Basement Remodeling

When looking to increase your home’s living space the answer may lie right under your feet. Basement remodels come with their own unique set of challenges, they all can be overcome with good planning. Here are ten tips and techniques to help you transform your basement into a functional living space.

The Basement is a different environment that involves structure elements, moisture that can lead to mold as well as has high possibilities for leaks or flooding. This calls for material and a system that was specially created to cover all these factors and will last years after your investment.

Homeowners looking for basement finishing ideas can easily begin to feel overwhelmed. With all the information out there, it’s difficult to know what’s best. In the past, there was only one solution for finishing basement walls and ceilings: drywall. Finished basement floors were carpeted.

The result? The cool, damp basement environment caused the drywall and carpet to grow mold and mildew, and eventually to rot. When this happened, it needed to be ripped up, and homeowners still only had one choice for replacement. Thank goodness there is now a better alternative!

Remodeling your basement typically costs $65,442 and returns 72.8 % of the original cost, according to “Remodeling” magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Report.” In the northern Midwest states, where basements are common, a basement remodeling project returns about 13 % less than the average return on investment. In the West, where they are less common, remodeling returns about 93 % of the original cost.

Basement remodels return so much of your investment because the basic structure– walls and floors– already are in place. This lowers construction costs per square foot, saving 10 % to 15 % over the cost of building an addition with comparable features and amenities. Basement remodeling also avoids the complications of property line setbacks and other zoning restrictions that sometimes complicate adding onto your house.

Moisture is the Biggest Hassle

Moisture is a big concern in basement remodeling. Any chronic leaks, condensation, or flooding must be fixed before you convert the space into a living area. Remedial measures cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands, effectively reducing your return on investment. If you cut those corners, you’ll pay big time in musty smells, creeping mold, and soggy carpet.

Are you looking to create the game room, family room, home theater, office, music room, exercise room, extra bedroom or playroom you’ve always wanted? Our certified basement remodeling experts are able to install the innovative Basement Finishing System in only about two weeks, allowing you to begin to use your basement renovation in less time than you might have ever anticipated. What’s more, this unique basement remodel is particularly well suited for basement environments and includes features such as insulated basement walls and integrated acoustic insulation that can help make your basement feel like a warm and inviting natural extension of your home. Don’t turn to a basement contractor who doesn’t understand the unique challenges that face remodeling a damp, dark basement.

In the northern Midwest states, where basements are common, a basement remodeling project returns about 13 % less than the average return on investment. Basement remodels return so much of your investment because the basic structure– walls and floors– already are in place. Our certified basement remodeling experts are able to install the innovative Basement Finishing System in only about two weeks, allowing you to begin to use your basement renovation in less time than you might have ever anticipated. What’s more, this unique basement remodel is particularly well suited for basement environments and includes features such as insulated basement walls and integrated acoustic insulation that can help make your basement feel like a warm and inviting natural extension of your home. Don’t turn to a basement contractor who doesn’t understand the unique challenges that face remodeling a damp, dark basement.

kitchen reno part 2

Sourced from: http://renovateanddecorate.blogspot.com/2009/02/kitchen-reno-part-2.html


From the living room. I’m getting a light fitting put in over the dining table. I have a Tord Boontjie garland light fitting I was thinking of putting there but am worried it’ll be too small – thoughts?

Slowly, slowly the place is starting to resemble a house again. I spent the weekend putting the doors on and the shelves in place and tidying up the endless supply of sawdust lying around the place (thanks to the rain, the benchtop and sink hole was cut inside. So you can imagine how pleased I was about that). And this is how it looks now.


The view from the hallway.

I had to go back to Ikea today to get the plinths (kickboards to cover the legs) and a few other things they either didn’t have before (like LACK wall shelves) or that I totally forgot to buy last time I was there (shelves for the end cabinets that face into the dining/living room). I also was desperate to get the benchtop oil because it hasn’t been treated yet. I’m hardly precious about things and quite like the timeworn look of wooden benches and tables. But I’m NOT happy that on the second day of the sink side being completed I discovered this…


Naughty naughty

Luckily, this should easily sand out (hope so anyway!). But people are still banned from my house now because I also discovered yesterday that the electrician had damaged one of the doors while leaning over to fix one of the power points with his tool belt. I’m going to turn it around and swap with the door next to it so problem solved but still highly annoying.


Plates and random glass collection!

Not annoying, however, is the fact I can access my plates and glasses by simply shoving my hand through the top of the cupboard (I haven’t put the handles on the doors yet so the less opening and closing of doors, the better!). Obviously this is temporary until the benchtops get put on next week!


The sink, gooseneck tap and dishwasher – my true love! How did I put up with handwashing for sooooo many years?

So this is the sink side. I bought shelves for these base cabinets today and there will be an open shelf the full length of the wall just above the tap and then three horizontal wall cabinets above that. Now, my dilemma. I wasn’t going to get a splashback for either side – just one little piece behind the stovetop. But I will, because I think it’ll finish off the space and also because I’ll need one!! The wall is so uneven there is a rather large gap between the benchtop and the wall. Plus, while being extra careful because of the non-oiled benchtop, I’ve realised how much water goes everywhere in a kitchen. Never noticed this before! Glass is out of my budget, stainless steel won’t go and so I’m starting to lean towards tiles which I was sooooo against just days ago. Any other suggestions? I seriously considered pressed metal (a friend has it in her kitchen and it looks amazing) but I can’t imagine that being very practical or easy to clean. So if you have any brilliant ideas/suggestions, I’d love to hear.


Here are the holes the electrician cut in the wrong space. Steve patched them up today, but the eventual splashback will cover them anyway. Phew. But note to oven manufacturers: I’d happily pay an extra dollar or whatever it’d cost to put on vinyl stickers instead of those crap cheap ones that DON’T COME OFF. Gotta get some metho or something. Grr

Still to do….
– Paint the back wall properly (and the little wall with bathroom door in it – plasterer only finished patching it up with this most recent job)
– Paint the ceiling
– Paint the window architraves
– Sand back and re-stain the floor
– Build and attach the wall cabinets and open shelves
– Place the other benchtop
– Hook up the rangehood
– Attach the plinths
– Oil the benchtops
– Get a splashback
– Figure out what to put above the fridge – there will be cover panels on either side of it so you won’t see the sides of the fridge. Wall cabinets will be too shallow and base cabinets too high for the space, so maybe shelves? But they’ll be too far back too. Might need to custom-make deep shelves for the space.
Hmm, that should keep us busy!!

Playtime

Sourced from: http://originateandrenovate.blogspot.com/2013/03/sundays-are-our-best-chance-at-some.html

Sundays are our best chance at some real downtime with all the household. Following church we hit up the neighborhood playground as it was a warm 45 levels (yes, you read that right). Together with the winter we’ve had here, anything above 40 sounds delightful. I wish we had more time to be, to simply sit and enjoy each other. Alfie and Juju are increasing before my eyes and I am always trying to shoot as many pictures as possible to recall how perfect and beautiful they are right now. Every baby I visit gets my heart flutter thinking that I get to have another and love them in the start again. 

We played in the playground and I pushed Alfie around the swing”but maybe not overly high” and Juliette bossed me and allow me to return a little twisty slide many occasions I felt ill, and I loved each and every minute. We stopped to pick up a few pallets to create a bed for Juju, then to top off a great afternoon. A project I have had pinned for a calendar year, but that baby is arriving I have finally got the inspiration. I am sure it has nothing to do with watching too many episodes of West End Salvage on HGTV while I am up at night not able to sleep. Have you seen that show?

Either way, I am glad I have finally got my own to do list back to play. 

The cloths used to make Juliette’s Dress, Moda’s Sophie lineup:

Oh Hello.

Sourced from: http://originateandrenovate.blogspot.com/2013/03/oh-hello.html

Well, Hello there. 
 I’ve finally stepped foot in my sewing room now that my morning sickness is gone. Did I forget to mention that? Yes, I’m pregnant and now that I’m finally feeling myself again I’ve been sewing up a storm.   I’ve recently had the realization as to how much I prefer books to patterns.  I’m not sure if it’s because they always seem to have reference guides to techniques that may be new to me, or if they just have much better editing, but I really do love a good sewing book. My latest obsession is Little Girls, Big Style.  She gives fabulous directions on all the patterns and has a great chapter at the beginning that explains custom sewing and measuring for garments. This book is fabulous if you have some sewing experience, but would like to venture more into clothing.  
The only thing I could possibly complain about is that the sizes for her patterns run a bit small, but if you familiarize yourself with how to measure for clothing, then it doesn’t really matter because you can make them to fit your little one perfectly. After getting her measurements, I figured out that Juliette wears a size 2 in width and size 3 or 4 in length and I’ve had fun sewing her these new tops. 

The top left photo was a little shirt I made after learning a little more about customizing, It’s a combination of a few of her patterns combined.  I really have had a blast making them, now if I could just get Juju to take off her dress ups and wear them.  

A few of the fabrics I used:

Our Next Room Makeover {YOU DECIDE!}

Sourced from: https://www.loveandrenovations.com/summer-budget-makeover/

Can we try something…different this summer?

I’ve been blogging for a long, long time and one thing that I sincerely and deeply miss about the old days of blogging is that it used to be so much more free. Photos didn’t have to be perfect (in fact, they were usually terrible), and you didn’t have to know exactly what your plan was before you started on a project. Most of us were winging it all the time, it everyone was just along for the adventure.

I’ve seen some movement back towards the older attitudes on Instagram – like Suzy’s #reclaiminstagram journey, this article about how teenagers are using Instagram, and the fact that Instagram is testing out hiding the number likes photos get. It’s refreshing to see a renewed effort to simplify and bring the good old days back, and I’m hoping some of it extends to the blogging world as well.

I was brainstorming how I could do my part to bring some whimsy back to my little corner of the internet, and I thought maybe it would be fun to do a little experiment this summer. Want to join me?

We just wrapped up our hallway bathroom renovation, and we’ve been bouncing around and working on various projects before diving into another room. But, we do have a few rooms we want to make some changes in over the next few months and I’m making you a part of it!

Our Summer Budget Makeover

So, here’s the deal. We’re going to choose one room in our house to make some changes in this summer. I’m going to let you help me pick the room, I’m going to let you help me pick the budget, and I’m going to let you help me determine the to-do list.

This is going to be a collaborative effort every step of the way. I have no idea what to expect but I think it’s gonna be fun.

How can you get involved?

  • I’m going to be posting about the makeover regularly across all of my platforms (here, Instagram, and the newsletter). Choose your favorite platform to hang out on and that can be where you share your input.
  • At every step of the way, I’ll be asking for opinions – leave a comment, shoot me an email, or DM me on Instagram. I’ll be tallying opinions from across all of the platforms, so no matter where you like to consume your content your voice will be heard!
  • I’m putting myself out there a bit with this one – something like this is no fun if you don’t play along. I’m counting on y’all to get invested and be a part of this!

Step One: Choosing a room

And here is where the fun begins. Let’s choose a room! I’m going to list a few different rooms in my house that I want to make some changes to, and I’m going to put you in complete control of which one we put our focus into this summer.

Remember that the room makeover won’t be the only thing we’re doing. We still have tons of fun, random projects planned over the next few months, but I’ll be putting the majority of my focus into whatever room we choose here.

Let’s do it.

Option 1: Master Bedroom

Spring in the master bedroom

I’ve been unhappy with our master bedroom for a while now. There are lots of things I want to change, the biggest of which is the wall color! I love the dark blue walls but I’m itching for a change in here, and I think that’s where we need to start.

A few thoughts I have in here are that we’d like to lighten up the walls, get new bedding (our dog recently managed to drag red paint all over it!), DIY some nightstands, and get a new dresser. We’re also missing window treatments and the rug has to go.

Option 2: Laundry Room

Honestly, I hesitate to even call this a room. Laundry closet?!

Our little laundry room is a tiny little hot mess and I’ve spent a long time dreaming of how we can make it more functional. I want to paint the walls to freshen it up, maybe add some wallpaper, and get creative with some serious storage in here. I think some sort of cabinet with a countertop would be a great way to add some working space, and I want to come up with some creative solutions to add as much storage as possible. This is really the only place we have to store random things in our house (we have two hallway closets but they’re taken up by all of our board games!), so it needs to be able to pack a big punch.

Options 3: The Patio

Our final option is a space that’s just fine right now but has the potential to be so good!

We have a cute covered patio in our backyard, and as it is right now we don’t use it all that much. We’d love to swap out the dining table for some cozy seating (maybe a DIY sectional sofa?!), fill it to the brim with gorgeous plants, and possibly even do something crazy like tile or paint the concrete.

Oh, and we’re already planning on painting the exterior of our house this summer, so that alone will make a pretty big difference back here!

Your turn: Time to decide!

Here’s where you come in. Leave a comment below (or head over to Instagram) to let me know what room you think we should tackle this summer! Feel free to toss in any ideas you have about the room you vote for, and if you want to see more of each option be sure to watch my Instagram stories today – I’ll be giving a tour of each space! I’ll leave the voting open for about a week, then I’ll be back soon to reveal the room you chose and start talking budget and project lists!

I’m really excited to try this out (and, I’ll be honest, a little nervous that no one will care!), and I hope it’s as fun for all of us as I think it’ll be!

So, which room do you think we should make over this summer?!

The post Our Next Room Makeover YOU DECIDE! appeared first on Love & Renovations.

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RT Specialty Promotes Altomare to Snr Account Mgr

Sourced from: http://www.ccr-mag.com/rt-specialty-promotes-altomare-to-snr-account-mgr/

Hannah Altomare has been promoted to senior account manager within R-T Specialty, LLC’s National Environmental and Construction Professional Liability Practice (ECP). She is responsible for supporting the company’s new business and marketing efforts in addition to providing brokers, agents and their customers with timely and insightful renewal and coverage information.

“Hannah is a driven professional who has quickly demonstrated her value to our organization and clients,” says Tim Farrell, senior vice president of R-T Specialty’s ECP. “In a short time, she has become extremely adept at sizing up renewals and helping brokers to both understand and execute plan strategies.”

Prior to joining New Day in 2017, Altomare served as a claims consultant at Conner Strong & Buckelew in Philadelphia, Pa. and commercial lines account manager at Dash & Love, Inc in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., where she was actively involved in exploring and identifying new coverage lines for clients.

A resident of Bensalem, Pa., Altomare holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the Fox School of Business at Temple University as well as Associate in Claims (AIC) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM). In addition, she is pursuing the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

Altomare can be reached at Hannah.Altomare@rtspecialty.com or 609.528.3901.

RT New Day, a division of R-T Specialty, LLC, is a specialty resource for agents and brokers, assisting them and their clients find appropriate, high-quality environmental and construction-related professional liability insurance coverages. RT New Day offers agents and brokers single-point access to an ample portfolio of products and services provided by the nation’s largest environmental and professional liability insurance providers. In California: R-T Specialty Insurance Services, LLC License #0G97516. For more information please visit newday.rtspecialty.com or call 609-298-3516.

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Dining Room Updates

Sourced from: https://www.loveandrenovations.com/dining-room-updates/

We haven’t shown our dining room a lot of love in the last year since we finished it – it was high time for an update! Here are some small changes we’ve made, plus a peek at how we entertain in our small dining room.

dining room with bench seating and open shelving

It was right around this time last year that Corey and I took the little dining nook in our home and transformed it from a tiny, boring space into the gorgeous and functional dining room that we all know and love now. You can read more about that makeover right here!

Since we finished the renovation, however, we’ve done very little to this space. That’s kind of the peril of constantly working on your home – when you finish a project you move onto the next one so quickly that you don’t take the time to sit with things and tweak – and tweaking is the best part!

I’ve been wanting to make a few small changes in the dining room for a while now, and I’ve also been wanting to make a commitment to have people over more often. We used to love entertaining but we’ve really shied away from it in this house because most of our friends have multiple kids and it just seems so overwhelming to cram everyone into this small space! But, now that warmer weather is here and we’re finally finding our stride and feeling more confident with this house, I’m determined to start hosting more – even if our house is by far the smallest among our friends!

three people gathered around a table eating a meal
colorful small dining room with banquette seating
woman setting up a table for a dinner party

This post is sponsored by Tuesday Morning, but all opinions are 100% mine. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Love & Renovations!

I headed out to one of my favorite places to shop for home decor, Tuesday Morning, for a few new pieces to freshen things up in here. I wanted to create a more neutral feel with a lot of the decor (the wallpaper speaks for itself, you know what I mean?!) and I had really rushed a lot of the decorating elements the first time around – a six-week renovation will do that to you.

I quieted the shelves down quite a bit, and added a gorgeous, simple vase to the table to act as a centerpiece. I’m so pleased with the little updates and now I really smile again when I walk in this room instead of looking at all of the small things I still want to change.

We also hosted some friends for dinner and some games this weekend. There’s just something about a refreshed space that energizes me and makes me want to invite others over to enjoy it with us! We’ve learned a few tips and tricks about how to make the most of a small space when you’re entertaining, so I thought I’d share them here.

collage of dining room details
dining room open shelving
collage of dining room table and a woman filling up a plate of food

TIPs for entertaining in a small dining room

  • Have a landing spot for food. In our old home, we had a massive dining room table and we generally placed all of the food on the table so it was within easy reach of everyone. Now, however, it would just feel crowded! Instead, we pile the food up on the counter near the dining room table and allow guests to serve themselves. It’s a little more casual and works really well in our small space! The only catch is that whoever is sitting at the back of the bench will likely need some help getting seconds – and sometimes when we’re serving something like chips and dip, we’ll bring a couple of things over to the table for easy snacking! I also only invest in serving dishes that I love – cooking becomes a lot less of a chore when you get to serve up your food in a gorgeous dish. I snagged two new ones at Tuesday Morning last week, and I think it might be time to admit I have a problem with collecting way more serving dishes than I’ll never need.
  • Consider bench seating. I cannot say enough good things about the built-in bench seating in our dining room. It was the perfect solution for the small space, and we can comfortably fit so many more people than we ever could before! It’s easy to fit 6 people at the table, and we’ve squeezed in as many as 8 – if you’re just working with regular chairs this is just about impossible. I highly recommend some sort of bench (or built in) seating whenever possible – especially if you have a more casual space like we do!
  • Keep decor simple. Fancy, elaborate centerpieces and small dining spaces do not play well together. Instead, keep things as simple as possible so the room doesn’t feel crowded. This is a large part of the reason we chose to install floral wallpaper and a dramatic chandelier in the room – they get to be the stars of the show and the room feels nice and decorated without too many other things. I like to keep our centerpiece as simple as I can, and I am very mindful when I’m decorating the open shelving. As soon as things get too colorful or crowded, the room starts to feel even smaller.
  • Use place settings and decor that you love. On that note, since you’re only going to have a few things in the space for decor you should always make sure you’re head over heels in love with what you bring in. A perfect example of this for us are all of the throw pillows along the bench – it was quite a headache to style the first time around, and we lived with the original setup for about a year before I finally admitted I just wasn’t a fan of what we had. I replaced a few of the pillows with some gorgeous patterned pillows from Tuesday Morning and I instantly fell in love with it again. They’re the perfect counter-weight to the super girly wallpaper, and I just can’t get over how perfect they are for the space. If you want to love the room as a whole, you’ve got to make sure you love all the little details along the way!
  • Stick to simple, easy to prepare foods. I love an elaborate dinner party and nothing makes me happier than cooking all afternoon for a gathering with friends. BUT. I’ve learned that in a smaller space it’s actually much more enjoyable for everyone if I skip the cooking marathon and stick to really easy to prepare and easy to serve meals. If you’re still wrapping things up when your guests arrive (and, let’s be real, we almost always are!), the clutter and chaos in the kitchen can overtake everything when you’re working in a small space! Instead, stick to things that can be fully prepped ahead of time (like slow cooker meals) or things that come pre-prepared – the less work you have to do, the less chaos there will be in your kitchen. One of my favorite strategies is to prepare something that can be served multiple ways (instead of feeling like I need a lot of sides for options) – for this dinner, we cooked up some delicious grilled chicken, and then we had tortillas, tostada shells, and chips, so our guests could make nachos, tacos, or tostadas! You could even whip up some quick quesadillas for the kids. It’s really helpful to serve something versatile because then you don’t feel like you need as much other stuff. We kept the sides simple – beans and rice, along with some queso and salsa. Add some homemade sangria (I have the best recipe ever) and you’re done!
  • Finally, don’t stress or apologize! When you live in a small space, it can be so tempting to apologize to guests for the tight accommodations. I sometimes find myself blurting out an apology as I watch someone slide into the back of the bench or have to ask for help getting seconds. I cringe when I realize that our dining room is about half the size of our guests’ dining room…but guess what? Or guests don’t think about this or care! If you have a beautifully decorated space that you can be proud of (regardless of its size), you’ll find yourself apologizing a lot less and simply welcoming people into your space. Your friends want to spend time with you and don’t care if your dining room is a bit cramped – especially if they’re busy enjoying your delicious food!
collage of dining room decor
Dining room with built in banquette seating and floral wallpaper
Collage of two images - plate of nachos and kids playing a game

I just love how this room is looking now and I’m excited about the prospect of beginning to host a few more gatherings here – especially now that the weather is warming up and we can kick the kids outside to play for a while!

What rooms in your home are needing a little refresh for the spring? I encourage you to spend a little time this week showing them some love and then having some friends over to enjoy the spaces with you. There’s absolutely nothing better than sharing your home with the people you love, no?!

Click here to find your closest Tuesday Morning and get shopping – every time I head in, I’m amazed at the fantastic deals and the quality of what I find. It’s like a little hidden stash of treasures just waiting to be found!

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Living Green Wall Grows Talent via Branding/Biophilia

Sourced from: http://www.ccr-mag.com/living-green-wall-grows-talent-via-branding-biophilia/

Competition for employees is fierce. As the labor market tightens toward full employment, companies continue to develop new and innovative ways to attract and retain top talent. Two major tools are branding, the values and aesthetics that set companies apart from their competitors, and employee experience, the day-to-day amenities and aesthetics of the workplace. Interior designers for some companies are adopting a solution that boosts workplace allure on both counts and energizes spaces: living green walls.

Attracting Millennial Employees with Green Branding
For many organizations, adapting to the demands of the information economy is a priority, and the talent pool skews younger for digitally savvy professionals. As a result, many companies are updating branding and experience to satisfy Millennial tastes. So, are there any discernible trends in the generation’s preferences? According to a National Gardening survey, 5 of every 6 Americans to take up gardening in a year were between 18 and 34 years old. When making purchasing decisions, nearly three-out-of-four Millennials are most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings. Seventy-six percent of Millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments before deciding where to work. In a word, Millennial taste is green.

Interior designers and architects for major companies are taking notice and installing sustainable design elements in high-profile locations at their properties. Some companies take the branding opportunity literally. A recent article in the New York Times described the recent real estate upgrade by footwear and apparel company ASICS in an attempt to attract and retain the best shoe designers. In the employee break bar at a new downtown Boston location, a Versa Wall® designed by GSky Plant Systems, Inc. sports the company’s logo. GSky’s unique tray system sets individual four-inch pots in the wall so plants of different shades can create the curving lines of a signature figure most commonly seen on sneakers.

These plants can later be swapped out to change the design and add a seasonal look to the wall. For other companies, the medium of the living wall conveys much of the message even with a more naturalistic design. The National Geographic Society—a brand inextricably linked to the outdoors— greets visitors to their Washington, D.C. headquarters with a more straight-forward living green wall by GSky Plant Systems.
Indeed, important corporations in a variety of markets are adopting the novel architectural element.

Walls have cropped up in such diverse settings as healthcare centers, law firms, and the corporate offices of global car manufacturers, not to mention their high popularity in the hospitality and retail sectors. Perhaps the most telling endorsement of the living green wall as a Millennial magnet comes from technology corporations, including digital first companies like Etsy, Mashable, and AWeber. Microsoft, Google, Twitter and others have a Versa Wall® by GSky®.

Biophilic Design for Office Productivity
Green design is not simply a question of appearance. Plastic plants would be a cheaper investment, but fake green walls miss the point for employees. Ultimately, while young people today may be more interested in green design than past generations, there is a growing body of evidence that all of us are inclined to be around live plants. Prominent biologist E.O. Wilson argues that there is a genetic proclivity on the part of humanity to focus on and affiliate with nature, or more specifically with biodiversity. The Biophilia

Hypothesis, as it is termed, draws from the fields of evolutionary biology and psychology for support. As a body of scholarly work continues to grow, the various benefits of exposing people to nature become clearer. For example, findings suggest that “even unspectacular natural settings can promote stress recovery faster and more completely than urban environments lacking nature.” Other research suggests that exposure to nature can induce positive shifts in emotion, facilitate high-order cognitive functioning, and even increase creativity and productivity.

As a result, living green walls are not only for hip new office layouts or companies looking to exude a start-up energy. Even a staid company can get more out of their employees with a touch of biophilic design. Walls offer psychological benefits, and the calming colors of a vertical garden can reduce stress on an individual level, with obvious positives from an organizational perspective. Additionally, a major benefit of living green walls is its effect on health. Plants in living walls remove toxins from the air to improve workplace wellbeing.

Research has found that indoor plants can clean the air of pollutants such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, ozone, toluene, and benzene, and can reduce particulate matter (dust) by as much as 20% in a room. Fewer colds and headaches might result in fewer sick days, and could enable greater efficiency as the slowing effects of poor health are mitigated. Clearly, living green walls can improve employee experience of the workplace, and while health factors may be difficult to describe in hiring material, the overall effect of biophilic design can influence healthier, happier, and more productive employees to stay with a company.

Living Green Wall Considerations for the Modern Workplace
Of course, the growing trend toward living walls is not completely independent of other workplace changes. The open-plan office, for example, creates certain issues that segmented offices avoided if not by design then by accident. The door and the cubicle divider in traditional office spaces provided semi-private work spaces, but it is important to consider their qualities. Certainly, these dividers created visual barriers, but they also controlled the auditory environment by trapping sound waves in compartments. Living walls are excellent at absorbing sound, making them a solution to an issue created by novel office design.

Nevertheless, living green walls are a commitment for space planners. Some walls run water to plants several times each day, increasing water bills and running counter the environmental concept. Plus, any living thing requires specific conditions for survival, and a living wall calls for a certain amount of maintenance. The system used in many offices, the GSky® Versa Wall®, is designed for high water efficiency with an irrigation system that runs less than once a week. However, even the most conscientious office manager or in-house decorator should make sure their living green wall dealer guarantees maintenance. The Versa Wall® comes with a plant guarantee, but not all living green wall companies offer support after installation.

Build A Living Wall for Employers to Energize Workers and Retain Talent
Office architecture and design earns a reputation for drab repetition, and even sleek new offices are in danger of seeming sterile. Biophilic design and corporate branding may seem at odds at first, but Millennial fondness for flora means that both can help hire young professionals and get the most out of them. GSky’s Versa Wall® system provides architects and interior designers a canvas for creating living art that helps people breathe and boosts their productivity. When designing a space to advance the objectives of a corporate client, living green walls are a sustainable option with the flexibility to meet the specific demands of any indoor space or corporate imagination.

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Our submission for the NHGRI Human Genome Reference Center call

Sourced from: http://ivory.idyll.org/blog/2019-nih-hgrc-proposal.html

For the past month, I’ve been consumed in writing and submitting a grant for the NHGRI Human Genome Reference Center funding opportunity. This is a planned $12.5m / 5 year effort to coordinate the new Human Genome Reference Program (also see the Frequently Asked Questions).

We submitted this grant proposal a week ago Tuesday! I joined with three collaborators on this grant proposal: Curii, Genome in a Bottle, and the Church Lab. We also partnered with the Personal Genome Project and the Open Humans platform.

Since we’re all open-science-y people, we agreed to make the grant public after submission. I was thinking about how best to present it in a blog post, but then I remembered that grants are supposed to stand on their own with respect to the RFA. So …here it is, with only a little bit of organization to make it more approachable!

The HGRC call asked for what was in effect one R01 and two R21 grants, along with another R01-sized grant on top. The first R01 was Component 1, a 12 page section discussing how the center would maintain, improve, and provide the Human Genome reference. The first R21 was a 6 page Component 2, describing the community outreach plans of the center, to do training and gather feedback. The second R21 was the 6 page Component 3, describing the logistical coordination of the rest of the Human Genome Reference Program (running meetings, providing materials, etc.) And the last R01 was an overarching summary of the three components, 12 pages in length.

The end PDF submission was over 300 pages in length. Good fun…

One last comment before I provide the links: just like reading someone else’s submitted dissertation, your sole responsibility in reading someone else’s ALREADY SUBMITTED GRANT is to make nice noises, like “Hey, that’s great congrats on submitting it!” and “There are some great ideas in there!” You don’t say “ooh, look, a typo on p3! (How unprofessional! Sucks that you can’t fix it now!)” or “Gosh I would have written that completely differently.” Basically, you should just be nice – we’re going to go through a NIH review panel experience, and I’m sure they’ll be properly critical 🙂

The Actual Grant

Research Strategy – OVERALL – a high level overview of the thing.

Research Strategy – Component 1: Maintain, Improve, Provide the Human Reference Genome – check out our cool validation strategy with Genome-in-a-Bottle-like data sets!

Research Strategy – Component 2: Do Community Outreach and Needs – here we proposed not just doing outreach but also building a community of practice!

Research Strategy – Component 3: Provide Logistical Coordination for Human Genome Reference Program – here we added a standardization effort!

Enjoy!

–titus

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Lavender sinks, tubs and toilets in bathrooms from 1927-1949

Sourced from: https://retrorenovation.com/2019/04/09/lavender-bathroom-history/

The article Lavender sinks, baths and tubs in toilets from 1927-1949 appeared initially on Retro Renovation.

Pam here. Since Jan. 1, I’ve been tenaciously focused on performing a lot of technical tidy up of this site. This has included moving through stories in draft form. And ack! Did I publish this one? It wasn’t a draft — it had been finished and waiting for me! Kate finished it over […]

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