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General Products Shades Tips and Advice

Ready for Shades

Window shades are the “central air” of decorating. It’s a luxury that you don’t always need, but when you have some, that really WORK, you feel so lucky and fancy. I love curtains/drapes but they don’t work in every style of window or home (or maybe the furniture doesn’t allow them). Custom shades cost a ton – hell, custom anything costs a ton. So I have rounded up all the readymade shades that hopefully will work on your (crossing fingers) standard windows.

Let me quickly explain what a shade does that is different than a curtain/drape. A curtain/drape hangs vertically and opens/closes horizontally. Curtains add more drama and texture plus a luxe or bohemian vibe. Shades feel simpler, modern, and take up less visual space in the room. I love both equally – it totally depends on the space. Historically shades have cost more than drapes but there are a lot of readymade, less expensive shades out there now giving drapes a run for their/your money.

There are three major different types of shades if you are looking for a drapery alternative:

  1. The simple Roller Shade:

Roller shades are the most modern, simple and least visible of the shade varieties. They are like good spanx – they should disappear and show off the goods. Their function is to block light and provide privacy but not look decorative or even be noticed. I have these in my living room and I love how much they disappear because that room has huge modern windows and I didn’t want the distraction of shades or drapes.

  1. The Woven Shade:

The great thing about woven shades, of natural material like wood or bamboo is that they add a lot of warmth to a room, while still adding privacy and shielding light. They go a little more boho or traditional (funny how they bridge both styles) but are less expensive than fabric typically.

Lastly …

  1. The Famous Roman Shade:

Now there are a million different styles of roman shades, but my favorite are the simple flat panels that don’t do anything too romantic or frilly, just add a lovely line of fabric when up and textured fabric shade when down. I like both inside mount (because they are cleaner) and outside mount (because they allow more light).

I buy them a lot and when done right they can’t go wrong.

A few things to think about: if you use them a lot, pulling them up and down twice a day then I fear that some of these cheaper readymade shades aren’t going to be sturdy enough. Roman shades can be heavy and people aren’t gentle with them, so unfortunately something custom or a more high quality can be required in high use areas. I haven’t used every single of one these before, but it’s like shoes – if you are going to give them a lot of wear and tear, then think about something more high quality that will last a lot longer. But there are many windows in our life that take the gentle up and down once a day, and for those you can get away with a less expensive version.

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Blinds Products Shades Tips and Advice Window Basics

Benefits & Considerations to Slider Alternatives

It seems like so many people just don’t like vertical blinds ANYWHERE! Ok, I get it for windows, but for sliding glass doors, they are the most economical and easiest to maintain window treatment for these large openings. If you really have to have something other than vertical blinds for your door, all is not lost. There are several options available for you.

While there are many options available, there are certain benefits and considerations to keep in mind.  The main benefit is that since they are primarily window treatments, you won’t have a problem matching the windows in your house to the door(s) if they are all in the same room or open concept area of the house. However, a consideration to make is that instead of verticals which open and close side to side along with the door, shades or blinds would open and close top to bottom; making in necessary to always open the treatments completely when needing to use the door. Let’s talk about some of the options you have:

Roller Shades, although not the most popular, are a great alternative. They’re a low profile material and when you do roll them up to gain access to the door, there is very little stacking. If you needed to do 2 roller shades side by side for the door (due to measurement restrictions) this is a possibility, however, it will cause you to  have a light gap between 2 shades which will in turn alter your privacy and lighting preferences.

Roman Shades or Woven Wood Shades are also an option for sliding glass doors if you wish to have a more formal or more “completed” look. These two shade options share a lot of the same characteristics and therefore share a lot of the same benefits and considerations as well. They will both give you the same warm and cozy feel of a curtain or drapery and come in many different textures and patterns. However, a consideration to make would be the large amount of stacking that will occur when you pull up the shade, which means you will likely need to mount it higher than the door itself so you have enough clearance to walk through. Of course, it they are French Doors, these are great options because you get the elegance factor and do not need to worry about the clearance issues.

Panel Tracks are a great alternative and a “best of both worlds” situation. These are large panels of Roller Shade fabrics OR Woven Wood material that slide back and forth on a track system. This way, you are getting the functionality of a vertical blind but more of the look of a fabric shade instead! Of course there are some considerations, as always; such as the stacking on one end (or both ends) of the track. These are wide panels so they will take up more room/space.

These are just a few options among a long list of many others, but the point is there ARE plenty of other options if you really don’t like vertical blinds; even if they do come with some considerations… but then again, doesn’t everything?

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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Green Living

There is no escaping it; GOING GREEN is all the rage now-a-days – and for good reason too! Everyone wants to have a part in saving the planet, but you don’t think about the easy ways to incorporate that into your home decor as well. We have put together some great ideas from paints, to art work to window coverings that will help you create a “green home” through your decor.

Now, we have touched on window coverings a lot in past blogs but not so much the green aspect of them. There are TONS of options to have green window coverings throughout your home, even if you wanted something different for each room! First we have the natural choice (no pun intended) of Natural Woven Wood shades. These shades are made up of natural grasses, bamboo and fibers to create beautiful window coverings that both bring a bold statement to a room and are a perfect way to create a “green” living space. The best part about these is the options; you can have them plain so they are see through, have a light filtering liner put onto them for a little more privacy, or even a blackout liner for complete darkness incase you wanted to use them in a bedroom.

Another great option for window coverings are Cellular Shades. These shades are also known as “Honeycomb shades” due to the shade itself looking like a honeycomb when you view it from the side. These honeycombs, or “cells”, create air pockets which help to insulate; keeping cold air out and warm air in or vice versa depending on the season. You can typically find them in a variety of colors and a ton of neutral colors as well. Personally, i think they pair very nicely with paneled drapes on either side – in which you can also find “green” fabrics that are made from natural fibers and recycled materials as well!

Let’s move onto paint. “Paint isn’t “green”.” you say? On the contrary, perhaps you’re not looking for the right paint. They now make paints that are Eco-Friendly! These paints are typically made with low VOCs, low biocides and natural pigments. To get a truely “green” paint you need to get paint that has VOC levels between 0-100gm/l. The coolest thing is that they make milk paint and natural paints which use, you guessed it, milk protein, citrus, minerals and lime.

Finally we touch on the part of most rooms that really give the meaning of decor; the artwork. Every home has artwork, whether it’s an old vase your Grandmother passed down to you, your child’s macaroni artwork from school or a $10,000 painting over the mantel piece. Art is a loose term that is covered over many fields, therefore this makes it easy to incorporate “green” art into your home! Many retailers now sell recyclable products such as bins, frames and vases which make it easy for you to decorate your home. You can also check out Pinterest or other online DIY sites to see millions of ideas to create your own artwork from recycled items found in your very own home as well!

The sky is the limit with your green living, now go out there and save your plant one room at a time!

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Interior Designers Products Shades Tips and Advice

Calling all Woven Wood Shades: The Secret to Incorporating Today’s Popular Trend Without Going Overboard

Distressed wood, organic materials, bamboo, barnyard chic, rustic elegance — the list goes on and on when describing the trend that is pushing towards earthy and natural elements in the world of window treatment.  But how does one achieve this look?  Is it time to bring our products outside and go to town distressing some of the fabric?  Or maybe let the material bask in the sun allowing it to get a natural fade in color?  What about considering another option…WOVEN WOOD.

Woven wood is not just for kitchens and beach-themed spaces anymore.  Now you can find selections which offer a wide array of colors and textures that can accommodate any room looking for that warmth and rustic vibe.  The most appealing part is that the materials inherently come with the natural imperfections that are in demand as seen throughout so many home decor magazines.  What may seem as a menacing twig, inconsistent coloring, or even a frayed knot, are actually specifically chosen to add to this products’ natural, organic beauty.

Along with giving that cozy flair to your room, there are some other handcrafted options to make these woven wood shades functional as well.  For example, there are two backings that can be added– a light filtering liner or a blackout liner.  Consider the light filtering liner when it comes to rooms that require both privacy and some natural light.  In contrast, choose a blackout liner for the most sensitive of sleepers in order to block out as much light as possible.  A third option is also to not put a liner at all! Perhaps you have a wonderful view of the coast– an unlined woven wood is just the ticket to retain that view without sacrificing the decor of your windows.

Have a huge window? You can also do a 2 or 3 on 1 shade.  This set up includes one continuous headrail with multiple shades hanging.  2 or 3 on 1s are perfect for double or triple windows because they maintain the divisions of the window, while still keeping a cohesive look. Plus, your arm will thank you later for disbursing the weight instead of lifting up one giant, heavy shade.

Woven wood are truly a versatile choice when decorating your home.  Many argue that these shades are the cousins of the beloved roman shades.  And why not, woven wood shades do in fact lay flat or bubble out like a classic roman, but they also add earth tones and that tropical feel to any room.

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Natural Woven Wood Shade in Dining Room Products Shades Tips and Advice

Natural Shades

When designing a room, one must never neglect the windows. Windows are a staple in every household. It’s a simple hole in a wall that allows natural light to come in and brighten your home the NATURAL way. And what better way to keep your space as “natural” as possible, but to use Naturally Woven or Natural looking shades!

These shades come in all types of colors, textures, and patterns. The first, and most well-known, are the Natural Woven Wood Shades. They look and operate like a Roman shade does, but give off almost a tropical vibe. They are certainly a statement piece to any room decor. The great thing about these types of shades as well is that they can be as light filtering or room darkening as you’d like. A Woven Wood shade is typically made of bamboo, grasses or small pieces of wood, allowing light to pass through while still giving you some privacy, although minimal with no liner. This is why using a light filtering liner is a good option, because you can still get natural light but also maintain complete privacy. You can also opt to go with a complete blackout liner so you can use these unique shades in a bedroom or home theater space! 

There are also Naturally Inspired Roller Shades, which are actually fabric made to look like a natural woven wood. These are great if you need something a bit easier to clean or maintain. The fabric is generally treated and a bit more stiff so it won’t collect dust like woven wood shades can. If you want that natural look but are on a budget, this is a great option as well. The natural looking fabrics are sometimes as much as half the cost of the woven wood shades since those typically use the bamboo which can get more costly. Most of the naturally inspired fabric shades are light filtering, so it is important to always check how the shade will look in your household and to ensure you will get the amount of light and privacy you require.

The best news is that regardless of which shade you decided to choose for your space, your windows will look like a million bucks and everyone will be asking you about where you got them and maybe even if you can come decorate their house too! 

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Blinds Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

It’s All About Responsibility

By Tiffany P.

When shopping for natural material window treatments you want to be able to trust the company that is making these blinds or shades, is still giving back to nature in some sort of way. With Blinds To Go we take pride in doing just that, because it is important to replace what you take when dealing with materials such as bass wood, a kind of timber that we use for blinds, or bamboo, which we use for our shades.
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Inspiration Interior Designers Products Shades Tips and Advice

Toes in the Sand!!

Simply imagine yourself on your own fantasy island; or if you’re lucky enough, look out your window to see emerald green water, the bubbling white of the waves crashing to the tan sandy beach and look up to the crisp blue sky. Now hold that vision and recreate that feeling into the décor of the room of your dreams.  The room of your dreams could be your bedroom or another part of the house you can put all your cares behind you.  To give those relax feelings you would want to imitate the color hues from the water, sky and sand. Use colors like soft blues, light greens, coral, and sand tones. The right color choice can really bring out any tropical décor. Be creative with bringing in natural artifacts. For example: sand, sea shells, rocks, coral and rope. This artifacts can be used as table décor or enhancing the border around an oversized mirror. Just adding a touch of accessories can make a plain- Jane room into a fancy –Nancy. The awesome thing about decorating is not over doing it but having just enough to bring you to that peace of mind.  From a decorating point of view the best window treatment for creating a beach vacation house would be woven wood shades. Woven woods are also known as bamboo shades even though they are made out of a wide variety of materials including grasses, bamboo, ropes, wood planks and more. They offer a casual natural look which will compliment any beach themed décor. Just adding a few of these things can be a start to a vacation right at your finger tips without packing a bag!!!

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Blinds Inspiration Products Shades Tips and Advice

Earth Tones: Outside In!

By Gina G.

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One of my favorite color palettes is earth tone.  I love utilizing the colors we find outside in nature to decorate the insides of homes.  I especially appreciate the contrast that earth tones allow.  In particular, I enjoy contrasting greens, reds, and browns.  For instance, having light colored greens contrasting deep, dark browns with accenting reds, or any combination of this really can bring a relaxing warmth to any room.

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Shades

The “New” Roller Shades

By: Karen

My husband and I just added a new sunroom to the back of our house. It’s great, overlooking the pool, has a great sound system, and overall is a good place to entertain guests. Small problem – it opens up to my living room, that opens up to my kitchen and dining room… which means my neighbors see everything that we watch on tv – and what color my pajama’s are.

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