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How to Choose Venetian Blinds



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When choosing window treatments for your home, you are definitely provided with numerous options. Among the most common suggestions are curtains and window blinds.

Since curtains seem to be the most commonly used window covering among homes throughout the world, you thought of considering window blinds instead. And as you browse over the different types of this particular window treatment option, you realize that they are actually available in a lot of choices - from wood to metal, from vertical to horizontal, and from sheer to block out.

While being bombarded with these variants of window blinds, you finally settle for the horizontal type, which is known as venetian blinds.

However, before hitting the store to buy venetian blinds or visiting a website to order blinds online, you may want to take a look on the following details first. Just keep in mind, though, that the slat material and width are your major considerations in picking your own set of these horizontal window coverings.

1. Slats. The width of your slats depends on the amount of light that you want to block. Therefore, the wider the slats, the more light they can actually block. Generally, these slats range from an inch to 3 ½ inches.

2. Vinyl (made of plastic material known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC). While this can be the most affordable material, this can also be the most fragile since they can be bent easily. But despite this limitation, vinyl blinds are still preferred by many household due to their being lightweight and resistant to moisture or humidity. Their availability in several colours and styles is another good attribute. Thus, if these are the things that you would like your window covering to have, vinyl-made can be your best option.

3. Aluminum. Venetian blinds made of aluminum are another lightweight option. However, they are more expensive than the vinyl ones. They are offered as well in many colours, sizes, and finishes.

4. Real wood or faux wood. If you are someone who loves wood furniture and home furnishings, then you can check on the available real wood venetian blinds from your supplier. Meanwhile, if you love wood yet afraid that your slats may warp so easily, then, you can go for the faux variants.

5. Inside-mount or outside-mount. The width and length of your blinds will depend on your mounting preference. So if you choose inside-mount, measure the inside portion of the window frame, from top to bottom and from left to right. For outside-mount, on the other hand, measure from where you would like to install them until where they will drop. After it, measure from right to left. For both options, make sure that you add 1 ½ to 3 ½ on all sides.

Jenny is a Senior Writer at Article and Design, a one-stop shop for all types of web services. For window blinds concerns, please visit http://www.directblindscork.com/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jenny_Grace_Molbog-Mendoza




100+ Beautiful Designer Bedrooms





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The 3 Principles of Interior Design


The 3 Principles of Interior Design

Account for function, mood and personality in any decorating project with these pointers.

Tags:
  1. Design 101


A beautifully decorated interior not only functions well but it creates a mood or a feeling and shows off the personality of the family that lives there. It's attention to these three important ingredients — function, mood and personality — that ensures decorating success.
Before painting and rearranging, spend some time thinking about your family and how you live. Look through magazines for inspiration and pull out ideas or rooms that appeal to you. Gather things from around the house that make you feel good and study them carefully for color cues and perhaps a clue to the mood you're looking for in your home. This is the beginning of a well-planned and decorated living area.
As for the rest, let's start with function.

Function

Decorating is more than just eye appeal — it's making a room really work for you. Here's how to do it, element by element:
  • The focal point: Sometimes rooms have natural focal points (places the eyes travel to immediately upon entering a room) — a fireplace, a bay window with a view, maybe even a built-in bookcase. If the room doesn't have a natural focal point, create one with a dynamic piece of art or a colorful area rug.
  • The furniture: Determine whether the furniture satisfies the functions you've planned for the room. If a piece isn't working or if it's too large or too small for the size of the room, get rid of it or trade it for something else around the house that may be more appropriate.
  • The lighting: Lighting should be selected for the functions of the room as well as for visual appeal. Every task will require either direct lighting from a lamp or indirect lights that simply brighten the room for conversation or TV-watching. Accent lighting — floor spots, track lighting or recessed spotlights — enhance texture, color and room details.
  • The furniture arrangement: Draw your room on graph paper. Measure and mark electrical outlets and switches, vents, windows and doors. Measure your furniture and place it in your floor plan. Generally, the main furniture pieces are directed toward the focal point, keeping the major traffic patterns open. Fill in with pieces you'd like to have that may or may not be available now. Be sure to balance high and low pieces as well as heavy and light ones around the room.





Image courtesy of Phillips Collections.

Mood

The mood or feeling of a room is created by your choice of colors, the style of furnishings, the amount of texture and pattern you choose and your accessories. Since there's so much to think about when creating a mood, establishing a theme through the selection of an inspiration piece can make this portion of a decorating project much more fun and interesting. Here are the factors you need to address when setting a mood:





Image Courtesey of Company C, Inc.
  • The inspiration piece: The easiest way by far to decorate is to start with some source of inspiration. A decorative pillow, a favorite scarf and even a magazine photo are good places to begin. Select your inspiration piece wisely, and be sure it makes you feel good when you look at it. It's the basis for selecting your theme, colors, patterns and textures.
  • Theme: Analyze your inspiration piece and develop a theme name for it. For instance, a needlepoint pillow with a botanical design on a black background may inspire a title like "formal botanical garden." Be descriptive with your theme name and all sorts of supporting ideas will come to mind. Botanical prints, striped walls, greens and floral colors, formal fabrics and furniture, dark woods and black accents all fit this particular theme.
  • Color cues: Color should always support the theme. Many times, the colors that are most appropriate are found in the patterns and design of your inspiration piece. Generally, it's best to choose three colors in a room: a dominant color, used for walls, carpeting and fabric backgrounds; a secondary color, found throughout the room in fabrics and accessories; and an accent color, used sparingly to give energy and excitement to the room.
  • Patterns: Stripes, checks, florals and plaids are just a few of the patterns to consider as you continue supporting your theme. It's all right to mix patterns as long as you do three things:
  1. Keep the background color the same.
  2. Make sure all patterns share the same colors.
  3. Vary the scale or sizes of the patterns. 
  • Texture: Too many smooth, shiny objects or too much nubby, rustic texture becomes tiresome. Use variety to keep the room interesting. Even a pattern can be used as texture. Many prints look dimensional and therefore add depth to a decorating scheme.
  • Furniture: Aside from being functional, your furniture plays an important role in supporting your theme. Some pieces may function well but their style or color may stick out like a sore thumb. Try to salvage it with slipcovers, tablecloths or paint. If it's a lost cause, remove it from the room.

Personality

Here's your chance to put your personal stamp on a well-planned room. Here are some strategies:
  • Accessorizing: Pictures, vases, pillows and area rugs are all integral parts of a great decorating plan. Generally, they should support your theme, but allow more flexibility here; an antique picture frame could add wonderful variety to a contemporary room. Accessories are located on walls, mantels, furniture, tabletops and floors; they can be paintings and photos or pillows.
  • Whimsy: This is optional in your decorating scheme, but it can counteract any sterile quality that may have been created by strictly following all the guidelines. A beautiful country sitting room may get some relief from a playful quilt placed over the fireplace.
  • The unexpected: Interest doesn't have to be whimsical; it can simply be something unexpected in a room, like a brightly-painted ceiling.

25 easy ways to live green at home

25 easy ways to live green at home

By 
Yuki Hayashi
Photography 
Tracey Ayton
Easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and be a better friend to the environment.
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Being environmentally friendly at home doesn't have to mean sacrificing your sense of style. Smart choices can ensure that you do your part, all the while looking (and feeling!) good about your contribution to our planet's wellbeing. Here are 25 ways that you can live green at home and be a better friend to the environment.

1 Buy for the long-term. Save toward a quality sofa, for instance, rather than a series of cheapies that you'll be throwing out every five years. A well-made sofa can be recovered several times over the course of its decades-long life.
2 Pack a litter-less lunch. Make sure your food storage containers are free of harmful bisphenol.
3 Lower your thermostat a few more degrees and cosy up with your sweetie under an eco-friendly bamboo throw blanket!
4 Buy cotton mesh produce bags and take them to the market instead of using plastic bags for your fruit and veggies. They will help keep them fresh in your crisper drawer, too, and are washable when needed.
5 Renovating? Add character to your home with reclaimed and salvaged items. Top hits: re-plated chrome bath fixtures, re-enameled vintage bathtubs, reclaimed barn board flooring and salvaged architectural accents like columns, corbels and mantels.
6 Switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Look for products that are biodegradable, phosphate-free and not tested on animals.
7 Or just check out your cupboards: Vinegar diluted with water is great on windows and floors; baking soda is great for gently scouring and deodorizing kitchen and bath surfaces.
8 Use reusable shopping bags when grocery shopping.
9 Reduce your use of paper towels. Use re-useable, washable cloths whenever possible.
10 Get an energy audit and find ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. Common to-dos include improving insulation, upgrading windows, installing weather stripping, trading up to a high-efficiency furnace and installing a programmable thermostat.
11 Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). If you really, really don't care for them, just change your porch light, laundry or utility room light to CFLs. You won't notice the difference, but CFLs use 75% less energy than standard bulbs.
12 Recycle and compost.
13 Consider reading your daily newspaper online instead of in paper form.
14 Plant a tree on your property. Or more, if you have space. Trees provide wildlife habitat and help cool the planet.
15 Help clean your indoor air with houseplants; studies have shown that they can clear toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air (these baddies lurk in paint, varnishes, particle board, foam insulation, cleaning products and other common household materials). Philodendron, dracaena, spider plants and peace lilies are particularly good clearing the air.
16 Eat organic. Pesticide residues harm wildlife on land, and with rain, run off and pollute lakes and rivers. Fertilizers can produce fatal algae blooms that destroy fish stocks. Further, many common agricultural fertilizers are known to have negative effects on human health.
17 In the market for new appliances? Buy Energy-Star certified products.
18 Stash reusable shopping bags so you'll have them where you need them: in your bag or briefcase, at home, in the car, in your office desk, etc.
19 If your lawn languishes without lots of fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide and regular watering, consider letting it die and replacing it with moss or a drought-resistant ground cover like creeping thyme, clover, or a grass species native to your region.
20 Put a rain barrel by your downspout to collect rainwater to use in your garden later.
21 Eat local. Less travel equals fewer fossil fuels used for shipping. (And food tastes fresher, too!)
22 In the housing market? Consider a property within biking or walking distance of your office, so you're more likely to leave the car in the garage. (Look for good connections to public transit, too.)
23 Install aerators and low-flow showerheads so you can save water without sacrificing water pressure.
24 Put your dryer on vacation and use an outdoor clothes line or indoor drying rack whenever possible.
25 Eat better-quality meat (organic, hormone-free, free-range), but save money – and your heart – by eating it less frequently. Work vegetable protein into your diet with tofu, beans and nuts. Vegetable protein uses less water and land to produce than meat.


Choosing Between Wood and Vinyl Plantation Shutters

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Plantation shutters have a vast history and were used to protect windows long before glass panes. These window treatments have a basic design consisting of rows of louvers, housed between supporting rails and stiles. While durable wood materials were originally used in the manufacturing process, more affordable materials like vinyl are now an option for savvy homeowners. Learn more about each option and their benefits.

Classic Wood Plantation Shutters

Many homeowners prefer real wood plantation shutters due to their classic look and all-natural construction. Real timber brings warmth to a home and can be easily matched with a home's existing decor. Timber is also very versatile and can be shaped and sized to fit nearly any window opening. True hardwoods are considered the best design option as they provide unsurpassed energy efficiency, durability, and charm.

There are numerous material options for homeowners to choose from. Some of the most popular include solid basswood, maple, mahogany, cherry, knotty pine, alder, walnut, as well as more unique choices like teak and bubinga. Nearly any type of timber that furniture can be made of can also be used to manufacture these window treatments.

Homeowners have the opportunity to completely customize the way their window treatments look when wood is used. Raw timber can be stained a wide range of colors and tints to blend effortlessly with your home's decor. It can also be painted or left natural for an authentic look.

Modern Vinyl Plantation Shutters

Vinyl plantation shutters are constructed of various poly-resin materials designed with durability and resilience in mind. Due to the sleek, plastic-like material, vinyl is low-maintenance and easy to clean. Problems like cracking, fading, or the peeling of paint are generally not an issue when this modern material is used. High-quality materials are also less likely to deteriorate over time.

Most vinyl products are noticeably less expensive than real wood, making them more economically friendly. Because it is a more stable material, vinyl is also often a wiser investment. As the material is flame retardant and resistant to moisture, it can be used in nearly any room of a home, including bathrooms and kitchens. While most commonly used inside the home, these window treatments can also be installed outside.

There are several types of vinyl shutter styles to choose from. Hollow selections are idea for moist environments, such as on a window next to a shower stall. Other types of vinyl can be made to look exactly like real wood, giving you the best of both worlds. This material generally comes pre-colored or tinted directly from the manufacturer to ensure that the color does not fade over time.

Shopping for new window treatments for your home? Consider what materials would work best with your home and budget so that you can make an informed decision.

To learn more about their options for plantation shutters, Indianapolis residents should visit http://www.thewindowvalet.com/custom-window-treatments/shutters/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andrew_Stratton

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