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Products Shades Tips and Advice

How About Some Sheer Shades?

Simply put, sheer shades are an elegant combination of a blind and a shade. The soft inner vanes 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 motion closes the vanes, just as a blind would operate, laying the two outer layers of sheer fabric flat against the vanes, then the shade rolls up, similar to a roller shade, into the top rail to clear the window. With the shade drawn and the vanes closed, privacy and light control are achieved. If the shade is down with the vanes in the open position, light filters in gently through the outer layers of sheer fabric.

A treatment sure to impress, sheer shades are a sophisticated and stylish step up from any basic blind. Their soft and delicate appearance gives off the impression of almost no window treatment at all yet are still very effective at light control. My favorite rooms for sheer shades are the dining room and bedroom. Their gracefulness lends them to fit right into a slightly more formal dining room. There is something about how these shades transform the light that creates an intimate and cozy environment, perfect for entertaining. Your guests won’t even realize why they feel so calm and content in the comforting atmosphere you can provide by installing sheer shades. Also available in light dimming fabric, these help darken a bedroom for a peaceful night’s sleep. The softness of the sheer fabric complements the tranquil and calming vibe so often desired when we retreat to slumber. Sheer shades are surely a striking window treatment.

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Faux wood blinds setup in this gorgeous bathroom. Blinds General Shades Tips and Advice

Restroom Window Coverings

People often have the question; What is the best window covering for restrooms? There are a lot of options and one is not limited to a certain kind when you are considering to cover your restroom window. Most of the time, people want to have privacy while still letting in the light.

Since you typically have moisture in this specific room in your house, we often tell everyone that you can use most of the blinds like the aluminum, vinyl, and faux wood, but not the real wood. Real wood naturally have cracks in the slats where moisture goes through and warps the material. It usually takes years but when it comes, all you can do is  replace the whole thing completely. The aluminum is an option but with the 1” slats you have to clean more slats compared to the vinyl and faux wood. The aluminum is also a thinner material than the vinyl and faux wood so it may bend and dent, you have to be careful when cleaning it. Blinds are a good option because you can control the amount of light coming in and the privacy by tilting the slats in an angle.

The other option, of course, are the shades. We typically recommend those materials that are waterproof or the lighter fabrics. Roller shades are the most common people use because you have the light filtering option, most materials are easy to clean, and it gives you the privacy. Another material that is gaining popularity are the Cascades, it is a shade but since it’s an alternate between solid bands and sheers, you can open and close it to your desired openness for light and privacy. There are also other shades that has the top down-bottom up option. You can open it up from the top to have lots of light coming in and keep the shades close at the bottom, some shades that offer this option is the pleated, roman, and cellular.

Curtains or drapes are usually not a practical option as those are heavier materials, it is not something you would want to touch with wet hands and layering of fabrics will look too heavy and excessive for a restroom window.

Either you prefer a blind or a shade, there are options that you can do for your washrooms to better suit your wants and needs but practicality is the key when it comes to this window in your home.

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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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Inspiration Tips and Advice

Planning Lighting Designs

A room’s lighting can set a mood, create depth and space, highlight the strengths of a room, improve the functionality of a space, and even regulate our sleeping & waking cycles. Here are some tips to guide your room’s lighting plan:

WHAT KIND OF MOOD DO YOU WANT TO CREATE?

Different rooms should set different moods. For example, we like kitchens to feel bright, cheery, and functional. A bedroom, on the other hand, should be comfortable and relaxing. Bright lighting and task lighting can help a kitchen fulfill its purpose. A bedroom should allow for low lighting and block outside light when you need it to.

WHAT ARE THE FUNCTIONS AND NEEDS OF THE ROOM?

Are there items in the room that that need more or less lighting? This might include expensive, light-sensitive items like paintings, brocade, or plants, which might need to be in or out of direct lighting. Additionally, if a TV or computer is in the room factor in dim lighting and seek to reduce glare.

WHAT’S THE NATURAL CYCLE OF THE SUNLIGHT IN THE ROOM?

Watch your room as it progresses through the day. What’s the natural light like in the morning? In the afternoon when the sun is hottest? In the evening? North and south facing windows will provide more steadily regulated lighting during the day. East and west windows will provide sharp slants of light, broad swathes of sunshine, and total shadow, depending on the time of day. Consider what kind of lighting you want to invite into your home, and what kind you’ll want to regulate.

WHAT ARE YOUR RESOURCES?

This will include your windows, a skylight, and the lamps and lighting fixtures already there. Your adjustments might include installations of new lighting, dimmers, additional windows, and especially, adjustments to the existing windows. Although windows might be difficult to move, it’s easy to make old windows seem new with some strategic window shades and blinds.

Several interior design professionals say the biggest-impact; lowest-cost upgrade you can make is to install dimmers. Consider shutters and blinds your natural-light dimmers. They allow you to control the levels of light and the direction in which it’s cast. Additionally, beautiful shades will suddenly upgrade your room, and add design, polish, and visual interest to boring windows.

CONSIDER IMPORTANT DESIGN PRINCIPLES WHEN PLANNING YOUR LIGHTING:

Create variety: Lighting fatigue occurs when there’s no variety in a room’s lighting. This can make the whole room feel hard, unforgiving, and flat. There’s no place for your eyes to rest. Counter this by incorporating variety into your lighting scheme: light and shadow, highlights and lowlights. There should be light at different levels and from different directions.
Accentuate the positive: Highlight your favorite aspects of a room, or downplay the things that you want to hide. Cast a spotlight over a favorite piece of furniture, a decoration or a picture. Bathe alcoves and corners in soft light to give a cozy feel.
Incorporate function: Spotlight functional areas: a game table, a walkway, or a project space.

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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 Products Tips and Advice Window Basics

Half Door Dilemma

When you move into a home, you always go in with the mind set – the brighter the better. Whether it’s coming from windows, skylights, or doors; the more light there is then the more appeal it has. Until it comes to realizing you need some privacy. Half glass doors often raise a challenge to a lot of new homeowners. Again, it’s nice to have some light filter in, but you are also creating a privacy issue by not closing the view from outsiders.

The most important thing to keep in mind with a window on a door – half or full – is that being it is a door, the less bulky, the better. One of the most creative ways we have seen the doors covered, is applying an actual film directly to the glass. There is a variety of styles available – from a simple frosted look, all the way to as decorative a stained-glass window. It is simple, you simply cut the shape you need and stick it to your glass. Down side, of course, is that you are losing the option of ever seeing out of the window, but up side is, you are eliminating any space/bulkiness option.

The second most common option is a curtain. They are generally attached with a small rod at the top and bottom of the window, to eliminate them flopping around when the door is opened or closed. Again, a great option because they are compact, and fit tightly against the door. The downside, through our research is that there are not a lot of options out there, and most appear to be your standard white sheer material. The upside compared to the film is you can always move them to the side, or peek out through a corner if you need to see out.

Blinds or shades are also a common option. When choosing the style, rather than necessarily match to the other treatments in your room, keep the idea of “less bulky” in mind. If going with a blind you can tilt open and closed, stick to a mini blind, due to the low profile. If you go with a shade, chose something with a small headrail that closes tightly. The advantage to one of these treatments is that you have a lot more control over the view – whether it is the tilt feature, or the raising and lowering depending on the time of the day. You also have a lot more option in terms of colors, styles, and even prints. The downside, again, compared to the other two is that they will definitely appear a little bulkier.

Whichever direction you go, keep in mind doors are generally high traffic areas, meaning whatever you go with will have a decent amount of wear and tear in it’s lifetime. And as always, any treatment you add will add a decorative element to the space – so make sure it flows with your style!

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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 Inspiration Tips and Advice

Office Space

Fall has arrived. It’s a great time to transfer your home office into a softer, more inviting space to work.

Want to create a more open look in your office? Paint! Keep in mind that darker colors make a room look small so you’ll  want to stick to lighter colors, which tend to make the room look more open and inviting. Replace all big furniture items with smaller more functional furniture. Such as, changing out a huge desk for a smaller L- shaped corner desk. Use cubed shelves versus a traditional bookshelf. The cubed shelf can work as a printing station, storage for office supplies and many other office needs. It’s all about proper placement of these things. Spreading them out in the room will help give the appearance of a bigger space.

The small details you add will truly make all the difference. Hanging a few photos, will be an added visual. Keep the amount of photos to a minimum; you don’t want to over crowd the walls. You could also add some scented candles to help warm up the space. Consider changing your overhead lighting. A stunning light fixture will help illuminate all the details you’ve added to the room. Plants are also a great way to add some warmth and brighten your new work area. Go to your local thrift shops and look for some really neat vintage items to bring more spice into your space. A vibrant rug, a unique wall clock or anything that stands out will put the finishing touches on your new office.

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Cellular Shades in a bedroom General Products Shades Tips and Advice

Day and Night Shades

Did you know you can get two shades in one? It’s true! With Blinds To Go’s light-filtering/blackout shades, you can get both a light-filtering shade and a blackout shade, all in one install!
How It Works
The Day/Night cellular shade consists of a very long shade, half being light-filtering and half
being blackout. This allows you to switch between the two. When the shade is completely
raised, the light filtering section is stacked on top of the blackout shade. If you want light filtering, simply pull down on the light filtering handle. It will condense the blackout shade at the very bottom. If you want the blackout shade pull up the handle and push the light filtering section to the top of the shade. You don’t have to choose from light filtering and blackout, however. You can use both at the same time. Customize your light blockage by adjusting the sections of the shade however you want.
Best Places to Use Them
You can use the day/night shade in every room of your house, but they are particularly
beneficial in these spaces:
Bedrooms: Just because you like to sleep in complete darkness doesn’t mean you want it that way when you’re not sleeping. With this cell shade, you can use the blackout section at night and the light filtering in the day that way, your room is still bathed with beneficial natural light when it counts the most.
Media Room: No one likes a glare on the television when trying to enjoy a movie. While the
light filtering shade does help reduce the glare, just having light in the room can make it just as annoying. So, why not lower the blackout shade while you’re enjoying your favorite movie? Then when you want to have a family get-together, just use the light-filtering shade to retain your privacy but also give your home that beautiful light.

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DIY General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Let It Snow!

Let it snow!

My kids love the littler gel stick ons. They come in all sorts or styles, colors and patterns. They add to any style of home. They are amazing for small apartments because they virtually take up no room, but still adds to any holiday or celebration. We love our snowmen and snowflake cling-on. They also help out on those pesky snow days, when you have run out of activities to do indoors, It can kill a good hour of playtime, mixing and matching the different snowman and creating different winter wonderland. The best part is no matter how dirty they get, if you just wash them with soap and water they are as good as new. As soon as they dry they regain there stick factor. Worst case scenario if they rip or you don’t feel like saving them, they are only a dollar. Even though Christmas is over, I like to keep my holiday lights up. The days are shorter which means its darker longer. I feel like the lights brighten up the long winter. They also make a great night light if you need an alternative, fast. Last year, my daughters princess Sofia light blew out as i was conveniently putting away our tree and decorations. So we took a string of colored lights and draped them over there picture frames so they looked like vines and it adds a lot of color to her butterfly room.

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