Author Archive | Jennie Lyon

How Eco Artwork Can Improve Your Room Design

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Artwork is definitely an important element of any room design.  You can easily add interest to plain walls with fun and unique pieces of art.  Artwork can also bring together different elements of a room by providing color inspiration, a focal point or even by being a harmonizer.  Artwork often makes or breaks a new space. Incorporating a work of art is also a simple way to update your space in an eco-friendly way. By hanging a photograph or painting, you will refresh your walls without perpetuating the use of toxic paints or non-recyclable wallpaper. In this post, we’re looking at some of the main ways in which artwork can help improve a room’s design.

Artwork Adds Movement
In most spaces, you can use artwork to help create movement.  In the art world, movement is used by artists to help direct the viewer’s eye.  In interior design, it will also influence perceptions of the size of the room.  Using a piece of art that easily conveys a lot of movement will help create a rhythm between the chosen furniture your new wall décor.  Overall, this is how a room can evoke a certain emotion or convey a specific feeling.

Wall Art Provides Color
If you’re a little stuck when it comes to the color scheme you want to use in your new living space, artwork can help dictate or even enhance a color palette.  Firstly, try selecting a piece of artwork that matches the space and then create a new color palette influenced by the artwork. You can then narrow down accent colors from the work to help enhance it. If you’re bored with your wall colors, adding a piece of artwork is a great way to liven things up without worrying about the environmental consequences of repainting all the time.

Online sites like Fine Art America offer hundreds of thousands of artist’s works, so you can easily browse their expansive collection and find something that catches your eye.

Balance Texture and Scale in Your Room Design
Depending on the type of building you are furnishing, you’ll need to consider how art can help balance scale and textures.  For example, if you prefer sleek, low furniture with a modern design but your space has high ceilings, investing in a bold piece of wall art will immediately make the room feel more balanced as the eye will be drawn upward to the painting. An investment piece of artwork will also last you a lifetime and can be passed down to future generations, making it both eco-friendly and sentimental.

You can also use art to create a more dynamic room design. Textures, patterns and colors can all be pulled together with the right wall art.

Create a Rotating Gallery
If you’re the kind of person who easily changes their mind or gets bored with your space and you’re itching to switch up your décor, introducing a rotating gallery of artwork can be a quick and easy way to keep your walls feeling fresh.  Different pieces of art will help to highlight different furniture or other elements in your space. Since there is always a market for artwork, you don’t have to worry about being wasteful by replacing your pictures and paintings regularly. Instead, donate them to a used art retailer or make a little extra cash by selling them online. Either way, you know your art won’t end up in a landfill; there is always someone who will appreciate a painting or photograph you’re tired of.

Make a Statement with Your Art
Your artwork doesn’t always have the be the main focal point in a room.  You can also use art in subtler ways to add an element of sophistication to your room design.

The main thing you should take away is don’t be afraid to experiment with different art mediums.  Art is always a great investment that will help inspire new room designs.

How to Make an Eco-Friendly Gift Card Snow Globe as a Holiday Gift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are giving a gift card this holiday season, don’t just slip it into a card – make it into a snow globe. It will take giving a gift card this holiday to a whole new level – especially if you are giving it to  a child. Eben and I decided to do this project for a Secret Santa party that he will be going to – it was a super fun gift to make, read on to learn how. These are perfect for last minute gifts too!

What you will need:

  • glass mason jar
  • water
  • eco-glitter
  • glue gun
  • gift card
  • tiny ornaments

This is actually a super easy do-it-yourself project that only takes a few minutes to complete. Secure the gift card to the lid of the mason jar with hot glue. Fill the mason jar with water, add eco-glitter and a couple of tiny ornaments, screw the lid on super tight – you now have the perfect way to give a gift card!

Give the Gift of Experience This Holiday Season + 5 Ideas

Give the Gift of Experience This Holiday Season + 5 Ideas

Hello, Friends! Can you believe Christmas is only a handful of days away? If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you are officially a last-minute shopper! No worries, you can still surprise everyone on your holiday list and those gifts can be eco-friendly too! Read on to discover five of my favorite last minute holiday gifts that don’t require you to even leave the comfort of your sofa.

1. Give the Gift of Experience
One of my favorite gifts to give is the gift of experience. A few years ago I gave the mister scuba diving lessons and this year part of Eben’s holiday gift is art lessons. I have given the gift of annual memberships to botanic gardens and science museums. The possibilities are endless, just consider what your recipient enjoys and go from there.

2. Give a Gift that Helps Someone Else
Have a do-gooder on your holiday list? Consider giving a gift certificate to Kiva – your recipient will go through a list of loan applicants and pick a hard-working borrower to give a micro-loan too. This is a great way to help entrepreneurs in other countries who need a little help, the best part when the entrepreneur pays the loan back, you get to re-loan the funds to another entrepreneur!

3. Give the Gift of Your Time
I was telling the mister the other day that the best gift that I could ever receive is the gift of someone offering to take Eben for the weekend. Since we live very far away from most of Eben’s grandparents, we have never left him for a long weekend. Wouldn’t a romantic long weekend with your loved one be the perfect gift! The possibilities here are endless as well, just think of something that you can do for someone else and wrap that up as a gift.

4. Give the Gift of Nature
I love to receive a gift in the form of a living plant or something that can be planted in the yard. Even better when the plant is of edible variety. Eben and I gave the mister a lemon tree one year as a birthday gift – and it is a gift that he seriously enjoys every day. He is always watering, pruning and checking for lemons – and seeing how much the tree has grown is a delight. Plus, giving him lemonade all year long has been a sweet gift that he really enjoys.

5. Give the Gift of Your Expertise
Are you a fantastic chef? Can you sew a mean pair of pajamas? Are you great at web design? A beautiful photographer? Whatever it is that you are an expert at consider giving that as a gift this holiday season. If you are a fantastic cook, arrive at your recipients home with all of the ingredients necessary to cook a fabulous meal for them. Spend the time teaching your recipient how to prepare and cook the meal and then enjoy it together!

Do you give the gift of experience during the holidays? I would love to hear about the gifts you are giving this holiday season.

Last Minute Holiday Gift: DIY Vegan Brownies In A Mason Jar

Hello, Friends! We are down to the wire with only 6 days until Christmas. Have you finished your holiday shopping? Don’t forget your children’s teachers and the neighbors. You can still put together organic succulents in recycled paint dipped cans or miniature Christmas Trees made using recycled wine corks. If you are going to be baking this weekend, you can throw together a few simple, vegan brownies in mason jars.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups organic flour
  • 1 cup organic carob chips
  • 1 tbsp organic baking powder
  • 1/2 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

You can either layer all of the ingredients separately in the jar or to save time mix all of the dry ingredients and top with the chocolate chips.

Attach a tag with the instructions to add:

  • 1/3 cup of your favorite neutral oil
  • 1 3/4 cup organic almond milk.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Make Your Holiday Dinner Party More Sustainable

Our annual holiday dinner and white elephant party is quickly approaching! It is definitely my favorite part of the holiday season, next to watching Eben and the mister open their gifts. It is always a wonderful night full of family, laughter and fun. The white elephant gifts we picked this year are next level! We try ever year to make our holiday dinner party waste free – here are some of our tips so you can make your holiday party waste-free too!

1. Ditch the Disposables
While it can seem easier to serve the holiday meal or cocktails using disposable plates, cups, napkins and flatware, I highly recommend skipping it. Not only is it wasteful, it’s expensive and costs the enviornment a ton when you fill up the garbage can. Even if you don’t have china or a full set of dinnerware, use can use your daily dishes and dress them up with cloth napkins and a fabulously decorated table. It really only takes a few minutes at the end of the night to load the dishwasher and you save a ton of trash in the process.

2. Start from Scratch
When it comes to preparing a meal for your family – especially during the holiday season, it’s always amazing if you can start from scratch. Not only will the meals taste even more delicious, there will be minimal packaging waste since you are making everything from scratch. I suggest putting together a menu of 4-5 dishes and then making those items from scratch, this way you won’t be terrbily overwhelmed, but you will be left with a meal that your guests won’t forget!

3. One Dessert Only
I have a rule when it comes to holiday dinners or any dinner party, I only make one dessert. I have a couple of delicious recipes that are simple to make and always a huge hit. I pick one and only one to make. I have found that we have less food waste at the end of the night and we aren’t left with a ton of desserts once the guests go home.

4. Plan for Your Leftovers
I try to convince the mister to only make enough food for the holiday dinner – however, we are always left with at least a week of leftovers. Sometimes we get tired of having the holiday meal over and over again for days on end. Instead, we package up some of the leftovers to go home with our guests – or put a menu plan in place to use those leftovers in a different way. For example, every year the mister makes turkey matzo ball soup with the leftover turkey! Amazing! Nothing is worse than throwing food away, so have a plan in place to prevent that.

5. Go Reusable!
When it comes to gift wrap, I am a huge fan of reusable bags that can be used again and again. If gift bags aren’t your thing, then I suggest choosing a recycled wrapping paper that can be recycled at the end of the day. If you receive a gift that isn’t wrapped in a recyclable or reusable paper, you could keep the paper to use in those crafty projects you plan to do with the children after the holidays!

YOUR TURN: What is your favorite eco-friendly way to make your holiday dinner party more sustainable?