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How Plants Help You Sleep Better

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In a high-stress world, it can be tough to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. However, design and decor can go a long way to creating the relaxing atmosphere you need to rest well. Houseplants can be used in an infinite number of ways to not only accentuate the layout of your bedroom but also give you maximum health benefits.

Natural Stress Reliever

Nature has a way of relieving stress while relaxing the mind and body. Studies have shown that spending time outside decreases activity in the prefrontal area of the brain, where anxious or depressive thoughts begin. Bringing nature into your bedroom can have a similar effect.

Everything from the shape of their leaves to the color of their leaves contributes to stress relief. They bring in the comforting scents of earth while naturally giving your bedroom an organic element. The touch, feel, and the smell of a plant isn’t something you can duplicate through synthetic flowers.

Cleaner Air Equals Better Sleep

Plants do more than look beautiful. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, cleaning the air inside your home. Through this process, they can rid your home of dangerous chemicals like:

Trichloroethylene: This toxin makes its way into the air from printing inks, paints, adhesives, and varnishes.
• Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is found in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, particle board, and paper towels.
• Benzene: Dyes, detergents, and plastics may contain benzene.
• Ammonia: This chemical is commonly used in cleaners and fertilizers.

Though most of these toxins are found only in trace amounts in the home, they can build up without proper ventilation. That’s one reason that people recommend airing out a mattress before sleeping on it. Many mattresses release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when new. To minimize these effects, look for GreenGuard or CertiPUR-USⓇ certified mattresses and furniture marked as low emissions.

The Best Plants to Use

NASA  conducted a study to find the plants that work best to remove biotoxins from indoor air. A few of their recommendations include:

• Dwarf date palm
• Chinese evergreen
• Peace lily
• Florist’s chrysanthemum

How to Choose

Your first consideration should be your climate. Some plants do well in dry climates while others are more sensitive to moisture levels. Do a little research, so you know what kind of plants thrive in your environment.

Maintenance should be your next concern. Some plants need water every few days while others don’t need it for weeks. Whatever type of plant you choose, be sure you know how often it should be watered and whether or not it tolerates direct sunlight.

When it comes to decor, consider the size and shape of the plant. If you have an empty bedroom corner, a tall, thin plant might be what you need to fill the vertical space. On the other hand, if the only space available is a windowsill, a small pot of English ivy might work best.

 

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Article written by Samantha (Sam) Kent of SleepHelp.org

Update: Bayview Demolition

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Van Manna Homes has just completed this beautiful custom home in Bayview; a complete demolition, rebuilt from the foundation up.

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Bayview is a small luxurious residential neighborhood located in the south-west quadrant of Calgary right on the southern shore of the Glenmore Reservoir. Bayview boasts stunning views, vast green space, parks & pathways and features a playground, marina with boat docks, a mall, and skating rinks for the community. This neighborhood is perfect for anyone looking to settle down in a small, quiet community.

Ready to build your custom home with us? Contact us today!

Mud Rooms: What Are They and How to Best Utilize Them in Your Home

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Mudrooms are old-school spaces that are definitely back on the rise. The mudroom is typically a home’s secondary entrance, used for keeping the house clean and organized. It’s one of those rooms that many of us yearn for, and rightfully so; it’s great for keeping the family tidy and efficient. Here are the crucial elements to utilize an efficient mudroom in your home.

1. Coat Rack & Hooks
Jackets, hats, scarves, umbrellas – they all need somewhere to hang. Having a row or multiple rows of hooks maximizes wall space.
2. A Bench
The first thing you want to do when you get home is sit down and take off your shoes. Add a boot tray underneath to keep the mudroom extra clean & tidy, and for extra storage, use a bench that has a flip up seat.
3. Cubbies/Cabinets
The ultimate element to optimize your mudroom is a set of open cubbies or cabinets. Having one for each family member lets everyone have their own designated space for storage and organization.
4. Closet
A mudroom is basically one giant closet, but having a designated closet in the room is fantastic for storing bulky outerwear, sports equipment, utilities and cleaning supplies, or any items you just want out of sight.
5. Laundry
Quickly and simply throw dirty clothes and linens straight into the wash without dirtying up the rest of the house.
6. Utility Sink
Having a sink right in the mudroom is perfect for gardening, cleaning up after painting/crafts, or quick washing of a stain in your clothes.
7. Tile Floor
Tile is the most sensible flooring option for a mudroom as it is durable and easy to clean. Add in-floor heating in your mudroom for those cold winter days.

Thinking of a mudroom addition for your home? Contact us today for more info!

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What to Expect When Building a Custom Home

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Your Step-By-Step Guide From The VMH Team

Building a home can be both an exciting and stressful experience for all home buyers. Van Manna Homes prides themselves in the support that they provide their customers at every stage of the building process and believe that their team and trade partners are second to none in excellence and customer service.

1. Building Decision & Initial Steps
One of the biggest decisions of one’s life is deciding to make a move and build a custom home. Once you and your family have decided when the right time is, and you’ve done your due diligence in selecting your builder, the first steps would be nailing down which type of build you’d like to do, the planning stages, arranging your mortgage financing and finalizing the Purchase Agreement.

2. Planning, Design & Permits
Next, it’s time to determine the interior and exterior look of your home. During this stage, you’ll meet with one of Van Manna’s preferred architects and designers, or opt to use your own. Now, you would be introduced to your client liaison who helps guide you through the steps. This process can take weeks or months with many informative consultations along the way. Once the design has been completed, the permits and planning with the City or County begin. At this time, you will be set up on the Van Manna Homes customized software which is accessible by your smart phone, mobile device or desk top computer. This software keeps you current with real time information from all trades, your project manager, the progress of the home, design selection, ideas and your budget. This software is complete with photos and options as well. This is one of the key features to help guide you through the stages of activity and ensure that your budget stays intact with any custom selections or changes throughout construction.

3. Construction Process
Once your city approval, permits and the blueprints are complete, construction of your new home begins. The construction process unfolds in five main stages: excavation and foundation, framing, drywall, finishing and lastly occupancy. Throughout construction, Van Manna Homes hires a third party licensed home inspector which completes detailed reports from the start of your build right through completion. As well, with your own scheduled visits, you’ll get to experience our hands-on approach of exploring the build site, meeting the trade partners and designer, and watching your custom home come to its glory.

4. Nearing Completion
At this stage, the finishing work on your home is underway, the home inspector is completing their last inspection, and you’ll also receive written confirmation of your possession date. This means it’s time to arrange completion of your finances, book your moving company, update your mailing address, and wrap up any final design and landscaping details. You will also get to attend your homeowner walk-through with the Van Manna team. This is your pre-occupancy meeting, during which time we’ll familiarize you with your new home and all its key features.

5. Possession Day!
On the date of possession, you will be given the keys to your new home along with your welcome package and fully completed home inspection. Now and during the final possession walk-through Van Manna Homes will go through any seasonal items left to be complete and if there are still items to attend to, a “trade day” will be set up that works with your schedule. All that’s left for you to do, is move-in, pop the champagne and enjoy your brand new custom-built Van Manna Homes Dream Home!

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Why Build with Van Manna Homes?

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Why VMH?

With nominations, awards, and a fantastic reputation, Van Manna Homes has become a household name. Their legacy – born from hard work, a devotion to quality and outstanding customer empathy; is built on very humble beginnings which leads true in the craftsmanship and attention to details in every step of a custom-built Van Manna Home.

Van Manna Homes understands that purchasing a new home is a large decision and are dedicated to ensuring your home building experience is a positive one. The Van Manna difference consists of:

– Extensive selection of home designs to choose from or the elect to work with an architect to design the best home for you.
– Exceptional value and quality craftsmanship with flexible building specifications.
– Over 10 years of award-winning home building experience.
– Consumer Login access to a state of the art software to help with your custom home design, budgeting, and communication.
– Preferred financing rates and terms through preferred Brokers.
– Extensive home owner guide provided upon possession, completed by a licensed home inspector throughout your build.
– A thorough orientation of your new home prior to taking possession.
– Detailed demonstration of the features in your home and maintenance reviews.
– Personal client liaison and in-house Designer partnered with you step by step from the design stages, through development, selections and occupancy.
– Proud member of the National Home Warranty program.
– Proud Member of the CHBA (Calgary Home Builders’ Association)

 

Ready to build a custom home with VMH? Contact us anytime – we’d love to start building your dream home with you!
Also – find us on Instagram to follow the VMH story & stay up to date with our latest projects and news!

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VMH Sponsors The Heavy Horse Pull – Stampede 2017

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The VMH Team sponsored The Heavy Horse Pull at The Calgary Stampede this year to support its favourite charity Community Key. Horses Ginger & Bailey pulled a huge weight of 10,600 lbs and came in 7th place this year!

Click here to see the results!

Community Key helps families that are caring for a seriously ill or critically injured child in paying their mortgage or rent payments, allowing them some relief from one of their largest financial burdens. Their aim is to ‘key’ as many families in need as they can, so those families can focus on what’s truly key — family.

Read more about our favourite charity here!

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CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing

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Van Manna Homes has proudly entered one of our beautiful custom homes into the 2017 CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing competition! These annual new home awards celebrate the most creative and professional work in the Calgary home building industry. Last year, Van Manna Homes was a finalist out of over 380 entries from builders across Alberta!

Stay tuned – finalists will be announced on CHBA – Alberta’s website and in a news release to media at the end of July!

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2017 Patio Trends

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Planning Outdoor Spaces for Spring

Can you believe Spring is already here?! At Van Manna Homes, we love keeping up with the latest trends in home design and décor and we thought we’d share with you some of the hottest trends for your outdoor patio for 2017!
Colors: “Life-like” – City Life, Tropical Island, Country Side
Styles: Modern, Bohemian, Coastal
Decorate: Materials, Pillows, Amenities, Accessories

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Colors
The huge trend for 2017 will be replicating scenes from real life through the colors used to decorate your patio set. For example, the “tropical island” color scheme of whites and blues which represent the ocean and the sand, and red and green accents which represent coral and see vegetation.

Styles
Modern
Modern design is popular inside homes and this year it is moving outside the home to the patio! Keeping your design simple will make it easy to decorate with bold accents and decorations.
Bohemian
World travel and a focus on other cultures is huge right now. Bohemian is a very laid back style, and patios this year should have more of the upholstered furniture and rustic wood pieces that show off this style.
Coastal
Patterns and colors (especially watercolor) that mimic the ocean and beach will be very popular as it brings out the relaxed feeling of being by the sea.

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Decorate
Materials/Textures
The go-to will always be black and brown based furniture because both pair so well with a large variety of colors and styles. Wood accenting will be more popular this year as it pairs nicely with both light or dark finishes. Open weaves and braids add flair and are a big trend for 2017, as well as wicker which always adds warmth to a patio. Wicker furniture is timeless and versatile as you can always make fabric changes to keep up with different trends.
Pillows
Pillows, pillows, pillows! This is the EASIEST way to add color to a patio set. This year will see different shapes of pillows as well as more lively patterns and prints including: abstract, stripes, botanical, tribal, animal, and tropical. A newer trend will be adding bean bag chairs to your outdoor space, giving a very laid back feel to the space.
Amenities
Add a mini fridge to your outdoor space to keep the beers extra cold this summer!
Accessories
Plants, lighting and a fireplace and/or fountain will be the finishing touches for patios. Match the bloom color of your plants and flowers to accentuate your patio furniture. A nice option is a living wall – vertical gardens of flowers (beautiful and fragrant) or herbs (fragrant and earthy) are a beautiful feature for patios. For outdoor lighting, use LED lights to save energy and enjoy the longer lifespans – less money spent and less frequent bulb changing. Mimic moonlight to set a relaxing mood by installing lights high up in trees so the soft light comes down through branches looking very natural. A classic feature is of course, a fireplace. Also, adding a pottery fountain to have soothing sounds of trickling water will make your outdoor space a peaceful place to relax.

Our Latest Masterpiece

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Van Manna Homes recently completed this custom infill in the beautiful neighborhood of Bridgeland! Our under the stairs play space in this home was recently featured on Houzz in the ideabook “3 Incredibly Creative Features for Kids.” Take a look here! http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82061124

Also, check out the neighborhood profile below from Avenue Calgary, and take a look at the pictures of our masterpiece!

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/City-Life/Neighbourhoods/Best-of-Bridgeland/

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