Book Review – Space Planning by Layla Palmer


Title: Space Planning

Author: Layla Palmer

Format: PDF e-book


This is an easy-to-understood book that takes the reader through the basics of space planning and how it pertains to decorating your house. The best part were the graphs, charts, and visuals she created to show how easy it can be.

Layla Palmer discusses how space planning can actually help you become happier and more successful in life. What an interesting concept! When your home is in order, you life will soon follow.

While she discusses the emotional benefits of space planning, Palmer also provides applicable, relevant information on how you can space plan in your own home. To start, she suggests starting from above. It helps you visualize the room better and gives you a better view of the space you’re working with, including traffic patterns, windows, and even wall outlets. The graphs and charts she provides even can help you determine the room’s true focal point, and that’s where the real decorating begins.

Palmer also recommends space planning even before buying any furniture. These helpful tips and tricks will give you the basic knowledge you need to adequately plan your space correctly and create the feel and vibe you’ve always wanted.

And you know what? It’s free!

Have you read it? What did you think?

The Silent Killer Parents Don’t Know About


Your home should be a safe haven for your entire family, but there’s a hidden danger that you see every day, and you don’t even realize it. It’s estimated that a child between 7 months and 10 years old dies from this hidden danger every month, and that’s not even counting the injuries.

The scariest part? It’s 100% preventable.

Window covering cords are a deathtrap.

The CPSC says they’re “…one of the top five hidden hazards in the home.” Cords seem harmless at first glance, but they’re anything but.

It doesn’t take much for a child to wrap the cord around his neck or a limb. They are the silent killer. You could even be in the same room and not realize what was happening. Once that cord gets around his neck, he can’t call for help. Sometimes parents don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Don’t let that be you and your child.

Step One – Awareness

Awareness is the first step to keeping your child safe. Part of that is getting rid of corded window coverings altogether. Even simple safety devices, like cord cleats, aren’t enough to protect your child. They can still get tangled in the wrapped cords.

Step Two – Be on the Lookout

Unfortunately, that’s not where it ends. It goes beyond that. Your children may be safe at home, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe anywhere. Window coverings are everywhere – in nearly every home and building. Before you let your child go play at a friend’s house or stay the night and grandma’s house, make sure you first understand the hidden dangers there, too.

Step Three – Go Cordless


Since foregoing window coverings altogether would mean privacy issues for your entire family, cordless window coverings are the safest option, period. Despite the continued safety concerns, corded blinds flood the market and most consumers don’t know how easy it is to go cordless. Committed to child-safety, retailers like Ikea, Target, and now sell only cordless window coverings. Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s have pledged to update their stock to cordless coverings by 2018. Cordless options are readily available and affordable for anyone wanting to make their homes safer.

The truth is that a corded window covering – no matter how affordable or how beautiful – is not worth the threat it poses to your children. There’s nothing to lose when switching to cordless, and everything to gain, including peace of mind. And that’s priceless.

To learn more about the danger of window covering cords and how to keep your children safe, please click here.

Select Blinds 2016 Labor Day Sale on All Blinds & Shades


The 2016 Labor Day Sale starts now! And it’s our BIGGEST SALE EVER! You can save big on your favorite window blinds and shades. This year, when you buy 3 window coverings, you get the 4th for free. And that doesn’t even count the additional savings you’ll get on every order. Get your home ready for fall with new blinds or shades, and save a lot of money in the process.

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Inspiring Decorator – Jessica Barnak – Kindred Creative Interiors


Jessica Barnak from Kindred Creative Interiors not only has fabulous style, but she’s also quite the inspiration. Her entire business is built around the idea of creating personal sanctuaries. She believes that every space and every home should be a safe place. We love that!

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has your journey been like?


As a child I remember my bedroom. We were not rich people, and my bedroom was not pretty. It had bare wood walls, old textiles and “vintage” (i.e. super old) furnishings. But that bedroom became the place that I relied on each day. It was my spot to be tidy and organized, clear my head, read my books and escape the drama that rested outside of those walls. I’m not sure I would be the same person today if I hadn’t had a bedroom to retreat to and escape it all. It would turn out that those 4 bare wood walls would save my sanity and be the beacon to my dream job.

Fast forward through college, a 4 year stint as a prison therapist (do not ask) and a 3 year stint as a child foster care advocate, and I landed on being a stay-at-home mom who created her own portrait business. I spent 10 years of my life as a children’s portrait photographer, always with that hidden love of creating sanctuaries within our homes. Because I was so focused on my portrait business, design took a back seat for a very long time until one day the universe essentially punched me in the face. In 2010 we were thrown a curve ball and my husband was transferred, for the 6th time in his career, 2.5 hours north of where we lived. It required me to close my business, say goodbye to longtime clients and start all over again. Only when I went to start all over again, it didn’t take.

The area we lived in couldn’t support a photography business. Every sign was pointing me in a new direction, and so in 2012 I was finally in a place where I could take the opportunity and time to reinvent myself. I wanted to take my lifelong love of design and aesthetics and turn it into my daily love. And so I did. I spent a lot of time thinking about who I wanted to serve, what I loved to do and what my end game was, and my interiors business was born from a place of service and change. I knew that I wanted to serve people who wouldn’t typically hire a designer – people who wanted beautiful homes like they see in magazines, but whose budgets wouldn’t allow the expensive finishes and the high-end furnishings that are featured ad nauseam.

I set out to create a business that could take any person anywhere in the world and teach them to recreate themselves within their 4 walls. I spent a few years working so hard to recreate myself and I wanted to give that same thing to people around the world who wanted to love their homes, but just didn’t know how to get there.

My business is mostly handled by FaceTime and Skype. I bring simple advice, tips and tricks to people all over the globe (as far as Australia!) for their spaces. It’s important to me to pay attention to their words, needs and budget and provide them with a step by step that they can follow to turn their home – no matter the size or shape – into their very own sanctuary, the same way I’ve turned my career into exactly what I wanted it to be.


This kitchen was created to fit family. Instead of a large, obtrusive island, we added a family style table in the middle to promote meal time, connection and family ties. Clutter was kept to a minimum so that the room feels more like a living space rather than a kitchen space, but still functions beautifully for cooking and entertaining.

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?


I am an artist at heart, so design for me has to be beautifully functional but with a carefully crafted creative flair. Personally, I love a mix of mid-century modern and vintage glamour. I definitely lean toward minimalist, but love to bring in a surprise to my spaces that make people say, “I wouldn’t have thought of that, but I like it!” Your home should represent exactly who you are; it should be your fingerprint. I try to make sure I understand who my client is and what they are trying to say so that I can create a space that is unique to their energy and personality.

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?



My favorite projects are always kitchens and home offices. They are the heart of our homes and the heart of our passion, and I love to design both! Recently my husband and I had the opportunity to move again and we purchased a 100-year-old city home full of hidden gems. We knew going in that we were going to renovate and gut the kitchen, but we thought it would take a while. It ended up taking us all of 3 months in the house to decide that the kitchen wasn’t going to last very long and that we should just get on with it. So on a winter Tuesday night we took a sledgehammer to the wall and started demo on a very outdated, not particularly functional space. What we found was a glorious brick wall behind the drywall! It turns out that our kitchen used to be the porch of the home, and the brick wall behind the drywall was the original exterior chimney. Of course, being who I am, the brick was staying and the entire kitchen was designed to coincide and flow beautifully with this gorgeous original structure.

Due to the space being the original porch, we opted for a heated tile floor and these 1920s-inspired beautiful tiles. The brick was amazing, but the space needed an artistic flair to fit with our design sylte, and as soon as we received the samples of these tiles, we both knew we had found the one. Being the budding minimalists we are, we kept the space clean lined, simple and stuck with a tuxedo kitchen theme. The original space was choppy and not functional, so we opened it up, removed walls and opted instead for a 12-inch island that contained everything we need to cook and spend time together as a family. It’s definitely a unique space and the layout is something that always surprises people, but the functionality of this kitchen was immensely improved and we think it’s pretty special.

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?



I love that mid-century modern is having its moment again. The lines, textures, colors and artistic aesthetic are my favorites. I love how the mid-century design style promotes a space that is minimalist, light and airy laced with natural wood tones and modern lines. It brings in light textures, minimal accents and beautiful touches of mother nature – with wood or plants or natural rugs – and combines them all into a design aesthetic that is calming and current. It’s one of those design styles that promotes a simple home, and I believe it’s having a glorious moment in this decade because people are tired of coming home to clutter and disarray and every surface full of something. A little white space can be good for pretty much everyone and every home.


Get Inspired on Polyvore

Some people are born with a beautiful and valuable talent – to see things how they could be and not as they are. And some learn to develop that through their lives. However, if you’re anything like me, you can only see things in their current states. So, when my husband and I went house shopping for the first time, I couldn’t see the structure’s potential. I could only see the shambles I was surrounded by. So instead of buying a home that we could remodel and make our own, we bought one that was already done, and all because we both lacked that vision.

Needless to say, I envy those that have that talent or skill. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost when it comes to me and you decorating our homes. Thankfully, those people with that beautiful decorative sight have created little “cheat sheets”, if you will. We all need a little inspiration from time to time, and we have the perfect resource for you – POLYVORE!

It’s not hard to see that has many gorgeous window covering options, but maybe it’s a little difficult to figure out what to pair with them. One of our very talented employees creates lovely Polyvore sets that will leave you feeling inspired. Here are some of my personal favorites:

1. Cool Desert Oasis

Cool Desert Oasis

Because we’re based in Arizona, we just had to have something Southwestern, right? The cell shades are a no-brainer in this heat. They keep everything cool and comfortable. And that rug? Yes, please! The colors are fun and refreshing.

2. Romantic Cape Cod Bedroom

Get The Look: Romantic Cape Cod Bedroom

Nothing says, “Just sit back and relax,” like this bedroom. The colors are soothingly divine, and everything feels clean and fresh. The unlined bamboo shades add the perfect amount of texture and visual interest, all while still letting in a lot of light.

3. Moody Designer Dining Room

Moody Designer Dining Room

Who doesn’t like a little drama in their decor? This dining room gives you just that. The bold wallpaper options will draw the eye without drawing all the attention away from the other wonderful pieces throughout the space. And that gold-framed mirror? Drool! The roman shades add great balance to the room, softening the effect without losing that special pop!

Want to see more? Click here to view all our Polyvore sets.

9 Reasons Why You May Need New Window Coverings


Look, we understand how nice it is to have new things and decorate your home. We get it. But there are legitimate reasons to get new window coverings. They can actually improve your daily life. And sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring the most joy. Window coverings may be a tiny detail, but they have the potential to improve your life.

Here are 9 reasons you may want to consider buying new window coverings:

1. Your children wake you up at the crack of dawn.

What does your alarm clock sound like these days? Is it the sound of children playing or fighting? Or is your alarm more of the silent type – you know, like when your child stands a foot away from you and silently watches you sleep? Blackout window shades are the perfect solution. They’ll make your children think it’s still dark outside, and hopefully that will lull them back to sleep until a more reasonable hour, like noon.

2. You’ve awkwardly seen your neighbor too many times.

How many times have you looked out your window and straight through your neighbor’s window? There are just some people in life that you don’t want to know what they do in their free time. Protect yourself with new window coverings. If you want to block your view of your neighbor’s habits, but you don’t want to give up that natural light, consider top down/bottom up shades. You can leave the top open for the light, but protect your eyes and your soul while keeping the bottom of the shade drawn.

3. Your neighbor has awkwardly seen you too many times.

Sure, it’s fun to get a kick out of seeing our neighbors in their natural habitats, but let’s be honest. How many times has a neighbor seen you through your naked window? Probably more times than you can imagine. Every private moment of your life is on display to anyone walking by. If that doesn’t motivate you to cover your windows, then nothing will.

4. You almost need a second mortgage to pay for your energy bill.

If it feels like you have to cut off a pound of flesh (hello, Shakespeare allusion!) to pay your monthly energy bill, then it might be time to get some energy-saving window coverings. Did you know that the right window covering can actually save you money? Insulated shades will keep the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter.

5. Your pets use your current window coverings as their personal jungle gym.

Pets. You love them, but they just don’t care about keeping the house nice (the nerve!).  And when it comes to window coverings, it’s a losing battle for everyone…except the pets. If you have blinds, they shove their heads straight through those slats. After all, how else are they supposed to see if that suspicious character called a mailman is approaching?

6. You wish you could raise and lower your shades without leaving the couch.

Sometimes life is just better on a couch. For real. What if we told you that you could raise, lower, and tilt your window coverings without ever leaving it? You’re welcome. With motorized shades, you can have it all, and you only have to use your thumb to press a button on a remote.

7. You panic every time your child is too quiet, and you could use a little more peace of mind.

When your child wanders off at home and is suddenly very quiet, what’s your first thought? It’s probably:  Oh no! What have they gotten into now? And where’s the cat? But there is actually a very real danger if you have corded window coverings in your home. The best way to make sure you have peace of mind is to choose cordless window coverings, period.

8. Your window coverings have been there so long, you’re afraid they’re essential to your home’s structural integrity.

How long have your current window coverings been on your windows?  Are you sure they haven’t fused to the window itself? If you have to wonder if they’re a part of your homes structural integrity, new, modern window coverings are long overdue.

9. Lastly, we just know you’ll love us!

What’s not to love? We have the best cordless selection at the best prices. That’s not even bringing up that everything ships for free. EVERYTHING! And when’s the last time you shopped with a company who has taken a stand for something they believe in? Because we’re dedicated and committed to child safety, we only sell cordless window coverings. It’s not about the money. It’s about saving lives.

Inspiring Decorator – Melinda McCoy – House 214 Design


What we love the most about the House 214 Design is that Melinda focuses on the feeling of the home rather than the things in it. She knows that if you can capture that feeling you want, you’re going to love everything else. Here’s a little more about her and her journey as a designer.

1. What inspired you to become a designer? What has the journey been like?


I have a passion for teaching and the home. My educational background informs a lot of what I do as it is my natural way of thinking. House 214 Design is where I teach the everyday home designer how the feeling they wish to create in their own home has basic design elements that will communicate that message consistently. As a result, making design decisions for their home becomes simple and easy.

I want people to understand that when it comes to designing their home, it doesn’t matter whether their budget is $50 for a project or $50,000. Neither amount of money guarantees that they will make the right or wrong decision. They first need to discover the desired feelings for their home, do a little work, and focus before they start any project. Creating a feeling in a home is far more important than just a checklist, but it does help to have a framework to reference; it is about finding a balance between a person’s creative side and the specific framework that communicates their feelings.

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?


The words I would use to describe my design aesthetic are authentic, timeless, and welcoming. I use these words as a guideline for the design elements throughout the rooms in our home. By using these words as a guide and the design framework that I created for them, I am able to make decisions with intention, rather than make decisions on what the latest trend is at that time.

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why?


I would say that I have two favorite projects in our home. The first being our kitchen and the second our mudroom area. They both evoke a timeless and simple feeling that I created using a design framework that you can receive for free when you subscribe to my website. This design plan is a sample of what you could learn in my online course, Create a Timeless Feeling Home, that you can register for now on my website.

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?


What I am really excited about (and hope is just beginning) is the shift in how we think about design. The slow movement is an authentic approach that is prevalent in the food industry – think the farm-to-table concept – and is moving into the design world. People are craving substance in their homes, and knowing how to create a feeling is the perfect way to do just that.

Before and After Window Coverings – Arizona Homeowner Edition

My husband and I bought our first home together a little over two years ago. We knew we wanted an open floor plan and space for both a living room and a family room. And we found exactly that.

house 1

home 2

But we didn’t realize the design problems we would face when it came to our window coverings.

Problem #1 – We loved all the natural light, but we didn’t have any privacy.

Problem #2 – We live in Arizona, and it’s hot. Leaving our windows uncovered or not appropriately covered would mean atrociously expensive energy bills.

Problem #3 – Two windows sat directly across from our TV, causing an annoying glare, especially for my husband who didn’t like that the glare disrupted his sports-watching marathons.

Problem #4 – We knew those two windows in the family room had different covering needs than the rest of the windows, but we still wanted design consistency, even if the needs of each room were different.


home 3

home 4

For the main portion of our house, we used two different types of window coverings. The two across from the TV were the same, and the two on the other side of the house were the same. We decided to go with cellular shades because they help lower energy costs, and they are great at insulating windows, making them perfect for an Arizona summer.

To solve our problem of avoiding blocking natural light while retaining our privacy, we chose light filtering honeycombs for one end of the house and light filtering/blackout cell shades for the family room. The light filtering/blackout shades are actually 2 shades in 1. You get both a light filtering shade and a blackout shade. My husband uses the blackout section when he’s watching TV, and he hasn’t had to deal with a TV glare ever since.

We ordered white for all the shades, but we ordered free samples first, just to make sure the whites were similar enough.


home 5

home 6


home 7


home 8


home 9

If we could do it all over again, we’d use the light filtering/blackout cell shades on every window in the house. They are incredible and serve their purpose perfectly.

These are the window coverings we used: