Activ’s floor plan.
For those who love Swedish giant, IKEA, there is now yet another way to enjoy their wares; they have teamed up with Oregon-based ideabox to offer Aktiv, a fully appointed modular home.
As is expected of all things Ikea, the design is linear and simple. Though perhaps tiny for a “house,” at 745 square feet, Aktiv is larger than most new condos now being built. There are two (2) outside walk-in storage areas incorporated into the home, foregoing the need for an exterior shed.
Activ offers lots of natural light through its many walkouts and windows.
Activ was designed around Ikea products. The kitchen is outfitted with Energy Star appliances, an induction cooktop, convection oven, counter depth fridge, and cabinet-faced dishwashers. The cabinetry and closet systems are from Ikea’s store shelves, as are the bathroom fittings.
A sample kitchen layout shows that functionality has not been sacrificed due to size constraints.
by Rachel Kaplan
Bamboo is quickly becoming one of the most popular green materials in retail and it is easy to see why. Not only it is one of the most sustainable and renewable materials on the planet but it is also one of the most versatile materials that can be used in the home. It is stronger than even steel, is naturally moisture resistant and anti-fungal and creates a naturally beautiful aesthetic when used for anything from clothing to building materials and even home accessories.
Often when people begin to develop a more eco-conscious attitude, they believe they may have to sacrifice quality or looks in order to make the home a more environmentally friendly place. Going green in the home can be easy with but it may be daunting to figure out where to start. These bamboo decor ideas will give a anyone a solid foundation to build upon when introducing this beautiful green material into the house while maintaining the standard of highest quality and style. Continue reading
Check Out All the Types of Windows to Choose From Before Deciding Upon One for Your Home Construction Project
By Mark J. Donovan
Though the double hung window maybe arguably the most popular window style today there are still many other window styles you should consider when building your new home or home addition.
Double Hung Window
A double hung window consists of two vertical panels that both can be moved up or down. The double hung window is one of the most popular windows installed today due to its flexibility in window panel opening.
Single Hung Window
The single hung window is akin to the double hung window, however only the bottom panel moves. The top window panel is fixed.
Casement windows are still fairly popular. They normally come in either single or pairs, and one or both panels are hinged and can be opened via a crank located most commonly near the bottom of the window. Continue reading
A subtle graphic print with a variety of magnets – numbers, mirrors, and chalkboard cut-outs – makes a great focal point and learning area.
Magnetic surfaces provide a great solution for multiple things: they can help keep things organized; they provide great temporary display space; they can provide hours of fun and distraction. Many people turn towards their fridge as the great magnet in their homes. Definitely not my first choice. Why spend money on a great fridge for the look only to then cover it up and potentially mar the surface?
MagScapes lets you add a stylish magnetic surface to any wall in your home – without cluttering your fridge front. The hope, as the name suggests, is that you will create your own magnetic landscape(s).
Mondrian1 from the MS Lite Fresco collection.
When sunlight strikes a rooftop, a large portion of the rays are absorbed by the roof and then emitted in the form of heat. This process results in a significant amount of air pollution, cooling expense and damage to the roof. Green roof painting has been studied and determined to be an effective solution to all of these problems. Green roof painting benefits both the home and community in a number of valuable ways.
Improve Air Quality
Various studies confirm that green roof painting is an effective way to dramatically reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emission. For those who live in a place where the urban heat island effect is a factor, green roof painting could make an especially noticeable difference in air quality. In a study done by the California Energy Commission, it was determined that each painted roof of 1,000 sq. ft. could reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by 10 tons over 20 years. If every urban home on earth was painted, the result would be equivalent to removing 300 million cars from the road for 20 years.
Extend the Life of Your Roof
Suffice to say, every homeowner would like to avoid is the expense of a roof replacement for as long as possible. Green roof painting is an easy and effective way to accomplish this. Our skin isn’t the only thing that can be damaged by long-term exposure to harsh ultraviolet rays. Continue reading
Kitchen Pictured comes from architcheturaldigest.com
Recessed lighting has become an extremely popular lighting system for just about every room of the house. It provides great overall light as well as task lighting and accent lighting. It can wash a room in an even flood of light, or direct light in any direction. When choosing recessed lighting there are two main things to keep in mind: housing and trim.
The housing, or the part installed into the ceiling, is rated for either “new construction” or “remodel.” You also need to note whether the can will meet insulation, and how many watts you’ll be using. These technicalities taken into account early will give you just the right lights.
New Construction and Remodel
New construction housing is bulky and needs a lot of space. Choose this type of housing for:
- building a new space where you have full access to the wall/ceiling/floor without sheet rock or plaster hindering your access to beams, etc.
- You have access to the space due to an overhead attic, a pop out ceiling panel, etc.
Remodel housings are less bulky and easier for remodel where there is little access to beams/joists/etc. and little space for a bulky housing.
IC and Non IC Rated
IC stands for insulation contact. This is one of those technical things to pay attention to. IC rated housings should be installed wherever there is direct contact between the housing and the insulation. They also have low wattage rating
(around 75 watts) because no matter what heat on insulation can be dangerous. Non-IC rated housing means that there can be NO contact between the insulation and the housing. There should be 3 in. of space between the insulation and the housing, and non-IC is rated for up to 150 watts. Continue reading
One of the worst causes of damage to your home is when water starts leaking in from the outside. This is most likely to occur during exceptionally heavy rains. When water hits your home more than normal, the roof is often the first part of the house that gives way, especially when it’s no longer in its best shape. The large amount of water finds its way through leaks in your roof, through your ceiling and down to your floor. Your appliances, furniture, and walls usually bear the brunt of the damage. You can’t just go on scrambling for a container to catch the drips every time it rains. Nip the problem in the bud and carry out repairs without delay.
1. Protect your roofing.
The roof over your head serves a number of functions. It secures you and your home’s interiors from harmful elements of nature. It must be built to withstand rain, snow, and any other types of debris and protects you from the brutal heat of the sun that can bake the inside of your home. However, your roofing should also be protected from all the harsh elements it shields you from.
An ideal way to look after your roof is to apply a liberal amount of roof paint. It will add more life to your roof by protecting it from the sun and the rain. Choose the type of paint that can provide your roof with maximum protection. Raider Paint is what is mostly recommended by experts.
2. Install a rain gutter.
A lot of homeowners underestimate the importance of a rain gutter, but it is certainly essential for preventing water damage caused by rain. Gutters and downspouts offer protection in a number of ways. They prevent the roof from leaking and wood from rotting and also prevent mold formation, siding damage, and water in your basement. They work by collecting water off your roof and directing it down to the closest downspout and safely away from your home. Continue reading
Home Air Purifiers: Whether you are buying an air purifier for your office or home, there are some key things to consider. For example, one of the most common mistakes is to buy based on the initial price. This is very misleading because initial price is important but not as important as total price – filters, bulbs, electric etc. See what to look for so you don’t waste your money when purchasing your home air purifier.
It is becoming more and more obvious that an air purifier is not a luxury anymore but a necessity. With indoor air being 90% worse that outdoor air, no wonder we need to purifier the air. Why is it so much worse than outdoor air?
There are many reasons why such as all of the cleaners that we use and store contain chemicals (unless we use green cleaning options) that release toxins into our air. Even if we are just storing these cleaners, they still emit toxins. Our homes are better sealed so what’s inside stays inside: good or bad, it stays in our homes. Another reason is that the government has taken many measures to help improve and clean our outdoor air such as emission tests. So while our outdoor is is being purified through regulations, our indoor air quality is going down by the mass production and use of chemical cleaners. Continue reading
by Ann Nguyen
A great way to save money in the home and to ensure that you are using environmentally-friendly products is to make your own cleaning solutions. Not only will making your own cleaning solutions save you money, it will save on packaging, therefore causing less harm to the environment in the form of packaging waste.
There are lots of great recipes for cleaning products which you can make with things you probably already have in your home. If not, the ingredients needed to make your own cleaning products are usually cheap and easy to get hold of and can be used for various other purposes too, so it makes great economic sense. Read on for some simple and cost-cutting recipes for household cleaning products.
Instead of buying an expensive polish for your oak chest of drawers or other oak furniture, make your own using half a cup of lemon juice mixed with one cup of vegetable oil or olive oil. Use a cloth slightly dampened with this solution (rather than fully soaked) to polish your oak sideboards and other wooden home furnishings. Continue reading
by Bertha C.
There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” answer to when you should renovate your kitchen, as everyone’s reasons for remodeling differ. There are though several occasions when you should consider making some changes to your current kitchen’s design, layout and decor:
To Deal With Damage
Kitchen cabinets, counters, walls and floors, because of natural wear and tear or accidents, often require moderate to extensive repair work over time. When planning repair work, you should consider a partial or full renovation, as you will already be dealing with the mess of construction and in the mood to “improve” your kitchen and make it “look better.” The types of renovations you decide on can be as simple as refacing existing cabinets with veneers to hide cosmetic damage or as extensive as tearing out old burnt or scored countertops and installing new ones.
To Update Kitchen Style
Many kitchen cabinet and counter styles go out of fashion. Although some designs are retro, you might find yourself waiting years for your kitchen to be in vogue again for social gatherings. If you’re embarrassed to show your kitchen to guests, consider renovating it with classic cabinet refacing color and style options that never go out of style instead of whatever “new” trend happens to be in fashion. Classic options to consider include shades of white, cherry, oak or bamboo and flat or raised basic wood or laminate panel doors, or flat, textured, beveled or leaded glass doors.
To Create More Space
Narrow or cramped kitchen footprints, small storage areas and difficult to reach cabinets are all reasons to renovate a kitchen. Modern kitchen cabinet makers can help you redesign your kitchen with custom-built options to give you more walk through space and storage. In addition, they can help you organize your kitchen to make it more manageable. This is especially helpful if you have an infirmity that impedes your movement or ability to reach or bend.
To Improve Air Quality
Kitchen cabinets and countertops made from fiberboard are another important reason to renovate. Many kitchens contain manmade pressed wood products made with formaldehyde and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) proven to cause upper respiratory problems and cancer. The older your cabinetry, the more important it is that you schedule an immediate evaluation followed by renovation. During the kitchen redesign process, consider low emitting products such as natural wood for cabinets and non-porous DuPont Corian or Quartz materials for counters.