The heat of summer is here and the sun is beckoning us out of the seemingly forced hibernation of the past year. Are we ready to face the heat of the season again? For those of us in the intense temperatures found looming over the Southwest, exterior shade is an absolute must, but finding the perfect outdoor sun shades can be almost as painful as forgetting to use sun screen. We’re here to give you some tips and ideas about how to keep your feet, body, and head cool throughout the next few months. Read on to check them out!
Exterior Solar Shades
Outdoor shades can come in a wide variety of lift styles, but due to their width and exposure to the elements, the safest, and easiest to install, are roller-style shades. Patio sun shades have varying transparencies, so you can fine-tune the amount of sunlight you want to filter through. Offering 1%, 3%, 5%, 8%, 10% and 14% levels of openness, there are a lot of ways to craft your poolside sun protection!
Before you party on the patio, you’ve got to make it through the sliding glass door! You know, the one that’s invisible to the dog, and to your Aunt Pam after a few too many hard seltzers? Don’t forget how much of the sun’s natural energy and heat is absorbed, and magnified into your house by the patio slider. While our panel tracks are great for indoors, as well as to be used as room dividers, they can also fair well on the porch in less intense summers on the East coast of the United States. If you’re located in the solar panel-loving states like Arizona, California, and Nevada, set your heart on the exterior shades!
Not just for feasting your eyes on inside, bamboo blinds are also a favorite for the porch, patio, and pool areas! Outdoor bamboo shades have the same construction as an interior shade, but with any product that spends its time outside, the elements are known to limit its lifespan. Keep in mind, you can upgrade any of our products to 5-year unlimited coverage, so you can rest in the shade with peace of mind!
Wood and faux wood shutters feature a classic stylish dignity and look for any home. Heck, in some parts of the country, window wooden shutters are the ONLY kinds of window coverings you see. They also offer some energy-efficiency, and they are incredibly easy to operate.
Another great thing about shutters is that you can choose them in wood, or in less expensive but durable, moisture-resistant, and attractive faux shutters (faux wood tends to last longer, especially in areas of high humidity and moisture, where wood shutters can easily fade, mold, and warp). There are also degrees of added insulation and light control you can find for your shutters. You can even find more eco-friendly shutters made from recycled materials, if that’s your preference. What’s not to like about shutters?
Are Shutters a Good Investment?
Other than the fact that they look great, and that you can nicely coordinate them with your counters or floor to help tie together any room’s décor aesthetic, there are some other things you should consider in regard to shutters when you’re thinking about how to best dress your windows. For one thing, they can be mounted either on the inside of a window or door, or on the outside. Here are some other advantages:
Custom door and window coverings are always a smart choice, because they speak to your own personal sense of style and taste. They say a lot about you, and truly make your home yours. They also make for better privacy, UV protection, and light management, because custom means custom measurements for a custom fit – no gaps.
2. Shutters help bolster your property value
Real estate veterans will generally agree that any home with custom shutters installed will usually sell faster. Considering the classically styled look that shutters can give any home, indoors and out, it’s no surprise that shutters are such a sought after window treatment. Stylish, elegant shutters can add nicely to your home’s appraisal value if and when you decide to sell. Blinds, shades, and curtains all have their unique benefits and advantages, but they generally won’t add to your home’s value the way shutters can.
3. Energy efficiency
If being able to select shutters for your home that are made from recycled materials isn’t eco-friendly enough for you, consider the fact that shutters offer varying degrees of insulation to choose from to protect your interior environment from outdoor heat and cold. The outcome? Lower utility bills, lower long-term home maintenance costs.
4. Privacy and Peace of Mind
Shutters have a likable tendency to give your home a solid feeling of security, and they also allow you flexibility – flexibility to be able to manage and control incoming light along with visibility into and out from your home’s interior. Even with partly open slats, you can still do a great job of keeping your privacy while still letting plenty of light in.
5. Durable and easy to care for
When you install custom shutters in your home, you can rest assured that you are installing window coverings that will last for years. They are almost guaranteed to long outlive whatever warranty coverage you happen to choose for them. They are also easy to maintain and to keep clean and new-looking.
Here are some popular shutters we recommend for your home. Consider your own unique privacy and lighting needs for rooms where you’re considering installing window blinds. And as always, keep your own sense of décor and style in mind!
“The Cloffice” sounds like it could an episode of one of your favorite sitcoms (imagine a character turning a closet into an office … hilarity ensues!), but there actually is such a booming, must-have home office design trend. And it makes perfect sense.
A byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, working and attending school from home have emphasized the importance of making the best use of familiar indoor spaces. A “cloffice” (closet + office) is a space within a home that has craftily converted a closet, corner, or other nook into a trusty office/workspace.
That storage space that is by far underused? Voila! New cloffice. That empty space around from the bottom of the stairs? Hello, cloffice. The seldom entered walk-in closet in the basement guest bedroom? Cloffice. You get the idea.
Benefits of a Cloffice
Well, the pandemic has definitely taught us how to be more content in our existing indoor space. Maybe to appreciate being at home more. Some pluses of creating a cloffice space include:
• Having a fun new DIY project to look forward to • Using the space you already have (and not having to build on an additional room to your home) • Enjoying a designated, (at least somewhat) private space while working or doing school from home • Helping keep office supplies, books, etc. organized and in one place • Making the most of unused interior space •Adding value to your home
Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces
You’ll want a reliable home office desk to work on. Maybe you need shelving for your cloffice. Perhaps some file cabinets. Definitely a comfy chair that doesn’t ruin your posture. There are tons of great cloffice ideas out there for you to choose from. One feature of the mysterious closet office is taking an otherwise lifeless space, putting your personal signature on it, and making it truly “yours.” If you find yourself creating a cozy cloffice in a dark corner, you might want to add a favorite lamp for light.
Or maybe your cloffice is nestled up against an often-ignored window. You don’t want to be squinting into your computer screen because of the glare caused by the incoming sunlight, right? Get control of the light in your home office design.
Keeping Your Cloffice Cool
Now that you’ve got your design almost complete, don’t forget about the glass! If you have a large window (compared to your cloffice size) you’ll most likely lose heat/cold through it. For great insulation and noise cancellation, try custom honeycomb shades. If you love the temperature and atmosphere of your closet office space, go for an easily-installed, unobtrusive roller shade to control light, any time of day!
There are a handful of different types of window treatments out there, from simple roller-style shades to intricate patterns of bamboo / woven woods, but we often get the question, “What do you have that can block light, but also allow me to see through during the day?” Sheer shades are the answer!
Why Sheer Shades?
Being homeowners ourselves, we understand that versatility plays a huge part in home design, no matter the niche. In the world of window decor, our customers love privacy, enhancing aesthetics and protection against UV rays. But also, we want to be flexible throughout all of the glass in your home. On one hand providing window treatments for sliding glass doors, and on the other is a suggestion for kitchen window treatment ideas that sync with your sink (*wink wink!*).
After a seemingly long and sometimes dark winter, spring returns to the northern hemisphere on Saturday, March 20, 2021. The earth tilts on its axis, and the North Pole leans back toward the sun once again.
‘Tis the season for spring cleaning and organizing, and also for spring home renovation projects (“reno,” for short)! Time for reorganizing your bookshelves, repainting one or more of your rooms, sprucing up your closets, or refreshing your organization pieces (shelves, baskets, etc.).
Get your list ready!
Spring Cleaning and Other Projects
One of the top suggested spring renovation projects involves your window treatments. Color options, textures, and an added dimension of “feeling.”
Just the right window coverings can be the perfect finishing touch for any room. They help you manage incoming light and indoor privacy at home. They should also reflect and complement your personal sense of style and indoor décor.
Do Something Inspiring at Home This Spring!
One aspect of any home renovation project everyone takes into consideration is budget. You can find new, sharp-looking, and budget-friendly window treatments that are perfect for your living space. Functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Now that you’ve prioritized the rooms in your home for your “windows refresh” project, would you like some suggestions?
Bedroom / Nursery
Your bedroom is your one refuge that you crave more than anything else, especially after a long day. Maintain your privacy, while filtering in some soft light. How about blacking out the light entirely when you want to sleep in?
Get creative with how you illuminate and decorate this quiet, comfy space. It’s your bedroom, and should showcase your personal taste! For nurseries and homes with children and pets, consider the safety of cordless lift window treatments.
You love the way your new Select Blinds window treatments control the incoming light, while also providing privacy. Now consider window décor possibilities for your main living space. This is the first room of your home that guests typically experience, and you want it to complement the décor in the rest of your home.
Your kitchen. The hub of your home, where all the best stories begin. You make so many memories here, along with delicious meals, laughter, and holidays. You need your kitchen window treatments to be versatile, good looking, and built to last.
Aromatic soaps. Warm water. Your self-care spot, where functionality and beauty meet. Your bathroom windows deserve all the style and personal touch you take pride in all over your home. Open up to what you can do with your private wellness sanctuary!
What to do with your outdoor patio design. You want to block the harsh rays of the sun, but you want your outdoor blinds to offer a warm, simple, and natural look to your patio or indoor space. You need some custom outdoor blinds, like bamboo/woven wood shades to get that perfect touch. You need some “Japandi!”
What is Japandi Design?
Welcome to an up-and-coming minimalist design aesthetic known as Japandi. Pinterest Business has deemed this design sensibility as one of the top home trends for 2021.
The concept of Japandi combines the simplicity and flair of Scandinavian/Nordic design with the connected-to-nature and minimalist sense of spacing and warmth from Japan. The result is peaceful, practical, and polished.
This alluring, hybrid, East-meets-West look and feel pulls together natural materials, like wood, bamboo, and warm colors, into a vibrant space where occupants feel more deeply enveloped in the environment. Why not experiment? Convert your indoor/outdoor space into your own engawa (a Japanese-style covered indoor/outdoor porch), or blend the earthy, natural Japandi design feel with your own unique sense of style to create an inviting, simple, and elegant space for yourself and guests.
Minimalist Style Can Offer More Clarity and Peace
Perhaps you’ve experimented with minimalist design in your home, and found them to be practical and functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing. It can also bring you freedom and quiet from the modern hustle of day-to-day life. When you’re relaxing at home or on your outdoor patio, there’s nothing better than the calm of being surrounded by clutter-free, natural-looking materials and colors.
Let’s start with some sensible light blocking to keep the glare out.
What Makes Bamboo Shades a Good Choice?
Bamboo/woven wood shades are a great way to help you infuse a natural feel into your home or patio.
Bamboo shades are:
You can’t beat the earthy look and feel of bamboo shades!
Did you know? Cascading “Roman-style” shades made of bamboo/woven wood are increasingly referred to as simply, “Roman shades.” But they’ll always function and feel like bamboos!
Protect Your Bamboos!
One thing about blinds and shades made with natural materials like bamboo or wood: they may look and feel marvelous, they may be durable, but they are NOT impervious to rain, moisture, or harsh, direct sunlight.
Bamboos/woven woods are best for (and last the longest) indoors, or at least in covered outdoor patio areas, where they won’t be exposed to the outdoor elements.
If you know your shades are going to get wet, you’ll want to opt for something like exterior solar shades, that are better constructed using PVC to withstand the heat, UV rays, rain, and other outdoor weather for years without rusting, molding, or fading.
Keep your bamboos dry and out of the sun’s harsh rays to help them last longer and looking new.
Some Insider Tips on Selecting Bamboo Shades
As you’ve probably guessed, the point of Japandi design is to help you feel more at home and in touch with your environment. The natural colors and textures of bamboo/woven wood shades help with this natural feel.
Start with samples! Never trust the color settings on your computer or device when ordering your custom bamboos online. Always start with product samples so you can see for yourself exactly how your favorite color choices are going to look in your space. Be sure to experiment with lighting to experience a wide range of effects.
Consider lining options. Make your woven woods all your own with lined options for more light control. Unlined bamboo shades will darken your space somewhat, but will let some light filter in. A solid blackout privacy lining helps block out the light entirely to help create a nice, dark, shady space.
Go cordless!Cordless options are best with kids and pets. Though they sometimes add to the price tag, cordless options are always a safe bet when you have little ones and furry ones running around your home.
Let us recommend the following to help you “Japandize” your outdoor patio or indoor space:
Get in touch with nature, invite more peace and simplicity into your life, and make your home or relaxation space more “Pinterest-perfect” with some budget-friendly and natural-looking bamboo/woven wood shades to keep out the noise and harsh sunlight from your solace.
Venetian blinds (and Venetian-style blinds) are a recognizable, classic style for window coverings. Venetian blinds are a stack of horizontal “slats” connected by cords or strips of fabric that can be tilted at an angle upward or downward to open and close them. The “stacked slats” can also be drawn and bunched upward to entirely open up or close a window view to the outside. Their design is what typically comes to mind when someone mentions “blinds.”
Venetian blinds are traditionally made of wood, but come in a variety of materials, including aluminum and faux wood. These blinds also come in varying slat widths and finishes.
Let’s talk window treatment ideas.
What about your own interior space? There is good news for DIY decorators! There are many benefits to integrating this traditional window treatment design, in some form or other, into your home décor update.
Mini blinds feature the familiar Venetian-style blind design, but with narrower slats, usually varying no more than one to two inches in width. Their thickness is also referred to as their “gauge.” It might interest you to know that Select Blind minis are 6- or 8-gauge (.006 and .008 of an inch, respectively). They are often manufactured with aluminum or vinyl, in a wide range of colors, finishes, and lift styles. Some manufacturers use recycled materials to produce more sustainable products.
Mini blinds are commonly used to cover windows of varying sizes, including narrow, tall windows, like those adjacent to, or on either side of, a door. You’ll often see them being used in offices, schools, and industrial facilities.
Which is Better, Aluminum or Vinyl Mini Blinds?
Aluminum mini window blinds and vinyl mini blinds are both easy to clean and take care of. Though vinyl blinds are more flexible than aluminum and less likely to dent or crease, aluminum mini blinds are sturdier and stronger than vinyl blinds, and won’t split or break.
We recommend these high-quality, custom aluminum mini blinds for your home or office:
Unlike wood, faux wood blinds are extremely sturdy and they offer a wide range of styles, colors, and designs. While offering the warm, classic look of real wood. After all, affordable, high-quality custom faux wood window treatments shouldn’t have to look like cheap, fake wood. Faux wood blinds are often made from durable vinyl or PVC, and you can customize them for any room in your home. You also don’t have to worry about faux wood blinds warping or fading. There is also a wide selection of lift styles you can get for your blinds, including cordless (for homes with children and pets).
Benefits of Aluminum Mini Blinds and Faux Wood Blinds
Cost-effective and versatile. Aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are less expensive than blinds made with other materials. They also come in a wide range of colors and styles.
Durable and long lasting. Make sure your aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are made with durable materials and are built to last.
Water- and mold-resistant. The impermeable resistance of aluminum and faux wood to moisture and mold makes them an excellent option for humid spaces like kitchens/dining rooms and bathrooms.
Remember, aluminum mini blinds and faux wood blinds are both excellent budget-friendly customizable options for your home’s window treatments that are easy to clean and take care of, and that you’ll enjoy for years.
Whenever spring and summer approach, we start to get antsy and look forward to enjoying the sunshine and to spending time outside in the warm weather. Maybe even more so in 2021, after all the unexpected craziness of 2020!
So, what exactly is the difference between indoor solar shades and exterior solar shades?
Interior solar shades feature an open-weave reflective fabric meant to let light filter through. You can see clearly outside, but those outside can’t see in; at night, this effect is reversed. By deflecting the sun’s glare effectively, solars also reduce incoming heat, making their energy efficiency another plus.
Exterior solar shades provide excellent coverage for south-facing windows or for an exterior space like an enclosed patio or deck—similar to an awning. Like interior solars, outdoor solar shades allow a view to the outside, while providing privacy from the exterior view. Outdoor solars are also effective at keeping your enclosed spaces and your home’s interior cooler. Another plus for exterior solar shades: they don’t have an impact on your interior décor, and you’ll likely get the most use out of outdoor solars if you happen to live in a climate that’s warm all year long.
Keep your exterior solar shades’ “openness” factor into account when making your selection. Openness factors are typically available in 1 percent, 3 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent, and 14 percent.
An outdoor solar shade with a 1 percent openness factor has much higher UV blockage with lower transparency, compared to one with a 10 percent or 14 percent openness factor. As you INCREASE in the openness factor, your UV blockage goes down, and you raise your outward visibility, in turn.
Also keep in mind that lighter colored shades are generally better for blocking UV rays more effectively, while darker colors provide a better view to the outside.
Both interior and exterior solar shades can be installed as roller shades or as panels, but if you go with outdoor shades, make sure they’re manufactured to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoor weather elements (direct sunlight, rain, wind, etc.). Do your homework.
Here is an online guide to help you select the best type of solar shades for the region you live in and for your home’s unique needs. Whatever climate you live in, and whatever your home’s needs are, interior solar shades and exterior solar shades can help you manage your privacy along with the incoming UV rays for enjoying Spring and Summer indoors and outside.
Gamers and home theater buffs: Does your gaming or media room have windows? When you’re online, on a roll playing your favorite RPG, or relaxing with your favorite film, you want nothing to do with the sun’s harsh glare. You might be considering window blinds or shades for your room’s windows to block out exterior light and glare, as well as to help insulate and soundproof your room. More fabric-style window treatments, like blackout cellular shades or Roman shades, also assist with dampening background noise and improving your gaming / media audio quality, too!
If your gaming/media room windows face the north, there’s a good chance you’ll rarely, if ever, have to worry about direct sunlight coming in. If your room’s windows face any other direction, you’ll likely get some direct sunlight coming in at some point during the day. Window treatments are specifically designed to control incoming light, but keep in mind there are different degrees of light blockage.
What Is the Difference Between Blackout and Room Darkening Shades?
Blackout shades, or room darkening blinds? Blackout shades are made with an opaque fabric intended to block out ALL incoming light. “Room darkening” window treatments typically block out between 95 to 99 percent of the outdoor light. Window coverings that block less than 95 percent of incoming light are commonly known as “light filtering” blinds or shades.
Maybe you prefer a total blackout effect. Maybe you like the incoming light most of the time, but just want to block out the setting sun’s glare for movie night. Knowing what you need and prefer can help you in your selection.
Consider some of these options for blackout or room darkening effects for your entertainment room:
We take pride in all our products and customer service, and stand by them all. Consider the fact that from a 2020 review of the “best blackout shades,” TheNew York Times review considers Classic Cordless Blackout Shades among its top three picks.
The review panel “unanimously agreed that the Select Blinds Classic Cordless [Blackout Shades are] the [ones] they’d most like in their homes,” citing the quality polyester shades’ look and feel being “noticeably better in quality than other shades [they] considered.” In addition to top-notch look and feel, the NYT review also cited the shades’ wide color and customizable size selection, and the longest warranty of any other shades they reviewed.
Regardless of what kind of window treatments you go with, keep in mind that your entertainment space is yours and should meet your needs, while reflecting your personal sense of style.
Surely, we’d all love to draw the blinds on 2020 and go out in style with a fresh new view in our sights! That’s why our New Years Sale is helping you take to 40% off some interior accessories to make the tail-end of quarantine (hopefully) a bit more brighter! Or dimmer, depending on the kind of shades you need!