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4 Popular Home Trends That Happen to be Green

Home and Garden, Uncategorized July 17, 2017

Eco-friendly and Green homes are trending these days because people are caring more about the environment in which they live. In a lot of ways we have come full circle, many decades ago, homeowners tried to create a safe and healthy environment for themselves and their families, but as technology has expanded into areas of food planting and unsafe ways of growing something simple like grass and plants, life is not as healthy or economical as it could be. Now many people are getting back to basics with how they live and also with the homes they live in. Below we list 4 an popular trends and a few simple ways that you and your family can engage in to create a greener lifestyle.

1. Smaller Homes

Flicker Gauvin pictures

Homes that are smaller use less resources. They are easier to heat and cool in the summertime. Using less natural resources like gas, electric, and water, is a simple and doable way to live a greener life.

2. Leed Certified Lighting and Energy Star

Better lighting is another key to living greener. There are certified forms of lighting for homes now that guarantee a lifetime of use and they use less electricity. Homeowners should look for LEED and Energy Star certified forms of lighting.

3. Bamboo

Flicker 

Bamboo is an eco-friendly material used more now for home flooring. What makes it a greener choice is that bamboo comes from a source which replaces itself. It is a renewable energy source. You can also use bamboo for cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen areas.

4. Conserving Water

Flicker

By simply replacing a shower head in your bathrooms, you can conserve water and be a part of the solution on the planet instead of the cause. There is such a thing now called “gray water”, this is doing your dishes and then reusing that dishwater for plants, watering the grass, e

One of the most important ways to go green is to stop waste. If you have leftovers in the fridge, repurpose them into a new dish or use them as compost in a garden sending them back into the earth. Use your gray water for watering plants or if you don’t have a garden, simply pour the gray dish water into the earth. Another way to go green is to stop running your water while you are doing your dishes. Fill a large pan with water and do your dishes that way. This is one way to create and use gray water. You don’t lose it, you use it instead to help the earth. Going green can be as simple as not running water while you brush your teeth. Only run water in your home when it is necessary. Being green is simply being mindful, and in the long run if we all take on at least one of these practices, the earth can be replenished.

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6 Shabby Chic Items You Must Have in Your Cottage

Uncategorized July 1, 2017

Whether decorating a cottage style home in the suburbs or a cottage in the woods, shabby chic may be just the thing you need to bring your household atmosphere alive. Shabby Chic items are usually vintage or vintage items that have been re-purposed, in colors of white, off-white, pinks, light blue, to name a few. Lace and vintage fabrics play a big role in the Shabby Chic style. From old-fashioned doilies to modern day table cloths and fresh flowers.

The items that are labeled Shabby Chic are in many home stores and there are endless items from which to choose for your cottage home. We offer you 7 Shabby Chic items that are must-haves if you want the Shabby Chic look in your home.

1. An Old Door

Old barn doors are the best Shabby Chic item because they can used for just about any item in the house. Old doors can be table tops for dining room areas, coffee tables, wall decorations dressed with flowers, or simply hung in between rooms like the kitchen and dining areas. The limit is only a lack of imagination.

2. Mirrors

Old vintage mirrors are great. Often they come from garage sales chipped with old paint. They often look good just the way they are. They have so much character. But you can also paint mirrors and use faux designs around the frames for a bit of your own personality and style.

3. Flowers

Flowers are a huge part of the Shabby Chic look. Fresh white and pink flowers are the best, but some really good quality plastic or silk flowers will also do the trick. Place them in the kitchen, dining room, on tables and book shelves.

4. Lace and White Fabrics

Lace and white fabrics are also very Shabby Chic. You can get a great price on fabric remnants that are wonderful to use as throws across the sofas and chairs or to redo furniture that may need a bit of sprucing up. Lace can be placed on dressers, the dining room table, side tables and even in the bedroom to give off a softer feminine feel and look.

5. Old Bottles

Glass bottles are also huge in the Shabby Chic world particularly naturally colored ones like cobalt blue. Depending on their size, they can be used for fresh juices, water, or vases, and even storage for small items like safety pins and nails.

6. Pillows

In a Shabby Chic world, pillows are everywhere. White, ivory, pastel, florals, all are wonderful Shabby Chic choices. Use them as throw pillows for the sofas and sitting chairs, in the family room as extra cushions or on a table top to transform it into an ottoman. The bedroom is obviously an amazing place to throw a few extra pillows on your bed for style and comfort.

By Kimm Smith

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How to Stage a Home Yourself Without a Professional

Home and Garden, Uncategorized April 24, 2017

Home staging has become a huge business these days, particularly, real estate agents are drawn to their services because it has been proven to help sell homes, and anything that helps that process is popular with agents. You may ask, “what is staging”, if you are not working in the real estate world or trying to sell your home. Staging is a process by which you decorate a home to make it feel more comfortable and appealing to a potential buyer. Professional home stagers often will take a percentage of the sale once the house is sold, or get paid a pretty hefty fee at the beginning.

What if you are either selling your own home or just desire not to be bothered with that aspect of the sale, and you want to do the staging yourself? Well, you can do the staging yourself, but before you head to the nearest home store here are a few tips on how to stage your home successfully without a professional.

Get Rid of Clutter

Your clutter could be the death of a sale. When a potential buyer sees a home cluttered with your family’s items, it is hard for them to imagine themselves inside that home, decorating the way they really desire. Plus, clutter just looks awful and though a buyer may like the layout of your home, the clutter can completely throw them off mentally and emotionally.

Paint

That’s right! A fresh coat of paint can work miracles. It’s very unattractive to see a home with chipped and dirty paint. Often home owners may neglect repainting their homes for decades. They get used to the look and never think about if it’s fresh or not. If you are selling a home, one of the first things you want to do in invest in a fresh coat of paint.

Make Repairs

Many home owners tend to neglect small repairs because they get used to it as a family. For example, if you’ve been turning your faucet on with a wrench and that has worked just fine for you, that small bit of neglect will cause a buyer to move on to another listing. Repairs that need to be made, should be on your staging list. A home that appears neglected is a turn off to buyers and agents.

Thoroughly Clean Your Entire Home

You can do this yourself or hire a professional cleaner, which is the best idea. We often overlook things we don’t necessarily find important but a professional cleaner gets into the nooks and crannies of the house and will have it looking like new.

Make it Smell Good

Potential buyers are drawn to homes that smell good and this is one of the easiest parts of staging. Buy a few scented candles and place them throughout the house. Just the aroma, will make a buyer feel at home. Often, they don’t even know that they are being drawn in by a scent, they just know that they feel good and that the house smells fresh.

Rent Furniture if You Have to

If your furniture is in disrepair, you may need to move it out and replace it with rented furniture. This process is easy enough these days. There are many companies that rent whole rooms of furniture for the staging process. You will just need to let them know why you want to rent the furniture and often they will send a consultant with the furniture to make sure it has good placement and looks attractive.

These are just a few of the most important tips when it comes to staging your own home without a professional. If it seems like a lot of work for you, then do what you can, or hire a professional in your price range. Make sure they know what your budget is so that there will be no surprises at the end of this process.

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8 Organizational Tips for a Small Kitchen

Home and Garden, Uncategorized March 24, 2017

In many magazines that cater to the homeowner, there are these dramatically huge kitchens. Kitchens in which you can host a whole party of family and friends comfortably. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to have a kitchen as large as some New York apartments. So what do you do differently in a small kitchen so that it can still take on a glamorous twist? It’s all about organization.

Here are 8 organizational tips for a small kitchen that will leave you feeling satisfied with the size, the decor, and the neatness.

1. Hang High

It is simple enough to find baskets that screw into the ceiling. They are usually metal and mesh and are great for holding your fruits and vegetables that don’t require refrigeration. Not only is it practical but it also adds some decoration to your kitchen.

2, Utilize Your Wall Space

Walls are a great place to hang large knives and other large utensils. They now have these magnets you stick on your walls just for this purpose. It holds anything metal and keeps it all out of the way until you need to use it.

3. Only Buy What You Need

If you have a tiny kitchen, it doesn’t make sense, unless it comes with a large pantry, to stock up, as they say, at one of those big box stores. Buy only what you need and what you’re going to cook within the next few days.

4. Utilize Other Closets in the House

If you have other closets in the home that have a lot of empty space, you can use them for your dried goods, like rices and flour and your canned goods, like beans and jarred sauces.

5. Fill Your Kitchen with Smaller Appliances

Don’t try to fit regular or large ovens and refrigerators into a small kitchen. It will only make it look crowded and cluttered. If you have the opportunity to choose, choose apartment sized refrigerators and ovens, or instead of a full oven, get a convection oven that does everything and some small burners for when you need them.

6. Use Drawer Organizers

Instead of having your silverware sitting on the counters or in the dish drains, put them away into drawer organizers and only pull them out when you need them. There are many kinds of drawer organizers these days and some are quite colorful and stylish.

7. Label leftovers Immediately

Don’t leave your counters and refrigerators full of leftovers. It only causes you to waste food and you end up throwing it out. If dinnertime leaves you with leftovers, cover with plastic wrap or foil, label them with the contents and the date, and freeze them in your refrigerator freezer or a stand alone freezer kept in the mudroom or garage.

8. Put Smaller Appliances Away Until You Need Them

Items like blenders, juicers, toasters, should be put away in a nearby cabinet until it’s time to use them. Don’t take up your counter and prep space with these small appliances. Normally, they are not used everyday, so you don’t need them cluttering up your space.

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5 Reasons Why Life is Better on a Houseboat

Uncategorized March 20, 2017

Many people are seeking a new way of living. The traditional home on a specific plot of land, just isn’t doing the job of satisfying many homeowners. This is one reason why houseboat living has become popular these days. There was a time when houseboat living was a far-off dream in Europe or somewhere exotic. Now, people are living in houseboats all over the U.S. and Canada, and those who are transitioning to houseboat living are from every walk of life. From retired professors to freelance artists and writers, many people are yearning for the freedom of living on a boat,

There are many ways to live on a houseboat. Some dwellers choose to be docked at all times and pay for docking fees, and others enjoy the choice of riding up and down the nearest river and docking whenever they choose. Many areas, have certain docking spaces for those who like to take a ride once in a while. Docking rules vary from place to place. Sometimes you can dock for 24 hours, other docking spaces allow you to dock for months at a time.

1. The Incredible Views

It’s not difficult to find incredible views. All you need to do is look around you. Most rivers and lakes are surrounded by the purest of nature. Living on a houseboat, you get to see that beauty all the time.

2. You Get to be the Captain

This may not be a thrill for everyone, but it is a huge thrill for some. You get to be the captain of your own boat and your own life. Of course, you need to do your studies before embarking on this kind of life move, but once you learn the ropes, donning that captain’s hat can be quite a surreal trip.

3.  You Can Always Move

Living on a houseboat makes it easier to change environments if you don’t like the one you’re in. You can change neighbors much easier by just riding a couple miles down the river to the next docking station. You don’t feel so stuck and restricted as you do when you own a home or sign a lease.

4. No Yard Work

Some people like yard work and gardening, most people do not. You won’t have that worry living on a houseboat. If you love plants, you can still own house plants depending upon the climate and where you place them, but that is really no different than living in a house. What you won’t need to do, is mow the lawn.

5. Life is Always Changing and Exciting

Life is never dull on a houseboat. When you take a small cruise, you get a great change of scenery, and as the climate changes you get a front row seat. You can be on the move for months, stopping here and there for your food and house needs, and meeting new people. And if you remain docked most of the time, the neighbors around you will change much more often than if you were living in a house in the city.

Source: Here are 5 great reasons why photo credit: 14 Reasons Why Life is Better on a Houseboat

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Steel Homes: An Economical Alternative

Uncategorized March 2, 2017

Steel homes are becoming increasingly popular, and more especially to young homeowners buying their first home. Their value-for-money is uncompromising. You can design your own home without the participation of either an architect or an engineer. Their durability is unmatched. There is no risk of problems like fire and pest infestations and so the homeowner’s insurance is much lower than with conventional construction. And with steel homes you can easily add on to the original floor plan and expand the design. You can have complete control over your home’s layout.

The maintenance on a wood built and asphalt-roofed home can be exhausting and expensive. Steel-built homes are much more easy to maintain, and so less of a drain on your wallet. They can be prefabricated or customized to your needs, desires, and requirements.

There are also kits for steel-built homes, so that you can save the cost of a building contractor. For as little as $8,000-$10,00 you can construct your own steel home in a matter of weeks or even days.

The location of your home is completely up to you. Steel homes can be put together almost anywhere you desire. That’s another reason why steel homes are so much more cost-effective. You may want your home to be in an open space, on a mountain, or in a more secluded location. Any of these sites works with a steel-built home.

Compared to a traditionally built home, designed by an architect and built by an engineer, steel-built homes can withstand hurricane force winds and other weather hazards, with little to no stress. A wood sided and framed home is more susceptible to bad weather conditions and is never as durable as a steel built home.

With a steel built home you can add rooms or reconfigure the home’s layout much more easily and less expensively than with a traditionally built home. As your family grows or you need more space for guests or animals, your steel built home can change and evolve just as you and your family evolve.

The benefits of living in a steel built home are many and deserve scrutiny and deep consideration. They are much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than a traditionally built home. They can be prefabricated or customized to your specifications. The engineering is built into your home’s design. There is no need for an architect. Steel homes are more durable and weather resistant than traditional homes. Add-ons are easily accommodated and your steel home can be expanded as your life expands. Pest infestations need not be a problem and steel homes are non-combustible. The actual construction of your steel home on your chosen site can be quick and simple. Steel homes are a great choice for young couples. So steel built homes are an economical alternative.

Source: General Steel Buildings

 

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Paint Colors for a Calming Bedroom

Uncategorized February 2, 2017

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of peace, calm, and renewal. It is a place where you unwind and shed the stress of the day. Studies have shown that colors have a huge effect on mood, and the color that you paint your bedroom can influence the kind of sleep you have. Here are five painting options  that can enrich and aid in a restful night.

Lavender

Image Bedroom Design Ideas

Soft purple colors are considered to have the ability to be stress-reducing, and this lavender is both cool and sophisticated. It is perfect for a master bedroom. You can counter the cool nature of the paint color with warmer colors on your floors, head board, and accents.

Dark Grey-Blue

Image Pinterest

Darker colors can provide a cozy ambiance in a bedroom. And they need not make a small room seem smaller. Break up the grey with lighter colors in artwork. furniture, and flooring. This is both a sophisticated and romantic color scheme, and can help provide  a peaceful, calm feeling. If you prefer a bit more light in your bedroom, use a pale, soft grey on the walls and complimentary colors in pillows, accents and bed linens.

Image Houzz

Nature inspires with this color. Think of a cool autumn day with a crisp blue sky. This is a very relaxing way to make your bedroom your sanctuary. Counter the cool feeling of the blue with warm accent colors in pillows and cushions, and bed covers. A warm area rug or other floor covering will also be a compliment to the blue walls.

Neutral Green

Image Pinterest

A soft green hue with a touch a grey is also nature-inspired. Bring the outside in with a pistachio, or sage green, and use other colors of nature in accents and bed linens. This is a warmer option than the cooler colors mentioned above, but is still clean, fresh, and relaxing.

Bedrooms are the most sacred room in the house. They should offer you a chance to shed the activities of the day, to find some solace, and soothe your soul. The colors you use in your bedroom should enhance this and promote peace.

Source: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/56675610/list/set-the-mood-5-colors-for-a-calming-bedroom

Featured image courtesy of Visi Build

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Small Prefab House Beach Design Meant to Be Affordable

Tiny House, Uncategorized October 25, 2016

small summer house

What is this small house prefab on the water? It’s 70 square meters of laminated timber construction, wooden deck and terminal base. Four meters in height where even the skylights can be opened.

“People want to stay rural in the summer – but still want all the facilities like toilets and showers. We have been striving for simplicity and a sense of freedom so that you experience the difference between cabin homes and permanent homes,” said Johnny Andersson and Michaela Tengblad, who created the summer house.

Johnny and Michaela, who work at Earth Architects, have designed this small prefab house for summer fun. Notice the housing structure with large glass windows including the roof. The idea is that you should feel that you have the sky as a roof. The large room should feel like a studio or greenhouse, a place where you can paint, pottery and work. Without a lot of sofas that you do not use. When you socialize as you sit at the dinner table. Living rooms are often the least used – if not the television is there.

A starting point for Michaela’s and Johnny’s prefab house design work has been to find the difference between permanent residence and holiday home at the same time they wanted to meet the requirements of convenience. Therefore, there is a toilet, shower and kitchen, but the shower is outdoors and the simple kitchen counter is more workbench which continues outdoors. The house has no hall with a definite admission, but outside several doors and sliding windows can be used. The bedroom’s surface is minimized but a bench in the main room is both storage and can serve as extra sleeping.

“When we designed the house we started from what we ourselves could afford. Therefore, we have worked with simplicity and rugged materials. But to build simple is usually difficult because you cannot hide the errors,” said the designers.

The basic concept of this prefab home design is a 70-square-meter small house, but it can be made larger and designed by the owner’s wishes. One part is built in wood and the other is the concrete foundation and steel structure. The house is winter insulated and equipped with a stove.

“We think that the house is equally suited to lie on a beach in a forest glade or in a holiday home area.”

Johnny sees no problem with having large skylights in the small house. “On the contrary, it is well amazing to hear the rain and watch the snow fall and experience the weather.”

Earth Architects work broadly with everything from private homes to prefab house designs to sheltered housing, from the landscaping to the design of the door handles. The team is Johnny Andersson, 47, who co-founded the architectural firm in 1999 in which nine people work today. Johnny’s dream home is a town house in New York, a hybrid between villa and apartment with its own entrance and terrace; and Tengblad Michaela, 40, who has been with the company for six years. Her dream home is a custom-designed, climate-villa in rough concrete and plywood.

Illustration: Koloss.se

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Falling in Love with a New Color Palette

Uncategorized October 3, 2016

Falling in Love with a New Color Palette

As the leaves change their color and the wind whips through our hair we are reminded that a new season has arrived. Fall is special as it is nature’s final farewell before beginning its renewal. There is a beauty outside that can easily be brought indoors without the mess. Warm colors of fall create an inviting atmosphere perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Red, yellow, and orange based colors are all on this seasons color palette.

Burgundy is a great color for your fall palette. This is a red based color that has a rich, warm feel to perfectly fit the season. Other colors to use, similar in shade, would be maroon or rust.

They can all be paired with warm neutral tones. If you would like a more festive look than pair these colors with gold to create more shine. Red based colors not fitting your space? Try a color with a yellow base. A light honey color is a great option. If you prefer something with more warmth try mustard instead. You can pair these colors with shades of gray or brown in your home. Of course we cannot forget about the seasons overwhelming popular color of orange.

This color is not just for your pumpkins! Embrace the seasons color by bringing in burnt orange for a dramatic accent or caramel if you would like a warm touch.

There are a variety of colors you can choose from and even more ways to present them in your home. Practical ways to enjoy these seasonal colors would be with updated throw pillows or blankets. Although they may be seasonal in your purchase, they can be used year round for guests. If you are not worried about practicality you can buy seasonal decorations that draw upon these colors. If you do not have the closet space to dedicate to these seasonal items then try flowers! They are a great way to bring the season indoors.

Pictured color combinations: Burgundy, Maroon, Rust; Caramel, Burnt Orange; Honey, Mustard)

By Alison LaPaglia

falling-in-love-with-a-new-color-palette-1 falling-in-love-with-a-new-color-palette-4 falling-in-love-with-a-new-color-palette-3

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What Is A Container Home? All About the Shipping Container House

Shipping Container Buildings, Uncategorized October 1, 2016

What Is A Container Home? All About the Shipping Container House

What does it take to build a shipping container house?

Building a container house may seem simple. Just connect two, three or however many used containers in a house. The final cost of the container house includes more than just a couple shipping containers, though, because naturally you need to arrange the containers and building site, and outfit the building for living.

The price of the package is important. But the price of the what’s in the shipping home is also important: doors, fittings, finishes, heating …

NOTE: There are photos to illustrate the sizes of these containers and the types of homes at the bottom of the article. It might be best to go down there and look through them first, so you can know what’s being explained. You can also refer to the images as you go along.

HOW MUCH DOES A CONTAINER COST?

To build a house you need a container or multiple containers. They come both new or used. A container can be purchased from your dealer. Suppliers are often in large commercial ports.
40 foot container: A container costs between $2200 and $3300 US.

It takes one or two containers to build up a cabin or a small house. The shipping containers come painted. Transportation and installation of the package has an additional price. An old container can cost much less, but you have to buy a waterproof container, so make sure it meets that requirement.

The price of the container also depends on the manufacture, and on the quantity purchased. The price to buy 1 or 10 containers is not the same.  For a good price, the used container is a better deal. The best solution is to go to a port or containers are numerous and where providers are also numerous.

Shipping containers are closed metal boxes, and there are different sizes of containers, but 40 meters is the largest and most widely used construction container. This container produces mainly cube-shaped houses. These houses can be considered a byproduct of the industrial international transport to a degree, and are environmentally friendly in the sense that they re-use what is otherwise no longer needed.

20 foot container dimensions: Length : 6.058mm Width : 2.438mm Length: 2.591mm. Internal dimensions Length : 5.910mm Width : 2.340mm Length: 2.388mm. Opening Width : 2.346mm Length: 2.282mm cubing : 33,2m. Maximum weight : 24.000kg Tara : 2.080kg Load 21.920kg.

40 foot container dimensions Length: 12.192mm Width : 2.438mm Length: 2.591mm. Internal dimensions Length : 12.044mm Width : 2.342mm Length: 2.380mm. Opening Width : 2.337mm Length: 2.280mm Takeoff : 67.6 m. Maximum weight : 30.480kg Tara : 3.550kg Load 26.930kg.

sea-shipping-container-40-feet 20-foot-container

Location considerations: In a hot climate beach-side location, like the interesting tiny house in Sri Lankan (photo below), a shipping container house can be built with materials on and around the site, including a few domestic containers and deconstructed remains of old wooden boxes from weapons. This container house was built with a single container. The waterfront home is located right on the beach, and you can see how well suited it would be considering the heat of the country and the breeze coming from the open water.

sri-lanka sri-lanka-3

Construction container is trendy, it’s increasing in the world for both emergency shelters and for for modern and contemporary construction.

This house is not a house in France. The orange is a popular color for containers! This modern home has been designed with just shipping boxes. The modular boxes are assembled by connecting two under a single roof. All overlooking a bay window instead of a wall. The industrial style is real, but it is a special home because of its unique design.

Shipping container houses shipping-container-houses-3

Here is a small house project container with solar panels for home energy. The possibilities are endless with containers and multiple projects are possible.

shipping-container-houses-2

Because this building style is a growing trend, architects around the world are working on these concept homes. Some are covered with wood, so they do not appear to be made with metal once they’re finished.

As some might guess, the container house is also popular where labor is cheaper and where people have less money, such as China. In fact, China ships shipping container homes around the world, competing with American, European and other companies.

Why build a house with containers?

The first is probably price. Even if you can’t afford to build a wooden house from a builder, you may have enough to be able to afford a shipping container design.

Also, if you want to save money by building the house yourself, you might not have the experience for framing with wood.

Container houses are strong.

A container is a very sturdy structure. They are stacked 8 levels on top of each other, filled with a maximum load 26.5T. A container can carry 213T. So stacking for houses is something the shipping container is capable of. However, attention has to be paid how they are stacked.

They’re also suitable for any size of house – small or large – and any type – for example, single dwelling or large apartment complex. They can also be added on to or split up to modify the building design.

See our list of shipping container homes and designs we’ve featured here. See our directory of shipping container homes for more information about them. Gallery of examples:

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