From picking out the best materials and colors to staying on a budget, home design can be a full-time job. Being a well-rounded expert requires knowledge in energy efficiency, feng shui and even chemistry. Do you have what it takes to design a home?
Baby boomers are embracing universal design -- a design that's meant for people of all ages and abilities -- because they want to plan for the possibility of being in a wheelchair without spending years living in a home that looks like it was designed for a wheelchair.
Modular homes consist of units or modules that are constructed in factories and joined together on site. They often use costlier materials and are bigger than manufactured homes (mobile homes).
Attics and basements heavy with humidity will cause mold and attract insects. In addition, basements are prone to flooding.
Blue has been seen to actually trigger the body to produce calming chemicals.
Antiques are probably the greenest furniture choice. This recycled furniture doesn't require any additional environmental impact. Also, when you buy an antique that's more than 50 years old, it lacks the toxic chemicals and substances that some furniture can emit.
Laminates are cheaper than alternatives and have good stain, abrasion and moisture resistance, but scratches and nicks do show and can't be repaired. (An dark pattern minimizes visible marks, and color-through laminates show less evidence of wear.)
The Form School, which originated in southern China, is based on the environment and proper placement in relation to topography and water formations. Sometimes referred to as "classic feng shui" because it is the oldest, the Form School is founded upon the ancient need to find a safe place to live.
Although straw is cheaper than building materials like brick or lumber, constructing a straw bale home will usually cost the same as a conventional home because the wall budget is only about 10 percent to 15 percent of the total building budget.
Trusses are pre-fabricated, triangulated wooden structures used to support the roof. They are popular because they're strong, customizable and inexpensive.
Practitioners who use the bagua map will overlay this diagram on a room or house to determine what should be placed in each area