Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Turning Our Homes into Low Energy Houses

If you were to visit my home at around 7.30 every morning then you would be sure to think that it was one of the most low energy efficient houses that you had ever seen. The children are still trying to sneak out another 5 minutes in bed and my wife is trying to recharge herself in the shower. I’m no better as I am using the morning paper as an excuse to try and doze for a bit on the sofa. Yes our house is incredibly low on energy first thing in the morning. However, unfortunately in reality it is not got to win any low energy houses awards, because the televisions are on in three rooms, the heating is turned high so that the bathroom is cozy and the kids have left their phone chargers plugged into the wall all night. So what can we do to make our homes into future low energy houses (or as the Danes say fremtidens lavenergihuse)?

Well first of all we need to start at the beginning and educate our families into understanding how to lower the amount of energy we use. Leaving an electrical appliance on standby is hardly going to finish off the world, but when we all do it makes a massive difference. Even the longest journey starts with a single step and just getting the kids to turn things off when they are not using them and unplug chargers that are not charging is a step on the right path.

We also need to look at our homes and decide whether we can improve them to make them more energy efficient. Obviously the best low energy houses use green energy to power everything and everything from sunlight to wind is utilized in the process of running a toaster. The problem with green energy is that it generally costs a bit to get started. Solar panels don’t come cheap and, just like wind turbines, they are not easy to place unless you have a large property.

But rather than making the energy we use greener we can make our homes use less energy. To turn our homes into low energy houses we need to make the property more energy efficient and this can be done in many ways.

Roof insulation is a cheap and easy way to reduce the amount of energy that your home uses to stay warm. The more insulation that you have in your loft or roof the less energy your heating will use. So look at improving the insulating quality of your roof and make your home part of the ever growing number of low energy houses.

You can also look at windows and doors in the same way. There are now some wonderfully manufactured energy efficient models that keep the heat in and the cold out and will reduce the amount of energy that is needed to keep you and your family warm in your homes.

So although my family is hard to motivate early in the morning this is exactly what we need to do. Because the sooner we sort out our homes the sooner we make a difference and that is what low energy houses are all about.

This article is written by Mark Neyton. He is a writer curently living in Denmark. He is mostly interested in topics like home improvement, real estate and family. For more of his works you can find him on Twitter.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Necessary Points to Remember in a Window Treatment

Window treatments can create an appealing look in any room. A lot of this look depends on the way we plan a window treatment. Laying stress on a few factors can help in further enhancing the look of your interior decoration. 

Proper Drapery Style

While deciding to have a new look for a window, the most important thing to decide on is the style of décor. Dressing style of the window must complement the appearance of the room.  If your living room has trendy and smart furniture, having a vintage drapery theme will be of little help to the décor. On the contrary it will create an asymmetrical look in the room. Another important thing to consider is the purpose of the drapery. Whether the drapery is going to remain static or it will be opened and closed regularly or will they remain in a semi-opened state? Whether the drapes are needed only for styling or they are to provide privacy? What is the budget available for the treatment? All these aspects are to be taken into consideration before finalizing the style of the drapes.

Ideal Material

Draperies are an integral part of a window dressing. Selecting the correct material for a drapery is vital for any styling. Depending on the room where the decoration is to be hanged and the style of décor to be followed, the fabric for the covering must be chosen. Then again, it must go well with the existing décor of the room. The patterns and style of the covering must be in sync with the furniture present in the room and the color on the walls. The color of the fabric must complement the theme of the décor as well as the setting of the room. Overall, it must justify the theme of decoration present there.

Attach Shades  

Shades are a great way to diffuse incoming light while at the same time offering some level of privacy. Shades can be used in a variety of materials to create distinct look in the décor. Using bamboo shades or a wooden shade adds a sporty and outdoor element to your styling. Moreover, these items being natural elements, they help in keeping the heat under control. Now-a-days shades are available in a variety of styles and materials. These shades can be teamed with the drapes or curtains in an interesting way to play with décor themes, creating an appealing look.

Correct Drapery Hardware

Drapery hardware is another important aspect in a window decoration project that must be given a thorough thought. Selecting the correct mounting hardware and install it in a proper manner requires an amount of detailing. The measurements for the drapes and the hardware must be correct. Whether you opt for a contemporary look or a  custom window treatment, installing the hardware without proper measures will run the risk of having sloppy draperies, which is a very undesirable thing to happen in a window decoration project. This will mar the look totally. So, invest time and patience to take proper measurements for your drapes and installation locations. Only after you are totally satisfied with the location, proceed to install your mounting hardware.

Care For Details

Detailing occupies a major role in any window treatment. It is a nice idea to check the length for the drapes before sewing them for the final look. Make sure that you have decided on the fall of the drapes. Generally the procedure followed is to hang the curtains half an inch above the ground for a floor length drapery. For window-sill length curtains, consider whether you want the fall to touch the sill or end just below it. For puddle look, ensure plenty of fabric is available for the purpose. It is a good idea to have a trim on the border of each drapery panel to as to have a finished look in the dressing.

Author's Bio: Criss Evan, a gaming freak and a blogger. In his spare time he loves to write on various topics. He is a passionate writer.