Window Treatments Offer Ultimate Light Control

ShadingsThe most popular and growing category of window covering options include window shadings, sheers and light louvers.

All three of these products are made from fabric and offer the ultimate in light control.  Their versatility can provide complete privacy without complete darkness by simply adjusting the vanes for the desired amount of light.

Shadings, sheers, louvers and panels are made with a wide selection of soft fabrics, including opaque and translucent materials.

Both window shadings and sheers consist of soft fabric vanes that are suspended between two sheet fabric facings. Window shadings vanes run horizontally and sheers run vertically. These vanes rotate for a filtered view allowing for complete privacy or anything in between. Both window shadings and sheers are offered in a variety of fabrics ranging in opacity, texture and color.

SheersWindow shadings, sheers and louvers are extremely versatile and can be installed in almost any room in the home. These products blend all the advantages of draperies, shades and blinds into one design. Vertical sheers work particularly well on large window patio doors or on window walls.

The elegant and sophisticated looks of these window coverings make them the perfect choice for living rooms, dining rooms or bedrooms. They work well in contemporary and traditional settings.

One of the newest window covering designs in this category is light louvers. This new window fashion has a similar look to traditional wood shutters, but has honeycomb louvers that function much like a blind. Light louvers are made of durable fabric and come in either a translucent or room darkening style. Many colors and pattern combinations are available.

These products can be installed with an inside or outside mount depending on the window molding and sill construction. Vertical sheers also come with the option of right, left or split stacking configurations.

It is important to note that window shadings and sheers may not be the best fit for pet owners. Being a sheer fabric, they may get damaged at the hand of a cat and its claws.



Window Covering Maintenance

Window CoveringHere are some tips on cleaning various types of window coverings.

  • Water, solvents or abrasive cleaners should not be used on wood blinds or shutters.
  • The best way to remove dust or debris from hard to reach areas on honeycomb, window shades and shadings is by using a hair dryer on a cool setting or compressed air purchased from an office supply store.
  • Bathtub cleaning or water immersion, ultrasonic cleaning, injection or extraction cleaning and steam cleaning are all specialized professional cleaning treatments. Power washing is not.
  • Many aluminum and vertical vinyl blinds are specially treated to guard against static electricity and dust. If not, the slats can be wiped with anti-static dryer sheets.
  • It is best to clean alternative wood blinds and shutters with a soft damp cloth.

Choosing a Carpet for Your Living Room

Photo Courtesy: Shaw Floors

Photo Courtesy: Shaw Floors

There are several factors to consider when selecting a carpet for your living room or family room.

One of the most important qualities for choosing a carpet is the type of fiber. How often do you use the room and for what purpose(s)?  Your answers will help determine how durable the fiber needs to be.

It is also important to consider if there are pets and children in the household and whether any food or beverage is allowed in the room.

Once the fiber has been determined, the next important factor is deciding what the overall style you want to achieve. Is it casual, formal, modern or traditional?

Color is the final element to consider. The color of the carpet needs to complement all aspects of the room, including paint color, furniture and any fabrics used in the room.

Mix Antiques and Collectibles Into Your Design

Copper-Creek-Hardwood-FlooringHomeowners often want furnishings that give their homes character, but without sacrificing the comforts of a contemporary house. Finding a way to integrate antiques and collectibles into a new design scheme is a particular challenge. The best starting point may be choosing permanent elements like wood floors in Anderson’s Vintage Copper Creek collection that fit both modern and traditional home design.

One way to bring together the collectible look and modern items is through smaller accent pieces. Casa Sugar recommended looking for popular finds like vintage mirrors and unique lighting fixtures because they’re frequently a good choice for bridging the gap between different styles.

Textiles that have modern durability but a period motif can be put to good use in pillows, curtains and upholstery. Vintage fabrics that cannot withstand the wear of everyday use may have a place as wall art, framed or hung without a frame.

According to A Beautiful Mess, consumers should focus on quality rather than quantity when selecting collectibles so they don’t go overboard in their decorating scheme. Even the best-intentioned accent pieces may overwhelm a room design if there are too many of them.

Be a Savvy Shopper
It’s easy to get caught up in the array of collectibles available at antique shops and flea markets without noticing that some pieces need a considerable amount of work to get them into optimal shape. HGTV designer Emily Henderson recommended that homeowners begin their shopping trips by creating a buying plan and sticking to it. Only when the basic construction of such finds is good will they be worth the time and effort to refinish them.

Particularly at an antique flea market, where there’s usually a jumble of interesting items for sale, a list of essential purchases helps consumers stay focused on the things they need for their homes. Henderson advised shoppers to always bring a tape measure to make sure they’re purchasing furniture that will fit through their doors. Paint chips and fabric swatches also help make the best match.

Figure in the cost of renovating a piece, because it may need a lot more than a paint job. Even someone who’s handy may not be able to shore up the support of a sagging chair or table without professional help. Some flaws can be hidden, while others aren’t worth the expense it will take to camouflage them.

Source: Anderson Floors


Design a Room With Style

54691_00702When it comes time to decorate your new space, you can hire an interior designer, work with a MODA Floors & Interiors project consultant and/or get personally inspired to create a beautiful room on your own.

Here are some design tips to help you get started.

  • Consider the function of the room when pulling it together.
  • Match your furniture to the overall scale of the space.
  • GFLSD102_GFLSD101_Solids_Black_White_PERMASTONE_RSCreate a theme and vibe for the feeling of the room.
  • Design a creative color pallet and follow it through.
  • Make your room unique with interesting pieces.
  • Utilize light to create aesthetic warmth and color.
  • Don’t forget the many options available for flooring and window treatments.

Sources: HunterDouglas, Shaw Floors, Tarkett

Prepare Your Home for Carpet Installation

CarpetThe Carpet and Rug Institute offers these tips on preparing your home for carpet installation.

•Remove all breakable items from the area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, computers and other electronics.

•Determine who will remove and dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for recycling options in your area.

•Think about carpet placement. Ask that the carpet seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.

•Understand that carpet installed over a separate cushion must be power stretched to prevent bubbling and wrinkling later.

•Insist that the installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard.

•Vacuum the old carpet before it is removed to keep any dust and particles from becoming airborne. Vacuum the bare floors (or have your installer do this) before they put down the new carpet and pad.

Having carpet installed in your home is a big project, and following these steps will allow the installation to go smoothly so you can begin enjoying your beautiful new carpet.

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute


A Vacuum Cleaner or Tea Leaves?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

If you have carpet in your home, a vacuum helps you keep it clean, fresh and lasting. The vacuum was not always around, obviously, but its history is a great story of ingenuity and invention.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of the vacuum cleaner.

  • Before electricity, an alternative to beating the carpet over a porch rail, clothesline or windowsill was to sprinkle a carpet with tea leaves. In theory, this attracted dust and dirt to the surface ready to be swept.
  • In the mid-1800s, vacuum cleaners could be found housed in exquisite cabinetry that doubled as a coffee table, sidebar or cocktail bar.
  • The first non-electric vacuum cleaner, a “sweeping machine,” was the Whirlwind model, invented in Chicago in 1869. It had a crank for the operator to turn with one hand while pushing the machine with the other hand. Due to the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, only two of these machines exist today.
  • The concept of today’s electric vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by H.C. Booth and took the form of a large, horse-drawn, petrol-driven unit that was parked outside the building. The unit fed long hoses through the windows of the room to be cleaned.
  • One popular 1913 vacuum came in six different models and had attachments for bare floors, walls, upholstery and crevices. It could even be used as a blower for drying hair.

It’s easier to take care of carpet with today’s vacuum technology, but be sure you’re using the best with a Seal of Approval certified vacuum cleaner.

Source: The Carpet and Rug Institute