Black Friday 2015 is almost here! And that means you’re prepping for big sales. We’re prepping on our side, too, to give you access to our biggest sale EVER! When you see what we’re going to offer, you won’t believe we’re giving such large discounts. But we’re determined to make it your best Black Friday ever.
If you haven’t experienced The House of Figs blog, then you need to take a moment and do so. You won’t be disappointed. Bethany Dufilho has a beautiful eye for design, which is really showcased on her Instagram. Get ready to feel inspired!
Find out a little more about Bethany and discover what she’s all about.
1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?
I was inspired to become a designer after my oldest child was born and I became a stay-at-home mom in 2008. While decorating his nursery, I just had so much fun getting creative. I thought, Why can’t I be this creative in the rest of my house? I started reading design blogs and realized I didn’t need specialized training or a degree in design to make my home how I wanted it. I just needed to take some risks, paint some wall, and experiment a little. So that’s what I started doing and I was hooked! Our first home became like design school for me. I can’t tell you how many times I painted and repainted, how many times I rearranged furniture, and how many nail holes I put in the walls. It really was the training ground for me to discover my style and learn things like scale, contrast, and how to plan a room from start to finish. During that time, I had a few friends and family members reach out to me and ask for help with projects in their own homes. My business grew from there!
2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I work with clients with all different types of homes, but my favorite is really a modern farmhouse look. For example, I just love when something really old, like a rough wooden farmhouse table, is paired with a really modern stark white chair. Can’t get enough of it!
3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?
My favorite project was for a dear friend and client and I call it the “Montgomery House” on my blog. It was a custom home that I helped design from start to finish, so that was really fun. It has a farmhouse aesthetic with lots of craftsman detailing – a new home but with lots of old home charm. The homeowners really trusted me, which I think is so important when working with a designer.
4. What’s your favorite trend right now?
I don’t know if you’d call it a trend, but I love to decorate with books! I love to read so I enjoy having books around my own home and I feel like they bring so much life and color to a room. I hate for things to be overly matchy and books are like their own little works of art that don’t have to fit in with a color scheme.
Mini window blinds are like the dinosaur of the window covering industry. They were originally known as a Venetian blind, and they were primarily made out of vinyl. I remember those vinyl Venetian window treatments when I think back to my early school days. They were the school systems’ window blind of choice in the late 60s and early 70s.
I can tell you exactly how those minis got cleaned in my school. Kids did it. They were not asked to do it, or it would never have happened, but the kids in my school, yours truly included, did it. Our methodology was not one that made our mothers happy. We used our sleeves. That’s right. For some odd reason, we thought that it looked really cool to run our shirt sleeves along the horizontal slats, and watch the dirt disappear.
The end result was not good. We went home with dirty shirt sleeves, and the window treatments in the school never got completely cleaned. We would never clean a slat in its entirety, and we only cleaned the slats that lined up height-wise, so the higher the window, the more slats went uncleaned.
Cleaning the minis of today can be done in the same manner, but these are not your father’s minis, and cleaning them in the old fashioned way is not necessary. The SelectBlinds minis, save one, are all made of the strongest aluminum. They have a high quality paint baked on, which resists fading and looks great longer than those vinyl blinds.
1. Use a Damp Rag
A damp rag is the best way to clean mini blinds. Moisten the rag, run it along the slats, turn the rag inside out, and run it along the rest of the slats. Rinse the rag out and repeat. That is the smart and easy way to clean your mini blinds.
2. Use a Spray Bottle and Soap
Add just a tiny bit of soap to the water in the spray bottle and then spray the slats. Use a lint-free rag to wipe each slat clean.
3. Soak them in a Tub
For big messes, remove your mini blinds from their mounts and soak them in the tub to loosen the dirt. Then you can wipe them down with a rag to remove the rest of the dirt or dust.
4. Don’t Bend the Slats
No matter which method of cleaning you choose, do your best not to bend the slats too much. While they are strong, it will keep them in their best possible shape if you avoid bending them.
Cleaning faux wood blinds is fairly easy. I’ll get to the nuts and bolts of it shortly. First I’d like to clear up some misnomers regarding the faux wood.
Faux is another word for fake, so these are not real wood blinds. By the way, the correct pronunciation is exactly the same as the word, foe. There is no faux wood tree forest or orchard. There are manufacturing facilities that take PVC and turn it into horizontal slats for window coverings that look like real wood, but are actually faux. Bingo, there you have it. The faux wood window treatments.
Cleaning them is very much like cleaning real wood blinds.
1. Dust Them
Add dusting the slats of the blinds when you do your normal dusting in that room.
2. Use the Vacuum Attachment
Vacuum the treatments with the attachment that you use for those hard-to-reach places. Ideally, you should use the attachment that has the softest feeling brushes on the end of it.
3. Use a Moist Cloth
Faux woods are pretty hearty. That is why they are recommended for use where there are extremes. Those extremes can be humidity if they are in the bathroom and the hot shower is used on a regular basis. That high humidity will cause a very thin layer of moisture to adhere to the surface of the slats. No problem. That is exactly why you buy faux woods. In this situation, the shower has done half the job for you. To clean those slats, just take a moist cloth and clean them by running that cloth along the surface of each slat until you’ve got them all.
4. Spot Clean with Mild Detergent
On a clean, damp cloth, add mild detergent and spot clean. Once you’re done, make sure to wipe off the excess detergent with the damp cloth.
Another extreme is temperature swings. The heartiness of the faux wood makes it a good fit for a garage window, or work shed window, or any other place where the window is exposed to the elements, and those elements hit one or both extremes. These window coverings get the same cleaning treatment as described above.
Faux wood window coverings are also less costly than real wood window coverings, so that is the third reason to hang faux woods. They look great and are affordable to most every budget!
I like faux wood window treatments. I like them fo’ sho’!!
Click here to learn more about the benefits of faux wood blinds.
Wood blinds are amongst the easiest of window coverings to clean. The window blind is made of wood, rendering those individual slats pretty hearty. That being said, they still won’t clean themselves. But with a minimal regular cleaning routine, they will always look amazing.
Many people ask questions like, “What is the best way to clean wood blinds?” or they just want to know how to clean wooden blinds easily. So here is what we suggest.
1. Dust Them
Consider that the window blinds are part of your furniture. They are definitely part of the home décor. Simply add your wood blinds to the mental list of items that need to be dusted when you, or whomever, is doing the actual cleaning, Use the same dusting products on your blinds that you use on your fine furniture.
2. Use Your Vacuum Attachment
Every now and then, while you are cleaning your house, you will find the need to put that little attachment on to the end of your vacuum. You might be using the attachment to get into the corners of the furniture, or to get to those hard to reach places. Add your wood blinds to the routine. They will look so much better.
3. Use What You Have
Please note that everything so far, and all methods yet to be reviewed, recommend that you use your existing cleaning products. Whether it’s pledge, or your favorite dusting cloth, there is no need to buy anything to specifically clean your wooden blinds. This includes those weird looking slat cleaners. You know what I mean. They look like a hairy ladder, and they are supposed to fit easily into the slats when they are open. For sure, they will do the job, or more accurately, they will do part of the job. They don’t universally clean the slats, and they can cause your real wood blinds to get all askew. The end result is that you will have to do them over with one of the recommended methods above.
4. Never Use Water
Wood blinds are sealed and treated in order to protect the natural materials, but never use water to clean them. This can cause bubbling, sagging, bowing, and other deformities. A clean, dry cloth is really all you need.
5. Use a Dryer Sheet
One easy way to get dust off of your wood blinds is to use a dryer sheet. The dirt and dust will attach itself to the sheet and it will help keep dust off going forward.
To learn more about how to clean your wood blinds, please watch this short and informative how-to video:
Karly M. chose Express Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades.
“Ordered 10 cellular shades & going to order shades for my cigar bar soon!”
“We love our new blind in the office. It is nice to have the option of privacy. The quality is great and the shipping was fast. Thanks!”
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He may not have been talking about home décor, but it certainly applies. Decorating your home, no matter the room, can be a hit-and-miss game. You try mixing patterns to create a more dynamic space, but perhaps it turned out too complex or eclectic for your taste. Trends come and go. What is trendy today may look outdated and odd a few years down the road. But while these trends are temporary, you can reach true sophistication and style when you focus on simplicity.
Home décor simplicity can stand the test of time. It can create a space that is the Audrey Hepburn of rooms: stylishly simple and classic. It comes down to that well-known saying, “Less is more.” Perhaps there is more wisdom in those words than we generally give it credit for. Home décor style is closely linked to fashion. You’ll see similar trends and interests circulate through someone’s wardrobe and then their home. So it only makes sense to look at the most famous fashion icons for inspiration, the fashion icons who left a legacy of style and simplicity.
The Fashion Greats
Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror, and take one thing off.” The same goes for your home. Instead of cluttering your home with trends and accessories, take a step back and remove an item. Then reevaluate the room and the style you’re conveying. Don’t be afraid to keep things simple.
When Audrey Hepburn was asked how other women could achieve her idolized look, she simply said, “My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses, and the little sleeveless dresses.” With just a few adjustments, any woman could have an Audrey-inspired look. If Audrey were still with us, perhaps she would have offered the same type of advice for your home décor: a few minor changes and simplicity. Simplicity brought an understated elegance and sophistication to Audrey, and it can do the same for your home.
A Starting Point
So how do you now take these long-lasting ideas of simplicity and incorporate them into your home vision? To follow Audrey’s line of thought, start with just a few simple changes:
Window Coverings – Choosing the right blinds or shades for your windows may not seem like a noticeable change. It may be subtle, but it can pull an entire look together. The window blinds you choose should have the right feel. So, if you want a clean rustic feel, consider faux wood shutters to add lightness to a room. For a deeper elegance, try a real wood blind with a dark stain, which would be a great contrast with light-colored décor.
Color Palette – Attaining simplicity doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate color into your décor. It does mean, however, that you should be aware of how that color affects the feel of the room. Color is great, but a little black dress never goes out of style, and both Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn embodied that idea. The trick is finding a color palette that is your home’s little black dress.
From there, you can find new ways to add simplicity and sophistication into your home, whether that’s by making a few small adjustments, like Audrey Hepburn, or taking one thing away, like Coco Chanel.
When selling your home, don’t overdo it by putting more money into repairs than you can get back in a sale. Many times, low cost updates like the ones mentioned below are enough to put “icing on the cake” and impress potential buyers into signing contracts.
1. Work on your curb appeal.
Buyers will see your house first as soon as they pull up. Invite them to get out of their car and enter by doing a few simple things. First, make sure your landscaping is neat and trim. Clean gutters, and clear away leaves. Power wash your house exterior and windows to remove years of dust and grime. Make your front door more inviting with a new coat of paint, and a stylish welcome mat.
2. Fix anything that needs fixing.
Now is the time to do any of those “honey-do” projects you have been putting off lately. Have that broken window repaired. Replace the kitchen cabinet hinge that is broken, or the missing baseboard. Potential buyers will notice these issues and see projects and costs that they do not want to deal with.
3. De-clutter and clean. remove very personalized decor.
In love with that bright orange 70s shag rug? Is your living room taken over by an oversized, dirty man chair? Are the walls of your teenager’s bedroom covered in rock posters? Now is the time to remove those items and put them into storage. Take up that shag rug to showcase the floor space, remove the ugly man chair that detracts from the design flow of the room, remove your teenager’s posters so buyers can get a good idea of the size and height of the bedroom. Help potential buyers imagine their own furniture and decor in a room by providing a de-personalized, clean space.
4. Organize closets and drawers to showcase storage space.
Storage space is often high on a buyer’s wish list, especially buyers with children. Don’t hurry to clean up by shoving things into the junk drawer, or closets. Chances are, a buyer will open those drawers and doors to peep out storage potential. The last thing you want on buyer’s minds is that storage space is limited and their stuff will not fit in the house. Install closet or drawer organizers and showcase the storage possibilities of your home; especially if square feet is limited.
5. Tone down paint colors – neutralize.
Your kitchen’s bright polka dot walls make you smile every day, but will a potential buyer like it? It is impossible to please everyone, but toning down wall colors can make it easier for buyers to imagine their belongings in your home. Choosing neutral colors like grays, and tans can add warmth to your home without adding the cost and time of re-painting to a buyer’s to-do list.
6. Replace any dated light fixtures, fans, doorknobs, faucets.
Fixtures like lights, doorknobs, and brass faucets can really tell the age of your home and make potential buyers see the dollar signs involved with an update. Make your home appear current by replacing these items with newer ones. Or, try re-using old fixtures by cleaning, sanding, and spray painting them a different color.
7. Showcase the items staying with the home like the size, floors, storage, fixtures, window coverings.
Buyers will notice your staging and decor, but they are most interested in what will be in the house when they move in. If you need to spend money on updates, spend it on replacing worn flooring, replacing old window coverings with low-cost blinds or shades, or replacing a dated ceiling fan with a budget friendly alternative. This will show potential buyers that the house is move in ready and will not cost them more money to make livable.
8. Neutralize odors.
Got pets, or stinky teenage boys? Even if your home is modern and bright, a bad odor can drive people away. Neutralize those odors by cleaning carpets and walls. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way towards reducing odors in a house. Move the pet and litter box out of the house before showings. Light scented candles or add scented plug-ins to make the house smell fresher. Try baking some fresh cookies right before a showing and leave them out for agents and viewers.
Do you have any low cost tips to add to this post? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Kimberlyn T. chose the 3 1/2″ Premium Smooth Vertical Blinds.
“I am EXTREMELY pleased with my vertical blinds. They look fantastic in my bay window, plus the cats no longer destroy my blinds by trying to get to the window.”
Sherrie G. chose the @Home Collection 3/4″ Single Cell Light Filtering Shades and the Select Double Cell Blackout Shades for her client’s home.
“I love my designer program with Select, and getting to talk with Ethan and Al! Both have helped me so much with my projects! They are so knowledgable, friendly, and helpful…don’t know how I would order all that I do without that support! Below find a remodel project before and after. The top down bottom ups are in the whole room, including the eat-in. I also designed the draperies from Select, with great help from both Ethan and Al! They are gorgeous! Everyone comments! The last pic is the same client’s bedroom, which has blackout top down bottom up plus blackout draperies. Again, beautiful! Thank you, Select Blinds! Love, love working with this team!”