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3 ways to use environmentally friendly home decor
By Payless Decor
4/8/2014 1:11:00 PM  

For those who seek to make a positive impact on the environment, there are things you can do in addition to composting and recycling. It's possible to decorate your home in a green way - without using the color green. Here are some decor ideas for the environmentally friendly.

Conserve energy
You can cut back on the environmental damage that the energy used for heating and AC can cause by better insulating your home. Using cellular shades in the summer keeps the sun from heating up the room, and installing additional film over windows helps cut back on draftiness in the winter. Taking these measures will reduce the need for air conditioning and heating which, in addition to saving you money, will help to shrink your carbon footprint.

Rather than buying a new vase, why not use a nice looking glass bottle? Reusing recyclables or items around the house instead of buying them is referred to as "upcycling," and is an environmentally friendly way to decorate. Giving old products more value instead of throwing them away reduces the need to use new materials. Next time you go to buy a new product, ask yourself if there's something around the house you can use instead.

Have houseplants
What's more green than houseplants? In addition to being visually appealing, having foliage indoors can improve air quality. NASA has discovered that they can use common plants to keep space stations breathable for humans, According to the University of Minnesota. Through photosynthesis, plants remove toxic gases from the air, like carbon dioxide, benzene and formaldehyde. If it's good enough for space, think about what it could do for your home.

Use renewable resources
Bamboo is a grass product and grows much more quickly than a tree. Using bamboo for floors, furniture or of course window shades is a terrific way to make your house feel more environmentally friendly, while also using your wallet to encourage bamboo production.

Image: Blackout cellular shades are a great insulator and keep your room warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Blackout cellular shades

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How To Attach a Fauxwood Valance Clip
By Jenn Lord
9/18/2013 2:49:00 PM  

All of Payless Decor's wood and faux wood window blinds will come with a valance.  This valance will hide the metal portion of the headrail of the blind and the mounting brackets used in installation.  It will make the overall appearance much sleeker and more elegant.  We also sell the Premium Fauxwood Valance separately on our website here:https://www.paylessdecor.com/Blind-Parts/Payless-Decor-Faux-Wood-Decorative-Crown-Valance.asp.  Please note that this valance will only attach to the headrail of a 2" fauxwood blind.  It will not fit over a vertical blind or any blind with a large headrail or track system.  Read below to see how to attach your fauxwood valance clips quickly and easily. 

On the back side of the valance you will see a groove. The clips you have received to attach the valance over the headrail are going to be small clear "hidden" valance clips.  They do not wrap around the valance.  

valance clip instructions

Valance clip

You will twist each clip into the back groove.

Valance 2 Instruction


The open portion of the valance clip is what will be pointing toward the base of the valance as this is what will latch onto the headrail.



Attach the clips evenly spaced over the length of the valance.  You will not need a lot of these clips.  In most cases 2 will do the trick. 


Now you are ready to hang the valance on the headrail of your 2" Premium blind.


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Categories: Home Improvement, Faux Wood Blinds, How To
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Add interest to your home by mixing patterns
By Payless Decor
9/9/2013 10:39:00 AM  

Combining patterns is the perfect way to energize an outfit, but it's an even better way to stimulate a room. It can be a challenge, but when executed correctly it's absolutely worth the risk. Don't be afraid to go big with these tips on how to mix prints. 

Two-tone palette
One of the most failsafe methods of combining patterns is to limit your color scheme to two hues. House Beautiful recommended being extra careful by keeping one of the tones neutral to complement whatever second color you choose. For example, mix lemon zest with an optic white and use natural accents to taper the combo. Bamboo blinds are a great accessory in a room with wooden floors, and keeping the pigment simple gives you the freedom you need to go crazy with stripes and geometric prints. 

If you're decorating with a single color, you should definitely be using more than one pattern. Prints lend visual texture to a room, which creates enough variety to make a monochrome room look chic, not boring. Remember that you can play with different shades of the same color when using patterns. Consider painting wide stripes on the walls using a pretty plum and a slightly lighter hue. Or, keep the walls simple and inject patterns with throw pillows, carpets and custom window treatments. 

Switch up the scales
One trick to mixing patterns successfully is to vary the scale. For instance, if you're thinking of using florals with stripes, look for stripes on the smaller size and bold flowers or vice versa. Prints that are the same size are more likely to clash than ones that are varied. Additionally, a smaller pattern will blend together more and even though it will hold the same level of interest, it will do more of what a solid would in terms of tempering the more bold pattern. 

Use texture as a pattern
You can mix patterns in a more subtle way by substituting some prints with deep textures. Materials such as wicker, seersucker, suede and leather are all a means of combining prints. The girlishness of a lace pattern and the masculinity of leather would contrast nicely in a study or living room, while seersucker would be a great accent to a nature-inspired print in a bedroom or dining room. 

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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! 

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! 

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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How to decorate with mint
By Payless Decor
7/10/2013 4:14:00 PM  

Redecorating your home with an invigorating splash of mint is sure to help cool you down this summer. The hue made an inspired comeback on the runways last summer, and has remained popular ever since. The look conjures up the energy of the swinging '60s, is post-modern and entirely fresh. Here are some tips for decorating with mint. 

Minty fresh walls
While mint may seem like a bold color, it goes on walls easily, without being too jarring. Simply pair it with neutrals to tone it down. The pigment looks amazing with black and white, or any variation of. Just picture a romantic mint room with sleek, dark blinds and shades and white windowsills. It's also the perfect color for a bathroom - soothing, and fantastical. Match mint ceramic tiles with onyx-colored ones and white accessories and you've got yourself one retro chic commode!

Rooms with a side of mint
Sometimes, a touch of mint is better than going all-out (think mojito). In this case, the cheeky hue works wonders in a cool, gray room with - you guessed it - black and white accents. A lighter shade of mint fits in seamlessly in rooms that are predominantly white. Look for a few pillow slips that feature the color, and watch how they brighten up a room. You could also combine the mint craze with the faux-chandelier trend, and get an opulent overhead light made out of plastic or resin in the hue. Love the idea of mint, but aren't sure where to fit it in? Look no farther than the front door. A white or gray house with a green lawn and a mint door is so precious and cutting-edge at the same time. 

Throwback Thursday featuring mint
Minty accessories are so incredibly vintage. Think of the kind of cool princess phone you'd see in Grease. Those sorts of accessories are still made, and would look excellent on your bedside table. Or, hang a retro wall-mounted phone in your kitchen. Not a fan of the princess style? No problem, you could get a mint green mixer to display on your kitchen island. In that vein, you could take a giant leap and get a vintage ice box in the funky shade, or take it slow and just get some jadeite flatware. 

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Spruce up your unused fireplace
By Payless Decor
6/20/2013 8:52:00 AM  

There's no reason to let your out of commission fireplace go to waste - there are plenty of creative ways to use the space and make it as visually appealing as a fire, or maybe more so. Here are some ideas for decorating your unused fireplace.

You can take the fire out of the fireplace, but maybe consider leaving the logs in. Arranging birch logs lends a rustic element, and what's more fitting than stowing them in your hearth? You can stack them as though they're prepared to make a fire, or stand them up on varied risers to give the space some dimension. Real Simple recommends putting a wooden crate in your fireplace with the bottom facing outward, then cutting a collection of logs to about one-fourth of an inch less than the opening of your fireplace and stacking them until the crate is out of sight. This is a creative way to bring nature into your home as a design element.

Your empty hearth can also be a valuable space for storing books. Consider piling them up to different heights, or installing shelves within the fireplace so you can also use it for vases or picture frames.

Miniature forest
Rather than putting parts of trees into your unused fireplace, why not use the whole plant? Turn the area into a mini garden, but be sure to use plants that don't require a lot of light, like mosses and ferns. The plus side of keeping greenery on the hearth is that you can let the vines spill out over the sides of the pots, as they'll still be contained in some way.

Alternative fire
You may not be able to have a full-fledged fire, but you can always keep candles in your hearth, so long as they're out of the way of your custom window treatments! There are several ways to go about this: You could place an antique candelabrum in the center and use tea candles or tall thin candles, or you could use large pillar candles. The best visual effect would be to either keep them absolutely level, or to strategically vary the height. Modern Housing Insight magazine recommends putting the candles on top of birch logs and leaving some on their own. You can use risers to make the candles in back higher and create facets.

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Clean up your kitchen in 3 steps
By Payless Decor
6/18/2013 9:00:00 AM  

Cleaning the kitchen can sometimes be as easy as running the dishwasher, but to create a tidy, organized environment, there are some steps you need to take. 

1. Get rid of old ingredients 
Unless ingredients are creating a stink in the back of your fridge, chances are you barely notice old items that you don't need anymore. Things such as old flour that you'll never use because your child was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, baking chocolate that you won't eat because you're on a diet, and the beef in the back of your freezer that's probably too old to eat by now you should toss. Go through all of your cabinets, your fridge, and your freezer, and get rid of anything that you don't think you'll ever need. 

2. Cut out extra tools
Kitchen tools can build up quickly, from the kitschy egg-shaped timer you got as a wedding present to the plastic flatware you've had since college. You don't need to necessarily get rid of these - if you have the storage space and think you could use some things for entertaining in the future, stow them away in a labeled box in your basement or attic. But cut out the things you have two of and accessories that have the same function: You don't need two of the same size butcher knife. 

3. Replace old accessories 
Make your kitchen look cleaner by replacing old dingy items, such as cracked tile or old discount window treatments. For an especially clean look, get cordless shades for your new, tidy space. If you keep your pans on display, get rid of the ones that are too scratched to use and substitute them with shiny copper pans. 

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How to design a tree house
By Payless Decor
5/31/2013 5:00:00 PM  

If you live in a woodsy area and want your kids to enjoy being up in the trees with all the comforts of home, you may want to consider installing a tree house. These lofty abodes can be designed in an amazing array of styles and built in many configurations. By following the right design tips, your treehouse will be a homey addition to your yard as well.

First and foremost, check with your county and city zoning board to ensure that building a treehouse is permissible in your neighborhood.

Secondly, pick a good tree to support your project. There are a few ways to construct a treehouse: between the branches or around the trunk. If you happen to have a tree in your yard with sturdy branches far enough apart to suspend the base of the house, you may be able to start by securing a platform across. However, you can also design a treehouse around the tree trunk - this will requires more beams and preparation, but it produces a very sturdy model, The Independent notes. Of course, as with all carpentry projects, don't take on more than you can handle. A rickety treehouse can be both dangerous and unattractive.

While many treehouses are cabin-like, you can make yours stand out with some flair. A list of fantastical treehouses in Popular Mechanics features one modeled after the Taj Mahal. The gorgeous shapes found in the buttresses and towers of India's architectural masterpiece are mimicked here in a smaller form. While your treehouse may not be inspired by a palace, try basing your design on a theme and base the work from there.

Color and accessories
Just because a treehouse is in the woods doesn't mean is has to be rustic: You can bring elements of interior design outdoors. Try experimenting with different wood stains for the planks, or go all-out with fun colors and play up the contrast between the natural colors of the tree and your house. Inside the house, you'll want to include some light furniture, such as lawn chairs and discount window treatments to keep the sun at bay. Using wood blinds and furniture can be very effective and will add to the natural feel of the treehouse. 

Whether you want to build it yourself or just do the design work, putting a treehouse in your yard can add fun and appeal to your property.

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3 tips to control mold in your home
By Payless Decor
5/28/2013 12:04:00 PM  

Household mold is bad for both you and your family's health as well as the general appeal of your house. Once mold beings to grow, its unpleasant musty odor can be difficult to remove and may even cause permanent damage to walls, ceilings and other fixtures. These three easy tips can help to combat this spore.

1. Keep water out
Excess water in your home can easily start a mold situation. This is often caused by rainwater leaking into your home, resulting in high humidity - a prime condition for mold growth. This is quite common in basements, even if they are fully furnished.

One easy way to avoid water leaking into your home is to check the slope of the soil next to your home's foundation. If the soil is leaning toward your home, this may cause water to get inside, potentially leading to a mold issue. To be sure whether or not this is an issue, pour some water over the soil and see which way it runs. It if goes toward your home, HGTV suggests trying some simple landscaping to change the direction of the slope away from your home.

2. Dry out the basement
Even taking these steps, the basement can still be damp enough to foster mold growth that can spread throughout your home. Many opt to use a dehumidifier to soak up the moisture that can be common in the lowest room of the house. Additionally, check all the windows and pipes to be sure that they're watertight. If your basement is home to a central heating or cooling unit, make sure that any water drainage is properly caught and removed.

If there are already wet or moldy patches in the basement, you can use commercial cleaning products, or, if you prefer a more natural approach, items like corn starch or arrowroot powder can also do the trick, notes FrugallySustainable.com.

3. Get some sunshine
Sunlight is a natural disinfectant according to common wisdom. If your basement has windows, give them a good scrub to let in as much sunlight as possible. Consider installing some window blinds that can easily be opened and shut to alternatively allow sunlight and hide any valuables you may be storing. If your basement is also home to a den or living room, you'll want to get appealing honeycomb shades or venetian blinds that will allow a little sunlight in even when they're closed.

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How to spruce up your outdoor patio
By Payless Decor
4/30/2013 4:36:00 PM  

Outdoor patios tend to be neglected during the winter - after all, who would want to spend any time there in the cold and snow? Once spring arrives, however, you may find yourself having to do some work on your outdoor living space, and bringing the patio back to life is a great chance to make improvements.

Clean house
The first thing you'll likely have to do is clean up any branches, leaves and other items that may have accumulated on your porch or patio during the winter. Don't neglect the house itself, as winter tends to be harsh on siding and trim. If you have vinyl siding, lucky you - a light scrub with a soft sponge, warm water and a little mild detergent will remove any dirt. Be careful with wood siding, however, as some cleaning agents can hurt the finish or the wood itself. Consider renting a power washer or hiring a professional if your clapboard or shingles could use some sprucing up.

In with the new
If not properly stored, your patio furniture may have taken a beating. Luckily, there's always room to improve. Getting some new chairs, tables and outdoor blinds and shades can do wonders to revitalize your patio. There are many options to consider with patio furniture, but a good one might be some rustic wood furniture, notes HGTV. This furniture will blend wonderfully with the outdoor foliage and will provide a bridge between the manmade and natural items found in your backyard. Pair this new furniture with some wood blinds or bamboo blinds as well as a few select plants to get an entirely new feel for your outdoor space.

Your patio is meant to bridge the gap between the interior and exterior of your home, so consider tapering off your interior-inspired decor as you get further from the house to transition into a truly nature-inspired outdoor space.

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