Your Daily Guide to Home Trends, DIY Projects and Everything Windows

May 21, 2012

Covering an old home's windows with woven woods

  During

Here's a juicy confession:  while I work at Blinds.com and love seeing all of our customers' window transformations, I have secretly been holding out on a few windows in my own home.

And it's not because I don't love our products.  I'm just in love with our old school cylinder glass windows.  You know the kind you might have seen at your grandparent's home that look a little wavy and smeary when you look outside?  Let's just say I got a little over-protective on what would cover those panes.

Before

But the high visibility of the wall of windows in question finally got to me (I mean, how much should my neighbors REALLY know about my Wii Just Dance 3 moves?) and I began my window covering search in earnest.

Here's what I wanted for our living room windows:

  • Natural and warm looking materials
  • Neutral tones to tie in our colorful living space
  • A barrier to protect against those old house drafts
  • Nighttime privacy
  • Daytime visibility
  • Durability so I wouldn't be nervous about our 5 year old working the shades

'The Window Shopper' app is a time saver!
The Window Shopper iPhone app

What probably helped the most was using our 'Window Shopper' iPhone app to take a photo of the actual windows I wanted to cover.  I could virtually try on all of the treatments (and colors) I had in mind and share with family for feedback.

A few clicks and swipes later, I was able to immediately rule out a few of the top runners and was ready to get some color samples in my hands!

Don't forget to sample!

Call me crazy, but if I can't order gelato without sampling different flavors - you KNOW I can't order window treatments without getting free samples to test in my home first. 

I recommend hanging up samples in your home for a day or two to see how the colors look once your brain has gotten used to seeing something new on your windows.  Think of how the colors will work with holiday decor, any upcoming paint or furniture changes you've got in mind - it all matters!

The finished product

In the end, I went with our beautiful Budget Woven Wood Shades in Bermuda Pecan as I knew they would look stunning, but not break the bank.  The designer edge tape was tempting, but I really wanted to keep our window treatments as neutral as possible - so I kept it super simple.

After

I added a cream colored privacy liner (attached as I knew I'd never want to use the shade and liner separately) which gives the room the perfect privacy at night and keeps the house darker/cooler when we keep them drawn during the day when we're out and about.  If this was a bedroom, I absolutely would go with the blackout liner upgrade.

We're as pleased as can be with the new look of our living room - share a recent window makeover of your own in the comments below for a chance to be a featured window!

May 08, 2012

Welcome to the BlindsCenter - a window trends + more show!

The Blinds.com team is excited to launch Episode 1 of the BlindsCenter - our all-new window covering design and how-to show that keeps you in the know about all things window design.

Join Sean and Kristopher as they dive in to the world of window coverings with great sportsmanship and finesse.  No window too large, no product too small.  Here are some of Episode 1's highlights:

Solar Shades or Roller Shades - YOU decide!
Lauren and Tyler host the Face/Off segment with a down and dirty battle between solar shades and roller shades.  Learn a little about the pros and cons of each - and don't forget to vote for the winner on our Facebook page!

How to measure your windows like the Blinds.com pros
Scott gets down and dirty with our Tale of the Tape (measuring tape, that is) segment featuring an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to properly measure your windows for roller shades.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of window treatments
We're always on the lookout for beautiful windows, send in (or post on our Facebook wall) your photos of a favorite fresh window treatment and if we feature your window we'll send you a surprise!

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May 04, 2012

Pinterest 5: Mindy's Favorite Pinterest Design Boards

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It’s a funny thing I like Pinterest as much as I do. Before discovering the website, I was not a fan of cooking, fashion, or arts and crafts, and now, well I spend at least an hour day browsing about on it!

No joke, when my mom learned I was actually learning and enjoying to cook foods I pinned, she asked if she could write Pinterest a Thank You Note... thanks mom!

Check out my current 5 favorite Pinterest accounts to inspire you at home too:

1. Justina Blakeney – Honestly, I am kind of in love with Justina’s entire Pinterest account! I am all about recycling so naturally I love her board, Upcycled, because it shows tons of ways to use and reuse everyday products and turn them into DYI home wonders!

2. Meritt Beck – When it comes to fashion, I know nothing, which is why I am always excited to see what Meritt posts next on Pinterest. If you have tons of accessories like me, but never end up wearing them for lack of confidence or style, you definitely should check out her board, Details. I also love her board, Cheap Thrills (under $100), because, well I like to shop cheap!

3. Chocolate-Covered Katie –I pretty much have no self control and love ALL desserts, which is why this next find is pure perfection! This dessert board has hundreds of “healthy” dessert/snack recipes that actually look and still taste mmm mmm good! Seriously, my mouth is drooling...

4. Good Housekeeping Magazine – I simply cannot get enough of this account! I could spend hours going through each board and have seen so many cool Decorating Tips that I really just want to remodel my entire home! I am obsessed with the holiday themed boards and cannot wait to have my own holiday decorations - July 4th celebration ay my house?!

5. Brooke Chamblee  - The kitchen is arguably the most beautiful part of the home, so it is no wonder I love this account. There is an entire board dedicated to just kitchens and there are so many different designs and layouts to sort through!

Are we connected on Pinterest yet?

Don't forget, the Blinds.com window design team posts daily to our Pinterest account - and you can follow my 'Mindy's home + design discoveries' board to keep up with some of my other Pinterest favorites!

April 30, 2012

How to shop for blinds without leaving your home - iPhone app upgrade time!


Virtual window covering shopping appNo matter how technolgically savvy we get, there are a few things that you will always need an in-person experience for.  Massages (yay!), dentist visits (boo!), hair cuts, baby sitting, hugs, dinner dates, happy hour.

Lucky for you, the Blinds.com team has taken away the hassle for shopping for your window treatments at expensive big box stores with lackadaisacal employees (does this feel familar?) forever!

But how about we take it one step further and put your window treatment shopping into the palm of your hand?  Our latest update for our augmented reality iPhone app 'The Window Shopper' makes it even easier! 

Download our updated window covering shopping iPhone app!

Don't believe us?  Here's how it works

  1. Take a photo of your window
  2. 'Try on' your favorite blinds, shades or shutters and colors
  3. Order samples (or order your window covering!)
  4. Save our favorites to a wishlist
  5. Share with friends
  6. Kick back with a cup of coffee in your pajamas and smile at your shopping genius

So what are you waiting for?  Beautify your windows with the help of your iPhone (is there anything that phone can't do?) - and if you're an Android user, we've got you and your windows covered soon!

April 25, 2012

Oh, The Places You'll Go! - #Pocketpoems with Blinds.com

Seuss
Mindy, one of our awesome Customer Service Reps, shared this Dr. Seuss classic as her favorite poem for Poem In Your Pocket Day.  We love the realistic, but inspirational tone it takes.

It's amazing how such simple verses can mean so much, what poem has given you wings?  Share with us in the comments!

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And
you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you
already know.
ou’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds
as you go.
So be sure when you step
Step with care and great
tact and remember that...

...Life’s A Great
Balancing Act.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE
MOUNTAINS!

PIYP2012Blindscom

Eco-tip: Give your furniture a new life (and Laura Ashley giveaway!)

co-lab reupholstered chair

The promise of immortality is alluring - how many epic adventure movies have centered around a rogueish hero seeking the fountain of youth?  How many cosmetic companies exist on the premise of everlasting beauty?

We certainly won't be hawking any skin creams, but absolutely believe in saving space in the landfill and keeping money in your pocket by giving your furniture new life! 

Re-covering, re-finishing, re-painting, re-purposing - there are so many ways to extend your chairs, sofas and tables lives.  Here are some of our favorites:

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Enter the Laura Ashley 'Wish Upon An Old Chair' giveaway!

Feel like really making this furniture re-covering thing happen?  Enter the Laura Ashley 'Wish Upon An Old Chair' giveaway on Facebook for a chance to win fabric and a decorative cushion!

Your freshly upholstered chair could be the perfect complement to a new coordinating Laura Ashley window treatment.  Who says windows and chairs can't be BFFs?

Don't forget our Blinds.com Eco-Goody Basket Giveaway too - so many ways to win, look great and do good for the planet.  And THAT'S something we hope never dies!

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Robert Frost and The Road Not Taken - #pocketpoems with Blinds.com

 

Moccasins
Photo thanks to Flickr user calleecakes

Ah, the classics.  Here's another great addition to our Blinds.com team's Poem In Your Pocket Day poetry favorites. 

This particular poem comes from Debra, one of our longtime Design Consultants.  She memorized it in college, but didn't fully come to appreciate it until hearing that it was delivered at a Kennedy inauguration event which really brought it home to her.

Does this bring back high school lit class or early morning poetry time over coffee memories?  Love it!

The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

PIYP2012Blindscom

April 24, 2012

Poem in Your Pocket Day with Blinds.com

PIYP2012Blindscom

Have you been celebrating National Poetry Month this month?  The Blinds.com team is excited to join in the poetic celebrations by participating in Poem In Your Pocket Day on April 26th.

Are poems in your pocket a new thing to you?  Basically, it's a day to share and celebrate your favorite poems and poets in your everyday life with people that you think are awesome.

PoetrymonthThe Blinds.com office has got a fun window-related poetry anthology we'll be sharing with each other, look forward to crafting crowd-sourced poems on our white board walls and have a list of fantastic poems to share with you on the Web (follow us at @Blindsdotcom).

It's amazing what you can find in a great poem - helpful tips, fantastic humor, musings on everday life and ways to connect to people you care about on a deeper level. 

Give the Academy of American Poets website a search for the mundane to the sacred and discover some great new poetry!

Here are a couple of our poems with window mentions, be sure to share your own in the comments below!

Windows by Charles Baudelaire
Looking from outside into an open window one never sees as much as when one looks through a closed window. There is nothing more profound, more mysterious, more pregnant, more insidious, more dazzling than a window lighted by a single candle...

I Sit By The Window by Joseph Brodsky
I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen.
When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn't often...

April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012 links and fun

Happy Earth Day!  We've had a fun day attending a large Earth Day festival, working in the garden on our Spring veggies and re-evaluating our recycling strategy. 

Be inspired to conquer your backyard garden with this high speed video - if only it went so fast in real life!

It's nice to have a day where so much is happening around awareness of the planet we live.  Nicer still to think that even minute changes can make such an impact, this great visual from RecycleBank says it best:

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Give your empty spice jars a new life by creating a tiny terrarium to keep on your window sills:

Terrarium_Layers_TZoM_1 

Your window treatments can mean the difference between an ‘okay’ eco-friendly home and a glorious green home! Here are a few ways that your windows can make an ecological impact.

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Looking to re-paint in the near future?  Look into beautiful, non-toxic paints that are great for Mother Nature and safe for your kiddos and pets too!

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Don't forget to share your own favorite eco-home tips with us for a chance to win an Eco-Goody Basket!  Great prizes and even greater tips from your fellow reader - be sure to share with us!

April 21, 2012

Black is back - even in your windows!

Blackroom_Fridayfinds

How bold can you go?  We've been loving the black elements in some of the trendier room designs out there right now. 

If a black paint job is a little overwhelming, give a modern flair to your room with some great black patterned or solid window shades.

You'll love the color selection and versatility of these Laura Ashley Roman Shades to give your next room project a trendy pick-me-up.  Follow the links for more inspiration:

  1. Laura Ashley Flat Roman Shades

Want another cool-looking way to incorporate a black palette into a room?  Check out this German hotel that's outlined the scene of their rooms to look like a cartoon:

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How many black focal points or design elements have your brought into your home?

About Us

Welcome to The Finishing Touch, your inspiration blog from the design experts at Blinds.com. Our in-house designer, decorating experts, and product editors collaborate to make The Finishing Touch your essential must-read decorating blog. With our quick tips, DIY projects, and Editor's Picks for the latest home products and window treatments your home will always be ahead of the trends.

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