Blinds Chalet Blog
Crazy Upgrades for Wealthy Home Owners
Mar 6 2014
You would be forgiven to think that wealthy homeowners only enjoy living in big houses. However, the truth is that their houses are not only huge, but they also have home fixtures that you wouldn’t expect to find in a normal home. Whether chosen out of personal preference, convenience, or class, these top 5 crazy upgrades will no doubt make your jaw drop. They are nonetheless worth investing in if you can afford the costs.
An Indoor Rock-Climbing Wall
If you love competitive sports, you will definitely find an indoor rock-climbing wall to be an exciting home improvement. This crazy idea was found in a small home in Silverthorne, Colorado. Resembling an actual rock, the indoor rock-climbing wall for this particular home cost approximately $100,000 to design. Well, if you are not able to shell out that much money for a custom-made rock-climbing wall, you can use the idea and opt for an affordable one instead. Of course, one would need a house with high ceilings to put up the wall, but once installed, you can enjoy rock-climbing from the comfort of your home!
A Residential/Home Elevator
Elevators are often found in multi-storied buildings, but they are nowadays becoming a common feature in modern homes. But, why would anyone choose to add a residential elevator to his or her home? Well, apart from luxury, home elevators can prove to be quite functional in certain circumstances. For instance, installing a lift in your home would be a great idea if you have a sick or physically challenged family member that finds it hard to get down the stairs. In addition, this home improvement will increase the value of your home. The best part about home elevators is that you can find many companies nowadays that install residential lifts that require little maintenance.
Glass Wine Cellar
Perhaps you have seen a traditional wine cellar before, but imagine one made of glass. One example of this home upgrade is that of a house in Nashville, Tennessee. This home was upgraded with a glass ceiling wine cellar that can be viewed from a room above it. The wine vault even features custom-made acrylic arches, LED lighting and vintage gothic-themed décor. It costs a whooping 500,000 dollars to install.
An Indoor Cinema Room
An indoor theatre is a great home improvement for those that love movies and have some unused space in the house. You can convert your basement or the playroom into a cinema room for watching TV. This idea is doable, and it doesn’t cost as much as the above featured home upgrades. It is also a fun home improvement because you can customize the interior décor according to your favourite movies.
For those fascinated by aquatic life, there would be no better way to create a sea-themed bedroom than with an aquarium bed. Imagine a customized bed with an aquarium built around the head side of your bed. It would definitely help you have sweet dreams after falling asleep and wake up to the captivating sight of an aquarium.
Author Bio: Jack Sams is a blogger from Australia with keen interests in Psychology, Technology and Gadgets. When he’s not working with the team at Grant Elevators you will find him surfing along the North Coast or sharing his stories, tips and insights at various blogs around the web.
Save Money And Decorate Your Home With Designer Far-Infrared Heating Panels
Mar 6 2014
There are many young fans of antique furniture, yet it is typical for today’s youth to live in modern city apartments and ordinary new-builds. Given contemporary surroundings, it is natural to be drawn towards modern furniture designs – yet antique styles still make a good fit in modern living space, especially when blended with current designs.
Interior designers often say modern home owners are sceptical when they suggest blending antique furniture and fittings amongst the hi-tech gadgets and photographic artwork. It is only when the designers create the graphic images or plant the piece in the room that the vision becomes clear.
We can’t design your entire set-up, but we can give you plenty of suggestions for antiques that may work in your home. There are lots of great designs modern day home owners can embrace, and if you are on a budget, antique furniture shops and auctions can save you a reasonable amount of money. Of course, designer antique furniture is also available for fashionistas with a bigger budget.
Chairs can be used for decoration around the home as well as a creature comfort. How about going regal in the bedroom with a Queen Anne or Georgian antique chair, or a Tudor as a convenient seat whilst you put your shoes and socks on. For office and living rooms, the plush leather of a stylish Chesterfield has the smell and feel of empowerment whilst a high-back Louis XV Bergere or a French gentlemen’s chair properly supports your seating position and is a stylish feature for your reading space.
The classic antique bed is of course the four-poster with the obligatory fabric canopy draped over the top, but this style has become cliché in upmarket guest houses and English costume dramas on the TV. As an alternative option, take a look at a French Lit Bateau bed, or boat beds as they are commonly referred to. The scrolled headboards are particularly distinguished.
If the headboard is to be your bedroom shoe-piece however, there are few designs that can top a beautiful Italian Empire bed from the Renaissance period. Alternatively you could try an early 20th Century Italian Venetian style. For something less flash, but equally impressive in terms of build and style take a look at the Art Deco walnuts beds that were popular in the UK between 1900 and 1950.
Ladies need their own space to apply their makeup and contemplate life (or whatever), and a sophisticated antique vanity table for the bedroom gives you your own storage facility. Vanity tables come in all shapes and sizes from the multi-draws of large Victorian walnut dressing table to dainty French kidney-style dressers. If you really want to wow your friend go for a 19th century British Burr Walnut table and cushioned stool. Exquisitely crafted you will be the envy of your circle.
Walk into any antique stall or auction and an antique mirror will capture your imagination. Perhaps the most common - because they are the most popular - are the 18th Century Versailles mirrors which look awesome over a marble fireplace or in a hallway. For something smaller a Louis XIV gilt mirror is a nice fit in any home. For a quaint look bevelled Victorian mirrors apply a nice touch, and in the absence of a vanity table with a mirror an arched walnut dressing is a timeless masterpiece.
If you have the money to invest in an antique centre-piece, they don’t come more grandiose than a wooden dining table. Large families have the option of medieval banquet tables or round French dining tables that can comfortably seat up to eight people. And for smaller families who enjoy hosting dinner parties can suit both worlds with either an extendable Austrian Biedermeier or early Victorian Mahogany.
Antique furniture adds a lot of character to a room and last a long time so are economical and sustainable. You can also have a lot of fun when buying antique furniture and once your creative juices flow with inspiration your visits to auctions and antique shops will probably become more frequent.
Richard Oldale author bio
Richard is a freelance writer with a passion for home improvement, technology and interior design. Always on the look-out for fresh and intriguing design concepts, he is dedicated to providing readers with décor tips and ideas together with the latest industry news.
5 Simple Ways to Bring Understated Elegance to Your Home
Mar 6 2014
Most homes consist of the same type of furniture and styles for settings that can easily begin to blend and look similar to one another. Although it can be easy to neglect your home's decor with day to day living, there are a few practical ways of adding elegance for an interior space that looks gorgeous.
1. Use Upholstered Furniture
Upholstered furniture is handcrafted to last for several decades and looks both regal and sophisticated in the home. Place an upholstered chair in the entryway of your home for an inviting look that sets the stage. Add a single decorative pillow to the chair for added detail. You can also add upholstered headboards to beds for an easy way of creating a dramatic focal point in each room.
2. Add Window Treatments
Curtains are similar to artwork, as they dress up the walls and will determine the overall tone of the home. Carefully choose the window treatments to complement the surrounding shades in the decor, as well as the paint on the walls. Bold patterns and prints can be used for an elegant style that looks expensive. Use sheer curtains to allow light in while maintaining privacy.
3. Use Oversized Rugs
Oversized rugs work to section off furniture and allow it to look organized in the home by bringing it in all together. It also adds detail to otherwise bare floors for extra comfort and warmth. For living rooms, opt for chevron print rugs or shag rugs for a style that is timeless and will prevent the room from looking bland.
4. Incorporate Brass Details
Brass is now considered the new gold, as professional designers and stylists are recommending that brass details are used throughout your space for trendy and chic details. Use lamps or Heritage House Clocks with brass details for a style that nods to the '70s and still looks modern. The metallic details will offset basic shades and add elegance to traditional items.
5. Dress Up the Dining Table
Instead of piling the dining table with paperwork or fake flowers, stage the space and make it appear professional with high-end table settings. Use classy placemats, cloth napkins, and rustic candles for the centerpiece for a sophisticated style that will dress up the dining room. Work the table setting around the season and use cushioned chairs to match the elegant table decor.
Keeping Out The Deep Chill: How To Effectively Insulate Your Home
Feb 11 2014
Climate change is playing havoc with weather patterns. The NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science (GISS) record that winters in the northern hemisphere are getting colder and as a consequence energy efficiency in homes is a growing concern.
For optimal energy efficiency, the US Department of Energy recommends you should insulate your home from the foundations to the roof identifying areas of your home that most require moisture and air leakage control. Governments are also offering financial incentives to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Foundations and basementInsulating your foundations and basement not only makes your home more energy efficient, but also protects you against insect infestation, moisture and radon infiltration. You can use almost any insulation type for basements, but placement varies depending on the climate you live in. Consult a professional to find out what material is used in your hometown.
When insulating the lower reaches of your home, do not forget about crawlspace. The type of insulation you need depends whether your crawlspace is ventilated or unventilated. For the latter, seal and insulate the foundation walls rather than the floor between the crawlspace and the house as it prevents piping and ductwork from freezing over.
Exterior WallsInsulating interior walls is a tough undertaking so it is not unusual for builders to cut corners. As a result walls often do not meet R-value recommendations. Walls between living spaces, vented crawlspaces, unheated garages or other extensions will greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home if properly insulated.
The best material to use is blow-insulation such as liquid foam. It is easy to apply and gives you a superior R-value rating. You can also use fiberglass, rock wool or cellulosic fiber insulation, but all these materials also require a vapor barrier to avoid condensation. If you are building a new home consider using wall sheathing rather than wood sheathing products as it reduces thermal bridging.
FloorsAlthough you only 13% of your home´s heating is lost through the floor you can still save an estimated $50 on your energy bill. If your floors are cold concrete slabs replacing them is expensive and disruptive. Using a foam board around the perimeter of your home does the job sufficiently.
Insulating timber floorboards is even easier. All you need is a good sealant and a sealant gun. Check the joists supporting the floorboards do not show signs of rot and remember to seal the gaps around the plank edges when you refit them.
Floorboards positioned above heated living space do not require insulation. The same applies if your crawlspace is not sufficiently vented – it should have two vents to propel cross ventilation.
Doors and windowsOne of the biggest energy wasters in your home is through your doors and windows, especially if they are outdated. Even early UPVc windows leak cold, but advancements in technology now means you can upgrade windows and doors to A-rated +10 double glazing. The British Energy Saving Trust estimates savings of between $80 and $290 a year depending on the size of your home.
If refitting the latest double-glazing products is not an option you can still modify your existing doors and windows with a plastic-based film that slows heat transfer placed over the glass. For the edges of your windows use a silicone plastic caulk. They are inexpensive, long-lasting and weather resistance in warmth and cold. You may need to remove the old caulk first.
Insulate your loftThe majority of heat that flows in and out of your home is through the roof. Your attic space is therefore the most important room of your home to insulate as it retains heat during winter and keeps your home cool during the hot summer months. Installing radiant barrier or ventilation fan also helps to reduce heat in warm climates.
Lofts are typically insulated with batt insulation or loose-fill, the latter being the better option as it is less expensive and provides better coverage. Before insulating your loft check the timber is in a good state of repair and seal air leaks including the access door and vertical walls that has attic space directly behind them.
Good insulation in your home is important as it keeps you comfortable and warm, creates a healthy living environment and help you to reduce your carbon footprint which will reduce your energy bills and environmental taxes.
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