Benefits of Blackout Curtains
Blackout curtains are typically used to block out sunlight. They can be essential for light sleepers who find themselves awake as soon as the first rays of sunlight enter through their bedrooms in the morning. These curtains are capable of blocking out as much as 99 percent of outside light sources. They are a godsend for people whose bedrooms may be situated right next to a street lamp that may be preventing them from falling asleep at night. These are good reasons to use blackout curtains, but do they also serve other purposes in addition to blocking out natural or artificial light sources? For example, do blackout curtains help reduce outside noise and keep heat from escaping through the windows? The answers are yes and yes.
Block Out Noise and Light
By blocking outside sunlight from entering the building in the hot summer months, blackout curtains can help keep inside temperatures low. Additionally, these curtains can also keep heat from escaping during the cold winter months. Heat can escape through windows at a high rate. Closing storm windows and installing plastic coverings will help the building retain much of that heat, but the addition of blackout curtains will provide an extra layer of protection and save you money. This will keep your bedroom warmer and your heating costs lower. Some manufacturers claim their curtains can reduce the loss of thermal heat by as much as 25 percent. Over the course of a long and cold winter, this can add up to very real savings on heating costs.
Outside noises may be another contributing factor to many people not getting a good night’s rest. For people who live near busy roads, traffic may be keeping them awake at night. For people in more rural areas, the birds may start singing just a little too early in the morning. Blackout curtains can be used to reduce these outside noises. They can deaden, or in many instances prevent, these noises from entering through the window completely.
Keep in Heat, Keep Costs Down
Blackout curtains are a triple threat. These curtains are made with durable materials and generally last a long time. They block out light and noise and prevent heat from escaping. Few things add as much value for your money by offering so many year round benefits.
To ensure that you are getting the full value of your blackout curtains, you need to make sure you are installing them to their best benefit. Make sure you purchase curtains that will cover the full area of your windows. You will want to eliminate the amount of light that can get in over the top of the curtains as well as on the sides and underneath. This will maximize their effectiveness. Also, you will want to make sure they are thick enough so that light cannot filter through them thereby reducing their overall effectiveness.
You may have heard that you can save energy by putting curtains on your window. You may be wondering if that’s true or just a way for curtain manufacturers to sell more of their curtains. Let’s pull the curtain back on the rumors and find the truth!
Curtains Save Energy and Money?
The answer is yes, curtains can save energy and save you money. There are, however, some caveats to that answer. You need to use curtains correctly and use the right type of curtain. If you use energy-efficient curtains in your home, including blackout curtains where appropriate, you can save money. The curtains will retain heat from inside your home during the winter. They will reflect heat from the outdoors in the summer. You will see lower heating and cooling bills. You’ll also control the amount of sunlight and heat in your home by adjusting the curtains as you like.
Fix Your Windows First
Before you rush out and buy energy-efficient curtains, however, you need to take a look at your windows. If you’re like many people, you have no idea if your windows are properly sealed or letting in outside air. Check the caulking around all of your windows. If you’re not sure whether the caulking is in good repair remove it and apply new caulk. This will prevent drafts and allow your curtains to do their job.
Buy the Right Curtains
You should buy sturdy, solid curtains that will block light and heat. While sheers and lace curtains are pretty, they don’t count as curtains when it comes to saving energy. The best type of curtains are either blackout curtains, which you might like to have in a bedroom or other room where you want to block the sun completely, or lined draperies. You might also want to buy a drape and a separate energy-efficient curtain which hangs as close to the window as possible. These curtains prevent air from escaping around the edges of the drapery if the drape hangs farther from the wall.
Managing Your Curtains for the Season
During the summer you need a drapery with a light-colored backing. The light backing will reflect the sunlight and not absorb heat. You can also use these same curtains during the winter. In the summer you should keep the curtains closed during the heat of the day. This keeps the heat from warming the air in your home and allows you to run the air conditioner less. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a white curtain lining can reduce home heat intake by 33 percent.
In the winter you should open the curtains during the day if the window is in the sun. The more sunlight you use, the less you need to heat your home. Close all of your curtains as soon as the sun sets to keep the heat inside the house. The DOE estimates that closing curtains could reduce heat loss by 10 percent.
Hang Your Curtains High and Close
Hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible or mount a cornice over the curtain rod to keep heat from leaking in either direction around the top of the curtain. Consider sealing the curtain to the wall with magnetic tape. Put a strip of tape on the wall and one on the curtain. Use floor-length curtains to trap air and keep it from leaking at the bottom of the curtains.
Just think – not only will using curtains improve the decor and style of your bedroom, using them correctly can also save you money!
What is wicker? Wicker is woven fiber formed into a rigid material, usually used for baskets or furniture. Wicker is often made of material that originates from plants, but plastic fibers are also used. Wicker is light yet sturdy, making it suitable for furniture that will be moved often. Wicker furniture will last 20 to 30 years and therefore can be a fiscally responsible choice for furniture. It can be used indoors to improve any bedroom’s decor and also outdoors to dress up a patio or deck.
Wicker is made from different materials such as: rattan, cane, kubu, bamboo, willow, seagrass, and banana leaf. The primary material used is rattan vine. It can grow up to 600′ in length in a single day, making it a sustainable resource. Material from the entire rattan plant is used including: peel, core, pole and all. This furniture can be easily cleaned and maintained by wiping with a furniture polish. The durability of wicker is astonishing with the earliest known piece of wicker furniture dating back to 4000 B.C. while the oldest surviving pieces date from the Egyptian Empire.
Wicker chairs and sofas can be dressed up with cushions and pillows. A patio or deck can be transformed with a wicker furniture package. Add flair and decor to a boring bedroom with a wicker storage trunk, night stands, and a sitting bench. Wicker furniture is affordable and guaranteed to last many years. It’s reliable and sturdy yet lightweight making it easy to move. Summer decor is not complete without wicker furniture and stores like Pier 1 Imports offers excellent choices.
Wicker can be bought in a variety of pieces such as: dining tables, end and accent tables, chairs and sectionals, patio umbrellas, and ottomans. This furniture says backyard barbeque, summer cook-outs, and indoor elegance for those looking to change things up a little bit.
Decorating wisely with color can transform any space from drab to fabulous. Whether it’s with paint, linens, furniture, or various knick knacks, color adds life and flair to any room in a house. To get started, review color palettes that best fit your space. Usually a palette will have four colors that work nicely with each other. This will give you an idea of what the overall color balance in the room will be when finished. Choose one color but use many hues. If blue is the goal color, use dark and light shades of blue to complete the room.
Another good painting and decorating tip is to reference the color wheel. Choose colors that are complementary of each other on the wheel as this creates a balance of color. If you plan to paint a room blue, accent the furniture with orange pillows since orange and blue are opposite on the color wheel. If you are too nervous to go a little bold, start off with a neutral, gray wall color. You can always dress up the room with plush fabrics and pops of pink like you see below.
If you really want your room to be a hit, don’t be afraid to mix bright colors. They create a fashionable area and add light and energy to a room. Sometimes it’s best not to match colors as this creates a unique environment.
Revamping a room with color can be done without painting the walls. Simple decorative pillow shams, a bed throw, a chair cushion, and lace curtains can add a dramatic touch in just a few minutes. A colorful lamp shade, a patterned rug, or a painted vase are all affordable ways to add flair to any boring room. When in doubt, start small and continuously add items until the perfect color balance is achieved.
The Need for a Wo-Man Cave
“Man Caves” are a thing every guy dreams about owning one day. Man Caves are notoriously known as dark, musty rooms packed with sports paraphernalia, a large cigar and whiskey collection, more leather (covering chairs, tables, couches, walls, anything) than should be legal, maybe a few animal heads, and of course the ubiquitous pool/billiards table.
As great as that sounds to you guys, us ladies also need a place of our own. We may humor you with your cute idea of building a man cave, but if you really want your über masculine space, then guess what, we get our über femme place. And if we do get our way, here’s what WE would put in our beautiful Closet on Steroids.
1. A Crafts Area
We love our crafts, whether it be graphics on the computer, photo-editing from a night out with the girls, drawing doodles, beading or sewing, we need one place to keep it all organized and accessible. And, no crafts area is complete without a black-board-magnetic-painted wall to keep track of our creative ideas.
2. A Comfy Love Seat with Throws and Pillows Galore
Sometimes when we’d rather be inspired than let our inspiration flow, we may pick up a book or our laptop and plop down in a heavenly love seat. The more throws and pillows garnishing this lounge of love, the better.
3. A Book Nook
The need to crawl into a cozy small reading nook, full of our favorite love stories, epic adventures, and biographies of people who inspire and captivate, never leaves us. A book nook is the best addition a closet on steroids can have for those of us who love to curl up like a cat and get lost in yet another amazing story.
4. The Battle Station
There’s a whole section on Pinterest devoted to the best lady battle stations. A battle station is what we call our ‘makeup area.’ It’s a rather appropriate verbiage for some of us who definitely duke it out with our eyeliner every morning. Being that we begin every day here, it’s an essential piece of our closet on steroids.
5. The Cocktail Corner
Just because we’re ladies, doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a drink like the guys do. Fill your cocktail corner with your favorite mixed drinks, wines, spirits or a keg. Yum!
6. A Window Seat
Deep thought is best done looking out into nature… or a busy street if nature isn’t your thing. Really, its just nice having a window to look out of to stalk your neighbors or watch the planes fly over, so put a comfy seat there and throw some more miss-matched pillows and funky quilts on it!
7. Glorious Twinkly Lighting
Nothing beats great lighting to set the mood of your closet. Florescent lights hurt the eyes; candles on their own are too dark and rather risky for those of us who love hanging tapestries, so go instead with great string lighting. It sets the mood perfectly for cozy nights and a cup of tea, or to calm you after a hard days work.
All Of These Together? HEAVEN
Bottom line, let the man have their man caves, as long as we get our woman caves too! As you can certainly tell, woman caves blow man caves right out of the water.