4 Easy Ways to Give Your Home's Exterior a New Look


by Charlene 17 Jul 2014

Whether you're looking to increase your home's curb appeal or you just need a change, improving the outside of your home is easy. It just takes a few simple upgrades and you'll have a whole new look. You don't have to be selling your home to appreciate curb appeal. So why wait? You can have the curb appeal of your dreams by changing these simple things:

Painted Front Door

Photo Credit: House Hunters of Idaho

Give your home an instant facelift by painting the front door. Go bold and vibrant or choose a more classic color palette. Whatever you choose, make sure it complements the color of your home. It doesn't have to match, but it does need to go well together.

Statement Door Knob

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Add a statement door knob to kick it up a notch and give the front of your house some more personality. You can find a door knob to match whatever statement you want. Go classic or modern. Whatever you choose, adding a new door knob can be the finishing touch to your freshly painted door.

Window Coverings

Photo Credit: SelectBlinds.com

Most people only consider how their window coverings look from the inside of their home. But the outside of your home is just as important, especially if you live in an HOA community. Choose window coverings that come with a liner, so you can have a cohesive look to the front of your house. Take these bamboo shades, for instance. You can choose a privacy liner in several colors. That way you can have the window coverings you want and still conform to the HOA's regulations.

Landscaping

Photo Credit: Design Home

The right landscaping can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. But just a few simple changes, like pulling weeds, planting a new tree, or making a pretty flower bed can make a big difference. Enlist the help of family and friends. Just a few hours of work and you can have a whole new front yard.

These four simple changes can make all the difference between selling your home and making a large profit. Or it can mean that you'll finally love your home's exterior. Don't limit your style and personality to the inside of your home. A home's exterior is the perfect blank canvas to showcase the best parts of yourself.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Order Free Samples – Here’s Why You Should


by Charlene 8 Jul 2014

 

It’s tempting to skip the free samples and just order the window coverings you want. Let’s be honest; we all like shortcuts. We’re busy and we have things to get done, so why take longer than necessary to order the blinds or shades you need for your windows? Actually, there are quite a few reasons why you should order free samples first, including:

Gives You a Chance to Change Your Mind

If you can’t decide between a few options, ordering free samples is a great way to help make up your mind. Or, maybe you knew what you wanted when you ordered the samples, but you’ve changed your mind. So many factors can affect how the samples look in your home, so it’s better to find that out before you spend money.

Helps You Make Sure the Color is Right

Colors can have minimal to severe variations when seen on computer or phone screens. The only way to see a product’s true color is to see it in person. And that’s why we offer free samples! Maybe the color you see on the screen would complement your wall color perfectly. But when you get your order, the color could be all wrong and not as perfect as you originally thought. Eliminate the risk of making the wrong order by ordering samples first.

Lets You Consider the Effects of Lighting

While your computer screen can change the product’s color, so can your home’s lighting. Light can change how everything looks. It can make something look beautiful, or it can change its look completely. You may find that the time of day can change the look of your window coverings, and you may not like what you see at dusk.

They’re Free!

What do you have to lose? They’re free! Mix and match your favorite styles, colors, patterns, and materials, and you’ll be ready to make your final purchase. Your dream window coverings are just a free sample away!

Order your free samples today and make a more confident purchase tomorrow!

 

Charlene Jimenez

What Are You Doing for National Safety Month?


by Charlene 24 Jun 2014

June is National Safety Month! So, for what's left of this month, focus on home safety. And why not keep this in mind throughout the entire year? If you're looking for ways to participate in National Safety Month, then look no further than your own home. That's the perfect place to start.


Ready to get started? Here's how to do it:


Upgrade to Cordless Window Coverings

If you can, upgrade your current window coverings to cordless options. Those dangling window covering cords are dangerous for children and pets. Create a safer home instantly with cordless blinds or shades. It's estimated that one child dies every month from a window covering cord accident. These are 100% preventable. And one way to prevent these horrific accidents is by going cordless and eliminating the threat altogether.


Get Free Cord Cleats for Corded Window Coverings

Realistically, not everyone can upgrade to cordless window coverings. Perhaps you're renting. Or maybe it's just not in the budget right now. That's OK! You can still prevent window covering cord accidents, and you don't have to pay a cent. Here at Select Blinds, we have a free cord cleat program for everyone with corded window coverings. A cord cleat is a little part that is secured to the wall. Then you just have to wrap any excess cord around it, keeping it out of the hands of children. Get your free cord cleats here: http://www.selectblinds.com/safe-kids.html

 

Check Your Furniture Placement

Photo Credit: Blog Town Mom

When you arranged your furniture, you might have focused on look and feel of the placement. While that's important, it's also important to consider potential threats. For example, keep all beds, cribs, couches, and chairs away from windows. Not only can they climb on the furniture to reach cords, but they can push on screens and fall. Also be mindful of bookshelves and coffee tables. Sometimes climbing on furniture is just too tempting for children, so it's up to you to make sure they're safe.

 

Take Extra Precautions Near the Pool

Photo Credit: Pinterest


It's warm outside and the pool is inviting for all ages. If your pool is open, consider getting a fence around it or some sort of barrier. You can even put a cover over the pool that is designed to hold weight and not rip or drop under the water. This will ensure your child's safety if she does happen to get out to the pool and try to get in. If your child is swimming, stay diligent and keep watching them. It only takes a second for something to happen. Life jackets are also a great idea.


Once you've done these, take a moment to brainstorm what else you can do this month to make sure your home is safe for your entire family. Sometimes the smallest safety measures make the biggest difference.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Creating a Comfortable, Safe Space for Fido


by Charlene 13 May 2014

Your dog is a beloved part of your family. That means he should have a comfortable, safe place to live, too. Decorating for Fido is a great project for the entire family, and it's a great opportunity to teach your children how to keep their dog safe while at home. 

But first, take a look at this extravagant dog space.

Photo Credit: Pawsh Magazine

If you don't have an entire room set aside for your dog, that's OK. You don't need that to keep your dog comfortable, happy, and protected. Here's what you do need:

A Dedicated Space 

 

Photo Credit: Dogster

Every member of your family enjoys having a space to call his own. Your dog is the same. Again, it doesn't have to be an entire room. A little corner will do the trick. Have an unused space under the stairs or an awkward space in the hallway? That can be the perfect doggy nook. Having a dedicated space also helps keep the doggy supplies concentrated, hopefully cutting down the mess and the clutter in your house.

Cordless Window Coverings

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Even if there aren't windows near your dog's dedicated space, it's important to be aware of the dangers of corded window coverings for pets. Cordless window coverings are the safest choice for both children and pets, but if you can't upgrade to cordless, you can simply use cord cleats to tie up the dangling cord. Dogs are curious. They love to play and explore. Make sure they're safe, no matter what they're doing.

A Soft Place to Rest

Photo Credit: Hooked on Houses

Your dog should have a pillow, bed, or a blanket to sleep on. Give your dog every reason to get cozy and relax once in a while. Once he claims and recognizes that soft place as his own, you'll probably find him there quite often.

Keep Things out of Reach

Have some things you don't want your pet getting into? The simple solution is to put everything up high. Sure, it can be cute to decorate Fido's area with figurines or even low-hanging pictures, but chances are he'll eventually figure out a way to get it, play with it, and destroy it, not to mention the damage it could do to him.

These are all basic suggestions, but they're important. If you're not already doing these, it's time to create an even safer home environment for Fido. What have you done for your pet to keep them safe and comfortable at home? We'd love to see some of your ideas!

 

Charlene Jimenez

How to Keep Cool This Summer


by Charlene 2 May 2014

Summer is on its way, and for some, it's already here. So now is the time to prepare to keep cool this summer. Control the heat before it amplifies to stay cool for the entire summer. The first thing to start with is the interior of your home. After that, move to the outside. You'll eventually have a summer-ready home where you can keep cool and enjoy spending time with your loved ones. Here's how to get started:


Cover Your Windows


A home with open, bright windows can make for a beautiful space. However, even with new windows, outside heat can come in, heating up your house and increasing your energy bills. But to get the best heat reduction, you can't cover your windows with just anything. For optimal energy efficiency, choose cellular shades. If you still want that natural light during the summer, choose light filtering cell shades, and you'll have the best of both worlds.


Keep Your Lights Off

With light filtering shades, you can keep off your lights longer, helping to keep your home's interior cool and comfortable. You may not realize it at first, but leaving your lights on during the day can really heat up your home. Plus, keeping your lights off as long as possible will also save you money each month on your utility costs.


Swap Out Your Bedding

Change out your heavier winter bedding with linens specifically made for warmer weather. Being the right temperature while you sleep will help you to feel cooler the rest of the day. If you're overheated at night, you may feel as though you're catching up to stay cool all day.


Use Outside Misting Systems

Don't let the summer heat keep you from enjoying time outside. Install misting systems around your porch, deck, or backyard sitting area. It will keep you cool and you don't have to hide from the heat inside your house.


Barbeque

Cook outside as much as you can during the summer. Using your oven and stove will heat up your house, and it might be difficult to cool it back down right away. Instead, keep the heat outside where it belongs.


What's your favorite way to stay cool in the summer?

 

Charlene Jimenez

7 Stylish Alternatives to a Traditional Headboard


by Charlene 22 Apr 2014

Traditional headboards are beautiful. But not everyone is the traditional headboard type of person. If you're looking for something new, unique, and fun behind your bed, it's all about getting creative and thinking outside of the box. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at this list. You may not be able to choose just one alternative, and it just might inspire you to buy more beds.


Oversized Art

Photo Credit: Sarahsarna
This will give you a nice balance between your new artistic headboard and the size of your bed. This is also a great way to express yourself and show your personality. Pick your favorite piece of art. If you can't find one big enough, you can always choose two large pieces of art and use those to replace your traditional headboard.


Art or Frame Collage

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Want something on a smaller scale? Use smaller pieces of art and empty frames to create your own pattern and design. Add colors and your favorite photos to make the wall space your own. One thing is for sure; no one else will have the exact same design. 

 
Wall Decal

Photo Credit: Mostazaseed
If you can't paint or make holes in the walls, you can still have an awesome design for your headboard. Use a decal. This can be easily put up and taken down. Choose any design you want or create your own. When it comes to decals, you have a lot of options.


Chalkboard Paint

Photo Credit: Picklee
Simply use chalkboard paint behind your bed and you can draw a new headboard design every night. If you are the type who likes change, this is the perfect non-traditional headboard for you. Imagine what you can draw and what colors you could use. Your options really are limitless.


Fences, Gates, and Doors

Photo Credit: Renouned Nest
Add a fence, gate, or door behind your bed and immediately transform your bedroom. Add an antique gate for a one-of-a-kind look or look for something more modern to give your space that much-needed flair. It's also a great way to add an interesting detail to your bedroom, a detail that is sure to spark great conversation.


Large Mirrors

Photo Credit: Country Living
Adding a large mirror behind your bed can make your room brighter, lighter, and appear bigger. It can also give your room a luxurious, elegant feel. If done right, a large mirror instead of a traditional headboard can be the statement piece you're looking for.


Window Shades or Curtains

Photo Credit: My Designer Mom
Looking for a more affordable, simple option? Install window shades  or curtains behind your bed. You don't even have to have actual windows. Choose from silky roman shades to roller shades with modern, fun, vibrant prints. With so many options, you will find something that matches your style perfectly.


No longer do you need a traditional headboard to show sophistication and class. You can still have all of that without having to stay within the lines. Don't be afraid to get creative and to try something new. You will never know if it works for your space unless you give it a chance.


Do you have a non-traditional headboard? Share it with us!

Charlene Jimenez

Get the Look - Spanish Style Edition


by Charlene 11 Apr 2014

How much did you love the guest bedroom from the Spanish style episode?

Ready to find out how to get the look?

 

Start with this duvet cover in tan/beige:

 

Then add this beige bed skirt:

 

Next, place this white coverlet over the edge of the bed, just as you see in the first image:

 

Now it's time for the decorative pillows.

Choose between either this textured gray pillow:

Or this shiny gray pillow:

 

The next step is to pick the perfect yellow accent pillows for your bed. Choose either this yellow striped pillow:

Or this diamond-patterned pillow:

 

Now that you have the bedding all done, it's time to move on to the curtains. To get this look, use these pleated curtains in the silk honey color.

And there you go! What else would you add to get the "American Dream Builders" look?

 

Charlene Jimenez

 

7 Spring Cleaning Tips


by Charlene 28 Mar 2014

Whether you love it or you hate it, it's time for some spring cleaning. Every home needs a good deep clean once in a while. But just the thought of deep cleaning your entire house can be overwhelming and stressful. It doesn't have to be, not if you approach it with the right mindset.


Here are the essential spring cleaning tips you'll need to tackle the deep cleaning beast:


1. Organize your closets first.

Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy


Closets can be a big project. But it can also be therapeutic to sort through your clothes and shoes, donating the items you don't use anymore. A cleaned, organized, streamlined closet is beautiful, and it just might give you the energy and motivation you need to continue your spring cleaning efforts.


2. Wipe down your walls and baseboards.


You may not notice the gradual dirt or fingerprints that appear on your walls and baseboards. But once you wipe them down with a clean, wet rag, you'll wonder how you didn't notice before. Cleaning your walls is a small task with huge results. Clean walls alone can make your home appear brighter and happier. Give it a try. You'll be pleased with the results.


3. Reorganize your bookshelves or movie shelves.

These won't need much cleaning, but reordering and reorganizing them can give your home a cleaner, tidier look and feel. It also wouldn't hurt to dust while you're at it. Before you know it, you'll be done and moving on to the next task.


4. Clean light fixtures.

Photo Credit: Real Simple


You may not notice them as much, but your light fixtures will get just as dusty. Safely climb a ladder or stand on a sturdy chair and wipe them down, light bulbs and all. Then, once you're done, turn on the lights and see how much brighter your home is.


5. Don't forget the outside of your home.


Wash your doormats, sweep and wash your walkways and driveway, and do all that yard work you've been forgetting about. And don't forget to wash the outside of your windows, too. Make the outside of your home just as sparkling as the inside of your home.

6. Dust your window coverings.

Your blinds and shades collect dust just like everything else in your home. And if you don't clean them regularly, it can cause discoloration. If you have window blinds you need to clean, click here to find out how. If you have window shades, read this.


7. Shampoo your carpets and upholstery last.

You've made it through winter, and your carpets and furniture could use some love. Get rid of all that dust and dirt and have a fresher home immediately. Now that everything is clean and the carpets and furniture wet, let it dry and go celebrate your spring cleaning victory.


Unfortunately, a true spring cleaning consists of more than these six steps. However, these six tips will make the biggest difference in your home. Want to make a big difference with a small amount of effort? This list will give you just that.


What are your favorite spring cleaning methods? Have any spring cleaning tips for the rest of us?


Charlene Jimenez


How to Clean Your Window Shades


by Charlene 21 Mar 2014

We've already discussed cleaning your window blinds, so now it's time to tackle cleaning your window shades. At first you may think you can use the same techniques as cleaning wood or faux wood blinds, but there are specific ways to clean specific types of shades, including honeycomb, solar, and even bamboo shades. Using the incorrect cleaning method can actually damage your shades, so here's what you need to know:


Honeycomb/Cellular Shades


Regular cleaning of your cellular shades is important. Without it, they can develop a yellowish tint. Regularly vacuum the shades with the brush attachment. Make sure to be gentle and not tug on the shades. You want to keep the honeycombs looking nice. You can also dust the shades to keep the dust from accumulating. If you see that dust has gotten into the middle of the cells, use a blow dryer to get it out. But only use it on the softest, lowest air flow and only use cool air, never warm or hot. The most important thing to remember is be gentle.

 

Solar Shades


Many of the solar shades we offer here at Select Blinds are resistant to both mold and moisture. So that means you can use a damp cloth to clean them, both the front and the back, and you won't have any problems. You can also use a feather duster or a brush attachment on your vacuum, but a damp cloth will be your best, most effective bet for solar shades.

 

Bamboo Shades


No water should be used on bamboo or woven shades at all. This will cause ample irreversible damage. Instead, limit yourself to a light dusting or very light vacuuming with the brush attachment. Too much pressure or moisture on the bamboo shades can break the natural fibers apart, eventually causing droops and gaps.


Roman Shades


Because roman shades are made of fabric, it's generally OK to spot clean using a damp rag and gentle detergent or soap. However, be mindful of the type of fabric of your roman shades, like those made of silk or other delicate materials. You can also use a duster and the brush vacuum attachment for a light cleaning.


Keeping your window shades clean and looking fresh is easy. With the right cleaning technique, you'll be able to maintain that new look you had when you first installed them. It will also prolong the life of your shades, so you'll get the most use for your money, all while keeping your shades looking great!

 

Charlene Jimenez

How to Clean Your Blinds


by Charlene 19 Mar 2014

Remember when you first installed your blinds and they looked fabulous and clean? Unfortunately, it doesn't take too long for blinds to collect dust. But cleaning your blinds can be a pain, especially if you're not sure you're using the proper cleaning method. After all, blinds are made from a variety of materials and each requires a unique way of cleaning. But it doesn't have to be a pain any longer. Here's what you need to know:


Wood Blinds


Even though wood blinds have been treated and sealed, using water on them is still not a good idea. Avoid cleaning wood blinds with water or even a spray cleaner. All your wood blinds need is a little dusting. Use a feather duster, dusting mitt, or a clean rag. Simply run the rag or duster across each slat, starting from the lowest slat to the highest. This will help you avoid pushing the dust onto the already-cleaned slats below.


If you want to take it one step further, you can always clean your wood blinds with a vacuum with a brush attachment. This will give you a deeper clean and it won't leave the dust you've pushed off the blinds on the floor or windowsill.


Faux Wood Blinds


Faux wood is more durable than real wood when it comes to using water. With faux wood blinds, you can use a warm, damp cloth to clean the individual slats. If you'd like to add a miniscule amount of soap or detergent to the mixture, you can do that, too. But never use an abrasive sponge or cleaning tool. This can scratch the faux wood and cause damage, eventually letting the water into the core of the slats.


Just as with wood blinds, you can also use your vacuum's brush attachment to clean your faux wood blinds. Take it one slat at a time and you'll be done in no time.


Aluminum Mini Blinds

These are some of the most durable blinds out there and they're some of the easiest to clean. You can use both warm and cold water to clean them, and feel free to use soap. Because of the smooth finish of aluminum mini blinds, the dust should wipe off easily. However, if you need more cleaning power, you can take the aluminum blinds off the headrail and soak them in the bathtub. This is a sure-fire way to get your mini blinds sparkling again. However, as you're cleaning, try not to bend the slats. You'll want to avoid causing any damage to the blinds as you're cleaning them, no matter how minor it may seem at the time.

 

Fabric Blinds


Because fabric blinds aren't as firm as aluminum or even faux wood or wood blinds, they can be a little difficult to clean. First, try to clean them with the brush attachment on your vacuum. This may be all you need to get them clean. However, if that doesn't work as well as you had hoped, you can always take them to the dry cleaners. You won't need to do this every time you clean your fabric or cloth vertical blinds, but it's nice to know it's always an option.

 

Cleaning your blinds doesn't have to be a hassle. With the right knowledge and tools, you can tackle an average cleaning day or more in-depth spring cleaning.


What are some of the best ways that you've found to clean your blinds?

 

Charlene Jimenez

Using Window Coverings as Closet Doors


by Charlene 25 Feb 2014

 

Looking for an easy way to spice up any room? It can be as simple as thinking outside the box when it comes to your closet doors. Traditional closet doors are great, but you can change the entire look of your room by using window coverings instead. Using curtains, blinds, or shades as your closet doors can give your room a more elegant, sophisticated, and even modern look and feel. And some of the great things about using window coverings are that they’re versatile, stylish, and easy to use for all ages. Find your style muse in these examples:

Curtains

With the right draping, curtains can look soft and elegant or bold and act as a statement piece. Curtains are great for closet doors because you can pull them open to showcase your organized closet or pull the closed to give the illusion of organization without the required effort.  Out of all your window covering options for closet doors, curtains give you the most design choices, including patterns, colors, textures, and fabrics.

Roman Shades

With roman shades, you get the look of curtains but with usefulness of traditional blinds and shades. You can raise them all the way to give a nice frame to the top of the closet or you could lower them halfway for more closet coverage. When you need to, you can let them down completely. Roman shades give you the ability to choose the look you want when you want. You can further customize your look by choosing from one of the four available folds: European, flat, hobbled, and classic.

Roller Shades

These are also easy to use, which makes them perfect for a child’s room. You can raise and lower according to your needs. It really is as easy as that. You can choose from different patterns and colors to make it fun, exciting, and lighthearted. You could even choose Disney roller shades to add a little oomph to your child’s room.

Woven Shades

Want a more natural feel with lots of texture? Woven shades are the answer. This will give a fun, modern, and rustic vibe, which is perfect for a contemporary home or even a teenager’s room. Make your closet and your space unique. Woven shades are the perfect way to do that. If you like the look of roman shades, but you want natural texture, woven shades actually raise and lower just like roman shades, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Paneled Vertical Blinds

Traditional vertical blinds are a great choice, but paneled vertical blinds are better suited to be used as closet doors. The panels are much wider than the traditional vanes, and it create a cohesive streamlined look.

Show your closet some love with new, modern closet doors. Closet doors don’t have to blend into the walls anymore. Make a statement that reflects your personality. And if you ever want a new look, simply swap them with something new. For double closet doors, you'll need to use multiple shades on one headrail, but that's easy to do.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Using Hideous Rooms as Decorating Inspiration


by Charlene 18 Feb 2014

Looking at pictures of beautiful rooms can be inspiring. But did you know that hideous, outdated rooms can also be a source of inspiration? It may not be your first instinct, but how can you know what you like if you don’t know what you dislike? It’s a part of the same package, but it’s often neglected. Not sure what to look for? Here’s how to start:

Take Pictures of Your Own Home

Your home may not have hideous rooms, but there are probably rooms that aren’t your favorite. This is your chance to figure out why. Take pictures of your least favorite rooms. Then, study them on your computer. Find the areas of each room that don’t work. Once you can pinpoint those areas, the next step is to determine why you don’t like that space. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Does it have to do with the wall color? Accent or furniture colors?
  • Is it too boring or too eclectic?
  • How’s the natural light in the room?
  • Does the furniture placement make the room feel disjointed?
  • Do you have too much furniture in one room? Not enough?

If you need help pinpointing the problem, ask a friend to help. It can be difficult to view your own decor objectively. Letting someone else give their insight can help you see your home in a different way. Remember that you don’t have to do everything they suggest. Consider their opinions. Whether you use them or not is up to you.

Scour the Internet

If you’re looking for more ugly home inspiration, it’s time to scour the internet. It won’t be difficult to find large compilations of hideous rooms. Just as you did with your own pictures, start identifying what doesn’t work and why. Most likely, these will be easier to pick out than with your own pictures. Have fun with this part.

Here are a few to get you started:

1. What do you learn from the picture below? Be careful when experimenting with painting techniques. It’s great to try something new, but sometimes it’s best left to the professionals.

Photo Credit: Sears Ugly Room Contest

2. Bright colors are great, but they have to be used effectively. Instead of painting this much fluorescence on the walls, opt for bright accents to create a subtler, yet bold, look. You don’t have to use bright colors sparingly, but make sure there’s a method to your madness.

Photo Credit: Sears Ugly Room Contest

3. There’s nothing wrong with a minimalistic style. However, sometimes it can become a little too extreme. When this happens, a room can easily feel empty and boring. Is there anything about this room that makes you want to spend time in there? Minimalism can be done beautifully, but this isn’t it.

Photo Credit: Sears Ugly Room Contest

4. The individual components aren’t bad. The red walls could look great in another room, but not in this one. The room is too dark to have such dark paint, and it makes the room feel dreary and cave-like. What works in one room may not work in another. There are so many factors that can affect the outcome. Proper planning and experimentation can help you find the perfect home décor choices for each room.

Photo Credit: Sears Ugly Room Contest

Now that you’ve looked at plenty of ugly rooms, you know what to avoid. The more rooms, both ugly and beautiful, you look at, the more things you'll know to avoid. Don't forget to reward yourself by looking at fashionable, modern rooms for even more inspiration. And then create the dream home you've always wanted, one room at a time.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Tips for Measuring Custom Blinds to Perfection


by Charlene 21 Jan 2014

Windows aren’t created equal, and neither are window blinds. Finding the right fit and color can be a tedious task if you’re not sure where to start. But starting with SelectBlinds makes it easier. All you have to do is find the blinds you like and then measure your windows. If measured correctly, you’ll have blinds that perfectly fit your windows, no matter their sizes. With just a few specialized tips, you can measure for your custom blinds perfectly.

Tip #1: Determine the Mount

Before you can measure, you have to decide whether you want an inside mount or an outside mount. The chosen mount will affect the measurements, so be sure of your decision as you’re measuring. If you’d prefer an inside mount, don’t use the window molding or frame in the final numbers. If you want an outside mount, make sure to measure using the molding, and go out as far as you’d like the window blinds to sit.

Tip #2: Reference the Measuring Guides

Each type of window covering has a unique and specific measuring guide. Thoroughly reading the guide for your custom blinds, whether they’re aluminum, wood, or vertical blinds, will ensure proper measuring for that specific product. Here’s a great resource list. Just pick which mount you want and the type of window coverings you’re measuring for, and the right measuring guide is at your fingertips.

Tip #3: Use a Steel Tape Measure

Image Credit: Sears.com

When you’re ready to measure your windows, opt for a steel tape measure over a cloth or fabric one. A steel measuring tape won’t allow gaps from not being pulled tight enough. A steel tape measure is more apt to give you true measurements. Using steel is also a benefit if you have taller windows because you can measure without always getting a chair or a ladder, depending on the window’s height.

Tip #4: Use a Friend

Using a friend to confirm measurements is a fantastic way to make sure you measured correctly. If you have particularly large or tall windows, have your friend hold one side of the steel tape measure, so you don’t have to try to do it all by yourself.

Tip #5: Write it Down

You may have a good memory, but write those measurements down anyway. It will save you possible measuring hassles in the long run. If you have someone helping, call out the measurements to your friend to write down right away, saving you from having to climb up and down a ladder.

Tip #6: The Rule of Three

To ensure accuracy, measure the height and width of each window three times. When measuring the height, measure the left side, middle, and right side of the window, writing down the measurements as you go. For the width, measure the top, middle, and the bottom. The three window measurements might be different from each other, but there’s nothing to worry about. Next, watch this video. It will tell you which measurements to use.

Measuring for window blinds is easy. With the six tips above, you’ll be well on your way to having the best fit blinds you’ve ever had.

 

Charlene Jimenez

4 Killer Must-Haves for Super Bowl Sunday


by Charlene 17 Jan 2014

The Super Bowl is about good company, great food, and a fantastic game. To have the best Super Bowl viewing experience, you might have to do a bit of planning and preparation. But it will all be worth it on game day. Want a killer Super Bowl Sunday? Here’s what you need:

Game-Worthy TV

Sure, the big game can be watched on any TV or even your phone or computer, and these work great in a pinch, but it’s just not the same. You need a big, beautiful TV so you can see every detail and replay perfectly. You don’t want your guests squinting at the TV. It’s a long game, and your guests will have a headache before halftime at that rate. It’s the perfect time of year to upgrade your TV, even if for the day. If you want a quick, inexpensive fix, rent a big, beautiful flatscreen. You could even have the guests chip in, making it a cheap, easy necessity for the Sunday of all Sundays.

Streaming System

In front of the TV is the best spot to experience the game, but you and your guests won’t stay put the whole time. They’ll be heading to the restroom and maybe to the kitchen to get more food. You can set up a streaming system, plug in a laptop or tablet, and put it in the kitchen. You and your guests won’t miss a single pass or a single play. Your whole house will be football central.

Talking Remote Meat Thermometer

What’s Super Bowl Sunday without the grill getting fired up? Whether you’re cooking steaks or hamburgers, you can keep the talking remote meat thermometer near you, so you know when it’s time to flip and when they’re ready for consumption. This killer gadget allows you more game time in front of the TV, diminishing the need to check the grill over and over, and your steaks and hamburgers will be cooked to perfection.

Glare-Reducing Window Shades

Nothing’s worse than having to move your head back and forth to see the game because the glare is right in the way. While you could pull the curtains and make it dark and cave-like, people still need to see their food, right? But you can have the best of both worlds. Extreme Solar Shades filter the light, so you get the natural light, but you don’t get the glare or the harmful UV rays. They’re also insulated, so they keep out the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. And there you have it: a glare-free Super Bowl Sunday.

Make your Super Bowl party one for the books. Who knows? With all these upgrades, game day might be held at your place every February from now on.

 

Charlene Jimenez

Winterize Your Windows


by Charlene 10 Jan 2014

Winter is here. And sometimes, winter is harsh and unforgiving. Winter can leave your home cold and drafty, with every bit of warm air escaping as quickly as it can. But there are ways to keep your electric bills low and still have a comfortable, warm home. And the best part is that you have options.

Drapery

When you hear the word “drapery,” you might think of your grandmother’s house, but drapes have been modernized to include interesting and fashionable fabrics and patterns, making them a great, customized fit for every home. With drapes, you can:

  •  Keep the warmth in and block the cold out.
  •  Update your room instantly and create a whole new look with one simple change, with 100s of color, pattern, and fabric options.
  • Add liners for your needs, like blackout and privacy liners.

Honeycomb, Cellular, and Solar Shades

Honeycomb, cellular, and solar shades provide added insulation for your windows, but using these shades doesn’t mean you have to spend your winter in darkness. With these shades, you can:

  • Maintain a comfortable home temperature and block out harmful UV rays.
  •  Choose a blackout shade option for added privacy.
  • Filter and diffuse the bright sunlight to create a warm, inviting glow.
  • Reduce glare, making it perfect for viewing computer and television screens.

Combining both the shades and the drapes can give your home the barrier it needs from the cold. Winterizing is easy. All it takes is a few changes and updates, and you’re looking at a toasty and comfortable winter season inside your home.

 

Charlene Jimenez

How to Clean Your Window Blinds the Quick and Easy Way


by Chris S 10 Jun 2013

clean your window blinds to make them last longer

Although most of us remember to clean our windows regularly, we often forget about our window blinds. Regular cleaning will keep them looking and working like new; however, this is a chore most people would rather avoid. The secret is to keep dust and grime from building up over time, creating a layer that is tough to remove. When it comes to keeping window blinds clean, prevention is the best tool, so make it part of your regular weekly housecleaning.

Know Your Blinds

Window blind manufacturers create instructions for a reason, so read them carefully and follow the cleaning tips that come with them. Also, look for specific tips and recommendations, so you’ll avoid any potential problems down the road. Manufacturers test their guidelines and can give you the best advice available on how to care for your blinds. As a rule, give your blinds a thorough cleaning every four months, or at the very least, twice a year.

Grandma’s Green Cleaning Method

If your grandmother is like mine, she uses vinegar for everything, including cleaning window blinds. Here’s how:

  • Fill a small bowl with white vinegar and find a pair of clean cotton gloves or socks.
  • Put your hand inside one of the gloves or socks and dip the tip of the sock, or your fingers into the bowl.
  • Run your hand or fingers along each slat to remove the dust and grime. You may need to rinse the sock or glove a few times.
  • Switch back and forth between the two socks or gloves, soaking one sock or glove while you use the other.

Important: Although this method is safe for most materials, do not oversaturate the blinds, especially if they are wooden. Water warps wood, so squeeze as much out as possible and dry immediately. Avoid letting the vinegar come into contact with your eyes or skin.

Material Matters

It’s important to know what your blinds are made of, and then to clean them accordingly. Here are some material-specific tips:

  • Wooden Blinds – Excess moisture is wood’s worst enemy, so avoid getting wooden blinds wet. To dust them, use a clean, soft cloth, a feather duster or a vacuum brush. To put more life into the wood, use a cleaner made specifically for wood, such as lemon oil. Reading the manufacturer’s guidelines is more important than ever with wooden blinds, so check to see what products the company recommends before you use anything on them. Run a dryer sheet along each slat to keep dust and grime from sticking.
  • Faux Wood Blinds – Faux wood blinds are the easiest to clean, because they are durable and resist warping. You can dust them just as you do wooden blinds, but you can also spot clean them using a mild detergent with warm water on a slightly moistened cloth, blotting dry afterwards. Use a dryer sheet to keep dust at bay.
  • Vinyl and Aluminum Blinds – Dust often and spot clean stains with mild detergent using warm water and then blot them dry. Tilt the slats up and down slightly to dust both sides, moving along each slat. Avoid pressing down too hard, so you don’t bend or break them. If the dirt is hard to remove, take the blinds off the window and soak them in a bathtub filled with warm, soapy water. Rinse them and wipe dry, or hang them and leave them open to air dry.
  • Fabric Vertical Blinds – Dust often with a vacuum brush to avoid build up. Spot clean as directed using a clear detergent to avoid staining, then blog dry. Although you cannot immerse them in water, check the manufacturer’s recommendations to see if you can have them dry cleaned.

Regular cleaning according to the manufacturer’s guidelines will keep your blinds looking as beautiful as the day you got them, as long as you take special care and clean on a regular basis. By avoiding dirt and dust buildup, it will be easy to give them a quick cleaning whenever you clean the rest of your home.

Six Great Reasons to Give DIY Projects a Try


by Chris S 8 Apr 2013

Embarking on a DIY project may seem like a lot of unnecessary work and hassle – but have you really considered the benefits of undertaking some personal home improvements?

Even if you consider yourself far from being a “dab hand” at DIY projects, there are many smaller-scale projects that bring just as much satisfaction while requiring little or no handywork skills.

So why should you consider taking up some DIY projects in your spare time – what are the real advantages?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six perfectly good reasons why you ought to be doing DIY projects.

1. Rewarding

The self-fulfilment that you receive from starting and finishing your own project is difficult to replicate. While the actual project itself may not be the most compelling task that you’ll ever perform, the final product will provide you with a self-efficacy boost that is well worth the effort you’ve put in. Similarly, your DIY project is something to show off to your friends or family – making you feel proud of your work.

2. The Cost

Typically, sourcing your own materials – such as simply buying a tin of paint and a brush – is much more cost effective than hiring professional tradesmen. It may take a little more time for the work to be completed, sure, but for an extra few dollars in your back pocket, that could well be worth it.

3. Bond With Others

If you’re working on a larger-scale project, like painting a large room, then don’t hesitate to get friends or family involved. You can use the exercise as an excellent way to bond, improve communication and spend time with others.

4. Work At Your Own Pace

The great thing about DIY projects are that you can work at your own pace and set your own limits. For beginners, this is ideal. There are no pressures of working within a time frame and you can take on your project in your spare time and when you feel up to it.

5. A Productive Hobby

If you find yourself sitting in front of the TV or playing video games during your spare time then getting stuck into a bit of DIY project can act as a welcome alternative to your sedentary habits – and you’ll feel much better for it. Just being more productive in your extra-curricular activities will provide you with a rewarding psychological enhancement.

6. You Become Active

As stated previously, because DIY isn’t a sedentary activity, more often than not, it will get you up on your feet and force you into some physical movement – which is always a vital part of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Author information: Matthew Wood is a regular blogger who enjoys developing engaging and informative articles on a range of topics. This particular entry has been written on behalf of the DIY Kitchen and Flooring provider Finsa Home.

Genie in a Bottle Themed Home Redesign Project


by AL__-S 2 Oct 2012

We finally updated our family room furniture. We have been in this house for nearly 3 years, and we had old furniture to begin with, so it was time, even though as the man of the house I could have probably been okay with the old stuff for the rest of my life.

Genie In a Bottle Living Room

I’ll admit that we did use a designer to help us, and they were great. The couch and chair are custom made, which this is the first time I’ve ever done that, and it was worth it. The theme, chosen by my wife, is Genie in a Bottle! Everything tied in with the Roman Shades and Cornices that we bought from SelectBlinds.com when we moved in.

My chair! I actually got to do a “Sit Test” on it before it was completed, to make sure the cushion was right for my cushion. And I love that rug, which we initially had some doubts about. Thank you SelectRugs.com

When we go out for dinner, I like to sit at a high top, or at the bar, so we put one in the house. This is where we eat, not at the dining room table.

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