Garden

4 wonderful benefits of eating home grown & organic

We’re all told that we should eat more fruit and vegetables. We’re constantly reminded that we need to cut back on processed and prepackaged foods (and for the sake of budgeting it’s probably a good idea to cut down on the takeaways too). Yet while this is ostensibly good advice, it overlooks a fundamental truth. A lot of the veggies and fruits we see on the supermarket shelves are not as nutritious as they could be. Thankfully under EU regulations genetically modified (GMO) crops are largely kept off British plates although meat eaters may eat animals that have been raised on GMO crops like corn or soybeans. What’s more, this regulation may change after Brexit and result in an influx of genetically modified veggies.

home grown carrots

Nonetheless, the fact remains that many of the fruits and vegetables we see on supermarket shelves are grown for their marketable appearance rather than their nutritional content. They can be treated with harmful pesticides or grown with harsh chemical fertilisers and all these things can have a range of implications for your health. When you switch to home grown and organic veggies, you benefit in a number of big ways…

It can save you money in the long term

Growing your own veggies and fruits may require some initial outlay but even if you don’t have a garden you can still self grow. A window box is enough to grow herbs and some vegetables and if you feel like trying your hand at hydroponic vegetable growing visit Essex Hydro Gardens. A modest setup can see you grow all kinds of veggies for years, thereby saving you money in the long term.

It’s potentially more nutritious

Home grown and organic veggies have the potential to be way more nutritious than their counterparts which are bred for appearance over nutrition. Grown in contaminant free soil and without harmful pesticides, your home grown and organic food will provide much more nutritional content than supermarket produce, saving you money on vitamin supplements which simply aren’t necessary when you eat organic.

What’s more, the longer produce sits on the supermarket shelf, the more its nutritional content starts to dwindle. Growing your own produce allows you to pick it and serve it straight away for maximum freshness and nutritional value.

It’s way better for the environment

Growing your own produce or buying produce from organic farms that use sustainable methods is a more sustainable and responsible consumer choice. It’s a choice that takes money out of the coffers of industrialised farming and votes with your wallet for a more sustainable future. What’s more, growing your own produce is one of the most eco-friendly ways of feeding yourself there is.

It just tastes better

Finally, organic and home grown produce just tastes better. It’s the sensory equivalent of watching a film in 4K UHD as opposed to an old VHS with wonky tracking. Organic foods taste fresher and more vivid whether you eat them raw or use them in recipes. It’s the difference between eating your food and enjoying your food!

Indoor-outdoor style is the hottest home design trend this year!

The indoor-outdoor design trend is really picking up speed this year. For me, having seen some of the ideas floating around, it’s something to get super excited about. I know, this whole concept could be alien to a lot of you – but do not worry! That’s why I’m writing this blog post, to help you understand indoor-outdoor style while giving you a bit of inspiration too.

garden patio chair

What is the indoor-outdoor trend?

This trend is actually one of the easiest to explain. As the name might suggest, it’s all about combining both your interior and exterior designs. In simple terms; you create indoor spaces that open up onto outdoor living spaces.

Some of you might already be following this design trend without even knowing it! I’m going to go through some of the best and most beautiful ideas in a moment, and there could be some that your home already utilises.

Why is this trend so popular?

What makes the indoor-outdoor style so trendy at the moment? Why do so many people love it?! Personally, I feel like it adds something extra to your home. This idea of combining the interior and exterior helps create a more functional home. Not only that, but it can help give you more living space – while also allowing you to make the most out of all the area outside your property too.

Instead of having your interior design and exterior design as two separate things, you bring them both together in a harmonic marriage. The result can be truly mesmerising!

garden seating area

Indoor-Outdoor design ideas & inspiration

Alright, we’re onto the part you’re probably most interested in. Here, we can explore some of the best ideas for the indoor-outdoor design trend. Check them out, and you might want to consider them for your home:

Al Fresco Dining

We all love the thought of eating outside when it’s nice and sunny. But, what if you could enjoy your breakfast outside while feeling like you’re at some breakfast bar on holiday? This is where the idea of al fresco dining comes into play. Here, you have your kitchen, and it opens up outdoors using servery windows. These windows let you slide them open, and they tend to have spacious sills that are ideal for eating on. Get a couple of outdoor stools to sit on outside, and you can eat in the sun by this window. It works beautifully, but that’s not where this idea ends.

Of course, you have the other al fresco dining idea of actually designing a patio area with an outdoor dining table. Get some comfy chairs, a canopy to shield you from the direct sunlight, and it’s the perfect place to eat during the sunnier months. Here, you can use your large servery window as a serving spot for food. When you’ve cooked, you can put the plates on the sill, then the people outside can take them to the table. It’s literally like you’re running your own al fresco cafe!

Large Sliding Windows

I’ve mentioned windows twice already, but they’re so important for creating the indoor-outdoor style. In essence, they blend your interior and exterior perfectly. This is perhaps best shown with some large sliding window doors. You know the ones I’m talking about; they go from floor to ceiling, and the large panes bring in lots of natural light to your home.

With these, you can seamlessly transition your home from indoors to outdoors. Slide the windows all the way across, and you’ve got a large open space to walk through. People can go from your garden to whatever room these window doors are in – usually the kitchen or dining room. They’re brilliant because they look stunning even when they’re closed. You have panoramic views of your garden, but you can blend it with your interior as soon as you open the doors.

Transitional Outdoor Living Space

One of my favourite ideas is to create an outdoor living space that transitions from your indoor living area. So, you have your standard living room, but you can walk outside to an outdoor extension of this. There are so many ways you can make this work – either with patio doors, a conservatory, or whatever!

The idea is that you can open up your indoor living space and make it bigger by using the space outside your home. The secret to making this successful is blending the two styles together. A great idea is to design a patio that matches the style and design of your indoor living space. This way, it feels more like you’re walking into another part of your home, rather than going outside. Match the outdoor furniture as well, and ensure you pick comfy stuff. You really want to make the outdoor space as comfortable as the indoor one. Think of this as a naked home extension; you get more space, but you don’t actually need to build anything onto your home.

Indoor Greenery

Lastly, this idea differs so much from all the rest in that it almost reverses the approach. All of the previous ideas have been about taking your interior and blending it with the exterior. But, what if we took some great elements of your exterior design and took them inside?

This is where the idea of indoor greenery comes in; use plants and flowers to decorate the inside of your home. By adding touches of green to your interior design, it essentially brings your garden into your house. I find this is the best idea for people who maybe can’t physically do any of the others. Perhaps you haven’t got the space to create outdoor living or dining areas – or maybe you live in a flat? With this approach, you can still get some indoor-outdoor style going on!

Like I said way at the beginning; I love this home design trend. I think we need to start thinking about our homes as a combination of interior and exterior design. If you conjure up ways of blending the two elements into one overall thing, then it just helps you create a more complete home. So, take inspiration from any of these ideas if you’re looking to hop on this trend!

 

Your Summer Home Is Just Around The Corner

Well, summer is just around the corner… we know that for sure. As the weather starts to get warmer, we can’t help but dream of those summer months, and all of the time we want to spend relaxing in the sun, being with friends and family, and just generally having fun. But as for your home, that might be a while away before it’s ready for the summer, simply because it’s coming around quicker than we thought. As the weather was warmer this winter, it has as well made it so much warmer for the beginning of this year that we have had already. So since this is being sprung upon us quiet quickly, it might be that you’re going to have to sort your summer home asap. Just a few tweaks here and there, and you could have you home ready in no time. We’ve got a few things that we can suggest, that would turn your home into the perfect summer home that you need. So take a few minutes to have a read of the tips below, and see how much they help you!

Your Summer Home

Making It Fresh & Summery

The first thing that you want to do, is get rid of anything that’s going to bring that summer vibe away. For a lot of you, it will be the colours that your home is using, and the accessories that you have. So let’s think about your bedroom as an example, because there is no worse feeling that getting home on a boiling hot day, to go into a boiling hot room that’s dark and not inviting. So to summer it up, you need to think about changing a few things. You could start simply, and change your duvet and bedding to something that’s light in both colour, and weight. You could then think about changing your furniture colour to white, and lightning up the room by giving the walls some fresh paint. If you have quite a dark room at the minute, say through using the colour grey, the contrast with the white furniture, and perhaps changing your blinds and curtains to white, will help to lift the colour of the room a little bit!

The Perfect Garden

The perfect garden definitely does exist. It has to be one that you’re literally so excited to get into at the end of the day, when the summer air is still warm. But swapping things around in your garden can get expensive, so you might want to check out websites such as Alice’s Garden, to see what garden furniture you can get. The furniture is going to the main relaxation source in your garden, so you want to make sure that’s large, padded, and ready for a great summer. Getting a good BBQ is also essential. Cooking out of the little trays each time is rubbish. If you want that true BBQ flavour and cooking, you’re going to have to invest in a proper outdoor style grill, which will no doubt cook up a storm!