Friday, 21 February 2014

The Benefits of Sound Proof Windows

Sound is of no use to human evolution; in fact it only gets in the way!
-Haruki Murakami: A Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author who produces fascinating fictional works of art.His writings have profound nuggets of truth interspersed throughout, the quote above being one of them. It’s not as if our lives are not overwhelming enough, that we choose to allow noise to be a factor that stresses us out. Many of us have been known to escape to one of those private getaways by the beach and sip a Pina Colada to avoid the noise and bustle of the city. Here’s a suggestion, shut the noise out and bring that rest and relaxation into your home!

Health Benefits
Did you know that sound proof windows reduce noise by 75%? After a manic day at the office nobody wants to come home to more noise and chaos. A quiet place to lay your headis just what you need and helps ensure optimal performance for the next day because you are refreshed. Sound proof windows also work wonders inwork environmentshelping upsurge productivity, reduce job stress and increase efficiency.
Take that unwanted sound away and you take away subconscious factors that stress you out unnecessarily.

Security Benefits
The cool thing about sound proof windows is that they are not easily breakable. Those windows can take a few blows without cracking under pressure. This is definitely an advantage especially if you are looking forextra security for your teenagers and toddlers.

Economic Benefits
Sound proof windows are easy to install. They can be placed on the inside of your regular windows or on the outside, keeping the look you want. This saves on expenses as you don’t have to take out your regular windows to get the sound proof glass fitted. The glass is easily removable in case they need to be washed generally proving to be low maintenance. They keep the dust and dirt out saving energy and time on vacuuming. The added benefit of sound proofing your home is that it keeps the elements out. Those unpleasant cold drafts of air stay out maintaining the desired temperature within your home.This reduces expenses incurred due to the excessive use of heating or cooling systems. The glass is also available with Low-E coatings that prevent the penetration of UV raysending the endless cycle of faded curtains and upholstery, keeping the ones you have looking fresh and new! Rainwater that causes leaks, stains, decay and mold are also made to live on the outside of your window, where they belong.
Championtestimonials are a good place to start exploring options for economic, attractive-looking and unbreakable sound proof windows.

Real Estate Benefits
Sound proof windows increasethe value of your real estate. People are apprehensive about buying homes in areas that have a lot of noise and unwanted sound. Sound proof glass is the simple answer to this problem. Hotels and apartments are more likely to haveregular loyal customers if they created and advertised an environment that would soothe people and make them want to come back.
“The noise was like, well, it was like a thousand vampire cats clawing on Plexiglas- it made their teeth hurt” – Christopher Moore: Bite Me

How about we give those sound proof windows a go!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Beautiful and Unusual Ways to Decorate Your Home

As a home maker I am always trying to come up with new and creative ways to decorate my home. After some time the “look” of your house starts to get old and you find yourself wanting to change it up. Over the years I have come up with some exciting and completely unique ways to decorate. It always manages to warrant a ton of compliments from my guests.

Optical Illusion Rug
People tend to go with plain rugs most of the time because everything else in the room has prints or patterns on it. The plain rug sets off the room and at the same time manages to give it a warm and complete look.

What I found was that having very little furniture in the living room with plain or nearly plain curtains and upholstery allowed for more experimentation with accessories. Having a huge rug with an optical illusion on it is the perfect combination of fantastic and whacky. If you select the right colors it looks super in the living room and it is more than enough to blow your guests away. And what’s more, they won’t be able to stop staring!

This trap-door rug is a great one if you have wooden flooring. It is also my favorite.  

If you prefer a more geometric design, this one is pretty cool as well. My sister has it in her living room. Her kids love to pretend that they are climbing up the blocks!

Rope railing
If you have stairs with walls on either side, perhaps you should rethink your railings. Everyone has boring old metal bars. Some go with the more elegant glass ones. But have you ever thought of using rope as a railing?

It gives the home a medieval look and also allows for more decorating options. The adjoining picture only has the railing on one side, but you can go all out and put it on both sides. You could even change the color of the rope if you wish to match your room décor. 

Open Table
What I have found is that the easiest way to make your living room stand out is to get creative with your coffee table. Most people have fancy glass tables or extremely large low wooden ones. I however, would recommend an open table.

An open table (preferably one made with a combination of wrought iron and glass/wood) allows you to display some of your accessories inside. You can even go ahead and put a lamp in your table to make it look extra funky. During the day you can rely on sunlight to show off your wonderful furniture. Don’t be afraid of it getting damaged. You can always get energy efficient windows (I got mine from Champion Window and Doors) to protect your furniture and upholstery from fading.

Upside-down Mirror
Moving into the bathroom, there is a lot you can do to make your bathroom look warm and cozy. But what can you do to make it look unique? Sure you can pick tiles that are completely bold and extraordinary and choose accessories to match. But that would make your bathroom look something like this.

It seems like an awful lot of money to spend on your bathroom and in the end perhaps all you will end up doing is giving your guests a fright when they want to use the facilities. A cheaper and classier option would be to go with an elegant and simple design for your bathroom.
Stick to white or ivory as a theme and then pick a fabulous mirror with a wooden or metal frame and just mount it upside-down!

Chalkboard Wall
A chalkboard wall is simply one wall (or a large part of it) converted into a chalkboard. You can mount a chalkboard on the wall or choose the cheaper option and just paint on a large black rectangle. Either way this could be a fantastic addition to any room.
In the kitchen you can use it to write down your grocery list or a to-do list

In your kid’s room it can be used as a scribbling board

In the bedroom you can write an inspirational or romantic quote and turn that chalkboard into a poster!

And in the living room it can actually be used as a decorative piece. If you are the artsy type, you can draw a different abstract design everyday and leave your guests gaping with awe at your art work

Friday, 24 January 2014

Create a pet-friendly home!

Planning to adopt a new puppy or a little kitty? It’s a great idea to introduce another addition to the family. Pets always bring joy to the family with their fluffy cuteness. They serve as a guard for your house, a mouse catcher and a cuddle buddy for the kids! But always remember to try and make your home a hospitable environment for your new pet.

Pet Doors
Nobody wants to keep their pets confined to the walls of the house. They should be allowed out into the yard so they can play and also do their business. But what if Fluffy wants to do his business in the middle of the night? What if you are at the store and Cuddles wants to go in or out of the house? You can’t always be available to keep opening the door for your pet. We recently installed a pet door for our kitten Whiskers from ChampionWindows and Doors. Poor little Whiskers is still getting the hang of it, but it has proved to be a great relief to my husband and I.

Scratching Post
If you are planning to adopt a kitten, chances are that your couch and your other furniture are going to become that kitty’s scratching post! This will no doubt annoy you, not to mention totally ruin your furniture. The best way to solve this problem is to introduce the scratching post to your kitty before he/she begins to get his/her scratching urges.
Also, it is advisable not to change the place of th is scratching post. Remember that over time it will start to look mangy and it will be covered with cat hair, so put it in a place where it won’t spoil your décor.

Avoiding carpeting is probably the best way to go when it comes to flooring and pets. Getting the fur out can prove to be a major hassle even with a vacuum cleaner. Wooden flooring is a good option. Try to make sure that there is traction so that your little puppy doesn’t slip and slide over the floors. It will also minimize the scratches caused by the dog’s nails when it grows up.

If you live in a house with a yard, you will probably want to make sure you have a fence that won’t let your dog through, and a gate that your dog can’t open. It works great for new puppies who are ever curious, it keeps them safe and it keeps them from wandering into other people’s gardens and making a mess.

These are just a few ways to welcome your pet into your family. They will also allow him/her to feel safe and secure in your home.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

5 Features to Add to Your Home to Make It Senior-Friendly

Are your parents going to be visiting frequently? Or is mom going to move in with you for good? Whatever the situation, it is always a good idea to “senior-proof” your home. Apart from the usual installing of wheelchair ramps, and putting mats in the bathroom there are more things you can do to avoid unwanted accidents around the house.

Especially for seniors who live alone, sometimes opening and shutting jammed windows can prove to be a bit of a challenge. With age, the strength of our muscles begins to deteriorate which is why it is a good idea to install windows that are easy to operate. Windows that slide sideways rather than up or down are a lot safer and easier to use. Also, there is no fear of the window suddenly falling down due to faulty or broken latches

Manufactures like ChampionWindows and Doors offer a great deal of variety at extremely affordable prices. 

Along with muscle strength, motor control aloes begins to deteriorate. Elderly people find it a bit challenging to grip round door knobs. Go ahead and replace these with lever handles for all the doors around the house.

If you have floor rugs, these can cause a tripping hazard so be sure to secure then to the ground with double sided tape or get rid of them altogether.

The handles on kitchen cabinets should be changed to D-shaped handles, as these are easier to grip and work a lot better for people with arthritis.

The most obvious addition however is to add hand rails to your staircase on both sides or modify your banister so that it is not too thick and easy to grip.

The most dangerous and accident prone place in the entire house is that bathroom. And most accidents occur due to slippery floors.

Non-Skid Mats
Friction mats in the bathroom are a great way to prevent anyone from slipping and falling even if they get wet. If you have a bathroom where the shower is in the tub itself, go ahead and put in a rubber mat there as well. The amount of bathtub accidents that occur are far too great to count, so try not to become part of that uncountable statistic!

Another helpful addition to a bathroom is a bathing stool. Taking a shower can prove to be a very tiring affair, especially on an off day, and a stool will make things safer and easier for a tired senior. Be sure to use a stool with rubber bulbs at the end of its legs to avoid further accidents.

In spite of all these precautionary additions it is always better to be safe. Installing a water resistant, wall mounted phone is a really good idea in case of emergencies. It is best to put it in the shower area since that’s where most accidents statistically occur. If you have a large bathroom, you could add another phone near the toilet seat just in case.

There are so many accidents that can occur and so many things that can go wrong. We can never prepare ourselves fully and account for all of them, but we can be extremely careful and do everything in our power to make sure they don’t happen.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Window Decoration tips for Christmas

Christmas is incomplete without decorations. Whether it is simple, elaborate, elegant or traditional nothing adds to festive mood like decorating your home. And then if you are a person, landing up doing the decoration at the last moment, the easiest and the most affordable option is decorating your windows. Just like the front door, windows add to the look of your home from the outside.
Colorful festoons, ornaments, fairy lights, sparkles, garlands, swags, snowflakes, ribbons, wreaths, candles…anything and everything can create a magic look. You can elaborately dress up your windows to stand out all through the day or decorate it just so much that passersby get a glimpse of your interior décor, specially the Christmas tree lighted at night.

Snowflakes:  Create the wintry Christmas look with window display of falling snowflakes. You can simply hang the decorative snowflakes of metal, plastic or paper with strings or ribbons or even paste them on the windows. Try colorful snowflakes to create a distinctive look. For the interior, dress the window with a lacy valance or an evergreen swag and hang paper snowflakes with colorful ribbons from the curtain rods.

Ribbons: Colorful ribbons of various fabrics are most affordable and easy to use. You can hang them, loosely tie them, wrap them or even make decorative bows with them. Jazz up your wreaths with colorful ribbons or decorative ribbon bows and hang them on the window or hang your ornaments, baubles or snowflakes with ribbons. The best thing about ribbons is that you can use them to embellish anything. So buy ribbons and be at your creative best.

Tree Placement: Use your windows to add to the festive look. Since the Christmas tree is the focal point, of the home, placing it in the right location can make all the difference. Drape the tree with Christmas lights and place it near the window or light up the interior of your home to display the Christmas tree. Let everyone who passes by see and feel the warmth of your home on a wintry day. Use your windows to give a sneak peek.

Yes, decorating windows is an important part of your Christmas decorations. But think of the windows themselves. Having the right style window with a clearer view is equally important, not to forget their energy efficiency. Though it may not be something you can do last minute, it is worth considering replacing your old windows with new energy efficient ones. Plan and save money and replace them maybe before next Christmas. You can even think of going for bay or bow windows to add up to your Christmas décor. Champion Window manufactures Energy Star rated windows and for the perfect clear glass needed for the view of your décor, their windows will be a good choice. Read reviews of Champion Window by customers who are satisfied with their products and also their service as they install the windows for you.

So enjoy decorating your home and have great Christmas time with your loved ones.

Benefits of Argon filled windows

Windows play a big role in the energy efficiency of your home. Windows with improper weather stripping, caulking cause leakage and infiltration of air/water resulting in increased energy bills. However in the recent times, many new techniques have been developed to make windows energy efficient.
One of the most popular options for energy efficient windows is Argon filled windows. So what is meant by an Argon filled window? It is a window unit consisting of two or three panes of glass, with the Argon gas filled in between the panes. Argon is a low conductivity gas heavier than air and provides better insulation properties.
Double pane Argon filled windows are more energy efficient than single pane windows and are becoming a popular choice now .Here are some benefits of Argon filled windows-

·        1.       Argon is heavier than air and hence provides better insulation.
2.       They have increased R value which means increased resistance to heat flow through the windows.
3.       Thermal conductivity of Argon is about 35 % lower than normal air resulting in slow transfer of heat. Argon thus assists in keeping the heat out in summer and heat in during winter.
4.       Reduce the sound transmission, resulting in a quieter home.
5.       Argon is transparent, meaning the windows look similar to air-filled windows and give a clearer outside view.
6.        Being non-toxic and odorless, Argon is also safe in case the window breaks and the gas leaks.
7.       Being a non reactive gas, Argon does not corrode the window material like any other gas.
8.       Filling the space between panes with Argon, increases the temperature of the glass. This significantly eliminates or reduces the likelihood of condensation or frost; the most common problem occurring in windows.
9.       Argon is found in abundance in nature and hence relatively cheaper to obtain than other gas options like krypton.
10.       They can be used in all types of climates, even extreme temperature conditions.
11.   Though expensive than normal windows, they save money later in terms of reduced energy bills.
12.   Heating and cooling systems can work efficiently if Argon filled windows are installed making your home comfortable and healthy in all seasons.

Combined with high performance glass, Argon enhanced windows are the best choice when it comes to energy efficiency. You can read reviews of Champion Window, and the like, who manufacture Energy Star rated windows which are Argon filled before you buy the windows.  The exclusive glass used for the windows brings in more light and also blocks the harmful ultra violet rays which affect the interiors of your home.
Though there is a fear of the gas diffusing out, the current sealed windows offer better protection from this, resulting in a better life for the windows. Make your home energy efficient by replacing your old windows with double or triple pane Argon filled windows. Invest now and get returns by saving in your energy bills.

Friday, 29 November 2013

The Essential Elements of a Country Style Home

So you often find yourself dreaming about the wild countryside and how you would pick up your old guitar and strum some country tunes while looking at the sunset from your own farmyard. If I’m describing you, then you must redesign your house into the country-style home you deserve. And here’s what you have to do:
1.     Rustic appeal
For that earthen pastoral feel, wooden furniture is the most ideal furniture to use for your house. Because nothing spells tradition better than wood. The furniture needs to be simplistic with no carvings or patterns. Wood paneling for your walls would also add to the effect. The windows and doors also need to be woody in appearance. You could use ChampionWindow’s Timberbond window for an authentic wood look if you’re looking to replace.

2.     Paint
The keyword here is ‘simple’. For a country style house, paint only in primary colors. This will make the rooms look sophisticated and traditional. Remember to choose neutral colors that aren’t too flashy.

3.     Flooring
Shiny tiles are a strict no-no for this style. Include stone in your flooring for a more authentic look. Like your furniture, your floor could also be wood but keep aesthetics in mind and don’t go overboard.

4.     Natural fabrics
Again, a country-style house means no splash. The fabric for your furniture and covers needs to be roughly weaved and simplistic. No vivid colors or patterns either. Like everything else in your country home, the fabric too needs to be simple.

5.     Say it with flowers
Floral patterns compliment country-style décor beautifully. The fabric in your curtains or furniture can be floral. Even your wallpaper could have a floral pattern but remember to use that sparingly.