Archive for the ‘Home Decor’ Category

Nontoxic Spring Cleaning

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Nontoxic Spring Cleaning makes it easier and safer for your family!

There are certain things that we always think of when we hear the word “spring.” Among them are daffodils, rain galoshes, and of course, spring cleaning. While we can usually think of plenty of ways we’d rather spend our time other than cleaning, we admit that we do enjoy the post-winter opportunity to open the windows, clear out all the cobwebs and start fresh.

In recent years, you’ve surely noticed a nationwide effort by many around you to eliminate toxic cleaners from their homes. This makes perfect sense to us; after all, it is pretty counter-intuitive to wipe off a smudge of dirt with a dangerous chemical.

Think all the green cleaning buzz is just hype? No way. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that proves that standard household cleaners are detrimental to our health. 150 chemicals that are commonly found in homes today have been linked to cancer, allergies, and birth defects. Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, toluene, and xylene are all chemical ingredients in standard household cleaners that have been proven toxic to the immune system. Household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air is. Three times. Yep, if you are not using green cleaners, it’s definitely time to start!

We know, it can be overwhelming to think about tossing all of your cleaners and replacing them with eco friendly alternatives. But we have an excellent starting point for you: it’s called the Full Circle Come Clean Natural Cleaning Solutions Set. This set comes with everything you need to switch to a safe and environmentally friendly spring cleaning routine, including a spray bottle, juicer (lemons are disinfecting as well as fresh smelling), and a microfiber cleaning cloth. The best thing about the set is that it contains a clear and easy to use guide that contains recipes for household cleaners. And the ingredients are ones that you probably already have in your home! So not only are Full Circle’s cleaning methods going to create a much healthier environment for your family, but they will also save you money in the long run.

Once again, Full Circle (one of our favorite eco-conscious companies) has thought of everything: ease of use, practicality, cost efficiency, and environmental safety. So when time for spring cleaning is upon you this year, turn over a new, greener leaf by eliminating the use of toxic chemicals in your home.

 

 

Pair Dainty Snowdrops with Roost’s Glass Bird Vases

Monday, February 27th, 2012
Snowdrops Roost Glass Bird Vases

Signs of spring are popping up in masses under trees, along walkways, or maybe even scattered throughout your lawn. Early spring flowering bulbs, like snowdrops, crocuses, and tulips, offer flower lovers the season’s first cut flowers for indoor bud vases.

We’ve discovered another perfect pairing for our Roost Glass Bird Vases. Snowdrops. You may not think of Snowdrops – or galanthus – as a cut flower, but their dainty, honey-scented flowers are natural companions for small vases with narrow openings.

What are Snowdrops?

Snowdrops are an early spring blooming bulb from the amaryllidaceae family, with over 20 different varieties to choose from. Look for Galanthus nivalis, or common snowdrop, it’s the most widely known variety and can be found in most garden centers. Galanthus elwesii, or giant snowdrop, have larger flowers and wider leaves than it’s more common cousin. Both varieties grow up to about 4-6″ tall.

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The Entryway: Make an Impact with Decorative Accessories

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to decorate your home is to focus on adding special touches to the most highly trafficked areas. In most homes, this is the bathroom, the kitchen and the main entryway. And you know what they say about first impressions! The entryway to your home is the very first thing that you and your guests see, so try personalizing it with some easy and pretty decorative touches.

Easy ways to make an impact with your entryway

  1. Turquoise entrywayUse intense color. Try painting the walls of your entryway a bold color, such as chartreuse, turquoise, or honeysuckle. Choose a color that makes you feel comfortable and happy, and it is likely to make your guests feel the same way.
  2. Maximize your space. We like using mobiles to add decor in particularly tight spots. Not only do mobiles take advantage of rarely used overhead space, but they are also a perfect way to decorate if you have a small entryway without room for a table or other furniture.
  3. Vases for entrywaysAdd seasonal touches. Adding seasonal elements from your garden creates a nice transitional flow between the indoors and the outdoors for your entryway. In the summer, place some snipped Lilies or Coneflowers in the playful Jacks Vase. For spring, the Glass Bird Vases are perfect for little Pincushion flowers, or one brilliant Peony blossom. Tall ornamental grasses and Chocolate Cosmos pair beautifully with the Roost Glass Reed Vase in the fall. It’s easy to arrange flowers in a vase, so adding seasonal elements is something anyone can achieve quickly.
  4. Bottle Lanterns for entrywaysCreate juxtaposition. Unexpected pairings really help to create visual interest. Try hanging a cluster of Roost Recycled Bottle Lanterns, a hard and rustic element, above an earthenware bowl of Irish moss, a soft and earthy element. Or, place a few of the Roost Lucie Hanging Votives next to a small fountain or goldfish bowl.
  5. Keep things in proportion. In a small area, you can add light and the illusion of space by adding a mirror to one wall. If your space is large but lacks architectural interest, try adding a decorative wall shelf to the wall that faces you when you first step through the door.
  6. Poppy Candles for entrywaysPlay with ambient light. Ambient light makes everything look softened and oh-so-welcoming. This makes the entryway a great place for some candlelight. Try a pretty row of the Poppy Candles and Recycled Plates along a shelf, or a Glass Tealight Log on a narrow console table.

Click to see all the decorative accessories for your entryway mentioned in this post.

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DIY Halloween Decorations: Using Items in Your Home and Backyard

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Halloween decor door

Image from the I Heart Shabby Chic blog

One of our favorite parts about Halloween is decorating our home and garden. While we love store-bought decorations such as rubber bats and plastic skulls, this year we’ve renewed our commitment to be kinder to the Earth and use less plastic. So instead of rushing out to purchase Halloween decorations that are both made of and packaged in plastic, we’ll be creating our own super cool decorations from items we can find in our house and our backyard. After all aren’t real, natural and earthy elements just more scary looking than an inflatable ghost anyway? We think so.

Green Halloween Decorating Ideas

Cicada exoskeleton 1. Spooky Skeletons. You know what’s spookier than some store bought bones made of cardboard or plastic? Real ones! Try looking around your backyard for exo-skeletons of cicadas. Because cicadas molt, they leave behind a “skin” that is an exact replica of their body. You are likely to find them along wooden fence posts, or clinging to the bark of trees in your backyard or in wooded areas. The exo-skeletons can easily be hooked onto the petals of a flower arrangement to make it ultra creepy.

You can also preserve and display other skeletons such as chicken bones and crab shells. To thoroughly clean them, soak them for one week in a solution of Dawn dish soap and water. Drain them, then soak them in a solution of 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide. (Do this in a garage or laundry room because it’s a bit stinky.) Remove the bones and let them air dry for 24 hours. The bones will then be clean, degreased, and white washed. They’ll look totally spooky arranged in a tall, clear vase on a fireplace mantle.

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Create Instant Art with Decorative Floral Frogs

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Flower frogs are simple structures, traditionally made of glass, metal or ceramic materials, to support single flower arrangements. If you are quick to envision the common craft fair find– a spiky metal platform surrounded by earth-toned ceramic– we have something more stylish in mind for you. Before we discovered Roost’s Flower Frogs and Glass Vases, we thought frogs were tacky, with no place in the modern home. But the Roost Flower Frogs actually feature the metal architectural supports and geometric shapes that are often found in modern designs. Regardless of your style, floral frogs make arranging flowers fun and simple. Anyone can use one!

Flowers to Use for a Frog Arrangement

You can use any kind of cut flowers you like for a floral frog arrangement. You may also want to gather some greens, depending on what you want the overall look to be. Some great autumn flowers that we like are:

  • cleome
  • gerbera daisies
  • chrysanthemums
  • black eyed Susans
  • sunflowers
  • zinnias
  • asters
  • queen Anne’s lace
  • asters
  • ornamental grasses
  • What tools do I need to arrange flowers in a frog?

    You will need your frog, of course! We would recommend selecting one of the Roost Flower Frog and Glass Vase sets, because this way you will know for sure that the frog will fit your glass vase perfectly. Plus, you can choose from four shapes: large square, medium cylinder, small cylinder, or small square. The only other tool you will need is a pair of sharp shears or a knife to cut the flower stems. It is important that the blade is nice and sharp so that you do not damage or crush the flower stems.

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    Set the Mood For Autumn: Transitioning Your Decor From Summer to Fall

    Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
    Fall inspired decor

    Image source: theLENNOXX

    Every year there is an obvious change that occurs outside in our gardens and backyards during the early fall season. Seed pods and berries are starting to emerge on flowers and shrubs, while pumpkins and squash are nearly ready for harvest. The air is tinged with coolness, and the days are growing significantly shorter as the birds begin to migrate South. As your outdoor garden and patio space naturally makes this transition, your indoor decor and entertaining scheme should shift as well. The fall home is about warmth and coziness; we think of spicy aromas and dim, ambient lighting.

    Transition Your Home Decor from Summer to Fall

    Recycled Bottle Lanterns Add mood lighting: With the daylight hours turning shorter and shorter every day, it’s time to strategically place some nice ambient lighting around the house. Mood lighting is the easiest and most effective way to cast a certain warm, friendly tone in your home, whether it is for you alone or for guests, or even a large dinner party. For a small space, such as a bathroom sink or a fireplace mantel, we love the Roost Pinecone Tealights. They’re easy to place and quite cute. For a larger space, such as a dining table centerpiece or an end table, we choose the Roost Recycled Bottle Lanterns. This fall, we are going to place a cluster of the lanterns inside our fireplace and fill them with white votive candles for a romantic glow.
    Colors of fall Savor some autumn scents: Conventional aerosol air fresheners can be filled with all sorts of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. Blech. For a nice, cozy autumn scent that fills your home, try an easy and natural home fragrance instead. Place a small saucepan on your stove with a cup of apple cider and a cup of water. Toss in a tablespoon of ground cinnamon and a few cloves, and bring this to a simmer on your stove. As it simmers, it will fill your home with a warm, spicy apple pie scent.
    Earth tones are easy: (Anyone get the 80s movie title reference there? Bonus points if you do!) During the summer, we are all inclined to fill our homes with breezy fabrics such as lightweight cotton and silk, and bright colors such as yellow, coral and turquoise. For fall, replace these home accents with darker earth toned ones. For example, if you have a neutral colored couch, add throw pillows in dark orange, olive green and deep aubergine. If your summer white curtains are still hanging, replace them with heavier, thermal ones in a dark clay red or earthy brown. Check out these photos from Hooked on Houses to see how a few strategically placed fall earth tones can really work well with any interior decorating scheme. Still feeling unsure of how to change a room’s color scheme to reflect the season? Watch this quick video from Apartment Therapy on Easily Changeable Color.
    Decorate with natural accents Decorate with natural accents: There are so many cool and interesting things you can find outdoors in the fall to decorate your home. Take a leisurely stroll around your block or in a local park to go for a little treasure hunt. A basket or galvanized tub filled with twigs and firewood looks pretty in an entryway or next to the fireplace. A ceramic bowl or vase can be piled high with branches of colorful leaves, or guards and pumpkins. Long stems of pussywillows or goldenrod would look gorgeous clustered in a Roost Copenhagen Carafe & Terrarium.
    fall table decor Prepare your dining room for dinner parties: During the summer, your most frequently used dining area is probably the patio and the grill, while your kitchen and your dining room take a hiatus. Now it’s time to bring some life back into your dining room and get it ready for fall dinner parties. Add cushioned seat covers to your dining room chairs in order to soften the look of the room, and a tablecloth or table runner. For a look that says “welcome, come sit down” definitely add your mood lighting to this room, and “stage” the table with your favorite serving dishes. For more ideas on how to transition your dining room from summer to fall, look to House Dressing and Centsational Girl for inspiration.

    How To Use Ornaments in Your Garden

    Thursday, July 14th, 2011

    Garden sculpture image from Front Garden Home Design

    Why should you bother using decorative items outdoors in your yard and garden? Because it is an awesome way to personalize your space. As Real Simple points out in its June issue, garden ornaments should be added for the same reason that you would add colorful pillows on your sofa or framed photos on a wall– to add personality and polish. Obviously, we’re not talking about bearded gnomes or gray cement geese.

    Our Six Favorite Garden Ornaments and How To Place Them

    Modern Glass Hummingbird Feeders We just love ornaments that are both decorative and functional. These cylindrical Modern Glass Hummingbird Feeders fit that bill perfectly. Filled with red and pink nectar and hung at varying heights from a tree branch, they almost look like stained glass. You can even choose from small, medium, large, or extra large to create a whole array of sizes. Plus, they attract beautiful little hummingbirds. What could be prettier in a garden than that?

    Roost Hummingbird Feeders

    Galvanized Metal Garden Galvanized Metal Garden Planters We love using galvanized metal and iron in our garden. It looks cool even after it is weathered, and creates an interesting contrast between the hard, industrial metal planter and the softness of the plants within. We dig these nice worn in planters from Folkcity on Etsy. For a newer, shinier metal look, check out this steel tub from Urban Garden Solutions. And any time that you use a tub as a planter, make sure to first drill a couple holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage.

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    Six Awesome Ways to Use Studiopatró Tea Towels

    Friday, June 17th, 2011

    Studiopatro Tea Towels: Eat & Spoon Set $42

    In 2009, San Francisco designer and art director Christina Weber introduced a line of bold, geometrically printed tea towels under the name Studiopatró. This means that for two years, we have been discovering more and more excellent ways to use them! Certainly not just for drying off clean dishes, Studiopatró towels are a versatile and modern addition to any kitchen. Here are our six favorite ways to use them.

    (1) As an apron.

    Here you can see how the Facade Tea Towel in orange can be easily used as an apron. All you have to do is tuck it into your belt. When you’re entertaining guests, you can easily keep your pants dry and clean during food prep, then pull the tea towel right off when you’re ready to party. Ta-da!

    (2) As a wine cozy.

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Gifting a plain bottle of wine is boring. To dress it up, wrap the bottle in a Live, Love, Eat tea towel and tie it at the top with a piece of twine or ribbon. Not only does this look pretty, but if you are headed to a dinner party, it will keep the chilled wine from sweating and dripping on you on the car ride over. Once the wine has been drunk, your hostess will have a much more lasting gift to use in her kitchen.

    Studiopatro tea towels at aHaModernLiving.com

    (3) As a salad spinner.

    Conventionally marketed salad spinners are not very practical; they’re bulky and cumbersome. Instead of a salad spinner, just try using a clean City Tea Towel. Simply lay the towel out on your counter, rinse your salad greens, then place them in the center of the towel. Fold the four corners into the center, and grip them with your hand so that you are holding the salad greens in a bundle. Then, lift the towel above your head and give it a few twirls. This will “spin” the water off your greens, and right into the absorbent tea towel.

    (4) As gift wrap.

    Colored paper wrapping paper is so passé. All that paper is simply ripped off and thrown in the trash; how seriously un-eco friendly! For a much more creative and green alternative, wrap your gifts in tea towels. Here you can see that a tea towel makes excellent gift wrap for a potted plant. We also love the idea of wrapping a cookbook in a tea towel to make the perfect hostess gift, or housewarming present. Gifts in jars, such as caramel sauce or candles, can be easily wrapped and rolled in a tea towel to make a pretty cylindrical shape.

    (5) As a potholder.

    This is an excellent and attractive way to transport food to a potluck, or protect the surface of your wood dining table from heat and drips. Lay your casserole dish or dutch oven on the center of the tea towel, then tuck the ends into the handles. Voila.

    (6) As table art.

    Tea towels can create instant easy table art for your dining room. Use them as table runners, place mats, or even napkins. Since Studiopatró′s designs are bold yet simple, they will work well with nearly any decorating scheme, and the rest of your tablescape can remain simple and understated. We love the use of tea towels in this photo–super elegant.

    Garden Rules, The Snappy Synopsis for the Modern Gardener

    How to Decorate With a Modern Bird Motif

    Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

    Bird wallpaper by Emma Thomas. Image from Apartment Therapy.

    We admit it – each year by about February, we get a touch of the post-holiday blues. After all of our beautiful holiday wreaths and baubles are packed and stowed away in Rubbermaids, our homes just tend to look considerably less colorful. Then, inevitably, we start to get the decorating itch.

    So what to do to add a touch of color and brightness to our homes, when it is still cold, icy, and blustery outside? A modern bird motif is the perfect way to add life to your home, as well as to transition into the approaching spring season.

    Add Bird Décor to Your Home in a Way that Says Cool, Chic, and Modern

    Pick Some Foolproof Bird Accessories

    What do we mean by “foolproof?” We mean, look for items that will match with any color scheme, and go in any room. Our favorite foolproof accessories are these Roost Glass Bird Tealights. They are simple and elegant, and add a touch of sparkle to any room when lit with a tealight. Their sleek design and crystal clear glass allows them to match absolutely anything. They look lovely as part of a formal dinner table setting, as the centerpiece on a coffee table, or resting delicately on a bookshelf or fireplace mantle. They even look pretty in the kitchen- try perching them atop a pretty cake stand on your counter or atop a cabinet. For another option, check out the Roost Bird Candles. In both ivory and cream, these candles will match any decorating scheme, and create a cheery, nature-inspired look in any spot you place them.

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    Pantone’s 2011 Color of the Year: Honeysuckle

    Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

    Vibrant, energetic, festive, lively, stimulating… Pantone’s official color for 2011, honeysuckle, truly embodies the kind of year that we want this to be. Really, how can you not feel happy when looking at this bright, enlivening hue? It symbolizes the end of a year of the blues with turquoise as the color of the year for 2010, and marks the beginning of a bright new era.

    Many people may think that pink is a hard color to pull off in fashion and decorating. But the trick here is to not over-think it. In actuality, honeysuckle is a color that is complementary to nearly all skin tones for both men and women, and is much more mature looking than pastel or baby pink. The rosy tone can also be incorporated easily into an indoor or outdoor decorating scheme. Here are some ideas for how you can add a splash of honeysuckle to your life in 2011.

    BCBGeneration Estrella Pump

    In your wardrobe:

    Look for honeysuckle colored shrugs, sweaters, blouses, and shirts. When worn near the face, honeysuckle brings a hint of warmth to lips and cheeks, and casts a favorable glow. Plus, it has sort of a vintage, Mad Men-ish appeal. If you are more into neutrals, try warming up your basic closet staples with a honeysuckle colored scarf, necklace, tie, purse, or pair of shoes. This is a great way to add a pop of color to any outfit. Try wearing honeysuckle any time you want to appear approachable and confident, whether that is at a party where you will be meeting new people, or at a job interview. These Estrella Pumps made by BCBGeneration are pretty va-va-va-voom. We also love this organic jersey cotton infinity scarf by EcoKaren, and these natural agate stone earrings by CayennePeppy.

    Image from LivingEtc

    In your home:

    If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to brighten up your home, just paint a wall honeysuckle with Pantone’s eco-friendly low VOC paint. We doubt you’ll be able to walk past it without feeling cheery. We like the idea of painting a hallway or just one wall of the family room in this shade. We also dig these super chic ideas from Apartment Therapy, where they focused on making small spaces pop with honeysuckle accessories. One of the key points they make here is that with this bright coraly shade, it is not necessary to be all matchy-matchy. Honeysuckle accents go well with neutrals in your home, such as black, white, and navy. But they also look fabulous with other brights such as lime green and bright orange. You can liven up an otherwise cool-toned bathroom with a honeysuckle chair, such as this one at LivingEtc. Or, add a burst of color to your kitchen with our Four Seasons Tea Towel in Fall.

    Honeysuckle image from the What's Up! blog

    In Your Garden:

    What better way to celebrate the color honeysuckle than by planting honeysuckle in your garden? Honeysuckle is a climbing plant, so it is a good idea to position it near a trellis, archway, wall, or fence. It also is very attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies because of its super sweet fragrance. There are several varieties of honeysuckle from which you can choose, but for this distinct bright pinky red shade, you’ll want to select Coral Honeysuckle seeds. This evergreen variety is hardy to zones 4-10. Other beautiful bright rosy colored blossoms include Coral Bells, Gerbera Daisies, striking (up to three feet tall) Starfighter Oriental Lilies, Pink Elephant Lobelias, and Fuschia Magic Vanda Orchids.

    So don’t be shy. Go ahead and add a burst of honeysuckle to your life. Its positive energy and cheery vibe are perfect for 2011. For more inspiration, check out these pinky ideas from Get Going Girl and Mod Vintage Life.