Monthly Archives

November 2010

Three Tips for Saving Water

1) Taking a 10 minute shower saves about 1/3 of the water over taking  a full bath.

2) Install a Dual Flush Toilet which has 2 separate buttons for liquids or solids. This toilet can save about 200 gallons of water a year.

3) Invest in a Grey Water Systems that reuses water from your bathroom sink to flush the toilet. You can save 40% of fresh water used.

Saving water with good bath design.

How To Know What’s Green + What’s Not

Here are some great ideas from an article by John-David Hutchisonon to help you determine if a building product is really green or not……

When assessing the “greeness” of an environmentally friendly  building product I generally look at the following criteria:

1) Where does it come from – Is it a readily renewable resource? Is it locally manufactured? How are the raw materials and final products transported?

2) How is it made – What are the ingredients in the manufacturing process? Is there fair trade involved? Does it have a large amount of recycled content? How much energy does it take to produce?

3) How does it effect the environment after it is used – Does the material off gas? What is its care and life span? Is it recyclable at the end of it initial use? Very few materials can meet all of these criteria and this is not an exhaustive list, but these are essential issues to be weighed initially and balance out for the best options for each product – one product may work for a certain project but not be feasible for another.

Consumer demand for greener products is on the rise as the general public becomes more informed. This is a beginning. We have a long way to go and along the road there will be challenges. Green washing, resistance to change, and comparatively high initial cost are just a few of these hurdles. Among the bigger challenges will be the inherent human trait of not wanting to change; we have been building the same way with the same materials for quite some time.

Conversely, as consumers, we have become accustomed to the Wal-Mart World. We want it cheap and we want it now. The perception of “saving” may cost us more due to the lack of quality and shorter life span of these goods. An important aspect of green building is longevity and quality of product. At first this may seem expensive but over the long run green may be “cheaper.”

To learn more about eco-friendly interior design click here.

inspiring design + renovation

If you are just joining us, welcome to inspiring design + renovation.

Within these blogs, I hope you will find inspiration for your home and office. The subjects are varied and random, however the intention focuses on helping you create a home that is both beautiful and supportive to you and your family. Please let me know if you are in search of any particular design solutions as this is also meant to develop into a dialog. Happy designing.

Surviving A Kitchen Remodel

With economic times as they are, many of my clients have decided to fore go the expense of moving or building a new home. Instead they have decided to renovate their existing homes.

One of the best ways to get good return on your renovation investment is to update your kitchen. This can be an overwhelming project but with a few preparations and a good design strategy, you can withstand the ups and downs of having your kitchen torn apart and put back together again. Here are a few tips for surviving a kitchen remodel. Hope they help. Perhaps you have some you would like to post to this list. (Source: Kitchens.com)

  • Keep essential items handy: microwave meals and non-perishables like soup; condiments; cereal; microwave-safe dishes and utensils; dishcloths; dishwasher soap; paper plates and cups; coffee; coffee pot and sugar/creamer; paper towels; napkins; and garbage bags.
  • You’ll be without water in the kitchen for a time, so plan to do the dishes in another sink or the bathtub. Or stock up on eco friendly disposable plates and cups, paper towels. Be sure to have some disinfectant cleanse handy.
  • Move your old refrigerator or a small mini-fridge to a convenient space close to a water source. Add a table with a microwave above and a trash can below.

Obviously, small appliances such as microwaves, toasters or toaster ovens, hot plates, and small electric grills will be immensely helpful in preparing home-cooked meals. Just remember, the area where you set up your temporary kitchen might not be able to support multiple appliances running at the same time, not to mention any other electronic items typically used in that room. You might need to have only one thing plugged in at a time to prevent blown fuses.

For Interior Design services check out www.LouStewart.com