Pickering Project

Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Home – Decor Products

Tips for Creating an Eco-Friendly Home – Decor Products

The state of our environment is top concern for many of us and influences our daily decisions – including when we decide what we put in our homes.  Whether it be the carbon emissions a product plant emits or the amount of recycled content a new product contains, there are a lot of different ways something can be “green”.  Here are some things to consider, and products to look at, when wanting to make eco-friendly choices for your home.


Cork Flooring

Cork is a renewable resource as the trees are not cut down when harvesting the cork.  Layers of the bark are removed, which then grow back.  A cork tree can be harvested for 150 years and live for a good 200.

Wicanders Cork, available through Floors First Canada, comes in a wide variety of Greenguard Gold Certified finishes for both your floors and walls.

Cork’s honeycomb structure means it’s full of air acting as both an acoustic and thermal insulator.  Its natural elasticity allows it to absorb impacts and return to its original  shape.  These features make it a great flooring option for your home


Recycled Content

Looking for products that contain recycled content is another way of being green with your renovation choices.

Tiles are a finish where you can find many eco-friendly options, and Ceragres has a lot of these to choose from like glass tiles made from 100% recycled materials, stone mosaics that are 98% recycled, and porcelain tiles manufactured in low emissions  environmentally conscious plants. 


OEKO-TEX Standard 100

The OEKO-TEX Standard 100 tests certify companies that produce fabrics without traceable levels of harmful substances which translates to less harmful substances transferred into the environment.  These manufacturers use less water and release fewer emissions during their process.  Fabrics that meet these standards are also a great option for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Maxwell carries a wide selection of OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified fabrics, easily found on their website.  Here are just a few of the awesome patterns and colours these fabrics are availanle in!

Updating Your Kitchen with Hardware

Updating Your Kitchen with Hardware

Switching up your cabinet hardware is a great way to give your kitchen a quick makeover.  This small change can alter the whole look and feel of your kitchen or vanity and it’s a great way to stay on top of trends without breaking the bank on a huge renovation.

There are many things to consider when selecting your hardware, but one of the most important things is don’t hesitate to invest in good quality hardware from companies like Baldwin.  These are things you touch and use daily, they’re worth the small investment it takes to get something great! 

More guidance when selecting hardware:

  • Pick hardware that matches the style of your doors.  Certain finishes and styles while beautiful on their own, may not work with your doors.  Shiny gold on a rustic shaker door is not the greatest match, for example, but an oil rubbed brass could work
  • Really consider your lifestyle.  Glossy things show smudges and hand prints, so if you’ve got a full house and those doors get lots of use, go for a more forgiving brushed finish. (The same concept applies to your doors!)
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match.  Use a combination of knobs and pulls or cup pulls, but keep scale in mind.  A large door front will require two smaller pulls spaced out, or one larger pull centred on the door.  Which would you prefer?  This is why it’s important to chose from collections with lots of size options
  • Going from a knob to a pull is easy, but switching from a pull to a knob will require the extra task of filling in the holes left behind

Watch my Cityline segment for more examples!


Karen’s Top 5 Tips for Creating a Comfortable Home (Tip 5)

Karen’s Top 5 Tips for Creating a Comfortable Home (Tip 5)

5. Warm Your Floors

Once you’ve prepped and have your subfloors down you could even decide to really warm up key areas by heating your floors.  Basements and bathrooms are great areas for this.

I chose to use Nuheat’s electric underpads for my project

  • It’s North America’s first WiFi-enabled thermostat for floor heating systems, so you can change your settings from anywhere you are, anytime.
  • This thermostat is programmable – heat only when you are using the space
  • It’s really user-friendly and has an easy set up Wizard and easy to read screen
  • Access your energy consumption and easily view your hourly, weekly, and monthly energy consumption
  • And it works with Nest!

In other areas of your home add carpeting on top of the flooring like a nice large area rug.  It adds warmth and comfort and increases sound absorption and insulation, ensuring your floor is warm in winter and cool in summer. The Smartstrand lines from Mohawk have over 700 silk-like fibres that make up a single strand of SmartStrand Silk yarn, creating their amazing softness. This carpet offers a lifetime stain and soil resistance guaranty because it’s built into the fibre so it never washes off or wears away.

I’m choosing to use SmartStrand products from Mohawk because…

  • They’re exceptionally durable, resists matting, crushing and everyday wear-and-tear
  • They require little maintenance and clean easily with just water and mild detergent

Bonus Tip: Just like art, your area carpet can also be used to tie together a room, so don’t be afraid of patterns and colours!


Karen’s Top 5 Tips for Creating a Comfortable Home (Tip 4)

Karen’s Top 5 Tips for Creating a Comfortable Home (Tip 4)

4. Speaking of Windows… don’t forget skylights!

Our homes are so well sealed these days we’ve alleviated the issues of drafty, cold homes but now we’ve created another… not enough fresh air.  The air inside our house is between 2-5x more polluted than the air outside.  An easy solution that also offers lots of other benefits is a solar powered venting skylight. 

The units selected from Velux for our #PickeringProject don’t require wiring and operate anytime of the day

Over 200 times even if the battery is not fully charged.  They also boast a rainsensor and leak proof design for both the skylight and install kit.

Why I used skylights in the Pickering Project House

  • Improve indoor air quality and can be used to allow hot air to escape in warm months as well as offering a convenient way to bring fresh air in.  Newer homes often have HVR’s to combat this but not everyone has these.
  • Adds natural light. A skylight provides twice the light as a window the same size
  • I’m adding one in the bedroom level stairwell to let light flood the hallway and the main floor. Being right above the stairs, it will be fantastic for getting air circulating around the home.