Monthly Archives: April 2013

5 Indoor Friendly Plants

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Indoor Plants

Houseplants are known as interior decorating tools that jazz up rooms, but did you know they help allergy sufferers or asthmatics? Houseplants remove toxins from the air. Toxins are exuded from aerosol sprays, fabric upholstery, carpets and other things. Houseplants return pure oxygen into the air. This is then inhaled, nullifying the adverse effects on the body from inhaling toxins. Houseplants were first considered by NASA for use in the space program for protecting the astronauts from illness. Now, they are considered more than just a pretty decoration.

Palms

The Areca, Bamboo and Lady Palms are air purifiers that flourish in both dry and humid areas. They trap allergens in their leaves. Dust mites, pet dander and pollens are removed from the air and clean oxygen returned. This has benefits other than allergy removal. Exposure to plants in early childhood acts as an immunization shot to young children. They will grow up with a stronger immune system. Palms also target formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. Smokers in the house won’t bother anyone when the palms suck up the toxins from the smoke.

Orchids

Famous for being finicky plants, the truth is orchids get along just dandy with as little care as watering them every now and again and putting them out of direct sunlight. These beautiful flowers vacuum the air of xylene, a toxin found in many paints, glues and leathers. Orchids perform their magic at night, which makes it the perfect houseplant for insomniacs. Plants also lower blood pressure, making sleep easier for those that are stressed. Placed beside the bed, orchids will help those troubled by lack of sleep.

Peace Lily

A further boon to allergy sufferers and asthmatics is the Peace Lily. The plant decidedly likes chilly temperatures. It just as decidedly dislikes acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene and xylene and removes them from the air. This plant would be best placed in bathrooms for its ability to absorb mold spores. Also, some personal grooming products include the toxins listed above and are primarily found in bathrooms. This plant would eliminate toxins and other pollutants that cause headaches and some allergies.

Ferns

There are many types of fern but Boston Ferns are the most popular. These feathery, lacy plants are usually hanging plants. Ferns cleanse the air of toluene and xylene, toxins found in paint, nail polish and glue. Those with dry skin will also benefit from ferns. They trap pollutants in their fronds and release moisture into the air. Indeed, houseplants are natural humidifiers but ferns top the list.

Ivy

Ivies are beautiful plants, often found in hanging baskets or trailing along the top shelf of tall bookcases. These versatile plants absorb the toxin benzene, which attacks the nervous system. Ivy plants are found in many offices, mainly because they look great but are out of the way. Good thing, too, because they facilitate clear thinking and problem solving.

For a range of beautiful pots to place these indoor plants in, check out the latest The Warehouse catalogue. They have a large range at great prices.

– Written by David Teller

How to Apply Venetian Plaster

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Knowing how to apply a layer of Venetian plaster is a useful skill. However, you will probably want to have the work done by a professional, so that it is warranted. When you work with the designer to create the look that you want, you will have full creative control. The plasterer will give ideas, but you get the ultimate say on what goes in your home. Venetian plaster is a very valuable plastering technique. It is used by many interior decorators, and it has a wonderful consistency when it is completely dry. It gives you a new way to spice up your décor, and it is a cheap method of making your home look like a million bucks.

The Venetian Plastering Technique 

Venetian Plaster

Venetian plaster is an application in which layers of paint are applied in very thick layers, usually with a tool such as a trowel or spatula. It gives walls a very aged vintage look, and it can work wonders in a home that lacks texture. The texture of Venetian walls are amazing, because they can reflect light at different angles, unlike other techniques that use faux painting, such as painting with sponges or stippling. Venetian plaster looks great in conservatories, enclosed porches, or anywhere you want to create fantastic visual appearance with your walls. It looks best in rooms that have a lot of sunlight.

The Effect of Venetian Plaster

When using Venetian plaster, there are first a few things you should consider, and preparation is required. You will first need to determine what colour you want your walls. Colour choices are endless, so you can have pretty much anything you want. You will also need to make sure that you have an in-depth consultation with your contractor, so that they know exactly what you want.  Use a reputable firm such as John Anthony Plastering who have detailed case studies and references (http://www.johnanthonyplastering.co.uk/). Once you have everything set, you need to get a contract so that both you and the contractor are protected. Before the contract is signed, you need to ask the contractor how long they anticipate that the job will take. Before your contractor will be able to apply the plaster, they will first have to clean the wall with a damp brush. They will then use sandpaper to sand it down and smooth off any rough edges. Sanding the wall is a crucial step, as the Venetian plaster needs a surface that it can adhere to.  If there are holes or blemishes on the wall, then this will be visible through the plaster.

Image credit: theurbanwall.ca