Smart Design is conscious design and benefits our daily lives as well as our environment. It is a strategic blend of accessibility, environmental design and aesthetic, and can include maximizing the utility of existing features, working with green goods, practicality, efficiency, and precious resource conservation using a ‘measure twice, cut once’ approach.
Going Green – A long View
When done consciously, creating your new and improved space can go hand-in-hand with ecologically beneficial choices before, during and after your project’s completion. Investing in your home in this way may cost you more up front but will save you in the long run, through lower operating costs and overall health of your home.
Smart Tips – Increase your home’s functionality
- Update to high-efficiency windows – Your investment can often be rewarded by an Energy-Star tax reduction. In addition, by keeping air and weather conditions out, you can lower your utility bills and improve long-term durability of your home, If replacing windows is off the table, start with sealing off drafts, which can reduce your energy bills 5to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Light up your bathroom! – We spend a fair amount of time in the washroom and the right lighting for various tasks can add a lot of value to your day to day. Sconce lighting at the vanity is an ideal way to even out lighting on your face, and installing it at eye level will help diminish unflattering shadows. A relaxing bath might call for dim lighting whereas bright lights will better illuminate shaving or applying makeup. Adding more overall lighting can make a small bathroom seem larger.
- Choose the right countertop surface for your lifestyle – When replacing surfaces, it’s good to remember that some materials are easier to upkeep than others [important if you have kids at home or do a lot of cooking). Granite and quartz are popular, top performers, though granite will need periodic resealing to keep in excellent condition.
- Use natural light to amplify perspective – The way light illuminates your living space can have an enormous effect on your environment, and when it’s captured, can hugely improve the quality and character of a room, Small spaces especially can benefit from using reflective surfaces to increase the presence of natural light throughout your home.
- Trade out old appliances to high efficiency models – With additions like improved insulation, door seals and temperature control, an Energy-Star refrigerator; for example is designed to save you money on your energy bills and reduce energy waste.
- Thinking of new floors? – Sustainably harvested hardwood, bamboo, cork and tile, can be inviting and enduring as well as beautiful. They’re more gentle on the planet and can actually help promote healthier eco-systems,
having a positive impact outside your home too.
- Conscious cabinetry – Consider cabinetry made from non-formaldehyde-containing products, or from woods more local to your home region (like fir for us Portlanders), which has traveled less distance to arrive in your home. Like with floors, sustainably harvested materials are a thoughtful choice.
- Insulate to last – Effective and property installed insulation plays a major roll in your home’s energy efficiency. Alternative materials that better insulate can lower your monthly bills as well as preserve your home’s long term wear.
- Light & energy efficiency – LED lights are extremely energy efficient. As well, fixtures with dimmer switches not only make for a wonderfully lit atmosphere but will give you more control on your energy output and help you dim down your electricity in the process.
- Timers add ease – Use a timer to control settings on your thermostat or other electrical devices. It will allow you one less thing to think about, while putting your energy and your home‘s energy, to better use.
- Careful carpet – Carpet can make for great floor insulation but synthetic carpets, as Well as adhesives and padding used for insulation, can often have high counts of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds), which smell strongly and are harmful to inhale. Install low VOC carpet and low/no VOC padding and under-layment. Your nose and lungs will thank you.
Growing Green – our practices
At DSC DesignWorks we practice resourcefulness and efficiency wherever we can. We offer eco-friendly building materials and conscious, creative options to help build your vision with. When applying finish to our cabinetry, we use GreenGauard Certified clear finish (for improved indoor air quality). We practice recycling and donating on site and in the shop and office. Because our green standards are continually growing. we welcome your eco-minded thoughts and methods. These are a few small ways we contribute. Let us know if we can help you consider any green home improvements of your own.