A Living Home ? Projects to Incorporate ?Green? Around the House

Here is a guest post from someone who is helping out. Due to a recent injury, keeping up has been a little difficult, so thanks to my most recent guest posters.

Humans have an inherent, unspoken connection to our natural surroundings, so it should come as no surprise that incorporating natural elements and plant life into your home can have a huge impact on your overall state of mind, physical health and home value.

Numerous scientific evidence has shown time and time again that the mere presence of plants can positively affect holistic health. Even NASA has gotten in on the action, with published reports finding that common houseplants can actually combat the negative effects of pollution while improving air quality. Chances are high that you might have already incorporate air-purifying plants in your home; NASA?s list of the most useful houseplants in terms of air quality include Boston Ferns, Spider Plants, and even Aloe Vera, among a host of other common household plants.

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Feel like there?s always too much to do around the house on top of all of your work responsibilities? Plants might actually be the answer to your woes. Recent research has proven that the presence of plants can improve productivity by 15 percent.

There are various ways you can incorporate greenery and other natural elements into your home. From beautiful green art installations to do-it-yourself herb gardens, there?s a host of improvements you can make on your home while bringing in the best of the outdoors. If you?re having trouble starting to green-ify your home, consider these natural element additions that will make your home look and feel better:

Purchase Dwarf Fruit Trees

You might not have the space in your backyard for an entire orchard, but you can get all the benefits of fruit trees by incorporating miniature versions within your home. Purchase some dwarf fruit trees for placement in your kitchen or sun porch, and assign their care to your children. This will help teach your little ones responsibility, and your family will be able to enjoy fresh fruit straight from the tree.

Build a Living Wall

From restaurants to offices, you?ve likely encountered living walls in some of your favorite places. This popular addition has a variety of benefits to glean, causing many homeowners to invest in their very own living walls. Designed for both outdoor and indoor use, living walls can decrease your home?s energy costs, reduce outdoor noise, and even purify the air you breathe. While living walls aren?t always cheap to create, their benefits may far outweigh the investment. ?Here are a few of the popular living wall types:

  • Vertical Display: To create a vertical display, potted plants are installed within grids, allowing for customization and flexibility. Vertical displays are an inexpensive option, usually costing in a range of $75 to $125 per square foot.
  • Trellis: Are you a sucker for ivy? Trellised walls are probably the right fit for your home, as they support the growth of climbing plants with supporting grids and cables. This is the cheapest and often easiest form of living walls, costing $50 to $75 per square foot.
  • Engineered Modular System: Are you looking for a more intense project? This professional system uses plant modules to create living wall art. Generally you?d see this type of installation on a business building, but there are companies who will do it for a home, but expect a costly bill?often between $100 and $200 per square foot.
  • Hydroponic Walls: Hydroponic walls are increasingly popular, and it?s no wonder why. Fixed hydroponic vertical walls allow for versatility, and these walls require little soil to support the plant life. With recirculating irrigation systems, these walls generally cost around $100 per square foot.

A Green Welcome

Want your guests to feel immediately soothed as they walk into your home? Consider incorporating a green entryway. Wrap fresh garland around your front door, add potted plants to your porch, or incorporate an aforementioned living wall in your entryway. This will create a calm atmosphere before guests even fully enter your home, and contribute to a sense of tranquility?not to mention the aesthetic appeal. You could also incorporate these ideas in the bathroom so everyone feels relaxed while visiting the restroom.

A Green Roof

Green roofs are the perfect option for homeowners who might not have any yard to work with, as these systems are fortified with waterproof layers, allowing homeowners to cover the top of their home with vegetation of all sorts. This can similarly be done for those with balcony space. Whether you cultivate the garden yourself, or purchase modular green areas that are easily installed, you can easily change your roof space into a lush garden oasis. Incorporating this project will also help reduce energy costs, and improve the value of the home.

Don?t Forget Your Yard

While turning your indoor living space into a green oasis is a wonderful goal, don?t forget to give your outdoor living area the attention it?s due. Add a water feature to your backyard, plant some of your favorite perennials, and make it a family affair on the weekends to cultivate the garden in the back. Add a raised garden bed where the kids can plant seeds of their choosing, and watch in awe with them as their hard work comes to fruition. A well-maintained yard can increase the selling value of a home by 10 percent.

Some Words of Caution

Of course your ultimate aim should be to make your home a cleaner and more comfortable place to live. Avoid purchasing plants that are well-known allergens. Any plants with heavy pollen and those with heavy scents. Keeping strong pollen out of your home will ensure your kids aren?t affected with irritated eyes, stuffy noses, and the like.

Change your life by incorporating these green living tips into your home and contribute to a healthier, happier space for you and your family.

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