And unless one decorates one’s house for oneself alone, best leave it bare, for other people are all wall-eyed. — D.H. Lawrence
10 ways to make the most of your outdoors
A lawn is the worst use of your yard: too much care and cost (for mowing, fertilizing and reseeding) and none of the benefits—shade, soil protection, flowers or fruit— that a shrub or tree provides.
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Lose the glass for sheer class
Glass curtain walls for office buildings are often self-defeating because they let in more light and heat than is required or comfortable, providing business to window-blind manufacturers, while inflating air-conditioning costs.
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3 bricks to build by
• When building, minimize the variety of materials and products you use to push costs down. The more common and ordinary the materials are, the better it is.
Focus, instead, on new ways to feature or assemble them. It is far better to have a great building with ordinary materials than an ordinary building with great materials.
• Plant more trees on the building site. They help create distance between buildings, even those that are next to each other. It also makes the place look larger than it is.
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In the ‘lime’light
• Yes, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint is expensive, but a water-based rather than oil-based paint will also make a significant dent in indoor pollution.
Better still, choose lime plaster or limewash (lime paani), which you can leave exposed, unlike plaster of paris. Limewash lets the wall breathe and develops a lovely patina over time. If you must have colour, some mineral pigments work very well with alkaline lime (such as the red iron oxide that was used in traditional floors).
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Contributors: Himanshu Burte, Minhazz Majumdar, Benita Sen and Manidipa Mandal.
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