Blog: 2019

One Green Thing: what can you do?
One Green Thing: what can you do?

To support Earth Week 2019 US TV show Today has a short quiz it's asking people to take to see how they can do just one small thing a day to help save our planet from climate change before it becomes irreversible.
https://www.today.com/series/one-small-thing/what-can-you-do-save-planet...

Tags:
Gardens, Environment and ecology, eco friendly, eco home
Top five key elements in a beautiful living room
By Noah Dugall

Living rooms are one of the most popular, versatile spaces in our homes - they're where we chat, relax and entertain. And they're the space that can best show off our personal style and creativity.

Main image: A Victorian fireplace has pride of place in this sitting room designed by Paul Warren Design
 
 
For these reasons we're happy to put time and effort to making a room that's stylish, comfortable and inviting. So if you're embarking on operation living room update and want to create a space you'll be happy to return home day after day, consider these five key elements that make a sitting room appealing:
 
A Coherent Colour Scheme
The colour scheme you choose will determine the look and feel of your living room, as different shades can have different psychological effects. For example, if you want to feel calm and relaxed, blue is an ideal colour to choose. However, if you want a living room to lift your mood and increase your energy levels, incorporate yellow into your interior design. While those who want cleanliness and purity should keep things simple and chic with white. Choose colours within a colour family, so a dark blue, mid blue and a complementary shade such as a soft green. But avoid clashing colours at all costs and feature walls have had their day! 
 
A Comfortable Sofa
Tricky because while a lot of sofas might feel comfortable when you sit on them for five minutes in a showroom, when you spend a lot of time on them you find they're anything but comfortable. So the moral of the tale is sit on a sofa you're trying out for at least 30 mins and adopt various positions...shoes off of course as you won't want to annoy the shop staff! Remember while the style and colour of your sofa can help to bring the interior design to life, it is crucial to consider comfort. A cosy sofa will provide the perfect welcome after a hard day's work, as it can help melt away stress once you settle down for the evening. So always test a sofa thoroughly before to avoid making a choice you later come to regret.
 
A Focal Point
Every living room needs a beautiful focal point that will grab everyone's attention. To make your visitors fall in love with your décor, pick an impressive piece that will draw their eye each time they step inside a room. For example, you could hang a chandelier to add luxury and elegance to your interior design, or you could showcase your eye for detail and tradition by incorporating one of the many sophisticated Victorian fireplaces available. 
 
Good Lighting
Lots of us are guilty of overlooking lighting when redesigning the living room. If you're lucky enough to have a room with feature large south-facing windows, pull back the curtains and pull up any blinds as high as possible to allow lots of  natural sunlight in. But if your living room isn't awash with natural light, aim to layer lighting across the room. For example, illuminate dark corners with a stylish floor lamp, brighten up the space with ceiling LED spotlights, and switch on a table lamp to create a cosy, inviting atmosphere. And do ensure you invest in energy-saving bulbs as they do reduce your electricity consumption and help save the planet! As well as LEDs look at CFLs - compact fluorescents. 
 
Artwork
To inject personality into your décor you need art. So consider hanging a painting, a big framed photograph or vintage poster. Pieces of sculpture or ceramics are also great artworks and it's fun to build up a collection. Choose a work that reflects your taste .. and do bear in mind how it sits in your colour scheme. So if your painting is predominantly yellow but your room is cerise pink, it may not work so you'll need to put it in another room. Artworks shouldn't stand out because they clash with what's in the room. 
Tags:
painting and decorating, Original style, Victorian fireplaces, Furniture, recycling, eco friendly, De-cluttering, eco home, art
Stop the microplastics
By Jo Mansfield
There's a lot we can do to help cut out the microplastics if we understand some of the main causes of this pollutant:
 
Paint – Dried paint sheds microplastics through deterioration. Apparent in road marking paint, and paints used for ships and houses, they are known as ‘secondary microplastics’ that result from wear and tear. Eco-friendly paints are available as an alternative to help reduce your plastic footprint - for example Edward Bulmer Natural Paints and Graphenstone Paint.
 
Car tyres – Looking for an incentive to drive less? our vehicle tyres are constantly releasing microplastics into the environment and the small pieces of plastic debris then contaminate soil and are washed away with the rain into waterways. A report by Friends of the Earth found an astonishing 68,000 tonnes of microplastic is released by UK vehicles each year, with between 7,000 and 19,000 tonnes ending up in UK waterways. Let's do our bit by taking public transport or dusting off the bicycle in the hall. Or walk. Keep moving..using the power of the human body. 
 
Teabags - Sad isn't it, but not even the beloved teabag is safe from being a microplastic contaminator. And just how do teabags contain plastic? The answer is in the paper - plastic is added to help heat seal teabags during manufacture so that they don’t open and release tea leaves in your cup. This means that when pouring away the dregs, or even composting, you’re releasing microplastics into the environment. To avoid this, try loose tea leaves with a tea ball – they make a great cup of tea! As do those two-in-one teapots with cup. Perfect for a quick cup when you're home alone. And invest in a beautiful teapot for when folks cover round for tea.
 
Clothes – According to Friends of the Earth, up to 64 per cent of are new fabrics are made of plastic such as polyester, nylon, acrylic and polyamide. Every time we wash these clothes, they shed millions of plastic fibres – which end up being drained from your washing machine and heading to wastewater treatment facilities and into our seas. To avoid this stick to materials like cotton and silk and wash synthetic clothes as little as possible. Fill your washing machine and do one big wash every week if possible, not quick washes every day for a pair of socks, one shirt and a T-shirt.
 
Facewipes – As well as finding their way onto beaches after being flushed down the toilet, facewipes are also releasing microfibres, which in turn are being ingested by marine life. Made from plastic, facewipes never disappear – they are simply broken down, becoming microplastics. But this can be easily avoided, simply use a reusable face wipe, otherwise known as a cotton flannel or a piece of muslin. 
 
Tags:
Bathroom, Cleaning, Environment and ecology, Hygiene, Lifestyle, painting and decorating, Wildlife protection, eco friendly, eco home