Inspiring Decorator: Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

Picture perfect in Pennsylvania, Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse puts a modern spin on a vintage style by creating a home that’s a culmination of old and new. She is frequently writing her home’s story, expertly crafting the contents and chapters in “Pursuit of a Pretty Home in Pittsburgh”.

We recently collaborated with her for a huge window shades project, and were so interested in her designer style that we asked her to be our next Inspiring Decorator! So grab a sammich from Primanti Bro’s and read our interview with Autumn below!

Meet Autumn of Steel City Farmhouse!

1. How would you explain your style and aesthetic?

When designing our home, we wanted a retreat, a gathering point, and a space that inspired our passions. That has slowly unfolded into a timeless yet clean eclectic style as we design and decorate our newly built home.​ ​I love a blend of old and new, pieces that tell the story of time mixed against the backdrop of​ a newly constructed home. This, for me, is what has given our home some soul. ​​​​ 

2. Where/Who do you get your home inspiration from?

Most recently I was very inspired by rummaging through my grandmother’s attic. While she is no longer with us, I love incorporating meaningful treasures that remind me of her into our home. ​Think beautiful sea glass jugs, designer vintage rattan chairs, and intricately designed dishware. ​It has given a nice balance of old in a new home. 

​Traveling the world has also served as a huge point of inspiration ​for my designs ​and perhaps why my style is a bit eclectic.​ And this is why you’ll see a side of travel on my predominantly home blog

SelectBlinds.com's Roman Shades lend to the clean and sleek look!

3. What personal project are you proudest of and why? 

Right now, my head is still in the clouds on the completion of our custom built home. It was something we dreamed of doing, and it​ ​was such a special experience to be able to design our home and build top to bottom what works and serves our lifestyle best.​ 

Welcome to Autumn's custom home!

4. What’s your favorite trend right now? 

I love how color ​and pattern ​is making a bold, new come back. ​​For me, I want to be wrapped in a happy, cheerful space so I’ve been finding ways to pack a little punch throughout whether it’s the backsplash, wallpaper, rugs​ ​​or furniture.

Just as in our lives we are all multi-tasking and juggling all of life’s little demands, we need our homes to do the same. I love how more and more the expectation is for a space to flex and be multi-functioning. Doubling benches as storage, or transforming what would normally be a home office into a multi-purpose room all through the design and layout of furniture. This reflects a major shift in how people want usable spaces for their families.   

Bold colors and a subtle pattern make a great marriage.

5. What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about interior design/decorating?

Let’s learn together! ​By day and trade I work in Corporate America in business. ​Unlike others I can’t sit here and tell you I’ve been doing this for a decade. It’s something I stumbled upon and realized I loved after I got my first place. ​I guess my best advice is to experiment on your own home/space ​or take some pro bono projects to build your portfolio​ (queue mom and dad, or friends.) 

Barn door fit into many different kinds of decor!

Thanks so much for letting us take a closer look at your home, Autumn! We love learning a little more about all of our influencers and hope to work with you again in the future! If you love the window treatments in Steel City Farmhouse, here’s a couple links to the products in this post:

Classic Roman Shades in Simply White (Bedroom, Bathroom)

Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades in Perfect White (Living Room)

For more details on her custom window treatments, amazing DIY installation walk-through and even insider some tech tips, you won’t want to miss her Select Blinds blog post!

“It was top of my list to get a quote or two for blinds, and we knew it would be expensive but never did we think our quotes would come back between $12-15k for 22 windows. And then I found Select Blinds.”

-Autumn Stauffer of Steel City Farmhouse

SelectBlinds.com Labor Day Sale 2019!

Labor Day Sales Event 2019 | SelectBlinds.com

It’s Our BIGGEST SALE OF THE YEAR!

Start saving 40% PLUS get an extra 10% off EVERYTHING sitewide! EVERY. SINGLE. PRODUCT! And shipping is always free, too. Get the best discounts and deals on our best-selling cellular shades, roman, roller, solar shades for indoors and out, shutters, designer sheers, fabric horizontals, all-aluminum minis, panel tracks and verticals. Even specialty treatments for those hard-to-reach windows like skylights and arches with convenient motorization!

Shop this year’s sale and you’ll help change lives, too. When you purchase any window blind or shade online from SelectBlinds.com during our 2019 Labor Day Sale, we’ll donate part of the proceeds to Shriners Hospitals for Children®.*

Help us help make kids better while you save money. There’s no better deal than that.

And don’t forget to watch David Ragan and the #38 Shriners car in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 1!

SHOP HERE FOR SHRINERS HOSPITALS 

How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing Your Blinds

Penny the husky playing in the vertical blinds!
Penny loves playing with the vanes of Vertical Blinds!

Dogs are our best friends. They don’t talk much, judge only with an inquisitive eye and cuddle better than any human could, but I’m willing to bet you a Milkbone that this isn’t the first time that you’ve Googled the many ways to contain your furry friends’ penchant for destruction. If you have a puppy problem with keeping your window coverings safe from the wrath of your doggies’ paws and jaws, we’re here to help!

Stress / Separation Anxiety

Believe it or not — and your Furbo or Petcube can confirm this — your dogs basically do what they normally do when you’re there even when you’re not. However, those with separation anxiety have an emotional challenge to overcome. Since their species evolved as pack animals, they crave companionship and attention. They need to be around other beings to feel truly at home and comfortable. If you and your family have a close relationship with your dog (not just being part of the Christmas photos) then it’s going to be harder for them to grasp where you are going, how long you’ll be gone and if you’re coming back. Understanding how your dog’s brain works in relation to your existence is essential to learning about their anxiety. Adding another dog, hiring a dog-sitter, or consulting your vet may be some things to consider to help manage your little buddy’s stress.

Pitbulls stare at camera in living room
Duke and Sarah might be up to something…

Excitement and Energy

Have you ever been so happy and squeezed your teeth together so hard that you gave your jaw muscles a charlie horse? Or bit your cheek because your food was so delicious that you didn’t care to differentiate it from your meal? You JUST CAN’T control yourself! That’s how your dogs feel. With a lack of opposable thumbs and a quadrupedal frame, their mouth is really the only way of ‘squeezing’ in excitement. Not to be confused with canine ADHD, their hyperactivity may just be because they missed you and are excited to have you home.

The Solution

No window shade is fully “dog-proof,” but here’s a few tricks and tips to help keep your dog chewing their toys and not your blinds:

Leave home quietly and return quietly so you don’t startle, spook, or heighten your pooch’s stress energy levels.

Exercise and playtime with other dogs lets your pup let off steam and learn how to build relationships with their own kind.

Better toys mean longer-lasting amusement, less money spent and create a connection between your canine and their favorite stuffed animal. Multipet has some of the highest-rated pet toys on Amazon, with prices to howl about.

Citronella dog collars are a much more humane deterrent than the dated shock collar typically used to prevent incessant barking. They can also help stop Fido from destroying your interiors.

Enroll your dog in a local training class so they can learn how to behave from a pro and be with other dogs who are learning as well.

Give them melatonin after exercise and a hearty meal to help get them on a regular relaxation and sleeping schedule.

While many of these also apply to children, let’s both hope your human kids aren’t gnawing on ANYTHING except their food. Keep everyone’s safety in mind with cordless blinds, free of dangling lift cords which can be a potential to hazard to children and pets alike.

The Replacements

Ever come home to this:

Dog destroyed wood window blinds
It’s always the cute ones…

We hope not. But if you had purchased your window treatments from us, you’d be in luck! SelectBlinds.com’s 5-Year Unlimited Warranty keeps you covered (literally) even if your dogs get so bored with their toys they take to the blinds. Just call us up, let us know your story (seriously, we love good stories) and get a warranty replacement in less than 10 days. Coupled with the above tips, that should keep your window treatments safe and sound!

If you’re handy, or if your warranty has expired, you can order replacement slats for your Venetian-style window coverings (horizontal wood, faux wood and aluminum minis). See how easy it is to DIY your way back to perfect window shades by watching this video on How to Change the Slats on Your Window Blinds.

If your hound has been harassing your blinds, call our self-help hotline (at 888-257-1840, via live chat, or email). One of our Window Treatment Therapists will be happy to help talk you through the steps of mending not just your blinds, but your relationship with your dog!

Happy Customer, Kim S., Recommends Select Blinds for the Office

Kim S. used our Classic Cordless Blackout Shades to cut down on glare and cool off the new office of CeramFab Inc. , a ceramic fibers company that sells products like blankets, bricks, paper sheets, etc., used in high temp furnaces and areas requiring high temp/flame resistant protection.

” We are very happy that we chose to go with SelectBlinds.com for our office window blinds. I was having a hard time finding blackout shades that would fit our windows because they’re a little outside standard measurements, but these were easy to order and the color selection was fantastic. We needed blackout shades that could keep the glare off of the computer screens in the offices and darken the conference room enough for a projector, and the Classic Cordless Blackout Shades (Wirecutter’s Top Pick for Blackout Shades in 2019) work great. We received our order in less than two weeks from the date of order. The shades were very easy to install. Two people put up 10 shades in about one hour. I would absolutely recommend these shades to anyone looking for window blinds.”

Office windows with brown honeycomb blackout blinds from SelectBlinds.com

Thanks for letting us hang out in the office, Kim! Enjoy the cooler temps and shady headquarters to relax in while you work!

Need something like this for your office? Check out our huge selection of window treatment styles at SelectBlinds.com!

Office Kitchen Window with Honeycomb Shade from SelectBlinds.com

Select Blinds Happy Customer Contest: A Winner on the Green

Each year we encourage our customers to send us photos of their newly self-installed window treatments from yours truly for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card! We’ve been gifted with a large collection of wonderful photos from the happy homes of our most dedicated customers

We enjoyed seeing happy customer photos so much that we decided to run not one, but TWO Happy Customer Contests this year! That being said, we have a winner for the first half of the year, and that’s Karla H. from Sibley, Iowa! She used our Classic Light Filtering Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades and Classic Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades! Classic Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades in her home near a local golf course!

Top Down Bottom Up Cordless Shades from Select Blinds in Living Room
Karla shows off the Top Down Bottom Up feature on her new window shades!

Congrats, Karla! We hope that you enjoy the gift card. Don’t spend it all at the clubhouse!

Select Blinds top down bottom up cell shades
She can lower the top or raise the bottom to have total control of light!

Thank You to everyone who entered for the first half of the year! Here are some runner-up’s that almost won the prize!

Light Filtering Honeycomb Shades in Greige cover bay window
Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades in Greige from Courtnee S.
Two blinds in one window for Living Room Window in Snickerdoodle
Read our interview with Marilyn on her Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cell Shades
Select Blinds 5% C
Classic Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades in Grey from Stephanie B.
White Cellular honeycomb shades in living room windows
Classic Light Filtering Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades from Toan T.

Don’t forget to submit your photos for a chance to win during the second half of 2019! #WhatsInYourWindow

2019 Select Blinds Scholarship Winner Claire King

Winner of 2019 $1000 SelectBlinds.com Scholarship
SelectBlinds.com 2019 Scholarship Winner, Claire King

After sifting through a handful of finalists for this year’s SelectBlinds.com $1000 Scholarship, the shimmering winner rose to the top of our list! Meet Claire King. Claire is currently attending The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where she’ll graduate in 2023 with a degree in English Language and Literature.

This year, we put a slightly different spin on our scholarship, requiring entrants to use our window treatment samples to create an inspiration board for a room design that spoke to each individual’s style. Claire’s submission encompassed everything we expected from the winning entry, so we’re pleased to award her with $1000 toward taking her education to the next level. Here’s a little bit more about Claire, and be sure to check out her submission at the bottom of this post!

1. What inspired you to enter our Scholarship Program?

I love design and art, so it was refreshing to find a scholarship that allowed me to express myself with creativity but also with purpose. I also instantly knew what my idea would be, because I had thought about it before.


2. What influenced you to attend the Catholic University of America?

There are dozens of reasons why I love the school. I consider it my dream school. It’s located in Washington, D.C. (my favorite city), its association with Catholicism, and the honors program offers many different educational benefits. Also, the people there are really kind and welcoming because of the small size of the school.


3. What are some of your hobbies outside of school/work?

I love working with kids in the arts. I work at different centers in my community to work with kids at art camps. I also volunteer abroad teaching English to kids. I do art within the community, like mural painting and collaborations with other artists. I am going to continue this at Catholic U, because the school is in the center of the arts district of Washington, D.C. (another reason I love it).

Congrats, Claire! We hope that this scholarship helps you follow your passion! Click below to check out Claire’s entry and keep an eye out for your chance to win our 2020 college scholarship, opening up next month!

4th of July Super Sale 2019!

Get More Summer Savings with Our Fabulous

4th of July 2019 Sale!

Shop now and save 30% on everything

PLUS

Take an additional 20% off every single product!

Happy Birthday America! Celebrate your independence from high-priced custom window treatments with the best 4th of July discounts and deals on everything on our site! Create your own fireworks with stars, stripes and patterns in reds, whites and blues — and every other color — with the latest looks from our hottest honeycomb and cellular coverings, bamboos and woven woods, romans, rollers, solar shades for indoors and out, shutters, designer sheers, classic drapery, fabric horizontals, all-aluminum minis, panel tracks and verticals. Even specialty treatments for those hard-to-reach windows like skylights and arches are on sale now!

You may not get a long fourth of July weekend this year, but you’ll still get the best 4th of July deals right here on SelectBlinds.com! 

Happy Customer Greg K. Doubles Down with Woven & Faux Wood Blinds

Woven Wood Shades from Select Blinds fit on doors and windows

So many details in buying a house and making it a home! Meet our Happy Customer Greg K, who made our day when he told us, “My wife and I were searching to find window coverings for a new house addition we had just completed. My wife came across SelectBlinds which had exactly what we were looking for at a competitive price point. The entire order came very quickly and was super simple to install. Below are a few pictures of the installed blinds which look great.”

For the Master Suite, Greg and his wife chose SelectBlinds.com Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Nassau to add texture and dimension to this beautiful space. They also added blackout liners to help them get a good night’s sleep. Adding blackout liners is a great choice, too, for areas where you want to keep the glare off TVs. They also help block the heat in the summer and keep out the cold out in the winter.

Neutral woven wood blinds provide privacy above tub in bathroom

For their little man’s creative playroom, they chose 2″ Designer Faux Wood Blinds in Pearl White and added the decorative edge binding in Coconut to cover the small route holes and cording. Not only does this feature add functionality by adding privacy and blocking light, it also creates a high-end designer look! We hope he loves it as much as we do!

Children's Play Room with Faux Wood Blinds

Thanks, Greg. We’re so happy SelectBlinds.com got to be part of your new addition!

See Why Happy Customer Jo Ann Refers Her Friends to Select Blinds

Select Blinds customer pairs floor length curtains with grey roller shades

Have you ever created the perfect looking room? How about the perfect looking window?

With windows, the trick is finding coverings that both look good and provide privacy. And when we say “look good” we mean not just in the window, but as part of the room itself. Sometimes it all just comes together, with the perfect coverings combining with everything else to form a setting that just seems…right.

For Jo Ann A., that’s just how things are in her dining room.

Jo Ann entered our contest for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card (join our Happy Customer Program) with photos of her Select Room Darkening Roller Shades with Cassette. As you can see from the pictures, they certainly look good in her dining room.

We liked Jo Ann’s photos so much, in fact, we decided to learn a little more about what went into choosing them.

First, we wondered why she went with the Select Room Darkening Roller Shades with Cassette.

“I wanted that type of window covering because when the sun sets it was that side of my house and it gets hot. Also, I want to have a privacy because ever since Hurricane Michael hit us last October, we had some damage and until now we had no fences and I don’t want my neighbors or strangers seeing us eating and seeing whats inside my house.”Happy customer pairs Select Blinds grey roller shades and custom drapery

That makes a lot of sense. Room Darkening shades provide an amazing amount of privacy, and they will help keep rooms cooler by keeping them darker. Those are both great qualities, but we wanted to know what Jo Ann likes best about her shades. She said she appreciates how easy they are to roll up or down, but that’s not all.

“I loved them especially with cassette they look awesome and it looks great in my windows. I’m in love with it and even my husband is enjoying it and fell in love with it too! I’ve never before felt so excited to be in that room every day just to look at it.”

How great is that? The shades have become a focal point for Jo Ann.  As an industry leader in making window treatments safe for kids, we are also excited over her choosing a cordless option.  The shades and drapes go together so nicely, which makes sense since Jo Ann said her love for the shades led to getting new curtains.

“I had an old light-colored curtains but when I tried it on it just doesn’t look awesome so I have to go find curtains that would look great with my new roller shades and I got a lot of compliments from my friends/family and they even asked where I got my shades and gave them your website.”

(Note: Check out our selection of curtains here.)

We totally get how getting some sweet new shades could send you down the rabbit hole of needing more new stuff to bring out the best in them. It turns out that the shades have helped to bring the best out of Jo Ann’s home and she couldn’t be happier about her experience.

White flowery wall art near window with Select Blinds roller shades and custom drapery

“All I can say is you all did a great job.  You all make sure that customers are very satisfied and happy. My first experience having a roller shade is way above my expectations and they make my house look great❤❤❤ (editor’s note: the hearts were Jo Ann’s).

“Thank you very much for making my room/house look great again and I’m thinking of replacing all the blinds in the rest of my house soon. You all did a great and awesome job!”

We appreciate that, Jo Ann, but the real credit goes to you. Great choice and we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Happy Customer Karla Sought Privacy on the Golf Course

Row of windows covered with white blinds in home

If anyone understands the various purposes window treatments can serve, it’s us at Select Blinds. Really, we totally get that while some of the coverings are there to look good, many times they do plenty more than just that.

Want to keep your home cooler? We’ve got some that can do that. How about wanting to filter the incoming light? Yep, we’ve got that too. If blocking UV rays from entering your home is a priority, that’s certainly no problem, either.

However, one common thread that is found with most uses is that of privacy. While we may like our neighbors, most of us don’t want to give them unfiltered access into our homes via windows.

That was especially true for Happy Customer Karla H., who entered our contest for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card (learn how to enter our Happy Customer Program) after being quite pleased with her choices, which included some Classic Light Filtering Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades and Classic Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades!

Select Blinds white honeycomb shade on wide wood-framed window

Karla was so happy, in fact, that we felt like we needed to know more about why.

The first thing we wanted to know was how the overall shopping experience went.

“The first thing I did was to get samples.  Once I chose my color I went on line to find the blind that I wanted.  The samples came fast and online ordering was a snap.”

Indeed, the ability to order up to 15 free samples makes things so much easier. After all, how can you know what a shade will look like in your home if it has never been in your home?

But with so many samples to choose from, why did you decide to pick the shades you did? 

“I chose the black out top down bottom up in our living room.  We live on a golf course with a night (east) sun coming directly into our home.  It was necessary to have the blackout shades.  The top down bottom up gives us the ability to limit what golfers  see from our backyard.  I can still let light in from the top but limit their ability to see in. I also chose a light filtering top down bottom up shade for my sun room to let as much light in as possible but still limit outsiders views.”

That makes so much sense. Golf course living sounds great, but that also means a lot of strangers walking by as they prepare for their next shot (or search for their wayward ball).

So once you figured out which shades you wanted, the challenge would seem to be the measuring and then installation. However, Karla said measuring was “easy” and that when it comes to installation, it goes quickly so long as you have all the tools you need.

SelectBlinds top down bottom up shades in living room slightly drawn

That sounds right to us, and it’s clear to see why Karla is happy with her purchase. Finishing up, is there anything else she would like for us to know?

“I still have  one window to order yet.  It is a high up window so I am thinking about ordering a remote shade for that one.  Thank you for making the process easy and affordable.”

We’re glad to hear you’ll be letting us help again. In the meantime, here’s a link to our custom coverings for skylight windows.