Tips to keep your Home Cool In the Summer Heat

Rooftop Garden

Summer, along with the scorching heat, also leads to higher electricity bills. This is more so, because our homes are not optimized to beat the summer heat. It’s time you prepped up your house before the summer sets in. Here are some ideas to optimize your home for the summer.

Terrace Gardens: If you happen to have a house on the top floor or a bungalow, you’d be grappling with the exposed ceiling getting all heated up. Planting a terrace garden is an excellent way to ensure all the sunlight falling on the terrace gets absorbed and doesn’t heat up the floors below. There are however some measures you need to take before you plan the same. You need to ensure there is a proper drainage system on your terrace, such that the water flows through the appropriate channels; and you need to get layers of waterproofing done, to avoid water seeping through.

Terrace Gargden                 Source Credit: www.evergreenlandscape.in

Insulated Films on Windows: If you have big windows adorning your house, worry not. You could easily install an insulating film on your windows. These films reflect the sun’s rays and reduce your home’s overall heat gain. As a result, your home feels cooler, and your air conditioner runs less. Insulating films also retain up to 55% of your home’s heat in winter. These films provide comfort you can feel and savings you can see in your utility bills. Insulating films also block out up to 99% of UV (ultraviolet) rays, which we all know are bad for the skin.

Insulated Windows

Reflective Paint: Reflective or insulative paints use a technology where a broad spectrum thermally reflective coating is applied to block heat radiation and to dissipate heat rapidly. This type of paint reduces heat transfer through the coating and reflects back 90% of solar infrared radiation and 85% ultraviolet radiation. This paint should be applied on rooftops, asbestos sheets, exterior walls, and most importantly, roof top water tanks- to avoid water from heating up in the harsh summer.

Reflective Paint              Source Credit: www.decorationlife.net

Awnings: Way to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the house in the summer is by installing awnings. These retractable window and door shades are very effective in blocking sunlight and offering shade right outside windows and doors.

Awning         Source Credit: www.tmucd.com

Frosted Glass, Blinds: Other ways of blocking the sun are, installing frosted glass and blinds. If you plan on adding a green touch to the house, you could hang a lot of planters from the ledge over your window, and add to the beauty and the comfort of your house.

Frosted Glass            Source Credit: www.sanssoucie.com

Kitchen: While planning the renovation, install effective kitchen chimneys, to ensure the kitchen doesn’t heat up.

Chimney                Source Credit: www.uniwoodproducts.com

Aside from these, you could integrate solar cell panels as an alternate energy resource to supplement your incremental power needs in the summer.

Energy Regeneration                 Source Credit: www.energyinformative.org

 

7 Indoor Plants with Air Purification Abilities

Ficus Weeping Fig

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the World. In fact, you may be aware that the Delhi government recently trialed the odd-even rule for vehicles to control air pollution. It’s a common misconception that air pollution is restricted only to the outdoors and doesn’t affect the inside of our homes. On the contrary, it’s imperative for us to find solutions to purify air within the confines of our walls. What better way to do so than by adding a green-eco friendly solution to your home, plants. Here’s a list of indoor plants you could place to reduce the air pollution naturally.

1) Palm Tree: These lean and beautiful palms don’t just have an ornamental value, they are best air purifiers as well. NASA ranks palms as the most efficient air humidifiers. Palms are known to continuously remove chemical toxins from the air. Palms enhance the decor and they need some humidity to grow, for this reason they can be placed in living rooms and kitchens.

Palm Tree

2) Bamboo Plant: Bamboos are not only significant in feng-shui they are intense air purifiers too. These attractive and soothing indoor plants are quite effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene. They will flourish in your home if well watered and placed in shade or indirect sunlight. Bamboos keep the air fresh at night so they can be placed in living room as well as in bedroom or bathroom.

Bamboo Plant

3) Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a great indoor plant to improve your air quality at home. It is easy to grow and it helps to keep your home free from benzene which is commonly found in paint and certain chemical cleaners. Aloe vera emits oxygen at night and so they are best to be placed in bedrooms. Since they have anti-septic properties and fight burns well, it’s best to keep one in the kitchen as well.

Aloe Vera

4) Boston Fern
Boston ferns act as a natural air humidifier, they remove formaldehyde and generally are good air purifiers. They are also highly efficient at removing indoor air pollutants. Bathrooms are an ideal location to place boston ferns because of higher humidity levels needed to grow this plant.

Boston Fern

5) Spider Plant: Spider plants are not only decorative but also easy to grow. They are also a part of the NASA list of the best air purifier indoor plants. Spider plants produce more oxygen during the night and should be kept in a bedroom.

Spider Plant

6) Ficus / Weeping Fig: Ficus has some serious air-cleaning abilities, it can also be taken outside in late spring and brought back indoors when it gets warm outside. Apart for being a great air purifier it also is a great accompaniment to endure carpeting and furniture. Ficus should be kept in a living room near a window or a balcony to get bright light.

Ficus Weeping Fig

7) Snake plant: This plant is also known as Mother-in-Law’s tongue. This is one of the best indoor plants for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. The best part of this indoor plant is that it gives you a slight oxygen boost while you sleep. Hence, it would be a great idea to place it in the bedroom, on the side table.Snake Plant

Want to know more? Here are some additional tips for cleaner air at home

5 Storage Ideas Using Spaces You Never Realised Existed in Your House

Every house has pockets which you never realised existed, but could be used to organise and store many things. This blog post talks of such pockets and how they could be used.

1) The Area under the steps: This area, often ignored, can be used for utility drawers, a small washroom, a showcase, or a small utility room for the washing machine/ ironing table. Much depends on the space available though.

Under stair shelf

Under stair shelf

 

Under stair shelf

 

2) Wardrobe doors: These are usually unused, but hooks in the wardrobe doors could help you organise ties, belts, shoes and even clothes.

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

Wardrobe Door Storage

3) Bathroom Storage: Even if you have a small bathroom, some storage area can be squeezed out to store cleaning material, towels, and other utility items.

  • The area under the sink is perfect for storing cleaning products and detergents.

Under Sink Storage

  • A ‘behind the mirror cabinet’ for extra shampoo and soap.

Bathroom Storage

  • To stock Towels and Toilet Paper.

Bathroom Storage

4) Capitalizing on ceiling height using hydraulic garment lifts: We are most often limited by height, and don’t prefer ceiling high cupboards for obvious reasons. However, these hydraulic hangers really help in using that space for hanging suits and other important clothes which you want to keep away from the clutter. You can find these hangers at Hettich.

Garment Storage

5) Innovative Furniture: Furniture with storage can be a big plus point especially if you live in a rented accommodation wherein you really can’t build in storage space

  • Beds with storage

Bed with storage

  • Sofa with storage

Sofa with storage

  • Coffee table Bookshelf

Coffee Table book shelf

  • Coffee table with storage

Coffeetabe storage

Entertainment hub by Studio Wood

Designer’s Name:  Studio wood

Designer’s Email:  hello.swc@gmail.com

Designer’s Website: studiowood.co.in

Studio Wood was asked to construct an entertainment hub for a family of 3 on the terrace of a 2600 sq.ft plot. The design was born keeping in mind orientation, climate and comfort.

The north-south direction of the plot ensured less heat gain. So in order to receive thermal comfort open-able clearstory windows were installed at the bottom, to allow cross-ventilation.

To give the area an open and fresh appeal, the terrace was landscaped and a controlled micro-climate was created, using plants, water bodies and sunshades.

Materials: Exposed brick fused with exposed concrete and a lot of light.

Share your designs with us http://ow.ly/Q7Bs6.

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Things to keep in Mind While Waterproofing your Washroom

    Washrooms are one of the most important parts of every construction project. They are no longer those secluded parts in the corner of the house, but instead are used as areas of leisure and relaxation. And it is quite obvious that bathrooms are the most prone to moisture related mishaps so special attention must be paid to waterproofing it appropriately. Here are some things to keep in mind as you supervise the waterproofing of your bathroom.

Bathroom Flooring

Flooring:

    Use antiskid tiles on the floor. It is always a good idea to use wide grout lines between the tiles and seal the grout lines annually, so that water doesn’t seep through them. Another important aspect of bathroom flooring is the uninterrupted slope towards the drain so that water doesn’t accumulate in pockets.

Bathroom Walls

Walls:

    The wall behind the shower panel, the part under the sink and the area behind the water closet, are most prone to mold and mildew, it is therefore a good idea to use tiles on the washroom walls as well. Use the Dr. Fixit Bathseal kit to protect your walls, floor, and sanitation areas.

Bathroom Ceiling

Ceiling:

    Ensure that your washroom ceiling is coated with waterproof paint so that it doesn’t absorb moisture.
Always ensure that there is enough ventilation and an exhaust fan in the bathroom so that moisture doesn’t stay. Also ensure that the joints in the plumbing and faucets are sealed properly; and, we repeat, the slopes on the floor direct the water straight to the drain.

    In fact, they Waterproofing is an extremely essential part of every construction project as the lack of it, or inadequacy of the same, can cause moulds to fester, seepage, and ultimately weaken the walls.

    Different types of waterproofing materials are used in the building industry. In order to obtain satisfactory performance, it is essential to apply the water-proofing treatment prior to laying the tiles and special care has to be taken to carefully preparing the building sub-surface so that it can receive the treatment as recommended.

    It is essential to ensure the water-tightness of the structures so that the flow of water from inside the structure to outside (in case of swimming pools), and the infiltration of water from the surrounding soil into the structure are effectively prevented.

    Have a look at our growing database of waterproofing products and have a look at some amazing bathroom images on our pinterest page to inspire you to start designing your dream bathroom today.

 

LiTracon a Concrete Material that Lets Light Through

Concrete by its nature is an opaque and sturdy material rarely used as a design element. But there is a re-emergence of exposed concrete in recent years and innovations in the types of concrete available to designers.

LiTracon is a revolutionary and ultra cool product which serves your insulation needs, without cramping the space and giving the space a unique visual appeal.

Take a look at their website to know more: http://ow.ly/LWCiD

We hope to see this in India soon, let us know what you think about this product in our comments section.

Take a look at http://ow.ly/LWBTD  for more awesome products.