Archive for May, 2012


Feng Shui Ideas for Your Home


Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice of balancing the energy (or “qi”) in order to improve the life of the individual. It is meant to be practiced in one’s whole life, but more popularly, it’s a way of arranging one’s home to improve the balance and flow of this energy to bring good luck, fortune and happiness to the family.

Many people think that Feng Shui practices can be silly, and downright kooky. However, even if you do’t believe in energy and good fortune, there are still some Feng Shui ideas that make sense to adapt in your home. So, check out these Feng Shui ideas to put into practice at home.


Mirrors have a special meaning in Feng Shui. They are said the be the cure-all for almost anything that ails your home, and placing certain kinds of mirrors (like round framed mirrors) can be a good way to attract wealth, and putting them in your home in the wrong way (like facing a door) can drive good luck out of your home.

One practical Feng Shui advice you should take is having a mirror face the east. A mirror facing the east is said to bring good family health and life. However, practically speaking, a mirror facing the east can reflect lots of light in your living room, kitchen, dining room or bedroom in the morning, and can make waking up or having breakfast in the morning a more pleasant experience, as well as helping you get your day started.

The Bedroom

Your bedroom is an important part of your over-all health. This is the place that should provide sensual energy, as well as healing properties. One of the Feng Shui ideas that you should adapt is the balance of the elements near your bed. Two nightstands on either side of your bed will help balance the qi around you while you sleep – and aesthetically speaking, it just looks good to have it symmetrical. Also, one of the practices of Feng Shui is to remove as many electrical appliances near the bed – that means no TVs, no radios, or cellphones. While this may seem silly, it also reduces the amount of EMFs (electromagnetic fields) you expose yourself to while you sleep. Also, without distractions like TV and your cellphone ringing in the middle of the night, you’re more likely to get a better, uninterrupted night’s sleep.

The Dining Room

Feng Shui tells us that there should always be some space in the middle of the room to allow qi to circulate. The dining room, however, is the one exception. The dining table should be in the middle of the room, and it should have ample space around it for the energy to move around. Of course, this makes sense because you don’t want to be bumping into walls or chairs when you’re trying to serve dinner. Also, the dining table should not have sharp edges (like square or rectangle dining tables) as this interrupts the flow of qi. Practically speaking, a round or circular table allows people to sit together closer and also because of the shape, everyone in the table can participate in the conversation.

If you want to adapt all of the Feng Shui practices, then of course you are free to do so. However, some of the practices actually do make sense, and you should consider using them in your own home.


Plant Decorating Ideas


After moving home decor will be on your mind. Perhaps you’ve read all kinds of decorating tips – from painting and wallpapering your walls to stitching your own pillow covers. But, have you ever thought about decorating with plants? Maybe it hasn’t occurred to you to use plants to decorate your home. However, house plants aren’t just beautiful, but they can be healthy for you too. Studies have shown that people who have house plants are less stressed and less prone to sickness. It’s also been proven that plans can help filter air contaminants and provide better quality air inside the home. So, if you plan to decorate some house plants, here are some tips to help you.

Hanging Plants:

Plants don’t just have to grow from the ground or in pots. Some plants are great as hanging plants, especially those that have long vines or branches. Hanging plants are also good for small apartments that may have limited floor place. You can put hanging plants at the side of your windows to provide great framing, for example. You can hang it almost anywhere – above your sink, in your bathroom etc.

Mini Herb Garden:

What better type of plants to place in your kitchen than herbs and edible plants? Herbs are not only pretty and smell great, they are quite useful as well! You can put a small container garden by your window sill, and have your favorite herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano at arm’s reach while you’re whipping up a delicious meal.

Dish Garden:

If you really don’t have a lot of space, then you place several different types of plants in one container, to add some color and variety to your home. Alternately, you can also purchase or make your own terrariums where you can grow all types of plants.

Not a Green Thumb? Try Cacti:

If you’re the type of person who’s not home or just forgets to water plants, then you can try succulents or cacti. Despite what movies or cartoons may show up, cacti isn’t just one type of plant, but they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can have a corner or tabletop in your home devoted to cacti of all types and colors, and really make it interesting.


Of course, what better way to brighten up your home than with fresh flowers? Unlike cut flowers in vases, potted flowers can bring you beautiful blooms year after year, and can help cheer you and your guests up.

As long as it gets enough air and light, you can use almost any plant to decorate your home. Experiment and try different things to find something that suits your home.


Minimalist Home Decorating


In today’s modern world, we are obsessed with stuff and amassing more and more things. Especially before moving do we notice the amount of stuff that we have. However, as a contrast and even perhaps, a rebellion against this consumerist thinking, people are turning into a “zen” lifestyle. What is zen exactly? While many people define it differently, most can agree it’s about scaling back and minimizing down to the things that you need rather than just buying more stuff.

So, minimalist or zen decorating could be just that – going back to the basics and just rally having what you need. There are some benefits to cutting back on stuff: saving money, less clutter, and some may even say it’s good for the mind and soul. So, if you want to be minimalist in your home decorating, here are some tips to help you.

1)   Scale back to what you need. You should pare down to the essentials. In your bedroom, maybe just have a bed, side tables and one dresser. In your kitchen, you can have a few chairs for having breakfast around your table. In your living room, it may mean just having a couch and coffee table. While it’s nice to maybe have a china cabinet or an entertainment center, you don’t really need all those things.

2)   Go clutter free. The other important part of minimalist decorating is freeing your space of clutter! Don’t leave things on your table or on the back of your chair. Instead, you’ll have to be disciplined and put them away and really work on creating storage for your items. For example, if you have a desk, you maybe should keep it to the bare minimum – a laptop or desktop and maybe a picture frame. Store your pens, papers, and other supplies away.

3)   Balance. This is the key to minimalist decorating. You don’t want to overwhelm your space with stuff, but you don’t want it to look drab either. Also, try to achieve visual balance – put things pair or in asymmetrical order.

4)   Don’t forget your focal point. A focal point will allow you to create a center for visual activity, so it’s important you have one. For example, if you have a minimalist living room decorated in pale or neutral tone, you might want to create a focal point by adding a sofa on a bright, solid color.

5)   Use only accents. One or two accent pieces can make an area interesting without overpowering it. For example, you can put up two pictures on your walls, or maybe add one or two plants in the corner of your room.

Keeping things to the minimum can help you focus on the more important things in life. It also can help keep your life in order, and help you become less stressed.


Keeping Your Home Clean with Pets


Pets are great source of happiness and enjoyment. Even if they don’t talk the way we do, they are able to express their love in the most special ways they can. But sometimes, pets can make your head ache especially if they seem to make your house dirty all the time. It can be their poop that stained in your carpet, the mud that marked on your sofa, or the animal hair that triggered your asthma.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your home clean even if you have lots of pets at home.

  • Keep the vacuum close by.

Animal hairs splattered around are a common problem of many pet owners. If you have furry friends at home like dogs and cats, they will shed a lot of hair most especially when they’re playing or cuddling. If you have kids who have asthma or allergies, this can be a disaster. Sweeping the hairs will not be helpful. Instead of taking them away, you might just scatter them even more. The best solution is to use a vacuum! There are pet vacs available in the market today which are specifically designed for animals. You can also keep your regular home vacuum within your reach so anytime you see those hairs messing around; you can easily sweep them away.

  • Keep your home well ventilated.

If your pet’s litter box is inside the house, it’s most likely to produce unwanted smell even if there’s enough sand. You just can’t help it. Its animal poop – what do you expect? The best thing to do is situate the litter box in the dirty kitchen or somewhere which is near to a window or door. You also want to keep the entire house ventilated so the air can just go in and out, replacing the bad air inside.

  • Clean your pet’s paws.

Dirty paws can stain your expensive carpet and your beautiful couch. So always see to it that the paws of your pet are clean the moment they enter your house. If your pet has gone outside, it’s very much possible that there’s dirt and soil stuck in its paws.

  • Keep them well-groomed

A dirty pet brings dirt to any home. Well, you can’t just jail your pet inside the house. They need to go out and play too. What you can do is to maintain their cleanliness. Give them a bath regularly. Bring them to a pet parlor and have those fur trimmed and teeth brushed. You should have a complete ‘hygiene kit’ for your pet which includes its shampoo, powder, medications, etc.

  • Disinfect your home regularly

When your pet played outside, it’s most likely to come home with bad microorganisms and parasites attached on its fur. After cleaning your pet, you must also disinfect the house. Make a water-and-soap solution for the windows and floor or if you want, you can buy a disinfectant product from a local grocery store.

See? Who says a home with pets is always dirty? It’s not. It won’t. If you know how to clean it right, you can maintain a clutter-free home while keeping as many pets as you want!


Decorating Your Home with Plants


Congratulations on your exciting moving experience. One simple way to add life and freshness to your interiors is to decorate it with plants. Plants not only add a touch of green but also a glimpse of nature.  In some cases, a beautiful indoor plant can become the room’s primary accent piece.  In others they can be sit discreetly on side tables and pedestals, whatever size they are, adding vibrancy that would not otherwise be achieved by inanimate decor.

If you want to decorate your room with plants, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Do you have the time to take care of your plant?

Plants look best in a room when they look healthy and are well cared for, when the green leaves glow with life and the plant stands proudly lush.  Shriveled and withered plants suggest neglect.  There’s nothing like a dying plant to dampen a room’s atmosphere. When hiring moving companies, remember to ask them for the best boxes to secure your plants.

Is there natural light in the room?

Plants thrive best with natural light, so it is best to place them in a room where there is ample sunlight coming from your window.  In fact, the best place to keep an indoor plant, particularly large and heavy ones, are near windows which are kept open during good weather.

If you place a plant in a room or a place in the room where there is little sunlight, you will need to air and sun your plant often, at least twice daily for some varieties.  Even plants that don’t crave as much sunlight would have to be brought outside once in a while.

And what about indoor temperature and humidity?

You also need to consider room temperature and humidity.  Most plants thrive in humid conditions.  But some plants like cacti prefer dryness.  Make sure that the plant you get will match the heat and humidity in your home.  But, if you would still like to keep exotic plants that require conditions that are very different, consider buying a humidifier (or a dehumidifier) and be prepared to control indoor temperature during winter or summer.

What size of plant should you get?

It’s a cliché but true: plants come in all shapes and sizes.  And when you start looking for a plant for your living room or hallway you will find that there are tens of varieties to choose from.  A good rule of thumb would be, first decide where you intend to place the plant — near a window? On a small side table or a big center table? On a desk?—and that should be your guide to size.

Small plants arranged artfully like miniature gardens in a shallow dish will look good on your coffee table.  A medium-sized ornamental bush with or without blooms would look perfect on a side table or a pedestal.  As mentioned earlier, it’s best to keep big and heavy plants near windows.

You’ll find that decorating with plants is enjoyable, but don’t overdo it! Unless you’re aiming for that ‘tropical jungle’ look, one, two or three in a room is the perfect number.