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Four tips for a cool, comfortable household
By Payless Decor
6/2/2014 12:46:00 PM  

When was the last time you were able to go an entire summer without turning on your air conditioner? Whether you live in a warm region of the country or you experience brutal hot temperatures for three months a year, it can be downright uncomfortable to live without air conditioning. However, there are ways to keep your home cool without increasing your electricity bill. Here are some tips you can take into account to keep from sweating while saving a few bucks and reducing your overall carbon footprint.

1. Use window treatments to your advantage.
Items such as wood blinds and cellular shades are for more than just decoration - these window treatments can make a big difference when it comes to conserving energy. Your blinds, shades and drapes can keep strong sunlight from increasing temperatures in your home throughout the summer.  In the winter, they can insulate your living spaces - it's a win-win situation!

2. Opt for natural ventilation.
Opening your windows and using ceiling or standing fans can have a positive impact on your electricity bill in the middle of the summer. Crack your windows during the early morning hours and at night to allow fresh cool air to flow into your home when the sun isn't shining brightly. Use ceiling fans and standing units to keep it moving during the day, according to Care2.com. While the slight breeze might not be as chilling as air conditioning, it can still keep you comfortable without spiking your utility bills.

3. Know what creates heat.
Yahoo! reports that knowing what's creating heat in your home can give you an edge when it comes to cooling down your living spaces. For example, your desktop computer might be emitting a large amount of heat. Turning it off when it's not in use can make your surroundings cooler and reduce the need to turn on fans.

4. Invest in a dehumidifer.
Good Housekeeping magazine reports that using a dehumidifier may be able to instantly improve your comfort level in your home. Approximately 50 percent of homes have an unhealthy level of humidity in their living areas. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it might encourage you to turn on your air conditioner prematurely. Invest in a dehumidifier before a large air conditioning unit to help you improve your air quality and sleep with less worries.

Finally, if you don't have central A/C, but the temps are unbearable Lifehacker has a few ideas on projects that can generate some cool air: http://lifehacker.com/no-central-ac-no-problem-six-ways-to-keep-your-home-c-729713655


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Beat the heat with insulated windows
By Payless Decor
6/2/2014 12:42:00 PM  

Windows act as a source of heat in addition to being a factor in draftiness. Insulating is just as important in the summer as in the winter, and there are some ways to cut costs when doing so. Here are some tips for keeping your home cool in the warmer months. 

Use cellular shades 
Custom window treatments that fully cover your window are typically more efficient than using curtains that let the sun in at places. Cellular shades help to trap the heat between layers of material, which keeps it out of the room. If you have a south-facing window that gets a lot of sunlight, try using a blackout shade when you're not in the room to keep the sun from heating it up. You can also layer drapes over shades to keep your room even cooler. 

Cover your windows
In order to keep your room from getting too hot while still letting some light in, cover your windows with reflective film. It's an inexpensive project you can complete yourself, and makes all the difference when paired with the proper window treatments. Once you apply the film, it can be easily removed with no damage to the window. 

Seal leaks
Plugging up gaps in and around your windows and doors is particularly helpful when it's chilly out, but it is also advantageous when trying to beat the heat indoors. You can seal leaks in your windows by identifying all of the areas that are letting hot air indoors and applying caulk or foam weather stripping to the leaks. Do not apply the adhesives to parts of the casing that facilitate traction, however, as this could interfere with proper opening and closing.



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White makes for the perfect backdrop
By Payless Decor
3/14/2014 3:11:00 PM  

While white may not be the most exciting color by itself, it can serve as the perfect backdrop for other colors. A white wall or shelf makes everything else in your decor stand out and pop, so it's ideal for creating a clean, minimal space to show off your favorite decorations.

Go for the background
White doesn't need to be the start of the show to play an important part. If you go for an all-white kitchen or living room, the possibilities are endless for an accent color. Try putting in elements of baby blue or even a bold, cherry red. Once your accent color is in front of its white background, your eyes will be utterly delighted. Using these accents with not only white walls, but also couches, chairs and tables, will increase this wonderful effect.

Embrace the Zen of white
Any room that's rendered entirely in white will make you feel totally calm. The clean, unaltered neutral of white radiates a pale glow that makes you feel at ease. Use this to your advantage - take a bedroom that doesn't get enough light and redo the walls, the sheets and even the furniture to get that distinct white glow. To maximize the light you do get, try to use light filtering blinds and shades by themselves or along with very thin curtains. You may even want to use mirrors instead of pictures on the wall to help increase the light in the room, noted Country Living magazine.

Big rooms can be perfect in white
If you've got a large room in your house that you just don't know what to do with, consider giving it a totally white overhaul. You'll make the space not only feel a little larger, but much more open and breathable. Get some new sheer shades or cellular shades in a bright white color to really make the space feel airy with the combination of natural light and bright paint.

House Beautiful magazine noted that a white room like this makes a perfect backdrop for lightly finished antique furniture. The pale tones of pine and other woods will make for a gentle air in your great white room that will set you and your guests at ease. Adding an oversized houseplant in a white glazed pot can add to the lively look.
White cellular shades


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How to add light to your living space
By Payless Decor
8/29/2012 5:19:00 PM  

No matter how well you decorate your living room, it won't do much good if there isn't enough light to show off your interior design skills. Fortunately this problem can be easily remedied by following these simple steps.

Mirrors

Besides adding extra depth, hanging up a few mirrors will help reflect and multiply the light that is already in your living space. You can go to antique or second hand stores to find great vintage mirrors that have ornate wooden frames, or you can buy one and add a custom frame. In order to get the most out of your mirrors, especially if they are aged, you may want to apply glass cleaner and give them a good scrubbing.

Colors

Having a light-colored room will bring an element of brightness to your home, no matter what time of the year it is. There are limitless options that range from sea foam green to peach, and each one will bring about a light-hearted feel that is sure to elevate the mood. InteriorComplex.com suggests semi-gloss or full gloss paint to reflect light and add brightness.

Shades

If you have drapes or shades that hang over your windows, you may be losing out on precious sunlight that could be pouring into your room. It's a good idea to invest in some bamboo window blinds or cellular shades that you can put up if need be, so you can bring the sun's rays into your home whenever you feel like it.

Lamps

Sometimes living spaces are too dark simply because there aren't enough sources of light. You may want to add a few extra lamps, which can either stand tall in the corner or sit on a nightstand next the couch. You can also choose smaller or more translucent shades that do not block as much of the light.

 


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Three ways to transform your sleeping experience
By Payless Decor
8/19/2012 4:00:00 PM  

Many people consider sleeping one of their favorite activities, and why not? There's nothing better than the feeling of sinking into your pillow after a long day knowing that you'll be completely at peace for the next several hours. Unless, of course, you have trouble catching those Zs. If you're a tosser or a turner, here are three ways you can improve your sleeping experience.

1. Upgrade your window treatments. If you have blinds in place that somehow still manage to let rays of sunshine assault your eyes every morning, switching to blackout cellular shades can make all the difference, and they're easy to install. No more rising when the sun does!

2. Consider ear plugs. If you live on a busy street or sleep next to a partner who snores, a pair of earplugs is well worth a couple of bucks. Just make sure that your alarm is a loud one so you're not late to work in the morning.

3. Turn down the temperature. Sleep is more peaceful in a cool room, and you'll be able to snuggle up in your comfortable sheets and blankets. Adjust the thermostat or turn on a fan near your bed.


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Top 3 trends for window treatments
By Payless Decor
8/15/2012 3:54:00 PM  

Do you have bare windows that need to be covered up? If you're not sure about which types of window treatments to use to maximize your money while improving your interior decor, you may want to look to some of the hot trends in window treatments. Here are three worth considering.

1. Roman shades. These window coverings work in pretty much any setting, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a variety that matches your decor. They're a great way to add a decorative yet relaxed atmosphere to a space.

2. Bamboo blinds. Made out of one of the most sustainable resources in the world, bamboo blinds are not only attractive neutral additions to a room's style, but they're extremely durable and can reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Cellular shades. Although these aren't new to the scene, cellular shades are becoming more popular as people realize the benefits that they provide. Not only do they look clean and tailored, lending themselves to a simple aesthetic, but they provide an extra layer of insulation, which can help reduce your energy costs.


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How to choose shades for a young child's room
By Payless Decor
8/11/2012 1:09:00 PM  

Furnishing and decorating a room for a young child is a lot different than how you'd go about doing the same for an adult-only space. Not only do you have to take taste preferences into account, but you have to really think about the functionality, practicality and safety of every aspect. It's enough to give parents a headache, but luckily it's easy to choose blinds and shades that are appropriate.

First and foremost, it should be noted that kids are curious creatures. They're always busy getting themselves into mischief by exploring and evaluating every little thing they can get their hands on. That's why it's important to make sure that nothing dangerous is within reach. Window shades are no exception. Instead of opting for types that have long strings or pulls, go with cordless shades.

You'll also need to make sure that the shades are thick enough to block out the light during daytime naps. Your little one may have trouble falling asleep if the room's not dark enough, and sunrays through thin, wide slats may present a problem.


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How to nail the vintage modern look
By Payless Decor
8/9/2012 1:26:00 PM  

The vintage modern decor style that's been popping up all over the place sounds like a total oxymoron, but it's easier to grasp than you think. Instead of opting for a strictly modern interior with no sense of personality or quirky flair, or sticking with a straightforward vintage aesthetic, mix the two together for a style that feels just right. Here's how!

Mix up the eras
For a modern take on vintage design, avoid using pieces that are all from the same time period. After all, you probably don't want guests to feel like they've just stepped into the '70s every time they enter your living room! Play around with different items from the 1800s, 1920s, 1950s and 1980s. It's a lot more fun that way.

Add in some neutrals
People have had some pretty colorful tastes over the years, which often means that vintage items are chock full of bright patterns and hues. For balance, use plenty of neutrals to offset the pieces. For example, if you have vintage-looking window treatments in a unique print, opt for neutral cellular shades and muted walls.

Create streamlined arrangements
Modern decor relies on clean lines and plenty of open space, and it's easy to make your vintage items feel more like they belong in the 21st century by arranging them this way. Look for old furniture with plenty of structure, and set them up so they're a bit farther apart than you'd normally have them.

Juxtapose the styles
Modern pieces and vintage elements can go hand in hand. For example, add personality to your kitchen by using old light fixtures or a rustic table, then go with clean white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Or, try pairing chic bamboo window blinds with valances that look like they came right out of the 60s.

Freshen up older pieces
If you have a DIY streak, it'll be fun to take some of your vintage finds and freshen them up with a bit of modern paint or fabric. Take that old table for example - wouldn't it look great with a new stain? How about that chair with the fraying seat cover? It could use some new upholstery!

When it comes down to it, vintage modern decor can be anything you want it to be. As long as you take elements from each style and use them in the same space, you'll get it right every time!


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DIY curtains you can make in a snap
By Payless Decor
6/22/2012 4:02:00 PM  

While you can't exactly make your own kitchen blinds or cellular shades, there's no reason why you can't create a fabulous set of curtains for your kitchen. Making your own window treatments to decorate the room with is an inexpensive and easy way to transform the look of your space in as little as an hour or two. Here are a few ideas for curtains that you can whip up in no time - from materials you may already have!

Cafe curtains from napkins
Believe it or not, you can make pretty cafe curtains using table linens. Better Homes and Gardens Magazine suggests joining the edges with jean rivets for a no-sew approach, then get a rivet and grommet kit at a local craft store and attach them to the top so you can thread them onto a curtain rod.

Valances from handkerchiefs
Handkerchiefs are a bit outdated, which means your husband may have a few lying around somewhere unused. Luckily for you, these hankies make cute valances for the kitchen! Just use a zigzag stitch to sew them together, then fold the top over and sew it to create a pocket for the rod to slip through.

Long curtains from bed sheets
For dramatic, long panel curtains, all you need are a bed sheet, scissors, ribbon, an iron and sewing supplies. Cut it in half, then iron to smooth out any wrinkles. Now hem the cut edges so they don't fray and cut pieces of ribbon to form loops near the top, where the curtain rod will go through. Sew them on, then slide your panels onto the curtain rod. How easy was that?


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DIY dimmer switches - easier than you think
By Payless Decor
6/21/2012 4:07:00 PM  

Have you ever found yourself seated at the dining room table with a bunch of guests wishing there wasn't so much bright light in the room ruining the mood? Many houses are wired to provide homeowners with the option to switch lights on or off - nothing in between. But if you think softer light would flatter your décor and create a cozy ambiance, you'll need to install a dimmer switch. Before you start looking up the number for a local handyman, read on to discover how easy it is to install dimmer switches yourself!

First, you'll need to decide which rooms are best suited for medium light. This could be the dining room, the breakfast nook in the kitchen or your master bath (just imagine how relaxing it would be to take a bubble bath without bright lights in your face!). The spaces you choose should have cellular shades to block out the natural light when you're using the dimmer. If they don't already, it's easy to find discount window treatments online.

Now, open the rectangular wall covering around the light switch known as a breaker box. You'll need to figure out whether you need a single switch outlet (if one switch controls the light) or a 3-way dimmer switch (if 2 switches control the light). After you purchase the right dimmer, just turn off the power and get to work removing the old light switch and disconnecting it from the wiring. Attach the wiring to the screws on the new dimmer and attach the dimmer's ground wire to the wall socket. For a detailed step-by-step, check out The Home Depot's project guide.

When you're finished, you'll be able to control the lighting of the room with the slide of a switch. This'll make relaxing at your house a lot easier - you may just find yourself installing dimmer switches in every room!


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