The Inside Scoop at

Posts Tagged ‘diy

The blogroll at The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades features a number of sites concerning DYI, home decor, decorating advice, before and after stories, repurposing furnishings, gardening – in short many areas that feature in the lives of anyone who calls their “space” home.

I dropped by the 7th House on the Left, the home (and blog) of Greg and Ashley in Virginia. Fabulous (and frequent!) blogposts, but my eye was ultimately caught by their *finished* Kitchen renovation! The post for Feb 15th, “Flashback Friday,” featured the MLS photos that first caught their eye. What a world of difference in Kitchens…

The original kitchen, from the MLS ad:


I was lucky when I first saw my house: the kitchen, which still retained its 1940s cabinetry, had been freshly papered and the cabinets (surely recently done?) sported a sparkling white glossy paint job. Only later did I notice the ‘irregularities’ – the most harmless of which is that the “new” wallpaper was never applied behind the refrigerator. I always knew the original 1940s wallcovering still existed behind the paper; now I also know what it looks like! Fingers crossed that the fridge doesn’t need replacing any time soon (I’d never match its dimensions).

Ashley will walk you through the renovation, in words and pictures – and even answer questions. Click the pic to see the *new* kitchen!


If you’re in “mid-life” like me, then you will remember the early days of This Old House – and its host Bob Vila. Bob’s still around, plugging more than Sears and their Craftsman Tools. He’s picked out some Tips of the Day. And even has a tweet “What to do with OLD WINDOWS”! How up the alley for a blindcrafter manufacturer specializing in Cellular window shades.

Of more interest, perhaps, is Bob’s website — which is where I ended up when looking at What To Do With Old Windows. LOVE the table!

The Green Building Forum, in the UK, featured this recent Q&A session about blinds. One forum-poster, JT, confessed “I think I’ve been so fixated on heat loss that I hadn’t given thought to avoiding overheating.”

With July temperatures already wilting many communities, OVERheating — through glass found in windows, patio doors, and skylights — is a concern.

Of exceptional interest is James’s link to this article on Thermal Performance of Traditional Windows. I have “original” windows in my modest Cape-style home here in Vermont, and have blogged a couple of times about the value and also the historic desirability of original sash windows (never mind the landfill conundrum). This article actually uses the phrase “evidence is available to counteract some of the misconceptions about the energy efficiency of original timber sash windows“. They advocate simple repairs and “basic improvements”.

In point number 3, where there is discussion of curtains and “roller blinds”, imagine how much more effective and efficient those windows could be with Cellular window shades. We’ve got data to back up our assertions: Check out our R-values for Cellular Shades page.

If the UK strives to target U-value for windows of 2 or below then more windows should be covered by Cellular Shades: “To compare R-value and U-factor, divide 1 by the U-factor number,” says the site Efficient Using this to get an R-value for “high performance double-pane windows” -> with a U-factor of 0.30 on average – that equates an R-value of 3.33.

This R-value is desirable: and what comes close is the Light Filtering Cellular Window shade fabric, with an R-value of 2.8.

Add side tracks to that same shade and you’ve raised the R-value to 3.3 — and tied that “high performance double-pane” window.

Use Black Out fabric rather than Light Filtering fabric and you up those values even more: R-value of 4.0 and, if you add side tracks, 4.7.

These numbers are for SHADE ALONE. Once you factor in the window itself, you’re potentially reaching R-values in the range of 8.2.

So how does all this help with keeping OUT the hot weather, as well as keeping in HEAT during the winter months?

English Heritage has produced a video Sash Windows – Why They Are Worth Keeping. The same link also gives access to a couple of well-thought-out publications on improving thermal performance.

It’s a two-way street: What improves to keep heating inside rather than dissipating to the outdoors also helps keep the sweltering outdoor temperatures from impacting your internal temperature. If outdoor heat doesn’t enter your premises, then your cooling system — whether a/c units or fans — can relax and work much less. offers the following “Handy Info” pages:

* * *

“There is nothing quite like walking into a cool room on a hot day…”

If you answer the following question, with a YES, maybe it’s time
to research Cellular Shades and Skylights:

Do you start your air conditioning early in the morning,
and run it all day??

(for A Cooler You, Click on the link or photo)

Today I spoke to a husband and wife whose shade did not fit.


What happened in the fifty minutes we were on the phone? It was discovered that the window’s frame — with its depth of more than 4 1/2-inches — beveled outwards. In fact, it was nearly a half-inch wider at the back than at the front of the opening.

There lay their measuring problem!

Their particular shades were CORDLESS — these have a headrail that looks like this:




of bracket

(highlighted by solid black lines)



2 and 1/4 -inches

Therefore, if you’re inserting a “square” (the shade) into a V (the window opening) – measurements have to be taken not only in three places – top, center, bottom – but also at the narrowest edge. If you measure farther back, the shade will be too wide at the front to fit properly.

In preparation for writing this blog post, I was hoping to find some photo of this very type of window. Frankly, I was more used to the frame fanning out into the room:

Here, you can see just how much wider at the room’s edge the opening is than right at the window’s edge. Imagine, though, less of a steep angle, and the wider end inverted so it is at the exterior edge — and you will envision why this couple had measuring problems.

At this window, the natural impulse would be to measure close to the window. The cellular shade would fit — thanks to the brackets going across the headrail! — but you would see a slight gap, and a bit of a “wedge-shaped” one, at the sides.

The couple I spoke with would have the opposite “visual”, in that the gap would be more noticed if one looked through the window.

In searching online for pictures, I came across this description on a Vinyl Window website: “Unique beveled-in exterior frame creates depth and interest”. The site doesn’t mention that frustration might be created as well.

When in doubt, a T-Square and a plumb line might help you envision how the object — a Cellular Shade — needs to fit into your given opening. The T-Square will detect when the depth is not “flat depth” and the plumb line could aid in giving “visual” lines to represent sides of the shade.

Home Decor: DIY has a fun post on painted floors as a new/old design idea!

Afraid to tackle such a project that seems so permanent? How about Floor Cloths?! Yes, they have returned. Including, from Vermont’s own CanvasWorks FloorCloths! They also offer “make-your-own” floor cloths, and sell primed & hemmed “blank” floor cloths and paints.

Nate Says “You spend most of your time in your bedroom…”

 The homeowner — who’s had this bedroom for ten years — calls the bedroom “a cold box”: plain walls, crammed furniture. As it’s not a room visitors see, so this couple has left it to last. What decorating ideas does Nate have which will help them??

Five tips:

  • Start with a headboard – save space and money with no footboard
  • Bedding – take advantage of sales to change the ENTIRE feeling of a room
  • Lighting – nightstands, bed-side lamps give ambiant light a chance to add tranquility
  • Window Treatments – draperies add warmth and architecture, framing out your window shades
  • Seating – a bench or chair, one “odd” chair is great in a bedroom!

Watch the video — clicking on the image (above) will bring you to The Nate Berkus Show’s website video on Bedroom Basics.

A colleague here mentioned this series yesterday: Canada’s Worst Handyman.

You start to think: reality TV or pulling my leg? Indeed, the series has been on for FIVE years! It airs on the Discovery Channel and Season Six is ready to premiere on May 2nd.

Did I mention: it’s a “contestant” show?!? Nominations are taken shortly before shooting begins and the aim of the show is NOT to be the “winner” of the title!

Watch part of an episode here. Visit the “official” Discovery Channel website for the show.

So who thought they couldn’t hang a shade? After watching this series, you’ll be very proud of your handyman skills.

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