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Archive for November 2012

bed in snow

This “fluffy” bedroom looks oh-so-cozy. . . With ONE exception: those gaping windows looking out to the snowy landscape. Brrr. . . This couple will NEED that down-filled duvet!

Cellular window shades are made expressly for blocking the cold that seeps through windows. Instead of turning an uncomfortable room into a grab for the thermostat or the thickest hand-knitted wool sweater, a set of cellular shades, pulled down over those cold windows will stop drafts, increase comfort, and save mega $$$ over the years. And HOUZZ agrees, placing cellular shades on their list of the top 9 Ways to Insulate Your Windows and Doors:

  • Weatherstripping and caulking: plug those air leaks!
  • Heavier curtains: swap out those summer sheers.
  • Doorway curtains: glass doors are just begging to be behind a velvet curtain at night.
  • Cellular shades: those “honeycombs” trap pockets of air – thereby adding to the insulating abilities of these shades. Houzz writer Laura Gaskill comments that they insulate “like a puffy down quilt“. How so very true. Models available for windows, arches, skylights, doors, and even sliders.


  • Layered window treatments: dress up your windows: shades and curtains.
  • Use draft-dodgers and door snakes.
  • Insulating Energy film for windows.
  • Install storm windows and storm doors.
  • Exterior “barn doors”: moving external “shutters” for glass doors and sidelights.

Easy “green” in more ways than one:
Easy for the environment and easy on your pocketbook.


Decor Ideas for your window from TLC: “If eyes are the windows to the soul, then… windows are … one of the most important decorating decisions facing the homeowner.”

“Window treatments are more than a decorating decision… — [they] must also serve a functional end: to admit or block sunlight and to provide privacy. Window treatments need to do far more than look good.”

ANALYZE your needs:

  • How important is privacy?
  • What direction is the room’s “exposure” (south or west = sunny)?
  • Does your climate (hot or cold) call for energy-efficient window treatments?
  • Does the window’s architecture dictate a particular treatment?

How to make your Window Solution SIZZLE:

Sage Decorating ADVICE:

  • Absence of color doesn’t have to mean a lack of style at the windows.
  • Reflect your lifestyle: Casual and bold can be fun!
  • Shades “come in a range of diverse looks and executions. Compatible with virtually any decorating and architectural style”.
  • Choose from Clean-lined – Highly Decorative; Translucent – Opaque; Patterned – Solid.
  • “Because the blinds provide all the privacy and sunlight function … drapery treatment over them really can be for appearance only“. Try “fluid and spontaneous”.


Who knew that “The Right Stuff” could be boiled down to this one basic: The Right LIGHT. Sure, we all acknowledge the importance of the proper amount of light for reading, and the importance of keeping glare off TVs and Computer screens.

Here I am, sitting, facing a window with the sun smack in my face. It’s a November day and the five minutes the sun actually shines feels terrific; yet, I can’t sit with the light in my eyes. Despite the lovely warmth, I pull down the shade – which is, of course, a shade made by our Williston, Vermont Company.

Summer nights, with my windows open, light from a neighbor’s front lawn “lamp” beams right into my bedroom window. I have already experienced, firsthand, what “lighting” reports target as concerns worth investigating. The excellent houzz article “Get Your Light Right for a Healthy House” makes the following points:

The Benefits of Darkness

  • From The American Medical Association: “excessive light … at night can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children or adolescents.”
  • The Ohio State University Medical Center “found that sleeping in a dimly lit room can lead to depression and weight gain.”
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine has data that “night-lights in children’s rooms could predispose them to myopia” (nearsightedness).

Author Mike Elgan‘s thoughts on this: “Almost everybody is doing it wrong. TV, video games and eBook reading [sources of “blue light”] just before sleep are bad. Light coming in from outside at night is bad. Gadget lights on everything you own are bad. Night-lights are bad.”

What to do??

The first suggestion was right up our alley:

  • Block outside light with GOOD SHADES.”

Other suggestions include,

  • Don’t watch TV just before going to bed.
  • Use an eBook that requires an external light source.
  • If you can’t unplug electronic products, then cover status lights with electrical tape.
  • With night-lights, try those that “fade to black” after a while.

Let the Sun Shine In

  • Australian National University Researches find a correlation between myopia and the lack of spending time in natural light. Scientists believe that “developing eyes in young children need the body to produce dopamine, which is triggered by direct sunlight going into the eyes.”
  • Lack of sunlight also can lead to Vitamin D deficiency — which, in turn, has been linked to an “increased risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and other diseases.”

So what does this mean for your home design?

Houzz touts a new-fangled, GPS-driven skylight; I will suggest a Light Filtering Cellular Shade: comes in a variety of colors, your choice of Lift Options – and, to quote houzz user Cordelia2003: “love the cellular honeycomb shades we have now for the amount of light we get during the day“. In response to Cordelia’s concern for privacy, Lizziegardens recommended the use of the Top Down Bottom Up cellular shade (also known as a Duofold, see the photo below): “This gives you complete privacy with a view and light out of the top of the window.”

* Essex Rescue returns from weather-ravaged New York and New Jersey.

* Vermont Ski Industry Offers Donations Incentives.

* Stoweflake Resort Lodges Victims of Sandy — for Free.

These are just three of the stories recently seen on TV and in print about companies reaching out to help those displaced and otherwise in need following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Let’s take a closer look:

The Stoweflake Inn (Stowe, Vermont) has a lengthy report in 7 Days written by Kevin J. Kelley. Having gone to press Tuesday for Wednesday distribution, 7 Days could tell readers that twenty families were in residence on Tuesday. Stoweflake’s president, Chuck Baraw, was quoted as saying a main reason behind the offer was “respite” for people “to take a break from their troubles”. Stoweflake expects to host victims for more than two-hundred nights!

“Stoweflake publicized its initiative via Facebook and by sending email messages to all its previous guests, says marketing director Kim Dixon. The resort intends to make about 40 of its 120 rooms available for up to seven nights per guest through November 20.

Sure beats a FEMA trailer.”

Far better, indeed. Click on the photo above to read Kelley’s article.

* * *

Local TV News on WCAX (found on their website too) ran a video outlining plans of the Vermont Ski Areas Association for Sandy Relief Fundraising. Called “Operation Mountains of Love,” donors are encouraged to give $10 to the Red Cross. Prizes include lift tickets and vacation packages. Online, you can donate via — just email your donation confirmation to Sugarbush Resort will MATCH donations, up to $25,000.

To read WCAX’s story, or watch Judy Simpson’s report, click on the photo above.

* * *

Our third story also comes from WCAX:

Essex Rescue will continue storm relief rotation until mid-November.

“I’m very proud of the work they’re doing,” says Essex Rescue Executive Director Dan Manz. “In a big disaster no state’s got enough resources to be able to mount the response.”

Reading through an article on houzz about micro-sized San Francisco flats a reader gave the website for a recent study of California families. OMG! As the owner of a seven-room Cape, I simply cannot believe the amount of “stuff” these families had on display. You can read the full article, entitled Seven Common Challenges Facing Middle-Class Families at Home, which focuses on the following:

  • clutter
  • the garage = the new junk drawer (pictured above)
  • the Costco-effect: stockpiling
  • Master suites: are they a waste of space?
  • spending renovation dollars wisely
  • yard-usage
  • fragmented dinners & convenience foods

A book – the end result of this research, which is summed up in the article Trouble in Paradise, is Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open their Doors.

* * *

New Episodes of A&E’s TV show Hoarders returns November 5th!

I love dipping into the blog posts at Retro Renovation – and was intrigued to see the return of the Blenko Glass Lamp:

Aren’t they Beautiful!?!
Those shimmering jewel-tones; those fabulous shapes!

Blenko Glass Lamps were available from 1947 until 1963; and now the line has been revived. And Retro Renovation is given one lucky blog-reader a chance to WIN a Blenko Cylinder Lamp in their choice of color.

My house — being built circa 1948, complete with a KNOTTY PINE living room (Pam just loves knotty pine) — would fit into Blenko’s target audience. Click on the link above to read Pam’s post and also to enter her contest. You have until November 9th.

Your new lamp could match your new Cellular Shade, for the jewel-tones you see on are as plentiful and original as Blenko’s. We offer iridescent White; ruby Red; grassy, glassy Green; and even a bold Beige!

* * *

Now that FALL is here: don’t forget to turn back clocks on Saturday in the U.S. Even more reason to have Cellular Shades to the ready – for those colder nights heralding the approach of Old Man Winter.

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

CellularWindowShades are

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