emma

Aug 072012
 

People take steps to make their houses more environmentally sustainable because of values and value. Their values provide them with the motivation to reduce their ecological and carbon footprints and to help
provide their progeny with a cleaner, greener world. Sustainability,
after all, means meeting our current needs without making it more
difficult or even impossible for future generations to do so.
Implementing green ideas into houses is also a commonsense way to save
money and to make those homes more comfortable.

Tightening the Envelope
window insulationSaving energy helps to combat climate change, reduce pollution from
power plants, make homes more comfortable, and reduce your power bills
significantly. One major way to do this is by tightening your house’s
envelope, which is what separates its interior from the outside
world. Start by closing off air leaks with caulking and weather
stripping, installing double glazing in all windows, and then insulating
everything you can. Put up insulated curtains or blinds. Insulate all
walls, floors, ceilings, and heating ducts, your attic or crawl space,
and your hot-water cylinder. Then enjoy a warm, draft-free home in the
winter and a naturally cool, dry one in summer, while your lower energy
costs make your investment pay for itself.

Other Green Ideas For Saving Energy
led light bulbThere are many small things you can do to reduce energy use. Use only
compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Turn off all electronic
equipment when not in use – never leave anything on standby or pause for
long. Choose energy-efficient appliances and heating systems, the
latter with programmable thermostats.

Green Ideas For More Sustainable Water Use
Install such water-conserving fixtures as low-flow shower heads,
ultra-low flush toilets, and tap aerators to reduce your house’s impact
on wells and water-treatment plants. Solar water heating increases both
water and energy efficiency. Alternately, point-of-use continuous-flow
hot water systems save enormous amounts of money and eliminate the need
to store insulated hot water in a cylinder. If possible, collect
rainwater for non-potable use and install systems that recycle
greywater from your drains to irrigate your garden and, if
properly treated, to flush your toilets and even wash your car.

Reducing Waste
water saverDefinitely acquire a compost bin for your greenwaste, both to reduce
what goes to the landfill and to provide your garden with high-quality
organic fertiliser. A bidet in the loo helps to reduce or eliminate the
use of toilet tissue, thereby reducing pressure on sewerage and
wastewater treatment plants.

The Cost
Although making a house more environmentally sustainable does involve
some investment, and efficient appliances, lighting, hot-water systems,
and so on cost more than traditional approaches, some studies have
indicated that the savings over the long term can be as much as ten
times the amount expended.

ecological ideas ecological ideas ecological ideas

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min
Aug 072012
 

cheap living-room decorationRegardless of the number of rooms available in a home, the living room is the most
important, since this is where family and friends gather and spend time
together. Decorating it can also be a fun activity to do on a small
budget.

The first item on the to-do-list is de-clutter, and clean
the room. Remove unnecessary items and boxes, do thorough cleaning
including the floor, furniture, windows and walls. This will give you
the perfect décor canvas to work with before you begin to decorate a
living-room. On cleaning up, it will become apparent to you that you
actually need very little to make the room elegant.

Give the floor a new life

carpetOne of the best ways in which you can make a dull floor look great is by
re-carpeting or changing the tiles. Yet, this is prohibitively expensive
when you are on a small budget. Alternatively, you can buy cheaper
floor rugs and spread them in appropriate locations in the room, and it
will have new life. You will find a wide variety of floor rugs that you
can afford while on budget to decorate a living-room.

Change the colour scheme

The other inexpensive way of decorating a living room is by changing the
colour scheme. You may choose a different colour altogether,
alternatively, bring in some new colours into the main colour and the
room will look different. Giving the room a different colour from the
former will make it look like it is newly furnished and stylish too. For
you to get the ideal professional look, give the room a new
professional coat of paint. You can also consider mixing two or three
colours, while using the darker shades to accent some areas of the room.

Introduce indoor plants

interior plantThe other great way that you can add life to an otherwise boring living
room is by introducing indoor plans. Green added to a room makes it look
cool and classy. For you to achieve this, you will need to buy a few
potted plants and arrange them in appropriate locations of the room,
especially where there is sufficient light. Alternatively, you can place
them in a dark corner and then add a lamp to light up the area. This
will result in a beautiful corner arrangement as well as ensure the
plants stay healthy.

Rearrange the furniture

The other affordable way in which you can decorate a living-room on a small
budget is by rearranging the furniture. For instance, relocate the couch
from the wall to another location, and move the TV or entertainment
unit to another spot. The key thing here is to experiment with different
room arrangements. If the furniture’s condition is not very good, you
can use slipcovers or paint it afresh. At the same time, using throw
pillows in different textures and colours also improves the way a living
room looks.

Accessorise the walls

wall decorationThe last and affordable way to decorate a living-room while on a small budget is to
use pictures, wall art, and accessories. You may find that you already
have a few pieces at home, and if you require more, you can always find a
great sale in your neighbourhood. The catch with these decor items is
creativity, and good arrangement on the wall while avoiding cluttering.

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min
Aug 072012
 

Create a Real Kids’ Room in your House

kids room decorationIf you have the glorious option of dedicating an entire room in your home
to kids then it is more than worth taking the time to really think about
it. What is the purpose of it? Is it to keep kids away from other rooms
or simply to keep then entertained throughout the day? Do you want to
to be an educational room where they do homework? A relaxing room where
they watch films? A playroom where they can go totally nuts? And what is
your budget? Whatever the answer to these questions, it is relatively
simple to successfully achieve what you want with a little pre-thought
and a lot of creativity.

Younger Children

For younger kids of below the age of 10, play and activity is key. First and foremost, it
is a great idea to injury-proof the room and the contents as much as
possible so that they can safely play around without the possibility of
running into a sharp corner or falling on a concrete floor. Choose soft
and rounded furniture pieces, but not many, as space would be more
desirable than a room filled with objects for this age group. Go for
soft carpets with fluffy textures and a lot of cushions that can be
thrown around. Make colours as bright and varied as possible for extra
stimulation and also have a CD player or radio playing kids songs in the
background so the TV does not have t be constantly on.

Older Children

older children room decorationCreate a real kids’ room for older children by focusing on making a space that
is private and has the options of both relaxing and being active. A way
to achieve this is by having a homework area incorporated into the room
via a desk and computer. Pre-teen kids very often want some degree of
privacy and alone time so combining this with a study area is always a
good option. An entertainment area is also inevitable here so invest in a
great comfy sofa that can sit a few of their friends for a DVD evening
or a chat away from the adults. Decor-wise try to veer away from
overly-childish colours and design schemes and opt for pastel colours
instead. Create a real kids’ room even further by having a music system
and computer game zone integrated into the space as this will surely be
the focal point for kids of this age group.

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min
Aug 072012
 

kitchen decorationThe kitchen is not just the area where the food of the family is prepared.
Kitchens these days have morphed into multipurpose rooms. The kitchen
has in fact become the heart of the home as the family tend to
congregate in this area. The family starts the day with a rushed
breakfast in the kitchen. Again, the family would make a beeline for the
kitchen at the end of the day…the kids will grab a glass of milk and a
cookie and the adults for a hot cup of coffee. Because of the heavy
traffic, kitchens have to be functional but also pleasing to the eye. It
is therefore not surprising if homeowners would want to do kitchen
makeovers. Without breaking the bank you too can freshen-up your kitchen
with easy how to ideas.

How to plan for the kitchen makeover

The task to freshen-up your kitchen can be challenging but for sure it
would be lots of fun. Giving the kitchen a facelift is one of the more
expensive home remodelling projects. However, with the right how to
information, the kitchen improvement project can be done on a budget.
The first task is to consider what part of the kitchen urgently needs
updating. Are the counter tops chipped, are the cabinet doors hanging
awry or is the paint peeling? Simply changing the lighting fixtures or
hanging colourful curtains will already make a dramatic impact that will
freshen-up your kitchen. Before deciding on what must be done, there
has to be a concrete idea on what the finished project will look like.

Reface cabinets and replace counter tops

Oftentimes, the still functional cabinets contribute to the less
pleasing appearance of the kitchen. Outmoded cabinets can be given a new
look with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Matching knobs, pulls
and hinges will breathe new life to the old cabinets. Decorative
tinted, etched, stained or clear glass doors are in these days.
Replacing the still sturdy wood cabinets would not be necessary. The
kitchen will have a new look even if only the cabinet doors are
replaced. Replace the chipped ceramic tile counter top with stainless
steel or with granite or glass if the budget permits.

Freshen-up your kitchens floor and walls

A new coat of paint can do wonders to the overall appearance of the
kitchen. It is also one of the cheapest methods of giving the kitchen a
new look. Give your kitchen floor a new life by refinishing wooden
floors or getting the help of a professional to re-polish a stone
flooring. Covering the floor with an attractive linoleum will be less
expensive but the desired effect of giving the kitchen a face lift will
still be achieved.

An unlimited budget is not really necessary to
make the kitchen look great. You only need to be creative and to have a
lot of determination to accomplish the task

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min
Aug 072012
 

Many people experience challenges in their attempts to design small spaces, yet
this should be easy and hassle free even when you are on budget. Small
rooms and spaces have their pros and cons, in which case you need skill
and creativity to make them look stylish.

The main advantage with small spaces is that you have a wider range of locations to choose,
compared to larger spaces. This ensures that you are always considerate
when shopping, in an effort to avert clutter accumulation within the
tiny space. Here are some tips that will help you design your small
space easily. It would be advisable to consult an expert who will make
the furnishing and overall decorating process simpler and well
organised.

Planning and designing your small space

planning & designing litte spaceThe main challenge that you can expect as you plan and design small spaces
is organisation. If you have a small home or space, then you can expect
closets and other storage facilities to be small, which makes storage
planning a big challenge. So how do you counter this challenge?

The first step is to get rid of items that you do not need, for instance,
old clothing, and shoes. The other option is to make good use of the
in-built storage space that is immediately available. On the other hand,
you can also look out for other spaces such as the landings, halls and
the stairway and determine how best you can use those areas, while being
economical on design.

Using colour to enhance décor

In an attempt to design small spaces, many people paint them in bright
colours to make them look larger. Actually, this is one of the best and
most affordable ways to make a small space look larger, offering a great
dose of style, which draws the eye’s attention away from the small
size. In addition to bright and appropriate colours, you also need to
make other wise choices, for instance, ensuring the space is well lit.
In fact, good lighting helps reflect light back and this gives the
illusion of a large space, even when the space is apparently very small.
If lighting is not an option, you can try using mirrors, which are very
good at offering large space illusion in tiny spaces.

Furnishing choices

small spaces furnitureAs you design small spaces, consider using dual or multipurpose furniture,
especially beds. The other design idea is using visual impact
furniture, for instance, a striped fabric sofa, makes a great choice.
This kind of a sofa gives the illusion of space where it is limited, and
at the same time, you can choose one that is multipurpose, useful as a
sofa, bed, and storage facility too. If you are designing a small office
space, you must be very careful with the sofa choice, in which you may
consider consulting an expert to help in the selection process.

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min
Aug 072012
 

house paintingPainting can be the most economical and fastest way to convert your living
room’s appearance from that of ‘rags’ to ‘riches’. Most homeowners are
aware of this but seem reluctant to begin this task. In many instances
this is due to the confusion that arises when it’s time to select
interior colours for their rooms. To the uninitiated how to choose
colours may seem like a daunting task. Nonetheless, deciding on the
right colours will be facilitated by following appropriate guidelines.
Making your living room eye-catching and matching the rest of your
furnishings is now within reach.

The Impact of Dark Colour Paint on Your Living-Room’s Wall

Some homeowners may begin by wanting to learn how to choose colors straight
from a color palette without looking into the influence these colours
will bring to the actual appearance of the particular space.
You would want to start selecting the proper paint color by examining
fabrics and other items like floors, rugs and furniture. All these will
give you an insight into your room’s colour scheme.
Many would prefer dark paint colors for their living-room’s wall. This
will be acceptable once the rooms carrying the darker colors are
sufficiently big and have ample light coming in so as not to look like
some sort of gloomy prison upon completion. Remember there are numerous
colours available and knowing how to choose the right colors for your
walls can become very puzzling.

The Effect of Light Colour Paint on Your Living-Room’s Walllight effect

You may want to paint a large and airy looking room with darker colours.
Some designers recommend painting one wall using an accent colour that
is darker than the rest. This effect stands out on walls that contain
abundant sunlight and applying a darker colour can lessen the hue of the
wall without scarifying style or elegance. In the world of decoration,
it is generally acknowledged that lighter shades allow for more spacious
rooms. What’s more, decoration of rooms will come easier with lighter
colour paint over darker colors for living room surfaces. You may have
noticed that lighter shaded walls seemingly move the eye looking upward,
giving the sensation of being in a larger room. The reverse is true for
darker colours, i.e., causing the eye to gaze downwards and thus giving
a feeling of less space.

How Furniture Impact the Lighting and Space

furniture living roomYou are particularly going to look at how furniture would impact the lighting
and space of your living room. The furniture’s colour will have an
effect on the lightness or darkness in a room, and it will shed a light
on the precise lighting alternative for that room. One method that many
designers use is to bring along hue samples from accent colors that
match your furniture.

The fundamental factor to be mindful of is
viewing colors as possessing certain properties which can indeed add
charm and elegance to your living-room, whether contemporary or
traditional.

 Posted by at 8 h 15 min