Healthy Home News Moxie September 2017

Pets & Plants How to Avoid Household Disasters

If you live in a home complete with both pets and plants, you may be in search of a little balance. Some cats and dogs can’t help but nibble on the greenery or dig in the dirt. Others may love to roughhouse, leading to potential spills and other disasters. But with a few simple changes, you can make sure your pets and plants get along, and disasters will become a thing of the past. Pick the Right Plants. There are many houseplants that are toxic to animals. Aloe is a common one that can cause serious health issues if ingested by cats and dogs. The ASPCA recommends pet owners buy plants like the Boston fern, Chamaedorea palm, and the spider plant instead. You can search the ASPCA’s plant database at www.aspca.org/pet- care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants to find plants that are perfect for your home and yard. Consider Plant Placement. Keep houseplants out of reach of curious snouts, paws, and the occasional tail — while still ensuring your plants get plenty of light. Find spots on tables and shelves or hang plants from the ceiling if that’s an option. As a general rule, set plants away from ledges or areas where cats might be tempted to jump. Make sure your plants are secure. Nonslip mats are a great way to keep pots and containers from slipping. Leave No Cloth Dangled. Watch for mats, tablecloths, or anything else under your plants that drape or dangle over tables or stands. These can be enticing for playful pets, and they may pull on them and topple over the plant. A falling plant may injure your pet or leave you with a big mess. Make sure anything placed directly under a plant is made or cut to fit in the space provided. Discourage Dirt Digging. For troublesome cats with a habit of getting into the dirt around houseplants, the ASPCA says that aluminum foil can be an effective deterrent. Form the foil around the base of the plant, leaving just enough room to water the plant. Cats don’t like the crunchy feeling of the foil beneath their paws.

When a House Is More Than a House Multipurpose Homes

A house becomes much more than a house when its design is so unusually genius that it serves multiple and often unexpected purposes. We’ve rounded up three multipurpose architectural anomalies for your viewing pleasure.

Home as Art and Art as Home

Our first home is located in Rio de Janeiro. Built by two artists and brothers, the home is literally located on the side of a wall. Beds, tables, chairs, even an unusual orange couch and a potted plant hang suspended above the streets. Set against the backdrop of a painted red and yellow stone wall, the brightly colored furniture makes for an unexpected piece of art that captures what the French would call the joie de vivre , or joy of life. Our next home hasn’t yet skateboarded into the real world, but if everything goes according to plan, it’s sure to keep its residents fit. The idea comes from professional skater Pierre Andre Senizergues, who worked with designers and architects to create a home that is essentially a skate park. In place of the typical square structure, you’ll find curved, pipe-like walls with a couch that doubles as a grinding rail. Senizergues’s home is a skateboarder’s paradise. Did you know that Seattle has its very own Floating Homes Association? Neither did we. But apparently they need one, as the city has taken houseboats to the extreme. These homes literally serve two purposes, as both a house and a boat. Artistically, the houseboat has more walls than windows, which results in an organic feel, as though the home belongs on the water. The decor echoes the boat’s aquatic surroundings. Where you’d expect to find a microwave over the stove, you’ll find instead a fish tank. And where you’d expect to find a screen door, you find an opening that lets in the crisp ocean air. Skate on Home Home Sweet Houseboat

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