What Blinds Should I Buy?

You’ve just moved into a new home. The movers are gone and all of your belongings are safely encased within your new abode. As you sort through box after box in your bare living room, you get the feeling you’re being watched when you realize your windows are bare, too. Or maybe, comfy in your long-lived-in surroundings,  you randomly glance up at your bruised and broken accordion shades and think, “You know,  I need something new on the windows, but what blinds should I buy?”

No worries; you got this! Here’s a quick overview of our most popular window blind categories and suggestions on which rooms these products work best in.

Cellular / Pleated Shades

Signature Light Filtering Cordless Cell Shades in Gray from SelectBlinds.com

Our Signature Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades provide year-round insulation and privacy.

Cellular and pleated window coverings are the most popular and cost-effective way to cover windows while also reducing heating/cooling costs via their insulating honeycomb design. Pleated’s are made from a single layer of fabric filled with tiny, insulating cells, whereas cellulars are made from multiple layers with single or double cells. The accordion-style pleats in both styles block harmful UV rays and trap incoming air and even noise. Try them in a light filtering material to illuminate living rooms or dens, wherever you need some protection but also want adequate light penetration. A blackout, or room darkening, material is recommended for bedrooms and media rooms to keep out natural and artificial lighting. Steer clear of cellular/pleated shades in areas of high moisture, though. Humidity in the bathroom or kitchen can cause the adhesive on the cells to loosen, causing them to separate or sag (and nobody likes a droopy shade!).

Wood/ Faux Wood Blinds

Signature 2 Inch Faux Woods in Porcelain from SelectBlinds.com

Our Signature 2″ Faux Wood Blinds are the perfect window covering for the bathroom or kitchen.

Which brings us to our next window covering option! Wood and faux wood window treatments are like step-brothers; same basic concept, different materials. Our wood window treatments are made of soft, light basswood whose consistent grain offers an intellectual look with a traditional feel. Although wood can be prone to warping in moisture and intense heat, available in various stains and paints, they’re an inviting option for almost any room in your home.

Faux woods, on the other hand, are made from a polymer composite in a variety of colors with either a matte finish or textured, wood-grain-like vinyl finish. This PVC-like material provides a more pliable and resistant slat that is impervious to warping. Keep in mind, these are heavier than their real-wood counterparts, so they aren’t recommended for wider windows. If you’re looking for the perfect window coverings for over your kitchen sink or bathtub, sample a slat of our faux Venetians here!

Roller Shades

Designer Roller Collection II in Room Darkening Lillian Silver from SelectBlinds.com

Our Designer Roller Shade Collection II inherits its patterns from historic Italian design books.

Like a well-oiled machine, rollers are smooth, consistent and dependable. The perfect foundation for popular layered looks, add a cordless lift and you have an affordable, child-safe product that’s applicable in any space. In a rainbow of brilliant colors, they’re a great transitional product in kids and teens rooms. If you’re looking at a vinyl roller shade, be leery, though, when installing in areas near condensation and vapor. It’s possible to see water spots or experience slight material distortion where splashing water is frequent.

If you have a really high or hard to reach window, add motorization to your rollers to make raising and lowering your treatments as easy as pressing a button, tapping your phone, or asking Alexa!

Woven Wood Shades

Cynthia Harper's Kitchen with Designer Series Woven Woods in Jute Natural from SelectBlinds.com

Our Designer Series Woven Woods Shades (no liner) make Cynthia’s light and bright kitchen pop!

Take a look at the plethora of photos featuring natural woven wood and bamboo window coverings on our Instagram and you’ll see why they’re a designer favorite! With their ability to adapt to surroundings, no wonder designers call them “window chameleons.” Farmhouse, coastal, rustic, boho, you name it … these shape-shifters are real game changers. Bamboo blinds are typically a series of tiny wood slats bound together with a tough twine, or a medley of straws, grasses and woods entangled in an idyllic weave (hence the alias “woven wood blinds”). With three choices of transparency — no liner, privacy, or blackout liner — these eco-friendly products are bound to be the focal point in any bedroom, studio, or sitting room!

Roman Shades

Select Light Filtering Romans in White Canvas from SelectBlinds.com | Fox's Home Free

These White Canvas Romans were featured on Season 2 of Fox’s Home Free!

Do as the Romans do! Voluminous and voluptuous, roman shades are a true window dressing. With so many fabric and fold options, you’ll find no shortage of inspiration to conquer a clash with home design. Another great candidate for homes that need insulation, these Italian-inspired, centuries-old classic window treatments work great in bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. The luxurious and elegant fabrics can be reinforced with a light filtering or blackout liner, too.

Sheer Shades

3 Inch Room Darkening Sheers in Cocoa Bean from SelectBlinds.com

Versatile 3″ Room Darkening Sheer Shades combine the fabric of shades with the slats of a blind.

For the look of sheer luxury and intrigue, try the unique style of this 2-in-1 window treatment. Constructed with wide fabric slats between two delicate sheets of sheer fabric, they create a stunning shadow effect on windows. Open and close them like a traditional horizontal blind; raise and lower like a regular shade. Their light and airy construction in sheer and contrasting colors make an impressive design statement, particularly on extra wide windows. And most of our sheers come standard with a motorized wand for easy, child-safe operation with the touch of a button.

Vertical Wood, Faux Wood & Cellular

Select Textured Verticals in Charleston White from SelectBlinds.com

These Select Textured Vertical Blinds are an example of a stellar sliding glass door window treatment.

A long-time favorite for covering tall and extra-wide windows and doors, today’s vertical window treatments make a towering design statement in a variety of easy-care materials to fit any style. Like horizontals, verticals are available in wood, faux wood, fabric, and textured PVC vanes in popular patterns and colors. One of our newest additions to the family is the Vertical Cellular. Since windows and doors account for a third of all heat/cooling loss in homes, use them to harness the undeniable insulating quality that honeycomb window treatments bring for a modern spin on patio door window coverings. Or try a new, avant-garde wide panel vertical treatment you can also use as a unique room divider.

Solar Shades (Interior and Exterior)

Exterior Signature Sheer Weave 1 Percent in Light Sandstone from SelectBlinds.com

The Exterior Signature Sheer Weave 1% solar shade blocks 99% of UV rays, keeping you cool in and out.

Solar shades create a barrier between you and the sun, without compromising your view. Varying degrees of “openness” (1%, 3%, 5%, 10% and 14%) allow for just the right amount of light control. The lower the percentage, the more they  block light.

Exterior solar shades are excellent for patios and decks, while interior solar shades help reduce glare and heat in kitchens and sun rooms. Like roller shades, cordless solar shades are easy to use and install. Free cordless operation is available with many of our solar products, or for high, hard-to-reach areas, consider a continuous cord loop or motorized lift.

Drapery/Curtains

Grommet Drapes in Linen Weave Rich Ivory from SelectBlinds.com

The wide selection of colors in our Grommet Drapes/Curtains to complement any furniture or decor.

Whether you want to store heat or prevent it, curtains are one of the best ways to keep your electric bills down. Use drapery to highlight a window all on it’s own, or combine forces with a horizontal blind for full room darkening, layered look! To see how to hang curtains pleat-by-pleat, watch this video from Better Homes & Gardens.

#GoCordless

Clean looking cordless gives window treatments a more modern, streamlined appearance, and make it easier to raise and lower them (no more tangled cords!). But more importantly, we always recommend going cordless to keep your little ones safe from strangulation hazards posed by dangling lift/tilt cords. And at SelectBlinds.com, you’ll find a cordless option for every product in every category listed above.

Start Shopping!

Now that you’re well equipped to handle your own window design, it’s time to start shopping! SelectBlinds.com has a solution for any window or door in your home, even skylights, french doors and arches! Check out our Buyer Guides and watch our YouTube channel for quick tips and and answers! Your SelectBlinds.com Customer Loyalty Team is always here to help, too:

Phone: 888-257-1840

Email: customercare@selectblinds.com

or Chat online at SelectBlinds.com

Social Media Marketing Start-Up Tips: Increasing Engagement on Instagram

Social Media Marketing with Instagram

In 2018, more companies than ever are using the social platform Instagram (IG) to spice up their marketing. The ease of access, quick points of contact and visual inspiration it offers have become key marketing enhancers that influence sales, leads, advertising and customer connection.

Starting an IG social media strategy from scratch can be overwhelming.  There are virtually caves full of ‘how-to’ articles on building a following, the pros/cons of original vs. shared content, and measuring the effectiveness of IG and other social platforms that would keep you digitally spelunking for days. Since we’re relatively recent deep divers ourselves into using IG to engage with our brand’s audience, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the “lessons learned” from our own experience in increasing that engagement.

Here’s Our Study, Buddy

We did a little research on tools and techniques like timing, following, sharing and hashtags to see which of those impacts our posts the most as far as greater reach and engagement. Here are a few questions we asked ourselves:

1. Will posting at a certain time get us more likes? 
2. Do the number of posts containing a certain hashtag make for better reach? (FYI, in doing due diligence on this, we also found out there’s a really fancy-schmancy name for the use of the former “pound sign” in social content. It’s called an octothorpe. Feel free to impress your friends.)
3. Does sharing someone’s photo (commonly referred to as UGC — “user generated content”)* or tagging someone with a larger following increase our social engagement?

Okay, let’s dig a little deeper here. This screenshot should help:

Comparison of Social Reach Based on Times, Followings and Hashtags

Timing Is Everything

As far as when you should post, we like to think of our own daily routines, so ask yourself, “When am I most likely to be tapping on the rounded, pink Instagram bauble?” If you’re a diligent worker, it’s not between 8-5, other than a few swipes while on your lunch break. If you’re a responsible driver, it’s definitely not on the ride home (Snapchat lovers, I’m talking to you!).

In the chart above, we compared the “time posted” stats from seven of our posts (some  posted around noon MST and others around 4 p.m.). You can see that the majority of our posts at 4 p.m. did much better than those posted around noon. Then we compared our own schedule with our audience to find out when they start to relax and mindlessly flick through their social feeds.

It’s About Time — Zones!

We’ve gathered that our viewers are most active after dinner, between the hours of 7-9 p.m. Picture it: You’re sitting on the couch, phone in hand, letting reruns of The Office play in the background, or laying in bed, waiting for the veil of slumber to creep over you. Half awake, half bored, waiting to be entertained. One could say we’re more apt to tap right before we sleep. In other words, the perfect captive audience.

As the sun drips down over the horizon, the linear pattern o’ darkness and relaxation follows suit. For a company based in Arizona with a primarily North American customer base, that means we want to schedule our posts between 4 and 5 p.m. MST  to cover the 2-3 hour difference in prime-scrolling-time zones across the country.

Hashtag! You’re It!

Now, let’s move on to hashtags. Why use hashtags? And does quantity matter?

This study from SproutSocial shows increased engagement from Facebook and Twitter when using 1-2 hashtags, but Instagram is a free-for-all. With IG’s threshold at 30 hashtags, we don’t recommend spamming the living heck out of your posts, but a good #standard is between 10-15 per post. Most of the posts on our chart above had an average of 10-12 hashtags.

We also calculated the number of posts, including each of our selected hashtags …

Hashtag results for Window Treatments

… and actually discovered that the post with the least amount of hashtag exposure did the best! Not to mention that the page that we shared UGC from had the smallest following of all the shared posts we gauged. Just because the person who originally tagged you in their content doesn’t have a large following, doesn’t mean that you won’t get a great response from your own, and other folks who follow the hashtags you chose for that post.

Vice versa for sharing content from someone with 100k followers. You may be exposed to people who follow both accounts, but it doesn’t gain you a spot on their feed or any additional exposure for tagging their handle in your shared post. However, including that handle is a must. Most people love when you share their pics, as long as you give them credit within the shout out.  More often than not, you’ll see a notification for a “Thank You!” comment from the source for sharing. This not only provides validity and consent, but also gives your following proof that your brand is engaging and trustworthy.

Give ‘ Em What They Want (Plus a Little Somethin’, Somethin’)

The last key factor we found for increasing our IG engagement is content. We found out what our following wants to see, and we show it to them often. For instance, our company sells custom blinds and shades. We have plenty of different styles such as  Roman Shades, Wood Blinds, Roller Shades, Shutters and Drapes. Current trends in our niche of influence — home decor/interior design — favor farmhouse style and rustic decor. Our Bamboo/Woven Wood Shades complement this style, so we get a lot of outreach from bloggers and a 300-400% increase in likes from followers when we show that style of window covering. The screenshot below from the IG tracking app, Followers Chief, shows our Top 3 Most Liked and Top 3 Most Commented Photos. Four out of six feature Bamboo Shades.

SelectBlinds social following stats from Followers Chief App

We’ve found that all of these things work together to create interactive and higher-yielding IG posts, but another big tip we have is to offer variety in your feed. In addition to showing your audience what they want to see, don’t hesitate to introduce them to droplets of what they’re not sure of. Increasing exposure of your less popular products/services is just as important as “feeding” your viewers what you know they love. Switch it up! Instagram is your farm; don’t just grow one crop!

Stay Thirsty, My Friends!

Keep in mind different niches or products may yield different results, so IG or any singular social platform may not be the be-all-and-end-all for a successful social media strategy.  Equip yourself with a full arsenal of unique tactics for social media marketing. Get ideas from publications like Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner and TechCrunch. Stay vigilant with collecting your own data, experimenting and self-review; you’ll eventually find that ever-so-sweet spot and continue to grow!

*User Generated Content, alternatively known as colominary-created content (CCC), is any form of content created by users of a system or service and made available publicly on that system. (Source: Wikipedia)

SelectBlinds Follower Favorites of 2017

@theinspiredroom

@letteredcottage

Kelly Nan Interior Designer@kelleynan

Holly Mathis Interior Designer@hollymathisinteriors

Ashley Goldman Interior Designer@ashleykgoldman

Simply Stunning Spaces@simply.stunning.spaces

Veronica Valencia Interior Designer@veronicavalencia

Jenna Roach Interior Designer@jenamroach

Pine and Prospect Home@pineandprospecthome

Cynthia Harper Interior Designer@cynthia_harper_

Ashley Cooper Design@ashleycooperdesign

11 Magnolia Lane@11magnolialane

Kelly Ballard Interior Designer@citygirlmeetsfarmboy

Natalie Kolter Interior Designer@vintageporch

Gemary Ermus - The G is for Mary@gemary

Kirsten Yanasak from Bright Yellow Door@brightyellowdoor

 

Happy New Year! Reflecting on the past year, we’ve had the pleasure of meeting some amazing bloggers, designers, influencers and decorators. An exclusive and wildly talented group that scribed the year’s styles and trends into the illustrious pages here on The Blinds Spot blog and throughout social media, including instagram@selectblinds. We couldn’t pick a favorite ourselves, so thought we’d recap the posts that inspired our IG followers the most. Without further ado, then, here’s the list of our Top 10 Follower Favorites of 2017!
1. 100100 Instagram likess
Designer Series Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@cynthiaharper Cynthia Kitchen Collab (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Jute Natural)

2. 9696 Instagram Likess
Vintage Porch Collab using Designer Series Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@vintageporch Vintage Porch Collab (featuring Chester and our Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bali Oak)

3. 8181 Instagram Likess
Happy Customer Featuring SelectBlinds.com Designer Woven Woods

@kaileyabozarth Happy Customer (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bamboo Shell)

4. 7676 Instagram Likess

Heather Fujikawa's Kitchen

@heatherfujikawa Heather Fujikawa Kitchen (featuring Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades in White Canvas)

5. 73 73 Instagram Likess

Pup relaxes with Roman Window Treatments from SelectBlinds.com

@cottageandvine Pup Relaxes with Roman Shades (featuring Signature Blackout Roman Shades in Parchment Textured)

6. 72 72 Instagram Likess
Gemary's Kitchen featuring Permier Woven Woods from SelectBlinds.com

@gemary Gemary’s Kitchen (featuring Premier Woven Wood Shades in Bodhi)

7. 6969 Instagram Likess
Southern Farm House Designs Shiplap Bedroom featuring Designer Series Wovens from SelectBlinds.com

@southernfarmhousedesigns Shiplap Bedroom (featuring Designer Series Woven Wood Shades in Bali Natural)

8. 5959 Instagram Likess
Holiday Fireplace Mantal featuring Cynthia Harper and Julie of The Design Twins

Holiday Mantel/Fireplace Decor featuring @cynthia_harper and @julie_thedesigntwins

9. 52 s
Bright Yellow Door Collab featuring SelectBlinds.com Premier Woven Woods

@brightyellowdoor Bright Yellow Door Collab (featuring Premier Woven Wood Shades in Robinia)

10. 45s

A big “thank you!” to all of the Inspiring Decorators who shared their beautiful homes and memories with us in 2017. We can’t wait to see what new styles and trends you’ll be incorporating in 2018!

If you have any questions or would like more details on any of these posts, please leave us a comment!