Social Whirl

Fun And Social Things To do


March 12, 2015

How Plants Can Affect Your Mood

Some people consider plants to be the planet’s way of reaching out the life living on the surface. These cultures reverence nature, in some cases elevating it to god-like stature. That may be a bit extreme for other people, but the facts remain that plants can affect not only your mood, but your health as well. Here are some ways in which plants can affect your mood and your health.

Personalize Your Space

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Your office, your rental, or your home office can all be personalized with plants. Do you get tire of the sterile atmosphere in an office? Or maybe you rent your home, and can’t hang pictures the way you would like. You need something to make the spaces feel more homey, more like you. Plants can do all of this, and more.

What is your favorite color? Get some flowers that bloom that color, and place them where you’ll see them every day. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. If you can’t find any indoor plants in your color, select a planter that will do, and put some pretty flowers or greenery in the planter. Simply having something else around you that is alive will make you feel much better. You could even buy a stone plantpot or something stylized that will give your office environment a personalized look.

Noise Control

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Offices can be especially nerve-wracking, with noise coming from other cubicles. People sniffing, drumming their fingers, clicking their keyboards, talking on the phone – all can drive a person crazy! But, a few plants in your cubicle can deaden the noise and give you some relief. Try a dracaena or a fig tree. The more leaf surface the plant has, the more sound it will deflect, giving you a little more privacy.

Purify the Air

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Plants have a well-known ability to purify the air around them. In fact, a leafy plant can purify the air in an entire room. Different plants will absorb and disperse different chemicals. For example, some plants will “feed” on formaldehyde found in carpets and other fabrics, releasing oxygen back into the room. There are many VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, in the air, especially indoors, and house plants can filter most of them out. Not only do plants improve the quality of and the amount of oxygen in the room, they also help to humidify the spaces.

Plants Outdoors Affect Your Mood

Even plants outdoors can improve your mood. A planter with your favorite flowers, placed right out of your bedroom window, can greet you every morning with cheery blooms, getting your day off to a great start. Well-maintained gardens are a balm to the hurried soul, and specimen plants remind us that life transcends the day-to-day drudgery we often face.

Turn your garden into a welcoming retreat with some plants carefully placed in colorful pots. If you can, cultivate a planter bed with ground covers and a specimen plant. Making something grow is good medicine, and you’ll make your surroundings prettier, too.

Plants can make you feel rooted – pun intended. Add the symmetry, texture, and color of a plant to your surroundings, and you’ll see for yourself.

October 31, 2014

Giving Your Home A Rustic And Homey Feeling

Do you feel like your home is lacking something? Many people wonder how they can make their house feel like a home without cluttering it with all kinds of stuff. There are, actually, several things you can do to make your home feel homey and rustic, without adding clutter or even spending a lot of money.

Dressers

That’s right – dressers. These handy little pieces of furniture can serve as everything from entertainment centers to dining buffets to – well – dressers.

Otherwise known as a “chest of drawers” these furniture items lend a sense of belonging to any space. Place one in your entryway, with a lovely bowl or basket atop to receive mail or car keys, and you automatically have welcomed people into your home without saying a word. Not to mention the great storage you have with all of those drawers! Some people will use a dresser behind a sofa as storage and to display candelabras and family photos. Step outside of the box, and think of unique ways to use your dresser, and you will agree that it is a great way to make your home feel homey.

Area Rugs

A rug can knit spaces together. Even if your house is completely carpeted, you can still use a rug to anchor the furniture in the sitting area. For large spaces, the area rug will pull furniture in, giving a sense of intimacy. For small spaces, the area rug will provide a “reason” for being so close together. Rugs just make people feel at home, and can add a rustic touch if you choose the texture and color correct.

 

Lighting

Lighting is crucial to making a home feel homey. The harsh glare from overhead can lights can make an area feel industrial, and you will have a hard time relaxing. Look for pole lamps, table lamps, and uplights will bring a cozy ambiance to any room. Uplights are can lights that actually sit on the floor beneath plants or draperies, casting a glow upwards. This can brighten up dark corners. Add picture lights to paintings hanging on the wall. Often, you can run a discreet extension cord with an automatic switch, and turn all of the lights on with one switch. While incandescent lights may not be available in your area, you can find “warm” toned bulbs for most fixtures.

Decorations

Decorations are often a cause of despair among people trying to decorate their homes. How much is too much? What constitutes a decoration vs. clutter?

To answer those questions, think about anything you look at that makes you happy. This can be a decoration in your home. Think of grouping objects that are similar. For example, photographs look better when they are hung near each other on the wall, or grouped on a shelf. When they are scattered around the room, they get lost and look like clutter. To reduce the random look, frame your pictures in similar frames, such as all silver, or all wood.

With a few details, you can turn your house into a home.

 

June 16, 2014

How To Create The Perfect Social Environment In Your Home

Creating the perfect social environment in your home can be as simple as your choice of furniture and its placement. Here are some great ideas for what type of furniture to get for your home, and how to place it in the room for perfect social interaction.

Space

First of all, assess your space. Do you have a communal room that you want to dedicate to socializing? Typically, rooms on the front of the house are more formal, while rooms at the back of the house are more casual. Around my house, that would be because, by the time a guests walks through all the clutter and dog hair, there are no illusions. Any attempt at formality would be ludicrous.

Of course, you do not have to stay with these traditions. If your largest room is on the front of the house, and you want to use it for the family as well as guests, it is your prerogative. Aside from family clutter, there are ways to maximize the space to make guests feel comfortable.

Furniture Arrangement

That larger room may or may not have room for multiple seating areas. This is a great way to maximize every square inch of space. For instance, most family rooms have a TV prominent for family entertainment and gaming. But, what about that window? There may be space there for a couple of chairs and/or nests of tables. Consider placing a chess board over there, or a jigsaw puzzle. Often, quieter guests will gravitate to such areas. When you provide them with a refuge, they feel more included, and enjoy themselves more.

   

Use the corners of your room wisely. Corners can be wasted space. I’ve always said that I would prefer round rooms, just so there aren’t any corners. This, also, is a great spot for your little table and chairs. Or, consider a corner sofa. This can free up room in the middle for a large ottoman. If you select a large, upholstered ottoman, it can serve several purposes. Use a nice tray for drinks and decorations while the family is using the room. When you have guests, move the tray, and you have extra seating. One of the advantages of this type of seating is that it is open to all areas of the room, so people can converse easily.

Clutter

So, what do you do about the clutter of the family room? I remember going to a friend’s house, and noticing a lovely wicker basket full of children’s toys near the hearth. I thought it looked so nice, like she was welcoming her children to play in the adult areas. Little did I realize that she used the basket rather than a toy box! This simple detail created a grown-up atmosphere in the room, rather than a nursery feel. Throws that the family cuddled under to watch TV matched the furniture.

As you plan your entertainment spaces, consider furniture placement and automatic de-cluttering. Guests will feel more welcomed.

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