Monthly Archives: March 2011

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is an electric cooling and heating system used to compress and decompress gas to heat or cool a house. This mechanical device pumps heat from a cooler to a warmer location and can extract heat from air, water or the earth. Heat pumps functions like an air conditioner in the summer and an electric furnace in the winter, thus encompassing both a heating and cooling unit in one device. The COP, or coefficient of performance, which calculates the ratio of heat output to electric power consumption, measures the performance of a heat pump.

Heat pumps are the most resourceful form of electric heating in moderate climates, and cool a house by collecting the heat inside the house and effectively pumping it outside. There are three types of heat pumps that one can install: air-to-air, water source and ground source. Heat pumps can collect heat from air, water or ground and can utilize the same to heat or cool your home. When installing a heat pump at home, one should consider using an energy-efficient heat pump system, keeping in mind the climate of the region.

For instance, air source heat pumps are a good option for mild and moderate climate regions, and ground source or geothermal heat pumps are efficient in climates with similar heating and cooling loads. The most common types of heat pumps are the air-source and ground-source heat pumps. Although ground source heat pumps are more expensive to install, they are more efficient and less noisy.

However, to make heat pumps work efficiently, they should be installed properly, and one should choose the right sized pump that can fulfill the heating and cooling demands of the house. While selecting a heat pump one should buy a device with a higher Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. The pumps should also be fitted with demand-defrost control, which minimizes the defrost cycles and reduces supplementary and heat pump energy use.

Heat pumps are much more cost-effective then other conventional heating devices, and are also becoming more commonly used to heat swimming pools, and hot water for household use.

The Art of Garden Designing

The difference between a bush, a forest and a garden lies in the layout. That is what separates a garden from a bunch of green trees and plants. Gardens are made to look beautiful and to add to the beauty of the surroundings. The gardens have drawn admiration for years, but a wonderfully inviting garden is the result of careful garden designing.

The entire garden designing procedure should be absolutely functional. Gardens should be designed according the owner of the garden. Do not have racks of a single plant species, just because it is your favorite. It might spoil the entire design of the garden. The available garden space, proper sunlight and effortless cleaning are to be carefully considered. A proper garden layout unfolds some revelation or surprise at every corner.

It could be a fountain, an all way wooden pathway or bunch of bright flowers in contrast to the surroundings. Sometimes walls, trellis or hedges are used as dividers, to lend the designer look. Low walls have minimum maintenance but are a bit expensive to build. The trellis is cheaper and flexible, it is time consuming to maintain. Low hedges in the garden give it a very natural look. It requires regular trimming to keep it neat. The choice of the garden designing expenditure depends on the space and time available at your disposal.

The available shape and size of area are important in garden designing. The flower beds grown on square, rectangular or triangular shapes can be placed at strategic locations, like the corners or the center. It is preferable to enhance an available pond; it works to attract the birds. Garden designing is a personal choice depending on one’s own tastes, so let your creativity flow.

The various styles of garden designing include Asian style, formal, informal, gravel, water garden, cottage style or plain contemporary stylized garden. The effort and time consumed for garden maintenance has to be considered while garden designing. Asian style generally refers to the traditional Japanese or Chinese style of gardening where water bodies were a common feature. The cottage gardens add a pensive touch to the surroundings. It is an informal design, with plants ranging from wild flowers to even vegetables. Contemporary designs have more of a concrete garden than the plants. Formal garden designs are by and large seen in heritage homes. They consist of geometric shapes and patterns, as far as the trees and hedges are concerned.

Garden designing includes the walls and pavements to be colored brightly, instead of bringing them down. It is convenient to grow a garden along the pavement, instead of having to make a pavement along the gardens. Often, it is the carefully nurtured natural, unhindered growth of plants which lends that different look to the garden. Hence, garden designing is not only about getting the design right. It is about applying the right designs for the right homescape.

Home Furniture Design and Fabric Selection

Home furniture design and fabric selection are very important to a modern homeowner, whether male or female. Nobody wants to choose the wrong furniture or home fabrics, and although the furniture might appear the more important of the two, the wrong fabric selection can completely ruin an otherwise well-designed room.

So what do you do? Leave it to chance and hope that your untrained eye is as good as that of anybody else, or hire a professional to help you? In fact, your own opinion about how to decorate and furnish your home is likely to please you just as much as that of a professional interior designer. Most people who worry about such things are trying to please friends and visitors rather than select what they personally like.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, because most people do not make the best decisions when it comes to home furniture design and fabric selection. While there is no procedure you can follow to come up with what is best for your home, here are some guidelines on how to go about selecting your furniture design and how to make the correct fabric selection to go with it.

Decide on a Theme

You cannot even begin to consider furniture without deciding on a theme for your home – or even for each individual room. Very few people furnish and decorate their entire home on one single theme, but tend to mix them. Thus, many people love to have at least one themed room in their home: an Egyptian room or a room based on Ancient Rome, Classical Greece or an Asian, Wild West or Native American theme.

None of these is suitable for general household furniture, of course, or for the normal fabric selection you will find in your local sores. However, it does show that your whole house doesn’t have to be decorated the same way. So when you decide on a theme, your living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom can all be based on a certain home accent – even a traditional one.

For example, you can use antique style furniture and fabrics in your lounge or living room, with sofas and perhaps a chaise longue in the classical French style. Your dining room might be either contemporary, with a black glass-topped dining room table or one in beautiful glossy French polished walnut or mahogany with Queen Anne legs. The chairs might be traditionally webbed and sprung, and then upholstered in tapestry or velvet fabric.

What this is inferring is that you should decide on a general them for each room before you decide on appropriate home furniture design, and then choose the furniture and a fabric selection appropriate to that theme.

Home Furniture Design

As stated, the design of your furniture should go with the theme: contemporary, antique, Georgian or art nouveaux for example. Furniture makers such as The Custom Shoppe can help you design your own solid wood furniture, offering a choice of designs and woods appropriate to your general theme.

You may have chosen a Shaker theme with simple solid wood furniture. Shakers used what was available locally, such as pine, birch, cherry and poplar, and some even used maple or beech. You might prefer something more European, with stained dark oak, walnut, or cherry veneer or the exotic cinnamon-colored Asian teak or solid mahogany which has a beautiful deep red shade. Rosewood is another beautiful wood suitable for most forms of home furniture design.

Traditional American furniture, such as that available from American Craftsman, could be fashioned from light oak, apple or cherry, and black American black cherry is very much in vogue. So is Maple, although the wood you choose should be appropriate to the rest of the furniture in your room.

Home Fabric Selection

If you choose light oak for your dresser or armoire, a walnut or mahogany chest of drawers or table would not go well. This is where advice on home furniture design would be worth seeking. The same is even truer when you consider your home fabric selection. This is where genuinely serious mistakes can be made.

It would be far better if you could find somebody well versed in interior design, and while you might think that it doesn’t really matter – it does! If your drapes, rugs and upholstery fabrics all match, and the colors and designs were appropriate to the type of furniture you have chosen, then an OK room could be converted into a fabulous room.

Get It Right – For the Cats, Kids and the Visitors!

Keep in mind that not all fabrics are cat-proof, and many are also not child-proof. What that means in general terms is that you should be practical when choosing fabrics, and understand that what might be perfect for occasional dinner parties might not be so suitable for general use in a household with kids and a colony of cats with blunt claws needing sharpening!

http://www.seattlepremierpenthouse.com/master-bedroom-furniture