Increasing Number of Homeowners Are Embracing Outdoor Smart-Home Technology

An increasing number of homeowners are embracing smart-home technology, according to a Houzz Smart Home Trends Survey.

Of nearly 1,000 homeowners surveyed, around half are introducing smart technology into their homes, i.e. devices which can be controlled by smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Renovated homes are twice as likely to use a smart system, with around 30 percent controlled via a central hub.

When it comes to lighting, 11 percent of renovated homes include smart indoor lighting, and 4 percent include smart outdoor lighting.

Homeowners are using smart-home lighting to reduce energy consumption, improve the comfort of the household, and have the ability to change the mood or vibe of the home.

You can download the full 2016 U.S. Houzz Smart Home Trends Study here.

Introducing Ikea’s New Flatpack Garden

Swedish architects, Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm collaborated with Space10, Ikea’s innovation lab, on its new flatpack vertical garden, called ‘The Growroom,’ which will allow city dwellers to enjoy the benefits of growing their own food.

The DIY garden is spherical shaped and ideal for growing plants, herbs and vegetables and is designed to be low cost and affordable, encouraging people to grow their own local and healthy food, regardless of whether they have a garden to grow it.

And the food produced by The Growroom is not only enough to feed a household, but an entire neighbourhood, with Space10’s website stating:

“Space10 envisions a future, where we grow our own food much more locally, to spark conversations about how we can bring nature back into our cities, grow our own food and tackle the rapidly increasing demand for significantly more food in the future, we teamed up with architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum to create The Growroom. Standing tall as a spherical garden, it empowers people to grow their own food much more locally in a beautiful and sustainable way.”

You can find out more about Ikea’s new flatpack garden here.

 

4 Tips for Environmentally Friendly Landscaping

Creating a more environmentally friendly lawn allows for minimal maintenance of your lawn in springtime, while keeping everything looking lush and green. The key is to minimize the resources you’re using as well as the output of waste, and whether you’re starting your landscaping from scratch or revamping your existing lawn, it’s easy to make sustainable choices. Here are some tips on how to create a more environmentally landscape in your own backyard.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

As we mentioned in the introduction, to create an environmentally friendly lawn, you need to reduce your waste, and reusing and recycling materials are the best way to do this. There are many ways you can recycle your garden waste, for example, after mowing your lawn, instead of just leaving your grass clippings behind, you could recycle them. You can also reuse materials from your garden to fertilize your lawn, like coffee grounds, banana peels and eggshells, for example.

Choose LED Lighting

Most outdoor spaces require lighting, and to save energy and create the most environmentally friendly garden possible, try to use LED lighting as opposed to traditional lighting. Not only do LED lights require less maintenance, they are also extremely efficient, consuming up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs and although more expensive initially, have greater longevity than most lighting fixtures.

Try Using Artificial Grass

Yes, nothing beats the smell of freshly cut grass, but if you’re trying environmentally friendly landscaping, replacing natural grass with artificial grass means you don’t have to mow your lawn, saving you time, and also means you’re not polluting your yard, since you’re decreasing the amount of gas pollution that goes into the air and into the ground. It also saves you money since you don’t need to buy fertilizers – substances which are also toxic to the animals that live around your lawn. Of course, removing your water-guzzling grass also saves you a bundle on your water bill.

Choose Low Maintenance Plants

What else guzzles water? Plants of course. Opting for low maintenance plans will not only save water, but also reduces maintenance. Consider planting the likes of asters, pansies, marigolds and tulips. Clover is also a great choice, since it’s naturally insect-resistant and contends well against weeds, cutting out your need for pesticides and weed killer.

If you have any tips for environmentally friendly landscaping, we’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below.