Great Gazebo Designs to Grace Your Backyard

This post is inspired by my friend Melody. I love visiting her beautiful home where she’s created a backyard oasis that regularly beckons friends and family alike. At the heart of it is a gorgeous gazebo, under which we’ve spent many evenings sipping wine and solving all the world’s problems. By definition a gazebo is a free-standing structure with a proper peaked roof and open framework. From the simple to the sublime, they provide a unique area to decorate and express yourself with almost unlimited design possibilities.

It’s easy to go from pre-fab to fabulous by adding your own touches to manufactured and already assembled gazebos (check out Wayfair, Walmart, Lowe’s, Target and more). If you’re a real DIYer, you can build your own from the ground up using gazebo-in-a-box kits. Whether you’re looking to create an outdoor party place or personal refuge and meditation space, here’s a great guide to getting started on your own to-die-for designs.

My friend Melody pumped up the appeal of the patio and outdoor grill with a simple prefabricated gazebo frame that she added lights, a chandelier and cozy chiminea to to create her own charming outdoor bistro. (Photo courtesy of Melody Tune)


This super simple gazebo can be used almost anywhere and personalized with your own unique design touches. Bamboo shades would make a great accent!


Drapes add a touch of drama and elegance and are an easy way to customize an ordinary gazebo. Check out some of the cool styles and patterns we offer here.


Ahh! Talk about a soothing sanctuary. Gazebos make great hot tub and spa enclosures.


You could easily add exterior solar shades here to keep cool and shaded in the summer.

Putting the ‘BAM’ in Bamboo: 5 FAQs About Bamboo Blinds

For more than 5,000 years, the panda-friendly bamboo plant has endured as one of the most durable, dramatic and exotic materials for interior design. Favored by high-end and DIY designers alike, bamboo and woven wood window coverings add a sense of  zen and a dash of adventure to almost any decor. But before venturing into the bamboo forest, here are a few ‘FAQs’ you should know about these beautifully versatile window treatments.

1.  What’s the difference between natural bamboo and woven wood blinds or shades?

Besides bamboo being edible (well, as far as pandas are concerned), bamboo window treatments are made from the natural fibers of the bamboo plant. Woven wood treatments are made from a combination of bamboo, rattan, jute, grasses and reeds to create a variety of color options. Speaking of color, good to know that seasons can change the color of these natural reeds, grasses, etc. If you’re doing more than one window, we recommend ordering or purchasing all of the blinds you’ll need for the same room at the same time to avoid possible dye lot changes.


The beauty of classic bamboo can brighten any room. Here’s a sample window treatment using our Tropical Isle Basic bamboo.

The multiple fibers that make up woven wood window treatments add a touch of texture and adventure. Here’s a sample of our Shoreline cordless woven woods with the classic Roman style fold.


2.  Are bamboo window treatments waterproof?

Bamboo thrives naturally in wet, tropical environments, so a little rain isn’t going to hurt. That’s why they’re  a great option for the patio and other exterior spaces.

3. Do bamboo shades provide enough privacy?

While the texture and weave of bamboo window coverings allow for some filtered light to come through naturally, you can easily control any ‘see through’ by simply adding a privacy or blackout liner. Window panels or drapes can also be used with these versatile shades to minimize views from the outside while creating a truly custom look on the inside.

4.  Can I go cordless with bamboo?

Absolutely. The biggest trend in blinds is cordless operation, a feature you can also get with bamboo and woven wood coverings (as well as corded, if you prefer). Easily raise and lower them with a simple pull ring tucked discreetly in the bottom rail. Cordless lift also eliminates any possible ‘catching’ of  traditional cords on the naturally rougher edges of these products.

5.  Is bamboo a smart design choice?

Still on trend after all these years (bamboo was first used as the décor du jour in China 5,000 years ago), bamboo window treatments remain a constant go-to in the stable of many designers for many reasons:

  • Today’s hottest design trends call for natural textures, making bamboo a natural choice.
  • They’re versatile enough to complement almost any decor and available in a variety of colors.
  • Made from exotic, natural, eco friendly materials, they provide durable, long-lasting beauty.

Need another reason to choose bamboo? Check out the special price reductions we’re offering this month. Click here to see our entire selection of amazing bamboo and woven wood window treatments.


5 Reasons You Need to Take a Second Look at Roller Shades

There’s something classically beautiful about roller shades, but sometimes they can get passed over for other types of window coverings. Roller shades are more versatile than you may think. Here’s five reasons you need to take a second look:

1. Clean, Simple Lines

rsz_roller_shades_1Signature Fabric Roller Shades

While some might look at roller shades and think they’re basic, they’re anything but. Roller shades offer clean, simple lines. This means that they won’t distract from your décor. If anything, they’ll complement it and even add to it. Clean, modern lines means they’re versatile design-wise.

2. Easy Operation


All of our window coverings are easy to operate, but because roller shades have been around for so long, it’s natural to know how to lift and lower them. All you have to do is raise and lower from the bottom rail. Other lift systems include a motorized lift, a motorized wand, and a continuous cord loop.

3. Variety of Color Options

rsz_roller_shades_3Splendor Fabric Light Filtering Roller Shades

Roller shades at come in more colors than just black and white. From browns and grays to blues and greens, it will be easy to find a roller shade you love. The roller shade lines may be simple, but that doesn’t mean that they’re boring.

4. Patterns and Textures

rsz_roller_shades_4-1Good Housekeeping Blackout Roller Shades

A solid color too yawn-inducing for you? Did you know that roller shades are available in patterns and textures, too? So, if you’re looking for a something to stand out and command attention, then roller shades are it.

5. Both Classic and Modern

rsz_roller_shades_5Blackout Sheerweave Roller Shades

No matter if you have a more classic design style or a more modern one, roller shades will work beautifully for both. And you know what? If your design style is somewhere in between, roller shades have you – and your windows – covered.

Click here to shop our entire selection of roller shades.

How to Stage Your Home for a Quick Sale

Selling your home is exciting because you’re starting a new chapter, but it’s also stressful because you’ll have a lot of work to do to get your home ready. The whole point of selling your home is to get the most for it, and quickly. The best way to do that is to stage your home. This doesn’t mean you have to hire professional stagers, but that is always an option. You can actually do it all yourself, and here’s how:

Minimalize and Simplify


Get rid of clutter and everything extra. Take down the pictures of you and your family. Pack knick knacks out of sight. You may love to be around all your stuff, but you have to help potential buyers visualize themselves and their stuff in the space. When in doubt, get rid of it, at least temporarily.

Upgrade Appliances


Updating and upgrading the appliances is a great way to increase your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. Plus, it will make your kitchen feel more luxurious and modern.

Update Window Coverings

rsz_stage_home_3Signature Faux Wood Shutters

The right window coverings can give your home personality, style, and a streamlined look and feel. One of the most popular updates is adding shutters. Shutters are timeless and it will make your home feel rich and sophisticated.



A fresh coat of paint will work wonders. It will make everything feel fresh, clean, and new. When it comes to paint color, neutrals are generally the way to go. Again, this helps the potential buyer to envision themselves living there. If you choose a bright color, it may scare off the buyers because it’s not their style. Choosing neutral colors gives them a blank canvas to start imagining themselves living there.

With just a few updates and changes, your home will be beautifully staged and ready to sell.

5 New Year’s Decorating Resolutions to Put on Your List

It’s that time of year again – time to make some New Year’s resolutions. As you’re making your physical or mental list for 2017, don’t forget to add in some decorating-related resolutions. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Read a few decorating books

Getting decorating ideas from experts is a great way to find initial inspiration. You don’t have to exactly what they’re suggesting, but their ideas can spark some of your own. Because there are so many decorating books out there, you can narrow it down easily by browsing our online book reviews.

2. Add more of yourself into your space

Don’t be afraid to infuse a bit of your personality into your home. If you like a color, use it. Adore a bold pattern? Go for it. Have something that you cherish and brings back good memories, but others think it’s tacky or plain or whatever? Who cares! Use it in your home. Your space is all about you and how it makes you feel.

3. Take some decorating risks

If you’re a cautious decorator, try to take some decorating risks in 2017. They don’t have to be big risks, but try to stretch your comfort zone a bit. You might be surprised that you love the change and you’re ready to explore even bigger decorating “risks”.

4. Mix the old with the new

Some of the most well-rounded, beautiful spaces mix the old with the new. Pair a vintage side table with a modern loveseat. Or, better yet, mix a vintage rug with brand new window coverings (we couldn’t resist!). This is the easiest way to create a timeless look and feel in your home.

5. Sit back and enjoy your renewed space

Now that all the hard – yet fun! – work is done, it’s time to enjoy the space you’ve created. You’ve earned it, and you deserve it.

Book Review – Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess


If you’re looking for an in-depth look at decorating and decorating-related terms, this is the perfect book for you. This book dives deep into decorating problems that you didn’t even know you had, and then it offers beautiful solutions to those problems.

Liess starts off the entire book with this beautiful quote by William Morris that sets the tone for the entire book:

“Every work of man which has beauty in it must have some meaning also; that the presence of any beauty in a piece of handicraft implies that the mind of the man who made it was more or less excited at the time, was lifted somewhat above the commonplace; that he had something to communicate to his fellows which they did not know of feel before, and which they would never have known or felt if he had not been there to force them to it.”

The Idea Behind the Book

The book’s format is based on a traditional field guide, which is an interesting take. The author talks about her own field guide she created as a child, documenting all the plant life near her home. She soon discovered that a field guide doesn’t just have to be about flora and fauna. The same concept could be applied toward decorating your home. This book is a great resource for those new to the decorating world and those who are a bit more experienced. After all, who doesn’t love a new decorating idea now and then?

Perhaps some of the definitions aren’t needed, as most people know what “color” is or what a “window” is, but I understand that it’s there for the sake of consistency.


Here are some of my favorite ideas from this book:


Determining the Focal Point

Before you even start decorating, you should be able to identify the focal point of the room. For some spaces, it’s in the architectural details, like a fireplace or a large set of windows that look out to an amazing view. These are natural focal points. However, some rooms don’t have one already built into the space. If this is the case, you have to determine with that focal point will be. Liess believes that “rooms are most striking when they have a strong focal point” (25).

Window Coverings (of course!)

How can I write a book review without mentioning the chapter all about window coverings? She provides a comprehensive guide to the benefits of each type of window covering, including roman shades, shutters, and wooden blinds. I loved seeing a designer’s take on the best window coverings. It provides a new perspective, one that’s backed by experience.

Beautiful Everyday Items

This section is all about finding beautiful everyday items, like cookware, cutting boards, or dishes. Things can be both practical and beautiful, so why not make them both?

The Truth of Emotion & Authentic Decorating

The best art was a truthfulness and emotion to it. That’s where the beauty comes from. That’s how you decorate authentically. Find artwork that speaks to you on a deep level. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, and don’t be afraid to let the artwork in your home reflect you.

Decorating with Confidence

What it all comes down to is confidence. There are accepted decorating rules, but the only thing that really matters is that your home makes you happy. Be confident in your decisions. As long as you’re happy, who cares what anyone else thinks.


Have you read this book yet? What did you think?


7 Stylish Alternatives to a Traditional Headboard

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

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

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

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

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


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 Mirror

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


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!

2017 Pantone Color of the Year & the Home Decor You Need

It’s finally here! Pantone announced their 2017 color of the year. Say hello to:


Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute shared some of their motivation for choosing this yellow-green color.

“…Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

Not sure how to incorporate this new color into your home decor? We’ll make it a little easier for you. Here are some home decor items that you just have to see.

Window Coverings

Take a look at these window coverings. On the right of each picture, you can see a color option that’s close to Greenery. Whether you like the exact 2017 Pantone color of the year or you’d prefer something closely related, but not an exact match, we have you covered.

rsz_shade_1Premier Double Cell Light Filtering Shades


rsz_shade_2Designer Sleep Shades


rsz_shade_3@Home Collection 3/8″ Double Cell Light Filtering

rsz_shade_4Carriann Kids Light Filtering Roller Shades

Decorative Pillows

pillow-1Taste of Trellis Decorative Pillow


Surya Green Solid Decorative Pillow


bedding-1Stripe Navy and Lime Bedding Set by Sweet Jojo Designs


Hudson Luxury 12-Pc Bedding


Luxury Checkered Quilted Wrinkle Free Multi-Piece Coverlets Set

What do you think of the 2017 Pantone color of the year? How will you use it in your home?