Monthly Archives: October 2017

Dressed to Kill: 7 Haunted Houseplants for Halloween

This year, if you are planning to host the Halloween party in your neighborhood, then be prepared to turn your house into a haunted house with the help of these haunted houseplants. Check out the list of the plants.

First, a disclaimer. No houseplants were harmed in the creation of this post. Well, at least not fatally. But we did force them to dress in creepy costumes for Halloween, despite knowing they’d rather be growing outdoors in their native climates (for most of them, that would be the tropics). Tough job, being a houseplant.

This DIY decor project was pretty easy on humans, though. First, we chose our victims for their theatrical foliage. Then, to create a darkly tortured Little Shop of Houseplants, we cloaked the plants’ nursery pots in washable black Paper Storage Bags (a set of three in different sizes is $34.27 from Warm Grey Company via Etsy). Tip: You can also give your houseplants a haunted look by simply painting their pots a dark color (see our Ikea houseplants below, painted in Farrow & Ball’s bruise-black Railings).

If they know what’s good for them, on Halloween our haunted houseplants will gather by the front door, where they can scowl menacingly at the trick-or-treaters:

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.

Peacock Plant

(C) Our House Plants

(C) Our House Plants

Botanical Name: Calathea ‘Marion’

Care and Feeding: Calatheas will fade if they get too much light; keep yours away from bright sun to preserve the distinct veining and colors of its leaves.

Design Tip: With its stiff leaves and strong silhouette, Calathea contrasts nicely with ferns or other lacy-leafed plants.

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Water Heater Replacement: 5 Clues That Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced

Once your water heater reaches a certain age, replacement becomes inevitable. Know what warning signs to look for so you can replace your water heater as early as possible.

Like any appliance, water heaters break down over time and need to be replaced. No one enjoys taking a cold shower, so ideally, you’d like to be able to replace your water heater before it completely stops working. If you wait too long, it could lead to a much larger problem. Such as, large leaks and water damage to your home. So how do you know when it’s time for a replacement? Here are a few clues:



Clue #1: Age

The older the water heater, the more likely it is to break down. As a general rule, a tank type water heater will last, on average 8 to 12 years.

With proper maintenance and a little luck, you may be able to nearly double the lifespan of your water heater. But sometimes even with the best care, a water heater will need to be replaced after only a few years. However, if your water heater is pushing the 10-year point, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace the unit.

If a new water heater is in your future, you may want to consider a tankless model, especially if your household doesn’t have large hot water needs. Tankless units have a considerably longer lifespan, and some manufacturers even offer lifetime warranties against their units from leaking.


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Do-it-yourself Home Improvement: The Pros and Cons

Today, many householders have been wanting to handle all sorts of initiatives to raise the value of their residences. To save money, quite a lot prefer to get it done by themselves. Some individuals assume that they are qualified and handy enough to finish developments and repairs on your property so they ought to achieve it by themselves rather finding expert. It’s been the perfect alternative in order to save a lot of money.

DIY or do-it-yourself improvements come with both benefits and drawbacks. It can help you save cash on easy home improvements and fixes, so long as you do an excellent job. However, there may be still the chance of a improperly accomplished task, particularly if you really don’t have the necessary skills. This might lead to more dangerous complications, that can then ultimately trigger bigger expenses on your part. Prior to finalise your decision of whether or not to proceed with your DIY activity, there are several points that you need to consider.



The Pros of DIY Home Improvement

The benefit of doing DIY home task is that you can save lots of money. Think about working with a contractor, paying for components you will need, and going through all the papers because of the activity. These stuffs can cost a lot of cash, especially if you don’t know how you can employ a good contractor.

Cost-effectiveness also applies to the building section at the same time when you proceed down the Do-it-yourself road and attempt to build brand new simple tables and chairs for the home. However, the word of caution to the tale is that you really should have that prophet-like endurance, strength and determination or your venture in the end might not came out to your anticipations. Obviously, simple chairs and platforms put loveliness to the overall appearance of your home however be sure to possess the expertise first and after that go DIY. You may even go with more easy home improvement Do-it-yourself projects like painting that might be of more interest and excitement for your mind.

The Cons of DIY Home Improvement

DIY or do-it-yourself projects have many advantages however it also has drawbacks. Sometimes, irrespective of how strict your budget is and how prepared you believe you are, troubles will almost certainly happen especially since you’re not a pro. This can result in more expenditures, additional work and much more stress. Also, the material that’ll be used may not be available for normal buyers and it may take some time to complete all of them.

Furthermore, when tasks or home improvements are done by professional contractors, they’re witout a doubt loaded with skills, time and the right tools. But if you anticipate doing it your own, you might not be able to rest on weekends or you will most probably sacrifice family time in order to finish the job. Also, if you ruin the minor repair job, it means that you’ll need to go back to the construction supply store and waste your money for replacement materials, and again take more time on the fix. Therefore, whenever you encounter major home repairs, requesting someone’s help is the greatest thing to do but when its just small or decorative things then you can do it right youself.


Why Consider Stairlifts

Walking up and down the stairs is a thing which is often ignored when we are young. As we bound up the steps 2 at a time, we don’t realize that for some the steps show a large obstacle. If you can not easily or safely use the stairs at home, you may be tempted to avoid the upstairs areas and could even consider selling your home. These option is pointless should you own a stair lift.

A stair lift is a mobility aid that’s put in to a staircase and is used to carry a person up and down the staircase. In most cases a strong aluminum track is secured straight to the stairs. Connected to the track is a car unit that consists of an electric motor and a chair or small platform. The car travels up and down the stairs on the track which enable it to support one rider.

(C) Age UK Mobility

(C) Age UK Mobility

Essentially, you can buy a straight model if your staircase is straight or a curved one if your staircase turns, has a middle landing, or has any king of obstruction on the stairs. Curved stair lifts must be custom made, take a long time to set up and are expensive. A straight unit includes a chair that’s mounted on a straight track in which runs the entire length of the stairs. The track is installed on the stair treads – never the wall – and most brands can be found in lengths between 16 and 20 feet. A motor then pulls the chair along the track. Older systems tended to make use of cables (the Bruno stair lift still does) but most new lifts now use rack and pinion as there is less deterioration and you have a tendency to get a smoother ride.

Curved stairlifts are those, that are custom-built for individual customers. They are made by the companies to fulfil the needs of their individual customers, in line with the type of staircases they’ve got. Suppose a structure includes a staircase that’s curved and is built in a unique design. Right now, only those stairlifts may fit on such stairs, that are specifically designed for them. Curved stair lifts are the solution to such a problem. Even though, they could be much more pricey than the normal stairlifts, those are the only option for such staircases.

The convenience and satisfaction stair lifts give their users is irreplaceable. The aged and the handicapped are given a wider range of freedom and they also could essentially be independent when it comes to mobility in the house.


Sizing It Down: How to Decorate a Home with High Ceilings

High ceilings are truly breath taking, but they are often hard to decorate around. However with a bit of creativity and by following some simple guidelines, you can use this space to good effect to create something that is unique and beautiful.

We spend so much time talking about problems and design conundrums that arise out of limited space, the other end of the spectrum is largely forgotten. While in the past we have discussed how to give a room with low ceiling a spacious appeal and the ways to enliven an interior with a sloped ceiling, today we take a look at those who might be suffering with a ‘problem of plenty’. Tall rooms with high ceilings are as hard to decorate as those that have limited vertical space and do present an entirely different set of challenges.



Interiors with high ceilings offer a great opportunity to express your design style in a more exuberant fashion while stealing the show with their grandeur. While the additional vertical space is great to have, it does require careful decorating, without which things can go south really quickly. Here are a few simple yet effective tips that will help you in mastering this difficult art –

1. Beam It up, Scotty!

One of the easiest and best ways to solve the problem of an unappealing room with high ceilings is to add wooden beams that reduce the overall scale of the room and bring in better proportions. This is indeed the trendiest way forward, as exposed and even painted wooden beams have made a grand comeback of sorts in the last few years. It is a trend that is here to stay, and even contemporary homes with sleek, modern design are turning towards wooden beams to usher in some personality and texture! If you are already blessed with structural wooden beams, highlight them beautifully. Otherwise, add a few decorative beams to get the job done.

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10 Indoor Plants That Are Perfect For Your Bathroom

It can be difficult to know which indoor plant will be suitable for your bathroom. But here are some indoor plants that can survive inside your bathroom. Find out how you can freshen up your bathroom with just adding some indoor plants.

Plants add interest, texture and colour to your bathroom – they even purify the air. But not all houseplants are happy living in a moist environment. Superstar florist Eden Hessell helps us to weed through our options by rounding up 10 plants that are sure to thrive in your bathroom.

Donkey’s tail

(C) GreenMyLife

(C) GreenMyLife

This easy-care succulent native to Mexico features long, hanging stems of thick, blue-green leaves that overlap like the hair on a Donkey’s tail. The cascading stems mean this plant looks gorgeous in a hanging basket in any bathroom. This plant needs light, not much watering, and does well in basic humidity.

String of pearl

Another easy-care succulent, String Of Pearls unique seaweed-like beads trail over hanging baskets, creating an interesting focal point hanging in a bathroom. This drought-tolerant plant likes bright, indirect light and well-drained soil – like any succulent it won’t survive overwatering.

Baby’s tear

This bright green delicate creeping herb trails prettily over wall-mounted planters or hanging baskets. It prefers shade and moisture, making it ideal for bathrooms with low levels of natural light.

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Using Mosaic Tiles in Your Home Designs

If you’re searching to enhance the decor in or outside of your home, you’ll have a many options to consider, paint colors, furnishings, lighting and so forth are great places to start. Having said that, if you’d like to make a strong decorative impact, you simply can’t go wrong with a mosaic tile layout.

Using mosaic in ornamental ways has existed for a long time, not just in regards to interior planning but also in architectural means. Going back as early as the 4th century B.C., it’s seen in several ancient Macedonian palaces in Greece. Thoroughly used during the Roman Empire, you can even find mosaics of the Villa Romana del Casale not far from Piazza Armerina in Sicily; they’re all quite interesting things to see when you are curious about the artifacts that surround mosaic tile art. In this modern day, mosaics are utilized in lots of ways. You’ll find them in kitchens, floors in numerous facilities.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Many mosaic tiles are made out of glass and could be cut into many different shapes and sizes which means you’ll be able to make a very varied design and pretty much unique to you. There are plenty of various colour schemes that can be used with mosaic tiles from simple yet effective looks to full blown crazy colour designs. You could use these throughout your house or building in various rooms.

One common material used in mosaic tile designs is ceramic. This unique materials are significantly popular today simply because it is probably the most cost effective option readily available.

One of the best selling attributes of ceramic tile is its versatility and durability. With hundreds of patterns and colors to pick from, every room can have its own feel and look. This floor can endure a lots of traffic so it is ideal for families on the go.

Regarding what could be the most powerful and classic look for a mosaic tile design, many individuals choose the look of marble. It is a very stunning and traditional manner of achieving the look of a mosaic design.

It’s worth noting that while marble tiles, polished or unpolished, are the classic and traditional material used, they are also the costliest option too. Yet, with the robustness of marble as a surface, you’ll likely be able to make use of this material almost anyplace in and around the home. The reality is that marble holds up well in the outdoor elements therefore outside of an occasional cleaning, you certainly will get many years of life out of your marble mosaic design.


How To Have The Most Storage With Fitted Bedroom

Without sufficient storage space, bedrooms can often feel somehow under siege by all the clutter that may eventually develop on to the floor. This may prove to be a great source of stress, particularly when all you wish after a hard day at work is a clean and clear bedroom with a calming, clutter-free atmosphere. What makes this difficult to achieve, though, will be the way in which a lot of bedrooms have awkward nooks, crannies and wall spaces that make effective storage hard. With free-standing furniture often unable to fully fill these difficult gaps, you might find that you are losing possible storage space with each and every ill-fitting wardrobe or chest of draws.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Fitted bedrooms are custom designs in which make use of all available space to build beautiful and highly useful living areas. When a professional custom designer works straight with a buyer, the end result is a bedroom that provides all the little luxuries and even more even in the tiniest of spaces. Designs for fitted bedrooms varies. The desired work could possibly involve a custom wardrobe. It might also include a way to create addition space by storing a bed during the day, supplying plenty of clothing and book storage space, offering a built-in desk and much more. Fitted bedrooms can essentially offer any number of perks a buyer desires.

Fitted bedroom companies will typically help you make the most of the space by providing custom-made furniture units that are specifically made for the exact measurements of your room. For example, a bespoke wardrobe could be made that fills an irregular space in the wall, with pullouts utilized artistically to create those uneasy gaps a storage space for shoes, accessories and other small items. Similarly, while a sloping wall could prove entirely mismatched with standard drawer units, a pro supplier could provide specially made solutions that transform a normally redundant space, supplying you with storage options that would have previously been impossible.

As the storage advantages are clear, it’s also important to note the other advantages that fitted bedrooms give. A bespoke design will give you more when it comes to practicality and convenience, with the room planned around your own personal requirements and needs. Fitted bedrooms also benefit with respect to beauty, as the design will bring a unity in relation to colour and style which may be hard to accomplish with separately chosen free-standing elements. The client is often given complete control over these stylistic choices, with the designers readily available with professional advice on how your vision can be performed to its fullest potential.

The fitted bedroom furniture make the bedroom same like the occupants requires and functionality. There is no specification, whether this fitted room will be used by child, adult or couple. Whoever the occupant is, bedroom furniture satisfies the requirements of every single individual quite nicely. You need to simply pick the exact location, where you desire to fit your wardrobe, drawers and tables. And rest leave on this efficient yet modern style of furnishing.


How to Tell If Wood Furniture Is Worth Refinishing

Ever wanted to refinish your furniture to add new life to the aging furniture? Refinishing furniture is more economical than purchasing new items – besides, why toss out a well-built piece of furniture just because it’s in need of an update?

When you find a piece of wood furniture that needs a little love, it’s really tempting to just fork over the cash and take it home as your next pet project. But wait, says woodworking expert Teri Masaschi, author of Foolproof Wood Finishing: For Those Who Love to Build & Hate to Finish. There are some things you need to consider first before you decide to refinish.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Is the Piece Painted?

“Beware of things that are painted,” Masaschi says. “There’s usually a reason for that.” Paint can hide a multitude of sins, including burns, missing veneer and water stains.

“You’re far better off buying something that has old dirty varnish on it that just needs to be stripped,” she says. “It’s clear, you can see through it to whatever’s underneath, and stripping old finish is really easy — it typically comes right off with products you can buy at the hardware store.”

Is the Construction High-Quality?

Look for signs that the piece was made before 1950, maybe even 1960. “That’s when particleboard and laminate surfaces and cutting corners came along,” Masaschi says. Generally, even mass-produced furniture from before 1960 is sturdier and better made than today’s cheap furniture — your find doesn’t have to have antique value to be a great vintage piece that will give you years of service.

Still, you should be careful with really old pieces, mostly those made before 1850, because refinishing them yourself can hurt their value. If you have any questions at all about the value of your piece, consult an expert before you get started.

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Reduce Air Conditioning Costs and Conserve Energy

The cost of cooling down a house has a tendency to increase rapidly in the hotter months of year. Luckily, you could lessen that necessary expense by using a number of techniques to decrease the amount of energy you spend on your air conditioning unit. These are some valuable ways that you could cut your cooling costs:

1.For greater management over the temperature inside of your residence, nothing compares to a programmable thermostat. With programmable thermostats, you can save on cooling bills WITHOUT sacrificing your indoor comfort. These thermostats have multiple daily settings and you may program them to increase when you’re sleeping or at work, and lower when you’re home. You save money and stay cool at the same time.

2. It doesn’t matter how efficient an air conditioning unit is if all of the cold air is seeping through cracks underneath doors and windows. Be sure that all of the seals are airtight so that the cooling unit won’t have to operate any harder than necessary. Spending some time and a few dollars to replace faulty seals can mean a lot of money saved over the summer.

3. In food preparation, use crock pots or an outdoor grill to cut down on the requirement for the oven and long cooking times that could heat up the house. It can be cost-effective if you try to reduce heat generating appliances during the day because your air conditioning system works twice for cooling your place.

4. A dirty filter makes the unit have to try harder and harder to have airflow in to the system. This deterioration means your system will cost you more to perform, and you can potentially damage your air conditioning system. The best way to do to simply clean the filter at least once each month or as often as is needed.

5. Keep heavy shades, drapes, or perhaps awning on the warm side of your home. This will block sunlight from entering hence keeping extra heat out of your house that you don’t want or need.

If you try these tips you can be confident you are operating at peak efficiency. There are lots of ways to stay cool during the summer season. If you stay at home all day, think about taking a day trip to the mall or to the library to cut back the requirement for cooling. Perform all household chores early in the morning or late at night when it is cooler out.