Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tips to Make Your Home Earth-Friendly

Happy Earth Day! Since 1970, Earth Day has been an annual holiday reminding us of the importance of the Earth and its protection. The first Earth Day started as a rallying effort by over 20 million people in the U.S. calling attention to this need. Today may be the day we are given a friendly reminder, but caring about the environment is something we can do every day. Here are a few simple tips and improvements that you can do to make your home more Earth-friendly!

Install a solar clothes dryer

Your parents probably called it a clothes line, which could be found in virtually every backyard across the country. While some people can’t install them due to property covenants, a clothes line is a great way to reduce your energy costs. Experts note that your electric or gas clothes dryer is one of the three most energy-intensive appliances in the typical home, right up there with refrigerators and hot water heaters. Expect to save 5-10 percent of your home energy bill.
Attach one end of your clothes line to an outside south-facing wall, and attach the other end to an upright pole about 15 feet away. Your local hardware or lumber store can sell you the wood, or even a steel pole. Or, buy one at www.clotheslineshop.com.

Install a ceiling fan

Before central air conditioning became virtually mandatory in homes, many people relied on a good ol’ ceiling fan to move the air and even out the temperature. In the summer, the fan saves energy by cooling your skin with a moisture-evaporating breeze. In the winter, a ceiling fan can push down the warm air that naturally rises toward the ceiling back down to where the people are. When you buy an Energy-Star-rated fan (about $100), it should have a small switch near the motor housing to reverse the direction of the fan. This is important to fully benefit from the fan in all seasons, so that you can raise the temperature setting of your air conditioner in the summer, and lower the heating thermostat in the winter.
To make sure your fan is spinning in the right direction, stand under the fan and look at the direction of the spin. If the blades move to the right, or clockwise, this is the correct setting to make the room feel warmer. The fan will create a slight updraft that pushes the warmer air down into the room. If the blades move to the left, or counter-clockwise, the room will feel cooler due to the breeze coming down from the ceiling. Remember, counter-clockwise equals cooler.
For tips on installing a ceiling fan, go to www.thisoldhouse.com

Hang drapes or shades to keep the sun out

It’s hip—and economical—to have functional window coverings to prevent the sun from warming up your house on a sunny summer day. And of course, you can also raise the shade or open the drapes in the winter to let the sunshine in.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

4 Tips to Deck Out Your Home Garden

Now is the perfect time to start planting a garden for your home! Gardening can beautify your property and serve as a bonding activity for your family.  Digging a flower garden around your home can make it smell and look spring-like while a vegetable garden can provide you with fresh foods at very minimal costs. Whichever garden you choose to put at your home, here are a few tips and ideas for home gardening:

1. Plant by Color or Theme
For flower gardens, planting around a central color scheme is a neat idea. It will make your garden look organized and trendy.

2. Know Plant Life Span
If you don't feel like replanting every year, perennial plants could be perfect for your home garden because they will live for more than two years. It's important to know the difference between perennials, annuals and biennials when deciding what plants to purchase. 

3. Use Recycled Canisters as Plant Pots
Have an old bucket or coffee can? Recycle and reuse it to make vintage looking pots for plants. With some paint and TLC these are a trendy touch to any backyard patio or seating area.

4. Make an Outdoor Rain Garden to Prevent Toxic Runoff
Outdoor rain gardens are good for many reasons. One of those reasons is that they prevent rain runoff from flowing out of gardens that contain fertilizer and other chemicals and into nearby streams and waterways. You can find a tutorial for making your own rain garden at This Old House

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hiding Spots and Fun Games for Easter

Photo by Caitlin Childs

Kids love hunting for Easter eggs and parents love watching their kiddos run around searching for them. If you don’t have a large yard around your home to hide the eggs, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of great hiding spots that you can try in your home as well as several spins on the traditional egg hunting game that you can try to make it even more fun.

Below are some of our favorite egg hiding spots and games:

Hiding Spots

  1. Under sofas and other furniture are great spots because they provide just enough peeking space for children to see, but not so much that it isn’t challenging.
  2. In centerpieces and other decorative dishes can provide clever camouflage for pastel colored eggs.


  1. You can make the Easter egg hunt a learning game too without children even realizing. When you fill the eggs with candy form a secret word by putting the letters to spell it out on eggs of the same color. Once all the eggs are collected kids can put the eggs together to unscramble the secret word.
  2. Make one of the eggs a ‘golden’ egg by painting it gold. Hide it a tougher-to-find spot and tell the egg hunters that the one that finds it will get an extra prize. You can decide on what to offer as a prize.
  3. Following the golden egg rule, you can treat the egg hunt like a treasure hunt and give kids a treasure map to help guide them. The one that collects the most ‘treasure’ will be deemed captain for the day.
These are just a few ideas that you can try out, but there are many more ways to make Easter egg hunting at home fun! Feel free to share any ideas or games you like to do for your own egg hunts with us.

Friday, April 4, 2014

April Deals

Home Decor's April Deals feature new products and our open house event. See our print and TV ads below for more information:

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