The Inside Scoop at CellularWindowShades.com

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Pantone’s Color Trends Report for Fall 2013 is today’s TALK!

Now you will ask, “Has ‘fall color trends’ anything to do with window coverings??” Indeed! especially when you wish to incorporate something *new* in your home decor scheme.

Q: To take advantage of the fall trends, do I have to change my window shades?

A: Not at all; just think of drapes or blinds as an additional design layer. Here’s a “before & after”:

barb_before

BEFORE: Barb’s home was a chilly bank of windows on a winter’s day, and a boiler bank on hot summer days. The lack of window decorating gave the room a half-moved-in appearance, while the garden shed developed into the paramount item in her view outdoors.

Sunroom

AFTER: With shades and romans, Barb now had a finished look to her windows, also some “pattern” and “color,” and — surprise! — choice: she could pull up her “top down bottom up” cellular shades, or pull down her Roman blinds! What she liked best -> her view was now the trees, not the garden shed.

Q: I’m starting from scratch in decorating my bedroom; what COLORS can you offer, say, in black out fabric?

BO-colors

Black Out Double Cell Cellular fabrics offer a pleasing array of jewel-tones, whites, creams, and earth-tones. Compare to this year’s Pantone Palette:

pantone fall colors

Mykonos Blue – a jewel in the Aegean = think, MARINA

Linden Green – the soft tone of a Linden leaf = think, CYPRESS

Koi – the fleeting flashes of a fish = think, CINNAMON

Carafe – their “rich, glamorous” brown = think, CWS’s COFFEE BEAN

Q: I love “Vivacious” and “Turbulence”, but I don’t think I’m bold enough to paint a wall pink or deep grey. What else can I do?

Accessorize! Small SPLASHES of color are often as useful and more entertaining than a broad swathe of today’s latest color. Check out some of our Pinterest “Just for Fun” pins. Imagine them in your home, as posters, pillows, or props:

cat with cup

Posters – “my favorite things”

pillows

Pillows – one for every family member

tea

Props – wind-chime teapot

The Cat with Cup introduces that fabulous Mykonos Blue scarf and a touch of Vivacious in the ears; Acai features in the teenager’s trousers; while Carafe and Turbulence are echoed in the rusted-silver teapot chime.

Fall is a time of vibrant color display here in Vermont — we see more golden leaves littering the parking lot of our window shades manufactory every day. Autumn colors rank high on Pantone’s “trending” list, and you, too, can introduce them into your home.

And through the end of October (27th to be exact) you’ll save $30 per shade for Lift Option Upgrades — which means two of the lift options — Smoothy Continuous Cord or Top Down Bottom Up — are actually *free*!

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Check out past posts on
Colors of the Month

Color_my_world_warner_bros

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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

That’s right: 15% off Shades AND Upgrades!

This could be YOU:

GREEN in your pocket,

because you’re trading in old slat blinds

for New Cellular Shades & Cellular Skylight Shades!

Remember: Shades ship FREE in the Continental US (UPS Ground)

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?

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 Windows.org. 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.

CellularWindowShades.com 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)

This guest blog was written by Michelle – part of the CellularWindowShades.com Service Team.

This holiday season I’m proud of myself. I didn’t get overwhelmed by the pressure to buy lavish gifts for everyone I know.

I made an effort to buy from small local stores and spend less time in lines and waiting to get in and out of parking lots.

After a year of moving several family members, including cleaning out my childhood home, I realized that we all have too much stuff. This gave me a fresh perspective on what people use and what ends up in the back of a closet. I started by making a list of the people in my immediate family, in laws, siblings, etc. I did not focus on very specific gifts, but did ask for wish lists from everyone to give me a guideline of what they wanted. As usual I received only a few lists and started there. I also thought of what my family members asked to borrow from me this year. Not that I mind, but obviously it is something they may need and might like to have their own!

Avoid malls and tourist areas with crowded parking lots
Avoid malls and tourist areas with crowded parking lots

My goal was to avoid the mall (with all of it’s parking woes) and our touristy overpriced downtown boutiques. We have an outlet center with some small businesses mixed in just down the road from my house. I began at the kitchen shop, where I crossed off a few things on the list. Much to my surprise, I found gifts for quite a few people there, totaling under $100. I can’t mention them here as it might ruin the surprise in a few weeks! I moved from store to store, checking sales on certain things like gloves and thermal underwear, returning to one of the first stops to get the best deal and value. I asked how long things were on sale so that I didn’t feel rushed to BUY NOW! After about 2 hours, I managed to cross off 75% of the people & items off my list. I returned home victorious!

To avoid overspending on one person, I tallied the cost for each person. I ordered several items online (with free shipping) that I couldn’t find locally. Since it was early December, I did not let myself worry about what was left. I knew in my journeys I would be inspired for those last people and gifts. I attended an international festival that had many booths with items for sale. I felt good that some of the money I spent might go directly to people in that country rather than a big retailer. It was really fun to shop there and people were receptive to questions. The next week, while I was at the grocery store, I spotted a gift card center and finished off my shopping. It may not have been shopping local, but it saved me some time and ensured that my family would like what they got.

The added bonus is that I live in a town that does not charge the optional 1% Vermont tax. That means not only did I avoid crowds, I saved 1% more on almost all of my purchases.
 So here are my 10 tips on how to shop for the holidays without going bananas:

  1. Shop at places that are easy to get in and out of and where finding parking is easy. Don’t forget the grocery store, most of us have to go there anyhow!
  2. Shop in the evening, lunchtimes or take a weekday off to avoid crowds. Don’t get stuck at the mall on Saturday afternoon, everyone else is there too!
  3. Limit who you give gifts to. Cards with family photos are as thoughtful as something that might just fill up a closet. Don’t forget to write on the back of the photos, dates, names, etc!
  4. Start early on paper. Did someone ask to borrow something from you this year? Do you think they might want their own?
  5. Keep track of how much you spend on each person; you’d be surprised how fast it adds up.
  6. Use boxes to wrap gifts so you don’t feel like it doesn’t look like enough stuff. Plus it makes your wrapped corners look really nice! Even better, use a reusable gift bag and limit 1 bag per person.
  7. Gift certificates may not be instant gratification for the recipient, but at least you know that they can buy what they didn’t get over the holiday season. Make sure it is to a place in their area and try to support small businesses if at all possible. Most gift cards can be ordered online! Grocery store gift cards are great for those on a fixed budget!
  8. Treats like homemade Chex Mix or cookies can be a great last minute gift for those people that come out of the woodwork. My bachelor & foodie friends loved it last year. Buy the inexpensive reusable/recyclable containers so you don’t have to get it back. Holiday tins are cute, but are not very reusable and cost almost as much as the ingredients.
  9. Keep an open mind. The years I tried to focus on very specific and sometimes imaginary gifts were the years I went nuts searching for the perfect item I had envisioned.
  10. Remember that being there for people all year is more important than meeting a quota at the holidays!

So there you have it, Michelle’s tips and 2011 holiday shopping philosophy. Send it along to your friends and family. Stay sane, warm and avoid a financial holiday hangover in 2012!


CellularWindowShades.com

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

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