Fall Home Decor Trends

Fall Home Decor

Fall Home Decor


With summer soon coming to an end and the school year starting in full swing, now is the perfect time to plan your fall home decor. This year’s trends pay tribute to the classic and the contemporary with vivid, rich tones that complement traditional details and textures, while also using modern elements to tie the look together.

Tradition with a Splash of Modern

This fall’s trends combine classic curves and texture with contemporary fall hues. There is no wrong way to mix them up, as it all depends on your personality and style. But this year’s fall home decor sees an inspiring splash of vintage, traditional styles with subtle modern details, all accented with earth-inspired elements such as stone, wood and metal.

  • Colors that are huge this year include coral, lettuce green, deep purple, bright turquoise and yellow green. The classic earth tones are once again in style, with rich shades of dark reds, oranges, greens and browns tempered with gold and bronze tones.
  • Earth-inspired accessories are a huge trend this year, with style that is moving toward raw, carved wood and stone accessories to create look and texture. Pebble place mats and table decor is all the rage, while carved exotic wooden roots and exotic wood details create understated but nevertheless inspiring looks that bring out the best in the room.
  • Vintage is in, with a retro trend running across the board on fall home decor every style touches, from Victorian to 1950s and ’60s. There’s a feeling of nostalgia in the air, a longing for a time when things were meant to last, when there was security and stability, and that is reflected in the fall decorating trends.
  • Texture is HUGE. Everything is textured to give definition and depth as it adds an interesting element to the rooms. Expect to see embroidery, tweed, pleats and puckers in fabric, while seeing pebbled textures, wooden carvings and etched metal in the accessories used.

ASKO in the Mix

This year’s decorating for fall wouldn’t be complete without a return to high-quality, resilient appliances. ASKO’s line of fully-integrated dishwashers won’t get in the way of your kitchen decor while complementing its surrounding fusion of styles. For more information about ASKO and the ways they can enhance your home this fall, visit www.askousa.com.

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Powerful Stainless Steel Dishwasher – Never Hand Wash Again

Stainless Steel DishwashersDishwashers are some of the most important time-savers in the kitchen. Over the years, these machines have evolved into precious instruments capable of washing your dishes at the perfect temperature and with the least amount of water necessary to be highly efficient and eco-friendly. However, an eco dishwasher is not worth the investment if you still need to scrub and rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. This practice consumes more water and takes up your valuable time. Therefore, when shopping for eco dishwashers, locate models that allow for maximum cleaning ability without the need to pre-rinse by hand.

Companies know you are interested in helping the environment by making eco-friendly purchases. That is why you need to thoroughly research your eco dishwasher before you make your purchase to make sure the retailer isn’t “green-washing” to earn your business. A true eco-friendly dishwasher will consume nearly a quarter of the water needed to wash 12 place settings on “quick wash” than it takes to wash dishes by hand with an open tap. Look for these figures when shopping for your next dishwasher.

True eco dishwashers can also be determined by their high quality materials. More steel than plastic is always desirable. A stainless steel dishwasher will serve as a durable product that is designed to last thousands of loads longer than cheap plastic versions. This is important for anyone who wants to go green because fewer appliance replacements mean fewer materials in landfills.

The most powerful dishwashers can still be quiet, giving you maximum cleaning power without the noise of a passing train to go with it. The highest quality machines also give you plenty of settings to customize the wash cycle. Perhaps you have dishes with caked-on food from a summer barbeque. Let the dishwasher flex its muscles and run at its highest potential. Another time, you may have relatively clean dishes entering the dishwasher and you’re in a hurry to get the dishes done for a dinner party. Use the quick wash setting for a cycle that is half as long.

All the best features and more await you with an ASKO stainless steel dishwasher in your kitchen. The company is never guilty of green-washing, since they recognize their role as an eco-friendly appliance company to help the environment in every way they can.

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Hard Water vs. Soft Water Demystified

Hard Water vs Soft Water

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Hard Water vs. Soft Water:
Understanding what “Hardness of Water” Really Means

The hardness of water is caused by the presence of certain minerals such as magnesium and calcium. The presence of different minerals in your drinking water alters its taste and health benefits. Because water is a solvent, it picks up all kinds of minerals as it runs down streams, over rocks, and through dirt on its way to water treatment plants.

Even after the treatment process, water can remain hard because calcium, magnesium, and some other minerals are still present in solution. While the hardness of water varies across the country, the most prominent areas of the United States with hard water are those states in the upper Midwest and Southwest. Anywhere that experiences low rainfall, high mineral content in the soil, and hot weather is likely to have hard water.

You can tell if hard water is running through your pipes if you notice deposits being left in your tub, on your dishes, or in your tea kettle. You probably have soft water if soap creates a large amount of suds. However, in the hard water vs. soft water discussion, it’s important to specify that there is a scale that measures water hardness on four levels: soft, moderately hard, hard, and very hard. While very hard water can shorten the life of your plumbing fixtures, lessen its cleaning ability, and form scale in your home’s pipes, soft water can taste salty and be unsuitable for drinking.

If you have hard or very hard water running through your pipes, you can use a water softener to improve the taste by bringing it to the moderately hard level. Detergent-based laundry products are better for hard water applications than soap-based cleaners, but you should still follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing clothing in hard water. The same is true for washing dishes in hard water.

For the general public, drinking hard water won’t negatively affect your health, but it doesn’t taste quite right, either. You may choose to install a water softener if you want soaps and other cleaners to work more effectively, and if you want to lengthen the life of your plumbing and avoid deposits in your tub and dishes. Water softeners work by exchanging sodium for the magnesium and calcium in hard water. This is done by running it over an ion exchange resin or by treating it with lime.

You will want to take the cost of softening water into account, because 15 to 120 gallons may be consumed by the water softener for every 1,000 gallons of treated water you get to use in your home. Your decision will ultimately be based on personal preference.

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Stainless Steel Dishwashers: Top Trend in Home Design

Stainless Steel DishwashersStainless Steel Dishwashers are the Trend That’s Here to Stay!

There are many facets of your kitchen that make it functional and trendy.  When it comes to appliances, there is no trendier style than stainless steel.  This is a lasting finish that is often specified as a selling point for a home, which proves that stainless steel is a desirable and lasting feature in your kitchen.  Every kitchen appliance is available in stainless steel today.  You may be on the lookout for stainless steel dishwashers, ovens, refrigerators, range hoods, and microwaves to make your kitchen appear modern and beautifully functional.  Here are examples of various dishwashers that mesh with today’s most popular home design trends.

Extra Tall Tank Dishwasher

Quite the opposite of the standard model, a extra tall tank XXL dishwasher has an extra-large, 17 place-setting capacity with a dozen wash programs for every situation you throw at it.  If you have a large family, this is the model for you.  Plus, despite its huge capacity, it is a very quiet dishwasher and energy efficient choice.

Outdoor Dishwashers

If you love outdoor barbeques and get-togethers, this is a very trendy dishwasher option.  It’s designed to function beautifully outside, so you don’t have to lug all the dishes, pots, and tools inside to take up all the room in your indoor dishwasher.  Plus, special wash cycles are able to handle dirty pots and pans that have been used on a hot grille, as well as utensils and other cooking supplies that have been exposed to the heat of a grill fire.  An outdoor dishwasher can also withstand the elements throughout the winter.

ADA Dishwashers

Remodeling your kitchen may mean tweaking measurements and space allowances a little bit. Buying a standard-measurement dishwasher can easily turn this dream kitchen remodel into a nightmare. ADA dishwasher to the rescue! ADA dishwashers fit in a shorter height space, so there are no concerns about your dishwasher not being able to fit. This is especially useful for remodelers who added custom floors to their kitchens, reducing installation height in the process. ADA dishwashers can not only save you time and money, but also a lot of headaches and wasted energy and money created by returns.

These are just a few of the stainless steel dishwashers you have to choose from today.  While appearance and noise level is important, it’s also essential that your quiet dishwasher be energy-efficient.  ASKO models certainly accomplish what you are looking for in trendy kitchen appliances.

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10 Things to do While Waiting on Laundry

Waiting on Laundry10 Things to do While Waiting on Laundry – Working Alongside Your Stacking Washer and Dryer (or side-by side!)

Completing another task around the house while you wait on the laundry feels like multitasking, even if the stacking washer and dryer are actually doing most of the work. Here are 10 things you can do while the dirty socks and pajamas are tossed around in the water.

  1. Do the dishes. Unload clean plates and cups and reload your energy-efficient dishwasher with the dishes from breakfast.
  2. Do fix-it jobs around the house. One example is to repair a leaky faucet. If all you need is to replace a washer, you could be done with this task in only 15 minutes—just in time to transfer a load of laundry into your ventless dryer.
  3. Sweep the kitchen floor. Since you’ve already done the dishes, you may as well finish the job of cleaning the kitchen.
  4. Clean out the fridge. You’ll feel better when you reach into a spotless refrigerator to grab your next snack or meal.
  5. Check your email. While waiting on your laundry, keep up with the news on the web and answer important emails.
  6. Paint your toenails. Not everything you do while waiting on laundry needs to be a chore. Choose your favorite color and let your steady hand deliver a fresh coat of paint to your tootsies.
  7. Play a game of cards. If you have a child home from school on laundry day, step back from everything you need to get done and bond with your child.
  8. Read a book. It might be your specific “waiting on the laundry” book, or the one you always choose to read when you have a few minutes to yourself.
  9. Enjoy a cup of tea. Perhaps the tea will be more enjoyable when coupled with your good book.
  10. Do nothing. You don’t need to be busy every moment of the day, even with enjoyable things. Zone out or take a much-needed nap while your diligent stacking washer and dryer do all the hard work.

Laundry is a seemingly never-ending, thankless chore, but these tasks to keep you occupied while the laundry is going should help you feel a little better about this duty. It also helps when your washer and dryer are designed to make your task easier and your whites whiter. You will change your tune about doing laundry once you see what luxury ASKO laundry centers have to offer.

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5 Reasons Why: Family-Sized Washing Machine and Ventless Dryer

Stacking Washer and DryerIf you are in the market for a new washing machine and dryer, you need to take the size of your family into account.  Any more than two people in your family can result in insurmountable piles of laundry that never seem to end.  With a family-sized washing machine and dryer, you can get laundry done in record time.  Here are five reasons to look into an ASKO family-sized washer and ventless dryer.

Guaranteed Temperatures

ASKO washers can get stains out of clothing using a cold water fill without harsh chemicals.  This helps your clothing last longer and puts less detrimental cleaning agents into the water supply.

Active Drum

Sand and dirt can be removed better than other washing machine drums, and its exclusive design helps to protect clothing and makes them last longer.  The drum is also quiet, thanks to Quattro suspension.

Super Rinse

The sensors recognize when another rinse is necessary to keep whites whiter and brights brighter.  Anyone with allergies or sensitive skin will appreciate the fact that up to seven rinses occur with each wash cycle to clean your clothes thoroughly.

Smart Seal

Washing machines develop a smell over time, but this is not true of an ASKO stacking washer & dryer (Note: side-by-side versions are also available with or without a platform.). The Smart Seal eliminates odors and prevents water leaks.  This makes for easy loading and unloading of clothing and prevents the transfer of dirt from a dirty door onto your freshly laundered clothing.

Strong Warranty

You get three years of protection against faulty equipment, which is three times longer than most washing machine warranties.  Such a confident promise can be given because more steel that plastic is used in the design, meaning your investment is in a quality, long-lasting, dependable machine.

Now that you know all the benefits of a family-sized washing machine, you will also want to know about utilizing a ventless dryer.  This enables you to install your dryer anywhere that traditional plumbing is in place.  Therefore, if there are no vents, it’s no problem.  Please note that it is important to always sort loads by fabric type and color for best results. ASKO family-size washers are designed to clean family-size loads with less energy and water with increased fabric care and cleaning.  ASKO is your premier, eco-friendly appliance company, where quality and attention to detail are never sacrificed!

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5 Tips on How to Manage Your Housekeeping Service

cost of maid serviceHiring a housekeeping service is a great way to simplify your daily life and keep your home clean without needing to manage the chores yourself.  However, once you hire a maid service, there are a few things you need to do for successful management of your housekeeping service.  These tips will keep you satisfied, knowing that the responsibilities of housekeeping are being upheld and that you are getting what you pay for.

  1. Establish a contract. This document should specify what work the housekeeper is expected to complete, where it is to be completed, how often the work is to be done, and at what maid service cost.  Preferably, your contract will include an introductory period of two weeks to a month where the housekeeper and you, the homeowner, learn each other’s expectations, adjusting when necessary.
  2. Schedule a meeting with the housekeeping service. This should occur after the introductory period has ended.  Talk about what is working great and what needs to be altered.  Make suggestions, ask questions, and make sure everyone is on the same page.  If both parties decide that the working relationship is acceptable, continue paying the cost of maid service and appreciating a spotless home.
  3. Continue to hold periodic meetings. This will ensure that good communication occurs throughout this working relationship.  If an issue arises, both parties will have the chance to set the record straight.
  4. Remember good hiring etiquette. The housekeeper is in your employ, but you must be flexible, realizing that not everyone does a task in the same way.  You should also remove expensive, fragile items to prevent a potential accident.  Educate your housekeeper about the use of your appliances.  If you have an uncommon appliance, such as an outdoor dishwasher, make sure they are aware of its function so accidental damage can be avoided.
  5. Be a good employer. Praise your housekeeper for a job well done.  Everyone can use an extra pat on the back for motivation.  Also, gently and politely redirect their actions if something doesn’t meet your expectations.  Consider offering a bonus or small gift for special occasions, like Christmas.  These will help you maintain a good relationship with those working inside your home.

With the extra time on your hands made possible by hiring a maid service, you have the potential to spend more time outside with your family this summer.  If you love living an outdoor lifestyle, consider the benefits of an ASKO outdoor dishwasher if you don’t already have one.

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10 Ways You Can Save on Your Electric Bill this Summer

Saving on Electric BillWith summer on the way, and the fact that you will be turning on your air conditioner, you are probably looking for other things around your house that you can change to appreciate a saving on electric bill.  How can we reduce carbon footprint?  There are actually several ways.  Here are the top 10:

  1. Don’t heat-dry dishes.  Whether it’s a dishwasher in the kitchen or an outdoor dishwasher in the back yard, you will appreciate energy savings if you refrain from drying the dishes with hot air after being washed.
  2. Wash clothes in cold water.  There are special cold-water detergents that help clothes get as clean as ever without hot water.
  3. Do several laundry loads at once.  This will make use of the already-warm dryer so it doesn’t cool down completely just to heat up again several hours later.
  4. Buy energy-efficient appliances and electronics.  If you need to replace something in your home, opt for a product that will use less energy.
  5. Unplug electronics when not in use.  Devices like computers, video game consoles, and TVs use electricity even when turned off.  Prevent them from leeching energy by unplugging them completely.
  6. Set up your computer to use less energy.  Energy modes can be set while the computer is on, as well as when it goes a certain amount of time without use.  You can set your computer to “hibernate” after any amount of non-use you choose.
  7. Replace regular light bulbs with CFLs.  Compact fluorescent bulbs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs.  Also, be sure to turn off lights when you leave a room.
  8. Eliminate leaks in your home.  Inadequate wall insulation, gaps in doors and windows, and a drafty attic can all add to energy loss in the home.  In learning how to save energy at home, you may want to have your home audited by an energy auditor to pinpoint and eliminate leaky places.
  9. Run the air conditioner less.  Dress for the season to reduce the need to change the temperature in your living space as drastically.  By turning up the thermostat in the summer by one degree, you will benefit from a 5 percent saving on electric bill.
  10. Keep the shades drawn to keep the sun out.  If you have awnings above the window or another method for shading the sunny side of your home, you can still enjoy the view without allowing the sun direct access into your windows.

These minor changes can add up to become major savings on your monthly electric bill.  With your savings, you can make that purchase you’ve been saving up for, such as an outdoor dishwasher to let you take advantage of the outdoors during the warmer months.

For information on where you can purchase energy-efficient appliances, find an ASKO Dealer near you.

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ASKO Washers are the Best Water Saving Washers and More!

ASKO Washing machines are becoming more specialized to buyers’ needs. ASKO washers are water & energy efficient, & quieter than competitors. Beyond superior cleaning & rinsing, ASKO’s water saving washers provide world-class fabric care. The temperature is flexible; you clean with temperature based on the fabric care label instructions, not harsh additives such as chlorine bleach! Cold water fill allows you to get clothes clean while keeping stains from setting. Visit www.askousa.com for info.

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Green Certifications and Seals – What do They Mean?

If you are ready for a new dishwasher or washing machine, you will be pleased to know there is an appliance recycling program in place that will take the used machines off your hands, making room for a new, Energy Star washing machine or eco dishwasher.  Some programs will even pick up your old appliance from your home, eliminating the need to lug it anywhere.

Here are a few common green certifications and seals and what they mean:

Nordic EcolabelThe Nordic Ecolabel

To deserve this label, a product must address the climate change issue by emitting less CO2 into the air and meet other strict energy consumption requirements at the same time.  When you buy a washing machine, green dishwasher, and other electric appliance with the Nordic Ecolabel, you can rest assured that specific guidelines have been met to ensure that you really are supporting a healthier environment.

ISO 14001 CertificationISO 14001 Certifications

Precise levels of environmental performance are not specified by these certifications established by the International Organization for Standardization because that is not the intent.  Instead, ISO standards provide a framework for a holistic approach to be taken by businesses all over the country.  A company can be audited to see if they are eligible for an ISO 14001 certification based on their environmental management system.

Energy Star SealEnergy Star

This is the certification that is most recognized today because it pertains to appliances in the home.  In order to be an Energy Star washing machine or other appliance, it must consume less energy than regular units, use less water, and overall be responsible for fewer pollutants being released into the air.  You save money and energy when you use Energy Star appliances in your home.

FSC Certification
FSC Label
When you see this logo on a paper product, you know the business is doing everything in their power to conserve, manage, and offer benefits to people near the forests where the paper comes from.  Anything made of wood or paper can receive this certification if the product comes from FSC-certified sources and is manufactured and printed from sources with FSC chain-of-custody certification.

ASKO has a long history of providing homeowners everywhere with a beautiful, reliable way to consumer less energy and save money.  All of ASKO’s appliances meet or exceed the above standards, and all promotional materials are printed on FSC paper.  So, as your eco dishwasher toils away for years, you can sit back and relax, knowing you put your money in the ideal appliance for your home.  Whether you need a traditional kitchen dishwasher or an outdoor dishwasher, ASKO has what you are looking for.

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