Decorating Tip: Pump up neutral hues
To avoid a monochromatic color scheme, bump the color of your wall up or down one shade on the color wheel to create a 3-D effect. On a wall, use a lighter color on top and a darker color on the bottom. The two shades maintain the neutral palette and create contrast.
-- HGTV/ Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Offer ‘creative financing’
Today's market is seeing an excess of homes as well as many interested buyers who may have difficulty qualifying for a standard mortgage. You can attract these buyers with "creative financing," which involves three options: 1) See if your lender will allow a mortgage assumption. 2) Help a buyer build a down payment via a lease-to-own deal. 3) If you have the equity, offer financing yourself.
Going Green: Eggshells into plastic
Scientists at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom are working on ways to convert eggshells into bioplastics, to be used in anything from pharmaceuticals to egg cartons. It can also be used as a filler to "bulk up" conventional plastics, possibly reducing demand for oil-based materials. The U.K. uses more than 5 million tons of oil-based plastics every year, according to the British Plastics Foundation.
Did You Know …
Building of green single-family residential homes increased from 2 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011. -- National Home Builders Association
New Product: Sony NEX-7 camera
Sony's NEX-7 camera is an SLR-like model with a 24-megapixel sensor that can capture 10 frames per second at full resolution. For dedicated photographers, the Consumer Reports Electronic Blog says its performance, design and versatile features make this advanced camera "well worth the price."
Garden Guide: Plants don’t like compact soil
Soil compaction is the result of construction equipment, vehicles, and trampling by animals and people. Too much compaction presses the mineral grains together, reducing the air and water content. There is little room for roots to grow, and they cannot access enough nutrients and water. Most roots grow best in soil that is about 25 percent air and 25 percent water. Plants grown in compressed soils look stunted and drought-stressed, and they are more susceptible to disease.
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service