Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly’

11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen and Bathroom

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Follow these simple steps to an environmentally-conscious home:

BATHS


1. Fix a drip.
Drip, drop, drip, drop. That leak in the bathroom sink is not just annoying. It’s costing you loads of cash in water and energy bills and wasted gallons. Get it fixed ASAP, and if you can’t get the plumber scheduled right away, use this old trick: Tie a string on the faucet and allow the drops to dribble silently down into a cup or small bowl. Use the collected H2O to water your houseplants.

2. Get clean.
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners in favor of natural cleansers (soap, water, vinegar, baking soda). You’ll do a favor for the environment and yourself.

3. Be water wise.
Low-flow toilets have come a long way. New models max out at 1.6 gallons of water per flush, but the very latest models can use even less.

4. Be water wise some more.
Tankless water heaters are a great energy saver. There’s no reason to keep a giant tank of heated water at your beck and call all day and night. Bonus tip: Go the extra mile when you turn on the shower by placing a bucket or other container under the showerhead. In the few moments it takes for the water to heat up, you can gather enough for the dog’s bowl and the houseplants. Don’t waste a drop!

5. Smell Sweet.
Cut down on harmful chemicals and gasses released into your home by using low- or no-VOC paints when giving the bath, or any other room, a fresh color.

KITCHENS


6. Be water smart.
A simple hardware store doo-dad called an aerator on your kitchen (or bath) faucet cuts down on water consumption, sacrificing very little if any water pressure. For less than $15, you can install one of these yourself and save up to 500 gallons per year.

7. Vent a little.
Proper ventilation in the cooktop hood of your kitchen keeps bills down and air quality up.

8. Think small.
The kitchen is the energy gobbler of the home. If you’re planning a remodel, building new, or just replacing an old appliance, remember that bigger isn’t always better. In addition to looking for energy-efficiency ratings on your new purchase, consider going for a smaller model that uses less energy to begin with. Bonus tip: New drawer-style dishwashers help cut back on water use for smaller loads.

9. Lighten Up.
Opening up a kitchen with skylights and windows that allow natural sunlight to stream in not only helps your mood stay perky, it is a natural, free way to light your space. No budget to add windows? At least let the light in by removing heavy, lightblocking window treatments.

10. Divide and Conquer.
Dedicate a little space for recycling bins or bags to make living green convenient for the whole family. You can purchase color-coded units with separate compartments and lids, or create your own recycling center with inexpensive bins from the home center or discount store.

11. Go, greens!

Try your hand at going green by growing herbs or salad greens in the kitchen. Bringing in a natural element adds some coziness to your home’s busiest room, and naturally cleans the air you breathe. (And of course, nothing beats adding your own fresh basil to that pasta at the dinner table.

Source: www.hgtv.com http://www.diynetwork.com/remodeling/11-ways-to-go-green-in-your-kitchen-and-bathroom/index.html

Written by: Suzanne Morrissey

By PointClickHome.com

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diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I found this great diy project via Design Sponge. It is inexpensive, creative and the results are simply fabulous! I will be making my own this weekend, so excited! =)

Materials

  • 100–125  white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
  • 100–125  vertically striped petit fours papers
  • (1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
  • hot glue gun
  • 1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)

Instructions

1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.

2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.

3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.

4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.

5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.

6. Begin applying the petite fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.

7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.

8. Drop a light in, and voila!

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So are you dying to try a stencil?!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I came across this great post from our friends at I heart Nap Time about stenciling. If you haven’t heard of Royal Design Studio you have been missing out! They have fabulous stencils in an array of shapes and sizes that are so easy to use! I have been dying to try this at my own home! I heart Nap Time put the stencils to the test and the results are fabulous! Below you will find the process they followed to achieve this look:

Tools

I started out with the fabric damask stencil, roller foam brushes, painters tape (which I later replaced with duck tape), stencil adhesive and lots of paper towels.

Basically what you will do is spray your stencil with spray adhesive and then tape it to the wall (lining it up correctly). Then you’ll roll the brush in the paint. Make sure to roll some of the excess paint off onto the paper towels before rolling the brush onto the stencil to avoid bleeding.

I SO wish I had a picture of me and my husband trying to tape up the stencil the first time around. It was pretty hilarious. I was trying to hold the stencil standing on a little stool, as my husband tried to tape it up. We could not get that stencil to hold for the life of us. Our textured ceilings were making it very difficult. My neck and arms hurt so bad…. we gave up! The next night I gave it another try and decided to use duck tape. Our ceilings are so textured, that the painters tape just wasn’t cutting it. Once I got the stencil up with duck tape it really wasn’t too bad. So if you have textured wall use DUCK TAPE! ;)

Process

The hard part was trying to piece the patterns together.  I love this stencil because it gives you so many different marks to line up. It was a little difficult looking straight up trying to find the little marks…however, I’m sure it would have been A LOT easier if I was looking straight at it. Once I did a few stencils and got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad. I would paint one stencil, take a break for ten minutes while the paint dried and then move onto the next. I did this over two nights. I’m not going to lie… my arms and neck were hurting by the end of the night! LOL!

Final Result

However now that is is done I am in LOVE! It has already opened up that tiny space and added so much personality. Doesn’t it look so awesome?! I love how it turned out! I’m already dreaming up what to stencil next.

Final Result

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DIY: Make the Headboard From HGTV Green Home 2012!

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

I’m OBSESSED with HGTV Green Home 2012. The one and only downside to working at HGTV: I can’t enter to win this drool-worthy home. I could whine about it all day long, but that just means that you, my friends, need to get busy and enter twice per day, everyday, so I can come visit all the time. (HGTV par-tay!) In the meantime, if you’re dying to bring in some Green Home charm to your casa, why not take inspiration directly from the home itself? One of my favorite rooms is the master bedroom; it’s so soothing with a natural green, blue and brown color palette. The most eye-catching part of the room, though, is the raffia-upholstered headboard that goes all the way up to the ceiling. You’re dying to make it, aren’t you? We have the step-by-step instructions below, and you’ll be shocked at how simple it is.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway master bedroom headboard

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Cut fabric into 16″ x 16″ squares. Lay a single fabric square down, center the padding on top of the fabric, and then center a 12″ x 12″ plywood square on top of the padding and fabric square. Press one side of the board down, sandwiching the padding between the fabric and the board. Fold the fabric over the side of the board and staple, starting in the center and working toward the edges. Leave 2 inches upstapled on each side of the corners. Continue stapling all other sides.

HGTV Green Home 2012 giveaway headboard project

Staple the corners. Lay out five of your finished upholstered squares, face-down, edge-to-edge. Make sure the squares are perfectly aligned, and then add a 1″ x 4″ board on top of the seam between the two headboard segments. Place pilot holes (one per square) in the board, centered along the edge. Continue this process for the remaining upholstered squares. Follow the instructions for the French cleat packaging to attach your completed headboard to the wall.

Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

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Floor Tiles 101

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Not all floor tiles are created equal. Each type has pros and cons that need to be considered when planning a tiling project. Here are seven popular popular varieties, find the right fit for your flooring needs:

Marble Tile

Marble

Real marble tiles have a beautiful, unique look like no other surface, with all their whirling patterns and shade variations. But the same patterns that make marble beautiful can be a real headache to match from tile to tile. To ensure that patterns match, the Marble Institute of America recommends having your contractor lay out the tiles over the entire surface before installing so you can approve the result. All your tiles should come from the same original batch. Marble, like most stone tiles, has high maintenance requirements. It must be sealed and cleaned regularly; for cleaning, use only a mild detergent solution or a product specially designed for marble. Never set your drink down on a marble surface (it will leave a ring), and wipe up any spills immediately, as they can stain or etch marble’s porous surface.

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo is traditionally a flooring material made by exposing marble chips in a bed of concrete and then polishing until smooth. Now, however, you can buy terrazzo in tile form. It’s often used in public buildings because it’s long-lasting and can be refinished repeatedly. Terrazzo is quite slippery and can cause falls, so it may not be a good flooring choice for families with young children or elderly members. Ask your contractor about applying non-slip additives to the surface.

Concrete Tile

Concrete

Concrete is a tough man-made mix of stone, sand, water and cement. It’s long-lasting, water-shedding, hail-resistant and can be made to mimic the look of other building materials. It can be a good roofing choice for harsh climates. Because it requires specialized tools and knowledge, and because you must ensure that the structure being covered can withstand the weight, concrete tile should be installed by trained professionals only.

Terracotta Tile

Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials around, dating back before the birth of Christ, when it was sun-dried rather than oven-fired. It’s often used, glazed or unglazed, to create a rustic, weathered look. While high-quality terra cotta will last forever, it’s difficult to assess the quality, even for pros. Buy only from a seller whose reputation you trust, though even then you may encounter problems. For practical uses, it should be sealed, particularly in kitchens.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain

Actually a subtype of ceramic tile, porcelain bears a perception of high quality, but for residential applications its particular toughness is unnecessary. It’s nonetheless popular in the residential market because the manufacturing process makes for unlimited design potential. The problem is that do-it-yourselfers typically install it with setting material designed for ordinary ceramic tiles, but porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting. Ask the manufacturer—not a salesperson—how to install it.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are thin slabs of clay or other inorganic materials, hardened by oven firing and usually coated with some kind of glaze. Ceramic is best known for its durability, with some installations in the ruins of ancient Rome and Egypt still intact. Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t harbor germs. It’s manufactured in production runs; because of variation among lots, make sure the caliber number (indicating size) and lot number (indicating color) are the same throughout your order. Ceramic tile is rated from zero to 5 based on hardness. Zero through 2 is suitable for wall tile, 3 is good for most residential uses, and 4 and 5 are hard enough for commercial applications.

Slate Tile

Slate

Slate tile is a popular roofing material with an air of prestige and a reputation for longevity. Although individual tiles sometimes crack, an entire roof made of slate probably won’t have to be replaced for 50 years or more. Properly installed, slate also makes dependable flooring. Slate is a metamorphic rock with relatively weak bonds between layers, so tile made from it tends to split along those planes. For an installation to resist damage, it must be set on a solid surface with mortar.

Special thanks to our friends at HGTV for this informative article!

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Lightweight Concrete Furniture!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Zachary A. Design‘s outdoor furniture looks like it was formed from solid concrete, but is light enough for anyone to carry! The furniture is actually made from a combo of fiberglass and coarse sand, so it’s light enough to move around your yard, but sturdy enough that it won’t blow away in a breeze. It is designed to withstand any weather, and it really does feel like concrete to the touch!

Faux Cement Furniture

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Eco Design Find!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Im loving the new Stria Storage Collection from West Elm. It is made from reclaimed hardwood. With facades crafted from reclaimed saal wood, the Stria Storage Collection brings rustic charm to the bedroom. In a former life, the wood was used in Indian railway trestles. Today, it’s prized for its natural imperfections and character; no two pieces are exactly alike.

• Reclaimed solid saal wood drawer fronts.

• Frame made of mango wood, acacia and engineered wood.

• Drawers open on smooth metal glides.

• Wipe clean.

The best part? The price! West Elm is running a special $254.00 – $849.00

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Beach Weave Bathroom Installation!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I came across this beautiful bathroom installation using the Beach Weave Glass & Stone Mosaic! So beautiful and serene! I love the texture the mosaic gives to the backsplash without being overwhelming. So cool!

Beach Weave Installation

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How to fix dents in wood floors & furniture!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I was on Apartment Therapy’s Blog and ran into this useful article about fixing dents in wood, with an iron! So helpful, I would have never thought about this easy solution. Thank you for this great DIY fix Apartment Therapy!

Oak 1.jpg

Many years ago a teacher told me that you could steam out a dent in a piece of wood (one where the wood fibers had been compressed, not a where they had been removed) using a wet rag and an iron.

This technique was meant for unfinished wood, but unfortunately, most of the wood we deal with in our homes has some sort of finish on it. With some research I learned that this technique can work with finished wood but it depends greatly on the type of finish you are dealing with. So I decided to do a couple of tests to see the results for myself.

NOTE: BE CAREFUL! SOME FINISHES MIGHT TURN WHITE WHEN EXPOSED TO STEAM. PLEASE TRY THIS IN A HIDDEN AREA BEFORE DOING IT IN A VISIBLE PLACE.

The first test was a on a birch table from IKEA. Although this technique works better on new dents I decided to try to steam out a dent that had been there for quite a long time.

Here is what I did:

1. Wet the dent
2. Apply a wet cloth or paper towel
3. With the iron on High apply the iron to the wet paper towel or cloth and make a circular motion, don’t keep it in just one position as this might burn the surface of the towel. Make sure there is a lot of steam being generated. Do this for a few minutes and check your results. In my case I did this for about 3-5 minutes.

Birch 1.jpg

Birch 2.jpg

Birch 3.jpg

The dent came up almost completely and there was no damage to the finish!

My second test was on our hardwood floors. I found a dent that was pretty deep. I followed the same steps as above.

Oak 1.jpg

Oak 2.jpg

Oak 3.jpg

Although the dent came up, the surface of the finish had been broken and some dirt had gotten in side the cracks. If you know what type of finish you are dealing with you might want carefully sand the area and reapply the finish.

Oak 4.jpg

In the spirit of this experiment I tried sanding and got most of it out. Then I applied some Tung Oil that I had at home. It’s probably not the same as the original finish but the area certainly looks better than before. Here is my result:

Oak 5.jpg

Has anyone else given this method a try? Have any other fixes to recommend? Please share your smarts in the comments…

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7th Street Residence

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Located in the East Village, this contemporary duplex apartment was designed by Pulltab Design. The clients requested that the 2, 400 sq ft space be renovated with unique architectural additions. What the clients wanted to achieve was a warm, open environment with unique detailing throughout. Some of the finishes selected in the space include Steel, Bronze, Stained Concrete, American Black Walnut and high gloss lacquer surfaces. The Living Room / Dining Room area are the heart of the apartment, a stunning planted garden wall was designed to create a focal point between both spaces. This garden wall is accented by a shallow reflecting pool below, which is designed to serve as an irrigation system. Simply Stunning!

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

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