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Archive for December 2013

As we count down to a New Year (Good-bye 2013…), MSN Real Estate has been busy thinking about home sales. Home prices even made the news last evening (CBS News: San Francisco Real-Estate Boom: Taller Buildings, Steeper Prices). So it is a topic on many minds, as people either look to get into housing, change residence, or relocate.

Whether you live — or wish to live — in an area of plentiful housing, or an area experiencing a severe housing crunch, these tips will definitely help.

1. Make your home comparable to a “model home”

  • PACK personal belongings
  • TIDY clutter – including in the closets
  • TONE DOWN your color palette: neutralize paint colors

a personal view: my mother has NEVER forgotten the personal photos (all of the homeowner) that littered a property we viewed together. She recalled the owner’s narcissism more than the house! I, on the other hand, still joke about the homeowner whose stuffed bears and rabbits peeked out of every spare corner; the house’s already petite size SHRANK before my eyes.

wood carving on door

2. Freshen up …

  • Your Front Door’s paint & hardware. A “sparkling” door knob (and door knocker, if you have one) can make a bold First-Impression
  • Cheap & Easy: Replace & Update those time-worn plastic switch plates with something a bit unusual

a personal view: I changed out many when I first moved into my home; my favorite: an Art-Deco-inspired metal pair for the living room. Makes me happy every time I shut the lights off!

3. Let there be LIGHT

  • Add higher-wattage light bulbs (note the limit on each lamp!), or if possible, add more lamps
  • Old lamps? Dusty, rusty ceiling fan? Swap them out!
  • Clean windows, inside and out
  • Utilize “lighter” window treatments

measure windows

4. Little Updates can mean a LOT

  • Renew tub & tile grout
  • Replace old faucets
  • Replace old toilet seats
  • clean – clean – clean the bath and kitchen until SPARKLING clean

5. REVEAL that Curb Appeal

  • weed – seed – plant color

xmas evergreens planter

read the entire MSN article

a personal view: a friend, selling her house before she retired from teaching, did the ONE thing she’d been dying to do all the years she lived in her home: she took up the wall-to-wall carpeting in the living room and had wood floors installed. I’ve never been back into the house, but, after it sold, the living room’s large picture window got swapped out for a standard window, and the front porch got enclosed for more living space. Gotta wonder: what happened to that flooring the departing owner loved so much?

In short, don’t take the opportunity of sprucing up your home just to put it on the market! Mke the effort for yourself. All of the above are great tips for any home, big or small, old or new, house or apartment.

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Here in the north-eastern United States (CellularWindowShades is located in Vermont), the landscape is looking more like this

philadelphia in snow

Philadelphia in snow

than this

aussie xmas

Aussie Xmas

So, when I came across this “pin” this week, a deep sigh escaped my lips: Such a luscious green garden is too many months away!


beautiful photo, by Andrew Renn (via houzz)… The dappled sunshine lays lightly over the foliage; the bright-white “gothic arch” door, with that fabulous lattice-opening that beckons you to stroll through to the opposite side; the chill touch of the black, iron ring latch. Even the scents of the hedge and flowers tickle my nostrils, as I type.

But, remember, north-east: Snow, Cold, Damp, Biting, Sunless, Grey are our watch-words at present.

PRESENT, how that word calls to mind this “Season of Giving”!

A friend in England LOVES gathering clippings of holly and diverse evergreens, mistletoe and pine cones, in order to decorate the interior of her home. She brings a bit of the outside indoors each December! And that is the one thing _I_ can think of to brighten the day as the shortest day of the year approaches. Here’s a sampling, from Pinterest:

xmas mantel

Blushing roses bring a nostalgic whimsy to this fireplace decoration of leaves, vines, ivy, sprays, and candles.

xmas evergreens planter

Various greens, intermixed with shiny Christmas bulbs, make a “welcoming” entry.

xmas holly

Submerged berries provide color and interest in these clear bowls, which then float a lighted tea-light.

xmas cookies

When all else fails, bake and eat your ivy, cones, and evergreens!

xmas yule log

A decorative “Yule Log” dresses up even those spaces without a fireplace.

This guest blog is by Michellebofabric_sprayed

A week after I sprayed a light filtering shade and a piece of black out fabric with Scotchgard, I am ready to give them each a little spritz of water.  The water beaded up on both treated fabrics.  I was interested in comparing a non-treated piece of black out fabric to the piece with Scotchgard.  As you can see from the photo, the treated fabric repelled the water, while the water on the untreated piece disappeared. My preliminary results are positive.  Applying Scotchgard to our fabrics does help them repel moisture more than a fabric left untreated.  What remains to be seen is if there is a long term effect of the spray on the fabric composition and whether it will continue to repel water over time without reapplication.

This guest blog is written by Michelle

When you invest money in a product for your home, such as shades, you want to know that they will last for years and maintain their original color and shape.  We already offer a 10 year warranty, so the durability of the operating mechanisms is covered, but keeping the shades clean is up to the customer. The two living spaces that are most susceptible to dirt and stains are the kitchen and bathroom.  A recent fabric question on Houzz got me thinking.  How would our shade fabrics stand up to stains and spills?  What can our customers do to keep their shades in like new condition?

Although the shade fabric is dust repellent and can be vacuumed, I wondered if using a repellent spray would help prevent any stains or splatters.  Light filtering fabrics can be washed in a tub, as mentioned in our FAQ.  I ventured to the store and got a can of Fabric & Upholstery Protector by Scotchgard and started my experiment.


Note: this experiment is not endorsed or sponsored by Scotchgard.  All fabric protectors may work differently, I stuck with a name brand so customers may replicate my results in the future.

I am testing a light filtering shade that will be installed in a window here in our facility.  I have also sprayed a piece of the Black Out fabric since it normally should not be exposed to moisture and might benefit the most from a repellent spray.

For the light filtering shade we want to see if the Scotchgard degrades or discolors the fabric over time.  I will also spray the shade with water to see how well it repels water in a week, 6 months and 12 months. I have applied 2 coats of Scotchgard to the front and back of the shade (following the directions on the can) and will install it tomorrow.  You can see the shade at right.  It is made of 116 Cadenza Double Cell Light Filtering fabric with Smoothy Top Down Bottom Up lift (and special order Bronze hardware).

For the black out material, I am going to see how the Scotchgard spray repels the water spray as well.  I have just sprayed a scrap piece for this particular test.  I applied the same 2 coats as the light filtering shade.

I’ll update you all in a week!

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