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Bahama Shutters – The Distinct Advantages of Bahama (Bermuda) Shutters

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Shutters are a relatively inexpensive way to add style and charm to any home. They come in two main types: indoor and outdoor shutters. The latter type has historically been used to protect homes and buildings from weather; and to provide residents with both privacy and a means of adjusting the amount of light entering a room. Certain shutter types can be beneficial for homeowners living in turbulent or extreme climates. For example, Bahama shutters provide storm protection, while louvered shutters are an excellent way to block large windows from various temperature shifts.

Exterior shutters, especially distinctive or carefully crafted wood pieces, can also add panache to many architectural styles. For example, Bahama shutters give the historical flavor of British colonialism to architecture, while brightly colored board-and-batten shutters lend a touch of the Old American West to homes and other structures. Homeowners today have a wide variety of shutter materials from which to choose, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.

Bahama shutters : A unique, top-hinged option

The design and functionality of outdoor shutters vary by model. Bahama shutters (also known as Bermuda shutters) have top hinges, so they stand in stark contrast to other side-hinged styles. The top-hinged design enables a homeowner to push his or her Bahama shutters out and away from the house. Most other shutter styles have side hinges, enabling the homeowner to open them from the center seam and push them away from the house.

Some common types of side-hinged shutters include:

-Board and batten shutters, which consist of large, shapely slabs of shutter material. The rough-hewn designs are crafted to mimic the shutter styles found on American frontier homes.

-Louvered shutters, which consist of wooden slats surrounded by a wood frame. Today, louvered shutters are often made of vinyl or fiberglass, as well. They are good choices for blocking off large panel windows or multiple windows in a series, and they can be customized to complement multiple building styles.

-Panel shutters, which are a European style of shutter and can be be customized to fit period architecture or décor. They are usually square, with one or more recessed rectangular panels set inside the shutter frames. Panel shutters also often come in fiberglass or vinyl models.

When people think of outdoor shutters, they are often imagining one or more of these side-hinged styles. However, the less-common Bahama shutter has some distinct advantages for homeowners. This style is worth considering as a quality, high-performing window covering option.

What are the advantages of Bahama shutters?

Bahama shutters are specifically designed to act as storm shutters. Because the hinges of these shutters run along the top of the window rather than down both sides, the shutters can be swung out quickly, and can be rapidly closed in preparation for inclement weather. The quick-close, storm-protective nature of Bahama shutters make them an excellent choice for homeowners living in storm belts.

The New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MI regions of the United States were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, rebuilding is rapid and ongoing. More importantly, architects and contractors have learned from past mistakes and are creating homes designed to withstand hurricane winds, rain, and flooding. Bahama shutters make highly functional window covering options in this Southeastern American hurricane belt. When coupled with intuitive architecture, such as housing foundations that are raised off the ground to allow for flooding, Bahama shutters can be useful assets during storm season.

Bahama shutters also aid in natural climate control. The top-set hinges are designed so that a homeowner can choose the angle at which he or she wishes to keep the shutters open. This enables the homeowner to control the amount of air entering a room, and allows him or her to set the shutters at angles that facilitate natural cooling by air circulation. Bahama shutters are smart picks for homeowners living in warm climates; the natural cooling properties allow homeowners to conserve energy while saving money on utility bills.

The Bahama shutter style benefits a variety of climates. In fact, homeowners residing in temperate climates can enjoy the advantages of Bahama shutters over different seasons. Many major American cities, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York experience rainy spring weather and hot, humid summer weather. Homeowners in these cities can reap the benefits of quick-close shutters during periods of rainy weather, and can enjoy the natural cooling properties of the shutter design during periods of summer heat and humidity. Furthermore, homeowners in all climates can enjoy the privacy protection and noise dampening properties of Bahama shutters.

Like other shutter styles, Bahama shutters are customizable. Reputable shutter companies have design staff members on hand to render the shutter style or shape that each customer desires. Talented shutter designers can often re-create shutter styles from customer sketches or AutoCAD files. Like most other shutter styles, Bahama shutters can be constructed of aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. Many wood styles and designs are elegant and sophisticated, and those made from Spanish cedar or mahogany are typically the longest lasting.

Homeowners who desire privacy, quiet, storm protection, and climate control can benefit greatly by choosing durable Bahama shutters.

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Home Improvement

Will Today’s Quotations Become Tomorrows Gardening Proverbs?

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We are all able to quote one or two gardening proverbs, even if we don’t really understand what they mean. Most of these will have been handed down to us, by family members, of an older generation. No-one knows where most of these old sayings originated, or why they were first coined. But one can imagine the first time they were spoken, that they were meant more literally than they are today.

Compare if you will, the Chinese proverb “A thorn defends a rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom”, with the modern sayings, especially those from the youth culture, and imagine any of them being passed on to the next generation.

Many of the so called quotations from “celebrities” are nothing short of vulgarities, with coarse language and profanities. Will people who hang on their every word and action, really want to recall them in years to come?

As with all proverbs, those related to gardening are thought provoking and can in fact fit many situations. An African proverb says “knowledge is like a garden, if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested”. What a profound thought that really is.

Some garden proverbs such as “don’t make mountains out of molehills”,”you reap what you have sow” and “fresh as a daisy”, are well known all over the world. Despite television, the internet and other forms of the media, one cannot imagine the words of, for example Big Brother contestants, being remembered for a few weeks, let alone for hundreds of years, by people around the globe.

Perhaps as gardeners, we should be proud of these wonderful words of wisdom, and put a few of them in our gardens. What could be better, than something like “he that plants thorns must never expect to gather roses” in your rose bed? “Friends are flowers that never fade”, in your border, where your visitors are able to see them?

Yes, some of them mat be sentimental, but what is wrong with that? After all, you are probably very proud of your garden and enjoy showing it off to friends and family. Why not let them see that the reason for your beautiful garden, is that you have a romantic heart.

Or, perhaps you would rather have something more modern and catchy? What about something by John McEnroe – “you can’t see as well as those f*****g flowers, and they’re f*****g plastic”.

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The 3 Golden Rules of Decluttering Your Kitchen

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The kitchen is probably one of the hardest areas of the house to declutter and organize because it is one of the most used and has the most items. The key to successful decluttering is organization. And think about how worth it it’s going to be – don’t you want to walk into a clean and clutter-free kitchen? You’ll be more inspired to cook and prepare meals more!

Rule # 1 – Only display items you use most

It’s not practical to visit cupboards and drawers just to make a cup of coffee, while you have plenty of items you barely use sitting on your counter. To make your kitchen work for you and not the other way around, store infrequently used items in the cupboards/drawers (if you don’t use it at all, get rid of it) and only bring out the items you use regularly.

Rule # 2 – Get rid of your spares

Why do you have cutlery for a family of 15? Do you really need 12 mugs when there’s only 4 of you at home? How come you have 5 frying pans when you clearly use just your favorite one? Think about how many extra plates, glasses, cutlery etc. you have that no one ever really uses and are just taking up space in your kitchen.

Realistically, you only really need one of each per member of the family, plus a few spares (for visitors and in case of breakage). Of course, there’s also that special set you only use during special occasions and there’s nothing wrong with that. But other than that, get rid of spares you don’t actually use.

If you must keep spares (for parties or whatnot), put them in a storage box and store them in the attic. You can also opt to use disposable for parties, which won’t clutter your kitchen!

Rule # 3 – Organize food properly

Speaking of spares – have you experienced buying new spices for a recipe, only to find out that you have 2 more bottles in the cupboard? To save money, avoid food wastage and get rid of clutter, position food and cooking items where you can see and access them properly. Display herbs and spices in a rack, store pastas in jars and place snacks in one place. Labelling the containers will also help a great deal in keeping your food items organized.

You don’t need to do something drastic to keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free – just practice these golden rules of decluttering your kitchen and you’ll be good to go!

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Winter Gardening – Winter Activities to Cure the Gardening Blues

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Winter can be a hard time for us gardeners. Especially in the months after Christmas when the decorations and lights have been packed up and our gardens are covered in a thick layer of snow. But just because there’s nothing to do out in the garden doesn’t mean we can’t plan for this coming spring’s garden.

The winter is a great opportunity to plan for next year’s garden. As an avid gardener, I relish the chance to take stock of last year’s successes and failures and figure out how I can do things bigger or better. Just like a well built house starts from a set of plans, a fantastic garden requires forward thinking.

Towards the end of winter, when the warm days are starting to return, go out into your garden with a pen and notebook and take a survey of what needs to be done. Do perennials need to be moved or divided? Would you like to put in any new beds, and where? It’s a good idea to pay attention to how much light vs shade different spots in your garden receive.

Different plants prefer different amounts of light and this information can be found in most catalogs. If you’re planting veggies, draw a general diagram of what you want to plant and where. Don’t forget crop rotation!

Once the soil thaws it’s a good idea to get a soil test; especially before you start any new garden beds. You can usually send in a sample to your local extension office or university for a small fee.

Other activities to keep you busy in the winter months are:

Clean and repair your garden tools – Cleaning your hand tools of mud and rust, sharpening them up and then coating them in oil for protection will make them last for decades to come.

Take care of houseplants – My houseplants always seem to get neglected during the summer months, when I’d much rather be outside. Now is the time to give them some love. Take care of any pest issues. Divide or root prune the plants that have become pot-bound. The divisions you make can be used as gifts for Easter or Mother’s day.

Feed the birds – Build or buy a bird feeder. The wildlife that you attract can provide many hours of entertainment for the whole family.

Start sprouts – Sprouts are an easy way to keep growing your own nutritious greens through the winter. All you need is a mason jar and a window sill. Many healthfood stores carry seeds for sprouting and instructions are usually on the packaging.

Grow an indoor herb garden – If you have a large, south-facing window you’re all set. Otherwise you can buy high output grow lights that let you grow herbs and greens indoors all year. There are even kits online that come with everything you need to get an indoor herb garden going.

Visit a local greenhouse or nursery – Taking in all the colors and scenery can be cathartic when the winter blues got you down.

Attend gardening seminars and garden shows – Many seminars and shows are scheduled in the winter, when serious growers have time to attend.

Buy more books – I don’t know about you, but I can never have enough gardening books.

Whatever you do, don’t despair! I hope these activities can help keep you sane doing the winter months.

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