Turning Over a New Leaf

Everybody knows that a more energy and water efficient home is a good thing, but how many of us really have the time to figure out how to make it all happen?  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pick up the phone and call someone, have them come out and evaluate your home, give you a customized list of recommendations, and then sell and install all of the items you need to accomplish your goals?

Well, if you are in the U.S., now you can*.  For $99, New Leaf America will come to your home and do an efficiency audit.  When they are done, they will give you a customized report, as well as a DVD full of  helpful home efficiency tips.  They also give you a customized list of recommended products, including things such a bulbs, smart power strips and low-flow faucet adapters.  Best of all?  They provide free** installation for anything you purchase through them.

They also have a free online lighting energy calculator that helps you determine how much you will save from switching from incandescent to high efficiency bulbs.  Even if you’re not looking to switch your bulbs out yet, it’s fun to play with just to see what a difference a little wattage can do!

If you are in a country outside of the United States, and know of a similar service, please let us know in the comments section.  We are always interested in finding out what is available world wide.

*Currently New Leaf America has service available in California, Arizona and Utah, but they will continue to train new auditors and expand into additional states soon.  Contact them for more information.

** Sorry!  That was my error.  There is a charge for installation, although it is quite reasonable.  Pricing varies by project.

Let’s Get Organized, Day 5 – The Paperless Office

So,… are you organized yet?  Have those mountains of paperwork found a home?  If not, you might want to consider going “paperless”. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Get Organized, Day 4 – iPhone Apps

For the 4th day of our Let’s Get Organized series, I thought we could take a look at iPhone apps.

Now, I know many of you may not have an iPhone.  In truth, I don’t have one either, but there is no getting around the fact that the amazing number of apps available for the iPhone have changed the way we use our phones, and could make a big difference in how we stay organized in the interior design business.  That being said, if you don’t have an iPhone, stick around for this first entry, because it’s available for other phones and your computer too!

image via Evernote

The simplest way to describe Evernote is as a note taking service, which doesn’t sound all that amazing.  But when a “note” can be anything from a snapshot you take with your mobile phone, to a screen grab of a website you’re on, to a to-do list you send yourself via email, things get a lot more interesting.  For designers, this is a major boon.  Imagine seeing something, anywhere you are, taking a picture and sending it off to a file system where you can easily access it along with notes, voice memos, web pages, lists, etc.  And everything can be filed to the correct folder automatically, once you tell Evernote what to look for.  Best yet, the basic service is free.  I’ll let their little intro video explain more…

Read the rest of this entry »