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Archive for the ‘Decorating Ideas’ Category

Trend Alert – Roman Shades

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Roman shades are gaining in popularity. Panels of fabric lay flat when the shade is lowered. For a dramatic look roman shades can be ordered with “tear drop” style panels which gives the shade dimension and movement. When roman shades are raised the fabric panels softly stack underneath the headrail. Typically roman shades have a 6” fabric valance that attaches to the headrail. However depending on brand the valance can be left off and a fabric insert coordinates with the shades fabric for a modern and sleek look.

The standard lifting system is a pull cord that extends as the shade is being raised. For a more durable clutch operated system the continuous cord can replace the standard lift. It loops itself back into the headrail and stays at a constant length. For a household with children or pets we recommend the cordless lift to eliminate any health hazard all together.

The best part about roman shades is the fabric selection though. From linen look to plain, from woven materials to soft prints, from loud colors to bold prints. There is so much to chose from that it won’t be hard to make a statement in any room. Room-darkening materials will be a great fit in bedrooms, where most living areas should be dressed with light filtering materials. This allows that light can enter the room even while the shades are lowered. Get some inspiration from some of our images below. Great brands to order custom roman shades from? Right here on our site: Good Housekeeping shades, Bali & Comfortex.

Good-Housekeeping-Roman-Sha

comfortex-roman-shades

bali-roman-shade

comfortex

Decor – Natural Elements

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

We used to see some random decor items like shell arrangements, pine cone potpourri or flower arrangement. Not anymore, the emphasis on natural elements has grown steadily. Natural elements feel comfortable, organic and can bring a room to life. Here are some natural decor items to transform your home:

Blinds & Shades
While there are the more traditional wood blinds that are nature inspired, the true newcomer are bamboo shades or woven wood shades. Made of woods, reeds, bamboos and grasses, these natural shades are simplistic yet stunning and a true focal point in any room.
woven-wood-shades

Rugs
Decorating with bamboo rugs or woven inspired materials can bring nature right into your home. While warm and inviting they are also easy to maintain and beautiful.
rug

Art
There are choices over choices when it comes to wall art made of nature. For wall art with dimension chose a twisty branch spray painted in your choice of color. Candle holders, vases and many more decor items can be found of branches and similar items. They are always unique and interesting to look at.
wall-art

Furniture
Woven sea grass furniture is durable and stunningly beautiful. With its tonal variations and relaxed style woven sea grass creates a relaxed look in pretty much any area of a home. A sitting area, bar stools, or sun room will come to live with this piece of nature.
furniture

Deco
More ways to get the natural look are any decor items that are made of natural elements. Anything that looks like a relic from vacation or past can make a stunning item to liven up your home.
decor

10 Things Every Bedroom Needs

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

roller shadesWant to spiff up your bedroom? We have put together some items that will complement and enhance your bedroom. Check them out:

  1. Theme
    We grant our little toddlers a theme, maybe a princess, car or sports theme, but forget to do the same in our bedroom. Even though it doesn’t need to be that specific, we should have something that we work with and follow through on. Working with stripes? Working with floral prints? Let them reappear in different places like bedspreads, window shades or pillows. You get the idea.
  2. Rugs
    Whether you have wooden floors, carpet or tile, you want that area rug to step on to when crawling out of bed in the morning. The more plush the better. It simply says cozy and welcome in this bed at the same time.
  3. Throw Pillows
    Pillows are functional and decor at the same time. While adding a touch of color and fluffiness to your room, they are inviting and convey the message “hang out and lean up against me”. Pillows transform your bed comforter from plain to dressed up with accessories.
  4. A place to sit
    Having an additional chair to read your book or put your shoes on is a nice functional extra to have. Have the chair color complement the colors in your bed spreads and everything ties together beautifully.
  5. Television
    Many advice columns advise against electronics in the bedroom! Especially for those that have trouble sleeping. Since I am the type that has no trouble falling asleep, I like to space out every once in a while in front of the TV. For me this is a nice item to have, but we certainly believe the experts that say it is better not to have one in your bedroom.
  6. Items you love
    For all those little knickknacks, pictures and items you treasure you should have shelving space or an area where it can be displayed. Wall shelves or your dresser could be the perfect place for your treasured items.
  7. Night stand
    While nightstands complement the bed furniture they also hold our items that keep our essentials close by. On mine there can always be found the book I currently read, my water, alarm clock and lip balm. I couldn’t do without one!
  8. Mattress
    While there isn’t much to look at here, we know that the right mattress can make all the difference in how we get through the night. Whether you prefer a memory foam mattress, a soft or extra hard one, the right mattress can be an essential piece in our bedroom.
  9. Pictures
    I am mostly talking of pictures that help the theme I was talking about earlier. Serene images that compliment the color scheme and theme of your room.
  10. Reading Lights
    Even if you don’t read often, to have the right reading lamp next to you bed is essential. For a quick lights on lights off in the night or the last things we do before turning lights off, a good reading light gives added flexibility in your bedroom.

Considerations When Combining Wood Colors

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

wood-blindsOne of the most enjoyable aspects of decorating is picking out individual furniture pieces and decor items. And then the challenge begins, will the individual pieces you love tie together and seem like a composed arrangement? When trying to coordinate wood tones this can be especially challenging. From dark mahogany or golden oak colors to light birch tones the array seems endless. So here are some things to consider in order to achieve a cohesive and harmonious look:

Main Pieces of Furniture
Large furniture items like tables, armchairs or wood blinds should all be in the same wood tone. Smaller decorating pieces like picture frames and lambs could be in accenting lighter or darker stain.

Different Rooms
In adjoining rooms you might not want to have the same color wood in every area. For example your family room could feature cherry furniture while the adjoining dining room has lighter natural wood tone furniture pieces. In this case the smaller decor items should tie the rooms together by featuring the other rooms wood stain color.

Balancing Wood Tones
In case your larger furniture items for a specific room are not in the same wood color, place them strategically and balance them with your décor. When you place all the light items on one side and the dark items on the other it will throw off the balance off that room.

Keep It Simple
In general you don’t want to mix too many different wooden colors on top of a very busy color scheme. The look will be messy and busy. So in case you have lots of colors you are working with in a room, keep the wood tones in furniture and blinds the same. On the other hand in case you have lot of wooden tones you are working with, keep your colors down to a minimum.

Contrast Woods When Necessary
In certain areas you want to contrast wood items so they don’t appear washed out. This is the case with wooden floors. On a beautiful dark wood floor, you don’t want to see a dark table, here a contrasting lighter wooden piece would be ideal.

Bedroom Window Treatment Ideas

Monday, May 19th, 2014

There are always too many choices when it comes to decor and decorating. So we thought we would point out the basic choices when it comes to window treatments that are available for a bedroom. And off course we start with what Ace of Shades has to offer:

Window Blinds
A basic and functional way to dress windows in a bedroom are blinds. This includes classic wood blinds, their look-alike Faux Wood blinds, which are budget friendlier, as well as conventional mini blinds. Blinds are very practical in regards to light control and offer beauty with their symmetrical lines.
blinds

Window Shades
Shades are a soft window treatment as they are often made out of Polyester which comes in all imaginable colors, prints and designs. This category includes cellular shades, roller shades, pleated shades as well as roman shades. Whether you would like to keep it neutral or choose a bold color, when selecting shades it is important to go with a light-filtering or darkening material. That ensures privacy control which is essential for a bedroom.
shades

Cornices
A cornice is similar to a valance but higher in structure. This is a great decorative way when paired with a shade that when rolled up is hidden underneath the cornice.
cornice

Drapery Panels
Draperies can add character, color and privacy to your bedroom. For a bedroom a lined fabric is optimal for better light control and added energy savings. The voluptuous material adds dimension and character.
curtains

Plantation Shutters
Plantation Shutters offer light control and privacy while adding architectural and structural lines to a space. Shutters are heavy in construction and emulate a piece of furniture in your bedroom.
plantation-shutters

Mixed Product Styles
Here you will find a Cornice, mixed with long curtains and a matching operable roman shade underneath.
mix

Design Considerations For Window Coverings

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

In the world of window coverings a variety of designs and benefits are offered to enhance interior living space. Most people are attracted to a certain look and choose based on looks. However finding the right blind or shade begins with the basic understanding of window covering characteristics and their benefits. Here are some things to consider:

bali cellular shades

Living Space
Each area or room in a home has a primary activity. While a bedroom is an area for rest where darkening and privacy is a concern a living room area might have more of a focus on daily activity where lots of light and preserving a gorgeous view is desired. A home office would require soft light to work on your PC while a home theater room requires complete light control. In certain climates windows facing north might require additional insulation while in other parts of the country UV protection could be an issue to protect from too much damaging sun exposure.

Light Control & Privacy
Again you want to look at what degree of privacy or light control is required in an area to fulfill your needs. Bedrooms might need a lot more darkening for a person that needs a room to be completely dark in order to sleep, while another prefers to rise at the crack of dawn and welcomes the first rays of sunlight to filter into the room. Privacy will clearly always be required in a bedroom, which eliminates sheer products all together. When purchasing for a family room, some people might welcome a sheer window treatment to offer a beautiful view into a backyard, while others will have to maintain privacy and compromise with a treatment that allows a view. You want to be very clear what you need out of your window covering in these regards.

Child & Pet Safety
When considering beautiful new treatments this is often overlooked, but should be your first priority. Considering shades for a home with young children and pets should always have products with cordless features. Many products are available with hidden cords or cordless lifting systems and should be at least installed in children’s bedrooms, play areas or possibly all around the house.

Energy Efficiency
Today, homes are built with better insulation, and all the home trends are going towards energy efficient products. This is no different in the window covering industry. In homes where extreme heat or cold is an issue, window shades with additional insulating properties should be considered. While a single layered roller shade might be pretty to look at, a double honeycomb shade or wood blind would be a much better choice to keep the interior insulated.

Operating Systems
While a cordless shade will be nice to eliminate dangling cords, it might not be practical in a window that is hard to reach. Here a motorized shade could be the way to go. Or when considering a window treatment for a huge wall of windows, a stronger clutch operated shade would be recommended versus a standard lifting system that will wear out cords soon. Also, do you want flexibility to open and close slats or will you be happy to have a shade that is either lowered or raised? All these practical and functional issues should be thought about before making a decision on the right window covering.

We always welcome you to call us, we are more than happy to walk you through the different product that will work for your needs.

Design Ideas – White Kitchen

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

So much happens in our kitchen, the good, the bad and all the fun and entertaining. The kitchen has become a center in our homes where people gather and mingle. The design trend is going towards white and neutral kitchens. White always looks clean, inviting, pretty and added bonus is that it never looks dated. Here are some tips to master the look of the white kitchen.

On the example below we have a white stone for your countertops and island has a current and neutral effect. It is both beautiful and calming. The variations in the stone give it a unique character. Those grey or tan lines in the stone help you find the perfect paint for your kitchen walls as well. No need to worry about wear and tear on a light countertop either, once the stone is sealed it will stand the test of time. While keeping it white on the counter tops, to ground the look you might consider a natural base for the island like a weathered wood table. This gives the mostly white kitchen and warm visual center point. For the pantry, open shelving breaks up the white lines and shows off pretty china or serving pieces. A creamy white sink will nicely tie in to the rest of the kitchen, keeping it light and neutral. In the image below we see a kitchen with grey tile as an accent, again complementing the darker vanes in the countertop and creating an interesting back splash.

Regardless of specific details, a white kitchen is never going to get old and will always have the feel of bright and clean. When finished off with white solar shades for a great view out it could make the most inviting spot in your home.

white-kitchen

5 Steps to Brighten Up a Room

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Rooms that have few light fixtures or not enough natural light can feel small and dark. Home improvements and tweaking some things in your room can considerably brighten up a room. Here are some steps that will help.

  1. Choose the right window coverings. When there is only window and that is the source of natural light and it is covered up with a darkening shade in a dark color, you just robbed yourself of the only bright natural light source you had. Even when privacy is an issue, consider light-filtering shades in a light or cream color. An excellent choice could be Comfortex Shangri-La Shades, in the same category as Silhouette shades. Even when they are closed, the room is illuminated with a natural glow of light.
    Sihouette-Blinds
  2. Brighten up your walls. Even though dark colors can be warm and stylish, when your space is small and light is needed, go for bright and pale colors. Even if painting your walls in a warmer (not dark) color, consider a bright white ceiling, which will reflect in the room and help to brighten the room.
    bright-walls
  3. Replace flooring. A grey tile or dark carpet can literally suck out any light you have. You might consider replacing the entire flooring if it is within our budget or just place some strategic light carpets or rugs to create lighter areas within the room.
    bright-carpet
  4. Add lighting. This seems to be the obvious solution. Whether a complete new overhead lighting is in the budget or an additional bright floor lamp, additional lighting can always help. Consider layering lighting to be able to adjust according to situation and mood.
    layered-lighting
  5. Choose the right decorations. Tiles of small mirrors hung in clusters can help to give the illusion of another window. Floor length mirrors in nooks or hallways can help as well. Glass décor like a glass mirrored table or wall hangings can help to increase the feeling of openness while attracting more light.
    wall-mirrors

Solutions for Small Spaces

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

ShelvesSmall spaces can drive us crazy, they can feel cramped, feel small, and we don’t really know what to do with them. We are talking small bathrooms, utility rooms, closets or other small areas that are tight on space.

Here are some ideas and design tips on how maximize small areas:

  • Use Light Colors – Dark colors will make a room appear more compact, light colors and hues will help to open up a room.
  • Utilize Shelves – An excellent way to utilize small walls is shelves. Invest in attractive canisters to store away bathroom essentials.
  • Get the right Window Treatments – Find blinds or shades that work on small windows; stay away from vertical blinds, instead work with light-filtering cellular shades, light-filtering roman shades or blinds that have a small stack, so when the shade is raised, the eye is able to move beyond the wall and see outdoor space.
  • Add a mirror – An easy and great design trick to make a small space appear bigger is a full-body mirror. It helps to visually expand a space.
  • Choose small space furnishings – Decor and furnishings should be small, since items that are too big can quickly feel overwhelming. Neat pieces, compact frames, clean lines help in these areas.
  • Keep it clutter free - In small spaces any additional visual distraction of clutter and items will feel overwhelming. By keeping decorations and other items to a minimum you help keep the space organized to the eye.

Decorate Your Windows with the Outside in Mind

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Comfortex-Shangri-LaWe are always concerned what our window covering will look like when installed, what atmosphere they will create and how they will add to our interior décor. But what shouldn’t be overlooked is how your window treatment looks like from the street and outside of the house.

Have soft Silhouette window blinds in the guest bedroom facing the street, but the dining area has roman shades? Wood blinds in your breakfast area and solar shades in the living room? Driving through neighborhoods and seeing the mixing and matching inside homes from the streetside looks unbalanced and cluttered. Question is, are we decorating for us or for the people driving by our house? Off course it is more important to enjoy the inside of our homes, but the outside shouldn’t be completely overlooked. Most people will not stay in their homes for decades and the time of having to sell your home will come. Keeping certain areas of the home uniform could make a difference for a potential buyer when your house will hit the market. Some people will even invest that additional money to add curb appeal, so the large window area in the front of your house will leave just as much of an impression as everything else.

Even if you aren’t mixing and matching as described above, we hear customers all the time wanting to change products on a door or sidelight window because they feel a 2” wood blind might be too heavy for these little windows. Not at all!! Continuing the flow of the same window treatment is much more pleasing to the eye than switching to a 1” wood blind or breaking away to an entirely different product all together. Many of today’s custom made products come in very narrow sizes, so even sidelights can be covered with the same product you used in your formal living or dining room to keep things uniform and flowing.

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