Posted by on

How to Trick Out Your Outdoor Grill Using 10 Essential BBQ Accessories

Thumbnail for 24678

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

We’ve collected some of our favorite outdoor grill ideas to get you ready for summer. Setting up your barbecue area to function as efficiently as a professional kitchen will make the whole grilling process easier. And having a place for everything, as well as some seating, is possible even in a small patio or balcony.

A Japanese Kamado ceramic barbecue that uses firewood or charcoal as fuel is the centerpiece of this modern, functional small outdoor grill area. Image:
Outdoor grills and bbq accessories - freshome.com
Outdoor grills and bbq accessories - freshome.com
Outdoor grills and bbq accessories - freshome.com

2. Outdoor grill ideas that add counter space

outdoor grill ideas that add counter space - freshome.com

Additional countertop area can be added to even the smallest patio using rolling carts or a small butcher block table. Image: Ikea

Nothing makes your barbecue area more functional than extra counter space. If you can’t add a built-in cabinet and countertop, consider adding a rolling cart, butcher block or stainless steel restaurant prep table next to your grill.

outdoor grill ideas that add counter space - freshome.com
outdoor grill ideas that add counter space - freshome.com
outdoor grill ideas that add counter space - freshome.com
outdoor grill ideas that add counter space - freshome.com

3. Grill lighting

Ways to trick your outdoor grill with grill accessories - freshome.com

A wall sconce installed next to the grill lights the barbecue at night while party string lights add a warm, festive feel to this outdoor kitchen. Image: Envision Landscape Studio

Why stop the grilling party just because it’s getting dark? Add some task lighting near the grill to help light the area. If there’s no electric connection, consider using a battery-powered LED light.

Ways to trick your outdoor grill with grill accessories - freshome.com
Ways to trick your outdoor grill with grill accessories - freshome.com
Ways to trick your outdoor grill with grill accessories - freshome.com
Ways to trick your outdoor grill with grill accessories - freshome.com

4. Storage

Modern outdoor grill ideas for small spaces - freshome.com

Adding storage to your grilling area creates an outdoor kitchen look. Image: Inspired Garden Design

Any grill master will tell you that the BBQ accessories and grilling gadgets take up space. Add some storage to your grill area by making a spot for an outdoor cabinet, cart or shelving.

Modern outdoor grill ideas for small spaces - freshome.com
Modern outdoor grill ideas for small spaces - freshome.com
Modern outdoor grill ideas for small spaces - freshome.com
Modern outdoor grill ideas for small spaces - freshome.com

5. Essential grill tools

The best grill tools and bbq accessories - freshome.com

The ultimate tricked out grill area featuring a Kamado grill and a pizza oven. Image: Woon Theater

For a tricked out grill setup, you’ll need some key accessories and grilling tools to make the job easier. These include:

  • A long set of tongs
  • A long-handled spatula
  • A digital thermometer
  • A heat-proof basting brush

The best grill tools and bbq accessories - freshome.com
The best grill tools and bbq accessories - freshome.com
The best grill tools and bbq accessories - freshome.com
The best grill tools and bbq accessories - freshome.com

6. Grill-side dining

small outdoor kitchen ideas - freshome.com

A table for six is the perfect place for eating and socializing while grilling. Image: Cornerstone Architects

Much like in the kitchen, people love to gather around the cooking area. Have a table and chairs nearby. The table can serve as outdoor counter space and you’re likely to have an audience sitting with you when you’re grilling. If your space …read more      

Posted by on

The Best Modern Designs from the 2017 One Room Challenge

Thumbnail for 24652

The One Room Challenge started out as a small initiative among the blogging community, founded by Linda Weinstein of the blog Calling it Home. The idea was to spur her readers and fellow home bloggers to take on a room remodel over the course of six weeks and document it all on their respective blogs and social media accounts using the hashtag #oneroomchallenge.

Yet over the 10 “seasons” since the One Room Challenge began it’s become somewhat of a blogosphere phenomenon: Twenty major design bloggers now participate in each challenge along with hundreds more unofficial “guest participants” in each cycle. To date, more than 1,500 rooms have been revamped and more than 20,000 #oneroomchallenge photos have been shared to Instagram.

The best part about the whole thing for design-lovers: Some really incredible rooms come out of it. The most recent ORC season finished up in April, and it resulted in some of the prettiest rooms we’ve seen yet. Here’s a recap of our favorite modern spaces from the One Room Challenge, from both official and guest participants alike.

The Gold Hive’s Moody-Modern Room

This living room came from one of ORC’s guest participants, but it’s as well-designed and full of inspiration as any space we’ve seen from the bigger-name bloggers. The paint color, Salamander by Benjamin Moore, makes the space.

Brepurposed’s Modern Vintage Bathroom Makeover

It’s rare to find a bathroom with enough design packed in to warrant the description of “eclectic,” but this space from blogger Brepurposed certainly does. From the vintage rug to the wood-paneled bathtub to the Midcentury chest-turned vanity, the space is full of cool character.

Claire Brody Designs Modern-Yet-Neutral Living Room

Official participant Claire Brody gives us plenty to look at with her nuanced and neutral room design. Her expert ability to blend patterns and styles is matched only by her restraint when it comes to color: a strategy that creates a space that’s full of interest and personality, yet well-balanced, too.

Megan Weaver’s Living Room

One of the most dramatic room makeovers we saw in the challenge came courtesy of Megan Weaver (check out Megan’s site, M. Red Design, to see the before photos from the real estate listing when she bought her home). The highlights of the space are the Lucite wishbone chair and the fireplace revamp.

LoveLola’s Boho-Mod Living Room

Our favorite element of this living area by LoveLola: The way the bright Bohemian accents pop against the crisp white paint color.

Design Maze-Tim’s Functional-Chic Dining Room

You’d never know it just by looking at this gorgeous glam-meets-Midcentury dining area, but aesthetics weren’t the only motivation here. Blogger Tim from Design Maze created this room with his need for multipurpose function and concealed storage at the forefront.

Love Create Celebrate’s Clean & Neutral Master

A bold move paid off in a bedroom designed by Love Create Celebrate. The graphic wallpaper serves as a focal point, but also harmonizes the black, white and gray color scheme in the rest of the room.

To see all of the One Room Challenge Spring 2017 entries, click here.

The post The Best Modern Designs from the 2017 One Room Challenge appeared first on Freshome.com.

…read more      

Posted by on

Outdoor Living Rooms: Fresh Ideas For Expanding Your Living Space Outdoors

Thumbnail for 24553

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

An outdoor living room is a great way to expand your living space. Image:
Be sure to have comfy seating.
Be sure to have comfy seating.
Be sure to have comfy seating.

Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.

Use an outdoor fireplace as your focal point. Image: Concrete Works

Add a heat source

Keep in mind that most seating areas are arranged around a particular focal point, or a design element that draws the eye. Where outdoor living rooms are concerned, a heat source like a small firepit or larger built-in fireplace is a particularly good choice.

Not only will this feature lend a sense of drama to the space, but it’s also incredibly utilitarian. Adding a heat source to your outdoor area will increase the amount of time you can spend enjoying it. It will allow you to weather chilly nights and seasonal changes that would otherwise render the area unusable.

That said, live flames aren’t the right fit for everyone. Families with young children or those who simply don’t want to take the risk should look into purchasing a heat lamp. They typically run off of propane and, in the past few years, have become increasingly easy to find in home improvement stores like Lowes.

Add your own heating source with these similar products:

Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.
Outdoor fireplaces can be a focal point.

A covering will expand the space's use.

Consider adding a covering to expand the outdoor living room’s use in varying weather. Image: Marylou Sobel Interior Design

Consider a covering

In addition to adding a heat source, you’ll also be able to extend the utility of your outdoor living room if you include a covering from the elements. Though the amount of coverage you’ll receive depends largely on the which type of covering you choose, it’s safe to say that you and your guests will certainly appreciate it in less-than-ideal weather. This design element will come in handy when facing everything from scorching heat to heavy winds and even rain.

When shopping for coverings, there are plenty of options to choose from. Recently, pergolas like the one shown in the picture above have seen a spike in popularity. However, umbrellas, awnings, lanais or even indoor-outdoor sunrooms are on the list of potential options.

Since coverings often require building an additional structure, your best bet is to hire a qualified contractor. Be honest with them about how you’d ideally like to use the space, as well as your budget. They’ll be able to recommend the type of covering the best suits your needs.

Find the right covering for your space with these similar products:

A covering will expand the space's use.
A covering will expand the space's use.
A covering will expand the space's use.
A covering will expand the space's use.

Mix and match different patterns and textures.

Mix pattern and texture to create visual interest. Image: Sage Outdoor Designs

Mix patterns, colors and textures

Once you have all of your desired features in place, your next task is to turn an eye to interior design. For the most part, the same rules apply to any space, regardless of whether it’s within walls or not. However, outdoor living rooms do have a few unique considerations you’ll want to be aware of as you’re bringing your vision to life.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that, since outdoor seating is often sold as a unit, it can look monotonous if left alone. You’ll need to add in other design elements with a variety of patterns, colors and textures to create visual interest.

Adding in textiles like accent pillows or an outdoor rug is a great choice because they can bring in lots of visual interest, but can be easily switched out as trends change. Incorporating different types of greenery is another …read more      

Posted by on

Living House in Lima Mimics Human Forms

Thumbnail for 24531

Located in Lima, Peru, The Living House portrays energy and fluidity. The house was designed by Chetecortes Architects for a family of frequent travelers.

The house’s layout supports this energy of movement, with sweeping open spaces and long pathways, allowing energy to flow freely throughout. Completed in 2016, it’s 530 square meters (5,700 square feet) of dynamic space, with an invisible staircase connecting both spacious floors.

While the interior is impressive, The Living House derives its name from the exterior design. Using photography as a tool, there are two human bodies imposed into the architecture — one is sleeping, at rest, with weight distributed evenly across the surface.

The other is a person about to take a step, in a fixed place, but with the intention and suggestion of movement. Two static cubed pillars represent this support, making the house appear still only for the time being, ready to continue its journey at any moment.

The post Living House in Lima Mimics Human Forms appeared first on Freshome.com.

…read more      

Posted by on

You Can Buy the Discovery Channel Founder’s Ranch for $149 Million

Thumbnail for 24478

John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, is selling his roughly 7,000 acres of land and estate in Colorado. The property, known as West Creek Ranch, is listed with LIV Sotheby’s. Here’s what you get for $149 million:

An aerial view of the property showing the estate just left of center.

West Creek Ranch is so big it’s spread out over two states with 6,412 acres in Mesa County, Colorado, and 507 acres in Grand County, Utah. The entire property is surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands and consists of four land parcels including pasture for horses and bison, stables, a helipad and airplane hangar with landing strip, trout streams and a bear and mountain lion habitat.

One of the expansive parcels of the property. Look at the tiny cattle at the bottom right to get an idea of the scale.

An office building and a private jet hangar at nearby Grand Junction Regional Airport are included in the sale.

Main residence

Discovery Channel West Creek Ranch For Sale by Sotheby's - freshome.com

West Creek Ranch is Southwestern in style and designed by architect Jamie Daugaard of Centre Sky Architecture. It’s 22,000 square feet with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms on four levels with modern and geo-thermal heating and cooling throughout.

Living room

Dining room

Kitchen

Library

Master bedroom

Master bath

The main residence also contains approximately 3,500 square feet of covered verandahs.

Verandah

Infinity pool

Observatory with rotating copper dome roof

The ranch has awe-inspiring views of soaring red rock canyons, snow-capped mountains, a river and its tributaries. Dinosaur fossils and Native American rock art are scattered throughout the property.

Garden view

View of the property cottonwoods

Two additional guest houses on the property include an intimate two-bedroom, Southwestern-style Creekside Guest House and a retreat-style, three-bedroom log cabin-style Summer Cabin.

Summer Cabin kitchen

Summer Cabin helipad and aircraft hangar

Creekside Guest House exterior

Creekside Guest House living room

Creekside Guest House kitchen

The post You Can Buy the Discovery Channel Founder’s Ranch for $149 Million appeared first on Freshome.com.

…read more      

Posted by on

Wallpaper is Back! These Are the 2017 Wallpaper Trends You Need to Check Out

Thumbnail for 24429

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Wallpaper is back — and there’s no limit to where it can go. Image:
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.
Graphic wallpaper can determine the feel of a space.

Digital wallpaper lets you choose the images.

Digital print wallpaper lets you have more freedom about which images go on your walls. Image: Hugh Jefferson Oliver Simon Design

Digital print wallpaper

For those who are serious about creating one-of-a kind designs, digital printing may just be your favorite 2017 wallpaper trend. This process puts you in the driver’s seat by letting you create wallpaper from any image your heart desires. Essentially, this trend gives you complete authority over how the finished product looks.

As for how it’s done, the process is actually fairly simple. All you need to do is get in contact with a company — like Mega Print Inc. — that provides these services. Once you send off the high-resolution photo of your choice, they’ll likely send you a few proofs to test out the look before printing the final version on large panels that adhere to your walls.

But, by far the coolest feature of wallpaper’s technology upgrade? Your pick won’t necessarily need to stick around forever. Many digital wallpaper companies will also print on alternative materials like fabric or vinyl. When combined with a lower-grade adhesive, these materials can peel off the wall whenever you’re ready for a change.

Get the look from these digital prints:

Digital wallpaper lets you choose the images.
Digital wallpaper lets you choose the images.
Digital wallpaper lets you choose the images.
Digital wallpaper lets you choose the images.

Metallic wallpaper works well in neutrals.

Try metallic wallpaper in a neutral color. Image: JAC Interiors

Metallic wallpaper

If sleek and elegant designs are a must in your home, metallic wallpaper should be high up on your list of considerations. The slight shine these wallpapers give off is enough to add a luxe feel to any space, at a comparatively low price point.

Placement and quantity are your biggest concern when choosing a metallic wallpaper. Since these prints tend to have a stately quality to them, they are a natural choice for more formal spaces like dining rooms or foyers. However, as long as the quantity of wallpaper you’re using is also taken into account, they can be worked into just about any space.

Since metallic wallpapers tend to be a bolder choice, less is sometimes more. If covering the space wall-to-wall is your goal, then stick to smaller spaces like bathrooms. (The light reflected by the metallics can actually help them appear larger!) In more spacious rooms, you can keep the print from becoming overwhelming by just covering one wall and making that the focal point.

Get the look from these metallic wallpapers:

Metallic wallpaper works well in neutrals.
Metallic wallpaper works well in neutrals.
Metallic wallpaper works well in neutrals.
Metallic wallpaper works well in neutrals.

Wallpaper is for more than just walls.

Don’t limit wallpaper to just lining the walls. Image: D2interieurs

2017 wallpaper trends go beyond the wall

That’s right — one of the most popular 2017 wallpaper trends is to use the stuff anywhere but on your walls. This is one occasion where you can really let your imagination run wild, but in case you need a little help to get started, here are some of the best ideas we’ve found:

  • Put wallpaper behind shelves: Consider using one of the room’s accent colors to tie everything together.
  • Hang wallpaper in frames: Especially useful with gallery walls, this allows you to experiment with multiple types of prints and patterns as art. Plus, you can switch out the look anytime you’re ready for something new.
  • Line your drawers with wallpaper: After all, there’s no reason for the inside to be boring.
  • Spruce up a boring piece of furniture: If you have a plain piece …read more      
Posted by on

Breathtaking Views in Budapest Remodel

Thumbnail for 24231

This remodeled apartment sits in a prime location, right in the heart of Budapest. This vantage point offers stellar views of the city, including the historic and beautiful Parliament building, while the terrace has a calming view of the nearby river.

The brainchild of Margeza Design Studio, there are several signature touches the designers left behind. Energetic colors, whimsical details and large windows with natural light create a joyful atmosphere. The rug in the living room is shaped like a map of Budapest, with a small red dot showing the location of the apartment.

A living green wall brightens up the living space. The pleasing ambiance and meta decorations, as well as the living wall, are subtle but brightening.

The two levels of this 110 square meter (1,200 square foot) apartment hold the spacious living room, two bedrooms and a study, as well as a terrace that allows you to look out over the boats sailing on the Danube.

The living room boasts an enormous window to view the cityscape below. Almost like a cinema screen, residents can watch the city as it changes from night to day.

The post Breathtaking Views in Budapest Remodel appeared first on Freshome.com.

…read more      

Posted by on

Free Up Counter Space with These Small Kitchen Organization Ideas

Thumbnail for 24131

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Is cooking and entertaining in your small kitchen difficult? A studio-size kitchen is a challenge to work in, but a few small kitchen organization ideas and a couple of hours of your time can turn your teeny kitchen into a modern, minimalist dream for cooking and celebrating.

We’ve got five inspiring, small kitchens for you that rock. They’re full of ideas on how you can declutter your kitchen in fresh, new ways. We’ve also included some small kitchen organization products that will help you reclaim or add new counter space and find a home for all the clutter that likes to hang out on your counters.

1. Light, bright and industrial small kitchen

This industrial chic small kitchen organization features restaurant-style shelves and bars. Image:
small kitchen ideas to get rid of clutter - freshome.com
small kitchen ideas to get rid of clutter - freshome.com
small kitchen ideas to get rid of clutter - freshome.com

2. Small modern kitchen featuring a modular, rolling island

rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com

A rolling cart can serve many purposes including extra counter space, storage and an eating area. Image: Lisa Lev Design

In many small kitchens there isn’t much counter space to work with. Basic appliances like a coffee maker or microwave can eat up the little space you have. There are solutions. Choose appliances that can be wall-mounted or under-cabinet mounted. Or add a heavy-duty wall-mounted shelf to hold heavy appliances like a microwave.

A small kitchen island can add extra counter space as well as storage — and even a breakfast bar. Small, round or square islands work better in smaller square spaces. Consider a longer narrow island for a rectangular space. A sofa console on wheels would be a great idea in a longer, galley kitchen. You can roll it into a kitchen as needed and then put it back behind your sofa when done.

Butcher blocks or bar carts are other great options because they often come with wheels to roll your island out of the way. A taller cart works well with barstools.

Get the look:

rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com
rolling island ideas for a small kitchen - freshome.com

3. A contemporary small kitchen with floating wall shelves for storage

small kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com

Add floating shelves to your kitchen wall to move items off the counter and onto the walls. Image: Nathalie Priem

If you don’t have enough kitchen cabinets but plenty of wall space, a clean, contemporary way to free up your kitchen counters is to display and store items on cool floating shelves or ledges like the kitchen above.

Want to give your kitchen a high-design look like the photo? Group the items by color and add some art objects or framed photos. Leave some areas of the ledges empty so they don’t look too cluttered.

Another great design choice in the image above is the use of mirror on the backsplash. Add some mirror to a section of your wall behind the countertop to expand the space and reflect more light.

Get the look:

small kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com
small kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com
small kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com
small kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com

4. Small kitchen organization ideas featuring bookcases

small apartment kitchen ideas and studio kitchen storage ideas - freshome.com

Creative uses of non-kitchen bookcases and hooks can add lots of space to a small apartment kitchen. Image: Gut Gut

Adding or replacing kitchen cabinets can be expensive. And if you rent, the project may not even be allowed. Why not buy some good, inexpensive bookcases and make a storage wall for all your kitchen items?

Look for taller but narrow bookcases and mix and match doors to hide some of the items. Or a selection of …read more      

Posted by on

40 Sublime Swimming Pool Designs for the Ultimate Staycation

Thumbnail for 24081

Nothing is more relaxing than lounging by a stunning pool and going for a swim. Many of us have to travel for that luxury but a lucky few have a backyard getaway featuring the latest swimming pool designs to “staycation” in.

We’ve rounded up 40 of the most sublime swimming pool designs for you to enjoy. No sunscreen required.

Indoor to outdoor swimming pool designs

This stunning Laguna Beach, CA, home features a contemporary infinity swimming pool that transitions from indoors to outdoors. Image: RDM General Contractors

long contemporary indoor/outdoor swimming pool design

This LED-lit pool flows from the inside of the home to the exterior. A glass walkway in the living room means the pool can be viewed from upstairs as well. Image: Des Rosiers Architects

Organic-shaped swimming pool designs

curved infinity edge swimming pool with a view - freshome.com

The kidney shaped pool has been replaced in contemporary swimming pool design by large, freeform curved swimming pools. Image: NMA Architects

swimming pool stepping stones - freshome.com

The large curved pool features various sitting areas and pool depths throughout its shape as well as stepping stones for meandering. Image: Rolling Stone Landscapes

The mix of sharp angles and curves accentuates the zero-degree edge swimming pool design while still providing an area for lounging and relaxing. Image: Pence Hathorn Silver

contemporary dual swimming pool design ideas - freshome.com

This contemporary swimming pool is a hybrid of a classic rectangular shape and a curved shape that softens the look and creates two distinct areas. Image: Rolling Stones Landscapes

An architectural indoor pool

architectural lighting design for contemporary swimming pools - freshome.com

A London residence’s underground indoor pool is a work of art from every angle thanks to the use of glass and colorful LED underwater pool lighting. Image: Nulty Lighting

Indoor swimming pool design ideas - freshome.com

The same pool from a different angle shows how integrated overhead lighting and the glass staircase illuminates the indoor pool area to keep it from looking dark and cavernous. Image: Nulty Lighting

Pools that are integrated around the home

best modern swimming pool ideas

A pool large enough to wrap around this entire estate. Stepping stones connect one spot to the other. Image: Harwick Homes

wrap around swimming pool design ideas - freshome.com

The swimming pool was designed to wrap around the house allowing for swimming access from any room while cooling the interior. Image: Visual Text Architects

Outdoor deck swimming pool ideas - freshome.com

This large, inviting swimming pool can be accessed for swimming and lounging from all lower-level rooms of the house. Image: O + L Building Projects

freeform lazy river swimming pools - freshome.com

The freeform-shaped swimming pool flows throughout the house like a river. Image: JB Pool Construction

Infinity pools or zero-edge pools

Contemporary black bottom pool designs - freshome.com

A contemporary, black-bottom infinity pool adds to the property’s open-space feel. Image: John Maniscalco Architecture

tropical design swimming pools and resort living ideas - freshome.com

A dreamy, tropical resort-inspired swimming pool featuring a zero-edge or infinity pool design that flows into the stunning ocean seamlessly. Image: D Studio

black-bottom swimming pool designs

The focal point of this minimalist, black-bottom zero-edge swimming pool design is the view. Image: Below Magid Construction

infinity swimming pools with a beautiful view - freshome.com

The designer of this infinity edge swimming pool describes it as “total scenery immersion.” Image: John Onken Architects

zero-edge swimming pool designs - freshome.com

A small swimming pool looks much larger due to its infinity pool design which conceals where the pool ends. Image: Peter Glass & Associates

Glass-wall pools

cool glass wall swimming pool ideas - freshome.com

The tall glass swimming pool wall next to the bar is a cool design feature that adds color to the lounging spot. Image: Apex Landscape and Brick

glass waterfall pool designs

This swimming pool takes the latest design trend of a glass wall to the next level by allowing water to overflow from the pool in a waterfall fashion into the hot tub area. Image: Tanby Pools

contemporary glass-wall swimming pool design ideas - freshome.com

The ultimate …read more      

Posted by on

Renovating with a Green Perspective: Tips for Keeping an Eco-Friendly Mindset

Thumbnail for 23890

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Renovating with a green perspective may be easier than you think. Source: Rinox Inc.

Renovating with a green perspective presents a unique set of considerations and challenges. However, for those passionate about taking charge of their effect on the environment, doing so is well worth the effort.

With a little forethought, green renovations can come out just as stylish as their traditional counterparts. Not to mention they come with the added benefit of helping the environment.

If you think an eco-friendly renovation is the right choice for you, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a guide on renovating with a green perspective. Use this to help take the guesswork out of your next big project.

Remember to set realistic goals for your lifestyle. Source: Arbonies King Vlock

Set realistic goals when renovating with a green perspective

Before starting any renovation, it’s important to set clear goals. To do so, we recommend sitting down with your family members and having a frank discussion to get everyone on the same page.

First, you’ll want to tackle questions that apply to any large home project, such as: Which areas of the home should be remodeled? What sort of style would you like to see in the finished product? How big is the budget for this project?

Then, since your focus is to create a more environmentally conscious home, look at the remodel from a green perspective. Ask yourself which aspects of eco-friendly living fit with your vision. Few have the resources to make their homes completely sustainable all at once, so it’s important to think realistically about which alterations will fit best within your current lifestyle.

Consult a professional to help you renovate the right way. Source: Gramming Rosenmüller Architects

Hire eco-friendly professionals

Sometimes the professionals know best. By seeking out like-minded contractors, you can be assured that you’ll have someone on hand who understands your vision. They’ll also be able to provide valuable insights on which products to buy and which factors will have the biggest environmental impact.

When searching for a green contractor, research is key. Look up well-known contractors in your area and their certifications. Here are a few notable national certifications to look for:

  • National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) — Green Certified Professional (GCP)
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) — Certified Green Professional (CGP)
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) — LEED Professional Credentials
  • Green Advantage (GA) — Green Advantage Certified Practitioner (GACP)
  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) — Certified Green Contractor

In addition, remember to do the same research you would for a traditional remodel. Read reviews, ask to see portfolios and gather quotes. Above all, make sure you get your questions answered and feel comfortable before bringing anyone on board.

Whenever possible, search out green systems and building materials. Source: Samsel Architects

Invest in green materials and systems

If you can afford it, focus on including green systems and materials into the structure of your home. While these types of additions may come with a larger cost upfront, they have the largest environmental and financial impact over time.

A few options worth considering:

  • Adding insulation: Proper insulation is vital because it keeps warm and cool air from escaping your home. By keeping the temperature consistent, your HVAC will use less energy, which could end up saving you up to 40% on your utility bills.
  • Buy energy-efficient appliances: Another way to conserve energy is by investing in energy-efficient appliances. While the savings you’ll see will vary by model, a home improvement store like Sears will have plenty of options for you to choose from.
  • Install solar panels: Solar panels allow you to harness energy from the sun’s rays. In addition to having the ability to sustain your own home, many electric companies offer programs where they buy back any excess.
  • Check out tankless water heaters: The benefit of tankless water heaters is that they only heat water while in use rather than continually cycled. On average, they lead to energy savings between 27%-50% on your utility bills.
  • Commit to sustainable building materials: Focus on choosing building materials that are biodegradable and sustainably procured. If possible, consider using some reclaimed materials.
  • Choose geothermal energy over an HVAC: Geothermal energy is an air-delivery system that pumps heat from below the earth’s surface into your home. The EPA estimates that these systems can help you save between $400-$1,500 per year.
  • Replace windows with Energy Star models: A study by Energy Star found that, on average, homes lose 30% of their heating and cooling energy through the windows. Replacing them can save you up to $500 per year.
  • Consider a programmable thermostat: Programmable thermostats allow you to turn down your HVAC when you’re not using it and back up before you need it, giving you more control over your energy usage. You could save up to $180 a year, according to SaveOnEnergy.com.

Consider adding eco-friendly elements into your interior design as well. Source: Kailey J. Flynn Photography

Consider the interior design

Renovation shouldn’t stop with the build. The next step is to incorporate green elements into your interior design. You can do this by focusing on elements such as furniture made of natural materials, organic textiles, and by incorporating greenery in your design. It’s also helpful to research companies before purchasing to get a sense of their sustainability models.

Those looking to give their homes …read more      

We Work Closely With…