Tag Archives: home decor

Six Ways To Achieve An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

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Six Ways To Achieve An Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Planning a home improvement project soon? Why not try making your bathroom an eco-friendly space? Your bathroom is the room in the house where water use is the highest. The longer you stay in the bathroom, the more water you use and the more energy for heating, lighting, and ventilating is used, too. This all translates to skyrocketing water and energy bills every month.

With the bleak forecast about global water and energy scarcity, there’s no better time than the present to gradually transform your home into an eco-friendly space; and the bathroom is the perfect place to start. Here are six ways to achieve an eco-friendly bathroom:

Install Low-Flow Faucet Aerators:

Faucet aerators are fixtures that are capped on the faucet opening to reduce water use, control its flow, prevent splashing, and increase perceived water pressure. How does it work? Faucet aerators save water (and therefore, save you money on water bills) by introducing air into the water flow, so there’s less water flowing but still enough to wash things.

With a low-flow faucet aerator, you can reduce rate of water flow from 2.5 gallons per minute (standard faucets) to as little as 0.5 gallons per minute. That’s saving about 80 percent of water every minute the tap is on.

Faucet aerators are affordable and easy to install. You can get one for $5 to $10 dollars, depending on the brand and features added to the aerator. When buying the a low-flow aerator, make sure you have the right size and one that is compatible with your faucet. Installing the new aerator only takes a few minutes. Just unscrew the old one using a wrench, turn on the tap to wash away debris, and cap on the new aerator. Make sure not to apply too much force to avoid damaging your faucet.

Change To A Low-Flow Showerhead:

Do you like taking long showers every day? If the answer is yes, then you’ve found the primary culprit for your skyrocketing water bills. Standard showerheads use from 2.5 to 4 gallons of water per minute. So every time you shower for 30 minutes, you’re using about 75 to 120 gallons of water. That’s 15 to 24 times more water used than the average person in a developing country. (The statistics is 20 liters of water or 5.3 gallons per person.)

When you change to a low-flow showerhead, you save one-half to two gallons of water every minute you shower. Of course, this only works well when you cut down on your shower time, too.

Go For A Water-Efficient Toilet:

Old toilets are one of the biggest water wasters in your house. They consume about 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush, which is a lot for one use. In contrast, new toilets only use an average of 1.6 gallons per flush. If you want an eco-friendly bathroom, then you may want to switch to a water-efficient macerating toilet.

Water-efficient or low-flow toilets save more than regular modern toilets. Some models can go as low as one gallon for every flush. Getting one with a macerating pump also helps with preventing toilet clogging, which saves you from expensive plumbing bills.

Use Energy-Efficient Light Fixtures:

The bathroom is the place where you do most of your grooming, like shaving and doing makeup. These are delicate activities that need good lighting to avoid injury or mess-ups. However, inefficient light bulbs are some of the chief reasons for high electricity bills.

For places like the bathroom, that require good lighting, use energy-efficient light bulbs. These include compact fluorescent lamps, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and halogen incandescents. Energy-efficient light fixtures can last 3 to 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs and save from 25 to 80 percent more energy, making them the eco-friendly choice.

Switch To An Energy-Efficient Exhaust Fan:

Ventilation is essential to keeping your bathroom clean, odor-free, and mold-free. A constantly damp bathroom is conducive for mold growth. However, when you ventilate your bathroom after use, you remove excess moisture and inhibit the buildup of mold spores.

There are two ways to ventilate your bathroom. You can either open the window and door or use an exhaust fan. An exhaust fan consumes energy and can result in mounting energy bills when used too often. It’s not always ideal to open windows and doors, too. Open bathroom windows may invite unscrupulous people (or bugs) in your home while open doors will just transfer the odor (and whatever else is in the air) into another part of the house.

Since you can’t do away with ventilating your bathroom, you can use an energy-efficient fan. To find one, search for an Energy Star-rated model and get 60 percent energy savings compared to standard vent fans.

Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies:

Many cleaning products available in the market today contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous to your health and bad for the environment. Their ingredient includes phtalates present in air fresheners, dish soap, and some toilet papers. Phtalates are harmful to the endocrine system can and reduce a man’s sperm count.

Harmful chemicals, like perchloroethylene (Perc), triclosan, 2-butoxyethanol, and ammonia, attack your health and negatively impact the environment, and they’re common ingredients in many household cleaners.

Avoid these chemicals by opting for eco-friendly products or homemade products that are proven to have no harmful effects. You can consult the non-profit Environment Working Group for a list of cleaning products to avoid.

Take The First Step:

Wasting water and energy has far reaching impact to the environment and the earth’s resources. With global warming, climate change, and scarcity hitting the world in all corners, it’s high time for people to take action to reverse the damage that’s been done to the earth. Converting your bathroom into an eco-friendly space is the first step to building a more sustainable environment for you and your family. Why not start now?

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Adorable Garden Decor

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Adorable Garden Decor

Hi! As you all can tell, I am loving all outdoor everything right now. Part of what comes with that is being friggen OBSESSED with Adorable Garden Decor. This includes garden gnomes, bird baths, wind chimes, pinwheels, the works. But, my favorite outdoor decor as of late has been anything solar powered. I have seen lovely flowers that turn into glowing blooms at night and bird baths that looks like the imaginings of fairy tales once it gets dark out.

At my home, we go for the simpler route and have our front area illuminated by one solar paneled lantern – and it looks awesome! Take a look:

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I don’t know what it is about this outdoor decor that I love so much. It just looks so sweet to me – like something that should be in a picture book. At night, the lantern is surprisingly bright thanks to being hit by the sun’s rays all day. And, during the day time, it looks cheery and fun because of the chubby little gnome holding his butterfly balloon. It’s two completely different looks as the day transitions to night and I think that they both look great. 😀

Whether one’s outdoor decor is simple or something big and elaborate, it makes me smile all the same! How do you like to decorate your garden? Do you have any solar powered decor in your yard? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Prepare Your Home For Guests

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How To Prepare Your Home For Guests

If you’re having friends or family staying at your house for a while, then you’re going to want to make sure that your home is in tip-top condition for when they arrive. As the host, this is your job, so it’s essential that you do all that you can to make your home a comfortable and welcoming space, so that your guests can have the best time possible on their trip. This often seems like a daunting task, but try not to get too overwhelmed. As difficult as it may seem, preparations for your guests can be split into four simple steps:

  1. Clean And Tidy Everywhere

If your house is dirty and untidy, then your guests aren’t going to feel comfortable staying there. Because of this, it’s vital that you get all of of your cleaning supplies together and tackle every single room in the house. You need to make sure to vacuum every room, wipe down all of the surfaces, clean the mirrors, and tidy away any clutter. Your house doesn’t need to look like a show home, but your guests shouldn’t have to step over junk as they walk around.

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Cleaning is not fun but it must be done!

  1. Sort Out Their Space

If you’re having guests staying with you, then you need to find somewhere for them to sleep. If you’ve got a spare room, you could turn this into a guest bedroom with the help of an interior design company, like World of Renovation. If you don’t, then you should consider alternative sleeping arrangements, like sofa beds and blow up mattresses. You might even want to consider giving up your own bedroom for your guests and taking the sofa yourself.

  1. Stock Up The Fridge

The last thing that you want is for your guests to go hungry while they’re staying with you, so make sure that your fridge and cupboards are stocked with plenty of snacks and other foods for when it’s meal time. You might want to go shopping with them when they arrive so that they can help you pick out some of their favorite things, but if you’d rather get it done beforehand, then make sure to ask about any allergies or dietary restrictions.

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 Talk about well stocked!

  1. Remember The Little Touches

Things like tidying your house and giving your guests somewhere to sleep are obvious, and because of this, it’s usually the little touches that mean the most and help your guests to feel welcome. Things like putting together a welcome pack of fancy toiletries can really make your guests smile and show them that you care. You could also make sure to buy their favorite foods and drinks, place some light reading near their bed, and put out a vase of flowers in their room. You don’t have to go overboard, because the smallest things can often bring a lot of joy.

Preparing your home for house guests might seem like a difficult and long-winded task, but it’s honestly not as daunting as you might think. All you need to do is follow the four simple steps above, and then you’ll be ready to welcome your guests with open arms and enjoy your time with them.

Key Parts Of A Kitchen Redesign

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Key Parts Of A Kitchen Redesign

There is no doubt that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, and if you are planning on redesigning yours in the near future, then you will want to ensure that it is as functional and attractive as possible. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at just a couple of the main ways that you can achieve these twin goals to create a room that you can be truly proud of:

Style and Design:

First, you need to choose between a vintage or a contemporary space, and whether it is going to be state-of-the-art or homelike. Remember, you want to choose a design which stands the test of time, as it is highly likely that you will be keeping it this way for many years to come.

Layout:

Once you have the design sorted, it is time to consider the layout in more detail. As a general design principle to follow, you should think of the room as a triangle of the fridge, the sink, and the stove or cooktop. If you plan this space well enough so that you can move between the points with ease, then this will make the whole meal preparation saga so much more straightforward.

Cupboards and Countertops:

Do you want to keep your current cupboards or would you prefer to refinish and reface them? Also, you should consider what types of cupboard are going to give you maximum storage space. As for the countertops, these will need to be able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. So, as well as aesthetic appeal, you should also be thinking in terms of their physical features such as being water resistant and hard-wearing to get the most bang for your buck.

Kitchen Devices and Appliances:

Whatever types of kitchen devices and appliances you choose will need to be long lasting. You should also consider energy efficiency, as this will help to make your household bills cheaper. Some of the essentials include a fridge (Check out Bosch Refrigerators for some good options!), a stove, and a microwave. But there are plenty of extras like wine cooling devices and dishwashers, which can help to make your life that little bit easier.

Lighting:

Without the right lighting, your kitchen area can end up looking drab and dingy. As well as the overhead lights, you should also check out the other kinds of task lighting like In-built uplights, which can make food preparation so much easier.

The Floor:

Every kitchen should have a floor which offers both style and elegance. But it should also have some practical features like being slip-resistant, easy-to-clean, and difficult to scratch and damage. You’ll be doing a lot of walking back and forth in the kitchen, after all!

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 So swanky!

Take your time when you are redesigning your kitchen, as you want to make sure that you get everything just right. These are a few of the key parts of the task that you have in front of you to give you a helping hand!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Jazz Up Your Garage And Make It A Creative Space

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Jazz Up Your Garage And Make It A Creative Space

The garage is often known as being that space where you dump absolutely everything. It is also the place where you can’t find anything, and it often gets neglected over time. This can cause real problems for your home and it also shuts it off as being an accessible room, as well. This doesn’t have to be the case, and if you want to jazz up your garage, then there are things that you can do to make this happen:

Folding Desk:

If you have a small garage, then this can make it very hard for you to have a desk or anything else that you need to really harness your creativity. One way for you to get around this would be for you to have a folding desk. This can come out from the wall and when you are finished, it isn’t hard for you to just lift it up and have your space back. This is one of the best things that you can do if you don’t want to move your car, and it also frees up a lot more room should you need to convert the space again for something else.

Storage Jars:

If you want to store a lot of things at once, like pens, pencils, sharpeners, and more, why not put them into jars? When you have things stored in jars, it doesn’t matter if they get knocked over because there is a lid. On top of this, you can see instantly what items you have in each one. When you have these on an overhanging shelf that is higher up, you can save a ton of desk space and this is ideal if you want to go for the folding desk idea above.

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 Pexels Image

Your Garage Door:

If your garage door is full of grime or if you know that it is not functioning properly then maybe it’s time to consider getting sectional garage doors installed. This is a great way for you to turn your space into a multi-functional room. You could even try and paint the garage door, as well, so that you can easily add some color to the space. If you want to be super creative, add in some artwork. This could be of anything, and if you don’t want to get it ruined in a dusty atmosphere, just opt for canvas. This is ideal because it’s cheap and it can easily be wiped down.

Bookcase:

Do you need shelf space but you know that you can’t have a full set installed? One thing that you can do here is have a bookcase. Bookcases are much thinner when compared to shelving units and they are much taller. This is ideal if you actually need space and if you have a lot of items with nowhere to put them. Bookcases can also be fixed to the wall, so that there is absolutely no danger of them falling over.

Turning your garage into an actual room can really increase the value of your home on top of having your own workshop!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

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Spring Renovations: Are These Projects Worth The Money?

When spring arrives, it can feel only natural to want to get outdoors and start tending to your yard or garden. After a long and cold winter, it could really need it! Surely, you’ll want to make everything look as good as new.

That can all seem very well, especially if you are thinking of selling the home soon or just want to make it look a little different. But are some of the home projects or renovations that you have planned in your mind going to be worth it? Here are some suggestions for you, to make sure that you’d be getting your money’s worth for each project:

Yard/Garden Landscaping

If the sun shines and the flowers are blossoming, then who wouldn’t want to be outdoors? But if you want a super-styled outdoor space, rather than just a rose bush by the picket fence, then it can cost you quite a bit to get it done. It can mean some major changes to the yard, with some digging up, possibly concrete being added, and things like ponds being made. It can really change the look of the space, so you need to decide if it is going to be worth it for you.

If you are planning a move sooner rather than later, then in reality, there are plenty of other things that you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home, rather than getting the yard landscaped. Getting new plants and generally tidying up the outside space could be a much better use of your cash. If you’re not planning to move, then you just need to weigh up the pros and the cons. If you do want to landscape, then to make it cheaper, get bulbs to plant, rather than planting established trees or plants, as they can be expensive to buy.

Driveway Repairs:

If you have a driveway, then over the winter it can take a beating with the ice, snow, rain, and salt being added to it on a daily basis. The thing is, just putting a new layer of concrete or asphalt over the top isn’t always going to be that simple. You have to think about the foundations and any cracks, as they could lead to problems if they’re not dealt with. So it can involve some heavy machinery to get it looked at and repaired.

The thing is, though, is that a driveway is something that a potential buyer would be looking at right away. So if you are looking to move, it could be the thing that tips the scales for a buyer. On the flipside, if you’re planning to move, then you may not be bothered about the driveway and leave it for the new owner. So it comes down to how long you’ve got left living there and if you’ve got it in the budget.

Repainting:

Winter brings with it lots of shades of gray, and can often leave you feeling that you need some color in your life. Many experts agree that painting can change the look of a home, both interior and exterior, for a pretty low cost. So it can be worth doing, as if you do it yourself, all you are paying for are tins of paint. Professionals like Textbook Painting would be able to provide the right equipment, if you were painting the outside of the house, for example, but can still keep costs down. So if you want to freshen things up, then repainting is an easy win, and would be worth doing, moving home or not.

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A bright colored accent wall always goes down well!

Repairing/Replacing Siding:

The siding on your home is what takes the brute force from bad weather. A particularly harsh winter could have wreaked havoc on the condition of it. So if yours is looking a little worse for wear, then right about now could be a good time to repair or replace it. But it is going to be worth it? In short, yes, it is going to be worth it. But the actual process can be long and quite costly.

First of all, this isn’t something that you can do easily by yourself. So really, you will be paying the cost of labor for contractors to do it for you. And that can reach into the region of around $10,000. So to justify the cost, then you probably need to ‘wait’ until the siding is looking in particularly bad repair. If it is not peeling, coming away, or there are no loose parts, then it could be worth leaving for a little longer, simply to get more bang for your buck.

If only some of it is looking bad, then you could replace just those panels rather than the whole lot. That would be a good way to save money but still improve the look and condition of things. You could also consider simply repainting your siding, if there are just a few parts that are peeling off. Get them sanded down, ready to paint, and it can look like new afterwards.

While spring is a great time of year to be making changes, think carefully and plan out any projects or renovations before you get started on them!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Designing A Kitchen That Adds Value To Your Home

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Designing A Kitchen That Adds Value To Your Home

The best home renovation tasks will do a lot more than improve your home decor; they’ll add value to your property. As a homeowner, this should always linger in the back of your mind, as you never know when you may sell your home. One of the home improvement ideas that works very well is to build a new kitchen.

Yes, kitchen remodels are very popular for a multitude of reasons. They let you breathe new life into an old kitchen, modernize it, and improve the value of your home. Of course, there are a few things that you can do that will guarantee that your kitchen boosts property value as well as style. Here are some new ideas if you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen soon:

Induction Hobs:

Induction hobs are the future of kitchen design. Pretty much all new builds have them, and you’ve definitely seen them somewhere. Basically, instead of using the typical gas hobs with the flames, you now have a flat surface that’s powered by electricity. It’s way more modern, looks sleeker, and it’s also much easier to clean. All you need to do is use a wet wipe or something on the surface once it’s cooled down, and all of the oil spills will be gone.

So, it’s an aesthetically pleasing and practical option, but how does it add value to your home? Well, these hobs are way more energy efficient than traditional gas hobs and old electric ones. Here, all of the electricity that’s used will most likely be used on your pans. There’s hardly any energy leaks, meaning that you don’t waste electricity whenever you cook. You can learn more on thecaterer.com if you’re interested in knowing the finer details. As a result of this, your family can potentially save a lot of money and your property rises in value.

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Flickr Image

Granite Counter Tops:

Everyone has a very important choice during the design process of their new kitchen. Which material will you use for the counter tops? Many people think this decision is easy, as you simply pick whichever one looks the nicest. However, if you opt for granite counter tops, then you could be adding something extra to your kitchen. There are dozens of benefits to granite counters, and you can head to Worldstonegroup.com to learn more about them. But, we only care about one; quality.

Granite is a material that’s naturally made and is extremely old. Why do people keep using it? Because it’s got such a high level of quality to it. A granite counter top is there for years. It will not break or scratch under regular kitchen conditions, and it adds timeless beauty to your home. One fun fact is that granite counters don’t depreciate in value. So, if you’re looking for smart kitchen ideas that help boost the value of your home, then this is one of them.

Space Saving Designs:

Let’s face it, we all want to have a big kitchen. However, not everyone has enough physical space for such a thing. What can you do about this? Well, when remodeling your kitchen, you can think about space-saving designs that help make your kitchen look and feel bigger. You don’t have to knock down any walls and extend your home, you just use design techniques that are clever.

Ideas can include things like having tall cupboards from floor to ceiling, instead of classic kitchen cabinets. Another idea that was seen on a forbes.com list is to design your kitchen with wall-mounted storage. This means hanging pots and pans on the wall, getting magnetic strips to put knives and things on, and so on. Doing this helps declutter your kitchen and saves a lot of space. The benefit of all of this is that bigger kitchens boost the value of your property if you were to list it on the market.

Underfloor Heating:

Radiators, wall heaters – call them what you want, they’re a big pain in the backside. We need them to help heat the home, but they’re often terribly ugly. This isn’t a massive issue, as you can always buy some very nice, modern looking ones to replace ugly ones elsewhere in your home. But, when it comes to the kitchen, a radiator just takes up too much space. Not only that, but it’s not very effective and can be an issue. For example, if your radiator is close to the fridge, then it could disrupt the internal temperature. You’re much better off getting underfloor heating installed when you design your new kitchen.

It’s a modern idea, and underfloor heating is proven to be way more efficient and effective than traditional radiators. There’s a more even spread of heat throughout the kitchen, and your feet don’t feel cold on the tiles, either! If you’ve been paying attention to the rest of this article, then you can probably already tell why this will add value to your home. Yep, underfloor heating saves energy as it’s more efficient, which is always a massive plus in the property value books. But, it also saves space in your kitchen, which we just mentioned was a great idea.

 

If you want to improve your home decor, then think about remodeling your kitchen. When you do this, it’s important to consider design ideas that benefit you in more than one way to ultimately increase the value of your home.

Featured Image By: kaboompics