Archive for October, 2009

By Home IQ Team

picture 12 DuPont Introduces mySurface iPhone App

As we perused our favorite home and design-related blogs this morning, we came across a few that talked about a promotion with DuPont that is worth mentioning.

To help launch DuPont’s new iPhone app, the company is working with bloggers to secure write-ups of the new app, mySurface. Additionally, DuPont is giving an iTouch to select bloggers to give away to one of their lucky readers. The idea is to literally put the app in readers’ hands through online giveaways.

picture 2 DuPont Introduces mySurface iPhone App

One of the blogs that is participating in this promotion, Hooked on Houses, is asking readers to enter by leaving a comment on this post before Saturday, 10/17. For an extra entry, readers can leave a second comment on the post telling the editor what their favorite DIY app is or the type of app readers think would be helpful to decorators and DIYers.

Sounds like a great promotion! In addition to Hooked on Houses, it looks like Design Milk is also participating in the giveaway.

A word of caution, however, to any fellow bloggers out there who frequently work with brands in this way in addition to the brands that are considering pitching promotions like this to select contacts. Keep in mind that the FTC issued a new rule that bloggers must disclose their relationship with reporters whenever giveaways are involved or else they risk facing an $11,000 fine per post.


By Home IQ Team
picture 51 Home Intel's Top Ten Twitter Personas

Courtesy of

Like nearly all other industries, the home industry is using Twitter to promote trends, launch new products and get people talking.

As we head into a new week, the Home Intel team wanted to share a few of our favorite Twitter personas. If you are not already following these people, we highly recommend it. Check out our list below and enjoy!

Also, we’d love to hear who you are following on Twitter. Feel free to send us your favorites.

@HomeSavvi - Their goal is to save their followers time and money for all of their remodeling needs. They offer kitchen and bath design news, advice, tools, trends and more

@NARI_National – Follow this national association for business and marketing-related ideas

@Remodelers - This group connects homebuyers to contractors

@SphereTrending – Offers consumer and design trends from around the world

@ColorSizzle – This designer and color consultant helps her clients (and followers) create colorful, stylish spaces

@SusanSerraCKD – As a certified kitchen designer and aging in place specialist, @SusanSerraCKD provides helpful tips and trend information for improving one’s space

@LuxuryfortheHom – Follow @LuxuryfortheHome for helpful home decor tips and design trends. Leslie Hassler is a luxury lifestyle specialist, builder and realtor consultant in addition to an interior designer

@Designrelated - Design meets inspiration with these guys

@design_sponge – Follow @design_sponge for incredible design tips. Check out the blog and find the inspiration you need for any remodel

picture 41 Home Intel's Top Ten Twitter Personas

By Home IQ Team

1013 45 banner home weeklyintel1 Weekly Intel: News & Trends You May Have Missed

Before heading out today, take a look at the links below for a little light reading.

4 Answers to Winterizing Your Home

DEWALT Launches Power Tool Battery Recycling Program

U.S. Green Building Council Revamps LEED Certification

Do Something Different

Flexible Kitchen Table

By Green Experts Team

laurentians fall colour1 300x201 Adapt to Fall With Our Eco Modifications

Complements of

Temperatures are dropping, the wind is picking up, leaves are changing color – all things we love about Fall. However, one change that’s harder to cope with is the sun’s changing schedule.

Here are some eco-minded Fall living tips to help you cope with the change in light and avoid feeling like your running out daylight and missing the warm evenings of Summer.

Windows – The Fall months are the perfect time to pull back the curtains and let the sunlight spill into your home while you can. Take a few pointers from Scandinavian design – they’ve mastered the art of keeping the cold out and letting warmth in. By allowing the light in, you’re giving your space the warmth it needs without having to turn the heater on too early in the season.

Fall cleaning – The September to Christmas timeframe is one of the busiest times of the year for homeowners. Before things get too crazy, take the time to de-clutter. Remove items, add plants and rearrange furniture to allow for clear thinking and maximum productivity. Consumer Reports provides some Fall cleaning tips here with mention to a few greener alternatives.

Bring the outdoors in – Gardens were a huge eco-trend this summer. Instead of putting them to rest, modify your garden to be a container garden. Bring plant life into your home to boost moral as the winter weather takes its toll on non-evergreen vegetation. As this post on Design*Sponge points out – having indoor plants can improve air quality.

Candle light – Nothing is worse then rushing through dinner. In order to avoid feeling like you’re trying to squeeze in a meal at the end of the night, take your time, save some energy and slow things down by lighting a few candles and turning off the overhead lights. To be extra green look into soy candle options - the melted liquid from some soy candles even doubles as a lotion to help manage the winter cracks and dry skin.

Bring the spa to your bathroom – To allow for extra relaxation, after your candle light dinner head to your bathroom to take a nice hot shower with water heated by solar energy. But be mindful not to shower for too long and waste too much water. Consider a low flow showerhead to help manage water use.


By Home IQ Team

picture 1 Investigating the Rise in “Green” / Organic Baby Retailers

First-time mothers are likely to have a mixture of concerns and apprehensions as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Understandably, new moms and dads want what is best for their little bundles of job, and this includes only the safest products to outfit their nurseries. Today’s modern families are also concerned with protecting the environment and living as responsibly as possible. With the growing emphasis on the significance of “green” and organic practices for a safer, healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle, baby retailers are recognized for keeping up with this trend as well.

The Ecologist recently reported on an investigation that was started by the Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), an international network of organizations that study toxic chemicals in our daily lives. The study was created to examine various pollutants such as formaldehyde and other VOC’s, (Volatile Organic Compounds) that arise from freshly laid flooring or carpet, soft furnishings, clothing, bedding, textiles and toys. Volunteer participants were given test materials to place in their newly renovated baby rooms to measure the volume of pollutants in their baby’s space. As a result of the study, The Ecologist noted “best-practices” to avoid exposure to those VOCs, such as choosing low or no-VOC paint or wood chip wallpaper when decorating the walls, and selecting curtains with natural materials such as wool or cotton. New findings, and studies like these have created pressure among baby retailers to provide products that satisfy the desire to design a “healthy” baby space.

Baby retailers are conscious of these up and coming trends, and realize that prepping a new room for a baby means not only creating a clean space, but picking healthy and “green” furniture as well. Becky Bridges, a spokeswoman for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, said, “green retail is definitely on the upswing in San Antonio.” As these trends become more prominent, manufacturers and retailers in the “home” space are more conscious of environmentally friendly practices. Stores like Green Baby Resale Boutique and Eden’s Baby sell products without the chemicals and additives found in other traditional merchandise. Standard furniture qualities like functionality, and stability have not been sacrificed, but safer treatments like non-toxic varnish, oil and wax are more commonly substituted for harmful finishes like plastic coatings and chipboard wood.

As the days of cloth diapers reinvent themselves in the marketplace, baby retailers are conscious and proactive by offering more “green” and organic products for a healthier lifestyle.

By Home IQ Team

picture 6 Are Formal Living Spaces Vanishing Before Our Eyes?

Of all the rooms in a home, the kitchen is probably the most used and loved room. Often considered the heart of a home, the kitchen is typically a family’s epicenter of the home.

On the other hand though there’s the living room. Often this space is the least used room in the home, and despite years of staying empty it’s remained a staple in American homes. That is, until recently. It finally seems builders and marketers are taking notice and shifting plans to meet their buyers’ living trends.

According to recent consumer preference surveys from the National Association of Home Builders these once-decorative centerpieces of homes are slowly vanishing from newer homes. In fact, thirty-four percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without a living room and many home buyers say they would trade a living room for a family room and home office space.

That’s right – more and more buyers today are giving up the formal living room and family room split. Instead they want more usable space such as simply one, big open floor plan that will allow them to entertain company as well as lounge around and watch movies. Informal spaces such as this are in because they are more functional according to NAHB.

Some home features just don’t stay popular forever and the living room seems to fall victim to this truth. More homes builders are simply inching away from incorporating them into the layouts, and it seems home buyers are happy about the update.

By Home IQ Team

1013 45 banner home weeklyintel1 Weekly Intel: News & Trends You May Have Missed

Below are a few links we found interesting and worthy of sharing with you as we close out the week. Enjoy!

Roundup of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative

The World’s Best Design Programs

Desk Accessories that Aim to Make your Home Office Look Less Like an Office

Communicating Green Messaging

By Home IQ Team

What’s worked in green marketing and a peak at what the message sounds like in the future

When the green trend first hit and brands were scrambling to jump on the bandwagon the term “greenwashing” was quickly coined. Government, organizations, consumers and even big brands realized standards were needed for the sustainable landscape.

Thus the lines separating the varying levels of green products started to become more defined. We started appraising a product’s green value based on many categories like packaging, chemical makeup, performance and manufacturing process – and new language was introduced. Terms like responsible, eco-friendly, sustainable, renewable energy and post-consumer became a major part of marketing vocabulary.

So here’s a quick list of what we’ve learned watching the evolution of green messaging so far and what can we tell about where it’s going moving forward.

picture 5 Communicating Green Messaging

  • Make green the second message – Eco appeal is not enough to sell a product. Lead with messaging that communicates the effectiveness and high performance of the product; make the green the bonus feature.
  • Show the good and the bad – Homeowners are learning just how complicated it is to adopt a more responsible lifestyle. Just as it’s becoming more acceptable for consumers to take small steps towards living green it’s okay for big brands to do that too. You’re not turning green overnight, and we don’t expect you to. So be honest about your goals and share the highs and lows of working towards them. This list rates companies on green by considering the pros and the cons of their work.
  • Share the details – Made from recycled products? Don’t stop there – tell us which recycled products. Tell consumers why and how your brand or product is a good choice. There is so much competition in this space that brands need to share their unique practices and efforts in more precise and detailed language.
  • Think outside the box and beyond the shelf – The details of your production process may not be so obvious to the naked eye looking at your product on the store shelf, but these days consumers do their research and have an educated and trained eye when shopping for responsible products. It’s no longer a must for items to be made from recycled or renewable resources. Share the changes made in your production or shipping process and your product will be considered responsible in the minds of the shopper.

Live from West Coast Green

By Home IQ Team

Couldn’t make it to West Coast Green this year?  That’s okay, we’re here live, and we are excited to share everything we see and learn. Enjoy the show from our perspective with live pictures below.  Or you can follow us on Twitter @GreenIntel for information on new innovations introduced and key developments that will influence the greening of the home industry.

bT*xJmx*PTEyNTQzNDU3Nzc5MTYmcHQ9MTI1NDM*NTc3OTk*OSZwPUNlbGxibG9jayZkPSZnPTEmbz*4ZTdiODk2MzFjZDU*ODdjODAyMGIzNzJlNmIwMDEzYiZvZj*w Live from West Coast Green

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