Home Improvement Terrarium And Wall Decor

Home improvement ideas like home accents and wall decors are the new “in thing” nowadays. You can see many new interior design industries that offer various products showing unique and modern artistry that can catch the taste of every home enthusiast. Among the myriad of these new breed of home accents, two of the most popular products today are terrariums and wall decors. Discussed below are the characteristics, advantages and uses of these home accessories.

A terrarium is a glass container designed to hold small plants and animals in controlled condition. Terrariums are often used by scientific researchers to conduct studies. There are also people who use them as hobbies to display the plants and animals of interest. The defining feature of a terrarium is that it is an enclosed replica of a natural environment which is in contact with the earth, so some sort of soil, sand, or rock must be present in a terrarium. Typically, the container is clear, allowing an unobstructed view of the contents inside of it. Although there are others who are trying to make some wooden terrariums but still people prefer the container to be made of class for a clear view of the object inside of it.

Nowadays, people are into terrariums as a form of interior decoration. They tend to place decorative flowering plants inside the glass container. Some are creative enough to use the unfilled aquarium and turn them into a plant container.

There are different types of terrariums, namely, hanging globe terrariums, bubble terrariums and table top terrariums. These terrariums are commercialized products that we can see in home stores and shops. But if we are to create our own, we can utilize unused aquariums, big opening clear bottles, and glass containers.

Another home accent that can add up to smarten our abode is the wall decor. Wall decors can be made of wood, plastic, metal, steel, aluminum, and iron. They give striking and unique feeling to guests who visit our home. If we check out websites, we can see many different wall decor designs. We can also customize the decor style that fits our interior theme. We just need to consult our nearest local wall decor designer to create a custom wall decoration.

Saving Money Through Texas Energy Efficiency Investments

As one of the fastest growing states in the US, Texas is challenged with increasing its productivity and it can do this by increasing investments in energy efficiency initiatives that can save both residential and commercial users of Texas electricity literally billions of dollars over the next two decades. Seems like an impossible task? According to the American Council for the Energy-Efficient Economy or ACEEE, such proposition is not only possible but completely doable.

In a recent study conducted by the ACEEE called Energy Efficiency Investments as an Economic Productivity Strategy for Texas, energy efficiency programs in the state could reduce Texas electricity consumption by up to 30% by the year 2030, creating savings for electricity users of up to $14 billion within that period. Not only that, energy efficiency initiatives in the state will also boost employment by creating up to 47,000 jobs each year until the projected period of 2030.

The 30% projected reduction in Texas electricity consumption was based on targets set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for energy efficiency improvements. Also taken into consideration are the estimates made by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) which handles the energy deregulated areas in the state. However, these projected figures will only be achieved with the expansion of current energy efficiency investments which spans all sectors including commercial, industrial and residential area.

Energy Efficiency Initiatives in Texas

According to the ACEEE study, to meet the growing demands for Texas electricity, the state would have to invest about 6 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour on new electric generating plants. Energy efficiency provides a better alternative however, as the cost of investments to achieve a 30% gain in efficiency will only cost the state less than 4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

For years, energy efficiency programs to reduce electricity consumption in the state have already benefitted Texas residents and businesses as evident in their reduced energy bills. Between 2009 and 2011, the state already benefitted up to $1.5 billion in savings from these energy efficiency programs, which also created up to 12,000 jobs during this same period and reduced emissions by as much as 413 tons per year. By expanding these energy efficiency initiatives, the state will most likely hit its targets by the year 2030.

Texas schools have also benefitted from energy efficiency programs which involved easy investments. A school district with at least 4,000 students can realize savings by as much as $1.6 million in ten years or basically $160,000 savings each year from their Texas electricity bills. Most of the investment funds came from the Texas Loan STAR program for energy efficiency.

City governments have also taken initiatives in reducing energy consumption in their respective areas. In Houston, energy efficiency projects include the use of energy efficient LED traffic lights that would save as much as 85% more Houston electricity than traditional incandescent lamps. Aside from the cost savings, the use of energy efficient lamps also reduces carbon emissions, requires less maintenance and improves overall visibility for each traffic light.

In an energy deregulated Texas electricity market, consumers have the power to select their energy options and apply for grants that would finance their energy efficiency upgrades that would save thousands of dollars from their electricity bills each year. These are basically great investments that would help ensure a clean and sustainable future for all.

How to Zero in on the Best Interior Design for your House without Spending a Fortune

Almost every one of us wants to redecorate our homes. After
all who doesn’t want a home that is the envy of everyone? It is no
different in the case of people from India too. This is a country which
is known for its rich culture and tradition. Interior designers in India
have borrowed ideas from its rich cultural and artistic history and
incorporated them in modern homes successfully.

House interior design need not necessarily mean you
burning a big hole in your pocket. If you are smart enough and are
willing to do a bit of research, you can easily redecorate your home,
without spending a dime. The best way to go about the entire process
will be take on one room at a time. This way your job will become a lot
easy. Remember, the best interior design is possible only when you work
in an unhurried and relaxed manner. First of all remove all clutter from
each room. You can then plan and rearrange things in a better way. It
is only when the room is free of clutter that you will get a better idea
about what will fit where.

Whenever you are dealing with house
interior design the key lies in getting the proportion right. For
example, a large sofa in a small room can make the room look even
smaller. It is therefore important that you choose your furniture
carefully, keeping in consideration the dimensions of a room.


One of the best ways to go about the process of house interior design
is to involve everyone in the family. Remember, even the youngest member
could come out with a brilliant idea. You should first of all make a
list of all the ideas of every member of the family. You can choose
those ideas which have the backing of the majority of the members. This
way you can get a lot of ideas. Remember, you need not be the best
interior designer in India to come out with innovative design ideas.


If you want to seek professional help though, there is no dearth of
that in India. You can find plenty of competent interior designers in
India. One of the best ways to find them would be through referrals. You
can ask some of your friends or colleagues to introduce one to you.
Alternatively you can also ask an interior designer for a list of his
clients. You can then call up those clients and find out about more
about the interior designer.

Energy Efficiency Can Be Helped With Enterprise Energy Management Systems

Although efficiency has always been relatively defined by every kinds of enterprise. For instance, there would be companies which qualify productivity as a measure for asset efficiency. Although there have been plenty of reviews on asset and appliance energy consumption, there had been little on energy efficiency per se.

While companies are getting busy plotting their action plan, they are also giving attention to the fact that energy efficiency is of utmost importance. Measured against the pervasive threat of climate change, society dictates that business interests are inferior.

Our society presses on having each business take accountability for its own emissions and justification of such. This is an emerging threat to the viability of organizations and will now require them to adopt enterprise carbon and energy management systems as they not only begin to understand their actual positions but get ready to answer to society and legislators.

A common organization operates through the interaction of its assets. Each asset is responsible for the consumption of energy and the consequent emission of greenhouse gases. Emissions which are related to energy consumption are one of the largest contributors to climate change and other environmental degradation which should be stopped if needed.

While we are not yet at a position where the preceding statement can be viewed as black and white, we are certainly heading in that direction. For an organization to exist, let alone prosper in the future it must justify its possession of each asset and be sure that the asset is performing to ultimate efficiency. Enterprise carbon and energy management systems enable such tracking and provide a clear correlation between energy use and emissions spent.

We are very likely to see legislation. which requires consent for using energy and carbon emissions, enclosed within market forces. In this highly competitive and market-based economy, involved parties need to have openness and encourage transparency in conducting business to be satisfactorily compliant. Again, in this world a healthy balance sheet owes a lot to the performance of individual and sometimes lowly asset groups and thus the significance of asset performance tracking may not be understated.

There is a clear link between asset energy efficiency and carbon emissions and as carbon becomes a protected, trackable and tradable commodity, organizations must enable the link.

Enterprise carbon and energy management systems focus on energy efficiency and performance. Software providers such as Verisae have already amassed experience by providing such an approach to a number of retail organizations worldwide. Forward-thinking companies know and understand that although legislation would not be targeting enterprises at the moment yet, they also understand the importance of adamantly acquiring the most effective information possible.

While political debate and agendas can often slow the advance of legislation, societal opinion appears to be consolidating and organizations that are slow to take the initiative and adopt a clear path toward sustainability may indeed be very shortsighted.

Furniture Rental can Lead to Ownership with Some Companies

This current economy has definitely placed a strain upon the general public. A decreased buying power has limited purchases by families. Many go without replacing or buying items as their cash flow has decreased.

Furniture is one area where a great deal of drastic cuts has been seen. The purchase of furniture has reduced considerably because of the inability to pay for these items. Therefore, many families are looking for either used or free items or just making do with what they have.No family really wants to keep outdated and worn furniture. However, they cannot afford current prices either. Therefore, many have turned towards furniture rental. Furniture rental is offered by many companies worldwide and has certain advantages.

Furniture rental is different with every company, but most have the same concept. A customer can participate in the furniture rental program upon qualification. This qualification process is fairly simple and easy. As the prices to rent furniture are much lower than the actual purchase price, many people qualify. They just need to sign a simple rental agreement to get started.

This rental agreement of furniture normally stipulates a given time frame. A standard rental time period for furniture is normally a two year period. After this time period has expired, the customer can make an offer to purchase their furniture. Many furniture rental companies also factor portions of the money already paid and some companies will even take only $1.00 purchase price after the customer has completed all the payments of their contract

Furniture rental programs like this offer advantages to people. These rental programs allow individuals to get nice furniture without a large upfront cost. This means people can pay for the furniture a little at a time over a longer time period. Paying a little at a time does not overwhelm a family or an individual financially.Another advantage of Furniture rental programs is families are getting what they need. It is very typical that a family may not have the furniture that they need because of the inability to pay outright for furniture. Furniture rental programs allow families to get what they need so all family members can live comfortably.

Many companies offer furniture rental programs for families. One such company that has furniture rental programs is Local Rentals. Local Rentals has furniture rental agreements as well as many other rental options. Some of these include computers, washers and dryers, refrigerators, big screen TV’s and much more. To see more about what Local Rentals has to offer, visit www.localrentals.com.au.

About Author:

Local Rentals rent out Household Appliances on a long term basis to customers. This includes TVs, Washing Machines, Computers, Games and Furniture. They also provide quick replacement or repairing if any warranty problems arise. Local Rentals Pty Ltd www.localrentals.com.au

Curbing The Home Improvement Trend to Stay

Home improvement is a catching trend. People improve the state of their household so that they can enjoy a better life and take advantage of the renovations. Some people opt for home improvements to increase the resale value of their place. Whichever the reason, there is no denying that any change done to the home gives it a much fresher and approachable look. However, most of the renovations are done for the interiors, like getting granite counter tops for kitchen or perhaps installing new flooring for the home. The exterior of the house is an untapped resource of real estate glory. Exterior of the house can be improved by installing designer windows or getting vinyl siding for the house or even constructing conservatories. Curbing your front yard or lawn is the latest mode of renovations.

Suburban areas have a capacity to accommodate a fairly large garden in their front or back yard. There can be several elements incorporated into the landscape provided they can be separated. Concrete curbing offers this advantage. It helps isolate the flower bed from the lawn and disallows the weed or any rubbish to get in between. Concrete is the perfect element for curbing as it is strong and can be molded in any shape. Besides, it does not rust or rot like metal or wood. It can withstand the harshest of climate. There is also an option of adding dye to generate any desirable colour to the mix. The concrete borders can thus be matched to the colour of the house or perhaps in contrast. Concrete Landscape borders are popular as they can be laid around any given structure without any problems. These are very easy to install and can be completed in short amount of time. The concrete is mixed and fed to a machine which then extrudes beautiful and continuous border around any structure you desire. You can avoid cars from being parked on to your lawn by laying down curbs between the driveway and lawn. In this way, your garden can be tread mark free.

Parking lot curbs has become a necessity in every commercial establishment these days. These are made of plastic and resin and are placed actively around the parking spaces. It helps control traffic jams and prevents any mishaps. The parking chaos subsides and becomes much easier and smoother. Parking lot curbs are made out of material that can withstand snow, rain and strong sunshine. These are made with enough care so that they can maintain their structure even after bearing the entire weight of cars and trucks.

Curb installation must be done by a professional team. It is essential that the experts understand how and where you want the curbs to be installed. They will offer insights after studying your space and understanding your requirements. It is always better to draw up proper contracts so that there is clarity for both parties. Always make sure that there is a clause for cleaning up the property after curb installation is complete.

Improve your curb appeal today!

How to choose a kitchen worktop

It’s always great to look at the variety of worktops and what the advantages of them are. In this article we will like to look into 3 worktops and see how they compare with one another.

Stainless steel

When looking at a worktops it’s good to think about the use and the environment around it. If you have young children then you are more likely to take something more resistant.
Stainless steel is ideal for our OCD driven hygiene freaks. Its a great surface which can be cleaned very easily. The worktop is hard and the best thing is the easiness of the clean. Stainless steel does however scratch across time but none can deny it looks really good.

Hardwood

Best used: Always best used for our chefs and cooking maniacs. Its ideal for cooking purposes. Also if bought with water resistant quality then can become very handy in and around sinks and areas which deal with oil.

Best look: Best thing is it suits all kitchens. It looks greatif mixed with a few materials such as glass or stainless steel.

Upkeep: Maintenance of this is slightly harder. If something spills you have to be pretty quick to clean up otherwise it may leave a stain.
Sealing required: These hardwoods need to be painted with a special oil to start with and then one coat every month at least. This has to become a habbit otherwise you can say good bye to your hardwood.

Durability: Hardwoods can last a long time but you will have to apply that oil. Also dont use it as a chopping board or put a hot pan on it. These surfaces can get scorched very easily.

Flexibility and fitting: The best thing about hardwood is its flexibility to fit perfectly in any shape. Make sure the carpenter is correct though.

Granite

Best used: Used on surface worktops. The shiny glossy look has proved very popular in recent times.
Best look: Its a granite worktopsat its best. It suits every look, call it modern or traditional. The worktop has been described as timeless.
Upkeep: Maintenance out of all the surfaces is the best. Get a damp cloth and wipe away. Its that simple.
Sealing required: You would apply a sealer first time when putting it on and another one after 10 years.
Durability: Out of all the surfaces it is the best in durability. It can with stand heat and is water resistant. Wine and citrus must be wiped away at once though.
Flexibility and fitting: Granite again is very flexible. It is cut very easily into any shape or size.

Home Improvement Trends

The housing market is slow at the moment, making it difficult for some to sell their home, or at least at a price that they would be willing to sell at. Partly due to this, there has been an increasing trend in the numbers making home improvements instead. Rather than moving to an improved home, they are improving the one that they already live in. So, what are some of the current home improvement trends?

More people appear to be keen on adding character to their home. In recent years having a home that appears to have more character is something that has been deemed more attractive. There are many things that can be done to achieve this, with changes to doors and windows amongst the most popular. Some are brightening doorways to make them more attractive, while adding shutters to windows is a popular addition. These, along with many other alterations, are small changes that can make a big difference to the appearance of a home. Other examples that are fashionable at the moment are changes to lighting fixtures, decorations and doing something different with house numbers.

Outdoor living space is something that is often talked about with regards to home improvement. This isnt just in reference to doing the garden up though, but creating (or improving) the outdoor living space; that is to say outdoor seating areas and outdoor eating areas so the living room and the dining room can be brought outside during the summer. People like to live a more Mediterranean lifestyle. Despite the rainy summers weve had in Britain of late, we enjoy living a more outdoor lifestyle when we can these days. Having somewhere to entertain, or simply relax, is something more of us want.

Colour-wise, white is particularly popular right now. This neutral colour is often preferred, whether it is white walls or white fixtures. White kitchens are a particularly good example of this. The popularity of white is not reflected in soft furnishings, though. Here, colourful furnishing, often with stripes and patterns, are seen as more trendy.

A trend that can be particularly put down to the current housing market is extending the size of a home, with loft extensions common right now. In many cases moving to a larger home may not be realistic, but increasing the size of their current home is possible for some. It is a big job, and not inexpensive, but it is almost guaranteed to increase the value of a home. Typically an extra bedroom and bathroom, or an en-suite bedroom, can be added to a home, turning a three bedroom house into a four bedroom house, for example.

Modern kitchens can add significant value to a home, and be significantly more pleasant to use. There has, therefore, been a rise in the number of people modernising their kitchens. While some are making small changes, others are having theirs completely remodelled. Island units and bold splashbacks are two things that are fashionable at the moment.

Water-conscious Landscaping

By Savitha Hira Photography: Courtesy Ar. Kakoli Sikder

The Water Habitat Retreat at Jodhpur is a laudable exercise in traditional rainwater harvesting, and landscaping this heritage property has effectively brought it into the limelight-

Socially responsible architecture is quietly being practiced by many an architect in various pockets of the globe. Thanks to socially responsive patrons, who make an unwavering commitment in tandem with the architects. Ar. Kakoli Sikder is a landscape architect from Delhi, who has creditably been a significant team member of the Bijolai Palace conservation at Jodhpur.

Water Habitat Retreat was once the famous Bijolai Palace at Jodhpur. It was conserved and restored to house a boutique hospitality venture under the aegis of the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation. It is said that the scenic, sprawling summer palace built in the early 19th century is nestled between the Aravalli Hills surrounded by lakes as an oasis in the desert. With the civil work being completed as far back as 2008, Ar. Kakoli Sikder stepped in to make her valuable contribution to the expansive landscape.

Beginning from the entrance paths – there were two distinct ones – both over a culvert; one towards private quarters and the other towards the admin and hospitality facilities; Kakoli worked on a well-manicured garden, arched jharokhas to frame panoramic views, square paved plazas, lush green palms, circular planters with shade-giving trees and diligently selected native species of -Jaal Peelu’ , -Rohina’ and -Babool’ as the focal planting among other things. Largely, there are three courtyards within the living quarters, which have been designed tastefully as trellised spaces for outdoor seating and occasional dining. As in any landscaping project, the material palette and the selection of flora and fauna have been methodically determined. With the project tabling water as an exemplary rainwater oasis, where it is not only supposed to be entirely self-sufficient of its water needs, but is also said to use 100% recycled rainwater and provide water for the drinking-water needs of severely water-distressed local communities, care has been taken to use plants that require less water, absorbent soil, and loosely laid Jodhpur stone pavers that together aid in recharging the natural water table. The walls, toe walls, retaining walls, etc. are all made of locally available Jodhpur dark stone in random masonry. The paths are made of loose stone chips. The planter coping, plazas, steps, amphitheatre seats and stage are made of polished Jodhpur stone. And as far as the lighting is concerned – wall lights, tree up-lighters and bollards have been strategically used to enhance the mood of this place.

As Kakoli sums up, -The challenge lay in accomplishing heightened aesthetics within a contextual vocabulary, staying grounded in terms of giving back to the project and doing all of this within the limitations of cost-effectiveness.-

to view images click on inditerrain.indiaartndesign.com

Rustic Restaurant Furniture – A New Restaurant Trend

For perfect outfitting dining areas, restaurant owners give preference to the furniture that is durable, eye-catching and makes food lovers feel comfortable when dining. When it comes to giving a unique and classical look to all restaurants, restaurant owners pick rustic, vintage style and mid-century modern stylefurniture as their first choice. That is why rustic restaurant furniture and chairs are sweeping the US in a craze. After years of the same old thing, owners are beginning to differentiate themselves from their competitors by doing some radical and rural decoration. Twin Peaks is a good example of a restaurant chain that has an interior theme resembling a log cabin. There, you can find long community tables made of rustic yellow pine, sometimes made of entire slabs of solid wood. These tables can be distressed to resemble worm holes, chips, discoloration and abuse. As one restaurant owner puts it: -the food business is competitive, you have to stand out or stand down.-

Pine, in addition to other woods, such as cedar, is great for rustic restaurant furniture. The presence of pin holes and knots normally degrade the value of a wood, but the same characteristics are what make these wood species unique for restaurants. These woods also stain unevenly, which gives each table a high contrast of multiple colors when stained. Other wood species, such as maple or oak, have a very uniform and clean look which cannot be easily distressed.

Rustic restaurant chairs can also be distressed using the same method to create the -old- look. As in the example of twin peaks, they used a pine logs to create commercial grade restaurant chairs. Each piece has to be cut by hand, and then assembled piece by piece. This turned out to be quite expensive. A cheaper alternative is to buy used furniture, and distress DIY. Who cares how it looks because it is old anyways?

In comparison to modern furniture that is crafted with costly woods and modern carpentry tools and instrument, rustic restaurant furniture and chairs not only make a restaurant look different and eye-catching but also add a little cost to the pockets of restaurant owners when they think of having new furniture with a rustic and classic touch.

If you are thinking of buying custom and integrated furniture carrying the touch of traditional and classic furniture, the maker custom restaurant furniture American Hospitality Furniture can make a real difference to your furniture needs. It is noted that the company proudly markets many of its products are either made in USA or assembled in USA. For more information regarding Restaurant Chairs visit us at http://www.americanhospitalityfurniture.com/