What Are the Benefits of Motorized Shades?

At Blindster, we strive to stay on the cutting edge of window treatments by constantly refreshing our selections and offering our customers with the latest and greatest. Our newest product line is a series of five unique motorized shades. In addition to being extremely versatile and easy to operate, these shades also feature a beautiful and traditional design, making them ideal for just about any room in your home.

Want to learn more about our new motorized shades? Check out some of the top benefits of these automated and convenient window treatments:

 

1

Easy operation

Although we test the control options for all our shades, including standard nylon cords, chains, continuous cord loops, and cordless options, to be as easy and intuitive as possible, we know that some homeowners prefer an even simpler method of raising and lowering their window treatments. Motorized shades are the easiest to control of all, as the simple touch of a button on their remote raises or lowers them effortlessly to the desired height.

 

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Perfect for hard to reach windows

Got windows that are hard to reach, but still want to cover them with shades? If so, motorized shades are the ideal solution. No more stretching or even climbing on furniture or ladders to adjust your window treatments. With motorized shades, you can set them to the perfect length without putting your furniture or yourself at risk by climbing to reach cords, chains, or bottom rails.

 

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65-foot operation distance

In addition to being able to easily control shades that are otherwise hard to reach, motorized shades can also be controlled across large rooms or even your entire home. The shades are equipped with a powerful receiver and are paired with an equally powerful remote. That means you can expect flawless performance at up to 65-feet away from your shades.

4

Control up to 15 shades with a single remote

With our motorized shades, you won’t have to worry about jugging multiple remotes and forgetting which one controls certain shades in your home. All our motorized shades ship with a remote that can be configured to control up to 15 shades. That means you can quickly and easily control the shades in a large room or throughout your entire home with a single remote control.

5

No need for electrical outlets

We know that many homeowners are concerned about the appearance of unsightly cords and cables snaking along their walls to power their motorized shades. However, our window treatments are operated with a lithium battery power pack, eliminating the need for messy cables, extension cords, or outlets directly underneath your windows. The included batteries are designed to be long-lasting, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing them until after many hours of usage.

 

6

Available in a wide variety of styles

At Blindster, we know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to window treatments—including specialty items like our motorized shades. That’s why we offer five distinct and unique options. Choose deluxe or premium light filtering double cellular shades, exotic solar shades, shades with five percent openness, and shades that block 99 percent of the sun’s light and harmful UV rays.

 

 

7

Huge variety of colors

Getting the right color for your window treatments is an important part of the decorating process. You need a color, texture, or pattern that complements your home’s style. And with our line of motorized shades, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect look to match your furniture, wall colors, and décor. Our Premium Motorized Light Filtering Double Cellular Shades are available in more than 40 colors, while the other four motorized shades have at least 15 colors to choose from.

 

The Best Durable Blinds and Shades for Your Garage

Garages are one of the last places that many homeowners consider when they’re buying new window treatments, but they’re a prime spot for adding new blinds and shades—especially if they’re detached or have large wall-side windows to match the ones throughout the rest of your home.

There are numerous benefits to having window treatments on your garage windows. First, they protect your privacy and provide the light control that you need, making them perfect for working on projects, creating a hobby space, or just protecting your vehicles from the sun’s rays. Second, they help insulate your garage, which can be huge beneficial if it’s not air conditioned. And finally, they create a more cohesive appearance with the rest of your home, particularly if you’re installing the same type of window treatment on every window.

Ready to start looking for the best blinds and shades for your garage? Check out Blindster’s guide to finding the right fit:

Cordless Aluminum Blinds

When it comes to buying window treatments for your garage, toughness and durability are some of the most important qualities to look for. Garages are known to accumulate dirt and dust, and that means your window coverings will need frequent cleaning. Our Cordless Aluminum Blinds are made with a high-quality aluminum that has a chip and fade resistant baked enamel finish. That means these blinds can withstand even the toughest conditions for years without needing to be replaced. Their cordless operation also means that they’re easy to operate and safe for homes with small children. Choose between eight distinct colors, including traditional White, Mocha, Brown, and Black to match your garage interior.

Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds

Need to cover a large garage window or a set of sliding doors? Be sure to check out our selection of vertical blinds, including our Smooth PVC Vertical Blinds. These window coverings are ideal for installation over big windows and doors. In addition, their high-quality and highly durable PVC louvers and aluminum head rail are built to last for years under the harshest conditions. Effortlessly open these blinds to let light in and close them to protect your privacy with their standard cord/chain control, or use an optional wand control for even greater customization. Choose from 10 colors to complement your garage, such as Buttermilk, Off White, Blue, and Grey.

Premium Solar Shades 5 Percent Openness

Want to preserve your outdoor view in your garage as much as possible while still protecting your family’s privacy and reducing glare? If those needs are on your window treatment checklist, you owe it to yourself to give our Premium Solar Shades a try. We offer multiple varieties with different levels of openness, which refers to how much of their view that they preserve. Our 5 Percent Openness shades are manufactured using Phifer Sheerweave® 4000 fabrics and are Greenguard® certified. In addition to being beautiful, they’re also highly durable and resistant, and they even block out 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays, protecting your vehicles from fading. Bacteria and fungus resistant, these shades are a breeze to clean, and they’re available in 16 colors perfect for garages, including Charcoal, Ash, and Granite, and Greystone.

Premium Motorized Blackout Double Cellular Shades

Got a large garage or shop with several windows? If so, you know that it can be a hassle to walk over to each window and manually raise or lower the shades multiple times throughout the day while you’re working. Our Premium Motorized Blackout Double Cellular Shades make it easy to raise and lower your shades at the touch of a button anywhere inside your garage. Battery-powered and operated via a single remote control that can be programmed to work with up to 15 shades, these window treatments are the ultimate in convenience and efficiency. They’re not just great at saving time, either. These shades are high-quality through and through, and their 100 percent polyester materials use an integrated foil technology that provides excellent insulation and blocks 99.9 percent of sunlight.

4 Advantages Our Faux Wood Plantation Shutters Have Over Real Wood

Shutters aren’t just for the outside of your home anymore. They look great indoors as well—especially in dining rooms, home offices, living rooms, and even bathrooms. Regardless of where they’re installed, shutters bring an elegant to any room in your home. And unlike outdoor shutters, our faux wood plantation shutters can be adjusted with a front or hidden tilt rod, making it easy to protect your family’s privacy and control the amount of sunlight that enters your home.

If you’re on the fence about installing shutters on the interior of your home, it’s important to know that they have several benefits over other types of window treatments—particularly real wood shutters. Be sure to check out our extensive photo gallery of this window covering on our website to see them installed in real customer homes, then read customer reviews for firsthand experiences with this product. And if you have any questions or concerns about our plantation shutters, you’re sure to find helpful answers in the product’s Q&A section.

Have you decided you’re ready to buy—or at least take a closer look at our faux wood plantation shutters? Check out Blindster’s list of the four advantages these window treatments have compared to real wood shutters:

They’re easier to clean and maintain.

As the name implies, these shutters aren’t made with real wood. Instead, they’re made with a composite material that includes PVC, making them highly resistant to dirt, dust, and stains. And if you do need to engage in any heavy-duty cleaning, you’ll have peace of mind using a variety of cleaners, as these shutters are designed to hold up under even the harshest conditions. For regular cleaning, a feather duster will suffice to remove most debris, while heavier build-up is easily removed with a mild cleaner and a damp rag—which won’t damage the surface.

They’re easier to install.

All the window treatments we sell at Blindster are designed to have a simple installation process, but mounting our faux wood plantation shutters is among the easiest out of any in our product lineup. And despite faux wood often being slightly heavier than real wood, these shutters are made using a lightweight polyvinyl and feature a hollow-bodied construction process, making them easy to lift and hang—even when they’re cut to fit large windows. Be sure to check out our measure and install instructions before you place your order and begin the installation process to ensure the best possible fit for your windows.

They’re designed for a quick manufacturing, packaging, and shipping process.

Need your new window treatments right away? You can’t go wrong with our faux wood plantation shutters. Due to their slightly more complex manufacturing process, it can take longer to build shutters than other types of window coverings. However, our faux wood plantation shutters can be custom cut to perfectly fit your windows and packed to ship within about 10 to 14 days after your order is placed. That’s less than half the time it takes to cut and package real wood shutters.

They’re perfect for rooms with high humidity or exposure to the elements.

Real wood may be natural, but it’s not the best option for rooms that are exposed to natural elements such as heat, water, humidity, and sunlight. Kitchens and bathrooms are ideal locations for faux wood plantation shutters. Real wood can warp and crack when it’s exposed to constant fluctuations in humidity—especially if it’s installed on windows near sinks, tubs, and showers. Pool rooms are another place where faux wood beats out real wood 100 percent of the time. Finally, faux wood is the ideal choice for homes near the ocean, as the sun’s UV rays and sea breeze can quickly wear down real wood, but the PVC construction materials used in these shutters help them withstand the harsh effects of the sun and sand over many years.

 

Tips for Making Your Home Safer for Your Children

Whether your children are 18 months old or 18 years old, keeping them safe and secure—especially while they’re at home—is your biggest priority. And while homes are generally thought of as being safe and secure by default, they can contain many overlooked hazards that can put children at risk of serious illness or injury. Reducing and even eliminating the threat of many of these household hazards doesn’t take much work or money, but it does require being able to identify them.

At Blindster, we know that there’s no greater peace of mind for homeowners and parents than having a house that’s as free from hazards as possible. If you’re looking to reduce the risks that your children—regardless of their ages—may face when they’re at home, check out our list of tips for creating a safe and secure house:

Adjust your water heater to prevent scalds and burns.

Instantaneous hot water is one of life’s greatest luxuries, but when water heaters aren’t configured properly, it can range from an unpleasant surprise in the shower to a medical emergency—especially for babies and small children who experienced prolonged exposure to scalding water. Test your home’s faucets, tubs, and showers to find out how hot the water gets from each tap. Then, adjust your water heater until the maximum heat setting is a safe temperature.

Install window guards and stops to prevent falls.

Kids are naturally curious about windows, particularly when they’re opened or are easy to open. Locking windows prevents toddlers and small children from opening them, but most window locks are easily bypassed by older children. Permanent window guards and stops installed in windows prevent accidental falls. An estimated 4,000 children suffer serious injuries every year due to falls from windows, but guards and stops can keep your children safe.

Use cord cleats and install cordless window coverings.

If your window treatments are operated via a cloth, nylon, or chain cord, they can present a choking and strangulation risk for your children. Blindster offers free cord cleats for all corded window treatments that we sell, which are small plastic hooks that allow you to safely coil excess cord away from the reach of small children. If you don’t already have cord cleats, purchase enough for all your window treatments as soon as possible. And if you’re looking to replace your window treatments, you can’t go wrong with cordless varieties, which but all but eliminate the risk of choking or strangulation.

Install and regularly test smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors.

Most homes and apartments are equipped with smoke detectors, but not all of them are kept in good working condition. Smoke detectors are ineffective if they aren’t tested regularly or have become less sensitive due to age or wear and tear. Make sure the smoke detectors in your home are frequently tested and get new batteries on a regular basis. In addition, you should also test your home for carbon monoxide—especially if your home is powered by gas. Finally, test your home for the presence of radon, which is an otherwise undetectable radioactive gas that can create health problems and even lead to cancer.

Watch out for pests—but don’t get too aggressive when trying to eliminate them.

Spiders, ants, and even the occasional mouse can put parents on guard when they’re trying to create a safe environment for their children. And while eliminating these pests is a common-sense approach to make your home a more secure place, it’s also important to not go overboard. Filling your home with harsh chemicals and fumes can put your children at risk of developing health complications—especially when those chemicals are sprayed in the areas where they play. Instead of using chemical solutions, set traps and seal and block entryways for pests by caulking windows, weather-stripping doors, and insulating your attic.

Mount televisions and secure chests, dressers, and mirrors to walls.

Large televisions and many types of furniture can easily topple over with just a light pull. Even toddlers can knock over things like chests, dressers, and mirrors—all of which are large and heavy enough to cause serious injuries and even trap them underneath. If you have a low-platform television stand, make sure your television is either securely fastened to it or mounted on your wall. In addition, make sure all your upright furniture is fastened to the wall using furniture hooks and straps.

Keep your dishwasher closed and locked when it isn’t in use.

Dishwashers can pose significant threats to small children. Whether it’s the risk of accidentally ingesting liquid detergent or the risk of being injured by cutlery, these modern conveniences should always be kept in a closed and locked position to keep children safe. In addition, you should also place knives, forks, and other sharp items face down when loading your dishwasher to prevent accidental cuts and scrapes.

Place household chemicals and cleaners out of reach.

Many homeowners place their household cleaners under their kitchen sinks for easy access. While this can be a convenient storage space, it’s also easily accessed by small children. Instead of placing these items at eye level for small children, place them in higher cabinets and make sure they’re securely fastened and locked. It’s also important to verify that all cleaners have caps and lids and that any spills or residue on the sides of the bottles are cleaned up immediately.

Round up small toys and safely store them after play sessions.

Babies and toddlers love playing with small toys, but those same toys also represent a choking hazard. Toys like blocks, balls, and small action figures can easily fit inside the mouths of small children, and they can quickly block airways. To avoid a choking-related injury, make sure your child’s small toys remain in a designated play area and safely secure them when your child is finished playing.

Household Items You Should Think Twice about before Buying

Blindster Gives Back

There’s nothing better than seeing hard work pay off, except maybe seeing your hard work truly help another person. It’s rare in life to see the immediate result of one’s labors.

This weekend the Blindster team experienced one of those rare moments while volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. We were able to see how a simple day’s worth of work could directly impact the less fortunate within our community.

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You would think it would be hard to convince a group of busy adults to get up and out at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to do physical labor and in most cases, you would be right.  hfh7

But when offered the chance to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, our employees jumped on it. We easily had the largest corporate group on Saturday, September 17, 2016, with 14 volunteers. We only have about 20 employees in the whole company!

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Everyone showed up on time, smiling and ready to put in a good day’s work. The neighborhood we were working in was filled with Habitat houses that would be sold to underprivileged families at an affordable mortgage rate, without interest.hfh5

As the volunteer leader explained what we were going to accomplish and introduced one of the families that were going to be living in these houses, we began to realize the impact of what we would be doing that day. And with their smiling faces as encouragement, we picked up our ladders and paintbrushes with exuberance.

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Even though only a few of us were experienced in building work, each of us was able to help with the task at hand. The house we had the privilege of working on was in its twelfth week of construction.

This meant that we were responsible for doing outside detail work, like painting the trim and caulking windows. Working outside in the Houston heat could have easily been grueling, but everyone stayed positive and kept the jokes flowing.

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By the end of the day, we had finished painting the trim and gained a new sense of achievement and camaraderie. There’s just something about being able to look up and see exactly what you have been working for accomplished. hfh-group

Even though this is just a small part of the entire home building process, we felt we made a difference. We hope the family who gets to live inside this home creates wonderful, lasting memories and feels the love and teamwork that was poured into the creation of it.

 

Best Blinds and Shades for Dining Rooms

Dining rooms are often the most lavish room in a home. Chandeliers, stately and antique dining tables, elaborate place settings, and fine china are just a few hallmarks of dining rooms where families gather to share meals and celebrate special occasions. Due to their reputation as being the centerpieces of many homes, it makes sense that every aspect of dining rooms carries an air of elegance and beauty—including the window coverings.

For many homeowners, choosing low-profile and no-frills options for window coverings is perfectly suitable for bedrooms and bathrooms, but their tastes often change when it comes to their dining rooms. At Blindster.com, we know that homeowners often need window treatments for their dining rooms that are not only beautiful to look at, but are also versatile in both operation and light control functionality.

If you’re looking for the perfect window treatments for your dining room, look no further than these elegant, practical, and affordable blinds and shades:

roman-shades-dining-room

From a visual standpoint, it’s hard to beat the beauty and timeless design of classic Roman shades. Our selection of Premium Roman Shades is divided into four distinct groups: A, B, C, and D. All the shades in these categories feature a wide variety of options and customizations, including pleated and hobbled fold styles, optional cordless lifts, top down/bottom up functions, and blackout liners. Each category also features a wide variety of colors, with all four categories offering more than 200 unique colors to choose from.

 

shutters-dining-room

Whether you have a country-style dining room, a formal dining room, or anything in between, you can’t go wrong with our Faux Wood Plantation Shutters. These window coverings combine the look of real wood, with the versatility and durability of faux wood, giving them an elegant appearance and an exterior that’s easy to clean and maintain. Another benefit of the faux wood manufacturing process is the lightweight materials. Because these window coverings are hollow, they are quickly and easily installed in even the most hard-to-reach dining room windows.

 

wood-blinds-dining-room

Many homeowners want the utmost in privacy in their dining rooms. Thankfully, emphasizing privacy in your search for window treatments doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looks or style. Our 2” Privacy Wood Blinds have all the beauty and elegance of our entire selection of real wood blinds, but with one key difference: no route holes. That means that these blinds are not only more effective at protecting your family’s privacy, but they’re also great for blocking out the sun’s harsh UV rays and glare, giving you the ultimate control over the lighting in your dining room.

cordless-woven-wood-dining-room

With their all-natural materials, cordless operation, and beautiful array of wood stains to choose from, our Cordless Bamboo Woven Wood Shades are the perfect complement to any dining room suite or décor. No lift cord or chain means easy up and down movement, as well as a peace of mind if you have small children or pets. While the all-natural construction process is perfect for eco-friendly and eco-conscious homeowners. Choose from colors that are certain to bring out the beauty in your dining table and place settings, such as Key West Camel, Waikiki Tortoise, and Maya Camel.

 

woven-wood-roller-shades-dining-room

Roller shades are highly effective at blocking light and protecting privacy, but some varieties may feel too plain or low-profile for dining rooms. If that’s the case for your home, our Premium Woven Wood Fabric Roller Shades will definitely be enough to make you reconsider this type of window covering. Designed to look like real woven bamboo and wood, these roller shades are manufactured with a high-quality polyester fabric that filters light and cuts down on glare and heat from the sun. These shades can be ordered with a continuous loop lift cord and come in a huge variety of colors and textures, including Highlands Bark, Woodland Nile, and Savannah Sand.

 

3-inch-deluxe-sheer-shades

While maximum light control is a high priority for many homeowners, others may prefer to simply reduce the sun’s glare and UV rays, while still allowing ample natural light into their homes. If that’s your idea of the perfect window treatments for your dining room, you’ll love our 3” Deluxe Light Filtering Sheer Shades. The 3” light filtering vanes float between two soft pieces of sheer fabric, giving these shades the combined functionality and beauty of both shades and blinds. Choose from four distinct colors to match the color scheme in your dining room, including White, Ivory, Beige, and Chocolate.

 

faux-wood-dining-room

Finding the perfect window treatments to match your dining room décor and furniture doesn’t have to break the bank. Our 2 ½” Premium Faux Wood Blinds are attractively priced and beautifully designed. The large 2 ½” slats have the appearance of real wood, but the composite materials used in the manufacturing process makes them easier to maintain and clean, as well as more durable throughout their lifetime.

 

solar-shades-dining-room

If your dining room has a beautiful view that you want to preserve at all costs, solar shades may be the ideal option for your home. Solar shades are unique in that they can significantly reduce heat and UV rays from entering your home while preserving your view of the outdoors. Our Premium Solar Shades Exotic Collection is manufactured using high-quality Phifer Sheerweave® 5000 solar screen fabrics, which makes them extremely durable due to the vinyl coated polyester materials. Choose from four openness factors: 3 percent, 5 percent, 7 percent, and 10 percent—to get the perfect balance between light filtering and view of the outdoors.

Decorating Faux Pas to Avoid

Decorating a home is a very unique and individual experience. There are no one-size-fits-all guides and recommendations for getting the home décor of your dreams. Many factors should be considered when decorating a home, such as its size, layout, architecture, color and geographic location.

But despite there being what seems like an infinite number of design and home décor choices, there are still a few decorative decisions that should be avoided regardless of the aesthetic you’re aiming to create.

These faux pas have the potential of throwing an entire home off-balance due to a poor fit—literally and figuratively. And in some cases, the line between bold and creative home décor, and an interior decorating disaster, can be very thin.

To avoid crossing into the home décor danger zone and unintentionally committing a flagrant foul of interior design, check out some of Blindster’s top decorating faux pas that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Placing too many decorative items in each room

Placing too many decorative items in each room

Via Pinterest

 

When it comes to home décor, less is often more. Although small touches in a room can help complete its look, too many items can be overwhelming and make your space feel cluttered, chaotic and disorganized.

 

When decorating a mantle, bookcase, accent table, or another display area, make sure to give each item its own space, without being crowded by other accent pieces. In addition to saving money, you’ll also be able to better appreciate the small decorative items that you truly love.

  • Focusing too heavily on minimalism

Focusing too heavily on minimalism

Via Pinterest

 

While the “less is more” adage is frequently true from a design and décor standpoint, it’s important to avoid accidentally turning your home into a space that feels more like a museum. Unless you’re specifically looking to create a minimalist look in your home, rooms full of bare walls and bare floors can feel impersonal.

 

Make sure to display some personal touches, like pictures of family or favorite pieces of art. Pictures of minimalist homes in catalogs and online galleries are often stunning, but they aren’t always the best look to imitate if you’re trying to create a space that’s both beautiful and comfortable.

  • Using small rugs in large rooms

Using small rugs in large rooms

Via Pinterest

 

Rugs are a great way to create clear divisions in rooms where it can otherwise be difficult to set boundaries. Large living rooms and bedrooms, for example, may feel cavernous, even when fully furnished, if they aren’t clearly sectioned off with furniture and décor. One of the easiest ways to accomplish that is to use rugs.

 

However, you should always stay away from small or medium-sized rugs in large rooms, especially if they will be placed under large furniture arrangements. A rug that is completely overshadowed by a king-sized bed or a large sectional couch looks out of place and awkward.

 

  • Hanging photos and artwork too high on your walls

Hanging photos and artwork too high on your walls

Via Style By Emily Henderson

 

 

If you’ve ever walked into a room and felt that something was off, but couldn’t quite place what it was, there’s a decent chance that feeling was created by wall hangings that were placed too high. Many people have a natural inclination to place pictures, portraits, and paintings on the upper-third of their walls and with the bottom section of the frames at eye-level.

 

However, doing so naturally draws the eye upward and away from people and other furnishings. Keeping wall hangings closer to furniture height—for example, a landscape painting just a few inches above your couch—means less movement for your eyes and a more cohesive look for your home.

  • Placing furniture arrangements too far apart

Placing furniture arrangements too far apart

Via The Decorologist

 

This faux pas is more common in large rooms, and it’s often due to homeowners not knowing how to best utilize their space. When decorating a large room, it can seem wasteful to not take full advantage of the additional square footage, so there’s a tendency to put extra distance between a couch, coffee table, love seat or television stand. Doing so, however, can create a space that feels disconnected and uncomfortable.

 

Keep furniture arrangements closer together, even if it creates empty spaces in the surrounding areas of the room. Having large, open spaces in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms isn’t an issue if the room is smartly furnished.

  • Choosing style over comfort when buying furniture

Choosing style over comfort when buying furniture

Via Pinterest

 

Imagine yourself at your local furniture store, deciding between two couches for your living room and not being able to choose which one to bring home. It’s a common dilemma. One couch makes you feel like you’re sitting on a cloud, but isn’t a perfect fit for the room, while the other couch is an ideal match for your home décor, but feels more like a park bench.

 

While the latter couch may look better in your home on the day it gets delivered, it will find its way to a thrift store or garage sale faster than you might think. Comfort rules the roost when it comes to buying furniture, and creating the right room aesthetic for a comfortable, but slightly out of place couch or another large piece is easily accomplished with a few inexpensive accent pieces, blankets, or pillows.

  • Getting tunnel vision when decorating with a theme

Getting tunnel vision when decorating with a theme

Via Pinterest

 

There’s nothing wrong with choosing a theme and sticking with it as you decorate your home. For example, many beach homes look fantastic with a nautical theme, while homes near mountains are perfectly suited for a rustic and log cabin-like decorative approach.

 

However, it’s important to recognize when to reign in the thematic décor and choose furniture and accent pieces that are neutral in appearance. Going overboard on seashell motifs and anchors can quickly turn your home into something that resembles a beach-side gift shop, and that’s never a good look.

  • Being afraid to add color to your home

Being afraid to add color to your home

Via Pinterest

 

While it’s true that neutral colors are often the safest option for interior design, they can also lead to boring living spaces that feel uninspired. It’s not necessary to paint an accent wall or load up on bright and bold paint to get the benefits of color throughout your home, but adding small colorful items like pillows, blankets, and plants, can help make rooms feel more alive and lived in than rooms that exclusively feature whites, grays and beiges.

  • Overloading beds, couches, chairs, and love seats with pillows

Overloading beds, couches, chairs, and loveseats with pillows

Via Pinterest

 

Pillows are a quick and easy way to add interesting designs, colors, and textures to your home, but they should be used sparingly. A couch that’s filled to the brim with pillows of varying shapes and sizes isn’t very welcoming. Pillows that are placed in seating areas often end up on the floor or uncomfortably wedged into someone’s back. Place just enough pillows for guests to be comfortable, whether they’re sleeping or sitting. You’ll spend less money and your rooms will feel less cluttered.

Summer’s Coolest Window Coverings: Solar Shades

We couldn’t resist a good title pun, sorry…

One of the best things about summer is its ability to draw people outside to enjoy the warm weather and relax. But months of 98 degree days and high humidity is enough to keep the most summer loving person indoors, just to escape for a little while. Unfortunately, it can be hard to avoid the sun if your windows are left completely bare.

During the summer months it’s understandable to need to get a little relief from the sun, without wanting to completely block out the outside world. As one of the only window treatments to have the durability to work both indoors and out, solar shades truly are one of the best options for when the temperature goes up.

If you’re thinking about purchasing solar shades for your home, check out our reasons why they are the best shades for summer.

Multiple Openness Options

Multiple Openness Options

Every room in your home can have different sun-blocking needs, depending on its use and location. Solar shades come in several different openness options to accommodate these different needs.

As the openness percentage lowers, the weave of the solar shade gets tighter to allow in less and less UV light. Rooms that tend to face the sun can be kept cooler by using a tighter weaved shade. If heat is less of a factor in your home, a higher openness percentage can block sun glare, while still keeping your great view.

Durability

Durability

The vinyl-coated polyester fabrics of our indoor solar shades hold up well to humidity and rough handling. In fact, they are bacteria and fungus resistant, making them some of the cleanest window treatments to have in your home.

Our outdoor solar shades are made from high-quality PVC and polyester yarns that are certified for exterior use. The durable nature of the materials makes these the perfect shades to put up and have peace of mind knowing they won’t break down.

We also provide two different lift options with sturdy parts, so you can decide what is best and most convenient for your family.

Low Profile

Low Profile

Solar shades have the modern, low-profile look of roller shades, but with the added benefit of outside visibility. Using solar shades is like putting on your favorite pair of sunglasses; you automatically feel cooler and more comfortable with your view. And because they sit so close to your window, you don’t feel like you’re losing any space in a smaller room. This makes them perfect for blocking glare on your screens in office spaces or media rooms.

Reduce Cooling Bill

Reduce Cooling Bill

Solar shades are known for their ability to block heat and glare in any space, but most people don’t realize how big of an effect this can have on their energy bills! Different fabric colors can also play a big part in reducing heat transfer into your home. The darker the fabric, the more it will absorb the heat. The lighter the fabric, the better it will reflect the sunlight. Light colors tend to be slightly better at reducing cooling costs, so if that is your goal, stick to bright whites.

Style

Style

If modern is what you are going for, then these shades are a perfect fit. Solar shades were just plain meant for homes with very sleek aesthetics. Depending on what color you choose, they can blend into your current décor style or become a focal point on your windows.

The different openness options and colors make them a bit more versatile and organic feeling than roller shades. The higher openness options add softness to brightly sun-lit rooms that you can only get from a solar shade.

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper

With housing markets in many large cities being more competitive than ever, many would-be buyers and investors are being forced to look outside their comfort zones and find properties that have a lot of potential, but aren’t quite perfect—in other words, fixer-uppers.

Thankfully, buyers who take the plunge with fixer-uppers have more resources to get the job done than ever, as the topic is frequently covered in magazines, books, blogs, and television shows. However, one aspect of the process that’s often overlooked is how to pick the right fixer-upper.

Not all fixer-uppers are created equal. For every home that’s only a remodeled kitchen and a few coats of paint away from being your dream home or property, there are five disasters in waiting. They’re lurking out there, ready and willing to empty your pocketbook and leave you swearing off home ownership for good. The difference between buying a home that you’ll love, and buying one that you’ll immediately regret, comes from being able to quickly and accurately appraise the property and evaluate its flaws.

If you’re looking to sharpen your eye when it comes to assessing potential fixer-upper properties, Blindster recommends paying close attention to these aspects of the home before you sign on the dotted line:

  • The foundation

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- The Foundation

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A house with a great design, location, and overall appearance can, and should, be quickly ruled out if its foundation shows any signs of damage or instability. A weak foundation may not pose problems the first year or even first decade that you own the home, but sooner or later, issues will arise that require major cash and extensive work to fix.

 

Although it can be difficult to get an accurate assessment of the condition of a home’s foundation, cracks, off-track doors, and pooled water or damp conditions inside the basement are often telltale signs that the foundation is weak or damaged.

 

  • The wiring

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Wiring

A home that is fully wired for electricity with multiple working outlets in every room is something many people take for granted. However, an older home or a home with substandard wiring configurations can be at risk of losing power at any time, whether it’s confined to a specific outlet or throughout the entire home. In addition, outdated wiring or unsafe wiring also represents a serious fire hazard that can put your home and family at risk.

 

Take the time to test every plug, in every outlet, and in every room. Turn off and on light switches throughout the house, and open the electrical panel to make sure it’s in good condition. If the home is several decades old, consider hiring an electrician to inspect its wiring to make sure it will last for many years and won’t be at risk of failing or becoming a fire hazard.

 

  • The roof

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Roof

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Your home’s roof is what keeps you and your family comfortable and secure. Just as a failing or damaged foundation can eventually lead to major structural issues, a leaking or damaged roof can also gradually worsen until it’s on the brink of collapse or at the point of causing water to enter your home.

 

If you’re comfortable with climbing onto the roof—or if you can easily see the roof from the ground—look for signs of damage like curling and cracking shingles. Extensive stains may also indicate water damage has occurred. Storms can also cause serious damage to roofs, so look for things like missing shingles, pockmarks and dents from hail, and even sagging areas due to fallen tree limbs and branches.

 

  • The plumbing

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Plumbing

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Like electricity, running water is one of the greatest modern conveniences in homes, but many people don’t think about its impact on daily life until it is either unavailable or limited in some way. Unfortunately, as with residential wiring, plumbing is hidden in ceilings, walls, and floorboards, making it difficult to determine if there are any existing issues or damage that could soon result in a lack of running water, a sewage backup, or a flooded bathroom.

 

The quickest and easiest way to check the plumbing in a fixer-upper home is to use it. Flush all toilets multiple times. Take note if any of the toilets seem sluggish or fail to fill up with water after the flushing process is complete. Also, check the base of the toilets for potential water damage or leaks. Run all faucets and shower heads to check the water pressure and temperature. If either fluctuates, there may be blockages in the pipes or the water heater may need to be replaced.

 

  • The carpet

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Carpet

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Whether you plan on keeping the carpet or immediately ripping it out and replacing it, it’s still important to make sure you know what’s going on underneath it when you’re looking at a fixer-upper property. Carpet can hide serious issues like water damaged floorboards, mildew, and even black mold. In some cases, the reveal is actually more positive, as you may find that the carpet is hiding a beautiful hardwood floor that only needs some cleaning and polishing to be fully restored.

 

To find out what’s underneath the carpet, check the corners of the room and pull up on the carpet and padding. Check underneath for obvious signs of damage, while also noting the condition of the floor. If it’s plywood, expect to spend more on new flooring, if you don’t plan on keeping the carpet.

 

  • The doors and windows

How to Choose a Fixer-Upper Home- Windows

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If you’re looking for a fixer-upper property when the weather is nice, the seals around the windows and doors may be the last thing on your mind. And while getting those aspects of the home up to par is a relatively simple and inexpensive process, it’s still worth inspecting and knowing what you’re in for before you make a purchase, as poorly sealed windows and doors can quickly increase your energy costs and make your home uncomfortable during extreme weather and temperatures.

 

Pull back curtains and raise the blinds and shades to look carefully at the edges of the windows for cracks or small openings. Open and close the windows multiple times to see how well they seal after being shut and whether drafts can still enter the home. Check the area underneath outside-facing doors for cracks and inspect the overall condition of the doors. Doors that are difficult to open may have hinges and locks that need to be replaced, while damaged doors may not be structurally sound and should also be replaced.

What did you think of our list? Can you think of any other important things to take into account when buying a fixer-upper? Let us know in the comments!