Category Archives: Home Tips

How to Feng Shui Your Paragon Custom Built Home

Stock Art: Feng Shui Living Room

So — what is feng shui?

Feng shui  (prounounced, fung schway) is the Chinese art that is “considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy, and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.”

Whether you believe in the traditional laws of feng shui or not, some of its principles may be helpful to you when arranging your furniture, choosing interior paint colors, and in decorating your custom built Paragon luxury home.

Feng shui is all about open spaces and cleanliness. When practicing feng shui in the home, your goal is to simplify, and to be mindful of where you place windows, doors, and pieces of furniture.

For example, you should not have anything blocking windows or doorways, so that ‘positive energy’ can flow accordingly. You also should “de-clutter” your home – and whether you believe in feng shui or not, this is a good place for many of us to start, as it has been shown that clutter causes stress!

Airy, open spaces and calming colors are part of the feng shui lifestyle, too. Think “soothing” when choosing paint colors (think neutrals, blues, greens) and try to create an air of serenity in your home by avoiding crowdedness and by playing relaxing music to increase ambiance.

Consider adding aromatherapy to your home, too. Relaxing fragrances throughout your home in the way of candles or scented oils can really set the atmosphere, and it is shown that smells can even alter our mood!

You also want to make sure that any repairs that made need made to your home are made. Safety first!

A new architectural principle called Universal Design borrows ideas from the ancient notion of feng shui. Universal design refers to a broad-spectrum solution that produces buildings, products and environments that are usable and effective for everyone.

You can rest assured that Paragon Homes strives to keep your home as comfortable, livable, usable, and efficient as possible, and will work with you, mindfully, to make sure that your home – feng shui’ed or not – is a safe haven where you can relax at all times: mind, body, and spirit.

Call us today for a consultation at 412-787-8807 if you are interested in learning more about Paragon custom built luxury home.

 

~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a well-known blogger, author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011, a 2012 Woman of the Year and Athena Young Professional awards candidate, and happily lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

 

“Greening” Your Custom Built Pittsburgh Home!

We are a builder who focuses on details. We make sure that your home is as efficient as it is marketed to be. At Paragon Homes, we only build a few homes per year and have a thorough system in place to ensure that your home is constructed as it is supposed to be, providing a level of supervision and customer service you just can’t find at a big builder. So if you’ve purchased one of our custom built homes, no worries – you’re already on your way to saving money and helping to green your home and the environment.

So, you’ve settled into your new custom built house in Pittsburgh.  You’ve decorated each room with your personal style, customized your outdoor living space, and even put up some seasonal décor. You and your family are settled in to your lovely new place of residence, and you start thinking: what else can you do to help make your home a “green” one?

No, we’re not talking about a paint job already! We are talking about simple tips to make your household an eco-friendly one!

  • Save water! Don’t waste water – monitor showers and other water-guzzling activities.
  • Recycle!  Many communities offer recycling pick-up, and if not, you can always gather recyclable goods to take to your local recycling facility on your own.
  • Clean green! Many cleaning product lines now carry “green” product selections – Green Works, Simple Green, Bio Green Clean, and  Martha Stewart Clean are just some examples of eco-friendly brands.
  • Try Upcycling! Pennsylvania native Danny Seo is a green living expert who comes up with crafty ideas for everyday living, including up-cycling, which involves restoring old products into chic new home accessories and housewares instead of throwing them away.
  • Watch the temperature! How high do you really need the heat? How low does that AC have to go? Not only will it save you on utility bills, but it is also a plus for the environment! In fact, Paragon Homes is proud to be an ENERGYSTAR partner. In fact, our most recent ENERGYSTAR home was rated as 15% more efficient than ENERGYSTAR standards, making it more that 30% more efficient than other homes.
  • Buy recycled paper and other recycled goods when possible.
  • Buy produce from local farmers and aim for all organic when possible.
  • Consider utilizing reusable shopping bags for your grocery runs.
  • Plant a tree! Or a few!

“Going green” doesn’t have to be an extreme lifestyle makeover. But, with a few tweaks, any home can be eco-friendly!

Energy efficient and green building technologies have progressed so significantly in recent years that our typical new homes can be 30 to 50 percent more efficient than homes built even a few years ago. Even better? Today, a net-zero home (one where your home literally makes as much or more energy than it consumes where you could actually have no utility bills) are a real – and affordable – possibility.

So, with Paragon, not only will you be doing the environment some good by “living green,” but you’ll also have the potential to save money on heating as the winter months grow cooler, with our energy-efficient homes.

 ~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

 

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.



Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a blogger, aspiring author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh, Who to Follow on Twitter 2010, and one of Pittsburgh’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011. She lives happily with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Tips from a Pittsburgh Luxury Home Builder: Make Your Outdoors Great!

One great thing – among many! – about living in Pittsburgh is that we get to experience the beauty of all four seasons. While many homeowners put a lot of thought into the interior of their houses, many people fail to consider the outdoor space that is also a part of their “home sweet home.” Enjoy the Pittsburgh environment and weather by making sure the outside is as fabulous as the inside!

Paragon offers luxurious custom homes to suit your tastes and help make your dreams a reality! So how can your “outdoor living space” complement your gorgeous new home?

Here are some simple tips on how to make sure that the outside of your home reflects the beauty that is housed within.

  1. Choose plants and flowers that are appropriate for the climate and make sure that you are aware of whether they need shade or sunshine, are annual or perennial, how much water they need, etc.
  2. Consider “hardscaping” if you aren’t into landscaping. Hardscaping is a new trend to enhance your outdoor space via bricks and stones instead of grasses and plants. It will lend a more expensive look to your home, and can be just as pretty as a lush garden.
  3. Think about an option with a nice deck or porch. These “outdoor living spaces” can be virtual extra rooms to your home – adding to the entertaining space of your house and enhancing both looks and comfort.
  4. Add a pool or a private-bathing space for summer. A chic, fast-growing design trend is integrating a spa-like experience into one’s back yard via a cedar soaking tub or a small outdoor shower. Of course, a traditional swimming pool or hot tub works, too!
  5. Waterfalls and fountains can be luxe additions to your landscape
  6. Outdoor lighting can set the mood and add to the ambiance of your abode. Rope lights, twinkle lights, lamp posts, paper lanterns, tiki torches, fire pits, solar lights, and other outdoor lighting are excellent sources.
  7. Personalize your home exterior by adding fun and unique outdoor furniture that suits your taste and personality. It can complement your Paragon home in ways you’d never imagine!

It is important to accentuate your home when you have such a beautiful house! Paragon homes are gorgeous, quality houses that deserve these appealing outdoor spaces.

~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Paragon Homes has been building custom homes in the Pittsburgh area for nearly 25 years.  In that time they have come to be recognized as one of the premier custom home builders in Western Pa.  In fact they have been honored to receive over 25 Housing Excellence Awards from the Builders and Realtors Associations of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Washington County Builders Association including several for New Custom Home of the Year designations.

Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a blogger, aspiring author, and social media pro from Pittsburgh, PA. She was voted Best Blogger in Pittsburgh and Who to Follow on Twitter 2010 and happily lives with her husband, pug, frogs, and kitten!  In her free time she focuses on advocacy and volunteer work, as well as rooting on the Pittsburgh Steelers!