do things yourself, you will probably find that you run into all sorts of problems, especially if you’re not a very handy person. It’s simply not worth the trouble!


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Planting Tips
Landscape Design

Planting Tips Around Your Pool And Lawns

Sprucing up your poolside and lawn with an aesthetic garden that blends into the landscape can be a visual treat and is a popular garden and is in the top pool trends of 2019. However you need to have a good maintenance routine for the different foliage. If you want your poolside garden and lawn to provide a pleasant and natural ambience you will need careful planning not only for design and architecture but also the know-how on the type of plants best suited for your location.

When you’re in Australia, a landscape design professional will tell you that having a garden surrounding a pool or grown on your lawn can be challenging. Here are some helpful plantation tips for poolside gardens and lawns.

Planning a poolside garden

  • A good poolside garden requires planning. Identify area for your plantation. Chalk out a map of the entire area where a suitable perimeter should be left vacant as a walk way around the pool. Fence in the area of your garden with good quality fencing that does not obstruct the visual appeal.
  • Large trees should not be planted on one particular side of the pool as this would block out the sun. But if required as per your needs you could do this precisely to provide a shaded area for your pool. The location where your garden will feature the most foliage should be restricted to a place least likely to be frequented by human traffic.
  • Ensure that your garden terrain is structured at slop away from the pool area. This prevents muddy water draining into your pool. A good way to prevent such a problem and lend a natural ambience to your poolside is to have rock border placed alongside the garden.
  • When defining the border of your garden, it should be at least 6 meters away from the edge of the pool to prevent water being splashed continuously on plants. Alternately, this is also to prevent plant debris from falling into the pool.
  • Being a poolside garden, there will be water splashed somehow onto plants, thus when choosing your flora and various trees, those that prefer dry arid conditions should be avoided. Since your living in Australia you should choose plants suitable to Australian conditions.
  • The ideal trees to grow alongside a pool are palm. Palms are very durable trees and do well near water bodies in dry conditions. The roots of palms are relatively small and hence doing not require large areas of soil..


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Flag Pole
Outdoor Living

Adding a Flag Pole to Your Outdoor Space

Creating the perfect outdoor space for your home or business requires a careful combination of hardwork and artistic design. There is a whole range of different features that you could add to your outdoor space to improve it, including things like outdoor dining areas, barbecues and flagpoles.

Although many people wouldn’t even think about adding one to their back – or front – yard, flagpoles can actually make a great addition to your landscaping design. They offer a huge range of benefits, and can really compliment other features of your yard. Think about the following 4 reasons why you should consider adding a flagpole to your yard:

  1. Flagpoles can be used to draw the eye

If you want to draw people’s eyes to a certain part of your yard – or indeed, away from a certain area – then the best thing to do is place something large and commanding in their line of sight. Flagpoles are tall, imposing and are great for drawing people’s eyes to certain parts of your garden.

For example, if you’ve got a special garden bed or some sort of feature that you want to make the centerpiece of your garden, then you should consider adding a flagpole nearby so that people naturally look in that direction.

  1. Flagpoles let you display your patriotism

Most people use their flagpole to display their favourite flag. Many people choose to display the flag of their country of origin. If you’re a particularly patriotic person or are simply proud of your heritage, then consider adding a flagpole to your yard so that you can show the world.

  1. Flagpoles can be used for advertising too

If you own or run a small business, then you might choose to use your flagpole as an advertising medium. A lot of people will hang their national flag or the flag of some organisation at the top of their flagpole, followed by a flag advertising their business underneath. However, you don’t necessarily have to do this, and some businesses use their flagpole for the sole purpose of advertising their services.


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Types Of Pool Fences

What Types Of Pool Fences Are Available And How Do I Choose One?

Swimming pool fences come in a range of shapes and sizes, which can make choosing the right one for your home difficult. Glass pool fencing has become increasingly popular in recent times, but other styles remain common.

With this in mind, we’re going to outline the main styles of pool fencing, the benefits and disadvantages of each and a few things we think you should know before you choose a style for your home. The main styles of pool fencing on the market today include:

Frameless Glass Pool Fencing

Frameless glass pool fencing is an extremely attractive option which is becoming common throughout Australia. Frameless glass fences are usually made from tough glass panels which are secured at the bottom with some sort of shiny silver stainless steel fixtures. Although they don’t always look very strong, frameless glass fences are just as secure as other styles when they’re built right.

Frameless glass is a very attractive option if your swimming pool and outdoor entertaining areas are seperate. It allows you to clearly see between the two areas, which makes summer entertaining easier than ever. It is also relatively low maintenance and very easy to clean.


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Retaining Wall
Landscape Design

5 Benefits Of Using Limestone Blocks For Your Retaining Wall

Limestone blocks are one of the most versatile building materials out there. They can be used for everything from retaining walls and fences to stairs and garden beds, and they look great as well. They are also strong and affordable, making them perfect for people who have a tight budget.

One of the most popular uses of limestone blocks is to build strong, durable retaining walls. There are many benefits associated with building retaining walls using limestone blocks. Some of these include:

  1. Limestone Retaining Walls Look Great!

If you’re building retaining walls near your house or in a prominent position, you need them to look good. Limestone is an attractive building material, and retaining walls made with limestone blocks usually look great! Customise the exact style of your wall by choosing the size and type of limestone block you want to use (reconstituted or naturally quarried).

  1. Limestone Retaining Walls Are Easy To Build

If you’re on a bit of tight budget you might want to build your retaining walls by yourself. Limestone blocks let you do this. Although some of the larger sized blocks can weight hundreds of kilograms and need machinery to move, smaller blocks can be manipulated by hand. This makes it very easy to build a basic retaining wall out of limestone blocks.

  1. Limestone Is Strong And Durable

Although not the hardest wearing material under certain conditions, retaining walls made out of limestone blocks will last for a long time. If you use large blocks and make sure that your walls are built well, the chances are that they will well and truly outlive you and your house.


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Wildlife Friendly Landscaping

5 Reasons Why You Should Keep Wildlife In Mind When Landscaping

Sustainable landscaping has become a major consideration for homeowners throughout Australia and the world. One of the best ways to create a sustainable outdoor space is to make it wildlife friendly. Increasing amounts of habitat clearing and fragmentation mean that many species – especially birds – simply don’t have enough places to live.

According to Landscapers Network, wildlife friendly landscaping is simple. Choose native species, avoid chemicals and artificial fertilisers, and encourage wildlife to visit your garden. 5 reasons why you should do this include:

  1. Animals Are Relaxing

Personally, nothing cheers me up more than sitting down for a coffee in the morning and watching the birds go about their business. Simply planting the right species and creating a habitable environment can encourage animals to both live and breed in your garden. This can lead to innumerable opportunities for you to simply sit back, relax and take in the beauty of nature.

  1. Creating Habitat Can Give Species Somewhere To Live

Most native species have significantly reduced habitat range due to land clearing and fragmentation. This means that they can have trouble finding places to both live and breed. Keeping your native species in mind when you’re landscaping can help you develop an outdoor space for these animals to thrive. Think about things like birds, possums and other small mammals.

  1. A Native Garden Is Beautiful

Australian conditions are tough, which means that it can be hard to find plants that are easy to grow and look after. Landscapers working with wildlife in mind will allow you to create a maintenance free garden that requires few chemicals and synthetic fertilisers.

  1. Attracting The Right Animals Can Keep Your Garden Healthy

If you’re smart about the way you landscape your outdoor space, you should be able to significantly reduce the amount of chemicals you have to use. For example, attracting birds can help reduce the risk of insect infestations, while pollinating insects like bees and butterflies can help keep your plants healthy.


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Mystical Garden
Landscape Design

Create Your Own Mystical Garden Today

Designing a new garden or outdoor living area can be an extremely interesting and rewarding process. If you want your own mystical, fairytale garden, then there are a few basic things that you can do. If you are unsure about anything in the following article, then consider consulting experienced landscape architects to help you design your perfect mystical garden.

When it comes to creating an outdoor space with a magical feel, there are a few things that you can do. Ideally, you want to avoid too much synthetic material, and focus on natural beauty. Consider including the following things in your design to create the perfect mystical garden today:

Waterfalls and other water features:

When it comes to creating a mystical feel about an area, waterfalls are a great choice. Try and install a simple waterfall over natural rocks. If possible, plant mosses and ferns around the area, and try and include a small stream that produces the quiet sound of flowing waters.

Ferns, mosses, and other forest plants:

If you really want to go all out and create a magical area, with a colourful landscape design, then you should think about planting a small forest space. Obviously, this will be easier if you already have some large trees in the area, but if not then you can choose quick growing species that will be tall and dominating before too long.


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Improving Your Soil

The Importance of Improving Your Soil While Landscaping

When it comes to landscape design, there are a few things that the average home gardener sometimes forgets about. The most important of these is undoubtedly soil improvement. The best time to improve your soil is when you are landscaping and redesigning your garden. Although it can seem like a waste of time and money, it is extremely important to make sure that you put the effort in to make sure that you are planting your new garden in rich, fertile soil.

After building, soils are often sandy and poor:

If you have built a new house, then you may be tempted to simply design your yard and plant your garden around the soil which is already there – don’t be. The dirt used for housepads is usually very sandy and nutrient poor, which means that there is little to sustain your plants. Add to this the fact that builders rubble is often full of rocks, rubbish, and chemical, and you have plenty of reason to replace it with decent soil.

The easiest time to improve your soil is while landscaping:

Once you have established that you need to improve your soil – in some way shape or form – then you will realise that the best time to do it is when you are redeveloping your garden. This is always the easiest time to remove old, poor quality soil and replace it with better quality, more fertile soil.


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Turf Farms

Keeping your Lawn Disease Free

Lawns can be affected by a wide range of different diseases, some of which can lead to a very scrappy, unhealthy looking lawn. Some diseases can come directly from poor quality turf farms when you buy roll on turf to lay, but many come from other places.

Keeping your lawn disease free can be very difficult, but there are a lot of things that you can do to reduce the chance of fungal diseases affecting your grass and to reduce their effects if they do. Keep reading to learn how to keep your lawn disease free!

What kind of diseases affect lawns?

Most lawn diseases are caused by various funguses which cause your grass to look terrible, to stop growing, and sometimes, to die. Some of the more common fungal diseases affecting residential lawns include:

  • Brown patch
  • Dollar spot
  • Fairy ring
  • Fusarium blight
  • Necrotic ring spot

Some of these diseases will turn your lawn yellow or brown, and others can be identified by the presence of mushrooms or small fungal growths.

How to I reduce the risk of fungal diseases in my lawn?

There are a number of things you can do to keep funguses out of your lawn, including:

Be careful what turf farm you buy from – buying from a poor quality turf farm can mean that your lawn has a fungal problem before you even lay it. This can spread to other, unaffected lawns in the area, and can cause huge problems with neighbours. Buy from a high-quality turf from farms like Carabooda Lawn to make sure that your lawn is disease free when you plant it.

Avoid contamination – Avoid bringing in contaminated dirt from other places, don’t plant things around your lawn which are unhealthy or sick looking, and be careful when it comes to walking on your lawn after you have been in contact with grassed areas in public.

Getting rid of diseases:

Getting rid of fungal diseases can be difficult, especially if you aren’t sure exactly what the disease is. There are a lot of things that you can do to remove them and reduce their effects, including:

  • Keep your grass watered and use lawn fertiliser. Doing so will reduce environmental stresses on your lawns, making it easier for them to get rid of funguses and diseases on their own.


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Home Design

The Qualities of a Good Cabinet Maker

We are all DIY Tradespeople – in our own minds. But when you are sawing, drilling and planing your latest renovation project, have you ever wondered how a person becomes a good cabinet maker? It’s a timeless craft trade and these days, not so common.

If I were a Carpenter…

A cabinet maker specialises in the making of fine pieces of furniture, be they tables, chairs, shelving or cupboards. Their work is a level above that of a carpenter, albeit they can do carpentry work. If you were to look at some way to differentiate between the two, then maybe you can say a cabinet maker is an artisan carpenter. The work they do and how they do it contains a number of factors.

1) Precision. A desire for minute detail and precision in the making of the pieces results in a quality product. They have a standard to which they must adhere to ensure the quality of their work.

2) Attention to Detail. This is pretty much like precision,  although this aspect refers to their overall view of a project to make sure that everything they make will fit together perfectly on completion. A great crafts person will not skip parts of the work or overlook the smallest detail so as the work can be finished quickly.

3) Commitment. A cabinet maker is always committed to produce excellent work. This requires dedication, an artistic eye, and high work ethic.


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Right Plants
Landscape Design

Choosing the Right Plants to Help you Save Water

When it comes to sustainable landscape design, there are a lot of things to consider. First, you have to think about how you are going to design a garden which is sustainable and which doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on the environment or on your surroundings.

Australia is one of the driest countries in the world. Most people throughout the country are on or have been on water restrictions at some point, and this can make it hard to grow certain plants. If you are trying to save water when you design your new garden, then choosing the right plants is probably the most important thing.

Consider the following when choosing plants for your garden to help you save water:

Your climate:

Obviously, the most important thing to think about when choosing plants for your garden is your climate. You need to try and find things which are suited to your climate, as they probably won’t need a whole lot of watering throughout the year.

Above all, you need to think about the heat. Most traditional garden plants are from cooler parts of the world, and they need a lot of water if you plant them in hot places. If you really want to save water with your garden, then choose plants which are suited to the heat and which are at least somewhat drought tolerant.


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Healthy Plumbing
Home Maintenance

Healthy Plumbing

One should never take plumbing for granted. How quickly can you get hold of an emergency plumber? And how important is that? A blocked drain or toilet shows little mercy on your misery, so an available plumber is rather important.

What can a plumber do for you?

  • Drains, traps and vents.
  • Septic systems
  • Potable Water and Water heating

Traps, drains, and vents

  • A trap is something hidden under the sink and is ‘U’ or ‘S’ or ‘J’ shaped pipe. The bend in the pipe stops sewer gases from coming back into the building.
  • Drains are somewhere into which water can run. Everybody has drains – homes, buildings, manufacturing and agriculture. Drainage prevents flooding. Blocked drains can cost a lot of money in damages to a building or an area.
  • A plumbing vent is a pipe that runs from a fixture to the outdoors, usually through the roof. They provide a place for sewer gases to vent, and for oxygen to get in.

These simple plumbing fixtures are important. Without them, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain clean water. When we bathe, drink, wash and clean, we produce waste water. Separation of the waste water and the clean water is necessary otherwise we have health issues. You have little to worry about if you have a good plumbing system.


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Fire Protection Systems
Home Maintenance

Best Environmentally Friendly Fire Protection Systems

Environmentally friendly fire protection is a major consideration for businesses throughout the world. If you own a business that is large enough to require an inbuilt fire suppression system – using either sprinklers or some sort of inert gas – you should consider your options carefully with respect to their environmental impacts.

Different fire suppression systems have very different potential environmental impacts. Some are based on harmful or toxic chemicals that are extremely polluting and harmful for the atmosphere. Others use excessive amounts of water that simply aren’t necessary. With this in mind, here are a few of the best environmentally fire protection systems on the market:

Systems Using Inert Gases

Gaseous fire suppression systems are becoming more and more popular in Australia and throughout the world. They work by starving a fire of the oxygen that it needs to burn, essentially causing it to go out due to a lack of fuel.

There are plenty of different inert-gas based fire suppression systems out there. However, you need to be very careful which ones you choose. Some contain harmful gases that can contribute to global warming. Others are damaging to the ozone layer. Look for a system that uses a harmless gas with no negative environmental impacts such as ozone.


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Get Your Pool Ready
Outdoor Living

How to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer

Getting your pool ready for summer early is a good idea as there are often some hot days in early spring when everyone would enjoy a cool dip. If you have one of the automatic pool cleaners that are available these days, preparing your pool for the swimming season will be much easier. It will also help if you’ve winterised your pool with a cover to keep out debris.

Here are some tips to getting your pool ready for the fun and games of summer

  • If your pool was covered with a pool blanket for the winter, you’ll notice there is quite a lot of debris on top of it. Remove this before disturbing the blanket so it doesn’t all fall into the water. Use a soft-bristle, long handled broom and sweep from the middle to the side on both long sides. You’ll then be able to sweep the debris into a pile close to the side so it can be gathered up with a dustpan and brush.
  • If water has evaporated, bring it to normal operating level, which is about the middle of the skimmer mouth.
  • Add some algaecide or clarifier


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Home Maintenance

Hassle Free Removals

Most times in the business of removals, the move happens seamlessly. The biggest hassle in the whole job is packing up everything from your current address and then unpacking it all at the new place. The worst thing that can happen in a removalist job is some of your belongings get damaged in the move from point A to point B.

Nobody wants to think about their antique table or leather lounge suite getting scuffed or damaged when moving, or having that Queen Anne teapot smashed into little bits. But, the reality is that these things happening are a real possibility and need to be taken into consideration before you move. It’s a matter of making the right arrangements to be covered.

Planning a Safe Move

How can you, rather than the removalist, make specific arrangements in which your belongings make it to the new place in one piece? Here’s a few things to consider and precautions you can take in your planning:

  • The Moving Company

This is a no-brainer, but not all moving companies are equal. Choose the right one. With online searches you can find out everything you need to know about a moving company – customer reviews, how long they have been in business, and their reputation. A good furniture removal company, such as Melbourne Removalists, will be expert in helping families and businesses to move, hassle free, and have many satisfied customers. They will have qualified, experienced, honest, courteous and reliable staff. It’s their job to look after your belongings and make sure that it all arrives at the new address in the same condition it left the old address.


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Ashe County Farmer’s Market

Come by and see us at the Ashe County Farmer’s Market!

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Chris and Jeanne

Ryan is a pleasure to work with and he has a positive personality and a can-do attitude! We have been extremely pleased with the extensive work he has done with our landscaping. He designed and completed a new garden bed, which has enhanced our property’s appearance and value. All the way through the project, he consulted with us on the plantings, design, and cost.

Additionally, he created a trellis for our raspberry bushes, which blends in with our forest setting. We look forward to his continued work for us, including our plans for a hard-scape patio in the near future! We highly recommend Ryan for any landscaping project!

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Randy Kubik

Crowning Touch Landscaping did the landscaping for my house in Fleetwood, NC. They completely re-terraced my side yard, fenced the entire area and built a fire pit. This area was so impressive that we held our wedding ceremony there in July (2010). It is a fantastic area and I never miss the opportunity to sit there and have a cup of coffee and enjoy the view and my dogs. We were so impressed with the work that we had them build our entry walkway and another fire pit in the front yard. This is my wife’s favorite place to sit and watch the sunsets.

I am currently using Crowning Touch to terrace the driveway. They have exceeded all expectations on every job they have done for us. The owner, Ryan Shaw, is trustworthy and a joy to work with. I recommend them for anyone’s landscaping needs.

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Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor Living

Flexible Working : Indoors & Outdoors

When you work as a sole trader, you can be anywhere that is comfortable.  Creating an outdoor space and taking a backlit laptop or notebook outside to work allows you to experience the fresh air and sunshine instead of being cooped up in the house or office all day.  These days there are many different styles of outdoor furniture that are comfortable and convenient.  Your outside office chair can be made of wicker, rattan or boat wood from Indonesia or Bali.

Many people start their own small business from their homes – sometimes even using a corner of the dining room table for their office until they get the business going. Often they are happy to stay small, but in other the business increases beyond their wildest dreams and before they know it they’ve had to employ staff and move to a larger office.

However, there are many benefits to remaining a sole trader who doesn’t employ staff.  It suits some people to continue to work alone from their home and use the internet as a way of contacting their clients.  A big benefit is that you can organise your work schedule around your life and can be at home to care for children, or for when the children come home from school.


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