If you’re decorating an open concept home, you’ll need to think about how to demarcate distinct areas within the layout. Here are some tips to help you do this.
Paint in shades of one color
Painting various areas in different shades of the same color is a great way to visually separate one zone from another. To make sure your home maintains a cohesive look, choose a single accent color and use it throughout the space.
Strategically place furniture
Sofas, chairs and tables can be placed in ways that indicate where one space ends and another begins. For example, you could place your couch in the middle of a room with its back to your dining table, clearly marking where the living space ends and the dining area begins.
Mix up your flooring
Flooring can also help you create distinct zones. A simple way to do this is to lay down one or more rugs. Just make sure they’re big enough to fill their designated areas.
Install various types of lighting
By using an assortment of different fixtures and lamps, you can make sure you have the right lighting for every space and help delineate where one area ends and the next begins.
By following these tips, your large and airy space will feel warm and intimate.
2020 trends: Why glass partitions deserve a look
If you want to create designated spaces in your home without sacrificing the airiness of open-concept living, glass partitions offer a beautiful compromise.
This type of room divider helps block out noise while continuing to let in plenty of natural light. If you want to create an office space or reading nook in your living area, for example, such partitions are ideal. Alternatively, glass walls can be used to keep strong smells in the kitchen without obstructing sight lines.
From intricately etched panels to industrial steel frames, glass partitions can be incorporated into any style of home and customized to fit any space. Plus, they’re typically made of tempered glass, which means they won’t shatter into sharp pieces if they accidentally break.
To help you make the most of this practical and striking feature, consult an interior designer.
8 habits that harm the environment
If you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, start by ditching habits that generate a lot of pollution. Here are eight things you might be doing that needlessly harm the environment.
1. Flushing or throwing out medication. Prescription drugs can contaminate the water supply and poison wildlife. Always bring unused and expired medication to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.
2. Drinking bottled water. In most places, tap water is just as safe as bottled water and creates substantially less pollution. If necessary, equip your home with a filtration system.
3. Putting old electronics in the garbage. Since these devices contain toxic substances, bring them to a drop-off location in your region to be safely recycled or refurbished.
4. Tossing cigarette butts on the ground. These are a major source of plastic pollution. Before you light up, locate a nearby outdoor receptacle or make sure you have a pocket ashtray on hand.
5. Opting for single-use plastic straws. Refuse them at restaurants and coffee shops. There are plenty of reusable options on the market made of metal, silicone, and bamboo.
6. Removing makeup with single-use products. Since these wipes take years to decompose in landfills, many beauty brands offer alternatives that can be washed and reused.
7. Driving erratically. Rapidly accelerating and slamming on the brakes will cause your car to produce more emissions. Pushing on the pedals gently and driving with smoother transitions will save gas and money.
8. Using harsh chemical cleaners. These corrosive products are a health and environmental hazard. Opt for biodegradable options or discover the cleaning properties of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.
From taking shorter showers to buying food grown and produced locally, there are countless small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference.
Hunting waterfowl: a brief guide to decoys
When it comes to hunting waterfowl, setting up the right decoy spread is crucial to your success. Here’s what you need to know about luring in snow geese, Canada geese, and ducks.
Since these birds tend to move in flocks of hundreds, you’ll need to set upward of 1,000 decoys to attract them. If you’re relying solely on full-body decoys, however, about 200 to 400 should suffice to create a realistic setup.
When you hunt ducks, the appropriate number of decoys depends on the body of water where you’re set up. A more expansive area will require a larger decoy spread to look realistic. For example, a dozen decoys will suffice for a pond, but you’ll need several dozen on a large lake.
Remember to check for changes to your regional hunting regulations before the start of each season.
4 tips for safe online shopping
Many people have turned to online shopping as a way to protect their health and respect social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are four tips to ensure you’re doing it safely.
1. Learn how to spot a scam. Offers that sound too good to be true, websites that lack a professional design, and requests for banking information when your cart is still empty are all red flags.
2. Confirm the company is legitimate. Check the National Corporation Directory to find out if the company is listed, and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection website to find out whether any complaints have been filed against it. If it’s not an American business, look for mention of it on other websites and confirm whether it has a good reputation by reading customer reviews.
3. Read the return policies beforehand. Find out whether the company offers exchanges, returns, or reimbursements and under what conditions. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises if there’s an issue with your purchase. A lack of clearly stated policies is a sign you should shop elsewhere.
4. Double-check before you pay. Make sure the website’s URL begins with “https” and has a closed padlock or unbroken key icon beside it. Confirm the price of each item and the total cost (including taxes and shipping fees) before you enter your credit card information.
Finally, remember that you should never provide unnecessary personal details, such as your social security number when shopping online.
A look at orthopedic problems in dogs
Orthopedic conditions can affect your dog’s bones, muscles, and joints, and they can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating injury. If you’re a dog owner, here’s what you need to know.
Among dogs, the four most common orthopedic problems are:
1. Hip or elbow dysplasia
2. Herniated or ruptured disc
3. Luxating (dislocated) patella
4. Cruciate ligament tears
While some breeds are genetically predisposed to them, orthopedic problems can affect any dog, regardless of their type, size, or age.
Bone, muscle, and joint issues can be congenital or idiopathic, meaning they can appear suddenly with no clear cause. In some cases, the problem is the result of a trauma or nutritional deficiency.
There are a number of signs that can indicate your dog has an orthopedic problem. Here are a few to watch for:
• Walking with one paw lifted
• Struggling to stand up or jump
• Difficulty going up stairs or getting into the car
• Limping or stiffness after exercise
• Moaning in pain when picked up or held
You might also notice that one or more of your dog’s paws appear to be paralyzed.
Medication and surgery are the most common treatments recommended by veterinarians to correct or minimize the effects of an orthopedic issue. Often, these interventions will considerably improve the dog’s quality of life.
If you suspect your pet has an orthopedic problem, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent further injury and discomfort.
12 ways to winterproof your property
Winter weather can take a toll on your home’s exterior. However, if you take precautions, you can protect it from getting damaged. Here are 12 essential tasks to complete before the season’s first snowfall.
1. Inspect the roof. Clear off leaves and other debris so you can examine the shingles. Replace any that are damaged or worn out.
2. Clean the window wells. Remove all leaves, sticks, and other debris. Make sure the drains are clear to prevent water from pooling and possibly leaking into your basement.
3. Empty the gutters. Once the trees on your property have shed their leaves, remove all debris from your gutters. Clogs can lead to ice damming and even water damage.
4. Check the foundation. Look for cracks and repair them before winter. Otherwise, water can seep into the concrete and cause more extensive damage when it freezes.
5. Sweep the chimney. Hire a professional to remove soot and creosote from the flue to prevent a fire. Make sure the chimney cap is intact so critters can’t sneak in.
6. Install the vent covers. Keep out cold air and pests by installing covers over the exterior vents for your dryer and range hood. Otherwise, check that the existing ones are in good condition.
7. Close the pool. Clean out the filter, drain the pool about halfway, and disconnect the pump. Remember to remove the ladder before you install the winter cover.
8. Plant the bulbs. Get all your spring bulbs in the ground before it freezes. Remember to cut back perennials.
9. Tidy up the yard. Rake the leaves, clean out the gardens, aerate your lawn and add mulch or compost as needed.
10. Protect the shrubs. Wrap bushes and saplings in burlap or tree wrap, and bring potted plants inside.
11. Prune the trees and hedges. Cut away branches that are close to your home to avoid winter storm damage. This will also help prevent animals from climbing onto your roof.
12. Put away summer items. Clean the grill and disconnect the propane tank before you cover up the barbecue. Drain the sprinkler system and shut off the water supply. Wipe down and store the patio furniture.
Since fall is a busy time for arborists, pool technicians and other professionals, be sure to schedule your service calls sooner rather than later.