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.