11 Houseplants With “Superpowers” That Are Perfect For Beginners

If you’re just about to embark on your first houseplant buying expedition, there’s a good chance you’re not really sure which ones you’d like to buy. Do you go for something colourful and delicate? Or what about something robust and imposing?

Whatever you choose, it needs to be looked after. But some houseplants are way more high-maintenance than others. There’s nothing worse (there probably is) when you’re a new plant parent, than coming home to find your beautiful new addition all shrivelled and brown. Whether that’s because it didn’t quite like the fact you sat it by a draughty door, or you forgot to water it for a day or two…

So what’s the answer? Treat yourself to some super easy-going houseplants, of course! Houseplants that are really easy to care for don’t need to be boring either. There are loads of funky houseplants out there to choose from, but knowing which is right for you can be tricky, especially when you’re not quite sure what it is you’re doing.

So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite houseplants with “superpowers” that we think are perfect for beginners. All of the plants we’ve chosen are low-maintenance, stylish and above all, they’ll totally dazzle you with their brilliance, too!

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

snake plant - climadoor

Possibly one of the easiest houseplants to take care of, no list is complete without the Snake Plant – or Mother-in-Laws Tongue depending on where you’re from. Native to tropical West Africa, the Snake Plant is hardy and and low-maintenance and as one of only a few plants that processes carbon dioxide using the crassulacean acid metabolism process, it can go long periods of time without water, so only needs to be watered every month or so… perfect for anyone that spends a lot of time away from home. It’s also happy to live in low light conditions, meaning you don’t have to worry about where you put it.

One of the main benefits of owning a Snake Plant (other than its obvious style) is its ability to remove toxins from the air. The NASA Clean Air Study noted that the Snake Plant is capable of removing 4 out of the 5 main toxins involved in the effects of “sick building syndrome”, including Formaldehyde and Benzene… There are only 5 other plants that have been found to remove so many!

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa) 

swiss cheese plant - climadoor

If you want a large plant that’s going to be the centre of attention, then the Swiss Cheese Plant is the one for you. Also known as the Mexican Breadfruit or the Hurricane Plant, the Swiss Cheese Plant is so named due to the large leaves that develop holes as they grow… much like the cheese! This is a trait unique to the Monstera species and these unusual leaves are perfect for those that wish to use the natural light as a feature in their home. They’re also very handy should you wish to create some shade, making them the perfect addition to any large living space or conservatory.

Thought the Swiss Cheese Plant is perfectly happy in low light conditions, it’s best suited to bright, indirect sunlight which will help it to flourish. You might think that such a large plant would need watering constantly too, but no, once every couple of weeks should be just fine.

The Swiss Cheese was also voted Office Plant of the Year 2018 by Plants At Work… in case you needed another reason to buy one!

Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera) 

aloe vera - climadoor

It’s likely you’ve used a well-being product that contains Aloe Vera at some point. Whether that’s a moisturiser, toilet paper or even a drink, it seems there’s nothing Aloe Vera can’t be added to as a health benefit. Often referred to as the First Aid Plant due to its many medicinal uses, as well as its excellent moisturising qualities, it’s said that the Aloe Vera plant can accelerate the healing of burns, lower blood sugar levels and even reduce dental plaque with its antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

But what about style factor? Well, we think the Aloe Vera is one of the most stylish houseplants out there… and it’s one of the most easy-going too. All this spiky little critter asks for in return is a sunny spot away from cold draughts and a drink every month. Going “dormant” during the winter months they require even less, so a watering every 6 weeks should be all that’s needed. As a native of the Arabian deserts, they do prefer a more sandy soil… but beyond that, they’re definitely a houseplant that gives more than they take!

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia) 

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If you want foliage without the hassle of constant pruning, then the ZZ Plant should be at the top of your houseplant buying list. Super easy to care for and probably one of the toughest houseplants out there, it’s pretty difficult to get it wrong with a ZZ Plant (or Zanzibar Gem as it’s affectionately known).

With an abundance of waxy, almost patent leaves, the ZZ Plant is slow growing and only needs to be watered every couple of weeks – making it a dream addition to the family for any new plant parent. It’s also happy in both low and bright light conditions, so there really isn’t anywhere it can’t be positioned in your house. As a tropical perennial native to Eastern Africa, it’s quite adept at coping with both slightly humid and dryer conditions, making it the perfect houseplant to jazz up your bathroom or your bedroom.

As well as being super easy going, the ZZ Plant also has air purifying qualities and has been found to remove such toxins as Toluene and Xylene from the atmosphere. As well as having health benefits, according to Feng Shui theory, the ZZ Plant is said to bring good luck and wealth and as a result, it’s often referred to as the Fortune Tree.

Peruvian Apple Cactus (Cereus Peruvianus)

peruvian apple cactus - climadoor

Is any home or office complete without a cactus? We say no, so why not go for one that not only bears fruit but can help reduce radiation too?

A weird one, right? But it’s apparently true… putting a Peruvian Apple Cactus in a room that has a lot of tech (such as computers, phones and TVs) can help reduce the amount of radiation present by intercepting and absorbing the electromagnetic waves. In an age where we’re overwhelmed by technology, this houseplant is definitely one we all could do with owning!

Given its awesome superpowers, the Peruvian Apple Cactus is surprisingly simple to look after. Native to the northern parts of South America, it appreciates bright light and good drainage, and it only needs to be watered every 4-6 weeks, perfect for anyone that wants a funky looking houseplant with virtually no hassle. And if you’re lucky enough, over time it may even produce some fruit for you!

Bromeliad Pineapple (Ananas Comosus ‘Champaca’)

bromeliad pineapple - climadoor

Possibly the most kitsch houseplant on our list, the Bromeliad Pineapple is a definite showstopper! Native to South America, this ornamental houseplant (don’t eat it!) is certain to get attention and can really amplify the look you’re trying to achieve with your decor.

But that’s not all it’s good for! Oh no. One of the key features of the Bromeliad Pineapple plant, is its unusual ability to release oxygen at night, but not only that, the slight scent that is also released is actually an anti-inflammatory enzyme called Bromylaine that helps to expand the airways and ultimately reduces snoring.

Despite its seemingly complex array of qualities, the Bromeliad Pineapple is really easy to keep. Placing it in a sunny spot by a window will see it flourish and it only needs to be watered once a month or so, too. If you really want to see it bloom, give it a light misting in between watering and if you have any apples that are well past their best, add them to the soil as Bromeliads LOVE the ethylene gas they release.

Alocasia Amazonica (Hybrid)

alocasia amazonica - climadoor

If you fancy adding a touch of futuristic whimsy to your living space, then the Alocasia Amazonica is the perfect addition. Due to the unique shape and texture of the leaves, it’s commonly known as Elephant Ear or African Mask Plant but this crazy looking houseplant is actually a hybrid from Southern Asia, despite its many names suggesting otherwise.

Though it’s not impossible for the Alocasia to flower, it’s all about the foliage. The striking and dramatic two-tone leaves with pronounced silver veins means this fabulous houseplant can really make a statement. They grow quickly too, so can soon become a big part of the family.

While the Alocasia Amazonia can live happily in low light, they do appreciate some sunlight, so place them in a spot that has partial shade and they’ll be just right. As a plant that’s used to a tropical environment, a warmer, slightly humid environment suits them best, making them the perfect houseplant for the bathroom or kitchen. Due to their preference for a humid environment, they don’t need much watering either, just once every couple of weeks should be fine.

Mimosa Plant (Mimosa Pudica)

mimosa plant - climadoor

Interactive plants are the best! We think so anyway, and the Mimosa plant is a beautiful example. Over the years, it’s earned itself numerous nicknames and is commonly known as the Shameplant, Touch-me-not and Sensitive Plant. Another South American native, the Mimosa seemingly has an affliction… it doesn’t like to be touched! Or that’s how it appears…

Like a small number of other plant species, the Mimosa is known for its rapid plant movement (or nyctinastic movement if you want to get scientific), which means the leaves will close in darkness and reopen in light, effectively going to “sleep”. What makes the Mimosa unique is that it has a similar response to touch and vibrations too (this is regarded as seismonastic movement for those that are interested), and it became the focus of many studies because of it.

Probably one of the most fun and intriguing houseplants to own, there will never be a dull moment with a Mimosa in your life and you’ll find it hard not to get attached to it! And it’s really easy to care for too. It’s not a fan of direct sunlight but it does like a slightly humid spot, so it’s another one that’s perfect for your bathroom. Though, if you’d prefer it in other parts of the house, regular misting will definitely make it happy. Water it every other week and you’ll have a friend for life (sort of).

Venus Flytrap (Dionaea Muscipula)

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If you’ve ever seen The Little Shop of Horrors then you’ll no doubt LOVE the Venus Flytrap. While Audrey II wasn’t strictly a Venus Flytrap, you can see where the inspiration came from, and the cult hit certainly gave carnivorous plants the notoriety they deserve!

A native of the subtropical wetlands of North America, the Venus Flytrap doesn’t just catch flies as the name might suggest. In fact, the Venus Flytrap’s diet is estimated to be 30% ants, 30% spiders, 10% beetles and 10% grasshoppers, with fewer than 5% flying insects. So, not only are they ridiculously cool, but they’re great for reducing the amount of bugs in your house too.

If you’re curious about how the Venus Flytrap “eats” its prey, here’s the science… when its prey is unable to escape, it will continue to stimulate the inner surface of the lobes (leaves), and this causes a further response that forces the edges of the lobes together, eventually sealing the trap and forming a “stomach”. Release of the digestive enzymes is controlled by the hormone jasmonic acid, which is the same hormone that triggers the release of toxins as a defense mechanism in non-carnivorous plants. Once the digestive glands in the leaf lobes have been activated, digestion is then catalysed by hydrolase enzymes that are secreted, finishing the job. Pretty fascinating stuff, right?

Venus Flytrap extract can also be purchased as a herbal remedy which is said to relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease and even HIV (though neither of these things have been proven scientifically).

As far as upkeep goes, the Venus Flytrap is pretty easy going. All it requires is a warm, sunny spot and due to its wetland heritage, it does like to be watered every couple of days. Slightly more high maintenance than other houseplants, but totally worth it!

Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia)

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This pretty, sweet smelling delight is a herbalists dream. Originally from the Mediterranean (despite often being referred to as English Lavender), it’s a multipurpose plant that’s perfect for not only adding a splash of colour to your living space, but it can be a real help as a relaxation aid, too.

Placing a Lavender plant in your bedroom or living room is a great way to help you drift off to sleep or unwind at the end of the day, as the calming scent permeates throughout the room.

Not only is the scent of the Lavender plant helpful, but the plant itself has many uses too. The flowers can be used as a culinary herb in cooking or as a herbal tea and the oils that can be extracted can be used in massage therapy or added to things such as lotions, soap and bath oils. Basically, Lavender is probably one of the most chilled out plants you can find, so it makes sense to add one to your home!

As you’d probably expect, it’s pretty easy going when it comes to upkeep, too. It likes a sunny spot and doesn’t like to be over-watered – so a watering once a week to keep the soil moist (not wet) should be all you need to do to help it to help you.

Semaphore Plant (Codariocalyx Motorius)

semaphore plant - climadoor

And last but by no means least, we have the Semaphore Plant (or Telegraph Plant as it’s also known). Another “interactive” plant with some super “dance” moves. The Semaphore is an ornamental plant native to tropical Asia that is capable of rapid movement, much like the Mimosa and Venus Flytrap.

When we say dance moves, it’s not strictly true but the Semaphore does have the ability to move its leaves at speeds rapid enough to be seen, particularly when subjected to light, heat or sound. Each leaf is equipped with a “hinge” that allows it to move to optimise the amount of sun it absorbs. The really clever part is that each large leaf comes with its own pair of smaller “worker” leaves that will constantly rotate to first sample the surroundings and guide the larger leaf to where it will thrive best. The reason for this is because the movement means the plant expends a lot of energy when the large leaf rotates, making it much more economical. Like the Mimosa, the Semaphore will also go to “sleep” at night and reawaken with the sunlight.

And while the light plays a big part in its day to day function, no one is quite sure why sound has the same effect. The small leaves will seemingly “dance” when exposed to varying pitches of sound. We’re not sure why the Semaphore has a penchant for music, but we love that it does!

In terms of care, the Semaphore does appreciate a warm, sunny spot, so it makes a wonderful talking point in any living room or office. They’re not particularly thirsty but remember the more regularly it “dances” the more water it will need, but as a basis should be watered once a week as a baseline.

Houseplants For Beginners

Becoming a new plant parent really doesn’t need to be stressful, especially when there’s such an array of different and unusual plants out there to choose from. Our advice would be to do a bit of research on the houseplants you’d like to buy, make sure where you’d like to put it is suitable and then just go for it! Oh, and don’t forget to water it!

Please feel free to use our images for your own content, all we ask is that you link to Climadoor as the original source.

Mythical Creatures From Folklore That Live In and Around Your Home

If like us you’d love your very own house elf, there’s actually a good chance that you might already have one.

For centuries, the presence of house spirits and mythical creatures that live in the home have played a prominent role in folklore around the world, with many cultures embracing the age old tales and superstitions that are passed down through the generations.

Some are known to be positive, while others… not so much.

If you’re in France, you might be privileged enough to share your home with a Matagot, a mythical creature that takes the form of a cat or sometimes a fox, rat or dog. Matagots are said to bring good fortune… but only if you treat them well!

On the other hand, if you’re in England, you might be unfortunate enough to live with a Boggart (or Bogeyman as they’re affectionately known) – said to be the manifestation of all your fears, the Boggart is fond of mischief and wrong-doing; rattling doors, moving your things and they may even go a step further by stealing your children!

So, which mythical creatures do you share your home with? Check out the funky illustrations we’ve created below and let us know if any of them seem familiar…

Brownie

Ever wonder where the inspiration for Dobby the House Elf came from? Lots of the characteristics of a Brownie were used to create the character, which is understandable given J.K Rowling’s Scottish roots.

Found in Anglo-Scottish folklore, a Brownie is said to come out at night and perform various tasks and chores around the house while the owners are asleep. They are however easily offended and will leave the house forever if they’re upset, or they might even turn malicious like the Boggart.

Their appearance can vary depending on the region, but usually they’re ugly with mottled brown skin and somewhat hairy, with old rags as clothes. In older folklore tales, they’re usually human-sized or larger, but over time they became smaller and wizened, almost frail in stature.

Domovoy

The Domovoy originated in Slavic culture and is rooted in ancestor worship, with the mythical creature being the personification of kinship. They are said to protect the well-being of a house and those that live in it, being especially protective of children and animals by constantly looking after them. If however a Domovoy is angered by wrong-doing and bad behaviour, he might quit his duties as protector, leaving the kin open to illness and disaster.

They’re often depicted as an old, grey-haired man with a long beard, but the Domovoy may decide to manifest in different ways; this could be as a cat, dog or even as one of the families ancestors.

To keep the Domovoy happy, the family it protects with often give gifts such as food and maybe even the blood of a sacrificed animal if they’ve made him really angry.

Baku

One of the more bizarre looking creatures, the Baku has its origins in Chinese folklore dating back to the 17th Century, but it can also be found in Japanese culture too.

It’s said to protect against bad dreams and would scare away evil spirits, therefore health and good luck are said to follow the Baku wherever it goes. As a result, the Baku was often carved into pillars above temple doors and sewn onto pillows and bedding to protect the person sleeping. The Baku is one of only a few holy creatures to be honoured in this way.

It’s said that the appearance of the Baku came to be when the gods were making animals and once finished, all of the left over pieces were put together to form another creature. With the head of an elephant, the body of a bear and the legs of a tiger, it’s an unusual creature but considered to be a favourite among the gods.

Matagot

Throughout many cultures, the black cat has its place in superstition with many negative connotations. But in French folklore, the Matagot is traditionally a wealth and luck-bringing creature that can be of great use to a household if treated right.

It’s said that a Matagot can be lured into the household with a fresh, plump chicken, and then carried home by its new owner without looking back. A comfy bed and the first mouthful from every meal should be given to the Matagot to keep it happy and content and it will repay it’s owner with riches and good health. Failure to do this will upset the new house guest and unfortunate things will begin to happen…

It’s said that the story of Puss in Boots is loosely based on a Matagot; who went out and bought his master food and riches to say thanks for his shiny new footwear.

Nisse

What we might consider to be the image of a Christmas elf, the Nisse hails from Norwegian folklore and the word itself is derived from the name Nils – which is Scandinavian for Nicholas.

Cheeky and mischievous, the Nisse will watch over the home or farm, tending to chores and the care of the farm animals – particularly horses. Hard working and industrious, the Nisse will work for very little in return, demanding only the respect and trust of the farmer and a bowl of porridge with butter on Christmas eve. If the farmer doesn’t meet these demands, it’s said the Nisse will leave the homestead and the farm will not thrive, reducing the farmer to poverty.

As is our usual perception of Christmas elves, the Nisse is described as an old man, small about the size of a child with ragged clothes and a long beard. Some tales from Scandi folklore also describe them with a single cyclopean eye… Not something you’d expect to see on your Christmas card from your nan.

Boggart

The stuff of nightmares, the Boggart has been scaring children the world over for centuries.

Originated in English folklore, the Boggart (or Bogeyman as it’s known) is a monster-type creature that would scare children into good behaviour… or else. Not one to shy away from causing mischief and terror, the creaking of floorboards, the dark shadows on the walls or those footsteps on the stairs would all be attributed to the Boggart.

It’s suggested that the term Bogeyman came to be as a result of the black plague and the men that were responsible for removing the dead bodies. They were often very sick themselves with dark skin and sunken eyes, a fearsome sight to say the least.  Of that, the appearance of a Boggart is varied but often recorded as being very ugly with bestial attributes, large and imposing with a menacing presence.

Banshee

If you’ve every heard the expression “wailing like a Banshee“, you’ll probably understand to some extent what that means.

Banshees originated in Irish folklore around the 8th century, they were “born” as a result of the “keeners”, who were women that were hired to mourn outside of the house of someone who was expected to die. As this tradition died out itself, their legend lived on in the form of Banshees. Banshees are said to appear before someone dies in their designated family, they’ll weep and wail uncontrollably, which they say can be heard for miles, chilling the heart of anyone that hears it.

Banshees are noted as looking dark in appearance and not particularly friendly, despite their good intentions. They can take the form of either stunningly beautiful women or old hags that are dressed in shrouds with flowing dresses. They would have long, wind-blown hair that would shimmer like wildfire and their eyes would always be red and sore from weeping.

Zashiki Warashi

Fond of mischief and loved by everyone, the Zashiki Warashi is a house spirit that originated in Japanese folklore. They’re considered to be a guardian spirit and will bring luck to a household. It is said that a house with a Zashiki Warashi will prosper and become rich, whereas a house that doesn’t will fall into decline and ruin.

Particularly drawn to the children of the household, the Zashiki Warashi are child-like and fun; enjoying songs, games and nursery rhymes. For households that don’t have children, such as those of the elderly and infertile, the Zashiki Warashi are often treated like children themselves. Gifts such as sweets and toys would be left for them to play with, along with a bed to sleep in and food to eat.

Zashiki Warashi are often depicted as a ghost-like five or six year old child with a blushing red face and they’ll usually be wearing traditional clothes; a child-size warrior outfit for boys or a patterned kimono for a girl. Their hair would be short and bobbed or long and tied back neatly.

Classic Childhood Pastimes Re-imagined as 8-bit Video Games

Like us, you probably have fond childhood memories of playing Pooh Sticks in the sunshine with your friends, or dodging cars while you play Kerby. And if you’re of a certain age, there’s a good chance you remember the delights of Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt too.

The mid 1980’s were a turning point when it came to how kids spent their free time. 8-bit games consoles such as the NES from Nintendo and the original Master System from Sega revolutionised game play forever.

Recently, there has been an influx of nostalgic reboots of these classic games consoles, allowing a generation to relive their childhood by revisiting some of their long-forgotten but much cherished retro video games.

With that in mind, we thought to ourselves… why not combine the traditional with the not-so-traditional? So, we’ve taken some traditional childhood pastimes such as conkers, musical chairs and tag, then “redesigned” them as 8-bit video games… because who said a jump rope and pat-a-cake couldn’t be super cool, right?

Conkers Kid – Playground Revenge II

There’s a war going on and it’s all about survival of the fattest [conker]. Defeating the evil bully is the only way to become king of the playground. So polish up your best conkers, practice your swinging technique and get smashing!

Jump Rope Master

This game is a real test of endurance. Mastering the art of jump rope skipping with the added dangers of fireballs and flame throwers isn’t something you can take lightly – unless you have ninja-like reflexes and some rather nifty jumping skills of course.

Mega Kerby – Sidewalk III

Cars, cyclists, pedestrians… so many dangers and so little time! Not only do you have to dodge all the things without getting a telling off, but you need to beat your opponent in a game of skill too. Get your throwing arm prepped and ready!

Musical Chairs in Space 2020

Intergalactic tensions are growing. Every move you make is controlled by the mystic music from far off worlds. Listen carefully and pay full attention because tactical moves are the only way to keep your seat at the table. There is one constellation (ha, see what we did there?) prize though – when you do lose your seat, you get to watch it explode into a million tiny pieces.

Pat-A-Cake Wars

Cake, fire, and a chance to prove your god-like dexterity skills. The aim of the game is to bake a cake as fast as you can – but watch out for that nasty head chef, he’ll do anything to sabotage your baking so he can take all the credit!

Pooh Sticks Racer

Rev up your engines and learn how to ride the tide with Pooh Sticks Racer. Unpredictable and a game of whits, the only way to win is to navigate the rapids without losing your head. Make sure you remain eagle-eyed at all times too – rocks, waves and the occasional swirly-whirly will do whatever they can to end your race.

Tag-Man

Tag-Man is the name and not getting caught is the game. Duck, dive and do what you can to avoid the chaser, find power ups to run faster, but watch out for the road blocks – getting stuck could mean game over!

50 Shades of Urban Decay: Colour Palettes Inspired by Abandoned Places

Have you ever stumbled upon a derelict building and though about how much of an eye sore it is? What about that dilapidated old park bench that could do with being replaced?

If you’re into urban exploring, finding beauty in something that you’d ordinarily find grotesque can be a magical thing, and looking deeper into what these spaces offer can open up a whole new world, especially from a design perspective.

When decorating, it’s common to work out a colour scheme before you start. With that in mind, we’ve decided to take those unloved buildings and spaces, and draw inspiration to create a stunning set of 10 unique colour palettes. In addition to this, each colour palette comes with its own set of Hex codes, perfect for those designers looking to get creative and delve into the world of rust, overgrown structures and exposed brickwork on a more granular level.

So, if you’re looking for some design inspiration, check out our colour palettes inspired by abandoned places below. You never know, urbexing might just become your new favourite pastime too!

YARD

Something as simple as an old, wooden bench can tell a thousand stories. Who sat there? What thoughts were those that sat there thinking when they gazed out in contemplation? The weathering of the wood and the life that’s sprung from it over the years, provides an array of natural hues which are perfect for those looking for an earthy, muted colour scheme.

TIME PLEASE

Popping down the local for a swift pint on a Sunday, might seem like a distant memory for many. The surprisingly comforting scent of tobacco-aged decor and the dust from an open fire providing a somewhat smoky haze, are long gone as times have changed. But what’s been left behind provides a plethora of classic tones that are familiar and cosy.

RUST

When metal starts to oxidise, the changes in structure and colour can be fascinating. The stark, cold surface transforms into what looks like a birds-eye view of a barren, sun-dried landscape. The corrosion causes craters and pits to form; adding a new dimension to the shades of lush orange, red and yellows, providing you with a warming, fiery colour palette.

RECLAIMED

There’s something quite magical about man-made structures being overwhelmed by nature. New life sprouting from the forgotten, blanketing the foreign object and rightfully reclaiming that space as its own. In an almost firework fashion, an explosion of lush greens and subtle browns create the perfect colour palette for anyone wanting to reconnect with the earth.

GRAFFITI

You’d be hard pushed to walk though a city and not find a burst of graffiti adorning the walls of an underpass, building or bridge. While many might see it as a random act of vandalism, the shock of bold colours and dystopian scrawl wrangle a sense of passion and youth; creating a colour palette that’s ideal for anyone looking to inject some energy into their design.

EVACUATE

A once much-loved home now left to ruin. Dusty memories fading away to nothing more than a wilted mess. A sad yet beautiful image of a quickly forgotten past, sun bleached and weary with mellow tones of blue and yellow, creating a feeling of calm after the storm.

DRAINED

A place once full of colour and fun, the cavernous, empty space of an old swimming pool is monotone and quiet. The colours drained like the pool itself. Hollow blues and shades of grey are understated and neutral; fitting background colours for anyone that would like to accessorise their space in a more ostentatious way.

CLOCK OUT

Busy and industrious, the tea breaks and idle chit chat with much loved colleagues now a distant memory. A shell of the machine it formally was, the exposed pipes and bare walls leave a milky, dream-like colour palette. Luxurious and inviting, the colour palette inspired by an old warehouse is far removed from the toilsome environment it once was.

BRICKWORK

Almost skeletal, the deeper inner layers of a building exposed for all to see. The bright orange clay of bare brickwork is harsh against the years of dull, grey rendering. The mix of colours is striking and allows you to add depth to your design.

BETTER TIMES

A grand old house, emptied and deserted with nothing but a piano for entertainment. A reminder of the good times passed and a secret treasure left for someone new to discover. Light and airy, the mix of cool blue hues and nostalgic caramel create a calm yet tentative colour palette.

What If… Smart Home Technology and The Transformers Joined Forces?

Smart technology such as the Amazon Alexa and Philips Hue are fast becoming a staple part of many homes, providing a convenient and often novel way of doing day-to-day things that would otherwise be more complex.

Say you fancy turning the heating up just a little so it’s nice and cosy when you return home, the Nest Learning Thermostat will allow you to do that remotely via your mobile phone. Or, if you’re planning on having a relaxing night in, you feel like getting funky with some chilled out tunes and subtle mood lighting… then Google Home has you covered.

Now imagine you could take these incredible inventions one step further. What if they got smarter? Like, really smart… Not only could they make your day-to-day life that little bit easier, but what if they could sense when you needed them? What if they could go and fetch your slippers for you so you don’t have to rely on the dog?

So we got to thinking… Technologically speaking, who or what is the most reliable of all? Why, it’s the giant, sentient robots of Cybertron of course. The Transformers as they’re lovingly known are noble, compassionate and chivalrous – those Autobots certainly know how to look after us human folk (forgetting the Decepticons, obviously). Add to that their ability to shapeshift and we’ve got a force to be reckoned with.

We then got creative. We wanted to see what a smart technology/Transformers mash-up might look like and we’ve got to say… We’re quite impressed.

When Smart Home Technology Meets The Transformers

Below are our very own versions of the Transformers, all of which are based on smart tech that has become an integral part of our lives. What do you think? Would you fancy owning one of these rather cool little critters?

Alexatron

 

Smart, sassy and just generally a bit of a diva, Alexatron is a transformer who loves to help others. Whether you need a shopping list creating or you just don’t fancy cooking dinner tonight, she’ll always be there to lend a hand. Based on the Amazon Alexa, she’s sure to become a big part of the family in no time. She can be a bit chatty though.

Chronos

Sleek, sophisticated and a little bit on the pretentious side, some might say that Chronos is engineered to perfection. Based on the Apple Smart Watch, he’s known for being the smartest companion when it comes to keeping your life on track while on the go. A data whiz kid, not only can he help you maintain a busy schedule, but he can shout at you when you don’t get in your daily exercise requirements too. Who needs a personal trainer when you’ve got Chronos to keep you in check, right?

Lightwave

Possibly the sweetest of the smart bot bunch, Lightwave loves nothing more than to help you see clearly (literally and figuratively). Based on the Philips Hue, he knows exactly when it’s time to help you chill out with some delicious mood lighting… or if you’re feeling all of the disco vibes, he’s there for that too! Almost like an emotional support bot, if you will…

Switchblade

If you need to kickback and chill but you need a gaming companion too, then Switchblade is your guy. Based on the Nintendo Switch, he’s a bucket full of fun and one of the most easy going smart bots, he’s also more than happy to go wherever you go. He does have a tendency to be a little feisty though, especially if he’s losing a game…

Fitbot

Strong, fierce and not willing to let any challenge stand in her way, Fitbot is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to health and fitness. Inspired by the FitBit, she’s the perfect yoga partner, where she’ll be a constant source of motivation and ready to mop your brow when things get tough. She’ll also be there to smash that cheeky doughnut out of your hand when you start to let things slide. Be careful though, she can be a bit bossy if you don’t do as she says.

Questor

The brain box of the smart bots, what Questor doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing. You want to know why giraffes have long necks, or how toilet paper is made? Just ask Questor, he’s full of answers and he’s not too bad with directions either. Created with Google Home in mind, he’s sharp, quick-witted and just a great chap to have around the house. He’ll even help entertain the kids when they start to grate on your last nerve.

Thermo

Never before has comfort been so important to a smart bot. Thermo is obsessed with ensuring her humans are suitably warm (or cool if you’d prefer it that way, she aims to please). Based on the Nest Learning Thermostat, she makes every effort to know what it is you need, even before you do. So, if you fancy a nice hot bath after a long day at work, Thermo will have it ready and waiting for you… and maybe even a glass of wine or two if you’re lucky.

 

How Much Pizza Do You Get For $1 Around The World

Ever wondered how the price of pizza differs around the world? We’ve put together a graphic looking at how many slices of pizza you’d get for $1 in a variety of countries around the globe. We’ve compared the average prices for a large Margherita to keep things fair and consistent. The graphic also includes information about any unique or interesting pizzas you can get in the region because as well as price differences, some of the toppings were very intriguing.

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Pixel Scale Buildings Around the World

Pixel Scale Buildings Around the World

At a lofty 830m high, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It cost $1.5 billion to build and took almost six years to finish, which is almost as long as it took us to recreate these magnificent pieces of architecture as pixel art (I joke, but seriously, it took a long time!).

Thankfully, not all the world’s iconic buildings are as complex as the Burj Khalifa! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we hoped to capture, and compare, them in a new and interesting way.

Sure, illustrations or photos might have made our lives easier, but in the end we opted for a pixel art approach, at a scale of 1 pixel : 1 metre squared. And believe us when we say, each pixel felt like reconstructing the original brick-by-brick!

The actual Taj Mahal took over 20 years to build and looks just as impressive at dawn as our pixel version does.

Even a low-detail process like pixel art can capture the essence of each building, no matter the size. The huge 830 x 150 pixel Burj Khalifa is impressive, but there’s beauty in the smaller buildings too. In fact, recreating all these structures gave us an opportunity to study their form in intimate detail.

St Basils Cathedral Pixel Scale

Saint Basil’s Cathedral may only reach a tiny 48px high, but there is beauty in those blocks.

Take some time to admire the pixel-patterning on the domes of Saint Basil’s, or bask in the digital sunlight drenching the tiny Taj Mahal.

Pixel Scale Buildings Around the World

For greater detail simply hover over the image on desktop, or tap and hold to use the zoom tool on mobile and tablet. Please enjoy and share!

Want to download them as a resource for your website or next design project? No problem, download the set here (please include attribution to Climadoor).

The Future of Tinned Food?

Following the news that food bank use in the UK has reached its highest rate since records began last month, we got to thinking about how food is changing in our society. The previous year has seen a 13% increase of emergency supplies being delivered since the previous year. We won’t get bogged down in the politics of it but increasing living costs due to inflation is certainly a large factor.

Since fast-food’s rise to ascension, people’s relationship to food is changing. The appeal of spending an hour or more prepping and cooking food has dwindled when you know you can get a meal in minutes down the road. We’re also often strapped for time. As a result, there’s been a surge in convenience foods: Microwave burgers, noodles, ready meals, these offer the convenience of fast-food at often even lower prices.

There’s one convenience food in particular that we want to talk about: tinned food. Tinned food is often always cheap and easy to use. We’ve already seen entire meals in tins before and you may have avoided these like the plague. But the reality is, there are lots of people that rely on them to get by.

The long-life and low prices of tinned food also mean they feature heavily in food banks. As the rate of food bank usage appears to be climbing, we thought about what tinned food could look like in the future. As people are being priced out of food, could this be where we are headed?

We took some different cuisines and imagined what they would look like if they were condensed down to fit in a tin. Would you eat any of these?

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4 Eco-Friendly Home Improvements to Maintain a Comfortable Temperature All Year Long

Image source: Unsplash

The quest for a comfortable room temperature is one of the great challenges of our age. A room that’s too hot in summer and too cold in winter can really darken your mood, be it during sweltering summer nights or frosty winter mornings when you daren’t leave your bed.

The temptation is always to stick the heating on for longer or invest in a fan or air conditioning unit – and these solutions may work in the short term, but they’re less than environmentally friendly, and they usually vamp up the cost of your energy bills. Air conditioning units across the world rely on CFCs, a type of gas that’s harmful to the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect – while most central heating systems rely on fossil fuel burning.

If you’re looking to reconcile comfort with sustainability, in this post, we’re focusing on how you can achieve a comfortable temperature all year round while being eco conscious.

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Hogwarts Reimagined - Harry Potter

Your Favourite Movies Reimagined as Caravans or Trailers

Your favourite movies reimagined as caravans or trailers, depending where you’re from… because, well, why not? Sure, some people reading this may think it’s an odd concept but bear with us, we do actually have a reason. You may have noticed there’s been an increase in trailer parks and mobile home living. This is due to a lack of affordable housing for many families. We wanted to raise awareness of the issue by portraying it in a new light. We commissioned a designer to have a little fun, and we designed your favourite TV and movie locations as trailers. The settings we chose, when introduced with the context of the show, could viably have been created as trailers. Take a look at our creations below.

Pokemon – Pallet Town

With Ash and his friends constantly on the move, looking for new Pokémon and seeking new battles, it is viable their Pallet Town home could have been a trailer. In fact, it would make a lot of sense. Here’s how it would look.

Pokemon - Pellet Town House Reimagined

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