Author

Chloe Taylor

Chloe is an art historian and recreational ballet dancer. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics.

Going to college marks the beginning of a new phase in your life, and what a better way to celebrate it than by decorating your student apartment? Besides the fact that it’s simply fun, decorating your new place can make you feel more comfortable, and if you do it right, it can also help you study better. So, here are a few tips that should help you make your student apartment more stylish. 

Show your colors

One of the best ways to make your apartment truly yours is to decorate it in your favorite colors. Whether you like lively, bold colors or a milder blueish palette, your choice of colors says a lot about you. Now, painting the walls is usually not allowed in college apartments, but there are plenty of other ways to add color to your room. For example, you can use removable decals and wall tapestries, you can find pillows and blankets in your favorite colors, and you can always introduce your colors through smaller, stylish accessories. After all, details matter, so even if you add only a few colorful items, they can still give your apartment a lot of character. 

Light it up

student girl
Although lighting is more about functionality, there are many ways in which you can use it to make your apartment more chic. For starters, not having lighting fixtures that match makes any room seem more eclectic and unique. Then, there are always string lights, which can be hung from pretty much anywhere. They are perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere after a lot of studying. Finally, if you get a lamp with a lampshade, you can poke holes in the lampshade and project any pattern you want all around the room. 

Choose the right furniture

When it comes to furniture, it should be both practical and comfortable. Therefore, make sure the chair that you use when studying is ergonomically correct and that your desk has plenty of room for everything you use while studying. Also, look for furniture that doubles as storage, since you can never have too much storage. Finally, for an extra boost of style, choose one or two comfortable sofas that you’ll enjoy sitting and sleeping on. The thing is, your furniture options might be limited by the size of your apartment and the items it comes with. However, this only means that you need to choose wisely.

Make a custom bookshelf

study desk
With a bit of creativity, you can turn anything into something else. For example, a small stepladder that you don’t really need can easily become a cute bookshelf that you definitely do need. You can personalize it by painting it in the above-mentioned colors, and you can also add some photos to it. This way, you’d have plenty of storage for your books, and you’d also have motivational photos when the exam period comes. 

Introduce a bit of homey comfort

Assuming that your college is far away from your hometown, it’s completely normal for you to miss your room at home and the comfort it provided you with. No matter how excited you are about your new college life, it still implies many new things you’d need to get used to. One way to make this transition easier is to make your student apartment more comfortable. You can do so with soft pillows, which you can bring from home, fuzzy rugs that you’ll enjoy walking on, and some throws that you can wrap yourself in while studying. It’ll make you feel more at home, and such accessories are never out of style. 

Add some greenery

student apartment
This tip might not sound very chic, but there’s much more to it than it might seem at first. For starters, plants purify the air, which can help you be more productive and energetic. Next, they give you an opportunity for personal expression – you can use them to introduce a pop of color into your student apartment, and you can always decorate the planters. Finally, they also provide you with something to care for, which might actually make you feel better if you have a pet at home that you miss.

 

Your student apartment will be your home for quite a while, so might as well make it feel like one. There’s no reason for it to be bland and barely practical when you can turn it into a chic resort that is just as stylish as it is functional. So, pay attention to the little details, introduce your favorite colors through accessories, and emphasize the visual appeal through light fixtures. Add some greenery, pick your furniture wisely, and you’ll be enjoying your new college life in no time.

Aquariums are always a nice part of home décor, as they can add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space, and they can be very entertaining to look at. However, besides being aesthetically pleasing, they are also beneficial to your health. Studies have shown that aquariums can help reduce anxiety, stress, and pain. They can also help you sleep better, and they can boost your creativity when needed. 

These are just some of the reasons why aquariums are so popular today, especially in bigger residential units. Additionally, sometimes, architects simply need to fill in some extra space, and aquariums are perfect for that. So, if you’ve been thinking about adding it to your home interior, here are a few things you should know about it. 

For bigger spaces

If you’d like to add an aquarium to your restaurant, office, or larger home, you should opt for a bigger aquarium that can become a part of the room. Some may take the form of freestanding furniture, some may look like sculptures, while some may serve as custom wall units. Regardless of how you choose to implement your aquarium, it is bound to draw attention.

Aquariums are perfect for more nature-based themes, and there is no better way to breathe life into the room. Moreover, such aquariums are much more than mere entertainment that you can focus on when bored. They are works of art, created in a way that can engage the view for much longer than a few minutes. 

Aquarium

When it comes to the designs, you can choose anything from minimalistic sea scenes with sand, some plants, rocks, and sculptures, to huge sceneries with corals, crabs, clams, and everything else that suits the idea of a living-reef tank. In this case, the aquarium is not just a typical art piece – it moves, and it grows, as everything in it is constantly evolving. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can search for projects done by Martin Schapira, a co-founder and a lead designer of Okeanos Aquascaping. He’s done many impressive works, but one of his most breathtaking ones is definitely the 900-gallon aquarium with color-changing LED lights. It was done in Lagos, Nigeria, and it functions as one of the main features of a dance floor. Plus, to complement the black-and-white theme of the room, Martin stocked the aquarium with 60 Banggai Cardinalfish, which are silver with black stripes and fit the theme perfectly. So, if you have a specific color scheme in your restaurant or home, think about doing something similar. 

Home-based aquariums

When talking about smaller, home-based aquariums, one of the main advantages is that anybody can have one. Even if you have a small apartment, you can easily find an aquarium that would be suitable for it. Plus, the usual “no pets” rule generally doesn’t apply to fish, so if you happen to live in a dorm room or a rented apartment, this might be a good pet for you. It’s also great for kids, since fish can be good starter pets to teach them some responsibility. However, you should keep in mind that aquariums require regular maintenance, so you need to have time for that.

Home Aquarium

Moreover, if you like the Feng Shui style, you’re probably well familiar with the importance and meaning of the water element as well as numbers. A nice aquarium can help you create a harmonious balance in your home, and having eight fish in it can bring you good luck. Although it might not make you rich or make all your problems disappear, it can still help you de-stress, relax, think more clearly, and thus, find solutions to your problems on your own. 

Regardless of whether you’re decorating a smaller apartment or a huge restaurant, installing an aquarium can really boost the style of your property. Not to mention all the health benefits it comes with. So, if this is something you’ve been thinking about, do your research on different types of aquariums and maintenance requirements, and the space you decorate with it is bound to look better than you could imagine. 

 

This is a guest post by John Basta.

A house fire is probably many people’s worst fear, and not just because it can destroy a lifetime of valuable possessions but also because it can actually be life-threatening. Moreover, as dangerous as the flames are, it’s actually the smoke that is more likely to make you pass out and suffocate. All in all, it’s safe to say that fire and smoke is not something that should be taken lightly. With that in mind, here are a few ways to protect your home from these hazards.

What to do if your house catches on fire?

Knowing what to do in case of fire can save both your life and your house. So, needless to say, if you can extinguish the fire, do it. If you cannot, you need to get to safety before smoke fills your house, and you need to call for help. Now, if there already is some smoke and you can’t exactly run out in seconds, you should crawl your way out, as smoke tends to go upwards.

Fireman

How to prevent fires?

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so it’s essential that you do everything you can in order to prevent fire. For starters, you should test your fire alarms at least once a month, and you should make sure to replace the battery as well. You should replace the battery once a year, even if the alarms only activated when you were testing them. After all, you don’t want them to malfunction when you need them the most.

Next, don’t let a small fire grown into a bigger one if you can stop it right away. Getting a fire extinguisher before you need it gives you a chance to learn how to use it. Even if you never actually need to use it, it can still give you peace of mind knowing that you have it. So, get at least two for your home, and one smaller extinguisher for your vehicle.

Also, you should come up with a safety plan, especially if you have kids. Most of us have gone through fire drills in school, but not many people organize such drills at home. So, come up with the best plan in case of fire, and make sure your kids are well familiar with it. The plan should include the safest route out of the home, what to do when the alarm goes off, and where to meet in case you get separated. Practice this together until everybody gets it right, and repeat the drill at least twice a year so nobody forgets it.

What are the health risks?

Besides damaging your property, fire and smoke can also cause some serious health problems. Believe it or not, the smoke can actually linger in your home for weeks after the fire. Not to mention how difficult soot can be to remove. Some of the possible health issues include bronchitis and other respiratory issues, skin problems, eye irritation, and in some cases, smoke can even lead to cancer, stroke, heart attack, and long-term problems for infants.

The reason why fire and smoke can be so dangerous is because of the things they melt. Many items, like carpets, fabrics, wool products, and plastics, release harmful chemicals when burned – these chemicals are what causes all the serious damage. This is also why home restorations after a home fire should always be done by professionals.

To sum up, fire in a home can be extremely dangerous, and besides destroying your property, it can cause some serious health problems as well. This is why you should do everything you can to prevent fires when possible and extinguish them quickly if possible. By being well-prepared, you would have one less thing to worry about, and your family would feel much more comfortable in your home.

 

This is a guest post by Jack Kewell.

When renovating your home, the bathroom and kitchen are usually the top priority. However, the living room is the first place a decorator will look when their home needs a refresh. Since this is the first room that most guests see, it needs to reflect your personal taste and style. However, what if your style and budget don’t see eye-to-eye? The good news is, there are ways to overcome this problem. However, before you start making moves, there are several things you need to think about. For example, what’s your overall design goal? How much space do you have? What do you plan to keep and what need to be replaced? If you are ready to get started, but aren’t sure how to begin, the tips here can help.

Use Large-Scale Art

You can easily create a focal point and add that “wow” factor to the living room by hanging up an oversize piece of art in your living room. The look is high-impact and chic and there’s not much effort that goes into this decorating option. You can look at thrift stores and flea markets for larger pieces offered for a reasonable price. You can be a bit more creative and make your own if you have a limited budget. If you want something more unique, go to Instapainting. Regardless of what option you choose, the right art can really help with your redecorating efforts.

Simplify Your Style

room design
An over-accessorized or cluttered living room may appear disorganized and messy, rather than being sophisticated and chic. Try to reduce your collection and only hang on to items that have some level of sentimental value. By simplifying your space, you will let your remaining items shine. It will also help you keep you under-budget.

Camouflage Your Electronics

Nothing can impede the look of sophisticated luxury in your living room like a large black TV or other electronic devices placed in the middle of the space. If fancy mirrors to conceal your television aren’t in your revamp budget, you can help to minimize the presence of your screen by creating a salon-style or gallery wall art arrangement around it. While it isn’t going to disappear completely, the television’s frame is going to blend in with the artwork and help to distract the eye. Also, if you visit various stores to find some good deals, you can make this idea come to life on any budget you are working with.

Use Interesting Textiles

room decor
You can give your living room space a custom look when you use either vintage or antique textiles to cover up smaller pieces such as upholstered stools, ottomans, or seat cushions. Another way to create a sense of visual intrigue, consider placing an antique Turkish rug on the floor.

Consider Adding Sculptures to the Space

You can prevent your room from becoming a sea of circular forms and straight lines by using an element with a unique silhouette or interesting shape. A unique side chair or a rock shaped or tree-style coffee table will feel like a piece of art when you add it to your living room. It can also help to add an artistic and unexpected component to your design.

As you can see, there are several ways you can make your space feel more luxe, even if you have a limited budget. Try implementing one or all of the ideas here to create a living room you love spending time in and that guests will love to see.

As exciting as moving into a new house or apartment is, it usually takes some time for people to adjust and actually start feeling comfortable. Even after you unpack and decorate, there’s still that feeling of new and unknown that tends to stick around for some time. However, with some effort and a couple of smart additions, you can make the transition much easier. So, if you could use a couple of tips on how to turn your new place into a home, here are six suggestions you should consider. 

Clean it thoroughly

Before you start decorating your home, make sure to clean it as thoroughly as you can. This includes using disinfectants, bug sprays (just in case), baking soda, and whatever else you usually use for cleaning. It’s an especially important step if somebody else had lived in the place you’re moving into. This way, you’d feel like you’re actually getting a fresh start, both literally and metaphorically. Plus, it’s also a good way to actually get to know every corner of your new home.

Decorate with items from your previous home

home

Assuming that you’ve had a home before, whether it was your childhood home or the place before the current one, you probably have some idea of what made it feel homey. Of course, you can never recreate that feeling completely, but you can add to your new home a few items that remind you of your old home. It can be anything from a couple of family photos to a few gorgeous vintage rugs that bring you back to your carefree childhood days whenever you step on them. Having such items and carrying them with you can make any new place feel a bit more like home right away. 

Get a pet

If you’re moving into a new place on your own, you might feel uneasy precisely because you are alone. Therefore, you should consider getting a pet. Of course, a dog is definitely the most engaging choice, but it’s not the only one. If your new home is a bit smaller, or if you don’t have that much free time, you can opt for something easier to take care of, like a cat or a parrot. A pet is bound to make you feel cozier because you would have somebody to talk to and share this new experience with. Not to mention that most pets are also great “alarms” when something seems off. And there are few things that make a home as welcoming as a being greeted by somebody who is happy to see you. 

Install alarms

Speaking of alarms, if the new place in question is a house, you should definitely have a good security system. There are many different types of alarms on the market, some of which can also be controlled remotely. Additionally, if you combine your alarm system with good lighting fixtures and a few security cameras that you can access via your phone, your home is much less likely to become a target for burglars.

Secure the doors

interior design

This might sound surprising, but more than a third of all burglars actually enter homes through the front door. So, make sure your front door is not the easiest point of entry. The frames should be strong, the hinges should be well protected, and your lock should not be easy to pick. With that in mind, you should also consider upgrading your lock system – you could opt for some of the quality smart locks, and you should also install a deadbolt. Moreover, if you have any sliding glass doors, make sure they cannot be forced open or broken – at least not without you knowing about it. 

Add some extra light

Lighting is very often overlooked, but it can make a huge difference. The thing is, you’re not going to feel very cozy in a home that has bad or fluorescent lighting. So, opt for brighter lights, and let in as much natural light as you can in order to make your home livelier. Spice it up with some decorative lighting, like string lights and candles, which can instantly make your home cozier. You can also install dimmers, so you can control the brightness of the lights and set the right atmosphere for whatever you’re doing. Finally, don’t forget to light up your exterior as well, and not just because of the visual effect but to deter burglars as well. 

 

Making your home feel safer and cozier can take some time. However, there are things you can do to warm up the atmosphere in your home and actually make it feel like one faster. So, consider the listed ideas, apply them to your new place, and it’s bound to feel like home in no time.

* Guest Post by Sienna Penfold

Getting ready for parenthood can be one of the most exciting experiences, but at the same time, it can also be stressful especially if it’s your first baby, so you don’t know where to start. There are too many things to care about: doctor’s checkups, buying all the baby clothes, the crib and making sure that everything goes according to the plan. If you’re looking to redecorate and baby proof your apartment before your little one arrives, here are the most important things you need to know:

1. Make sure there’s enough space

Even if you live in a small apartment, it’s still necessary to ensure that there will be enough space for a crib and a changing table. If you don’t have a room for the baby, you can make enough space in your bedroom or even a living room. So the first thing you need to do is to get rid of all the unnecessary items that are making your home feel and look cramped. Of course, it would be best if you could buy the house that will be big enough for all of you, but even if you cannot afford it, a small apartment will do. Therefore, it’s important to be creative and use every bit of space in your home.

2. Don’t focus on toys

family
Every child needs and loves toys, but babies will hardly need stuffed animals and an ice cream play cart, so if your friends and relatives buy some of those, kindly ask them to get you something more useful instead. And if you get those types of presents, try to store them somewhere and give them to your kid once it’s big enough to play with them. Toys take up too much area that you can use in a much better way. If you really want to have some toys at home, get a shelf that won’t take up too much space. Babies need to bond with parents and feel loved, there will be time for playing with the toys. For the first few months, your primary goal should be making your home functional and baby-friendly as much as possible.

3. If you don’t need it, sell it

Having a lot of stuff lying around can make you feel a bit stressed out, especially if you have a newborn constantly demanding your attention. In case you have a lot of clothes and other various things that you don’t use anymore, you should sell them online as soon as your child grows out of something. If you don’t like selling stuff, you can always give them to your friends and family members who have similarly aged kids, or even better, donate them to those who need it more than you. There are many charity organization that can accept and distribute those things, while your only job is to pack them and bring them the bags or boxes.

4. Prepare the nursery

baby clothes
Although many parents love to have their baby near them, a nursery is vital if you still want your baby to have her own space. Setting up a nursery should always be done at least one month before the baby arrives, so you won’t feel overwhelmed with too many obligations. There are many available options, and your choice is largely dependent on the nursery size and how much are you ready to spend on decorating. You can choose safe options like blue room for boys and pink for girls, but if you want to be more imaginative, you can pick other, more gender-neutral colours, such as yellow, green and maybe even grey. Also, you can decide to go with a specific theme, since that can help you be more focused when it comes to picking and adding certain elements for the baby’s room.

 

In conclusion, these tips will help you get ready for the arrival of your little munchkin. There are various things you can add to your apartment, such as a baby monitor or baby proofing the home. However, even if there are certain rules that parents are supposed to follow, remember that you can do things your own way, as long as the baby is safe and well-cared for.

Architecture and commercial construction have evolved over the years, and they are still changing. Each year brings some new materials, layouts, and designs that serve to fulfill our needs better. So, if you want to learn more about what’s new in the field, or if you could use some inspiration for your own space, here are a few architectural trends that are popular this year.

Combining the indoors with the outdoors

Open-plan living has become very popular in the last few years, and it continues to be so this year as well. Blending indoors with the outdoors can be done in many different ways, and it provides you with numerous possibilities – if done right. It’s usually achieved by using large walls that can be folded away, which leaves only the roof above. Of course, this does require a bit more advanced engineering, but the results are more often than not very stunning. Also, by using materials that are similar, for both the exterior and the interior, you can create a seamlessly connected space that would allow people to enjoy their environment to the fullest. As for the practical application, this trend is mostly used for restaurants and buildings that do operate both indoors and outdoors.

Displaying your brand identity

office
Source
A great way to show the world who you are is to use your brand colors when decorating your workplace. Of course, that only works if the colors in question are not too bright or vibrant. If they are, you can still incorporate them through some smaller details, but there are other ways to customize your workplace too. For example, if you own a retail store, you can display your logo throughout it, or you can use some creative wall mural to showcase your business message or brand motto somewhere where it can be seen from the entrance. This aspect of retail space architecture and design would provide your employees with a boost of motivation the moment they enter, and your customers would see what you’re all about right away.

Sustainability 

Eco-conscious spaces are becoming more popular – and more important – than ever before. Moreover, the pollution of nature is very visible in the field of construction too; all the waste is not always properly disposed of. Considering the rising importance of preserving the nature, those who can make the whole process more eco-friendly are also more likely to advance in the industry. The same goes for actual buildings – there are many ways to make any building green, from using sustainable materials to installing water-saving fixtures. Everything that uses energy needs to be more efficient, and even the positioning of the building matters. With all that in mind, it’s safe to say that this is a trend that is likely to stick around for a long time.

More flexible workspaces 

workspace
Another trend that is continuing from the previous year is the flexible workspace. It’s not a secret that your environment can affect your productivity, which is why people are starting to care more and more about their offices. For example, the open-plan workspace has gained popularity some years ago, but research has shown that it alone is not always the best idea. Not everybody is an extrovert who likes to be surrounded by other people at all times – some people do prefer working in the privacy of their own office. So, the new trend includes giving employees the option to choose the environment that suits them best by building different work zones. Some of the zones would be perfect for team activities, some would be all about computers and other technological advancements, while some would be best for those who need peace and quiet.

Organic workspaces

Since people are becoming aware of the importance of nature, working while surrounded by it is getting more desirable every year. Such an environment has also shown to reduce stress and anxiety as well as boost creativity and productivity. This is especially noticeable in urban centers where leaving your home is not enough to experience actual nature. Some ways of incorporating this biophillic design into your office include installing bigger windows so you can get more natural light, adding indoor foliage and water fixtures, and even planting trees in the reception areas.

These are just some of the trends that are likely to flourish this year. The field of architecture is constantly changing though, so we are yet to see which designs are here to stay and which will continue being adjusted to the needs of employees and customers.

Seeing a vessel sink for the first time can be an unusual experience because it’s not what we expect when we think about sinks. It’s a striking addition to any bathroom that you can’t just plop it down without concern for the rest of the décor.

Vessel sinks made their appearance more than a few decades ago and set new standards in bathroom décor. Even though it did not become a fad, it created a long-lasting impression that still makes it highly desirable for many discerning designers. Vessel sinks have many stand-out qualities, which is a reason for its continued popularity among remodelers and designers today.

Vessel sinks might not be a choice for everyday use, but you will surely find these in upscale homes and model homes as well as restaurants, hotels, and other commercial buildings. The sinks are available in a wide range of styles from the rustic to modern and come in many different looks that can make bathrooms look exquisite and elegant.

What is a vessel sink?

When you boil it down, the vessel sink is just a bowl-shaped sink. The arrangement is distinctly different from other types of sinks that are inside a cut-out in the countertop. Another notable thing about them is that they are exclusively used as bathroom sink bowls and aren’t suitable for kitchens, due to their style and size. Vessel sinks are a form of bathroom decoration and seen mostly in guest bathrooms and powder rooms where the sink has minimal use. They’re made of glass, fired ceramic, stainless steel, copper, stone, or marble, with glass and ceramic being the most popular.

Types of installation

Although the norm for installing vessel sinks is to place it on the countertop, there is also an option of recessed installation.

  • Above the counter installation – In this type of installation, the sink sits on the bathroom vanity; this is the most common type of installation. Except for drilling a drain hole in the vanity or countertop, no other cutting or drilling is necessary as the bowl rests on the vanity on its own.
  • Recessed installation – As the name implies, recessed installation involves the vessel sitting inside a recess in the vanity or countertop that allows a part of the vessel’s bottom to stay inside the recess. This makes the installation more stable. For drainage, you must drill a hole in the vanity or countertop to allow the drainpipe to pass through.

If you are considering installing a vessel sink in your bathroom but wonder whether it would be right for you, check out the rest of the article.

Stylish sinks

Vessel sinks are showpieces that add character to the interior décor and enhance its appeal. The sink, when placed in the bathroom, becomes the central attraction as it sits on the countertop or vanity, proudly displaying your taste and style. A vessel sink not only grabs all attention and becomes the focal point of the bathroom, but it also adds more charm to the overall interior décor by creating visual interest and makes a statement. When you intend to make a strong design statement, the vessel sink is the bathroom accessory that you can rely on.

Flexibility in design

There are many design and style options when it comes to vessel sinks. Styles range from traditional and classic to modern and anything in between. The sinks are mostly in oval and round shapes with clean lines and compact features available in a variety of materials, colors, and styles. On searching the market extensively, you will find some of these sinks even made from unusual materials like bamboo and bronze.

Easy installation

The installation of vessel sinks is not only easy but also convenient because it neither involves any plumbing work nor requires any support for installation. Simply placing the sink on the countertop is all that the installation includes minor drilling of the vanity or countertop to allow the drainpipe to pass through. Besides, there are more options in installation in case you want to make the sink rest inside a recess in the countertop or vanity.

Useful counter space

Despite placing the sink on the countertop, the sink is a circular vessel. It occupies minimal space on the countertop while leaving the space around it across the countertop for any other use. This is, of course, not possible if you prefer a recessed installation that occupies a larger area on the countertop.

Comfortable use

Since the vessel sinks are taller, the additional height of the sink makes it very convenient for use by taller people because they don’t have to bend as much. The sink placement provides ergonomic benefits that are not available in any other types of sinks.

Spacious sinks

Vessel sinks are available in many sizes, and since it sits on the countertop, you can choose a larger vessel that would otherwise not have been possible with other types of sink installation. Those who want large sinks would do good to install a vessel sink.

In addition to the above advantages, the biggest one is that replacing vessel sinks is very easy, which adds more styling options by changing the sink when you want.

You’ve probably noticed this topic popping up a lot recently, and for a good reason. With all the consequences of global warming that we’re already experiencing, reducing our negative influence on nature is more important than ever before. Of course, there are many ways to do it – some simple, some a bit more demanding, but the best place to start is at your own home. With that in mind, here are a few ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Insulate your home

For starters, you want to make sure your home is well insulated. Otherwise, you’d be letting out a lot of heat through the walls and windows during winter, and it would take a lot more energy to keep it cool during summer. In other words, your utility bills would be much higher than necessary due to using more energy to keep your home’s temperature at a comfortable level. There are many different insulating techniques, some of which you can even do on your own, like putting up thicker curtains during winter. Also, if you have an attic and/or basement, don’t forget to insulate them as well, as a lot of warm and cool air can escape through the roof and floor.

Install quality windows and doors

window

A lot of heat and cool air can escape through windows and doors, especially if they are older types, as some of them are not very energy efficient. This is why you should invest in better quality ones. For example, you can find good double glazed windows, and be sure that no air, hot or cool, would escape through them. The same goes for doors. Even though wood is the most typical material for doors due to its price, convenience, and cozy appearance, it’s a very poor insulator. There are many better options on the market, so do your research before you choose. Finally, you can always do some weatherstripping and tinting of your windows as well.  

Choose better lighting

home lighting

Most of the typical light bulbs that you see are incandescent, which means that they emit light because they are hot. This also means that while using them, you are inevitably heating up your room, which is probably the last thing you want to do in summer. It’s one of the reasons why, even though they are fairly cheap, they actually cost you a lot more in the long run. With that in mind, you should consider switching to either LED lights of fluorescent lights. They cost a bit more initially, but they last a lot longer, and they don’t emit any heat, so it’s a small investment that would pay off in time.

Replace old appliances

If you want to make your home more energy efficient, you should also consider replacing your old kitchen appliances. Look for those with the Energy Star logo on them, as they are made to use a lot less energy than the standard appliances. Also, just like the above-mentioned lighting, these appliances do cost a bit more, but again, they would pay off in the long run through your utility bills. You can find lists of essential energy efficient products for your home online. 

Think about solar panels

solar panels

If you want to go the extra mile, you can harness the sun and create your own electricity by installing solar panels. It can greatly reduce your bills, and it can come in handy in case of a power outage. You can install them on your rooftop, or you can install the whole system in a sunny area of your backyard. They aren’t that difficult to maintain, but they do require regular maintenance if you want them to last longer. All in all, they aren’t for everybody, but if you’re determined in your preservation of nature, solar panels are something to consider.

Install a smart meter

Installing smart meters is a great way to track your energy usage. They are easy to install and use, and they can give you a good idea of how much energy you’re using and how you can cut on that use. Also, since a smart meter would send the readings directly to your energy supplier, there would be no need for any manual meter readings. Also, your supplier would know exactly how much you need to pay instead of sending you estimated bills. Finally, it would also be easier for you to change your energy supplier for whatever reason. All in all, it would allow you much more control over your energy usage.

If you care about the environment, you should do whatever you can to preserve it. One thing you definitely can do is make your home more sustainable. There are many ways to do so, both affordable and costly (but worth every penny). Therefore, think about the listed suggestions, opt for those that suit you the most, and you’re bound to feel much better about the difference that you’re making.

Guest post by Will Sandford.

No matter with how much love, devotion and enthusiasm you decorated your home the first time around, chances are that you’ll grow a bit tired of the design as time passes. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. Since people are visual beings, it’s logical that we like to spend time in a visually stimulating environment, and if your home featured the same design since you’ve moved in, it probably became just a bit too familiar. That’s precisely why some interior design pros advise against fully decorating every room top-to-bottom at once, but rather encourage you to allow the design to grow alongside your personal growth.

However, if you’ve reached a point where redecorating seems like the only option left, here are some nifty tricks to consider. Keep in mind that, in order to fall back in love with your interior, you don’t have to spend a ton of money or go for a large-scale home improvement projects that really won’t add value to your home . Rather, it’s enough to make some small but very effective changes that will completely turn a room’s design around.

The hallway

Hallways are the most commonly neglected areas of a home when the design is concerned, which is a big mistake since a hallway is the first area of your home anyone who enters will be presented with. Therefore, inspect your hallway and see if there’s anything you can do to it to boost its visual appeal. For example, replace your old coat hanger with a funky new alternative and DIY a fun key holder. Next, get a tall wicker basket to act as an umbrella holder. Finally, create a gallery wall by framing and hanging some of your family photos, but choose the frames carefully and make sure they go well together.

The kitchen

The easiest way you can update the look of your kitchen is by simply repainting your cabinet doors and replacing all the handles with a fresh alternative. Additionally, if you want to make an even bigger change, create a new backsplash and introduce a new area rug. Just make sure that the new color you’ve chosen for your cabinets works well with the overall color scheme you have in your kitchen to avoid creating an environment that just looks too random.

The bathroom

In the bathroom, you won’t believe just how much a new shower curtain can transform the look of the entire space. You can also replace hardware fixtures and bathroom accessories for more modern alternatives. Browse some online retailers to find the right fit and give your old bathroom a modern twist on a budget. Additionally, you can even consider adding a couple of plants to your bathroom but make sure that they can thrive in such an environment.

The bedroom

Master bedrooms also generally tend to be somewhat neglected when the design is concerned because some people don’t see the point in beautifying a space that’s used primarily for sleeping. However, that is a huge mistake as a well-put-together bedroom design can work wonders for your sleep quality. So, first, take care of your window treatments. Choose the ones that allow you to completely darken up the room when necessary – afternoon naps – but still let plenty of natural light through when pushed aside. Layered curtains and drapes work best in this scenario. Next, add a luxurious throw blanket on top of your bed to make it visually cozier. Finally, add a soft, fluffy area rug that will be just a few inches bigger than your bed underneath it to both accentuate and section off that area and make it a focal point of the room.

The living room

We’ve purposefully left this area of the home for last because it’s arguably the most versatile one. The number of easy touch-ups you can do in your living room is so big that we are only going to list the most effective ones. First of all, create an accent wall. This can be literally any wall in your living room. If you have a fireplace, turn that area into an accent wall by creating an exposed faux brick wall and hanging an impactful piece of wall art just above the fireplace. Alternatively, you can choose to accentuate the wall behind your sofa by opting to paint it in a bold hue or cover it with an elaborate, textured wallpaper. Next, aside from the statement wall, you can choose to completely change up your decor items, which will give the room a whole new vibe. Also, think about replacing your rugs, throw pillow cases and other textured elements of the room’s design, or even reupholstering your furniture entirely.

As you can see, there are numerous ways you can give your home a facelift without having to spend a lot of money. Besides, these small changes really do make the biggest impact, as they shift the vibe of the room very slightly in a chosen direction, instead of turning it into a completely new, unfamiliar space.