Simple, sustainable DIY Halloween decor

Fall has arrived, and the holiday season is right around the corner, making for the perfect time to get creative with Mission Fall Decor 2020. While you might find inspiration walking through the local home improvement or craft store, dedicating yourself to DIY decor saves you money, adds a personal sense of accomplishment and presents the opportunity to recycle or select materials that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

a spread of apples and pumpkins

Use products of the season 

Autumn is the season for apple and pumpkin everything, which launches a starting point for your seasonal decorating. Select glass bowls to fill with apples or gourds for an easy table centerpiece. Similarly, carve out the tops of apples or pumpkins and place a candle inside. To fill the house with the smell of cinnamon and apples, cube or slice an apple, add a cinnamon stick and some nutmeg and top with water. Allow the mixture to simmer on the stove, and keep an eye on the water level so it doesn’t boil dry.

Related: DIY fall decor using upcycled items from thrift stores

To add a cozy feel, grab a flannel blanket and drape it over a hay bale near the door to welcome guests. Top with a few pumpkins and give it a backdrop of corn stalks. After the season, everything except the blanket can go into the compost pile.

Now with your scene set, put on your crafty hat for some additional decorations easily made from home-sourced supplies.

a door wreath with small pumpkins and fall leaves

Twig wreath

Walk into a craft store this time of year, and you’ll likely see an assortment of wreaths, including a basic design with nothing more than twigs glued together. Instead of doling out the cash, make your own using natural materials. Bundle up the kids and head out for a stick-collection party. With your selections back home, scrape the sticks free of moss and dirt. Overlap them and adhere with a hot glue gun, creating a circle as you work. After completing the first layer, add additional layers for depth. Once the twigs are securely attached, you can keep the ultra-natural look or spraypaint the wreath black or even orange for a bolder display. Add a burlap bow, or glue berries, mini pumpkins or dried apples on if you desire. You can check out this tutorial from Ernest Home Co. for more guidance.

a spread of mini pumpkins and tea candles

Metal Jack-O-Lantern luminaries

Of course, a very popular fall holiday inspires specific witchy and graveyard appeal. To get started on your Halloween Decor 2020, hang luminaries with a Halloween theme, or use them to line a walkway up the driveway or through the garden.

To make, select clean, dry cans from the waste pile and remove the lids. Watch for sharp edges. Depending on the look you want, you can use anything from a large coffee can down to a tuna can (although the latter might work better with a floating candle). Spray-paint your cans black or orange. Use the opposite color of poster board to cut out a variety of facial features

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Rediscover Indian traditional kitchen utensils but with a contemporary, sustainable outlook- The New Indian Express

As more and more homemakers discover the benefits of the natural, organic way of life, everything from fashion to decor to food is going the sustainable way. Cookware is no different.

Shunning those harmful plastics and toxic teflons, a host of new brands are taking a cue from the past with utensils that hark back to our grandmothers’ kitchens.

From brass pots and terracotta tableware, to cast iron tawas and copper and bronze-glazed masala daanis, these brands are bringing back the joys of good old slow-cooking. We round up a few.

 roti box from Ellementry

The Indus Valley
The collection here is almost from your grandma’s kitchen—neem wood glasses and ladles, copper and terracotta water bottles and cast iron pans. Fed up with melted plastic in their microwave, Mumbai-based husband-wife duo Jagadeesh Kumar and Madhumitha Udaykumar launched this line of natural cookware that is heat-resistant and non-toxic.
Our pick: Neem wood cooking ladles

Zishta
Founded by Archish Mathe, Meera Ramakrishnan and Varishta, the brand borrows from our ancestors on how to lead a sustainable life. You will find tin rasam vessels from Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, copper water pots from Maharashtra, handmade urulis from Kerala, table runners made of natural river grass from West Bengal, iron-rich vessels from Manipur, kansa utensils from Odisha, neem wood cutlery from West Bengal and more.
Our pick: Masala daani

Mitti Cool
If you like everything terracotta, you are going to love this brand. From utensils to tableware and kitchen products, the award-winning designs showcase Indian innovation at its finest. Started by Mansukhbhai Prajapati, a traditional Gujarati clay craftsman, the kitchenware is made from mineral-enriched mud without additives. 
Our pick: Water coolers

Rock Tawa
This Coimbatore-based brand has gained quite a following across the country. Specialising in cast ironware such as dosa tawas, appam chattis, paniyarakkals, roti tawas and even Dutch ovens, the products are pre-seasoned to hinder rust formation.
Our pick: Dosa pan

water cooler from Mitti Cool;

Ikkis
The 21 products designed by Gunjan Gupta are not only impeccably crafted, but innovatively conceptualised as well. It is a total reinterpretation of everyday Indian household products. For example, the humble kulhads (chai glasses), diyas (lamps) and baltis (buckets) metamorphose into champagne 
glasses, vases and candle holders.
Our pick: Champagne glasses

Essential Traditions by Kayal
Founders Kayal Vizhi Sriram and husband Shriram Narayanan are encouraging cooks to channel their inner grandmothers. With clay pots, brass ladles and grinding slabs made of soapstone, the brand also offers specialised utensils such as brass kuzhi karandis (a traditional ladle for sambhar and rasam), soapstone curd jars, and murruku and idiyappam grinders.
Our pick: Soapstone curd jars

Ellementry
With sustainability at the heart of its design approach, the processes and materials used by this brand ensure no harm to the environment. Everything is food-safe—safe to serve in and safe to cook in. Their terracotta collection has water bottles, jugs, tumblers, curd-setters, and roti boxes, besides a new serveware, drinkware and bakeware collection.
Our pick: Roti box

Rustik Craft
This

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AND Studio creating sustainable homes with eco-friendly luxury interior design & renovation

09/13/2020, Malaysia, Johor Bahru // KISSPR //

September 14, 2020: All those who are under the misconception that luxury and sustainability don’t go hand in hand need to have a second thought. A leading Malaysian interior designer, Andreas Budiman, has debunked the myth like a boss with his innovative eco-friendly yet plush interior design and home renovation projects. The founder of Malaysia’s top interior design studio AND Studio, Mr. Budiman specializes in creating sustainable homes that can save on energy costs

A name of big repute across Malaysia and Singapore residential renovation scene, AND Studio is a full-service interior design and home renovation firm. The company offers specialized design consulting and home remodeling services and caters to all kinds of home renovation projects. Whether it’s a luxury makeover just for the kitchen or an overall makeover of an entire home, Mr. Budiman and his team are ready to work for all.

What separates Mr. Budiman’s approach from that of the regular interior designers is his major emphasis in incorporating natural elements in his projects with due respect to the safety of the planet. One of his recent projects was a condo makeover with natural design and elements which has introduced a new wave in the traditional scene of interior design in Malaysia. Located in a highly urbanized area, the condo has been transformed from a 4-decade-old house into a plush grand home, accentuated with natural elements.

“The beauty of natural elements was the main concept behind the designing and renovation of the condo”, said Mr. Budiman while speaking about incorporating natural elements in his recent project.

The house has been decked up with natural stones like marble which has brought a classy edge to the overall condo. Moreover, AND Studio has incorporated natural lighting in the home renovation project as much as possible to ensure almost zero energy consumption. 

“With the ‘go green’ campaign going strong with each passing day, homeowners are really conscious about attaining a sustainable design and eco-friendly living. But, in most of the cases, they are curious about how to incorporate that ethos into their homes and need a guiding support here. This is where we come in.”

“We try to bring in a natural feel in homes with the help of natural stones, like the way we did in one of our last projects. Natural stones carry a timeless appeal and they always add a dose of class when you are seeking a luxury makeover for your home. Moreover, they are durable. Besides, we focus a lot on getting in natural lighting for your home to reduce energy consumption as much as possible. We believe in creating sustainable home designs that would be pleasing to the eye, easy on pocket and also would contribute to the betterment of the planet.”

While asked whether they had to face challenges while incorporating natural elements in their projects, Mr. Budiman mentioned a number of handicaps which they had to learn to tackle. He noted about the difficulties in

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Elevate Your Interior Spaces With Design Tips From Sustainable Decor Brand, Pom Pom at Home

Cozy nights at home have taken on new meaning with the pandemic. Now that summer is coming to an end and life indoors will become the norm, what better time to invest in décor that will elevate your space and have you loving it even more? 

Enter Pom Pom at Home, a super chic, family-owned, sustainable home décor brand known for their ‘lived-in elegance’ aesthetic. 

“When we started, a textile brand with this ‘lived-in’ elegant look wasn’t readily available, so I had to create it myself.  Most other textile companies at the time were very formal,” CEO and Creative Director, Hilde Leiaghat tells me. “Whereas, we curate the designs for our brand with a sense of calm and comfort in mind. Everything has to FEEL good. The touch and hand feel are truly what sell our products.”

Pom Pom at Home grew out of LA-based retail furniture and accessories store, Pom Pom Interiors, where Leiaghat was importing antiques and vintage textiles from Europe. 

“At our retail stores, there was a constant demand for vintage linens.  I saw this gap in the market and the growing need and seized the opportunity in launching my own line,” explains Leiaghat. From the start, Pom Pom at Home has focused on textiles that have a ‘vintage feel’ at an accessible price point.  “Linen fibers lend themselves best to this look and growing up in Belgium where linen is a very common fiber and part of our heritage, it felt natural for me to start this way. As a result, Pom Pom at Home was created in the fall of 2007.”

Derived from the flax plant, linen requires significantly less fertilizer and water than other plants used for fibers and lasts longer than other textiles due to its durability. In addition to linen, Pom Pom at Home offers alternative fibers to gives customers a range of product looks and feels. 

“We are known for our hand-loomed products made with high-quality, sustainably sourced materials but with unique attention to detail. We offer more than just bedding, our line includes everything from beautiful duvets, to decorative pillows, throws, tabletop linens and even rugs,” says Leiaghat.  “All of our collections use an underlying soothing color palette that allows the customer to combine other pieces to create their desired look.”

“Although linen continues to be our main focus and what we are known for, throughout the years we have expanded our brand by adding other fibers such as cotton, bamboo, recycled fibers and more. In doing so, we are able to curate a variety of products, such as silky sheets, hand loomed linens and textured throws,” continues Leiaghat. 

The brand works with manufactures

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Eco-Friendly Interior Design – A Guide to Creating a Sustainable and Ecological Interior

It is not often realized that the materials used for interior design could be threatening the environment or even your health. It is always a wise option to look out for an eco-friendly interior designer who could bring your ideas to your life at an affordable cost while ensuring the materials used don't endanger the environment or put you at the risk of respiratory problems and other conditions.

Paint

A host of eco-friendly solutions are in the market if you only look for them. Eco-friendly paint is one, conventional paints and finishes are quite dangerous if scientific reports and investigations by interior designers are to be believed. They are said to release low level toxic emissions long after they have dried on your walls. Paints with Low-Volatile Organic Compounds (Low-VOC and No-VOC) are the solution. You can feel the difference they are free from odor, thanks to the lack of harmful chemicals. Some of these eco-friendly paints are however expensive and may turn those on a budget off. But it is important to remember that it is almost impossible to create 100% non-toxic and non-allergenic paint even though manufacturers claim so. What can be done is to use paints that have a lesser concentration of the harmful elements which is effectively what the Low-VOC and No-VOC paints are.

Wallpaper

For those who would like a bit of vibrancy added to their walls, eco-friendly wallpapers are around. The problem with the regular wallpapers lies in the inks that are used while manufacturing. Eco-friendly wallpapers feature water-based inks; These inks are printed on chlorine-free paper obtained from forests specifically managed for the purpose. Low-VOC adhesive can be used for lightweight and medium weight paper-based wall decorations.

Carpets

Once you are done with the walls it is time to turn your interior design cravings to the floor. The pollution hazard with generally used carpets and flooring is that their installation can fill the indoor air with plenty of VOCs or volatile organic compounds. Included in these VOCs are carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene. You certainly would not want yourself or your loved ones to be inhaling these toxic substances. You ca not escape from it as these compounds could take years to dissipate, long after your flooring has been completed. What's more, the treatment employed to keep the carpets free from moths, soil and moisture involves toxic chemicals. The carpets themselves could attract toxic substances and VOCs from outside the house. The good news is that eco-friendly interior designs can be employed here as well. There is a wide variety of eco-friendly flooring options that include bamboo, cork, recycled metal and glass tiles, linoleum, stones and sustainable and reclaimed woods.

Carpet Tiles

Check out modular carpet tile squares that can use in place of the traditional carpet, these tiles are held to the ground by adhesive dots. They resemble the conventional carpet when all the tiles fall in place together, but are made from totally recycled materials and can be recycled again …

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