Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Happy Fall!

Today is the first day of fall, which means we will soon be spending increasingly more time indoors. Get outside and pick some apples or walk through the park while you can, because winter is coming. It’s important to make sure your home is just as prepared for the cold weather as you are.

Source: D. Sharon Pruitt

Here are a few ways to prep the house for fall:

Check your heat

For about $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to make sure the system is clean and in good condition so that it can achieve its efficiency standards. The earlier the better…you do NOT want to wait until winter to find out if your heat isn’t working. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage. Look for a heating and air-conditioning contractor that belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America .

Buy a programmable thermostat

Many homes today already have this option, so if you already have one, be sure to check the settings. The initial investment of $50 to $100, you will save you well over that annually on energy bills if keep the thermostat set to no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home and awake and no more than 62 degrees when you’re away or asleep. Energy Star–qualified models are your best bet because they come with preprogrammed settings. You could also consider home automation for added convenience. While you’re at it, check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors.

Seal all cracks and holes

Check windows, doors and the perimeter for cracks or holes that will cause leaks. Fill any found holes around windows and doors with caulk. If the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Check window glazing putty, too (which seals glass into the window frame). Add weather-stripping as needed around doors, making sure you seal any cracks from inside your home. For extra insulation, consider installing cellular shades. These shades are another product that’s going to cut your energy bills down. The larger the cell, the more insulation they provide.

Get the Fireplace Ready

If you have a working fireplace, cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. You should consider calling a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Be sure to inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing and check the mortar between bricks and tuck-point if necessary.

Prevent Mold Growth

The biggest areas susceptible to mold are any areas prone to humidity and stuffiness. Bathrooms, basements and crawl spaces can be hotspots for mold growth.  Make sure exhaust fans in bathrooms are working properly and being utilized if the room gets humid, such as after a shower.  Ever smell that mildew smell in your basement? Mold and mildew can increase the risk of illnesses.  Consider placing dehumidifiers in crawlspaces or basements.


Design tip: Consider switching up the art work in your home or change a few accessories. It can be a simple switch, such as new throw pillows or a different scented candle. You’re going to be spending more and more time inside as it begins to get colder. It can be refreshing to change your scenery inside. Select four to eight simple black frames and you can change the photos with each season. It’s like having a small personal art gallery in your home.

La Bergamote Got New Shades!

For a charming escape to Paris, without the hassle of passports and jet lag, I highly recommend stopping by La Bergamote in Chelsea.

La Bergamote Patisserie NYC


Upon walking into this quaint little patisserie, located at 177 9th Avenue, the first thing you notice is a giant glass display case filled with a variety of Parisene delicacies- golden, flaky croissants, glossy fruit tarts, light macarons, and a variety of gateaux that look too pretty to eat.

La Bergamote, 177 9th Ave., Chelsea, NYC, Pastries, French Decor, Windows, Roller Shades
Source: NY Magazine

Francophiles will not only appreciate the food, but also the café-inspired decor, like the hand-painted mural, framed photos, and french country counter.


Inside La Bergamote


The best Croissant in town

Horizon recently added Phifer SheerWeave roller shades to the windows at La Bergamot. The vinyl-coated fiberglass weave will diffuse natural light and manage heat and light from the sun, so the patisserie will be filled with a soft light that perfectly complements its french aura.



The Advantages of Layering Window Treatments

Multiple layered window treatments provide numerous benefits. You will save more energy easily. You even get to block out the light better, so that you can enjoy a peaceful, dark room when the mood fits. Although having a sweeping sheer drape can be nice from time to time, investing in shutters or blackout shades or other types of products can work well to give you warmth and added comfort. In addition, it creates a complete framing of the window. You get as much privacy as you want to have with this multiple layered look.

There are several options available to you. For example, you can invest in a solar shade, which is designed specifically to block out the light and to reduce the amount of heat that passes from the sun through the window of your home. That is a great option during the summer months when you want there to be less heat streaming in the windows.

You could work with roman shades that are on the top and side panels for each of the sides of the window, as well. Yet another solution is to use shutters at the bottom of the window itself. That will give you more privacy especially if you are located on the ground floor. Try a roman or balloon shade at the top of the window if you are interested in softening the look of the room and you want to have a complete framing of the window. This too gives you the added privacy that you are after.

As you can see, there are many possibilities to combine and many benefits when you choose a multiple layered window treatment instead of just a single one. Keep in mind that you can mix and match window treatments like this to get the look that you want and the privacy or energy efficiency you are after.

Ideas for Kitchen Window Treatments

The kitchen is the heart of your home. Windows here can really open up the space and provide you with great light. However, having window coverings is important. For some homeowners, there is a need to have treatments for privacy. For others, energy efficiency is a reason to add treatments. However, considering the area of the home, there are certain things you need to think about such as if the window treatment is a good choice for cleanliness and for the aesthetic beauty, it offers. There are some outstanding options available to you.

Consider what you need first. If the kitchen in your home is adjacent to the dining room or other formal place, or the kitchen has a more formal look to it, the window treatments need to reflect this aspect. Also important is cleanliness. Since many windows are placed right above sinks, it is easy for everything from splashes to grease to get on them. You need a product that is easy to clean and maintain.

The good news is that there are a wide range of options to choose from. For your kitchen window treatments, consider solar shades to keep temperatures in control and to reduce the overall ability of others to see into the window when you do not want them to. You may want to consider silhouette shades or cellular shades too, since these are easy to maintain but do provide that formal, elegant look.

Kitchen window treatments are available in numerous styles and function options. You are sure to find a wide range of colors, styles and fabrics to select from so that you can personalize this space. You can enhance the look and function of your window when you select the proper kitchen window treatments for the space you have selected. This is a great way to change out the look of this space inexpensively, too.