LED Lighting: Pros and Kind of a Con

led light

Below is a guest post on the subject of using LED lighting options for the interior and exterior of your home (or office for that matter!). S Interior Design specifies LED light options for all of our client projects.    Even if it is simply replacing existing recessed can light bulbs with an LED option, the new light output can make a big difference in how the space looks. Continue reading

It’s Good to be GREEN

No, I am not talking about green beer on St. Patrick’s Day, or green eggs and ham, but green in terms of selection of eco-friendly materials to complete  your home remodel.   Below is a guest post that describes some good ideas about how you can ‘think green’.

Making your home remodel as green as possible

ImageImage

When remodelling a home you have to make environmental concerns a priority now, not just because of government regulations and stipulations, but also because we have a duty to build buildings and homes that use as few resources as possible, will operate without depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis, and will stand the test of time and be durable and liveable for many years to come. This might sound like a challenge if you’re remodelling a home, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t mean your remodelled home has to be a complete off-the-grid tepee without electricity or running water, it just means that you should use approved green products and appliances when doing your constructions. Information about green solutions is readily available; just browse design and construction firms like Unique Design. Green design doesn’t have to affect the appearance of your remodel either, just the mechanics of it. Here are some pictures of green remodelled homes:

It is now very easy to power your kitchen or bathroom by using solar energy, so if you are doing works on your plumbing or light fittings you should think about this. Solar energy will also attract generous rebates from the government, meaning that your energy bill will dramatically decrease.

Plumbing fixtures are good place to focus your attention as well, as faulty or inadequate fixtures are responsible for huge amounts of leaking and water wastage. A good thing to do when in the midst of a remodel is to get an energy audit, which will show you exactly how and where your energy consumption is going. It might be a revelation to find out exactly how energy is used in your home, and then you’ll know what the big consumers are and how you can save on energy expenses. Most people find that energy is used for a few hours in the evening, across two rooms, the kitchen and the bathroom. As a general rule, good quality products are better for the environment because they use energy more efficiently and last longer, meaning that they stay out of our landfill for longer.

Start the New Year ‘Green’

As many of you are aware, the Pantone Color of the Year is Emerald Green. Besides incorporating Emerald Green into your decor, you can get ‘Green’ into your home in another way.  Bring Eco-Friendly materials into your world.  The guest post below gives some easy ideas about how to do that.

Quick and Easy Eco-Friendly Additions to Your Home

If you are looking for great ways to add eco-friendly things to your home, there are many options that you can choose from.  No matter if you want to add to your kitchen, dining room, patio or bathroom, one of the most effective ways to stay true to environmentally friendly methods is to install new flooring and energy-efficient appliances to your home.

ImageSource

Bamboo flooring is the best alternative to use when replacing any type of wooden or carpeted floor covering.  Comparatively, bamboo is more renewable than hardwoods from other sources. It takes a tree up to fifty years to grow large enough to produce enough wood to make flooring, while it takes bamboo a maximum of five years to grow to full height. Bamboo flooring is also a lot easier to make than regular wooden flooring – the manufacturing process does not require any chemical treatments to make it long-lasting and durable. Bamboo does not need to be actively replanted like trees because of its rapid rate of spreading and growth.

To go along with your new bamboo flooring, you will need some energy-efficient appliances. You can get refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, toilets, and even water heaters that can save your household and the environment by using less electricity and creating less waste. Your new appliances can come in many sizes, shapes, and levels of environmentally friendliness, and are usually eligible for a tax exemption during the year that you purchased them.  Compare energy guides to see which machine operates most efficiently!  These appliances save water and use far less energy than older, power hungry machines.  The best part is, they’ll save money in the long run!

Image

Source

You can also change your cleaning habits in your home both for clothes and floors by switching to “green” cleaning products and detergents. Your bamboo flooring will stay clean simply by using water and eco-friendly cleansers once or twice a week. The durability of the bamboo will prove to be a great reason to redo your entire house with this type of flooring. It won’t scuff or mark as easily as other wooden floors and will not stain nearly as easily when kept finished and clean.

Image
Source

Your floors will stay shiny and strong with a little love and cleaning. Bamboo will be a great resource to use in the future instead of regular wood because it doesn’t take as long to replenish as trees do. The process that companies use to grow bamboo is not as harsh on the environment as the process of growing trees and harvesting lumber. Bamboo does not require the chemicals and pesticides that many of the larger hardwood trees require.

You can take a few steps to use more eco-friendly materials in your home, and replacing your appliances, cleaning supplies, and flooring are just a few things that you can do to change the overall appearance and eliminate waste in your home. Taking a few small steps to save the environment while enhancing your living space can help to make a difference in the world around you.

Erin Devine is a freelance writer and editor for Floor & Décor Outlets, a factory direct flooring store. In her free time, she maintains her own blog about all things home renovation and interior design, DIY Home & Floor.

6 Eco-Friendly Options 4 The Office

I am pleased to share a wonderful blog post from a guest blogger Angela Taylor a blogger and aspiring designer.   While there is a lot of information focusing on green/eco-friendly options for the home, this is a wonderful focused look at what we can do specifically for our home or small office spaces in that regard.  Take a read and implement some of the great ideas!

Bamboo Dry Erase

 

6 Simple Eco-Friendly Elements for a Visually Striking Home Office

Green products for an environmentally-friendly work environment

The home office combines your professional and personal life—so it should, rightly so, be a reflection of you. Unfortunately, the home office is usually an after-thought and designated to a corner in your kitchen or living room. If you’re concerned about the environment, there are green products that you can incorporate into your home office to make it more environmentally friendly and more visually appealing as well. Considering this home office will be where you spend the majority of your day, it would make sense to make it as comfortable, functional and attractive as possible.

Here are our 6 simple Eco-friendly product recommendations for a visually pleasing home office that you can get inspired in:

1. Eco-friendly wall décor: Green wall décor is offered in various patterns and textures—plus it’s better for your health than conventional wallpapers that can contain chemicals. Look into attractive wall décor and coverings like:

  • Glass whiteboards—or glass dry erase boards provide a natural and safe surface for brainstorming
  • Eco-friendly wallpaper— made from natural renewable bamboo, rice paper, flax, cork, arrowroot and a mish-mash of recycled papers
  • Reed, cattail and paper weave murals—make beautiful wall décor with delicate dried leaves and natural grasses twisted together and making unique wall art
  • Ceramic and mica photo frames—are constructed from natural sands in the soil and formed into a beautiful variety of colors and sizes

2. Recycled office furniture: You can find some really great eclectic pieces of second hand office furniture at your local thrift shop or Salvation Army. A lot of large companies also throw out their office furniture rather than repairing it during an upgrade so you can salvage some top quality ergonomic office chairs and desks and save it being thrown into a landfill site.

3. Eco materials for your home office: You can find an abundant of environmentally-friendly and recycled materials for your home office, for instance:

  • Wheat board – for the walls (and it can double as a posting board) as well as floors
  • You can buy 4GB bamboo flash drives as opposed to the plastic variety
  • Moleskine notebooks (made of bamboo pulp) are waterproof with washable covers
  • Sustainable timber – for your desk and storage units
  • Recycled aluminum – again, for office desks, storage units and office chairs
  • Recycled glass – ideal for walls and attractive office desk tops
  • Recycled upholstery – great for throw pillows, stuffed bean bag chairs and desk chair coverings

4. Harness the power of sustainable energy: Look to natural resources with these really aesthetic pieces of office equipment:

5. Recycled or refurbished electronics: Akin to finding used office furniture from large corporations, you can often buy refurbished electronics for a fraction of the cost. Many large companies will host a used electronics sale when it is time to upgrade their computers, laptops, fax machines, photocopiers, printers and office telephones. You can feel good rescuing that refurbished laptop from a life in the scrap yard. Keep in mind that your home office electronics give off VOC emissions as well as other chemical vapors that pollute the air in your home. Try these additional energy-savings tips for a greener home office:

  • Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer—laptops use less energy
  • Unplug the printer, fax machine and computer when your day is over
  • Plug multiple electronics into one power bar so that you can turn them all off with one switch
  • Leave office equipment on timers so that everything automatically shuts down overnight
  • Minimize the number of office electronics you use by purchasing all in one photocopier/printer/scanner/ fax models
  • Use online fax and telephone
  • And when you are finished with your home office electronics, donate them to local schools, shelters or for reuse where needed

6. Refillable/reusable office supplies: When you look for office supplies—such as pens, pencils, files and ink cartridges for your printer—seek out refillable and reusable varieties. And also:

  • Look for recycled plastic products such as pens.
  • Buy pens and printer cartridges with non-toxic inks like vegetable- or soy-based ink
  • Buy multiple packs of pens, Post-it notes and staples to cut down your packaging waste
  • Reuse all of your elastic bands, thumb tacks and paper clips
  • Set up a recycling bin so you don’t throw used up items away