Monthly Archives: April 2019

Your Home: 2018 tipped as the year of the brave bathrooms

Is a new bathroom on your new year’s wish list? Wesley Sinclair from Highgrove Bathrooms said in 2018we will see bold colours, patterns and textures dominate new renovations and commercial fit-outs in place of neutral themes and ‘safe’ design work.
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Combine the Elements:Combining a mixture of different textures and materials in bathroom design adds a new-age, contemporary feel. Natural stone and timber have always been favourites and will continue to prevail in 2018. Installing a timber grain vanity or cabinet will draw the eye, while the warmth of the wood offsets the cold look of bathroom tiling.

Accessorise with colour:Accessories are the key to elevating and unifying the overall look of your bathroom. Add colour to your choice in towels, vases, the shower head or even tapware to inject new life into the space. While soft pastels and neutral tones were much loved last year, rich colours like navy, mustard, terracotta and royal green are sure to dominate in bathroom design this year.

Back in black … matte black:Matte black accents are definitely here to stay in 2018. More contemporary than traditional chrome finishes and undoubtedly the most popular bathroom trend of 2017, matte black accessories are sleek, sophisticated and striking, sure to harmonise with most bathroom decors.

Go bold or go home:White subway tiles were a definite hit this year, however, in 2018 we will see a shift towards bold designs in bathroom tiling. Be it your floor or walls, draw the eye with statement colours and patterns. Working with a small space? Opt for larger tiles with more vivid colouring to create the illusion of a wider bathroom – as an added bonus, less grout means less cleaning.

Timeless design with modern classicism:Bathrooms inspired by modern classicism exhibit the perfect balance of old and new. Timeless pieces, including vanities with vintage door handles or clawfoot baths, unveil a classy living space to unwind. Incorporating these elegant pieces with sleek wall-mounted tapware or a frameless shower screen add a sense of modern luxury.

Accessorise with colour.

Matte black accessories.

In 2018 we will see a shift towards bold designs in bathroom tiling. Be it your floor or walls, draw the eye with statement colours and patterns.

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Your Home: Tips for creating a welcoming guest room

Bigger is better: When shopping for beds in a guest room and if you have adequate space, consider queen beds rather than single beds as it provides sufficient sleeping space for a single person, couple or siblings.If you have friends or family coming to stay these holidays, there are many ways to transform a large or small space in your house into a guest room.
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Samantha Clarke is the marketing manager forFocus on Furniture and said you can easily turn a small or large space into a welcoming sanctuary even on a tight budget.

She suggestedstarting by determining what particular needs your guest may have and decorate the room with comfort and storage in mind.

“Think about what luggage they will bring with them and ensure the room is not cluttered so you can leave plenty of room where your guest can put their belongings,” Ms Clarke said.

A co-ordinated bedroom furniture range is one option.

“Bedroom suites are a wonderful solution when creating a guest room as they provide matching furniture pieces at affordable prices and you can save time shopping around for different pieces,” she said.

“They do the hard work for you, so all you need to do is add the final touches and style the room how you like it with pillows, cushions, bed linen and a bedside lamp.”

Suites that include a queen bed, bedsidee table and adressing table and mirror can work well to accommodate guests’ every need as they provide plenty of storage for even the smallest items, such as books, ipads, toiletries and phone chargers.

When looking at bed options, Ms Clarke recommendedgoing for a queen size rather than a single.

“When shopping for beds in a guest room and if you have adequate space, consider queen beds rather than single beds as it provides sufficient sleeping space for a single person, couple or siblings,” she said.

Sofa beds are a practical and compact answer if your guest room is short on space or you are sharing the room with a home office.

“Sofa beds are the perfect sleepover solution for guests in smaller spaces and when they are gone, you can simply flip the sofa bed back to enjoy a comfortable couch,” Ms Clarke said.

“Don’t forget to check the measurements of the fold-out sofa bed before your purchase to ensure it can easily fit into the room without overcrowding.

“When it comes to creating a welcoming guest room, less is often more and with smart planning your guests will feel like they’ve stayed at a five-star hotel.”

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‘The full might of gravitational force’ at work as sun, moon join to lift tides

A king tide inundated low lying parts of Woy Woy including outside the Woy Woy Hotel and the wharf. Pic Nick Moir 2 jan 2018 A king tide inundated low lying parts of Woy Woy including outside the Woy Woy Hotel and the wharf. Pic Nick Moir 2 jan 2018
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Coastal regions around are experiencing unusually high tides this week, flooding some low-lying areas, thanks to an unusual confluence of astronomical and meteorological factors.

The so-called wolf moon – the first full moon of the year – also happens to be a “super moon”. At some 50,000 kilometres closer than its furthest extent – a phase of proximity that “makes men mad” according to Shakespeare – our nearest partner in space is exacting an extra pull on the world’s water.

The earth’s own orbital eccentricity with the sun also means that at this time of year, we are about 5 million kilometres closer to the sun – a point known as the perihelion – than at our most distant in July.

“With this super moon and perihelion, what we’re experiencing is the full might of the gravitational force” on the earth, said Alan Duffy, an astronomer and associate professor at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. “You can expect a larger range in the tides both high and low.”

A king tide inundated low lying parts of Woy Woy including outside the Woy Woy Hotel and the wharf. Pic Nick Moir 2 jan 2018

The impacts on tides, though, will vary greatly depending on local conditions, including the weather.

For Sydney Harbour, the high tide will be about 2.07 metres at Fort Denison on Wednesday compared with the high tide of 1.72 metres in two weeks’ time with the new moon.

“If you’re close to a shoreline, 30 centimetres might not sound that much but it can be the difference between a beautiful sea view and being inundated,” Professor Duffy said.

The extra gravitational tug is already noticeable in areas with narrow channels, such as Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park or Woy Woy to Sydney’s north. Both regions had some flooding on Monday and Tuesday.

Impacts, though, are likely to be slight in other areas, such as Melbourne, where there is typically much less variation between high and low tides than in Sydney.

The high tide at Williamstown on Port Phillip Bay, for instance, will reach 0.88 metres on Thursday and recede merely to 0.77 metres at the new moon on January 17, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

While the current high tides from the solar and lunar gravitational effects may be causing disruption for some places, the impacts will be made worse if they coincide with a low-pressure system bringing strong winds, Professor Duffy said: “That’s a far more impressive and damaging change in [tidal] heights.”

For Sydney and Melbourne, the weather is generally much more benign, at least as far as the risk of storm surges go.

A very high tide catches out unwary drivers at Apple Tree Bay in the Ku Ring Gai National Park. Pic Nick Moir 01 jan 2017

La Nina boost

Along with the heavenly influences on the tides, the current weak La Nina in the Pacific will also likely be playing a role.

In 2015, sea levels along the western Pacific dropped about 20 centimetres during the big El Nino, as the easterly equatorial trade winds weakened and reversed, piling up water along the eastern Pacific coasts.

La Ninas go the other way, with trade winds strengthening.

Over time, rising sea levels from global warming are also playing a role to exacerbate the effects of king tides. The warming planet means more melting from land-based ice sheets and glaciers, and a thermal expansion of the oceans as the sea warm.

According to the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, sea levels at Fort Denison have been rising at an annual rate of 1.68 millimetres since 1986, while those at Stony Point, south-east of Melbourne, have been increasing 2.3 millimetres a year.

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Glencore wants to amend operating conditions at Integra Underground mine

MINING company Glencore has unveiled plans to extract an extra 9.9 million tonnes of coal from its Integra Underground coal mine northof Singleton.
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An Environmental Assessment and other documents on display with the Department of Planning and Environment show that Glencore has submitted a new mining plan to maximise the amount of coal it can extract from the Integra lease.

Seeking to modify its existing approval, it wants to expand threelongwalls, numbers 15 to 17, and to gain approval for up to threenew longwalls, 18 to 20.

It also wants to build additional surface works including new electricity lines. The area to be mined is immediately west of Glencore’s Mount Owen open-cut mine and underneath the Mount Owen rail loop, which takes coal from the Glencore operations onto the main rail lines to Newcastle.

Mine subsidence isexpected to be in line with existing conditions, with vertical subsidence of between 0.3 metres and 1.9 metres.

A geotechnical assessment by consultants for Glencore found that longwall mining “directly beneath the highwall of the [Mount Owen] north pit” has the potential to induce rockfalls …and …slope instability” although the impacts would be managed in consultation with Mount Owen. The capital value of the project is put at $79.9 million and it would provide continued employment for 280 people.

In a newsletter to residentslast year, Glencore said: “The coal market conditions continue to be a key factor for any decisions about the long term options for Integra Underground.”

That Glencore is proceeding with an application to mine the coal indicates the project has ticked the company’s economic boxes.

In a letter dated December 20, officers from the state government’s Division of Resources and Geoscience, put the value of the extra coal at $900 million over six years.

The state expects to pick up $18 million a year in royalties, or $62 million over the life of the project.

The Resources and Geosciences officers based their royalties calculations on a coking coal price of between $115 and $120 a tonne, or $US89.90 to $US93.80 at present exchange rates. (Coal is sold in $US.)

“Export income is vital for the health of both the NSWand the n economies, contributing to the nation’s balance of trade which provides benefits to both the NSWand n credit rating,” the Resources and Geosciences officers said.

“This additional export income will contribute to the around $18.2 billion (2016-17 total) of coal exports annually. Coal exports are by far the largest value export from NSW, representing around 40% of total NSWexports (both goods and services combined).”

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W-League: Sydney FC bolstered by Matildas striker Caitlin Foord as Newcastle Jets aim to claim four straight on the road

GOAL: Sydney FC striker Caitlin Foord after scoring for against Brazil in Newcastle in September. Jets coach Craig Deans said they will be wary of the 23-year-old recruit in Wednesday’s W-League fixture. Picture: AAP Caitlin Foord was celebrated in Newcastle last year when she scored for the Matildas in a 3-2 win over footballpowerhouseBrazil.
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And only last month Foordwas welcomedto the Hunter region as a novice golfing guest at the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic.

But on Wednesday the tables will turn asthe 23-year-oldbecomes the Jets’ No.1 target after transferring from Japan to upcoming W-League opponents Sydney FC mid-season and snatching a stoppage-time winner off the bench in her first start back last week.

Newcastle coach Craig Deans said the injection ofFoord, combined with fellow attacking weapons Lisa De Vanna and Remy Siemsen, means the high-flying Jets (16 points) will have to be on their game to keep second spot on the ladder fromhosts Sydney (15).

“Sydney’s obviously got some experienced players and some very dangerous players in the front third,” Deans told the Newcastle Herald on Tuesday.

“They’ve got Lisa De Vanna andRemy Siemsen plus they’ve just signed Caitlin Foord, who scored the winner for them the other day.

“She [Foord] comes back in good touch and is everychance of playing more minutesso it will be another challenge for us.

“We’ve done reasonably well with most challenges we’ve been thrown, so we’ve just got to keep working hard and win another game.”

The Jets headinto the round 10 encounter in good form, having won three of their last four in the space of a month –all on the road.

The run started with a 2-1 triumph against Adelaide in late November, continuedversus Brisbane (3-0) andwas stunted slightly at home to Perth (3-all) before picking up all three away points once morewith a 3-1 success over Victory in Melbourne on Friday.

“We’ve had a tough run and this will be our fourth away game in five games, but it’s nice that we’ve been winning them,” Deans said.

“You hearother people complaining about playing away from home and I don’t understand it because you’re still playing on the same patch of grass.

“It makes no difference, but it’s nice to be winning and we have to keep doing the little things well.

“We can’tget too carried away with the fact we’re in good form, you have to stay focused and do the small things right because if you neglect that you end up getting yourself in trouble.”

Deans said he expected to field an unchanged line-upbut hinted at giving Matildas defender Gema Simon, who is returning from a knee injury, more time off bench.

“The whole squad is fit and able to be selected,” Deans said.

“When you’re winning some games there’s not really a need to change anything.

“Gema Simonhas come back into the squad, so we’ll try and give her a few more minutes somehow if we can.

“She got through15 or so minutes [last game] and she did a little bit extra at training yesterday [Monday]. She’s fine and keen to play.”

Newcastle beat Sydney 2-0 on November 4.

Kick-off at Allianz Stadium is 5:20pm.

PHOTOS: Deans sayshard work ahead to make finals

VICTORY: Brewer breakthrough sees Newcastle soar

ENGAGED: Jets winger Gilliland hits new heights

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