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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

From Little to LARGE

We’ve all been there; a home we’d like just a little more space in. Let’s face it though, you probably can’t or won’t renovate. Well, there are ways you can make a small room seem bigger and spacious.

Something simple to make a space seem larger than life is repainting it in a fresh light color. While darker colors can make a room seem cozy, it’s at the cost of feeling cramped as well. Also, take that theme up to the ceiling, painting it a bright white or place a patterned wallpaper to draw the eye up. Just be sure to choose a simple design with colors that aren’t too deep. Hint: stripes elongate a room.

Furniture can help or harm a room as well. Be sure to choose pieces that can be multi functional. An ottoman or coffee table with storage is a popular option. Smaller chairs and two seaters can break up a room. Using a single large couch will dispell that cluttered look. Use glass or lucite for shelves, tables, and tv stands; this technique creates an airy flow because it won’t disrupt the line of sight like solid pieces would.

Lighting may not seem like a big deal in a setting, but properly lighting a room can greatly increase the sense of space and functionality. Scrap the harsh over head lights, they just pool into a small spotlight and that doesn’t flatter a room. Try using lamps and candles to spread the light and evoke the eye throughout the room. Using a mirror opposite of walls with windows will reflect natural light and make a room seem brighter too.

All of these tips and tricks are easy, inexpensive ways to open up your home. Try these and more! Be sure to share your newfound secrets with your friends and family!

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Navy Blue is the New Black

Navy blue has always been a color that brings some elegance and sophistication to a space. It’s a color that can complement both traditional elements as well as the newest trends, making it a timeless choice. As time goes by, we have realized how important decorating our most personal spaces can be. We are now more conscious of what we bring into an environment and how well it goes with other elements in the same space.

This has caused us to experiment much more with colours and textures and over the years, navy blue has taken on the role of a neutral, just like black. You can almost never go wrong with either of these colours. The big advantage of navy blue over black is that it acts as a much softer neutral than black.

Navy Blue has become a safe color option for tiles, walls or accents throughout the home. You can bring a splash of this neutral color to the tiles in a bathroom, to an accent wall in your favorite living space or the backsplash of your kitchen. It can complement many themes and trends such as a floral print, a nautical theme, a geometric pattern or play an accent to a statement rug. It goes well with everyone’s favorites like a beautiful white marble countertop with navy blue cabinets or your favorite rustic wooden dining table next to a rich navy blue accent wall. It compliments all kinds of grays (another popular neutral option) as well as metallic finishes.

So the next time you pick up the black pillow, black lamp or a black tile, consider a change and try out navy blue. You won’t regret the softness and elegance it brings with it.

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Cascade Sheer Shade in a dining room setting. General Inspiration Interior Designers Products Shades Tips and Advice

Sheer Shades You Will Love

Sheer shades are those resplendent blinds that are also a shade. They gently filter light through transparent panels to create a natural glow. Once considered a designers’ secret, sheer shades are now available to the modern design enthusiast in an array of neutral colors and textures.  It’s easy, when you’re immersed in the world of design, to forget that the majority of consumers don’t have access to the pulse of the market the way those in the industry do. So what are sheer shades? How do you use them and where can you find them?

Sheer shades were designed to function as both a blind and a shade and were diversely different than anything else on the market. Although the basic components of other window treatments were in place, their design and function set them a world apart. Constructed of fabric vanes that float between two sheer panels, they closely resemble a horizontal blind but are uniquely different. Due to their fabric component, they are lighter in weight and more pliable making them easier to tilt, raise, and lower. This allows them to share the functionality of a roller shade, increasing ease of use with a roll up feature and decreasing the bulky stack that occurs with horizontal blinds. Near perfection is their design, making them an ideal choice for almost any room in the home.

Sheer shades provide a clean and chic, modern touch to almost any room, but personally, I recommend them for bedrooms, living/sitting rooms, and sunrooms. The gentle way sun filters through the layered sheer fabric creates a soft glow that lends itself well to softening a bedroom and creates an even more inviting space. I am drawn to spa-like bedrooms, with fluffy white bed linens, a myriad of textures from pillows and throws, and downy carpet underfoot. White or soft grey sheer shades, both light filtering and blackout, are the just the treatment to flawlessly finish a bedroom oasis.

Much can be assumed by a name and sheer shades are no exception. It would be easy to eliminate these beauties as an option based on the name alone, but don’t be misled. The functionality of these shades makes them an ideal candidate for living, dining, and sitting rooms. Their unique ability to function as both a blind and a shade is useful for allowing just the perfect amount of light for varied environments and situations. Drop the shades and close the vanes to ensure a darkened room for movie night, bask in the distilled rays as the sun filters through the open, sheer panels while enjoying a lazy afternoon, or take in an unobstructed date night view by simply closing the vanes and rolling up the shade.

Whether your home is function or fashion, or a bit of both, sheer shades are designed to impress. These shades are truly a show stopping, unique window treatment. Surely, but sheerly wonderful.

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Small Space Solutions

If you are like most people, no matter how big or small your space is, there still isn’t enough space for storage. But, if living in an apartment or condo, you are often presented with situations that leave you without a logical space to store an item. The key is to come up with creative solutions to add storage and shelving in places that you wouldn’t even have considered it! We have compiled a list of clever ideas that we have either seen used or tested out ourselves that made great use of otherwise “useless” spaces.

  • Kitchen
    • Use hanging shelves/containers to store things that usually clutter your countertops – think fresh fruits/produce or bread. Depending on your space, add hanging shelves to the end of cabinets, or find shelves that can hang underneath your cabinets and instantly free up counter space.
    • Make the most of your pantry. Even if it’s a small space – add storage to the inside of the door – think small things like spices, or aluminum foil/plastic wrap, that usually takes up shelf real estate that can be better utilized. When I did this, I got different shape desk organizers and drilled them directly onto my door and it added so much extra space!
  • Bathroom
    • Floating shelves! These can literally solve so many problems in small bathrooms – for giving you shelves next to the sink for basics – toothbrushes/toothpaste, cosmetics, q-tips, medicine (especially if your bathroom is lacking a medicine cabinet). They can also work over the toilet for towel storage, back up toilet paper, and any other bathroom products.
    • Shelves in the space between the toilet and sink. In most bathrooms, while not a lot of space, there is a space between the two that is completely un-utilized. Whether you find open shelving or shelves with baskets, you have added extra storage for anything you need, without taking away from the space in the bathroom (because honestly it was a wasted space to begin with).
  • Bedroom
    • Floating shelves again are key in the bedroom. Whether you have space to add them next to the bed – think over the nightstand or maybe in place of the nightstand, or over a vanity or desk – they can be used to store anything and everything. Again, keep in mind how neat you are – using baskets can always limit the amount of clutter.
    • Make the most of your closets. If you have hanging space in your closet, you likely have enough space to hang a shelf directly above that can be used to store more clothes. You probably also have enough space below for a shoe organizer – or even Rubbermaid bins that can store clothes that aren’t in season.

The thing to keep in mind when figuring out what space you can better use, is by looking at the room and seeing what space is being wasted, and finding shelves or containers that can make the most out of this space. Hope this helps a little with your spring cleaning/organizing!!

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DIY General Inspiration Interior Designers Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

Window Treatments 2018

It’s hard to believe trends can change so drastically from one year to another. Of course, there are go to styles which will never go out of style; but 2018 has brought some new, fun trends to the window treatment industry – maybe it’s your year to upgrade?

  • Bold patterns. Within the last few years, pattern has slowly been reintroduced to window treatments. This is compared to the 2000’s where the rule of thumb was neutral is better. Most of the bold patterns you can find now are available in Roller Shades. This provides a statement piece while remaining a modern, streamlined look in your window. They are also available in Roman Shades, which tend to appear slightly more traditional while the patterns provide them with a modern twist.
  • Natural materials. This is a trend that has held true over the last few years. Bringing in natural materials and fibers that make your rooms feel more tropical. There are a lot more roller shades that have been introduced in these materials which allows a more modern twist on the style. You can also stick with the natural bamboo shades which bring in actual reeds and shoots of bamboo and bring a feeling of warmth to any room.
  • Sheer materials. While the style of Serenity (two layers of sheers with a fabric blind in the middle) are still around, they have come a long way. These beautiful shades are produced in a variety of sizes, colors, and patterns now! There are also Cascade shades which operate more like a roller shade. These have expanded into a wide variety of natural patterns and colors. Even better, there is now a vertical version which is two layers of sheers with a solid in the middle that can be adjusted for privacy.
  • Adding dimension. As we mentioned, pattern has become extremely popular this year in the decorating industry. Adding decorative drapes over your blinds or shades is becoming increasingly popular as well. Not only does it allow you to bring in more texture, but it makes a statement in your overall room décor too.

These are just a few of the styles that are standing out in 2018 – not to mention the add-ons that have become easily accessible to the average homeowner – cordless and motorized. Hope this gets you thinking about your own windows!

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Spring is Here!

Spring is here, and hopefully where you live that means the gray snowy weather is in the rear-view mirror. If you happen to live in New England, you may need a little more patience this year! But, like any year, spring is the time for new beginnings, which in the world of home décor, means fresh starts, freshening up, and brightening up.

In terms of colors, bright and bold. Think along the lines of pastels, but with a little more punch to them. A bright lilac, a strong coral, even a bold peach. These colors should be used as the basis of your decorating – from any walls that need to be repainted, to accent pieces that need to be added into your space. They are great because they have warmth to them but are bright enough to make your space look bigger and more spacious. Geometric patterns are also popular in 2018 which are great to add in with any soft treatments. Gold accents are also continuing to carry over from winter 2018 as a mix with the new spring colors.

It’s time to put away all the heavy blankets and take off the heavy window treatments. Trade out the heavy blankets with some bright colorful throws, this year introducing bold colors, and floral patterns. Replace the heavy drapes with airy light curtains. This year stick with bright neutrals – sands, beiges, and whites, in light fabrics like linens.

While doing your spring cleaning, keep in mind, the less clutter the more relaxing the space. Maybe that means taking the extra step to add some organization. Some magazine holders in your living room. A filing cabinet in your office. More clothing storage/organization in your bedroom. Some additional shelving in your bathroom. Taking these steps will help to lighten up the feel of your room but adding the additional organization will make it something you can maintain moving forward as well. (Added bonus: you can use these as the pieces that bring in the new colors of the season).

And of course, the style that never gets old in the Spring, bring in some greens! Adding foliage to any room, whether it be green plants that you can keep for a long time or bringing colorful flowers in from your gardens will instantly warm the room, and make it feel like spring. Happy decorating!!

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Home Decor: Repurposing

Home Décor: Repurposing

A lot of the projects and DIY ideas that you come across online can seem overwhelming to the average – not so artistic – person. But, the trending style is restoring the old and making it new – so we’ve compiled a list of a few simple concepts that can make a big statement in your home décor.

  • Repurposing windows. For starters, old windows are easy to find at yard sales if you don’t have any extras lying around in your basement – and they can be repurposed in a ton of ways! Once you have acquired a window, refinish the frame in a paint/stain to match your décor – and then your options are endless. You can use it as a frame for pictures or artwork, add a monogram to welcome guests into your home, add a small shelf to the top and hooks on the sides to create a coat rack, or even hang small plants from the top to create an indoor garden. Once you have the window and have refinished it, it’s usually easy to determine the best use based on the size and shape!
  • Repurposing shutters. Also, extremely easy to acquire, and refinish, shutters are a great option for accenting your décor. Again, decide based on the shape and size, but shutters can be made into shelves (think plants or other trinkets), dressed up with lettering to add an accent to your foyer or kitchen, turned into pantry shelves, or even made into a bench.
  • Repurposing doors. Repurposing old doors opens a wide variety of options. Finished with a fresh coat of paint, and rotated 90 degrees you quickly have new, trendy headboard. Adding a mirror to the front of an old door dresses up an inexpensive mirror to appear high end. Again, adding hooks across and a shelf on the top or bottom can add a feature to your mudroom as well as some great storage space.
  • Repurposing wine bottles. Something that most of us have in supply, wine bottles are a more traditional, and extremely easy project. They can be repainted to match any décor, and used for something as simple as a vase, a decorative olive oil canister, a functional soap dispenser, or even a fun light fixture.

Like any DIY project, know your time frame, construction abilities, and artistic talent. But with enough planning, research, and sweat, any project is within your reach!

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General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Ultra Violet

Every year, Pantone picks a new color of the year and you will see it blended into fashion and décor without ever knowing. This year’s color Ultra Violet is a bold shade of purple described by them as, “Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” This color will be a perfect color to add a bit of drama and flare in different rooms.

Last year’s color Greenery was used in situations such as a bold, solid fabric for a couch or even in dramatic roman shades. We believe that this year’s color will be a great color to add a splash of in any room and can be used in many different ways to bring out its full potential. Let us know if you think of any others that we missed.

Centerpiece: a centerpiece on a table could benefit greatly from have an deep rich color of Ultra Violet, an easy way to add this would be with an Orchid or large bouquet arrangement highlighting this magnificent hue.

Wall:  talk about an accent wall! If you just love the color and want to make a statement in any room whether its a living room or bathroom, Ultra Violet could make an impact statement by painting one full wall and drawing attention to it when you walk in.

Pillows: Furniture lasts a long time so if you want to dial it back a bit you may consider using a mix of throw pillows in order to add Ultra Violet along with other complimentary colors into a rooms décor.

Window Treatments: Ultra Violet is a great color to add originality to a room and what better way to do that then splashing it in a pattern for your shades roman or roller and even drape or curtains. This would add a little accent in order to pull a whole room together and completing a theme.

Flowers: Like we mentioned earlier, most Orchids tend to have a shade of Ultra Violet but plenty of other flowers can be used in your décor to add a splash of color and it’s always nice to add some organic decor into a space.

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General Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Fall 2017 Colors

“That color is SO in right now!” Something we have all heard before in one way or another. Well, wouldn’t you like to know exactly what colors are IN for the Fall 2017? We have the top colors for both decor and fashion listed below and even included some helpful hints of where and how to use them. The best part of this group of colors is that even if you decided to use every color in the room, it would STILL look amazing! They just blend that well together. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Grenadine is just as it sounds. RED. It’s a very pure and rich red tone that works as the perfect accent color. This red would also make a bold statement in any home when placed as a statement piece, like a single chair or a large piece of wall art with Grenadine being the main color.

Tawny Port is a very deep burgundy/purple tone with an almost brownish hue to it. This color could be used to bring out the wood in flooring, furniture or other larger statement pieces in your space. If you had a mostly white room, this color would also be a great color to use as an accent due to its’ rich potency and heaviness.

Ballet Slipper is the most feminine of the colors by far. This pale pink is every so dainty and would look amazing with rose gold colored accents in a little girls room.

Butterum  & Autumn Maple just SCREAM “fall colors”. Together these two colors just perfectly describe what that “perfect autumn tree” would look like with its’ deep oranges and yellowish brown tones. Again, great for accent colors to use throughout a space to truely get that Fall look inside your home.

Navy Peony is a beautiful deep navy blue tone that is so dark it almost has black undertones, but when the light hits it right, this color really shines. This color is perfect for accents or bold statement pieces like a sofa or loveseat.

Neutral Gray is exactly as it is named. It is the most basic of grays with what seems like an almost perfect balance of white and black. This gray would make for an excellent accent wall color in a large space or even an area rug that focused on multiple grays.

Shaded Spruce looks like you walked deep into an evergreen forrest, looked up amidst the towering trees and then took a picture. This green tone is so true to its name it’s almost scary! A gorgeous color to help offset those Butterum and Autumn Maple accents in the space as well!

Golden Lime is the “wild one” of the bunch. It’s almost like a lime went and had one too many margaritas during happy hour.  A funky blend of green and yellow together to make this fun accent color which would be a neat way to help accent the reds and blue in the room.

And finaly we have Marina; a salty sea blue that stays true to its name. A great way to help lighten up that Navy Peony too!

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Cascade Sheer Shade in a dining room setting. General Interior Designers Products Shades Tips and Advice

What Are Sheer Shades?

Simply put, sheer shades are an elegant combination of a blind and a shade. The soft inner slats behave as a blind by tilting opened and closed as they are encased on the front and back by a soft, delicate layer of sheer fabric. To lift the shade, a continuous chain  closes the slats, just as a blind would operate, laying the two outer layers of sheer fabric flat against the slats. Then the shade rolls up, similar to a roller shade, into the top rail to clear the window. With the shade drawn and the slats closed, privacy and light control are achieved. If the shade is down with the slats in the open position, light filters in gently through the outer layers of sheer fabric.

Sheer shades are those resplendent blinds that are also a shade, gently filtering light through transparent panels to create an ethereal glow. Once considered a designers secret, sheer shades are now available to the modern design enthusiast in an array of neutral colors and textures. It’s easy, when you’re immersed in the world of design, to forget that the majority of consumers don’t have access to the pulse of the market the way those in the industry do. So what are sheer shades? How do you use them and where can you find them?

Sheer shades were designed to function as both a blind and a shade and were diversely different than anything else on the market. Although the basic components of other window treatments were in place, their design and function set them a world apart. Constructed of fabric vanes that float between two sheer panels, they closely resemble a horizontal blind but are uniquely different. Due to their fabric component, they are lighter in weight and more pliable making them easier to tilt, raise, and lower. This allows them to share the functionality of a roller shade, increasing ease of use with a roll up feature and decreasing the bulky stack that occurs with horizontal blinds. Near perfection is their design, making them an ideal choice for almost any room in the home.

Blinds To Go has a wide selection of our Sheer Shades. They come in mostly neutral colors. There are a few darker gray’s and browns now also! The Sheer Shades now are available in ROOM DARKENING! How could they be sheer shades AND room-darkening? Well, the material is made thicker than the light-filtering material, when they are closed it will be room darkening. Giving the customer the elegant look of sheer shades and the darkening feature, made best for bedrooms!

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