If you frequently work or study from home, creating the ideal workspace is a must. So what’s the first step? Choosing the right desk, of course! Here’s what you should do before making your pick.
Measure the space you have
Some people have a whole room they can use, while others are allotted only a corner. Before heading out to look for desks, calculate the space you have, and don’t forget to factor in room for a chair and other office furniture.
Determine the way it will be used
Will you be working primarily on your computer, or do you need space to handle paperwork? Will your desk be kept clear, or do you need it to hold other office equipment like a phone or printer? Select a compact, rounded desk that allows you to reach everything you need without changing positions.
Deduce what storage you need
If you need to keep books, papers and other supplies handy while you work, consider a desk with drawers. Alternatively, filing cabinets and bookshelves can help keep you organized.
Prioritize your comfort
Pick a desk that’s the proper height, and if you suffer from back pain, a standing desk might be an ideal option. Things like foot rests, keyboard wrist rests and monitor stands can make your workspace more comfortable.
In addition to these considerations, consider what style elements you want your desk to have. Traditional and stately or contemporary and chic? For a seamless fit, choose a desk that matches the design esthetic in your home.
The best place for your space heater
An auxiliary heating appliance can help you heat your outbuildings and parts of your home during a cold spell. But where should you put it? Follow these tips to choose the best spot for your space heater.
• Establish a three-foot safety zone. Keep the space heater away from flammable materials like curtains, bedsheets and furniture. Make sure that kids and pets can’t get near enough to touch it.
• Keep it away from the wall. This is both safer and more efficient. Maintaining a small distance between the space heater and the wall allows heat to circulate freely and therefore warms up the room more efficiently.
• Avoid damp locations. Moisture can damage most electric heating appliances. Unless it’s rated for use in bathrooms or kitchens, keep your space heater away from damp locations.
• Put it on the ground. Heat rises, so placing your space heater on a table or shelf won’t make your room much warmer. Keep it on the floor instead.
Space heaters aren’t meant to heat your whole home, so keep them where you need them the most. And be sure to get one rated for the size of the area. One that’s too small won’t heat efficiently, and one that’s too large will waste electricity.
Starting your teen off with banking
What’s almost as scary as your teen learning to drive? Your teen with money.
Maybe scary is too strong a word. But as with most endeavors where our children move into independence, there’s some trepidation. Have they learned the lessons we tried to teach them? Will they be mindful?
One rite of passage includes the teen checking account, their first foray into handling money on their own … or semi on their own. If your child is under 18, you’ll likely have to be a joint owner; you’ll be able to monitor transactions and access accounts.
Other options include getting your teen a prepaid debit or credit card.
You could set up an allowance in a checking account into which the teen can also deposit income from work. They can then use a debit card to pay their expenses.
A prepaid credit card will avoid the need for a checking account, but also not teach a teen how to use an account.
Some of the things you’ll have to teach your teen.
* How to write a check. We all sometimes need paper. Still.
* Interest rate and monthly fees.
Some accounts have fees and if your account has them, teach your teen when they apply.
* Overdraft fees and overdraft policy.
Teens must not overdraft their account and, if they do, fees will quickly eat up a teen paycheck. You might want to monitor a teens checking account to make sure they haven’t overdrawn.
Teens have to understand that overdrafts and fees can’t be ignored.
* Mobile Banking. Teens are going to use their phone.
* Text alerts and email can be sent to both the teen and parents.
Velvet revival: bring fall’s trendiest textile into your home
Velvet enthusiasts rejoice: home design’s lushest material is en vogue and cropping up on upholstered furniture, accessories and decor pieces across the country.
Once considered difficult to care for and easy to stain, today’s velvets come with a number of low-maintenance characteristics, from machine-washable to fade-, stain- and abrasion-resistant options.
Surprisingly, velvet is versatile. Not only does this plush textile looks fabulous in a range of colors and styles, it also works well in both contemporary and traditional homes.
While velvet has a reputation for being dark and moody, you don’t need to stick to dark hues. Velvet’s lavish texture is well suited to jewel tones like emerald, amethyst and sapphire. However, if these tones are too bold for you, neutrals like grays and creams are more refined but just as stylish.
While it’s easy to fall in love with a velvet sofa, headboard or armchair, not everyone is in the market for new furniture. For a touch of the trend, add cushions and throws made of the fabric to your existing living room furniture. To bring it into the bedroom, choose velvet curtains or a quilt.
Whether you pair this textile with brass and wood for a mid-century touch, or go ultra-modern with clean lines and complementary pieces made of chrome and glass, velvet can fit easily into any home’s decor.
What you need to know about geothermal heating and cooling systems
No matter how much the weather might fluctuate on the earth’s surface, if you go deep enough underground, the temperature stays stable at around 50 °F. Geothermal heating and cooling systems tap into this constant source of heat to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.
How it works
Geothermal heating and cooling systems use indoor heat pumps combined with a series of pipes buried deep underground to regulate the temperature in your home. A fluid, usually made of water and methanol, continually circulates through the pipes.
When the system is heating, the liquid in the pipes extracts the underground heat and carries it to the heat pump. The pump then compresses the air to the desired temperature and distributes the heat through the home’s ventilation system. During the cooling cycle, the process is reversed and the heat in the air is removed and stored underground.
This type of system requires electricity to run the heat pump, but you can expect heating and cooling costs to go down by 50 to 70 percent.
Installing a geothermal heating and cooling system involves digging trenches to accommodate the required pipes. These can be buried horizontally or vertically, making this type of system suitable for both rural and urban developments. However, retrofitting an existing house may be costly and difficult as it requires digging into your existing landscaping.
If you’re building a new home or renovating, consider installing a geothermal heating and cooling system. It will provide an eco-friendly way to heat and cool your home, last generations and permanently reduce your energy bills.
Remove your cabinet doors for an instant kitchen upgrade
Do you love the airy look of open shelving in a kitchen? If so, removing your cabinet doors is an easy way to modernize your space without making a huge investment in time or money spent.
To get the look, remove the doors, fill in any imperfections and paint the interiors of the cabinets. Choose a color that contrasts the rest of the kitchen or the dishware you plan to store inside. Bright jewel tones, pale pastels or dark hues can all provide visual impact. If you’d like to make even more of a statement, use wallpaper instead.
Keep in mind that daily cooking can cause grease and dirt to accumulate in the kitchen faster than in any other room in your house. If you take the doors off your cabinets, only store items you use regularly to make sure everything stays clean.
Advantages of oil-filled space heaters
Oil-filled space heaters have a series of joined metal columns that are attached at the base of the unit. These columns (also called fins) are filled with diathermic oil, which serves as the heating element. The oil isn’t used as a fuel, so you’ll never need to refill it.
Here are some advantages of choosing this type of space heater over others.
• They’re energy efficient. Unlike other types of heaters, the entirety of the power used to run an oil-filled space heater is converted into heat.
• They’re comfortable. They don’t dry out the ambient air in a room like other heating systems do. Oil-filled space heaters also make virtually no noise when running.
• They retain heat well. Because it takes a while for the oil to cool, they continue to warm up a room even after they’re turned off.
As with any other heating appliance, safety is of the utmost importance when running an oil-filled space heater. Never use an extension cord to plug it in, don’t leave it unattended and, as the metal body can get very hot, be sure to keep it away from children and pets.