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Best wishes

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2016 was great.

a new studio
our fifth anniversary with a memorable party
receiving an award in New York
5 diverse private house designs
the start of a fascinating shop concept (more on that in 2017)
our caravan that rules the world wide web
our participation at Interieur Kortrijk

2017 promises to be even better.

Therefore we’ll close our studio from 23.12 till 9.01 to tackle 2017 hard.
Enjoy the holidays with your family & friends.

Cheers!

Mathieu – Olivier – Esmeralda

FIVE AM

Remodeling an old house

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Before you begin work, you need a plan, remodeling a historic neighborhood is not easy. The present layout of the house may not make the best use of available space, and you may need to remove some walls and erect others. You’ll probably have to replace appliances, and having a grasp of your space limitations will help you choose the right ones. Moreover, you may want to incorporate an existing feature, such as a hardwood floor or turn-of-the-century staircase, into your overall design scheme. Your budget may limit the extent to which you can make changes, but you may also be constrained by structural issues with the house.
An old house is likely to have settled, and you may find signs of this in cracked walls, doors that don’t work properly and slanted floors. Moreover, if the roof leaks, or has leaked in the past, an examination of the wall studs or floor joists may reveal extensive rot. You can fix many of these problems, but it often means demolition. You may lose a feature such as an old plaster wall or a prized hardwood floor, and that could lead to the need to rebuild with contemporary materials, such as new drywall or flooring. Don’t forget to obtain the necessary permits from your local building department.
Plumbing and electrical standards have changed greatly over the years, and the systems in older houses rarely conform to code. Your electrical remodel should begin with replacing the main panel and all out-of-date wiring and electrical fixtures, such as outlets and switches. Not only will your house be safer, your lights and appliances will work better. Many older homes have galvanized steel water pipes, and you should replace these with copper. If the galvanized pipes haven’t corroded and developed blockages that restrict water flow, they probably soon will, which is why plumbers rarely use them for residential water lines anymore.

Which car should I buy?

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Buying a new car is a unique experience. Like it or not, a new car is likely to be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, specially now that people have so many options with all the personal car leasing. Many of us look forward to the process, but others may find it incredibly daunting, especially given the huge amount of choice that faces buyers today – even in just one manufacturer’s showroom.

Either way, Carbuyer is here to help. Here, we show you exactly what to expect, from initial choices like those between new or used, petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric power and even a choice as simple as body style. From picking the best optional extras to securing the best possible deal when the time comes, we’ve tried to cover all bases and offer guidance for every step.

Our mission is to help you find your perfect car, while answering any questions you may have about the buying and ownership process. As such, we’ve put together dedicated in-depth articles on car insurance, road tax, warranties and more, so be sure to have a look if you’d like to know more.

New or used?
Deciding to buy new or used is the first step towards buying your next car. Your budget is likely to play a big part in your decision, but it’s worth remembering that both methods have their merits. Buying new means you’ll benefit from the peace of mind of a manufacturer’s warranty, which should last for at least three years. You’ll also get to specify your car exactly to your tastes and needs, but remember that you’re almost always likely to lose more money in the long run than if you bought used, due to depreciation. If you’re thinking of buying new, our guide to the slowest depreciating cars is worth a look.

Used cars, meanwhile, have their own benefits. A used car will almost always be cheaper than its new equivalent and its first owner is likely to have taken the initial hit of depreciation so you don’t have to. A good place to start your used-car hunt is on an ‘approved’ used forecourt, where cars come with added backup from manufacturers.

Unless you’re buying an older second-hand car, you should also expect some kind of warranty, and aftermarket policies can offer extra peace of mind – though be sure to check what is and isn’t covered. Used cars that are between one and three years old can offer serious savings together with some remaining manufacturer’s warranty, while pre-registered cars offer something of a halfway house between the new and used market. What fuel you want your new car to run on should be the next aspect of your purchase to think about. While some cars are only available as diesels, such as the BMW X3, most manufacturers offer petrol and diesel engines, while hybrid and electric models are becoming increasingly common and can be an excellent choice, particularly if you do a lot of town driving.

A sheet softening hack

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How to Hack Your Way to Softer Sheets
True to the show’s form, this cheap-sheet-softening-trick is unbelievably easy to execute, and you can treat every sheet set in your home with about $3 of materials. Simply throw your stiff sheets into the washer, along with one full cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar, and run for one full cycle. For the best results, the pros behind the show suggest starting your washer on hot and then switching to cold during the rinse cycle, and then voila: you’ve suddenly scored a set of silky soft (albeit inexpensive) sheets to sleep in.

Here’s What the Testers Had to Say…
The show had six blind testers each lie down in a makeshift bed dressed one at a time in both sets of sheets — a set of super luxe (super pricey) sheets, and a set of cheap sheets hacked with the baking-soda-and-vinegar wash trick above.

When asked to identify which sheets were the cheap set, five of the six testers were convinced that the expensive bed sheets were actually the cheap ones. This means that based on the show’s results, it’s safe to assume that the hacked sheets are indeed softer and more satisfying to the touch than the super luxe set.

Translation: Before you go buck wild on a fancy bed sheet spending spree, try washing an affordable set, specially if it is from a queen size mattress (or the cheap ones your great aunt gave you at Christmas) in baking soda and vinegar to see if the show’s results ring true for you, too.