Green Design – 12 Easy Ways To Efficiently Upgrade and “Green-Up” Your Bathrooms and Kitchens!

No matter what your favorite color is . . . when thinking of your home, it needs to be GREEN! With growing concerns over rising energy costs, global warming and protecting our environment for future generations, the desire to “Green-Up” has dramatically increased.

There are affordable ways that homeowners can upgrade their bathrooms and kitchens to make them more water and energy efficient. The following are some easy ways that have been suggested by the National Association of Homebuilders to “Green-Up” when remodeling:

Water Heater – Replace your existing water heater with a money $aving, energy-efficient tankless model.

Showerhead – A high efficiency showerhead can help you $ave on your water bill each month, making it a simple choice when remodeling.

Toilet – With the addition of high efficiency toilets to your home, you again are $aving on water usage.

Ventilation Fans – Home owners will $ave electricity by using energy-efficient exhaust fans. When remodeling your bathroom, remember to look for an Energy-Star-Rated fan which will $ave you both money and electricity over the lifespan of the product.

Bathroom Faucets – High-efficiency water faucets for sinks and tubs have been designed to give you better performance as well as $ave water consumption.

Refrigerators – Energy-$aving fridges have been designed to perform more efficiently, and for more years than older models.

Dishwashers – Again, look for Energy-Star-rated models which will use 41 percent less energy than other dishwashers.

Microwave Ovens – Energy-efficient microwaves cook much faster than conventional ovens, but also can use up to 80% less energy. While not appropriate for all types of cooking, they can $ave you both time and money!

Oven Ranges – Gas burners use 55% of the energy produced compared to 65% for electric cooktops. Additionally, self cleaning ovens tend to have more insulation, making them more efficient as well.

Countertops – Recycled glass, stone and concrete have a great modern look, and have given these old materials a new life. Many of these same products also work well as tiles for your kitchens and baths.

Cabinetry – Consider recycled or reclaimed wood which is durable and both economically and environmentally friendly.

Flooring – Renewable flooring like cork or bamboo have become quite popular for both kitchens and bath areas. They offer durability and easy maintenance with a long-lasting natural look. And of course, stone and wood floors will last you a lifetime!

It’s important for us as homeowners to realize that we ALL can help save the planet by lowering our energy bills, one at a time . . . and doing all we can to conserve our natural resources. Green Building and Green Remodeling should no longer be viewed by us as an option, but as our RESPONSIBILITY!

Green Design Choices For Your New Home

Every year in this country, thousands and thousands of acres of natural landscape – meadow lands, deserts, forests, coastal bushland – are transformed into home developments by former city dwellers buying their dream property to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. They are encouraged and assisted by developers eager to make money by taking advantage of the trend of people moving away from city centers.

Conventional Building Methods Are Damaging

The tragedy is that by building their homes using conventional techniques, the beauty and character of the landscape is destroyed – which defeats the entire purpose of moving out of the city in the first place. But the building industry does show signs of changing directions in its approach to green building methods and green interior design.

Traditional building methods are designed to make the building process easier, faster and cheaper. They are not at all designed to take into consideration the value of the surrounding environment. This is understandable, because the builder’s job is to build houses, not to preserve habitat or create self-sufficient resource systems. Far too often, green building is viewed as an impediment to economy and efficiency.

You Have A Choice To Make

The building industry, however, is not ultimately to blame because the final responsibility rests with the home buyer. Homeowners will often allow the destruction of natural features on the building site because they do not realize that they have a choice in the matter. They tend to accept at face value whatever the builder tells them. This scenario is reinforced whenever home buyers look around to see what is happening on other construction sites. Time after time, they will see building lots completely bulldozed and see a whole variety of environmentally damaging products being used. The assumption is that, because everyone else builds this way, then it must be the best way to build.

You’re The Boss

It is very important to realize that there are methods of preserving the natural qualities of a building site, as well as using environmentally friendly building materials, that do not cost much more money upfront. Such methods can actually save money in the long run when you take into consideration the long-term benefits of using materials that reduce maintenance and energy costs. In conjunction with a natural design principles used in the construction of the house, using a knowledgeable green interior designer will help to complete the overall natural balance and harmony of your home. Remember that you are the one in charge, not a builder or developer, so the decision is ultimately up to you.

Modern Dining Tables Reveal Trends Toward Green Designs

Those with the same passion for the environment as they have with interior design may find scant Green options for modern dining tables. Luckily, some manufacturers are taking note, incorporating Green materials into their furniture.The Green revolution is gaining steam, as more and more people have become aware of the need to protect nature. From modern dining tables to sleek luxury cars, today’s consumer is more discerning in terms of the environmental impact of products.

However, there is still a dearth of Green options in the market. Those who are equally as passionate about the environment as with interior design may be disappointed at the scant choices of eco-friendly materials available for furniture and upholstery.

Fortunately, there are select furniture manufacturers today that have chosen to align themselves with the Green wave. These environment-responsible manufacturers make their products and designs as Green as possible, using high-quality and eco-friendly materials for fillings, fabrics, and frames. They provide all natural and elegantly-designed dining tables, as well as other furniture for bedrooms and living rooms.

Through research and development techniques, these Green manufacturers have improved on their production process, ensuring no harm to the environment during all stages of their products’ manufacture. They also encourage the use of eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Some popular green choices are bamboo, which does not require replanting unlike hardwood, natural latex, which is biodegradable, and FSC certified wood which come from sustainable and well-managed forests.

By changing the way consumers make their choices, the Green revolution is also changing the landscape of the furniture industry. Instead of just looking at the design of modern dining tables and other furniture pieces, customers scrutinize the materials and manufacturing process too. And with the full cooperation of manufacturers, the furniture industry can finally leave harmful materials and applications where they belong – in the dustbins of the past.