Home Help: Make your bedroom a safe haven

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Decorating Tip: Enhance sleep with calming bedroom design

Enhance the quality of your sleep with a few adjustments to the room you sleep in.

- Try to create a look that is spare, but not necessarily bare. Stripping it down to the essential elements is conducive to sleep, but make sure the room does not look sterile or soulless.

- One trick that high-end interior designers use to create a relaxing oasis is upholstering the walls in sumptuous textured fabrics like silk and linen.

- Try wall treatments such as padded and button-tufted fabric walls or stretch a tapestry, wall hanging or drapery across the length of the wall behind the bed.

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How to: Prepare your deck for winter

Soon it will be time to leave outdoor living spaces and ride out winter's cold indoors. But before you batten down the barbecue and stow the patio cushions, don't forget to take care of wooden structures - like decks, pergolas and play sets - that must remain out in the elements.

- Clean leaves, dirt and pine needles from between the boards of your deck. This will increase airflow around the boards and reduce the opportunity for mold and mildew to grow.

- Remove planters and flower pots - even those that are just ornamental - from the deck. Moisture can collect under planters or pots and leave stains on your deck.

- Clean wooden structures with a broom, a garden sprayer, a little bleach and a water hose. Kill any existing mold or mildew with a solution of three parts water and one part oxygen bleach applied with your garden sprayer.

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Did You Know …

A half-cup of household ammonia added to rinse water will brighten colored clothes.

Home Improvements: Sunroom an at-home retreat

Sunrooms blur the lines between indoors and out, and can provide homeowners with the feeling that they are getting away from it all, like they are taking a vacation in their own home. Some pointers for planning the perfect sunroom:

- Consult a qualified installer to find out if underground obstacles, building codes or zoning ordinances limit your options for a conventional backyard addition.

- Screenrooms and sunrooms are not the same thing. A patio or screenroom may only be useful during warm weather, while many sunrooms can be made habitable for three seasons, or even all year long.

- Consider your timing since traditional wood-framed sunroom additions can take months to complete. Fiberglass framing and fiberglass windows can save time and reduce energy costs.

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Garden Guide

Chipmunks are cute, but they can be pests in your garden.

A common chipmunk repellent is moth balls or flakes. Chipmunks cannot tolerate the smell of them.

Another chipmunk repellent is either pureed garlic or hot peppers or a combination of both. Steep the pureed garlic and hot peppers in 1 cup hot soapy water until the water is cool. Strain and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Shake and pour into a spray bottle. Spray this on plants you wish to keep the chipmunks from.

Other chipmunk repellent suggestions include castor oil, predator urine and ammonium soap.


Backyard Buddies

Looking to attract some ground-feeding birds this winter?

White millet, which is an inexpensive seed, can be scattered on the ground for sparrows, juncos and mourning doves.


GateHouse News Service