How Your Home Can Benefit from a Beautiful Garden

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Home Design Ideas | 0 comments

When building a new home, it’s easy to put all of your attention on the house and neglect your front and backyard. And that makes total sense; after all, the structure of your home, its interior, and its general layout are immensely important, and you’ll want to make sure everything is to your liking. But, with that said, don’t forget about your yards. Here are five ways your new home can benefit from a beautiful garden.

It Can Extend Your Entertainment Space

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Image from flckr

A well manicured backyard garden can increase your at-home entertainment options. And this is perfect during summer and on those days when the weather is almost begging you to come outside. Instead of having to entertain guests in the living room or kitchen, homeowners with a beautiful garden can take everything outside and catch up with friends or family surrounded by colourful flowers, tons of plants, and the sound of trickling water.

More Privacy

Depending on what kind of garden you build and how high your fence is, a home garden can give both you and your family more privacy in your backyard space. Shade trees are best for creating a more private and secluded space, but they will take some time to grow. Just be patient and you’ll have a nice little private retreat just outside your back door in no time at all.

It Will Increase the Value of Your Home

According to landscape economist John Harris, a well-landscaped garden can increase the value of your home by up to 28%. In general, home buyers are looking for a home that’s fit for moving in right away and doesn’t require much work. A home with a poorly maintained garden, or none at all, can scare away potential buyers and lower the value of your home. This is why quality landscaping is valued by any home building agency that offers house and land packages, such as Coral Homes.

It Can Save You Money

vegetable garden

vegetable garden (Image from flickr)

Not only will a beautiful garden get you more money when it comes time to sell your home, but, if you plant shade trees as soon as you move in, the added shade these trees provide can cut your cooling costs by as much as 40%. Large trees can block out much of the sun and leave your home naturally cooler during those scorching hot summer days. Also, if you create a little herb and vegetable garden in your backyard, then you can also save both time and money as you won’t have to make those short trips to the supermarket to grab some thyme, rosemary, or a fresh lettuce; you’ll have everything on hand, right in your own garden.

Better Air Quality in Your Home

Finally, if your garden starts or ends inside your home, then your plants can actually clear the air of environmental toxins. Plants such as English ivy, gerbera daisies, peace lilies, and bamboo palm are especially good at improving the quality of the air in your home.

Can you think of any other ways a beautiful home garden can improve your home? Leave your comments in the section below and help others see the light in building a garden in their backyard.

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Downsizing Your Home: What To Do With Your Excess Furniture

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 in Earth Friendly Activities, green living, Home Furniture, How To's | 1 comment

Downsizing! Whether you’re moving into a new life phase, getting rid of the past or making a fresh start, there’s always the dilemma on what to do with your excess furniture. Having trouble deciding on what to do with your excess furniture? Check out these ideas to help with downsizing.

furniture, excess furniture

Pack It Into The Garage

Of course, the first place many think of to put excess furniture is in the garage. Why not – it’s close and it’s free. The problem many face when storing excess furniture in the garage is we tend to store too much. That antique or heirloom furniture often becomes something to store things on, in or around. Creepy crawlies love making homes in old draws, mould creeps in and before you know it, that beautiful furniture that you were hoping to keep for the kids has been scratched, rotted or infested.

Put It Into Storage

Without a doubt, storage comes at a cost. You’re paying for someone else to give you more space. A good storage facility will be mould and pest free, will ensure that old furniture does not have other peoples stuff stacked on it and will still give you easy access to your goods, if need be. Some storage companies such as http://www.yourlocalmovers.com.au/ will even come and collect everything you need to store. Look into the storage options in your area – you might even be amazed at how cost-effective it is!

Give It To The Kids

We all started out with second hand or used furniture, right? Your kids aren’t going to want your furniture. Not yet anyway. Why? Because that heavily stained chipboard table will look terrible in your kids townhouse, that’s why. The only time it is really appropriate to palm off excess furniture to the kids is if they need it AND they ask for it. Your kids aren’t going to want a bulk ‘donation’ of your old stuff.

Give It To Charity

We’ve all given a dodgy barbeque or brown couch to charity, but what about that furniture that is just that bit too good to turf? With most things in your home, furniture has a certain sentimental value. That couch you used to snuggle up on to watch the Saturday night movie. The table you spent many evenings eating around. That bed you spent many hours… sleeping in! Giving to charity is a great way to give things you truly don’t need or want anymore – but things with a special memory?

Those things you really ought to keep. Downsizing your home can often mean a change in life stage. The kids have left, maybe you’ve re-partnered and have excess furniture. Maybe it’s just time to update or upgrade. What have you done when you’ve downsized? Have you found any of these tips helpful, or would you do things differently? Leave your ideas in the comments, below.

Image credit: habitatgsf.org

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Eco-Friendly Home Organizational Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

Posted by on Oct 21, 2014 in Green Goods, green living, Home Design Ideas, Home Essentials | 0 comments

One way you can alleviate stress in your life is to get rid of the junk inside of your home. Keep clutter at bay with these eco-friendly home organizational tools.

Bamboo Bathroom Décor

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A bamboo bath and vanity set can help improve the décor in your bathroom and provide you with more storage space for all of your beauty and health products. In addition to a bamboo vanity set, you can use other bamboo bathroom accessories such as a hand towel tray, wastebasket, and a soap dispenser to organize and spruce up your bathroom. Bamboo bathroom accessories and storage products are very appealing, and they hold up well in areas like the bathroom, where humidity is high.

Bamboo Storage Bins and Carts

kitchen cart

Bamboo storage bins are perfect for those smaller items that you want to keep grouped together but do not want to dedicate any of your precious counter and cabinet space for. Bamboo storage bins can be used as drawers on desks and tables or alone as décor. Carts are ideal for small kitchens and bathrooms where there may not be a lot of space to move around in. Carts can be used for storage or additional workspace. When they are not in use, roll them into a corner to keep them out of the way.

Shelves and Hooks

The use of shelves can open up a room and add some much-needed space since they can be placed practically anywhere. Consider adding a variety of shelving to the den, kitchen, bathroom, and garage areas to gain the maximum amount of storage capacity and utility for your space. Shelves can also add an extra touch to the décor in any room. Hooks, meanwhile, can be used in entryways, bathrooms, and anywhere in the home where there is not enough space to hang coats, towels, or other articles of clothing. You can also use hooks to hang up your pots and pans if your kitchen does not have much cabinet space.

It is not necessary for you to spend money on renovations to declutter your home. Discover additional eco-friendly organization changes to keep your home clutter-free while doing your part to save the environment.

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Create More Room in Your House

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in green living, Home Essentials, How To's | 0 comments

decluttering, making room for home, more room

We can have big houses and still not have enough space. That is because the truth is, we accumulate stuff almost every day. It can be because we are compulsive shoppers and we just can’t help buying things that we see at the store or when we browse online. Or, we get a lot of gifts that often remain unused because we don’t really need them.

All of these things get piled up everywhere in the house, especially the garage. And now, you have to park your car outside because there is just no more room inside your property.

The good thing is, all this can change. You can create more room in your house by de-cluttering. Start by spending one weekend cleaning up your closet, then your cupboards, then the other rooms in the house. You will realize that you have so many things that you do not use anymore or have never used at all. That means that you do not need these things in your life. They are just lying there, adding to the mess in your house.

Now, you have to decide what to do with these unused things. Get two to three big boxes and segregate them. You can label them according to how you will classify your stuff—For Resale, For Charity, For Trash—or whatever you would want to do with your stuff. Add more boxes as needed.

After you have segregated everything, get to moving and post photos in online classifieds of the things that you want to sell and deliver the stuff that you are going to give away. And by all means, dump the rest in the trash. When all of that is done, use the vacuum cleaner to rid your house of all the dust that has been stimulated because of your little de-cluttering project.

In the end, you will not only create a more room in your house but you have also cleaned it from the dust that has gathered there for a very long time.

Do this de-cluttering activity at least once in every two years and you will not have a problem with storage anymore. Plus, you get a cleaner home.

Image credit: theguardian.com

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How to Store Practically Everything

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Care Tips, Earth Friendly Activities, green living, How To's | 0 comments

When clutter starts to encroach on every room of your home, it’s time to purge what you can and organize everything that remains. Finding a place for everything can go a long way in reducing your stress, making your home look more inviting, and removing tripping and choking hazards (especially if you have young children or pets). Check out the tips below to get ideas for how to better store a wide variety of common household items.

Food: Is your refrigerator nearing maximum capacity after an overzealous trip to the grocery store? To keep food from spoiling, familiarize yourself with what can go in the freezer—and how long it will last in there. Beef and chicken can both last up to a year in the freezer if they are tightly sealed in plastic bags or their original packaging, while bread products can last up to 6 months, for example. Dairy products shouldn’t be frozen and will last between 7 days (for milk and yogurt) and 3-4 weeks (for hard cheeses). Fresh produce will last between 2 days and 2 weeks, depending on the thickness of the rind and how ripe it was when you purchased it.

Clothing: If you have a lot of seasonal clothing or hand-me-downs that you’re just waiting fo your youngest child to grow into, you should consider moving it to a climate-controlled storage unit. The clothing should stay in good condition indefinitely if stored in a space between 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you’re storing clothes in a closet at home or a storage unit, remember to rotate them every 18 months or so to keep them fresh.

Furniture: Climate-controlled storage units can also come in handy when you have too much furniture but don’t want to sell it because you’re anticipating moving to a bigger place. If you go this route, disassemble furniture as much as you can to make it easier to move and reduce the risk of damage. If you end up with a bunch of screws and bolts, put them in small plastic baggies that are clearly labeled with the name of the piece of furniture they go to. Clean fabric furniture before moving it into the storage unit, and cover it in plastic wrap to protect it.

Makeup: Small containers of makeup can become disorganized quickly, so get your makeup drawer organized by purchasing some drawer dividers. Keep any makeup brushes in a roll-up holder to protect the bristles, and store any unused makeup in airtight containers to make it last for longer. Mascara and foundation that you’ve had for more than three months or powdered makeup and lipstick that you’ve had for more than 18 months should just be tossed.

Jewelry: If you don’t already have a jewelry box with dividers and a soft fabric lining, it’s worth the investment, as it will prevent your jewelry from getting tangled or scratched. If you have a box without compartments, you can also prevent tangling by wrapping each piece of jewelry individually in tissue paper. Make sure you keep the box in a safe, dry area.

Medication: You’re probably using your bathroom’s medicine cabinet to store medication, but heat and humidity actually speed up many medications’ breakdown processes, so that may not be the best place to keep it. Look for a dry location away from heats, lights, humidity, and the reach of young children, such as a high shelf in your bedroom closet.

If you want even more storage tips for household items including electronics, facial creams, and ceramic dishes, check out this detailed infographic from Next Door Self Storage.

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5 Energy Saving Tips for Your First Home Build

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Green Goods, green living, Home Design Ideas, Home Essentials, Home Improvement, How To's | 0 comments

As resources become scarcer and more expensive, the importance of home efficiency will transform into a necessity. Owning or living in an inefficient home will gradually become a greater drain on your bank account.

If you are planning on having a new house built, it’s best to get ahead of the game and start thinking about the various methods you can employ to make technology work for you and the environment.

Many systems that help save energy also raise the value of the home and make it more self-reliable. There is a vast amount of knowledge and resources out there to help you get inspired and contacting Coral Homes can be the perfect place to start.

Being solar smart

photovoltaic panels, PV panels, solar panels

image credit: greenzone.com

With better technology advancing all of the time, outfitting your new home with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels is an increasingly enticing and practical method of not only saving energy, but creating it. Depending on the size and type of system that you decide to go with, you can offset the amount of energy that you use from conventionally generated electricity, generate all that your household needs, or even generate more than you need. In certain places, energy companies are mandated to buy the surplus energy that you generate at current market prices.

Another option is to set up an off-the-grid PV system. The benefit is that you are not reliant upon the electrical grid, however, you must purchase several batteries to store the electricity in.

Insulation

Although many people think about cold weather when the topic of insulation is brought up, the need for a well-insulated home in hot weather is equally important.

Insulating walls and ceilings is crucial when heating or cooling a home in order buffer between the temperature variation from outside to inside.

Quality double-paned insulated windows can help seal up a house to make it super efficient.

In hot water

The old-style traditional hot water heaters that store heaps of water and keep it at a constant temperature are becoming a thing of the past. Their replacement comes in the form of small, wall-mounted box that can fit in a closet.

On-demand hot water heaters are quickly becoming standard issue in modern efficient homes. Instead of wasting money and resources on keeping water hot when it’s not even needed, on-demand heaters only create hot water when it is needed.

Talk with your home builder about this option so you install the right size to meet your household’s needs.

Roof overhangs

roof overhangs, overhangs

image credit: modernhousemagazine.com

A clever trick that is often overlooked in home design is to plan roof overhangs intelligently.

With some careful planning and calculations, roof overhangs can be designed so they block the sun from shining through windows when the sun is high in the sky during the summer months, and let the sun shine in when it is lower in the winter months.

Using sun tubes

Sun tubes are a type of focused sky light. Picture a round skylight the size of a dinner plate with a reflective tube attached that connects the skylight in the roof with a diffuser in the ceiling.

Sun tubes are the ideal way to bring some natural light into darker interior areas of a home without having to install additional electrical hardware or pay for more electricity.

Have you used any of these energy efficient practices? Leave your ideas in the comments below.

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