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What are Mini Blinds?

Almost everyone has heard the term “mini blinds,” but what does it mean—especially in comparison to other window treatments? Simply put, mini blinds are window blinds that use slats that are less than half the width of standard blinds. At Blindster, our selection of mini blinds includes a variety of window treatments featuring slats that around 1” in width.

Mini blinds are a popular term because they’re a popular fixture in households, businesses, and any buildings that require window treatments. Because of their affordability, light weight, and ease of cleaning, mini blinds are easy on the wallet, highly convenient, and are versatile enough to be installed in rooms with a wide variety of décor and color schemes.

Some major advantages of mini blinds include:

  • Highly effective at controlling light – While mini blinds aren’t as effective at blocking out light as blackout shades, they provide ample light control for most homeowners. They’re also easily operated, as wands can be used to open their slats and lift cords can be used to pull them up or down as needed.
  • Moderate cost – Mini blinds are popular choices for homeowners with a variety of budgets. They’re an especially attractive option for people who need to outfit an entire home, as the costs of higher end window treatments can add up when they must be purchased for a dozen or more windows.
  • Easy to clean – Because most mini blinds are made from highly durable and often synthetic materials, they’re easy to clean with household items, including many mild cleaners. With other blinds and shades, homeowners may need to watch out for staining or fading, but mini blinds hold up even after being exposed to small amounts of water or cleaner. They’re also easily dusted and wiped clean, making routine maintenance and upkeep a breeze.

Another advantage of mini blinds is familiarity. Because they’re so popular, many people prefer them over other types of window treatments due to knowing how to quickly and easily install and operate them.

What Are the Different Types of Mini Blinds?

At Blindster, we offer a few different types of mini blinds. Each of these varieties has its own colors, options, and possible sizes. They include:

  • 1” Aluminum Mini Blinds – If you’re looking for a classic mini blind, you can’t go wrong with our 1” aluminum mini blinds. These tried and true window coverings are like the ones you’ve seen in many other homes and businesses, but they’re made from high-quality materials and cut to extremely high levels of accuracy to ensure the perfect fit.
  • Cordless Aluminum Mini Blinds – Many homeowners are concerned about the dangers associated with mini blind cords. And while we include free cord cleats with all corded window treatment purchases, we know that many people prefer the peace of mind and convenience that comes with cordless options. Forget the lift cord—use the bottom rail to raise and lower these highly durable window treatments.
  • Privacy Aluminum Mini Blinds – If you’re concerned about your privacy—and let’s face it, who isn’t—you’ll love our privacy aluminum mini blinds. Built with no route holes, they provide seamless coverage of your windows. When closed, they cut glare, darken rooms, and keep prying eyes outside of your home.

For more information, spend some time on the product pages of our selection of mini blinds. You’ll find things like available colors, specifications, customization choices, maximum sizes offered, and even videos showing how the blinds are made.

How to Install Mini Blinds

As mentioned above, one of the biggest selling points for mini blinds is their ease of installation, their light weight construction, and people’s overall familiarity with them. However, we know that not everyone has installed mini blinds in the past, and it can be a new process for many people—especially new homeowners or people buying new window treatments for the first time.

If you need help installing your new mini blinds, be sure to check out our Blinds 101 Installation Page for a rundown on installing a huge variety of window treatments.

And for a quick refresher on installing mini blinds, follow these steps:

  1. Measure your windows – This is one of the most vital steps, as incorrect measurements can lead to blinds that don’t fit or that don’t provide the light coverage and privacy you need. Visit our comprehensive Measuring Instructions Guide for all the details on the best way to measure your windows before you place your order.
  2. Install the brackets – First, make sure you’re following the bracket mounting instructions for the type of installation you’re performing—inside vs outside. Next, be sure to follow the instructions on our installation page or provided by the manufacturer carefully. Make clear markings for the areas where you’ll drill into your wall or window frame for your brackets, and be sure they’re level to provide the best coverage.
  3. Install the valance – The valance is a covering for the head rail, and it’s secured to the head rail via valance clips. Locate these clips and keep them handy for when you reach this step. First, place the head rail on the brackets that you installed in your window frame on your wall in the step above. Then, place the valance onto the head rail and clip it into place using the valance clips. Finally, secure the blind wand if your window treatments came with one.

If you run into trouble with your mini blinds or any other type of window covering, be sure to check out our individualized installation guides for a wide variety of blinds:

What’s the Best Way to Clean Mini Blinds?

Window treatments often seem like magnets for dirt and dust. It’s important to keep them clean, especially if you suffer from allergies or have pets and small children. Many people dislike cleaning blinds because of the tedious nature, but many types of aluminum blinds are much easier to clean than other types of window treatments.

To quickly and effectively clean your mini blinds, you’ll only need three items:

  • A feather duster
  • A vacuum with hose attachment
  • A damp cloth

Use the feather duster to collect surface dirt and dust and the vacuum to quickly remove pet hair and dust bunnies. A damp cloth can be used to wipe away stubborn dirt and dust. You can also use gentle cleaning solutions to get out tougher messes and light stains. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions or warnings before using any liquid other than water on your blinds.

A good cleaning routine involves only a few steps, which include:

  • Shutting blinds and dusting from top to bottom, then vacuuming up any dust or dirt that falls onto the floor
  • Opening blinds and dusting from top to bottom, again vacuuming up any remnants.
  • Using a dry or damp cloth to remove remaining bits of dirt and dust and vacuuming the floor to remove anything that fell from the slats, headrail, or bottom rail.

Looking for New Mini Blinds? Look No Further than Blindster

If you’re looking to outfit your home or business with mini blinds, you’re in the right place. We’re proud to offer several different varieties of mini blinds, each with its own colors and options. Be sure to check out our product page for mini blinds, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our sales representatives if you have additional questions before you place an order.

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.

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

Via Pinterest

 

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

Via Pinterest

 

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

Via Pinterest

 

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

Via Pinterest

 

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

Via Pinterest

 

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!

How to Fix Common Lawn Problems

Now that summer has arrived, you’ve had plenty of time to notice your lawn’s growth (or lack thereof). No two lawns are the same, and they all need varying degrees of attention and care to keep looking their best. Even the most well-manicured lawns face common problems, and if you’re not prepared to deal with these problems right away, they can affect your grass and your landscaping well into the fall.

Maintaining your lawn is a year-round job that requires weekly, if not daily maintenance, but the sheer number of problems that can pop up in a given season can sometimes be overwhelming.

To make it easier to enjoy a healthy lawn for as many months out of the year as possible, check out Blindster’s tips for fixing common lawn problems below:

  • Patches of dead grass

Patches of Dead Grass

A healthy lawn requires ample sunlight in order to thrive and grow. When any patch of your lawn is deprived of sunlight, it will quickly wither and die. If the problem is as simple as trimming a few branches on a nearby tree, then you have an easy fix on your hands.

 

But for areas of your lawn that can’t easily get the sunlight they need, consider replacing the dead patch with a type of grass that’s more resilient to less than ideal conditions and minimal sunlight exposure. Alternatively, you can also convert the area of your lawn to a gravel, flower, or mulch bed. You could even use the space for a koi pond or rock garden.

 

  • Thin grass

Thin Grass

If your lawn simply refuses to grow or fill in uniformly and you’ve exhausted all traditional solutions, the problem may be with your soil. Dirt that’s too acidic or alkaline simply isn’t conducive to growing anything, be it flowers, trees, or grass. Using a DIY soil test or consulting soil experts to analyze your dirt is a great way to get to the root of the problem (see what we did there?).

 

Dirt that’s too acidic can be treated with the application of limestone, while dirt that’s alkaline responds well to sulfur. Testing your soil should be done right away when you move into a new home, but it’s also recommended at least every two or three years after that, as soil composition can change over time.

 

  • Unhealthy grass

Unhealthy Grass

Via Pinterest

 

The way you cut your grass can have a big effect on its health. If you’ve noticed that your grass doesn’t seem healthy despite having great soil, sunlight, and water at its disposal, you may need to look at your lawnmower. If the blades are dull, dirty, or clogged with grass clippings, your mower may be damaging your lawn every time you turn it on. When mower blades don’t cut cleanly, they damage individual blades of grass with every pass, making them more susceptible to common diseases.

 

Sharpen and rebalance your mower blades several times throughout the growing season to keep both your mower and your lawn in tip-top shape.

 

  • Mushroom growth

Mushroom Growth

Mushrooms are an unwelcome and unsightly surprise in many lawns. In addition, they can also be highly toxic for children and animals, who may find them irresistible when they pop up through the grass. Getting rid of mushrooms can be difficult and expensive, as they’re often a “tip of the iceberg” symptom in comparison to extensive growth occurring underneath the soil.

 

Using a fungicide is a great way to keep mushrooms at bay, but as soon as you miss an application or two, they’ll sprout back up again. Another method for dealing with mushrooms is to simply pull them by hand every time you see them. It’s a quick maintenance routine that involves only a few minutes of your time every week. Finally, you can also reduce their numbers by keeping your lawn free of any decaying matter like grass clippings, stumps, leaves, and old mulch. Ultimately, many homeowners decide to allow the few mushrooms that grow in their lawns to remain, as they typically aren’t numerous and tend to sprout in less conspicuous areas.

 

  • Crabgrass and weed growth

Crabgrass and Weed Growth

Mushrooms aren’t the only hostile invaders to lawns—crabgrass and weeds are also a common source of annoyance for homeowners. A great natural alternative to chemical-filled herbicides is to sprinkle corn gluten meal on your lawn during the beginning of the growth season to reduce the likelihood that weeds will proliferate and take root in your lawn in the summer. You can also follow-up with another application in late spring or early summer.

 

When mowing, keep your blades high to avoid cutting your grass too short. While it’s tempting to cut your grass as short as possible to reduce the frequency of trimmings, high grass is much more effective at blocking the growth of crabgrass and other weeds than closely-cropped grass.

 

  • Ant hills

Ant Hills

A couple of small ant hills in your lawn aren’t necessarily a bad thing. The presence of ants means that your lawn will be better aerated and free from many types of organic debris. Ants will even help clear your lawn of other types of insect eggs and larva and prevent harmful infestations. However, ants can occasionally become big nuisances themselves when the number of hills begins to multiply, or the hills themselves become too large.

 

To solve the issue and prevent ant colonies from getting out of hand, walk through your lawn and carefully inspect the ground at least once per week. If you spot any ant hills, rake them down, then place a mixture of Borax, water, and sugar in the locations where you found the hills. This will help prevent them from coming back in the near future.

 

  • Bare patches due to foot traffic or pets

Bare Patches Due to Foot Traffic or Pets

There’s nothing especially damaging about allowing your children or pets to play on your lawn, but over time, they can cause bare patches to develop and grow—especially if they frequently use the same path through the grass. The repetitive and frequent trampling of grass will cause it to quickly die, leaving unsightly bare patches throughout your lawn.

If you don’t want to institute a total ban on activities in your lawn, do your best to keep your pets away from running in the same areas over and over, and direct your children and other guests to your sidewalk or an improvised walkway when walking through or around the lawn area. Reducing the amount of wear and tear on your grass will prolong its life and keep it healthier for longer periods of time.

Cheap Upgrades to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Everyone wants to maximize the value of their investments, and there is typically no greater investment for the average American than their home. But when it comes to appraising a home, whether it’s time to sell or just time to take stock of your assets, the little things often make a big difference in its value.

While changing the core selling points of a home—the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, the number of floors—can be extremely expensive and often impractical, changing small details to maximize a home’s value is something that’s within reach of all homeowners.

Subtle changes that make your home look and feel more expensive can not only increase its value on the housing or rental market, they can also increase your sense of pride in being a homeowner. In addition, many of the most effective small changes are easy DIY projects that only require a small investment of money and time.

If you’re looking to make your home’s appearance rival the more expensive houses in your neighborhood, but you don’t want to break the bank, check out Blindester’s top tips below:

  • Focus on curb appeal and landscaping.

Focus on curb appeal and land scaping

Even if your home’s size and architecture aren’t its strong points, you can still make a big impression on guests and potential buyers/renters by creating and maintaining impeccable curb appeal. At a bare minimum, keep your front lawn trimmed and raked, and do your best to fill in bare patches where grass has died or turned brown. In addition, it’s also important to keep your driveway, steps, and walkways swept and clear of debris.

 

For more intensive curb appeal improvements, consider investing in a professional landscaping service to create a beautiful design and arrangement in your lawn. In addition, washing away years of dirt and mildew accumulation from your home’s exterior can enhance its appearance and value, as can a fresh coat of paint.

 

Lighting is another overlooked aspect of the exterior of many homes. A lighted pathway and tasteful lighting around entryways not only serves as a security feature and crime deterrent, it also makes your home look more elegant while drawing attention to its beauty.

  • For interior upgrades, put your money in the kitchen.

Put Your Money in the Kitchen

The appearance of virtually every room in your home can be dramatically improved with nothing more than a fresh coat of paint, some new window treatments, and a cohesive decorating plan. But it’s difficult to make a home look more expensive when it has an outdated kitchen.

 

If you’re looking to make upgrades and renovations inside your home, put as much money as you can towards the kitchen. It’s easy to look past outdated features and designs in homes that have modern kitchens complete with up-to-date appliances, flooring, countertops, and cabinets.

 

However, complete kitchen overhauls aren’t always necessary to improve your home’s perceived value. Depending on your budget, smaller upgrades like painting the walls and cabinets, replacing the handles of your drawers and cabinets, and replacing the lighting can go a long way towards minimizing the drawbacks of an outdated kitchen.

  • Remove dated and worn out furniture and décor.

• Remove dated and worn out furniture and décor

Nothing makes a home look older and more worn out than furniture and décor that’s, well, old and worn out. Décor trends for modern homes are trending towards a “less is more” philosophy, and that’s certainly true for homeowners who want to maximize the value of their properties—especially when it gives them an excuse to donate or sell their frayed couches and chipped coffee tables.

 

A small, classy arrangement of well-maintained furniture and decorative pieces can give a room the same elegant appearance and ambiance as one outfitted with brand new furniture and décor, but at a fraction of the price.

  • Choose neutral colors throughout your home and accent with bold colors.

Suzanne Gallagher

Whether you’re painting, purchasing new furniture, or adding décor, choose neutral colors for your home’s base color scheme. Living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms all look great when dominated by browns, beiges, and whites, and these colors are also predominately found in more expensive homes. If the idea of neutral colors bores you, choose accent pieces and decorative items that are awash in bold colors to create a visually striking contrast to your wall colors and furniture choices.

 

  • Add crown molding to your walls and ceiling.

Add Crown Molding to Your Walls and Ceiling

Crown molding—or ceiling trim—is a staple in many high-end homes, but installing it in your home can be an inexpensive weekend DIY project. With a few basic tools and a few online guides, you can radically transform the appearance of your home’s walls and ceiling in the span of a single weekend. If your home is on the smaller side, choose low-profile molding that won’t take up too much space on your walls. Large molding may make your home feel smaller and more cramped due to the shortening effect it can have on ceilings—especially low ceilings.

 

  • Upgrade your home’s window treatments.

Update Your Home's Window Treatments

If your windows are bare or are equipped with broken, outdated, or ineffective window treatments, getting new blinds and shades is an easy and inexpensive way to make your home look more valuable. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of window treatments that will fit any budget while blocking out light, making your windows look bigger, and enhancing the appearance of any room in your home. For inexpensive window treatments that are both elegant and effective at controlling light, check out our 2 ½” Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds.

  • Enhance your lighting.

Enhance Your Lighting

Photo via A Designer at Home

 

Lighting plays a major role in how people perceive their environments, and the same principle holds true inside homes. When indoor lighting is mostly composed of overhead fixtures and incandescent bulbs, it’s easy for guests, potential buyers/renters, and even the homeowners themselves to feel bored and uninspired. Creating more dramatic lighting displays with different types of bulbs, lamps, and even small chandeliers is a highly effective way of transforming a room or even your entire home into a more elegant space.

Upcycling Project Ideas

Most of the furniture we use and display in our homes is simple in its design and purpose, but many of the core items range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars in price at furniture stores. If you’re sick of paying an arm and a leg for new furniture, upcycling may be the answer to your problems. Many homeowners may already have several items in their homes that, with a little refurbishing and elbow grease, can be used to replace old, worn-out furniture and save them a ton of money.

Objects that would ordinarily be discarded can be upcycled in ways that increases their value, either monetarily or functionally. In addition to potentially saving you money, upcycling can also give you a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Not only is it great for the environment by reducing trash from your home, it also gives a second life to objects that may need only a few minor alterations.

To start working your upcycling magic and learn the joys of creating your own furniture, check out Blindster’s tips below:

  • Use old lockers as storage.

Upcycled Lockers

Via Caught In Grace

 

 

As it turns out, old lockers have many more uses than holding heavy high school textbooks. With their metallic and rustic appearance, old lockers fit perfectly with contemporary furniture and home décor. They’re also excellent for storing clothing, shoes, and anything else that you need quick access to throughout your home. You can even turn a single vertical locker on its side and use it as a coffee table or an ottoman.

 

  • Convert an old-fashioned wood grain television into a retro shelf.

Vintage T.V. Upcycle

Via Hauspanther

Wood grain tube-style televisions are relics of the past, but it’s wasteful to relegate them to a landfill—especially when you see the intricate wood carvings and finishes of these former living room centerpieces. If you’re handy with electronics, it’s a simply process to remove the “tube” and other inner workings of an old television set and create a beautiful and highly vintage shelving unit in the empty space. Just make sure you leave the original knobs and switches intact—they’re essential for maximizing the nostalgia factor.

  • Turn an old sewing table into a serving table.

Sewing Table Upcycle

Via The Weekend Country Girl

 

If you have an old sewing table that doesn’t get much use, don’t throw it out—instead, convert it into a serving table. Remove all of the electronic and mechanical components and place a waterproof lining inside the empty space. You can use that space to store drinks and the flip-top to showcase mixers, cups, and snacks for your guests.

 

  • Create spool tables.

Spool Table Upcycle

Via Maison De Pax

 

Large construction-sized spools are used to store wiring, cables, and other industrial components. Their shape also makes them a natural fit for being upcycled into furniture. A spool that’s turned vertically instantly becomes a rustic table. If you prefer a more traditional look, a few hours of sandpapering and staining can turn even the most neglected spool into a statement piece in your home. An extra-large spool combined with smaller ones can easily create an entire seating area, or a spool with dividers installed around its circumference works great as bookshelf.

 

  • Stack old pieces of luggage for décor and storage.

Luggage Upcycle

Via DIY Ready

 

Modern luggage is typically stored at the back of people’s closets until it’s ready to be used, for good reason, as it’s designed primarily for function over form. Luggage from the past was much more elegantly designed. Despite being outdated in 2016, old luggage still has a place in modern homes as beautiful vintage décor. Cleaned-up and restored suitcases and travel bags can be stacked as accent pieces or to create small tables or shelves, and best of all, they can also be used to store lots of household items.

 

  • Use pallets to create coffee tables, outdoor sectional couches, and shelves.

Pallet Upcycle

Via 101 Pallet Ideas

 

Used in almost every warehouse to quickly transport goods, pallets are inexpensive and can be an extremely useful material for upcycling. Convert pallets into make great coffee tables that also feature convenient built-in storage nooks. For outdoor seating, stack and combine them with cushions to create small chairs or even entire sectional seating arrangements. Finally, shelving and displays are the natural result of hanging a pallet vertically on your wall. The gaps between the large pieces of wood make excellent places to store or display books, photos, trophies, and other items.

  • Use barrels to create tables, seats, storage spaces, and ottomans.

Barrel Upcycle

Via Mom 4 Real

 

Old barrels are just as versatile as pallets when it comes to upcycling furniture. Full-size barrels are the perfect height to use as tables. In fact, a barrel with no alterations whatsoever creates a perfectly functional end table. If you need more space, it’s easy to adhere a glass or metal top to expand it and turn it into a wine table, breakfast table, or card table. Barrels can also be used to create comfortable seats with just a cushion, or cut shorter to be an ottoman. And even if you don’t use a barrel as furniture, a polished and stained barrel can serve as a beautiful accent piece that’s also handy for storage purposes.

Geek Chic: 8 Nerdy Home Décor Ideas

During the past decade, nerd culture has moved from being a small niche market, to the forefront of everyone’s attention. Movies, music, books, television shows, and even conventions are now dominated by all things nerd. More people than ever connect with the themes presented in traditional “nerd” media, whether it’s science fiction, high fantasy, or time traveling doctors. The appeal of such genres isn’t just limited to popular media in 2016—it’s now crossing over into the way people decorate their homes.

With DIY websites also becoming more and more popular in recent years, adding a touch of nerd culture to your home—or completely transforming your home into a nerd paradise—is easier than ever. Best of all, many of the tips involve inexpensive projects that can be completed in just one day. To get started on creating your own nerdy home décor, check out Blindster’s list of tips below:

 

1. Frame some of your favorite comic books.

 

Framed Comics

Via Youseph

Many comic book collections end up tucked away on shelves, in binders, or stashed at the back of closets in boxes. While those are great options for safekeeping, they do nothing to showcase your collection or just a few of your favorite issues. Comic book covers are bright, colorful, and eye-catching, and they always look great when framed and displayed prominently. Framing and displaying your comic books keeps them protected from the elements and adds a huge splash of your color and character (no pun intended) to your home. Up, up, and not away (pun completely intended)!

2. Create shadowboxes of your favorite hobbies and interests.

Star Wars Shadowbox

Via Somewhere On The Ice Planet

If you’re a diehard fan of a particular video game console, author, television series, or movie trilogy, hanging posters of your obsession in your home may seem a bit too cliché past a certain age. But if you’re dead-set on showing your love for your favorite nerdy franchise to the world, you can’t go wrong with creating a shadowbox. Throw in a collection of both classic and modern video game controllers, some iconic books by your favorite author, or DVD/Blu-ray cases of your favorite television/movie series and secure them behind the glass to create an homage that’s both sophisticated and delightfully nerdy.

3. Make your own music Wall of Fame.

Vinyl ARt

Via Records on Walls

If music—particularly hits from the 60s and 70s—is more your thing, you know that it’s tough to beat the audio quality of the original vinyl pressings of classic albums. But vinyl albums aren’t just great for their sound quality—they’re also great for the beauty of the album covers themselves. Like comic books, vinyl album covers feature iconic artwork that’s often reproduced on posters and t-shirts, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Buy some replacement protective sleeves for your vinyl records and frame the album covers to be displayed on your wall to create a beautiful homage to your some of your favorite music. Totally groovy, man.

4. Paint your staircase risers to represent your favorite books and authors.

Book Staircase

Via Etsy

If you have an artistic flair—or if you’re feeling bold about your décor ideas—bust out your paintbrush, paint, and some multi-surface tape and start studying the designs on the spines of your favorite books. If you’ve got the creative chops to transfer those designs to the risers of each step, you can transform your staircase into an oversized “library” of classic novels and timeless literature. You can also use your risers to paint inspirational quotes from your favorite books, music, movies, and video games. Just be careful not to trip over your own words.

5. Create classic video game scenes on your walls.

Pac-Man Wall Decals

Via Geek Alert

Classic video games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and even Tetris all take place on solid colored backgrounds. That makes scenes from these iconic games easy to create on your walls. A few coats of solid black or blue paint and some pre-made or homemade pixelated decals strategically adhered to the wall can turn an ordinary room into an oversized display of an 8-bit classic. These large displays are the perfect touches for game rooms, man caves, home offices, and media rooms. But, you might want to avoid putting Pac-Man and Ghosts in the same room!

6. Use test tubes, beakers, and other scientific glassware for storage.

Test Tube Spice Rack

Via Instructables

There’s never been a better time to love all things science. But short of hanging up a large periodic table of the elements in your home, it can be hard to show your appreciation for it. One creative way to display your love for all things chemistry, biology, and physics is to bring the “lab” into your home with scientific glassware. Test tubes, beakers, flasks, and cylinders aren’t just great for decorative purposes—they’re also great for actually storing things. Use them in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room to store everything from soap, detergent, and even spices and oils. Want extra nerd points? Put household items in containers that are labeled by their chemical name, ex.: jewelry in a container that says Au, bananas in a bowl labeled K or a salt shaker with NaCl on the front.

7. Build a “nerd shrine” to display your favorite items.

Tardis Wardrobe

Via Scrappy Jedi

If you love the idea of showing off your nerdy interests, but you’re a little reluctant to spread the décor throughout your home, a nerd shrine may be the perfect option. Whether it’s a prominently located shelf, bookcase, or even your fireplace mantle, choose one spot in your home and dedicate it to all of your favorite hobbies, interests, and pop culture items. Having everything in one space will go a long way towards filling your nerd décor “quota” will still giving you room for more traditional décor throughout the rest of your home.

8. Build your own classic arcade game cabinet.

DIY Arcade

Via Intructables

This tip requires some technical know-how (or a willingness to follow some pretty extensive online guides), but it’s a great way to display your love for classic 80s arcade games without breaking the bank and buying an original arcade cabinet. An LCD screen, an inexpensive computer, and an empty arcade cabinet can be transformed into iconic games from the past at a fraction of the price of buying the real thing.

How to Decorate like a Minimalist

Even if you’re not completely on board with minimalism as a lifestyle, adopting parts of it into your home decorating philosophy can lead to a living space that’s sleek, efficient, and easy to clean. Sounds good, right? However, it can sometimes be difficult to strike a balance between having a home that’s minimalist and beautiful, and having a home that’s minimalist and bare.

If the idea of significantly reducing the amount of clutter and furniture in your home is appealing to you, trying to maintain your home’s beauty and visual appeal with far fewer things to work with can be a welcome challenge—especially if you’re fed up with constant dusting, straightening and organizing.

For tips on decorating your home like a minimalist, check out Blindster’s guide below:

Simplify your shelves, tables, and other display spaces

Shelves

Even if you don’t make any other changes to your home, this one simple step will go a long way towards reducing clutter and pushing your living space more towards the realm of minimalism. Shelves, tables, and other places where photos, artwork and knick-knacks are present, represent opportunities to create eye-catching visual displays. But, having too much on display just creates a cluttered mess with no lines for the eye to follow. Instead of stretching the limits of your display spaces, cut back and place only one or two cherished and bold items on each display area. In addition to creating a more interesting visual, you’ll also thank yourself profusely when it’s time to clean.

 

Choose a couple of complementary colors

Complementary colors

Via Daniella Whitte

If you settle on just a couple of bold colors and maintain that choice throughout a room or even your entire home, it’s much easier to project a minimalist feel. Some of the most popular color choices for minimalist decorators include neutral tones with metallic accents. For a strikingly minimalist home, it’s hard to beat the clean lines and aesthetic created by white walls, light floors and furniture, with neutral appliances and other accents.

 

Embrace white space and emptiness

White Space

For many homeowners, the urge to fill blank spaces on their walls or their floors can be overwhelming. After all, if there’s room, something needs to go there, right? But as graphic designers will be quick to point out, white space—or negative space—can be a highly effective way of drawing the eye’s attention to the strongest parts of a design. Leaving breathing room on your walls and your floor not only reduces clutter and makes your home seem bigger, but it also goes a long way toward contributing to a minimalist design feel.

 

Embrace large furniture and artwork

Minimalist Art

Via Etsy

If there’s one thing that’s common across many minimalist living spaces, it’s the preference for one or two large pieces of furniture over several smaller pieces. That means a large sectional couch instead of a small sofa, love seat, and chair combination, all vying for the same space. A bold piece of artwork that dominates a wall, or even an entire room, can be much more impactful than a wall full of pieces. Although going “big” may seem like the opposite of minimalist philosophy, it actually consolidates your available space and reduces the feeling of clutter that can occur when too many small items are placed in one area.

 

Keep exposed surfaces clear of non-essential items

Clear Surfaces

Minimalism depends on clean lines and sleek surfaces, and that’s a difficult aesthetic to create when your home is full of small items that could be stored out of sight. Magazines, books, remotes, tablets, kitchen appliances, and clothing can all accumulate quickly and dash your hopes of creating a minimalist home. Finding a place for everything you own is vital for maintaining the sleek lines necessary to have a truly minimalist home—and if you don’t have storage for those things, consider donating them or giving them to friends and family.

 

Choose low-profile window coverings

Murtaza Akhtar

Despite the “less is better” philosophy of minimalism, it’s still important to have blinds or shades on your windows. Having sleek, low-profile, and built-in looking window treatments creates even more clean lines in your home and gives your windows a more uniform and matte appearance. At Blindster, we offer a wide variety of low-profile window coverings, including our Deluxe Fabric Roller Shades, our Premium Blackout Single Cellular Shades, and our Cordless Pleated Shades. Take advantage of our cordless lift option and inside mount installation process to further enhance the minimalist design of these shades.

Top Gardening Tips and Trends for 2016

Having the space and the available land to grow your own garden is one of the greatest perks of being a homeowner. It’s hard to beat the sense of satisfaction that comes from preparing meals with fruits and vegetables that were grown in your own backyard. Like all aspects of homeownership, gardening is constantly changing, and new ideas for maximizing the beauty and yield of gardens are in no short supply thanks to social media and other lifestyle-sharing websites.

So whether gardening is your passion, your hobby, or just a way for you to be more eco-friendly, there’s always room to make your garden more effective, efficient, and enticing. To transform your garden this spring and truly harness its potential for your family, check out Blindster’s list of the top gardening trends of 2016:

Go natural and go “wild”

Garden Wild

Via Judy’s Cottage Garden

 

One of the top trends in gardening in 2016 is to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to flowers, grasses, shrubs, and other decorative plants. Creating a perfectly manicured garden where not even a single blade of grass is out of place can be difficult work—especially if you’re short on time or energy after a long week at work. Instead of fussing with a never-ending quest to keep Mother Nature under control, many gardeners prefer to allow nature to take its course—within reason, obviously. Densely packed and free-growing plants can create a beautiful assortments of colors, shapes, and textures, even without the constant trimming, pulling, and fertilizing that many gardens require.

Buy and plant local

Buy and Plant local

Many of the plants you see at your local nursery or flower shop may be from parts unknown. In fact, it’s not uncommon for many plants to require a heavy dose of chemical preparation and a plane ride that costs thousands of dollars in fuel before they arrive at a store where they can be purchased by local homeowners. Instead of relying on exotic plants that require a huge amount of resources and specialized care and attention to survive in your backyard, consider filling your garden with plants that are indigenous to your area instead. They’ll thrive in their ideal climate and help your garden be a more eco-friendly space that showcases the variety of the local flora.

Make it dog and pet friendly

Pet Friendly Garden

Pets are a huge part of our lives, but many homeowners cringe at the sight of their dogs and cats running wild through their gardens. The result is often dug up or damaged plants, dirt kicked up everywhere, and the early death of plants that were just beginning to bloom. In addition, many homeowners also worry about their pets’ health if they happen to eat something that was treated with pesticides or other dangerous chemicals. These concerns are a big reason why many gardens are going pet-friendly, and that means creative fencing, hardy plants that can withstand pet damage, and instituting a strict rule that keeps toxic chemicals and plants far away from the garden itself.

Concentrate on herbs

Herbs

Home gardens are often associated with traditional fruits and vegetables that are staples of the modern diet, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini, and for good reason—they’re delicious and easy to grow. But one overlooked perk of having a home garden is the ability to grow a wide variety of herbs that can take your home cooking to another level. Herbs are being incorporated into more and more popular dishes—especially at farm-to-table restaurants—and having your own supply in your garden can encourage you to experiment more in the kitchen and truly unleash the flavors that you’re capable of creating.

Turn your garden into a showcase for all things art

Succulent Art

 

Via Better Homes and Gardens

 

Homemade art pieces have exploded in popularity during the past half-decade due to project sharing websites. What better place to show off your artistic side and share it with the world than your own garden? Combining the beauty of nature with the beauty of art—whether it’s created, found, or salvaged—can create a stunning result and transform your garden into a true outdoor paradise. A garden is all about expressing yourself through your own living creations, and taking advantage of that creative atmosphere with collected or created artwork can be a highly satisfying experience.

Pay close attention to the soil

Pay attention to soil

The key to having a healthy and productive garden is having high-quality and highly fertile soil. But over the years, soil can lose its natural nutrients and ability to produce harvests for your family to enjoy. Paying extra attention to your soil and its quality—or lack thereof—can make gardening a breeze and your plants grow much more easily than they ever have in the past. There’s no magic bullet for creating the ultimate garden soil, so experiment with things like wood chips, leaves, compost, mulch, and other natural soil enhancers to find what works for your outdoor space. The sooner you begin prepping your soil, the better your results will be when trying to grow new things in the future.

Incorporate your gadgets into your gardening experience

Gardening App

 

Via Seasoned Homemaker

 

Gardening and smartphone apps may seem like the most unrelated phrases in the English language, but there’s actually a huge variety of helpful apps related to gardening. Whether you want to more easily identify plants and potential plant diseases, set and maintain a schedule for watering and fertilizing, plan out your garden months or even years in advance, and easily record your garden’s progress with pictures and notes, look no further than your smartphone or tablet’s app marketplace. In addition, there are countless online gardening communities where you can share your creation and seek help and advice from others.

Give a gnome a home

Gnome Home

The humble gnome has made a slow and steady climb back to the top of the list of garden adornments, and now they’re on pace to dethrone fairies, frogs, and other small animal figures from home gardens. With their colorful clothing, gnomes can provide a splash of color to your garden and even an “Easter egg hunt” activity for small children. Place them in hard to find spots—hiding behind mushrooms, peering out from flower pots—and continue adding to your collection over the years. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that gnomes scare away pests or unwanted insects, but it can’t hurt to try.

How to Order Custom Blinds and Shades from Blindster.com

At Blindster, we strive to make the research, selection, and ordering process for blinds and shades as simple as possible. Our website is set up to make it easy to find window treatments, add them to your cart, checkout, and have them ready to install in your home within a matter of days.

But getting the perfect blinds and shades for your home requires doing your homework, as window sizes may vary from room to room. It’s also important to have an idea of the types of optional features and components you want in your window treatments before you begin the comparison shopping process.

A truly smooth and efficient ordering process begins long before you place any blinds or shades in your shopping cart. Check out our tips below to make selecting and purchasing the perfect custom window treatments for your home as easy as possible, from deciding how you want to mount your shades, all the way until you’re ready to submit your order:

  • Decide if you want inside or outside mounted window treatments.

inside mount

Inside Mount

outside mount

Outside Mount

 

The most important part of getting the right custom blinds and shades for your windows is providing us with the correct measurements, but that can’t be done until you’ve decided whether you want to mount your shades inside or outside of your window frames. Inside mounts are the most common and are preferable if your window frames have sufficient depth, but outside mounts are a great alternative if your window frames are shallow or if you want to cover up unattractive molding or woodwork surrounding your windows.

 

  • Measure your window frames for the type of mount you’re using.

measuring

When you add any of our blinds and shades to your cart, you’ll be asked to enter a variety of information before placing your order, including the height and width that you need. It’s vital that you provide us with the most accurate measurements possible in order for your window treatments to properly fit your window frames, block out sunlight, and be easily raised and lowered. Take multiple measurements of both the height and width of your windows in order to get the most precise numbers possible before you place your order.

 

  • Browse our selection of blinds and shades.

 

With precise measurements of your windows in hand, take the time to browse through our extensive selection of blinds and shades. Our individual product pages contain a huge amount of information about each item, including the available colors, components, and optional features, as well as pictures of the window treatments, minimum height and width requirements, and measuring/install instructions. If you have any additional questions about any of our blinds or shades, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service representatives to get more information.

 

  • Order samples of window treatments that pique your interest.


sample orders

 

Once you’ve narrowed down your selection of ideal window treatments, make sure to order samples before you place your final order. Pictures don’t always do our window treatments justice—especially since they can vary among monitors, tablets, and phones—and samples are the easiest way to determine whether a color, pattern, stain, or finish matches your furniture and your home’s overall décor and color scheme. You can select up to 10 free samples from products in any category, including wood blinds, cellular shades, roller shades, bamboo shades, and Roman shades.

 

  • Narrow down your choices and the features/options you want.

Ordering the right window treatments for your home based on pictures alone can be difficult, but with samples in hand, you should be able to quickly rule out the colors, patterns, and materials that aren’t the right for your home’s décor. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can further refine your list by determining which optional features and components you want. Things like continuous cord loop options, cordless options, blackout liners, top down/bottom up installations, and energy efficient materials can all vary from window treatment to window treatment, and using that criteria can help you decide on the right blinds and shades for your home.

 

  • Add your preferred blinds or shades to your cart and select the size and options.

product page

 

Once you’ve settled on the perfect window treatments, add them to you cart by clicking “Customize and Buy.” The next page you see will be the customization page where you will be able to input the height and width you need, the color you want, and select from a variety of extra options, including the mount type, headrail type, lift type, fold style, and liner type.

customize and buy

If you have questions about any of these options, simply hover your mouse or click on the question mark icons next to each option category. You can also select the quantity of blinds you want to order and add notes for our customer service representatives.

 

  • Purchase a 10-Year Accident Protection Plan

Protection

Our blinds and shades are built to last, but accidents can happen when you least expect it—especially if you have small children or pets. Whether your new shades get stained or ripped, or your new blinds crack or break, our 10 Year Accident Protection Plan will give you peace of mind for the next decade. It covers virtually all damage that can occur to your window treatments and means that you get free replacements or repairs. But in order for the plan to take effect, it must be purchased at the same time your original order is placed. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to protect your investment—especially if you’re outfitting your entire home with new window treatments.

 

  • Complete the checkout process by creating an account or continuing as a guest.

account

Creating an account with Blindster makes it easy to purchase more window treatments down the road, as we’ll save your information and have it on hand as soon as you’re ready to buy your next blinds or shades. But if you don’t want to create an account, you can also check out as a guest. Simply enter your billing information, including your name, address, contact information, and credit card number. We’re GoDaddy.com and Authorize.net verified, which means we use the latest and toughest security standards to protect your information. Purchase from us with confidence and know that we keep our customer’s billing information and credit card numbers 100-percent private and secured at all times.

billing