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

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!

Marilyn C. Eats Up Our Snickerdoodle Shades!

Two in one window brown cellular shades from SelectBlinds.com

“I just love my new blackout shades! We ordered them in Snickerdoodle, and they’re just great! So much easier to operate than the vertical blinds we used to have, too. Great job, SelectBlinds! You rock!”

A huge “THANK YOU” to Marilyn C. of Pennsylvania for sending in photos of her new honeycomb shades! She replaced her old vertical blinds on this wide double window to make way for two of our beautiful Select Single Cell Blackout Shades in Snickerdoodle. No more broken, swaying vanes for this front yard view! Our Cordless Lift and Lock system is easy up / easy down for quick privacy and light blocking! MJ even had great things to say about our customer service agents who helped her with custom sizing so her new window treatments covered her windows perfectly!

SelectBlinds.com shades block morning light in living room

“Just to let you know, your salesman Charles Arrington was AWESOME. We didn’t even think we were capable of measuring for these shades and he was so helpful! He guaranteed me these would fit and they  do — to a ‘T’! Thanks again for your awesome product and believe me, we looked all over. Even saw shades over $800 that were nowhere near as nice as yours!”

Thanks again, MJ! We look forward to working together and hope to hear more stories from the East Coast (the birthplace of many of us here at SelectBlinds) in the near future!

Meet Our Customer Service Employee of the Month: Devyn Brewer

Select Blinds Customer Service Agent holds award

When he’s not balling on the basketball court, Devyn Brewer is center court as a key Customer Service Agent here at SelectBlinds.com! With a positive attitude and dedication to customers , both new and old, he stood out as an integral part of our team. So much so that Simas Tamosaitis, Director of CS, wants us all to know that Devyn wasn’t just handed this award, he deserved it:

“Devyn wasn’t given the title of employee of the month, he went out there and earned it. He is customer-focused, hardworking, and is flexible to help meet our team needs to serve our customers. He brings his A-game to every shift and every interaction. Look out for Devyn on Live Chat, he just accepted this new role this month and we’re looking forward to seeing him grow more.”

Since he was hitting the phones like a boss all April, and just scored a position on our Chat team, we wanted to give you a little intro to one of our star players and April’s Customer Service Employee of the Month!

Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Redding, California, and grew up in San Bernardino. 

Where did you work before Select Blinds?  

Before Select Blinds I worked as a telemarketer for a company and as a delivery driver for Dominoes Pizza, both good training grounds for the customer service I provide here.

What do you like about working here?

I like that this company is constantly trying new things to grow and become a better business in every aspect. It’s a very positive, happy, fun environment to work in for employees in all departments .

Who is your favorite Select Blinds co-worker and why? 

My favorite would have to be [one of our managers], Katie, because she is ALWAYS there to help and has the perfect solution for any problem a customer may have. If she doesn’t, she will go above and beyond to get me that answer.

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not on the clock?

I like to play video games like 2k, FIFA, Fortnite and Spider-man. And I love basketball! Anything basketball — playing, watching — which is why my favorite thing about working here is the indoor basketball court. It’s fun to shoot around with co-workers on breaks.

Inspiring Decorator: Audrey Sprinkle of The Black House on the Corner

Audrey sprinkle sits on leather couch in front of paintings of women

Welcome back for another designer spotlight from one of our favorite Instagram innovators! This time, we’re going dark with The Black House on the Corner, and we mean that in the best way possible! Audrey uses a collection of darker hues in her 1900 Greek Revival Craftsman, bringing out the beauty in the design of her home by collating the moody shades with a pop of bright white and custom themes that give every room it’s own bold personality.

Audrey sat down with us to shed some light on her home, style and what motivates her and her husband after years of designing and flipping houses. Here’s what our newest Inspiring Decorator had to say.

1. What inspired you to become a decorator? What has your journey been like?

I have been into home design and decor since I was a kid! I was 10 when I designed my first piece of furniture and had my dad (against his will) execute it. 

It’s been an exciting journey. We took a leap of faith about nine years ago to start flipping homes and it paid off in a big way. My husband and I work — mostly — really well together and the experience of re-building and designing spaces together has definitely strengthened our relationship! 

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

 Definitely eclectic vintage modern. I find myself attracted to strange decor items but mid-century modern furniture!

Eclectic vintage modern decor in dining room

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why? 

 Probably my painted wallpaper in our hallway! It was free and a huge transformation. I also didn’t expect much out of it so when it turned out so great, that made it even better! (Check out how cool this is!)

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

I love seeing more personality come back into design. The all-white and farmhouse aesthetics are on their way out and that excites me because they’re kind of boring!  

Flowery Backsplash in Vintage Modern Kitchen with Blinds Over Sink

5. What inspired you to paint your walls black?

I love moody, dark colors and since we have 12’ ceilings and tons of windows, I figured I could get away with it!

We really love Classic Shoreline Cordless Woven Woods and get so many compliments on them! My favorite feature is the cordless option. Having four rambunctious boys, it gives me peace of mind that no one is going to choke on blind cords!

High Ceilings Highlight Select Blinds Layered with Curtains

We’re currently working on a huge master suite renovation. My husband’s “day job” is with a European company, which means he starts work at 3 a.m. our time. He’s in bed by 7 p.m. and it’s still pretty light outside the majority of the year, so I’m most excited to try out the Select Blinds woven woods with a blackout liner feature for our bedroom windows!
We can’t wait to see what Audrey does with our blackout-lined woven wood shades, can you? Until then, it’s a wrap on our Inspiring Decorator: Black House Edition! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Black House on the Corner on Instagram! Audrey has plenty more projects, insight and style to love coming in the future!

Help Us Choose a Winner! Who Will Be the Happiest Select Blinds Customer from 2018?

Happiness Is a Choice

And choosing one Happy Customer from all of you who joined our Happy Customer Program last year makes us very happy! But it’s so hard to decide. It’s like trying to choose the best window treatment to complete a room. It can be a daunting task, but putting the time in to discover and sample new shade styles and colors will ultimately lead to honest home happiness – and, possibly, a $250 Visa gift card!

We honestly love seeing how the final product you choose looks in your own home. That’s why we started this contest. We narrowed down our favorites from 2018, but now we need your help. Which picture do you like best? Who do you think we should dub the winner of a $250 Visa gift card? Take a look and place your vote at the bottom of this post!

1. Allison W.’s Beachfront Signature Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades

Feel the breeze coming off the waves? You can even watch them crash along the shore near your beachfront home / condo with our light filtering, transparent solar shades! Allison can relax inside without glare reflecting off the floor or harmful UV rays damaging her furniture or art work! Need something like this but a little darker? We also offer solar shades in 1% and 3% to dim down the hot summer sun.

Select Blinds Sheerweave Interior Solar Shades by beach front propertyBlock the light but save the sight with our 5% Signature Sheer Weave Solar Shades in Light Sandstone!

2. Dile B. Weaves a Wonderland with Premier Woven Wood Shades

This happy customer decked out their sitting room with our light filtering woven wood shades! If you prefer a darker room, we offer privacy and blackout liners for most of our bamboo blinds. With a plethora of colors featuring a variety of reeds, twines and woods, you’ll be able to find the perfect woven shade to match your room’s style!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Premier Woven Wood Shades in Bodhi!

3. Morgan R. Makes Her Dining Area Blossom with Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades

Morgan had her husband, Michael, self-installed these elegant roman blinds to block some of the morning sun coming into their kitchen/dining area. The new, flowery window treatments are the centerpiece of this ship-lapped galley!  If you’re looking for something a little more light blocking, sample our Signature Blackout Roman Shades to keep out the rays!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades leaves guests blue with envy!

4. Morgan A. and Signature Shoreline Woven Woven Shades Get Fresh on the Farm!

Keep an eye on the fields from the safety of the farmhouse! Not only do these custom blinds go well with farmhouse style, they look beautiful incorporated in coastal, boho and vintage design styles! Add some texture to your interior design with bamboo/woven window dressings at your ranch, home, farm, or cabin!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Shoreline Woven Wood Shades in Hilleria leaves guests blue with envy!

Time to Vote!

There you have it! Now we need YOUR help to choose a winner! Who do you think styled SelectBlinds best in their home? Comment with the number (1-4) below!

I Wanna Win!

Want in on the action and a chance to win our next $250 gift card? Just sign up here for our Happy Customer Program. (It’s FREE!) Then send us some photos of your new SelectBlinds.com window treatments to happycustomers@selectblinds.com. We’ll be happy to share your in-home shots here on The Blinds Spot. And we’d love it if you’d share your happiness with them, too, by tagging us (@selectblinds) in any pics you post on social media.

Select Blinds 2019 New Year’s Giveaway: 6 Chances to Win!

Start your New Year off with new blinds, shades, shutters or curtains from Select Blinds! Simply add your name and email below for a chance to win our Grand Prize of a $1000 gift card to SelectBlinds.com or 1 of 5 second prizes of $100 to use toward any order on our site! Sweepstakes begins 12/21 and ends 1/13 at 11:59 PM (MST).