Healthy Living

Healthier Living-Room Checklist

living_room_family_gathering [Going green at home doesn’t mean spending a whole lot of money on home improvements or investing in expensive pieces of furniture or the latest and greatest in green technology. Instead, there are ways to find all sorts of ways to use less, waste less, and save more without blowing your budget. Today I’m focusing on how to Do Your Part in the living room for a healthier home.

Save Energy and Money

Start with the small stuff such as sealing up leaks around doors and windows. Caulk and weather stripping are inexpensive and a quick fix for rising energy costs. Since the fireplace is an easy target for hot air to escape, a fireplace plug for around $60 can put a stop to that waste. Also, pick better light bulbs. There are many energy efficient ones available including CFLs, LEDs, and halogens. Check out DoYourPart.com/Columns to see which ones work best in your particular fixtures. Another thing that adds to your electric costs are electronics that sip electricity even when not being used. Using a power strip with an on/off button will put an end to that expensive phantom power.

Shop for Safer Furniture and Flooring

Furniture made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) and some furniture adhesives can contain a formaldehyde-based resin that can actually pollute the air inside your home. Seek out furniture that is specifically labeled formaldehyde-free. Buying used, wood furniture pieces are another way to have cleaner indoor air because many of those dangerous chemicals have already evaporated.

And, many popular choices of flooring also emit formaldehyde. Whether it is certain imitation wood floors or new carpet — know what’s in the flooring and the adhesives you use and choose safer options.

Decorate Responsibly

From paint to plants, a lot of what we put in our living rooms can make big impact. Choose paints that are labeled no or low VOC. The costs of ones that don’t emit volatile organic compounds are comparable to conventional ones and they last just as long. You’ll also want to avoid pieces of upholstery and fabrics that are treated with synthetic chemicals that can get into the air and on our bodies. When choosing candles, opt for ones made of soy or beeswax rather than polluting petroleum products. And even a few plants placed around the living room can improve the air quality immediately.

Whether you’re looking for ways to cut costs or clean up the air in your home, the living room is the perfect place to Do Your Part for healthier living.


Article printed from RISMedia: http://rismedia.com

 

Winter to Spring – 5 Home Decorating Ideas

Spring is just around the corner! Get ready for the world to bloom. Even though this season has been historically mild, it’s still time to say goodbye to the snow and sleet and get ready for springtime. With that in mind here are 5 decorating ideas from the designers at Lamps Plus, to help you say goodbye to those cold and drafty winter blues.

Think Color
Break out of winter by adding the new colors of spring to your home. Advises Lamps Plus design expert and Corporate Interior Design Manager Lynda Gould, “Look to nature for organic color tones to bring to indoor rooms. I love adding tones of green through pillows and glass accents. For brighter pops of color, I really like using yellows and hot oranges.”

Redecorate Your Porch
“I love relaxing on the porch during those first days of spring,” says Lynda. “The front porch is such an underutilized part of most people’s homes. With just a little accessorizing it can become a real focal point with great curb appeal.” To maximize the use of the porch, Lynda suggests adding a new outdoor rug to help define the space and add comfort under-foot. “I like to arrange outdoor furniture around the rug to create a cozy conversation area. You can add planters to the area for a bit of color and greenery that will look good all season long.”

Make a Bright Impression with Lighting
New lighting can totally remake and revitalize an outdoor space or a room, notes Lynda. ”You can instantly restyle a porch area with new outdoor lighting which will also help you enjoy the area longer into the night. If you have a larger covered porch, consider installing an outdoor ceiling fan. These add a real sense of luxury and comfort to a seating area.”

Take the Indoors Outside
Make the transition from the front porch to your inside rooms smooth and flowing with coordinating colors and décor accents, advises Michael Murphy, designer and Style Illuminated design blog writer. “If the colors and textures of the porch and indoor furniture share similar elements, you’ll be able to tie the two living spaces together. This helps bring the outside world of spring inside, refreshing your indoor living areas, and it helps take your indoor style to the great outdoors.” Michael likes to use pillows, indoor rugs, wall art and accessories to blend the looks of the two areas. “This is a great tip no matter what the season, but it is especially wonderful to do in the spring.”

Re-Style the Backyard Patio
For many of us the more private space of the backyard patio is a natural place to relax and entertain. Not only do most patios extend from kitchen and dining room areas, but they also are a gateway to garden areas and lawns. You can make your patio spring-ready by adding just a few key accessories, says Marcia Prentice, Lamps Plus designer and blogger. “The same ideas that apply to porches will also work with backyard patios, but the scale is a little different. On the patio you want comfortable outdoor seating ideas for eating and entertaining larger groups. I like having lots of umbrellas on hand because even in the spring sitting in the sun can be uncomfortable, and I also love adding table accents for serving drinks, lighting for BBQ cookouts and other accessories for entertaining.”