Why Indoor Plants are Great for your Home and Health
It’s a fact that nothing classes up your home like an indoor plant or vase of fresh flowers. I’m not the tidiest person in the world, but I swear when I pick up a bunch of cut flowers at the farmers market on Saturdays, it makes my apartment look 10 times more neat. That may just be wishful thinking, but now that we’re in peak hay fever season and the changing of the climate is driving my allergies crazy, I’ve been looking for more reasons to add indoor plants to my apartment besides just for their beauty. Plants look great but have you ever thought of the health benefits behind adding greenery to your space? Here’s five reasons why houseplants are good for your heart, soul and decor:
Plants Make You Smarter! Studies show that plants have psychological and restorative effects that can lower tension and boost productivity and concentration. A new study by Texas researchers has linked these effects to college students and how plants can help to enhance performance in the classroom. Now if only they could link indoor plants to getting the motivation to actually DO your work, then we’d be in business!
Plants Help You Breathe Easier! Everyone knows that our bodies function by taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Plants are neat to have around because they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This win-win situation makes indoor plants the best roommates! Adding plants to your bedroom, especially orchids and succulents, can refresh the air at night and leave you sleeping easier.
Plants Increase Your Health! I found this really cool infograph that shows how plants have been found to help hospital patients get better faster and even aid in reducing stress related ailments for employees. Now I see why Peggy likes to keep plants at the office. No sick days for us!
Plants Can Help You Look Better! Well, this one is a little bit of a stretch, but plants have been found to improve skin tone. First, indoor plants make great little humidifiers. During the respiration process, they release moisture which can save you from dry skin during the winter months. Plants also relieve stress, which is a known factor in many skin ailments like breakouts, hives and blotches. Having plants around may just be the thing you need for a brighter complexion!
Plants Will Purify Your Air! If you’re one of our customers, then you already know that our furniture contains little to no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). Unfortunately, if you are still purchasing products and furniture that contain VOC’s, then the air in your home might be making you sick. Plants help to remove 87% of VOC’s in the air every 24 hours!
What Kind and How Many? My favorite indoor plants are the ones that are the least likely to die if I forget about them for a day. Spider plants are very easy to maintain, have numerous health benefits and they look great, which makes them my first choice. Boston ferns, snake plants, english ivy and jade plants round out my top five. It is suggested that for optimal health benefits to place one large plant (6+ inch pots) or two smaller plants (4-5 inch pots) every 100 square feet. That comes to about 10-20 houseplants depending on if you’re in an apartment or house. Try to place the plants in areas where you go to work or relax.
These benefits plus the fact that plants make your home look brighter and feel more inviting mean that you have no reason not to add houseplants to your green interior decorating scheme. Go one step greener and pick up a non-toxic, eco-friendly Dana Thomas Plant Stand from our online store. Made with a low-VOC, water-based finish, our plant stand is perfect for holding your air cleansing plants and adding style to your space at the same time.
Tell us about how you decorate your space with plants in the comments below or on our Facebook page!
DIY Closet Office
I have a small confession to make. I, Loryn Dion, am a Pinterest addict. Every time I have a spare minute, I find myself flipping through DIY projects and cooking recipes on my laptop, Kindle, cell phone and even on my TV. It’s a very big problem. One of my favorite ideas that I’ve seen pop up on Pinterest in the last few weeks, and you’ve probably seen it too if you’re an avid Pinterest user like me, is the DIY closet office.
Basically, the closet office is exactly what it sounds like. For modest homes that do not have the luxury of having a separate room for an office, you take a large closet or nook space, outfit it with a desk, chair, filing cabinet and a plethora of shelves and organizers, a little paint and voila! A secret office space that can be closed up when you’re done.
There are a few versions of the office that link to pages telling you about chairs and desks from Ikea or Pottery Barn that would fit perfectly in your spare closet. While it may be true that these pieces will fit in your closet now, in 5-10 years you’re going to be tossing out that “disposable” desk to replace it with a new “disposable” desk that will just fall apart in another 5 years. Plus, these pieces are no friends to the environment. So I’m here to tell you that you can get that dream closet office space with our lifetime guaranteed, eco-friendly, office furniture.
First, I suggest starting with our Cherry Moon Writing Desk. I think it has a nice mission-flair that works well with many styles and has a unique, two-toned drawer pull option. This desk also comes in 5 different sizes to fit whatever shape your closet space is. Also check out our Vermont-Made Shaker Writing Desk if you like these options but prefer a more traditional shaker style.
Next, pick up our Cherry Moon 2-Drawer Vertical File Cabinet for additional, under-desk storage (Or our Vermont Shaker 2 Drawer File Cabinet, if you like the shaker option). If you have the room, browse our customizable book shelves to find a bookcase that will fit in nicely with the style of your closet office.
Now, you can decorate how you’d like (If you’re choosing cherry wood, I would suggest earth tone colors. They look great with cherry wood no matter what age it is) and fill up your space with supplies and appliances (I love thegreenoffice.com. They have some great deals on office supplies that are green and energy efficient).
There you have it! A quick guide to an environmentally-friendly closet office. If you have a closet office or have some great ideas for one, tell us about it in the comments or show us your pictures on our facebook page!
Lyndon Furniture has been crafting beautiful fine furniture from real, solid hardwoods for over 30 years and it's become one of our "best value" lines at Vermont Woods Studios. Customers looking for honest, hand crafted furniture that's made of all real, solid wood (without veneers) are drawn to Lyndon.
Their craftspeople are committed to preserving the heritage of American furniture making by combining the best of old world construction techniques and new world precision. What they achieve is an authentic product that's stylish, affordable and designed to last a lifetime.
Lyndon works with local and regional hardwoods, primarily cherrywood, maple, walnut and oak. In addition to making their tables, chairs and beds with all solid wood, Lyndon also constructs their case goods (china cabinets, bookcases, dressers, chests, nightstands and armoires) with solid wood, whereas most manufacturers use veneers on case sides. The only place you'll find veneer on Lyndon pieces is on the backs of case goods and bottoms of drawers– that's to provide for wood movement during changing humidity.
If all solid wood construction is important to you when shopping for handmade furniture, check out Lyndon Furniture on our website. We carry the full line of their products, including customizations and complete custom design. We welcome your questions and specialty orders.
As forest-lovers and wood furniture makers we couldn't help notice "I Am Eco", the new environmentally friendly PC by the Irish company, MicroPro Computers.
Leave it to the Irish (I AM O'NEIL, by the way) to create a PC made of wood! At first I figured the idea was dreamed up and photoshopped late at night in a pub but then I realized it's all true.
IAMECO is the world's most environmentally friendly PC that's wholly sustainable, with a carbon footprint 70% less than conventional computers. IAMECO is built with 100% recyclable materials and uses LED lighting that's 40% more energy efficient than it's predecessors.
No fans are used for cooling, rather heat sinks are employed with the bonus of eliminating noise. IAMECO is a touchscreen PC, and certainly seems to be unprecedented in terms of eco-friendliness.
Maybe I can convince Douglas to buy one for our new showroom? We'll see… cost, memory, speed and other specs haven't been released yet but I plan to keep an eye on that. I AM ECO will be available in September.
Well, I'm no expert on Zen but I can see where the simple, organic forms of Copeland's Astrid Furniture Collection would appeal to someone looking to introduce an element of serenity into their home.
Astrid features pure, simple, minimalist style. It's designed to "create an oasis of quiet harmony for the modern urban bedroom". I guess that is rather zen-like. The fact that Astrid furniture is handmade right here in Vermont from local, sustainably harvested wood was an important part of Corey's decision too.
Usually when the mail comes I'm quick to toss it on Douglas' desk because it's an invoice or statement or other uninteresting transmittal. But today there was a beautiful, hand-addressed card on top of the mail pile and the stamp had a Trident Maple Bonsai tree on it. How intriguing.
So I kept this letter for myself. Inside was a check (always my favorite mail to open) and a "racy" greeting card from one of our customers in West Yarmouth, MA.
The card was made by Tree-Free Greetings in Keene, NH which is just down the road from us. It's a small company I've never even heard of. But their cards are made from recycled content and Kenaf– an American grown plant that grows 15 feet in 5 months, uses no harmful chemicals in processing and is fully recyclable.
I have to say… our customers are the ultimate. They keep us going when times get tough. Sending us money in a locally made, eco-friendly card on Arbor Day… how cool is that?
Many thanks to the Merrill family!
And happy Arbor Day, everyone.
Earth Week seems like a good time to roll out Copeland Furniture's new collection of high end, eco-friendly solid wood dining chairs.
This one is Copeland's ultra minimalist (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) Catalina Estelle chair in solid walnut wood. It brings you back to that mid century modern style of the 1950's with it's clean, simple lines and retro design.
All of Copeland's furniture is made right here in Vermont from sustainably harvested wood. Many Copeland items are available in FSC green-certified wood. You can read more about Copeland's green furniture and the many prestigious awards they have won for sustainability on our website.
Stay tuned for the roll out of additional brand new Copeland dining furniture pieces in the coming weeks. If you're looking for authentic green luxury you can't overlook Copeland. And their furniture is 100% American made. As we see all the big furniture companies talking about bringing their operations back to the USA from Asia due to global economics, it's good to know about Copeland Furniture– one of the few American furniture makers that stayed in the USA remaining true to their values of quality, sustainability and community throughout the mass exodus to China.
I am ashamed to say that my home office decor is deplorable. You can see it in this video taken last year when I had 6 other people working in it with me.
I started looking for ideas at HGTV and was delighted to find they are showcasing over 125 home office design ideas submitted by homeowners and interior designers.
They've got modern home offices, eclectic home offices, traditional home offices, contemporary home offices, arts and crafts home offices, cottage home offices, tropical home offices, English country home offices, transitional home offices, mid-century modern and even Mediterranean home offices.
I hope they add a green home office project with all natural, all American made wooden office furniture: desks, file cabinets, credenza, occasional tables and chairs (maybe even using reclaimed, recycled barnwood). Then add in organic cotton rugs, draperies and upholstery, energy efficient electronics, light bulbs, light fixtures and maybe even FSC certified wood flooring. That would be a good project to post on Earth Day, HGTV. Just a suggestion.
Naturally, as wood furniture makers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have to be concerned about forest conservation. It's the foundation of our company's viability.
Although our Green Mountain Forests in Vermont are healthy and sustainable we know that, from a global perspective deforestation is the Number 1 environmental problem on our planet today. Deforestation is a huge contributor to global warming, climate change, air pollution (carbon and other emissions from slash and burn practices), habitat loss, biodiversity loss, pollution of marine habitats (due to run-off from pesticides and fertilizers used to transform diverse forests into mono-cultured plantations) and more.
So at Vermont Woods Studios, we are working with The Nature Conservancy in support of their Plant A Billion Trees project. We plant one tree for every order we fulfill and we support many non-profits dedicated to forest conservation.
We appreciate your concern for the environment. When you buy wood furniture from us, you can rest assured that the forest where your furniture began it's life, will still be around for generations to come. As will your furniture!
Kendall posted a new webpage the other day on the link between your furniture, rainforest conservation and a greener, more sustainable world. It's why we do what we do at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Wood Furniture.
Sometimes I feel like a nutcase– living in Vermont and talking about rainforest conservation all the time. But I can't help it. It's one of the Top 3 environmental problems of our time, yet few people seem to know about it.
Check out these rainforest facts and let me know if you too see this as a matter of great urgency.
1.5 acres of rainforest are lost every second (that equates to 50 million acres a year: an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined)
- 54 of the world's 193 countries have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover. Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth's land surface now cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
- Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next 25 years due to rainforest deforestation.
- We are losing approximately 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
- As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.
- Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations
- There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.
- In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.
- In Indonesia, the current aggressive rate of logging could eradicate native forests within only 10 years. Unlike our temperate forests in Vermont for example, rainforests do not regenerate after they are destroyed. Once gone, they are gone forever and along with them the wonderful diversity of plants and wildlife that inhabit them.
If you've managed to read this far, you rock! Leave a comment below or check in with us now and then on Facebook to see what we're doing to to help replant the rainforest with our Plant a Billion Trees project. Join us and together we can make a difference!