Monday, December 8, 2008

Creating an Eco-Friendly Room in Your Home

We live in an age of global warming and worry about green house gases. Now, more than ever, people are going 'green' and attempting to improve our environment. Home décor is also going green, and if you are one of the many that wish to take a conservational attitude one step further, you may wish to create an eco-friendly space in your home.
Many people do not realize that there are now lines of eco-friendly paint. Zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint does not include the solvents that other paints have. The VOC solvents in paint are what have been proven as a cause in the diminution of our ozone layer. Not only environmentally toxic, VOC paints have a harsh odor that fills up your home as you use them. Zero VOC paint comes in a limited amount of colors that emphasize earth friendly tones. Choose a muted 'earth' color if you favor taupe or 'air' colors if blues are a favorite.
Bringing your floor up to eco-friendly speed is easy with a sea grass area rug. This super durable rug is all natural and not created with some of the same harsh chemicals of other flooring. Tan in color, sea grass area rugs can have a cotton border in a contrasting taupe color and are usually backed with latex foam to avoid movement on the floor. Although they aren't your softest area rug, they are resistant to stains and easy to clean. Sea grass rugs are also great for those with allergies, as they woven tightly and don't retain dander.
Lately it's hard to turn on a TV and not hear about 'environmentally-friendly' fabrics. Materials such as hemp, wool, organic cotton, and certain types of silk are all the rage and easy to incorporate into your room. A quick way to utilize organic cotton is to purchase enough to make slipcovers for your throw pillows. If the cotton is not quite the right color? Try tea staining. Boil tea bags or leaves and place the cotton in the pot. Remove after 10 minutes and you will have a lovely shade that was obtained naturally without chemicals. Contrast your throw pillows with silk drapes and you will have a stunning effect in your space.
Purchasing accessories for the room is generally where you break the bank, right? Not true. Saving a metal bucket from the garbage dump and turning it into a vase is as simple as cleaning it up and adding some eye-catching raffia or jute as a decorative ribbon. Previously loved books can be stacked artfully or used as bookends. Take someone's previously loved cast offs and transform them into treasure. Not only will you save them from a landfill, but also will be giving your home some simple pieces that can be stunning.
One of the most important keys to an eco-friendly room? Fill your space with plants. Live plants provide oxygen to your environment, and can filter the area of toxins. Plants can make a room seem cozy, and they are pleasing to look at. Investing in live plants can be an inexpensive way to complete your room.
Whether you are just beginning to become environmentally aware or are a long time promoter of recycling, creating a room in your home that promotes this life style is as simple as focusing on natural materials. You will enjoy your room for years to come, and feel happy knowing that you didn't contribute to further waste in a landfill.
Sarah Crosset has worked in the interior decorating field for many years and loves to share her home decorating experiences and ideas with home owners everywhere. Her number one tip is to []buy area rugs; as they will instantly freshen a room. Try some cotton area rugs from for a fresh, clean look.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feng Shui - Using the Five Elements

One of the ways to achieve more balance in your environment is through using the Chinese Five Element Theory. The elements represent the different types of energy present in our world.
Since human beings are made up of a combination of all the five elements, you'll feel better when there is a good balance of all these elements throughout your home and office.
Each element has its own distinctive characteristics. Below you'll find a short description of the elements; wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. To help energize your space you can incorporate furniture and accessories that contain each of these elements in every room of your home or business.
For instance, in your family room you can have a wood coffee table (wood), a red couch (fire), a metal picture frame (metal), a mirror (water), and artwork of an earthy landscape scene (earth). I'm sure you get the idea now.
WOOD- The color green- Wood furniture and accessories- Wood paneling or floors- Art depicting flowers, gardens, trees- The columnar shape; i.e. pedestals, stripes, columns- All plants and flowers including silk and plastic.
FIRE- The color red- All lighting including candles- Pets - Art depicting animals, people, sunrises and sunsets.- Triangular shaped objects
EARTH- The color yellow and earth tones- Ceramic objects- Brick or tile- Square and rectangular shaped objects- Art depicting earthy landscapes such as the desert
METAL- The colors of silver, grey or gold- All metal objects- All rocks and stones such as marble and granite- Natural crystals, rock, gemstones- Metal or stone sculptures
WATER- Colors of dark blues and black- Anything reflective such as mirrors, glass, cut crystal- Free flowing objects and asymmetrical shapes- Water features - fountains, fish tanks, lakes, streams, rivers, canals
Here's an exercise for you to do. Choose one room in your home or office where one element dominates. Then take some of those objects out of this room and add some objects that represent the other four elements into your space. Notice how you feel in the room. By mixing the five elements just right, you'll have an environment that feels great.
© 2008 Energy In Motion LLC. All Rights Reserved
Having experienced the power of Feng Shui in her own life, Sheri Ruston's mission is to empower you to consciously create your best life now. If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the F*R*E*E* Energy In Motion Ezine and F*R*E*E Special Report: "50 Simple Feng Shui Tips That Will Immediately Improve Your Life." For a limited time only YOU can have access to this information and get started at once making positive changes to improve your life.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

American Colonial Style Decorating - Where to Start

Using American Colonial Style Decorating in your home does not have to be complicated. At its very core, the American Colonial style is elegant and rich. Think mahogany, crown moldings and panels. Think shutters for the windows. Consider quilts and texturized materials. Creams, greens, dark yellows and barn reds are typical colors in colonial style decorating.
Why Mahogany?
Mahogany was popular amongst the more affluent homeowners in the colonial age. It is from them that we get the modern American Colonial Style. There are no rules when it comes to the wood you choose. Any darker wood will give authenticity to your design. Chippendale and Queen Anne furniture with inlays and carvings or the look of the same are classic colonial pieces.
Crown Moldings and Paneled Walls
Large homes with spacious rooms and open areas are perfect for crown moldings and panels. The colonials knew how to decorate their homes with simplicity as well as flair. Get some books or buy some magazines that have great photos of the American Colonial Style to get a good idea of how walls were done before the birth of the United States.
Shutters on the Windows
Shutters were popular in colonial days. The ability to pull shutters closed offered a sense of security and a chance to add more design to the home. Colonial style calls for shutters instead of curtains and blinds.
Colonial Colors
Colonial colors are taken from the primary colors but are muted due to the natural pigments used in paint during that period in American history. Walls can be painted or papered with elegant floral designs. Furniture is decorated with colorful velvet fabrics and tapestries. Handmade quilts don four-poster beds with or without elaborately designed headboards.
The Heart of the Home - The Kitchen
An American Colonial kitchen was and is made of wood. Think butcher block and island with iron pans hanging overhead. Wooden cabinets and cupboards. Windows with multiple planes of glass and wooden shutters are perfect for every outside wall of your home including the kitchen.
Colorful, braided area rugs can be placed in every room of your home for even more nostalgia. Such rugs can be placed at the entrance, in the living room, kitchen, bath, and bedrooms.
As with other decorating styles being used today, American Colonial Style decorating is not limited to nostalgic pieces. Modern appliances and even modern pieces of décor can be mixed with colonial décor with some success.
Simon Burke has worked in the home decorating field for many years and loves to share his interior design experiences and ideas with home owners everywhere. For more information on American colonial style decor, [ ]click here.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

4 Ways to Save Energy & Save Money

Today, escalating prices are draining family budgets. The cost of energy is soaring and everything from heating your home to driving to work is siphoning away your hard earned money. Though there is little that you can do about the rising cost of energy, there are some ways you can save energy, and save money at the same time.
One of the ways to save energy is to cut down on the amount of fuel that you consume. Think fuel efficiency when you purchase a new car. Stay away from the SUVs and consider buying an automobile that uses less fuel.
You can also save energy when doing your laundry, if you wash your clothes in cold water with cold-water detergents, and then hang them outside to dry. Most of the energy used to do laundry is in heating the water and drying the clothes, so with these two steps you will be saving a lot of energy, and money.
Consider changing the way you cook meals. If you use your microwave and crock-pot to cook many of your meals, you will be saving a lot of energy. These appliances use far less energy that your stove and oven.
Of course you may have heard that you can save energy if you turn your air conditioner up in the summer and heat down in the winter. This is a good way to save energy as you can cut your heating and cooling bill by as much as 20 percent. It is also a good idea to keep your shades down in the summer to help keep your house cool, and at night turn off the air conditioner and open the windows.
Turn your water heater down to the lowest setting. In most cases keeping your water heater set low will still provide you with water that is hot enough for what you need, and you will be saving energy too.
Weatherize your home to save energy. Seal your home up with weather stripping and caulk, and of course you will not want to overlook adding more insulation. A home that is weatherized will use far less energy, and will save you money.
There is no way to control the cost of energy, but you do have some control on how much money you spend on energy. All you have to do is take control and save energy.
If you're looking a complete blueprint on saving tons of energy and electricity, check out []the only energy-saving guide you'll ever need and other programs from our site that's reviewed all the []top energy and gas saving products on the market.
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