If you’re like many of us who will be spending the 4th of July at home this year, we thought we’d share some of our favorite, easy-sneezy and inexpensive DIY ideas to help make your backyard bash a star-spangled success!
Break out the bunting and decorate the deck and patio with your own DIY decor, like these fun wooden firecrackers you can make in just 15 minutes!
Have Your Own Hot Dog Eating Contest
Challenge your friends and family on Zoom or FaceTime to see if someone can beat the competitors at the original Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Find some fun hotdog recipes online, or go with the basics and break out the buns for some gut-busting fun!
Summer is here and that means one thing: ROAD TRIP!!!
With June being National Camping Month and states reopening after the long winter and spring of COVID-19, it’s a great time to hit the highway. And a great excuse to renovate the RV. Whether you’re rolling in a vintage Airstream, custom Sprinter van, 5-wheeler, or converted Partridge Family-style bus, here are some easy and flat-out kickass ways to update and makeover your mobile motor home on wheels … with gas money to spare.
Paint Over the Past
Refresh that boring brown or beige RV interior with bright white and bold color. With a little sand paper and elbow grease, your existing laminated particleboard cupboards will look like a breath of fresh air once you give them a coat or two of new paint. Let nature be your palette!
Get a Foothold with New Flooring
Pull up that peeling kitchen tile or matted and moldy old carpet and put down new, road rugged vinyl or wood laminate planks. Throw in a colorful area rug to brighten up and separate small living spaces.
Treat your walls on wheels just like the ones at home. Paint them over in a contrasting color to complement your new cabinetry. Turn a small space into an eye-catching accent with a bold, patterned wallpaper. Recover them with shiplap (real or wallpaper!) or repurposed/reclaimed wood, which makes a great headboard in the bunk area. Add inexpensive peel and stick subway or glass tiles in the head or behind the kitchen sink for an updated backsplash.
Pull Out All the Stops
Even tiny touches like unique cabinet pulls can make a BIG difference in your RV’s decor without putting a big dent in the budget. Change out your old standard pulls with new ones that express your personality on galley cabinets, desk drawers, closet doors and storage cubbies. They make great hooks for towels, outerwear and the dog’s leash, too.
Leave the Light On
Light up mobile living spaces or set the mood with fun, fresh new wall sconces, generator-saving, under cabinet LED lighting, or sleek new track lighting, like this:
Who says you can’t roll on down the highway in style without breaking the budget? Happy trails!
National Upcycling Day is the perfect time to grab anything slightly worn or used around the house and use your amazing DIY skills to revamp it into something new and wonderful. Here are some of our favorite new ideas for upcycling old window treatments!
Roller Shade → Retractable Chalkboard
Chalkboards are a staple of childhood, but they can take up a lot of space. The popular solution – chalkboard paint – is great for accent walls, but it can be very dark and is rather more permanent than most parents would like.
So, what’s the solution? Well, and hear me out now, how about a vinyl roller shade with chalkboard paint on one side so you can roll it up when your kids are done playing?
To make this lovely retractable chalkboard, I commandeered some old towels and spread them out on my patio. Then I pulled out the old roller shade and laid it out so I could get painting! After painting on three layers over the course of 6 hours (and letting it dry completely), my new retractable chalkboard was ready to be used! My only recommendation? Make sure your roller isn’t some sort of mesh. We ended up having to rip the old towels off the back because the paint bled through. Thank goodness it still looks amazing on the front side!
Wood Shutter → Picture Board
Picture boards – especially the big ones with real wooden frames – can get ridiculously pricey! But, if you’ve got an old shutter lying around (or happen to find one at your local hardware store or even a garage sale) you’ve got the makings of a great diy picture board!
For my DIY picture board, I decided to remove the slats and create a neutral backing out of a bit of old roman shade. To personalize it a bit more, I painted some cheap wooden letters and glued magnets to the back. Paired with a beautiful set of Harry Potter magnets (or any other magnets that suit your fancy), it’s ready for future pictures to be added! The best part? It took less than an hour to finish – including painting the letters!
Bamboo Shade → Placemats
Let’s all come clean together…we probably aren’t all fancy enough to have sets of placemats and table decorations for every season and holiday. So, why not make some out of those old bamboo shades? Actually, you could make these out of just about anything!
For this particular set, I used a bamboo shade and some pre-cut strips of ribbon-like fabric. The first step was to cut out a placemat-sized piece of the shade. Thank goodness I had my Cutco Super Shears to help cut through the thicker bits of wood! To create the border, I placed double-sided fabric tape around one side and folded the ends of the ribbon when attaching them so that no frayed edges would be available. If I were to do this again, I’d definitely stick with ribbon, but probably make sure it was the length of a whole side to avoid all the seams.
But then there are those husbands and dads who aren’t daunted by DIY tasks. Some, in fact, who more than excel in the DIY department. So, in celebration of Father’s Day 2020, we thought we’d give a tip of the hammer to some designing dads we know. Who says DIY home decor and design is the exclusive domain of women?
Meet Jason and Brian,
two dadsbydesign who are “slowly” DIY-ing their 1950’s fixer-upper in Salt Lake City while raising their rambunctious 2-year-old daughter, Sydney. From the floorboards up, they’ve been painting, plastering and picking out just the right finishes to make their home their own — including this sleek looking art ledge they built and hung in the living room. All by themselves.
And Jamin and Ashley,
husband and wife owners of rehab and design firm The Handmade Home in Franklin, Tennessee. Keeping up with three kids, clients and DIY projects for their own sprawling home is a never-ending job. But a look at the pictures here and you can tell they’re really great at it. (Seriously. Can I just move into their handmade hide-away in the backyard? Like right now.)
Winning designs — and dads — like these are no joke. But no Father’s Day would be complete without dad cracking a few, right? So check out some classic dad jokes, from “Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long? Because then it would be a foot.” to “I used to hate facial hair, but then it grew on me.” Get it? Ba-da-bum.
Handy (or funny) or not, we bet even your dad can hang our blinds. And that’s no joke. So be sure to check out our Father’s Day Sale, too. Shop today, Sunday, June 21, and save 30% PLUS your choice of either an extra 15% off everything or buy 2, get 1 FREE!
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. Seriously! Just a few simple upgrades can give you a completely new look! You can have the curb appeal of your dreams by changing these simple things!
Up Your Landscaping Game
The right landscaping can take a lot of time and cost a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to. Just a few simple changes, like pulling weeds, planting a new tree, or setting out a few pots of seasonal flowers can make a big difference. You can even enlist the help of family and friends if you need to! Just a few hours of work and you can have a whole new front yard!
Shut Paint the Front Door!
Give your home an instant facelift by painting your front door. Go bold and vibrant or choose a more neutral color (especially if your HOA has restrictions on allowable paint colors). Whatever you choose, make sure it’s an outdoor paint that will stand against the elements. It should also complement the colors of your home, though it doesn’t necessarily have to match.
Statement Window Coverings
When you’re covering your windows, it’s easy to focus on how they’ll look inside your house and forget about the outside. But, if you happen to remember that curb appeal is just as important, you’ll want to make sure you choose blinds or shades that look great from both sides. To do this, either choose something like faux woods, shutters or rollers that look pretty much the same on both sides, Your other option is to choose a roman or woven wood with a neutral liner on the street side.
Other Front Door Accents
You don’t have to redo the whole front of your house to increase curb appeal. A few quick additions, like a new welcome mat or sign, can make a huge difference. Other fun front door accents like an entrance table, some sort of potted plant or even a fancy electronic doorknob can really enhance the look and function of your front door.
National Making Life Beautiful Day celebrates those who make life beautiful. From street artists, to podcast pundits, to volunteers, to teachers, to all those who work to help heal the wounded, ease the hearts of the weary and empower others to be the best person they can be. When you create beauty by building relationships and helping others, your actions create a ripple effect, making life beautiful not just for yourself, but for everyone around you, too.
The beautiful thing about National Making Life Beautiful Day? We can all do something simple to make life beautiful for ourselves and others. Not just on June 11 but every day. Here are just a few ways.
Spontaneous acts of simple human kindness are a beautiful thing. Hold a door open for someone. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly or home bound neighbor. Give a caregiver a much needed break by enabling them some time to take care of themselves.
Express yourself and share your talent with the world. Take or paint a picture. Write a letter or a book. Send a card. Make music. Sing a song. Dance. Take a TikTok video of something you think is beautiful.
Pay someone a compliment. Give a stranger your smile.
Volunteer. Share your talents with a cause or organization you’re passionate about. Helping a community garden grow, donating to a local food bank, fostering or adopting an animal from the local shelter are all great ways to let your inner beauty shine through.
Tell the people you love you love them. Love is the most beautiful thing of all. So share and show it. Give those you love your time. Over a meal or watching a movie. With a call or a hug.
Get outside. Take time to appreciate the beauty in nature. Watch the sun rise or set. Walk on the beach or through the mountains. Play in the park. Watch the clouds shift shapes. Smell the flowers and arrange them in a beautiful bouquet to brighten a room.
Add things to your home that bring joy and beauty. Frame and display your favorite photos. Re-purpose a piece of old furniture. Change a room’s color scheme. Plant a garden or try out your green thumb by switching out your artificial plants with real ones.
Take a stand. Stand up for something you believe in and use your voice to advocate positive change.
How are you celebrating the beauty in your life? Share how you’re making life beautiful today by using #MakingLifeBeautifulDay on social media.
Summer is officially on its way! Are you prepared for the heat? If you’re not (or even if you are) below are some great tips for keeping yourself and your home cool this summer!
Cover Your Windows
An obvious way to keep cool in the summer is to block all that dratted sunshine and heat from coming in your windows. But, to get the best heat reduction, you can’t just cover your windows with any old thing. For optimal energy efficiency, cellular shades are easily your best bet. Their honeycomb shape traps heat to prevent it from invading your space and turning your home into a sauna. And if you’re worried about losing all that lovely light, you can always go with light-filtering cellulars instead of room-darkening or blackout.
Swap Out Your Bedding
Strip off those winter flannels and switch to nice, breathable cotton or bamboo for the summer months. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can even put your bedding in the freezer (in plastic bags, of course) for a bit before making your bed at night. Just imagine hopping into those perfectly chilled sheets after a hot day in the summer sun.
Take Advantage of Evaporative Cooling
This might not be as big of a deal in other parts of the country, but out here in Arizona, we take evaporative cooling very seriously. Between outdoor misting systems, swamp coolers, refrigerated spray bottles (or water balloons) and cheeky bowls of ice water sitting in front of fans, there are so many ways to stay cool!
We all know how important staying hydrated is, especially during the summer. But, sometimes it can be hard to chug the recommended 64 to 80 oz water per day (more during the summer months). A fun, cheeky way to sneak a bit more hydration into your diet is to eat more water-rich foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. As an added benefit, the University of Alabama found that an increase in vitamin C will also help your body tolerate the summer heat by delaying sweat gland fatigue.
Switch to Snacking
Forego big meals in favor of small snacks throughout the day. Digesting a huge meal takes energy, and energy means heat. Keep your body from overheating and working too hard with quick snacks all day long rather than two or three jumbo meals.
Capitalize on Shaded Areas
If you’re planning on spending any time outside this summer, you’d better have a map in your mind of all the best shady spots to hide out form the afternoon sun. Take full advantage of any umbrellas, overhangs and trees around your home (or wherever you’re hanging out this summer) to maximize your time outside without risking overheating.
Buy a Remote Car Starter
Remote car starters, like these ones from Avital, are NOT gadgets of the future – they are the here and now, so get one while you can truly appreciate their awesomeness. Sure, car starters are great for winter, but who says they can only be used to warm up your cars? Set your AC to max and turn on your car a few minutes before leaving the house or work and your car will be nice and cool when you hop in.
Utilize Your Downstairs Living Space
It’s common knowledge that heat rises, so make sure your summer hangout spot is on the ground floor. And if you have a finished basement, deck it out with all sorts of fun games or cozy hangout areas to create your very own summer escape.
Don’t be Scared to Use Your AC
Electric bills in the summer can be downright terrifying, but if you aren’t too scared, we definitely recommend running your AC. Keep in mind that ideal sleeping temperatures generally range from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you’re used to 115-degree weather, we doubt you’ll be comfortable at 65, so just stick with what feels comfortable for you and your family. And if you don’t have AC, take advantage of public areas like malls, libraries, movie theaters and even restaurants to keep yourselves cool.
Would you like to win a $250 Visa gift card like Tina did? We’ll be announcing last month’s winner shortly, so now’s the time to enter for your chance to win in June. Just share a picture or two of your new window treatments from Select Blinds on Facebook, IG, or Twitter with the hashtag #blindswelove. Be sure to make your post public and tag along with us @selectblinds so we can see it, and you’ll be entered to win!
For a lot of folks, vertical blinds are in the same vein of home decor as that old wood paneling from the ’50s. While we can definitely see the similarities in form, function is another story altogether.
While the use of some sort of hanging to block the sun dates back to at least ancient Egypt, modern-day vertical blinds date back to the 1960s. Thankfully, there have been a number of improvements and even advancements that make verticals a fashionable and modern option for covering large windows and sliding glass doors.
While the phrase “standard vertical blinds” might make you think strictly of white or off-white vinyl slats, the truth is there’s much more to normal verticals than simple plastic. Other materials – like wood, faux wood and even cloth-covered vinyl – are a great way to introduce a little more texture and color to your home without straying too far from the “norm.” Plus, some are better able to withstand the hardships brought on by claws, teeth and little hands.
A novel way to cover large windows and doors in the past few years has been vertical cellular shades. They have all the amazing benefits of regular honeycombs (heat/light blockage and insulation) with the added benefit of collapsing vertically so that you can easily access any sliding glass or patio door they are covering. And did we mention they are available in multiple pleat sizes and a plethora of color options?
The most modern iteration of vertical window treatments, panel track blinds are a fun alternative that can instantly update the look of any room. They’re ultra-stylish and come in a wide range of colors, patterns and fabrics to fit almost any design aesthetic. I mean, just look at how clean-cut these lines are! Absolutely stunning!
As humans, we know that FREE=AWESOME! But, we also hate waiting longer than absolutely necessary to finish a project. The question is, how do you find that balance between finishing a project quickly vs finishing it right? Well, when it comes to window treatments, sampling is the secret to success.
Whether you’re painting the living room or ordering new shades, sampling is a key step in the process. It lets you test the waters and find that perfect fit without wasting excessive amounts of time or money, not to mention filling your head with endless possibilities of how the colors and textures in real life compare to those on your computer screen (or those handy paint samples from the hardware store).
Selecting Your Samples
So, what should you look for when picking out samples of blinds and shades? This quick guide should help 🙂
Focus on a single category
Narrow down your color options
Keep lighting in mind
Order up to 15 available samples
Pick your favorite!
Focus on a Single Category
First, why not narrow down your options by settling on which type of blind or shade you’re most interested in. For this, your selection could depend on which room you’re upgrading. Kitchen – try some minis or faux woods. Living room – how about room darkening rollers or romans? Bedroom – blackout honeycombs are a great choice.
Narrow Down Your Color Options
Second, keep your current or future color scheme in mind when finalizing color options. If you’re painting a wall navy blue, perhaps the window covering on that wall should be a more neutral tone. If your walls are a more neutral off-white, picking a blind or shade with a more vibrant color or pattern could be a fun way to accent your windows.
Keep Lighting in Mind
The third thing to consider when picking out window covering samples is lighting. Is your room already dark/light? What time of day does the sun attack your windows with the ferocity of a million-watt lightbulb? Are there street lights you need to block out at night? If darkness is a goal for your new room design, definitely consider room darkening fabrics and products with optional blackout liners.
Order Up to 15 Available Samples
What else is there to say? Pick out the colors and styles you think would work best in your room and order some samples! And if 15 isn’t enough, just wait 24 hours and order 15 more! You never know, they might even all show up in the same package (mine did). And no, you do not have to pay for shipping – the free samples are entirely free.
Pick Your Favorite!
Once your samples come in, the only thing left to do is contrast, compare, pick your fave and order. Ok, so there might be a step in there that concerns taking measurements (see this page for help). But, since you took the time to order samples before deciding on your window covering, you can be confident that you truly are choosing the best blind or shade for your room.