Alicia Graham, Author at The Great Room

About the Author: Alicia Graham

Alicia Graham is the Product Manager for BlindSaver.com. She is also an experienced set designer and interior painter, with a broad knowledge of painting techniques that ranges from faux painting to alternate tools that save time and headaches. She is dedicated to making the imagination work in step with the budget and turning hobbyists into artists. Alicia Graham believes that anyone can be an artist in their home with a little help and information.

Watts Up With Light Bulbs? Part 3: Sockets

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How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one, if you can find the right replacement light bulb in the first place! As we’ve discussed in this series on new light bulb technologies, many different bulb options have been produced to replace the familiar incandescent bulbs. Some of the changes in bulbs mean changes in the base shape, which is where the bulb connects to a socket. In order to replace a bulb, you still need to find one that fits the socket in your light fixture. Here is a rundown of the most common socket types, as well as adapter choices if you need to fit a new bulb in an old socket. Screw Base Bulbs and Sockets The most familiar type of light bulbs for many consumers is the screw base bulb. Many standard lamps and wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted light fixtures have screw base sockets. This type of bulb base is given a…

Watts Up With Light Bulbs? Part 2: Illumination

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Light bulbs aren’t what they used to be. Fortunately, that’s because they’ve improved in many ways. In the first part of our series on light bulbs, we described the main types of consumer light bulbs available today (CFL, LED, incandescent, and halogen). All of these bulbs have been made more energy efficient than older incandescent bulbs, and there are actually more options available in these new light bulbs—if you know what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, knowing what you’re looking for is more complicated than it used to be. To buy an incandescent bulb, you only needed to know what wattage to buy. Some companies produced bulbs with slightly different light characteristics, but any incandescent bulb with the right wattage would work. Part of the updated energy standards regarding light bulbs requires bulb packaging to provide more information regarding the light produced and the energy consumed. There’s more to read and digest than a simple wattage number, but when you understand…

Watts Up With Light Bulbs? Part 1: Technology

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Innovations in technology and household items have made people yearn for the “good ol’ days,” when things were much simpler. Light bulbs, for example, have become an example of a once-easy decision—picking just the right number of watts—into one that involves numerous considerations. New energy standards have phased out traditional incandescent bulbs. The lighting aisle of stores has become more diverse, with new styles of bulbs showing a wealth of information far beyond the wattage. The good news is that new bulbs provide more choices for consumers in both the type and amount of light produced, while simultaneously reducing energy costs. In this series we’ll take a look at the new types of bulbs, what makes them different from old bulbs, and what you need to know in order to make smart lighting choices. We’ll start with the basic bulb technologies. There are four main types of bulbs produced for home lighting today: CFL, LED, halogen, and incandescent. CFL Bulbs…

Ceiling Fans: When and How to Change Rotation Direction

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Ceiling fans serve as functional features of your home that can add aesthetic appeal while saving money in energy costs. The types of ceiling fans available give you an array of options to fit your home’s decor as well as your satisfying your specific needs for cooling the house. One way to maximize the energy-saving benefits of ceiling fans is to alternate the rotation direction of the fans during different times of the year. By alternating the rotation direction, you can maintain a comfortable temperature in your home and reduce your energy costs in the process. Pay attention to these factors in determining how and when to alternate your ceiling fan’s rotation direction. Choosing the Correct Rotation Setting The direction of your ceiling fan’s blade rotation will cause the air to either be forced downward toward the floor or upward toward the ceiling. Knowing this difference helps you determine which direction is best given the season. The forward rotation direction,…

Single-Cell vs. Double-Cell Cellular Shades

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When updating or decorating a home, there are many decisions to make. You have to choose what type of material in which all the countertops are made, the color of the rug in the bathroom, and what types of treatments you will add to the windows. With all of these different components, researching each area will help keep you organized—and not overwhelmed—during the process. So, let’s focus on one thing today: window shades. You know you are leaning toward a cellular or honeycomb blind, but are confused whether a single or double cell shade will benefit your home. We will shed light on the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision. What Is a Cellular Shade? Simply put, cellular shades or blinds are constructed with cell pockets that resembled a honeycomb when viewed from the side. The cellular shape promotes insulation and thus energy efficiency, but they are not a one-size-fits-all option. Aside from just…

Avoid Fading: Pick Window Treatments That Stand the Test of Time

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Sunlight can be hard on fabrics and other materials, causing color fading and ultimate deterioration of the fabric. This is bad news for some window treatments, which are often hung specifically to block bright sunlight from entering rooms and damaging the furnishings inside. While window shades and curtains protect furniture, rugs, and other items from fading, they take the brunt of the damage from the sun. It’s no surprise that window treatments are most in danger of fading and sun damage, especially when hanging from bright, sunny windows. In order to keep your window treatments looking fresh for years, choose window treatments that can stand the test of time. Color Matters Light colors reflect sunlight, while dark colors absorb it. This makes light-colored fabrics naturally more resistant to sun damage, because most of the sun’s rays bounce off the fabric. This is especially true for the ultraviolet wavelengths in sunlight, which cause the most damage to fabrics. Light colors also…

Home Decor Trends for 2014

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If you set a New Year’s goal to spruce up your home in 2014, or you just feel like it’s time for a change, the beginning of the year is a good time to look at new trends for home decor and to start planning the changes you want to make in your home this year. Here’s a rundown of some of the up-and-coming design trends for 2014. Fresh New Color White or pale walls are moving out for the New Year to make way for the dark and dramatic. Black, navy blue, or other dark shades for walls act as a new backdrop to the current trend of metallic accessories, adding drama and panache to many rooms. White with black graphic designs or accents is also anticipated to be a trend in 2014. Blue has been a popular recent choice for home decor, and many shades have been continuing the trend, including shades of turquoise. Another color trend is…