Posts tagged with "Alex Bogdan"

Zara Larsson – Sommer House

Multi-platinum global pop star Zara Larsson has today detailed plans for her own brand new record label, Sommer House. Sommer House will be licensed through Epic USA and distributed by Sony Sweden for all forthcoming Zara Larsson releases.

In a unique agreement made with TEN Music Group CEO Ola Håkansson – who originally signed Zara – Larsson has also today taken control of her entire recording catalogue (which has been streamed over 9 billion times). Having been signed to the Swedish independent in 2011, Zara’s relationship with TEN has resulted in one of her country’s most successful international exports – a story that continues in this new venture…

Commenting on the deal today, Zara states: “ I really want to say thank you to Ola and everyone at TEN for giving me the opportunity to break out as an artist and helping me start my career. You are now also making something happen that is so, so rare for a woman in the music industry – the capability to own my own catalogue. With that, it makes perfect sense that I would start my own record company. I very much look forward to my future and to a continued collaboration with Sony as well.’

“This is a natural and exciting development in Zara’s continuing music career,” Ola Håkansson comments. “We have worked together for more than 10 fantastic, eventful years and Zara is, despite her young age, an established and respected international artist with extensive experience of the international music scene today. It is going to be really exciting to follow Zara’s ongoing music career. I wish her the best of luck, and I am convinced the she is going to achieve all her musical dreams and get to show her amazing artistry on the worlds biggest stages.”

Epic CEO Slvia Rhone, meanwhile, closes:  “Zara has been a cornerstone artist for Epic Records, and we are privileged and excited to be involved in the next chapter in her luscious career.”

 Currently featuring on Alesso’s latest single ‘Words’, Zara Larsson has just dropped her Spotify Singles cover of ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ in a pulsing rework produced by Mark Ralph (Years & Years, Georgia). Zara was also invited to attend the premiere of ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ residency at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ahead of Larsson’s European tour this summer and brand new music expected this autumn.

All women have superpowers. Wielding those superpowers, Zara Larsson provokes and pushes pop music and culture forward with empowered, enlightened, and energized anthems that soar and seduce all at once. With every move, she continues to quietly make history and break records. Her RIAA platinum-certified 2017 full-length, ‘So Good‘, notably stands out as the second-most-streamed debut on Spotify by a female artist ever. Zara’s growing catalogue boasts one smash after another, including the triple-platinum ‘Never Forget You‘ with MNEK, the platinum ‘Lush Life‘ and ‘Ain’t My Fault‘, as well as the unstoppable Clean Bandit collaboration ‘Symphony‘. Along the way, she has received various awards and honors at the Swedish Grammy Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, MTV EMAs, and even graced the stage of the Nobel Peace Prize concert. 2020’s second international album, ‘Poster Girl‘, featured breakout hits ‘Ruin My Life‘, and ‘Wow‘, and saw Zara make further strides towards Pop’s top table working alongside the likes of Max Martin and Young Thug. Launched entirely in lockdown, the project has surpassed 1 billion streams, seen Zara perform virtually for Roblox, and host a spectacular show in partnership with fellow Swedish icons Ikea on International Women’s Day, before playing a sold-out European arena tour“One of pop’s biggest and outspoken stars” (The Guardian). Currently featuring on Alesso’s new single ‘Words’, watch out for more on Zara Larsson coming soon. 

NYBG – ATT

The New York Botanical Garden‘s major, institution-wide exhibition Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love examines the art and science of foodways and food traditions, many dating back thousands of years. Visitors can explore the rich cultural history of what we eat and learn that – from global dietary staples such as rice, beans, squash, and corn to the regional spice and flavor provided by peppers, greens, and tomatoes – plants are at the base of all culinary customs. The presentation features expansive displays of living edible plants; art and science installations; weekend celebrations; wellness, culinary-themed, and children’s programming; and opportunities to gather at artist-designed tables set throughout NYBG’s 250 acres, bringing to life stories about the featured and other notable edible plants. Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love is on view June 4 through September 11, 2022.

“We are thrilled and gratified to be able to present Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love,” said Jennifer Bernstein, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden, “The creation of this exhibition has truly been a collaborative and communal experience and a labor of love. We hope everyone will visit the Botanical Garden this summer and take a little time to uncover the botanical origins of the foods they think they already know, cultivate deeper understanding of the environmental and social impacts of our food choices, and discover the diversity and beauty of plants that are grown for cuisine around the world.”

Displays of Living Edible Plants at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Showcasing hundreds of varieties of edible plants, including peppers, squash, cabbage, beans, grains, corn, banana, sugarcane, taro, and breadfruit, three installations in and around the Haupt Conservatory beckon visitors to explore the diversity and beauty of food plants grown around the world.

  • In the Conservatory’s Seasonal Exhibition Galleries, a wide assortment of edible herbaceous plants and fruit-bearing trees flourishing in containers, entwined in overhead trellises, and reaching skyward from green walls ideal for compact urban spaces inspire appreciation of the plants that nourish us.
  • The Conservatory Courtyards offer an array of familiar and surprising edible plants from across the globe – from dietary staples of the tropical regions of the world, including rice, taro, and banana, to crops suited to arid regions of the globe, including figs, citrus, and pearl millet. Peppers and tomatoes and other nightshades, grapes and olives, a gourd trellis, and a spirits garden featuring plants used in the creation of beer, wine, and liquors round out this diverse display.
  • A portion of the Botanical Garden’s Conservatory Lawn is transformed into an undulating field of dwarf sorghum and barley, traditional grains well-suited to NYBGߣs climate, allowing observation of the sowing, nurturing, harvesting, and replanting processes of these foundational food plants over the course of the exhibition.

African American Garden at the Edible Academy

Curated by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, America’s leading scholar on the foods of the African Diaspora, African American Garden: Remembrance & Resilience celebrates African American food and gardening histories and the contributions of essential plants to American foodways. Dr. Harris has worked with historians, heritage seed collectors, and NYBG’s Edible Academy staff to present a sequence of eight garden beds arranged in a semi-circle that celebrate African American food and gardening histories and their ongoing contributions to America’s plant and food culture. The experience also includes an orientation center, shaded seating areas, and a Hibiscus Drink Station designed by scenic designer Lawrence E. Moten III, whose include Broadway’s Chicken & Biscuits. The African American Garden also features a Poetry Walk curated by Cave Canem Foundation, the premier home for Black poetry, committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

Art and Science Installations Throughout the Garden

After a call for artists that resulted in many impressive submissions, The New York Botanical Garden selected 30 local artists, living or working in the Bronx, to design and create tables that explore central themes from Around the Table. On display across the Botanical Garden’s 250 acres, the artist-designed tables incorporate notable food plants, highlighting the plants’ history and cultural significance as well personal stories of food traditions and celebrations. The tables and accompanying interpretation encourage sitting, sharing, and storytelling. Visitors are prompted to learn more via the Bloomberg Connects mobile application, and at select tables, to create artworks or tell their own food stories.

In the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building Art Gallery, visitors can examine the social and cultural impacts of the American food system through displayed works by contemporary Colombian-American artist Lina Puerta in Lina Puerta: Accumulated Wisdom. Puerta celebrates and acknowledges the essential, often invisible, role of farmworkers, the relationship between nature and the human-made, and ancestral knowledge in mixed-media sculptures, installations, collages, hand-made paper paintings, and wall hangings that incorporate materials ranging from textiles and handmade paper to found, personal, and recycled objects.

Launched in 2021, NYBG’s Bronx Foodways Oral Histories Project is a multiyear effort to collect, record, and archive personal food narratives from Bronx urban farmers and gardeners who focus on community gardens as centers for food, heritage, community, and social justice – making them accessible to the public. Each year, The New York Botanical Garden commissions two public murals celebrating the gardens and farmers from the Oral Histories Project. As part of the Around the Table exhibition, celebrated Bronx-based artist Andr Trenier is creating the initial murals. In NYBG’s Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery, . . .la tierra es nuestro alimento/the land is our nourishment presents oral history videos and photos of Bronx gardens taken by students from the Bronx Documentary Center as well as highlights Trenier’s murals.

Also in the Mertz Library Building, the creativity and ingenuity of plant scientists and plant-based chefs is exhibited, revealing the science and art of agriculture and cuisine. In Sowing Resilience: Origins and Change in Agriculture in the Elizabeth Britton Science Gallery, visitors learn how scientific knowledge from both ancient and recent pasts’ traditional and Indigenous methods of agriculture to new genetic technologies’ can provide insight into creating a more resilient food system to feed the growing planet in the face of the climate crisis and other environmental challenges. The work of NYBG scientists and others highlights how far domesticated plants have come from their origins and the importance of conserving crop biodiversity into the future. In the Rondina and LoFaro Gallery, Steam, Sear, Saut: 150 Years of American Vegetarian Cookbooks showcases 19th- and 20th-century plant-based cookbooks from the LuEsther T. Mertz Library‘s William R. Buck Cookbook Collection, as well as colorfully illustrated seed catalogs, to highlight the ways home chefs’ relationships to vegetables have changed through time. Recipe Roundtable in the Nathaniel Lord Britton Science Rotunda offers visitors an interactive opportunity to connect with Around the Table exhibition content by responding to various prompts calling for drawings of favorite veggies to reflections on culturally significant plants and ingredients to be recorded on recipe cards, which are then displayed throughout the Rotunda.

Bountiful Programming for All Ages

Visitors to Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love can enjoy diverse and engaging public programming for all ages. Highlights include artist-designed table tours, food demonstrations, children’s activities, themed weekend celebrations, and more.

On Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m.ߝ12p.m., a symposium, A Seat at the Table, includes two compelling sessions exploring how Black farming informs American history and culture in New York City and across the country:

  • In “Celebrating the African American Farmer,” Natalie Baszile, author of the 2021 anthology We Are Each Other’s Harvest, joins Dr. Jessica B. Harris, food historian and scholar, for a conversation in Ross Hall. Their wide-ranging dialogue covers topics from the historical perseverance and resilience of Black farmers and their connection to the American land, to the generations of farmers who continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss.
  • “Stories from the Farm,” moderated by farmer, urban gardener, food advocate, activist, and NYBG Trustee Karen Washington, is a multigenerational panel discussion devoted to stories of Black farmers from many historical perspectives: North and South, Upstate New York and the Bronx, sharecroppers to family growers and urban farmers. Panelists including “chefarmer” Matthew Raiford and farmer/cultural anthropologist Dr. Gail Myers give historical and contemporary context for Black farmers’ contributions to communities and food justice movements in urban and rural America.

Each week during Around the Table, Wellness Wednesdays serves up the NYBG Farmers Market, food demonstrations, and health and wellness activities.

Offerings at the Edible Academy include food demonstrations and tastings, participatory gardening activities, , and food-themed celebration weekends such as Totally Tomatoes throughout the run of the exhibition.

In “Around the Kids’ Table,” guided by Everett Children’s Adventure Garden Explainers, children and their families tell stories about the foods that are most meaningful to them and enjoy exhibition-related writing, art, and nature-based activities. A Story Walk showcases author Tony Hillery’s children’s book Harlem Grown (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2020)about a community garden started by schoolchildren in an empty lot in Harlem, New York, in 2011 that has grown into a network of gardens throughout the city.

On select days, complementary exhibition programming includes “The Art of the Table,” during which individual table artists engage with visitors in special activities such as demonstrations, group painting, or storytelling.

About the Exhibition Advisory Committee

The New York Botanical Garden engaged advisors with expertise in documenting recipes and food histories, edible gardening past and present, food justice and food insecurity, global and local foodways, nutrition, the science of edible plants, and the visual arts to join a committee and participate in the development of Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love. Members include:

  • Toby Adams, Gregory Long Director of the Edible Academy, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Journei Manzayila Bimwala, leader and co-chair, Foodway at Concrete Plant Park
  • Garrett Broad, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communications and Media Studies, Fordham University, and author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change (University of California Press, 2016)
  • Kate Gardner Burt, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor, DPD Director, and Undergraduate Program Director, the Dietetics, Foods, and Nutrition Program at Lehman College, City University of New York
  • Ursula Chanse, Director of Bronx Green-Up and Community Horticulture, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Winston Chiu, chef and co-founder, Rethink Food NYC, Inc.
  • Von Diaz, documentary producer, author of Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South (University Press of Florida, 2018), and recipe and essay contributor to The New York TimesThe Washington PostBon AppetitFood & WineEater, and Epicurious
  • Sheryll Durrant, urban farmer, educator, and food justice advocate; Food and Agriculture Coordinator for New Roots Community Farm, and resident manager of Kelly Street Garden in the South Bronx
  • Jessica B. Harris, Ph.D., Americaߣs leading expert on the food and foodways of the African Diaspora, author of 12 critically acclaimed cookbooks, and 2020 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
  • Mohammed Mardah, chairman, the African Advisory Council to the Bronx Borough President, and co-founder and executive director of Africans Help Desk
  • Alex McAlvay, Ph.D., Kate E. Tode Assistant Curator in the Institute of Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Lauren Mohn, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Swarthmore College
  • Dario Mohr, New York-based educator and interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive sanctuary experiences, and founder and director, AnkhLave Arts Alliance, Inc.
  • Gary Paul Nabhan, internationally celebrated nature writer, agrarian activist, and ethnobiologist who works to conserve the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity
  • Henry Obispo, founder and CEO of Born Juice and ReBORN Farms
  • Lina Puerta, mixed-media contemporary artist whose work has been exhibited at the Ford Foundation Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, Wave Hill, and 21c Museum Hotels, and who recently completed an artist residency and exhibition at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
  • Michael Purugganan, Ph.D., Silver Professor of Biology and former Dean of Science at New York University

About The New York Botanical Garden

Founded in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is the most comprehensive botanical garden in the world and an integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. Visitors come to the Garden to connect with nature for joy, beauty, and respite, and for renowned plant-based exhibitions, music and dance, and poetry and lectures. Innovative children’s education programs promote environmental sustainability and nutrition awareness, graduate programs educate the next generation of botanists, while engaging classes inspire adults to remain lifelong learners. The 250-acre verdant landscape, which includes a 50-acre, old-growth forest, and the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory support living collections of more than one million plants. Unparalleled resources are also held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the world’s most important botanical and horticultural library with 11 million archival items spanning ten centuries, and William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the largest in the Western Hemisphere with 7.8 million plant and fungal specimens. Committed to protecting the planet’s biodiversity and natural resources, Garden scientists work on-site in cutting-edge molecular labs and in areas worldwide where biodiversity is most at risk.

For more information about and to purchase tickets for Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love, please go HERE.

Chicago illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

City Experiences Chicago

City Experiences, a leading provider of world-class experiential travel offerings, is redefining how guests see the world with its expanded one-of-a-kind travel experiences across major global destinations. Part of the Hornblower Group, a global leader in experiences and transportation, City Experiences delivers a vast array of water and land-based experience offerings in top cities around the world including Chicago. Through its vibrant, exclusively curated offerings and personal connectivity, City Experiences delivers its guests an amazing experience, all provided through its own unmatched crew and expert tour guides. Supported by a refreshed website, a new brand campaign and introducing a new rewards program, these initiatives will further build brand connectivity and enhance the user journey for its guests.

In early 2021, City Experiences became the new brand name for Hornblower Group’s growing portfolio of world-class water and land-based offerings, seamlessly collecting multiple brands under one umbrella. Since then, new land-based companies joined City Experiences, including WALKS, Devour Tours and the launch of Venture Ashore. With these acquisitions, City Experiences further developed its portfolio outside its maritime roots, now providing a total experiential travel itinerary for its guests. 

“Since our rebrand last spring, City Experiences has built a collection of world-renowned land-based experiences, growing our portfolio outside of our maritime foundation, into a more holistic global experiential organization,” said Kristina Heney, chief marketing and revenue officer, City Experiences. “To support our growth, we had to re-evaluate our marketing approach by dialing up the emotional engagement of our brands and lean heavily into digital technology to drive personalized communications. We focused our positioning on what sets us apart, our own tour guides and crew. It is through their passion and engagement that bridge that deeper connection with our guests and share the commitment we have in bringing people together through our unforgettable experiences.”

City Experiences’ refreshed portfolio features some of the most unique experiences in major travel destinations around the world, providing a personalized journey for guests who are either already at their destination and looking for a hidden local gem, or those booking ahead with wanderlust. Whether you are planning that long-overdue weekend sightseeing getaway with your friends, organizing a family excursion through Chicago with a guided walking tour of the premier Riverwalk, spending your dream honeymoon adventuring through Paris’ most chic locales, or experiencing that bucket list solo journey through Barcelona’s best off-the-beaten-path food and wine spots, City Experiences will help you travel smarter and experience more. Below are highlights of Chicago’s experiential offerings. For a full list, click HERE.

Chicago Offerings

To further support the digital journey, City Experiences launched a refreshed website, aimed to streamline the guest booking experience by offering a centralized booking location that features the company’s full portfolio of unique water and land-based offerings across its major travel destinations worldwide. It will also roll out with a new branding campaign, celebrating both its unique offerings as well as paying homage to its unmatched crew and expert guides that make the tour even more memorable.

Additionally, City Experiences launched a new rewards program for its guests. Designed to allow for more experiential travel opportunities within its portfolio, City Experiences Rewards is completely free and easily accessible HERE. Guests can create an account and collect travel points through their confirmed bookings that can be used to save on future purchases. Full details on the program’s exclusive experience benefits will be announced soon.

Tesla Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tesla’s Record High R&D

Tesla spends more on research and development (R&D) than any other automaker.  According to data presented by StockApps, the firm spends $2,984 on R&D per car produced. That’s thrice the industry average and higher than the collective R&D budgets of Ford, General Motors (GM), and Chrysler per car.

Commenting on the report, StockApp’s Edith Reads had this to say.” Tesla spends more than any other carmaker on R&D in order to maintain its lead in EV technology. And if you ask them about it, they’ll tell you this is the key to keeping their customers happy—which is what keeps them in business.”

Tesla’s investment in R&D is paying off

Its vehicles are not only making strides in environmentalism, they’re also safe, fast, and excellent at technology integration. Elon Musk‘s commitment to spending time developing new products and services is what makes Tesla successful.

Tesla is famous for its ambitious production goals. So if anyone is going to invest in making those dreams a reality, it’s them. And you can see why: while most carmakers focus on marketing themselves as a brand first and foremost, Tesla is focusing on making every car a piece of innovative engineering.

No Advertising Spending

Further, Tesla’s spending proves they are future-focused, unlike other manufacturers. While Tesla spends $0 on advertising per car, the industry average is $485. This further illustrates that consumers want to buy vehicles for their functionality and rely on testimonials for brand awareness rather than beautifully crafted commercials.

The company’s lack of an advertising budget is even more impressive than its R&D spending. Tesla’s unique business model becomes clear when we consider what its competition spends per vehicle on advertising. Ford and Toyota spend $468 and $454 per car respectively. 

Despite not spending anything on advertising, Tesla is technically a marketing magnet. That’s why it is one of the world’s fastest-growing brands. The firm dominates the press and social media engagements. Most of that comes from widely popular Elon Musk.

How to Easily Add Value to Your Home: Top Tips

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you’ll want to get as much money as possible for it. Many people would love to add an extension, build some decking in the yard, and do whatever it takes to add more value. However, adding an extension and building decking can be a lot of work. It can also cost a lot of money. The good news is there are a few easier and cheaper ways to add value to your home. 

Tidy Your Yard

One of the first things that people see when they visit your home is your front yard. A tidy yard will automatically add value to your home. Your yard should be free of leaves, trash, and other debris. You might also want to consider carrying out any repairs that need to be done. A broken outside light, for example, can be a little unsightly. Repairing the light can automatically make your yard look tidier. 

Consider Adding an Extra Room

One of the things that always increases the price of a home is the number of bedrooms. It would be nice if you could add an extension and turn the new area into another bedroom. However, there is an easier way to add an extra room.

You could divide one large room into two small-medium sized rooms. All you need to do is build a drywall. Be sure to get some tips on proper application so the wall is built correctly. Once your wall is up, you can advertise your home as having four bedrooms instead of three, for example. 

Decorate Your Home 

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint or some new wallpaper can make a huge difference. The smell of fresh paint and the sight of clean walls can make your home more appealing. 

Consider painting smaller rooms in lighter shades so they seem bigger. If you can, hang a mirror on the wall, as it can help to reflect the light and make the room appear even larger. 

Hide the Clutter 

If some of your rooms are full of clutter, hide it in the cupboards or store it elsewhere. Cluttered rooms can look a lot smaller than they are. Removing some, if not all of the clutter can make a huge difference. The larger the rooms seem, the better it could be for your bank balance. 

Update the Kitchen 

Sometimes the value of a home is negatively affected if the kitchen isn’t modern or in good condition. Why not consider updating the kitchen if you need to? You don’t have to completely replace the kitchen, rather you could simply paint the cupboard doors or give them a fresh look with some adhesive vinyl sheets. These are fairly easy to apply and can make an old kitchen appear more modern. 

Adding more value to your home is possible, you just need to know how. Use the above tips to help make your home look as good as possible. Potential buyers could be prepared to offer you more. 

Let your decor tell your story 

No matter if you are an indie, grunge, or cottage core person, posters are a simple way to add that aesthetic to your surroundings. Posters alone can do so much more than that. In this article, we will explain how. 

Whether you are just now starting to find your own style or if you’ve connected with a certain type of aesthetic for quite some time, it can sometimes be a challenge to let that vibe permeate through your entire life. A simple way to enhance your aesthetic in your home is by acquiring art prints and posters. You can purchase posters online or in home furnishing and decor stores.

How do I find good posters?

Start by allowing yourself to get inspired 

There are plenty of places to get inspired and find the style of prints and posters you’re looking for. For example, apps such as Pinterest act as visual discovery engines to help you find more of what you like. Of course, magazines such as 360 MAGAZINE are also great sources of inspiration when browsing through different sections. 

Next: choose how personal you want to get 

Choosing which prints and posters to purchase is very similar to the process of deciding to get a tattoo.  You can go two ways: choose something just for fun or choose something with personal meaning for you. In terms of posters, a personal print can be something related to a place you’ve been, a memory or an inside joke you have, etc. 

Personal touches helps elevate your prints from simply looking chic. It isn’t a must, of course. You can also choose to make it personable by presenting your prints in some sort of combination with personal photos or art. 

How do I present my posters?

Simply choosing prints with personal-related themes isn’t the only way to personalize your decor. You can also make them more unique in presentation. 

Experiment with the frames

For example, an effective way to make your prints stand out is by choosing the right frames. This can be done in several ways for different aesthetics. You can personalize your frames by decorating them and/or making them yourselves, or you can diversify the types and thicknesses of the frames to create storytelling in the prints. 

An observer’s eye will naturally be drawn to the boldest frames and motifs first, so keep that in mind if you want to present a story arc of some sort. 

Experiment with format

You can also create a storytelling arc by experimenting with formatting of posters and prints. For example, you can do this by using both vertical and horizontal pictures, or by experimenting with the amount and use of “white space”, that is the amount of unused space between the actual motif and the frame.  

By using these simple means, you can find innovative ways to tell your story or open for conversations. If nothing else, prints and posters can be a good ice breaker as well as a good free weekend project to be completed alone, or with friends. 

illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Elevate Your Space

Tired of staring at the same four walls? Or has something about your home bothered you persistently? Even if you’re not ready to commit to time and money, there are many little tricks and changes you can DIY that can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your home interior design. Beyond feeling better, many of the easy switches homeowners can make are also far more environmentally friendly, creating a greener, cleaner home.

Here’s a list of inexpensive ideas from experts to elevate your indoor space and tips on how you can change your home’s atmosphere.

  • Plants

Live plants, faux plants, emotional support plants! There are so many options to choose from.
If you have the space and light for live plants, they are able to change the overall appearance of a space, and they have also been shown to boost moods, increase productivity and concentration, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants. This makes for a healthier, happier interior space that looks good and makes us feel good, too. In fact, there are many studies on how having plants encourages self care.

However, artificial plants are also great for those who want them just for decorative purposes. They never outgrow their pots, the leaves will never droop, and there’s no need to worry about watering them. Pet-safe and child-safe, perfect for those who travel a lot.

  • Pets

Nothing compares to the unconditional love from a pet that keeps you company. Pets, especially dogs and cats, have been proven that they can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and improve your overall health. While caring for an animal can help children grow emotional and social skills, pets also provide valuable companionship for adults. Other benefits include comfort and support, as dogs are very present and they know how to sit there and be loving.

  • Sponge an Old Door

A few decades ago, sponging an entire room or hallway was a major trend. With today’s color technology, one can paint doors in tight or small hallways to add texture and drama to a once drab space.

While traditional sponging only used 2 to 3 colors, with 4 to 6 colors, this same technique can inherit or take on characteristics of rusted copper, stone or marble – depending on your color choice and technique used. Sponge painting is a technique that can create a beautiful array of ombre color effects, one color blending into another. While this might sound complicated, it involves nothing more than applying a base coat of color, then using sponges to dab on another color so that the underlying color shows through.

  • Epoxy Countertop

An epoxy coating will last longer than pretty much any other type of coating and epoxy coating by itself is scratch resistant due to the composition of its ingredients. When done right, epoxy countertops provide a long-lasting and durable surface. Their non-porous nature also means that they’re resistant to moisture and have other characteristics such as compactness and good leak resistance. While epoxy countertops provide a glossy look that can make cheap materials look more luxurious, you will still need to use common sense and not place hot pots and pans on it as they are not the most heat resistant.

  • Refresh Old Fixtures with Edison Bulbs and LIFX Lights

A really simple way to add character to your interior design is by changing the light bulbs that you use.
Edison Bulbs exceeds the warmth of an incandescent bulb, making your environment warm and cozy while adding detail. However, keep in mind that they are not the best at lighting the entire room.

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet in the past few years, you’ve probably seen those color-changing bulbs and wanted them. Not only do they change colors, LIFX lights can also be accessed away from home and are energy-efficient, though their main selling point is their colors.

  • Hang a Skateboard

When it comes to interior design, hanging a skateboard deck on the wall probably isn’t the first thing you would think of doing.

However, this has become one of the latest trends in recent years and has grown so much that it now holds a spot in the modern art world. Skateboard deck wall art gives personal touch and could also potentially become a hobby (though it might be expensive) – and a complete freedom of expression.

  • Build or Fabricate an Installation

An easy fix to an empty space is building or adding an installation, such as a wall mural or wall art to dress your space up. A popular one is faux ivy leaves dangling from your shelves or walls. Be sure to save and reuse any paper scraps as well as recycle any waste possible!

As cryptocurrency has started to take a huge presence in the media world, it’s not surprising that people also want to show off their digital art, and digital art display systems such as Token Frames has made it possible for you to display your NFT art in your home, office, or anywhere else you wish.

  • Install Floating Shelves

Floating shelves offer minimalistic support – barely visible to the eye but giving extra storage and glamor. It seems futuristic in nature and has a “suspended in mid-air” vibe.

Additionally, the floating shelf can be used for an array of things: jars, plants, books, lamps, and more. You can choose the design or color you’d like them to come in and be creative with it.

  • Buy and Use Multi-functional Furniture

Multi-functional furniture reduces clutter and helps to save space – sometimes even providing extra storage. This helps to keep your interior tidy and make the area feel inviting. Such examples include storage tools or ottomans that can also be used as seating or a side table, folding chairs that can easily be compacted and kept away, or sofa beds that can easily be unfolded for a spot for guests to sleep on. There are many other options and furniture that provide multi-functions.

  • Hang a Light Box Painting or Design One with Rechargeable LED Lights

Light has always been used in a plethora of artistic works. Neon lights, backlight, sculptural light, and in most recent years, LED lights. These lights have been used for store signage and in malls for the longest time, and it has been a trend to also use them as a decorative piece in your homes today. Not to mention, they can be easily DIY-ed with purchasing a few strips of LED lights. They’re great because there are no visible wires and they won’t put holes in your walls as they are magnetic.

  • Create a Gallery Wall

You’ve probably seen amazing images of gallery walls online and wished that you could get the look in your home. Good news: creating a beautiful look with wall art is simpler than you think! You don’t need to be a pro interior designer to create a breathtaking gallery wall. Follow Desenio’s step-by-step guide full of gallery wall ideas to get an insta-worthy look in your home.

  • Resurface Old Platforms

While a full-fledged renovation is not always on the table, resurfacing old platforms or surfaces can always be a fun full day project to do (depending on the scale of the project and what is used). Countertops, walkways, doors, and so on. Benjamin Moore sells a glitter paint that brings a touch of shimmer and adds character to any room. This is ideal for an accent wall of even a piece of furniture.

Resurfacing is a cost-effective alternative and a low-cost investment that could potentially last for years to come.

  • Create Vintage, One-of-a Kind, Minimalist Interiors

A modern and artistic piece of furniture is unique, but the price tag isn’t always the most inviting. However, there are many thrift store options available for you to pick up an old piece of (broken) furniture and refurbish it to look like a one-of-a-kind item.

Many people throw out perfectly usable table tops when some of the legs are worn out, and you can always cut off the legs and replace them with something else – a traditional table could look really special with hairpin legs.

Another hot item that has made a comeback is the modern style glass standing desks, a simple and elegant design that you could purchase for $2000, or simply pick up materials from a hardware store and DIY it for less than a tenth of that price.

By opting for a more natural and modern minimalistic style, cut down on the need for extraneous décor items. Choose to bring in one of our earlier tips, plant life, as a way to make a home feel alive instead of bogged down.

  • Install Dimmable Switches or Choose Natural Lighting

There are many good reasons to install dimmer switches around your house. Instead of just turning lights on or off, you get a wide range of variety by installing a dimmer switch. Additionally, when the lights aren’t functioning at full capacity, they use less energy and save bulb life. Dimming lights can also make a room more comfortable and create a lovely ambiance for a party or event. Most dimmers are designed to fit a standard wall box opening, which makes it easy to replace the switch for any incandescent or halogen light with a dimmer.

Setting up your workspace near a window or skylight can also help make an area feel warmer and more welcoming. Natural light is also very flattering on Zoom! Additionally, opting to bring as much natural light as possible into a space can avoid the unnecessary use of electricity better for both home and wallet. By taking advantage of all lighting options, a home can feel bigger and brighter.

  • Paint Dingy Walls

Walls that have collected dust and dirt over the years? You can always paint over a dirty, chipping and flaking surface, but the trick for new paint to stick is to clean the surface and sand them down to be free of dust that could interfere with your paint ability to adhere to walls.

illustration for Alex Bogdan for use by 360 magazine
  • Collectibles

Collectibles like wine, music albums, records, posters and concert tickets are for enjoyment and fun, while some other figurine collections like KAWS or Tenacious Toys might be a little more expensive. Whether it’s a family tradition or an investment, collectibles often add character to someone’s home with personal touch.

  • iHome Technologies

Today’s advancement in technology enables you to have an automated home, one that is intelligent enough to understand your needs and lifestyle. With the touch of a button, what you want is executed immediately. iHome now offers full lines of alarm clocks, portable speakers, Bluetooth vanity mirrors, sleep therapy wellness products, and a licensed line of smartphone, tablet, and smart home products.

By: Armon Hayes, Kai Yeo, Justin Lowery × Vaughn Lowery

How Casinos Use Reward Programs to Track Everything You Do 

Gambling establishments often feature the best surveillance systems for monitoring activities within the casino. However, thanks to technology, gambling houses don’t need to rely on hidden cameras to monitor your movements within the gaming venue and collect information. Instead, you give them yourselves. 

Casinos track everything you do with reward programs. They track your preference to capture your habits. This includes how much you spend, how often you play, the games you play, and your choice of beverages or food. Although this appears illegal, it is not. In fact, casinos use this information to help you. By understanding your preferences, they provide incentives that make the gameplay enjoyable. 

What are reward programs? 

Casino reward programs are casino tracking systems that measure players’ preferences, interests, and behaviours. Gambling establishments employ a marketing strategy to encourage players to keep buying their services or using their products. It is also a tool for growing the client base and fostering brand allegiance. 

Reward program involves loyalty programs and opening a loyalty account with a casino. To do this, you will need to fill out an application form to provide your address, email, phone number, etc. By signing the document, you agree to the casino’s privacy policy, which explains how they can use or share the information you have provided. 

After the loyalty status is approved, the casino will grant casino player cards that are similar to debit or credit cards. The card will have an identifier like a chip, magnetic stripe, or bar code, and you can use it for playing games or making purchases on the casino grounds or at an online casino. The best payout online casino Canada has reward programs at different levels. Players can earn credit and rise through the scheme by spending money at different partners. 

How casinos track players

Participants in the loyalty program will swipe casino membership cards at tables and machines instead of wagering with tickets, coins, and bills. Since the card contains an identifier, it notifies the casino host of your location and how much you are betting, winning, or losing. It even details how quickly you use the slot machines. This is how casinos control you.

Remember that the cards are also linked to your choice of food and beverage. As a result, it signals to the host when you need an incentive to motivate your gameplay. When it appears like you are winding down for the day, a host may occur with a beverage or tonic of choice. The loyalty program, courtesy of the player card, gathers information whenever you use your card on a slot machine – it helps casinos track your winnings. The casino operator’s system notes and records data every time you participate in a gambling activity that involves using your card. Another way to look at it is as a behavioural data tracking system. Even when you play at multiple properties that the same casino company owns, it will still notify them of how much you spend at each one and the number of visits. By collecting such information, the company knows what makes you tick. 

It’s all in the marketing 

The marketing department funnels all gathered data to target players and current promotions that fit their calibre. This helps them know deals you will be interested in and offer incentives to keep you glued to their programs. It may include valet parking, complimentary drinks or meals, free offers, or discounts at hotels. 

Significant benefits and advantages will influence players to gamble with more money for longer periods. Not surprisingly, some gamblers have sued casinos for fueling their gambling addictions with incentives. In 2012, Scott Stevens literally gambled to death after losing his job and savings to his gambling addiction. Okay, maybe Steven’s case is a bit extreme – it just shows how the reward systems work to pique your interest. Most casinos are franchises under large corporations. The player’s cards affect slot machines, and the information gathered through the reward program travels the world with you when you travel. 

Should you worry for your safety? 

Conversations surrounding sharing information and internet privacy have always been a hot topic. However, casino reward programs are safe for all. All required information is voluntary, and the casino does not use it for anything nefarious.  

Most reward programs don’t require credit card information. This eliminates the risk of a breach of your financial information. 

Apart from reward programs, casinos still use on-site cameras and surveillance systems to look for employees and players who may be cheating. They can monitor even players that are not in the reward programs by doing this. Nonetheless, the loyalty card provides the most useful insight into how players use the casino facilities. 

Four Types of Internet Plans Everyone Should Know About

We can all agree that we live in an internet-dominated world, where most people (perhaps including you) are heavy consumers of online content. However, we all have different needs and preferences when it comes to internet usage and consumption of digital content

Moreover, it’s a fast-paced world where most people want to accomplish tasks online at supersonic speed, and access information over the web easy-peasy.

Well, all this is determined by the web access plan you purchase. Now, finding the best internet plan for your needs can be overwhelming, but, thankfully, we’re here to help break it down for you. 

In this piece, we will cover the four most common types of plans and highlight their differences, so you can choose the one that might be right for you.

1. Fiber Optics Internet 

With a maximum speed of around 2000 Mbps, fiber is today’s fastest, and perhaps the most widely accessible internet connectivity option. If you’re keen on comparing fiber internet plans from different providers, there’s a big chance you’ll never experience slow internet. 

This is especially if you seek professional help in the process. Most fiber ISPs have different plans that you can select from to suit your needs in terms of speed and the preferred services.

Nonetheless, there is one thing you should know about fiber internet. 

The closer you are to the service location, the faster your connection will be. For instance, if you are 15 minutes away from the nearest service center, your broadband could be max out at 5 Mbps. 

Because of that limitation in availability, there are areas where fiber optic cable internet (FiOS) may not be your best option.

2. Cable Internet 

One of the best things about cable internet is that it is not only reliable, but it is also widely available. Apart from Ethernet, cable internet lets you connect to the web via various alternative means, including broadband. 

It is also available in a wide range of plans, which can range anywhere between 3 Mbps and 1 Gbps. On the bright side of things, cable internet is quite easy to install and is compatible with a wide range of devices, including phones, TV, laptops, and – you name it! 

3. Satellite Internet 

Could this be what you need in your home or office? Well, it boasts wide availability but it could hurt your wallet if you’re not an avid user of the internet. Here, no cables or telephone lines are required to access the web, but the internet speed is rather wanting. Some users actually consider it expensive.

Nevertheless, you could get speeds of up to 3 Mbps for uploads and 15 Mbps for downloads at home, even though business plans of 100 Mbps are available these days. For the best experience, you will want to locate the nearest provider to you. 

4. DSL 

This is the type of internet subscription service known as Direct Subscriber Line. It is often touted as one of the most affordable and reliable options, perhaps because it provides convenience even while on the go. You can look at it as the mobile internet option.

What’s more, DSL allows you to share your internet connection with several devices depending on the provider’s specification and the plan you purchase. With DSL, you can comfortably watch your Netflix favorites, stream YouTube, or play games online. 

It is said to be a little slower than cable internet, especially if your device is a bit distant from your provider’s signal booster. 

Moreover, you are likely to have two different options to pick from depending on your provider. These are: 

  • ADSL – Asymmetrical Direct Subscriber Line, which offers faster downloads and slower uploads
  • SDSL – Symmetrical Direct Subscriber Line, where upload and download speeds are equal 

The best part is that DSL is widely available, affordable, and reliable. Nonetheless, the costs can be a bit high if you’re using it for your business. 

Internet connectivity is almost becoming a need in today’s society. More often than not, you will need it at home, in the office, and even while traveling. 

You can consider the above pointers as a summary of your options when looking for a reliable way to stay connected at home or in your business.

Troubleshooting Smart Home Tech

While Still Working from Home

It’s been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shift their physical models and adapt to a remote, virtual environment. Now in 2022, the rise of Omicron variant cases has resulted in offices sending their employees back to work from home again. A recent [1]survey from Assurant shows that full time work from home activity is expected to increase by 33% as the pandemic continues, tripled from 11% when the pandemic began.

This upward trend in work from home culture also comes with an upward trend in smart home device connectivity, particularly right after the holidays when people want to work simultaneously with their new smart televisions, smart speakers, and other devices operating in the background. Renters and homeowners alike have even opted for smart home appliances and amenities included with the property, as the demand for smart home technology increased by [2]nearly 25% at the end of 2021 and is expected to accelerate throughout the next few years.

Even with new smart home technology products presented at the recent CES® 2022, troubleshooting these devices when not working properly can be stressful, especially when the company’s IT department can’t come to the home environment.

How Do I Go About Troubleshooting My Devices?

As the first instinct of many would be trying to fix the problem themselves or going directly to the device manufacturer, there are simple steps one can take, while not interrupting workflow at the same time.  To ensure smooth connectivity in every corner of the home, one should start by keeping a close eye on issues shown by the existing Wi-Fi router, such as web pages loading slowly or video playback constantly buffering.

If the router frequently displays issues with the network, the user should consider adding a Wi-Fi range extender in the home to increase the wireless bandwidth across different rooms. This would be an extreme help for company video meetings and software capabilities even when two people in the same household are both working at the same time.

When connecting a new smart device to the Wi-Fi network, one should also check the speed of the device and adjust the positioning accordingly where the internet connection is the strongest in the home. The existing service provider may even offer additional bandwidth options increase the desired connectivity as best as possible.

The Future of Support

No matter the device or the problem, troubleshooting can be time-consuming and hinder work productivity. Just imagine how a client would feel if one were struggling to join a video meeting or email a report that was due an hour ago. Support needs to be similar to an Amazon retail model in streamlining a one-stop shop to troubleshoot any smart home device without ever having to go to the manufacturer.

Whether it’s learning how to set up, connect, or get the most out of a particular device, tech support needs to be humanized to make it as convenient and comprehensive as possible for the person to understand. No one should have to still wait to get a response from an online ticket request they filled out days ago or wait on hold for hours just to speak to someone in a foreign country with a language barrier.

Consumers need to feel confident in the products they purchase, and companies need the assurance from their employees of working through these difficulties to keep their own products and services afloat.  

Even though the work from home culture with the pandemic is continuing, it doesn’t mean old tech support ways have to.

About The Author: 

Scott McKinley is AVP, Premium Technical Support for Pocket Geek Home. For more information visit www.pocketgeekhome.com.  

Sources

1, 2: https://www.assurant.com/newsroom-detail/Features/2022/January/smart-amenities-in-properties