Baby the flooring in your infant’s room
DEAR Leanne: What is your advice about flooring for a baby’s room? I understand that carpets can affect the air quality, and yet the thought of a hard surface doesn’t seem safe. We would appreciate your comments on this.
ANSWER: Providing a soft footing in a baby’s room not only offers comfort, but also provides some degree of safety. When the child is out of the crib, he or she will likely be playing on the floor. The soft feel of a carpet is much more comfortable compared to a hardwood or tile surface.
There are safety aspects to consider, as well, if you have a hard surface. Children can fall down at all stages of their development, and landing on a soft surface is usually less traumatic. If a baby drops something on a hard surface, the item may break and become a hazard. If the child attempts to escape the crib, there is comfort in knowing a soft landing will await him.
Finding a true hypoallergenic or ecofriendly carpet can be difficult, however. Many carpets are created from synthetic fibres, backed with a latex product for stability and dyed with chemicals. All together these elements have the potential of emitting volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the air, which affect the air quality. Hardwood flooring also emits VOC.
An alternative to synthetic fibres is natural carpets made from wool, bamboo or sisal. Sisal is a resilient fibre, but not very comfortable. Bamboo is being manufactured into fibres and used in a variety of applications for home decor, from towels to area carpets. This process is still very new and so its application remains quite limited.
Although more comfortable than sisal, the untreated-wool carpet offers comfort with many great options including a natural jute backing and natural dyes — drastically reducing VOC levels. Although the wool carpet is more costly than synthetic carpet, it tends to last longer and feel more luxurious, making it a long-term option.
Dear Leanne: Last week, I went to my lake cabin and removed all the curtains to have them cleaned. I loved the open feeling so much that I hesitate to put them back up.
My husband wants them back on for privacy, but we are secluded and I don’t think that is a problem.
What is your thought on window coverings? I really want to keep the open view.
There is no question that the reason you have your cottage is to enjoy the view of the lake. Optimizing this is something I am sure both you and your husband wish to experience.
You don’t have to go with the all-ornothing approach, however. There are a number of window-covering options that provide a variety of benefits.
Draperies and curtains are considered soft window treatments. They typically offer heat and light control. This is important on those hot summer days if you don’t have proper ventilation and airflow.
Without some form of deflection, your cottage can become an uncomfortable hothouse. With the daylight hours starting early in the morning, you need to consider how happy everyone will be when they get up with the birds. This may also be a challenge if you are attempting to settle down young children in the evening.
Another feature that window coverings offer is the privacy factor, as your husband mentioned. Regardless of the seclusion you feel, I am sure you would want the property to be as secure as possible when you are away. Bare, open windows are far too inviting.
Along with their practical functions, draperies add to the style of the room. Another feature that soft coverings offer is the ability to soften echoing sounds. If your cottage is filled with hard surfaces such as wood, tile or stone, there is no place for sound waves to land and be absorbed, thus creating echoes. This is not a terribly comforting environment, and can be easily remedied with some well-placed fabrics or carpets.
Draperies are only one option when it comes to window coverings. Blinds and shutters should also be considered. Due to their structured characteristics, these coverings are considered hard window treatments.
There are many options that are perfect for lake cottages, including bamboo or grass blinds, cheerful fabric blinds (roller or Roman are very popular), metal or vinyl venetian blinds, as well as fabric shades such as Hunter Douglas’ Silhouette and Trio systems.
When you are deciding what would provide you with the best options, you need to consider the following: the ability to control your view, privacy, temperature, light and sound.
Often the hard treatment systems can be raised into a cassette that keeps the window, and therefore the view, completely unobstructed. The Venetian, Silhouette and Trio options allow the view while controlling heat, light and privacy. This is not the case with draperies, which are either opened or closed.
I suggest you install a shade that works with your decor rather than reinstalling the draperies. You will get the view and still be able to control the temperature and light as needed, while your husband can maintain his privacy --not to mention security when you are not there.
— Canwest News Service
Providing a soft footing in a baby’s room not only offers comfort, but also provides
some degree of safety.