Some believe this design is too cold. Yet, it seems the contemporary style offers continuous appeal since so many people choose to adopt it. Even after so many years, these elements are still sought after: clean lines, open spaces, plenty of natural light and decorative furniture.
What’s astonishing when we enter a contemporary-style room is the illusion of a never-ending space. The furniture is often built into the walls and partition walls, the lights are mounted in the ceilings, and the room is bare. Everything is clean, fresh and unadorned.
Huge windows or even walls made entirely of glass, allow the indoors to expand into the outdoors while flooding the room with natural light. Since the living space is bare and there are windows everywhere, the natural light brightens up the room.
In Canada, winter is synonymous with snowy landscapes, cold-weather sports… And soaring electricity bills. What if you could make changes to your house, or plan the construction of your next home to reduce the amount of energy you consume? From little fixes to major work, here’s how you can make your house more eco-friendly, increase your comfort level and save on heating and lighting.
Adopt eco-friendly habits
“If you want to reduce your energy bill, your priorities should be ensuring that the house is well insulated and replacing energy-sucking appliances,” explains Martin Lambert, Founding President of Ecosolaris. “It always costs less to invest in conserving energy rather than producing it.” Guilty parties include incandescent light bulbs, which could be replaced by LED lighting, and old appliances that you’d be better to replace with Energy Star-certified appliances. Products that carry this certification are required to meet strict technical specifications related to energy efficiency and are tested extensively before being certified.
“Control systems can also be a good way to save,” adds Brian Wilkinson, President of Energie Matrix Inc. “A smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely could save you up to 20% of your electricity bill.” Continue reading →
The two-toned kitchen cabinet trend is in full swing: one colour for the upper cabinets, another one for the lower cabinets, or a different colour for the cabinet doors. Imagine all the possibilities!
Pairing two colours for the cabinets can instantly revive the whole kitchen, regardless of the colours you choose, whether they are lively or dark hues.
Now, close your eyes and imagine these combos: orange and brown, gold and brown, eggplant and anise green, orange and violet, blue and gold, blue and grey, turquoise and beige, turquoise and chocolate brown, grey and purple, yellow and cream, black and ochre. And the list goes on.
Brick is just as useful as it is beautiful. You can use bricks for pretty much everything: exterior siding, interior decorating, and backyard landscaping, whether it is a recreational space or a garden. Plus, this material offers such a broad range of colours and it offers so many visual effects!
There’s the crude brick, used especially for exterior siding, but there is also the decorative brick used for interior decorating. The range of colours and shades is impressive. It also comes in many different shapes since brick is a material that can be carved.
You could paint brick. What makes it special is its texture. A white-painted brick wall has so much more to offer than a white-painted sleek wall. The white colour is not as white, but it stands out because of its rugged design. The same is true of a black-painted brick wall. It looks nothing like a black-painted sleek wall. It’s not as black, but it stands out more. Same goes for every other colour.
There is a downside to this, however. If you paint a brick wall, you will shorten its lifetime because you’re preventing the brick and the mortar from breathing. You will have to check it regularly and make the necessary corrections if you want to avoid going through the whole process again. Otherwise, you could follow the guidelines of Écohabitation experts.
The brick doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. A brick with jagged sides and overflowing mortar offers a different look. You could also distress the brick to make it imperfect. Some people even marble the brick to make it look more rugged. Continue reading →
Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.
This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.
Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.
Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading →
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