privacy

privacy

General Products Tips and Advice

Selecting New Window Coverings

Summer has come to an end and I am enjoying my morning coffee next to my big window. I can see my neighbor in his yard. This past summer I wasn’t able to see him, but as the trees kept losing their leaves, I have a perfect view of his house. He waves at me and I wave back at him with a slight discomfort. I wasn’t aware that he had such a good view of the inside my house! As I look at the falling leaves on this frosty autumn morning, I realize that it is time for me to cover my windows as well as redecorate my room in beautiful, warm fall colors. I would really like to have some new shutters to accentuate the classical style of my home and it would most likely make my neighbor jealous!

However, shutters must be pretty hard to find, complicated to install and pretty pricey. Well, not at all! With the wonderful help of the advisor at Blinds To Go and the qualified skills that their installer possesses, they took care of everything! Fall is finally here, my windows are decorated to my liking, I close the shutters halfway through so I cannot see my neighbor anymore. I get myself cozy on the couch with a warm cup of coffee and I enjoy my new shutters.

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General Inspiration Products Shades

Natural Roller Shades

Bamboo shades and/or Woven Wood shades have always gotten all the attention; touted as the best choices for eco-friendly homeowners looking for organic blinds. Everyone loves a beautiful bamboo shade, but we’ve noticed a measurable increase in people sampling and buying Natural Roller Shades. All signs now point to a prediction of these shades becoming a hot design item.

Natural Roller Shades have flown under the radar for quite some time now; really only being purchased by those in the know about window treatments. I’m here today to let you in on this gem of a product, and give you a first look at how these are a different and exciting addition to the genre.

First off, they’re light filtering; meaning they won’t completely prevent light from coming in, but they will block heat and give you a little privacy. Similar to Woven Wood shades, they’re available in numerous styles and natural materials, but don’t fold up like woven woods do; they roll up like roller shades, virtually disappearing when raised. I see these as the perfect compliment to sleek, modern decor. Natural touches like reeds, bamboo, grasses, sisal, and rattan are totally chic right now, and these shades are so cost effective, you’ll be able to easily replace them, should you ever want to (you won’t!)

I love the idea of using these in a sleek, city loft, bringing a touch of the outdoors inside. If you live in a bustling city, invoking nature in your space is a great way to calm down at the end of a hectic day. Lower your natural roller shades and decompress. Don’t we all need that every now and then?

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General Tips and Advice

To Have A Window Treatment, Or Not: That Is The Question

While decorating a home, sometimes you find you find yourself in the predicament of deciding whether to treat the windows with window coverings or to leave them plain. More often, window treatments are a needed for privacy, light control, or sometimes both. The need for privacy is most common, especially in our bedrooms and bathrooms. Light control can be desired in bedrooms and for rooms with television viewing, but it may also be necessary for spaces where direct sunlight can do damage. Harsh sunlight can cause fading and damage to interior furnishings, and that can be very costly to homeowners. In the case where window coverings are not needed at all, many homeowners still elect to decorate with window treatments for aesthetic reasons because they are the perfect interior accent. Window coverings can impact positively on the overall look of a room.

For example, in my case, the back of our home is totally private, so we really don’t need any window coverings in the family room, kitchen or mud room. My husband likes the clean lines and architectural look of our moldings and wants to keep the windows plain. For me, I much prefer the warm look of fabric, and the texture and color we could add with even simple drapery panels or mock roman shades. Well, it has been six years since we have renovated and those windows are still bare. I have yet to tackle this window treatment dilemma, as I have had other more pressing projects. It could be a battle with hubby, but I am ready to take it on.

Here are the questions to consider when deciding if you should dress your windows.

Out of Necessity:

Do I need privacy?

Is the sun glaring in, will furnishings fade? Do I need light control?

Is it drafty? Will insulating fabrics help keep drafts out and reduce heat loss?

Aesthetic Reasons:

Will window treatments compliment and perhaps update existing decor?

Is the room too bare or does it lack warmth?

Do I want to change the look seasonally?

I hope this gets you to think about your own window treatment needs!

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Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

How to Sleep Better at Night: Cellular Shade Edition

The basis of good health starts with good food, exercise and restful sleep. While a blind or shade can’t cook you dinner or work out with you, it may be able to help you get a good night’s sleep. Whether it’s the early morning sun or outside artificial lighting, light can interfere with our sleep and effect our wellbeing. Cellular shades are a great help in this matter; so here are some options to help keep your bedroom dark.
Your first option would be a light filtering cellular shade. These shades are your typical cellular shade you find most places; light, airy and filters the light from the outside… (hence, light filtering!) These shades will block minimal light and help to defuse bright lights such as street lights or billboard signs. Sometimes with these shades, if you chose a darker color (no neutrals) then it will transform into more of a room darkening shade instead; giving you much more light blocking ability.
If you want or need even more light blocked best option would be blackout cellular shades. These shades are made with a light blocking material inside of the “honeycomb” part of the cellular shade which does not allow any light to pass through. On most windows, the only light that will show through will be the light gaps along the outside of edges of the shade/window. A fun tip though: to eliminate even that light, you can put drapery panels on either side of the window and then establish complete darkness! Now you won’t know if it is day or night!
Cellular shades also come in a variety of colors and options such as cordless or  top-down/bottom-up which will allow you to operate the shade 2 separate ways. Of course there are many other options for black out shades available, but cellular shades are usually a less expensive option as well as an energy efficient option; how can you beat that?!
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Blinds DIY Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

French Door Dilemmas

French Door Dilemmas

A lot of homes pose the design challenge of french doors. While most people love the look of the doors in a room, when it comes time to get some privacy, there is always a challenge of what to do.  Being that the doors are usually a decorative element on their own, most people don’t want a treatment that is going to take away from the overall look.

Luckily, there are a lot of different solutions.  The easiest, and often the most common is a simple curtain that is attached directly to the door. There are small rods that can be attached at the top and bottom of the glass panel, and curtains available with that will just slide onto these rods.  There are a variety of fabrics so you can get something as sheer or as private as you would like.

Another solution is to get curtains that you can mount on a rod outside of the doors.  You would mount the rod for these above the frame work of the french doors, and mount two curtain panels.  This gives you the flexibility to slide the curtains closed for privacy, or leave them completely open and not obstruct the view of the doors at all.   This option gives you even more flexibility of colors and styles, being that curtain panels are very popular and available at a wide variety of stores.

The last solution is blinds or shades.  Suprising to many, all blinds and shades can be mounted directly onto the door, typically considered an outside mount. With these options, you can go with a decorative style shade, available with many textures and styles – the benefit of a shade over a blind is that they are very compact and can close up tightly and neatly when you want it to disappear.  Blinds on the other hand are a great option because you can leave them all the way down, and just tilt the slats open and closed when you need privacy.  They are available in a few different materials as well, so you can either match to your doors, or bring in a pop of color.  With these options, most can be attached at the bottom of the door as well, as to limit the amount of banging when the doors are opened and closed.

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Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Cellular, Cellular, Cellular

Cellular, Cellular, Cellular
 This is Probably just an opinion, but cellulars are the best! Cellular, honeycomb, accordion: whatever you want to call them, they are the best insulators. Regardless of the decor, cellular shades can offer it. You have the potion to customize each room and treat them with their own unique color, or design. You can mix and match between light filtering or blackout, and still from the outside of your home each and every room will look uniform. Cellulars have a white back no matter what. With cellulars you can choose the option between standard with a cord or you can do cordless. There is also a function called top down-bottom up. This allows you to lower the shade from the top, head rail, while still having your privacy from the bottom half of the window. This function is offered either with or without a cord. The larger the pleat the more insulating. The shade that Blinds To Go offers can come as wide as a 3/4 pleat. This helps regulate the light filtering material 5-9% where the
blackout 3/4 pleat regulate around 7-10%. It all depends on your windows, heating company, and location. People often get confused and think getting a double-cell is more insulation but it isn’t. a double cell is two rows of cells instead of just getting one row of cells. A double cell shade actually reverses the insulation factor. a two rows of cells add an extra air pocket, allowing the air to flow in both directions. The object of the cells is to trap the air. You just have to be careful with the material in the bathrooms or over the kitchen sink, due to the insulation, it can trap the moisture and it can potentially mold over time. other than that con. cellular shades are the greatest. the most versatile shade. the most color options and function options.
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Blinds Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Letting the Light Shine, not Blind

By Gina G.

Letting the Light Shine, Not Blind

Allowing natural light to enter a room, rather than simply relying on artificial lighting, can be a delightful addition to any room.  Often times, accomplishing this can seem difficult to do with window treatments because most times people require privacy and can confuse getting privacy with darkening the room.  Light-filtering options, like most fabric shades (whether roller, roman or pleated) can give you both privacy and natural lighting.  However, if you have a space that has a more relaxed, earthy, and natural vibe, bamboo shades or even sunweaves might be worth considering.

Bamboo shades, with their natural wooden chutes and grasses, can be a great addition to any room.  They certainly can dress up or down any window in the home depending on what the space requires.  And, what’s more, most of them are light filtering and sometimes even sheer.   They bring a natural décor and allow natural light to enter the room.   A lot of bamboo or woven wood shades are offered with liner choices so that if you do have a space, like a bedroom, where letting the light come in may not be preferred, you can block it. However, in most cases, they are used to allow light without the unwanted glare.

Sunweaves, or solar shades, are also great options for spaces with a natural décor.  They come in such a wide range of colors, designs, and textures that are sure to fit any room.  These shades are special because they are sheer treatments that allow natural light to shine through while blocking harsh sun rays.  Both sunweaves and bamboo shades are great natural looking additions to the home that can allow natural lighting to enter a space while either providing privacy or protecting against harsh sun rays.

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Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Keeping the View

    Most times when people are shopping for window treatments, they are looking for the treatment to look and do something specific for their window or room.  One of the most common functions for window treatments is to provide privacy.  Private treatments work both ways in that they block the view from the inside of the home, as well as from the outside looking in.  However, there are some windows and rooms where keeping the view may be more important.  Such spaces, can include kitchens, dens, and offices, where sheer or simple valance treatments may be a better fit.  Sometimes even bathrooms and bedrooms can allow for sheer treatments if the location of the window is on a higher story of the home or faces a remote area.  These are the best spaces to allow your home’s natural environment to be visible, which can do wonders for the ambiance of a room.

Keeping a natural view can be accomplished through pulling private window treatments up but in the aforementioned spaces, sheer or valance treatments can be so much more effective.  Often times in kitchens, which can have smaller windows, simple fabric valances are enough to add a little décor to the window while not blocking the view.  Wooden cornices or valances can also be utilized to accomplish this.

However, there are some cases where a sheer shade, instead of a valance might be more beneficial. For example if a kitchen window is located over a sink, a desk is positioned close to an office window, or a tv that is affected by glare in a family room.  In these situations where the natural view also comes with too much sunlight, sunweaves, or solar shades, are great options.  They are sheer, but are designed to block harmful UV rays so that you can keep your view of the outside world but also be productive.

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Inspiration Interior Designers Products Shades Tips and Advice

Seeing the View with Sunweaves

Seeing the View with Sunweaves

It’s a beautiful warm and breezy Saturday summer morning, you’re sitting at the breakfast table in the cottage, and the fresh smell of recently brewed coffee surrounds you. You breathe in the smell deeply, you feel the warmth from the mug in your hands, and inhale intensely after each sip of fragrant French roast.  You smile and look up from the mug, squinting unpleasantly, trying to see what would normally be the beautiful image of the lake through your large picture window that just happens to get the full, hot, blasting, east sun in the morning hours.

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