Keeping Your House the Right Temperature

Making your home comfortable has many factors. Soft cozy furniture, plush rugs, and throw blankets are all ways to stay relaxed around the house. One important factor in staying as comfortable as possible is temperature. These are the best ways to maintain a climate in your home.cozy home

  • In sunny areas, invest in tinted windows. Aside from reducing the greenhouse effect and controlling temperature, this method has plenty of other benefits. Window tinting can block harmful UV rays, reduce glare, and provide you with some privacy. They also look great and are enhance your home’s appearance.
  • Invest in a strong HVAC system. Make sure you purchase a new unit if your current one is 8 years old. Have regular inspections and ask the repair man for recommendations. For instance, depending on the area where you live, you could benefit from a propane or hybrid heater. An expert will be able to tell you which one will be the most effective and energy efficient in your climate. Visit http://www.staffordheatingandair.com for some great information on picking HVAC systems.
  • Make sure your windows are doing their job. If you feel heat or cool air coming through your window or around the edges, there are a couple of solutions. First of all, you could get some replacement windows. Make sure they are custom fit for energy efficient results. You could also get double glazing- which means having 2 glass panels instead of one for twice the temperature control.
  • Add to the efficiency of your windows with thermal curtains. Closing these around your window during cold nights can help maintain the temperature in different rooms.
  • In the winter time, a simple draft stopper under your door could do wonders. There is typically a gap between the bottom of your door and the floor so it swings open and shut easily. A stopper will seal this area and prevent cold air from coming through.

There are plenty of ways to keep your house a good temperature in the winter or summer months. If you decide to implement each of these changes, you should see lower electric bills and feel better in your home within a month or so.

Finding the Best Furniture Store

Are you redecorating your home or moving to a new house? If you are looking for furniture stores in Richmond, you are in luck. There is a wide selection of that will fit your personal preferences and needs. Depending on the way that you shop, you may consider looking at a particular type of store or look at different types.

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The most popular kind of furniture store is traditional. These have all different types of furniture in different styles and brands. If you aren’t sure which style you are looking for, looking at a variety of displays can help you decide. If you know what style you would like, stick to one section to find your favorite pieces in a certain class. These stores, such as Virginia Wayside Furniture, also have helpful sales associates that can make your shopping experience faster and easier.

If you typically buy and trust one type of brand, visit a manufacturing store. This means that the manufacturer created a variety of different pieces all within their specific brand(s) or lines. If you already have good experiences with a certain manufacturers’ furniture, you will feel more comfortable with your purchase.

Lifestyle stores are different from most furniture stores because they have variety beyond furniture. They often have kitchen accessories, bedding, and more to accommodate your needs for moving to a new home. This might be your best bet if you are looking for furniture with a particular style and need to find more household items all in the same trip.

Another popular choice is department stores. These are typically clothing stores that also sell makeup, home goods, and more. You will have a smaller selection of furniture, and they often come in different brands. However, if you already like the style of the store, you can easily find some pieces that match your taste.

The final and rarest option is to contact a designer. They have the best selection and can really look into your style to find pieces that will match perfectly in your home. You can also purchase one of a kind of antique furniture from a designer. This will be more expensive, and you should choose your methods carefully depending on your budget.

No matter which store you shop at in Virginia, there is something just for you. Choose a store based on price, style, selection, and more for the best shopping experience possible with your favorite furniture. After all, you are shopping for a space where you will spend most of your time.

Decorating for a Senior Family Member

Interior Design for Seniors

Make them Feel at Home

Whether your family member is moving into an assisted living community or relocating to a smaller home due to age, you will probably help them decorate and get settled in. There are a couple of important things to keep in mind to make sure their home is as functional and accessible as possible so that they can keep couchdesired independence. Adding some additional comforting touches can help them feel more at ease as well, leading to a smooth transition.

One important thing to remember is that this senior will have beloved items that are important to them. Before going all out decorating for a modern style or fresher look, factor in the things that your family member wants to keep on display. For instance, they may have made a quilt that they like to have on the couch or inherited a valuable painting that they would like to hang in the kitchen. Accommodate their tastes with your decorating ideas.

Purchase furniture keeping their comfort and physical abilities in mind. For instance, a softer couch or chair may be difficult to get in and out of. Find some firmer furniture and have them test out what they feel is the most comfortable. A recliner or therapeutic pillows may also be a good idea to ease back strain.

Focus on Accessibility

Remember that it may not be a good idea to store items in hard to reach places. Eliminate the use of stools and stretching by buying some free standing shelves. Wire or wooden shelves put stored items closer to eye level, which is the easiest to grab.

Create a central area where they can sit and spend most of their time. A cozy chair in front of the TV with shelvinga side table, lamp, and telephone is a place they can relax for as much time as they would like. Also, have chairs around the house in front of counter tops and sinks so that your family member can sit while combing their hair or preparing a meal. Consider hiring some help with cooking and other household work. Try senior home care instead of assisted living to allow your parent to maintain as much independence as possible and gain companionship.

Finally, remember that with age comes poor eyesight. Make sure that you pay attention to the lighting in the house. Have bright lights installed and make sure countertops and other commonly used areas are well lit. It might also make sense to have plug in lights or lamps in the hallways in case your family member wakes up in the middle of the night- a frequent cause of tripping.

Opening Up My Bathroom with Glass Shower Doors

I love a home that’s filled with light and as bright as can be – it’s one of the things that gets me through a long Maine winter and makes me look forward to summer. Over the past several years, I’ve made a lot of upgrades and changes to my home – better window treatments, brighter walls, flooring and upholstery, and even a skylight in the kitchen. Finally it was time to take on my dark, cramped bathroom.

When my home was built back in the 40s, bathrooms were pretty utilitarian by today’s standards. They were smaller, darker, and not intended to encourage feelings of relaxation and serenity – and all of these shortcomings are true of my bathroom. As much as I would love to enlarge the windows or expand my bathroom, neither of these choices is an option; I lack both the space and the budget for a major renovation. I needed another option.

While reading about ways similar bathrooms were lightened and brightened, I became interested in frameless glass shower doors. Frameless glass designs have become popular in recent years because they are very clean and modern looking and – most importantly for me – they let in more light. They open up shower enclosures that are darkened by curtains or door frames.

A frameless shower door would be especially effective in lightening my bathroom, because my lone window is in the shower enclosure; most of the precious light entering the room has been blocked by a curtain. While a framed glass shower door would be a big improvement over the curtain, a frame would continue to divide the small space; I wanted to achieve the most open look I could.

Even some frameless designs let in more light than others. Today, shower glass is available in a wide range of styles and opacities. More opaque glass treatments offer more privacy, but let in a little less light; more clear treatments reduce privacy, but let in more light.

As I mentioned, my window was located in my shower enclosure. After showering for years in front of a window facing the woods, perhaps my need for privacy is less than it used to be. I loved the idea of using clear glass. The fixtures and tiles in my shower were relatively new and worth showing off. I loved the openness and light that clear glass would provide. Once in a while, I might even enjoy the view of the woods from the bathroom window while passing by in the hall.

I enjoyed making several upgrades to my home on my own, and am pretty confident when it comes to most do-it-yourself projects. But from what I could gather, installing frameless doors was not an easy task. I was confident that I could install a framed door on my own, but the idea of maneuvering large panes of glass around a tight space made me nervous. I decided to let the local glass shower door experts perform the installation.

Between the additional cost of the frameless shower doors and the installation I couldn’t perform on my own, this upgrade ended up being a bit of an investment. But my upgraded bathroom looks so much larger and brighter than I thought would be possible without much more expensive renovations. Now the afternoon light spills from my bathroom into my hallway, where it will brighten my home and my mood all year-round.

Ideas for Redoing Your Bathroom

Redoing a bathroom can be as much work as you are up for. You could simply repaint and redecorate, you could replace all of the fixtures, or you could retile the floor. Whatever you decide to do, keep these fixes in mind to really enhance your room’s overall appearance. Sometimes even smallest changes can make the biggest difference!

Before!

Before!

1) Painting your cupboards and walls. Remember that less is more in your bathroom. A light grey or clean white can give the space a fresh look. If you decide to go for a bolder color, keep the rugs and other deco simple instead of using bright colors and patterns. In such a small area, all of the busyness can be cluttering.

2) If there is tile on the walls, take it off! Tile is necessary inside of or around a shower because it will be constantly soaked with water. However, there is no point in having tile on your walls. Treated wood will be able to handle the humidity and can give your bathroom a much sleeker and more modern look.

3) Ditch the shower curtain. Glass shower doors are a great way to enhance our home, and they are low maintenance. It’s easy to wipe them down regularly with a solution. Curtains, on the other hand, trap water and easily grow mildew. To make your bathroom look classier and stay cleaner, consider the investment in these fixtures.

4) Focus on the lighting. The lights in your bathroom are extremely important. This is the room where you spent most of your time in front of the mirror, whether you are combing your hair or applying makeup. Bright lighting is both functional for you and will help animate the space. You can also choose from a variety of decorative hardware and styles of lights.

5) Add some plants. Most people do not think to add plants in a bathroom. Instead, they keep them in the kitchen or family room where everyone can enjoy them. Adding plants to your bathroom can really make a difference and help bring things to life. Fake plants are fine if you want to keep things low maintenance. If you choose a live plant, make sure they can survive the humidity of a bathroom.

After!

After!

Bathrooms are easy to fix up with a little TLC and can really improve your overall happiness. Why not fix up a room your are in and out of all the time? There are plenty of different accessories to help add some cheer to your bathroom.

Beautiful Windows in Pittsburgh PA

Bay and Bow Windows

If you are building a new home in Pittsburgh PA, consider installing bay and bow windows for a truly unique look. These windows buckle outwards toward the outdoors to provide a panoramic view of beautiful scenery. Expand you outdoor view and let in some extra light to brighten up any space with these fixtures. If you currently have bay and bow windows in your home, find a replacement window company in Pittsburgh PA that can handle all of your installation needs.

A bay window is when 3 adjacent windows create an angular space outdoors. Most of the time, two smaller windows stand beside one large, central window pane. On the other hand, a bow window consists of many small windows that create a more rounded protrusion. Both styles create a similar effect and some extra space. Sometimes, they even create an entire section in your home.Capture

One of the best parts of bay and bow windows are the way you get to decorate them. Build a window seat in the extra space, add a table, or leave it alone for some empty room. You could also take advantage of the new ledge. Put a chair nearby and use it as a snack table or book holder.

If you are looking to sell your Pittsburgh PA home, bay and bow windows are great ways to sell an empty space. They provide their own level of decoration, making the room feel elegant and more like a home. They also give the exterior some dimension, catching the eye of any prospective buyers driving along the road.

No matter how you want to decorate your bay and bow window, there are plenty of options.

  1. Create a sparkling glass scene. The glass items will catch the light of the window and help brighten up your room. You could place a bottle collection here or any other clear items. You could also put some large, crystal flower vases here for the same effect.
  2. Capture2Create a garden feel. Some of the prettiest plants need to be placed by windows to get the necessary amount of sunlight. For instance blanket flowers, French marigolds, and roses all thrive in front of windows, and the colors can add a brilliant touch to any space. These may be hard to garden in the Pittsburgh PA weather, but the flowers can survive in the warmth of sunlight in your home.
  3. Create a nook. You can put a cushion, pillows, and a blanket on top of the window ledge to make a reading area or place to sit and relax.

How you use or decorate your space depends on how far out the window is built. A slight arc will only provide room for a couple of items, while a larger arc could provide plenty of room for a seat.

Remodeling Home Lighting

I’m sure you have just finished purchasing new furniture, put a fresh coat of paint on your walls, purchased new decorations, and are now wondering what you could possible do next? Why not start adding track and accent lighting into your home? New interior home lighting is fantastic for accenting certain pieces of your home. While your traditional lighting is great for the type of activities you perform in that room, track and accent lighting give your home that elegant look that you have been trying to find for your home.

There is a fantastic article on houzz that talks about the various mistakes that home owners make when installing recessed or track lighting. These are great examples of things that you want to avoid when installing new lighting in your home. All the light fixtures and types of lighting you choose for your home should be installed with a purpose. This track lighting will be used to showcase this painting, this recessed lighting will add more dimension to my bookshelves. These are both great examples of how you purchase lighting with a purpose.

While choosing the right lighting for your home sounds easy, most home owners purchase lighting and their fixtures based on the look in a magazine or on the store shelf. You shouldn’t be judging how the fixture looks on the shelf or on the screen, but rather how it will look inside your home. Not only that but you also need to make sure that you can install it yourself or by finding professional contactors. If you are installing specialty lighting then I would visit Mr. Electric to find one of the most professional and experienced electricians. This branch specializes in custom light fixture installation and I have used them many times for my home.

By installing accent lighting you will be able to add more depth to artwork displayed on your walls, bring out the color of your walls, and even bring attention to your large book collection. There are also many different types of lighting that you could choose to showcase your home and all have their own energy efficiency level. By choosing the right type of fixture and lighting you will see drastic changes in your home and an increased level of elegancy with your new lighting.

Solar Window Film – Right for Your Home?

When the average person thinks about tinted windows, their mind might be drawn to limos or cars with dark tints just for style. But window film has been around a long time and has many useful functions. Its main purpose is to lower energy use and also reduce heat gains through windows. Because of this, it has been a mainstay for commercial buildings with a lot of window surface area. The film makes the work environment much more comfortable for the workers and saves the company a great deal of money over time as well.

Residential Window Tinting is a Smart Choice for Your Home

Solar window film is also becoming more popular for homeowners. Some window companies are starting to even sell replacement windows with a tint on them standard such as the Andersen brand. Tinting your home windows helps to protect furniture and upholstery inside your home, and also regulates the temperature inside. This means your house will have a consistent feel throughout each room. In fact, companies like Solar Film, a Richmond window tinting company have been helping Virginia homeowners be more comfortable in their homes for years.

window film rollsUnlike many other forms of home improvement, tinted windows are actually a very affordable product to buy and have installed; yet they are very effective at what they do and make a big difference in the functionality of your home. If you have a bay or bow window in your living room, a tint can also reduce that annoying glare over your television from the sun. If you talk to a professional or a neighbor who already has solar film installed, you can get a better feel for all the benefits and why it may be a good choice for your home.

Get That Hard-Working Heating and Air System Inspected

It’s the first week of June, and I just checked the weather forecast. We’re looking at temperatures in the mid- to high-80s, plus a good chance of rain every day. In other words, it’s a typical summer here in Greenville, South Carolina. In order to escape the heat and humidity, you’ll be relying on that air conditioner to work hard – each and every day.

With that in mind, don’t you owe it to yourself to schedule routine inspections from a quality heating and air service – one that gets the best performance out of your HVAC system and, ideally, one that can extend its life a few years? You wouldn’t skip scheduled maintenance on your car, would you?

Without proper maintenance of your car, your car’s systems work less smoothly and efficiently. The loss of your car’s performance might be reflected in reduced mileage; your heating and air system’s loss of performance would be reflected in higher utility bills – and we both know that these can already be pretty steep over a South Carolina summer.

Wait too long to maintain your car and it will break down early, and the same goes for neglected heating and air conditioning systems. The system with a 15-year projected lifespan might last only twelve if it regularly has to work harder to maintain the same temperature. My central heating and air system cost thousands of dollars; if routine maintenance can push back its replacement a few years, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

My system is just about halfway through its lifespan now, so it should continue to work for years to come. But that doesn’t mean I should wait to start getting inspections. In my first inspection, my heating and air technician here in Greenville made a suggestion that saved me some money. He noticed that my system lacked a pan to collect water should my system’s evaporator coil go offline. Through no fault of his, that’s exactly what happened.

That pan cost me a bit of money, but it was something I needed. And when that coil failed, it’s what kept the released water from ruining the ceiling over my living room, at the least. Replacing that ceiling would have cost more money – and been a much bigger bother – than getting that pan installed. I’m glad I had the inspection that prompted me to do it.

If you’re like I was, chances are you’re still a little skeptical. You still don’t think that you need regular inspections. My suggestion would be this: Get one inspection. If your heating and air conditioning technician doesn’t find something to make you glad you took the time, don’t schedule a second. If it ends up being worthwhile to you and your system, just remember who made the suggestion!

Find Quality Appliance Repair in Three Easy Steps

I’m old enough to remember when you might find your next appliance repair company in the phone book. You might not know if their repairmen were any good, but you could see if they were doing well enough to afford a big advertisement.

Nowadays, virtually any appliance repair company can have a presence on the Internet. So when you need something repaired, it seems there are more companies than ever vying for your business. It may be easy to find these companies, but it can be hard to distinguish the repairman you’ll use for years from the one you’d rather avoid.

Thankfully, the Internet makes it easy to find the information that matters – but only if you know where to look. Here are three bits of information you should be able to find on any appliance repair company as well as a range of other services:

What qualities separate the good repairmen from the bad? Experience is one. You’ll increase the chances of getting an established appliance repairman when you use a company that’s been around longer than six months. You can often the company’s founding date on their websites. If the company doesn’t mention this explicitly, you may be able to find this information by looking at the very bottom of their website’s home page.

What are people saying about your prospective repair company? Today you can find online reviews on just about any company. Three of the big search engines – Google, Bing, and Yahoo – often feature reviews on their first page of search results. If you use Google Maps to search, and you click on the companies that appear on the map, you’ll also pull up access to reviews written on Google. Yelp, Angie’s List, and MerchantCircle are three other online sources that feature many reviews.

Is your would-be repairman quick to respond, and a clear communicator? The Internet offers a great opportunity to get the answer to these questions, too. As you’ll discover, most appliance company websites give you the opportunity to request a quote or at least a phone call. So go ahead, request one.

See how long it takes to get a response (keeping in mind that the repairman may actually be busy repairing appliances). See if the quote is reasonably well-written and clear, and that it adequately reflects what you requested. If the repairman calls, feel free to ask for a quote or any information you haven’t already been able to find. How much experience does he have? Could he refer you to any of his customers?

Once you go through this process, you should have a pretty good idea about who can be trusted to repair that old dishwasher of yours.

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