5 ways to boost energy in the home

Feeling drained? I bet I’m not the only one who could use a little more energy to get through the day. The good news is that there are many techniques we can use to boost energy, starting with our home’s interior setup. With a few changes in the home, you may not even need that afternoon cup of coffee anymore! Here are a few strategies you can try:

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1. Design your room to encourage sleep

There are people who say they can function just fine on four hours of sleep, but I believe in the power of a good night’s sleep. If you’re tossing and turning at night or having trouble falling into a deep sleep, consider which factors could be keeping you awake. Is it an uncomfortable mattress? Electronics? I know it’s relaxing to watch TV in bed, but in reality it could be diminishing your quality of sleep!

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2. Add a stimulating color

Some rooms can provide energy just by being painted a certain color. If you have a home gym, consider painting it a shade of red or orange to feel energized. Other rooms may benefit from just a pop of color, such as the living room.

3. Let as much natural light in as possible

I always feel more energized when outside on a nice day. Why? Well, the natural light is one reason. Wherever you can, let the natural light inside your home. In rooms that don’t have large windows, be sure to install an adequate amount of lighting.

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4. Improve your home’s air quality

Don’t you just love breathing in fresh air? When the weather is nice, open your windows to let the fresh air inside. You can also purify the air by changing air filters regularly and by decorating with green houseplants.

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KidKraft Espresso Wall Storage Unit

5. Stay organized

I find it hard to feel energized when my house is a mess. Get rid of the clutter and work to stay organized so you can feel relaxed and full of energy in your home.

We need all the energy we can get. Try some of these ideas in your home and see if they work for you!

By Wendy Weinert

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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Biomimicry. The concept has been sort of a hot topic for designers in recent years, but rarely is it discussed or even heard of by consumers. So let’s change that. Biomimicry might be a discipline used in design but it affects consumers too and can dramatically change our future.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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First of all, what is biomimicry? In basic terms, it is a discipline that focuses on bringing nature inside and using nature as a way of solving human design challenges. You may have noticed the recent trend of nature-inspired products. For example, a chandelier made out of wood or a jute rug created from plant fibers. Well you see, biomimicry relies on the assumption that in the past, nature has already found solutions to many of the problems we as humans are trying to solve. All you have to do is study nature to find the answers.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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Biomimicry is not simply looking at nature and being inspired for a new fabric print, light fixture or table design. It’s much, much more than that. In biomimicry, nature is used not only as inspiration for a product’s aesthetic form, but for its construction, development and process as well.

This might all sound very scientific and a bit confusing, but it’s simpler than you think. In fact, you have actually used products designed following biomimicry without even knowing it. Velcro, for example, is a product of biomimicry. George de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, came up with the idea after observing the burrs stuck on his dog’s fur and his own clothing. By studying and copying nature, Mestral was able to develop a successful product that is still used today.

Defining design terms: What is biomimicry and what does it mean for you?

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Now that you better understand what biomimicry is and how it’s used in design, why should you care? Well, because finding answers by looking to nature can help designers develop more intelligent and sustainable products, meaning consumers too can benefit from biomimicry. You might even be benefiting from biomimicry right now in your own home! By observing and mimicking the internal structure of a firefly’s lit-up abdomen, researchers have been able to create more efficient LED light bulbs, therefore lowering the cost for consumers who use them.

A sustainable environment is better for everyone, so keep your eyes out for products that were inspired by nature and help biomimicry take on today’s environmental challenges.

By Wendy Weinert

Draperies: good for entertaining and everyday living

The scenario: You’re hosting an event in a few weeks. The goal is to revamp your home to look party-ready. But, no matter how many times you rearrange your furniture, your main rooms, such as the dining room and the living room just looks a little blah.

When you’re hosting a party or entertaining friends, it’s normal to want to freshen the look of your home. And the good news is you can! Or, at least, you can a little. While you might not be able to completely make over your room, you can at least add some visual excitement by replacing your old window shades or curtains with a stunning new drapery.

Faux Silk Taffeta Stripe Single Panel Curtain in Charcoal Grey and White, 50 X 96

Faux Silk Taffeta Stripe Single Panel Curtain in Charcoal Grey and White, 50 X 96

Draperies are a great way to add a little pizazz in a room when you’re in a time crunch. Plus, they have some pretty amazing qualities that will benefit you all year long – whether you are entertaining friends or not. Here are just four advantages of hanging draperies in your home. Draperies:

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Control light – With draperies, you can either let sunlight into your home or completely shut it out. So if you’re trying to watch a movie during the middle of the day, a thick drapery, such as a velvet or those with a blackout liner would do the trick. When you want a well-lit room, all you have to do is pull the curtains back and enjoy the natural light.

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Ellery Homestyles Absolute Zero Curtains Black 50-Inch x 84-Inch Velvet Blackout Home Theater Curtain Panel

Block out sound – Many draperies are tightly woven fabrics  or those drapes that are insulted, are better at absorbing and blocking out sound. When you have company over or are trying to relax after a hard day’s work, you’ll definitely appreciate having a drapery to help block out annoying sounds like traffic. In fact, sometimes just adding some blackout to your existing curtain is all you need to take your home to the next level of energy and sound conservation.

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Ellery Homestyles Eclipse Thermaliner White 80-Inch Long Blackout Window Curtain Pair

Reduce energy – Heavy silks, wools, velvets or other fabrics can prevent heat or cold from transferring into your home. This means you won’t have to pay as much for the electric bill each year. Think of them as an energy assistant to your homes insulate properties – they will help maintain the right temperature in your home using less energy.

Center Point Energy gives some overall guidelines on windows:

  • On sunny days, open draperies and blinds to let in the sun’s warmth. During the summer, draw drapes and blinds to prevent solar heat gain.
  • Close draperies and blinds at night to insulate against cold air outside.
Photo Credit: Center Point Energy

Photo Credit: Center Point Energy

Add visual appeal – Of course, let’s not forget how stylish draperies are! Find a drapery in a bold color to add drama to your living room. If you want to create a more elegant interior design, a rich, velvet drapery is the way to go. There are plenty of prints that will add a very personal touch that will be just you. Or even consider having a couple of layers to add more depth and style to your home.

Wow your party guests with a gorgeous drapery hung up in your home and you can then enjoy the additional benefits every day of the year.

By Wendy Weinert