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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home Decorating Ideas for Cutting Your Energy Bill

A few warm throws scattered around the room can keep everyone cozy while cutting your energy bill.
One day last year I got tired of freezing every time I went down into the basement of my split level home. No matter how much I heated the house, the lower floor always felt like a refrigerator. I decided to implement home decorating ideas that will keep my basement warm while cutting my energy bill. And—surprise, surprise! The decorating ideas worked so well that I soon adopted them in my upstairs bedrooms too. So here they are, my home decorating ideas that will cut your energy bill. I hope you find them helpful.
#1. Heavy Drapes
To prevent your windows from cooling the air around them, hang beautiful heavy drapes over them. If you already have curtains, just add the heavy drapes as a top layer, using a second curtain rod that extends farther from the wall. I found my beautiful drapes on sale, but you can also turn heavy blankets into drapes by using curtain clip rings that hang the blankets from the rod. The most important part of this decorating tip relates to how you hang the drapes in the corners. Pull 2 inches of fabric off the rod, then use a curtain clip ring to connect them to the base of the curtain rod support attached to the wall. This will cause your drapes to wrap around the corners and reach all the way to the wall. Finally, cut a hole in at the top of the drape where the rod needs to slip out again. Then connect the decorative rod end as you normally would.
#2. Fireplace Screen
Despite keeping my chimney flap (damper) closed when the fireplace wasn't being used, cold air would still come down my chimney. I looked for a fireplace screen in dimensions that are close to the size of my fireplace and found a wide selection on sale through different internet stores. I chose a screen that had glass to provide complete insulation of the room from the chimney. It also had doors so I could access the logs when the fire was burning. The screen added a beautiful decorative focal point to the room, which also happened to cut my energy bill by shutting the cold air out.
#3. Outlet Covers
My outlet covers in walls that faced the exterior let in cold wind. I decided to change them with new, larger covers that will attach firmly to the wall and seal any gaps. I bought decorative covers with flower patterns that matched my decor. Finally, I inserted Child Safety Plastic Outlet Covers into the outlets that were not in use to prevent cold air from blowing through them.
#4. Electric Freestanding Stove
To warm up the room without having to turn up the heating system of the entire home, I bought an inexpensive electric stove that I can turn on and off with a remote. You can see similar stoves at on-line stores that sell electric fireplaces. Despite its small size and price, my electric freestanding stove produces as much heat as a large electric fireplace. The stove is situated in a corner with the bookcases behind it. The fake flames in the stove really add decorative warmth to the room while cutting my energy bill.
#5. Decorative Throws
Lack of activity, like sitting down to read a book, typically makes me feel cold. Instead of turning on the stove to heat in the room, I keep a beautiful throw spread over the back of my sofa so I can snuggle up when I want to. For my arm chairs, I fold matching throws on the arms. I even have an earth-toned throw on my wood rocking chair. You too can have fun with this decorating idea by adding decorative throws to your rooms, which will keep you warm while cutting your energy bill.
#6. Low Voltage Decorative Table Lamps
Instead of using the bright overhead lights constantly, I installed a dimmer for them, and you can find this simple dimmer at your favorite home improvement store (some dimmers even come with a remote). Next I bought decorative lamps that run on low voltage. I placed the lamps on side tables, to give us soothing, soft illumination, which we just love. Not only did I decorate my room with the lamps, but I cut on my energy bill because we now spend much more time using the dimmed illuminations than the overhead, glaring lights.

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