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Design Trend: 70s FLASHBACK

We scouted the 2012 Interior Design Show to bring you some of the hottest interior trends for the coming year.

House Proud DesignTrends:

70s Flashback 

This trend invites us back to the shag carpet for fondue and another round of Pong. 
The 70s look is a one of contrasts with Ikea style Scandinavian utility on one end and glossy Studio 54 luxe lounge on the other. The ideal home at the time was a ranch style split-level house or bungalow and the 70s embraced a new suburban landscape and home style. Decorators sought to create environments that were individualistic and contemporary yet warm and inviting. The 70s look has a modern sensibility coupled with distinct and earthy materials for a style that is both retro and contemporary. 

Where To Find It :
Brown. Orange. Gold. Beige/ Oatmeal.
Teak wood. 'Danish Modern' look. Lacquer. Panelling. Felt. Shag. Smoked glass. 
Flocked /velvety upholstery and wall coverings.
Shapely hanging light fixtures.

Geometric patterns and prints. Simple lines.
Chunky, low and wide furniture pieces and seating. 
Storage furniture.

Decorating with 70s style creates a space that feels familiar, warm and playful.                              


IZM Modern Furniture Booth at IDS 2012.

Kitchen storage meets wood panelling at IDS 2012.

The Bare Sofa by Brothers Dressler.

Oversized low leather lounger and a modern take on wood panelling.

The 70s saw cane, rattan and other traditional materials used in new ways. This IDS artisan shows a traditionally crafted chair with a distinctively modern shape.

Fuzzy purple and gold all-over pattern with metallic accents at Osborne and Little.

The Bookseat is locally made and available with a felt cushion.

The Moonlight lamp shade by Anna Buechin.

Silvery snakeskin velvets at Osborne and Little.

This booth at the Interior Design Show has a distinctively 70s vibe with a low and wide oatmeal sofa reminiscent of a bean bag chair backed by a large white lacquered wall unit. The strong Shapes, Colours and Natural Elements give this room a look that is very current while still wonderfully timeless.

70s style does not take itself too seriously. This style helps create an environment that feels relaxed, creative and a bit nostalgic.

Visit the HPS Blog for more Design Trends from the Interior Design Show, plus more design and home decor ideas.

House Proud Signs and Numbers is your online source for specialty house numbers and select custom address signs.

What's Your Design Type? Take the House Proud Style Quiz!

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Design Trends: CIRCLE SQUARE

We scouted the 2012 Interior Design Show to bring you some of the hottest interior trends for the coming year.

House Proud DesignTrends:


This trend celebrates simple geometric shapes.
A 'Zen' style sophistication is acheived by emphasizing pure form and clean, uncluttered lines. Contrasting basic exaggerated shapes against stripped down backdrops creates visual interest and drama. A strong shape makes a single element or key furniture piece 'art' and the focal point of a space. Traditional pieces are made contemporary by eliminating embellishments and overstating form.

Where To Find It :
Lighting fixtures and fireplaces.
Primitive geometric patterns.
Oversized tables, mirrors and wall pieces.
Sofas, benches, side tables and stools.
The focal point of a space. 

The beauty and familiarity of strong, simple shapes brings a sense of restful harmony to interiors.

Suspended glass spheres create magical light at Bocci.

Fireplace at Paloform.

The 2012 Interior Design Show featured lots of wonderful old and reclaimed wood cuts and slabs, like these block stools.

Nickle circle sink from Native Trails.

Creating lit structures with Tensegrity Lights

Napoli Bathtub by Victoria + Albert.

Pure and simple shapes at Studio One Contemporary Glass.

Circles at Osborne and Little.

Wool felt continues to be a popular fabric for interiors. Here felt is used in scalloped lighting fixtures at IDS 2012.

Empress dresser by Heidi Earnshaw Design.

Whimsical bunkbed from Cedarworks.

Firepits by Paloform on display at IDS 2012.

Bring simple elegance to a space with pure form. Basic shapes are strengthened by deep colour and earthy, natural materials.

Visit the HPS Blog for more Design Trends from the Interior Design Show, plus more design and home decor ideas.

House Proud Signs and Numbers is your online source for specialty house numbers and select custom address signs.

What's Your Design Type? Take the House Proud Style Quiz!

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We scouted the 2012 Interior Design Show to bring you some of the hottest interior trends for the coming year.

House Proud DesignTrends:


Sweet hits of pure and unabashed colour are bring excitement and inspiration to interiors.
Colours inspired by nature are isolated and intensified for maximum impact. Vibrant tones are striking against natural materials and monochromatic neutrals. Deep colour creates excitement and emphasizes organic textures, larger patterns and oversized simple shapes.

Where To Find It :
Solid, pure, intense colour.
Beautiful statement carpets.
Single furniture pieces in bold laquer colours.
Oversized pillows in strong solids.
Deep Magentas, pinks and reds. Tropical blues. 

Leave a lasting impression when a key piece, shapes or accents are saturated with an intense colour inspired by nature.

Carpet display at the 2012 Interior Design Show.

The bright red Bantam interlocking deck chair by LIM.

Strong 2012 colour punches in this bathroom include a wall of sparkling blue tiles, a pure white deep oval tub and a upholstered magenta lounge.

Beautiful watery statement carpet by Amala Carpets.

Rainbow. The Felt Store Display at IDS 2012.

Gorgeous and bold jewel tone floral print chair is a garden against a deep magenta wallpaper.

Earth Inc. Landscape Design brings deep green to the Interior Design Show 2012.

Unexpected hit of pink and a twist on a classic from Osborne and Little.

Pure Blue at this 70s inspired IDS Booth.

Weave fabrics at Osborne and Little.

Cerulean blue hits of colour in this room by 18Karat

This year don't be afraid to commit to one strong colour. A favourite hue inspired by nature will attract the eye to shapes and textures to awaken the senses.

Visit the HPS Blog for more Design Trends from the Interior Design Show, plus more design and home decor ideas.

House Proud Signs and Numbers is your online source for specialty house numbers and select custom address signs.

What's Your Design Type? Take the House Proud Style Quiz!

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We scouted this years' Toronto Interior Design Show to bring you the latest in interior design.

Presenting House Proud DesignTrends

DesignTrend 1 : NATURAL WONDER

Nature's raw beauty is being being celebrated in 2012. 
Primitive natural materials and textures invite us to rekindle a love affair with the environment. Shapes, sillouettes and patterns are organic, simple and oversized. Colour blooms bold and uninhibited.

Where To Find It :
Fire: Flame. Stone fireplaces and fire pits. 
Water: Fountains. Waterfalls. Glass. Water motifs.
Earth: Cool riverstones and polished marble. Tiles slate and glossy. Living walls and growing things.
Wood: Smooth burnished wood grain. Rich reclaimed table tops. Textural twiggy nests. Folky handcrafted furniture.

Evocative natural elements blur the line between interior spaces and nature's constant splendor.


A garden room display by Earth Inc. was created inside a metal container. A full moss wall was created and a shapey stone fountain bubbled and water flowed down a channel. Specially positioned speakers saturated the lush green space with music.


The Water element ran through the Interior Design show. 
This soothing carpet is a rippling pool offering an opportunity to reflect and contemplate.

This vanity display at the IDS featured contrasting earthy twig and cool glass, rich wood tones and strong shapes. 
An oversized round 'nest' frame sits against a wall of watery rectangular glass tiles. A simple, deep oval sink tops a wooden dresser in this interplay of elements.
The neo-retro and crafty folding 'chaise transatlantique' by Brothers Dressler.                  

Goodnight fake logs. Fire pits and fireplaces now feature river stones and sand. 
The Miso Concrete Fire by Paloform.

Like an otherworldly giant pearl. Bewitching Glass Sphere by Studio One Contemporary Glass

Reminiscient of layered sedimentary rock, these grey slate subway tiles elongate and add depth.

 'Rootsy' wood bench by Studio Liscious.

The transparent fiber optic Black Fiber 55 Light by Refer Staer is reminicient of floating, ethereal Jellyfish.

Peaks and Valleys Coat Rack by Bettie Cott.

Old and salvaged wood is being reclaimed, appreciated, burnished and used to craft furniture with soul.
Primitive materials are used to create folky rustic tabletops, seating and shelving. Slab cube shelf by Brothers Dressler.

Organic blooming circles on crimson create a batik of sea creatures or cells on this statement carpet.

This year bring nature's inherent beauty and surprise to your spaces. With her perfect balance of unforced flamboyance with understatement, 
Mother Nature is a great decorating partner.

Visit the HPS Blog for more Design Trends from the Interior Design Show, plus more design and home decor ideas.

House Proud Signs and Numbers is your online source for specialty house numbers and select custom address signs.

What's Your Design Type? Take the House Proud Style Quiz!

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A Gift They'll Never Forget

Are there folks on your list who 'have everything'? 

Are you looking for a truly unique gift that will be appreciated for years to come? 

Worried about leaving gift giving to the last minute? Would you like to shop in comfort without the stress of holiday crowds? 

Want to take the guesswork out of gift giving? Give a House Proud Signs Gift Card. And Relax.

Our Gift Cards are a snap to order, and a gift they'll never forget!

Invite anyone on your list to enhance their favourite place in a signature style. You can give crisp modern house numbers to new homeowners and a beautiful hand painted ceramic sign to the cottager. A natural slate sign for your sister's garden and a porcelain address sign to the newlyweds on your list.

An HPS Gift Card ensures you will be thought of fondly- Every time they come home!

Order an HPS Gift Card for any of our custom house numbers, address signs, welcome signs or cottage signs. Gift Cards are available in any dollar amount.

Your Unique HPS Gift Card can be emailed or posted, and personalized according to your instructions.

House Proud Gift Cards are available HERE

Happy Holidays from House Proud!

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Create a Wonderful Winter Planter


Sad to see your garden go? 

This winter, take some comfort and joy in a sensational seasonal planter designed by YOU.

Here are tips for creating a warm, welcoming and wonderful outdoor arrangement:

  • The more plant variety and material you have, the better the look. Select 2-3 different greens for a mix of colour and texture. Greenery could include blue spruce, juniper or white pine. 

  • Have some clippers ready for trimming and floral wire handy for fastening or shaping. 

  • Make sure your container is frost-proof. Using soil or sand in concrete pots over winter can cause them to crack. Instead, use wet floral foam, grapevine balls or chicken wire in your pot to support your arrangement. 

  • Add the tall elements first. Dogwood, birch or curly willow branches or large pine boughs work well. The longest pieces should not exceed the height of the pot or your arrangement may appear top-heavy. 

  • Use cedar or another trailing plant to create a soft drape around the planter edge. Wire if necessary. 

  • After you have arranged the tall elements and edging, fill the planter gaps with your assortment of greenery, holly, pine cones, berries, eucalyptus or magnolia leaves. Angle your pieces at 45 degrees so they lean out and over the container.
    • Overstuff your container for maximum impact. 
    • Elements like artificial apples or pears, frosted Christmas decorations or twig balls can add interest and texture to your display. 

    • For added sparkle, consider ways to creatively light your arrangement. 

    This gift keeps on giving! Winter arrangements assembled in November can be enjoyed right up until March with only occassional touch ups. 

    Make your home holiday ready with a welcoming Address Sign, updated House Numbers or new Mailbox.

    Looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for a proud homeowner? Surprise them with a one-of-a-kind handmade Porcelain House Sign.

    Or give the gift of curb appeal with a House Proud Gift Card

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    Pop Quiz! What's Your Design TYPE?

    It's back to school time! 

    How would you describe your decorating style? Do you crave the classic? Are you excited by eclectic? Moved by modern?

    This simple test will help you discover your true Style Type!

    Now, sharpen your pencils and take the House Proud Style Quiz

    Imagine you are designing your dream home.

    Choose the letter that best describes your preferences.

    1. My Preferred Window Coverings Are:
    a. Linen Roman Blinds.
    b. Panels in a classic print.
    c. Clean roller shades.
    d. Pooling Fabric Drapes.

    2. Colour Palettes That Inspire Me: 
    a. Iconic Neutrals- Khakis, taupes, navy, whites.
    b. Classic Historic- Greyed greens, blues, burgundy.  
    c. Urban Cool- Colour trends, metallics, stone.
    d. Earth Inspired- Sky blue, terra cotta, chalk. 

    3. My One Essential Furniture Item:
    a. Leather Sofa. 
    b. Harvest table.
    c. Slick shelving.
    d. Vintage Armoire.

    4. A Favourite Garden Element of MIne: 
    a. Boxwood Hedge.
    b. Perennials. 
    c. Japanese style rock garden. 
    d. Ornamental Grasses. 

    5. My Ideal Backyard Sanctuary Would Have: 
    a. Nautical inspired recliners/ loungers.
    b. Large table and chair set for outdoor meals.
    c. Amazing outdoor speakers.
    d. Tranquil water feature. 

    6. A Great Kitchen Has: 
    a. A solid granite counter top 
    b. A central island for gathering. 
    c. Top of the line stainless steel appliances.
    d. Beautiful cabinetry.

    7. My Dream Bathroom Has: 
    a. A wide vanity with two sinks.
    b. An organized spa like atmosphere.
    c. A glass steam shower.
    d. A deep claw foot tub.

    8. My Chosen Flooring Is: 
    a. Solid hardwood.
    b. Slate tile.
    c. Radiant heated.
    d. Reclaimed wide plank.

    9. My Preferred House Numbers:
    a. Are structured and easy to read.
    b. Are classic and calligraphic.
    c. Are modern and stylized.
    d. Are elegant and artistic.

    Now look at your answers and add up your letters. Each letter corresponds to a House Proud Number Style
    Which TYPE best describes you? Click on it to see the custom house numbers that are just your style!




    As a Helvetica Type you appreciate the tried and true and iconic looks that stand the test of time.  
    Your taste leans toward the crisp, solid and structured.  
    You know what is popular and what works and use that knowledge in your rational and tasteful approach to design and decorating.  




    As an Optima type you favor a classic, simple and pretty design style.  
    You like to consider family and community when decorating a space and are careful to make spaces attractive yet functional.
    You see the beauty in understatement and balance.
    Your style of decorating aims to create a sense of peace and harmony.




    As an Urbano Type you are on top of the latest technology and trends.  
    Your design style is urban, clean and contemporary.  
    Keeping your space organized and clutter free is essential to keep your fast paced life running at peak efficiency.  
    You see beauty in unbroken lines, open space and graphic shapes.




    As a Ribbon Type you love spaces that welcome, are emotionally evocative and awaken the senses. 
    Your design style is influenced by nature and art.
    You love textures and deep colour.
    You are not afraid to include elements that are unpolished, rough or unexpected when decorating. 

    Did you discover that you are a wonderful smattering of styles? 
    Click here to see all the House Proud Number Types!

    Show your style! House Proud Numbers are made to order from quality cast aluminum. Available in many sizes and four finishes. Hardware included. Lifetime guarantee.

    Tell us what makes your style unique! Do you have a style story or tips to share? Please post them on the House Proud Facebook Page!
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    5 Tips for Successful Home Staging

    Are you planning to sell your home? Proper staging excites potential buyers and will raise your asking price. Anyone selling should consider hiring a professional stager which can offer a big return on investment. A good stager will appeal to buyers by maximizing the potential of your space using design know-how and ingenuity.

    Here are some before and after shots of a recent condo staging.
    Whether hiring a pro or preparing to go it alone, here are 5 Staging Basics every home seller needs to know:

    1. Remove all clutter.

    Yes, even the cute kid artwork! All personal items, knick knacks and extra stuff out. Only appropriate furniture and accessories. Take yourself out of the picture and let potential buyers imagine themselves in the space. Do not distract from a pleasing overall impression with unneccesary things. Negative space is not boring! Open areas are easy on the eye and create a spacious and clean feeling.

    2. Fresh paint.

    Paint is the fastest, most inexpensive way to makeover a space and will leave it feeling clean and new. Neutral colours offer an inoffensive backdrop for any furniture and art and provide a sense of expansiveness. For added pizzaz, consider bold colour on a feature wall. The main floor of this condo was entirely repainted in a warm white to create a fresh, open canvas and visual continuity throughout.

    3. Furniture to scale.

    Look for furniture that fits your room shape and size. Only rent or use existing pieces that suit the design direction. Furniture arrangements should please the eye, maximize available space and also make sense for daily living. This condo was small with challenging room shapes. The bed in the master bedroom was scaled down to a double from a queen, which took up too much valuable floor space. There was little room for dressers and nightstands, so shelves were installed to serve as night tables, a small storage unit became a dresser and a bedframe with storage underneath suggested a creative storage solution.

    4. Accentuate the positive.

    Spotlight the features that make the space attractive or unique. In our condo, a nook between bedrooms was transformed into a great little office space. In the dining area a large blank wall became a feature with a pair of funky posters. The venetian blinds covering the sliding door were removed to bring in light and highlight the patio walkout.

    5. Keep your target buyer in mind.

    All good marketers will tell you- don’t try to market to everyone. Identify your ideal buyer and gear your efforts accordingly. The target buyer for our condo was a young professional single or couple. The decor style was geared more urban/ contemporary. The smaller bedroom was decorated to suggest a guest or small child’s room.

    They say we have mere seconds to make a positive impression. If you want quality buyers to stay engaged and interested beyond the front door, proper staging is a must.
    Of course you also want to impress them AT the front door, so consider replacing your tired house numbers and dented mailbox for something new! In staging, it's all in the details.
    For this condo, we suggest our sleek and stylish Urbano numbers!
    Do you have any staging success stories or tips to share? Please post them on the House Proud Facebook Page!
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    Maximize Your Patio Potential This Summer!

    The gorgeous summer weather is finally shining down upon us and that means one really important thing, patio time.It is so nice to be able to sit outside, read a book, have a drink, eat a meal or even watch a movie! Turn your backyard, deck or balcony into an extension of your home by creating a welcoming and comfortable space. 

    1. Decorate Your Deck as an Extension of Your Home

    This is a great time to use some vibrant colors that you've used to bring your exterior to life, and sample different types of styles. The benefit to this is that you have an exciting space to visit without spending a fortune. Most outdoor products like decking are made of materials that are cost efficient, and durable. This means that a little bit can go along way when working on a budget. Use matching pieces from inside your home continued onto your deck. Think of traffic patterns, moving past chairs or decorative items. Consider the sun movement when placing a table and chair set in a certain space. This is a good time to think about umbrella placement, or the installation of an awning.  Remember, your deck is a means to an end; it's a platform for the memories you'll make with your family and friends.

    2Get Ready for Outdoor Entertaining

    Having separate serving pieces for the outside area is a great way to divide the space between indoors and outdoors. This is a great way to express your colorful side. Try using bright prints or solid block colors. Deck design is based on the same philosophical design approaches and labels such as contemporary, traditional and the most common, Feng Shui. The last makes for perfect transition to the space, especially during entertaining. This will also help with perfect placement of your items to optimize the space, and to make the party conducive to the mood that you are striving to create.

    3. Add  Personality to Your Deck

    This is key to making the space your own. Add garden art that you feel would enhance the look of your deck. There are concrete sculptures that are just as imaginative as the art you would place inside your home. This adds life to the area, and is one more way for you to express your inner designer, without having to sacrifice the integrity of the overall look.

    4. Decorative and Practical Materials to Consider for Outdoor Living Spaces

    Outdoor materials are intended to be weather resistant, but in the case of flatware, dinnerware and serving pieces, that can be a bit more challenging. With glass one must always be cautious which let's face it after a couple glasses of wine is not always the easiest so plastic is a good alternative.  Go to any trendy home accessory store and you will find amazing plastic items that are attractive and do not even look like plastic!
    Cushions are the next decorator item, which give your outdoor space the added wow factor. You can find a variety of cushions in fabric that is intended to be heat and moisture resistant.

    5. Choose A Style That Best Fits Your Deck

    If your deck is dark stain in colour, then consider using block colours in bright blues, greens and yellows. The combination of the dark wood with brighter colours presents a nice contrast that allows all elements to be the focal points. If your deck is a lighter colour patterns will compliment the wood and really pop! Make your space really come to life with lots of colour, vibrant textures, accessories and plants and flowers.You could even build a mini water fountain and create a zen oasis.

    Another fun thing that my friends and I used to do years ago was to wheel the tv and vcr (yes that long ago!) outside and we would watch movies. Today in the age of ipads, lap tops and portable dvd players this is super easy and it is like going to the drive in movies in your own back yard.  It is really cool to watch a movie outside under the stars!

    So I encourage you to get outside and start soaking up the sun in your newly transformed outdoor space.  Let me know how you are enjoying your summer.

    I also wanted to announce my new blog, <>  

    With homes and high heels my goal is to be the voice of real estate for like-minded women(and men!)  who appreciate independence, smart decisions, design and beauty, pretty things and of course high heels! Please take some time to go and read the posts and always feel welcome to email me with suggestions or comments. 

    Happy Summer to You!


    Heather Rovet
    Sales Representative
    Sage Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
    Fax:416-483-8001 <

    5 Basics to Clean All Green


    Have you ever wondered how chemical compounds from everyday cleaners and surfactants may be effecting your home environment and our ecosystem at large? There is proof that the harsh chemicals found in common household cleaning products are toxic to plant and animal life and pollute the air we breathe.
    You can enjoy a naturally fresh and clean home without compromising personal and environmental health. It’s easy to create your own effective non-toxic cleansers using these 5 inexpensive everyday ingredients in recycled spray bottles and containers.


    A natural multi-purpose liquid soap made from vegetable oils

    Floor Cleaner: Mop almost any type of floor with a solution of 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap and 2 gallons warm water. If the floors are greasy, add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar to the bucket.

    Wood Cleaner: 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar 1/4 cup water 1/2 teaspoon liquid castile soap 5 drops jojoba or olive oil. Then add 5-10 drops of pure essential oils i.e: lemon, pine, spruce.

    2. VINEGAR

    Distilled white vinegar cuts soap scum, creates an environment that inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and some bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella.

    Windows: Mix 2 ounces water, 1 ounce white vinegar and 10 drops lavender, lemon or lemongrass oil to wipe grime off windows. Bonus: These oils may repel insects!

    Mould: Spray vinegar on the affected areas. After about 15 minutes, rinse and let dry thoroughly. Add drops of tea tree or thyme essential oil for powerful anti-microbial /anti-fungal effect.

    3. BORAX

    When added to a laundry wash, borax makes detergents even more effective. It's also quite alkaline, so it kills mould and fungus while softening water.

    Baseboards, Countertops, and Walls: Dissolve 1 part borax in 2 parts hot water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray generously on surfaces, wipe down with a damp cloth, and let air-dry.

    Toilet Bowl: Pour a cup of white vinegar into the toilet with a handful of baking soda and soak about 10 minutes. Swish with toilet brush and flush. Option: Pour borax in the bowl and let sit overnight. Scrub and flush the next day. Borax will help to remove rust stains.


    Baking soda’s fine, gritty texture makes it an excellent gentle abrasive cleaner. Its neutralizing action on scent molecules makes baking soda an effective deodorizer also.

    Homemade Soft Scrubber: Slowly pour liquid castile soap into ½ cup baking soda-stirring constantly, until the consistency resembles frosting. Add drops of essential oil or oils if desired. Scoop the creamy mixture onto a sponge, scrub the surface, and then rinse.

    Garden and Garden Utensils: Dip a moist stiff-bristled brush in washing soda to scrub trimmers, clippers,grills and barbecue utensils. Place in a sunny area to dry. (Don't use washing soda on aluminum tools.)

    Upholstery and Carpets: Sprinkle on soda, wait a bit then vacuum.

    Deodorize / Clear Drains: Pour 1 cup baking soda and one cup hot distilled white vinegar down the drain. Rinse after 5 minutes.


    These are powerful, pure botanical distillations. Some essential oils traditionally used in cleaning recipes include lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon, pine and rosemary.

    Floor Wash: Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water. Add 10 - 20 drops of your favourite essential oil(s). Peppermint oil repels mice and ants, try lavender and orange oils to refresh and uplift.

    Pest Control: Create a safe bug spray for people and pets. Create a base of half distilled water and half witch hazel. Add 10 drops of essential oil(s) for every 1 oz of base. Great oils for repelling bugs include lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, geranium and eucalyptus.

    Support the environmental harmony inside and outside your home. Use these ‘Green Clean Basics’ to tackle any household grime, safely and organically.

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