Category: Interior Design
Energy Efficient Landscape to Cool Your Home
When most people think of putting in landscaping, they probably think more in terms of how it can make a home cooler over the summer, which is what I discussed in an earlier post. But people probably don’t think quite as much about how to strategically design landscaping to stay warmer during the winter to reduce energy costs and lower your electricity bills.
As residents of cold regions know all too well, wind chill can not only drop the temperature outside your home, but can also blow in through the cracks outside your home and drive up heating costs substantially.
So the name of the game with winter weather landscaping is to use it as a windbreak. If properly designed and implemented during the summer months, landscaping can help reduce and redirect wind and modify the micro-climate in the sheltered area.
Proper landscaping windbreak design needs to take several factors into consideration:
Windbreak height. This is probably the most important factor for determining the size of your sheltered area. Depending on the density of your windbreak (more on that shortly), wind speed can be reduced on the windward side by a distance of two to five times the height of the windbreak. But it’s the leeward (downwind) side that you really care about, and that’s where the most dramatic impact can be seen: wind speed can be reduced by a distance of up to 30 times the height. For the sake of comparison, a 10-foot windbreak can reduce winds on the leeward side by 250 feet or more.
Windbreak density. This plays a major factor in determining the amount of wind speed reduction. Obviously a low-density windbreak doesn’t do as much to reduce wind speed, but a high-density windbreak isn’t necessarily helpful either: the low pressure that results on the leeward side pulls air coming over the windbreak downward, which raises turbulence and reduces downwind protection.
Location and construction. Depending on the location of your home and surrounding structures or topography, you will need to put together the right combination of trees and shrubs in the right places to achieve an optimal windbreak. One or more rows of trees and shrubs with low crowns (leaves and branches) to block wind close to the ground
Plant low shrubs on the windward side of a windbreak to block snow from blowing next to the home.
Those are the tips for utilizing landscaping as a windbreak for cold weather. However, sharp-eyed readers will recognize a conundrum: What if you need landscaping to lower your temperatures over the summer and help keep back the cold during the winter? Obviously there’s no easy answer here, since every home is a bit different. However, consider the following:
Plant deciduous trees, which shed their leaves during the winter. Depending on the type of tree, you should have a good thick canopy for summertime shade, and when it loses its leaves during the winter, enough sunlight should come through to help heat things up over the winter.
Combine trees with fences where possible. Trees combined with a fence or wall can help deflect wind over the tops of homes during the winter. Depending on its location, it can still help provide some shade during the summer.
Plant bushes and shrubs close to your house. This offers the best of both: as detailed in the previous post, it will help keep the ground cooler during the summer, and can help block wind and snow during the winter. (The same goes for crawling vines over a latticework or trellis outside a wall.
Again, there is no straightforward answer, since every situation is different. And of course, there are plenty of other variables to consider, such as cost, aesthetics and effort involved in planting, among others. Besides, if you’re looking to reduce your electricity costs, there are other projects you can consider, such as installing sunshades. But if you’re already looking to do some landscaping on your house, proper design and application can both make your home prettier and more comfortable in all seasons.
Achieving Balance in Home Design and Decoration to Smoothing Renovation Process
If one word sums up the design and décor zeitgeist, it’s balance. That’s because homeowners are increasingly tempering an appetite for possessions with practicality, weighing beauty against a budget and considering how over-consumption affects the planet.
Does that mean our homes will become colourless caves, mere machines for living? On the contrary, a simpler approach can actually open up options for individuality and creativity.
If you need to declutter, Kijiji is also a quick and convenient way to get rid of items you no longer want. Use it, as well, to educate yourself about collectibles, as I did after recently scoring two highly unusual glass Rembrandt lamps. If you’re selling collectibles, it’s also provides a reliable pricing guide for similar items.
Recycled décor can be a short-cut to one-of-kind style, but there are times when new is preferable. Newer-generation appliances are more energy and water-efficient, while it’s also often easier to get replacement parts for fixtures, a fact that will help extend product life.
The best of the new renovation and building products strike a balance between style and sustainability. Rona’s Uberhaus line of bath and kitchen faucets, for example, is both green and gorgeous. These good looking faucets, which come in a variety of finishes, definitely qualify as eco-elegant. It’s worth noting that Rona has several eco-categories now, including Eco-Responsible, a program under which items are subjected to a program devised by the International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, which looks at the impact a product has throughout its life, from manufacturing to disposal.
One of the simplest and most affordable to get a great new look is with paint. It’s also a wonderful way to express individual taste and style, and I was reminded of this when I recently spoke to colour expert Janice Lindsay who has a collection with Pittsburgh Paints. I told Janice that I was considering backing off the wonderfully rich colours I’d picked for a project from that company’s sunny Hacienda Collection. She offered sage advice.
“If the colour really seems too much, don’t make the mistake of moving a few shades lighter on the colour chart. It’s not the same colour. Instead, introduce the colour you love it in small amounts — as a headboard or even a broad swath on a wall, “says Lindsay. How right she was. I stuck with my original colour choices; but used them as accents and focal points on a backdrop of PP’s Jute, which is my fave new “neutral”. And how does it look? Simple, stylish and sustainable, if I do so say so myself!
* Protect your valuables. Clear the work area so it’s free of furniture, drapes and art. Make sure you cover anything left behind so it doesn’t get covered in dust.
* Product Selections should be made early. To ensure the smooth progress of work, having specific items, like cabinets, flooring and lighting, already chosen will make the process quicker.
* Be available to your renovator on short notice. You will have to make a number of smaller decisions throughout the process so contact with your renovator will make sure the schedule stays on track.
* Keep changes to a minimum. Although most renovators are willing to accommodate changes to the original plan, it may result in a cost increase and time delay.
* Discuss your concerns as they arise. It’s never a good idea to wait for the “right moment”.
* Provide payment as agreed upon. Make sure payment terms are agreed upon in advance.
* Accept the unpredictable with grace. Foul weather, unavailable products and unforeseen complications are part of the renovation experience and will be dealt with by your renovator in a professional manner.
A green renovation will improve indoor air quality, which in turn will improve your quality of living and your health. Just by incorporating natural materials and high quality, energy efficient lighting will inevitably give your space a natural beauty and comfort. On top of this, you will gain the ecological benefits by lowering your carbon footprint. Some tips that will lead you to a greener way of living could include following:
* Non-toxic sealants, paints, flooring, cabinetry and countertops
* Hard surface flooring for easy cleaning and easy care
* Abundant natural daylight
* Locally extracted granite countertops
* Light-colored interior finishes allowing light to bounce around the home (ex, white, low VOC paint)
* Energy efficient lighting
* Water efficient fixtures
* Energy Star appliances
Platio and Deck Maintenance For Your Home Outdoor Space
The inside of your home may well be spotless, but what about outside? Is your patio covered in old dead leaves or is your deck desperately in need of some TLC? Too often, we pay so much attention to what’s going on internally at the expense of the external. If this is ringing true for you, don’t fret; patio and deck maintenance doesn’t have to be the time-consuming nightmare that many of us perceive it as. By following the tips outlined below, your ‘great outdoors’ will always be in tip-top condition.
The first step towards truly enjoying your small piece of the outdoors is actually accessing your deck or patio. Maintaining the doors and doorways that bridge the internal and external areas of your property is essential. But we’re not all capable of fixing tricky things like broken sliding doors. Luckily, reputable companies that specialize in sliding door repairs, such as AJ Doors, exist to help us keep our gateway into the outside world sturdy and attractive.
One of the best investments you can make when it comes to deck or patio maintenance is the humble broom. It’s amazing the difference that five minutes sweeping can make to the appearance of your outside area; a quick sweep will see the removal of leaves, twigs, and other miscellaneous debris that prevents your patio or deck from looking its best. Then you can sit back and enjoy being outside without your enjoyment being spoilt by the eyesore of errant garden detritus.
If your patio consists of pavers, then you’ll be aware of the gradual build-up of moss and general grime – it is situated outside, after all. A hard bristled broom and a bucket of water will do the job most effectively, though you could also pressure wash the moss away or use a solution of equal parts water and chlorine bleach. This will slow down the regrowth of those pesky lichens. The stiff broom is also invaluable when it comes to removing bird poo and barbeque grease fat from your wooden deck too.
This one’s solely for wooden deck owners (you certainly do not want to be oiling your patio pavers). By implementing a twice-yearly deck oiling schedule, your deck should have a long life. A good oiling in spring and just before winter will ensure that your deck is able to cope with rains, frosts, and all manner of weather conditions. Give your deck adequate time to absorb that protective oil – don’t oil your deck three hours before your next barbeque, as your guests will be slipping and sliding all over the place.
Are you guilty of neglecting the care of your outdoor areas in favour of the indoors? Or is your exterior entertaining area the pride of your household? If so, what do you do to keep your deck or patio looking great? Share your outside area maintenance tips and hints below for the rest of us who need some help and motivation in this pursuit.
One of the most relaxing ways to spend your Sunday afternoon is enjoying your backyard. After a busy week, there is nothing better than winding down in your own little slice of the outdoors. If your backyard feels more like a jumble than an oasis, here are some simple ways to turn it into your sanctuary.
Some of these suggestions are simple and can be done with the resources you’ll already have around the house. Other ideas might take some work and even a trip to your local outdoor furniture specialist like Super Amart. However far you go, the results are sure to be worth it.
It’s not essential to have a theme that you carry through your backyard but it is a nice way to make all the pieces of your yard come together. If you have selected key pieces in your preferred style for your home, it is simple to carry this theme into your yard. Otherwise, look around the space you have available and see if any ideas jump out at you. Do you have a feature tree or shrub in your yard? Work around that with a country or rustic theme. Does your yard have some gorgeous terracotta-coloured tiles? A Mediterranean-inspired oasis will complement them perfectly.
Select Some Key Pieces of Outdoor Furniture
Once you have selected your theme, it’s time to find the perfect furnishings. Choosing the right furniture material can have a huge impact on the overall look for your new ‘oasis’, so browse through the glass, timber, wicker and metal styles to see which type suits your design ideas. And don’t feel you have to stick to the same material throughout, or even the conventional table and chairs. Adding bench seats is a great way to make the area feel more casual.
The choices are endless when it comes to lighting options. Candelabras, lanterns, solar lights and fairy lights can be used in a variety of ways to brighten up your outdoor area. There are so many different kinds to choose, or you can have a mix of several different types. Candelabras are a great addition to the table. You could also outline the perimeter of your backyard with citronella lanterns to keep any bugs at bay. The beauty is that the majority of lighting is inexpensive, so you can buy a few different styles and change them up.
How much colour you add will depend on your theme. A beach theme might add some colour with blue cushions or bright sun umbrellas. Some twine or cast iron trays with candles add subtle colour to a rustic backyard area. A couple of statement pots can also give your yard an injection of colour. Look for unconventional ways to incorporate your theme and impress the neighbours with your design skills. Your backyard can provide endless hours of enjoyment. Whether you like to spend your time gardening, preparing a meal over the barbecue or laying on a sunbed with a good book – your backyard is there to be enjoyed. It will feel more like an oasis if you spend the time doing what you love.
Ways To Discover a Good Home Insurance Broker For Your Property
Home Insurance Plan, also called Homeowners Insurance Plan, is a package that gives various types of home insurance plan choices to homeowners. The insurance plan is for items such as damages to the home and it is property, damages within the premises and other tragedies like Tornados & storms. The covered individual pays the insurance company a certain monthly premium and will make a claim any time of faults happening. So when obtaining insurance plan you have to really analyzes the insurance plan contents and ensure that it suits your necessity.
The California law which also governs California home insurance plan states that all insurance plan companies should determine their insurance plan rates to be accepted by California Department of Insurance.
Each company has various rates from other affects so it very wise to find the best deal for you. A standard California Home Insurance plan will give you protect from such things as lightning, explosions, civil uproar, smoke and many more.
There’s an option of having a wider California home insurance plan that will provide extra protection for your home & the contents offered. In such instances even Earthquakes are considered & the insurance plan offers coverage any time of injuries due to you the covered or the ones you live with. However earthquake coverage might be written individually by the insurance company or through the California Earthquake Authority to ensure that your policy may include & cover earthquakes. Medical payments are also included.
Another type of California homeowner’s Insurance plan is a condominium insurance coverage which is the same as renters insurance and it offers coverage for private property any time of loss. Such matters the condominium union purchases the insurance plan for the constructing. You should check if this insurance plan offers and handles for earthquake losses especially since California is prone to earthquakes.
Most homeowners are confused between an Insurance plan Broker & an Insurance plan Agent. Before going any further, it’s important to manage to differentiate them. A home insurance plan broker is a person who shows three or more insurance companies, while an insurance plan agent usually represents just one company.
Generally, the insurance plan agent is primarily loyal to the insurance company they are representing and you as the insurance policy holder next. A home broker is an impartial agent whose main allegiance goes to you as the insurance policy holder whom they offer homeowners insurance plan quotes.
It’s important to use an insurance plan broker because it’ll save you time, worry & money. A broker is equivalent to an accountant or lawyer who can give you professional guidance through their years of experience & training.
By using a broker doesn’t suggest spending more. Usually, it is cheaper since brokers have a thorough understanding of the insurance plan market & the skill to negotiate premiums for your benefit. They can explain the insurance plan or any special situations that you ought to know. In addition, a broker is needed to help you of fees charged for the services they offered you.
Good Ideas to help you discover a Home Insurance plan Broker:
1. Ask suggestions from family, friends or co-workers. A suggestion is more effective and they’ll be able to suggest you to someone with the cheapest insurance plan quotes.
2. Ask referrals from organizations like the Alliance of Insurance Agents & Brokers to assist you discover a qualified insurance plan broker from their database. Find out their profiles & histories & ask for homeowner’s insurance plan quotes to determine which ones could provide you with the lowest priced rates.
3. Check out from your state insurance plan department if the broker is licensed & find out the status of their license & history. You might ask someone for explanation of their license.
4. Perform a conversation along with your prospective home insurance plan brokers. You ought to work with someone you understand, honest, reliable & loyal to you.
5. Gather everything you’ve obtained including profiles, histories, referrals, licensing & homeowners insurance plan quotes & weigh very carefully the pros & cons of each.
Mediterranean Styles Home Redecoration With Contemporary Bathroom Styles
Once in a while, we will be thinking about home decorating. In case you are thinking of redecorating your home, you might be most likely looking round for some home interior adorning ideas. Redecorating presents a very good alternative to precise your self by displaying your model and interests. You do that by matching colors, textiles, kinds and artwork. The combinations of prospects in home interior decorating are actually infinite. No two homes ever have look the identical by accident.
It will be straightforward to redecorate and adopt any home interior adorning kinds if cash were not a constraint. Subsequently, the problem for most individuals is how you can redecorate the house within a budget. You possibly can acquire dwelling inside decorating ideas from the many inside design gadgets on TV or by shopping for a couple of of the house interior design magazines. The problem with the magazines, more so than with the TV programmes, is that they have a tendency to point out ideas that value 1000′s of dollars.
The Web is another source of down-to-earth residence interior decorating concepts that abnormal people can afford. The prices of the objects used in the Internet displays are normally a lot more reasonably priced too. The Web can be a decent approach of comparing the various broad-swathe styles. Types comparable to nation, fashionable, conventional, Mediterranean, Provencal, minimalist et cetera.
In the event you like the older styles similar to nation, primitive, Provencal or conventional, darker, warmer colors are the best. These colours go well with materials and previous (model), wooden furniture. Wall hangings, work of country scenes, curtains and plenty of throw cushions are a function of this model of inside design. Autumn colours go well collectively to supply a warm, pleasant, cozy ambiance.
Modern, minimalist and Mediterranean types have a tendency to make use of brighter colors whites and off-whites like magnolia are de rigeur. Dwelling interior adorning ideas for these styles include an absence of muddle and a great deal of free space and light.
The walls ought to have one or two items of art somewhat than the six to ten of the older styles. Leather-based furnishings goes well right here: white or black, with one contrasting throw cushion per seating place. A white cushion on a black couch or visa-versa.
However, there may be nothing flawed with you mixing these style. This ceaselessly happens anyway, significantly if folks provide you with furnishings or you inherit it. In case you strive to blend completely different pieces of furniture which clearly come from radically totally different types, you will have to have something to bridge the gap between them, so to speak. This may be carried out most easily with materials equivalent to throw cushions, wall hangings comparable to tapestries, rugs and carpets.
The throw cushions don’t all should be the same. In fact, within the old days it was not possible that all the cushions or pillows in a room would all match, as a result of cushions have been typically made out of off-cuts of fabric from different projects. A spread of different throw cushions may help you blend types fairly easily. One other dwelling inside adorning idea, is to fill an previous cupboard with extra fashionable pieces of glass and china.
The modern bathroom vanity in a position for the overall style of your bathroom to life, and the tone of your bathroom design. Bathroom serve as a magnet for your bathroom, it is important to evaluate and choose quality bathroom renovation or remodeling your bathroom. Equally important is the lighting, electrical work, toilets, and other components are considered good bathroom design.
Clean in sections and contemporary designs and styles. To describe it is not easy, as are a modern bathroom vanity, bald, if you can imagine. Vanity ultra-modern chic, if you use them in your bathroom. Here is your old outdated bathroom will be transformed into an upscale neighborhood. You can not live life in the pools disorder, so you need a touch of modernity.
Sooner or later, an owner of a bathroom contemporary style upgrade obsolete, old-fashioned theme to replace. Antique vanity of them had seen better days, and must be changed immediately. The best upgrade you can buy a bathroom vanity. Vanity modern bathroom is elegant, chic and luxurious. This includes many beautiful accessories like mirrors, frames are fewer firms, which are compact, and the lowering of glass. They are so perfect looking that you wonder why you waited so long to renovate your old bathroom. Bad upgrade is certainly a necessity for all.
modern bathroom vanity are the positives in the bathroom today, and many buildings to come. There are many beautiful designs and colors available. They are also suitable in sets of different sizes and shapes with colors to match your mood and preferences. To choose the right bathroom vanity is not an easy task as you see fit your needs and requirements. Never even see the bathroom vanities that look beautiful but also the durability and cost must be paid. Find the best so that is what you can do to help things in your bathroom.
Apart from visiting the stores, you can also search for your bathroom vanity online search today. Myriad sites offer beautiful pieces of modern bathroom that are priced accordingly and very popular with lovers of modern furniture.
What makes a modern bathroom vanity is clean, elegant lines. Materials in the manufacture of this type of design generally used include acrylic, steel, wood and glass. Contemporary designs are well positioned, although there is a significant lack of ornaments and decorations. A modern design bathroom are asking the guy with the sink sits on top of the name of the ship from sinking. Premiere Vanities has a really wonderful piece that represents a very modern bathroom vanity.
Modern vanity sink glass vessel with black base is the best today. A single glass vanity with a base in black finish and a stainless steel faucet will look at this beautiful bathroom vanity in your modern bathroom. Another piece of modern and stylish this time of the Vanities Unique chic and luxurious. Their simple 23-inch Vanity Bathroom sink has a clear tempered glass counter and sink with waterfall faucet chrome polished birch and a podium in Expresso.
Customizing your bathroom space with modern bathroom vanity can completely enhance your home to increase performance as. Once you get the look and design you want, you can benefit immensely long, leisurely baths and showers. Your bathroom is one of the busiest rooms in your house. Blow your guests by installing your own modern bathroom vanity, they will certainly want. So, enjoy your bathroom renovation. Your efforts will pay off.