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Want to bring your home decor to the next level? You got to get these ‘it’ plants then.

Green Fingers

5 Statement Houseplants You Must Have

With good reasons, more urban dwellers are now incorporating greenery into their home decor. From culinary herbs to air-purifying plants, indoor plants bring about endless benefits while transforming the look and feel of a space.

Whether you are a greenie-newbie or not, enjoy this list of must-have houseplants that might just send you running to your nearest nursery. 🙂

1. Ficus lyrata, or fiddle-leaf fig tree

When talking about statement houseplants, the fiddle-leaf fig tree is definitely at the top of the list. A favourite among interior designers and tastemakers alike, the plant offers maximum visual impact with its majestic leaves.

(Photo credit: MakingItLovely)

Though it can grow up to 3 metres tall indoors, simply prune your fiddle leaf fig tree regularly to keep it to a manageable size. Place it beside a sunny window to receive bright indirect light, and water only when the top inch of the soil is dry.

2. Monstera deliciosa, or Swiss cheese plant

With its impressive and iconic foliage, the monstera deliciosa is the latest ‘it’ plant that everyone is raving about! Its unusual heart-shaped and split leaves are why it is also known as the Swiss cheese plant.

As a tropical plant, the monstera prefers bright filtered light, constant warmth and high humidity. Growing it indoors is easy – just remember to water when the top 2 inches of the soil are dry and polish its leaves to keep them clean and dust-free.

(For more photos of this gorgeous plant, check out the #MonsteraMonday hashtag on Instagram!)

3. Tradescantia spathacea, or boat lily

Fancy something different from your usual lush green foliage? The lovely tradescantia spathacea goes by many other names, including boat lily, oyster plant and Moses-in-the-Cradle. The plant is popular for its rosettes of long waxy leaves, which are glossy green with the occasional white stripes on top and vivid purple undersides. Place a pot of it on a table top to brighten up the room instantly!

Ensure your boat lily receives sufficient light to retain its signature rich purple colour. Water in moderation as this plant is particularly susceptible to root rot if it is kept sitting in wet conditions.

4. Senecio rowleyanus, or string of pearls

Looking for a hanging plant instead? The string of pearls plant is a stunning choice that will provide a strong focal point in your home. Its unique pea-like foliage cascades over the edge of its pot to stunning effect.

As a succulent, the string of pearls plant enjoys bright light and minimal watering. While it requires relatively little care, do prune it occasionally to maintain its appearance and trim off any dead stems.

5. Sansevieria, or snake plant

The snake plant is the best choice for people with ‘brown thumbs’ who still desire a touch of nature at home. Famous for its adaptability and hardiness, the snake plant can survive neglect. Additionally, its thick and spear-like leaves give it a bold appearance that complement most decor themes.

While it is tolerant of low light, the snake plant does best in bright light. Err on the dry side when it comes to watering to prevent root rot.

What are some quirky houseplants you have at home? Send us your photos and growing tips at mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg or visit us on Facebook. 🙂

By K
May 25, 2017

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Give your wood flooring some tender loving care with these tips.

Hands On!

Cleaning ‘Wood’ Be This Easy!

So you have got wooden flooring for your flat. It is classic, elegant, and adds an earthy and natural element to your cosy home.

Just when you feel secretly pleased with yourself for choosing wood flooring, you begin to see some things that trouble you. Where your floor used to gleam and shine, there are now dull patches, scratches and even dent marks.

These are some common issues that may occur to wood flooring if it is not cleaned and maintained the right way.

Fret not! Check out our simple tips to clean and care for wooden floors, which will help keep yours beautiful for years. 🙂

1. No fixing required when you can simply prevent the damage

Wood is a natural material, so it is important to take some preventive measures to protect it from coming into contact with abrasive materials. One way to do so, is to position mats both outside and inside your main doors to minimise sand particles and grit from getting onto the wooden floor as you set foot in the house.

You can also prevent marks by using floor protectors under furniture and placing rugs in high-traffic areas. Instead of dragging the furniture which will cause scratches and unnecessary noise, try to move it by lifting. Also, wipe any spill immediately as standing liquid may damage the surface of your wooden floor.

2. Cleaning is all about the tools

In fact, wooden surfaces are the easiest to clean as long as you have the right tools to do so. For light and quick cleaning, you can simply use disposable electrostatic cloths which pick up dust, dirt, and hair that can scratch the floor surface. For weekly or biweekly cleaning, use a vacuum cleaner with a floor brush attachment.

For the occasional deep cleansing, damp-mop the floor using a wood-cleaning product diluted according to the label’s instructions. Before mopping, make sure that you wring the mop thoroughly so it feels only slightly damp. Thereafter, rinse the mop in clean water, wring out the excess, and damp mop the floor again to remove the cleaning solution (if required). If the weather is particularly humid, turn on the ceiling fan or air-conditioner to speed up drying.

3. Quick fixes to restore your beautiful floor

Have kids or a pet around the home? Your wooden floor probably needs a little more maintenance due to marks left by your little aspiring ‘artists’ or your pet’s nail scratches. To remove permanent marker ink, simply clean with a bit of toothpaste and damp cloth. For scratches, try using a crayon the colour of your wooden floor and rub it on the scratch marks to fill the gap. Turn a hair dryer on high, then heat up the area where the crayon was applied and buff it with a soft cloth.

For older wooden floors, they can creak a bit more frequently and look duller than when you had them the first day. You can fix the creaky wood floors by simply sprinkling talcum powder and brushing it into the joints between the boards until the floor is no longer noisy. To bring some shine back to your wooden floors, clean with a homemade tea solution. Simply steep two teabags in boiling water for a few minutes, pour the tea into a bucket, damp a soft cloth with the solution, and wipe the floor. You will be amazed by how the tannic acid in tea helps add a beautiful sheen to the wood surface.

If you have other nifty tips to spruce up the home, share them with us via mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg.

By Jessie Ng
May 24, 2017

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