Home DecorPortland July 7, 2016

Blackout Curtains for the Late Summer Sun

blackout curtainsLegally, a room has to have a closet and a window in order to be called a bedroom. The best sleep I've ever had was in what's known as a "non-conforming" bedroom. It was a basement addition that had no windows. When the door was shut and the light was off, it was completely dark. Insulated by the ground, there was almost no noise, either. It was wonderful. I miss that little non-bedroom.

I love the summers here in Oregon, but I don't love that the sun is out for so much of the time that I'd like to be sleeping. The light wakes me up, or makes it hard for me to sleep restfully, and I know I'm not the only one. Good luck getting your toddlers to go to bed at a reasonable hour in the summertime, too. "But the sun is still out!" As much as I loved my windowless room, I doubt it's a trend that will catch on. The next best thing is a good blackout curtain. 

I got these inexpensive Deconovo curtains on Amazon, and I'm very happy with them. They're attractive and effective — almost as good as having no bedroom window at all 🙂

Home DecorRenovations June 20, 2016

Will Clear Wood be a Building Game-Changer?

Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a process that removes color from wood. The video above shows the process — and what's left after they're done is a transparent wood that is even stronger than natural wood. The researchers have so far only used this process on small pieces of wood in the lab, but they believe that we could be using this clear wood in large building projects within the next five years. Maybe your next home will have windows made of wood! 

The material isn't entirely transparent. You can see through it, but it's a little bit grainy. Maybe the research will improve the clarity, or maybe this grainy but clear wood will be perfect for certain building uses. Perhaps you could have the look of a modern glass building, but without the heat and glare inside. 

Would you be interested in wooden window panes in your home? I'm curious how we'll see this put to use in construction and design over the next few years!