How to Incorporate Florals Into Your Décor

In celebration of National Floral Design Day (yes, it’s real and it’s today), we’ve put together this quick list of fun ways to spread the floral love throughout your home.

1. Roman Shades

Floral roman shades add natural beauty to any window.
Designer Reserve Cordless Romans in Blue Frond

We’re a window covering company, so of course we’re going to suggest some fabulously floral roman shades! Not only are they efficient when it comes to blocking light and heat (especially if you go with outside mount), they’re also ultra-stylish and the multitude of fold styles means there’s one to match almost any type of décor. Check out some of our favorite florals in these Luxe Roman Shades and Designer Reserve Cordless Roman Shades.

2. Wallpaper

Spice up your bedroom with elegant floral wallpaper.

Floral wallpaper is especially in this year, but even if it wasn’t, wallpaper is a great way to add a little flowery fun to your home. Especially this peel and stick kind from Spoonflower. It doesn’t even have to go on the wall! Floralize your ceilings to add a new level of imagination to any room.

3. Soft Accents

Neutral floral accents like this rug are perfect for any décor.

From throw pillows and cuddly blankets to actual bedding and even rugs, there are a lot of ways to add a floral touch to your room with the fluffy stuff you use every day. And just because it’s a floral pattern doesn’t mean it has to be brightly colored. Neutrals are especially in this year, so why not celebrate floral with a softer color palette?

4. Wall Art

A floral painting adds a pop of color to your wall.

Paintings, canvas prints and even fun picture frames or mirrors (like this one) are all great ways of bringing a little floral flair to your home without feeling as if you’ve gone overboard. Whether it’s the focal point of the room or just a small accent, floral patterns are a gorgeous way to highlight the natural beauty of your space.

5. Actual Flowers

Adding real or fake flowers to your home showcases the beauty of nature.

Adding flowers to your home is an obvious way to incorporate florals into your décor. And, depending on your ability to keep plants alive, you can even go with fake flowers for all the beauty of nature without the required maintenance. Though, it might be a good idea to dust them every once in a while. All joking aside, flowers are a beautiful way to celebrate nature and even introduce pops of color, if so desired.

How do you add florals to your home? Do you have any tips or tricks we didn’t mention? Let us know!

What Blinds Should I Buy? SelectBlinds.com Did the Leg Work for You!

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 Classic 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 2″ Premium 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 Architect Blackout Roller  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 Lifestyle 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 Classic 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

20 Interior Design Trends to Help You Kick Off 2020

1. Navy Blue is Your New Best Friend

Navy is the color of 2020.

Coral may have been the color of 2019, but 2020 is bringing everything back to basics with, you guessed it – navy. Brush up on your nautical knots, sailors. It’s gonna be a year to remember.

2. Home Automation

Nothing says 2020 quite like home automation. Watch your dogs while sitting at your desk, spy on neighbors through your doorbell and turn on/off lights with your phone or voice. Did we mention you can raise and lower your blinds too? It’s true!

3. Earth Tones & Muted Colors

Neutral colors may never go out of style, but they certainly do fluctuate in popularity. Good for us, 2020 is a year in which we can all enjoy the timeless simplicity and calming effects of muted earth tones.

4. Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Materials

Aside from simply switching to metal straws and LED lightbulbs, consumers in 2020 will likely be even more conscious of what they’re buying and what it’s made of – one reason rattan and wicker furniture is predicted to make a comeback this year.

5. Wallpaper

Put some color in your world with patterned wallpaper.

Wallpaper’s back, baby! Florals, geometric patterns, handpainted or mass-produced. Heck, you can even cover your ceiling to add a little personality to any room in your home! We especially love this easy, peel and stick floral wallpaper from Walls Need Love.

6. Bold Trims & Ceiling

Bored with your colored walls and white or stained-wood trim? Nothing says stylish and sophisticated like neutral walls with boldly-colored trim and ceilings.

7. Color-Pop Cabinets

Take your colorful trim and ceiling to the next level with color-pop cabinets. And don’t confine them just to the kitchen! Bathroom cabinets could almost always do with a makeover, so why not make it one you’ll never forget?

8. Mixed Metals

The days of matching your appliances with your kitchen hardware and vice versa are over – thankfully. So, break out the copper pots, brushed nickel handles and brass bar-cart, because it’s time to party like it’s 2020!

9. Curved Furniture

Yes, you heard us right. They’re back! Rounded chairs and curved couches (like this one from Crate&Barrel) are right on trend for 2020. The more smooth edges, the better…or is it an optical illusion and it’s really just one long smooth edge? Well, in either case, we hope you dig these shapely sofas as much as we do!

10. Velvet

Velvet is back and you are gonna love it.

Whether it’s on your wallpaper, the material of your new curvy couch or an adorable little jewelry box, velvet is here to stay. It may have had a comeback in 2019, but the real fun starts now. What will you velvetize this year?

11. Live Plants & Homegrown Herbs

Having plants in and around your home not only looks great, but can also improve your air quality. So head on down to your local nursery and pick up an olive tree (the hot-ticket plant this year) and maybe a few herbs to start a garden in your kitchen!

12. Unique Rugs

Unless you’ve got a puppy who can’t stop peeing on your carpet, we can almost guarantee you’ll have obtained some sort of unique rug by the end of 2020. And these ones from AllModern might be just what you’re looking for! Seriously, though – what better way to add a fun pop of color or pattern to an otherwise sad and empty section of the floor?

13. Pattern Mixing

Rules? What rules? Pshhh – there are no rules when it comes to pattern mixing. Whether you’ve got 40 patterns or two, you do you! The legging-centric pattern mixing of 2017/2018 ain’t got nothin’ on the beautifully layered patterns we’ll see in 2020.

14. Wire-Free Accent Lights

Ugly puck lights and space-eating floor lamps – BE GONE! 2020 is the year of gorgeous, easy to use (and install) wire-free lighting, like these amazing and versatile battery-operated sconces! Forget rewiring your house or filling your apartment with table lamps. Wire-free is worry-free!

15. Antiques & Vintage Accents

Mixing new with the old is a fun trend!

Antiques are meant to be treasured, so get to treasuring! Adding vintage accents or upcycling antiques is a great way to showcase family heirlooms and amazing yardsale finds alike.

16. Multifunctional Furniture

Old-fashioned, hotel pull-out couches might be out, but Murphey beds are so in, as are other types of modern multifunctional furniture. And if wall beds like these aren’t your thing, how about a couch that doubles as a bunk bed?

17. Bold Backsplashes

Boldly-patterned backsplashes are especially trendy this year. Sure, subway tiles are all well and good, but there’s just something special about adding a fun, patterned accent to your kitchen. And if it’s a half-slab backsplash, even better!

18. High-Contrast Décor

Always been fascinated by black and white interior design, but been a bit hesitant to take the leap? No more! Whether it’s black and white or some other high-contrast pairing, 2020 is the year to break away from the norm and enjoy opposing colors.

19. Handcrafted Goods

Mass-products furniture and décor may never be replaced, but handcrafted accents are definitely on the upswing for 2020. Break out the crocheted blankets and hand-carved wall ornaments and show off your treasures, whether you made them yourself or found them at a local arts festival.

20. Anything Goes!

Mix and match - just be true to you!

Honestly, people, there’s no better designer for your home than YOU. Be your own unicorn and dress up your house in whatever makes you happy. 2020 shows less focus on the trend and more on what makes you love your home, so deck those halls, and windows, however you want. But, please, no shrunken heads.

Expand Your Vertical Horizons

Cool window solutions

Straight up, vertical blinds remain the most popular, practical choice for covering sliding glass and patio doors. Unlike the ugly, utilitarian look of the ghosts of verticals past, today’s products come in a variety of materials — PVC, fabric, real and faux wood — and in a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns to accommodate almost any taste or style. To get the look you want, consider:
Proximity to other window treatments — What’s on your other windows? If you have cellular shades, match them with fabric cellular vertical blinds. Wood blinds? Go for faux or wood vertical vanes. Introduce a vertical treatment with a complementary pattern to simple, solid-color rollers. Drapes can also be layered with verticals as accents to really to really tie a room together.
Vane size/width — Go smaller for a more traditional look, larger/wider for a more contemporary treatment.
Light and privacy control — Vane size again a factor here when tilted open, but also think about choice of material, depending on how much light and privacy you want when closed. Solid materials such as plastic PVC and wood will naturally block more light. Fabric vertical vanes such as cellular vertical products, provide more flexible light control with choices between light filtering and blackout options.
Configuration (stack) — Standard vertical blinds draw or open to the left or right. The side where the vanes “stack” when drawn completely open is usually on the opposite side of the window from the door or window opening. Split-stack verticals open from the center and are drawn to each side, leaving a stack of vanes on both sides. For large openings where doors open from both sides, or for a really unique look, some verticals may stack in the center, leaving the sides open. The width/depth of the stack  — and how much it may obstruct your view — varies, depending on the material the vanes are made of and their size.
Choose your stack type.
Operation — Typically, a wand tilt in conjunction with a continuous cord loop is used to manually open and close vanes, and to draw verticals open and closed. Motorized options also are becoming increasingly popular for operating verticals and other glass door window treatments.
Door function — How much the door is used and how it opens and closes — on sliding track, inside out/outside in, European-style tilt and fold/slide, etc. — are important factors in deciding on a vertical, or any, treatment. Outside mounted verticals are easy to get and keep out of the way of doors in high-traffic areas.
As they saying goes, though, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so there are many more choices than traditional vertical blinds to dress your doors with. Today you can find a treatment to match any style or decor. Check out some of these other ideas.

Shutters

Use shutters for a different patio door look.

Photo from hometalk.com

Hang sliding or traditional bi- or tri-fold shutters (if you have the extra room you’ll need in front of door to accommodate width when folded open) on patio doors for a classic plantation-style look

Roller Shades

Roller shades are an option for doors.
Change direction with roller shades that open and close from top down to bottom up instead of side to side.

Solar Shades

Let the light in and protect your interiors with Solar Sun Shades.
Reduce annoying glare and diminish harmful UV rays with interior solar shades in various openness factors on your doors.

Wide Panels

Panel track vertical shades are the latest trend.

© World of Coulisse

For a classy designer look, go with updated wide panel track verticals that stack neatly on top of each other when open.

Cellular Shades

Blackout verticals paired with tri-shades will look great in any room.

Our Premier 2″ Blackout Verticals pair beautifully with our Premier 2″ Blackout Cellular Trishades for a streamlined look throughout the room.

An easy solution for coordinating windows and doors in a room, energy efficient cellular shades add insulation and style to your interiors.

Drapery/Curtains

Classic curtains never go out of style.
Classic curtains and designer drapes are another traditional covering for sliding doors that never goes out of style. Layer them with a product above to frame your doors and add more light control and privacy.
What’s your favorite look on sliding patio doors? For more ideas, contact our expert window stylistas here at Select Blinds!

Trend Alert: Shop By Color @ Select Blinds

4 Pantone colors for fall 2019 in blues orange and green

Four of the Fall 2019 fashion colors predicted by the Pantone Color Institute. (Photo swatches  from Pantone)

It’s only February and already the denizens of design are gearing up for the coolest color trends we can expect to see this coming fall and winter. (Get a sneak peek from last week’s New York Fashion Week in the Pantone® Fashion Color Trend Report.) Being the trendsetters that we are, here at Select Blinds we’ve put our own colorful twist on how to buy the latest window fashions in the hottest hues: Introducing our new Shop By Color page!

Pick a Color, Any Color

Just pick and click on any color group on the Shop By Color page to see all the different ‘shades’ (and blinds) to choose from, and which products your favorite color comes in.

Screen shot of Selectblinds.com Shop by Color pageShop by color screen shot showing available products

If you’re looking for colors similar to these designer faves for Fall ’19:

Pantone fall colors rocky road fruit dove sugar almond dark cheddar blinds swatches

try these on for size here on selectblinds.com:

Get some free samples of these and more colors here. A little tip: While colors may be named the same, actual colors can vary from product to product. Sample colors from each product to ensure you get just the right color you’re looking for in the style you want.

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

Social Media Marketing with 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

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

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 f

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)

2018 Trend Tips

Spa bathrooms are a rage this year

Calgon, take me away! Spa bathrooms are in the top 25 of the Pinterest 100 home trends this year. (Source: via Pinterest/Architecture Art Designs.)

If you’re like me and rely heavily on social media for divine design inspiration (where would we be without Pinterest? Check out their predictions for this year’s top home trends), you’ve been inundated lately with lists of what’s in/what’s out, what’s hot/what’s not, and what was so 2017 we can’t even conceive of keeping it in 2018.

Trends can be tricky — and expensive. So to help you sort through the hype over the coolest colors and curating just the right look to complement your own personal style, here’s a summary of the good, the bad and the ugly ideas we’ve seen for styling your home in 2018.

The Good

Color me pretty. Don’t be afraid to let your true colors come shining through this year. Whether lavender shades of the Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet; sage advice for soothing bedrooms; a return to earthy, neutral tones; big, bold reds, or rich, moody darks, color is this year’s common design denominator. Even — and I can’t believe I’m writing this — avocado green and gold (which I feel should be banished forever to the ’70s from whence they came). While our love of millennial pink and soft grays won’t completely fade away, color is king, so go for high contrasts on walls, ceilings, floors, tiles and in accents everywhere.

Purple is the new black

The color purple will be a dominant decorator choice this year, from delicate shades of lavender to daring ultra violet. Photo by Jason Kisner on HGTV.com

A nod to book worms. From book-themed wallpaper (bold patterned wallpapers, BTW, being another hot go-to this year. Look for agate and geo-inspired coverings at mainstream retailers.) to unique creations literally culled from the pages of your own personal library, books — especially vintage, as in old, cracked bindings and yellowing pages — are big in 2018. No longer relegated to a shelf, display them in stylish stacks (look for colors on bindings that complement each other and the rest of your decor), or in an old wooden box or tray for an attractive accent on coffee tables, credenzas and nightstands.

The writing’s on the wall. Still popular wall galleries are one of the simplest DIY design hacks to personalize any space. Showcase a collection of family photographs and drawings, memorabilia, or favorite store-bought prints in a cultivated and clean or more cluttered looking arrangement to suit your space. Throw in some typography, hand-lettered word boards, or prints with your favorite quote or philosophy to live by to keep your style on trend this year. You can also display decorative signs on an easel, mantel, cupboard, or in any nook and cranny craving that personal touch.

A gallery collection of family prints

Our own Lisa Haroldsen is totally on trend with this beautiful wall gallery created from her recent wedding album. Her bold blue couch and colorful, textured pillows are right on target for 2018, too.

Follow your passion for fashion. Take a cue from your closet this year. Get inspired by how you dress to become a fashionista and design diva. Check out how designer Jennifer Glickman does it in this House Beautiful article. (But seriously, men’s skinny jeans and rompers have GOT to go!)

Black velvet if you please. Or in any color, velvet will be back with a vengeance. This classically upscale fabric is a bold choice for focal-point furnishings like couches, chairs, chaise lounges and headboards. For use on a smaller scale, toss in a velvet pillow, throw, or duvet.

Brass is back. Along with other metallics, you can use shiny, brushed and antique brass finishes throughout your home. Look for it in light fixtures, kitchen and bathroom faucets, other hardware, and in assorted accent pieces that fit your unique style.

3-D Decor. If your style is falling a little flat, try adding an extra dimension with some of the daring 3-D art and wall decor available, or create your own.

Cement your look. Industrious DIYers and designers are still digging the form and function of cement texture. A popular material for creating waterfall edge countertops, concrete is spilling over into sinks and onto floors — even walls — to cement a cool, industrial vibe.

Get hygge with it. From Denmark with love, the hygge (rhymes with ‘jiggy’) design trend continues, tapping into our natural desire for simple, cozy and comforting surroundings. Bury yourself in thick, oversized knit throws and cushy, woven rugs. Leave a perfectly placed hand-crafted ceramic mug on an end or accent table to fill with a calming cup of tea while you flip through one of the vintage books you have artfully displayed on the coffee table.

Floral flourish. Not the delicate, chintzy floral prints from grandma’s house, today’s designs call for large, lush oversized blooms and botanicals on wallpaper and windows, in art prints and pillows, linens and live arrangements, to make any space pop with high-contrast colors such as black and white or teal and gold.

Floral patterns

Big, beautiful botanical patterns are everywhere this year, including on our Veronica Valenica Light Filtering Rollers.

The Bad (and the Ugly)

Besides the aforementioned men’s skinny jeans and rompers, we’re taking a cue from this list of what designers at House Beautiful and Lonny Magazine think are the soon-to-be-forgotten trends to avoid (no matter how tempting the clearance prices).

— This sounds a little fishy, but oh-so-popular subway tile is being replaced this year with colorful fish scale tiles for floors and backsplashes.

— Rattan will be a risk, including wicker and woven baskets. (Now where are we going to put our hygge throws?)

— Memphis blues. Elvis has left the building and taken this colorful ’80s look with him.

— Antique carpets. Hang up the rattan rug beaters.

— Looking forward to a softening of homes, it’s time to shut the door on open shelving and its companion, industrial details like plumbers pipe.

— Faux shiplap. While the real thing is still in vogue, fake shiplap wallpaper is a waste, they say.

— Worst colors for the coming year? Flesh tones, pastel everything, rose gold and chevron patterns.

So what do you think? What trends will you be following and favoring this year on Pinterest and elsewhere? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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.

Adding some details to prefabricated items makes all the difference.

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)

Gazebos create an intimate space.

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

Add some drapes to an existing gazebo.

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.

A gazebo can add some privacy to your space.

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

Adding outdoor solar shades will enhance your gazebo

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 Signature Shoreline Woven Woods.

The multiple fibers that make up woven wood window treatments add a touch of texture and adventure. Here’s a sample of our Premier 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.

Bamboo shades with privacy and blackout liners

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.

beautiful kitchen window treatment with bamboo shades and sheers

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

Classic fabric roller shades come in many color choices.Classic 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

Roller shades are easy to use.

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

Roller shades come in a huge variety of colors and textures.Select Fabric Light Filtering Roller Shades

Roller shades at SelectBlinds.com 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

Roller shades come in many patterns and texturesDesigner Elements 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

Roller shades are both modern and classic.Blackout 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.