How To Design A Bedroom That Unleashes Your
parents may be surprised to learn that, according to Harris
research, children begin taking an interest in changing their
rooms just after the age of 5, citing more space to hang out and
play as the No. 1 wish for the space. The study also found that
71 percent of parents think the design of a child’s room impacts
“We’ve seen how room design can unleash a child’s creativity in
our own family,” said Cortney Novogratz from HGTV’s “Home by
Novogratz.” “For example, it’s important to give children their
own workspace and play space filled with materials designed to
help express their ideas in a productive and inspirational way,
like arts and crafts supplies and construction toys such as LEGO
Friends. It’s also important to give children plenty of floor
space in which to play and get creative; this gives them their
own personal space in which to spread out and use their
imaginations to the fullest.”
In addition to inviting children to put their remodeling and
rebuilding skills to the test using toys that encourage
construction, Robert and Cortney Novogratz offer these
suggestions for creating those special environments that
children will find inspiring and parents will find appealing:
• Give kids more space. Leave
as much floor space open for playing and hanging out as
possible. Center the room with a soft rug and include easy
storage solutions. The most effective storage is easily
accessible to kids, where they can pull it out, play with their
toys and be able to put it back without any help. The best
storage solutions do not dominate the room but cleverly do the
job without taking up too much space. Kids need room to build,
paint, create and so on but they also need supplies to do so, so
try to keep storage solutions simple.
• Show children their ideas have value by
including them in the design decision-making process as much as
possible, letting them offer their ideas. Bear in mind that boys
and girls are equally interested in having a say in the design
of their rooms. If you make your children a part of the creation
process, they may be more likely to take better care of their
environment and their belongings.
• Personalize with color and collections. Embrace
bold colors and don’t forget to have fun with it. Add more
personality and originality, and foster a child’s pride by
displaying his or her collections. Fun solutions for displaying
collections include corkboards or pin boards to display art;
Lucite shelves and boxes to display collections; and simple
cubed shelving units that are cost effective and great for
displaying models, trophies and other things that kids gravitate
• Learn more. For
further visual inspiration from the Novogratz on how to put
these tips into action, visit www.LEGOBuildTogether.com or
call (800) 838-9647.
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A Better Night’s Sleep Might Lie In Your Blanket
is a wonderful thing, but for many people, getting that sleep
can prove elusive. Tried-and-true tips include keeping a regular
schedule, getting enough daily exercise and creating a relaxing
bedtime routine, but a new approach to sleeping soundly suggests
that the right blanket can be instrumental in getting plenty of
some people, the tried-and-true tips simply don’t work. That was
the case for the founders of Mosaic
Weighted Blankets™. Beth Peacock had interrupted sleep due
to restless leg syndrome and her friend Laura LeMond had a
history of sensory issues that kept her from getting enough
years, LeMond stacked pillows and even books on her feet to fall
asleep. That’s when she realized that using weighted therapy
would be a good solution for people with sleep and sensory
processing disorders, autism, ADHD and anxiety.
LeMond and Peacock developed Mosaic Weighted Blankets (www.mosaicweightedblankets.com),
a safe and effective line of soothing blankets, wraps and lap
pads. They believe their blankets are one of the newest sleep
remedies to help children, teens and adults relax, sleep soundly
and focus during school and work, calming mind, body and spirit
“one blanket at a time.”
Mosaic Weighted Blankets also help ease symptoms and supplement
treatment for cancer anxiety, menopause and many other
conditions that might interfere with sleep.
deep pressure touch stimulation or “swaddling” that happens when
you cuddle up under a weighted blanket helps encourage the
production of the hormone serotonin, which induces a more
peaceful and happier state of mind, and melatonin, a natural
hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. Studies show that
melatonin not only helps people fall asleep, but also enhances
the quality of sleep.
Earlier this year, The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention reported that an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. have
chronic sleep disorder and 1.21 percent of the American
population has ADHD. Symptoms of ADHD and treatments for ADHD
can often cause insomnia.
Penny Williams, editor of her website, A
Mom’s View of ADHD, and mom of son Luke, who has sensory
processing disorder, ADHD and trouble sleeping, has tried
various ways to help her son feel more comfortable and settle
After trying a Mosaic Weighted Blanket, Williams could
definitely see a calming benefit. “Luke only uses his blanket at
night but will not sleep without it. He feels grounded and
secure under its weight,” said Williams, who reports that the
blanket did lessen the number of times he woke during the night.
handmade blankets come in various sizes and weights to fit the
body and can be used at home and will add focus at work and in
school. Depending on the need, they can be used to calm and
relax by laying across the lap, wrapping around the shoulders,
covering legs or the whole body for sleeping. Custom blankets
can be ordered by the appropriate size and weight recommended by
a health care professional or therapist.
more information, call (512) 868-0207 or visitwww.mosaicweightedblankets.com. Calming
mind, body and spirit.
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Solar Roofing Your Neighbors Will Love
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, heating and cooling
costs the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year, or nearly
half a home’s total energy bill—but you can reduce utility
bills. One of the best ways may be to install a solar roof. In
the past, bulky, expensive, rack-mounted solar panels were the
only option available to homeowners who wanted to reduce their
reliance on traditional electricity sources. And if you wanted a
cool roofing shingle, going green meant going white.
there are affordable, aesthetically pleasing photovoltaic solar
panels manufactured to seamlessly integrate with asphalt roofing
shingles. When combined with solar reflective shingles,
homeowners can create a beautiful, energy-efficient system with
exceptional curb appeal. Perhaps even better, this combination
benefits the environment by reversing the solar radiation
absorption that can cause a rise in temperature, or heat island
effect, in highly populated areas.
of the new, affordable residential solar panel options available
is the CertainTeed Apollo solar roofing system. It is
lightweight, durable and easily installed into either an
existing roof or a new asphalt shingle roof. Each slim
photovoltaic module features polycrystalline silicon solar cells
that can offset 30 to 70 percent of a home’s electricity usage.
If it exceeds power usage, the excess flows back through the
meter into the power grid, creating a credit to your account.
Generally, these new integrated solar systems are installed with
solar reflective roofing shingles, such as CertainTeed Landmark
Solaris with rich colored granules, which reduce a roof’s
surface temperature by as much as 20 percent in hot weather.
This means while the solar panels are working overtime to
collect the sun’s rays, your family won’t have to adjust the
cooling system to stay comfortable indoors. These Energy
Star−qualified laminated asphalt shingles come in a variety of
popular styles and colors.
roof makes up approximately 40 percent of a home’s exterior.
However, investing in a cool roof is now a practical option,
with an integrated system feasibly paying for itself in as
little as four years. Also, solar panel installation qualifies
for a 30 percent federal tax credit—available through 2016. Many
roofing contractors throughout the U.S. are
also taking advantage of solar training, and communities and
utilities often have money-saving programs, which can be found
learn more about solar roofing, visit www.certainteed.com or
call (800) 233-8990.
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How To Tell When Your Home Needs A New Roof
a little time and effort in monitoring the condition of your
roof can pay big dividends when it comes to your home and your
Industry professionals believe it’s a good idea to inspect your
roof regularly, particularly if you live in areas of the country
that experience extreme weather.
can inspect your roof yourself, either by climbing on your roof
or by using binoculars from the ground. Another sound option is
to have a professional do it for you.
you do go up on the roof yourself, remember to always use proper
safety equipment to prevent falls or injury.
Learn to Read the Signs
Look carefully for the following signs your roof may be in need
of repair or replacement:
Leaks in the attic after a wind-driven rain or ice buildup;
Blistering and peeling of interior and/or exterior paint;
Stains, mold or mildew on interior ceilings and walls;
Exterior decay of sheathing and/or siding.
When it comes to examining the roof itself, start by looking at
the shingles for any that are missing, cracked, curled, torn or
warped. Also, look for any open seams or joints that could lead
to leaking. Popped or rusted nails, or stains around nails, are
also signs that your roof is in need of repair or replacement.
A Roof Is More Than Shingles
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that a roof is more than
just the shingles. A roof is actually a system that, in addition
to the shingles, includes other components, such as leak
barriers and ventilation components.
While each element has a particular job to do, they are also
designed to work together to cover a house.
Designed to Offer Peace of Mind
There is good news for homeowners who want to cover their
financial investment as well as their house. One manufacturer of
roofing products has a program that offers what it calls
“limited lifetime coverage” when a homeowner installs any of its
Lifetime Shingles, as well as three or more qualifying
accessories made by the same company.
Lifetime Roofing System from GAF is designed to provide
homeowners with peace of mind and support contractors who are
selling and installing complete roofing systems.
company’s roofing products have been specifically designed to
work together for superior, long-term protection and have been
proven to be effective on millions of homes nationwide.
learn more, visit www.gaf.com.
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DIY Made Easier
you’re like most people, you’ve probably spent time wandering
the aisles of home improvement stores pining over pending
projects and then, feeling overwhelmed, left empty-handed.
Do-it-yourself projects, while cost effective, can be a little
scary—especially for those who aren’t creatively inclined or
extremely handy. Luckily, there are many value-boosting projects
that can be completed with little home improvement knowledge.
With a small budget of no more than $100 and a little sweat
equity, these DIY projects can spruce up your home and make it a
cozier place to live.
Paint Your Front Door: Costing
approximately $50 to $100, a fresh pop of color on your door can
be a great way to help your home stand out and look appealing.
Landscape: You can freshen up your yard with flowering plants
available at home improvement stores for only a few dollars a
plant. New mulch also makes a big statement for a small price.
Refresh Your Bathroom: If
a big remodel isn’t in the budget, consider updating the faucet
hardware. It can be a great way to add personal style to your
powder room. Whether the new addition is traditional or modern,
this eye-catching update will likely run under $100.
Maximize Your Storage: Adding
storage to the master bedroom and kitchen is not only a good
investment, it will save you time and stress down the road. Add
useful space to your closet with DIY products such as ClosetMaid®
Selectives™. For about $100, you can add a starter kit or shoe
racks. For more storage in your pantry, there’s the ClosetMaid 4
Drawer Wire Basket System.
more information on how to solve your storage and organization
dilemmas, you can log on to www.ClosetMaid.com or
call (800) 874-0008.
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Boil Water Advisory: Think Before You Drink
power goes out. There is construction in your neighborhood. A
flood strikes. A water main cracks. Each of these can cause a
disruption in the flow of water to your home. This disruption
can affect the quality of your water for drinking, cooking and
household chores. In these instances, Boil Water Advisories are
issued to ensure consumers take proper precautions to make sure
water is safe to drink. Boil Water Advisories do not mean that
water is contaminated, but rather that it could be tainted.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work to ensure
consumers only use water that has been properly disinfected for
drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes or for personal hygiene
during a Boil Water Advisory.
Follow these safety tips until the Boil Water Advisory has been
• Drink bottled water. Drink
water from a source you know wasn’t affected by a water main,
such as water from a bottled water cooler or single-use bottled
water. You may want to contact a local bottled water delivery
service to quickly get access to three- or five-gallon jugs of
• Boil water to disinfect. This
is the best method for ensuring drinking water is disinfected.
Boil water for one minute, let it cool and store it in clean,
covered containers. Boiling will kill any disease-causing
organisms and provide you with clean, potable water.
• Use household products. If
you cannot boil your water, an alternative is to use unscented
liquid household chlorine bleach to sanitize the water. Simply
add 1/8 teaspoon (or eight drops) of unscented liquid household
chlorine bleach for each gallon of water. Stir well and let it
stand for 30 minutes before use.
• Filter cloudy or murky water. Look
at the appearance of your water in a clear glass. If it looks
discolored or murky, you may want to filter it and disinfect it.
You can create a very basic filter using a clean cloth, a coffee
filter or a paper towel. However, it will still need to be
• Call your Culligan Man. If
your neighborhood or community is under a Boil Water Advisory,
make sure to follow sanitizing procedures for water softeners
and drinking water systems installed in your home. You can find
these procedures outlined in your Culligan product owner’s
manuals. It is also important to call your local Culligan
Dealer. Your local Culligan Man can answer any questions about
the quality and safety of your water, availability of bottled
water services and what steps to take to address your home’s
water treatment system.
For more information, visit www.culligan.com,
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Investing In America
is a growing trend among consumers across Americatoward
seeking out locally designed and produced products. Investing in
American products is easier than you might think, especially
when it comes to quality.
Hunter Douglas window fashions for your home, for example, are
designed and manufactured in America and
exported to 38 countries on six continents.
buy American products? Here are a few answers:
• Stimulates Job Growth: Every
dollar spent on American products helps support American jobs.
• American Standards: Local
products are marked with a special brand of American excellence,
efficiency and service.
• Giving Back: U.S.-based
companies that manufacture products throughout the country are
well-positioned to give back to their local communities.
• Eco-Friendly: American
companies are consistently renewing efforts to promote
environmentally responsible manufacturing. Also, their goods
require less transportation than imported ones, which cuts back
on carbon emissions.
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Big News Of Small Spaces
large in a little home may not only simplify life, minimize
costs and reduce environmental impact, it can be easier to
achieve than many realize. Following these easy tips can help
make rooms feel bigger and brighter.
1. Open floor plans and
furniture placement that leaves views open make spaces easy to
navigate and the room feel bigger.
2. Lighten up. Light
colors on walls and furniture help small spaces feel large.
Letting in natural light extends the feel of the room beyond its
3. Get double-duty furniture: tables
and ottomans with hidden storage space. Clean spaces look
bigger, so keep clutter out of sight.
4. Store smart and stay organized. Shelving
units maximize wall space for storage; add baskets on the bottom
shelves for extra capacity. Fill clear containers with seasonal
clothing and items and slide them under couches and beds.
5. Convert a closet into
a home office by adding a desk and shelves. Hang organizers on
the back of the door for extra storage. Close the door and the
computer and paperwork are out of sight, instantly opening up
more tips on making the most of small spaces, visit the www.homes.comIdea
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