Green Flooring Choices for Bathrooms

Renovating the bathroom flooring is one of the most common remodeling projects that homeowners like to take on. After all, the bathroom is easily one of the rooms with the most traffic passing through in the entire house. For that reason, it only makes sense to want to remodel your bathroom flooring from time to time. More and more homeowners are looking into green flooring options as a way to enhance the durability of their home while limiting their impact on the environment as well. Fortunately, there are tons of green bathroom flooring options on the market for homeowners to consider.

Cork Flooring

Most homeowners agree that cork flooring is one of the most popular green flooring options. This is largely to do with the fact that it can expand and contract during changing temperatures. So, you will never have to worry about walking around on a cold floor in the middle of the night when you need to use the bathroom. Cork flooring is also fairly comfortable too.

Tile Flooring

If you are not looking for something fancy, extravagant, or expensive you can never go wrong with tile flooring. In fact, it has been the traditional flooring option for bathrooms for a very long time. There are a lot of ceramic tile floorings that are made using recycled material. Obviously, you will need to do a bit of research to make sure you get your hands on eco-friendly tile flooring.

Natural Linoleum Flooring

Linoleum flooring is an ideal option if you are looking to save money in addition to going green. This is because natural linoleum flooring has an incredibly long lifespan. Parents of children also really love this flooring option because of how easy it is to clean. Linoleum flooring is made from a number of different natural materials including tree resin and linseed oil. This flooring is going to offer you all of the same benefits that you would get from using traditional vinyl or linoleum flooring. It just has the added benefit of being eco-friendly which gives you an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint.

Naturally, these are just a few of the green flooring options available for you to consider for your bathroom flooring. The best thing you can do is just be upfront with the contractor you have hired to remodel your bathroom and tell him or her that you want to use all natural products for the remodeling project.

Japanese Gardening

The basics of a Japanese Garden

Most of us have a pre-determined notion of what a Japanese garden looks like. We think of certain details which come to mind, things like the ever popular Japanese maples giving off their fiery glow in the fall. Or expanses of Kurume azaleas or rhododendrons with their fine spring colors. Or perhaps it is the rustling of a slender bamboo in the breeze.

Whatever it is, there is always something soothing about the typical Japanese garden. But is there, in fact, such a thing as a typical Japanese garden?

There are different kinds of Japanese gardens, each having their very own personality, if you will.

Some of the best known gardens in Japan, have almost no plantings at all, but are comprised of carefully tended “seas” of fine gravel surrounding rock groupings. Perhaps there is no better example of this than the world renowned garden at Ryoan-ji.

Ryoan-ji is undoubtedly the finest example of a Zen type garden and receives tens of thousands of visitors every year. In fact, it is so popular, that one side of it is lined with a large seating area to accommodate tour groups. It is considered de rigeur for all school children in the area to visit Ryoan-ji as part of their education.

While such a garden may appear to be very simple in both its’ design and construction, it is accepted that much thought went into this magical place to reach this level of perceived simplicity.

Japanese gardens span the full spectrum of garden types, from the dry garden as at Ryoan-ji, to large pond type gardens with their lazily swimming and brightly colored koi. And everything in between.

One of the favorite tricks of Japanese garden designers in the past has been to use borrowed scenery to enhance their appearance. What this does, is to make the garden appear to blend in with, and take advantage of, the immediate surroundings. It gives the impression of much greater overall size.

Whether or not these surroundings are very close, or consist of distant mountain views, every effort is made to incorporate such views by carefully designing viewing areas to take full advantage of the natural surroundings.

Perhaps one of the most loved is the Japanese tea garden, with its’ own tea house. These gardens are usually quite small, and are sometimes included as a distinct part of a larger garden. The Nitobe Gardens in Vancouver are an example of such a tea garden. The garden itself is fairly large and contains most of the elements you would expect to find in an authentic garden of this type.

Should you find yourself interested in the fascinating subject of how to build your own Japanese style garden, an excellent place to begin is to study those gardens in existence already. Whether or not you have the ability to travel to Japan and visit some of these gardens first hand should not deter you. Fortunately for us, the internet has given us access to the best of the best.

Secondly, and by no means an inferior resource, their exists a wonderful variety of top notch books, almost all of which are available in the English language. Over the years I have been able to accumulate a substantial library by many of the finest authors on the subject.

Modern Furniture – Rejuvenate Your Living Room

This type of furniture came in to existence after mid 19th century when furniture designers started using new innovative materials in making furniture with new innovative technology. Prior to the modernization in furniture making, furniture was made with designed which looked lavish with optimum use of high quality wood and heavy decoration. Those days the furniture was regarded as a status symbol and people with sufficient wealth used to compare their furniture with ornaments. The more time it took in making the more value it deserved. At that time only wealthy people could afford that sumptuous furniture.

It is very hard to find those designs these days because the furniture makers of modern era use simple and light materials with glittering polish. The modern furniture is designed with simplicity and the designers now focus on the character, accessibility and functionality of the furniture which is just opposite to their traditional counterparts who used to focus on its tender.

These days the modern furniture makers use innovative materials in the making of furniture. Metals, plastic in its various forms, palm tree stems, plywood etc have taken over from the traditional teakwood, which is becoming a rare thing these days due to excessive misuse of the tropical forest which are the main sources of teak wood and its ever increasing price, which is un affordable by many.

The new materials are also durable and easy to manipulate in giving the furniture that novel look. This evolution in furniture designing has allowed the makers in giving a new insignia and new texture with unique shape to their furniture designs. The modern furniture is portable, functional, and strong and they also look realistic.

This new revolution in furniture making has altered the taste of people of modern era and they continuously look for the new designs and new look modern furniture to give a decent look to their interior and exterior design. Since we all live in a new world, the quest for contemporary designs of furniture will never die.

Gardening Catalogs – Use Them to Make Your Garden Gorgeous

When long winters cause gardeners to stay indoors, gardening catalogs can help them to endure the withdrawal symptoms so many gardeners experience when they are stuck inside and away from the garden work that they so enjoy. Fall and winter can be trying time for people who love to garden.

Thanksgiving and Christmas often herald the end of the gardening season. Gardeners are forced to watch powerlessly as the leaves change colors, fall from their trees, and get covered with clean, white snow. It can be quite a happy time when a gardening catalog arrives in the dead of winter. Gardeners are suddenly reminded that spring will come soon enough.

Burpee Gardening Catalog

W. Atlee Burpee originated the now famous Burpee Gardening Catalog towards the end of the 1800’s. The catalog came about when his livestock almanac began to feature vegetable seeds. Mr. Burpee’s passion was to try to constantly improve nursery and livestock stock by means of breeding. Some of the first Burpee gardening catalogs thus featured the Long Orange improved carrot, the Surehead improved cabbage, and recently developed green beans and radishes.

Seed starting equipment, gardening supplies, herbs, bulbs, perennial flowers, annual flowers, and vegetables are all available in current Burpee gardening catalogs. Gifts designed for gardeners, wreaths, and greens are all available from the Burpee catalog during the fall and winter off season.

Smith & Hawken Catalog

Quite distinct from the Burpee Gardening Catalog, the Smith & Hawken Catalog was established in 1979. It features gifts for gardeners, gardening accessories, and high-end garden furniture. This catalog sells bulbs that can be grown indoors during the winter months, indoor orchids, and miniature cypress trees that come in their own planters at a cost of between $29 and $39.

Pruners, tool caddies, gloves and gardening clogs are just a few of the delightful gifts available for avid gardeners from the Smith & Hawken catalog. Firepits and outdoor croquet and bocce ball sets are also available from this catalog. Gadgets for monitoring changes in climate have also become popular items in the Smith & Hawken catalog.