Max Hahne - Home Sweet Home August

Table of Contents Home Sweet Home ’s top ten design trends for Fall 2023 From earthy tones and textured fabrics to sustainable décor and Hygge-inspired spaces, we provide insights that will bring warmth and style into your home as the leaves begin to fall. Get Ready for Fall! 04 How Indoor Plants Support Health in Your Home Discover how plants can not only transform your living spaces into verdant sanctuaries, but also provide substantial health benefits. Join us as we learn practical tips from Ashley Searing, founder of RejuveNate – Plants & Wellness. Holistic Wellness 08 Household Plants for


Greenhouse Options for Every Space and Budget

Dive into our comprehensive exploration of various greenhouse styles for every space and budget, from tiny DIY options to prefabricated designs. Uncover the perfect greenhouse for your needs as we discuss the pros, cons, and unique characteristics of each design style. Your green thumb will thank you.


A Last Taste of Summer

Late Summer Gazpacho Zucchini and Tomato Tart Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

All About Patio Heaters 21

Extend your outdoor living space beyond summer into fall’s cool evenings. As a bonus, these same tips allow you to get started enjoying your outdoor space earlier next spring.


August 2023

Get Ready for Fall!


Preview the ten design styles we can’t wait to embrace for fall. 1. Earthy Tones and Natural Materials: Incorporating earthy tones like burnt orange, olive green, and deep brown, as well as natural materials such as wood, stone, and jute, will create a warm and inviting atmosphere for the fall season.



2. Textured Fabrics

Embrace the cozy feeling of fall with textured fabrics like velvet, chenille, and faux fur in your furnishings, throw pillows, and blankets.

3. Biophilic Design Elements

5. Vintage and Antique Accents

Bring nature indoors with biophilic design elements like indoor plants, green walls, and nature-inspired artwork to create a soothing and calming environment

Incorporate vintage and antique accents, such as repurposed furniture, aged brass hardware, and ornate mirrors, to create a sense of history and character in your home.

4. Dark, Moody Florals

As opposed to bright spring and summer florals, fall 2023 will see a rise in dark and moody floral patterns on wallpaper, upholstery, and decorative items, evoking a dramatic and romantic atmosphere

6. Sustainable and

Eco-Friendly Decor

Choose sustainable and eco-friendly materials for your home decor, such as reclaimed wood, recycled textiles, and low-VOC paints, to promote environmental consciousness and reduce your carbon footprint.


August 2023

7. Layered Lighting

8. Maximalism

Create a warm and inviting ambiance with layered lighting, including ambient, task, and accent lighting. Consider adding dimmer switches, floor lamps, and pendant lights to achieve the desired atmosphere.

Embrace the bold and eclectic style of maximalism by combining a mix of patterns, textures, and colors. Incorporate statement pieces, gallery walls, and eye- catching accessories to create a unique and personal space.



9. Hygge-Inspired Spaces

Embrace the Danish concept of hygge, which emphasizes

comfort and coziness, by creating inviting nooks, adding soft and plush textiles, and incorporating soothing elements like candles and warm lighting to create a serene atmosphere perfect for the fall season.

10. Geometric Patterns

Incorporate bold geometric patterns into your decor through statement rugs, wallpaper, or decorative items. Combining clean lines, striking shapes, and contrasting colors will add visual interest and a modern touch to your home this fall.


June 2023 August 2023

Household Plants Holistic Wellness FOR

Indoor potted plants have long been popular for the natural beauty they bring into your home. That’s why an enduring design tip for livening up an interior space is to fill the area with fresh plants in a variety of colors. Many of us love the different aesthetic and design possibilities of indoor plants, but did you also know that plants have benefits for human health and wellness? Home Sweet Home spoke with Ashley Searing, founder of RejuveNate – Plants & Wellness in Crest Hill, Illinois, to learn more. Inspired by the sense of peace, joy, and satisfaction she experiences when working with plants, Ashley became curious about the different species and their potential benefits. “I started by researching the benefits of plants and what they can do for your physical health and mental health,” Ashley explains. Over the years, she has devoted time and energy to investigating the impact interacting with plants and being around green space has on overall wellness. The extent of the connection between plants and wellness may surprise you. Not only are all plants air purifiers that remove harmful toxin, but the actual act of planting and caring for plants can help alleviate any number of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, and stress. There is a scientific explanation for this. Mycobacterium vaccae, a nonpathogenic bacterium that is found naturally in soil, has been shown to have the ability to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Scientific studies have long shown that maintaining a proper serotonin level is vital for several key body processes including cognition, sleep, and healing. Serotonin is also a mood elevator and stabilizer. When your body’s serotonin level is low, you are more apt to depression. How Indoor Plants Support Health in Your Home



Ashley Searing is the founder and owner of RejuveNate – Plants & Wellness in Crest Hill, Illinois. The business is named in memory of her brother, Nate, who lost his battle with depression in February 2020. After his passing, Ashley found solace in combining two things she has loved since she was a child, gardening and painting flower pots by hand.

Here’s Ashley’s advice for incorporating more indoor plants in your home.

Choose a plant that speaks to you

When asked what type of plant they should buy, Ashley tells her customers to choose a plant that “speaks to you,” one that they find aesthetically pleasing or simply feel a connection with, or both!

Choose plants that you can maintain

If you’ve struggled to keep houseplants alive in the past, Ashley confirms there are numerous types of plants that are very low maintenance, and that it’s really about learning what the plant needs. So don’t give up if you have had disappointments in the past. Learning how to tend to houseplants is akin to perfecting an art form or training until you excel as an athlete—all pursuits take practice.

Learn your plants

The number one mistake Ashley sees newbie plant owners making is “overcompensating their care for the plant and over watering it.” Her advice to avoid this common mistake is to simply, “Learn your plants.” Remember that you are introducing a living organism into a new environment, and it may well take time to adjust. The beautiful plant you recently purchased may have been thriving at the flower shop but be prepared for the possibility that its leaves may droop a bit while it acclimates itself to the air quality and lighting conditions in its new space. Be attentive to your plants and you will notice when they are doing well and when they need some tender loving care.


August 2023

5 Healing Plants and the Benefits They Provide

The following is a list of just a few plants people are drawn to for their healing properties.

LAVENDER: For many, lavender is synonymous with relaxation. The scent of lavender can also be soothing for anxi- ety. Warning: Lavender contains the chemical linalool which can be poisonous to dogs and cats. However, the amount of linalool in lavender is so small that your pet would have to consume a great quantity to cause serious illness or injury. Still, if you have furry family members, either avoid lavender or keep a small plant in a place pets can’t reach. SAGE: Often used in cooking, sage also offers several health benefits for humans. Sage has been shown to help clear infections of the digestive tract, mouth, and skin. It also has properties that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Sage is safe for dogs to consume, and it can actually be used to treat digestive distress by putting just a few leaves (fresh or dried) in your dog’s food once a day. This versatile plant has other medicinal uses for dogs: eating it can help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain. Does your dog have dandruff? Ashley suggests doing burning sage in a fire-safe container to cleanse your home of allergens including pet dandruff. Warning: You don’t want your pet to inhale too much smoke though, so, for safety’s sake, do the sage burning while your pup is outside.

SNAKE PLANTS: If you are one of the millions of Americans who have trouble sleeping at night, try placing one or two of these plants in your bedroom. Like all plants, the snake plant is air-purifying, and they produce and release oxygen into the air at night and during the day, they absorb carbon dioxide. The higher purity of air is conducive to a good night’s sleep and enhanced concentration the following day. SPIDER PLANTS: These low-maintenance plants can be placed throughout your home. They offer much of the same benefits that snake plants do with the added plus that they can go up to two weeks without watering and will continue to thrive. ALOE VERA: This succulent has long been a popular house plant because applying the gel from an opened leaf relieves burns, scrapes, and skin irritations. Aloe vera has also been shown to be good for oral health as it prevents plaque buildup and can reduce swollen and bleeding gums. Warning: Although aloe vera has many ben- eficial uses, it is imperative that aloe plants be kept out of the reach of children and pets. The plant is toxic for young children and pets because it contains a chemical known as saponin. Young children and pets cannot digest this chemical so ingestion of aloe vera can cause severe digestive system distress.



Ashley shares a few tips on what tell-tale signs to look for to let you know your plant does indeed need more space:

1. 2. 3.

A good rule of thumb is that if you see the leaves beginning to yellow, your plant needs to be repotted. Check to see if your soil is compacted: Simply stick your finger into the dirt. If you push down and there is no give, your plant needs to be repotted. Water your plant and watch to see if the water sinks into the soil as it should to get to the roots. If the water pools on top of the soil instead of being absorbed, that means there isn’t enough air in the soil for the water to run through and your plant needs a bigger pot.

When Should You Repot Your Household Plants? Although conventional wisdom has long held that plants should be repotted during the spring, Ashley advises that it is best to once again be attentive to your plant and what its condition is telling you. After all, temperatures vary greatly from region to region, and while plants may go dormant during winter in colder climates, in the southeastern or western states where win- ters are known to be fairly mild, your plant may continue to flourish and outgrow its current pot.

When you repot your plants, Ashley recommends making the move a slight one. It is less of a shock to the plant to be moved to a pot that is an inch or so larger than its current pot, rather than moving a plant from a small 4-inch pot to a 10-inch pot. Choose a pot the next size up and allow your plant to grow in familiar conditions. Remember, wellness is all about self-care. Ashley’s advice: “When you’re watering your plants, don’t forget to water yourself and your mind, and that just means practicing those self- care components and giving yourself what you need, just as you care for your plants.”

By Melinda Burris


August 2023

GREENHOUSE OPTIONS EVERY SPACE AND BUDGET When you picture a greenhouse in your mind, you likely think of the traditional plastic-wrapped tent or structure equipped with copious windows. Both are great options. However, if space or budget don’t allow for those designs, get your plant shelter another way. Let’s look into some design styles for every space and budget. FOR


Take that image of a plastic or glass enclosed space and bring it down to a smaller level. After all, not everyone has room for an entire structure for growing plants. However, most people have access to a deck or sunny spot next to a window. Look around your home for items you already have or can easily access. Clear plastic cups make easy, yet effective, covers to insulate individual plants. If you’ve acquired a collection from your Starbucks addiction, use them to nurture young plants. Simply place them over the top, pressing them firmly into the soil to create a protective seal from the cold. Similarly, use empty grape, strawberry, or spinach containers to your advantage. On a slightly large scale, you can use all sizes of clear plastic totes to cover groupings of plants. They do a great job of both keeping them warm and creating a moist environment through condensation. Plastic sheeting, bags, shower curtains, and clear tablecloths can be put to good use too. Drape bags over a potted plant, securing the open end of the bag tightly around the pot. If this creates too much pressure on your plants, place a tomato cage over the plant to provide protection for the plant and support for the bag.




For a larger and more durable structure, build a basic greenhouse structure to cover your raised beds. There are countless design possibilities. Build any size and shape that works for you. Then cover the frame with plastic sheeting, a clear tablecloth or used shower liner. Tack the plastic in place if needed. Similarly, you can lean whole pallets together into an a-frame and cover with plastic. Or, use a rolling closet to house plants while they grow. Convert your temporary storage closet into a shelving unit by attaching shelves to the vertical supports or hanging shelves from the top hanging bar. Just make sure the outer covering is clear enough to allow natural light through. You can also use glass or plexiglass for your smaller greenhouse. Use framed glass you already have. Think of a picture frame or framed art. Base your design on the size of these framed pieces of glass. For example, use four wood picture frames for the sides of the box, attaching them together on the corners. Then attach a hinge to a larger wood frame on the top. This will allow the top glass lid to raise and lower so you can water and care for plants inside the mini greenhouse. Keep your smaller plants inside until they’re ready to transplant.

PREFABRICATED DESIGNS If you’re looking for prefabricated greenhouses, consider the layout and size of your available space. Evaluate the type of landscaping you have, humidity, rainfall, snowfall, temperatures, and amount of sunlight. You will also want to consider heating and cooling costs, taking into account the extra unused space at the top of some designs. Take a look at this list of greenhouse styles and consider the pros and cons of each when making your decision about what will work best for you.


August 2023

This is the traditional tarped, cabin-shaped structure seen in most magazines and websites. Although very common and full of benefits, the traditional greenhouse has some disadvantages too. The trusses offer excellent support for heavy snow and the angle of the roofline allows for easy snow removal. The traditional greenhouse also offers excellent lighting and it is a durable, long-term option. The design offers flexibility for adding vents or even glass windows when looking at options for airflow. Scalability is another advantage of the traditional greenhouse because it is easy to connect several houses together for larger operations. Even with an efficient design, the traditional greenhouse is still expensive to heat. The initial construction costs are higher too. Most traditional greenhouses require a foundation, which could result in the need for a building permit and will likely result in higher property taxes. TRADITIONAL GREENHOUSE


Hoop houses come in many styles. The common factor is that they are made with bent tubing that creates an arch. The ends of the tubing are hammered into the ground for stability. Then the plastic or film is attached to complete the structure. Hoop houses typically do not require a foundation, which saves you time, money, and effort. They also offer a lot of flexibility in sizing because you can easily add a new section, making the structure longer. The hoop house style greenhouse offers excellent lighting for your crops too. The materials for hoop houses are typically lower quality than some other products so you can expect to replace the film about every four years. Because the insulation factor is not very high with thin film your heating costs will run higher as well. You may also need to pay for the electricity to run a blower in order to keep the film inflated. Severe weather or the weight of snow can easily damage this type of greenhouse.



The dome style greenhouse that you may have seen is appealing as well as functional. The outstanding strength of the geodesic dome allows for worry- free winters in heavy snowfall areas. In addition to being able to tolerate the weight, snow removal is easy due to the angle of the roof. This design also allows for efficient cooling vents and good lighting. The geodesic dome is moderately expensive to erect. The main disadvantage to the shape is that the odd angles along the walls affect the layout of your beds and limits headroom so it is not the most efficient use of space. You may also need a foundation and building permit in addition to payment of higher taxes. GEODESIC DOME


August 2023


The walipini greenhouse is alternately called a pit greenhouse because it is built underground and framed in with cement walls. The underground position of the greenhouse makes use of natural cooling, which is a cost saver during the hot summer months. This is a better option in southern states where snow is infrequent and heats can be extreme. A building permit may be required. The pit greenhouse receives poor natural light in the morning and the evening. Since the roofline is at ground level it is easy for dogs, livestock, or humans to walk on and damage the roof or even fall into the greenhouse.


This type of greenhouse attaches directly to the side of the house, shed, barn, or other structure. This provides extremely good energy efficiency because the north wall is adjacent to a heated source. Since the roofline is a lean- to style, the snow slides off easily. It is a good design for the hobby greenhouse user. The lean-to greenhouse may need a building permit and be considered additional square footage for taxes. Because it is not free standing, it will likely only receive mid-day sun. Passive solar houses are difficult to add on to so this design is not good for larger operations. These greenhouses often use barrels of water stacked in the corner to collect heat during the day and release it during cooler nights. In an already smaller space, the barrels take up valuable floor space.




Egg cartons are neatly separated and are easy to fill with soil and seeds. Just put the carton on plastic or a tray to protect the surface below from water damage. Yogurt containers, baby food jars, and clear salsa containers are up to the task, too. Press some soil into the bottom and place the proper amount of seeds in each one. Cover as directed and water. Use the same procedure for small plants and bulbs. Plastic to-go containers make a ready-made mini greenhouse. Use the bottom of rotisserie- chicken containers or salad containers and simply put the lid back on after planting. If using egg cartons, cover using plastic wrap. Plastic bags can also do the job. Tent them over the containers, using a wooden skewer for support on the inside if needed. Then tuck the opening of the bags underneath the container’s base. Find a sunny east or south-facing window for your plants. They’ll need a lot of direct sunlight and the heat it brings. If your window ledge isn’t big enough for the task, place a card table or other surface in the area. If you don’t have adequate natural light, you may need to place your plants beneath artificial light. Grow lamps allow you to place your plants anywhere, even a closet or the basement. Just be sure to use a reliable timer for consistent light and dark periods. Once you have the process mastered, you can build some of the same greenhouses described above, such as the closet or glass box.

Moving your greenhouse indoors gives you a jump on the season by allowing you to plant earlier. In fact, under the right conditions you can grow herbs and lettuce throughout the winter or force bulbs to come to life before their natural cycle. Most often, though, the indoor greenhouse is used as a way to get your seed starts well underway before the outdoor greenhouse is ready for business. In an indoor environment, plastic sheeting or other lid acts as the greenhouse roof, holding in moisture and heat. Remember you can move to larger pots or replant into the ground when the outdoor weather cooperates. It’s okay to start quite small.


August 2023



Late Summer Gazpacho

Ingredients: z 6 ripe tomatoes z 1 cucumber z 1 green bell pepper z 1 red onion

Instructions: 1. Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and red onion into chunks. 2. In a blender, combine the chopped vegetables, garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Blend until smooth. 3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 5. Garnish with fresh basil and serve chilled.

z 2 cloves garlic z 1/4 cup olive oil z 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar z Salt and pepper to taste z Fresh basil for garnish

Zucchini and Tomato Tart

Ingredients: z 1 store-bought puff pastry sheet z 2 medium zucchinis z 2 ripe tomatoes z 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese z 1/2 cup basil leaves z Olive oil z Salt and pepper

Instructions: 1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). 2. Roll out the puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 3. Slice the zucchinis and tomatoes thinly and arrange them on the puff pastry, leaving a border for the crust. 4. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the mozzarella. 5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy. 6. Garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.




August 2023

Quinoa-Stuffed Bell Peppers

3 Facts About Quinoa Pronounced “KEEN-wah”

Gluten-Free: Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent food choice for people who are intolerant to gluten or have celiac disease. It can serve as a substitute for wheat in most recipes and is considered easy to digest. Versatile : Quinoa is incredibly versatile and easy to cook. It can be prepared much like rice, boiled in water or vegetable broth. It can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and soups to main courses and even desserts. Its mild, slightly nutty taste makes it a perfect accompaniment to many ingredients.

Nutrient Rich: Quinoa is a superfood that is rich in many nutrients. It's high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It's also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and various beneficial antioxidants.

Ingredients: z 4 bell peppers (any color) z 1 cup quinoa z 2 cups vegetable broth z 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed z 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen) z 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved z 1 small red onion, finely chopped z 2 cloves garlic, minced z 1 tablespoon olive oil z 1 teaspoon cumin z 1/2 teaspoon chili powder z Salt and pepper to taste z 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese z Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions: 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). 2. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Set aside. 3. Rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil, add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all broth is absorbed. 4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. 5. Add drained black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, and cooked quinoa to the skillet. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper. 6. Stuff each bell pepper with the quinoa and vegetable mixture. 7. Place stuffed peppers in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. 8. Remove foil, sprinkle each pepper with shredded cheese, and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. 9. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm.



ALL ABOUT PATIO HEATERS Extend your outdoor living space beyond summer into fall’s cool evenings. As a bonus, these same tips allow you to get started enjoying your outdoor space earlier next spring.


Outdoor heaters provide an opportunity to enjoy your patio throughout the seasons. There are many types of heaters that can suit any budget and design style. For budgetary reasons, ask yourself how often you will realistically use the heater. That can directly affect the type you end up with. Also think about whether the goal is ambiance, heat production, or both. British Thermal Units are the standard measure of how much heat a device provides. You can calculate how many BTUs are needed for your space, and you should as a starting point in your shopping. Measure your patio length, width, and height. If it’s uncovered, use a height measurement of seven feet. Then average out the increase in heat you hope to produce. For example, if it averages 45 degrees where you live and you want the space to run at 70 degrees, that’s a 25 degree increase. Multiply your cubic feet total by 25 to get your desired BTUs. Say you have a 10 x 20-foot patio with an eight- foot ceiling. That’s 1,600 cubic feet. Multiplied by 25 equals 40,000 BTUs. KNOW YOUR BTUS


August 2023



The vast majority of patio heaters run off of propane, natural gas, or electricity. There are pros and cons to each, starting with the resources you have already. For example, natural gas heaters hook into the system of your home. That means they need to be professionally installed and it limits you to fixed or mounted heaters. However, natural gas heaters will never run out of fuel as long as you have service to your home. They are also a very inexpensive option to operate, once the installation is covered. Propane heaters, in contrast, are easy to set up and operate. They also offer the convenience of portability, so you can move them around as needed. However, your propane heater requires constant monitoring of propane levels. Without a backup, you can easily find yourself out in the cold and it’s somewhat of a hassle to continuously haul propane tanks to the filling station. Electric heaters are convenient and easy to use. They simply plug in or are hard-wired to your system. Some plug into a basic 120-volt outlet, but most require an upgrade to a 240-volt. Electric heaters are safer for enclosed spaces since they don’t have gas emissions to worry about. Depending on electricity costs in your area, electric patio heaters can be expensive to run and you may have the upfront cost of hiring an electrician for that 240-volt outlet.

Another factor in your decision may be the design of the heater itself. You’ll need to consider your space for the answers. Do you need it to be portable? Is there a place to mount a heater? Are you really just looking for something small to take the chill off of hands or feet? Tall, portable, freestanding patio heaters are likely what you envision when picturing options. These models rely on large propane tanks but can take many shapes. Many restaurants use this style in outdoor eating areas. However, you may simply need a small portable version you can use on a tabletop or near your feet. They can run off of electricity or propane, making them convenient, albeit more of a one to two person heating option. Then there are fixed, wall-mounted models that rely on natural gas or electricity. These typically require professional installation and will last longer if they are protected from the weather.


Similarly, an outdoor fireplace or fire table might suit your needs. There’s nothing better than a live flame to create a cozy vibe indoors or out. You can go with a propane fire that offers the appeal of fire without the need to constantly load logs, or build in a fireplace for the authentic crackle and smell of a campfire.



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