How to Make Your Living Room More ‘Green’

How to Make Your Living Room More ‘Green’

Make your living room eco-friendly with some of these “green” decorating ideas!

What’s a better place to start going green than your living room? And when I say “green” I don’t mean getting a lot of plants (although that can be one part of it, why not). There are so many ways you can turn your house green, even if it wasn’t originally built according to the eco-friendly standards. And before covering the rest of the house, why not start from the place where you spend most of your time.

It has the most options for going green, and can thus make the greatest impact both on the environment, and on your health, at the same time. So here are a few suggestions on how to make the living room more eco-friendly. Some of them may require a bit larger investments, but are definitely worth the money. In any case, you don’t have to apply them all at once.

Get Eco-Friendly Furniture

Photo: Via Pinterest

When selecting new furniture for your home, make sure it is made of eco-friendly materials, preferably renewable ones as well. You can recognize such furniture by the GreenGuard label, which ensures lower levels of toxicity emissions. What’s more, you can turn to the Sustainable Furnishing Council for the list of all eco-friendly manufacturers of living room furniture.

If you are not in a good financial moment to buy the new furniture, you can consider recycling what you already have. Try reupholstering your old sofa, armchair or chairs, ideally using an organic fabric, which is locally harvested and free of pesticides.

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Change Your Flooring

This might sound like a lot of work, but it will definitely pay off. The idea is to use renewable floor materials. The top ones would be the fast growing bamboo, tile, sea grass, cork, linoleum and wool. If you really can’t renounce a wood floor, at least make sure it’s made of FSC wood. This means it’s confirmed the wood is coming from sustainable forests. It’s good to keep in mind that the major part of tropical woods, such as, for instance, mahogany, come from the rainforests, so it’s advised to avoid them.

If changing the entire flooring is too much for you at the moment, at least consider changing your carpet. A new carpet is an essential that will make your living room pop, without too much effort. Wool is a good choice of material, since it’s renewable and harvesting it does not hurt the sheep it comes from. Also, some companies offer carpets made of recycled nylon, which is further recyclable, so it’s an example of the so-called “cradle to cradle” manufacturing, since once you decide to throw out your old carpet, it can be recycled into a new carpet again.

Photo: Glitter Guide

Use Eco-Friendly Wall Paints

The factor that decides a paint’s eco-friendliness are the so-called, VOC, that is, “volatile organic compounds”. These ingredients have been connected to various health issues, and even cancers. They represent the gases which are emitted in your house after your walls are painted.

There are some companies who produce VOC-free paints, which are of no less quality than the standard high quality paints. You will recognize eco-friendly products by the green seal you should find on the label, so that should help you choose. This is a very important factor when it comes to your and your family’s health, and also when it comes to the overall air quality and gas emissions.

Whichever option you choose, it will be a great improvement for your overall quality of life and for the environment. So try to keep it up and move further on the “green” way.

To contact Skylar’s Home & Patio Furniture San Diego
9160 Kearny Villa Ct, San Diego, CA 92123, USA

What Are the Most Common Water Damage Risks in My Home?

What Are the Most Common Water Damage Risks in My Home?

Being a homeowner is pretty self-explanatory, but in reality, there’s much more you need to take into consideration and things you need to do inside and outside the home to make sure everything is working and in good shape.

Photo: Via Pinterest

The first thing you need to think about is a basic protection and safety. Natural disasters like earthquakes, storms or floods are something you think would never happen to you. Being on alert and preparing your home for such a misfortunate event may sound like paranoia, but on the contrary, it is a necessary precaution and a smart move.

If you don’t think this is too important, there is the monetary element to this story. The damage caused by the water can be very difficult and expensive, and don’t think for a second it could be a fun DIY project. Large-scale water damage requires the skills of an expert restoration company.

The math is really simple here; it is better to be proactive than reactive. In other words, it is better to invest more resources into protection and safety then have much bigger expenses later on in possible water damage repairs.

The text you are about to read will focus more on potential water damage in your home and how to prevent it, so here are some useful tips:

Check your air conditioner

This is something you would probably easily overlook because your air conditioner seems to be working just right. Regular air conditioner maintenance, once or twice a year depending on how often you use it is necessary to ensure that it is working properly.

As mentioned above, the AC unit might be working just fine, but for example, moisture might be building up inside the machine which could leak later on and damage floors, walls or create a nice breeding ground for mold.

Photo: 1st Dibs

A potential dishwasher leak

The dishwasher is another item in your home that can cause a serious problem if not tended to properly. Your dishwasher might leak directly on your floors if it is not sealed correctly or if the latch is broken or even if you used a wrong detergent. You need to act quickly and make sure all leaks are immediately fixed. Whether you need to repair or replace your dishwasher is open to question depending on the damage.

Leaking washing machine

Yet another check you need to perform to make sure nothing bad will happen when you expect it the least. This consists of checking if all the fittings are tightly secured. You also need to be sure that there are no leaks beneath the machine, big or small. If your washing machine is giving you constant headaches and keeps u you up at night worried, you should definitely consider replacing it.

Leaking pipes

This is probably the most common example of how water can damage your home. One day you discover that you have frozen water pipe or a loose pipe in your kitchen or bathroom which created a pool of water, and damaged all of your home’s decorating. This is the one and the only alarm you would need at that point because a visible leak in one place means that there probably are leaks in other areas of the house as well. You should call a plumber immediately to take care of the damage and to prevent further destruction.

Photo: Home Polish

Choked drains

This problem is annoying but you feel like you can postpone it every time you enter bathroom or kitchen. However, as with other problems with water in your home, you need to deal with this as soon as possible to avoid another domino effect.

The clogged drains are not only irritating and prevent you from using the toilet or the kitchen sink, but they also might cause other issues like water backing up into the bathroom floor, shower or sinks.

Another danger is sewer water backup. The water from the sewer is filled with bacteria and raw sewage and you really don’t want that to spring inside your home.

Each and every one of these situations where water backs up might cause an overflow later on and damage the floors, walls and other surfaces. If you notice that you are experiencing clogs more often than you should then the best way to deal with that situation is to seek help from a professional.

Minimalist Décor: How to Simplify Your Home

Minimalist Décor: How to Simplify Your Home

Are you a fan of crisp, clean, and stylish home decorating? You’l love minimalist decor, here are some tips on how to simplify your home!

Photo: Storme Conradie

You don’t have to be a hoarder to collect a lot of things you don’t actually need over time. People usually feel bad for even thinking of throwing away some sentimental item, so it all stays where it is collecting dust and creating clutter. But organizing your home is not that hard if you adopt a minimalist way of thinking and try to uphold its principles. “Less is more” is something you will often read in articles about minimalism, especially when it comes to design.

Most likely, you will be amazed how someone can live with almost nothing in their home, but that’s where you’d be wrong. Minimalist décor is less about the furniture and more about the understanding and treatment of your space, something you’ll get the feel from these several ideas to simplify your home.

Photo: Via Instagram

Organize your drawers

Drawers are first to become cluttered and the last to even be considered for organizing. All the things you don’t need but have a problem to throw away, ends up in a drawer. The best way to put it in order is to empty their contents on a pile and start examining item by item. Surely there are things in there you don’t need and even didn’t know you kept until you looked at the drawer. Then use bins and organizers to keep the drawers neat and tidy. Also, use drawer dividers to compartmentalize the drawers.

Choose the base

When it comes to color, it’s more than just using one shade for everything. What you need is to decide what will be your base color. The best choice would be some neutral color like beige or light grey. You can easily add darker or lighter undertones to these colors and even try one more vivid shade to highlight certain points in your home, especially when it comes to small apartments. Natural light is important since it will bring out the freshness and warm up space regardless of the simple design and color combination.

Photo: Decoist

Downsize on the furniture

The hardest part will be to downsize your furniture since everything will seem important and needed at the moment of minimizing your space. When you start following the minimalist principles of décorating your home that doesn’t mean that you should lose most of your furniture and feel uncomfortable. The point is to declutter so that you have enough room to move without hitting anything, to create harmony among the pieces in your home and to be in control of your space. You can still have cozy and comfortable furniture, but only more organized and arranged. You could try the rule “one in, one out” meaning that if you buy something new, you have to get rid of something old, which can be quite useful when it comes to furniture.

Get rid of the clutter

Over time, you collected figurines, vases, pictures and all sorts of small things you use as ornaments and décorations for your home. And soon enough they swallowed your home and turned it into a museum. Just like with the drawer, have a good look at the shelves, cabinets, coffee table and walls, then decide which things you will donate, sell or throw away. Today, storage solutions intended just for these purposes are more and more available in Sydney, Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane and other Australian cities. That way, you won’t be saying goodbye to your belongings for good, but you would be storing them away to re-evaluate later.

Apply texture

The texture is the key ingredient to transform your home from frigid to welcoming, and yet let you have a minimalist décor. This is done by introducing knitted materials like covers and throws, plush carpets and velvet fabrics. But playing with texture can be a bit risky since if you’re new to minimalist décor, you will try to warm it up too much. Namely, if you mix textures, shapes and materials of different colors you will create chaos and disorder, something you not only try to avoid but also escape from. Designers advise using the colors and shapes that blend well in nature since this is the safest way to avoid mistakes.

Are You Sure You Want a Home Pool: The Ups and Downs of Owning a Pool

Are You Sure You Want a Home Pool: The Ups and Downs of Owning a Pool

You know all those hot summer days when you just wish you could somehow make it all go away and find a way to stay cool and fresh without too much effort, because what’s the point if you have to try too hard? The first thing that comes to your mind is a pool in your backyard, and you are right on track.

Photo: Simple Pool Tips

It is a great recreational place for your entire family, and it’s literally just a few feet away from the bedroom. No need to make tons of sandwiches and basically migrate your family to a local public swimming resort like river or lake if you could just enjoy all that in the privacy of your home. If privacy does not really bother you, then your friends and neighbors could also join the party and appreciate that sweet privilege of having a pool in your backyard.

It is also a great place for kids to keep them active during summer breaks. It is known that swimming is healthy and that it improves heart and lung capacity. It also helps alleviate back pain and lowers blood pressure. Certainly a great activity for kids because it keeps them away from passive hours in front of a monitor during summer heats and you don’t really have to reinvent new activities for them every single day, and it’s right there in your home. There really are plenty of uses and it’s so convenient and easy, the entire family can benefit.

Photo: Road to Murray Hill

Are You Sure You Want a Pool?

We’ve been talking about all the pros so far, and they all sound pretty awesome. But in reality, there are some things you need to consider before making the final decision. If you are a homeowner you are probably thinking that pool will increase the value of the property and that buyers will be more interested in your home in particular because of it.

Tip: Having a swimming pool does not mean your property will increase in value. Additionally, some parents with small children might even consider pool a safety hazard. It is known that in warmer parts, like Florida or Arizona, pools are somewhat considered an essential part of any property. But in other, less warm parts, they can be looked upon as a burden since there are not as many hot days as you would want.

Have you ever researched how much an installation can cost? Prices can range from 20 to 50 thousand dollars for an in-ground pool, while those above-ground are significantly cheaper. Unfortunately, your wallet will remain open just as the pool you want to build; after you pay for the initial installation and setup, you also need to pay for accessories, insurance and regular maintenance and cleaning, so this is a year-round expense and obligation. It’s not just a burden for your wallet but also for you personally as you would also have to invest your time and effort to keep the pool in shape.

Photo: Zsazsa Bellagio

Still Want to Add a Pool?

Owning a pool is a serious decision because it brings a lot of responsibility and dedication. Cleaning your pool when you’re not using it, and also getting your pool for winter is a huge job. You need to ask yourself if you can financially see it through and will you have enough time or will to actively work on it and maintain it. Alternatively, you can hire a pool cleaning service to take care of the pool for you, but that also means additional expenses.

You also need to think ahead and understand how much time you actually want to spend there swimming and bathing. Is it something you are sure you want to turn into your oasis or will it have something like a ‘’new toy’’ effect on you which last very brief as it often happens? If you thought this all through, and put pros and cons on a paper, if you carefully counted your budget then and only then are you ready to seriously consider building a pool.

Choosing the Perfect Front Door

Choosing the Perfect Front Door

It may be tricky to choose the perfect front door for your home, so we’ve put together an informative infographic to help you make the right choice!

Your front door should promise your family a place of security and comfort. It should welcome guests and present a pleasant face to friends and strangers alike as they approach. While firmly denying access to those who are unauthorized to enter, the front door should also provides smooth entry into the home when appropriate. If your front door fails to do any of these things, it may be time to replace it. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about how to match a door to the style and architecture on your property. There’s a beautiful door out there to complete the welcoming atmosphere of your home.

The Perfect Front Door For Your Home

Make Sure it Matches Your Home

Depending on the style of your home, your front door should always match your existing exterior decor colors, style, and also complement your landscaping. Don’t rush trying to choose the right front door since this is an element of your home that will stay, at least for a while. There are many homeowners that have opted to make statements with their front doors using bright hues such as China red, bubblegum pink and bright turquoise. This may not be your style, but whatever you choose make sure it is safe, sturdy, and well insulated!

Copy Your Neighbours

Take a look around your neighbourhood and see what others have done with their front doors. Have you ever taken a stroll around the neighbourhood and noticed one house’s exterior decor stands out and looks like it came from out of space compared to the rest of the homes? You don’t want to be this homeowner, so make sure your home’s decor matches with the rest of the neighbourhood. You can’t mimic a tuscan style while you live in northern Canada or you can’t mimic a log home style while living at the beach. Take a walk, take some photos, and get ideas for your new front door!

Get Ideas Online

Websites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, and also various interior decor blogs, are full of exciting and creative ideas for home decor and architecture. Spend a few days getting inspiration and saving photos of you like and what you think will look great on your home. Houzz features a smart new feature where there is a price tag on everything in the photo which makes it easy to see where something was purchased and how you can get your hands on it. You can also always leave comments in the comment section and the person that designed the home is always willing to answer and help!