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Summer Plant Care Tips

The summer heat is on and you are trying your best to keep yourself cool. Your plants are also feeling the brunt of the heat and require some cooling and a little tlc too.


Here are some tips that you should follow to help your plants make the best of this growing season:-


-Water your plants more than you normally do to make up for the lack of humidity in atmosphere. Potted plants need special care as they can’t grow deep into earth in search of water. Even though the quantity of water would vary according to the soil and plant type, the soil should generally be moist at all times of the day.


-If your pot soil is sandy, try mixing it with some amount of clay. Sandy soil becomes dry easily and mixing it with some clay will help retain moisture.


-You can also cover the top layer of the soil with mulch, containing wooden pieces, twigs, dead plant leaves, etc. It will not only provide extra fertilizer for the soil but will also help retain the moisture of the soil. Small pebbles may also be used to cover the soil.


-Potted plants can be kept in a cluster instead of being scattered. This way they will lose water only from the external sides and will also face sun from only one side.


-During summer water the plants during early morning or just after sunset, to avoid evaporation of the water.


-Proper pruning of the plants should be done and unnecessary foliage should be removed from the plants to avoid excess loss of water trough transpiration.


-The plant soil should be provided more fertilizer in summer to sustain their high growth and extra energy requirement.


-All kinds of weeds should be rooted out of the plant soil, so that the nutrients and water meant for your plants are not used up by weeds.

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You once worked in a well laid-out and organized office, but now the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID19, has demanded that you work from your home to support the “Stay at Home” drive, which will assist in curbing the spread of this deadly disease.

In some cases, this situation now calls for starting a makeshift office at home.  A piece of your personal space, is now being used to create a workspace, and it may just seem like a misfit.

No need to worry, we can help you work through this and succeed in creating a comfortable workspace at home.

Here are some vital tips on how to create an organized home workspace, which will surely contribute to an environment that will contribute immensely to your productivity.


Firstly and most importantly…

1. Keep it clutter free – clear your desk whenever you step out; it could be for a short break.  A clean desk policy should be a usual practice, to keep all information confidential.

2. Give everything its space – everything deserves its space and must be kept there at all times. When you have a designated space for everything, items are easier to locate, and this saves time.

When everything is in place…
3. This makes your desk a combination of inspiration and efficiency. Place a wall art or a framed client testimonial within your line of sight – when things get tough, one needs a little motivation.   You can also keep a vision board close by to remind you of your long-term goals and a calendar to keep track of important activities and appointments.

You are inspired and motivated, now…
4. Reduce stress and improve creativity and productivity, by adding a few plants to your office space. Some plants are known to help reduce noise levels, and provide clean air.

Keep your space well lit…
5. Ample lighting is important for every type of workspace.  This improves motivation level and functionality.  Working near windows, also increases your access to natural light, which has a positive effect on how you feel.

Whether you work from home or in a formal business setting these tips can be quite useful.

Contact us for a free consultation at

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Embrace the Christmas Season

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes


Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a single Christmas decoration could be found. No stockings were hung, no mistletoe in sight, such a terribly dreadful Christmas night. As we celebrate this most joyous time of the year, let us take the time to make our homes feel as festive as our merry hearts. Turn your home into a festive gathering place for family and friends by sprucing it up with a few simple and creative holiday décor ideas.


  • Are you unsure of how to display your collection of holiday cards? Turn them into works of art. Use clips or clothespins to string them around your living room or against the wall.


  • Create Christmas themed slipcovers for your chairs. Cover your dining room chairs and wrap a bow around each one; Christmas ornaments can also be incorporated for extra pizazz. Ensure that the underside is properly secured with tape, if necessary.


  • Use Christmas themed curtains and other drapery around your home. If you do not have any with Christmas designs, simply use any with colors that most associate with the holiday: red, white, green, gold, etc.  Even your dining table can come alive with a Christmas themed table cloth fabric.


  • Lighting is an important aspect of Christmas. If you’ve grown weary of the traditional Christmas lights another option would be to purchase colored light bulbs to replace your regular bulbs.



  • Tie a bow around your throw pillows on your couch, bed, etc. with holiday-colored ribbons, and they’ll look just like Christmas presents! Add a few rhinestone pins for additional sparkle.



  • If you can’t get access to a real Christmas tree don’t lose hope. There are many alternative methods that you can use this holiday season. Click the link below for a few creative alternatives provided by Elle Décor to choose one that suits you. You can also search for other alternatives, or create one yourself. Be as creative as possible.


  • Homemade Christmas decorations can make wonderful additions to your home this holiday season. Spend time as a family creating decorations to make this holiday season feel more personal.


What other Christmas decorating ideas can you think of?

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Getting Organized Before School Starts

Busy ticking off items on your list of to-do for school opening?  I’m sure by now you have checked books, pencils, uniforms, bags, and even new looks (hair cut, hair accessories)… I bet you didn’t include anything for the home.  At home is where learning continues and creating a good learning environment is important in facilitating our children’s learning experience.  What can we do at home to make this new school year more exciting and rewarding?


  1. A dedicated study area – Place a table and chair in the bedroom or in an area with minimum distractions. Designating a desk and study area emphasizes the importance of schoolwork.  The child will associate this area with learning.  This works for me, whenever I go into my study area my mind automatically gets into study mode.


  1. Organizers/calendar – Place a large calendar on the wall or bedroom door. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily.  Enter school events and activities and probably even home schedules into the calendar.  You can also colour code entries, based on urgency or importance.  If you have more space, use it to hang up projects and test papers or newspaper articles.


  1. Put up some hooks – Tired of picking up after your son/daughter? Place hooks in selected areas of the room to encourage them to hang their stuff up instead of throwing it on the bed or even on the floor.  Be sure to place the hooks at a level the child can easily reach.


  1. Create a snack/lunch making area – If you prepare snack and lunch for your child, especially if it’s different from your meals then it would be helpful to place these ingredients and items together in one area or in a particular cupboard. This will surely help you beat the morning rush.  Put in anything you use to prepare the lunch and snack and anything you send them to school with, like lunch bowls, foil paper, bread and peanut butter. My son loves peanut butter!


  1. Organize clothing storage– “Mom I can’t find my ….” You know this phrase right? Before the new clothes are added throw or give out those that are not in use and arrange the others appropriately to avoid that call.


  1. Organize and store papers and notes – Designate a spot in the house where you will store and organize papers that will later require your attention and projects that you want to keep. If you do not have a designated area, use a small storage box and file folders to store and arrange test papers, and used exercise books so that when it’s time to revise, they will be easy to locate.


Get your children to participate in the organizing process, after all you are doing it for them too.  They may have some good ideas and this could make this activity fun and add to the back to school excitement.

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Plan Your Living Room Renovation

Guests or potential buyers should enter your home and see functionality.  The living room is an important room in a home so any person who has the intention to one day sell their home should bear this in mind when planning any renovation works for their living room.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning a living room renovation.

In order to plan a successful living room renovation, a lot of forethought and information need to be taken into consideration. If you are on a tight budget and you plan on making any structural changes, or your scope of work requires you to work with several professionals, proper planning is even more significant.

In home renovations, as in life, mistakes can occur. Refrain from making avoidable mistakes by not only planning beforehand but by taking your time during the renovation process. Your living room renovation should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. In order to reap the reward of a successful renovation take your time and do not rush the process.

Ask yourself, why do I need to renovate my living room? Do you need additional space? Is your living room design outdated? Do you want to increase the value of your property for a possible sale? Knowing the ultimate goal you want to achieve with your renovation will help guide you during the planning process.

The fact that you desire to renovate your home does not mean that all its features should be discarded. Take a good look at your living room, there are sure to be a few features that you would either like to keep or slightly alter.  Keep these features in mind and consider how they can be incorporated in your renovation.

Home renovations can be exciting but can also be a bit overwhelming.  However, if the above planning tips are followed you will be more likely to have a smoother and more successful process.

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.

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Keep Your Body Cooler During the Hot Summer Days

In this third installment of our fighting the summer heat series we offer a few tips to keep your body feeling cool and refreshed during overwhelmingly high temperatures.

  • Use silk or satin pillowcases, and satin sheets. These fabrics will feel smoother and cooler as you sleep.
  • Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
  • Run cold water over your wrists for 10 seconds on each hand. This will reduce your temperature for roughly an hour.
  • Wear nothing or next-to-nothing. Put on a swimsuit, or wear your underwear at home. Wear summer clothing. Wear loosely-woven natural fabrics (cotton, silk, linen) rather than polyester, rayon, or other artificial fibers (with the possible exception of performance fabrics).
  • Wear light colors. Darker colors will absorb the sun’s heat and stay warmer longer than light or white clothing, which reflects light and heat. Wear natural summer clothing.
  • Sit still. Do not try to fan yourself — trying to move while feeling hot can make you feel hotter. Simply rest until the evening.
  • Sit in the shade. Find a shaded area and set up a water misting system that connects to an ordinary garden hose that can be found at home improvement stores. Sit there and let the mist cool you off.
  • Avoid peak sunlight hours between 10 a.m. and 3p.m., when the sun’s rays are hottest.
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Keep Cool This Summer without Breaking the Bank

In a previous article we discussed natural methods of cooling your home on those scorching hot days. But understandably, some days the use of appliances such as fans and air conditioners cannot be avoided. Here are a few ways to use these appliances without racking up an unbearably high electricity bill.


  • If you must use an electrical cooling method use portable or ceiling fans instead of operating your air conditioner. Even mild air movement of 1 mph can make you feel three or four degrees cooler.
  • If air conditioning is really required use a programmable thermostat to adjust the setting at night or when no one is home.
  • Add insulation around air conditioning ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages; do the same for whole-house fans where they open to the exterior or to the attic.
  • Don’t place lamps or TVs near your air conditioning thermostat. The heat from these appliances will cause the air conditioner to run longer.
  • Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house. Install awnings on east-facing windows because of the angle of the sun.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units, but not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity.
  • Avoid landscaping with lots of unshaded rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides because it increases the temperature around the house and radiates heat to the house after the sun has set.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
  • Take showers instead of baths to reduce hot water use.
  • Caulking and weather stripping will keep cool air in during the summer.
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Eight (8) Tips to Cool Your Home Naturally

It’s a hot world out there and most of us if not all can feel the heat and the unbearable discomfort that comes with it especially within our homes.  The irony however is that, while spending money to keep our homes cool, we are using fossil fuels which contributes to global warming.  There are energy-efficient technologies to keep our homes cool with minimal effect on the earth’s temperature and without accruing a huge electricity bill. We can also copy some natural cooling techniques practiced long before fans and air conditioning were widely available.  Here we discuss eight simple low budget techniques:


  • Close windows and window coverings (curtains, blinds, shutters etc.) in the morning before the day heats up and re-open them in the evening. This prevents the hot air from entering the home during the day and allows the cool temperature to fill your home in the evening.


  • Turn off lights when not in use. The electrical energy required to power on a light bulb converts to heat energy which circulates within the home, especially incandescent light bulbs, which generates a lot of heat.  Try replacing them with cooler light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescents (CFLs).


  • Like light bulbs electrical appliances generate heat energy. Unplug electronic equipment when they are not in use, or use a “smart” power strip to completely power off electronic devices; most electronics use electricity which generate heat even when they are turned off.


  • Do your laundry, ironing and cooking during the cooler parts of the day. These household chores are the top heat generating activities at home. A dryer also generates heat so using a clothesline instead of a dryer when convenient will certainly reduce the heat.


  • Replace an old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model which gives off much less heat than standard refrigerators. In a home without air-conditioning refrigerators consumed more energy than any other home device (probably you would remember people drying clothes behind the refrigerator).


  • If you’re planning to re-roof or paint the exterior of your home, use light colors that reflect the sun’s heat as well as metal roofs. The hotter the roof above, the hotter the rooms below, light colored roofing and reflective roofing are like a white shirt for your house because they reflect its radiant energy.


  • Let nature help keep you cool by planting trees around your home. Their broad leaves and branches will shade your home from the sun’s heat.


  • Install inexpensive heat-reflecting window films. These keep the house cooler by reflecting the radiation waves emitted by the sun. It also reduces glares and ultraviolet rays that damage furniture and floors.
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Plan Your Home Renovation

In general renovation works can be an exciting process, however, this process can also be challenging and at times overwhelming. There is a lot that has to be considered when undertaking a renovation project. You will need to think about what you would like to / should tackle first. You will need to have an idea of how much you are able and willing to spend. As well as the extent of the work to be done. Would you need the assistance of professionals or are you planning minor changes that you will be able to work on yourself. You should have a general idea of all of this and more before getting started.

In this article, we discuss a few tips that you should keep in mind when planning on renovating your living space into a space that suits your needs, your style and your budget.


Spend time to planning before you begin. A lot of preparation and consideration needs to be taken before renovation works can commence, especially if structural changes have to be implemented or professionals are needed. You will need to know what function you want the room to serve. Ask yourself, ‘What is your goal for the newly renovated space?’ Are you renovating to make the room bigger? Do you want to give the room a more updated look? Are you renovating with the intention to increase the property value with plans to sell later down the line? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the renovation you would have a better idea of what needs to be done.


When you are planning it is wise to think long term. Remember that your family and lifestyle is likely to change over the next few years. A newlywed couple planning to have children in a few years would need to ensure that the design of the space is child friendly. If the plan is to live in the home well into the golden years, it would be wise to make the room elder friendly as well. This can also offer immediate benefits if you have parents or grandparents who live with you or visit frequently.


It is important to be able to balance your new needs with the budget that you have for the renovation project.  It is wise to seek advice from an architect regarding how to creatively yet practically convert the existing design to the new and improved one while staying on budget.

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Designing With Art!

From original paintings to stunning prints, including works of art in the home is one of the best methods of personalizing your space. Here are a few tips that you can use to both artistically and effectively incorporate art in your home:

  • One of the basic principles of interior design is that every room needs a focal point. Walk into the room and notice the first place your eyes land. This is ideally the perfect location for a piece of statement artwork. Whatever piece is chosen should help the eye connect all the pieces in the room while creating a unifying statement in your overall design.
  • When you are hanging art on your walls you want to ensure that they are positioned at eye level. Whether you are hanging multiple pieces in columns or rows you should keep this in mind and hang the lowest piece at eye level. This will help create a unified design statement. Also, if you have a large collection of artwork consider splitting the pieces across different rooms.
  • Ensure that you fill the space you have with the right scale of artwork. A small and subtle piece can become lost on a large wall while a large bold piece will feel constricted if not given space to breathe. Hang a big bold statement piece on a large empty wall, this will make the room feel uncluttered and will bring more focus and attention to the artwork.
  • Think of how the colors of the artwork will affect the mood in the different rooms. A calming grey art piece would be ideal for the bedroom while yellow which is a more welcoming and cheerful color would be perfect for the living room.
  • It is helpful to note that you can use your artwork to imitate the life of the room. For example, artwork of food is best used in the kitchen while a family portrait or a happy group of friends would work well in the living room. The subject of the artwork is also a way of tying the pieces in the room together. Using animal prints for example fits well with organic or botanical imagery.

With all this in mind you should also remember that when you decide what piece you should use or where to hang art in your home there are no rules. While these tips aid in creating a more aesthetically pleasing and well-designed environment, bringing art into your home is personal. Above all else the choices you make should bring you joy.


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