Decorating Archives - The Great Room

Decorating

Get Cooking With the Right Window Treatments for Your Kitchen

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If you enjoy cooking or entertaining, it’s likely that you spend quite a bit of time in your kitchen. However, the kitchen is one area of the home that can often be overlooked when it comes to extra decor. What many people don’t realize is how much of a difference window treatments can make in a room. By taking the time to pick out the proper window treatments to fit the colors and styles of your kitchen, you can totally transform the room, even on a budget. Adequate Lighting & Privacy A kitchen needs plenty of light, but it also requires some privacy. It’s important to find a window treatment that strikes the right balance between the two. Options like a valance provide plenty of light, but not much privacy, while wood blinds allow in enough light but can be closed when privacy is desired. Top -down, bottom-up shades are increasing in popularity, due to their ability to let in…

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…

Everything You Need to Know About Solar Heat Gain

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The sun is our original and ultimate source of energy. Understanding how to control and use sunlight gives us new and better ways to make use of solar energy. Every homeowner should take sunlight into consideration to reduce their energy costs. If there is sun shining on your house, it has some effect on indoor temperatures, either positively or negatively. Windows are one of the biggest areas of concern when it comes to the influence of sunlight on your home’s heating and cooling. A Little Solar Science Solar heat gain, sometimes called passive solar gain, is the term used to describe how a home is heated by solar radiation. Sunlight contains different wavelengths of radiation. Objects in sunlight absorb short wavelengths of solar radiation, which is what causes them to warm up. When sunlight shines on a window, the amount of solar heat gain inside the room depends on how much radiation gets through. There are multiple factors involved here,…

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,…

Is Wallpaper Making a Comeback?

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Interior design choices in recent years moved away from wallpaper as a popular decorative choice. The shift in contemporary style was so dramatic that wallpaper itself had been seen as a signal of dated home decor and a feature ripe for addressing first when redecorating. More recently, however, wallpaper has seen a resurgence in popularity. The once declining choice is available in a wide array of new colors, patterns, and textured options. Wallpaper was not always a product of mere design choice, but rather a means for covering walls that were less than stylish in their aesthetics. Rather than incur the sometimes expensive cost of resurfacing or painting interior walls, wallpaper was a viable and relatively inexpensive way to add interest and style to a home’s interior design. Early iterations of wallpaper use meant having to deal with cumbersome installation and an even more time-consuming and often frustrating procedure for removal. Current types of wallpaper not only offer a wider…

How to Safely Decorate Your Children’s Rooms

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Decorating a room for a child can be a lot of fun. You can make bold design decisions that might not be suitable for an adult, while having fun picking out all the decorations. There are also important safety considerations to take into account when designing a child’s room. Decorating Safely for a Baby’s Room Babies have simple needs. They spend a lot of time sleeping, being fed and changed, so parents should pay special attention to the crib and changing table. A baby’s bed should be a comfortable, safe environment that is free from choking hazards. There should be no risk of the baby falling out of the cradle or crib, so choose a stable model and make sure it won’t easily move or tip over. Do not locate the crib or changing table near a window. You need a flat surface for changing the baby. Make sure there is no risk of the baby wriggling off this surface…