Provided by the National Safety Council
In 2012, consumers purchased 24.5 million real and 10.9 million fake Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Which are more environmentally friendly? Help homeowners answer that question by tweeting a free article, “Real Christmas Trees vs. Fake Christmas Trees: Which are Greener”, from the REALTOR® Content Resource. It’s one of five free articles now available in the December “Deck-orate the Halls!” article package. Share all five today.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
If the “2014 Color of the Year” – the bright pink-purplish Radiant Orchard – was too bold for your tastes, you may find Pantone’s 2015 color choice a perfect toned down hue: Marsala. The earthy wine red is expected to warm up more interiors in the new year, and it may become your new go-to color in home staging in 2015.
Since the shade isn’t as overpowering as its predecessor, Marsala can be a unifying color element for interior spaces that can add a pop of color without proving to be a distraction.
“Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances, and linens throughout the home,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.
In prepping homes for sale, expect to see the rich red tone to show up in more accent pieces and accessories in 2015, from vases and throw pillows to patterned rugs. Pantone says that textured surfaces enhance the color, which will likely make it also a popular choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture. The color is also expected to be prominent in stripe and floral patterns, such as in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding, and throws.
Here’s how some designers have been incorporating the hue.
Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)
It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:
1. Inspect the lights and wires.
Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.
2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.
Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:
- Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
- When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
- Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.
3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.
LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.). Also, don’t replace light bulbs without unplugging the light strand or decoration.
4. Take caution on rooftops or elevated areas.
Ladders should be inspected – look for lose or missing screws, hinges, bolts and nuts before using and be sure they are stable and in good condition. Be sure to ground the ladder on a solid, even surface with no risk of sliding.
Don’t overreach when on ladders. When stringing lights, climb down and move the ladder often. Also, keep ladders as far as possible from electrical lines. Finally, if the roof is too steep or too high, don’t risk scaling it and endangering yourself. Hire a trained landscape professional that has the training to offer unique installation methods and premium quality products with the latest trends in decoration and technology.
5. Remove lights at the end of the holiday season. Over a period of time, lights exposed to the weather can have damage to the wires, lights, and sockets. Watch for any weather damage before you tow the lights away for next year.
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