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Flat Pack Furniture

Flat Pack Furniture

IKEA doesn’t have the most spotless reputation — though no major corporation does. There are plenty of reasons you might not enjoy shopping at the Swedish budget furniture store, and we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to. If you like the cost of its goods, the user-friendliness of its flat pack items and its minimalist Scandi style, but you don’t like IKEA itself, you have a handful of other options for affordable, flat pack furniture. IKEA isn’t everything. Here’s the best of the rest.

Kvell Home

Kvell means happy and proud, as you should about the furniture in your home — or so says Kvell Home, a furniture brand focused on simple, functional and attractive pieces. By far, Kvell excels in its storage options, such as the Kube, which looks swell in any space. Kvell also builds storage into other pieces, including its lounge chairs and ottomans, and many of its offerings are collapsible, so you can tuck them away in closets when you don’t need them.

Campaign

The brainchild of an ex-Apple engineer, Campaign not only revolutionizes the way flat pack furniture looks but also how owners use it. Other flat pack furniture is designed to remain put together, but Campaign goods are made for easy disassembly, too, and they can fit in their original packaging for future moves. This reduces waste, as you don’t have to ditch your old furniture and buy new whenever you relocate.

Floyd

Floyd started simple: with a clamp-on metal leg that transforms any flat surface into a table. Now, Floyd has real tables, beds, and shelving — but they remain closely reminiscent of that simple, sleek metal leg. Thanks in large part to the design’s simplicity, Floyd furniture remains easy to assemble and modify, regardless of your DIY-savvy or style.

Burrow

Burrow is the flat pack master of modular furniture, specifically sofas, chairs and ottomans. Even better, this company is devoted to being green, using sustainable wood, chemical-free fabrics and recycled cardboard packaging. Plus, the furniture is filled with nifty features, like hidden USB chargers and reversible cushions.

Hem

The only surviving member of failed E commerce site Fab, Hem is nestled comfortably between affordable mass-market furniture and spendy high design. If you are looking to upgrade from beat-up IKEA goods, Hem offers some attractive options — and you can customize your furniture online, before you buy.

String

String

If IKEA is a Swedish furniture goliath, String is Swedish David. That’s because String’s products are legally classified as art, or “applied art,” meaning they can provide function to your home. While String might be new to you, it has flourished in Sweden for more than 70 years, so there’s no reason to doubt its quality of materials and service. Because the furniture can be a bit more intricate than your typical flat pack, you might want to use a furniture assembly service, especially if you live in a city with smaller homes like Philly.

Normann Copenhagen

normann-copenhagenImage Source: Flickr

The goal of Normann Copenhagen is to give city-dwellers options for stylish furniture that they can take home and use immediately. Perhaps the most unique collection in this company’s shop is Ace, which includes eye-catchingly curved chairs, sofas and stools. Though these pieces are priced for the luxury market, they might be a worthwhile upgrade once you’ve grown tired of your dull IKEA design.

Habitat

HabitatImage Source: Flickr

In the U.K., Habitat is essentially as monumental as IKEA — but few people know this flat pack furniture brand stateside. In fact, Habitat is largely credited with breathing life into the flat pack market, calling it knock-down furniture at first. Habitat has an extensive catalogue that rivals IKEA’s, so if you can’t find exactly what you want from Sweden, you should try the U.K.

ScS

Image Source: Flickr

Sofa Carpet Specialists might not have a name that immediately screams “attractive, affordable flat pack furniture,” but that’s exactly what the brand does. Tables are perhaps their best flat pack offerings, with eye-catching dining room sets that don’t look like you assembled them yourself. Even better, ScS often has major sales, so you can score big if you don’t underestimate this little-known company.

Tylko

TylkoImage Source: Pixabay

Tylko is a Polish company that is highly specialized in the flat pack realm: It only does shelves. However, these shelves come in a variety of modular styles, and you can even modify their designs to suit your needs. You can even use an alternate reality app on your phone to generate an image of the shelf in your desired space, so you can be certain Tylko has exactly what you want.

Greycork

Called a “fresher, more stylish, better-quality version of IKEA,” Greycork started from a successful crowdfunding campaign and is steadily growing toward a furniture phenomenon. Despite having prices comparable to IKEA’s, Greycork has undeniably more attractive offerings, and the flat pack assembly remains as easy as ever.

Flat pack furniture is fashionable and fun, and it is more widely available than ever. IKEA isn’t your only option for convenient design; any of the above brands and manufacturers might even be a better bet.

Bedroom Design Tips

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 35 percent of Americans are not getting a good night’s rest. If you’re in that large group, the environment in your bedroom could be a contributing factor to why you aren’t sleeping. Take a look around your bedroom. You may have insomnia inducing problems like an old mattress, the wrong wall color, or too much ambient light. Rectify these issues to give yourself a more peaceful slumber.

Paint the Walls Blue

bedroom design tipsImage Source: Flickr

Your bedroom walls could be overstimulating you before you go to bed. Warm colors add energy to a room, so if you’ve got yellow or pink bedroom walls, paint over them. Choose a muted blue, turquoise, or teal. Blue hues will create a soothing sleep environment, calming your mind down before you fall asleep.

Replace Your Mattress

Replace Your MattressImage Source: Pexels

Sleeping on an old mattress that doesn’t support your skeleton leads to joint pain and muscle aches. An uncomfortable mattress that’s harder or softer than you prefer could keep you up all night. If yours is more than a decade old, research mattress options like firmness and memory foam, and high-tech options like cooling surfaces. Get a mattress with a one- or two-month money-back guarantee, so you can test it out before you commit.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

The human body needs to cool down to sleep, and the perfect bedroom temperature is typically lower than 70 degrees. Program your thermostat to drop the temperature in the house a bit each night to help you sleep better. You may find your ideal sleeping temperature is a bit outside this typical range. Play with it until you find the perfect cooling level, and then set the thermostat.

Hang Room Darkening Curtains

dark color bedroomImage Source: Pexels

You need to lower the lights about an hour before you go to sleep. Dim the lamps and turn off overhead lights to cue your body in that it’s time to sleep. In your bedroom, install room darkening curtains. Street lamps, traffic, and lights on at the neighbors filter through your windows and disrupt the dark you need to start resting. Pull those curtains to create a dark environment. Don’t ruin it by staring at your phone screen or watching TV while in bed.

Add Scents That Soothe

sleepingImage Source: Pixabay

Aromatherapy may help you calm down and drop into slumber. Some of the most effective scents are jasmine, lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile. Get a reed diff user that you can keep on your bedside table to infuse your room with these soothing scents. Consider sachets of dried petals scented with your favorite of these options under your pillow, too. You can also get essential oils and dab them on a tissue, which you then put inside your pillowcase.

Poor sleep quality affects your ability to concentrate, your mood, and your health. When you suffer from insomnia, now is the time to dig into the problem. Discover if your bedroom environment is contributing to your lack of sleep and take the right steps to design a bedroom better for sleep.

Preserving indoor air quality is essential to good health and comfort. While there are many options available to help you improve your indoor air quality, an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is one of the most popular. An ERV brings fresh air into a structure, while simultaneously retaining preconditioned heating or cooling. At the risk of getting too technical, an ERV functions using air-to-air exchange. A spinning wheel inside the ERV uses the air’s counter flow to expel the old air from inside a building while maintaining a cozy air temperature inside. Here are four main reasons to install an ERV.

looking out windowImage Source: Flickr

Conserves Energy

There are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient, such as eliminating air leaks and adding needed insulation, but a common problem with today’s newer buildings is that they are so airtight they don’t allow enough fresh air in for a healthy atmosphere. Unlike other indoor air quality systems on the market, an ERV renews and freshens the air without creating ozone, a noxious gas that can be dangerous to the respiratory system and is harmful to the environment.

Removes Humidity

An ERV is most ideal for homes in warm climates with moderate winters. It easily transfers moisture and heat from the incoming fresh air to the departing current of air. Typically, energy recovery ventilators are used with timers or monitored by humidistats, which control the humidity level in a building. ERVs generally remove the excess humidity, but they can also add humidity if the air feels too dry.

Improved Comfort

Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their homes, and an ERV is a great way to help your family feel cozy in a natural way, while also conserving energy. Have you ever opened a window just to let in fresh air? Well as good as that feels, opening a window brings in pollen, dust, and other potential allergens into your house. An ERV keep your air fresh without creating a potentially uncomfortable or hazardous environment.

Easy Installation

You can purchase a small window-mounted ERV at most home improvement stores, but the best ERV systems are suspended from the ceiling and generally mounted in attics, basements, or other crawl spaces within your home. Installation should always be done by a professional. Energy recovery ventilators need two connections to the outdoors. One connection will blow out stale air from the inside, and the other connection will bring in fresh air from outside. A professional HVAC technician will know the best way to route the connections.

An ERV is simpler than it sounds. In a nutshell, during the warm seasons it pre-cools and dehumidifies, and in cool seasons it humidifies and preheats, so you don’t feel cold air blowing in the moment the fan kicks on. The benefits of using an ERV include improved indoor air quality, consistent air temperatures, energy savings, and a reduction in overall HVAC equipment. Why not call your local HVAC expert today and look into a new ERV system for your home?

Smart technology has moved from our phones to plenty of different spots around our homes. Luckily, even the most technology-challenged homeowners can take some simple steps to incorporate smart devices into their homes. If you want to enjoy some of the latest conveniences without getting in over your head, consider these easy ways to turn your house into a smart home.

Switch to Smart Light Bulbs

smart light bulbsImage Source: Flickr

With smart light bulbs, you can turn the lights on and off without being in the room. They’re available in two options: standard white or color. Standard white bulbs light up just like your traditional lights bulbs, and color bulbs offer an array of different colors to light your home. Best of all, you can control these light bulbs with an app on your phone or using your own voice and smart home hubs, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.

Plug in a Smart Vacuum Cleaner

iRobot cleanerImage Source: Flickr

Perhaps one of the first smart home products to hit the market was the smart vacuum cleaner. Popular models from brands like iRobot and Dyson made cleaning floors a breeze. Simply program how often you want your smart vacuum to run, and these little robots head out to clean your floors. You can even place the vacuum on a certain area you want spot cleaned. Additionally, virtual walls will keep your smart vacuum cleaners out of any room you don’t want it in.

Go for a Smart Doorbell

smart doorbellImage Source: Flickr

Popular smart doorbells like Ring are easy to swap out with your traditional doorbell and work with your smartphone to help you see who’s at the door. Some models even run on a battery, so you don’t have to worry about wiring it to your old doorbell. When someone rings your doorbell, you’ll get a video feed on your smartphone so you can decide whether you want to answer it. Most smart doorbells also come with handy features like infrared lighting to help you see when it’s dark out, motion detection, and two-way talk capabilities.

Install a Smart Thermostat

smart thermostatImage Source: Flickr

If the idea of saving energy, adjusting your heating or cooling while you’re away, and getting instant alerts about issues with your HVAC system sounds good to you, you’ll love having a smart thermostat installed in your home. These devices replace your traditional thermostat and help you stay connected to your home through an app on your smartphone. You can adjust temperature settings from your phone, even if you’re not at home. Smart thermostats can also analyze your energy usage to help you save money and send you alerts if the temperature in your home gets above or below a specified range.

Smart Refrigerator

smart refrigeratorImage Source: Flickr

Smart refrigerators are one of the easiest technologies to install in your home. Simply plug one in and you’re ready to go. These appliances use cameras to show you what you have inside. They can also remind you if you’re running low on items or something is about to expire.

While these smart home items offer amazing advancements in technology, they’re also easy to install and even easier to use.

For a pet lover, there’s nothing like coming home to a sloppy kiss or a friendly purr from a furry friend. It’s important to those who love pets that their animals are happy and healthy. Many don’t realize how easily some deadly hazards can be disguised as ordinary objects around the home. Discover some pesky items that should find a new home for a pet-friendly haven.

Pets that have the rule of the roost often have the opportunity to make their home indoors. It takes just a few weeks for dander, feathers, and hair to clog filters and cause a less-than-inviting odor. Clearing out HVAC air filters can make a significant change to indoor air quality. Both pets and their owners need clean air to stay happy and healthy.

Animals who have been given the garden as their domain are often faced with strange critters and creatures to contend with. But it’s not only the creepy crawlies that can affect a furry friend. Those who like to dig up their owners’ handiwork in the garden may be in for an uncomfortable surprise when they go near dangerous plants such as tulips and yew.

Feathery friends are not out of danger, either. It’s not only diet and clean water that keeps birds healthy but also complete avoidance of aerosols. Then there’s the surprising threat many bird owners may not be aware of: the self-cleaning oven, which can emit gases that can kill birds. But with all the hazards out there, pets and their owners still have much they can enjoy together.

Pet Friendly Home

Home Appliances

Home appliances can cost American households hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Whether you live on a tight budget or you simply hate waste, you probably want your household appliances to last. Follow these simple tips to maximize the life of some of the most common appliances in your home.

home appliancesImage Source: Flickr

Run Your Dishwasher When It’s Full

Run your dishwasher once it’s full, without exception. You might be able to squeeze in a few extra dishes and glasses, but there won’t be enough room for the water jets to hit all your items as they should. When you open the door and find dirty dishes, you’ll probably start another cycle, which will put more load on your unit.

Of course, running a dishwasher that isn’t full can be just as bad. While your dishes and glassware will get clean, your dishwasher will experience the same wear and tear as if it did a full load. Doing lots of small loads will see your dishwasher wear out much faster than if it did fewer regular loads.

Regularly Inspect Your HVAC System’s Air Flow

When HVAC filters get clogged, your system must work much harder to keep your home at its ideal temperature. All that extra work can take years off the life of your HVAC unit. In extreme cases, your HVAC unit could overheat and die before its time.

Regularly check your HVAC system’s air filter for dirt and dust. These items clog the filter and impair air flow. Clean or change your filter regularly to keep the system running efficiently for years longer. Depending on how often you use your HVAC system, air filters need attention every one to three months. Your diligence will save you money now and in the long run. Experts say dirty air filters can impact energy consumption by between 5 and 15 percent, resulting in big power bills for consumers.

Keep Your Refrigerator Clean

A clean refrigerator is an efficient, long-lasting one. You’ll want to target two areas here: the gaskets and the coils.

The gaskets are the plastic strips that create the tight seal between the fridge and its doors. When they seal well, they conserve energy, and the fridge doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your food cold. With less strain on its motor, your fridge will last much longer. Wipe clean your gaskets whenever you notice food residue or dust. Coating them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly will also help them maintain their elasticity for a better seal.

Just like with your HVAC system’s air filter, dirty and dusty refrigerator coils can impair airflow. Similarly, dirty coils can impair energy efficiency and cause dangerous overheating. Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove all debris from your refrigerator coils as part of your ordinary kitchen cleaning ritual.

Never again surrender an appliance before you need to. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite appliances for many years to come. Taking small actions now can prevent major appliance expenses down the track.