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6 Tips for Better Home Security and Peace of Mind

As a homeowner, your top priority is making sure your family and your belongings are safe from harm or theft. And while many homeowners simply install automated home security systems and count on these advanced monitoring alarms to keep them and their loved ones safe, it’s important to take extra precautions to get true peace of mind.

To reduce your risk of being a victim, check out Blindster’s top home security tips:

 

Hide, bury, or protect exterior wiring and power lines

1. Hide, bury, or protect exterior wiring and power lines.

Would-be burglars can be savvy, and if they know a home is equipped with a security system, their first order of business may be cutting the power lines to the home or to the alarms. Whether you’re planning on installing a security system or you already have one, make sure the power supply and wiring are either out of sight, buried, or encased in a protective barrier.

Change your locks when you purchase a new home

2. Change your locks when you purchase a new home.

Your first order of business when buying a new home should be changing the locks and getting new keys made for every member of your family. Make sure that all exterior entrances are equipped with new locks. In addition, you also may want to change the locks every few years, especially if you’ve ever needed to give spare keys to housekeepers, handymen, painters, and contractors.

3. Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places.

Almost everyone has been in a situation where they need to drop off a key for a family member or friend, and almost everyone goes to the tried and true “hiding spot” of under the mat, inside the mailbox, or in a planter next to the front door. Unfortunately, burglars are equally familiar with those hiding spots, and many homes have been stripped of their valuables by people who simply helped themselves to a spare key and walked right in. Get more creative if you need to leave a spare key, and never leave it out for more than one day if possible.

4. Use a random garage door entry code.

Many garage doors can be opened with just a four-digit passcode. While that’s enough digits to make it difficult for someone to guess the code, it’s short enough to make entry a breeze if the code uses obvious numbers, including a significant birth year, your home’s street address, or part of your phone number. You also shouldn’t use weak passwords like 0000, 1111, or 1234.

5. Keep family trips quiet on social media until you get back.

It can be hard to resist sharing your family’s travels while you’re on a grand adventure, but live streaming your kids jumping into a pool in Mexico is like putting a big spotlight on your empty home for would-be burglars and thieves. Sharing every detail of your trip on Facebook and Instagram is okay after the trip is over, that is.

Equip your windows with blinds and shades

6. Equip your windows with blinds and shades.

Burglars are much less likely to break into homes if they don’t know what (or who) is inside. Installing blinds and shades on your windows doesn’t just keep the sunlight out of your eyes and protect your family’s privacy—it also helps you avoid becoming a victim of a burglary. For the ultimate home protection and privacy, consider installing routeless blinds or blackout shades.

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.

Top Online Resources for Renovating Your Home

Renovating your home is a great way to give it new life, increase its value, and improve your overall satisfaction with it. But anyone who has attempted a home renovation—whether it was something “minor” like a kitchen remodel or something major like creating an addition or expanding a room—knows that the process can be difficult and frustrating, especially if you’re attempting it on your own.

Thankfully, the internet is loaded with helpful resources and guides to make virtually all home renovations a much smoother process. While some homeowners prefer to go the old-fashioned route by taking a trip to their local library and stocking up on home renovation books, almost everything you need to know about the topic is just a click away.

To help jump start your home renovation project, check out Blindster’s list of the top online resources below:

YouTube-logo-full_color

YouTube isn’t just for funny cat videos and sports highlights. It’s also a valuable resource for learning how to do almost anything. Whether you want to learn how to cook ratatouille, rebuild a lawnmower engine, or repair your specific model of dishwasher, chances are, you’ll find it with a quick search—and that includes virtually all DIY home renovation projects.
Being able to watch professionals and other enthusiast DIYers tackle the same problems you’re having with drywall, flooring, or wiring can be a great resource and an easy way to solve difficult problems that might otherwise require the expertise of an expensive contractor.

EBSCOhost

For more in-depth information and step-by-step guides related to your home improvement or DIY project, EBSCO’s Home Improvement Reference Center is a great resource, whether you’re just starting out or are stuck somewhere in the middle of the renovation process.

 

Search the full text of more than 125 reference books and 50 magazines, and reference 35,000 images to get a better visual of the steps you need to take to complete your DIY project. Topics covered by the database include general remodeling projects, electrical work, home and garden, outdoor improvements, plumbing, and carpentry work.

Even the best video tutorials and step-by-step guides are no match for jobs that require a true professional’s touch. Things like electrical work, complex plumbing issues, and HVAC problems are generally best left to people with years of experience in the industry, and HomeAdvisor is a great way to find the top local contractors in your area.

 

In addition to being matched with the right contractor for your home renovation project, you can also use the website’s cost estimating feature to determine how much money you’ll need to shell out to get your project finished the right way and on time. By calculating a variety of different variables, including size and scope of the job—as well as your geographic location—you’ll be able to quickly find out whether hiring a professional is within your budget.

NARI

 

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is an organization of remodeling professionals that provides industry connections, tips, and tricks for homeowners looking to renovate their homes by hiring contractors or by undertaking DIY projects. The website uses a six-step process to help homeowners during the modeling process:

 

  • Step 1: Finding inspiration for a potential remodel or renovation project, as well as reasons why the project is necessary for your home

 

  • Step 2: Creating your budget and determining how much money you’ll need to see the project through to the end in order to get a satisfactory result

 

  • Step 3: Understanding the type of professional you’ll need to get the job done, including general contractors, architects, and designers

 

  • Step 4: Using the available resources and information to select the right professional or team of professionals who fit your budget and can help you complete your renovation project

 

  • Step 5: Working with professionals throughout the renovation process by knowing the right questions to ask and maintaining open communication

 

  • Step 6: Assessing the project’s outcome upon completion and looking over finalized contracts, invoices, and receipts to make sure everything was finished to your satisfaction

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Everyone knows that undertaking a home renovation or DIY project can be challenging, but many homeowners are unaware that it can also be dangerous and potentially hazardous to your health. The EPA has a list of tips and helpful guidelines for homeowners who may come into contact with dangerous substances like lead dust while they’re in the process of renovating, repairing, and painting their homes.

 

The tips provided by the EPA cover a range of topics, including how to work safely by removing household furniture and items from rooms, purchasing the right safety equipment, and hiring certified lead abatement contractors before cutting into walls or surfaces with lead paint.

 

Lead paint isn’t the only potential danger lurking in many homes. Asbestos is also present in millions of homes constructed during the middle of the 20th century, and it can be difficult for homeowners to identify asbestos just by looking at it. When left alone, asbestos fibers don’t pose a major health risk to homeowners, but when the fibers are disturbed during renovations and remodeling projects, they can be aspirated and lead to serious health problems and diseases.

 

The EPA’s asbestos warning website for DIYers includes tips for finding a trained and accredited asbestos professional prior to beginning renovation work, as well as a list of do’s and don’ts for homeowners who may come into contact with asbestos building materials during their renovation projects.

 

U.S. Department of Housing an Urban Development

For additional resources and information about home renovations, check out the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s guide to home improvements. This page contains helpful links to information about the HUD’s rehabilitation and repair home loan program, property improvement loan program, HUD-approved lenders, and loans/grants for rural homeowners who want to undertake renovation and repair projects.

 

In addition, the page also offers tips for improving your home’s energy efficiency and the best ways to protect yourself and your hard-earned money from deceptive home improvement contractors.

How to Give Your Home the Fixer Upper Look

Fixer upper homes are extremely popular in 2016. The concept of transforming a house that’s outdated and a bit past its prime into a beautiful home fit for a photoshoot has led to countless blogs, magazines, books, and even television shows documenting the process. With the rise of DIY projects and information available on the internet, getting the fixer upper look is now well within the reach of virtually all homeowners.

While a major renovation project is often highlighted in fixer upper stories, getting a fresh new look in your home doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge, a huge budget, or even drastic changes. Knocking down walls and redoing cabinets, flooring, and countertops is guaranteed to transform the look of your home, but it’s also possible to get the same benefits of a fixer upper project with a significantly smaller investment of time, money, and energy.

Check out Blindster’s tips below for quick and easy tips for creating the fixer-upper look on a minimal budget and without sacrificing your free time:

  • Fill your home with natural light.

Fill you Home with Natural Light

Via Pinterest

 

Fixer upper homes are commonly bathed in natural sunlight, as there’s often a big emphasis on open floor plans and large windows. You don’t have to make any drastic changes to your walls or your windows to take advantage of natural light. In many cases, simply cleaning the inside and outside of your window glass and removing thick, heavy, and light-blocking curtains and window treatments and replacing them with more easily adjusted blinds and shades, such as top down/bottom up sheer shades, will go a long way towards filling any room in your home with beautiful sunlight and transforming its appearance.

  • Focus on light and neutral colors throughout your home.

Focus on Light and Neutral Colors Throughout Your Home

Via Pinterest

 

One thing many fixer upper homes have in common is their color scheme. Light, neutral colors are popular in modern homes for good reason—they open up spaces and complement almost any type or style of furniture and décor. In addition, neutral color schemes allow you to decorate with a few key pieces that feature bold colors, patterns, and designs. The contrast between your primary color scheme and the bright colors in the room (think chairs, pillows, and blankets) will create a truly eye-catching display.

 

  • Update your small decorative pieces for a modern look.

Update Your Small Decorative Pieces For A Modern Look

Via Pinterest

 

Dated furniture has become a trendy option, especially if it’s paired with a few high-quality and modern centerpieces like couches or dining tables. But if you’re looking to save money, or if you’re operating on a tight budget, you can get away with replacing small, inexpensive decorative items with modern pieces. The cost of replacing your décor won’t break the bank, and you’ll be surprised at how effective it is at changing the look and feel of any room in your home.

 

  • Upcycle furniture when possible.

Upcycle Furniture When Possible

Via Pinterest

 

Two of the most common textures seen in fixer upper homes are natural wood grain and metal. Both of these textures are also common in vintage furniture and items that can be upcycled into furniture. There’s no shortage of ideas for upcycling old furniture, whether it’s your own or secondhand furniture you’ve picked up from a thrift store, garage sale, or online marketplace. Many fixer upper homes now seamlessly blend vintage styles with modern décor, and upcycling furniture is a great way to achieve that look without breaking the bank.

 

  • Boost your home’s curb appeal with greenery and flowers.

Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal with Greenery and Flowers

Via Pinterest

 

Even if your home isn’t an architectural masterpiece, you can significantly increase its curb appeal with some simple landscaping that’s well-maintained and thoughtfully designed. Flower boxes under your windows, a lush and green lawn, and a few eye-catching plants centered around your front door or porch can go a long way towards improving the appearance of the outside of your home. For an added punch, you can also bring plants indoors to add a splash of color.

 

  • Hang vintage clocks, mirrors, and maps.

Hang Vintage Clocks, Mirrors, and Maps

Via Pinterest

 

A common trait shared by fixer upper homes is décor that’s tasteful and yet mostly neutral. That’s where items like clocks, mirrors, globes, and maps come into play. These items can vary in their size, shape, color, and overall appearance, but they fit almost all décor styles and rooms. They also serve a practical purpose. Mirrors help make rooms look larger, while clocks make it easier to keep track of time. Finally, if you’re prone to wanderlust, having maps within plain sight makes it easy to stay motivated to plan vacations and keep crossing off bucket list travel destinations.

 

  • Open up your cabinets and shelves.

Open Up Your Cabinets and Shelves

Via Pinterest

 

Fixer upper homes often utilize open-air storage spaces. That means cabinets with no doors and prominently displayed shelves. These concepts are particularly common in kitchens and bathrooms. Getting this look is easy and is often as simple as removing the doors from your cabinets and getting creative with paint or wood stains. However, to truly pull off this look, it’s vital that you keep your dishes, drinkware, cutlery, and other items that are normally hidden from view perfectly organized and arranged at all times. Otherwise, the decorative appeal quickly devolves into disorganized chaos and clutter.

 

  • Use old hardcover books and glass jars as accent pieces.

Use Old Hardcover Books and Glass Jars as Accent Pieces

Via Pinterest

 

If you’re struggling to find items to use as accent pieces and décor throughout your home, you can’t go wrong with a handful of old hardcover books and some glass jars. These items are staples of fixer-upper homes due to their versatility and universal appeal, and they look great on shelves, mantles, and tables.

Ideas for Using Your Home’s Extra Bedrooms

The number of bedrooms in a home can be one of its top selling points, but for many homeowners, there’s a question of what exactly they’re going to use those extra rooms for when they finally get settled. As the average home size gets bigger, the number of bedrooms has also increased, and it’s not uncommon for many new homes to have four or even five bedrooms. Putting that extra space to use can be a dilemma—especially if you don’t have an equal “people to bedroom ratio” in your home.

If you’re struggling to find the best use for your extra bedrooms, check out Blindster’s list of suggestions:

  • Guest rooms

Neutral Guest Bedroom

Photo Via Pinterest

 

The top use for an extra bedroom or two is the most obvious—turn them into guest rooms. All you need is a bed, a nightstand, and a dresser, and you’ve got a perfectly functional guest bedroom for family and friends to use. Having multiple guest bedrooms makes it easy for you to entertain multiple people who are visiting from out of town and help them save money on lodging, meals, and other travel expenses. In addition, many newer homes feature adjoining bedrooms that share a bathroom, making them ideal for guests with children.

 

  • Pet rooms

Pet Room

Photo Via Pinterest

 

Having pets can be a great source of companionship, entertainment, and stress relief for your family, but they can also be difficult to live with at night—especially if they’re nocturnal animals—or if you have guests who have pet allergies. Having an extra bedroom or two can be a great way to give your animals the space they need to stay happy and healthy, while also preventing them from keeping you up all night or causing your guests to have an allergic reaction. To create an ideal cat room, all you need is a litter box, food and water bowls, scratching post, bedding, and some favorite toys. Dog rooms are similarly low-maintenance, but you may need to be more careful with the items you place inside, as some dogs are prone to chewing or clawing when they get bored.

 

  • Home office

Home Office Space

Photo Via Pinterest

 

More and more jobs are allowing people to work from home, but trying to do so without having a dedicated workspace can be difficult. A home office makes it much easier to get the peace and quiet necessary to concentrate for long periods of time, make and receive phone calls, and have a designated place where work is separate from home. Spare bedrooms are ideal places to use as home offices and require nothing more than a desk, a chair, and a computer to become dedicated home workspaces.

 

  • Storage room

Storage Room

Lack of storage is one of the biggest complaints for many homeowners in 2016. If that describes you and your family members, your spare bedroom may be best served as a storage area. Small guest bedrooms work great for this concept, as they’re large enough to function as improvised walk-in closets but small enough that you won’t feel bad for utilizing the square footage of the room itself as an actual living area or bedroom.

 

  • Exercise room/home gym

Grand Pleat Home Gym crop

If you’re tired of driving across town every day to the gym, or if you’re just more inclined to work out at home, converting a spare bedroom into a home gym may be perfect for you. A treadmill, a set of free weights complete with a weight bench, and a body weight exercise area are all you need to have a small but effective home gym that can help you stay fit without the hassle of driving to an actual gym or the expense of paying for your membership every month.

 

  • Movie and game room

Movie and Game Room

Photo via Pinterest

 

Whether you’re a gamer or an avid film fan, chances are your living room isn’t ideal for enjoying your favorite hobby. Whether there’s a glare from the outside, the sound is too loud for your neighbors or family members, or you just don’t have enough room for all of your specialized equipment, having a dedicated space can help you maximize your enjoyment. A big-screen television or a projector, a surround sound system, and some blackout window treatments, like Blindster’s Premium Blackout Double Cellular Shades, will make any bedroom the ideal place to enjoy games and movies at any time of the day.

  • Study and relaxation room

Relaxation Room

Photo via Pinterest

 

As homes become more connected and high-tech, having a place where you can read, relax, and rest is truly invaluable. Turning a spare bedroom into a study and relaxation room can be done by outfitting it with comfortable seating, stocking a bookshelf a few of your favorite books, bringing in a stereo that you can use to play relaxing music, and putting together a bed for occasional naps. To make the room truly effective at helping you to de-stress and leave the worries of your day behind, enforce a strict “no electronic devices allowed” rule and leave your phone or tablet at the door. By creating a space where you’re always unplugged, you’ll quickly associate the room with feelings of relaxation and reflection.

 

  • Arts and crafts studio

Arts and Crafts Room

Photo Via Pinterest

 

Everyone needs a chance to explore their creative side from time to time. Whether you enjoy painting, woodworking, or building small DIY crafts, your spare bedroom can be easily converted into a small home art studio. Make sure to keep a chest or set of drawers stocked with plenty of supplies like paints, canvasses, and wood, and If possible, add a sink for easy cleanup of paints, glue, clay, and other art and DIY materials and adhesives. You can also use the space to get creative from a musical standpoint. Use it to create electronic tunes on a computer, spin your favorite vinyl albums, or practice playing your favorite instrument.

 

  • Recreation room

Recreation Room

Photo via Pinterest

 

Love playing pool, throwing darts, or battling your friends and family in table tennis? Turning your spare bedroom into a rec room is a great way to have access to these activities anytime you want. When choosing a pool table, make sure that you have plenty of room on all sides of the table to extend your cue without bumping into walls or furniture. In addition, consider placing a backing behind your dart board to protect your walls from errant throws, as darts can quickly damage drywall by creating small holes.

  • Kids’ playroom

Kids Play Room

Photo via Pinterest

 

If your children’s bedrooms aren’t big enough for them to fully stretch out and enjoy playing with their toys, consider converting a spare bedroom into a playroom. Having a dedicated playroom is a great way to give your children more space while also keeping their bedrooms neat and clean. Having a large toy chest where they can easily access their favorite games, dolls, and action figures makes setting up for playtime and cleaning up after they’re done a quick and simple process, and it also spares the rest of your home from being overrun by toys that can be extremely hazardous to your feet in a dark hallway at 2 a.m.

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.

How to Fix Accordion Shades

Accordion shades—also known as cellular and honeycomb shades—are formed using multiple layers of fabric that form a cell-like structure when viewed from the side. Honeycomb shades are highly effective at insulating rooms and blocking out light, but they may need maintenance and repairs from time to time to continue looking and operating at their best.

Although some homeowners may use professional repair services or even throw out their shades if they begin to malfunction, in many cases it’s possible to fix minor damage or wear and tear yourself with minimal tools. To get started on repairing some of the most common problems that affect accordion shades, check out Blindster’s guide below:

 

Problem: The bottom rail appears uneven when raising or lowering the shade

Solution: Inspect the headrail and check the cord guides and lock to determine if there any obvious signs of wear that could be causing the cords to get stuck on one side. If any parts need to be replaced, contact the manufacturer. Re-stringing the blind can also help fix uneven bottom rails.

 

Problem: The shade is too loud when raising or lowering it

Solution: Over time, your shades may begin to become noisy during operation. That may be due to the piece of plastic that keeps the metal pieces inside the headrail from rubbing together moving or shifting after repeated use. Open the headrail and move this plastic piece to the end of the metal spears to reduce the amount of noise produced by your shade.

 

Problem: The lift cord is too long

Solution: Depending on the size of your shades and the orientation of your windows, you may find that your lift cord is too long. If that’s the case, fix it by untying the top knot from the cord that feeds into the cord collector. Then, push the cap or stop ball up to the desired height and retie the knot at that location. Lower the blind completely to make sure that the cord length is still at the right height. Then, trim off the excess cord with scissors.

 

Problem: The shade rubs against the window, wall, or molding when being raised or lowered

Solution: If your shade doesn’t easily move up and down over nearby surfaces, it may need to be reinstalled using an extension bracket. An extension bracket can add a few extra inches to your shade’s projection from the wall or window, giving it plenty of room to operate effectively without coming into contact with nearby surfaces.

 

Problem: The shade moves around too much on the window or door

Solution: A shade that is moving around due to drafts, open windows, frequently opened doors, and even powerful air conditioners or fans is an annoying problem, but also one that’s easily fixed. Blindster offers hold down brackets that can be installed near the bottom of the shade on either your window or door to hold your shade in place.

How to Measure Bay Windows for Blinds

Bay windows are a beautiful feature of many homes, but their angled nature means they can present a challenge when it’s time to measure before installing or replacing their window coverings. To properly measure your angled bay window, check out Blindster’s guide below.

Step 1: Gather the following items

Before you begin the measurement process, gather the following items:

  • A metal tape measure
  • A pencil and piece of paper
  • A step ladder if your windows are out of reach
  • Paper or cardboard to serve as templates

Step 2: Determine the type of blinds or shades you want to install

Before you begin measuring, you should determine what type of blinds or shades you want to install on your angled bay windows. Once you’ve made a decision, check our measuring guides to find out the minimum required mounting depth before you proceed.

Step 3: Cut or fold the cardboard or paper to match the depth of the shades or blinds

By using the cardboard or paper to match the depth of the headrail of the window covering you wish to use on your bay windows, you can get a more precise measurement before you place your order. Create rectangular templates for all three sections of your bay windows (you will have four total).

Step 4: Position the templates so that they intersect

Arrange the four templates in the bends of the bay window in a manner in which the front corners touch and the long edges rest against the glass. Tape the templates to the window ledge  to keep them in place.

Step 5: Measure the intersection points

For the left window, measure from the first template intersection point with the center window to the edge of the left window. Follow the same process for measuring the intersection point for the right window. Finally, measure the center window by measuring across the intersection points.

Step 6: Measure the height

Measure the height of all three sections of your bay window, starting at the top edge. Use the smallest of the three measurements when ordering your window.

Tips for Creating the Ultimate Man Cave

Whether they’re pre-built or conversions of existing rooms, man caves are becoming more and more important on the checklists of families who are in the market for new homes. Part den and part game room, the definition of a true man cave isn’t written in stone, but most would agree that it’s a place conducive to all things entertainment—sports, movies, video games, memorabilia, and music.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that man caves are often one of the most high-tech areas of a home. But in addition to outfitting a man cave with the latest and greatest gadgets, there are also a few other important touches that can turn an ordinary den into a man cave worth bragging about.

To take your man cave to the next level, check out some of Blindster’s tips below.

black out

Tip #1 Get privacy shades to control the lighting and eliminate glare.

 

Huge, ultra-high-definition televisions and room-shaking surround sound systems are getting more and more inexpensive by the day—and that means a man cave can deliver a movie theater experience even on a tight budget. But one important aspect that many homeowners forget when building a man cave is its lighting or lack thereof.

 

Installing privacy shades on any and all windows in the room doesn’t just put the “cave” back in man cave—it also reduces the glare that detracts from the viewing experience of a big HDTV or projector. In addition, having full control of the lighting in a man cave is a big bonus when it comes to creating and replicating the ambiance of a sports bar, movie theater, or arcade—all of which are suitable stylings for man caves.

pool table

Tip #2 Don’t focus too much on high-tech gadgets.

 

While the centerpiece of most man caves is a kickin’ sound system and a big screen TV or projector, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the low-tech staples of man caves. Keep yourself and your guests entertained with a pool table, dart board, poker table, foosball table, shuffleboard table, air hockey table, or even an old-school skeeball machine. You’ll need something to keep you and friends entertained during commercials, and you might even win a few bucks if you bet on the winner.

Tip #3 Stock up on memorabilia from your favorite team.

 

Man caves are traditionally viewed as sports-watching havens, and that stereotype exists for a reason—they’re the ultimate place to gather your friends and family to battle out age-old rivalries (Go Cowboys!). They also happen to be the one place in your home where it’s acceptable to display 12’ tall cutouts of your favorite linebacker or point guard. A lot of great pieces can be found at flea markets and second-hand stores.

 

Anything goes when it comes to displaying memorabilia in your man cave, and the more overboard you go, the better. Installing carpet that matches your team’s colors? No problem. Hanging wallpaper with your team’s logo in a repeating pattern across the entire room? Why not!

 

Loading up your man cave with reminders of your devotion to your team only makes the victories that much sweeter—and it also gives you a chance to remember your team’s past glories after bitter defeats.

beer

Tip #4 Keep your guests happy with snacks and drinks.

 

What good is a man cave without a well-stocked selection of snacks and drinks? To make your man cave a truly self-sustaining entertainment paradise, you’ll need a nice variety of snacks and drinks and places to store them. At the bare minimum, a mini-fridge is perfect for storing a small amount of perishables, but ideally, you’ll want a full-sized refrigerator for your drinks and a pantry for storing your food. To really take things to the next level, get a small bar and stock it with spirits and mixers. Why go to a sports bar when you have one in your own home?

lazyboy

Tip #5 Stock the room with furniture you actually like.

 

There’s often a stark difference between furniture that’s comfortable and furniture that looks nice. Man caves are definitely places for the former. And while it may be tempting to start and end your search for furniture with a comfy recliner, you’ll need places for your friends and family to sit as well.

 

If space is limited, a sectional couch offers the most seating for the least amount of space, as even small sectionals can generally seat up to four people with ease. Mid-size sectionals can seat up to six, seven, or even eight people, while large or oversized sectionals can seat a dozen or more.

 

When shopping for man cave furniture, remember that comfort should be your top priority. Style points are a bonus, of course, but there’s no point in having a man cave if you don’t even enjoy spending time in it.

Via La-Z-Boy

charger

Tip #6 Make sure you have plenty of outlets and chargers.

 

Whether your team is playing a double-header or you’re battening down the hatches for a full day of football on a Sunday, chances are you might not come up for air for quite some time. Marathon sports-watching sessions like these have one unfortunate side effect: battery drain. And because no one wants to see their phone slowly die in front of their very eyes, it’s important that you keep your guests well-charged—both with food and with device chargers.

 

Keep a handful of universal or commonly used device chargers in your man cave along with easily accessible outlets and power strips. The next time one of your guests shows up with a phone that has a five-percent charge remaining, you’ll be treated like a hero and the ultimate bro.

Grand Pleat Home Gym crop

Tip #7 Add some workout gear.

 

A small collection of free weights and an adjustable bench press can give your man cave yet another designation in your home: personal gym. Think of it like this: the average football game features around 30 minutes of live action and the rest is filled with commercial breaks, cutaways to announcers talking, or close-ups of coaches and referees. What better time to crank out a few sets than when you’re waiting for the action to start?

How to Measure Bamboo Shades

When it comes to eco-friendly designs that are both beautiful and natural, you can’t beat bamboo shades. These window treatments are not only highly effective at increasing privacy and blocking out the sun’s rays, they also add an elegant look to any room in your home.

Bamboo shades are easy to install, but before you place your order with Blindster, you should first measure your window or the area you wish to cover with the shades. Taking accurate measurements is vital for the shades to fit properly.

To precisely measure your windows and receive shades that fit perfectly, follow the instructions below.

Choosing Between Inside Mounts and Outside Mounts

There are two main ways that you can mount your shades: inside your window frame or outside your window frame. Both have pros and cons and choosing one over the other depends on your own personal preferences as well as the dimensions of your window frame.

Consult the table below to learn the major differences between these two mounting options:

Inside Mount

Outside Mount

·        Inside mount installations place the shades directly inside the window frame and require precise measurements for a proper fit·        When mounted inside the window frame, bamboo shades have a sleek, built-in look·        This is the best option if you want to leave intricate or detailed woodwork exposed·        Requires at least ½” of depth in window frame for a secure mount

·        Inside flush mount requires at least 2” for standard and top down/bottom up shades, 3” for continuous loop

·        If your window frame doesn’t provide enough depth, use the outside mount option instead

·        Outside mount installations place the shade outside the window frame and make it possible to cover the entire window·        This installation can be mounted to the wall, ceiling, or molding, making it highly versatile for a variety of window types and sizes·        Outside mounts are perfect for hiding unattractive windows or making windows appear larger·        There are no minimum depth requirements, but a minimum flat surface of at least 1” is required. Always include the mounting surface area when measuring the area you want to cover with the shade

 

No matter which installation option you choose, your shade will function equally well when it comes to protecting your privacy and blocking out sunlight.

How to Measure Your Windows before Ordering Bamboo Shades

After you’ve decided which mounting option you prefer, it’s time to measure your window. Use the instructions below to get precise measurements for both inside and outside mount installation options

Measuring for Inside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the interior width of the window and window frame in three separate locations—the top, middle, and bottom. Take note of the smallest of these three measurements, as it’s the number you’ll provide to Blindster when you place your order. Note that the factory will make necessary deductions of around ½”.

 

Step 2: Measure the interior height of the window and window frame in three separate locations—the left side, middle, and right side. Take note of the largest of these three measurements, as it’s the number you’ll provide to Blindster when you place your order.

Measuring for Outside Mount Installations

Step 1: Measure the full width of the area you wish to cover with the bamboo shade. If there’s enough room to do so, add an extra 2” to 3” to your total width to help eliminate light leakage from the sides of the shade. Use the original measurement plus the extra width when placing your order, as your shade will be made exactly as specified when ordered.

 

Step 2: Measure the full height of the area you wish to cover with the bamboo shade. As mentioned above, take into account at least 1” of flat mounting surface when doing your measurements. In addition, note that adding at least 3” to 4” of height added to your shade will allow you to mount it above the window frame.