7 Kitchen Design and Remodeling Trends to Inspire You

Whether you just want to refresh your kitchen or you are getting your home ready to rent or sell, investing in some kitchen upgrades is always a good idea. Most people spend a huge amount of time in their kitchens so it makes sense to make this place in your home warm, inviting, and styled to mix aesthetics and functionality. 

Want to know how you can update your kitchen without having to do a full kitchen renovation? Check out the trends below.

1. Switch to Custom Cabinets

There is nothing like custom cabinetry to make your kitchen more functional and more stylish. Custom cabinets are built to fit the space you have in the kitchen. It will completely improve the functionality of your kitchen, as well as the look of the space. 

You can choose gorgeous natural wood or use on-trend reclaimed wood to create one of a kind cabinets that match your kitchen. Colored custom cabinets are also very trendy right now. They are a great way to add personality to an otherwise bland all white kitchen.

2. Update All Hardware and Light Fixtures

The small details in your kitchen really make a difference in the look and style of the space. Upgrade those old drawer pulls and cabinet handles with modern metallics. You can also add bright pops of color for a very easy and affordable way to update the look of your kitchen. 

New light fixtures can take your kitchen from old and sad to bright and modern. Go bold with a unique modern metal light fixture or go for some glam with a light and reflective chandelier if you want your kitchen to have some real personality.

3. Add a Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands can double the amount of functional space in your kitchen. They also are the best way to turn your kitchen into the primary gathering spot in your home. Having a custom island built is the ideal way to make the best use of space you have in your kitchen. 

If you don’t want to invest in a custom island, a pre-built island can have almost the same dramatic impact. Add some comfortable chairs or stools to invite people to sit down and chat or as a space for the kids to sit and do homework while you’re cooking.

4. Choose The Right Flooring

The days of the all linoleum kitchen are long gone. Thanks to the durability and beauty of modern materials, you can have a kitchen flooring that is built to absorb a lot of traffic and is also stain and wear resistant. 

New updated tile floors are easy to clean and will give your kitchen a modern look. Distressed hardwood floors will transform your kitchen into a rustic farmhouse style kitchen that is so trendy right now. Not only is it beautiful, it is also inviting and comfortable.

5. Add a Unique Pantry Door

Prettying up the pantry is another way to add some style to your kitchen without reducing the functionality you need. Glass inset doors are a classic choice. Or you can choose recycled sliding barnwood doors if you prefer the rustic look.

6. Use Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is an easy upgrade that homeowners love. If you’ve never had under cabinet lighting you will be amazed at how much style and function it gives your kitchen.

It can cut your energy bills because you won’t have to use the main kitchen lights as often. If you have kids or pets or if you have to get up early in the morning, under cabinet lighting makes it safer and easier to get some water at night or make that all important coffee in the morning.

7. Upgrade Your Countertops

The countertops are the largest surface area in the kitchen so upgrading those will have a huge impact on the look of your kitchen. Durable countertops that are easy to maintain are countertops that modern homeowners want. 

Quartz countertops will give you a durable option that’s easy to customize. Quartz and granite offer a huge range of colors available, including ones that mimic the natural veining of marble, so they add style but are also very affordable and durable. Choose from classic white, blacks or gray countertops, or go bold with red or a marbled look.

 

ALSO READ: 12 Zero-Waste Essentials for Your Modern Kitchen

 

Simple updates in your kitchen can turn the kitchen that you have into a trendy gathering spot. Best of all, you can do that without costing a fortune or requiring long renovation. For best results, contact Lugbill Designs for all your interior design and remodeling needs.

Did you find this article useful? For more design inspirations for your home, visit our blog regularly.

4 Questions to Ask Your Interior Designer

When you first decide that your home is in need of a total makeover, you often have a vision in mind for what you want it to look like. The trick is to find an interior designer that can help make that vision come true. But just like any other project, seeing your makeover through from beginning to end will take a lot of communication. To make sure you and your interior designer are on the same page, consider the following four questions.

 

What Can You Do With My Budget?

Before you get started, it’s important to know what your interior designer can do with your budget. This helps give context to the scope of your project. Of course, if at any point during the process you’d like to raise your budget, you’re more than welcome to do that too. Sometimes, a slow design process works better for clients, as it can help to see what additions you might want to make to a room as the project is unraveling. In the meantime, you can grow your budget by using helpful apps that let you save without thinking. Doing so will give you the flexibility to provide your designer with much more creative freedom.

 

How Long Would a Project Like This Take?

As the question implies, this will depend on what you’re looking to do and how quickly you’re looking to go about it. Do you just want to add a few finishing touches? Then the process shouldn’t take a few months. Do you want to completely overhaul a room (or several)? Then this process will require more time. Asking your designer this question will give you an idea of what timeframe you can expect and help make sure you’re not rushing any design decisions. 

 

What Style Do You Specialize In?

If you’ve decided to contact an interior designer, then chances are you went online and liked what you saw. If you haven’t looked yet, check out a portfolio of past work and see if it aligns with your vision of what you’d like to do. If you have some ideas of your own, or if you saw something online or in a magazine that caught your fancy, let your designer know what your vision is and see how they can help you achieve it.

 

Do You Have Any Testimonials?

Pictures are one thing, but actually hearing from past clients is a great way to learn about their experience with the designer and what you can expect during your own. Lots of good reviews are a good sign, but you might also want to consider the review itself, what type of remodel they had done, and who they worked with. You can typically find testimonials on your interior designer’s website, but you might even find reviews on social media channels to be useful as well!

20 Easy Sustainability Hacks for a Greener Lifestyle

You’d like to switch to a green and sustainable lifestyle, but you’re not ready for huge changes like switching out all your appliances or giving up meat completely. No worries! You can always start with small swaps as a build-up towards bigger leaps. Plus, countless people before you have already come up with little “hacks” to make their lives a bit greener.

Ready to take your first steps towards greener living? Here are 20 easy sustainability hacks for you to try out!

 

20 Sustainability Hacks for Greener Living

 

1. Use Homemade Cleaning Recipes

Lemons, vinegar, and baking soda are just some of the homemade cleaning ingredients you probably have in a pantry somewhere. So if you’d like to save money and avoid certain chemicals, just put together your own sustainable cleaning solution in the comfort of your kitchen! 

 

ALSO READ: 5 Homemade Natural Cleaning Recipes You Can DIY

 

2. Dedicate a Tote Bag to Unused Clothes

You probably have a handful of clothes that you’ve either outgrown or barely ever use. Stuff these into a tote bag, then write a certain date by which you’ll donate all the clothes in that bag. Once the date passes, bring the clothes to a local thrift store or charity. You’ll contribute to sustainable fashion and free up your closet at the same time!

TIP: Resist the urge to open the bag. Otherwise, you might find yourself putting the clothes back into your closet, telling yourself you’ll use them again someday.

3. Charge Your Phone in Airplane Mode

It may be called “airplane mode,” but it’s perfectly fine to use it on the ground. In fact, a phone in airplane mode will charge much faster than usual, saving you time and energy! Just remember that you won’t be able to receive calls or messages in this mode.

4. Reuse, Full Stop

Reducing waste is one important part of sustainability, so you’ll have to find ways to reuse whatever you can. You might just be surprised by all the little things you can reuse for a more sustainable home!

  • Water. The same water you’ve used for cooking or washing your hands can be reused one more time on your houseplants. This also goes for the “warm-up” water from your shower.
  • Cardboard Boxes. Cereal boxes and shoeboxes can easily get a second life as gift boxes! Just turn them inside out and tape them back together.
  • Toilet Paper Rolls. From wall art to cable organizers to closet dividers to ornaments, the humble toilet paper roll can be reused in countless ways. 
  • Bread Clips. Have a broken flip-flop, with one of its holes torn open and unable to hold the thong? Push the thong back through the hole and slip a bread clip around it! You can also use bread clips to label the mess of cables behind your PCs or television sets.

5. Set Up a Backyard Garden

Have an empty patch of land in your backyard? Turn it into a little garden, and you’ll have a sustainable pastime that can help cut down on grocery spending in the long run. Someday, you can even put together a salad made of vegetables picked from your backyard!

Short on space? No worries. You can always squeeze in a window herb garden.

6. Use a Wet Cloth to Chill Drinks Faster

Wrap your drinks in a wet cloth and then stick them into the freezer. Your drinks will quickly become cold, saving you precious time and energy.

7. Bake Cupcakes in Ice Cream Cones

Need to prepare cupcakes? Instead of buying paper liners, bake them in kiddie ice-cream cones. Add ice cream or whipped cream on top to complete the look!

8. Say Goodbye to Bottled Water

Invest in a nice refillable water bottle, and top it off before you leave the house. You’ll never have to buy another piece of environmentally damaging plastic ever again, and you can save money at the same time!

TIP: It helps to know the locations of nearby water fountains where you can refill your bottle for free.

9. Cut Down on Your Meat Consumption

Beef and lamb production gives off huge amounts of the greenhouse gas methane. So, eating less meat can shrink your eco-footprint as well. It’s just that giving up meat completely might not be easy for everyone! You can always take baby steps like committing to Meatless Mondays or trying out tofu, seitan, and other sustainable meat substitutes.

10. Put Together a Small Compost Bin

Wondering what you can do about all the eggshells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and fruit or vegetable peels that you often toss? Take a plastic container, poke a few holes in its sides, and then fill it with kitchen waste. You’ll eventually have a plastic container filled with compost, which you can use to feed your backyard garden!

NOTE: It’s not advisable to include meat, fat, oil, dairy products, or grease in the compost bin. They will still biodegrade, but they’ll give off an odor that can attract pests.

 

ALSO READ: 12 Steps to Avoid Food Wastage at Home

 

11. Try Your Hand at Preserving Food

Fermenting and drying are easy ways to improve the shelf life (and flavor) of certain food. You can make pickled daikon radish, salted lemons, or even kimchi to spice up your menu while staying sustainable.

12. Air Dry Your Laundry

Leave it to the sun to dry your clothes, and you can give your dryer a break and save hundreds of dollars on electricity. Also, if you line-dry indoors in winter, your laundry can double as a humidifier!

13. Mind Your Water Usage in the Bathroom

You might be accustomed to 20-minute showers, but experts say you really just need 5 to 10 minutes. The faster your showers, the less water you’ll use! Also, make it a point to turn the tap off while brushing. You can save up to 6 liters of water per minute this way.

14. Recycle Old Papers into Gift Wrap

Instead of buying another roll of gift wrap, take a page out of your old newspapers and magazines. The fun thing about this is that you can pick out pages that fit the recipient’s personality (e.g. using Sunday comics to wrap a gift for a witty friend). Plus, there’s no denying the charm of handicrafts!

15. Go Paperless

Save the trees! Ask your providers to send you bills, catalogues, and bank statements through email. As a bonus, you’ll never have to see another stress-inducing pile of envelopes at your front door ever again.

16. Take a Reusable Tote on Shopping Trips

Help cut down on plastic bag usage by taking your own shopping bag with you. This can either be a tote or a sturdy plastic bag from a previous purchase. Who knows, your favorite grocery store might offer rewards for sustainable shoppers like you!

17. Shift to Thrifty Shopping

Want to update your wardrobe or spruce up your living spaces? Head to the thrift shop and go for gently used clothes and decor instead of brand-new purchases. You can save a lot of money and help cut down on landfill waste in one go. 

18. Buy Produce in Season

For one, fruits and vegetables taste better when they’re in season. You can also cut down on grocery costs if you go for whatever nature has placed on the menu. At the same time, you’ll be able to find these crops easily at a farmers’ market near you. Local produce doesn’t use up as much fuel since it’s transported over shorter distances, automatically making it more sustainable overall!

19. Fix Whatever Can Be Fixed

The world’s current throwaway culture might seem convenient, but it’s also incredibly wasteful. If you’ve broken something, take the sustainable route and try to have it fixed first. And if it’s beyond repair, dispose of it responsibly and put some extra thought into how you’ll replace it.

20. Borrow Books Instead of Buying Them

This sustainability hack doubles as a way for bookworms to save a surprising amount of money. Instead of buying new books, check if any nearby libraries have that same title on their shelves. You can also look for train stations, hotels, and cafes that offer book swap services.

 

Feel free to take this list of 20 sustainability hacks and use it as a checklist! With every item you tick off, you can pat yourself on the back for taking one more step towards a greener lifestyle.

Found this article useful? Visit our blog regularly for more tips on sustainable and eco-friendly living.

7 Advantages of Living in a Smart Home

 

You might have watched video tours of smart homes or read about them in magazines, but have you imagined living in a smart home yourself? 

The idea might seem like it’s out of your league at first, since smart lifestyle technology isn’t exactly cheap. However, the benefits can greatly outweigh the upfront costs in the long run! From savings to security to peace of mind, here are 7 advantages that’ll make you want to start the switch to a smarter home.

 

7 Benefits of Living in a Smart Home

 

1. Convenience

Imagine waking up and being able to start the coffee pot all the way from your cozy bedroom. Or programming a bathtub faucet to shut itself off right before the tub overflows. Then at the end of your day, it can be a real treat to relax in a pre-cooled living room thanks to smart technology. This level of convenience alone is one of the biggest reasons that people go for smart homes in the first place. 

2. Accessibility and Programmable Assistance

The functionality of a smart home is especially promising for families who have either young children or aging parents. You can program the cooling systems to achieve the right temperature for Mom and Pop, set the stove to turn off if a forgetful chef wanders off, or remotely lock doors to rooms which are off-limits to the kids. Some smart homes can even notify the hospital should someone take a fall! 

3. Flexibility

Concerned that the smart home you’re about to purchase now could become obsolete tomorrow? No worries! Smart homes are designed for seamless integration with more advanced appliances. This lets you make necessary upgrades or add new devices to expand your smart home’s range of functions.

4. Resource Efficiency

You might be surprised by how much energy, water, and time you can save with a smart home. Control heating and cooling systems with precision, program lights to dim at sundown, or have the shower turn on only when you’re already in the stall. When there are guests around, your oven can cook meals to perfection to prevent wastage, and your home entertainment systems can help you find all the right songs with ease. 

5. Upgraded Security

A smart home can give you fine-tuned control over motion detectors and surveillance cameras throughout the property. You can quietly keep an eye on guests who enter and leave the house, or get instant alerts on suspicious activity to protect your loved ones. It’s even possible for you to lock doors and arm your smart home’s security systems in critical situations. And again, you can do this whether you’re inside the house or on the other side of the world!

DID YOU KNOW? In an incident in New Mexico, a smart home speaker dialed 911 after detecting certain statements during a domestic dispute. The obedient speaker may have prevented a woman and her child from being shot to death.

6. Smart Household Management

Did you know that your smart home can give you an interesting picture of how your family goes about a normal day? Get a peek at your family’s TV viewing habits, the kinds of meals you prepare the most, and the amount of electricity and water you use up on a daily basis. You can then adjust your lifestyle according to this data for a lifestyle that’s both comfortable and eco-conscious.

7. Peace of Mind

You’re probably all too familiar with the stress of doors left unlocked, appliances and faucets left running, meals that wound up overcooked, or children who keep popping in and out of your line of sight. It’s also easy to get a headache from unexplainably high utility bills. But you won’t have to worry about any of that with a smart home! You can breathe a sigh of relief with all the control you need at your fingertips.

 

ALSO READ: 17 Tips to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient

 

Wouldn’t you want your family to enjoy these 7 advantages? It’s a good thing that it’s never too late to transition into a smarter home. You can simply invest in smart home appliances one by one, matching your new purchases with eco-friendly lifestyle changes along the way!

Visit our blog regularly for more articles about stylish interiors and smart, sustainable living

7 Sustainable Textiles to Complete Your Home

You’ve picked out a few favorite green home decor brands and switched out some light fixtures with skylights as part of your move towards sustainable living. You may have even started investing in energy-efficient appliances that bear the EPA’s Energy Star label. However, you might still have non-biodegradable synthetics lying around your house in the form of your sheets, curtains, and upholstery! 

Fortunately, there are now several materials that you can choose from to complete your sustainable home. Check out these 7 sustainable textiles and see which ones you’d like to start using!

 

7 Sustainable Textiles for Your Home

 

1. Linen 

This sustainable textile comes from the stem of the flax plant, which grows on rough terrain that’s unsuitable for food production. Curtains made of linen can allow light into a room. Meanwhile, linen bed sheets tend to become softer and more absorbent after repeated washes. You’ll only really need to clean this low-maintenance textile when it starts to smell dusty.

Look for linen in natural colors ranging from ivory to tan to gray. Pure white linen has gone through intense bleaching–not very sustainable!

2. Cotton

Cotton in general is durable, breathable, highly versatile, and biodegradable. Soft and breathable bed sheets. However, traditionally grown cotton uses up huge amounts of water and pesticides. 

Shop for GOTS cotton, or organic cotton that has been grown with sustainability in mind. You’ll want to check the label for true organic cotton content, too.

3. Wool

If you’d like luxurious upholstery in your living room, you can give wool a try! This sustainable textile is wrinkle-resistant and durable, as well as naturally good at holding dyes in vibrant colors. 

Perhaps the only downside of wool is that it’s an animal product. However, it’s possible to buy ethical wool that adheres to standards for fair treatment of animals. Wool can also replace synthetics and polyester fleeces, which shed microfibers that harm the environment even if the materials themselves are vegan.

4. Hemp

Did you know that humans have been cultivating hemp for over 10,000 years? This time-tested textile comes from the stem of the cannabis plant yet contains negligible amounts of THC (the compound behind marijuana’s psychological effects). As a crop, hemp is naturally resistant to pests and fungus attacks, requires little water, and uses up a relatively small amount of land. It even helps purify soil! Once harvested, pure hemp is similar in texture to linen. 

When shopping for hemp tablecloths or sheets, it pays to research a bit about hemp brands you have in mind. Some companies use chemicals for faster processes and higher yield, greenwashing themselves to seem eco-friendly. Also opt for hemp that has been colored with natural dyes to truly minimize environmental impact.

5. Lyocell and Modal

Both of these textiles come from wood pulp. The production of lyocell and modal does not use harmful solvents. It’s often even closed-loop, with 99% of its chemicals being captured and reused. Just be sure to take a look at where the materials come from! One brand you can try out is Tencel, which gets its lyocell and modal from natural forests and sustainable plantations.

6. Piñatex

Ever heard of leather made from pineapple leaves instead of animal hide? Natural and biodegradable, Piñatex reduces waste from pineapple production and even helps farmers earn more. 

Upholstery made of rich piñatex is currently on the rise. Currently, there are already sofas and car seats covered in piñatex!

7. Silk

This prized textile comes from the cocoon of the silkmoth. Conventional silk is infamous among animal lovers because of how it kills the pupae inside the cocoon during production. However, there is now eco-friendly Ahimsa silk which spares the pupae and only harvests cocoons after the pupa has left.

Sustainable and eco-friendly silk does not use harsh dyes, resulting in a softer texture. Try covering your pillows with cases made of sustainable silk and see how quickly you fall asleep after climbing into bed!

 

Comfort, style, and eco-friendliness can definitely go hand in hand. Remember this list, and you can complete your home with indulgent and sustainable textiles. 

Visit our blog for more tips on living sustainably and with style

Air Plant Care: Help Your Tillandsia Survive

 

Just bought some air plants for your home? Good choice. Also known as tillandsia, these spiky, ball-shaped plants are both charming and incredibly low-maintenance because they can survive without soil! They’re also a lovely addition to any home because of their natural ability to clear air toxins. However, your air plants have to survive in the first place if you want to reap this benefit. For one, air plants actually need more than just air!

Here’s a guide to air plant care, covering everything from lighting to watering to unusual changes in color. Be sure to take note of all the tips for happy air plants in this article!

 

Tillandsia 101: Your Guide to Air Plant Care

 

These quirky plants can sit pretty in open glass balls or seashells. But as hardy as they are, it’s still possible to end up with withered air plants if you don’t know how to care for them. 

How Much Light Does My Air Plant Need?

Air plants basically need to sit in bright, indirect light. Prime locations include windows that face either south or east, the sun shines through most of the day. North-facing windows are also great if they provide unobstructed sunlight. 

On the other hand, western-facing windows can fry your plant because afternoon sunlight can be surprisingly hot.

Lighting Tips for a Happy Air Plant

  • A sunny bathroom is another great place to put an air plant. It naturally takes care of both lighting and watering for you, thanks to sunlight and the humidity from your shower.
  • Generally, a more humid space can help your plant tolerate more light. So if you’re placing your air plant in an especially sunny spot, you’ll need to care for it by misting it more!
  • Want to bring your air plant into your office or basement? Be sure to keep it within 3 feet of a full spectrum (fluorescent) light source so that it can still photosynthesize. Special bulbs like Gro-Lux or Vita-Lite are also suitable here. Also note that your plants will need 12+ hours of light daily.

How Should I Water My Air Plant?

Watering an air plant can admittedly be tricky. Some plant owners even find themselves doing trial-and-error for this aspect of air plant care. But amazingly, your air plant’s leaves can give you hints on the best watering routine!

  • Fuzzy leaves are a sign that your air plant is of the xeric type. These plants can collect and hold a lot of water, as well as tolerate more sun. You’ll only need to water them once or twice a week.
  • Smooth and glossy leaves indicate that your air plant is mesic. That means it’s comfortable with the moisture and shade of a cloud forest. You’ll need to water it a bit more frequently.

After figuring out what kind of air plant you have, you can choose a watering method that works for you and your plants. There are 3 ways to water your air plant, which you can mix and match according to your preferences:

  • Misting – great for plants inside globes or other interesting displays. This method lets you interact a lot with your beloved air plants, too! Depending on the type of air plant you have, you’ll be misting it 3-7 times a week. Try to wet the entire plant.
  • Dunking – ideal for plants that are either freestanding or attached to wood. You can also use this with air plants with dense or curly leaves if you’re having a hard time misting them well. Either briefly dip the whole plant into water or place it under a running faucet. Mesic air plants need to be dunked 2-4 times weekly while xeric plants just need to be dunked once a week.
  • Soaking – best for dry plants that need to be revived after a period of neglect. Submerge the plant in water for 1 to 3 hours. You can do this once a week until the plant is okay again.

Shake out the excess water afterwards and let the plant sit in a well-ventilated place. This ensures that the center of the plant will dry well, preventing rot. 

More Tips for Watering Your Air Plant

  • Water your plants in the morning. This lets your air plants breathe during the evening and dry well in less time.
  • Use room temperature tap water or rainwater on your plants. Do not use softened water, which can hurt your plants with its salt content.
  • Water more frequently if your plant is subject to hot weather, desert climates, air conditioning, or the atmosphere near a heater or fireplace. Water less frequently if you live in cool, cloudy weather.
  • Once a month, you can add a pinch of fertilizer to your water to round out your watering regimen. Use water-soluble fertilizer specified for orchids or tillandsias. Then, either mist or dunk your air plant (soaking it can lead to fertilizer burn). This monthly treat for your air plant can help it blossom and produce pups later on!
  • Thinking of “planting” your tillandsia? Don’t put it in soil or in moss that tends to hold moisture, otherwise it may rot.

Why is My Air Plant Changing Colors?

You may wake up one day and notice that your air plant has begun to take on a different color. It can be worrying at first, because a change of color can easily indicate watering issues. But depending on the color itself, your plant might not be as sick as you thought. Here are a few common colors that air plants can take on:

  • White or Gray. Xeric air plants are naturally whitish or grayish thanks to a coat of trichomes, or little leaf hairs which help your plant retain water. However, if your air plant is supposed to be naturally green, graying can be an early sign of underwatering. This is because its trichomes are becoming more pronounced now that your plant needs water.
  • Yellow. If your air plant’s leaves are yellowing, chances are the plant has been overwatered. Let the air plant dry thoroughly to help it recover. 
  • Brown. This either indicates underwatering or overwatering based on the appearance of the plant’s leaves.
    • Brown and curled: Underwatered
    • Brown and soggy: Overwatered
  • Black. Unfortunately, a black base is a sure indicator of air plant rot.
  • Red, Pink, Violet. If your air plant is taking on these interesting colors, you’ve done a great job! These happy colors indicate a maturing air plant. You may soon see a few vibrant flowers and even little pups or baby plants growing on the sides.

Wait, Air Plants Produce Pups?

That’s right, a mature air plant will produce little pups sooner or later! These baby plants start out tiny but eventually grow into mother plants as well. 

If your air plant is putting out pups, you can safely pull them off the mother plant if they’re ⅓-½ its size. They should come off easily, without too much force. Otherwise it may still be to early for the pups to be removed! It’s also perfectly fine to let the pup mature while still attached to its mother plant, creating an adorable clump.

Keep this guide on hand, and you’ll get the hang of air plant care in no time. You might even end up with a whole bunch of air plants if you’re able to take good care of the pups as well! Enjoy having greener living spaces with the help of these hardy but beautiful plants.

Looking for more indoor plants that you can easily take care of? Take a look at these 18 low maintenance plants and trees for your home.

For more news and trends on interior design, visit our blog regularly.

Finding the Right Wall Sconces: Your Complete Buying Guide

 

Have you just given your home a makeover with the help of a renowned interior designer? You might be looking for a finishing touch that provides light at the same time. A set of lovely wall sconces may be just what you need!

In essence, a wall sconce consists of a light source affixed to a wall. However, there is a huge variety of wall sconces to match your desired aesthetic. If you want to find the sconces that can complete your home, you’ll need a guide to help you weigh your options.

Here’s an infographic that will surely come in handy. This complete buying guide lists down your options for types, designs, power sources, and lighting configurations for wall sconces. You can have a clearer idea of what kind of wall sconce you’ll be looking for!

 

Finding the Right Wall Sconces

Your Complete Buying Guide for Wall Sconces

From Hard-Wired to Solar: 5 Power Sources for Your Wall Sconces

Where do you plan to place your sconces? Your answer will directly affect your choice of power source. This also works in reverse–the power source can affect the location of your sconces. Read up about the available power sources to prevent any inconvenience down the line!

1. Hard-Wired

These sconces are connected to your home’s internal electrical wiring. They can simply be turned on and off with a light switch. 

Since their wires are hidden inside the wall, hard-wired sconces have a clean look to them. However, this also limits where you can place them.

2. Plug-In

As their name implies, plug-in sconces are powered through outlets instead of being connected directly to internal wiring. This gives them a wider range of possible locations, although you still need to place them near power outlets. They may also look slightly less clean because of their visible wires.

3. Battery Operated

Because they run on batteries, these sconces can be placed virtually anywhere! All you have to do is replace the batteries every now and then. 

Battery operated sconces tend to be cheaper than their hard-wired and plug-in counterparts.

4. Candle

Sconces which use real candles can be placed wherever you want. You just need to switch out the candles whenever they run low. In return, you’ll get a welcoming ambiance for your home.

Some homeowners opt for battery-operated candles, which don’t have to be replaced as much.

5. Solar-Powered

Some outdoor sconces are solar-powered. Aside from adding flexibility to your sconces’ placement, solar power also serves as a renewable source of energy.

 

Up or Down? 3 Essential Lighting Configurations of Wall Sconces

Wall sconces will direct light in a given direction to achieve a certain effect. Because of this, they can be grouped into three different lighting configurations.

    1. Up-Light

  • Directs light upwards
  • Can help make a small room look more spacious
  • Suitable for entryways, living rooms, and hallways

    2. Down-Light

  • Directs light downwards
  • Adds coziness and warmth to expansive spaces
  • Great for bedrooms and large living rooms

    3. All-Around Light

  • Directs light both upwards and downwards
  • Creates a feeling of balance
  • Generally provides more light

 

8 Basic Types of Wall Sconces for Your Home

There are so many ways that home décor brands can interpret “a light affixed to a wall.” This has resulted in different types of sconces, which build off the basic concept for a variety of interesting structures!

1. Armed Sconce

In an armed sconce, the light is attached to an arm which extends from a plate on the wall. Some of these sconces are fixed, while others are foldable and adjustable. Armed sconces are great for offices, bedrooms, and reading nooks.

2. Spotlight Sconce

This specific type of armed sconce directs its light to highlight an object or area. Spotlight sconces often have down-light configurations. There are further subtypes of spotlight sconces, including:

    • Picture Lights. With a long, slender light source, this sconce is specifically used to illuminate artwork on display in your home. 
    • Sign Lights. These armed sconces light up wider areas, like signs or murals. 

3. Flush Mount Sconce

This sconce is directly mounted flush with the wall, seemingly washing it with light. Flush mount sconces have a compact, low-profile look to them. They are ideal for accent lighting.

4. Half-Moon Sconce

This specific kind of flush mount sconce features a light source surrounded by a half-bowl. Look hard enough and you’ll find half-moon sconces that are as minimalist or as ornate as you wish.

5. Wallchiere

A blend of the “wall lamp” and “torchiere,” the wallchiere is tall and slender with unique decorative elements. They direct light upward like torchieres while conserving floor spaces. Wallchieres are a prime choice for opulent displays.

6. Recessed Sconce

These sconces seem to radiate light from within the wall! All recessed sconces are hard-wired, which means homeowners may need to be creative about their placement.

7. Corner Wall Sconces

Corner wall sconces are designed to fit into the corners of a room. Aside from that, they can cross over with any of the previous types.

8. Candle Sconce

These sconces can either be wall-mounted candle holders or electric/battery-powered light sources that look like candle holders. The bulbs of imitation candles may take more time to replace, but they’re still relatively easy to find at hardware stores near you.

Candle sconces have been around for centuries, way before gas lamps and electric lighting were invented. 

TIP: The location of your wall sconces should also influence the type of sconce you choose. For example, a spotlight sconce may cast undesirable shadows if installed beside a vanity mirror. Flush mount or recessed sconces are more suitable in this case.

 

5 Types of Outdoor Wall Sconces to Light Up Your Yard

Think your porch, garden, or backyard could use some decorative lighting as well? It’s a good thing there are wall sconces designed specifically for the outdoors! Here are 5 common types for you to choose from.

1. Lantern-Style Sconce

Welcome your visitors with a pair of these sconces mounted beside your front door! You’ll usually find them in traditional or rustic designs.

2. Barn Light Sconce

These are a bit more casual than lantern-style sconces. You can find green, white, and even bright red barn light sconces for a pop of color.

3. Floodlight-Style Sconce

Thanks to their broad and focused beams, floodlights are great for providing ample outdoor lighting. In addition, many of them use long-lasting, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

4. Bulkhead Sconce

The durable geometric design of bulkhead sconces builds more on function than form. However, these lights can still add some nautical charm to your home!

5. Motion Sensor Sconce

These sconces only light up when they sense someone nearby, which can help you save on energy. They’re often built in floodlight-style designs for ample lighting. Motion sensor sconces can also offer security by alerting you to movement in a particular area of your property. 

 

5 Different Kinds of Wall Sconce Designs for Any Aesthetic

If you look hard enough, you can find wall sconces that perfectly match the look and feel of your home. It still helps to know the general design that you’re looking for, however! Here are the 5 common designs you’ll encounter while browsing or window shopping for wall sconces.

    1. Contemporary

  • Showcases a sleek, contemporary look
  • Mostly flush mounted or armed, though you can definitely find other types of sconces with a contemporary design as well
  • Usually features silver tones and may even be made of stainless steel

    2. Traditional

  • More ornate and formal with more ornamental details
  • Can add a touch of luxury to your home
  • Great for houses that have a traditional or antique feel

    3. Transitional

  • Sits comfortably between contemporary and traditional
  • Combines minimalist details with contemporary shapes
  • Can match almost any other type of décor

    4. Cottage Style

  • Features homey design elements
  • Often come in light neutral or pastel hues
  • Great for homes with a warm country look

    5. Rustic

  • Dark colors and animal motifs
  • Perfect for a log cabin aesthetic
  • Can add character to any home

The right wall sconces are a surefire way to provide perfect lighting and extra flair. Bookmark this buying guide, and you can have an easier time finding the best wall sconces for your home!

Think you’ll find this buying guide helpful? Visit our blog for even more useful tips on interior design.

Less is More: 60 Awesome Tiny Houses You’ll Want to Live In

Can you imagine surviving on just a few hundred square feet of living space? It may seem far-fetched, since you’ll need to squeeze a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a living room into whatever space you have. Surprisingly, there are people who handle this with style in tiny houses. 

Demand for tiny houses is on the rise for several reasons, in fact. These compact little homes often demand less resources, making them efficient and environmentally friendly. Some of them can even be towed across the country!

Curious about tiny houses yet? Take a look at these 60 houses, all coming in at 650 square feet at most. You’ll be surprised at how diverse and luxurious these homes can be despite their limited space!

 

60 Awesome Tiny Houses That Are Worth a Peek

 

Trailers

There’s a certain convenience in being able to tow your home across the country with you. Check out these tiny houses on wheels!

1. Webster

Webster Design Webster Design

Image sources: Pin Oak Tiny Homes, Journal-Republican

One of the Webster’s most striking features is its 5’ octagonal window. The staircases to the lofts also happen to frame the window, which fills the house with natural light. Hard to believe that before the Webster, builder Scott Heffley had never put together a tiny house before!

Take a seat on the roll-out porch or cedar balcony, and you might forget that the Webster comes in at just 386 square feet.

2. DeeDee

DeeDee Design DeeDee Design

Image source: Tiny Living

The pastel-colored DeeDee may look small from the outside, but it uses its 400 square feet of interior space very well. It squeezes in a sofa set, a full-sized kitchen with marble counters, a bathroom with a fiberglass tub, and a queen-sized bed. The little front porch is a delightful touch, too!

Want the exact romantic look and feel from the pictures? Bantam Built (formerly Titan Tiny Homes) offers DeeDee tiny houses fully furnished!

3. Coastal Craftsman

Coastal Craftsman Design Coastal Craftsman Design

Image source: Dwell

A white interior with dark wooden accents and shiplap detailing echoes the basic design elements of a sailboat. The loft’s railings might also remind you of a boat’s deck! 

Other materials used for this stylish tiny house include reclaimed wood and concrete. For example, the little dining table in the Coastal Craftsman is made of salvaged walnut.

4. Escher

Escher

Image source: New Frontier Tiny Homes

The Escher is perfectly sized for a family of 3. One end of the gooseneck trailer can fit a king-sized bed. This tiny house also boasts of a luxurious bathroom, a smaller loft where a baby could play, and loads of storage space. Pull out the stairs to the kitchen and bedroom to reveal a foldable dining table.

Huge glass windows on both sides of the Escher allow natural light to pour into this tiny home. One of these windows can slide up if you want to bring the outdoors inside! 

5. Cornelia

Cornelia Cornelia Design

Image source: New Frontier Tiny Homes

This tiny house was originally designed for children’s author Cornelia Funke. Strategically placed windows flood the house with natural light while providing necessary privacy. One of these windows is placed in front of the writing desk, too!

The floor of the Cornelia is made of mixed wood, while its siding is made of maple.

6. Nugget

Nugget Nugget Design

Image source: Modern Tiny Living

The Nugget is small enough to be classified as a micro house. However, it packs all the features of any other top-notch RV home, including insulation and complete off-grid capability. There’s even room for a mini-fridge! Who knew that 102 square feet could be so comfortable?

7. Vantage

Vantage Vantage Design

Image source: Tiny Heirloom

You’d honestly expect a tiny house named the Vantage to provide great views all around. And it does! Three large glass windows surround the queen-sized bed on one end of this tiny house. There are more windows by the kitchen counter and on the bright red front door. Enjoy taking in the scenery around you whether you go for the 24’, 20’, or 16’ version of the Vantage.

8. Craftsman

Craftsman Craftsman Design

Image source: Tiny Heirloom

Not to be confused with the Coastal Craftsman, although this little house is just as charming. The Craftsman is cozy yet classy thanks to a white interior with beautiful wood accents. It has just enough space for a kitchen with an oven, as well as a closet housing a washing machine. 

You can opt for an additional storage loft across the king-sized bedroom loft. The front door has a small porch by default, however. Choose between 24’ and 28’ versions of the Craftsman.

9. Degsy

Degsy Degsy Design

Image source: Tiny Living by 84 Lumber

It’s just 160 square feet in size, but the Degsy makes room for necessities and a touch of luxury. A high ceiling keeps the tiny house from feeling stuffy. Meanwhile, a counter and a pair of bar stools form a compact and casual dining space. A lovely wooden interior adds both texture and warmth.

10. Bluestem

Bluestem Bluestem Design

Image source: Switchgrass Tiny Homes

Decorated in earthy tones, the 24’ Bluestem gives off a welcoming rustic vibe. A lovely kitchen, a combination washer and dryer, a full-sized bathroom, and a king-sized sleeping loft all fit into the Bluestem’s 260 square feet of space. The staircase leading to the loft doubles as storage, too.

11. Draper

Draper Draper Design

Image source: New Atlas

Don’t let the dark exterior of the 30’ Draper fool you! Behind the black corrugated metal siding is a cozy little house decked out in whitewashed pine. A full kitchen with an oven and a range hood takes up most of the interior. The U-shaped sofa nearby can convert into a 2nd bed, while the first bedroom is accessible via ladder.

The Draper’s porch can be lowered by winch, revealing a sliding door. This porch happens to be adjacent to the kitchen–perfect for little dinner parties!

12. La Tête dans les Étoiles

La Tête dans les Étoiles La Tête dans les Étoiles Design

Image source: New Atlas

This tiny house by French builder Optinid is beautiful enough at first glance. Its clean wooden finish treads the line between classic and modern. Climb into the loft bedroom, however, and you have the option of sliding the roof open! After all, “la tête dans les etoiles” translates to “head in the stars” in English.

Other stellar features include off-the-grid capabilities, such as a solar power array on the roof.

13. Denali XL

Denali XL Denali XL Design

Image source: Timbercraft Tiny Homes

Timbercraft prides itself on its lineup of luxury tiny homes. Just take a look at the Denali XL! With a cottage aesthetic, shiplap walls, and a bedroom with enough headroom to stand in, this tiny house is as comfortable as it is beautiful. 

14. Chalet

Chalet Chalet Design

Image source: Molecule Tiny Homes

Both the inside and outside of the 20’ long Chalet are easy on the eyes. This colorful cabin is built with a lovely little porch and lots of windows for admiring the outdoors. Take the stairs to the loft bedroom, and you’ll find a small door that opens into a second-floor balcony! 

15. Ébène

Ébène Ébène Design

Image source: Minimaliste Tiny Houses

For a tiny house, the Ébène is wonderfully spacious with two bedrooms and 360 square feet to move around in. Its living room can comfortably be converted into a dining area for 6. A large window opposite this area helps keep the room bright and airy. Finally, a hydronic heating floor keeps occupants warm without sacrificing too much budget.

16. The True STUDIO

The True STUDIO The True STUDIO Design

Image source: New Atlas

The True STUDIO incorporates both style and sustainability into 160 square feet of living space. Modern Dwellings in Oregon offers fully furnished tiny houses with all the modern comforts you need, from a mini-fridge to USB outlets. This tiny house can also be outfitted with off-the-grid technology, like TESLA powerwall systems, as well as an upper deck.

17. Northwest Mountaineer

Northwest Mountaineer Northwest Mountaineer Design

Image source: Tiny SMART House

The Northwest Mountaineer is mostly built from reclaimed materials for a rustic feeling. The redwood interior, for example, used to be part of a governor’s mansion. In addition, its bathroom is fitted with a jacuzzi and a cedar sauna!

18. Ascot

Ascot Ascot Design

Image source: Tiny House Building Company

The Ascot fits so much functionality into a tiny house measuring just 18’ long! It cleverly tucks its refrigerator, microwave, and washing machine into the staircase to the bedroom loft. Also, instead of handrails, it uses sleek grab bars to keep with the rest of its minimalistic decor.

19. Sportsman

Sportsman Sportsman Design

Image source: Tiny Living

This 28’ tiny house brings together the comforts of modern living and the coziness of a tiny home. However, its standout feature is a rock climbing wall! An outdoor shower and outdoor locker make this house a perfect fit for the sporty homeowner.

20. Port-a-Bach

Port-a-Bach

Image source: Atelierworkshop

You’ll always be able to get your daily dose of fresh air in a tiny house like the Port-a-Bach. One of its walls opens into a porch and reveals sliding glass doors. At the same time, one end of the tiny house can be unfolded into an open-air double-deck sleeping space. The Port-a-Back also has screen systems which you can use to divide the living space into rooms or shelter the deck area.

21. Funky East Austin Rental

Funky East Austin Rental Funky East Austin Rental Design

Image source: Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

The wood-and-metal exterior of this tiny home is a preview of the interior’s steampunk charm! Walk inside and you’ll see pipe fittings used as rails, a slidable barnwood wall, live edge woodwork, and a hanging couch. Can you believe that this house is just 12 feet long?

22. Dewdrop

Dewdrop Dewdrop Design

Image source: Zyl Vardos

The 18’ Dewdrop is a fine example of the high-quality craftsmanship at Zyl Vardos. Some of its features are a sofa that unfolds into a queen size bed, a round metal bathtub, and a giant Zyl Moon window that faces the kitchen. Its whimsical construction serves a double purpose, making the tiny house weatherproof in spite of wet and warm climates.

23. Big Whimsy

Big WhimsyBig Whimsy Design

Image source: Wind River Tiny Homes

Just how fancy can this adorably named tiny house be? At first glance, you’ll notice the Big Whimsy’s custom lily pad spiral stairs and penny countertop. It also has two lofts, an outdoor shower, and a Bose sound-surround system among other things. The Big Whimsy is also built with a cat walk between lofts for the pleasure of feline residents.

24. Monocle

Monocle Monocle Design

Image source: Wind River Tiny Homes

For a tiny house measuring 24’ in length, the Monocle is both roomy and luxurious. A predominantly white interior grants an airy aesthetic and the illusion of space. Accents such as brass handles and wooden furniture add texture and warmth. 

This tiny home gets its name from the giant round window that faces the luxurious bathroom. How about watching clouds float by while lounging in the Monocle’s sizable bath tub?

25. Urban Payette with Elevator Bed

Urban Payette with Elevator Bed Urban Payette with Elevator Bed Design

Image source: New Atlas

Regular versions of the Urban Payette by TruForm Tiny already have enough room for two loft bedrooms. However, you can opt for a second bed that can be raised or lowered with an elevator! It can also be hand-cranked in case of a power failure. Once the second bed is raised, you can unfold a desk underneath.

26. Gypsy Mermaid

Gypsy Mermaid Gypsy Mermaid Design

Image source: Gypsy Mermaid

The exterior of the Gypsy Mermaid immediately gives off bohemian vibes. The interior is a work of art in itself, however! Check out the detailed trim on the loft and the stylish oven that seems to have come straight out of Europe. 

The Gypsy Mermaid site has pictures of the entire construction process. As it turns out, every part of this tiny house was a labor of love.

27. Honey on the Rock

Honey on the Rock

Image source: Carpenter Owl

The intriguing Honey on the Rock was built around an antique whiskey still. There’s an exciting variety of shapes throughout this tiny house, from the concave roof to the porthole windows in the bedroom loft. Other details include copper plumbing and hand cut wood fixtures. The whole house is enclosed in a walnut exterior with cedar trim.

Take the spiral staircase to the upper deck to access a soaker tub! You can also crawl through a secret door from the bedroom straight to the tub. This door is hidden behind a large sketch of the Honey on the Rock.

28. Pequod

Pequod Design Pequod

Image source: Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

Named after the boat in Moby Dick, the 26’ Pequod is one of Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses’ most ambitious creations so far. The wavy shape of the ceiling both maximizes headroom in the lofts and minimizes ceiling height in other areas. A plexiglass walkway connects the Pequod’s two lofted bedrooms.

29. Our Little Secret

Our Little Secret Our Little Secret Design

Image source: Beach Bliss Living

A wide wooden porch hides the wheels of this cozy, beach-themed tiny home on St. George’s Island in Florida. Its kitchen has enough room to fit a fridge, a microwave, and an oven. A pair of quiet generators feed electricity to the house’s appliances, while solar panels power the lights and electrical sockets. 

“Our Little Secret” used to have a small porch that fit just two chairs. The porch has since been expanded, making it hard to believe that this the house is built on a trailer!

30. Cozy California Retreat

Cozy California Retreat Cozy California Retreat Design

Image source: The Tiny Project

This 20’ house has an all-glass front door and a host of windows to let in natural light.  Its living room also doubles as workspace featuring three desks, one of which can be folded up. This custom-built house also has a three-foot back porch. 

Owner and builder Alek Lisefski is now selling construction plans to whoever would like to try building this cozy tiny home for themselves. Doesn’t it look like a worthwhile project?

31. The House Bus

The House Bus The House Bus Design

Image source: Tiny Home Tour

Julie and Andrew Puckett have transformed this 1900 Blue Bird school bus into a 240-square-foot home. A fully-furnished kitchen faces a luxurious couch, which doubles as a handy storage trunk. The ceiling of the bus is lined with long shelves filled with books and other belongings. 

The House Bus also features custom furniture. For one, the cupboards were all custom built by Julie’s father!

Treehouses

A tiny house perched on a tree can bring out any homeowner’s inner child. There aren’t any laws stating that treehouses are only for kids, after all.

32. The Listons’ Luxury Treehouse

The Listons’ Luxury Treehouse

Image source: The Telegraph

This tiny treehouse can be mistaken for a playground fixture thanks to the slide. However, a peek inside reveals cozy living space for a family of four and their pet dog! 

Steve and Jennale Liston’s treehouse in Illinois is made of repurposed and reclaimed materials. Aside from the adorable slide, other features include a sweeping Pella window, a shotgun shell case-turned-nightstand, and a 100-year-old door with a glass handle.

33. A Treehouse in Brooklyn

A Treehouse in Brooklyn

Image source: Pinterest

Alexandra Meyn’s treehouse in Brooklyn is just 48 square feet in size. It also cost just $400 to build! However, it gives off a well-worn New Orleans aesthetic, with a combination of refined and bohemian aesthetics. This little treehouse has also been strong enough to withstand blizzards and a tornado!

34. Sunset Beach Treehouse Bungalow

Sunset Beach Treehouse Bungalow

Image source: iTinyHouses.com

Surrounded by lava rocks and tropical foliage, the Sunset Beach Treehouse Bungalow sits at the end of a 100-step stone path. Three people can comfortably stay in this 250-square-foot treehouse, which includes a full-sized bed, a kitchenette, and a bathroom.

35. Enchanted Garden Treehouse

Enchanted Garden Treehouse

Image source: House Beautiful

Dan Alexander’s 196-square-foot treehouse looks like it belongs in the middle of the woods. You’ll be surprised to know that it’s located less than half an hour away from downtown Chicago! In fact, it’s often rented out on Airbnb whenever the builder and his family aren’t using it. 

This tiny house overlooks a garden with a waterfall and a koi pond. In addition, it comes with a fireplace, a private deck, and air conditioning for a comfortable stay.

36. Raven Loft

Raven Loft Raven Loft Design

Image source: The Spruce

The 165-square-foot Raven Loft sits 16 feet off the ground, resting in a western red cedar tree. A staircase leads up to the front door and the main living space, where you can find a daybed, a kitchenette, a mini-fridge, and a composting toilet. Another set of stairs inside the house leads up to a second floor with a large bed and a higher window! 

This tiny house also sets a good example when it comes to minimizing footprints. Aside from its toilet and its induction cook plate, the house is built from reclaimed or second-hand materials.

37. Forest House 02

Forest House 02 Forest House 02 Design

Image source: D12 Design

This tiny house by Vietnamese builder D12 Design rests on two stilts to avoid disturbing existing flora and fauna. It also features an L shaped layout for a spacious look. A net surrounds a nearby tree and connects the two sections of the house, although there aren’t any details on whether the net is safe to walk on! Even without access to the net, the Forest House 02 is still very roomy, with 484 square feet at your disposal.

38. The Crib

The Crib

Image source: Broadhurst Architects

This chic tiny house takes after traditional corn cribs, from the slanted walls to the stilts underneath. It includes a sleeping loft, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen with an expandable wall. Unlike other tiny houses, the Crib can be taken down and relocated instead of transported in one piece! Once it reaches its new location, it’s just a matter of setting up this 250-square-foot structure all over again.

Houseboats and Floating Cottages

Imagine waking up on a floating paradise every single day, or gazing out at the water while sipping your morning coffee. Live in a tiny houseboat like the ones below, and this can become your reality!

39. Harbor Cottages’ Tiny Houseboat

Harbor Cottages’ Tiny Houseboat Harbor Cottages’ Tiny Houseboat Design

Image source: Harbor Cottage Houseboats

This little houseboat comes in at just 400 square feet, but it brings aboard all the comforts of home. Its main floor is so spacious that it can fit a kitchen island and have lots of room to spare. There’s also a spacious downstairs stateroom. Plus, the roofdeck has a slide, a diving board, and a hot tub for enjoying lazy afternoons along the river!

40. Le Koroc

Le Koroc Le Koroc Design

Image source: Tiny House Talk

Le Koroc by Canada-based Daigno is a sight to behold with its aluminum pontoons and rot-resistant cedar construction. Inside, you can sit down comfortably for meals before converting the dinette into a bed at night. Le Koroc also features a full bathroom in the little room adjacent to the kitchen.

It’s also possible to live off the grid on this tiny house! A solar panel on the roof is perfectly capable of running the mini-fridge in the kitchen. You can even install a greywater filter for even more eco-friendliness.

41. Sacramento River Floating Cottage

Sacramento River Floating Cottage Sacramento River Floating Cottage Design

Image source: Tiny House Talk

The Sacramento River Floating Cottage isn’t built for travel, but it still combines comfortable home living with lakeside calmness. Come aboard and you can easily forget that you’re really inside a floating cottage. Some amenities include a kitchen with a microwave and a mini-fridge, as well as ample storage for musical instruments (since one of the owners is in a band).

42. No1 Houseboat

No1 Houseboat No1 Houseboat Design

Image source: No1 Houseboat

Built in the Czech Republic, the No1 Houseboat offers sweeping sea views that make it worthy of its ambitious name. Not only does it have glass windows all around its main floor, but it also has a spacious roof deck! You can even peek at the sea from the bedroom without compromising your privacy. There are 40-foot and 47-foot-long versions of the No1 Houseboat.

43. The Shantyboat

The Shantyboat The Shantyboat Design

Image sources: A Secret History of American River People and Atlas Obscura

This is the very shantyboat piloted by Wes Modes, the brains behind A Secret History of American River People. Like traditional shantyboats, Modes’ shantyboat is made of salvaged and scavenged materials. However, it manages to house a stovetop, a few plants, and a bookcase secured with bungee cord, apart from the essentials.

44. The Exbury Egg

The Exbury Egg The Exbury Egg Design

Image source: Spud Group, Exbury Egg Tour

It’s not everyday that you’ll spot a giant wooden egg floating on the water! The Exbury Egg is designed to rise and fall with the tide. This tiny house was built to be completely self-sufficient to preserve the wildlife around it. There’s no electricity on board, in fact. According to artist Stephen Turner, a former resident of the Exbury Egg, he’d simply go to bed at sundown. Talk about a technology purge!

45. Chateau Bathtub

Chateau Bathtub Chateau Bathtub Design

Image source: Maine Home and Design

The Chateau Bathtub was originally meant to be for rent, but owners Foy and Louisa Brown decided they wanted it for themselves. This tiny house is built of pine shiplap atop a custom-made pontoon. Its lightly finished interior is a nice neutral canvas for white furniture and blue accents. Come nightfall, the couple relies on oil lamps and solar lights to move about.

Stationary Houses

A tiny house in a fixed location can be both a perfect residences and a modern work of art. Should you ever live in a house like the ones below, expect a lot of visits from curious guests!

46. Wedge

Wedge

Image source: Wheelhaus

The Wedge gets its name from its sloping roof, balanced by the tapering windows underneath. These same windows and roof keep the interior airy, even if the whole building comes in at just 400 square feet. Solid surface countertops, soft close doors, top-class cabinetry, and a frameless glass shower lend the Wedge a touch of luxury.

47. Independent Kasita

Independent Kasita Independent Kasita Design

Image source: Dwell

It’s tiny, it’s smart, and it’s stackable! The standalone Kasita comes with home automation and storage in almost every nook of the house, keeping it clutter-free. It also has a built-in system to control lighting, temperature, shade, and even sound. A 10-foot glass cube on one end of the Kasita keeps the house filled with natural light. 

48. Odds and Ends’ Tiny House

Odds and Ends’ Tiny House Odds and Ends’ Tiny House Design

Image source: The Southern Illinoisan

The beauty of each tiny house built by Harley Jones lies in its familiarity. Sure, the main room with a hardwood floor serves as a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom all at once. Aside from that, it looks like somewhere you could easily drop your bags and settle down. Classic wooden cabinetry and pale-colored walls add to the timeless warmth.

49. Repurposed Garage

Repurposed Garage

Image source: Country Living

Michelle de la Vega decided to be her own contractor when she transformed her garage into a fully furnished 250-square-foot home. She sourced her building materials from industrial salvage yards to keep costs down. A lot of the furniture in her tiny house is repurposed, too! Some amenities in this garage-turned-house include a sleeping loft, a bathroom, and a wood-burning stove.

50. Ufogel

Ufogel Ufogel Design

Image source: Tiny Living

The Austrian Ufogel certainly stands out with its intriguing pentagonal shape. Step inside and you’ll be pleased to see how roomy this tiny house is! There’s a cantilevered table for eight, a spacious bedroom with a separate area for kids, and a nook with panoramic countryside views. Natural light pours in through the Ufogel’s numerous windows.

51. Custom Tiny House

Custom Tiny House

Image source: Simple Solar Homesteading

This tiny house comfortably fits a kitchen, a bathroom, a dining area, and a living area into a 14’ x 14’ space! There’s enough room for an office and a bedroom on the second floor, too. 

On top of that, this little cabin is a fine example of off-the-grid living! For one, it harnesses solar power and wind power so that you can use kitchen appliances, pump water, and charge gadgets. Full insulation also means it can be used year round.

52. A45

A45 A45 Design

Image source: Home Stratosphere

A quick look at the A45 and you can guess that it was named after the slope of its roof. This very slope allows this tiny house to reach 13’ in height! The A45 features a sleek interior revolving around the feeling of hygge. There’s also a kitchenette, a wood-burning fireplace, and a triangular floor-to-ceiling window for natural lighting.

53. Zen Tiny House

Zen Tiny House Zen Tiny House Design

Image source: Living Big in a Tiny House

This Zen-inspired tiny house blends Scandinavian and Japanese architecture. Residents walk through a Scandinavian sky blue door, which matches the carpet and the upholstery in the living room. A Zen garden in the bed loft provides privacy and calm. In addition, the high ceiling of this 23’ house prevents residents from feeling cramped up or stuffy.

54. Brick House

Brick House Brick House Design

Image source: Christia Azevedo

This 93-square-foot tiny home has a kitchen and a living room on the first floor, with a loft bedroom overhead. The combination of white paint and faded brick keeps the interior warm yet modern. Can you imagine that this 93-square-foot house used to be a simple laundry room?

55. The Shepherds Hut Retreat

The Shepherds Hut Retreat The Shepherds Hut Retreat Design

Image source: The Shepherds Hut Retreat

Each tiny house in the Shepherds Hut Retreat contains a fully functioning kitchen, a bathroom, and a cozy bed. The huts also overlook a nearby pond, which you can gaze upon from the comfort of a private deck. A fire pit keeps occupants comfortable on chilly nights. 

56. Mushroom Cabin Dome

Mushroom Cabin Dome

Image source: Thoughtfully Unraveled

The main floor of this uniquely-shaped tiny house has enough space for a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. Climb into the loft bedroom and you can stare out a partial window for a view of the nearby redwoods. You might also catch sight of the hummingbirds that often visit the nearby garden.

Think you’ll crave for modern comfort during your stay at the Mushroom Dome Cabin? You’ll be able to find an LCD screen, a DVD player, a fridge, and a whole array of kitchen supplies for you to use.

57. The Shack

The Shack The Shack Design

Image source: Tiny House Swoon

Go green and live off the grid with a tiny house like the Shack. Its white walls compliment both the minimal decorations inside and the lush forest just next door. The Shack doesn’t use electricity, so you’ll be getting heat from a heat stove and collecting rainwater for your showers. This tiny house also sits on stilts to discourage any unwanted animal visitors.

58. The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady

Image source: Country Living

The Victorian-style Painted Lady is a lovely sight against the Texan landscape. Its bright exterior features six colors that seem to match the earth, grass, and sky. Inside, you’ll find a kitchen, a living room, a classic Murphy bed, and a bathroom featuring a river rock floor. Amazingly, this beautiful tiny house is almost completely made of salvaged material, from the beams to the windows to the studs!

59. Chicon House

Chicon House Chicon House Design

Image source: ICON

While most other tiny houses take months or years to put together, the Chicon House was 3D-printed in a matter of weeks! Because its concrete walls were printed in layers, the inside and outside of this tiny house feature an evenly ridged texture. Windows around the house and right under the ceiling provide the Chicon House with natural light.

The Chicon House serves as a proof of concept for convenient yet sturdy housing for disaster-prone areas. Its 3D printer, the Vulcan, is built to operate in remote areas where potable water and technical assistance are at a premium.

60. Ecocapsule

Ecocapsule Ecocapsule Design

Image source: Ecocapsule

With off-the-grid capabilities and a sleek, modern design, the Ecocapsule might as well be the tiny house of the future. Solar cells and wind turbine provide the house with electricity, while rain collection systems take care of water demands. The shape of the 120-square-foot Ecocapsule also helps occupants keep warm no matter where the house itself is located. It’s also big enough for two people to live comfortably!

 

ALSO READ: 7 Trends for Sustainable Living in 2019

 

These 60 houses prove that a tiny house can be as comfortable and luxurious as a fully furnished mansion. It’s just a matter of maximizing resources you have, with eco-friendliness as a huge plus. Small-scale living also takes interior designs to new levels, thanks to the added challenge of limited space. No wonder these tiny houses are becoming popular!

 

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12 Zero-Waste Essentials for Your Modern Kitchen

 

While it’s important to take steps to avoid food wastage, food is far from the only waste your kitchen can produce. Look back on every time you crumpled up some cling wrap, tossed a wad of paper napkins into the trash, or threw out a plastic bag. Now, try to imagine how much waste that has built up to after a full year. Not a small amount, is it?

Fortunately, it’s not too late to make the necessary changes if you really want to achieve a zero-waste kitchen. Just take note of the 12 zero-waste essentials listed below!

 

12 Essentials to Complete Your Zero-Waste Kitchen

 

1. Cloth Napkins

Did you know that the average American uses up 2,200 paper napkins a year? Cloth napkins might seem more expensive at first, but they’ll help you cut costs in the long run. You just have to wash them when they get soiled, and they’re good to go. Aim for cloth napkins that don’t come in plastic packaging!

TIP: Go for dark-colored napkins and patterns. The colors and prints draw attention away from the stains that your napkins will eventually accumulate.

2. Dish Brushes

Disposable commercial sponges come in plastic packaging, accumulate bacteria, and gradually become discolored and smelly. Instead of buying sponge after sponge, switch to bristled brushes to scrub your dishes clean.

It helps to find wooden brushes that you can compost once they’re past their usable life span. Some brushes, like this one from the Package Free Shop, have replaceable and compostable heads.

3. Glass Spray Bottles

DIY cleaning solutions will be right at home inside a glass spray bottle. Some zero-waste homeowners keep two bottles around, one for homemade cleaner and the other for tap water.

4. Mason Jars

They’re functional, they’re portable, and they’re a charming sight on modern kitchen shelves. No wonder mason jars are so popular among zero-waste homeowners. Some people fill them with juices and smoothies while others use them for soups and oatmeal on the go.

Looking for some variety or a bit of European charm? Weck jars are Europe’s answer to the mason jar, and they’re just as stylish and practical.

5. Stainless Steel Funnels

Funnels make it much easier to transfer food from bulk containers to jars or small tubs without any messes. After all, a zero-waste lifestyle ought to be a zero-spill lifestyle as well. As a bonus, stainless steel funnels won’t crack or break like their plastic counterparts.

6. Beeswax Wrap

Did you know that traditional cling wrap can leach Bisphenol-A and other toxic chemicals onto your food? Reusable beeswax wrap is far safer and better for the environment. Just remember to wash it with biodegradable soap in cold water so that the wax doesn’t melt off.

Some brands such as Bee’s Wrap offer different sizes for all your zero-waste kitchen wrapping needs. It even supplies specialty beeswax wraps for bread and cheese!

7. Organic Cotton Coffee Filters

Say goodbye to plastic-wrapped disposable coffee filters! Reusable filters made of organic cotton are surprisingly easy to wash, and they’re perfectly compostable.

To start you off, a pack of CoffeeSocks can replace 500 disposable filters. There are varieties for hot brew and cold brew, as well as commercial-sized filters for shops!

8. Reusable Cloth Bags

Cloth bags are as versatile as they are varied. Use them to store food in pantries, pack for picnics, or opt out of plastic bags when doing groceries. They also come in a wide range of eye-catching prints and designs.

9. Eco-Friendly Sandwich Bags

There will come a time when you need to throw together a sandwich and eat it on the go. If you used to stock your kitchen with plastic sandwich bags, switch them out for pouches made of quick-drying cloth or silicon. These can be washed and reused, even if you’ve gotten mayonnaise all over the inside!

You can also opt for disposable bags made of unwaxed paper, which can be recycled or composted. Lunchskins’ paper sandwich bags stand out for being sealable and featuring simple but colorful designs.

10. Bandanas and Rags

Bandanas and rags are a great zero-waste swap for traditional paper towels. Use them to dry your hands, wipe up messes, or wrap up food without having to deal with a disposable wad of soiled paper afterwards.

11. Sustainable Kitchenware

Buying zero-waste kitchenware made from wood or bamboo can be more than a stylistic choice. These materials are far better for the environment than plastic, especially when the source material is harvested responsibly. You might also be surprised at how flexible wood and bamboo can be. Bambu’s selection of kitchen essentials ranges from spatulas to tongs to cutting boards and condiment cups.

12. Reusable Coffee Cups

You want to take your morning coffee with you, but you don’t want it to leak onto the inside of your bag. Reusable coffee cups are the answer you’re looking for. The best ones combine style, durability, insulation, and resistance to leaks.

The benefits of reusable coffee cups extend beyond the kitchen, too! As an eco-friendly plus, some coffee shops offer discounts to customers who have their drinks poured into their reusable cups.

A sustainable set of zero-waste essentials is the perfect finishing touch for a modern kitchen. Remember these 12 essentials, and you’ll be on your way to a kitchen that is both stylish and sustainable.

Visit our blog regularly for more posts about zero-waste kitchens and sustainable living.

6 Tried and Tested Natural Toothpaste Recipes for a Sustainable Bathroom

You might be using homemade cleaning solutions as part of a sustainable lifestyle, but have you considered making your own natural toothpaste? With more people realizing that store-bought products often contains harmful substances or comes in disposable packaging, natural toothpaste is now on the rise.

Whip up your own toothpaste, and you can have control over what goes into the recipe. Some of the ingredients may even come from your own kitchen. It helps that these organic recipes can be stored in reusable jars, which are more sustainable than disposable tubes used for commercial toothpaste.

If you want to achieve a truly modern bathroom and an eco-friendly lifestyle, you can give homemade toothpaste a try. To start you off, here are 6 natural and organic toothpaste recipes to choose from.

 

6 Natural and Organic Toothpaste Recipes to Try

 

1. Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

This natural toothpaste recipe combines the cleansing power of baking soda and the antibacterial benefits of coconut oil. Its sweet and minty taste comes from organic ingredients, too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp softened coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp stevia
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

Simply mix all ingredients together and store them in a reusable container.

To use, you may dip your brush into the toothpaste or scoop it out with a popsicle stick.

Recipe from The Pistachio Project.

2. Vegan Toothpaste with Vegetable Glycerin

Concerned about animal glycerin in store-bought toothpaste? Here’s a natural toothpaste recipe that specifically uses vegetable glycerin for guilt-free pearly whites.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp vegetable glycerin
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 5 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus essential oil (pure)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the oil in a pot.
  2. Cook on low heat for five minutes or until the mixture becomes a paste. Stir frequently.
  3. Let the paste cool, and then add your choice of essential oil.
  4. Store the toothpaste in a sterile jar at room temperature.

Recipe borrowed from Mother Nature Network.

3. Natural Toothpaste with Bentonite Clay

Say hello to bentonite clay, which polishes the teeth and helps remineralize it while destroying bacteria all in one go. This recipe mixes bentonite clay with real sea salt, among others, for more scrubbing action and antibacterial power.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 2-3 tbsp filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp real sea salt
  • 10-15 drops peppermint, cinnamon, or spearmint essential oil
  • A few drops of liquid stevia (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, clay, and salt. Add one tablespoon of water first.
  2. Cream the ingredients together with the back of a spoon. Add more water to adjust the consistency, as well as some stevia to taste.
  3. Add in your choice of essential oil and then mix until the toothpaste is well combined. Keep the toothpaste in an airtight container.

Originally posted on Thank Your Body.

4. Natural Whitening Toothpaste with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a classic tooth-whitening ingredient. Coconut oil and essential oils cover its faint, unsavory taste, though you can add a few drops of stevia for a sweeter flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (liquid form, warmer than 76°F or 24°C)
  • 10 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus essential oil (pure)

Instructions:

  1. Put the baking soda in a bowl, and then add the other ingredients. Mix until it forms a paste.
  2. Add baking soda if the mixture is too runny, or coconut oil if it’s too thick.
  3. Store in an opaque container, which keeps the hydrogen peroxide from decomposing.

NOTE: As much as you may want whiter teeth, you’ll have to choose a different recipe if you have dental fillings. Hydrogen peroxide can cause your fillings to leach mercury.

Recipe also taken from Mother Nature Network.

5. Remineralizing Toothpaste for Fighting and Healing Cavities

Your teeth can stay cavity-free or heal from tooth decay faster with the help of a remineralizing recipe. Check out this toothpaste recipe which includes the trace minerals that your teeth need.

Instructions:

  • 6 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 5 tbsp calcium carbonate
  • 1-2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 20-30 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5-10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 30 drops trace minerals
  • Filtered water

Instructions:

Simply mix all the ingredients together and store it in a glass jar afterwards. If your toothpaste is too hard or thick at first, just mix in some filtered water.

Originally posted on The Healthy Home Economist.

6. Three-Ingredient Natural Toothpaste

You might have noticed xylitol among the ingredients of several brands of toothpaste. And no wonder–it fights cavities, helps remineralize teeth, and acts as a sweetener all at once! Just try to look for xylitol which is non-GMO and sourced from birch trees instead of corn cobs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp xylitol
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Slightly warm up the coconut oil.
  2. Put all ingredients into a jar or bowl. Mix until they’re fully combined.
  3. Store the toothpaste in a small jar.

Recipe taken from Scratch Mommy.

NOTE: Sharing your homemade toothpaste with the rest of the family? You might want to have one toothpaste scoop or jar per member to prevent contamination. Also, do your best to keep water out of the toothpaste jar, or else the water may become a breeding ground for bacteria.

These 6 tried and tested natural toothpaste recipes can give you clean and healthy teeth while doing away with disposable containers or harmful ingredients. Try switching to natural toothpaste in your bathroom, and you can be a step closer to a zero-waste lifestyle!

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