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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.

12 Zero-Waste Essentials for Your Modern Kitchen

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

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

 

12 Essentials to Complete Your Zero-Waste Kitchen

 

1. Cloth Napkins

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

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

2. Dish Brushes

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

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

3. Glass Spray Bottles

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

4. Mason Jars

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

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

5. Stainless Steel Funnels

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

6. Beeswax Wrap

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

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

7. Organic Cotton Coffee Filters

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

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

8. Reusable Cloth Bags

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

9. Eco-Friendly Sandwich Bags

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

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

10. Bandanas and Rags

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

11. Sustainable Kitchenware

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

12. Reusable Coffee Cups

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

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

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

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

6 Tried and Tested Natural Toothpaste Recipes for a Sustainable Bathroom

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

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

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

 

6 Natural and Organic Toothpaste Recipes to Try

 

1. Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Toothpaste

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

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

Recipe from The Pistachio Project.

2. Vegan Toothpaste with Vegetable Glycerin

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Recipe borrowed from Mother Nature Network.

3. Natural Toothpaste with Bentonite Clay

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Originally posted on Thank Your Body.

4. Natural Whitening Toothpaste with Hydrogen Peroxide

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

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

Recipe also taken from Mother Nature Network.

5. Remineralizing Toothpaste for Fighting and Healing Cavities

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

Instructions:

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

Instructions:

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

Originally posted on The Healthy Home Economist.

6. Three-Ingredient Natural Toothpaste

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

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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

Recipe taken from Scratch Mommy.

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

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

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

Erica Lugbill Featured as a Top Interior Design Blogger

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

 

Erica Lugbill Cited for “Relaxed and Energetic Approach”

 

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

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

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

Read Wow Cushions’ original article here.

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

9 Bathroom Swaps for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

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

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

 

9 Zero-Waste Bathroom Swaps for a Sustainable Lifestyle

 

1. Bamboo/Aluminum Toothbrush

Substitute For: Commercial toothbrushes with synthetic bristles and plastic handles

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

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

2. Toothy Tabs

Substitute For: Traditional toothpaste in disposable tubes

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

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

3. Water Flosser

Substitute For: Traditional dental floss made with plastic

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

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

4. Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Substitute For: Plastic razors

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

5. Bidet

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

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

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

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

6. Organic Cloth Pads

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

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

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

7. Homemade Deodorant

Substitute For: Traditional deodorant

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

Instructions:

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

Recipe originally posted on Mommypotamus.

8. Homemade Lotion

Substitute For: Traditional lotion

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

Instructions:

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

Recipe taken from Note to Trash.

9. Soap Bars/Shampoo Bars

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

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

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

ALSO READ: 15 Space Saving Bathroom Design Ideas

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

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

7 Trends for Sustainable Living in 2019

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

 

7 Sustainable Living Trends for 2019

 

1. Eco-Friendly Lights

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

2. Water-Saving Fixtures and Appliances

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

3. The 3 R’s

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

4. Sustainable Materials

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

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

5. Low-VOC Paint

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

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

6. Green Spaces

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

7. Working With Nature

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

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

7 Steps to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Eco-friendly living will continue to be a hot trend in 2019, with more and more homeowners realizing how the details of their lifestyle can affect the environment in the long run. If you want to keep up with the times, you ought to update your home with sustainable choices, from your living room to your kitchen. To get you started, here are 7 steps you can take for an eco-friendly kitchen.

7 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

1. Choose Your Appliances Wisely

Look for energy-efficient appliances. These use just enough energy to do their job and can help you save 10-50% of the normal power consumption of their regular versions. Some of them even run on renewable energy, such as solar power. One indicator of an eco-friendly appliance is the Energy Star label, which is placed on products that the Environmental Protection Agency certifies as energy-efficient.

In addition, you might want to unplug your appliances when they’re not in use. Leave them plugged in and they’ll still use up power.

2. Cook Smart

If you tend to prepare meals without much thought, you’re probably using more energy in your kitchen than you actually need. This can increase your carbon footprint without you realizing it. Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re in the kitchen:

  • Use just enough water. The more water you use, the more energy you’ll need to heat it up or get it to boiling point. Plus, excess water is wasted water.
  • Use lids when you cook. This traps heat and speeds up your cooking.
  • Try using the microwave instead of the oven when you can. This way, you can use 80% less energy to reheat the same food item.
  • Cut down on meat and dairy. It takes up a surprising amount of resources to raise a cow. Forests are sometimes even converted into pastures just to raise livestock. The more meat and dairy you consume, the bigger your carbon footprint.

3. Upgrade Cookware and Utensils

Switch out your plastic cookware for modern equivalents made of eco-friendly materials such as porcelain, glass, or wood. It’s a good thing there are several brands selling sustainable kitchen products nowadays! These include Rustic Wall Co., which produces kitchen utensils made of logging scraps, or Bambeco, which reuses its leftover materials and plants a tree for every purchase.

4. Cook With Organic Greens

Try to cook with herbs and vegetables that are fresh and free of pesticides. There are two ways to do this: buy from local green grocers or farmers’ markets, or grow your own produce.

Locally sourced greens don’t consume as much fuel just to be transported, which is a big eco-friendly plus. Be sure of whom you’re buying from, though. A large commercial farm that douses its crops with pesticides could fall under “local” if it’s just across your street. Opt for produce from small, organic farms.

You can also try your hand at growing your own herbs and vegetables. Many common vegetables are perfect for budding gardeners. These include tomatoes, cabbage, and spring onions. The additional backyard foliage will help keep the air at home fresh, too.

5. Cut Down on Food Waste

If your kitchen is truly eco-friendly, it will ideally produce minimal food waste. The following tips should keep you from throwing out too much food:

  • Shop smart. When you’re at the groceries, be realistic and buy only what you need.
  • Don’t over-serve. When scooping food onto your plate, don’t pile it up in heaps. Instead, get smaller portions and go back for seconds if needed.
  • Save your leftovers. If you’re feeling creative, you can use leftovers to whip up a fantastic meal. Just label them to keep track of how long they’ve been in your fridge.
  • Note down the food you toss out. That way you’ll know what you don’t use and take steps to avoid repeated kitchen wastage, whether that means buying smaller sizes of the same product or cutting that item out of your menu entirely.

6. Use Your Fridge Right

Your fridge uses up energy to keep food cold. If you’re aiming to have an eco-friendly kitchen, you’ll want to reduce the work your fridge has to do. Position your fridge in a cool area of your kitchen, and let food cool before putting it in the fridge.

Make sure that your fridge is still efficient, too. Defrost it regularly to keep your fridge and freezer running efficiently. Also, check if the seals around the door need to be changed. A quick test: close the door on a dollar bill. If the bill easily slides out, that means that the seals are also loose enough to let cold air seep out. Replace the seals as needed.

7. Use Green Cleaning Products

Some kitchen cleaning products have chemicals which can harm your family as well as the environment. Switch to eco-friendly alternatives with natural formulas. Homemade cleaning ingredients won’t give off strong odors, yet they can often be just as effective as store-bought cleaning products.

With these 7 steps, you’ll be on your way to an eco-friendly kitchen with a smaller carbon footprint. This sustainable lifestyle choice isn’t just a great way to welcome the new year, but it’ll help keep your home cleaner and fresher for you and your family.

For more tips on sustainable living and interior design, visit our blog regularly.

Window Treatments that are Better Alternative to Curtains


Window Treatments that are Better Alternative to Curtains

10 Window Treatments that are Better Alternative to Curtains

When you think of window treatments, curtains are probably the first things that come to your mind. But, while they remain the most straightforward option, they’re not necessarily the only choice to dress your windows.

If you’re looking for better alternatives to traditional curtains, this article lists some other options you need to consider. But, to refresh you, we also define the very reason why you need window treatments in the first place.

How Window Treatments Impact Your Home

Window treatments might be the only thing you need to transform your space. They set the mood and tone of a room, and the absence of them can make the space appear bare and naked.

Further, window treatments not only help manipulate the light that goes into your home, they also add privacy, while also aid with the cooling and insulating of a space. Now, no matter the purpose you want the treatment to serve – with the many options available – you’re sure to find one that fits your needs:

8 Window Treatment Options

1. Drapes

Although many use the terms curtains and drapes interchangeably, they’re actually two different things. But, the key difference is that drapes are typically pleated, heavy, lined and floor-length while curtains, on the other hand, are mostly lightweight, unlined and can differ in length. It is these characteristics that make drapes a more formal option.

2. Shades

Shades are a window treatment option made of continuous fabric that rolls up and down using pulley mechanism. They are often manufactured from light, colored and porous materials that filter and soften the light, instead of completely blocking it. They come in a wide range of shades, colors and materials such as polyester, cotton and linen.

3. Blinds

Instead of fabric like that of shades, blinds have slats or vanes. They are usually made of sturdier materials like wood, aluminum, composite materials or leather, and can come in different lengths, widths and orientation. Because they can be tailored according to one’s preferences, they nearly work well with any interior design.

4. Awnings

Awnings are the additional covering installed on the outside wall, often above the window and in a slanted position. Because of this structure, they offer great sun protection capabilities, without obstructing air circulation. These days, there are retractable awnings available, giving you more stylish options to update your windows.

5. Decorative Screens

A modern take on traditional curtains, decorative screens are great for shading, privacy and ventilation. They are often made from metal or wood, with intricate details engraved using laser-cutting technology. Because of its bold structure, this option allows for sunlight to filter through and cast beautiful shadows on its adjacent surfaces.

6. Shutters

Shutters offer a country-chic look to any interior design that is also functional and efficient. In fact, they’re sturdier than many other options which explains their higher price tag. But, given that you can expect them to last up to 20 years, shutters can actually be a great long-term window treatment that ensures sun-filtering and noise-blocking options.

7. Adhesive Film

When applied to window panes, adhesive films add texture to the interior, while reducing the sunlight that penetrates into your home. They are available in a range of tinted colors as well as patterns and textures so you can find one that complements your home décor. They can also be a cheaper alternative to stained or frosted glasses while providing the same benefits.

8. Vertical Garden

Finally, vertical gardens are a great multi-functional window treatment that works more favorably for those with limited horizontal space – condo owners and apartment renters, for example. Aside from allowing light to filter into the room, plants also add a touch of life and color as well as offer many health benefits for the family. Here are some low-maintenance indoor plants you can start with.

True, there is a wealth of options out there. But, given that window treatments are an investment, you should take time to see the options yourself as no amount of research will inform you how exactly they will look in your home.

Did you find this article informative? Let us know by commenting below!

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.

Did you find this article helpful? Share us your thoughts by commenting below.

URL:http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/modular-furniture.html

Youtube: https://youtu.be/HvytEMB_roc

White on White: The Chicago Interior Design Trend to Dominate this Year

First came the greenery, the 2017 Pantone color of the year that is a shade of zesty yellow-green. Then came the eccentricity that encompassed the use of different patterns and textures to create a cohesive interior design. All these and more reigned in the past year–and you’d surely want to know what’s in store for 2018.

This year 2018 appears to be completely different with the foreseen reemergence of white-on-white scheme in the Chicago interior design industry. Here’s what to expect from the interior design trend to dominate this year.

White on White is In

As people move toward minimalism, an all-white scheme seems to be an obvious choice. It has always been in the limelight in the past years, only that many have put more emphasis on its limitations: it can appear a little too sterile and dull.

But, Chicago interior designers have given a new perception on a white-on-white scheme by reintroducing the then-flat color in various shades, patterns, and textures. Today, the color is now associated with a clean, simple aesthetic that lends a calming effect for those who dwell in them.

Possibly the most advantageous benefit of an all-white scheme is that it gives the illusion of space while providing an excellent contrasting backdrop for bold accents. You can easily incorporate furniture pieces, French linen beddings, and artworks too without worrying that it might compromise its minimal effect.

 

If you’re looking to jump in on this white on white trend, contact an interior designer in Chicago today!

Did you find this article informative? Let us know in the comments section below!

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