20 Season-Inspired Home Scents to Welcome the Holidays

Can you smell the fresh scent of pine cones? Well, that only means Christmas is getting ready to knock just outside your door! With the holiday season just around the corner, your home definitely needs some preppin’ to kick off the long wintery nights and bright, joyful days. And the term preparation doesn’t only end in putting up eye-catching decorations, but also adding some scents in various corners of your home. 

Filling your abode with the scents of the season will give the holiday vibe a boost you might not even know you needed. And just like the ornaments, choosing a home fragrance isn’t done by guess and by gosh; you need to pick the perfect aromatics that will bring to life the mood you’re aiming to set. To help you out, we’ve laid out 20 season-inspired home scents that are sure to amp up your holidays!

 

20 Home Scents Perfect for the Holiday Season

 

1. Vanilla-Scented Candles 

Perhaps one of the most widely-used home fragrances, scented candles are perfect for setting an ambiance for relaxation. In fact, holidays often call for some glowing candles to brighten up the season. Nights falling won’t feel as dark and cold when your abode is illuminated by warm and cozy candles. 

You can choose from a plethora of scent notes, but among the top picks are vanilla-based scented candles. The velvety and creamy aroma of vanilla blends well with the warmth of melting wax, making it a luxe addition to your home this holiday. But aside from the rich and smooth vibe it elicits, a research found that a whiff of vanilla can also stimulate happy emotions. Its ability to lessen irritability is just the ideal scent you would want to spread on such a joyous season.

A great addition to the soothing smell of vanilla would be fragrances of grapefruit, lemon, or anything citrusy. If picking a single aromatic is a step you’d rather skip, you can also make a layered candle where each section gives a holiday scent variant.

Tip: In general, you should put candles in places where you spend a long time, like the living room and kitchen, since they require a bit of maintenance.    

2. Orange Pomander Balls

Fruits studded with cloves have long been used to cover up odors. In fact, during the time of the Black Death in Europe, the strong scents of pomanders of ambergris were used in attempts to combat the “bad air”. 

Orange pomander balls are probably one of the easiest home scents to make that this simple craft can be enjoyable even for children. What you’ll need is an orange (or other round citrus fruits) and just cover it with cloves. The fragrance can last for several weeks but if cured properly, they can last for months or even years. 

3. Cinnamon-Scented Pinecones

Although pinecones are considered as harbingers of fall, they also mark the transition from autumn to winter! They are often used as Christmas ornaments and items for display because of their wide availability. Level-up your decorating game this holiday with pinecones pinched with a sweet and sensuous scent of cinnamon! During Christmas, you can find premade cinnamon-scented pinecones in almost every store.  But if you want to take advantage of cones abundantly falling on the grounds of parks, neighboring properties, or even your own backyard, then it’s time to bring in the knack for some arts and crafts activity!

There’s not even a slight hint of lie if we say scented pinecones are pretty easy to make. You can search the Internet for a step-by-step DIY instructions. But if you want the quick yet on the mark guide, here’s what you should do. First, thoroughly clean and dry the pinecones. Afterward, treat them with oil-based scents. In terms of this, cinnamon oil essentials are commonly preferred. You can also use ground cinnamon if you don’t have the resources. 

The dreamy blend of sweet and spice can make any space cozy, and the inviting scent lingers through the fall and winter seasons. Not only that, a whiff of cinnamon can also boost the brain functions, as backed by studies from Wheeling Jesuit University. 

4. Fragrant Wreaths 

Who says decorations are only meant to please the eyes? Fragrant Christmas wreaths beg to disagree. This holiday, you can craft a customized wreath that looks and smells nice! What’s even better is that they are easy to hang in windows and doors so you can welcome guests with the holiday fragrance as soon as they step inside. 

If classics are your cup of tea, you can go for boughs of fresh evergreen added with artificial berries. Or you can also bring the calming effect of lavender perfect in your bathroom and dresser. Truth is, the list goes on! People are now becoming extra creative with their embellishments and you might want to check out these suggestions for your scented wreaths as well. 

Aromatics to Jazz Up Your Christmas Wreaths

    • Seasonal Florals
    • Sage
    • Overflowing Rosemary
    • Fresh Eucalyptus
    • Dried Lemon

5. Apple-Scented Bird Ornaments

It’s already known fact that ornaments can bring beauty to every Christmas tree. But did you know that there are some decorations that can also enhance the fragrance of your home? For instance, the glittery gingerbread birds added with the aromas of apple or cinnamon doesn’t only jazz up the adorned tree but also appeals to the sense of smell.  

6. Fragrant Fire Starters

The holiday season is just around the corner and you’re probably expecting the chilly nights to come creeping inside your home. Setting up the fireplace doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? While you’re enjoying some good read or indulging in a hot sip in front of the fire, you might want to build up the ambiance and complement the room with aromatic fire starters. 

There are ready-made wax fire starters available for purchase but you can also choose to do-it-yourself! All you need is a wax (such as beeswax), cotton wicks, and your preferred scents. But if you want to take the quick and easy lane, you can simply wrap the fragrant essentials in the newspaper twined by a rope. 

What’s more important is the mood you wish to set. If you’re aiming for a feminine floral vibe, you can use bay leaves, flower buds, or cinnamon sticks. You can also opt for a citrus appeal filled with lemon slices, orange peels, and eucalyptus. 

7. Peppermint Room Sprays

Just a few spritzes of peppermint room sprays can already send echoes of wintery holidays. The cool and freshness that they bring is already a familiar scent of the season.  But apart from the energizing aromas of menthol, peppermint room sprays can also benefit your brain. One study found a positive correlation between smelling the hybrid mint and cognitive performance. And if you’re feeling a bit under the weather this cold season, these room sprays will also do wonders for your stuffy nasal. The scent of mint can trick your brain into thinking that it alleviates the clogged nose. 

You can use these room sprays to neutralize poor air quality in the bathrooms, kitchens, and closets. However, since they are easy fixes, the fragrance also dissipates quickly. 

8. Mulled Wine

Let the merry scents pour in every corner of your home with an easy-to-make mulled wine that never fails to spread the holiday cheer!. You can either boil the wine or use the slow Crock-Pot simmer method. Just don’t forget to add your favorite homey scent recipe to keep the joyful spirit burning. 

9. Holiday Incense

Derived from the Latin word “to burn”, incense is a material that releases fragrance when burned. Its origins can be traced in antiquity; back when Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks used it to perform religious rituals. Up until today, some cultures believe in the power of incense to cast away dark spirits, evils, and demons. 

Typically, incense has a plant-based aroma of barks, roots, seeds, and flowers. During the holidays, variants of incense can expand to fruity scents like cherry, strawberry, orange or even the vanilla sugar cookie smell of Christmas.  

10. Grapefruit Diffuser 

If you want the aroma to linger in your home, then diffusers are your best bet. Diffusers basically have a liquid fragrance that seeps up through sticks to dissipate a long-lasting scent. They have many variations when it comes to smell but if you want the sweet yet elegant notes to permeate through your space, grapefruit diffusers won’t disappoint. They can turn a dull area into a bright and airy place. With grapefruit diffusers, you can always count on sweet-smelling space round the clock.

Since diffusers are flameless, they are much safer than candles. Also available in the market are reed diffusers which do not require electricity. The ideal place for them would be near air conditioners or ventilating systems as they diffuse scented particles through moving air.

Did you know? The first versions of diffusers were discovered by Italians using uncooked pasta sticks and olive oil. This paved the way for the invention of modern-day diffusers. 

11. Sweetgrass Smudge Sticks

The act of smudging stems from sacred traditions and elemental roots. It is performed through burning herbs as these plants are believed to signify the ability of fire to transform the physical form into a smoke form or the spirit world form. Sweetgrass, also called holy grass, vanilla grass, bison grass or buffalo grass, is considered sacred and can cleanse spaces and objects. It has a vanilla-like aroma; although to some, the scent resembles more of a freshly mowed lawn. 

Sweetgrass smudge sticks are said to promote happiness and positivity, which are the energies that the Christmas season creates. This claim is not only based on cultural beliefs but scent researchers have also discovered that a newly-mowed lawn releases chemicals that promotes joyful and relaxed feelings. 

12. Pine-Scented Sachet

Keep your living space smelling like fresh-cut pine trees with scented Christmas sachets! The process of making them isn’t burdensome and neither will you have trouble looking for materials since you can use recyclable materials as wrappers or sachets. Simply collect bags of your preferred size, place the scent essentials inside and close the sachet by sewing. Another good thing is, these pine-scented sachets can go beyond the purpose of spreading aroma around the room because you can also give them as Christmas presents! Awesome, isn’t it? 

Tip: You can use the fallen needles from Christmas trees in enclosing the bags.  

13. Olive Liquid Candle 

Want to give your candle some drops of personal touch? Make customized scented candles using an ingredient that’s readily available in your kitchen – olive oil. You might already be well-aware of the benefits that this oil can bring to your health. Including this crown jewel of the Mediterranean diet in the dishes is good for the heart and reduces the risks of stroke. But aside from that, The New York Times reported that the benefits of olive oil lies in its aroma. Its scent showed positive effects on blood sugar response and heightening of a person’s satiety after eating. 

To make the liquid candle, prepare a jar, lantern wick,  and olive oil. Depending on the ambiance that you wish to create, you can also include other aromatics like cinnamon, vanilla, lavender, or oranges. These delicious-smelling candles are way cheaper than wax versions and can also be used as decorative pieces. 

14. Vintage Tin Candles

Wanna cut down on decor costs and light up some home-made candles? You might want to try making some DIY vintage tin candles. All you need to do is scrounge up some beeswax, old tin cans, and some wicks. Add in your desired scents and you have yourself a more eco-friendly alternative for an aromatic household.

15. Stovetop Lemon and Rosemary

You are left with no reason to not enhance the fragrance of your home when you can refer to simple methods like this one. Also called as potpourri, stovetop home scents can be made through a no-sweat process called concoction. Just mix sliced lemons with rosemary in a stovetop to give your home that fresh holiday kick! 

Apart from their pleasing aroma, these two main ingredients also carry health and cognitive benefits. Perhaps you already know the not-so-secret antiviral and antibacterial properties of lemons. These boost your body’s immune system and help maintain good circulation. Lemon also has calming effects that can instantly lift the mood whenever you are feeling mad or a bit ho-hum. Meanwhile, rosemary can alleviate both mental and physical exhaustion. 

16. Floral Potpourri

If you want a more feminine aroma around your house, a floral potpourri could be what you’re looking for. A potpourri is a collection of dried plant matter that are naturally fragrant. In this case, you can opt to buy ones that are made up predominantly of flower petals. This is a more sustainable alternative to keeping freshly-cut flowers around as the scent from a potpourri can last from two months to a year, depending on how you keep it. It’s basically like having a walk at a lush garden filled with blossoms of lovely lavender and roses. The difference is, you don’t have to take a step aside to experience this since you can create the same scent journey inside your living space. 

17. Scented Wood

If simple-looking air fresheners don’t quite hit the spot, then maybe slices of scented wood are a bit more up your alley. These rustic pieces of perfumed decor are especially fitting during the colder months. You can choose from a variety of popular scents such as pine or cedar to make your abode smell and look like a winter getaway cabin.

18. Dried Fruits and Spices Potpourri

This holiday, achieving a fresh get-up-and-go energy in your home isn’t far-fetched with dried fruits and spices sitting around in a bowl. Just like any other potpourri, all you have to do is slice and dehydrate the desired spices, whether it be lemon, cinnamon or cloves. Mix them in a container and you’re on your way to embracing a zesty holiday around the home!

19. Seasonal Essential Oils

If you want to embrace the season’s spirit without having to break much sweat, then essential oils 

will work well for you. Simply choose your favorites, open the bottle and diffuse the aromatic oils in your home! A sweet and spicy blend is never a bad choice for a merry holiday. Cinnamon, coriander, peppermint, pure spice, nutmeg and ginger all belong to this fragrance family. You can even sprinkle the scents in your home decors. Imagine having to sit beside a Christmas tree that smells like peppermint or having to read a book with a fireplace that breathes smokes of cinnamon scents. Wouldn’t it be a heavenly holiday straight from the bottle?

20. Cranberry Air-Fresheners

Ofcourse, who would forget the go-to home scent that needs no season to stay trendy? Air-fresheners are never a bad idea if you’re on the lookout for widely-available yet low maintenance fragrance! You’ll never run out of options as there are a plethora of scent flavors that you can choose from. But for this particular season, we must say the crown belongs to cranberry air-fresheners! Nothing beats the sweet holiday aroma of cranberry, just enough to complement the Christmas tree ornaments as you take a lazy afternoon chill in the living room couch. 

Tip: If DIY projects are your thing, you can also create your own air fresheners at home

 

Find the Perfect Scent for Every Room

 

Kitchen and Dining Area

Places where food preparations and serving happen only calls for fragrant notes of citrus. Instead of strong scents that might overpower the food aroma, go for fruit-based touches like orange, lemon, bergamot, and lime. Not only do they create a refreshing atmosphere, but they also cut through the savory smells brought by cooking. 

Bedroom

If there’s a place where you should put fragrances that promote a relaxing and calming feeling, that should definitely be your bedroom. After all, this is where you spend the time to sleep and rest after a long tiring day. You might want to foster a laid-back environment by incorporating the smell of lavender, jasmine, rose, chamomile, cypress or sandalwood to the room. These types of scents are proven to help with anxieties and relieve stress. The floral-based notes also amplify the romantic vibe and the woody fragrances give freshness to your bedroom.

Office 

Want some productivity boost in your office? Spicy-based fragrances do the trick! Research reveals that perky scents like peppermints, eucalyptus, or even citrus can make you more alert and focused. In fact, a study at Northumbria University showed that cognitive performance can be improved through exposure to lemon balm.

Other scents ideal for the office includes cardamon, spice, patchouli or vetiver notes. They all reduce anxiety and fatigue, all the while holding distractions at bay. 

Bathroom

The bathroom always needs some refreshing touches. Hints of fruit scents like apricot, peach, apple, and fig are your best bet in bringing the spa-like environment in your bathroom.  

Living Room 

If you want to make your living room a comfortable space where your guests or the whole family can spend a relaxing afternoon, you should opt for soft and sweet fragrances. The punch of floral and woody scents are perfect for unwinding moments. You might also want to try adding the creamy appeal of vanilla along with cedarwood or sandalwood. 

Tip: Use strong scents for bigger living rooms so to make the fragrant particles reach every corner of the room. 

 

You probably can’t deny, holidays won’t be complete without the scents of the season filling the corners of your home. Try out these home scents that are sure to create a cozy atmosphere, perfect in spreading the merry spirit of Christmas! But keeping your home fresh and sweet-smelling shouldn’t only be done during the holidays, your living space needs its regular home maintenance all year-round and part of that is making sure it’s always fragrant and odor-free. 

Want to customize your home design to make it cozy throughout all the seasons? Check out our services to learn more!

6 Water-Saving Tips for a Sustainable Bathroom

Did you know that an average home in America consumes over 300 gallons of water every day? Imagine how much water your bathroom usage consumes alone. If you’re not mindful, excessive water consumption can truly burden your pocket. 

Going the extra mile to conserve water in your bathroom might require a few lifestyle adjustments and fixture installments. But doing so will not only save you from excessive water bills. It will also help sustain your bathroom and in effect, the environment as well. 

Are you ready to go green? Here are the water-saving tips to remember in making your bathroom sustainable.

 

6 Tips to Conserve Water in your Bathroom

 

1. Steer Away from Frequent Use of Bathtubs 

If not entirely necessary, try not to use tubs on a daily basis as they are a top culprit for wasting gallons of water. The 70 gallons that you use when bathing can already be used for multiple showers since a single five-minute shower only requires 10-25 gallons. That accounts for around 1,000 gallons of wasted water per month. Turn to baths occasionally, only when you feel like you deserve some treats and pampering.

Tip: To lessen the guilt, plug the bathtub before you run the faucet. You can also adjust the water temperature as the water runs. 

2. Save Water in the Shower

Ideally, five minutes of shower is already enough to fulfill the goal of cleansing the body. Always be conscious of the time you spend in the shower as it could greatly contribute to reducing your water bills. If you’re waiting for the water to heat up, it might be smart to let a bucket to catch the water so you can still use the excess water for other purposes such as flushing, plant watering, and laundry. 

Aside from reducing the shower duration, one way to conserve water is through a low-flow showerhead. This fixture minimizes your water usage to 2.5 gallons or less as compared to the regular showerheads that demands 5 to 8 gallons per minute. Installing this low-flow head will never compromise your shower experience but will rather open opportunities for you to save water and decrease energy used in heating the water. 

3. Shrink Water Usage in Sinks

Old but gold it is, but the popular notion of turning off the sink faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth does the trick. Believe it or not, you can save up to four gallons of water per minute when you live by these words! Just remember that one drip for each second makes five gallons a day, so make sure to make every drop count. Use just enough water to wash your face or brush your teeth and don’t forget to tighten the faucet after every use.  

Just like in the shower heads, you can also install aerators to reduce the flow of water in your sink. Motion-sensored faucets can also be of great help in making sure you only use water when necessary. Moreover, they make the bathroom cleaner by preventing the formation of gunk which causes contamination. 

4. Focus on Toilet Flushes

The toilet is responsible for one-third of your water usage at home. That takes the largest portion of the water that you consume among other household tools and activities. Thus, it is important for you to give attention to the water that goes into your toilet usage. 

The age of your toilet needs to be considered when talking about water conservation. If it dates back to the years before 2001, water-efficient might not be the best term to describe it. Compared to the current toilet models, outdated ones take up three liters more water every time you flush. Standard toilets nowadays are more water-efficient with their low-flow and dual-flush features. 

But don’t worry if you lack the resources to purchase new models, you can still conserve water by cutting down the amount of water filled to the tank to only half a gallon.  

Tip: If you want to know the water volume your toilet uses, open the toilet tank and see gallons per flush (GPF). Newer and relatively water-saving toilets use up to 1.6 gallons per flush. 

5. Look Out for Toilet Leaks 

Never overlook the burden toilet leaks can give, you might find your funds draining directly to water bills that are twice or thrice the amount you should be paying. The indicators of leakage are generally silent, so make sure to check out for signs at least once a year. 

Tip: To detect toilet leaks, pour 4-5 food coloring drops in your toilet tank. Observe if the color disperses into the bowl without flushing for around 30 minutes. If so, it most likely signals a toilet leakage.  

6. Pay Attention to Personal Care Products 

Aside from cutting on water consumption, saving water also means helping minimize contamination in the water system. This involves being conscious of the products you consume. Remember that the chemicals in the cosmetic and bath products go down the water system and eventually flow to the natural waterways. It wouldn’t hurt to check the label and see if the product contains harmful chemicals. 

You can also opt for cosmetics that promote recycling, which you normally can tell by the product packaging. Going for refillable containers is also a smart move as it will help minimize the build-up of trash. And since you’re going for an eco-friendly approach, might as well make it holistic and consider the materials that you use in constructing the bathroom.

 

It might be hard to deny that excessive use of water in your bathroom can burn money without you knowing it. From little steps of tightening the faucet to extending efforts in installing fixtures, saving water will take you a long way in making a sustainable bathroom come to life. Make sure to translate these useful tips into actions and you might be surprised at the benefits you can get not only in your savings but also in the environment. 

Did you like this article? Visit our blog for more tips on making your home sustainable and eco-friendly.

20 Christmas Wreath Ideas to Try

The wreath has been viewed as a symbol of power and pride among Romans. To the Greeks, it signifies success and victory. It later became a representation of Christ’s suffering and triumph over death. 

Throughout the years, these cultures have transformed wreaths into Christmas decorations, which only becomes more grand and elaborate as the seasons pass.

Today, wreaths are often made with fir. But, if you’re looking to give this traditional décor a modern twist, Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based interior design firm, has sourced the Internet to provide you with 20 Christmas wreath ideas you can try.

20 Christmas Wreath Ideas to Try Infographic

 

20 Must-Try Christmas Wreath Ideas

1. Burlap Wreath

A big roll of burlap, strip of ribbon, a wire wreath frame and some ornaments are all it takes to recreate this Christmas wreath. It has a rustic cabin look that adds a warm feel to your home.

2. Washi Tape Wreath

This Christmas wreath puts your washi tape collection to good use. Whether you hang it above your fireplace or on your front door, it’s sure to greet your guests an artsy Merry Christmas!

3. Christmas Balls Wreath

A load of vintage glass baubles make a beautiful wreath. This is a simple and cheap holiday project that adds a wow factor to your Christmas décor.

4. Chalkboard Christmas Wreath

A piece of chalkboard affixed behind a wreath frame can add charm to an otherwise simple Christmas wreath. Don’t forget the holiday message and a bow for a finishing touch!

5. Hula Hoop Wreath

This elegant wreath is not as expensive as it looks. Your guests will never even guess these are merely a set of cheap hoops disguised as two larger-than-life copper rings (unless you tell them of course).

6. Christmas Tree Wreath

A creative take on the traditional décor, this Christmas tree-shaped wreath is made of small cedar wreaths laid out together to resemble a fir tree. A series of sticks cut to the same length serves as the trunk.

7. Pinecone Wreath

Disguise shapely pinecones as snow-covered holiday décors with a spray of matte white paint! This is a great idea for a winter wonderland Christmas theme.

8. Frosted Twigs Wreath

A coat of matte spray can mimic a thick layer of snow, covering a bunch of twigs, pinecones and acorns. The resulting wreath is worthy to be a Christmas winter theme essential. 

9. Metallic Wreath

This striking wreath is actually a store-bought magnolia leaf coated with metallic spray paint and embellished with white-painted twigs.

10. Coffee Filter Wreath

This bold yet simple wreath is easy to make,not to mention it will cost you as little as $5! It even makes a great post-Christmas décor thanks to its vintage appeal.

11. Natural Elements Wreath

A gorgeous holiday wreath made of nature’s seasonal bounty – pinecones, pods, berries and nuts – has a beautiful texture that will earn second looks from your guests.

12. Ribbon Wreath

This vibrant holiday wreath is made of a set of wired ribbons in different Christmas-themed patterns. It’s a good way to make use of the excess ribbons from last year!

13. Woodland Winter Wreath

The secret to this wreath is to have a lot of felt flowers. It’s easy to DIY, and the result will make a great display for your woodland winter theme!

14. Fruit Wreath

This wreath is an abundant collection of crisp greens and colorful produce. You can make it from either faux fruits or real ones, depending on your preference.

15. Christmas Greetings Wreath

An ordinary treat gets a bold twist with a cutout greeting. Hang this by your door and you’ve got a literal Christmas statement!

16. Driftwood Wreath

This wreath can breathe new life into driftwood collection. Assemble a good number of wood pieces on a wreath form and hang with a red wide ribbon.

17. Laurel Wreath

A laurel wreath entwined with fresh rosemary branches lends a stimulating and refreshing scent to your home. It’s also a simple yet elegant display for Christmas.

18. Cork Wreath

This one’s for the wine lovers! A wreathe made of upcycled old corks adds a pop to your dining room when hanged to your liquor cabinet. Alternate it with red jingle bells to blend with your Christmas décor.   

19. Poinsettia Wreath

The bright red bracts of these poinsettias are crafted out of felt cloth and made to resemble the real deal. Each flower is then attached to a ring form to create an elegant wreath that will last for years.

20. Socks Wreath

If you think socks are only meant to be hung on Christmas bags so Santa Claus can fill it with toys, then this red and gray wreath will prove you wrong. It’s actually made of upcycled work socks and finished off with a wooden cutout Merry Christmas sign.

 

ALSO READ: 25 Easy Christmas Decoration Ideas for Your Home

 

Do you have your Christmas wreath ready? Share your design with us in the comments!  

Never miss the latest interior design tips and updates. Check out our blog regularly!

6 Thanksgiving Home Prep Tips to Follow

Every year, billions of people around the world anticipate the last week of November where they get to celebrate Thanksgiving. Similar to other holidays, this special occasion allows family and friends to gather and bond over meals. 

Hosting a celebration might give you stress if the day came and your home is still not ready to accommodate the guests. To prevent this from happening, here are 6 Thanksgiving home prep tips that you should remember to keep your living space occasion-ready. 

 

6 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Thanksgiving

 

1. Develop a Schedule and Stick to it

This is one of the most important steps that most people might neglect to do. By plotting a timeline for your Thanksgiving preparations, you get to stay on top of everything and you’d easily monitor your activities. This saves you from the stress of cramming and will make sure that you don’t leave a single item on your to-do list unchecked. 

Activities such as grocery shopping, washing linens, cleaning, decorating, table setting, and cooking should never go missing on your timetable. 

2. Plan the Table Set-up In Advance

Are you going to have a formal dining or a casual meal experience? You should decide early on so you can inform your guests. This way, you’ll also be guided in the menu planning. If you don’t want your table looking like a mess, the linen, dinnerware, chairs, and utensils need to be ready in advance and not on the morning of Thanksgiving. 

To signify the abundance of the harvest season, which is the true essence of Thanksgiving celebrations,  fruits, and floral arrangements usually serve as centerpieces. You’d often see bouquets of warm-toned rose and mums embellish the tables during Thanksgiving. Other table-setting essentials include candles, leaves, and small ropes. You can also go extra creative with crafted ‘thank you’ cards placed on the plates or tiny wreaths wrapping the utensils.  

When it comes to the themes, you can always do a quick search on the Internet to find a myriad of table setting ideas. Depending on your resources, you can always choose to go with: a metallic tablescape, bright and bold arrangement, rustic setting, and the list goes on. 

Note: Plot the seating arrangement when planning the table as well. Things such as the number of seats available and the need for children’s chairs should be considered. 

3. Don’t Cram Your Thanksgiving Menu 

Food is one of the primary reasons why people look forward to Thanksgiving. Who wouldn’t love to indulge in a roasted turkey that blends perfectly with seasoned gravy? And of course, the classic mashed potato casserole that can instantly whet your appetite just by its aroma. Other traditional dishes typically served at Thanksgiving include ham, cranberry sauce, stuffings made of fruits and vegetables, salads, rolls, apple pies, and cooked vegetable sides. 

Planning on your menu several weeks before gives you enough time to shop for groceries. Note that stocks might run out if you fail to buy your food ingredients ahead of time. For instance, the supply of gluten-free cream soups typically becomes sold out nearing the day of Thanksgiving. This also gives you an opportunity for you to watch out for store sales! This way, you’ll not only be doing your wallet some favor but also ensures that you buy everything that you need. And in case you forget an item, you’ll still have enough time to come back to the store. 

Tip: You can opt for a catering service if food preparation seems impossible given your work schedules. 

4. Organize Your Kitchen

You’d normally expect the kitchen to become crowded with added groceries and silverware during the holiday seasons.  Since this section will be the heart of your meal preparations, you certainly need to keep it in order. This way you’ll not only have a smooth flow when cooking but will make the food station easy for the guests to navigate in case they’ll be needing something. 

You can start off with cleaning and arranging the kitchen tools. These essentials will most likely include a roasting pan, carving board, baking sheets, rolling pin, aluminum foil, and more. Maximize your cabinet storage by installing drawer dividers or pull out shelves for your cabinet corners. You might even save yourself from the pain of reaching out for those pans and utensils.  

Another thing you need to prepare is the freezer. Make enough room for the dishes and leftovers. Frozen food items, such as pie crusts and rolls, should be ready ahead of time so you’ll only have the hot meals to think about on the day of Thanksgiving. 

5. Prepare Bathroom Necessities

Your visitors will most likely use the bathroom during their stay. Aside from the mandatory clean-up, you can keep it occasion-ready by having a sufficient supply of hand soaps and toilet paper for guest use. Other bathroom basics such as extra toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, floss, towels, and clothes should also be prepared. Make sure that you make the plunger available near the toilet as well.

Tip: Put some air freshener inside the bathroom to keep it fragrant and well-ventilated.  

6. Make the Living Room Cozy

The guests normally stay in the living room when they arrive so it is only important to make it clean and spacious. Ensure that the furniture, tables, cabinets, and other house items are arranged well. You can place some magazines, books, television or any form of entertainment to save your guests from boredom while waiting for the actual celebration. It would also help if you can add some quick snacks in the living room that your guests can enjoy in between meals. 

Just like Christmas and Halloween, adding decorations to beautify your home is also never a bad idea. Whether it be a centerpiece, mantel displays, wreaths, or place cards, setting up some Thanksgiving-themed props can definitely bring the holiday spirit flowing in your home.

Tip: Play some music to keep the adults entertained. On the other hand, children will certainly enjoy some playroom or coloring activities.  

 

It is not every day that you get to bond with your family and friends so make sure to provide a memorable experience for them on Thanksgiving. That means you need to have some immense home preparations that will make their stay worthwhile. Just remember these Thanksgiving home prep tips to keep you on top of everything and ultimately give you an unforgettable Thanksgiving celebration as well. 

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6 Causes of Poor Ventilation in Your Room

It’s probably safe to say that nobody wants to inhabit a poorly ventilated space. Poor ventilation happens when there is an insufficient amount of fresh air coming in and the polluted air is trapped in the room instead. Not only does it cause discomfort, but it also puts a toll on your health!…

7 Reasons Why Tiny Homes are Worth It

Can your whole life fit in less than 500-square feet of living space? Believe it or not, it definitely can! The benefits you’ll gain in switching to a tiny home lifestyle might even surprise you.

Tiny homes have been making headlines due to people becoming increasingly interested in living small. Gone are the days when the “bigger is better” mentality has been the norm in house planning and construction. Now, the tiny house movement begins to dominate the market, as evident in the growing demands for tiny homes. 

Are you thinking of joining the tiny house movement? Here is an infographic to give you reasons as to why living in a tiny house doesn’t leave room for regret. 

Why Tiny Homes Are Worth It Infographic

Why Tiny Homes are Worth it

You might be well aware of the trend that tiny homes have been making, especially that more and more people are taking an interest in downsizing their living space. From a myriad of benefits ranging from financial to environmental to mental and psychological aspects, living small has so much more to offer. 

What are Tiny Homes?

  • As the name suggests, tiny houses are relatively smaller in size as compared to a regular-sized house, which normally occupies around 2,500 square feet of space. With tiny homes, you’ll only need an area as small as 100 up to 400 square feet! 
  • According to the survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, more than half (63%) of the adults in Washington consider the idea of residing in tiny homes. 

Types of Tiny Homes

Depending on their features and location, tiny houses come in different types that will cater to your housing needs and desires.

  • Trailers 

The so-called “tiny houses on wheels” allow you to conveniently relocate your house across places. 

  • Treehouses

Yes, treehouses that every child dreams of can be your dream house as well! Having your house perched on trees brings you closer to nature.  

  • Houseboats and Floating Cottages

With tiny houseboats, living near or on the water is never a problem. 

  • Stationary Houses 

If you’re looking for a permanent residential house, stationary tiny houses are a perfect match for you!

What are the Advantages of Living Small?

 

1. Affordable 

Tiny homes are typically cheaper to build or purchase than traditional houses. Depending on the type and features, most tiny houses are more cost-efficient than regular ones in terms of amount and type of materials used, and the building methods.

2. Transportable

One of the strongest points of having a tiny house is that it can be towed to different places. Especially when you’re living in a trailer, moving has never been this easy! This special feature of a tiny house allows you to relocate closer to your work or school without breaking much sweat.

TIP: If you plan on moving frequently, trailers might be the best choice to meet your needs.

3. More Economic Freedom 

Adapting the “tiny home lifestyle” has come with a lot of financial advantages for tiny homeowners. Below are some of the ways by which you can maximize your savings and cut costs on expenses.

  • Fewer expenses

Downsizing the living space calls for minimizing the expenditures spent on appliances and material possessions. In order to fit everything in a limited area, buying smaller and less expensive appliances and devices, now becomes mandatory. 

  • Reduced Utility Costs

Electric and water consumption becomes minimal when you live in a tinier space. Smaller appliances require a lesser supply of energy. Tiny homes that utilize composting toilets also help to conserve water. 

  • Controlled buying impulses

You can steer away from your impulsive buying behaviors, putting much thought first to the space that the materials will occupy before dragging the items to the counter. 

  • Debt-free

In order to own or rent a house, most people are left with no option but to take out a mortgage and this can financially hurt in the long run. But with tiny homes, 68% of homeowners are reported to have broken free from their mortgage payments. 

  • More funds for other experiences

Did you know that 55% of tiny homeowners have more savings as compared to average Americans? Since a large chunk of your money has gone to your savings, you now have every means to allocate more funds for other experiences of your, such as travel or outings. 

4. Low-maintenance

A smaller space is unarguably easier to take care of than larger ones. With tiny houses, cleaning is way more time-saving and efficient given the small spaces homeowners need to cover. 

5. Eco-friendly

Did you know that tiny homes are considered as green homes due to their minimal impact on the environment? Several tiny homeowners have embraced the idea of a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle in a number of ways. 

Positive Environmental Impacts of Tiny Homes

  • Reduce carbon footprint 
  • Reduce the number of natural resources used in house construction
  • Conserve energy with lesser electric consumption
  • Save water with the use of composting toilets
  • Produce less pollution 
  • Construction of house using steel (normally used) contributes to the recycling process

6. Simpler Life 

Being closely associated with minimalism, tiny home living allows you to adopt a much simpler outlook in life. You’ll learn to let go of excess baggage items and trim your possessions down to the essentials. 

7. Active Lifestyle

Engaging in a tiny home lifestyle gives you the opportunity to stay active and be “out there” since living in a tiny house equates to having little things to do and maintain. 

 

Less is more, they say. Living in a tiny house has been proven to make such promising changes in the life of tiny homeowners. Let it work its miracles for you as well. You’ll never know, building a tiny house might open the doors for a bigger future. 

Was this article persuading enough to make you join the tiny house movement? Check out the different types and examples of tiny homes that’ll make you want to move in right away!

If you want to learn more about sustainable living and home designs, keep posted on our blogs.

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

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