Month: March 2017
The Interior design of your living space is the personality of your home. It not only provides the functionality of rest and comfort, but makes a statement about your lifestyle. Of course, visiting a furniture store, and picking up the furniture may not always be an option. Nor might be the time and/or money that it will take for delivery services to bring it to you. On-demand furniture companies specialize in offering services for customers to order furniture online.
Lull is a mattress company that pushes to deliver a quality memory foam mattresses straight to your home or apartment with ease. The Lull Mattress unfolds out of the box, and its self-inflating design means there’s no additional effort required. It’s great for apartment goers and students who want a high-quality mattress that’s as easy to move as it is to sleep on.
Everyone who’s ever considered purchasing furniture probably already knows of Ikea. If they don’t they will probably find out about them pretty quickly. As of 2013, they are considered to be the largest furniture retailer in the world. The company offers self-assembly items that can be shipped to your home. Ikea is particularly known for it’s affordable prices and wide selection.
Created by a former Apple employee, Campaign is a radical company that’s taking on the furniture industry to offer a new solution. Comfortable, affordable couches, that are designed based on the logistics of getting it to you. The design of the couch meets standard shipping specifications when disassembled, so companies like UPS or FedEx can deliver it, instead of a special moving truck, or other form of transportation. This makes them quick to arrive and easy to move with. Assembly is easy, and if you ever need to pack it up to move, you can use the same methods used to get it delivered to you.
Like Campaign, Grey Cork aims to deliver couches via standard shipping. Grey Cork pride’s itself in making assembly quick and easy. They estimate that it only takes about 4 minutes to put it together or take apart.
SmartFurniture is another retail company that delivers furniture to you, with the help of unique, web-based designing features that let you deliver the right product for your space.
Blue Dot is a furniture design company out of minneapolis, that specializes in providing quality, unique designs that are affordable. They offer a broad selection, for just about every part of the home.
Benchmade Modern is another furniture design company that specializes in delivering on-demand customized products. Customers submit measurements and color selections online. Then the company makes the furniture at one of their factories, completing it within about a week of the order.
Like Benchmade, Laurel and Wolf specializes in on-demand customized furniture. However, they take the customization a step further, where customers provide images and measurements online, and communicate with the company and designers to create a truly custom design for their space.
Article is another innovator in the industry, this time aiming at simplifying the process of purchasing and delivering their products. They seek to eliminate complexity in the process, and increase efficiency, so that delivery is both quick and affordable.
Unto This Last is a workshop in London, that specializes in highly unique designs. To achieve an On-Demand process, they focus on the local level, manufacturing at the point of sale. Although they are small, they have expanded their methods exponentially, and hope to expand in the future.
When you ask people if they’d like to save more on energy, the vast majority are going to answer yes. It could be financially motivated or a desire to live a more green lifestyle. No matter what your reasoning is, there are a lot of things you could do right now during your spring cleaning to improve efficiency.
If you enjoyed our winter energy saving tips, check out these suggestions for spring.
Get an Energy Audit from an Electric Company
Homeowners that want to get serious about energy efficiency should look into getting an energy audit. During a home energy audit, a professional from a private business or electric company will examine how much energy you currently use and assess the house from top to bottom. They’ll provide notes on all of the energy improvements that can be made to increase efficiency. You can learn more about finding and comparing electric providers here.
Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced by a Professional
Spring is the best time to have your air conditioner serviced. During the hot summer months, air conditioner technicians are extremely busy, and you don’t want to be without climate control.
A technician will check all of the equipment and tune-up where needed. They’ll also be able to recharge the refrigerant, which can significantly improve efficiency. Between the improved efficiency and reduced wear on equipment, getting your air conditioner serviced could actually pay for itself. Without regular maintenance, an AC system can lose up to 5% efficiency each year it’s in use.
Cook Outside More Often
As soon as daylight savings rolls around you know it’s grilling season. You’ll have enough light left after work to cook a meal on the grill and avoid heating up the kitchen inside. Accessories like outdoor woks and smokers can expand your outdoor cooking options beyond the grill.
Use the Oven Less
The oven and stovetop can add a substantial amount of heat to the kitchen while you’re cooking. In addition to cooking outside more often, you can also change up your cooking methods to minimize heating up your house.
· Make cold meals, like sandwiches, salads and gazpacho.
· Use a crockpot to cook meats.
· Use a toaster oven for heating small meals.
Reprogram Your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can help you increase air conditioning efficiency by 10%. But you have to program the thermostat properly for optimal energy savings. Follow these best practices when you’re creating a spring thermostat schedule:
· Try to set the temperature no lower than 78° F.
· Bump the temperature up to 85° F when no one is home but your pets.
· Bump the temperature up a few degrees higher when no one is home if you have no pets.
· If you’re going on a vacation use the hold feature to keep the house at an energy efficient temperature while you’re away.
During the spring, minimize your AC use altogether by opening a few windows in the early morning and evening. The cooler air can circulate through improving the air quality while making the house more comfortable.
Weatherize Around Doors and Windows
If you didn’t weatherize around the doors and windows before winter it’s a good time to go buy some weather stripping and caulk. In a matter of minutes, you can plug up air leaks that are costing you money and wasting energy.
Clean the Vents, Filters and Fans
While you’re spring cleaning, pay special attention to the fans, vents, and filters. Gunk and grim can decrease airflow and reduce efficiency.
· The air filter for the AC vent should be changed or cleaned (depending on model) at least once every 1-2 months.
· Make sure vents are fully opened in rooms that are frequently used and closed in rooms that aren’t.
· Clean ceiling fans thoroughly and make sure they are switched so the blades move in a counterclockwise direction to push air down.
The breeze from the fan doesn’t actually change the temperature of the air but it does make skin feel cooler. With fans going you should be able to increase the thermostat temperature by four degrees without feeling a difference. Just remember to turn them off when there’s no one in a room.
If you’ve never purchased paint before, you may be surprised by the number of available options. In addition to choosing your colors, you also have to pick between 6 different sheens, determine whether or not you need primer, and figure out the most reliable brand of paint. If this seems overwhelming, consider hiring local painters. Professional painters are both effective and speedy. While they cost money, they save time and energy. If you’re determined to move ahead with your DIY paint project, read this guide before you start.
The first step is to choose a color. While this is an intensely personal choice, there are a couple of best practices. If you value simplicity, experiment with a monochromatic color scheme. If you prefer vibrance, maximize contrast by choosing colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel. When you’ve made a choice, ask the hardware store to mix a small sample. Then, paint a small swatch inside your house and let it dry. This will allow you to change your mind before committing to one color.
Tempted to skip the primer? Rookie mistake. Primer is a thick coat of paint that is applied first. When it dries, it creates a sturdy base that helps subsequent coats of paint adhere to the wall. You’ve probably heard about two-in-one paint/primer products. While they do work, there are a couple of things you should know about them. Two-in-one products work best if you’re painting over a surface that has already been painted. If this is the case, make sure that the previous coat of paint is the same sheen as the two-in-one primer.
Flat paints have no shine and a non-reflective finish. They cover blemishes in the wall, but get dirty easily. Save flat paints for ceilings or closet walls. Matte paints have a low shine and semi-reflective finish. It’s easy to clean, but can get dirty easily. Use this sheen in areas with moderate traffic such as bedrooms.
Eggshell paint has a soft, luminescent appearance. It’s perfect for areas with moderate traffic like living rooms. Satin paint has a pearly finish. It’s best for areas with high traffic or some exposure to moisture. Use this sheen in the kitchen or hallway.
Semi-gloss paints are shiny and somewhat reflective. They’re perfect for areas with exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms with low ventilation. This sheen also works well on doorways and trim. Hi-gloss paints are very shiny. They’re not commonly used on walls, but they’re perfect for high-use surfaces. High gloss paints work well on trim and cabinets.
First, clean the walls with soap and water–dirt, dust, and hair make it difficult to apply paint evenly. If you going to paint over a glossy paint, make sure to sand the wall or use a deglosser. When you finish washing and deglossing, let the walls dry completely. A little water can prevent paint from setting correctly.
To protect your home from unsightly stains, remove all furniture from the room and cover the floor with drop cloths. You may be tempted to buy a single cloth and move it around the room, but this is another rookie mistake.
There’s only one more step before you can start painting! Next, apply painter’s tape to your baseboards, fixtures, and outlet covers. You can also use painter’s tape to create lines. After you finish, use a putty knife or scraper to smooth out air bubbles and seal the edges.
When you’re ready to start, remove small children and pets from area, pour your paint, and put the lid back on the can. The ceiling is an ideal place to start. If any paint drips downward, it will drip onto the old paint job. Ceiling paint usually comes as a two-in-one paint/primer combo.
When you finish the ceiling, you can start to apply primer. While working on this step, pay special attention to holes that have been patched with plaster. When you finish, let the primer dry completely. Afterward approximately 24 hours, begin painting with even strokes. Don’t try to conserve paint, but don’t wasteful. Your goals is to cover the entire area with one even coat of paint at a time.
Now you should be ready to start a DIY paint project! How do you feel? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about hiring professional painters. This is an additional cost, but it may be worth the time and money. Most painting companies offer a free estimate, so get a couple before you make a decision. This should help you weigh the pros and cons. Good luck and happy painting!
If you’ve just purchased your first boat, congratulations! Weather the purchase was for recreational or enterprising reasons, you will soon come to understand why boat owners quickly develop a strong bond with their vessels. In terms of maintenance costs, most first time boat buyers factor in insurance, fuel, and docking/storage fees.
There are however a few more fees to consider which will not only maximize your boat’s performance, but also extend the life of your vessel. From things as simple as washing your boat, to marine electrical services, this guide will bring to light a few things your annual checklists may not have previously included.
Most people don’t really consider boat security. The reality is that boats at dock are pretty easily accessible, as are many of the upgrades and luxury add-ons found on deck. Furthermore, if a boat is placed in storage for the off season, a would-be burglar knows you probably won’t even notice the vessel is missing until the return of the season.
Even keeping your boat right in your driveway for safekeeping might not be a great option. Unfortunately, it’s much like leaving a home theater system in your driveway. Its value is obvious and with the right tools, it’s not so difficult to abscond with. Having a security system in place is a great deterrent and could even earn you an insurance discount.
Ann annual mechanical checkup will review everything from fuel line cracks to engine leaks. While it is great practice to inspect your entire mechanics after each use, an annual inspection might find potential problems you may have overlooked. For example, perhaps there is a worn spot you have missed in a fuel line that a seasoned mechanic would quickly find and repair for much less than what it would cost after the line fully cracks and lets water into the fuel lines.
Just like a vehicle, you’ll need oil changes and mechanical fluid flushes or top offs. You also want to check electrical systems for corrosion, proper bundling and grounding, as well as ensure it still meets all other safety standards.
Annual Safety Upgrades and Repairs
This section includes making annual checks on all safety equipment. Checking the condition, quantity, and location of all fire extinguishers, along with things such as kitchen ventilation systems, condition and presence of a secondary anchor, life preservers, flares, first aid kits, and even ensuring an emergency stash of fresh water, flashlights, batteries, rope and matches. As you use these items, or they expire, you’ll need to replace them. It might also be wise to install an updated navigation system.
You may not have considered that an object living in water, needs to be cleaned after every use, however washing your boat with fresh water and a mild soap after every use, will prevent corrosion of metals and temporarily stay your need for a paint job.
Ultimately, every boat has a shelf life, but like most things we have some control in extending the life of our possessions if we take the time to properly maintain them. As the old adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”