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Thursday, November 20, 2014

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How to make a house a home this winter


The weather outside is frightful and these cold, dark nights are drawing in, so it’s the perfect time to make sure your house is at its coziest. Transform your home into a warm retreat so you can nest through winter in style. Here are some simple steps to make your house a warm and inviting home this winter:

  • Soft touches
  • Rugs, quilts, blankets, cushions, throws – whatever soft touches you have put away over summer, now is the time to retrieve them. A night in front of the fire isn’t complete without something to snuggle up with. Tartan patterns are on trend and mono prints are back this season. Play around with different textures, winter allows for velvets, cashmere, faux fur and wool – things that you might not get away with during the summer.

    christmas floral arrangement

  • Floral
  • Plants, flowers and trees may be bare and frosty outside but this doesn’t mean you can’t fill your home with them instead. Winter flowers evoke warmth and make any room look inviting. When it comes to Christmas decor avoid tacky and dated tinsel and baubles, instead replace them with flower arrangements. Pearly whites, flaming reds and glowing oranges will make any home look Christmassy and classy. Serenataflowers.com has a great selection of Christmas flower arrangements, wreaths and plants. Including a number of table arrangements can take away the attention from even the biggest Christmas turkey.

    christmas flowers

  • Candles
  • The power of scent is underestimated and plays a major part in creating a cozy atmosphere. If you haven’t got the smell of comfort food coming from the kitchen, light a woody candle for the ultimate winter ambiance.

  • Lighting
  • Not only do candles smell good, they also provide great lighting. Lighting is key at any time of year but is also a great way to change your home from summer to winter. Winter is a dark time of year so rather than turning on all the lights and in turn raising your electricity bill, embrace the darkness and light some candles, light a fire, even the glow from a TV can deliver all the brightness you need. As a final touch, you could also bring in all the fire logs from outside and stack them up in a pyramid by the fireplace.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY Easy Centerpieces for Thanksgiving


Now that you’ve figured out your menu, are you trying to decide what to use as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table? You can always take some simple on-hand items to make a statement piece sure to turn heads.

Showcased on Better Homes and Gardens, I thought I’d pass along a few fun ideas that caught my eye … they look easy to duplicate or maybe you’ll be so inspired …

diy Centerpiece 1

  • (above) Have an old globe around the house or see one in a garage sale, swap meet, or thrift shop? You can cut it in half and use it as a bowl on a pedestal. Fill it with some seasonal items like pine cones, small pumpkins, acorns, berries, twigs or fall leaves. No need for fussiness, just mix all your items together, put them in the bowl and display. Double-duty: you can also use the other half to hold fall-scented potpourri. Don’t forget you’ll need to rest it upon a pedestal.

diy bird seed centerpiece

  • (above) For the birds … You can use some narrow glass cylinder vases, and fill them with wild flower seed or bird seed. Insert some sturdy branches to make yourself a tree-like arrangement that you can leave as is or hang small pumpkins from, taking advantage of the post Halloween pumpkin sales. Glass is always a green and sustainable product that can be reused and recycled. Feed those fine feathered friends when you’re done. And if you opted for wild flower seeds just spread them all over your flower bed to enjoy colorful blooms come spring time.

statement centerpiece

  • (above) Let’s say you literally want to make a statement, and you want something a little more handmade. You can reuse glass bottles to create a fun and personalized centerpiece. Just (more…)
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

salvaged charm: elegant dining table in reclaimed wood


reclaimed wood New Orleans dining table

One-of-a-kind, and evocative of classic New Orleans style, this dining room table strikes the perfect balance between old world elegance and modern aesthetics. Rescued from the remains of Hurricane Katrina, the table top once served as the outside of an olde home in the St. Roch neighborhood of New Orleans.

reclaimed wood New Orleans table

reclaimed wood New Orleans table

Standing on stunning wrought iron which once graced the balcony railings of an 1860s Greek Revival style home in the Garden District, these newly fashioned legs hold up very nicely indeed. Upcycling what easily could have been discarded material, these textural elements speak volumes, victims of Katrina no more. Doorman Designs; (1,500)

related: more eco home decor on alternative consumer

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ideas to Renovate Your Backyard


wicker furniture

Believe it or not, winter is the best time to buy furniture and gardening supplies in preparation for spring and summer time. Prices are low, and you can buy in bulk and store your supplies until it’s time to work. That also gives you plenty of time to go through your plans to renovate the space. Outdoor wicker patio furniture will bring a modern look to your yard, but you can add other DIY projects yourself to spruce things up.

Furniture Sets
Every back yard needs a well-designed space to relax. Patio furniture comes in many varieties, but some are more resilient than others. Without a doubt, metal is the cheapest of materials to purchase but it also rusts and needs replacing on a fairly regular basis. Wicker patio chairs are the best materials you can use. The frames are light and rust proof, and the colors rarely fade.

Build a Sunroom
Another idea is to construct a sunroom around your home. Most people have a concrete slab in their backyard. You need to build a frame, and you’ll need some full-body windows to let the sun in, but a sunroom can be an excellent space to relax at the end of your busy week. You should keep in mind that a sunroom needs ventilation, so install a ceiling fan or sliding glass window to help mitigate some of the heat that will build up.

Outside, you can construct a fire pit for yourself out of free-standing bricks, in colors of your choosing. Most of these are weekend projects too, perfect for the working professional with a DIY sensibility.

Bio: Wicker Paradise is the Web’s one-stop shop for outdoor wicker furniture, including sectionals and the new Savannah line available now.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Kickstarter: BloomBagz – the next big thing in eco-friendly container gardening


bloombagz on patioWe’re always on the lookout for products that promote sustainable living and growing your own is a concept we fully embrace. One new gardening product that checks off almost all our boxes is currently soliciting crowdfunding via a Kickstarter campaign. BloomBagz are soft shell container planters made from recycled plastic. The design utilizes the air-pruning and root trapping technology of these double layered, breathable fabric bags to provide improved growing results compared to traditional plastic and ceramic grow pots. The material and design of these containers ensure you don’t experience the root spiraling that’s frequent in hard non-breathable containers.

bloombagz colors

Another problem encountered by many amateur gardeners is over-watering. Many hard containers don’t provide proper drainage to prevent drowning, which results in root rot. BloomBagz (more…)

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Friday, October 31, 2014

BRZ Brands Hot Art: A Greener, More Attractive Space Heater for Your Home


Hot Art wall space heater

These attractive heating panels from BRZ Brands, dubbed “Hot Art™,” are far and away the prettiest space heaters coming to market this fall. Hanging on the wall as your typical home décor piece, these works of art act as highly efficient room-heaters, using the same infrared heating technology as the many umbrella-like heaters you find on restaurant patios in the winter. Hot Art pieces serve as hidden, energy efficient heaters in the home and can even be placed in covered areas outdoors, providing a much-needed aesthetic makeover to the common space heater. But how are they more energy efficient? Let us compare them to your conventional space heater. (more…)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crafty DIY Halloween Decorating Ideas


DIY Halloween Lantern Box

Something wicked this way comes: Adding some low impact flare to your Halloween décor

As with any holiday, when looking around for fun decorations it’s important to think about the materials those decorations are made from and what will become of them when they are tossed out. So keeping this in mind and counting down to the last day before Halloween – I’m going to share a fun and simple DIY anyone can do to add some last minute-flare using basic cardboard. (more…)

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the LED light bulb that shines when the power goes out


SmartCharge LED Bulb

If you live in an environment that is prone to extreme weather events like big winter snowstorms, high winds, or hurricanes you might want to contemplate what’s going to happen when the lights go out (and they will). One solution – an energy-efficient LED light bulb which contains a rechargeable battery that keeps the bulb lit when the power goes out and operates like a normal LED light bulb when the juice is on.

The SmartCharge LED Bulb was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign that reached 183% of its target. SmartCharge is a nifty solution for folks who experience frequent power loss, or those who can’t afford to be left in the dark. (more…)

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