Posts tagged with "home"

Most Instagrammable Houseplants via 360 MAGAZINE

Most Instagrammable houseplants

  • The Aloe vera plant is the most Instagrammable houseplant, with over 5 million posts on the platform
  • In second place is the Agave plant with just under 2 million posts
  • Haworthia takes the third spot with just over 800 thousand Instagram posts

New research has revealed the most Instagrammable houseplant, with the Aloe vera plant, taking the top spot in the rankings.

The research conducted by Hollywood Hills real estate experts RubyHome established the most common houseplants and succulents on Instagram and analysed the number of hashtags for both the scientific name of each houseplant and the more commonly used names.

The analysis revealed that the Aloe vera plant (scientifically known as the Aloe barbadensis miller) had the highest number of hashtags on Instagram, making it the most Instagrammable. The plant has 5,155,019 combined hashtags on the platform to date. The plant has been a household favorite for centuries due to its medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The Aloe Vera plant secures its top spot by totalling over five million posts on Instagram from the use of the following hashtags: ‘#aloebarbadensismiller, ‘#aloevera’, ‘#aloeveraplant’, and ‘#aloeverasucculent’.

Agave Americana, otherwise known as Agave, places second with 1,835,178 posts on the platform. Agave plants have a multitude of uses, but their main benefit is that their sap and juices can be used to treat many gut-related issues. It is also rich in nutrients which is why many see it as a more natural alternative to honey and sugar.

The third most Instagrammable plant is the Haworthia plant. Scientifically known as  Haworthiopsis attenuata, the plant has a total number of 824,048 posts on Instagram. The plant’s popularity is due to its ease of care, as it can tolerate many different lighting conditions and can last long periods in dark spaces.

The fourth most Instagrammable houseplant is Sedum which is also known as Stonecrop. The plant is extremely popular among beginners as its appearance is exceptionally versatile; not only is this a great selling point for the plant, but it can also endure harsh conditions and survive prolonged periods without water. The plant has 704,823 posts in total on Instagram.

In fifth place is Mammillaria, also known as Pincushion Cactus, with a total of 529,729 posts. With only 175,000 fewer posts than a Stonecrop plant, the pincushion cactus is popular among cactus lovers because of its small size and ease of care.

The Dracaena trifasciata is the sixth most Instagrammable plant, with 513,093 posts. The plant is also nicknamed the Snake Plant, and they are popular for its interesting skills of purifying the air and releasing oxygen during the nighttime.

The seventh most Instagrammable houseplant is the Hoya Plant, otherwise known as Wax Plant. The popularity of the Wax Plant is due to its sweet scent, attractive and lengthily leaves, and pretty floral accents. To date, the plant has 303,440 posts on Instagram, which secured its seventh position.

In eighth place is the Curio rowleyanus plant, also known as String of Pearls. Despite being an extremely delicate plant, String of Pearls is a beautiful addition to any plant collection. Similar to many other succulents, the plant is straightforward to maintain and has 233,711 posts on Instagram.

Crassula ovata, also known as the Jade Plant, ranks ninth by a whisker with 233,151 Instagram posts, just 560 fewer than the String of Pearls. The Jade Plant is extremely popular, especially in Asia, as it is thought to bring financial luck. Its gorgeous vibrant green leaves are another selling point of this plant which is a beautiful addition to any plant lovers’ collection.

The tenth most Instagrammable houseplant belongs to the Schlumbergera bridgessii, otherwise known as the Christmas Cactus. The plant has a total of 189,128 posts on Instagram, which secures its tenth position. It is a colourful, exciting plant which blooms bright pink or lilac flowers in indoor spaces around Christmastime.

A spokesperson from RubyHome commented on the findings: “Houseplants are an incredible way to incorporate life and colour into any living space, which is why they are an essential part of creating a calm and zen atmosphere in any home.

It is fascinating to see such large numbers of hashtags for so many houseplants, showing how many social media users love watching their homes spring to life with their easy-to-maintain plants. It also proves just how popular the social media platform is for sharing insights into their interior design choices.”

Eight Ways AI Is Empowering Workplaces

The future is coming and the current world is changing to keep up with it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to highly developed systems that can be programmed to do something – which is perfect for the working world. AI can be used for recreational activities, but it can also help out tremendously in the workplace.

As AI becomes more attainable for more businesses, the workforce is bound to see some growth and feel empowered thanks to the capabilities of these machines and programs.

1. Solutions for Monotony

Many jobs involving physical labor could be considered monotonous or mundane. They don’t challenge people’s brains, and many workers may risk hurting themselves to do their jobs correctly.

To protect human lives from becoming endangered, AI can be programmed to take care of much of the simple physical labor that workers currently do. AI can streamline labor-intensive jobs like packing boxes and loading trucks.

While this occurrence might sound like it leaves people out of jobs, it does quite the opposite – it lifts those employees up. They are now free to complete higher-priority tasks, and they may even find a job supervising the robots that do all the heavy lifting for them.

2. Create More Jobs

With AI to do easy jobs, the need for middle management is shrinking. Even though it sounds bleak, the presence of AI actually creates more jobs. Entry-level skilled workers can retain more autonomy over their actions and job descriptions.

Because AI can make predictions and decisions based on small things, entry-level workers can be given more thought-provoking tasks. These jobs will allow them to perform tasks that mean something to them rather than do something that doesn’t require much attention or effort. It might also mean higher base pay for those in entry-level positions.

3. Streamlined Scheduling

AI can help with scheduling purposes in the workplace. Without having to worry about fitting things into their schedules, employees can go about their day and simply follow what tasks have been given to them.

Employees can save up to five hours of busywork just by handing their scheduling off to artificial intelligence. With this form of streamlined scheduling, employees can feel at ease and always know what to do next. All they need to do is check their schedule – and if there’s an issue with anything the AI has created, they can always adjust it manually.

4. Hiring Process

AI can also speed up the hiring process. What may have taken a long time in the past can be swift, thanks to the advancements of AI. For example, AI can sift through resumes and look for keywords or certain qualifications.

AI makes it so much easier to sort through resumes, and they can even send a quick rejection email to the applicants you decide not to move forward with. This streamlined hiring process can allow HR and other valued members of the workplace to focus on their other tasks rather than sorting through dozens of applicants when they only want to view the best.

5. Monitor Quality

AI can monitor the quality of conversations in your workplace on all levels. It can be tremendously helpful, thanks to automatic call recording and transcriptions. Your employees can learn more about what they’re doing right and what they need to change.

You can use these automated notes to help train both existing and future employees on new features and new tasks that they might need to get used to.

You can also use it to monitor the quality of a job your employees are doing. If one employee isn’t doing well, you might want to spend more time training them in a certain job area. Alternatively, you can switch one employee to a different progression path if they seem to be doing better elsewhere than their assigned tasks. All in all, it helps people grow in their careers.

6. Improved Training

AI can be trusted to train new recruits without leaving out any information or showing any biases. It’s an excellent replacement for human beings, who may make mistakes while teaching people.

With AI, you can choose to have each individual train at their own pace. Advanced AI may be able to detect where many trainees are falling short. From there, an AI program can better supplement new workers with additional material that can help them grasp certain concepts.

AI can also help in other areas than just the onboarding process. It can send someone information about a client before meeting with that client. For those working in sales or other fields where they need to speak up a lot, having an AI send them detailed info about the people they’re going to speak to can be a lifesaver. Eventually, employees will work past these difficulties and shine like they’re meant to.

7. Self-Service Channels

People are independent. They want to solve problems themselves if they can.

With that in mind, AI can be used as chatbots to help customers navigate through your website. While customer service is important, so is allowing your potential customers to make their own decisions. An estimated 90% of people value customer service from a brand.

Chatbots can give automatic responses that can either answer a person’s question or lead them to ask more intense questions. Then, your customer service support can jump in and talk to them. It’s great for your customer representatives, too – they can prioritize the people who have questions that aren’t easily answered on your website.

8. Work Processes Will Change

When AI is implemented at a grand scale, work processes are bound to change. It will be challenging to adjust to a new type of workflow at first, but in the long run, it could mean less work for people on every rung of the ladder.

Investing in AI allows you to fill in any gaps left behind when people are doing work for high-quality jobs. Employers should know exactly how things might change soon, and they can prepare their teams accordingly.

Discover Puerto Rico × Pantone

Boriqua Interior Designer Cristina Villalón curates tips on how to best incorporate the color Puerto Rico Sunshine into a space. This fiery red-orange color created by Pantone is a combination of the sunbeams that grace the island throughout the day, refined by a physicist and professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Villalón, a leading designer in Puerto Rico with projects all over the Americas is the ideal eye to recommend how to integrate Puerto Rico Sunshine into any room or décor.

According to Villalón, orange is a dynamic color. It should be used to add energy to a room and make a space come alive. Thus, if you reside in a cold place, adding an orange wall will automatically add warmth and ebullience to the space.

Puerto Rico Sunshine alongside neutral tones such as gray have a neutralizing effect to tone down the brightness. For full island-vibes, blues also complement orange beautifully and make the perfect combination in a vibrant beach house or beachy themed room. It is recommended to use only one vivid color, like Puerto Rico Sunshine, in any given space. Using a neutral palette and natural textures, then adding pops of this bold orange in accessories makes for a soothing yet cheerful space. Painting an entire room a strong, overwhelming color can be a bit too much for most interior design tastes. Villalón recommends painting one wall in a room the brighter, statement-making color, and the rest a more neutral tone. Not only will the accent wall stand out and become a focal point, but it won’t overpower the rest of the décor elements and make you want to run out of the room! Other trends include incorporating accent colors in a wall mural. A wall mural permits you to incorporate as much or as little of an accent color as you would like, and you can also add texture and visual interest with the pattern or design you choose.

A great way to offer cohesion to the room is to paint only one wall an orange, like Puerto Rico Sunshine, and then repeat the color via furniture pieces or accessories. Some of these ways include adding color to the entryway of your home, updating older furniture, framing a mirror, or even making your own artwork. The eye-catching possibilities are as endless as the sun’s rays. Color is an extremely powerful force and too much of anyone can leave a room or space unbalanced. Yet the right amount can invigorate a home and its visitors!

Cristina Villalón is the Co-founder, Principal Interior Designer and the Director of Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón® | Architecture & Interior Design. Recognized for her attractive, welcoming, and functional interior designs, Villalón was awarded in 2015 with the Star on the Rise Award from the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA). In 2016, Cristina was named among the Top 40 Under 40 by the magazine Design: Retail and that same year, Caribbean Business awarded her the same distinction. Villalón is a proud mother of three beautiful daughters, a recycling activist and gender equality, an insatiable reader and a lifelong learner.

Discover Puerto Rico and Pantone featured in 360 MAGAZINE.

*Special thanks to Discover Puerto Rico for providing images and access to Cristina Villalón.

FlexiSpot bike product via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 MAGAZINE

FlexiSpot Standing Desks

With an increase in hybrid and remote work since the onset of the pandemic, employees have been bound to their homes instead of their typical offices to complete daily work tasks. FlexiSpot offers a range of standing desks that are sure to spice up your new at home office.

Offered in a range of chic, height-adjustable models, FlexiSpot desks showcase an advanced design sure to meet all of workspace needs. With easy assembly, these desks make for the perfect gift this season for those work-from-home professionals that are looking to further manage their workstation.

FlexiSpot’s All-in-One Comhar Standing Desk ($399)

With a simple, classic look, this classy and height adjustable standing desk showcases a hardened glass desk top finish off with rounded edges to ensure safety. Created with an array of storage spots throughout the desk, the Comhar too has a pull-out desk drawer to offer even more organization. Equipped, too, with three differing USB charging ports, you’ll never have to worry about your devices being sufficiently charged while you’re on that big business call!

FlexiSpot’s Kana Bamboo Standing Desk ($329)

Sporting an eco-friendly essence, the Kana Bamboo standing desk comes produced from ethically obtained bamboo. This material not only ensures added strength and durability but serves as a natural option for those looking to modernize up their home workplace.

Available in a selection of four desktop sizes, this desk comes in the shape of a rectangle as well as a curved design. Each purchase of a Kana Bamboo Desk ensures one dollar donated and a tree planted from One Tree Planted.

FlexiSpot's Kana Bamboo Standing Desk via Stacy Callahan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

FlexiSpot Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series ($399)

Furnished with added resilience and lifting speed, the Standing Desk Pro Series was designed for those who are extremely motivated by their work. Showcasing the use of a desk frame that is both scratch and stain resistance, this desk is sure to withstand the toughest of workdays.

Offered in an array of desktop choices, each Standing Desk Pro Series is equipped with energy-efficient LED light and a keypad that can program three stored height levels, with a programmable sit/stand reminder system.

FlexiSpot's Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series via Stacy Callahan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

CEO of FlexiSpot, Lane Xiang, said, “Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your loved one that you’re thinking about their health and wellness. Gifting that special someone with a FlexiSpot ergonomic standing desk can help eliminate work-from-home challenges and create a positive and productive remote work environment.”

Order your own FlexiSpot Standing Desk today at www.flexispot.com.

About FlexiSpot

Renowned for their selection of ergonomic products that ensure for consumer flexibility, FlexiSpot specializes in goods that aid the work from home process. Each product optimizes customer activity, organization and flexibility. FlexiSpot aims for optimal condition and design of all their products, elevating the lifestyle of each consumer.

Rihanna via Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Rihanna Pregnant

By: Skyler Johnson

It was discovered earlier today that global superstar Rihanna is pregnant with her first child. Her baby bump was revealed when she was photographed with boyfriend A$AP Rocky in his hometown of Harlem. At the time, the couple was seen holding hands, with Rihanna wearing a long pink puffer Chanel jacket adorned with jewels over her stomach

The couple went public in November of 2020, and have grown closer since the pandemic after being friends for several years. Both have separately talked about wanting kids together at some point, with Rihanna suggesting she wanted kids before she turned 42. According to MSN, she once stated, “I’m a Black woman. I came from a Black woman, who came from a Black woman, who came from a Black woman, and I’m going to give birth to a Black woman. It’s a no-brainer. That’s who I am. It’s the core of who I am in spirit and DNA.” No other information on the pregnancy has been released. 

About Rihanna

Rihanna is a Barbadian superstar and singer, known for songs such as Diamonds, S&M, and Shut Up and Drive. She’s also a businesswoman, with her makeup line Fenty Beauty and her clothing line Savage x Fenty. She’s also an actress, having appeared in Home, Battleship, and Bates Motel (the series.) Her ninth album is expected to be released in the near future. 

About A$AP Rocky

A$AP Rocky is a rapper and musician. His debut track, Peso, was leaked online and quickly received airplay. He’s a member of the A$AP Mob, which is where he received the moniker. 

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

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


Five Reasons Solar Energy Could Save You Money 

Are you thinking of switching to solar? There are tons of benefits for your wallet, your family and the planet. 

However, time is running out if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Here are five reasons why solar energy could save you money — especially if you act quickly. 

1. Earn Tax Benefits 

The tax credits you can get for switching to solar are set to expire in 2024 unless Congress acts to renew them. The more rapidly you convert, the more you can save. Systems installed in 2020 through 2022 are eligible for a 26% credit. Those who wait until 2023 can only claim 22%. 

You must own the solar panel system, not rent it from a conglomerate, and locate it at your primary or secondary U.S. residence to qualify for the tax credit. You can’t install it on your vacation home in the Bahamas.

You might also be eligible for state and local tax credits, depending on where you live. These could also put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket come tax time. You can look these up in an online directory or contact your state government offices to learn more. 

2. Collect Credits and Reduce Payments 

Many homeowners ask how solar panels can save you money on your monthly utility bills. Some property owners reduce their electric bills to zero. How does the magic work? 

When you install solar panels, they convert photons from sunlight into direct current. This energy then flows to your inverter, which translates the direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) and sends it to your electric box to power your home. 

If your home is on the grid, you have an electric meter somewhere outside that measures the electricity you use. However, your system will use the stored energy from your solar power before renting it from your provider. The less power you use from grid sources, the lower your monthly bill. 

In months when you generate more power than you use, you build up credits that work to lower your bill through a process called net metering. These credits are applied to future bills to make up for months when you might use more than you produce — such as during winter. Therefore, your solar system works to lower your utility bills all year, not only during the summer heat. 

You might ask whether you can reduce your monthly bills to zero. The answer is yes. If you’re accustomed to paying $200 or more a month for power, switching to solar can put some serious green back in your pocket while protecting the planet. 

3. Reduce Reliance on Nonrenewable Energy Sources

Have you noticed gas prices lately? They’ve more than tripled in the last 18 months, and they don’t look like they’re going to fall anytime soon. When they go up, so does the cost of heating oil for your home, and at the risk of sounding like Ned Stark from “Game of Thrones,” winter is coming. 

Switching to solar energy can save you money now and in the future by reducing your reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. The reality of climate change coupled with the natural expiration date of such resources means that sooner or later, everyone will have to make the switch or get left behind. 

Scientists estimate that humankind will run out of oil by 2060 if the pumps continue running at current rates. Fracking causes a host of environmental problems, contaminating groundwater supplies that human beings rely upon to live. Why not get ahead of the curve and save money with solar today — while preparing for tomorrow? 

4. Enjoy Increased Reliability 

Are you hesitant to switch to solar power because you fear outages? Quite the opposite is true. While you might run out of your backup supply if you go off the grid, you have no such fears when you remain connected. 

You’re probably in a better position than your neighbors if rolling blackouts or other outages strike your neighborhood. Since your home will draw on the power from your panels first, you’ll keep your lights on while everyone else goes dark. 

5. Enhance Your Home’s Resale Value 

Solar energy can put significant extra cash in your pocket when it comes time to sell your home. Today’s buyers look for energy-saving features as one of the topmost desirable qualities when choosing a new home. Why wouldn’t they? They also want to prepare for America’s energy future while saving money on monthly utility bills. 

A recent comparative analysis by Zillow bears out this logic. Homebuyers shelled out nearly an extra $10,000 for properties with solar panels versus those without this feature. Your investment will pay for itself in increased resale price alone, let alone all the money you’ll save on tax credits and monthly utility bills. 

Today’s panels offer more attractive options than ever before. The next generation of solar panels uses photovoltaic (PV) cells instead of bulky panels. These integrate with the rest of your home or roof design instead of standing out for all passersby. 

Solar shingles combine thin PV cells with molecules on a flexible copper/indium/gallium diselenide base. Today’s versions are three times more powerful than the first generation, allowing you to generate even more power. They integrate flush with concrete/asphalt shingles, creating a uniform look for your roof. 

While not yet readily available, manufacturers are now investigating solar window technology. Once perfected, these panes will take advantage of the sun’s rays to generate electricity without changing the exterior appearance of your building. 

If you’re still unsure about converting to full solar, why not investigate portable panels? This option also offers promise to renters who want to reduce their monthly energy costs without discussing extensive remodels with their landlords. 

Solar Energy Could Save You Money 

There’s never been a better time to invest in a greener future for your home. Solar energy could save you significant money — why not convert today?

Desenio Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Desenio AW21 Collection

Interior design group, Desenio, has launched four trend collections for autumn and winter this year, AW21. Each collection has a distinct color scheme and vibe, so no matter your taste, there is a fit for everyone. Easily match prints together to create a beautiful gallery wall and find your favorites in all of their palettes.

WOODLAND RETREAT

The Woodland Retreat trend invites you to imagine taking time to experience the purity of nature. Walk through dewy forests filled with birdsong, breathe in the cool, pure air, and take time for yourself.

“Sustainability and natural materials continue to be a huge trend in interior design. The Woodland Retreat trend ties together rustic elegance with an eco-friendly approach to design,” says Annica Wallin, Executive Creative Director at Desenio.

If you feel at your calmest when surrounded by nature, this is the trend for you. Complete the look by adding luscious plants and cozy textures to a room that features the Woodland Retreat collection of wall art.

CLASSIC CONTRASTS

The Classic Contrasts trend is all about juxtaposing shapes and textures for the ultimate elegant touch. Mix soft beige shades with defining darker tones for a balanced, classic finish.

“The Classic Contrasts collection hones into one of the key interior trends we’re seeing for AW21. Timeless elegance takes a modern twist to bring about a refreshing take on the monochromatic look,” says Annica Wallin.

If you’re someone who prefers to choose statement pieces rather than gravitate towards the latest styles, the Classic Contrasts collection is the perfect choice. After choosing your favorite prints, add the  monochromatic accessories to your home to achieve a sophisticated look.

ROMANTIC REBELLION

The Romantic Rebellion collection enables you to bring your personality to life in your home by choosing art that’s as bold as you are. Whether you want to create a beautiful thematic experience in your dining room or add radiant pinks to your bedroom, it’s time to get creative and reimagine your walls.

“The Romantic Rebellion trend is a chance to embrace glamour and opulence within your interiors. Baroque imagery is remixed with a modern and edgy twist to create a playful vibe,” says Annica Wallin.

The Romantic Rebellion collection is the choice for you if you want to make your home feel glamorous and feminine with a hint of edginess. Pinks, purples, and hints of gold is the way to embrace this to its fullest. Alternatively, you can go for a more pared-back look by choosing prints as statement pieces in a more minimalistic room.

SOFT MOMENTS

The Soft Moments trend is about breathing into the present and resetting your space with warm tones and relaxing neutral prints. Sink into soft blankets with a hot drink and a good book because the world can wait.

“The Soft Moments trend collection celebrates elegance and serenity through a curated and clean nordic style with a Japanese touch. Natural browns and shadow grays come together to create a comforting, natural, and modern space where one can be at peace,” says Annica Wallin.

Choose the Soft Moments collection if you crave a calming space to retreat to after a hectic day. The quotation prints from get you in the right headspace and you can style your room with neutrally-toned accessories for the ultimate zen.

Photo by Desenio for Use by 360 Magazine
Photo by Desenio for Use by 360 Magazine
Photo by Desenio for Use by 360 Magazine
illustration by Anh Hoang use by 360 Magazine

E·Z Breathe Offers 20% Off

E-Z BREATHE VENTILATION SYSTEM MARKS 20 YEARS OF PROVIDING IMPROVED AIR QUALITY TO CUSTOMERS NATIONWIDE

E·Z Breathe Ventilation System to offer customers 20% off for 20-years in business during National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month through October.

Investing in indoor air quality has never been more important than it is in 2021. With households around the country and beyond spending more than 90% of their time indoors, the conversation around the health and safety of indoor air quality has become top of mind for many. The rise of time spent indoors since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation coupled with colder winter months approach has made E·Z Breathe Ventilation System a necessity to transform the entire home into a healthy living environment and to keep families safe from poor air quality, excess moisture, molds, toxins, allergens, and more. To commemorate 20 years of providing customers with improved indoor air quality, E·Z Breathe Ventilation System will offer 20% off during National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month, observed annually in October.

“We have been dedicated to building on our commitment to helping people improve their indoor air quality since we installed the first prototype of our ventilation system 20 years ago,” said E·Z Breathe President Erika Lacroix. “Everyone deserves a safe and healthy home, and we are proud to continue not only evolving our product, but expanding and sharing our knowledge around the relationship between our home and our health, the importance of our indoor air quality, and the challenges our modern-day practices pose to the quality of the air we breathe in our homes.”

Having sold approximately 200,000 ventilation systems since its inception, E·Z Breathe Ventilation System continues to be a leader in fresh air systems nationwide. Providing complete home air exchange solutions, the system improves indoor air quality, reduces indoor humidity, and lowers allergen and pollutant levels. Air polluted with mold, allergens, pathogens and other toxins and odor-causing pollutants are vented at the lowest level of the home to the outside in a revolutionary way, introducing and circulating fresher, cleaner air throughout the home.

The E·Z Breathe Ventilation System can improve the indoor air quality with up to an 85% reduction in airborne particulates and common indoor air pollutants. This ventilation system has the ability to help alleviate many common homeowner concerns such as mildew odors, mold growth, pet dander, dust mites, humidity and moisture, pollen, chemical smells, leaving homes feeling fresh and allergen-free.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, reports that the air in the average American home is a minimum of five times and, in some cases, up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, and building science experts agree that more than 20 gallons of water vapor are absorbed into the average home through basements and/or crawl spaces every single day. Even though it is installed in one room, E·Z Breathe achieves whole-home air exchanges six to ten times daily by gently drawing air throughout the home to replace the stale, polluted air being exhausted.

E·Z Breathe products work for up to 7,000 square feet of living space, and operate efficiently at only $2 to $4 a month; the same as a 40-watt light bulb. Known as a set it, then forget it product, E·Z Breathe systems are low maintenance and do not require extra attention after installation. Now offering self-installation kits for all DIY homeowners, as home improvement has skyrocketed this past year, those who would feel more comfortable setting up the E·Z Breath on their own have the ability to now do so.

For more information on E·Z Breathe and their product benefits, call 1.866.822.7328 or visit HERE.