Creating a Comfortable, Safe Space for Fido

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.

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

A Dedicated Space 

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

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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

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!

How to Keep Blinds Safe from Pets

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

If you have a dog or cat in your house, you know the huge challenge there is getting them house-trained. However, once they are, you would think you could just enjoy their company for the rest of their life, right? Well, it turns out that if you are thinking of getting new blinds for your windows, this may not exactly be the case. In fact, your beloved pet may get along so famously with your new blinds that they end up having quite the “entanglement,” literally and figuratively. As you can imagine, your poor blinds are not likely to fare well at all. So how exactly do you keep your blinds safe from pets?

Get Them Some Fun Toys

Dogs and cats can get pretty bored, especially if you go away for a long time during the day. To occupy themselves, they may look for things to play with, and if blinds catch their fancy, your window coverings may not live to tell the tale. To avoid this, make sure you have a number of pet-friendly play toys in plain sight. Pet toys are especially a good idea if your dog or cat is young and energetic.

Have a Scratching Post

Older pets tend to use blinds as their “official” scratching post, tearing them to bits in the process. To avoid this, have a scratching post at home and train your pets to use it and nothing else when they feel the need to give themselves a pedicure. You can even coat it with some catnip to make it completely irresistible to your little feline.

Keep the Blinds Partly Open

If you have a dog that takes his job as protector and defender seriously, your blinds are in real danger every time someone passes by the window. To see, your dog may pull apart the blinds. Avoid this by leaving the blinds open part-way.

Apples, Anyone?

You know what they say about apples keeping doctors away? Well, it turns out they can do wonders for the health of your blinds, too. Dogs have a fierce dislike for the sour apple spray smell and taste, and it’s harmless to them otherwise. The spray is actually used on the pet’s body to prevent him/her from licking a wound or cut, so it’s safe. Spray this around the blinds or even the windowsill and your dogs will keep clear of it.

Order Free Samples – Here’s Why You Should

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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

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

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

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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

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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!

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

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!

How to Clean Roman Shades

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Romans are a unique style of window covering that uses a variety of materials and offers two fold styles. All of this combined gives romans the elegance of drapery with the modern functionality of window shades.

1. Vacuum Brush Attachment

Because of that, cleaning roman shades should resemble the way you clean draperies and/or curtains. I happen to have several romans in my home, and I use the oblong brush attachment for the vacuum.

This process should take place while the shades are in the lowered position, giving you access to all of the material that is exposed on a regular basis. Once it is lowered, the fun begins. It’s really quite simple. Start with the fold section closest to the top, and gently vacuum the material in a downward direction. For the best look, continue across that fold by using the same downward motion. By doing so, the material will be consistent in the way that the fibers lay. Otherwise, you face the risk of the material looking like a freshly cut lawn. You know what I mean. One stroke lays the nap down, and the adjacent section will fluff it up. Just like on a rug.

The wider the oblong vacuum attachment, the easier and quicker the chore!

2. Spot Clean

If you need to spot clean, use a slightly damp cloth and use very mild detergent or even soap. Never rub the fabric. Instead, only dab at the spots. This will keep the fabric looking new, bright, and clean.

3. Regular Cleaning

The best thing you can do for your romans is to clean or dust them regularly. And because it’s so simple to do, your shade will stay looking great even longer.

 

Learn more about our cordless roman shades here:

How to Clean Honeycomb (aka Cellular) Shades

Cellular window treatments can be cleaned infrequently, but this time of year, when the calls go out to your friends and relatives, “honeycomb home for the holidays,” it’s a good time to clean those cell shades along with everything else that you are cleaning in preparation for your house guests. Cellulars are the same thing as honeycombs, so please forgive me if I use both monikers throughout this post.

If you have cellulars in your home, there is a pretty good chance that you have never cleaned them. I’m not calling you an unfit homemaker. I’m just pointing out the fact that these window shades look great, and they look great over time. Honeycombs are made from a soft material, usually man-made, and they just seem to be anti-dirty.

At SelectBlinds.com, all of our fabrics, for which we have scoured the four corners of the planet to come up with the best possible offering, are put through rigorous testing to confirm that they are worthy to have the Select Blinds label affixed to them. That includes their native anti-static properties, as well as the optional Scotch Guard coating that we can treat your shades with before they leave our factory.

Even with all that we do, dust will eventually find an open spot on your honeycombs to roost upon. It might not be visible, but it is there, and it should occasionally be cleaned. Unlike hard window coverings, like real woods, aluminums, and faux woods, cellulars are made of a soft material that can be bent and/or crimped.

1. Feather Duster

Careful cleaning is the key to doing the job correctly. A feather duster will work just fine.

2. Brush Attachment

If you can control the pressure of the brush against the material, then the vacuum attachment brush is a viable option for cleaning them.

 3. Spot Clean

Be careful with anything containing moisture or water. Honeycombs of a certain minimum size will have more than one sheet of material, and they are glued together at a seam that you have likely never even noticed. That seam has a chance of parting if it gets wet. So please take care. To spot clean, add mild soap onto a slightly damp rag and dab at the spot. Do not rub the spot, as it could cause some damage to your honeycomb shades.

4. Use Blow Dryer on Cool Setting

Sometimes dust or even bugs end up inside the open cells. The best way to get them out is to use your blow dryer on a cool, low setting. Never use hot air because that can melt the glue that holds the shade together.

 

Winterize Your Home Decor & Stay Warm

Winter is here. And sometimes winter is harsh and unforgiving. Winter can leave your home cold and drafty,  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. The first step is to cover your windows.

Use Drapery

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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. This will add even more insulation to your windows.

Add Honeycomb or Solar Shades

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Honeycombs 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 and improved insulation.
  • Filter and diffuse the bright sunlight to create a warm, inviting glow with light filtering shades.
  • 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.

Layer Bedding

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‘Tis the season for warmer bedding. Either swap out your bedding for warmer, cozier items, or learn to layer your bedding to keep the look you want while staying warm these next few months. If this still isn’t keeping you warm, it’s either time to upgrade your bedding or simply use more layers. Plus, adding bedding layers will give your room a chic look, so what’s to lose?

Add Rugs

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com

If you don’t already have rugs or carpet on your floor, add a few rugs. If you already have rugs that are a bit thin, consider upgrading to thicker, fuller rugs just for the winter. Or you can even layer rugs to create a unique look with loads of winter-related benefits. Not only will it keep your feet warm this winter, but it can keep the warmth in your house, right where it belongs.

Winterizing your home decor 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.

How to Clean Shutters

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Shutters, also known as plantation shutters, are made from hard wood or wood-like materials.

Real Wood Shutters

1. Furniture Polish

Real wood shutters provide unparalleled beauty, and should be cleaned much in the same way as you would clean your wood furniture. Before you pull out the lemon pledge, take a close look. It’s important to know the material that makes up the visible parts of the window treatment. You might have real wood shutters, with real wood frames and louvers. If this is the case you can use the furniture polish on the entire window treatment but if it is not the case you need to use the furniture polish on only the real wood.

2.Dust Them

Sometimes cleaning shutters is as simple as dusting them. You can use a traditional feather duster or even just a clean dry cloth.

3. Dryer Sheet

You can actually run a dryer sheet over the louvers, and it will help prevent dust from sticking in the future. It’s a quick tip that can save you time down the road.

 

The other end of the spectrum is that your plantation window treatments could be made from faux wood.

Faux Wood Shutters

Faux wood shutters are like wood in appearance, and can even be made with the same kind of embossed irregularities and grain, but they are some kind of vinyl or plastic. This is no reason for concern or despair. Faux woods can add the same warmth and comfort as real wood, but they are more affordable, and can withstand extreme temperatures and temperature swings, including high humidity levels, better than real wood ones.

Real wood ones feel like real wood, and faux woods don’t! Check out the frame and the louvers. It is very possible that you have real wood frames with faux wood louvers for the insets.

1. Damp Cloth

Use a warm, damp cloth to clean your faux wood plantations. It’s that simple!

2. Vacuum Attachment

To get your faux wood plantations sparkling clean, use your vacuum’s brush attachment and gently slide it along the louvers.

3. Mild Detergent

If you need to spot clean your window treatments, use mild detergent and a slightly damp cloth. Make sure to wipe off the detergent when you’re finished.

How to Clean Vertical Blinds

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Vertical window treatments are great for doors, meaning that for the most part, they are bigger than most other types of window coverings. Verticals are also made out of a variety of materials, making a single cleaning solution unrealistic.

1. Dusting Cloth

Fabric verticals can be cleaned easily with a dusting cloth.

2. Vacuum Brush Attachment

They can also be cleaned with the extension brush of a vacuum cleaner. In addition to the care needed in cleaning the fabric slats, there are some basic fabric verticals that are fabric exposed on one side of the slat and are a plastic material on the other side of the slat.

If you are able to reach to the top of the vertical slat, then both options are available for you to try. If there is no way that you can reach the top, you will probably find it easier to use the vacuum extension with a brush. The other option is to get a step ladder or stool to stand on, giving you that extra bit of reach that you need to clean the top of the vertical.

3. Damp Rag

Verticals are made of a hard material, like faux wood or real wood, which can be cleaned as described above. Or, they can be cleaned with a damp rag or dusting cloth. Washing vertical blinds with a damp rag or cloth is also a viable option for cleaning the outside-facing side of a basic fabric vertical slat that is plastic.

Please note that verticals require a certain amount of attention is paid to the process. Verticals that are made for sliding doors are tall enough to cover the door, and there are a lot of slats hanging freely from the headrail, making them a bit of a challenge to keep in place while you run a cloth or vacuum up and down the slat. Not to worry, though. It takes some doing to knock them out of the headrail.

Click here to learn more about vertical blinds and their benefits.

How to Clean Mini Blinds

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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.

How to Clean Faux Wood Blinds

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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 window treatments. 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 fauxs.