Perk up your living room with trendy colors for 2021


A great way to start the year is to embellish the heart of your home, the living room, into a seamless yet vibrant looking space with Pantone’s color trends for 2021—the Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. These colors reflect elegance, positivity, and cheerfulness.

The right balance of colors and textures can result in a sophisticated design for your living room space. Here are some refined items you can add to create an exquisite style for your home:

Marble-finished floor and wall

Marble tiles are one of the most popular types of flooring used in homes. They are durable, easy to clean, and can also reflect light making your living room look brighter and fresher. Its marble effect also exudes a unique and striking touch for your space. Match your floors and walls with Emigres marble-finish tiles. They are suitable for walls and floors creating an ornate ambiance around your home. 

Emigres tiles

Accent furniture

The main purpose of having accent furniture in an interior is to add definition and decorative value that provides style and comfort emphasizing the overall look of the living area. It is meant to stand out and carry the whole design of your space. Design your living room with high-quality and stylish furniture from Heim. They offer glass center tables, L-shaped sofas, and vibrant colored chairs for a cozy and relaxing view of your space.

Heim chair, center table, and L-shaped sofa

Sufficient lighting

Good and efficient lighting creates an illusion of a space making your living area look brighter and more spacious. It also gives emphasis to your home decorations allowing them to stand out and look more appealing. Brighten up your living room with an elegant and long-lasting chandelier from Alphalux – a perfect match to your home interior.

Alphalux chandelier

Stylish home decors

A well-decorated space makes an inviting home. It adds value to the theme and averts a dull result. Dress up your living room with chic decors to complete your trendy theme. Heim carries a wide array of home decors ranging from vintage, minimalist, vibrant, modern, and many more. You can add contrasting centerpieces for a unique look, a wall decor to elevate your walls, and patterned pillowcases to complement your furniture.

Heim wall decor, pillowcases, and centerpieces

Modish ventilation

Maintain the refreshing cool vibe in your living room with Kaze ceiling fans. These fans are energy-saving, efficient, and quiet allowing you to enjoy a relaxing time in the living room. Its contemporary design also serves as an added decoration for your living area.

Kaze ceiling fan

Start your home remodeling project and create a sophisticated designed living room with Wilcon. Grab all your home improvement and building needs at any Wilcon Depot and Wilcon Home Essentials stores nationwide.

Experience a safer and more convenient shopping as Wilcon continuously implements necessary precautionary measures in all of its stores, to ensure the health and safety of its employees and valued customers, including temperature screening protocol upon entry of employees and customers in the store premises; contact tracing policy; provision of sanitizing shoe bath; strict implementation of no mask, no entry policy; and provision of hand sanitizers and alcohols at different designated areas within the store. Maintaining proper social distancing is also observed with its 1-meter radius distance queue marks and indicators are placed within the store premises. Wilcon stores also undergo additional precautionary measures through regular cleaning and sanitation; provision of gloves and face shields to its employees; installation of safety partitions in face-to-face transaction areas.

Wilcon Depot also introduces a hassle-free shopping option with its Browse, Call, and Collect/Deliver feature. This new shopping option allows you to shop for your home improvement and building needs through browsing online on the Wilcon website or online shop to find the products they want to purchase. Customers can call/text/Viber to place their orders, and collect their purchases in-store or have them delivered at their doorstep.

Another shopping alternative is the Wilcon Virtual Tour. An online shopping option wherein customers can contact the nearest Wilcon store via Facebook Messenger App. Customers can contact the nearest stores, and the Wilcon team will take you on a virtual tour where you can explore the available products inside their physical stores.

Wilcon also provides contactless payment options to its customers. Wilcon offers different online payment channels like bank transfers, GCash, PayMaya, Instapay, PesoNet, WeChat, and Alipay for customers’ convenience.

Visit any of their 63 stores nationwide and explore the limitless product selections that Wilcon offers ranging from Tiles, Sanitarywares, Plumbing, Furniture, Home Interior, Building Materials, Hardware, Electrical, Appliances, and other DIY items.

For more information about Wilcon, you can log on to www.wilcon.com.ph or follow their social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram at @wilcondepot.ph and subscribe and connect with them on Viber Community, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

 










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Residents, Queen Victoria Market traders face wait on second Melbourne injecting room call


The government has completed its initial consultation phase, speaking to experts, council, market traders and nearby residents. Early next year it will broaden talks with the public to include other local businesses, residents and people with experience of addiction.

An independent review panel examining the first injecting room trial in North Richmond recommended in June that a second facility be established in the City of Melbourne after 51 people died of overdoses there between January 2015 and September 2019.

Market stallholders and residents expressed concern at the proposed health centre site, which provides drug and alcohol counselling and homelessness and mental health services.

Lord mayor Sally Capp said at the time she was not told about the injecting room plan before it was announced. City of Melbourne council voted in July to write to the state government asking that the site be dropped because it is “inappropriate and inadequate”.

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The government has consistently said the Cohealth site is its preferred location, but it remains open to alternatives if a suitable one emerges – something that may occur during the consultation process.

The City of Melbourne recorded 51 overdose deaths between 2015 and 2019, second only in the state to the City of Yarra, which recorded 93.

Ambulance Victoria data shows opioid-related ambulance attendances in the City of Melbourne rose 49 per cent in the five years to 2019 and have doubled in the CBD over the same period.

The independent review of the North Richmond facility found it safely managed 3200 overdoses by March this year but had not improved local amenity.



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Residents, Queen Victoria Market traders face wait on second Melbourne injecting room call


The government has completed its initial consultation phase, speaking to experts, council, market traders and nearby residents. Early next year it will broaden talks with the public to include other local businesses, residents and people with experience of addiction.

An independent review panel examining the first injecting room trial in North Richmond recommended in June that a second facility be established in the City of Melbourne after 51 people died of overdoses there between January 2015 and September 2019.

Market stallholders and residents expressed concern at the proposed health centre site, which provides drug and alcohol counselling and homelessness and mental health services.

Lord mayor Sally Capp said at the time she was not told about the injecting room plan before it was announced. City of Melbourne council voted in July to write to the state government asking that the site be dropped because it is “inappropriate and inadequate”.

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The government has consistently said the Cohealth site is its preferred location, but it remains open to alternatives if a suitable one emerges – something that may occur during the consultation process.

The City of Melbourne recorded 51 overdose deaths between 2015 and 2019, second only in the state to the City of Yarra, which recorded 93.

Ambulance Victoria data shows opioid-related ambulance attendances in the City of Melbourne rose 49 per cent in the five years to 2019 and have doubled in the CBD over the same period.

The independent review of the North Richmond facility found it safely managed 3200 overdoses by March this year but had not improved local amenity.



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Tottenham set for comfier welcome than anticipated as Stoke upgrade away changing room


J

ose Mourinho’s Tottenham are set for a more comfortable welcome than anticipated in Wednesday’s EFL Cup match at Stoke after the Potters revamped their away changing room.

Mourinho had called on the “football and safety authorities” to investigate Stoke after being sent a video of the away team’s facilities ahead of the quarter-final clash.

But the Potters are one step ahead of the Spurs boss, and have already erected a new changing room for the visiting side, which was used for the first time by Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Since the restart, Stoke’s players have used both changing rooms at the cramped Bet365 Stadium in order to observe social distancing, while the visiting team prepared in a portacabin.

Neil Warnock, the Middlesbrough manager, labelled the portacabin “an absolute disgrace” earlier this month, describing it as a “pigsty” and unfit for animals.

Warnock claimed the facility had blocked toilets, faulty showers and fumes from an outside generator.

The EFL insisted the portacabin met their requirements but Mourinho was sufficiently concerned to this week call for an investigation, saying: “I have a video of it, a video made from a colleague that works for another team that recently played against them.

“But it should not be a question for me. It should be a question for the authorities, all the authorities. Football authority. Safety authorities. But not for me. I am not going to be the bad guy that is going to make comments about Stoke’s away dressing room.”

Mourinho was unaware that Stoke had already ditched the portacabin in a planned upgrade and erected a marquee-like structure, with its own heating system, which is big enough to accommodate the visiting squad. 

The new structure is temporary but meets all EFL and safety standards.

After three League matches without a win, the EFL Cup offers Spurs a chance to shift their momentum and take a step towards a first trophy since winning the competition in 2008.

Mourinho said he would field “a mixture” of his Premier League and Europa League sides but warned that there is little difference between the Championship and Premier League.

“I think a mixture,” he said. “Some players need to play and deserve to play. From the ones that are playing more times, others where we don’t have great options to make changes and have to keep them but I will try to give a little bit of a rest to two or three.

“To win this tournament we need to win three matches,” he added. “One against Stoke and then, if we beat Stoke, we will have two more matches to play. Against teams who have the same ambitions as we have.

( POOL/AFP via Getty Images )

“If I am not wrong, Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd. Everton, Newcastle, Brentford, everybody wants the same. The difference between Championship and Premier League is minimal. 

“The teams are very good, they have very good players and have very good coaches. So even the fact we play Stoke, or Newcastle play Brentford, does not give us easier matches than the others. 

“It is a difficult competition to win. We need to win three matches. But going in the direction from what we are saying from the beginning of the season, the next match is a match we want to win, And the next match is Stoke.

“The match has nothing to do with the match we lost or the match we have to play against Wolves next weekend. It is isolated. It is a cup game. It is a game to go to the semi-finals or watch the semi-finals on TV. We have to go with a positive attitude and try to win.”



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Inside a vaccine cold storage room


Transporting temperature-sensitive medication – like a Covid-19 vaccine – is a massive logistical challenge. Keeping vaccines at the right temperature is crucial. Tom Vanmolkot from Zuellig Pharma shows the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani around a cold storage facility in Singapore.

Filmed, edited and produced by Joe Phua, Joshua Lim and Lucy Martin



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How to make your living room feel more like a movie theater



You don’t need to sit in a big theater to get the full movie experience. (Pixabay/)

This week, Warner Bros. announced that it will release all of its 2021 movies in theaters and on HBO Max on the same day. That means you don’t have to venture out into the world to see Dune next December—you can bring Timothée Chalamet and those big sand worms directly into your living room.

Watching movies at home on the kinda-big-screen is wonderfully convenient—you can eat a foot-long Subway sub without having to worry about getting busted by the ushers—but the experience can’t compete with the enormous screens and booming sound systems of a dedicated theater. With a little tweaking, though, you can make your home feel a little more like the local multiplex (minus the pricy snacks).

Get some backlight

The Philips Gradient backlight system is a pricy way to make your TV feel more immersive.

The Philips Gradient backlight system is a pricy way to make your TV feel more immersive. (Philips/)

Ambient light obviously messes with your TV’s picture by causing glare and reducing perceived contrast, but you also don’t want your room to be pitch black, either. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a bright screen in a dark setting makes your eyes work harder, which causes fatigue. Adding some light behind the screen also makes the darkest parts of your screen seem even darker while you watch. Darker blacks in the picture increase perceived contrast, which makes the scenes seem punchier.

The backlighting doesn’t have to be fancy. Even a cheap LED strip from Amazon will do the trick. Just make sure you get the right size for your TV so you don’t get an inconsistent—and distracting—halo around the back of your display. If you’re feeling fancy, you can upgrade to the $200 Philips Hue Gradient. It syncs up with the Hue Bridge and can mimic the colors of whatever you’re watching on-screen. It’s an impressive effect, but a total luxury at that price.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of adding light to your TV, you can leave the lights on low in your room. You’ll want to avoid any lights that make bright point-of-light reflections on the screen itself. You also want to avoid directional lights from the sides of the screen because they can throw a glare across the entire TV.

Position your TV correctly

I cringe every time I see a home design show with a TV placed high above a fireplace or in some other elevated location. It may work for the decor, but there is a right place to put or hang your TV if you want the best possible viewing experience. Ideally, your eyeline will fall right on the centerline of the TV. Depending on your seating arrangement, that may be even lower than you expected. You don’t have to bust out the tape measure to get it perfect, but it’s also not that much work for a big payoff in terms of quality.

This is actually one area in which your home has an advantage over the theater already. After all, movie theaters do have a sweet spot that only spans a handful of seats. The surrounding seats all suffer slight degradations in picture and audio quality.

Distance from your screen matters, too, but not quite as much as it used to. When TVs struggled to reach 720p HD resolution, sitting too close to a big screen would allow you to see the pixels more clearly, making the image look grainy. With 4K TVs, you have to get really close or go really huge to notice that effect. You can use a calculator to see just how far you should actually be sitting, or simply sit close enough that the screen fills most of your peripheral vision, but doesn’t require you to physically move your head to see what’s going on at the edges of the picture.

Step up your sound

The superior audio experience at the local cinema isn’t just about volume. To get a true movie theater experience, you’ll want something that provides some kind of surround or directional audio. Theaters have speakers stashed all over the room, even behind the screen, to make the audio feel immersive. You don’t have to go overboard adorning your living room with woofers, but if you’re going to be watching first-run, top-tier movies at home, you probably want more than your paltry built-in TV speakers can offer.

If you’re just jumping into surround sound, a soundbar with Dolby Atmos built in is a great place to start for easy setup and pronounced directional effects. Atmos attempts to create a bubble of sound around the viewer that makes the viewing experience more convincing. It’s widely supported by most of the streaming platforms, and HBO Max is adding compatibility starting with the release of Wonder Woman 1984 when it’s released on December 25th.

There’s a wide variety of Atmos soundbars to choose from. If you’re on a budget, this Samsung system comes in under $400 at the moment. Vizio makes an impressive $500 setup with a subwoofer. And you can step up to the excellent Sonos Arc for $800, which adds access to the company’s wireless music streaming platform.

Soundbars can go up into the thousands of dollars, but if you’re simply upgrading from TV speakers, it’s probably unnecessary to spend that much cash right off the bat.

Switch on cinema mode

If you never dig into the various modes on your TV, you might be missing out on some performance. For instance, gaming mode on most televisions tries to prioritize responsiveness so you don’t notice lag between the controller and the screen as your play. If you’re using HDMI 2.1 and a compatible console like the PS5 or the Xbox Series X, it will turn on automatically.

Cinema mode is a bit different. You’ll likely notice that it’s a bit more subdued in terms of brightness and saturation than the typical mode you use for watching TV. If you have motion smoothing enabled for everyday watching, you’ll also notice that cinema mode typically turns it off. That helps prevent your motion pictures from looking like soap operas. That motion smoothing is great for sports, but it’s terrible for movies.

If your TV has HDR—and it should—this mode will also provide the most accurate and vibrant colors your TV can produce.

Turn off your phone

With no ushers or other viewers around to bust you for looking at your little glowing screen during a flick, it’s tempting to check your notifications. But, those distractions really do impinge on your ability to enjoy a movie and process what’s going on. People aren’t nearly as good at multitasking as they think they are. Every time you look at your phone, your eyes will have to adjust again to the relative brightness and distance of the screen, which can be taxing if you do it too many times.

Not to mention that anyone who happens to be in the room with you will get annoyed. But then again, maybe that’s part of what makes your home more like the real theater experience.



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Adelaide family returns home to find koala perched on Christmas tree in lounge room


An Adelaide Hills family has returned to their home after a short outing to find a koala perched on the Christmas tree in their lounge room.

Coromandel Valley home owner Amanda McCormick told ABC Radio Adelaide she was “shocked” to discover the animal sitting in the plastic tree, surrounded by baubles, stars and snowflakes.

“I got home from work and the dog made a beeline for the Christmas tree and I noticed all of the decorations on the floor,” she said.

“I could not believe it, I was in shock. It was right in my face.”

The koala had made its way inside after Ms McCormick’s daughter left the house door open.

“Normally we do [lock the door] but … we left it open just for the dog to go in an out,” she said.

“She went out for a couple of hours and we all came home together and there it was.”

Ms McCormick was “shocked” to find the koala inside her home.(Supplied: Amanda McCormick)

Ms McCormick called in wildlife rescuers to assist in removing the koala from the Christmas tree, but said they initially believed the phone call was a hoax.

“I know what [koalas] can get like so I thought, ‘I’ll leave that one to the professionals and get them round’,” she said.

“She didn’t want to leave actually, they had a bit of a fight trying to get her off the tree. I think she was quite comfortable.”

The koala was relocated outside to a nearby tree and has since moved on.

But Ms McCormick said it may not be the last she sees of the cuddly intruder.

“It’s probably trying to get back, inside to be honest,” she joked.



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Second mother speaks over claims autistic child was placed in lockable ‘sensory room’ at Sydney school


A mother says her daughter could hear crying “for most of the afternoon” while an autistic boy was allegedly placed in a lockable ‘sensory room’ at a school in Sydney’s south.

The NSW Department of Education has stood aside the principal at Penshurst West Public School as it investigates if any children were locked in the room, after concerns were raised by parents. 

Deputy Secretary of NSW Department of Education, Murat Dizdar said the allegations made against the school were “serious” but a full investigation would be conducted.

“The safety, wellbeing and welfare of every one of our children — every child and young person — inside school gates, is of paramount importance to us,” he said.

“We take that responsibility and we take that accountability very, very seriously each day.

“On becoming aware of these most serious allegations, we have acted very promptly as a department and have conducted and commenced a thorough and full investigation.

“That’s the right action to take in interests of all parties but particularly the families and our students who have raised these allegations.”

Mr Dizdar said a new principal had been appointed as the investigation takes its course.

Mother banned after police issue notice from school

Katerina Ferekos, whose seven-year-old son Yianni attends Penshurst West Public School, said she raised concerns with the school’s original principal in September, after another student reported seeing Yianni being placed in the allegedly lockable room.

Katerina Ferekos raised concerns her son Yianni was locked in a room at Penshurst West Public School.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

“I’m not ashamed to have a child with ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder],” she said.

“We were told it’s impossible to have locks on the room … and I said, ‘well, they’re there,’ and that’s when an investigation started.”

But she said she was even more shocked when police officers delivered her a notice under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act from the principal to her home, banning her from school grounds after a confrontation with him earlier in the day.

A school sign.
The principal of the school has been stood aside while an investigation takes place.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

“Advocating and having a voice for your child is not a crime and I will not stop until my last breath,” she said.

Tina Taruste, whose daughter said she saw Yianni being placed in the room, reported the incident to Ms Ferekos and later raised the concerns with school staff.

“My daughter said she could hear crying for most of the afternoon, when he was in there,” she said.

“I was quite concerned about her mental health — she’s very high functioning and I was concerned about her mental health.

“Our other concern was for the other kids.

“We wanted to look into it and find out what was going on.”

Among the claims being examined by investigators is a report that a therapist had to request keys to be able to access Yianni in the small room.

In mid-October, the school’s principal issued a newsletter to parents stating renovation work was being carried out to expand the sensory room and remove any locks.

Calls for ‘rethink’ of behavioural management

Chief Executive of Autism Awareness Australia Nicole Rogerson said her organisation received similar reports from parents across the country.

“We know very well about good inclusive education practices,” she said.

A woman in glasses
Nicole Rogerson says there should be a “dramatic rethink” about how schools educate children with disabilities.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

“There’s a lot of research to support it, we know how to do it, that just doesn’t mean it’s being rolled out.”

She said education departments need to rethink the way they monitor their policies and procedures.

“There has to be a dramatic rethink about how we educate children with a disability in our schools.

“It needs leadership form the top but it needs systemic change.

“This isn’t just something a little bit of extra teacher training can address — this is a problem where principals have an awful lot of power in their local schools and parents are very much left to these devices.

“It’s got to change.”



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Sydney school under investigation for locking child with autism in ‘sensory room’


An autism awareness advocate is calling on schools across the country to ensure they properly treat children with a disability, after revelations a Sydney school is under investigation for installing locks on rooms for students who misbehave.

The New South Wales Department of Education is investigating a Penshurst West Public School, in Sydney’s south, after concerned parents discovered locks were installed on a small “sensory room”.

Katerina Ferekos, whose seven-year-old son Yianni is enrolled at the school, raised concerns with the principal earlier this year.

“I’m not ashamed to have a child with ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder],” she said.

“We were told it’s impossible to have locks on the room … and I said, ‘well, they’re there,’ and that’s when an investigation started.”

A lock can be seen on a door at the school.(Facebook)

Another parent later noticed a picture of a bolt on the room door, in the background of another photo which was uploaded to social media.

Ms Ferekos said she was left shocked after receiving a notice from the principal banning her from school grounds after a confrontation earlier on the same day she raised her concerns.

“Two officers were out the front [of my house] and said, ‘We’re delivering a letter to you on behalf of the school’,” she said.

“Especially in front of my child — the eldest one and who can understand — it made me very distraught.

Investigators are also assessing a claim that a therapist had to search for keys to be able to reach Yianni Ferekos inside the room on a separate occasion.

In October, after Ms Ferekos raised her concerns, a newsletter was issued to parents informing them that the room was being expanded and the locks were to be removed.

The school’s principal has since been stood aside and another teacher placed on separate duties, pending the full investigation.

A school sign.
A photograph shows a lock on the door of the “sensory room”.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

Warning letter ‘not appropriate’

Deputy Secretary of NSW Department of Education, Murat Dizdar said a new leadership team had been brought into the school while the investigation was underway.

“These serious allegations point to the fact the departmental policy and procedures appear to have not been followed and we need to allow that thorough investigation to take place.”

Mr Dizdar said the department would apologise to the family for the way they were treated.

“When we became aware of that, our view is that that has again breached departmental policy and procedure in this particular instance.

A woman and a man.
The Education department will apologise to Katerina and Bill Ferekos.(ABC News: Josh Bavas)

He said the department had rescinded that warning letter as it was “not appropriate in this case”.

“We do apologise to the family concerned, it should not have been issued.

“NSW Police were simply doing their work but the department takes full responsibility for the actions in this case.”

Ms Rogerson said the case sent a “terrible message” to other kids in the class about how children with a disability should be treated and should be highlighted as a warning for other schools.

“There are so many techniques that could have been used to make this situation better,” she said.

“It’s really important to understand, this isn’t just an isolated case, these cases happen all across the country.”

Parents often feel like ‘their child isn’t welcome’

The chief executive of Autism Awareness Australia Nicole Rogerson said allegations of mistreatment were becoming far too common and wants state education departments to take note.

“We know very well about good inclusive education practices,” she said.

“There’s a lot of research to support it, we know how to do it, it just doesn’t mean it’s being rolled out at the school level.”

She said parents often did not know how to raise concerns if they believed their children were being mistreated.

“Often times a parent wants their child to go to the local school and, depending on how they’re managed, that parent often feels like their child isn’t welcome, they’re not wanted there in that school.

“It makes it very difficult for the parent and principal relationship to be even if the family feels that their child is being mistreated.”



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