Various tips and best interior design best practices for making your house or apartment look its best.

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! 

If you want to face the problem head-on, the best tool stems from knowing its root cause. To help you out, here are the common agents and activities that contribute to the accumulation of poor air quality in your room.  

 

Common Causes of Poor Room Ventilation

 

1. Smoke 

Cigarette smoking has long been established to carry detrimental effects to your life and it leaves no room for an exception to the air quality indoors. Beware if you have smokers at home! A room lacking in proper ventilation puts you at a higher risk of inhaling secondhand smoke. 

2. Cooking and Heating

Does the smell of the food you cooked a few days ago still linger in your room? To tell you why, cooking activities can increase the humidity levels in a room. Notice that those kitchen areas without a proper vent system often suffer from grease splatters, smokes and cooking smell. 

Certain heating appliances and materials, like water heaters and fireplaces, also contribute to the poor air quality indoors by emitting pollutants in the form of particles and gases. 

TIP: Having a range hood or exhaust system is ideal for your kitchen in order to minimize air contamination as a result of cooking. 

3. Housekeeping Supplies and Activities 

Who doesn’t love house cleaning supplies? Disinfectants, pesticides, and other aerosol products solve all your household cleaning problems in just a few sprays, wipes or drops! Admit it, they might even be one of your prized possessions for they free your room from dirt and odor problems. 

But ironic as it sounds, these cleaning materials contain chemicals that contaminate the air in your room. Be careful what you spray around, it might contain harmful substances that’ll get in the air you breathe! 

Moreover, while you’re doing some dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming, ensure that there are no occupants in the room as these household activities can also pollute the air. 

Did you know that just like your house cleaning agents, cosmetic products, such as perfumes and body sprays, also contribute to the build-up of pollutants in your room? Be sure to practice proper usage, storage, and disposal of these supplies to minimize their effects on the air quality of your room.

4. Poor Building Construction and Design

Rooms designed to have proper ventilation normally have exterior vents to allow the exit of air contaminants. They could also include a well-designed air-conditioning system, exhaust fans, and filtrates. Without these, your room can generate thermal discomfort and an imbalance exchange of gases entering and exiting your space.

Why should you give towering attention to construction and design? Well, in putting up room ventilation systems, you need to put into consideration the location, amount of space, adjacent rooms and the intended number of occupants. Leave it to the care of interior designers for they sure know how to supply your needs for excellent room ventilation! Keep in mind that the initial design of your room plays a vital role in how you will enjoy your personal space in the long run.

5. Lack of Maintenance of Airconditioning Systems

The air conditioner in your room demands attention when it comes to regular maintenance. For instance, failure to unclog filters does not only affect the efficiency of the airconditioning unit but also impedes the normal airflow in your room. 

Look out also for the accumulation of stagnant water in drain pans as it results in the growth of microbiological agents, such as fungi, bacteria, and algae, that pollute the air you breathe. 

6. Building Materials and Furnishings

Did you know that most of the materials used in building your room are strong agents for the emission of volatile organic compounds or VOC? Household paints and carpets are on top of the list, followed by asbestos, tiles, and flooring. Other furnishings such as adhesives, varnish, and sealing agents also emit such volatile compounds. 

If you’ve noticed, these materials usually vent out strong odors, especially when newly furnished. Note that these indicate the presence of contaminating agents in the air. 

TIP: Since some of the materials mentioned might be essential for building your room, consult first with the experts (interior designer or engineer) when your room is safe and ready to be inhabited. Better yet, you can also turn to eco-friendly building materials instead! 

 

Whether or not you’re spending most of your time in your room, this personal space of yours deserves the finest attention in keeping the air quality clean all the time. You might find it inevitable to get rid of some of the causes, but knowing the roots of poor air quality in your room already gives you the upper hand in reducing its damaging effects on you and your health. With a commitment to proper usage, storage, disposal of substances, aided by proper room design and construction, you’re on your way to enjoying a well-ventilated space! 

Keep posted on our blogs for more articles about ideal room design and sustainable living.

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.

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.

17 Tips to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient

This month’s electrical bill is painful for you to look at, just as you’ve expected. You’ve been using up a lot of energy for a while, especially with temperatures rising year after year. It’s lovely to have a well designed home. It’s even more wonderful to have a home that is both beautiful and energy-efficient. You can spend less on heating and cooling bills while remaining comfortable, and you can cut down on your carbon footprint, too. To help you get started, here are 17 steps to help you save energy.

 

17 Tips for a More Energy-Efficient Home

 

1. Change Your Most-Used Light Bulbs to LEDs. They might cost more at first, but they last much longer and use up less electrical power than their incandescent counterparts. You’ll save yourself the effort of having to purchase replacement lights as well. For outdoor lights, use CFLs instead of incandescent lamps.

2. Change Your Least-Used Light Bulbs, Too. Will you need a 100-watt bulb in a room that’s used just once a year? Downgrade such less-used lights to 60-watt or even 40-watt bulbs to save energy.

3. Use Cold Water for Laundry. This eliminates the need for a water heater. If you really need to use hot water, try to find a heater that runs on solar power.

4. Baking? Don’t Peek! The temperature drops 25° F whenever you peek. Your oven will have to work harder to bring the temperature back up.

5. When Possible, Unplug or Power Down. Your mobile phone only takes a few hours to charge, and your computer and printer don’t have to be left on all day, either.

6. Wash Dishes and Clothes at Night. Power grids are most strained during 4PM and 6PM during peak usage hours, from mid-afternoon to early in the evening. Do your washing a bit later, and you can keep the house cooler and avoid emergencies as well.

7. Switch Out Single-Pane Windows. Either replace them with more energy-efficient windows or add solar shades or tinting film to them.

8. Turn Off the Oven Early. Do this a few minutes before reaching the prescribed cooking time. Don’t worry, your food will continue cooking from its own heat.

9. Use Natural Light When Possible. For windowless rooms, you can use skylights. You may no longer need to turn on any lights during daytime.

10. Seal and Insulate Properly. Cracks and gaps can lessen the efficiency of your heating and cooling, raising energy costs by 45 percent. Avoid this by sealing gaps and cracks in rooms and around windows and doors. Also, check how your home insulation levels measure up to local codes.

11. Maintain Clean Filters. Your home systems have to do more work if their filters are dirty. Clean or replace all filters at home once a month (or every three weeks if you have pets or a dusty environment). Use a vacuum with a cleaning extension to suck up dirt, or gently wash the filter with warm water.

12. Spot the Energy Star. This sticker indicates that EPA has confirmed the product’s energy efficiency. You can find the small blue or black sticker on over 40 product categories, from refrigerators and washing machines to LED lightbulbs.

13. Use Your Shades Well. Help your heating and cooling systems out by knowing when to close or open your shades and blinds. Close your shades during warmer months for cooler indoor temperatures; open them during cooler months to let sunlight through.

14. Landscape. Deciduous trees act like shades and blinds if they sit on the south and west sides of your house. Their leaves provide shade in the summer but fall off so that the sun can come through in the winter.

15. Install Ceiling Fans. A single fan uses roughly as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb, but it can help you cut down even more on cooling and heating bills. Set your fan to spin counterclockwise in summer–you’ll find that you can comfortably set the thermostat 4°F higher. Switch the blades to spin clockwise in winter to help circulate warm air.

16. Don’t Overuse the Thermostat. Try to not lower your thermostat so much in the summer or raise it so much in the winter. If your indoor temperature is closer to outdoor temperatures, your systems will have lighter work to do. Also, don’t adjust past the desired temperature–your home will heat or cool at the same speed.

17. Paint! Brighten your room with lighter paint colors, which reflect more light. You can then switch the light bulb for a lower-wattage equivalent.

You might not notice the impact immediately, as some of these changes seem minor. However, just as a leaky faucet leads to a bigger water bill, the result of these actions builds up over time. Make efforts to go by these 17 tips, and you’ll save more energy than you thought you would.

Visit our blog regularly for tips on improving your home.

Green Home Décor Brands You Should Switch To

These days, being eco-friendly is no longer limited to segregating your wastes, going paperless, avoiding plastic, and cutting down on energy consumption. It also means amending your way of shopping so it aligns with your commitment to green living.

The green way to shop, however – particularly for home decor – hasn’t always been black and white. But, until recently, the environmental consciousness of consumers has led interior designers and home décor brands to step up their game to offer an array of sustainable products.

Having placed greater emphasis not only on style but also on the environmental impact of their products, home décor brands have made it easier to be green responsible more than ever. So now, you can shop for sustainable furniture pieces confidently without worrying they’ll compromise your style.

If you’re wondering where to start with your responsible shopping, read on as we list 10 brands to shop for sustainable home décor.

1. Bambeco

Bambeco is a provider of home products crafted from either recycled, reclaimed, natural or raw materials. But, aside from harnessing these resources, the brand aims to further its green efforts by updating its processes to help restore forests, conserve water, provide safe workplaces and ultimately, achieve zero carbon footprint by 2020.

2. BottleCloth

BottleCloth is a sustainable homeware brand that makes graphic tablecloths, placemats and runners made from fabrics sourced from recycled plastic bottles. Using a multi-step process, the plastic bottles are spun into thread and woven into polyester cloth. The end result is a polyester fabric that is highly durable, low maintenance and spill-resistant products.

3. Chairish

Buying second hand is a great form of recycling. It not only avails you vintage finds for half the price but also cuts down on manufacturing demand – and Chairish, an online marketplace, lets you do just that. It has a well-curated list of vintage furniture pieces, art and home accessories, and basically everything that is dedicated to home decorating and design.

4. Cisco Home

You wouldn’t realize it right away, but Cisco Home is a sustainable furniture company that crafts its home goods with natural materials and methods that are friendly to the environment. Each product is made with pride by local artisans in Los Angeles and each of them emanates a distinct style that adds beauty to your home.

5. Colorhouse

Colorhouse is a premium paint brand that is committed to making the world more colorful but without the toxins, chemical solvents and toxic fumes that typically come with commercial paints. It offers 128 zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), artist-crafted paints in its well-curated palettes to ensure that you have an eco-friendly alternative to your painting needs.

ALSO READ: 18 Low Maintenance Indoor Plants & Trees for Your Home

6. Coyuchi

Coyuchi is a home textile company that offers a range of luxury textiles, beddings and mattress made from organic cotton – and this claim is something more exceptional than you’d think as less than a percent of the world-produced cotton is organic. Further, despite being minimally processed, the fabrics don’t gall shouty on style and grandeur. In fact, they’re some of the softest you’ll ever lay your hands on.

7. Kazi

Kazi is an All Across Africa brand that helps African women support their families by crafting handmade goods. These include baskets and vessels handwoven in Rwanda using sweet grass and sisal sourced in East Africa – and because these plants thrive abundantly in the region, harvesting them has less impact on the environment.

8. One Nine Eight Five

One Nine Eight Five is a London-based homeware brand that focuses on print and interior textiles. It offers contemporary collection of throws, cushions, wall hangings and other accessories using ethically-sourced and eco-friendly materials. Each product celebrates world-recognized British craftsmanship and sustainable UK manufacturing.

9. Re-Found Objects

RE is a homeware brand that started as a mail order service in rural Northumbria. Today, it has grown to become one of the most-sought after home accessories and furniture brands, offering everything unusual, recycled and re-invented such as colander lamp shades, pressed metal decorations, recycled glass soap dishes, weave baskets and so much more.

10. West Elm

Brooklyn-based home design and decor brand West Elm believes in the possibility of manufacturing products through sustainable practices. It is why ever since it launched in 2002, it has committed to using products that are Fair Trade Certified, handcrafted, organic and sustainably sourced. Today, it sources its handcrafted products from more than 35 artisan groups in 15 countries, providing jobs to nearly 5,000 workers.

 

There are a lot of other home décor brands who are committed to sustainability. Whether that means creating something new out of old materials, sourcing products made by independent artisans or using sustainable resources – all their green efforts serve as a catalyst that inspire consumers to be more mindful of their choices.

If you think of any other green home décor brand that should be on this list, let us know by commenting below.

10 Christmas Window Decoration Ideas for 2018

Aiming to envelop your house in the Christmas spirit this year? Aside from putting up the good old tree in the living room and hanging stockings nearby, you need to dress your windows for the season. After all, this is one part of the house that you can see from both the inside and the outside. This means that the right decoration will be able to spread holiday cheer to visitors, neighbors, and carolers all in one go! Understandably, you can’t settle for a half-baked concept for your window decor.

You might think at first that windows will be a bit challenging to decorate. Fortunately, there are countless tried-and-tested ideas to choose from. Here are 10 window decoration ideas for you to try for Christmas 2018!

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ALSO READ: 25 Easy Christmas Decoration Ideas for Your Home

Did you find what you are looking for? Which one do you think will work best as your window display? Let us know in the comments!

Never miss the latest interior design tips and updates by regularly visiting our blog.

Tips to Avoid Interior Design Mistakes

Mistakes are common in just about anything that the human race does. After all, we are indeed human, and we err all the time.

Still, we should always try to avoid mistakes, especially when it comes to projects that are literally closer to home, like interior design.

Many believe that all interior design serves is the homeowners’ ego, that it does nothing more than provide them with a way to pompously express and show off their superior taste in decorating a home.

The truth is, interior design is more than just about getting your décor right. While making the inside of a home aesthetically pleasing is a primary goal, interior design as we know it today also makes the use of any given space better and more efficient.

ALSO READ: Interior Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Look at what interior designers do these days, and you’ll see that most of their work has fully incorporated function with form.

Considering that interior designers now factor in function with their work, it has become imperative for them and their clients to keep the mistakes to a minimum. Check it out the infographic below for tips on the most common interior design mistakes to avoid.

Common Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

How to Pull Off a Minimalist Interior Design for Your Home

Dreaming of a minimalist interior design for your home without stripping off its character?

In this article, you will be guided on how to pull off a minimalist interior design that will make your home look calm, refreshing, and absolutely beautiful.

What is a Minimalist Interior Design?

This is a decorating style that practices restraint while allowing space, lighting, and objects to come into play. For a minimalist interior design, you are actually limiting your options to your bare essentials to achieve a bold, sophisticated, and highly remarkable transformation in your space.

8 Tips to Achieve a Minimalist Interior Design

1. Maintain a Restrained Color Palette

Use colors from the same color family while using neutrals such as white, light grey and pastels to create combinations that won’t go out of place.

2. Add Texture

A minimalist home is not just about maintaining a clean color palette. You also have to maintain a smooth and slick look that is far from boring. How to do that? By adding textures that can effectively break a monotonous look.

What You’ll Need?

Find linens, wools, and textiles that you can use to accessorize your space and make your home look more inviting.

3. Use Simple Lines and Shapes

One feature of a minimalist interior design is clean lines and curves. Furniture with ornate detailing is to be avoided. Instead, choose accents with designs that allow the eyes to move with ease.

4. Add Decorations and Accents

Some people may think that you can’t use decorative elements to achieve a minimalist look for your home, but the truth is you can! One thing to keep in mind is to ensure that decorative elements are merely used as accents and not to overwhelm your space.

TIP:

Identify one focal point instead of a group of small ones that will only cause a distraction. If you are designing centerpieces, go for smaller collections from the same family to maintain a solid look.

5. Create Empty Spaces

Empty space is an essential element in a minimalist interior design. Remember, space can define the look as it interacts with the objects in your room. It also plays a role in keeping visual balance and amplifying the existence of the furniture you put in your home.

6. Make Room for Arts and Plants

Adding life to your space can be done through arts and plants. These elements add personality and allow you to make a statement while maintaining a simple and quiet look that is typical of a minimalist interior design.

Interesting Fact:

Plants work well with any color scheme. It blends well with any theme without necessarily competing with other colors.

7. Declutter

Getting rid of the clutter in your home is a step to becoming a minimalist. Stick to your essentials and get rid of the things that you no longer need. Along with that is the need to rearrange. Change your displays and go for well-chosen elements that work well with your theme.

8. Let the Light In

You’ll realize how bare windows work for a minimalist interior design once you see how it adds beauty and character to your decors. It would be best to leave the windows bare to allow the light to enter your space. If you can’t compromise your privacy for added light, you can opt for thin curtains, blinds or laser cut privacy screens that can also provide distinct styling.

 

There are ways to make a minimalist interior design work for your home. With the above-mentioned tips, you’re on your way to achieving a clean, modern and sophisticated space that you’d love coming home to.

 

Need help with interior design? Seek the help of expert our Chicago interior designer, Erica Lugbill.

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18 Low Maintenance Indoor Plants & Trees for Your Home

Are you looking for functional home decorations? Search no further. The best home decoration that can provide you with great benefits could be the plants or trees that are just waiting to find a space inside your home.

Indoor plants not only brighten up and beautify spaces, research already proved the significant role of plants in reducing stress levels, clearing air toxins, enhancing concentration, boosting mood, and lowering the risk for illnesses. With well-placed indoor plants, you can create an aesthetically pleasing interior design, plus a host of benefits!

Want to know what plants can be used for your home? Read on to know your options from the list of low maintenance indoor plants and trees that we have collated for you.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe grows easily in a pot and can thrive on your desk or bedside table with only minimal care. It is popular for its many uses including providing a soothing gel for cuts and burns.

Proper Care: Keep the plant where it can get indirect light. It only requires occasional watering for about every week or two and can live for a long time without water.

2. Grape Ivy

Grape ivy is a vine with tendrils that readily cling to a surface or trellis. Its shiny, deep green leaves resemble those of grapes, only much smaller.

Proper Care: Allow the soil of grape ivy to dry slightly between waterings. It’s best to set up a framework for the plant to climb on before it becomes too large.

3. Hoya

Other Names: Porcelain Flower, Wax Plant

Hoya or wax plant has waxy foliage and beautiful flowers that are often powerfully fragrant. It is a versatile interior accent that can be climbing or trailing to 4 feet or more.

Proper Care: Hoya requires low watering and can thrive under medium to bright light. Allow the surface to dry between waterings.

4. Bromeliad

Bromeliad

Bromeliad easily adapts to regular home conditions and lasts a long time. It is a beautiful foliage plant that adds an exotic touch to your home with its strappy leaves that come in a variety of colors.

Proper Care: Bromeliad prefers shallow pots with non-soil organic items such as orchid mix (usually a blend of bark and sphagnum moss). It requires bright light and occasional watering.

5. Inch Plant

Other Name: Wandering Jew

Inch plant is a flowering houseplant that is also called wandering Jew or purple heart. It has stunning trailing vines with zebra patterned foliage and can grow in a pot or hanging basket.

Proper Care: Inch plant can grow in dim light, however, the beautiful markings on the foliage will fade. Keep it watered but allow the top surface of its soil to dry out between waterings.

6. Jade Plant

Other Names: Friendship Tree, Lucky Tree, Money Tree, Dollar Plant

Jade is a low-maintenance succulent houseplant that has thick, oval leaves with thick stalks and often produces small pink or white flowers.

Proper Care: Jade plant prefers bright light and ordinary room temperatures. It doesn’t require a lot of water so it only needs soil that is somewhat dry.

7. Calathea

Calathea

Other Names: Peacock Plant, Zebra Plant, Rattlesnake Plant

Calathea often called as peacock plant is prized for its attractively mottled leaves. Its foliage that comes in a variety of purple, green pink or red, makes a handsome addition in your home.

Proper Care: For the best foliage, keep calathea moist but not drenched and avoid bright lighting. It can be grown outdoors in warm, frost-free climates.

8. Kalanchoe

Other Names: Flaming Katy, Christmas kalanchoe, Florist kalanchoe, Madagascar Widow’s-thrill

Kalanchoe is a tropical succulent water-retaining plant that grows colorful, bell-shaped flowers. It requires very little care that it even welcomes dry climates and temperature swings.

Proper Care: Water Kalanchoe only when the top inch of the soil is already dry or about once a week.

9. Norfolk Island Pine

Other Name: A. Excelsa

Norfolk Island Pine makes a great houseplant that usually grows to 10 feet indoors. Its soft texture creates a cozy feeling to any room and makes a great Christmas tree for decorating during the holidays.

Proper Care: This pine loves ample light and humidity. In low light, its lower branches may turn brown and fall off. On the other hand, if the air is too dry, it can be infested with spider mites.

10. Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia

Other Name: Dumbcane

Dieffenbachia provides a tropical-looking accent to home décor with its leaves that can grow up to a foot long. It grows well in shade, which makes it ideal for a house that doesn’t get direct sunlight.

Proper Care: Keep its soil evenly moist and well drained. It thrives in normal room temperature with medium or low lighting conditions.

11. Peace Lily

Other Name: Spath

Peace lily looks elegant with its graceful curving white blooms and dark leaves. Its ability to grow easily and filter toxins from the air makes it a valuable indoor plant.

Proper Care: Peace lily favors low humidity, low light, and moist soil. It can thrive even in rooms with few windows like the bathroom.

12. Rubber Plant

Other names: Rubber Bush, Rubber Tree

Rubber plant gives a major pop of greenery in a room, with its dark leaves having an attractive shine to them. It can measure over 100 feet tall, but regular pruning can keep it as a shrub.

Proper Care: Rubber plant thrives in medium to bright lighting condition. Allow the surface of its soil to dry out before watering.

13. English Ivy

English Ivy

Other Names: Ivy, European Ivy

English ivy is an evergreen perennial that makes a wonderful trailing plant, climbing plant and indoor topiary. Aside from its elegant long trails, it is also known for removing mold spores from your indoor air.

Proper Care: Like most ivies, English ivy likes moist, fertilized soil and cool room temperature conditions.

Note: Keeping an ivy may be dangerous as all its part are poisonous if eaten or chewed by pets or children.

14. Snake Plant

Other names: Viper’s Bowstring Hemp, Snake Plant, Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Saint George’s Sword

Snake plant also goes by the name mother-in-law’s tongue with leaves that are typically tall, stiff and vertical. It is extremely drought-resistant that it can go for a month without water.

Proper Care: Snake plant grows well in any lighting conditions. It requires little air and watering that it’s better to allow the soil to dry before watering again.

15. Umbrella Tree

Other name: Octopus Tree

Umbrella tree is a tropical tree with long oval-shaped leaves that grow on a delicate stem. It becomes a low-maintenance tree when grown indoors that’s why it is a common sight in both homes and offices.

Proper Care: Keep umbrella tree on a bright spot of your space where it receives indirect sun. Avoid excessive watering.

16. Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Image Source: Flickr by Emily May

Fiddle leaf fig is a classy looking indoor tree with a large leathery foliage and height that creates a statement in a space. It can grow too tall but you can always prune its stems back to the desired height.

Proper Care: Keep the fig tree in bright, indirect light. It only needs water when the top inch of soil is already dry.

17. Weeping Fig

Other name: Benjamin Fig or Ficus Tree

Weeping fig is a popular indoor tree that produces quantities of shiny green leaves on delicate drooping branches. It is often sold in stores braided to form one spectacular trunk and can grow up to 15 feet tall indoors.

Proper Care: Weeping fig, prefers bright indirect light. It has the tendency to drop leaves when moved to a different location but will recover through time.

18. ZZ Plant

Other Name: Eternity Plant

ZZ plant earned the name ‘eternity plant’ because it is nearly indestructible. It has green, shiny foliage with thick fleshy leafstalks that are so durable it can survive drought, low light, and even low humidity.

Proper Care: ZZ plant thrives in almost any lighting condition and doesn’t require much watering that you can allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Warning: This plant is poisonous if eaten or chewed by children or pets.

 

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How to Set up Modular Furniture

In this video, Erica Lugbill, owner Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm, discusses how you can set up a modular furniture.

Erica said, “When you go to a furniture store to pick out your sectional, it’s helpful to have an actual floor plan or dimension of the space” so you can be sure that the piece you’re choosing fits perfectly within your space.

And when deciding on the actual placement of the furniture it’s good to keep the sectional as open as possible. Some modular furniture comes with sectional connectors. But if you don’t have you can find them at your local hardware store or online.

To use it, just screw the connector onto the bottom of the furniture. Its mechanism is such a way that you can push one section in and it will keep the pieces in place. And when you remove them, just lift one section and then you can move them around again.

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