Monthly Archives: January 2009

Now You Can Put A Window Anywhere

If you live in a dark apartment I have a great product for you, it’s a window that is not a window, it’s really shades that use electroluminescent sheets for the light source. It’s very handy for anyone pretend windowwho lives in a place where you either can’t put a window because there is no outside wall or if you live in an apartment that is underground. You can adjust the intensity of the light by manipulating the shades and it’s very easy to install.

This could really add something to every room, I would probably put it in 2 of our bathrooms as they don’t have any windows but really need something extra. It also could be used to confuse your friends. Yes I can be that mean, but only to a select few of them.

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Stone: A Disappearing Resource

Stone has always been a huge plus when it comes to interior design, but if we keep using stone eventually it will run out. We may not see this in our lifetime, but it may happen in the next generations life time. Don’t bamboo countertopworry though, you can still have stone in your home by using stone from homes that are being torn down or from someone remodeling, as long as you let them know first.

Since finding stone to recycle can be difficult there are also other great options for you to use that are very environmentally friendly. For countertops use concrete, glass or wood, preferably bamboo. You can also get countertops made from recycled paper and other recycled materials.

Flooring is a very easy fix, use renewable resources such as bamboo, and cork, you can also again use materials taken from a another home. Overall there are many ways to save our stone resources, companies have ways of making products that look exactly like stone as it’s made from stone, but not from stone that may disappear. Remember if your looking to be environmental friendly it doesn’t matter that the material can just be recycled, but it’s a matter of how renewable the resource is.

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Protect Your Home And Keep Heat Out

Yes, in most areas of the world it is winter but winter will soon be gone and you will be thinking about the heat that is summer or it’s summer now and your tired of the heat. One great way to keep your home cooler is to use solar shades like the ones sold at The Shade Store. The reason I mention this store is that they hSolar_shadeave two great style options for you. A simple solar shade that will work with any design or the roman solar shade that adds a little more style to your decor. I personally love the look of a roman shade.

The other great thing about this company is that they have an eco friendly fabric line that is PVC and Lead Free. Since now we have to watch lead levels when it comes to children this is a great option for any parent for their home. This fabric is also 100% recyclable. You don’t have as many color choices as you do with their other fabrics, but the ones they do have are actually very nice and would work well with any decor.

Keeping your home looking good, by keeping the rate of fading down is another good thing about these shades, have you ever walked into a room and looked at the carpet only to see areas that look like they are a different color? This is caused by light from windows fading out the color of your carpet or furniture. It’s easily fixed by using a solar shade to block light and right now you can get 15% off and free shipping on all orders; Use the code: IZEA01

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Design Should Make You Feel

One of the most important things I have learned is that design should speak to you, it should make you feel something. If it’s really good it will bring back memories and connect you with the object, building or work.

Take a look at the pictures below, do you feel anything when you look at them. Are you intrigued or do you think of something from the past? Do they make you happy or sad?

mushroom lamp

rugs

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Geothermal Energy Part III: Codes And Design

Codes and other Regulations
When installing a geothermal system you may be subject to different regulations depending on the type of system and the area you live in. Some examples of these regulations are:

Well construction code
Discharges to ground water
Discharges of surface water
Water use reporting
Underground ejection control.

If you are considering using a closed loop system you will also need to get a permit as boreholes may extend hundreds of feet in depth and could penetrate drinking water aquifers. Sealing the area between the vertical loop piping and borehole from the bottom up to the ground with a low permeability grout, as recommended by the manufacture and is also consistent with the state well code, is advised.

Design

Geothermal systems are usually installed and designed by an HVAC professional who has studied geothermal design. The process of geothermal design differs depending on the building to be constructed, the size shape and heating and cooling needs of the building effect the design of the system. A small system would be designed for a home, while a large system can be designed for a school or office building.

This concludes the Geothermal Energy series. I hope you enjoyed it.

Part I: Geothermal an Introduction

Part II: Geothermal Systems

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It’s Not All About The Interior

Spring will soon be here in the northern parts of the world and now is a great time to start thinking about outdoor areas. Usually you think of your own home, but how about this year you think about you and your community. Maybe you could start a community garden, or park. Maybe your school needs a good garden area to help teach kids about plants and encourage them to learn by doing. If you love this idea then I have some great information for you.

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The 2009 Project Orange Thumb grant is a grant for communities and schools to help them improve the areas around them. There will only be 20 communities who will get these grants, but I encourage you to apply for it if you are in a community that is very strapped for cash and needs something like this. You can also apply if you had a community area that has been neglected and you want to bring it back. You do have to be a group as individuals can not apply, but think about what it could do for your community to have an area where things can grow, people can enjoy themselves and maybe even get some good food out of the deal.

The grant is open to any group in the US, Canada and Australia. The winners in the us will get $1,500 in Fiskars tools and up to $800 in gardening materials and Australia’s winners will get $1,000 in Fiskars Tools and up to $1,000 in gardening related materials to help you get started. The grant application deadline is February 17th and the winners will be notified on March 25th.

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Give Their Room Style With Childrens Art

childrens-wall-decor-purse-As a designer I am always looking out for the next really cool design idea. Many times it’s for adults but sometimes the kids win out and this is one of those times. Finding artwork for a children’s room can be a very hard task as it seems that most art is either too kid like and would only work in a baby or toddler room or it’s too adult and would only work in a child’s room where no one lived.

That is all about to change as I have now found Magic pumpkin art a site for children’s art that actually carries things that young girls and boys would love for their rooms. I have included a couple of my favorite ones in this post, but they have many to choose from includeing animal pictures and sports art.

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Encourage Your Children To Design and Build

If you talk to most interior designers or architects they will tell you that they grew up playing with blocks and building things. Sometimes that is all it takes for a person to decide what they want to do in life. If you have children and your looking to find a way they can be creative and learn check out a magnet building set and see what they can come up with.

If you look at design today, many things are put together with magnets though many people are not open to the idea, having toys that are like this may help to push this trend even more. My 8 year old niece loves magnetic toys and building materials for kids. I know she would just love to get her hands on a Mega Brand system set because she loves building houses, machines and more. In my eyes we are opening her mind to a world where she can design anything and that is how designers and architects are made.

I actually would love a set of these, how cool would it be to come up with a design and be able to put it together without glue or cutting? You could even redesign your home with these things, well if it were multi- colored and had holes in it you could!


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Geothermal Energy Part II: Systems

There are four types of systems when it comes to geothermal systems.

There is a closed loop system and a open loop system a slinky loop system and a pond loop system. Open loop systems are simple systems that draws ground water from an aquifer though one well, the water then passes though the heat pump’s heat exchanger, then is discharged to the same well though another pipe that is a good distance from the first pipe. This installation is good if you have a source of ground water to draw from.

The closed system has a pipe that is continuous. The length of the loop pipe varies depending on the temperature of the ground, the thermal conductivity, soil moisture and system design. There are two ways to install this type of pipe; horizontal or vertical. Horizontal pipes are better for small installations and are less expensive then vertical pipes. Horizontal pipes are better for commercial use or schools because of the lack of land around these types of buildings.

Slinky loop systems are pipes that overlap each other and are used to help keep more heat in the pipes. This is also helpful to use in small spaces. Pond loop systems are exactly the same as closed loop systems, but they use the heat from the bottom of ponds or streams to heat the water. They are usually installed at the bottom of the river bed or pond.

Part I: Geothermal an Introduction

Part III: Geothermal Codes and Design


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ABC’s Of Fine Design Top Post For 2008

I have made a list of what I believe are my top post for 2008. I have selected one per month. If your new to the blog check these out first.

January: Why you should jump to LEDs

February: Furniture Friday: The history of the mirror

March: Save Energy and Keep Your Home’s Style

April: Cool Your Home With Less Air Conditioning

May: No Green Thumb, that’s okay

June: Feng Shui Friday: Remove Negative Chi

July: Design your own faucet!

August: Get A Wall Tattoo

September: Save Money Go Tankless

October: Get Dark And Warm With Your Curtains

November: Save Money By Upgrading Your Toilet

December: Let Your Fireplace Make A Statement

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Home Decor Tips Blog Carnival

This is the first of I hope many blog carnivals for Home Decor tips. I will be hosting both this one and the next one. After that who knows. I hope you learn a few things and enjoy your time here. If you would like to submit your blog post to the next carnival the link is below.

Axel presents Zen-Like Living posted at axel g.

Surfer Sam presents NEW !! Home Staging Tips Sell Your House Fast posted at Surfer Sam and Friends.

My submission: Abc’s of Fine Design Presents Save Money By Upgrading Your Toilet

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