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What Makes an Ergonomic Office Chair

Anyone who works long hours sitting at a desk knows the benefits of a good ergonomic chair. A proper ergonomic chair helps you have good posture, improved circulation, and relieves strain on your back. It also helps you stay comfortable all day long.

Seat height. Ergonomic office chairs contain an adjustable seat feature. An adjustment lever enables you to adjust the seat height so that your feet will be flat on the floor and arms even with desk. Most office chairs seat heights range from 16 to 21 feet high.

A well-designed, ergonomic office chair enables the user to sit in a balanced and comfortable position for extended periods of time. But keep in mind that an office chair is only one component of an ergonomic workstation. Other factors, such as footrest, task lighting, and work desk need to be adjustable to be custom fit to the worker.

Seat depth and width. The majority of office chair seats are 17 to 20 inches wide, which supports most users comfortably. For an office chair to be ergonomic, the user should be able to sit with her back touching the backrest, while also having two to four inches between the seat of the chair and back of her knees. Backrest. An ergonomic office chair should have a backrest that is 12 to 19 inches in width. The backrest should have a forward or backward adjustable tilt.

Lumbar support. Lumbar support is essential to supporting the natural curve of the spine. Sitting for extended periods of time without proper lumbar support can cause slouching, which can lead to strains in the lower spine. An ergonomic chair should have an inward lumbar support curve. For even more of a custom fit, some ergonomic chairs allow you to adjust the lumbar support.

Seat construction. An often overlooked feature of an ergonomic chair is its seat material. The seat material should contain enough padding to be comfortable sitting for long periods of time, but also firm enough to offer support. The fabric should be comfortable for you too. Cloth and mesh are good examples of breathable seat fabrics.

Seat arms. Deciding whether you want a seat with or without arms is often a matter of preference or based upon the type of job you're doing. For instance, if your job requires you to be active or move around while seated, a chair with arms may get in the way. On the other hand, if you'll be spending a lot of time typing or having conversations with customers, clients, or employees, you may find a chair with arms will be a more comfortable way to spend your hours at work. Some ergonomic office chair seat arms are adjustable, which are helpful for computer operators. Seat arms come in varying widths, so be sure to choose the seat width that accommodates your preferences and tasks.

Stability. It goes without saying that a chair for be stable. Look for a five-point base as a sign of chair stability. Swivel. If you job requires you to get up and about from your chair or reach into your desk file drawers frequently, then a chair that swivels will be less taxing on your body.

 

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Planning a Guest Room

If you have an extra bedroom in your house, you may consider turning it into a guest room. Even if you do not have a spare room, it is useful to have furniture that can serve as a sleeping area should overnight guests come to visit. The ideal guest room will be comfortable for visitors and will also serve a purpose when you do not have people staying overnight.

Sleeping Arrangements

You have a number of options to choose from when it comes to selecting furniture that people can sleep on. A full or queen sized bed may be an ideal option if you have a room that you will dedicate solely to guests. If you anticipate having young children stay over, you may wish to get two twin beds instead of a single queen or full-sized bed. A couple can push the beds together if they stay in the room or leave them separate. A sleeper sofa is a good choice if you wish to use the guest room as an office or sitting area when guests aren't staying in it. Another functional choice is a day bed. The bed serves as a couch or sitting area in the daytime. At night, it is large enough to sleep one. You may also be able to find full-sized or large day beds.

Other Furniture Choices

The guest room should be a comfortable place for people to stay. You do not need to put a full-sized dresser in the room, especially if serves two roles. A small bench is ideal, so that your guests have a place to set their luggage. If the bench opens, guests can set their clothing and accessories inside it. Night stands that have built-in storage, such as shelves or a cabinet, are also a good choice for a guest room. Some day beds have drawers built in to the bottom, which guests can use to store their belongings. You can also use those drawers to store linens for the room. Make the room more comfortable by giving guests a place to sit, such as an armchair or a chaise lounge.

Multi-Purpose Room

Unless you anticipate entertaining guests all the time or have many rooms in your house, you probably want a room that can serve multiple roles. Make a guest room an office or craft room by setting up a desk in one corner. A small cabinet can hold your office supplies or crafting equipment. If you decide to use a sleeper sofa or day bed in the room, you can make it into an entertainment or media room when guests aren't staying it in. Place a television and other media equipment on an entertainment center opposite the sofa or day bed. The television will also provide your guests with some entertainment when they stay there.

Having Guests in a Small Space

Some homes are not large enough for a separate guest room. If that is the case, you can still entertain overnight guests by selecting smart furniture. Children staying overnight can sleep in the same room as your own children if you invest in a bunk bed or a trundle bed. A basement recreation room can also serve as a guest area with the addition of a sofa bed. If you do not have a separate bedroom but do have a finished basement, you can provide your guests some privacy. A sleeper sofa in the living or family room is another option. Use foldable room dividers to give your guests as much privacy as possible. Consider hanging black-out curtains or shades in the window to make the living room an area suitable for sleeping.

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Which types of wood go together

When you first move into a home, you usually plan to get really nice matching furniture and decorate it the home so that everything compliments everything else, and wood furnishings are usually part of that plan.Then, for most of us, reality hits. The next thing you know, you've got a pine table in the dining room with oak chairs and a buffet which is made of some wood you haven't identified yet. And let's not even talk about the color of the floor. The question is, "can it all be made to somehow work?" The answer is yes.

First off, there are no types of wood that absolutely positively don't go together. Oak can be a little challenging at times because of it's prominent grain (it tends to go best with similar "grainy" woods like elm and rosewood), but even oak will play nice with others if properly introduced. The design of the piece is actually much more important than the color or type of wood. If you have one modern design wood chair and an one Louis XIV chair, they're not normally going to look like they belong together even if they're made of the same wood in the exact same shade.

That being said, there are some types of wood that do naturally look very good together. Some popular choices include walnut with maple, maple with cherry, walnut with cherry and cherry with mahogany. Keep in mind though that wood's color changes as it ages, so what looks like a great match today may be quite different in the future.

Another thing you need to know is that too much of the same type of wood can actually start to look bland. A big mistake that people often make is decide to make an "oak room" with oak floors, furniture and trim only to find that they suffer from oak overload. Variety is the spice of life, so maybe it's good that you couldn't afford that matching dining room set that was the same shade as your hardwood floor and trim.

Speaking of flooring and trim, those are excellent tools to tie different types of wood furniture together. Picture frames are also useful in this regard. Flooring is a great equalizer, since many hardwood flooring patterns have both light and dark shades in them. Without an equalizing floor, one way to utilize trim to balance wood furniture in a room would be to find a trim that has a similar pattern or grain to one piece of wood furniture while being close in color or shade to another. This could "bring the two pieces together" and make them look like they are part of a greater plan. Another tactic is to get trim or other decorative pieces that form a"middle ground" for the color of the woods in the room. For instance, if you have a light colored hardwood floor and a dark cherrywood rocking chair, a medium-dark trim could bridge the gap and allow the eye to travel naturally from lighter to darker or vice versa.

Without some intervening piece or trim to smooth out the transition, it's usually best not to put very dark wood next to very light wood. If you have two pieces of furniture that you absolutely love, you don't want to move them and you don't want to add trim, flooring or other accents to blend them, your best bet may be to stain one of them a slightly different color so that you can keep the style without a harsh color difference. The bottom line, though, is that wood, in general, is pretty flexible in terms of its compatibility and there is almost always a way to make it work.

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Desk

Having the right desk can make the difference between being stressed out from all the clutter and being able to work productively whenever you sit down at it. Whether you are shopping for a desk for your home office, to put in a small space in a different room in your home or to use at your place of employment, weigh several factors when making the decision. The right desk depends largely on your personal preferences and how you see yourself using the desk.

Desks come in two major types. Writing desks, like their name suggests, are designed to be used in connection with paperwork. This might include writing letters, paying bills, filling out forms or other similar tasks. Computer desks, on the other hand, typically have a keyboard tray to put the keyboard at a comfortable level and might also have a stand so you can place your monitor higher on the desk. Computer desks often have space for a printer as well.

If you need a desk for both writing and computer usage, look for one that allows you to shift your chair back and forth between two ends of the desk so you can set up separate work stations for the two activities. L-shaped and U-shaped desks are also effective for having different work stations. Another option is to select a model that is deep enough for you to push your computer back when you aren't using it and need the space for writing.

The right size of desk depends largely on the size of the space you have for it. If you have a room set up as a designated office, you will probably want to get a full-size desk, which is at least 6 feet long and 3 feet wide. If you plan to meet with clients who will sit on the other side of the desk, opt for one that is at least 4 feet wide so neither of you feel crowded. On the smaller side, writing desks can measure as little as 2 feet wide and 18 inches deep. If you are getting a desk without much depth, choose a design with a drop lid or a pull-out segment so you can extend your work space and have enough space under the desk for your legs.

In addition to the tabletop space on your desk, you should also consider its storage options. If you do not have other space for storing office supplies nearby, you will want a desk that has multiple drawers or shelves for keeping everything organized. Many desks come with filing drawers, which are ideal if you do not have a dedicated filing cabinet. You can either get a design with two filing drawers on top of each other or with one filing drawer and two to three smaller drawers above it. If you need lots of drawer space, get a wider desk that has drawer banks on both sides. Another way to extend your storage space is to get a desk with a hutch above it for additional shelving.

After considering the functionality of the right desk, the remaining task is to select a desk with an appealing appearance. Classic desks are made out of wood, with lighter colored wood feeling more casual and dark, almost red-colored wood feeling much more formal. You can also choose from glass, plastic and composite desks, which tend to be less expensive than wood, but may not last as long. A simple desk is likely to stay in style for years, whereas an ornate or unusual one might need replacement when it gets outdated.

Before buying what seems to be the perfect desk, consider its weight and mobility. A large, single-piece wood desk is great if it will be staying put for the foreseeable future, but if you expect to move the desk, a smaller desk with a lighter construction would be ideal. Many desks can be disassembled for ease moving them up and down stairs or through tight doorways.

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Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table

In a living room, a coffee table can be a work horse. It provides a place for you to prop your feet up after a long day at work. It can store your television remote, books, and DVDs. When you host a party, the coffee table can double as a small buffet or table for cocktails. Since the table has a number of important roles, you want to choose one that is perfect for your style and the room it will live in.

Materials

The perfect coffee table should be made out of materials that coordinate with the rest of the living room's decor. For example, if you have a sleek, black leather couch, choose a sleek coffee table make out of glass and metal or even black leather. If you want to add contrasting texture to the room, try pairing a slightly rough-hewn wooden table with a leather couch. Also consider the durability of the materials. A wooden table may look lovely, but if you have children or teenagers, it can be worn down quickly when they put their feet on it or place drinks on it without a coaster. A large leather cocktail ottoman may be a better option if you want something that will last and withstand the rigors of family life.

Colors

A coffee table can be a neutral piece of furniture in a living area. For example, a simple glass table will blend in with almost any decor. If you wish to use your table to tie the colors of your room together, choose a painted table or fabric covered table in a color that appears throughout the room, such as red or green. You can also decide to pick a table that matches the other furniture in the room. For example, if the wood in the room is cherry, choose a cherry table.

Size and Shape

A coffee table that is too large will easily overwhelm the room. Allow for about a foot or two of space between the front of your couch or chairs and the table. In terms of length and width, you want a table that is no larger than half the length of your couch. The coffee table's height should be the same or an inch or two lower than the height of your chair's seat. A table that is higher than the seats will look awkward.

A rectangular or square shaped table is traditional and the easiest to work with. The four-sided shape works with almost any style of couch. A round or oval shaped table is trickier to work with. If you have a very boxy couch, the table will look out of place in your living room. Only choose a rounded table if your furniture is soft and slightly curved.

Storage and Design Options

Some people prefer to use their coffee table as a storage center. If this is the case for you, choose a table that has adequate storage to meet your needs. You may only need a single shelf attached below the table top to hold a few books, magazines or remote controls. If you need more storage than that, or prefer to conceal your clutter, look for a table with built-in drawers. Some coffee tables are designed like a mini chest of drawers and have drawers all over. Others have a single draw just below the table top. A few coffee table models allow you to use the table top as a design element or to create a display. If you collect a lot of small knick-knacks that you wish to display, you can arrange them on table top, then cover that display with a pane of glass.

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Sizing up Your Dining Room Table

Dining room tables come in many shapes and sizes, and the right one for you will depend on several factors. These include how big your dining room is, how many people usually sit at the table and the maximum number of people you would like to seat.

Room Size

A dining table should have 36 inches of clearance on all sides between the table and the wall to allow people to walk around it and get into their seats. Therefore, to find the maximum size of dining table you can accommodate, measure your dining room, and subtract any existing furniture, such as a china cabinet, and an additional 6 feet from each dimension. In a pinch, you can reduce the clearance to 30 inches, which means you should only subtract 5 feet from each dimension.

Daily Dining Table Size

Each person sitting at the dining room table should have a space at least 24 inches wide and 14 inches deep. This leaves space for the full place setting and enough elbow room for most people. Of course, if possible, it is nice to leave a buffer of at least 6 inches between people so they don't feel crowded. In addition, you want some remaining space in the center of the table so you can include centerpieces or serving dishes if you would like to serve the meal from the table. With a round table, give each person at least 30 inches of circumference. This keeps their knees from knocking together under the table.

When looking at a particular table, keep in mind that you cannot just add up the perimeter and divide by 24 inches to determine how many people it seats. The space near the corners belongs either to the person sitting on the side or the end of the table. The 14 inches of depth each person needs times four corners adds up to 54 inches of unusable edge space. To compensate for this, subtract 54 inches of overlap from the perimeter of a square or rectangular table to find your usable edge space. Divide this by 24 inches to estimate how many people the table can seat.

Expansion Options

A table just large enough for your family is not adequate if you want to have people over for dinner. Choose a table with space for guests, either by buying a table that is actually slightly larger than you need or by buying a table that you can expand to seat more people.

Round tables are great for expansion because you can sit farther apart when you are eating as a family and just move the chairs closer together if you need to seat more people. They also work well when your group has an odd number of people so you do not have to have an unbalanced seating arrangement.

The other strategy for expansion is to have a table with leaves you can put in the middle to make it longer. This works both with rectangular tables, which get longer, and with round tables, which become ovals. Most leaves are 24 inches, and tables often come with two or three leaves so you can add one leaf for each pair of people you need to seat beyond the table's usual capacity.

If a rectangular table is at least 48 inches wide, you can actually fit two people on each end of the table in a pinch. However, keep in mind that this slightly reduces the number of people you can fit on each long edge or makes the people sitting along the edges more cramped. In addition, this strategy does not work well if the table's legs are at the corners because it is difficult to fit two people comfortably between the legs on the end. If you want more flexibility with seating, choose a table that is supported by one or two pedestals in the center of the table. This allows you to seat people without worrying about fitting the chairs in between the legs.

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Shopping for Bedroom Furniture

Your bedroom is your personal space to kick back and get a good night's rest. It also serves to store many of your personal items, including clothing and reading material. Therefore, choose your bedroom furniture carefully to find pieces that are attractive, functional and meet your storage needs. At the bare minimum, you need a bed, dresser and nightstand, but you can also fill out the set with other pieces.

Bed Size

The right bed size depends on your bedroom size, whether you sleep alone or with someone else, and how much space you want. Most adults opt for at least a double bed, which is 54 inches wide and 75 inches long, allowing it to fit comfortably in almost any bedroom. However, it is quite small for two adults to sleep in, and tall people will find that their feet hang off the end. A queen bed is the most common type for two people to share, and at 60 inches wide and 80 inches long, offers enough length and width for most people to sleep comfortably. If you want extra space and have a large bedroom, you can get a king bed that is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance on every side of the bed, and consider other furniture as well when calculating clearance.

Bed Frame

The most prominent piece in your bedroom will likely be your bed frame, so this is where to start when picking a bedroom furniture set. Most frames have a headboard, which goes up against the wall, and a footboard in the center of your room. If you want a low-profile design, opt for a platform bed, which does not extend above the box spring. Platform beds often have storage drawers built into them, whereas traditional bed frames leave the space under the bed empty. Some fun styles of bed frames to consider include antique four-poster beds, canopy beds, and wrought-iron beds with an old-world European style.

Nightstand

You generally want a separate nightstand for each person who will use the bed. If you don't share the room, you can put the bed against the wall to save space and have a nightstand on one side. Look for a design that puts the stand at approximately the height of the top of the mattress so you can easily reach your alarm clock and reading material. If you want extra storage, get a nightstand with shelves or drawers below. Even if you have a small bedroom, you should be able to fit nightstands in because you need to have that much space on the side of the bed for getting in and out anyway.

Dresser

The last major piece to complete your bedroom furniture set is a dresser. Many sets come with his and hers dressers, one of which is longer and the other that is taller. This allows you to place the longer one under a window and fit the taller one into a small space. If you don't need that much space for folded clothing, opt to get just one dresser, which makes space in your room for other pieces of furniture. Dressers are generally about 18 inches deep, so factor this in when deciding how large of a bed you can fit in your bedroom.

Armoire

An armoire or wardrobe provides more hanging space for your clothing and often has several drawers below as well. If you don't need the hanging space but want to hide your bedroom television, put it in the armoire instead of having clothes there.

Vanity

A vanity is an old-fashioned piece of furniture that usually has small storage drawers for a woman to store her jewelry and makeup and space on the surface to lay out the supplies for the day. A vanity also comes with a mirror. If you don't get a vanity, you can purchase a mirror to go over a dresser and use the top of that as a vanity instead.

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5 Most Dangerous Household Items

Keep your family safe by doing a check around your home for dangerous household items. Here are a few tips on what to look for.

 

1. Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces

 

Burning wood in a stove or fireplace can give off dangerous fumes such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is practically undetectable to most people, because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific. The best way to detect any dangerous levels is to have electronic detectors. Make sure to have carbon monoxide and home security detectors throughout your home to alert you if these fumes accumulate to dangerous levels.

 

2. Area Rugs

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Tripping and falling on an area rug is a common household occurrence. A fall can be especially dangerous for an elderly person. Throw rugs, like large area rugs or runners, are among the most hazardous household items. Throw rugs can be even more dangerous than stairs, since people walk across rugs more frequently than going up and down staircases. Remove any unnecessary area rugs from the home or secure them onto the floor firmly. Check the rugs periodically to make sure they're still firmly secured.

 

3. Extension Cords

 

Overloaded, outdated or poorly made extension cords are a leading cause of fire and injury. Purchase only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. For outdoor projects, use only extension cords marked for outdoor use. Never load an extension cord beyond its capacity, which should be clearly printed on its label. Be sure to replace cords that appear worn, frayed or burnt. Don't run extension cords under carpets or throw rugs where they can overheat.

 

4. Clothes Dryers

 

Clothes dryers present a double threat. One is a source of potential fire, the other child entrapment. Always be sure to keep the lint trap free of excess materials to avoid a fire starting. Make it a habit of checking the lint trap before using the dryer. Also, always supervise young children around the dryer.

 

5. Space Heaters

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Space heaters are one of the most common origins of household fires. Never leave a space heater unsupervised. If you're leaving the room for more than a few minutes, turn it off. Always place heaters at least three feet from beds, furniture, curtains or anything else that's flammable. Also, always be sure to turn off space heaters when sleeping.

 

Keeping your family safe in your home is always a top priority. Taking extra precautions with household items helps keep you and your family safer.

 

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Bench Seating Ideas

If you’re looking for a way to modernize your home, bench seating may be the answer. This trendy piece of furniture can transform your kitchen, living room and dining room into ultra-cool hangout spaces. We share bench seating ideas so you can choose what’s best for your home, benches or chairs.

Living room bench ideas

Living room benches are a great way to accommodate more people. To make benches more comfortable, place them against a wall and add large pillows and cushions. Benches are also great as window seats, so place them under large windows to highlight the beautiful natural light in your living room. We recommend adding bright prints and colors to your benches so they stand out in your space. Beautiful blankets and throws are a great finishing touch – lay them along your bench to make it extra homey.

Kitchen & dining room bench ideas

For dining spaces, benches are a great way to seat more people at the table. You can mix chairs and benches – look for slightly mismatched styles that share a color pattern for a fashionable look. Try combining benches for a breakfast nook - place your table in the corner and put two benches in a right angle to maximize space. Adding pillows and cushions can make the benches feel like a kitchen window seat. For dining rooms and kitchens, we highly recommend adding cushions to make benches more comfortable for guests.

Storage bench ideas

Bench seating is a great opportunity to add storage! Many benches come with storage compartments, but you can also add decorative storage bins underneath the bench for a pretty storage solution. Another awesome idea - use a large ottoman as a storage bench and store items inside of the ottoman. Ottomans are comfortable with cushioned padding, and adding extra pillows and blankets will make it cozy.

We carry a wide variety of contemporary benches, dining room chairs and recliners so you can seat all of your guests in style. Find great coffee tables and dining tables to complement your new seating and complete the look. Our wide selection of home furniture extends beyond tables and chairs – check out our bed frames, office desks and accent cabinets for more great furniture to add to your home. hhgregg has everything you need at great prices – shop for home furniture today.

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Furnishing a New Home

Need to furnish a new home or apartment? Worried about the prices? Fear not! Furnishing a new home is much easier than you think. There are many reliable retailers out there that provide durable, affordable furniture. If you’re moving into an apartment rather than a new house, there are plenty of ways to go about furnishing an apartment inexpensively. Here, we’ll provide tips for furnishing a new home or apartment.

Cost to furnish a house

While there is no guarantee that you’ll get the best deal on every piece of furniture, there are numerous steps that can be made to ensure that you make the most cost-efficient decision. Here are some steps on how to furnish a house on a budget:

1. Make a budget

You most likely have a picture of what you want your home to look like. So, to accomplish this perfect image, start by making a list of each room you want to furnish and what furniture you want in each room. Be realistic about the cost by also including any lighting, wall décor or floor detail. Be realistic with your budget. While you may end up going over slightly, try not to exceed your budget too much.

2. Know where to spend more/less

To start, buy the best mattress and sofas you can afford. These are meant for comfort and will be used the most, so you’ll want to find the top possible versions of both. Finding a quality dining room table can also be a smart investment. You can save by spending less on any decorative pieces, rugs or lighting. While these are all aesthetically pleasing, it will be better in the long run to spend more on the furniture you’ll use more often.

3. Consider how long you’ll live there

While this can be a tough question to answer, consider the long term when buying furniture. If you plan on staying at this new home for over ten years, plan on buying reliable, long lasting furniture. If you feel you may move soon, buy more durable furniture knowing that there may be some damage when the move occurs. Change does occur so the best option is to anticipate either and search for the most reliable and durable furniture.

Where to find affordable furniture

Aside from the name brand furniture outlet stores, there are plenty of other resources to find a way to furnish a home or even go about furnishing an apartment inexpensively. Some examples of these resources are:

  • Online retailers – Here you can find used furniture for good prices. Sometimes name brands will offer online deals for your convenience.
  • Craigslist – While this may seem a little unordinary or a somewhat bold place to find furniture, you might be surprised to find some great deals.
  • hhgregg – hhgregg has all the furniture you need at great prices. Browse through our wide selection of furniture online.

How to furnish an apartment

Furnishing an apartment inexpensively is a bit easier of a task than that of furnishing a new home. Remember to take into consideration the fact that it is an apartment which means that you may not be living there quite as long as you would a new house. You may have to move sooner than you anticipate so, when buying furniture, remember that moving may take a toll on its overall quality. This should be more motivation to buy used, affordable furniture.

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KITCHEN INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS

How is your renovation going? Have you finished your planning and shopping stages? If you did, let's move on to the next step which is decorating.What is there to learn about arranging pillows and a few nick nacks that you have since when? Nobody can remember. My first and biggest advice to start clean and get rid of everything you don't actually need.  Now when you have a fresh canvas to work on let's go room by room and figure out how to make your area special. This week we are going to talk about the heart of any home which is the kitchen.

Add statement wall or splashback

It's especially important if you have otherwise plain kitchen. You need to create some interest in the room to make it feel more welcoming. And a really easy way to this is to switch up your splashback with amazing tiles or maybe marble. It depends on your budget. Another really easy way to make an impact is to use wallpaper on one of the walls. It's cheap, quick and makes a huge impact. It adds some texture to kitchen's all sleek vibe and instantly makes it feel warmer. I don't know who and when decided to banish wallpaper out of the kitchens but it made its' come back in 2015 and is here to stay.

Add different textures

It also creates interest and breaks apart that sterile look. Use some wood accents, leave it in its' natural form, raw. If you are afraid  about longevity of  untreated wood in your kitchen use stone instead. It also became extremely popular this year. Granite and marble are perfect choices for you. Basically your goal here is to make any person that comes into you kitchen want to touch those surfaces and never want to leave.

 Add some bling with metals

You had to live under the rock not to notice that copper is a huge trend right know. Although, metals are not new materials for kitchen space but for a long time stainless steel, chrome and silver were reining in this home area. Now the table has turned and all warm metals such as copper, brass, gold and bronze are welcome to shine.

 Use open shelving

I know, I know you want to hide your clutter and ugly kitchen appliances. Choose specific places that don't get that messy and make your kitchen more personal and user-friendly by exposing some of your cupboard spaces to light. More and more people are doing this and displaying their incredible collections of spices, cooking books or in some cases serial boxes.

 Use furniture like design features

It's great for merging your kitchen with the rest of your home, making it feel warmer, more casual and inviting. It will transform your kitchen out of a strictly functional area to the hub of the home and place where everybody wants to hang out. This trend is more and more noticeable in modern kitchen designs.

 Marry modern with traditional

It's the recipe that will bring you success. Moder will make your space cool and quite  timeless. Traditional will add warmth and  make it more welcoming. It's a perfect blend for cozy feeling and memorable appearance.

 

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HOW TO MAKE A FLOOR PLAN

Last time we figured out how to tame your inspiration flow and stay on top of your creative game. This time let's talk about how to transfer your ideas onto paper. Why should you do that? Why can't you just repaint your bedroom brown, go on an IKEA spree and buy some random furniture that you liked at the moment or got discount for and try to cram everything into your little room? Because that would be the worst decision ever and you would end up with a bunch of stuff that you don't like, don't need and that does not fit into your room. We are friends here and I don't want my friends to make these kind of mistakes. The right way to do that is to make a floor plan and make smaller versions of your ideas, make them live.

Measure everything 

This is probably the only part of floor plan making that you might need some help with because measuring long distances with a tape measure can get a bit tricky. It is not impossible to do it alone but let's just say that a certain someone somewhere lost a fingernail and got her fingers slammed a few times while doing so. The tip I find very helpful is to roughly draw out your space on paper with all angles, doorways and windows. Then you only need to add the numbers. It will be much easier than to make an awkward list of "wall nr.1 , wall nr.2 ...." (been there, done that).

 Transfer your drawings to graph paper

Usually interior plans are drawn one to quarter-inch (or 1cm:1m) scale. If you are drawing more than one room keep in mind that interior walls are usually around 5" (~13cm) thick, add this measurement to your plan if needed.

Create miniature furniture models

I bet it sounds really exciting and you just got a few flashbacks of your little doll house from your childhood but you actually have to be quite accurate with this part. For these furniture models to be useful they have to be up to scale.By now you probably already have at least a rough idea of how you want your room to turn out. You may want to use some furniture that you already own (measure it) or get a few new gems (try to find their measurements online). Either way draw them up to scale on your graph paper and cut them out. It is useful to draw all the furnishings with moving parts, like doors and drawers, with marked spaces while they are open so you would be able to see if they could be opened in the place you will position them.

 Arrange your furniture

Place your miniature couch, chairs and other interior pieces where you imagined them. Keep in mind that: furniture spacing is 18 inches (~45cm) recommended, minor pathways are 24-36 inches (~60-90cm) wide, these pathways are kept around seating areas and places where only one person would be at a time, major pathways where two people need to bypass each other are often 30-48 inches (~76-120cm) wide.

And you are done! You can color your floor plan if you feel the need. Play around with it and test new possibilities, it's easier to shuffle around paper furniture than real life couches. Believe me. You can also upload this floor plan to Planner5d and add all the furnishing and other design details for 3D experience

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How to Match Landscaping to Unique Home Designs

The outside of your home reflects your tastes, visually expressing who you are. Front yard landscaping; creating curb appeal and first impressions is an important means of making a statement. Your outdoor design is part of the bigger picture. Plan and design with professionals for Landscaping to uniquely match the style of your home.

Get Creative with Landscape Design

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Some homes have a variety of custom features on the outside and may be similar to other homes in the neighborhood. Find a designer who will get creative with Landscaping design ideas. A professional provides unique plans to match the style of your home, not copy, nor a repeat of other yards nearby.

Not that we shouldn't benefit from some of their ideas. Sometimes just a few details make the difference in your unique Landscaping plan. Open communication with your landscape professional is necessary. Voice your wishes as you plan and design with professionals to avoid the look of duplication.

Simple is More

Sometimes simply repeating a few kinds of plant material works effectively with custom features in the home. Simple yard designs impact your outdoor space with coordinating colors, long-lasting blooms, and continuous color. The right plant in the right place offers a sense of continuity that delights the eye.

Pruning or Planting?

Older homes of various styles may still include the original design which often is a problem. Trees and shrubs are overgrown and take up more than their fair share of available space in the yard or flower beds. Limbs may be out-of-bounds, and bushes long ago lost their shape. Trust professionals to advise if the overgrown specimens still have a practical place in your yard and will benefit from renewal pruning or if new plantings are in order.

Greening the Grass

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Of course, you'll want an immaculate lawn to match your colorful blossoms. Seasonal feeding of the grass helps get it greened up. In fact, according to landscapers in Utah, early fertilizing of the lawn between a snow melt and a new snowstorm can be just the boon a mature lawn needs. Regular mowing with sharp blades on equipment improves the look of your yard. The right lawn care quickly gets your lawn in shape for the season.

Ask your professional about reseeding those brown patches or aeration for the entire lawn. Ask to identify pests and disease that might make lawn care more difficult.

Contact your professional landscape company and set a time to get together and discuss your lawn care and plantings for this year. Spring will be here before you know it; their schedules will fill quickly. Reserve your slot to keep the lawn and flowerbeds looking their best as you plant and design with professionals.

 

References

The Landscape Design Site

Utah Landscaping

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5 Ways to Conserve Water

Water is one of the main components in the sustenance of daily life. It's valuable to the environment and because of this importance, water must be effectively managed as a resource. Many cities throughout the U.S. have implemented policies aimed at the conservation of water. There are numerous ways you can conserve water and contribute to sustainability. We'll cover five such ways.

 

Deep-Soak The Lawn

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Since the times of ancient civilization, irrigation technology has been very beneficial for many purposes. In modern times many of us strive to keep a nice lawn to maintain a beautiful property. This maintenance includes watering the lawn, which is common enough. Lawn irrigation may done with a sprinkler system or with a hose. If you're using a hose, conserve some water when watering the lawn by watering it long enough for the water to soak down to the roots where it will be the most effective. Light sprinkling tends to evaporate quickly and encourages shallow root systems. Advanced sprinkler systems such as the Smart Controller can even time watering hours responsively to minimize premature evaporation.

 

Avoid Running The Hose While Washing Your Vehicle

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When washing your car you should use a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing. Doing this simple practice can conserve as much as 150 gallons of water when washing a car. Even better for saving water, there are waterless car washing systems on the market.

 

Install Water-Saving Shower Heads

You can easily install an inexpensive water-saving shower head. It's also a smart idea to cutt your shower time down to only the time necessary to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. A long, hot shower can use five to ten gallons of water for every unneeded minute.

 

Wash Only Full Loads When Using Your Dishwasher or Clothes Washer

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Automatic dishwashers and washing machines for clothes should be loaded for optimum water conservation. Avoid the permanent press cycle, as this adds 5 gallons for the extra rinse.

 

Keep A Bottle of Drinking Water in The Fridge

It is wasteful to run tap water to cool it off. Keep some drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. Consider buying a personal water filter if you're into outdoor hiking, that way you can drink safely from rivers, lakes or any available body of water nearby.

 

Conserving water can be good for both the environment and your water. It can be quite fulfilling to practice such responsibility when it comes to resources. Using water-saving features can bring you a 35% reduction in your in-home water use. Keep this in mind and put some of these practices and features to use.

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Cleaning and Caring for Outdoor Furniture

Patios and decks are great places to entertain family and guests. They also make wonderful quiet spots to just sit outside to sunbathe and listen to the radio while reading a book.

Your outdoor furniture can last for years if you give it the proper care and attention. Most cushioned patio furniture is made with vinyl-coated polyesters or polyacrylics that are mildew resistant and repels water. So you can keep the cushions outside during rain or sun. Just give the furniture an occasionally cleaning when it gets dirt or stained on the surface.

When buying the outdoor furniture, take the time to read the manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions. Decide by how much care is needed for the furniture, and if you have that time to invest in the upkeep, on whether you should purchase the furniture.

Refrain from bringing out your indoor furniture to use as outdoor furniture. It may seem cost-effective for you to use your old furniture, but the material has not been treated or made with weather-proof materials. Any cushion or cover that you bring outside to give yourself a cushy seat cannot withstand multiple saturations of rain. Mold and mildew is likely to form, rotting the cushion. Always take those back inside the house when you are done enjoying your patio or deck.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
For metal, plastic, aluminum and painted furniture, use a mild soap and water solution along chair legs and seats to scrub away dirt on the surface. Soak the solution in a soft sponge or cloth. The sponge or cloth won't scratch up the surfaces of metal, plastic or painted surfaces. If you want to clean wicker, wood or teak furniture, substitute an oil-based soap for the mild detergent soap. Always hose down the furniture with clean water.

Although a rarity, some outdoor furniture features wood. It's important to keep outdoor wood well stained and sealed to prevent it from swelling, cracking, and splitting. For routine maintenance, we recommend polishing wood with Rustic Touch furniture polish from Melaleuca.com. It can also help shine, strengthen, and protect your vinyl outdoor furniture.

When treating the cushions, read the label instructions to give you the best information on cleaning the surfaces. Again, use mild detergent soap and water. Wash off with a hose and allow the cushions to fully dry in the sun.

If you are performing a deep cleaning, you can treat cushions with a solution of laundry detergent and chlorine bleach. Place a cup of each into a bucket filled with 3 gallons of warm water. Set out the furniture on a paved surface and thoroughly soak the cushions. Leave the solution on for half an hour so that the solution can completely penetrate the filling to destroy any mold or mildew that may have developed inside.

Do not use this treatment or apply water to cushions that have a urethane foam inside. These are not weatherproof and should not be used as outdoor furniture. If you do use cushions containing this material, place furniture tarps over the cushion to stop rain from penetrating or bring the furniture inside during rainy weather.

Caring for Outdoor Furniture
You can take certain precautions to prevent staining and soiling of outdoor cushions. Drape fabric covers on the cushions during outside meals. If you plan to do a little sunbathing, cover the furniture in a towel to prevent the suntan lotion from creating a stain on the cushion fabric.

Remember to bring furniture in during the wintertime if you live in areas with heavy snowfall. The weight of the snow in the seat of the furniture will eventually damage plastic and wooden furniture. If you do leave furniture out during harsh weather, use special furniture covers that are weatherproof. You should also bring cushions inside for storage during wet and snowy weather.

Cushions that have been out in heavy rains need to be thoroughly dried before you place them into storage. Remove them from frames and set the cushions out into the full sun for several days. Bring the cushions inside to dry during cooler temperatures. Place the cushions into plastic and store in a dry, cool place to prevent mold or mildew developing.

Enjoy Your Outdoor furniture
Taking these simple cleaning and care steps will ensure your furniture will last for many enjoyable years. Never overcomplicate the cleaning with special cleansers that are expensive. Stick with simple soap and water. Your furniture with shine with just a little care.

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How to Choose Your Furniture Style

Before beginning to furnish your home for the first time or for a furniture overhaul, take some time to select the style of furniture you want. Although the pieces themselves do not have to be from exactly the same set, your house will have a much more polished look if you stick to a major style and buy only furniture that fits within that style. Consider your favorite pieces of furniture and look at pictures of homes fully decorated in particular styles to help you decide which one suits you best.

Victorian
Perhaps the most formal style of furniture readily available today is Victorian furniture. Items in this category have a gothic look and usually have a lot of carving and ornamentation. Chairs often combine an elaborately carved wooden frame with patterned upholstery. These pieces have a formal appearance and sometimes look like they should remain untouched rather than actually using them. Therefore, if you choose to go for Victorian furniture, you might want to opt for pieces that look worn or take extra steps to ensure that guests feel comfortable in your home even though the furniture is so formal.

Mission
Mission style furniture is also sometimes called Arts and Craft furniture, and it is characterized by simple construction and a design focused more on effective use than on looking especially fancy. You will find most pieces have straight lines and do not contain much, if any ornamentation. This style of furniture is readily available and can be easy to piece together a collection that matches well even though they do not come from the same set.

Retro
Think of diner-style furniture when going for the retro style. You will find a lot of shiny metal, vinyl upholstery, bright colors, stripes, and bold pieces. Because retro style furniture can be a little overwhelming, when decorating, be sure that your pieces match somewhat in color scheme and materials. You also might want to have white walls so your rooms aren't overwhelmed by color. One of the major benefits of retro furniture is that you can find plenty of it for good prices at antique malls, thrift stores and garage sales.

Modern
The modern style of furniture focuses more on geometric shapes and crisp lines than on comfort and craftsmanship. You will see little wood in modern furniture, and the wood you find is usually painted. Instead, look for leather, plastic, glass and metal in modern furniture. Some styles of modern furniture are very boxy, whereas others incorporate unexpected curves and look more like artwork than furniture. Use a variety of pieces to create an eclectic feel and balance the starkness of some pieces with the warmth of others.

Cottage
Cottage-style furniture often has an unfinished appearance and a color scheme reminiscent of a beach cottage. You will find pieces with pale blue, lilac and yellow tones and rustic materials, such as denim and wicker. A home decorated with cottage-style furniture has a casual appearance and usually feels very welcoming. It is easy to add decorations that match cottage furniture, such as seashells, rope accents and nautical photos.

Traditional
As the name sounds, traditional furniture has a classic look that has been in style for decades and will continue to stay in style. Furniture items in the traditional style generally have basic shapes, smooth curves, minimal ornamentation and understated fabrics and patterns. Traditional furnishings don't necessarily draw attention to themselves, but they are still pretty when you look more closely at them. Traditional furniture is a good choice if you want people to see your home as comfortable and relaxing. It is easy to find traditional items that work well with one another, even though they are not from the same designer.

Ethnic
The last major category of furniture to consider is ethnic. These items all come from a particular country, such as Japan, China, or Morocco, or are based on designs you would find there. Ethnic designs generally appeal to people who have traveled to that country or whose families are from there, because the pieces feel familiar. Although it can be expensive to decorate in an ethnic look, your home will likely look much different from that of your neighbors, which can be an asset if you are trying to stand out.

Once you find a furniture style that you think you like, start shopping for pieces in that style. Before buying any, make sure you can find items you like in each major category. For example, you will need living room furniture, a dining table, bedroom furniture and accent pieces that all fit your budget and form a cohesive style.

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5 Tips for De-Cluttering Your Home

The notion of having an uncluttered, simplified life with fewer things is attractive to many. There are benefits to owning fewer things like less debt, less to clean, more money and time for different passions. Consumerism and materialism lead to anxiety and depression. These people are ready to remove the clutter from their life, and you might be ready too. Unfortunately, when you and everyone else builds the courage to finally do it, you find yourself wondering where and how to even start. Hopefully, these five tips will help get you on your way.

 

Look for Storage Units

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You might as well do this first because you are going to need it. According to Storage Units Chatsworth, storage units are a great solution for keeping items of sentimental value. There are things you rarely look at, never use but will never throw away. This is not necessarily hoarding. Things of sentimental value or things you want to eventually pass on to kids or grandchildren still take up space and time, so a storage unit is the perfect place for them. You can go and dig them out when the time is right.

 

Start Filling a Trash Bag at a Time

At the beginning of your organizing journey, a good first step is towards simplicity is to grab one large trash bag. Then, just start filling it with as much stuff as you can. You will notice a lot of it belongs directly in the dumpster, but there will be plenty of bags you can take to the Salvation Army for the less fortunate.

 

Take the 12-12-12 Challenge

The 12-12-12 Challenge is a popular way to increase the simplicity in your life. First you find 12 things to throw in the trash. Next, you locate 12 items worth donating. Finally, you find 12 item you can reorganize into their proper place. That is 36 things you have quickly organized in your house. You could tack another 12 items on for things in your storage unit too.

 

The Four-Box Method

It is important to do this for every item in every room. You need to buy four large boxes for every room. One box is for items to keep, another for trash, another to donate and one to relocate items. Every item in every room must be labeled for a box. It is important.

 

Use Your Imagination

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This is a powerful psychological trick to employ before and after you begin for motivation and reward. Ask yourself how much you would pay for your house before you start cleaning it up. After you have organized it, ask yourself the same question. The difference in the figures will astound you.

 

Many people feel anxious, overwhelmed and even defeated at the idea of removing clutter and possessions from their homes. It is perfectly natural, but it can't stop you. It does not have to be as painful and dramatic as some people make it out to be, especially on television. You can come up with creative, fun ways to do it. It is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a less stressful life.

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5 Ways to Increase Domestic Accessibility for Seniors

Seniors have special needs that require consideration as the effects of age begin to take their toll. Many of them cannot function quickly or use much body strength. Some of them are wheelchair bound, and others have trouble seeing. Most importantly, elderly bodies don’t heal as quickly or as effectively as they did in former years. Injuries resulting from falls can have a devastating effect on the continued health of our seniors. If you are a child or a care provider for an individual reaching their golden years, there are some home-improvement modifications which can help improve and sustain their quality of life. Consider some of these suggestions:

1. Install a Stair Lift or Elevator

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Ramblers and one-story apartments are ideal for aging individuals, but moving is inconvenient and not necessary at every stage of aging. Alternatively, consider installing a stair lift to move from one story to the next or install an elevator. The motorized lift is designed for elderly people who have problems walking up the stairs and not just wheelchaired individuals. These devices improve mobility and safety.

2. Install Bathroom Safety Features

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The bathroom is the most dangerous place for seniors. Many of them spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and most of their accidents occur in this room. At the least, build lift rails near the bath and hand rails for ease of walking. Place rugs on the floor to prevent common slips and falls. Medicare and other insurance may even approve the installation of a walk-in bath if recommended by a medical professional.

3. Install Motion Sensor Lights and Doors

Install motion sensors that provide automatic controls for your lights and doors. You should be concerned about the overall safety of your senior parents at home. Innovations in home automation and security systems can protect against burglary and even alert you to accidents and wandering dementia patients. Research security systems for seniors that are affordable and reliable.

4. Eliminate Fire Hazards

Oil fires or electrical fires pose a significant threat to seniors. Smoke inhalation can seriously disrupt health, and aging bodies may not be able to respond as quickly to a fire outbreak. Dementia patients are particularly vulnerable, as they may leave on stoves and ovens or engage in other risky behaviors. Prevent fires by eliminating potential fire hazards around the house. Be cautious about where you put candles and flammable items. Install smoke detectors or sprinklers that turn on automatically.

5. Make Use of Handrails

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Install handrails that guide elderly people as they move around the house. Slips and falls are the most common accidents that harm seniors. Handrails can help improve mobility, independence, and dignity without exposing them to unnecessary risk.

Seniors want to be treated with respect and maintain their dignity. They want to feel that they are intelligent and valued. While the effects of age will inevitably take a toll on their independence, we have a responsibility to honor the elders of our generation by helping them enjoy their last years to the best of our ability. Accessibility, mobility, and safety are vital to this effort.

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5 Most Dangerous Household Products

It can be easy to feel comfortable in your home and consider it to be a safe environment to spend time in. Unfortunately, there are a number of different household products that can be dangerous for residents and pets on the property and are used by most people. To create a safer environment to spend time in, there are a few dangerous products to avoid using.

1. Non-Stick Cookware

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Many people rely on non-stick cookware in the kitchen to avoid soaking pans overnight, but the products may contain polytetrafluoroethylene, which can release gas once it's heated on the stove. The chemical can increase the risk of cancer and poses a threat to both children and adult in the home.

2. Toilet Bowl Cleaner

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Toilet bowl cleaner is often used to remove grime that has accumulated in the toilets and allow them to shine. Although the acidic product is commonly used, it contains corrosive ingredients that can burn the eyes and skin upon contact. This makes it dangerous to use on a frequent basis and can also cause harm to small children who come across the products. Make sure acidic or chemically reactive products are locked in cabinets to protect curious little hands.

3. Power Strips

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Power Strips may seem harmless, but the products often exceed their voltage capacity when too many electronics or lamps are plugged in at one time. According to a product liability lawyer in Utah, power strips are one of the leading causes of fires in the U.S. and should be avoided.

4. Antibacterial Soaps

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Those who want to maintain a germ-free home often rely on antibacterial soap to wash their hands and reduce the risk of illness or disease. Antibacterial soap may clean well, but it is known to contain triclosan and triclocarban, which are not bio-degradable and can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and other supergerms.

5. Air Fresheners

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Air fresheners may create an attractive scent in the home, but they are known to contain toxins and chemicals that reduce the air quality of the interior setting and can lead to respiratory conditions after accumulating in the body over time.

You may rely on a number of household products to clean your home and create a functional setting for your family, but it's important to conduct research on the items that you use frequently. By sticking to natural products, you can reduce your risk of an accident and maintain your health over time.

 

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The Difference between Green Furniture and Sustainable Furniture

Many furniture companies claim their products are “green,” a designation usually referring to material sourcing. Maybe their sofa frames are made out of dumpster-sourced scrap metal or their cushions are filled with used ticker tape. Responsible material sourcing is important, but it does not necessarily make something sustainable; that is, able to exist in perpetuity from an environmental and resource consumption standpoint.

When it comes to sustainability, size does matter. Here’s why:

  • One of the best ways, if not the best way of reducing our carbon footprints and natural resource consumption is to reduce the physical footprints of our homes.
  • Smaller homes produce less operational carbon emissions, (e.g., heating and cooling) than larger homes and are less resource intensive to build.
  • Smaller homes tend to discourage excessive consumerismmitigating that behavior’s attendant environmental impact.
  • Smaller homes typically support denser, more transit friendly communities, which, by their very nature, allow for a reduction in associated transit emissions.

Location, Location, Location

When thinking about sustainable housing, the name of the game is location, location, location. An EPA study found that an energy efficient single family suburban house plus a fuel efficient car can cut your carbon footprint by 34% as compared to a conventional, single family, suburban house and a car with average fuel economy. While this is a significant improvement over a standard single-family home, the same study found that living in an energy efficient multifamily house (i.e. housing with two or more units such as a townhouse or apartment) with access to public transportation reduces your carbon footprint by 62% - and that still assumes car ownership.

As one would expect, multifamily housing units are typically smaller than single-family houses. The median size of a new multifamily unit is 1,074 square feet, whereas the median size of a new single family home is 2,467 square feet. But with a smaller – albeit more environmentally-friendly – footprint can come some challenges regarding functionality, especially as a household grows or changes over time.

Let’s face it, it’s the desire for – or perceived need for – more space that frequently drives people out of central, transit-friendly locations in search of more square footage. Since housing in most urban cores is considerably more expensive than suburban housing on a per square foot basis, moving to a larger home in a central location can be cost-prohibitive.

Increase Function, Not Footprints

All this is to say that furniture is only as sustainable as its setting. Space-maximizing furniture solutions from Resource Furniture can remove some of the reasons that people move further out in search of more space, by increasing functionality without increasing the physical footprint. Every product from Resource Furniture is not only manufactured using highly sustainable methods and materials, but also provide the same level of comfort and functionality as conventional furniture pieces and they are designed and built to last. Each of nine Resource Furniture showrooms offers a vast selection of multifunctional, space-saving furniture solutions that allow people to live comfortably and luxuriously in a truly sustainable setting.

By multiplying the function of a single space, combining rooms, making existing spaces work more efficiently, and utilizing high-quality multifunctional furniture, less square footage is required. Needing less space, one can live more centrally, drive less, walk more and consume fewer resources. In other words – live a sustainable life, not just a green one.