10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

Lowering your impact on the environment by reducing waste in the home is easier than you think. Start by incorporating just a few of these 10 strategies into your home life and continue by adding more when you’re ready. Before you know it, these waste-reducing tips will become second nature.

1. Buy in bulk whenever possible and you won’t need to throw away as much non-recyclable packaging.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

2. Illuminate your home with LED lights. They last much longer than alternative solutions.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

3. Get creative and repurpose old furniture and household items. Using items in unique ways will give your home character.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

4. Have less furniture and invest in quality pieces. The less surface space you have, the less space you have to accumulate junk. And by investing in quality furniture, you won’t have to keep replacing worn-out or damaged pieces over and over again in the future.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

5. Supply your home with bedding and rugs made from natural fibers, such as bamboo or wool.

6. Take your thermos to the coffee shop. Most cafes will happily fill your thermos with coffee, and you might even save a few cents in the process.

7. Bring your own reusable bag to the store. You’ll be grateful later when you don’t have an overflow of plastic bags anymore.

10 simple ways to reduce waste in your home

8. Make your own cleaning supplies. Many brand-name cleaning supplies use a small number of ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda.

9. Eat more whole foods instead of packaged products. Eating a frozen dinner everyday results in a lot of waste. Make it a goal to cook more often, and when buying packaged food, buy in bulk.

10. Reuse gift bags and tissue paper. You can even reuse wrapping paper if you open presents carefully!

You don’t have to change your whole life to be more green. These waste-reducing strategies are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle, and they will help make you more environmentally conscious in other aspects of your daily life.

By Wendy Weinert

 

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

You might not be a celebrity or have the money to buy your own yacht, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lead a glamorous lifestyle. Glam is making a comeback in interior decorating, mimicking the style of old Hollywood and giving everyone the chance to feel like movie stars. Although this time around, the trend of adding shimmer and shine to one’s home is in no way over the top. Add a hint of glam to your space and live in luxury every day with these five practical decorating ideas.

Add a hint of glam to your space

Photo credit: Mix and Chic

1. Decorate with dramatic colors

Colors that evoke a feeling of glamour are often dramatic. Deep purples, blues and reds are all colors that can be used to decorate a luxurious space, but you can also depend on neutrals such as black or deep grey.

Add a hint of glam to your space

Photo credit: This is Glamorous

2. Find rich fabrics

The combination of the right colors and fabrics is an easy way to incorporate glamour into your space. When selecting furniture, find pieces that feature dramatic colors and materials like suede or velvet. These soft fabrics look rich and feel incredible.

Add a hint of glam to your space

3. Place a chandelier in an unexpected place

People expect to see chandeliers in rooms like the dining room or the foyer. When you hang a chandelier in an untraditional space like the bathroom or bedroom, you’ll surprise guests and create a glamorous look for your space.

Add a hint of glam to your space with these simple decorating ideas

4. Lounge on a chaise

A chaise lounge is a sophisticated alternative to the typical sofa or chair and will make your living room seem far from ordinary. On a Saturday afternoon, you’ll feel like an old movie star relaxing on your elegant chaise.

5. Incorporate metallic tones

Metals like silver, gold or brass are perfect for glamorous spaces. You can choose one metal to incorporate throughout the room, or add a modern twist by mixing metals instead.

You might never be Hollywood’s next leading actress or actor, but you can still live a glamorous life. These simple solutions are easy to incorporate into modern homes and will help you create a luxurious space that is also practical.

By Wendy Weinert

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

During the spring and summer months, there’s nothing better than relaxing on your patio or porch. Don’t let your outdoor oasis be spoiled, however, when a swarm of mosquitoes crashes the party or your neighbors decide to argue loudly next door. Enjoy the outdoors this season more fully by setting up your space to fix these five common annoyances.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

1. Noise

It’s hard to enjoy socializing with friends when all you hear are cars driving by or the TV playing in a neighboring house. Eliminate some of that noise with noise of your own. A decorative wind chime is relaxing and will provide sounds you actually want to hear.

Tips for improving your outdoor space

2. Bugs

Nothing is worse than having to swat at bugs the entire time you’re outside. Besides spraying yourself with bug repellent, you can keep the bugs away by not wearing perfume, removing any standing water around the area (for example, rainwater left in an empty bucket) and lighting a citronella candle. If you have a porch, consider installing an outdoor fan, which also keeps biting bugs away.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

3. Harsh sunlight 

During the winter all we wish for is the sun. But then the summer comes and the sun shines a little too bright. Prevent sunburn by incorporating shade into your outdoor space. There are lots of ways to add shade. You can use a simple trick like an umbrella or cloth canopy, or you can build your own shade in the form of an outdoor gazebo or arbor.

5 solutions for common outdoor patio problems

4. No light

After the sun goes down, you won’t have to worry about getting sunburned, but you will have to worry about being able to see. Depending on where your outdoor space is located, you can consider wall lights, lamps, landscape lighting or ambient lighting placed underneath furniture.

5. Heat/cold

During the day you might be too hot, but when it starts to get dark you might feel chilly. Combat both problems by installing an outdoor ceiling fan and setting up an outdoor heater in your patio. An extra supply of blankets will also come in handy at night and shade will help you stay cool, especially if you can’t hang up a fan.

You’ve spent a lot of time setting up your outdoor space, so why not enjoy it? Keep the annoyances away with these five solutions, and spend this season soaking up the fresh air!

By Wendy Weinert

Decorating your space from start to finish

Decorating a room mostly from scratch grants you the opportunity to create a space that will meet all of your style preferences. It also provides a good reason to feel a little overwhelmed and start looking for help. When a space is yours to put together, knowing where to start and which elements you should decide on first will smooth out the process and ensure you don’t regret the finished result.

Decorating your space from start to finish

So where should you begin the decorating process? The best place to start is with the expensive elements that are rarely replaced, if ever, such as the flooring or countertops. Choose materials and colors that will fit in with a variety of design schemes so you can create a timeless structure for your home. It’s easy to replace a lamp, but installing new flooring is a whole different story.

Decorating your space from start to finish

After the basic structure of the room has been decided, move on to big pieces of furniture such as the bed or sofa. Being larger furniture, they have a lot of impact on the overall look of your room and will help provide guidance as you move along to the accessories and smaller furniture pieces.

Decorating your space from start to finish

With the main elements of your room’s setup established, you can start filling the room with smaller furnishings and decorative accessories. While you can choose to decorate your space in a timeless style, you can also decide to have a little fun in this part of the process by incorporating trendy or bold items. They’re more affordable and less difficult to replace.

Decorating your space from start to finish

You may have noticed that paint and wallpaper were not mentioned. That’s because you can decide on them whenever you want during the decorating process. You can either choose a color of paint or wallpaper print when setting up the structure of the room, and then choose furnishings to match. Or you can let the room come together and then find the appropriate wall decor to complement the room’s design.

Decorate a room you’ll love for years with this start-to-finish guide. Even if you choose to redecorate later on, you’ll still have a neutral structure to work with and fewer design decisions to make.

By Wendy Weinert

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

You don’t have to spend big bucks to decorate your home like a stylist would. You just have to add the right touches here and there to pull off a designer look. Use these easy tricks in your home to enhance your home’s style and fool guests into thinking you hired a professional decorator.

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

1. Use throw pillows and blankets to add color, texture and design

Throw pillows and blankets are an inexpensive way to improve your living room’s style. When selecting pillows, choose three or four that feature different, complementing designs. For throw blankets, don’t be afraid to try out different placements and folding options to get just the right look.

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

2. Create a focal point with lighting

If you were to walk into an interior designer’s home, most likely you would see a statement light fixture or two. Dramatic lighting is essential in any decorator’s space, and it can be in yours, too. Find a room lacking drama and push its style to the next level with a stunning pendant or chandelier.

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

Photo credit: Lindsay Sue

3. Add height with plants

If you live in a small space, there are a variety of ways to make it appear bigger. One way to add height is with a tall plant. This is also a good trick for enhancing an already high ceiling to create even more drama.

4. Incorporate variety in grouped decor

Instead of grouping three identical decor pieces together, keep the look interesting by choosing objects of different sizes or color. Variety is the best way to prevent an area from looking bland.

Easy tricks to decorate like a professional

5. Decorate with white to add elegance

White doesn’t necessarily mean boring. In many cases, white is actually the elegant and more refreshing choice. Have you ever slept in an all-white bedroom? You’ll be surprised at how relaxing it can be. If you’re decorating the bathroom, use white candles and towels to make the room feel like a spa.

You don’t need to hire a professional decorator to design a space you can enjoy for years. These easy tricks will help you pull off a designer look in no time.

By Wendy Weinert

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

 

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

A stylish mudroom – can you imagine it? Probably not. After all, it’s called the mudroom for a reason. Although the front porch or entryway tends to be the place in your home where family members dump their coats and track in dirt, you can strategically design the space so it attracts less mess with these five essentials.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

Photo credit: Thrifty Decor Chick

1. Hall tree bench

Hall tree benches are perfect for mudrooms because they offer a place to sit and take your shoes off, hooks for coats and storage for shoes. Plus, there are many stylish options available, allowing you to set up the mudroom to be both functional and attractive.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

2. A mirror

Mudrooms are typically smaller, but you can make yours appear larger with a stylish mirror that reflects light and opens up your space. Plus, hanging up a mirror allows you to do a quick appearance check when you’re heading out the door in a hurry!

3. Umbrella holder

Your umbrella might be protecting you from the rain, but it certainly doesn’t protect your mudroom. Upon entering your house on a rainy day, place your wet umbrella in an umbrella stand to keep the water from dripping all over your floor.

4. Welcoming light

The mudroom is the first room guests walk into as they enter your home. Make sure it looks inviting by installing a wall fixture for ambient lighting. If your space allows, you can also hang up a stylish pendant or chandelier.

5 essentials to design a stylish mudroom

5. A durable rug

Mudroom floors have to handle a lot. Water, gravel and dirt can all be tracked into the entryway, so you’ll need a durable indoor/outdoor rug that will protect your floors. When choosing a rug, make sure it is absorbent and can hold water and mud without becoming too dirty-looking right away.

Spring is here and you know what that means: more mud. Make sure your mudroom is ready with these five essential items.

By Wendy Weinert

 

The Love of LEGO

Lego website

Legos – those multicolored bricks roughly the size of peanuts- for most of us bring back a flood of nostalgia.   Although the concept was simple, Legos became ubiquitous for generations of children much like iPads and Netflix have become now.  The core appeal of Legos was built upon the creativity of the ambitious, transporting young engineers and city planners to their own worlds where they played unquestioned ruler.  In the infinite space of imagination and strategy, I and countless others thrived.

Lego Minions

Although it is hard to quantify exactly what we garnered through the hours spent stacking those simple bricks, it is not hard to imagine how it helped our development of key skills.  Creative problem-solving, collaboration, project-management, design, creativity; these skills all seem like realistic possibilities.  We might never know how Legos affected us, but for me it is impossible to imagine a world without them.

Lego themed bedroom

This was the inspiration for Weston Homes, a leading developer of real-estate in Great Britain, to both design and create the first children’s themed Lego room completely made with standard and mini-Lego figures.  The sample room that Weston Homes created for one of their luxury home developments from head to toe is decorated with red and yellow Legos and themed accessories.  From the wall decals of the “Evolution of the Lego Man” to the Lego brick themed furniture, the room is a perfect place for children to explore the wonderful world of their imagination.  Weston Home claims that other themes like Star Wars and Indiana Jones Lego rooms will follow as the popularity of the attraction increasing.

Lego themed room

Bob Weston, Chairmen & Managing Director of Weston Homes had this say about the project: “Lego is a global brand loved by children… and it has definitely helped play a role in our success at promoting the houses to families with children.”

The Lego Movie

Today the Lego world is more complex as the cherished brand has diversified to theme parks, video games, and even the big screen.  The Lego Movie, voiced by well-known actors/actresses like Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and Morgan Freeman, has grossed over $450 million internationally.  For kids today, Legos might just seem like simple toys, but for those of us who have grown up using Legos as a tool to construct our dreams and push our creative frontiers, Legos are so much more! If you want to learn more about Weston Home’s Lego projects, please visit www.weston-homes.com.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Shh – want to know a decorating secret? How about five? In interior design, there are plenty of tips you can use when decorating your space, but some of the best tricks are still being kept secret. Such as…

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

You don’t need to have a sofa

Most homeowners think there’s an unwritten rule stating you have to have a sofa in the living room – but it’s not actually a rule! If you want to set up a living room that’s intimate and encourages conversation among family and guests, use upholstered chairs or a love seat instead. This will also allow you flexibility when deciding on the arrangement of the room, as you’ll be able to move the upholstered chairs to meet the needs of different occasions.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Wallpaper is a quick fix

Have a boring wall or a scratched closet door? Use wallpaper to cover it up. Wallpaper featuring a fun print or colorful design offers an easy way to hide any eyesores in a room. It’s also good for adding visual interest to a space and can be a great substitute for wall decor – especially in a small room.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Photo credit: Soledad Alzaga

Dining room seating doesn’t have to match

While it’s easy to buy a dining room table and chair set, you’re missing an opportunity to get creative and show off your unique taste! Instead of having only dining chairs, place a bench on one side of the table. Or, pick out two different chair styles that complement each other and set them up in an alternating arrangement.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Photo credit: homedit

The ceiling can be decorated, too

Think of your ceiling as a fifth wall and take advantage of the blank canvas to add color or design to your space. If your walls are a neutral color, paint the celing to be bold or use wallpaper to add texture.

The top 5 interior design secrets no one has told you

Real rugs can be used in the bathroom

High-quality rugs like Tibetan rugs are designed to handle wear and can even deal with moisture. Instead of using a bath mat, give your bathroom a more elegant look and feel with a real rug.

Don’t let these secrets stay secret any longer. Use them to enhance your home’s interior design and help you create a space you’ll love.

By Wendy Weinert

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

The phrase “shabby elegance” might sound like an oxymoron, but the term actually describes the interior design style it represents pretty accurately. Shabby elegance is a style characterized by distressed, antique-looking furniture, soft colors and romantic touches. Here’s how to get the look in your home.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Refurbished ideas

Tip #1: Find ways to recycle and repurpose old furniture

Shabby elegance is all about giving new life to old furniture pieces. Use reclaimed wood to create a fashionably worn dining table or use vintage suitcases as décor. Repurposing will give your home the character and personality that’s been missing.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #2: Add elegance with a chandelier

Repurposing furniture will help create a shabby appearance, but the room needs a touch of elegance, too. Create a nice balance of the two elements by hanging up a beautiful crystal chandelier. Crystal chandeliers will complement your antique-style furniture nicely and give the room a more sophisticated appearance overall.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Savor Home

Tip #3: Use white as a background

White is the perfect starting color for shabby elegant spaces and will give your home a refreshed look. Start by mixing bright whites with antique whites for variety and depth, and then mix in light colors such as rose or sage green.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #4: Avoid being too matchy-matchy

Shabby elegance is not about looking perfect. It’s about character and comfort! Instead of buying furniture in a set, bring in different pieces that complement each other for a more visually interesting room.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #5: Accessorize to complete the look

Add a touch of romance here and there with accessories that complete the style you’re trying to achieve. Accessories like antique picture frames, flower vases, artwork and rugs can all be used to create a shabby elegant space. They will also make your room feel cozier.

Shabby elegance is the perfect combination of cozy and sophisticated. Use these tips to create this look in your home and enjoy the warmth and beauty it provides.

By Wendy Weinert

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

In the spring and summer months, your front and back yards are extensions of your home’s interior design. So why not spend time perfecting your outdoor space like you do your interior? Try these five outdoor décor trends to refresh your yard space and captivate all those who pass by.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

1. Mood lighting

With so many outdoor lighting solutions available today, there’s no reason to take the party inside when the sun goes down! Along with outdoor lamps and wall lights, you can use ambient lighting underneath chairs, benches and sofas to create a social environment that is chic and comfortable.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

2. A natural garden 

Gardens are all about the natural and organic. Complete your garden setup then with natural materials to create seating and landscaping. For example, you can place a concrete bench in your garden instead of a plastic chair. Then simply use accent pillows to add comfort and color.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

Photo credit: Houzz

3. Vertical gardens

If you don’t have a garden due to limited outdoor space, take advantage of your house’s exterior walls to create a vertical garden. Succulents are the best plants to grow in vertical walls because they do not need very much water or maintenance. They’re also nice to grow because they come in a variety of colors and textures, which adds visual interest to your wall.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

4. Fire pits

Enjoy a camping experience right in your own backyard with a fire pit. Like outdoor lighting, fire pits make it easier for you, your family and friends to enjoy the outdoors even at night. Plus, they come in all different sizes, so even those with small spaces can benefit from this trend.

The latest outdoor decor trends to liven up your yard

Photo credit: Freshhome

5. Recessed seating in the pool

Turn your outdoor space into a relaxing getaway by installing recessed seating in your pool. Recessed seating gives pools a look of luxury, and your pool will become your guests’ favorite place to relax when visiting your home.

Is your outdoor space ready for summer? If not, spruce it up with any of these latest décor trends!

By Wendy Weinert