The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades.com

Posts Tagged ‘pinterest

This year, to honor ARBOR DAY, our company has decided upon planting a tree

CellularWindowShades.com has been in our “new” home three years now, and our plot of land has slowly taken on a new character. There are a couple of keen gardeners in our midst! So among the thoughts on what type of tree we might plant came such thoughts as:

  • I’d like to see something flowering.
  • It must produce something edible – cherry? pear? apple?
  • It should be something that can survive with little maintenance; it must be something that survives long and cold winters.

Current thoughts are leaning towards this little beauty:

apple blossom

One WordPress Blogger has this particular specimen in the garden. I was so happy to find Gardening in the Lines: A Diary of Gardens because I have so little desire to garden, but LOVE looking at the work of others. Flowers, shrubs, quiet spaces in cool corners – all call to me (though do I heed that call by doing anything myself?? Does raking in the fall count?). Alas, it may not be an active blog – but the photos are still there for all to see.

Some of my favorite pins on Pinterest involve “the garden”. Our board for “GARDENS & FLOWERS” shows a broad range of applications, from potted plants and cut arrangements, to vast public gardens. And don’t discount the whimsical: find our hollowed log planter or mosaic stone swirl walkway. FUN!

There is one thing about being in the window shades business: Windows look out on the world. And whether you cover your windows for light control or privacy, when you look out you hope to see something that makes you smile…. And flowers – with their bright colors and pungent scents – are the ticket. Here in Vermont we’ve had a recent snow storm, but we’re told that “spring is just around the corner”. Our Arbor Day Tree — whatever variety it might in the end be — will soon herald that blossoming season: spring cleaning, new decorating, open windows, garden parties.

 hero-gift-trees

 arbor day

 

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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

Has it been three years already since I first began chatting with you??

I’ve built up this blog from near-nothing to a dozen-plus helpful pages; hundreds of posts and hints; scores of websites on our blogroll; and a handful of original photos of our lovely shades in your beautiful homes. Keep those comments and photos coming!

We’ve added stories and new media like PINTEREST. I’m always grateful when people stop by, or leave a crumb (ie, comment or “like”).

happy anniversary

Perusing DECOR8 today, one among our blogroll, I found a new and useful website from down under: The Design Files. As a dedicated travel addict, I know there’s a BIG world out there beyond Vermont – and sites like these introduce us all to different places, new people, and bold design ideas.

The latest at The Design Files is a feature on Aussie Artist Carmel Seymour. Carmel now resides in Reykjavik! Talk about a change of scene. Carmel discusses her love of pattern and texture. Two “terms” of interest to all interested in home decor. She loves botanical illustrations, and her color palette certainly is rich in earth and sky tones. Gotta love someone who’s passion (besides painting, of course) is treasure-hunting at USED BOOKSTORES!

seymour

You can read the entire interview, and see samples of Carmel’s work by clicking above.

Spring is a time to move house as well as clean house. News broadcasts LOVE to publicize the latest home starts or housing sales. So the houzz article on APARTMENT HUNTING FOR RENTERS seemed quite timely. The “customer comments,” however, resonated with me as never before — and I’ve been in my home for more than fifteen years!

SanFran

The houzz article is firmly aimed at big city apartment hunters, but the comments hone in on the worldwide dilemma of finding somewhere to live — and loving where you land. Some of houzz’s tips include

  1. Focus on a FAVORITE neighborhood or two, if possible (might depend on the size of the municipality).
  2. Beside budgetary concerns, what two other priorities must your new home have?
  3. Open House overkill? Keep a checklist (of likes and dislikes) or snap a photo or two. (One commenter suggested that snapping a photo of each front door helped immensely.)
  4. Be prepared! in some markets, housing will go fast. Be ready with pertinent information to convince the seller or landlord you’re the person for their property (references; credit history information; mortgage pre-approval; etc).
  5. Hidden costs? Are those window treatments included? how much are utilities? is parking available, or cable / internet hook-ups?
  6. Odd smells? Noises? lack of natural light? add those to your list so you’ll remember your reactions later.
  7. Be nosy! You might be living here soon: peek into closets, run the water, flush the toilet.
  8. Search online, newspapers, dedicated publications — but don’t forget word of mouth.
  9. Negotiate price. It’s worth a try.
  10. Will Grandma’s armoire fit? Bring a tape measure.
  11. Did the seller / landlord makes promises: Get it in writing. Don’t rely on memory…

My take-away from some of Comments:

  1. When talking ‘utilities’, don’t be afraid to ask how a bill is assessed; beware hidden ‘fees’ charged to tenants.
  2. Likewise, be leery of ‘application fees’ or leave-taking ‘cleaning’ fees.
  3. Check out the yard (if applicable), especially if the prior owner / tenant had pets. (think: clean-up…)
  4. Think twice about the flat near the elevator or garbage chute. Do bedroom(s) overlook an alley where the trash is kept? a busy street?
  5. Be on the look-out for signs (for rent / for sale); tell co-workers about your hunt for a home. The more, the merrier.
  6. GREAT idea: Check the neighborhood during commute times on a weekday. Cruise the neighborhood between 10pm and 3am [I personally would extend this to the likes of 7am] “to see who and what is out at night”.
  7. Pertinent to renters: is there a waiting list for a building you want to live in? Get on it!
  8. Really concerned about safety: contact the local police department and ask about the area.
  9. Moving in or doing a walk-through before closing? Take pictures and document.
  10. “Don’t be shy about asking a friend or relative to accompany you” – a second set of eyes can often help.
  11. Do baking cookies hide an odor? Does music mask street noise? Visit more than once to be sure.
  12. Looking near a school – but don’t have children? Be aware of increases in (road and foot) traffic; additional noise; parking or trespassing problems.

houston

Now to add a few thoughts of my own. I live in what could be termed a “small city”, certainly an urban area. The housing is predominantly single-family homes, a few condo units, only downtown has some “lower” high-rises. Downtown has exceptionally few amenities, so I can start my list with

  1. Is your area walkable? How’s the public transportation? Do you need a vehicle no matter what? Depending on your lifestyle, you may want to think twice about where to locate.
  2. If you like nature, are there public parks, scenic areas easily in reach?
  3. Would you prefer an area where everyone has children, or are professionals, or all retirees?
  4. Consider that the No. 1 business of businesses is to grow: that college up the hill will not be content with a student body of 2000 students in ten-years’ time; that airport will add run-ways and parking garages – or change flight patterns to entice larger jets; that highway may be two lanes now, but what if it became wider or faster?
  5. How close are your closest neighbors? Be aware of basketball hoops, barking dogs, loud cars or loud music. All have the potential to impact your enjoyment of your own home.

I’ve personally have lived through loud neighbors, barking dogs, early morning airplanes, a backyard daycare. I remember reading once about a woman whose neighbor was a chatterbox; ultimately, the writer resorted to diving into her car in the garage, just to avoid the neighbor. The spring after I purchased my home, the state ‘upgraded’ highway bridges – and now you hear traffic thumping over expansion joints; sometimes you feel them too, especially once the potholes begin to crop up again. In the end, you may have little control over what happens over time.

My city used to be tree-lined, but decades ago it lost that attribute to a two-lane / four-lane road through the center. Places change over time. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when it’s time to cut your ties and move on.

* * *

Whether you’re new to your home, looking for updated decor ideas,
or setting up some “must haves” for a dream home,

Fabulous article on Design Sponge’s managing editor, Amy Azzarito. (Design*Sponge has LONG been on the CellularWindowShades blogroll.) Who knew there was a “girl” living a life I’d envy — one filled with books, and influential people who appreciated her worth. Wonderful to read that her tenure at Apartment Therapy  (another CWS blogroll fav) came via a writing contest: the prize – producing five posts a week (at $11 each).

amy azzarito_NYTimes

I may disagree with sorting books via color (by general topic, surely…), but the Times article — written by Penelope Green –, will introduce you to Amy Azzarito the woman, telling fans about various aspects of her past and present.  Azzarito’s home sounds wonderful (you’ll even learn its current rent!), and you’ll enjoy the accompanying photos.

Can’t end this post without mention of Amy Azzarito’s new bookPast and Present (from Steward, Tabori & Chang). Wonder what COLOR its jacket is (oh, horror at the thought that she may discard dust jackets!) and where will it reside on her ‘color-coded’ bookshelves? (if you click on Amazon link, you’ll see the book is BLUE!)

amy azzarito_home

Houzz-fans will love that the photos tell the who-what-where-why of some of Azzarito’s furnishings: a newly-reupholstered velvet couch (above); the wood cabinet purchased for $35 (ten years ago); the bits of DIY around the place; love-love-love the eBay Nepalese handles!

Pinterest-fans might “like” the one photo I pinned.

BTW, her bathroom is in SERIOUS need of a Top Down Bottom Up shade…. Call me (877-966-3678), Amy!

Wouldn’t you like to jazz up your interior decorations with something you already have around the house? Laura Gaskill of HOUZZ has come up with a list of fifteen NO-COST ways to “Invigorate Your Space”. Let’s look at them together.

Laura comments, “Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your space with fresh eyes.”

framed prints

1. Frame illustrations from a book or magazine. (The “no-cost” assumes you’ve some black frames lying around…, as well as all those glossy magazines.)

I love these simple floral prints. They remind me of Regency-era Artwork, when women drew and painted botanical specimens.

2. Repurpose fabric remnants as art. Similar to #1, use fabric – as a wall hanging, or as a framed print.

As Laura suggests, you can even use an embroidery hoop and display it that way; but why not add some embroidery touches, in that case?

3. Use vases to display jewelry. The accompanying photo shows a necklace looped a couple of times around the neck of a simple ceramic vase. Another, next to it, has a myriad of gold bracelets tossed down its long thin neck.

My passion is pins, more than necklaces (and certainly more than bracelets: hard to type with a clanking bracelet!). I hung a padded board and stick my brooches all over the surface. Makes it easy to choose which to wear, and keeps them in fine condition.

4. Use “throws” in a fresh way. The text talks about those little blankets that sometimes live at the foot of your bed, as well as throw pillows – which they’ve even piled up under a small table.

My suggestion here might seem old-fashioned, but years ago I haunted an antique lace, doily, and tablecloth booth. Beautiful needlework, and they look great over the back of an overstuffed chair.

5. Swap out accent furniture from room to room.

I did this! Had a small painted table in a back room, that made a perfect bedside table; add lamp and a few books … voila!

6. Revamp old jars as fun storage. Q-tips? pencils? Here’s where they go!

They can be Mason jars, squat jars once filled with nuts, cylindrical peanut butter jars. Be creative with the sizes and shapes. HOUZZ’s photo shows hot PINK covers on all the jars, which unifies the collection.

7. Color code your book shelves. The photo of a white room with blue accents features a wall of books – red bindings huddled together in one area; blue bindings in another; yellow bindings elsewhere; and creams are up there too.

As a book collector, I am loath to DO anything to a book that ‘injures’ it; I keep dust jackets on, for instance. Oh! how that would have helped a 1930s volume from being so sun-faded that the fabric hinges cracked. I do like their bonus, however: “It will give you an excuse to peruse all of your favorite old books!”

8. Turn a crate on its side to hold books.

Rustic… Reused… neatly stacked even. Who could argue with this decor suggestion. Add to that: CDs, DVDs – anything that cries out for a little storage spot to call home. Line the box, if you’d like an addition use for those remnants of fabric!

9. Hang artwork on your shelves.

Personally, I’d prefer the artwork within the shelf‘s little cubby, but the photo show a light at the top of the built-in bookcase, and a little framed picture a few shelves down. As they say, “A small painting allows you to still access the books around it.”

10. Style your open shelving. Glass-fronted or even “commando” (no doors) kitchen cabinets? Take the time to organize and style what you must always view

A non-brainer: Hide the clutter!

11. Put the silver on display. Do you have grandma’s “good silverware”? Show it off, especially if it’s never in use.

The HOUZZ photo has a MARVELOUS Dundee Marmalade stoneware jar – or you could use one of those Mason Jars from #6, above.

12. Reuse glass jars for flowers.

I.e., plant some posies around the rooms you frequent most. You’ll welcome the vibrant colors.

13. Paper a wall in old maps.

This one’s so neat, that I just have to include their photo:

map your bath

Nautical Charts are FABULOUS for a bath, don’t you think? Must confess, I wish it was one giant map, no jogs in the shoreline at all. (Picky, picky…) HOUZZ suggests papering with maps of places you have been – why not toss in a discrete photo too. A nice Top Down Bottom Up cellular window shade – in Vienna Wood (brown=blend in) or Largo (blue=pop!) would complete this picture, giving much needed privacy.

14. Fill an unused frame with fabric-wrapped cork.

This same idea could be fabric on a frame (see my “pin board,” #3 above) or even a foam-core board. Decorate with photos, notes, or maybe postcards from those places that you’ve got maps for!

15. Remove a door and create a hideaway office.

The HOUZZ photo is so cute – a drawn-to-one-side white “linen” curtain, a green-painted wooden (swivel!) office chair, storage bins on a shelf, even three “time zone” clocks. Who can tell me what time it is in LONDON when it’s 11 am in NEW YORK?

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,

“THAT DOOR, WITH THAT SHADE, IS THE CAT’S MEOW!”


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