I came across this scene in a neighborhood composed mainly of modern architecture and design. I love this sculpture outside the front of the home where it can be enjoyed by passersby. It adds an artistic element to the home’s exterior as well as providing fluid lines and movement amongst the more angular lines of the home.
The award-winning energy-efficient Devonshire building .
A new study says home owners won’t see their utility bills drop until they’ve conducted four or more energy upgrades. Here are projects that will give you the greatest bang for your energy buck.
I’ve long suspected that saving energy is like saving calories: Small measures add up, until a Thanksgiving pecan pie — or a dazzling holiday light display — wrecks a year’s worth of small though consistent efforts.
Evidently I’m right, according to a new study claiming that doing a couple of small, energy-saving measures actually increase utility bills. And that a home owner must perform at least four energy upgrades before their utility bill drops.
The 450-page study, conducted by the eco-curious Shelton Group, found that energy-efficient home owners think they should replace water heaters and install a higher-efficiency HVAC system, though they actually replace windows and add insulation.
We think they’re half right: Adding insulation, especially in the attic, is a low-cost way to reduce utility bills. But replacing windows requires a huge upfront cost, which you probably won’t live long enough to earn back.
To see net-net savings — in your lifetime — select upgrades that reduce energy consumption by 5% and require modest initial investments. We suggest:
Seal and insulate ductwork through unfinished and unheated areas, such as the attic, garage, and crawl spaces.
Install a programmable thermostat so you don’t overheat your house when you’re away or asleep.
Seal air leaks around windows, doors, attic access, and recessed lights.
How many energy-efficient improvements did you make last year? Did you see a drop or increase in your utility bills?
Pets bring great energy to a home. They are always happy to see their owners (and sometimes everybody else who comes to visit!), gladly follow you around from room to room so you’ll never be alone (or is it that they won’t be alone?), come with their own amusing set of antics which will make you smile and laugh, watch over the house and it’s occupants, play with you, snuggle with you, and provide unconditional love every day of the year. They’re definitely good people–er, pets.
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These two photos were taken within seconds of one another.
Earlier today I was out looking at a couple of condos in Wayzata. Afterwards, I walked near this shop. The blue bike caught my attention. It’s old-fashioned styling seemed to fit in perfectly with the vintage shop. The blue was a welcome splash of color in an otherwise rainy and overcast day.
I used my cell phone camera to take these shots. I find the blurred half of this photo rather intriguing. Did I move while taking the picture? Only half the photograph is blurred. If I moved, shouldn’t the entire photo be blurry? It makes me think of sci-fi and action movies. What just went by at high-speed?
In the study of Feng Shui, we discuss that everything is energy. The right half of the photo appears to have a stronger energy field than the left side. What else could have been in the space while I was there? Hmm…
Bring more opportunity into your life by using color on your front door. Use three colors for the exterior of your home: one color for the walls, a second color for the trim and a third color for the front door.
The front door is considered the “mouth of chi” —the place energy enters your home. It is also known as the “mouth of opportunity”. By painting your front door a contrasting color from the walls and trim colors, you invite more energy, and hence opportunity, into your home and life. Below are beautiful examples of a colored front door working to support the homeowners.
Many people seem hesitant to paint their front door a color. Drive or walk around your neighborhood and look at homes that have a colored front door. See how pleasing and inviting it looks to the eye.
If you’re concerned you’ll choose the wrong color, seek the advice of a color consultant or an interior designer (check my Resources page for contact information for color consultant Steve Kleinpaste). You might also ask a friend who exhibits style and flair. If you plan to sell your home, I provide color consultation as part of my listing and staging services.
Music is such a special part of life. It produces a variety of energies in a home and is sometimes used as a feng shui adjustment. Music can be both energizing and relaxing. A song can stir a memory. Lyrics can move a person.
I have a niece who plays the violin. I’ve heard this piece played at a few of her recitals and have always loved it. The music here, Borowski’s Adoration, strikes me as an apt piece for today. I hope you enjoy it.