Earthquake preparedness at home, school and at work

My homeland, the Philippines is not only a typhoon magnet, but it is also located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. As my country is perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is very much at risk to tectonic shifts that could cause strong and devastating earthquakes.

Last year, a tectonic origin earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Region VII specifically in most cities and towns of Bohol, and Cebu City. The ground shook and trembled so strong and hard which caused casualties and structural damages. The recent quake has been recorded as one of the deadliest in the Philippine history. 

There is no accurate tool that can predict nor forecast when a seismic activity can occur and we can never stop it from happening. In most situations we can reduce the chance of injury if we are prepared and well-equipped to handle this kind of destructive disaster.

Below is an Earthquake Preparedness Guide provided by PHIVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology)

Lovingly written by Joy

How to Select the Right Colour Scheme for your House

Choosing the right colour scheme for your house can be a daunting task as you will have to live with your decisions for a long time! While colour is very much a matter of personal taste, there are some important guidelines to help you create a palette that you will love. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect choice for your home. on Flickr

About Colour

A colour wheel is a great starting pointing when choosing a desirable scheme. There are four types of colour schemes: monochromatic, analogous, contrast, and complementary.

A monochromatic scheme uses the same colour and adds either white or black to lighten or darken the shades.

An analogous scheme is one that uses colours that appear next to each other on the wheel, like green and blue, or pink and purple. Mixing these kinds of colours is known to create a soothing effect.

Although if you want to create a vibrant and energetic feel, you are best to choose a contrasting scheme. This palette uses a variety of opposing shades, and is effective when creating defined spaces in an outdoor area.

Complementary schemes are created with opposing colours on the wheel – say pink and green - to provide a dramatic and bold look.

Roof First?

It’s quite common when choosing the colour scheme for your home exteriors, to start with your roof and work your way down. If you need a little inspiration, you can start by looking at roofing websites like Hats 4 Houses to gauge what styles are most popular. By choosing the material of your roof, you’ll have an easier time dictating your colour scheme. For example, if you choose a hardy, long term roofing solution like colourbond, you can choose from an extensive palette of more modern and classic hues. Alternatively, you might choose the tone of your house first and then find a roof that matches.

The Garage

If you decided to choose the, from the top down method, the next step is deciding on a garage door that matches the roof and walls. You can either choose a shade from your existing palette, or highlight the garage by making it the same colour as your roof.

Other Considerations

You also need to consider several other things when working out a colour scheme. Are you installing a fence? If so, how will you tie it in with the rest of the house?What material will your front door be made from? You will even have to go as far as deciding what colour to paint your window frames.

It’s best to sketch all the components of your exterior colour scheme so that you can be really sure that everything will tie in together. If you are anxious about anything you should talk to a professional before you proceed. Most paint shops and roofing and cladding companies will have someone that can offer advice. Take your time, look around at homes in your neighbourhood to see what you like, talk to the experts, and you will find a colour scheme that is just right for your home.

Lovingly written by Joy

5 Creative Design Tips for your Patio

Adding a patio to your home is a fantastic and affordable way to increase your living space, and take advantage of warm days for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. There are so many different ways to create a patio that blends with your existing house and takes advantage of other features of your property.

Let’s have a look at some creative tips that help make your new patio a real feature of your home that you will not only love to use, but will also add value to your home. For more ideas on how to create your dream patio, it is well worth having a chat to an experienced patio builder such as Additions Building, who can take you through the myriad of styles and materials available to find one that suits you.

Create a feature point

Creating a focal point for your patio can help make it unique and attractive. A water feature, such as a fountain or a goldfish pond, can help create real sense of tranquillity. You could also create a fire place or pit, which can help you enjoy you patio in the colder months. An artistic tiled mosaic, or even a stained-glass window feature can take advantage to the sunlight an add colour and vibrancy.

Green it up

Having plenty of plants integrated into your patio helps it blend seamlessly with the rest of your backyard. You could build elevated planter boxes for herbs and vegetables, or just for decorative flowering plants. Strategically placed large pots, matching the style of your patio, can hold larger plants such as yucca or ferns and help make your patio a calm and refreshing place to be.

Make the floor a feature

There are so many styles of flooring available these days that there is no excuse not to have a fantastic looking patio floor. Concrete can be stamped, stencilled or painted to create a huge variety of styles and colours the blend perfectly with your homes decor. Alternatively, using patterned pavers can help create a strong sense of texture and quality to your patio.

Create a screen

Creating a wooden or mesh screen to block the sight of things, such as hot water heaters or pool equipment, can make your whole backyard more beautiful. You can also use it to hang plant baskets or other decorative items that will really add to the overall look of the patio.

Make the most of lighting

Lighting can sometimes be a bit of an afterthought when designing patios, but when you think about it, you will probably be spending a lot of evenings after work, enjoying a cold drink out on the patio – so make the most of the space with a good lighting design.

The use of movable down-lights can make sure you don’t have any dark areas, which make the patio uninviting and drab. If you have an outdoor kitchen or BBQ, make sure you have it properly lit so you can see what you are doing. Also, surrounding the edge of your patio with low garden lights can help show-off you backyard and any plants you have bordering your patio.

So there you have it, with just a bit of creativity and imagination you can turn a basic patio into a fabulous feature of your home, perfect for entertaining, or just for relaxing and enjoying a cool summer breeze.

You can try the quiz below to help you decide which patio design best suits your home

Photo credits:

Lovingly written by Joy

Choosing an Ergonomic Chair for your Home Office

Finding the best spot to set-up a workstation in your house is as important as choosing the best ergonomic chair to pair with your office table as it will make your workspace safer and healthier. Over long sitting sessions can lead to many health problems, thus choosing a comfortable desk chair will not only bring great comfort but can really help promote blood circulation, improve your posture,  and provide a great sense of stability as well.

Ergonomic chairs are intended to maximize work productivity by reducing worker discomfort and fatigue. Being a work-at-home mom spending long hours at my desk definitely need a sturdy and customizable chair with ergonomic design to make sure my whole back is supported. A great seat can really make a lot of difference.  It is the key component of my home office area.

There are many ergonomically designed chairs being sold in furniture and office equipment stores.  It is important to choose the best when buying one. Features of a good ergonomic chair are as follows:

  • It is important that the seat height is adjustable, check the adjustability function of the chair.
  • Select the seat height range and seat depth that will suit your needs.
  • Choose an adjustable backrest which has a firm lumbar support.
  • A chair with a five-point base is recommended for its stability and sturdiness.

A well-designed ergonomic chair provides optimum comfort as it allows you to sit in a balanced position. However, to avoid stress and injury it is best advised to sit properly.

Lovingly written by Joy

The Top 5 Tips For Designing A Home Office

A Home Office
Image by Benjamin Thompson on Flickr

Taking the leap to work for yourself can be as exciting as it is daunting.

Working from home is a pleasure that more people than ever can afford to do, with many taking up the option of either going freelance or breaking away from office life to work at the house.

It can be dangerous, though. The distractions in the home that are only usually available in the evenings are now within reach at all times. Televisions, radios, big comfy sofas…

As well as increasing your willpower it’s essential to create an environment that not only complements your new lifestyle but helps improve your productivity and concentration.

Everybody’s different, though, so here are five tips to take into consideration when designing your new home office:

1: Make the most of your space

Look around your new office. Can you visualise what you need to work efficiently, and can you imagine where those components fit into your new workspace?

If you have a lot of paperwork and documents that you need access to then is there enough space for shelves and cabinets if you’re in that space all day?

Do you do a lot of design work and need a large desk that can accommodate drawings and a computer? Or if you’re planning on using the space fleetingly is there space to have access to the most important things when you need them?

2: Consider portable furniture

It can be a tough ask for creative types to stay in one place for hours a day, so a more flexible working environment may be right up their street.

Consider moveable furniture such as laptop desks with wheels and smaller cabinets that can be moved from room to room and can be matched with any seating arrangement such as a sofa or chairs in the kitchen.

3: Wear and tear?

The furniture you use is an investment in is contributing to the future of your business. So you need to consider timescales – are you using it for the short- or long-term?

If you want an office chair that’s going to last you for the next five years, wherever you are, then it’s worth considering something sturdy such as a gas swivel chair with leather padding. If it’s for the short-term then invest in something suitable yet comfortable.

4: Assembly

It may seem like a small thing but if you’re setting up an office space for the long-term then it’s worth considering construction.

If you’re buying ready-made furniture then that shouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re setting up a lot of desks, chairs, cabinets, and more then take note of the building time involved. If you’re ordering all your furniture at once then are you going to have to put crucial work hours aside to build it all?

5: Maintenance

As in an office, if you’re working from home then your furniture will need to be cleaned at regular intervals to keep it spotless and – more importantly – keep you in a hospitable working environment.

With that consider the theme of your room. Different materials will require different cleaning solutions; glass surfaces need soapy water, fabrics will need specialist care products, woods will need to be dusted, and more.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create a professional environment from home contact the Planscape team today!

Lovingly written by Joy

6 Ways to Earn the Respect of Others

Age is not a requirement to gain respect from others as there are a lot of young people who are being highly respected by their elders. If you want others to treat you with high esteem you need to be worthy of it. Respect is something money cannot buy; moreover, it cannot be gained through an overnight process. Earn the respect of others regardless of your status, whether you are a student, a new employee, or a striving entrepreneur through the following ways:

  • If you want people to appreciate and have a high regard on what you do, you have to look up to them too. Respect is a two-way course of action.

  • Do your best at what you do. Proficient and competent people are most highly regarded in every field of work. Remember, if you are happy with what you are doing, it will bring out the best in you.

  • Palabra de honor or word of honor. A well respected person is someone who honors what he says. Truthfulness and reliability to live up with commitments and can be trusted to deliver what he or she promised will automatically earn a high respect and admiration from other people. Honesty and sincerity in my opinion is the primary step to being our real self.

  • Listen and learn, be open to criticisms. It is just normal to make mistakes and receive criticisms. Learn to handle them the positive way. You don’t need to badmouth about your critics, instead accept your fault or mistakes, do the necessary adjustments then continue your good work and let your actions speak for themselves. Your superiors will surely take notice and recognize your effort.

  • Act and conduct yourself professionally. Dress to impress, wear proper clothing that will suit each occasion. Observe good manners and social etiquette. Use appropriate language in communication. 

  • Be honest, stand up for what you believe in and be transparent in your communications. It is okay to say “No” and state your own opinion why you disagree in a respectful manner rather than just say yes to everything to get along with the flow.

To summarize, by learning how to give respect, act and carry out yourself with confidence, proper conduct and attitude towards others and by delivering your actions and performance in a reliable way, you’ll start earning the respect you deserve in no time.

Image credit: By rrafson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lovingly written by Joy

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