The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades.com

Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

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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BottomUp03

The above photo illustrates the Symphony Shade’s ComforTrack Plus “sidetrack” system – as you can see, it creates a “seal” between the cold or hot temperatures outside, and your climate-controlled interior. By reducing the exchange of exterior air through the windows and into your room, this “total package” of cellular shade AND sidetracks significantly reduces both winter heating costs and summer air-conditioning bills.

And we’ve got DATA to back up our claims:

withsidetracks

While the main function of the ComforTrack Plus sidetracks is to help block air exchange, as the photos above demonstrate, they do a nice job of blocking side light gaps too!

Requirements:

  • Minimum inside mount depth: 1 1/2″
  • Flush inside mount: 1 7/8″
  • The widest width of the window cannot exceed the narrowest width of the window by more than 3/8″
depth for tracks

Measure depth at narrowest point
(cranks, handles, locks count as obstructions)

Features:

  • Sidetracks are easy to install: Sidetracks attach to the window casing with an adhesive-backed magnet strip.
  • Tracks are made of durable, high-tech plastic.
  • Notched track at upper edge and specially designed bottom end caps provide snug fit at top & bottom of shade.
  • Increases privacy and room darkening by closing side light gaps between the shade and window frames.
top notch side tracks

Track’s notched top fits around headrail

Current Sale:

side tracks sale

Finally, I get some time to take a look at some new websites, blogs and magazines – and do a little updating on Pinterest.

And it was while reading “The Adventures of Elizabeth“, that I felt the urge to learn more about “Where Women Create” — and found WWC’s fabulous Pinterest boards, including my personal favorite: STUDIO SPACES & PLACES!

So many times, on the phone with CellularWindowShades.com customers, I have heard the whispered phrase, “We’ve just replaced our windows….”. They, of course are shopping for new window shades; but you can’t help but wonder: What gets done with all the old windows?

STUDIO SPACES & PLACES has some answers! My favorite is the biggest project, found at the end…

studio

shed

recycled conservatory

Now that SUMMER is officially here, I’ve been trying to find more websites with home decor content — nothing like a “new” season for a bit of “fresh air” in the home!

So here’s a few new-to-me blogs (and an old friend or two) that I’ve found to be worth visiting.

HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE

rustic cottage

With categories like “Home Furniture & Accessories“, “Bungalows & Cottages” (where this little beauty pictured above resides), and entries for every room in the house; construction tips and renovation ideas; household – and even moving advice, HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE is a great one-stop-shop for everything relating to house and home. Highly recommended!

DESIRE TO INSPIRE

desire to inspire

A photo fest for design and decor, DESIRE TO INSPIRE will give everyone something to ooh and ahh over.

LET ME BE INSPIRED

let me be inspired

Household “goods” never LOOKED so good – like this sleek bathroom sink. With a predilection for the purity of white, LET ME BE INSPIRED offers product photos, apartments portfolios, and even vacation rental advice.

HABITUALLY CHIC

habitually chic

Again, a fest for the eyes, but with short and insightful content. Punctuated with a New York – Europe sensibility, the style of HABITUALLY CHIC will have home-dwellers running to change up their own rooms. I’m heading back for a little Jefferson in Paris. Come join me!

*

As usual, CellularWindowShades is open Monday through Friday for calls, email, and live chat (we’re in the eastern US time zone). Our website is open 24/7 — so, while I’m in PARIS, strolling with Jefferson, do take a last chance to shop for shades with our free Smoothy Continuous Cord upgrade (a $30 savings). On sale through Sunday.

Great New “How To” Video

added to our CellularWindowShade’s YouTube channel
(remember to subscribe!)

cordloop video

This video augments our written instructions, mailed with every “Valet Kit” (2 cords per kit) order; it does not replace it. So now two great sources for Do-It-Yourselfers.

The instructions are specific to the Symphony Shade brand of window blinds, though you should be able to extrapolate the general concept, if you have some other type of cord loop shade. Give the video a look! It’s an easy in-home fix to a broken window shade.

let it rain

Artist-inspired RAIN BARRELS are coming to downtown Burlington, Vermont in an effort to raise awareness about Stormwater and run-off. Why is stormwater a problem for the Champlain Valley and other watersheds? Read the information for yourself. You could even WIN a rain barrel for your very own!

let it rain3

If you’re located in the Winooski Conservation District this particular Let It Rain Program can even help with funding (though funds are limited; so hurry!)

Stormwater “best management practices” include (but aren’t limited to) downspout disconnection, rain barrels, rain gardens, cisterns, and permeable pavers.

Burlington promises demonstrations and Wednesday concerts, so check back at their website for up-to-date information — or just to see what your favorite local artist might be up to.

rain1rain2

yard-saleAt a typical YARD or GARAGE Sale, you’d expect to see what’s presented in the illustration above: clothes on a coat rack; old stereo or TV popped somewhere they fit; books and blankets in boxes. HOUZZ recently ran an informative article called “14 Ways to Make More Money at a Yard Sale — and Have Fun Too.”

Are Yard Sales fun? The one sale I held was to raise some funds from my mother’s past shopping sprees. She had gone through a love of all things SWEATER. Was it a success? yeah, we sold some clothes – but although the prices were cheap, many wanted bargain basement sale. I think I sold more to the neighbor and her sisters than anyone driving by. Were we on a busy street? – with items displayed so as to entice the casual passerby? you bet: BUT the busy street also meant people just drove on by.

Would I do it again? probably not. But then my shopping sprees are for books and we all know the one thing that sells worse at a Yard Sale than clothing: BOOKS! (see the 50-cent bargain box in the picture above!)

So it was with great interest that I read through the HOUZZ article. And you must read the comments; they are HALF THE FUN! I found myself agreeing with so many who said, After selling all day, who has energy for a party (see hints #1 & #14).

  • Hint #1 — Make it a Party, with Profits: invite the neighbors for a Block Sale.
  • Hint #2 — Embellish Your Goods: upgrade furniture with paint, or change out the knobs on Aunt Dolly’s old dresser. (Houzz writer Laura Gaskill admits that this tip may not be for everyone.)
  • Hint #3 — Think about creative ways to display your wares-for-sale: give the old cardboard boxes a miss and get folding tables, wicker baskets, or wine crates.
  • Hint #4 — Have a Sales Concept: Avid gardener: offer cuttings or plants along with Uncle Steve’s collection of pipes. Or, Maybe the kids would like to sell refreshments.
  • Hint #5 — Advertise Your Sale! (BTW, there are free and/or low cost ways to ‘advertise’.)
  • Hint #6 — Make your Garage or Lawn Festive for the Sale: Why not dig out that bunting or those lanterns or maybe just some balloons.
  • Hint #7 — Make Pricing Simple: My sweaters were all priced the same, no matter summer or winter clothes, used or never worn.
  • Hint #8 — Never forget, You will be ASKED for CHANGE and a BAG.
  • Hint #9 — Display Clothes well: – tumbled will not help you past the “jumble sale” mentality.
  • Hint #10 — Give the SMALL items their due space: Jewelry can get picked-up as well as picked-over, hanging earrings on a board or around a tea cup might keep them in their place.
  • Hint #11 — Let There Be Light: are you selling a lamp or electrical appliance; give the buyer the opportunity to try it out for him/herself. An extension cord could prove handy (but be safe: do this yourself).
  • Hint #12 — Create Vignettes: Have tableware AND flatware? — display them together — someone might want to keep them together. After all, The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.
  • Hint #13 — End on a High Note: once all the goods and shoppers have vanished: Pick up and go home.
  • Hint #14 — Get Help! If not a Block Sale, then get others to pitch in — especially if you’ve items left over and face having to bring in what you’ve brought out.

As mentioned, the comments are useful too. I especially like the one that mentions Carolyne Roehm: she gave profits to Charity. Another comment brought up the website Freecycle.org.


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