7 Ways To Save Money When Renovating Your Home

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Want to renovate your home, but only got a tight budget to work with? Here are a few ways that you can save money when remodelling your home.

Go DIY

Going DIY can save you a lot of money when renovating your home. You may want to leave certain tasks like electrics, plumbing and window fitting to professionals, however tasks like painting and tiling can be easily done yourself. At the very least, you can save money by sourcing your own materials.

Shop around for price quotes

When hiring the help of professionals or sourcing materials it pays to shop around for quotes. Certain sites can give you estimates such as steel building prices and electric wiring costs. You should also keep your eyes out for promotions from companies advertised online. Deals at the beginning of the year are popular as fewer people have the money to pay for renovations after Christmas, prompting companies to come up with more competitive pricing.

Convert, don’t extend

There may be certain rooms in your home that you can convert such as lofts and garages. This is likely to work out cheaper than an extension as the masonry is already there. Loft conversions may sometimes have complications that could be costly such as having to raise the roof if the space isn’t high enough or having to add stairs. This is worth looking into so that you can weigh up the costs.

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Don’t move fixtures

Moving certain fixtures such as ovens, bathtubs or sinks might involve having to rearrange or install additional plumbing. This could make your renovation costlier as you could have to hire a plumber. Feel free to replace these fixtures with newer ones but keep them in the same place if you can.

Use track lighting, not spot lighting

When it comes to cheap lighting, you’re best off avoiding spot lighting. Every spot light requires additional wiring, which could involve paying an electrician more. Track lighting by contrast require much less wiring. Each bulb on a track can also be pointed in a different direction, illuminating each corner of the room just like spot lighting.  

Consider imitation materials

In some cases, it could cheaper and just as effective to use imitation materials rather than the real thing. A good example of this is granite, which is a favoured countertop material. The real thing can often be costly, however there are a number of artificial granite substitutes that can look the part and provide the same qualities for much cheaper. If you’re just concerned with the aesthetics, there may even be faux granite paints worth considering.

Use drop-fit wooden flooring

Laying down new wooden flooring can be expensive – it may involve removing existing floorboards. A cheaper option is to use drop-fit wooden flooring. This slots over the top and can be easily DIYed, saving you from having to hire a professional.

Make Your Interior Design A Brit Hit

While some people may still be seduced by the sleekness of the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian designs of the mid-century, others are keen to expand their furniture horizons. While you could opt for that classic 1960s nest of tables, the tiled 1950s coffee table or the minimalist pair of tan hued Barcelona chairs, why not break the mould?

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Scandinavian furniture has been en vogue for a decade or more with outlets like Ikea using designer pieces as their inspiration to make achingly cool furniture for the masses. While there’s nothing wrong with venturing into the Swedish maze of sofas, beds and storage to pick up a few accessories for your humble abode, you won’t want to kit out your entire pad from the Scandinavian store.

Instead of venturing towards the European, why not linger a little on the British furniture that is slowly making a comeback. Some well-known brands have revolutionised themselves to keep up with their competitors in the twenty-first century, and others are just emerging onto the interior design scene. Take a look at these brands that will give your home a touch of British class.

Ercol

Having been around since 1920, Ercol is a stalwart of vintage British design. From the circular glass-topped coffee tables to curvy dark wood armchairs and sofas, there is a piece of furniture for everyone. You could opt to go vintage and ooze some retro chic with a 1950s Ercol sideboard complete with hairpin legs and geometric handles. Or you might prefer to take a look at their more modern designs such as their reclining sofas for ultimate comfort.

Alstons

The nostalgic feeling that Alstons sofas provide rest in the fact that they are a family firm who hand make every single piece of furniture that leaves their warehouse. None of their seating is mass produced conveyor belt style, and you can feel safe in the knowledge that your three piece suite is unique. Opting for the more traditional designs, Alstons have been in business since 1860. Their ethos and commitment to quality are still apparent today.

Doshi Levien

For something entirely different and a tad eccentric yet critically acclaimed, why not venture into the world of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien. Using the most bizarre shapes, the oddest colour combinations and the most tactile fabrics, Doshi Levien produces bespoke sofas, shoes, ornaments and sculptural pieces for the home. They are not an old firm, having only launched in 2000, but what they lack in history they make up for in innovative and creative design. The only downside is that you’ll need deep pockets if you want a Doshi Levien piece.

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Britain has a long history of creative designers, and this shows no sign of abating. Young designers such as Edward Barber and Bethan Gray are showing off their unique abilities to bring something new to the market. By combining a range of furniture within your home, you’ll be able to create a property that is bespoke, creative and adds a touch of British flair to its interior design.

A Simple Guide to Building a Home from the Ground Up

If you have a home designing itch that just can’t be scratched through doing a bit of refurbishing, then why not go one step further? Why not go as far a step as you can go when it comes to home designing, in fact, and build your very own home from the ground up for you and your family to live in? Doing so takes hard work, of course it does, but it is probably not as hard and probably won’t take as long as you would first expect it to. To see just what needs to be done in such a venture in as simple and as straightforward a way as possible, make sure to read on.

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Get yourself the perfect plot of land to build on

The first thing to do in a home building venture is to, of course, find a plot of land to build on. But, this shouldn’t just be any plot of land, and it certainly shouldn’t just be the first plot that you come across. No, you should make sure that during the process of plot choosing that you are always looking out for and indeed holding out for the one that is perfect for you. Now, this plot could be perfect because of its geographical location. It could be perfect because of its price. It could be perfect because of its size. Basically, the plot that you choose should match your building dreams and aspirations perfectly.

When it comes to finding such a plot, that’s where hard work on your part is going to come into it. What this hard work would entail specifically is you searching for plots using various sources of doing so, such as the Internet, and then you actively heading out to these plots to make sure they look just as good in real life as they did on your computer screen. Even if you were looking at and researching residential land for rent in as far away a place as Malaysia, it is still advised that you actually see the plot you invest in for yourself with your own eyes before you actually hand over any money in regards to it. You need to do so because, quite simply, things never do look quite the same as they do on a screen, whether that be for better or for worse!

Get all the legal stuff out of the way

As boring as legal stuff always is (and, believe me, when it comes to home building it’s just about as fun as it is in regards to everything else) it simply has to be covered when you are seeking to build to your own home. Specifically, what you need to do is get to grips with and sort out a mortgage strategy for your new-build that will both keep the building work on the right side of the law and keep everything you do financially in regards to the venture on that side too. What you should be doing when sorting out such a strategy is ensuring that any and all money lenders involved with the venture are kept in the know in regards to everything at all times. By not doing so, and more importantly by not mentioning them in any legally bound paperwork, then all parties — you and them included — will be in trouble.

Start floor planning, and get building

And now for the fun part, the floor planning and the building! But, as fun and as physically rewarding as this stage is, don’t let the euphoria of it all get to your head: one bad move at this stage could spell disaster for your new-build venture. So, make sure you are always doing your utmost best to avoid the making of bad moves!

When it comes to floor planning, a bad move would be not using a floor plan software as this kind of technology makes architecture as easy as it ever has been, whether those that use it are proficient in the subject of architecture or not. In this software you would be able to see your proposed building layout in blueprint form, and seeing this is pivotal when it comes to doing the little, innocuous things that you think don’t mean a great deal but actually do, such as the placement of doors and windows.

Once you’ve laid out the best made floor plans of your new-build, it’s time to start building it. And, no, don’t worry because this does not mean you will have to do all of the work alone. Of course, helping out with the building work is something that you should both want to do and are, to be honest, expected to do — to make sure you’re up to this task, consider taking a course on design and construction prior to the starting of the building venture — but most of the work will be done by professionals in the field of building and construction. And when it comes to choosing who exactly it is that will be doing this work for you, make sure to take your time in studying and vetting the professionals you seek to bring in before you do so; make sure you have your building professionally surveyed once all the work is done, also You need to do this because, unfortunately, in this day and age, cowboy builders are rife and sometimes it’s hard to spot them when the only thing you know about them and their work is what they tell you.

Building your own home is something that you should be doing if you have a home designing scratch that you have, thus far in life, been unable to itch. So, what are you waiting for? Go on, do it, build your own home! And, when you do, make sure to throw the biggest house warming party your friends and new neighbours have ever seen because after all of your hard work in plot finding, mortgage sorting, floor planning and building the home, you’ll definitely deserve it!

Skin Deep Revamping For Your Home Interior

The upkeep of your home is something that should go without saying. It’s an important aspect of keeping the home nice and clean, a comfortable place to live. Between some mishaps and things that break and need repairing, not many people think about the general maintenance of the interior. The thing is, it’s a large area, practically all of the living space that you inhabit. Therefore it may seem like too big of a task to handle or worry about at first. But, if you focus on purely a skin deep revamping, techniques that breathe new life into your home while not changing the overlook drastically, it’s not that difficult. Everything in this category can be done by you at home without the need for an expert. The only concern you might want to consider is whether or not you have the money available to do make the change. But rest assured unlike a restoration or a completely restyling, a revamping isn’t as expensive.

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The list and budget

Before considering what kind of approach you want to take, consider your finances. Indeed although a revamping is purely working on features that are skin deep, the ability to maintain an even cheque book should be a priority. If you have loans currently existing it’s hard to why you would want to add another expense to your life. However, there are loans that make it easier to simplify your debts which companies like Evolution Money do provide. Essentially with a consolidation debt, all your current loans and outstanding payments are piled into one whole payment plan. Therefore the time is extended, and the payments may even drop in size as well as the overall interest rate decreasing. To fund your home improvements while keeping your finances on track is more important than even the end result.

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Starting with the walls

The largest surface area of the home are the walls. Normally for most homes, there is wallpaper used to decorate, other and more modern mass production styles are to have walls with plaster and thick paint. Normally the latter is of a single tone and usually a neutral color. If you want to revamp this style and jazz up the walls a bit, you have first to get rid of the current surface material you have now. For a reliable way of getting wallpaper off without damaging the underlying material or substance, as well as the structural integrity of the wall itself, look at buying a steam wallpaper stripper. Using heat and water, this product will slowly but surely inject friction between the layers of the wallpaper and lift it up and off. The welcome side effect of this tool is that the glue that holds the wallpaper on will be liquefied in the process, making clean up straight after, much easier.

Skirting board removal

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The side boards

The skirting boards and ceiling boards that encompass all the rooms can become damaged over the years. The skirting boards are a normally heavy duty, but even they can become chipped and have chunks of wood missing. Lay down a thick sheet on the ground and protect the floor from getting scratches on it. The first goal is to take out the nails that are pinning the boards to the walls. You may need to chip around the head of the nail as it’s buried in the wood, before you can pull it out, hence the need to catch the wood chips in the sheet. Using a screwdriver or crowbar, you can then slowly edge the board away from the wall before completely taking it off. Put in new skirting boards which are relatively cheap. You can buy them from any hardware store. Painting over them or just simply giving them a three layer varnish is a matter of choice.

For the ceiling covings, it’s a little trickier. The boards are much lighter and can actually be made out of foam. They are held to the ceiling with a strong glue that is different from wallpaper glue and much more heavy duty. It’s hard not to damage or affect the walls and the ceilings when you’re trying to pry the boards off. By using the same steam wallpaper remover, you can melt the glue underneath the foam boards and pry them off slowly. It will take much longer than wallpaper, but the end result will be a clean break. If your ceiling coving are made of wood, however, like the skirting boards, expose the nail first and then pull each one out. The ceiling coving will become loose and easier to take off.

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Good as new flooring

Many modern homes now have wooden tiles as flooring. Normally the color is beige because it hides scuffs and chips with the most flattery. However, to revamp the floor, you should first start with a hot watery clean. Mopping the surface with a hot liquid and surface floor cleaner is the first step to removing the top layer of dirt and stains. Upon doing so, you can lay down a thin layer of polish which will make the floor sheen in the light. The alternative is to layer with a thin and weaker varnish. Using a fine bristle paint brush, paint the floor with the varnish moving from one side of the room to the other. Allow the flooring to soak it in, leaving the floor to dry and rest overnight. This should be done during the morning, so the floor has a lot of time to dry and absorb the varnish.

Revamping the home isn’t as large a task as you might think. It’s not to be confused with refurbishing, restyling or restoration; it’s purely dealing with skin deep issue of the home. The walls are the first thing we notice when we walk in the home, so revamping the wallpaper and paint is the first task you should consider. The skirting and ceiling coving are that which surrounds the room and can be overlooked and neglected for the most part. Replacing them with new and fresh looks can complete a room subtlety. A good clean and a great polish would bring the flooring up to you with new life.

Every Woman’s Kind of Wig

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

A lot of women are stylish not just in terms of fashion but also with the way they look (hairstyle and makeup). Dressing up sometimes depends on their mood. The same thing goes with their hairstyle. There are times when wearing a wig is an option just so they can change the way they look without having a haircut. The wig however, should look like real hair, that is why the quality is important. A woman can change her wig as often as she wants until she comes up with a style that suits her. Hair extensions are also in vogue. Women with short hair would no longer be frustrated about waiting for a long time for their hair to grow.

There are many online stores where you can buy wigs and other hair replacement systems and one of the more trusted store is Divatress, a leading e-commerce company committed to becoming the most loved wig retailer on the web. Divatress offers thousands of wigs and black hair care products from brands like Estetica Designs, Mane Concept, Beauty Treats, Helen of Troy, and Wet N Wavy among others. No matter if it is weaves, lace front wigs, half wigs, wigs, braids, ponytails etc., Divatress can provide it for you. Their wide range of products and pricing choices enable their customers to come up with a look that is not only stylish but is suitable to their personalities and taste.

Divatress also carries the brand Freetress Equal. They have a glamorous collection of weaves, wigs, half wigs, braids, and ponytails that you will definitely love. They likewise have an awesome collection of hair products that will bring out the stylish side of you and make one more confident. Freetress hair equals an elegant and fashionable woman. Shop for Freetress Equal brand now on Divatress.

Bedroom Storage Made Easy

Who doesn’t love having extra storage space? It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to fit more clothes into the room or just need a bit of extra space to help convert your bedroom into an at-home office, we could all use a little more space. So to help you out, we’ve built up a list of ways to get you more valuable storage space.

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Use the walls

The walls in your room are probably the most underutilised part. Walls offer a fantastic opportunity for storage space through the use of shelves and hooks. For starters, you could install shelves all around the edges of your bedroom. This will give you plenty of extra space to store everything from clothes to books and figurines. You can install several layers of shelves if you want, and depending on how high they are you may have trouble dusting or reaching them. In order to reach higher up, you might need a foot stall. To clean them, consider using a long feather duster. To add some extra storage space underneath the shelves, consider installing some hooks on the bottom of the shelf to hang things such as outfits and towels.

Organise your small items

Small items like decorations, jewellery and so forth can be a pain to manage if they’re spread around the room or hanging off random pieces of furniture. Instead of leaving them about, why not consider storing them properly? A chest of drawers is perfect for storing any kind of loose items, be they clothes, small items or even books. It helps to keep those items safe from exposure (such as from the sun or dust) and it helps you organise all of your stuff. Drawers can vary in size and shape, so be sure to get drawers that will fit where you plan to put them and if you’re concerned about the decor, you might want to shop around to find the perfect set of drawers for your room.

Get a bed frame with storage

One of the most exciting upgrades you could get is a bed frame that offers storage underneath your mattress. Under-bed storage is surprisingly useful and you can store anything you’d normally put in a drawer into the bed. For instance, you could store some pyjamas and bed sheets, or you could even put magazines. It’s completely up to you, but being able to make more use of the space under your bed is a fantastic way to get more storage space out of your bedroom.

Using the door

When your door is closed, it’s essentially not doing anything and acts as a wall. Knowing this, you could add extra hooks onto the back of your door to create more clothes hanging space, or you could even add shelves onto the door as long as you’re not storing anything heavy. You could expand on this idea by using the back of your wardrobe doors as well to store additional clothes. It might get cramped inside of your wardrobe, but it’s a brilliant way to squeeze just a little more space out of your bedroom.

Using canvas storage

Canvas storage and totes are brilliant to store things temporarily because they can hold as much as regular plastic boxes and wooden drawers, yet they can be flattened later on in the future because they’re made from cloth. If you have to invest in some storage that you think you’ll get rid of later on in the future, then make it canvas storage for its simplicity and ease of use.

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Use the space above your door

Much like the tip of using walls to add shelves, don’t forget that you can use the space above your door for extra shelving space. It’ll most likely be quite high up, so you may need a foot stall to help you reach the proposed shelf.

Use organisers in your drawers

Whether it’s small jewellery box organisers or something to divide your drawers, make sure you get yourself a couple of organisers so that you can sort out all of your small belongings. This is perfect for makeup storage or holding various art supplies like pens and pencils.

Raise your bed

If your bed has four posts, then you might be able to buy a set of risers to give you more under-bed storage space. This is the perfect alternative if you don’t have under-bed drawers or storage space because you’re simply lifting up your bed and giving yourself a bit more space to store things like boxes or equipment. You can even get bed risers that serve different functions, such as acting as power outlets or charging ports for your mobile devices. This makes them great for several functions and it’s a must-buy for anyone looking to add more functionality to their room in addition to storage.

Storage you can sit on

Many people don’t realise that the chairs they sit in can be fairly bulky, so in order to grow the storage space in your bedroom, why not use chairs that can double as storage? There are some stools that can open up to reveal a small storage compartment, perfect for hiding small items or less-important belongings. You could upgrade on this idea and replace a sofa with a seat that has a hidden storage compartment. This will give you plenty of extra space to store just about anything.

Simplify and declutter

If you’re still lacking space after trying out all of these tips, then you may need to just simplify your bedroom and declutter it to get the most space-saving gains you can. For starters, remove any unwanted or unneeded pieces of furniture from the room. If you have a desk that you don’t use then you could always replace it with something smaller. This will give you a bit more space to add an extra shelf, small bookshelf or something else. You could even combine furniture like a bookshelf with a desk to give even more space savings.

Photography Backdrops For Different Occasions

It is a common practice in the old days for most family to have their family photos taken in the photo studio or photo salon. Those days not many people can afford to own a camera and whenever they want to have a photo of a special event taken, they will have it done in a photo studio.

Can you remember seeing photos of naked babies lying on their stomach on table tops in homes and photos studios? If the photos were taken in photo studio, you will notice in the background some photography backdrops for newborn & children. I am sure some of you have your photos taken in the same manner and when you grew up and were shy of these naked baby photos, you hid them away from your friends and relatives.

Nowadays we seldom go to photo studios to have our photos taken. We only do so when we need to take standard sized photos for processing legal documents like for example, to apply for passport, national identity card or driving license, etc. When you go to have your photos taken, you will notice that the backdrop behind you will be a plain coloured backdrop. And if you are there for your wedding photos or someone else wedding photos, you will notice that they change the backdrops every now and then to create different background. The photo studio arranged for wedding photo backdrops set for pictures. Some of them look so natural to make it look like the photos were taken in the park or garden.

Gone were the days when photography backdrops were plain and boring. Nowadays, the backdrops are designed for different occasions and to suit individual’s preferences. There seems to be a backdrop to meet everyone’s taste. To mention a few, there are photography backdrops for weddings, children, family, Christmas, Easter, etc.

 

The Before And After Treatment Photos

I have noticed one thing about advertisement. In order to capture the interest of prospective clients, most businesses make use of the before and after photos in their advertisement. Take for example an advertisement posted by a beauty salon showing the pimpled face of a woman before treatment and a photo of smooth skin face after treatment. Or it could be photos of an over-weight man or woman before treatment and a slim looking man and woman after treatment.

Likewise, it is also true for hair treatment salons where you will most probably find photos of men or women with thinning hair before their treatment and photos showing their fully crowned head with nice, healthy hair after their treatment. The before and after photos are great advertising tools to promote the effectiveness of their treatment or products.

Since we are on this topic of hair salons and hair treatment, I would like to mention that I came across this article of a website looking for hair salon and hair stylist cooperation with them. What are the benefits for the salon and hair stylist if you choose to be one of their associates? One, you get to buy their products at discounted wholesale price. Two, your salon will be promoted and recommended on their website as a specialist salon for cutting and other hair maintenance services in your region. Of course there are more benefits attached.

On your part, you will need to provide them with examples of your clients’ photos, both before and after their hair replacement treatment or a video of them wearing hair replacement system. If possible, they would also like to interview clients who wear the mono or lace hair replacement systems. If you are interested and are looking for a win-win solution, you can check it out at newhairline website for more details.

Draw Out Your Drawing Talents With These 5 Jobs

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Art is often ridiculed as a subject that won’t get you a job. But being able to draw well is in fact a valuable skill that can lead to a very well-paid profession. Here are a few examples of jobs that require your drawing talents.

Graphic design

Graphic design is essential to almost every product around us. On top of technical drawing, many products will require a sketch drawing which is freehand and requires more artistic ability. Branding such as packaging, logo-building and ad design also relies heavily on the more arty side of drawing, with designers having to draw cartoon characters or inventing iconographies. Familiarising yourself with certain graphics design programmes such as Adobe Illustrator can be useful (there are many Illustrator training courses available). Graphic design tablets and styluses have made digital drawing a lot easier – you can practically draw as if you were using paper and pen, with the added bonus that you can digitally erase.

Cartoons

Finding full-time work as a cartoonist is difficult but if you look hard enough you’ll find it. You may not land a job illustrating a comic strip or providing the animation for a Disney movie, but you may be able to provide political cartoons to newspapers or provide humorous cartoons for a kids magazine. If you’re bold enough, you can even take to the streets and offer caricatures. Many cartoonists will work on a freelance basis. Build up a portfolio and you’ll eventually be able to attract your own clients.

Illustrating

Publishing companies will often work with illustrators, providing writers with images for their books. Getting one’s foot in the door can be difficult – many will create blogs of their artwork and then approach publishing companies and authors individually. Children’s books are a particularly good way in as these are more picture-heavy. Illustrators may also be required for instruction manuals – whilst this can sometimes be more technical, pictures of people and hands may be needed that require a more skilled artist.

Album artwork

Whilst some musicians are happy to use a photo in their press pack, others prefer to have hand-drawn artwork to go with their albums and singles. This can be a lucrative market, although may require a lot of networking with local musicians. Eventually you can build up a portfolio which you can use to attract clients. Band, PR companies and music agents may recommend you based on your previous work.

Courtroom sketching

Before photography, courtroom sketching was commonplace. It has recently become more widespread, with many courts banning photographers. Courtroom sketches involve drawing a picture of courtroom proceedings and require a certain level of drawing talent. You don’t need to be legally trained, although an art degree may be favourable in many cases, as well as the ability to work in a short time frame.

Support Your Feet While Gaining Height

When stereotypes, media, and everyday representations in commercials, movies, and on TV continually display an excessive amount of focus on our physical bodies and our outward appearances, one of the dangerous side-effects is that we start to believe that our bodies are permanent. In fact, many of our physical features may seem to define us and definitively limit who we are or who can be, but these features, even if they are genetically coded, are only one dimension of us. This doesn’t mean they ought to be ignored, because, as we all know, taking care of the body means taking care of one’s health. What it does mean, however, is that there is much to be explored and investigated in the relationship between one’s inner being and outer being.

If you’re short, curvy, or have other physical traits that society tends to label as unattractive and unchangeable, don’t be disheartened! All that really matters are your confidence, self-esteem and ability to love yourself, and there are lots of practical options available for you to start believing that those traits are possible. here are practical options available that allow you to explore this area. For example, if you get a height increasing insole and feel taller, bolder, and more confident at work, you’ll begin to understand success as a feeling that comes from the inside, because most people won’t even notice that you’re an inch or two taller.

Get the boost in confidence and self-esteem that you deserve! Imagine the boost in confidence that you will experience from living a taller life. Heels lift you up, sure but they also really damage your feet. Elevator shoes provide a similar experience, but they limit your style choices since they come built into a pair of shoes. When you get a single pair of quality insoles, though, you can move them between pairs of shoes as often as you like without anybody noticing. Companies such as Add Height go the extra mile to ensure that products are built to last and remain comfortable the whole day. Plus, you get excellent support for your ankles, back, joints, and knees because the material maintains support for your arch.

A goodinsole consists of three parts, the polyvinyl foundation, silicone gel layer, and memory foam top layer. The Add Height foundation gives your body solid support while allowing you to maintain maximum control of motion. This part helps decrease the stress experienced by your back and knees. The silicone gel layer absorbs shock, proving further protecting for your joints and knees. This soft support area also regulates heat in order to keep your feet comfortable. The memory foam lines the top of the insole and works by reducing pressure, providing added shock absorption, and keeping you comfortable, and it’s made up of millions of cells designed to stabilize your feet with high density support.

Take back control of your self-esteem and try experimenting with a new product today!