Posts Tagged ‘HGTV’

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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Coconut Tile

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Coconut tile is modern interiors gone tropical, made from reclaimed coconut shells, low-VOC resins and sustainably harvested wood backer, coconut shell is a naturally anti- decomposition material containing natural resin. Coconut mosaic tile are handmade to high standard by skillful craftsmanship. It has excellent performance, durability and versatility. our newest family of eco-friendly design materials can be used as decorative tiles or panels both horizontally and vertically. Featuring multiple patterns and color combinations and available in light, dark and mixed textures.

Coco mosaic tiles are hand made using coconut shell which is an unutilized industry by product and requires no trees to be cut down, ensuring you are not contributing to the destruction of forests around the world.

This is a new generation of Architectural surface material. The innovation of this beautiful material combines the best of modern technology and nature, giving an opportunity to make a quality sustainable choice that has an E ZERO formaldehyde emissions rating.

Coco mosaic panels are beautiful, extremely durable and strong. So the applications are numerous, even in the most demanding of environments.

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Dark Grout in the bathroom….Pros & Cons!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

When choosing tiles for the bathroom, shape, color and texture decisions factor in immediately, but one aspect that can strongly impact the final look is often a mere afterthought. Choosing the right grout color can make all the difference, so it’s worth thinking about when planning the overall look of your bathroom.

Using a light colored grout, particularly in conjunction with white tiles, can produce a bright, clean look, but it is a very high maintenance choice. Even with consistent cleaning it is nearly impossible to protect it from staining and discoloration over time. Because of this, dark grout has gained in popularity.

Choosing a grout that is darker in color helps conceal dirt and is less likely to change in color as quickly as a light colored grout. It can also enhance the look of the bathroom, helping light tiles to look even lighter. Dark grout against a light tile can help the look from being too washed out and can help anchor the white and provide some substance to the look.

Dark grout is not without its own set of issues though. While it is not necessary to clean it with the same attention to detail as you would with white grout, it is necessary to wipe it off very regularly. Dark grout can lose its color when cleaned with products that are too harsh or with tools that are too abrasive. Once the color is impacted, it is difficult to bring it back to its original luster.

Using gentle cleaning products and adding a color seal to dark grout can help maintain the color longer.

Source: Apartment Therapyhttp://www.apartmenttherapy.com/in-the-bathroom-light-vs-dark-grout-171147

(Images: 1. Kim & George’s Brooklyn Heights Home Apartment Therapy House Tour 2. Carly & Chip’s Resourceful & Refined Home Apartment Therapy House Tour)

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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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Choosing the perfect color scheme!

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Don’t be afraid of color. Do avoid common mistakes and check out these useful tips from our friends at HGTV. Mark McCauley, the author of Color Therapy at Home: Real Life Solutions for Adding Color to Your Life,  offers eight tips to help you discover your color preferences and take on boring white walls.

Tip #1. Choose a color scheme from the largest pattern in the space.
If you’ve got patterned upholstery, an Oriental rug or large piece of artwork, pluck colors you like from the pattern. For a neutral wall paint color, look to the pattern’s whites and beiges.

Tip #2. Start with the formal areas of the house.
Specifically, the living room, dining room and entry way. Choose a color scheme for those areas first, then pull one color from the scheme. For example, take the red sofa and tone it down (say, to burgundy) for an accent in more private spaces such as the den, office or bedroom.

Tip #3. Decorate your space from dark to light, vertically.
A real “cookbook” way to make any space look good without much risk, McCauley says, is to use darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls and light values for the ceiling.

“Any interior space replicates the outside world,” he says. “The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter values skyward.”

Tip #4. Study the color of your clothes.
Most people buy clothes in colors they like to wear and think they look good in. Similarly, you should decorate your rooms in colors you look good in. “If you don’t wear yellow, don’t get a yellow sofa,” McCauley says. “You’re going to look sickly on it.”

Tip #5. Use the color wheel.
In general, analogous color schemes — colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and green — are more casual and relaxing, and work best in informal or private spaces. This is a good strategy for a bedroom, where you want to rest and recover.

Whatever color scheme you choose, McCauley advises to put something black in every room. “The black clarifies all the rest of the colors in the room,” he says. Try a black lampshade, a black vase or a black picture frame.

Tip #6. Use the rule of 60-30-10.
“When decorating a space, divide the colors in the space into components of 60 percent of a dominant color, 30 percent of a secondary color and 10 percent of an accent color,” McCauley says. The walls will most likely be the majority, the upholstery would represent the secondary color and accessories such as a floral arrangement or throw pillows would make up the rest. “Works every time!” he says. “The colors are properly balanced and there is a shot of color (the 10 percent color) for interest.”

Tip #7. Go with the architecture.
If you have a small room in your house, don’t paint it white to make it seem bigger. Instead, cozy up to its architecture with a rich, warm color scheme. Let your big rooms expand with light, and your small rooms wrap you up and nurture you.

Tip #8. Follow your personal style.
If you decorate honestly, other people will appreciate it because it’s you, even if they’d never decorate their own house in the same way. That means if you want to make every room in your house red, white and blue, go for it. You can make any color look good as long as it’s your taste.

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Selecting the Right Bathroom Flooring

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Check out this great article on “Selecting the Right Bathroom Flooring” by our friends at HGTV.

When choosing the right flooring for a bathroom, there’s more to keep in mind than personal style. Some very specific factors come into play: Is your flooring, for instance, impervious to water? Will it stain easily when makeup takes a spill? Is it safe when walking across with wet feet? Given those considerations, here are some of the top contenders in bathroom floor surfaces:

Ceramic Tile: Ceramic floor tile differs from, say, wall tile in that it’s designed with more of a texture to prevent slippage. It is typically between 1/2-inch to 3/4-inches thick, and measures anywhere from 4 x 4 inches to 2-feet-square. In addition to squares, other shapes are available, including octagonal and hexagonal. And mosaic tiles (2 inches square or smaller) come in pre-mounted fabric mesh sheets. Ceramic tile is available in a vast variety of colors and patterns; plus, you can take your creativity to yet another level with colored grouts. This type of flooring is durable and hygienic, but make sure that you pay close attention to the porosity rating; it’s critical in a space such as a bathroom that requires something that’s moisture-proof. The porosity classifications range from impervious (the least absorbent) to vitreous, semivitreous and, finally, nonvitreous (the most absorbent).

Ceramic

Laminate: Made of layers of materials literally bonded together for strength — resin, wood fiber and Kraft paper, for example — laminate flooring is compacted under pressure to create the final product, which is then transformed into planks. In fact, the surface of a laminate plank is actually a photographic image, printed from film onto a thin decorative layer, which is in turn protected with a wear layer. The high resolution of the film results in a realistic appearance, so laminates may appear to be a variety of other materials; wood grain is one of the most popular. And because it’s durable and easy to clean, laminate flooring a logical choice for bathrooms.

Laminate

Hardwood: Part of hardwood flooring’s charm is that it lends a sense of warmth to your bathroom. Plus, if hardwood is your flooring of choice throughout the rest of the house, you’ll create a cohesive look. What’s more, even worse-for-the-wear hardwood floors can be given a fresh outlook; you can stain or paint to complement the rest of the room’s decor.

Hardwood

Natural Stone: Cut into tiles, typically 12 inches square or larger, stone is easy to care for and durable, but it does require a strong subfloor. It also has the potential to be slippery when wet, especially in a polished form. As an alternative, however, stone can be honed (ground flat but not polished) or textured (by sandblasting); keep in mind, though, that unpolished forms may require a sealant to prevent stains. And one more word to the wise if you opt for a stone floor: Keep a pair of slippers handy as it tends to be cold underfoot.

Natural Stone

Vinyl: Long one of the most popular choices for bathroom applications, vinyl comes in sheets or tiles. Sheet vinyl comes in rolls that are 6- or 12-feet wide, providing a seamless look. Vinyl tiles, on the other hand, are typically 12 to 18 inches square and lend themselves to a variety of different patterns. Tiles are usually easier to install, and it’s simple to replace just one, if need be. On the downside, though, a vinyl tile installation has many more seams, which creates more places for germs to grow. Both options, however, are easy to clean and effectively resist stains and moisture.

Vinyl

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