Nov 25, 2021

5 Tips to Decorating Your Home Without Sacrificing Household Safety

They say, "home is where the heart is." A home provides warmth, shelter, and security from the outside. It keeps its residents safe from the harsh elements of the outside world.; but what about safety from the inside?

Fire safety is and has always been a primary concern of homeowners and home builders alike, along with security and durability. However, with fires being so destructive, it should never be a question of "should I prioritize fire safety?" but rather "what kinds of fire safety systems should I have?"

It's important to know that we can only achieve complete safety through the total cooperation of individuals because fire safety is such a concern. 

Therefore, prevention, training, and first response are essential pieces of information everyone should know. These are practiced and maintained by governing bodies such as fire departments, contractors, interior designers, architects, etc. High-rise condominiums, offices, schools, and homes also observe and practice these preventions steps.

Fire is one of the top hazards inside a home, and it's essential to have a home equipped with the proper safety measures, installed with the right tools and systems by the appropriate people, and inspected by the relevant organizations. 

Fire Statistics

A report from the National Fire Protection Association states that, in 2020, a home structure fire occurred every 89 seconds, home fire deaths occurred every three hours and 24 minutes, and a home fire injury occurred every 46 minutes. It also states that, in the same year, one-quarter of the fires (26%) occurred in home properties.

These numbers equate to lives lost and properties destroyed during fires. The alarming data pushes everyone to start taking into account the prospect of acquiring a house that's complete with fire safety systems.

One would think that these homes would cost more than a traditional one because of the additional safety measures like fire-resistant doors, alarm systems, etc. However, they cost roughly around the same as a typical home.

There may be some additional cost, but that should not be reason enough to stop constructing safer homes. Besides, different payment methods like installment buying make home-buying a more flexible process for everyone. 

Safety in Homes

Now, we go back to the question of "What kinds of safety fire systems should I install?" First, we need to understand the importance of implementing a beautiful yet safe and secure home. Contractors and homebuilders are well-equipped with the knowledge to ensure that everyone living in the house they're building is safe; this includes going over fire safety in the design and blueprint.

Does this mean a home has to be thick, bulky, and unappealing to the eyes? Of course not! Thankfully, there are many ways to achieve a beautifully designed home, equipped with the proper safety tools and systems and carefully designed by professionals who put safety as the top priority. 

A Safe and Beautiful Home

Many people think that wanting a safe house means that they have to sacrifice beauty and style, but that's far from the truth. Engineers have been fireproofing construction materials for centuries, and now, modern-day interior designers and architects have made it possible to have a beautiful yet safe home.

Here are some tips that will help achieve a beautiful home without compromising safety and security. 

  1. Make it squeaky clean.

Cleanliness is probably one of the most obvious ways to achieve a stylish and safe home. Cleaning is such an integral part of housekeeping. From mopping the floors to wiping countertops, it keeps a home habitable. But apart from that, cleaning can also provide a safe environment for residents.

Simply sorting out wires in electronics helps prevent entanglement that may cause a short circuit, electrical fire, or electric shock. Likewise, sprucing up the lawn, raking dried leaves, and trimming tree branches would keep the outside looking tidy and prevent any combustible material from coming near the home, especially if the house caught fire from the outside.

  1. Use smart technology.

Home automation is one of the indicators of a modern home—from smart curtains to TVs and even vacuums! Smart appliances are a great help for the homeowner since they can monitor, control, and secure activities even when there's no one at home. This activity monitoring is one of the best ways to ensure a safe house.

Some smart appliances also aid in preventing residential fire. Some examples of these are smart smoke detectors, stovetops, and plugs. By utilizing these smart appliances, residents lessen the risk of forgetting to turn off, unplug, or put out their usual fire-causing devices.

Did you know that cooking takes the top spot as the usual cause of house fires? Having the power to regulate the use of these common fire-causing appliances even when not home minimizes the chances of a fire breaking out in the home.

  1. Make the space ergonomic.

Making a space ergonomic is one way to prevent an accident. Ergonomics is the study of people in their working environment. An ergonomist designs or modifies the area to fit the worker, not the other way around, to eliminate discomfort and risk of injury. Adapting the working environment to how a person works could minimize the chances of an injury or accident.

Make sure that the working area, such as a desk or table, is free from clutter. Designate a place where other items not used for work, such as glasses and snacks, can go. Keep wires organized and away from the leg area so they won't be accidentally stepped on or tangled in.

In kitchens, it's essential to have a space for everything—a designated place to put cutlery, the pantry essentials, sauce bottles, condiments, and others. Keep paper towels on a stand and away from stoves, as well. Don't forget to remove aprons, potholders, and any other combustible material away from the stovetop.

Not only are these ways to minimize clutter, but they can also speed up food prep time. And a reminder for everyone when working in an area: "Don't put it down, put it away." 

  1. Install safety systems.

Implementing several safety systems in homes, such as fire alarms and security cameras, can significantly help homeowners. These systems are automated and can be remotely accessed. Keeping them maintained and functional is essential to the continuous protection of everyone inside the home.

The good news is that nowadays, safety doesn't have to equate to tacky or boring. As we've mentioned, fireproofing structures have been in process for centuries. Since then, there have been significant improvements in creating these safety systems in materials, compounds, and designs. We now have access to cost-efficient, effective, and stylish materials.

Take an exterior glass, for example. Residential exterior glass is any outer wall made primarily of windows and window framing. Glass windows make any room look spacious. They let the room catch sunlight to make it bright, lift the mood, and turn it into a conducive area for work.

Nowadays, there are exterior glasses made from fire-rated glass that compartmentalize smoke and flames and prevent dangerous levels of heat transmission through its glazing.

  1. Think about the home's layout.

Don't forget that a home's layout is essential in fire prevention, as well as in capturing the overall feel and design. Depending on the location, remembering some safety tips can help immensely. For instance, wildfires typically blaze faster uphill than on a ground level.

Another consideration is the kitchen position. Having the kitchen too far from the entrance could add extra seconds to carrying the grocery bags, but it could also mean extra seconds before getting to the door if a fire breaks out. 

Finally, the size of the driveway—a small driveway might be difficult when parking, but it could also mean an ordeal for rescue operators as they try to get inside the area in case of emergencies. Again, homeowners should strategize these details with their contractors, architects, and engineers to optimize the home to the best design and safety practices

The Breakdown

A home is a place of security for anyone residing there. It keeps them safe, warm, and protected from the elements, including fires. People have been in constant pursuit of the best ways to prevent house fires, and they’ve come a long way, learning from mistakes of the past. 

We now have access to many options for fire-preventive systems, tools, designs, and materials. These options don't have to mean tacky or tawdry. With the innovations in technology, we have smart appliances and automated safety systems that look just as chic, all while looking after our homes when we can’t do so personally. 

Create the perfect ambiance to relax and unwind when designing a home. The addition of these safety features shouldn't change that feeling. 

Home care is more than just cleaning your floors and fixing broken lightbulbs. It takes diligence, effort, and strategy to build a beautiful home that provides safety against people with ill intentions and protection from the forces of nature. 

Every homeowner aims to safeguard their homes, and now they can achieve security with style and not one over the other. Gone are the days when we had to choose between what we wanted and what we needed. 

Nov 24, 2021

Best flea markets in NYC


Household items on a flea market stall

If you are into flea market shopping, the Big Apple is the place to go. There are tons of flea markets in NYC scattered around, and today we will share with you some of them that are the best of the best. So, if you are somebody who already enjoys thrift shops or vintage stores, you already know how exhilarating browsing flea markets can be.

Flea markets are places for treasure hunting. And, it does not matter what you consider treasure - clothes, shoes, jewelry, pieces of furniture, decorative home items, etc., you can find it there. And, you will be able to snack while doing so as all NYC's flea markets have fantastic street food stands that will satiate your hunger. All in all, checking flea markets in NYC is a fun experience. So, whether you are an experienced flea-goer or somebody who has never done this before, be sure to check out the following flea markets. 

Brooklyn Flea 

As fashion trends are changing, so is our need for buying new clothing pieces. And, that is why the Brooklyn Flea has not one but two locations. It is located in Williamsburg on Saturdays and in Dumno on Sundays. Both sites are easily accessible by car, public transportation, or on foot. So, the next time you find yourself in one of these two locations, be sure to give the Brooklyn Flea a visit. This is the place to be if you decluttered and made room in your humble home recently and you are now ready to fill it with something new and completely different. This flea market has it all - from clothing pieces to furniture pieces. And, it has something that others do not - creative artists and all of their creations. Yes, artists tend to gather here during the weekend and 'create' their art right in front of you - so, besides shopping, here you can also entertain yourself by seeing how art is born. 

A flea market
Brooklyn Flea Market is considered NYC's main attraction.

Grand Bazaar 

You can find Grand Bazaar Flea Market in the Upper West Side. This is NYC's oldest and biggest flea market. So, as you guessed it - you can find pretty much anything you imagine here. However, most people who come here look for antiques and vintage pieces. You can find these kinds of goodies on the stalls of over 100 merchants (for an excellent price too). There are also artists selling their creations, small-business owners selling their goods, and just people selling second-hand items. And if you are packing for the move, you can even get all the supplies you need, too - from cardboard boxes to dollies - Grand Bazar has got you covered. But, be warned - this flea market is huge! You will need an entire day (or maybe even more) to check every stall and see every item. So, arm yourself with patience and put on the most comfortable walking shoes - you will need both!

Queens Night Market 

Queens Night Market is the only flea market in New York City that is open until midnight. So, if you are a night owl, you know where to go. Just like all markets mentioned above, here you can also buy high-quality pieces of furniture, antique and vintage household knick-knacks, clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, etc. However, what makes this flea market special is that merchants here come from all over the world. To be exact, they come from 80 different countries of the world. And, so do their goods. Thus, this is an excellent place to check out if you are looking for something imported, unique, and simply different. But, that is not all - Queens Night Market is also famous for its food vendors. Here is where you can try some of the best international street foods and drinks in all of New York.

People buying Chinese street food at one of the best flea markets in NYC
If you want to try some international specialties, check out the Queens Night Market

The Bronx Night Market 

Okay, this is not an entirely 'night' market as it closes around 7 pm. But, hey, it is still open a lot longer than other NYC flea markets that usually close between 12 pm and 3 pm (except for the Queens Night Market). So, if you work on Saturdays and Sundays, the Bronx Night Market may be a good place to check out when you are on the look for something new. And, when we say - new, we really mean it. This market supports local, small businesses, and it always includes them and their products/services. Here you can find designers with their own lines, carpenters with their furniture pieces, artists with their paintings, and artistic and innovative people with their creations.

Believe it or not, but at the Bronx Flea Market, you can equip your entire home with new (or second-hand) items as well as fill your entire closet with some unique pieces. So, if this is what you plan on doing, we strongly suggest finding some moving help on Best Movers NYC as you will need somebody to help you with packing, transporting, assembling, and storing everything you buy. 

A flea market
The Bronx Night Market has everything you need for your home and your closet.

So, Where Should You Go First? 

We have mentioned only four flea markets in NYC. In our opinion, they are the best of the best. However, what you consider the best may vary from what we think. So, our suggestion is to do your research first and see what you like. As we live in the age of technology, that is relatively easy to do. All you have to do is a bit of googling on the flea markets around NYC. Some of them will be the best for buying bedroom furniture, for example, while others will be the best for purchasing clothing. Besides the four previously mentioned flea markets, check out the following: The Hester Street Fair, The Williamsburg Market, The Chelsea Market, The SoHo Market, The Nolita Market, etc. 

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Nov 3, 2021

Guide to choosing allergy-friendly plants for your new home


House plants

If you've just moved into your new home, adding greenery is a great idea to refresh your space and give it a more natural vibe. However, if anyone in your household suffers from allergies, you need to be mindful in choosing allergy-friendly plants for your new home. Plants are hugely beneficial in various ways, but they can cause more harm than good if you choose the wrong ones. To help you turn your home into a green oasis, we've prepared a guide in which we'll introduce you to plant allergies, allergy-friendly plants, and plants you should avoid.

A little bit about allergies

Sometimes, our immune system has an overreactive response to harmless substances. Those are called allergies. The most common culprits are pollens, certain foods, and dust mites. When someone has allergies, their body identifies certain substances as threats and releases antibodies. This triggers chemical reactions that further cause unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms.

Different allergens can lurk around your new home. So, before the team from helps you settle into your new home, make sure that it's allergen-free. Thoroughly clean it and remove the dust, especially if the previous occupants had pets. Also, make sure to check if there's any mold or mildew.

Plant allergies

Even though making your home greener is a great idea, you need to carefully select the plants you want to invite into your living space. There are hundreds of plant allergens capable of causing an allergic reaction either by inhalation or contact.

Plant allergies are often called allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Sometimes, it can be tough to determine an exact diagnosis as there could be several allergens causing issues to one individual.

Here are the most common symptoms. In case you notice any, make sure to do an allergy test:

  • Sneezing

  • Congestion

  • Red, itchy, irritated, or watery eyes

  • Runny nose

  • Tiredness

  • Darkness or puffiness under the eyes

A woman with allergies sitting next to an indoor plant and holding a tissue
Many plants can help relieve allergy symptoms and can, therefore, be a great asset to your new home.

Plants can also ooze liquid that contains allergens which can lead to skin reactions. The most common symptoms include:

  • Itching

  • Photodermatosis

  • Contact dermatitis

  • Skin lesions

  • Hives

  • Eczema

Other allergens to look out for

It's not uncommon for mold and plant allergies to mix. That's because mold can easily grow in the soil of houseplants. If that is the case, it's more likely that mold caused a reaction and not the plant.

For that reason, it's essential to take care of your plants properly and keep them mold-free. Remember that soggy soil is an excellent environment for mold to thrive is, so make sure not to overwater your plants. Also, ensure sufficient ventilation for your indoor plants and expose them to an optimal amount of sunlight.

Allergy-friendly plants for your new home

Now we've come to the fun part - we will introduce you to allergy-friendly plants for your new home. Hopefully, we'll be able to help you pick your new roommates.

However, before you move, don't forget to deal with the ones you already have. Moving with plants is not so difficult when you find the right movers as they'll make sure your green friends are transferred safely.

The Areca Palm

The Areca Palm is a natural humidifier. By increasing the amount of moisture in the air, it can improve allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and irritation.

In the NASA clean air study, it was named as one of the best purifiers. It's one of the most useful house plants as it can remove carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air. It's all due to its big leaves, which trap allergens and filter toxins from their surroundings.

Heartleaf Philodendron

This plant is ideal for allergy sufferers as it improves indoor air quality. During photosynthesis, the Heartleaf Philodendron removes a large number of harmful gases from the air. It's also low-maintenance and very easy to grow.

Heartleaf Philodendron
Heartleaf Philodendron or Sweetheart Plant is a very popular indoor plant due to being very low-maintenance.


One of the most effective plants for tackling allergens is Dracaena. It can absorb carbon monoxide and remove gases such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from indoor air. Its leaves are also very good at trapping allergens.

One of the best varieties for allergy sufferers is Dracaena Reflexa. It has the best air cleaning ability out of all the Dracaena plants.

English Ivy

With its lovely pear-shaped leaves, English Ivy is one of the most beautiful plants to have in your new home. However, it doesn't just look good; it can also improve allergy symptoms by reducing airborne mold spores and clearing the air of irritants.

A close up of a tree branch

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English Ivy is toxic to humans and animals, so make sure to find a suitable location for it in your new home

Keep in mind that this plant is toxic both to humans and animals. If you have kids or pets, keeping it out of their reach is imperative. Either put it on a high shelf or somewhere out of reach in your balcony garden.

What plants to avoid?

No matter how gorgeous they look, some plants that don't belong at home. Here are the plants you should avoid as they are known to cause allergic reactions.

  • Chrysanthemums - Members of the aster family can produce a lot of pollen and cause bad allergic reactions.

  • Lilies - Not only do they produce a lot of pollen, but they also have an intense aroma that could trigger irritant rhinitis.

  • Sunflowers - As the sunflower continues to mature, the flowers release more pollen.

  • African violets - As they have high pollen loads, they can trigger sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes. They also have leaves with tiny hairs, which can collect a lot of dust.

  • Weeping fig - Although it's beautiful and easy to grow, it's one of the worst plants for allergy sufferers, especially those with latex sensitivity.

Allergy-friendly plants for your new home: conclusion

We hope we were able to inspire you to choose allergy-friendly plants for your new home. Even if you don't suffer from allergies, choosing the right plants is essential to avoid any potential reactions.

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