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!

 

Liked this post? Visit our blog regularly for articles about sustainable living and space-saving tips.

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!

Liked this article? Visit our blog regularly for more posts about interior design and sustainable living.

Erica Lugbill Featured as a Top Interior Design Blogger

Erica Lugbill, founder and lead designer of high-end firm Lugbill Designs, has landed a spot among the top interior design bloggers on the Internet! In an article published in December 2018, cushion cover shop Wow Cushions complimented Erica’s “passion” for helping clients realize their dream homes.

 

Erica Lugbill Cited for “Relaxed and Energetic Approach”

 

Wow Cushions highlighted the “relaxed and energetic approach” that Erica embodies when it comes to bespoke interior design in Chicago. It also mentioned Erica’s regard for “ultimate luxury and comfort” as central to “uplifting everyday life.”

Based in Australia, Wow Cushions supplies stylish cushion covers and rugs for every taste. Wow Cushions’ high-quality products carry affordable prices thanks to the brand’s practice of buying directly from weavers and cushion makers.

From its establishment in 2010, Lugbill Designs has grown into one of the best interior design firms in Chicago. Thanks to its network of fully licensed contractors, it can take on virtually any project, from design refreshes to entire renovations. It also takes pride in the “choose your own adventure” approach to interior design that it offers to its clients.

Read Wow Cushions’ original article here.

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

9 Bathroom Swaps for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

You might have been taking steps towards an eco-friendly and sustainable bathroom, where you can relax and pamper yourself without any guilt. However, one surprising obstacle to this goal can be your current choice of bathroom products! Not everyone is aware of how wasteful commercial toothbrushes, traditional lotion, and even toilet paper can be.

Your sustainable bathroom needs zero-waste products to match. To help you get started, here are 9 zero-waste bathroom swaps definitely worth considering.

 

9 Zero-Waste Bathroom Swaps for a Sustainable Lifestyle

 

1. Bamboo/Aluminum Toothbrush

Substitute For: Commercial toothbrushes with synthetic bristles and plastic handles

An estimated 850,000,000 toothbrushes end up in landfills in the United States every year. Sounds like a lot of plastic, doesn’t it? You can take steps toward a zero-waste lifestyle without sacrificing your oral health by going for bamboo or aluminum toothbrushes.

  • Bamboo toothbrushes biodegrade after disposal. Be sure to determine whether the bristles on your bamboo toothbrush are biodegradable as well, however. Some bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles which need to be removed before the handle is disposed of or composted.
  • Meanwhile, aluminum toothbrushes can last you a lifetime. For one, Goodwell’s aluminum toothbrushes have replaceable composite bamboo heads and bristles made of binchotan charcoal.

2. Toothy Tabs

Substitute For: Traditional toothpaste in disposable tubes

Toothy tabs are incredibly easy to use, as well as great for travelling. Just pop one in your mouth, chew, and brush away. The crushed tablet will foams up and serve as the paste.

Understandably, toothy tabs may not be for everyone. Fortunately, there are other zero-waste alternatives, such as tooth powder or natural toothpaste in recyclable containers.

3. Water Flosser

Substitute For: Traditional dental floss made with plastic

A water flosser simply shoots a stream of water to remove food bits and plaque from between the teeth. Some people may find water flossers easier to use than traditional floss!

Still like flossing the old-fashioned way? Don’t worry, you can find natural silk floss in recyclable jars made either of glass or stainless steel.

4. Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Substitute For: Plastic razors

Did you know that around 2 billion disposable razors get thrown away each year? It doesn’t help that these disposable razors are also difficult to recycle. The next time you need a razor, try out a safety razor with replaceable and recyclable(!) blades. Aside from producing zero waste, safety razors yield better, cleaner shaves.

5. Bidet

Substitute For: Commercial toilet paper, which is often made of virgin pulp and wrapped in plastic

It might not be easy for everyone to switch out their toilet paper with a spray of water. However, aside from being a great step towards a zero-waste lifestyle, bidets can make your bathroom trips much more sanitary. No need to wipe here!

Want to keep some toilet paper around for family members or house guests? Aim for toilet paper that is

  • made from recycled material,
  • produced without chlorine or bleach processing, and
  • wrapped in paper or biodegradable material instead of plastic.

6. Organic Cloth Pads

Substitute For: Disposable pads made with plastic, as well as tampons which may contain chemicals

The average woman may use more than 10,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. A single reusable cloth pad can perfectly replace such products, only needing replacement every five years or so.

Another zero-waste substitute for commercial pads and tampons is the silicone menstrual cup.

7. Homemade Deodorant

Substitute For: Traditional deodorant

You may be concerned about what goes into commercial deodorant, or how it usually comes in a disposable plastic container. Why not switch to a homemade alternative without any harmful substances? Check out the deodorant recipe below!

Instructions:

  1. Combine 3 tbsp baking soda with 5 tbsp arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch.
  2. Mix in 6 tbsp shea butter with your fingers or a fork. You should end up with a mixture that resembles crumbly dough.
  3. Optional: Add 30-60 drops of essential oil.
  4. Whip the dough with a hand mixer.
  5. Transfer your fresh new deodorant to a clean glass jar.

Recipe originally posted on Mommypotamus.

8. Homemade Lotion

Substitute For: Traditional lotion

Not only does commercial lotion come in plastic containers, but it often contains chemicals you wouldn’t want on your skin, too. Fortunately, you can easily whip up your own zero-waste homemade lotion made of coconut oil!

Instructions:

  1. Whisk coconut oil with a fork until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add 3-6 drops of your favorite essential oil for every 1 oz of coconut oil.
  3. Stir and place in a glass jar.

Recipe taken from Note to Trash.

9. Soap Bars/Shampoo Bars

Substitute For: Commercial body wash and shampoo, which come in disposable containers and may contain harmful chemicals

These bars come with minimal disposable packaging, last longer than their bottled counterparts, and run no risk of spilling all over your travel kit. Plus, they wash just as well as body wash and shampoo respectively!

Do your best to find brands that either get rid of packaging completely or use eco-friendly packaging material. For example, Lush bars have zero packaging while Bestowed Essentials products use either compostable or recyclable packaging.

ALSO READ: 15 Space Saving Bathroom Design Ideas

Have you tried any of these 9 zero-waste bathroom swaps yet? It may take some time to get used to each swap, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. Enjoy having a stylish bathroom that is both elegant and environmentally friendly!

Visit our blog for more tips on zero-waste lifestyles and interior design.

Make Your Kitchen Eco-Friendly with These 7 Reusable Food Storage Containers

For a truly sustainable lifestyle, you need an eco-friendly kitchen complete with green appliances, homemade cleaners, and reusable food containers. By “reusable containers,” we don’t mean traditional plastic products that may taint your snacks with toxic chemicals! You’ll want to find durable containers made of sustainable food-grade material. To help you out, here are 7 eco-friendly and reusable food storage containers for your kitchen.

 

7 Reusable Food Storage Containers for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

 

1. Mason Jars

Mason Jars

Eco-friendly and affordable, mason jars are a great reusable option for food storage. It helps that they’re incredibly versatile. Place condiments and herbs in small jars, carry salads to work in medium jars, and keep grain or flour in large jars. These containers can even store soups, smoothies, and desserts, all while making your food look stunning.

2. Stainless Steel Containers

Stainless Steel Containers

Stainless steel containers might not be ultra-cheap, but they’re more than worth the price. These food storage containers are lightweight, durable, and plastic-free. They won’t react with acidic food or transfer smells from pungent dishes. Some of them come in stackable sets for saving space in your refrigerator or bringing packed lunch to work. These reusable containers can also survive a bad fall, coming away with a simple dent or scuff.

3. Glass Tubs

Glass Tubs

Image Source: cellcode.us

For dishes and larger portions that won’t fit very well in a mason jar, glass tubs are the way to go. Aside from being eco-friendly, they’re reusable for years on end as long as you don’t drop them. They can be stacked in your fridge, too. Find glass tubs with snap-on lids for added convenience.

Worried about plastic covers negating the eco-friendliness of your reusable glass tubs? You can easily find products with BPA-free lids.

4. Recycled Plastic

Recycled Plastic

If you don’t mind having some plastic around, you can go for polypropylene, or no. 5 plastic. Buy eco-friendly products made of recycled polypropylene, and you can help keep a bit more plastic out of landfills. Look for reusable, BPA-free storage containers from brands such as Preserve.

5. Silicone Food Bags

Eco-friendly Silicone Food Bags

Another type of BPA-free food container, these eco-friendly bags are made of food-grade silicone and can be used over and over again. They don’t stain even after holding pasta or tomato sauce. Reusable silicone food bags will also survive freezers, microwaves, and dishwashers!

6. Beeswax Wrap

Eco-friendly Beeswax Wrap

Say goodbye to traditional cling wrap! Beeswax wrap is reusable, eco-friendly, and just self-adhesive enough to avoid tangling up like cling wrap. You can mould it around glass bowls with the help of your hands’ warmth. To reuse beeswax cloth, simply hand-wash it with cold water and biodegradable soap, and then let it air dry.

Beeswax wrap may wear out after a year of use. Good thing it’s organic and completely compostable!

NOTE: Since you’ll only be cold-washing your beeswax wrap, it isn’t suitable for raw meat. You also can’t use it with pineapples, which contain enzymes that break down wax and resin.

7. Burlap Sacks

Eco-friendly Burlap Sacks

Some fruits and vegetables fare better in room temperature storage. Instead of putting them in flimsy single-use plastic bags, place produce in eco-friendly burlap sacks. These provide a dark and dry environment to keep root crops in top condition. The sight of burlap sacks can also add playful country charm to your kitchen. Plus, since they’re made of plant fibers, you can simply compost the sacks when they’re no longer usable.

Ready to commit to a more sustainable lifestyle? Switch to these 7 reusable food storage containers to complete your eco-friendly kitchen.

Liked this post? Visit our blog for more articles on sustainable living and home improvement.

8 Eco-Friendly Tips for a Sustainable Bathroom

If you’re taking steps towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, you should include a sustainable bathroom in your home improvement plans. After all, traditional bathroom setups can be surprisingly wasteful or harmful to the environment. To help you switch to a greener lifestyle more easily, here are 8 eco-friendly tips for a sustainable bathroom.

 

8 Tips for a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Bathroom

1. Invest in a Low-Flow Toilet

Older toilets dump anywhere between 3 to 7 gallons per flush! Cut down on your water consumption by getting an eco-friendly low-flow toilet, which uses 1.6 gallons or less.

Make your bathroom even more sustainable by finding a low-flow toilet with a dual-flush feature. Push its smaller flush button to deal with liquid waste while spending just 0.8 gallons of water, or press its larger button to flush solid waste with 1.6 gallons or less.

2. Shower Smart

Traditional shower heads use up 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute. This amounts to 50 to 80 gallons for a ten-minute shower! A low-flow head will cut down this figure by half. It’ll also greatly reduce the energy you use whenever you need hot water for a warm shower.

Another tip for using less water and live a sustainable lifestyle? Shorten your showers. Five minutes may be all you really need.

3. Go Tankless

While a tanked water heater provides a constant supply of hot water, it results in standby loss, or wasted energy from always having the heater on. Switch it out with a tankless water heater, which heats only on demand.

That being said, the upfront costs of tankless water heaters may be beyond some homeowners’ budgets. An alternative tip is to fit your tanked water heater with a controller. Aside from heating water as needed, this innovative device lets you know how much hot water you have left.

4. Ditch Hot Water Circulation

A typical hot-water circulating system will pump hot water from the heater to the faucets and then back to the heater. It provides hot water almost instantly, but it also consumes much energy to heat and transport the water–not so sustainable! It’s more eco-friendly to simply wait with your shower running until hot water comes out. Place a bucket underneath to catch the initial rush of cold water, so it doesn’t go to waste.

5. Get Automatic Faucets

Ever noticed how much water you waste at your bathroom sink? Water pours out from the moment you turn the knobs. Some people may also forget to turn the faucet off while brushing their teeth, leaving the water running. An automatic faucet eliminates this wastage and only turns on when it senses your hand beneath the spout. With this sustainable option, you can also say goodbye to the gunk that often forms around faucet handles.

6. Buy a Vent with the Energy Star Label

Your bathroom needs a vent fan to dry your bathroom quickly and prevent mildew and mold from growing. Here’s a tip to remember: find a fan with an Energy Star Label, which indicates its energy efficiency. Vent fans with such labels use up to 60% less energy than their non-labelled counterparts.

7. Look for Eco-Friendly Paint

Yes, you can be eco-friendly when redecorating your bathroom, too! Purchase paint that has a low volatile organic compounds (VOC) label. While a coat of traditional paint emits dangerous chemicals, sustainable low-VOC paint contains far less of these same toxic substances.

8. Don’t Skip the Small Things

Complete your sustainable bathroom by stocking it with eco-friendly fabrics and products, such as organic cotton bath towels, all-natural hand soap, or homemade cleaning ingredients. Another tip is to switch out your old lights for compact fluorescent bulbs, LED alternatives, or a healthy dose of natural lighting.

With these 8 tips, you can soon enjoy quiet moments of pampering yourself without any guilt in your sustainable bathroom.Read more articles on sustainable living and interior design by visiting our blog.

The Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Traditional Building Materials

In the recent years, green building has risen into popularity with new homeowners looking for new ways to potentially lower energy costs and thus, limit impact on the environment. To meet this increasing demand, home builders and interior designers have found a better option in employing the use of alternative building materials in construction.

Today, the use of sustainable building materials is on the rise. Some of these are made out of natural materials while others are designed to use resources in the most efficient manner. Regardless of the objective, there are many reasons why contractors and homeowners should switch to green building.

 

Why Invest in Sustainable Building Materials?

Energy conservation has significantly become a top priority amongst the world population. In fact, a 2016 World Green Building Trends report by Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a global trend – a shift that is driven by consumer demands. It is even expected to significantly increase in the coming years.

Although green building is more than the materials you use, your decision on which ones to use still matters. In this article, we list some of the green options that make a better alternative to the traditional materials.

1. Bamboo

Bamboo is a highly sustainable building material that is distinguished by its unrivalled tensile strength, durability and lightweight properties. Its aesthetic resemblance to wood makes it a cost-effective alternative to traditional hardwood and a green material for tiles, ceilings, privacy screens and more.

2. Wood

Wood retains its title as a historic and classic sustainable material that adds a timeless flair to buildings. Building with wood offers significant benefits as processing them into lumbers require less intensive methods in comparison with other industrial building products such as concrete, glass and steel.

3. Reclaimed Wood

Building with reclaimed wood is a responsible way to lower the amount of materials being dumped to landfills and prevent the need to cut down more trees in the process. But, probably what home builders and interior designers are after most is the depth and exquisite character only old wood can provide.

4. Cork

The renewability, versatility, near-impenetrability and fire resistant qualities of cork make it a suitable material for flooring, insulation, acoustic wall covering and more. Harvesting it doesn’t require cutting the tree. In fact, each cork tree can be stripped off of its bark up to 20 times in its entire life.

5. Mycelium

Mycelium is a mushroom-based material that is tested to be stronger than concrete, lighter than bricks and more insulated than fiberglass. What’s more, being made of fungi, it has the ability to self-heal meaning it can reduce the need for costly repairs. It’s also entirely organic and compostable.

Did You Know? Mycelium thrives underground and without light, meaning it doesn’t require external energy resource to grow.

6. Ferrock

Ferrock is another cement alternative that is made of recycled steel dust or ferrous rocks from the steel industry. It offers a greener alternative to the traditional cement manufacturing process as it absorbs carbon dioxide while it hardens and dries. Further, any structure made with Ferrock is proven to last longer, barely requiring repair and replacement.

7. Timbercrete®

Timbercrete® is an eco-friendly product made up of timber waste from several sources and concrete. The result is a material that is lighter than a solid concrete but with higher thermal insulating properties and unmatched strength. It is also user-friendly as it can be easily nailed, screwed or sawn like a regular timber and can be made to appear like sandstone, mud brick or cobblestone.

8. Wool Bricks

Wool brick is a zero-carbon product that is developed by researchers in Spain and Scotland who have added wool fibers and alginate (a natural polymer from seaweeds) to the clay of the brick. The result is a sustainable, non-toxic brick that is 37% stronger than a traditional brick.

9. Recycled Plastic

Instead of producing new materials, researches are creating lightweight concrete, tiles, insulation, lumber and more out of recycled plastics and trash. Building with recycled plastics helps lower the construction costs and provides a new use for plastic wastes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

10. Shipping Containers

Building houses out of shipping containers is probably the epitome of the sustainable and modern building. It makes use of the reclaimed materials that otherwise would be left to rust at the point they are retired. They can be modified into sustainable and durable houses and into endless design possibilities.

The Best Sustainable Material for You

Like anything you would decide on, you should do a careful research on which sustainable materials to use for your home. Learning more about these alternatives will lead you to the options that will be most suitable for your lifestyle and preferences as well.

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know by commenting below.

7 Trends for Sustainable Living in 2019

With more homeowners learning about carbon footprints and trying out all-natural DIY cleaners, sustainable living will continue to trend in 2019. You might also be thinking of shifting toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Whether you choose to make step-by-step changes or go for an all-out renovation to welcome 2019, you’ll want to take note of the 7 sustainable living trends listed below.

 

7 Sustainable Living Trends for 2019

 

1. Eco-Friendly Lights

Shopping for new lamps or light bulbs? Go for fixtures fitted with LEDs, which use up 85% less energy than their incandescent or halogen counterparts. Another option is to go for natural lighting wherever you can.

2. Water-Saving Fixtures and Appliances

If you want to adapt an eco-friendly lifestyle in 2019, you’ll need to mind your water usage. Consider installing grey water systems, which can collect rainwater from roofs and gutters and repurpose them for indoor plumbing and garden irrigation. You can also invest in timed sprinklers that only run as long as needed, low-flow toilets, and showerheads and faucets designed to save water.

3. The 3 R’s

Yes, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is still very relevant for sustainable living in 2019. Instead of spending on brand-new versions of the same product, try upcycling what you already have. Old items such as clothing and containers can easily be given a second life. Worn-out furniture in particular can lend a vintage feel to your living room or your backyard.

4. Sustainable Materials

Wood, bamboo, and cotton are all more eco-friendly than synthetic materials, which sometimes even leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Glass and metal are welcome choices of material, too. Get ready to see more organic textiles and rugs, earth-friendly tiles, and bamboo floors and cabinets in 2019. Not only are these better for the environment, but they also look great!

You should especially consider getting eco-friendly area rugs. Synthetic rugs often emit harmful chemicals, which can manifest as odd smells that refuse to go away for a while. Carpets made of more eco-friendly materials such as jute or sisal won’t give off the same chemicals and odors.

5. Low-VOC Paint

Thinking of repainting a room or two at the start of the year? Use paint that contains minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which seep out and contribute to air pollution. Sure, VOCs are responsible for the familiar smell of a newly-painted room, but that’s easy to let go of once you learn about how many VOCs are classified as carcinogenic.

You’ll also want to keep an eye out for VOCs in the scented candles you burn or the furniture you buy. One indicator of a sustainable purchase is the Rainforest Alliance’s little green frog, found only on certified eco-friendly products.

6. Green Spaces

Urban vegetation and green spaces are certainly eco-friendly, but they’re good for your physical and mental health, too. There are many ways to create your own green space at home. Bring a few low-maintenance plants indoors to freshen up the air, or lay out your interior so that you can easily access your backyard. Also, try installing retractable roofs and awnings over windows that open into the house. This way, you can harness shade to regulate temperature minus the heating or cooling bills.

7. Working With Nature

Have some extra room in your yard? Set up your own garden. Most common vegetables and edible herbs are surprisingly easy to grow. A raised garden bed of homegrown crops can give personality to outdoor spaces. Berries and other fruits can also add a splash of color as they ripen. Top off your garden with a bird feeder to welcome the natural fauna!

Greet the new year by updating your home with these 7 sustainable living trends. They’re not just stylish and eco-conscious, but they’re good for you and your family, too. Here’s to an eco-friendly 2019!Found this post informative? Visit our blog regularly for more tips on sustainable living and interior design.

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