Make Small Rooms Appear Bigger by Adding Windows and French Doors

The perfect house is bright, airy, and has large, comfortable rooms with windows. However, in reality, some homes have one or two rooms that are small, dark, and cramped. Don’t panic! With careful planning, these tips, and a little home renovation, you’ll whip that small room into shape.

Natural sunlight can play a key role in whether or not a room appears small and dingy. Adding windows is a quick way to open up a room, add more light, and give it the appearance of being larger.

Bay Windows

The bay window is often an ideal solution to opening up a room by bringing in sunlight and changing a single wall. It could also be a cheaper renovation alternative than moving an entire exterior wall to make the space larger. This renovation will make the space appear larger than before.

Bay windows typically have three sides of glass, which adds a whole new dimension to small rooms. In addition, the window-seat can be enclosed and used for storage.

French Doors with Glass Panes

It is amazing how the right home renovation can drastically change the appearance of rooms. Adding French doors with glass panes brightens rooms and makes them look bigger. They also offer views of landscaping and gardens, which can make rooms feel bigger.

Open French doors can expand living space, bring in fresh air, and provide additional light into rooms. They also add style and enhance the look of a room.

Rows of Windows

Adding several windows in a row across one wall can drastically transform small rooms. They can break up the appearance of a boring wall, open up the room, and even allow enough light for growing indoor plants.

Drawing up a few ideas on paper is a great way to get ideas flowing when thinking about home renovation. Consider how your wall would look with French doors or a couple of new windows. You’re only limited by your imagination, and maybe your wallet!

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6 Steps to Reduce Climate Change Impact on Your Home

Climate change has made us conscious about the way we use, and sometimes abuse, energy. Everyone has a “carbon footprint,” so we can all find ways to reduce our impact on the planet. For starters, you can perform some basic home renovation to reduce your house’s energy consumption. Let’s take a look at 6 easy changes you can make:

1. Weather-strip Your Doors and Windows

Due to heating and air conditioning systems, homes pollute the air more than cars do. Weather-stripping your doors and windows contains your household temperature, which means you don’t have to blast the heat or A/C so much. Materials are cheap and can be found at any hardware store, and this minor alteration will save you big money on energy bills.

2. Get Screen Doors and Windows

Screens provide an alternative to A/C when you need to cool your house off. They give you the option to open up windows and let natural air circulate through the house. This can save you about 15% of your energy costs per year, while also cutting down on pollution. This is a fairly easy home renovation, with plenty of installation kits available at hardware stores.

3. Get a Programmable Thermostat

A smart thermostat allows you to set temperatures for different times of day. Instead of leaving the heat on while you’re at work, program the unit to turn on shortly before you get home to warm the place up. With more control at your fingertips, you can optimize your indoor climate for comfort, while also saving money every month.

4. Invest in Insulation

This one’s a no-brainer: like weather-stripping, good insulation maintains inside temperatures so you can keep your hand off the thermostat. It’s a more involved home renovation, but you should line your exterior walls, attic floors, and basement ceiling with insulation. To go the extra mile, find insulation made from recycled cotton or denim scrap – this saves you from worry over the noxious formaldehyde present in fiberglass insulation.

5. Lower the Temp of Your Water Heater

Most water heaters are set to 140 degrees by default. Lowering it to 120 saves lots of energy over time, without detracting from the heat of your water.

6. Get Your Furnace Serviced

If you have an old furnace on its way out, replace it with an energy-efficient model. If you heat with oil, have a professional service your furnace once a year. Otherwise, maintenance is the name of the game: clean or replace filters, and dust radiator surfaces as often as possible.

Reducing your carbon footprint can be a big home renovation project, but if you can make the changes above over the course of a few years, the earth – and your wallet – will thank you.

 

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Knock, Knock: Your Next Exterior Door Material Awaits You

Replacing exterior doors can improve the looks of a home while also helping to increase the value. Even if you think you know exactly what door material you’re interested in, it’s always best practice to explore all your options. Materials used to produce doors can vary significantly in both maintenance requirements and costs. Let’s take a look at fiberglass, wood, and steel, which are materials that are frequently used for exterior doors.

Fiberglass

A fiberglass door is constructed with a foam core and a stout coating. As such, this style of construction is difficult for burglars to breach! Fiberglass comes in several styles, many of which that do a good job of mimicking real wood.

When this door material is used in a protected location, it does not contract or expand with weather changes. This means low maintenance, and you may go for several years before needing to touch-up the stain or paint. The life expectancy of fiberglass is about 20 years.

Wood

Solid wood doors are excellent for increasing home values and dressing up an entryway. Wood is typically an expensive door material compared to that of steel or fiberglass. In addition to being the most expensive, it also generally needs the most maintenance. Homeowners that choose to use real wood doors can expect to refinish or repaint every couple of years to prevent warping and splitting. Staying on top of maintenance determines how long they will last.

Steel

If security is a serious concern, you might want to look into steel doors. They offer the strongest protection against intruders. However, if they are exposed to constant heavy rains or salt air, they may corrode and only last for five years or so. In addition to corrosion, they dent easily and this can be expensive to repair.

It’s always best to weigh all your options, especially when it comes to an important decision like the material of your door. Fiberglass has a long life expectancy, and it has low maintenance. Wood requires a lot of maintenance, but it can be stylish and beautiful. As a door material, steel may offer the most protection and peace of mind.

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Tips to Take Your Front Door from Drab to Fab!

Have you ever taken a moment to stop and think about the kind of impression your front door makes on passers-by or guests as they arrive at your house? Does it create a welcoming environment or make a bold artistic statement? At the very least, does it look clean and tidy? If you’re unsure, chances are that now’s the time to spend a little time working on an update. There are plenty of ways to take your entryway from drab to fab–and here are a few ideas to get you started!

 1) Add color!

Choosing a bright color is the perfect way to draw attention to a new front door. You can choose a color that complements your shutters or other detailing on your home, or maybe just a bold and bright hue that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face each day when you get home from work. Even if you have a more subdued color palette throughout your property, you can go wild with a gorgeous and fun color in the entrance.

 2) Choose a distinguishable architectural style.

Some architectural styles, like Craftsman and Victorian, are recognizable almost instantly. Look beyond those standard off-the-shelf options and find a style that is both functional and stylish! If your home boasts a well-defined architectural style, selecting an extra special front door can be like the cherry on top of a beautiful property.

 3) Go with a unique size or shape.

A curved top border or noticeably oversized measurements can attract a lot of attention. Smaller proportions often add a quirky or historical feel, while an extra-wide approach makes a bold statement.

These are just a few simple ways you can make your entryway a beautiful highlight of your property. Before you choose which option to pursue, look for inspiration and find a style that you absolutely love!

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Symbolism in Doorways: Famous Doors in Literature

In literature, books have always held great symbolic significance. Not surprisingly, doors are often used in literature as tools to further a character’s development, or as a symbolic end to their fate. Let’s take a look at a few famous doors in literature:

1. The Secret Garden: Transition

 In Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden, young Mary Lennox is sent to live with her emotionally distant uncle and sickly cousin, Colin. Before long, Mary discovers a hidden door in the grounds outside her uncle’s mansion. This door leads the children to a magical garden, which restores their health, and helps forge a bond of love and friendship between them.

2. The Lady or the Tiger: Finality

Frank Stockton’s short story, The Lady or the Tiger, revolves around two famous doors. A man is forced to choose between two doors–behind one door lay a ravenous tiger, behind the other, a beautiful woman who would become his bride. Will he meet a horrific death, or find happiness with his new bride? The reader will never know.

 3. Alice in Wonderland: Transition

In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice is required to pass through a tiny door in order to enter the magical realm of Wonderland.

 4. The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings: Finality

In the first novel in JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf and the rest of the Fellowship are forced to pass through a former dwarf colony called the Mines of Moria. After opening the magic door guarding the mines, the group quickly discovers that the former occupants have tragically died. Gandalf himself also dies in this place, while protecting the group from an ancient evil.

 As you can see, there are a number of famous doors used symbolically throughout literature. Can you think of any others?

 

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