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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!

How to Arrange Living Room Furniture With a Bay Window

In this video, Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based residential remodeling and interior designs firm, covers several options in arranging your furniture in the living room bay window.

In the living room arrangement shown in this video, Erica just placed a chaise slightly diagonal to the bay window and added a small side table to make the set up a little more comfortable.

Another option is to have two individual chairs both angled facing in, then a small side table in between the chairs to place your book, cup or glass. Last option and Erica’s favorite is to place a bar cart on the center that’s movable for entertaining and again two small chairs angled in.

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

URL:http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/arrange-living-room-furniture.html

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbb3ejzT21Q

How to Hang & Display Artwork

In this video, Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, a high-end residential remodeling and interior design firm in Chicago, covers how to hang and display an artwork.

When deciding where to hang an artwork, you want to center it both vertically and horizontally in the space. For light artwork, you can hang it on the wall by a nail mounted on the wall. Use carpenter’s level on the top edge to make sure it’s perfect in the space. Then, adjust the piece until you find the perfect level.

You know you frame up the artwork well on the space when the spaces on top and bottom, and both sides are equal. Another simple way to hang your artwork is by using saw-toothed hangers. Just tap them with the hanger onto the back of the painting or the frame.

And last is with the use of c-rings. Mount two of them on your ceiling and two at the back of an artwork. Then, use rope or twine to suspend the piece. For industrial loft-type spaces, use thin wire.

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

URL: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/display-art-work.html

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH6OSavhsFY

 

How to Keep Rugs From Slipping on Wood Floors : Design Tips

In this Video, Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, an upscale home remodeling and design firm in Chicago, gives you several different options to keep your rugs from slipping on wood floors.

To relieve you from worrying about constantly pulling your pesky rugs back to its place, here are some tips from Erica:

Use thick felt rug pad with rubber backing under your rugs. It’s thick and plush which adds height and cushion to the rug so it’s softer when you step on it.

Another option is to use a double sided carpet tape. Once you put it directly on the floor, just peel off the top, put down  your rug and problem’s solved. However, take care when using the tape. It’s only advisable for wood floor that has a strong finish or laminate flooring.

Need help with your home’s interior design, find useful tips and update from our interior design blog.

Video URL: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/slipping-wood-floors.html

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlryI_m0Qh8

How to Lower the Brightness of a Color Painting?

In this video, Erica Lugbill, owner of Lugbill Designs, a high-end home remodeling and interior designs firm in Chicago, shares some professional advice on how to lower the brightness of a color painting to ensure that it blends well with your home’s interior design.

 

1. Use a Steel Wool or Sandpaper

You can use a steel wool or a sandpaper to achieve a nice aged effect. Just rub the painting at different spots to tone down the color and create that aged look.

 

2. Use a Sponge

One alternative to the previous technique is to use a sponge. Wet the sponge and soak up some of the paint on the canvas while the paint is still wet. This is an option that can be used to replace steel wool or sandpaper, depending on the finish of the painting that you want to achieve and whichever works best with your interior design.

 

3. Dilute a Brown Paint

Another option that you can try is to take a brown paint and dilute it with water. Brush the solution over the painting to dull down the painting and give it a more diluted look.

 

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

 

URL: http://www.lugbilldesigns.com/videos/color-painting-brightness.html

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GINE1JMsBs8

How You Can Find a Mattress For Your Antique Bed Frame

Antique bed frames can be gorgeous and romantic, but there’s a downside: it’s not always easy to find a mattress to fit them. Often, antique bed frames don’t conform to standard mattress sizes, so buying a mattress to fit is not as simple as it is with a regular bed frame.

However, there are mattress options for antique bed frames, including custom-made mattresses, online mattresses, and bed frame conversions.

 

The Unusual Size of Antique Bed Frames

Antique bed frames don’t always conform to standard sizes or even sizes that are commonly found among antique bed frames. Some conform to the three-quarters size, which is easier to find than a bed frame that isn’t any kind of standard size at all.

If you’re shopping for an antique bed frame, it’s a good idea to learn about standard mattress sizes. That way, you can measure your bed frame before you buy it and see if it will fit a standard mattress, or if you need to look into other options.

 

Mattress Options for Antique Bed Frames

If your bed frame fits the three quarters size mattress, your options are easier. Although this size of mattress is not typically stocked by retailers, it is available online from specialty retailers and can be ordered when you purchase your bed frame.

If your bed frame is a particularly unusual size that doesn’t fit a standard mattress or the three quarters size mattress, you will have fewer options. It is possible to have a specialty custom mattress made to fit the frame, however, these can be costly.

 

Using a Box Spring on an Antique Bed Frame

In addition to a mattress that fits your antique bed frame, you’ll need to find a box spring. Typically, older frames require a box spring or foundation to support the mattress, unlike bed frames today that often come with slats or bars that you can set your mattress on directly.

Low profile box springs conform more to the antique look than a high profile box spring, as they are more subtle and won’t make your bed sit higher than it is intended to.

 

Antique Bed Frame Conversion

If you can’t find a mattress that fits your bed frame or don’t want to invest in a custom sized mattress, you can convert your bed frame to fit a mattress made in a standard size.

Using a bed conversion kit, or creating a DIY solution, you can change the size of your bed frame so that it can be used with a standard sized mattress. This is a good long-term option, as you may keep your antique bed frame for the rest of your life, while mattresses should be replaced approximately every eight years. This can also solve the problem of finding a box spring that will fit with your bed frame.

Some antique aficionados shy away from the bed conversion option, however. Although it is practical, altering your bed frame may decrease its value as an antique piece.

 

About the Author

Sarah Johnson
Community Relations
sjohnson@tuck.com

Tuck Sleep Foundation is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.

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