Miami Green Homes


Sebastian Eilert, AUA featured on Aia Miami

Featured on the AIA Miami Instagram account. @aiamiami

It has been a privilege to be a member of the community for over 20 years and contribute to its improvement, especially it’s sustainable advancement.

www.instagram.com/p/Cdn0x0CLzco/



How to Improve Home Office Decor

The world just lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, and many workplaces across South Florida and the rest of the U.S. have restructured as hybrid workplaces, where some people work from home and some work from the office, or completely remote workplaces — where everyone at the company works from home. People who are now working from a home office may want to ensure that the space they give themselves to work helps enable their productivity, focus, and comfort.

One way to make sure a home office enables their best performance is to focus on the decor. The decor of a space can greatly influence how they feel, and by incorporating different decor touches and changes, they can feel certain they’re spending their days in a place that makes them feel inspired.

Here are some home office decor tips that anyone can tackle on their own.

Consider Lighting Fixtures

How an office is lit makes a huge difference in how energized a worker feels there. A professional wants to make sure they have enough light to see their work clearly even on cloudy days or at night. An office should have a mixture of overhead lights and lamps on work surfaces. To infuse style into the space, a creative overhead fixture, such as a chandelier, provides plenty of light and also adds interest.

Pick a Great Chair

A home office chair matters because a person working will sit in it a lot. A chair must provide lumbar support and not leave anyone with a backache. However, many people don’t want a clunky rolling office chair in their space, since it’s not necessarily aesthetically pleasing or in line with the decor in the rest of their home. Luckily, there are some beautiful ergonomic chairs available that enable work without pain and also look beautiful in a space. Research stylish ergonomic chairs, then pick one that fits with a home’s style and also will feel great to sit in all day.

Don’t Forget the Walls

The walls of a room can have a significant impact on the way a space feels. Don’t just leave a home office’s walls white. Decorate them in a way that feels fun but also inspiring. Studies have shown that the color green helps people prolong their focus. So consider painting walls a fun green color or even choose a stylish green wallpaper to give a space life and help get more done. 

Let Sebastian Eilert Architecture Help you Redo Your Office

For anyone who doesn’t want to tackle a home office redecoration project on their own, or think they could benefit from the guidance of a professional, reach out to Sebastian Eilert Architecture. Our sustainable and ecologically responsible design firm also handles interior design projects in South Florida homes. Reach out to us via email to set up a consultation or call 786.556.3118. We can give our initial thoughts about how to improve a home office, and then we can get started ensuring a client’s home office is a place that’s beautiful — and really helps them work.



The Psychological Benefits of Filling a Home With Plants

For any homeowner who has gone through the process of decorating their South Florida home, there’s a good chance they’ve picked out furniture, accent pieces, and interior design elements they love. However, one decor element they shouldn’t overlook as they fill up their space is plants. Plants can create a serene, pulled-together home decor aesthetic. But they not only enhance the way a home looks, they can also enhance the homeowner’s quality of life.

Research has shown time and again that filling up a home with plants has numerous health benefits — they even clean the air. However, along with their physical health benefits, plants can also improve mental health. Simply by bringing some greenery into a space, homeowners can actually improve their overall mental and emotional wellness.

It makes sense to fill a home with plants. Here are just a few psychological benefits of houseplants and how spending time around them might help change someone’s life. 

Boosted Mood

Houseplants have been proven to decrease depression in people and boost their mood so they feel better. A study by Urban Forestry and Urban Greeningshows 74% of study participants experienced increased emotional wellbeing and less stress when houseplants were incorporated into their environment. So fill a home with plants, and a home can become an even happier place than it already is.

Decreased Anxiety

Experts know that spending time around plants helps to decrease anxiety. That’s because greenery can engage the senses in ways that a space usually doesn’t. Plants are beautiful to look at, and they often smell good and give people unfamiliar textures to feel, as well. Having all these sensory experiences provided by plants can help increase mindfulness and bring homeowners to the present moment. This is a great way to decrease anyone’s anxiety and help them stay focused and in the present, rather than worrying about the past or future.

Improved Attention Span

House plants can improve a person’s attention span. In fact, a study in The Journal of Environmental Psychology showed that plants in a workspace can decrease mental fatigue and improve people’s ability to stay working on a task. Plus, having plants in a home can boost someone’s ability to focus. It may be especially valuable today since, post-COVID 19 pandemic, more people than ever work from home. For a homeowner who wants something to help them stay on task while they work, enhancing a workspace or home office (in particular) with plants is a good idea. A window can also provide a view of outdoor plants.

Want a Home to Fill with Plants? Work with Sebastian Eilert Architecture

Ready to start filling a home with plants or design and build a new home that can be filled with plants when it’s finished?  Contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture for assistance. We are committed to sustainable and ecologically responsible design, and Sebastian is recognized as one of the thirty most influential sustainable design architects in the world. Sebastian Eilert Architecture can handle anyone’s architectural and interior design project needs. Learn more about our work by visiting www.SebastianEilert.com. Get in touch at Sebastian@SebastianEilert.comor 786.556.3118.



Top Five Plants That Clean Indoor Air

Plants can do much more than help bring color and life to a home’s interior. They’re a great addition to any room, are more sustainable than cut flowers and offer us a way to bring nature indoors. Though there are plenty of aesthetic reasons to include plants in a home redesign, there are practical ones, too.

We usually assume our indoor air is clean, but harsh or dangerous chemicals can often contaminate it from cleaning products, mold and pollen and volatile organic gasses that leach out of indoor materials like flooring and upholstery. We spend around 90 percent of our time indoors and the concentrations of some pollutants can be as much as two to five times higher than levels found outdoors.

There’s good news, though—house plants are an affordable, effective way to clean your indoor air and act as a natural filter to many kinds of pollution. Having ample greenery indoors also helps you sleep better, helps your immune system be more robust and can even help your ability to concentrate. Here are the top five plants that can help clean your indoor air.

1. Philodendron

There are many different plants in this genus, including the trend-setting large-leafed monstera. These plants were shown to be one of the best at reducing air pollution and purifying indoor air. They’re especially effective at removing formaldehyde, which can accumulate as building materials and home furnishings outgas over time. Perfect for our South Florida climate, these can be kept outdoors as well, but keep children and pets from eating the leaves, though, as they can be toxic.

2. Snake Plant

This household succulent will help filter indoor air in surprisingly effective ways. It’s not only excellent at eliminating toxins like benzene and formaldehyde, it’s one of only a few plants capable of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen without direct sunlight. This makes it ideal for bedrooms or rooms with low natural light access.

3. Areca Palm

This small, cluster-forming palm is one of the most efficient air purifiers and a native of Madagascar, giving it an exotic appeal. It’s a natural air cooler and scrubs indoor air of dangerous chemicals like acetone, toluene and xylene, which can accumulate due to the use of nail polish, certain detergents, some wooden furniture and even cosmetic products.

4. Spider Plant

This little wonder is a beautiful addition to your indoor spaces and is extremely easy to grow. It’s surprisingly effective at removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene, found in some cleaning products and furniture upholstery. One study found that it could remove as much as ninety percent of toxins found in indoor air in just two days.

5. Aloe Vera

Not only does this plant produce a naturally anti-bacterial gel inside its spiky leaves, but it also acts as an effective, natural air purifier. It’s excellent at removing toxic chemicals from indoor air, including benzene and formaldehyde, often present in cleaning products.

Breathe Easier With Sustainable Design

If you’re interested in other ways to make your indoor spaces greener, contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture to discuss design elements you can incorporate in new or existing buildings. Reachable by email or phone as well, Sebastian is recognized as one of the thirty most influential sustainable design architects in the world and is proud to be US Green Building Council accredited.



Existing home sales rise in November

Existing home sales rose 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted 6.46 million million units in November from a month earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
— Read on finance.yahoo.com/news/existing-home-sales-november-2021-150006550.html

Find Miami Dade data HERE



Wallpaper is Back: Here are the Top 7 Ways to Style this Bold Interior Trend in your Space

Wallpaper has a surprisingly long and storied history in interior design. Its invention is credited to the Chinese less than 100 years after paper itself was invented. The style came to Europe via the Silk Road and saw changes in production and design as advances in block printing and other technologies allowed for more widespread use.

Since then, wallpaper has seen popularity in waves and although it has fallen out of favor at times, one thing is for sure – every time wallpaper comes back into fashion, it comes full force. Most recently, wall coverings, in general, had seen dwindling sales as an obsession with minimalism gripped interior design and architecture towards the latter half of the 20th century. Now, however, wallpaper is all the rage again and advances in the field mean that we can do more with wallpaper than ever before. That means that current trends in wall coverings are all about making bold choices.

Here are seven trends for 2022 that are bringing back wallpaper in a big way.

Go Wild

More than ever, people are ready to bring a bit of the outside in. Whether it’s grand tropical foliage or a jungle scene, this trend is anything but meek. For 2022, it’s about deep greens, light neutrals, and moody, muted tones and with a focus on natural materials.

Designers are taking it to the next level with patterns and vintage-style illustrations that transport us back to a wilder time. Expect to see birds, tigers, and elephants with or without their lush jungle backdrop.

Texture

In this most recent iteration of the wallpaper trend, we’ve seen a much greater variety of designs than ever before. Another factor driving the variety in this trend is texture. Whether it’s grasscloth, cork wallpaper, silk, or flock, the right tactile texture can elevate a design and bring a room to life.

Graphic Prints

One of the bolder trends for 2022, graphic prints are being used in a variety of ways and in some spaces that might seem surprising. A wide range of imagery is being seen in graphic print wallpaper but major themes to follow include people, nature, art deco style, and illustration.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns have been rising in popularity in the past few years, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. They add a touch of luxury wherever they are used. This year geometric patterns are being paired with light and airy blues, grays, and shades of white. Geometric patterns are so universal that they can lend themselves to a wide variety of decorating styles and they are a great way to bring a space together.

Florals

Floral might be considered the quintessential wallpaper pattern, and while the florals we’re seeing for 2022 harken back to traditional Chintz patterns from India and later Europe, they are anything but dated. Today’s florals command the room with colorful, intricate designs on bold, rich, sometimes even velvety backgrounds. The effects can feel playful, exotic, or downright mysterious. Designers are sticking with small, detailed blooms to open up tight spaces and larger blooms for more airy locations.

Gold

Gold is having a moment – and with good reason. Touches of gold can bring light into any space, adding an element of glamour and luxury like nothing else. This trend will only grow and expand in 2022 with a trove of luscious textures to play with. Expect to see it used as a delicate accent or an all-out theme and everything in between with brush strokes and paint splatters in the spotlight.

Bonus: Unexpected Places

There is one trend that can be seen alongside all of the others that will continue to define the most recent comeback of wallpaper. In 2022, we’re seeing wallpaper in all kinds of unexpected places.

Traditional wisdom dictated that busy decor wasn’t meant for small spaces, but interior designers have thrown that rule out the window. Wallpaper is being used to bring some brightness, color, and structure to intimate vanity areas, cozy reading nooks, and even attic spaces.

Another typical decorating faux pas being broken this year is the wallpapered ceiling. In the spirit of playful rulebreaking, designers are opting for dramatic styles and daring color palettes over safer choices.

Summary

Designers are using wallpaper in ways they never have before. Technological advances in printing are allowing us to experiment with a wide variety of patterns and materials and that is resulting in some suitably bold styles for the long-awaited comeback of wallpaper.

In 2022, watch for jungle scenes and lush foliage, subtle textures, bold graphic prints, and elegantly understated geometric designs. Also on offer are a range of dramatic florals and decorating schemes that are practically dripping in gold.

There has never been a better time to update the look of your home.

Ready to start your project? Contact Sebastian Eilert Architecture for your Architectural and Interior Design project needs. 



Winter perspectives of Germany

A nice Instagram post about my home country. Views in winter time.

www.instagram.com/p/CWjlNKiBfj0/



Thousands Offer to Host Tiny Homes With Homeless Residents in Their Own Seattle Backyards

At 125-square feet, Block Project homes are designed to house homeless people in the backyards of perspective volunteers.
— Read on www.goodnewsnetwork.org/non-profits-build-tiny-homes-for-homeless-in-volunteers-own-backyards/



5 Desired Home Features That Help Sell Homes FAST

When a potential buyer enters your house and sees many of features they want in their next home, you are on your way to making a sale.  Not only that, but buyers usually have some idea of what it would cost them to add these features to the home. So if your home already has these features, their offer will usually be made quickly and also be close to, or even over, the listed sales price.

Feature #1: Gourmet Kitchen

Today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. And you don’t have to be a master chef to appreciate a well-appointed kitchen, with top of the line appliances, open shelving, a large island with additional seating, and multiple sinks. Food preparation is no longer considered to be a kitchen’s only function. The kitchen has also become an entertaining space where friends can gather and converse while the meal is being prepared.  If a buyer doesn’t like the kitchen, he or she will probably pass on the house.

Feature #2: Home Theater/Media Room

Today’s tech-savvy buyers are interested in their next new home having a home theater/media room. This is a feature that becoming more and more common and more sough after. A home that includes a media room or home theater has a distinct edge on their competition and has a higher perceived value to potential buyers. A well-built media room should include an A/V receiver, a projector and theater screen, a speaker system, and a streaming media player.

Feature #3: Home Office

Because more and more people are working either full or part time from home these days, a dedicated home office has become increasingly sought after. This room should have natural lighting and doors that can be closed to stop interruptions caused by every day family life happening in the rest of the home. Besides a comfy office chair and desk, a home office should have additional seating that is comfortable and a high quality lamp or two to facilitate reading documents or looking at computer screens.

Feature #4: Smart Home Technology

Convenience is the name of the game. As the world becomes busier and busier, convenience grows in importance, especially to the tech-savvy homebuyer. These buyers are looking for everything from smart thermostats, to video doorbells, to smart kitchen appliances, to smart door locks, to even having window shades that can be controlled from their smartphones. It’s no longer “home sweet home”, it’s now “home smart home”.

Feature #5: Outdoor Living Space

Few things disappoint a homebuyer more than a lack of outdoor living space, some place where they can entertain family and friends. Whether this space is a deck (decks constructed with composite materials are preferred) or a patio doesn’t really matter. It’s just important that the space is there.

The whole idea here is to get your home listed for sale, get it sold and off the market quickly, while putting as much extra money as possible into your pocket. It’s important to understand what today’s homebuyers are seeking in their next new home.



Choosing The Right Next Home For Your Senior: Considering The Options Available

Seniors often have big decisions to make during their older years regarding housing. Many have been living in the same house for quite a while, but the loss of a spouse, financial challenges, or health issues make it necessary to make a change. There are a number of different types of living options available to older adults and they each come with different benefits. Miami Green Homes breaks them down for you.

Aging adults have many housing options to choose from

Once the decision is made to move into a new place, it is time to start the search. Some older adults will be able to continue living independently. However, Helpguide explains that it is essential that they consider not only their current needs, but how things may change over the next few years. Moving at this age is difficult, both physically and emotionally, so most do not want to have to do it again anytime soon.

Single-level living is often a good fit for aging adults so that they do not have to navigate stairs. While there are single-family homes that can work well for seniors, many people at this stage of life will focus more on downsizing to a townhouse or condominium so the exterior maintenance issues are taken care of by the association.

Retirement communities have plenty of perks

Many seniors focus on 55+ independent communities instead. These age-restricted communities typically organize a number of social activities for their residents and this makes it easy to connect with other seniors. Depending on the community, residents may have access to a golf course, swimming pool, gardening, clubs, tennis, art or woodworking shops, and regular social gatherings.

55+ retirement communities often have more security than a traditional residential neighborhood, which brings peace of mind. In addition, they are usually close to medical facilities and the homes are designed for accessibility. While family members, including grandchildren, can certainly visit, the overall feel of the neighborhood is typically peaceful and quiet, without loud parties or rambunctious kids.

A combination facility may be the best fit

Some families look for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). These offer different levels of assistance in one place, explains AARP. They provide a tiered approach to senior living, typically including options for independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care all within one community. This means that as a senior’s needs increase, they can access additional assistance without a major relocation.

A CCRC will usually include access to health services, meals, housekeeping, transportation, and personal care assistance. This living situation provides comfort to families and their older loved ones since help is always nearby, and moves as one’s needs increase will be relatively simple. These senior living options can be expensive, but many have different levels of service available.

Evaluate the financial ramifications before selling the old home

Families should always consider the financial implications of a senior’s move. Some older adults will sell their home and put the equity toward their new place. In that case, you’ll want to research the area’s housing market to get an idea of the average sale price — which, in Miami, is $370K. In some situations, seniors simply want to transfer the ownership of their property to another family member.

In this type of scenario, a quitclaim deed may be the best approach. Realtor details that quitclaim deeds are used in transactions that do not involve any money, a title search, or title insurance. They often work well for seniors who want to transfer ownership of their home to their adult children as it is a fairly simple and inexpensive approach.

There are many types of living options available to seniors these days, including traditional neighborhoods, 55+ communities, and tiered assistance communities. During the decision process, families also need to decide whether to sell an existing property or perhaps use a quitclaim deed to transfer it to family. Once plans are made, seniors can feel confident that they are in a new home that suits their needs throughout the rest of their years.

Looking for tips on making your home greener? Check out Miami Green Homes.

[Image via Pixabay]