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Archive for August 2011

In an effort to gather some ideas for a blog post, I thought to look at the HOME & GARDEN section of the New York Times (online). Found this fascinating article on RESTORING THE RETRO HOUSE.

I’ve written before that my home is post-World War II. When I refinanced (a number of years ago) the two doing the walk-through for the bank went into ecstasies over my “vintage” kitchen. Surprises me to remember it to this day! (Not that the kitchen has changed…)

The NYTimes article introduced me to a great site: Retro Renovation. Its opening page says it all: LOVE THE HOUSE YOU’RE IN!

And speaking of Steel Kitchen Cabinets (the NYTimes article mentions… as does the Retro Renovation), my work colleague found this site for a local business (only a few miles away from us at Architectural Salvage Warehouse is offering a 25-piece steel set for $2600! Sounds a steal…

Woodruff Hall, on the campus of Castleton State College (Vermont), opened in 1926. It was built on the site of the 1829 Old Seminary, which had been destroyed by fire. Woodruff Hall is now in the midst of a $275,000 “window renovation,” which seeks to have historically accurate windows that match the “look of the buildings in the 1920s”:

Being a window shade manufacturer, wondered: Did anyone ever think of upgrading window shades rather than replacing windows? It is a valid point, given the cost of such projects especially.

We all know that windows provide a “path of least resistance” to drafts, winds, and the elements. Upgraded windows usually provide upgraded performance, convenience, and maintenance. But when you add “historically accurate” to the equation you are bound to compromise on some issues. Take for instance, the vinyl (minimal upkeep) tilt-in (easy to clean) replacement window. Vinyl would not typically be termed “historical” and tilt-ins may need to take a backseat to true weight/pulley sash systems.

In this “green” era, there is also concern about landfills and the preference for refurbishment over replacement.

Take a look at a couple articles from 7 Days, a Vermont weekly:

  • Heeding Unhappy Homeowners, Burlington Planners Look to Redefine “Historic” (3-9-11)
  • The Preservation Police (9-22-10)

The flurry of Letters to the Editor can be found online too.

We did address the issue of Energy Shades vs Replacement Windows in an earlier post, when the newspaper column About the House with Henri de Marne ran a question/answer about this very subject! Mr de Marne’s answer started off with the point that “The energy efficiency can be about the same!” He then went on to say “Insulating shades cost much less and are easier to do.” Ultimately, he suggested good storm windows rather than replacements.

I also distinctly recall a This Old House that refurbished their historic (old) windows, upgrading them in an effort to improve them while retaining the actual original window.

There is even a Repairing Old and Historic Windows: A Manual for Architects and Homeowners.

An interesting article (published in 2009) found here at The Herald Tribune brings up some interesting points: including temperature “control” and “noise reduction”. Cellular Shades help in both those situations!

Sometimes improvement can start from the inside:

(see the “BEFORE” by clicking on the picture!)

At we have begun a “campaign” whereby customers get the chance to crow, “Here’s what my home looks like now that I’ve installed my new shades!” See our postings under the page tab “Before & After“.

Here’s a sneak peek: What do you think will have been done with this fairly “public” door?

It was while logging in to WordPress that I did my daily run-through of those sites that made “Freshly Pressed“. WP Bloggers know well what this is, but for others less familiar with WordPress, allow me to explain that “Freshly Pressed” is a series of updating blog posts by WordPress bloggers. They are often photograph-laden posts, and I must admit that a photo was the reason why I clicked on one site whose post was illustrated by a sign saying BART’S BOOKS,

(Readers know by now how much of a *fan* I am of old books!)

Another Freshly Pressed item was … a “before and after”! Given my own “Mission”, I simply had to check out the post, which spoke of a kitchen renovation. What a wonderful site to come across: CHEZERBEY deals with an entire house renovation in the Seattle area. Be sure to click on the “House Tour” link — there are photos “hidden” under the “Before”, ‘Process”, and “After” captions for each space.

And, to end with a reminder to our CWS customers: send us your “Before & After” photos — we hear much about your homes when you are in need of shades, but would love to see the outcome!

When dealing with “interiors” thoughts naturally gravitate towards “historic” interiors — and what better place to find them than within an historic home!

Doing some searching I came across an interesting blog actually called THE HISTORIC INTERIOR. Short blog posts, replete with photos, salute some exceptional historic homes, including The Gamble House (Pasadena, CA); Maymont (Richmond, VA); and Locust Grove (Louisville, KY).

A special treat: check out the  Journal of an “Arts & Crafts in Britain” Tour, from London to Glasgow with Gamble House, which took place in May-June 2011.

CHECK OUT the “BlueStar Museums” website. Vermont’s listing, alas, contains little in the “historic home”, but does include Billings Farm & Museum (Woodstock, VT) and Ethan Allen Homestead Museum (Burlington, VT).

A special book signing takes place August 21 at the Homestead’s Tavern:

Red Sun in Morning, Sailors take warning;
Red Sun at Night, Sailors delight!

How apropos to choose RED for August’s Color of the Month, as the country’s map looks so blanketed in that shade these past many weeks. Here’s today‘s US weather map:

Can a Cellular Window Shade help when the temps climb up towards record highs? You bet! And if RED is your color of choice, then for the Month of August you’ll get an extra 10% off your shades. These include the shades of ROMANCE (Light Filtering; #126), CINNAMON (Black Out; #3467), AMBER (Single Cell Black Out; #4467)

The color psychology of RED we can pretty much all guess; it’s the color of fire, heat, heated tempers. I’ll continue this post shortly.

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