6 Must-Know Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends

beautiful kitchen design - home inspection miamiBrought to you by your friends from Atlantic Building Inspections

Many homeowners today wonder how they can turn their bathrooms or kitchens into something worthy of making the rounds on Pinterest or Instagram. As more people want to give their home a personal and stylish touch, home decorating and interior design is hotter than ever, and the possibilities are seemingly limitless.

The only problem is that making up your mind can be overwhelming. If you’ve ever tried to pick what shade of blue or tint of gray to paint a wall, you know that sometimes there are too many choices. With over 140 years of designing kitchen and bathroom products,  Kohler Kitchen & Bath tapped into a large brain trust of designers and product experts.

Here’s the 6 Leading Kitchen and Bath Design Trends for 2017:  

1. All in the mix. We all know patterns play a big role in how large a room appears and what features are accented or emphasized. For all the importance people place on patterns, many are inherently afraid of blending — or mixing — patterns. Be bold! When done right, this can create a vibrant, energetic space that does more for your room than if you were to play it safe.

2. Perfect pairs. Two of the most striking colors to appear in kitchens and bathrooms these days are velvety blues and vivid greens. Blues are timeless and can work well by themselves in most situations, but add a small dose of blood orange and you’ve created an infectious vibe to the room. Nothing makes as dramatic a statement as pairing two complementary colors.

3. A softer white. A traditional color for bathrooms and kitchens, white gives off a clean, bright aura. Nonetheless, the look can be a bit clinical. One way around this problem is to warm up the whites with a tone of brass, gold or bronze. Subtle touches on the cabinets or backsplash can create a warm ambiance that softens the look of an all-white space.

4. Keep it neutral. If you’re looking for fun, vibrant colors but aren’t ready to go all in, consider neutral shades such as icy blue, blush sand and other straight-from-nature shades. These are a lot more refreshing than the standard beige! Such transparent neutrals beautifully diffuse light and lend themselves to contrasting elements.

5. Amber Glow. The living room has expanded. Kitchens aren’t just for preparing food and bathrooms aren’t just for getting ready. People want a cozier, at-home feel for both these rooms. Top designers do this by adding a range of metallic fixtures coupled with smoky grays, a combination that creates a dramatic and welcoming room.

6. Noir. With the debut of black stainless steel appliances, black has made its way back to being a staple color in kitchens and bathrooms. Of late, the emphatic pairing of black and white has become the real showstopper. The idea here is to work with high contrast: think strong color-blocking patterns and heavy stripes. Two timeless colors will join to create a perfectly modern mixture.

To discover more ideas for your home visit ideas.kohler.com. Here you’ll find invaluable advice and inspiring fixtures to transform your bathroom into the room of your dreams. – (BPT)

30 Small Bathroom Design Ideas 2017

 

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Natural Selection: Live-Edge Wood In Home Design

 

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Helpful Information from your friends at  Atlantic Building Inspections

Live-edge hardwood, in which the sides of the slab are left unmilled to retain the natural profile of the tree trunk, is an increasingly popular decorative trend in today’s residential interiors. The technique is not only used for pieces of stand-alone furniture such as tables and benches but also for built-in elements like shelving, mantles, countertops, bars and kitchen islands.

 

“Most mills cut off the rough tree edges, turning the raw timber into neat boards,” says Linda Jovanovich, of the American Hardwood Information Center at www.HardwoodInfo.com. “But the current demand for live-edge slabs has led to a small but vigorous subset of producers who specialize in the category.” These are often boutique businesses that source, dry and mill limited batches of timber for use in furniture of their own design and manufacture.

 

“Some larger sawmills sell live-edge slabs to the public,” Jovanovich continues. “You visit their showroom and pick your own one-of-a-kind piece of ash, cherry, red oak, walnut or whatever other hardwood species they have in stock. A cabinet maker can then custom-make a piece of furniture or a built-in feature to your exact specifications.”

 

Sustainability-minded entrepreneurs are responsible for another niche in the live-edge hardwood market: small urban suppliers that source culled or fallen trees from the backyards of private homes, public parks, graveyards and other leafy locations in their city and its immediate environs. One such enterprise, RE-CO BKLYN in Brooklyn, New York, recently harvested four 12,000-pound logs from a 150-year-old storm-felled elm in nearby Prospect Park. The logs were taken to an upstate mill to be sawn into live-edge slabs and dried before being shipped back to Brooklyn, where they were either sold or used by RE-CO for tables, desks, bar counters, shelves, headboards and other beautiful custom-made pieces it produces.

 

“It was George Nakashima, the legendary Japanese-American mid-century furniture maker, who pioneered the use of live-edge slabs in refined residential settings,” says New York–based designer Glenn Gissler. “Previously, untrimmed wood planks, sometimes with the bark still intact, were used for rustic, log-cabin or ranch-house effects — elements that referenced the traditions, myths, and aesthetics of the American Old West. With his gorgeous large-scale pieces, comprising multiple slabs of characterful woods like walnut and cherry connected with butterfly joints, Nakashima showed us how unfinished natural edges and richly figured knotted surfaces fit perfectly into even the most sophisticated urban interiors.”

 

Today, original Nakashima pieces are highly collectible and command high prices at auction. But his free-edge aesthetic is more influential than ever as homeowners discover the ability of live-edge furniture to work with almost any decorative style. Paired with blackened steel legs, for example, a live-edge slab of burled walnut creates a dining table with loft-worthy industrial chic. Fixed to the bedroom wall, a free-form expanse of warm-toned cherry provides a romantic headboard. Or a hefty live-edge slab of oak, supported on an equally hefty oak-slab base, makes for a monumental console with the presence of a piece of archaic sculpture. New York–based designer Laura Bohn has even used the chainsawed cross-section of an elm trunk — complete with its bark — as a counter top on which to mount a stainless steel powder-room sink. “It introduces a decidedly rustic note into a thoroughly modern space,” she says. “And yet it looks perfectly natural as if it had just grown there of its own accord.” Visit www.HardwoodInfo.com for more about residential design trends and other applications and products using American hardwoods. – (BPT)

DIY Wooden Countertop

 

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Latest Deck Trend: ‘Monster’ Size, Mega-Luxury

man and woman in a large deckBrought to you by your friends at  Atlantic Building Inspections

Move over mini — the new trend in decking is anything but small. When it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better — as multiple surveys indicate decks are getting larger and more luxurious, RealtorMag reports.

Today’s decks dwarf the outdoor spaces of decades ago, and blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces with features like full kitchens, dining and entertainment areas, says Kim Katwijk, owner of Deck Builders Inc. in Olympia, Washington. Katwijk is a 20-year  veteran of the deck-building business and co-producer of the upcoming web series Outdoors Outdone.

Sizable Changes:

Katwijk says the intersection of two major home trends is driving the growth of “monster” decks: homes are getting larger and outdoor living has reached mainstream status. Last year, more than half of all new homes were 2,400 square feet or larger, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Characteristics of New Housing” report. In 1973, the average home size was 1,660 square feet. As homes grew, deck sizes have, too. RealtorMag reports one survey found that since 2014, the average deck size grew by 53 percent in the Northeast, to 406 square feet.

The Making of a ‘Monster’ Deck:

So what makes a deck project “monster”? Size, design, materials, and amenities all combine in this nationwide trend.

Size — “Monster” decks are big — really big. Mark Kalady, a decking sales manager for TAMKO Building Products, Inc., says he’s recently seen residential decks grow to 3,000 square feet. Depending on the amenities included, a deck 1,600-1,800 square feet could also be considered “monster.”

Kitchens/dining — Cooking and dining areas are among the most requested luxury features, deck builders say. Luxury grills, built-in pizza ovens and full-cook stoves and sinks are becoming more common.

Water/Fire — Fire and water features such as hot tubs, lap pools, fireplaces and fire pits are part of the trend of bringing the indoors out. These focal points serve as relaxation, exercise, and entertaining stations.

Seating — Katwijk says “conversational pits” designed specifically for extended entertaining allow deck-users to enjoy time together away from the cooking and dining areas.

Multi-story — “Monster” decks often include multiple levels, with each level serving a different theme or intended use, such as dining, conversation, swimming, etc.

Technology — Many of today’s larger decks include living room areas equipped with big-screen TVs, wireless speakers and gaming systems. But the technology used on monster decks can extend to retractable glass walls and skylights, and even the deck boards themselves. Katwijk says the technology behind man-made decking products like Envision composite lumber offers the luxury appearance of exotic woods, but with minimal annual maintenance.

“People want an environment where they can be outdoors, yet have all the creature comforts of their home — essentially creating a space where they can do all the things that they love,” Katwijk says. –  (BPT)

Building a Large Deck

 

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Big-Impact Ideas for Small Patio Spaces

(BPT) – Do you have a small patio? Do you think you can’t do much with the space due to its size? There’s probably a lot more potential than you think.

From the influx of urban dwellers, empty-nesters in transition and even the tiny-home movement, the trend of downsizing continues across the United States. Contrary to popular belief, you can have an impressive patio even if you have a smaller abode.

Here are a few design ideas to help bring your limited patio area to life while maximizing the space:

Rugs

Add visual interest under foot with a patterned rug. A rug properly placed under a table can break up a smaller floor, giving the illusion of more square footage. Colored rugs are readily available in a variety of designs. Pick your favorite striped, chevron or paisley variety and see what a difference it makes.

Water features

The natural elegance, gentle gurgle and sparkle of a flowing water feature can add a sense of peacefulness to any patio. For smaller spaces, easily turn a decorative waterproof container or planter into a beckoning water feature by simply adding water and a smartpond Low Water Shut-off Fountain Pump. This smart pump automatically shuts off if the water becomes too low, preventing pump burnout. It’s also a great replacement pump option to revive a decorative premade fountain that has quit working. Learn more at www.smart-pond.com.

Think vertical

To get the most out of a limited space, think upward instead of outward. Hanging plants are a classic option, but vertical wall gardens are a top trend that’s sure to be a conversation starter. You’ll enjoy plenty of greenery but also open floor space for your furniture, water feature and entertaining to ensure a welcoming area for hosting summer parties.

Built-ins

To get the most out of every inch of your petite patio, look for furniture and features that multitask to help save space while maximizing functionality. An easy solution is to opt for a table that opens to become a cooler for beverages or a bench to hold blankets and other patio extras. Just remember to keep scale in mind so you don’t overwhelm your space with massive furniture.

Mixing materials

Matching is out for 2017, so forget about perfectly paired combos and explore a variety of decor. A great way to try this trend is to add visual interest by experimenting with different materials. Inject your own personality through various finishes. One example: consider setting black resin pots next to a handwoven wicker for an eclectic blend of textures.

Vibrant colors

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a small space must have muted colors. Vibrant hues inject energy and style, often making a small patio feel larger than it is in real life. From ocean blues to ferocious fuchsia, an accent pillow here and a throw blanket there will transform your space dramatically.

From DIY water features to vertical gardens, a small patio doesn’t have to be short on style or functionality. Let these top trends guide you to create a space you’ll enjoy all year long.

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5 Spring Cleaning Projects to Take on Immediately

5 indoor projects to add to your spring cleaning list

(BPT) – Spring cleaning is a seasonal tradition. You’ve been setting house projects aside all winter, and now’s the perfect time to make sure the warm weather season starts with a cleaner, happier home. So open the windows, turn on your favorite song, and start your spring cleaning with these five to-dos.

* Clear the clutter. Removing excess clutter is a great cleaning tip any time of year, but finishing this task when the weather was colder may not have been as tempting. Tackle your home room by room and analyze the items you find. If you haven’t used something in a year or more, it’s time for it to go.

Spring Cleaning Projects - Clean the floors

* Freshen up the floors. After a season of tracking dirt, snow and mud, your floors could use some attention. If the damage is minor, a thorough vacuuming will do the trick. If the wear and tear is more significant, you may need a more comprehensive solution. If you have carpet, renting a carpet cleaner allows you to tackle the job yourself, saving you money over hiring a professional or purchasing your own machine. And if you have hardwood or tile floors, rent a floor buffer. It’s the easiest way to give your floors back their shine in no time.

* Pretty it up with paint. The windows are open and a gentle breeze is moving air through your home. This is the right time to cross that painting project off your to-do list. Small painting projects can be handled with a single can and a brush, but for your larger painting endeavors, rent a paint sprayer. It’s the best way to get an even, professional coat in a short amount of time so you’re finished before the breeze dies down.

* Better the baseboards. Baseboards provide a stylish accent to any room in your home, but when they’re dirty, they stand out for all the wrong reasons. To clean them, start by vacuuming your baseboards and scrubbing each with a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Dry each with a towel before wiping them with a dryer sheet. This last step will help repel dust from landing on your baseboards. Plus, it’ll give your home a fresh scent.

* Vet the vents. One of the joys of warmer weather is the increase in fresh air that flows through your home — as long as that air is clean. To improve the air quality in your home immediately, clean the vents. Dirt, hair, pollen and other debris collect there, so vacuum the vents out to remove particles from your air for good. Rent a wearable vacuum and you’ll make your reaching points easier without the complications of lugging a traditional model.

Apply some care and focus to these five spring cleaning tasks, and you’ll be happier with your home in the pleasant months ahead. To learn more about renting the tools you need for your spring cleaning projects, visit RentalHQ.com.

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Top Energy-Efficient Housing Features According To Miami Home Inspectors

Most Americans want an energy-efficient home, and they’re willing to make the necessary changes to help improve efficiency, whether it’s changing their habits or buying more energy-efficient appliances. But reducing energy bills and making your home more efficient doesn’t just begin with remembering to switch off lights in empty rooms or paying top-dollar for newer appliances.

“Energy efficiency has to start when a home is being built,” says Kevin Clayton, CEO of manufactured home builder Clayton Homes. “If you’re buying new construction, it’s important to look for a home that’s built with energy-efficiency in mind during the home design stage. Those additional features will have a great impact on a home’s overall efficiency.”

As demand for greater energy efficiency has grown, the concept of more resourceful design has moved from the realm of luxury homes into the mainstream, Clayton notes. “You no longer have to buy a mansion to get an energy-smart, sustainable home. Manufactured homes are very energy-efficient and it’s easier to add energy saving features when the home is being constructed in a climate controlled environment.”

If you’re in the market for a new home, here are energy-efficient design features to look for:

Superior insulation

Insulation doesn’t just keep a home warm in the winter. It should also help keep it cooler in the summer, and help central air-conditioning units operate more efficiently. The R-Value of insulation tells you how well it will be able to resist heat transfer, and a higher R-Value means better heat resistance. To properly protect a home, builders may use a combination of insulation types, such as batt and blown insulations packed into ceiling, wall and floor cavities.

Low-E windows

Windows can be a significant source of heat transfer in a home, allowing heat to enter rooms in the summer and escape in winter. Low-emissive (Low-E) windows hinder heat transfer while still allowing daylight to pass through. Not only can Low-E windows help A/C units operate more efficiently, they can also prevent fading of fabrics, floor coverings and furniture from sunlight entering a home.

Air management

Air leaks can increase heating and cooling costs for a typical existing home in the United States by an average of 15 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A newly constructed home with properly sealed ductwork inside and tight airway leading outside can help reduce your energy bills.

Minimizing air leaks begins with tight construction in which all the joints where walls, floors and roofs come together are properly sealed. Weather stripping around doors and windows reduces air flow and prevents dust from entering. Inside, duct work should be properly sealed to prevent air leaks and condensation, and tested to ensure no leaks occur.

Water heating

The U.S. Energy Information Administration indicates that according to a 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey, water heating can account for nearly 20 percent of a home’s total energy use. Modern, energy-efficient water heaters can heat the same amount of water as older models, while using less energy. If you’re having a home built for you, ask the builder about installing an energy-efficient water heater. Clayton Homes use water heaters with thicker side walls that have higher insulation values and are better at retaining heat.

Small, yet significant steps

Some steps that seem minor can actually add up to much greater energy efficiency long-term. For example, installing CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs rather than traditional incandescent bulbs wherever possible can help reduce electric bills. CFLs use less energy to produce the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, and can last much longer.

Programmable thermostats, like the ones Clayton includes standard in many of its manufactured homes, deliver improved comfort and can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. Reducing temperature settings just seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day can trim up to 10 percent off your utility bills, according to the Department of Energy. Programmable thermostats automate the process, so you can maintain a more comfortable temperature when needed and automatically change the setting when you’re asleep or away from home.

To learn about energy-efficient manufactured homes, visit www.claytonhomes.com. – (BPT)

 

Most Energy-Efficient Building Design

 

 

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New Home Improvement Trends With Miami Home Inspectors

When you’re in the process of buying or building a home, you’re constantly researching trends and technology that will set your home apart. Fast forward a few years and you probably don’t have your finger on the pulse of home advancements like before.

It’s good you’ve settled in to your home, but a lot can change in just a handful of years. If you’re finally thinking about finishing the basement, updating the kitchen or investing in landscaping, there’s probably a lot of new processes and products available since you’ve last been in the market.

Get up to speed by learning about the top home improvement trends that are getting lots of attention in 2016:

Air quality

Homeowners are taking action to improve indoor air quality by choosing smart products like AirRenew drywall boards that clean the air. Ideal when remodeling or finishing basements and bathrooms, these boards feature the industry’s first formaldehyde-absorbing technology. That means they actively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, converting them into a safe compound that improves indoor air quality. VOCs are prevalent in bathroom spaces due to personal hygiene products like hair spray and the use of cleaning chemicals. Plus, the M2Tech technology in AirRenew is moisture and mold resistant, which is excellent for bathroom and basement spaces where these conditions often thrive.

Acid stained concrete

Homeowners are looking beyond concrete’s core strength and durability to discover its beauty when treated with acid staining techniques. Specialty stains are used to add stunning depth and color that closely mimics stone, including marble. Perfect for basements and patio spaces, concrete experts pour the slab and then after it has cured, return to apply the stain treatment. The result is completely customizable and often closely resembles upscale applications at a fraction of the cost.

Durable drywall

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, homeowners need the option of mounting and remounting the newest televisions, speaker systems and other home electronics. By thoughtfully selecting drywall, you can say goodbye to anchors and stud finders for good. Habito drywall allows builders and homeowners to create spaces that provide easy mounting of fixtures up to 30 pounds. Visit HanginWithHabito.com to learn how you can hang a TV or piece of art without anchors and feel confident it’s secured to the wall.

MDF cabinets

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is a high-grade, composite material that is used to create cabinetry for kitchens, bars and bathrooms. Made from wood fibers and resin, MDF is dried and pressed to create an incredibly durable material. Homeowners are choosing MDF cabinets because they do not expand and contract like solid wood, which means it better withstands seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

Acoustics

Today’s approach to home design goes beyond appearances to look at how the spaces affect every one of the senses. Homeowners in particular are paying close attention to the acoustics of a home. Knowing how sounds can be manipulated and controlled within a house is important for functionality and livability. A professional can assist in the details of acoustics design, but basic features that best control sound are insulation, ceiling material and flooring design.

Smart spaces

High tech knows no bounds because more homes are incorporating smart spaces into each room. These are special areas where you can store and charge devices so that they are always operable. For example, a drawer in the kitchen will have built-in USB chargers. The cabinet in your master bath will hold and charge your tablet. The living room built-in will feature a smartphone dock. Personal technology continues to grow and today’s home is growing with it.

To learn more about today’s most innovative drywall options, visit CertainTeed.com/CleanTheAir and HanginWithHabito.com. – (BPT)

 

Home Improvement Ideas & Trends

 

 

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Door Lock Protect Against Break-in Method According To Home Inspectors Miami

From self-driving cars to Snapchat, digital technology continues to transform almost every aspect of our lives. While these big-ticket smart items make the headlines, many homeowners are more interested in how smart technology can be used to increase their level of home security.

Today, advanced image sensors, indoor video cameras and DIY security hubs allow the average homeowner to install security systems that are directly linked to the police. Homeowners can also lock doors and check cameras from their phones, regardless of their location.

“No matter how advanced your security system, your home is only protected as much as your weakest link,” says Randy Johnson, a professional locksmith with Lock-Tech in Orange County, California. “Far too often, it’s the weak door lock on the door that thieves use as their entry way into a home.”

A rising danger

Recently, Good Morning America reported on the increase in the use of bump keys to break into homes.

Bump keys can be purchased online and fit into just about any door lock. A burglar needs only to hit the head of the inserted key with a hammer or a blunt object. This causes the pins in the lock to jump, allowing anyone to unlock the door and easily enter your home.

Because this entry method is not easily noticeable, many people don’t even know their home was broken into.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that household break-in rates regularly increase during the summer. Those findings are confirmed by F.B.I. data that show all criminal activity increases roughly 10 percent during the summer months.

These factors have led security experts to remind the public that not all door locks are the same and homeowners need to invest in bump-proof door locks.

Bump-proof locks

As summer crime spikes, the importance of having the right kind of door lock on your home cannot be overstated. Kwikset SmartKey locks are built with a patented BumpGuard technology that prevents would-be burglars from breaking into your house with a bump key.

Available in door knobs, door locks, smart locks, handlesets and more, there’s a Kwikset door lock with SmartKey security to fit virtually every door.

While there is no shortage of smart security options for your home, the Kwikset door locks specifically respond to a very real threat. This technology will be welcome news for moms and dads looking for the best way to protect their family and keep their valuables secure. – (BPT)

 

Home Improvement & Repair Tips : How to Fix Door Locks

 

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Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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Miami Home Inspectors Top Trends In Container Gardening

Gardening is a peaceful activity that eases tension, reduces overall stress and promotes longevity. One long-term study found that daily gardening reduces the risk for both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With all of these benefits, there are ample reasons why people of all ages and lifestyles should start digging in the dirt.

You don’t need a big yard or lots of room to enjoy a beautiful garden. With so many options for indoor and outdoor container gardening, there’s no limit on the number of gardens you can have. Container gardening is a great way to color up a small space, add depth and height to your yard or easily change up the look of your patio. No matter your skill level, enjoy the benefits of gardening with these container trends:

Foliage gardens

Foliage plants are no longer just accessories for your small space garden. You can create an entire display simply out of rich, colorful foliage plants. Fountain grass, papyrus, vinca and grassy rush are all great additions for adding vibrancy to your container garden. Mix and match with various textures to find a unique display that speaks to you.

Petunia tower

A petunia tower is a great way to add an unexpected element to your container garden collection. A flower tower is easy to make and sun-loving Tidal Wave Petunias will bloom all season long on a patio, deck or pool area. You will need only three Tidal Wave plants. The Red Velour have great color and texture and make a strong statement. Plant them with good potting soil into a 10 to 12 inch wide plastic nursing pot. Place a three-foot metal tomato cage into the pot. The cage should be as wide at the bottom as it is on the top. Now slip the entire plastic pot into a glazed pot that’s about one to four inches wider, and voila!

Hanging baskets

Hanging flower baskets bring your plants to eye-level, where everyone can enjoy their wonderful scents and sights. Add beauty to an otherwise dull porch, wall or rafters. Try planting succulents for a virtually care-free container garden. Petunias, calibrachoa and pansies also make wonderful additions to hanging baskets.

Combination containers

Who says your container garden can only have one plant? Get creative and play with different color and texture combinations of plants and flowers. You can make up your own mix or search online for combo recipes by other inspiring gardeners. Mix foliage with flowers and use a color scheme to build a balanced and beautiful container.

Indoor container gardening

Take your favorite hobby inside. Even if you have a small apartment, there’s no need to rule out house plants. Find the best place for each plant, depending on their light requirements. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different locations until you find the best spot for your indoor containers. For sun-loving plants, just be sure to place them on a windowsill for maximum light exposure.

With so many options and room for creativity, container gardening is a trend that’s here to stay. Tap into your inventive side to build a container garden that brings joy and wellness both indoors and out. For more gardening ideas, tips and tricks visit wavepetunias.com. – (BPT)

 

Container Garden Prep

 

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Atlantic Building Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Miami area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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Urban Forests Making Cities Healthier According To Home Inspectors Miami

Apple computers, the rock band U2, “Rocky” and two national football teams – of all the things that turn 40 in 2016, none have transformed the American landscape as definitively and beautifully as the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. Since its inception with partners from the National Association of State Foresters and the United States Forest Service in 1976, the program has supported and recognized tree sustainability programs in more than 3,400 American cities, inhabited by more than 135 million people.

The thousands of Tree City USA municipalities meet core standards of sound urban forestry management, including:

* Having a tree board or department charged with caring for the community’s trees.

* Adopting a tree ordinance that provides clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees in public spaces like parks and along streets.

* Spending at least $2 per citizen on a community forestry program.

* Observing Arbor Day with a formalized Arbor Day celebration.

“Meeting these core standards means a community is committed to keeping its trees healthy and public spaces green,” says Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens make smart investments in urban forests. Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Not only does the Tree City USA designation make communities beautiful, other benefits include:

* Homes with trees as part of their landscaping are worth more. A study by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Station in Portland, Oregon, found homes with trees between the sidewalk and street sold for an average of $7,130 more than homes that didn’t have trees by the street. What’s more, neighboring homes see their home values boosted more than $1,600, even though the trees aren’t on their property.

* Trees make shoppers happy; a study published in the Journal of Forestry found surveyed shoppers viewed retail locations with trees to be more appealing than those without, and were willing to spend more for goods and services where trees were present.

* Due to their calming effect, trees are thought to help make neighborhoods safer, and multiple studies show communities with more trees have fewer incidences of violence.

* Trees can improve a community’s energy efficiency and air quality, control storm water runoff, reduce flooding risks and make public areas more beautiful and appealing.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s website offers information, advice, resources and an online application form to help communities become a part of this 40-year success story. To learn more about the Tree City USA program, visit www.arborday.org. – (BPT)

 

Urban Forests = Cleaner, Cooler Air

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