January 30, 2018

When updating or building your home, there are many ways to ensure that your home is safe for the environment in which it is built. Faux wall paneling is one of these ways. Incorporating faux wall paneling that is developed in the United States, like those offered by Faux Direct, cuts down on the depletion of natural resources that would be used in traditional paneling. As opposed to shipping internationally, buying products that are made in America can really cut down on the amount of emissions that are created in the process. Looking to take that next step towards a truly sustainable home? Below are a few other tips that can will make you and the Earth healthier over time! 

  1. Organic Fabrics

When you stop and think about it, there are certain fabrics that come in contact with your skin constantly. Bed sheets, towels and furniture covers can be touching our skin for hours at a time. Seek out products that are easier on your skin and that won’t emit toxins into the air you are breathing. Check out Boll and Branch for products that are 100 percent certified organic and certified by Fair Trade.

  1. Let there be Light

One great change you can make that will save you energy and money is to change the lightbulbs in your home or apartment to LED bulbs. LED light bulbs reduce the amount of energy that you are using by more than 80 percent and will end up lasting up to 25 percent longer than regular bulbs.

  1. Refurbish & Reuse

Reclaimed wood and recycled metals have been growing design trends if you are looking for a more natural look in your space. Incorporating furniture made with all natural and reclaimed materials can also improve your air quality and cut down on the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) being unknowingly put off by your furniture. When considering big furniture purchases, invest in companies that are investing in the health of the environment. Arhaus is one such company that makes their dining and kitchen tables from materials that are certified by the sustainable forest initiative and made from reclaimed resources.

  1. Organic Cleaning

Did you know that you can make your own cleaning products that are cleaner and safer you than the commercialized products that you are used to? In reality, the cleaning solutions that you find at the store may be adding unnecessary toxic chemicals into the air in our homes. For a simple earth-friendly solution, mix together white vinegar and water to create a safer and just as effective cleaner. If buying is simply easier than making, look to purchase products that are green friendly. Greenshield Organic is just one example of a company that creates products with health and sustainability in mind.

January 29, 2018

Do you have an extreme passion for interior design? Do you secretly believe yourself to be the next Joanna Gaines?  Maybe it’s not much of a secret at all, and you want the world to know about it.  Or maybe you just need a creative outlet for all of your ideas.  If so, starting a home interior design blog is the way to go.  Not only can it be a place for you to channel your creativity, but it could be a stepping stone into a possible career.

Step 1: Find Your Niche
Your blog needs to have a theme or a focus.  Although it’s home design, what will your focus be?  Making this point clear to others will be key in gaining followers.  ‘Home Design’ is such a broad topic.  What are you passionate about?  Here are some ideas:

  • Southern Home Design (home design modeled after Southern charm)
  • Beach Home Design (coastal home design)
  • Country Design (home design specifically for country living)
  • Antique Home Design (finding all design items at consignment, thrift and antique shops)
  • DIY Home Design (home design using only DIY projects and inspiration: re-doing furniture, faux wall paneling guides, creating your own curtains/linens, etc.)

 Step 2: Secure a URL
The good news is, you can sign up for blogs on sites such as WordPress for free.  However, there is a lot of control you have in owning your own URL.  By creating your own website, if you do become uber successful, you will already have ownership rights when it comes to your name and content.  This is also great for you if companies want to pay you to run their ads.

Step 3: Generate Good Content
Now that you have your website, it’s time to start writing! Put on your thinking cap and go to town.  Don’t hold back.  Bring out the big guns and give your blog your best stuff. Write stuff you would actually want to read.  Provide helpful, interesting information to your audience and you will gain a big following in no time.

Step 4: Apply SEO
If you have the funds for it, it would be a good idea to hire an SEO to help rank your site in order to increase the odds of it being found in a search engine query.  If not, do as much keyword research as you can and include keywords specific to your niche in each post.

Step 5: Advertise
Don’t keep this good stuff to yourself! Share on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page the link to your blog in order to promote it.  The more people who know about it, the more can follow it. Ask friends and family members to share the link as well.

Step 6: Post Regularly
The worst thing you can do for your blog is to post irregularly.  If you want to attract an audience, you need to be reliable.  Try to post 3-5 times per week to attract and retain an

interest in your blog.

January 22, 2018

There are many ups and downs when purchasing or renting a home.  Do you find yourself in the position of needing to choose a path?  Perhaps you are currently renting, but are considering buying. There are different variables to consider if you find yourself in this position.   The following article will help you (hopefully) arrive at a decision that is the best for you.

  1. Does it Make Sense Financially to Buy?
    A huge reason people end up purchasing a home is because in the long term, money is actually saved.  When renting a home, the mortgage plus a profit for the homeowner is factored into the total payment.  It is more likely that you could have the same lifestyle, but with a lower price tag associated with it.  However, it has to make sense at the time in your life that you are in.A good question to ask yourself is, how long do I plan on renting?  Many people have to rent because of the position they find themselves in.  It could be because of a short-term job in a location that will change, renting just long enough to save money for a downpayment, renting while building, and so forth.  If you plan on living somewhere short-term, the more logical route to take is to rent.  However, if you are looking to plant routes somewhere, it is best to save money for a downpayment and purchase a home.  You may have to wait until the market is right to avoid paying top dollar for a property.  If the market is right, and you absolutely cannot wait to buy, try to find a home that needs renovating.  In that case, you still have the opportunity to add value to your home and make a profit later down the road.
  2. Are you Emotionally Ready?
    In addition to being financially prepared, it is also wise to make sure you are emotionally prepared.  Many people don’t understand the stress and frustration that not only comes with the process of purchasing, but once the purchase is complete.  When you are the home owner, you have a lot more responsibility to manage.  If the A/C goes out, there is no landlord to  call to fix it.  You are the one responsible financially for things that break and things that the home needs.  There will be grass that needs to be mowed, snow to shovel, and gutters to clean.  When you rent a home these things are generally taken care of.  If you’re at a point in your life where emotionally you cannot take on this additional responsibility of home ownership, it is best to continue renting for the time being.
  3. Are you Handy?
    As previously mentioned, owning a home comes with many tasks that will need to be completed.  Unless you have oodles of money to spend on handymen and contractors, hopefully you are a little bit handy yourself.  Especially if you purchase a home that needs renovations!  Luckily for you, there are many things that are DIY and can be accomplished all by yourself (even without a construction background), such as: painting (both interior and exterior), landscaping, installing faux wall paneling (faux brick, faux stone, or faux wood panels), changing toilet flappers, swapping lightbulbs, and changing furnace filters.
    As you can see, there is a lot to consider when making the decision to rent or buy.  If you find yourself in the position of needing to make a choice, hopefully these tips helped you arrive at a comfortable solution that works best for you!
January 15, 2018

Many people don’t even realize they have seen faux wall paneling in their lifetime because it looks so much like authentic stone, brick, or wood.  Chances are, you have actually come across this stuff a good amount of times in your lifetime.  You see faux stone panels at restaurants like Olive Garden or theme parks like Sea World.  You see faux brick panels in retail clothing stores and on the exterior of homes.  And you see faux wood panels in office buildings both interior and exterior.  Faux wall panels are an incredibly popular material and loved by designers because of their pricing, installation, and the time they save them.

  1. What are they?
    Faux wall panels are panels designed to be applied to any existing wall surface, either indoors or out.  They are panels designed to look exactly like authentic stone, brick, or wood and actually cast from the authentic material in a mold.  Once dried, they are painted and the resemblance is uncanny.  Faux wall panels are an excellent alternative to the real deal, as they will save you a significant amount of time and money.
  2. They are Affordable
    Faux wall panels cost a fraction of the price of authentic stone, brick or wood.  Think about it.  To install stone (or brick), you have to hire someone who first of all knows what they are doing.  You also have to take into account the costs of the mortar and grout that will be needed.  Heavy machinery will be used, and it takes weeks to install.  With wood, you’re looking at similar costs for tools and wood glue as well as hiring a professional to install it.  The time and mess involved is maximal compared to faux wall paneling.
  3. They are Durable
    As previously mentioned, faux wall panels can be used both indoors and out.  The panels are UV resistant and designed to withstand all types of weather. They are rot, mildew, mold, and termite resistant.  They are impervious to moisture, which makes them great to use in areas like bathrooms and kitchens as they can easily be wiped down to clean without the use of harsh chemicals.
  4. They are DIY
    Yep, you heard us right.  Installing faux wall paneling is a DIY project.  Forget heavy machinery, tool rentals or hiring a contractor.  You can actually install these bad boys by yourself They are easily cut and applied with simple glue, screws and caulking.  A typical faux wall paneling project takes only several hours to complete.
  5. They are Versatile
    Faux wall panels are used for a variety of applications, including: outdoor siding, kitchen backsplashes, bathroom showers/baths, accent walls, man caves, wine cellars, and more.  The opportunities are endless.  Anywhere there is an existing wall surface that you want covered up- you can apply faux wall paneling.  At Faux Direct, we even have fire rated options available to be used around heat sources such as fireplaces and gas stoves.

As you can see, faux wall paneling is pretty incredible stuff.  It is widely used and loved for all of the above reasons.  If you have an upcoming project and are looking to save some time and money, consider using faux wall paneling to get the job done!

January 10, 2018

Out with the old, in with the new.  Interior Design is a world that is constantly in flux.  While some things will always remain classic: wooden floors, white paint, and farm sinks, there are others that will only last during the trend.  Here are the top 5 design trends that are projected to dominate this year:

  1. Terracotta
    Weird, right?  Typically, you only think of this word associated with planter pots.  However, this color shade is in the bronze family.  It contains a hint of red with a touch of orange, and is thought to replace the emerald green of 2017.  It will be used from anything like light fixtures to  dinnerware to end tables to throw pillows.
  2. Maximalism
    In direct contrast to minimalism, maximalism is projected to take center stage for those that appreciate more.  Minimalism involves very little furniture, not many (if any) patterns, and definitely no textures.  Maximalism on the other hand plays up fun patterns and colors and incorporates textures.  For example, consider mixing patterns with table settings, using multiple rugs in a single room, or even adding texture to a wall with faux stone or faux brick panels.  It is believed that maximalism really enables people to fully express themselves.
  3. Comfort Spaces
    With minimalism came couches and chairs that really didn’t invite fellowship or socializing with others.  Spaces were uncomfortable and the opposite of inviting.  Instead, the trend of 2018 will really be to create spaces of comfort.  Replace modern furniture with oversized sofas and chairs, add house plants for warmth, and layer rugs.  Incorporate photos and paintings on the wall, and let in lots of light. This trend will be found in homes, spas and retail stores.
  4. Monochrome
    This falls on the opposite spectrum of maximalism, and into the minimalists’ boat.  Monochrome design includes spaces that include shades of the same color.  So, instead of various patterns and textures, rooms are filled with multiple versions of a specific tone.  The results are sophisticated, but definitely requires some self-control to achieve.
  5. Purposefully Placed Materials
    Last but not least, a trend expected for 2018 is materials with purpose.  This could mean a piece of furniture made entirely from recycled plastic.  It could also mean tiles made from cornhusks or bags made from pineapple leaves (instead of leather).  This type of design embraces the heart, and art, of recycling.  This design also considers the environment and portrays it in a positive light.
January 3, 2018

The New Year is the perfect time to start accomplishing goals you’ve set for yourself.  Maybe it’s losing weight, maybe it’s working toward a promotion at work, or maybe it’s starting a family!  Most people set some sort of ‘resolution’ or ‘goals’ that they would like to see achieved that they haven’t yet done.
For 2018, what about bringing new design into your home?  Maybe your home is outdated or just needs a little something to spice it up a bit.  If so, it’s time to finally pull the trigger on those renovations you’ve been putting off.
Here are some interior/exterior design ideas that you can accomplish in 2018:

  1. Kitchen Remodel
    It is important to note that kitchens (and bathrooms) are the two main rooms in a home that will really sell the house.  So, if you ever want to sell your home and make a profit, you will be doing yourself a disservice to skip over the kitchen.  There are many ways to remodel your kitchen: update hardware, put in a backsplash with faux brick panels, update light fixtures, and upgrade to new appliances.  If you really want to go above and beyond, you can even update your countertops with granite or marble as well as update your flooring with authentic wood or stone tile.  The kitchen trend for 2018? Two-toned cabinets and golden accents.
  2. Bathroom Remodel
    As previously mentioned, the bathroom is also a room that will help sell a home.  Why continue on with an outdated bathroom when you can create a dreamy oasis to enjoy?  Simple ways to update a bathroom: update sink faucets, put in a unique new mirror, update lighting, paint cabinets white, update flooring, and add faux stone panels to the shower.  Faux stone panels are great because they are resistant to moisture and are easily cleaned.  Bathroom trends for 2018? Brass and gold tone fixtures.  Bring on the gold!
  3. Back Porch Remodel
    Everyone enjoys an outdoor area that can be used for times of solitude or times of gathering with friends and family.  No matter where you live, there are months out of the year where the outdoors can be appreciated.  If you don’t have an outdoor space that is inviting and comfortable, chances are you will miss out on this aspect of home ownership.  Facilitate being outdoors more with a back porch remodel.  Simple ways to do so: get new, comfortable outdoor seating, add pops of color with a fun rug or throw pillows, arrange potted plants to invoke an exotic feel, make an accent wall out of faux wood panels or create a bonfire pit out of faux stone panels, and add a table where meals can be enjoyed.  Trends for outdoor spaces in 2018? Fire features and modern ceiling fans.
  4. Front Porch Remodel
    While some people utilize the front porch as a place to enjoy the outdoors, most people do not.  However, this does not mean that front porch design should be overlooked!  After all, the front of the home is what gives off the ‘curb appeal’.  If you ever go to sell your home, keep in mind that your home will be judged by its cover.  Having a classy and updated front porch will do wonders for your curb appeal value.  Simple ways to do this: paint your front door for a statement maker, add a wreath for the season, put a fresh welcome mat at the door, place potted plants around the entry way, add seating if desired, and update exterior light fixtures.  Front porch trends for 2018? Overstated house numbers paired with fun door colors.