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Fall Refresh

By Monica B.

With September here and Labor Day behind us, we’re officially started into the fall season. Its time where work and school pick up again, and we move away from the lazy days of summer. While we’re getting back into our routines and potentially a more challenging workload, it can be a great time for a refresh as we enter this new season.

I love the fall. The air has a crisp feel and the smell of the autumn outdoors gives me a happy feeling. If your family is like mine, for much of the summer we have the windows closed and the air conditioning on because its just too hot and humid. Now that fall is here, I love opening the windows to let the cool air circulate and refresh the house naturally. Thinking about window treatments even though I enjoy the open look in the living room. I highly recommend woven shades. They work great with giving me the cottage and warm feeling when enjoying my hot cocoa and my fire place in the fall.  Woven shades not only serve the purpose for the fall but they are also great window treatments for all seasons, for all styles and for all rooms. With a rich selection of dark earth tones to white, bone and gray, the weaves are visually striking.  Woven shades can be versatile even when you combine with fabric drapery or drapery panels. Woven wood shades come in a variety of styles from roman shades to panel tracks. If you need privacy, you can choose a blackout liner or light filtering liner and all kinds options to bring more character to your woven shade. The liner can extend the life of your shade, prevent fading and reduce energy cost.  For the finishing touch your new woven shades, you can frame these shades with edge bonding in a bold color to contrast or a subtle look.

Holiday decorating can help make the season more special and get your guest into the spirit of the seasons changing.  You can enjoy the season without stressing about perfection and still be able to look out your windows to watch the leaves fall and soon the snow falling off the branches.

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General

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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Inspiration Tips and Advice Window Basics

Picture-Window Treatments

When first moving into a home, there is always an appeal to a picture window because it lets a ton of light stream in, gives you a great view of whatever is outside, and gives you a chance to let air flow into the space easily. The dilemma arises when you realize at night time, all of your neighbors can see right back into your house! Luckily, there are a few simple ways to cover the window, depending on exactly what you need the treatment to do.

If after moving in, like I mentioned, nighttime privacy is an issue, you probably want to invest in either a drapery or a shade. A drapery can be pulled across the window in the evenings, and pulled open during the day when you want the openness. The advantage to a drapery is that it does not obstruct any of the window if mounted above, and to the sides of the frame, and also that you have a huge variety of fabrics to choose from – at a range of prices and prints. The disadvantage in this case is that the drapery tends to cover up a portion of your wall, and can appear a little messy (especially if you have kids or pets that can get into it). A shade is great because it is generally compact – think pleated, cellular, or roller – and are mounted cleanly to the inside of the window. Again, they can be closed compactly during the day and lowered at night. The advantages to shades are that they can be mounted as one large one across, or three individuals (if you plan on opening and closing the side windows often), the variety of patterns and colors, and leaving the frame of your window exposed. The disadvantage is when purchasing what generally ends up as a custom treatment, you tend to want to choose a color/pattern that you will love for longer (because you will end up at a slightly higher price point).

If after moving in, the issue ends up being related to the amount of sunlight coming in during the day – tv screen, fading of furniture/flooring – you will want to look for an option that is more light filtering. Again, you can go with a drapery, generally for this purpose you would look for a slightly lighter weight material that more sunshine will filter through. You could also go with a blind in this instance. Blinds give you the advantage of being able to tilt open or closed depending on how much light you want to allow in.

Regardless of what path you chose, there is an option out there for you! Keep in mind that a picture window is generally a statement in the room. While color and pattern is okay, you want to make sure you don’t over do it, and overwhelm the space.

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General Products Tips and Advice

Drape Season? Or is it Curtain Season??

As the cooler weather arrives, so do the thoughts of adding another layer to your windows. The thought of an extra layer on your windows is the same as throwing on a nice warm sweater on a cold winter day. Once you get to shopping for them – it again raises the age-old question – what is the difference between a curtain and a drape?? Are they the same – if not – why not?? I’ve taken some time to break it down as user friendly as possible for you!

For starters, they are not the same thing, even though most people (and retailers) use the words interchangeably. By definition, a curtain is, “a piece of cloth that hangs from the window.” By definition, a drape is, “a long curtain.” Confusing, right!?

In the design world, the difference is simple. Curtains are simply decorative – they are meant to serve no function, they do not block light or even give you privacy. They are most often sold in pairs and come in a wide array or widths and lengths. Most are very lightweight fabrics and all are a single layer of fabric. They come in a wide range of colors and prints and are easily found in an afternoon shopping trip. Curtains hang from a rod across the top of the window opening.

Drapes on the other hand are generally heavy fabrics that can be lined to serve a function – whether it be to provide privacy or block out light from the room. Drapes tend to be a higher quality, and are often if not always custom made exactly for your windows. Common materials for drapery are velvet, silk, or damasks. Being that they are often custom they are made with pleats that will fall just properly on your window opening. They also hang from a rod across the top of the window but appear to be more of a permanent fixture in the room.

Regardless of which style you are leaning towards, they will both provide a little warmth for the fall and winter. Keep in mind that a curtain may tend to be a little less expensive and a little less of a commitment, whereas a drapery would serve as a more permanent treatment you will want to keep around for years to come. Happy decorating!

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DIY General Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Sunroom Decor

Sunroom Decor

The sunroom used to be dark and dingy, but Andrea added some serious charm with a fresh coat of paint, freshly washed floors, and a few of her signature crazy-amazing DIY projects. The family’s sunroom is now light and airy—the perfect place to sit and enjoy a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Have a sunroom of your own that’s in dire need of a refresh? Here are 11 design ideas to take from this inspiring reno to use in your home:

  1. Opt for a light-colored paint to brighten the space.

Andrea used (Valspar’s Dove White) on the walls to help brighten the room and make it seem larger. For contrast, she used a darker color trim (Benjamin Moore’s Kendall Charcoal).

  1. Install DIY shelves.

Just simple shelves, made out of stained planks of wood and spray painted L-brackets, are a great spot for displaying knickknacks and succulents.

  1. Bring in some blue.

Adding a touch of blue is a great way to liven up a small room; Andrea brought in navy accents with a patterned rug.

  1. Look for ways to repurpose old junk sitting around your house.

Andrea made an eye-catching coffee table out of a door she found in the homeowner’s basement by sawing it in half and adding table legs. Another cute DIY: the tray that was on top of the table was made from a wood pallet. It looked pretty cool!

         5. Add string lights.

A foolproof way to add charm to your sunroom? Globe lights! Andrea placed a string in a zig-zag pattern on the wall to add ambient lighting once the sun sets.

  1. Hang curtains.

Curtains not only add privacy, but they also bring a textural, luxe feel to any room. But they don’t have to be fancy—Andrea made the curtains from drop cloths.

  1. Keep it natural.

Don’t paint over all of the natural wood finishes if you have ’em! The natural wood doors and ceiling instantly bring a warm feeling to this sunroom.

 

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Care Tips DIY Tips and Advice

Spring Cleaning is Here

Spring Cleaning!

Karen
BTG Store 151

Everyone dreads the spring cleaning. There is a rarely a person you will find that wants to set aside an entire day to clean! Over the years, I have come up with a few ways to break down the task so that it does not seem as daunting. One of the good things about breaking it up is that you don’t need to find an entire day to do it, and if you have help – you can delegate a lot easier!

For starters, break down the tasks as inside vs outside. If you are sharing duties – that’s one of the easiest way to split the job in half. If not splitting the task, it gives you an easy way to divide your time – as much or as little as you might have. Another great idea is rather to divide it even further – so if you have just an hour before work, or an hour when you get home at the end of the night – you can tackle on chore.

For example – spend one hour dusting the entire house, or one hour washing all of the windows. When you have more time – wash the curtains, clean the bedding. Another time – clean the floors, or clean the baseboards. Another time, clean the blinds – whether you have to take them down and dust, or are planning on cleaning them in place. Use one hour to clean the appliances, or deep clean the bathroom.

Unfortunately, the hardest part of my plan – is the planning! Writing out a check list of tasks is the most important part of accomplishing what you set out to do. So, take your first hour you are going to invest into cleaning, and break it all down. Walk through your house, inside and out, area by area, and room by room. Once you have this checklist – hang it up somewhere you can’t avoid, and get to work! And – tidbit of advice, once you make the list, keep a copy for next year – then you can skip step one!!

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curtain decor Curtains DIY Inspiration Interior Designers Products Tips and Advice

A Minute On Curtains

A Minute on Curtains

Whether you’re completely redecorating a room, or just looking to give a room a special touch, the right curtain can be a great help.  But with so many options out there, choosing the right curtain can be a challenge.  After selecting between the light filtering and darkening options and the regular and decorative rods and accessories, it really comes down to color.

With typical paint and blind selections staying in the neutral colors like variations of white and recently, grays, the choice of color regarding curtains becomes increasingly useful in completing a room.  Bright and bold colors in draped sheers or simple panels are great contrasting additions to any room that is painted a neutral color.  They are good starting places to match pillows and other accent items.

Floor to ceiling panels in a bold print are popular because they add design to a room as well as dress the window up.  And if you’re looking to try something different, try going “rod-less.”  More and more options are emerging to do away with the curtain rod such as magnets and metal rings.  These options allow for more freedom when hanging the curtains so that you can adhere the curtains on angles instead of the traditional straight line, making them even more unique.

Gina
BTG Store 256

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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Stylish Savings

By: Meghan

prestige double white
So 2013 is ending, and you have spent so much this year. Birthdays, holidays, bills- ugh. And you always feel like you are spending money at the worst times. Though let me, let you in on a little secret- end of the year is the best savings. Everyone is getting into the mindset of “Out with the old, and in with the New”. And you should as well. Hey spending money isn’t so bad when you are saving money!

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Tips and Advice

Blinds and Shades for the New Year (and every year!)

By: Meghan

Horizontals
Cheers to you, cheers to all, cheers to everyone all around! We toast we cheer, kiss to a dear, pop champagne, watch the mirror ball drop! Hurrah, hurrah! 2014 is coming up quick and now is the time to prep. 2013 is so last year!

You have had that sparkly dress and high heels picked out for months, you have the menu prepped, and have hand selected the champagne, and other treats. But after Thanksgiving you are glad that your sister is hosting Christmas because not only are you worn out- but you are noticing your decor!

Time to bring in the New Years with a bang!

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Inspiration Interior Designers Tips and Advice

Fall Is Here…

By: Karen

sonata_3-4_toffee_007
Around this time of year, there are a lot of people trying to update the interior of their homes.  Summer projects have drawn to an end, and with cooler temperatures, it is a good time to focus on indoor projects.  For starters, with the nights being cooler you want to bring some of the warmth back into your home.  All of the bright, colorful accents, and light colors you used to decorate for the summer have started to look out of place.

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