House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room. While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels. If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit? Here are a few to get you started.
Golden Pothos – This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis. With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room. Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days. Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts. In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air.
Peace Lilies – Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers.
Rubber Tree – While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges. These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture.
Weeping Fig – This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand. In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment. This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well. If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions. While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts. This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties.
Snake Plant – Also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue”, this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution. Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering. Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive.
For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.
Painting your home for staging purposes is a little different than painting your home for personal pleasure. While your daughter may love having her walls painted Barbie pink, a potential buyer may see this as a distraction. Choosing neutral colors will enable buyers to imagine themselves in your home much easier. And while a fresh coat of paint on your walls may initially seem to be a costly endeavor to undertake, consider that painting your home can increase the value of your home by a few thousand dollars in some cases. Below is a basic guide to what colors you should have in mind if you plan on painting your home for show.
The Kitchen – Kitchens do well with yellows, oranges, and reds. As long as the shade is neutral, these colors will serve to highlight home appliances, kitchen size, and overall comfort. Picking these food-friendly colors will definitely kick your kitchen up a notch.
Bathrooms – Bathrooms, because of their size, are best served by very light colors such as tan or pale yellow. The darker you go, the smaller your bathroom will look. In addition, Light colors will also give a sense of cleanliness to a bathroom. If you happen to have a bathroom that already boasts a robust color due to architecture or tile, then pulling colors from these may be an option. For instance, if you have a tile floor in the bathroom with a blue or red in it, then drawing from these colors and choosing a paler shade for the walls could potentially work for the overall flow of the bathroom.
Bedrooms – Bedrooms should always steer clear of bright colors, but other than that, you can have a bit more freedom here. Things to keep in mind include the color and style of flooring and fixtures, and whether or not your master bedroom has a master bathroom. Be sure to pick colors that compliment each other if so.
Hallways and the rest – Again, you get a bit more freedom here. Salmon-hued paints have a tendency to make people look lively and energized, while beige and blue tones can convey a sense of tranquility and calm. Beige with green tones can be energizing, so it may be something to consider once you reach the living room. Bright reds should probably be avoided in hallways, as they have a tendency to keep people from fully relaxing. This may sound a little crazy, but it’s true.
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