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Preserve the gleam: Care for your hardwood floors
By Payless Decor
8/8/2013 7:30:00 AM  

Hardwood floors are the unsung heroes of interior design. They constantly pull rooms together and are still easier to clean than a carpet. And while super scuffed up floors are a great look all their own, that may not be what you're going for. If that's the case, take some precautions to protect your floors! 

Cleaning
The main thing to keep in mind when cleaning up dry messes (dust, crumbs, etc.) is that it doesn't have to be done every day. Set aside time once or twice a week to do a quick sweep of the area, keeping in mind that when accumulated, dry messes can essentially erode the wood if left unattended over time. 

However, wet spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. They're not the end of the world, but they will definitely change the appearance of the wood if they're not taken care of quickly. Basically you don't want any liquids standing on your floor for any extended period of time. 

After you've dusted your floors, Freshome suggested mixing small amounts of water and vinegar and applying it to a sponge mop to clean the wood without harming the finish - just be careful not to get any on your custom window treatments! 

Protecting
Unfortunately, there are some scratches that no amount of cleaning can get out. But don't worry, there are some tricks to keep them from happening in the first place.

Home Guides recommended putting felt on the bottoms of all furniture in the space. This will help prevent scratches from occurring when you so much as pull your chair out from the table. To avoid shoe-related damage, set up cute cubbies by your entryway and ask that guests remove their shoes before coming in. 

You could also put down accent or area rugs in the more high traffic areas of the room to preserve the floor. Keep in mind that with rearranging and time, the most used space may change, and keeping a carpet in that section will help keep your floors from obtaining random patches of wear. 

Moisture is the natural enemy of hardwood floors, and that includes moisture in the air. If you can, get a dehumidifier to moderate the humidity in the area of your home that heavily features wood. 


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Create your own canopy bed with curtain rods
By Payless Decor
8/2/2013 9:08:00 AM  

Have you ever wanted a canopy draped over your bed, but didn't want to spend the money for a custom canopy frame and fabric? You can easily create your own dream canopy bed all on your own! Canopy rods can be a bit expensive, but curtain rods do just the trick.The only materials that you will need are curtain rods, fabric or drapery and tools to attach the rods, ideally a drill screwdriver and a trusty metal ruler. 

Finding curtain rods and fabric
Measure the perimeter around your bed, {including} the length and the width. When choosing curtain rods, make sure that they are long enough to cover the whole area around your bed. It is much better to have longer rods that go past your bed, rather than rods that cut short before your bed.Some people use three rods and leave the front side of the bed open, while others use four and enclose the whole bed with the canopy.

Colors of fabric and rods
Also, choose a neutral color for the rods, such as white or a faint color that matches the fabric or drapery that will be hanging down. A popular fabric choice is a light silk or transparent fabric that will soften and complement the rest of the room. Window drapery fabrics are also a good choice, as they can be priced lower compared to custom canopy treatments. 

Attaching the rods and canopy
Depending on the type of rods that you purchase, they will be need to be attached differently. Most types will need to be drilled into the ceiling or walls. Once the rods are attached, hang the draperies from them. You can tie the fabric back or let it hang down and completely cover the bed for more privacy. 


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Decorate for the weather with energy-efficient window treatments
By Payless Decor
7/29/2013 9:38:00 AM  

The right drapes or blinds can do more than bring a room together visually. They can also be a great way keep your home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year. With a little planning and know-how, your window treatments can help you keep cool in summer and warm in winter, and they can do it all while still looking stylish.

Controlling light controls heat
One of the main functions of any type of window treatment is to regulate the amount of light - and therefore heat - entering a room. This means that knowing when to keep your windows covered or uncovered is one of the simplest ways to influence the temperature. In summer, keep all blinds closed or curtains drawn during the daytime. In winter, on the other hand, you should leave any windows uncovered that receive direct sunlight. During the day, cover only the ones that don't face the sun. At night, cover all of them in order to keep as much heat inside as possible.

However, that's only scratching the surface. Different types of treatments work better than others, and some are more suited to one season or another. Cellular window shades are specifically mentioned by the Department of Energy as a good choice for either season. Their design creates pockets that trap air, keeping warm air inside in winter and cool air in summer, adding an extra layer of insulation around your windows. Pleated shades work in much the same way.

Also, keep in mind that controlling light doesn't mean that you need to block it out entirely. While blackout curtains are a popular and energy-efficient choice, they're not the only option. Sheer shades provide great flexibility, allowing you to leave them open for soft, filtered light, or close them to keep out more of the sun's rays.

Materials matter
Most window treatments are available in a wide variety of designs, patterns, and even textures, with materials ranging from silk to bamboo to plastic. One consideration that should not be overlooked is color. Keep in mind that lighter colors tend to reflect light, which makes them most effective in warm weather, while darker colors absorb and retain heat. This doesn't mean that you need to choose between white and black, however. Draperies in a medium tone of any color are a good choice for both winter and summer.

You can also take advantage of the colors in the interior of your house. Although blinds don't provide a whole lot of light control - there are too many little gaps between the slats - they do allow you to direct that light with a great amount of precision. If you have a light-colored ceiling, angle the blinds upwards in summer so that incoming light hits the ceiling instead of the walls or floor. The pale color will scatter light and keep things a little cooler indoors.

Reflective materials, such as shiny plastic or beautifully stained wood blinds, can also help ward off heat. Fabric drapes, on the other hand, can be very effective in preventing heat loss, although this varies depending on the weave and weight of the fabric. The way they hang also allows air to circulate in the folds, keeping things a bit cooler in summer. Some treatments, such as roman window shades, are available in both hard and soft varieties.

Combine treatments for added efficiency
Overlapping different treatments can blend the benefits of hard and soft materials and give your insulation an added boost. This can be as simple as ensuring that the edges of drapes overlap each other when they hang. You can also use exterior shutters together with interior drapes or shades, or get drapes with plastic backing.

Any treatment can also be used alongside reflective glass or film, although these work best in summer as opposed to winter, and the film may reduce the visibility of the glass.


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How to add personality to your staircase
By Payless Decor
7/22/2013 6:54:00 PM  

Sick of staring at an empty hardwood staircase? Get in touch with your artistic side and add some color to the steps. Make sure that when remodeling your staircase your new theme matches your current decor such as keeping your wall colors and windows and draperies in mind.  All projects can be done on your own, so there's no need to hire outside help. 

Vacation or location tribute wall
Collect different signs and artwork from vacations and special places and hang them up on the wall alongside the staircase. Dig up all of the old postcards from your travels and make a collage to pin up. Frame old scenic landscape photographs from the trip, and you will be reliving the vacation with every step that you take.  

Vintage family tribute wall
Print some black and white photographs of your loved ones in all different sizes and frame them to hang them up along the walls leading up to the next floor. Ask your parents and family for old photographs of their childhood and of their parents. All frames do not need to be identical, but try to stay with the same color palette to create a cohesive look. Mix in some old vintage mirrors for the real 1940's effect. 

Wallpaper stairwell
Find a subtle wallpaper that compliments the paint color or existing wallpaper and fill in the gaps between each stair with the new wallpaper. Make sure that the wallpaper that you picked is not too busy- perhaps choose a color from your window draperies, which will bring the whole room together. 

Tile mosaics
This may take a lot more time than the other projects, but is well worth it in the end. Find a bunch of tiles, that can be any size, and glue them all together like a puzzle. You can use mirrors, stain glass, shells and glue tile on a thin piece of wood that is the exact measurement of the stair, and glue the whole board to the gaps in the staircase. 


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What custom window treatments go where
By Payless Decor
7/3/2013 11:47:00 AM  

With so many options, it may be hard to pick out exactly what kind of window treatments go where in your home. Between choosing what looks best and fits seamlessly into your decor, you should also consider what how much privacy you want for the room in question. 

Drapes
No traditional room is complete without some opulent drapery. However, since you're probably not decorating a ballroom, it's okay to skip the tiers and stick with the simpler version. You may want to avoid using drapes in a kitchen or child's room, as the fabric can be difficult to clean. In a room with light spillage - dining rooms, bedrooms or living rooms - drapes can be cleaned using feather dusters, dry clothes or taken to the dry cleaners periodically. Match these elegant window treatments with Persian rugs, traditional-style couches and arm chairs and some soft lighting. They also provide enough coverage that they can be used in more private rooms. 

Wood blinds
Contemporary design calls for wood blinds, no question about it. The simplicity, and texture of this natural element are ideal for the kind of late 20th century room that is so popular today. This style of design heavily relies on neutral colors and earthy materials, making the wooden material very fitting. It also tends to feature a monochromatic palette, presenting the decorator with a particular need for texture. The way wood blinds contrast against light in clean lines creates a sort of texture, as opposed to other window treatments you may use. Contemporary design also uses slim silhouettes and unadorned materials, requirements that are easily fulfilled with wood blinds. They are easy to wipe down, and allow enough privacy to be used in any room of the house. 

Shades
Roller and roman shades are the perfect addition to any modern room. The simple outline of the window treatments complement the basic feel of this particular interior design style - and the level of privacy varies. Bamboo roller shades might work best in a kitchen, as they're easy to wipe down and don't block out as much light as other shades would. Conversely, blackout roller shades are perfect for a modern bedroom, especially one that belongs to a night owl. The soft but tidy lines of roman shades look minimalist but cozy - and would look amazing in a bedroom or living room.


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Trendy styles with Roman shades
By Payless Decor
5/3/2013 4:52:00 PM  

Roman shades, the sleek, flat window treatments that fold instead of roll, can be just the thing to bring any room together. Available in tons of colors, this discount window treatment can be perfect to complete the decor of the bathroom, kitchen, dining room or any place in your home.

Colors
In a new list, HGTV details the many uses of this versatile type of shade. The texture of the window treatment, which is much smoother and often looks more chic than many other, traditional styles, can be used to create a contemporary feel with a regal undertone in many rooms. Getting these shades in tones like purple and royal blue will help to give the light just the right tone to make your sunroom or patio feel like a modern paradise. With free samples available, you'll be sure to find the right style for you and your home.

The look
These shades are a great way to add a look of luxury to your home, notes Better Homes and Gardens. Thanks to their clean fabric lines, Romans look great both hanging down and folded up, which also means that they work in just about any room - especially one where you want a cleaner, more simplistic look than more cumbersome styles such as drapes. Compared to many treatments that provide the same level of class and luxury to your decor, these treatments are also often less expensive. The automatic folding of the blinds also makes installing and maintaining them a breeze. 

No matter what room you're trying to complete, there will definitely be a color and style of Roman shades that will help make your home decorating dream a reality.


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Do you know what's trending in window treatments?
By Payless Decor
4/1/2013 6:58:00 PM  

Having plain old window treatments can give an entire room a drab and unexciting feeling, but if you're looking for new curtains, blinds and shades, it's good to know what's trending.

Natural elements
Anything that evokes a natural tone or is made from natural materials is all the rage when it comes to window treatments, according to HGTV. Bamboo blinds, wood blinds and curtains with shades of greens and browns are just a few of the ways to make your windows feel more organic. If your window gets enough sunlight, why not go all the way and put potted plants there? Nothing feels closer to nature than living plants in your home. Some windows can't support plants on their own or you may feel less inclined to incorporate them in your home due to rambunctious cats or allergies, but you could still utilize plants in your decor: A bowl of fruit or the branch of an attractive plant like a pussy willow can fill the same role without spreading pollen..

New styles
It's becoming very chic to hide the simplify the appearance of household items for the sake of a modern, minimal decor. This doesn't necessarily mean that everything has to be straight-laced, rather that simplicity should be emphasized. In terms of windows, Roman shades are a great choice. These graceful window treatments work much like typical curtains but only appear as billowed rolls of gorgeous, colorful fabric. These treatments are also a great way to add a subtle splash of color to a room that may be otherwise dominated by neutral tones. 

New technologies
Each day there are dozens of new applications for smart phones that can do a wide variety of things - even control the curtains in your home. Once Loxone's system is set up, it is able to open and close your curtains with the push of a button. With the proper set-up, curtains can be placed on an electric track so you are able to open and shut them with a simple touch of your smartphone. This service also allows you to automatically adjust the times that your curtains will open and close throughout the day, for instance, maximizing morning light while cutting down on afternoon glare. When combined with discount window treatments, this can be a very affordable way to bring your home decor into the future. 


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Tips for making your rooms flow
By Payless Decor
10/14/2012 4:06:00 PM  

As you walk throughout your house, your rooms should flow seamlessly together so their decorative feel works in perfect harmony. This synthesis between each space can come from a variety of techniques that implement color, style and design. Here are a few tips to making each room flow.

Color coexistence

One of the most notable characteristics of a room is the color. While the hue or tone is up to you, HGTV notes that the similarity of color from one room to the next will be conducive to the flow. For simplicity, you can make each room the same color, and to add some flair, put up a wallpaper border. If you do choose to go with different colors, it's a good idea to pick tones that will match. Go with something light or subtle so there isn't a jarring effect. For example, a light pink will work beautifully with a sky blue or a peach.

Decorations

Having similar decorations will also help establish a synthesis between rooms. If you're a fan of pop art, perhaps you have paintings of Andy Warhol's ilk in each of your rooms. They don't have to match or have the same color scheme, but their look and feel may be similar. This aesthetic could apply to anything, from ornamental figurines on your tables to bamboo shades on your windows.

Furniture

The furniture in each room should also serve to complement each other for a synthesized flow. Of course, you don't have to go furniture shopping for each room in your house, but every time you choose to replace something you may want to keep your other pieces in mind. Maybe you enjoy varnished woodwork with ornate patterns or the minimalist post-modern design made popular by IKEA - whatever you choose, it's wise to stick with it.


 


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Choosing the perfect window treatments for sliding doors
By Payless Decor
10/13/2012 8:21:00 AM  

Sliding doors are super convenient, but they're somewhat problematic when it comes to deciding what to cover them with. You don't want the sun to shine through that huge space all the time, but you don't want to have to dodge hanging blinds and shades on a regular basis either. Here are a couple of ways you can effectively cover up those sliders.

For starters, how about setting yourself up with a couple of great tiebacks on either side? These can help you gather curtains and other hanging window treatments out of the way where people won't have to move them aside when entering or leaving.

Vertical Blinds are typically used, but Sliding Panels are a terrific, stylish option that is highly functional and great looking when paired with a sliding glass door.

Roman shades could work too, because they can be pulled down when you want coverage and raised to above head-height when you don't, giving your family and guests enough room to go underneath. A valance or other type of window topper could provide further decoration without getting in the way of the door.

Custom window shades will ensure that you have exact measurements that will enhance the function and aesthetic of your slider. No more having to worry about excessive sunlight!


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Four tips for sprucing up your guest bedroom for visitors
By Payless Decor
10/10/2012 12:21:00 PM  

When it comes to decorating your guest room, you might make it low on your list of priorities, especially if you don't have visitors on a frequent basis. But it may be time for an upgrade if your pleated shades aren't what they used to be and your furnishings are relatively dated. Here are a few tips on how to spruce up your guest room and make it feel like a sanctuary away from home for your guests.

1. Let light flow into the room.

If your guest room is dark and dreary, chances are your visitors aren't going to have a great time in your living space. To ensure comfort and warmth, allow as much natural light as possible to flow into the room. Discount window treatments such as drapery panels that can be swept out of the way during the daytime are ideal for bedrooms that could use more sunshine.

2. Bring in freshness.

To immediately get rid of the stale feeling in your guest room, think about bringing in fresh flowers in a decorative vase before your guests arrive. Nothing says "Welcome!" like a new bouquet of flowers, and it can instantly bring life into the room. As an added touch, consider adding a few potted houseplants to the space.

3. Provide the basics.

Good Housekeeping Magazine recommends taking a cue from hotels and ensuring your guests have all the basics they need to be comfortable - specifically toiletries and towels. Leave a basket on the bed for when they arrive including small soaps, shampoo and a loofah for  ultimate convenience. Fresh towels are also a big plus - you don't want your guests to have to go looking for them when shower time arrives.

4. Pay extra attention to the bed.

The bed is a crucial part of how comfortable your guests feel in your home, according to MarthaStewart.com. Ideally, the sheets should be lightly tucked in (not too tight) for easy accessibility. If you have a large comforter or throw blanket on top, be sure to have airy sheets under it as a secondary option if your visitor doesn't want to use all of the linens. When it comes to pillows, you can never have too many. Place a variety of different sized pillows on the bed to give your guests a choice in what they use to sleep - people tend to have their preferences when it comes to pillows.


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