How To Select The Best Blinds For You

Whether you are searching for style, privacy, or both, choosing window treatments can be an overwhelming task. Should you shop online, at a local home center or specialty blind store? How sheer or formal should you go?

Privacy and Light

How much do you need and want? You need to decide whether you would like your room to be more cozy and closed up or airy and bright. Is your main goal to hang up sheer curtains in your kitchen so that the light can shine in over the sink in your farmhouse, or to hang heavy curtains in the your bedroom to get a sound sleep? Do you need to cover windows that face the sunny side of your house or are they close to the front door? These factors all influence the fabrics and styles that you select.

Your Budget

Do you need to outfit your entire house or just one window? You might want to spend more of your budget on certain windows and then cut back on some of the others. The price of windows treatments is based on size, so you can expect that larger treatments will cost more. Other things that add to your cost include specialty features, patterns and fabrics along with custom sizes.

How much effort and time you are willing to spend on cleaning

You can clean standard blinds at home, however they are magnets for dust and require frequent cleaning. Shades that are textured weaves and fabrics are better at hiding soil. It is best to care for these either by professional cleaning or vacuuming.

Your Decorating Style

Is your style chic, comfortable, casual or formal? Bold colors can be either dramatic or fun. Subtle hues are ideal for rooms decorated in earthy and neutral colors. Do you like streamlined, sleeker cordless or corded styles better?

Safety

Does your household include young children? If so you may need to have cordless streamlined shades and blinds.

Good Housekeeping Shades and Blinds

Blinds are your best option if you would like to have tiltable slats that you can adjust to allow the sun inside (or not). They offer lots of privacy, and a clean-looking, attractive fit. Price for blinds tend to increase as you go from vinyl to aluminum, textured vinyl or faux wood and then wood being the most expensive.

Types of Blinds

Wood blinds are available in painted or polished finished and dark or light hues. Our GH line offers a wide range from rich Peruvian Walnut to white Country Cottage. They are ideal for dens and offices. They don’t tend to be the best option for baths or kitchens, where moisture can cause damage (choose faux wood or polymer instead), or for living rooms or bedrooms if you are wanting a more romantic and softer effect.

Insulating blinds help with blocking or filter light and conserve energy as well. Our GH branded insulating blinds are available in 15 colors, ranging from Sage to Natural Linen.

Blinds

Both exterior and interior blinds help to reduce the gain of solar heat while at the same maintaining your desired privacy, ventilation and light. Reflective blinds (near white or white) can reduce heat gain by as much as 45 percent when lowered and closed on a sunny window.

Outdoor Blinds

Quite often exterior blinds are more effective compared to interior blinds. Exterior blinds, in contrast to interior blinds, block heat before it gets through the window and heats the room up. Patio blinds can be added to an outdoor area, this type of outdoor blinds allows you to block out wind and rain – essentially creating an entirely new room to your home.

Drapes

Depending on the color and fabric weight, drapes can help to insulate your house from both heat loss during the winter and solar heat gain during the summer.

Medium-colored drapes that have a white plastic back are able to reduce the amount of solar heat gain by up to 33 perfect if they are closed during the hot months of the year. For maximum performed, a tight seal is required, like it is with other kinds of window treatments. Drapes should be hung from a cornice or directly up to the ceiling and down to the floor. Position them as close as possible to the window.

Awnings

Awnings add personality to the exterior of a home and provide great protection against the sun in locations with hot weather on a regular basis. Exterior awnings are able to reduce an increase in solar heat by as much as 77 percent with west-facing windows and up to 65 percent on south-facing windows.

Roof Overhangs

A roof overhang works very similar to the way that an awning does. When properly designed, the proper roof overhang will block out solar heat during the summer and also let desirable heat in during the winter to warm your interior up. Consult with a designer or architect who is experienced with passive solar design. The person will consider various factors such as window size, climate and latitude.

High Reflectivity Film

Due to the high reflectivity of film’s permanence, it is suggested by the DOE that it be used in climates that have short winters. Eat gain is reduced by the film over the whole year, including during the winter, which can benefit from the solar heat.

Mirror-like, silver film works more efficiently than transparent film does. On really large windows high reflectivity film works quite well.

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How To Design Your Daughter’s Room

It always seems as soon you finish remodeling your daughter comes up with a new idea for redoing her room again. It is scary for all of us. As working parents at a time when it isn’t exactly a booming economy, none of us want to spend lots of money on a room that’s going to just be changed again in a couple of years. Children’s tastes change drastically as they are growing up, even from one day to the next, never mind in a few years! By spending your money wisely you can justify the cost of redecorating your daughter’s bedroom, not only through clipping coupons and finding deals, but also in knowing the best things to purchase and how to use to best use them.

Maybe your daughter is going to be born in just a couple of months and you are starting to get her nursery decorated. You might think automatically of pastel greens, yellows and pinks that the walls can be painted with. However, it is also important to think about five or ten years into the future. Is your daughter going to want that color on the walls of her room for that long? Do your best to get everything to last as long as possible for the room since it’s going to be hers for eighteen years at least, and she’s going to want to redecorate it a couple of times at least. Think about it again, are pastels going to last for a decade? Of course not! So which colors should you choose then? Using green, yellow and pink is definitely okay, but you should try to use more vivid, brighter tones of these colors. Think about painting the walls a sunshine yellow with the accent color being a deep fuchsia. Those are colors that definitely can last for a long time!

Buying furniture that you can keep for a long time and that has multiple uses is a lot harder to pull off than selecting paint and requires plenty of shopping around and research. Check out convertible cribs – these are cribs that can be transformed first into a toddler bed, and then a daybed and finally a full sized bed. This is a purchase you can definitely get plenty of use out of. These days parents are just looking for cribs that are a one-time purchase. They would like to get more from their cribs than being only able to use them for a short period of time.

In terms of storage for stowing away all of the toys, purchase a sturdy bookshelf with the option of putting on add-on doors at a later stage of your daughter’s life. When you have a small child running around, it is critically that things like blankets and diapers be easily accessible. So in a couple of years the doors are going to be even more functional. You can also add small details to your daughter’s room like placing bows on curtain rods or spelling out her name with wooden letters. These small touches can add a nice touch, are affordable and are easy to remove.

Finally your little girl is starting elementary school. Time sure does fly! She has asked for her “little girl” bedroom be updated to a “big girl” bedroom. You have transformed her crib already into a toddler bed, but she is ready to use the day bed now. One thing you can do is change the wall color to one that is bright green that match the curtains still along with other decorations in the room to display her favorite color. You can begin the makeover by putting a patterned rug on the floor and getting her furniture rearranged so there is plenty of floor space for her toys and dolls. You take take the bows off of the curtain rods and add striped multi-colored shades to the windows. Then place a ribbon shower curtain over her day bed as a canopy and suddenly your daughter has a brand new bedroom with very little effort and at a low cost.

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Creating an Amazing Garage Apartment

For many changing families, garage apartment living is an excellent solution. Whether you have a live-in parent who needs some help, but is able to do many daily chores on their own, or have a child who is back home after finishing college who is looking for his or her first job, then having a garage apartment could be the ideal fit for the needs of your family. But how can you make your garage apartment feel functional, cozy and comfortable. After all, you don’t want it feeling like a garage.

There are special challenges to apartment garage living that must be met that make it different from living in a house. First of all you have to maximize square footage to its fullest potential. Apartment garages are very small, so you need to account for every single inch of your floor plan when choosing and placing your furniture. You might want to have a large L-shaped or over-sized sofa, however after you get into your small space, you realize how enormous in size it appears. Choose the pieces of furniture you are going to use carefully so that they are not only comfortable but multi-functional as well. Sofa beds and futons are two good examples of versatile pieces of furniture that offer seating areas for entertaining in addition to sleeping space. Or an ottoman can double as a stool to prop your legs up or for seating purposes or a tray can be placed on top of it to serve as an extra table to use. Added function is offered by stacking tables and they don’t use up much space. However, you can separate them so extra table space is provided next to seating areas. When multi-functional pieces of furniture are used it will provide you with added functionality without the room becoming overcrowded with an excess amount of furniture.

Another common problem that garage apartments have is lack of storage space. They aren’t known for having spacious, large walk-in closets. The closets, in fact, tend to be quite small. So when storage is added into your floor plan, get creative with it. Buy some adjustable rods to add to closets to provide you with more hanging space. Pullout rods can also be installed so that you can pull them out quickly in the bathroom to hang your bath towel or robe on, but still don’t take up much wall space when they aren’t being used.

If you’re having a difficult time finding room for storing away bigger household items such as family momentos and seasonal decorations that you don’t need to access all the time, you can make use of the space underneath your sofa and bed for extra storage. You can also use cement blocks to raise up your bed and then a longer bed skirt can be used to hide the blocks. The added height will offer you a little extra storage space, while also giving your sleeping area or bedroom an elegant feel to it.

Other stylish methods for adding storage is to find interesting shelving that offer more functionality in addition to creating extra storage. Shelves offer a great spot for functional items or collectible and the floor space is kept open. Whether it is a shelf with photos and books over your bed, or a shelf with pretty soaps and towels on it in the bathroom, it offers architectural interest in addition to being functional. Look at estate sales, yard sales or flea markets for unique shelves that highlight items and provide an artistic focal point.

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