Ethical Home Furnishing Alternatives: from Mango wood furniture to buying locally

Support producers and craftsman around the world and be more environmentally friendly by discovering how you can make your home furnishings more ethical. You’ll be surprised how much you can enjoy filing your home with beautiful and unique furniture that doesn’t have a negative impact on communities and the environment where they are produced, without the enormous price tag!

Change to mango wood furniture
More and more illegal timber is being imported into the US causing real concern for the world’s forests.  Therefore, to help save the forests, furnish your home with Indonesian mango wood furniture. You may be thinking, “how is this type of wood ethical and sustainable?” Unable to harvest fruits from a mango tree when it no longer is effectively producing fruit, mango farmers cut down the trees and replace them with more trees to maintain the mango forests, fruit and employment in the local area while adding an extra income to the farmers. Whether you’re after a new coffee table for your living room or a book case for your study, Mango wood furniture is a unique alternative for your home.

Vintage furniture
Buying vintage furniture for your home is not only a great way to make your home more ethical, but is also a fantastic way to furnish your home in a unique style that is completely your own.  Explore a variety of different vintage furniture stores near to your home or alternatively if you live in an area with newer builds then venture out to somewhere with older homes. Flea markets and auctions are a great way to find one off pieces of vintage furniture.

Shop locally
If you shop locally for your furniture, you have a much better chance of buying ethically. So before you go to purchase your furniture from a big brand, have a browse around smaller independent shops that are more local to you. If you buy locally, you’re likely to have a much better idea of where the product originates from, and how it was manufactured.  Buying locally will also require less transportation, reducing your carbon footprint, and studies have shown that more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, strengthening the economy of your community.

Upcycling
Upcycling is a fantastic way of converting useless products into new products and is an excellent way to reduce your foot print.  So before you go to throw something out, think “is there a way I can reuse this?” It’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and make something entirely unique for your home. Here’s a few upcycling examples to get you started…

Getting rid of old kitchen cabinets? Give them a lick of paint and add some hooks and you’ve got the perfect innovative coat rack!

Upcycling

Image Credit: Sticks and Stones

 

Use an old tea cup and saucer to create a quirky office lamp.

 tea-cup-lamp

Choose your child’s favorite story book and make some cute bunting to decorate their room.

book-bunting

Image Credit: Bloesem Blog

This article was written by Laura Harrison on behalf of Fountain Partnership, an SEO agency in Norwich.  Laura is a professional writer that enjoys writing about a broad range of topics, in particular home improvements. 

Incorporating Emerald into Your Fall Décor

Emerald-green-decorAs we wrote earlier this year, emerald is Pantone’s color for 2013. Autumn is the perfect season to celebrate this richer, more intense green hue. All shades of green impart a tranquil atmosphere, but emerald’s rich depth also gives it elegance. As a beautiful counterpoint to fall’s brilliant palette or as a stand-alone color, emerald adds sparkle to your decor. Give your home some gorgeous fall finery when you follow these suggestions for infusing your home with emerald’s serene beauty.

Combine emerald green with natural motifs. Green’s soothing nature becomes even more relaxing when mixed with natural textures and patterns. Fabrics printed or embroidered with ivy leaves are a beautiful way to bring green into a room. Wooden furniture with a natural grain looks especially lovely with emerald accents. Bundles of dried grasses in a vivid green vase are a stunning change from fresh floral arrangements and will last all season.

Emerald is a gem as well as a color, and jewel-like glass accents lend themselves wonderfully well to the regal hue. Deep green glass vases bring the color of the year into your home stylishly. Combining cool green glass with light makes it even more dramatic, so make room for accents such as this glass pendant light and illuminate an area. Flameless LED lights and artfully sculpted metal add visual interest, but the real focus here is color. One lamp makes a quietly elegant statement, but a grouping of them can become a focal point for the whole room.

Shades of green combine a cool color and a warm one, so they’re naturally versatile. Surrounded by warm tones, they act as a calm counterpoint; with cooler blues and purples, emerald greens glow with warmth. That flexibility means you can add emerald accents to any room in your home. Darker green hues make pastels feel more grounded, especially when you use the color in rugs and floor runners. Throws and pillows in muted emerald tones play well with neutrals in living rooms and dens. Choose fabrics that feel as luxurious as the rich color looks for seasonal style.

For a major commitment to emerald green, try painting your walls with it. It’s a potent color, but blonde wood or crisp white trim keeps it from overwhelming a space. In a small room, try painting a single wall in emerald and the others in lighter shades of green to create an instant focal point. With rich, vibrant colors, precision in painting is a must; any stray drops or minor mistakes will be instantly noticeable. One way to get a perfect paint job is with the Shur-Line pump and paint system . You won’t need tape when you have the right equipment to paint up to edges and corners flawlessly.

Green can work in any room. In a den or living room, deep greens feel cozy and welcoming; in a bedroom, they become serene. Even a bath gets a lift from emerald accents, so try swapping your usual accessories for green glass or ceramic. As fall becomes winter, green looks just as fashionable throughout your home, especially when paired with red for seasonal cheer.

Versatile and inviting, emerald green is Pantone’s color of the year for good reason. With a few decorator touches, you can also make it your best color for fall.

Image Credit: Ponderosahomes.com

Emerald is Pantone’s Color of the Year: How can you incorporate the color this year?

I must say I couldn’t be happier with Pantone’s choice of color this year.  Maybe it makes me think of my Irish heritage or maybe it is the tranquil peaceful feeling green gives me.  Whatever the case the decision is in and the rich, bold emerald green is the winner!  “Green is the most abundant hue in nature—the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said in a press release. “It’s also the color of growth, renewal, and prosperity—no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.”

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE

Here’s how you can incorporate the color into your lifestyle:

Pantone's-Green- Color

  1. Wear it

This color has been everywhere on the fashion runways! Here we have a real Lakeside Collections employee showing off this year’s hottest green color.  Yes at Lakeside we are on top of fashion, how else do we pick all our awesome Lakeside products!  Nervous about wearing all green?  That’s ok you can do just a green top or green jeans are really in too.  Or just accessorize with green earrings, necklace or a bracelet.  There are so many different styles available to mix and match to make your outfit gorgeous with this color.

green-accesories

Pantone Color of the Year 2013, Emerald Green

2.  Interior design

Since fashion ran with this color, so as well will the home decor world.  The rich jewel tone brings elegance to any room.  Just like your fashion wardrobe, accessorize this color in a pillow, rug, vase, chair or frame.

green- interior-design

via Pinterest

3. Go bold and paint a room emerald green!

green-paint-room

Lonny :: Interior Designer Miles Redd

Green is a soothing color, it represents nature and relaxing. Designer Miles Redd shows that this hue is a beautiful backdrop for a room with a mix of colors and pattern.  Whatever your home decor and fashion sense is, take advantage of this award winning color of 2013 and use it your life- you will love it!

St. Patrick’s Day: A Brief History

St-Patricks-DayToday St. Patrick’s Day is filled with a lot of green, parties and everyone claiming to be Irish for the day. However, it wasn’t always this way. St. Patrick’s Day dates back to the early seventeenth century and was originally a day celebrating the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

St. Patrick
Unlike St. Valentine, we know who St. Patrick was. He was born in the fourth century and was kidnapped by Irish raiders from his Roman Britain home at the young age of 16. While captive, he was “told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest,” reports Wikipedia.

In 432 a.d. and now a bishop of the church, St. Patrick was called back to Ireland to help teach the Irish people Christianity. It is believed he used a shamrock to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. On March 17, 461 a.d. St. Patrick died and was buried at Downpatrick.

Snakes
One story associated with St. Patrick is that he drove all of the snakes out of Ireland with his flute.  Unfortunately, this story is only a myth. Many believe this story was created as a metaphor. St. Patrick is known as the person who converted Irish pagans to Christianity—hence he drove the “evil” from the land.

Irish Feasts and U.S Influence
In Ireland this national holiday was celebrated in the ninth and tenth centuries with a feast, but wasn’t an official national holiday until 1903. By the 1970’s Ireland started celebrating the holiday on a much larger scale. Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa, tells National Geographic, “St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans. Today, the U.S. tradition of St. Patrick’s Day parades, packed pubs, and green silliness has invaded Ireland with full force.”

Irish-American history expert Timothy Meagher also told National Geographic the reason for such a strong American-Irish impact on the holiday, “It becomes a way to honor the saint but also to confirm ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity.”

Blue not Green?
In the early years of celebration, St. Patrick’s Day was associated with the color blue—not green. Sky blue was associated with St. Patrick’s Order established in 1783. According to ABC News sky blue was assigned to differentiate from the Order of the Garter (dark blue) and the Order of the Thistle (green). Green came into the picture slowly because of his use of the shamrock to teach the Holy Trinity. By 1798, during the Irish rebellion, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on March 17th in hopes of catching public attention. After this statement, green became the dominate color associated with the holiday.

Lots of Guinness
If you think it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without a pint of Guinness you aren’t alone. According to the brand, 13 million pints are consumed around the world on March 17th. This is double the average daily consumption which is around 5.5 million. Beth Davies Ryan, the global corporate-relations director for Guinness says, “Historically speaking, a lot of Irish immigrants came to the United States and brought with them lots of customs and traditions, one of them being Guinness.”

Do you have your own St. Patrick’s Day tradition? Let us know in the comments below.

Get Greener

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Article by Kirsten Wechling, Credit and Collections Manager

It may be getting greener outside but how green is it inside?  I know I try my best to keep it green, do the right thing, have a positive impact on the environment.  You know the drill.  The faster I run the harder I have to try it seems.  So I have decided to make small changes that I can easily bring into my daily routine.  I know drinking water is heatlhy but worry about the bottle going into a landfill.  One easy way to fix that is just a simple re-usable bottle.  The Set of 5 Water Bottles is a great set you can use – and possibly coax some others in the family to use as well as friends to use.

These are a great choice to get stared with; while you’re being good to the environment, you’re also being good to yourself.  And if you run around as much as me, the fact that you can throw these in the dishwasher and go, makes all the difference.  Got some other great ways to get greener?  Share your ideas.  I know I could always use one!