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Summertime Here! Don’t Sweat It; Wood Blinds will Save You!

By Darius J.

Summertime can be fun but also be very hot, yikes! If you’re trying to cool down the indoor patio a great way to do so would be to add wood blinds. Wood blinds help to keep the room cool, as well as complement any décor that you have. Once you find your feng shui, your new wood blinds will fall into its rightful place.

On the same side of this equation adding natural wood blinds will bring nature to your home instantly. With different finishes such as golden oak, walnut and maple, along with other selections will add style and color; while the wood blinds insulation technology helps to keep heat out. Amazing right! Hey don’t worry when it start to get a little breezy out the insulation in the wood blinds work its magic again, and will help to keep the porch cozy and warm.

That’s the beauty of nature, the benefits of wood blinds are great; and the best part is that you will see that regardless of the decor in your home. Wood blinds will bring log cabin inspiration to reality, and all you need is a little imagination to make it happen. 

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Designing with Bamboo

By Gina G

Now that you’re aware of the options available to you with bamboo shades, here are some tips for how to design with them in different areas of the home:

Bamboo shades are a great options for kitchen windows because of the usual presence of wood via cabinents, etc. When choosing the color of your bamboo shade, consider where the window is in the kitchen. If it is right over the sink, you may choose to a multicolored bamboo shade which may hide the appearance of small stains, etc. If you already have a lot of print, design, texture etc with your countertops, cabinents, and backsplash, consider a white or neutral shade perhaps with simpler solid colored match sticks instead of various grasses. Often times kitchen windows face an area wherein you don’t need privacy (a deck or back yard area). If this is your case, you have the opportunity to really let the natural bamboo shine and go without a liner on the back of the shade. Not only will this allow additional light in, it will give the shade a uniform look from both the interior and exterior of the home.

For areas that require some dressing up such as living rooms and dining rooms, bamboo shades can certainly fit the bill. Selecting a roman shade fold style and omitting curtains can bring your woven wood shade away from a more casual and relaxed design toward a more formal look. In this instance, you may want to also select the fabric liners to the sides of your shades to soften the look and contrast the hardness of the wood. If you’d like to ultilize curtains with your bamboo shade, soft panels or sheers may be the way to go. They can also contrast the wooden shades and add both softness and elegance. Because most bamboo shades have some sort of valance already, you may not want to add another curtain valance. You may opt for the more common flat panel stye with this set up in order not to make the window appear heavy.

Woven wood shades can also be utilized in smaller areas such as powder rooms, mud rooms and hallways. Since these spaces usually don’t have a lot of design elements, using a bamboo shade for the windows is simple way to add natural texture and beauty to them.

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Much Ado About Bamboo

By Gina G.

Bamboo shades are great options to add texture and a natural vibe to any room.  If you are considering a bamboo shade but unfamiliar with them, here’s a brief snapshot:

Bamboo or woven wood shades are typical comprised of natural woods, bamboo chutes, and grasses. Because of their wooden composition, they provide some insulation, although they are not the best insulation option. These materials are generally held together by color coordinated thin threads (to allow the bamboo to really shine). Most bamboo shades will be sheer due to their composition unless the chutes are layered partially atop each other which would then give privacy. And, they are also usually the same color on the front and back of the shade.

There are a plethora of styles and colors to choose from that range from white to black but the majority of bamboo shades are offered in solid wood colors (usually popular wood tones like oak, mahogany, etc) or multi colored (to coordinate with a variety of wood colors).  The features available for bamboo shades are plentiful too.  You can choose a more formal look by choosing a bamboo style that has folds and bubbles out like a roman shade.  Or, for a more relaxed look, you can choose a more modern flat style resembling a roller shade. Most often, because of the more relaxed nature of bamboo shades, they are presented with a flat panel stlye. 

Although the headrails, brackets, and depth required for bamboo shades are varied, most come with a matching valance that is usually pre-attached to the headrail. The valance covers any hardware and gives the shade a finished look. For the bottom of your bamboo shade, you can choose whether to have it fold up (like a roman shade) or just roll up (these will usually have visible cords at the front of the shade).

Liners are another, more functional, option for bamboo shades that don’t have overlapping sticks or tight weaves. Most woven wood shades are sheer products without a liner. If you’re placing the shade in a room where privacy is necessary, you will need to add a liner to it. Some bamboo shades are offered with a blackout liner option making them viable products for bedrooms.

Finally, some bamboo shades are offered with fabric edges on the sides of the shade. These have dual purpose when utilized: to add pops of color and print and to protect the edges of the shade from damage.

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Summer Outdoor Decorating

By Steve M.

When the temperatures rise during the summer months, barbecues and get togethers at your home are a must. With that in mind, it’s time to start thinking and planning your outdoor summer decor. Outdoor summer decor ideas are a great way to help you make the most of your space throughout the summer months, helping your garden or patio to become welcoming places , where you can spend time with your friends and family enjoying your time together. 

Summer is a time for bright and fun colors that may not fit with your decor the rest of the year. Bright colors allow for an inviting and fun space in which everyone enjoy themselves and feels welcomed. Some good combos of bright colors, such as turquoise, red, and white, create a festive atmosphere and will keep everyone in a party mind-set. All of this allows for a great reason to get fresh new pillows or area rugs featuring these colors. A new table runner or tablecloth will give any patio or garden and brand new appearance. Summer weather allows the opportunity to find new and fresh uses for formal serving pieces. A silver tray can hold glassware, a pitcher can be filled with a delicious summery cocktail, and a champagne bucket makes a great container for an herb plant.

Flowers are a very easy and fun way to celebrate the summer time season. The freshness and vibrant appearance is what defines summer. Using  bright, summery colors in your home with freshly picked flowers make the biggest impact. Arrangements featuring warm colors such as bold oranges, radiant yellows, or vibrant pinks. Small clusters of bright color look cheery and make for the ultimate summertime vibe. Potted succulents are alos a perfect plant for an outdoor, summer gathering. Still offering the freshness and brightness in the form of a plant, while lasting longer and needing less attention.

Summer is an excuse for parties and get togethers, and the space should match this feeling. A fun summer space to share with friends and family doesn’t have to be over-complicated. Bright colors and repurposing of old items help give a fresh look to your patio. Flowers reinforce the bright colors while adding freshness and more life to your space.

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Summer Décor Ideas

By Gina G.

          Summer is in full swing.  If you’re looking for ways to incorporate this favorite season into your space, consider some of the most popular summer décors.

Nautical–  A nautical décor is a traditional decorating option to bring the spirit of summer into a space.  Drawing upon the essence of being at sea, nautical décor includes anything relating to sailing.  Common elements to nautical décor are the presence of certain colors and decorative items alluding to boats or the sea.  White, navy and darker wooden colors can represent a nautical theme.  Decorative items such as bleached wooden furniture and wall décor, oars, rope, sails, and other boating items can also contribute to your nautical theme.  Wooden blinds or bamboo shades are great options for window treatments for spaces with this theme.

Tropical–  Nothing screams summer more than a tropically themed décor.  Tropical themed rooms allude to island living and therefore have beachy elements.    To achieve this décor, plants and greenery are essential.  Consider a bamboo plant, or other vine-like plants (hanging or potted) for your space.  Bright, cheerful colors such as aqua, turquoise, coral, tangerine, and canary yellow can add a lightness to a space and therefore represent a tropical theme room.  For your windows, consider solar shades or bamboo shades as they can aid in adding a natural element to the space.

Southwestern–  Southwestern design is a popular option for summer décor as it represents designing with the desert in mind.  Adding greenery such as cactus can be an easy option to decorate a southwestern themed space.  Geometric shapes and patterns representative of Native American culture are essential to this décor.  Rugs, pillows and blankets are typically utilized to incorporate this theme into a room.  Finally, rust, red, blues, oranges, and golds are great paint options for walls in a southwestern décor.

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Bringing Summer Inside

By Steven M.

While many people run inside to avoid the side effects that come with summer, decorating the inside of your home with summer in mind is a great idea. Freshening the look of your home based on the season is a great way to keep your decor from getting stale or boring, making every day bright and fun. Using bold colors to splashy prints, a few easy decor updates can make your home feel like a summer getaway. Plus, summer is the season for entertaining, bot inside and out.

Summer is the perfect time to try and incorporate floral prints into your decor. From rugs and shower curtains to  throw pillows and curtains, it’s easy to add a pop of nature to any room in your house, without having to worry about watering and maintaining it. However if you feel inclined and able to take care of plants, this would also be a great idea to add to your home. Fresh flowers allow not only color but also the feeling of nature within the walls of your house.

In addition to floral print, adding bold textures to your home can also give the feeling of summer. Burlap and linen are popular choices for this , giving a beachy feel to any room, who wouldnt wanna feel like they’re at the beach even while in their own living room. Anything utilizing natural fibers , such as wicker, is another way to incorporate texture into your space. All of these elements make for a relaxed and casual feel. These days a room without color or texture is simply unheard of , regardless of the season. 

No matter your decor style updating for the seasons is a great way to keep your decor in style.  Swapping our a few elements can be a fast and easy way to make your home feel new and in line with the seasons.  Summer is a great time to add different textures new colors or patterns. Any chance to add freshness and life such as plants are perfect for this time of year as well.

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Summertime Window Solutions

By Gina G.

Summer is here with its longer days and brighter sunshine.  Although enjoyable, these seasonal weather changes can bring spikes in cooling costs.  If you have windows to cover this summer, here’s the top choices that will help against the rise in temperatures:

Cellular Shades – As their structure is designed to insulate windows, cellular shades are the primary choice for many seeking to keep the summer heat at bay.  Cellular, or honeycomb, shades come in a variety of colors and are offered with control options too (cordless, top down/bottom up, motorized).  And, depending on the levels of sun and heat the space experiences, you can opt for either a light filtering or black out cellular shade.  Light filtering would suffice for low to medium sun exposure or areas where natural light is beneficial.  Blackout cellular shades are great options where the sun and its effects are intolerable.

Blackout Curtains – Blackout curtains are great summer window treatments because they are functional but not permanent.  As they have a black out liner on them, blackout curtains will do wonders to keeping the heat from entering a space.  But also keep in mind that they will also darken the space significantly.  The best thing about blackout curtains, however, is that they are panels and therefore not fixed like a blind or shade.  When the space is hot and you want to keep it cool, draw the curtains.  Other times when insulation is not so important, keep the panels open.  And, blackout curtains are offered in such a wide variety of styles and prints, you don’t have to sacrifice décor to achieve your insulation needs.

Bamboo Shades – Bamboo shades combine both function and design for the summertime.  Functionally, bamboo shades are natural insulators since they are usually comprised of wood.  In addition, due to their sheerness in absence of a liner, most people opt to put a liner on their bamboo shades.  This liner, whether light filtering/privacy liner or a black out liner, will perform similar to that of the blackout curtains.  It should dramatically reduce the amount of sunlight (and its effects) to a space.  Design-wise, bamboo shades with their composition of woods, chutes and grasses are certainly trending as a great way to bring the natural environment into the home.

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The Lure of Allure

By Gina G.

Sliding glass doors and large windows are wonderful additions to any home.  They allow us beautiful natural light and outside scenery, and when weather appropriate, a nice breeze.  However, when we need privacy and light control, they can cause a dilemma on how to cover them.  Sure, you have your usual suspect in verticals.  Verticals are the classic solution to covering large windows and slider doors.  As they are the “go to” option, you have a choice between fabric or vinyl material accompanied by a host of other options such as style, valances, and opening types.  And although some may consider them dated, due the variety of style options, vertical blinds are still viable.  However, what if you want something different, something new?

There are some other options.  You could opt for panel tracks which are large panels of fabric that slide back and forth.  Unlike verticals that have a number of slats and can be challenging with pets and kids, panels are a bit more durable.  They present a great alternative to verticals and are offered in a variety of fabric choices including natural materials like bamboo.  Unfortunately, they do not tilt like verticals do and therefore decrease you ability to control the light and privacy in your room.  And, while they are a worthy alternative to verticals, some consider them bulky. They also can block a good portion of your view when stacked together.
If neither verticals nor panel tracks strike your fancy, you might’ve been left with choosing a large shade or curtains to cover your sliding door or large window.  Fortunately for you, there is another newer alternative, the Allure. 

The lure of the Allure is that it combines the benefits of the aforementioned treatments and offers a modern, soft, and beautiful option for larger windows and doors.  Like verticals, they maintain your tilt ability with soft curtain-like panels (no more noise from vinyl slats).  And, although they do have panels, unlike panel tracks, they are much smaller (more similar to the width of a vertical vane).  In addition to their small panel sizes, the Allure is offered with opening options (even center opening to resemble that of a curtain) and a valance to complete the look.  You can also use the Allure to accompany the sheer shades that cover your smaller windows.  So, while verticals are classics and panels are good options, the Allure with its combining of the softness of shades and curtains with the function of blinds, is certainly worth considering!

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Going to a Beach House without Woven Wood Shades is like going to the Beach without SunTan Lotion!

By Darius Johnson

In the blind world, natural materials have risen to become more popular in recent years, and Woven Wood shades are right in the midst of popularity. These naturally woven shades will give the inside of your home a natural and clean outdoor look, adding character that it makes buying them a very easy decision. 

Another great mention about woven shades is that they are made from natural materials, causing them to have a rich look. Furthermore woven shades are eco-friendly, so not only is it a great option for window treatments due to the natural look of them but it helps the environment as well. 

Woven wood shades are a perfect fit for any room of the house given that they have a multitude of options. These shades have the ability to have liners added to the back to make them light filtering but gain privacy or a blackout liner for those mornings that you just feel like sleeping in!  Woven Wood shades also have a variety of valance sizes, styles and colors to choose from so you can always find the perfect shade to match your style!

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Designing with the 5 Senses: Taste!

The sense or gustation, taste, can be tricky to incorporate into a home. No, this is not an open invitation to place a candy dish in every room. Taste can be the sense of ease into a home. It is the confirmation that the home works for the people who live there. 

Taste comes into play when designing your home to entertain family and friends. Where to place a coffee table, food photography, or how to set up the entertaining area. Experiment as the seasons change and alternate the bowl of fruit or nuts. 

Mind the comfort of eating in a home, not just the comfort food. Your tastebuds can be ignited with the right decorating. Just remember, there’s never a place for lickable wall paper!

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