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6/24/2015 9:35:00 PM  

As the summer wears on into its hottest days, homeowners are often faced with the challenge of staying comfortable as the heat and humidity get higher and higher.


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5/13/2015 7:52:00 AM  

Make the most of National BBQ month by using this time of year as the perfect opportunity to get your home ready for a fun, food-filled BBQ season! Check out these important tips that will ensure that your home will be looking sharp and smelling wonderful all summer long.


Clean the Grill

One of the most essential aspects of a BBQ is a reliable grill. Before you start cooking up some delicious food, it’s vital to clean up and clean out the outdoor appliance. Start with the interior of the grill by deep cleaning the inside surfaces. A soapy sponge or rag should be enough to get the job done. Next, you can make your grill shine by polishing off the exterior. Again, a soapy towel will do, but make sure you avoid streaks by fully drying off the grill’s exterior.


Provide Ample Seating

Your home can be the go-to spot for BBQs no matter the size of your backyard. Including some strategic seating is key to making guests feel comfortable and encouraging them to return. A solid table and chairs set are a BBQ staple, and most come in a variety of styles. Depending on your objective, you can incorporate more trendy furniture and decor or you can opt for a DIY project that will show off your personal style and offer an enjoyable outdoor project.


Offer Shaded Options

Not every guest will enjoy spending the entire afternoon in the sun, so make sure you included shaded options. If you have a patio then you can simply move window coverings outdoors to shade guests and block the sun’s harsh rays. Those who seek more creative shading options can use sheets to tie together arrays of trees. This option is ideal for young children who prefer being outdoors and playing in the grass, but who should not be spending too much time in the sun.


Dress Up the Yard

While providing places for guests to sit and relax are necessary, the more enjoyable aspect of BBQ preparation may be adding your unique touch. Planting colorful flowers, trimming up hedges or planting trees are great outdoor projects that will bring a new life and energy to your BBQ. These outdoor features will not only offer lovely scenery for guests, but will also give you a chance to reveal your green thumb - or offer you a chance to develop one!


Make it an Event

BBQs are known for their yummy dishes and friendly attendees, which means they could easily turn into day-long experiences. Encourage your guests to spend the day at your BBQ by turning it into an event of its own. For example, investing in some fashionable lounge chairs can provide extra seating while also prompting guests to stick around for some additional time in the sun. Offering multiple options for guests outside of scrumptious food can keep them around longer.


Completing some necessary, initial preparation can turn your home into this summer’s BBQ destination. Once you have thoroughly cleaned, decorated and planned, you can be sure that everyone will by dying to attend each and every one of your BBQs.

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5/5/2015 12:00:00 AM  

Outdoor patios are perfect for warm summer nights. With a canopy overhead and some dividing custom window treatments to keep the bugs at bay, they're a lovely area for entertaining, or just curling up with your loved ones. Nature-inspired patios blend into the scenery, and, when done right, will barely create a blip in the horizon. Here are some tips for cultivating one of your own. 


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4/29/2015 8:30:00 AM  

With warmer weather moving in, now is a great time to find unique ways to bring your blinds and shades outdoors. Not only will these window coverings provide some much-needed shade, but they can also show off your personal style.


Dress Up a Patio

Your porch is probably a summer staple, so why not find some great ways to make it more enjoyable in the midst of summer’s heat? Incorporating some pretty shades can make a huge impact on not only the amount of heat felt, but the overall appearance of a home. Cellular shades can be a great addition as they come in a wide range of colors and incorporate light-filtering options. If you prefer fabric, adding some airy curtains can catch the eye and block sunrays.


Connect Blossoming Trees

If you have some beautiful trees in your front or backyard, you can bring out your favorite window covering to tie the trees together. As long as the trees are an appropriate distance from one another, you can easily create a shaded, grassy sitting area that is perfect for outdoor picnics or a child’s sun-free playspace. Take advantage of the trees’ colors and any other garden features by using floral or earth-tone decor when decorating the space between the trees.


Shield a Sitting Area

Outdoor areas that feature seats, couches or benches will require shade once the sun is stronger and out for a longer period of time. While covering the areas around the the seats will greatly reduce the impact of the heat, considering various overhead coverings can also be an effective way to block the sun. Shielding an outdoor sitting area will encourage your family and friends to enjoy the nice, warm weather and feel as if they were in the comfort of your home.


Build a Barrier

If you like tackling larger projects, building a sun-shading barrier may be the perfect project for you! If your home lacks a porch, patio or outdoor sitting area, constructing your own fortress can provide a new area where guests can hang out over the spring and summer. Once you build a reliable structure, you can add personal touches with stylish, light-filtering blinds and shades that will make your new outdoor feature an enticing option no matter the temperature.


Get Creative

You can opt for attention-grabbing blinds and shades when you want to show off your personal style. For example, introducing bamboo sliding panels to an outdoor sitting area will create an exotic feel. You could also consider adding interior decor to match your fun outdoor window coverings. Traditional decor can show off the natural beauty of wood blinds while incorporating a more colorful palette can be a great way to enhance the simplicity of vertical blinds.


Not only are these shade-inducing projects going to make your home look great, but they can also be done quickly and without heavy legwork. Bringing blinds and shades to outdoor areas will not only serve as a fun project, but can be the perfect reason to enjoy more time outdoors this summer.

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4/15/2015 6:19:00 AM  

If you don’t have vacation plans or if your summer trip seems too far away then why not turn your home into an everyday personal getaway? Check out these creative and fun ideas that will transform your home into a summer destination of its own!


Create a Cozy Atmosphere

You can makeover both the indoor and outdoor features of your home so you can experience a relaxing atmosphere on a daily basis. Your outdoor decor can be revitalized with a porch swing, firepit or even a simple fan to cool off in warmer weather. The indoors can also be addressed with a new air conditioner, light-filtering shades or light blankets. You can even make the transition from inside to outside more resort-like with the inclusion of sliding doors or plantation shutters. A combination of these features will bring a vacation-like feel to your entire home.


Incorporate Unused Furniture

Some of your furniture may get to the point of being outgrown or unfitting for their intended room. Instead of investing in huge projects, you can make the most of these already-purchased items and bring a warm, sunny life to your home. For example, you can turn a table into an outdoor stove, wine bottles into tiki torches and whiskey barrels into coffee tables. Many DIY websites feature innovative projects like these that can turn items that may not serve their original purpose into much-appreciated summer staples.


Consider a Child’s Perspective

If you have children then you know that they enjoy a vacation just as much as you do. In order for you to have a relaxing experience at your revamped home then you will need to consider new activities and options for them as well. Consider investing in or creating your own outdoor playground that will encourage your kids not only to have fun with their friends outdoors, but to also be more active. You can redo the inside of your home too by gathering sheets and blankets to create a cozy fort. This option lets children express their creativity without a huge mess!


Take on an Outdoor Project

What comes to mind when you think about the perfect vacation? Maybe you envision a large pool with a diving board, beautiful fountain or relaxing gazebo. All of these projects can in fact be taken on before summer rolls around. You can add some fun to the bigger tasks by inviting family and friends over to create a unique bonding experience. You can also look at the tasks as exercise and, since you’re outside, you can work on your tan in the process. All of the hard work will be more than worthwhile when you are enjoying your new outdoor additions all summer.


Travelling, major expenses and the many little details of a vacation can be avoided this summer. Instead of stressing over a short trip, you can take on your own projects that will turn your home into the perfect summer vacation destination for you and your friends and family.

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4/8/2015 12:00:00 AM  

Spring is finally here and the flowers are blooming! Bring the garden inside by designing your space so that it can blossom year-round, thanks to floral fabrics, wall coverings, and furnishings.


Marie Antoinette Interiors

Florals are a classic print that people just can't seem to get enough of. There's something cheerful, sophisticated and fun about flowers that makes us want to put them practically everywhere, but there are a few tricks for making them work right. Whether you're covering cellular shades with floral curtains or using printed throw pillows, here's how to do it without ending up like your Grandma Bessie's living room.

BIG VS. SMALL

First, pay attention to the size of the prints you're looking at. In general, large designs work better in big rooms where they won't seem overwhelming, while small prints look best in tinier spaces where they won't get lost in the mix.

SIMPLE IS BETTER

Keeping it simple and neutral is the key to layering floral print upholstery, floral rugs and floral artwork in the same space. Mix in a few simply upholstered chairs and wooden tables with bolder floral pieces.

ACCENTUATE


House Beautiful


If you don't want to go “all out” with florals, use them as an accent, like on your pillows or artwork. You can also incorporate floral patterns into designs that feature deeper colors and rustic elements like wood and stone.

GO VINTAGE


Etsy Store: Luxe Artifacts

Floral sofas were big in the '60s and '70s, especially coastal decorating styles. If you love vintage prints, search online sites like Ebay and Etsy or head to a flea market to pick up something similar that's affordable and funky.

MIX IT UP


Leslie Fine Interiors - Via Brunschwig

Don't be afraid to mix your prints. Feel free to experiment with stripes, polka dots or even zig zags when you're pairing your florals. As long as the scale, texture or colors are similar, they should work together.


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4/1/2015 5:47:00 AM  

Happy April Fool’s Day! Instead of getting pranked or tricked, we have provided some great, foolproof ways for you to get your yard ready for warm and sunny spring weather.


  1. Prep Your Lawn - Even though spring has already begun, it isn’t too late to give your lawn some much-needed attention. If you’ve let your yard get out of hand, start off by mowing your old grass low. If weeds are typically an issue, you can also look into purchasing a pre-emergence lawn weed killer to keep your lawn weed-free all spring.

  2. Make it Manageable - If your home came with a large yard that doesn’t mean you have to worry about maintaining all of it. Instead of feeling stressed about the amount of work you have to do, consider adding in features like pavers or bricks to frame your lawn and make a noticeable size reduction. You can make your lawn look great with less effort!

  3. Trim Up - Some plants may have gone through tough times this winter, so give them some love by investing in some reliable pruning shears. Shrubs and small trees are examples of greenery that can be pruned. These features will benefit from a trimming as it will help your yard maintain its shape and enhance spring’s growing capabilities.

  4. Bring Out the Rake - Rake’s may typically be associated with fall leaves, but rakes can in fact have value in the beginning of spring as well. Raking away winter debris can make a huge difference in your lawn. Not only will you instantly notice a change in appearance, but you will give your yard a chance to grow and blossom all spring.

  5. Clean Out Every Home - Not only does your personal home need spring cleaning, but your birds’ homes need to be cleaned as well. In order to encourage birds to return in the spring, you need to remove any diseases that could have developed in the colder weather. Pests could have made an infestation as well, so it is best to cover all of your bases.

  6. Do Some Research - If you don’t consider yourself to have a green thumb, then do some research into which plants survive the best in your area. You may come to find that it wasn’t your lack of skills that prevented your plants from living a full life, but the plants themselves may not be capable of surviving in your environment.

  7. Start Fresh - There’s no time better than the beginning of spring to introduce a new plant bed. Starting early is best as it is vital to dig areas and add organic matter as needed so your soil will encourage growth. The new additions can provide an entirely new vibe to your yard and provide some motivation for you to keep them looking fresh and lively.

  8. Pay Attention to Paths - Having paths around your lawn is a personal, sophisticated addition that can impact your ability to move around as well as overall appearance. The vitality of a great path deems it essential to do some maintenance on these areas as well. You can use tools like a rake, broom or pressure washer to reveal the prime condition.

  9. Mend Fences - Fences may have become rotted or damaged over time, so it is important to note the condition of your fences when you are attending to your yard. You can paint over rough patches, repair certain parts or look into replacing areas that are too much to handle. Enlist family and neighbors to make mending a more enjoyable process.


Giving your yard some attention early on will make a huge difference in the spring and summer seasons. Noticing everything from fences to bird feeders will give your yard a whole new life that will continue to grow and blossom throughout spring!

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3/18/2015 7:08:00 AM  

This Friday marks the first day of spring, which means you can officially start incorporating pretty, light pastels into your home decor. Check out some of these great ideas that can serve as inspiration for incorporating pastel shades into your home throughout the spring season.


Light-Filtering Cellular Shades

These cellular or honeycomb shades are a great way to experience the fun colors of spring while still serving essential shade purposes. They come in a wide range of colors including pale petal and ocean that bring the light, pretty colors of spring into your home. In addition to pastel color options, the shades also offer light-filtering capabilities and incredible softness and insulation.

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Solids and Textured Pleated Shades

Pleated shades are all about options! Whether it’s fun colors like weaver-loden and nabuk-oatmeal or useful liners such as privacy and room-darkening, you can be sure that the shades will be able to meet all of your unique needs. You can even add an element of convenience with the top-down bottom-up option that lets you raise the shades from the bottom.

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Cordless Roman Shades

Cordless roman shades have two roman styles and countless color options. For example, you can choose from wilmington water, lexi chino or fun patterns to add some spring to your home. The shades also feature a cordless lift system that is easy to use and safe for your children and pets. In addition to these great benefits, the shades come with a standard light filtering liner.

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Privacy Roller Shades

These roller shades not only come in spring color options like gold and moss, but they are also the most affordable roller shade. These pastel color options are also able to serve a light-filtering purpose. There are additional options including hem styles and cassette valances that are able to match the shades to your unique room design.

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Pastels are a great way to bring the bright, happy vibe of spring into your home this season. You can incorporate several different shade trends and styles that serve several essential purposes and are capable of bringing a colorful, fun life to your home this spring!


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3/11/2015 11:09:00 AM  

It's the perfect time of year to adorn your tables, windowsills and countertops with lush indoor plants. Martha Stewart uses them as a decorative staple and to bring life into a room, and they can help to improve the air quality of your home. Besides making sure your window treatments let enough light in to keep your foliage healthy, here are some tips for decorating with houseplants.


From SouthernLiving.com. Larger-leaved selections such as 'Deborah' and 'Silver Bay' help reduce the scale of a big room. Photo by William Dickey


Use unique displays

Although the terra cotta flowerpot is a classic when it comes to houseplants, there are displays available that might better match your decor. Put your plants atop cast iron stands or stone columns to bring them closer to eye level and draw more attention to them, or consider planting some herbs in small clay hanging pots and placing them above your kitchen sink for an attractive and functional decoration. You can also attach flowerpots to a plank of wood and mount it on a wall as you would a work of art.

Keep like with like

Groupings of the same plant species in different hybrids can create subtle contrast while maintaining consistency, as does keeping various species of the same height or hue together. A perfect example of this look is a windowsill crowded with several kinds of cacti. In addition to being visually eclectic, the display is also easy to maintain, as cacti require very little attention.




Treat them well

The most important part of decorating with houseplants is keeping them healthy. No matter how beautiful the display is, a dying plant will bring the rest of the room down. Take care of your greenery by sticking to a watering and pruning routine that is appropriate for the type of plant and by giving them as much sunlight as the species calls for.


Cellular shades work well with houseplants because they let light in and can be kept closed while still displaying your flowers.


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3/4/2015 5:58:00 AM  

Spring cleaning may not be the most exciting thing that happens this time of year. Fortunately, there are easy ways for you to put a positive spin on the dreaded event so you can not only get your home in perfect condition, but have a great time cleaning!


Prepare to Conquer

Nothing provides more of a setback than not having the right equipment. Although this may not be the most exciting aspect of spring cleaning, making a list of what you’ll need for each specific project will help avoid multiple trips to the store. If you do want to add a positive aspect to your preparation then consider investing in some cool tools. If you’d work better knowing you have the most advanced vacuum cleaner or the most stylish duster, then why not use something you’ll appreciate to make the process more enjoyable?



Use Music as Motivation

Music is a great tool to get you pumped up and ready to clean! Make a playlist of your favorite songs and put it on shuffle so you’ll be looking forward to the next song. If you enjoy dancing or are cleaning with your family, try adding in some fun dance songs to provide a much-needed break from cleaning every now and then. In addition to adding some positivity to what could be a long and dull process, you can get in a little extra workout from dancing and on-beat cleaning that you may not even realize you’re doing!


Incorporate Unique Experiments

One way to make spring cleaning more intriguing for your children is adding some fun experiments to the mix. Cleaning comes down to a science, so including your children can provide a great learning experience. Some things you can try include making various concoctions that will clear your drain or using a blacklight to spot the dust and dirt that has built up in a room. You can also search online to find some more ideas that will not only benefit the cleanliness of your home, but will teach your children a thing or two about science in the process!


Add Some Family Fun

You can tackle larger cleaning items with the help of your family! For example, cleaning your decor can be much easier when you have a dedicated person working on each type of blind and shade. You can get more work done in a shorter period of time and you can have some fun working alongside your spouse, friend or child. In addition, you can consider adding incentives to motivate. Have a timer to see who can get the most done within an hour or see who is the best at dusting cabinets and reward the winner (and everyone else) with a sweet dessert!


Improve Your Home and Your Body

Did you know that only 30 minutes of general cleaning can burn around 130 calories? Everything from dusting to vacuuming can make a difference in your calorie count. This information also makes for great motivation to get the job done! Whether you’d rather break up your cleaning projects over a few days so you can have a week-long workout plan or if you’re feeling strong and want to get it all done in one day, you can be assured that you will be able to notice a difference in your home and your fitness level by taking on this intense project!


Improving your spring cleaning strategies can be as easy as changing your mindset! Whether it’s gathering your family, listening to some upbeat tunes or being prepared, you can following all or some of these fun ideas to make spring cleaning more enjoyable and productive.

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2/25/2015 8:51:00 AM  

With warmer temperatures slowly approaching, now is a great time to invest in cellular shades. Cellular shades are incredibly versatile and customizable, perfect for the transition to sunnier weather.

Cellular shades have a wide range of benefits. Despite the fact that they are soft-to-the-touch, cellular shades are sturdy and reliable. Cellular shades also offer excellent insulation during cool nights, but are still ideal for a clear outdoor view. Cellular shades are neat and compact, which makes them a great choice for any room.

There are three types of cellular shades that each have their own appeal. Top down-bottom up shades allow you to raise and lower the top and bottom of the shade for added convenience and easy positioning. Light filtering shades are great for letting in natural light while still providing privacy and insulation. Finally, blackout shades keep light out and maintain a warm comfort in areas like your bedroom and entertainment room.

Cellular shades come in a wide variety of options such as honeycomb styles. The shades can be purchased as either single or double honeycombs and in various sizes. Next, your shade’s fabric can be light-filtering or room-darkening. Lastly, you can choose between three cord preferences - corded, cordless and motorized. Cordless are ideal for children due to their safety features.

The capabilities of cellular shades have lead them to become the most on-trend window covering. Give your home a spring makeover with the crisp, elegant style of cellular shades.



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2/23/2015 9:38:00 PM  


Chandeliers were kind of a
big deal back in the day - having one was the ultimate status symbol. Eventually, this form of overhead lighting came to be seen as a bit stodgy, unless it was in a historical mansion. Recently, however, cool new takes on the chandelier have been coming out in droves. It's a relatively inexpensive way to update nearly any room in the house, and the latest versions are cool and fresh.


Image: Natasha Barrault Design

Here are two examples of neat chandeliers and what to do with them.


Red Chandalier
From: Jill Sorensen

Brightly colored

One version of the new and improved chandelier looks as though it was dipped in paint. It retains the same basic shape, but in a bold hue like poppy red or lemon zest. This style also tends to have fewer frills than the original - those hanging crystals are significantly more sparse in the modern overhead. A chromatic version is the perfect way to add a splash of color to a black-and-white room, particularly in a kitchen or above a dining room table. It goes nicely with clean shapes such as roman shades, modern chairs and glass tables.



From: Pottery Barn

Eclectic materials

For the funky tastemaker, a chandelier constructed out of unusual materials is the way to go. This ranges from chandeliers in rainbow glass to models made out of flatware. Many can be DIY projects, as long as the materials can stand up to some lightbulb heat. These styles are a unique way of expressing your interests. For example, a personalized chandelier can feature
hanging globes instead of crystals, or vintage wine bottles as the structure. This version is perfect for a craft room or casual dining area.


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2/18/2015 6:33:00 AM  

5 Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

With Daylight Savings coming up on March 8th, now is a great time to start planning how you’re going to switch out your blinds and shades for sunnier weather. Whether it’s adding a tropical influence or increasing the amount of natural light, we came up with several great ways for you to get your home ready for spring!

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Add a Beachy Vibe

Bring the beach to you this spring with unique bamboo shades. Not only are these shades able to bring the beauty of nature indoors, but they are full of rich textures, beautiful colors and natural style. You can choose from a variety of patterns and options to showcase the art of bamboo weaving while meeting your home’s needs. In addition, you can pair your bamboo shades with a liner to insulate your home during the impending rising temperatures.


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Use a Unique Lighting Solution

Instead of installing sliding glass or patio doors, you can get the same natural lighting from vertical blinds. Not only are the blinds custom-made, but they are sturdy and soft. They can also be configured to run on various tracks such as one-way draw, opposite stack and more. Finally, vertical blinds can reflect harsh sunrays to protect your furniture and lower cooling costs.


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Incorporate Versatile Spring Style

Cellular or honeycomb shades have a versatility that has led them to become the most stylish window coverings. Cellular shades can be raised in a neat and compact manner to allow for a great outdoor view - perfect for sunny spring days. These shades also come in several options including sheer, light-filtering and room-darkening to address your personal lighting desires. Cellular shades are soft and sturdy as well and can provide insulation on the cooler nights.


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Increase the Exoctic Feel

If you love traveling and experiencing nature, wood blinds are the perfect way to amp up your home’s natural beauty. There are several unique wood blind options including elite blinds that are of the best quality and distressed blinds that add a one-of-a-kind touch to your hardwood. If wood blinds are too much for you, you can instead choose to purchase faux wood blinds that have the same great look and feel without the higher price tag.


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Utilize Mood Lighting

Not everyone may enjoy the sun’s spring rays, making roller shades a great option! There are a range of colors, materials and weaves to choose from to match your interior design. One of the greatest aspects of roller shades is their light-blocking materials that allow them to control the light and protect you and your decor from sunlight. You can even pick the degree of light-blocking ranging from reduced glare and great views to opaque blackout shades.


Blinds and shades are a great way to transition your home for warm and sunny spring weather. Instead of tackling on even more major projects during your spring cleaning, you can simply add different interior features to get more natural light, lower cooling costs and more!

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2/11/2015 12:00:00 AM  


If you’re planning a low-key, romantic evening in with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, these simple romantic tips for the bedroom will help you set the mood.


Candles




Create a soft, romantic glow with candles in your bedroom. Candles are an easy and inexpensive way to create a big impact on how your bedroom looks and feels. Place bigger pillar candlers on dressers and bedside tables to set the mood. They can also help your room smell pretty or sensual. Smaller tea light candles in glass votives look beautiful scattered around your bedroom. Remember to never leave candles unattended or lit while sleeping. For the same effect without the possible fire hazard, try wax LED candles. Made from real wax, these flameless candles have a battery-operated LED light that produces a dim flickering flame effect that will provide relaxing illumination in any area of your home.


Lighting

When was the last time you went to a romantic restaurant with bright flourescent lighting? Don't ruin a special evening under harsh, bright light. Installing a dimmer switch to control your lighting fixtures is the best way to accomplish dim mood lighting.  Low wattage bulbs create soft lighting and are very flattering.


Consider swapping out your practical ceiling fan for luxe lighting. The smaller, evenly spaced delicate bulbs of a glamorous chandelier disperse light softly through a room and add an extra boost of romance.

If you use energy-saving light bulbs, it will decrease your electricity bill and you'll have to change them less often.

Beds


From www.thebudgetdecorator.com

The most essential part of the bedroom is the bed. A good mattress and high quality linens are worth the money. Presidents' Day weekend offers great savings on new mattresses and furniture so it is the perfect time to buy a new bed and maybe some bedside tables too.

Canopy style beds or four-poster beds are the most romantic and sophisticated beds, but if you don't have one or can't buy a new bed, make your exisiting one more luxurious by adding a new duvet cover, pillow covers and soft throws.

Walls


From http://www.diynetwork.com

Change up your wall paint for a soothing and romantic master bedroom. Stick with neutral colors, as you can always add a splash of color or an animal print with accessories for a racy feel. Some prefer to use calm spa-like colors, like aquas and blue greens, taupes and warm beiges, and greys, especially those with a slight lavender tint. If you are going for passion, use red. According to their website, www.paintquality.com
, red is a powerful color that increases blood pressure and heart rate. Don't go with a dark color because anything too dark will make the room appear smaller.

Windows



Curtains and blinds are a great way to frame a room and create the perfect atmosphere where you need it most. Nothing kills the mood like blinding sun in your eyes. Choose blackout cellular shades or plush, dark curtains which add elegance while blocking out noise and light.

A combination of simple sheer and opaque draperies serve a dual purpose. The sheer fabric stays open during the day to allow light in. At night, the opaque panels help buffer sound and keep light out for a good night's sleep or a long romantic night.

Do you have any tips to add some romance to the bedroom this Valentine's Day? Let us know by leaving a comment.


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2/4/2015 8:04:00 AM  

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not give your blinds and shades some attention on this lovely holiday? We have some great tips on cleaning various types of blinds and shades so you can ensure that your décor is dust-free before spring cleaning season even starts!

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds can be dusted or vacuumed. The only thing to take note of with vertical blinds is the need to brush downwards. Vertical blind slats can come unhooked if you brush upwards, so maintain the downward motion to ensure your blinds are not only clean, but put together.

Vertical Wood Blinds 

Honeycomb/Cellular Shades

These shades are not only energy-efficient, but they are also incredibly easy to clean. “Just use the dusting tool on your vacuum. Give them a once-over on low suction, and you’re done,” says Carolyn Forte, the director of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute Home Appliance and Cleaning Products department. If there are any residual stains after dusting, lightly blotting with a sponge, lukewarm water and mild dish detergent can lead to incredibly clean shades.

 Cellular Shades

Wooden and Faux Wood Blinds

The blinds can be wet when removing dirt, but not soaked and should be cleaned in place versus removed. When dusting these blinds, consider how you would treat any other wooden furniture. For example, when dusting use a soft, clean cloth, chemically treated dust cloth or dusting glove. When dusting, it is also important to dust the front of the blinds while they are at full length and almost closed then reverse the slats and dust the other side while holding the bottom rail.

 Wood Blinds

Roman Shades

If you want to clean your Roman shades like an expert, you can use two techniques - the soft dusting brush attachment of a vacuum on low suction or the brush attachment of a handheld vacuum. A cloth dipped in mild suds can be used to rinse and blot dry any pesky stains.

Roman Shades

Metal and Vinyl Blinds

This method features some great cleaning tips - laying blinds on a piece of rug or carpet and using a car-washing brush dipped in dishwashing soap and water can be used to clean both sides of the blinds. The side-to-side brushing motion is then followed with a light rinsing while the blinds are tilted. Lastly, run your finger down the slats to prevent water spots.

 Metal Blinds

Roller Shades

Even with the wide range of fabrics and textures available, a light once-over with a vacuum’s soft brush tool and spot cleaning can do the trick. If you have classic vinyl roller shades, you can instead start at the bottom of the shades with a well-wrung cloth or sponge that has been dipped in a mixture of dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water and work your way up with a wiping motion. If that doesn’t get your shades clean, you can wash both sides of your shades in a tub with a soft brush, soap and water. Always air-dry and re-hang roller shades.

 Roller Shades

Cleaning for All Types of Blinds

There are some cleaning tips that apply to all types of blinds. Using the brush attachment of a vacuum is an easy way to clean blinds and can be done often as long as you move side-to-side versus up and down. You can alternatively use a duster with the same side-to-side motion. Spots can be wiped away with an all-purpose cleaner on a dry cloth. Ultimately, the type of cleaning required depends on the amount of dust - a moist cloth may suffice for some and dry cleaning may be required for others.

 Blinds

Preventing dust and stain accumulation can be easier than expected by looking into what your unique blinds or shades require. Having a vacuum, duster and cloth on-hand is a great way to be prepared for minor cleanings that will give your blinds and shades some much-needed attention and prevent the need for a major spring cleaning.


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1/30/2015 12:00:00 PM  

We realize that blinds and shades are a crucial part of home decorating and design.  We’ve come up with 7 different ways to use bamboo shades in your home.  Whether concealing storage or creating warm spaces, investing in affordable window treatments is a great way to create that one-of-a-kind home space you’ve been dreaming of.





Embed this Infographic on Your Site:

<b>Click Image to Enlarge</b><br /><a href=”http://www.paylessdecor.com/blogs/make-over-your-home-with-bamboo-shades-.aspx″><img src=” https://www.paylessdecor.com/images/Payless_-_Bamboo_Shades_Infographic.jpg” alt=”Make Over Your Home : 7 Ways to Use Bamboo Shades”></a><br />Source: <a href=”http://www.paylessdecor.com”>Make Over Your Home – 7 Ways to Use Bamboo Shades</a>





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1/28/2015 7:10:00 AM  
If you're the creative type who likes to save a few bucks here and there by taking on your own interior design projects, you're probably always looking for fresh sources of inspiration. While it helps to look for ideas online on sites like Houzz and Pinterest, in stores nearby or just around your own home, it's also useful to see what other DIYers like you are doing! To give you a little motivation to get started on your own fun projects, we interviewed two wonderful ladies who have some great tips.

Here's what we asked Alexis Moore, a law student from California.


What inside tips do you have on minimizing interior design expenses?
Use technology to save time and money. Shop online and sign up for sale alerts for all decor stores. Do as much research ahead before driving to shop at stores. Nine times out of 10, you'll find items cheaper online and also learn ways to tweak design from a DIY website to save money.


How do you come up with ideas for DIY projects around the house?
I'm a student and have had to overcome many obstacles in my life so it's helped me become very creative. The ideas stem from me having the desire to live my dreams now rather than some day in the future. Life is too short for that.


When it comes to window treatments, what do you like best as far as practicality and decoration?
I like dual-purpose window coverings, so I tend to buy only coverings that are stylish and functional.


Which design trends are you loving for the winter right now?

I like the trend to create winter decor using traditional items like pine trees and winter animals with the twist that they're decorated to fit a person's existing decor or personal style.



Z Gallerie’s exclusive white Moose Head brings the taxidermy tradition into the twenty-first century. Crafted of white resin, the stately Moose Head is a bright contrasty accessory for your wall.

Do you have any advice for homeowners who are about to embark on a DIY project?

Have fun. Design DIY should be fun - not work or a burden. Don't be afraid to ask for free advice or help on or offline.




We also interviewed Laurel Stavros, the mom behind interior design blog www.abubblylife.com. Here's what she had to say.


DIY Black & White Acrylic Painted Trays  www.abubblylife.com.

What's your favorite room of the house, and how do you bring your personality into its interior design?
The kitchen. It's a gathering place for family and I love to cook! The kitchen is "my domain" so my personality is everywhere - from the colors to the organization to the measuring cups.


What kinds of colors, patterns and decor items inspire you the most?

I love blues, whites and pinks. My color preference changes with the seasons, my mood, etc. Sometimes I want pastel, other times neon.


How do you come up with ideas for DIY projects around the house?

I usually take something anyone would have around the house and add more color, design or an idea that you might not have thought of, so, I take my inspiration from the everyday items that I want to make eye-catching and beautiful.


When it comes to window treatments, what do you like best as far as practicality and decoration?
I am a minimalist - so light, airy curtains.


Do you have any advice for homeowners who are about to embark on a DIY project?
Enjoy the work!! Doing it yourself and seeing the end result is a wonderful satisfaction! Enjoy the process, stay focused, relax (I have been known to enjoy wine while working on DIY projects ;)) and be proud that you did it yourself - even if something comes out a bit crooked!

Hopefully, the advice from these two crafters can help you come up with some excellent projects of your own for this Winter and upcoming Spring season!

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1/21/2015 9:00:00 AM  
Are you experiencing a post-holiday-décor letdown? Here’s something to cheer you up and satisfy your urge to deck your halls…lace! Start your year off right by using this ultra-romantic fabric in your home. There’s no need to completely change your home décor theme – adding a hint of lace in a few places can quickly transform your space, and give you a fresh look with a vintage feel. Plus, there are several different colors, textures, and patterns available that can complement any existing furnishings. In honor of each month of this new year, we give you 12 vintage lace curtain looks for 2015.
 
#1 - Fringed 
With lace curtains trimmed in a fun fringe, you’ll get both texture and movement in your living space, which will produce a lovely effect when the breeze blows. Fringe is also reminiscent of the 1920’s, adding to the overall vintage feel. 



#2 - Colored (soft)

Lace typically comes in soft colors like white, ivory, cream, champagne, gray, and pastels. These hues will work very well for decorative curtains whose sole purpose is cosmetic. If you would like a more functional option, consider draping pale lace over a heavier dark-colored curtain. Your windows will be protected without the overall look feeling too harsh, and you can also play around with mixing textures.

 

#3 - Colored (bold)

Think outside of the box, and decorate with lace in any hue you want! From black to red to orange, colored lace curtains will make a romantic yet bold statement. These, too, can be layered over existing window treatments and would look beautiful with a pale silk curtain

  

#4 - Patched

Why settle for plain lace when you can make a patchwork curtain using a variety of styles? By combining different textures and patterns, you’re sure to create a unique and modern look that still pays homage to lace’s vintage nature. 



#5 - Patterned

Though lace is most commonly uses a floral pattern, the possibilities are endless. Tie in your room’s existing theme by choosing lace featuring light houses, nursery rhymes, or even cats!



#6 - Embellished 

Everyone needs a little bling in their life! If lace plus sparkle equals too much for you, consider an embellished tieback, or just add lace doilies at the base of your curtains.  



#7 - Tiered

Layers of lace can work can together to create a beautiful, texture-heavy look that is sure to complement any room in your home. Tiered curtains have the added bonus of more privacy and light-blocking power. 



#8 - Gathered

Choosing a pull-up style will give your windows a lot of visual interest, setting your curtains apart from the ordinary!



#9 - Netted

If florals aren’t your thing, why not consider a netted or dotted lace instead? You’ll still get the sheer window coverage that you desire, without over-the-top femininity. It’s a great way to simply enhance an existing masculine look, such as basswood blinds or bamboo shades.



#10 - Trimmed

 Make an already bold curtain stand out even more with a lace trim, or spruce up a plain curtain with a colored adornment. This is also a fun way to tie in color from a couch or accent rug, without it overwhelming the room.



#11 - Repurposed

No curtains? No problem! Create a vintage window treatment using an old tablecloth and your friends will not only be amazed by your new décor, but also by your craft skills.  



#12 - Crocheted 

If you’re feeling super ambitious, crocheted lace curtains are a heavier, more substantial window covering that you can actually make yourself. Of course, if your list of New Year’s resolutions does not include any DIY-projects, there are plenty of places to buy home-crafted curtains.  







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1/6/2015 12:13:00 PM  

Whether you find yourself moving into your very first - and extremely tiny - apartment, or you’re preparing a new home for your family, there’s one piece of home decor that is always going to be a necessity: curtains.

There’s the obvious use for curtains as traditional window coverings, adding a bit of a flair to an otherwise dull space. But if you get a little creative, you can use curtains for a variety of different things, from hiding an unsightly closet to creating a little more privacy in your sleeping area.



First and foremost, a great set of curtains can truly brighten up a living space. But if you’re dealing with a small room, it’s best to choose drapery with minimal print or none at all. This is where going with something like the Advantage Plus Drapery Panels is your best option because of the multitude of colors to choose from. Payless Decor also makes it easy to select the perfect size curtains. Simply measure your windows and plug in the measurements after selecting a color.

Just remember: when you’re deciding on a color for your curtains, make sure it doesn’t conflict with your other decor. If you have neutral-colored furniture, you can get a little crazy with the curtain colors. Have bright furniture? Opt for off-white or any other muted color instead.

Anyone who’s ever discovered the difficulty of having to decorate a small space - be it a studio apartment or a one-person bedroom that needs to be made into a two-person bedroom - knows how important curtains can be. No one likes to have their privacy encroached upon, especially when they’re sleeping.

With some cable wire and screw-in hooks, a studio apartment can be transformed into a pseudo-bedroom and living room. And if you’re wanting extra privacy, be sure to order curtains with a blackout lining instead of a regular, sheer lining. 




Aside from letting you decide when you want light to shine through your household windows, curtains can give you even more coverage when placed over sliding doors. Even if you have curtains over all your windows, you still might find yourself in an overly bright area and may need even more ways to block out the sun. Or maybe sun isn’t the issue, and you’re just looking for some extra privacy. Either way, sheer, white curtains or a solid neutral will look best in front of sliding doors. 



Another way to brighten up a space while also making your room look tidier? Hiding areas like open closets or a washer and dryer with fun, brightly-colored curtains. No one wants all their belongings out on display, but installing a door is just too much trouble. Attach a curtain rod to your wall, hang a curtain that matches your room’s decor, and voila - a simple, yet chic way to make your space look more put together.

This technique can be used in a multitude of situations. Have a washer and dryer set that sticks out like a sore thumb? Put a curtain in front of it. Have a certain area of your living room that your child loves to play in so it’s constantly in disarray? Put a curtain in front of it.

Decorating your new space can be a difficult task, but because of the versatility of curtains, it doesn’t have to be. 






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12/17/2014 9:05:00 AM  



Well, the holidays are here and you know what that means…holiday parties! ‘Tis the season for entertaining, from family functions to social soirees. As fun as these gatherings can be, even the most well-behaved house guest can accidentally wreak havoc on your home. It seems that many party staples have great stain-producing potential and, combined with holiday high heels, you’re just asking for trouble. That is, unless you’ve invested in a never-ending supply of Saturn wine glasses.

Well, the holidays are here and you know what that means…holiday parties! ‘Tis the season for entertaining, from family functions to social soirees. As fun as these gatherings can be, even the most well-behaved house guest can accidentally wreak havoc on your home. It seems that many party staples have great stain-producing potential and, combined with holiday high heels, you’re just asking for trouble. That is, unless you’ve invested in a never-ending supply of Saturn wine glasses.

Cranberry sauce, red wine, hot chocolate, and more… it’s just a matter of time ‘til they end up on your floor! In a perfect world, your clumsy companion spills their drink right on this multi-colored rug’s wine-colored squares, but most of us aren’t so lucky and something like this rug usually catches the Cabernet instead.  

So, how can you prevent a spill from ruining your night? Luckily, many stains can be removed with a combination of common household items. The faster you tackle a stain, the better your chances of removing it, so being able to utilize nearby materials definitely sets you up for success. 

Check out these stain-specific treatments:


The Stain: Cranberry Sauce

The Solution: White Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

After scooping up any solids left behind, mix together vinegar with rubbing alcohol and pour it over the stain. Blot until all liquid is absorbed, then repeat as needed.

 

The Stain: Red Wine

The Solution: Detergent and White Vinegar or Club Soda, Dish Soap, and Hydrogen Peroxide

Recipe #2 is especially efficient! Immediately pouring club soda on the stain will prevent it from setting, then you can quickly mix a batch of soap and hydrogen peroxide. It’s important that you soak up as much of the wine as possible before applying the cleaning solution. Use paper towels to press (not rub) and repeat until the carpet is nearly dry. Then, soak the stain with the solution and repeat the paper towel process.

 

The Stain: Hot Chocolate

The Solution: Ammonia, Detergent, and Hydrogen Peroxide

Again, it is important to soak up the stain prior to treating the carpet. Hot chocolate is a little trickier to tackle, but following the directions above should get the job done! If not, you can soak the stain with hydrogen peroxide, let stand for 1 hour, then try again.

 

The Stain: Coffee

The Solution: White Vinegar, Detergent, and Hydrogen Peroxide

You know the drill by now: blot, soak, blot some more! This time, you’ll want to add white vinegar to your combination of soap and hydrogen peroxide.

 

The Stain: Soft Drinks

The Solution: Detergent and White Vinegar

Since soft drinks have their own bubbles, you’ll just need soap and white vinegar to treat this stain. Soak up the excess liquid then sponge the carpet with a small amount of cleaning solution, making sure to blot dry each time. Repeat until the soda says sayonara!

 

The Stain: Candle Wax

The Solution: Ice, Iron, Shampoo, and Rubbing Alcohol

If your candlelight dinner turns to a candle wax disaster, you’ll have a little more work to do in order to get rid of this stain. First, use an ice cube to harden the wax, then scrape it up with a dull knife. Cover the area with a thin towel and apply a hot iron to absorb the remaining wax. Shampoo the carpet, let it dry, then vacuum to remove any remaining pieces.


Here’s hoping that your holiday parties remain spill-free and, should accidents occur, that these home treatments act quickly. If nothing works, at least you’re on your way to a DIY version of this artsy rug!

 


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