Bamboo and Woven Wood Shades Bring More “Japandi” Into Your Life

by SelectBlinds

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.

Japandi design combines earthy, natural Japanese design with simple Nordic aesthetics.
The result is practical, functional, and pleasing to the senses.

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.

Sarah Joy Blog Uses Select Blinds Window Treatments
Indoors or outdoors, Japandi minimalist design brings clarity and peace to a space.
Image courtesy of Sarah Joy.

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:

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Fade-resistant

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!

Top down, Bottom up style bamboo shades are also a popular option.

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.

Bamboo shades can offer adequate privacy and light control,
while still letting some light into your space.

Our Suggestions

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.

Media Room Ideas: The Best Window Coverings for Gaming Rooms and Movie Night

by SelectBlinds

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!

Gamer playing a video game in a darkened gaming room.
Gaming and media rooms with windows should have good lighting control for the best entertainment experiences.

Window treatments can also provide plenty of privacy, day or night. They can also help insulate against the heat or cold, to help save on your energy bills.

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.

Window with blackout curtains to keep out sunlight glare.
Window coverings can protect your interior from harmful UV rays and annoying glare.

Consider some of these options for blackout or room darkening effects for your entertainment room:

What Are the Best Blackout Shades?

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,” The New 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.

Home Remodeling in the Merry Month of May

May is National Home Remodeling Month, and with so many of us still stuck at home, it should come as no surprise that remodeling has taken off like a rocket ship to Mars. But how do you get started on a new remodeling project? And, for that matter, which rooms should you start with?

Start at the Heart

For most people, the heart of your home is the kitchen or living room. This is especially true now that we’re all endlessly snacking and binge-watching shows on Netflix. But, how do you decide between the two areas? Simple. Either go with the room that will add the most value to your home (kitchen), or go with the one you spend the most time in (living room). It really depends on whether or not you plan on sticking around for the long haul.

Beautiful and bright finished kitchen with white cabinets.

If you’ve already managed to update your kitchen and living space, how about moving on to something like flooring upgrades, bathrooms, bedrooms or anything else that tickles your remodeling fancy?

Create Your Master Plan

A great way to create a plan is to make a list of everything you want to do to your chosen room. We recommend splitting your list into 3 sections based on the level of difficulty of each project.

Handwritten checklist of things to do.
  • Things you can DIY without help
  • Things you can do with a bit of research or assistance
    • Adding a tiled backsplash
    • Putting your light switches on dimmers
  • Things that require a professional touch
    • Extending your counter into a breakfast bar
    • Rearranging your entire kitchen counter and built-in appliances

Once that’s done, go through your list again and cross off anything that seems out of reach or unrealistic. Whether it’s just plain expensive or you simply can’t do it because of the constraints of social distancing, get crossing!

Take Action

Now that you’ve got your refined list, it’s time to, as Ms. Frizzle says, “take chances, make mistakes and get messy!” Though, maybe you should forego the mistakes part in an effort to prevent “re-remodeling.”

First things first, figure out which project on your list you’re going to tackle first. Obviously you won’t be installing a tiled backsplash before rearranging your counters, so let’s just pretend you’re redoing EVERYTHING and go from there.

Kitchen blueprints in black and white.

If you’re hard-core remodeling your kitchen, the best place to start will likely be with a professional contractor. Get a recommendation from a friend or google a few and get a couple of quotes and designs to compare. If you need some inspiration, check out this article! Oh, and pro-tip – you’ll want to keep in mind that most remodels end up more expensive than quoted. There’s always something that gets uncovered.

From there, we suggest supervising the work occasionally to make sure everything is on track and course-correcting as appropriate. Once the professional work is done, the next step is to tackle other projects as you see fit. it might be a good idea to do the more difficult, research-intensive tasks first just in case you run into any issues.

Grey subway tile backsplash in a white kitchen.

So, if you skipped having the contractor add that subway tile backsplash you’ve always wanted, now’s the time to do it yourself! And even if you’ve done one before, we recommend checking out this video by Home RenoVision DIY. It covers the tools you’ll need and even how cut tiles to fit around outlets and make sure your whole project stays level.

Once you’ve gotten the harder, more time-consuming or labor-intensive projects out of the way, you can move on to the finishing touches. If you didn’t have brand new cabinets installed, now would be a great time to strip and paint/stain them, then add some adorable new handles or knobs.

Blue paint and paintbrush on a white background.

To do so, you just need to remove the doors from the cabinets, sand them down and repaint or stain. If you plan on upgrading the handles or knobs, it might be a good idea to invest in matching or complementary hinges as well to complete the look. once everything is dry, simply reinstall the doors in the same place and screw in the new handles and BAM! NEW KITCHEN!

Wash, Rinse Repeat!

After that, just keep plugging away at your list until you tick all the boxes. Regardless of whether you start off with a contractor or stick to tasks you can DIY right away, the important thing is to keep the momentum going. Once your list is complete, you can happily move on to any other room.

Instant Dream Home — A Paint-by-Numbers Interior Design Guide

Instant Dream Home - A Paint by Numbers Interior Design Guide

Imagine the possibilities …

That’s what interior designer, design coach and mentor, and author Darcy Kempton encourages her readers to do in her easy-to-follow book, Instant Dream Home — A Paint-by-Numbers Interior Design Guide. But painting by numbers doesn’t necessarily mean staying within the lines when designing your dream home.

“If you can dream it, then it’s possible,” writes Darcy, who admits to making just about every decorating mistake in the book. That’s why her guide is so great; she’s made the mistakes and missteps, so you don’t have to. In this hands-on, interactive workbook, she steers you along the same roadmap she uses for every project she undertakes in her own highly successful interior design business to help you avoid the detours and often costly consequences of a design disaster.

In her own engaging, conversational style, Darcy emboldens readers with encouragement to create a home you, your family and guests will love. Packed with inspirational before and afters, name- (and jaw) dropping client case studies, expert tips on where to splurge and how to save, and other pro “secrets,” she walks you through a simple, three-step process to interior decorating success, giving you all the tools you need along the way to implement the design of your dreams, whatever your budget.

Darcy’s in the houzz

Step 1: Define your style. Darcy gets you started with a 10-question evaluation form, priming the process with questions like, how would you describe your home as it is today? What drives you crazy about your house now? How long do you plan to be in your home? Then it’s on to the fun part — finding inspiration to develop your style. As she does with clients, Darcy starts by referring readers to peruse houzz.com, with questions and photographs to guide them through the site and help them zero in on what they like. Ground zero for any design, she says, is finding that “Almighty Inspiration Piece” (she even leaves a space on the page where you can paste a picture of it).

Step 2: Translating your inspiration into a well-defined design plan. Here Darcy breaks down the seemingly daunting design planning process into a few key elements: a sensible floorplan, a cohesive design scheme and a smart budget. She gives easy to read expert guidance on deciding what to keep, scaling design elements to fit and focusing on a focal point, as well as her Top 10 “Must Haves” to help you build a room design from the ground up. This chapter also includes hands-on tools like an inventory list and grids for sketching out furniture placement, places to paste your color palette, and a sample budget work sheet.

Step 3: Take action! In this chapter, Darcy helps you take your plans on paper to reality by learning to embrace your strengths and hire your weaknesses. (Great advice!) She includes a simple DIY assessment survey to decide what you can tackle on your own and where you might want to hire a pro.

Inspired to create a simply stunning space of your own? Get your copy of Instant Dream Home here, or get to know Darcy better at www.simplystunningspaces.com.

If you can dream it, you can do it