Products for a Sustainable Kitchen 

Going eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch and do everything at once. Slowly replacing items in your home for more sustainable versions is something we can all do without getting overwhelmed.

Any changes made toward an eco-conscious home are steps in the right direction, benefiting both the environment and your personal health. Keep reading for small changes you can make in the kitchen!

Kettle

Ovente Electric

Electric kettles are more energy-efficient than stove-top kettles. An electric kettle heats up on an electric coil that boils the water directly. Look for ‘quick boil,’ ‘one cup,’ ‘automatic stop,’ or ‘eco-friendly’ kettles. These types of kettles can prevent too much electricity being wasted by up to 50% and still boil your water just as fast. 

 

Coffee Maker

eco-friendly coffee maker
Eco-Carafe by Perfect Pod

For many, a coffee maker is a must-have. Our number one tip is to avoid single-use pod coffee makers. This type of coffee maker is harmful to the environment because the pods are not biodegradable. Disposable paper filters are bleached and inevitably end up in our landfills. Try swapping out these products with reusable options. Environment-friendly options that require less electricity and heat than your standard coffee maker are french press coffee makers and pour-over coffee filters. 

 

Alternatives to Paper Towels & Napkins

cloth napkins
Threshold Cotton Napkins

A simple and affordable way to transition to an eco-friendly kitchen is by swapping out single-use paper products for a reusable option. Cloth napkins and towels go a long way in reducing waste and depletion of paper. 

 

Food Storage

glass food storage
Glass Food Storage Containers

Are you looking to eliminate your use of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and Ziploc bags in your home? Reusable storage bags and glass storage containers are environmentally friendly and feasible ways to store food and leftovers. The simple act of cutting out single-use plastics can help avoid hundreds of plastic baggies ending up in our landfills and oceans. 

 

Pots and Pans

cookware
Green Life

Making the wrong decision on cookware can have a bigger impact than you think. Avoid any non-stick cookware made with Teflon, as these are chemical-laden, while eco-friendly cookware avoids chemicals and coatings.  

How are you taking the steps to a more sustainable kitchen? Let us know!

10 Simple DIY Summer Projects

Summer is in the air! Longer days and warmer weather are ideal for playing outdoor games, firing up the grill, hanging by the pool, and DIY projects. Rather than heading to the store and purchasing summer decor, take matters into your own hands with some of these DIY crafts. From yard Yahtzee to succulent garden masterpieces, we compiled a list of simple DIY projects that will keep you busy all summer long!

Mug Bird Feeder 

Nothing screams summer more than a custom bird feeder. This adorable DIY mug bird feeder is a great handmade project, especially for those who love to draw and doodle. Mugs and plates from the dollar store are great for this craft!

 

 Yard Yahtzee

Calling all Yahtzee lovers! Yard Yahtzee is a clever craft idea for any summer barbeque. Enjoy with your family and friends with this supersized version of your favorite dice game. 

 

Fruit Painted Coasters  

These colorful and fun graphic fruit painted coasters are the perfect addition to your summer decor. Not only are they practical, but they are easily customizable and simple to make. 

 

Garden Masterpiece with Succulents  

 

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can easily make this beautiful plant art with succulents. A low maintenance planter, your succulent masterpiece will be a great backyard addition.  

 

Tin Can Luminaries

If you’re ready to make these Tin Can Luminaries, you’ll definitely want citronella candles to go with it. Keep the mosquitoes away and your summer nights lit with these beautiful luminaries. 

 

Shoe Organizer Herb Garden

All you need for this vertical herb garden is hanging shoe rack, soil, and seedlings! Not only will this organizer protect your plants from critters, it is a cost-effective alternative to planters. 

 

Serving Tray Makeover 

Does your old serving tray need a makeover? Check out a simple and affordable way to spruce up any serving tray without any paint! 

 

Plastic Bottle Hanging Planters

Put your recycled water bottles to use with these DIY plastic bottle hanging planters. This is another great alternative to planters and simple enough to craft with your kids!

 

Tulip Wreath 

For a fun and festive look, this tulip wreath is the perfect burst of color for your front door or decor! If tulips aren’t your go-to flower, switch it out with any greenery of your choice. 

 

Garden Rock Sign 

These adorable garden rock signs are made with just a little imagination and paint. Using a few rocks from around your yard, these markers are essential for any growing area. 

 

We hope these few DIY summer crafts ideas inspired you to try something new! Comment below any summer projects that you’ve been crafting. 

Living in Guilford

A small coastal community, Guilford, Connecticut, is both quaint and lively. From the minute you enter the town border, you know you’re somewhere special. Conveniently located on the Connecticut shoreline and a suburb of New Haven, residents say Guilford is unlike any other place in Connecticut. 

With a rich history of dating back to 1639, walking amongst the historic buildings is a key reason visitors flock to this town. From beautiful beaches to a flourishing downtown, we’ve compiled what makes Guilford a special place to live:

Heart of the Town 

In Guilford, the Guilford Green is a central hub of activity in the community. With nearly 12 acres of green, on a typical day, you’ll find children riding their bikes, people walking their dogs, and families tossing a frisbee. The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce maintains a calendar of events from virtual workshops to fundraisers. There are also a wide variety of summer events hosted by the Guilford Parks and Recreation Center, including fitness classes, game nights, and concerts. 

Shops, Restaurants, and More!

In addition to all of the special events, locally-owned boutiques, restaurants, the Guilford Free Library, and four churches all surround the Town Green. Guilford is proud to represent a variety of small businesses unique to the shoreline town. The Residences at 66 High Street are walking distance to the Guilford Green and many shops and restaurants. Residents love being close to the action of downtown! 

Historic Sights

A town with a widespread and legendary history comes with a variety of historic sites and museums. The Henry Whitfield State House, the oldest house in Connecticut, and the late 19th century Dudley Farm are just a few of the must-see sites in Guilford. If you prefer, simply enjoy a stroll through downtown gazing at the third largest collection of historic New England homes

Parks and Beaches

Whether you’re relaxing at Jacob’s Beach and enjoying the view of the Long Island Sound, taking a swim at Lake Quonnipaug, or boating at the local yacht club, the shore is an important part of the town’s culture. Guilford maintains multiple parks and sports fields for use by teams, clubs, groups, and some cases for private use. Here are a list of parks and fields: 

The Commute

Located midway between Boston and New York, Guilford has easy access to the Northeast’s major cities via I-95 or the Coastal Rail Line. Shoreline East, the local train station, has a commuter line with five trains on weekdays. The ride to New Haven’s State Street station only takes 22 minutes, but the Shore Line trains go as far as Stamford. 

Make sure to check out Guilford’s website for updates and news of the city’s re-opening. What do you love most about Guilford? Let us know! 

Shoreline Hardware Stores

We know many homeowners have been busy with summer home maintenance and DIY upgrades. No matter what the project is, it’s essential to have high-quality supplies.  We are excited to share a list of open local hardware, building, and painting supply stores along the Connecticut shoreline. 

Purchasing your supplies locally can have a significant positive impact in helping support these small businesses. 

#StrongerTogether

 

New Haven 

Bender (203) 787-4288

Grand Paint & Design Center (203) 562-5601

 

East Haven 

Goody’s True Value Hardware (203) 469-5335

East Haven Builders Supply (860) 474-9040

 

Branford

Branford Building Supplies (203) 488-2518 

Country Hardware and Paint (203) 481-5255

Richlin Home & Auto (203) 481-8081

 

Guilford 

Page Hardware & Appliance Co. (203) 453-5267 

 

Madison

Ring’s End (203) 655-2525

 

Clinton 

Steward’s Ace Hardware (860) 669-0505

Clinton Paint & Decorating (860) 669-8842 

 

Let us know your favorite local business to get your home improvement supplies!

Protect your Home from Termites

Termites have been around for millions of years. While the insects are small, they can cause major damage to the structure of homes. Since they work from the inside out, the destruction begins without you knowing it. Cindy Mannes, vice president of the National Pest Management Association, said,

 

“Termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. annually, which is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.”

We know this sounds scary, but don’t worry! There are numerous things you can do to prevent termites in new builds and existing homes. As you prepare complete spring home maintenance tasks, make sure you add in preventative measures against termites and other insects. 

 

New Homes

If you are building a new home, termite prevention begins with the foundation. Termite mesh, a termite barrier, and concrete can be packed beneath a house, making it impossible for termites to pass through the ground and into the house. Pressure-treated wood is also highly recommended for termite prevention.

 

Existing Homes

Homeowners can take measures to prevent an infestation in existing homes as well. Create a barrier between your home and the ground, so only the concrete foundation of the house touches mulch, plants, and soil. The siding should begin at least 6 inches above the soil, making it difficult for termites to reach. 

 

Tips to Protect against Pests

  1. Reduce moisture in and around the home.
  2. Repair leaky faucets, pipes, and exterior HVAC units.
  3. Repair rotted roof shingles. 
  4. Replace weather-stripping around windows and doors. 
  5. Check to ensure gutters and downspouts divert water away from the house.
  6. Inspect your home throughout the year for evidence of termite waste, patterns in wood, or mud tunnels leading up the house. 

You can also get a yearly inspection completed by a pest professional, who can treat both the yard and structure of the wood, should there be evidence of termites. 

The trick with termites? Prevention! Take the time each year to check for signs of termites so you can get ahead of any damage they may cause. 

10 Tile Trends of 2020

Before events were put on hold, Coverings led the fourth annual National Tile Day celebration in January. Now that people have spent a couple of months indoors, many are considering ways to add new life to their homes.

Tile is a timeless design element, as it is both durable and beautiful. While the trends and colors vary throughout the years, tile remains a popular option for flooring and backsplash in residential and commercial design. 

As the largest international tile and stone exhibition and conference in North America, Coverings gathered with sponsors Ceramics of Italy, Tile Council of North America, and Tile of Spain to report 2020’s top 10 Tile Trends. 

If you’re considering new flooring, check out what’s trending this year:

1. Mixed Color Palettes

Classic blues, blush pinks, sage green, and dusty oranges create a calming environment. 

2. Refined Natural Wood Looks

If you prefer a natural look, wood continues to be prominent in interior design. Digital printing technology has made excellent advances, making it possible for tile to mimic natural wood. 

3. Precious and Gemstone Style Made Sustainable

Precious materials are beloved, but not sustainable. Similar to wood, the evolution of technology allows for tile to look and feel like rare marbles and semi-precious stones. Onyx, agate, and Akoya pearls can all be emulated with tile. 

4. Mixed Geometrics

There’s more to tile than the color and finish. Non-rectangular shapes, including trapezoid, rhombus, and diamond shapes, allow for attractive layouts. 

5. Counter Culture

Flooring, backsplashes, and don’t forget about countertops! Tile is durable and stain-resistant, making it an excellent choice for counters. 

6. Psychedelic

Bright colors and psychedelic patterns will be making a comeback this year. This trend is for the bold!

7. Industrial Chic

Concrete and stone create an industrial vibe. Just like tile that resembles wood or gemstone, this trend can replicate the look of concrete, or add in variations on color and patterns. 

8. Modernized Marble

Ceramic materials, which in the past were inspired by traditional marble design, are being modernized for people who love a contemporary look. 

9. Speckled Surfaces

Technicolor dots and specs, along with modern terrazzo styles, will make an appearance in 2020. 

10. Large-Scale Patterns

Ceramic tiles will be used to create bigger, bolder patterns. 

The versatility of tile allows it to be used in any room, no matter your style. Which of these ten trends are you most likely to bring into your home?

How to Choose a Supplier

Building and restoring top-quality residences begins with the materials we work with. From concrete to siding to lumber, the right building material is essential in our business. 

Over the years, The Horton Group has built trusted relationships with product manufacturers to ensure we are getting quality materials on a timeline that works for our clients. As we continue to work through these challenging times, we are more grateful than ever for trusted suppliers who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. 

When selecting a supplier or product manufacturer, look for these qualities to ensure you are getting quality resources from a reliable company:

Experience & Knowledge

What experience does the company have in the field? Learn who has used their materials, look at finished projects, and read client testimonials. Years in the business can indicate a business that has built trust, but it is not the only evidence of knowledge in the field. 

Quality

You need to be on the same page as the manufacturer when it comes to quality. Do you have the same expectations? You can also visit the production floor to see how they treat the goods they handle on a daily basis. 

Product Diversity

It’s good to have options. How many different selections does the supplier have on hand? If they don’t have something you are looking for, inquire about how they can source your desired materials.

Accountability

Timelines are often tight in our industry. Make sure you find a manufacturer you can trust, not only for the quality of the materials, but also the timeliness and delivery of those materials. 

Communication

Excellent communication is a must between the supplier and the buyer. Determine how reliable they are with answering questions and responding in a timely manner. 

Training and Education

As the world advances, so should our materials. Ask your supplier how they stay on top of new technology, green materials, and best practices. 

Warranty

Does a warranty back the materials? Learn about the standards of the material and the supplier. This way, if something goes wrong, you know what your options are.

It’s always exciting to work on a new project, pick out materials you love, and watch your vision come to life. Remember there are many working parts to any home construction work, and working with the right people will make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Working from Home? Design a Productive Home Office

With a sudden shift to working from home, many people created make-shift work environments. Some have the luxury of a complete home office, and others are utilizing their kitchen tables or living rooms.

 

While these temporary home offices have played their part in the short-term, they may not suffice for people who continue to work from home.  According to Global Workplace Analytics, many people will continue to work remotely, even after offices start to open back up.

 

“Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”

– Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics. 

With this rise in remote employees, home offices are becoming increasingly important. It’s essential to have a place that signals it is ‘working time,’ where you can focus and stay on task. Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing a home office: 

 

Natural Light

Whenever possible, maximize natural light. Natural light boosts mood, increases productivity,  and creates a feeling of openness. When arranging your desk and office furniture, place it so you can see out the windows, but out of direct glare from the sun. Ideally, you should be able to work all day with blinds open. 

 

Add Lighting Options

Natural light isn’t always enough. Add a variety of lighting options in your home office so that you always have plenty of light for work tasks. Overhead lighting, combined with lamps at your working space, is often plenty of light. If you want to add in more, you can incorporate a floor lamp and recessed lighting in the ceiling. 

 

Storage

Storage is needed in any work environment. Whether you need a filing cabinet, a bookcase, or a closet with shelves, make sure you have a system in place to stay organized. 

 

Ergonomics

Ergonomics aims to design the workspace to improve performance and productivity. Often, seemingly small adjustments make a huge difference to how we feel physically and mentally after the workday. Set up your computer and keyboard so you eliminate the hunched over stance and find a chair that is both comfortable and supportive. If you have enough space, create a couple of working areas, including a place to stand, a place to sit, and even a small couch to change things up. 

 

Office Nook

Not everyone has an entire room that can be dedicated to a home office. You can create an office nook that contains most of the above elements. Select a corner of a room that is seldom used, and add in floating shelves, a desk, and lighting. Some people even transform a closet into an office space. 

 

If you are going to continue working from home, we recommend taking the time to design a space that fits your needs. Your home office should reflect your style, be a place that you enjoy, and an area where you can tune out distractions to accomplish your work goals. 

Spruce up your Outdoor Living Space

We’ve all been spending more time at home, and many are making the most of this time to clean, organize, and even complete some DIY projects. 

Now that the weather is warming up, we can all start utilizing our decks, porches, and patios, giving us a change of scenery and making out homes feel more spacious. 

Keep reading for tips to spruce up your outdoor living space. 

Replace hardware. 

How old are your doorknobs, house numbers, and outdoor light fixtures? Dingy fixtures can bring down the entire curb appeal. Replacing hardware creates a new style at a low cost. 

Add some color. 

Sometimes all it takes to spruce up an outdoor living area is to add a pop of color. This can easily be done with some fresh flowers and planters, which are readily available this time of year. If flowers aren’t enough, consider repainting your doors, or add a colorful outdoor rug to your space. 

Power wash your deck or patio. 

Winter elements can leave your deck or patio looking dingy. Power wash your outdoor living space for a quick revival. You can also give a fresh coat of paint or stain to the deck if needed. 

Clean up your patio furniture.

Don’t stop with the deck and patio – clean up your patio furniture. A deep clean might be all it takes to brighten up a table and chairs. Want to add a bit more comfort? Get new seat cushions or opt for some bright pillows that make seating more comfortable. 

Set the mood with outdoor lighting.

Efficient lighting allows you to use your outdoor space after the sun goes down, adds security, and can change the entire vibe. Accent lighting highlights beautiful landscaping, while bistro string lights set a fun mood. 

Add in some fun.

What does your dream backyard look like? Yard games, a new grill, outdoor bar, or firepit can all be easily incorporated into your living space. You can involve the whole family by taking on some DIY projects and designing the space together. 

Working on your outdoor space now will give you time to enjoy it during the summer. What outdoor projects are you taking on right now? 

How Builders are Responding to Changing Times

Connecticut, like many states, has deemed construction as an essential business. Builders and developers have quickly adapted to make worksites and client interactions safe for all. 

According to a recent survey of NAHB members, several measures are being implemented that allow the construction industry to continue to build and sell homes. 

The majority of those who responded stated that non-construction employees are working from home during these times. Also, instead of open hours for tours, 59% of those surveyed are scheduling private showings. 

Though not mentioned in the survey, many builders are also implementing virtual options. At the Residences at 66 High Street, interested parties can either schedule a private showing (two people per showing), or a virtual showing. We are able to utilize technology to best fit the needs of every individual. 

Even with an essential business status, not all construction jobs have continued. Of those surveyed, 48% have halted construction projects, or will do so in the near future. Fortunately, however, only 25% have needed to lay off or furlough workers. 

At The Horton Group, we continue to make adaptations and follow CDC guidelines so we can continue to move forward safely. 

 

WordPress.com.

Up ↑