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Improvement tips for a healthier home environment

And while it's not good for our health to live in a totally sterile environment, bacteria and mould thrive in dirty messy homes, which can lead to illnesses, especially bronchial and respiratory ones. Too much dust too can lead to and exacerbate allergies. So if we want to keep ourselves and our families fit and healthy, let's not stint on regular cleaning and de-cluttering.

History made easy: warmth and minimalism in Catalonia house refurb

This house is called Ca l'Andreu and it had fallen into a poor state after an eco tourism venture failed to work. But the family who took it on were very aware of its cultural importance in the context of Catalan architectural history and wanted it restored as a solid dwelling where they could live comfortably but without the trappings of modern luxury living - they didn't want it turned into a marble-clad villa. Quite the reverse in fact, they wanted it to be simple, clean and minimal.

Eco dates for the diary

JANUARY

Veganuary: Kick off the new year by making a pledge to try a plant-based diet for a month...or maybe longer. You'll find plenty of recipes and eating guides to help you plan your menu on the  – and if four weeks seems a big stretch, why not try it for a few days each week?