The Inside Scoop at

Archive for August 2012

My title may be a bit fanciful, but what is an about-to-be Groom to do when guests are imminent and the house’s prominent SKYLIGHT shades look a bit worse for wear:

He calls and asks, “You’ve got an order for me – can I get that a few days sooner? I’m getting married next weekend.”

When I first spoke to Dan from Maine, it was late in the day, Production was gone (they begin their day while I’m still asleep!) and I could make no promises without discussing it first with the production manager. “I’ll see what I can do,” and promised to get back to him.

Barring the unforeseen (fabric or rail shortage, for instance) Production was able to say Yes to expediting Dan’s order. While every order and the circumstances surrounding its production will differ, we always do our best to accommodate requests. We do it willingly, and without additional cost to the consumer. UPS also offers faster than “ground” shipping (we charge just what UPS charges; never adding any surcharge), but Maine is one UPS-business day from us, so Dan didn’t even need to think about shipment.

Production team member Kate took Dan’s order and ran with it. It was ready for shipment the following Monday and in Dan’s hands the day before his requested date. Behind the scenes, a parts shortage did occur over (of all things) a special type of screw used to mount the side retainer tracks. But as you already know that Dan got his shades, I won’t say more about the nail-biting that went on here.

So there was joy around the offices of when Dan sent an email today – complete with photos! Here’s the end result, the “After” to go with his “Before” —

Shades by, installed by Dan in Maine.

It was a year ago today…

Tropical Storm “Irene” battered many communities,
including’s own Vermont backyard.

We urge you to help neighbors in need.

Belonging to HOUZZ, we receive updates via email. This particular story caught my eye immediately:

The photos used here are of exceptional views; my house overlooks the street and the neighbors. Yet, everyone can take away useful information from this article by Bud Dietrich, AIA:

  • What type of view do you have?
  • Do you want to capture this view to make it part of your home?
  • Should the window act alone or be organized with other windows?

The article then looks at various types of window styles:

While the gist of the HOUZZ article deals with the VIEW, you can follow the links to get decorating ideas should your views be less idyllic than seas, trees, fields, or mountains.

For instance, if your tub in front of the window had more than birds and the odd passing ship outside the window, what might you do? (Find the solution by clicking on the photo: a new “window” will open!)

Are you TIRED of Battling Summer’s heat and humidity?

I’ve chosen this picture because it not only shows shades, it is a room with at least FOUR skylights! So many people I’ve spoken with this week have been COOKING under their exposed skylights. Some readers of The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades may not realize that, yes, we make shades for all sorts of openings — including skylights.

If you, like them, are looking for relief from the heat, check out the two skylight styles offers: the “Balcony Skylight Shade” and the “Daylight Skylight Shade“, this later is for more expansive (wide and/or long) openings.

* * *

And a different sort of battle: 16th August represents Bennington Battle Day in Vermont. Read about the original Revolutionary War battle and, if you’re in the area, check out the Events around this year’s commemoration. The Annual Bennington Battle Day Parade takes place on Sunday. Organizers are predicting “nice weather” and “nice music”!

Gotta share:


Vermont Public Television is also “Celebrating Julia” with an evening of cooking (live tonight; rebroadcast Saturday, 18 August). VPT will also broadcast a “Julia Marathon” on the 18th!

If you live outside the Vermont broadcasting area (which does include some of Canada!), you can catch streamed videos — new one added each Monday, is the promise on the Julia @ VPT page.

Announcing a “Product Improvement” that Production began using last week: Magnets on Cordless Cellular Shades.

Here’s the top of a Cordless Top Down Bottom Up shade – with its *new* magnet system. This upgrade comes automatically with your Cordless TDBU shade:

A shade under assembly (above; you can see the fuzz bar on the work table, ready to be applied) is tilted up to show the strike plate (on the moving middle rail) and its companion magnet. This ensures a TIGHT closure when the “top” is fully raised.

For a Cordless or Cordless TDBU, the bottom / sill — which is an optional upgrade — looks like this:

Some customers may prefer not to screw the strike plates to their sills (one on each side of the shade), which is why we’ve made this an optional upgrade.

Full instructions for installation supplied in every order!

We’ve already gotten useful feedback on this new system: a Customer with a badly-leaning house needed PRIVACY. Their shade tilted into the room when it was lowered, creating unsightly gaps at the sides. These magnets got installed: Voilà, No More Wayward Shade!

You’ll see information soon on our Cordless pages (, but for now I post our installation instructions (cordless_magnets_082012). working to better
your window treatment experience!

As an avid photographer in the Age of Film, I first toted my case filled with cameras, lenses, and filters around such locales as the highlands of Scotland, the loughs of Ireland, and the Castles and Country Houses of England and Wales.

Despite the low light found in churches, I treasure images illuminated only by the sun beaming in the interiors of Chartres, Sainte Chapelle, or the Salzburger Dom.

My feet have tramped picturesque villages, towns, cities in old provincial seats of places like Savoy and Alsace. They’ve hiked the Alps, and crossed the Vlatava into a newly-liberated Prague.

When you have little money to spare, you learn to travel frugally. Walking cuts down on expenses.

I’ve always been a walker – though sometimes I’ve had to trudge four or five miles because the buses just weren’t running that day…

Then there are the walks along the beach; always a thrill. Or through a garden. Or along a canal to the next lock or windmill.

When you walk you observe such wonderful things: Like a red-rimmed doorway beckoning you to step into an inviting interior. What resides up there? Who will you meet?

Doorways, arches, windows — all have ample samples in my photographic portfolio of bygone trips.

So imagine my surprise when today’s email gave notice of a “popular” Pinterest board dealing with DOORS, WINDOWS…AND SUCH!  This I just had to check it out.

Susan Terrana‘s board on Pinterest has a FABULOUS collection of photographs — the red-rimmed door is one — culled from all over the world. Some places are recognizably FRENCH or SPANISH, CUBAN or ROMAN. Others make you sigh, “Where on earth could this place be?!?”

Here’s two of my favorite photos from Susan’s Collection: 

Photos of glass doors, of course, made me also think of our Cellular Window Shades

A Truly LOVELY Picture; so much going on in it aesthetically, artistically – as well, of course, as being a fabulous doorway in what must be a wonderful place to live: The wing-back chair, the plump white pillow in the farther room (I’m convinced the glass pieces are actually mirrors), the scent of the pink lilies in the air. A picture IS worth a 1000 words.

But what if that couch opened out into a sofa-bed for your incoming guests… Maybe they would LOVE a shade over the door for a bit of privacy.

Could I do that, though? I hear you say.

Probably —

Although there’s very little wood frame and a LOT of glass. Installation would have to make sure NOT to screw brackets any place where an edge of the glass might be nicked and the glass cracked.

TIP #1: a good rule of thumb is to measure at least an inch beyond your glass: Bottom and Sides.

A good two-inches is a real “safety” measure at the top, where your brackets will be affixed.

Look again at this door and its sidelights: very slim trim.

And I’m also seeing a protruding lockset, which undoubtedly is mirrored on the backside of the door.

TIP #2: make sure your shade can pass in front of the lockset on the door. If a Lever-style handle, and you want the shade between the handle and the door, check that there’s enough room to allow the shade’s bottom rail to pass between handle and door, AND whether you’ll have enough room to grip the handle without fumbling against the shade cloth.

Now, I don’t have access to this house and its door, can’t do any measuring, but where might I first consider placing my Cellular Shade?

TIP #3: Use an OUTSIDE MOUNT, which screws through the back of the bracket into the flat-area surface behind the bracket.

My choice would fall to that header which runs across the two sidelights and the door, located just below the wide arch. Yes, I’d leave the arch open. Privacy wouldn’t be an issue, and it’s such an architectural feature of the adjoining rooms. The Header is above the door area, which will allow ample room for raising the shade in order to pass through the open door. There also seems enough projection, so that the shade hangs straight down without any obstruction from the lockset. One shade, wide enough to cover the entire width, would be advantageous, practical, and cost effective.

In the end, your guests might say,


HOUZZ suggests “five fixes” for selling your place. I’d suggest doing these five fixes because you want a change!

A friend, on the brink of retirement, knew she’d be selling her home within a few months (this was well before the housing market bust…). She had” ALWAYS” wanted to have wood flooring (it had wall-to-wall). So what did she do shortly before her move? She had wood flooring installed. She thought it would help the house sell.

And she bought a new fridge.

I would have preferred to ENJOY these “upgrades”!

So, reading this houzz post, I just had to share with Inside Scoop readers my own experience, 15-long-years-ago.

Point #3 discusses flooring. Replace Old Carpet: “Stained or dated carpet is a HUGE turnoff…”

The best room in my house is the living room. Picture it: Large plate-glass window, flanked by double-sash windows at the front. Fireplace, flanked by shelves off to the left. Real Pine pine-panelling in an inventive tongue-and-grove installation. A masterly plastered ceiling, done with a “fan” swirl throughout. Orange shag wall-to-wall carpet…..


Well, in 1970 it was undoubtedly RUST-colored shag Wall-to-Wall. By the time I got to it twenty-five years later it had faded to orange. Truly grotesque!

But did that keep me from buying the house? In a word: No. I loved the layout, the 1940s “bones”. The space. The possibilities.

And yet, what’s the FIRST thing I did: I ripped out that Orange Wall-to-Wall Shag. Didn’t care WHAT lay beneath it. Didn’t have anything to put down once the carpet and underlay were gone. Didn’t have money to spare in extensive refinishing.

So what was under this sea of Orange Shag?? A tolerable oak-wood, in a burnished red/gold tone that sparkles in the sunshine.

visit CellularWindowShadesYes, Fairy, I *LUCKED OUT*

In short, do NOT put off till tomorrow those decor upgrades you’d KILL to be living with.

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